Charles Fourier, A Psychometric Observation
A PSYCHOMETRIC OBSERVATION.<ref>The manuscript held was a letter from Fourier toa 81, 8iuiouiun. </ref> I.—First Trial.
I don't believe this was a very gay person, though he gives me the inclination to laugh. Is there not deep sadness in the character? He seems one who sported with misery,—brings the laugh of the insane to my mind. Is there not great resolution —firmness? I am almost afraid of this person, there seem such contradictory elements in him. Unless you know him intimately you will not think what I say true. There is a lightness, suavity of manner, very different from the depths of his character. He has great power—power of putting aside what torments and troubles him, and of being at ease for the time. Great activity of intellect. One who hates oppression. lam not certain that he would not be likely to oppress. He might wish to impose his views.
I feel like having an agreeable conversation—like making many quotations and not particularly apt ones. I never could talk so fast as his moods would change. Great flippancy and great depth. One you would always find just what you did not expect. If I laugh it makes me sad, if I'm sad it makes me laugh. Very noble and generous. Would he not do things perfectly incompatible, and almost satanic?—(laughing.) The image that comes to my mind is of a little condensed devil squeezed into the corner of his heart, oozing out occasionally. А тегу difficult character to read. I am afraid to go into the depths; the fearful struggles and trials would exhaust me. What variety! Something of the chameleon nature. Great self-will—great imagination.
Give me another letter of opposite character—this is so French. (Taking the letter of another person) Good deal of concentration in this person notwithstanding the versatility. As I hold this I like the other better; more heart in it. This man's heart would be a square—that would be heart shaped. I feel as if going in angles all over. 1 like the first now very much. Great deal of real genuine worth. Has struggled much with his own nature. I respect him too. He lives up to his conviction more than most of us.
These persons would come to conclusions very differently. The first would jump to them. If the truth were presented to his mind he would receive it at once. They make me think of hare and tortoise.
(Resuming the first letter after long thought.) This is a very earnest man. Man of warm zeal, great lover of the race, hearty. "Humanity" sounds in my ears continually, since I've resumed his letter. He interests me very much indeed. Sometimes should incline to laugh at him, sometimes to laugh with him. In my heart should have deep reverence and love for him. Did yon ever see him when possessed with a new idea? Think I should get up and dance round the room. He is so delighted when he has fixed it a11 just right, so pleased, so happy; seems a joyous old man. Does not he love children? Seems like a child himself sometimes—and then like a man in full vigor of life. Seems like a dear old soul; should forget all my reverence for his learning, wisdom, talent, should take him to my heart and love him, so firm, conscientious—perfectly true to his convictions. Great power, great energy, great impulse, great self-control, great versatility, great concentrativeness.
"Is he fickle?"
There are a great many ways of coming to the ваше end. Should you call the bee fickle, that went from flower to flower after honey? A man of very large nature. A great deal of caution, notwithstanding his apparent want of it—a very singular, unusual compound.
More universally developed than most persons, yet not a whole. The various elements do not seem to me to be perfectly harmonized. Does not seem to have had time for it. The work wasn't done when this letter was written, at any rate.
Calls to mind the "fountain in the palace"<ref>An allegory of man's passional nature.</ref> the five, four, three outer rooms in order, but the central not so—the unitary stream from it not flowing into all the others. Well, he will have time enough to do it. He was too busy, too active.
Do you think this concern for the race саше through the reason or the heart? The reason I think.
Through ignorance this person injured himself physically and morally. That seems a thing of the past, yet its effects are still felt.
"Was he confiding?"
Both confiding and suspicious; confiding by nature, became suspicious by circumstances He is not lining.
In the latter part of his life more confiding, a higher state of confidingness than the first. It is pleasing to think of him as a boy. An honest heartedness about him—something of girlish delicacy and tender conscientiousness. Then there came the dark ages; seems as if ho did wrong conscientiously; must have been a terrible period in his life. Don't think I can convey an impression of that time—my feeling of the actuality and unreality of it. It seems that his heart had no part in it. "Was it something he did or suffered?" Seems to have acted viciously—to have gone into it thoroughly., and yet with no reality. It was devilishly cold. It seems as if he put his better nature to sleep for awhile. A gradual transition from his happy boyhood, which is very beautiful to think of; perhaps he had then too much sensibility. A gentle, thoughtful boy—should think be loved rabbits. Great love of justice—might have been thought irritable.
I would rather think of him in his old age. There seems a greater harmony and blending in him now than when this letter was written; he is more softened and pure, yet don't seem wholly pure. It is frightful to think how f lowly eradicated are the traces of evil. I see a great deal of purity in him now, and yet these dark lines. The purity is far greater than the stain*. I've no words to tell it as I see it—seems to be a vision of the character.
Have not told you any thing about him yet. He wished to know everything, felt you could not know any thing-truly unless you know all. Don't feel disposed to think of him by particular trails. More intellectual than spiritual. You talk of the ruling passion strong in death; it is strong after death with him.
He is sadder now than he ever was when living; sees hit errors, sees the consequences of them. One of the strongest feelings in his nature is justice.
He feels that his work was not completed and stays by, longing 10 see it done; knows he was more intellectual than spiritual, and it is sadness to him now. The good in himself is transparent to him. He yearns for purity, devotedness, self-sacrifice, I never knew before the danger of errors of judgment. Have I dwelt more on the errors than the beauties of his character? I have not begun to tell you what I know of him. He never acted from one single motive and yet you might say he always acted from one, Love or Troth. He had a great desire of knowledge, would give up every thing to go where it led. So in his desire to find it, he went where it never could be found, into a bad atmosphere which affected his vision so that he could never see afterward as he might have seen. A great love of completing his plans; grasped at the whole.
When I speak of his love for the race, it was not so much * flowing love, (yet at times I see that flowing, all embracing love) hut rather a love of justice, sense of right. He could weep over the wrongs dune to the race, and next moment laugh as something would strike him ludicrously. He would laugh at the saddest things.
I should say he was rearm ealcu'ating-it would do him injustice to say <кч>1 calculating. Had he uota great love of numbers? Hi must have had, because if I think of colors they агr.ingi« themselves in figures; and so of Bounds, of every thing He must have been a critic. '• Hud he insight?" His insight was outsight. "Were his views right or wrong 7"
Not K/iolly right, yet a great deal more right than wrong. Something clipped his wings, he could not fly as freely as he ought. There were limits set when there should not have been He was a slave to his system. He had not quite faith enough to leave the earth wholly—had great faith—boundless faith, crazy faith almost.yet did not soar as he might. Had faith that what he milled would be done—what he wished would be accomplished. Wi» not spiritual enough—he lelt a «rant within, A very difficult nature to speak of; in making a single statement you do him injus ic «
wjre hit view.* of God 1» Do yon think hie own plane stood to him in place of Qod? I should not like to say so. He Woe not irreligious; with his reason and intellect he could not be an irréligions man—must tee God in all—must know the Divine Being—whether he felt him or not. He is a man that I respect, mourn over, reverence and lore. Ho is so much I cannot help mourning that ho is not All. One must be perfect in all things to bo perfect in anything.
What a joyous companion he must have been. I should feel With him thut I could move the world—that all things were possible. Think the fiends went pretty much to sleep during the last part of his life. What hatred of injustice! it might have led him to hate almost those who thwarted him.
[Let it be noted that this was a first reading only. On a second trial, the character unfolded moro fully. That sketch will appear in the next number.—Еь.]