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for the first time, a work that embodies and gives form and expression to his own indefinite but eager fancies. It would be long to repeat the wonders, that are told of his subsequent application and progress ; of his passion for the natural sciences ; of his astonishing feats of memory, and the still more astonishing efforts of reason which he made, until the publication, at the age of thirty, of his “Genesi del Diritto Penale” placed him in the rank which he ever afterwards continued to hold among the most vigorous and exact reasoners of the age. Neither shall we attempt to follow the vicissitudes of his fortunes, through all the various offices that he filled. The history of his life, to be written satisfactorily, should be accompanied by an analysis of his works, in the order in which they were written; for it is little else than the history of his mind.
For our immediate purpose, it will be sufficient to say, that his time, until about the period of the suppression of the kingdom of Italy, was divided between private study and the performance of public duties. He filled chairs at Parma, at Pavia, and at Milan, as public professor ; presided at the formation of the penal code for the kingdom of Italy ; was called to aid the reforms of government in several of the most interesting conjunctures ; and finally closed his laborious career at Milan, in poverty and in retirement, in the month of June, 1835. His death-bed was surrounded by the children of his intellect, his devoted disciples ; and the last words, that were audible in the agony of his death-struggle, were, “ Smith - buona dottrina."
The chief claim of Romagnosi to a place among the great intellects of his age, is founded upon his merits as a civil and political philosopher. His “ Genesi del Diritto Penale,” his 1. Introduzione allo Studio del Diritto Publico Universale," his treatise Dell' Indole e de' Fattori dell' Incivilimento," are imperishable monuments of the vigor of his intellect, and of the depth of his learning. It was only towards the close of his life that he began to write upon the philosophy of the mind, and his contributions to this department of human knowledge bear in number no proportion to his other writings. But the depth of his views, the closeness of his reasoning, the positive, practical turn of his thought, give to these few productions a degree of importance which is often wanting to the voluminous and fanciful theories of modern philosophers.
Melchiorre Gioja, who was born at Piacenza in 1767, and died at Milan in 1829, imbibed, like Romagnosi, his taste for philosophy, from the essay of Bonnet. The habits of close observation, and of patient thinking, which he thus acquired, influenced the composition of all his works, and were at once the consequence and the cause of his rigid adhesion to the experimental method. But, although he has written at length upon several branches of intellectual philosophy, it is mainly as an economist that he claims the attention of posterity. In this department his merit is of the highest order ; and the literature of no nation can boast a work so daring in its design, so exact and so complete in its execution, as his " Prospetto delle Scienze Economiche."
The Cavalier Pasquale Borrelli, better known by the assumed name of Lallebasque, deserves also to be classed among the most successful of those who have engaged, under the standard of the experimental method, in the boundless field of philosophy, inquiry, and discussion. His doctrines are contained in his “ Introduzione alla Filosofia Naturale del Pensiero,” and his “Principj della Genealogia del Pensiero,” in which he has undertaken to trace the action of reasoning, and assign the principles upon which it is founded. Another important work of this author is his treatise on Etymology, in which he reduces the principles of this difficult art to the clearness and order of a science. He divides languages into radical and productive ; seeks the primitive origin of words in the causes of their changes, and passage from one language to another (which causes he reduces to four, imitation, necessity, convenience, and arbitrary will); and points out two methods for the investigation of radicals; one direct, consisting in an historical research of the people that held communication with those whose language we propose to study ; the other inverse, which consists in seeking, in the derived language itself, a knowledge of those which have concurred in its formation.
The treatise of the Count Mamiani della Rovere, entitled " Del Rinnovamento dell'Antica Filosofia Italiana,' composed for one of the noblest purposes that can guide the researches of a philosopher ; that is, to show the possibility of arriving at positive conclusions in the science of mind and
the consequent certainty of the foundations on which our belief and our dearest hopes repose. He attributes the prevalence of so many discordant opinions in philosophy, not to the science itself, but to the methods employed in the investigation of it; and proposes to the discussion of philosophers, as the first and most important problem in the present state of the science, “to deduce, from a profound examination of the subject and aim of philosophy, the special modifications and proper uses to which the common doctrines of the natural method should be subjected.” In tracing the characteristic attributes of this method, he shows that it originated in Italy ; and that, consequently, a renewal of the ancient Italian philosophy would be the first step towards its establishment. From the exposition and history of this method he passes to the application of it, proving first the reality of the objects of human knowledge, each taken by itself; and their reality as connected and referring one to another.
The most distinguished writer of the school of rationalists or idealists is the Abbé Rosmini, author of the “ Nuovo Saggio sull' Origine delle Idee.” According to Rosmini, all our conceptions are formed by means of one universal predicate, from which all others derive their efficacy. This predicate is the idea of being (dell' ente) ; an idea anterior to any act of thought, and which refers solely to the possibility of particular existences. His theory is based upon two theorems ; 1st. That the act of thought requires the idea of existence (dell'essere) ; 2d. That the idea of being (dell' ente) is not derived either from the senses, or from consciousness, or from reflection in the sense in which it is used by Locke), neither can it originate with the act of perception; consequently it must be innate. The first part of the essay of Rosmini is devoted to a discussion and examination of the philosophical theories that preceded his own, and is important as a record of what the great men of different ages and different countries have thought and said upon this interesting science. The whole is replete with new and striking ideas.
The supernatural school has likewise found followers in Italy, and boasts some names of well-earned celebrity ; but thus far its influence has been slight, and the number of its proselytes small. No. 107.
The history of the application of these methods of philosophical investigation to some of the principal questions of art and of science would furnish materials scarcely less ample than those which we have compressed into the pages of the
The theories of pleasure, of beauty, the leading questions of taste, have been treated with more or less acuteness and profoundness, and with sufficient success to demonstrate the importance of these subtile but ennobling researches. The science of history, has of all others, been the most successful ; and the country of Vico has found among her own children the best expositor of the abstruse doctrines of this Homer of philosophy, and the minds worthiest of treading in the path which he had opened. Nor in the science of education, the most important of all, since it not only characterizes the present but decides for the future, have the principles of a profound philosophy been less successfully applied. Were there no other name beside that of Lambruschini, this alone would deserve to be loved and revered as far as the influence of his pure and elevated philanthropy extends.
Hasty and superficial as the preceding sketches are, * they contain, at least, enough to prove the correctness of our original position, and show how much error must necessarily enter into the judgments of those who study nations in the deceptive mirror of artificial life. Could we have carried out our inquiries into every brauch in which the innate activity of Italian intellect has exerted itself; could we have spoken of science in the age of La Grange, of Cagnoli, of Piazzi, of Galvani, of Volta ; of archealogy, where the dust of Visconti and Sestini is still warm with the recent pulsations of life; of poetry, with the works of a Monti, a Pindemonti, a Foscolo, a Niccolini, a Manzoni before us ; of that indomitable energy and pure thirst after knowledge, which supported a Belzoni and a Rosellini in their daring and painful quest of the mysteries of Egyptian lore ; of music, of a Rosini, a Bellini, a Donizzetti ; of art, of a Canova, a Tennerani, a Bartolini ; what force and what evidence might we not have given to our estimate of the Italian mind? And yet this is the land which has been painted as the home of bandits and of beggars; a corpse, decked indeed with flowers, and preserving still some traces of its former loveliness, but exhaling from every pore the loathsome testimonials of crumbling mortality. How easily do we forget what is due to the past! The contributions of science, the embellishments of art, all that conduces to the security or to the elegance of life, is sought after and jealously preserved. But, contented with the momentary fruition, we take no account of the toils and sacrifices of those to whom we are indebted for the gift. Forgetful of Galvani or of Volta, the chemist pursues the daily application of their sublime discoveries; and how few of those, who gaze upon the pale orb of Ceres, can tell whose eye first detected its march amid the glittering train, that waits upon its silent revolutions ?
* There are two omissions in this essay which will be particularly noticed. We have undertaken to give a sketch, rapid and concise it is true, but nevertheless a sketch, of the real state and apparent direction of studies in Italy during the first thirty-eight years of the present century, and yet we have said nothing of poetry, or of the natural sciences, and have hurried over the works of Romagnosi, Gioja, and several others, from the analysis of whose productions a better idea of the reach of the Italian mind might be derived than from almost any other source. The name of Jannelli is not even mentioned, and Balbi, one of the best geographical and statistical writers of the age, is treated with the saine neglect. What shall we say of the periodical literature of Italy, of the “ Corografia Italiana,” in short, of all our omissions? We can only say, that in our choice, both of subjects and of names, we have been guided by the best judgment we could form after long and mature reflection; and that we have omitted much that it was originally our intention to introduce, from the impossibility of doing justice to so many names, without trespassing too far beyond the bounds of a single article. For the same reason, we have avoided citing authori. ties, and should have cut short our biographical sketches, had we not thought, that a knowledge of the obstacles against which a writer has to contend, is one of the best guides to a correct judgment of his works.
Were we to attempt to paint Italy as we ourselves have found it, and in speaking of a subject like this, where individual testimony is made the standard of judgment, the reader will excuse us if we attempt to throw our own experience into the scale, - we would lead the traveller, not merely through the highways and cities of the Peninsula, but through its remote districts and paths seldom trodden by the stranger. We would ask him to loiter with us by the wayside, while we listened to the conversation or replied to the queries of the peasantry ; to seat himself at their humble board and share their meal with the relish, which a sincere and heartfelt welcome gives it. We would have him mingle with the different classes of society until he had acquired enough of their tone of thought and of feeling, to find his way into their more