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that this work, so much entitled to our commendation, is The Life of a Lawyer. Written by Himself. London. dedicated to our respected townsman and indefatigable
Saunders and Benning. 1830. patural historian, Patrick Neill, Esq.
This is the work of a sensible man. It is such stuff as the day-dreams of a young barrister, likely to rise in
his profession, are made of. There is nothing of romance The Adventures and Feelings of a Griffin. In two vo
in it, and yet many young hearts will beat at its perusal, lumes. Edinburgh. James Kay. 1830.
at the enquiry, whether such a career may not lie before GRIFFIN, it appears, is the cant name for a young man them? The Lawyer's cases are (as a matter of course) about to proceed to India, or newly arrived there. The all well conducted ; but what, to the reader in search of present work is twofold ; consisting partly of the adven- amusement, is more to the purpose, the author has suctures of such a person, and partly of a story called “ Henry ceeded wonderfully in communicating to some of them Frankfort,” introduced by way of episode, but extending the same riveting interest which attaches to the unroll. over a 'considerable portion of both volumes. The author ing of a real complicated plea. Our Lawyer turns reis evidently inexperienced as a writer, but entertains a former, too, in bis old days; but the Courts of Chancel great admiration of Fielding and Smollett, and has en lors in posse are, like bachelors' families, proverbially deavoured to model bis style after them. He is fond of well managed. describing night adventures in inns, stage-coaches, and public waggons, and he spices these with some humour, tbough not unfrequently with a little too much coarse A Brief Outline of the Evidences of the Christian Religion. ness for the fastidious taste of the present day. He has By Archibald Alexander, D.D., Professor of Theology seen a good deal of life, has a fair stock of natural clever in the United States. Edinburgh. Waugh and Innes. ness, and has picked up a pretty familiar acquaintance 1830. 24mo.
Pp. 192. with the classics, wbich he displays, perbaps, rather am
This little work has already gone through three edi. bitiously. We have read many duller books ; and though tions within one year in America, and has been introduwe do not exactly know what good the “ Adventures of ced as a class-book into many of the public and private a Griffin” is calculated to effect, we see no reason why schools of that country. It is likely, therefore, to be fathe work should not have been written by the present, vourably received on this side of the Atlantic, and may or any other Griffin, who took it into his head so to do. safely be put into the hands of young persons of either Though in general inclining to what we may term the sex, for their instruction and improvement. It is pubrattling style of composition, the author is at times graver lished in a neat form, and at 8 cheap price. and more sedate ; and as we can find room for only one short extract, we prefer representing him in the latter mood :
Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopædia. THE ISLAND OF SAN ANTONIO. “ At sea, trifles are productive of much interest. Land, We have received copies of the following documents, a sail dimly discerned, a sboal of flying-fish, a whale, shark, in refutation of a ridiculous charge made against Dr Lardalbatross, or Mother Carey's chicken, -cach affords a day's net by an anonymous writer in the Times newspaper, food for amusement ; 'nor, fortunately, was the monotony We wonder the Doctor condescended to take any notice of our voyage unfrequently broken by such auxiliary relief ments to tedium. The first object which excited great ad- of it; but as he chose to do so, the letters wbich it has miration was the island of San Antonio. We came within elicited will amuse our readers, and are worth preserving, sight of it during the forenoon; but even at supper, though as more or less characteristic of their different writers : not far off, on account of the haziness of tbe sky, and lightness of the wind, it could but be indistinctly descried. At about half past twelve, the quarter-master, as I had pre
Regent Street, 16th July, 1830. viously directed liim, knocked at my cabin door, and told “ Sir, It is with the greatest reluctance that I am comme to get up, if I wished to see a fine sight. This I did pelled to claim the public attention by the paragraphs reinstantly; nor were my slumbers broken for nothing: We specting me, which have lately appeared in the Times. What had just approached as near to the island as we could do. you consider a 'hint of a charge against my. Cyclopadia,' It stood directly fronting us. I never can forget the state was, according to my view, intinitely more injurious to the of my feelings as I sat, for nearly an hour, without taking work and to myself (though not so intended by you) tban my eyes off what time and circumstance rendered a sublimer any explicit inculpation could have been. The charge was spectacle than I shall ever again behold. Lonely_lofty- declared to be of such a nature that you could not give credit and deeply furrowed by the hurricanes of ages—it raised its to it without the strongest evidence. Surely any reader unclouder head, silvered by a flood of the richest moon must have ivferred from this, that some accusation of a disbeams. All was still, save the breeze which bore us imper- graceful kind had been made; and no other course could ceptibly along. There stood in the unrufied deep what have been pursued by me except that which I adopted, viz. fancy might have deemed the throne of a spirit of the watery to request that the charge might be disclosed. I found that wilderness; the gloomy pall of its shadow extending far I was accused of having conspired with soine of the most over the mirror at its feet; its sides scathed by innumerable illustrious literary men of the age, to practise upon the thunderbolts, impervious in darkness, whilst every tower world an unparalleled act of fraud, by publishing a series ing abutment streamed with glorious effulgence. W bat an of works as theirs ; such works not being written by them; altar, thought I, is here to offer sacritice upon to the Most and that these distinguished persons had merely hired out High !-how pure, how acceptable ought to be the incense their names for this unjustifiable purpose. I confess that I of adoration, when offered on so awful a handiwork of the did think that nu individual could for one moment enterCreator! How humbled must be the man of pride-how tain a supposition of such measureless absurdity, and theredebased in soul the minion of ambition, when, kneeling on fore conceived that an answer was unnecessary. The acthat summit, he turns his thoughts to heaven ; when he cusation, however, being reiterated, and an answer clamour, sees himself encircled by ocean, shut out from all the vicesed for, I am obliged - I trust for the last time-to occupy, and follies of his race ! What a situation for the intidel, or in your paper, a space which might be employed much more the ravagers of the earth! One more sublime, one more profitably than in such discussions. awfully moral, I could not possibly conceive! A cloud “ I have communicated the particulars of the charge to now slowly stoled the moon; and that was all I ever beheld the first five persons who appear on the published list of of San Antonio.”
contributors, viz. Sir Walter Scott, Sir Jaunes Mackintosh, A higher tone of feeling pervades the above passage Campbell, Esq.; among whom are included the two per,
Robert Southey, Esq., Thomas Moore, Esq., and Thomas than our Grittin commonly cares to aim at. His book, taken altogether, leaves an impression upon us, that he is subjoin their answers; and should your readers require any
sons more specifically charged by your correspondent. I what in the army they call " a devilish good fellow," more such disavowals, they can be easily procured.
DR LARDNER TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
SIR WALTER SCOTT TO DR LARDNER.
SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH TO DR LARDNER.
" If men of bigh literary or scientific attainments can be
THOMAS CAMPBELL, ESQ. TO DR LARDNER. found, who would prostitute their names in the manner which your correspondent describes, I, with all humility,
“ Middle Scotland Yard, Whitehall, July 16th, 1830. daim for myself sufficient honesty to save me from being a “My dear Lardner,- I have seen the paragraph in the party to sueh a transaction. I Aing back the charge with Times newspaper in which you are called upon to contrathe indignation which it must excite in every right-minded dict the assertion, that you have announced literary characmua, and with the contempt which a reptile-spitting its ters as contributors to your Encyclopædia, who do not inrenom from the shelter of an anonymous signature-merits. tend to be the authors of the productions which they per,
" The publishers desire me to say, that they feel gratified mit to be published under their names. As far as I am and flattered that the number, rank, and talent of the men concerned, I can testify that I have promised you my asby whose aid their undertaking is supported, are such as to
sistance in the Cabinet Encyclopædia ; and though I am bave excited either the incredulity or the envy in which this unable, from my present literary engagements, to pledge strange accusation has originated.
myself precisely as to time, yet it is my intention to fulfil " I take this opportunity of stating, that the objection my promise. As to the idea of such men, as you mentions lately urged by you, on account of the narrow limits im- lending their names to articles not written by themselves, posed upon the distinguished persons who have undertaken it is a calumny that brings its own refutation. I remain, to write the volumes of the Cyclopædia, had been foreseen, dear Lardner, yours truly,
T. CAMPBELL." and the ground of it removed. The History of England
One thing might be remarked on these letters, that, will extend to eight volumes; and Mr Moore, Mr Southey, and the other contributors, have as much space as they think could we for a moment suppose it possible that such men desirable for their respective subjects. I have the honour to
as Dr Lardner's contributors would lend their names to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Dion. LARDNER.” an imposition on the public, their merely denying the
charge would not be held as a proof of their innocence in any court of justice in the kingdom; and this just
puts in a stronger point of view the absurdity of taking “ Abbotsford, Melrose, 12th July, 1830. the trouble to contradict an anonymous slanderer. " Dear Sir, I am favoured with your letter of 10th July, and the copy of the Times newspaper expressing, so far as I am concerned, the false and calumnious allegation that I am not the author of the work going under the name of
MISCELLANEOUS LITERATURE. the History of Scotland, published as mine in your Cyclopedia. Nothing can be more false than such an assertion, I either wrote with my own hand or dictated every line
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF EMINENT PERSONS in that History.-I am, with regard, dear sir, your most
OF ALL COUNTRIES. obedient servant, WALTER Scott."
RENE DESCARTES was born at La Haye, in Louraine, “ Battersea Rise, July 15th, 1830.
on the 31st of March, 1596. His family was noble. His * Dear Sir,- When I first read the assertion in the mother died a few days after giving him birth, of a pulTimes, that the persons named as authors of the historical portions of the Cabinet Cyclopædia were not the real wri
monary complaint; and his pale complexion, together ters, communicated, as it is said to be, by an unnamed cor
with a dry cough, which teased him till his twentieth respondent, and professedly disbelieved by the editors who year, induced several physicians to prognosticate that he publish it, I thought it needless to contradict a statement would not enjoy long life. He has himself attributed the w improbable and unsupported, As, however, the proprie falsification of their prediction to a buoyant and happy Lots of the Cabinet Cyclopædia think a contradiction neces disposition, which prevented disagreeable reflections of sary, I have no hesitation in declaring that every word in any kind from preying on his mind. It is not improbathe part of that publication which bears my name, was written by me.-1 am, dear sir, most faithfully yours,
ble that the babits of the military life, which he embraced, “ J. MACKINTOSH.
tended likewise to strengthen his constitution.
He was sent, at an early age, to the college of La
Flèche, which had been founded a short time before by ROBERT SOUTHEY, ESQ. TO DR LARDNER.
Henri Iy., and intrusted to the management of the Jews “ Keswick, 12th July, 1830. suits. Here he commenced a friendship with Mersen"Sir,-Your letter gives me the first information of the nius, which terminated only with his existence. Here, ebarge concerning the Cubinet Cyclopædia, which has been too, he formed those connexions, and nourished those ppt forth through the medium of the Times newspaper. predilections, which enabled him, while indulging in bold The publishers will do rightly in giving a prompt and deci- and novel speculations, to remain always on good terms sive contradiction to a charge as false as it is absurd, and as injurious as it is impudent. They will do also a public ser- with the order of the Jesuits
, notwithstanding their univice, as well as an act of justice to themselves, if they bring form and inveterate opposition to innovation. His tutors the person who has advanced it before a court of law, where grounded him in the knowledge of languages and mathehe may be taught, that not every kind of slander can be pub- matics ; and he himself took pleasure in works of poetry Lished with impunity.--I remain, sir, yours faithfully, and eloquence, but seems to have considered both arts
“ ROBERT SOUTHEY." rather as sources of amusement, than as objects of study.
His active mind, not satisfied with the performance of
prescribed tasks, urged him to dip into the books of every THOMAS MOORE, ESQ. TO DR LAKDNER.
science; but nowhere did he find precisely what he sought. “ Bury Street, St James's, July 15th, 1830. " Dear Doctor Lardner, -Your note finds me in all the and in 1616 he gratified his longing, by entering upon
He longed to read the volume of the world for himself, bastle of departure. I should have thought it hardly Frostb your while to notice this foólish charge, which is but the only career which was at that period thought suitShe of the many brought forward from time to time, for no able to his birth-the career of arms. other purpose, it would seem, than to give somebody the He served as a volunteer in the troops of Holland, and trouble of contradicting them. I only wish that they had afterwards under the Duke of Bavaria. But be confesses, informed us who are those persons that write under the that if he found books meagre, contradictory, and unsatislames of Sir Walter Scott and Sir James Mackintosh ;-factory, he found the minds of men still more so. Dissuch impostors are worth knowing.
Should you really think it necessary to take notice of appointed, in this manner, in his application to what he this imputation, I can have no objection to your adding my wisdom, he felt himself thrown entirely upon his own
had conceived to be the two great fountains of human witnesses you can produce in disproof of the charge Yours resources, He retired into his own mind, to collect and
Taomas Moore.." arrange the powers with which he nowy determined to
conqner that knowledge, which he found nothing'external ency to meditation. He acquired, before he was aware could give bim. A sceptical spirit, and the conviction, of it, the character of a philosopher; and, unwilling to that whatever he acquired must be the fruit of his own bear an undeserved honour, he thought of means to justify exertions, must, from the account he gives us of his dis-, his reputation. satisfaction with the perusal both of books and inen, have In the year 1629, he looked round him for a retirement been maturing themselves for years. But it was not till in which he might mature his reflections into a work of the year 1619-20, when, in the retirement of winter- sufficient importance to be published. His native coun quarters, at leisure from the importunities of business and try enjoyed at that time an interval of comparative repassion, and confined by the inclemency of the season to pose. But the power of the nobles bad not yet been sufhis chamber, that he commenced the task of concentra. ficiently broken, and the disquiets which shortly after ting his thoughts upon the best method of obtaining that broke out, were seen gathering on the horizon. Holknowledge his soul so thirsted after.
land, on the contrary, offered to our philosopher the He set to work in a manner that showed him to be prospect of a country," where the long continuance of impressed with a full consciousness of the magnitude of war bad introduced so excellent an order, the armies his undertaking. On examining his stock of acquired maintained served only as a more effective police; and knowledge, he found it extensive, and comprehending where, amid a crowded, active, and laborious people, a' much that is valuable, but he found also much that was man might enjoy at once the conveniences of a populous ill-arranged and ill-digested. He perceived, that many of city, and the retirement of a desert.” He took up his his opinions, having been embraced in childbood, before residence at Egmond, a small village near Alcmaer, in the thinking faculty was fully developed, or gathered the province of North Holland ; and there he continued from books without a very narrow scrutiny, were inca to reside, except for a few brief visits to Paris, Amsterpable of demonstration. He inferred that his simple dam, and the Hague, till near the close of hiš life. reasonings upon the objects which presented themselves We have been enabled to trace him hitherto, by the to him, would afford a more substantial and trustworthy accounts he has given us of his early life in his “ Dis system of knowledge, although less extensive, than what cours de la Methode ;" and by the additional light occahe had so superficially picked up. He resolved, on this sioually thrown upon them in his letters. His history account, not to throw aside all that he had previously during the next five and twenty years, is almost identilearned, but to remain sceptical regarding it, until, in fied with that of his publications. Between 1629 and the prosecution of his enquiries he should find it suscep- | 1637, he had prepared for publication a
« Traité du tible of demonstration. He laid down four rules to aid Systême du Monde," which he, however, suppressed, him in carrying this resolution into effect. The first lest he should share the fate of Galileo. After his was, to admit the truth of nothing which did not present death, a fragment of this work alone was recovered and itself to his mind with the clearness of demonstration : published by Clerselier, under the title “ Tractatus de The second, to divide all difficulties that occurred into Homine," He continued to pursue his speculations in their component parts, with a view to their easier sola- silence, contenting himself with touching upon isolated tion: The third, to examine all matters systematically, points of science in bis conversations or correspondence. assuming the existence of order even where he could not with his friends. In 1637, he published his “ Discours discover it: And the fourth, to take such comprehensive de la Methode;" in which he gives an historical detail views that he should be sure to omit nothing.
of his mode of pbilosophizing, and the process by which With regard to the conduct of his life, it soon occur- | he arrived at its invention. As specimens of the results red to him that the scepticisin which he recommended in to be attained by this new method, he subjoined two matters of reflection, would be here out of place. Action treatises—one on Dioptrics, the other on Meteory. requires promptitude and decision. He adopted, there In the winter of 1640-41, he submitted to his friends fore, to use his own expression, a provisory system of six Meditations, in which he evolved his metaphysical morality. (Je me formai une morale par provision.) This principles. These were shortly afterwards published, system rested upon three grand maxims. The first was along with the objections made to them by Mersennius, to conform in all things to the laws and customs of his Arnauld, Gassendi, and Hobbes. It is a fact worthy of country, and to adhere to the religion in which he had attention, that the Catholic clergy took little or no part been educated; renouncing, at the same time, all extremes in the discussions excited by Descartes' bold and norel of opinion, and reserving a right to discard such judg- speculations. The school of Port Royal adopted his doc. ments as he might afterwards find had been too hastily trines. The Jesuits followed their example. The Uniadopted. His second maxim was to be firm and resolute versity approved of them in part. It was among the in all his actions, and to act upon dubious opinions if he high Calvinistical party in Holland that he found ophad once determined on them, as constantly as if they ponents, persecutors, and traducers. The history of the were self-evident. This principle he defends upon the controversy is sufficiently instructive to serve as an apoanalogy of a traveller lost in a wood, who finds it most logy for inserting it here. advisable to continue in one direction, even though he is Le Roy, Professor of Medicine at Utrecht, was a friend not quite certain that it is leading him in the right way. and admirer of Descartes. It would seem, however, that His third maxim was to aim at overcoming himself ra- he had not correctly apprehended the doctriues of his ther than fortune, and to seek to alter his wishes, not teacher, but had attributed to him, without sufficient reathe course of events. His next object, after submitting son, many fancies of his own. Le Roy had promulgated his conduct to the government of these three laws, was some of the Cartesian opinions in two Theses which he to examine which of the multifarious occupations em- offered to maintain. They were violently and abusively braced by men were most in harmony with his disposi- attacked by Gisbert Voet, Professor of Theology, and tions; and his ultimate resolution was, to devote his life Rector Magnificus of the University. A series of letters to the cultivation of his reason, and to furthering to the from Descartes to Le Roy is still extant, in which we utmost of his power the knowledge of truth. Nine years, see, that although he did not exactly approve of the turn however, elapsed before he expressly dedicated himself to given to his doctrines by the latter, yet be tolerated it as science. He passed them ostensibly in the same manner not inconsistent with the latitude allowed to Theses, as the better class of men of the world, who, having no which were in general regarded more as provocatives to further desire than to live peaceably and innocently, sur- discussion, than deliberate avowals of their supporters render themselves to harmless amusement. During this opinion. In this view he aided his friend with wis do period he visited most of the courts of Europe. It was vice as to the best mode of carrying on his contruversy impossible, however, that those who habitually conversed with Voet. Le Roy, however, proceeded to give to the with him should not discover his native powers and tend- public a work entitled “ Fundamenta Physices,” in which
1 De the contradictory and immature character of his notions seems to have possessed warm feelings, and a powerful
wae su broadly displayed, that Descartes could no longer will, but dispositions rather inclined to quiet and repose. as acknoppledge him as the expounder of his sentiments. He was not a subtle dialectician, and was all his life
Voet now proceeded to attack the French philosopher in averse to controversy ; for, in addition to bis unwieldi1 m** person ; but he did it under the protection of a false name. ness in such subtle contests, the feeling of not being able B12 Descartes refuted his accusations, and the Rector, in to defend his convictions on the spar of the moment, & stead of continuing the controversy, accused him to the acting upon his vivacious temper, excited a disquietude se magistracy of being a libeller and atheist. The process extremely painful to his habits of mental repose. pe was carried on with great secrecy, and Descartes was A knowledge of his philosophical opinions may best bre i only informed, by two anonymous letters, of the danger gathered from collating his “ Discours de la Methode," me in which he stood. He claimed from the French am in which we bave tbe history of their genesis, or their barn bassador the enforcement of his rights as a subject of that analytical statement, with his “ Principia,” in which we 1 mation. On the mediation of this fumetionary, a letter have them synthetically arranged. His “Meditationes tre was addressed by the Prince of Orange to the States of de Prima Philosophia” throw additional light on his p> Utrecht, commanding them to give satisfaction to Des- metaphysical tenets ; and the reader will find his power
cartes. This letter was not a moment too soon : Voet of appreciating them materially aided by the appended obi had already feed the hangman to gather a large pile of jections of Hobbes and Arnauld. His treatise, “ De Pastai Food in anticipation of the sentence which was to order sionibus," first published after his death, and his collected to the works of his adversary to be burned.
letters, are indispensable towards forming a just estimate In June 1647, Descartes published his “ Principia ;” of his scientific labours. Isbat the recapitulation of his metaphysical dogmas con His system may be divided into two parts—the meta 5 tained in the first part of that work, excited against him physical, in which he attempts to establish the truth of
a new persecution on the part of the University of Ley human knowledge ; and the practical, in which he seeks den. He complained, in a letter to the curators, of the to extend its limits. In the first, he sets out by assuming,
false aspersions that had been cast upon him. They re that, as he is conscious of thinking, it follows necessarily bei pried, in an epistle of the utmost politeness, that they that he at least must exist. The next step is to ascertain
willingly acceded to his proposal that no mention should whether those ideas that present themselves to his mind be made of bis writings in the University, upon condi- have corresponding realities in the external world. He tion that he dropped the controversy. He answered, distinguishes two classes of ideas : with regard to the one, that he bad made no such proposal, and showed the in we are merely conscious of their existence in the mind; justice of thus condemning him unheard. Here the cor- but to the other, there attaches a necessary belief of a respondence seems to have ended ; but he was now corresponding external existence. Thus, when we call
thoroughly disgusted with Holland, through the machi- up the ideas of a triangle or circle, we do not feel any miss nations of the same intolerant sect which had murdered conviction that either the one or other exists without our
Barneveld and banished Grotius. A natural daughter (he mind; but assuming their existence, the relations of their never married) to whom he was warmly attached, had sides and angles have a necessary existence independent of died in her infancy at Amersfort, in 1610 ; and almost According to Descartes, there is but one idea which his only consolation for tome years, had consisted in his possesses to its nal extent this quality of necessary and correspondence with the Princess Palatine Elizabeth, in independent existence ; and that is the idea of God. But whom he found a docile and intelligent scholar. Some the idea of God comprehends truth as one of its essential hopes held out to him of royal patronage in his native attributes ; and a being with such an attribute cannot country having been frustrated, he was induced, under lead us into error. From this, he infers that every clear existing circumstances, to listen to the offers made him and distinct idea must have a corresponding reality. The by Christina of Sweden, through the medium of his only effect of this first part of Descartes' philosophy upon friend Chaunt, at that time ambassador from France at her the practical part, is to make him more scrupulous in recourt. He arrived at Stockholm about the close of the gard to the clearness and distinctness of his ideas. The pear 1649. Christina, anxious to enjoy his conversation, remainder of science he divides ipto physical and moral. but too much occupied with the details of business du In the former, he is a cautious and judicious observer of sing the more advanced part of the day, requested his pre- all that lies within his sphere of observation, an acute sence every morning at five in her library. The un. mathematician and mechanician. The experimental Fonted cold to which he was thus exposed in a climate science was then in its infancy, and he laid too little new to him, and at so early an hour, operating upon a
stress upon it. In moral investigations, he is more timid, constitution predisposed to pulmonary complaints, caused and shuns, with over-anxiety, every public expression of an inflammatory attack. The fever went to the brain, bis opinions. There are, however, detached passages in and, to judge of the reports of those who attended him, his letters, which show him to have been quite adequate the remembrance of his leading metaphysical doctrine, to the task. And there is something peculiarly noble in the immateriality of the soul, seems to have given their all his general statements upon this subject. What he is bue to the ratings of his delirium. He spoke incessantly most deficient in, is a practical knowledge of the business of the approaching deliverance of his soul from its mate of life. Our moral faculties are only evolved in action, rial prison. The fever left him in a state of extreme and we cannot observe them in a dormant state. To the debility, and a strange alteration being apparent in him, mere spectator of life, more than half of the powers and the ambassador's chaplain was sent for, but he was al- feelings which nature has given him must ever remain ready speechless. Being desired by the priest to testify unknown. We have sought rather to depict the leading by a siga whether he comprehended his exhortations, he features of Descartes' mind and philosophy, than to returned his eyes with a placid expression to heaven. Soon peat his errors, which every schoolboy knows by rote. after he breathed his last without a struggle.
The sway he exercised over the minds of his immediate The life of Descartes is almost entirely destitute of successors is also known to all. what is called incident. He was purely a thinking being, -be mixed among men only to study them,—and what chiefly awakens our interest in him as an individual, is
“ BEAUTIFUL DONALD." the picture we have in some of his writings of the growth of bis mind. He tells us himself that he was not remarkable either for precision of thought or promptitude of ap
By Thomas Brydson. prehension. The most prominent features of his intel As I was taking my accustomed walk a few days ago lect are its extensive capacity and solid strength. · He along the sea-shore, a heavy shower of rain obliged me to
beek shelter in the nearest cottage. I raised the latch, and yet at times I bear him something like a grudge, and ! had half uttered my first word of apology and explanation, were it not that at this moment I hear Nancy frying when I found there was nobody to receive it. Fortu- some excellent fish he sent me yesterday by way of peace- } nately, however, the grate hailed me with a cheery fire ; offering, the public should know better about it. 80, pulling in a chair, I sat down, partly pleased, partly Oban, July 20th, 1830. puzzled, with my situation. I had not spun the yarn of conjecture to any considerable length, when a suppressed sob reached my ear from a dim corner of the apartment.
ORIGINAL POETRY. " Who's there ?” said I, forgetting every thing in the start of the moment. A female figure rushed towards
"SPEAK OF ME SOMETIMES TO YOUR SISTER." me, and exclaimed, “ Gracious Heaven! Where is he? Where is he? Where's my beautiful Donald ?" I was Come hither, my sweet sister, come hither unto me, about to make the most natural, and most stupid of all And let me kiss thy guileless eyes as thou sit'st on my answers, namely, that I did not know ; but the woman
knee ; anticipated me. “ Pardon me, sir,” said she, and the No thought of sin has ever dimm'd those little worlds of tears ran down her cheeks ; " you do not know who it
blue, is I am asking for. It is all over with him and me!" Where many a glad and gentle thought for ever sparkles Having uttered these pathetic words, she covered her face through; with her apron, and wept aloud.
No early sorrow yet has given thy voice a deeper tone, I felt in the situation of one who had a part to act ; No shade of care upon thy cheek, its paler tint hath and yet, owing to the suddenness and indefiniteness of the
thrown; scene, my feelings were not sufficiently interested to pre- Thou lovest every thing on earth, and every thing loves vent me from devoutly wishing myself a hundred miles
thee, away. “She is perhaps deranged," was, moreover, among And thou dost carol all day long in the fulness of thy my thoughts. Hence it was, that in the most forced and
glee : awkward manner possible, I asked her to state the cause But rest thee, Margaret, for a while, and press thy cheek of her grief. She gave me to understand, that her hus to mine, band had been out a-fishing in his small sail-boat, and And as the golden sunset skies through our sweet lattice that, only a few hours since, she had seen him returning
sbine, þome, when a squall coming on, he all at once disappear I'll talk to thee of one whose name at this subduing hour ed behind some rocks near the opposite side of the bay Falls on my heart, and glitters there like dew within a that her friends were now in search of him and that flower, she, during the interval, had, as she supposed, fainted, of one I love too tenderly to make that love a joy, having been quite insensible from the time of their dea For many a passionate fear doth rise my rapture to departure till roused by my voice. From my knowledge stroy. of the coast, I was led to believe that her husband might But if unto the morning sun the bright Power opes its have merely found shelter where she fancied he had found leaves, a grave, and endeavoured to show her, by every argument Apd if unto the silver moon the plaintive night-bird in my power, the probability of this. She listened, and grieves, assented ; but the wild picture which frighted fancy had To whom could I more fitly tell what most refines my drawn, again glared upon ber mind; and again scream
mind, ing out the name of her “ Beautiful Donald !” she fell Than unto thee, in whose young breast sits innocence ensenseless at my feet.
shrined ? Strangely unfeeling as it may seem to such a lady as And will it not endear thee more to hear thy artless Miss Fanny Bird, whom veritable history declares to praise have wept herself almost blind“ about the national debt," Of her whose nobleness of soul my inmost spirit sways ? --so it was, I got perfectly enraged to tind my argu- And will it not for one brief hour half win me from all ments followed by a second fainting fit. “ It is all a care, sham,” said I to myself, and resumed my seat; “ all a With thee to build, at little cost, bright castles in the air ? sham, and a poorly-acted one. Let me be off—but no ; Thou art too young to know why thus so hotly burns my the fire is good, and my clothes need drying. I shan't cheek, budge though every woman in the parish were to faint.” Too young to know what mean the words I sometimes Having formed this magnanimous resolution, I put my wildly speak; arms a-kimbo--stuck a foot on each side of the chimney But thou art not too young to see that there exists but -knit my brows, and in a very bitter style sung out, “ Scots wba bae wi' Wallace bled.”
To whom my thoughts, even as a stream, in ceaseless I was just giving forth, “ See approach proud Ed. current run. ward's power!" when my throat was grasped as in a vice, and I presently joined company with my fainting I would that she were here to-night, as she has been of friend on the floor. Another such squeeze would have
yore, deprived the world both of myself and of this interesting When moments pass'd too rapidly, which now are ponnarrative. How long sensation was suspended I know der'd o'er ; not. On opening my eyes, I beheld two persons bend- | And words, perchance, were gaily said to others or to her, ing over me. I rose to my feet, and who should bow As if her presence had not power each nerve of mine to himself into iny acquaintanceship and forgiveness but stir,
beautiful Donald” bimself, a cur-faced, bandy-legged As if I held in easy sway, and under light control, creature, somewhere about four feet bigh, now restored Each quick emotion link'd with her, and rooted in my to “ friends and sacred home.” He it was who admi soul. nistered the squeeze to my throat, under the belief that I Why is it that we fail so oft to catch the hour that flies, had actually murdered his wife" on her aln Hoor-head;" And feel not half the wealth of joy till it be chased by and he would have murdered me too had she not revived sighs ? in time to prevent so melancholy a catastrophe I have Why is it that the days on which the memory loves to little cause to hug myself upon this adventure; and dwell though the fisherman did no more than would have been Too often went like common things, though cherish'd proper in the circumstances he falsely conceived to exist, now so well ?