« PreviousContinue »
as a sufficient authority for the full favourably enough, I am deconduct of their lives, and depend cidedly of opinion that he ought, alone for advice on the caprice of as well as some other dictators, to . their blood. I am fully convinced be carefully watched in the adminof the infirmity of our nature, and istration of his office ; for most have not to learn, that to consult youths, from the sprightliness of apart with its humours, is to take their temperament, are naturally the enemy to council before we disposed for 'the commission of
It is true we are told mischief; and, if chronicles are to in the tales of romance of the be credited, the Divinity in quesdisinterested disposition of ladies tion is as thorough a Pickle as any and cavaliers, of the magnanimity youngster of his standing. That of Bradamant and the generosity he is not belyed there is little dif. of Roland. But the period of ficulty in believing, because his chivalry has long since elapsed, education has rested entirely with and we must now despair of per- his mother, who, on account of fection in these days of d'eneracy: the looseness of her character, to
I have thought fit in inde oytset say nothing of her sex (no ofto be thus explicit, lest some of fence to the fair) is an improper iny readers should misconstrue preceptress for any lad in the my meaning, and pronounce me world, and enough to contaminate a disciple of that school of enthu- half the minors in christendom. siasts, who are overflowing with far from recommending an unsentiment, but at low mark in limited obedience to this little Poprinciple. For they, too, expa- tentate of hearts, or a decided reziate upon the sublimity of their lince on the advice of his mamfeelings, and affect to indulge ma, I would counsel my readers them for the promotion of virtue. to keep a rod in the corner for the But with them and their refine- correcting of both. It may ap: ments I have nothing to do ; for pear, perhapş, indecorvus in the I wish not by favouring the heart Remarker io prescribe birch for to enfeeble the norals. That the females, but, from some curieffeminacy of mind, wiich disqual- ous anecdotes which have lately ifies one for engaging in the busi- transpired, he is disposed to pro-, ness of life, but which is digni- nounce it a general specifick. In fied by the idle with the name of this instance at least, there can be sensibility, I am equally, unwilling, no violent impropriety in recomalso, 10 countenance or excuse. mending its application ; for it is For it is ungenerous, under the particularly fitting that parents pretence of being nicer than should share in the mortifications others, to refuse to divide those which their misconduct had caliexertions, the advantages of which sed to be inflicted on their childwe participate in common. But ren. Yes, my readers may rest more particularly, I would be une sausfied, that the defence of liderstood in defending the heart, centiousness in love makes no not to apologize for its irregulari- part of my plan. The torch of ties in love. There are a few the young incendiary must be of my friends who esteem this or- brought to the foot of the altar, gan as exclusively the property of and his fame be intwined with the Cupid, and his right to direct it steadier taper of llymel), and, thus indisputable and supreme. Now, united, be as religiously kept as though I regard his little Godslip the fires that are yet burning in
the shrines of eastern' supersti- judgment, not the incorrectness of tion.
his feelings. There are many false lights in In enumerating the evils, aristhis world which we inhabit be- ing from this attachment to the sides Jack-with-a-lantern or Will- head, it is natural for a writer to with-a-wisp; but in the whole cir- begin with the Hypercriticks; not cle of ignis fatuuses there is none as being, precisely, the most calamore mischievous than the little mitous and striking, but because linkboy we speak of. Not con- we are disposed to give precedtented like his brethren with mis- 'ence to whatever relates to our. leading the unwary in the dark, selves, and to speak first of the he has set nations together by the difficulties, which lie next to our ears, fired cities and navies, and doors. That these phlegmatick occasioned more disturbance in animals have acquired their dispohis day and generation than all the sition, by continually puzzling • Gods of the Greeks.
their brains, and never consulting
their bosoms, is sufficiently evi'Twas he that brought upon his knees
dent from this circumstance alone. The hect'ring, kill-cow Hercules ;
It is well understood among analTransform'd bis leager-lion's skin To a petticoat, and made him spin ;
omists, and I presume my readers Seiz'd on his club, and made it dwindle are not to be instructed in the fact, T' a feeble distaff, and a spindle. that by incessantly tasking the un
derstanding, the blood of our sysHaving thus far endeavoured by tem is inordinately attracted toa careful explanation to establish wards the regions of the head, an understanding between his and that what was intended to friends and himself, the Remarker communicate, by equal diffusion, proceeds in his calling to deshealthfulness and warmth, is uncribe the disadvantages that arise naturally consumed in a particufrom this servility to the capital. lar department. By these means To prove that he entertains no it happens, that the finer mechaprejudice against this department nism of the brain is exposed to of our microcosm, he has exclu- separation and decay, in a feverish sively followed his judgment in fluid, in which it is immersed. being thus fully explanatory at Hence proceeds that insensibility the commencement of his sub- so common in many scholars to ject. In asserting the claims of a the elegances and niceties in nafavourite it is difficult to allow the ture and art; to all that is pictupretensions of his opponent, to resque and original; impassioned extend the province of the one and pathetick. Those delicate without infringing the possessions implements, which are put in ope
of the other; to exhibit the ex- ration for the perception of semi- cellences of each, and acknowledgement and taste, are discomposed the deficiences of both. Keeping and disordered in their noddles, this in remembrance, the counsel like the colitents of an egg in the for the heart, contrary to the state of an addle.
Hence, too, practice of advocates in general, from this heated repletion of the will endeavour to distribute justice intellectual organs by study, anije 10 either party alike. But if he those dull exhalations which infail in the attempt, it must be at- cumber the foreheads of so many tributed to the inability of his over .fed bookworms; who pore
and doze, and doze and pore, till or decypher the amours of a mustheir temples throb with applica. cle. They follow Art with the ser. tion, and their senses like the Py: vility of lacqueys, and instead of thia's disappear in a smother ; making use of her only to become though without enlightening the acquainted with Nature, forget the world by the delivery of an ora- nautical oath, and take up with the cle, and without the intervention handmaid, when they should carof inspiration or prophesy. Last- ry the mistress. If you tell them ly, in this way we may account of the natural sublimity, and vigfor the existence of the Hypercri orous simplicity of Shakespeare, ticks ; their brains have become they drop an icicle in your bosom, addled by perpetually jading them as it were, by some frigid remark, in the pursuit of imperfections, that the excellences of your favand never suffering a genial effu- ourite are counterbalanced by his sion to enliven their lucubrations. faults, and that though his deparWith empty hearts, and over- ture from the schools in many parcharged heads, they set about ticulars may have brought him scrutinizing an author whom they much nearer to truth, yet wherewant sentiment to relish, and mea. ever he is unclaşsick according to sure his contents by the dogmas them, he is of course an offender, of the schools, with the same de- and must suffer by the statute. gree of deliberateness with which Nothing will please them, nothing a mechanick employs his mensu- will do, but what bears to be tested ration 'upon the dimensions of by the level and rule ; and a writimber. They are ever seen sit- ter must be as prim and precise ing absorbed in the contemplation in his manner, as a young master of some mighty nothing, like an in his maiden essay, or an attorney assiduous old tabby at the entrance in his draught of a special plea. of a mouse-hole, though their joy Obedience to the canons, obediis in no shape declared, or their ence to the canons, is the thing, sessions interrupted by the purr of though the critical code is as unapplause. All without them is necessary to true genius, perhaps, disconsolate as a Docember's after- as the criminal is acknowledged to noon, and all within them equally be to the exemplary and ingenubarren and bleak. The small portion of wisdom which falls to their of all vain fools with coxcomb talents share, is continually beating about
curst, its tenement for a perch, or fas- Bad writers' and bad criticks are the
MASON. tening on some little irregularity to mope and to hoot.
Though Now it is evident I conceive, Milton fash on them in all the that these grievances originate in glories of verse, they pause with the way just described by overyour Bentleys to pick a flaw in his tasking the judgment and neglectgrammar. Like the critical cob- ing the affections. But lest some bler, they would inadvertently pass should be disposed to discredit the over the exquisite proportions of correctness of my opinion, I will the statuary, to detect the omission relate a matter of fact, which I of a stitch in the seam of his shoe. chanced on in reading. It is reIncapable of taking in the magnif- corded in the annals of t!c College icent, they stoop by the seaside, of Physicians (the volume and with old Ocean at his highest, to chapter are not now remembered) trace the veins of a pebble-stone, that a disciple of the fraternity,
about which we are treating, was they resisted the insertion of the once dissected in the course of most delicate probes, and looked anatomy by the fellows of the in. hardly large enough to sustain the stitution ; in whom the appearan- vital functions of a sparrow. In, ces were so different from those raising the heart between the finof subjects in general, that it was gers, it was found to be heavier resolved in full meeting to make re than any solid of its size, and to port of the same, to be registered as possess such a benumbing prop, monstrous in the history of dissec- erty, as to communicate a torpor tion. By this account it appears that to the person that touched it. The upon opening the body the pericar. pillars, walls, and in fact all the dium, or purse in which the heart parts of this organ were petrified is contained, it was found so con- and colourless, and when held up tracted and shrivelled, that some in sections for examination, re. doubts were entertained as to the minded the spectators of some identity of the part. Numbers specimens of marble. But, as the were of opinion, that they had mis- whole account of this muscle taken the situation of the fountain might weary our readers, and of life, and were inclined to believe enough, perhaps, has been brought with the Mock Doctor, that it quar- to support our position, we will tered its streams in the right cav- just take a peep into the head, and ity of the chest. How long this then conclude with the college. persuasion suspended the lecture, The state of this department or what learning was discovered in was precisely the reverse of thaç support of the same, unfortunately of the heart. The vessels appear. for the worid, we are left to conjec, ed here to be crowded with exture. All that the statement gives us travasated fuid, and the brain, to know respecting the operators is, instead of being either contracted that after removing the pericardium, or hard, seemed extremely diswith the doubts it occasioned, they tended and soft. The pineal gland, expressed as much surprise at its which is considered by Des Cartes contents, as had been shown for the as the seat of the soul (though we membrane,in which they were con- are of opinion with the ancients, tained. That interesting muscle,the that it resides in the diaphrugm) heart, it seems, was so contracted was so astonishingly enlarged beand indurated,as to make it next to yond its natural dimensions, that, impossible to perforate it with the had the wits of the man gone along instruments for the occasion ; and with its growth, he might have several went far enough to affirm, been said to have sprung from the that during the dissection they temples of Jupiter himself. In conceited that it rattled. Wheth, addition to these peculiarities, ower this was the case, they were not ing no doubt to the enlargements assured, though, from the nature we speak of, the sutures of the of the substance, they conceive it cranium were found evidently di. presumable. But what may better vided, and there appeared no ques. be depended on is, both the ven- tion in the minds of the physicians, tricles of this organ were so ex- but that the gentleman had been ceedingly small, it appeared a mys- removed by a fit of the apoplexy. tery with the faculty how the sub- So interesting altogether were the ject had existed. It is affirmed, appearances of the subject, that a incredible as it may seem, that committee was deputed to investi.
Vol. IV. No. 2. L
gate his history, and report a sum- ing want of refinement in society mary of the same for the edifica- with regard to the subject of martion of the collegiates. From this riage, or the fashion of suffering epitome, which immediately fol. interest to determine the proprielows the statement here given, we ty of a connexion, which nature ingather, how, several days antece- tended should be left to the affecdent to the one of his death, the tion. We are informed this cove. deceased had been so immersed in nant of old was regarded as boly, the depths of meditation, as not and that the heart was conceived only to neglect the calls of his to be conferred with the hand. friends, but to be unable to take But the ceremony now-a-days of either sustenance or sleep. The tying the knot is considered by subject which interested his atten- some parties as nothing more than tion thus forcibly during this pe- affixing their seals to the articles riod, appears to have been, A Dis. of settiement. It is sufficiently sertation on the Elements of our mortifying to observe the influence Tongue ; in which it is ingenious. of this spirit of speculation (if spirit ly insisted, that the Alphabet has it may be called) upon the operabeen reversed, in the order it now tions of taste ; but it is a more stands, and ought for the honour sorry sight to perceive it in prosof letters to be restored to its native pect gradually chilling the source position ; that A unquestionably of domestick confidence and love, was situated, originally, on its head, and checking in its spread the betnot on its legs, and that the defor- ter feelings of the age. mity of Z proceeded from a hurt Perhaps it may be thought by which it received at the time of the some that the Remarker is ascribtopsy-turvy, having fallen through ing a disposition to the times, a greater arch, than any one of the which has no existence but in his characters, with the single excep- own ugly imagination, with a view tion of its friend at the antipodes. of showing his readers with what For what term this captivating dexterity he can quarrel with treatise might have occupied our shadows. But the evil in quesstudent, or the glosses, additions, tion, though limited at present, is and amendments it would ha too evident, he fears, to pass among ceived, unhappily for science, can the imaginaries. Others, who now never be known; for on the have more philosophy than feeling, morning following the final day may charge him with affecting to of his incomplete labours, he was be violently sentimental, and place found stiff, by his attendant, in an him in the division of high-flying old-fashioned arm-chair, the dor- novelists : and, perhaps, with some mitory of his family time out of shew of justice ; for he is so tired mind. Such, alas, is the effect of of much of the common-place of inordinate application, and the con- life, that he has thought seriously sequence of wishing to be wise at of stepping forth in support of rothe expense of the heart !
mance. Indeed, it has been But there is another and a more laughed at long enough, and it is serious mischief attending this ne- now time, he suspects, to be amused glect of the heart, which induces at the expense of its opposite. A me to alter my tone, and to deliver little care must be used in exposmyself after a less trivial and fan- ing a foible, lest another of con. ciful strain. I allude to the grow. trary cast take occasion to triumph.