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tions, and, arranging them in classes, forms conceptions. As, in sensation, there are the necessary forms of space and time; so are there necessary forms of intelli. gence, to which Kant, adopting the well-known term invented by Aristotle, gives the name of categories. These are reduced to four orders- quantity, quality, relation, and modality: To the first of which belong the categories,-1. unity ; 2. plurality ; 3. totality: To the second, 4. affirmation or reality ; 5. negation or privation ; 6. limitation : To the third, 7. substance and accident; 8. causation, or the laws of cause and effect; 9. recopricity of action and reaction: To the fourth, 10. possibility and impossibility ; 11. existence and nonexistence; 12. necessity and contingence. No act of intelligence can take place without the union of these four forms of thought, in some one of their modifications. Like space and time, however, they are no part of the object, but exist à priori, and independently of all experience in the subject who intelligizes. Thus, to take an instance from the categories of quantity, the idea of number cannot form a part of any object. We hear a sound, we again hear a sound,—but, when we say that we have heard two sounds, we have invested a product of sensibility with a form of our own intelligence. These fundamental conceptions may be combined so as to form other conceptions equally independent of experience; as when, from substance and causation, we derive the conception of force-or they may be united with the pure forms of sensibility, as when, from the addition of temporary succession to existence and non-existence, we form the conception of commencement. For determining to which of the categories our sensation belongs, there are four forms of reflection, corresponding with the four orders: for the first, identity and diversity ; for the second, conformity and contrariety ; for the third, interiority and exterio
rity, by which is meant the distinction of the attributes of an object as originally existing in itself, or as acquired from without; for the fourth, matter and form. These four reflective conceptions, though, like the categories, existing à priori, differ from them, as not being applied to the products of sensibility, to fix their relations and mode of being, but to the conceptions of objects, to fix their appropriate place in the system of our knowledge.
“ Pure reason is the third mode of our cognitive faculty. It is applied to our conceptions, and is that which considers them as absolute. Its three great ideas are, absolute unity, absolute totality, and absolute causation. These become objects to us, or ideals of pure reason, by investing them with our own felt and fundamental unity, which individualizes absolute unity, as in the human soul, or absolute totality, as in the universe; and the ideas acquired from practical reason, of absolute power and goodness, are, in like manner, individualized in God. Every act of reasoning implies an absolute idea. Thus, when we say, all bodies gravitate, and the air, being a body, must therefore have weight, the validity of our conclusion depends on the universality of the major proposition. To these absolute ideas we are led, by an irresistible impulse of our nature towards infinitude. They are forms existing à priori in the mind; for our senses give us the perception only of that which is divisable, limited, caused. With the unity of the human mind, or the infinity of the universe, or the great source of phenomenal nature, no corporeal organ can make us acquainted.
“ Each of the cognitive functions having thus its peculiar forms, we are guilty of an amphiboly when we ascribe to one the pure forms of another; as when, in material atoms of the philosophy of Epicurus, we invest our external sensations with the idea of absolute simpli
city; or when, adding to the same sensations the absolute idea of causation, we erect a theory of atheistic materialism. In like manner, the combination of absolute ideas with our internal sensibility, of which the form is time, and the general representation spirit,' gives rise to all those systems of spiritualism, which suppose a simple unextended soul. The perplexing controversies on the divisibility of matter are the product of a double amphiboly, which confounds sensation and conception,”
THE WEST INDIES.
6 CONSIDERING the almost daily intercourse which exists between this country and the West Indies,” said Egeria, “our intimacy with so many who have resided long in that quarter, and also with natives, it is very singular that there is not one book in the language which gives any thing like a tolerable account, either of the natural history of the islands, or of the manners and customs of the inhabitants. I doubt not that this is partly owing to the unlettered state of those returned adventurers who constitute the chief class of our West Indian acquaintance. They are in general persons come of humble life and very ordinary acquirements, without taste, if they had time, to make the requisite observations, and without time, on account of their original poverty, if they had the taste. When they return home, their habits and predilections render them averse to enter into
that kind of society where their natural shrewdness, for I hold all successful adventurers to be naturally shrewd,-might be rendered available to the advancement of knowledge. The consequence is, that almost with every opulent West Indian, a considerable quantity of valuable information perishes unknown; and that although for mercantile, and perhaps political purposes, there be no lack of knowledge with respect to the West Indies, there is very little for any purpose of science or of pastime. The mortality of the climate is, however, the main cause of the state of ignorance in which we are suffered to remain : no literary man in his health and senses, nor any gentleman for amusement, ever thinks of visiting the indigenous region of hurricanes and the yellow fever.”
“I am not sure,” replied the Bachelor, “that you have hit on the true cause. I think it is more owing to the want, in the first place, of refined society; and, in the second, to the scarcity of interesting historical monuments or remains.”
“I dare say you are partly in the right, Benedict ; man in his general is as much an egotist as he is in his individual capacity; and therefore I suspect it is, that, notwithstanding the luxuriant vegetation,the delicious fruits,—the turtle and the slaves of the West Indies,—that they are never visited for pleasure: for they contain but few objects calculated to awaken those associations which make so many among us long for the less hospitable and not less pestiferous shores of Egypt and of Greece. In fact, every thing about the West Indies and West Indians savours of barbarity. The trade, manu
factures, arts, and commerce of the islands, have all. reference to tillage,—to the cultivation of the sugar cane, pimento, and such things—and tillage is the earliest occupation of man when he first begins to be civilized. Then the brutalizing effects of slavery, a thing in itself much more dishumanizing to the master than to the slave. The passions there, too, are all of a coarser kind than elsewhere; and any traditions which are preserved among them relative to those qualities which popularly interest mankind, such as bravery, enterprise, or address, the modifications of heroism, are mixed up and alloyed with enormities and crimes. The West Indies have produced no heroes nor warriors, but only buccaneers ; and M‘Kinnen's account of John Teach, the famous Black Beard of the Bahamas, affords you some idea of the sort of corsairs a Jamaica Byron would celebrate, if ever it be in the nature of rum, rhobe, and sangree to engender a poet.”
“ This extraordinary man had united in his fortunes a desperate and formidable gang of pirates, styling himself their Commodore, and assuming the authority of a legitimate chief. Under a wild fig-tree, the trunk of which still remains, and was shown to me in the eastern part of the town, he used to sit in council amongst his banditti, concerting or promulgating his plans, and exercising the authority of a magistrate. His piracies were often carried on near the English settlements on the coast of North America, where he met with extraordinary success. Perhaps in the history of human depravity it would be difficult to select actions more brutal and extravagant, than Black Beard's biographer has recorded of him. As the narrative to which I allude is generally credited, and bears strong internal evidence of