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by the misinterpreters of the Stagyrite dignified with the name of Aristotelian.* The vigorous and penetrating mind of Burke, even in his juvenile years, saw the absurdity of the scholastic jargon, and slighted it as much as his friend Johnson had formerly done the lectures of his Oxford tutor. Men of great talents, both those who have been placed at universities and those who have not, after the elementary studies, chiefly form themselves : and, in following the plans of their own choice, often neglect those of prescription. Johnson, though proud of his College, did not devote himself to academical exercises with a zeal and perseverance proportionate to his genius. Dryden at Cambridge obtained no honorary degree.' High as these men are, to rise much higher, Milton was not peculiarly ambitious of College distinction. Bacon, when his contemporaries were exercising themselves in the controversies of (what they called) Aristotelian logic, and striving for victory in moods and figures, was engaged in proving the futility of the dialectics of the schools, and in finding out a certain road to truth. Common minds pursue the beaten tract: great genius either FINDS or MAKES a way.
* See Gillies’s analysis of Aristotle's Speculative Works; in which the learned writer shews that the sage inculcated investigation ; also the Ethics and Politics, in which he uniformly reasons from experience and induction.
It was by. this untrammelled exertion of his own powers, that Burke's juvenile studies at once enriched, invigorated, and expanded his mind. In recording his pursuits at College, I do not mean to recommend them to the imitation of young readers ; nor to derogate from the utility of the modes established in any of the universities of these kingdoms. Systems of education are to be estimated by their tendency and effect in forining and directing the powers of young men in general, : not of such as rarely appear in an age.
Mathematics were also much attended to at Dublin. Although Burke applied himself so much to that branch of study as to give him a competent knowledge of those parts that were most subservient to the purposes
of life, there is no evidence that he devoted himself to the more abstruse and profound parts of the science. It is probable, that, had he studied at Cambridge, he might not have attained the highest, or even one of the highest, class of degrees. According to the language of that university, he most probably might have rested contented with the honour of senior optimo ; whilst the degree of wrangler would have been reserved for men of inferior talents, but more emulously diligent in the performance of prescribed tasks, and in the acquirement of a prescribed knowledge. His genius was too powerful to be stimulated by the common motive of emulation. Emulation can caly operate where there is an approach to equality. Among many men of great ability, how few there are to be found in a century who approach to an equality to Edmund Burke! He gained no prizes, for he sought none. His mind was of too enlarged and original a cast, to be directed in its exertions by merely precedented studies; it formed itself. It is well ascertained, that though he paid no more attention to his College exercises than was merely necessary to avoid censure, while at the university, pursuing his own plans, he acquired a very extensive knowledge of phy. sical and moral nature. Logic he also studied in the efficacious mode which Bacon pointed out. Pneumatology,* in general, occupied a considerable portion of his attention. While attending to acquirement he was not negligent respecting the means of communication. He studied 'rhetoric and composition, as well as logic, physics, history, and moral philosophy. .
In the year 1749, Lucas, a demagogue apothecary, wrote a number of very daring papers against Government, and acquired as great popularity at Dublin as Mr. Wilkes
'* A respectable critic has objected to my frequent use of this word. My reason for employing it is, that I do not know any one word exactly synonimous, by which I could express the idea I mean to convey. The Monthly Review suggests metaphysics as of the same import; but I must beg leave to observe, that metaphysics signifies the properties of being in general; pneumatology of certain classes of being. Metaphysics is synonimous to ontology, but not to pneumatology.
afterwards did in London. Burke, whose principal attention had been directed to more important objects than scholastic logic, perceived the noxious tendency of levelling doctrines. He wrote in the same year several essays in the style of Lucas, imitating it so completely as to deceive the public :pursuing Lucas's principles to consequences obviously resulting from them, and at the same time shewing their absurdity and danger. The first literary effort of his mind was an exposure of the absurdity of democratical innovations. This was the Ticinus of our political Scipio.
It has been often said that he was bred a Catholic, and studied at St. Omers. To his supposed education many of his political measures have been ascribed : particularly to his popish institution were imputed his opposition to the Protestant associations in 1780, and his endeavour to effect Catholic emancipation in Ireland. But the fact now ascertained and admitted is, that he never studied at St. Omers, nor at any popish or even