« AnteriorContinuar »
the wages or reward of many professions, so dis-, written for ls., or for nothing ; and that the credit or disgrace has the contrary effect. The most will was dear enough at half-a-guinea. But this detestable of all trades, that of the public execu- opinion is erroneous. If, like a smith or a carpentioner, is, in proportion to the work done, better paid ter, a writer was regularly employed six or eight than any other trade whatever. The pay is greater hours a day in writing letters and drawing out wills, to compensate for the disgrace.
his pay (if the profession were free) would not be II. The wages of labour vary with the easiness the balf, perhaps not a fourth of what it now is. and cheapness, or the difficulty and expense of learn- | But as, on the contrary, he is not employed the ing the business: this is evident. A scavenger and half, perhaps not the fourth of the day, and runs a a shepherd, for instance, serve no apprenticeship, but risk of being idle altogether, his wages most necesreceive a certain rate of wages from the moment sarily be so high as not only to remunerate him for they are employed. Their wages, however, will be the time he is employed, but also for the time he is low, inasmuch as they have lost no time and in- compelled to be idle, as well as to cover the expense curred no expense in learning their business. Not of his training and the payment of his yearly tax of so with the man who has served a long apprentice- L.10. By keeping these views before you, you will ship; his wages must be such as will include a suffi pay your lawyer as cheerfully as you pay your baker cient remuneration for the time he has lost, and the or butcher. expense he has incurred in his education. The more The public executioner was before referred to; and time or money, or both, that it requires to learn a it was mentioned, that, in proportion to the work done, profession, the higher must be the wages received he was better paid than any other labourer. And why? from it. The education of painters and sculptors, To cover the disgrace-the great disgrace—that atof lawyers and physicians, is both tedious and ex- taches to his work. But it may now be mentioned, pensive; and hence their wages or pecuniary recom- that his wages are high from another cause, namely, pense must be, as it is, proportionally high; otherwise the inconstancy and precariousness of his employment. there would be a deficiency of hands in these pro- If the public executioner were employed once every fessions (which would soon raise wages), or the pro- month, or once every week, and had a certainty of fessions would disappear altogether.
such employment, his wages would still be high in III. The wages of labour in different employments proportion to the work done, to cover its disgrace, vary with the constancy or inconstancy of employ but would not be perhaps a fifth of what they at ment. There are many kinds of business in which present are ; their present highness being owing to there is necessarily great inconstancy, such as that the uncertainty and precariousness of hisemployment. of lawyers, medical practitioners, masons. These The public executioner, like the doctor or the lawyer, persons can never expect, from obvious reasons, to must be paid when he works as much as will form be employed regularly every day of the year, and a remuneration for the time he is destined to remain they never are so employed ; consequently their idle, as also to cover the disgrace attending his prowages must be proportionally higher, and sufficient fession. not only to pay them when they are employed, but IV. The wages of labour vary according to the to compensate them for the time--a very anxious / small or great trust reposed in the workman. A time-during which they are destined to remain lawyer's clerk, who merely copies letters, is compaidle. This principle is directly applicable to very ratively poorly paid ; but make him book-keeper, many professions. Suppose that I am a dentist- or a copier of wills, and important documents on which is a profession that requires expensive train- stamp paper, his wages are doubled or trebled, owing ing—and to excel in which is the result of great to the greater trust reposed in him. We trust our dexterity and skill. You come to me to have a health to the physician-our fortune to the lawyer; tooth extracted, for which I charge half-a-guinea. and their wages must be high to compensate for this Without thinking on the real principle for which I trust; to make them worthy of it; to raise their charge this apparently large sum, you grudge it, condition and standard of character and respectaand say that it was certainly most easily gained, bility. You would be right if I could be employed in pull V. And, lastly, the wages of labour in different ing teeth every hour of the day and every day in employments vary according to the probability or the year. But such is necessarily not the case. I improbability of success in them. The probability follow a profession, employment in which is most of success in different professions varies immensely. inconstant and precarious. I do not, on an average, Bind your son an apprentice to a shoemaker, and you draw perhaps two teeth, certainly not more than may be sure that he will become a fair, if not a three teeth a-day; and the half-guinea I charge superior tradesman. But put him to study painting from each customer is not more than a bare com- or the law, and it is nearly twenty to one if ever he pensation, both for the time I am employed and for | make such proficiency as will enable him to live by the time I am idle ; not to speak of the anxiety and his business. Now, if twenty fail for one that sucdespondency that attend such idleness, and such in- ceeds, that one ought to receive the retribution, not constancy of employment.
only of his own education, but of that of the unsucThe same principle may be illustrated by a minute cessful twenty. Yet the liberal professions, such as analysis of the professions of lawyers, physicians, those of the law or painting, are generally overpainters, sculptors, porters, &c. A lawyer follows crowded ; and for the following reasons : success in a profession that requires a most expensive training, them, as so few succeed, is very honourable ; and and to enter which involves great fees, as also a every person has confidence both in his own talents yearly tax to government for practising ; circum- and good fortune. Every man hopes to succeed. stances that necessarily make the wages of a legal "The overweening conceit," says Dr Smith, “which practitioner high. But these wages are high from the greater part of men have of their own abilities, another cause, namely, the inconstancy and pre- is an ancient evil remarked by the philosophers and cariousness of the employment. You pay a writer moralists of all ages. Their absurd presumption in or attorney 6s. 8d. for writing a letter, and L.5 their own good fortune has been less taken notice of. for making your will. You grudge the pay- It is, however, if possible, still more universal ; and ment, and say that the letter might have been forms the only or chief reason why men choose pro
fessions, as the soldier, the lawyer, the painter, in | father and Gilbert slept is still in every respect the which the chance of great success, even of ordinary same as when occupied by them, and is still used as success, is against them.” Hence it is that in almost the bedroom (if such an humble place deserves the every city, the legal profession is not only over name) of the ploughman of the farm. The room stocked, but overstocked very considerably. So where the Vision was written has undergone a slight much, indeed, is the law overstocked, that Dr Smith change, there having been two beds in the poet's has given it as his opinion that, take the same num time instead of one, as at present. The eldest son is ber of master shoemakers and lawyers, both the gains one of the most remarkable men I ever met ; his and savings of the former would be greater than powers of conversation are varied, and his language those of the latter ; much greater if we take into singularly correct. He is a first-rate classical scholar account the comparative expensiveness of the edu- and mathematician, and taught these branches many cation of lawyers and the improbabilities of success years privately in London, before he obtained the in their profession.
situation which he held in Somerset House. His These views, which are founded on common sense classical taste and skill are in the highest degree and on universal experience, are evident; and if they refined, and as illustrative of this I may mention were but seen in their true light, an end would be the following anecdote :-He told me, that at one of put to that envy and jealousy which obtain among the Burns'anniversaries, held in London, there were the members of different professions ; and concord present Campbell, Moore, and Rogers. They all and harmony would reign throughout society. Pre- spoke, and spoke well, but there was one passage judice would give way to truth; and the world which escaped from Moore which struck him as would exhibit the different classes of society living possessing peculiar beauty and truthfulness—one together as they should be, a united and happy which he would never forget. “You talk of the family.
wanderings of the bard - Yes; but his wanderings were like those of his own mountain streams, that
sparkle while they wander.” He spoke this (I mean A MAUCHLINE LETTER ABOUT BURNS.
Robert) with great enthusiasm and emotion. I had A FRIEND, who is a genuine admirer of Burns, lately also the pleasure of hearing him sing one of his own wrote a Mauchline correspondent, requesting infor
songs--for you must know that he inherits not a | little of his father's genius in this way. it
It was on mation about the surviving contemporaries of the the occasion of an entertainment, given a few months poet, and he made the request without any view to ago, by Mr Andrew Smith, box manufacturer, to publication, but simply for the gratification of his his workmen, Mr Smith took Robert and William own curiosity. The answer was given in the same
Chambers of Edinburgh as his model in this enter
tainment, and invited a number of his friends to spirit, as may readily be seen from its structure, and witness it, and amongst others was the eldest son of having accidentally seen the document we insert it, the poet. I happened to be early, and on going into somewhat abridged. It has a freshness superior to the the room, which was splendidly decorated with eversketches of mere literary scribes, who, stealing from
greens and paintings, I saw seated at the upper end,
beneath a beautiful wreath, Robert Burns, and not one another, hash up statements about Burns which
a soul in the room save himself. I never was more are old and fusty, as thrice told tales.
struck with the resemblance of any two men than I With regard to Burns, I suspect he has been done was between him and the portraits of his father, considerable justice to already, at the same time I be- I should suppose, had the poet lived to his son's age, lieve the publie will never cease to take a lively inte- he must have been remarkably like him ; every rest in whatever pertains to the Ayrshire Ploughman. feature is there present, and even the hair is parted Nanse Tinnock's alehouse, about which you inquire, over his massive brow according to the portraits, is now occupied by an industrious spoonmaker, and though without the least affectation to have it so. the upper apartments by his progeny. It has been He was in excellent spirits, made several neat for some time in the market, and if you have L.50 to speeches, and sung one or two of his own songs, spare, you might purchase it and add to your collec- and upon Mr Smith's asking him to sing one of his tion of curiosities; it brings at present 45 per cent., father's, he gave us, “A man's a man for a' that,” and might, with a little repair, be made to yield I shall never forget the effect it had upon the commore. Old James Armour, brother of the poet's pany,-strong mental emotion was visibly manifest wife, is still stepping about, a hale old man. His on every countenance. There is not a subject in the brother, who died at Brighton the other day, has wide range of literature of which he is ignorant, and left him an annuity of L.30, and a like sum to Mrs in most of them quite a critic. I recollect his askLees, his sister, and of course sister to Jane Armour, ing me whether I did not think his father's descripso that they are now very comfortable. I had the tion of a beauty superior to Anacreon's. He thought great pleasure of dining, some time ago, with the there could be no doubt of this in any mind-then poet's three sons, at the house of
Esq. repeating the lines There is nothing extremely striking about the
“ Her hair was like the links o' gowd, two officers, Major and Colonel Burns; the former
Her teeth were like the ivorie; is a complete Armour from crown to heel, whereas
Her cheeks like lilies dipt in wine. the latter has the strong bold features of the poet.
The lass," &c. They are very amiable and intelligent men, and I I forget now whether Anacreon's mistress had do assure you it gave me great satisfaction to accom- cheeks like roses dipt in wine or milk, but it is one pany them, with old James Armour and Mrs Lees, or other; and, according to the son of the poet, to Mossgiel, the much celebrated farm, which, you inferior to the Ayrshire bard. know, is only a ten minutes' walk from Mauchline. There are none of the cotemporaries of Burns in Robert and the Colonel were quite familiar with the this quarter who have a livelier recollection of him various localities of the steading, and detailed to than Mr John G- merchant. He is now a Major Burns many stories connected with their re- decentish old man, a presbyterian of the strictest sidence at Mossgiel. The apartment in which their school, and a rejoicer in long sermons and the repentance stool--in short, a stij burgher. John's , tions where he may expect to find them, the common acquaintance with the poet comprised a period of indications of their presence, and the manner in years when under twenty. Burns was a number of which they may be most readily extracted from the years his senior, and, being in neighbouring farms, I earth. The architect learns from it the nature, they often went for lime together. John speaks of qualities, and durability of the various kinds of stone him as “a curious chiel, Robin-unco fond o talkin' he employs, and also the places where he may look about the lassies--lassies were a' his crack. He was for valuable and extensive quarries. The engineer, unco fond o' an argument about religion ; but I was again, is taught by it the nature of the districts owre young to talk wi' him about thae things." | through which he may have to conduct a road, a He describes the poet and his brother Gilbert as railway, or a canal, and thus to form them at the great readers ; and that when they were at their least expense, and in the direction most advantageous meals they always had a book in their hand. This | to develope the natural resources of the country. practice extended also to the other members of the Some strata are so loose and incoherent as never to family, and to such an extent was it carried, that form a firm foundation for a road or railway, and the operations on the farm were always behind. so open and porous that no puddling will render them John is something of a humorist, and remarkably water-tight for a canal; and an engineer who does fond of a droll story.
not know these beds, and their local distribution, There is another of the cotemporaries of Burns inay involve himself in needless trouble, and his whom I cannot omit to tell you of-more especially employers in unnecessary expense. To every one as there is less known of him than of many others who wishes to understand the geographical character who have obtained a niche in the Burnomania of a country, its physical structure, and economic temple--I mean Mr Noble, for many years school | resources, a knowledge of its geology is indispensable. master of the village of Mauchline." It is said that it is only through it that we can comprehend ariglit Burns wrote several things relative to this worthy that the direction of its mountain chains and river courses, never saw the light. He enjoyed also the office of ses- and the influence which these have exercised on the sion-clerk and precentor, the duties of which last office progress of its history, and the manners, habits, and he performed in a sonorous, if not melodious, manner. employments of its people. To a man ignorant of There is a story told of him, and known to all the geology a map is often a mere collection of puzzles. natives, that, getting too lazy for the duty, he pro- He sees in one place a population engaged in agricured the services of a weaver, named Kirkland, who culture, in another in pasture and feeding cattle, in gladly enough undertook the office pro tem. for a third in mines, in a fourth in manufactures, and " the honour of the thing." Some of Kirkland's he can give no reason why all this is so ; why, each friends, however, began to think that, as he per- of these occupations has thus chosen out its fixed formed the duty, so he ought to possess some of the and peculiar locality. He sees one country or proemoluments arising therefroin, and which hitherto vince thickly peopled, crowded with a dense mass Mr Noble had appropriated to himself. Urged by of happy, industrious, and thriving human beings; their entreaties, Kirkland made application to Noble, another little better than a waste, with a poor, who, drawing himself up to full height, thus ad- scanty, miserable population. Again, he sees one dressed him :-" What, Sir, money for praising country from the most remote ages the site of free your Maker ! No, Sir, pay who will, I'll pay none. institutions, the abode of a nation, conscious of its I'll sing as long as I can; and when I can't sing, I'll rights, able to enjoy them, and ready to defend whustle.” I have already said, that although gifted them; whilst the neighbouring region, from time with the voice of Stentor, it was not combined with immemorial, has been crushed under an Asiatic desthe melody of Orpheus ; and another story is told of potism, and its people have bowed, almost without a him, that on one occasion he was accosted by the murmur, to the yoke. He sees all this, and knows then lady of Ballochmyle, who urged upon him the not why it should be, or what reason can be assigned, propriety of giving up the precentorship, being now for these singular diversities. And yet a proper somewhat infirm, and ended her request by saying, knowledge of geology, and of its kindred science, “ Besides, you know, Mr Noble, you were never a physical geography, would explain all this, and, great singer,” Mr Noble's reply was characteristic. besides, open up to him the most wonderful views “ Well, inadam, I don't know what you mean by a into the structure and history of the earth, and the great singer; but I know that when the windows wisdom wherewith it has been created. are open, with a breath of southerly wind, I can Such are a few, and but a few of the reasons why make myself heard at Ballochmyle," a distance, be geology should be studied : let us now turn to our it remembered, somewhere about two miles.
more immediate subject, of the way in which it As to the “ bletherin'" individual, who died lately ought to be studied. The merry spring has now at Failford, I never thought him worthy of being | begun, and summer with its long warm days will mentioned in connexion with Burns. He was a soon be here, calling us to the mountains and the most contemptible person, and much beneath the sea shore. Many of our readers may then be escappoet's satire.
ing from the din and dust of the crowded town to enjoy the fresh breezes and green fields of some lone
village in the country. A love of nature is then the HOW TO STUDY GEOLOGY.
best companion, and a desire to comprehend her
wonders the most unfailing amusement. Some may GEOLOGY is that science which teaches the structure collect flowers, some birds or insects, and some, we of the earth, the nature and relative position of the trust not a few, the rocks and minerals that everyrocks composing its crust, and the way and manner where abound. But, before they can take any inin which these have been formed, or its history interest in these things, they must know their names past times. The importance of such a science will and properties, and something about their uses and generally be allowed, and even its practical value, history. Without this the mere collecting of specifor many departments of art, is fully recognised. mens is little more elevated than the employment of By it the miner is taught the position in which the child gathering the smooth round pebbles on the various useful ores and minerals occur, the situa- | sea shore.
The first point in geology is to acquire a know-, avoided. Unfortunately, in the northern part of the ledge of the names and appearance of the more island at least, such museums are rarely accessible common rocks and minerals. Without this, geolo-to the mass of the community. gical books are utterly unintelligible,-a mere string When this preliminary knowledge, necessary to of words which call up no image in the mind, and to understand a geological work, is attained, the student which no notion whatever can be attached. Now will find many books to guide him in his further this knowledge can only be acquired from actual in- progress. There are innumerable popular treatises spection; the things must be seen, or they cannoton geology, but most of these are composed by perbe known. No words will ever convey such a clear, sons who have no practical knowledge of the subject, distinct notion of quartz as may be acquired by who have studied the science only in other books, taking up a pebble, breaking it, and observing its with the aid perhaps of a museum or cabinet, but lustre, hardness, and other properties. So a visit to have never seen rocks in nature, nor examined geothe Rubislaw quarries at Aberdeen will give the logical facts as exhibited in the broad pages of the student a better notion of granite than long volumes universe. Such books want all impress of reality; of written description, or hours of oratory by a they are at best but an imperfect transcript of the teacher who has no specimens to show. Does the thoughts of others, and where they do not misrestudent wish to know what is sandstone ? let him go present facts, show an utter ignorance of their true to Craigleith or Granton, and he will see more than import and character. The true teachers of geology he will find written in any book.
are they who have studied it in the field, and applied But the mere looking at nature will not do. Rocks its facts and theories to interpret the open volume and minerals have not their names written upon them, of nature. Perhaps the most complete work on at least not in a language which can be read before elementary geology in English is the Manual of De we have learned the alphabet. In science as in la Beche. The works of Phillips are also good, and, literature, the first steps are the most difficult, and for the student of the English fossiliferous rocks, the can be communicated in the easiest and best manner more recent volumes of Ansted. To all of these, for by a teacher. A course of lectures by an able and the theory of geology, the illustrations of the Hutdiligent professor, who not only shows his students tonian theory by Playfair, and the works of Lyell, specimens in the class-room, but takes them out to are indispensable ; and for a description of the older the mountains and sea-shore, and shows them rocks rocks, so important in Scottish geology, the treatises on the great scale, and in their natural relations to of Macculloch are still the most complete. In some each other, is the true way to commence the study of these works figures of the most common and of geology. There is no use in disguising the fact, characteristic fossils will be found, whilst a more that a course of personal instruction thus conducted complete knowledge of the subject may be sought in is the only speedy and effectual method of acquiring Dr Buckland's Bridgewater Treatise, to which some a knowledge of this, as indeed of most branches more recent works in the French and German lanof science. A teacher who exhibits specimens of guages will be found useful associates. minerals and rocks in his class-room and connected From these books a pretty complete view of the museum-who expounds the theory and facts of general principles of the science may be attained. geology by the aid of diagrams,-and who then sup But we would again warn the reader that the mere plements this by taking his students to the localities study of books is of small value for a knowledge of where the various phenomena are exemplified in geology. This must be sought in nature, and in the nature, will do more in a few months to promote actual examination of the phenomena themselves. their knowledge of geology than years of private | It is there alone that we learn to judge of the value study are likely to accomplish.
of the facts described by authors, and acquire the But there are many of our readers who may not | means of forming an opinion of the theories they have the opportunity of following geology in this propose. The best places for observing the facts of way, and who would yet wish to attain some know-geology are where the rocks have been laid bare, ledge of its principles. These persons may ask, are whether by natural causes, or by the labours of we then wholly excluded from this domain of man. Hence, the mountain with its rugged and science, and is there no way in which we may attain naked precipices, the deep-worn channel of the rapid some slight knowledge of the structure of that globe torrent, the cliff on the river bank or the sea shore, we inhabit, of those mountains among which we are all favourite haunts of the geologist no less than live, and those rocks on which we tread? Their of the lover of sublime and picturesque scenery. case is not altogether so hopeless as this. Where The long continuous sections furnished by the seathere is a will, as the old proverb says, there is a shore, preserved in perpetual freshness by the conway. The more common minerals are not numerous, tinual wasting influence of the waves, are especially and they may come to a knowledge of them either valuable. The whole structure of a country is often from books, or from the information of some friend. exhibited there, as the various beds come to the They may find this a slow and troublesome process surface, and are cut off by the waves. Among what compared to their first steps under a proper teacher, may be named artificial sections, mines are often but it may be accomplished. Only let them have placed in the foremost rank ; but, notwithstanding their eyes and their ears open to what is passing all the advantages they offer for observing certain around. Let them collect specimens, and some facts, as the nature of veins, and the distribution of friend, or their own reading, may give them the minerals, they seldom repay the labour and trouble knowledge of the names of these; and thus a key be of descending into them. The damp, the dust, and put in their hand for further progress. Ten or a darkness, the uncertain light of the glimmering lamp, dozen minerals compose all the most common rocks, are not the best aids in geological research. Quarand there are few districts of country where more ries open to the light of day show often the same than two or three times that number are found, so facts on a larger scale, and under more favourable that the task is after all not so very great. Where circumstances. The cuttings of roads, railways, there is an opportunity of visiting a well-arranged and canals, are also highly important situations for museum, in which the various objects are properly observing the nature of a country and its various named, much of this preliminary difficulty may be geological formations. But it is impossible to enumerate all the points of which a skilful geologist | he reads for himself and thinks for himself, and whatever knows to take advantage, and of whose value only he believes he stoutly avows and sturdily maintains. He experience can convince the uninitiated. A point of cares for no writer or party, and this bluntness, which borrock projecting above the surface,--a well, a ditch, ders on the reckless, and sometimes makes him harsh and the foundation of a house, may all give him the censorious, will we fear detract somewhat from the popumeans of confirming a theory of the universe, or larity of his volume; for although we can conceive of a hisrefuting a rival hypothesis.
torical work written in one way finding favour in the estiOne most interesting part of geology is its appli
mation of Mr Tytler's admirers, and composed in another cation to the locality in which we live, or those we
way, to be approved of by the friends of Dr M Crie, we may chance to visit. This is too often neglected by
must confess that we have some difficulty in finding out those who have already acquired some knowledge of
01 what existing class will be pleased with a performance its principles; and in this way they not only forget
which alternately censures and praises both these writers, their former attainments, but miss many favourable opportunities of increasing their amount. They
as well as the classes whom they respectively represent. thus sacrifice one of the greatest advantages of this
Mr Bruce's work is a literal transcript of his own mind, as of all other branches of natural history, the inte
nter and after one has been accustomed to the stilted caution of rest which it confers on the common objects around partizan historians it is refreshing to meet with an author us, and on our most common walks. The pebbles who, in the words of the old song, “eares for nobody." in the mountain stream or on the sea-shore receive Many of the raciest passages touch on controverted points from it a history, and tell a tale full of wondrous in politics and theology, which we can neither discuss truth. Here is one that has come from such a wild nor quote, either for approval or disapprobation, without glen, and this from yon mountain, blue on the far trenching on ground beyond what our neutral position horizon. And this one, again, had its birthplace warrants; but some passages we subjoin, and as Mr Bruce hundreds of miles off, across broad rivers and moun- suspends his future prosecution of the work on the suctain chains, perhaps even in lands beyond the sea ; cess which this volume may receive, we trust that it will and floods or ocean currents, glaciers or icebergs, are meet with ample and prompt encouragement. called up to bring it to its present place. Then, again, the history of the mountains and valleys, the ARE CLEVER MEN LEAN AND HALF MADE UP? nature of the rocks of which they consist, and the An emaciated body has been looked on as the sort character of the plants and animals imbedded in of tabernacle in which wisdom loves to dwell, and an them, are all subjects of interesting inquiry. And ugly sallow countenance and lantern jaws have been rehere, again, the student may learn much from those garded as the genuine livery of the learned, being the who have gone before him, and their researches are natural fruit; as, is believed, of profound study. The the best superstructure on which he can build his
his authority of the philosopher Apuleius is generally quoted
on this subject. In a well-known passage Apuleius deown. It is foolish to despise any aid in the pursuit
clares, that continual literary labour had taken away all of knowledge ; and the man who will trust only to
comeliness from his body, wasted his habit, dried up his his own eyes, and rejects the advice or information juices, destroyed his complexion, and weakened his of others, will frequently find that, instead of seeing strength, and that the hair of his head was inextricably what is new, he has only omitted seeing much that twisted from want of attention to it. This is the descripis old. Where the student, therefore, can procure tion which Apuleius chose to give of his person when he any local guide to the country or district he means had to defend himself against the charge of having seto examine, we advise him to procure this by all duced the widow of Pudentilla by his good looks, and means. The few shillings which a work of this yet in the same apology he tells us that Pythagoras and kind, and a good map on a large scale, may cost, will
Zeno were the handsomest men of their times. Dr
Joseph Warton, in his Essay on Pope, has made the rebe more than compensated by the vast increase in
mark, that many of the great English poets were remarkinformation, and the saving of needless labour which
able for their personal beauty. In contradiction also of they will effect. Even for the beginner we know no
the vulgar notion about the spare habit of literary men, better school than to take a good guide to the geology their history abounds in facts. One of the idols wor of a locality into his hands, and to go out with it shipped in Michael's time, the famous Averroes, was to look for the phenomena described. The whole excessively corpulent, though his hours were devoted to region in which he lives then becomes to him, as it study, and his table furnished the fare of an anchoret. were, a richly stored museum, and the book in his Handel was fat, but then it may be alleged that he liked hand a teacher pointing out its various treasures.*
good wine and ale; and the amiable author of the Seasons could hardly be otherwise than corpulent, seeing that he
would not rise out of his bed without a motive, and ate EMINENT MEN OF FIFE.
the cherries off the tree without taking his hands out of
his pockets. But no such criticism can apply to the MR BRUCE, the editor of the Fifeshire Journal, has re- sublime Milton, nor to the laborious author of the Decline cently issued a small volume, entitled, “Lives of the
and Fall of the Roman Empire, who, it is well known, Eminent Men of Fife," and considering the variety and
grew so fat in the pursuit of solid learning, that having
one forenoon fallen down on his knees to make love to multiplicity of calls on the time and patience of a pro
a lady, he required the assistance of her servants to raise vincial editor, it is surprising how any sustained literary him out of that affecting position. The ill health of undertaking should have been accomplished by Mr Bruce literary men is a still more unfounded article of vulgar at all; but still more wonderful that it should have been faith, for statistical facts prove that their lives are beyond achieved with such an amount of laborious and minute
the average length, and it could not well be otherwise. consultation of authorities, ancient and modern. But
A life of study is a life of pleasure-of pleasure which,
as it is not tumultuous, is enduring, and, because it is besides industry Mr Bruce has boldness and originality;
virtuous, brings with it no moments of regret ; and its
elevations have not, like less intellectual enjoyments, * We cannot here mention all the various works on the geology of different parts of the country. For the district
their corresponding depressions. It is thus that real hisround Edinburgh we should recommend Maclaren's Geology
tory contradicts theories which impose upon generation of Fife and the Lothians, and Rhind's Geology of the Envi. | after generation. To the fact, however, of the comfortrons of Edinburgh. For Scotland in general, Nicol's Guide able and long life of the literary man, we think that there to the Geology of Scotland.
| must be an exception made in the case of poets of the