Page images

most daringly presumed to adul- the ordinary mob of verse-makers, to terate our tragic verse, as if it were lisp in effeminate numbers with im nought but common, highway poetry, punity: but what reprobation do you Here indeed, my Lord, I could have not deserve for setting a copy of prose wished, when you introduced your poetry to our rising tragedists for abominations into the sanctuary of our naturalizing that detestable thing Tragic Muse, that her statue had amongst our dramatists? That you fallen and crushed you.* Upon this have done so, is manifest from a slight subject, British feeling is morbidly inspection of your plays;t and I sensitive. We have excelled all mor honestly tell you, if I could damn dern nations in the principal arts you with a dash of my pen,- for this and sciences; we have excelled the deed of sacrilege, I would do it. ancients but in one, the Drama. Hence comés it that we are inunThere is more of the genuine spirit dated with such a flood of tragedies. of dramatism in the English nation, Every witless babbler, every loquathan has ever yet appeared on the cious simpleton, every pert popinjay boards of mortality. She has pro- “smit with the love of poesy and duced the only dramatist, in its true prate," who can bedizen his words sense, worthy of the name. SHAK- with a flush of gaudy, glittering, SPEABE is the rock upon which Eng. half-formed images, and deliver himland's fame must rest; her claims to self out to the public with a velvet pre-eminent glory are founded on her volubility of phrase in something of Drama. Milton has been surpassed your Lordship’s elongated suavity of as an Epic poet; Newton, himself, manner,-writes a tragedy inconwill not carry down her name to pos- tinent. A tragedy! the highest effort terity, for his works are even now be of human poetical powers ! O temcoming dead letter. But the dramas pora! O prose-poesy! of Shakspeare will descend to the In predicting the decline of Englast ages of the world, and it is from lish poetry from this period, I may them that we must expect celebrity be in error; I hope I am. In arwhen our island is a waste for wild raigning your Lordship, as the chief animals. Homer, Virgil, and Shak= degenerator, I may be unwarranted; speare, will be the three great names I wish I were. You will, however, i of antiquity, to the future world. am sure, my Lord, allow that the reOur other tragedists, without equal- marks which I have made above and ling Shakspeare, have excelled the throughout these letters, mostly on rest of mankind, in a dramatic point your works, if not superior in point of view; and, however inferior in the of judgment or discrimination to the general scope of mind, have always common cant of criticism, are at exhibited a superior talent for the least dictated by a spirit of honesty stage. Now, my Lord, we might have and candour, not always to be found permitted you to teach women and in this disreputable province of litefools, weak-headed poetasters, and rature.

John LACY. * We have had some revenge of this kind; his Lordship has never held up his head since he profaned the temple of Melpomene.

+ Vide Lioni's speech (Doge of Venice) in particular ; an eloquent, profuse, effemi. nate, voluptuous specimen of beautiful prose-poetry.



ferred till the end of this year; and The Leipsig Michaelmas fair does Raumer's History of the House of · not appear to have produced any thing Hohenstaufen, which is expected

very remarkable, and we even miss with great impatience; the first in the catalogue some important Number of the Botanical part of Dr. works which there was every reason

Martin's Travels in Brazil is, howto hope would be announced in it; ever, published, and, we believe, the among these are the Travels of Drs. first Number of the Zoology. Our Spix and Martius, in Brazil, which correspondent in Germany mentious we understand are not likely to ap- the following works as amongst the pear before February, 1824; Baron most worthy of notice :-)

:-Professor Minutoli's Travels in Egypt, de- Niemeyer's Observations on his Tra

vels, vol. 3; Parrot's Travels in:

FRANCE the Pyrenees ; Ch. Muller, the Cam The Drama.--The French theà. pagna of Rome, in reference to An- tres are all very busy in getting up cient History, Poetry, and Art, what they call Pièces de Circonstances, 2 vols.; F. Schiller's (inedited) Let- to celebrate the success of the French ters to Dalberg, in 1781–85. Such in Spain. At the Opera, they are relics cannot fail to be welcome. H. preparing Vendôme en Espagne: a new Hirzel, Views of Italy, part 2; H. opera, called the Snow, or the New Döring, the Life of Herder; Hulse Eginhard, was produced at the bemann, the History of Democracy, in ginning of this month. The author, the United States of North America; M. Scribe, has founded his piece on Bergmann, Peter the Great, as a the well-known (though probably Man and a Sovereignt; Casanova's fabulous), anecdote of the Princess Memoirs, part 5; Busching, the Emma, daughter of Charlemagne. Castle of the Teutonic Knights at He lays the scene in Germany, in the Marienburg, with seven plates.- 16th century, as it seems, and makes Among the Novels are three by the Louisa his heroine, daughter to the much esteemed author, F. Laun; Duke of Suabia, and united by a clantwo by Baron Fouqué, and one (the destine marriage to a Count LensExiles) by his Lady; the Messenger berg, who, on returning from a millfrom Jerusalem, by Maria Muller; tary expedition, finds the Duke ready the Baron and his Nephew, by S. to give his daughter in marriage to a Contessa; Iwan and Feodora, and Prince of Neuburg. The Parisian two others, by C. Hildebrandt; there critics agree, that it is full of improis besides a whole host of translations babilities and attempts at effect, but from the English and French, among that there are many scenes that are which Sir W. Scott and Viscount highly interesting. It has proved d'Arlincourt occupy the first place. very successful; the first six repreThe translations from Sir W. Scott fillsentations having produced 25,000 nearly a whole page of the catalogue. francs. Encouraged by this success, There are likewise translations of al- the managers are going to bring formost all the travels that have lately ward The Mother and the Daughter, appeared in the other languages of an opera, in three acts; which will Europe, as well as of numerous be succeeded by Leocadia. L'Auteur other works, including the Napoleon Malgré Lui, brought forward at the Memoirs, by Montholon, Gourgaud, Theatre Français, is founded on MarLas Cases, &c. &c. and various books montel's tale, Le Connoisseur, and and pamphlete about Greece and has, in many respects, a great reTurkey.

semblance to the Metromanie. It The Dramatic department offers was very well received by the pubnothing original of any note; there are lic. The author's name being devarious new versions of single plays manded, M. J. Remy was of Shakspeare. Among the latest nounced; but this is presumed not Travels are the second volume of Dr. to be the real name of the author. Schubert's Tour through Sweden, Poetry.-L'esclavage, by M. Marie Norway, Lapland, and Finland; the Dumesnil ; the second edition of the first volume of Dr. Naumann's Ex- Death of Socrates, by Lamartine ; a cursions in Norway in 1821 and new translation, in verse, of the In1822 ; and a third volume of Dr. ferno of Dante, after the new edition Sieber's Travels, being a journey of Mr. Biagioli. from Cairo to Jerusalem and back, History, Memoires, &c.—The prinwith a plan of Jerusalem. The cipal productions under this head *Count Caspar Von Sternberg has are volumes 35 and 36 of the Unipublished the third number of his versal Biography; they contain many Essay towards a Geognostic-botani- interesting articles, under the letters cal representation of the Flora of the P.Q. and R! ; A General History of Antediluvian World. Several num- Gaul, from the first conquests of the bers of the Prince of Niewwied's re- Gauls, to the establishment of the presentations of the Plants of Brazil French monarchy; followed by a are also published; and it is reported View of the Religion, Government, that his Highness is going to make a and Manners of the Gauls, 3 vols. second expedition to that interesting 8vo. by M. Serpette de Marincourt. country.

This work is very highly spoken ot:


the 13th livraison of the Memoirs of great satisfaction of the subscribere, the Revolution is very interesting; This abridgment of the great diction it contains a Precis, by Baron Go- ary in 40 volumes, which has been guelat, on the attempts made to out of print for some time, has the carry away the Queen from the Tem- advantage of being in a great meaple. This work gives the corres sure composed by the authors of pondence of that Princess in face the first work, who have abridged, simile. M., Goguelat replies to se and in many cases improved, their veral assertions of Madame Cam own articles. M. Richard, whose pan, respecting himself. The second New Elements of Botany and Vegevolume of the Memoirs of the Pric table Physiology are highly esteemed, sons, forms, with the Memoirs of has published, in 2 vols. 8vo. a MediLouvet, the other part of this liv- cal Botany, or Natural and Medical raison. The third livraison of the History of Medicines, Poisons, and Memoirs of the English Revolution Aliments, obtained from the Vegetais published.

ble Kingdom. A Dictionary of the Antiquity, Fine Arts, fc.-M. Terms of Medicine, Surgery, PharChampollion-Figeac has just pub- macy, &c. is advertised for imme lished a Notice of Two Egyptian diate publication, 1 vol. 8vo. Papyri, in demotic characters, of Among the translations: Mrs. the reigns of Ptolemy Epiphanes Helme's History of England ; BigEuchariste. They are two contracts, land's History of Spain; Karamsin's dated in the 4th and 8th years of the History of Russia, vol. 2. Becreign of that prince. The Rosetta caria on crimes and punishments, inscription is of the 9th year. The into modern Greek, by M. Coray. comparison of these three documents We had nearly forgotten to mention has enabled the author to remove Etudes pour servir à l'Histoire des some doubts respecting the duration Schals, by J. Rey, manufacturer of of certain offices of the priesthood Cashmere shawls, a book which conin Egypt, and to fill up two import- tains much pleasing and useful inant blanks in the Greek text of the formation on the subject, which the Rosetta inscription, on which Mr. author treats with all the gravity of Letronne is preparing a great work, an historian. which will soon be published.

Geography, Voyages,and Travels. A new edition of Tasso's works, Nothing new has appeared in these by Gioy. Rossini, vol. 9, 8vo. is branches; the 58th number of the announced as more complete than Journal des Voyages contains a very any preceding edition. The first long historical and geographical ac- number of a work on the Baths of count of the city of Cadiz and its Titus has appeared. There are to island, with a very good chart. Mr. be 10 plates and 30 sheets of letterM-Carthy has published, in 10 vols. press, in folio. The object of the 8vo. a judicious selection and able work is particularly to make known abridgment of Voyages and Travels those parts of the baths of Titus in the four quarters of the Globe which were not discovered till the since 1806. Another part of the con- years 1811-1814. The literary intertinuation of the great work on Egypt course with Italy is so extremely lie containing 50 maps, is we believe mited, that works of importance are now published. This is not the 2d not even heard of till long after pubedition publishing by Panckoucke, lication: such a work we presume is but part of the sequel to the great the Nuovo Prospetto delle Scienze work commenced under Buonaparte, Economiche, of which we must conand which the King of France has fess we had never heard, till we saw ordered to be completed on the origi- a few days ago an article in a foreign nal scale. Views of the Coasts of paper stating that the author had France on the Ocean and the Medi- received from the Emperor of Russia terranean, drawn and engraved by a bill of exchange for 20,000 francs, Garnerius, with descriptions by M. with an order for 100 copies, which Jouy, will appear in 15 numbers, had been accordingly sent to St. Per 4to.

tersburg ; the whole making 800 Medicine, fc.-The 9th volume of .volumes : so that the work must conthe abridged Dictionary of the Medi- sist of 8 volumes in 4to. cal Sciences, has just appeared, to the


PHRENOLOGY.. A few years ago, when on a visit cule upon it which their wit can to our friend Mr. Owen at New La- supply. But what is Phrenology? nark, we had the pleasure to meet - Phrenology is a system of philosophy of Mr. Combe, brought thither, like the human mind, and is founded on facts ourselves, not by the falls of Clyde ascertainable by corisciousness and obserits ancient attraction—but by the new vation. Transactions, p. 65. world of men which Mr. Owen, good * Man (say the Phrenologists, Trans. po naturedly and absurdly enough, is 27.) as existing in this world, is compoundnow busy in constructing among his ed of a thinking principle and a material cotton-spinners. At the request of body. The thinking principle carinot by various individuals of the party, and itself become an object of philosophical in particular of our hospitable enter- investigation, because in this life, so far tainer, Mr. Combe agreed to make a

as we know, it neither acts nor can be survey of the heads of the children acted upon except through the medium attending the institution.


of corporeal organs. If then, in this life,

organization is might amount at the time to one or

so indispensable to the

manifestations of the mind, and exerts two hundred, and of the character of so great an influence over them, no system a great majority of them, Mr. Combe of the philosophy of man is entitled to the did, in our presence, give a little ge- name, which neglects its agency, and treats neral estimate, which the head master of the mind as a disembodied spirit : and who attended us, declared to be al- yet Locke, Reid, Paley, Stewart, and Inost invariably correct.

Brown, are as silent upon the organs of - This experiment, which was of the mind, as if the mental functions were the greater value, inasinuch as at performed independent of the body. The New Lanark the master does not Phrenologist, on the other hand,' regards merely teach the children to read,

man as he actually exists, and (to adopt but professes to study and train their the ideas of Mr. Stewart) desires to in natural dispositions, surprised us

vestigate the laws which regulate the con

nexion betwixt the organs and the mind, very much.

It seemed ridiculous but without attempting to discover the and unphilosophical to ascribe the

essence of either, or to explain the man. uniformity of the result to mere ca ner in which they are united. The mesual coincidence; and we thenceforth thod which he follows, namely, that of com. became prepared,- scoffers as we paring the power of manifesting particular had previously been at Phrenology- mental faculties with the development of to look into it with candour, if not particular portions of the brain, is philoso. with some little prepossession in its phical in the most rigid sense of the term ; favour.

and only prejudice and ignorance can un. Our whole subsequent study and dervalue the object of his investigation, or observation has only tended to con

state any serious objection to the means. firm us in the belief of it; and we have The circumstance which became little doubt, that where it is disputed, the origin of the science affords a the error proceeds more from igno- striking instance of this mode of rance of its true nature and preten- philosophizing ; and as it is calcusions, than from any fairly considered lated to remove the prevalent notion judgment on its evidence. The world that Phrenology is the mere offspring conceives of Phrenology as an empi- of a heated fancy, a tissue of chimeras rical pretence to discover human and theories, we make no apology for character from the shape of the skull, quoting it. as if this congeries of bones contained the soul; and running away with.

Dr. Gall from an early age was given to this idea, its ignorant and its unprin- that each of his brothers and sisters, com

observation, and was struck with the fact cipled enemies (the last being those panions in play, and schoolfellows, possesswho, for a laugh, will sacrifice friends, ed some peculiarity of talent or disposition principle, truth, religion, and ho- which distinguished him from others. nour) lavish every reproach and ridi. Some of his schoolmates were distinguished

Transactions of the Phrenological Society, with five engravings. Edinburgh : John Anderson, jun. ; and Simpkin and Marshall

, London. Nov. 1823.


by the beauty, of their penmanship; some served a particular part of their heads to be by their success in arithmetic; and others very largely developed. This fact first by their talent for acquiring a knowledge of suggested to him the idea of looking to the natural history, or of languages. The head for signs of the moral sentiments. compositions of one were remarkable for But in making these observations, he never their eloquence, while the style of another conceived for a moment that the skull was was stiff and dry; and a third connected the cause of the different talents, as has his reasonings in the closest manner, and been erroneously represented,--he referred clothed his argument in the most forcible the influence, whatever it was, to the brain. language. Their dispositions were equally different; and this diversity appeared also menced by Dr. Gall has since been

The mode of inquiry thus comties and aversions. Not a few of them followed out with distinguished sucmanifested a capacity for employments cess by Dr. Spurzheim and Mr. which were not taught; they cut figures Combe; and it bids fair to reduce to in wood, or delineated them on paper; certainty much of that involved and some devoted their leisure to painting, or mysterious, yet limited, useless, and the culture of a garden ; while their com- ever-varying speculation, which hirades abandoned themselves to noisy games, therto has stripped metaphysics alor traversed the woods to gather flowers, most wholly of practical usefulness, seek for birds' nests, or catch butterflies.

and made the very name a laughingThe scholars with whom young Gall had stock. It is easy to explain how the greatest difficulty in competing were those who learned by heart with great faci effects so great may safely

be anlity; and such individuals frequently gain. ticipated from the new study. ed from him, by their repetitions, the places When we reflect (says Mr. Combe, Trans. which he had obtained by the merit of his p. 20) on this mode of inquiry into the funcoriginal compositions.

tions of the brain, we find it to be in the strictSome years afterwards, having changed est degree philosophical, and to be free from his place of residence, he still met indivi. certain insuperable objections which have duals endowed with an equally great talent opposed the success of all investigations, of learning to repeat. He then observed, conducted by the methods previously in that his schoolfellows so gifted possessed use. From an early period, anatomists prominent eyes; and he recollected that have dissected the brain, with the view of his rivals in the first school had been dis- discovering its functions; but, by this tinguished by the same peculiarity. When method, they could not attain the object in he entered the university, he directed his at- view, because the structure of the different tention, from the first, to the students whose parts of the body does not of itself indicate eyes were of this description ; and he soon their functions. By examining the liver, found that they all excelled in getting ra- independent of experience, no person could pidly by heart, and giving correct recita. predicate that its function is to secrete tions, although many of them were by no bile, &c. Every effort, therefore, to dismeans distinguished in point of general ta. cover the functions of the brain by mere lent. This observation was recognized also dissection, has necessarily proved abortive ; by the other students in the classes; and and physiologists, in general, still reprealthough the connection betwixt the talent sent the uses of its different parts as a and the extemal sign was not at this time mystery in science. Metaphysical in established upon such complete evidence as quirers, on the other hand, have resorted is requisite for a philosophical conclusion, chiefly to reflection on consciousness, as a yet Dr. Gall could not believe that the co means of cultivating the philosophy of incidence of the two circumstances thus ob- mind; but as consciousness does not reveal served was entirely accidental. He sus the existence of the organs, by which the pected therefore from this period that they mind communicates with the external stood in an important relation to each other. world, they were incapable by this method After much reflection, he conceived that if of throwing light upon the connexion bememory for words was indicated by an exter. twixt the mind and the body. nal sign, the same might be the case with the And, further, Mr. Combe might other intellectual powers; and, from that have added, that metaphysicians, moment, all individuals distinguished by however intensely they may put their any remarkable faculty became the objects consciousness to task, never of his attention. By degrees, he conceived thence discover any other human himself to have found external character. istics, which indicated a decided disposition being than the one who reflects ; for painting, music, and the mechanical while Phrenologists, by diffusing arts. He became acquainted also with their inquiries over the general world sone individuals remarkable for the deter. of mind, get access to all that variety mination of their character, and he ob. of character which undoubtedly ex


« PreviousContinue »