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in a fit of insanity, on a May morning, threw herself into the
Of all the fair months, that round the sun
For still, when thy earliest beams arise,
Of all the bright haunts, where daylight leaves
Fair lake, thou'rt dearest to me;
Of all the proud steeds that ever bore
White steed, most joy to thee;
Who still, with the first young glance of spring,
My love, my chief, to me.
While, white as the sail some bark unfurls,
And spirits, from all the lake's deep bowers,
Of all the sweet deaths that maidens die,
Which under the next May evening's light,
But we have been attracted by this phantom chief too long from our immediate subject, and we must now return to it. From the historical notices of Ross Castle, as collected by the historian of Kerry, it will be seen that it was of old a place of some strength and importance, and that its possession was not to be acquired without expense and trouble. In his description of Ross island, published in 1756, Dr Smith states that on it stands an ancient castle, formerly the seat of O'Donoghoe Ross, which hath a new barrack adjoining to it. This place hath been for some years past a military garrison, having a governor appointed for it upon the establishment. Before the castle are a few dismounted iron guns, which give it something the air of a fortification. The castle had been flanked with round turrets, which together with its situation rendered it a place of some strength. In the wars of 1641, it surrendered to Ludlow, who was attended in the expedition by Lord Broughil and Sir Hardress Waller, and was the last place that held out in Munster against the English parliament."
This surrender followed the decisive battle of Knockinclashy, in the county of Cork, in 1652, fought by the Lord Broughil on the English side, and the Lord Muskerry on that of the Irish, after which the latter retreated into Ross Castle, and was followed thither by Ludlow, who, with 4000 foot and 200 horse, laid siege to the castle. The subsequent proceedings are thus described by Ludlow himself:
"In this expedition I was accompanied by the Lord Broughil, and Sir Hadress Waller, major-general of the foot. Being arrived at this place, I was informed that the enemy received continual supplies from those parts that lay on the other side, and were covered with woods and mountains; whereupon I sent a party of two thousand foot to clear those woods, and to find out some convenient place for erecting a fort, if there should be occasion. These forces met with some opposition, but at last they routed the enemy, killing some, and taking others prisoners the rest saved themselves by their good footmanship. Whilst this was doing, I employed that part of the army which was with me in fortifying a neck of land, where I designed to leave a party to keep in the Irish on this side, that I might be at liberty, with the greater part of the horse and foot, to look after the enemy abroad, and to receive and convoy such boats and other things necessary as the commissioners sent us by sea. When we had received our boats, each of which was capable of containing one hundred and twenty men, I ordered one of them to be rowed about the water, in order to find out the most convenient place for landing upon the enemy; which they perceiving, thought fit, by a timely submission, to prevent the danger that threatened them; and having expressed their desires to that purpose, commissioners were appointed on both sides to treat.
After a fortnight's debate, says Ludlow, articles were agreed upon and ratified on both sides; and the son of the Lord Muskerry and Sir Daniel O'Brien were delivered up as
hostages for the performance of the treaty; in consequence of which, about 5000 Irish, horse and foot, laid down their arms and delivered up their horses, and thus terminated the hostilities in Munster.
Smith, in his History of Kerry, tells us that "a man whose name was Hopkins, and who a few years ago was sexton of Swords, near Dublin, was present at the taking and surrender of this place, and assisted in drawing the above-mentioned vessel into the lake. The Irish," he adds, "had a kind of prophecy among them, that Ross Castle could not be taken until a ship should swim upon the lake; and the appearance of this vessel contributed not a little to intimidate the garrison, and to hasten the capitulation. The said Hopkins lived to the age of one hundred and fifteen years, and died at Swords.'
We have already stated that a barrack was erected in connection with the castle in the commencement of the last century, and a small garrison was kept here till a few years ago. These hideous barracks, as Sir R. C. Hoare called them, were a dreadful eye-sore to all the lovers of the picturesque who visited the Killarney lakes; but Ireland seems no longer to require such structures, and the barrack of Ross Castle has been some time dismantled, and its ivied walls now contribute to the picturesqueness of the parent fortress. P.
EDUCATION OF YOUTH.
ACTION of both mind and body ought to be so continued as
ANCIENT MUSIC.-The Egyptian flute was only a cow's horn with three or four holes in it, and their harp or lyre had only three strings; the Grecian lyre had only seven strings, and was very small, being held in one hand; the Jewish trumpets, that made the walls of Jericho fall down, were only rams' horns. Their flute was the same as the Egyptian; they had no other instrumental music but by percussion, of which the greatest boast was the psaltery, a small triangular harp or lyre with wire strings, and struck with an iron needle or stick; their sacbut was something like a bagpipe; the timbrel was a tambourine, and the dulcimer was a horizontal harp, with wire strings, and struck with a stick like the psaltery. They had no written music; had scarcely a vowel in their language, and yet, according to Josephus, had two hundred thousand musicians playing at the dedication of the Temple o Solomon. Mozart would have died in such a concert in the greatest agonies.-Dr Burney's History of Music.
POETICAL LECTURE ON ANATOMY.
The following is the purport of a lecture on anatomy. The lecturer is represented as taking up the human skull, containing the brain and its appendages, with the nervous cords exposed to observation, and with "apostrophic eye" proceeding :
This is the tenement of thought,
The mansion of the mind,
Is boundless, undefined!
Hangs o'er a breathing world—
Here gather, too, in crowded thrall
Fast thronging on the view.
Here reason reigns, here genius dwells,
And brightest 'mid that mighty throng,
Here, too, imperial will resides
In regal state enshrined,
In stern dominion over all,
With majesty combined!
Mark this! it is his messenger,
That, like electric fire,
Swift-wing'd, the mandate beareth forth
This filament, this very thread,
Hath power to shake the frame;
THAT, whispering to the heart's warm core, To light love's genial flame.
And THIS, or THIS, to sense inclined,"
Hath magic in its spell,
To waken pleasure, pain, or hope,
And this small cord sent to the eye,
Where world s unnumbered roll!
-From an American work.
THE RIVER ST JOHN, IN NEW BRUNSWICK.-In this river there are several falls, not downwards, as in the ordinary course of rivers, but upwards against the current. The River St John is of the size of the Rhine. It drains a large portion of the province of New Brunswick. The mass of water it discharges into the Bay of Fundy is prodigious, especially during the spring floods, when the tides rise to the height of 35, 50, and sometimes even 60 feet, above the ordinary level. The remakable fall of the water backwards is produced by the enormous volume of water, occupying a channel in some places ten miles in breadth, being confined near St John's into a breadth of 300 yards, which occasions it to roll back impetuously in the form of a magnificent cascade.
CHILDREN OF THE POOR.-Charles Lamb has truly and touchingly remarked, that common people's children "are dragged up, not brought up." There is a precocity-not, indeed, of intellect, but of prudence and worldly wisdom-in them, that is truly painful. Care has usurped the empire of carelessness, that legitimate monarch of a child's being; and
like all usurpers, has in the vehemence of his achievements anticipated the slow march of Time. Life itself, which among the children of the rich is an exuberant overflowing, that, lavish it as they may, still seems inexhaustible, among those of the poor is a lean phantom, grasped at with pain and maintained with a struggle; in short, they know nothing of youth but its feebleness and its wailing; its bloom and its buoyancy being, like every other luxury, beyond their reach. To me the most painful sight in this world is a poor, that is, a destitute child. Whatever misery a grown-up person may be plunged into, a thousand suppositions are left for its palliation: they may once have been well off, or they may have been the artificers of their own ruin, and they may live to see better days but children-they can have done nothing to deserve that the one blessing unmortgaged at the Fall, the carelessness of youth, should be taken from them.-Lady Bulwer.
THE DECAYEd old gentLEMAN,
THERE is something very touching about this character_ something in his mild tone of speech, in his polite and gentle demeanour, that at once engages our sympathies. We have the poor old gentleman distinctly before our mind's eye at this moment. Let us endeavour to sketch him.
He is of middle height, well proportioned, and of rather slender make. His clothes, though a good deal the worse for wear, are carefully brushed, and put on with scrupulous neatness. His linens are clean and bright, and his neckcloth, equally faultless, is adjusted with nice precision; for, old as he is, he has not lost, nor ever will lose, that sense of propriety which dictates a decent attention to external appearance.
Some sixty and odd summers have passed over the head of him who is the subject of our sketch, and they have left their usual traces behind. His hair is thin and scanty, and of the silvery hue of eild. His countenance is expressive at once of a gentle and benevolent nature, of a cultivated mind and refined taste. He has seen much, read much, and thought more. A certain air of mild, subdued dignity-for the old man, poor though he be, never for a moment forgets that he is a gentleman-adds a grace to all he says and does. When in society, or when accosted by a friend, a pleasant smile, speaking a sincere affability, plays on his cheerful countenance. But when alone, when there is no one present to demand the exercise of his politeness, the expression of that countenance subsides into a gentle melancholy. His look is then grave and thoughtful; somewhat sad, but not morose. There has been disappointment in his life, high hopes laid low, and noble aspirations foiled in their aim.
Delightful it is to see the old gentleman enter a room in which some friends are assembled his bow is so gracefulhis smile so cheerful his words of greeting so pleasant to the ear. All rise, smiling, to receive him--all hail his presence, with a quiet but heartfelt joy. Welcome, thrice welcome is he to all. His gentle manners, his exhaustless store of anecdote, all so well selected, all so neatly told. His intelligence and extensive information render him one of the most delightful of companions. A welcome visitor is he at all times a welcome addition to the family circle into which it is his delight to drop, just in time to share in the sober, social cup of tea, his favourite beverage.
The old gentleman is unmarried-he is a bachelor. There is some vague unconnected story of an early attachment and of disappointed love, but nobody knows any of the particulars no one knows who the lady was, nor what were the circumstances of the case; and our old friend never alludes to them in the most distant manner. The history of this passage in his life is a secret pent up within his own breast; one that will go with him to the grave, and with him be buried within its silent precincts. But it is one over which he often broods in the solitude of his solitary chamber, and during those sleepless nights, and they are many, when reminiscences of the past forbid the approach of forgetfulness.
Being a bachelor, and his circumstances narrow-a small annuity being now his only dependence-our old friend has no house of his own. He lives in hired lodgings-humble, but cleanly, comfortable and respectable. His landlady is a "decent widow," and he has been her lodger for fifteen years. Little as he has, he has always paid her punctually, and to the last farthing; and much does she esteem and respect her kind and gentlemanly inmate. Regular and temperate in all his
habits, and moderate in his desires, he gives her little trouble, and even that little he is at all times anxious to abridge. His cup of tea or coffee morning and evening is nearly all in the way of cookery that he requires at her hands. Quietly he comes in and quietly he goes out, and he never does either without saying something kind or civil as he passes. In all things easily pleased, he expresses thanks for every little attention shown him, and never raises his voice in anger, never even in querulousness or impatience. To every one around him, without distinction of rank or worldly circumstances, he is all politeness, all gentleness, and all kindness. Who can but love and respect the decayed old gentleman! C.
THE ITALIAN ORGAN BOY.
THE streets of a great city, whether swept by the tumultuous tide of life by day, or echoing only to the dull and solitary tread of the patrol by night, are never devoid of material for interesting remark or rumination to such as are so disposed. He must, indeed, be a man of sluggish sensibilities and slender fancy who could traverse any of our great thoroughfares without finding them occasionally touched by some of the thousand little tales of anxiety or satisfaction, mourning or merriment, legible in brief upon the faces of the motley and many-featured throng around him, or at least, by the supplemental aid of a little imagination, plausibly constructed from the elements thereby supplied. There is perhaps no period so well fitted for these studies of life, as it is in its private and more important aspect, as the close of one of our short and busy winter days, when the pressure of diurnal toil is removed from men's minds, whether its effect has been to sway them from the contemplation of joy or wretchedness, and unbiassed they are left to imprint their character on the countenance of each. When does cheerfulness appear 30 undiluted as when | a long winter evening's recreation spreads out before it, whether spent within the mellowed glow of a happy domestic hearth, with all its easy, pure, and unsuspicious pleasures, or in the social reunion with its friendly, careless, and unclouded gaiety? and when does wretchedness feel so blank and dismal as when a weary length of dim and rayless hours gives space for all its melancholy broodings, undiverted by occupation, unmitigated by that spirit of hope which more or less mingles with the temperament of all by day, as if a constituent of the glad light of heaven in which we then live and move. A cursory reading of the countenance of each passer by will at this hour give the poorest physiognomist no inaccurate notion of the complexion of his domestic lot; and, selecting an indi- | vidual from the homeward-wending crowd, I often form my speculation as to the scene that awaits him, follow him in the freedom of all-privileged and all-pervading thought across the threshold of his abode, conjure up the circumstances of his reception, glance through the perspective of his evening arrangements, and, as I find them agreeable or the reverse, extend or curtail my domiciliary inspection.
During a recent winter, on one of its most cheerless evenings, I was thus exercising my discernment and my fancy in a long homeward walk through the centre of the city, and mentally apportioning to each that attracted my eye the share of satisfaction or discomfort that lay before him-my own mind subject to the lights and shadows, the glow and chill, which in various degrees were suggested as the lot of each. It was precisely the evening to lend the keenest zest to the happiness of the light-hearted, and a more poignant bitterness to the misery of the unfortunate. A cold icy wind whistled shrilly through every narrow street and entry as I passed it, and swept more boldly down the wider spaces, bearing, occasionally, slanting showers of sleet, which a glance at the dun and overcharged canopy of snow-clouds and of smoke above showed to be but premonitory intimations of a heavy and continuous fall. For the most part, all below was impatient motion and occupied expectation, because almost all had a goal in view to which they hastened, the fierce inclemency of the weather impelling alike the mirthful and the melancholy onward. The well-fed, well-defended passenger, with muffled neck and arms thrust to the elbow in the pockets of his dreadnought, rubbed shoulders with the half-paralyzed and shivering wretch that shuffled amid the hurrying throng, often apparently without other object than that of joining in the stream of fellow-creatures, whom he could resemble in no other way. Carriage after carriage rolled past, the chil
dren of affluence for their tenants, interchanging careless comments, or looking with languid and heedless gaze upon the squalid, the impoverished, the abandoned, the degraded, that, alas! met the eye so often as to account for, and almost justify, the indifference displayed.
"What a collocation, not merely of the extremes of human condition, but of almost every interposed gradation !" thought I, as, sated with the multiform instances presented in the concourse, and half bewildered with the medley of sights and sounds-the glittering ostentation of the glaring shops, the hum and tramp of the jostling crowd, the din and rattle of ceaseless vehicles, from the lumbering dray to the elastic carriage, the oft-mingled appeal of importunate mendicants, and, not least confounding, the sleet-laden and staggering blasts that met me with wild caprice at almost every corner-I gladly turned aside into a more sheltered and less frequented street, to pursue a route of greater ease, though at the expense of a greater circuit. But misery in the aggregate can generally be encountered with less disturbance than when submitted to in the case of solitary sufferers; and before I had proceeded half the length of a private and comparatively deserted street, I had more effective calls upon my charitythere was at that time no legal provision for the necessitousthan when passing among the abounding instances of destitution I had just witnessed. My stock of small change, and I must add, co-equally therewith, that of my patience too, was nearly exhausted, when my eye fell upon the figure of a young lad, who stood indifferently sheltered from the wind under the projected doorway of an uninhabited house. I had made up my mind to the customary solicitation: but he seemed so abstracted as not to notice my approach, and, pitying the forlorn looking youth, and wondering at his forbearance, I walked slowly past, to give him an opportunity. I found him to be an organ-player, for the instrument, unslung from his shoulders, rested upon the flag at his feet, and a brief notice of his collapsed but characteristic features showed him to be an Italian. A shivering marmoset, partly covered by his jacket, was lodged on the hollow of one arm, while the other, resting on his raised knee, supported his head, as, unconscious of my proximity and observation, he gazed fixedly upon the ground. The sight of mute personal privation and friendless loneliness would at such a crisis have been influential enough to stir up whatever humanity one had, but when witnessed in a stranger from a far land, in one, too, nurtured under the sapphire skies and blissful clime of Italy, and withering now by a dismal change beneath such dense and murky clouds, and such a pitiless and scourging breeze, the demand on one's kindly offices was irresistible, and, drawing near to the desolate lad, I accompanied a small gift with a few words in his own most musical and thrilling tongue. He started from his musing posture as the electric syllables struck upon his ear, and, as he gazed with keen enthusiasm upon me, the blood mantled vividly upon his chilled and weather-wrinkled cheek, while with grateful but melancholy earnestness he poured out his thanks. There was something to me unusually touching in the aspect of the friendless young foreigner, as well as in the circumstances in which I found him. He had a cast of thought and maturity in his face which hardship, isolation, and selfdependence, seemed to have anticipated years in producing: for his slender and stripling figure, and the unshaven down upon his lip, bespoke him still in an early stage of youth. After a word or two of compassion, I passed on. But his dashed and disappointed look at separation followed me: my conscience chid me for resting in a cold gratuity to one so dejected, yet so sensitive to relief-a spring of gladness for whom my acquaintance with his native language, it appeared, could so easily unseal.
He was a stranger, weary, friendless, cheerless, and necessitous-unsusceptible of those mitigations of suffering which even the poorest experience among their own people and their own kindred. I was hastening to my unshared, 'tis true, but far, therefore, from joyless lodgings, an abundant board, a radiant fire, a storm and snow proof apartment, furnished with all the appliances of comfort which winter covets; and would they be diminished by the admission of this homeless, and, from his countenance, I dare certify, guileless wanderer, to share for a time their influence? No. I have it in my power to interpose one bright spot in his life of hardship and privation, to suspend for a while the yearnings with which doubtless, at this hour of dreariness and suffering, he turns in thought to the scenes of his but recent childhood in his own lovely land, to the sunny azure skies the joyous vine
clad hills, the playmates that even now, perhaps, at the close of a bright and genial day, are clustering in merry meeting for the evening song and dance, his father's cottage, his mother's Yes, I will turn back," exclaimed I, "and enable him, if ever he rejoin the social circle in his own ardent home, to tell his eager listeners a trait of kindness and sympathy shared in the far off frigid country of the north." As I concluded, I again stood before him, as with a shiver and a sigh the poor lad was about raising his organ upon his shoulder again; and, telling him that I had been in and loved the land from which he came, that I was fond of its people, and of their music too, and wished to talk with and hear him play at leisure and in comfort by my own fireside, asked him to accompany me to it. A smile of gladness lighted up his pale expressive face as he gratefully declared his readiness; and a car passing at the moment, I hailed it, and in a few seconds, young Carlo Girardi for that he told me was his name -his chattering and half perished marmoset, his muffled music mill, and my enlivened and approving self, were rattling rapidly to my lodgings. I found him a fine, intelligent, unhacknied lad, to whose fervid heart my partial knowledge of his native tongue secured me ready access; and, after cold and hunger had given way to fire and food, I experienced no difficulty in drawing from him an ingenuous and vivid narration of his personal story-one so singular and romantic in its character, and so illustrative of the purest impulses of the human heart, as to merit a repetition better than many a more highly wrought and complex tale. Cleared of the circumlocution caused by his indifferent stock of English, and converted into a dialect more uniform and familiar to our ears, it ran substantially thus:
"I come from the neighbourhood of the little village of Montanio, at the foot of the great Appennines. My father was, and I pray is still, a small vine-grower and gardener, supplying the market of Telese, and other towns within reach, with fruits, flowers, and vegetables. We were a family of fivemy father, my dear mother, my elder and only brother Ludovico, my beautiful and gentle sister Bianca, and myself;" and his tone grew touchingly tremulous, as, in connection with his cottage home, he went over the old, familiar, household names. Oh, that I was ever called upon to leave them to wander, unfriended and unknown, among rough and careless strangers, to forsake all pleasant things, the gay and glad green fields, the sunny hills, the sparkling mountain streams, the flowered and fruited gardens, and the ever bright and beautiful sky which stretched its unclouded azure overhead, for this cold and shivering, this dim and misty land! But yet I would do as much again, if such a call again were made upon me_dark shame upon me if I hesitated!—and when I return to them once more—and oh, may heaven grant that now I shortly may! I will look with the greater rapture upon all I left, upon beauties and on blessings I then too little, far too little, cared for. My father was ever kind to us when we were in the way of obedience to his wishes and ideas of duty, but rigid and severe to resent every error we might commit. I have heard the elder neighbours say that in his own young days he had been wild and perverse, and entangled thereby in many troubles, and that, therefore, in affection and providence for us, he was the more exact in our care and education. I was too young to be much in the way of following my own bent, and so had little opportunity of offending him; but my brother Ludovico, who was hot, daring, and adventurous, was often led to look for wild and irregular excitement with the roving hunters and rude shepherds from the mountains above, and his mingling in their lawless society always raised my father's resentment, and, despite my mother's exerted influence, often brought disquiet and disunion among us. But though reckless and unsettled, Ludovico was ever frank, winsome, and honest-hearted, which, however, could not save him from sharing in the evil fame of his companions; and though his handsome figure, open temper, and ready offices for all who sought them, made him a favourite with the young, yet the elder looked grave and severe upon him, as one already committed in the road to ruin. Our sister Bianca, who, not in our eyes only, was the sweetest and prettiest maiden within the circle of a league, drew to herself, as she grew up, the admiring looks of all; and at our gay village festivals, at the sowing, vintage, and noted holidays, he was a happy and envied youth who could oftenest engage her hand for the tarantula, or follow her voice upon the mandoline. But the one who paid his court with most success was Francesco, the only son of Marcolini the wealthy miller, who was by far the
richest man in our community. But when his son's courtship became known to him, he forthwith fell into a rage at the notion of so imprudent a match, for he was a purse-proud man, who valued his gold above most other things, above the beauty and innocence of our Bianca, and the pledged affection of Francesco, for whom he looked far above us humble people for a more equally dowered bride. Resolute to extinguish his folly as he called it, at once, he solemnly vowed to cut him off with a carlino, if he pursued his thriftless project; and, not assured that even this would deter him, he determined to engage, likewise, the authority of my father, whose strict and unswerving character was well known to him, and accordingly besought him to lay his prohibition upon Bianca. My father, who would have scorned to force a thus forbidden union, hurried to comply with his wishes; and in Bianca's obedience there was found a surer safeguard than in Francesco's fear of poverty, as, even in defiance of his father's menace, he vehemently urged my sister to become his, and trust to the labour of his hands for their maintenance. But my father's injunctions were habitually paramount; and poor Francesco, finding her hesitation not to be overcome, soon fell into despair and declining health. He became melancholy, faint-hearted, and neglectful of all his old occupations; and his strange and moody habits, quenched spirits, and fast failing strength, so wrought upon his father's fear and affection, that he began to think it better to make some compromise, and forego a little of his ambition rather than endanger Francesco's life. In consequence, he intimated to my father that on reflection he was disposed to forward the marriage, provided a certain sum, which he named, was settled upon Bianca, as it was scarcely to be expected, he urged, that he would give his son and the heir of all his money to a portionless bride. My father acknowledged his request to be but natural, but professed at once the insufficiency of his means to satisfy it without impoverishing the rest of his family; an act which, however devoted to the happiness of his daughter, conscience would not allow him to commit. Old Martolini, finding him intractable upon the point, proposed then, that as Bianca and Francesco were still very young, their marriage should be postponed for at least three years, at the end of which time, if he were prepared to give her a certain portion-making a large abatement from his first demand-it might with his consent take place. But, exasperated at his disappointment and forced concession, he added a passionate oath, that on no other terms would he hear of the connection, even though his son Francesco were such a fool as to pine till it brought him to his death-bed. My father, balanced between his anxiety to close an arrangement so beneficial to Bianca, and his sense of the hardships and extreme frugality it would necessarily impose upon us all during the interval, desired a short time to make his decision. The same evening he called all of us, except my sister, to him-declared the proposal of Francesco's fatherasked our opinion separately upon it-and when with one voice we all professed our readiness, our eagerness, to undergo any and every additional labour and privation that might take a tear from our gentle Bianca's eye, or add a blush or a smile to her now pallid cheek and lips, he answered, “It is just spoken as I would have you speak, my dear wife and children: but saying is easy, doing difficult. Three years will give you many opportunities of proving this, for there must be much denial, frugality, and toil, brief nights and long and busy days, to enable us to accumulate within the time a sum so ill proportioned to our means." Bianca was then informed of the arrangement, and smiles of rekindled hope and rapture mingled with tears of grateful love and sensibility; and her rapidly returning bloom and gaiety gilded every thing around with its own gladness, and rendered our ruder and scantier fare and more lengthened labour pleasanter at times than the merry meeting and the music, which we could now of course but rarely join. The impulse of affection for dear Bianca was strong in every heart, and this, with the prospect of a happy completion of our undertaking, almost changed every sacrifice into a delight. But, young though I be, I have now lived long enough to know, that as the brightest morning sky is often overcast before the close of day, so are our most shining hopes subject to many a cloud and chill before, if ever, they attain to their fulfilment." (Here poor Carlo paused for a moment in his narrative; and with your leave, gentle reader, I too shall rest, till I have the pleasure of meeting you again in next week's Journal.) J. J. M.
ON STIMULANT S.
cine and that, in the present state of our knowledge, is not much I must say that, as an instrument of luxury in ordinary use, it is unwholesome and injurious. To the physiREPOSE is the remedy which nature points out to tired mor- cian it may be satisfactory to ascertain in what way, pretals when exhausted either by mental or bodily fatigue. This cisely, the injurious effect is produced; but it may suffice is her prescription for refreshing man's animal spirits, and others to learn from experience and observation what is the enabling him to resume his labours. Stimulants are by no actual result. It is obvious that tobacco causes an excitemeans congenial with her methods or her processes. They ment of the nervous system, and thus disturbs the course of are like whip and spur to the weary steed; they may force nature; but nature never is, and never can be, disturbed with him on indeed, but it is at the expense of his constitution and impunity. To apply a stimulus to the system for which his powers. In medical science, the great art, as the doctors there is no natural demand, is to cause a waste of nervous say, is to assist nature; and with this view, the skilful prac- energy, of which nature has need for her own legitimate purtitioner will sometimes order stimulants, and find them doubt- poses, and therefore to inflict an injury upon her, greater or less highly useful to his patient; but their habitual use is no less according to the amount of that uncalled for expenditure. maxim of the healing art, but much rather that of the de- To keep such an unnatural stimulus in constant action, is tanstroying or disabling one, if I may use the expression. By tamount to the creation of a constitutional derangement of the way, we are sadly prone to habits, and therefore it the functions, or the introduction of an actual disease into "stands us upon," in a most serious degree, to consider well the body; and nobody will pretend to say that this is not inthe nature and probable results of any custom before we jurious. To my simple apprehension, it is anti-hygeian pracadopt it. In this astute and intellectual age of ours it has tice with a vengeance. I am no physician, but I believe been discovered that it is much easier to abstain altogether this to be the true theory of our subject, regarded in a physiofrom a dangerous indulgence than to adhere strictly to mo- logical point of view, and it is decisive against the nicotian deration, and temperance has been superseded by teetotal-habit, however small the quantity of the article used may be. ism; and I would just add to this, by way of corollary, that People are rather indisposed to believe that an it is much easier to slide into a bad habit than to get rid sensation can be an "unwholesome" one; but unfortunately agreeable" of it again. But to return to our theme. The effects pro- for poor humanity, and the popularity of us sages, nothing in duced by stimulants are all agreeable for the moment. Wine nature is more certain than the possibility of such a conjuncand opium raise men above earth and all its cares; and so ture. It is not only certain, but, alas, commonly known by long as the stimulant lasts, they sit as it were at the supper experience, that an agreeable thing may be unwholesome, and of the gods. Anacreon is then the only ballad-monger, and a pleasant sensation anything at all but a symptom of healthwith him each is ready to sing, ful action.
Strew me a breathing bed of leaves,
Young Love shall be my goblet-boy,
With cinctures, round his snowy breast;
And minister the racy tide!
But when the influence of the spell is over, immediately they sink down as much below the level of ordinary mortals, as they were before raised above it. For a delightful exhilaration of body and mind, they now experience a sad reverse, in which they find much more pleasing music in the prudent advice of the apothecary, than in all the Odes of Anacreon. The cry
is not then,
Let us drain the nectar'd bowl,
Let us drain the saline dose, Let's expel these humours gross. Now, though poets have favoured us with many a canto on the raptures inspired by flowing bowls and sparkling goblets, they have rarely condescended to give us one line, if it were only by way of note, on the "state of the stomach" on the morning after one of those "nights and suppers of the gods." Such a detail indeed was never intended for the divine art of poesy. It is a job not at all calculated for the lover of agreeable fiction, and hence the world hears little on the subject. Those after-reckonings are nevertheless serious, though unpalatable things. Pleasure here acts much like a tavern host, who remembers most accurately all the good things he provides, though his guests are both apt and willing to forget them. Every item is carefully put down, and must be paid for. I shall only say, that fortunate is he who takes warning in time. I might moralise on this theme in good set phrase, but the ground has been so well and so frequently beaten by others, that I forbear. With respect to such articles as opium and spirits, the "spirit of the age," as I have already intimated, runs quite in an opposite direction to that of indulgence; and it is wisely considered that as those who can be temperate in the use of such ticklish commodities must owe a great deal to a happy temperament of constitution, and be few in number, whilst the greater part of mankind are not so felicitously moulded, the rule of teetotalism, viz., entire abstinence, is on the whole the safest and best. But there is one article in our pharmacopoeia of stimulants, upon which there seems to be some difference of opinion, and with regard to which I should wish to record my humble opinion. I allude to the nicotian leaf-tobacco.
Again, people are apt to suppose that no injury is done to their health, because they are not sensible of the wound at the moment; but this also is a notion which we must class among vulgar errors. It is a matter of demonstration, not merely of hypothesis, that we may sustain most grievous injury of which we are not instantly sensible; nay, that so long a time may elapse after the impression has been imparted, that we become unable to trace the effect to its cause; and yet the relation of cause and effect stands sure, however ignorant or unconscious we may be of it. As an illustration of this position, I shall mention a case which came under my own observation. I was once acquainted with a gentleman, who at eighty years of age was what would be called a stout, healthy old fellow. He was certainly of a most robust constitution, and had never addicted himself to any habit "calculated to shorten life," as they say at the Insurance Offices, saving and excepting that of taking snuff. Well, it has been said to me, "See how your anti-nicotian theory is set at defiance by this hearty old fellow. If tobacco be a slow poison, it must be, as was said of tea, very slow indeed, or how should we have such an exemplary octogenarian as this, 'o'er all its ills victorious?' He has been taking snuff all his life, and yet, you perceive, is nothing the worse for it." Now, I did not perceive any such thing, but was well aware that the contrary was the case. I was of opinion, and am now fully convinced of the fact, that he suffered extremely, nay, intensely, from the habit, without himself or others being at all aware of it. I do not speak of a nose and face perpetually begrimed with snuff-of a waistcoat and inexpressibles embrowned and powdered all over with it-of the expenditure of pocket-handkerchiefs, and waste of time in nose-blowingeverlasting sneezing and coughing, &c.: such matters are mere trifles in the estimate of your professed snuff-takers; but I do speak of an habitual depression of spirits, and frequently an access of the most miserable melancholy, to which this gentleman was subject, and which I attribute to his inveterate habit of snuff-taking, and to no other cause. He would complain bitterly of his wretchedness on those occasions, and ascribe it to the skyey influences the humidity of our climate, the fogs, and I know not what besides; but it was nothing but the snuff." Such intelligence would have doubtless been very unwelcome; for this very snuff-this actual fons et origo malorum, ay, "more snuff" was his most favourite remedy and consolation under these distressing visitations! So much for our ignorance of causes.
The late Doctor Adam Clarke was a great enemy to the tobacco leaf, and published a strong paper in condemnation of it. He takes high ground upon the subject.
Now, I regret to say that a long and attentive study of the "That it is sinful to use it, as most do," he says, “I have subject compels me to pronounce an unfavourable sentence no doubt-if destroying the constitution, and vilely squander. on this article. Whatever value it may possess as a medi-ing away the time and money which God has given for other