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instead of being cultivated and strengthened, is only dwarfed and weakened, and he feels no disposition to mark out any subject for himself, that he may penetrate it to its very depths. Take another view. The young man has, we will suppose, really mastered, so far as he has gone, everything considered requisite for his accomplishment. What is the consequence! He mixes with society, and finds that, in point of intellectual attainment, he is the equal, perhaps, in many things, the superior of others. He rests satisfied with this fancied superiority; and making no attempt to give himself that second education which, as Bulwer Lytton truly observes, is the more important of the two to the development and strengthening of the intellect, and formation of the character as a man, determines to be, as his preceptors say he is, finished. Again: the youthful student who has set out with a determination to be great, if perseverance be the essential requisite to success, finds, ere he has well begun to run the race, so many paths opening out before him, each fascinating and alluring his buoyant and eager spirit, that he is in perplexity which to choose to reach the goal; and in attempting to traverse them all, wastes his energies, overtasks his strength, and fails to win the laurels. We
e are not here advocating the study of one subject, or culture of one faculty entirely, to the exclusion of everything else. It is, we are well aware, absolutely necessary to obtain some knowledge of several sciences, to the proper appreciation and successful mastery of one, so closely are they linked together; but what we do insist upon is, that the man who would, in this day especially, be truly great, must pursue one subject alone, and make all his previously acquired knowledge subservient to it. A man cannot be great at many things, and seldom at more than one.
Michael Angelo, Cellini, Raphael, Rembrandt, Guido, and Hogarth, Vandyke and Reynolds, Turner and Wilkie, would, we feel convinced, never have attained the eminence they did, as sculptors and painters ; nor Handel and Mozart, Mendelsohn and Beethoven, as musical com. posers; Herschel and Leverrier, as astronomers, have attained such distinguished honours, if they had, instead of pursuing one subject almost exclusively, attempted to master several, and endeavoured to become great in each. The question, in fact, is something akin to that so ably debated in the last volume of the British Controversialist, on intellectual progress, as fostered or retarded by a multiplicity of periodicals; and similar arguments may, we think, be brought to bear with effect upon it. As the mind is saturated and bewildered by the numerous books and articles hastily scanned, instead of being fertilized and strengthened by the few carefully read and well-digested, so it is with the various branches of science it loosely grapples with, but makes no attempt to master.
Lastly, it is much more difficult to attain a position of eminence, or, in other words, to be accounted great now, than it was in bygone ages;
for more needs to be done to attain greatness than formerly. Though it be true that the great men of former ages were absolutely as great as the great men of our day, it is also true that a man who is now looked upon as passable, or it may be as somewhat inferior in point of intellectual ability to the generality of his neighbours, would in former days, previous to the spread of education, have been looked upon by the " gaping rustics round" as a great man; and therefore to attain a position of eminence now, the labour is trebled or quadrupled; while, at the sa time, no new powers have been conferred upon the intellect, its faculties being incapable of any further extension or development, than was exhibited by the master-minds of antiquity, there being, at least, no evidence to the contrary. The student, therefore, is, in the generality of instances, worn out by the time he has attained the level of his fellows; and setting aside the numerous attractions to wean from further pursuing the paths of science, he has neither inclination nor capability in himself to prosecute the work with vigour.
We would not, however, be understood as depreciating the merits of the age, or of ignoring the benefits arising to the masses from a state of general intellectual aulture ; nor do we think the argument fairly admits of such an interpretation. We believe that it is much better that knowledge, however small in degree, should be conferred on the many, and not, as formerly, possessed by the few; but we at the same time strenuously maintain, for the reasons given above, that this age of intellectual culture will not be conducive to the development of great men.
NEGATIVE ARTICLE.II. The appearance of the debate on this subject in the pages of the British Controversialist is a phenomenon worthy of the notice of all thoughtful men. It is strange that in an age like the present, which claims pre-eminence in general intelligence over all preceding ages, and in a periodical which has now for nearly fourteen years been distinguished by the liberality of its principles, and the broadness of its sympathies, there should be found writers of ability boldly maintaining that an age of general intellectual culture is unfavourable to the development of great men. If this be so, for what have philosophers, philanthropists, and educationalists, so long studied and laboured? Is it that human nature might become dwarfed, and mediocrity be our only attainable standard! Surely such a result as this could never have flitted before their minds, even in their dreams; and we cannot believe that it will be allowed to follow as a deadly curse upon their noblest efforts.
The remark with which * Touchstone,” the affirmative writer, opens his article, on page 25, is the key-note to his whole performance : "Greatness is, of course, a relative term ;" but if we admit this, we must remind our friend that it has a very positive meaning; and nothing that is absolutely small, mean, or ignoble, can, under any circumstances, properly have greatness attributed to it.
It may assist us, at this stage of our inquiry, to ask, What is meant by the term “great men P” and in what their greatness consists ?
Men who are distinguished by the amount of their wealth, or the exaltedness of their social position, are sometimes designated great ; but surely it cannot be to such that our question relates ; but if it does, the millionaires and autocrats of the present day throw into the shade “ Touchstone's" " notables" of the past.
By “great men” may be meant men distinguished by the massiveness of their learning, the profundity of their knowledge, or the extent of their abilities ; but surely it cannot be maintained that an age of general intellectual culture is unfavourable to the development of such men as these. That which fosters intellectual culture in the multitude cannot impede it in the few,
There is another class of men to whom the term great may be applied—and this by the common consent of mankind-I mean those mighty geniuses who occasionally cross our horizon with comet-like splendour, gaining the attention and admiration of all. These men no age can be said to develop; they are God's nobility, who come to us fresh from the hand of their Creator, to dazzle us with their brilliancy, and awe by their amazing powers. If an age of general intelligence is not favourable to the development of such men, surely an age of ignorance or barbarism cannot be !
There is yet another order of men to whom the term great may certainly be applied, because they excel in the worth of the moral 'characters, and in the extent and purity of their christian and phi. lanthropic zeal. None of our readers will, we feel sure, dispute the honour we claim for these moral heroes, because thoughtful men have ever been the first to do them homage. Sir William Jones has well said,—“If I am asked who is the greatest man ? I answer, the best ; and if I am required to say who is the best! I reply, that he who has deserved most at his fellow-creatures. Whether we deserve better of mankind by the cultivation of letters, by obscure and inglorious attainments, by intellectual pursuits calculated rather to amuse than inform, than by strenuous exertions in speak. ing and acting, let those consider who bury themselves in studies unproductive of any benefit to their country or fellow-citizens. I think not”-and so think we. That an age like our own is unfavourable to the production of such men, few will assert.
The question may, however, again present itself, How is it that so few men in modern time attain to the apparent greatness of some of the ancients? The remarks of our friend "Raphael" suggest the only correct answer, in which he says,—"The respect which real merit at all times commands, is raised by antiquity into veneration, and the faults and shortcomings which qualify the esteem of contemporaries are suffered to sink into oblivion, and form no, or at least a very slightly esteemed, element in the judgment of posterity." It has been ever thus, for as Campbell has declared,
“ 'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view."
But there is another circumstance which is worthy of consideration. There are certain states of the atmosphere which always alter our estimate of the size of objects. How much larger, for instance, the sun appears when rising or setting in a fog, than when he has attained his meridian splendour in a clear blue sky: It is even 80 with our great men; in an age of darkness their light appears unusually brilliant, and among a race of dwarfs, any tall fellow looks of gigantic proportions. Milton well understood this when he said,
“Our greatness will appear
Through labour'd endurance." There is only one other reason in favour of the negative of this question which we will state, or, rather, re-state, as “ Raphael" has mentioned it in his excellent anticipatory article; and it is this,if any condition of society is more favourable to the development of great men than a condition of general intellectual culture, seeing that all other conditions may be found in various parts of the globe, even to real barbarism and very cannibalism, how is it that our friends on the opposite side do not fix upon some country in which that proportion of ignorance and intelligence exists which is preeminently favourable to the development of greatness, and cite the men of that country as unanswerable evidences of the correctness of their viens? But as the debate is yet in its early stages, perhaps they will do this before it is brought to a close; and, in the meantime, we shall with great interest for this wait and watch.
J. M. S.
History. IS THE CHARACTER OF IGNATIUS LOYOLA WORTHY
OF ADMIRATION AND RESPECT?
AFFIRMATIVE ARTICLE.-II. “CANONIZATION shuts the door against authentic history," says a modern writer. To an assertion so sweeping we may with reason demur ; but yet it is true that great difficulty lies in the way of obtaining reliable materials for an impartial estimate of the character and labours either of a reputed saint, or of a pre-eminently bad man. And if this be the case with regard to an average saint (no disrespect to any one in particular being meant), how much more will it not apply to the heroic man who, either personally and by his disciples, led such a reaction of opinion, as not only stayed the floodtide of nominal Protestantism, but rolled it backwards from the countries it had submerged ?
On the one side we find extravagant and unreasonable eulogies ; and on the other side abuse, almost as extravagant and unreasonable. To those of his own creed, and to the followers of his system, Ignatius Loyola shines as a star, his glory eclipsing many of the real saints of old ; and to Protestants, more especially to those of his own time, he seems an emissary of Satan, sent forth specially to hinder the holy work of the purifying of God's temple.
At this distance of time, and especially in a magazine like the British Controversialist, devoted to free thought, we should be able, impartially and candidly, to discuss the character and estimate the works of this great man, free from those prejudices born in our fathers, by fears of Jesuitism, often just and reasonable, but such as can in modern days only linger in the minds of those poor souls who are afraid to air their theology or their faith, lest too rude a breath might cause its gossamery film to disappear,—who tremble at inquiry, and shudder at debate.
We premise that we do not intend to treat of Loyala’s Institution, "The Company of Jesus," any further than is strictly needful for the discussion of our thesis, and the establishment of our opinions, “ That the ch cter of Loyola is worthy of admiration and respect."
And this for two reasons. I. Because, as will be shown, Loyola's associates in the foundation of the Company, and his immediate successors in its chief councils, had a very large share, not only in the development of its peculiar principles, but in the determination of the practical bearing of the same. II. Because a man's character and aim may be, and often is, a matter distinct from the ultimate beneficence (or the reverse) of his work.
We are aware that the latter proposition may be disputed, but we cannot now stay to defend it. Our object in penning this paragraph is to disabúse (if needful) our readers or opponents of any idea that, in defending the character of Loyola, we for a moment approved of Jesuitism. Shades of honesty and free discussion, forbid !
Permit us to occupy your attention for a few moments with a summary of the main points in Loyola's life, which we have endea. voured to pen as correctly and impartially as possible.
Loyola was born in 1491, in Spain, of noble parents ; thus in an age and in a country pre-eminentĪy favourable to aristocratic notions of the importance and distinction conferred by blue blood. He became court page to Ferdinand and Isabella, and afterwards courtier and soldier, distinguished among his many companions and rivals (so we are told) only by sobriety of demeanour, truthful. ness, sagacity in apprehending other men's minds, and tact in bend. ing them to his service, similar to that so wonderfully displayed in later years. Of literary accomplishments he had 'none, and his knowledge of literature consisted only of knightly romances, saints' lives, and the gospels, probably through the medium of a fiction book.
We can easily imagine what day-dreams of honour, love, and renown fitted through the brain of this young Spanish noble, brave