14 FEBRUARY 1880, Page 24

.Memoirs of Dr. Robert Blakey. Edited by the Rev. Henry

Miller. (Triibner.)—Dr. Blakey affords an instance of extraordinary energy,

perseverance, and success in the acquisition of knowledge. Never was a man of whom it may be more truly said that he educated him- self. Regular teaching he never had ; his childhood was spent in toil which is now prohibited by law ; but he struggled on, read every book that came within his reach, and finally, acquired a stock of miscel- laneous learning such as few of his contemporaries could rival. His most solid acquisitions were of the class which he embodied in his chief work, "The History of the Philosophy of the Mind," a work which probably procured for him the crowning honour of his life,— his appointment to the chair of logic and metaphysics at Queen's College, Belfast. But his pen was actively employed on other subjects. He made contributions to theology, which had been the chief study of his early years, and which never lost its hold on his affections. On "angling," too, he was no mean authority, and pub- lished volumes which are full of practical information. His " Memoir " is an autobiography, carrying down the story of his life till the year 1853 (he died in 1878, at the age of eighty-three). It is full of shrewd good-sense, and keen observations on what he saw and read. His opinion of the country in which the work of his mature life was set was not flattering :—

" I have always contended that when a man sees Ireland for the first time, he gets a new sense. There is nothing like Irish life under the sun but in Ireland itself. No books or verbal descriptions of it can give any adequate conception of the entire thing called 'Irish life ;' it must be seen to be known. It is the most striking monument of moral and social debasement which the world has seen since the Creation."