صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


ART. 16. Observations on the projected Bill for restricting the Practice of Surgery and Midwifery to Members of the Royal Colleges of London, Edinburgh, and Dublin; and to Army or Navy Surgeons. With some modifications proposed, by which the measure will be more compatible with the true interests of the Public, &c. By a GENERAL PRACTITIONER. London, Bent, 1816. Svo. pp. 31.

It is well known, that the bill referred to in this title-page states in the preamble, that ignorant and incapable persons are not restrained by law from practising surgery, whereby the health of great numbers of persons is much injured, and the lives of many are destroyed. For this most alarming situation of things, the measure is intended to provide a remedy, and the public are indebted to all those professional men, who, like the author, endeavour to bring the subject fully and fairly forward for general examination. The writer laments the fate of the present students in London, who are required to give a protracted attendance under the bill which their circumstances will not allow, and who must, therefore," return into the country to see empiricism in its va rious shapes flourish, while they are cut off from the profession of surgery and midwifery, for which they have been educated-and from which they have been led to expect a livelihood, honorable to themselves, and useful to the community."

The professional gentleman having been a little severe on a learned Chirurgical Society, makes the following ingenious distinction between that body collectively and the members individually. "If," says he, "the author has appeared to think that the Royal College has not sufficiently attended to the interest and fair claims of the present race of students, he is anxious to explain that, in his belief, it is in their corporate capacities only, that a breathing of inconsiderateness can attach to them. As individuals, they are not only of eminence in their profession, but of known liberality of sentiment.'


ART. 17. Lord Byron's Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. A Poem in two Cantos. To which is added, The Tempest, a Fragment. London, for J. Johnson, 1817, pp. 72.

IT is to be regretted that the author of this poem, who is not very contemptible in point of talent, should have lent himself to what some may consider an artifice to obtain. purchasers, by pretending that the piece before us is from the pen of Lord Byron. The title, however, is the only resemblance, for the stile is essentially different, wanting much of the energy belonging to the works of the noble author. The versification is generally easy, but languid, and the events are too slow in succession, the interval not being filled up either by acuteness or depth of remark. We might, would our space allow, extract several quotations of a pretty descriptive kind of merit, but throughout there is a want of learning on the subject on which the author treats, and few classical allusions are given to spots supposed to be passed over, excepting such as could not fail to arise in the mind of a school-boy.



ART. 18.-1. A new View of Society, or Essays on the formation of the Human Character, preparatory to the developement of a Plan for gradually ameliorating the Condition of Mankind. By ROBERT OWEN, of New Lanark. Second Edition. Longman & Co. 8vo. pp. 184, 1816.

2.-An Address delivered to the Inhabitants of New Lanark, on the 1st of January, 1816, at the opening of the Institution established for the formation of Character. By ROBERT OWEN. Second Edition. Longman and Co. 8vo. pp. 48, 1816.

ANY one who peruses these works will immediately perceive that the author is an enthusiast, and, like most other enthusiasts, he blends no small portion of egotism with his principles and pursuits, and a degree of confidence, not warranted by the facts he states, and the arguments he employs, however it might be justified by the conclusions he assumes. His purpose, however, being good, we will


endeavour to explain it, and shall use our utmost ability at all times to promote it.

The writer we understand to be a magistrate at Lanark, and to have the management of a cotton establishment in that neighbourhood, where he has conduced to the industry, good morals, and instruction of those under his orders. The essays are four in number; the two first were published in 1812 and 1813, and the two last in the present year. The great principle laid down by the author is,"That any general character, from the best to the worst, from the most ignorant to the most enlightened, may be given to any community, even to the world at large, by the application of proper means; which means are, to a great extent, under the command of those who have influence in the affairs of man."

Commenting on this principle, he says, it "is a broad one, and if it should be found to be true, cannot fail to give a new character to legislative proceeding, and such a character as will be most favourable to the well-being of society." Unfortunately for the novelty Mr. Owen assumes, the principle is so broad as not to have escaped the notice of the earliest instructors in Chaldea, Egypt, or Greece, and all the princes have more or less acted upon it from Nimrod to Napoleon; yet, after the lapse of nearly 4000 years, it has not given that new character to legislation the author contemplates. The discovery of such a principle, instead of inducing rulers to enlighten the human intellect, has led them to obscure it in order that they might take advantage of that ignorance which this gentleman presumes they sedulously endeavour to remove. The first essay is principally devoted to a defence of this principle, which no teacher, from Diogenes to Dilworth has 'ever disputed. In the second he gives a history of the cotton manufactory at Lanark, to shew the improvements to which the cognizance of this favourite proposition gave rise; in the third he further explains it, and details more particularly its practical application when he undertook the direction of the Lanark mills' establishment; and in the fourth the tenets of the former essays are applied to government; and here again he assumes as a new discovery of his wisdom what has been familiar to every political enquirer for centuries, that "a system of government which shall prevent ignorance, and consequently crime, will be infinitely superior to one, which by encouraging the first, creates a necessity for the last, and afterwards inflicts punishment on both."

Such is the corollary the author deduces from the proposition, that “it is beyond all comparison better to prevent than punish crimes;" a truth assumed to be new, but which has grown from age into a proverb; and to which, therefore, we did not require this star of the north to guide us. We perfectly agree with Mr. Owen that the great panacea that is competent to cure all the moral diseases to which we are liable is education, and that it is the duty of all governments to provide the means of public instruction; but if we do not look forward with so confident a persuasion of the millenium he so early expects, we are thoroughly persuaded that much of the felicity of such a 'state will be acquired by the diligent and faithful attention both of the governors and governed, to dissipate those clouds of ignorance in which the greater portion of the species is enveloped.

Towards the close of the address to his neighbours of New Lanark, Mr. Owen gives the following admonition : "Continue to obey the laws under which you live, and although many of them are founded on principles of the grossest ignorance and folly, yet obey them."

ART. 19.-West India Sketches; drawn from authentic Sources. No. V. London, Ellerton, 1816. 8vo.

THIS is a continuation of the anecdotes tending to elucidate the nature of colonial bondage, as it respects, 1. The driving system; 2. The general treatment of slaves; 3. The effects produced by slavery on the character of white women; 4. The moral and religious habits of the colonists.

ART. 20.-A Letter to His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, upon Revulsion of Trade," and "our Sudden Transition from a System of Extensive War to a State of Peace." London, Longman and Co. 1816. 8vo. PP. 140.

THE writer of this pamphlet states that, anxious to ascertain the causes of our distresses, he noted from time to time what occurred to him, as well as what he read on this subject, in order to exhibit the whole in one view to his own mind; and not finding that any thing conclusive had been presented to the public, he has committed the result

of his inquiries to the press. The subject to which the writer principally addresses himself, is stated in a resolution proposed by the Duke of Kent at a late meeting in the city, where the Duke of York presided, and in which it was alleged, "That it is the sudden transition from a state of extensive war to a system of peace that has occasioned a stagnation of employment, and a revulsion of trade, deeply affecting the situation of many parts of the community, and producing many instances of great local distress."


The author asserts, that the country is beginning to be tired and disgusted with the manner in which the charity of certain noble and exalted individuals is exhibited in public meetings, bible societies, Lancasterian and Bell's schools, mission and tract societies, saving banks, and a long train of auxiliary and minor associations, where the private citizen is flattered by the condescension of his Grace or his Lordship, and the interchange of ceremony on these occasions is thus described. "Some illustrious person patronizes the institution, and comes to the yearly meeting with a few of his noble friends, to eat a grand dinner, and trumpet forth each other's benevolence to the public. A string of resolutions are read, one by one great man, another by another; then the Earl of votes thanks to the Duke of ——, and the Bishop to the Earl, and the Viscount to the Bishop, and so on down to the Vicar and Country Gentleman. All seem to have forgotten the great precept of our common Master: " Do not your alms before men, that you be seen of them."

'He concludes with this exhortation :

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"Statesmen! Nobles! Princes of the Blood Royal! in the present awful crisis, listen to the expectations, the reasonable requests, of an overburthened People! Before you meet again in your august assemblies, to receive the petitions preparing in every quarter for your aid and interference, revolve deeply within your breasts the causes and extent of our distresses: shut not your eyes to the nature of the remedy which those distresses demand. The relief must not be tossed and turned in flattering words; it must be a substantial sacrifice-an abandonment of all wasteful and corrupt expenditure; the most rigid economy in every department of the state; and the whole must be guaranteed and secured to the nation, by that radical reform in the representation, which the true honour of Parliament, the dignity of the Crown, and the interests of the People, alike require.

« السابقةمتابعة »