« AnteriorContinua »
care of his wife, while he occupied the garret, where he indulged his poetical genius. His stocking shop failed; and his poems produced hin more chagrin than glory. He was a bankrupt in trade; and was then ridiculed by his fellow citizens as a madman. Vondel ha. no other master but his genius, which, with his uncongenial situation, occafioned all his errors.
Another Dutch poet, is even less tolerable. Having written a long rhapsody concerning Pyramus and Thibe, he concludes it, by a ridiculous parallel between the death of these unfortunate victims of love, and the passion of Jesus Christ. He says,
• Om t'concluderen van onsen begrypt,
By der Passie van Christus gebenedyt. And upon this, after having turned Pyramus into the Son of God, and Thisbe into the Christian soul, he proceeds with a number of comparisons; the latter always more impertinent than the former.
" I believe it is well known, that the actors on the Dutch theatre are generally tradesmen, who quit their aprons at the hour of public representation. Their comedies are not only beneath criticisin, but offensive to decency by the grossness of their buffooneries. It is told as one of their comic incidents, that when a miller appeared to be in distress for want of wind to turn his mill, he had recourse to the novel scheme of placing his back against it, and by certain eructations, imitated behind the scenes, the mill is foon set a going. Can such a depravity of taste be equalled ? .
I saw two of their most celebrated tragedies. The one was · Gysbert Van Amstel, by Vondel; that is Gylbretcht of Amsterdam,
a warrior, who in the civil wars preserved this city by his heroism. One of the acts concludes with a scene of a convent; the found of warlike instruments is heard ; the castle is stormed; the nuns and fathers are slaughtered; with the aid of “blunderbuss and thunder," every Dutchman appears sensible of the pathos of the poet. But it does not here conclude. After this terrible slaughter, the conquerors and the vanquished remain for ten minutes on the stage, motionless in the postures in which they happened to fall! Not a word is spoken, and this pantomimic pathos is received with loud bursts of applause from the audience. .
"The subject of the other was the fall of Haman. , In the triumphal entry Mordecai came forward on a horfe; but not a • Theatrical horse; a genuine Flanders mare, that was as heavy, and
fortunately as stupid as Mordecai himself.'
· Original Letter of Queen Elizabeth. In the Cottonian Library,
Vespasian, F. III. there is preserved a letter written by Queen Elizabeth (then Princess) to her after Queen Mary. It appears by
this this epifle that Mary had desired to have he: picture; and in gratifying the withes of her Vajetty, Elizabeth accompanies the present with the following elaborate letter. It bears no date of the year in which it was written, but her place of residence is marked to be at Hatfield. There he had retired to enjoy the silent pleasures of a studious life, and to be distant from the dangercus politics of the time. When Mary died, Elizabeth was at Hatfield ; the letter must have been writen shortly before this circumstance took place. She was at the time of it's composition in habitual intercourse with the niost excellent writers of Antiquity ; her letter display's this in every part of it; it is poliflied, and repolished. I would flatter myself that this is the first time of it's publication.
“ Leiter.-Like as the riche man that dayly gathereth riches to riches, and to one bag of mony layeth a greate fort til it come to infinit, so me thinkes, your Najeltic, not beinge fulfiled withe many benefits and gentilnes thewed to me afore this time, dothe now i:1crease thein in alkinge and deliring, wher you may bid and comaunde, requiring a thinge not worthy the desiringe for it fellé, but made worthy for your highness request. My pictur I mene, in wiche if the inward good mynde towarde your grace migth as wel be declared as the outwarde face and countenance shal be seen, I wold nor haue taried the comandement but prevent it, nor hale bine the last to graunt but the first to offer it. For the face, I graunt, I might wel blusche to offer, but the mynde I shall neuer be athamed to present. For thogth from the grace of the pictur, the coulers may fade by time, may giue by wether, may be spotted by chance, yet the other nor time with her swift winges shal overtake, nor the mistie cloudes with ther loweringes may darken, nor chance with her flipery fote may overthrow. Of this althogth yet the prole could not be greate because the occasions hathe bine but smal, notwithstandinge as a dog hathe a day, fo may I perchaunce haue time to declare it in dides wher now I do write them but in wordes. And further I fhal moft humbly berechę rour Maiestie that whan voi Dal loke on my pi&tur you wil witsafe to thinke that as you have but the outwarde Thadow of the body afore you, so my inward minde wischeth, that the body it felfe wer oftner in your presence; howbeit bicause bothc mr lo beinge I thinke coulde do your Maiestie litel pleasure thogth my felfe great good, and againe bicause I se as yet not the time agreing theruto, I shal lerne to folow this fainge of Orace, Feras non culpes quod vitari non potest. And thus I wii (troblinge your Maieftie I fere) ende with my most humble thankes, besechinge God longe to preserue you to his honour to your cofort, to the realmes profit, and to my joy. From Hathilde this ! day of May. 6 Your Maieities most humbly Sistar and Seruante.
In p. 300, we find the following anecdote of James 1.
• It was usual in the reign of James the First, when they compar: ed it with the preceding glorious one, to distinguish him by the title of queen James, and his illustrious predecessor by that of king Elisabeth. James was singularly effeminate; he could not behold a drawn sword without shuddering; and was partial to handsome men; but it no where appears that he merits the bitter satire of Churchill. He was a most weak, but not quite a vicious man. He displayed great imbecility in his amusements; which are characterised by the following one, related by Wilson. When James became melancholy, in consequence of various disappointments in state matters, Buckingham and his mother used several means of diverting him. Amongst the most ludicrous was the present. They had a young lady, who brought a pig in the dress of a new-born infant; the countess carried it to the king wrapped in a rich mantle. One Turpin, on this occasion, was dressed like a bishop, in all his pontifical ornaments; he began the rites of baptism, w.th the common prayer book in his hand; a silver ewer with water was held by aná other; the marquis stood as godfather; when James turned to look at the infant the pig squeaked ; an animal which he greatly abhorred: At this, highly displeased he exclaimed, “ Out! Away for shame! What blafphemy is this !”
This ridiculous joke did not accord with the feelings of James at that moment; he was not " i th' vein." Yet we may observe, that had not such artful politicians as Buckingham and his mother been strongly persuaded of the success of this puerile fancy, they would not have ventured on such “ blasphemies." They certainly had witnessed amusements heretofore, not less trivial, which had gratified his majesty."
• Antipathies._Perhaps antipathies, may not unaptly be placed amongst the effects of the imagination. Chevreau obseryes, there are certain natural antipathies which appear very extraordinary, of which he gives several instances. There have been persons who have fainted at the odour of roses; others, with greater reason, quit the table at the smell of cheese ; and I have seen more than one person tremble before a lap-dog. A man was so frightened at the fight of a hedge-hog, that he thought, for more than two years afterwards, that his bowels were gnawed by this animal. The great Érasmus had such an aversion to fith that he could not suffer the smell without growing feverish. If apples were offered to Duchesne, fecretary of Francis ihe First, blood gured from his nose ; and a gentleman belonging to the emperor Ferdinand was convulsed whenever he heard the iewing of a cat. Hcnry III. of France could not fit in a room where a cat was. The duke of Schomberg had the
fame aversion. Vanghneim, the elector's huntsman at Hanover fainted or run away at the fight of a roasted pig. The Turkish Spy, who tells us that he would rather encounter a lion in the deserts of Arabia, provided he had but a sword in his hand, than feel a spider crawling on him in the dark, judiciously observes, that there is no reason to be given for these secret antipathies, which are discovered in many men. He humourously attributes them to the doctrine of the transmigration of the soul, and supposes himself to have been once a fly, before he came into his body, and that having been frequently persecuted with Spiders in that state, he still retained the dread of his old enemy, and which all the circumstances of his pre. sent metamorphoses were not able to efface. In a word, these antipathies are so far from being uncommon, that, I doubt not, but every one can recollect persons who arę susceptible of such affections.
Scaliger tells us of a person who so much dreaded the sound of the cymbal, that he could never hear it without an extraordinary propensity of making water. They made the experiment by a cymbal player, who was concealed under the table, and he had hardly begun to play on his instrument when the gentleman discover ed his infirmity. This person was amongst those whom Shakspeare, that great master of human nature, describes,
“ Some men are mad if they behold a cat;!
Of what it likes or loaths. Now for your answer." © But Chevreau has given instances of antipathies still more ex. traordinary; these consist of an aversion to certain innocent actions and words. He says, that Chrysippus was terribly affected by bows; and a Spanish Don swooned away when he heard pronounced the word lana (wool) although his cloaths were woollen. It will be fufficient to observe, that Chevreau was very learned, but dull and credulous.'
Speaking of a literary projector, p. 41, our author proceeds to state some of his intended plans for the advancement of learning; and among other works which he proposed, mentions The Art of Invention ;'or, as he terms it, The HeuTetic ;' a'word which he forms, I suppose, (continues Mr. D’Israeli) from the Latin heuretes, a deviser, or inventor. We know not how far our author may be a proficient or not in the Greek language, but if he had adverted to it on the present occasion, he might have found 'EYPIEKS, Ćupetas, é upelixo, and a whole family of words, that would have carried his opinion a little farther than mere supposition.
c. R. N. AR. (XI.) May, 1794.
MUCH hahor haswith great he has on
An Inquiry into the Nature and Properties of Opium; whereiis'
its component Principles, Mode of Operation, and Use in para ticular Diseases, are experimentally investigated; and the Opis nions of former Authors on these Points impartially examined. By Samuel Crumpe, M. D. Member of the Royal Irish Aca
demy. 8vo. 5s. Boards. Robinsons. 1793. M UCH has been already written on this subject, of which W our author has, with great care, availed himself. We do not recollect any authority that he has omitted, except that of the elder Laffonne and Cornette, in the Memoirs of the Royal Medical Society at Paris, whose opinions we shall soon notice. The Inquiry is dedicated to Dr. Gregory of Edin. Burgh, and much stress is laid on his approbation; with little propriety, unless he had been longer and more extensively a practical physician. We have been much more conversant in practice, and do not find the reasoning acute, or the experiments well conducted ;' nos can we conceive why this imprimatur' is prefixed, unless to prevent criticism, by the fulmen of a medical bull.
The natural history of opium is given at some length, from different works; but, as it is now well known, we need not enlarge on it. The experiments, designed to show the effects of opium on the living system,' add little to our know. ledge. The effect of its application to sensible surfaces is pain, and its first effect, internally, is to stimulate. But Dr. Crumpe seems inclined to deny the narcotic and antispasmodic power of opium, externally applied, because it produced, no effect on a sound part. If authorities were neceflary, a hoft might have been produced, in opposition to the few quoted: if experience were to decide, innumerable facts might be produced to the fame purpose. The first stimulant effects on the motion of the heart and arteries are inconsiderable, and seldom from this cause is opium injurious in the most inflammaa tory cafes. The effects of large and repeated doses are well known: yet, probably, opium acts chiefly as a soporific from leflening pain, and, in larger doses, produces delirium :-in no instance does it seem to bring on artificial sleep ; for, when it seemingly does so, the state is really that of a ftupor, and imperfect delirium.
In the analysis of opium, and the effect of its different component principles,' we find little addition to our knowledge. The portion by which its salutary effects are produced, seems not to be volatile; but, from the repeated and continued boiling of baume, the opium is certainly decomposed.
From comparing these experiments it fufficiently appears, that