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"'Tis pleasant in this peaceful serious hour

To tread the silent sward that wraps the dead.

Once our companions in the cheerful walks

Of acceptable life, the same erelong

In the dark chambers of profound repose.

All have their kindred here, and I have mine.

Yes, my sweet Isabel, and I have mine.

To die—what is it but to sleep and sleep,

Nor feel the weariness of dark delay

Through the long night of time, and nothing know

Of intervening centuries elaps'd,

When thy sweet morn, Eternity, begins?

Or else—what is it but a welcome change

From worse to better, from a world of pain

To one where flesh at least can nothing feel,

And pain and pleasure have no equal sway?

What is it but to meet ten thousand friends,

Whose earthly race was finish'd ere our own,

And be well welcome, where the tim'rous foot

Fear'd to intrude, and whence no foot returns?

To me what were it but the happier lot

To find my long-lost Isabel, and shed

(If tears of joy are shed where tears of grief

Fall never, and immortal angels weep

At bliss excessive) joy's profusest show'r:

To tell her what was felt, and what was sung,

When cruel death unsparing from my sight

Pluck'd her away, and wafted her pure spirit

Whither no soul could tell? But hush! my heart,

Lest sorrow burst her cicatrice anew,

And painful thought, which saddens my slow step,

Disperse the pleasures of this tranquil hour."

Art. VI. Essai sur les Prejugis, ou de VInfluence des Opinions sur les mceurs et sur le bonheur des Hommes. Outrage contenant VApologie de la Philosophic, par M. D. M. Londres, 1770. 12mo, pp. 394.

M. Chesrjeau du Marsais, the author of this essay, was born at Marseilles, in 1676. He first entered into the congregation of the Oratory, which, however, he very soon quitted, and applied himself to the study of the law. This profession he also abandoned, and became tutor successively in several families, and amongst others in the family of the pseudo-financier Law. He wrote many works, which gained him great reputation, but did not better his condition. He was of a mild and tranquil disposition, and his mind was seldom agitated even by the saddest accidents in his checquered existence. The subject of this article first appeared in a publication entitled Nouvelles Libertis de Penser. It is on a subject which comes home to the business and bosoms of men. For is there a human being who is not in some measure under the dominion of prejudice—who is not carried along by the violence of party, the hostility of sectism, or the force of habit; who has not, in short, arrived at conclusions without the process of reasoning, or adopted opinions without examining their reasonableness and truth? If there be, he has removed one of the greatest barriers to human happiness and human improvement; but it is to be feared, the existence of such a being is rare. The influence of prejudice is no doubt exerted with very different degrees of force, according to the natural impotency or power of the mind on which it operates. Some minds it rules with a despotic and unmitigated sway, whilst others display it only in its chastened and subdued, and sometimes amiable effects. But since all do feel its influence, it becomes an inquiry of the greatest interest and importance how far it contributes to the happiness or misery of the human species—whether there be some prejudices, (as it has been contended) some dear delusions, which the heart may still cling to and cherish, which it would not only be dangerous to remove, but which it is for the positive interest and happiness of man to retain—or whether our intellectual eye is sufficiently strong to behold the resplendent face of truth unveiled. The inquiry, indeed, is of such magnitude— of such extensive and paramount importance to man in all his relations, private, political, and religious, that we approach it with a feeling of embarrassment, lest on the one hand, we should desert the sacred cause of truth and philosophy; or on the other, be endeavouring to unsettle what ought not to be unsettled. Nature, which has implanted in animals certain mechanical dispositions, or instincts, to supply their wants, has endowed man with the pre-eminent gift of reason to guide his motions—to govern his dispositions, and advance himself and others in the scale of intellect and of happiness. It must be confessed, however, that instead of exerting their own reasoning faculties, and adopting opinions and modes of action from their own conviction of their fitness and truth, men generally adopt opinions from custom, habit, or education; but when once they are environed with those shackles, they too often feel the constraint occasioned by them, for life. But we are told that reason is weak and fallible, vot. I. Part i. M

Dim as the borrow'd beams of moon and stars
To lonely, weary, wand'ring travellers.

Be it so—then let us strengthen, cultivate, and elevate, instead of depressing it below its just level. Instead of hoodwinking reason, and allowing our opinions and actions to be governed by custom, error, and prejudice, let it have full, free, and unfettered scope to range the fields of thought, in the investigation and discovery of truth. Does not our happiness depend on the knowledge of the various relations which man bears to his fellow man, and to his God, and the practice of the duties which they impose—and how are we to discover these relations, except by the assistance of reason operating on experience? Can false views of human nature and its attributes increase the happiness of the human race individually, or can a political society, framed on such erroneous principles, attain the end for which alone society was formed?" Deception and mendacity are always regarded in the common and every day intercourse of life as base and odious—is it then only upon subjects of the highest import toman, that he may be deceived without danger or detestation?" Dreadful indeed,and unlimited, is the power of prejudice—we imbibe it with life itself, and its strength and influence increase until its close—its prevalence may be detected in all human institutions—government, which from its nature, is framed for the maintenance of society, for the concentration of its force, and the preservation of its peace and security, becomes, by a fatal perversion, the principle of its destruction—the cause of vice, misery, and oppression, which gradually conduct nations to decline and ruin—if we direct our attention to the municipal laws of communities, we find the natural liberty of man, bound and fettered by the chains of despotism—the immutable rules of justice and equity cut down and varied to suit the caprices of opinion, custom, or tyranny; and the welfare and happiness of millions, sacrificed to the transient interests of power. We see rank, and wealth, and power, showered down on the few, and the great living mass of society, with all their feelings and affections about them, robbed of the very rights of humanity. If we look into domestic life—if we examine into the effects of education, we find its tendency is to establish certain systems of opinions, without allowing them to be examined—to check the noble aspirations of the soul, and to bind down reason to the stake of custom. Thus prejudice feeds on the human mind, to the annihilation of reason, like the insect larva, which is deposited in the body of the living caterpillar, on which it feeds and strengthens, leaving the vital parts only untouched till its maturity, when, having destroyed these also, it bursts into the world, an unnatural and monstrous birth.

The author before us, feeling a strong conviction of the deleterious effects of the idolatry paid to this delusive divinity, has, in the essay before us, attempted to dissipate the fogs which have hung over and obscured human reason. The philosophical discussion of such a subject, not only requires cool and quiet hours, but a clear head and an honest heart. "True philosophy disowns the maxims of those apologists of vice, who borrow her language to diffuse their poison—the friends of disorder are her enemies."

The welfare of mankind is her object, and truth the instrument by which she effects it—for goodness is but the reflexion of truth, whose colour it takes as the blade newly come out of the forge, the colour of the fire.

On the mild and humane, but firm and undaunted spirit, which ought to characterise the true philosopher, M. Marsais makes the following observations:

"11 faut une aune tranquille pour envisager les objets sous leur vrai point de vue; il faut être impartial pour juger sainement des choses; il faut se mettre au dessus des préjugés, dont la philosophie elle-même n'est que trop souvent infectée, pour la perfectionner, pour la rendre plus persuasive, plus touchante, plus utile au genre humain. En effet l'arrogance des philosophes a dû souvent dégoûter les hommes de la philosophie; ses disciples, fiers de leurs découvertes réelles ou prétendues, ont quelquefois montré leur supériorité d'une façon humiliante pour leurs concitoyens; des penseurs atrabilaires ont révolté les hommes par leurs mépris insultans, et n'ont fait que leur fournir des motifs pour s'attacher plus opiniâtrement à leurs erreurs, et pour décrier les médecins et les remèdes. D'autres se sont complu à étaler aux yeux de leurs semblables les maux dont ils souffroient, sans leur indiquer les vrais moyens de les guérir. Que dis-je! ils les ont souvent exagérés, et se sont efforcés d'ôter jusqu'à l'espoir de les voir jamais finir.

*' Le philosophe n'est en droit de s'estimer lui-même que lorsqu'il se rend utile en contribuant au bonheur de ses semblables; les applaudissemens intérieurs de sa conscience sont légitimes et nécessaires lorsqu'il a la conscience de les avoir mérités. Hélas! dans un monde aveuglé par le préjugé et si souvent ingrat, cette récompense idéale est presque toujours la seule qui reste à la vertu! Ainsi que le Sage s'estime quand il a fait du bien; que son ame s'applaudisse d'être libre au milieu des fers qui retiennent les autres; que son coeur se félicite d'être dégagé de ces vains dèsirs, de ces vices, de ces passions honteuses, de ces besoins imaginaires dont ses associés sont tourmentés, mais qu'il ne se compare point à eux d'une façon choquante pour leur amourpropre; s'il se croit plus heureux, qu'il n'insulte point à leur misère, qu'il ne leur reproche point avec aigreur les maux qui les affligent, et sur-tout qu'il ne les jette point dans le désespoir. La philosophie manque son but et révolte au lieu d'attirer lorsqu'elle prend un ton arrogant et dédaigneux, ou lorsqu'elle porte l'empreinte de l'humeur; l'ami de la sagesse doit être l'ami des hommes et ne les mépriser jamais; il compatit à leurs peines, il cherche à les consoler, à les encourager. L'amour du genre humain, l'enthousiasme du bien public, la sensibilité, l'humanité, le dèsir de servir son espèce, de mériter son estime, sa tendresse, sa reconnoissance, voilà les motifs légitimes qui doivent animer l'homme de bien; voilà les motifs qu'il peut avouer sans rougir; ces motifs méritent nos éloges lorsque nous en ressentons les effets avantageux. Sans cela la philosophie ne sera qu'une déclamation inutile contre le genre humain, qui ne prouvera que l'orgueil ou le chagrin de celui qui déclame, sans jamais convaincre personne.

"De quel droit en effet le Sage mépri-seroit-il les hommes ou leur feroit-il des outrages? Est-ce parce qu'il croit avoir des lumières et des connoissances supérieures à celles des autres? Mais ces lumières sont inutiles et ces connoissances sont vaines s'il n'en résulte aucun bien pour le genre humain. De quel droit haïroit-il son espèce, et quelle gloire peut-il résulter d une misanthropie qui le déclareroit ennemi du genre humain? L'humanité, l'amour des hommes, la sensibilité, la douceur pe sont-elles pas des vertus? Toute gloire pour être solide ne doit-elle pas se fonder sur ces heureuses dispositions et sur les effets avantageux qu'elles doivent opérer? Quels motifs l'homme qui pense auroit-il pour mépriser les autres! Est-ce parce qu'ils sont ignorans et remplis de préjugés? Hélas! l'èducation, l'exemple, l'habitude et l'autorité ne les forcent-ils pas à l'être? Est-ce parce qu'ils sont des esclaves, remplis de passions, de vices et dèsirs frivoles? Ceux qui règlent leurs destinées, les imposteurs qui lès séduisent, les modèles qu'ils ont devant les yeux, ne produicent-ils pas dans leurs coeurs tous les vices qui les tourmentent? Mépriser ou haïr les hommes pour leurs égaremens, c'est les insulter lorsqu'on devroit les plaindre, c'est les outrager parcequ'ils sont malheureux, c'est leur reprocher des infirmités nécessaires et qu'ils n'ont pu s'empêcher de contracter."

"How charming is divine Philosophy!
Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose;
But musical as is Apollo's lute."

That this author is a friend to the best interests of humanity, we have no hesitation in saying; and the prudence of the foregoing observations is in his own case evident, for we think he has strong and unreasonable prejudices on one subject of mighty import, religion—on which we shall make a few observations before we conclude.

In another place, M. Marsais says,

"The philosopher knows the value of truth—searches for it, meditates upon it, or communicates it to others. The wise man exhibits it in his life «nd actions—Truth, wisdom, reason, virtue, nature, are terms which equally designate what is useful to mankind. The uniform tendency of truth is to enlighten man—the most enlightened are the most reasonable—the most reasonable feel more deeply than others the real interests and motives they have to be virtuous. Without the study of nature, man can never know the relation he bears, nor the duties he owes to himself and others—deprived of this knowledge, he can have neither firm principles nor true happiness. The most enlightened are the most interested in being the best men—great talents

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