Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 360, October 1845   By:

Book cover

First Page:

BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. CCCLX. OCTOBER, 1845. Vol. LVIII.

CONTENTS.

Montesquieu, 389 A Reminiscence of Boyhood. By Delta, 408 De Burtin on Pictures, 413 Manner and Matter, 431 Marston; or, the Memoirs of a Statesman. Conclusion. 439 How we Got Up the Glenmutchkin Railway, 453 The Science of Languages. Kavanagh, 467 Scrambles in Monmouthshire, 474 Neapolitan Sketches, 486 A Meditation, 494 On the Old Year, 495 Corali, ib. Biographical Sketch of Frank Abney Hastings, 496

EDINBURGH: WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, 45, GEORGE STREET; AND 37, PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.

To whom all Communications (post paid) must be addressed .

SOLD BY ALL THE BOOKSELLERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE AND HUGHES, EDINBURGH.

BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. CCCLX. OCTOBER, 1845. Vol. LVIII.

MONTESQUIEU.

Montesquieu is beyond all doubt the founder of the philosophy of history. In many of its most important branches, he has carried it to a degree of perfection which has never since been surpassed. He first looked on human affairs with the eye of philosophic observation; he first sought to discover the lasting causes which influence the fate of mankind; he first traced the general laws which in every age determine the rise or decline of nations. Some of his conclusions were hasty; many of his analogies fanciful; but he first turned the human mind in that direction. It is by repeatedly deviating into error that it can alone be discovered where truth really lies: there is an alchemy in the moral, not less than in the material world, in which a vast amount of genius must be lost before it is discovered that it has taken the wrong direction. But in Montesquieu, besides such occasional and unavoidable aberrations, there is an invaluable treasure of profound views and original thought of luminous observation and deep reflection of philosophic observation and just generalization. His fame has been long established; it has become European; his sayings are quoted and repeated from one end of the world to the other; but to the greater part of English readers, his greatness is known rather from the distant echo of continental fame, than from any practical acquaintance with the writings from which it has arisen.

Though Montesquieu, however, is the father of the philosophy of history, it is due to Tacitus and Machiavel to say, that he is not the author of political thought. In the first of these writers is to be found the most profound observations on the working of the human mind, whether in individuals or bodies of men, that ever were formed by human sagacity: in the latter, a series of remarks on Roman history, and the corresponding events in the republics of modern Italy, which, in point of deep political wisdom and penetration, never were surpassed. Lord Bacon, too, had in his Essays put forth may maxims of political truth, with that profound sagacity and unerring wisdom by which his thoughts were so preeminently distinguished. But still these men, great as they were, and much as they added to the materials of the philosophy of history, can hardly be said to have mastered that philosophy itself. It was not their object to do so; it did not belong to the age in which they lived to make any such attempt. They gave incomparable observations upon detached points in human annals, but they did not take a general view of their tendency. They did not consider whence the world had come, or whither it was going. They formed no connected system in regard to the march of human events... Continue reading book >>


Book sections



eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books