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of the eighteenth century as if it were productive of nothing good. We must recognize, amid one of the most unlovely periods of our history, a certain burly and thickskinned virtue, which is its peculiar characteristic. It is the ideal of Reynolds, and of Fielding and Smollett. It produces types like Squire Allworthy and the fine old naval captain, who slew with his cutlass the dog which was attacking Roderick Random. It lends a grandeur to the character of Sir Robert Walpole, and it produces a hero in Lord Anson. This great seaman, whose services in reorganizing the navy have scarcely obtained the recognition they deserve, is one of the rare instances of an English hero who was literally a silent man. We know his portrait, as depicted by Reynolds: a proud and massive figure, with a savour of arrogance about the corners of his tight-closed lips, but evidently a man, and a leader of men, to whom the peevish Vernon, whose portrait hangs near him, is manifestly a pigmy to a giant. Even more remarkable is the contrast between Anson and the sailors of Nelson's day, when the Romantic spirit had accomplished its revolution in the national character. It is difficult to imagine what Anson's feelings would have been, had a dying comrade begged him for a kiss, or what he would have made of a Cochrane, or even a Troubridge. One of the most moving incidents in the annals of British seamanship tells how this iron man's imperturbability was broken down for a few moments, when he saw his ship, which he had deemed lost, returning to the island, on which he and his men had been left stranded. He " threw down his axe, with which he was then at work, and by his joy broke through, for the first time, the equable and unvaried character which he had hitherto preserved."
The supreme product of what we may call the unromantic ideal, is presented in the character of Dr. Johnson. Of him, at least, we can say that he could have
been born nowhere but in England, and into no age but the eighteenth century. With an independence that expressed itself in rudeness, and a hatred of shams that often degenerated into intolerance; devout without ecstasy, and a scholar without abstraction; above all, endowed with a bluff and fearless wit, that could hit hard without leaving a wound, he was at once the acknowledged leader of the nation's intellect, and the mouthpiece of its common sense. He could stand up for liberty in the concrete, but for theories of liberty in the abstract he had no use. It was his idea, as it was Goldsmith's, that there was more real freedom to be obtained under a strong monarchy, than under any new-fangled system of Whig government. So, too, with his patriotism. There has never been a man more intensely and narrowly patriotic than he, who said, half seriously, that all foreigners were fools, and who could hardly be brought to look upon a Scot as a man and a brother. And yet, for the professed exponents of patriotism, he had a hearty contempt. Patriotism," he once said, "is the last refuge of a scoundrel." He enlarges upon this point of view in a pamphlet in 1774, and sums up his whole case in a quotation from Milton:
"They bawl for freedom in their senseless mood, And still revolt when truth would set them free. Licence they mean when they cry 'Liberty';
For who loves that, must first be wise and good." A patriot he defines as one "whose public conduct is regulated by one single motive-the love of his country," and he holds that "no other man will protect our rights, no other man can merit our confidence." He is "always ready to countenance the just claims, and to animate the reasonable hopes of the people"; he reminds them frequently of their rights, and stimulates them to "resent encroachments and to multiply securities." Thus Johnson is ready to come into line with the other sup
porters of freedom, but it is to be freedom from some definite grievance-no Utopian dream of Rousseau, or Wilkite democracy. He was averse to tampering with the Constitution, and dryly remarked that a man might hate his king, and yet not love his country. Most of the patriot heroics of the Opposition he despised as factious and hypocritical. He was especially averse from the sense of national honour that greatly finds quarrel in a straw. But this does not prevent him from holding that "He that wishes to see his country robbed of its rights cannot be a patriot."
Johnson's greatness consists in the fact that he was the noblest embodiment of his age. He stood for everything that the Romantic spirit, already articulate in Chatham, aspired to destroy. This lends a dignity and value even to his most brutal and wrong-hearted pronouncements, his criticism of Gray, for instance, and of Milton's "Lycidas." His attacks were not the result of ignorance or caprice, but of a clear philosophy; they were the philippics of the old age against the new. And perhaps there is more to be said for the Johnsonian point of view than we are apt to realize. We know how much was hidden from him; he could not understand the white heat of the soul, the fine frenzy that inspires all great art; he had no wings, and he did not even aspire to soar. But he possessed that discipline in which the Romantic spirit was so sadly lacking; the strong moral fibre and gravity of soul, without which even genius is but a fragile and powerless thing. Supreme and flawless merit will have all of Shelley, but also something of Johnson; and the nation that would be perfect needs not only the sacred fire, but the iron, which God hath commanded to grow in the breasts of
MATERIALISM AND JEREMIADS
ULLY to understand these tendencies, we must look to the philosophy of the time, and we must go back for some years before the final establishment of Whig ascendancy. The rationalism, which Selden had planted and Hobbes watered, had now become a mighty growth, overshadowing the whole land. The intellectual monarch of the Prose Age was, by the general assent of contemporaries, John Locke. Even Chatham, his antithesis as regards temperament, paid him homage, and he was the father of the French enlightenment."
We have already seen something of his political doctrine, and we shall find that in philosophy, too, he is the representative of the true Whig aversion from pushing doctrines to their logical consequences. He sets philosophy on the inclined plane leading to materialism, but he discreetly blinks his eyes to what he is really about. His elaborate distinction between the primary and secondary qualities of objects is as frank a compromise as the Bill of Rights. Then, again, his division of ideas into those caused by sensation, and those caused by reflection, is obviously but a temporary halting-place on the road to a philosophy of pure sensation. Of reflection he says, Though it be not sense . . . it is very like it, and might properly enough be called internal sense." Certain it is that Locke's system was the source from which sprang
that of the French " philosophes," of Condillac and Diderot, which was summed up by De Tracy in the phrase "To think is to feel."
The effect of Locke's teaching, cautious and experimental to the last degree, was to throw cold water upon all emotion and enthusiasm, and thus upon patriotism. For cold thinkers tend inevitably to become cosmopolitans; humanity is an object, which every one can find reasons for loving, and which hardly any one can really love. She is a goddess who lends herself to discussion in ethical societies; but for one's country one can join in a swinging chorus, or a forlorn hope. To these eighteenth-century thinkers "enthusiasm" was a term of contempt. It is, of course, denied that the word had the same meaning then, as now; Shaftesbury distinguishes it from true inspiration ; but practically it comes to include most forms of vivid emotion.
In Locke, we find that the sole criterion of truth is He believes in a God, whose existence he holds to be a matter of mathematical certainty. Now such a God as Locke's might as well not exist at all; he "has given us no innate ideas of himself, has stamped no original characters on our minds, wherein we may read his being." We may ascertain his existence by sense, perception and reason." He is thus a cold God, a God of the brain, in fact a dead God.
This prepares us for the chapter on enthusiasm. Locke, having reasoned for himself a God, is bound to admit the possibility of a revelation; but, true to his temperament, he insists that every revelation shall find its sanction in the brain; unless it can give rational proof of its divinity it is merely enthusiasm. Thus the unprovable and subtle insight of poet and seer, the direct spiritual perception, is ruled out by Locke, who paves the way for the complete triumph of reason, by the destruction of innate ideas. This does not prove him wrong; probably