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pure instinct; by arithmetical idiots, and architectural bees. Idiots have been known to solve difficult arithmetical questions, by taking a thought which they could do for no other purpose; that is to say, by reference to some undiscovered faculty within them, that looks very like an instinct, and the result of the presence or absence of something, which is not common to higher organization. In Jameson's Philosophical Journal for April,* is a conjecture, that the hexagonal plan of the cells of a hornet is derived from the structure of its fore-legs. It has often struck us, that the architecture of the cells of bees might be owing to a similar guidance of con formation ; and by the like analogy, extraordinary powers of arithmetic might be traceable to some physical peculiarity, or a tendency to it; such as the indication of a sixth finger on the hands of one of the calculating boys, that were lately so much talked of. We have sometimes thought, that even the illustrious Newton had a face and a set of features, singularly accordant with mathematical uniformity and precision. And there is a professional cast of countenance attributed, not perhaps without reason, to warriors of the more mechanical order. Washington's face was as cut and dry as a diagram. .. .
.. ...in just ? It may be argued, that whatever proofs may exist of the acquaintance of insects with the art of war, or at least with their power of joining battle under the ordinary appearances of skill and science, it does not follow that they conduct the matter with the real science of human beings, or that they are acquainted with our variety of tactics, or have made improvements in them from time to time. We concede, that in all probability there is a distinction between the exercise of the most rational-looking instincts on the part of a lower animal, and that of the most instinctives
* See the Magazine of Natural History for July, a work lately set up. We beg leave to recommend this, and all similar works, to the lovers of truth and enquiry in general; physical discovery having greater alliance with moral, than is suspected; and the habit of sincere investigation on all points being greatly encouraged by its existence on any one.
looking reason on the side of man'; but where the two classes have so much in common in any one particular, what we mean to shew is, that in that particular it is more difficult than in others to pronounce where the - limit between conscious and unconscious skill is to be drawn; and that so far, we have no pretension which other animals may not dispute with us. It has been often wondered; that a great general is not in other respects a man above the vulgar, that he is not a better speaker than others, a better writer, or thinker, or possessed of greater address; in short, that he has no qualities but such as are essential to him in his military capacity, This again looks like a proof of the mechanical nature of a general's ability. We believe it may be said exclusively of military talents, and of one or two others connected with the mathematics, that they are the only ones capable of attaining to greatness and celebrity in their respective departments, with a destitution of taste or knowledge in every other. Every other great talent partakes more or less of a sympathy with greatness in other shapes. The fine arts have their harmonies in common: 'wit implies a stock of ideas : the legislator+-(we do not mean the ordinary conductors of government, for they, as one of them said, require much less wisdom than the world supposes; and it may be added, impose upon the world somewhat in the same manner as military leaders, by dint of the size and potency of their operations)—the legislator makes a profound study of all the wants of mankind; and poetry and philosophy shew the height at which they live, by“ looking abroad into universality." .....
i n 11vietovo - Far bé it from us to undervalue the use of any science, especially in the hands of those who are capable of so looking abroad, and seeing where it can advance the good of the community. The commonest genuine soldier has a merit in his way, which we are far from disesteeming. Without a portion of his fortitude, no man has the power to be useful. But we are speaking of intellects capable of leading society onwards, and not of instruments "however respectable: and unfortunately. (generally speaking) the greatest soldiers are fit only to be instruments, not leaders. Once
and away it happens luckily that they suit the times they live in! Washington is an instance: and'yet if ever great man looked like "a tool in the hands of Providence,". it was hel He appears to have been always the same man; from first to last; employed or unemployed, known or unknown;-the same steady, dry-looking, determined person, cut and carved like a piece of ebony for the genius of the times to rule with. Before the work was begun, there he was, a sort of born patriarchal staff, governing herds and slaves; and when the work was over, he was found in his old place, with the same carved countenance, and the same stiff inflexibility, governing them still. And his slaves were found with him. This is what a soldier ought to be. Not indeed if the world were to advance by their means, and theirs only; but that is impossible. Washington was only the sword with which Franklin and the spirit of revolution worked out their purposes ; and a sword should be nothing but a sword. The moment soldiers come to direct the intellect of their age, they make a sorry business of it. Napoleon himself did. Frederick did. Even Cæsar failed. As to Alfred the Great, he was not so much a general fighting with generals, as a universal genius warring with barbarism and adversity; and it took a load of sorrow to make even him the demigod he was. -.'.
.“ Stand upon the ancient ways,” says Bacon,.“ and see what steps may be taken for progression.” Look, for the same purpose, (it may be said) upon the rest of the animal creation, and consider the qualities in which they have no share with you.' Of the others, you may well doubt the greatness, considered as movers, and not instruments, towards progression. It is among the remainder you must seek for the advancement of your species. An insect can be a provider of the necessaries of life, and he can exercise power, and organize violence. He can be a builder; he can be a soldier; he can be a king. But to all appearance, he is the same as he was ever, and his works perish with him. If insects have such and such an establishment among them, we conceive they will have it always, unless men can alter it for them. If they have no such establishment, they are of themselves incapable of admitting it. It is men only that add and improve. Men only can bequeath their souls for the benefit of posterity, in the shape of arts and books, Men only can philosophize, and reform, and cast off old customs, and take steps for laying the whole globe nearer to the sun of wisdom and happiness: and in proportion as you find them capable of so hoping and so working, you recognize their superiority to the brutes that perish.
ADAM'S FORESIGHT OF THE EVILS OF THE MAR
RIED SYSTEM, AS NOW PREVAILING.
In our last number, there was a quotation from Milton upon this subject, which though apposite to it in one respect, was not the passage we intended to give. Not having our books with us, and being at a distance from them, we were obliged to trouble a friend to make the extract for us; and he, in his anxiety to hit upon the right one, missed it. If his zeal had been less, he would have found it as easily as the heart in his bosom.
We have since met with a reference to the very passage in one of Mr Hazlitt's Essays, and shall take the opportunity of strengthening our quotation with his own introduction of it.
“How few,” says he,“ out of the infinite number of those that marry and are given in marriage, wed with those they would prefer to all the world; nay, how far the greater proportion are joined together by mere motives of convenience, accident, recommendation of friends, or indeed not unfrequently by the very fear of the event, by repugnance and a sort of fatal fascination : yet the tie is for life, not to be shaken off but with disgrace or death: a man no longer lives to himself, but is a body (as well as mind) chained to another, in spite of himself- .
•Like life and death in disproportion met. is “So Milton (perhaps from his own experience) makes Adam exclaim in the vehemence of his despair
i For either
Table Talk, vol. i, p. 224.
Not having room enough in our last number for a charming domestic ballad attributed to Mr Wordsworth's sister, we were compelled to omit it. Having a little too much in our present, we 'avail ourselves of the opportunity to lay it before the reader.'
“ADDRESS TO A CHILD DURING A BOISTEROUS WINTER !