fence) let a man flatter himself as much as he will, and think as .!. highly as he pleases of his genius and natural parts, I will use the freedom to tell him, that, without the knowledge of these first prin. ciples of logic, he pever can understand, as a philosopher ought to understand, the philosophy of Mind, and the nature of Truth and Science. These principles are to be learned from Aristotle's book of Categories, with the affistance of Porphyry's Introduction to that book, and of Ammonius's Commentary upon bo:h the introduction and the book itself. There are, I doubt not, lome French or Eng. lich systems of logic which may be of use to the reader ; but with these I am not much acquainted, nor desire to be more, because I chuse to go to the source itself, being well assured, from what I know of them, that, if they have not drawn from that source, they have produced nothing that is valuable upon the subject. Not that I believe it to be absolutely impoffible, even as men are educated and live at present, that our times should produce a great genius in philosophy; but I say, that genius must be taughi, and by good masters; and, that it is imposible, without such affistance, for any mortal man to invent a whole system of science. I think I may say, without offence to any modern philosopher, that Aristotle had as acute and inventive a genius in philosophy as any of them; yet, I. will venture to affirm, that, unless he had been taught, as he was, both by Socrates and Plato, and, unless he had studied diligently, as it appears he did, the writings of the more ancient philosophers of the Ionic and Eleatic school, and of a greater school than either of these, I mean the Pythagorean, from which he took his book of Categories, the foundation of his whole fyllem, he never could have discovered the Syllogism (if it be true that it is his discovery), nor produced that compleat system of logic to be found in his book of Categories, his first and second Analytics, his Topics, and his treatise of Sophism, to which the labours of all the ages since his time have added nothing considerable. Before him, many philosophers, no doubt, reasoned very well, and made great discoveries; but they reasoned as the women and children spoke ; for, though women and children, who have been well educated, may speak very well, they do it by mere babit, without being able to give any account home they do it; the reason of which is, that they cannot analyse lan, guage into its elements, nor account how these elements are com. posed into speech; for analysis is the work of art or science. In the same manner, the philosophers before Ariftoile could reason very well; but, as they could not analyse reason, so they could not give any rational account why one argument was conclusive, and another, inconclusive; but they knew them to be so only by common sense, that is, natural sense, not instructed by science.'

We consider the above, and such like passages, of which the present work is principally composed, as a gross insult offered to tbe discernment of the present age. It is to suppose that God Almighty made men with legs and arms, but that Aristotle made them reasonable creatures. We are so far from thinking that the works which our Author ascribes to Aristotle (several of which, however, are probably the productions of very infe.

[ocr errors]


rior men *) have been favourable to the progress of the human mind, that we are persuaded the authority of these works formed, during several centuries, a very powerful obftruction to all ra. tional improvement. Aristotle himself makes no use of the disa coveries of his Oeyovov (which is the general name for the writings above mentioned) in his treatises of poetry, ethics, politics, natural history, &c, performances which are equally useful and ingenious, and which do real honour to the stagyrite, These performances are more worthy than the Opgave of being explained and illustrated by the learning of the present age; they have, in general, met with that attention which they deserve; which, as well as the late elegant translations of several poets and orators, affords reason to believe that it will not be polible, even for Lord Monboddo's panegyric, to render Gre. cian literature unfalhionable.

* See Bayle's Diajonary, Article Tyrannion. '

ART. VII. An Universal Military Dictionary, or. A copious Explanation

of the Technical Terms, co' used in the Equipment, Machinery,
Movements, and military Operations of an Army. By Captain
George Smith, Inspector of the Royal Military Academy at
Wo lwich. 4to. il is. Large Paper. 21. 25. Subscription.
Millan. 1779.
AMONG the vast number of dictionaries, of various

A kinds, which have lately issued from the press, it is some. what wonderful, that a Military Dictionary has not been thought of (a triling performance or two excepted) before now, especially as the prospect of fale was not unpromising.

Captain Smith observes, that, although several performances on the same subject with his work have appeared in foreign languages, there had been nothing of the kind in our own, except Watson's Military Diktionary; and another anonymous work called, The New Military Dillionary, or, The Field of War t. ,

This last mentioned work, instead of what one would naturally have expected from iis title, is only an account of the most remarkable battles, lieges, bombardments, and expedi, tions, whether by sea or land, in which Great Britain has been concerned, from the descent of Julius Cælar to the year 1760: and the former, fo far from exhibiting an enlarged and comprehensive view of military affairs, is extremely imperfect, even on its own very circumscribed plan, and is only a small pamphlet in

† Anather book of this kind was poblimed lat year, printed for G. Robinson. See Review for December 1774, Art. 22, of the Catalogue.

duodeciino. duodecimo. This defect, Captain Smith remarks, would have been the less to be regretted, if even our best Dictionaries of Arts and Sciences had not been moft wretchedly defective and obsolete, in their explanations of the terms which relate to the art of war. It was these considerations, joined to the use which such a work, when properly executed, might be of to every military officer, that induced Captain Smith to undertake the work before us; in the execution of which, he seems to have spared no pains, and we are glad to see, by the numerous list of subscribers, that it has not (so far) met with an unfavourabie reception from the public.

In a preface of some length, our Author treats of the requisites necessary to form the soldier, the officer, and the general; points out those virtues and qualifications which, he thinks, relate more immediately to each, and shews how they are distinguished from each other. In the discussion of these points, we apprehend, his manner and sentiments are sufficiently out of the common road, to afford entertainment to many of our readers.'

Speaking of bravery and courage, he says, “ These two virtues, which are often confounded in the same subject, merit a particular distinction; they are not so closely united, but that they are often to be found one without the other. Courage seems fittest for a general, and all those who command; bravery more necessary for a soldier, and all who receive orders : bravery is in the blood, courage in the soul; the first is a kind of instinct, the second a virtue; the one is an impulse almost mechanical, the other a noble and sublime conception. A man is brave at a particular time, and according to circumstances; he has courage at all times, and upon all occasions. Bravery is so much the more impetuous, as it is less the result of reflection; courage, the more it is the effect of reason, becomes more intrepid. Bravery is inspired by the force of example, insensible of danger, and the fury of action ; courage is infused by the love of our duty, the desire of glory, and zeal for our king and country : courage depends on reason; but bravery, on the conftitution. Achilles, such as Horace describes him from Homer, implacable, cruel, despising every other right but that of force, presents nothing to the idea, but the hardiness of a gladiator : but the Roman general, whose death would have produced the ruin of the army, the great Scipio, when covered by the bucklers of three soldiers, to avoid a shower of arrows which the enemy directed against him, approaches in safety the walls he besieged; and, standing only a spectator of the action, and content himself with giving them orders, exhibits the idea of true courage. Bravery is involuntary, and depends not at a!1 upon ourselves; whereas courage (as Seneca observes) may


be taught and acquired by education : but yet, nature must low the firłt reeds of it. It would be easy to make the difference of these qualities better understood, by running over all the cases in which they make their appearance, were it not for fear of going too far' into fo copious a subject. It is said of a magiftrate, who exposes his life and fortune in defence of the laws, that he has virtue. Cicero, sheltering himself from the hatred of Catiline, undoubtedly wanted bravery; but certainly, he had an elevated firmness of mind (which is in reality courage), when he disclosed the conspiracy of that traitor to the Senate, and pointed out all his accomplices; or, when he pleaded for Deiotarus against Cæsar, his friend and his judge.

Coolness is the effect of courage, which knows its danger, but makes no other use of that knowledge, than to give directions with greater certainty: courage is always master of itself, provided against all accidents, and regulated by the present occasions; never confounded by any danger, so as to lose sight of the motions of the enemy, or of the means by which he may be most effectually opposed. At the battle of Cannæ, when Gisco seemed to be most astonilhed at the superiority of the enemy's number, Hannibal answered him coolly, · There is a thing still more surprising, of which you seem to take no notice.' Gisco asked him what it was: “ It is," replied Hannibal, that in all that great croud, there is not one man whose name is Gisco.' Plutarch.observes, that this coolness of Hannibal greatly animated the Carthaginians, who could not imagine that their general would joke at so important a time, without being certain of overcoming his enemies.'

And further on: • Genius,' says he,' is not to be acquired; it is born with us. It has been defined to be a natural aptitude of doing something: but that definition is wrong; it is the disposition only that should be fo defined. It is said, to be easier for nature to produce a monster, than a man without a particular disposition, but every one is not born with a genius; it is the fairest attribute of the soul. With parts, a man may be a good soldier ; but with genius, a good soldier becomes a great general. It is fometimes an assemblage of talents, but it is always the perfecting of that which nature has given as, that discovers genius. A man studies; he searches for his talent, and often misses it; genius unfolds it. Talent remains hidden. for want of occasions to show itself; genius breaks through all obstacles; genius alone is the contriver ; talent only the workman.

• It often happens, that he who has only bright parts, is believed to have genius. These two modifications of the soul are very different. Genius can only apply itself to the sciences and noble arts; wit, more airy, ikims indifferently over all :


the former undertakes but one science, but goes to the bottom of it; the other would undertake every thing, but touches only lightly upon all : wit renders the talents more brilliant, without their becoming more solid; genius, with less application, conceives every thing, outstrips even study itself, and brings the talents to perfection.

- What is generally called a quick eye, is no other than that penetrating genius, which lets nothing escape it ; that looks into the heart, and discovers the lightest impressions which can disorder it. A general, who knows how to unite this quality with perpetual coolness, never is in want of expedients; he will see how these events, which, to any other, would be the presage of his own defeat, may end in the overthrow of his enemies.

. Thus the army of Cyrus, in the presence of that of Creelus. at Timbrea, took a clap of thunder for a bad omen. · This impression did not escape the quick eye of Cyrus; but the coolness, which on this occasion he knew how to preserve, suggested to him an interpretation which removed his soldiers fears. 6 My friends,” cried he, “ Heaven declares for us : come on! I hear the sound of victory. Great Jupiter, we follow thee.”

Besides these qualities which are essential to a general, and which all who would attain that high rank should of course have, there are many others necessary to make a great man. A hero requires fewer virtues : the great man is always a good member of the community; he considers hus manity as his first duty; he is just, open, and unbiassed; his teinper may be fiery, but this ardour is always regulated by prudence; he gives advice with the same openness as he would alk it; and never asks but of those whose experience, which he estimates rather by their actions than their age, makes them capable of giving such as may be trusted; he is haughty only to his enemies, free to his equals, affable to his inferiors, brave without either arrogance or rashness, and easy of access to all.

• The general Tould be acquainted with the interests and force of princes : a knowledge, very necessary in judging of the power of princes, upon whom war is made, that he may fall sooner upon the country of him who can obstruct his projects, than upon a prince who, by the situation of his dominions and force, can make no opposition. In a word, a general, who would merit the title of a great man, should unite in himself all civil, military, and political excellence. It is by this, that he will easily attain to make war with success ; nothing will escape him; he will know, without difficulty, the genius of every country, and of the nations which compose the enemy's army; the abilities of the generals who command, and the


[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »