February 1

A dull and miserable day, but no rain; have been studying very hard in the second volume of tactics. No one has been in this evening save Lieut. George P. Welch who has notified me I am detailed for picket to-morrow. It is not my turn and is a great disappointment as I have laid my plans to accomplish a good week's work, and had this not happened, I could have sent in my application next week to appear before General Silas Casey's board in Washington for examination for a commission in colored troops. I want to be a field officer and won't accept anything else.

February 1

February 1, 1854.--A walk. The atmosphere incredibly pure, a warm caressing gentleness in the sunshine--joy in one's whole being. Seated motionless upon a bench on the Tranchées, beside the slopes clothed with moss and tapestried with green, I passed some intense delicious moments, allowing great elastic waves of music, wafted to me from a military band on the terrace of St. Antoine, to surge and bound through me. Every way I was happy, as idler, as painter, as poet. Forgotten impressions of childhood and youth came back to me--all those indescribable effects wrought by color, shadow, sunlight, green hedges, and songs of birds, upon the soul just opening to poetry. I became again young, wondering, and simple, as candor and ignorance are simple. I abandoned myself to life and to nature, and they cradled me with an infinite gentleness. To open one's heart in purity to this ever pure nature, to allow this immortal life of things to penetrate into one's soul, is at the same time to listen to the voice of God. Sensation may be a prayer, and self-abandonment an act of devotion.

February First

The Emperor of France made him Commander of the Legion of Honor; The Emperor of Russia, Knight of the Order of St. Ann; the King of Denmark, Knight of the Dannebrog; the King of Portugal, Knight of the Tower and Sword; the King of Belgium, Knight of the Order of St. Leopold; simultaneously with Tennyson, he was awarded an LL.D. by the University of Cambridge, England; he received honorary membership from a score of the world's leading societies of science and scholarship; the Pope conferred upon him a noteworthy testimonial; the Emperor of Mexico gave him a decoration; and Prussia, Austria, Sweden, Holland, Sardinia, Bremen, and France struck medals in his honor as the greatest scientist of the New World, and the peer of any in the Old.

The government of his own country, says Professor Francis H. Smith, has “carefully omitted his name in official records of the departments he created”; nor is it even given a place among the many inscribed in the mighty mosaic of our National Library.


Matthew Fontaine Maury dies at Lexington, Va., 1873

Texas secedes, 1861



Midnapore, February 1, 1844


When I returned to Cuttack the last time I found that my wife had been rather poorly for some days; I therefore determined that I would take her out for a little excursion. We accordingly sent out a tent and all necessary apparatus, and then started with some friends of ours—a Captain of Engineers and his wife, and a couple of children—to explore two of the most extraordinary places in India, Bhabaneswar and Cundeganee. At the former there are nine hundred and ninety-nine temples, besides numerous tombs, &c.: at the latter place some very high hills, perforated in every direction with artificial caves; a palace, statues, and animals, cut out of the solid rock; long inscriptions in some language now forgotten; images of gods, of which the Hindus know nothing.

The trip did my wife a great deal of good; but almost immediately after our return to Cuttack I was attacked by one of the fearful diseases of the country. Fortunately I knew what it was by the very first symptoms, and therefore went to the doctor at once. The disease is what we call liver ; in England it is called, I think, inflammation of the liver. It is accompanied by a soreness in the side and acute pain in the shoulder. The doctor immediately took most energetic pains to reduce me both in size and in strength, and he succeeded so well that all danger was soon over. Directly I was better I was ordered change of air, starvation, and exercise.

February 1

February 1, 1876.--This evening we talked of the infinitely great and the infinitely small. The great things of the universe are for----so much easier to understand than the small, because all greatness is a multiple of herself, whereas she is incapable of analyzing what requires a different sort of measurement.

It is possible for the thinking being to place himself in all points of view, and to teach his soul to live under the most different modes of being. But it must be confessed that very few profit by the possibility. Men are in general imprisoned, held in a vice by their circumstances almost as the animals are, but they have very little suspicion of it because they have so little faculty of self-judgment. It is only the critic and the philosopher who can penetrate into all states of being, and realize their life from within.

When the imagination shrinks in fear from the phantoms which it creates, it may be excused because it is imagination. But when the intellect allows itself to be tyrannized over or terrified by the categories to which itself gives birth, it is in the wrong, for it is not allowed to intellect--the critical power of man--to be the dupe of anything.

Now, in the superstition of size the mind is merely the dupe of itself, for it creates the notion of space. The created is not more than the creator, the son not more than the father. The point of view wants rectifying. The mind has to free itself from space, which gives it a false notion of itself, but it can only attain this freedom by reversing things and by learning to see space in the mind instead of the mind in space. How can it do this? Simply by reducing space to its virtuality. Space is dispersion; mind is concentration.

And that is why God is present everywhere, without taking up a thousand millions of cube leagues, nor a hundred times more nor a hundred times less.

In the state of thought the universe occupies but a single point; but in the state of dispersion and analysis this thought requires the heaven of heavens for its expansion.

In the same way, time and number are contained in the mind. Man, as mind, is not their inferior, but their superior.

It is true that before he can reach this state of freedom his own body must appear to him at will either speck or world--that is to say, he must be independent of it. So long as the self still feels itself spatial, dispersed, corporeal, it is but a soul, it is not a mind; it is conscious of itself only as the animal is, the impressionable, affectionate, active and restless animal.

The mind being the subject of phenomena cannot be itself phenomenal; the mirror of an image, if it was an image, could not be a mirror. There can be no echo without a noise. Consciousness means some one who experiences something. And all the somethings together cannot take the place of the some one. The phenomenon exists only for a point which is not itself, and for which it is an object. The perceptible supposes the perceiver.

February 1

February 1, 1852. (Sunday).--Passed the afternoon in reading the Monologues of Schleiermacher. This little book made an impression on me almost as deep as it did twelve years ago, when I read it for the first time. It replunged me into the inner world, to which I return with joy whenever I may have forsaken it. I was able besides, to measure my progress since then by the transparency of all the thoughts to me, and by the freedom with which I entered into and judged the point of view.

It is great, powerful, profound, but there is still pride in it, and even selfishness. For the center of the universe is still the self, the great Ich of Fichte. The tameless liberty, the divine dignity of the individual spirit, expanding till it admits neither any limit nor anything foreign to itself, and conscious of a strength instinct with creative force, such is the point of view of the Monologues.

The inner life in its enfranchisement from time, in its double end, the realization of the species and of the individuality, in its proud dominion over all hostile circumstances, in its prophetic certainty of the future, in its immortal youth, such is their theme. Through them we are enabled to enter into a life of monumental interest, wholly original and beyond the influence of anything exterior, an astonishing example of the autonomy of the ego, an imposing type of character, Zeno and Fichte in one. But still the motive power of this life is not religious; it is rather moral and philosophic. I see in it not so much a magnificent model to imitate as a precious subject of study. This ideal of a liberty, absolute, indefeasible, inviolable, respecting itself above all, disdaining the visible and the universe, and developing itself after its own laws alone, is also the ideal of Emerson, the stoic of a young America. According to it, man finds his joy in himself, and, safe in the inaccessible sanctuary, of his personal consciousness, becomes almost a god. [Footnote: Compare Clough's lines:

"Where are the great, whom thou would'st wish to praise thee? Where are the pure, whom thou would'st choose to love thee? Where are the brave, to stand supreme above thee? Whose high commands would cheer, whose chidings raise thee? Seek, seeker, in thyself; submit to find In the stones, bread, and life in the blank mind."]

He is himself principle, motive, and end of his own destiny; he is himself, and that is enough for him. This superb triumph of life is not far from being a sort of impiety, or at least a displacement of adoration. By the mere fact that it does away with humility, such a superhuman point of view becomes dangerous; it is the very temptation to which the first man succumbed, that of becoming his own master by becoming like unto the Elohim. Here then the heroism of the philosopher approaches temerity, and the Monologues are therefore open to three reproaches: Ontologically, the position of man in the spiritual universe is wrongly indicated; the individual soul, not being unique and not springing from itself, can it be conceived without God? Psychologically, the force of spontaneity in the ego is allowed a dominion too exclusive of any other. As a fact, it is not everything in man. Morally, evil is scarcely named, and conflict, the condition of true peace, is left out of count. So that the peace described in the Monologues is neither a conquest by man nor a grace from heaven; it is rather a stroke of good fortune.