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So, perhaps, my young friend, I have cause to be thankful, that the opening upon a fresh vein gives me a delight so full as to allow no room for other fancies, and leaves behind it a hope and a love that support me in my labor, even for the labor's sake.” As, according to the eldest philosophy, life being in its own nature aeriform, is under the necessity of renewing itself by inhaling the connatural, and therefore assimilable, air, so is it with the intelligential soul with respect to truth ; for it is itself of the nature of truth. I'evous vm éx 3609so.g., zool 380 wo. 08tov, pö0ty #yety ptkoffs&uovo Úst&g yet.* But the occasion and brief history of the decline of true speculative philosophy, with the origin of the separation of ethics from religion, I must defer to the following number. TNOTE,
As I see many good, and can anticipate no ill consequences in the attempt to give distinct and appropriate meanings to words hitherto synonymous, or at least of indefinite and fluctuating application, if only the proposed sense be not passed upon the reader as the existing and authorized one, I shall make no other apology for the use of the word, Talent, in this preceding essay and elsewhere in my works than by annexing the following explanation. I have been in the habit of considering the qualities of intellect, the comparative eminence in which characterizes individuals and GVGKl countries, under four kinds—Genius, Talent, Sense, and Cleverness. The first I use in the sense of most general acceptance, as the faculty which adds to the existing stock of power and knowledge by new views, new combinations; by discoveries not accidental but anticipated, or resulting from anticipation. In short, I define Genius, as originality in intellectual construction; the moral accompaniment, and actuating principle of which consists, perhaps, in the carrying on of the freshness and feelings of childhood into the powers of manhood. By Talent, on the other hand, I mean the comparative facility of acquiring, arranging, and applying the stock furnished by others, and already existing in books or other conservatories of intellect. By Sense I understand that just balance of the faculties which is to the judgment what health is to the body. The mind seems to act at once and altogether by a synthetic rather than an ana
* Plotinus, Ennead. III. I. 8. g. 3, slightly altered.—Ed.
lytic process: even as the outward senses, from which the metaphor is taken, perceive immediately, each as it were by a peculiar tact or intuition, without any consciousness of the mechanism by which the perception is realized. This is often exemplified in well-bred, unaffected, and innocent women. I know a lady, on whose judgment, from constant experience of its rectitude, I could rely almost as on an oracle. But when she has sometimes proceeded to a detail of the grounds and reasons for her opinion, then, led by similar experience, I have been tempted to interrupt her with—“I will take your advice,” or, “I shall act on your opinion; for I am sure you are in the right. But as to the fors and becauses, leave them to me to find out.” The general accompaniment of sense is a disposition to avoid extremes, whether in theory or in practice, with a desire to remain in sympathy with the general mind of the age or country, and a feeling of the necessity and utility of compromise. If genius be the initiative, and talent the administrative, sense is the conservative, branch in the intellectual republic. By Cleverness (which I dare not with Dr. Johnson call a low word, while there is a sense to be expressed which it alone expresses) I mean a comparative readiness in the invention and use of means, for the realizing of objects and ideas—often of such ideas, which the man of genius only could have originated, and which the clever man perhaps neither fully comprehends nor adequately appreciates, even at the moment that he is prompting or executing the machinery of their accomplishment. In short, cleverness is a sort of genius for instrumentality. It is the brain in the hand. In literature, cleverness is more frequently accom. panied by wit, genius and sense by humor. If I take the three great countries of Europe, in respect of intellectual character, namely, Germany, England, and France, I should characterize them in the following way —premising only that in the first line of the first two tables I mean to imply that genius, rare in all countries, is equal in both of these, the instances equally numerous ; not, therefore, contra-distinguishing either from the other, but both from the third country. We cal: scarcely avoid considering a Cervantes and Calderon as in some sort characteristic of the nation which produced them. In the last war we felt it in the hope, which the recollection of these names inspired. But yet it can not, equally with the qualities WOL. II, R.
placed as second and third in each table, be called a national characteristic ; though, in the appropriation of these likewise, we refer exclusively to the intellectual portion of each country.
So again with regard to the forms and effects, in which the qualities manifest themselves intellectually.
* The latter chiefly as exhibited in wild combination and in pomp of ornament. Imagination is implied in genius. + This, as co-ordinate with genius in the first table, applies likewise to the few only ; and conjoined with the two following qualities, as more general characteristics of German intellect, includes or supposes, as its consequences and accompaniments, speculation, system, method; which in a somewhat lower class of minds appear as nationality (or a predilection for nowmena, mundus intelligibilis, as contra-distinguished from phaenomena, or mundus sensibilis), scheme, arrangement, orderliness. † In totality I imply encyclopaedic learning, exhaustion of the subject treated of, and the passion for completion and the love of the complete. § It might have been expressed;—the contemplation of ideas objectively, as existing powers, while the German of equal genius is predisposed to contemplate law subjectively, with anticipation of a correspondent in nature,
Lastly, we might exhibit the same qualities in their moral, religious, and political manifestations: in the cosmopolitism of Germany, the contemptuous nationality of the Englishman, and the ostentatious and boastful nationality of the Frenchman. The craving of sympathy marks the German ; inward pride the Englishman ; vanity the Frenchman. So again, enthusiasm, visionariness seems the tendency of the German ; zeal, zealotry of the English ; famaticism of the French. But the thoughtful reader will find these and many other characteristic points contained in, and deducible from, the relations which the mind of the three countries bears to time.
A whimsical friend of mine, of more genius than discretion, characterizes the Scotchman of literature (confining his remark, however, to the period since the union) as a dull Frenchman and a superficial German. But when I recollect the splendid excep
* Tendency to individualize, embody, insulate, as instanced in the advocacy of the vitreous and the resinous fluids instead of the positive and negative forces of the power of electricity. Thus, too, it was not sufficient that oxygen was the principal, and with one exception, the only then known acidifying substance; the power and principle of acidification must be embodied, and as it were impersonated and hypostasized in this gas. Hence the idolism of the French, here expressed in one of its results, namely, palpability. Ideas and a Frenchman are incompatible terms; but I confine the remark to the period from the latter half of the reign of Louis XIV. Ideas, I say, are here out of the question; but even the conceptions of a Frenchman;–whatever he admits to be conceivable must be likewise, according to him, imageable, and the imageable must be fancied tangible—the non-apparency of either or both being accounted for by the disproportion of our senses, not by the nature of the objects.
tions of Hume, Robertson, Smollett, Reid, Thomson (if this last instance be not objected to as favoring of geographical pedantry, that truly amiable man and genuine poet having been born but a few furlongs from the English border), Dugald Stewart, Burns, Walter Scott, Hogg, and Campbell—not to mention the very numerous physicians and prominent dissenting ministers, born or bred beyond the Tweed —I hesitate in recording so wild an opinion, which derives its plausibility, chiefly from the circumstance so honorable to our northern sister, that Scotchmen generally have more, and a more learned, education than the same ranks in other countries, below the first class ; but in part likewise, from the common mistake of confounding the general character of an emigrant, whose objects are in one place and his best affections in another, with the particular character of a Scotchman : to which we may add, perhaps, the clannish spirit of provincial literature, fostered undoubtedly by the peculiar relations of Scotland, and of which therefore its metropolis may be a striking, but is far from being a solitary instance.
AMOUR de moss-même, mažs bien calculé—was the motto and maxim of a French philosopher. Our fancy inspirited by the more imaginative powers of hope and fear enables us to present to ourselves the future as the present, and thence to accept a scheme of self-love for a system of morality. And doubtless, an enlightened self-interest would recommend the same course of outward conduct, as the sense of duty would do ; even though the motives in the former case had respect to this life exclusively. But to show the desirableness of an object, or the contrary, is one thing ; to excite the desire, to constitute the aversion, is another: the one being to the other as a common guide-post to the “chariot instinct with spirit,” which at once directs and conveys; or employing a more familiar image, we may compare the rule of self.