Page images

P. 156, 1.5, 6.

Geologists, I ween,

Have made but little progress in their lore.

"In those sciences which have attained the highest degree of perfection, the skill of the Creator and the ends and uses of the different parts are most apparent.

"Geology has not yet made sufficient progress to carry us far in this path of inquiry, but we see enough to discover that the very disorder into which the strata on the surface of the globe are thrown, and the inequalities which it presents, are absolutely necessary to its habitable condition."-BAKEWELL'S Geology, page 480.

M. Fresnel, M. Arago, and our own illustrious countryman Dr. Young, have made discoveries in the nature of light which enabled Dr. Ure beautifully to illustrate the third verse in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, "Let there be light, and there was light."-See his work on Geology, book i. chap. 2, Of Light independent of the Sun.

Guided by the cautious spirit of inductive philosophy, what may not future philosophers accomplish!

P. 157, 1. 1.

The universal bond is love.

And in that depth

Saw in one volume clasp'd, of love, whate'er

The universe unfolds; all properties

Of substance and of accident beheld

Compounded, yet one individual light

The whole."

Cary's DANTE, The Vision of Paradise,

canto xxxiii. verse 80.

"Terra verò non erat neque aër, nec cœlum, Erebi autem in infinito gremio Omnium primum parit irritum furva nox ovum ;

Ex quo, temporibus exactis, propullulavit Amor desiderabilis,
Radians tergo aureis alis, celerrimæ ventorum vertigini similibus.
Ille vero alato mistus Chao et caliginoso, in Tartaro ingente

Edidit nostrum genus, et primum eduxit in lucem."-Aristoph. Aves.

See BRYANT's interpretation of the above lines in the second volume of his Mythology, quarto edition, page 350.

P. 157, 1. 2.

What pleasure 'tis, in mind, to trace, &c.

"The principle of association constitutes one of the most active, and may be considered as one of the primary, properties in the human mind. Into its agency some philosophers have been inclined to resolve all our mental phenomena. That in mind, as in matter, every change must have a cause, a truth unquestionable; and that we can generally discover the connecting principles which govern the train of our ideas, is equally true. Yet every person who devotes much attention to the varying states of his own mind, watching its thoughts and investigating their causes, must be conscious that ideas occasionally start up for which it is impossible to account. I am well aware how easily the causes may escape our attention. Our ideas, perceptions, and feelings are frequently of that evanescent nature, and follow one another in such rapid succession, that, unless arrested for a moment, they elude our recollection. But while this fact is acknowledged, it is at the same time, we believe, a truth, confirmed by every one's experience who makes what passes within himself the subject of narrow and rigid attention, that thoughts, and names especially, often instantaneously present themselves, to which the train of thought immediately preceding and perfectly remembered has no conceivable relation. A cause must exist, but that cause, we apprehend, cannot always be found in the principle of association."-CROMBIE'S Natural Theology, vol. ii. page 14,


P. 157, 1. 6.

High speculations are as faintly seen.

"So whoever shall entertain high and vaporous imaginations, instead of a laborious and sober inquiry of truth, shall beget hopes and beliefs of strange and impossible shapes.

"For the mind of man is far from the nature of a clear and equal glass, wherein the beams of things should reflect according to their true incidence; nay, it is rather like an enchanted glass, full of superstition and imposture, if it be not delivered and reduced."-BACON.

"High speculations," says JEREMY TAYLOR," are barren as the tops

of cedars, but the fundamentals of Christianity are fruitful as the valleys or the creeping vine."

[ocr errors]

'Every mind not infatuated by intellectual vanity must admit that it is only some few necessary points of knowledge, relating to the constitution and movements of the spiritual and infinite world, that can be made the matter of revelation to mankind, and these must be offered in detached portions, apart from their symmetry. Meanwhile the vast interior, the immeasureable whole, is not merely concealed, but is in itself strictly incomprehensible by human faculties."-Natural History of Enthusiasm, p. 308.

P. 158, 1. 14.

And Aherman from his throne is hurl'd.

"Aherman; c'est ainsi que les anciens Persans appelloient le principe du mal, opposé à Ormosd, le principe du bien."-D'HERBELOT, article Aherman.

"In the deep windings of the grove no more
The hag obscene and grisly phantom dwell;
Nor in the fall of mountain stream, or roar
Of winds, is heard the angry spirits' yell;
No wizard mutters the tremendous spell,
Nor sinks convulsive in prophetic swoon,
Nor bids the noise of drums and trumpets swell,

To ease of fancied pangs the labouring moon,

Or chase the shade that blots the blazing orb of noon."
BEATTIE'S Minstrel, canto ii, stanza 48.


THE following verses were suggested to me by the perusal of the brilliant work of Rulhière, "Histoire de l'Anarchie de Pologne," a work highly commended by the late Sir James Mackintosh in the Edinburgh Review, as well as in his private letters.

In this history, the arts and violence employed by Catherine the Great to embroil and subsequently ruin Poland, are admirably developed. The agents of her designs, her hypocrisy, cruelty, and injustice, are exhibited in all their proper colours.

The Author becomes highly animated when pointing his indignant eloquence against the oppressors and betrayers of Poland.

The harangues of Mokranouski and Pulawski may rival the best speeches in Thucydides and Livy. Frederick of Prussia was a great warrior, who, notwithstanding his pretensions to the name of a philosopher, never suffered his conscience to stand in the way of his ambition; but what induced the religious and amiable Maria Theresa, the patroness of the Author of " Attilio Regolo," to acquiesce in the dismemberment of Poland? She had her share in the spoils; but it was not the lion's share. Her conduct would be a matter of surprise, did not the experience of every day prove what a wide difference there is between theory and practice,-between the profession of generous sentiments that cost nothing, and the acting up to those sentiments in opposition to the suggestions of self-interest. Coxe does not attempt to defend the conduct of the Empress-Queen in this nefarious transaction, but coldly says she "felt or affected to feel sorrow" in consenting to the partition of Poland.

« PreviousContinue »