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and glossy, my complexion brunette, clear and smooth. My features are regular, and the form of my face oval. My eyes are fine; a certain mixture in their colour renders them bright and sparkling. My nose is well formed; my mouth, though not small, agreeable; and my lips of a good colour. My teeth, exquisitely white and well arranged, are the finest in the world. My neck is beautiful, nor need I blush to display my hands and arms. My air is lovely and delicate. My glass persuades me that I see nothing superior, if equal, to the image which it presents me. My appearance is youthful, my dress neat and tasteful. Such is my exterior form.
Others possibly are the best judges of our minds, since there is no mirror that reflects them faithfully. I am, nevertheless, persuaded that mine does not disgrace my person. It appears to me that I possess judgment to estimate things properly, though not by acquired knowledge. My mind is at once penetrating, delicate, solid, and reasonable. I profit little by the wit of others, and succeed better when guided by my own discernment than by the rules of art; I, therefore, use only my native good sense. I have frequently heard it observed (though, I confess, not without doubts of its truth), that, in conversation with me, time passes more rapidly than in other society; and that, on serious subjects, my sentiments are worthy of being adopted. Of my humour I shall speak with the same sincerity. I love praise, and return, with interest, the compliments paid to me; and, though somewhat haughty and scornful, I can be soft and conciliating. I neither oppose nor contradict the opinions of others, and I keep my own reserved. I can with truth say that I was born modest and discreet, while pride has preserved in me these qualities. I am not only proud, but indolent; and these defects have been productive of others. I take no pains to court favour, not even by flattery. I neither trouble myself to seek pleasure or amusement; yet to those who are at the pains to procure them for me I hold myself greatly obliged. I appear lively and gay, but in moderation. I take care to offend no persons, unless they wilfully call it upon themselves; and even then I avenge myself by raillery rather than by serious anger. I have no turn for intrigue; yet, should I engage in one, I am convinced I should conduct myself with prudence and discretion. I am resolute, persevering to obstinacy, and secret to excess. In one respect, I own myself the most unjust of human beings: I wish evil to those who comform not to my desires. Such as are desirous of forming a friendship with me must be at the trouble of making all the advances. In return, I make them amends, and omit no opportunity of doing them service; I defend them against their adversaries, I speak in their praise, and sanction nothing which might prove detrimental to their interest. Time, which effaces impressions from the minds of others, gives strength to mine. I am truly disinterested, but not easily duped. I never choose a friend because he can do me a service; but should he neg lect the opportunity when it occurs, I regard him no longer-he forfeits my friendship. I have not sufficient virtue to disregard wealth and honours, but enough to be satisfied and resigned to my lot. To say truth, I am neither good nor bad enough to serve myself. I am not devout, though I have through life desired to become so. I am greatly affected by the merits of others, and apt to over-rate my own; but my presumption extends but to the qualities of the heart. I am long in deliberating; but, when once resolved, it is difficult to divert me from my purpose. I strictly observe a promise, and do not easily pardon a breach of faith in others. In asking favours for myself, I cannot persist. I had rather resign my expectations than obtain them by servility. My attachment and fidelity are secured by gratitude rather than by hope. Many of my faults proceed from pride; none from meanness. If unable to conquer the pride which governs my actions, I direct it to those purposes which capacitate me to appear without blushing.
Confessions of this nature, (says Miss Hays,) notwithstanding the egotism they may display, are always interesting. Madame de Bregy preserved her charms and her talents to an advanced age, and died at Paris April 3, 1693. She was interred with her husband at St Gervais, and an epitaph inscribed over their remains.
AN article on this subject in the second volume of the Penny Cyclopædia, just published, refers to one in the Foreign Quarterly Review, from which we had some time ago made an extract for publication, and which we here give our readers. "There is more in heaven and earth" than is "dreamt of" in most people's "philosophy," those of the philosophers themselves not cxcepted; and like the German poet, with whose wisdom we have been lately adorning our pages, we are not fond of seeing any speculation, in
teresting to man's nature, prejudged or hastily ridiculed. The possibilities of truth, however, may be ill-treated by another sort of haste and presumption; and in the curious instance before us, a genuine philosophist and quack seems exposed, in all the knavery of his solemn trifling.
Hell, a Jesuit, had rendered himself very celebrated by the number of his magnetic cures, and about the year 1774 communicated his experiments and success to Mesmer, under whom the theory was to assume a new form, and the practice to become so extended as to attract universal attention, exercise the ingenuity and research of physical enquirers, and obtain the honour of a special investigation from the French Royal Academy of Sciences, and other learned bodies.
Mesmer had commenced his career by publishing, in 1766, a dissertation on "The Influence of the Planets on the Human Body," in which he maintained, that, as the sun and moon cause and direct on our globe the flux and reflux of the sea, so these exercise on all the component parts of organized bodies, and particularly on the nervous system, a similar influence, producing in them two different states, which he termed intension and remission, and which seemed to him to account for the different periodical revolutions observable in several maladies in different ages, sexes, &c. The property of the animal body, which rendered it susceptible of this influence, he termed animal magnetism. Hell's observation seemed to him to throw new light on his theory, and having caused the Jesuit to make him some magnets of a peculiar form, he determined on a set of experiments which should give some certainty to his ideas. Expect a miracle, and it will be sure to happen. Mesmer has the good fortune to meet with a young lady called. Oesterline, suffering under a convulsive malady, the symptoms of which exactly coincided with his new theory. The attacks were periodical, and attended by a rush of blood to the head, causing severe pain, followed by delirium, vomiting, and syncope. How far these attacks were connected with the state of the moon he does not mention, but he soon succeeded in reducing them under his system of planetary influence, so that he was enabled to foretel the periods of accession and remission. Having thus discovered the cause of the disease, it struck him that his discovery would be perfect, and lead to a certain mode of cure, if he could ascertain "that there existed between the bodies which compose our globe, an action equally reciprocal and similar to that of the heavenly bodies, by means of which he could imitate artificially the periodical revolutions of the flux and reflux before mentioned." Of course, as he only wanted this little matter to complete so great a theory, he could not fail to find it; and he soon announced that this material influence did exist, but in some way, for which he does not clearly account, his own body had come to be the principal depôt in which it centred, and from which it could be communicated to all others. Thus, when M. Ingenhousy came with him to see Mademoiselle Oesterline in a fit, he found that he might touch any part of her body without appearing to produce in her sensation; but when Mesmer, taking him by the hands, communicated to him animal magnetism, and then sent him back to make fresh trials, he found that now the simple pointing of his finger was sufficient to cause convulsive motions.
Henceforth animal magnetism was distinctly and definitely separated from mineral magnetism; and though Mesmer continued for some time to use magnets in his experiments, it was not on account of their own inherent power, but of the quality which he attributed to them of being conductors of the newly discovered influence: in 1776 he discontinued their use altogether. Finding his discoveries rather undervalued at Vienna, where they had been ridiculed by Stoerk and Ingenhousy, whom, in turn, Mesmer denominated "petty experiment-maker to the ladies of the court," he set out on an experimental tour through Swabia and Switzerland, where he found a formidable rival in father John Joseph Garner, already celebrated for casting out devils, which he held to be the primary causes of most diseases. Mesmer, however, showed much of that tact which has distinguished his followers in similar difficulties, and in place of questioning the truth of Father Garner's cures, at once adopted them as facts, and declared them to be the evident results of the great power he had so lately discovered. He succeeded himself in healing an ophthalmia and a gutta serena, with due certificates of which achievements he returned to Vienna. Here he undertook to cure Mademoiselle Paradis of blindness and convulsions, and after magnetizing her for some time, declared her perfectly recovered. Barth, the oculist, went to see her, and declared her blind as ever, and her family found on her return home that the convulsions continued as before. This was a sad mistake; but Mesmer, whose great talent was unblushing effrontery, pronounced it a false report, got up to injure his fame, and asserted that the girl was quite well, and "that her family forced her to imitate convulsions and feign blindness." The cool impudence of this was a little too much, and Mesmer found it
convenient to leave Vienna, and after some consider. ation determined that his next appearance should be at Paris. Here, as M. Virey informs us, he commenced modestly; he addressed himself to the savans and physicians, and explained to them his system, without, however, making any converts; he then sought for patients, and pretended to have made some cures, but as he did not attract much attention, he published his "Memoir on the Discovery of Animal Magnetism," the same work from which we have already quoted. In this he announces twenty-seven general propositions, asserting not only the existence of a magnetic fluid, as before described, but of an antimagnetic, which was so powerful in the bodies of some persons that their very presence was sufficient to prevent the operation of the magnetic power even in others. The utility of this new power is quite obvious, as it afforded him a ready means of accounting for the failure of any of his experiments. He now addressed himself to M. le Roi, president of the Académie des Sciences, and various negociations were set on foot for a public inquiry into his system, which Mesmer always managed to break off when they were coming to anything decisive. It was not, however, until Deslon, a French physician of some eminence, had announced himself a convert, and joined Mesmer in the practice of magnetism, that it acquired much renown. Their method of operating was as follows:
In the centre of the room was placed a vessel of an oval or circular shape, about four feet in diameter and one deep. In this were laid a number of bottles disposed in radii, with their necks directed outwards, well corked and filled with magnetized water. Water was then poured into a vessel so as to cover the bottles, and occasionally pounded glass or filings of iron were added to the water. This vessel was termed the baquet. From its cover, which was pierced with many holes, issued long, thin, moveable rods of iron, which could be applied by the patients to the affected part. Besides, to the ring of the cover was attached a cord which, when the patients were seated in a circle, was carried round them all, so as to form a chain of connexion; a second chain was formed by the union of their hands, and it was recommended that they should sit so close as that those adjoining should touch by their knees and feet, which was supposed wonderfully to facilitate the passage of the magnetic fluid. In addition to this, the magnetists went round, placed themselves en rapport with the patients, embraced them between the knees, and gently rubbed them down along the course of the nerves, using gentle pressure over different regions of the chest and abdomen. The effect of such treatment on delicate women might have been foretold, but it was not left to work alone.
The house which Mesmer inhabited was delightfully situated. His rooms were spacious and sumptuously furnished, stained glass and coloured blinds shed
a dim religious light," mirrors gleamed at intervals along the walls, a mysterious silence was preserved, delicate perfumes floated in the air, and occasionally the melodious sounds of the harmonica or the voice came to lend their aid to his magnetic powers. His salons became the daily resort of all that was brilliant and spirituel in the Parisian fashionable world. Ladies of rank, whom indolence, voluptuous indulgence, or satiety of pleasures, had filled with vapours or nervous affections-men of luxurious habits, enervated by enjoyment, who had drained sensuality of all that it could offer, and gained in return a shattered constitution and premature old age-came in crowds to seek after the delightful emotions and novel sensations which this mighty magician was said to dispense. They approached with imaginations heated by curiosity and desire; they believed because they were ignorant; and this belief was all that was required for the action of the magnetic charm. The women, always the most ardent in enthusiasm, first experienced yawnings, stretchings, then slight nervous spasms, and finally, crises of excitation, according as the assistant magnetizers (jeunes hommes beaux et robustes comme des Hercules) multiplied and prolonged the soft passes or attouchemens, by which the magnetic influence was supposed to be communicated. The emotions once begun were soon transmitted to the rest, as we know one hysterical female, if affected, will induce an attack in all other similarly predisposed in the same apartment. In the midst of this strange scene entered Mesmer, clothed in a long-flowing robe of lilaccoloured silk, richly embroidered with golden flowers, and holding in his hand a long white wand. Advancing with an air of authority and magic gravity, he seemed to govern the life and movements of the individuals in crises. Women panting were threatened with suffocation, they must be unlaced; others tore the walls or rolled themselves on the ground with strong spasms in the throat, and occasionally uttering loud shrieks, the violence of the crises must be moderated. He approached, traced over their bodies certain lines with his wand; they became instantly calm, acknowledged his power, and felt streams of cold or burning vapours through their entire frames according to the directions in which he waved his hand.
Mesmer now was in a fair way; he had obtained
hend those productions of human genius and skill, which are more or less addressed to the sentiment of taste. They are first employed in embellishing objects of mere utility, but their highest office is to meet our impression of beauty, or sublimity, however acquired, by imitative or adequate representation, The capacity of the human mind for receiving such impressions, whether directly from nature or through the medium of the arts, depends greatly on civilization, and that leisure which supposes that first wants are satisfied; but there exists no state of society, however ignorant, in which some symptoms of taste and some attempts to arrest the beautiful are not to be met with, the difference between such efforts and the most refined productions is a difference only in degree; the fact of the existence of the arts in some form may be always taken for granted, and it would only remain to regulate their influence and direct their capabilities aright.
notoriety, he was the subject of general conversation; money, which he eagerly coveted, was flowing on him, and he was even offered a handsome pension and the order of St Michael, if he had made any real discovery in medicine, and would communicate it to physicians nominated by the king. This scrutiny was exactly what Mesmer most dreaded; accordingly, in place of accepting the offer, he suddenly affected wonderful magnanimity, spoke of his disregard of money compared with his love of science, his philanthropy, and his desire to have his great discovery acknowledged and patronized by government; then, breaking off the negociation, set off abruptly for Spa, where he had the mortification to hear that Deslon had succeeded to his business, and all his emoluments at Paris. To console him for this misfortune, Bergasse, one of his patients, proposed opening a subscription of 100 shares, at 100 louis each, the profits of which should be offered to him on condition that he would disclose his secret to the subscribers, who were to have it in their power to make what use they pleased of it. Mesmer readily embraced the proposal and returned to Paris, where the subscription was soon filled; and, the generosity of the subscribers exceding their promises, he received no less a sum than 340,000 livres. Among his pupils were La Fayette, d'Epremenil, and M. Bergasse, to whom he was indebted for the whole plan.
Numerous writings now appeared on each side. M. Count de Gebelin, author of the "Monde Primitif," professed himself cured by magnetism, and became one of its most enthusiastic supporters, but, unfortunately dying soon after, revealed to a post-mortem examination that his kidneys were in a complete state of disorganization of long standing, and that therefore the magnetic cure had no existence but in his imagination. About the same time, Berthollet, the celebrated chemist, who had gone so far as to become one of Mesmer's pupils, announced in a pithy advertisement, that the whole was a piece of quackery, and it is said even went so far as to threaten his master with a caning for having imposed on him. But it was at length determined that a serious examination should take place, the king directed the attention of the Académie des Sciences, to the subject, and a committee of investigation was appointed, of which Bailly, Franklin, Lavoisier, and others, were members. Mesmer at once perceived his danger, refused all communication with the commissioners, and absented himself from the inquiry. His presence, however, was not required. M. Deslon, who had long assisted in his practice, known his theory, and produced the same effects, was either more sincere or more silly than his master. He laid open to the commissioners all the proceedings, displayed all his varieties of convulsions, crises, and cures, and enabled them to convince themselves and every rational person that Mesmer was a bold charlatan, and Deslon a clever dupe. Their report, which presents one of the most beautiful examples of judicious experiment and clear logical deduction, has been so often reprinted, and so gene. rally quoted, that it is unnecessary for us to do more than to repeat its conclusions.
"It shows that there is no proof of the existence of a universal fluid, or magnetic power, except from its effects on human bodies; that those effects can be produced without passes or other magnetic manipulations; that those manipulations alone are insufficient to produce the effects, if employed without the patient's knowledge; that, therefore, imagination will, and animal magnetism will not, account for the results produced."
The commissioners also notice the effect of the attouchemens in sensitive patients, and of imitation in inducing many crises to follow the first.
We have now done with Mesmer: this report annihilated him.
UTILITY AND BEAUTY-- SPIRIT OF THE FINE ARTS, THIS is another specimen of the goodness of the Penny Cyclopædia. The Diffusers of Knowledge are accused of taking a merely mechanical and unphilosophicial view of utility. But they here more than disprove the charge. The only objection to be made to this excellent article is referable perhaps to its closing remark about music; which is an art that in its union with words in general may reassonably take, we think, the higher place, inferior as it is to poetry in the abstract. For when music is singing, the finest part of our senses takes the place of the more definite intellect, and nothing surely can surpass the power of an affecting and enchanting air in awakening the very flower of emotion. On this account, we can well understand a startling saying attributed to the great Mozart; that he did not care for having excellent words to his music. He wanted only the names (as it were) of the passions. His own poetry supplied the rest.
"The fine arts are generally understood to compre
"The arts are peculiarly interesting as human creations. They are composed of nature operating on human sympathies, and reflected through a human medium; and as nations, like individuals, present evervarying modification, so the free growth of the fine arts partakes of all these varieties, and may be compared to the bloom of a plant, true to its developing causes whatever they may be, and nurtured in the first instance by the soil from which it springs. In barbarous or degenerate nations, the sentiment of the beautiful has ever been attained only in the lowest degree, while a false excitement founded on a suppression of the feeling of nature, may be said to have usurped the place of the sublime. We smile at the simple attempt of the savage to excite admiration by the gaudiness of his attire; but we should shudder to contemplate the scenes which his fortitude or obduracy can invest with the attributes of sublimity. The just value of life, the characteristic of that civilization which reduces the defensive passions to their due limits, at the same time naturally elevates the sources of gratification by pointing out the pleasures of the mind as distinguished from those of the sense; and the perception of the beautiful is in its turn the cause, as it is in some degree the result, of the rational enjoyment of life.
"The great use of the arts is thus to humanise and refine, to purify enjoyment, and, when duly appreciated, to connect the perception of physical beauty with that of moral excellence; but it will at once be seen that this idea of usefulness is in a great measure distinct from the ordinary meaning of the term as applicable to the production of human ingenuity. A positive use results, indeed, indirectly from the cultivation of the formative arts, precisely in proportion as their highest powers are developed: for it will be found that at all times when the grandest style of design has been practised with success, and particularly when the human figure has been duly studied, the taste thus acquired from the source of the beautiful has gradually influenced all kinds of manufactures. Again, as illustrating science, the fine arts may be directly useful in the stricter sense, but this is not the application which best displays their nature and value. The essence of the fine arts begins, where utility in its narrower acceptation ends. The abstract character of ornament is to be useless. That this principle exists in nature we immediately feel in calling to mind the merely beautiful appearances of the visible world, and particularly the colours of flowers. In every case in nature where fitness or utility can be traced, the characteristic quality or relative beauty of the object is found to be identified with that fitness: -a union imitated as far as possible in the less decorative part of architecture, furniture, &c.; but where no utility, save that of conveying delight (perhaps the highest of all) exists, we recognize the principle of absolute beauty. The fine arts in general may be considered the human reproduction of this principle. The question of their utility, therefore, resolves itself into an inquiry as to the intention of the beauties of nature. The agreeable facts of the external world have not only the general effect of adding a charm to existence, but they appeal to those susceptibilities which are particularly human, and it becomes necessary to separate the instinctive feelings which we possess in common with the rest of the and reflexion which constitutes taste, and which, creation, from that undefinable union of sensibility while it enlists the imagination as the auxiliary of beauty, is, in its highest influence, less allied to love than admiration. It is this last feeling which the noblest efforts of the arts aspire to kindle, which not only elevates the beautiful, but reduces ideas of fear and danger to the lofty sentiment of the sublime, which, as its objects become worthier, is the link be tween matter and mind, and which tends to ennoble sympathy and encrease self-respect.
even where the design is very simple, a powerful impression on the imagination may be excited from magnitude, proportion, or other causes. In such cases, however, it will still be evident, that we lose sight of the laborious means in the absorbing impression of the effect, and the art thus regains its dignity. It would be an invidious as well as a difficult task to assign the precise order in which painting, architecture, sculpture, and music, would follow poetry and its sister, eloquence; but it may be remarked, that the union of the arts is a hazardous experiment, and is often destructive of their effect. The drama itself, which unites poetry with many characteristics of the formative arts, and with music, is in constant danger of violating the first principle of style, viz. the consistency of its conventions, and in the more intimate union of poetry and music, the latter, though the inferior art, is too independent and too attractive to be a mere vehicle, and accordingly usurps the first place."
"With regard to the classification of the arts, those are generally considered the most worthy in which the mental labour employed and the mental pleasure produced are the greatest, and in which the manual labour or labour of any kind is least apparent. This test would justly place poetry first; but the criterion should not be incautiously applied: for in architecture, where human ingenuity is most apparent, and
O Betty Bolaine! with the days that have been,
Thy figure grotesque, and the crowd it drew after,
Now far from the city where thou wert a lion,
Thy issuing forth was the signal of muster,
To the Editor of the London Journal.
Dear Sir, August 12th, 1834. Allow me most sincerely to congratulate you upon the successful establishment of your London Journal, calculated as it is, in so eminent a degree, to further the object your writings have long shewn you to have at heart the advancement of your fellow countrymen (and country women too) in knowledge and happiness. [Our warm-hearted correspondent here expands into a strain of approbation, which the more delightful it is to us, the more difficult it becomes to repeat.] Your papers → on German literature-here you have opened a source inexhaustible indeed, and admirably you avail your self of it-every lover of German literature must thank you for your remarks on the character of Goethe, so much talked of, and so little understood in this country; but on this subject, you must allow me a remark also. I agree with nearly all that you have said about him, and I particularly admire your candid avowal of your changing and dubious feeling; but I carry my admiration still further than you do (I allude to your qualifying remarks as to his political character and conduct, and yet my opinions on politics, as on many other matters, coincide, I believe, very much with yours, and, indeed, I am not unindebted to you with respect to their formation): in the first place, I cannot remember anything in those works of Goethe, with which it is my good fortune to be acquainted, which shew that he was opposed to "the abstract theory of the advancement of society," wrruOUT REFERENCE to the designs and plans of the revolutionists of his own day. Will you be kind enough to point out to me any passages which lead you to form this opinion? But if, as it appears to me, this political "inertia" of Goethe's really had reference to the revolutionary plans which, during his time, were so rife in Germany, did he not pursue precisely that course which, under all the circumstances, was pre-eminently
the best? is it not the bane of almost all revolutionary movements that they are premature? that they are set in motion by a few active spirits long before the great bulk of the people are morally and mentally prepared for change? and can a mind of gigantic mould, like that of Goethe, be more nobly, more usefully employed, than in cultivating, morally and intellectually, the minds of his fellow countrymen? in raising the national character, in conferring upon his country the inestimable benefit of a great national literature (and Goethe, as the great model, the master spirit of his age, did scarcely less), and thus laying the surest and most lasting basis of a brilliant futurity? Had those richly endowed men, who exercised so powerful an influence upon the first French revolution, thus employed themselves, might not these still, notwithstanding all drawbacks, inestimable advantages, which are accruing and will accrue from that event, have been obtained, perhaps indeed at a period somewhat later, but at how much less dreadful a cost? When again we consider the actual condition of that little state, of which Goethe was the ornament, and remember the character of the rule of its excellent and truly magnanimous monarch, and how under that rule it was steadily advancing in the only path to true greatness, can we think, with patience, of political intrigue and violent revolution? If we cannot, what must Goethe have thought of them? And where shall we find nobler patriotism than that displayed by Goethe upon the memorable approach of the French, described, I think, by Baron Fálk, and so vividly translated by Mrs Austin, in what you justly term her " delightful characteristics?"
Pardon, dear Mr Editor, the unreasonable length of this; but, on such a subject it is difficult to stop, even though one's thoughts should have neither novelty nor value to recommend them. There are several other points on which I wished to say a word to you, but pressing matters demand my attention, and thus your patience will be spared.
Believe me, dear sir, yours most respectfully,
GOETHE AND LA FAYETTE.
In the 19th Number of your excellent Journal, speaking of Goethe and La Fayette, you say "there is no comparison between the powers of these two great men." Goethe, undoubtedly, was a man of far greater literary attainments than La Fayette; but whose mind was the more pure and exalted-who did more for the great and glorious work of Universal Freedom? It is not the powers a man has, it is the use he turns them to. Goethe seems to have had no feeling towards the advancement of his native Germany from the abject state in which it was, and is, but sat himself down contentedly, without endeavouring to effect a change.
There is one excuse for his not endeavouring to effect a change. He was born and brought up in the old system, was the favourite of a Duke, and it was his interest to remain as he did.
But what can be more noble than the disinterested conduct of La Fayette, born in France, when he saw the glorious cause of Freedom required him; he went to America to render his valuable assistance to the heroic Americans? What could be more disinterested than this? Who could turn his powers to a better purpose?
We are sent into the world to benefit one another, to do the greatest good we can-and he who turns his powers to the best purpose is far superior to him who, having those powers, allows them to lie dormant. Goethe has done nothing towards the advancement of Freedom-La Fayette has done all he was able. J. D., A CONSTANT READER.
August 16th, 1834.
[We give insertion to these two letters, in fairness, because we touched upon the politics of Goethe ourselves. But as we did it in no controversial spirit (such not being the object of our Journal) our correspondents, and others interested in the question, will not take it amiss, if we here close the discussion on the political part of Goethe's character. We cannot refer at the moment to the proofs required by E. E. We took our impression from what appeared to us to be the whole tone of Goethe's mind, whenever it touched on the subject. His friends in general, if we are not mistaken, have the same impression. But we never confounded an objection to violent revolutions with an objection to improvement. We only doubted how far Goethe would have approved any change connected with Governments. However, we must not re-open the subject ourselves. With regard to La Fayette, we certainly thought his head of a far inferior character to that of Goethe's, though not so his heart, where the happiest wisdom lies. And the greatest intellects, in our opinion, do not rank at the very top of their species, any more than the means rank above the end. The instinctive wisdom of the heart can realize, while the all-mooting subtlety of the head is only doubting. It is a beautiful feature in the angelical hierarchy of the Jews, that the Seraphs rank first, and the Cherubs after; that is to say, Love before Knowledge.—Edit.]
Modern German Nobleman.—We should change our notion of the German nobleman: that ancient, thirsty, thick-headed, sixteen-quartered Baron, who still hovers in our minds, never did exist in such perfection, and is now as extinct as our own Squire Western. His descendant is a man of culture, other aims, and other habits. We question whether there is an aristocracy in Europe, which, taken as a whole, both in a public and private capacity, more honours art and literature, and does more both in public and private to encourage them. Excluded from society! What, we would ask, was Wieland's, Schiller's, Herder's, Johannes Müller's society? Has not Goethe, by birth a Frankfort burgher, been, since his twentysixth year, the companion not of nobles but of princes, and for half his life a minister of state? And is not this man, unrivalled in so many far deeper qualities, known also and felt to be unrivalled in nobleness of breeding and bearing; fit, not to learn of princes in this respect, but by the example of his daily life to teach them?-Carlyle.
MR. D'ISRAELI AND ALBERTUS
To the Editor of the London Journal. Hampstead, 22d Aug. 1834. SIR, I may as well begin by confessing that for the last one and twenty weeks, I have been longing to freight a sheet of note-paper with some of the secret produce of my little hermitage, and boldly to launch it into the dense sea of smoke beneath me, till it should be landed at your busy wharf, and garnered under your eye. I would have sent you a smile, but all the world has been smiling on you: a sonnet, but you are growing formidable to sonnetteers: a tale of true adventure, but I wished not only to be, but to seem true: at last my mind is made up, and I am going to send you a little indignation. I might find it in my heart to upbraid you with the overrunning extent of some of your selections, which provoke me whenever they curtail the pure flow of your own wit; but, Sir, it is against the nature of these extracts that I now more seriously protest. You have burned incense on the shrines of art, poetry, and truth, and believe me the chiffonnier which Mr D'Israeli has built for his fame to stand upon is unworthy of you. I take the first sentence of your last extract (L. J. p. 165) as a specimen. The name of Albertus Magnus was not De Groot, but he belonged to the Bolstadt family, and was born at Lavingen, in Suabia, not in Holland as this bastard-Duteli appellation seems to imply. Albertus is never styled Grotius, nor was Hugo Grotius ever styled Magnus. In fact, the name Groot has nothing to do with the Philosopher of Cologne, and the word Groot has nothing to do with the idea of greatness, except in Low Dutch. That Albertus Magnus deserved his sirname, those who have read "Stella Clericorum" know. In that number I fear that Mr D'Israeli cannot be counted; but he might have known that Thomas Aquinas was the pupil, not the master, of this great man: it was Albert who first discovered the intellectual energies of the future Doctor, and who strengthened the early piety of the future Saint. Everybody knows that when the schoolfellows of the young Aquinas called him "the ox," from his apparent stupidity, Albert replied that "he was an ox who would astonish the world with his bellowing."
Magus" of Roger Bacon; but the title of that work Your extract goes on to mention the "Opus is "Opus Majus," in contra-distinction to the Opus Minus, and Opus Tertium of the same author. The two latter exist only in manuscript, the former was all writings of solemn science, energetic freedom, and published a century ago by Dr Jebb: but they were dignified truth, unmixed with the conceits which Mr d'Israeli dreams of: by the change of a letter (perhaps by a misprint), the name of a great work, which may be termed the first British Instauration, is converted into the barbarous denomination of a book of necromancy.
Yours very sincerely,
• Or Lawingen.
+ The treatise De Secretis' was written by Heinrich von Sachsen, one of Albert's pupils.
[We are loth to admit controversial matters, and hard words into this our most peaceful journal, even though tempted by able correspondents; though, as Mr 'D'Israeli is not very tender himself in such matters, he might be prepared for a little rough handling, and possibly take a pleasure in it. We have thought it best, however, to omit a passage at the close of this letter, especially as the mistake in the preceding paragraph originated with the London Journal, and not with Mr D'Israeli; being, as our correspondent conjectured, an error of the press. In future, we have reason for believing, these errors will be much less numerous than we regret to say they have been. As to Mr D'Israeli's book, we cannot but be thankful to subjects so curious; but we are conscious of having a work which has furnished us so many extracts on made both these, and extracts from other works, of late, somewhat too long; and mean to improve in that respect; as our present number, we trust, will testify.-Edit.]
The verses from Pinkney's Green next week. We should be glad to hear, on other subjects, from MARK LEMON. Those of the two papers sent us do not happen to suit our journal. The articles are left for him at the publisher's.
IMPENNIS will not be forgotten. Nor Les Deux Amis. To judge from the ease, vivacity, and untiredness of the rhymes of our old acquaintance, Mr Wilson, of Hatton Garden, he ought to be one of the best dancers extant. We heartily wish success to his Ball, though we are unable to attend it.
LONDON: Published by H. HoOPER, 13, Pall Mall East. From the Steam-Press of C. & W. REYNELL, Little Pulteney-street.
TO ASSIST THE ENQUIRING, ANIMATE THE STRUGGLING, AND SYMPATHIZE WITH ALL.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 10, 1834.
DANCING AND DANCERS.
WHILE Tory genius boasts of its poetic Wilson, and ornithology of his brother, and the fine arts of Wilson "the English Claude," the minor graces insist upon having their Wilson too in the person of the eminent Mr Thomas Wilson, author of several dramatic pieces, and inductor of ladies and gentlemen into the · shapely and salutary art of dancing.
This old, though doubtless at the same time everyoung acquaintance of ours, who has done us the honour for several years past of making us acquainted with his movements, and inviting us to his balls, which it has not been our good fortune to be able to attend, always sends us, with his invitations, a placard of equal wit and dimensions, in which he takes patriotic occasion to set forth the virtues of his art. He does not affect to despise its ordinary profits, income-wards. That would be a want of candour, unbefitting the intireness of his wisdom. On the contrary, dancing being a liberal art, he is studious to inculcate an equally liberal acknowledgment on the part of those who are indebted to it. But being a man of a reflective turn of leg, and great animal spirits, he omits no opportunity of shewing how good his art is for the happiness as well as the graces of his countrymen, how it renders them light of spirit as well as body, shakes melancholy out of their livers, and will not at all suffer them to be gouty. Nay, he says it is their own faults if they grow old.
We hardly dare to introduce, abruptly, the remarks on this head which form the commencement of his present year's Exposé. But the energy of Mr Wilson's philanthropy forces its way through his elegancies; the good to be done is a greater thing, in his mind, even than the graces with which he invests it; and in answer to his question, “Why don't every body dance?" he says, in a passion of sincerity which sweeps objection away with it," Because the English prefer the pleasures of the table and sedentary amusements, with their gout, apoplexy, shortness of breath, spindle-shanks, and rum-puncheon bellies," (pardon us, O Bacchus of Anacreon!) "to the more wholesome and healthy recreation of dancing. If you ask a person of fifty (says he) to take a dance, the usual reply is, My dancing days are gone by; it's not fit amusement for people of my time of life,' and such like idle cant; for idle cant it really is, as these pretences are either made as excuses for idleness, or to comply with the usual fastidious customs of the day. They manage things better in France, as Yorick says; for it would be quite as difficult, amongst that polite and social people, to find a person of fifty who did not dance, as it is in gloomy, cold, calculating Old England, to find one who has good sense enough to laugh at these fastidious notions, with a sufficient stock of social animal spirits to share in this polite and exhilirating amusement. Moreover, if we wanted a sanction to continue to dance as long as we are able, I could here give a list (had I room) of a hundred eminent persons, who did not consider it a disgrace to dance, even at a very advanced age; amongst the number, Socrates, one of the wisest men and greatest philosophers that ever lived, used to dance for his exercise and amusement when he was upwards of seventy. Read this, ye gormands and card-players of fifty, and if you are wise, and would
[From the Steam-Press of C. & W. REYNELL, Little Pulteney-street.]
Truly, we fear that the tip-end of Mr Wilson's indignant bow strikes hard upon many a venerable gout, and that these dancing philosophers of Kirby street have the advantage of a great many otherwise sage people who take pills instead of exercise, and think to substitute powders and lotions for those more ancient usages, yclept the laws of the universe. Such, as Mr Wilson tells us, was the philosophy of Socrates. There can be no doubt of it; it was the philosophy of all his countrymen, the Greeks, with whom dancing formed a part of their very worship, and who had figures accordingly, fit to go to church and thank heaven with. Bacchus himself, with them, was a dancer, and a slender-waisted young gentleman. Such was also the philosophy of Mr Wilson's brother poet, Soame Jenyns, a lively old gentleman of the last century, who wrote a poem on the "Art of Dancing," from which Mr Wilson should give us some extracts in his next placard; (we wish we had it by us); and what is curious, and shows how accustomed these saltatory sages are to consider the interests of the whole human being, spiritual as well as bodily, Mr Jenyns had a poetical precursor on that subject, who was no less a personage than a chief justice in the time of Elizabeth,-Sir John Davies, and who, like himself, wrote also on religious matters, and the Immortality of the Soul. Sir John, however, appears not to have sufficiently practised his own precepts, for he died of apoplexy at fifty-seven,-a very crude and juvenile age, according to Mr Wilson. But then he was a lawyer, and injudicious enough to be a judge, -to sit bundled up in cloth and ermine, instead of dancing in a "light cymar." Again, there was Sir Christopher Hatton, Chancellor in the time of Elizabeth, who is said to have absolutely danced himself into that venerable position, through a series of extraordinary steps of court favour, commencing in a ball-room, and not improbably either; for, like some of his great brethren in that office, Sir Christopher appears to have been a truly universal genius, able, "like the elephant's trunk," to pick up his pin as well as knock down his tiger, and it is not to be wondered at if sovereigns sometimes get at a knowledge of the profounder faculties of a man, through the medium of his more entertaining ones. The Chancellor, however, appears to have turned his dancing to no better account, ultimately, than the Justice; for they say he died prematurely of a broken heart, because the queen pressed him for a debt,—an end worthier of a courtier than of a sage and dancer. This it is to acquire legal habits, and "make the worse appear the better reason," even to one's-self. Hatton should have been above his law, and stuck to his legs,-to his natural understanding, as a punster would call it; and then nothing would have overthrown him. Gray, with a poet's license, represents him as dancing after he was Chancellor. It is a pity it was not true.
PRICE THREE HALFPENce.
My grave Lord Keeper led the brawls; His seal and maces danc'd before him. His high crown'd hat and satin doublet Moved the stout heart of England's queen, Though Pope and Spaniard could not trouble it. Sir Christopher bequeathed his name to Hatton Garden; so that Mr Wilson resides in fit neighbourhood, and doubtless has visions of cavaliers and maids of honour in ruffs, "sporting their toes" through his dreams by night.
Our artist's vindication of the juvenility of dancers at fifty, reminds us of a pleasant realization we experienced the other day of a stage joke, nay, of a great improvement on it,-a Romance of Real Life. In one of Colman's farces, an old man hearing another called old, and understanding he was only forty, exclaims "Forty! quite a boy!" We heard this opinion pronounced upon a man of sixty, by an old gentleman, who, we suppose, must be eighty, or thereabouts. It was in an omnibus, in which he was returning from a city dinner, jovial and toothless, his rosy gills gracing his white locks; an Anacreon in broad-cloth. Some friend of his was telling him of the death of an acquaintance, and in answer to his question respecting the cause of it, said he did not know, but that the deceased was "sixty years of age." The remark seemed hardly to be an indiscretion in the ears of the venerable old boy, he considered it so very inapplicable. "Sixty!" cried he, with a lisp that was really robust; "well, that's nothing you know, compared with life. Why, he was quite a boy." Wilson. This must have been a dancer. Edit. Or a rider.
W. Well, horseback is a kind of dancing. Edit. Or a walker.
W. Well, walking is dancing too; that is to say, good walking. You know, my dear sir, people are said to "walk a minuet."
Edit. But they say dancers are not good walkers. W. How, sir! Dancers not good walkers!! It is true, I must allow in candour, that some professional dancers are apt to turn out their toes a little too much; but not all, my dear sir-not the best: and, as to dancers in general, I will affirm, meo periculo (as the philosopher says), they walk exquisitely —à la merveille. Come and see my dancers walking into the ball-room, or my new dance of the "Rival Beauties;"" thirty young ladies," sir, all moving to the sweet and peaceful battle at once. See how they walk, my dear sir. You would never forget it.
Edit. I shall never forget it, as it is, Mr Wilson. I see it, in imagination, painted in the beautiful red letters of your placard, and do not wonder that you are a man in request for Richmond parties, and records of it in verse.
Here Mr Wilson finishes the dialogue with a bow, to which it would be bad taste and an anti-climax to
reply. There is a final and triumphant silence of eloquence, to which nothing can be said.
To return to the matter of age. There can be no doubt that dancers of fifty are a very different sort of quinquagenarians from sitters of fifty, and that men of the same age often resemble each other in no other respect. "The same is not the same.' Some people may even be said to have begun life over again, at a time when the dissipated and the sullen are preparing to give it up. It is not necessary to mention such cases as those of Old Parr. Marmontel
a man of letters, of taste and fancy, and therefore, it is to be presumed, of no very coarse organizationmarried at fifty-six, and, after living happily with a family born to him, died at the age of seventy-seven. But though a man of letters, and living at a period when there was great license of manners, to which his own had formed no very rigid exception-he had led, upon the whole, a natural life, and was temperate. Besides, Nature is very indulgent to those who do not violently contradict her with artificial habits, excesses of the table, or sullen thoughts. She hates alike the extremes, not of cheerfulness, but of Comus and of Melancholy. A venerable gentleman of Norfolk, now living, married and had an heir born to his estate at a venerable age, which nobody thought of treating with jests of a certain kind; for he also had been a denizen of the natural world, and was as young, with good sense and exercise, as people of half his age-far younger than many. We remember the face of envying respect and astonishment with which the news was received by "a person of wit and honour about town (now deceased), in whose company we happened to be at the moment, and who might have been his son three or four times over.
Query-at what age must a person take to venerable manners, and consent to look old if he does not feel so ? Mr Wilson will say, "when he is forced to leave off dancing." And there is a definite notion in that. If any one, therefore, wishes to have preeise ideas on this point, and behave himself as becomes his real, not his chronological, time of life, we really think he cannot do better than study in Kirby street, or at Willis's, and learn to know at what it becomes him to be reverend, or how long he may continue laughing at those who remonstrate with him because they hobble. Linnæus, in his travels, gives an account-ludicrous in the eyes of us spectators of the staid and misgiving manners of people at the same time of life-of two Laplanders who accompanied him on some occasion (we forget what), but who carried bundles for him, and had otherwise reason for being tired, the way being long, One of them was fifty, the other considerably older; yet what did these old boys, at the close of their journey, but, instead of sitting down and resting themselves, begin laughing and running about after one another, like a couple of antediluvian children, as if they had just risen! They wanted nothing but pinafores, and a mother remonstrating with them for not coming and having their hairs combed.
Most people are astonished, perhaps, as they advance beyond the period of youth and middle life, at not finding themselves still older; and, if they took wise advantage of this astonishment, they would all live to a much greater age. It is equally by not daring to be too young nor consenting to be too old, that men keep themselves in order with Nature, and in heart with her. We kill ourselves before our time, alike with artificial irregularities and melancholy resentments. We hasten age with late hours, and the table, and want of exercise; and hate it, and make it worse when it comes, with bad temper and inactive regrets.
A boy of ten thinks he shall be in the prime of life when he is twenty, and (as lives go) he is so; though, when he comes to be twenty, he shoves off his notion of the prime to thirty, then to thirty-five, then to forty; and when, at length, he is forced to own himself no longer young, he is at once astonished to think he has been young so long, and angry to find himself no younger. This would be hardly fair upon the indulgence of Nature, if Nature supplied us with education as well as existence, and the world itself did not manifestly take time to come to years of discretion. In the early ages of the world, the inability to lead artificial lives was the great cause of longevity; as in future ones, it is to be hoped, the appreciation of the natural life will bring men round to it. It would have put the pastoral, patriarchal people sadly out to keep late hours at night, and to sit after dinner "pushing about" the milk!
her early world. She has even something good to say in behalf of the ill-health of modern times and the rich delicacy of its perceptions; so that we might be warranted in supposing that she is ever improving, even when she least appears to be so; and that your pastoral longevity, though a good pattern in some respects for that which is to come, had but a poor milk-and-water measure of happiness, compared with the wine and the intellectual movement of us inter. mediate strugglers. At all events, the measure, somehow or other, may be equal--and the difference only a variety of sameness. And there is much comfort in that reflection, and a great difficulty solved in it. Only Nature, after all, still incites us to look forward; and, whether it be for the sake of real or of apparent change, forward we must look, and look heartily, taking care to realize all the happiness we can, as we go. This seems the true mode of keeping all our faculties in action—all the inevitable thoughts given to man, of past, present, and future; and, with this grave reflection, we conclude our present dance under Mr Wilson's patronage, intending to have another with him before long; and gravely, as well as gaily, recommending his very useful art, meanwhile, to all lovers of health, grace, and sociality.
Why do not people oftener get up dances at home, and without waiting for the ceremony of visitors and the drawback of late hours? It would be a great addition to the cheerfulness and health of families.
Nature, in the mean time, acts with her usual good-natured instinct, and makes the best of a bad business; rather, let us say, produces it in order to produce a better, and to enable us to improve upon
From Wednesday the 3d, to Tuesday the 9th September. WE have taken our country entertainment this week from our old and often-plundered friend, Mr Howitt, (who can well afford it), and have followed up the extract with vindications of the dignity of another friend of our's, not in so high a class of things poetical, but far too lightly esteemed; to wit, the Elder tree. We take them, partly from the Sylva' of Cowley's friend, Evelyn, one of the most learned vindicators of plants vernacular, and partly from Evelyn's friend, Mr Phillips, (who by the way, as an Irish critic would remark, ought to quote him, when he does so).
MR HOWITT ON SEPTEMBER.
The orchards are affluent of pears, plums and apples; and the hedges are filled with the abundance of their wild produce, crabs, black glossy clusters of privet, blackthorn and elder-berries, which furnish the farmer with a cordial cup on his return from market on a winter's eve, and blackberries, reminding us of the Babes in the Wood.
Their little hands with blackberries,
And when they saw the darksome night,
The hedge rows are also brightened with a profusion of scarlet berries of hips, haws, honeysuckles, viburnum, and bryony. The fruit of the mountain. ash, woody night-shade, and wild service, is truly beautiful; nor are the violet-hued sloes and bullaces, or the crimson, mossy excrescences of the wild rosetree, insignificant objects amid the autumnal splendour of the waning year.
Notwithstanding the decrease of the day, the weather of this month is, for the most part, splendidly calm; and Nature, who knows the most favourable moment to display all her works, has now instructed the geometric spider to form its radiated circle on every bush, and the gossamer spider to hang its silken threads on every blade of grass. We behold its innumerable filaments glittering with dew in the morning, and sometimes, such is the immense quantity of this secretion, that it may be seen floating in a profusion of tangled webs in the air, and cording our clothes as we walk in the fields, as with cotton. These little creatures, the gossamer spiders, it has long been known, have the faculty of throwing out
several of their threads on each side, which serve them as a balloon to buoy them up into the air. With these they sail into the higher regions of the atmosphere, or return with greater velocity. By recent experiments it appears that the spider and its web are not, as it was supposed, of less specific gravity than the air, and by that means ascend. The phenomenon has been supposed to be electrical; but this is doubtful. It yet requires explanation. There is now a brightness of the sky, and a diaphanous purity of the atmosphere, at once surprising and delightful. We remark with astonishment, how perfectly and distinctly the whole of the most exten
sive landscape lies in varied, solemn beauty, before us; while, such is the reposing stillness of nature, that not a sound disturbs the sunny solitude, save perhaps the clapping of pigeons' wings, as they rise from the stubble. The clearness of vision may partly arise from the paucity of vapour ascending from the ground at this dry season, and partly from the eye being relieved from the intensity of splendour with which it is oppressed in summer; but be it what it may, the fact has not escaped one of our most beautiful poets:
"There is a harmony In Autumn, and a lustre in its sky, Which through the summer is not heard or seen, As if it could not be, as if it had not been."
Now it is delightful among mountains. Mountains! How one's heart leaps up at the very word! There is a charm connected with mountains so powerful, that the merest mention of them, the merest sketch of their magnificent features, kindles the imagination, and carries the spirit at once into mind is filled with their vast solitude! how the inHow the the bosom of their enchanted regions. ward eye is fixed on their silent, their sublime, their everlasting peaks! How our heart bounds to the music of their solitary cries, to the tinkling of their gushing rills, to the sound of their cataracts! How inspiriting are the odours that breathe from the upland turf, from the rock-hung flower, from the hoary and solemn pine! How beautiful are those lights and shadows thrown abroad, and that fine transparent haze which is diffused over the valleys and lower slopes, as over a vast, inimitable picture!
At this season of the year, the ascents of our own mountains are become most practicable. The heat of summer has dried up the moisture with which winter rains saturate the spongy turf of the hollows; and the atmosphere, clear and settled, admits of the most extensive prospects. Whoever has not ascended our
mountains, knows little of the beauties of this beautiful island. Whoever has not climbed their long and heathy ascents, and seen the trembling mountain-flower, the glowing moss, the richly-tinted lichens at his feet; and scented the fresh aroma of the uncultivated sod, and of the spicy shrubs; and heard the bleat of the flock across their solitary expanses, and the wild cry of the mountain plover, the raven, or the eagle; and seen the rich and russet hues of distant slopes and eminences, the livid gashes of ravines and precipices, the white glittering line of round the lofty summits; and then stood panting on falling waters, and the cloud tumultuously whirling that summit, and beheld the clouds alternately gather and break over a thousand giant peaks and ridges, of every varied hue, but all silent as images of eternity and cast his gaze over lakes, and forests, and smoking towns, and wide lands, to the very ocean, in all their gleaming and reposing beauty,-knows nothing of the treasures of pictorial wealth which his own country possesses.
[This is rather a rash assertion on Mr Howitt's part, but luckily he has disproved it so well in all the rest of his book, that we need say nothing further about it.]
EVELYN'S ACCOUNT OF THE ELDER TREE. This makes a considerable fence, if set of reasonable lusty truncheons, much like the willow, and (as I have seen them maintained) laid with great curiosity. These far excel those extravagant plantations of them about London, where the tops are permitted to grow without due and skilful laying. There is a sort of Elder which has hardly any pith; this makes exceedingly stout fences, and the timber very useful for cogs of mills, butchers' skewers, and such tough employments. Old trees do in time become firm, and close up the hollowness to an almost invisible pith. But if the medicinal properties of the leaves, bark, berries, &c. were thoroughly known, I cannot tell what our countryman could ail, for which he might not fetch a remedy from every hedge, either for sickness or wound. The inner bark of Elder, applied to any burning, takes out the fire immediately: that, or in season the buds, boiled in water gruel for a breakfast, has effected wonders in a fever; and the decoction is admirable to assuage inflammations and tetterous humours, and especially the scorbut (scurvy). But an extract, or theriaca (so famous in the poem of Nicander'), may be composed of the berries, which is not only efficacious to eradicate this epidemical inconvenience, and greatly to assist longevity, but is a kind of catholicon against all infirmities whatever; and of the same berries is made an incomparable spirit, which, drunk by itself, or mingled with wine, is not only an excellent drink, but admirable in the dropsy. In a word, the water of the leaves and berries is approved in the dropsy, every part of the tree being useful, as may be seen at large in Blocwitzius's Anatomy thereof. The ointment made with the young buds and leaves in May, with butter, is most sovereign for aches, shrunk sinews, homorrhoids, &c.; and the flowers, macerated in vinegar, not only are of grateful relish, but good to attenuate and cut raw and gross humours. Lastly, the fungus (which we call Jew's-ears), decocted in milk, or macerated in vinegar, is of known effect in the angina