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—to Geometry. In no department of knowledge is such an unmixed pleasure taken in the simple contemplation of truth as in these. No rhetorical art, no figures of speech have had such potent charms as the crabbed figures of arithmetic. It would be a strange sight now-a-days, to see a venerable mathematician, such as our Bowditch was, break forth, like him of old, who, when the solution of a problem that had long defied his sagacity, flashed upon him, rushed out into the street, shouting at the top of his voice, "I have found it! I have found it!" And yet, every one who has given particular attention to studies of this sort, sympathizes with the enthusiasm that prompted to such an outbreak, and knows by personal experience, the pleasure produced by the simple perception of mathematical truth. What a striking illustration of the intrinsic beauty of knowledge is given in the notices of Archimedes! So engrossing was his devotion to his darling science, that he forgot to eat and drink and pay common attention to his person; and when they dragged him to the bath, he occupied himself with drawing diagrams in the ashes, or on the ointment which was put upon his body. He held it to be trifling with the pure truths which he studied, even to apply them to the construction of engines for the defence of the city where he dwelt, against the formidable armies of Rome. And when he had put them to use in this way with such success that, if but the end of a bare pole appeared above the walls, the besiegers were smitten with the dread of some new machinery to be turned against them, still the power and the renown thus acquired, seemed to him but as the baubles of a child, in comparison with the delicious pleasures of Geometry. Amidst the uproar of the siege, he fled to his beloved pursuit; and when the city was taken, he was found lost in study. The law of self-defence, which, we are assured, is the first law of nature, was to him no law at all. He forgot that he had a life to defend, and resented the entrance of the soldier who rushed in upon him with a drawn sword, not as a peril to his person, but as a very impertinent intrusion on his stadies, and begged him to wait until the demonstration was finished, and then he would attend to him.
The peremptory demand of our times that knowledge shall be immediately available to some profitable purpose, has the effect, not only to cut off every branch of knowledge as worthless, which does not give immediate promise of fruit, (as classical learning for instance,) but it tends to chill the genial glow of our native curiosity. It cools the ardour of intellectual activity. Already has this economical disposition stood in the way of the
greatest inquirers. The invaluable labours of Galileo were ridiculed as useless, and, by insisting that knowledge must be lucrative, point was given to the text of the itinerant friar, who, wretchedly punning upon the name of Galileo, preached against him from the words, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven?" Must it not quench the poet's inspiration to be perpetually reminded by the whole spirit of the age that he must prove the use of his beauteous creations? "Of what conceivable use," many cry, "is a man's learning, if it brings him in no money?" Happily for us, the great inventors and discoverers, the philosophers and poets never reasoned thus. They recognised the absolute as well as the relative value of truth; and for its own dear sake they toiled. There were no price-currents in the days of Homer and Milton. And had there been such things then, think you, those great men would have looked into them to see whether epic poems were in demand, before they set to work to produce the Iliad and the Paradise Lost? Or was Walter Scott prevented from writing those brilliant romances by the knowledge that novels had long been a drug?
By watching all so anxiously for the practical results of knowledge, we are sure to defeat ourselves, and lose the very advantages we are so eager to seeure. Here is a weighty reason why we should insist upon the intrinsic worth of knowledge. If it is to be turned to a useful account, it must be first and principally loved and sought for itself. That is a comprehensive saying of Bacon's, familiar to us all, that if we would command Nature, we must first implicitly obey her. The same may be said of knowledge. If we would have knowledge to be our faithful servant, we must learn to woo her as a bride. Or, in plainer phrase, it must be sought as an end, if it is to be effectual as a means. It is easy enough to cultivate some one faculty of the mind, the memory, for instance, and accumulate an immense store of facts, which, instead of proving a coat of mail to the understanding, shall only weaken and overpower it. It is common to speak of what is committed to memory, as so much got by heart. So the phrase runs. It is singularly false. For what is usually committed to memory, however trippingly it comes from the tongue, very seldom has a deeper origin, and has very little to do with the heart. But if it is knowledge that we want, knowledge that shall fit us to meet the various and untried occasions of life, and make us stronger for what we know, real, living knowledge, it must be worked up with the very life of our being. As the Mexicans, when they first saw a horseman, mistook the appearance for one animal, Bo our knowledge, if it is to serve our purposes, must not only seem, but be, one with us. And to acquire such knowledge, we must pursue it for its own sake, and seek it as hidden treasure. If we arc for ever computing its profits, looking over and beyond what we have in hand to do, to the distinction we are to acquire, or the money to be made, or the good even which is to result to others, our attention will certainly be distracted, and we shall lack that hearty concentration of our strength, which alone will enable us to grapple with a subject, and "tear out the very heart of it."
It is interesting to remark, in this connexion, how continually we defraud ourselves, of all true pleasure and profit, by looking all too anxiously for the effect to be produced on us by any great work of Nature or Art. Hence it happens that any new and wonderful sight, whose beauty has been loudly and generally published, seldom produces its full effect at first, because men look for the effect, and not at the thing itself. Hardly an individual returns from visiting Niagara, who does not confess to a feeling of disappointment, when that miracle first opened upon his view. The reason is obvious. Men visit that world-renowned spot, thinking, not of what they are going to see, but of what they are going to feel, not of the Falls, but of themselves. With the attention thus distracted, they fail of receiving a full impression of the wonder. Were any one, of a bright moonlight night, to be suddenly transported in his sleep, for an hour, to the foot of Niagara, there can be little doubt, that, when, startled from his slumbers, by the great voice of the waters, he should behold the stupendous spectacle, he would be overwhelmed by the sublime vision, and, after sleeping through the remainder of the night, if indeed he could sleep again that night, without some potent drug, what a glorious dream would he have to tell in the morning! So it is with the acquisition of knowledge. In whatever department a man labours, be it History, Science, the Fine Arts, or Philosophy, he will be certain to miss the delights of knowledge, if he does not lose himself in his peculiar pursuit. He must give up his heart to it without reserve or stipulation. Undoubtedly there arc numbers who are impelled to the pursuit of knowledge, not by a pure love of knowledge, but for the sake of her dower, for the distinction they will obtain. But precisely to the extent to which their vision has been double, and not single, and they have looked to fame and not to science, they have failed of both; and never has the intellectual labourer so truly deserved renown, and so richly won it, as when, in the enthusiasm of his pursuits, he has forgotten both the praise, and the very existence of the world. Such an one, is ever
ready to confess that no wealth nor honours can for an instant compare with the bare perception of a great truth. "Take, take away," once exclaimed one of these men, "the gaudy triumphs of the world, the long, deathless shout of fame, and give me back that uneasy rapture, when truth first burst upon the startled sight."
Of all the labour ever done under the sun, that of the Alchymists was the most worthless. And for a plain reason; they were actuated not by a generous thirst for knowledge, but by motives confessedly selfish, the love of life, and the accursed thirst for gold. They explored nature not for truth, but for the Elixir of Life and the Philosopher's Stone, with the one to turn all things into gold, and to prolong this mortal existence indefinitely with the other. As they were impelled by these sordid principles, their toil, than which none was ever more indefatigable, came to nothing. Occasionally indeed, their higher nature proved too strong for them; and losing sight of their selfish ejects they had their curiosity awakened by the mysterious relations and affinities of matter, incidentally disclosed in the course of their investigations. Thus they rendered incidental service to the invaluable science of Chemistry; and so their pursuits were rescued from unqualified contempt.
How important it is to the very utility of knowledge that we should recognise its essential worth, and, whatever other advantages it may bring, account the simple possession of it | our chief pleasure, is shown in the case of ^ many of those who have been most distini guished for their intellectual successes. How often has it happened that they who have made the greatest advances in science, and laid the world under the greatest obligations, have died in extreme poverty, while others were making fortunes out of their inventions. From such cases it would seem that a single eye to knowledge is incompatible with the existence in the same individual of those provident qualities which enable a man to clutch the main chance at a good living. Science is very jealous of the affection of her votaries, and he who would win her triumphs must give her his whole heart. We mourn over the fate of those, who, while they have made splendid discoveries, have lived in want; as if they had received no reward. But if they had known that they could not have both, wisdom and wealth, and had been permitted to choose, would they have hesitated a single instant? They would immediately have cried, "Let ob■ scurity come, and incessant labour, and the 'extremest poverty, but give us knowledge, no matter at what cost of personal comfort; we shall account ourselves only too favoured."
And here we are reminded of a passage in that admirable Essay of Mrs. Barbauld's "Upon the Inconsistency of our Expectations." It should be written upon every young man's heart. "Is knowledge," asks this writer, "the pearl of great price? That too may be purchased by steady application, and long solitary hours of study and reflection. Bestow these and you shall be wise. 'But,' says the man of letters, 'what a hardship is it that many an illiterate fellow, who cannot construe the motto of the arms on his coach, shall raise a fortune and make a figure, while I have little more than the common conveniences of life.' Was it then in order to raise a fortune that you consumed the sprightly hours of youth in study and retirement? Was it to be rich that you grew pale over the midnight lamp and distilled the sweetness from the Greek and Roman spring? You have then mistaken your path, and ill-employed your industry. 'What reward have I then for all my labours?' What reward! A large comprehensive soul, well cleansed from vulgar fears and perturbations and prejudices; able to comprehend and interpret the works of man—of God. A rich, flourishing, cultivated mind, pregnant with inexhaustible stores of entertainment and reflection. A perpetual spring of fresh ideas, and the conscious dignity of superior intelligence. Good heaven! and what reward can you ask besides?" Even in the humblest occupations, however the desire of gain, and the ambition of rising in the world may tend to stimulate men's energies and insure their elevation, he is, after all and in the end, the most successful artisan, as he certainly is the happiest man, who seeks not money nor distinction chiefly, but perfection in his art, and is bent, not only upon knowing the true principles of his trade, but also upon realizing his knowledge in the product of his labour.
From what we have said it follows that the one thing most desirable to possess is not any amount of information, however large, but an ardent thirst for knowledge. Not he that knows much is the true lover of knowledge, but he, who, whether he knows much or little, is eager to know more, in whom the desire of knowledge burns an unquenchable flame. "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." If this saying be taken without a very essential qualification, then is all knowledge dangerous. For the amount of all human knowledge is very little in comparison with the actual sum of truth. But it is not the little knowledge that is dangerous, but the knowledge, whether little or great, that is accounted by its possessor enough, and which he makes no effort and has no desire to increase. By this estimation of it, he shows that he holds it, not in the love of
it, but for his vanity or ambition. The true sign of intellectual life is not the quantity of information one has acquired, nor the abundance of the appliances of learning which he has collected in the shape of books and libraries, but a steadily increasing desire of knowledge. The poor man, who has to show, as his sole literary wealth, only an odd volume, well thumbed, of some standard work, nay, the "swart artisan," who has not even a book, but who, while he is toiling amidst smoke and fire at the anvil or the forge, is greedy to know the properties of iron, is more truly an educated man than he who sits in the pride of learning amidst whole shelves of folios. The love of knowledge is the one thing essential. This point is well illustrated in the " Contributions of Q. Q." by two soliloquies, the one of a young lady just from school, who is supposed, as the term is, to have finished her education, and who, wonderful creature! has nothing more to learn. She enumerates with great satisfaction the ologies sho has gone clean through, and truly the amount is no trifle. But on the next page, a philosopher is introduced, one who has descended into the depths of knowledge and brought back as his deepest conviction, a sense of his own ignorance.
From what has been said it follows that the common excuse given by men engaged in the aotive pursuits of life for the entire neglect of intellectual culture is quite beside the mark. "Why," they ask, "why should we submit to such hard labour, and read and study? Of what earthly use is it to us? It does very well for those whose profession is learning in one form or another, but it is no concern of ours." Let it be that, commercially speaking, the pursuit of knowledge is of no use to the man of business, that it will not help the sale of a single bale of goods, but rather, through the diversion of mind it may occasion, cause a lucrative transaction now and then to miscarry, still it is a fact, that is not to be ignored, that in every man, whatever may be his walk in life, active or retired, there burns, more or less brightly, the divine fire of mind. Every man has that in him which no mechanical routine will satisfy, which demands knowledge as its natural sustenance, and the absolute condition of its growth. If there were men who have nothing to do with the acquisition of knowledge, one cannot but think that there would be a difference between their whole structure, and that of the wise and educated, a difference, that is not at all discoverable now upon the closest inspection. If the man of business has no use for a mind, he would have been made very differently. As one is sometimes said to be born with a silver spoon in his mouth, the business man would have come into life with a pen behind his ear, and with an instinctive faculty for the calculation of interest, simple and compound. But there is no such wide difference as this among men. Noble words and the history of noble deeds cause all men to thrill and glow, and every man sympathizes with his fellow-men in the progress of knowledge, and in the discoveries of science. In every soul of us there is a hunger to know, which is feeble only when it is neglected. For the sake of this precious part of us, knowledge is to be sought, be our occupations what they may. The mind has wants far more vital than those of the body. The reader has read in his childhood of the Prince in the Eastern story, who, by some magical charm, was turned, one half of him into marble, so that while one side was living flesh, the other was cold immovable stone. How much more deplorable the condition of him, whose mind, which is infinitely more to him than his body, is sunk in the stone-like stupor of ignorance, and who has it to remember that it is so by his own will. When will that blessed day dawn, when the higher nature of man, with its boundless aspirations, its immortal hunger, will be duly reverenced and cared for?
But there is no man, no young man certainly, who, having the opportunity of mental culture, has come to the deliberate determination to relinquish entirely all hope of intellectual culture. Multitudes please themselves with the idea of retiring by and by, and exchanging the irksome shop or counting-room for a quiet library and literary recreations. What grown up man can be beguiled by such a delusion? Have we not seen the folly of it over and over again in real life? Dr. Johnson mentions the case of a tallow-chandler, who, having amassed a considerable fortune, retired, making over his business to his foreman, with the delightful prospect of literary ease. It does not appear that he was a niggardly man, and had any objection, generated by his old trade, to the consumption of tho midnight taper. But certain it is that he gave no encouragement to his old
employment by any studies of his, pushed far into the night, for he grew very weary, and was soon seen hovering round the old shop, until at last he went in, and begged as a particular favour that they would let him know their melting days, and he would come and help them. Thus, fitted by no preparation for the retirement which he had been looking forward to for years, he was forced to fly for relief to the most disgusting part of his old business. When we hear men promising themselves a refined literary leisure hereafter, while the common cares of life are twisting their roots in with the whole texture of their minds, and binding every faculty round and round, we are reminded of the old lady who was observed to attend daily upon the drawing of a lottery. One of the clerks, noting her constant attendance, asked her for the number of her ticket: "My dear child," she exclaimed, "I have not got any ticket. But, if it please Heaven that I should draw a prize, I can draw a prize whether I have a ticket or not." Is the absurdity in this case one whit greater than that of him who thinks to enjoy the delights of knowledge without that intellectual preparation essential in the very nature of things? Is not he, too, looking for a prize for which he has purchased no ticket?
It is necessary to the efficacy of all labour that it be spontaneous. No work is well done, whether in the workshop, the school, or the study, that is not done, as the sailors say, "with a will." And yet, we know not how it is, the very best way of inducing hearty and victorious exertion is to put oneself under the iron necessity of exertion. This is the way to awaken the energy of a slumbering will. Let him, therefore, who is resolved to vindicate the claims, and feed the appetite, of his mind, bind himself irrevocably to the task. A task it may be for a long while, but the time will come when it will be his privilege and pleasure, and he will be ready to declare with Fcnelon that if the riches of the Indies were poured at his feet, he would not exchange for them his love of reading.
BY EUGENE LIES.
Not for me does Spring unfold her wing
O'er the land I loved so well; Not for me her showers will rouse the flowers
That are sleeping in the dell; Kre tho Catskill's snow to tho Hudson flow,
I shall be far o'er the sea; So, my native isle, will thy s
Be for others, not for mo.
Fare thee well, dear shore; I am travel-sore,
I am weary of the sky;
I would gladly, gladly die.
In a strange land o'er the sea.
Be for others, not for thee.
THE DEATH OF TURGESIUS.
AN HISTORICAL BALLAD.
"How fair U voung Melehat" her handmaidens cry;
Her siro was Melachlln, the Ard High of Meath,
Bat vainly he strove, all his valour was vain,
The wily Melachlin speaks fair to the Dane,
The proud Danish Lord to Rath Tara is gone,
They come at his bidding all radiant with youth,
Beneath their long garments the poniards they hide,
In Loch Var, an island was, green, and how fair!
Then rose the false maidens, they rush on tho foe,
I saw them when homewards the warrtors hied,
Brush quick through the valley, and breast the hill side;
I saw the proud pageant, I saw the fierce Dane,
All madly, but vainly, writhe under his chain;
They mocked him, they scoffed him, they gave him a grave,
Unblest by a priest, under Loch Ainnin's wave;
Then bent they by thousands their fealty to swear
To Melachlin the bold, sire of Meleha the Fair.
The student for learning in safety could roam,
* Loclannochs—Anglice, the powerful at sea.
f A tax imposed on the Irish by Turgesius; the defaulters were punished by the loss of their noses; hence the name " Arighid Srone," nose-money.
\ Long white veils, to use the language of the Morning Post, were "much worn" by ladies in the ninth century.—Seo M'Geoghegan's History and Moore's for the story.
Th« Stort Op The Ballad.—The Danish tyrant now imposed a tax of an ounce of gold on the chief of every family. Those who did not pay, were subject to the penalty of having their noses cut off, from which the tax, in the language of the country, was called "Arighid Srone," that is, nose-money.
Such was the state of Ireland during the sway of these tyrants. No alliance or marriage took place; everyone passed his time in the strictest retirement; the secular and regular clergy, in order to shelter themselves from the fury of the Normans, lay concealed in the woods, I where they celebrated the divine mysteries, and spent