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in the hands and the help of the models, those who are actually unacquainted with the mathematics, are enabled to study with great advantage the laws of crystallography, and their relations and consequences.
6. A Practical Treatise on the Use and Application of Chemical Re-agents and Tests : 1818. Of this work the 3d edition has lately appeared. It has also been translated into the French language.
It is by far the most complete and judicious manual, showing the utility and application of chemical tests, yet published. The examples, in elucidation of the action of the various chemical tests, are selected with judgment, and they are such as are easy to be performed, and the exhibition of which requires no other substances than such as are readily to be procured in all solutions. The work has run in a short time through several editions, and a French translation of it has lately appeared.
7. Chemical Amusement: comprising a Series of Curious and Instructive Experiments in Chemistry, which are easily performed, and unattended by danger: 1819. This work has been written with a view to blend chemical science with rational amusement. To the student it serves as a set of popular instructions for performing a varity of curious and instructive experiments, well calculated for illustrating the most striking facts which the science of chemistry has to offer. The experiments are such as may be performed with ease and safety in the closet, and the exhibition of which requires neither costly apparatus nor complicated instruments. There are several editions of this work.
8. A Description of the Process of Manufacturing Coal Gas, with Elevations, Sections, and Plans of the Apparatus now employed in the Gas Works in London and the principal provincial Towns in Great Britain, accompanied with comparative estimates, exhibiting the most economical Mode of procuring this Species of Light: 1820.
This treatise, as its title expresses, exhibits the superior processes of manufacturing coal gas now employed in the metropolis and the provincial towns of Great Britain, illustrated with elevations, sections, and plans of the most improved gas light machinery, which has stood the test of practice, and is now in action at the most celebrated gas light establishments in this country. A second edition of the work has lately appeared.
9. A Treatise on Adulterations of Food and Culinary Poisons ; exhibiting the fraudulent Sophistications of Bread, Beer, Wine, Spiritous Liquors, Tea, Coffee, Cream, Confectionary, Vinegar, Mustard, Pepper, Cheese, Olive Oil, Pickles, and other articles employed in domestic economy, and methods of detecting them: 1820. This work has arrested general attention ; it is chiefly for the VOL. II.
purpose of laying open the dishonest artifices of fraudulent dealers, that Mr. Accum published this very interesting popular work, in which he has given a most fearful view of the various and extensive frauds which are daily practised on the unsuspecting public, and the methods of detecting them. A new edition of the work bas been published last month.
Such are the works published by Mr. Accum ; from the notices before the public we learn that he has now in the press two works; namely, a System of Chemistry for self Instruction, after the method of Sir Humphry Davy, and a Description of the Chemical Apparatus and Instruments employed in operative and experimental Chemistry.
Art. XII.— The Life of the Right Honourable John Philpot Cur
ran, late Master of the Rolls in Ireland. By his Son, WilLIAM HENRY CURRAN, Barrister-at-Law. 8vo. [2 vols. pp. 970. London.] New-York. 1 vol. William H. Creagh, 1820.
[From the Edinburgh Review—May, 1820. We can only extract those parts which relate to Curran's colloquiul humour-his wit and eloquence at the bar—to the insurrection in Ireland, of 1803--and to the character of Irish oratory.]
This is really a very good book; and not less instructive in its moral, and general scope, than curious and interesting in its details. It is a mixture of Biography and History—and avoids the besetting sins of both species of composition-neither exalting the hero of the biography into an idol, nor deforming the history of a most agitated period with any spirit of violence or exaggeration. It is written, on the contrary, as it appears to us, with singular impartiality and temper—and the style is not less remarkable than the sentiments : For though it is generally elegant and spirited, it is without any of those peculiarities which the age, the parentage, and the country of the author, would lead us to expect :-And we may say, indeed, of the whole work, looking both to the matter and the manner, that it has no defects from which it could be gathered that it was written either by a Young man—or an Irishman -or by the Son of the person whose history it professes to record -though it has attractions which probably could not have existed under any other conditions.
Mr. Curran's parentage and early life are now of no great consequence. He was born, however, of respectable parents, and received a careful and regular education. He was a little wild at college; but left it with the character of an excellent scholar, and was universally popular among his associates, not less for his amia
ble temper than his inexhaustible vivacity. He wrote baddish verses at this time, and exercised himself in theological discourses; for his first destination was for the Church, and he afterwards took to the Law, very much to his mother's disappointment and mortification —who was never reconciled to the change—and used, even in the meridian of his fame, to lament what a mighty preacher had been lost to the world, and to exclaim, that, but for his versatility, she might have died the mother of a Bishop! It was better as it was. Unquestionably he might have been a very great preacher; but we doubt whether he would have been a good parish priest, or even an exemplary bishop.
Irish lawyers are obliged to keep their terms in London; and, for
poorer part of them, it seems to be but a dull and melancholy noviciate. During the three years he passed in the metropolis, he seems to have entered into no society, and never to have come in contact with a single distinguished individual. He saw Garrick on the stage, and Lord Mansfield on the bench; and this exhausts his list of illustrious men in London. His only associates seem to have been a few of his countrymen, as poor and forlory as himself. Yet the life they lived seems to have been virtuous and honourable. They contracted no debts, and committed no excesses. Curran himself rose early, and read diligently till dinner; and, in the evening he usually went, as much for improvement as relaxation, to a sixpenny debating club. For a long time, however, he was 100 nervous and timid to act any other part than that of an auditor.—He used often to give an account of this in after life bimself; and as the following seems to have been taken down by the author from his own lips, we gladly take the opportunity of inserting it, both as the most authentic account of the fact, and as a specimen of that colloquial pleasantry for which he is here so lavishly commended.
• One day after dinner, an acquaintance, in speaking of his eloquence, happened to observe that it must have been born with • him. “ Indeed, my dear sir," replied Mr. Curran," it was not;
it was born three-and-twenty years and some months after me; 6 and, if you are satisfied to listen to a dull historian, you shall ' have the history of its nativity. When I was at the Temple, a * few of us formed a little debating club.....Upon the first night of our assembling, I attended, my foolish heart throbbing with the • anticipated honour of being styled “the learned member that • opened the debate,” or “the very eloquent gentleman who has just sat down.” I stood up-the question was Catholic claims • or the Slave trade, I protest I now forget which, but the difference, you know, was never very obvious—my mind was stored with about a folio volume of matter, but I wanted a preface, and for want of a preface the volume was never published. I stood
up, trembling through every fibre; but remembering that in this I was but imitating Tully, I took courage, and had actually proceeded almost as far as “ Mr. Chairman,' when, to my astonish'ment and terror, I perceived that every eye was riveted upon me. • There were only six or seven present, and the litile room could
not have contained as many more; yet was it, to my panic-struck "imagination, as if I were the central object in nature, and assem
bled millions were gazing upon me in breathless expectation. I • became dismayed and dumb; my friends cried “ hear him!” but there was nothing to hear. My lips, indeed, went through the pantomime of articulation, but I was like the unfortunate fiddler • at the fair, who, upon coming to strike up the solo that was to ra
vish every ear, discovered that an enemy had maliciously soaped « his bow. So you see, sir, it was not born with me. However, though my friends, even Apjohn, the most sanguine of them, despaired of me, the cacoethes loquendi was not to be subdued without a struggle. I was for the present silenced, but I still attended our meetings with the most laudable regularity, and even ventured to accompany the others to a more ambitious theatre, “the • Devils of Temple Bar;" where truly may I say, that many a time the Devil's own work was going forward.
Such was my state, the popular throb just beginning to revisit my heart, when a long expected remittance arrived from Newmarket: Apjohn dined with me that day.....In the evening we repaired to “the Devils.” One of them was upon his legs : a fellow, of whom it was impossible to decide, whether he was most distinguished by the filth of his person, or by the flippancy of his 'tongue; just such another as Harry Flood would have called 6" the highly gifted gentleman with the dirty cravat and greasy pantaloons." I found this learned personage in the act of calumniating chronology by the most preposterous anachronisms, and • (as I believe I shortly after told him) traducing the illustrious
dead by affecting a confidential intercourse with them, as he would with some pobleman, his very dear friend, behind his back, • who, if present, would indignantly repel the imputation of so insulting an intimacy. He descanted upon Demosthenius, the glory
of the Roman forum ; spoke of Tully as the famous cotemporary 6 and rival of Cicero; and in the short space of one half hour, transported the straits of Marathon three several times to the plains of Thermopylæ. Thinking that I had a right to know
something of these matters, I looked at him with surprise; and - whether it was the money in my pocket, or my classical chivalry, 'or most probably the supplemental tumbler of punch, that gave my face a smirk of saucy confidence, when our eyes met there was something like wager of battle in mine; upon which the eru• dite gentleman instantly changed his invective against antiquity
into an invective against me, and concluded by a few words of
friendly counsel (horresco referens) to “ orator mum,” who he doubted not possessed wonderful talents for eloquence, although 6 he would recommend him to show it in future by some more po*pular method than his silence. I followed his advice, and I be• lieve not entirely without effect; for when, upon sitting down, I whispered my friend, that I hoped he did not think my dirty antagonist had come “ quite clean off?” “ On the contrary, my dear • fellow," said be, “every one around me is declaring that it is the • first time they ever saw him so well dressed.” So, sir, you see " that to try the bird, the spur must touch his blood. Yet, after 6 all, if it had not been for the inspiration of the punch, I might . have continued a mute to this hour; so for the honour of the art, • let us have another glass.” 1. pp. 41-47.
Now this is certainly lively and good humoured; but it is not, according to our notions, by any means the best style of wit, or of talk, that we have met with. It is too smart, snappish, and theatrical—and much more like the practised briskness of an actor of all work, or an itinerant lecturer on heads, than the polite and unobtrusive pleasantry of an agreeable companion. We suspect, indeed, from various passages in these volumes, that the Irish standard of good conversation is radically different from the English ; and that a tone of exhibition and effect is still tolerated in that country, which could not be long endured in good society in this. A great proportion of the colloquial anecdotes in this work, confirm us in this belief--and nothing more than the encomium bestowed on Mr. Curran's own conversation, as abounding in those
magical transitions from the most comic turns of thought to the • deepest pathos, and for ever bringing a tear into the eye before
the smile was off the lip.' In our more frigid and fastidious country, we really have no idea of a man talking pathetically in good company, -and still·less of good company sitting and crying to him. Nay, it is not even very consonant with our notions, that a gentleman should be “ most comical.'
As to the taste and character of Mr. Curran’s oratory, we may have occasion to say a word or two hereafter.—He appears to have gone through the most persevering and laborious processes of private study, with a view to its improvement-not only accustoming himself to debate imaginary cases alone with the most anxious attention, but, reciting perpetually before a mirror,' to acquire a graceful gesticulation, and studiously imitating the tone and manner of the most celebrated speakers. The authors from whom he chiefly borrowed the matter of these solitary declamations, were Junius and Lord Bolingbroke-and the poet he most passionately admired was Thomson. He also used to declaim occasionally from Milton--but, in his maturer age, came to think