Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

of those most interested in her future at the expence of the Societies for the display. That this may happen in Suppression of Vice, to our new settleone case out of a thousand may be ments on Melville Island, where their considered as possible; though it is ingenuity might have room for its not very likely that the occupier of a display in contesting with the arctic common-place rotundity would be bear and fox the right of property in content to lose the pleasure of think- each other's bodies. Were this “coning like Newton or Bacon, merely out summation,” so “devoutly to be wishof dogged moroseness, which would ed,” to take place, a committee of Gall hurt nobody but itself. But even were and Spurzheim's followers in London, this case to be more common than can and the same in Edinburgh, superinbe supposed, the certainty of prevent- tended by their publishing disciples, ing the growth of evil propensities is might be established, for the purpose sufficient to counterbalance the loss of picking out all the disturbers of sowhich society might sustain from this ciety with villainous propensities, precause ; and, to carry on the allusion to vious to their shipment; and the Brithe training of plants, the manure of tish millennium might instantly comeducation which would in many cases mence, by the shutting up for ever of be applied to heads already predisposed those receptacles of vice and misery, to excellence, might raise their posses- the Newgates, and Bridewells, and sors to such heights of knowledge, that prison-houses of every denomination. the average of the whole population As in every great revulsion of pubmight be equal to a Locke, and not lic opinion, or change of public sentiinferior to a Pope or Addison. ment, certain classes are sure to suffer,

It is impossible for one mind to the opposition to the measure from conceive all the objections which may those interested in the existence of be made by the ignorant, or those who crime, or who derive their chief supare so wedded to old notions as to port from the commission of vice, consider no innovations as improve might be overcome by granting them ments. But it would ill become the annuities equal to the amount of their projector of so magnificent a plan for annual profits. Or, if this should be the future, not to suggest something thought to fall too heavy on the nationlikewise that may ameliorate the ex- al income, the measure might be paristing race of human beings, and, at tially delayed till the present race of least, banish vice and crime, if it do office-holders wore out. Leaving a few nothing more, from our native country. culprits in every county for a certain liIf the prevailing disposition of mind mited period, the criminal courts and can be infallibly ascertained, accorde the officers of police, the keepers of ing to Phrenologists, by the exa- jails, and the public executioner, would mination of the outside of the head, have no more reason to complain of the might not the British Parliament do stagnation of trade, than other honest something worse than pass an act, dealers in mercantile commodities for which shall oblige all individuals of a long time past; and those respecte this empire, of whatever age, to sub- able and useful matrons, who keep mit their rotundities to the required markets of beauty for the unwived examination ; and those found with part of the population, might be reorgans hurtful to the community stricted in their calling to the disposal could then be separated from the ge- of their present stock. From the usual neral mass, and prevented from disa termination of crime, the frail nature turbing the peace of society by their of beauty, and the accidents to which furtive or murderous propensities ? it is exposed, I do not see that, from Crime would thus be crushed in the these causes, the millennium need be bud, and the infant murderer, or the delayed beyond a very few years. confirmed thief, might pay the forfeit In those cases where the bumps on of their intended crimes long before the skull do not form an infallible their little arms were able to wield a criterion, (for it must be allowed that rush, or their eyes distinguish one this mode of judging of propensities species of property from another. The sometimes fails) the assistance of those grown up wicked people might be put acute observers of human nature, the to death without mercy, for the safety Bond Street and Police officers, ought of the good ; or, if this were thought to be called in, before deciding finally too cruel, they might be transported, upon a moral delinquency; and, as a

last resource, a jury of Spurzheimists their horses ;-yet all these, I insist, would settle the matter in a way not are but exceptions to the general rule, to be called in question. Though the and are by no means to be considered examination of the skulls of great men as of any consequence in the estima: has, in a few cases, thrown discredit tion of the phrenetic or phrenological on the theory, by even the most acute hypothesis. phrenologists sometimes finding the To conclude, (for I do not wish to cranium of a thief to belong to the exhaust the subject,) it may be menmost beneficent person, and a mur- tioned, as an additional argument for

derer’s bump on a head overflowing the introduction of metal çaps, or I with the “ milk of human kindness, mind-regulators, that the heads, where

yet these are but exceptions to the no superior purpose was required, #general rule,-mere tricks of nature might be formed so as better to suit z to perplex philosophers. It is a very the various occupations of men than e ill constructed theory, indeed, that can- those in common use. Might not the i not explain things much more per- person intended as a teacher of maI plexing, and fortunately here the ex- thematics, for example, have his seat 1 planation is not difficult. In craniums of thought moulded into the shape of os of this sort, the organs undisplayed a triangle, a cone, a cylinder, or any s possess sufficient controul over the other form which might be of use to s externally prominent ones to counter- him in his demonstrations of Euclid, i act their mischievous tendency; and and thus save the trouble of tracing så although the head of Shakespeare, ex illustrative diagrams ? those intended

amined by the doctrines of the crani. to carry weights on this part of their #ologists, palpably wants all the organs bodies might have the upper surface iste which should have contributed to form of the cranium formed into a horizonis a mind capable of “ exhausting worlds tal plane ; while soldiers, intended for d and imagining new ones ;"_although parade, might have it elongated to a

Milton, by the same theory, looks very cone or cylinder, which would add like as if he could steal a horse; Dryden some inches to their stature. But these might be mistaken for the keeper of a details I willingly leave to the com

country ale-house; and Swift, Pope, mittee of Parliament, who will have od and Gay, as three fellows whom it to arrange the provisions of the bill ;

would be unsafe to meet upon an un- only suggesting, as it is my own disfrequented road ;-although Sir Isaac covery, that the act should be intiNewton and Dr Adam Smith, accord- tuled, both in the warrant for the ing to Spurzheim and Co., may be set money which I am sure to receive down as tailors in no great estimation; from Parliament, and in the Journals Joseph Addison as an irreclaimable of the House, “ An Act for hastening rake; David Hume and Edward Gib- the British Millenium, and for the bon as portly coachmen, with heads revival of the Golden Age.” as smooth as the hind-quarters of

CHAPTER III.

Improvement of Intellect from Cross-breeds of Genius.

Hey for a lass and a bottle to cheer,
And a thumping bantling every year.

English Song. DR SPURZHEIM, in his late duode are certainly worthy the attention of cimo on Education, * has a chapter on those persons of both sexes who may the “ Laws of Propagation,” in which now be disposed to enter into the mahe proposes to improve the human trimonial state; and, were not the subrace by judicious cross-breeding. The ject repulsive for itsindelicacy, I should reasonings contained in that chapter have been glad to have supported my

A View of the Elementary Principles of Education, founded on the Study of the
Nature of Man. By J. G. Spurzheim, M.D. Edin. 1821.
Vol. X.

L

own preconceived opinion by numerous that the junction of a male Milton and
quotations from an observer of such a female Addison, a he Dryden and a
talents. But as I have an antipathy she Swift, a feminine Pope, and a
to scientific bawdry and learned obsce- masculine Otway, would have produ-
nity, whether coming from the pen of ced, by the commixture of talents, a
· Dr Aristotle or of Dr Spurzheim, I cross-breed of genius to which there
only quote the result of the interesting would have been no parallel ? and Ba-
inquiry. “ It is indeed a pity," says con’s sagacity, and Newton's scientific
the Doctor, “ that the laws of propa- powers, might, by a proper arrange-
gation are not more attended to. I am ment of marriages betwixt the mem-
convinced that, by attention to them, bers of the families, long ere this time
not only the condition of single fami- have resolved all the desiderata in phi-
lies, but of whole nations, might be losophy, and unfolded all the arcana
improved beyond imagination, in figure, of nature.
stature, complexion, health, talents, « It is perhaps of no use to regret
and moral feelings. I consider with that the philosophical views which
Aristotle,”—Vide Aristotle's Master- guide our graziers in the improvement
piece," that the natural and innate of the breeds of cattle, and our expe-
differences of man are the basis of all rienced jockies in the management of
political economy. He who can con- their horses, were not perceived and
vince the world of the importance of acted upon ere this time,-and the
the laws of propagation, and induce eighteenth century in Britain had,
mankind to conduct themselves ac- compared to the rest of the world,
cordingly, will do more good to them, enough to distinguish it, without ha-
and contribute more to their improve- ving added to its laurels the discovery
ment, than all institutions, and all which I have now the honour of de-
systems of education !"

tailing. If it had been earlier made,
As any improvement of intellect the person who now addresses you
from this source, however, is of little would not have had the merit of it,
consideration, after the magnificent and this Honourable Society would not
theory illustrated in the foregoing chap- have had the envied distinction of re-
ters, I should not now have noticed the cording in their Transactions, and
subject at all, were it not to establish publishing to the world, a secret for
my own claim to priority of discovery, its future improvement, even more va-
even on this point. From a paper of luable than the finding out of the phi-
mine read before the Philosophical So- losopher's stone.
ciety of Assbury, upwards of two years To put the theory to the test of
ago, and which was honoured by the experiment, I now beg to propose the
marked approbation of all the mem- appointment of a committee, to confer
bers present at its reading, I extract with committees of the other scientific
the following passages :

and literary associations throughout “ It will not be denied, that great the kingdom, for the purpose of arranimprovements have been made, during ging the details, and securing to posthe last fifty years, in the breeds of terity the combination of the talents cattle, by the judicious intermixture of we at present possess, by promoting the various qualities of animals, which connexions which, however they may are the objects of the breeders of horse interfere with the partial and "shortor black cattle, or the rearers of sheep sighted arrangement of parents, will and the producers of wool. It is also infallibly raise the next age to a prewell known, that Mr Knight, whose cedency of talent over all former ages philosophic experiments on plants have of the world.” been productive of so much advantage I have nothing further to add on the to horticulture, has succeeded in rai- subject. But if a sound and healthy sing new and improved varieties of progeny is an object of concern to any fruit from the junction of allied spe- respectable and beautiful young lady cies. And it is at least a probable con- who may wish a cross with our family, jecture, that the same attention to the I trust I shall not be so unpolite as to marriages of the human race, where reject

the advances of youth and

beaugenius or valour, or any species of ex- ty. My address is, Sir Toby Ticklecellence may be required, would scarce- toby, of Tickletoby Hall, by Longly fail to have similar results.

town. “ For example, who could doubt

7

ΤΑΤΩΝ ΜΟΥΣΩΝ ΕΙΣΟΔΙΑ.

THE MUSES WELCOME

[ocr errors]

sense.

66 The

[ocr errors]

TO THE HIGH AND MIGHTIE PRINCE JAMES, &c. There are two things which, we the stamp of ancient usage, and venehope, will ever be found to go hand rable old age. In most things, truth, and hand to the end of time; we mean after all, generally lies in the middle; learning and loyalty; and that dis- and the surest way of arriving at it is, content and dissatisfaction will ever by setting aside all prejudices, and be confined to the utterly ignorant, forming our estimate from the consiand to that more mischievous class, deration of facts alone. There is nowhich

may

be denominated the half- thing, for instance, more loudly vauntinformed ; in which arrogance and ed of than the present flourishing pretension are more assiduous in ma state of learning in Scotland—which is king converts to crude speculations, indeed supposed to form one of our than conscious of deficiency in making most characteristic excellencies among progress in true philosophy and sound the nations of the earth—and that li

It is a considerable time now, beral diffusion of ideas, originating in since Pope told the world, that “ a the cheapness of education, which has little learning was a dangerous thing," formed us into a large body corporate and assuredly the Spenceans and Ra- of authors and readers; yet we vendicals cannot be brought forward as ture to stake our credit, that no such an illustration of the falsity of his volume as the one before us, maxim.

Muses Welcome to K. James,” could, Were a comparison to be drawn be- by any exertion of cotemporary talent, tween our ancestors of a century or be possibly called forth on any similar two back, and the present times, we occasion. As to our sister Erin do not think, that, in many respects, throwing it into shade, by any thing we should have great cause to exult in which she may produce on the prethe parallel. We should in all likeli- sent occasion of his Majesty's visit hood surpass them in the show, but there, we profess an equally sceptical yield to them in the substantial prac- opinion. tice of good. We should exhibit more So inveterate were the prejudices, of finicalness, pretension, politeness, now fast dispelling, which our southand all those arts and graces, which ern neighbours, at least the most uncost little in the exercise; but it is informed part of them, conceived much to be feared, that, balanced against this portion of the island, that against them in benevolence, hospita- our forefathers were accounted a set lity, warm-heartedness, disinterested- of savages prowling about the mounness, generosity; or in any of those tains, and utterly ignorant of the arts virtues, the practice of which requires which adorn civilized life. A journey a sacrifice of selfish feelings; or in to Scotland was considered as a thing profundity of knowledge; or in what- far more hazardous than what we look ever demands severe exertion of the on a voyage to China to be now-amental faculties, we have as much days; and the traveller, before leaving reason to dread our being found want- his disconsolate friends, generally made ing, as Belshazzar, when he beheld his will, and settled his

affairs, as the The armless band that wrote

chances were considerably against his His sentence on the palace wall.

safe return to the bosom of his fa. Extremes meet. There are one set of mily. We speak of things not half a people who are ever ready to exclaim, century old ; and which will be found that the present age is by far the best to be not wholly extinct at the preand wisest of any that the world has sent day, as witness the fears expressexhibited; and that the past is to themed so pathetically in the commercial but a scene of twilight indistinctness travels of our friend the Bagman, as and confusion; while there is another may be found extracted in an early set, who dlespising every thing recent, Number of our work : but we trust merely because it is so, and willing to we have there made sufficient apology adhere rather to old prejudices than for him, in its being the first time he to newly discovered truths, will be had ever lost hold of his mother's contented with nothing but what wears apron-strings.

7

A more complete refutation of the lis hausimus, enumerare velim ; dies me, scandals thrown out against old Scot- quid diem dico ? imò annus, imò et ætas land, and a more triumphant display deficiet priùsquàm oratio.” of her general scholarship and sound

The speech being concluded, a great information, at a time when a great number of “ poesies,” in the Latin part of Europe was in a state of semi- tongue, were recited, some of them harbarism, can be found nowhere considerably above mediocrity, and one more satisfactorily, than in the collec or two of them very chaste and classition from which we now propose to cal. make some extracts. And we do think

On the 15th of May,

- the King's we shall be deemed to have rendered a majestie came to Sea-towne,” where he service to our country, by putting our

was presented with a Latin poem, half literary men on their mettle, against as long as the Pilgrims of the Sun, the expected visit of his Majesty next composed by Joannes Gellius a Gellisyear.

town, Philosoph. et Med. Doc. who James the Sixth, after having re

seems to have been fond of congratusided, and held his court in London latory addresses, as, previous to this, he for fourteen years, found it expedient, was also author of an Epithalamium for the better settling of the civil and in Nuptias Frederici V. et Elizabethæ, ecclesiastical differences of his Scottish printed at Heidelburg in 1613.—But subjects, to visit his ancient dominions let us turn from him to a name with in person. In his journey northward, which we are more familiar, and not the heads of the civil authorities, and more so than we ought to be; for, the seminaries of learning, in testi- whatever Mr Gifford may say to the mony of their loyalty and joy, deliver- contrary, we uphold Drummond to be, ed orations, held disputations before if not a great historian, at least a poet him, and greeted him with poems in of exquisite sensibility. When stupithe Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Eng- dity is trampled on, it remains in the lish tongues, which were collected in a mire; but genius re-assumes its nahandsome folio, printed in 1618, (the tive superiority. Such has been the year following,) and edited by John fate of Drummond's writings, and they Adamson.

illustrate the motto which he has preIn passing from Berwick to Dun- fixed to the poem of “ Forth Feast

" A Virtute glass, the King was first addressed by ing,” in this collection ; A. Hume, in a most elaborate piece of orta occidunt rarius.” The poem was oratory, which sets out with saying, presented by Drummond in person; that Priam of Troy had fifty sons ;

but whether recited or not, we are and that between father and children not informed. We extract the followthere subsisted many reciprocal duties. ing as a specimens: This postulate we immediately grant “ Let others boast of blood and spoyles of to Mr A. Hume; but let us see what foes, use he makes of the fact. James the Fierce rapines, murders, Iliads of woes, Sixth is likened to Priam, and the Of hated pompe, and trophæes reared faire, Scottish people to his offspring; but, Gore-spangled ensignes streaming in the as Priam had a Paris, as well as a Hec

aire, ‘tor, the similitude will not hold good Count how they make the Scythian them here, in Mr A. Hume's opinion, as his

adore, countrymen were all Hectors. He then The Gaditan the souldiour of Aurore, proceeds to give a sketch of the history Which charge themselues with cares, their

Vnhappie vauntrie ! to enlarge their bounds, of Scotland from the days of the Picts, friends with wounds, the landing of Fergus, the invasions which haue no law to their ambitious will, of the Britons, Danes, Normans, and But (man-plagues) borne are human blood Romans, down to the day and the hour to spill : in which the King stands before him. Thou a true victor art, sent from aboue Nothing surely can be more loyal or

What others straine by force to gaine by rhetorical than the following passage.

loue,

World-wandring fame this prayse to thee « Nos hactenus per duo ferè millia anno imparts, rum soli fuimus majorum tuorum ; illiq; To bee the oulie monarch of all hearts. nos respiciebant solos. Si labores et su They many feare who are of many fear'd, dores; si frigus et famen ; si incommoda, And kingdomes got by wrongs by wrongs et pericula, quæ illi pro nobis, nos pro il. are tear'd,

« VorigeDoorgaan »