« AnteriorContinuar »
the contexture of his arguments is not ed around him, of those most distinsufficiently close ; and the art of guished for rank, talents, importance, transposition is not possessed by him and property, to the number of two with so much accuracy as to make his or three thousand. He there resemconceptions seem to rise naturally one bles a king receiving the homage of after the other. The following pas- his subjects, rather than the master of sage in one of his speeches will ena a house that seems eager to give a ble us to estimate both the man and kind and hospitable reception to his the speaker, as it furnishes a criterion guests. This degree of stiffness is for judging of the difficult art of speak- rather inexplicable, because the habits ing about one's self, or the sart of M. Laflitte are simple, and amidst d'egoiser," which was a term used by the gorgeous glare that surrounds him, the less modern authors of France. he frequently betrays symptoms of his M. Roy, the reporter of the Commis- originally humble condition, and narsion of the Budget, having censured row economy and thrift. Thus, on the proceedings of the bank, M. Laf- these evenings of parade, he frequentfitte, who was then governor of that ly takes a sponge in his hand to wipe establishment, replied to him, and off the water that flows down from the thus retorted on the speaker for insi- panes of glass, so that it may not spoil nuations that appeared to him to be his fine mouldings, and the elegant personal :-" I am not a contractor, gilding of his windows. But what and my fortune which is purely com are these little weaknesses compared mercial, does not owe its origin, or its with the many valuable qualities with further progress, to speculations, in which they are attended ? As he which the premium of risk is compris- possesses an immense fortune, it may ed in the state of the original bargains be asserted that no man knows better -I owe it to the honorable industry than M. Laffitte to make a good use of forty years, and to a spirit of fair- of it. His purse is always open to dealing, which causes every man to the wretched and unfortunate. He believe that he may rely on my good has relieved the indigence of the family faith and integrity.”
of Ney, by giving his only daughter in As a public man, M. Laffitte is a marriage to the eldest son of that friend to liberty ; and being a foster- Marshal. He has also relieved his child of the revolution, he will always proscribed countrymen ; and those esfeel for it a sort of filial piety. In pecially who have taken refuge at his private capacity he is generous, London, have received ten thousand benevolent, and humane ; faithful in livres as gratuities of his bounty. In his friendships, and easy and engaging short, he is the natural protector of all with his occasional acquaintance. In industrious enterprises, of all useful other respects, his vanity is excessive, talents, and all sufferers under unmerand he carries it to the extreme ; so ited misfortune ; and there is scarcely that flattery, however gross it may be, a single useful enterprise, or benevois eagerly swallowed by him on every lent society in France, to which M. occasion. Behold him, any evening, Laffitte has not contributed either by at one of his grand balls, where the his influence, his counsels, or his most select society of Paris is collect- purse.
THE BEAUTY OF WOMEN.-AN EASTERN APOLOGUE.
BY THE ETTRICK SHEPIIERD.
AND Sadac said unto Ismael, the have the least cause of rejoicing, since son of Berar, “ wherein consists thy thou hast lost a limb, an eye, and a great happiness? Of all the men I hand, and moreover thou art poor, and ever beheld thou seemest to me to hast none of the enjoyments of life.”
And Ismael said, “O my prince, it the world. They are all pure and is because thou hast not learned without blemish ; arrayed in the silken to discern wherein the enjoyment of gauze of Cashmere, covered over with life consists. Thou hast not learned, jewels and perfumes, and all ready to like thy servant, to be pleased with bestow their smiles and favors on the mankind as they are, and with events son of Azor; yet, instead of being as they occur ; and, when evil befal- my chief joy, from them proceed my leth thee, to be thankful that it is not greatest earthly plagues and torments. worse. When I lost one of my limbs, O Ismael, bring thy Abra before me, fighting in the camp of my father, I that I may look upon that beauty thanked Allah that I had not lost which is sufficient to confer such hapthem both. When I lost an eye, piness on the possessor.” fighting in my own cause, I conquered But Ismael said, “ Shouldst thou my inveterate enemy, and rejoicing covet and take her from me, thy sersaid—I shall see the clearer with the vant's chief happiness in this world eye that is left. And when I lost an would be extinct.” arm, fighting under thee
But Sadac swore unto him, that battle of Bahara, in which the pride though he admired her ever so much, of Persia sank before our might, the yet would he not deprive him of what men who bound up my wound said he held so dear. “ For I have suffiunto me—Ismael, thou art sorely ciency of female beauty already," wounded and lame besides; retire thou added he ; “which when thou seest into the tent. But I refused, and thou shalt acknowledge.”
And he said I have one hand left, and with led the lame Ismael away to the it will I fight for my prince until I fall, apartments of the women, and caused or the battle be gained. We conquer- every one of them, amounting to more ed, and I rejoiced. I know of no man than a hundred, to pass by before him, who has more reason to be thankful to and to unveil themselves. They were God and our prophet than poor Ismael, all beautiful as roses, for they were the son of Berar."
from beyond the river, and fair of “I cannot for my life perceive complexion. And Sadac said, “ Thou wherein it consists,” said Sadac, “un- seest how lovely they are; wouldst less it be in deprivations, which are thou not exchange thine Abra for any contrary in their nature to happiness. of these ?” Tell me one of the chief enjoyments And Ismael answered and said, of the heart."
“ No, prince ; I would not exchange And Ismael said, “The highest my Abra for any of these, nor for all, enjoyment of which my frail nature is beautiful though they are, which I capable, has been in the endearments deny not, though thou shouldst add of one beloved object-in the society the wealth of Cathema to boot.” of Abra, my beloved wife, my only And Sadac marvelled greatly, and spouse, and the darling of my heart. said, “O Ismael, let me see this She has proved to me the light of my wonder of my dominions, whose beausoul, my crown of rejoicing, my stay ty, single and alone, can ravish and and comfort in aflliction, and the af- delight a man, and render bim comfectionate sharer in all my joys and pletely happy from year to year.” sorrows. Ismael, the son of Berar, And Ismael did as his prince and ruler has had no earthly felicity that can be commanded, and he brought his wife
, compared with the love and society of and she stood before Sadac the son of that beautiful, blessed, and divine Azor. And Sadac said, “ Is this thy creature.”
wife, even thy beloved Abra ?” And Sadac marvelled exceedingly, And Ismael said, “It is.” and he said, “I have thirty and six And Sadac lost all power, and fell wives, and seventy and two concu- from his seat down upon the floor of bines, the most beautiful women in his pavilion; but it was not with love
for the wife of Ismael, but with man; but of female beauty there are laughter at the style of her beauty. many kinds and degrees; as many as For the woman was old and homely in in the whole range of nature besides. the extreme, with a broad brown face, There is one beauty of the flowers of and gray eyes of a heavy and mild the field, another of the storms of lustre. And the servants of Sadac heaven, and another of the sun shining tried to list him up and set him on his in all his glory and strength. So in seat, but they could not, for he had no woman there is one beauty of the power either to rise or to support skin, and another of the soul; but the himself thereon ; and they said one to one is as superior to the other, as the another, “What shall we do for Sa- sun shining in his glory and strength dac, the son of Azor, our lord !" is to the short-lived and fading flowers
And Sadac laughed seven days and of the valley. Thou, O Sadac, seekseven nights at the beauty of Abra, est only for selfish gratification, deemthe wife of Ismael.
ing that there happiness is to be found. And it came to pass after these How certain the event that thou wert days that he called Ismael unto him, be disappointed ! So shall all and said, “O Ismael, son of Berar, those be who expect to find true haphow hast thou mocked me by assert- piness in the pleasures of sense and ing thy happiness with thy Abra, in the vanities of time. But I have derision of all the beauty in my harem, sought and found a union of souls collected from the great river Euphra- that began in youth, has strengthened tes even to the borders of Media, for with age, and will continue to immy pleasure and happiness, which all prove and brighten for ever and that beauty has yet failed to produce!” ever.”
And Ismael said, “ Far be it from And Sadac went home into his me to mock my prince, or to tell him house heavy and concerned, and he any word that is not downright truth. said unto himself, “I would instantly I agree with him, that without beauty go in search of that union of souls if there can be no happiness with wo- I wist what it was.”
WISHES OF YOUTH..
Gaily and greenly let my seasons run;
Still let me live as Love and Life were And should the war-winds of the world up
Still let me turn on earth a childlike gaze, The sanctities of life, and its sweet fruit And trust the whispered charities that Cast forth as fuel for the fiery sun;
bring The dews be turned to ice—fair days begun Tidings of human truth; with inward praise In peace wear out in pain, and sounds that Watch the weak motion of each common suit
thing, Despair and discord keep Hope's harpstring And find it glorious-still let me raise mute ;
On wintry wrecks an altar to the Spring.
ESSAYS ON PHYSIOLOGY, OR THE LAWS OF ORGANIC LIFE.*
Essay III.-On The PowerS BY WHICH THE OPERATIONS OF THE ORGANIC FRAME ARE
We have stated, that every organized the sensibility of each part, or organ, body is endowed with that principle, is peculiar to itself; that is, although to which we have given the term sen- sensibility is universally diffused sibility; and we would now, in conti- throughout every part of the frame, nuance of the subject, observe, that yet each possessing only its own pecu
* See page 115. 28 ATHENEUM, vol. 1, 3d series.
liarly modified sensibility, lives, feels There are also two kinds of contracand moves, after its own way. Thus, tility,—the one in virtue of which for instance, stimuli which affect one certain organs, obedient to the will, organ, produce no impression on oth- exercise the contractions which it deers; as the eye is insensible to sound, termines; the other, independent of the ear to light. Still, although the the will, and which manifests itself by sensibility of all the organs is thus actions, of which we have no more modified, and peculiar to themselves, intimation than we have of the imthe whole conjunctively work together pressions by which they are determinto one common end,—their mutual ed. This latter modification of senpreservation and improvement, and sibility and contractility, is that which the preservation of the individual. we see manifested by vegetable life,
With regard to contractility, which and which many species, as the sensimay be said uniformly to accompany tive plant, the fly-trap, and others, so sensibility, there is one modification remarkably exhibit. which I have hitherto omitted to men The latent sensibility, however astion,-a modification, which organs in sociated to animal lise, at least in the a healthy state never exhibit, when higher orders, differs considerably in influenced by their natural and proper one of its characters from that of the stimuli, namely, contractility at the vegetable world, viz, the power it has same time involuntary and sentient, of being altered and modified by ciror perceived,—that is to say, an action cumstances, and of elevating itself to which occurs independent of the will, perception; and we would observe, over which the will has no power, and that when organs endowed with this of which we have at the same time species of sensibility become the subcomplete perception; as in the exam- jects of disease, they assume a new ple of an electric shock, which, as character, and manifest a percipient every one knows, will produce power- sensibility—often acute to the highest ful muscular contractions, perfectly degree. The stomach, for example, , involuntary, of which, however, we when in health, possesses no conscious are as perfectly aware. Voluntary perception of the presence of natural and perceived contractility attends food, which, when that organ is sufupon, or is associated with, percipi- fering under inflammation, produces ent sensibility ; or, as it may be term- the most intense pain. ed, perceptibility. Involuntary and On the contrary, we find that perinsensible contractility is associated cipient sensibility may be altered by with latent sensibility.
habit, (with reason termed second From this view, we may easily sa- nature,) and degenerate into the latisfy ourselves of the existence of two tent : so that what before was felt, modes of feeling, and of two sorts of and even occasioned pain or uneasimotion,-a sensibility, by virtue of ness, ceases at length to communicate which certain parts send to the brain sensation. Sensibility and contractithe impressions they receive, to be lity, which offer very considerable there objects of consciousness, and by shades of modification and difference which we are aware of our own ex in different individuals, according to istence, as well as that of the natural age, sex, temperament, &c., have been world around us; and a different by physiologists not unaptly compared mode of sensibility, belonging to all to a fluid flowing from a given source, organs without exception, and which which may be exhausted and repleare all that some possess. These are nished, drained and consumed, distriadapted and sufficient for the exercise buted equally or unequally, or occaof the functions of nutrition, and by sionally even concentrated in peculiar means of which the organs appropri- parts. ated to this purpose are kept in action, In childhood and youth, these two and preserved in their natural state. properties are in the greatest activity
and perfection ; but as age advances, force is immense, are sluggish in they diminish more and more rapidly their motions and in their intellects, till death. The liveliness and fre- and with difficulty roused to active quency of impressions quickly wear exertion of any kind ; they are, for the out, and exhaust the sensibility; and most part, but slightly affected by orin organs, as, for instance, the muscles dinary impressions. It seems as if an that have been long exercised, contrac- extra degree of stimulus were requirtility shares the same fate, and rested to rouse the slumbering energy of and repose are necessary, as it were, the muscular powers, wbich, when once. for their refreshment, when the pro- roused, and not till then, display the perties are again restored to their na extent of their efficacy. tural energy
The sensibility which the higher Under particular circumstances, orders of animals possess, depends, as sensibility appears to forsake every we have before stated, upon the part of the system, and to become as nerves, and is in fact a property conit were concentrated in one part or or nected with them, and essentially ingan; the rest appearing at the same separable from their nature ; but time almost totally deprived of it. those animals which possess no disFor instance, if any part be suffering tinct nervous system, or rather peracute pain, or agony,--and uneasiness haps in whose contexture distinct or pain of a more moderate degree be nerves have not been discovered, apinflicted in another part,—this, (which pear at
endowed with otherwise would have been felt as irk- sibility (latent,) and its companion, some,) during the continuance of the contractility, in all their parts and ormore violent, will not be regarded, or gans ; throughout the structure of even noticed. During sleep, perci- which it would seem that they were pient sensibility and voluntary con- essentially diffused ; and indeed in traction are in some measure suspend- these orders of beings, the two proed; and this suspension is either more perties just mentioned are so blended, or less complete, according to the that the separate existence of each as healthy soundness of the repose. a distinct principle, cannot be con
In the inhabitants of the warm cli- ceived or understood, except as abmates of the south, it is observed, that stract qualities. sensibility is more lively, and more ea Percipient sensibility or perceptibisily excited, than in those of more cold lity, is the power which certain nerves and northern regions. In the natives of possess of receiving an impression, Italy and Spain, and especially of Af- and of transmitting it to the brain, and rica, we find a sensibility irritable to the impression thus received is termed the highest degree : in the latter, it a sensation. This we have stated beoften happens that the slightest wounds fore ; but may be asked, Is it provproduce convulsions, locked jaw, and ed that the nerves are the organs of death; which are of comparatively sensation ? or that they do transmit unfrequent occurrence in these north- impressions to the brain ? For the ern climates, as sequels to trifling in- proof of this, we can appeal to obserjuries, and then only in persons of a vations and numberless experiments : morbidly irritable constitution. it is found, for example, that if any
When the muscular powers are principal nerve be divided, or even more than usually developed, the ner- compressed, the part or organ over vous powers, if I may use the expres- which such nerve is distributed, besion, appear to suffer a proportionate comes at once insensible. Thus, if diminution ; that is, there appears to the optic nerve be injured, loss of exist a kind of opposition between the vision is the consequence ;-if the force of muscular contraction and the spinal cord be hurt, the limbs below sensibility of the nerves. Hence it is the injury become paralyzed ;-if the observed, that those whose athletic brain be suffering pressure, either