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little sympathy was to be expected. With respect to the Edinburgh, it has no such excuse. Its conduct towards America has from the first been characterised by a trimming spirit. It has been afraid to say any thing in favour of America, lest it should be accused of republican propensities. In treating of her resources, her institutions, her literary exertions, it has uniformly damned with faint praise. We, having the good fortune not to be suspicious characters-at all events, above the suspicion of coquetting with democracy-dare to speak out. We say, therefore, that in the present number of the Edinburgh Review, the writer of the article on Dr Channing's sermons has sought most unjustly to depreciate the talents of Cooper. Nor can we excuse him on the score of incapacity, for his able appreciation of the merits of Channing shows what he can do when he pleases. He passes over the poets of America in silence, although many of them (Percival and Bryant in particular) are equal to not a few of the British bards lauded in the pages of the Edinburgh. Whilst upon the subject of America, we may remark, that the Quarterly has a very amiable article on the poetical remains of a Miss Davidson, of Plattsburgh, on Lake Champlain, which, to our notions however, would have been more in place in one of our juvenile Annuals.


lamp of midnight, and behind doors, trebly locked and bolted. This worshipping of false gods was a mystery of the order, like the unlawful orgies said to have been celebrated in the inner conclave of the Templars. But now their shame was in danger of being divulged by the indiscretion of a brother-the world was about to know that there were men of their number who cultivated literaThe hairs of every honest man's wig among them stood erect with horror, as if a stream of electric fluid were diffused around; every particle of powder seemed vivified by a separate soul, and arose in thick clouds, like the men of Kent hastening to rally round the standard of Protestant ascendency; and like Homer's warriors in the dark, or Milton's fallen spirits in the shades below, grim, ghastly, and convulsed visages, held deep counsel how to avert the impending fate. It was resolved that each true brother of the order should purchase as many copies as his finances admitted of; a petition was presented to the well-employed barristers for a subsidy, seeing that "by this craft they too had their living ;" and the gentlemen of the Temple were heard to mutter, that if the profession weathered this storm, they would instantly renew their proposal for admitting none to the bar who did not possess an independent fortune, for among such persons there was less danger of finding literary men, and a better prospect of raising funds for a struggle like the present. The first impression was bought up before it reached the pub

patched to Scotland, which has been engrossed in like manner. We learn, however, that the persevering spirit of Mr Colburn has not yet given up the contest; that he is preparing a fourth and larger impression, to the casting off of which all the steam-presses of all the London Journals have lent their aid, generously postponing their own interests to the great cause of literature. Two stray copies have reached France and America, and are being reprinted in the one country, and translated in the other; so affairs wear at present rather a promising aspect.

In addition to these matters, the Quarterly contains respectable articles on Systems in Natural History-the Life and Services of Captain Beaver—and Tytler's His-lic eye; a second suffered the same fate; a third was distory of Scotland. The Edinburgh contains a just and delicate appreciation of the merits of Mrs Hemans-the conclusion of which is, however, unworthy of the beginning, and particularly namby-pamby. The articles on the Life of Locke, the Memoirs of Lady Fanshawe, and Burckhardt's Travels, are instructive and interesting. The review, also, of Cousin's Cours de Philosophie evinces the hand of a master. The review of Auldjo's ascent of Mont Blanc is written by an old woman, and that of Flaxman's Lectures on Sculpture by one who knows nothing of the subject. The notice of Niebuhr's edition of the Byzantine Historians is got up on the very original principle of reading the prefaces, and turning over the leaves on chance for an occasional extract. The article on the History and Present State of Chemical Science is worthy of attention.

Tales of a Briefless Barrister. In three volumes 8vo. Pp. 306, 309, and 300. London. Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley. 1830.

A MELANCHOLY interest attaches to this work. There exists in this island, as well as on the continents of Europe and America, a numerous and ill-starred class, known by different names in different countries, but among us by the appellation of " briefless barristers." They are learned, for most of them wear wigs; they are independent, for all of them, alas! serve their country, in its courts of justice, without fee or reward; they are obliging, for, instead of superciliously waiting till consulted like their haughtier and better-employed brethren, they have been known to offer their advice (obtrude, is the expression used by the rude rabble) before it was called for; yet must all their good qualities wither unemployed, like "the fat weed that roots itself on Lethe's wharf," or like flowers wasting "their sweetness on the desert air."

We have, by great exertions, succeeded in procuring a copy of the work complete, except that it wants the first chapter of the first story, and the fourteenth of the second; and, after perusing it attentively, we feel inclined to exhort the "Briefless Barristers" to desist from a struggle, in which it is evident to every unconcerned bystander that they must ultimately be routed. They have really no interest to continue it; for it is evident that the title "Briefless Barrister" is merely assumed; for any one who has read these tales must allow that the author cannot possibly belong to that body. He is a man of taste and talent, neither professionally pedantic, nor soured by the world's neglect. He seems to have taken a name so unsuited to his character, in such a frolicsome spirit, as has sometimes led men to veil a warm and morbidly sen sitive heart under an exterior of misanthropy.

The tales are two in number,-" Second thoughts are best," and "New Neighbours." They are throughout characterised by good taste and proper feeling. They do not aspire to any thing great, but are told in a playful manner; from which, however, it is evident that they are the elegant trifling of a strong mind. We heartily recommend them to our readers.

The Comic Annual. By Thomas Hood, Esq. London.
Hurst, Chance, and Co. 1830. 12mo. Pp. 174.

The sensation excited among these people, by the announcement that one of their number intended to appear before the world as the author of a light and frivolous WE gave our readers two characteristic extracts from publication, is inconceivable. The great secret of their this Annual last week. We shall now give them one or profession, that upon which their whole success in life two more. It is needless to discuss its contents critically. depends, is to induce men of business to believe that they It contains thirty-seven distinct contributions, either in know of nothing, and care for nothing, beyond the walls verse or prose, and each of them is quelque chose pour rire. of the court, and the matters therein discussed. Some of There are, besides, nearly a hundred caricatures, all of them have been more than suspected of an heretical lean-them clever, and some particularly amusing. Among the ing to the worship of the Muses, but their adorations have ever been performed stealthily and in secret; by the lone

literary materials, perhaps the cleverest is entitled “A Storm at Hastings, and the Little Unknown;" but as its

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length prevents us from extracting it, we shall give, instead, a jeu-d'esprit not less amusing, called


"Resign'd, I kiss the rod."

"Well, I think it is time to put up! For it does not accord with my notions, Wrist, elbow, and chine,

Stiff from throwing the line, To take nothing at last by my motions!


"I ground-bait my way as I And dip in at each watery dimple, But however I wish

To inveigle the fish,

To my gentle they will not play simple!

"Though my float goes so swimmingly on,
My bad luck never seems to diminish;

It would seem that the bream
Must be scarce in the stream,

And the chub, though it's chubby, be thinnish!

"Not a trout there can be in the place,
Not a grayling nor rud worth the mention;
And although at my hook

With attention I look,

I can ne'er see my hook with a tench on!

"At a brandling once gudgeon would gape;
But they seem upon different terms now;
Have they taken advice

Of the Council of Nice,'
And rejected their Diet of Worms,' now?

"In vain my live-minnow I spin,

Not a pike seems to think it worth snatching; For the gut I have brought,

I had better have bought

A good rope, that was used to Jack-catching!

"Not a nibble has ruffled my cork,

It is vain in this river to search then;
I may wait till it's night

Without any bite,

And at roost-time have never a perch then!

"No roach can I meet with-no bleak,
Save what in the air is so sharp now;

Not a dace have I got,
And I fear it is not

Carpe diem,' a-day for the carp now!

"Oh! there is not a one-pound prize
To be got in this fresh-water lottery!
What then can I deem

Of so fishless a stream,
But that 'tis-like St Mary's-Ottery!

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"Four o'clock strikes. The company are all but gone, A few and the musicians put up' with their absence. 'figures, however, remain that have never been danced, and the hostess, who is all urbanity and turbanity, kindly The six hopes that they will stand up for one set more.' figures jump at the offer; they wake the harp,' get the fiddlers into a fresh scrape, and the Lancers' are put through their exercise. This may be called the dance of death, for it ends every thing. The band is disbanded, and the ball takes the form of a family circle. It is long past the time when 'churchyards yawn,' but the mouth of mamma opens to a bore that gives hopes of the Thames Tunnel. Papa, to whom the ball has been any thing but a force-meat one, seizes eagerly upon the first eatables he can catch, and with his mouth open, and his eyes shut, declares, in the spirit of an' Examiner' into such things, that a 'Party is the madness of many for the gain of a few.' The son, heartily tired of a suit of broad-cloth cut narrow, assents to the proposition, and having no further use for his curled head, lays it quietly on the shelf. The daughter droops; art has had her Almack's, and nature establishes a Free and Easy. Grace throws herself skow-wow any-how on an ottoman, and Good-breeding crosses her legs. Roses begin to relax, and curls to unbend themselves; the very candles seem released from the restraints of gentility; and getting low, some begin to smoke, while others indulge in a gutter. Muscles and sinews feel equally let loose, and by way of a joke, the cramp ties a double knot in Clarinda's calf.

"Clarinda screams. To this appeal the maternal heart is more awake than the maternal eyes, and the maternal hand begins hastily to bestow its friction, not on the leg of suffering, but on the leg of the sofa. In the meantime, paternal hunger gets satisfied. He eats slower and sleeps faster, subsiding, like a gorged Boa Constrictor, into torpidity; and in this state, grasping an extinguished candle, he Clarinda follows, stumbling lights himself up to bed. through her steps in a doze-à-doze; the brother is next, and mamma, having seen with half an eye that all is safe, winds up the procession.

"Every ball, however, has its rebound, and so has this in their dreams:-with the mother who has a daughter as a golden ball; with the daughter who has a lover as an eyeball; with the son who has a rival as a pistol-ball; but with the father, who has no dreams at all, as nothing but the blacking-ball of oblivion!"

We conclude with the concluding article, which is an


"The rain it raineth every day."

"The dawn is overcast, the morning lowers,
On ev'ry window-frame hang beaded damps,
Like rows of small illumination lamps,
To celebrate the jubilee of Showers!

A constant sprinkle patters from all leaves,
The very Dryads are not dry, but soppers,
And from the houses' eaves
Tumble eaves-droppers.

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"The scene in water-colours thus I paint, Is your own festival, you Sloppy Saint! Mother of all the Family of Rainers!

Saint of the Soakers!

Making all people croakers,

Like frogs in swampy marshes, and complainers!
And why you mizzle forty days together,
Giving the earth your water-soup to sup,

I marvel-Why such wet, mysterious weather!
I wish you'd clear it up!

"A Queen you are, raining in your own right, Yet oh! how little flatter'd by report!

Even by those that seek the court, Pelted with every term of spleen and spite. Folks rail and swear at you in every place; They say you are a creature of no bowel; They say you're always washing Nature's face, And that you then supply her

With nothing drier,

Than some old wringing cloud by way of towel !
The whole town wants you duck'd, just as you duck it,
They wish you on your own mud porridge supper'd,
They hope that you may kick your own big bucket,
Or in your water-butt go souse! heels up ard!
They are, in short, so weary of your drizzle,
They'd spill the water in your veins to stop it-
Be warn'd! You are too partial to a mizzle-
Pray drop it!"

Mr Hood has had little assistance in this Annual. Horatio Smith, a Mr Edward Herbert, and Miss Isabel Hill, are his only contributors. Of Mr Hood's peculiar species of humour, we intend taking an early opportunity of speaking at greater length.

Planta Asiatica Rariores; or, Descriptions and Figures of a select Number of Unpublished East Indian Plants. By M. Wallich, M. and Ph. D., Superintendent of the Hon. East India Company's Botanic Garden at Calcutta. No. I. Folio. Published by Treuttel and Wurtz, Treuttel, jun. and Richter, London. 1829. THIS splendid work promises to supply a desideratum in the science of Botany. The Flora of our East Indian dominions is rich in plants, very imperfectly known to the European botanist, and important, in an economical as well as a merely scientific point of view. The name of Dr Wallich is honourably known to botanists, and the materials for his present work have been accumulated in the course of a twenty years' residence in India, during thirteen of which he has been attached to the Botanic Garden at Calcutta, and liberally supported by the East India Company, in the charge of that Institution, and also in various journeys in Hindostan, Nipal, the Straits of Malacca, and the Birmah countries. The work is to consist of three volumes, and will be published in twelve numbers, each containing twenty-five engravings, with letter-press. The drawings have been executed by native artists, under the direction of the author. The lithography of the work has been elegantly and accurately executed, and the colouring (which is done with the hand) is extremely rich. The accompanying descriptions are clear and satisfactory. We understand that the author, who is at present in this country, will remain until his work is completed. The publication of the ferns of India has been undertaken by our two distinguished cryptogamic botanists, Drs Hooker and Greville. The work now before us is dedicated to

the East India Company, who, besides encouraging and supporting the author in his researches, have come forward with readiness and liberality to aid him in the publication.

A Glance at London, Brussels, and Paris. By a Provincial Scotsman. Edinburgh. Oliver and Boyd.

8vo. Pp. 283. 1829.

We thank our stars that we have not often read smaller

drivel than that which is contained in this volume. The author appears to be a good, weak man, without the slightest knowledge of the world, or any qualifications whatever to entitle him to put his opinions in print. He may be respected as a very worthy person in his native town; but when he "glanced" at London, Brussels, and Paris, he was altogether out of his element. A specimen or two of his style will at once prove the justice of our criticism, and amuse our readers.


After travelling "inside" as far as Birmingham, and meeting with a religious lady "of a pleasing appearance," who carried a Bible with her, talked "with regard to the import of the Millennial prophecies," and "turned up the 20th chapter of Revelations, and stated her views with precision," and after also favouring us with a hymn by the Rev. Cæsar Malan, our author proceeds in very eloquent terms as follows:-" The accommodations of public tra velling from Birmingham to London are, I presume, the best in Europe. The horses are like those elsewhere used in the equipages of the gentry; they paw the ground; and when the ostler, at a signal, lets go the curbs of the leaders, and withdraws from their front, the whole fourin-hand bound off like so many greyhounds. From the shortness of the stages, the concern is enabled to do ten and twelve miles an hour;—a most extraordinary speed to be kept up for hundreds of miles. But every thing is sacrificed to dispatch; and I hazard the opinion, that other ten minutes might he added to the twenty minutes' breakfast.” A fine practical suggestion! and worthy the attention of Sir Francis Freeling. But our "Provincial Scotsman" at length arrives in London, and when there, he waits upon an old benevolent lady ;"-he likewise sees a gig upset, and "moralizes upon the peculiar fatality of gigs and why danger should attach, in a particular manner, to that species of vehicle ;"-he likewise has the courage to visit the police-office in Bow Street; but he tells us,— "I felt at first chary of trusting myself within the precincts of this redoubtable compter; although innocence is there very safe indeed, and I daresay easily detected and discriminated from guilt." Poor innocent creature! For the fate of London, however, in the aggregate, he is deeply apprehensive." It does not seem want of charity," quoth he, "to be deeply apprehensive for the fate of this great city in the day of final doom, in such a way as the contemplation thereof might affect the understanding with uncontrollable sadness, and the heart with bitter weeping. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!" He of course gets out of London as soon as possible, having just glanced" at the old benevolent lady, and the gig, and the police-office. He arrives at Dover, where he saw a very extraordinary sight :-" When walking about the quays of Dover, and searching for something French, I perceived some men in a steam-packet, who, from their language, were Gauls (!) but, somewhat contrary to my Scotch expectations, were sturdy, alert, respectable people, having no monkey looks about them (!) some with fair and reddish hair, and not at all like Jews" (!) This was truly wonderful; but our provincial friend having got on board next morning, was determined to dive farther into the heart of the mystery; so, summoning up all his courage, he “ licly commenced speaking in the French language, having met a modest Swiss gentleman on whose patience I trespassed for this purpose." Unfortunately, however, there was a swell on the sea, which caused a titillation in his breast every lee-lurch that the vessel made," and, after “a state of incipient squeamishness," he made a "rush to the side of the vessel." In this terrible extremity, what heart does not bleed for the "Provincial Scotsman ?" It is delightful to know, nevertheless, that he arrived safely in Calais, and being " recruited so far as to be satisfied that it was market-place, where he states an important fact :—“ My an undoubted fact he was in France," he went to the first purchase in this foreign realm was something like ginger-bread, from an old woman's stall; but it contained





no ginger; therefore, I bestowed it upon a black-eyed urchin." What can it in reality have been that was thus palmed upon our author? It was something like gingerbread, but as it contained no ginger, it could not be ginger-bread. We are inclined to think that a very deep plot had been laid, in which we have no doubt the government of France was concerned, to administer poison to our Provincial Scotsman, whose real character was, perhaps, an object of suspicion. We should like much

England; there is, therefore, a larger demand throughout for trinkets, ornaments, prints, pictures, and dress." Bestowing upon him the highest praise for this wonderful discovery, we must now leave our Provincial Scotsman "in the midst of the overwhelming cincture of Parisian carnality," and content ourselves with simply expressing our regret that he ever wandered from the country town of which we suppose he is the ornament and the pride.

East India and China Trade. A Review of the Argu-
ments and Allegations which have been offered to Par-
liament against the Renewal of the East India Com-
pany's Charter. London. Effingham Wilson. 1829.

"Why then, blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark!
The storm is up, and all is on the hazard."

to know whether the "black-eyed urchin" died after eating this substance? But, in "foreign realms," marvels never cease. Our traveller met with half-a-dozen knifegrinders in Calais, and "took the advantage of having the large blade of his knife sharpened by one of the number; for, as to trusting the little pen-cutter to a French ambulatory cutler, I had too mean an opinion of their advance in the IRON-TRADE to do so." How deep the knowledge which is shown by the exercise of this wise precaution! We have, however, still more to learn concerning these knife-grinders :-" One of these smutty-bearded gentry touched the finger of another with a small hot wheel, who, in exchange, spit in his ear; the whole laughed, and there was no more ado. I record this extraordinary fact, as it was the only practical joke I saw played off in France; and, after much watching of the conduct of shoeblacks, cabriolet-drivers, watermen, coalmen, jugglers, and tonseurs of cats and dogs on the streets of Paris, I am bound to declare, that I never afterwards witnessed such a breach of politeness as this needy but jocular knife-tracting the eye of the mariner. Mr Buckingham is a grinder was guilty of."

Our readers, we daresay, now begin to understand the "Provincial Scotsman" pretty well. We shall just follow him for a moment to Paris, and then leave him to himself for ever. With the general profligacy of the French metropolis, he was of course no less shocked than he had been in London. "In surveying," says he, "for the first time, a population of thirty millions, it is a fearful judgment that charity herself is driven to form, that only a few, a very few, shall be saved from such a sum of destruction; the awful majority choosing deliberately to perish, and pass their long eternity far from the smiles of the countenance of the Eternal." Not less decided, and still more original, are our author's opinions on playacting:-"The accompaniments of play-acting are truly dreadful; it is an attendance on a diversion, in common with those of both sexes, who are avowedly abandoned to the brutal uttermost of moral pollution. I have sometimes had an Utopian idea, that the theatre could not only be purged, but made the frequent source of much advantage to mankind. Suppose a conversion scene, deeply depicted, (!) awfully developed, making impressions on the audience, similar to the religious awakenings at Cambuslang and other places ;-at the midnight hour, the horrible distress of an alarmed conscience, lighted up and represented with scenic strength; the audience lost in reverential fear; the fatal symptoms increase-agony becomes despair, and the subject insupportable: perhaps this might not be an unfavourable moment for the still small voice of the Gospel to speak forth in terms of deep and boundless affection, making its way to hearts already appalled, and, it may be, melted, by the dreadful apparition of an offended law of God. Thus have I dreamt." Dreamt indeed! Imagine Kean or Charles Kemble in the agonies of a conversion! But notwithstanding his detestation of the regular drama, our "provincial" acquaintance ventured to the Opera once or twice. "Nevertheless, during the superlative happiness I enjoyed, the occasional wantonness of the dancing came across my conscience, and the question occurred-What hast thou to do here?" Poor man! -After residing some time in Paris, he supplies us with the following truly philosophical information :-"It may be proper to possess my reader, from time to time, with those phenomena of French society which opened gradually to my view. About this time, I began to perceive how much more life is devoted to light amusement here than in

THE success which has attended Mr Buckingham's itinerant lectures was owing, in part no doubt, to the agreeable and graphic manner in which he imparted to his auditors a knowledge of the countries he described; but more to a widely-diffused and maturing wish throughout the country, to enquire into the policy of our Indian government.

This speculative question excited a degree of almost morbid interest. Mr Buckingham did not raise the storm, he was merely one of its earliest indications. He was not the breath which stirred up the waves, he was merely a bubble dancing on their crests, and so first at

man of quick and accurate conception, and has a pleasing manner of communicating his thoughts, but he has not strength or reach of mind to govern or reform a state. Above all, in as far as regards India, he is deficient in that which chiefly recommends him to our attention when he speaks of other Eastern countries—he has not an extensive personal acquaintance with it. His stay there was short; his visits extended to but a small portion of it; his knowledge concerning it rests like our own-chiefly upon hearsay. In what regards the main question at issue, he stands on a footing of equality with his less travelled fellow-countrymen. Still he has become, in some degree, the organ of the party attached to innovations; and it is through him that we are to expect to receive their pleadings and statements of fact. This we have hitherto done through the channel of his Oriental Herald, the concluding number of which was published on the first of the present month. The work is henceforth to be published under the title of the Oriental Quarterly Review. Except in so far as it may be improved by the increased experience of the editor, it is to continue in other respects essentially unaltered. It must be an interesting work, as that to which we are to look for the expression of the feelings of a large and important party in the India question, and also on account of much curious matter respecting the East in general.


Our government has as yet refrained from uttering any opinion in this matter. The India Company, if it has taken any steps in self-defence, has taken them in seIts unofficial partisans are, however, beginning to bestir themselves; and, to judge by the pamphlet we have quoted above, they seem inclined to take pretty high ground. We do not feel ourselves called upon to give a decided opinion on the question; but we think many of the reasonings contained in the brochure before us, grounded as they are on important statistical documents, are worthy of attention. As yet only the advocates of innovation have been heard, and they have done what in them lay, to stir the nation up to action upon partial averments. We do not take any part in the politics of the day; but we think the relations of this country to India a problem of sufficient importance in political science to justify our discussing it apart from party considerations, and we intend to revert to it ere long.

Waverley Novels. New Edition. Vol. VII. Rob Roy. Manual of the Weather for the Year 1830; including a

Edinburgh. Cadell & Co.

THE attractions to this volume are a long Introduction, which extends to 135 pages, and contains many interesting particulars concerning Rob Roy and his times,--a frontispiece by Kidd, representing the scene in the Tolbooth of Glasgow, on which we cannot bestow much praise,—

and a vignette by Chalon, elegant and characteristic. We may mention two reminiscences concerning Rob Roy,

which we have heard from an old lady, and which are curious. She remembered seeing the vehicle, which carried off the body of Roy after his execution, driven out of Edinburgh at a very rapid rate, as it was said that the quick motion might possibly restore animation. She had also visited the mother of Jeannie Kay at Edinbelly, and had been shown the "steds of Jeannie's nails, which she left on the wooden door cheeks," so determined was she to to remain, if the Roys had permitted her.

Ewing's New General Atlas; containing distinct Maps of all the Principal States and Kingdoms throughout the World; in which the most recent Geographical Discoveries are accurately Delineated. Edinburgh. Oliver and Boyd. 4to.

THIS is a new edition of the best School Atlas with which we are acquainted. The maps (27 in number) have been re-engraved by those clever artists-the Messrs Menzies' of Edinburgh; and, so far as we have had an opportunity of judging, both for external embellishment and internal accuracy, it will not be easy to surpass them.

A System of Geography, for the use of Schools and Private Students. By Thomas Ewing. 12th Edition. Carefully revised and corrected. Edinburgh. Oliver and Boyd. 1829. 8vo. Pp. 312.

THE best possible proof of this book being a good book is, that it has come to a twelfth edition. Mr Ewing is an active and able teacher, and all his works are excellently adapted for public schools and private seminaries.

Health without Physic; or, Cordials for Youth, Manhood, and Old Age. Including Maxims, moral and facetious, for the prevention of Disease, and the attainment of a long and vigorous Life. By an Old Physician. London. Effingham Wilson. 1830. 8vo. Pp. 271. THIS is a book which may be taken like some old lady's prescriptions if it does no good, it will do no harm. It is not very profound or new; but it is amusing and chitchatty. Health without physic is certainly infinitely to be preferred to physic without health, and the one is commonly absent if the other is present. We only wish that the "Old Physician" had not proved himself occasionally to be rather too old. His advice is often good, but his "maxims" are pretty frequently truisms.

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Brief Account of the Cycles of the Winds and Weather, and of the Circle of the Prices of Wheat. By George Mackenzie. Edinburgh. William Blackwood. 1829.

We do not exactly understand this book. It is one of considerable pretensions, but when we come to examine it, we do not find that it tells us much more than any of tific knowledge we entertain a respect, but there is no insignificant alloy of commonplace in his present volume.

the Aberdeen Almanacks. For Mr Mackenzie's scien



SINCE the publication of the article on Robert Burns, which appeared in the LITERARY JOURNAL a fortnight ago, two letters have reached us, both of which we con sider highly interesting, and well entitled to be laid before our readers. The first is from the Ettrick Shepherd, and contains some curious reminiscences regarding Mr Taylor's portrait of the poet. It is addressed to Messrs Constable and Co., and is as follows:

"Mount Benger, November 27, 1829. "Gentlemen,-Observing that I am mentioned (in the Literary Journal) as having some reminiscence about the late Mr Taylor's picture of Burns, I deem it incumbent on me to state all that I recollect about it, which certainly is of some avail, should there be any doubts about the originality of the portrait.

"On the 26th of January, 1812, I was sent for to Mr Gray's house, at St Leonard's, where I found him and Mr Ainslie, Mr Gilbert Burns, a Mr Smith, and several others, all busy consulting how best to get a sight of an original portrait of Burns, said to be then in Edinburgh. I laughed at the conceit, believing it to be a hoax, and some fair copy from Nasmyth's; not thinking it possible that a portrait of our great lyrical Bard could have so long been concealed, after every thing relating to him had been ransacked to the foundation. Mr Gray, however, had learned the whole history of the thing, and reassured us of the truth of it, but at the same time added, that the widow-lady to whom it belonged had, of late years, refused even to show it to any person, and that the only possible way of attaining our purpose, was to make interest with Miss Dudgeon, a young lady, a relation, who lived with Mrs Taylor. Mr Gray had already been off in search of Miss Dudgeon, but had missed her; he, however, learned that she was to be at such a house at such a time that day. I having met Miss Dudgeon several times in company with Mrs Izett and the late Mrs Brunton, went along with Gray, and we found the lady. At first she said it was vain ever to ask it; but when we mentioned the name of Mr Gilbert Burns, Miss Dudgeon said that altered the case materially; for such was Mrs Taylor's veneration for the memory of the Bard, that the very curiosity to see his brother would insure our recep tion, and she desired us to come at two, and she would insure us a sight of the picture.

"We accordingly went at the hour, and who the gen tlemen were beside those mentioned I cannot recollect, but I know there were either six or seven of Burns's personal acquaintances. I think Mr John Morrison was one. And in a little neat house, up one stair in West Register Street, there we found our cicerone and Mrs Taylor, a decent widow-lady, past middle life. She was retiring and diffident in her manner, and spoke but little. The first thing she did was to ask, who of us was the brother of Burns?' Mr Gray bade her find that out; and

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