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ry's shop is a standing monument of rogues who lead parties, the latter human credulity and imbecility; and would come into such close contact, the blue or pink bottle in its illuminat- that questions would be settled, one ed window is a Pharos shining over way or other, without delay; and the the sunken rocks of the owner's shal- world would at least lose the amuselow qualifications. Among the rich ment of a protracted struggle : and, variety of its accumulated disgusts, farther, without the particular interthere are, at most, some half dozen or vention of fools, to do the dirty work dozen drugs which skill can turn to of politics, and to hazard measures of account. The rest are never better which the most barefaced villany would than the innocuous instruments of fool- be ashamed, policy would be cut off catching : too often they are either from half its best means, and from all positively or negatively poisons, in the the applause which attends a successhands of that empiricism which sets ful stroke. We all know that this colleges and corporations at defiance. class of persons rush in where wise Not, indeed, that the worst quacks are men fear to go, and are therefore always to be found among men divest- especially formed by nature for fulfiled of diplomas, or those who disguise ling the functions of a cat's-paw. But the implements of their trade beneath why enlarge on this subject? Twenthe mystery of a three-halspenny stamp. ty folio volumes would not exhaust it. No two things can be more distinct Nay, are the Statutes at large anythan the trade and the profession of thing else than one vast text-book on physic. The professor administers to the political utility of fools ? the maladies of the patient; the trader Considering the boundless advanto his passions. The professor ac- tages of folly, and the corresponding quires skill by anatomizing the dead ; bounty of Providence in keeping up the trader thrives by cutting up the the stock of fools, it may readily be living. If to flattery and slander he presupposed that their condition is by adds a good dash of hypocrisy, and no means without its comforts; and proves his competence in medicine by the fact corresponds with the prehis progress in theology, his fortunes sumption. There is no one in life are made. The fools fall to his share, so thoroughly self-satisfied as your and he thrives; while the professor, thorough fool. It is the miserable in possession of the wise men, starves prerogative of reason to bring us acby inches upon their custom, and dies quainted with the rich variety of our in disappointment. In law, likewise,- miseries, and with the empty nothingbut why mention law? Its luxuries ness of the objects on which humanity are too expensive for ordinary indul- fixes its desires. The highest flight gence; and, after all, it is only the of wisdom is to lash the mind to a very greatest of fools that voluntarily stoical patience of suffering, and, by rush into its labyrinths : it is the rogue bringing a conviction of the realities who usually commences litigation of life, of their necessity, and their Besides, law is only another name for inevitability, to screw our courage to gaming; and as throwing dice is the the sticking-place, and inspire us with gayest mode of trusting to chance, it a becoming resignation. The fool, will probably soon supersede the law on the contrary, sees nothing of all altogether. In politics, the utility of this. * fools is unbounded. Without their Folly, says the Greek tragedian, general interposition between the makes the sweetest life, and, of all
* As the old song of J. Miller, 1744, abundantly testifies. A fool enjoys the sweets of life,
If Fortune smile, as smile she will, Unwounded by its cares;
Upon her booby brood, His passions never are at strife,
The fool anticipates no ill, He hopes, not he, nor fears.
But reaps the present good.
evils, is the least painful;* and Champ- themselves with associates of high infort justly remarks, that Nature in pity tellectual powers, but give a marked relieves us from the load of existence preference to those least able to set when the passions cease to blind us to the Thames on fire. If, from a misthe evils by which it is surrounded. placed vanity, an individual among Who ever heard of a fool committing them now and then is ambitious of suicide, or staining himself with any appearing clever himself, and seeks to of the greater crimes which spring open his table to the lettered, the scifrom intensity of feeling? The French, entific, and the deep thinker, his choice before the Revolution, had an exalted more frequently stumbles upon some but false idea of the philosophy of the blue-stocking pretender or charlatan, English, and this justifies another of some wholesale dealer in solemn plautheir prejudices respecting our tenden- sibilities, or worthy blockhead, whose cy to melancholy. However good it accidental acquirements serve only to may be to be merry and wise, the render his native folly more saliently union of the two is by no means so conspicuous. He who would get on easy to effect. The Quakers are re- in the world, must sedulously hide from markable for their sense and practical it his superiority. The man of merit, wisdom; but are they not at the same who makes too open a display of his time the muzziest mortals in existence ? abilities, is distrusted and hated. He Your man of wit laughs only when he must be dissatisfied, and therefore is has a good cause ; but the fool laughs dangerous. It is not the dull and the at everything—at anything-at no- silly who breed revolutions, but that thing. Our ancestors, whose wisdom is sect, hated of gods and men, the phiproverbial, and is only called in ques. losophers. Their knowledge is disaftion by Jacobins and innovators, were fection, and their science infidelity. thrown upon professional fools or jest- Had there been no geniuses in France, ers for their merriment. They were the world would not have groaned untoo staid and grave a race to venture der the oppression of a Bonaparte, and upon a laugh of their own raising; that nation would have enjoyed to all whereas we moderns, who are too sil- eternity the mild, benignant, and paly to stir a step in safety without their ternal sway of the Bourbons. guidance, keep up the circulation of It is not then wonderful that the wisthe blood by endless laughing at our est governments lay themselves so deown jokes and our neighbors’ absurdi- liberately out for captivating the good ties. It is then a most merciful dis- graces of fools. For their benefit, pensation of Providence that multiplies the most expensive ceremonies are infools, and confines within the narrow- stituted; for them, fasts are proclaimest limits those who must either burst ed, kings' speeches laboriously conned with indignation at triuinphant villany, by heart, Antijacobin and Quarterly or pine into atrophy at the aspect of Reviews written, ribbons and medals human misery. The superiority of multiplied, and State-trumpeters hirfolly is observable in the fact, that the ed ; for their especial amusement, greatest geniuses are glad to take oc- robes and jewels are called into play, casional refuge in fooling. It is also and maces surcharged with the very well worthy of remark, that the rich best double gilding. If none but cleand the noble, who may command ver persons were to be consulted, there their own company, seldom surround would be no occasion for late debates,
Or should, through love of change, her wheels Fools, careless, whistle on and say,
'Tis silly to be sad. The happy fool no anguish feels,
Since free from sorrow, fear, and shame, He weighs nor gains nor loss.
A fool thus fate defies, When knaves o'erreach, and friends betray, The greatest folly I can name Whilst mcn of sense run mad,
Is to be over-wise. * Ajax Mastigophorus.
tedious explanations of ministerial the first class of nations, or rather put squabbles, annual budgets, or even for it at the head of European civilization : the very expensive farce of Parlia- whereas the clever rogues, the Fredementary votes. The sic volo sic jubeo ricks, the Louis the Fourteenths, the of a Wellington would answer all the Francises, and the Charles the Fifths, purpose, as it does of that other fool- embrued their hands incessantly in the trap, a responsible Cabinet. What, blood of their fellow-creatures, and indeed, is diplomacy itself, and the made misery for their subjects. If whole code of international law, but a then, gentle reader, you are not too deferential sacrifice to the folly of wise, if you are more worthy of Gomankind. This consideration con- tham than of Athens, set yourself tains the philosophy of Oxenstiern's down without hesitation as among the celebrated axiom, and satisfactorily privileged order of society. Hold up explains why fools in general make your head at the highest ; set yourseli the best ministers. They sympathize unblushingly in the high places; and with the public for whom they act, laugh to scorn, as an honest man should and the public sympathizes with them; do, every one who presumes on his inand they instinctively hit upon the tellectual superiority, and has the insomeasures which are suited to the in- lent pretension to think himself better, tellectual calibre of the majority, because he is wiser, than his neighThey never, by the brilliancy of their bors, and has got the start of the age conceptions, disturb the settled order in which he lives. Decry talents of things, nor, by putting mankind hardily; neglect genius superciliously; upon thinking, disturb their digestion, vote illumination a bore, and consistand force them upon the most disa- ency a mark of the beast ; and above greeable of the functions of life. all, as far as your interest and patronJames, the most foolish of all possible age extend, be sure to shut out from kings, maintained his empire in peace preferment all manner of persons who for a long series of years, and laid the are so unfitted for place or distinction, foundation of that national develope- as not either to be, or at least affect ment which placed England among to be, downright fools.
I THINK OF THEE.
ITHUNK of thee, in the night
Yet may I not repine, When all beside is still,
Since thou hast won thy rest at last, And the moon comes out, with her pale, sad And all the grief is mine.
light, To sit on the lonely hill :
I think upon thy gain, When the stars are all like dreams,
Whate'er to me it cost, And the breezes all like sighs,
And fancy dwells, with less of pain, And there comes a voice from the far-off On all that I have lost ;streams,
Hope-like the cuckoo's endless tale, Like thy spirit's low replies !
-Alas! it wears its wing
And love, that—like the nightingale I think of thee, by day,
Sings only in the spring! 'Mid the cold and busy crowd, When the laughter of the young and gay
Thou art my spirit's all, Is far too glad and loud;
Just as thou wert in youth, I hear thy low, sad tone,
Still from thy grave no shadows fall And thy sweet, young smile I see,
Upon my lonely truth ;-My heart-my heart were all alone, A taper yet above thy tomb, But for its thoughts of thee!
Since lost its sweeter rays,
And what is memory, through the glooin, Of thee, who wert so dear,
Was hope, in brighter days!
Where sorrow sinks to sleep,
Where the weary and the weepers come,
And they cease to toil and weep!
That each should be a tear,
Those insects'of the east,
And shroud it while they rest;
When earthward they alight,
Just as they take their flight !
Till thou wert borne away!
Thy beauty of that day ;
In other climes, were given,
And seek thee out, in heaven!
ESSAYS ON PHYSIOLOGY, OR THE LAWS OF ORGANIC LIFE.*
Essay IV.-ON THE POWERS BY WHICH THE OPERATIONS OF THE ORGANIC FRAME ARE
We have now, we hope, sufficiently mazes ; here, like unwearied laborexplained what is to be understood byers, the most minute vessels are dethe term percipient sensibility, or per- positing, particle by particle, the solid ception, and how its powers are exhi- bone, the contractile muscle, or the bited in the organic frame;-it is that lucid humors of the eye; here, too, property by which we are aware of the absorbents ply their task, unbuildour being, and by which we are con- ing and removing, and striving, as it nected to the world around us: it is were, for victory : hence is the frame by this that we experience pleasure subjected to a perpetual succession of and pain, and every emotion. All particles, till life becomes extinct! that embitters life, or renders it de- During a certain period of its exsirable, acts through this medium; in istence the animal frame grows, or infact, deprived of this property, man creases in size, when at length, the and the animal would reseinble the natural stature being acquired, it beplant, and rise up and pass away in a comes stationary. This gradual instate of utter unconsciousness.
crease, or growth, is effected by the Let us now turn our attention to appropriation and assimilation of fresh those phenomena which man, in com- matter, which received into the system mon with all animated nature, exhi- becomes there vivified and deposited bits, and which, depending on that in various parts, as its wants may repower termed latent sensibility, are quire. But this operation is continucarrying on their operations through- ed, not only while the body is growout the system,-silently indeed, and ing, but when this growth is complete ; unnoticed, except in their effects. for as it perpetually undergoes loss, These phenomena are all subservient this must be continually repaired, to the organic life of the individual, otherwise the body becomes attenuatand comprehend the operations by ed, and dies from exhaustion. which the growth of the frame is ef- That the animal frame should be fected, its bulk maintained, and its capable of assimilating, or converting Josses repaired. How complicated is extraneous inanimate matter into a the animal machine! and how num. portion of itself, living and sensitive, berless and intricate are the actions is an astonishing and inexplicable there constantly in progress. Here, fact; nor is it less so, that minute to mingle with the vital fluid, the lac- arterial ramifications, all proceeding teals pour along their milky streams; from one and the same slock, and ofhere, the red tide, carrying warmth fering no apparent difference in conand life, flows through countless struction, should be endowed with the
* Sce page 225. 43 ATHENEUM, vol. 1, 3d series.
property of separating from the blood ing parts of themselves, undergo, as (according to the several parts each it were, the first stamp of organizamay be destined to nourish) earthy tion, and enter upon their career of vimatter, or fibrine, or fluids of various tality; the soil, however, necessary compositions, density, and transparen- for the growth and nutrition of many cy: these are facts, the causes of plants, does indeed contain a great which ingenuity fails to unravel, and proportion of decomposed animal or in which conjecture is lost.
vegetable matter; but this forms no With respect to the nutrition of objection : for, in the first place, anianimals, this observation will, we mal or vegetable bodies lose by putrethink, be found generally to hold good, faction all claim to be considered as viz. : that animals require for their organized; and, in the second place, support, particles which have immedi- it would appear, that it is by the peately belonged to, and formed part of, culiar gases arising from such decomorganized bodies, either of the animal posed matter, that vegetables are or vegetable kingdom; being, as we nourished, whereas animals require may hence conclude, unable to assi- recent vegetables or animal matter, for milate particles belonging immediately their support. Thus does it appear, to bodies purely inorganic: and it that one of the purposes for which the would seem also, that animals derive vegetable kingdom is designed, is to a larger proportion of nutritive matter form a vast laboratory, in which varifrom bodies whose composition is si- ous inorganic substances are to be premilar to their own, that is, from other pared for the use of the animal world, animals, than from vegetable sub- by effecting upon them a necessary, stances. Now, although the natural peculiar and most wonderful change; food of many animals consists entirely a step preparatory to a new change as of vegetable matter, yet we see that wonderful-for a particle of matter, such require and consume a much originally unorganized, may become a larger quantity in proportion, than car- portion of the grass which covers the nivorous animals, which make flesh meadow of the ox which grazes uptheir food. For instance, the weight on it, -of man, the lord of the creaof matter requisite for the support of tion,--and when he moulders in the a carnivorous animal, is infinitely less earth, return to its original state, and than what a graminivorous animal of again become incorporated in plants, even a smaller bulk would require. to run a new career. Hence we may conclude, that all sub- It has been stated, that the animal stances, before they become fitted for frame owes its existence and growth the nutrition of the animal race, must to the appropriation and assimilation undergo a peculiar change and modi- of fresh particles, which become idenfication,-in fact, become organized ; tified with the rest of the body; let and that in the Aesh of animal bodies, us explain how this is effected :-Prothe relative proportion of nutriment is ceeding from the inner surface of the greatest.
stomach and the intestines, numerous If this be the case, that all matter, small tubes or vessels are observable, before it be fitted to support animal whose office it is to separate and ablife, must itself have been immediately sorb, or take up, the nutritive particles in a state of previous organization, it of the food, as prepared by the digesmay be asked, Does not the vegetable tive organs for their reception : this world also follow the same law ? No: nutritious portion is called the chyle. The great Author of the universe has When the food has entered the stoso constructed the vegetable tribes, mach, it becomes mixed with saliva, that they are enabled to convert the and the gastric juice. By the agency particles of inorganic matter into of these it becomes converted into an organic bodies; to assimilate various uniform pulpy mass, to which the earths, water, and air, which, becom- name of chyme is given; but it is not