Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

CONTBIBUTIONS TO EARLY NUMBERS OF "MIND ". 331

Exception had to be taken to the author's endeavour to bring self-regard and regard to others under one principle, and to reconcile the miseries of mankind with some principle of moral order. For my own part, I could not then see, and I do not now see, any foundation for the restraints imposed upon mankind by ethical sanctions, other than the appeal to universal suffrage. The individual voter may derive his opinion from venerated authorities, or in any other way that he pleases; but his vote, going along with the collective suffrage of mankind, cannot be transcended by any possible contrivance.

Before the publication of the article, I had written privately to Mr. Sidgwick expressing my admiration of his work and indicating the main objections adduced in the article. I had the following note from him in reply:—

"trinity College, Cambridge, 4th March.

"dear Professor Bain,

"I did not mean to be so long before answering your kind letter about my book. It gave me more pleasure than any other which I received. There is no one living to whom I owe more instruction in philosophy than I do to you: and that you should be able to speak so favourably of my work—with whatever allowance for the per contra which your kindness did not allow you to put down—seems to me as much 'success' as I ever desired. Whatever notice you may find it convenient to give to any part of my work in the new edition of your ethical [treatise] will be extremely interesting to me: indeed I shall wait for your new edition as an occasion for reviewing the whole subject.

"I had some idea of writing to you on the points which you notice as disagreeing with my views : indeed this is why my answer has been so long delayed. But on the whole I have determined not to do so at present. The chief personal advantage that I have hoped from the publication of my views, is the possibility of getting a step further, if I can only get what I have written well criticized. So I will not impair this advantage by identifying myself too much with anything that I have expressed. It represents the best conclusion I could come to at the time : but I shall be glad to turn to it again after a few months, when I have got whatever criticism I can get on it, and consider the matter again with a perfectly unbiassed judgment.

"The parts of my book that I find most objected to are the chapters on Pleasure and Desire and the concluding section. The latter I wrote at the very last moment in a fit of candour. I felt it was out of harmony with the rest of the book: and perhaps it would have been better not to have written it : but I was reluctant to appear before the world with the air of having effected a more complete synthesis than I knew myself to have done. As regards Pleasure and Desire, it is an old hobby of mine to rehabilitate Butler: but now that I find I can persuade no one I begin to suspect my arguments. I shall take occasion to reconsider the matter when your new edition comes out: I do not promise not to be converted, but if I am not, I will try and defend my position further in Mind. "Believe me,

"Yours very truly,

"henry Sidgwick."

I had prepared, before the close of the College session, two notices to appear in the July number of Mind.

The first of these (p. 393) was a review of P. Proctor Alexander on Moral Causation.

The work was occasioned by the portion of Mill's Hamilton that dealt with the Free Will controversy. Mr. Alexander had attacked Mill's handling, and had drawn

[graphic]

FURTHER CONTRIBUTIONS TO "MIND ". 333

forth a reply in the third edition of the Hamilton. To this reply he gave a rejoinder, and complained that, in Mill's fourth edition, it was ignored. The chief stress of my article lay in noticing the iuappropriateness of the phraseology that even Mill indulged in, when ciiticizing Hamilton. Next in importance were the strictures called forth by mixing Free Will and Necessity with the theory of punishment,— which in every aspect needed to be kept completely apart.

The other note (pp. 429-431) was a discussion on the very vexed question of the gratification arising from the infliction of pain. It was occasioned by a note by Mr. Sully in the April number (p. 285), and went over all the different modes of resolving the pleasure—the feeling of power, the riddance from fear, and a species of sensual enjoyment not resolvable into either. It was a step in the investigation of the problem, and the conclusions arrived at were subsequently reviewed and modified, more especially in the controversy with Mr. Bradley {Mind, vol. viii., pp. 415 and 562). The positions there maintained were reproduced for literary applications in the re-modelled Rhetoric (Part II., "Emotional Qualities of Style," p. 77).

Leaving Aberdeen on the last day of the session, my wife and I went direct to London, and thence to Paris en route for Italy ; the object being to see Rome and Naples before the heat of midsummer. We arrived at Rome on the 10th April, and, on the 20th, left for Naples,—of course, visiting Pompeii and Vesuvius, as well as the interesting objects in Naples itself, including the Museum, which was enriched by objects taken from Pompeii and the Solfatara,—this, although on a small scale, being our closest view of volcanic action. We also achieved an excursion to Paestum. After a week at Naples, we returned to Rome and spent another week in making the round of objects of interest. An excursion to Trefontana, the place of martyrdom of St. Paul, involving a long exposure in an open vehicle after sunset (one of the things especially forbidden), may have been the occasion of an attack of Roman fever, which my wife experienced before leaving Rome, and which seemed to leave permanent bad consequences. We made the return by Florence, Milan, and Turin; from whence, we went, through France, to Paris. At Paris, I called on M. Ribot, who had started the Revue Philosophique at the same time as Mind. We then proceeded to London, where my wife had an attack of jaundice, which seemed to have supervened upon the Roman fever. Before leaving London, I paid a visit to Grant Duff at Knebworth, which he had rented from Lord Lytton—an interesting house in various ways. Leaving London on the 22nd June, we made our way home, in the beginning of July. I had an application from the Edinburgh School Board to examine the High School in the various branches

[graphic]

TRAVELLING ABROAD. 335

of English, and stayed with Dr. Donaldson for the purpose. Before the commencement of the session, I had to go to Edinburgh to give evidence at the Universities Commission.

During Summer and Autumn, the James Mill Biography was pushed forward—chiefly by the help of letters and documents supplied by Harriet Mill, whom I visited while in London. The second instalment came out in the October number of Mind, and was my only contribution to that number. I continued working at the subject, and gave the final article to the October number of the following year. These three articles became the basis of the complete biography, as published in January, 1882.

Three interesting documents bearing upon the publication of Mind were received from Helmholtz, Ribot, and M. P. W. Boulton.

In the course of this year, a commencement was made in the preparation of my volume on Education, in the International Scientific Series. The first portion that saw the light was given in the January number of Mind for 1877. It was entitled "Education as a Science," and corresponded to the introductory chapter of the volume itself.

Winter Session, 1876-77, and Recess following.

My chief occupation for the year 1877 was the work on Education and the finishing of the James

« AnteriorContinuar »