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air; his first step out of which, as Hamlet truly observes, is into his grave *. His first dwellings, of course, were the hollows of trees and rocks : in process of time he began to build : thence grew villages ; thence grew cities : luxury, oppression, poverty, misery, and disease kept pace with the progress of his pretended improvements, till, from a free, strong, healthy, peaceful animal, he has become a weak, distempered, cruel, carnivorous slave.
• THE REVEREND Doctor Gaster. Your doctrine is orthodox, in so far as you assert, that the original man was not encumbered with clothes, and that he lived in the open air ; but as to the faculty of speech, that it is certain he had, for the authority of Moses
• Mr. Escot. Of course, Sir, I do not presume to dissent from the very exalted anthority of that most enlightened astronomer and profound cosmogonist, who had, moreover, the advantage of being inspired: but when I indulge myself with a ramble in the fields of speculation, and attempt to deduce what is probable and rational from the sources of analysis, experience, and comparison, I confess I am too often apt to lose sight of the doctrines of that great fountain of theological and geological philosophy.
• SQUIRE HEADLONG.-Push about the bottle.
* MR. Foster. Do you suppose the mere animal life of a wild map, living on acorns, and sleeping on the ground, comparable in felicity to that of a Newton, ranging through unlimited space, and penetrating into the arcana of universal motion--to that of a Locke, unravelling the labyrinth of mind to that of a Lavoisier, detecting the minutest combinations of matter, and reducing all nature to its elements to that of a Shakespear, piercing and developing the springs of passion-or of a Milton, identifying himself, as it were, with the beings of an invisible world?
• MR. EscoT.--You suppose extreme cases : but, on the score of happiness, what comparison can you make between the tranquil being of the wild man of the woods and the wretched and turbulent existence of Milton, the victim of persecution, poverty, blindness, and neglect? The records of literature demonstrate that Happiness and Intelligence are seldom sisters. Even if it were otherwise, it would prove nothing. The many are always sacrificed to the few. Where one man advances, hundreds retrograde; and the balance is always in favour of universal deterioration.
• Mr. FosteR.–Virtue is independent of external circumstances. The exalted understanding looks into the truth of things, and in its own peaceful contemplations rises superior to the world. No philosopher would resign his mental acquisitions for the purchase of any terrestrial good.
• Mr. Escor.-In other words, no man whatever would resign his identity, which is nothing more than the consciousness of his perceptions, as the price of any acquisition. But every man, without exception, would willingly effect a very material change in his relative situation to other individuals. Unluckily for the rest of your argument, the understanding of literary people is for the most part
* See Lord Monboddo's Ancient Metaphysics.
exalted, as you express it, not so much by the love of truth and virtue, as by arrogance and self-sufficiency; and there is perhaps less disinterestedness, less liberality, less general benevolence, and more envy, hatred, and uncharitableness among them, than among any other description of men.
(The eye of Mr. Escot, as he pronounced these words, rested very innocently and unintentionally on Mr. Gall.)
• MR. GALL.-You allude, Sir. I presume, to my Review ?
• MR. Escor.- Pardon me, Sir. You will be convinced it is impossible I can allude to your Review, when I assure you that I have never read a single page of it.
• Mr. Gall, Mr. Î'REACIE, MR. NIGHTSHADE, AND MR. MAC LAUREL.—Never read our Review !!!! pp. 47–53.
We must break off : we feel the honour of the craft attack ed; but we critics, like Sir Fretful Plagiary, are never put out of temper. No, no, we are not at all angry.' Only we cannot help wishing in revenge, that the Author was doomed, as a punishment for this defamatory attack, to be a Reviewer himself. But possibly he is one, and has turned king's evidepce. Dut upon him, as Lord Byron says of Time ; out upon the fellow!
Mr. Mac Laurel rebukes Mr. Escot in a becoming spirit for the manner in which he speaks 'o' the first creetics an scho
lars o' the age.' The conversation then takes a turn, in consequence of a remark drawn from the same gentleman, that one
of the ingredients of justice is disinterestedness. • MR. Mac LAUREL. It is na admeeted, Sir, amang the philosophers of Edinbroo', that there is ony sic a thing as diseenterestedness in the warld, or that a mon can care for onything sae much as his ain sel : for ye mun observe, Sir, eevery mon has his ain parteecular feelings of what is gude, an' beautiful, an' consentaneous to his ain indiveedual nature, an' desires to see eevery thing aboot him in that parteecular state which is maist conformable to his ain notions o' the moral an' poleetical fitness o' things. Twa men, Sir, shall purchase 'a piece o' groond between 'em, and ane mon shall cover his half wi' a park
• MR. MILESTONE.- Beautifully laid out in lawns and clumps, with a belt of trees at the circumference, and an artificial lake in the centre.
• MR. MAC LAUREL.--Exactly, Sir : an' shall keep it a' for his ain sel; an' the other mon shall divide his half into leeile farms of twa or three acres
• Mr. Escot.-Like those of the Roman republic, and build a cottage on each of them, and cover his land with a simple, innocent, and smiling population, who shall owe, not only their happiness, but their existence, to his benevolence.
* MR. MAC Laurel.-Exactly, Sir: an' ye will ca’ the first mon selfish, an' the second diseenterested; but the pheelosophical truth is seemply this, that the ane is pleased wi' looking at trees, an' the
Other wi' seeing people happy an' comfortable. It is anely a matter of indiveedual feeling. A peesant saves a mon's life for the same reason that a hero or a footpad cuts his throat: an' a philosopher de leevers a mon frae a preeson, for the same reason that a tailor or a prime meenester puts him into it-because it is conformable to his ain parteecular feelings o' the moral an' poleetical fitness o things.
· SQUIRE HEADLONG.-Wake the Reverend Doctor. Doctor, the bottle stands with you.
• THE REVEREND Doctor GASTER.--It is an error of which I am seldom guilty
Mr. Mac LAUREL.-Noo ye ken, Sir, eevery mon is the centre of his ain system, an' endeevours as much as possible to adapt eevery thing aroond him to his ain parteecular views.
Mr. Escor.-- Thus, Sir, I presume, it suits the particular views of a poet, at one time, to take the part of the people against their oppressors, and at another, to take the part of the oppressors against the people.
"MR. Mac Laurel.-Ye mun alloo, Sir, that poetry is a sort of ware or commodity, that is brought into the public market wi' a' other descreeptions o' merchandise, an' that a mon is rarefectly justified in getting the best price he can for his article. Noo, there are three reasons for taking the part o'the people : the first is, when general leeberty an' public happiness are conformable to your ain parteecular feelings o'the moral an" poleetical fitness o' things; the second is, when they happen to be, as it were, in a state of excitaneelity, an' ye think ye can get a gude price for your commodity, by throwing in a leetle seasoning o' pheelanthropy an' republican speerit: the third is, when ye think ye can bully the meenestry into gieing ye a peension to hau'd your din; an in that case, ye point an attack against them within the pale o' the law; an if they tak nae heed, of
ye, ye open a stronger fire ; an' the less heed they tak, the mair ye bawl, an the mair factious ve grow. always within the pale o' the law, till they seend a pleenipoteentiary to treat wi ye for yoursel ; an' then the mair popular ye happen to be, the better price ye fetch.
• MR. CRANIUM-I perfectly agree with Mr. Mac Laurel in his definition of self-love and disinterestedness: every man s actions are determined by his peculiar views, and those views are determined by the organization of his skull. A man in whom the organ of benevolence is not developed, cannot be benevolent : he, in whom it is so, cannot be otherwise The organ of self-love is prodigiously developed in the greater number of subjects that have fallen under my observation
• Mr. Escor.-Much less, I presume, among savage than civilized men, who, constant only to the love of self, and consistent only in their aim to deceive, are always actuated by the hope of personal advantage, or by the dread of personal punishment *. * MR. CRANIUM.–Very probably.' pp. 56–61.
* Drummond's Academical Questions. VOL. V. N. S.
During a subsequent conversation, an angry dispute arises between Messrs. Gall and Nightshade, the latter, as we are informed, pertinaciously insisting
new poem reviewed by Treacle, and not by Gall, whose sarcastic com. mendation he held in superlative horror.
• The remonstrances of Squire Headlong silenced the disputants, but did not mollify the inflexible Gall, nor appease the irritated Nightshade, who secretly resolved that, on his return to London, he would beat his drum in Grub Street, form a mastigophoric corps of his own, and hoist the standard of determined opposition against the critical Napoleon.
We must indulge ourselves in one more extract, which sball be taken from Mr. Cranium's Lecture on Skulls. After some preliminary remarks on the difficulty of accounting for the varieties of moral character in men, contrasted with the similarity in all the individuals of other species, and proving the several definitions of man to be extremely defective or erroneous, the Lecturer thus proceeds.
• " Every particular faculty of the mind has its corresponding organ in the brain. In proportion as any particular faculty or propensity acquires paramount activity in any individual, these organs develope themselves, and their developement becomes externally obvious by corresponding lumps and bumps, exuberances and protuberances, on the osseous compages of the occiput and şinciput. In all animals but man, the same organ is equally developed in every individual of the species : for instance, that of migration in the swallow-that of destruction in the tiger--that of architecture in the beaver—and that of parental affection in the bear. The human brain, however, consists, as I have said, of a bundle or compound of all the faculties of all other animals, and from the greater developement of one or more of these, in the infinite varieties of combination, result all the peculiarities of individual character.
< " Here is the skull of a beaver; and that of Sir Christopher Wreg. You observe, in both these specimens, the prodigious developement of the organ of constructiveness.
«« Here is the skull of a bullfinch; and that of an eminent fiddler." You may compare the organ of music.
« “ Here is the skull of a tiger. You observe the organ of carnage. Here is the skull of a fox. You observe the organ of plunder. Here is the skull of a peacock. You observe the organ of vanity. Here is the skull of an illustrious robber, who, after a long and triumphant process of depredation and murder, was suddenly checked in his ca reer by means of a certain quality, inherent in prepașations of hemp, which, for the sake of perspicuity, I shall call suspensiteness. Here is the skull of a conqueror, who, after over-running several kingdoms, burning a number of cities, and causing the deaths of two or three millions of men, women, and children, was eptombod with all the pageantry of public lamentation, and figured as
the hero of several thousand odes and a round dozen of epics ; while the poor highwayman was twice executed,
At the gallows first, and after in a ballad,
Sung to a villanous tune.' You observe, in both these skulls, the combined developement of the organs of carnage, plunder, and vanity, which I have just pointed out in the tiger, the fox, and the peacock. The greater enlargement of the organ of vanity in the herb, is the only criterion by which I can distinguish them from each other. Born with the same faculties and the same propensities, these two men were formed by nature to run the same career : the different combinations of external circum. stances decided the difference of their destinies.' pp. 154-157.
After some further illustrations, Mr. Cranium proceeds to deduce his practical inferences.
• " It is obvious, from what I have said, that no man can hope for worldly honour or advancement, who is not placed in such a relation to external circumstances, as may be consentaneous to his peculiar cerebral organs; and I would advise every parent, who has the wel. fare of his son at heart, to procure as extensive a collection as possible of the skulls of animals, and, before determining on the choice of a profession, to compare with the utmost nicety their bumps and protuberances with those of the skull of his son. If the developement of the organ of destruction point out a similarity between the youth and the tiger, let him be brought to some profession (whether that of a butcher, a soldier, or a physician, may be regulated by circumstances), in which he may be furnished with a license to kill : as, without such license, the indulgence of his natural propensity may lead to the untimely rescission of his vital thread, with edge of penny cord and • vile reproach.' If he trace an analogy with the jackall, let all possible influence be used to procure him a place at court, where he will infallibly thrive. If his skull bear a marked resemblance to that of a magpie, it cannot be doubted that he will prove an admirable lawyer; and if with this advantageous conformation be combined any resemblance to that of an owl, very confident hopes may be formed of his becoming a judge. pp. 159, 160.
We have been induced to make larger quotations from this little volume, than its size or importance might seem to demand; but we confess that we have been so much 'amused with it ourselves, as to wish our readers to partake in the entertainment. We will not extend our approbation of the work to every expression which it contains. The character of Dr. Gaster will be considered as falling under the same objection as that to which Dr. Syntax, and similar caricatures, are justly exposed. That such characters exist in real life, is an insufficient excuse for their being brought out on the canvass. The general design of the volume is however so unexceptionable, the execution is so spirited and good-humoured, and the satire in general so well-directed, that we cannot but accord to it, on the whole, a high measure of commendation.