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ing it at once. We have great confidence in the maxim | somewhere," announced it as the rule of his establishthat ultimately everything in this world finds its proper ment, to shave nobody below a baker. If humbug atlevel—there may be ups and downs, and they may be taches to Bunn, Brougham, or Buckingham, undoubtviolent, and they may be long continued, but “time edly every one has a right to expose it; but is it to be mellows all,” and men and things take their true stand exposed to the very utmost verge that the law of libel in the long run. If the Institute “ deserve success," it admits of? Is it not enough to do a man brown? must will "command" it, despite of opposition—if it do not, he also be done black? Is it not enough to put a man the want of opposition, and the positive element of puff down? but must he also be kicked and cuffed when he ing in addition, will not save it from dissolution. We is down? In commenting on a man's character in a would therefore have Mr Buckingham to write no more public print, it is the reverse of the doctrine laid down --but to remember that the only thing which effectually in Othello--if you touch Brougham's a good dame” as disarms ridicule is good nature. If Punch was former. an author or statesman, you touch not his purse” as ly taken into the Institute, let it be taken in more abun the recipient of a national pension--but if you touch dantly, until two or three copies are on every table, and Bunn as the manager of a theatre, or Buckingham as it will soon be found that this will do more good than the resident director of an institute, you touch their writing pamphlets. In strategy neither wood nor iron, “purses ;” and, in meddling with the means of their are used to save the houses of a besieged city, but bags livelihood, literally “ take all they have, and make them of wool
poor indeed.” The strolling player who was hissed, at But while we hold that Mr Buckingham has not done once disarmed his critics, when he told them that their wisely, are we to say that there is nothing wrong on the condemnation might be enjoyment to them, but it was other side ? Punch we regard as the most honest peri- the loss of bread to him; and, in like manner, humanity odical in the country, but still it is not infallible. It re- and good taste should impose limits to Punch, even in spects not Whig or Tory, Churchman or Dissenter, peer the lashing of folly. or peasant; and it bas given a lesson of independence As to the special points raised in the controversy, we to the periodical press, which, we trust, will not be have little to say. Mr Buckingham asks the public thrown away, and which, we must take the liberty of press of Great Britain to put down Punch, because saying, was very much wanted. So much was the both sides of politicians are attacked, along with the fourth estate given over to the idolatry of partizanship, Queen, Prince Albert, and Louis Philippe and his sons. that a short time ago there was not a great public ques
Both sides of politicians stood in need of some common tion mooted, on which, before opening them up, one could castigator. The Queen and Prince Albert appear to not predict with certainty what would be the verdict of al- have philosophy enough to laugh at Punch; and if they most every journal in the kingdom. They were like the had not, what law could be passed for their exemption French ships at the battle of Aboukir-their shot was from Punch's jokes, which would not endanger the liall from one side. Punch, on the contrary, like a lively berty of the press; and touching Louis Philippe, the corvette, not only has carried guns on both sides, but same law that enabled Bonaparte to prosecute Peltier, has sailed round and round the fleet, and poured its fire
is still in existence, if he chooses to call it into operation; into the timber of all and sundry. We therefore re- but we shall be much surprised, if, in this, as well as in spect Punch, and should be sorry to find it abuse its other matters, Louis Phillippe does not show more tact power, admitted on all hands to be so vast. One source than his predecessor. Sir James Mackintosh's speech in of strength which it possessed at starting, was the mys- defence of Peltier did Napoleon more damage than the tery in which its writers were shrouded--they were not pen of Peltier, and, without doubt, a philippic from Serknown, and blows from unknown hands are always jeant Talfourd would not increase the European popudreaded. But that veil has been removed, and the sons larity of the present French monarch. The question, of Momus stand revealed to public gaze,-a compact therefore, reverts to Mr Buckingham, and there the and effective: brotherhood—but, like all other brother- ground is narrowed. hoods, exposed to the dangers of coterieship. They may,
Mr Buckingham plainly insinuates that Punch may like other labourers in like fields, draw round them a be bought; let him prove that, and its occupation is given circle, and proclaim war to all beyond it.
gone. Punch as plainly says, that Mr Buckingham did Bunn, Brougham, and Buckingham, have regularly not return certain subscriptions raised on the faith that been gibbetted in Punch, and that with a pertinacity so he was to command a circumnavigatory expedition, intense and sustained, that whispers have gone abroad
which never was undertaken; let Punch prove that, and that something more than a sense of public duty may
Mr Buckingham will fall by ship-money as ingloriously possibly have dictated the castigations which these ill
as Hampden was elevated by it. And till these two points fated men have been dogmed to receive. It may, or
are completely disposed of, no other topie need be dismay not, have been the case--we presume not to judge. cussed. Punch is erratic, and, in the plenitude of its waggery,
On the last occasion that Mr Buckingham prosecuted there may be something alliterative in its enmity to the for libel he was victorious—having recovered L.400 datrio. But, at all events, the whole three are public men, mages from W.J. Banks, M.P.for having charged him with and, as a matter of course, public game ; still the ques- pirating notes and drawings made by Mr Banks during tion occurs, has public censure no limits? The barber his journey in Syria, and published by Mr Buekingham who shaved Newman Noggs, refused to operate on a in his Book of Travels." coal-carter, and declaring that “ the line must be drawn
* Wade's British History, p. 823.
THE ALLEGED ANTAGONISM BETWEEN POETRY AND CHEMISTRY.
BY GEORGE WILSON, M.D., LECTURER ON CHEMISTRY. The following remarks on the alleged unpoetizing effect of the stady of Physical Science, especially of Chemistry, formed the concluding part of a lecture, introductory to a course on the Chemistry of the Gases, delivered before the Edinburgh Philosophical Association, an 7th November 1845, and was preceded by an exposition of the nature of Pneumatic Chemistry, which is here omitted.
I take it for granted that the greater number of essentially unpoetizing a study as it is asserted to be, you those who attend these lectures, and that at least may tremble for the effect it will produce upon your own those ladies who honour 'me with their presence, come minds, and hesitate before you submit voluntarily to its here to study chemistry as an intellectual gratifica- degrading influence. Will it not be a price too dear to tion, not because they think it will prove to be of pay for a knowledge of the properties of osygen, or of hy : utilitarian value. Your object, ladies, is not to acquire drogen, or of any or all of the other gases, to find, that information how to take a stain out of a soiled dress, how Shakspere has, in consequence, no longer any power to to remove a spot of port wine from a discoloured wine- soothe, or terrify, or melt, or delight you? that all the rubber, or to make marking-ink or blacking. All this is fascinations of Scott's magic are gone; and that Milton's useful and necessary knowledge in its way, and will not be “ Paradise Lost” has become a paradise lost indeed : 80 overlooked in these lectures; but it is chemistry in ano- that not only are you forced, like King Lear, to crave ther aspect you desire to study. Will you bear with me, “An ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination;" then, for a brief space, whilst I endeavour to combat a
but find, that only after long and sedulous devotion to prejudice which exists pretty widely, as to the effect of
poetry, and painting, and music,--are you able to lay chemical studies in destroying the taste for other intel.
hold on a Jacob's ladder, by which to climb to the lost lectual pursuits. I am afraid there may be not a few here
heaven of delight, or to take the least pleasure in Paradise who partake of the prejudice to which I am about to refer,
Regained. I am long ago hopelessly prosaic, and, like and, unless I can satisfy them that their apprehensions
the workers in the quicksilver mines, poisoned to the are groundless, I despair of securing their sympathy
core; but you are only on the threshold, and may still throughout the course.
draw back; nor is it yet too late to crave that your It has been affirmed that chemistry is of all the physical
money, taken upon false pretences, be returned you at the sciences the one most opposed to poetry, so that whoso- door. ever'engages in the study of the one, must bid farewell to
It is true that the thoughtful directors of the Philo- · the other. All men acknowledge that astronomy is, even
sophical Association, if they have supplied the bane, have in its most prosaic aspect, a poetical science,--that it is
furnished the antidote also. If my distinguished colleague, as it were the poetry of God, written on the midnight sky.
Professor Nichol, my friends Mr John Goodsir and Dr MacGeology too, with its primeval chaos, its earthquakes and
lagan, and myself, are to do our best to mglorify every its volcanoes, its centuries spent in wearing down and in
thing, you have at least the consolation that Mr Haydon building up mountains, its ante-diluvian dragons and other
and Mr Gilfillan-are coming bye and bye, and may hope pre-Adamite monsters, has a poetical interest for all men.
that they will invest all nature with a halo again. And But experimental science, with its smaller than microsco
although it is numerically an unfair division, four men of pic atoms, and chemistry especially, with its acids and its
science and prose, to one painter and one orator, yet Mr alkalies, its smoke and its fumes, stands at the wone pole, Haydon is a host in himself, and a match for at least : and poetry at the other.
three of us; and so eloquent a discourser as Mr Gilfillan Over the door of every chemist's laboratory is written,
will more than cry quits with the fourth. But then the (though perhaps you never saw it,) an inscription like to
painter and the orator will not be here till February, and that which Dante beheld written on the gate of the world before that time all the mischief may be done. It is beto. of woe, and which, though invisible to all other eyes, is
ter to prevent than to cure, and you must take heed to it. deciphered at once by the poet,
Week after week you may sit here unsuspectingly, pleased "Abandon beauty, ye who enter here."
with the exhibition of blue lights, and phosphorus fires, We live, we are told, in a prosaic age, an age of brass and electric flashes, and think the whole display at least and of iron,—an age of rail-roads and steam-engines--of entertaining, and not perhaps uninstructive. And so also screw propellers and electric telegraphs,-a restless utili- you may innocently listen to Mr Goodsir's revelations of tarian age, which counts it its highest good to be whirled all the strange peculiarities of our fearfully and wonder. through space at rocket speed, and knows no sound so fully made bodies, and conceive that nothing but good can sweet as the unearthly screech of the steam-whistle. The come of such knowledge. But is it not notorious, that chemist, offspring and type of this restless era, has done those who have long dwelt in low valleys or flat plains, if his best to prove himself worthy of it. His vocation has suddenly transported to the summits of high mountains, been to prowl around like a very demon, seeking what of find the expanded air of these altitudes too thin and rare the poet's property he might lay hands on and devour; to for their lungs, accustomed to the denser atmosphere of prove himself a man of the earth; earthy, alike by profes-lower regions? And may it not be so in a figurative sion and by relish for the work of a disenchanter; to whom sense with you. After the chemist has shown you that a mystery is interësting only because it may be explained, all the magnificence of air, and earth, and sky, are but the and an object beautiful, because the cause of its beauty results of certain combinations between some fifty-five may be discovered. This chemist, it is declared, has gone bodies, each one of which he will name, and describe, and about peering and prying into every thing hallowed, mys- label for you, and show you how certain laws and forces terious, and sublime, striving to dissect or decipher it, or produce the whole. After the anatomist has told you that break it down into fragments, and rejoicing only when his he of whom you have been accustomed to say “what a victorious analysis has obliged his poetical brethren to ac- piece of work is man !" is only a collection of certain jointknowledge with sorrow, that there hath passed a glory od lovers with strings to pull them, surrounded by some from the earth.
tabes and threads covered with quilting and padding to If it be so, you may think twice, before you make up keep them from injury. When you have learned that the your minds to attend these lectures. If chemistry be so heart never breaks under a load of grief, or any other
14 ALLEGED ANTAGONISM BETWEEN POETRY AND CHEMISTRY. load, but is only a hollow muscle for propelling the blood ; | ridges “ silent sea.” Shelley's “sunny sea,” Wordsworth's when you have realised the truth, that all the beautiful "everlasting sea,” Byron's " deep sea," with “ music in its faces of women, and all the noble and stately ones of men, roar," Campbell's sea, where " our ilag has braved a thou. are only so many masks of flesh hiding grinning skulls sand years the battle and the breeze"--the Bride of behind them; are you certain that you will take to poetry Venice, whom poetry, and painting, and sculpture, and and painting with the same love and relish as before ! music, have never grown weary of adorning. What is this May you not have to tell Mr Gilfillan, with Hotspur, that “great sea" to the chemist: Why, only a great pool or "you'd rather be a kitten and cry mew, than one of these puddle filled with a solution of table salt and Epsom salts. same metre ballad mongers;" and crave Mr Haydon to To these declarations, that the “ looks and thoughts” carry his mistimed eloquence and enthusiasm elsewhere, of the chemist, like those of Milton's Mammon, before he because, for you, the most matchless tints of Titian and fell from his fir-t estate, are "always downward bent, adRubens have become only certain metallic oxides, and miring more the riches of hearen's pavement, trodden organic colouring matters, and the Elgin marbles objects gold, than aught divine or holy," what can I answer? I of no greater interest than any other weather-worn frag- would reply, “ I am a chemist. Inth not a chemist eyes ? ments of carbonate of lime. May not each of you have to Hath not a chemist hands, organs, dimensions, senses, say with Wordsworth :
affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with * It is not now as it hath been of yore,
the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by Tum wheresoe'er I may
the same means, warmed and cooled by the same summer By night or day,
The things which I have seen, I now can see no more." and winter as the poet is ? If you prick us do we not Is it then the case (for I will leave Mr Goodsir to speak
bleed? if you tichie us do we not laugh ? if you poison us for himself) that the chemist is such a destroyer and dis
do we not die ? and if you wrong us will we not revenge?" enchanter? Has he in reality broken the poet's magical
The revenge we take, is to affirm that between the true staff, and “buried it certain fathoms in the earth," and
poet and the true philosopher, there never has been, or sunk his wondrous book “deeper than did ever plummet
can be cause of fend. It has been the poetaster on the sound ?" Goes it so heavily with the chemist's disposition,
one hand, the dabbler in science on the other, who have that “this goodly frame, the earth, seems to him a sterile
involved the lovers of truth and of beauty in a most need. promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look
less and foolish dispute. Without entering into any subtle you, this brave o'er hanging firmament, this majestical roof
discussion as to the nature of beauty, or the laws of resfretted with golden fire, appears it no other thing to him
thetics, I may say this much at present without fear of than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours ? Does
contradiction. The “great God and Father of us all” has man delight not him, nor woman neither ?"
crented each of us with a love of knowledge for its own If you will believe some whose zeal for poetry is not
sake, of truth because it is true, entirely apart from any according to knowledge, it is even so. The diamond is for
consideration of the beauty, terror, or other æsthetical or the chemist no better than lamp black, The sapphire and
emotional quality which the truth may possess. Lord the ruby only crystallized clay. The Medicean Venus, and
Bacon in his Novum Organon has made a beautiful appli. the Apollo Belvidere, “the statue that enchants the
cation of one of the proverbs of King Solomon in illustraworld,” “ the god of the unerring bow," are interesting to
tion of this law of our nature. " It is the glory of God to him only as grand stalactites, curious solely because each
conceal a thing; but the honour of kings is to search out of them contains twenty-two parts of carbonic acid and
a matter.” On which the great father of modern science twenty-eight of lime. A thunder storm has for him nei
remarks, that it has pleased God purposely to conceal his ther terror, nor beauty, por sublimity. It is only the
designs from us, that our faculties may be exercised by union of so much positive and negative electricity. If you
penetrating through the transparent veil, which hides go with him to his laboratory, he will show you it all
them. When we satisfy this necessity of our being, by with his glass machine or his voltaic battery. It is true
inquiring into the causes of the phenomena which all nait will be on a somewhat smaller scale. “The fire and
ture presents, we play the part of philosophers, or become cracks of sulphurous roaring" will be rather dim and faint,
students of science. “All men,” says our gifted professor and the "thunder, that deep and dreadful organ pipe,"
of logic and metaphysics, Sir William Hamilton, “all men will be somewhat shrill. But you can set off against this,
philosophise. They may philosophise ill or well, but phithat you may sit comfortably at the fireside, and see and
losophise they must." hear it all, without risk of danger from the lightning, or
Again, God has endowed us all, with more or less of inany fear of wetting from the thunder-plump.
tense love and passionate admiration of whatever is beanThat sea, which, in other men's mind's gives birth to so
tiful in form, or colour, or sound; and with more or less many deep and unspeakable emotions. That sea which
of a capacity of being affected by whatever excites our recalls to all others, Miriam's rejoicing song when Pha
feelings of pleasure, of hope, of mirth, of fear, of pity, of raoh and his host "sank as lead in the mighty waters."
terror, or of sublimity. When we gratify this necessity That sea which the ten thousand Greeks welcomed with
of our nature, we become for the time, though not perso glad and exulting a shout, when fodt-sore and weary,
haps professedly, poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, or they beheld it again. That sea which wrecked a Spanish
otherwise devote ourselves to esthetical pursuits. Let Armada, and saved us from becoming the prey of the
poetry, in the meanwhile, as more widely relished than spoiler. That sea whereon the fleets of the nations have any of the other fine arts, stand as representative of them careered; which carried the ship of Columbus to a new
all, and we may say, that as all men are more or less phihemisphere, and wafted Vasco de Gama round the Cape losophers, so all men are more or less poets. In some, the of Storms; which bore the little May flower and the Puri. æsthetical faculty is much more developed than the mere tan fathers to the unshackled freedom of the New apprehending one, and they are poets. In others the World, and has floated so many other vessels from Noah's
clear scientific intellect prevails, and they are philosoArk down to the Queen's Fairy Steamer. That sea,
phers. But there is no man who is entirely the one, or with its Archimedes-screw steamboats, and its missionary entirely the other. barques, its goodly merchant ships and gallant men-of-war;
We see these two different classes of faculties influenwith its battles of the Nile, and its battles of the Baltic, cing us all, even from our earliest years. The little child its glories of Camperdown, and mournful triumph of Tra
to whom a curious toy is given, rejoices for a while with falgar. Shakspere's. " wild and wasteful ocean," Cole- anmixed and unalloyed delight over its beauty. But bye
and bye, the pleasure which its colour, or its form, or the sounds which it emitted, or the curious movements which it made, begins to pall on the senses. The little poet grows weary of the unexplained wonder; the descendant of Eve proves himself worthy of his heritage, and the toy is broken that the tiny philosopher may discover what is the hidden spring of its motions, the secret or supposed cause of its beauty. It is so with children of a larger growth also. All things in nature are like Janus, two-faced, and have a double aspect for us. In the one, they are plain facts calmly apprehended by the cool intellect; in the other, they are truths which set heart and brain on fire.
A noble, manly countenance, a lovely female face, looked at scientifically, are aggregates of certain bones, and muscles, and nerves, and blood vessels, which may be dissected with scalpels, and anatomised even to the last fibre. They are compounds of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen, along with some combustible substances and certain metallic salts, which may be digested, and dissolved, and analysed in retorts, and alembics, and crucibles. Looked at poetically, these same faces are seen to bear the image of God in which they were created, to be porticoes of temples in which the Divine Spirit refuses not to dwell, and the sight of them fills our hearts with emotions of love, and joy, and admiration, or with fear, and dread, and trembling terror,
A Hallelujah chorus, considered in the one aspect, is the result of certain aerial pulses, set in motion by the vibration of tubes of wood and of metal; is the sum of certain effects produced by a stream of wind modulated by levers, and wires, and stops, and valves, and keys, and pedals, moved by the fingers and feet of the performer, and accompanied by the voices of singing men and singing women. Considered in the other light, it is a glorious com. bination of sounds the most melodious and harmonic, which stir our souls from their inmost depths, and fill our hearts with awe and wonder. In like manner, the sea is in one sense only so much water saturated with salts, in another it is the mirror and image of the Eternal, and we cannot find words adequate even to so much as the nam. ing of the indescribable feelings which it kindles within us.
Now what is most important to be observed in all this is, that both aspects we have been considering are true, and that neither of them interferes with the other. According to the mood we are in, we fix our thoughts on the one or on the other,-according to the native cast of our minds, and the consequent bent of our occupations, we habitually look in the one direction or in the other. The philosopher prefers the one view, the poet prefers the other, but each is aware of, and often makes use of the aspect which is alien to his ordinary mode of contemplation,
Poetry and science then stand in direct contrast, but not in opposition to each other. The aim of science is truth. The desire of poetry is beauty, and, in a glorious sense, all truth is beautiful, and all beauty is true. It is not necessary to destroy the truth before we can discern the beauty, -to bid farewell to the beauty before we can discover the truth. Poetry no more requires that science shall be annihilated before it can flourish, than music asks that painting be abolished, in order that it shall come into being.
It was therefore that I began this discussion by affirm. ing, that there is no feud between the true poet and the true philosopher. They stand in an amicable, not in a hostile attitude toward each other. The office of the philosopher is to furnish to the poet new truths which he is to sublimate and glorify.. The duty of the poet is, “his eye in a fine frenzy rolling, to give to airy nothings a local habitation and a name.” The chemist, for example, shows the poet a spiral of iron wire burning in oxygen gas. The poet sees in it a world on fire revolving in the heavens. The chemist shows the poet a lime-ball light. The
poet sees in it a mimic sun, a star of glory. The chemist shows the poet an electric telegraph, transmitting intelligence more swiftly than light travels. The poet sees in it a wondrous Ariel and most nimble sprite, compared with whom, Shakspere's Puck, who “could put a girdle round the earth in forty minutes," was but a slow and halting laggart.
You must have observed, how strongly our literature is becoming impregnated with allusions gathered from modern science; and no one, I think, will say that, in the hands of men of taste, it has been otherwise than enriched and enlivened by these additions. The Greek and Roman classics, and the Hebrew and other ancient literatures, will ever be objects of devoted worship to all who are accomplished enough to enjoy their beauties. But the day is gone by, when an English author would think it any thing but folly to invoke Minervas or Venuses, or crave the help of any heathen god. Our inspiration must be derived from other sources; and I confidently appeal to all who are familiar with the highest and purest literature of the day, if modern physical science has not been found to be ful? of the richest inspiritings for the poet. It has been so, I believe, from the very beginning. Who is the most poetical in style of all our philosophers ? Lord Bacon, the most philosophical of them all. Who is the most scientific of our poets ? Shakspere, the greatest poet of them all. The most gifted poet of the Germans, Goethe, was not only a diligent and earnest student of anatomy, botany, optics, and general physics, but was a great discoverer in vegetable physiology. Did he find the dissection and microscopic examination of plants, or the handling of mouldering bones, take the edge off his genius, or quench his love of poetry? So far was this from being the case, that many of his greatest works were produced after he had published on morphology, and while he was spending many hours daily in studying the forms of human and animal skeletons, and in working out a theory of optics. Nor was this all. He infused a new fire into Schiller's genins, who was taught by him to see the poeti. cal capabilities of botany, and ever afterwards filled his poems with allusions to the habitudes of plants. In proof of this, I need only remind the readers of Schiller of the Song of the Bell, and of the Lament of Ceres over the death of Proserpine. We have seen a similar fellowship in our own country. Coleridge attended the lectures of Sir Humphrey Davy, in order, as he stated himself, to obtain new ideas. Southey rejoiced in the friendship of the same great chemist; and you will see the fruits of it in his Doctor. Sir Walter Scott honoured that philosopher also, and delighted in his communications. Davy himself, after a life spent in the furtherance of chemistry, published his Last Days of a Philosopher, a book full of the truest poetry. The great German chemist, Liebig, is a man of most poetical mind; and so is Mulder, the chem. ist of Holland, who will one day have a world-wide reputation. Shelley was himself a chemical experimentalist. In a beautiful rhyming letter published in his works, he refers to the apparatus which, at the time of his writing, lay around him, and adds-
" Baron de Tott's Memoirs beside them lie,
And some odd volumes of old Chemistry." Wordsworth tells us, in the preface to his Lyrical Ballads, that he doubts not the time will come when each of the physical sciences shall contribute its quota to enrich poetry. I will say no more on this point. I have said more than enough already. It has ever seemed to me most wonderful, that beings such as we are, who “ look before and after, and sigh for what is not,”—who see immensity, infinity, eternity around us on every side, who believe in a God and a coming judgment, who anticipate an endless life in a world to come,-that we, who are
erery day subjects of so many conflicting emotions,---who would be found in the end as prosaic as at first. The unpoetburn with passionate love, and grow pale with bitter hate, icalness of such men will prove nothing except the truth of --who feel remorse, like a vulture gnawing at our hearts, the old adage, that "poets are so by birth, and cannot be --who are "joyful, and sorrowful, and thoughtful, sad unto manufactured.” To establish the unpoetising effect of death," and sunken in despair, -- that any one of us scientific studies, it should be shown that an embryo Mil. should imagine that all these feelings would be driven ton, or Wordsworth, or Shakspere, has been made a away, if a chemist should fire off one of his hydrogen pis. man of mere “facts and figures,” by studying anatomy, tols in our ears, or dazzle our eyes with his phosphorus fires. chemistry, or any other physical science.' But whilst I
Let me, then, assure you, if there be any still sceptical, will not say, that an anatomical room, or a laboratory is that in spite of the chemistry and anatomy you may learn the best place for cultivating a poetical genius, I will here, you will find you can abundantly relish Mr Haydon aflirm that such a genius will triumph over all the disand Mr Gilfillan, when they come. Believe me, that if tractions of such scenes, - that it will feed on all it finds, hitherto, with Shakspere, when
and grow by what it feeds on. "Night's candles are burned out,"
I have trespassed too long upon your patience, but I jocund morn has stood
will be done. Allow me a parting word. Were a sculptor " Tiptoe on the misty mountain tops," –
to embody science and poetry, he would carve the former with Shakspere, morn will still,
as a figure resembling those which have sprung from the "In russet mantle clad, walk o'er the brow of yonder eastern hill."
Egyptian chisel, with a frame stately and massive, and a
countenance like that of the Memnon, "hushed and solemn If, with Milton,
and beautifully serene." Poetry would be one of those "Morm, her rosy steps in the eastern clime,
· graceful, airy, godlike forms, which the Grecian chisel Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearis ;"
could alone call into being. If the painter were to try the with Milton, morn will still,
task, he would draw science as a grave and dignified mid“Waked by the circling bours, with rosy hand,
dle-aged man, striding calmly on in the straightest Unbar the gates of light."
possible direction towards his destination. Poetry he If, with Wordsworth,
would depict as a beautiful winged woman, winding “at * There was a time wben meadow, grove, and stream,
her own sweet will" in a meandering path, which ever and To you did seem
anon touched on and intersected the straight line along Apparelled in celestial light;"
which her companion was walking; often rising high off with Wordsworth, you will still find that
the ground and circling in the air, but never far from her The meanest flower that blows, can give
fellow, and destined in the end to reach the same goal. Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears."
Or, finally, if you will allow me to use a comparison which I believe the strange delusion I have been combating, I have used elsewhere for a different purpose before, but has arisen from the fact, that many men of science are would now use once again, because I know none other half notoriously unpoetical and prosaic; and it is taken for so suitable to express the relation I wish to enforce:-I granted that it is their science which has made them so. would liken science and poetry in their mutual inter-deThey were once, like the larva of the honey-bee, which pendence to those binary stars often different in colour, may either develope into an ordinary worker, or become which Herschel's telescope discovered to revolve round transformed into a queen-bee. They might have been each other. “ There is one light of the sun," says St Paul, poets, had they taken the right course; but the aqua “ and another of the moon, and another of the stars. Star fortis and the chlorine of their laboratories, have as effec- differeth from star in glory." It is so here. That star, tually bleached the poetry out of them, as they destroy or sun, for it is both, with its cold, clear, white light, is the colours of tissues exposed to their action. It should be SCIENCE; that other, with its gorgeous and ever-shifting remembered, that among the students of science, there hues and magnificent blaze is POETRY. They revolve lovmust ever be a large number who were born with little or ingly round each other in orbits of their own, pouring no relish for poetry,—whose love for it, like that of Anne forth and drinking in the rays which they exchange. And Page for Slender, “ was slight to begin with, and grew less on they both also move round and shine towards that centre further acquaintance.” Such persons, though nursed upon from which they came, even the throne of Him who is the Homer, and fed upon Dante, and dieted upon Shakspere, source of all truth, and the cause of all beauty.
(Papilio Cerulea.) Bright glows the scene, pass round the sparkling glasses,
Awake! the vernal day Strange this reunion should bring nought but teas;
Shines bright and balmy. With the south-west gale Time's ceaseless course for ever onward passes,
Come life and joy; the dancing sun-beams play
On mossy bank and vale.
Wake, from thy silent tomb,
Where thou bast slept the wintry hours away, Oft in those days we rambled o'er these valleys, Heedless of chill November's sleety gloom, Ling’ring in moonlight by yon turrets grey;
Or the fierce storm's array. But where the friends who joined those midnight sallies?
Wake, to fresh joy and light,
Perhaps to thee new life,-all former things
Swept from thy brain, ʼmid thy lone dreamless night,
Summer new being brings. Woods, river, vale, the ever-during mountain,
Each flower, each bud is new; Smile fresh and youth-like, still renewed by time,
The buoyant air; the incense-breathing field; Sweet is the daisied knoll, the gushing fountain,
Fresh is the fragrance of nectareous dew; And the same tone comes from the village chime.
Untasted joys all yield. Fair these green fields and bright this sunny sky,
'Tis not the icy chill But where the thrilling voice and sparkling eye.?
Of freezing winter thy stiff frame congealing,
But through thy quivering limbs the balmy thrill
Just like a spirit freed
From mortal pangs, and dull encumbering clay ; Fair these green fields and bright this sunny sky,
Into bright realms on glittering wing you speed, "Twill be so after as in days gone by.
Mounting away! away!