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his author, we might have replied with some little indignation, si non vis intelligi, debes negligi.
As to the work in question, the Editor, in his preface, page xiv, raises great expectations. .
Our Teacher, as we reverently follow him through his solemn range of subjects, varies his authoritative appeals to the heart, and to the reason
to the fancy, and to the soul to our hopes, and our terrors. He de. lights, alarms, or astonishes the imagination by images, and descriptions, unconceived before, yet welcomed instantly by the judgment, as not less probable than strange, His counsels, his precedents, and his warnings, momentous as they are in themselves, and powerfully as they conduce to the purposes of each other, are, mordover, so tremendously enforced by his revelations of wrath to come, that we are constrained, at once, to shudder at the torments that await the guilty, and to bow before the justice which denounces and inflicts them. On the other hand, the softening, as well as animating, influence of hope is tried upon those iron natures, which might have stood proof against the force of horror : and the Poet, having first invited the Reprobate to goodness by human motives, either irresistibly endearing, or unanswerably wise, proceeds to tempt him forward, by the most ravishing glimpses of beatitude at the close.--In fine; he seems, as he professes, to come with a warrant from the deads and tells, like an inhabitant of both worlds, the secrets of eternity..
But, as the Editor confesses his total ignorance of the Icelandic tongue, and professedly . imitates' only the dull, . bald, and even ungrammatical Latin translation, which we suppose he found in the Copenhagen edition ; how can he expatiate so positively, on the beauties and perfection of his original? How does he know it possesses these qualities ? Even admitting the Latin to be faithful, and the original to be replete with poetical beauties; does he think these tender sensitive plants will bear the rude touch of such an unskilful hand, as his Latin translator confessedly is ? Can they be transplanted into a language of such different idiom and construction, yet still preserve their native fragrance, tints, and lustre? Of all transfusions, that of imagination is the most difficult.
Plan of the Poem. The author assumes the character of a. father, who, after his death, returns to earth, for the purpose of admonishing his son; and for revealing the state of departed souls, in Heaven and in Hell. These communications are made through the medium of a dream or vision. But why the poem is called the “ Song of the Sun” is not known. We think, however, Mr. B. might have discovered a better reason than that contained in the second line of the following stanza. (78th.)
• These healing strains, my son, I, sole of men,
We think too, as to the derivation of this name, that in the frozen regions of the North, if any created being had a right to be deified, the Sun would have the first claim. Why may be not have been there, as elsewhere, the god of poetry; and, in that character, have patronised this production? We extract two stanzas, the 39th and 40th, which with the five following, begin ' I saw the sun;" and this appears to be the most probable reason for the title of the poem. We give these-stanzas first in the Icelandic; secondly in the bald’ Latin ; and then in Mr. Bi's imitution. ,
Verum diei astrum,
Mæstum in sonitûs regionibus :
At fores Orci
Audivi ab altera parte
Obsitum cruentis literis ;
Potens visus est ille
Præ quam prius erat.
Than, from my hour of birth, these eyes had seen! This is a fair specimen; by which it will be seen, how much the editor over-rates the value of his offering at the shrine of pubs Jic taste. His notes, by way of glossary, display neither extensive reading, nor much delicacy of imagination. His prose seems somewhat bewildered by the obscurity and antiquity of his subject; witness the phrases,‘at more length,''harrowing sublimity,
the worth of gold indestructibly centered in its weight,' &c. In his verse, the expressions devote to evil,' •blind nook,' &c, are too colloquial even for plain prose. Dragons of hope, Maids of death, and much more equally unintelligible, may be referred, to be as charitable as we can, to the class of sublime nonsense. The piece, considered as a whole, presents horror without
grandeur, grandeur, and morality without object and without order; characteristic enough of a barbarous age. There is, also, as the editor himself confessés, a strange and absurd mixture of profane fables with Christian certainties. A mixture which our readers will not expect us to commend.'
Art. VII. A Medical und Experimental Inquiry, into the Origin,
Symptoms, and Cure of Constitutional Diseases. Particularly Scros phula, Consumption, Cancer, and Gout. Illustrated by Cases. By William Lambe, M. D. Fellow, of the College of Physicians. Mawa
man. pp. 276. Price 5s. 6d. 1805. W ITH similar invectives to those which Sancho Pança la
W vished on the official preserver of his constitution, some readers will doubtless be disposed to address the author of a work which prohibits them from drinking of the pure lambent stream; while others, not blest with the sobriety of Reviewers, wil readily concur with him in the opinion, that all liquors possess poisonous qualities, in proportion to the quantity of water which they contain. * Sed nunc amisso quæramus seria ludo
: By constitutional diseases, Dr. Lambe informs us, he means, those which arise slowly and spontaneously; and concerning which we are hitherto ignorant, whether they are to be attributed to the operation of foreign and external causes, or to an original imperfection in the structure or functions of any of the different parts of the body. Among these, he places scrophula, pulmonary consumption, gout, cancer, mania, epilepsy, and many cutaneous eruptions. However diversified may be the formns and symptoms of these diseases, they may all, the doctor says, be traced to the operation of a common matter, introduced into the system from without. This matter, he thinks, has its origin from the decomposition of animal, and, perhaps, of vegetable bodies. This deleterious matter, which Dr. Lambe designates by the name of SEPric Poison, and which, he says, exactly resembles arsenicated manganese, is admitted into the body, he supposes, in many ways; but, principally, and most abundantly, under the attractive and unsuspected form of WATER.
• Is not this the very dæmon, which, for so many ages, has tortured mankind; and which, usarping the sensorium, has corrupted, under a thousand forms, both the mind and body? the evil spirit, which has augmented the wants of man, while it has diminished his enjoyments? which bas exasperated the passions, inflamed the appetites, benumbed the senses, and enfeebled the understanding? which has converted his fine form into a storehouse of diseases, has blasted the flower of his offspring, and has brought eyen the strongest of his name to an untimely grave ?' pp 17, 18.
: With the hope of embodying this phantasınagorian form, recourse is had to experiments, which are placed at the end of the inquiry ; but which we, reversing the order in which the doctor has arranged his materials, shall first examine. As these form the foundation of the building which he has erected, we may, by making them the first objects of our inquiry, directly form a judgement respecting the durability of the superstructure.
In the experiments on water, we find several made with a view of establishing the fact, that the New River water contains a portion of animal matter. Not doubting of this fact, which the recollection of the innumerable animated beings with which all waters teem is sufficient to establish, we do not think it neceja sary to dwell on this portion of the experiments...
With respect to those which are adduced in proof of the presence of manganese and of arsenic, we shall only consider two results on which the Doctor particularly dwells. The retort in which the residuum of the water had been exposed to destructive distillation, received a deep blue stain, indelible by acids, where it had undergone a red heat. This stain, the doctor considers as one of the proofs of the presence of arsenic acid, because Scheele uniformly observed indelible stains of various colours in his experiments with arsenic acid, and the different metals. But similar stains will be observed in almost every instance of destructive distillation: the Doctor himself ob. serves, that the same stain is also formed by any animal substance, exposed to destructive distillation. Now since, according to this author, arsenic acid, all animal substances, all vegetable substances, and water, occasion this stain, is it not as fair to infer from this experiment, that arsenic acid contains some thing of an animal or vegetable nature, as thet animal substances possess something of an arsenical nature? - Arsenic, or the white oxide of arsenic mixed with any inflammable substance, on being heated between two copper plates, Jeaves a white stain on the copper. By exposing the ashes of animal matter, with charcoal, to the action of heat between copper plates, a stain was produced, which was internally dark mired with crimson spots, and externally of a yellower colour than that which is produced by pure arsenic. From this negative result, Dr. Lambe infers an identity of nature in the two substances. But this can never be admitted : for, as this discolouration of the copper proceeds merely from the oxidation of its surface, the effect may of course be produced by many other substances. We are informned, indeed, in one part of the work, that the stain produced in this manner, on copper, by the residuum from water, could not possibly be distinguished from that caused by pure white arsenic, treated in the same manner. But, in another part of the work, it will be seen, that this experiment
. proves proves rather too much ; since the impression thus made on the copper, by the residuum of the water, when compared with that made by arsenic itself, is said to be the more distinct of the two !
Here then, conceding every point which our author's hypothesis requires ; a substance, in the composition of which, he supposes a most minute proportion of arsenic enters, produces an effect peculiar to arsenic, in a greater degree than is produced 'by arsenic itself alone.
I washed out the deliquescent matter, and put the remainder, mixed with a little charcoal powder, between plates of copper, which I'esposed to a red heat. The copper received a white stain by this process. A little arsenic was exposed to the same treatment between similar plates. No difference could be observed between these stains in each experiment. unless that the impression made by the residuum of the water, 'was the more distinct of the two.'. p. 10.
Such a result as this, is sufficient to shew that the inferences which Dr. L. has drawn from his experiments, are by po means to be relied on. Our hopes therefore revive, and we trust that we may again venture to employ, without first subjecting it to a chemical process,
"The vehicle, the source of nutriment,
And life, to all that vegetate or live.' We become, indeed, more confident in our hopes, as we proceed ; and find an objection still more powerful, and so obvious that it must offer itself to every tyro in chemistry. In no one of our author's experiments, to prove the presence of arsenic, is the true characteristic of arsenic, the alliaceous smell, ever noticed! This circumstance alone, when the extremely small quanlity of arsenic necessary for analysis is considered, is sufficient to shew that the proposed hypothesis is without foundation.
This objection is, however, attempted to be thus obviated. Dr. L. informs us, that he was foiled in every attempt to separate the arseniate of manganese into its constituent principles. But this was accomplished by Scheele, who says, that when the precipitate, the arseniate of manganese, was mixed with charcoal powder in a crucible, and subjected to heat, they flowed, and regulus of arsenic arose in the form of vapour, while thé manganese remained behind. Yet, from this failure in his attempt to separate the arsenic from the manganese, in the arseniate of manganese, and from being equally unable to procure any arsenic from the residuum of water, our author contends, that the water is contaminated by this same combination of manganese and arsenic; and hence explains why neither metal can be * made to appear by his experiments !
Having shewn how little aid Dr. Li's hypothesis receives from the direct testimony of experiments, we add, that the collateral