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tistics embodied in this, the first "IronManufacturer's Guide"; but the subject is as inexhaustible as the mineral wealth of the country, and we shall look for the future publications of the society with much interest.
An Essay on Intuitive Morals. Being an Attempt to Popularize Ethical Science. Part I. Theory of Morals. First American Edition, with Additions and Corrections by the Author. Boston: Crosby, Nichols, & Co. 1859. pp. 294.
FOUR years ago last March this book appeared in England, published by Longman; a thin octavo, exciting little attention there, and scarcely more on this side the water, where the best English books have of late years found their first appreciation. The first notice of it printed in this country, so far as we know, appeared in the "Harvard Magazine" for June, 1855,-a publication so obscure, that, to most readers of the ATLANTIC, this will be their first knowledge of its existence. About two years later, Part II. appeared in England, and then both books were reviewed in the "Christian Examiner "; yet, to all intents and purposes, this new edition is a new book, and we shall treat it as such. We have as yet a reprint of Part I. only, but we trust the publishers will soon give us the other," The Practice of Morals," which, if less valuable than this, is still so much better than most works of its kind as to demand a republication.
The author- -a woman- (for, to the shame of our virile secus be it said, a woman has written the best popular treatise on Ethics in the language)-divides her First Part into four chapters :
I. What is the Moral Law?
II. Where the Moral Law is found. III. That the Moral Law can be obeyed. IV. Why the Moral Law should be obeyed.
This, as will be seen, is an exhaustive analysis. To the great question of the first chapter, after a full discussion, she gives this answer:
"The Moral Law is the resumption of the eternal necessary Obligation of all Rational Free Agents to do and feel those Sentiments which are Right. The identification of this law with His will constitutes the Holiness of
the Infinite God. Voluntary and disinterested obedience to this law constitutes the Virtue of all finite creatures. Virtue is capable of infinite growth, of endless approach to the Divine nature and to perfect conformity with the law. God has made all rational free agents for virtue, and all worlds for rational free agents. The Moral Law, therefore, not only reigns throughout His creation, (all its behests being enforced thereon by His omnipotence,) but is itself the reason why that creation exists." ―pp. 62-63.
This is certainly good defining, and the passage we have Italicized has the true Transcendental ring. Indeed, the book is a system of Kantian Ethics, as the author herself says in her Preface; and the tough old Königsberg professor has no reason to complain of his gentle expounder. Unlike most British writers,-with the grand exception of Sir William Hamilton, the greatest British metaphysician since Locke and Hume, she understands Kant, admires and loves him, and so is worthy to develop his knotty sublimities. This alone would be high praise; but we think she earns a more original and personal esteem.
The question of the second chapter she thus answers:
"The Moral Law is found in the Intuitions of the Human Mind. These Intuitions are natural; but they are also revealed. Our. Creator wrought them into the texture of our souls to form the groundwork of our thoughts, and made it our duty first to examine and then to erect upon them by reflection a Science of Morals. But He also continually aids us in such study, and He increases this aid in the ratio of our obedience. Thus Moral Intuitions are both Human and Divine, and the paradoxes in their nature are thereby solved. -p. 136.
This statement may, perhaps, be received without cavil by most readers; but the reasoning on which it depends is the weakest part of the book, and we shall be surprised if some hard-headed divine, who fears that this doctrine of Intuition will pester his Church, does not find out the flaws in the argument. It will be urged, for instance, that, in confessing that the Science of Morals can never be as exact as that of Mathematics, because we have no terminology for Ethics so exact as for Geometry, she, in effect, yields the whole question, and leaves us in the old slough of doubt where Pyrrho and Pascal delight
ed to thrust us, and where the Church threatens to keep us, unless we will pay her tolls and pick our way along her turnpike. But though her major and minor premises may not be on the best terms with each other, -even though they may remind us of that preacher of whom Pierrepont Edwards said, "If his text had the smallpox, his sermon would not catch it," -her conclusion is sound, and as inspiring now as when the poet said,
"Est Deus in nobis, agitante calescimus illo,"or when George Fox trudged hither and thither over Europe with the same noble tune sounding in his ears.
In the third chapter the old topics are treated, which, according to Milton, the fallen angels discussed before Adam settled the debate by sinning,
"Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute,"
and it is concluded that the Moral Law can be obeyed :
"1st. Because the Human Will is free. 2d. Because this freedom, though involving present sin and suffering, is foreseen by God to result eventually in the Virtue of every creature endowed therewith."
In this chapter the history of the common doctrine of Predestination is admirably sketched, (pp. 159-164, note,) and the grounds for our belief in Free Will more clearly stated than we remember to have seen elsewhere. Especially fine is her method of reducing Foreordination to simple Ordination, by directing attention to the fact that with God there is no Past and Future, but an Endless Now; as Tennyson sings in In Memoriam,”—
"Oh, if indeed that eye foresee,
Or see, (in Him is no before,)"”— and as Dante sang five centuries ago.
But it is the last chapter which best shows the power of the author and the pure and generous spirit with which the whole book is filled. Here she shows why the Moral Law should be obeyed; and dividing the advocates of Happiness as a motive into three classes, Euthumists, Public Eudaimonists, and Private Eudaimonists, she refutes them all and establishes her simple scheme, which she states in these words :
"The law itself, the Eternal Right, for right's own sake, that alone must be our
motive, the spring of our resolution, the ground of our obedience. Deep from our inmost souls comes forth the mandate, the bare and simple law, claiming the command of our whole existence merely by its proper right, and disdaining alike to menace or to bribe."
The terms Euthumism and Eudaimonism are, perhaps, peculiar to this essay, and may need some explanation. The Euthumist is one who assumes moral pleasure as a sufficient reason why virtue should be sought; the Eudaimonist believes we should be virtuous for the sake of affectional, intellectual, and sensual pleasure; if he means the pleasure of all mankind, he is a Public Eudaimonist; but if he means the pleasure of the individual, he is a Private Eudaimonist. Democritus is reckoned the first among Euthumists; and in England this school has been represented, among others, by Henry More and Cumberland, by Sharrock,* Hutcheson, and Shaftesbury. Paley thrust himself among Public Eudaimonists, and our author well exposes his grovelling morals, aiming to produce the "greatest happiness of the greatest number," a system which has too long been taught among the students of our colleges and high schools. But he properly belongs to the Private Eudaimonists; for this interpreter of ethics to the ingenuous youth of England and America says, "Virtue is the doing good
to mankind in obedience to the will of God, and for the sake of everlasting happiness. According to which definition, the good of mankind is the subject, the will of God the rule, and everlasting happiness the motive of virtue."
It is such heresies as this, and the still grosser pravities into which the ethics of expediency run, that this book will do much to combat. Nothing is more needed in our schools for both sexes than the systematic teaching of the principles here set forth; and we have no doubt this volume could be used as a text-book, at least with some slight omissions and additions, such as a competent teacher could well furnish. Portions of it, indeed, were some years since read by Mrs. Lowell to her classes,
Sharrock is a name unfamiliar to most readers. His 'Yлódεσ in, published in 1660, contains the first clear statement of Euthumism made by any Englishman. See p.
and are now incorporated in her admirable book, "Seed Grain"; nor does there seem to be any good reason why it should not be introduced at Cambridge. With a short introduction containing the main principles of metaphysics, and with the omission of some rhetorical passages unsuited to a text-book, it might supplant the books of both intellectual and moral philosophy now in use in our higher schools.
But it is not as a school-book that this essay is to be considered; it will find a large and increasing circle of readers among the mature and the cultivated, and these will perceive that few have thought so profoundly or written so clearly on these absorbing topics. Take, for example, the classification of possible beings, made in the first chapter:
"Proceeding on our premises, that the omnipotence of God is not to be supposed to include self-contradictions, we observe at the outset, that (so far as we can understand subjects so transcendent) there were only, in a moral point of view, three orders of beings possible in the universe:-1st. One Infinite Being. A Rational Free Agent, raised by the infinitude of his nature above the possibility of temptation. He is the only Holy Being. 2d. Finite creatures who are Rational Free Agents, but exposed by the finity of their natures to continual temptations. These beings are either Virtuous or Vicious. 3d. Finite creatures who are not rational nor morally free. These beings are Unmoral, and neither virtuous nor vicious."-pp. 24-25.
Nothing can be shorter or more thorough than this statement, and, if accepted, it settles many points in theology as well as in ethics.
Then, too, the comparison, in the last chapter, of the Law of Honor, considered as a system of morals, with the systems of Paley and Bentham, shows a fine perception of the true relation of chivalry to ethics, and gives occasion for one of the most eloquent passages in the book :
"I envy not the moralist who could treat disdainfully of Chivalry. It was a marvellous principle, that which could make of plighted faith a law to the most lawless, of protection to weakness a pride to the most ferocious. While the Church taught that personal duty consisted in scourgings and fastings, and social duty in the slaughter of Moslems and burning of Jews, Chivalry roused up a man to reverence himself through his own courage
and truth, and to treat the weakest of his fellow-creatures with generosity and courtesy. Recurring to its true character, the Law of Honor, when duly enlarged and rectified, becomes highly valuable. We perceive, that, amid all its imperfections and aberrations, it has been the truest voice of intuition, amid the lamentations of the believer in total depravity,' and the bargaining of the expediency-seeking experimentalist. While the one represented Virtue as a Nun and the other as a Shopwoman, the Law of Honor drew her as a Queen, - faulty, perhaps, but free-born and royal. Much service has this law done to the world; it has made popular modes of thinking and acting far nobler than those inculcated from many a pulpit; and the result is patent, that many a 'publican and sinner,' many an opera-frequenting, betting, gambling man of the world, is a far safer person with whom to transact business than the Pharisee who talks most feelingly of the 'frailties of our fallen nature.'"-pp. 267-270.
The learning shown in the book, though not astonishing, like Sir William Hamilton's, is sufficient and always at the author's service. The text throughout, and especially the notes on Causation, Predestination, Original Sin, and Necessary Truths, will amply support our opinion. But better than either learning or logic is that noble and devout spirit pervading every page, and convincing the reader, that, whether the system advanced be true or false, it is the result of a genuine experience, and the guide of a pure and generous life.
The volume is neatly printed, but lacks an index sadly, and shows some errors resulting from the distance between the author and the proof-reader. Such is the misuse of the words "woof" and "warp" on page 56; evidently a slip of the pen, since the same terms are correctly used elsewhere in the volume.
Memoirs of the Empress Catharine II. Written by herself. With a Preface by A. HERZEN. Translated from the French. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 309.
Ir would seem, that, if any one of the women celebrated in history should, more than all the others, have shrunk from writing her own memoirs, that woman was the petty German princess whom opportunity
and her own crafty ambition made absolutest monarch of all the Russias under the name of Catharine II. And of that abandoned and shameless personal career which has made her name a reproach to her sex, and covered her memory with an infamy that the administrative glories of her reign serve only to cast into a blacker shadow, even she has shrunk from committing the details to paper. Indeed, in these Memoirs, she alludes to but one of her amours,-that with Sergius Soltikoff, which was the first, (if we may be sure that she had a first,)—and which seems clearly to have been elevated, if not purified, by a true and deep affection. That it was so appears not by any protestation or even calm assertion of her own, which in an autobiography might be reasonably doubted, but from the unstudied tenderness of her allusions to him; from the fact, which indirectly appears, that he first cooled towards her, and the pang-not of wounded vanity-which this gave her; and yet more unmistakably from the forgiveness which she, imperious and relentless as she was, extended, manifestly, again and again, to her errant lover.
The Memoirs are confined to events which occurred between 1744 and 1760,the period of Catharine's girlhood and youthful womanhood; but although she brings herself before us, a young creature of fifteen, "with her hair dressed à la Moise," (which, in the benightment of our bearded ignorance, we suppose to mean that astounding style in which the excellent Mistress Hannah More is represented in the frontispiece to her Memoirs, with each particular hair standing on end,—a crimped glory of radiating powder,) she appears no less ambitious, crafty, designing, selfish, and self-conscious then than when she drops her pen as she is deepening the traits of the matured woman of thirty. She went to Russia to be betrothed to the Grand Duke, afterwards Peter III., to whom she was at first utterly indifferent, and whom she soon began to despise and regard with personal aversion; and yet when there was a chance that she might be released from this union, she seems not to have known the slightest thrill of joy or felt the least sensation of relief, although she was then not sixteen years old,—so entirely was her mind bent upon the crown of Russia. Partly to attain her end, and
partly because it suited her intriguing, managing nature, she set herself immediately to the acquirement of the favor of the Empress on the one hand, and popularity on the other. The first she sought by an absolute submission of her will to that of Elizabeth, giving her self-negation an air of grateful deference; the latter she obtained, as most very popular people obtain their popularity, by adroit flattery,— the subtlest form of which was, in her case, as it ever is, the manifestation of an interest in the affairs of persons utterly indifferent to the flatterer. This moral emollient she applied, as popular people usually do, without discrimination. She remarks that she was liked because she was "the same to everybody"; and it is noteworthy that the same is said almost invariably of very popular persons, and in way of eulogy, by the very people into whose favor they have licked their way; the latter always seeming to be blinded by the titillation of their own cuticles to the fact that the most worthless and disagreeable individuals—those with whom they would scorn to be put upon a level - have received the same coveted evidences of personal regard. When will the world learn that the man, of whom we sometimes hear and read, who is absolutely without an enemy, must either be very unscrupulous or very weak? Catharine's duplicity in this respect seems to have been as constant as it was artful, during the years in which it was necessary for her purpose to make friends; and it was rewarded, as it almost always is, when skilfully practised, with entire success.
Catharine seems to have written these Memoirs partly for her own satisfaction and partly to justify her course to her son Paul and his successors. Therefore they record much that is of little value or interest to the general reader; and that, indeed, is unintelligible, except to those who are intimately acquainted with the Russian Court during the reign of Elizabeth. Such persons will find in these pages much authentic matter which will confirm or unsettle their previous belief as to the secret intrigues of that court, political and personal. To the great mass of readers, the revelations of the internal economy of the Court of Russia in the middle of the last century, and of the manners and morals of the persons who com
posed it, which are freely made by the author of these imperial confessions, will constitute their principal, if not their only interest. In this respect they will well repay the attentive perusal of every person who likes the study of human nature. The picture which they present is striking, and its various parts keep alive the attention which its first sight awakens. Yet it cannot be regarded with pleasure by any reader of undepraved taste; and a consideration of it is absolutely fatal to the faith which is cherished by many deluded minds in the social, if not in the ethical virtues of an ancient aristocracy. In this respect Catharine's "Memoirs" are not peculiar. For it is remarkable, that in all the published memoirs, journals, and confessions of members of royal households, (there may be an exception, but we do not remember it,) court-life within-doors has appeared devoid of every grace and beauty, and deformed by all that is coarse, brutal, sordid, and grovelling. Even that grace, almost a virtue, which has its name from courts, seems not to exist in them in a genuine form; and instead of it we find only a hollow, glittering sham, which has but an outward semblance to real courtesy, and which itself even is produced only on occasions more or less public and for purposes more or less selfish.
Russia in its most civilized parts was half barbarous in the days of Catharine's youth, and society at the Court of St. Petersburg seems to have been distinguished from that in the other circles of the empire only by an addition of the vices of civilization to those of barbarism. The women blended the manners and tastes of Indian squaws and French marquises of the period; the men modelled themselves on Peter the Great, and succeeded in imitating him in everything except his wisdom and patriotism. The business of life was, first, to avoid being sent to Siberia or Astracan,- next and last, to get other people sent thither; its pleasure, an alternation of gambling and orgies. Catharine makes some excuse for her unrestrained sexual license, which shows that she wrote for posterity. For what need of extenuation in this regard for a woman whose immediate predecessors were Catharine I., and Anne, and Elizabeth, and who lived in a court where, on the simultaneous marriage of three of its ladies, a bet was made be
tween the Hetman Count Rasoumowsky and the Minister of Denmark,—not which of the brides would be false to her marriage vows, that was taken for granted with regard to all,- but which would be so first! It turned out that he who bet on the Countess Anne Voronzoff, daughter of the Vice-Chancellor of the Empire, and bride to Count Strogonoff, who was the plainest of the three and at the time the most innocent and childlike, won the wager. The bet was wisely laid; for she was likely to be soonest neglected by her husband.
What semblance of courtesy these highborn gamblers, adulterers, and selfish intriguers showed in their daily life appears in their behavior to a M. Brockdorf, against whom Catharine had ill feelings, more or less justifiable. This M. Brockdorf, who was high in favor with the Grand Duke, was unfortunately ugly,having a long neck, a broad, flat head, red hair, small, dull, sunken eyes, and the corners of his mouth hanging down to his chin. So, among these court-bred people, "whenever M. Brockdorf passed through the apartments, every one called out after him 'Pelican,' because this bird was the most hideous we knew of." But what regard for the feelings of a person of inferior rank could be expected from his enemies, in a court where the dearest ties and the tenderest sorrows were dashed aside with the formal brutality recorded by Catharine in the following remarkable paragraph?
"A few days afterwards, the death of my father was announced to me. It greatly afflicted me. For a week I was allowed to weep as much as I pleased; but at the end of that time, Madame Tchoglokoff came to tell me that I had wept enough,-that the Empress ordered me to leave off,- that my father was not a king. I told her, I knew that he was not a king; and she replied, that it was not suitable for a Grand Duchess to mourn for a longer period a father who had not been a king. In fine, it was arranged that I should go out on the following Sunday, and wear mourning for six weeks."
It is worthy of especial note that these people, though they led this sensual, selfish, heartless life, trampling on natural affection and doing as they would not be done by, prided themselves very much on the orthodoxy of their faith, were sorely