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cannot paint enthusiasm, she does not seek strength or height of character, but she looks for goodness. She knows a good woman through and through, but other women from the outside only
It is not that she understands all women and no men, for she cannot delineate the internal life of all women. Lady Caroline Brithwood in John Halifax,' is a complete failure. Miss Gascoigne is rather a clever sketch than a finished picture. At the same time her sympathy with a good man is complete on the moral, but defective on the intellectual, side, and this deficiency is felt more in men than in women, because we need to feel the intellect of a man in whom we take any sustained interest. An accurate delineation of children needs also intellectual insight as well as sympathy; they are in a stage of growth and transition, and the physical and intellectual preponderate. Aaron and Eppie in 'Silas Marner,' Ninna and Lillo in ‘Romola,' are the perfection of children, round, soft, loveable realities. Goodness in a loveable child is latent rather than developed, and it is certainly not the only attraction of childhood. But Mrs. Craik must find that or nothing in children. The disagreeable Atty and Titia are, therefore, spiteful, ill-natured grown people on a small scale, and the children whom she depicts are such in virtue only of their using baby-talk.
This lady lacks the deep and full insight of George Eliot; lacks even the knowledge of the outside look of all ordinary characters, which distinguishes so many novelists of only average ability. In language she has no wealth of poetical imagery; her views are neither broad nor profound, she has no wide field of vision, and the depths of spiritual struggle are unknown to her; but she looks high into the pure heavens, and points always upwards and onwards. All her charm and all her power lie in this marvellous purity of moral tone. There is no trifling with sin, no extenuating or making light of it. Right may be painful, it may entail suffering and selfdenial, but it must be done. Wrong must be avoided. The petty meannesses and falsehoods of society, and its general insincerity, she never for a moment tolerates or condones. Her good men and women are absolutely honest and truthful to their superiors, their equals, and their inferiors. Surely we have a right to say that such teaching has at the present time an almost inestimable value, and that the Author of John Halifax' is doing good service both in her generation and for all time.
ART. III.-(1.) Auguste Comte et La Philosophie Positive. Par
E. LITTRÉ. Paris : Librairie de L. Hachette et Cie. 1863. (2.) Notice sur l'Euvre et sur la Vie d'Auguste Comte. Par
le DOCTEUR ROBINET. Paris : Librairie Richelieu. 1864. (3.) Auguste Comte and Positivism.
By John STUART MILL. London : N, Trübner and Co. 1865. (4.) The Classification of the Sciences, To which are added,
Reasons for Dissenting from the Philosophy of M. Comte. By
HERBERT SPENCER. London: Williams and Norgate. 1864. We do not dispute the wisdom or honesty of a just eclecticism. Our greatest reformers and teachers have had more of the eclectic than of the creative element in their composition. We therefore feel that we are at liberty to make our selection from the completed works of any conspicuous innovator on established beliefs and traditional customs; and while we repudiate those portions of them which are obviously in collision with common sense, or indisputable facts, to preserve the noble 'guesses at truth,' the established discoveries, or the new methods of inquiry which such an author has been fortunately the first to offer to mankind. We are not bound to garner the chaff with the wheat, to save the quartz as well as the gold-dust of our intellectual diggings. In this eclectic spirit we therefore admire. the candour with which Messrs. J. S. Mill and E. Littré, in the works named at the head of this article, and Mr. Lewes, in the • Fortnightly Review,' have released themselves and their reputation from all complicity with the speculations and theories of the later years of M. Auguste Comte, while they give their unhesitating adhesion to the fundamental principles of the Cours, de Philosophie Positive. They have maintained their right to accept and apply the method of Comte to physical and social science as he applied it, and their right to stand aloof and refuse the guidance of the Bacon of the nineteeth century,' when, according to them, he deviated from his own first principles, reversed his method, gave the reins to his fancy, feelings, and self-will, appealed to his imagination for his facts, and his lovepassages for an infallible revelation of the truth. They may be acquitted of all unfair dealing, in seeking, for a while at least, to cover with a decent veil of silence the shame of their master; to treat as unuttered the conclusions to which Comte's sociological law was leading him, and to abstain from either exposition or criticism of the Religion of Humanity. The conspiracy of silence, with the maintenance of which, in relation to his later performances, M. Comte reproached his English admirers, is, as
Mr. Mill honestly confesses, ‘more than sufficiently explained by *tenderness for his fame and conscientious fear of bringing unde'served discredit on the noble speculations of his earlier career.' Mr. Mill, after a scathing scrutiny of the vagaries of Comte's later speculations, lets him down softly at last, with the admission that the names of Leibnitz and Descartes, like that of Comte, are associated with 'important discoveries and grand thoughts,
and also with some of the most extravagantly wild and Iudi'crously absurd conceptions and theories which were ever solemnly proposed by thoughtful men.'*
Whatever truth was embodied in M. Comte's method of investigation into certain departments of fact, is added doubtless to the sum of things, and cannot be subtracted from human thought. The light which he kindled, such as it was, can never be put out; the suggestive hints that he gave for the study of various sciences ; the conceptions that he formed of a philosophy derivable from the general principles involved in all the separate sciences, and the progress that he made towards a comprehensive classification and hierarchy of the sciences, according to the law of decreasing generality, and increasing complication in the subject matter, will continue to affect human thought for a long time to come.
While we admit all this, within certain limitations, we at the same time maintain that the completed life of a great thinker is often the best commentary on his philosophy. In agreement with Comte himself, and with some more ardent of his disciples than are either Messrs. Mill, Lewes, or Littré, we believe that Positivism is only partly understood, that no thorough-going application of the method of Comte has yet been made, and that his philosophy can not be truly appreciated until his later speculations are distinctly appraised. The history of Auguste Comte is, we think, an instructive and striking corroboration of the views which we ventured to express in this journal some twelve years ago, and justifies the course we then adopted. It may be · English,'
selfish,' 'unphilosophical,' to estimate a new method of inquiry by the solid advantages, or the personal consequences to which it leads, but whatever hard names are hurled at the proceeding, we believe that it is impossible to free the mind from the influence of the discovery of the close connection existing in the mind of their author between the Cours de Philosophie Positive,' and the • Système de la Politique Positive.' Positivism loudly boasts that it deprives us of nothing for which it does not supply an adequate substitute. When, therefore, by a new and lauded method of inquiry all that we esteem of real or solid value to
• Auguste Comte and Positivism.' By J. S. Mill. Pp. 199, 200.
Compensation due to the broken heart.
our hungering spirits is ruthlessly snatched from our grasp, and trampled down into the sands of the past; when all the majesty and holiness and power of God are boldly repudiated ; when the tenderest and most sacred names and things are treated as chimeras of our imagination; when sin is ridiculed and pardon becomes impossible; when the soul herself is frittered away into a nexus of powers and faculties without centre or reality; when immortality, with all its fears and hopes, is transmuted into the memorial engraved on our tombstone, or the subjective appreciation yielded to our manes by the Positivist Society ;' when all the glorious tremor of our spirit in view of the unseen, all the divine communion of the holy with their God is compensated for, by what appears to us to be a fetichistic commemoration of the dead, and all the religious experience of the church of the living God is explained away as a dream of effete theology; when morals are substituted for religion and the Supreme Being' of the new faith and love is asserted to be the entire race of man, past, present, and future-a conception which, in the Positivist sense, can only be formulated by minds that have passed through a laborious scientific training; when the entire systematisation of the new faith, hope, and love is so ineffably absurd, impractical, and inconsistent, that its most moderate expounders are compelled constantly to assure their readers that they are not joking, and are really anxious to be fair to the distinguished man who offered it to the world :* we are fain and forced to ask whether there is, or is not, any close or immediate connection between the calm and dispassionate theories of the philosophic Comte and the wild dreams of the Pontiff Comte. Some of his disciples would have us believe that there is no such connection; that we may be thankful for the one and despise the other; that the one is true, and that the other is premature and false ; that the one follows the objective and relative method of inquiry, and that the other follows the subjective, dogmatic, and absolute method ; that the one is the child of the Baconian and inductive philosophy, and the other the offspring of a diseased and weakened intellect, a retrograde, inconsistent, and one-sided view of human affairs; that the one reveals a mind delivered from the trammels of self, communing with facts, classifying sciences and generalising phenomena ; and that the other reveals a brain driven back and in upon itself, spinning a universe out of its own medulla oblongata, and perhaps presenting the most amazing specimen of self-importance and overweening vanity that the world has ever seen. But, on the other hand, there are disciples of M. Comte, among whom Dr. Robinet and
• J. S. Mill, pp. 152, 183.
Mr. Congreve conspicuously figure, who not only embrace all this self-assertion as a new religion, but maintain that it was the original intention of Comte to advance it; that the germs of the whole absurdity are laid deep down in his system, that the philosophy of the sciences is a mere parenthesis in this general scheme; that from the first he aimed at the formation of a demonstrable faith, and saw the profound necessity of attending to the subjective inspirations of the affections, of even subordinating the intellect to the decisions of the heart, and of effecting the true synthesis of human faculties in the creation not only of the sociological law which is to interpret all history, but of the transcendental concept of the Grand-être, who is to inspire and respond to those affections.
It is our belief that Messrs. Robinet and Congreve are nearer to the truth than are some of the more sober and less enthusiastic followers of Comte. They are not utterly blind to a truth which was revealed at last to Comte, that the theologic stage is after all a fundamental one; that man must worship; that whether their science can formulate it or not, whether Comte's position is a mortal blow at positive philosophy or is not, man will find or make an object of worship, reverence, and love; that if the bleeding roots of our nature are torn from their resting-place, they will fasten and cling to any miserable fetich, batten on any spongy morass, eagerly close with any offers of nutrition and sustenance, rather than wither among the icebergs of those impressive laws of changeless sequence; that if Comte did not offer his miserable makeshifts of religious consolation, outraged human nature would soon avenge its cruel bereavements in some other fashion ; that if the Positivist Society or Church did not rush into the breach, the broken heart of man, still hungering for eternity,' and crying for its Father and for peace, would close with
any substitute for its rifled treasures rather than go frantic upon atheistic law. These men see with a deeper philosophy than the English sensational sceptics can do, that the jubilant chorus of satisfaction with which modern Positivists are striving to drive God from his creation, and from all human affairs, and virtually to make their own magnificent minds the measure of all things, supposing it to be successful, could end only in a re-itineration of old Paganisms and the creation of a new mythology. We believe that Comte's melancholy and ghastly systematisation of the affective powers of man, and his creation, as he thought, of a new priesthood, new sacraments, a new Pantheon, a new Calendar, a new Trinity, a new Virgin Mother, show that the progress of opinion in this direction can end only in a renewal of the Saturnalia of the latter days of Roman