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tainly a right to a new coat of arms. A Bishop on each side would do very well instead of his Foxes; and he might give up, for a new motto, the dumb eloquence of his Faire sans dire to the Noble Duke. What does he think of “ Libertas, otia, libri ?" This, with “occupationes,” ought to become the motto of the whole world. We happen to have kept our eye upon Lord Holland more than upon any other nobleman, ever since we have had to do with the press; and we never remember an instance, in which a handsome thing was to be done in the House of Lords, that he did not advocate it, nor an unhandsome one, which was not sure of his Protest. So great a thing it is to unite the humanity of a love of letters, with a genial temperament, and a liberal family name.
There are many reasons why the Duke of Wellington is in his present station, and why he acts as he does. It is of use to many people. He is a great cutter of Gordian knots. But they say, that among his recommendations to the royal favour, he has that of being a sincere man, and of saying what he thinks. If this be the case, we wonder at no confidence which the King reposes in him. A sincere man, and reasonable withal, must to a King be a god-send inconceivable. Ever since we heard of the Duke's character to that effect, we have had an inclination to like him, and hope we may find additional reasons for it. In friend or enemy sincerity is a noble thing, ---the daylight of humanity. It enables us to see what we have to do or to oppose, and is an argument of natural greatness; if not in the presence of what is great, at least in the absence of what is dark and petty.
LONDON: Published by Hunt and CLARKE, York street, Covent garden: and sold by all
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PRINTED BY C. H. REYNELL, BROAD STREET, GOLDEN SQUARE.
No. XVII. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 1828.
" Something alone yet not alone, to be wished, and only 'to be found, in a friend."-Sir William TEMPLE.
: :!... : SUBJECTS FOR DISSECTION.
;.,; THE difficulty of procuring bodies for the anatomist, whose science is so obviously connected with the interests of humanity, has at length obtained the notice of parliament; and a committee has been appointed to inquire into the means of doing it away. It appears that there are six or seven hundred students of anatomy in London, three parts of whom are obliged to go into other countries to find the means of pursuing their investigations. Mr Warburton said,
that "if due facilities of obtaining subjects were afforded, the · number of students in this country would not be less than 1,000,
and taking the necessary supply of subjects to each student at two, the number required would be 2,000. According to the existing usage, none but the bodies of murderers could be legally obtained for dissection ; but it was quite obvious that the supply thus afforded was totally insufficient. The number of bodies for the county of Middlesex in cases of murder, was only in the proportion of five in seven years.".
Is it possible that this rate can be true? There is consolation so far, at all events. On the other hand, the necessity for 2,000 dead bodies in hand, is a little startling. Mr Warburton mentioned a circumstance, illustrative of the importance of the human subject to anatomical explanation, from which the House appear to have
expected a more awful impression, , “ He was informed," he said, " of a fact which really occurred in this metropolis lately, which he would mention to the House in illustration of this matter. It was at the Mechanics’ Institute. Some lectures were given on anatomy and dissection: it was found that without having the actual subject brought in, the lecturer was not able to explain satisfactorily some of the soft parts of the human body. A subject was procured, and brought into the lecture-room carefully covered." The lecturer then proceeded with the explanation to about 1,200 persons; one or two of whom, of delicate stomachs, retired—(a laugh)—the rest remained, and immediately comprehended the complete anatomy before them. The body was now the property of the mechanics."
On this piece of illustration, Mr Peel remarked, “ As to the anecdote which the Hon. Member related of the 1,200, mechanics, he (Mr Peel) listened with attention, expecting that the Hon. Member would follow it up, by telling the House that those admiring mechanics, one and all, instantly volunteered to give up
on their own bodies for dissection. (Much laughing.)"
want ni hartu The House did not deny the importance of the motion. On the contrary, they appeared to be fully impressed with it, but Mr Peel justly said, that " it was hard to contend against those feelings among the people, which the Hon. Gentleman called prejudices; and impossible not to respect those feelings of regard which the people retained for their relatives, even beyond the grave. Whatever regulations were adopted, he thought it would be found extremely difficult to effect the desired object." "" *** In Paris, it appears, it is easy enough to get subjects., "In
Dublin it is easier than in England. In Naples and other countries of the south, where they tumble the dead into pits, and
110994 seem to think no more of them than of so many bits of plaster, it might be easier still. Life runs more merrily in the veins of the people of those countries, France and even Ireland included, than in the bodies of our beef-eating and fire-side brethren; and this
Du sou diw We have not entered upon this point, though an important one; because we conceive that the feelings of kindred would alter with those of society at large. As
it is, they can give way to other feelings esteemed honourable, such as the desire to - ascertain what was the cause of a person's death.
o sidua 919
- makes them less thoughtful of what happens after death. The
famous appeal of the condemned man in Measure for Measurë;' is in true northern taste, and would have become Hamlet still better than a northern Italian
« Aye, but to die, and go we know not where;
To lie in cold obstruction, and to rot;
A kneaded clod,” &c. Dr Johnson was found sitting and repeating these lines a little before his death.
On the other hand, nothing seems more curious, on this very account, than the dislike which people's imaginations entertain of having their bodies “ disturbed," as they call it, in the grave, and taken out to be disposed of in another manner; that is to say, delivered from this very obstruction and rotting, and mingled " more speedily with the elements. It is still more wonderful to
consider how easily they contemplate being buried at all, especially when the public are horrified now and then with stories of men prematurely put in the earth, and of bodies that are found to have turned in their graves. On reading those stories, and considering
the probability of some of them, one might reasonably be astonished · to think, how it is, that the very imaginations which induce men to shudder at the idea of being disturbed in their graves (feeling themselves alive, as it were, so far), do not make society rise up against the present system of, interment, and demand the ancient * custom of urn-burial,-of being reduced at once to ashes, and gathered into that pure and graceful depository. But here lies the secret'; for the old custon is not the prevailing one; and custom lords it, even over the most tyrannical of our fears. " To lie in cold obstruction and to rot,” presents a terrible idea, both on account of its unnaturalness to our living sensations and its continuity ;-nay, to be disturbed at all, is to the dreamer of the coffin very shocking ;-and yet the same man will be more shocked at the notion of being burnt; and little, if at all, moved with those circumstances attending upon corruption, which imply *a disturbing of the most loathsome description. The reason is, that his fathers were not burnt. They were put into coffins; they were subject to be stolen by resurrection-men, and eaten by worms; and they disliked extremely the apprehension of being interred, as well as the very appalling things mentioned by Shakspeare; but as they underwent all this, their sons must undergo ito * • We do not state these prejudices, to laugh at them. There is something in the reverence for existing things, which we also deeply respect, and which we would only trench upon by degrees, and with due regard to what the natural changes of the world assist in bringing about. Besides, we partake of them, in common with everybody who has a real sympathy with mankind. We confess, that if any one could give us our choice tomorrow of being burnt after death, instead of buried, our imaginations would run through the whole process of the fire, and feel inclined to give up their classical predilections. It would appear a sort of new martyrdom at the stake; dead, it is true; void of sensation, says reason; but then we know nothing of death; we have no experience of it; and can only think of death itself with our living ideas; all which is told us by reason also. We might even follow our particles in their flight, and wonder what those burning atoms experience.'
Nevertheless, so abhorrent is human nature from confinement and want of motion, and so appalling to a breathing creature, above every other idea, is that of being pressed down, or having the mouth covered, that if we were a king”. (as the little boys say), and could do as proper little-boy kings ought, who sit with crowns on their heads and sceptres in their hands from breakfast till dinner, we certainly conceive, that on the seventh day from our coronation, and after ordering a world of improvements for the benefit of our living subjects, we should insist upon making fuel of them when they were dead. We should of course occupy an urn ourselves, in due course of time; and upon our urn should be written,---- Here lies the man who would suffer nobody to be idle, or without leisure; who hindered the old from marrying the young, and allowed the unhappily married not to be a torment to one another; who rescued the living from intolerance, and the dead from corruption; and saw no more end to the hopes of man, thau to the number of the stars."
After this rhapsody (which by the way, comprises almost the whole substance of our creed) the reader may ask, what would