Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

ties put together so higgledy piggledy, I care not-to save it from being ut-
that however excellent each is in its terly insipid.
kind, the union is an abortion,-a There have been few great authors
worse than nothing—but the anagrams who took from the beginning to writ-
of intellect, as Donne would say. The ing as a profession it is too appal-
world, too, has treated us similarly; ling–1 doubt if it would require half
with the most patriotic feelings, our so much courage to lead a forlorn hope.
countries have laughed at us; with the They are, for the most part, meir,
most philanthropic pens, we have be- against whom all other avenues were
come the buts and bye words of criti- shut,—who have been pushed from
cism; and with the warmest hearts, their stools,
we never had a friend. He despised “ And being for all other trades unfit,
poetry-so

-so do I; he despised book Only t'avoid being idle, set up wit." learning-I know nothing about it; he And this not for lack of capacity, but did not care for the great-the great for want of will; none of them could do not care for me. What further give a reason for being what they are traits of resemblance would you have? I could not, I know, for one. Yet -liis breeches hung about his heels. mine was a natural course. It is an easy

The author of a mighty fine review transition from the pencil to the pen, of Childe Harold compares the author, only the handling of the first niust be my friend's friend, to Rousseau, and the result of long practice, and unekes out the similarity in poetic prose. wearied assiduity.

The latter goes I have no fault to find with the Re more glibly, and is the engine of view, it being buon camarado of mine, greater power. We long to grasp it, but they might have made out a better as if it were Jove's thunderbolt, and comparison. It was L. H. first sug- “hot and heavy we find it. The study gested to me my resemblance to the of the arts, too, is a terrible provocaauthor of Eloisa ; it is one of those tive to criticism--to canting and unobligations I can never forget. He said, meaning criticism. I must confess, I at the same time, that he himself was tremble to think what literature is like Tasso, and added, in his waggery, likely to suffer from the encroachments he would prove that bard a Cockney. of that superficial and conceited tribe. This is neither wit nor good sense in I was myself one of them, and may my friend, who, finding he cannot own it, though they be to me the first shake off the title, wishes to convert it 'aneath the sun.' They leap to taste, into a crown ;-it won't do, the brave without laying any foundation of knowpublic' will have it a fool's cap. ledge with their eyes stuck into the

As for me, I care not; they will subject matter of their work; their have me Cockneythey're welcome; notions of things are too apt to rethey will have me pimpled in soul and semble those of the “fly upon the wellin body—they're welcome; I know proportioned dome;" their overstrained what they will not have me--but no idea of the all-importance of their art, matter; I wander from my theme-. may be a very useful feeling to theminyself, but I cannot help it. The selves, and to their own exertions, but, thoughts of what I have suffered from to the world, it is pedantry and impuenvenomed pens come thick upon me; dence. There are other things besides but posterity will do me justice, and painting, and of this truth they do not there will yet be "sweet sad tears” shed seem enough aware. There are exover the tombs of me and of my tribe. ceptions, however I am one, HNevertheless, let me not give up the another. And I take this opportunity ghost before my time -I am worth two of weighing a little into the opposite dead men yet; nor let it be here on scale, since I perceive they hold up record that I could be moved by my their heads more than ordinary, (es-" hard-hearted and hard-headed perse- pecially the Cockney artists) on the cutors. But “ what is writ is writ”. strength of my former essays.

I have it

goes my heart to blot one quará heard a dauber speak of me, yes, he ter of a page. My thoughts walk forth writes about the art,' in much the same upon the street, like malefactors on the tone as if he were recommending Mildrop, with their irons knocked off. ton to a divine for having treated of They come unshackled, unquestioned, the Deity. They shall no more such unconcocted; and if I have uttered essays, nor shall they again lay such heaps of folly in my day, I trust there flattering unction to their souls. was some leaven-pool or bad, which I must necis be an honest man, for

to

dered.

and fastidious

being I speak hard always of what I love Talking of subjects--I have been

best ; —it is upon points nearest our often accused of a fondness for paradox,

own hearts that we are most apt to I am not ashamed of the predilection. eur feel spleen. Downright foes never Truth, in my mind, is a bull, and the Duis come within arm's length of one, only way to seize it is by the horns.

one cannot get a blow at them; and This bold method of attack the startled lmt we must tall foul of our friends, were reader calls paradox. He had rather

it but for practice sake, to keep our spend hours in hunting it into a coris pugnacity in tune. People, with who ner, with but a poor chance of noosing l. Thave been in habits of intimacy, have it after all, and is envious of him that

complained that I make free with their has the courage to grasp it at once. I da names, borrow my best things from like the Irish for this, they blunder pe their conversation, and afterwards upon truth so heartily, and knock it

abuse them. It is all very likely; but out of circumstances, as if these were : why do they talk so much ? If they made of flint, and their heads of iron. bez throw their knowledge into one's I blunder on it myself often, but the * hands, how can we help making use worst of this method is, that one is so set of it? Let them enter their tongues apt to mistake common-place for a

at Stationer's Hall, if they would pre new discovery. We light upon it so 25 serve the copy-right of speech, nor be suddenly, that there is no time to ex, in bringing their action of trover to re- amine its features, and thus otten send gain what they have carelessly squan- forth an old worn-out maxim as a

spic and span-new precept. But :'tis He that writes much, must neces the same thing,-half the world won't tai sarily write a great deal of bad, and a recognize it, and the other half won't

great deal of borrowed. The gentleman take the trouble of exposing it. All author

, that takes up the pen once in the didactic prosing of the age-prothree months, to fabricate a pet essay sing, be it in verse or not, is but the for his favourite miscellany or review, his crambe repetita—the old sirloin may keep up his character as a tastefuí done up into kickshaws and fritters.

penman. But let him Gravity and sense are out of tunebe like me, scribbling from one end of the stock is exhausted to the knowthe year to the other obliged to it, at ing—the only vein unworked is huall hours and in all humours and let's mour. Waggery is always original ; see what a mixture will be his warp and there is more genuine inspiration and woof?--Let him, in an evil mo- in comic humour, than in the mightyment, be compelled to “set himself mouthed sublime. Madame de Stael, doggelly about it,” as Johnson says, that eloquent writer,-whom I know and he'll be glad to prop himself up out in transistion by the bye-has with the gossip of his acquaintances, anticipated these observations of inine and the amusing peculiarities of his in her Essay on Fiction :-"Nature, friends

. Let him stick in his working and thought are inexhaustible in proclothes , hammering away all weathers, ducing

sentiment and meditation ; but like Lord Castlereagh in the House, in humour or pleasantry, there is a and he'll have little time for display certain felicity of expression, or perand got up speeches. He'll soon learn ception, of which it is impossible to o despise which word comes foremost, calculate the return. Every idea which and which comes fittest, and, in the excites laughter may be considered as way of diction, he'll soon cry out with a discovery ; but this opens no track myself=" all's grist that comes to the to the future adventurer. To, this mill

” Grammarians and verbal critics eccentric power there lies no path, may ay out against us for corrupting of this poignant pleasure there is no the language - they may collate, and perennial source. That it exists, we talk with Mr Blair of purity,

propriety, are persuaded, since we see it conand precision ; but we own no such stantly renewed ; but we are as little rules to our craft ;-with us, words able to explain the course as to direct

the means. The gift of pleasantry * Winds, whose

ways

we know not of.” more truly partakes of inspiration than All we have to do is, to take the first the most exalted enthusiasm." The that offers, and sail wherever it may world are beginning to be of the same blow ;-all parts are alike, so as the opinion,--they are finding out this soyage be effected-all subjects alike, truth more and more every day. Na. s the page be concluded.

tural humour, lightness of heart, and

[ocr errors]

are

brio, it begins to think the best phi- of drudgery-of"hubble, bubble, toil, losophy,--and it is right. Doubtless and trouble”—will be repaid with ages this is the great cause of the popularity of fame; and, enthroned between Adof that confounded Northern Maga- dison and Bacon, my spirit shall wield zine, which seems to have taken out a the sceptre of Cockney philosophy.patent for laughing at all the world. Yet let me not be discontented; I am Like the spear of Achilles, however, not all forsaken. From Winterston its point can convey pleasure as well to Hampstead my name is known-at as pain-a balm as well as a wound. least, with respect. I am in Kiterature It is a wicked wag, yet one cannot the lord-mayor of the city-the Wood help laughing with it at times, even of Parnassus (what an idea!). The against one's-self. I shall never forget apprentices of Cockaigne point at me, the look of L. H. when he read him- as towards the highest grade of their self described in it, as a turkey-cock ambition. I am the prefect of all city coquetting with the hostile number critical gazettes; and L. H. for all his newly come out. There was more huffing and strutting, is but my depugood nature in the article than he had ty—my proconsul.Said I not well

, met any where for a long time, and Bully Rock? I blew into his nostrils he grinned with a quantum of glee all the genius he possesses, and introthat would have suffocated a monkey. duced him to the honourable fraterni

I would that Heaven had endowed ty of washerwomen and the roundme with more of the risible faculty, table; since which auspicious day, he or more of the serious; that I had lacked never a beef-steak, or a clean been decidedly one or the other, in- shirt. But of him, and of all my acstead of being of that mongrel hu- quaintances, I have left valuable memour, which deals out philosophy with morials throughout my writings. This flippant air, and cracks jests with cof- observation, and that anecdote, have fin visage. I can't enrol myself under always come pat into my sentences; any banner ; and cannot, for the life so that, with my mixture of gossip of me, be either serious or merry. I've and philosophy, I shall be the halftried both; but my gravity was dog Boswell, half-Johnson, of my age. gedness, and my mirth most uncouth Not that I deign to compare myself gambolling. So I must e'en remain as with the first in dignity, or with the I am,-up or down, as stimuli make last in “that fine tact, that airy intuior leave me. It is a sorry look-out, tive faculty,” that purchases at halfthough, to be dependent on these,– price ready-made wisdom. As to my to owe every bright thought to “mine politics, it would be a difficult matter host," or mine apothecary. I am not an to say what they were. I know not admirer of “ the sober berry's juice;" myself; so that we will treat them as it generates more wind than ideas. a country schoolmaster gets over a hard Johnson's favourite beverage is better, word, " It's Greek, Bill, read on.' but it is not that I worship. “ Tell As to my temper, it is of the genus me what company you keep,” says the ritabile prosaicorum (if that be gooi adage ; a more pertinent query would Latin.) I am very willing to give, bu be, “ Tell me what liquor you drink.” little able to return a blow. I weed I would undertake to tell any charac- under the lash, and, in truth, am to ter upon this data. There is a mani- innocent for the world. After attack fest" compromise between wine and ing private character and public vir water” in Mr Octavius Gilchrist; 'tis tue,-endeavouring to sap all princi easy to discover sour beer in Mr Gif- ples of religion and government,ut ford's

pen; and brisk toddy in North's tering whatever slander or blasphemy -equally easy in mine, to descry the caprice suggested, or malice spurrer dizziness of spirit, or the washiness of me to,-yet am I surprised, and una water, whichever at the time be the ble to discover, how or why any on reigning potion.

can be angry with me. I own, it is This hurried sketch will not see the puzzle to me to find out how I hav light till I am no more. 'Twill be made enemies. Yet, such is the world. found among my papers, affixed to my that I am belaboured on all sides ;Memoirs, and my executors will give friends and foes alike fall foul of me it to the world with pomp. Then will --and often am I tempted to cry out 1, uncoated, unbreeched, and uncra- in the language of that book i hav vatted, look down from the empyreal neglected, "There is no peace for me on the scatteration of my focs. A life

but in the grave.”

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

She

nted

[ocr errors]

his

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ESSAYS ON CRANIOSCOPY, CRANIOLOGY, PHR&NOLOGY, &c.*
By Sir Toby TICKLETOBY, Bart.

CHAP. I.

Counsel for the Prosecution. kreo

Gentlemen of the Jury, this cause here
Depends not on the truth of witnesses,
As was the case some hundred years ago,
Before the days of Justice Tickletobius;
But upon statute 4th of George the Fourth.-
Compare this villain's head with what you know
Of bumps, that all agree denote a thief ;
And if there's a righteous skull-cap in the box,
(And I must not suppose it otherwise,)
I have no fear but you'll give verdict, “Guilty."

Counsel for the Prisoner.
Look at that bump, my Lord, upon his head ;

Pray feel its brother, on the other side; le for

And say if, in the range of possibilities,
This poor man here could either rob or steal,
And bear such striking marks of rigid virtue.

Ye Gentlemen of Jury, feel your heads, all

And if there is a knob upon your skulls
(Unless mayhap the rudiments of horns,)
That bears more honest seeming, then will I
Give up this much-wrong'd man to punishment.

Justiciary Records for the year 1996. As almost every individual in this paratus, and that an examination of ancient city who can read has lately the head of any one by those in the mpe had an opportunity of judging of the secret, is sure to detect the prevailing

infallibility of the doctrine which mea character of the individual, from the

sures the powers of our minds by the external swellings or bumps upon his 21bumps upon our skulls, from the ac skull. This is the system of those fö lii curate examination of the head of the renowned discoverers Drs Gall and

* unfortunate individual who lately for- Spurzheim, and of their illustrators in ules feited his life to the laws of his coun this country; and any one who takes by try, by one so eminently qualified to the trouble to examine it by the test at is form an accurate opinion on the sub- of experiment, will soon find that this ject

, I trust I shall be pardoned for hypothesis of human action is admiad es dedicating a few pages to a theme rably calculated for the subsequent

which I have been compelled to hear improvement of our species. My chief illustrated in every company.

objection to it is, that it does not go There seems now little doubt, from far enough, and that in the thirty-14 the learned publications of our own three great divisions in the map of the 1, is countrymen, that every prevalent bent osseous covering of the centre of neres of mind or brain (for brain without vous energy, room has not been found

mind is a very useless article indeed) for thirty-three divisions more. For is developes itself by a corresponding instance, we know that there are dull,

increase of the bony case which is and very stupid, and even insane peois supposed to contain the thinking ap- ' ple in the world; yet there is no organ

[ocr errors]

Cranioscopy means the inspection of the cranium, and Craniology, a discourse on I, the cranium. Phrenology is derived from the Greek noun opévac, mind, or rather perDo I haps from operītis, mentis delirium; the same root from which our common English Dhe word phrensy takes its rise, and which signifies, according to Dr Johnson, on the au

thority of Milton, madness, frantickness. The Scottish writers on this subject, with the characteristic good sense of their countrymen, prefer the appropriate term phrenology to the less significant terms employed by the cranial philosophers of the south, or the fathers of skull science on the Continent. Phrenitis, in the nosological systems of Sauvages and Cullen, I need scarcely remark, is a cognate word. Vol. X.

K

of stupidity, or bump of dulness,-no so well known to medical men from rise or depression to designate the sane the intolerable headachs which arise from the insane,--the crack-brained from repletion and indigestion, also theorist from the cool investigator. well deserves the notice of some great Now, that there must, in some skulls man, capable of working up the idea at least, be tremendous bumps of folly into a system. The facts which have and gullibility, (gullibilitiveness, I be come under my own notice, have long lieve, should be the word,) the writ- impressed me with the belief, that ings of Spurzheim and his followers there is more mind in the belly than afford abundant and most melancholy most people are aware of. There is no proof.

saying what effect even diet may

have Another very profound theory of on the production of genius; and it human action and human motive, has would be premature, in the present been lately propounded by the cele- state of our knowledge on this point, brated Dr Edward Clyster; and though to offer any conjectures as to the share the system of the Doctor has been pre- which breakfast, dinner, and supper vented from being sufficiently known may have had in the elicitation of by the mean jealousies and envy of works, hitherto attributed to the head professional rivalship, and the prevail- alone. ing celebrity of phrenology, it certain Without entering into the merits of ly deserves to be made better known. these rival hypotheses, or of the more The Doctor's theory is, that the pre- probable one of Lavater, that the prevailing mental character of the indivi- vailing habits of thought give a chadual may be traced with equal certainty racteristic tone to the whole physiogon another extremity of the human nomy, I may be permitted to state

, body; and that in point of practical that the production of genius is a much experiment, more instances can be more philosophical subject of inquiry cited in favour of his hypothesis, than than the indications of it, or the want that of Drs Gall and Spurzheim. of them in a person already formed, From the Doctor's repeated examina- and where the utmost that can be extion of the bottoms of nearly eight pected from the knowledge is, some hundred boys, while usher of the minute regulations for checking or imGrammar School of Kittlehearty, and proving what can only be checked 01 from facts communicated to him by improved to a very limited extent the four masters of the High School These indications, then, of the hither. of Gutterborough, he concludes with to barren theory of Drs Gall, Spurz: confidence, that the indications of the heim, and Company, I now purpose hemispheres of the one termination, to turn to some practical account. are at least of equal importance with It is a well-known fact, that the hu the indications of the other. He man cranium may be moulded, in earl mentions with an air of triumph the infancy, into any conceivable shape results of the application of the birch from the elastic nature of the bones o (taws, Scotticé,) to this part, and the which it is formed.

Every medica well known effects of the operation in practitioner, from Hippocrates and Cel stimulating the intellectual powers, as sus down to Abraham Posset the apo matter of everyday observation, and thecary, is aware of this fact ; and it as affording reason to believe that the equally well ascertained, that sever: bottom is more intimately connected tribes of savages take their distinctiv with the mind than preceding investi.' mark from the form of the skull. gators have supposed.t

is fashionable among one tribe, for ir The intimate connection which sub- stance, to wear their brain in a ca: sists between the stomach and the brain, shaped like a sugar-loaf, while othe

+ Dr Spurzheim, from the circumstance of Sterne being represented in all his po traits with his head leaning on his hand, and his finger on a particular place of 1 forehead, concludes that the organ of wit must occupy that identical spot; and Dr Clyst from the late Dr Webster, the founder of that excellent institution, the Widows' Fu of the Scottish Clergy, having his hands in his breeches-pockets when he brought fi ward the measure in the General Assembly, and always one hand in that position wh he spoke on the subject, considers it as demonstrated, that the organ of Benevolen and Philanthropy must be confined to that neighbourhood. So nearly balanced are t two theories.

« ZurückWeiter »