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The Abbé Huc's New Production.
social convulsions, and stratum after stratum of empire has been deposited; whilst one state after another has been reared on the débris of more ancient piles, here is a man embodying a whole nation in his person-who has lived on through the last two thousand years in unquestioned supremacy, as calm, and stately, and steadfast as the mountain whose head seems to rest amongst the stars, whose sides are buttressed by the sediments of by.gone worlds, and whose base is immovably rooted in the granite flooring of the globe. Who will give us a fit treatise on the subject of the living dead—the men in whose ashes still live their wonted fires—they whose spirit-forms yet walk the earth, and rule its inhabitants with their tongues of inarticulate flame and unseen hands of authority ? Could we not have some great history of the monarchs of mind, showing what dynasties of thinkers they established, what empires of opinion they founded, and telling us how their thoughts grew into systems, and their doctrines crystallized into solid institutions ?' In such a work, the man whose intellect may yet be said to constitute the heart of China, and whose sentiments circulate like blood through the veins of that huge state, would certainly be entitled to a prominent place.
But we speak of Confucianism simply as the issue of a Pagan brain. In the presence of a holier faith it should pale its ineffectual fires. So strong, however, is its hold on the national mindnot to mention the other two forms of religious belief—that the professors of Christianity have always had heavy work and scant success in their endeavours to propagate the Western creed. To this fact the new volumes of the Abbé Huc bear decided testimony. We had hoped to devote some little space to them, but Mr. Meadows' work has absorbed our attention in such a way that a simple reference to the production of the quondam missionary apostolic in China is all that circumstances will permit. Retaining a very pleasant recollection of the previous writings of this lively Frenchman, we expected an agreeable treat; but whether it is that the gravity of the subject has overpowered him, or our own anticipations were unreasonably high, we must confess that the result has been a feeling of 'disappointment. Perhaps the actors in his history are men of whom we have too little knowledge, and the time and theatre of their labours are too remote to excite sufficient interest in their deeds; but the Abbé seems to have laid down the sprightly pen which wrote the Chinese Empire and Travels in Tartary, and substituted a quill of heavier make and much sedater pace. Writing as a Romanist, he looks at things with a Romanist eye; and it is needless to say that the reader will occasionally meet with matters somewhat unsuited for Protestant digestion. But taken as an account of missionary labours from their commencement in China—and probably a little before—the work will have its value, and will afford much curious information, especially in the parts where it details the doings of men like Father Ricci and Father Schall. It shows, too, that Jesuitry has played the same game in the East as it has done in the West-ever bending and twisting as circumstances might require when the good of the cause, or the honour of the Church was concerned. The Fathers thought nothing of telling the Mandarins that they had been dazzled by the glories of the empire, and attracted thither by its greatness and renown. They did not object to commit geographical falsehoods by constructing maps in which China was placed in the centre of the earth, and exhibited in unwarrantable proportions, in order to tickle the vanity of the Celestials. They devised schemes for the introduction of an extra missionary in violation of their promise to the contrary, though • Providence,' it seems, came fortunately to their help and rescued them from all difficulty. And Schall, too, messenger of peace as he was, distinguished himself by casting cannon for the Emperor Chun-che; as Father Verbiest also did in the subsequent reign of Kiang-hi, though on a more murderous scale, for he turned out four hundred and fifty pieces of artillery, and became superintendent of a foundry-not, however, we would fain believe, without some sense of the incompatibility of the two vocations. That these men were brave and adventurous as well as devout, it would be unjust to dispute, and therefore M. Huc's account of their labours will furnish a striking chapter in the history of missionary enterprise.
Other cannon, however, have been cast than those which issued from Schall's and Verbiest's apostolical hands. An armament is collecting like a dark thunder-cloud on the Chinese coast, and the 'red-bristled barbarians' are already levelling their artillery against the Celestial Empire. Recent events have only served to deepen the conviction that this conceited and exclusive people must be dealt with vi et armis before they can be brought to a sense of their own weakness and a proper appreciation of the foreigners' power. We are far from saying that the sword should be unsheathed to teach them how to reason, or that steam frigates should be sent to dispel their geographical ignorance. But a crisis has arrived which renders strong measures imperative. War is already commenced, and it will be for the interests of humanity, and ultimately if not immediately for the good of China itself, that the lesson which it may be necessary to give with shot and shell should be prompt, in order that it may be useful, and lastingly impressive.
ART. III.-The Works of George Berkeley, D.D., Bishop of Cloyne.
2 Vols. By the Rev. G. N. WRIGHT, M.A. London: Tegg.
In the following pages we propose to consider. Bishop Berkeley, less as a metaphysician, than as a thinker on ethics and politics and a member of society. All that is valuable in his Essay on Vision is in common currency; and his theory of idealism has long ranked only as a brilliant paradox. But his Alciphron deserves to be more popular than we believe it is; his Querist, at the time of its publication, was no mean contribution to political science, and even now is of use to every student of Ireland; and his life forms a link between many bright names, and is a remarkable specimen of worth allied to genius. From this point of view, therefore, we may contemplate one of the most pleasing figures of the eighteenth century.
George Berkeley was born in 1684, at Thomastown, in the county of Kilkenny. He was of Anglo-Irish descent. His paternal grandfather accompanied to Ireland his kinsman, Lord Berkeley of Stratton, who held the office of Lord Lieutenant from 1670 to 1672. His father was apparently an independent landowner; an old keep, now mouldering along the banks of the Nore, near the demesne of Woodstock, is still pointed out as his place of residence. In 1696, the future philosopher was sent to Kilkenny School, a foundation endowed by the House of Ormonde, and still rising from pleasant meadows before their renovated castle. A few years before, Congreve and Swift had been inmates of the place, and had there formed a friendship which even the sæva indignatio of after-life could not weaken. We have no records of Berkeley's school-days-a period often inscrutable to the biographer, but generally full of influences upon the career of his subject. No thin breaths of rumour' inform us whether among plodding ushers, and the busy or the studious commonplaces of his schoolfellows, he was considered as a lad of promise. We may be certain, however-for morally the boy is the father of the man—that at school, as elsewhere, he was remarkable for that kindliness of disposition and modesty of character which, in after years, Atterbury designated as angelic.
At the age of fifteen he was matriculated at Trinity College, Dublin. Dr. St. George Ashe, afterwards Bishop of Clogher, was his tutor, and, a few years before, had been in the same relation to Swift, even then remarkable for distempered genius. He became the common friend of both his eminent pupils—a medium between two notable contrasts—and, long afterwards, persuaded Swift to silence scandal by giving the name of wife to the ill-fated Stella. Berkeley remained about twelve years in residence at the University, and, in this long period, doubtless acquired that love for the studious cloisters pale,' which, in old age, urged him to abandon a bishopric for unpensioned retirement at Oxford. He was evidently an assiduous student. In 1702 he became a scholar, in 1707 a Fellow of Trinity College-honours at that place of learning fortunately reserved to academic merit—and, before he was twenty, had written a mathematical treatise, entitled Arithmetic Demonstrated without the aid of Algebra. We may be assured, too, that though a Tory in all his leanings, he was a general favourite even among the zealous Whigs, who fed on Locke and toasted King William in the Common Room of Trinity College. For it is the privilege of University life that intellectual superiority is admired, not envied; and Berkeley's peculiar gentleness and suavity of character must have made him welcome in any circle. In several passages of his works he alludes affectionately to his Alma Mater, and clearly points out the benefits of University education in his Alciphron.
In the first years of the last century, the principal studies at Trinity College appear to have been mathematics and Locke's Essay. Locke, ungratefully exiled from Oxford, had probably been introduced into Dublin through his political doctrines. That Berkeley became an accomplished mathematician is proved by many of his works from the Mathematical Miscellanies to the Analyst; but, as we might expect, he treats this science through a metaphysical medium, which interprets the order of i ławs in nature as successions of sensational phenomena.
It was at College that he seems to have acquired all his learning about that master science which aims at solving the two problems, what is man, and what is the world around him, in their mysterious relations, and which is, as it were, the parent of all sciences, sending them forth to gather in their groups of truths, when it has proclaimed the nature of their subject-matter. This learning was evidently profound, and was soon to be reproduced in a new and beautiful combination. We think that we trace the influences of Locke, Plato, and Malebranche upon his intelligence. He seems to have considered with the first that the science of metaphysics, in its true sense, as truth about the nature of things, is to be sought in an account of our own ideas, although he rejected a philosophy which, we must say, appears at first sight under the common term idea to identify the operations of our minds with sensations; and he fiercely assailed its tenet, that general notions are to be gathered out of particulars by abstraction. From Plato he borrowed style, and, we think, His College Life-Contemporary Events. .
77 general method; though he renounced his metaphysics, which appear to us emphatically to assert the reality of an external world, distinct alike from the Creator and the creature, and perceived in laws, a knowledge of which is partly conceived, partly acquired, but in a great ineasure utterly withheld, or only caught at in casual glimpses. He denied vehemently that he had
anything in common with Malebranche, and certainly in many particulars differed from that philosopher; but we think that the theory, that perception is the result of the influx of the Divine Mind into our own, may have suggested the hypothesis that the external world exists in a spirit apart from our own, whose will it is that it should form our sensations.
At least, we may say, that both these thinkers agreed that all things that we can perceive outside us must for us be sensations, although the piety of Malebranche accepted realism as a revelation.
The years of Berkeley's college-life were pregnant with the social and political future of his country. In an evil hour Louis XIV. had recognised the son of James II. as King of England, and thereby had quickened into activity the Grand Alliance against him. The throne of Spain was the pretext and the prize of the strife which now convulsed Europe. In the vast area for conflict which stretched from Gibraltar to the Orkneys, and from the Orkneys to the Adriatic, Ireland was a prominent object to the belligerents on either side. There, a few years before, England and France had met in fierce encounter, aggravated by a cruel civil warfare. Louis knew that his royal puppet of the House of Stuart might there be something like a king de facto. There he trusted that were the Bourbon flag to be raised it would arm against England the hatred of the Irish Roman Catholic nation. Every English statesman, from Halifax to Walpole, felt that there England reigned only over the Anglo-Protestant minority. While Ireland was thus a most vulnerable point, its Puritan Parliament began to clamour for securities against their popish enemies. Unfortunately these were taken in the form of a penal code against the Roman Catholics, which for eighty years assured their degradation, and has produced calamities which have not yet disappeared. While from his study in Trinity College Berkeley was viewing in Plato's creations the effects of right and wrong in political society, he might have marked close by a living example of the legalization of iniquity, and have calculated the event of political crime. He might have heard Sir Theobald Butler appeal in vain to the Puritan zealots of the Irish House of Commons to stay a course of legislation which was about to crush his race, and might have seen how civil hatred and fear can banish reason from law. We wish we could