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The classifications of science were instituted to assist the memory and imagination; but while they fulfil the purpose of communicating and preserving knowledge, they unfortunately produce the undesigned hindrance of its alteration or advancement, by their vain assumption of its completion. The endless revolutions of scientific arrangements are full of admonitions: yet we forget how often the fictitious affinities and the distinctions of system, have on the one hand presumptuously united the real divisions of nature, and on the other broken the beautiful connection of the circle of truth.
I can as well suppose all those works of usefulness are already accomplished, which are foretold by the scope of human faculties, as that the arts which employ taste, have yielded up all the accuracy of their principles, and their sources of enjoyment. Let us leave the seventh day of rest, to the holiday rejoicings of patriots and politicians, who look upon their copied creations, and cunning schemes for human misery, and pronounce them original and finished and good. Let them build strongly around the perfection of their Chartas and Constitutions. Let them guard the ark of a forefather's wisdom, and proclaim its holiness to the people, for the safety, honor, and emolument of the keeper. The real creators of Knowledge have never yet found, and perhaps never will find, their day of rest: and the proud forefathers of all the great works of usefulness and of glory, are, by the use of that same magic which raised their own extraordinary creations, transmuted to corrigible children in the eye of the advancing labour of a later age.
It has been alleged of the expression of speech, that the discrimination of its modes is beyond the ability of the human ear. If the term human ear is sarcastically used for that fruitlessly busy and slavish organ, which
has so long listened for the clear voice of nature, amid the conflicting tumult of opinion and authority, we must admit the truth of the assertion. But it is not true of the keen, industrious, and independent exercise of the senses: nor can it be affirmed, without profanity, of the supremacy of that power
of observation which was counselled and deputed at creation, for the effective gathering of truth, and the progressive improvement of mankind.
The victory over nature must be the joint work of man and time: and having often, with more curiosity than hope, consulted the thoughts of others, on the possibility of delineating the signs of expression, I have generally received some query like this-Is it possible to recognise and measure all those delicate variations of sound, which have passed so long without detection, and which seem scarcely more amenable to sense than the atoms of air on which they are made?-It is possible to do all this: and if we cannot find a way” for this conquest over nature, “ let us,” with the maxim, and in the contriving spirit and resolution of the great Carthagenian captain, 6 let us make one."
It will not be denied, that the sounds constituting expression may be distinctly heard, and that there is no danger of mistaking the sentiments which dictate them. No:-it is the faint nature and rapidly commingling variety only, of these sounds that cannot be distinguished. I leave it to those who make this objection, to reflect on the truism, that there is nothing in the nature of sound but the audible: and, as the feelings are so readily recognised in its varieties, to ask themselves whether a distinct measurement is not implied in that recognition. The truth is, the delicate sounds of expression are always actually measured in the strictest meaning of the word, but they have never been named: and although all persons
who are observant in this way, have nearly an equally acute perception of the expression of speech, they have no language for designating those delicate discriminations which are every day unconsciously made even by the popular ear.
BY H. D. GILPIN.
HAIL, HOLY MAIDS! who haunted once the steep,
No suppliants bow, no votive altars shine,
The wandering Dryad has forgot her bower,
All, save in ancient story, are unknown-
Hail, holy maids ! in many a ruder clime
Less than the humblest votary of your smile,
But HE, the gathering wrinkle can beguile
Are not these turrets symbols of your power?-
Their fame, and gaudy scutcheons their abode-
No! no !'they do not give these towers their charms,
Your shrine restore, in scenes to fame unknown, And many a breast, now cold, the potent spell shall own.