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account of his escape from a shipwieck. This interesting memoir is concludHe was sailing from Charlestown to ed by several anecdotes and circumSt Augustine in Fast Florida.
stances, very characteristic, which he “ The master of the vessel was king's had not, in consequence of sickness, pilot for the harbour. This probably made found time to incorporate in their orhim fool-hardy; for in weather a little der in his connected narrative. Some windy, but not stormy, he ran his vessel of these are very amusing ; for exaground upon breakers, which had pre- ample, viously occasioned the loss of many vessels. She immediately bulged and lost her masts, “ When I was a boy at Dumfries and it was expected that her deck would School. I used to wander on foot during the separate from her ribs, and be carried out autumnal holidays through the country, to sea, as the tide was now falling. The without any fixed object. "In one of these wind, however, became moderate, and the rovings, being then in the twelfth year of accident which we dreaded did not happen. my age, I went to call upon a friend of my With some others of the passengers I had father's, without any other clothes than stripped myself completely naked, and those which I had upon me. The following lashed myself to the capstan, in order that morning I thought my shirt looked dirty, I might have something firm to abide by, and therefore determined to wash it my. and not be washed away by the waves.
self. I chose, as a place fit for this purSome hours after this, the tide having be- pose, a little meadow on the side of the gun to turn, and set in towards the har. river (rivulet) Milk, which was sheltered bour, and the evening becoming dusky, it by a ligh bank behind me. Having done was determined by those who could swim the business in the best manner I could, to make their way through the breakers, without any assistance from soap, I placed as we saw boats waiting for us in smooth my shirt upon the grass for the purpose of water at their edge. Commissioner Wyllie drying it, and laid myself, in the mean. preceded me, and when taken up, told an time, in the sunshine, upon another piece intimate friend of mine, who had come down of dry grass in the neighbourhood. When in his boat to assist me, that I should cer- my shirt was dry, I put it on, and return. tainly be drowned, as I was unable to swim. ed to my friends. In the course of the , Shortly after he had left the wreck, I deter- night, I was seized with a considerable demined upon making the same experiment gree of fever; and in the morning my myself, and, with the assistance of a stout face, and part of my body, which had been sailor, got through the breakers, sometimes exposed to the sun, became considerably swimming and sometimes wading. The red and swollen." p. lvii. weather laving become still more moderate in the night, those who were left upon the
Dr W'ells, from a very early period wreck were easily saved next morning; of his illness, which terminated in but in the course of a few hours after, the hydrothorax, looked forward to a favessel went entirely to pieces.” p. xxviii. tal crisis of it, and employed himself
He settled as a physician in Lon- in arranging his affairs with the utdon about 1784, but was so little ac- most self-possession and diligence, quainted with the methods of bring- until he had settled, with great exing himself into notice, that he was actness, every thing which he thought several years without taking a sin- important. From the 8th of August, gle fee. At last, by perseverance,
his physicians, (Drs Baillie and Lisa he succeeded in obtaining a respect- ter,) as well as himself, abandoned all able, though by no means a lucrative hopes of his recovery. He died in the practice. În 1812 he began to make evening of the 18th September 1817. some experiments, which he had long So early as 1800 he had been suddenly meditated, on dew. As these ex
seized with a slight fit of apoplexy, periments, had to be conducted in and he gives us a striking account of the night, the prosecution of them the state in which that attack left him. affected his health so much, that, had he nốt had a spirit of uncommon per
« I did not recover so far (he says) as severance, he must have abandoned to be enabled to return to the exercise of the attempt.
This spirit, however, my profession for several months, and I carried him through every difficulty, session of my memory,
never afterwards regained the complete posand in 1814 he published the results much more unfit for the pursuit of any
I became, too, in a very modest and philosophical difficult train of thought, which was the essay, republished in this volume, production of another person. I did not, which attracted the notice of the pub- however, as well as I could ascertain, be. lic in an unusual degree.
come less equal than I had been for the
pursuit of my own trains of thought ; in all bodies radiate heat in the same way proof of which, I may perhaps be allowed as luminous bodies radiate light; that to say, that in the fourteen years following the radiation between contiguous bothis illness, I made more literary efforts dies is reciprocal, and that when there is than 1 had done durirg the whole pre- no other body contiguous to the radiaceding period of my life. Dreading, how. ting one, the latter cools very rapidly. ever, another attack of apoplexy, or one of palsy, warnings of which I had almost On this principle, which is now rather daily since that time received, I determin. more than a theory, Dr Wells explained to live most abstemiously, and in conse- ed the fact which was observed more quence, took not more food when I was at than two thousand years ago by Aris. home (I dined there about four or five totle, that no dew falls on a cloudy times a week) than was sufficient for a night, and the clearer the sky, the child of seven years old, and that consist- more copious the dew. To use the ing of vegetable matter."
words of Prevost, “ Ainsi la chaleur He never had another fit of apo- rayonnante de la terre traverse avec plexy, but his health was much weak
facilité l'atmosphère pure, mais elle ened, and it was, as we have already est interceptée par les nuages
. Ceuxremarked, an instance of great perse, de vêtement. Ils empêchent l’écoule
ci font donc pour la terre une espèce verance, and of an ardent philosophical mind, that he carried on his experi- ment de sa chaleur rayonnante; et ments on Dew in the state in which en la recevant vers leur partie in. he was.
férieure, ils s'échauffent de ce côté-la,
comme un habit s'échanffe du côté “ I was at last (he says) obliged to de. du corps et par conséquent ils renvoisist. I became breathless on slight motion ; ent à la terre un peu plus de chaleur and was frequently attacked with palpita- rayonnante que ne peut faire l'air tion of my heart. My friend Dr Lister transparent.”* ( Recherches sur la Chabecame alarmed at my situation, and
leur.) strongly urged my remaining quiet, as he thought it impossible I should survive more
Dr Wells thus proves the correctthan a few months. Upon receiving this
ness of the explanation by a very simopinion, I set about immediately compos- ple experiment. ing my Essay on Dew, as my papers con “I placed, on several clear and still taining the facts on which my theory was nights, 10 grains of wool upon the middle founded, would, after my death, be alto- of a painted board 4 feet long, 2 feet gether unintelligible to any person who wide, and 1 inch thick, elevated 4 feet should look into them. I laboured in con above the grass plat, by means of 4 slender sequence for several months with the great. wooden props of equal height, and, at the est eagerness and assiduity, fancying that same time, attached, loosely, 10 grains of every page I wrote was something gained wool to the middle of its under side. The from oblivion." p. xxxvi.
two parcels were consequently only an inch This essay, composed under all these asunder, and were equally exposed to the disadvantages, is quite a model of action of the air. Upon one night, how. philosophical induction, and we could ever, I found that the upper parcel had not, we think, in the whole range of Only 4. On a se ond night, the quantities
gained 14 grains in weight, but the lower our modern literature, select any small of moisture, acquired by like parcels of work more characteristic of the Ba- wool, in the same situations as in the first conian philosophy, or more adapted to experiment, were 19 and 6 grains ; on a stimulate the exertions of a young ex- third, 11 and 2 ; on a fourth, 20 and 4; perimentalist, or to set him a better ex- the smaller quantity being always that ample of accurate and minute inves- which was gained by the wool attached to tigation. To the work itself, and to the lower side of the board." p. 138. Professor Leslie's article Dew in the It follows from this, which was found New Supplement to the Encyclopædia to occur invariably in the saine cirBritannica, we refer for more ample cumstances, that“ whatever diminishdetails than we can give here, and es the view of the sky, as seen from shall content ourselves with an ac- the exposed body, occasions the quancount of one or two of his simple and tity of dew which is formed upon it beautiful experiments on a phenome- to be less than would have occurred, non of daily occurrence, yet formerly if the exposure to the sky hal been so little understood. The whole, in- complete.” He observed, that ou 2 deed, form a very striking illustration cloudy night, a piece of glass, laid of the doctrine of heat, as elucidated over an earthen pan containing water, by Prevost and Leslie, namely, that and placed upon the ground, to be
wet on its lower side, while the up seen by the left eye, the place of the red per was dry; the glass being, in this string.” p. 41. situation, sufficiently cold to condense Another very elegant experiment, with the vapour of water heated by the strings of different colours, will be sufearth, but not enough so to condense ficient, we think, to tempt our optical the watery vapour of the atmosphere. rearlers to peruse the whole.
But we will not deprive our philosophical readers of a great feast by “ When a red string was placed in the giving them any more broken mor
axis of the right eye, and a green one in sels
. We are sure that no one fond of that of the left, I said that they both apsuch inquiries will begin the Essay peared in the common axis. But this is on Dew, without going on delighted not the only phenomenon to be observed to the end.
respect to their apparent number in
this experiment. For as the red string is We shall now give a short account also seen by the left eye, and the green by of Dr Wells's equally beautiful ex the right, two other strings become visible, periments on Single and Double Vi- beside that in the common axis, the appasion-a subject which has long been rent positions of both of which will be a stumbling-block to philosophers. found to be the same with those which He controverts the opinion first ought to follow, from the principles we broached by Aguilonius, and adopted have laid down. Should now a yellow by Dechales, Porterfield, Dr Smith string be placed between the two former, of Cambridge, and Dr Reid of Glas
as in the proof of the second proposition, gow, that an object is seen single by its appearance to the right eye will bisect Both eyes, because it is seen by each red and green strings to that eye ; and the
the space between the appearances of the of them in the same external place, in like will be true with respect to the apconsequence of an original law of per- pearances of the three strings to the left ception: And if we may venture an eye." p. 44. opinion on a subject so abstruse, we think he has succeeded in making so that, objects situated in any line good his ground. We cannot, how drawn through the mutual intersecever, afford room to detail his master tion of the optic axes to the visual ly arguments, which are equally in- base, do not appear to be in that line, teresting to the metaphysician and the but in another, drawn through the natural philosopher. The experi- same intersection, to a point in the ments are so simple, that most of visual base distant half this base from them may be easily repeated without the similar extremity of the former much apparatus. For example,
line towards the lett, if the objects be
seen by the right eye, but towards the “ Take three strings of different colours, right it seen by the left eye; and this as red, yellow, and green, and fasten, by holds quite generally. means of a pin, one end of each to the The Letter to Lord Kenyon, same point of a table. Place now their here for the first time publisherl, loose ends in such a manner, that when though formerly printed for pri, you look at the pin with both eyes, the
vate distribution, is upon a local visual base being parallel to the edge of the table, the red string may lie in the axis of subject—the terms of admission inthe right eye, the green in that of the left, to the Faculty of Physicians in Lonand the yellow in the common axis. When don, and might be supposed, on that things are thus disposed, and both eyes di- account, to have no general interest. rected to the pin, the red and green strings, But we have read it with much pleainstead of appearing separate, each in one sure, and we think that it must be in. of the optic axes, and inclined to the visual teresting to all bodies of literary men, base, or edge of the table, will now be seen particularly those of the medical prooccupying but one place, either together or fession, as it contains many minute successively, and at right angles to the vi- details concerning the state of medisual base or edge of the table; in short, exactly in the situation, which the yellow has also, in this letter, made many
cal practice in London. Our author string in reality possesses ; and the yellow sensible observations on the laws and string, instead of appearing single in the common axis, and perpendicular to the politics of Britain, which show that visual base, will now be seen as two, each his knowledge was by no means coninclined to the base ; that seen by the right fined to his own profession. eye, apparently occupying the place in rea With all the merits of these prolity possessed by the green string, and that ductions, however, we are not sure
that this book is likely to be popular, reverse the rule, and estimate every except among men of science, be- one's pretensions to taste by the dea cause experiments and sound philoso- gree of their sensibility to the highest phy, although very engagingly brought and most various excellence. An inforward in it, take up pages which difference to less degrees of excellence lighter readers would have liked better is only excusable, as it arises from a if they had contained more wonders of knowledge and admiration of higher the species, which we shall now briefly ones; and a readiness in the deteclay before them, as a finale to our very tion of faults should pass for refinemeagre abstract of its contents. ment only as it is owing to a quick Account of a Female of the White In a word, true taste consists in sym
sense and impatient love of beauties. Race of Mankind, part of whose Skin resembles that of a Neyro.
pathy, not in antipathy; and the re
jection of what is bad is only to be Hannah West, now (1814) in the accounted a virtue when it implies a twenty-third year of her age, was born preference of and attachment to what of English parents in a village in Sus- is better. sex, about three miles distant from
There a certain point, which the sea. Her parents had nothing may be considered as the highest peculiar. Her mother is still alive, point of perfection at which the huand has black hair, hazel eyes, and a man faculties can arrive in the confair skin without any mark. Han- ception and execution of certain nah was her only child by her first things: to be able to reach this point husband; but her mother has had in reality is the greatest proof of geeleven children by a second marriage, nius and power; and I imagine that all without any blackness of the skin. the greatest proof of taste is given in The young woman is rather above being able to appreciate it when done. the middle size, of full habit, and has For instance, I have heard (anu I can always enjoyed good health. Her believe) that Madame Catalani's manhair is light brown and very soft, her ner of singing “ Hope told a flattereyes faint blue, her nose prominent ing tale,” was the perfection of singand a little aquiline, her lips thin, ing; and I cannot conceive that it the skin of her face, neck, and right would have been the perfection of hand, very fair. In every respect, in- taste to have thought nothing at all deed, she is very unlike a negro; it is, of it. There was, I understand, a consequently, very, singular that the sort of fluttering of the voice and a whole of her left shoulder, arm, fore- breathless palpitation of the heart, arm, and hand, should be of the ge- (like the rufning of the feathers of nuine negro colour, except a small the robin-redbreast,) which completestripe of white skin about two inches ly gave back all the uneasy and thrilbroad, which commences a little be- ling voluptuousness of the sentiment; low the elbow, and runs up to the and I contend that the person on whom arm-pit, joining the white skin of the not a particle of this expression was trunk of the body. Dr Wells adds a lost, (or would have bein lost, if it great many other circumstances re- had even been finer,) into whom the specting this singular female, and tones of sweetness or tenderness sink gives, in his philosophizing manner, deeper and deeper as they approach several ingenious reasonings concern- the farthest verge of ecstacy or agony, ing the difference in colour among the he who has an ear attuned to the human species, to which, as we can- trembling harmony, and not spare room for detailing them, we “ pierceable” by pleasure's finest refer those who are curious about point, is the best judge of music, such speculations.
R. not he who remains insensible to the
matter himself, or, if you point it out THOUGHTS ON TASTE.
to him, asks, “What of it ?" I fan
cied that I had a triumph some time INSTEAD of making a disposition “ago over a critic and connoisseur in to find fault a proof of taste, I would music, who thought liitle of the mi
nuet in Don Giovanni; but the same This Essay is a conclusion of some person redeemed his pretensions to thoughts on the same subject, in our Nume musical taste in my opinion by sayber for October 1818.
ing of some passese in liozart, “r'ı his
is a soliloquy equal to any in Ham- looking at the productions of Raphael let!" In hearing the accompaniment or Titian, is the person of true taste? in the Messiah of angels' voices to the He who finds what there is, or who shepherds keeping watch at night, finds what there is not in each ? Not who has the most taste and delicacy, he who picks a petty vulgar quurre) he who listens in silent rapture to the with the colouring of Raphael or the silver sounds, as they rise in sweet- drawing of Titian is the true critic ness and soften into distance, draw- and the judicious spectator, but he ing the soul from earth to heaven, who broods over the expression of the and making it partaker of the music one till it takes possession of his whole of the spheres, or he who remains soul, and who dwells on the tones and deaf to the summons, and remarks hues of the other till his eye is satuthat it is an allegorical conceit? rated with truth and beauty, for by Which would Handel have been most this means he moulds his mind to the pleased with, the man who was seen study and reception of what is most standing at the performance of the perfect in form and colour, instead of Coronation anthem in Westminster letting it remain empty, Abbey, with his face bathed in tears, garnished,” or rather a dull blunk, and mingling " the drops which sa with " knowledge at each entrance cred joy hail engendered” with that quite shut out." He who cavils at ocean of circling sound, or with him the want of drawing in Titian is not who sat with frig critical aspect, the most sensible to it in Raphael ; his heart untouched and his looks un- instead of that, he only insists on his altered as the marble statue on the want of colouring. He who is offendwall ? *--Again, if any one, in look- ed at Raphael's hardness and monoing at Rembrandt's picture of Jacob's tony is not delighted with the soft, Dream, should not be struck with the rich pencilling of Titian; he only solemn awe that surrounds it, and takes care to find fault with him for with the dazzling flights of angels' wanting that which, if he possessed wings like steps of golden light, ema- in the highest degree, he would not nations of flame or spirit hovering be- admire or understand. And this is tween earth and sky, and should ob- easy to be accounted for. First, such serve very wisely that Jacob was a critic has been told what to do, and thrown in one corner of the picture follows his instructions. Secondly, to like a bundle of clothes, without perceive the height of any excellence, power, form, or motion, and should it is necessary to have the most exquithink this a defect, I should say that site sense of that kind of excellence such a critic might possess great know- through all its gradations : to perledge of the mechanical part of paint- ceive the want of any excellence, it is ing, but not an atom of feeling or merely necessary to have a negative or imagination. † Or who is it that, in abstract notion of the thing, or per
haps only of the name. Or, in other It is a fashion among the scientific or
words, any the most crude and mepedantic part of the musical world to de. chanical idea of a given quality is a cry. Miss Stephens's singing as feeble and measure of positive deficiency, whereinsipid. This it is to take things by their as none but the most refined idea of contraries. Her excellence does not lie in the same quality can be a standard of force or contrast, but in sweetness and sim- superlative merit. To distinguish the plicity. To give only one instance. Any finest characteristics of Titian or Raperson who does not feel the beauty of her singing the lines in Artaxerxes, “ What was my pride is now my slame," &c. in demic skill displayed in it is admirable, which the notes seem to fall from her lips and many of the forms are truly elegant like languid drops from the bending flower, and beautiful; but I may be permitted to and her voice futters and dies away with add, that the scene (as he represents it) too the expiring conflict of passion in lier bo- much resembles the courtly designs of Vi. som, may console liimself with the posses- truvius or Palladio, rather than “ a tem. sion of other faculties, but assuredly he ple not made with hands, eternal in the has no ear for music.
heavens;" and that the angels seem rather + There is a very striking and spirited preparing to dance a minuet or grand bal. piciure of this subject by an ingenious liv. let on the marble pavement which they ing artist, (Mr Alston,) in the present eg. trcad, than descending the air in a dream bibition or the Royal Academy. The aca. of love, of hope, and gratitude.