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too great in the cause of science, A man of these attainments, &n hour after he would make character, age, tempor, and popreparations for a new series of sition is not the one from whom experiments.
we should anticipato deliberate We may say that the man had suicide. two brides, his wife and his science. Religion would claim that the act A more coldly intellectual man, on was a wicked one, unless, indeed, the passing away of a wife who had according to science it were proved been ailing so long, and had to have been a crazed one. The hindered his work so much, might, verdict of the jury was temporary after the days of mourning were insanity; and the watching over a over, have turned with a more dear wife's last illness might well passionate zest to study.
be enough to upset a man's
nervous His work, though it had not forces, and render him not to the given him any exalted position as full responsible for his acts, while yet, promised an abundant harvest. we might hazard a speculation that
An important appointment was in that paralysed hour his nerves just accepted, and he impatiently renewed the effect of a shock once expected to assume its duties, when given by the explosion, in the hands his wife had a relapse. He seemed of the experimentalist, of a glass stunned, he was deaf to all sur- vessel containing chemicals. All rounding things, his letters re- things considered, we may cease mained unanswered, he thought from blame, and yield a poetic only of the parting, he brooded pity as for Romeo and Juliet, or for hours in dumb despair, or for Orpheus and Eurydice, with sought for rest in the excitement the words in mind that Professor of unusual activity; but even work, Hofmann cites in the memoir from which had been the truest com- which we have drawn our facts.* panion of his sorrow, could afford Quoniam concordes egimus annos, him no relief. He brought his Auferat hora duos eadem, nec conjugis wife to England in hope of cure :
unquam she rallied, and then sank again Busta meae videam neu sim tumuand died.
landus ab illa. His letters, clear and concise in If now we were to suggest that matters scientific, shew the un- such a man as this tender husband bounded love he felt for the com- and honoured scientific worker panion of his life. Existence flung life away, not more on acwithout her seemed incomprehen- count of the nervous and mental sible to him, life after her death shock of bereavement than because a perpetual torment.
an affectionate instinct led him to The concluding words of his last follow in hope his other half ; recorded speech are significant of and that such an instinct might his loving nature, and might be possibly not be without foundation, circulated among bickering stu- we should be met by the noisy voices dents with advantage:-“I believe of the day crying out “Moonshine, that to the dead whom we esteem superstition, mania; and let us put something especially is due-peace away such an unprofitable theme." over their graves.”
We fully allow that an example of
* Alphons Oppenheim. Gedächtnissworte in der general-versammlung der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft am 21 Dec., 1877. Gesprochen von Aug. Wilh. Hofmann. Schade's Buchdruckerei in Berlin, Stallschreiberstr. 47.
morbid and feverish impatience, of enough for independent reason to impulse without self-control; an accept. instance of that raw haste that is Patient labour, during very more than sister, nay, is mother of recent years, has been supporting delay-is not of the nature to make faiths, upsetting assumptions, and such a theme acceptable, but why helping truth. Egyptian and so curious a question should not be Greek historians, long condemned 80 summarily disposed of, we will as fabulists, nay, even ancient poets, endeavour to shew. That is to have been discovered to be not alsay, if the wisdom of the sagest of together baseless in their narratives. our forefathers be wisdom.
Thebes, Nineveh, Mycenæ, EpheA school of thought has re-arisen sus, Cyprus, and other ancient sites, of late years which views with with mummy-writings, monuments, contemptuous impatience many of and works of art, varied speech of the most cherished records of the papyrus, of marble and of gold, past, as appertaining to have of late been authenticating developed races, whose childish fables long held up to ridicule. ways we have now outgrown. And faith in something real underWhen the historian repeats any- lying the fables has been the thing out of the common, the habit moving cause of these fruitful has lately been to cry scornfully, It labours. is Fable! When anything has been We need have no less respect culled from the relics of ancient for the parable of Adam and Eve prophet or priest of a mystical because the chronology that has nature, foreign to our every-day been set up made them wander round of buying and selling, eating out of Paradise into a desolate and drinking, being clothed and world at a date when an Egyptian housed, governed amused, prince could have found them taught exact science or practical shelter in a palace. The true knowledge, the damning modern Adam and Eve are wandering into word has been Superstition. Fable the world of thorns and briars still, and Superstition; in these words heedless of chronology, save as rehas been found a short and easy gards their own coming, meeting, way of deriding the messages handed down from our forefathers, Now that fables, histories, and whose wisdom is disallowed from chronologies are being explored standing upright in the presence and cleared, we should be glad to of our own, simply because they see some good spade-work done lived one, three, or five thousand about the word Superstition. It years ago, when sages, we fondly requires excavation. According to imagine, were babes compared with some that would call themselves our wondrous selves, and prophets scientific, the term is merely one fools.
of condemnation for an evil shadow But theories nihilistic, calling that frightens weak people into a themselves science, are subject to mistaken or even deleterious kind the same law as theories con- of goodness. Some examination structive. They must bide the test seems to be required to ascertain of time, must find constantly re- whether it is but a hollow and newed support in world-wide and empty phrase, or whether, if it be, historical experience, must receive as it would sometimes seem, a infinite help from analogies. To harmful scare, that is not its proper style themselves modern and su- self, but a treacherous spirit of perior is not a voucher authoritative fear. An earth-bound ghost
hiding in a hovel whose false floor Disfigured traditions have led to is built over and obscures a buried the establishment of false ideals, temple of eternal beauty and pure and to the hopelessness of a really religion.
superstitious despair. But such examination, accord- Returning, then, to the German ing to the Sadducean oracles, Professor, who murdered himself whose votaries seem as afraid of for loss of his love, we find ourlosing their unbelief as the most selves engaged upon a question of "fearful saints" of letting slip much difficulty, in investigating their faith, should be prohibited. the traditional consciousness of
Whatever,” says no less a man the spiritual existence of “the than Mr. Lewes, “is inaccessible other half.” to reason, should be strictly inter- At however luminous a spiritual dicted to research.” Ought we to truth we may arrive, and however add, with the Inquisition for such strong a consciousness of such as dare to disregard the Interdict ? truth may have been arrived at And what mortal should presume before a man could commit suicide to set a bound to the orbit of the to follow his wife to the regions spirit of man, which, so long as its of the unseen, we may boldly state relation to its Divine centre be that such conduct (unless prompted maintained, may storm the inac- by a delirium that might resultfrom cessible with the truest force of shock and overstrain of the nerves) reason ?
deserves the name of superstition, In the pursuit of matters used in its lower sense, and not “inaccessible to reason"-or that of faith. When a man has rather to that so-called reason got so far as to feel that his conwhose wings are clipped by the jugal union may endure beyond materialistic shears—it is fair to the veil, it is incredible that he allow that the evidence obtainable should not also realise that the may be rare and hard to find. But best disposition with regard to it where anything may be found rests with the Divine Love from lingering in the minds of men of which it proceeds, and that the the illustrious order, men isolated concealment for a time of one from from one another by ages of time the other might be designed rather and impassable distance ; where to perfect the ultimate balance of anything can be found proclaimed that mutual relation than to inin harmonious concurrence by men fringe it. The process of patient of rare attainments, revered posi- waiting for that intervening veil tion, and benevolent life, there is a to be lifted may be the ripening of presumption that it is no phantom, a consummation that were otherwholly baseless and unreal. Even wise premature and incomplete. though, like buried cities, it may The earliest tradition, so far as not stand out clear before our ex- we know, shewing any reference perience or eyesight ere the spade to the conception of the essential of some awakening moment has nature of man as bi-sexual, is to reached it, or the heavy soil of be found in the Egyptian Ritual prejudice, ignorance, or crassitude of the Dead :—“I, Ra, appeared has been removed.
before the sun. When the cirJust as the marble sculpture, cumference of darkness that in its vivid perfection of life opened, I was one among was its own vindicator, may be you (the gods). I know how rendered almost unrecognisable the woman was made from the by injuries, so it is also with truth.
In the Book of Genesis, which sonorous hexameter line as being in its earlier chapters shews trace at once a male and an immortal of different schools of thought, nymph. we find (i. 26, 27)—" Elohim said, At the outset of a paper like this, • Let make
which enters the most delicate image, after our likeness.' ground of the old esoteric philoSo Elohim created man in his own sophy, we feel somewhat inclined image, in the image of Elohim to repeat the Orphic warningcreated he him; male and female
Φθέγξομαι oις θέμις εστί, θύρας δ' επίθεσθε created he them.” The Jehovistic
βέβηλοι account (ii. 7, 18, 21—25) is rather
Ούασι,different:- “Jehovah formed man or to modernise Virgil's reading of the dust of the ground, Procul O procul este profani ! into an and breathed into his nostrils the expression of hope that none will breath of life; and man became approach this difficult subject with a living soul.... And Jehovah the mind in its lower moods. said, 'It is not good that the man From these modern days when should be alone; I will make him everything is open, as is fondly an help meet for him.' . . . And Jehovah caused a deep sleep to
supposed, to the accurate brain,
before which mysteries dissolve fall upon Adam, and he slept. and fee like smoke, when irrever-. And he took one of his ribs, and ence storms the ancient heights and closed
the flesh instead thereof. reports them barren, how far away And the rib which Jehovah had seem the old days, when the cry
of taken from man, made he a woman, the hierophant was heard by the and brought her unto the man. Eleusinian initiates, άλαβε μύσται, And Adam said,
"This is now
and students at least in uncorbone of my bones, and flesh of my rupted epochs-strove at once to flesh. She shall be called Woman, purify their bodies and their minds because she was taken out of before even attempting to meditate Man.' For this cause shall a man on high themes. The idea of a leave his father and his mother, preparation of the mind, a care for and shall cleave unto his wife ; its reverent attitude, being necesand they shall be one flesh. And sary, for its own sake, before they were both naked, the man certain thoughts
be fitly and his wife, and were not approached, would
be mostly ashamed.” According to the Kab- ridiculed to-day. balists, Adam and Eve, or the Let us begin now by tracing the typical man and woman, were at footsteps of our idea in the field the earliest stage of creation of the best Greek philosophy;
how spiritual beings, not yet clothed it got there, who can tell ? From in shame and garments of skins. whatever primeval legend drawn,
Among the Greek pantheistic there it meets us luminous. poets the conception of God in- In “The Symposium " Plato is cluded that of double sex, but leading us among "worlds not rather by reason of universality realised ;" we are taught more than than as representing an ideal of we can know, save by instinct and all-fatherliness, all-motherliness, the support of analogies. There or of the perfect bi-unity of must be two patron deities of love, Wisdom and Love. Zeus, in the he tells us, or one of his friends Orphic poems, who is one force, , does, in a dialogue within a diaone spiritual being, great rector logue; there is the heavenly godof all things," is portrayed in a dess, daughter of Heaven, and
another who must have the name once had a real existence, but is of common, being of the body now lost, and the name only is rather than of the soul.
preserved as a term of reproach.” The vice of the present age being Then, still under the veil of the false doctrine that mundane comedy, is presented very intellect represents this immortal materialistic notion of such part, and that love, whether of composite being, possessed of a God, man, or woman, is an amiable fine plenty of limbs. Presumption weakness, a kind of juvenile or is humorously represented as the senile prettiness, by the side of the vice of this nondescript, and, after matured existence of scientific some reflection, Zeus discovers a worldliness and power; we must way to restrain his insolence. enter upon Plato's lore relating to “They shall continue to exist, but I the theory of perfect marriage, will cut them in two, and then they through the door of the pure
will be diminished in strength, thought of love, as declared at that and increased in numbers ... they marvellous symposium.
shall walk upright on two legs; This book of Plato has been so and if they continue insolent, and nobly rendered into our English won't be quiet, I will split them tongue by Jowett that it would be again, and they shall hop about time wasted to attempt a new on a single leg." This is the touch version, and we shall mainly follow of the irrepressible comedian; he his; but in this instance we may is making a burlesque of the turn to Shelley, whose power of ancient legend. sympathetic language makes up for Omitting some physiological abany other lack on his part. Accord- surdities, we render a few lines. ing to his version, Phædrus says:
“After the nature was cut "Neither birth, nor wealth, nor in twain, each half perceived, with honours, can awaken in the minds
a longing, the part of itself; and of men the principles which should throwing their arms around each guide those who from their youth other with mutual entanglement, aspire to an honourable and ex- from great desire to grow together cellent life, as Love awakens they were dying off of famine and them.”
other consequences of listlessness, The first entry into the occult through their desire each to do. depth of our subject is made by nothing without the other.” After the great satirist, Aristophanes, some more absurdity and supposed in whose mouth are placed by further change of relation, we Plato, under the crust of a comic come to the following, in which manner, what are evidently the we take Shelley's version : vestiges of an old half-ruined “From this period, mutual love spiritual philosophy. In his para- has naturally existed between ble, wherein the seriousness of the human beings; that reconciler and sage mingles with the humour of bond of union of their original a dinner-party, we learn of “the nature, which seeks to make two, original human nature, that was one, and to heal the divided nature not like the present, but different.” of man. Every one of us is thus “In the first place, the sexes
the half of what may be properly were originally three in number, termed a man . ... the imperfect not two as they are now; there portion of an entire whole, perWas man, woman, and the union of petually necessitated to seek the the two, having a name correspond half belonging to him.” The ing to this double nature. This Greek word used for half is strictly