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to be the richest garden of the Muse, yields no trophies of the past, in Ireland her melancholy growth to her in this hapless island but cypress altar, like the shrine of Pity at Athens, is to be and weeds. In truth, the poet who would embellish known only by the tears that are shed upon it; his song with allusions to Irish names and events, lacrymis altaria sudant.” 2 must be contented to seek them in those early There is a well-known story, related of the periods when our character was yet unalloyed and Antiochians under the reign of Theodosius, which original, before the impolitic craft of our conquer- is not only honourable to the powers of music in ors had divided, weakened, and disgraced us. general, but which applies so peculiarly to the The sole traits of heroism, indeed, which he can mournful melodies of Ireland, that I cannot resist venture at this day to commemorate, either with the temptation of introducing it here.— The piety safety to himself, or honour to his country, are to of Theodosius, would have been admirable, had it be looked for in those ancient times when the not been stained with intolerance; but under his native monarchs of Ireland displayed and fostered reign was, I believe, first set the example of a virtues worthy of a better age; when our Mala- disqualifying penal code enacted by Christians chies wore around their necks collars of gold which against Christians. Whether his interference they had won in single combat from the invader, with the religion of the Antiochians had any and our Briens deserved and won the warm af- share in the alienation of their loyalty is not exfections of a people by exhibiting all the most pressly ascertained by historians; but severe edicts, estimable qualities of a king. It may be said that heavy taxation, and the rapacity and insolence of the magic of tradition has shed a charm over this the men whom he sent to govern them, sufficiently remote period, to which it is in reality but little account for the discontents of a warm and susentitled, and that most of the pictures, which we ceptible people. Repentance soon followed the dwell on so fondly, of days when this island was crimes into which their impatience had hurried distinguished amidst the gloom of Europe, by the them; but the vengeance of the Emperor was imsanctity of her morals, the spirit of her knighthood, placable, and punishments of the most dreadful and the polish of her schools, are little more than nature hung over the city of Antioch, whose the inventions of national partiality,—that bright devoted inhabitants, totally resigned to despondbut spurious offspring which vanity engenders upon ence, wandered through the streets and public ignorance, and with which the first records of assemblies, giving utterance to their grief in dirges every people abound. But the sceptic is scarcely of the most touching lamentation. At length, to be envied who would pause for stronger proofs Flavianus, their bishop, whom they had sent to than we already possess of the early glories of intercede with Theodosius, finding all his enIreland; and were even the veracity of all these treaties coldly rejected, adopted the expedient of proofs surrendered, yet who would not fly to such teaching these songs of sorrow which he had heard fattering fictions from the sad degrading truths from the lips of his unfortunate countrymen to the which the history of later times presents to us? minstrels who performed for the Emperor at table.
The language of sorrow, however, is, in general, The heart of Theodosius could not resist this best suited to our Music, and with themes of this appeal; tears fell fast into his cup while he listened, nature the poet may be amply supplied. There is and the Antiochians were forgiven. — Surely, if scarcely a page of our annals that will not furnish music ever spoke the misfortunes of a people, or him a subject, and while the national Muse of could ever conciliate forgiveness for their errors, other countries adorns her temple proudly with the music of Ireland ought to possess those powers.
See Warner's History of Ireland, vol. i. book ix.
4 Μελη τινα ολοφυρμου πληρη και συμπαθειας συνθεμένει, ταις 2 Statius, Thebaid. lib. xii.
Mehmorans estudov. - Nicephor. lib. xii. cap. 43. This story is 3“ A sort of civil excommunication (says Gibbon), which told also in Sozomen, lib. vii. cap. 23. ; but unfortunately separated them from their fellow-citizens by a peculiar brand Chrysostom says nothing whatever about it, and he not only of infamy; and this declaration of the supreme magistrate had the best opportunities of information, but was too fond tended to justify, or at least to excuse, the insults of a fanatic of music, as appears by his praises of psalmody (Exposit, in populace. The sectaries were gradually disqualified for the Psalm xli.), to omit such a flattering illustration of its powers. possession of honourable or lucrative employments, and Theo- He imputes their reconciliation to the interference of the An. dosius was satisfied with his own justice when he decreed, tiochian solitaries, while Zozimus attributes it to the remon. that, as the Eunomians distinguished the nature of the Son strances of the sophist Libanius. - Gibbon, I think, does not from that of the Father, they should be incapable of making even allude to this story of the musicians. their wills, or of receiving any advantage from testamentary donations."
A PHILOSOPHICAL SATIRE.
Νομον παντων βασιλέα. .
PINDAR. ap. Herodot. lib. iii.
in this respect, that ancient incendiary, who stole
from the altar the fire with which he destroyed The Sceptical Philosophy of the Ancients has the temple. This advantage over all the other been no less misrepresented than the Epicurean. sects is allowed to them even by Lipsius, whose Pyrrho may perhaps have carried it to rather an treatise on the miracles of the Virgo Hallensis will irrational excess ;- but we must not believe, with sufficiently save him from all suspicion of scepBeattie, all the absurdities imputed to this philo- ticism. “Labore, ingenio, memoria,” he says, sopher; and it appears to me that the doctrines of “
supra omnes pene philosophos fuisse. - Quid the school, as explained by Sextus Empiricus 1, nonne omnia aliorum secta tenere debuerunt et are far more suited to the wants and infirmities inquirere, si poterunt refellere? res dicit. Nonne of human reason, as well as more conducive to the orationes varias, raras, subtiles inveniri ad tam mild virtues of humility and patience, than any of receptas, claras, certas (ut videbatur) sententias those systems of philosophy which preceded the evertendas ?” &c. &c. 3 — Manuduct. ad Philosoph. introduction of Christianity. The Sceptics may Stoic. Dissert. 4. be said to have held a middle path between the Between the scepticism of the ancients and the Dogmatists and Academicians; the former of whom moderns the great difference is, that the former boasted that they had attained the truth, while the doubted for the purpose of investigating, as may latter denied that any attainable truth existed. be exemplified by the third book of Aristotle's The Sceptics, however, without either asserting or Metaphysics +, while the latter investigate for the denying its existence, professed to be modestly purpose of doubting, as may be seen through most and anxiously in search of it; or, as St. Augustine of the philosophical works of Hume. 5 Indeed, expresses it, in his liberal tract against the Mani- the Pyrrhonism of latter days is not only more chæans, “nemo nostrum dicat jam se invenisse subtle than that of antiquity, but, it must be converitatem; sic eam quæramus quasi ab utrisque fessed, more dangerous in its tendency. The Desciatur.” 2 From this habit of impartial in- happiness of a Christian depends so essentially vestigation, and the necessity which it imposed upon his belief, that it is but natural he should upon them, of studying not only every system of feel alarm at the progress of doubt, lest it should philosophy, but every art and science, which pro- steal by degrees into that region from which he is fessed to lay its basis in truth, they necessarily most interested in excluding it, and poison at last took a wider range of erudition, and were far more the very spring of his consolation and hope. Still, travelled in the regions of philosophy than those however, the abuses of doubting ought not to deter whom conviction or bigotry had domesticated in a philosophical mind from indulging mildly and any particular system. It required all the learning rationally in its use ; and there is nothing, surely, of dogmatism to overthrow the dogmatism of more consistent with the meek spirit of Christilearning; and the Sceptics may be said to resemble anity, than that humble scepticism which professes not to extend its distrust beyond the circle of human pursuits, and the pretensions of human knowledge. A follower of this school may be among
Pyrrh. Hypoth. – The reader may find a tolerably clear 4 Εστι δε τοις ευτoρησαι βουλομενοις προύργου το διατορησαι abstract of this work of Sextus Empiricus in La Vérité des no2006. – Metaphys. Jib. iii. cap. 1. Sciences, by Mersenne, liv. I. chap. ii. &c.
5 Neither Hume, however, nor Berkeley, are to be judged * Lib. contra Epist. Manichæi quam vocant Fundamenti, by the misrepresentations of Beattie, whose book, however Op Paris. tom. vi.
amiably intended, puts forth a most unphilosophical appeal to * See Martin. Schoockius de Scepticismo, who endeavours, popular feelings and prejudices, and is a continued petitio - weakly, I think, – to refute this opinion of Lipsius. principii throughout.
THE SCEPTIC. the readiest to admit the claims of a superintending Intelligence upon his faith and adoration : it is As the gay tint, that decks the vernal rose, o only to the wisdom of this weak world that he re- Not in the flower, but in our vision glows; fuses, or at least delays, his assent ;- it is only in As the ripe flavour of Falernian tides passing through the shadow of earth that his mind Not in the wine, but in our taste resides ; undergoes the eclipse of scepticism. No follower So when, with heartfelt tribute, we declare of Pyrrho has ever spoken more strongly against That Marco's honest and that Susan's fair, the dogmatists than St. Paul himself, in the First 'Tis in our minds, and not in Susan's eyes Epistle to the Corinthians; and there are passages Or Marco's life, the worth or beauty lies : in Ecclesiastes and other parts of Scripture, which For she, in flat-nos'd China, would appear justify our utmost diffidence in all that human reason As plain a thing as Lady Anne is here; originates. Even the Sceptics of antiquity re- And one light joke at rich Loretto's dome frained carefully from the mysteries of theology, Would rank good Marco with the damn'd at Rome. and, in entering the temples of religion, laid aside their philosophy at the porch. Sextus Empericus There's no deformity so vile, so base, thus declares the acquiescence of his sect in the That 'tis not somewhere thought a charm, a grace; general belief of a divine and fore-knowing Power: No foul reproach, that may not steal a beam Τα μεν βιω κατακολουθουντες αδοξαστως φαμεν ειναι | From other suns, to bleach it to esteem. 3 Seous, kal gebouer SEOUS KAL #POVOELV avtovs pauer. ' Ask, who is wise ? — you'll find the self-same man In short, it appears to me, that this rational and A sage in France, a madman in Japan ; well regulated scepticism is the only daughter of And here some head beneath a mitre swells, the Schools that can safely be selected as a hard- Which there had tingled to a cap and bells : maid for Piety. He who distrusts the light of Nay, there may yet some monstrous region be, reason, will be the first to follow a more luminous Unknown to Cook, and from Napoleon free, guide ; and if, with an ardent love for truth, he Where C-stl—s—gh would for a patriot pass, has sought her in vain through the ways of this And mouthing M-ve scarce be deem'd an ass! life, he will but turn with the more hope to that better world, where all is simple, true, and ever- “ List not to reason (Epicurus cries), lasting : for, there is no parallax at the zenith ; “ But trust the senses, there conviction lies:"4it is only near our troubled horizon that objects Alas! they judge not by a purer light, deceive us into vague and erroneous calculations. Nor keep their fountains more unting'd and bright: Habit so mars them, that the Russian swain Thus, self-pleas'd still, the same dishonouring chain Will sigh for train-oil, while he sips champagne ; She binds in Ireland, she would break in Spain; And health so rules them, that a fever's heat While prais'd at distance, but at home forbid, Would make even Sh-r--n think water sweet. Rebels in Cork are patriots at Madrid.
i Lib. iii. cap. 1.
may be found throughout the works of that amusing Sceptic, 2“ The particular bulk, number, figure, and motion of the Le Mothe le Vayer. - See his Opuscule Sceptique, bis Treaparts of fire or snow are really in them, whether any one per- tise" De la Secte Sceptique," and, above all, those Dialogues, ceive them or not, and therefore they may be called real qua. not to be found in his works, which be published under the lities, because they really exist in those bodies ; but light, pame of Horatius Tubero. – The chief objection to these heat, whiteness, or coldness, are no more really in them than writings of Le Vayer (and it is a blemish which may be sickness or pain is in manna. Take away the sensation of felt also in the Esprit des Loix), is the suspicious obthem ; let not the eye see light or colours, nor the ears hear scurity of the sources from whence he frequently draws his sounds ; let the palate not taste, nor the nose smell, and all instances, and the indiscriminate use made by him of the colours, tastes, odours, and sounds, as they are such particu- lowest populace of the library, - those lying travellers and lar ideas, vanish and cease." - Locke, book ii. chap. 8. wonder-mongers, of whom Shaftesbury, in his Advice to an
Bishop Berkeley, it is well known, extended this doctrine Author, complains, as having tended in his own time to the even to primary qualities, and supposed that matter itself has diffusion of a very shallow and vicious sort of scepticism. but an ideal existence. But, how are we to apply his theory to Vol. i. p. 352. The Pyrrhonism of Le Vayer, however, is that period which preceded the formation of man, when our of the most innocent and playful kind; and Villemandy, the system of sensible things was produced, and the sun shone, and author of Scepticismus Debellatus, exempts him specially in the waters flowed, without any sentient being to witness them? the declaration of war which he denounces against the other The spectator, whom Whiston supplies, will scarcely solve the armed neutrals of the sect, in consideration of the orthodox difficulty : “ To speak my mind freely," says he, “ I believe limits within which he confines his incredulity. that the Messias was there actually present.”. See Whiston, 4 This was the creed also of those modern Epicureans, whom of the Mosaic Creation.
Ninon de l'Enclos collected around her in the Rue des Tour. 3 Boetius employs this argument of the Sceptics among his nelles, and whose object seems to have been to decry the consolatory reflections upon the emptiness of fame. “Quid faculty of reason, as tending only to embarrass our wholesome quod diversarum gentium mores inter se atque instituta dis. use of pleasures, without enabling us, in any degree, to arold cordant, ut quod apud alios laude, apud alios supplicio dignum their abuse. Madame des Houlières, the fair pupil of Des judicetur?" - Lib. ii. prosa 7. Many amusing instances of di. Barreaux in the arts of poetry and gallantry, has devoted most versity, in the tastes, manners, and morals of different nations, of her verses to this laudable purpose, and is even such a de
Just as the mind the erring sense I believes, If Grotius be thy guide, shut, shut the book, – The erring mind, in turn, the sense deceives; In force alone for Laws of Nations look. And cold disgust can find but wrinkles there, Let shipless Danes and whining yankees dwell Where passion fancies all that's smooth and fair. On naval rights, with Grotius and Vattel, P who sees, upon his pillow laid, While C—bb—t's pirate code alone appears A face for which ten thousand pounds were paid, Sound moral sense to England and Algiers. Can tell, how quick before a jury flies The spell that mock'd the warm seducer's eyes.
Woe to the Sceptic, in these party days,
Who wafts to neither shrine his puffs of praise! Self is the medium through which Judgment's For him no pension pours its annual fruits,
No fertile sinecure spontaneous shoots; ray Can seldom pass without being turn'd astray.
Not his the meed that crown'd Don H-kh-m's The smith of Ephesus ? thought Dian's shrine,
rhyme, By which his craft most throve, the most divine; Nor sees he e'er, in dreams of future time, And ev'n the true faith seems not half so true, Those shadowy forms of sleek reversions rise, When link'd with one good living as with two.
So dear to Scotchmen's second-sighted eyes. Had W-Ic-t first been pensioned by the throne, Yet who, that looks to History's damning leaf, Kings would have suffer'd by his praise alone;
Where Whig and Tory, thief oppos’d to thief, And Pếine perhaps, for something snug per ann., On either side in lofty shame are seen, 3 Had laugh’d, like W—11—sley, at all Rights of Man. While Freedom's form hangs crucified between
Who, B-rd-tt, who such rival rogues can see, But 'tis not only individual minds, –
But flies from both to Honesty and thee? Whole nations, too, the same delusion blinds. Thus England, hot from Denmark's smoking meads, If, weary of the world's bewild'ring maze,+ Turns-up her eyes at Gallia's guilty deeds; Hopeless of finding, through its weedy ways,
termined foe to reason, that, in one of her pastorals, she con. may be seen even in Sextus Empiricus (lib. i. cap. 33.), who, gratulates her sheep on the want of it. St. Evremont speaks with all his distinctions, can scarcely prove any difference. thus upon the subject:
It appears strange that Epicurus should have been a dogma* Un mélange incertain d'esprit et de matière
tist ; and his natural temper would most probably have led Nous fait vivre avec trop ou trop peu de lumière. him to the repose of scepticism, had not the Stoics, by their
violent opposition to his doctrines, compelled him to be as Nature, élève-nous à la clarté des anges,
obstinate as themselves. Plutarch, indeed, in reporting some Ou nous abaisse au sens des simples animaux." of his opinions, represents him as having delivered them with Which may be thus paraphrased :
considerable hesitation. - Επικουρος ουδεν απογίνωσκει τουτων, Had man been made, at nature's birth,
εχομενος του ενδεχομένου. . - De Placit. Philosoph. lib. ii. cap. 13. Of only flame or only earth,
See also the 21st and 22d chapters. But that the leading Had he been form'd a perfect whole
characteristics of the sect were self-sufficiency and dogmaOf purely that, or grossly this,
tism, appears from what Cicero says of Velleius, De Natur. Then sense would ne'er have clouded soul,
Deor. -" Tum Velleius, fidenter sanè, ut solent isti, nihil Nor soul restrain'd the sense's bliss.
tam verens quam ne dubitare aliquâ de re videretur." Oh happy, had his light been strong,
* Acts, chap. xix. “ For a certain man named Demetrius, Or had he never shar'd a light,
a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought Which shines enough to show he's wrong,
no small gain unto the craftsmen." But not enough to lead him right.
3“ Those two thieves," says Ralph, “ between whom the
nation is crucified." - Use and Abuse of Parliaments. 1 See, among the fragments of Petronius, those verses be
4 The agitation of the ship is one of the chief difficulties pianing " Fallunt nos oculi,” &c. The most sceptical of the
which impede the discovery of the longitude at sea ; and ancient poets was Euripides ; and it would, I think, puzzle the tumult and hurry of life are equally unfavourable to that the whole school of Pyrrho to produce a doubt more startling calm level of mind which is necessary to an inquirer after than the following:
truth. Τα δ' ιδεν ευ ζην τoυθ' ο κικληται θανειν,
In the mean time, our modest Sceptic, in the absence of Το ζην δε θνησκειν εστι. .
truth, contents himself with probabilities, resembling in this See Laert. in Pyrrh.
respect those suitors of Penelope, who, on finding that they Socrates and Plato were the grand sources of ancient scep- could not possess the mistress herself, very wisely resolved ticism. According to Cicero (de Orator. lib. iii.), they sup- to put up with her maids και τη Πηνελοπη πλησιαζειν μη δυναplied Arcesilas with the doctrines of the Middle Academy; !vou, TRIS TAUTAS Y VUV TO IPATAYi6. – Plutarch, Dogs and how closely these resembled the tenets of the Sceptics, II osów Agurais.
One flower of truth, the busy crowd we shun, And when, perhaps, in pride of chemic powers,
Or, should we roam, in metaphysic maze,
Some Dr-mm-d6 from the north, more ably We fancy Charles was just and Strafford mild;
skill’d, And Fox himself, with party pencil, draws Like other Goths, to ruin than to build, Monmouth a hero, “ for the good old cause!"4 Tramples triumphant through our fanes o'erthrown, Then, rights are wrongs, and victories are defeats, Nor leaves one grace, one glory of his own. As French or English pride the tale repeats; And, when they tell Corunna's story o'er,
Oh Learning, whatsoe'er thy pomp and boast, They'll disagree in all, but honouring Moore: Unletter'd minds have taught and charm'd men Nay, future pens, to flatter future courts,
most, May cite perhaps the Park-guns' gay reports, The rude, unread Columbus was our guide To prove that England triumph'd on the morn To worlds, which learn'd Lactantius had denied; Which found her Junot's jest and Europe's scorn. And one wild Shakspeare, following Nature's lights,
Is worth whole planets, fill'd with Stagyrites. In Science, too — how many a system, rais'd Like Neva's icy domes, awhile hath blaz'd
See grave Theology, when once she strays With lights of fancy and with forms of pride, From Revelation's path, what tricks she plays; Then, melting, mingled with the oblivious tide! What various heav'ns,—all fit for bards to sing, Now Earth usurps the centre of the sky,
Have churchmen dream'd, from Papias 7 down to Now Newton puts the paltry planet by;
King! 8 Now whims revive beneath Descartes's 5 pen, While hell itself, in India nought but smoke, Which now, assail'd by Locke's, expire again. In Spain's a furnace, and in France - a joke.
I See a curious work, entitled “ Reflections upon Learn- the Dutch were accustomed to reply to the statements of ing,” written on the plan of Agrippa's “ De Vanitate Scien- ambassadors. See Lloyd's Slate Worthies, art. Sir Thomas tiarum,” but much more honestly and skilfully executed.
Wyat. 2 This historian of the Irish rebellions has outrun even his 5 Descartes, who is considered as the parent of modern predecessor in the same task, Sir John Temple, for whose scepticism, says, that there is nothing in the whole range of character with respect to veracity the reader may consult philosophy which does not admit of two opposite opinions, Carte's “ Collection of Ormond's Original Papers," p. 207. and which is not involved in doubt and uncertainty. “ la See also Dr. Nalson's account of him, in the introduction to Philosophia nihil adhuc reperiri, de quo non in utramque the second volume of his " Historic. Collect."
partem disputatur, hoc est, quod non sit incertum et dubium." 3 He defends Strafford's conduct as " innocent and even Gassendi is likewise to be added to the list of modern Sceplaudable." In the same spirit, speaking of the arbitrary sen
tics, and Wedderkopff, in his Dissertation “ De Scepticismo tences of the Star Chamber, he says, –“ The severity of the profano et sacro”(Argentorat. 1666), bas denounced Erasmus Star Chamber, which was generally ascribed to Laud's passion- also as a follower of Pyrrho, for his opinions upon the Trinity, ate disposition, was perhaps, in itself, somewhat blameable." and some other subjects. To these if we add the names of
4 That flexibility of temper and opinion, which the habits Bayle, Mallebranche, Dryden, Locke, &c. &c., I think there of scepticism are so calculated to produce, are thus pleaded is no one who need be ashamed of doubting in such comfor by Mr. Fox, in the very sketch of Monmouth to which I pany. allude ; and this part of the picture the historian may be 6 See this gentleman's Academic Questions. thought to have drawn from himself. “ One of the most 7 Papias lived about the time of the apostles, and is supconspicuous features in his character seems to have been a posed to have given birth to the heresy of the Chilliaste, remarkable, and, as some think, a culpable degree of flex- whose heaven was by no means of a spiritual nature, but ibility. That such a disposition is preferable to its opposite rather an anticipation of the Prophet of Hera's elysium. See extreme will be admitted by all, who think that modesty, Eusebius, Hist. Ecclesiast. lib.iii, cap. 33., and Hieronym. de even in excess, is more nearly allied to wisdom than conceit Scriptor. Ecclesiast. - From all I can find in these authors and self-sufficiency. He who has attentively considered the concerning Papias, it seems hardly fair to impute to him political, or indeed the general concerns of life, may possibly those gross imaginations in which the believers of the sensual go still further, and may rank a willingness to be convinced, millennium indulged. or, in some cases, even without conviction, to concede our 8 King, in his Morsels of Criticism, vol.i., supposes the sun own opinion to that of other men, among the principal ingre- to be the receptacle of blessed spirits. dients in the composition of practical wisdom." – It is right 9 The Indians call hell “the House of Smoke." See Picart to observe, however, that the Sceptic's readiness of concession upon the Religion of the Banians. The reader who is curious arises rather from uncertainty than conviction, more from a about infernal matters, may be edified by consulting Rusca de suspicion that his own opinion may be wrong, than from any Inferno, particularly lib. ii. cap. 7, 8., where he will find the persuasion that the opinion of bis adversary is right.“ It may precise sort of fire ascertained in which wicked spirits are to be so," was the courteous and sceptical formula, with which be burned hereafter.