Page images

original. In looking for a book, in his father's library, more difficult than Telemaco, he found a Spanish Don Quixote. Don Quixote, the favourite of his first studies! Oh what pleafure to taite the admirable proverbs of his shrewd 'fquire, scaloned with all the poignancy of their original language! Were the grave discourses of Mentor comparable to the pleafant repartees of Sancho ? And Calypso, forfaken by Ulyffes, in fpite of the pleas fures of her enchanted ifland, was the so interesting as the incomparable Dulcinea, for whom her lover undertook to conquer fo many kingdoms. This undertaking required fome courage. It was neceffary constantly to contend with unknown words, as the knight of the woeful figure did with focks and windmills

S'; but he finished this first campaign with equal glory. Yet, shald I tell it before the second fally of the hero of La Mancha, Zephirin was gone from the Spanish to enter on the Englisli, which he soon left for the Gerinan ; so that at the end of the year, he spoke four living languages, but so little of each, and fo much of all together, that his audience muft bave been composed of the deputies of four nations, to interpret to one another, what each could catch of the shreds of his disjointed discourfe.

• Address, in the exercises of the body, seems to lend a new charm to the cultivation of the mind; and the most extensive knowlege cannot, in the eyes of the world, excuse aukwardness. Zephirin had a disagreeable instance of this. His father, on his birth-day, had given a little ball, whtre, notwithitanding his erudition, he confused all the dancers. He wished to figure aqcording to the principles of art; but no sooner had he learnt the steps of a minuet, than the entrechats turned his brain. What he chiefly wished to know, in every lesson, was precisely what was not yet proper to be taught. Always greedy to acquire what he was ignorant of, and discontented with what he had learned, he was constantly confused. He wilhed fometimes to make chassis in the round. A rigaudon cost him little in figuring, instead of a pas grave; and a balance, when a moulinet was required: the violin was not necessary to change the tune for him to begin alone á pot-pouri; and all this rendered him in supportable to the young ladies.

We cannot pursue the inconstant in all his changes; this is a sufficient specimen of our author's knowlege of the human heart, and his fpirit in relation. Indeed we ought to speak well of hiin, for he seems fond of English history, and of English authors. * It may not be disagreeable, fays he, to my readers to be informed, that the house once inhabited by. Newton, and in which his observatory still exists, is now the dwelling of the author of Cecilia and Evelina. This seems to be the Temple of Genius, from whence having already taught us the cause of the vast motions of the universe, the returns, after one hundred years, to enlighten, with equal brilliancy, the deepest recesses of the human heart. This information as first generally published in Paris ;

7 9

[ocr errors]

may those, beít able to reward the ingenious family, catch the firit fpark of gratitude from the same source!

The Tale of the Inconitant, and an elegant and instructive Dialogue on Flattery, are contained in the first Number ; and the volume is concluded by a just description of the Peak at Castleton improperly called Castle Town), and an interesting story entitled the Peasant a Benefactor to his Country. It is the picture of a modern patriarch, surrounded by his family and friends, dispensing benefits by his advice, his influence, and his little acquifitions. The second volume contains the System of the World, adaped to the period of youth. It is indeed accurate and elegant. The third volume is filled with the three first acts of a tragedy, entitled Charles the Second, imitated from the German of M. Stephanie. As a drama, it is exceptionable; but the sentiments are those of justice, generosity, and humanity. In fome minute points of the history our author is mistaken ; but, in general, he is fufficiently exact. In the translation of starchamber, and thip-money, he also gives erroneous ideas, styling them farry chamber, and the tax on shipping. Indeed proper pames and national terms, either of places or things, should never be translated..

On the whole, having announced these volumes, and given them their just praises, we fhall leave the subsequent ones to the reader's judgment. We can only add, that a translation of them would be an acceptable present to Englith youth, and probably be received with applause.

Analyse raisonné des Rapports des Commisares, chargés par le Roi

de l'Examen du Magnetisme Animal. Par 7. B. Bonnefoy, Membre

alue College Royal de Chirurgie de Lyon. Paris & Lyons. 8vo. W!

E have already mentioned the translation of the Report of

Dr. Franklin, and other Commillioners, charged by the King of France with the Examination of the Animal Magnetitin. (Crit. Rev. vol. lix. p. 18. 1.) It was the object of our , attention, as an English publication ; but we must now resume the confideration. Those who reflect on the danger of oppofing fashionable novelties, or destroying the source of a lucrative imposition, will soon have perceived that the detection of monsieur Mesmer muit have excited the attention of his friends and confederates. We have now before us several pamphlets relating to this famous controversy, but shall only give an account of the most important ones.

The opinion of the commissioners is confirmed by the report of those of the Royal Society of Medicine. The last work which we have received we shall not particularly mention, as the principal arguments have been already considered, in the volume of our Journal referred to. We have attentively examined it, but find little to add. Both these Reports are fubjected to the ana


lyfis of ionf. Bonnefoy; a name, if it be not fietitious, well adapted to the part he has undertaken to defend.. His faith, however, must rise to credulity, and his philosophy to the occult qualities of Aristotle, if he would defend Mesmer in his principal positions.

The chief argument which deserves attention is, that the methods of Mesmer and Deflon are very different; but Deflon was an assistant to the former, and frequently officiated in his master's stead, so that little dependence can be placed on this part of his work. The Reports are then more particularly confidered; but they are attacked by declamation rather than reaning; and by railing doubts with respect to other remedies instead of establishing the certainty of animal magnetism. The author's cloquence is much superior to his philosophy; in the latter, his mistakes are gross and numerous. On the whole, this is a weak defence, and therefore a real injury to the cause which he means to support.

Doutes d' un Provincial proposés a Messicurs Les Medicins Commif.

faires. 8vo. Lyons and Paris. THIS work professedly contains the doubts of a provincia!, who

answers for nothing but his doubts. The disguise is well put on, and supported with confiftency. The cool contempt with which he speaks of medicine, and those commissioners who are physicians, the indignation which he seems to suppress, and which appears only in the most pointed farcafms, betray a little more interest in the question than the author chuses to acknowlege

Ah! would to God that magnetism was the only medicine which clergymen employed with their pariihioners, mothers witlz their daughters, fathers with their fons, relations and friends with each other. What delusion more delightful than to relieve those we love? and what reality more useful than to preserve them from a destructive art, or the affaflin who practises it?'

• Gentlemen! gentlemen! if your science had been exposed to this public investigation, if your commissioners had been your former patients, or the disciples of Meliner,--just Heavens ! what a report would they have made.'

You have said so much, gentlemen, of imagination, that you have infected me with the disease ; and I imagine that one of the commissioners, appointed to determine the utility of phyfic, holds in bis hands the horrible trumpet, and cries, Ye dead arise, and give your evidence on all physicians. Oh! gentlemen! what a terrible judgment would you undergo! What physician, at this frightful appearance, instead of concealing himself, would dare to recriminate againit magnetism ?'

In this way our author proceeds in his address ; and we rather wonder that some enemy of the science, some favourer of quacks, does not put this well-written, animated pamphlet, into an Engo Vol. LX. Od. 1785.

lith lifh dress. The arguments are often acute and pointed, but no striking or satisfactory. The delusion is in the style ; for, when we are pleased, we sometimes think we are convinced. The author divides his address into three parts; first, on what the commissioners did not choose to do ; fecondly, on what they have done ; thirdly, on what they ought to have done.

Yet the author is warm in his praises of the individuals who practise medicine ; in no profession he finds more amiable men, more true philosophers, good citizens, excellent masters, and faithful friends.

It has happened, adds he, in your science, differently from what occurs in others : there are few seiences but what are more valuable than its professors; but, by a fingular contrast, there are few physicians who are not more valuable than medicine. Rousseau has said, “ bring the phyfic without the doctor." I should not hesitate to return, i bring the doctor, provided he leaves his medicines behind." Thus he makes the amende honorable. Can we blame him? by no means; he has done every thing, except establishing the credit of Mesmer and magnetism.



An impartial Sketch of the Debate in the House of Commons of

Ireland, on a Motion made on Friday, August 12. 1785, by
the Right Hon. Thomas Orde, Secretary to the Right Hon.
Charles Manners, Duke of Rutland, Lord Lieutenant, for
Leave to bring in a Bill for efectuating the Intercourse and
Commerce between Great Briiain and Ireland, on permanent
and equitable Principles, for the mutual Benefit of both Coun-
tries. By W. Woodfall. 8vo. 35. 6d. Robinson and Debrett.
R. W. Woodfall, editor of the Morning Chronicle, has

long been celebrated for the extent of his memory, and his great abilities in reporting parliamentary debates, &c. in which he is certainly unrivalled. Every reader of those productions must therefore reap peculiar satisfaction, on finding that this extraordinary person paid a visit to the Irish capital, for the purpose of collecting and stating the sentiments of the representatives of that kingdom, relative to the proposed commercial intercourse with Great Britain, as delivered on the twelfth and fifteenth of August last. In performing this fervice, so acceptable to the public curiosity, he has purposely, and for good reasons, omitted to enumerate every interruption given to gentlemen while they were speaking, and has noticed luch only as contributed to elucidate the argument, and explain

[ocr errors]



the particular fact to which they alluded. He has likewise, with equal propriety, contented himself with stating on which side of the question several gentlemen spoke, whom he either heard indiftinctly, or who did not accompany the delivery of their opia nion with any arguments or observations that were new, or more pointedly applied than they had been before by other speakers. Mr. Woodfall affures us (and from our experience of his fidelity, in numberless instances, we can rely on his affertion), that he has guarded against all national prejudice or party-colouring; and as a confirmation of the authenticity to which he has anxiously adhered, we find that he has been favoured with a number of the most satisfactory communications on the subject. For these reasons, we are persuaded that the fense of the de. bate, in general, is fairly and fubftantially conveyed in this publication. With regard to the speeches, we shall only ob, serve, that several discover ingenuity, and other's both ingenuity and force of argument. But at the same time that we derive pleasure from these efforts of Hibernian eloquence, we cannot help feeling regret at the influence of what we think a groundless opinion, on the minds of some of the most distinguished orators.

Notwithstanding all the opposition, from whatever motives it may have proceeded, which has been made to the celebrated propositions for the establishment of an indissoluble commercial treaty between Great Britain and Ireland ; notwithstanding all that has been spoken in the parliament of both kingdoms, all that has been written, and all that has been thrown out in popular assemblies on the subject, this verbal, this declama. tory opposition bears not the smallest resemblance to that general ferment which arose in Scotland against the Union in 1706, when almost the whole nation became outrageous; when queen Anne's ministers were not only publicly insulted, but had nearly fallen a sacrifice to the furious resentment of the populace ; when the execrated articles were burnt with indignation ; and an army was even raised to oppose this reprobated meafure of government.But, as an eminent historian has obferved, with regard to this subject, “We now see it has been attended with none of the calamities that were prognos. ticated; that it quietly took effect, and fully antwered all the purposes for which it was intended.'

The perusal of this publication will correct many mistakes that have crept into the papers, respeing what was delivered by the members on each side of the question, the most important which has been debated since the period above men. tioned.


« PreviousContinue »