substitute for the puerile and contemptible examples of common logicians, several interesting illustrations from the physical discoveries of his immediate predecessors; and has indulged himself in some short excursions, which excite a lively regret that he had not, more frequently and freely, given scope to his original reflections. Among these excursions, the most valuable, in my opinion, is the twentieth chapter of the third part, which deserves the attention of every logical student, as an important and instructive supplement to the enumeration of sophisms given by Aristotle.


The soundness of judgment, so eminently displayed in The Art of Thinking, forms a curious contrast to that passion for theological controversy, and that zeal for what he conceived to be the purity of the Faith, which seem to have been the ruling passions of the author's mind. He lived to the age of eighty-three, continuing to write against Malebranche's opinions concerning Nature and Grace, to his last hour. "He died," says his biographer, “in an obscure retreat at Brussels, in 1692, without fortune, and even without the comfort of a servant; he, whose nephew had been a Minister of State, and who might himself have been a Cardinal. The pleasure of being able to publish his sentiments was to him a sufficient recompense." Nicole, his friend and companion in arms, worn out at length with these incessant disputes, expressed a wish to retire


According to Crousaz, The Art of Thinking contributed more than either the Organon of Bacon, or the Method of Descartes, to improve the established modes of academical education on the Continent. (See the preface to his Logic, printed at Geneva, 1724.) Leibnitz himself has mentioned it in the most flattering terms; coupling the name of the author with that of Pascal, a still more illustrious ornament of the Port Royal Society :-" Ingeniosissimus Pascalius in præclarâ dissertatione de ingenio Geometrico, cujus fragmentum extat in egregio libro celeberrimi viri Antonii Arnaldi de Arte bene Cogitandi," &c.; but lest this encomium from so high an authority should excite a curiosity somewhat out of proportion to the real value of the two works here mentioned, I think it right to add, that the praises bestowed by Leibnitz, whether on living or dead authors, are not always to be strictly and literally interpreted. "No one," says Hume," is so liable to an excess of admiration as a truly great genius." Wherever Leibnitz has occasion to refer to any work of solid merit, this remark applies to him with peculiar force; partly, it is probable, from his quick and sympathetic perception of congenial excellence, and partly from a generous anxiety to point it out to the notice of the world. It affords, on the other hand, a remarkable illustration of the force of prejudice, that Buffier, a learned and most able Jesuit, should have been so far influenced by the hatred of his order to the Jansenists, as to distinguish the Port Royal Logic with a cold approbation of being "a judicious compilation from former works on the same subject;-particularly from a treatise by a Spanish Jesuit, Fonséca." Cours de Sciences, p. 873. Paris, 1732.

from the field, and to enjoy repose. Repose!" replied Arnauld; "won't you have the whole of eternity to repose in ?"


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An anecdote which is told of his infancy, when considered in connexion with his subsequent life, affords a good illustration of the force of impressions received in the first dawn of reason. He was amusing himself one day with some childish sport, in the library of the Cardinal du Perron, when he requested of the Cardinal to give him a pen :-" And for what purpose?" said the Cardinal.-" To write books, like you, against the Huguenots." The Cardinal, it is added, who was then old and infirm, could not conceal his joy at the prospect of so hopeful a successor; and, as he was putting the pen into his hand, said, "I give it to you, as the dying shepherd Damœtas bequeathed his pipe to the little Corydon."

The name of Pascal (that prodigy of parts, as Locke calls him) is more familiar to modern ears, than that of any of the other learned and polished anchorites, who have rendered the sanctuary of Port Royal so illustrious; but his writings furnish few materials for philosophical history. Abstracting from his great merits in mathematics and in physics, his reputation rests chiefly on the Provincial Letters; a work from which Voltaire, notwithstanding his strong prejudices against the author, dates the fixation of the French language; and of which the same excellent judge has said, that "Molière's best comedies do not excel them in wit, nor the compositions of Bossuet in sublimity." The enthusiastic admiration of Gibbon for this book, which he was accustomed from his youth to read once a year, is well known; and is sufficient to account for the rapture with which it never fails to be spoken of by the erudite vulgar* in this country. I cannot help, however, suspecting, that it is now more praised than read in Great Britain; so completely have those disputes, to which it owed its first celebrity, lost their interest. Many passages in it, indeed, will always be perused with delight; but it may be questioned, if Gibbon himself would have read it so often from beginning to end, had it

* "Eruditum vulgus." Plin. Nat. Hist. Lib. ii.


not been for the strong hold which ecclesiastical controversies, and the Roman Catholic faith, had early taken of his mind.

In one respect, the Provincial Letters are well entitled to the attention of philosophers; inasmuch as they present so faithful and lively a picture of the influence of false religious views in perverting the moral sentiments of mankind. The overwhelming ridicule lavished by Pascal on the whole system of Jesuitical casuistry, and the happy effects of his pleasantry in preparing, from a distance, the fall of that formidable order, might be quoted as proofs, that there are at least some truths, in whose defence this weapon may be safely employed;-perhaps with more advantage than the commanding voice of Reason herself. The mischievous absurdities which it was his aim to correct, scarcely admitted of the gravity of logical discussion; requiring only the extirpation or the prevention of those early prejudices which choke the growth of common sense and of conscience: and for this purpose, what so likely to succeed with the open and generous minds of youth, as Ridicule, managed with decency and taste; more especially when seconded, as in the Provincial Letters, by acuteness of argument, and by the powerful eloquence of the heart? In this point of view, few practical moralists can boast of having rendered a more important service than Pascal to the general interests of humanity. Were it not, indeed, for his exquisite satire, we should already be tempted to doubt, if, at so recent a date, it were possible for such extravagancies to have maintained a dangerous ascendant over the human understanding.

The unconnected fragment of Pascal, entitled Thoughts on Religion, contains various reflections which are equally just and ingenious; some which are truly sublime; and not a few which are false and puerile: the whole, however, deeply tinctured with that ascetic and morbid melancholy, which seems to have at last produced a partial eclipse of his faculties. Voltaire has animadverted on this fragment with much levity and petulance; mingling, at the same time, with many very exceptionable strictures, several of which it is impossible to dispute the justness. The following reflection is worthy of Addison; and bears

a strong resemblance in its spirit to the amiable lessons inculcated in his papers on Cheerfulness; * "To consider the world as a dungeon, and the whole human race as so many criminals doomed to execution, is the idea of an enthusiast; to suppose the world to be a seat of delight, where we are to expect nothing but pleasure, is the dream of a Sybarite; but to conclude that the Earth, Man, and the lower Animals, are, all of them, subservient to the purposes of an unerring Providence, is, in my opinion, the system of a wise and good man."

From the sad history of this great and excellent person (on whose deep superstitious gloom it is the more painful to dwell, that, by an unaccountable, though not singular coincidence, it was occasionally brightened by the inoffensive play of a lively and sportive fancy,) the eye turns with pleasure to repose on the mitis sapientia, and the Elysian imagination of Fenelon. The interval between the deaths of these two writers is indeed considerable; but that between their births does not amount to thirty years; and in point of education, both enjoyed nearly the same advantages.

The reputation of Fenelon as a philosopher would probably have been higher and more universal than it is, if he had not added to the depth, comprehension, and soundness of his judgment, so rich a variety of those more pleasing and attractive qualities, which are commonly regarded rather as the flowers than the fruits of study. The same remark may be extended to the Fenelon of England, whose ingenious and original essays on the Pleasures of Imagination would have been much more valued by modern metaphysicians, had they been less beautifully and happily written. The characteristical excellence, however, of the Archbishop of Cambray, is that moral wisdom, which, as Shaftesbury has well observed, "comes more from the heart than from the head;" and which seems to depend less on the reach of our reasoning powers, than on the absence of those narrow and malignant passions, which, on all questions of ethics and politics (perhaps I might add of religion also), are the chief source of our speculative errors.

*Spectator, No. 381 and 387.

The Adventures of Telemachus, when considered as a production of the seventeenth century, and still more as the work of a Roman Catholic Bishop, is a sort of prodigy; and it may, to this day, be confidently recommended as the best manual extant, for impressing on the minds of youth the leading truths, both of practical morals and of political economy. Nor ought it to be concluded, because these truths appear to lie so near the surface, and command so immediately the cordial assent of the understanding, that they are therefore obvious or tritical; for the case is the same with all the truths most essential to human happiness. The importance of agriculture and of religious toleration to the prosperity of states; the criminal impolicy of thwarting the kind arrangements of Providence, by restraints upon commerce; and the duty of legislators to study the laws of the moral world as the groundwork and standard of their own, appear, to minds unsophisticated by inveterate prejudices, as approaching nearly to the class of axioms; yet, how much ingenious and refined discussion has been employed, even in our own times, to combat the prejudices which every where continue to struggle against them; and how remote does the period yet seem, when there is any probability that these prejudices shall be completely abandoned!

"But how," said Telemachus to Narbal, "can such a commerce as this of Tyre be established at Ithaca ? " "By the same means," said Narbal, "that have established it here. Receive all strangers with readiness and hospitality; let them find convenience and liberty in your ports; and be careful never to disgust them by avarice or pride above all, never restrain the freedom of commerce, by rendering it subservient to your own immediate gain. The pecuniary advantages of commerce should be left wholly to those by whose labor it subsists; lest this labor, for want of a sufficient motive, should cease. There are more than equivalent advantages of another kind, which must necessarily result to the Prince from the wealth which a free commerce will bring into his state; and commerce is a kind of spring, which to divert from its natural channel is to lose." * Had the same question

Hawkesworth's Translation.

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