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about the explication of it; but we know not the answer that was given by the infernal Oracle.
Among the Cartefians, who admitted but two fubftances in nature (viz. matter and fpirit), the Animifts identified the principle of life with the thinking fubftance, to which latter they attributed all animal motion voluntary and involuntary; while the mechanical Cartefians derived all the animal functions, excepting those which were evidently voluntary, from a feries of neceffary motions, which fucceed each other in the organs of the body from the firft dawn of life. This refembles the preeftablifhed harmony of Leibnitz.
Our Author feems inclined towards the opinion of thofe, who look upon the vital principle, as diftinct, both from the mechanism of the body, and the qualities and nature of the mind. He does not, however, follow all the reveries of Van Helmont, but walks much more foberly in this metaphyfical wild. He thinks, the vital principle cannot be confidered as a faculty of the mind, because, while the former produces all thofe motions that are neceffary to animal life, the mind has not that consciousnefs of thefe motions, that is infeparable from its own operations. If it be objected, that this confcioufnefs may be fufpended by habit; he acknowledges the fact; but obferves, that it may be reftored whenever we pleafe by a reflex act of the will.-Á mufician, who, through habit, plays a tune upon the harpfichord, without any confcious perception of the motions that produce each note, can, when he pleafes, repeat thefe motions, and render them prefent to the mind by an act of reflexion; whereas the mind cannot obtain a reflex perception of the vital motions by repeating them, nor by any effort of reflexion or will. He thinks it, therefore, moft probable, that the vital principle produces, alone, by its immediate action, all the motions of the corporeal organs, whether it be with the concurrence of the mind, as in the voluntary, or without its concurrence, as in the movements of the heart and arteries, and other involuntary motions, as alfo in thofe which we perform mechanically through the effect of habit.
But has this vital principle, thus diftinguifhed from foul and body, a feparate exiftence in itself? or does it only exift by its union with the human body? Our Author inclines to the former, without affirming the latter to be impoffible. It is poffible, fays he, that by a general law, eftablifhed by the Author of Nature, a principle endowed with fenfitive and moving powers, may take place neceffarily in that combination of matter, of which each animal body is formed, and be the immediate caufe of that feries of motions, that is neceffary to the life of the animal through the whole of its duration :-But it is alfo poffible, adds he, that the vital principle may have, in itself, an exiftence feparate from that combination of matter in the Dd 2
animal body, to which it is joined by the power of the Deity.Our Author alleges the following circumftances in favour of this latter opinion:
ift, The principle of life may be destroyed in animals without any perceivable alteration in their organs; as appears in the effects of certain poifons, which kill almoft inftantaneously, without leaving any veftige of violence, or damage in any part of the body:-on the other hand, the vital principle often furvives confiderable damages, received by the moft effential organs of the body, fuch as the heart and the brain.-This obfervation proves very little, in favour of the feparate exiftence of the vital principle: it only proves, that it is independent on certain parts of the body, and the damages they may receive. We know no cafe that proves fo well the opinion, which our Author seems to prefer, as that of the warrior in the Art of Sinking, who was cut in two perpendicularly, and the one half of whose body lay panting on the ground, while the other ran away.
2dly, In a violent state of danger or irritation, the vital principle excites in the body mechanical motions, which can only be accounted for by a particular instinct, as they are contrary to the motions which take place in the natural ftate of the body.
3dly, A fort of harmony pre-established between the vital principle and the body which it animates, makes this principle (in various kinds of animals) aim at, and attempt motions, relative to organs, which do not exift, or are imperfectly formed, when these motions are attempted. The efforts of the bird to fly, and of the calf to butt, before the former is furnished with wings, or the latter with horns, are among the examples of this alleged by our Author. Thefe, and the other inftinctive propenfities, which lead each animal to feek and to chufe the objects that are peculiarly adapted to its fubfiftence and nourishment, cannot, as our Author thinks, be the mere effects of organifation; ftill lefs are they the effects of reafoning and reflection; and therefore he is inclined to confider them as the action or impulfion of a vital principle, which is diftinct both · from foul and body.
Senfible, however, of the uncertainty that accompanies the conclufions drawn from thefe obfervations, in favour of his opinion, that the vital principle is a diftinct fubftance, M. BARTHEZ modeftly acknowledges, that poffibly it may be no more than an innate principle, which governs all the complicated motions of which the animal body is fufceptible. The truth is, that the fubject here difcuffed, is beyond the reach of our analytical powers: it is with the vital principle, as it is with the principle of intelligence; they both exift, but their manner of exiftence is unknown to us, and will continue a myftery, until we know not when.
For MAY, 1780.
Art. 17. A Speech delivered at the Westminster Forum, on the 8th of November, 1779. By Maynard Chamb. Walker, of the Inner Temple, Efq. 8vo. 15. Bowen,
HIS Gentleman contends very potently (to ufe one of his fa vourite words) that an union of Great Britain with Ireland, fimilar to that with Scotland, would be injurious to the dignity, and fatal to the freedom of our fifter ifland. He points out the difference of circumftances by which Scotland has been a gainer, and which would probably make Ireland a lofer, by fuch a measure. This he does with great skill of difcrimination; and if ever an union between Great Britain and the latter country fhall be feriously agitated, this little performance comprizes the chief arguments on which the attention of the legislature must be turned. We cannot however accede to Mr. W.'s ideas on the fubje&t of reprefentation, as we apprehend them to be fundamentally erroneous. He thinks that Ire. land, to be free, mut not only be duly but potently reprefented: that is, represented in fuch a manner as to be able to reject what the reprefentatives of that kingdom, in their wisdom, shall think proper. Now, to fill up this modeft Gentleman's idea of an ade quate, or as he calls it a potent reprefentation, Ireland must fend an equal number of reprefentatives with Scotland and England. Nay, on the prefumption that the British members will think wrong, and the Irish members think right, on every question concerning Ireland, the latter country, to fecure her liberties, muft even have a cafting voice in the fenate. If this be our Hibernian orator's idea of an Union, where diftina interefts and diftin& denominations are to be kept up, we with him joy of this political difcovery. England will be as averse to fuch an Union, as Ireland will, probably, be to every other. But does not this Gentleman know, that Scotland is bound by an Act of our parliament in matters relating to Scotland, though every Scotch commoner and every Scotch peer thould vote against it? that the Church herself is legally bound by an Act which every Spiritual Lord may have protefted against? Yet was this ever made a fubject of doubt or complaint? To fuppofe the contrary, is to fuppofe an Union which would be the most egregious folecifm in politics,
One of Mr. Walker's arguments to prove that Ireland cannot be duly reprefented in cafe of an Union, is derived from the remoteness of the feat of government. The merchant, he thinks, will not leave his compting-houfe, nor the lawyer his practice, to attend a diftant parliament; and confequently that in a parliament where thefe claffes of men are not prefent, Ireland will not be duly reprefented: that her trading interefts will be mifunderstood, and her municipal rights mifconftrued and perverted.
This argument is rather plaufible than juft. It is not often found that the most beneficial mercantile regulations originate from merchants, or the most wholfome and conftitutional laws from lawyers,
If we look for the parentage of destructive monopolies, and partial reftriations, which have received the fanction of parliament; thele, indeed, we may refer to commercial men: but at present, in our own House of Commons, we fhall find the merchants who have feats there, are not the guardians of the trading interefts; but rather the independent Gentlemen of fortune who apply their thoughts that way, and are exclufively called the men of bufinefs. The principal parliamentary bufinefs to which our merchants attend, lies in the Contra& way. Does this Anti-unionift apprehend that Ireland would be injured if ber merchants were not led into the like temptation ? As to the neceffity of her fending practifing lawyers to parliament, it is by no means obvious to us. Can no man underfland, or defend the laws of his country but a practifer in the courts of law ? Can no man explain the principles of the Conflitution but an Attorney or Solicitor General? The idea is extravagant. We hardly need remind Mr. Walker of one of the greatest benefactors to his country, who certainly was no lawyer.
Let Ireland tell how Wit upheld her caufe,
And leave on SwIFT this grateful verfe engraved,
So little did Swift love the lawyers, that he was fond of declaring, that they, of all men, feemed leaft to understand the nature of government in general; like under-workmen, who are expert enough at making a fingle wheel in a clock, but are utterly ignorant how to adjust the feveral parts and regulate the movement.
But though we think that the preceding arguments of this young orator are inconclufive, we are far from intimating that his other objections to an union are fo. There is argument as well as eloquence in his display of the probable confequences that would refult to Ireland from this meafure. He is of opinion, that the fciences, and liberal arts, will take their flight with her parliament, and like birds of paffage feek a happier climate. The Nobles, and ellated Gentlemen departed,-Genius would clap her wings, and fly from the deferted land. Not only men of fortune, but men who rely upon their abilities to acquire a fortune, would defert Hibernia, as a place not calculated for their purfuits. Fond of basking in the funhine of power, and deriving animal heat from their vicinity to a court, they would hate to England; and hapless Ireland, once univerfally admired for the eloquence of her orators-the wifdom of her divines the ability of her lawyers-and the bravery of her warriors, -would become at beft the compting-houfe of the merchant, and the thep of the mechanic!'
Art. 18. The Reformer. By an Independent Freeholder. 8vo. 1 s. 6d. Fielding and Walker. 1780.
The errors of Administration, the abufes of office, he waste of public treafure, or the enormous increase of place and penfion lifts, thefe are not the evils of which this reformer complains. He does not appear to be fenfible that any fuch errors or abufes exift. The only political evil again which he exclaims, is-the oppofition maintained against our immaculate Ministry; who, it should teem, in the opinion of this champion of theirs, can do no wrong: confequently,
the Minority are all in the wrong for impeaching their measures. Accordingly, in his rage of reprehenfion, he beknaves and befools, and bedevils them, without mercy.-But moft Readers, we apprehend, will think that there are fome characters, of which he ought' to have been more tender; particularly that of the good and amiable Sir George Saville: against which he brings fome very ill-fupported and frivolous objections.
This writer deals rather in wit than argument, and more in virulence than wit. We must do him the justice, however, to remark, that, in what he ftyles his Plan of Reformation on a wide Scale, he judiciously offers fome hints which deferve to be attended to; particularly his recommendation of an equal land tax, and an equal poor's
Art. 19. Hiftorical and Political Reflections on the Rife and Progrefs of the American Rebellion. In which the Caufes of that Rebellion are pointed out, and the Policy and Neceffity of offering to the Americans a Syftem of Government founded in the Principles of the British Conftitution, are clearly demonftrated. By the Author of Letters to a Nobleman on the Conduct of the American War. 8vo. 3s. Wilkie. 1780.
In these reflections we meet with the fame good fense, and subflantial information, for which we recommended the Letters to a Nobleman.-See Review for Sept. 1779, p. 228. The writer is fuppofed to be Jofeph Galloway, Efq; late a Member of the American Congrefs; and Author, likewife, of a Letter to Lord Howe. See Review for Decem. laft, p. 467. Alfo of Cool Thoughts on the Confequences of American Independence, &c. Rev. Jan. 178. p. 88. The Author's zeal for a folid re-union of the two countries is as laudable as it is warm; and feems to be really founded in his fincere wishes for the permanent welfare and happiness of all parties. Art. 20. The Critic; or Tragedy rehearsed: a new Dramatic Piece in Three Acts; as it is performed by his Majefty's Servants, with the greatest Applaufe. By the Author of the Duenna*. 8vo. 1 s. 6 d. Bladon. 1780.
This political Punchionella fticks as close to the fkirts of Mr. Sheridan, as the little black fellows did to thofe of Trapolin, in the Duke and no Duke. The title of every new piece, produced by the ingenious Manager (and which, for REASONS OF STATE, he keeps unpublished) is inftantly feized by this pilferer, and applied to his own improper ufe: to impofe a ftate-fatire on the Public, under the falfe appearance of a theatrical performance.
Art. 21. A Letter to the People of Ireland. Occafioned by their prefent Hardships and Diftreffes. 8vo. 8vo. I s. Almon. 1779. This tract was published fome months ago, but, we fuppofe, not much advertised in the English papers; by which means it might escape our earlier notice. It was, evidently, intended to 'roufe'.
* For our account of this Author's Duenna, See Rev. Vol. Iv. P. 156.