Imágenes de páginas

or of increasing by powers within it- every plant or animal, from the first self, each particle, endued with a vis moment of its being, however minute, inertiæ, (if the phrase be allowable,) however inactive, a power capable of exists unchanged, and unchanging, developing, in succession, the destined except by foreign agents, mechanical phenomena of life. Hence, the plant or chemical. Each part, too, of an or animal is enabled to attract, to apinorganic mass, is independent of the propriate, and assimilate particles of other parts, to which it is united only extraneous matter, thereby not only by the force of affinity or aggregation ; increasing in magnitude, but at the and when such a part is separated same time communicating to those from the rest, it differs only in size very particles a power before unposfrom the mass to which it no longer sessed. Nor is this all; the work of adheres.

addition and assimilation is not alone On the contrary, organized beings carried on, but particles, originally a have fixed, determinate, and essential portion of the organic frame, are parts;—their mechanism is complicat- thrown off, and losing the essential ed, and consists of an union of solids characters of vitality, are rendered and fuids ;-indeed, this union of so- simply inorganic. But to the agency lids and fluids is essential to the con of this power, there are certain stitution of organic matter. Inorgan- bounds and laws, by which it is conic matter, it is true, is penetrated by fined, and directed in its course and water, but this does not form a neces results. These are Magnitude, Form, sary and essential part ; nor can the Structure, Composition, and Duration. water of crystallization be adduced as With respect to Magnitude, it is to forming, in its chemical relationship be observed, that both in plants and to a salt, a union similar to that ex- animals, there are certain restrictions isting between the solids and fluids of to each particular species. As a samorganic bodies. The state, too, of ple of its kind, a determinate size is organic bodies, is constantly varying, allotted, and although, perhaps, one either by the accession and assimila- animal may be somewhat larger than tion of fresh parts, or by the change another of the same species, or one and removal of others; and these op- tree somewhat taller than another, erations are carried on by powers in- still, this forms no objection. For nate in the being itself. Besides, or- example, the dog equals not in ganic bodies, without the intervention size the elephant, nor will the rose of foreign chemical or mechanical ever attain to the magnitude of the agents, have only a limited period of oak; there are limits beyond which organic existence; or, in other words, they never pass, limits to which the these powers after continuing for an gigantic elephant and the fluttering indefinite period in activity, cease. insect, the towering cedar and the The body, no longer endowed with humble violet, are equally restricted. organic life, by a peculiar process be- To this determinate magnitude, anicomes decomposed; the nature of its mals and plants arrive by a growth elementary principles is changed; it slow or rapid, according to species or no longer maintains its definite form, influencing circumstances, and, having but becomes in fact inorganic matter: attained it, remain for a certain period Having touched upon the points in stationary. There is, also, between which the characteristic differences of every part—between the stem and the organic and inorganic bodies consist, roots, the limbs and the trunk—a due let us direct our attention more par- and relative proportion. ticularly to the results of the vital But as it regards Form also, as well principle, or, in other words, to the as magnitude, there is given to every phenomena manifested by organic species a definite rule. Hence, by life.

its external characters, an animal or There exists, then, as we have pre a plant may at once be recognized, or viously pointed out, in the embryo of assigned to its respective order or ge

nus ;--for individual variations, it will With regard to Composition, it is be recollected, are merely trivial, and to be observed, that the power which interfere not with the general plan; organic bodies possess of attracting and although many organized beings and assimilating particles of extraneous undergo in various stages of their ex- matter, is not indiscriminate. They istence a variety of changes in size have a power to refuse as well as to and figure, yet these, however compli- accept; and by some unknown and cated or numerous, are fixed and de- wonderful means, which set the laws terminate, and all pave the way for of chemistry at defiance, to effect even the assumption of the destined forms a complete conversion of the appropriatof the individual. Hence, may we ed materials. How happens it, that two predict with certainty, that from the plants, nourished by the same soil, small egg of the moth, or butterfly, the same water, the same air, should shall burst forth the destructive cater- prove, the one wholesome, grateful, pillar, that this in turn shall appear a and nutritious—the other, a poison to dormant chrysalis, and this, in due man? The vine and the nightshade season, throwing off the shroud that may mingle their roots together, but envelopes it, come forth in elegance each preserves its identity; the one and beauty, and beat with new-found will still yield its cooling luscious wings the summer air, and flit from clusters, delightful to the eye and the flower to flower.

taste,-the other, its berries loaded With respect to Structure, also, the with sickness and destruction. This same restrictions, and the same regu- plant shall contain iron,—that flint; lations, are in force ; and to every yet neither in the soil from which species its peculiar and appropriate they spring, nor in the water that structure is allotted ; thus, as it is nourishes them, nor in the air around well observed by an eminent author, them, shall a trace of such be found. “ the germ of the palm-tree is destined Among animals, too, the same laws to produce a stem, which shall in- exist–one will feed on a plant with crease by the addition of matter on impunity, which causes the death of its central aspect, and the nerves or another. For example, the goat defibres of whose leaves shall be arrang- vours the water-hemlock with avidity, ed nearly in straight lines ; the germ —the horse and sheep eat it with imof the oak is, on the other hand, des- punity, but to the cow it is a certain tined to construct a trunk which shall poison. increase in size by the addition of In the organic frame, this power of layers to its circumference, and the selection and conversion is exerted nerves of whose leaves shall exhibit a even on portions of its own composireticular arrangement.” In like man- tion. From the same circulating fluid ner the animal tribes are under simi- are secreted (that is, separated and lar regulations. All the individuals prepared,) the solid bones,-the musof the same species exhibit a same- cles with their strength and elasticity, ness in plan, a similarity in their vari- —the firm inelastic sinew,--the lucid ous organs, differing more or less, ac- humors of the eye,-in short, every cording to their affinity, from the indi -' part and portion of the structure. viduals of other species. There is, in The red blood, generally supposed to short, in each species, a power, capa- . owe its color to the presence of iron, ble of producing the modes of that is supplied, as drained off for the purspecies, and incapable of producing poses of life, by the chyle, (a milky those of any other; witness, for in- fluid, the result of the process of distance, the difference between the gestion,) in which no metallic traces arrangement and construction, ap- can be discovered. pearance and flavor, of the muscles of The organic frame, then, is a labocarnivorous animals, as the wolf, and ratory, in which chemical operations those of the ox,-between those, again, the most delicate, the most intricate, of the ox and the horse, or the fowl. the most unaccountable, are continu

ally carried on. By these means, the be changed,) but here there is much magnitude, the form, the structure, variety. The mushroom springs up and the composition of every plant, and withers in a day, but the massive and every animal, is unfolded, perfect- oak braves the ravages of centuries. ed, and maintained.

The elephant and the eagle outlive But to the Duration of organic ages,—but the butterfly, frail being of life there are limits, and this power is a summer's day, perishes ere many restricted, in its action, to a determi- hours have passed ; and the ephemera, nate period. In all organic structures having undergone its peculiar changes, there arrives a time when perfection creeps from the water, its previous is attained, but this state does not en- element, flutters its wing, and dies dure long. The power which produc- with the setting sun. But all are liaed it, having accomplished its end, ble to accidents and disease, by which declines in activity, and languidly car- innumerable beings are cut off ere naries on its operations, till at length, as ture's term be fulfilled ; and of all, if wearied out, it ceases altogether; man, from these causes, is, in this the spark of vitality is extinguished; frail tenure, the least secure. Enerexternal chemical agents begin to act vated by refinement,--attacked by disupon the body, and decompose its ease, enslaved by passions, which structure; and sooner or later it loses corrode the springs of life, and exall trace of its original form and haust its active energies, mankind character ;—this is Death.

perish from infancy to age ; Death is The natural term, however, for the ever nearduration or life of organic bodies, differs

“For see ! how all around them wait widely in different species. Plants,

The ministers of human fate, on the aggregate, perhaps, endure And black misfortune's baleful train ; longer than animals, (for the periodi

Ah! shew them, where in ambush stand, cal decay of stem or leaves supposes

To seize their prey, the murderous band;

Ah! tell them, they are men.” GRAY. not the identity of the individual to


ENGLISHMEN, on their travels, think tence that a valuable gallery, which themselves bound to buy pictures, had belonged to his family for several that, when they return, they may be ages was, from the pressure of the considered amateurs ; but having gen- times, to be disposed of, gulled our erally neither eye nor taste, they be- silly countryman into becoming the come dupes. I knew an unfortunate purchaser of two hundred original victim, who, by speculating in pictures, pictures, the undoubted works of the of which he had not the smallest great Italian masters. More than knowledge, completely ruined himself. one Raphael, Domenichino, Titiano, He had been paymaster to a regiment Guido, Carlo Dolci, &c. &c. &c. were of the German Legion in Sicily, and warranted as genuine—the first conduring a service of fifteen years had, noisseurs in the island had pronounced by economy, realized four or five thou- judgment on them. The Marchese sand pounds. It is hardly credible (poveretto !) to save a dear brother that a man, with a certain knowledge from ruin, had made a great sacrifice, of the world and fully aware of the but he rejoiced that his heir-looms, value of money, should risk his hard- the precious collection of the searned gains by dealing in a commo- family had fallen into the hands of an dity of which he was totally ignorant. Inglese, and a man of taste, &c. The With this propensity he unluckily tale was swallowed, and three thoumade the acquaintance of the Marquis sand ounces (2,0001.) were paid S—, a Sicilian noble, who, under pre- down-argent comptant ! Our ama5

ATHENEUM, VOL. 1, 3d series.

teur was invited to a grand dinner the precious cargo to a foreign market, given on the occasion. Another no- and Brussels was chosen as a depôt, ble dealer and chapman now made his where there was abundance of Engappearance on the stage; a somewhat lish gulls ; but, alas ! none proved similar story was got up, and again amateurs ; and, after a few years, the succeeded ! In a few months our entire collection, consisting of three paymaster discovered that his means hundred and sixty-six pictures of the were nearly exhausted, and he stop- Italian school, was brought to the ped short after he had at the very tri- hammer in the market-place! When Aling disbursement of 3,7001. sterling, the expenses of the sale were paid, there possessed himself of as many precious remained to the proprietor a balance of pictures as there are days in the year ! 245 francs ; warehouse-room, duties, They were consigned to his agent in freight, &c., of the cases from EngLondon, who finding that the duties land, having amounted to as many would be 1,7001. more, consulted a pounds. The history of the arts does dealer, and was informed that the col- not afford such an example of folly as lection was not worth so many pence! this, which occurred only a few years It was therefore determined to export ago.



flounces, falling over each other, and A PELISSE of plain white jaconet forming a kind of rûche : the points muslin, with a simple broad hem at are bound with blue satin, of a shade the border. The body, en gerbe, and darker than the dress, and headed by the waist encircled by a cambric belt. a narrow rouleau of the same. The Sleeves, en gigot, very wide, and ter- corsage is à l'Enfante, and is confinminating at the wrists by antique stif- ed round the waist by an elastic belt fened points of cambric, surrounded of blue silk, fastened in front, by a by a quilling of thread tulle. Pele- buckle of gilt bronze. Sleeves, à la rine, the same as the pelisse, edged Marie, the fulness confined at interround with a double frill trimming, vals by bands of blue silk, with a very laid in very small plaits, and surmount- broad cuff at the wrist, and gilt bronze ed by a broad stiffened ruff of clear bracelets, fastened by an onyx brooch. muslin, which is divided by a blue A pointed pelerine of tulle is worn silk sautoir, richly brocaded at the over this dress, trimmed round with ends, in various colors. The hair is blond, and fastened in front of the arranged in very full clusters on each throat by a rosette of white ribbon, side of the face.

edged with blue. A hat of Tuscan When this dress is worn at the morn- grass, lined with azure-blue, and ing promenade, a white chip hat is add- trimmed with white ribbon, edged ed, trimmed with very broad white rib- with blue; and a bunch of blue-bells, bon, striped with blue and scarlet, and placed on the right side of the crown. an ornament on the crown of blue gauze Parasol of Egyptian-sand-color, and spotted with scarlet and yellow. The boots of kid of the same color. strings float loose.

The slippers worn with this dress are of bronze kid, tied en sandales.

The gloves are

Explanation of the Prints of the of yellow kid.


EVENING DRESS. PUBLIC PROMENADE DRESS. A dress of white crape, beautifully A dress of azure-blue taffety, fin- embroidered in various colors, forming ished at the border by a broad hem, a broad border, on a hem which turns headed by two very narrow pointed back, with points at the edge, finished

by a narrow rouleau of white satin. surmounted by a pattern of very darkThe embroidery consists of beautiful colored flowers and foliage. Over wreaths of natural flowers, falling in this is worn a white muslin canezouelegantly drooping branches, from one spencer, with sleeves à la Marie ; the continued wreath, just beneath the fulness confined at equal distances, points above described. The corsage and the sleeve terminating by a very is à la Sévigné, and is of white gros de broad cuff, with a row of small butNaples, with crape drapery across the tons placed on in bias on the outside bust, which is drawn together in the of the arm ; at the throat is a very centre by an antique brooch of jewel- full, stiffened French ruff of clear lery, formed of gold rubies, and tur- muslin, and a kind of sautoir, formed quoise stones. The sleeves, though by a broad ribbon, painted in various they are à la Marie, come only just colors on a white ground, and bound below the elbow, where they termi- with blue. An Ester-hazy-colored nate in a double ruffle of blond. bonnet of Gros de Naples, trimmed

A béret of gauze constitutes the with pale pink ribbon. Shoes of black head-dress, which is white, with spots kid, with gaiters the color of the of ruby, and of emerald-green. Ai- dress. grettes of feathers, of the same colors,

A CHILD'S DRESS. are tastefully disposed on the béret, as A short frock of pink striped gingornaments. The ear-rings are of ru- ham, over a pair of cambric pantabies, and the necklace is of very deli- loons, double frilled, with broad muscate chain-work of gold, in festoons, lin round the ankles; the frills richly which are each caught up, alternately, embroidered at the edges. Very full by a ruby and a turquoise stone. sleeves at the upper part of the arm, The bracelets are of gold, fastened and fitting close below the elbow. A by a large turquoise, set round with round pelerine, fastening behind, is fillagree gold.

frilled all round, and surmounted by a ruff. A small silk sautoir divides the

pelerine from the ruff. Round hat, of A dress of celestial-blue batiste, fine straw, lined with pink, and trimwith a very broad hem at the border, med with pink and white ribbons.



“ Serene Philosophy !
She springs aloft, with elevated pride,
Above the tangling mass of low desires,
That bind the futtering crowd ; and, angel-wing’d,
The heights of Science and of Virtue gains,
Where all is calm and clear.”

PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY. certain is known respecting the origin Very few great discoveries have been of the story ; but improvements of any made by chance and by ignorant per- value are very seldom indeed so easily sons-much fewer than is generally found out, and hardly another instance supposed. It is commonly told of the can be named of important discoveries steam-engine that an idle boy being so purely accidental. They are geneemployed to stop and open a valve, rally made by persons of competent saw that he could save himself the knowledge, and who are in search of trouble of attending and watching it, them. The improvements of the steamby fixing a plug upon a part of the engine by Watt resulted from the most machine which came to the place at learned investigation of mathematical, the proper times, in consequence of mechanical, and chemical truths. Arkthe general movement. This is possi- wright devoted many years, five at the ble, no doubt; though nothing very least, to his invention of Spinning jen

« AnteriorContinuar »