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The hospitable tribe at once knew that he was the fugitive whom they sought to destroy, and put them on a false scent. He was, they said, among their tribe, but was temporarily absent with several other young men in a certain valley on a lion hunt: he would return the next night. They sought him in the direction indicated. The hostile force being thus misled, Abdu-rrahman, with six devoted friends, pushed westward, away from pursuit, and to the fulfillment of his destiny. Through deserts peopled only by beasts of prey, across unsheltered plains of scorching sand, he traveled until he reached Tahart, the principal place in Algarve Media, and about four days journey southeast from Telemsen. He was now in the land of the Zenetes which he had been seeking.
There for the first time in his wanderings he found a generous and full protection; there to his mother's kinsmen he disclosed his name and rank, and at once received not only protection but homage, and the promise of assistance in his future schemes.
The situation in Spain was well known to them ; rival chieftains had exhausted and fatigued the people to their wars. The power of the khalifs was gone forever. An illustrious scion of the Ommyan house, persecuted by the Abbassides, was ready. Why not establish an independent empire in Andalus ? and who should be its sovereign but Abdu-r-rahman? Such were the questions soon to be asked in Spain, and to receive an immediate answer in the affirmative.
The next paper will consider the new and independent khalifate of Cordova.
1The modern Tuggert or Toogoort, south of the Atlas range, within the present limits of Algeria. La Fuente says (III. 95,) that Tarik, the first conqueror of Spain, was born at Tahart. It was also the birth-place, in our day, of the famous Abd-el-Kader.
PHYSICS AND POLITICS.*
THE discovery of natural laws seems to be effected in all cases
in a manner substantially the same. The mind of the scientific community is slowly prepared for the new train of thought by the progress of knowledge in the special department to which the discovery belongs. The old conceptions become gradually inadequate to account for the phenomena which press upon the observer's mind, and demand a reduction to law. Dissatisfied with explanations which explain nothing, and which are contradicted by experience, men of science cast about for a better system. They examine carefully into details; they watch the processes of growth. After a long mental incubation, a provisional hypothesis arises in some mind, which appears to explain certain remarkable phenomena. This hypothesis, before it comes into the world, is subjected to a most rigorous test. All facts of the same order within its author's purview are considered with reference to the new-comer. Is it consistent with them, and does it explain them? This question must be answered clearly and fully, before the philosopher offers his theory to his scientific brethren.
Meanwhile, fifty other men at work upon the same subjectmatter, throw out doubts, suggestions, and bits of special knowledge, which at once cast light upon their coileague's difficulties, and prepare the general mind for a fair consideration of his hypothesis. Through the realm of science, it is recognized that the old explanations have been discredited. The facts which these explanations have failed to account for, are understood to be empiric, and their law as yet undiscovered. Hence, when the new hypothesis is published, the discussion is instant, eager and universal: Difficulties and objections, real and apparent, are at once brought forward. A season of tremendous controversy ensues, in which the victory is seldom doubtful. Either the theory disappears and is heard of no more, or it emerges from limbo into the clear daylight of reality, and is admitted to represent the observed Order of Nature.
* Physics and Politics; or, Thoughts on the Application of the Principles of “ Natural Selection” and “Inheritance” to Political Society. By Walter Bagehot. New York: Appleton & Co. Pp. 224.
Such has been the history of Galileo's theory of the earth's rotation ; of Kepler's laws of planetary motion; of Bichat's theory of tissues; of Harvey's doctrine of the circulation of the blood. Each of these was the outcome of long years of thought, observation and experiment; each was modified and extended until it embraced all the known phenomena of the province of investigation ; each was subjected to the searching atmosphere of controversy; and each is now a part of the primary instruction of physicists and medical students. Two theories, involving the largest and most remote issues, have not yet established their claims to a like acceptance. One is the Nebular Hypothesis; the other, Mr. Darwin's view of the Origin of Species.
The former, from the immense remoteness of the period to which it relates, and the consequent want of direct evidence, may long remain in doubt. Similar causes prevent Mr. Darwin's hypothesis, when taken as a whole, from being considered as the last word of Science on the origin of life. But it has this great advantage, that many of its premises, relating as they do to the animal and vegetable world, apply to the present condition of nature, and are susceptible of direct verification. No intelligent man now doubts the laws of the Struggle for Life, Variation and Natural Selection. Here the ground is firm under our feet; and upon these laws a philosopher, desirous of applying the new knowledge to the investigation of the past, may build without fear.
Mr. Bagehot is a thinker of a very rare order. He is no mere doctrinaire; he has stood for Parliament in the Liberal interest, and has written the best book extant on the English Constitution. In that book the tendency of his mind is already clearly discernible. In common with Austin and Maine, and perhaps with them alone, he brings to the study of politics and law scientific habits of thought, and a thorough acquaintance with the immense body of facts in chemistry and biology published to the world within the last wenty years facts of such universal consequence that all speculation undertaken without regard to them—is already condemred. Versed in these latest results of scientific research, and separating with admirable keenness what has been proved from what has not been proved, Mr. Bagehot approaches his difficult subject in the true philosophic spirit. He possesses the most powerful instruments to do what may be done, the most searching methods to discover and demonstrate all the ascertainable past; but he knows the weakness and imperfection of the evidence, and does not press it further than it will bear. There is, indeed, no need that he should do so. We think that our readers will not be disposed to underrate the importance of his conclusions.
He indicates at the outset his obligations to natural science.
“One peculiarity of this age is the sudden acquisition of much physical knowledge. There is scarcely a department of science or art which is the same, or at all the same, as it was fifty years ago. A new world of inventions-of railways and of telegraphs
-has grown up around us, which we cannot help seeing; a new world of ideas is in the air, and affects us, though we do not see it. * * *. I think I may usefully, in a few papers, show how, upon one or two great points, the new ideas are modifying two old sciences -politics and political economy."
He then, by quotations from Prof. Huxley and Dr. Maudsley, shows the physiological facts upon which his theory rests. We we will not attempt to give the substance of the book following the author's arrangement, for condensation is difficult from pages so charged with matter ; but we will state his main ideas and some of the proofs which he offers in their support, and leave the reader to seek the illustrations and the amplifications in Mr. Bagehot's own felicitous diction.
We begin with one or two patent facts, which our readers will pardon us for rehearsing. First, all animals and plants breed true; that is, the offspring is like the parent, not only in the distinguishing marks of its kind, but often in individual peculiarities. Not only are sheep descended from sheep, and dogs from dogs, but the especial habits which the parent sheep or dog acquired during its life-time, or which were possessed by some particular ancestor, are repeated in the young. There is reason to suppose that the whole life of the parent, prior to the birth, has a great effect on the nature and constitution of the child. We do not know that the line has ever been drawn, even vaguely, between the qualities and acquisitions which are inherited, and those which are not inherited; but the fact that “an acquired faculty of the parent animal is sometimes distinctly transmitted to the progeny as a heritage, instinct or innate endowment,” is established beyond doubt. When Mr. Buckle published his History, the proofs had
not been so fully given to the world ; and his speculations are to a great degree vitiated by the assumption that education counts for everything, and the innate capacity of a race for nothing. He evidently believed that if a thousand Hottentot or Fijian children were brought very young to England, educated with the English youth, and given in all respects the same opportunities, they would upon an average display equal aptitude for civilized life with the native Britons. The experiment, has of course, never been tried ; but we are warranted in saying that no such result would ensue. The discipline and order of a European community is owing to centuries of education. The father has learned certain lessons of self-restraint, of obedience, of cultivation, so well, that the result has become embodied in his nerves and brain, and has gone down to his child as a pre-disposition to receive the same lessons. The child has begun almost where the parent stopped, and bequeaths in turn to its offspring a constitution still further modified in the direction of civilized life. We need not dwell on this point. The low retreating forehead and immense animal devel. opment of the savage, and the fact that the brain of the European weighs thirty per cent. more than that of the African, will be arguments sufficient for our purpose. The appearance of nerve force amongst natural forces, is another capital illustration:
"I do not think any who do not acquire—and it takes a hard effort to acquire—this notion of a transmitted nerve element will ever understand 'the connective tissue' of civilization. We have here the continuous force which binds age to age, which enables each to begin with some improvement on the last, if the last did itself improve ; which makes each civilization not a set of detached dots, but a line of color, surely enhancing shade by shade. There is, by this doctrine a physical cause of improvement from generation to generation." * * * * “Moral causes are the first here. It is the action of the will that causes the unconscious habit; it is the continual effort of the beginning that creates the hoarded energy of the end; it is the silent toil of the first generation that becomes the transmitted aptitude of the next. Here physical causes do not create the moral, but moral create the physical ; here the beginning is by the higher energy, the conservation and propagation only by the lower. But we thus perceive how a science of history is possible; as Mr. Buckle said, a science to teach the laws of tendencies, created by the mind and transmitted by the body, which act upon and incline the will of man from age to age."
Of course the causes we have assigned, the slow action of sur