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dence. Innocent III., the greatest of the popes that his “hits” produce an effect which no was the despot of Christendom at thirty-seven, one who reads the speeches can form an John de Medici was a cardinal at fifteen, and idea of; and this because there is more Guicciardini tells us, baffled with his statecraft Ferdinand of Arragon himself. He was pope, as
manner than wit. The wittiest thing, to our Leo X., at thirty-seven. Luther robbed even him apprehension, he ever uttered, was his speakof his richest province at thirty-five. Take Igna- ing of the “ American language.” His fatius Loyola and John Wesley, they worked with mous joke about Peel having caught the young brains. Ignatius was only thirty when he Whigs bathing, and stolen their clothes, is made his pilgrimage, and wrote the Spiritual really a very feeble effort; though it amused Exercises.' Pascal wrote a great work at six: the house more perhaps than a better joke teen, the greatest of Frenchmen, and died at would have amused it. From his forgotten thirty-seven!
“Ah! that fatal thirty-seven, which reminds pamphlet, “The Crisis Examined,” we exme of Byron, greater even as a man than a tract an illustration which created great writer. Was it experience that guided the pencil mirth at the time, and is really humorous : of Raphael when he painted the palaces of Rome ?
“ The truth is, that this famous reform minisHe died, too at thirty-seven. Richelieu was secretary of state at thirty-one. Well, then, there try, this great 'united' cabinet had generated are Bolingbroke and Pitt, both ministers before
into a grotesque and Hudibrastic faction, the very other men leave off cricket. Grotius was in
lees of ministerial existence, the offal of official great practice at seventeen, and attorney-general with which Falstaff's crew was a band of regu
life. They were a ragged regiment compared at twenty-four. And Acquaviva-Acquaviva was
lars. general of the Jesuits, ruled every cabinet in through Coventry—that was flat. The reform
The king would not march with them Europe, and colonized America, before he was thirty-seven. What a career! exclaimed the
ministry, indeed Why scarcely an original
member of that celebrated cabinet remained. I stranger, rising from his chair, and walking up dare say now some of you have heard of Mr. Duand down the room; “the secret sway of Europe ! crow, that celebrated gentleman who rides upon That was indeed a position ? But it is needless six horses. What a prodigious achievement! to multiply instances. The history of heroes is the history of youth.””
It seems impossible, but you have confidence in
Ducrow! You fly to witness it. Unfortunately Youth is then a great qualification for a
one of the horses is ill, and a donkey is substi
tuted in its place. But Ducrow is still admirable; political leader. True, “Vivian Grey” is there he is, bounding along in spangled jacket no longer at that divine period ; but if not and cork slippers. The whole town is mad to youthful himself he has youthful followers- see Ducrow riding at the same time on six horses. he leads the New Generation! Besides, But now two more of the steeds are seized with Genius is always young.
Let the “old the staggers, and lo! three jackasses in their fogies” sneer at me, and call me an adven-stead! Still Ducrow persists, and still announces turer if they will; I am of an unmixed race, every night on six horses. At last all the horses
to the public that he will ride round his circus I am a genius, I am the leader of youthful are knocked up, and now there are half a dozen ardent spirits who believe me to be a pro- donkeys, while Mr. Merryman, who like the found and imaginative (oh! above all imagin- Chancellor (Brougham,) was once the very life ative !) statesman; I will show the hum- of the ring, now lies in despairing length in the drums that it is not Reason but Imagination middle of the stage with his jokes exhausted and
his bottle empty. which rules the world !
We have been speaking hitherto in gene- As to his literary pretensions we have beral terms because it is rather embarrassing fore intimated that we think them frivolous. to descend to particulars in a case where the He has a certain artistic tendency, which particulars do not in any way seem to bear makes him give to everything he handles out the general result. Notoriety has been whether literary or political, a symmetry and gained a position has been gained. The artistic effect; but he has none of the deeper general causes of this are not recondite; but qualities of an artist. We express his defiif you look closely to examine the basis of ciency in one phrase when we say that his success you are astonished at its apparent eloquence is grandiloquence. He does not discrepancy. If there is one quality which work from inwards, but contents himself with every one would at once award D’Israeli, it externals; and as splendid words are the exis, perhaps, wit; yet we defy the most ardent ternals of eloquence, they suffice him. This admirers to bring good specimens. In his gives a disagreeable hollowness to all his writings and in his speeches there is great serious and more particularly to his impasvivacity, occasional felicity of expression, and sioned passages; and it not unfrequently leads some happy illustrations ; but wit there is him into bathos. Of this bathos the reader scarcely any. In the house it is notorious may see samples in the passages previously
quoted from his two prefaces. We have | tences, not staggering under two bottles of just opened “Coningsby," and this strikes champagne, must be pronounced either dead our eye:
to all sense of the true meaning of words, or * At school, friendship is a passion.
Il entran- reckless and shameless in his use of them; ces the being; it tears the soul.: All loves of either he has no just sense of expression, or after life can never bring its rapture, or its wretch- he thinks that any fine words will serve his edness; no bliss so absorbing, no pangs of jeal- turn if they gull the indolent reader. Nor ousy or despair so crushing so keen! What ten- | is this by any means an exceptional passage. derness and what devotion ; what illimitable con
His writings abound with similar instances fidence; infinite revelations of inmost thoughts; of tawdry falsehood. They are thrown in bitter estrangements and what melting reconcilia- probably out of that love of ornament, which tions; what scenes of wild recrimination, agitat- | is characteristic of his race; they are the ing explanations, passionate correspondence; mosaic chains and rings with which the what insane sensitiveness and what frantic sensibil- young“ gentlemen of the Hebrew persuaity; what earthquakes of the heart and whirlwinds sion” adorn their persons, to give a faux air of the soul are confined in that simple phrase-a de gentilhomine to that which no adornment school-boy's friendship!"
can disguise. We may seem to insist upon Does the Minerva press groan under the a trifle in thus insisting on such false eloweight of trash more intolerable than these quence; but trifles like these reveal a trivial “ earthquakes of the heart and whirlwinds mind, and when characteristic of a serious of the soul ?” Is this the sort of language defect should not escape criticism. It shows which we are to hear from a minister, the that his eloquence like his imagination, like serious reflections which are to adorn a his poetry, like his philosophy, like his stateswork? The man who could write such sen- ' manship, is the Prospectus not the Work !
Is thine heart by the world, or its sorrows, oppress'd
And despair in dark characters stamp'd on thy brow?
On thy dreary and dark way no light to bestow!
Then prayer is the balm that will sooth every sorrow,
And hurl from his hold the dark demon despair;
And a lovelier form bid this wilderness wear.
Faithless is he, the dear friend once so cherishid,
The bosom wherein all thine own had confided,
And its promising beam into darkness subsided ?
Yet, mourner, forsaken and friendless, in prayer
Bodied forth, let thy sorrows to heaven ascend;
And a good and unchangeable God for thy friend !
From the Westminster and Foreign Quarterly Review.
1. The Plant: a Biography. In a Series of Popular Lectures. By M. J. SCHLEI
DEN, M. D., Professor of Botany to the University of Jena. Translated by ARTHUR
HENFREY, F.L.S., &c. London: Ballière, Regent street. 1848. 2. The Poetry of Science, or Studies of the Physical Phenomena of Nature. By
Robert Hunt. London : Reeve, Benham and Reeve, King William street, Strand.
1848. 3. A Century of Orchidaceous Plants; with Descriptions by SIR W. J. HOOKER;
and An Introduction on their Culture and Management, by J. C. Lyons, Esq. London : Reeve, Benham and Reeve. 1849.
In the “Westminster Review" for Octo- member of the trading community, whose ber, 1848, we adduced a few of the more possession of the luxury of a garden is forstriking examples of insect economy, by way bidden by his position in life, is fain to be of illustrating the claims to attention pos- content with the purchase of a blossom from sessed by the members of an exceedingly the basket of some itinerant flower-vendor. interesting portion of the kingdom of nature; Moreover, the various devices resorted to by in the present paper we hope to show that numerous dwellers in “the stifling bosom of the vegetable world is in no respect inferior the town,” those who to the animal, in the amount of pleasure it is capable of yielding to the enlightened inves- “Never pass their brick-wall bounds,
To tigator of the curious phenomena connected range
the fields, and treat their lungs with with the increase, distribution, and general habits of the organisms of which it is com- in order that they may gratify what Cowper posed.
styles "the burning instinct," are only so many In one respect, indeed, plants possess a proofs that the love of flowers is an inherent decided advantage over insects. Most per- feeling, equally gratified by the “creeping sons have certain insect antipathies which herbs," dragging on a bare existence in the it is all but impossible to eradicate. We, crazy box, the fragmentary pitcher, or the ourselves, must confess to a slight-a very spoutless teapot, which forms the window. slight-dislike of spiders; and among garden of the humble votary of Flora, and green myriads of the peopled grass” there by the “buds and blossoms of a thousand are few, whether creeping or flying, which hues," collected from all climes, and groware not to many individuals the objects of an ing in all their native luxuriance, within the unconquerable aversion. With plants, how- protecting walls of the well-regulated conever, the case is widely different; they are servatory appended to the aristocratic manalmost universal favorites. The lady who sion. would shriek in unfeigned terror at the unex- In his pleasant book “The Town," Leigh pected appearance of a spider or an earwig, Hunt has an apposite passage, quite confirmais sure to have certain floral pets, which she tory of the above remarks, upon a Londoner’s will cherish and tend with the fondest solici- love of flowers. He says, tude; the keen man of business, perpetually oscillating between his country-house and “ A tree, or even a flower, put in a window in counting-house, with scarcely a thought for the streets of a great city (and the London citianything beyond stocks and per-centages, the eye something in the same way as the hand
zens, to their credit, are fond of flowers), affects may be seen entering town in the morning, organs, which bring unexpected music to the ear. with a flower, culled perchance from his own They refresh the common-places of life, shed a well-stored conservatory, jauntily worn in harmony through the busy discord, and appeal to his button-hole; while the more humble those first sources of emotion, which are associ
ated with the remembrance of all that is young corn-crops change to fetid soot ; all matter in de and innocent. They seem also to present to us a cay is seen to teem with mouldy life ; and those portion of the tranquillity we think we are labor- filaments, that scum-bred spawn and mould, alike ing for, and the desire of which is felt as an ear- acknowledge a vegetable origin. The bark of nest that we shall realize it somewhere, either in ancient trees is carpeted with velvet, their branches this world or in the next. Above all, they render are hung with a grey-beard tapestry, and microsus more cheerful for the performance of present copical scales overspread their leaves ; the face of duties; and the smallest seed of this kind, dropp- rocks is stained with ancient colors, coeval with ed into the heart of man, is worth more, and may their own exposure to air; and those, too, are cititerminate in better fruit, than anybody but a great zens of the great world of plants. Heaths and poet could tell us.”—The Town, i. 28.
moors wave with a tough and wiry herba ge;
meadows are clothed with an emerald mantle, Although, in regard to species and indivi- amidst which spring flowers of all hues and forms; duals, plants are outnumbered by insects, bushes throw abroad their many-fashioned foliage; yet do they by no means yield the palm in twiners
scramble over and choke them ; above all
wave the arms of the ancient forest, and these, regard to the number and variety of interest too, acknowledge the sovereignty of Flora. Their ing particulars connected with their mode of individual forms, too, change at every step. With life, their choice of locality, their power of every altered condition and circumstance new adaptation to external circumstances. All plants start up. The mountain side has its own these are overlooked by the man of whom
races of vegetable inhabitants, and the valleys Wordsworth says,
have theirs; the tribes of the sand, the granite,
and the limestone, are all different; and the sun “The primrose by the river's brim,
does not shine upon two degrees on the surface A yellow primrose is to him,
of this globe, the vegetation of which is identical: And it is nothing more ;"
for every latitude has a Flora of its own. In
short, the forms of seas, lakes, and rivers, islands but how much more than a yellow primrose tains, are not so diversified as that of the vegeta
and peninsulas, hills, valleys, plains and mounis that fair herald of spring to the scientific tion which adorns them.”— Vegetable Kingdom, botanist—to him who delights to trace the Introduction, p. xxi. progress of each herb and flower, from the earliest indication of the action of the vital It will readily be conceived that the conprinciple up to the full development of the stitutional peculiarities of plants must be invegetable form and structure, in all their finitely varied in order that they may both beauty and perfection! Such a one will re- exist and flourish under circumstances so opcognize in the "yellow primrose" a wonder- posed, and in localities so numerous as those ful apparatus of cells, and fibres, and vessels, described in the foregoing extract; and such, each occupying its appropriate position, each in fact, is the case. But the vegetable kingperforming its appointed duty, and all har- dom, in an equal degree with the other moniously contributing to the well-being of works of an Almighty hand,” affords unthe individual plant, and the perpetuation of numbered proofs that throughout creation the species. And from the primrose, his the grandest and most complicated ends are mental vision will range through the wide attained by the employment of the simplest circle of vegetable life—from the "green means. In a recently published and very mantle on the standing pool,” to the lofty able translation of Schleiden's latest work on denizens of the tropical forest—and will con botany,* this is especially shown in an elonect the lowly flower “upon the river's brim” quent passage which we cannot forbear quowith the almost infinitely varied forms and ting. The boasted works of man, even when conditions of vegetation so eloquently de he is aided by all the means and appliances scribed in the following extract from Lindley's placed at his disposal by science, are comgreat work, the “ Vegetable Kingdom :” paratively trifling in proportion to the exer
tions required for their completion; not so Wherever the eye is directed, it encounters the works of Nature. And Schleiden, after an infinite multitude of the most dissimilar forms adverting to this inconsistency, thus continof vegetation. Some are cast ashore by the ocean
ues : in the form of leathery straps or thongs, or are collected into pelagic meadows of vast extent ;
“ Nature offers a direct contrast to this. Acothers crawlover mines, and illuminate them with customed, from our youth upward, to see her phosphorescent gleams. Rivers and tranquil waters ieem with green filaments; mud throws up
works outspread before us in eternally renewing its gelatinous scum; the human lungs, ulcers, and riches, we commonly pass them coldly by. The sordes of all sorts, bring forth a living brood ; timber crumbles to dust beneath insidious spawn; *“The Plant;" a Biography. Baill re.
contemplative mind is attracted by her, and begins warmth of a summer night gave an existence to divine, with a kind of softened terror, the mys- which the morning closed—what differences of terious powers in action round us. With what duration ! From the firm wood of the New Hol. wondrous means, we think, must not this great land oak, from which the wild aboriginal carves artist be provided! What wondrous chains of his war-club, to the green
our tombspowers, yet unknown, must there not lie hidden in what multiformity, what gradations of texture, her bosom! Science seeks the solution of this composition, and consistence! Can one really enigma, and in trembling assumes its task, fearful believe it possible to find order in this embarrasslest, perhaps, human intelligence be unequal to ing wealth, regularity in this seemingly disorcomprehend and grasp a complexity so marvel- derly dance of forms, a single type in these thoulously interwoven; and the farther we penetrate, sandfold varieties of habit? Till within a few the greater waxes our amazement. Every step years of the present time, indeed, the possibility brings us to a simple solution of an entangled was not yet conceived; for as I have before requestion ; every compound phenomenon directs marked, we may never expect to spy into the mysus back to simple causes and forces; and our teries of nature, until we are guided by our reastonishment becomes at last converted into de- searches to very simple relations. Thus could vout adoration, when we behold with what small we never attain to scientific results respecting the means Nature attains the most stupendous results plant, till we had found the simple element, the By the simple relation, that bodies in motion have regular basis of all the various forms, and invesa mutual attraction, Nature arches over us the tigated and defined its vital peculiarities.”—The whole starry heavens, and prescribes to the sun Plant, p. 42. and its planets their undeviating courses.
But we need not ascend to the stars to recognize how This simple element is a little closed sac little Nature requires to the unfolding of won- or vesicle of transparent colorless membrane; ders.
round or oblong in shape when existing sepa“ Let us tarry a moment with the vegetable world. From the slender palm, waving its ele- rately, but capable of assuming various forms, gant crown in the refreshing breezes, high aloft depending upon the degree of pressure muover the hot vapors of the Brazilian forests, to the tually exercised by such cells when in appodelicate moss, barely an inch in length, which sition, as well as upon the position they occlothes our damp, grottoes with its phosphorescent cupy in the structure of the plant, and the verdure; from the splendid flower of Victoria- function they are destined to perform in regina, with its rosy leaves cradled in the silent vegetable economy. foods of the lakes of Guiana, to the inconspicu- the cell in its normal condition, must neces
An acquaintance with ous yellow blossom of the duck-weed on our own ponds—what a wonderful play of fashioning, what sarily precede all investigations into the difwealth of forms !
ferent forms it is capable of taking. Schlei“ From the six thousand years' old Baobab, on den introduces to his readers the cell in its the shores of Senegal, the seeds of which, per- simplest state, as it exists in the beautiful haps, vegetated before the foot of man trod the fruit of a shrub cultivated in most gardens, earth," to the fungus, to which the fertilizing under the name of the “snowberry tree,”
* This absurd notion of the extraordinary age of and, from its frequency, the more readily at-
numbers; and age of such trees, nothing more is required than to says: count the number of zones or annual layers of wood, exhibited in a transverse section of the stem near the grouud. In temperate climes leaves are shed of the snowberry (Symphoricarpos racemosa,) a
“ If we remove the ouler compact membrane every year, and a zone of wood is deposited no oftener ; but in tropical regions, many trees, includ. plant common enough in our gardens, we come ing the Baobab, have two, three, or more successions
to a mass of substance composed of small, slipof leaves in a year, from each of which would a
pery, shining, white granules. Each of these is zone of wood be deposited: such trees, are in fact, membrane of the leaf of the common pink, we find
a separate perfect cell. If we strip off the outer almost, if not entirely, evergreens. So that if in a a transverse section of the stem of such a tree we a velvety green tissue, a portion of which may find, say three hundred annular layers of wood, we easily be scraped off. In water this separates are not to infer that the tree is three hundred years into little green points; these, too, are perfect old, as it would really be in temperate climes; but, cells, which only differ from the foregoing in contaking for the basis of our calculation the deposi- taining a quantity of green granules in addition tion of three such layers annually, we get one hundred years as the age of the tree. That the Baobab assign their birth to a period when it is probable trees of Senegal are truly of great antiquity there plants with so high a degree of organization had not can be no question; but we need not, on false data, | made their appearance upon our globe.