The Project Gutenberg eBook of Narrative and Miscellaneous Papers — Volume 2

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Title: Narrative and Miscellaneous Papers — Volume 2

Author: Thomas De Quincey

Release date: July 1, 2004 [eBook #6147]
Most recently updated: December 29, 2020

Language: English


Produced by Anne Soulard, Charles Franks

and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.





[Footnote: Thoughts on Some Important Points relating to the System of
the World. By J. P. Nichol, LL.D., Professor of Astronomy in the
University of Glasgow. William Tait, Edinburgh. 1846.]

Some years ago, some person or other, [in fact I believe it was myself,] published a paper from the German of Kant, on a very interesting question, viz., the age of our own little Earth. Those who have never seen that paper, a class of unfortunate people whom I suspect to form rather the majority in our present perverse generation, will be likely to misconceive its object. Kant's purpose was, not to ascertain how many years the Earth had lived: a million of years, more or less, made very little difference to him. What he wished to settle was no such barren conundrum. For, had there even been any means of coercing the Earth into an honest answer, on such a delicate point, which the Sicilian canon, Recupero, fancied that there was; [Footnote: Recupero. See Brydone's Travels, some sixty or seventy years ago. The canon, being a beneficed clergyman in the Papal church, was naturally an infidel. He wished exceedingly to refute Moses: and he fancied that he really had done so by means of some collusive assistance from the layers of lava on Mount Etna. But there survives, at this day, very little to remind us of the canon, except an unpleasant guffaw that rises, at times, in solitary valleys of Etna.] but which, in my own opinion, there neither is, nor ought to be,— (since a man deserves to be cudgelled who could put such improper questions to a lady planet,)—still what would it amount to? What good would it do us to have a certificate of our dear little mother's birth and baptism? Other people—people in Jupiter, or the Uranians—may amuse themselves with her pretended foibles or infirmities: it is quite safe to do so at their distance; and, in a female planet like Venus, it might be natural, (though, strictly speaking, not quite correct,) to scatter abroad malicious insinuations, as though our excellent little mamma had begun to wear false hair, or had lost some of her front teeth. But all this, we men of sense know to be gammon. Our mother Tellus, beyond all doubt, is a lovely little thing. I am satisfied that she is very much admired throughout the Solar System: and, in clear seasons, when she is seen to advantage, with her bonny wee pet of a Moon tripping round her like a lamb, I should be thankful to any gentleman who will mention where he has happened to observe—either he or his telescope—will he only have the goodness to say, in what part of the heavens he has discovered a more elegant turn-out. I wish to make no personal reflections. I name no names. Only this I say, that, though some people have the gift of seeing things that other people never could see, and though some other people, or other some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, so that, generally, their geese count for swans, yet, after all, swans or geese, it would be a pleasure to me, and really a curiosity, to see the planet that could fancy herself entitled to sneeze at our Earth. And then, if she (viz., our Earth,) keeps but one Moon, even that (you know) is an advantage as regards some people that keep none. There are people, pretty well known to you and me, that can't make it convenient to keep even one Moon. And so I come to my moral; which is this, that, to all appearance, it is mere justice; but, supposing it were not, still it is our duty, (as children of the Earth,) right or wrong, to stand up for our bonny young mamma, if she is young; or for our dear old mother, if she is old; whether young or old, to take her part against all comers; and to argue through thick and thin, which (sober or not) I always attempt to do, that she is the most respectable member of the Copernican System.

Meantime, what Kant understood by being old, is something that still remains to be explained. If one stumbled, in the steppes of Tartary, on the grave of a Megalonyx, and, after long study, had deciphered from some pre-Adamite heiro-pothooks, the following epitaph:—'Hic jacet a Megalonyx, or Hic jacet a Mammoth, (as the case might be,) who departed this life, to the grief of his numerous acquaintance in the seventeen thousandth year of his age,'—of course, one would be sorry for him; because it must be disagreeable at any age to be torn away from life, and from all one's little megalonychal comforts; that's not pleasant, you know, even if one is seventeen thousand years old. But it would make all the difference possible in your grief, whether the record indicated a premature death, that he had been cut off, in fact, whilst just stepping into life, or had kicked the bucket when full of honors, and been followed to the grave by a train of weeping grandchildren. He had died 'in his teens,' that's past denying. But still we must know to what stage of life in a man, had corresponded seventeen thousand years in a Mammoth. Now exactly this was what Kant desired to know about our planet. Let her have lived any number of years that you suggest, (shall we say if you please, that she is in her billionth year?) still that tells us nothing about the period of life, the stage, which she may be supposed to have reached. Is she a child, in fact, or is she an adult? And, if an adult, and that you gave a ball to the Solar System, is she that kind of person, that you would introduce to a waltzing partner, some fiery young gentlemen like Mars, or would you rather suggest to her the sort of partnership which takes place at a whist-table? On this, as on so many other questions, Kant was perfectly sensible that people, of the finest understandings, may and do take the most opposite views. Some think that our planet is in that stage of her life, which corresponds to the playful period of twelve or thirteen in a spirited girl. Such a girl, were it not that she is checked by a sweet natural sense of feminine grace, you might call a romp; but not a hoyden, observe; no horse-play; oh, no, nothing of that sort. And these people fancy that earthquakes, volcanoes, and all such little escapades will be over, they will, in lawyer's phrase, 'cease and determine,' as soon as our Earth reaches the age of maidenly bashfulness. Poor thing! It's quite natural, you know, in a healthy growing girl. A little overflow of vivacity, a pirouette more or less, what harm should that do to any of us? Nobody takes more delight than I in the fawn-like sportiveness of an innocent girl, at this period of life: even a shade of espièglerie does not annoy me. But still my own impressions incline me rather to represent the Earth as a fine noble young woman, full of the pride which is so becoming to her sex, and well able to take her own part, in case that, at any solitary point of the heavens, she should come across one of those vulgar fussy Comets, disposed to be rude and take improper liberties. These Comets, by the way, are public nuisances, very much like the mounted messengers of butchers in great cities, who are always at full gallop, and moving upon such an infinity of angles to human shinbones, that the final purpose of such boys (one of whom lately had the audacity nearly to ride down the Duke of Wellington) seems to be— not the translation of mutton, which would certainly find its way into human mouths even if riding boys were not,—but the improved geometry of transcendental curves. They ought to be numbered, ought these boys, and to wear badges—X 10, &c. And exactly the same evil, asking therefore by implication for exactly the same remedy, affects the Comets. A respectable planet is known everywhere, and responsible for any mischief that he does. But if a cry should arise, 'Stop that wretch, who was rude to the Earth: who is he?' twenty voices will answer, perhaps, 'It's Encke's Comet; he is always doing mischief;' well, what can you say? it may be Encke's, it may be some other man's Comet; there are so many abroad and on so many roads, that you might as well ask upon a night of fog, such fog as may be opened with an oyster knife, whose cab that was (whose, viz., out of 27,000 in London) that floored you into the kennel.

These are constructive ideas upon the Earth's stage of evolution, which Kant was aware of, and which will always find toleration, even where they do not find patronage. But others there are, a class whom I perfectly abominate, that place our Earth in the category of decaying women, nay of decayed women, going, going, and all but gone. 'Hair like arctic snows, failure of vital heat, palsy that shakes the head as in the porcelain toys on our mantel-pieces, asthma that shakes the whole fabric—these they absolutely fancy themselves to see. They absolutely hear the tellurian lungs wheezing, panting, crying, 'Bellows to mend!' periodically as the Earth approaches her aphelion.

But suddenly at this point a demur arises upon the total question. Kant's very problem explodes, bursts, as poison in Venetian wine-glass of old shivered the glass into fragments. For is there, after all, any stationary meaning in the question? Perhaps in reality the Earth is both young and old. Young? If she is not young at present, perhaps she will be so in future. Old? if she is not old at this moment, perhaps she has been old, and has a fair chance of becoming so again. In fact, she is a Phoenix that is known to have secret processes for rebuilding herself out of her own ashes. Little doubt there is but she has seen many a birthday, many a funeral night, and many a morning of resurrection. Where now the mightiest of oceans rolls in pacific beauty, once were anchored continents and boundless forests. Where the south pole now shuts her frozen gates inhospitably against the intrusions of flesh, once were probably accumulated the ribs of empires; man's imperial forehead, woman's roseate lips, gleamed upon ten thousand hills; and there were innumerable contributions to antarctic journals almost as good (but not quite) as our own. Even within our domestic limits, even where little England, in her south- eastern quarter now devolves so quietly to the sea her sweet pastoral rivulets, once came roaring down, in pomp of waters, a regal Ganges [Footnote: 'Ganges:'—Dr. Nichol calls it by this name for the purpose of expressing its grandeur; and certainly in breadth, in diffusion at all times, but especially in the rainy season, the Ganges is the cock of the walk in our British orient. Else, as regards the body of water discharged, the absolute payments made into the sea's exchequer, and the majesty of column riding downwards from the Himalaya, I believe that, since Sir Alexander Burnes's measurements, the Indus ranks foremost by a long chalk.], that drained some hyperbolical continent, some Quinbus Flestrin of Asiatic proportions, long since gone to the dogs. All things pass away. Generations wax old as does a garment: but eternally God says:—'Come again, ye children of men.' Wildernesses of fruit, and worlds of flowers, are annually gathered in solitary South America to ancestral graves: yet still the Pomona of Earth, yet still the Flora of Earth, does not become superannuated, but blossoms in everlasting youth. Not otherwise by secular periods, known to us geologically as facts, though obscure as durations, Tellus herself, the planet, as a whole, is for ever working by golden balances of change and compensation, of ruin and restoration. She recasts her glorious habitations in decomposing them; she lies down for death, which perhaps a thousand times she has suffered; she rises for a new birth, which perhaps for the thousandth time has glorified her disc. Hers is the wedding garment, hers is the shroud, that eternally is being woven in the loom. And God imposes upon her the awful necessity of working for ever at her own grave, yet of listening for ever to his far-off trumpet of palingenesis.

If this account of the matter be just, and were it not treasonable to insinuate the possibility of an error against so great a swell as Immanuel Kant, one would be inclined to fancy that Mr. Kant had really been dozing a little on this occasion; or, agreeably to his own illustration elsewhere, that he had realized the pleasant picture of one learned doctor trying to milk a he-goat, whilst another doctor, equally learned, holds the milk-pail below. [Footnote: Kant applied this illustration to the case where one worshipful scholar proposes some impossible problem, (as the squaring of the circle, or the perpetual motion,) which another worshipful scholar sits down to solve. The reference was of course to Virgil's line,—'Atque idem jungat vulpes, et mulgeat hircos.'] And there is apparently this two- edged embarrassment pressing upon the case—that, if our dear excellent mother the Earth could be persuaded to tell us her exact age in Julian years, still that would leave us all as much in the dark as ever: since, if the answer were, 'Why, children, at my next birth-day I shall count a matter of some million centuries,' we should still be at a loss to value her age: would it mean that she was a mere chicken, or that she was 'getting up in years?' On the other hand, if (declining to state any odious circumstantialities,) she were to reply,—'No matter, children, for my precise years, which are disagreeable remembrances; I confess generally to being a lady of a certain age,'—here, in the inverse order, given the valuation of the age, we should yet be at a loss for the absolute years numerically: would a 'certain age,' mean that 'mamma' was a million, be the same more or less, or perhaps not much above seventy thousand?

Every way, you see, reader, there are difficulties. But two things used to strike me, as unaccountably overlooked by Kant; who, to say the truth, was profound—yet at no time very agile—in the character of his understanding. First, what age now might we take our brother and sister planets to be? For that determination as to a point in their constitution, will do something to illustrate our own. We are as good as they, I hope, any day: perhaps in a growl, one might modestly insinuate—better. It's not at all likely that there can be any great disproportion of age amongst children of the same household: and therefore, since Kant always countenanced the idea that Jupiter had not quite finished the upholstery of his extensive premises, as a comfortable residence for a man, Jupiter having, in fact, a fine family of mammoths, but no family at all of 'humans,' (as brother Jonathan calls them,) Kant was bound, ex analogo, to hold that any little precedency in the trade of living, on the part of our own mother Earth, could not count for much in the long run. At Newmarket, or Doncaster, the start is seldom mathematically true: trifling advantages will survive all human trials after abstract equity; and the logic of this case argues, that any few thousands of years by which Tellus may have got ahead of Jupiter, such as the having finished her Roman Empire, finished her Crusades, and finished her French Revolution, virtually amounts to little or nothing; indicates no higher proportion to the total scale upon which she has to run, than the few tickings of a watch by which one horse at the start for the Leger is in advance of another. When checked in our chronology by each other, it transpires that, in effect, we are but executing the nice manoeuvre of a start; and that the small matter of six thousand years, by which we may have advanced our own position beyond some of our planetary rivals, is but the outstretched neck of an uneasy horse at Doncaster. This is one of the data overlooked by Kant; and the less excusably overlooked, because it was his own peculiar doctrine,— that uncle Jupiter ought to be considered a greenhorn. Jupiter may be a younger brother of our mamma; but, if he is a brother at all, he cannot be so very wide of our own chronology; and therefore the first datum overlooked by Kant was—the analogy of our whole planetary system. A second datum, as it always occurred to myself, might reasonably enough be derived from the intellectual vigor of us men. If our mother could, with any show of reason, be considered an old decayed lady, snoring stentorously in her arm-chair, there would naturally be some aroma of phthisis, or apoplexy, beginning to form about us, that are her children. But is there? If ever Dr. Johnson said a true word, it was when he replied to the Scottish judge Burnett, so well known to the world as Lord Monboddo. The judge, a learned man, but obstinate as a mule in certain prejudices, had said plaintively, querulously, piteously,—'Ah, Doctor, we are poor creatures, we men of the eighteenth century, by comparison with our forefathers!' 'Oh, no, my Lord,' said Johnson, 'we are quite as strong as our ancestors, and a great deal wiser.' Yes; our kick is, at least, as dangerous, and our logic does three times as much execution. This would be a complex topic to treat effectively; and I wish merely to indicate the opening which it offers for a most decisive order of arguments in such a controversy. If the Earth were on her last legs, we her children could not be very strong or healthy. Whereas, if there were less pedantry amongst us, less malice, less falsehood, and less darkness of prejudice, easy it would be to show, that in almost every mode of intellectual power, we are more than a match for the most conceited of elder generations, and that in some modes we have energies or arts absolutely and exclusively our own. Amongst a thousand indications of strength and budding youth, I will mention two:—Is it likely, is it plausible, that our Earth should just begin to find out effective methods of traversing land and sea, when she had a summons to leave both? Is it not, on the contrary, a clear presumption that the great career of earthly nations is but on the point of opening, that life is but just beginning to kindle, when the great obstacles to effectual locomotion, and therefore to extensive human intercourse, are first of all beginning to give way? Secondly, I ask peremptorily,—Does it stand with good sense, is it reasonable that Earth is waning, science drooping, man looking downward, precisely in that epoch when, first of all, man's eye is arming itself for looking effectively into the mighty depths of space? A new era for the human intellect, upon a path that lies amongst its most aspiring, is promised, is inaugurated, by Lord Rosse's almost awful telescope.

What is it then that Lord Rosse has accomplished? If a man were aiming at dazzling by effects of rhetoric, he might reply: He has accomplished that which once the condition of the telescope not only refused its permission to hope for, but expressly bade man to despair of. What is it that Lord Rosse has revealed? Answer: he has revealed more by far than he found. The theatre to which he has introduced us, is immeasurably beyond the old one which he found. To say that he found, in the visible universe, a little wooden theatre of Thespis, a tréteau or shed of vagrants, and that he presented us, at a price of toil and of anxiety that cannot be measured, with a Roman colosseum,—that is to say nothing. It is to undertake the measurement of the tropics with the pocket-tape of an upholsterer. Columbus, when he introduced the Old World to the New, after all that can be said in his praise, did in fact only introduce the majority to the minority; but Lord Rosse has introduced the minority to the majority. There are two worlds, one called Ante-Rosse, and the other Post-Rosse; and, if it should come to voting, the latter would shockingly outvote the other. Augustus Cæsar made it his boast when dying, that he had found the city of Rome built of brick, and that he left it built of marble: lateritiam invenit, marmoream reliquit. Lord Rosse may say, even if to-day he should die, 'I found God's universe represented for human convenience, even after all the sublime discoveries of Herschel, upon a globe or spherical chart having a radius of one hundred and fifty feet; and I left it sketched upon a similar chart, keeping exactly the same scale of proportions, but now elongating its radius into one thousand feet.' The reader of course understands that this expression, founded on absolute calculations of Dr. Nichol, is simply meant to exhibit the relative dimensions of the mundus Ante-Rosseanus and the mundus Post-Rosseanus; for as to the absolute dimensions, when stated in miles, leagues or any units familiar to the human experience, they are too stunning and confounding. If, again, they are stated in larger units, as for instance diameters of the earth's orbit, the unit itself that should facilitate the grasping of the result, and which really is more manageable numerically, becomes itself elusive of the mental grasp: it comes in as an interpreter; and (as in some other cases) the interpreter is hardest to be understood of the two. If, finally, TIME be assumed as the exponent of the dreadful magnitudes, time combining itself with motion, as in the flight of cannon-balls or the flight of swallows, the sublimity becomes greater; but horror seizes upon the reflecting intellect, and incredulity upon the irreflective. Even a railroad generation, that should have faith in the miracles of velocity, lifts up its hands with an 'Incredulus odi!' we know that Dr. Nichol speaks the truth; but he seems to speak falsehood. And the ignorant by-stander prays that the doctor may have grace given him and time for repentance; whilst his more liberal companion reproves his want of charity, observing that travellers into far countries have always had a license for lying, as a sort of tax or fine levied for remunerating their own risks; and that great astronomers, as necessarily far travellers into space, are entitled to a double per centage of the same Munchausen privilege.

Great is the mystery of Space, greater is the mystery of Time; either mystery grows upon man, as man himself grows; and either seems to be a function of the godlike which is in man. In reality the depths and the heights which are in man, the depths by which he searches, the heights by which he aspires, are but projected and made objective externally in the three dimensions of space which are outside of him. He trembles at the abyss into which his bodily eyes look down, or look up; not knowing that abyss to be, not always consciously suspecting it to be, but by an instinct written in his prophetic heart feeling it to be, boding it to be, fearing it to be, and sometimes hoping it to be, the mirror to a mightier abyss that will one day be expanded in himself. Even as to the sense of space, which is the lesser mystery than time, I know not whether the reader has remarked that it is one which swells upon man with the expansion of his mind, and that it is probably peculiar to the mind of man. An infant of a year old, or oftentimes even older, takes no notice of a sound, however loud, which is a quarter of a mile removed, or even in a distant chamber. And brutes, even of the most enlarged capacities, seem not to have any commerce with distance: distance is probably not revealed to them except by a presence, viz., by some shadow of their own animality, which, if perceived at all, is perceived as a thing present to their organs. An animal desire, or a deep animal hostility, may render sensible a distance which else would not be sensible; but not render it sensible as a distance. Hence perhaps is explained, and not out of any self- oblivion from higher enthusiasm, a fact that often has occurred, of deer, or hares, or foxes, and the pack of hounds in pursuit, chaser and chased, all going headlong over a precipice together. Depth or height does not readily manifest itself to them; so that any strong motive is sufficient to overpower the sense of it. Man only has a natural function for expanding on an illimitable sensorium, the illimitable growths of space. Man, coming to the precipice, reads his danger; the brute perishes: man is saved; and the horse is saved by his rider.

But, if this sounds in the ear of some a doubtful refinement, the doubt applies only to the lowest degrees of space. For the highest, it is certain that brutes have no perception. To man is as much reserved the prerogative of perceiving space in its higher extensions, as of geometrically constructing the relations of space. And the brute is no more capable of apprehending abysses through his eye, than he can build upwards or can analyze downwards the ærial synthesis of Geometry. Such, therefore, as is space for the grandeur of man's perceptions, such as is space for the benefit of man's towering mathematic speculations, such is the nature of our debt to Lord Rosse—as being the philosopher who has most pushed back the frontiers of our conquests upon this exclusive inheritance of man. We have all heard of a king that, sitting on the sea-shore, bade the waves, as they began to lave his feet, upon their allegiance to retire. That was said not vainly or presumptuously, but in reproof of sycophantic courtiers. Now, however, we see in good earnest another man, wielding another kind of sceptre, and sitting upon the shores of infinity, that says to the ice which had frozen up our progress,—'Melt thou before my breath!' that says to the rebellious nebulæ,—'Submit, and burst into blazing worlds!' that says to the gates of darkness,—'Roll back, ye barriers, and no longer hide from us the infinities of God!'

'Come, and I will show you what is beautiful.'

From the days of infancy still lingers in my ears this opening of a prose hymn by a lady, then very celebrated, viz., the late Mrs. Barbauld. The hymn began by enticing some solitary infant into some silent garden, I believe, or some forest lawn; and the opening words were, 'Come, and I will show you what is beautiful!' Well, and what beside? There is nothing beside; oh, disappointed and therefore enraged reader; positively this is the sum-total of what I can recall from the wreck of years; and certainly it is not much. Even of Sappho, though time has made mere ducks and drakes of her lyrics, we have rather more spared to us than this. And yet this trifle, simple as you think it, this shred of a fragment, if the reader will believe me, still echoes with luxurious sweetness in my ears, from some unaccountable hide-and- seek of fugitive childish memories; just as a marine shell, if applied steadily to the ear, awakens (according to the fine image of Landor [Footnote: 'Of Landor,' viz., in his 'Gebir;' but also of Wordsworth in 'The Excursion.' And I must tell the reader, that a contest raged at one time as to the original property in this image, not much less keen than that between Neptune and Minerva, for the chancellorship of Athens.]) the great vision of the sea; places the listener

              'In the sun's palace-porch,
  And murmurs as the ocean murmurs there.'

Now, on some moonless night, in some fitting condition of the atmosphere, if Lord Rosse would permit the reader and myself to walk into the front drawing-room of his telescope, then, in Mrs. Barbauld's words, slightly varied, I might say to him,—Come, and I will show you what is sublime! In fact, what I am going to lay before him, from Dr. Nichol's work, is, or at least would be, (when translated into Hebrew grandeur by the mighty telescope,) a step above even that object which some four-and-twenty years ago in the British Museum struck me as simply the sublimest sight which in this sight-seeing world I had seen. It was the Memnon's head, then recently brought from Egypt. I looked at it, as the reader must suppose, in order to understand the depth which I have here ascribed to the impression, not as a human but as a symbolic head; and what it symbolized to me were: 1. The peace which passeth all understanding. 2. The eternity which baffles and confounds all faculty of computation; the eternity which had been, the eternity which was to be. 3. The diffusive love, not such as rises and falls upon waves of life and mortality, not such as sinks and swells by undulations of time, but a procession—an emanation from some mystery of endless dawn. You durst not call it a smile that radiated from the lips; the radiation was too awful to clothe itself in adumbrations or memorials of flesh.

In that mode of sublimity, perhaps, I still adhere to my first opinion, that nothing so great was ever beheld. The atmosphere for this, for the Memnon, was the breathlessness which belongs to a saintly trance; the holy thing seemed to live by silence. But there is a picture, the pendant of the Memnon, there is a dreadful cartoon, from the gallery which has begun to open upon Lord Rosse's telescope, where the appropriate atmosphere for investing it must be drawn from another silence, from the frost and from the eternities of death. It is the famous nebula in the constellation of Orion; famous for the unexampled defiance with which it resisted all approaches from the most potent of former telescopes; famous for its frightful magnitude and for the frightful depth to which it is sunk in the abysses of the heavenly wilderness; famous just now for the submission with which it has begun to render up its secrets to the all-conquering telescope; and famous in all time coming for the horror of the regal phantasma which it has perfected to eyes of flesh. Had Milton's 'incestuous mother,' with her fleshless son, and with the warrior angel, his father, that led the rebellions of heaven, been suddenly unmasked by Lord Rosse's instrument, in these dreadful distances before which, simply as expressions of resistance, the mind of man shudders and recoils, there would have been nothing more appalling in the exposure; in fact, it would have been essentially the same exposure: the same expression of power in the detestable phantom, the same rebellion in the attitude, the same pomp of malice in the features to a universe seasoned for its assaults.

The reader must look to Dr. Nichol's book, at page 51, for the picture of this abominable apparition. But then, in order to see what I see, the obedient reader must do what I tell him to do. Let him therefore view the wretch upside down. If he neglects that simple direction, of course I don't answer for anything that follows: without any fault of mine, my description will be unintelligible. This inversion being made, the following is the dreadful creature that will then reveal itself.

Description of the Nebula in Orion, as forced to show out by Lord Rosse.—You see a head thrown back, and raising its face, (or eyes, if eyes it had,) in the very anguish of hatred, to some unknown heavens. What should be its skull wears what might be an Assyrian tiara, only ending behind in a floating train. This head rests upon a beautifully developed neck and throat. All power being given to the awful enemy, he is beautiful where he pleases, in order to point and envenom his ghostly ugliness. The mouth, in that stage of the apocalypse which Sir John Herschel was able to arrest in his eighteen- inch mirror, is amply developed. Brutalities unspeakable sit upon the upper lip, which is confluent with a snout; for separate nostrils there are none. Were it not for this one defect of nostrils; and, even in spite of this defect, (since, in so mysterious a mixture of the angelic and the brutal, we may suppose the sense of odor to work by some compensatory organ,) one is reminded by the phantom's attitude of a passage, ever memorable, in Milton: that passage, I mean, where Death first becomes aware, soon after the original trespass, of his own future empire over man. The 'meagre shadow' even smiles (for the first time and the last) on apprehending his own abominable bliss, by apprehending from afar the savor 'of mortal change on earth.'

  ——'Such a scent,' (he says,) 'I draw
  Of carnage, prey innumerable.'

As illustrating the attitude of the phantom in Orion, let the reader allow me to quote the tremendous passage:—

  'So saying, with delight he snuff'd the smell
  Of mortal change on earth. As when a flock
  Of ravenous fowl, though many a league remote,
  Against the day of battle, to a field,
  Where armies lie encamp'd, come flying, lured
  With scent of living carcasses design'd
  For death, the following day, in bloody fight;
  So scented the grim feature, [Footnote: 'So scented the grim
feature,' [feature is the old word for form or outline that
is shadowy
; and also for form (shadowy or not) which abstracts from
the matter.] By the way, I have never seen it noticed, that
Milton was indebted for the hint of this immortal passage to a superb
line-and-a-half, in Lucan's Pharsalia.] and upturn'd
  His nostril wide into the murky air,
  Sagacious of his quarry from so far.'

But the lower lip, which is drawn inwards with the curve of a conch shell,—oh what a convolute of cruelty and revenge is there! Cruelty!—to whom? Revenge!—for what? Ask not, whisper not. Look upwards to other mysteries. In the very region of his temples, driving itself downwards into his cruel brain, and breaking the continuity of his diadem, is a horrid chasm, a ravine, a shaft, that many centuries would not traverse; and it is serrated on its posterior wall with a harrow that perhaps is partly hidden. From the anterior wall of this chasm rise, in vertical directions, two processes; one perpendicular, and rigid as a horn, the other streaming forward before some portentous breath. What these could be, seemed doubtful; but now, when further examinations by Sir John Herschel, at the Cape of Good Hope, have filled up the scattered outline with a rich umbrageous growth, one is inclined to regard them as the plumes of a sultan. Dressed he is, therefore, as well as armed. And finally comes Lord Rosse, that glorifies him with the jewellery [Footnote: The jewellery of Stars. And one thing is very remarkable, viz., that not only the stars justify this name of jewellery, as usual, by the life of their splendor, but also, in this case, by their arrangement. No jeweller could have set, or disposed with more art, the magnificent quadrille of stars which is placed immediately below the upright plume. There is also another, a truncated quadrille, wanting only the left hand star (or you might call it a bisected lozenge) placed on the diadem, but obliquely placed as regards the curve of that diadem. Two or three other arrangements are striking, though not equally so, both from their regularity and from their repeating each other, as the forms in a kaleidoscope.] of stars: he is now a vision 'to dream of, not to tell:' he is ready for the worship of those that are tormented in sleep: and the stages of his solemn uncovering by astronomy, first by Sir W. Herschel, secondly, by his son, and finally by Lord Rosse, is like the reversing of some heavenly doom, like the raising of the seals that had been sealed by the angel, in the Revelations. But the reader naturally asks, How does all this concern Lord Rosse's telescope on the one side, or general astronomy on the other? This nebula, he will say, seems a bad kind of fellow by your account; and of course it will not break my heart to hear, that he has had the conceit taken out of him. But in what way can that affect the pretensions of this new instrument; or, if it did, how can the character of the instrument affect the general condition of a science? Besides, is not the science a growth from very ancient times? With great respect for the Earl of Rosse, is it conceivable that he, or any man, by one hour's working the tackle of his new instrument, can have carried any stunning revolutionary effect into the heart of a section so ancient in our mathematical physics? But the reader is to consider, that the ruins made by Lord Rosse, are in sidereal astronomy, which is almost wholly a growth of modern times; and the particular part of it demolished by the new telescope, is almost exclusively the creation of the two Herschels, father and son. Laplace, it is true, adopted their views; and he transferred them to the particular service of our own planetary system. But he gave to them no new sanction, except what arises from showing that they would account for the appearances, as they present themselves to our experience at this day. That was a negative confirmation; by which I mean, that, had their views failed in the hands of Laplace, then they were proved to be false; but, not failing, they were not therefore proved to be true. It was like proving a gun; if the charge is insufficient, or if, in trying the strength of cast iron, timber, ropes, &c., the strain is not up to the rigor of the demand, you go away with perhaps a favorable impression as to the promises of the article; it has stood a moderate trial; it has stood all the trial that offered, which is always something; but you are still obliged to feel that, when the ultimate test is applied, smash may go the whole concern. Lord Rosse applied an ultimate test; and smash went the whole concern. Really I must have laughed, though all the world had been angry, when the shrieks and yells of expiring systems began to reverberate all the way from the belt of Orion; and positively at the very first broadside delivered from this huge four- decker of a telescope.

But what was it then that went to wreck? That is a thing more easy to ask than to answer. At least, for my own part, I complain that some vagueness hangs over all the accounts of the nebular hypothesis. However, in this place a brief sketch will suffice.

Herschel the elder, having greatly improved the telescope, began to observe with special attention a class of remarkable phenomena in the starry world hitherto unstudied, viz.: milky spots in various stages of diffusion. The nature of these appearances soon cleared itself up thus far, that generally they were found to be starry worlds, separated from ours by inconceivable distances, and in that way concealing at first their real nature. The whitish gleam was the mask conferred by the enormity of their remotion. This being so, it might have been supposed that, as was the faintness of these cloudy spots or nebulæ, such was the distance. But that did not follow: for in the treasury of nature it turned out that there were other resources for modifying the powers of distance, for muffling and unmuffling the voice of stars. Suppose a world at the distance x, which distance is so great as to make the manifestation of that world weak, milky, nebular. Now let the secret power that wields these awful orbs, push this world back to a double distance! that should naturally make it paler and more dilute than ever: and yet by compression, by deeper centralization, this effect shall be defeated; by forcing into far closer neighborhood the stars which compose this world, again it shall gleam out brighter when at 2_x_ than when at x. At this point of compression, let the great moulding power a second time push it back; and a second time it will grow faint. But once more let this world be tortured into closer compression, again let the screw be put upon it, and once again it shall shake off the oppression of distance as the dew-drops are shaken from a lion's mane. And thus in fact the mysterious architect plays at hide-and-seek with his worlds. 'I will hide it,' he says, 'and it shall be found again by man; I will withdraw it into distances that shall seem fabulous, and again it shall apparel itself in glorious light; a third time I will plunge it into aboriginal darkness, and upon the vision of man a third time it shall rise with a new epiphany.'

But, says the objector, there is no such world; there is no world that has thus been driven back, and depressed from one deep to a lower deep. Granted: but the same effect, an illustration of the same law, is produced equally, whether you take four worlds, all of the same magnitude, and plunge them simultaneously into four different abysses, sinking by graduated distances one below another, or take one world and plunge it to the same distances successively. So in Geology, when men talk of substances in different stages, or of transitional states, they do not mean that they have watched the same individual stratum or phenomenon, exhibiting states removed from each other by depths of many thousand years; how could they? but they have seen one stage in the case A, another stage in the case B. They take, for instance, three objects, the same (to use the technical language of logic) generically, though numerically different, under separate circumstances, or in different stages of advance. They are one object for logic, they are three for human convenience. So again it might seem impossible to give the history of a rose tree from infancy to age: how could the same rose tree, at the same time, be young and old? Yet by taking the different developments of its flowers, even as they hang on the same tree, from the earliest bud to the full- blown rose, you may in effect pursue this vegetable growth through all its stages: you have before you the bony blushing little rose-bud, and the respectable 'mediæval' full-blown rose.

This point settled, let it now be remarked, that Herschel's resources enabled him to unmask many of these nebulæ: stars they were, and stars he forced them to own themselves. Why should any decent world wear an alias? There was nothing, you know, to be ashamed of in being an honest cluster of stars. Indeed, they seemed to be sensible of this themselves, and they now yielded to the force of Herschel's arguments so far as to show themselves in the new character of nebulæ spangled with stars; these are the stellar nebulæ; quite as much as you could expect in so short a time: Rome was not built in a day: and one must have some respect to stellar feelings. It was noticed, however, that where a bright haze, and not a weak milk- and-water haze, had revealed itself to the telescope, this, arising from a case of compression, (as previously explained,) required very little increase of telescopic power to force him into a fuller confession. He made a clean breast of it. But at length came a dreadful anomaly. A 'nebula' in the constellation Andromeda turned restive: another in Orion, I grieve to say it, still more so. I confine myself to the latter. A very low power sufficed to bring him to a slight confession, which in fact amounted to nothing; the very highest would not persuade him to show a star. 'Just one,' said some coaxing person; 'we'll be satisfied with only one.' But no: he would not. He was hardened, 'he wouldn't split.' And Herschel was thus led, after waiting as long as flesh and blood could wait, to infer two classes of nebulæ; one that were stars; and another that were not stars, nor ever were meant to be stars. Yet that was premature: he found at last, that, though not raised to the peerage of stars, finally they would be so: they were the matter of stars; and by gradual condensation would become suns, whose atmosphere, by a similar process of condensing, would become planets, capable of brilliant literati and philosophers, in several volumes octavo. So stood the case for a long time; it was settled to the satisfaction of Europe that there were two classes of nebulæ, one that were worlds, one that were not, but only the pabulum of future worlds. Silence arose. A voice was heard, 'Let there be Lord Rosse!' and immediately his telescope walked into Orion; destroyed the supposed matter of stars; but, in return, created immeasurable worlds.

As a hint for apprehending the delicacy and difficulty of the process in sidereal astronomy, let the inexperienced reader figure to himself these separate cases of perplexity: 1st, A perplexity where the dilemma arises from the collision between magnitude and distance:—is the size less, or the distance greater? 2dly, Where the dilemma arises between motions, a motion in ourselves doubtfully confounded with a motion in some external body; or, 3dly, Where it arises between possible positions of an object: is it a real proximity that we see between two stars, or simply an apparent proximity from lying in the same visual line, though in far other depths of space? As regards the first dilemma, we may suppose two laws, A and B, absolutely in contradiction, laid down at starting: A, that all fixed stars are precisely at the same distance; in this case every difference in the apparent magnitude will indicate a corresponding difference in the real magnitude, and will measure that difference. B, that all the fixed stars are precisely of the same magnitude; in which case, every variety in the size will indicate a corresponding difference in the distance, and will measure that difference. Nor could we imagine any exception to these inferences from A or from B, whichever of the two were assumed, unless through optical laws that might not equally affect objects under different circumstances; I mean, for instance, that might suffer a disturbance as applied under hypoth. B, to different depths in space, or under hypoth. A, to different arrangements of structure in the star. But thirdly, it is certain, that neither A nor B is the abiding law: and next it becomes an object by science and by instruments to distinguish more readily and more certainly between the cases where the distance has degraded the size, and the cases where the size being really less, has caused an exaggeration of the distance: or again, where the size being really less, yet co-operating with a distance really greater, may degrade the estimate, (though travelling in a right direction,) below the truth; or again where the size being really less, yet counteracted by a distance also less, may equally disturb the truth of human measurements, and so on.

A second large order of equivocating appearances will arise,—not as to magnitude, but as to motion. If it could be a safe assumption, that the system to which our planet is attached were absolutely fixed and motionless, except as regards its own internal relations of movement, then every change outside of us, every motion that the registers of astronomy had established, would be objective and not subjective. It would be safe to pronounce at once that it was a motion in the object contemplated, not in the subject contemplating. Or, reversely, if it were safe to assume as a universal law, that no motion was possible in the starry heavens, then every change of relations in space, between ourselves and them, would indicate and would measure a progress, or regress, on the part of our solar system, in certain known directions. But now, because it is not safe to rest in either assumption, the range of possibilities for which science has to provide, is enlarged; the immediate difficulties are multiplied; but with the result (as in the former case) of reversionally expanding the powers, and consequently the facilities, lodged both in the science and in the arts ministerial to the science. Thus, in the constellation Cygnus, there is a star gradually changing its relation to our system, whose distance from ourselves (as Dr. Nichol tells us) is ascertained to be about six hundred and seventy thousand times our own distance from the sun: that is, neglecting minute accuracy, about six hundred and seventy thousand stages of one hundred million miles each. This point being known, it falls within the arts of astronomy to translate this apparent angular motion into miles; and presuming this change of relation to be not in the star, but really in ourselves, we may deduce the velocity of our course, we may enter into our log daily the rate at which our whole solar system is running. Bessel, it seems, the eminent astronomer who died lately, computed this velocity to be such (viz., three times that of our own earth in its proper orbit) as would carry us to the star in forty-one thousand years. But, in the mean time, the astronomer is to hold in reserve some small share of his attention, some trifle of a side-glance, now and then, to the possibility of an error, after all, in the main assumption: he must watch the indications, if any such should arise, that not ourselves, but the star in Cygnus, is the real party concerned, in drifting at this shocking rate, with no prospect of coming to an anchorage. [Footnote: It is worth adding at this point, whilst the reader remembers without effort the numbers, viz., forty-one thousand years, for the time, (the space being our own distance from the sun repeated six hundred and seventy thousand times,) what would be the time required for reaching, in the body, that distance to which Lord Rosse's six feet mirror has so recently extended our vision. The time would be, as Dr. Nichol computes, about two hundred and fifty millions of years, supposing that our rate of travelling was about three times that of our earth in its orbit. Now, as the velocity is assumed to be the same in both cases, the ratio between the distance (already so tremendous) of Bessel's 61 Cygni, and that of Lord Rosse's farthest frontier, is as forty- one thousand to two hundred and fifty millions. This is a simple rule- of-three problem for a child. And the answer to it will, perhaps, convey the simplest expression of the superhuman power lodged in the new telescope:—as is the ratio of forty-one thousand to two hundred and fifty million, so is the ratio of our own distance from the sun multiplied by six hundred and seventy thousand, to the outermost limit of Lord Rosse's sidereal vision.]

Another class, and a frequent one, of equivocal phenomena, phenomena that are reconcilable indifferently with either of two assumptions, though less plausibly reconciled with the one than with the other, concerns the position of stars that seem connected with each other by systematic relations, and which yet may lie in very different depths of space, being brought into seeming connection only by the human eye. There have been, and there are, cases where two stars dissemble an interconnection which they really have, and other cases where they simulate an interconnection which they have not. All these cases of simulation and dissimulation torment the astronomer by multiplying his perplexities, and deepening the difficulty of escaping them. He cannot get at the truth: in many cases, magnitude and distance are in collusion with each other to deceive him: motion subjective is in collusion with motion objective; duplex systems are in collusion with fraudulent stars, having no real partnership whatever, but mimicking such a partnership by means of the limitations or errors affecting the human eye, where it can apply no other sense to aid or to correct itself. So that the business of astronomy, in these days, is no sinecure, as the reader perceives. And by another evidence, it is continually becoming less of a sinecure. Formerly, one or two men,— Tycho, suppose, or, in a later age, Cassini and Horrox, and Bradley, had observatories: one man, suppose, observed the stars for all Christendom; and the rest of Europe observed him. But now, up and down Europe, from the deep blue of Italian skies to the cold frosty atmospheres of St. Petersburg and Glasgow, the stars are conscious of being watched everywhere; and if all astronomers do not publish their observations, all use them in their speculations. New and brilliantly appointed observatories are rising in every latitude, or risen; and none, by the way, of these new-born observatories, is more interesting from the circumstances of its position, or more picturesque to a higher organ than the eye—viz., to the human heart—than the New Observatory raised by the university of Glasgow.[Footnote: It has been reported, ever since the autumn of 1845, and the report is now, (August, 1846,) gathering strength, that some railway potentate, having taken a fancy for the ancient college of Glasgow, as a bauble to hang about his wife's neck, (no accounting for tastes,) has offered, (or will offer,) such a price, that the good old academic lady in this her moss-grown antiquity, seriously thinks of taking him at his word, packing up her traps, and being off. When a spirit of galavanting comes across an aged lady, it is always difficult to know where it will stop: so, in fact, you know, she may choose to steam for Texas. But the present impression is, that she will settle down by the side of what you may call her married or settled daughter—the Observatory; which one would be glad to have confirmed, as indicating that no purpose of pleasure-seeking had been working in elderly minds, but the instinct of religious rest and aspiration. The Observatory would thus remind one of those early Christian anchorites, and self-exiled visionaries, that being led by almost a necessity of nature to take up their residence in deserts, sometimes drew after themselves the whole of their own neighborhood.]

The New Observatory of Glasgow is now, I believe, finished; and the only fact connected with its history that was painful, as embodying and recording that Vandal alienation from science, literature, and all their interests, which has ever marked our too haughty and Caliph-Omar- like British government, lay in the circumstance that the glasses of the apparatus, the whole mounting of the establishment, in so far as it was a scientific establishment, and even the workmen for putting up the machinery, were imported from Bavaria. We, that once bade the world stand aside when the question arose about glasses, or the graduation of instruments, were now literally obliged to stand cap in hand, bowing to Mr. Somebody, successor of Frauenhofer or Frauendevil, in Munich! Who caused that, we should all be glad to know, if not the wicked Treasury, that killed the hen that laid the golden eggs by taxing her until her spine broke? It is to be hoped that, at this moment, and specifically for this offence, some scores of Exchequer men, chancellors and other rubbish, are in purgatory, and perhaps working, with shirt-sleeves tucked up, in purgatorial glass-houses, with very small allowances of beer, to defray the cost of perspiration. But why trouble a festal remembrance with commemorations of crimes or criminals? What makes the Glasgow Observatory so peculiarly interesting, is its position, connected with and overlooking so vast a city, having more than three hundred thousand inhabitants, (in spite of an American sceptic,) nearly all children of toil; and a city, too, which, from the necessities of its circumstances, draws so deeply upon that fountain of misery and guilt which some ordinance, as ancient as 'our father Jacob,' with his patriarchal well for Samaria, has bequeathed to manufacturing towns,—to Ninevehs, to Babylons, to Tyres. How tarnished with eternal canopies of smoke, and of sorrow; how dark with agitations of many orders, is the mighty town below! How serene, how quiet, how lifted above the confusion and the roar, how liberated from the strifes of earth, is the solemn Observatory that crowns the grounds above! And duly, at night, just when the toil of over-wrought Glasgow is mercifully relaxing, then comes the summons to the laboring astronomer. He speaks not of the night, but of the day and the flaunting day-light, as the hours 'in which no man can work.' And the least reflecting of men must be impressed by the idea, that at wide intervals, but intervals scattered over Europe, whilst 'all that mighty heart' is, by sleep, resting from its labors, secret eyes are lifted up to heaven in astronomical watch-towers; eyes that keep watch and ward over spaces that make us dizzy to remember, eyes that register the promises of comets, and disentangle the labyrinths of worlds.

Another feature of interest, connected with the Glasgow Observatory, is personal, and founded on the intellectual characteristics of the present professor, Dr. Nichol; in the deep meditative style of his mind seeking for rest, yet placed in conflict for ever with the tumultuous necessity in him for travelling along the line of revolutionary thought, and following it loyally, wearied or not, to its natural home.

In a sonnet of Milton, one of three connected with his own blindness, he distinguishes between two classes of servants that minister to the purposes of God. 'His state,' says he, meaning God's state, the arrangement of his regular service, 'is kingly;' that is to say, it resembles the mode of service established in the courts of kings; and, in this, it resembles that service, that there are two classes of ministers attending on his pleasure. For, as in the trains of kings are some that run without resting, night or day, to carry the royal messages, and also others—great lords in waiting—that move not from the royal gates; so of the divine retinues, some are for action only, some for contemplation. 'Thousands' there are that

——'at his bidding speed, And post o'er land and ocean without rest.'

Others, on the contrary, motionless as statues, that share not in the agitations of their times, that tremble not in sympathy with the storms around them, but that listen—that watch—that wait—for secret indications to be fulfilled, or secret signs to be deciphered. And, of this latter class, he adds-that they, not less than the others, are accepted by God; or, as it is so exquisitely expressed in the closing line,

'They also serve, that only stand and wait.'

Something analogous to this one may see in the distributions of literature and science. Many popularize and diffuse: some reap and gather on their own account. Many translate, into languages fit for the multitude, messages which they receive from human voices: some listen, like Kubla Khan, far down in caverns or hanging over subterranean rivers, for secret whispers that mingle and confuse themselves with the general uproar of torrents, but which can be detected and kept apart by the obstinate prophetic ear, which spells into words and ominous sentences the distracted syllables of ærial voices. Dr. Nichol is one of those who pass to and fro between these classes; and has the rare function of keeping open their vital communications. As a popularizing astronomer, he has done more for the benefit of his great science than all the rest of Europe combined: and now, when he notices, without murmur, the fact that his office of popular teacher is almost taken out of his hands, (so many are they who have trained of late for the duty,) that change has, in fact, been accomplished through knowledge, through explanations, through suggestions, dispersed and prompted by himself.

For my own part, as one belonging to the laity, and not to the clerus, in the science of astronomy, I could scarcely have presumed to report minutely, or to sit in the character of dissector upon the separate details of Dr. Nichol's works, either this, or those which have preceded it, had there even been room left disposable for such a task. But in this view it is sufficient to have made the general acknowledgment which already has been made, that Dr. Nichol's works, and his oral lectures upon astronomy, are to be considered as the fundus of the knowledge on that science now working in this generation. More important it is, and more in reconciliation with the tenor of my own ordinary studies, to notice the philosophic spirit in which Dr. Nichol's works are framed; the breadth of his views, the eternal tendency of his steps in advance, or (if advance on that quarter, or at that point, happens to be absolutely walled out for the present,) the vigor of the reconnoissances by which he examines the hostile intrenchments. Another feature challenges notice. In reading astronomical works, there arises (from old experience of what is usually most faulty) a wish either for the naked severities of science, with a total abstinence from all display of enthusiasm; or else, if the cravings of human sensibility are to be met and gratified, that it shall be by an enthusiasm unaffected and grand as its subject. Of that kind is the enthusiasm of Dr. Nichol. The grandeurs of astronomy are such to him who has a capacity for being grandly moved. They are none at all to him who has not. To the mean they become meannesses. Space, for example, has no grandeur to him who has no space in the theatre of his own brain. I know writers who report the marvels of velocity, &c., in such a way that they become insults to yourself. It is obvious that in their way of insisting on our earth's speed in her annual orbit, they do not seek to exalt her, but to mortify you. And, besides, these fellows are answerable for provoking people into fibs:—for I remember one day, that reading a statement of this nature, about how many things the Earth had done that we could never hope to do, and about the number of cannon balls, harnessed as a tandem, which the Earth would fly past, without leaving time to say, How are you off for soap? in vexation of heart I could not help exclaiming—'That's nothing: I've done a great deal more myself;' though, when one turns it in one's mind, you know there must be some inaccuracy there. How different is Dr. Nichol's enthusiasm from this hypocritical and vulgar wonderment! It shows itself not merely in reflecting the grandeurs of his theme, and by the sure test of detecting and allying itself with all the indirect grandeurs that arrange themselves from any distance, upon or about that centre, but by the manifest promptness with which Dr. Nichol's enthusiasm awakens itself upon every road that leads to things elevating for man; or to things promising for knowledge; or to things which, like dubious theories or imperfect attempts at systematizing, though neutral as regards knowledge, minister to what is greater than knowledge, viz., to intellectual power, to the augmented power of handling your materials, though with no more materials than before. In his geological and cosmological inquiries, in his casual speculations, the same quality of intellect betrays itself; the intellect that labors in sympathy with the laboring nisus of these gladiatorial times; that works (and sees the necessity of working) the apparatus of many sciences towards a composite result; the intellect that retires in one direction only to make head in another; and that already is prefiguring the route beyond the barriers, whilst yet the gates are locked.

There was a man in the last century, and an eminent man too, who used to say, that whereas people in general pretended to admire astronomy as being essentially sublime, he for his part looked upon all that sort of thing as a swindle; and, on the contrary, he regarded the solar system as decidedly vulgar; because the planets were all of them so infernally punctual, they kept time with such horrible precision, that they forced him, whether he would or no, to think of nothing but post- office clocks, mail-coaches, and book-keepers. Regularity may be beautiful, but it excludes the sublime. What he wished for was something like Lloyd's list.

Comets—due 3; arrived 1. Mercury, when last seen, appeared to be distressed; but made no signals. Pallas and Vesta, not heard of for some time; supposed to have foundered. Moon, spoken last night through a heavy bank of clouds; out sixteen days: all right.

Now this poor man's misfortune was, to have lived in the days of mere planetary astronomy. At present, when our own little system, with all its grandeurs, has dwindled by comparison to a subordinate province, if any man is bold enough to say so, a poor shivering unit amongst myriads that are brighter, we ought no longer to talk of astronomy, but of the astronomies. There is the planetary, the cometary, the sidereal, perhaps also others; as, for instance, even yet the nebular; because, though Lord Rosse has smitten it with the son of Amram's rod, has made it open, and cloven a path through it, yet other and more fearful nebulæ may loom in sight, (if further improvements should be effected in the telescope,) that may puzzle even Lord Rosse. And when he tells his famulus—'Fire a shot at that strange fellow, and make him show his colors,' possibly the mighty stranger may disdain the summons. That would be vexatious: we should all be incensed at that. But no matter. What's a nebula, what's a world, more or less? In the spiritual heavens are many mansions: in the starry heavens, that are now unfolding and preparing to unfold before us, are many vacant areas upon which the astronomer may pitch his secret pavilion. He may dedicate himself to the service of the Double Suns; he has my license to devote his whole time to the quadruple system of suns in Lyra. Swammerdam spent his life in a ditch watching frogs and tadpoles; why may not an astronomer give nine lives, if he had them, to the watching of that awful appearance in Hercules, which pretends to some rights over our own unoffending system? Why may he not mount guard with public approbation, for the next fifty years, upon the zodiacal light, the interplanetary ether, and other rarities, which the professional body of astronomers would naturally keep (if they could) for their own private enjoyment? There is no want of variety now, nor in fact of irregularity: for the most exquisite clock-work, which from enormous distance seems to go wrong, virtually for us does go wrong; so that our friend of the last century, who complained of the solar system, would not need to do so any longer. There are anomalies enough to keep him cheerful. There are now even things to alarm us; for anything in the starry worlds that look suspicious, anything that ought not to be there, is, for all purposes of frightening us, as good as a ghost.

But of all the novelties that excite my own interest in the expanding astronomy of recent times, the most delightful and promising are those charming little pyrotechnic planetoids,[Footnote: 'Pyrotechnic Planetoids:'—The reader will understand me as alluding to the periodic shooting stars. It is now well known, that as, upon our own poor little earthly ocean, we fall in with certain phenomena as we approach certain latitudes; so also upon the great ocean navigated by our Earth, we fall in with prodigious showers of these meteors at periods no longer uncertain, but fixed as jail-deliveries. 'These remarkable showers of meteors,' says Dr. Nichol, 'observed at different periods in August and November, seem to demonstrate the fact, that, at these periods, we have come in contact with two streams of such planetoids then intersecting the earth's orbit.' If they intermit, it is only because they are shifting their nodes, or points of intersection.] that variegate our annual course. It always struck me as most disgusting, that, in going round the sun, we must be passing continually over old roads, and yet we had no means of establishing an acquaintance with them: they might as well be new for every trip. Those chambers of ether, through which we are tearing along night and day, (for our train stops at no stations,) doubtless, if we could put some mark upon them, must be old fellows perfectly liable to recognition. I suppose, they never have notice to quit. And yet, for want of such a mark, though all our lives flying past them and through them, we can never challenge them as known. The same thing happens in the desert: one monotonous iteration of sand, sand, sand, unless where some miserable fountain stagnates, forbids all approach to familiarity: nothing is circumstantiated or differenced: travel it for three generations, and you are no nearer to identification of its parts: so that it amounts to travelling through an abstract idea. For the desert, really I suspect the thing is hopeless: but, as regards our planetary orbit, matters are mending: for the last six or seven years I have heard of these fiery showers, but indeed I cannot say how much earlier they were first noticed,[Footnote: Somewhere I have seen it remarked, that if, on a public road, you meet a party of four women, it is at least fifty to one that they are all laughing; whereas, if you meet an equal party of my own unhappy sex, you may wager safely that they are talking gravely, and that one of them is uttering the word money. Hence it must be, viz, because our sisters are too much occupied with the playful things of this earth, and our brothers with its gravities, that neither party sufficiently watches the skies. And that accounts for a fact which often has struck myself, viz., that, in cities, on bright moonless nights, when some brilliant skirmishings of the Aurora are exhibiting, or even a luminous arch, which is a broad ribbon of snowy light that spans the skies, positively unless I myself say to people—'Eyes upwards!' not one in a hundred, male or female, but fails to see the show, though it may be seen gratis, simply because their eyes are too uniformly reading the earth. This downward direction of the eyes, however, must have been worse in former ages: because else it never could have happened that, until Queen Anne's days, nobody ever hinted in a book that there was such a thing, or could be such a thing, as the Aurora Borealis; and in fact Halley had the credit of discovering it.] as celebrating two annual festivals—one in August, one in November. You are a little too late, reader, for seeing this year's summer festival; but that's no reason why you should not engage a good seat for the November meeting; which, if I recollect, is about the 9th, or the Lord Mayor's day, and on the whole better worth seeing. For anything we know, this may be a great day in the earth's earlier history; she may have put forth her original rose on this day, or tried her hand at a primitive specimen of wheat; or she may, in fact, have survived some gunpowder plot about this time; so that the meteoric appearance may be a kind congratulating feu-de-joye, on the anniversary of the happy event. What it is that the 'cosmogony man' in the 'Vicar of Wakefield' would have thought of such novelties, whether he would have favored us with his usual opinion upon such topics, viz., that anarchon ara kai ateleutaion to pan, or have sported a new one exclusively for this occasion, may be doubtful. What it is that astronomers think, who are a kind of 'cosmogony men,' the reader may learn from Dr. Nichol, Note B, (p. 139, 140.)

In taking leave of a book and a subject so well fitted to draw out the highest mode of that grandeur, which can connect itself with the external, (a grandeur capable of drawing down a spiritual being to earth, but not of raising an earthly being to heaven,) I would wish to contribute my own brief word of homage to this grandeur by recalling from a fading remembrance of twenty-five years back a short bravura of John Paul Richter. I call it a bravura, as being intentionally a passage of display and elaborate execution; and in this sense I may call it partly 'my own,' that at twenty-five years' distance, (after one single reading,) it would not have been possible for any man to report a passage of this length without greatly disturbing [Footnote: 'Disturbing;'—neither perhaps should I much have sought to avoid alterations if the original had been lying before me: for it takes the shape of a dream; and this most brilliant of all German writers wanted in that field the severe simplicity, that horror of the too much, belonging to Grecian architecture, which is essential to the perfection of a dream considered as a work of art. He was too elaborate, to realize the grandeur of the shadowy.] the texture of the composition: by altering, one makes it partly one's own; but it is right to mention, that the sublime turn at the end belongs entirely to John Paul.

'God called up from dreams a man into the vestibule of heaven, saying, —"Come thou hither, and see the glory of my house." And to the servants that stood around his throne he said,—"Take him, and undress him from his robes of flesh: cleanse his vision, and put a new breath into his nostrils: only touch not with any change his human heart—the heart that weeps and trembles." It was done; and, with a mighty angel for his guide, the man stood ready for his infinite voyage; and from the terraces of heaven, without sound or farewell, at once they wheeled away into endless space. Sometimes with the solemn flight of angel wing they fled through Zaarrahs of darkness, through wildernesses of death, that divided the worlds of life: sometimes they swept over frontiers, that were quickening under prophetic motions from God. Then, from a distance that is counted only in heaven, light dawned for a time through a sleepy film: by unutterable pace the light swept to them, they by unutterable pace to the light: in a moment the rushing of planets was upon them: in a moment the blazing of suns was around them. Then came eternities of twilight, that revealed, but were not revealed. To the right hand and to the left towered mighty constellations, that by self-repetitions and answers from afar, that by counter-positions, built up triumphal gates, whose architraves, whose archways—horizontal, upright—rested, rose—at altitudes, by spans— that seemed ghostly from infinitude. Without measure were the architraves, past number were the archways, beyond memory the gates. Within were stairs that scaled the eternities above, that descended to the eternities below: above was below, below was above, to the man stripped of gravitating body: depth was swallowed up in height insurmountable, height was swallowed up in depth unfathomable. Suddenly as thus they rode from infinite to infinite, suddenly as thus they tilted over abysmal worlds, a mighty cry arose—that systems more mysterious, that worlds more billowy,—other heights, and other depths,—were coming, were nearing, were at hand. Then the man sighed, and stopped, shuddered and wept. His over-laden heart uttered itself in tears; and he said,—"Angel, I will go no farther. For the spirit of man aches with this infinity. Insufferable is the glory of God. Let me lie down in the grave from the persecutions of the infinite; for end, I see, there is none." And from all the listening stars that shone around issued a choral voice, "The man speaks truly: end there is none, that ever yet we heard of." "End is there none?" the angel solemnly demanded: "Is there indeed no end? And is this the sorrow that kills you?" But no voice answered, that he might answer himself. Then the angel threw up his glorious hands to the heaven of heavens; saying, "End is there none to the universe of God? Lo! also there is no Beginning."'

NOTE.—On throwing his eyes hastily over the preceding paper, the writer becomes afraid that some readers may give such an interpretation to a few playful expressions upon the age of our earth, &c., as to class him with those who use geology, cosmology, &c., for purposes of attack, or insinuation against the Scriptures. Upon this point, therefore, he wishes to make a firm explanation of his own opinions, which, (whether right or wrong,) will liberate him, once and for all, from any such jealousy.

It is sometimes said, that the revealer of a true religion, does not come amongst men for the sake of teaching truths in science, or correcting errors in science. Most justly is this said: but often in terms far too feeble. For generally these terms are such as to imply, that, although no function of his mission, it was yet open to him— although not pressing with the force of an obligation upon the revealer, it was yet at his discretion—if not to correct other men's errors, yet at least in his own person to speak with scientific precision. I contend that it was not. I contend, that to have uttered the truths of astronomy, of geology, &c., at the era of new- born Christianity, was not only below the purposes of a religion, but would have been against them. Even upon errors of a far more important class than any errors in science can ever be,— superstitions, for instance, that degraded the very idea of God; prejudices and false usages, that laid waste human happiness, (such as slavery and many hundreds of other abuses that might be mentioned,) the rule evidently acted upon by the Founder of Christianity was this— Given the purification of the fountain, once assumed that the fountains of truth are cleansed, all these derivative currents of evil will cleanse themselves. And the only exceptions, which I remember, to this rule, are two cases in which, from the personal appeal made to his decision, Christ would have made himself a party to wretched delusions, if he had not condescended to expose their folly. But, as a general rule, the branches of error were disregarded, and the roots only attacked. If, then, so lofty a station was taken with regard even to such errors as had moral and spiritual relations, how much more with regard to the comparative trifles, (as in the ultimate relations of human nature they are,) of merely human science! But, for my part, I go further, and assert, that upon three reasons it was impossible for any messenger from God, (or offering himself in that character,) for a moment to have descended into the communication of truth merely scientific, or economic, or worldly. And the reasons are these: First, Because it would have degraded his mission, by lowering it to the base level of a collision with human curiosity, or with petty and transitory interests. Secondly, Because it would have ruined his mission; would utterly have prostrated the free agency and the proper agency of that mission. He that, in those days, should have proclaimed the true theory of the Solar System and the heavenly forces, would have been shut up at once—as a lunatic likely to become dangerous. But suppose him to have escaped that; still, as a divine teacher, he has no liberty of caprice. He must stand to the promises of his own acts. Uttering the first truth of a science, he is pledged to the second: taking the main step, he is committed to all which follow. He is thrown at once upon the endless controversies which science in every stage provokes, and in none more than in the earliest. Or, if he retires as from a scene of contest that he had not anticipated, he retires as one confessing a human precipitance and a human oversight, weaknesses, venial in others, but fatal to the pretensions of a divine teacher. Starting besides from such pretensions, he could not (as others might) have the privilege of selecting arbitrarily or partially. If upon one science, then upon all,—if upon science, then upon, art,—if upon art and science, then upon every branch of social economy, upon every organ of civilization, his reformations and advances are equally due; due as to all, if due as to any. To move in one direction, is constructively to undertake for all. Without power to retreat, he has thus thrown the intellectual interests of his followers into a channel utterly alien to the purposes of a spiritual mission.

Thus far he has simply failed: but next comes a worse result; an evil, not negative but positive. Because, thirdly, to apply the light of a revelation for the benefit of a merely human science, which is virtually done by so applying the illumination of an inspired teacher, is—to assault capitally the scheme of God's discipline and training for man. To improve by heavenly means, if but in one solitary science—to lighten, if but in one solitary section, the condition of difficulty which had been designed for the strengthening and training of human faculties, is pro tanto to disturb—to cancel—to contradict a previous purpose of God, made known by silent indications from the beginning of the world. Wherefore did God give to man the powers for contending with scientific difficulties? Wherefore did he lay a secret train of continual occasions, that should rise, by intervals, through thousands of generations, for provoking and developing those activities in man's intellect, if, after all, he is to send a messenger of his own, more than human, to intercept and strangle all these great purposes? When, therefore, the persecutors of Galileo, alleged that Jupiter, for instance, could not move in the way alleged, because then the Bible would have proclaimed it,—as they thus threw back upon God the burthen of discovery, which he had thrown upon Galileo, why did they not, by following out their own logic, throw upon the Bible the duty of discovering the telescope, or discovering the satellites of Jupiter? And, as no such discoveries were there, why did they not, by parity of logic, and for mere consistency, deny the telescope as a fact, deny the Jovian planets as facts? But this it is to mistake the very meaning and purposes of a revelation. A revelation is not made for the purpose of showing to idle men that which they may show to themselves, by faculties already given to them, if only they will exert those faculties, but for the purpose of showing that which the moral darkness of man will not, without supernatural light, allow him to perceive. With disdain, therefore, must every considerate person regard the notion,—that God could wilfully interfere with his own plans, by accrediting ambassadors to reveal astronomy, or any other science, which he has commanded men to cultivate without revelation, by endowing them with all the natural powers for doing so.

Even as regards astronomy, a science so nearly allying itself to religion by the loftiness and by the purity of its contemplations, Scripture is nowhere the parent of any doctrine, nor so much as the silent sanctioner of any doctrine. Scripture cannot become the author of falsehood,—though it were as to a trifle, cannot become a party to falsehood. And it is made impossible for Scripture to teach falsely, by the simple fact that Scripture, on such subjects, will not condescend to teach at all. The Bible adopts the erroneous language of men, (which at any rate it must do, in order to make itself understood,) not by way of sanctioning a theory, but by way of using a fact. The Bible uses (postulates) the phenomena of day and night, of summer and winter, and expresses them, in relation to their causes, as men express them, men, even, that are scientific astronomers. But the results, which are all that concern Scripture, are equally true, whether accounted for by one hypothesis which is philosophically just, or by another which is popular and erring.

Now, on the other hand, in geology and cosmology, the case is still stronger. Here there is no opening for a compliance even with popular language. Here, where there is no such stream of apparent phenomena running counter (as in astronomy) to the real phenomena, neither is there any popular language opposed to the scientific. The whole are abstruse speculations, even as regards their objects, not dreamed of as possibilities, either in their true aspects or their false aspects, till modern times. The Scriptures, therefore, nowhere allude to such sciences, either under the shape of histories, applied to processes current and in movement, or under the shape of theories applied to processes past and accomplished. The Mosaic cosmogony, indeed, gives the succession of natural births; and that succession will doubtless be more and more confirmed and illustrated as geology advances. But as to the time, the duration, of this cosmogony, it is the idlest of notions that the Scriptures either have or could have condescended to human curiosity upon so awful a prologue to the drama of this world. Genesis would no more have indulged so mean a passion with respect to the mysterious inauguration of the world, than the Apocalypse with respect to its mysterious close. 'Yet the six days of Moses!' Days! But is any man so little versed in biblical language as not to know that (except in the merely historical parts of the Jewish records) every section of time has a secret and separate acceptation in the Scriptures? Does an æon, though a Grecian word, bear scripturally [either in Daniel or in Saint John] any sense known to Grecian ears? Do the seventy weeks of the prophet mean weeks in the sense of human calendars? Already the Psalms, (xc) already St. Peter, (2d Epist.) warn us of a peculiar sense attached to the word day in divine ears? And who of the innumerable interpreters understands the twelve hundred and odd days in Daniel, or his two thousand and odd days, to mean, by possibility, periods of twenty-four hours? Surely the theme of Moses was as mystical, and as much entitled to the benefit of mystical language, as that of the prophets.

The sum of the matter is this:—God, by a Hebrew prophet, is sublimely described as the Revealer; and, in variation of his own expression, the same prophet describes him as the Being 'that knoweth the darkness.' Under no idea can the relations of God to man be more grandly expressed. But of what is he the revealer? Not surely of those things which he has enabled man to reveal for himself, and which he has commanded him so to reveal, but of those things which, were it not through special light from heaven, must eternally remain sealed up in the inaccessible darkness. On this principle we should all laugh at a revealed cookery. But essentially the same ridicule applies to a revealed astronomy, or a revealed geology. As a fact, there is no such astronomy or geology: as a possibility, by the a priori argument which I have used, (viz., that a revelation on such fields, would contradict other machineries of providence,) there can be no such astronomy or geology. Consequently there can be none such in the Bible. Consequently there is none. Consequently there can be no schism or feud upon these subjects between the Bible and the philosophies outside. Geology is a field left open, with the amplest permission from above, to the widest and wildest speculations of man.


It is said continually—that the age of miracles is past. We deny that it is so in any sense which implies this age to differ from all other generations of man except one. It is neither past, nor ought we to wish it past. Superstition is no vice in the constitution of man: it is not true that, in any philosophic view, primus in orbe deos fecit timor —meaning by fecit even so much as raised into light. As Burke remarked, the timor at least must be presumed to preexist, and must be accounted for, if not the gods. If the fear created the gods, what created the fear? Far more true, and more just to the grandeur of man, it would have been to say—Primus in orbe deos fecit sensus infiniti. Even in the lowest Caffre, more goes to the sense of a divine being than simply his wrath or his power. Superstition, indeed, or the sympathy with the invisible, is the great test of man's nature, as an earthly combining with a celestial. In superstition lies the possibility of religion. And though superstition is often injurious, degrading, demoralizing, it is so, not as a form of corruption or degradation, but as a form of non-development. The crab is harsh, and for itself worthless. But it is the germinal form of innumerable finer fruits: not apples only the most exquisite, and pears; the peach and the nectarine are said to have radiated from this austere stock when cultured, developed, and transferred to all varieties of climate. Superstition will finally pass into pure forms of religion as man advances. It would be matter of lamentation to hear that superstition had at all decayed until man had made corresponding steps in the purification and development of his intellect as applicable to religious faith. Let us hope that this is not so. And, by way of judging, let us throw a hasty eye over the modes of popular superstition. If these manifest their vitality, it will prove that the popular intellect does not go along with the bookish or the worldly (philosophic we cannot call it) in pronouncing the miraculous extinct. The popular feeling is all in all.

This function of miraculous power, which is most widely diffused through Pagan and Christian ages alike, but which has the least root in the solemnities of the imagination, we may call the Ovidian. By way of distinction, it may be so called; and with some justice, since Ovid in his Metamorphoses gave the first elaborate record of such a tendency in human superstition. It is a movement of superstition under the domination of human affections; a mode of spiritual awe which seeks to reconcile itself with human tenderness or admiration; and which represents supernatural power as expressing itself by a sympathy with human distress or passion concurrently with human sympathies, and as supporting that blended sympathy by a symbol incarnated with the fixed agencies of nature. For instance, a pair of youthful lovers perish by a double suicide originating in a fatal mistake, and a mistake operating in each case through a noble self-oblivion. The tree under which their meeting has been concerted, and which witnesses their tragedy, is supposed ever afterwards to express the divine sympathy with this catastrophe in the gloomy color of its fruit:—

  'At tu, quæ ramis (arbor!) miserabile corpus
  Nunc tegis unius, mox es tectura duorum,
  Signa tene cædis:—pullosque et luctibus aptos
  Semper habe fructus—gemini monumenta cruoris:'

Such is the dying adjuration of the lady to the tree. And the fruit becomes from that time a monument of a double sympathy—sympathy from man, sympathy from a dark power standing behind the agencies of nature, and speaking through them. Meantime the object of this sympathy is understood to be not the individual catastrophe, but the universal case of unfortunate love exemplified in this particular romance. The inimitable grace with which Ovid has delivered these early traditions of human tenderness, blending with human superstition, is notorious; the artfulness of the pervading connection, by which every tale in the long succession is made to arise spontaneously out of that which precedes, is absolutely unrivalled; and this it was, with his luxuriant gayety, which procured for him a preference, even with Milton, a poet so opposite by intellectual constitution. It is but reasonable, therefore, that this function of the miraculous should bear the name of Ovidian. Pagan it was in its birth; and to paganism its titles ultimately ascend. Yet we know that in the transitional state through the centuries succeeding to Christ, during which paganism and Christianity were slowly descending and ascending, as if from two different strata of the atmosphere, the two powers interchanged whatsoever they could. (See Conyer's Middleton; and see Blount of our own days.) It marked the earthly nature of paganism, that it could borrow little or nothing by organization: it was fitted to no expansion. But the true faith, from its vast and comprehensive adaptation to the nature of man, lent itself to many corruptions—some deadly in their tendencies, some harmless. Amongst these last was the Ovidian form of connecting the unseen powers moving in nature with human sympathies of love or reverence. The legends of this kind are universal and endless. No land, the most austere in its Protestantism, but has adopted these superstitions: and everywhere by those even who reject them they are entertained with some degree of affectionate respect. That the ass, which in its very degradation still retains an under-power of sublimity, [Footnote: 'An under-power of sublimity.'— Everybody knows that Homer compared the Telamonian Ajax, in a moment of heroic endurance, to an ass. This, however, was only under a momentary glance from a peculiar angle of the case. But the Mahometan, too solemn, and also perhaps too stupid to catch the fanciful colors of things, absolutely by choice, under the Bagdad Caliphate, decorated a most favorite hero with the title of the Ass—which title is repeated with veneration to this day. The wild ass is one of the few animals which has the reputation of never flying from an enemy.] or of sublime suggestion through its ancient connection with the wilderness, with the Orient, with Jerusalem, should have been honored amongst all animals, by the visible impression upon its back of Christian symbols —seems reasonable even to the infantine understanding when made acquainted with its meekness, its patience, its suffering life, and its association with the founder of Christianity in one great triumphal solemnity. The very man who brutally abuses it, and feels a hardhearted contempt for its misery and its submission, has a semi- conscious feeling that the same qualities were possibly those which recommended it to a distinction, [Footnote: 'Which recommended it to a distinction.'—It might be objected that the Oriental ass was often a superb animal; that it is spoken of prophetically as such; and that historically the Syrian ass is made known to us as having been used in the prosperous ages of Judea for the riding of princes. But this is no objection. Those circumstances in the history of the ass were requisite to establish its symbolic propriety in a great symbolic pageant of triumph. Whilst, on the other hand, the individual animal, there is good reason to think, was marked by all the qualities of the general race as a suffering and unoffending tribe in the animal creation. The asses on which princes rode were of a separate color, of a peculiar breed, and improved, like the English racer, by continual care.] when all things were valued upon a scale inverse to that of the world. Certain it is, that in all Christian lands the legend about the ass is current amongst the rural population. The haddock, again, amongst marine animals, is supposed, throughout all maritime Europe, to be a privileged fish; even in austere Scotland, every child can point out the impression of St. Peter's thumb, by which from age to age it is distinguished from fishes having otherwise an external resemblance. All domesticated cattle, having the benefit of man's guardianship and care, are believed throughout England and Germany to go down upon their knees at one particular moment of Christmas eve, when the fields are covered with darkness, when no eye looks down but that of God, and when the exact anniversary hour revolves of the angelic song, once rolling over the fields and flocks of Palestine. [Footnote: Mahometanism, which everywhere pillages Christianity, cannot but have its own face at times glorified by its stolen jewels. This solemn hour of jubilation, gathering even the brutal natures into its fold, recalls accordingly the Mahometan legend (which the reader may remember is one of those incorporated into Southey's Thalaba) of a great hour revolving once in every year, during which the gates of Paradise were thrown open to their utmost extent, and gales of happiness issued forth upon the total family of man.] The Glastonbury Thorn is a more local superstition; but at one time the legend was as widely diffused as that of Loretto, with the angelic translation of its sanctities: on Christmas morning, it was devoutly believed by all Christendom, that this holy thorn put forth its annual blossoms. And with respect to the aspen tree, which Mrs. Hemans very naturally mistook for a Welsh legend, having first heard it in Denbighshire, the popular faith is universal—that it shivers mystically in sympathy with the horror of that mother tree in Palestine which was compelled to furnish materials for the cross. Neither would it in this case be any objection, if a passage were produced from Solinus or Theophrastus, implying that the aspen tree had always shivered—for the tree might presumably be penetrated by remote presentiments, as well as by remote remembrances. In so vast a case the obscure sympathy should stretch, Janus-like, each way. And an objection of the same kind to the rainbow, considered as the sign or seal by which God attested his covenant in bar of all future deluges, may be parried in something of the same way. It was not then first created—true: but it was then first selected by preference, amongst a multitude of natural signs as yet unappropriated, and then first charged with the new function of a message and a ratification to man. Pretty much the same theory, that is, the same way of accounting for the natural existence without disturbing the supernatural functions, may be applied to the great constellation of the other hemisphere, called the Southern Cross. It is viewed popularly in South America, and the southern parts of our northern hemisphere, as the great banner, or gonfalon, held aloft by Heaven before the Spanish heralds of the true faith in 1492. To that superstitious and ignorant race it costs not an effort to suppose, that by some synchronizing miracle, the constellation had been then specially called into existence at the very moment when the first Christian procession, bearing a cross in their arms, solemnly stepped on shore from the vessels of Christendom. We Protestants know better: we understand the impossibility of supposing such a narrow and local reference in orbs, so transcendently vast as those composing the constellation—orbs removed from each other by such unvoyageable worlds of space, and having, in fact, no real reference to each other more than to any other heavenly bodies whatsoever. The unity of synthesis, by which they are composed into one figure of a cross, we know to be a mere accidental result from an arbitrary synthesis of human fancy. Take such and such stars, compose them into letters, and they will spell such a word. But still it was our own choice—a synthesis of our own fancy, originally to combine them in this way. They might be divided from each other, and otherwise combined. All this is true: and yet, as the combination does spontaneously offer itself [Footnote: 'Does spontaneously offer itself.'—Heber (Bishop of Calcutta) complains that this constellation is not composed of stars answering his expectation in point of magnitude. But he admits that the dark barren space around it gives to this inferior magnitude a very advantageous relief.] to every eye, as the glorious cross does really glitter for ever through the silent hours of a vast hemisphere, even they who are not superstitious, may willingly yield to the belief—that, as the rainbow was laid in the very elements and necessities of nature, yet still bearing a pre- dedication to a service which would not be called for until many ages had passed, so also the mysterious cipher of man's imperishable hopes may have been entwined and enwreathed with the starry heavens from their earliest creation, as a prefiguration—as a silent heraldry of hope through one period, and as a heraldry of gratitude through the other.

All these cases which we have been rehearsing, taking them in the fullest literality, agree in this general point of union—they are all silent incarnations of miraculous power—miracles, supposing them to have been such originally, locked up and embodied in the regular course of nature, just as we see lineaments of faces and of forms in petrifactions, in variegated marbles, in spars, or in rocky strata, which our fancy interprets as once having been real human existences; but which are now confounded with the substance of a mineral product. Even those who are most superstitious, therefore, look upon cases of this order as occupying a midway station between the physical and the hyperphysical, between the regular course of nature and the providential interruption of that course. The stream of the miraculous is here confluent with the stream of the natural. By such legends the credulous man finds his superstition but little nursed; the incredulous finds his philosophy but little revolted. Both alike will be willing to admit, for instance, that the apparent act of reverential thanksgiving, in certain birds, when drinking, is caused and supported by a physiological arrangement; and yet, perhaps, both alike would bend so far to the legendary faith as to allow a child to believe, and would perceive a pure childlike beauty in believing, that the bird was thus rendering a homage of deep thankfulness to the universal Father, who watches for the safety of sparrows, and sends his rain upon the just and upon the unjust. In short, the faith in this order of the physico- miraculous is open alike to the sceptical and the non-sceptical: it is touched superficially with the coloring of superstition, with its tenderness, its humility, its thankfulness, its awe; but, on the other hand, it is not therefore tainted with the coarseness, with the silliness, with the credulity of superstition. Such a faith reposes upon the universal signs diffused through nature, and blends with the mysterious of natural grandeurs wherever found—with the mysterious of the starry heavens, with the mysterious of music, and with that infinite form of the mysterious for man's dimmest misgivings—

'Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns.'

But, from this earliest note in the ascending scale of superstitious faith, let us pass to a more alarming key. This first, which we have styled (in equity as well as for distinction) the Ovidian, is too ærial, too allegoric, almost to be susceptible of much terror. It is the mere fancy, in a mood half-playful, half-tender, which submits to the belief. It is the feeling, the sentiment, which creates the faith; not the faith which creates the feeling. And thus far we see that modern feeling and Christian feeling has been to the full as operative as any that is peculiar to paganism; judging by the Romish Legenda, very much more so. The Ovidian illustrations, under a false superstition, are entitled to give the designation, as being the first, the earliest, but not at all as the richest. Besides that, Ovid's illustrations emanated often from himself individually, not from the popular mind of his country; ours of the same classification uniformly repose on large popular traditions from the whole of Christian antiquity. These again are agencies of the supernatural which can never have a private or personal application; they belong to all mankind and to all generations. But the next in order are more solemn; they become terrific by becoming personal. These comprehend all that vast body of the marvellous which is expressed by the word Ominous. On this head, as dividing itself into the ancient and modern, we will speak next.

Everybody is aware of the deep emphasis which the Pagans laid upon words and upon names, under this aspect of the ominous. The name of several places was formally changed by the Roman government, solely with a view to that contagion of evil which was thought to lurk in the syllables, if taken significantly. Thus, the town of Maleventum, (Ill- come, as one might render it,) had its name changed by the Romans to Beneventum, (or Welcome.) Epidamnum again, the Grecian Calais, corresponding to the Roman Dover of Brundusium, was a name that would have startled the stoutest-hearted Roman 'from his propriety.' Had he suffered this name to escape him inadvertently, his spirits would have forsaken him—he would have pined away under a certainty of misfortune, like a poor Negro of Koromantyn who is the victim of Obi.[Footnote: 'The victim of Obi.'—It seems worthy of notice, that this magical fascination is generally called Obi, and the magicians Obeah men, throughout Guinea, Negroland, &c.; whilst the Hebrew or Syriac word for the rites of necromancy, was Ob or Obh, at least when ventriloquism was concerned.] As a Greek word, which it was, the name imported no ill; but for a Roman to say Ibo Epidamnum, was in effect saying, though in a hybrid dialect, half-Greek half-Roman, 'I will go to ruin.' The name was therefore changed to Dyrrachium; a substitution which quieted more anxieties in Roman hearts than the erection of a light-house or the deepening of the harbor mouth. A case equally strong, to take one out of many hundreds that have come down to us, is reported by Livy. There was an officer in a Roman legion, at some period of the Republic, who bore the name either of Atrius Umber or Umbrius Ater: and this man being ordered on some expedition, the soldiers refused to follow him. They did right. We remember that Mr. Coleridge used facetiously to call the well-known sister of Dr. Aikin, Mrs. Barbauld, 'that pleonasm of nakedness'—the idea of nakedness being reduplicated and reverberated in the bare and the bald. This Atrius Umber might be called 'that pleonasm of darkness;' and one might say to him, in the words of Othello, 'What needs this iteration?' To serve under the Gloomy was enough to darken the spirit of hope; but to serve under the Black Gloomy was really rushing upon destruction. Yet it will be alleged that Captain Death was a most favorite and heroic leader in the English navy; and that in our own times, Admiral Coffin, though an American by birth, has not been unpopular in the same service. This is true: and all that can be said is, that these names were two-edged swords, which might be made to tell against the enemy as well as against friends. And possibly the Roman centurion might have turned his name to the same account, had he possessed the great Dictator's presence of mind; for he, when landing in Africa, having happened to stumble—an omen of the worst character, in Roman estimation—took out its sting by following up his own oversight, as if it had been intentional, falling to the ground, kissing it, and ejaculating that in this way he appropriated the soil.

Omens of every class were certainly regarded, in ancient Rome, with a reverence that can hardly be surpassed. But yet, with respect to these omens derived from names, it is certain that our modern times have more memorable examples on record. Out of a large number which occur to us, we will cite two:—The present King of the French bore in his boyish days a title which he would not have borne, but for an omen of bad augury attached to his proper title. He was called the Duc de Chartres before the Revolution, whereas his proper title was Duc de Valois. And the origin of the change was this:—The Regent's father had been the sole brother of Louis Quatorze. He married for his first wife our English princess Henrietta, the sister of Charles II., (and through her daughter, by the way, it is that the house of Savoy, i.e. of Sardinia, has pretensions to the English throne.) This unhappy lady, it is too well established, was poisoned. Voltaire, amongst many others, has affected to doubt the fact; for which in his time there might be some excuse. But since then better evidences have placed the matter beyond all question. We now know both the fact, and the how, and the why. The Duke, who probably was no party to the murder of his young wife, though otherwise on bad terms with her, married for his second wife a coarse German princess, homely in every sense, and a singular contrast to the elegant creature whom he had lost. She was a daughter of the Bavarian Elector; ill-tempered by her own confession, self- willed, and a plain speaker to excess; but otherwise a woman of honest German principles. Unhappy she was through a long life; unhappy through the monotony as well as the malicious intrigues of the French court; and so much so, that she did her best (though without effect) to prevent her Bavarian niece from becoming dauphiness. She acquits her husband, however, in the memoirs which she left behind, of any intentional share in her unhappiness; she describes him constantly as a well-disposed prince. But whether it were, that often walking in the dusk through the numerous apartments of that vast mansion which her husband had so much enlarged, naturally she turned her thoughts to the injured lady who had presided there before herself; or whether it arose from the inevitable gloom which broods continually over mighty palaces, so much is known for certain, that one evening, in the twilight, she met, at a remote quarter of the reception-rooms, something that she conceived to be a spectre. What she fancied to have passed on that occasion, was never known except to her nearest friends; and if she made any explanations in her memoirs, the editor has thought fit to suppress them. She mentions only, that in consequence of some ominous circumstances relating to the title of Valois, which was the proper second title of the Orleans family, her son, the Regent, had assumed in his boyhood that of Duc de Chartres. His elder brother was dead, so that the superior title was open to him; but, in consequence of those mysterious omens, whatever they might be, which occasioned much whispering at the time, the great title of Valois was laid aside for ever as of bad augury; nor has it ever been resumed through a century and a half that have followed that mysterious warning; nor will it be resumed unless the numerous children of the present Orleans branch should find themselves distressed for ancient titles; which is not likely, since they enjoy the honors of the elder house, and are now the children of France in a technical sense.

Here we have a great European case of state omens in the eldest of Christian houses. The next which we shall cite is equally a state case, and carries its public verification along with itself. In the spring of 1799, when Napoleon was lying before Acre, he became anxious for news from Upper Egypt, whither he had despatched Dessaix in pursuit of a distinguished Mameluke leader. This was in the middle of May. Not many days after, a courier arrived with favorable despatches—favorable in the main, but reporting one tragical occurrence on a small scale that, to Napoleon, for a superstitious reason, outweighed the public prosperity. A djerme, or Nile boat of the largest class, having on board a large party of troops and of wounded men, together with most of a regimental band, had run ashore at the village of Benouth. No case could be more hopeless. The neighboring Arabs were of the Yambo tribe— of all Arabs the most ferocious. These Arabs and the Fellahs (whom, by the way, many of our countrymen are so ready to represent as friendly to the French and hostile to ourselves,) had taken the opportunity of attacking the vessel. The engagement was obstinate; but at length the inevitable catastrophe could be delayed no longer. The commander, an Italian named Morandi, was a brave man; any fate appeared better than that which awaited him from an enemy so malignant. He set fire to the powder magazine; the vessel blew up; Morandi perished in the Nile; and all of less nerve, who had previously reached the shore in safety, were put to death to the very last man, with cruelties the most detestable, by their inhuman enemies. For all this Napoleon cared little; but one solitary fact there was in the report which struck him with consternation. This ill-fated djerme—what was it called? It was called L'Italie; and in the name of the vessel Napoleon read an augury of the fate which had befallen the Italian territory. Considered as a dependency of France, he felt certain that Italy was lost; and Napoleon was inconsolable. But what possible connection, it was asked, can exist between this vessel on the Nile and a remote peninsula of Southern Europe? 'No matter,' replied Napoleon; 'my presentiments never deceive me. You will see that all is ruined. I am satisfied that my Italy, my conquest, is lost to France!' So, indeed, it was. All European news had long been intercepted by the English cruisers; but immediately after the battle with the Vizier in July 1799, an English admiral first informed the French army of Egypt that Massena and others had lost all that Bonaparte had won in 1796. But it is a strange illustration of human blindness, that this very subject of Napoleon's lamentation—this very campaign of 1799—it was, with its blunders and its long equipage of disasters, that paved the way for his own elevation to the Consulship, just seven calendar months from the receipt of that Egyptian despatch; since most certainly, in the struggle of Brumaire 1799, doubtful and critical through every stage, it was the pointed contrast between his Italian campaigns and those of his successors which gave effect to Napoleon's pretensions with the political combatants, and which procured them a ratification amongst the people. The loss of Italy was essential to the full effect of Napoleon's previous conquest. That and the imbecile characters of Napoleon's chief military opponents were the true keys to the great revolution of Brumaire. The stone which he rejected became the keystone of the arch. So that, after all, he valued the omen falsely; though the very next news from Europe, courteously communicated by his English enemies, showed that he had interpreted its meaning rightly.

These omens, derived from names, are therefore common to the ancient and the modern world. But perhaps, in strict logic, they ought to have been classed as one subdivision or variety under a much larger head, viz. words generally, no matter whether proper names or appellatives, as operative powers and agencies, having, that is to say, a charmed power against some party concerned from the moment that they leave the lips.

Homer describes prayers as having a separate life, rising buoyantly upon wings, and making their way upwards to the throne of Jove. Such, but in a sense gloomy and terrific, is the force ascribed under a widespread superstition, ancient and modern, to words uttered on critical occasions; or to words uttered at any time, which point to critical occasions. Hence the doctrine of euphaemismos, the necessity of abstaining from strong words or direct words in expressing fatal contingencies. It was shocking, at all times of paganism, to say of a third person—'If he should die;' or to suppose the case that he might be murdered. The very word death was consecrated and forbidden. Si quiddam humanum passus fuerit was the extreme form to which men advanced in such cases. And this scrupulous feeling, originally founded on the supposed efficacy of words, prevails to this day. It is a feeling undoubtedly supported by good taste, which strongly impresses upon us all the discordant tone of all impassioned subjects, (death, religion, &c.,) with the common key of ordinary conversation. But good taste is not in itself sufficient to account for a scrupulousness so general and so austere. In the lowest classes there is a shuddering recoil still felt from uttering coarsely and roundly the anticipation of a person's death. Suppose a child, heir to some estate, the subject of conversation—the hypothesis of his death is put cautiously, under such forms as, 'If anything but good should happen;' 'if any change should occur;' 'if any of us should chance to miscarry;' and so forth. Always a modified expression is sought—always an indirect one. And this timidity arises under the old superstition still lingering amongst men, like that ancient awe, alluded to by Wordsworth, for the sea and its deep secrets—feelings that have not, no, nor ever will, utterly decay. No excess of nautical skill will ever perfectly disenchant the great abyss from its terrors—no progressive knowledge will ever medicine that dread misgiving of a mysterious and pathless power given to words of a certain import, or uttered in certain situations, by a parent, to persecuting or insulting children; by the victim of horrible oppression, when laboring in final agonies; and by others, whether cursing or blessing, who stand central to great passions, to great interests, or to great perplexities.

And here, by way of parenthesis, we may stop to explain the force of that expression, so common in Scripture, 'Thou hast said it.' It is an answer often adopted by our Saviour; and the meaning we hold to be this: Many forms in eastern idioms, as well as in the Greek occasionally, though meant interrogatively, are of a nature to convey a direct categorical affirmation, unless as their meaning is modified by the cadence and intonation. Art thou, detached from this vocal and accentual modification, is equivalent to thou art. Nay, even apart from this accident, the popular belief authorized the notion, that simply to have uttered any great thesis, though unconsciously—simply to have united verbally any two great ideas, though for a purpose the most different or even opposite, had the mysterious power of realizing them in act. An exclamation, though in the purest spirit of sport, to a boy, 'You shall be our imperator,' was many times supposed to be the forerunner and fatal mandate for the boy's elevation. Such words executed themselves. To connect, though but for denial or for mockery, the ideas of Jesus and the Messiah, furnished an augury that eventually they would be found to coincide, and to have their coincidence admitted. It was an argumentum ad hominem, and drawn from a popular faith.

But a modern reader will object the want of an accompanying design or serious meaning on the part of him who utters the words—he never meant his words to be taken seriously—nay, his purpose was the very opposite. True: and precisely that is the reason why his words are likely to operate effectually, and why they should be feared. Here lies the critical point which most of all distinguishes this faith. Words took effect, not merely in default of a serious use, but exactly in consequence of that default. It was the chance word, the stray word, the word uttered in jest, or in trifling, or in scorn, or unconsciously, which took effect; whilst ten thousand words, uttered with purpose and deliberation, were sure to prove inert. One case will illustrate this:—Alexander of Macedon, in the outset of his great expedition, consulted the oracle at Delphi. For the sake of his army, had he been even without personal faith, he desired to have his enterprise consecrated. No persuasions, however, would move the priestess to enter upon her painful and agitating duties for the sake of obtaining the regular answer of the god. Wearied with this, Alexander seized the great lady by the arm, and using as much violence as was becoming to the two characters—of a great prince acting and a great priestess suffering—he pushed her gently backwards to the tripod on which, in her professional character, she was to seat herself. Upon this, in the hurry and excitement of the moment, the priestess exclaimed, O pai, anixaitos ei—O son, thou art irresistible; never adverting for an instant to his martial purposes, but simply to his personal importunities. The person whom she thought of as incapable of resistance, was herself, and all she meant consciously was—O son, I can refuse nothing to one so earnest. But mark what followed: Alexander desisted at once—he asked for no further oracle—he refused it, and exclaimed joyously:—'Now then, noble priestess, farewell; I have the oracle—I have your answer, and better than any which you could deliver from the tripod. I am invincible—so you have declared, you cannot revoke it. True, you thought not of Persia—you thought only of my importunity. But that very fact is what ratifies your answer. In its blindness I recognise its truth. An oracle from a god might be distorted by political ministers of the god, as in time past too often has been suspected. The oracle has been said to Medize, and in my own father's time to Philippize. But an oracle delivered unconsciously, indirectly, blindly, that is the oracle which cannot deceive.' Such was the all-famous oracle which Alexander accepted—such was the oracle on which he and his army reposing went forth 'conquering and to conquer.'

Exactly on this principle do the Turks act, in putting so high a value on the words of idiots. Enlightened Christians have often wondered at their allowing any weight to people bereft of understanding. But that is the very reason for allowing them weight: that very defect it is which makes them capable of being organs for conveying words from higher intelligences. A fine human intelligence cannot be a passive instrument—it cannot be a mere tube for conveying the words of inspiration: such an intelligence will intermingle ideas of its own, or otherwise modify what is given, and pollute what is sacred.

It is also on this principle that the whole practice and doctrine of Sortilegy rest. Let us confine ourselves to that mode of sortilegy which is conducted by throwing open privileged books at random, leaving to chance the page and the particular line on which the oracular functions are thrown. The books used have varied with the caprice or the error of ages. Once the Hebrew Scriptures had the preference. Probably they were laid aside, not because the reverence for their authority decayed, but because it increased. In later times Virgil has been the favorite. Considering the very limited range of ideas to which Virgil was tied by his theme—a colonizing expedition in a barbarous age, no worse book could have been selected: [Footnote: 'No worse book could have been selected.'—The probable reason for making so unhappy a choice seems to have been that Virgil, in the middle ages, had the character of a necromancer, a diviner, &c. This we all know from Dante. Now, the original reason for this strange translation of character and functions we hold to have arisen from the circumstance of his maternal grandfather having borne the name of Magus. People in those ages held that a powerful enchanter, exorciser, &c., must have a magician amongst his cognati; the power must run in the blood, which on the maternal side could be undeniably ascertained. Under this preconception, they took Magus not for a proper name, but for a professional designation. Amongst many illustrations of the magical character sustained by Virgil in the middle ages, we may mention that a writer, about the year 1200, or the era of our Robin Hood, published by Montfaucon, and cited by Gibbon in his last volume, says of Virgil,— that 'Captus a Romanis invisibiliter exiit, ivitque Neapopolim.'] so little indeed does the AEneid exhibit of human life in its multiformity, that much tampering with the text is required to bring real cases of human interest and real situations within the scope of any Virgilian sentence, though aided by the utmost latitude of accommodation. A king, a soldier, a sailor, &c., might look for correspondences to their own circumstances; but not many others. Accordingly, everybody remembers the remarkable answer which Charles I. received at Oxford from this Virgilian oracle, about the opening of the Parliamentary war. But from this limitation in the range of ideas it was that others, and very pious people too, have not thought it profane to resume the old reliance on the Scriptures. No case, indeed, can try so severely, or put upon record so conspicuously, this indestructible propensity for seeking light out of darkness—this thirst for looking into the future by the aid of dice, real or figurative, as the fact of men eminent for piety having yielded to the temptation. We give one instance—the instance of a person who, in practical theology, has been, perhaps, more popular than any other in any church. Dr. Doddridge, in his earlier days, was in a dilemma both of conscience and of taste as to the election he should make between two situations, one in possession, both at his command. He was settled at Harborough, in Leicestershire, and was 'pleasing himself with the view of a continuance' in that situation. True, he had received an invitation to Northampton; but the reasons against complying seemed so strong, that nothing was wanting but the civility of going over to Northampton, and making an apologetic farewell. On the last Sunday in November of the year 1729, the doctor went and preached a sermon in conformity with those purposes. 'But,' says he, 'on the morning of that day an incident happened, which affected me greatly.' On the night previous, it seems, he had been urged very importunately by his Northampton friends to undertake the vacant office. Much personal kindness had concurred with this public importunity: the good doctor was affected; he had prayed fervently, alleging in his prayer, as the reason which chiefly weighed with him to reject the offer, that it was far beyond his forces, and chiefly because he was too young [Footnote: 'Because he was too young'—Dr. Doddridge was born in the summer of 1702; consequently he was at this era of his life about twenty-seven years old, and consequently not so obviously entitled to the excuse of youth. But he pleaded his youth, not with a view to the exertions required, but to the auctoritas and responsibilities of the situation.] and had no assistant. He goes on thus:—'As soon as ever this address' (meaning the prayer) 'was ended, I passed through a room of the house in which I lodged, where a child was reading to his mother, and the only words I heard distinctly were these, And as thy days, so shall thy strength be.' This singular coincidence between his own difficulty and a scriptural line caught at random in passing hastily through a room, (but observe, a line insulated from the context, and placed in high relief to his ear,) shook his resolution. Accident co-operated; a promise to be fulfilled at Northampton, in a certain contingency, fell due at the instant; the doctor was detained, this detention gave time for further representations; new motives arose, old difficulties were removed, and finally the doctor saw, in all this succession of steps, the first of which, however, lay in the Sortes Biblicæ, clear indications of a providential guidance. With that conviction he took up his abode at Northampton, and remained there for the next thirty-one years, until he left it for his grave at Lisbon; in fact, he passed at Northampton the whole of his public life. It must, therefore, be allowed to stand upon the records of sortilegy, that in the main direction of his life—not, indeed, as to its spirit, but as to its form and local connections—a Protestant divine of much merit, and chiefly in what regards practice, and of the class most opposed to superstition, took his determining impulse from a variety of the Sortes Virgilianæ.

This variety was known in early times to the Jews—as early, indeed, as the era of the Grecian Pericles, if we are to believe the Talmud. It is known familiarly to this day amongst Polish Jews, and is called Bathcol, or the daughter of a voice; the meaning of which appellation is this:—The Urim and Thummim, or oracle in the breast-plate of the high priest, spoke directly from God. It was, therefore, the original or mother-voice. But about the time of Pericles, that is, exactly one hundred years before the time of Alexander the Great, the light of prophecy was quenched in Malachi or Haggai; and the oracular jewels in the breast-plate became simultaneously dim. Henceforwards the mother-voice was heard no longer: but to this succeeded an imperfect or daughter-voice, (Bathcol,) which lay in the first words happening to arrest the attention at a moment of perplexity. An illustration, which has been often quoted from the Talmud, is to the following effect:—Rabbi Tochanan, and Rabbi Simeon Ben Lachish, were anxious about a friend, Rabbi Samuel, six hundred miles distant on the Euphrates. Whilst talking earnestly together on this subject in Palestine, they passed a school; they paused to listen: it was a child reading the first book of Samuel; and the words which they caught were these—And Samuel died. These words they received as a Bath-col: and the next horseman from the Euphrates brought word accordingly that Rabbi Samuel had been gathered to his fathers at some station on the Euphrates.

Here is the very same case, the same Bath-col substantially, which we have cited from Orton's Life of Doddridge. And Du Cange himself notices, in his Glossary, the relation which this bore to the Pagan Sortes. 'It was,' says he, 'a fantastical way of divination, invented by the Jews, not unlike the Sortes Virgilianæ of the heathens. For, as with them the first words they happened to dip into in the works of that poet were a kind of oracle whereby they predicted future events,—so, with the Jews, when they appealed to Bath-col, the first words they heard from any one's mouth were looked upon as a voice from Heaven directing them in the matter they inquired about.'

If the reader imagines that this ancient form of the practical miraculous is at all gone out of use, even the example of Dr. Doddridge may satisfy him to the contrary. Such an example was sure to authorize a large imitation. But, even apart from that, the superstition is common. The records of conversion amongst felons and other ignorant persons might be cited by hundreds upon hundreds to prove that no practice is more common than that of trying the spiritual fate, and abiding by the import of any passage in the Scriptures which may first present itself to the eye. Cowper, the poet, has recorded a case of this sort in his own experience. It is one to which all the unhappy are prone. But a mode of questioning the oracles of darkness, far more childish, and, under some shape or other, equally common amongst those who are prompted by mere vacancy of mind, without that determination to sacred fountains which is impressed by misery, may be found in the following extravagant silliness of Rousseau, which we give in his own words—a case for which he admits that he himself would have shut up any other man (meaning in a lunatic hospital) whom he had seen practising the same absurdities:—

'Au milieu de mes études et d'une vie innocente autant qu'on la puisse mener, et malgré tout ce qu'on m'avoit pu dire, la peur de l'Enfer m'agitoit encore. Souvent je me demandois—En quel état suis-je? Si je mourrois à l'instant même, serois-je damné? Selon mes Jansénistes, [he had been reading the books of the Port Royal,] la chose est indubitable: mais, selon ma conscience, il me paroissoit que non. Toujours craintif et flottant dans cette cruelle incertitude, j'avois recours (pour en sortir) aux expédients les plus risibles, et pour lesquels je ferois volontiers enfermer un homme si je lui en voyois faire autant. … Un jour, rêvant à ce triste sujet, je m'exerçois machinalement à lancer les pierres contre les troncs des arbres; et cela avec mon addresse ordinaire, c'est-à-dire sans presque jamais en toucher aucun. Tout au milieu de ce bel exercise, je m'avisai de faire une espèce de pronostic pour calmer mon inquiétude. Je me dis —je m'en vais jeter cette pierre contre l'arbre qui est vis-à-vis de moi: si je le touche, signe de salut: si je le manque, signe de damnation. Tout en disant ainsi, je jette ma pierre d'une main tremblante, et avec un horrible battement de coeur, mais si heureusement qu'elle va frapper au beau-milieu de l'arbre: ce qui véritablement n'étoit pas difficile: car j'avois eu soin de le choisir fort gros et fort près. Depuis lors je n'ai plus doubté de mon salut. Je ne sais, en me rappelant ce trait, si je dois rire ou gémir sur moimême.'—Les Confessions, Partie I. Livre VI.

Now, really, if Rousseau thought fit to try such tremendous appeals by taking 'a shy' at any random object, he should have governed his sortilegy (for such it may be called) with something more like equity. Fair play is a jewel: and in such a case, a man is supposed to play against an adverse party hid in darkness. To shy at a cow within six feet distance gives no chance at all to his dark antagonist. A pigeon rising from a trap at a suitable distance might be thought a sincere staking of the interest at issue: but, as to the massy stem of a tree 'fort gros et fort près'—the sarcasm of a Roman emperor applies, that to miss under such conditions implied an original genius for stupidity, and to hit was no trial of the case. After all, the sentimentalist had youth to plead in apology for this extravagance. He was hypochondriacal; he was in solitude; and he was possessed by gloomy imaginations from the works of a society in the highest public credit. But most readers will be aware of similar appeals to the mysteries of Providence, made in public by illustrious sectarians, speaking from the solemn station of a pulpit. We forbear to quote cases of this nature, though really existing in print, because we feel that the blasphemy of such anecdotes is more revolting and more painful to pious minds than the absurdity is amusing. Meantime it must not be forgotten, that the principle concerned, though it may happen to disgust men when associated with ludicrous circumstances, is, after all, the very same which has latently governed very many modes of ordeal, or judicial inquiry; and which has been adopted, blindly, as a moral rule, or canon, equally by the blindest of the Pagans, the most fanatical of the Jews, and the most enlightened of the Christians. It proceeds upon the assumption that man by his actions puts a question to Heaven; and that Heaven answers by the event. Lucan, in a well known passage, takes it for granted that the cause of Cæsar had the approbation of the gods. And why? Simply from the event. It was notoriously the triumphant cause. It was victorious, (victrix causa Deis placuit; sed victa Catoni.) It was the 'victrix causa;' and, as such, simply because it was 'victrix,' it had a right in his eyes to postulate the divine favor as mere matter of necessary interference: whilst, on the other hand, the victa causa, though it seemed to Lucan sanctioned by human virtue in the person of Cato, stood unappealably condemned. This mode of reasoning may strike the reader as merely Pagan. Not at all. In England, at the close of the Parliamentary war, it was generally argued—that Providence had decided the question against the Royalists by the mere fact of the issue. Milton himself, with all his high-toned morality, uses this argument as irrefragable: which is odd, were it only on this account—that the issue ought necessarily to have been held for a time as merely hypothetic, and liable to be set aside by possible counter-issues through one generation at the least. But the capital argument against such doctrine is to be found in the New Testament. Strange that Milton should overlook, and strange that moralists in general have overlooked, the sudden arrest given to this dangerous but most prevalent mode of reasoning by the Founder of our faith. He first, he last, taught to his astonished disciples the new truth—at that time the astounding truth— that no relation exists between the immediate practical events of things on the one side, and divine sentences on the other. There was no presumption, he teaches them, against a man's favor with God, or that of his parents, because he happened to be afflicted to extremity with bodily disease. There was no shadow of an argument for believing a party of men criminal objects of heavenly wrath because upon them, by fatal preference, a tower had fallen, and because their bodies were exclusively mangled. How little can it be said that Christianity has yet developed the fulness of its power, when kings and senates so recently acted under a total oblivion of this great though novel Christian doctrine, and would do so still, were it not that religious arguments have been banished by the progress of manners from the field of political discussion.

But, quitting this province of the ominous, where it is made the object of a direct personal inquest, whether by private or by national trials, or the sortilegy of events, let us throw our eyes over the broader field of omens, as they offer themselves spontaneously to those who do not seek, or would even willingly evade them. There are few of these, perhaps none, which are not universal in their authority, though every land in turn fancies them (like its proverbs) of local prescription and origin. The death-watch extends from England to Cashmere, and across India diagonally to the remotest nook of Bengal, over a three thousand miles' distance from the entrance of the Indian Punjaub. A hare crossing a man's path on starting in the morning, has been held in all countries alike to prognosticate evil in the course of that day. Thus, in the Confessions of a Thug, (which is partially built on a real judicial document, and everywhere conforms to the usages of Hindostan,) the hero of the horrid narrative [Footnote: 'The hero of the horrid narrative.'—Horrid it certainly is; and one incident in every case gives a demoniacal air of coolness to the hellish atrocities, viz the regular forwarding of the bheels, or grave- diggers. But else the tale tends too much to monotony; and for a reason which ought to have checked the author in carrying on the work to three volumes, namely, that although there is much dramatic variety in the circumstances of the several cases, there is none in the catastrophes. The brave man and the coward, the erect spirit fighting to the last, and the poor creature that despairs from the first,—all are confounded in one undistinguishing end by sudden strangulation. This was the original defect of the plan. The sudden surprise, and the scientific noosing as with a Chilian lasso, constituted in fact a main feature of Thuggee. But still, the gradual theatrical arrangement of each Thug severally by the side of a victim, must often have roused violent suspicion, and that in time to intercept the suddenness of the murder. Now, for the sake of the dramatic effect, this interception ought more often to have been introduced, else the murders are but so many blind surprises as if in sleep.] charges some disaster of his own upon having neglected such an omen of the morning. The same belief operated in Pagan Italy. The same omen announced to Lord Lindsay's Arab attendants in the desert the approach of some disaster, which partially happened in the morning. And a Highlander of the 42d Regiment, in his printed memoirs, notices the same harbinger of evil as having crossed his own path on a day of personal disaster in Spain.

Birds are even more familiarly associated with such ominous warnings. This chapter in the great volume of superstition was indeed cultivated with unusual solicitude amongst the Pagans—ornithomancy grew into an elaborate science. But if every rule and distinction upon the number and the position of birds, whether to the right or the left, had been collected from our own village matrons amongst ourselves, it would appear that no more of this Pagan science had gone to wreck than must naturally follow the difference between a believing and a disbelieving government. Magpies are still of awful authority in village life, according to their number, &c.; for a striking illustration of which we may refer the reader to Sir Walter Scott's Demonology, reported not at second-hand, but from Sir Walter's personal communication with some seafaring fellow-traveller in a stage-coach.

Among the ancient stories of the same class is one which we shall repeat—having reference to that Herod Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great, before whom St. Paul made his famous apology at Cæsarea. This Agrippa, overwhelmed by debts, had fled from Palestine to Rome in the latter years of Tiberius. His mother's interest with the widow of Germanicus procured him a special recommendation to her son Caligula. Viewing this child and heir of the popular Germanicus as the rising sun, Agrippa had been too free in his language. True, the uncle of Germanicus was the reigning prince; but he was old, and breaking up. True, the son of Germanicus was not yet on the throne; but he soon would be; and Agrippa was rash enough to call the Emperor a superannuated old fellow, and even to wish for his death. Sejanus was now dead and gone; but there was no want of spies: and a certain Macro reported his words to Tiberius. Agrippa was in consequence arrested; the Emperor himself condescending to point out the noble Jew to the officer on duty. The case was a gloomy one, if Tiberius should happen to survive much longer: and the story of the omen proceeds thus:—'Now Agrippa stood in his bonds before the Imperial palace, and in his affliction leaned against a certain tree, upon the boughs of which it happened that a bird had alighted which the Romans call bubo, or the owl. All this was steadfastly observed by a German prisoner, who asked a soldier what might be the name and offence of that man habited in purple. Being told that the man's name was Agrippa, and that he was a Jew of high rank, who had given a personal offence to the Emperor, the German asked permission to go near and address him; which being granted, he spoke thus:—"This disaster, I doubt not, young man, is trying to your heart; and perhaps you will not believe me when I announce to you beforehand the providential deliverance which is impending. However, this much I will say—and for my sincerity let me appeal to my native gods, as well as to the gods of this Rome, who have brought us both into trouble—that no selfish objects prompt me to this revelation—for a revelation it is—and to the following effect:—It is fated that you shall not long remain in chains. Your deliverance will be speedy; you shall be raised to the very highest rank and power; you shall be the object of as much envy as now you are of pity; you shall retain your prosperity till death; and you shall transmit that prosperity to your children. But"—and there the German paused. Agrippa was agitated; the bystanders were attentive; and after a time, the German, pointing solemnly to the bird, proceeded thus:—"But this remember heedfully—that, when next you see the bird which now perches above your head, you will have only five days longer to live! This event will be surely accomplished by that same mysterious god who has thought fit to send the bird as a warning sign; and you, when you come to your glory, do not forget me that foreshadowed it in your humiliation."' The story adds, that Agrippa affected to laugh when the German concluded; after which it goes on to say, that in a few weeks, being delivered by the death of Tiberius; being released from prison by the very prince on whose account he had incurred the risk; being raised to a tetrarchy, and afterwards to the kingdom of all Judea; coming into all the prosperity which had been promised to him by the German; and not losing any part of his interest at Rome through the assassination of his patron Caligula—he began to look back respectfully to the words of the German, and forwards with anxiety to the second coming of the bird. Seven years of sunshine had now slipped away as silently as a dream. A great festival, shows and vows, was on the point of being celebrated in honor of Claudius Cæsar, at Strato's Tower, otherwise called Cæsarea, the Roman metropolis of Palestine. Duty and policy alike required that the king of the land should go down and unite in this mode of religious homage to the emperor. He did so; and on the second morning of the festival, by way of doing more conspicuous honor to the great solemnity, he assumed a very sumptuous attire of silver armor, burnished so highly as to throw back a dazzling glare from the sun's morning beams upon the upturned eyes of the vast multitude around him. Immediately from the sycophantish part of the crowd, of whom a vast majority were Pagans, ascended a cry of glorification as to some manifestation of Deity. Agrippa, gratified by this success of his new apparel, and by this flattery, not unusual in the case of kings, had not the firmness (though a Jew, and conscious of the wickedness, greater in himself than in the heathen crowd,) to reject the blasphemous homage. Voices of adoration continued to ascend; when suddenly, looking upward to the vast awnings prepared for screening the audience from the noonday heats, the king perceived the same ominous bird which he had seen at Rome in the day of his affliction, seated quietly, and looking down upon himself. In that same moment an icy pang shot through his intestines. He was removed into the palace; and at the end of five days, completely worn out by pain, Agrippa expired in the 54th year of his age, and the seventh of his sovereign power.

Whether the bird, here described as an owl, was really such, may be doubted, considering the narrow nomenclature of the Romans for all zoological purposes, and the total indifference of the Roman mind to all distinctions in natural history which are not upon the very largest scale. We should much suspect that the bird was a magpie. Meantime, speaking of ornithoscopy in relation to Jews, we remember another story in that subdivision of the subject which it may be worth while repeating; not merely on its own account, as wearing a fine oriental air, but also for the correction which it suggests to a very common error.

In some period of Syrian warfare, a large military detachment was entering at some point of Syria from the desert of the Euphrates. At the head of the whole array rode two men of some distinction: one was an augur of high reputation, the other was a Jew called Mosollam, a man of admirable beauty, a matchless horseman, an unerring archer, and accomplished in all martial arts. As they were now first coming within enclosed grounds, after a long march in the wilderness, the augur was most anxious to inaugurate the expedition by some considerable omen. Watching anxiously, therefore, he soon saw a bird of splendid plumage perching on a low wall. 'Halt!' he said to the advanced guard: and all drew up in a line. At that moment of silence and expectation, Mosollam, slightly turning himself in his saddle, drew his bow-string to his ear; his Jewish hatred of Pagan auguries burned within him; his inevitable shaft went right to its mark, and the beautiful bird fell dead. The augur turned round in fury. But the Jew laughed at him. 'This bird, you say, should have furnished us with omens of our future fortunes. But had he known anything of his own, he would never have perched where he did, or have come within the range of Mosollam's archery. How should that bird know our destiny, who did not know that it was his own to be shot by Mosollam the Jew?'

Now, this is a most common but a most erroneous way of arguing. In a case of this kind, the bird was not supposed to have any conscious acquaintance with futurity, either for his own benefit or that of others. But even where such a consciousness may be supposed, as in the case of oneiromancy, or prophecy by means of dreams, it must be supposed limited, and the more limited in a personal sense as they are illimitable in a sublime one. Who imagines that, because a Daniel or Ezekiel foresaw the grand revolutions of the earth, therefore they must or could have foreseen the little details of their own ordinary life? And even descending from that perfect inspiration to the more doubtful power of augury amongst the Pagans, (concerning which the most eminent of theologians have held very opposite theories,) one thing is certain, that, so long as we entertain such pretensions, or discuss them at all, we must take them with the principle of those who professed such arts, not with principles of our own arbitrary invention.

One example will make this clear:—There are in England [Footnote: 'There are in England'—Especially in Somersetshire, and for twenty miles round Wrington, the birthplace of Locke. Nobody sinks for wells without their advice. We ourselves knew an amiable and accomplished Scottish family, who, at an estate called Belmadrothie, in memory of a similar property in Ross shire, built a house in Somersetshire, and resolved to find water without help from the jowser. But after sinking to a greater depth than ever had been known before, and spending nearly £200, they were finally obliged to consult the jowser, who found water at once.] a class of men who practise the Pagan rhabdomancy in a limited sense. They carry a rod or rhabdos (rhabdos) of willow: this they hold horizontally; and by the bending of the rod towards the ground they discover the favorable places for sinking wells; a matter of considerable importance in a province so ill-watered as the northern district of Somersetshire, &c. These people are locally called jowsers; and it is probable, that from the suspicion with which their art has been usually regarded amongst people of education, as a mere legerdemain trick of Dousterswivel's, is derived the slang word to chouse for swindle. Meantime, the experimental evidences of a real practical skill in these men, and the enlarged compass of speculation in these days, have led many enlightened people to a Stoic epochey, or suspension of judgment, on the reality of this somewhat mysterious art. Now, in the East, there are men who make the same pretensions in a more showy branch of the art. It is not water, but treasures which they profess to find by some hidden kind of rhabdomancy. The very existence of treasures with us is reasonably considered a thing of improbable occurrence. But in the unsettled East, and with the low valuation of human life wherever Mahometanism prevails, insecurity and other causes must have caused millions of such deposits in every century to have perished as to any knowledge of survivors. The sword has been moving backwards and forwards, for instance, like a weaver's shuttle, since the time of Mahmoud the Ghaznevide, [Footnote: Mahmood of Ghizni, which, under the European name of Ghaznee, was so recently taken in one hour by our Indian army under Lord Keane Mahmood was the first Mahometan invader of Hindostan.] in Anno Domini 1000, in the vast regions between the Tigris, the Oxus, and the Indus. Regularly as it approached, gold and jewels must have sunk by whole harvests into the ground. A certain per centage has been doubtless recovered: a larger per centage has disappeared for ever. Hence naturally the jealousy of barbarous Orientals that we Europeans, in groping amongst pyramids, sphynxes, and tombs, are looking for buried treasures. The wretches are not so wide astray in what they believe as in what they disbelieve. The treasures do really exist which they fancy; but then also the other treasures in the glorious antiquities have that existence for our sense of beauty which to their brutality is inconceivable. In these circumstances, why should it surprise us that men will pursue the science of discovery as a regular trade? Many discoveries of treasure are doubtless made continually, which, for obvious reasons, are communicated to nobody. Some proportion there must be between the sowing of such grain as diamonds or emeralds, and the subsequent reaping, whether by accident or by art. For, with regard to the last, it is no more impossible, prima fronte, that a substance may exist having an occult sympathy with subterraneous water or subterraneous gold, than that the magnet should have a sympathy (as yet occult) with the northern pole of our planet.

The first flash of careless thought applied to such a case will suggest, that men holding powers of this nature need not offer their services for hire to others. And this, in fact, is the objection universally urged by us Europeans as decisive against their pretensions. Their knavery, it is fancied, stands self-recorded; since, assuredly, they would not be willing to divide their subterranean treasures, if they knew of any. But the men are not in such self- contradiction as may seem. Lady Hester Stanhope, from the better knowledge she had acquired of Oriental opinions, set Dr. Madden right on this point. The Oriental belief is that a fatality attends the appropriator of a treasure in any case where he happens also to be the discoverer. Such a person, it is held, will die soon, and suddenly—so that he is compelled to seek his remuneration from the wages or fees of his employers, not from the treasure itself.

Many more secret laws are held sacred amongst the professors of that art than that which was explained by Lady Hester Stanhope. These we shall not enter upon at present: but generally we may remark, that the same practices of subterranean deposits, during our troubled periods in Europe, led to the same superstitions. And it may be added, that the same error has arisen in both cases as to some of these superstitions. How often must it have struck people of liberal feelings, as a scandalous proof of the preposterous value set upon riches by poor men, that ghosts should popularly be supposed to rise and wander for the sake of revealing the situations of buried treasures. For ourselves, we have been accustomed to view this popular belief in the light of an argument for pity rather than for contempt towards poor men, as indicating the extreme pressure of that necessity which could so have demoralized their natural sense of truth. But certainly, in whatever feelings originating, such popular superstitions as to motives of ghostly missions did seem to argue a deplorable misconception of the relation subsisting between the spiritual world and the perishable treasures of this perishable world. Yet, when we look into the Eastern explanations of this case, we find that it is meant to express, not any overvaluation of riches, but the direct contrary passion. A human spirit is punished—such is the notion—punished in the spiritual world for excessive attachment to gold, by degradation to the office of its guardian; and from this office the tortured spirit can release itself only by revealing the treasure and transferring the custody. It is a penal martyrdom, not an elective passion for gold, which is thus exemplified in the wanderings of a treasure-ghost.

But, in a field where of necessity we are so much limited, we willingly pass from the consideration of these treasure or khasne phantoms (which alone sufficiently ensure a swarm of ghostly terrors for all Oriental ruins of cities,) to the same marvellous apparitions, as they haunt other solitudes even more awful than those of ruined cities. In this world there are two mighty forms of perfect solitude—the ocean and the desert: the wilderness of the barren sands, and the wilderness of the barren waters. Both are the parents of inevitable superstitions —of terrors, solemn, ineradicable, eternal. Sailors and the children of the desert are alike overrun with spiritual hauntings, from accidents of peril essentially connected with those modes of life, and from the eternal spectacle of the infinite. Voices seem to blend with the raving of the sea, which will for ever impress the feeling of beings more than human: and every chamber of the great wilderness which, with little interruption, stretches from the Euphrates to the western shores of Africa, has its own peculiar terrors both as to sights and sounds. In the wilderness of Zin, between Palestine and the Red Sea, a section of the desert well known in these days to our own countrymen, bells are heard daily pealing for matins, or for vespers, from some phantom convent that no search of Christian or of Bedouin Arab has ever been able to discover. These bells have sounded since the Crusades. Other sounds, trumpets, the Alala of armies, &c., are heard in other regions of the Desert. Forms, also, are seen of more people than have any right to be walking in human paths: sometimes forms of avowed terror; sometimes, which is a case of far more danger, appearances that mimic the shapes of men, and even of friends or comrades. This is a case much dwelt on by the old travellers, and which throws a gloom over the spirits of all Bedouins, and of every cafila or caravan. We all know what a sensation of loneliness or 'eeriness' (to use an expressive term of the ballad poetry) arises to any small party assembling in a single room of a vast desolate mansion: how the timid among them fancy continually that they hear some remote door opening, or trace the sound of suppressed footsteps from some distant staircase. Such is the feeling in the desert, even in the midst of the caravan. The mighty solitude is seen: the dread silence is anticipated which will succeed to this brief transit of men, camels, and horses. Awe prevails even in the midst of society: but, if the traveller should loiter behind from fatigue, or be so imprudent as to ramble aside— should he from any cause once lose sight of his party, it is held that his chance is small of recovering their traces. And why? Not chiefly from the want of footmarks where the wind effaces all impressions in half an hour, or of eyemarks where all is one blank ocean of sand, but much more from the sounds or the visual appearances which are supposed to beset and to seduce all insulated wanderers.

Everybody knows the superstitions of the ancients about the Nympholeptoi, or those who had seen Pan. But far more awful and gloomy are the existing superstitions, throughout Asia and Africa, as to the perils of those who are phantom-haunted in the wilderness. The old Venetian traveller Marco Polo states them well: he speaks, indeed, of the Eastern or Tartar deserts; the steppes which stretch from European Russia to the footsteps of the Chinese throne; but exactly the same creed prevails amongst the Arabs, from Bagdad to Suez and Cairo— from Rosetta to Tunis—Tunis to Timbuctoo or Mequinez. 'If, during the daytime,' says he, 'any person should remain behind until the caravan is no longer in sight, he hears himself unexpectedly called to by name, and in a voice with which he is familiar. Not doubting that the voice proceeds from some of his comrades, the unhappy man is beguiled from the right direction; and soon finding himself utterly confounded as to the path, he roams about in distraction until he perishes miserably. If, on the other hand, this perilous separation of himself from the caravan should happen at night, he is sure to hear the uproar of a great cavalcade a mile or two to the right or left of the true track. He is thus seduced on one side: and at break of day finds himself far removed from man. Nay, even at noon-day, it is well known that grave and respectable men to all appearance will come up to a particular traveller, will bear the look of a friend, and will gradually lure him by earnest conversation to a distance from the caravan; after which the sounds of men and camels will be heard continually at all points but the true one; whilst an insensible turning by the tenth of an inch at each separate step from the true direction will very soon suffice to set the traveller's face to the opposite point of the compass from that which his safety requires, and which his fancy represents to him as his real direction. Marvellous, indeed, and almost passing belief, are the stories reported of these desert phantoms, which are said at times to fill the air with choral music from all kinds of instruments, from drums, and the clash of arms: so that oftentimes a whole caravan are obliged to close up their open ranks, and to proceed in a compact line of march.'

Lord Lindsay, in his very interesting travels in Egypt, Edom, &c., agrees with Warton in supposing (and probably enough) that from this account of the desert traditions in Marco Polo was derived Milton's fine passage in Comus:—

  'Of calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire,
  And aery tongues that syllable men's names
  On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses.'

But the most remarkable of these desert superstitions, as suggested by the mention of Lord Lindsay, is one which that young nobleman, in some place which we cannot immediately find, has noticed, but which he only was destined by a severe personal loss immediately to illustrate. Lord L. quotes from Vincent le Blanc an anecdote of a man in his own caravan, the companion of an Arab merchant, who disappeared in a mysterious manner. Four Moors, with a retaining fee of 100 ducats, were sent in quest of him, but came back re infecta. 'And 'tis uncertain,' adds Le Blanc, 'whether he was swallowed up in the sands, or met his death by any other misfortune; as it often happens, by the relation of a merchant then in our company, who told us, that two years before, traversing the same journey, a comrade of his, going a little aside from the company, saw three men who called him by his name; and one of them, to his thinking, favored very much his companion; and, as he was about to follow them, his real companion calling him to come back to his company, he found himself deceived by the others, and thus was saved. And all travellers in these parts hold, that in the deserts are many such phantasms seen, that strive to seduce the traveller.' Thus far it is the traveller's own fault, warned as he is continually by the extreme anxiety of the Arab leaders or guides, with respect to all who stray to any distance, if he is duped or enticed by these pseudo-men: though, in the case of Lapland dogs, who ought to have a surer instinct of detection for counterfeits, we know from Sir Capel de Broke and others, that they are continually wiled away by the wolves who roam about the nightly encampments of travellers. But there is a secondary disaster, according to the Arab superstition, awaiting those whose eyes are once opened to the discernment of these phantoms. To see them, or to hear them, even where the traveller is careful to refuse their lures, entails the certainty of death in no long time. This is another form of that universal faith which made it impossible for any man to survive a bodily commerce, by whatever sense, with a spiritual being. We find it in the Old Testament, where the expression, 'I have seen God and shall die,' means simply a supernatural being; since no Hebrew believed it possible for a nature purely human to sustain for a moment the sight of the Infinite Being. We find the same faith amongst ourselves, in case of doppelgänger becoming apparent to the sight of those whom they counterfeit; and in many other varieties. We modern Europeans, of course, laugh at these superstitions; though, as La Place remarks, (Essai sur les Probabilités,) any case, however apparently incredible, if it is a recurrent case, is as much entitled to a fair valuation as if it had been more probable beforehand.[Footnote: 'Is as much entitled to a fair valuation, under the lans of induction, as if it had been more probable beforehand'—One of the cases which La Place notices as entitled to a grave consideration, but which would most assuredly be treated as a trivial phenomenon, unworthy of attention, by commonplace spectators, is—when a run of success, with no apparent cause, takes place on heads or tails, (pile ou croix) Most people dismiss such a case as pure accident. But La Place insists on its being duly valued as a fact, however unaccountable as an effect. So again, if in a large majority of experiences like those of Lord Lindsay's party in the desert, death should follow, such a phenomenon is as well entitled to its separate valuation as any other.] This being premised, we who connect superstition with the personal result, are more impressed by the disaster which happened to Lord Lindsay, than his lordship, who either failed to notice the nexus between the events, or possibly declined to put the case too forward in his reader's eye, from the solemnity of the circumstances, and the private interest to himself and his own family, of the subsequent event. The case was this:—Mr. William Wardlaw Ramsay, the companion (and we believe relative) of Lord Lindsay, a man whose honorable character, and whose intellectual accomplishments speak for themselves, in the posthumus memorabilia of his travels published by Lord L., had seen an array of objects in the desert, which facts immediately succeeding demonstrated to have been a mere ocular lusus, or (according to Arab notions) phantoms. During the absence from home of an Arab sheikh, who had been hired as conductor of Lord Lindsay's party, a hostile tribe (bearing the name of Tellaheens) had assaulted and pillaged his tents. Report of this had reached the English travelling party; it was known that the Tellaheens were still in motion, and a hostile rencounter was looked for for some days. At length, in crossing the well known valley of the Wady Araba, that most ancient channel of communication between the Red Sea and Judea, &c., Mr. Ramsay saw, to his own entire conviction, a party of horse moving amongst some sand-hills. Afterwards it became certain, from accurate information, that this must have been a delusion. It was established, that no horseman could have been in that neighborhood at that time. Lord Lindsay records the case as an illustration of 'that spiritualized tone the imagination naturally assumes, in scenes presenting so little sympathy with the ordinary feelings of humanity;' and he reports the case in these pointed terms: —'Mr. Ramsay, a man of remarkably strong sight, and by no means disposed to superstitious credulity, distinctly saw a party of horse moving among the sand-hills; and I do not believe he was ever able to divest himself of that impression.' No—and, according to Arab interpretation, very naturally so; for, according to their faith, he really had seen the horsemen; phantom horseman certainly, but still objects of sight. The sequel remains to be told—by the Arabian hypothesis, Mr. Ramsay had but a short time to live—he was under a secret summons to the next world. And accordingly, in a few weeks after this, whilst Lord Lindsay had gone to visit Palmyra, Mr. Ramsay died at Damascus.

This was a case exactly corresponding to the Pagan nympholepsis —he had seen the beings whom it is not lawful to see and live. Another case of Eastern superstition, not less determined, and not less remarkably fulfilled, occurred some years before to Dr. Madden, who travelled pretty much in the same route as Lord Lindsay. The doctor, as a phrenologist, had been struck with the very singular conformation of a skull which he saw amongst many others on an altar in some Syrian convent. He offered a considerable sum in gold for it; but it was by repute the skull of a saint; and the monk with whom Dr. M. attempted to negotiate, not only refused his offers, but protested that even for the doctor's sake, apart from the interests of the convent, he could not venture on such a transfer: for that, by the tradition attached to it, the skull would endanger any vessel carrying it from the Syrian shore: the vessel might escape; but it would never succeed in reaching any but a Syrian harbor. After this, for the credit of our country, which stands so high in the East, and should be so punctiliously tended by all Englishmen, we are sorry to record that Dr. Madden (though otherwise a man of scrupulous honor) yielded to the temptation of substituting for the saint's skull another less remarkable from his own collection. With this saintly relic he embarked on board a Grecian ship; was alternately pursued and met by storms the most violent; larboard and starboard, on every quarter, he was buffeted; the wind blew from every point of the compass; the doctor honestly confesses that he often wished this baleful skull back in safety on the quiet altar from which he took it; and finally, after many days of anxiety, he was too happy in finding himself again restored to some oriental port, from which he secretly vowed never again to sail with a saint's skull, or with any skull, however remarkable phrenologically, not purchased in an open market.

Thus we have pursued, through many of its most memorable sections, the spirit of the miraculous as it moulded and gathered itself in the superstitions of Paganism; and we have shown that, in the modern superstitions of Christianity, or of Mahometanism, (often enough borrowed from Christian sources,) there is a pretty regular correspondence. Speaking with a reference to the strictly popular belief, it cannot be pretended for a moment, that miraculous agencies are slumbering in modern ages. For one superstition of that nature which the Pagans had, we can produce twenty. And if, from the collation of numbers, we should pass to that of quality, it is a matter of notoriety, that from the very philosophy of Paganism, and its slight root in the terrors or profounder mysteries of spiritual nature, no comparison could be sustained for a moment between the true religion and any mode whatever of the false. Ghosts we have purposely omitted, because that idea is so peculiarly Christian [Footnote: 'Because that idea is so peculiarly Christian'—One reason, additional to the main one, why the idea of a ghost could not be conceived or reproduced by Paganism, lies in the fourfold resolution of the human nature at death, viz.—1. corpus; 2. manes; 3. spiritus; 4. anima. No reversionary consciousness, no restitution of the total nature, sentient and active, was thus possible. Pliny has a story which looks like a ghost story; but it is all moonshine—a mere simulacrum.] as to reject all counterparts or affinities from other modes of the supernatural. The Christian ghost is too awful a presence, and with too large a substratum of the real, the impassioned, the human, for our present purposes. We deal chiefly with the wilder and more ærial forms of superstition; not so far off from fleshly nature as the purely allegoric—not so near as the penal, the purgatorial, the penitential. In this middle class, 'Gabriel's hounds'—the 'phantom ship'—the gloomy legends of the charcoal burners in the German forests—and the local or epichorial superstitions from every district of Europe, come forward by thousands, attesting the high activity of the miraculous and the hyperphysical instincts, even in this generation, wheresoever the voice of the people makes itself heard.

But in Pagan times, it will be objected, the popular superstitions blended themselves with the highest political functions, gave a sanction to national counsels, and oftentimes gave their starting point to the very primary movements of the state. Prophecies, omens, miracles, all worked concurrently with senates or princes. Whereas in our days, says Charles Lamb, the witch who takes her pleasure with the moon, and summons Beelzebub to her sabbaths, nevertheless trembles before the beadle, and hides herself from the overseer. Now, as to the witch, even the horrid Canidia of Horace, or the more dreadful Erichtho of Lucan, seems hardly to have been much respected in any era. But for the other modes of the supernatural, they have entered into more frequent combinations with state functions and state movements in our modern ages than in the classical age of Paganism. Look at prophecies, for example: the Romans had a few obscure oracles afloat, and they had the Sibylline books under the state seal. These books, in fact, had been kept so long, that, like port wine superannuated, they had lost their flavor and body. [Footnote: 'Like port wine superannuated, the Sibylline books had lost their flavor and their body.'—There is an allegoric description in verse, by Mr. Rogers, of an ice-house, in which winter is described as a captive, &c., which is memorable on this account, that a brother poet, on reading the passage, mistook it, (from not understanding the allegorical expressions,) either sincerely or maliciously, for a description of the house-dog. Now, this little anecdote seems to embody the poor Sibyl's history,—from a stern icy sovereign, with a petrific mace, she lapsed into an old toothless mastiff. She continued to snore in her ancient kennel for above a thousand years. The last person who attempted to stir her up with a long pole, and to extract from her paralytic dreaming some growls or snarls against Christianity, was Aurelian, in a moment of public panic. But the thing was past all tampering. The poor creature could neither be kicked nor coaxed into vitality.] On the other hand, look at France. Henry the historian, speaking of the fifteenth century, describes it as a national infirmity of the English to be prophecy-ridden. Perhaps there never was any foundation for this as an exclusive remark; but assuredly not in the next century. There had been with us British, from the twelfth century, Thomas of Ercildoune in the north, and many monkish local prophets for every part of the island; but latterly England had no terrific prophet, unless, indeed Nixon of the Vale Royal in Cheshire, who uttered his dark oracles sometimes with a merely Cestrian, sometimes with a national reference. Whereas in France, throughout the sixteenth century, every principal event was foretold successively, with an accuracy that still shocks and confounds us. Francis the First, who opens the century, (and by many is held to open the book of modern history, as distinguished from the middle or feudal history,) had the battle of Pavia foreshown to him, not by name, but in its results—by his own Spanish captivity—by the exchange for his own children upon a frontier river of Spain—finally, by his own disgraceful death, through an infamous disease conveyed to him under a deadly circuit of revenge. This king's son, Henry the Second, read some years before the event a description of that tournament, on the marriage of the Scottish Queen with his eldest son, Francis II., which proved fatal to himself, through the awkwardness of the Compte de Montgomery and his own obstinacy. After this, and we believe a little after the brief reign of Francis II., arose Nostradamus, the great prophet of the age. All the children of Henry II. and of Catharine de Medici, one after the other, died in circumstances of suffering and horror, and Nostradamus pursued the whole with ominous allusions. Charles IX., though the authorizer of the Bartholomew massacre, was the least guilty of his party, and the only one who manifested a dreadful remorse. Henry III., the last of the brothers, died, as the reader will remember, by assassination. And all these tragic successions of events are still to be read more or less dimly prefigured in verses of which we will not here discuss the dates. Suffice it, that many authentic historians attest the good faith of the prophets; and finally, with respect to the first of the Bourbon dynasty, Henry IV., who succeeded upon the assassination of his brother-in-law, we have the peremptory assurance of Sully and other Protestants, countersigned by writers both historical and controversial, that not only was he prepared, by many warnings, for his own tragical death—not only was the day, the hour prefixed—not only was an almanac sent to him, in which the bloody summer's day of 1610 was pointed out to his attention in bloody colors; but the mere record of the king's last afternoon shows beyond a doubt the extent and the punctual limitation of his anxieties. In fact, it is to this attitude of listening expectation in the king, and breathless waiting for the blow, that Schiller alludes in that fine speech of Wallenstein to his sister, where he notices the funeral knells that sounded continually in Henry's ears, and, above all, his prophetic instinct, that caught the sound from a far distance of his murderer's motions, and could distinguish, amidst all the tumult of a mighty capital, those stealthy steps

  ——'Which even then were seeking him
  Throughout the streets of Paris.'

We profess not to admire Henry the Fourth of France, whose secret character we shall, on some other occasion, attempt to expose. But his resignation to the appointments of Heaven, in dismissing his guards, as feeling that against a danger so domestic and so mysterious, all fleshly arms were vain, has always struck us as the most like magnanimity of anything in his very theatrical life.

Passing to our own country, and to the times immediately in succession, we fall upon some striking prophecies, not verbal but symbolic, if we turn from the broad highway of public histories, to the by-paths of private memories. Either Clarendon it is, in his Life (not his public history), or else Laud, who mentions an anecdote connected with the coronation of Charles I., (the son-in-law of the murdered Bourbon,) which threw a gloom upon the spirits of the royal friends, already saddened by the dreadful pestilence which inaugurated the reign of this ill-fated prince, levying a tribute of one life in sixteen from the population of the English metropolis. At the coronation of Charles, it was discovered that all London would not furnish the quantity of purple velvet required for the royal robes and the furniture of the throne. What was to be done? Decorum required that the furniture should be all en suite. Nearer than Genoa no considerable addition could be expected. That would impose a delay of 150 days. Upon mature consideration, and chiefly of the many private interests that would suffer amongst the multitudes whom such a solemnity had called up from the country, it was resolved to robe the King in white velvet. But this, as it afterwards occurred, was the color in which victims were arrayed. And thus, it was alleged, did the King's council establish an augury of evil. Three other ill omens, of some celebrity, occurred to Charles I., viz., on occasion of creating his son Charles a knight of the Bath, at Oxford some years after; and at the bar of that tribunal which sat in judgment upon him.

The reign of his second son, James II., the next reign that could be considered an unfortunate reign, was inaugurated by the same evil omens. The day selected for the coronation (in 1685) was a day memorable for England—it was St. George's day, the 23d of April, and entitled, even on a separate account, to be held a sacred day as the birthday of Shakspeare in 1564, and his deathday in 1616. The King saved a sum of sixty thousand pounds by cutting off the ordinary cavalcade from the Tower of London to Westminster. Even this was imprudent. It is well known that, amongst the lowest class of the English, there is an obstinate prejudice (though unsanctioned by law) with respect to the obligation imposed by the ceremony of coronation. So long as this ceremony is delayed, or mutilated, they fancy that their obedience is a matter of mere prudence, liable to be enforced by arms, but not consecrated either by law or by religion. The change made by James was, therefore, highly imprudent; shorn of its antique traditionary usages, the yoke of conscience was lightened at a moment when it required a double ratification. Neither was it called for on motives of economy, for James was unusually rich. This voluntary arrangement was, therefore, a bad beginning; but the accidental omens were worse. They are thus reported by Blennerhassett, (History of England to the end of George I., Vol. iv., p. 1760, printed at Newcastle-upon-Tyne: 1751.) 'The crown being too little for the King's head, was often in a tottering condition, and like to fall off.' Even this was observed attentively by spectators of the most opposite feelings. But there was another simultaneous omen, which affected the Protestant enthusiasts, and the superstitious, whether Catholic or Protestant, still more alarmingly. 'The same day the king's arms, pompously painted in the great altar window of a London church, suddenly fell down without apparent cause, and broke to pieces, whilst the rest of the window remained standing. Blennerhassett mutters the dark terrors which possessed himself and others.' 'These,' says he, 'were reckoned ill omens to the king.'

In France, as the dreadful criminality of the French sovereigns through the 17th century began to tell powerfully, and reproduce itself in the miseries and tumults of the French populace through the 18th century, it is interesting to note the omens which unfolded themselves at intervals. A volume might be written upon them. The French Bourbons renewed the picture of that fatal house which in Thebes offered to the Grecian observers the spectacle of dire auguries, emerging from darkness through three generations, à plusieurs reprises. Everybody knows the fatal pollution of the marriage pomps on the reception of Marie Antoinette in Paris; the numbers who perished are still spoken of obscurely as to the amount, and with shuddering awe for the unparalleled horrors standing in the background of the fatal reign —horrors

'That hush'd in grim repose, await their evening prey.'

But in the life of Goethe is mentioned a still more portentous (though more shadowy) omen in the pictorial decorations of the arras which adorned the pavilion on the French frontier; the first objects which met the Austrian Archduchess on being hailed as Dauphiness, was a succession of the most tragic groups from the most awful section of the Grecian theatre. The next alliance of the same kind between the same great empires, in the persons of Napoleon and the Archduchess Marie Louisa, was overshadowed by the same unhappy omens, and, as we all remember, with the same unhappy results, within a brief period of five years.

Or, if we should resort to the fixed and monumental rather than to these auguries of great nations—such, for instance, as were embodied in those Palladia, or protesting talismans, which capital cities, whether Pagan or Christian, glorified through a period of twenty-five hundred years, we shall find a long succession of these enchanted pledges, from the earliest precedent of Troy (whose palladium was undoubtedly a talisman) down to that equally memorable, and bearing the same name, at Western Rome. We may pass, by a vast transition of two and a half millennia, to that great talisman of Constantinople, the triple serpent, (having perhaps an original reference to the Mosaic serpent of the wilderness, which healed the infected by the simple act of looking upon it, as the symbol of the Redeemer, held aloft upon the Cross for the deliverance from moral contagion.) This great consecrated talisman, venerated equally by Christian, by Pagan, and by Mahometan, was struck on the head by Mahomet the Second, on that same day, May 29th of 1453, in which he mastered by storm this glorious city, the bulwark of eastern Christendom, and the immediate rival of his own European throne at Adrianople. But mark the superfetation of omens— omen supervening upon omen, augury engrafted upon augury. The hour was a sad one for Christianity; just 720 years before the western horn of Islam had been rebutted in France by the Germans, chiefly under Charles Martel. But now it seemed as though another horn, even more vigorous, was preparing to assault Christendom and its hopes from the eastern quarter. At this epoch, in the very hour of triumph, when the last of the Cæsars had glorified his station, and sealed his testimony by martyrdom, the fanatical Sultan, riding to his stirrups in blood, and wielding that iron mace which had been his sole weapon, as well as cognizance, through the battle, advanced to the column, round which the triple serpent roared spirally upwards. He smote the brazen talisman; he shattered one head; he left it mutilated as the record of his great revolution; but crush it, destroy it, he did not—as a symbol prefiguring the fortunes of Mahometanism, his people noticed, that in the critical hour of fate, which stamped the Sultan's acts with efficacy through ages, he had been prompted by his secret genius only to 'scotch the snake,' not to crush it. Afterwards the fatal hour was gone by; and this imperfect augury has since concurred traditionally with the Mahometan prophecies about the Adrianople gate of Constantinople, to depress the ultimate hopes of Islam in the midst of all its insolence. The very haughtiest of the Mussulmans believe that the gate is already in existence, through which the red Giaours (the Russi) shall pass to the conquest of Stamboul; and that everywhere, in Europe at least, the hat of Frangistan is destined to surmount the turban—the crescent must go down before the cross.


What is the deadest of things earthly? It is, says the world, ever forward and rash—'a door-nail!' But the world is wrong. There is a thing deader than a door-nail, viz., Gillman's Coleridge, Vol. I. Dead, more dead, most dead, is Gillman's Coleridge, Vol. I.; and this upon more arguments than one. The book has clearly not completed its elementary act of respiration; the systole of Vol. I. is absolutely useless and lost without the diastole of that Vol. II., which is never to exist. That is one argument, and perhaps this second argument is stronger. Gillman's Coleridge, Vol. I., deals rashly, unjustly, and almost maliciously, with some of our own particular friends; and yet, until late in this summer, Anno Domini 1844, we—that is, neither ourselves nor our friends—ever heard of its existence. Now a sloth, even without the benefit of Mr. Waterton's evidence to his character, will travel faster than that. But malice, which travels fastest of all things, must be dead and cold at starting, when it can thus have lingered in the rear for six years; and therefore, though the world was so far right, that people do say, 'Dead as a door-nail,' yet, henceforward, the weakest of these people will see the propriety of saying—'Dead as Gillman's Coleridge.'

The reader of experience, on sliding over the surface of this opening paragraph, begins to think there's mischief singing in the upper air. 'No, reader, not at all. We never were cooler in our days. And this we protest, that, were it not for the excellence of the subject, Coleridge and Opium-Eating, Mr. Gillman would have been dismissed by us unnoticed. Indeed, we not only forgive Mr. Gillman, but we have a kindness for him; and on this account, that he was good, he was generous, he was most forbearing, through twenty years, to poor Coleridge, when thrown upon his hospitality. An excellent thing that, Mr. Gillman, till, noticing the theme suggested by this unhappy Vol. I., we are forced at times to notice its author, Nor is this to be regretted. We remember a line of Horace never yet properly translated, viz:—

'Nec scutica dignum horribili sectere flagello.'

The true translation of which, as we assure the unlearned reader, is— 'Nor must you pursue with the horrid knout of Christopher that man who merits only a switching.' Very true. We protest against all attempts to invoke the exterminating knout; for that sends a man to the hospital for two months; but you see that the same judicious poet, who dissuades an appeal to the knout, indirectly recommends the switch, which, indeed, is rather pleasant than otherwise, amiably playful in some of its little caprices, and in its worst, suggesting only a pennyworth of diachylon.

We begin by professing, with hearty sincerity, our fervent admiration of the extraordinary man who furnishes the theme for Mr. Gillman's coup-d'essai in biography. He was, in a literary sense, our brother—for he also was amongst the contributors to Blackwood— and will, we presume, take his station in that Blackwood gallery of portraits, which, in a century hence, will possess more interest for intellectual Europe than any merely martial series of portraits, or any gallery of statesmen assembled in congress, except as regards one or two leaders; for defunct major-generals, and secondary diplomatists, when their date is past, awake no more emotion than last year's advertisements, or obsolete directories; whereas those who, in a stormy age, have swept the harps of passion, of genial wit, or of the wrestling and gladiatorial reason, become more interesting to men when they can no longer be seen as bodily agents, than even in the middle chorus of that intellectual music over which, living, they presided.

Of this great camp Coleridge was a leader, and fought amongst the primipili; yet, comparatively, he is still unknown. Heavy, indeed, are the arrears still due to philosophic curiosity on the real merits, and on the separate merits, of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Coleridge as a poet—Coleridge as a philosopher! How extensive are those questions, if those were all! and upon neither question have we yet any investigation—such as, by compass of views, by research, or even by earnestness of sympathy with the subject, can, or ought to satisfy, a philosophic demand. Blind is that man who can persuade himself that the interest in Coleridge, taken as a total object, is becoming an obsolete interest. We are of opinion that even Milton, now viewed from a distance of two centuries, is still inadequately judged or appreciated in his character of poet, of patriot and partisan, or, finally, in his character of accomplished scholar. But, if so, how much less can it be pretended that satisfaction has been rendered to the claims of Coleridge? for, upon Milton, libraries have been written. There has been time for the malice of men, for the jealousy of men, for the enthusiasm, the scepticism, the adoring admiration of men, to expand themselves! There has been room for a Bentley, for an Addison, for a Johnson, for a wicked Lauder, for an avenging Douglas, for an idolizing Chateaubriand; and yet, after all, little enough has been done towards any comprehensive estimate of the mighty being concerned. Piles of materials have been gathered to the ground; but, for the monument which should have risen from these materials, neither the first stone has been laid, nor has a qualified architect yet presented his credentials. On the other hand, upon Coleridge little, comparatively, has yet been written, whilst the separate characters on which the judgment is awaited, are more by one than those which Milton sustained. Coleridge, also, is a poet; Coleridge, also, was mixed up with the fervent politics of his age—an age how memorably reflecting the revolutionary agitations of Milton's age. Coleridge, also, was an extensive and brilliant scholar. Whatever might be the separate proportions of the two men in each particular department of the three here noticed, think as the reader will upon that point, sure we are that either subject is ample enough to make a strain upon the amplest faculties. How alarming, therefore, for any honest critic, who should undertake this later subject of Coleridge, to recollect that, after pursuing him through a zodiac of splendors corresponding to those of Milton in kind, however different in degree—after weighing him as a poet, as a philosophic politician, as a scholar, he will have to wheel after him into another orbit, into the unfathomable nimbus of transcendental metaphysics. Weigh him the critic must in the golden balance of philosophy the most abstruse—a balance which even itself requires weighing previously, or he will have done nothing that can be received for an estimate of the composite Coleridge. This astonishing man, be it again remembered, besides being an exquisite poet, a profound political speculator, a philosophic student of literature through all its chambers and recesses, was also a circumnavigator on the most pathless waters of scholasticism and metaphysics. He had sounded, without guiding charts, the secret deeps of Proclus and Plotinus; he had laid down buoys on the twilight, or moonlight, ocean of Jacob Boehmen; [Footnote: 'JACOB BOEHMEN.' We ourselves had the honor of presenting to Mr. Coleridge, Law's English version of Jacob—a set of huge quartos. Some months afterwards we saw this work lying open, and one volume at least overflowing, in parts, with the commentaries and the corollaries of Coleridge. Whither has this work, and so many others swathed about with Coleridge's MS. notes, vanished from the world?] he had cruised over the broad Atlantic of Kant and Schelling, of Fichte and Oken. Where is the man who shall be equal to these things? We at least make no such adventurous effort; or, if ever we should presume to do so, not at present. Here we design only to make a coasting voyage of survey round the headlands and most conspicuous seamarks of our subject, as they are brought forward by Mr. Gillman, or collaterally suggested by our own reflections; and especially we wish to say a word or two on Coleridge as an opium-eater.

Naturally the first point to which we direct our attention, is the history and personal relations of Coleridge. Living with Mr. Gillman for nineteen years as a domesticated friend, Coleridge ought to have been known intimately. And it is reasonable to expect, from so much intercourse, some additions to our slender knowledge of Coleridge's adventures, (if we may use so coarse a word,) and of the secret springs at work in those early struggles of Coleridge at Cambridge, London, Bristol, which have been rudely told to the world, and repeatedly told, as showy romances, but never rationally explained.

The anecdotes, however, which Mr. Gillman has added to the personal history of Coleridge, are as little advantageous to the effect of his own book as they are to the interest of the memorable character which he seeks to illustrate. Always they are told without grace, and generally are suspicious in their details. Mr. Gillman we believe to be too upright a man for countenancing any untruth. He has been deceived. For example, will any man believe this? A certain 'excellent equestrian' falling in with Coleridge on horseback, thus accosted him— 'Pray, Sir, did you meet a tailor along the road?' 'A tailor!' answered Coleridge; 'I did meet a person answering such a description, who told me he had dropped his goose; that if I rode a little further I should find it; and I guess he must have meant you.' In Joe Miller this story would read, perhaps, sufferably. Joe has a privilege; and we do not look too narrowly into the mouth of a Joe-Millerism. But Mr. Gillman, writing the life of a philosopher, and no jest-book, is under a different law of decorum. That retort, however, which silences the jester, it may seem, must be a good one. And we are desired to believe that, in this case, the baffled assailant rode off in a spirit of benign candor, saying aloud to himself, like the excellent philosopher that he evidently was, 'Caught a Tartar!'

But another story of a sporting baronet, who was besides a Member of Parliament, is much worse, and altogether degrading to Coleridge. This gentleman, by way of showing off before a party of ladies, is represented as insulting Coleridge by putting questions to him on the qualities of his horse, so as to draw the animal's miserable defects into public notice, and then closing his display by demanding what he would take for the horse 'including the rider.' The supposed reply of Coleridge might seem good to those who understand nothing of true dignity; for, as an impromptu, it was smart and even caustic. The baronet, it seems, was reputed to have been bought by the minister; and the reader will at once divine that the retort took advantage of that current belief, so as to throw back the sarcasm, by proclaiming that neither horse nor rider had a price placarded in the market at which any man could become their purchaser. But this was not the temper in which Coleridge either did reply, or could have replied. Coleridge showed, in the spirit of his manner, a profound sensibility to the nature of a gentleman; and he felt too justly what it became a self-respecting person to say, ever to have aped the sort of flashy fencing which might seem fine to a theatrical blood.

Another story is self-refuted: 'A hired partisan' had come to one of Coleridge's political lectures with the express purpose of bringing the lecturer into trouble; and most preposterously he laid himself open to his own snare by refusing to pay for admission. Spies must be poor artists who proceed thus. Upon which Coleridge remarked—'That, before the gentleman kicked up a dust, surely he would down with the dust.' So far the story will not do. But what follows is possible enough. The same 'hired' gentleman, by way of giving unity to the tale, is described as having hissed. Upon this a cry arose of 'Turn him out!' But Coleridge interfered to protect him; he insisted on the man's right to hiss if he thought fit; it was legal to hiss; it was natural to hiss; 'for what is to be expected, gentlemen, when the cool waters of reason come in contact with red-hot aristocracy, but a hiss?' Euge!

Amongst all the anecdotes, however of this splendid man, often trivial, often incoherent, often unauthenticated, there is one which strikes us as both true and interesting; and we are grateful to Mr. Gillman for preserving it. We find it introduced, and partially authenticated, by the following sentence from Coleridge himself:—'From eight to fourteen I was a playless day-dreamer, a helluo librorum; my appetite for which was indulged by a singular incident. A stranger, who was struck by my conversation, made me free of a circulating library in King's Street, Cheapside.' The more circumstantial explanation of Mr. Gillman is this: `The incident indeed was singular. Going down the Strand, in one of his day-dreams, fancying himself swimming across the Hellespont, thrusting his hands before him as in the act of swimming, his hand came in contact with a gentleman's pocket. The gentleman seized his hand, turning round, and looking at him with some anger—"What! so young, and yet so wicked?" at the same time accused him of an attempt to pick his pocket. The frightened boy sobbed out his denial of the intention, and explained to him how he thought himself Leander swimming across the Hellespont. The gentleman was so struck and delighted with the novelty of the thing, and with the simplicity and intelligence of the boy, that he subscribed, as before stated, to the library; in consequence of which Coleridge was further enabled to indulge his love of reading.'

We fear that this slovenly narrative is the very perfection of bad story-telling. But the story itself is striking, and, by the very oddness of the incidents, not likely to have been invented. The effect, from the position of the two parties—on the one side, a simple child from Devonshire, dreaming in the Strand that he was swimming over from Sestos to Abydos, and, on the other, the experienced man, dreaming only of this world, its knaves and its thieves, but still kind and generous —is beautiful and picturesque. Oh! si sic omnia!

But the most interesting to us of the personalities connected with Coleridge are his feuds and his personal dislikes. Incomprehensible to us is the war of extermination which Coleridge made upon the political economists. Did Sir James Steuart, in speaking of vine-dressers, (not as vine-dressers, but generally as cultivators,) tell his readers, that, if such a man simply replaced his own consumption, having no surplus whatever or increment for the public capital, he could not be considered a useful citizen? Not the beast in the Revelation is held up by Coleridge as more hateful to the spirit of truth than the Jacobite baronet. And yet we know of an author—viz., one S. T. Coleridge—who repeated that same doctrine without finding any evil in it. Look at the first part of the Wallenstein, where Count Isolani having said, 'Pooh! we are all his subjects,' i. e., soldiers, (though unproductive laborers,) not less than productive peasants, the emperor's envoy replies—'Yet with a difference, general;' and the difference implies Sir James's scale, his vine-dresser being the equatorial case between the two extremes of the envoy. Malthus again, in his population-book, contends for a mathematic difference between animal and vegetable life, in respect to the law of increase, as though the first increased by geometrical ratios, the last by arithmetical! No proposition more worthy of laughter; since both, when permitted to expand, increase by geometrical ratios, and the latter by much higher ratios. Whereas, Malthus persuaded himself of his crotchet simply by refusing the requisite condition in the vegetable case, and granting it in the other. If you take a few grains of wheat, and are required to plant all successive generations of their produce in the same flower-pot for ever, of course you neutralize its expansion by your own act of arbitrary limitation. [Footnote: Malthus would have rejoined by saying—that the flowerpot limitation was the actual limitation of nature in our present circumstances. In America it is otherwise, he would say, but England is the very flowerpot you suppose; she is a flowerpot which cannot be multiplied, and cannot even be enlarged. Very well, so be it (which we say in order to waive irrelevant disputes). But then the true inference will be—not that vegetable increase proceeds under a different law from that which governs animal increase, but that, through an accident of position, the experiment cannot be tried in England. Surely the levers of Archimedes, with submission to Sir Edward B. Lytton, were not the less levers because he wanted the locum standi. It is proper, by the way, that we should inform the reader of this generation where to look for Coleridge's skirmishings with Malthus. They are to be found chiefly in the late Mr. William Hazlitt's work on that subject: a work which Coleridge so far claimed as to assert that it had been substantially made up from his own conversation.] But so you would do, if you tried the case of animal increase by still exterminating all but one replacing couple of parents. This is not to try, but merely a pretence of trying, one order of powers against another. That was folly. But Coleridge combated this idea in a manner so obscure, that nobody understood it. And leaving these speculative conundrums, in coming to the great practical interests afloat in the Poor Laws, Coleridge did so little real work, that he left, as a res integra, to Dr. Alison, the capital argument that legal and adequate provision for the poor, whether impotent poor or poor accidentally out of work, does not extend pauperism—no, but is the one great resource for putting it down. Dr. Alison's overwhelming and experimental manifestations of that truth have prostrated Malthus and his generation for ever. This comes of not attending to the Latin maxim—'Hoc age'—mind the object before you. Dr. Alison, a wise man, 'hoc egit:' Coleridge 'aliud egit.' And we see the result. In a case which suited him, by interesting his peculiar feeling, Coleridge could command

'Attention full ten times as much as there needs.'

But search documents, value evidence, or thresh out bushels of statistical tables, Coleridge could not, any more than he could ride with Elliot's dragoons.

Another instance of Coleridge's inaptitude for such studies as political economy is found in his fancy, by no means 'rich and rare,' but meagre and trite, that taxes can never injure public prosperity by mere excess of quantity; if they injure, we are to conclude that it must be by their quality and mode of operation, or by their false appropriation, (as, for instance, if they are sent out of the country and spent abroad.) Because, says Coleridge, if the taxes are exhaled from the country as vapors, back they come in drenching showers. Twenty pounds ascend in a Scotch mist to the Chancellor of the Exchequer from Leeds; but does it evaporate? Not at all: By return of post down comes an order for twenty pounds' worth of Leeds cloth, on account of Government, seeing that the poor men of the ——th regiment want new gaiters. True; but of this return twenty pounds, not more than four will be profit, i.e., surplus accruing to the public capital; whereas, of the original twenty pounds, every shilling was surplus. The same unsound fancy has been many times brought forward; often in England, often in France. But it is curious, that its first appearance upon any stage was precisely two centuries ago, when as yet political economy slept with the pre-Adamites, viz., in the Long Parliament. In a quarto volume of the debates during 1644-45, printed as an independent work, will be found the same identical doctrine, supported very sonorously by the same little love of an illustration from the see-saw of mist and rain.

Political economy was not Coleridge's forte. In politics he was happier. In mere personal politics, he (like every man when reviewed from a station distant by forty years) will often appear to have erred; nay, he will be detected and nailed in error. But this is the necessity of us all. Keen are the refutations of time. And absolute results to posterity are the fatal touchstone of opinions in the past. It is undeniable, besides, that Coleridge had strong personal antipathies, for instance, to Messrs. Pitt and Dundas. Yet why, we never could understand. We once heard him tell a story upon Windermere, to the late Mr. Curwen, then M. P. for Workington, which was meant, apparently, to account for this feeling. The story amounted to this; that, when a freshman at Cambridge, Mr. Pitt had wantonly amused himself at a dinner party in Trinity, in smashing with filberts (discharged in showers like grape-shot) a most costly dessert set of cut glass, from which Samuel Taylor Coleridge argued a principle of destructiveness in his cerebellum. Now, if this dessert set belonged to some poor suffering Trinitarian, and not to himself, we are of opinion that he was faulty, and ought, upon his own great subsequent maxim, to have been coerced into 'indemnity for the past, and security for the future.' But, besides that this glassy mythus belongs to an æra fifteen years earlier than Coleridge's so as to justify a shadow of scepticism, we really cannot find, in such an escapade under the boiling blood of youth, any sufficient justification of that withering malignity towards the name of Pitt, which runs through Coleridge's famous Fire, Famine, and Slaughter. As this little viperous jeu-d'esprit (published anonymously) subsequently became the subject of a celebrated after-dinner discussion in London, at which Coleridge (comme de raison) was the chief speaker, the reader of this generation may wish to know the question at issue; and in order to judge of that, he must know the outline of this devil's squib. The writer brings upon the scene three pleasant young ladies, viz., Miss Fire, Miss Famine, and Miss Slaughter. 'What are you up to? What's the row?'—we may suppose to be the introductory question of the poet. And the answer of the ladies makes us aware that they are fresh from larking in Ireland, and in France. A glorious spree they had; lots of fun; and laughter a discretion. At all times gratus puellæ risus ab angulo; so that we listen to their little gossip with interest. They had been setting men, it seems, by the ears; and the drollest little atrocities they do certainly report. Not but we have seen better in the Nenagh paper, so far as Ireland is concerned. But the pet little joke was in La Vendee. Miss Famine, who is the girl for our money, raises the question—whether any of them can tell the name of the leader and prompter to these high jinks of hell—if so, let her whisper it.

  'Whisper it, sister, so and so,
  In a dark hint—distinct and low.'

Upon which the playful Miss Slaughter replies:—

  'Letters four do form his name.
  * * * * *
  He came by stealth and unlock'd my den;
  And I have drunk the blood since then
  Of thrice three hundred thousand men.'

Good: but the sting of the hornet lies in the conclusion. If this quadriliteral man had done so much for them, (though really, we think, 6s. 8d. might have settled his claim,) what, says Fire, setting her arms a-kimbo, would they do for him? Slaughter replies, rather crustily, that, as far as a good kicking would go—or (says Famine) a little matter of tearing to pieces by the mob—they would be glad to take tickets at his benefit. 'How, you bitches!' says Fire, 'is that all?

'I alone am faithful; I Cling to him everlastingly.'

The sentiment is diabolical. And the question argued at the London dinner-table was—Could the writer have been other than a devil? The dinner was at the late excellent Mr. Sotheby's, known advantageously in those days as the translator of Wieland's Oberon. Several of the great guns amongst the literary body were present; in particular, Sir Walter Scott; and he, we believe, with his usual good-nature, took the apologetic side of the dispute. In fact, he was in the secret. Nobody else, barring the author, knew at first whose good name was at stake. The scene must have been high. The company kicked about the poor diabolic writer's head as if it had been a tennis-ball. Coleridge, the yet unknown criminal, absolutely perspired and fumed in pleading for the defendant; the company demurred; the orator grew urgent; wits began to smoke the case, as active verbs; the advocate to smoke, as a neuter verb; the 'fun grew fast and furious;' until at length delinquent arose, burning tears in his eyes, and confessed to an audience, (now bursting with stifled laughter, but whom he supposed to be bursting with fiery indignation,) 'Lo! I am he that wrote it.'

For our own parts, we side with Coleridge. Malice is not always of the heart. There is a malice of the understanding and the fancy. Neither do we think the worse of a man for having invented the most horrible and old-woman-troubling curse that demons ever listened to. We are too apt to swear horribly ourselves; and often have we frightened the cat, to say nothing of the kettle, by our shocking [far too shocking!] oaths.

There were other celebrated men whom Coleridge detested, or seemed to detest—Paley, Sir Sidney Smith, Lord Hutchinson, (the last Lord Donoughmore,) and Cuvier. To Paley it might seem as if his antipathy had been purely philosophic; but we believe that partly it was personal; and it tallies with this belief, that, in his earliest political tracts, Coleridge charged the archdeacon repeatedly with his own joke, as if it had been a serious saying, viz.—'That he could not afford to keep a conscience;' such luxuries, like a carriage, for instance, being obviously beyond the finances of poor men.

With respect to the philosophic question between the parties, as to the grounds of moral election, we hope it is no treason to suggest that both were perhaps in error. Against Paley, it occurs at once that he himself would not have made consequences the practical test in valuing the morality of an act, since these can very seldom be traced at all up to the final stages, and in the earliest stages are exceedingly different under different circumstances; so that the same act, tried by its consequences, would bear a fluctuating appreciation. This could not have been Paley's revised meaning. Consequently, had he been pressed by opposition, it would have come out, that by test he meant only speculative test: a very harmless doctrine certainly, but useless and impertinent to any purpose of his system. The reader may catch our meaning in the following illustration. It is a matter of general belief, that happiness, upon the whole, follows in a higher degree from constant integrity, than from the closest attention to self-interest. Now happiness is one of those consequences which Paley meant by final or remotest. But we could never use this idea as an exponent of integrity, or interchangeable criterion, because happiness cannot be ascertained or appreciated except upon long tracts of time, whereas the particular act of integrity depends continually upon the election of the moment. No man, therefore, could venture to lay down as a rule, Do what makes you happy; use this as your test of actions, satisfied that in that case always you will do the thing which is right. For he cannot discern independently what will make him happy; and he must decide on the spot. The use of the nexus between morality and happiness must therefore be inverted; it is not practical or prospective, but simply retrospective; and in that form it says no more than the good old rules hallowed in every cottage. But this furnishes no practical guide for moral election which a man had not, before he ever thought of this nexus. In the sense in which it is true, we need not go to the professor's chair for this maxim; in the sense in which it would serve Paley, it is absolutely false.

On the other hand, as against Coleridge, it is certain that many acts could be mentioned which are judged to be good or bad only because their consequences are known to be so, whilst the great catholic acts of life are entirely (and, if we may so phrase it, haughtily) independent of consequences. For instance, fidelity to a trust is a law of immutable morality subject to no casuistry whatever. You have been left executor to a friend—you are to pay over his last legacy to X, though a dissolute scoundrel; and you are to give no shilling of it to the poor brother of X, though a good man, and a wise man, struggling with adversity. You are absolutely excluded from all contemplation of results. It was your deceased friend's right to make the will; it is yours simply to see it executed. Now, in opposition to this primary class of actions stands another, such as the habit of intoxication, which are known to be wrong only by observing the consequences. If drunkenness did not terminate, after some years, in producing bodily weakness, irritability in the temper, and so forth, it would not be a vicious act. And accordingly, if a transcendent motive should arise in favor of drunkenness, as that it would enable you to face a degree of cold, or contagion, else menacing to life, a duty would arise, pro hac vice, of getting drunk. We had an amiable friend who suffered under the infirmity of cowardice; an awful coward he was when sober; but, when very drunk, he had courage enough for the Seven Champions of Christendom, Therefore, in an emergency, where he knew himself suddenly loaded with the responsibility of defending a family, we approved highly of his getting drunk. But to violate a trust could never become right under any change of circumstances. Coleridge, however, altogether overlooked this distinction: which, on the other hand, stirring in Paley's mind, but never brought out to distinct consciousness, nor ever investigated, nor limited, has undermined his system. Perhaps it is not very important how a man theorizes upon morality; happily for us all, God has left no man in such questions practically to the guidance of his understanding; but still, considering that academic bodies are partly instituted for the support of speculative truth as well as truth practical, we must think it a blot upon the splendor of Oxford and Cambridge that both of them, in a Christian land, make Paley the foundation of their ethics; the alternative being Aristotle. And, in our mind, though far inferior as a moralist to the Stoics, Aristotle is often less of a pagan than Paley.

Coleridge's dislike to Sir Sidney Smith and the Egyptian Lord
Hutchinson fell under the category of Martial's case.

  'Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere quare,
  Hoc solum novi—non amo te, Sabidi.'

Against Lord Hutchinson, we never heard him plead anything of moment, except that he was finically Frenchified in his diction; of which he gave this instance—that having occasion to notice a brick wall, (which was literally that, not more and not less,) when reconnoitring the French defences, he called it a revêtement. And we ourselves remember his using the French word gloriole rather ostentatiously; that is, when no particular emphasis attached to the case. But every man has his foibles; and few, perhaps, are less conspicuously annoying than this of Lord Hutchinson's. Sir Sidney's crimes were less distinctly revealed to our mind. As to Cuvier, Coleridge's hatred of him was more to our taste; for (though quite unreasonable, we fear) it took the shape of patriotism. He insisted on it, that our British John Hunter was the genuine article, and that Cuvier was a humbug. Now, speaking privately to the public, we cannot go quite so far as that. But, when publicly we address that most respectable character, en grand costume, we always mean to back Coleridge. For we are a horrible John Bull ourselves. As Joseph Hume observes, it makes no difference to us—right or wrong, black or white—when our countrymen are concerned. And John Hunter, notwithstanding he had a bee in his bonnet, [Footnote: Vide, in particular, for the most exquisite specimen of pigheadedness that the world can furnish, his perverse evidence on the once famous case at the Warwick assizes, of Captain Donelan for poisoning his brother-in-law, Sir Theodosius Boughton.] was really a great man; though it will not follow that Cuvier must, therefore, have been a little one. We do not pretend to be acquainted with the tenth part of Cuvier's performances; but we suspect that Coleridge's range in that respect was not much greater than our own.

Other cases of monomaniac antipathy we might revive from our recollections of Coleridge, had we a sufficient motive. But in compensation, and by way of redressing the balance, he had many strange likings—equally monomaniac—and, unaccountably, he chose to exhibit his whimsical partialities by dressing up, as it were, in his own clothes, such a set of scarecrows as eye has not beheld. Heavens! what an ark of unclean beasts would have been Coleridge's private menagerie of departed philosophers, could they all have been trotted out in succession! But did the reader feel them to be the awful bores which, in fact, they were? No; because Coleridge had blown upon these withered anatomies, through the blowpipe of his own creative genius, a stream of gas that swelled the tissue of their antediluvian wrinkles, forced color upon their cheeks, and splendor upon their sodden eyes. Such a process of ventriloquism never has existed. He spoke by their organs. They were the tubes; and he forced through their wooden machinery his own Beethoven harmonies.

First came Dr. Andrew Bell. We knew him. Was he dull? Is a wooden spoon dull? Fishy were his eyes; torpedinous was his manner; and his main idea, out of two which he really had, related to the moon—from which you infer, perhaps, that he was lunatic. By no means. It was no craze, under the influence of the moon, which possessed him; it was an idea of mere hostility to the moon. The Madras people, like many others, had an idea that she influenced the weather. Subsequently the Herschels, senior and junior, systematized this idea; and then the wrath of Andrew, previously in a crescent state, actually dilated to a plenilunar orb. The Westmoreland people (for at the lakes it was we knew him) expounded his condition to us by saying that he was 'maffled;' which word means 'perplexed in the extreme.' His wrath did not pass into lunacy; it produced simple distraction; an uneasy fumbling with the idea; like that of an old superannuated dog who longs to worry, but cannot for want of teeth. In this condition you will judge that he was rather tedious. And in this condition Coleridge took him up. Andrew's other idea, because he had two, related to education. Perhaps six-sevenths of that also came from Madras. No matter, Coleridge took that up; Southey also; but Southey with his usual temperate fervor. Coleridge, on the other hand, found celestial marvels both in the scheme and in the man. Then commenced the apotheosis of Andrew Bell: and because it happened that his opponent, Lancaster, between ourselves, really had stolen his ideas from Bell, what between the sad wickedness of Lancaster and the celestial transfiguration of Bell, gradually Coleridge heated himself to such an extent, that people, when referring to that subject, asked each other, 'Have you heard Coleridge lecture on Bel and the Dragon?'

The next man glorified by Coleridge was John Woolman, the Quaker. Him, though we once possessed his works, it cannot be truly affirmed that we ever read. Try to read John, we often did; but read John we did not. This, however, you say, might be our fault, and not John's. Very likely. And we have a notion that now, with our wiser thoughts, we should read John, if he were here on this table. It is certain that he was a good man, and one of the earliest in America, if not in Christendom, who lifted up his hand to protest against the slave-trade. But still, we suspect, that had John been all that Coleridge represented, he would not have repelled us from reading his travels in the fearful way that he did. But, again, we beg pardon, and entreat the earth of Virginia to lie light upon the remains of John Woolman; for he was an Israelite, indeed, in whom there was no guile.

The third person raised to divine honors by Coleridge was Bowyer, the master of Christ's Hospital, London—a man whose name rises into the nostrils of all who knew him with the gracious odor of a tallow- chandler's melting-house upon melting day, and whose memory is embalmed in the hearty detestation of all his pupils. Coleridge describes this man as a profound critic. Our idea of him is different. We are of opinion that Bowyer was the greatest villain of the eighteenth century. We may be wrong; but we cannot be far wrong. Talk of knouting indeed! which we did at the beginning of this paper in the mere playfulness of our hearts—and which the great master of the knout, Christopher, who visited men's trespasses like the Eumenides, never resorted to but in love for some great idea which had been outraged; why, this man knouted his way through life, from bloody youth up to truculent old age. Grim idol! whose altars reeked with children's blood, and whose dreadful eyes never smiled except as the stern goddess of the Thugs smiles, when the sound of human lamentations inhabits her ears. So much had the monster fed upon this great idea of 'flogging,' and transmuted it into the very nutriment of his heart, that he seems to have conceived the gigantic project of flogging all mankind; nay worse, for Mr. Gillman, on Coleridge's authority, tells us (p. 24) the following anecdote:—'"Sirrah, I'll flog you," were words so familiar to him, that on one occasion some female friend of one of the boys,' (who had come on an errand of intercession,) 'still lingering at the door, after having been abruptly told to go, Bowyer exclaimed—"Bring that woman here, and I'll flog her."'

To this horrid incarnation of whips and scourges, Coleridge, in his Biographia Literaria, ascribes ideas upon criticism and taste, which every man will recognise as the intense peculiarities of Coleridge. Could these notions really have belonged to Bowyer, then how do we know but he wrote The Ancient Mariner? Yet, on consideration, no. For even Coleridge admitted that, spite of his fine theorizing upon composition, Mr. Bowyer did not prosper in the practice. Of which he gave us this illustration; and as it is supposed to be the only specimen of the Bowyeriana which now survives in this sublunary world, we are glad to extend its glory. It is the most curious example extant of the melodious in sound:—

''Twas thou that smooth'd'st the rough-rugg'd bed of pain.'

'Smooth'd'st!' Would the teeth of a crocodile not splinter under that word? It seems to us as if Mr. Bowyer's verses ought to be boiled before they can be read. And when he says, 'Twas thou, what is the wretch talking to? Can he be apostrophizing the knout? We very much fear it. If so, then, you see (reader!) that, even when incapacitated by illness from operating, he still adores the image of his holy scourge, and invokes it as alone able to smooth 'his rough-rugg'd bed.' Oh, thou infernal Bowyer! upon whom even Trollope (History of Christ's Hospital) charges 'a discipline tinctured with more than due severity;'—can there be any partners found for thee in a quadrille, except Draco, the bloody lawgiver, Bishop Bonner, and Mrs. Brownrigg?

The next pet was Sir Alexander Ball. Concerning Bowyer, Coleridge did not talk much, but chiefly wrote; concerning Bell, he did not write much, but chiefly talked. Concerning Ball, however, he both wrote and talked. It was in vain to muse upon any plan for having Ball blackballed, or for rebelling against Bell. Think of a man, who had fallen into one pit called Bell; secondly, falling into another pit called Ball. This was too much. We were obliged to quote poetry against them:—

  'Letters four do form his name;
  He came by stealth and unlock'd my den;
  And the nightmare I have felt since then
  Of thrice three hundred thousand men.'

Not that we insinuate any disrespect to Sir Alexander Ball. He was about the foremost, we believe, in all good qualities, amongst Nelson's admirable captains at the Nile. He commanded a seventy-four most effectually in that battle; he governed Malta as well as Sancho governed Barataria; and he was a true practical philosopher—as, indeed, was Sancho. But still, by all that we could ever learn, Sir Alexander had no taste for the abstract upon any subject; and would have read, as mere delirious wanderings, those philosophic opinions which Coleridge fastened like wings upon his respectable, but astounded, shoulders.

We really beg pardon for having laughed a little at these crazes of Coleridge. But laugh we did, of mere necessity, in those days, at Bell and Ball, whenever we did not groan. And, as the same precise alternative offered itself now, viz., that, in recalling the case, we must reverberate either the groaning or the laughter, we presumed the reader would vote for the last. Coleridge, we are well convinced, owed all these wandering and exaggerated estimates of men—these diseased impulses, that, like the mirage, showed lakes and fountains where in reality there were only arid deserts, to the derangements worked by opium. But now, for the sake of change, let us pass to another topic. Suppose we say a word or two on Coleridge's accomplishments as a scholar. We are not going to enter on so large a field as that of his scholarship in connection with his philosophic labors, scholarship in the result; not this, but scholarship in the means and machinery, range of verbal scholarship, is what we propose for a moment's review.

For instance, what sort of a German scholar was Coleridge? We dare say that, because in his version of the Wallenstein there are some inaccuracies, those who may have noticed them will hold him cheap in this particular pretension. But, to a certain degree, they will be wrong. Coleridge was not very accurate in anything but in the use of logic. All his philological attainments were imperfect. He did not talk German; or so obscurely—and, if he attempted to speak fast, so erroneously—that in his second sentence, when conversing with a German lady of rank, he contrived to assure her that in his humble opinion she was a ——. Hard it is to fill up the hiatus decorously; but, in fact, the word very coarsely expressed that she was no better than she should be. Which reminds us of a parallel misadventure to a German, whose colloquial English had been equally neglected. Having obtained an interview with an English lady, he opened his business (whatever it might be) thus—'High-born madam, since your husband have kicked de bucket'——'Sir!' interrupted the lady, astonished and displeased. 'Oh, pardon!—nine, ten thousand pardon! Now, I make new beginning—quite oder beginning. Madam, since your husband have cut his stick'——It may be supposed that this did not mend matters; and, reading that in the lady's countenance, the German drew out an octavo dictionary, and said, perspiring with shame at having a second time missed fire,—'Madam, since your husband have gone to kingdom come'—— This he said beseechingly; but the lady was past propitiation by this time, and rapidly moved towards the door. Things had now reached a crisis; and, if something were not done quickly, the game was up. Now, therefore, taking a last hurried look at his dictionary, the German flew after the lady, crying out in a voice of despair—'Madam, since your husband, your most respected husband, have hopped de twig'——This was his sheet-anchor; and, as this also came home, of course the poor man was totally wrecked. It turned out that the dictionary he had used (Arnold's, we think,)—a work of a hundred years back, and, from mere ignorance, giving slang translations from Tom Brown, L'Estrange, and other jocular writers—had put down the verb sterben (to die) with the following worshipful series of equivalents—1. To kick the bucket; 2. To cut one's stick; 3. To go to kingdom come; 4. To hop the twig.

But, though Coleridge did not pretend to any fluent command of conversational German, he read it with great ease. His knowledge of German literature was, indeed, too much limited by his rare opportunities for commanding anything like a well-mounted library. And particularly it surprised us that Coleridge knew little or nothing of John Paul (Richter). But his acquaintance with the German philosophic masters was extensive. And his valuation of many individual German words or phrases was delicate and sometimes profound.

As a Grecian, Coleridge must be estimated with a reference to the state and standard of Greek literature at that time and in this country. Porson had not yet raised our ideal. The earliest laurels of Coleridge were gathered, however, in that field. Yet no man will, at this day, pretend that the Greek of his prize ode is sufferable. Neither did Coleridge ever become an accurate Grecian in later times, when better models of scholarship, and better aids to scholarship, had begun to multiply. But still we must assert this point of superiority for Coleridge, that, whilst he never was what may be called a well-mounted scholar in any department of verbal scholarship, he yet displayed sometimes a brilliancy of conjectural sagacity, and a felicity of philosophic investigation, even in this path, such as better scholars do not often attain, and of a kind which cannot be learned from books. But, as respects his accuracy, again we must recall to the reader the state of Greek literature in England during Coleridge's youth; and, in all equity, as a means of placing Coleridge in the balances, specifically we must recall the state of Greek metrical composition at that period.

To measure the condition of Greek literature even in Cambridge, about the initial period of Coleridge, we need only look back to the several translations of Gray's Elegy by three (if not four) of the reverend gentlemen at that time attached to Eton College. Mathias, no very great scholar himself in this particular field, made himself merry, in his Pursuits of Literature, with these Eton translations. In that he was right. But he was not right in praising a contemporary translation by Cook, who (we believe) was the immediate predecessor of Porson in the Greek chair. As a specimen of this translation, [Footnote: It was printed at the end of Aristotle's Poetics, which Dr. Cook edited.] we cite one stanza; and we cannot be supposed to select unfairly, because it is the stanza which Mathias praises in extravagant terms. "Here," says he, "Gray, Cook, and Nature, do seem to contend for the mastery." The English quatrain must be familiar to every body:—

  "The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
    And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
  Await alike the inevitable hour:
    The paths of glory lead but to the grave."

And the following, we believe, though quoting from a thirty-three years' recollection of it, is the exact Greek version of Cook:—

  'A charis eugenon, charis a basilaeidos achas
  Lora tuchaes chryseaes, Aphroditaes kala ta dora,
  Paith ama tauta tethiake, kai eiden morsimon amar
  Proon kle olole, kai ocheto xunon es Adaen.'

Now really these verses, by force of a little mosaic tesselation from genuine Greek sources, pass fluently over the tongue; but can they be considered other than a cento? Swarms of English schoolboys, at this day, would not feel very proud to adopt them. In fact, we remember (at a period say twelve years later than this) some iambic verses, which were really composed by a boy, viz., a son of Dr. Prettyman, (afterwards Tomline,) Bishop of Winchester, and, in earlier times, private tutor to Mr. Pitt; they were published by Middleton, first Bishop of Calcutta, in the preface to his work on the Greek article; and for racy idiomatic Greek, self-originated, and not a mere mocking- bird's iteration of alien notes, are so much superior to all the attempts of these sexagenarian doctors, as distinctly to mark the growth of a new era and a new generation in this difficult accomplishment, within the first decennium of this century. It is singular that only one blemish is suggested by any of the contemporary critics in Dr. Cook's verses, viz., in the word xunon, for which this critic proposes to substitute ooinon, to prevent, as he observes, the last syllable of ocheto from being lengthened by the x. Such considerations as these are necessary to the trutinæ castigatio, before we can value Coleridge's place on the scale of his own day; which day, quoad hoc, be it remembered, was 1790.

As to French, Coleridge read it with too little freedom to find pleasure in French literature. Accordingly, we never recollect his referring for any purpose, either of argument or illustration, to a French classic. Latin, from his regular scholastic training, naturally he read with a scholar's fluency; and indeed, he read constantly in authors, such as Petrarch, Erasmus, Calvin, &c., whom he could not then have found in translations. But Coleridge had not cultivated an acquaintance with the delicacies of classic Latinity. And it is remarkable that Wordsworth, educated most negligently at Hawkshead school, subsequently by reading the lyric poetry of Horace, simply for his own delight as a student of composition, made himself a master of Latinity in its most difficult form; whilst Coleridge, trained regularly in a great Southern school, never carried his Latin to any classical polish.

There is another accomplishment of Coleridge's, less broadly open to the judgment of this generation, and not at all of the next—viz., his splendid art of conversation, on which it will be interesting to say a word. Ten years ago, when the music of this rare performance had not yet ceased to vibrate in men's ears, what a sensation was gathering amongst the educated classes on this particular subject! What a tumult of anxiety prevailed to 'hear Mr. Coleridge'—or even to talk with a man who had heard him! Had he lived till this day, not Paganini would have been so much sought after. That sensation is now decaying; because a new generation has emerged during the ten years since his death. But many still remain whose sympathy (whether of curiosity in those who did not know him, or of admiration in those who did) still reflects as in a mirror the great stir upon this subject which then was moving in the world. To these, if they should inquire for the great distinguishing principle of Coleridge's conversation, we might say that it was the power of vast combination 'in linked sweetness long drawn out.' He gathered into focal concentration the largest body of objects, apparently disconnected, that any man ever yet, by any magic, could assemble, or, having assembled, could manage. His great fault was, that, by not opening sufficient spaces for reply or suggestion, or collateral notice, he not only narrowed his own field, but he grievously injured the final impression. For when men's minds are purely passive, when they are not allowed to re-act, then it is that they collapse most, and that their sense of what is said must ever be feeblest. Doubtless there must have been great conversational masters elsewhere, and at many periods; but in this lay Coleridge's characteristic advantage, that he was a great natural power, and also a great artist. He was a power in the art, and he carried a new art into the power.

But now, finally—having left ourselves little room for more—one or two words on Coleridge as an opium-eater.

We have not often read a sentence falling from a wise man with astonishment so profound, as that particular one in a letter of Coleridge's to Mr. Gillman, which speaks of the effort to wean one's- self from opium as a trivial task. There are, we believe, several such passages. But we refer to that one in particular which assumes that a single 'week' will suffice for the whole process of so mighty a revolution. Is indeed leviathan so tamed? In that case the quarantine of the opium-eater might be finished within Coleridge's time, and with Coleridge's romantic ease. But mark the contradictions of this extraordinary man. Not long ago we were domesticated with a venerable rustic, strong-headed, but incurably obstinate in his prejudices, who treated the whole body of medical men as ignorant pretenders, knowing absolutely nothing of the system which they professed to superintend. This, you will remark, is no very singular case. No; nor, as we believe, is the antagonist case of ascribing to such men magical powers. Nor, what is worse still, the co-existence of both cases in the same mind, as in fact happened here. For this same obstinate friend of ours, who treated all medical pretensions as the mere jest of the universe, every 'third day was exacting from his own medical attendants some exquisite tour-de-force, as that they should know or should do something, which, if they had known or done, all men would have suspected them reasonably of magic. He rated the whole medical body as infants; and yet what he exacted from them every third day as a matter of course, virtually presumed them to be the only giants within the whole range of science. Parallel and equal is the contradiction of Coleridge. He speaks of opium excess, his own excess, we mean—the excess of twenty-five years—as a thing to be laid aside easily and for ever within seven days; and yet, on the other hand, he describes it pathetically, sometimes with a frantic pathos, as the scourge, the curse, the one almighty blight which had desolated his life.

This shocking contradiction we need not press. All readers will see that. But some will ask—Was Mr. Coleridge right in either view? Being so atrociously wrong in the first notion, (viz., that the opium of twenty-five years was a thing easily to be forsworn,) where a child could know that he was wrong, was he even altogether right, secondly, in believing that his own life, root and branch, had been withered by opium? For it will not follow, because, with a relation to happiness and tranquillity, a man may have found opium his curse, that therefore, as a creature of energies and great purposes, he must have been the wreck which he seems to suppose. Opium gives and takes away. It defeats the steady habit of exertion, but it creates spasms of irregular exertion; it ruins the natural power of life, but it develops preternatural paroxysms of intermitting power. Let us ask of any man who holds that not Coleridge himself but the world, as interested in Coleridge's usefulness, has suffered by his addiction to opium; whether he is aware of the way in which opium affected Coleridge; and secondly, whether he is aware of the actual contributions to literature—how large they were—which Coleridge made in spite of opium. All who were intimate with Coleridge must remember the fits of genial animation which were created continually in his manner and in his buoyancy of thought by a recent or by an extra dose of the omnipotent drug. A lady, who knew nothing experimentally of opium, once told us, that she 'could tell when Mr. Coleridge had taken too much opium by his shining countenance.' She was right; we know that mark of opium excesses well, and the cause of it; or at least we believe the cause to lie in the quickening of the insensible perspiration which accumulates and glistens on the face. Be that as it may, a criterion it was that could not deceive us as to the condition of Coleridge. And uniformly in that condition he made his most effective intellectual displays. It is true that he might not be happy under this fiery animation, and we fully believe that he was not. Nobody is happy under laudanum except for a very short term of years. But in what way did that operate upon his exertions as a writer? We are of opinion that it killed Coleridge as a poet. 'The harp of Quantock' was silenced for ever by the torment of opium. But proportionably it roused and stung by misery his metaphysical instincts into more spasmodic life. Poetry can flourish only in the atmosphere of happiness. But subtle and perplexed investigations of difficult problems are amongst the commonest resources for beguiling the sense of misery. And for this we have the direct authority of Coleridge himself speculating on his own case. In the beautiful though unequal ode entitled Dejection, stanza six, occurs the following passage:

  'For not to think of what I needs must feel,
  But to be still and patient all I can;
  And haply by abstruse research to steal
  From my own nature all the natural man

  This was my sole resource, my only plan;
  Till that, which suits a part, infects the whole,
  And now is almost grown the habit of my soul.'

Considering the exquisite quality of some poems which Coleridge has composed, nobody can grieve (or has grieved) more than ourselves, at seeing so beautiful a fountain choked up with weeds. But had Coleridge been a happier man, it is our fixed belief that we should have had far less of his philosophy, and perhaps, but not certainly, might have had more of his general literature. In the estimate of the public, doubtless, that will seem a bad exchange. Every man to his taste. Meantime, what we wish to show is, that the loss was not absolute, but merely relative.

It is urged, however, that, even on his philosophic speculations, opium operated unfavorably in one respect, by often causing him to leave them unfinished. This is true. Whenever Coleridge (being highly charged, or saturated, with opium) had written with distempered vigor upon any question, there occurred soon after a recoil of intense disgust, not from his own paper only, but even from the subject. All opium-eaters are tainted with the infirmity of leaving works unfinished, and suffering reactions of disgust. But Coleridge taxed himself with that infirmity in verse before he could at all have commenced opium-eating. Besides, it is too much assumed by Coleridge and by his biographer, that to leave off opium was of course to regain juvenile health. But all opium-eaters make the mistake of supposing every pain or irritation which they suffer to be the product of opium. Whereas a wise man will say, suppose you do leave off opium, that will not deliver you from the load of years (say sixty-three) which you carry on your back. Charles Lamb, another man of true genius, and another head belonging to the Blackwood Gallery, made that mistake in his Confessions of a Drunkard. 'I looked back,' says he, 'to the time when always, on waking in the morning, I had a song rising to my lips.' At present, it seems, being a drunkard, he has no such song. Ay, dear Lamb, but note this, that the drunkard was fifty-six years old, the songster was twenty-three. Take twenty-three from fifty-six, and we have some reason to believe that thirty-three will remain; which period of thirty-three years is a pretty good reason for not singing in the morning, even if brandy has been out of the question.

It is singular, as respects Coleridge, that Mr. Gillman never says one word upon the event of the great Highgate experiment for leaving off laudanum, though Coleridge came to Mr. Gillman's for no other purpose; and in a week, this vast creation of new earth, sea, and all that in them is, was to have been accomplished. We rayther think, as Bayley junior observes, that the explosion must have hung fire. But that is a trifle. We have another pleasing hypothesis on the subject. Mr. Wordsworth, in his exquisite lines written on a fly-leaf of his own Castle of Indolence, having described Coleridge as 'a noticeable man with large grey eyes,' goes on to say, 'He' (viz., Coleridge) 'did that other man entice' to view his imagery. Now we are sadly afraid that 'the noticeable man with large grey eyes' did entice 'that other man,' viz., Gillman, to commence opium-eating. This is droll; and it makes us laugh horribly. Gillman should have reformed him; and lo! he corrupts Gillman. S. T. Coleridge visited Highgate by way of being converted from the heresy of opium; and the issue is—that, in two months' time, various grave men, amongst whom our friend Gillman marches first in great pomp, are found to have faces shining and glorious as that of AEsculapius; a fact of which we have already explained the secret meaning. And scandal says (but then what will not scandal say?) that a hogshead of opium goes up daily through Highgate tunnel. Surely one corroboration of our hypothesis may be found in the fact, that Vol. I. of Gillman's Coleridge is for ever to stand unpropped by Vol. II. For we have already observed, that opium- eaters, though good fellows upon the whole, never finish anything.

What then? A man has a right never to finish anything. Certainly he has; and by Magna Charta. But he has no right, by Magna Charta or by Parva Charta, to slander decent men, like ourselves and our friend the author of the Opium Confessions. Here it is that our complaint arises against Mr. Gillman. If he has taken to opium-eating, can we help that? If his face shines, must our faces be blackened? He has very improperly published some intemperate passages from Coleridge's letters, which ought to have been considered confidential, unless Coleridge had left them for publication, charging upon the author of the Opium Confessions a reckless disregard of the temptations which, in that work, he was scattering abroad amongst men. Now this author is connected with ourselves, and we cannot neglect his defence, unless in the case that he undertakes it himself.

We complain, also, that Coleridge raises (and is backed by Mr. Gillman in raising) a distinction perfectly perplexing to us, between himself and the author of the Opium Confessions upon the question—Why they severally began the practice of opium-eating? In himself, it seems, this motive was to relieve pain, whereas the Confessor was surreptitiously seeking for pleasure. Ay, indeed—where did he learn that? We have no copy of the Confessions here, so we cannot quote chapter and verse; but we distinctly remember, that toothache is recorded in that book as the particular occasion which first introduced the author to the knowledge of opium. Whether afterwards, having been thus initiated by the demon of pain, the opium confessor did not apply powers thus discovered to purposes of mere pleasure, is a question for himself; and the same question applies with the same cogency to Coleridge. Coleridge began in rheumatic pains. What then? This is no proof that he did not end in voluptuousness. For our parts, we are slow to believe that ever any man did, or could, learn the somewhat awful truth, that in a certain ruby-colored elixir, there lurked a divine power to chase away the genius of ennui, without subsequently abusing this power. To taste but once from the tree of knowledge, is fatal to the subsequent power of abstinence. True it is, that generations have used laudanum as an anodyne, (for instance, hospital patients,) who have not afterwards courted its powers as a voluptuous stimulant; but that, be sure, has arisen from no abstinence in them. There are, in fact, two classes of temperaments as to this terrific drug—those which are, and those which are not, preconformed to its power; those which genially expand to its temptations, and those which frostily exclude them. Not in the energies of the will, but in the qualities of the nervous organization, lies the dread arbitration of—Fall or stand: doomed thou art to yield; or, strengthened constitutionally, to resist. Most of those who have but a low sense of the spells lying couchant in opium, have practically none at all. For the initial fascination is for them effectually defeated by the sickness which nature has associated with the first stages of opium-eating. But to that other class, whose nervous sensibilities vibrate to their profoundest depths under the first touch of the angelic poison, even as a lover's ear thrills on hearing unexpectedly the voice of her whom he loves, opium is the Amreeta cup of beatitude. You know the Paradise Lost? and you remember, from the eleventh book, in its earlier part, that laudanum already existed in Eden—nay, that it was used medicinally by an archangel; for, after Michael had 'purged with euphrasy and rue' the eyes of Adam, lest he should be unequal to the mere sight of the great visions about to unfold their draperies before him, next he fortifies his fleshly spirits against the affliction of these visions, of which visions the first was death. And how?

'He from the well of life three drops instill'd.'

What was their operation?

  'So deep the power of these ingredients pierced,
  Even to the inmost seat of mental sight,
  That Adam, now enforced to close his eyes,
  Sank down, and all his spirits became entranced.
  But him the gentle angel by the hand
  Soon raised'——

The second of these lines it is which betrays the presence of laudanum. It is in the faculty of mental vision, it is in the increased power of dealing with the shadowy and the dark, that the characteristic virtue of opium lies. Now, in the original higher sensibility is found some palliation for the practice of opium-eating; in the greater temptation is a greater excuse. And in this faculty of self-revelation is found some palliation for reporting the case to the world, which both Coleridge and his biographer have overlooked.


The most remarkable instance of a combined movement in society, which history, perhaps, will be summoned to notice, is that which, in our own days, has applied itself to the abatement of intemperance. Naturally, or by any direct process, the machinery set in motion would seem irrelevant to the object: if one hundred men unite to elevate the standard of temperance, they can do this with effect only by improvements in their own separate cases: each individual, for such an effort of self-conquest, can draw upon no resources but his own. One member in a combination of one hundred, when running a race, can hope for no cooperation from his ninety-nine associates. And yet, by a secondary action, such combinations are found eminently successful. Having obtained from every confederate a pledge, in some shape or other, that he will give them his support, thenceforwards they bring the passions of shame and self-esteem to bear upon each member's personal perseverance. Not only they keep alive and continually refresh in his thoughts the general purpose, which else might fade; but they also point the action of public contempt and of self-contempt at any defaulter much more potently, and with more acknowledged right to do so, when they use this influence under a license, volunteered, and signed, and sealed, by the man's own hand. They first conciliate his countenance through his intellectual perceptions of what is right; and next they sustain it through his conscience, (the strongest of his internal forces,) and even through the weakest of his human sensibilities. That revolution, therefore, which no combination of men can further by abating the original impulse of temptations, they often accomplish happily by maturing the secondary energies of resistance.

Already in their earliest stage, these temperance movements had obtained, both at home and abroad, a national range of grandeur. More than ten years ago, when M. de Tocqueville was resident in the United States, the principal American society counted two hundred and seventy thousand members: and in one single state (Pennsylvania) the annual diminution in the use of spirits had very soon reached half a million of gallons. Now a machinery must be so far good which accomplishes its end: the means are meritorious for so much as they effect. Even to strengthen a feeble resolution by the aid of other infirmities, such as shame or the very servility and cowardice of deference to public opinion, becomes prudent and laudable in the service of so great a cause. Nay, sometimes to make public profession of self-distrust by assuming the coercion of public pledges, may become an expression of frank courage, or even of noble principle, not fearing the shame of confession when it can aid the powers of victorious resistance. Yet still, so far as it is possible, every man sighs for a still higher victory over himself: a victory not tainted by bribes, and won from no impulses but those inspired by his own higher nature, and his own mysterious force of will; powers that in no man were fully developed.

This being so, it is well that from time to time every man should throw out any hints that have occurred to his experience,—suggesting such as may be new, renewing such as may be old, towards the encouragement or the information of persons engaged in so great a struggle. My own experience had never travelled in that course which could much instruct me in the miseries from wine, or in the resources for struggling with it. I had repeatedly been obliged indeed to lay it aside altogether; but in this I never found room for more than seven or ten days' struggle: excesses I had never practised in the use of wine; simply the habit of using it, and the collateral habits formed by excessive use of opium, had produced any difficulty at all in resigning it even on an hour's notice. From opium I derive my right of offering hints at all upon the subjects of abstinence in other forms. But the modes of suffering from the evil, and the separate modes of suffering from the effort of self-conquest, together with errors of judgment incident to such states of transitional torment, are all nearly allied, practically analogous as regards the remedies, even if characteristically distinguished to the inner consciousness. I make no scruple, therefore, of speaking as from a station of high experience and of most watchful attention, which never remitted even under sufferings that were at times absolutely frantic.

I. The first hint is one that has been often offered; viz., the diminution of the particular liquor used, by the introduction into each glass of some inert substance, ascertained in bulk, and equally increasing in amount from day to day. But this plan has often been intercepted by an accident: shot, or sometimes bullets, were the substances nearest at hand; an objection arose from too scrupulous a caution of chemistry as to the action upon lead of the vinous acid. Yet all objection of this kind might be removed at once, by using beads in a case where small decrements were wanted, and marbles, if it were thought advisable to use larger. Once for all, however, in cases deeply rooted, no advances ought ever to be made but by small stages: for the effect, which is insensible at first, by the tenth, twelfth, or fifteenth day, generally accumulates unendurably under any bolder deductions. I must not stop to illustrate this point; but certain it is, that by an error of this nature at the outset, most natural to human impatience under exquisite suffering, too generally the trial is abruptly brought to an end through the crisis of a passionate relapse.

II. Another object, and one to which the gladiator matched in single duel with intemperance, must direct a religious vigilance, is the digestibility of his food: it must be digestible not only by its original qualities, but also by its culinary preparation. In this last point we are all of us Manichæans: all of us yield a cordial assent to that Manichæan proverb, which refers the meats and the cooks of this world to two opposite fountains of light and of darkness. Oromasdes it is, or the good principle, that sends the food; Ahrimanes, or the evil principle, that everywhere sends the cooks. Man has been repeatedly described or even defined, as by differential privilege of his nature, 'A cooking animal.' Brutes, it is said, have faces,—man only has a countenance; brutes are as well able to eat as man,—man only is able to cook what he eats. Such are the romances of self-flattery. I, on the contrary, maintain, that six thousand years have not availed, in this point, to raise our race generally to the level of ingenious savages. The natives of the Society and the Friendly Isles, or of New Zealand, and other favored spots, had, and still have, an art of cookery, though very limited in its range: the French [Footnote: But judge not, reader, of French skill by the attempts of fourth-rate artists; and understand me to speak with respect of this skill, not as it is the tool of luxury, but as it is the handmaid of health.] have an art, and more extensive; but we English are about upon a level (as regards this science) with the ape, to whom an instinct whispers that chestnuts may be roasted; or with the aboriginal Chinese of Charles Lamb's story, to whom the experience of many centuries had revealed thus much, viz., that a dish very much beyond the raw flesh of their ancestors, might be had by burning down the family mansion, and thus roasting the pig-stye. Rudest of barbarous devices is English cookery, and not much in advance of this primitive Chinese step; a fact which it would not be worth while to lament, were it not for the sake of the poor trembling deserter from the banners of intoxication, who is thus, and by no other cause, so often thrown back beneath the yoke which he had abjured. Past counting are the victims of alcohol, that, having by vast efforts emancipated themselves for a season, are violently forced into relapsing by the nervous irritations of demoniac cookery. Unhappily for them, the horrors of indigestion are relieved for the moment, however ultimately strengthened, by strong liquors; the relief is immediate, and cannot fail to be perceived; but the aggravation, being removed to a distance, is not always referred to its proper cause. This is the capital rock and stumbling-block in the path of him who is hurrying back to the camps of temperance; and many a reader is likely to misapprehend the case through the habit he has acquired of supposing indigestion to lurk chiefly amongst luxurious dishes. But, on the contrary, it is amongst the plainest, simplest, and commonest dishes that such misery lurks, in England. Let us glance at three articles of diet, beyond all comparison of most ordinary occurrence, viz., potatoes, bread, and butcher's meat. The art of preparing potatoes for human use is utterly unknown, except in certain provinces of our empire, and amongst certain sections of the laboring class. In our great cities,—London, Edinburgh, &c.—the sort of things which you see offered at table under the name and reputation of potatoes, are such that, if you could suppose the company to be composed of Centaurs and Lapithæ, or any other quarrelsome people, it would become necessary for the police to interfere. The potato of cities is a very dangerous missile; and, if thrown with an accurate aim by an angry hand, will fracture any known skull. In volume and consistency, it is very like a paving-stone; only that, I should say, the paving-stone had the advantage in point of tenderness. And upon this horrid basis, which youthful ostriches would repent of swallowing, the trembling, palpitating invalid, fresh from the scourging of alcohol, is requested to build the superstructure of his dinner. The proverb says, that three flittings are as bad as a fire; and on that model I conceive that three potatoes, as they are found at many British dinner-tables, would be equal, in principle of ruin, to two glasses of vitriol. The same savage ignorance appears, and only not so often, in the bread of this island. Myriads of families eat it in that early stage of sponge which bread assumes during the process of baking; but less than sixty hours will not fit this dangerous article of human diet to be eaten. And those who are acquainted with the works of Parmentier, or other learned investigators of bread and of the baker's art, must be aware that this quality of sponginess (though quite equal to the ruin of the digestive organs) is but one in a legion of vices to which the article is liable. A German of much research wrote a book on the conceivable faults in a pair of shoes, which he found to be about six hundred and sixty-six, many of them, as he observed, requiring a very delicate process of study to find out; whereas the possible faults in bread, which are not less in number, require no study at all for the defection; they publish themselves through all varieties of misery. But the perfection of barbarism, as regards our island cookery, is reserved for animal food; and the two poles of Oromasdes and Ahrimanes are nowhere so conspicuously exhibited. Our insular sheep, for instance, are so far superior to any which the continent produces, that the present Prussian minister at our court is in the habit of questioning a man's right to talk of mutton as anything beyond a great idea, unless he can prove a residence in Great Britain. One sole case he cites of a dinner on the Elbe, when a particular leg of mutton really struck him as rivalling any which he had known in England. The mystery seemed inexplicable; but, upon inquiry, it turned out to be an importation from Leith. Yet this incomparable article, to produce which the skill of the feeder must co-operate with the peculiar bounty of nature, calls forth the most dangerous refinements of barbarism in its cookery. A Frenchman requires, as the primary qualification of flesh meat, that it should be tender. We English universally, but especially the Scots, treat that quality with indifference, or with bare toleration. What we require is, that it should be fresh, that is, recently killed, (in which state it cannot be digestible except by a crocodile;) and we present it at table in a transition state of leather, demanding the teeth of a tiger to rend it in pieces, and the stomach of a tiger to digest it.

With these habits amongst our countrymen, exemplified daily in the articles of widest use, it is evident that the sufferer from intemperance has a harder quarantine, in this island, to support during the effort of restoration, than he could have anywhere else in Christendom. In Persia, and, perhaps, there only on this terraqueous planet, matters might be even worse: for, whilst we English neglect the machinery of digestion, as a matter entitled to little consideration, the people of Teheran seem unaware that there is any such machinery. So, at least, one might presume, from cases on record, and especially from the reckless folly, under severe illness, from indigestion, of the three Persian princes, who visited this country, as stated by their official mehmander, Mr. Fraser. With us, the excess of ignorance, upon this subject, betrays itself oftenest in that vain-glorious answer made by the people, who at any time are admonished of the sufferings which they are preparing for themselves by these outrages upon the most delicate of human organs. They, for their parts, 'know not if they have a stomach; they know not what it is that dyspepsy means;' forgetting that, in thus vaunting their strength of stomach, they are, at the same time, proclaiming its coarseness; and showing themselves unaware that precisely those, whom such coarseness of organization reprieves from immediate and seasonable reaction of suffering, are the favorite subjects of that heavier reaction which takes the shape of delirium tremens, of palsy, and of lunacy. It is but a fanciful advantage which they enjoy, for whom the immediate impunity avails only to hide the final horrors which are gathering upon them from the gloomy rear. Better, by far, that more of immediate discomfort had guaranteed to them less of reversionary anguish. It may be safely asserted, that few, indeed, are the suicides amongst us to which the miseries of indigestion have not been a large concurring cause; and even where nothing so dreadful as that occurs, always these miseries are the chief hinderance of the self-reforming drunkard, and the commonest cause of his relapse. It is certain, also, that misanthropic gloom and bad temper besiege that class, by preference, to whom peculiar coarseness or obtuse sensibility of organization has denied the salutary warnings and early prelibations of punishment which, happily for most men, besiege the more direct and obvious frailties of the digestive apparatus.

The whole process and elaborate machinery of digestion are felt to be mean and humiliating when viewed in relation to our mere animal economy. But they rise into dignity, and assert their own supreme importance, when they arc studied from another station, viz., in relation to the intellect and temper; no man dares, then, to despise them: it is then seen that these functions of the human system form the essential basis upon which the strength and health of our higher nature repose; and that upon these functions, chiefly, the general happiness of life is dependent. All the rules of prudence, or gifts of experience that life can accumulate, will never do as much for human comfort and welfare as would be done by a stricter attention, and a wiser science, directed to the digestive system; in this attention lies the key to any perfect restoration for the victim of intemperance: and, considering the peculiar hostility to the digestive health which exists in the dietetic habits of our own country, it may be feared that nowhere upon earth has the reclaimed martyr to intemperance so difficult a combat to sustain; nowhere, therefore, is it so important to direct the attention upon an artificial culture of those resources which naturally, and by the established habits of the land, are surest to be neglected. The sheet anchor for the storm-beaten sufferer, who is laboring to recover a haven of rest from the agonies of intemperance, and who has had the fortitude to abjure the poison which ruined, but which also, for brief intervals, offered him his only consolation, lies, beyond all doubt, in a most anxious regard to everything connected with this supreme function of our animal economy. And, as few men that are not regularly trained to medical studies can have the complex knowledge requisite for such a duty, some printed guide should be sought of a regular professional order. Twenty years ago, Dr. Wilson Philip published a valuable book of this class, which united a wide range of practical directions as to the choice of diet, and as to the qualities and tendencies of all esculent articles likely to be found at British tables, with some ingenious speculations upon the still mysterious theory of digestion. These were derived from experiments made upon rabbits, and had originally been communicated by him to the Royal Society of London, who judged them worthy of publication in their Transactions. I notice them chiefly for the sake of remarking, that the rationale of digestion, as here suggested, explains the reason of a fact, which merely as a fact, had not been known until modern times, viz., the injuriousness to enfeebled stomachs of all fluid. Fifty years ago—and still lingering inveterately amongst nurses, and other ignorant persons—there prevailed a notion that 'slops' must be the proper resource of the valetudinarian; and the same erroneous notion appears in the common expression of ignorant wonder at the sort of breakfasts usual amongst women of rank in the times of Queen Elizabeth. 'What robust stomachs they must have had, to support such solid meals!' As to the question of fact, whether the stomachs were more or less robust in those days than at the present, there is no need to offer an opinion. But the question of principle concerned in scientific dietetics points in the very opposite direction. By how much the organs of digestion are feebler, by so much is it the more indispensable that solid food and animal food should be adopted. A robust stomach may be equal to the trying task of supporting a fluid, such as tea for breakfast; but for a feeble stomach, and still more for a stomach enfeebled by bad habits, broiled beef, or something equally solid and animal, but not too much subjected to the action of fire, is the only tolerable diet. This, indeed, is the one capital rule for a sufferer from habitual intoxication, who must inevitably labor under an impaired digestion; that as little as possible he should use of any liquid diet, and as little as possible of vegetable diet. Beef, and a little bread, (at the least sixty hours old,) compose the privileged bill of fare for his breakfast. But precisely it is, by the way, in relation to this earliest meal, that human folly has in one or two instances shown itself most ruinously inventive. The less variety there is at that meal, the more is the danger from any single luxury; and there is one, known by the name of 'muffins,' which has repeatedly manifested itself to be a plain and direct bounty upon suicide. Darwin, in his 'Zoonomia,' reports a case where an officer, holding the rank of lieutenant-colonel, could not tolerate a breakfast in which this odious article was wanting; but, as a savage retribution invariably supervened within an hour or two upon this act of insane sensuality, he came to a resolution that life was intolerable with muffins, but still more intolerable without muffins. He would stand the nuisance no longer; but yet, being a just man, he would give nature one final chance of reforming her dyspeptic atrocities. Muffins, therefore, being laid at one angle of the breakfast-table, and loaded pistols at another, with rigid equity the Colonel awaited the result. This was naturally pretty much as usual: and then, the poor man, incapable of retreating from his word of honor, committed suicide,—having previously left a line for posterity to the effect (though I forget the expression), 'That a muffinless world was no world for him: better no life at all than a life dismantled of muffins.'—Dr. Darwin was a showy philosopher, and fond of producing effect, so that some allowance must be made in construing the affair. Strictly speaking, it is probable that not the especial want of muffins, but the general torment of indigestion, was the curse from which the unhappy sufferer sought relief by suicide. And the Colonel was not the first by many a million, that has fled from the very same form of wretchedness, or from its effects upon the genial spirits, to the same gloomy refuge. It should never be forgotten that, although some other more overt vexation is generally assigned as the proximate cause of suicide, and often may be so as regards the immediate occasion, too generally this vexation borrowed its whole power to annoy, from the habitual atmosphere of irritation in which the system had been kept by indigestion. So that indirectly, and virtually, perhaps, all suicides may be traced to mismanaged digestion. Meantime, in alluding at all to so dreadful a subject as suicide, I do so only by way of giving deeper effect to the opinion expressed above, upon the chief cause of relapse into habits of intemperance amongst those who have once accomplished their deliverance. Errors of digestion, either from impaired powers, or from powers not so much enfeebled as deranged, is the one immeasurable source both of disease and of secret wretchedness to the human race. Life is laid waste by the eternal fretting of the vital forces, emanating from this one cause. And it may well be conceived, that if cases so endless, even of suicide, in every generation, are virtually traceable to this main root, much more must it be able to shake and undermine the yet palpitating frame of the poor fugitive from intemperance; since indigestion in every mode and variety of its changes irresistibly upholds the temptation to that form of excitement which, though one foremost cause of indigestion, is yet unhappily its sole immediate palliation.

III. Next, after the most vigorous attention, and a scientific attention to the digestive system, in power of operation, stands exercise. Here, however, most people have their own separate habits, with respect to the time of exercise, the duration, and the particular mode, on which a stranger cannot venture to intrude with his advice. Some will not endure the steady patience required for walking exercise; many benefit most by riding on horseback; and in days when roads were more rugged, and the springs of carriages less improved, I have known people who found most advantage in the vibrations communicated to the frame by a heavy rumbling carriage. For myself, under the ravages of opium, I have found walking the most beneficial exercise; besides that, it requires no previous notice or preparation of any kind; and this is a capital advantage in a state of drooping energies, or of impatient and unresting agitation. I may mention, as possibly an accident of my individual temperament, but possibly, also, no accident at all, that the relief obtained by walking was always most sensibly brought home to my consciousness, when some part of it (at least a mile and a half) has been performed before breakfast. In this there soon ceased to be any difficulty; for, whilst under the full oppression of opium, it was impossible for me to rise at any hour that could, by the most indulgent courtesy, be described as within the pale of morning, no sooner had there been established any considerable relief from this oppression, than the tendency was in the opposite direction; the difficulty became continually greater of sleeping even to a reasonable hour. Having once accomplished the feat of walking at nine A. M., I backed, in a space of seven or eight months, to eight o'clock, to seven, to six, five, four, three; until at this point a metaphysical fear fell upon me that I was actually backing into 'yesterday,' and should soon have no sleep at all. Below three, however, I did not descend; and, for a couple of years, three and a half hours' sleep was all that I could obtain in the twenty-four hours. From this no particular suffering arose, except the nervous impatience of lying in bed for one moment after awaking. Consequently, the habit of walking before breakfast became at length troublesome no longer as a most odious duty, but, on the contrary, as a temptation that could hardly be resisted on the wettest mornings. As to the quantity of the exercise, I found that six miles a day formed the minimum which would support permanently a particular standard of animal spirits, evidenced to myself by certain apparent symptoms. I averaged about nine and a half miles a day; but ascended on particular days to fifteen or sixteen, and more rarely to twenty-three or twenty-four; a quantity which did not produce fatigue, on the contrary it spread a sense of improvement through almost the whole week that followed; but usually, in the night immediately succeeding to such an exertion, I lost much of my sleep; a privation that, under the circumstances explained, deterred me from trying the experiment too often. For one or two years, I accomplished more than I have here claimed, viz., from six to seven thousand miles in the twelve months. Let me add to this slight abstract of my own experience, in a point where it is really difficult to offer any useful advice, (the tastes and habits of men varying so much in this chapter of exercise,) that one caution seems applicable to the case of all persons suffering from nervous irritability, viz., that a secluded space should be measured off accurately, in some private grounds not liable to the interruption or notice of chance intruders; for these annoyances are unendurable to the restless invalid; to be questioned upon trivial things is death to him; and the perpetual anticipation of such annoyances is little less distressing. Some plan must also be adopted for registering the number of rounds performed. I once walked for eighteen months in a circuit so confined that forty revolutions were needed to complete a mile. These I counted, at one time, by a rosary of beads; every tenth round being marked by drawing a blue bead, the other nine by drawing white beads. But this plan, I found in practice, more troublesome and inaccurate than that of using ten detached counters, stones, or anything else that was large enough and solid. These were applied to the separate bars of a garden chair; the first bar indicating of itself the first decade, the second bar the second decade, and so on. In fact, I used the chair in some measure as a Roman abacus, but on a still simpler plan; and as the chair offered sixteen bars, it followed, that on covering the last bar of the series with the ten markers, I perceived without any trouble of calculation the accomplishment of my fourth mile.

A necessity, more painful to me by far than that of taking continued exercise, arose out of a cause which applies, perhaps, with the same intensity only to opium cases, but must also apply in some degree to all cases of debilitation from morbid stimulation of the nerves, whether by means of wine, or opium, or distilled liquors. In travelling on the outside of mails, during my youthful days, for I could not endure the inside, occasionally, during the night-time, I suffered naturally from cold: no cloaks, &c. were always sufficient to relieve this; and I then made the discovery that opium, after an hour or so, diffuses a warmth deeper and far more permanent than could be had from any other known source. I mention this, to explain, in some measure, the awful passion of cold which for some years haunted the inverse process of laying aside the opium. It was a perfect frenzy of misery; cold was a sensation which then first, as a mode of torment, seemed to have been revealed. In the months of July and August, and not at all the less during the very middle watch of the day, I sate in the closest proximity to a blazing fire; cloaks, blankets, counterpanes, hearthrugs, horse-cloths, were piled upon my shoulders, but with hardly a glimmering of relief. At night, and after taking coffee, I felt a little warmer, and could sometimes afford to smile at the resemblance of my own case to that of Harry Gill. [Footnote: 'Harry Gill:'—Many readers, in this generation, may not be aware of this ballad as one amongst the early poems of Wordsworth. Thirty or forty years ago, it was the object of some insipid ridicule, which ought, perhaps, in another place, to be noticed. And, doubtless, this ridicule was heightened by the false impression that the story had been some old woman's superstitious fiction, meant to illustrate a supernatural judgment on hard-heartedness. But the story was a physiologic fact; and, originally, it had been brought forward in a philosophic work, by Darwin, who had the reputation of an irreligious man, and even of an infidel. A bold freethinker he certainly was: a Deist, and, by public repute, something more.] But, secretly, I was struck with awe at the revelation of powers so unsearchably new, lurking within old affections so familiarly known as cold. Upon the analogy of this case, it might be thought that nothing whatever had yet been truly and seriously felt by man; nothing searched or probed by human sensibilities, to a depth below the surface. If cold could give out mysteries of suffering so novel, all things in the world might be yet unvisited by the truth of human sensations. All experience, worthy of the name, was yet to begin. Meantime, the external phenomenon, by which the cold expressed itself, was a sense (but with little reality) of eternal freezing perspiration. From this I was never free; and at length, from finding one general ablution sufficient for one day, I was thrown upon the irritating necessity of repeating it more frequently than would seem credible, if stated. At this time, I used always hot water; and a thought occurred to me very seriously that it would be best to live constantly, and, perhaps, to sleep in a bath. What caused me to renounce this plan, was an accident that compelled me for one day to use cold water. This, first of all, communicated any lasting warmth; so that ever afterwards I used none but cold water. Now, to live in a cold bath, in our climate, and in my own state of preternatural sensibility to cold, was not an idea to dally with. I wish to mention, however, for the information of other sufferers in the same way, one change in the mode of applying the water, which led to a considerable and a sudden improvement in the condition of my feelings. I had endeavored to procure a child's battledore, as an easy means (when clothed with sponge) of reaching the interspace between the shoulders; which interspace, by the way, is a sort of Bokhara, so provokingly situated, that it will neither suffer itself to be reached from the north, in which direction even the Czar, with his long arms, has only singed his own fingers, and lost six thousand camels; nor at all better from the south, upon which line of approach the greatest potentate in Southern Asia, viz., No.—, in Leadenhall Street, has found it the best policy to pocket the little Khan's murderous defiances and persevering insults. There is no battledore long enough to reach him in either way. In my own difficulty, I felt almost as perplexed as the Honorable East India Company, when I found that no battledore was to be had; for no town was near at hand. In default of a battledore, therefore, my necessity threw my experiment upon a long hair-brush; and this, eventually, proved of much greater service than any sponge or any battledore; for, the friction of the brush caused an irritation on the surface of the skin, which, more than anything else, has gradually diminished the once continual misery of unrelenting frost; although even yet it renews itself most distressingly at uncertain intervals.

IV. I counsel the patient not to make the mistake of supposing that his amendment will necessarily proceed continuously, or by equal increments; because this, which is a common notion, will certainly lead to dangerous disappointments. How frequently I have heard people encouraging a self-reformer by such language as this:—'When you have got over the fourth day of abstinence, which suppose to be Sunday, then Monday will find you a trifle better; Tuesday better still,—though still it should be only by a trifle; and so on. You may, at least, rely on never going back; you may assure yourself of having seen the worst; and the positive improvements, if trifles separately, must soon gather into a sensible magnitude.' This may be true in a case of short standing: but, as a general rule, it is perilously delusive. On the contrary, the line of progress, if exhibited in a geometrical construction, would describe an ascending path upon the whole, but with frequent retrocessions into descending curves, which, compared with the point of ascent that had been previously gained and so vexatiously interrupted, would sometimes seem deeper than the original point of starting. This mortifying tendency I can report from experience many times repeated with regard to opium; and so unaccountably, as regarded all the previous grounds of expectation, that I am compelled to suppose it a tendency inherent in the very nature of all self-restorations for animal systems. They move perhaps necessarily per saltum, by, intermitting spasms, and pulsations of unequal energy.

V. I counsel the patient frequently to call back before his thoughts— when suffering sorrowful collapses, that seem unmerited by anything done or neglected—that such, and far worse, perhaps, must have been his experience, and with no reversion of hope behind, had he persisted in his intemperate indulgencies; these also suffer their own collapses, and (so far as things not co-present can be compared) by many degrees more shocking to the genial instincts.

VI. I exhort him to believe, that no movement on his own part, not the smallest conceivable, towards the restoration of his healthy state, can by possibility perish. Nothing in this direction is finally lost; but often it disappears and hides itself; suddenly, however, to reappear, and in unexpected strength, and much more hopefully; because such minute elements of improvement, by reappearing at a remoter stage, show themselves to have combined with other elements of the same kind: so that equally by their gathering tendency and their duration through intervals of apparent darkness, and below the current of what seemed absolute interruption, they argue themselves to be settled in the system. There is no good gift that does not come from God: almost his greatest is health, with the peace which it inherits; and man must reap this on the same terms as he was told to reap God's earliest gift, the fruits of the earth, viz.: 'in the sweat of his brow,' through labor, often through sorrow, through disappointment, but still through imperishable perseverance, and hoping under clouds, when all hope seems darkened.

VII. It is difficult, in selecting from many memoranda of warning and encouragement, to know which to prefer when the space disposable is limited. But it seems to me important not to omit this particular caution: The patient will be naturally anxious, as he goes on, frequently to test the amount of his advance, and its rate, if that were possible. But this he will see no mode of doing, except through tentative balancings of his feelings, and generally of the moral atmosphere around him, as to pleasure and hope, against the corresponding states, so far as he can recall them from his periods of intemperance. But these comparisons, I warn him, are fallacious, when made in this way; the two states are incommensurable on any plan of direct comparison. Some common measure must be found, and, out of himself; some positive fact, that will not bend to his own delusive feeling at the moment; as, for instance, in what degree he finds tolerable what heretofore was not so—the effort of writing letters, or transacting business, or undertaking a journey, or overtaking the arrears of labor, that had been once thrown off to a distance. If in these things he finds himself improved, by tests that cannot be disputed, he may safely disregard any sceptical whispers from a wayward sensibility which cannot yet, perhaps, have recovered its normal health, however much improved. His inner feelings may not yet point steadily to the truth, though they may vibrate in that direction. Besides, it is certain that sometimes very manifest advances, such as any medical man would perceive at a glance, carry a man through stages of agitation and discomfort. A far worse condition might happen to be less agitated, and so far more bearable. Now, when a man is positively suffering discomfort, when he is below the line of pleasurable feeling, he is no proper judge of his own condition, which he neither will nor can appreciate. Tooth-ache extorts more groans than dropsy.

VIII. Another important caution is, not to confound with the effects of intemperance any other natural effects of debility from advanced years. Many a man, having begun to be intemperate at thirty, enters at sixty or upwards upon a career of self-restoration. And by self-restoration he understands a renewal of that state in which he was when first swerving from temperance. But that state, for his memory, is coincident with his state of youth. The two states are coadunated. In his recollections they are intertwisted too closely. But life, without any intemperance at all, would soon have untwisted them. Charles Lamb, for instance, at forty-five, and Coleridge at sixty, measured their several conditions by such tests as the loss of all disposition to involuntary murmuring of musical airs or fragments when rising from bed. Once they had sung when rising in the morning light; now they sang no more. The vocal utterance of joy, for them, was silenced for ever. But these are amongst the changes that life, stern power, inflicts at any rate; these would have happened, and above all, to men worn by the unequal irritations of too much thinking, and by those modes of care

  That kill the bloom before its time,
  And blanch without the owner's crime
  The most resplendent hair,

not at all the less had the one drunk no brandy, nor the other any laudanum. A man must submit to the conditions of humanity, and not quarrel with a cure as incomplete, because in his climacteric year of sixty-three, he cannot recover, entirely, the vivacities of thirty- five. If, by dipping seven times in Jordan, he had cleansed his whole leprosy of intemperance; if, by going down into Bethesda, he were able to mount again upon the pinions of his youth,—even then he might querulously say,—'But, after all these marvels in my favor, I suppose that one of these fine mornings I, like other people, shall have to bespeak a coffin.' Why, yes, undoubtedly he will, or somebody for him. But privileges so especial were not promised even by the mysterious waters of Palestine. Die he must. And counsels tendered to the intemperate do not hope to accomplish what might have been beyond the baths of Jordan or Bethesda. They do enough, if, being executed by efforts in the spirit of earnest sincerity, they make a life of growing misery moderately happy for the patient; and, through that great change, perhaps, more than moderately useful for others.

IX. One final remark I will make:—pointed to the case, not of the yet struggling patient, but of him who is fully re-established; and the more so, because I (who am no hypocrite, but, rather, frank to an infirmity) acknowledge, in myself, the trembling tendency at intervals, which would, if permitted, sweep round into currents that might be hard to overrule. After the absolute restoration to health, a man is very apt to say,—'Now, then, how shall I use my health? To what delightful purpose shall I apply it? Surely it is idle to carry a fine jewel in one's watch-pocket, and never to astonish the weak minds of this world, by wearing it and flashing it in their eyes.' 'But how?' retorts his philosophic friend; 'my good fellow, are you not using it at this moment? Breathing, for instance, talking to me, (though rather absurdly,) and airing your legs at a glowing fire?' 'Why, yes,' the other confesses, 'that is all true; but I am dull; and, if you will pardon my rudeness, even in spite of your too philosophic presence. It is painful to say so, but sincerely, if I had the power, at this moment, to turn you, by magic, into a bottle of old port wine, so corrupt is my nature, that really I fear lest the exchange might, for the moment, strike me as agreeable.' Such a mood, I apprehend, is apt to revolve upon many of us, at intervals, however firmly married to temperance. And the propensity to it has a root in certain analogies running through our nature. If the reader will permit me for a moment the use of what, without such an apology, might seem pedantic, I would call it the instinct of focalizing, which prompts such random desires. Feeling is diffused over the whole surface of the body; but light is focalized in the eye; sound in the ear. The organization of a sense or a pleasure seems diluted and imperfect, unless it is gathered by some machinery into one focus, or local centre. And thus it is that a general state of pleasurable feeling sometimes seems too superficially diffused, and one has a craving to intensify or brighten it by concentration through some sufficient stimulant. I, for my part, have tried every thing in this world except 'bang,' which, I believe, is obtained from hemp. There are other preparations of hemp which have been found to give great relief from ennui; not ropes, but something lately introduced, which acts upon the system as the laughing gas (nitrous oxide) acts at times. One farmer in Mid- Lothian was mentioned to me, eight months ago, as having taken it, and ever since annoyed his neighbors by immoderate fits of laughter; so that in January it was agreed to present him to the sheriff as a nuisance. But, for some reason, the plan was laid aside; and now, eight months later, I hear that the farmer is laughing more rapturously than ever, continues in the happiest frame of mind, the kindest of creatures, and the general torment of his neighborhood. Now, I confess to having had a lurking interest in this extract of hemp, when first I heard of it: and at intervals a desire will continue to make itself felt for some deeper compression or centralization of the genial feelings than ordinary life affords. But old things will not avail, and new things I am now able to resist. Still, as the occasional craving does really arise in most men, it is well to notice it; and chiefly for the purpose of saying, that this dangerous feeling wears off by degrees; and oftentimes for long periods it intermits so entirely as to be even displaced by a profound disgust to all modes of artificial stimulation. At those times I have remarked that the pleasurable condition of health does not seem weakened by its want of centralization. It seems to form a thousand centres. This it is well to know; because there are many who would resist effectually, if they were aware of any natural change going on silently in favor of their own efforts, such as would finally ratify the success. Towards such a result they would gladly contribute by waiting and forbearing; whilst, under despondency as to this result, they might more easily yield to some chance temptation.

Finally, there is something to interest us in the time at which this temperance movement has begun to stir. Let me close with a slight notice of what chiefly impresses myself in the relation between this time and the other circumstances of the case. In reviewing history, we may see something more than mere convenience in distributing it into three chambers; ancient history, ending in the space between the Western Empire falling and Mahomet arising; modern history, from that time to this; and a new modern history arising at present, or from the French Revolution. Two great races of men, our own in a two-headed form—British and American, and secondly, the Russian, are those which, like rising deluges, already reveal their mission to overflow the earth. Both these races, partly through climate, or through derivation of blood, and partly through the contagion of habits inevitable to brothers of the same nation, are tainted carnally with the appetite for brandy, for slings, for juleps. And no fire racing through the forests of Nova Scotia for three hundred miles in the direction of some doomed city, ever moved so fiercely as the infection of habits amongst the dense and fiery populations of republican North America.

But it is remarkable, that the whole ancient system of civilization, all the miracles of Greece and Rome, Persia and Egypt, moved by the machinery of races that were not tainted with any such popular marasmus. The taste was slightly sowed, as an artificial taste, amongst luxurious individuals, but never ran through the laboring classes, through armies, through cities The blood and the climate forbade it. In this earliest era of history, all the great races, consequently all the great empires, threw themselves, by accumulation, upon the genial climates of the south,—having, in fact, the magnificent lake of the Mediterranean for their general centre of evolutions. Round this lake, in a zone of varying depth, towered the whole grandeurs of the Pagan earth. But, in such climates, man is naturally temperate. He is so by physical coercion, and for the necessities of rest and coolness. The Spaniard, the Moor, or the Arab, has no merit in his temperance. The effort, for him, would be to form the taste for alcohol. He has a vast foreground of disgust to traverse before he can reach a taste so remote and alien. No need for resistance in his will where nature resists on his behalf. Sherbet, shaddocks, grapes, these were innocent applications to thirst. And the great republic of antiquity said to her legionary sons:—'Soldier, if you thirst, there is the river;—Nile, suppose, or Ebro. Better drink there cannot be. Of this you may take "at discretion." Or, if you wait till the impedimenta come up, you may draw your ration of Posca' What was posca? It was, in fact, acidulated water; three parts of superfine water to one part of the very best vinegar. Nothing stronger did Rome, that awful mother, allow to her dearest children, i. e., her legions. Truest of blessings, that veiling itself in seeming sternness, drove away the wicked phantoms that haunt the couches of yet greater nations. 'The blessings of the evil genii,' says an Eastern proverb, 'these are curses.' And the stern refusals of wisely loving mothers,—these are the mightiest of gifts.

Now, on the other hand, our northern climates have universally the taste, latent if not developed, for powerful liquors. And through their blood, as also through the natural tendency of the imitative principle amongst compatriots, from these high latitudes the greatest of our modern nations propagate the contagion to their brothers, though colonizing warm climates. And it is remarkable that our modern preparations of liquors, even when harmless in their earliest stages, are fitted, like stepping-stones, for making the transition to higher stages that are not harmless. The weakest preparations from malt, lead, by graduated steps, to the strongest; until we arrive at the intoxicating porter of London, which, under its local name (so insidiously delusive) of 'beer,' diffuses the most extensive ravages.

Under these marked circumstances of difference between the ruling races of antiquity and of our modern times, it now happens that the greatest era by far of human expansion is opening upon us. Two vast movements are hurrying into action by velocities continually accelerated—the great revolutionary movement from political causes concurring with the great physical movement in locomotion and social intercourse, from the gigantic (though still infant) powers of steam. No such Titan resources for modifying each other were ever before dreamed of by nations: and the next hundred years will have changed the face of the world. At the opening of such a crisis, had no third movement arisen of resistance to intemperate habits, there would have been ground for despondency as to the amelioration of the human race. But, as the case stands, the new principle of resistance nationally to bad habits, has arisen almost concurrently with the new powers of national intercourse; and henceforward by a change equally sudden and unlooked for, that new machinery, which would else most surely have multiplied the ruins of intoxication, has become the strongest agency for hastening its extirpation.


Few people need to be told—that associations exist up and down Christendom, having the ambitious object of abolishing war. Some go so far as to believe that this evil of war, so ubiquitous, so ancient and apparently so inalienable from man's position upon earth, is already doomed; that not the private associations only, but the prevailing voice of races the most highly civilized, may be looked on as tending to confederation against it; that sentence of extermination has virtually gone forth, and that all which remains is gradually to execute that sentence. Conscientiously I find myself unable to join in these views. The project seems to me the most romantic of all romances in the course of publication. Consequently, when asked to become a member in any such association, I have always thought it most respectful, because most sincere, to decline. Yet, as it is painful to refuse all marks of sympathy with persons whose motives one honors, I design at my death to bequeath half-a-crown to the chief association for extinguishing war; the said half-crown to be improved in all time coming for the benefit of the association, under the trusteeship of Europe, Asia, and America, but not of Africa. I really dare not trust Africa with money, she is not able as yet to take care of herself. This half-crown, a fund that will overshadow the earth before it comes to be wanted under the provisions of my will, is to be improved at any interest whatever—no matter what; for the vast period of the accumulations will easily make good any tardiness of advance, long before the time comes for its commencing payment; a point which will be soon understood from the following explanation, by any gentleman that hopes to draw upon it.

There is in Ceylon a granite cippus, or monumental pillar, of immemorial antiquity; and to this pillar a remarkable legend is attached. The pillar measures six feet by six, i. e. thirty-six square feet, on the flat tablet of its horizontal surface; and in height several riyanas, (which arc Ceylonese cubits of eighteen inches each,) but of these cubits, there are either eight or twelve; excuse me for having forgotten which. At first, perhaps, you will be angry, viz., when you hear that this simple difference of four cubits, or six feet, measures a difference for your expectations, whether you count your expectations in kicks or halfpence, that absolutely strikes horror into arithmetic. The singularity of the case is, that the very solemnity of the legend and the wealth of the human race in time, depend upon the cubical contents of the monument, so that a loss of one granite chip is a loss of a frightful infinity; yet, again, for that very reason, the loss of all but a chip, leaves behind riches so appallingly too rich, that everybody is careless about the four cubits. Enough is as good as a feast. Two bottomless abysses take as much time for the diver as ten; and five eternities are as frightful to look down as four-and-twenty. In the Ceylon legend all turns upon the inexhaustible series of ages which this pillar guarantees. But, as one inexhaustible is quite enough for one race of men, and you are sure of more by ineffable excess than you can use in any private consumption of your own, you become generous; 'and between friends,' you say, in accepting my apologies for the doubtful error as to the four cubits, 'what signifies an infinity more or less?'

For the Ceylonese legend is this, that once in every hundred years an angel visits this granite pillar. He is dressed in a robe of white muslin, muslin of that kind which the Romans called aura textilis— woven, as might seem, from zephyrs or from pulses of the air, such in its transparency, such in its gossamer lightness. Does the angel touch the pillar with his foot? Oh no! Even that would be something, but even that is not allowed. In his soundless flight across it, he suffers the hem of his impalpable robe to sweep the surface as softly as a moon-beam. So much and no more of pollution he endures from contact with earthly objects. The lowest extremity of his dress, but with the delicacy of light, grazes the granite surface. And that is all the attrition which the sacred granite receives in the course of any one century, and this is all the progress which we, the poor children of earth, in any one century make towards the exhaustion of our earthly imprisonment. But, argues the subtle legend, even that attrition, when weighed in metaphysical scales, cannot be denied its value; it has detached from the pillar an atom (no matter that it is an invisible atom) of granite dust, the ratio of which atom to a grain avoirdupois, if expressed as a fraction of unity, would by its denominator stretch from the Accountant-General's office in London to the Milky Way. Now the total mass of the granite represents, on this scheme of payment, the total funded debt of man's race to Father Time and earthly corruption; all this intolerable score, chalked up to our debit, we by ourselves and our representatives have to rub off, before the granite will be rubbed away by the muslin robe of the proud flying angel, (who, if he were a good fellow, might just as well give a sly kick with his heel to the granite,) before time will be at an end, and the burden of flesh accomplished. But you hear it expressed in terms that will astonish Baron Rothschild, what is the progress in liquidation which we make for each particular century. A billion of centuries pays off a quantity equal to a pinch of snuff. Despair seizes a man in contemplating a single coupon, no bigger than a visiting card, of such a stock as this; and behold we have to keep on paying away until the total granite is reduced to a level with a grain of mustard-seed. But when that is accomplished, thank heaven, our last generation of descendants will be entitled to leave at Master Time's door a visiting card, which the meagre shadow cannot refuse to take, though he will sicken at seeing it; viz., a P. P. C. card, upon seeing which, the old thief is bound to give receipt in full for all debts and pretended arrears.

The reader perhaps knows of debts on both sides the Atlantic that have no great prospect of being paid off sooner than this in Ceylon.

And naturally, to match this order of debts, moving off so slowly, there are funds that accumulate as slowly. My own funded half-crown is an illustration. The half-crown will travel in the inverse order of the granite pillar. The pillar and the half-crown move upon opposite tacks; and there is a point of time (which it is for Algebra to investigate) when they will cross each other in the exact moment of their several bisections—my aspiring half-crown tending gradually towards the fixed stars, so that perhaps it might be right to make the man in the moon trustee for that part of the accumulations which rises above the optics of sublunary bankers; whilst the Ceylon pillar is constantly unweaving its own granite texture, and dwindling earthwards. It is probable that each of the parties will have reached its consummation about the same time. What is to be done with the mustard- seed, Ceylon has forgotten to say. But what is to be done with the half-crown and its surplus, nobody can doubt after reading my last will and testament. After reciting a few inconsiderable legacies to the three continents, and to the man in the moon, for any trouble they may have had in managing the hyperbolical accumulations, I go on to observe, that, when war is reported to have taken itself off for ever, 'and no mistake,' (because I foresee many false alarms of a perpetual peace,) a variety of inconveniences will arise to all branches of the United Service, including the Horse Marines. Clearly there can be no more half-pay; and even more clearly, there is an end to full-pay. Pensions are at an end for 'good service.' Allowances for wounds cannot be thought of, when all wounds shall have ceased except those from female eyes—for which the Horse Guards is too little advanced in civilization to make any allowance at all. Bargains there will be no more amongst auctions of old Government stores. Birmingham will be ruined, or so much of it as depended on rifles. And the great Scotch works on the river Carron will be hungering for beef, so far as Carron depended for beef upon carronades. Other arrears of evil will stretch after the extinction of war.

Now upon my half-crown fund (which will be equal to anything by the time it is wanted) I charge once and for ever the general relief of all these arrears—of the poverty, the loss, the bankruptcy, arising by reason of this quietus of final extinction applied to war. I charge the fund with a perpetual allowance of half-pay to all the armies of earth; or indeed, whilst my hand is in, I charge it with full pay. And I strictly enjoin upon my trustees and executors, but especially upon the man in the moon, if his unsocial lip has left him one spark of gentlemanly feeling, that he and they shall construe all claims liberally; nay, with that riotous liberality which is safe and becoming, when applied to a fund so inexhaustible. Yes, reader, my fund will be inexhaustible, because the period of its growth will be measured by the concurrent deposition of the Ceylon mustard-seed from the everlasting pillar.

Yet why, or on what principle? It is because I see, or imagine that I see, a twofold necessity for war—necessity in two different senses— 1st, a physical necessity arising out of man's nature when combined with man's situation; a necessity under which war may be regarded, if you please, as a nuisance, but as a nuisance inalienable from circumstances essential to human frailty. 2dly, a moral necessity connected with benefits of compensation, such as continually lurk in evils acknowledged to be such—a necessity under which it becomes lawful to say, that war ought to exist as a balance to opposite tendencies of a still more evil character. War is the mother of wrong and spoliation: war is a scourge of God—granted; but, like other scourges in the divine economy, war purifies and redeems itself in its character of a counterforce to greater evils that could not otherwise be intercepted or redressed. In two different meanings we say that a thing is necessary; either in that case where it is inexorably forced on by some sad overruling principle which it is vain to fight against, though all good men mourn over its existence and view it as an unconditional evil; or secondly, in that case, where an instrument of sorrowful consequences to man is nevertheless invoked and postulated by man's highest moral interests, is nevertheless clamorously indicated as a blessing when looked at in relation to some antagonist cause of evil for which it offers the one only remedy or principle of palliation. The very evil and woe of man's condition upon earth may be oftentimes detected in the necessity of looking to some other woe as the pledge of its purification; so that what separately would have been hateful for itself, passes mysteriously into an object of toleration, of hope, or even of prayer, as a counter-venom to the taint of some more mortal poison. Poverty, for instance, is in both senses necessary for man. It is necessary in the same sense as thirst is necessary (i. e. inevitable) in a fever—necessary as one corollary amongst many others, from the eternal hollowness of all human efforts for organizing any perfect model of society—a corollary which, how gladly would all of us unite to cancel, but which our hearts suggest, which Scripture solemnly proclaims, to be ineradicable from the land. In this sense, poverty is a necessity over which we mourn,—as one of the dark phases that sadden the vision of human life. But far differently, and with a stern gratitude, we recognize another mode of necessity for this gloomy distinction—a call for poverty, when seen in relation to the manifold agencies by which it developes human energies, in relation to the trials by which it searches the power of patience and religion, in relation to the struggles by which it evokes the nobilities of fortitude; or again, amongst those who are not sharers in these trials and struggles, but sympathizing spectators, in relation to the stimulation by which it quickens wisdom that watches over the causes of this evil, or by which it vivifies the spirit of love that labors for its mitigation. War stands, or seems to stand, upon the same double basis of necessity; a primary necessity that belongs to our human degradations, a secondary one that towers by means of its moral relations into the region of our impassioned exaltations. The two propositions on which I take my stand are these. First, that there are nowhere latent in society any powers by which it can effectually operate on war for its extermination. The machinery is not there. The game is not within the compass of the cards. Secondly, that this defect of power is, though sincerely I grieve in avowing such a sentiment, and perhaps (if an infirm reader had his eye upon me) I might seem, in sympathy with his weakness, to blush —not a curse, no not at all, but on the whole a blessing from century to century, if it is an inconvenience from year to year. The Abolition Committees, it is to be feared, will be very angry at both propositions. Yet, Gentlemen, hear me—strike, but hear me. I believe that's a sort of plagiarism from Themistocles. But never mind. I have as good a right to the words, until translated back into Greek, as that most classical of yellow admirals. 'Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixerunt!'

The first proposition is, that war cannot be abolished. The second, and more offensive—that war ought not to be abolished. First, therefore, concerning the first. One at a time. Sufficient for the page is the evil thereof! How came it into any man's heart, first of all, to conceive so audacious an idea as that of a conspiracy against war? Whence could he draw any vapor of hope to sustain his preliminary steps? And in framing his plot, which way did he set his face to look out for accomplices? Revolving this question in times past, I came to the conclusion—that, perhaps, this colossal project of a war against war, had been first put in motion under a misconception (natural enough, and countenanced by innumerable books) as to the true historical origin of wars in many notorious instances. If these had arisen on trivial impulses, a trivial resistance might have intercepted them. If a man has once persuaded himself, that long, costly, and bloody wars had arisen upon a point of ceremony, upon a personal pique, upon a hasty word, upon some explosion of momentary caprice; it is a natural inference, that strength of national will and public combinations for resistance, supposing such forces to have been trained, organized, and, from the circumstances of the particular nation, to be permanently disposable for action, might prove redundantly effective, when pointed against a few personal authors of war, so presumably weak, and so flexible to any stern counter-volition as those must be supposed, whose wars argued so much of vicious levity. The inference is unexceptionable: it is the premises that are unsound. Anecdotes of war as having emanated from a lady's tea-table or toilette, would authorize such inference as to the facilities of controlling them. But the anecdotes themselves are false, or false substantially. All anecdotes, I fear, are false. I am sorry to say so, but my duty to the reader extorts from me the disagreeable confession, as upon a matter specially investigated by myself, that all dealers in anecdotes are tainted with mendacity. Where is the Scotchman, said Dr. Johnson, who does not prefer Scotland to truth? but, however this may be, rarer than such a Scotchman, rarer than the phoenix, is that virtuous man, a monster he is, nay, he is an impossible man, who will consent to lose a prosperous anecdote on the consideration that it happens to be a lie. All history, therefore, being built partly, and some of it altogether, upon anecdotage, must be a tissue of lies. Such, for the most part, is the history of Suetonius, who may be esteemed the father of anecdotage; and being such, he (and not Herodotus) should have been honored with the title, Father of Lies. Such is the Augustan history, which is all that remains of the Roman empire; such is the vast series of French memoirs, now stretching through more than three entire centuries. Are these works, then, to be held cheap, because their truths to their falsehoods are in the ratio of one to five hundred? On the contrary, they are better, and more to be esteemed on that account; because, now they are admirable reading on a winter's night; whereas, written on the principle of sticking to the truth, they would have been as dull as ditch water. Generally, therefore, the dealers in anecdotage are to be viewed with admiration, as patriotic citizens, willing to sacrifice their own characters, lest their countrymen should find themselves short of amusement. I esteem them as equal to Codrus, Timoleon, William Tell, or to Milton, as regards the liberty of unlicensed printing. And I object to them only in the exceptional case of their being cited as authorities for an inference, or as vouchers for a fact. Universally, it may be received as a rule of unlimited application,—that when an anecdote involves a stinging repartee, or collision of ideas, fancifully and brilliantly related to each other by resemblance or contrast, then you may challenge it as false to a certainty. One illustration of which is—that pretty nearly every memorable propos, or pointed repartee, or striking mot, circulating at this moment in Paris or London, as the undoubted property of Talleyrand, (that eminent knave,) was ascribed at Vienna, ninety years ago, to the Prince de Ligne, and thirty years previously, to Voltaire, and so on, regressively, to many other wits (knaves or not); until, at length, if you persist in backing far enough, you find yourself amongst Pagans, with the very same repartee, &c., doing duty in pretty good Greek; [Footnote: This is literally true, more frequently than would be supposed. For instance, a jest often ascribed to Voltaire, and of late pointedly reclaimed for him by Lord Brougham, as being one that he (Lord B.) could swear to for his, so characteristic seemed the impression of Voltaire's mind upon the tournure of the sarcasm, unhappily for this waste of sagacity, may be found recorded by Fabricius in the Bibliotheca Græca, as the jest of a Greek who has been dead for about seventeen centuries. The man certainly did utter the jest; and 1750 years ago. But who it was that he stole it from is another question. To all appearance, and according to Lord Brougham's opinion, the party robbed must have been M. de Voltaire. I notice the case, however, of the Greek thefts and frauds committed upon so many of our excellent wits belonging to the 18th and 19th centuries, chiefly with a view to M. de Talleyrand—that rather middling bishop, but very eminent knave. He also has been extensively robbed by the Greeks of the 2d and 3d centuries. How else can you account for so many of his sayings being found amongst their pages? A thing you may ascertain in a moment, at any police office, by having the Greeks searched: for surely you would never think of searching a bishop. Most of the Talleyrand jewels will be found concealed amongst the goods of these unprincipled Greeks. But one, and the most famous in the whole jewel-case, sorry am I to confess, was nearly stolen from the Bishop, not by any Greek, but by an English writer, viz., Goldsmith, who must have been dying about the time that his Excellency, the diplomatist, had the goodness to be born. That famous mot about language, as a gift made to man for the purpose of concealing his thoughts, is lurking in Goldsmith's Essays. Think of that! Already, in his innocent childhood, whilst the Bishop was in petticoats, and almost before he had begun to curse and to swear plainly in French, an Irish vagabond had attempted to swindle him out of that famous witticism which has since been as good as a life-annuity to the venerable knave's literary fame.] sometimes, for instance in Hierocles, sometimes in Diogenes Lærtius, in Plutarch, or in Athenæus. Now the thing you know claimed by so many people, could not belong to all of them: all of them could not be the inventors. Logic and common sense unite in showing us that it must have belonged to the moderns, who had clearly been hustled and robbed by the ancients, so much more likely to commit a robbery than Christians, they being all Gentiles—Pagans—Heathen dogs. What do I infer from this? Why, that upon any solution of the case, hardly one worthy saying can be mentioned, hardly one jest, pun, or sarcasm, which has not been the occasion and subject of many falsehoods—as having been au-(and men)-daciously transferred from generation to generation, sworn to in every age as this man's property, or that man's, by people that must have known they were lying, until you retire from the investigation with a conviction, that under any system of chronology, the science of lying is the only one that has never drooped. Date from Anno Domini, or from the Julian era, patronize Olympiads, or patronize (as I do, from misanthropy, because nobody else will) the era of Nabonassar,—no matter, upon every road, thicker than mile-stones, you see records of human mendacity, or (which is much worse, in my opinion,) of human sympathy with other people's mendacity.

This digression, now, on anecdotes,[Footnote: The word 'Anecdotes,' first, I believe, came into currency about the middle of the 6th century, from the use made of it by Procopius. Literally it indicated nothing that could interest either public malice or public favor; it promised only unpublished notices of the Emperor Justinian, his wife Theodora, Narses, Belisarius, &c. But why had they been unpublished? Simply because scandalous and defamatory: and hence, from the interest which invested the case of an imperial court so remarkable, this oblique, secondary and purely accidental modification of the word came to influence its general acceptation. Simply to have been previously unpublished, no longer raised any statement into an anecdote: it now received a new integration it must be some fresh publication of personal memorabilia; and these having reference to human creatures, must always be presumed to involve more evil than good—much defamation true or false—much doubtful insinuation—much suggestion of things worse than could be openly affirmed. So arose the word: but the thing arose with Suetonius, that dear, excellent and hard- working 'father of lies.'] is what the learned call an excursus, and, I am afraid, too long by half; not strictly in proportion. But don't mind that. I'll make it all right by being too short upon something else, at the next opportunity; and then nobody can complain. Meantime, I argue, that as all brilliant or epigrammatic anecdotes are probably false, (a thing that hereafter I shall have much pleasure in making out to the angry reader's satisfaction,) but to a dead certainty those anecdotes, in particular, which bear marks in their construction that a rhetorical effect of art had been contemplated by the narrator, —we may take for granted, that the current stories ascribing modern wars (French and English) to accidents the most inconsiderable, are false even in a literal sense; but at all events they are so when valued philosophically, and brought out into their circumstantial relations. For instance, we have a French anecdote, from the latter part of the seventeenth century, which ascribes one bloody war to the accident of a little 'miff,' arising between the king and his minister upon some such trifle as the situation of a palace window. Again, from the early part of the eighteenth century, we have an English anecdote, ascribing consequences no less bloody to a sudden feud between two ladies, and that feud, (if I remember,) tracing itself up to a pair of gloves; so that, in effect, the war and the gloves form the two poles of the transaction. Harlequin throws a pair of Limerick gloves into a corn-mill; and the spectator is astonished to see the gloves immediately issuing from the hopper, well ground into seven armies of one hundred thousand men each, and with parks of artillery to correspond. In these two anecdotes, we recognize at once the able and industrious artist arranging his materials with a pious regard to theatrical effect. This man knows how to group his figures; well he understands where to plant his masses of light and shade; and what impertinence it would be in us spectators, the reader suppose and myself, to go behind the scenes for critical inquiry into daylight realities. All reasonable men see that, the less of such realities our artist had to work with, the more was his merit. I am one of those that detest all insidious attempts to rob men situated as this artist of their fair fame, by going about and whispering that perhaps the thing is true. Far from it! I sympathize with the poor trembling artist, and agree most cordially that the whole story is a lie; and he may rely upon my support at all times to the extent of denying that any vestige of truth probably lay at the foundations of his ingenious apologue. And what I say of the English fable, I am willing to say of the French one. Both, I dare say, were the rankest fictions. But next, what, after all, if they were not? For, in the rear of all discussion upon anecdotes, considered simply as true or not true, comes finally a valuation of those anecdotes in their moral relation, and as to the inferences which they will sustain. The story, for example, of the French minister Louvois, and the adroitness with which he fastened upon great foreign potentates, in the shape of war, that irritability of temper in his royal master which threatened to consume himself; the diplomatic address with which he transmuted suddenly a task so delicate as that of skirmishing daily in a Council Chamber with his own sovereign, into that far jollier mode of disputation where one replies to all objections of the very keenest logician, either with round shot or with grape; here is an anecdote, which (for my own part) I am inclined to view as pure gasconade. But suppose the story true, still it may happen that a better valuation of it may disturb the whole edifice of logical inferences by which it seemed to favor the speculations of the war abolitionists. Let us see. What was the logic through which such a tale as this could lend any countenance to the schemes of these abolitionists? That logic travelled in the following channel. Such a tale, or the English tale of the gloves, being supposed true, it would seem to follow, that war and the purposes of war were phenomena of chance growth, not attached to any instinct so ancient, and apparently so grooved into the dark necessities of our nature, as we had all taken for granted. Usually, we rank war with hunger, with cold, with sorrow, with death, afflictions of our human state that spring up as inevitably without separate culture and in defiance of all hostile culture, as verdure, as weeds, and as flowers that overspread in spring time a fertile soil without needing to be sown or watered—awful is the necessity, as it seems, of all such afflictions. Yet, again, if (as these anecdote simply) war could by possibility depend frequently on accidents of personal temperament, irritability in a sensual king, wounded sensibilities of pride between two sensitive ladies, there in a moment shone forth a light of hope upon the crusade against war.

If personal accidents could, to any serious extent, be amongst the causes of war, then it would become a hopeful duty to combine personal influences that should take an opposite direction. If casual causes could be supposed chiefly to have promoted war, how easy for a nation to arrange permanent and determinate causes against it! The logic of these anecdotes seemed to argue that the whole fountains of war were left to the government of chance and the windiest of levities; that war was not in reality roused into activity by the evil that resides in the human will, but on the contrary, by the simple defect of any will energetic enough or steady enough to merit that name. Multitudes of evils exist in our social system, simply because no steadiness of attention, nor action of combined will, has been converged upon them. War, by the silent evidence of these anecdotes, seemed to lie amongst that class of evils. A new era might be expected to commence in new views upon war; and the evil would be half conquered from the moment that it should be traced to a trivial or a personal origin.

All this was plausible, but false. The anecdotes, and all similar anecdotes, might be true, but were delusive. The logical vice in them was—that they substituted an occasion for a cause. The king's ill temper for instance, acting through the levity and impatience of the minister, might be the causa occasionalis of the war, but not its true causa efficiens. What was? Where do the true permanent causes of war, as distinguished from its proximate excitements, find their lodgment and abiding ground? They lie in the system of national competitions; in the common political system to which all individual nations are unavoidably parties; in the system of public forces distributed amongst a number of adjacent nations, with no internal principle for adjusting the equilibrium of these forces, and no supreme Areopagus, or court of appeal, for deciding disputes. Here lies the matrix of war, because an eternal matrix of disputes lies in a system of interests that are continually the same, and therefore the parents of rivalships too close, that are continually different, and so far the parents of alienation too wide. All war is an instinctive nisus for redressing the errors of equilibrium in the relative position of nations amongst nations. Every nation's duty, first, midst, and last, is to itself. No nation can be safe from continual (because insensible) losses of ground, but by continual jealousies, watchings, and ambitious strivings to mend its own position. Civilities and high-bred courtesies pass and ought to pass between nations; that is the graceful drapery which shrouds their natural, fierce, and tiger-like relations to each other. But the glaring eyes, which express this deep and inalienable ferocity, look out at intervals from below these gorgeous draperies; and sad it is to think that at intervals the acts and the temper suitable to those glaring eyes must come forward. Mr. Carter was on terms of the most exquisite dissimulation with his lions and tigers; but, as often as he trusted his person amongst them, if, in the midst of infinite politeness exchanged on all sides, he saw a certain portentous expression of mutiny kindling in the eyeball of any discontented tiger, all was lost, unless he came down instantly upon that tiger's skull with a blow from an iron bar, that suggested something like apoplexy. On such terms do nations meet in diplomacy; high consideration for each other does not conceal the basis of enmity on which they rest; not an enmity that belongs to their feelings, but to the necessities of their position. Every nation in negotiating has its right hand upon the hilt of its sword, and at intervals playfully unsheaths a little of its gleaming blade. As things stand at present, war and peace are bound together like the vicissitudes of day and night, of Castor and Pollux. It matters little which bucket of the two is going up at the moment, which going down. Both are steadfastly tied by a system of alternations to a revolving wheel; and a new war as certainly becomes due during the evolutions of a tedious peace, as a new peace may be relied on during the throes of a bloody war, to tranquillize its wounds. Consequently, when the arrogant Louvois carried a war to the credit of his own little account on the national leger of France, this coxcomb well knew that a war was at any rate due about that time. Really, says he, I must find out some little war to exhaust the surplus irritability of this person, or he'll be the death of me. But irritable or not irritable, with a puppy for his minister or not, the French king would naturally have been carried headlong into war by the mere system of Europe, within a very few months. So much had the causes of complaint reciprocally accumulated. The account must be cleansed, the court roll of grievances must be purged. With respect to the two English ladies again, it is still more evident that they could not have caused a war by pulling caps with each other, since the grounds of every war, what had caused it, and prolonged it, was sure to be angrily reviewed by Parliament at each annual exposition of the Finance Minister's Budget. These ladies, and the French coxcomb, could at the utmost have claimed a distinction—such as that which belonged to a particular Turkish gunner, the captain of a gun at Navarino, viz., that he, by firing the first shot without orders, did (as a matter of fact) let loose and unmuzzle the whole of that dreadful iron hurricane from four nations which instantly followed, but which (be it known to the gunner) could not have been delayed for fifty minutes longer, whether he had fired the unauthorized gun or not.

But now, let me speak to the second proposition of my two-headed thesis, viz., that war ought not to be abolished, if such an abolition were even possible. Prima facie, it seems a dreadful doctrine to claim a place for war as amongst the evils that are salutary to man; but conscientiously I hold it to be such. I hold with Wordsworth, but for reasons which may or may not be the same, since he has not stated his

  'That God's most dreaded instrument,
  In working out a pure intent,
  Is man—array'd for mutual slaughter:
  Yea, Carnage is his daughter.'

I am obliged to hold, that supposing so romantic a condition realized as the cessation of war, this change, unless other evils were previously abolished, or neutralized in a way still more romantic to suppose, would not be for the welfare of human nature, but would tend to its rapid degradation.

One, in fact, of the earliest aspects under which this moral necessity for war forces itself upon our notice, is its physical necessity. I mean to say that one of the earliest reasons why war ought to exist, is because under any mode of suppressing war, virtually it will exist. Banish war as now administered, and it will revolve upon us in a worse shape, that is, in a shape of predatory and ruffian war, more and more licentious, as it enjoys no privilege or sufferance, by the supposition, under the national laws. Will the causes of war die away because war is forbidden? Certainly not; and the only result of the prohibition would be to throw back the exercise of war from national into private and mercenary hands; and that is precisely the retrograde or inverse course of civilization; for, in the natural order of civilization, war passes from the hands of knights, barons, insulated cities, into those of the universal community. If, again, it is attempted to put down this lawless guerilla state by national forces, then the result will be to have established an interminable warfare of a mixed character, private and public, civil and foreign, infesting the frontiers of all states like a fever, and in substitution for the occasional and intermitting wars of high national police, administered with the dignified responsibility that belongs to supreme rank, with the humanity that belongs to conscious power, and with the diminishing havoc that belongs to increasing skill in the arts of destruction. Even as to this last feature in warfare, which in the war of brigands and condottieri would for many reasons instantly decay, no reader can fail to be aware of the marvels effected by the forces of inventive science that run along side by side with the advances of civilization; look back even to the grandest period of the humane Roman warfare, listen to the noblest and most merciful of all Roman captains, saying on the day of Pharsalia, (and saying of necessity,) 'Strike at their faces, cavalry,'—yes, absolutely directing his own troopers to plough up with their sabres the blooming faces of the young Roman nobility; and then pass to a modern field of battle, where all is finished by musquetry and artillery amidst clouds of smoke, no soldier recognizing his own desolations, or the ghastly ruin of his own right arm, so that war, by losing all its brutality, is losing half of its demoralization.

War, so far from ending, because war was forbidden and nationally renounced, on the contrary would transmigrate into a more fearful shape. As things are at present, (and, observe, they are always growing better,) what numbers of noble-minded men, in the persons of our officers (yes, and often of non-commissioned officers,) do we British, for example, disperse over battle-fields, that could not dishonor their glorious uniform by any countenance to an act of cruelty! They are eyes delegated from the charities of our domestic life, to overlook and curb the license of war. I remember, in Xenophon, some passage where he describes a class of Persian gentlemen, who were called the ophthalmoi, or eyes of the king; but for a very different purpose. These British officers may be called the opthalmoi, or eyes of our Sovereign Lady, that into every corner of the battle carry their scrutiny, lest any cruelty should be committed on the helpless, or any advantage taken of a dying enemy. But mark, such officers would be rare in the irregular troops succeeding to the official armies. And through this channel, amongst others, war, when cried down by act of Parliament, and precisely because it was cried down, would become more perilously effective for the degradation of human nature. Being itself dishonored, war would become the more effective as an instrument for the dishonoring of its agents. However, at length, we will suppose the impossible problem solved—war, we will assume, is at last put down.

At length there is no more war. Though by the way, let me whisper in your ear, (supposing you to be a Christian,) this would be a prelibation drawn prematurely from the cup of millennial happiness; and, strictly speaking, there is no great homage to religion, even thus far—in figuring that to be the purchase of man for himself, and through his own efforts, which is viewed by Scripture as a glory removed to the infinite and starry distance of a millennium, and as the teleutaion epigeinaema, the last crowning attainment of Christian truth, no longer militant on earth. Christianity it is, but Christianity when triumphant, and no longer in conflict with adverse, or thwarting, or limiting influences, which only can be equal to a revolution so mighty. But all this, for the sake of pursuing the assumption, let us agree to waive. In reality, there are two separate stations taken up by the war denouncers. One class hold, that an influence derived from political economy is quite equal to the flying leap by which man is to clear this unfathomable gulph of war, and to land his race for ever on the opposite shore of a self- sustaining peace. Simply, the contemplation of national debts, (as a burthen which never would have existed without war,) and a computation of the waste, havoc, unproductive labor, &c., attached to any single campaign—these, they imagine, might suffice, per se, for the extinction of war. But the other class cannot go along with a speculation so infirm. Reasons there are, in the opposite scale, tempting man into war,—which are far mightier than any motives addressed to his self-interest. Even straining her energies to the utmost, they regard all policy of the purse as adequate: anything short of religion, they are satisfied, must be incommensurate to a result so vast.

I myself certainly agree with this last class; but upon this arises a delusion, which I shall have some trouble in making the reader understand: and of this I am confident-that a majority, perhaps, in every given amount of readers, will share in the delusion; will part from me in the persuasion that the error I attempt to expose is no error at all, but that it is myself who am in the wrong. The delusion which I challenge as such, respects the very meaning and value of a sacrifice made to Christianity. What is it? what do we properly mean, by a concession or a sacrifice made to a spiritual power, such as Christianity? If a king and his people, impressed by the unchristian character of war, were to say, in some solemn act—'We, the parties undersigned, for the reasons stated in the body of this document, proclaim to all nations, that from and after Midsummer eve of the year 1850, this being the eve of St. John the Baptist, (who was the herald of Christ,) we will no more prosecute any interest of ours, unless the one sole interest of national defence, by means of war,—and this sacrifice we make as a concession and act of homage to Christianity,— would that vow, I ask, sincerely offered, and steadily observed, really be a sacrifice made to Christianity? Not at all. A sacrifice, that was truly such, to a spiritual religion, must be a sacrifice not verbally (though sincerely) dedicating itself to the religion, but a sacrifice wrought and accomplished by that religion, through and by its own spirit. Midsummer eve of 1850 could clearly make no spiritual change in the king or his people—such they would be on the morning after St. John's day, as on the morning before it—i. e., filled with all elements (though possibly undeveloped) of strife, feud, pernicious ambition,

The delusion, therefore, which I charge upon this religious class of war denouncers is, that whilst they see and recognize this infinite imperfection of any influence which Christianity yet exercises upon the world, they nevertheless rely upon that acknowledged shadow for the accomplishment of what would, in such circumstances, be a real miracle; they rely upon that shadow, as truly and entirely as if it were already that substance which, in a vast revolution of ages, it will finally become. And they rely upon this mockery in two senses; first, for the endurance of the frail human resolution that would thaw in an hour before a great outrage, or provocation suited to the nobler infirmities of man. Secondly, which is the point I mainly aim at, assuming, for a moment, that the resolution could endure, amongst all mankind, we are all equally convinced, that an evil so vast is not likely to be checked or controlled, except by some very extraordinary power. Well, where is it? Show me that power. I know of none but Christianity. There, undoubtedly, is hope. But, in order that the hope may become rational, the power must become practical. And practical it is not in the extent required, until this Christianity, from being dimly appreciated by a section [Footnote What section, if you please? I, for my part, do not agree with those that geographically degrade Christianity as occupying but a trifle on the area of our earth. Mark this; all Eastern populations have dwindled upon better acquaintance. Persia that ought to have, at least, two hundred and fifty millions of people, and would have them under English government, and once was supposed to have at least one hundred millions, how many millions has she? Eight! This was ascertained by Napoleon's emissary in 1808, General Gardanne. Afghanistan has very little more, though some falsely count fourteen millions. There go two vast chambers of Mahometanism; not twenty millions between them. Hindostan may really have one hundred and twenty millions claimed for her. As to the Burman Empire, I, nor anybody else knows the truth. But, as to China, I have never for a moment been moved by those ridiculous estimates of the flowery people, which our simple countrymen copy. Instead of three hundred and fifty millions, a third of the human race upon the most exaggerated estimate, read eighty or one hundred millions at most. Africa, as it regards religion, counts for a cipher. Europe, America, and the half of Asia, as to space, are Christian. Consequently, the total facit, as regards Christianity, is not what many amiable infidels make it to be. My dears, your wish was father to that thought.] of this world, shall have been the law that overrides the whole. That consummation is not immeasurably distant. Even now, from considerations connected with China, with New Zealand, Borneo, Australia, we may say, that already the fields are white for harvest. But alas! the interval is brief between Christianity small, and Christianity great, as regards space or terraqueous importance, compared with that interval which separates Christianity formally professed, from Christianity thankfully acknowledged by universal man in beauty and power.

Here, therefore, is one spoke in the wheel for so vast a change as war dethroned, viz., that you see no cause, though you should travel round the whole horizon, adequate to so prodigious an effect. What could do it? Why, Christianity could do it. Aye, true; but man disarms Christianity. And no mock Christianity, no lip homage to Christianity, will answer.

But is war, then, to go on for ever? Are we never to improve? Are nations to conduct their intercourse eternally under the secret understanding that an unchristian solution of all irreconcileable feuds stands in the rear as the ultimate appeal? I answer that war, going on even for ever, may still be for ever amending its modes and its results upon human happiness; secondly, that we not only are under no fatal arrest in our process of improvement, but that, as regards war, history shows how steadily we have been improving; and, thirdly, that although war may be irreversible as the last resource, this last resource may constantly be retiring further into the rear. Let us speak to this last point. War is the last resource only, because other and more intellectual resources for solving disputes are not available. And why are they not? Simply, because the knowledge, and the logic, which ultimately will govern the case, and the very circumstances of the case itself in its details, as the basis on which this knowledge and logic are to operate, happen not to have been sufficiently developed. A code of law is not a spasmodic effort of gigantic talent in any one man or any one generation; it is a slow growth of accidents and occasions expanding with civilization; dependent upon time as a multiform element in its development; and presupposing often a concurrent growth of analogous cases towards the completion of its system. For instance, the law which regulates the rights of shipping, seafaring men, and maritime commerce—how slow was its development! Before such works as the Consolato del Mare had been matured, how wide must have been the experience, and how slow its accumulation! During that long period of infancy for law, how many must have been the openings for ignorant and unintentional injustice! How differently, again, will the several parties to any transaction construe the rights of the case! Discussion, without rules for guiding it, will but embitter the dispute. And in the absence of all guidance from the intellect, gradually weaving a common standard of international appeal, it is clear that nations must fight, and ought to fight. Not being convinced, it is base to pretend that you are convinced; and failing to be convinced by your neighbor's arguments, you confess yourself a poltroon (and moreover you invite injuries from every neighbor) if you pocket your wrongs. The only course in such a case is to thump your neighbor, and to thump him soundly for the present. This treatment is very serviceable to your neighbor's optics; he sees things in a new light after a sufficient course of so distressing a regimen. But mark, even in this case, war has no tendency to propagate war, but tends to the very opposite result. To thump is as costly, and in other ways as painful, as to be thumped. The evil to both sides arises in an undeveloped state of law. If rights were defined by a well considered code growing out of long experience, each party sees that this scourge of war would continually tend to limit itself. Consequently the very necessity of war becomes the strongest invitation to that system of judicial logic which forms its sole limitation. But all war whatsoever stands in these circumstances. It follows that all war whatever, unless on the brutal principle of a Spartan warfare, that made war its own sufficient object and self-justification, operates as a perpetual bounty offered to men upon the investigation and final adjudication of those disputed cases through which war prospers. Hence it is, viz., because the true boundaries of reciprocal rights are for ever ascertaining themselves more clearly, that war is growing less frequent. The fields open to injustice (which originally from pure ignorance are so vast) continually (through deeper and more expansive surveys by man's intellect—searching—reflecting—comparing) are narrowing themselves; narrowing themselves in this sense, that all nations under a common centre of religious civilization, as Christendom suppose, or Islamism, would not fight—no, and would not (by the national sense of wrong and right) be permitted to fight—in a cause confessedly condemned by equity as now developed. The causes of war that still remain, are causes on which international law is silent—that large arrear of cases as yet unsettled; or else they are cases in which though law speaks with an authentic voice, it speaks in vain, because the circumstances are doubtful; so that, if the law is fixed as a lamp nailed to a wall, yet the incidence of the law on the particular circumstances, becomes as doubtful as the light of the lamp upon objects that are capriciously moving. We see all this illustrated in a class of cases that powerfully illustrate the good and the bad in war, the why and the wherefore, as likewise the why not, and therefore I presume the wherefore not; and this class of cases belongs to the lex vicinitatis. In the Roman law this section makes a great figure. And speaking accurately, it makes a greater in our own. But the reason why this law of neighborhood seems to fill so much smaller a section in ours, is because in English law, being positively a longer section, negatively to the whole compass of our law, it is less. The Roman law would have paved a road to the moon. And what is that expressed in time? Let us see: a railway train, worked at the speed of the Great Western Express, accomplishes easily a thousand miles in twenty-four hours; consequently in two hundred and forty days or eight months it would run into the moon with its buffers, and break up the quarters of that Robinson Crusoe who (and without any Friday) is the only policeman that parades that little pensive appendage or tender to our fuming engine of an earth. But the English law—oh frightful reader, don't even think of such a question as its relation in space and time to the Roman law. That it would stretch to the fixed stars is plain, but to which of them,—don't now, dear persecuting reader, unsettle our brains by asking. Enough it is that both in Roman and English law the rights of neighborhood are past measuring. Has a man a right to play the German flute, where the partitions are slender, all day long in the house adjoining to yours? Or, supposing a beneficent jury (beneficent to him) finds this to be no legal nuisance, has he a right to play it ill? Or, because juries, when tipsy, will wink at anything, does the privilege extend to the jew's-harp? to the poker and tongs? to the marrowbones and cleavers? Or, without ranging through the whole of the Spectator's culinary music, will the bagpipes be found within benefit of jury law? War to the knife I say, before we'll submit to that. And if the law won't protect us against it, then we'll turn rebels.

Now this law of neighborhood, this lex vicinitatis, amongst the Romans, righted itself and settled itself, as amongst ourselves it continues to do, by means of actions or legal suits. If a man poisons us with smoke, we compel him by an action to eat his own smoke, or (if he chooses) to make his chimneys eat it. Here you see is a transmuted war; in a barbarous state, fire and sword would have avenged this invasion of smoke; but amongst civilized men, paper bullets in the form of Qui tam and Scire facias, beat off the enemy. And on the same principle, exactly as the law of international rights clears up its dark places, war gradually narrows its grounds, and the jus gentium defines itself through national attorneys, i. e., diplomatists.

For instance, now I have myself seen a case where a man cultivating a flower-garden, and distressed for some deliverance from his rubbish of dead leaves, litter, straw, stones, took the desperate resolution of projecting the whole upon his neighbor's flower-garden. I, a chance spectator of the outrage, knew too much of this world to lodge any protest against it, on the principle of mere abstract justice; so it would have passed unnoticed, but for the accident that his injured neighbor unexpectedly raised up his head above the dividing wall, and reproached the aggressor with his unprincipled conduct. This aggressor, adding evil to evil, suggested as the natural remedy for his own wrong, that the sufferer should pass the nuisance onwards to the garden next beyond him; from which it might be posted forward on the same principle. The aggrieved man, however, preferred passing it back, without any discount to the original proprietor. Here now, is a ripe case, a causa teterrima, for war between the parties, and for a national war had the parties been nations. In fact, the very same injury, in a more aggravated shape, is perpetrated from time to time by Jersey upon ourselves, and would, upon a larger scale, right itself by war. Convicts are costly to maintain; and Jersey, whose national revenue is limited, being too well aware of this, does us the favor to land upon the coasts of Hampshire, Dorset, &c., all the criminals whom she cannot summarily send back to self-support, at each jail-delivery. 'What are we to do in England?' is the natural question propounded by the injured scoundrels, when taking leave of their Jersey escort. 'Anything you please,' is the answer: 'rise if you can, to be dukes: only never come back hither; since, dukes or no dukes, to the rest of Christendom, to us of the Channel Islands you will always be transported felons.' There is therefore a good right of action, i.e., a good ground of war, against Jersey, on the part of Great Britain, since, besides the atrocious injury inflicted, this unprincipled little island has the audacity to regard our England, (all Europe looking on,) as existing only for the purposes of a sewer or cess-pool to receive her impurities. Some time back I remember a Scottish newspaper holding up the case as a newly discovered horror in the social system. But, in a quiet way Jersey has always been engaged in this branch of exportation, and rarely fails to 'run' a cargo of rogues upon our shore, once or so in the season. What amuses one besides, in this Scottish denunciation of the villany, is, that Scotland [Footnote: To banish them 'forth of the kingdom,' was the euphuismus; but the reality understood was—to carry the knaves, like foxes in a bag, to the English soil, and there unbag them for English use.] of old, pursued the very same mode of jail-delivery as to knaves that were not thought ripe enough for hanging: she carted them to the English border, unchained them, and hurried them adrift into the wilderness, saying—Now, boys, shift for yourselves, and henceforth plunder none but Englishmen.

What I deduce from all this is, that as the feuds arising between individuals under the relation of neighbors, are so far from tending to a hostile result, that, on the contrary, as coming under a rule of law already ascertained, or furnishing the basis for a new rule, they gradually tighten the cords which exclude all opening for quarrel; not otherwise is the result, and therefore the usefulness, of war amongst nations. All the causes of war, the occasions upon which it is likely to arise, the true and the ostensible motives, are gradually evolved, are examined, searched, valued, by publicists; and by such means, in the further progress of men, a comprehensive law of nations will finally be accumulated, not such as now passes for international law, (a worthless code that has no weight in the practice of nations, nor deserves any,) but one which will exhaust the great body of cases under which wars have arisen under the Christian era, and gradually collect a public opinion of Christendom upon the nature of each particular case. The causes that have existed for war are the causes that will exist; or, at least, they are the same under modifications that will simply vary the rule, as our law cases in the courts are every day circumstantiating the particular statute concerned. At this stage of advance, and when a true European opinion has been created, a 'sensus communis,' or community of feeling on the main classifications of wars, it will become possible to erect a real Areopagus, or central congress for all Christendom, not with any commission to suppress wars,—a policy which would neutralize itself by reacting as a fresh cause of war, since high-spirited nations would arm for the purpose of resisting such decrees; but with the purpose and the effect of oftentimes healing local or momentary animosities, and also by publishing the opinion of Europe, assembled in council, with the effect of taking away the shadow of dishonor from the act of retiring from war. Not to mention that the mere delay, involved in the waiting for the solemn opinion of congress, would always be friendly to pacific councils. But would the belligerents wait? That concession might be secured by general exchange of treaties, in the same way that the cooperation of so many nations has been secured to the suppression of the trade in slaves. And one thing is clear, that when all the causes of war, involving manifest injustice, are banished by the force of European opinion, focally converged upon the subject, the range of war will be prodigiously circumscribed. The costliness of war, which, for various reasons has been continually increasing since the feudal period, will operate as another limitation upon its field, concurring powerfully with the public declaration from a council of collective Christendom.

There is, besides, a distinct and separate cause of war, more fatal to the possibilities of peace in Europe than open injustice; and this cause being certainly in the hands of nations to deal with as they please, there is a tolerable certainty that a congress sincerely pacific would cut it up by the roots. It is a cause noticed by Kant in his Essay on Perpetual Peace, and with great sagacity, though otherwise that little work is not free from visionary self-delusions: and this cause lies in the diplomacy of Europe. Treaties of peace are so constructed, as almost always to sow the seeds of future wars. This seems to the inexperienced reader a matter of carelessness or laxity in the choice of expression; and sometimes it may have been so; but more often it has been done under the secret dictation of powerful courts— making peaces only as truces, anxious only for time to nurse their energies, and to keep open some plausible call for war. This is not only amongst the most extensive causes of war, but the very worst: because it gives a colorable air of justice, and almost of necessity to a war, which is, in fact, the most outrageously unjust, as being derived from a pretext silently prepared in former years, with mere subtlety of malice: it is a war growing out of occasions, forged beforehand, lest no occasions should spontaneously arise. Now, this cause of war could and would be healed by a congress, and through an easy reform in European diplomacy.[Footnote: One great nidus of this insidious preparation for war under the very masque of peace, which Kant, from brevity, has failed to particularize, lies in the neglecting to make any provision for cases that are likely enough to arise. A, B, C, D, are all equally possible, but the treaty provides a specific course of action only for A, suppose. Then upon B or C arising, the high contracting parties, though desperately and equally pacific, find themselves committed to war actually by a treaty of lasting peace. Their pacific majesties sigh, and say—Alas! that it should be so, but really fight we must, for what says the treaty?]

It is the strongest confirmation of the power inherent in growing civilization, to amend war, and to narrow the field of war, if we look back for the records of the changes in this direction which have already arisen in generations before our own.

The most careless reviewer of history can hardly fail to read a rude outline of progress made by men in the rights, and consequently in the duties of war through the last twenty-five centuries. It is a happy circumstance for man—that oftentimes he is led by pure selfishness into reforms, the very same as high principle would have prompted; and in the next stage of his advance, when once habituated to an improved code of usages, he begins to find a gratification to his sensibilities, (partly luxurious sensibilities, but partly moral,) in what originally had been a mere movement of self-interest. Then comes a third stage, in which having thoroughly reconciled himself to a better order of things, and made it even necessary to his own comfort, at length he begins in his reflecting moments to perceive a moral beauty and a fitness in arrangements that had emanated from accidents of convenience, so that finally he generates a sublime pleasure of conscientiousness out of that which originally commenced in the meanest forms of mercenary convenience. A Roman lady of rank, out of mere voluptuous regard to her own comfort, revolted from the harsh clamors of eternal chastisements inflicted on her numerous slaves; she forbade them; the grateful slaves showed their love for her; gradually and unintentionally she trained her feelings, when thus liberated from a continual temptation to the sympathies with cruelty, into a demand for gentler and purer excitement. Her purpose had been one of luxury; but, by the benignity of nature still watching for ennobling opportunities, the actual result was a development given to the higher capacities of her heart. In the same way, when the brutal right (and in many circumstances the brutal duty) of inflicting death upon prisoners taken in battle, had exchanged itself for the profits of ransom or slavery, this relaxation of ferocity (though commencing in selfishness) gradually exalted itself into a habit of mildness, and some dim perception of a sanctity in human life. The very vice of avarice ministered to the purification of barbarism; and the very evil of slavery in its earliest form was applied to the mitigation of another evil—war conducted in the spirit of piratical outrage. The commercial instincts of men having worked one set of changes in war, a second set of changes was prompted by instincts derived from the arts of ornament and pomp. Splendor of arms, of banners, of equipages, of ceremonies, and the elaborate forms of intercourse with enemies through conferences, armistices, treaties of peace, &c., having tamed the savagery of war into connection with modes of intellectual grandeur, and with the endless restraints of superstition or scrupulous religion,—a permanent light of civilization began to steal over the bloody shambles of buccaneering warfare. Other modes of harmonizing influences arose more directly from the bosom of war itself. Gradually the mere practice of war, and the culture of war though merely viewed as a rude trade of bloodshed, ripened into an intellectual art. Were it merely with a view to more effectual carnage, this art (however simple and gross at first) opened at length into wide scientific arts, into strategies, into tactics, into castrametation, into poliorcetics, and all the processes through which the first rude efforts of martial cunning finally connect themselves with the exquisite resources of science. War, being a game in which each side forces the other into the instant adoption of all improvements through the mere necessities of self-preservation, became continually more intellectual.

It is interesting to observe the steps by which, were it only through impulses of self-conservation, and when searching with a view to more effectual destructiveness, war did and must refine itself from a horrid trade of butchery into a magnificent and enlightened science. Starting from no higher impulse or question than how to cut throats most rapidly, most safely, and on the largest scale, it has issued even at our own stage of advance into a science, magnificent, oftentimes ennobling, and cleansed from all horrors except those which (not being within man's power utterly to divorce from it) no longer stand out as reproaches to his humanity.

Meantime a more circumstantial review of war, in relation to its motives and the causes assigned for its justification, would expose a series of changes greater perhaps than the reader is aware of. Such a review, which would too much lengthen a single paper, may or may not form the subject of a second. And I will content myself with saying, as a closing remark, that this review will detect a principle of steady advance in the purification and elevation of war—such as must offer hope to those who believe in the possibility of its absolute extermination, and must offer consolation to those who (like myself) deny it.


I take it for granted that every person of education will acknowledge some interest in the personal history of Immanuel Kant. A great man, though in an unpopular path, must always be an object of liberal curiosity. To suppose a reader thoroughly indifferent to Kant, is to suppose him thoroughly unintellectual; and, therefore, though in reality he should happen not to regard him with interest, it is one of the fictions of courtesy to presume that he does. On this principle I make no apology to the reader for detaining him upon a short sketch of Kant's life and domestic habits, drawn from the authentic records of his friends and pupils. It is true, that, without any illiberality on the part of the public in this country, the works of Kant are not regarded with the same interest which has gathered about his name; and this may be attributed to three causes—first, to the language in which they are written; secondly, to the supposed obscurity of the philosophy which they teach, whether intrinsic or due to Kant's particular mode of expounding it; thirdly, to the unpopularity of all speculative philosophy, no matter how treated, in a country where the structure and tendency of society impress upon the whole activities of the nation a direction exclusively practical. But, whatever may be the immediate fortunes of his writings, no man of enlightened curiosity will regard the author himself without something of a profounder interest. Measured by one test of power, viz., by the number of books written directly for or against himself, to say nothing of those which he has indirectly modified, there is no philosophic writer whatsoever, if we except Aristotle, who can pretend to approach Kant in the extent of the influence which he has exercised over the minds of men. Such being his claims upon our notice, I repeat that it is no more than a reasonable act of respect to the reader—to presume in him so much interest about Kant as will justify a sketch of his life.

Immanuel Kant, [Footnote: By the paternal side, the family of Kant was of Scotch derivation; and hence it is that the name was written by Kant the father—Cant, that being a Scotch name, and still to be found in Scotland. But Immanuel, though he always cherished his Scotch descent, substituted a K for a C, in order to adapt it better to the analogies of the German language.] the second of six children, was born at Königsberg, in Prussia, a city at that time containing about fifty thousand inhabitants, on the 22d of April, 1724. His parents were people of humble rank, and not rich even for their own station, but able (with some assistance from a near relative, and a trifle in addition from a gentleman, who esteemed them for their piety and domestic virtues,) to give their son Immanuel a liberal education. He was sent when a child to a charity school; and, in the year 1732, removed to the Royal (or Frederician) Academy. Here he studied the Greek and Latin classics, and formed an intimacy with one of his schoolfellows, David Ruhnken, (afterwards so well known to scholars under his Latin name of Ruhn-kenius,) which lasted until the death of the latter. In 1737, Kant lost his mother, a woman of excellent character, and of accomplishments and knowledge beyond her rank, who contributed to the future eminence of her illustrious son by the direction which she gave to his youthful thoughts, and by the elevated morals to which she trained him. Kant never spoke of her to the end of his life without the utmost tenderness, and acknowledgment of his great obligations to her maternal care. In 1740, at Michælmas, he entered the University of Königsberg. In 1746, when about twenty-two years old, he printed his first work, upon a question partly mathematical and partly philosophic, viz., the valuation of living forces. The question had been first moved by Leibnitz, in opposition to the Cartesians, and was here finally settled, after having occupied most of the great mathematicians of Europe for more than half a century. It was dedicated to the King of Prussia, but never reached him—having, in fact, never been published. [Footnote: To this circumstance we must attribute its being so little known amongst the philosophers and mathematicians of foreign countries, and also the fact that D'Alembert, whose philosophy was miserably below his mathematics, many years afterwards still continued to represent the dispute as a verbal one.] From this time until 1770, he supported himself as a private tutor in different families, or by giving private lectures in Königsberg, especially to military men on the art of fortification. In 1770, he was appointed to the Chair of Mathematics, which he exchanged soon after for that of Logic and Metaphysics. On this occasion, he delivered an inaugural disputation—[De Mundi Sensibilis atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis]—which is remarkable for containing the first germs of the Transcendental Philosophy. In 1781, he published his great work, the Critik der Reinen Vernunft, or Investigation of the Pure Reason. On February 12, 1804, he died.

These are the great epochs of Kant's life. But his was a life remarkable not so much for its incidents, as for the purity and philosophic dignity of its daily tenor; and of this the best impression will be obtained from Wasianski's account of his last years, checked and supported by the collateral testimonies of Jachmann, Rink, Borowski, and other biographers. We see him here struggling with the misery of decaying faculties, and with the pain, depression, and agitation of two different complaints, one affecting his stomach, and the other his head; over all which the benignity and nobility of his mind are seen victoriously eminent to the last. The principal defect of this and all other memoirs of Kant is, that they report too little of his conversation and opinions. And perhaps the reader will be disposed to complain, that some of the notices are too minute and circumstantial, so as to be at one time undignified, and at another unfeeling. As to the first objection, it may be answered, that biographical gossip of this sort, and ungentlemanly scrutiny into a man's private life, though not what a man of honor would choose to write, may be read without blame; and, where a great man is the subject, sometimes with advantage. With respect to the other objection, I know not how to excuse Mr. Wasianski for kneeling at the bed-side of his dying friend, to record, with the accuracy of a short-hand reporter, the last flutter of his pulse and the struggles of expiring nature, except by supposing that the idea of Kant, as a person belonging to all ages, in his mind transcended and extinguished the ordinary restraints of human sensibility, and that, under this impression, he gave that to his sense of a public duty which, it may be hoped, he would willingly have declined on the impulse of his private affections.

The following paper on The Last Days of Kant, is gathered from the German of Wasianski, Jachmann, Borowski, and others.

My knowledge of Professor Kant began long before the period to which this little memorial of him chiefly refers. In the year 1773, or 1774, I cannot exactly remember which, I attended his lectures. Afterwards, I acted as his amanuensis; and in that office was naturally brought into a closer connection with him than any other of his pupils; so that, without any request on my part, he granted me a general privilege of free admission to his class-room. In 1780 I took orders, and withdrew myself from all connection with the university. I still continued, however, to reside in Königsberg; but wholly forgotten, or wholly unnoticed at least, by Kant. Ten years afterwards, (that is to say, in 1790,) I met him by accident at a party given on occasion of the marriage of one of the professors. At table, Kant distributed his conversation and attentions pretty generally; but after the entertainment, when the company broke up into parties, he came and seated himself very obligingly by my side. I was at that time a florist—an amateur, I mean, from the passion I had for flowers; upon learning which, he talked of my favorite pursuit, and with very extensive information. In the course of our conversation, I was surprised to find that he was perfectly acquainted with all the circumstances of my situation. He reminded me of our previous connection; expressed his satisfaction at finding that I was happy; and was so good as to desire that, if my engagements allowed me, I would now and then come and dine with him. Soon after this, he rose to take his leave; and, as our road lay the same way, he proposed to me that I should accompany him home. I did so, and received an invitation for the next week, with a general invitation for every week after, and permission to name my own day. At first I was unable to explain the distinction with which Kant had treated me; and I conjectured that some obliging friend had spoken of me in his hearing, somewhat more advantageously than I could pretend to deserve; but more intimate experience has convinced me that he was in the habit of making continual inquiries after the welfare of his former pupils, and was heartily rejoiced to hear of their prosperity. So that it appeared I was wrong in thinking he had forgotten me.

This revival of my intimacy with Professor Kant, coincided pretty nearly, in point of time, with a complete change in his domestic arrangements. Up to this period it had been his custom to eat at a table d'hôte. But he now began to keep house himself, and every day invited two friends to dine with him, and upon any little festival from five to eight; for he was a punctual observer of Lord Chesterfield's rule—that his dinner party, himself included, should not fall below the number of the Graces—nor exceed that of the Muses. In the whole economy of his household arrangements, and especially of his dinner parties, there was something peculiar and amusingly opposed to the usual conventional restraints of society; not, however, that there was any neglect of decorum, such as sometimes occurs in houses where there are no ladies to impress a better tone upon the manners. The invariable routine was this: The moment that dinner was ready, Lampe, the professor's old footman, stepped into the study with a certain measured air, and announced it. This summons was obeyed at the pace of double quick time—Kant talking all the way to the eating-room about the state of the weather [Footnote: His reason for which was, that he considered the weather one of the principal forces which act upon the health; and his own frame was exquisitely sensible to all atmospheric influences.]—a subject which he usually pursued during the earlier part of the dinner. Graver themes, such as the political events of the day, were never introduced before dinner, or at all in his study. The moment that Kant had taken his seat, and unfolded his napkin, he opened the business of dinner with a particular formula— 'Now, then, gentlemen!' and the tone and air with which he uttered these words, proclaimed, in a way which nobody could mistake, relaxation from the toils of the morning, and determinate abandonment of himself to social enjoyment. The table was hospitably spread; three dishes, wine, &c., with a small second course, composed the dinner. Every person helped himself; and all delays of ceremony were so disagreeable to Kant, that he seldom failed to express his displeasure with anything of that sort, though not angrily. He was displeased also if people ate little; and treated it as affectation. The first man to help himself was in his eyes the politest guest; for so much the sooner came his own turn. For this hatred of delay, Kant had a special excuse, having always worked hard from an early hour in the morning, and eaten nothing until dinner. Hence it was, that in the latter period of his life, though less perhaps from actual hunger than from some uneasy sensation of habit or periodical irritation of stomach, he could hardly wait with patience for the arrival of the last person invited.

There was no friend of Kant's but considered the day on which he was to dine with him as a day of pleasure. Without giving himself the air of an instructor, Kant really was so in the very highest degree. The whole entertainment was seasoned with the overflow of his enlightened mind, poured out naturally and unaffectedly upon every topic, as the chances of conversation suggested it; and the time flew rapidly away, from one o'clock to four, five, or even later, profitably and delightfully. Kant tolerated no calms, which was the name he gave to the momentary pauses in conversation, or periods when its animation languished. Some means or other he always devised for restoring its tone of interest, in which he was much assisted by the tact with which he drew from every guest his peculiar tastes, or the particular direction of his pursuits; and on these, be they what they might, he was never unprepared to speak with knowledge, and the interest of an original observer. The local affairs of Königsberg must have been interesting indeed, before they could be allowed to occupy the attention at his table. And, what may seem still more singular, it was rarely or never that he directed the conversation to any branch of the philosophy founded by himself. Indeed he was perfectly free from the fault which besets so many savans and literati, of intolerance towards those whose pursuits had disqualified them for any particular sympathy with his own. His style of conversation was popular in the highest degree, and unscholastic; so much so, that any stranger who should have studied his works, and been unacquainted with his person, would have found it difficult to believe, that in this delightful companion he saw the profound author of the Transcendental Philosophy.

The subjects of conversation at Kant's table were drawn chiefly from natural philosophy, chemistry, meteorology, natural history, and above all, from politics. The news of the day, as reported in the public journals, was discussed with a peculiar vigilance of examination. With regard to any narrative that wanted dates of time and place, however otherwise plausible, he was uniformly an inexorable sceptic, and held it unworthy of repetition. So keen was his penetration into the interior of political events, and the secret policy under which they moved, that he talked rather with the authority of a diplomatic person who had access to cabinet intelligence, than as a simple spectator of the great scenes which were unfolding in Europe. At the time of the French Revolution, he threw out many conjectures, and what were then accounted paradoxical anticipations, especially in regard to military operations, which were as punctually fulfilled as his own memorable conjecture in regard to the hiatus in the planetary system between Mars and Jupiter,[Footnote: To which the author should have added—and in regard to the hiatus between the planetary and cometary systems, which was pointed out by Kant several years before his conjecture was established by the good telescope of Dr. Herschel. Vesta and Juno, further confirmations of Kant's conjecture, were discovered in June 1804, when Wasianski wrote.] the entire confirmation of which he lived to witness on the discovery of Ceres by Piazzi, in Palermo, and of Pallas, by Dr. Olbers, at Bremen. These two discoveries, by the way, impressed him much; and they furnished a topic on which he always talked with pleasure; though, according to his usual modesty, he never said a word of his own sagacity in having upon à priori grounds shown the probability of such discoveries many years before.

It was not only in the character of a companion that Kant shone, but also as a most courteous and liberal host, who had no greater pleasure than in seeing his guests happy and jovial, and rising with exhilarated spirits from the mixed pleasures—intellectual and liberally sensual— of his Platonic banquets. Chiefly, perhaps, with a view to the sustaining of this tone of genial hilarity, he showed himself somewhat of an artist in the composition of his dinner parties. Two rules there were which he obviously observed, and I may say invariably: the first was, that the company should be miscellaneous; this for the sake of securing sufficient variety to the conversation: and accordingly his parties presented as much variety as the world of Königsberg afforded, being drawn from all the modes of life, men in office, professors, physicians, clergymen, and enlightened merchants. His second rule was, to have a due balance of young men, frequently of very young men, selected from the students of the university, in order to impress a movement of gaiety and juvenile playfulness on the conversation; an additional motive for which, as I have reason to believe, was, that in this way he withdrew his mind from the sadness which sometimes overshadowed it, for the early deaths of some young friends whom he loved.

And this leads me to mention a singular feature in Kant's way of expressing his sympathy with his friends in sickness. So long as the danger was imminent, he testified a restless anxiety, made perpetual inquiries, waited with patience for the crisis, and sometimes could not pursue his customary labors from agitation of mind. But no sooner was the patient's death announced, than he recovered his composure, and assumed an air of stern tranquillity—almost of indifference. The reason was, that he viewed life in general, and therefore, that particular affection of life which we call sickness, as a state of oscillation and perpetual change, between which and the fluctuating sympathies of hope and fear, there was a natural proportion that justified them to the reason; whereas death, as a permanent state that admitted of no more or less, that terminated all anxiety, and for ever extinguished the agitation of suspense, he would not allow to be fitted to any state of feeling, but one of the same enduring and unchanging character. However, all this philosophic heroism gave way on one occasion; for many persons will remember the tumultuous grief which he manifested upon the death of Mr. Ehrenboth, a young man of very fine understanding and extensive attainments, for whom he had the greatest affection. And naturally it happened, in so long a life as his, in spite of his provident rule for selecting his social companions as much as possible amongst the young, that he had to mourn for many a heavy loss that could never be supplied to him.

To return, however, to the course of his day, immediately after the termination of his dinner party, Kant walked out for exercise; but on this occasion he never took any companion, partly, perhaps, because he thought it right, after so much convivial and colloquial relaxation, to pursue his meditations,[Footnote: Mr. Wasianski is wrong. To pursue his meditations under these circumstances, might perhaps be an inclination of Kant's to which he yielded, but not one which he would justify or erect into a maxim. He disapproved of eating alone, or solipsismus convictorii, as he calls it, on the principle, that a man would be apt, if not called off by the business and pleasure of a social party, to think too much or too closely, an exercise which he considered very injurious to the stomach during the first process of digestion. On the same principle he disapproved of walking or riding alone; the double exercise of thinking and bodily agitation, carried on at the same time, being likely, as he conceived, to press too hard upon the stomach.] and partly (as I happen to know) for a very peculiar reason, viz., that he wished to breathe exclusively through his nostrils, which he could not do if he were obliged continually to open his mouth in conversation. His reason for this was, that the atmospheric air, being thus carried round by a longer circuit, and reaching the lungs, therefore, in a state of less rawness, and at a temperature somewhat higher, would be less apt to irritate them. By a steady perseverance in this practice, which he constantly recommended to his friends, he flattered himself with a long immunity from coughs, colds, hoarseness, and every mode of defluxion; and the fact really was, that these troublesome affections attacked him very rarely. Indeed I myself, by only occasionally adopting his rule, have found my chest not so liable as formerly to such attacks.

At six o'clock he sat down to his library table, which was a plain ordinary piece of furniture, and read till dusk. During this period of dubious light, so friendly to thought, he rested in tranquil meditation on what he had been reading, provided the book were worth it; if not, he sketched his lecture for the next day, or some part of any book he might then be composing. During this state of repose he took his station winter and summer by the stove, looking through the window at the old tower of Lobenicht; not that he could be said properly to see it, but the tower rested upon his eye,—obscurely, or but half revealed to his consciousness. No words seemed forcible enough to express his sense of the gratification which he derived from this old tower, when seen under these circumstances of twilight and quiet reverie. The sequel, indeed, showed how important it was to his comfort; for at length some poplars in a neighboring garden shot up to such a height as to obscure the tower, upon which Kant became very uneasy and restless, and at length found himself positively unable to pursue his evening meditations. Fortunately, the proprietor of the garden was a very considerate and obliging person, who had, besides, a high regard for Kant; and, accordingly, upon a representation of the case being made to him, he gave orders that the poplars should be cropped. This was done, the old tower of Lobenicht was again unveiled, and Kant recovered his equanimity, and pursued his twilight meditations as before.

After the candles were brought, Kant prosecuted his studies till nearly ten o'clock. A quarter of an hour before retiring for the night, he withdrew his mind as much as possible from every class of thoughts which demanded any exertion or energy of attention, on the principle, that by stimulating and exciting him too much, such thoughts would be apt to cause wakefulness; and the slightest interference with his customary hour of falling asleep, was in the highest degree unpleasant to him. Happily, this was with him a very rare occurrence. He undressed himself without his servant's assistance, but in such an order, and with such a Roman regard to decorum and the to prepon, that he was always ready at a moment's warning to make his appearance without embarrassment to himself or to others. This done, he lay down on a mattress, and wrapped himself up in a quilt, which in summer was always of cotton,—in autumn, of wool; at the setting-in of winter he used both—and against very severe cold, he protected himself by one of eider-down, of which the part which covered his shoulders was not stuffed with feathers, but padded, or rather wadded closely with layers of wool. Long practice had taught him a very dexterous mode of nesting himself, as it were, in the bed-clothes. First of all, he sat down on the bedside; then with an agile motion he vaulted obliquely into his lair; next he drew one corner of the bedclothes under his left shoulder, and passing it below his back, brought it round so as to rest under his right shoulder; fourthly, by a particular tour d'adresse, he treated the other corner in the same way, and finally contrived to roll it round his whole person. Thus swathed like a mummy, or (as I used to tell him) self-involved like the silk-worm in its cocoon, he awaited the approach of sleep, which generally came on immediately. For Kant's health was exquisite; not mere negative health, or the absence of pain, but a state of positive pleasurable sensation, and a genial sense of the entire possession of all his activities. Accordingly, when packed up for the night in the way I have described, he would often ejaculate to himself (as he used to tell us at dinner)— 'Is it possible to conceive a human being with more perfect health than myself?' In fact, such was the innocence of his life, and such the happy condition of his situation, that no uneasy passion ever arose to excite him—nor care to harass—nor pain to awake him. Even in the severest winter his sleeping-room was without a fire; only in his latter years he yielded so far to the entreaties of his friends as to allow of a very small one. All nursing or self-indulgence found no quarter with Kant. In fact, five minutes, in the coldest weather, sufficed to supersede the first chill of the bed, by the diffusion of a general glow over his person. If he had any occasion to leave his room in the night-time, (for it was always kept dark day and night, summer and winter,) he guided himself by a rope, which was duly attached to his bed-post every night, and carried into the adjoining apartment.

Kant never perspired, [Footnote: This appears less extraordinary, considering the description of Kant's person, given originally by Reichardt, about eight years after his death. 'Kant,' says this writer, 'was drier than dust both in body and mind. His person was small; and possibly a more meagre, arid, parched anatomy of a man, has not appeared upon this earth. The upper part of his face was grand; forehead lofty and serene, nose elegantly turned, eyes brilliant and penetrating; but below it expressed powerfully the coarsest sensuality, which in him displayed itself by immoderate addiction to eating and drinking.' This last feature of his temperament is here expressed much too harshly.] night or day. Yet it was astonishing how much heat he supported habitually in his study, and in fact was not easy if it wanted but one degree of this heat. Seventy-five degrees of Fahrenheit was the invariable temperature of this room in which he chiefly lived; and if it fell below that point, no matter at what season of the year, he had it raised artificially to the usual standard. In the heats of summer he went thinly dressed, and invariably in silk stockings; yet, as even this dress could not always secure him against perspiring when engaged in active exercise, he had a singular remedy in reserve. Retiring to some shady place, he stood still and motionless—with the air and attitude of a person listening, or in suspense—until his usual aridity was restored. Even in the most sultry summer night, if the slightest trace of perspiration had sullied his night-dress, he spoke of it with emphasis, as of an accident that perfectly shocked him.

On this occasion, whilst illustrating Kant's notions of the animal economy, it may be as well to add one other particular, which is, that for fear of obstructing the circulation of the blood, he never would wear garters; yet, as he found it difficult to keep up his stockings without them, he had invented for himself a most elaborate substitute, which I shall describe. In a little pocket, somewhat smaller than a watch-pocket, but occupying pretty nearly the same situation as a watch-pocket on each thigh, there was placed a small box, something like a watch-case, but smaller; into this box was introduced a watch- spring in a wheel, round about which wheel was wound an elastic cord, for regulating the force of which there was a separate contrivance. To the two ends of this cord were attached hooks, which hooks were carried through a small aperture in the pockets, and so passing down the inner and the outer side of the thigh, caught hold of two loops which were fixed on the off side and the near side of each stocking. As might be expected, so complex an apparatus was liable, like the Ptolemaic system of the heavens, to occasional derangements; however, by good luck, I was able to apply an easy remedy to these disorders which sometimes threatened to disturb the comfort, and even the serenity, of the great man.

Precisely at five minutes before five o'clock, winter or summer, Lampe, Kant's servant, who had formerly served in the army, marched into his master's room with the air of a sentinel on duty, and cried aloud in a military tone,—'Mr. Professor, the time is come.' This summons Kant invariably obeyed without one moment's delay, as a soldier does the word of command—never, under any circumstances, allowing himself a respite, not even under the rare accident of having passed a sleepless night. As the clock struck five, Kant was seated at the breakfast- table, where he drank what he called one cup of tea; and no doubt he thought it such; but the fact was, that in part from his habit of reverie, and in part also for the purpose of refreshing its warmth, he filled up his cup so often, that in general he is supposed to have drunk two, three, or some unknown number. Immediately after he smoked a pipe of tobacco, (the only one which he allowed himself through the entire day,) but so rapidly, that a pile of glowing embers remained unsmoked. During this operation he thought over his arrangements for the day, as he had done the evening before during the twilight. About seven he usually went to his lecture-room, and from that he returned to his writing-table. Precisely at three quarters before one he rose from his chair, and called aloud to the cook,—'It has struck three quarters.' The meaning of which summons was this:—Immediately after taking soup, it was his constant practice to swallow what he called a dram, which consisted either of Hungarian wine, of Rhenish, of a cordial, or (in default of these) of Bishop. A flask of this was brought up by the cook on the proclamation of the three quarters. Kant hurried with it to the eating-room, poured out his quantum, left it standing in readiness, covered, however, with paper, to prevent its becoming vapid, and then went back to his study, and awaited the arrival of his guests, whom to the latest period of his life he never received but in full dress.

Thus we come round again to dinner, and the reader has now an accurate picture of the course of Kant's day; the rigid monotony of which was not burthensome to him; and probably contributed, with the uniformity of his diet, and other habits of the same regularity, to lengthen his life. On this consideration, indeed, he had come to regard his health and his old age as in a great measure the product of his own exertions. He spoke of himself often under the figure of a gymnastic artist, who had continued for nearly fourscore years to support his balance upon the slack-rope of life, without once swerving to the right or to the left. In spite of every illness to which his constitutional tendencies had exposed him, he still kept his position in life triumphantly. However, he would sometimes observe sportively, that it was really absurd, and a sort of insult to the next generation for a man to live so long, because he thus interfered with the prospects of younger people.

This anxious attention to his health accounts for the great interest which he attached to all new discoveries in medicine, or to new ways of theorizing on the old ones. As a work of great pretension in both classes, he set the highest value upon the theory of the Scotch physician Brown, or (as it is usually called, from the Latin name of its author,) the Brunonian Theory. No sooner had Weikard adopted [Footnote: This theory was afterwards greatly modified in Germany; and, judging from the random glances which I throw on these subjects, I believe that in this recast it still keeps its ground in that country.] and made it known in Germany, than Kant became familiar with it. He considered it not only as a great step taken for medicine, but even for the general interests of man, and fancied that in this he saw something analogous to the course which human nature has held in still more important inquiries, viz.: first of all, a continual ascent towards the more and more elaborately complex, and then a treading back, on its own steps, towards the simple and elementary. Dr. Beddoes's Essays, also, for producing by art and curing pulmonary consumption, and the method of Reich for curing fevers, made a powerful impression upon him; which, however, declined as those novelties (especially the last) began to sink in credit. As to Dr. Jenner's discovery of vaccination, he was less favorably disposed to it; he apprehended dangerous consequences from the absorption of a brutal miasma into the human blood, or at least into the lymph; and at any rate he thought, that, as a guarantee against the variolous infection, it required a much longer probation. Groundless as all these views were, it was exceedingly entertaining to hear the fertility of argument and analogy which he brought forward to support them. One of the subjects which occupied him at the latter end of his life, was the theory and phenomena of galvanism, which, however, he never satisfactorily mastered. Augustin's book upon this subject was about the last that he read, and his copy still retains on the margin his, pencil-marks of doubts, queries and suggestions.

The infirmities of age now began to steal upon Kant, and betrayed themselves in more shapes than one. Connected with Kant's prodigious memory for all things that had any intellectual bearings, he had from youth labored under an unusual weakness of this faculty in relation to the common affairs of daily life. Some remarkable instances of this are on record, from the period of his childish days; and now, when his second childhood was commencing, this infirmity increased upon him very sensibly. One of the first signs was, that he began to repeat the same stories more than once on the same day. Indeed, the decay of his memory was too palpable to escape his own notice; and, to provide against it, and secure himself from all apprehension of inflicting tedium upon his guests, he began to write a syllabus, or list of themes, for each day's conversation, on cards, or the covers of letters, or any chance scrap of paper. But these memoranda accumulated so fast upon him, and were so easily lost, or not forthcoming at the proper moment, that I prevailed on him to substitute a blank-paper book, which I had directed to be made, and which still remains, with some affecting memorials of his own conscious weakness. As often happens, however, in such cases, he had a perfect memory for the remote events of his life, and could repeat with great readiness, and without once stumbling, very long passages from German or Latin poems, especially from the AEneid, whilst the very words that had been uttered but a moment before dropped away from his remembrance. The past came forward with the distinctness and liveliness of an immediate existence, whilst the present faded away into the obscurity of infinite distance.

Another sign of his mental decay was the weakness with which he now began to theorize. He accounted for everything by electricity. A singular mortality at this time prevailed amongst the cats of Vienna, Basle, Copenhagen, and other places. Cats being so eminently an electric animal, of course he attributed this epizootic to electricity. During the same period, he persuaded himself that a peculiar configuration of clouds prevailed; this he took as a collateral proof of his electrical hypothesis. His own headaches, too, which in all probability were a mere remote effect of old age, and a direct one of an inability [Footnote: Mr. Wasianski is quite in the wrong here. If the hindrances which nature presented to the act of thinking were now on the increase, on the other hand, the disposition to think, by his own acknowledgment, was on the wane. The power and the habit altering in proportion, there is no case made out of that disturbed equilibrium to which apparently he would attribute the headaches. But the fact is, that, if he had been as well acquainted with Kant's writings as with Kant personally, he would have known, that some affection of the head of a spasmodic kind was complained of by Kant at a time when nobody could suspect him of being in a decaying state.] to think as easily and as severely as formerly, he explained upon the same principle. And this was a notion of which his friends were not anxious to disabuse him, because, as something of the same character of weather (and therefore probably the same general tendency of the electric power) is found to prevail for whole cycles of years, entrance upon another cycle held out to him some prospect of relief. A delusion which secured the comforts of hope was the next best thing to an actual remedy; and a man who, in such circumstances, is cured of his delusion, 'cui demptus per vim mentis gratissimus error,' might reasonably have exclaimed, 'Pol, me occidistis, amici.'

Possibly the reader may suppose, that, in this particular instance of charging his own decays upon the state of the atmosphere, Kant was actuated by the weakness of vanity, or some unwillingness to face the real fact that his powers were decaying. But this was not the case. He was perfectly aware of his own condition, and, as early as 1799, he said, in my presence, to a party of his friends—'Gentlemen, I am old, and weak, and childish, and you must treat me as a child.' Or perhaps it may be thought that he shrank from the contemplation of death, which, as apoplexy seemed to be threatened by the pains in his head, might have happened any day. But neither was this the case. He now lived in a continual state of resignation, and prepared to meet any dispensation of Providence. 'Gentlemen,' said he one day to his guests, 'I do not fear to die. I assure you, as in the presence of God, that if I were this night to be made suddenly aware that I was on the point of being summoned, I would raise my hands to heaven, fold them, and say, Blessed be God! If indeed it were possible that a whisper such as this could reach my ear—Fourscore years thou hast lived, in which time thou hast inflicted much evil upon thy fellow-men, the case would be otherwise.' Whosoever has heard Kant speak of his own death, will bear witness to the tone of earnest sincerity which, on such occasions, marked his manner and utterance.

A third sign of his decaying faculties was, that he now lost all accurate measure of time. One minute, nay, without exaggeration, a much less space of time, stretched out in his apprehension of things to a wearisome duration. Of this I can give one rather amusing instance, which was of constant recurrence. At the beginning of the last year of his life, he fell into a custom of taking immediately after dinner a cup of coffee, especially on those days when it happened that I was of his party. And such was the importance he attached to this little pleasure, that he would even make a memorandum beforehand, in the blank-paper book I had given him, that on the next day I was to dine with him, and consequently that there was to be coffee. Sometimes it would happen, that the interest of conversation carried him past the time at which he felt the craving for it; and this I was not sorry to observe, as I feared that coffee, which he had never been accustomed to, [Footnote: How this happened to be the case in Germany, Mr. Wasianski has not explained. Perhaps the English merchants at Königsberg, being amongst Kant's oldest and most intimate friends, had early familiarized him to the practice of drinking tea, and to other English tastes. However, Jachmann tells us, (p. 164,) that Kant was extravagantly fond of coffee, but forced himself to abstain from it under a notion that it was very unwholesome.] might disturb his rest at night. But, if this did not happen, then commenced a scene of some interest. Coffee must be brought 'upon the spot,' (a word he had constantly in his mouth during his latter days,) 'in a moment.' And the expressions of his impatience, though from old habit still gentle, were so lively, and had so much of infantine naïveté about them, that none of us could forbear smiling. Knowing what would happen, I had taken care that all the preparations should be made beforehand; the coffee was ground; the water was boiling; and the very moment the word was given, his servant shot in like an arrow, and plunged the coffee into the water. All that remained, therefore, was to give it time to boil up. But this trifling delay seemed unendurable to Kant. All consolations were thrown away upon him: vary the formula as we might, he was never at a loss for a reply. If it was said—'Dear Professor, the coffee will be brought up in a moment.'—'Will be!' he would say, 'but there's the rub, that it only will be:

Man never is, but always to be blest.'

If another cried out—'The coffee is coming immediately.'—'Yes,' he would retort, 'and so is the next hour: and, by the way, it's about that length of time that I have waited for it.' Then he would collect himself with a stoical air, and say—'Well, one can die after all: it is but dying; and in the next world, thank God! there is no drinking of coffee, and consequently no—waiting for it.' Sometimes he would rise from his chair, open the door, and cry out with a feeble querulousness —'Coffee! coffee!' And when at length he heard the servant's step upon the stairs, he would turn round to us, and, as joyfully as ever sailor from the mast-head, he would call out—'Land, land! my dear friends, I see land.'

This general decline in Kant's powers, active and passive, gradually brought about a revolution in his habits of life. Heretofore, as I have already mentioned, he went to bed at ten, and rose a little before five. The latter practice he still observed, but not the other. In 1802 he retired as early as nine, and afterwards still earlier. He found himself so much refreshed by this addition to his rest, that at first he was disposed to utter a Euraeka, as over some great discovery in the art of restoring exhausted nature: but afterwards, on pushing it still farther, he did not find the success answer his expectations. His walks he now limited to a few turns in the King's gardens, which were at no great distance from his own house. In order to walk more firmly, he adopted a peculiar method of stepping; he carried his foot to the ground, not forward, and obliquely, but perpendicularly, and with a kind of stamp, so as to secure a larger basis, by setting down the entire sole at once. Notwithstanding this precaution, upon one occasion he fell in the street. He was quite unable to raise himself; and two young ladies, who saw the accident, ran to his assistance. With his usual graciousness of manner he thanked them fervently for their assistance, and presented one of them with a rose which he happened to have in his hand. This lady was not personally known to Kant; but she was greatly delighted with his little present, and still keeps the rose as a frail memorial of her transitory interview with the great philosopher.

This accident, as I have reason to think, was the cause of his henceforth renouncing exercise altogether. All labors, even that of reading, were now performed slowly, and with manifest effort; and those which cost him any bodily exertion became very exhausting to him. His feet refused to do their office more and more; he fell continually, both when moving across the room, and even when standing still: yet he seldom suffered from these falls; and he constantly laughed at them, maintaining that it was impossible he could hurt himself, from the extreme lightness of his person, which was indeed by this time the merest skeleton. Very often, especially in the morning, he dropped asleep in his chair from pure weariness: on these occasions he fell forward upon the floor, and lay there unable to raise himself up, until accident brought one of his servants or his friends into the room. Afterwards these falls were prevented, by substituting a chair with circular supports, that met and clasped in front.

These unseasonable dozings exposed him to another danger. He fell repeatedly, whilst reading, with his head into the candles; a cotton night-cap which he wore was instantly in a blaze, and flaming about his head. Whenever this happened, Kant behaved with great presence of mind. Disregarding the pain, he seized the blazing cap, drew it from his head, laid it quietly on the floor, and trod out the flames with his feet. Yet, as this last act brought his dressing-gown into a dangerous neighborhood to the flames, I changed the form of his cap, persuaded him to arrange the candles differently, and had a decanter of water placed constantly by his side; and in this way I applied a remedy to a danger, which would else probably have been fatal to him.

From the sallies of impatience, which I have described in the case of the coffee, there was reason to fear that, with the increasing infirmities of Kant, would grow up a general waywardness and obstinacy of temper. For my own sake, therefore, and not less for his, I now laid down one rule for my future conduct in his house; which was, that I would, on no occasion, allow my reverence for him to interfere with the firmest expression of my opinion on subjects relating to his own health; and in cases of great importance, that I would make no compromise with his particular humors, but insist, not only on my view of the case, but also on the practical adoption of my views; or, if this were refused me, that I would take my departure at once, and not be made responsible for the comfort of a person whom I had no power to influence. And this behavior on my part it was that won Kant's confidence; for there was nothing which disgusted him so much as any approach to fawning or sycophancy. As his imbecility increased, he became daily more liable to mental delusions; and, in particular, he fell into many fantastic notions about the conduct of his servants, and, in consequence, into a peevish mode of treating them. Upon these occasions I generally observed a deep silence. But sometimes he would ask me for my opinion; and when this happened, I did not scruple to say, 'Ingenuously, then, Mr. Professor, I think that you are in the wrong.'—'You think so?' he would reply calmly, at the same time asking for my reasons, which he would listen to with great patience, and openness to conviction. Indeed, it was evident that the firmest opposition, so long as it rested upon assignable grounds and principles, won upon his regard; whilst his own nobleness of character still moved him to habitual contempt for timorous and partial acquiescence in his opinions, even when his infirmities made him most anxious for such acquiescence.

Earlier in life Kant had been little used to contradiction. His superb understanding, his brilliancy in conversation, founded in part upon his ready and sometimes rather caustic wit, and in part upon his prodigious command of knowledge—the air of noble self-confidence which the consciousness of these advantages impressed upon his manners—and the general knowledge of the severe innocence of his life—all combined to give him a station of superiority to others, which generally secured him from open contradiction. And if it sometimes happened that he met a noisy and intemperate opposition, supported by any pretences to wit, he usually withdrew himself from that sort of unprofitable altercation with dignity, by contriving to give such a turn to the conversation as won the general favor of the company to himself, and impressed, silence, or modesty at least, upon the boldest disputant. From a person so little familiar with opposition, it could scarcely have been anticipated that he should daily surrender his wishes to mine—if not without discussion, yet always without displeasure. So, however, it was. No habit, of whatever long standing, could be objected to as injurious to his health, but he would generally renounce it. And he had this excellent custom in such cases, that either he would resolutely and at once decide for his own opinion, or, if he professed to follow his friend's, he would follow it sincerely, and not try it unfairly by trying it imperfectly. Any plan, however trifling, which he had once consented to adopt on the suggestion of another, was never afterwards defeated or embarrassed by unseasonable interposition from his own humors. And thus, the very period of his decay drew forth so many fresh expressions of his character, in its amiable or noble features, as daily increased my affection and reverence for his person.

Having mentioned his servants, I shall here take occasion to give some account of his man-servant Lampe. It was a great misfortune for Kant, in his old age and infirmities, that this man also became old, and subject to a different sort of infirmities. This Lampe had originally served in the Prussian army; on quitting which he entered the service of Kant. In this situation he had lived about forty years; and, though always dull and stupid, had, in the early part of this period, discharged his duties with tolerable fidelity. But latterly, presuming upon his own indispensableness, from his perfect knowledge of all the domestic arrangements, and upon his master's weakness, he had fallen into great irregularities and neglect of his duties. Kant had been obliged, therefore, of late, to threaten repeatedly that he would discharge him. I, who knew that Kant, though one of the kindest-hearted men, was also one of the firmest, foresaw that this discharge, once given, would be irrevocable: for the word of Kant was as sacred as other men's oaths. Consequently, upon every opportunity, I remonstrated with Lampe on the folly of his conduct, and his wife joined me on these occasions. Indeed, it was high time that a change should be made in some quarter; for it now became dangerous to leave Kant, who was constantly falling from weakness, to the care of an old ruffian, who was himself apt to fall from intoxication. The fact was, that from the moment I undertook the management of Kant's affairs, Lampe saw there was an end to his old system of abusing his master's confidence in pecuniary affairs, and the other advantages which he took of his helpless situation. This made him desperate, and he behaved worse and worse; until one morning, in January, 1802, Kant told me, that, humiliating as he felt such a confession, the fact was, that Lampe had just treated him in a way which he was ashamed to repeat. I was too much shocked to distress him by inquiring into the particulars. But the result was, that Kant now insisted, temperately but firmly, on Lampe's dismissal. Accordingly, a new servant, of the name of Kaufmann, was immediately engaged; and on the next day Lampe was discharged with a handsome pension for life.

Here I must mention a little circumstance which does honor to Kant's benevolence. In his last will, on the assumption that Lampe would continue with him to his death, he had made a very liberal provision for him; but upon this new arrangement of the pension, which was to take effect immediately, it became necessary to revoke that part of his will, which he did in a separate codicil, that began thus:—'In consequence of the ill behavior of my servant Lampe, I think fit,' &c. But soon after, considering that such a record of Lampe's misconduct might be seriously injurious to his interests, he cancelled the passage, and expressed it in such a way, that no trace remained behind of his just displeasure. And his benign nature was gratified with knowing, that, this one sentence blotted out, there remained no other in all his numerous writings, published or confidential, which spoke the language of anger, or could leave any ground for doubting that he died in charity with all the world. Upon Lampe's calling to demand a written character, he was, however, a good deal embarrassed; his stern reverence for truth being, in this instance, armed against the first impulses of his kindness. Long and anxiously he sat, with the certificate lying before him, debating how he should fill up the blanks. I was present, but in such a matter I did not take the liberty of suggesting any advice. At last, he took his pen, and filled up the blank as follows:—'—has served me long and faithfully,'—(for Kant was not aware that he had robbed him,)—'but did not display those particular qualifications which fitted him for waiting on an old and infirm man like myself.'

This scene of disturbance over, which to Kant, a lover of peace and tranquillity, caused a shock that he would gladly have been spared; it was fortunate that no other of that nature occurred during the rest of his life. Kaufmann, the successor of Lampe, turned out to be a respectable and upright man, and soon conceived a great attachment to his master's person. Things now put on a new face in Kant's family: by the removal of one of the belligerents, peace was once more restored amongst his servants; for hitherto there had been eternal wars between Lampe and the cook. Sometimes it was Lampe that carried a war of aggression into the cook's territory of the kitchen; sometimes it was the cook that revenged these insults, by sallying out upon Lampe in the neutral ground of the hall, or invaded him even in his own sanctuary of the butler's pantry. The uproars were everlasting; and thus far it was fortunate for the peace of the philosopher, that his hearing had begun to fail; by which means he was spared many an exhibition of hateful passions and ruffian violence, which annoyed his guests and friends. But now all things had changed: deep silence reigned in the pantry; the kitchen rang no more with martial alarums; and the hall was unvexed with skirmish or pursuit. Yet it may be readily supposed that to Kant, at the age of seventy-eight, changes, even for the better, were not welcome: so intense had been the uniformity of his life and habits, that the least innovation in the arrangement of articles as trifling as a penknife, or a pair of scissors, disturbed him; and not merely if they were pushed two or three inches out of their customary position, but even if they were laid a little awry; and as to larger objects, such as chairs, &c., any dislocation of their usual arrangement, any trans position, or addition to their number, perfectly confounded him; and his eye appeared restlessly to haunt the seat of the mal- arrangement, until the ancient order was restored. With such habits the reader may conceive how distressing it must have been to him, at this period of decaying powers, to adapt himself to a new servant, a new voice, a new step, &c.

Aware of this, I had on the day before he entered upon his duties, written down for the new servant upon a sheet of paper the entire routine of Kant's daily life, down to the minutest and most trivial circumstances; all which he mastered with the greatest rapidity. To make sure, however, we went through a rehearsal of the whole ritual; he performing the manoeuvres, I looking on and giving the word. Still I felt uneasy at the idea of his being left entirely to his own discretion on his first debut in good earnest, and therefore I made a point of attending on this important day; and in the few instances where the new recruit missed the accurate manoeuvre, a glance or a nod from me easily made him comprehend his failure.

One part only there was of the daily ceremonial, where all of us were at a loss, as it was a part which no mortal eyes had ever witnessed but those of Lampe: this was breakfast. However, that we might do all in our power, I myself attended at four o'clock in the morning. The day happened, as I remember, to be the 1st of February, 1802. Precisely at five, Kant made his appearance; and nothing could equal his astonishment on finding me in the room. Fresh from the confusion of dreaming, and bewildered alike by the sight of his new servant, by Lampe's absence, and by my presence, he could with difficulty be made to comprehend the purpose of my visit. A friend in need is a friend indeed; and we would now have given any money to that learned person who could have instructed us in the arrangement of the breakfast table. But this was a mystery revealed to none but Lampe. At length Kant took this task upon himself; and apparently all was now settled to his satisfaction. Yet still it struck me that he was under some embarrassment or constraint. Upon this I said—that, with his permission, I would take a cup of tea, and afterwards smoke a pipe with him. He accepted my offer with his usual courteous demeanor; but seemed unable to familiarize himself with the novelty of his situation. I was at this time sitting directly opposite to him; and at last he frankly told me, but with the kindest and most apologetic air, that he was really under the necessity of begging that I would sit out of his sight; for that, having sat alone at the breakfast table for considerably more than half a century, he could not abruptly adapt his mind to a change in this respect; and he found his thoughts very sensibly disturbed. I did as he desired; the servant retired into an antiroom, where he waited within call; and Kant recovered his wonted composure. Just the same scene passed over again, when I called at the same hour on a fine summer morning some months after.

Henceforth all went right: or, if occasionally some little mistake occurred, Kant showed himself very considerate and indulgent, and would remark of his own accord, that a new servant could not be expected to know all his peculiar ways and humors. In one respect, indeed, this man adapted himself to Kant's scholarlike taste, in a way which Lampe was incapable of doing. Kant was somewhat fastidious in matters of pronunciation; and this man had a great facility in catching the true sound of Latin words, the titles of books, and the names or designations of Kant's friends: not one of which accomplishments could Lampe, the most insufferable of blockheads, ever attain to. In particular, I have been told by Kant's old friends, that for the space of more than thirty years, during which he had been in the habit of reading the newspaper published by Hartung, Lampe delivered it with the same identical blunder on every day of publication.—'Mr. Professor, here is Hart_mann's_ journal.' Upon which Kant would reply—'Eh! what?—What's that you say? Hartmann's journal? I tell you, it is not Hartmann, but Hartung: now, repeat it after me—not Hartmann, but Hartung.' Then Lampe, looking sulky, and drawing himself up with the stiff air of a soldier on guard, and in the very same monotonous tone with which he had been used to sing out his challenge of—Who goes there? would roar—'not Hartmann, but Hartung.' 'Now again!' Kant would say: on which again Lampe roared—'not Hartmann, but Hartung.' 'Now a third time,' cried Kant: on which for a third time the unhappy Lampe would howl out—'not Hartmann, but Hartung.' And this whimsical scene of parade duty was continually repeated: duly as the day of publication came, the irreclaimable old dunce was put through the same manoeuvres, which were as invariably followed by the same blunder on the next. In spite, however, of this advantage, in the new servant, and his general superiority to his predecessor, Kant's nature was too kind and good, and too indulgent to all people's infirmities but his own, not to miss the voice and the 'old familiar face' that he had been accustomed to for forty years. And I met with what struck me as an affecting instance of Kant's yearning after his old good-for-nothing servant in his memorandum-book: other people record what they wish to remember; but Kant had here recorded what he was to forget. 'Mem.: February, 1802, the name of Lampe must now be remembered no more.'

In the spring of this year, 1802, I advised Kant to take the air. It was very long since he had been out of doors, [Footnote: Wasianski here returns thanks to some unknown person, who, having observed that Kant in his latter walks took pleasure in leaning against a particular wall to view the prospect, had caused a seat to be fixed at that point for his use.] and walking was now out of the question. But I thought the motion of a carriage and the air would be likely to revive him. On the power of vernal sights and sounds I did not much rely; for these had long ceased to affect him. Of all the changes that spring brings with it, there was one only that now interested Kant; and he longed for it with an eagerness and intensity of expectation, that it was almost painful to witness: this was the return of a hedge sparrow that sang in his garden, and before his window. This bird, either the same, or one of the next generation, had sung for years in the same situation; and Kant grew uneasy when the cold weather, lasting longer than usual, retarded its return. Like Lord Bacon, indeed, he had a childlike love for birds in general, and in particular, took pains to encourage the sparrows to build above the windows of his study; and when this happened, (as it often did, from the silence which prevailed in his study,) he watched their proceedings with the delight and the tenderness which others give to a human interest. To return to the point I was speaking of, Kant was at first very unwilling to accede to my proposal of going abroad. 'I shall sink down in the carriage,' said he, 'and fall together like a heap of old rags.' But I persisted with a gentle importunity in urging him to the attempt, assuring him that we would return immediately if he found the effort too much for him. Accordingly, upon a tolerably warm day of early [Footnote: Mr. Wasianski says—late in summer: but, as he elsewhere describes by the same expression of 'late in summer,' a day which was confessedly before the longest day, and as the multitude of birds which continued to sing will not allow us to suppose that the summer could be very far advanced, I have translated accordingly.] summer, I, and an old friend of Kant's, accompanied him to a little place which I rented in the country. As we drove through the streets, Kant was delighted to find that he could sit upright, and bear the motion of the carriage, and seemed to draw youthful pleasure from the sight of the towers and other public buildings, which he had not seen for years. We reached the place of our destination in high spirits. Kant drank a cup of coffee, and attempted to smoke a little. After this, he sat and sunned himself, listening with delight to the warbling of birds, which congregated in great numbers about this spot. He distinguished every bird by its song, and called it by its right name. After staying about half an hour, we set off on our homeward journey, Kant still cheerful, but apparently satiated with his day's enjoyment.

I had on this occasion purposely avoided taking him to any public gardens, that I might not disturb his pleasure by exposing him to the distressing gaze of public curiosity. However, it was known in Königsberg that Kant had gone out; and accordingly, as the carriage moved through the streets which led to his residence, there was a general rush from all quarters in that direction, and, when we turned into the street where the house stood, we found it already choked up with people. As we slowly drew up to the door, a lane was formed in the crowd, through which Kant was led, I and my friend supporting him on our arms. Looking at the crowd, I observed the faces of many persons of rank, and distinguished strangers, some of whom now saw Kant for the first time, and many of them for the last.

As the winter of 1802-3 approached, he complained more than ever of an affection of the stomach, which no medical man had been able to mitigate, or even to explain. The winter passed over in a complaining way; he was weary of life, and longed for the hour of dismission. 'I can be of service to the world no more,' said he, 'and am a burden to myself.' Often I endeavored to cheer him by the anticipation of excursions that we would make together when summer came again. On these he calculated with so much earnestness, that he had made a regular scale or classification of them—l. Airings; 2. Journeys; 3. Travels. And nothing could equal the yearning impatience expressed for the coming of spring and summer, not so much for their own peculiar attractions, as because they were the seasons for travelling. In his memorandum-book, he made this note:—'The three summer months are June, July, and August'—meaning that they were the three months for travelling. And in conversation he expressed the feverish strength of his wishes so plaintively and affectingly, that everybody was drawn into powerful sympathy with him, and wished for some magical means of ante-dating the course of the seasons.

In this winter his bed-room was often warmed. This was the room in which he kept his little collection of books, of about four hundred and fifty volumes, chiefly presentation-copies from the authors. It may seem singular that Kant, who read so extensively, should have no larger library; but he had less need of one than most scholars, having in his earlier years been librarian at the Royal Library of the Castle; and since then having enjoyed from the liberality of Hartknoch, his publisher, (who, in his turn, had profited by the liberal terms on which Kant had made over to him the copyright of his own works,) the first sight of every new book that appeared.

At the close of this winter, that is in 1803, Kant first began to complain of unpleasant dreams, sometimes of very terrific ones, which awakened him in great agitation. Oftentimes melodies, which he had heard in earliest youth sung in the streets of Königsberg, resounded painfully in his ears, and dwelt upon them in a way from which no efforts of abstraction could release him. These kept him awake to unseasonable hours; and often when, after long watching, he had fallen asleep, however deep his sleep might be, it was suddenly broken up by terrific dreams, which alarmed him beyond description. Almost every night, the bell-rope, which communicated with a bell in the room above his own, where his servant slept, was pulled violently, and with the utmost agitation. No matter how fast the servant might hurry down, he was almost always too late, and was pretty sure to find his master out of bed, and often making his way in terror to some other part of the house. The weakness of his feet exposed him to such dreadful falls on these occasions, that at length (but with much difficulty) I persuaded him to let his servant sleep in the same room with himself.

The morbid affection of the stomach began now to be more and more distressing; and he tried various applications, which he had formerly been loud in condemning, such as a few drops of rum upon a piece of sugar, naphtha, [Footnote: For Kant's particular complaint, as described by other biographers, a quarter of a grain of opium, every twelve hours, would have been the best remedy, perhaps a perfect remedy.] &c. But all these were only palliatives; for his advanced age precluded the hope of a radical cure. His dreadful dreams became continually more appalling: single scenes, or passages in these dreams, were sufficient to compose the whole course of mighty tragedies, the impression from which was so profound as to stretch far into his waking hours. Amongst other phantasmata more shocking and indescribable, his dreams constantly represented to him the forms of murderers advancing to his bedside; and so agitated was he by the awful trains of phantoms that swept past him nightly, that in the first confusion of awaking he generally mistook his servant, who was hastening to his assistance, for a murderer. In the day-time we often conversed upon these shadowy illusions; and Kant, with his usual spirit of stoical contempt for nervous weakness of every sort, laughed at them; and, to fortify his own resolution to contend against them, he wrote down in his memorandum-book, 'There must be no yielding to panics of darkness.' At my suggestion, however, he now burned a light in his chamber, so placed as that the rays might be shaded from his face. At first he was very averse to this, though gradually he became reconciled to it. But that he could bear it at all, was to me an expression of the great revolution accomplished by the terrific agency of his dreams. Heretofore, darkness and utter silence were the two pillars on which his sleep rested: no step must approach his room; and as to light, if he saw but a moonbeam penetrating a crevice of the shutters, it made him unhappy; and, in fact, the windows of his bed-chamber were barricadoed night and day. But now darkness was a terror to him, and silence an oppression. In addition to his lamp, therefore, he had now a repeater in his room; the sound was at first too loud, but, after muffling the hammer with cloth, both the ticking and the striking became companionable sounds to him.

At this time (spring of 1803) his appetite began to fail, which I thought no good sign. Many persons insist that Kant was in the habit of eating too much for health. [Footnote: Who these worthy people were that criticised Kant's eating, is not mentioned. They could have had no opportunity of exercising their abilities on this question, except as hosts, guests, or fellow-guests; and in any of those characters, a gentleman, one would suppose, must feel himself degraded by directing his attention to a point of that nature. However, the merits of the case stand thus between the parlies: Kant, it is agreed by all his biographers, ate only once a day; for as to his breakfast, it was nothing more than a very weak infusion of tea, (vide Jachmann's Letters, p. 163,) with no bread, or eatable of any kind. Now, his critics, by general confession, ate their way, from 'morn to dewy eve,' through the following course of meals: 1. Breakfast early in the morning; 2. Breakfast à la fourchette about ten, A.M.; 3. Dinner at one or two; 4. Vesper Brod; 5. Abend Brod; all which does really seem a very fair allowance for a man who means to lecture upon abstinence at night. But I shall cut this matter short by stating one plain fact; there were two things, and no more, for which Kant had an inordinate craving during his whole life; these were tobacco and coffee; and from both these he abstained almost altogether, merely under a sense of duty, resting probably upon erroneous grounds. Of the first he allowed himself a very small quantity, (and everybody knows that temperance is a more difficult virtue than abstinence;) of the other none at all, until the labors of his life were accomplished.] I, however, cannot assent to this opinion; for he ate but once a day, and drank no beer. Of this liquor, (I mean the strong black beer,) he was, indeed, the most determined enemy. If ever a man died prematurely, Kant would say—'He has been drinking beer, I presume.' Or, if another were indisposed, you might be sure he would ask, 'But does he drink beer?' And, according to the answer on this point, he regulated his anticipations for the patient. Strong beer, in short, he uniformly maintained to be a slow poison. Voltaire, by the way, had said to a young physician who denounced coffee under the same bad name of a 'slow poison,' 'You're right there, my friend, however; slow it is, and horribly slow; for I have been drinking it these seventy years, and it has not killed me yet;' but this was an answer which, in the case of beer, Kant would not allow of.

On the 22d of April, 1803, his birth-day, the last which he lived to see, was celebrated in a full assembly of his friends. This festival he had long looked forward to with great expectation, and delighted even to hear the progress made in the preparations for it. But when the day came, the over-excitement and tension of expectation seemed to have defeated itself. He tried to appear happy; but the bustle of a numerous company confounded and distressed him; and his spirits were manifestly forced. He seemed first to revive to any real sense of pleasure at night, when the company had departed, and he was undressing in his study. He then talked with much pleasure about the presents which, as usual, would be made to his servants on this occasion; for Kant was never happy himself, unless he saw all around him happy. He was a great maker of presents; but at the same time he had no toleration for the studied theatrical effect, the accompaniment of formal congratulations, and the sentimental pathos with which birth-day presents are made in Germany. [Footnote: In this, as in many other things, the taste of Kant was entirely English and Roman; as, on the other hand, some eminent Englishmen, I am sorry to say, have, on this very point, shown the effeminacy and falsetto taste of the Germans. In particular, Mr. Coleridge, describing, in The Friend, the custom amongst German children of making presents to their parents on Christmas Eve, (a custom which he unaccountably supposes to be peculiar to Ratzeburg,) represents the mother as 'weeping aloud for joy'—the old idiot of a father with 'tears running down his face,' &c. &c., and all for what? For a snuff-box, a pencil-case, or some article of jewellery. Now, we English agree with Kant on such maudlin display of stage sentimentality, and are prone to suspect that papa's tears are the product of rum-punch. Tenderness let us have by all means, and the deepest you can imagine, but upon proportionate occasions, and with causes fitted to justify it and sustain its dignity.] In all this, his masculine taste gave him a sense of something fade and ludicrous.

The summer of 1803 was now come, and, visiting Kant one day, I was thunderstruck to hear him direct me, in the most serious tone, to provide the funds necessary for an extensive foreign tour. I made no opposition, but asked his reasons for such a plan; he alleged the miserable sensations he had in his stomach, which were no longer endurable. Knowing what power over Kant a quotation from a Roman poet had always had, I simply replied—'Post equitem sedet atra cura,' and for the present he said no more. But the touching and pathetic earnestness with which he was continually ejaculating prayers for warmer weather, made it doubtful to me whether his wishes on this point ought not, partially at least, to be gratified; and I therefore proposed to him a little excursion to the cottage we had visited the year before. 'Anywhere,' said he, 'no matter whither, provided it be far enough.' Towards the latter end of June, therefore, we executed this scheme; on getting into the carriage, the order of the day with Kant was, 'Distance, distance. Only let us go far enough,' said he: but scarcely had we reached the city-gates before the journey seemed already to have lasted too long. On reaching the cottage we found coffee waiting for us; but he would scarcely allow himself time for drinking it, before he ordered the carriage to the door; and the journey back seemed insupportably long to him, though it was performed in something less than twenty minutes. 'Is this never to have an end?' was his continual exclamation; and great was his joy when he found himself once more in his study, undressed, and in bed. And for this night he slept in peace, and once again was liberated from the persecution of dreams.

Soon after he began again to talk of journeys, of travels in remote countries, &c., and, in consequence, we repeated our former excursion several times; and though the circumstances were pretty nearly the same on every occasion, and always terminating in disappointment as to the immediate pleasure anticipated, yet, undoubtedly, they were, on the whole, salutary to his spirits. In particular, the cottage itself, standing under the shelter of tall alders, with a valley stretched beneath it, through which a little brook meandered, broken by a water- fall, whose pealing sound dwelt pleasantly on the ear, sometimes, on a quiet sunny day, gave a lively delight to Kant: and once, under accidental circumstances of summer clouds and sun-lights, the little pastoral landscape suddenly awakened a lively remembrance which had been long laid asleep, of a heavenly summer morning in youth, which he had passed in a bower upon the banks of a rivulet that ran through the grounds of a dear and early friend, Gen. Von Lossow. The strength of the impression was such, that he seemed actually to be living over that morning again, thinking as he then thought, and conversing with those that were no more.

His very last excursion was in August of this year, (1803,) not to my cottage, but to the garden of a friend. But on this day he manifested great impatience. It had been arranged that he was to meet an old friend at the gardens; and I, with two other gentlemen, attended him. It happened that out party arrived first; and such was Kant's weakness, and total loss of power to estimate the duration of time, that, after waiting a few moments, he insisted that some hours had elapsed—that his friend could not be expected—and went away in great discomposure of mind. And so ended Kant's travelling in this world.

In the beginning of autumn the sight of his right eye began to fail him; the left he had long lost the use of. This earliest of his losses, by the way, he discovered by mere accident, and without any previous warning. Sitting down one day to rest himself in the course of a walk, it occurred to him that he would try the comparative strength of his eyes; but on taking out a newspaper which he had in his pocket, he was surprised to find that with his left eye he could not distinguish a letter. In earlier life he had two remarkable affections of the eyes: once, on returning from a walk, he saw objects double for a long space of time; and twice he became stone-blind. Whether these accidents are to be considered as uncommon, I leave to the decision of oculists. Certain it is, they gave very little disturbance to Kant; who, until old age had reduced his powers, lived in a constant state of stoical preparation for the worst that could befall him. I was now shocked to think of the degree in which his burthensome sense of dependence would be aggravated, if he should totally lose the power of sight. As it was, he read and wrote with great difficulty: in fact, his writing was little better than that which most people can produce as a trial of skill with their eyes shut. From old habits of solitary study, he had no pleasure in hearing others read to him; and he daily distressed me by the pathetic earnestness of his entreaties that I would have a reading-glass devised for him. Whatever my own optical skill could suggest, I tried; and the best opticians were sent for to bring their glasses, and take his directions for altering them; but all was to no purpose.

In this last year of his life Kant very unwillingly received the visits of strangers; and, unless under particular circumstances, wholly declined them. Yet, when travellers had come a very great way out of their road to see him, I confess that I was at a loss how to conduct myself. To have refused too pertinaciously, could not but give me the air of wishing to make myself of importance. And I must acknowledge, that, amongst some instances of importunity and coarse expressions of low-bred curiosity, I witnessed, on the part of many people of rank, a most delicate sensibility to the condition of the aged recluse. On sending in their cards, they would generally accompany them by some message, expressive of their unwillingness to gratify their wish to see him at any risk of distressing him. The fact was, that such visits did distress him much; for he felt it a degradation to be exhibited in his helpless state, when he was aware of his own incapacity to meet properly the attention that was paid to him. Some, however, were admitted, [Footnote: To whom it appears that Kant would generally reply, upon their expressing the pleasure it gave them to see him, 'In me you behold a poor superannuated, weak, old man.'] according to the circumstances of the case, and the state of Kant's spirits at the moment. Amongst these, I remember that we were particularly pleased with M. Otto, the same who signed the treaty of peace between France and England with the present Lord Liverpool, (then Lord Hawkesbury.) A young Russian also rises to my recollection at this moment, from the excessive (and I think unaffected) enthusiasm which he displayed. On being introduced to Kant, he advanced hastily, took both his hands, and kissed them. Kant, who, from living so much amongst his English friends, had a good deal of the English dignified reserve about him, and hated anything like scenes, appeared to shrink a little from this mode of salutation, and was rather embarrassed. However, the young man's manner, I believe, was not at all beyond his genuine feelings; for next day he called again, made some inquiries about Kant's health, was very anxious to know whether his old age were burthensome to him, and above all things entreated for some little memorial of the great man to carry away with him. By accident the servant had found a small cancelled fragment of the original MS. of Kant's 'Anthropologie:' this, with my sanction, he gave to the Russian; who received it with rapture, kissed it, and then gave him in return the only dollar he had about him; and, thinking that not enough, actually pulled off his coat and waistcoat and forced them upon the man. Kant, whose native simplicity of character very much indisposed him to sympathy with any extravagances of feeling, could not, however, forbear smiling good- humoredly on being made acquainted with this instance of naïveté and enthusiasm in his young admirer.

I now come to an event in Kant's life, which ushered in its closing stage. On the 8th of October, 1803, for the first time since his youth, he was seriously ill. When a student at the University, he had once suffered from an ague, which, however, gave way to pedestrian exercise; and in later years, he had endured some pain from a contusion on his head; but, with these two exceptions, (if they can be considered such,) he had never (properly speaking) been ill. The cause of his illness was this: his appetite had latterly been irregular, or rather I should say depraved; and he no longer took pleasure in anything but bread and butter, and English cheese.[Footnote: Mr. W. here falls into the ordinary mistake of confounding the cause and the occasion, and would leave the impression, that Kant (who from his youth up had been a model of temperance) died of sensual indulgence. The cause of Kant's death was clearly the general decay of the vital powers, and in particular the atony of the digestive organs, which must soon have destroyed him under any care or abstinence whatever. This was the cause. The accidental occasion, which made that cause operative on the 7th of October, might or might not be what Mr. W. says. But in Kant's burthensome state of existence, it could not be a question of much importance whether his illness were to commence in an October or a November.] On the 7th of October, at dinner, he ate little else, in spite of everything that I and another friend then dining with him, could urge to dissuade him. And for the first time I fancied that he seemed displeased with my importunity, as though I were overstepping the just line of my duties. He insisted that the cheese never had done him any harm, nor would now. I had no course left me but to hold my tongue; and he did as he pleased. The consequence was what might have been anticipated—a restless night, succeeded by a day of memorable illness. The next morning all went on as usual, till nine o'clock, when Kant, who was then leaning on his sister's arm, suddenly fell senseless to the ground. A messenger was immediately despatched for me; and I hurried down to his house, where I found him lying in his bed, which had now been removed into his study, speechless and insensible. I had already summoned his physician; but, before he arrived, nature put forth efforts which brought Kant a little to himself. In about an hour he opened his eyes, and continued to mutter unintelligibly till towards the evening, when he rallied a little, and began to talk rationally. For the first time in his life, he was now, for a few days, confined to his bed, and ate nothing. On the 12th October, he again took some refreshment, and would have had his favorite food; but I was now resolved, at any risk of his displeasure, to oppose him firmly. I therefore stated to him the whole consequences of his last indulgence, of all which he manifestly had no recollection. He listened to what I said very attentively, and calmly expressed his conviction that I was perfectly in the wrong; but for the present he submitted. However, some days after, I found that he had offered a florin for a little bread and cheese, and then a dollar, and even more. Being again refused, he complained heavily; but gradually he weaned himself from asking for it, though at times he betrayed involuntarily how much he desired it.

On the 13th of October, his usual dinner parties were resumed, and he was considered convalescent; but it was seldom indeed that he recovered the tone of tranquil spirits which he had preserved until his late attack. Hitherto he had always loved to prolong this meal, the only one he took—or, as he expressed it in classical phrase, 'coenam ducere;' but now it was difficult to hurry it over fast enough for his wishes. From dinner, which terminated about two o'clock, he went straight to bed, and at intervals fell into slumbers; from which, however, he was regularly awoke by phantasmata or terrific dreams. At seven in the evening came on duly a period of great agitation, which lasted till five or six in the morning—sometimes later; and he continued through the night alternately to walk about and lie down, occasionally tranquil, but more often in great distress. It now became necessary that somebody should sit up with him, his man-servant being wearied out with the toils of the day. No person seemed to be so proper for this office as his sister, both as having long received a very liberal pension from him, and also as his nearest relative, who would be the best witness to the fact that her illustrious brother had wanted no comforts or attention in his last hours, which his situation admitted of. Accordingly she was applied to, and undertook to watch him alternately with his footman—a separate table being kept for her, and a very handsome addition made to her allowance. She turned out to be a quiet gentle-minded woman, who raised no disturbances amongst the servants, and soon won her brother's regard by the modest and retiring style of her manners; I may add, also, by the truly sisterly affection which she displayed towards him to the last.

The 8th of October had grievously affected Kant's faculties, but had not wholly destroyed them. For short intervals the clouds seemed to roll away that had settled upon his majestic intellect, and it shone forth as heretofore. During these moments of brief self-possession, his wonted benignity returned to him; and he expressed his gratitude for the exertions of those about him, and his sense of the trouble they underwent, in a very affecting way. With regard to his man-servant in particular, he was very anxious that he should be rewarded by liberal presents; and he pressed me earnestly on no account to be parsimonious. Indeed Kant was nothing less than princely in his use of money; and there was no occasion on which he was known to express the passion of scorn very powerfully, but when he was commenting on mean and penurious acts or habits. Those who knew him only in the streets, fancied that he was not liberal; for he steadily refused, upon principle, to relieve all common beggars. But, on the other hand, he was liberal to the public charitable institutions; he secretly assisted his own poor relations in a much ampler way than could reasonably have been expected of him; and it now appeared that he had many other deserving pensioners upon his bounty; a fact that was utterly unknown to any of us, until his increasing blindness and other infirmities devolved the duty of paying these pensions upon myself. It must be recollected, also, that Kant's whole fortune, which amounted to about twenty thousand dollars, was the product of his own honorable toils for nearly threescore years; and that he had himself suffered all the hardships of poverty in his youth, though he never once ran into any man's debt,—circumstances in his history, which, as they express how fully he must have been acquainted with the value of money, greatly enhance the merit of his munificence.

In December, 1803, he became incapable of signing his name. His sight, indeed, had for some time failed him so much, that at dinner he could not find his spoon without assistance; and, when I happened to dine with him, I first cut in pieces whatever was on his plate, next put it into a spoon, and then guided his hand to find the spoon. But his inability to sign his name did not arise merely from blindness: the fact was, that, from irretention of memory, he could not recollect the letters which composed his name; and, when they were repeated to him, he could not represent the figure of the letters in his imagination. At the latter end of November, I had remarked that these incapacities were rapidly growing upon him, and in consequence I prevailed on him to sign beforehand all the receipts, &c., which would be wanted at the end of the year; and, afterwards, on my representation, to prevent all disputes, he gave me a regular legal power to sign on his behalf.

Much as Kant was now reduced, yet he had occasionally moods of social hilarity. His birth-day was always an agreeable subject to him: some weeks before his death, I was calculating the time which it still wanted of that anniversary, and cheering him with the prospect of the rejoicings which would then take place: 'All your old friends,' said I, 'will meet together, and drink a glass of champagne to your health.' 'That,' said he, 'must be done upon the spot:' and he was not satisfied till the party was actually assembled. He drank a glass of wine with them, and with great elevation of spirits celebrated this birth-day which he was destined never to see.

In the latter weeks of his life, however, a great change took place in the tone of his spirits. At his dinner-table, where heretofore such a cloudless spirit of joviality had reigned, there was now a melancholy silence. It disturbed him to see his two dinner companions conversing privately together, whilst he himself sat like a mute on the stage with no part to perform. Yet to have engaged him in the conversation would have been still more distressing; for his hearing was now very imperfect; the effort to hear was itself painful to him; and his expressions, even when his thoughts were accurate enough, became nearly unintelligible. It is remarkable, however, that at the very lowest point of his depression, when he became perfectly incapable of conversing with any rational meaning on the ordinary affairs of life, he was still able to answer correctly and distinctly, in a degree that was perfectly astonishing, upon any question of philosophy or of science, especially of physical geography, [Footnote: Physical Geography, in opposition to Political.] chemistry, or natural history. He talked satisfactorily, in his very worst state, of the gases, and stated very accurately different propositions of Kepler's, especially the law of the planetary motions. And I remember in particular, that upon the very last Monday of his life, when the extremity of his weakness moved a circle of his friends to tears, and he sat amongst us insensible to all we could say to him, cowering down, or rather I might say collapsing into a shapeless heap upon his chair, deaf, blind, torpid, motionless,—even then I whispered to the others that I would engage that Kant should take his part in conversation with propriety and animation. This they found it difficult to believe. Upon which I drew close to his ear, and put a question to him about the Moors of Barbary. To the surprise of everybody but myself, he immediately gave us a summary account of their habits and customs; and told us by the way, that in the word Algiers, the g ought to be pronounced hard (as in the English word gear).

During the last fortnight of Kant's life, he busied himself unceasingly in a way that seemed not merely purposeless but self-contradictory. Twenty times in a minute he would unloose and tie his neck handkerchief—so also with a sort of belt which he wore about his dressing-gown, the moment it was clasped, he unclasped it with impatience, and was then equally impatient to have it clasped again. But no description can convey an adequate impression of the weary restlessness with which from morning to night he pursued these labors of Sisyphus—doing and undoing—fretting that he could not do it, fretting that he had done it.

By this time he seldom knew any of us who were about him, but took us all for strangers. This happened first with his sister, then with me, and finally with his servant. Such an alienation distressed me more than any other instance of his decay: though I knew that he had not really withdrawn his affection from me, yet his air and mode of addressing me gave me constantly that feeling. So much the more affecting was it, when the sanity of his perceptions and his remembrances returned; but these intervals were of slower and slower occurrence. In this condition, silent or babbling childishly, self- involved and torpidly abstracted, or else busy with self-created phantoms and delusions, what a contrast did he offer to that Kant who had once been the brilliant centre of the most brilliant circles for rank, wit, or knowledge, that Prussia afforded! A distinguished person from Berlin, who had called upon him during the preceding summer, was greatly shocked at his appearance, and said, 'This is not Kant that I have seen, but the shell of Kant!' How much more would he have said this, if he had seen him now!

Now came February, 1804, which was the last month that Kant was destined to see. It is remarkable that, in the memorandum book which I have before mentioned, I found a fragment of an old song, (inserted by Kant, and dated in the summer about six months before the time of his death,) which expressed that February was the month in which people had the least weight to carry, for the obvious reason that it was shorter by two and by three days than the others; and the concluding sentiment was in a tone of fanciful pathos to this effect—'Oh, happy February! in which man has least to bear—least pain, least sorrow, least self- reproach!' Even of this short month, however, Kant had not twelve entire days to bear; for it was on the 12th that he died; and in fact he may be said to have been dying from the 1st. He now barely vegetated; though there were still transitory gleams flashing by fits from the embers of his ancient intellect.

On the 3d of February the springs of life seemed to be ceasing from their play, for, from this day, strictly speaking, he ate nothing more. His existence henceforward seemed to be the mere prolongation of an impetus derived from an eighty years' life, after the moving power of the mechanism was withdrawn. His physician visited him every day at a particular hour; and it was settled that I should always be there to meet him. Nine days before his death, on paying his usual visit, the following little circumstance occurred, which affected us both, by recalling forcibly to our minds the ineradicable courtesy and goodness of Kant's nature. When the physician was announced, I went up to Kant and said to him, 'Here is Dr. A——.' Kant rose from his chair, and, offering his hand to the Doctor, murmured something in which the word 'posts' was frequently repeated, but with an air as though he wished to be helped out with the rest of the sentence. Dr. A——, who thought that, by posts, he meant the stations for relays of post-horses, and therefore that his mind was wandering, replied that all the horses were engaged, and begged him to compose himself. But Kant went on, with great effort to himself, and added—'Many posts, heavy posts—then much goodness—then much gratitude.' All this he said with apparent incoherence, but with great warmth, and increasing self-possession. I meantime perfectly divined what it was that Kant, under his cloud of imbecility, wished to say, and I interpreted accordingly. 'What the Professor wishes to say, Dr. A——, is this, that, considering the many and weighty offices which you fill in the city and in the university, it argues great goodness on your part to give up so much of your time to him,' (for Dr. A—— would never take any fees from Kant;) 'and that he has the deepest sense of this goodness.' 'Right,' said Kant, earnestly, 'right!' But he still continued to stand, and was nearly sinking to the ground. Upon which I remarked to the physician, that I was so well acquainted with Kant, that I was satisfied he would not sit down, however much he suffered from standing, until he knew that his visitors were seated. The Doctor seemed to doubt this—but Kant, who heard what I said, by a prodigious effort confirmed my construction of his conduct, and spoke distinctly these words—'God forbid I should be sunk so low as to forget the offices of humanity.'

When dinner was announced, Dr. A—— took his leave. Another guest had now arrived, and I was in hopes, from the animation which Kant had so recently displayed, that we should to-day have a pleasant party, but my hopes were vain—Kant was more than usually exhausted, and though he raised a spoon to his mouth, he swallowed nothing. For some time everything had been tasteless to him; and I had endeavored, but with little success, to stimulate the organs of taste by nutmeg, cinnamon, &c. To-day all failed, and I could not even prevail upon him to taste a biscuit, rusk, or anything of that sort. I had once heard him say that several of his friends, who had died of marasmus, had closed their illness by four or five days of entire freedom from pain, but totally without appetite, and then slumbered tranquilly away. Through this state I apprehended that he was himself now passing.

Saturday, the 4th of February, I heard his guests loudly expressing their fears that they should never meet him again; and I could not but share these fears myself. However, on

Sunday, the 5th, I dined at his table in company with his particular friend Mr. R. R. V. Kant was still present, but so weak that his head drooped upon his knees, and he sank down against the right side of the chair. I went and arranged his pillows so as to raise and support his head; and, having done this, I said—'Now, my dear Sir, you are again in right order.' Great was our astonishment when he answered clearly and audibly in the Roman military phrase—'Yes, testudine et facie;' and immediately after added, 'Ready for the enemy, and in battle array.' His powers of mind were (if I may be allowed that expression) smouldering away in their ashes; but every now and then some lambent flame, or grand emanation of light, shot forth to make it evident that the ancient fire still slumbered below.

Monday, the 6th, he was much weaker and more torpid: he spoke not a word, except on the occasion of my question about the Moors, as previously stated, and sate with sightless eyes, lost in himself, and manifesting no sense of our presence, so that we had the feeling of some mighty shade or phantom from some forgotten century being seated amongst us.

About this time, Kant had become much more tranquil and composed. In the earlier periods of his illness, when his yet unbroken strength was brought into active contest with the first attacks of decay, he was apt to be peevish, and sometimes spoke roughly or even harshly to his servants. This, though very opposite to his natural disposition, was altogether excusable under the circumstances. He could not make himself understood: things were therefore brought to him continually which he had not asked for; and often it happened that what he really wanted he could not obtain, because all his efforts to name it were unintelligible. A violent nervous irritation, besides, affected him from the unsettling of the equilibrium in the different functions of his nature; weakness in one organ being made more palpable to him by disproportionate strength in another. But now the strife was over; the whole system was at length undermined, and in rapid and harmonious progress to dissolution. And from this time forward, no movement of impatience, or expression of fretfulness, ever escaped him.

I now visited him three times a-day; and on

Tuesday, Feb. 7th, going about dinner-time, I found the usual party of friends sitting down alone; for Kant was in bed. This was a new scene in his house, and increased our fears that his end was now at hand. However, having seen him rally so often, I would not run the risk of leaving him without a dinner-party for the next day; and accordingly, at the customary hour of one, we assembled in his house on

Wednesday, Feb. 8th. I paid my respects to him as cheerfully as possible, and ordered dinner to be served up. Kant sat at the table with us; and, taking a spoon with a little soup in it, put it to his lips; but immediately put it down again, and retired to bed, from which he never rose again, except during the few minutes when it was re- arranged.

Thursday, the 9th, he had sunk into the weakness of a dying person, and the corpse-like appearance had already taken possession of him. I visited him frequently through the day; and, going at ten o'clock at night, I found him in a state of insensibility. I could not draw any sign from him that he knew me, and I left him to the care of his sister and his servant.

Friday, the 10th, I went to see him at six o'clock in the morning. It was very stormy, and a deep snow had fallen in the night-time. And, by the way, I remember that a gang of house-breakers had forced their way through the premises in order to reach Kant's next neighbor, who was a goldsmith. As I drew near to his bed-side, I said, 'Good morning.' He returned my salutation by saying, 'Good morning,' but in so feeble and faltering a voice that it was hardly articulate. I was rejoiced to find him sensible, and I asked him if he knew me:—'Yes,' he replied; and, stretching out his hand, touched me gently upon the cheek. Through the rest of the day, whenever I visited him, he seemed to have relapsed into a state of insensibility.

Saturday, the 11th, he lay with fixed and rayless eyes; but to all appearance in perfect peace. I asked him again, on this day, if he knew me. He was speechless, but he turned his face towards me and made signs that I should kiss him. Deep emotion thrilled me, as I stooped down to kiss his pallid lips; for I knew that in this solemn act of tenderness he meant to express his thankfulness for our long friendship, and to signify his affection and his last farewell. I had never seen him confer this mark of his love upon anybody, except once, and that was a few weeks before his death, when he drew his sister to him and kissed her. The kiss which he now gave to me was the last memorial that he knew me.

Whatever fluid was now offered to him passed the oesophagus with a rattling sound, as often happens with dying people; and there were all the signs of death being close at hand.

I wished to stay with him till all was over; and as I had been witness of his life, to be witness also of his departure; and therefore I never quitted him except when I was called off for a few minutes to attend some private business. The whole of this night I spent at his bed-side. Though he had passed the day in a state of insensibility, yet in the evening he made intelligible signs that he wished to have his bed put in order; he was therefore lifted out in our arms, and the bed-clothes and pillows being hastily arranged, he was carried back again. He did not sleep; and a spoonful of liquid, which was sometimes put to his lips, he usually pushed aside; but about one o'clock in the night he himself made a motion towards the spoon, from which I collected that he was thirsty; and I gave him a small quantity of wine and water sweetened; but the muscles of his mouth had not strength enough to retain it, so that to prevent its flowing back he raised his hand to his lips, until with a rattling sound it was swallowed. He seemed to wish for more; and I continued to give him more, until he said, in a way that I was just able to understand,—'It is enough.' And these were his last words. At intervals he pushed away the bed-clothes, and exposed his person; I constantly restored the clothes to their situation, and on one of these occasions I found that the whole body and extremities were already growing cold, and the pulse intermitting.

At a quarter after three o'clock on Sunday morning, February 12, Kant stretched himself out as if taking a position for his final act, and settled into the precise posture which he preserved to the moment of death. The pulse was now no longer perceptible to the touch in his hands, feet or neck. I tried every part where a pulse beats, and found none anywhere but in the left hip, where it beat with violence, but often intermitted.

About ten o'clock in the forenoon he suffered a remarkable change; his eye was rigid and his face and lips became discolored by a cadaverous pallor. Still, such was the effect of his previous habits, that no trace appeared of the cold sweat which naturally accompanies the last mortal agony.

It was near eleven o'clock when the moment of dissolution approached. His sister was standing at the foot of the bed, his sister's son at the head. I, for the purpose of still observing the fluctuations of the pulse in his hip, was kneeling at the bed-side; and I called his servant to come and witness the death of his good master. Now began the last agony, if to him it could be called an agony, where there seemed to be no struggle. And precisely at this moment, his distinguished friend, Mr. R. R. V., whom I had summoned by a messenger, entered the room. First of all, the breath grew feebler; then it missed its regularity of return; then it wholly intermitted, and the upper lip was slightly convulsed; after this there followed one slight respiration or sigh; and after that no more; but the pulse still beat for a few seconds—slower and fainter, till it ceased altogether; the mechanism stopped; the last motion was at an end; and exactly at that moment the clock struck eleven.

Soon after his death the head of Kant was shaved; and, under the direction of Professor Knorr, a plaster cast was taken, not a masque merely, but a cast of the whole bead, designed (I believe) to enrich the craniological collection of Dr. Gall.

The corpse being laid out and properly attired, immense numbers of people of every rank, from the highest to the lowest, flocked to see it. Everybody was anxious to make use of the last opportunity he would have for entitling himself to say—'I too have seen Kant.' This went on for many days—during which, from morning to night, the house was thronged with the public. Great was the astonishment of all people at the meagreness of Kant's appearance; and it was universally agreed that a corpse so wasted and fleshless had never been beheld. His head rested upon the same cushion on which once the gentlemen of the university had presented an address to him; and I thought that I could not apply it to a more honorable purpose than by placing it in the coffin, as the final pillow of that immortal head.

Upon the style and mode of his funeral, Kant had expressed his wishes in earlier years in a separate memorandum. He there desired that it should take place early in the morning, with as little noise and disturbance as possible, and attended only by a few of his most intimate friends. Happening to meet with this memorandum, whilst I was engaged at his request in arranging his papers, I very frankly gave him my opinion, that such an injunction would lay me, as the executor of his will, under great embarrassments; for that circumstances might very probably arise under which it would be next to impossible to carry it into effect. Upon this Kant tore the paper, and left the whole to my own discretion. The fact was, I foresaw that the students of the University would never allow themselves to be robbed of this occasion for expressing their veneration by a public funeral. The event showed that I was right; for a funeral such as Kant's, one so solemn and so magnificent, the city of Königsberg has never witnessed before or since. The public journals, and separate accounts in pamphlets, etc., have given so minute an account of its details, that I shall here notice only the heads of the ceremony.

On the 28th of February, at two o'clock in the afternoon, all the dignitaries of church and state, not only those resident in Königsberg, but from the remotest parts of Prussia, assembled in the church of the Castle. Hence they were escorted by the whole body of the University, splendidly dressed for the occasion, and by many military officers of rank, with whom Kant had always been a great favorite, to the house of the deceased Professor; from which the corpse was carried by torch- light, the bells of every church in Königsberg tolling, to the Cathedral which was lit up by innumerable wax-lights. A never-ending train of many thousand persons followed it on foot. In the Cathedral, after the usual burial rites, accompanied with every possible expression of national veneration to the deceased, there was a grand musical service, most admirably performed, at the close of which Kant's mortal remains were lowered into the academic vault, where he now rests among the ancient patriarchs of the University. PEACE BE TO HIS DUST, AND EVERLASTING HONOR!