Imágenes de páginas

shop which has the hue of a humbug. the artist had befooled me. This is I advise the proprietor of the Diora. real praise. ma (which appears to intend itself

The view of the Valley of Sarnen for a permanent exhibition) to divert was, however, the chief attraction. the enthusiasm of his steam-engine, The felicity of the execution surprisor whatever “ old mole” it is that ed less, but the beauty of its scenery works beneath his platform, from dis- gratified more. The interior of a arranging the stomach of his visiters, chapel, unless of the very richest orto the less ambitious purpose of mov- der of magnificence, cannot be as ining his scenery around them.

teresting to the spectator as a green Trinity Chapel and the Valley of woodland, a mountain prospect, or a Sarnen have been carried about the pastoral vale. He may happen also town these two months by the bill. to be one of those sad dogs like mystickers, proclaiming every week to self who have been compelled by be the last week” of their existence. their follies to exchange a romantic I don't know if they are dead yet ; home for the close squares and crookbut it is no harm to afford them a lit- ed alleys of this populous wilderness tle posthumous praise if they are so. -London : if so, the Valley would The first of these scenes was a com- possess in his mind a double advantage plete deception ; I.expected every over its competitor. He would see moment the dean and chapter to make his native hills in the misty pinnacles, their appearance. In this respect it and the green dwelling of his fathers is the best of the two, which however in the deep-bosomed glen of the Alis more owing to the nature of the sub- pine illusion before him. He would, ject than the felicity of the painter; it is moreover, perhaps acknowledge himmuch easier to represent in successful self largely indebted to the faithful perspective a chapel, however large, transcriber of the Valley of Sarnen on a sheet of canvas, than a whole for the sight of a phenomenon which country like the Valley of Sarnen. he had never the good fortune to The imagination can readily allow witness in his own country. Two the one, but the reason strongly re- lofty hills rise on the back ground, jects the other. At all events I con

one immediately behind the other. fess Trinity Chapel fairly took me in. The hindermost is a sugar-loaf piercIn my golden simplicity of mind I ing into the skies far above the penethought, when I saw it, that “the tration of his round-shouldered brothplay hadn't begun," and that I was Now the phenomenon in the picmerely contemplating one of those ture (and, of course in the living multitudinous specimens of plaster- scene) is this : the lower and nearer work and architectury which are of these hills is covered with snow, scattered over the West End and Re- whilst the higher and more distant is gent's Park, to the utter discounte

apex. I am not suffinance of brown brick and comforta- ciently natural philosopher to account bility. The beauty of the structure for this extraordinary appearance, but was the first thing that brought back suppose it to arise from a different my senses, this being a quality which mode of snowing they have amongst seldom obtrudes itself upon the eye the Alps from what we ususally see of the western itinerant.* By narrow- here amidst our humble hillocks. ly watching the direction of the shad- To accomplish the aforesaid phenomows and finding them to be perma- enon it is only necessary that it nent I was at length convinced that snow horizontally in Switzerland, by

which means a mountain may with * I beg leave to direct the attention of all admirers of genuine gothic to a string of every facility be snowed up as far as towers in wooden bonnets, at the other side the shoulders, and yet preserve his of the park from the Diorama. They may head as green and as flourishing as afford to the romantic and imaginative, a ever. Notwithstanding the strangetolerable idea of a row of giants standing

ness to a plain-going English eye of asleep in their bedgowns and white cotton night-caps.

the above stroke of nature, the view


green to the

of the Valley of Sarnen was picture nance. I hope the Valley of Sarnen esque and delightful,--and if it is will remain in the Regent's Park,not gone it is so still. The Swiss or that it may be replaced by somecottage, the mountain road, the flock thing as beautiful. of sheep feeding in a sequestrated

There is likewise the Cosmorama, nook, gave a kind of lonely anima. and the Myriorama, and may others tion to the scene; the deep verdure not mentionable. I hear also that of the glades and slopes, contrasted there is one in preparation, which is with the blue surface of the lake into to be perfectly ecliptic of all its prewhich they decline, and the vapoury decessors, and is to be called the Panmagnificence of the surrounding hills, demoniopanorama, being an exact combined to throw a most romantic View of Hell, intended chiefly, I supair over this beautiful picture. I sigh- pose, for the patronage of those who ed for home when I saw it. A run- intend emigrating thither. It has nel of living water bestowed reality been painted from drawings taken on the scene, and was so contrived as by Padre Bmwho visited the preto flow down the canvas as naturally mises, and has been since restored to as if it was painted there, not spoiling life by Prince Hohenlohe. But I the eye for the artificial part of the must defer the account of these to a scene. This is a good test of the future opportunity. At present “I merits of the painting ; the works of can no more” (as we say in a tragnature when set beside those of art edy). Vale! generally put the latter out of counte




the many

THESELDEN the celebrated sur- the following reason for his remark.

geon and oculist gives some very The light coming from external obcurious particulars respecting a boy jects being let in through the matter who was couched by him in his thir- of the cataract which disperses and teenth year : his narrative is the more refracts the rays, these do not, as they interesting as it seems to determine ought, converge to a focus on the retthe question so long and so hotly con- ina or back part of the eye, so as to tested by philosophers,—Whether a form a picture of the objects there; person blind from his birth upon be- the person aflicted is consequently in ing made to see could, by sight alone, the same state as a man of sound sight distinguish a cube from a globe looking through a thin jelly. Hence Most persons would probably answer the shape of an object cannot be at in the affirmative, notwithstanding all discerned, though the colour may.

theoretical arguments which And this was the case with the boy might be brought against it,-at least couched by the operator. Before until they have such facts as the ope- couching he could distinguish colours ration of couching discloses, which in a strong light, but afterwards, the are of too stuborn a nature to be easi- faint ideas he had previously acquired ly evaded.

of them were not sufficient for him It is previously remarked by Che- to recollect them by, and he did not selden that though we speak of per- know them to be the same that he had sons afflicted with cataracts as blind, seen dimly, when he was enabled to yet they are never so blind from that see them perfectly. Scarlet he now cause but that they can distinguish thought to be the most beautiful, and day from night; and for the most of others the gayest were the most part in a strong light distinguish black, pleasing: black, the first time he saw wbite, scarlet, and other glaring col- it perfectly, gave him great uneasiness, ours: but they cannot distinguish the but after a little time he became more shape of anything. And he gives reconciled to it ; he however always

associated some unpleasant idea with could be that a large face could be it, being struck with great horror at expressed in so little room, and saythe sight of a Negro woman whom he ing that it should have seemed as immet some months afterwards.

possible to him as to put a bushel of When he first saw, he was so far any thing into a pint. from making any right judgment At first he could bear but


litabout distances, that he thought all tle light, and the things he saw he objects whatever touched his eyes (so thought extremely large ; but upon he expressed it), as what he felt did seeing things larger, those first seen his skin. He thought no objects so he conceived to be less than they had agreeable as those which were smooth appeared before, never being able to and regular, though he could form no imagine any figures or lines beyond judgment of their shape, nor guess the bounds he saw: the room he was what it was in any object that pleased in he said he knew to be but part of him. He did not know any one thing the house, yet he could not conceive from another, however different in that the whole house could look bigshape or size ; but upon being told ger. Before he was couched he exwhat things those were whose form pected little advantage from seeing, he knew before from feeling, he would worth undergoing an operation for, carefully observe that he might know except reading and writing ; for he them again. Having often forgot said he thought he could have no which was the cat, which the dog, he more pleasure in walking abroad than was ashamed to ask, but catching the he had in the garden at present, which cat (which he knew by feeling), he he could do safely and readily. And looked steadfastly at her, and then even in blindness he said he had this putting her down, “So, Puss," said advantage, that he could go anywhere he," I shall know you another time.” in the dark much better than those He was very much surprised that who could see. After he was enabled those things which he had liked best to see he did not soon lose this faculwhen blind did not appear most agree- ty, nor desire a light to go about the able to his eyes, excepting those per- house in darkness.

He said every sons whom he loved most would ap- new object was a new delight, and the pear most beautiful, and such things pleasure was so great that he wanted most agreeable to his sight which words to express it ; but his gratitude were so to his taste. His friends at to the operator was extreme, never first thought that he even knew what seeing him for some time without pictures represented, but found after- shedding tears, and if he did not hapwards they were mistaken; for about pen to come at the time he was extwo months after he was couched he pected, the boy could not forbear crydiscovered that they represented solid ing at the disappointment. A year bodies, at first taking them for party- after his first seeing, being carried to coloured planes or surfaces diversified Epsom Downs, he was exceedingly with a variety of paint: but even then delighted with the largeness of the he was surprised that the pictures did prospect, and called it a new kind of not feel like the things they represen- seeing. He was afterwards couched ted, and was amazed when he found of the other eye, and found that obthat those parts of pictures which by jects appeared large to this eye, but their light and shade appeared promi- not so large as they did at first to the nent, and uneven to his sight, felt other : looking upon the same object equally flat with the rest. On this with both eyes, he thought it appearlatter occasion he pertinently inquired ed about twice as large as to the first -Which was the lying sense, feeling couched eye only,—it did not appear or seeing ?

double. Being shown his father's picture in Mr. Cheselden performed the opea locket at his mother's watch, he ac- ration of couching on several other knowledged the lik eness, but was ve- persons, who all gave nearly the same ry much astonished, asking bow it account of their learning to see as the

preceding. They all liad this curious when we see a landscape or a group defect after couching in common, that of figures on canvass, the parts assume never having had occasion to move to our eyes a depth or protuberance, their eyes, they knew not how to do though really flat, because, exhibiting it, and at first could not direct them the same light and shade which the to any particular object, but had to objects represented by them do themmove the whole head, till by slow de- selves rerum neutrá present, we judge grees they acquired the faculty of them to be similar in all their dimenshifting the eye-balls in their sockets. sions, and to recede or come forward

Several philosophical inferences from the canvass in the same manner may be deduced from the above-cited as the real objects would do if placed experiment. First it is evident that against a wall. In conformity with the eye is not a judge of direct, thongh this reasoning it appears that the boy it may be of transverse distance, i. c. who was couched had no perception that it cannot estimate the distance of the effect of painting : not having between two trees, for example, near- yet obtained experience of the lights ly in a line with itself, though it

and shades imitated on canvass they

may, if they are at equal lengths from it

, could not deceive him, as they do a but not in the same line with it. person of sound sight, into the suppoHence when we look at a chair stand- sition that they were reflected by ing against the wall of our chamber massive bodies,—he only saw flat canwe really do not see that the fore legs vass diversified with a variety of paint. stand out upon the carpet,—we see Secondly, as it appears that the both them and all parts of the chair boy could not tell a cat from a dog painted as it were (projected is thc until he had felt them, it is plain that philosophical word) on the wall. It neither could he tell a cube from a is only by having felt that they do globe. It is to be observed, however, stand out from the wall that we judge that although at first all distinction of them so to do, when we merely see shape were perceived, yet experience them exhibiting the same appearances would shortly have taught him to disthey had when we felt them before. tinguish, by sight alone, a cat from a The boy upon whom Mr. Cheselden dog, a cube from a globe. All that operated, thought, it seems, “ that Locke and his partisans asserted was, all objects whatever touched his eyes," - that sight alone would never have i. e. all objects and parts of objects taught him to determine (unless by appeared equally distant from him, chance) which of the bodies was the the fore-legs of a chair as distant as cube of his feeling, which the globe. the hind, in short he could not see di- He would in a short time have seen rect distance at all. It was only by that one of these bodies was even, and habit, by feeling a table, for instance, the other angular, but he could not by then observing the lights and certainly tell that the former would shades its different surfaces presented feel as the globe felt before he saw it, to his eyes (for of colour the eye

is a nor the latter as the cube did. That judge), it was only by this process which was a cube to his sight be that he was at length enabled to know would probably have fixed upon as a table when he merely saw it. And that which was the globe to his feelit is the same process which gradual- ing. At least, there is no reason why, ly teaches us in our infancy to correct because a given body appeared erenthe errors of our sight by the testimo- ly shaped to his sight, it should enable ny of our feeling, and to know that him to determine that this body must that is protuberant which appears flat, necessarily, when he touched it, give as every object does to the eye of a him that sensation which he depominew-born child. This babit, which nated smoothness before he was made the mind gets of deciding upon the to see. massive form of objects immediately Thirdly, the above-mentioned erupon seeing them, is that from which periment appears to suggest a doubt the whole effect of painting results : of the truth of that philosophical dis

tinction which has usually been put tenance, which is to be seen in chilbetween Reason and Instinct. If it dren and idiots, proceeds rather from is by an exertion of judgment that a an inability to move their eyes than nian coming into a room where there from a want of thought at the time. is a real chair and one ill-painted on The former through inexperience, the wall, will sit down upon the form- the latter through mental weakness, er and neglect the latter, it is certainly have not been sufficiently conversant by an exertion of a similar faculty, with different objects to have exercisthat a cat coming into a room where ed the moving powers of the eye, there is a real mouse and an ill-paint- which therefore remains generally ed one, will spring upon the former fixed. Both, when they wish to oband neglect the latter. And from serve a new object, turn the whole the same principle it is that the man head rather than the eyeball. And, will attempt sitting down on a well- that vacancy of look does not always painted chair, and a cat will attempt proceed from want of ideas in the catching a well-painted mouse, ---neith- mind at the time, is evident from this, er discovering their error till they - that men intently engaged in concome near enough either to see the templating certain ideas generally defects of the painting or to feel the stare with a fixed and foolish countedelusive objects, and thus correct the nance, whilst their reverie continues. mistake of their judgment acting up- If a child were shut up in a dark room on the information of sight alone. where he might exercise all his senses For it is to be remembered that, in but one, it is obvious that upon light this case, it is not their sight which being admitted at the end of some deceives them, but their judgment ; years, when he had acquired a good sight informs them that certain col- stock of ideas by means of these four ours, lights, and shades, appear before senses, it is obvious that he would them, and its information is true ; still continue to stare like an infant, whilst judgment tells them that these how full soever his mind might be of colours, lights, and shades, indicate a ideas. For the motion of his eyes is massive substance (viz. a chair or consequent upon an act of his will so mouse) which is false. From this it to move them, and he can have no would appear, that instinct has no will to move them from the object at more to do with a cat mouse-catching, which he first looks, because he knows than with a man hare-hunting ; and as yet of no other object existing, and similar considerations may perhaps, could therefore have no motive to ex teach us, that brute animals approach cite his will to action. much nearer to us in faculties than There are many other inferences philosophers are generally disposed which might be drawn from this cuto allow.

rious experiment, but I will leave Lastly, it may be inferred, that the them to the reader's own sagacity or staring and vacant expression of coun- fancy.



* Tis sweet to poise the lab'ring oar

lufft up to get to windward of an Tbat tugs us to our native shore,

enemy, or sailed large to run down When the Boatswain pipes the barge to man."

to the succour of a friend in disWHY, aye, Mr. What's your tress, it would have done good to name, we were the pride your heart, man.

Then there was of the ship-all picked men ; and if our barge, so neat and trim with her you had seen us in those days, when gratings in the bow, and starn sheets hope and enterprise spread our white as white as the drifted snow, and evecanvass to the breeze, and we either ry qar a perfect picture. But to see

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