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sssiis-Br . i . 11 . . . . 1 .. . . ¦ ' ¦ . . . -.- . ' . ¦¦' .. - ¦ . - ¦ , . ¦ happiest person in tie world . I did riot hope for so happy a conclusion , for—I do not wish to conceal anything from you- ^—I am- ^ -I am fifty-three / ' Well > then / said Hron , with a sUght shrug * * ¦ we have over a hundred years between us . We would" have done well to have met sooner / " ' Poor Piron ! lie closed his life of wit and debauchery by a not un-COin inon end i- — , -, « . - ¦ ¦ " He turned devotee ! As a first sacrifice- ^ -I ; will not say to God , but to his confessor-r-he burnt a- Bible , the margins of the pages of which he had enlivened with lamentations and epigrams in his peculiar style . He then set himself to
translating the Psalms and writing odes on the Last Judgment . / He said in relation to this , 'It is better to preach from the ladder of the gallows than not to preach at all / This edifying old age opened the doors of the religious world to him ; he was even received by the Archbishop of Paris ; but the archbishop was not thereby secure against the epigrams of the poet . One day , in presence of a large company , the Archbishop said to him , with a nonchalance which betrayed some little vanity , ' Well , Piron , have you read my charge ?* * No , monsieur ; have you V" ; ' . ,
SAMUEL BAILEYS DISCOURSES . Discourses 6 tt Various Subjects ; Bead before Literary and Philosophical Societies By Samuel Bailey . - Longman and Co . " Bailey of Sheffield" is a name grateful to the ears of all thinkera , and peculiarly grateful to the ears of the present writer , from its associatidns with the Essays on the Formation and Publication of O p inions , which charmed his youth : a volume of Discourses , therefore , bearing that signature , cannot be othter than acceptable . "We have read it with great pleasure . To induce you to do the same , let a brief indication of its contents suffice . The opening discourse ^ on the " Mutual Relations of the Sciences , " is somewhat traditional and commonplace . It is a grand subject ; but when
this discourse was written ( 1820 ) Mr . Bailey had not fairly grasped it . The second discourse , on the ^ Mammoth / ' is interesting . The third , on the" Changes which have taken place inthe English Language , " is both interesting and valuable , and should be carefuflhr read by all whose ^ inquiries are directed that way . The fourth is on the '' Science of Political Economy ; " the fifth , on the " Bfefprmation 6 i the Calendar in England ;" the sixth , on the "GeneraiPrinciples of Physical Investigation " - ^ a ; suggestive and lumihous discourse qjx Method ; the seventh ^ oh the " Mechanical Causes of ^ Thunder ] " an irigeiiious exposition ; the eighth , on the " Paradoxes of Vision ; " and the last , on " Wit . " ¦ " ¦ ¦;¦ - ' N It will be seen that the topics are various ; various the merit of these
essays . ; Our favourites are the essays on Language , Method , v ision , and Wit ; and we select that on Vision for an extract , because it touches on a subject of universal interest . The two paradoxes of vision discussed by Mr . Bailey are—I . We have inverted images on the retina , nevertheless we see ; things erect . II . With two eyes we see but one image . The former of these paradoxes Wewill , with Mr . Bailey ' s aid , clear uj * . That the image of every object is . painted on the retina in an invented position is an incontestable fact . Kepler long ago demonstrated how , from the laws of optics , it could not be otherwise . Yet that we do not
see objects inverted is certain ; and . this comes about has greatly puzzled philosophers . Before quoting the very satisfactory solution offered by Mr . Bailey , we may ask permission to transcribe here a note found among our metaphysical memoranda , written years ago , which , crudely enough , expresses an opinion substantially similar to that held by Mr . Bailey ?* " The quesion is an absurd one ; belongs to the metaphysical . will-o-wisps . To ask why we see . erect objects by means of inverted images is to ask for a solution of all psychological problems . As well ask why sugar tastes sweet—it is not sweet ; why fire burns and gives pain to any finger , but only burns , and does not give pain to my stick . The retina is not the final stage of vision—the retina does not see . If erect objects affect us through inverted images let the fact be noted . To ask the ' why
is'AspoparSt itat ireptQpovui top rj \ tov , and ought to be left to metaphysicians . " This crude note , with its scorn of " air galloping and questioning the sun , " such as metaphysicians delight in , would not be accepted as an answer , by any of those philosophers who had puzzled themselves with the paradox it so summarily dismisses ; and we are glad , therefore , to be able to quote the following luminous and , as- we think , convincing argument : —
" The fundamental position on which the true explanation rests is , that the picture of on external objqct formed on the retina is not : seen . There can be no doubt , that , whenever we see the object , a picture of it . must bo painted on the retina ; but that picture is itself invisible to the eye in which it is formed . We boo the object , not the picture ; and the presence of the latter in our own eyes can J > o nothing to each of us but a matter of inference . Myriads of the human race have lived and died without the faintest suspici on of their organs of vision being the constant theatre of such phenomena . The
" bearing of those facts on the question before us is obvious . If they do not , accuratol y speaking , solve the paradox , they dispel it . For what is there of a paradoxical character remaining P If wo do not soo the picture on the retina—if wo aro never conscious of the prcsonco in our eyes of inverted or indeed of any other images , —what paradox is lof lx ^ plox the simplost mind ? "Thq supposed difficulty was , ' How is it that we see the object upright when ine imago i » inverted P' and wd may now turn round on the questioner and ask , wijy should the position of an imago which is not soon , which is not present to om- consciousness , regulate the appnront position of tho external object which w Jl e ™* ffifflcnlty is thoro to bo explained in tho fucfc that our perception of jno position of ah external object is not affected by tho position of an invisible imago r . . ¦'¦ ¦'
hiw » i ! "" ' llowovor , been maintained by eminent philosophers , or , what is the « mw things a has boon implicitly assumed in their orguwonts , that , wo do actually » w tno images on tho retina .. Not to mention Iohb eminent writers , Pr . Thomas wown may be named as one wjwso mind was evidently jmbued with thienotion , tor it is continually implio 4 in We roasoningB and Janguago .
"Now , for the sake of argument , let us for the present grant the position of the philosophers referred to , and mark what follows . It will be easy , I think , to show that precisel y the same results in point of perception must ensue . If we actually saw the pictures on the retina , instead of seeing , as we do , the external objects which theyrepresent , we could not see a single point or line in any other position than that in which it , actually appears . Nothing in any of those pictures could possibly be perceived as inverted . ' :. ¦ -.. " " This must be apparent to every one who reflects that seeing an object inverted implies seeing it altered in its relative position to something else : but every object in the picture retains its relative place . If it is the figure of a man , for example , in a standing posture , which is there depicted , the feet will appear nearest the ground and the head nearest the sky . Thus * as every point in the picture must
preserve its relative , situation to every other point , the whole field of vision can contain no one thing in comparison with which any other thing jean appear inverted ; and nothing except what is in the field of vision can be concerned in the comparison . This may be illustrated by the position of the building in which we are assembled , at two different hours , as midday and midnight . At midday it is in one position in absolute space , or in reference to any fixed point ; at midnight i ts position is completely inverted ; but as there is nothing to be seen in reference to which it is inverted , it cannot appear so to us . On a first view , it seems incredible that this conclusion should have escaped any of the philosophers who have speculated on the subject . But , I think , we may perceive the source of their error and perplexity * They have tacitly-assumed that the spectator is , in some wayor other , cognizant of both the' image and the object .
" Not , indeed , that they have consistentl y held to this duality of perception . They have sometimes spoken as if they considered the object alone to be visible , and sometimes the picture alone ; but more frequently as if they . conceived the eye to have the power of passing and repassing from one to the other , or of taking simultaneous cognizance of both , so as to bring them into comparison . ' Prom this unsteadiness and confusion of ideas , the paradox appears to have sprung . In order to see your way out of it you have only to avoid combining incompatible conditions . So long as you suppose that both the external object and the internal image are in the field of vision at the same time , or in close succession , or come and go by fits , and can be recognised by the eye as inverted in relation to each other , you'inay be perplexed to discover why the external object should appear upright , rather than the contrary j but keep constantly to one supposition , and you will be extricated from your perplexity . "
BOOKS ON OUR TABLE . A School Atlas of'General and Descriptive Geography . Exhibiting 1 the Actual and Comparative Extent of- all the Countries in the 3 Vorld , with their present political divisions , founded on themost recent discoveries and rectifications . By Alexander Keith Johnston . _ W . Blaclcwood and Sons A School Atlas of Physical Geography . Illustrating , i n a series of Original Designs , the Elementary Facts of Geology , Hydrology , Meteorology , and Natural History . By Alexander Keith Johnston . W . Blackwood and Sons . A CAREFtrii inspection of these Maps has gi ven us a very high opinion of their utility , as the most cursory inspection will give of their elegance . The greatest pains have been talcen with making them easy of reference—and that to young students is perhaps of less importance than to our grown readers , whom we may induce to place these Maps upon their shelves . For ordinary purposes they seem to us as perfect as need be ; we leave to teachers the task of appreciating them as schoo l Maps . The plates are exquisitely engraved , and the colouring throws each portion into a striking and agreeable relief : the simple plan of uniformly distinguishing water from land by i ts bright blue colour greatl y facilitates the use of the Maps . The Index contains every name on every map . The Physical Atlas is an extremely interesting and valuable work , and has not the same rivalry to contend with as the Geographical Atlas . Students of Natural History will find it a great acquisition : especially tho four last maps , which display the distribution of Vege « table Life , of Animal Life , of Races of Men , and of Religions . A mero glance at these distributions will impress his mind with a sense of tho intimate correlation of organic life with physical conditions ; while a survey of the whole must suggest to him a variety of now ideas on this great subject .
The faster " Engineers and their WorJwnen . Three Lectures . By J . M . Ludlow , Barrister . J . J . Bozer , Fleet-street . We would have noticed these admirable Lectures earlier , if possible , on account of their reference to the present contest between the Engineers and the Employed . Mr . Ludlow has compressed into these Addresses a very useful statement of the Political Economy , and , what is of scarcely less commercial consequence , tho Morality , involved in this important struggle It is not possible for many persons to have followed this discussion through tho tedious and tortuous comments bestowed upon it by the daily press . To such as may not have pursued this controversy—to such as may not have succeeded in getting at tho real and practical
points in dispute , these pages will be invaluable . Mr . Ludlow states tho case with great scrupulousness , and is in all respects a trustworthy and well-informed authority , and tho publication of these Lectures is as useful as it is timely . Seldom has the difficult office of mediatorial advocacy between contending parties been assumed more judiciously , and conducted moro dispassionately . Tho Workmen may consult these pages for instruction and guidance , and tho Masters for information , which neither party will find olsowhoro so succinctly rendered . It i » right also to say , that Mr . Ludlow is not a partisan , any moro than his colleague , Mr . Vansittnrt Nealo , who preceded him in an able contribution to the polemics of this contest .
Hearts and Altars . By Robert Boll . Author of " Tho Ladder of Gold , " &o . 8 vola , " Colburn and Co . Robert Beia has a cultivated talent . The liberal gifts of Nature havo boon libera ll y used , and trainod into varied and successful activity . To considerable knowledge of books and olworvation of life , ho brings tho graceu of a pleasant and picturesque stylo , ho that his stories liavo tho twofold advantage of satisfying tho fastidious while delighting tho novol roador . The three volumes now lying before us aro composed of Btorioa which havo alroady appeared olacwhoro ; » omo of them wore noticed by us on thoir first appearance ; wo cannot / therefore , ( with sip many books claiming notice at our hands , ) do moro than announce the publication , an | d recommend tho lovers of . psychological fiction to tho strange story of Phantoms awl Realities , and the lovora of Scottjiko romance to the Armourer ofMwmtier .
MABCg ^ Q , 1852 , 3 .,. T . « . E ^ .. X . RA : PE -R . . . '¦ ' ' -, $ 1 &
Leader (1850-1860), March 20, 1852, page 279, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1927/page/19/