Imágenes de páginas

upon us in the midst of that dreary may yet look to the careless eye the moss; and at the sound of our quaking same as when it blossomed in its pride, voice, fell down with clasped hands at its leaves, still green, are not as our feet—"My father's dead!” Had once they were,—its bloom, though the hut put already on the strange, fair, is faded,—and at set of sun, the dim, desolate look of mortality? For dews shall find it in decay, and fall people came walking fast down the unfelt on all its petals. Ere Sabbath braes, and in a little while there was came, the orphan child was dead. a group round us, and we bore her Methinks we see now her little funeback again to her dwelling in our arms. ral. Her birth had been the humblest How could she have lived-an utter of the humble; and though all in life orphan-in such a world! The holy bad loved her, it was thought best that power that is in Innocence would for none should be asked to the funeral of ever have remained with her; but In- her and her father, but two or three nocence longs to be away, when her friends; the old clergyman himself sister Joy has departed; and 'tis sor- walked at the head of the father's rowful to see the one on earth, when coffin-we at the head of the daughthe other has gone to Heaven! This ter's--for this was granted unto our sorrow none of us had long to see; for exceeding love ;-and thus passed though a flower, when withered at the away for ever the Blind Beauty of root, and doomed ere eve to perish, the Moor!

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« We say it is a fleshly style, when there is much periphrases, and circuit of words; and when with more than enough it grows fat and corpuleot.-Ben Jonson's Discoveries.

The injudicious mode of paying writ- and other nations reverence it as the ers, especially those in our periodical seat of thought, whence, in all probaworks, by external admeasurement bility, beasts with two stomachs came rather than by intrinsic value, react- originally to be called ruminating aniing upon itself, tends to accelerate, in mals par excellence. Where else ihan a frightful ratio, the depravity of taste to the stomach should we look for the that our critics so pathetically deplore primary cause of that irritability which, By writing long articles, and running in all ages, has been the distinguishing into diffuseness, authors have become characteristic of authors; as well as rich, while the good living consequent for that morbid state of the intellectuupon sudden wealth has still farther al faculties by which they are so often deteriorated the quality of their writ- afflicted, and of which the evidence is ings, pecuniary abundance invariably sometimes so lamentably seen in the producing intellectual penury. That inferiority of their writings ? Authors the reader may yield a perfect assent are no longer Grub-street garreteers, to the truth of this proposition, he invigorating their minds by Spartan. must hear in mind that the stomach temperance, and their bodies by inhath ever been held the seat of some haling the pure and classical air of an of our noblest faculties and affections. Attic lodging. The “ mens sana in Persius calls it the dispenser of genius; corpore sano,” may now be prayed the Hebrews considered it the head for in vain. Payment by the sheet quarters of intellect ; Saint Paul cau- of nine feet four has tempted thein to tions the Philippians against making scribble by the furlong; they have it their deity; we ourselves, in com- acquired riches, money has made them mon parlance, hold it to be the seat luxurious, luxury has deranged their of pride and courage ; the Hindoos intestine economy, the sympathising

soul “ embodies and embrutes," and no small degree to the excellence of thus do I come round to the title of their productions."* So convinced is my paper, and most logically and in- our worthy physician of the fact, that contestably prove that good living is he earnestly recommends a dose of the cause of bad writing.

medicine to authors before they enA ready clue will be afforded us to gage in any particular study or comthe superiority of the ancient writers position; and is obliging enough to give over the moderns, if we recollect that recipes proportioned to the intensity necessity is the mother of invention, of the application required. We now and that invention has always been see the reason why the ancients made deemed the test, the experimentum Apollo the god of medicine as well as crucis, the sine qua non of a great of poetry; so true is it that there is a poet. What says Shakspeare, who, hidden wisdom in the most trivial dein confirmation of his own dictum, tail of their mythology, if we could never wrote a line after he retired to but unveil it. Is it not notorious to Stratford and fattened upon alderman- the most superficial pathologist, either ic fare :

from personal experience or pure ob“Fat paunches make lean pates, and grosser bits servation, that gluttony stupifies the Make rich the ribs, but bankerout the wits.” reasoning faculties, and that drunken

In a medical work now before me, ness destroys them altogether? and how containing some excellent maxims for could this result occur unless the stomen of letters, the author observes mach were the seat of the intellect, the that the most successful writers have great sensorium of the human frame? been starved into excellence and ce- That the fumes of these immane polebrity. Homer begged his bread; tations, alembicised in the intestines, Cicero is described by Plutarch as ascend into the head, and thus disorbeing at one time of his life extremely der the ratiocinative powers, is a mere lean and slender, and having such a medical conceit, a fond imagining of weakness in his stomach, that he could the theorists, unsupported by proof, eat but little ; Tasso was often obliged and even unwarranted by analogy. to borrow half-a-crown for a week's Let our literati, then, cultivate the subsistence; Cervantes wrote his im- griping of a hungry stomach as an inmortal work in prison; the author of fallible test of inspiration, and of the “ Gil Blas” lived in great poverty; presence of the mens divinior, promptMilton sold his “ Paradise Lost” foring all sorts of nimble, fiery, delectaten pounds; Otway—but there is no ble, and spiritual fancies; while the end to the list. Read the Calanities Philodeipnos, who indulges in poluof Authors, and you will find abundant phagia and poluposia, (I wish to avoid proof in almost every page that there the vulgar terms of gluttony and ineis no Muse or magic, no Pegasus or briety,) will never be classical in his Parnassus, no Helicon or Hippocrene, compositions ; his mind will become like hunger. “It is well ascertained,” empty as his body fills, and he will says the medical writer before me, produce heavy, somnolent, dull, leaden “ that a spare diet tends very much writings, manifestly engendered “crasto augment delicacy of feeling, liveli- sâ Minerva," under the influence of a ness of imagination, quickness of ap- fat Minerva. Even air, light and unprehension, and acuteness of judgment. substantial as such a food may appear, The majority of our most esteemed except to a cameleon, may be of too works have been composed by men pinguid a quality ; and the ancient whose limited circumstances compel. Bæotians were thought to be stupified led them to adopt very frugal repasts; by the undue fatness of the element and we have much reason to suppose they breathed—“ Bæotum in crasso that their scanty fare contributed in juraris aëre natum.”

* Sure Method of Improving Health, p. 359.

So far, however, from wishing to a pot-bellied spirit, or lazy lightning. confine men of letters to a diet of air, Obesity is a deadly foe to genius ; in however unctuous and satisfactory, carneous and unwieldy bodies the spithe physician to whom I have refer- rit is like a little gudgeon in a large red is willing to allow them over and fryingpan of fat, which is either totalabove, during the course of the twen- ly absorbed, or tastes of nothing but ty-four hours, twelve ounces of solid, the lard. Let no man attempt to and twenty ounces of liquid food, af- write who has a protuberant stomach; ter which it will behove them to make let no man reckon upon immortality a change in their intestine punctua- who cannot distinctly feel and reckon tion, and to take care that their colon his own ribs; for the thinnest bow comes to a full stop. A single mouth- shoots the farthest, and the leanest ful beyond this limitation, even of horse generally wins the race. If I Cotelette à l'Epigramme, will infallibly were a publisher, I should invariably injure the point of their writings, and fight shy of the “ fair round belly with stultify them with ponderous and good capon lined,” and immediately phlegmatic dulness. The writer in offer a handsome price to the Living question cautions authors not to be Skeleton for his memoirs. They “sleepless themselves to make their would have a run, and they would dereaders sleep," but to slumber for at serve it ; for we may be assured that least eight hours at a stretch, as the they would exhibit none of the faults surest method of avoiding somnolency pointed out in my motto. All bone, in their productions—a piece of ad- muscle, and nerve, they would be vice which most patients, whether doubly acceptable to a public which literary or not, would be very happy has lately been overwhelmed with such to follow. Example, which is inti- a mass of flesh, fat, and flummery. nitely better than precept, will abun- Nothing fat ever yet enlightened the dantly justify the wisdom of this stary- world ; for even in a tallow candle the ing system. Our greatest writers illumination springs from the thin wick. have been little, attenuated men, sto- How comes it that in the upper machless, meagre, lean, and lath-like; classes of life, among men possessing beings who have half-spiritualized « all appliances and means to boot," themselves by keeping matter in due who ought to be specially qualified by subordination to mind, corporeally tes- liberal education and the full enjoytifying that the sword has worn out ment of leisure, we find so few writers the scabbard, and that the predominant of any sort, and scarcely one of marksoul has “ o'erinformed its tegument ed eminence. With all his industry, of clay.” Look at the busts and por- Walpole's list of royal and noble traits of Cicero, Demosthenes, Vol- authors presents but a meagre show taire, Pope, and a hundred others, in point of number, and not a particuwhose minds have meagred their bo- larly creditable one as to talent. dies till they became almost as ethe- The « Lords of fat Evesham and of real as the ardent spirit they enshrin- Lincoln Fen,” and our other wealthy ed,-is it not manifest that they have agriculturists, have never attempted to the true form and physiognomy of in- cultivate the soil of Parnassus. What tellectual preëminence ? Lord Byron can explain this apparent anomaly, never wrote so well as when he was but the reflection that their station in macerating himself by rigid absti- life, placing every luxurious indulgence nence; and the most eminent of our within their reach, has tempted them to living writers are all men of temperate make their own stomachs the tomb of living and a spare bodily habit. A their own genius? Hecatombs of fish, corpulent intellectualist is a contra- flesh, and fowl have they offered up to diction in terins, a palpable catachre- this insatiable ventricle, stilling in sis. One might as well talk of a lead- their fumes the very germs of talent, en kite, a sedentary will-o'-the-wisp, and clouding or extinguishing almost every spark of intellect. Happy they particular viand or fruit, a mother will, who have plied their teeth so inces- through some inscrutable process of santly that they have found no time to nature, indelibly stamp it upon her put the pen in motion, for the few who unborn child ; and may not men, by have rashly essayed to combine gas- the kind of nutriment upon which they tronomic with literary pursuits, have subsist, while teeming with some liteonly offered a more signal example rary work, communicate a similar imthat good living is invariably the cause press to the offspring of their brain? Diof bad writing. Our oldest authors versity of diet may even plausibly exare the best, and why? Not only be- plain the various characteristics of nacause they were the poorest, but be- tional literature. The writings of a cause they wrote in Roman Catholic Frenchman, habitually living upon times, when fasts, and lent, and spare soupe maigre, a vol-au-vent, and an diet were rigidly observed. Is it up- omelette, graced with Chablis or chamon record that any work of celebrity pagne, will be naturally light, mercurial, was ever begun during the Carnival, playful, sparkling, and frothy; while or that any of our civic dignitaries, those of an Englishman, dining upon conversant with feasts, festivals, and beef and plum-pudding, made into a aldermanic excesses, have distinguish- heavy quagmire with port and porter, ed themselves as literati ? Į pause will be of a more solid texture perfor a reply. Even poor Elkanab Set- haps, but gross, ponderous, grave, tle, the last of the city laureats, una- plethoric. By indulging in sour krout, ble to resist the stultifying influence the Germans have become a nation of of gluttonous repasts, as his Inaugu- critics ; water-zootje and red herrings ration Odes attest, finally gorged him are legible in every line of the Dutch self into such a lamentable plight, that literature; macaroni and vermicelli he had just wit enough left to enact a have imparted their own frivolous and dragon at Bartholomew Fair, and to unsubstantial character to the writings biss, and spit fire, for the amusement of the Italians ; while from the wild of the populace. Let our gormandiz- birds and wild beasts which constitute ing and tippling scribblers have the the prevalent food of the north, we fate of Elkanah perpetually before may plainly deduce the singular wildtheir mouths ; let them pray for some ness of the Scandinavian mythology physician's wand, like that which and poetry. Bearing these incontrowhisked away the dishes from the ex- vertible facts in mind, let every author pectant jaws of Sancho Panza, if they endeavor to adapt his food to the nawish to preserve their faculties unim- ture of his intended composition ; paired, and to write something that above all, and under every circumthe world shall “not willingly let stance, attending to that golden rule of

Milton, who exemplified in his works In the mysterious reciprocal action the glorious results of his own recomof the mind upon the body, and of the mendation. body upon the mind, it is impossible

“ Well observe to say how intimately the mere quali- The rule of not too much, by temperance ty of our food, without reference to taught,

In what thou eat'st and drink'st, seeking from its quantity, may affect everything that we write. By longing for some Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight.”

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On! call my brother back to me,

The Butterfly is glancing bright
I cannot play alone;

Across the sun-beam's track;
The summer comes, with flower and bee,- I care not now to chase its flight
Where is my brother gone ?

Oh! call my brother back! 25 ATHENEUM, vol. 1, 3d series.

The flowers run wild-the flowers we sow'd Go ! thou must play alone, my boy!
Around our garden-tree;

Thy brother is in heaven.
Our vine is drooping with its load-
Oh! call him back to me!

And has he left his birds and flowers ?

And must I call in vain ?
He would not hear thy voice, fair child, And through the long long summer hours
He may not come to thee,

Will he not come again ?
The face that once like spring-time smild
On earth no more thou'lt see.

And by the brook, and in the glade,

Are all our wanderings o'er? A rose's brief, bright life of joy

Oh! while my brother with me play'd, Such unto him was given ;

Would I had lov'd him more!



On Wednesday, October 1, the Univer- feet high, supporting a peristyle of the sity of London, without a bull from order, and terminated by a cross. the Pope, without a blessing from the The wings when finished will each be Church, and without a beam of favor furnished with a similar portico, and from the King, was opened for the first with a dome of the same description, Session. The following description of but of inferior dimensions. the Buildings will enable our readers to The principal entrance to the buildappreciate the admirable arrangements ing is through the portico ; the ascent by which in their erection economy has to which (18 feet) is made by the been made to go hand in hand with grand staircase alluded to. Entering utility, and former experiences ren- the vestibule, which is octagonal, the dered subservient to the mutual ac- effect is remarkably imposing. Iminecommodation of teachers and pupils. diately opposite, and jutting 90 feet

The chief access to the University from the back wall, a most splendid is hy Gower Street, Bedford Square, saloon, called par excellence The Hall, but there are approaches from the attracts the attention of the visitor ; it New Road and Tottenham Court is intended for public examinations

and meetings of ceremony. On the The elevation of the principal or right appears the Great Library, 120 western front, which is wholly of Port- feet by 50, with a gallery round, supland stone, exhibits a chaste and most ported by cast iron pillars, enveloped beautiful example of the Corinthian or- in imitation Scagliola. Besides the der. It extends (including the wings, windows on each side, this magnificent which when built will project 210 feet apartment is furnished with lanternal towards Gower Street,) 450 feet. lights from the roof, or rather from The central compartment is devoted the ceiling, there being horizontal on the ground floor to a magnificent pannels of ground or frosted glass, so staircase, composed of several flights arranged as to harmonize with the at right angles to each other, and plaster decorations. There is a small above, to a portico consisting of ten Library at the further end of this, columns in front and two in flank sup- calculated to contain 12,000 volumes. porting a plain but well proportioned On the left is the Museum of Natural pediment. The façade on each side History, similar in all respects to the displays a range of characteristic pilas- Library, but terminated by the Theaters above, and a happily applied spe- tre of Anatomy, in place of the small cimen of horizontal rustic work helow. Library. The doors presented by A very effective series of wreaths and the other sides of the octagon lead to guttæ enriches, and lends relief to the staircases, or form the entrances to space between the tiers of windows. professors' rooms. The whole is surmounted by a circu- On the ground floor, immediately lar dome 36 feet in diameter and 52 beneath the Hall, and entering from

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