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are gifts which no experience can bestow, but the experience from within : and there is a nobleness of the whole personal being, to which the contemplation of all events and phænomena in the light of the three master ideas, announced in the foregoing pages, can alone elevate the spirit. Anima sapiens, says Giordano Bruno,-and let the sublime piety of the passage excuse some intermixture of error, or rather let the words, as they well may, be interpreted in a safe sense—anima sapiens non timet mortem, immo interdum illam ultro appetit, illi ultro occurrit. Manet quippe substantiam omnem pro duratione eternitas, pro loco immensitas, pro actu omniformitas. Non levem igitur ac futilem, atqui gravissimam perfectoque homine dignissimam contemplationis partem persequimur, ubi divinitatis, naturæque splendorem, fusionem, et communicationem, non in cibo, potu, et ignobiliore quadam materia cum attonitorum seculo perquirimus; sed in augusta Omnipotentis regia, immenso ætheris spatio, in infinita naturæ geminæ omnis fientis et omnia facientis potentia, unde tot astrorum, mundorum, inquam, et numinum, uni altissimo concinentium atque saltantium absque numero atque fine juxta propositos ubique fines atque ordines contemplamur. Sic ex visibilium æterno, immenso et innumerabili effectu sempiterna immensa illa majestas atque bonitas intellecta conspicitur, proque sua dignitate innumerabilium deorum (mundorum dico) adsistentia, concinentia, et gloria ipsius enarratione, immo ad oculos expressa concione glorificatur. Cui immenso mensum non quadrabit domicilium atque templum ; ad cujus majestatis plenitudinem agnoscendam atque percolendam, numerabilium ministrorum nullus esset ordo. Eia igitur ad omniformis Dei omniformem imaginem conjectemus oculos, vivum et magnum illius admiremur simulacrum!Hinc miraculum magnum a Trismegisto appellabatur homo, qui in Deum transeat quasi ipse sit Deus, qui conatur omnia fieri sicut Deus est omnia; ad objectum sine fine, ubique tamen finiendo, contendit, sicut infinitus est Deus, immensus, ubique totus.*
* De monade, &c. A wise spirit does not fear death, nay, sometimesas in cases of voluntary martyrdom-seeks and goes forth to meet it, of its own accord. For there awaits all actual beings, for duration eternity, for place immensity, for action omniformity. We pursue, therefore, a species of contemplation not light or futile, but the weightiest and most worthy of If this be regarded as the fancies of an enthusiast, by such as
deem themselves most free,
Proud in their meanness, by such as pronounce every man out of his senses who has not lost his reason ; even such men may find some weight in the an accomplished man, while we examine and seek for the splendor, the interfusion, and communication of the Divinity and of nature, not in meats or drink, or any yet ignoble matter, with the race of the thunder-stricken; but in the august palace of the Omnipotent, in the illimitable ethereal space, in the infinite power, that creates all things, and is the abiding being of all things.
There we may contemplate the host of stars, of worlds, and their guardian deities, numbers without number, each in its appointed sphere, singing together, and dancing in adoration of the One Most High. Thus from the perpetual, immense, and innumerable goings on of the visible world, that sempiternal and absolutely infinite Majesty is intellectually beheld, and is glorified according to his glory, by the attendance and choral symphonies of innumerable gods, who utter forth the glory of their ineffable Creator in the expressive language of vision! To him illimitable, a limited temple will not correspond—to the acknowledgment and due worship of the plenitude of his majesty there would be no proportion in any innumerable army of ministrant spirits. Let us then cast our eyes upon the omniform image of the attributes of the all-creating Supreme, nor admit any representation of his excellency but the living universe, which he has created! Thence was man entitled by Trismegistus, the great miracle, inasmuch as he has been made capable of entering into union with God, as if he were himself a divine nature; tries to become all things, even as in God all things are; and in limitless progression of limited states of being, urges onward to the ultimate aim, even as God is simultaneously infinite, and everywhere all !
Giordano Bruno, the friend of Sir Philip Sidney and Fulk Greville, was burnt under pretence of atheism, at Rome, on the 17th of February, 1599– 1600 (Scioppio ends his narrative in these words : Sic ustulatus misere periit, renunciaturus, credo, in reliquis illis, quos finxit, mundis, quonam pacto homines blasphemi et impii a Romanis tractari solent. Hic itaque modus in Roma est, quo contra homines impios et monstra hujusmodi procedi a nobis solet.—Ed.) His works are perhaps the scarcest books ever printed. They are singularly interesting as portraits of a vigorous mind struggling after truth, amid many prejudices, which from the state of the Romish Church, in which he was born, have a claim to much indulgence. One of them (entitled Ember Week) is curious for its lively accounts of the rude state of London, at that time, both as to the streets and the manners of the citizens.
* Poetical Works, VII. p. 83.- Ed.
historical fact that from persons, who had previously strengthened their intellects and feelings by the contemplation of principles principles, the actions correspondent to which involve one half of their consequences, by their ennobling influence on the agent's own soul, and have omnipotence, as the pledge for the remainder -we have derived the surest and most general maxims of prudence. Of high value are they all. Yet there is one among them worth all the rest, which in the fullest and primary sense of the word is, indeed, the maxim, that is, maximum, of human prudence; and of which history itself, in all that makes it most worth studying, is one continued comment and exemplification. It is this : that there is a wisdom higher than prudence, to which prudence stands in the same relation as the mason'and carpenter to the genial and scientific architect; and it is from the habits of thinking and feeling, which in this wisdom had their first formation, that our Nelsons and Wellingtons inherit that glorious hardihood, which completes the undertaking, ere the contemptuous calculator, who has left nothing omitted in his scheme of probabilities, except the might of the human mind, has finished his pretended proof of its impossibility. You look to facts, and profess to take experience for your guide. Well! I too appeal to experience : and let facts be the ordeal of my position! Therefore, although I have in this and the preceding essays quoted more frequently and copiously than I shall permit myself to do in future, I owe it to the cause I am pleading not to deny myself the gratification of supporting this connection of practical heroism with previous habits of philosophic thought, by a singularly ap(La cena de le ceneri. See particularly the second dialogue.-Ed.) The most industrious historians of speculative philosophy, have not been able to procure more than a few of his works. Accidentally I have been more fortunate in this respect, than those who have written hitherto on the un happy philosopher of Nola; as out of eleven works, the titles of which are preserved to us, I have had an opportunity of perusing six. I was told, when in Germany, that there is a complete collection of them in the royal library at Copenhagen. If so, it is unique.
(Wagner has collected and published seven of the Italian works of Bruno : Leipzig, 1830. These are, Il Candelajo ; La cena de le ceneri ; De la causa, principio et uno; De l'infinito, universo e mondi ; Spaccio de la bestia trionfante ; Cabala del caballo Pegaseo ; and De gli eroici furori. Two others are mentioned by Bruno, himself in the Cena, &c.; namely, L'arca di Noè and Purgatorio dell'inferno. Wagner could not discover these. The titles of twenty-three works in Latin are given by Wagner.--Ed.)
propriate passage from an author whose works can be called rare only from their being, I fear, rarely read, however commonly talked of. It is the instance of Xenophon, as stated by Lord Bacon, who would himself furnish an equal instance, if there
conld be found an equal commentator. f It is of Xenophon the philosopher, who went from Socrates'
school into Asia, in the expedition of Cyrus the younger, against King Artaxerxes. This Xenophon, at that time, was very young, and never had seen the wars before ; neither had any command in the army, but only followed the war as a volunteer, for the love and conversation of Proxenus, his friend. He was present when Falinus came in message from the great King to the Grecians, after that Cyrus was slain in the field, and they, a handful of men, left to themselves in the midst of the King's territories, cut off from their country by many navigable rivers, and many hundred miles. The message imported, that they should deliver up their arms and submit themselves to the King's mercy. To which message, before answer was made, divers of the army conferred familiarly with Falinus, and amongst the rest Xenophon happened to say: Why, Falinus ! we have now but these two things left, our arms and our virtue ; and if we yield up our arms, how shall we make use of our virtue ? Whereto Falinus, smiling on him, said, 'If I be not deceived, young gentleman, you are an Athenian, and I believe you study philosophy, and it is pretty that you say ; but you are much abused, if you think your virtue can withstand the King's power.' Here was the scorn : the wonder followed ;-which was, that this
scholar or philosopher, after all the captains were murdered in parley, by treason, conducted those ten thousand foot through the heart of all the King's high countries from Babylon to Græcia, in safety, in despite of all the King's forces, to the astonishment of the world, and the encouragement of the Grecians, in time succeeding, to make invasion upon the kings of Persia ; as was after purposed by Jason the Thessalian, attempted by Agesilaus the Spartan, and achieved by Alexander the Macedonian, all upon the ground of the act of that young scholar.''* wore desface
Often have I reflected with awe on the great and disproportionate power, which an individual of no extraordinary talents or attainments may exert, by merely throwing off all restraint of
* Advancement of Learning. B. I.-Ed.
conscience. What then must not be the power, where an individual, of consummate wickedness, can organize into the unity and rapidity of an individual will all the natural and artificial forces of a populous and wicked nation ? And could we bring within the field of imagination, the devastation effected in the moral world, by the violent removal of old customs, familiar sympathies, willing reverences, and habits of subordination almost naturalized into instinct; of the mild influences of reputation, and the other ordinary props and aidances of our infirm virtue, or at least, if virtue be too high a name, of our well-doing ; and above all, if we could give form and body to all the effects produced on the principles and dispositions of nations by the infectious feelings of insecurity, and the soul-sickening sense of unsteadiness in the whole edifice of civil society; the horrors of battle, though the miseries of a whole war were brought together before our eyes in one disastrous field, would present but a tame tragedy in comparison. Nay it would even present a sight of comfort and of elevation, if this field of carnage were the sign and result of a national resolve, of a general will, so to die, that neither deluge nor fire should take away the name of country from their graves, rather than to tread the same clods of earth, no longer a country, and themselves alive in nature, but dead in infamy. What is Greece at this present moment ? It is the country of the heroes from Codrus to Philopæmen; and so it would be, though all the sands of Africa should cover its cornfields and olive-gardens, and not a flower were left on Hymettus for a bee to murmur in.
If then the power with which wickedness can invest the human being be thus tremendous, greatly does it behoove us to inquire into its source and causes. So doing we shall quickly discover that it is not vice, as vice, which is thus mighty; but systematic vice. Vice self-consistent and entire; crime corresponding to crime ; villany entrenched and barricadoed by villany ; this is the condition and main constituent of its power. The abandonment of all principle of right enables the soul to choose and act upon a principle of wrong, and to subordinate to this one principle all the various vices of human nature. For it is a mournful truth, that as devastation is incomparably an easier work than production, so may all its means and instruments be more easily arranged into a scheme and system : even as in a