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forced state ; and it will be found by those who adopt the diet which I am recommending, that they will regularly retread their progress in diseased action. This retrograde movement will sometimes be slow, nor must we expect, even where there is still much vigor in the constitution, that it will be more rapid than has been stated. It ought to be sufficiently so to satisfy us, when there is reason to believe that the attacks subsequent to the institution of the regimen are peculiarly salutary, and that every illness, more mild than the preceding, evolves from the frame some portion of that deleterious matter which would in time bring on premature death. What the exact description of that morbid humor may be, I leave to the investigation of the chymist or the physician. One conjecture only I will venture concerning it, which is, that the fluid is originally of a viscous nature. Some superstitious persons I have heard argue that disorders are to be received as visitations from heaven, and that there is something impious in a general attempt to supersede them. This unphilosophic view of the subject, better suited to some preceding century, I wholly disclaim ; for to my apprehension, it borders on profaneness. Surely it ought never to be assumed that such an exception has been made against the happiness of man, alone, by his benevolent Creator ; and if we reason analogously, and consider how measured, how definitive nature is in her operations, with how much exactness she apportions the substance which forms the bones, that which forms the muscles, the hair, or the nails in the foetus, iż will not be denied that the astonishing deviation from such laws of which human diseases are an instance, must be attributed to some extraneous cause, acting powerfully in contravention of the order of nature. My creed, I confess, is in the free agency of man, who, if he would but be contented to be and to appear what he really is in the creation, rather than “cælum vanis cogitationibus petere," and would honestly and heartily set about producing the utmost aggregate of happiness in his power, would assuredly succeed in effecting a great deal.
Meat and common water, or spirits, seem to occasion derangement in the stomach and liver, and an undue impetus to the brain. They disorder the skin, they check the freedom of the secretions, and inflame the whole system ; the truth of which position will be acknowledged on a very short experiment of the antiphlogistic regimen. It is a melancholy fact that scarcely has a man reached his fdrtieth year but he begins to feel the accumulating evils of these poisonous ingesta, and already to lose in some degree that flexibility and vigor which he owed indeed to the newness of his existence, but which, had they not been sapped by these malign and baneful influences, would have attended his motions to a much later period of life. And what remedy has there hitherto been found for the devoted sufferer ? In his illnesses he looks for relief to the faculty, of whom one of their own body, Doctor Akenside, has said, and truly said, “Physicians in despair of making medicine a science have agreed to convert it into a irade.” Nor is this the only shrewd observer who has taken that view of their skill. Voltaire, in the first chapter of one of his pleasant stories, exhibits the profession quite as unfavorably. “ Zadig était blessé plus dangereusement ; un coup de flèche reçu pres de l'oeil lui avait fait une plaie profonde. Semire ne demandait aux dieux que la guérison de son amant. Ses yeux étaient nuit et jour baignés de larmes : elle attendait le moment où ceux de Zadig pourraient jouir de ses regards ; mais un abcès survenu à l'ail blessé fit tout craindre. On envoya jusqu'à Memphis chercher le grand médecin Hermes, qui vint avec un nombreux cortège. Il visita le malade, déclara qu'il perdrait l'oeil ; il prédit même le jour et l'heure où ce funeste accident devait arriver. Si c'eut été l'oeil droit, dit-il, je l'aurais guéri; mais les plaies de l'oeil gauche sont incurables. Toute Babylone, en plaignant la destinée de Zadig, admira la profondeur de la science d'Hermes. Deux jours après, l'abcès. perça de lui-même; Zadig fut guéri parfaitement. Hermes écrivit un livre, où il lui prouva qu'il n'avait pas dû guérir.” “ Zadig was more dangerously hurt; an arrow which struck him near the eye had made a deep wound. Semira asked only of the gods the recovery
of her lover. Her eyes were bathed in tears day and night : she looked anxiously for the moment when those of Zadig might enjoy their regards; but an abscess which formed near the wounded eye, gave great reason to dread the consequences. They sent as far as Memphis for the celebrated physician Hermes, who came attended by a numerous retinue. He visited the sick man and pronounced that he would lose his eye; he even predicted the day and the hour when this dreadful accident would take place. Had it been the right eye, said he, I could have cured it; but the wounds of the left eye are without remedy. All Babylon, in deploring the fate of Zadig, venerated the profound knowledge of Hermes. Two days after, the tumor discharged itself spontaneously, and Zadig was perfectly cured. Hermes wrote a book, in which his object was to prove that he ought not to have been cured.”
R E V. W. L.
W. L. BOWLES,
IN REPLY TO HIS LETTER TO
THOMAS CAMPBELL, ESQ.
AND TO HIS TWO LETTERS TO
THE RIGHT HON. LORD BYRON;
A VINDICATION OF THEIR DEFENCE OF THE POETICAL
AN INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE OF POETICAL IMAGES, AND OF THE CHARACTERISTIC QUALITIES THAT DISTINGUISH POETRY
FROM ALL OTHER SPECIES OF WRITING.
By M. M DERMOT.
“ The vulgar thus through imitation err,
As oft the learned by being singular ;
Rev. WILLIAM L. BOWLES.
In still continuing to dispute the poetical pre-eminence of Pope, it would seem you are of opinion, that your “invariable principles ” have made some impression on the public mind; that it begins to pause in its judgment, to doubt the orthodoxy of the poetical creed, which has continued nearly a century to fix its belief, and to suspect the correctness of that taste which had heretofore determined it to rank Pope, if not the first, at least among the first, of English poets. In forming this. judgment, however, I suspect you have listened more to the suggestions of self-adulation, and the ambition of founding a new poetic creed, than to the sober conclusions of reason and philosophy; for I trust, that neither the revolutions of empire, nor the vicissitudes of literature, will ever lead men to believe, that the subject of a poem constitutes more of its poetical excellency, than it derives from the creative genius of the poet himself. Believing, however, that moral as well as physical diseases, are more easily eradicated in their growth, than after they have assimilated with the natural habits and constitution, you will not feel displeased, that I should address you as the author of a theory, which, if once established, would not only vitiate the purity of public taste, but send down to posterity, with diminished lustre, the character of a poet, whose name should be as immortal as his poetic genius was pre-eminent. If I prove your theory to be erroneous, you will feel indebted to me for undeceiving you, and you will remove from the ranks of those who
Lord Byron, Mr. Campbell, and the writer who reviewed your principles in the Quarterly Review, feel no hesitation in placing Pope by the side of Shakspeare and Milton. In granting him this honorable distinction, they only expressed a feeling which has long since communicated itself to all ranks. The common feeling of mankind is the true standard of taste ; but if the vox populi be the vox Dei in any species of literature, it is particularly so in poetry, the creations and associations of which, are addressed to the feelings and imagination alone. In judging of the poetical character, it is he only who can feel, that is qualified to decide; and as Nature, in the distribution of her gifts to man, has more largely endowed him with the susceptibilities of feeling, than with the discriminations of intellect, the generality of mankind are better qualified to judge of an art, whose influence is confined to the heart and its affections, than of theories that address themselves to the understanding alone. All men are not qualified to determine, whether a proposition be true or false; but all men must know how they feel affected by the sentiments and images of poetry; and as the merits of a poet entirely consist in exciting the feelings which he intended to excite, every man can tell, whether he feel them himself or not; and if the generality of mankind agree in their feelings, the pre-eminence of the poet is not only established, but demonstrated.
You, Sir, however, who are a host in yourself, and capable, if not of confuting, at least of disputing with all the admirers of Pope, refuse him the honorable station which has been assigned him by the suffrages of the public, and insist that he must descend from his throne, to rank with an inferior order of poets. You have not favored us with the names of the poets whom you
think fit companions for Pope ; but you have sufficiently enabled us to collect from the spirit of your strictures, that he must rank with no natural poet. Do not suspect that I use the word natural, in the gross and vulgar meaning which Pope would attach to it: I use it in that refined and privileged sense which it conveys in the purer diction of Mr. Bowles. By ranking with no natural poet, I
say, that Pope must rank with no poet who talks about nature, who takes his images from nature-whose subject is nature-- who affects to admire only what is sublime in nature, and to look down with indifference from the sublime pinnacle of his