Obrazy na stronie

quences. In the influence of the mag- of iron that were inserted in its lid. netism, nature holds out to us a sove. The patients then, arranged in consireign instrument for securing the derable number, and in successive health and lengthening the existence ranks, round the bucket, derived the of mankind.”

magnetic virtue at once from all these The apparatus necessary for the conveyances :-- from the branches of administration of the magnetism, and iron, which transmitted to thein that * the method in which it was employed, of the bucket ;- from the cord which · were the following. In the centre of was passed round their bodies, and a large apartment was a circular box the union of their fingers, which commade of oak, and about a foot or a foot municated to them that of their neighand an half deep, which was called the bours ;-and from the sound of the bucket. The lid of this box was piano forte or a musical voice, which pierced with a number of holes, in communicated through the air. The which were inserted branches of iron, patients were besides magnetised di.clbowed and moveable. The patients rectly, by means of a finger or a bar of were arranged in ranks about this iron, guided before the face, above or bucket, and each had his branch of behind the head, and over the surface iron, which, by means of the elbow, of the parts affected, the distinction of . might be applied immediately to the the poles still observed. They were - part affected. A cord passed round also acted upon by a look, and by

their bodies, connected the one with having their attention excited. But - the other. Sometimes a second means especially they were magnetised by -of communication was introduced, by the application of the hands, and by · the insertion of the thumb of each pa- the pressure of the fingers upon the tient between the fore finger and hypochonders and the regions of the thumb of the patient next him. The lower belly;-- an application frequently thumb thus inserted was pressed by continued for a long time, sometimes the person holding it. The impression for several hours. received by the left hand of the patient. In this situation the patients offered was communicated through his right, .a spectacle extremely varied, in proand thus, passed through the whole portion to their different habits of circle. A piano forte was placed in body. Some of them were calm, tranone corner of the apartment, and dif- quil, and unconscious to any sensaferent airs were played, with various tion ; others coughed, spat, were afdegrees of rapidity. Vocal music was fected with a slight degree of pain, a - sometimes added to the instrumental. partial or an universal burning and

The persons who superintended the perspiration ; a third class were agiprocess had each of them an iron tated and tormented with convulsions. rod in his hand, from ten to twelve These convulsions were rendered exinches in length. This rod was a traordinary by their frequency, their conductor of the magnetism, and had violence, and their duration. As soon the power of concentring it at its as one person was convulsed, others • point, and of rendering its emana, presently were affected by that symptions more cousiderable. Sound was tom. Accesses of this kind sometimes also a conductor of magnetism ; and lasted upwards of three hours ; they in order to communicate the fiuid to . were accompanied with expectorations , the piano forte, nothing more was ne- of a thick and viscous water, brought cessary than to approach to it the iron away by the violence of the efforts. rod. The person who played upon Sometimes, these expectorations were - the instrument furnished also a por- accompanied with small quantities of

tion of the fluid; and the magnetism blood, and there was among others a - was transmitted by the sounds to the lad who frequently brought up blood surrounding patients. The cord which in considerable abundance. These was passed round the bodies of the convulsions were characterised by prepatients was destined, as well as the cipitate and involuntary motions of all anion of their fingers, to augment the, the limbs, or of the whole body; by effects by coinmunication. The interior „a contraction of the throat, by sudden part of the bucket was so constructed, affections of the hypochonders and the as to concentre the magnetism ; and epigastrium; by šo distraction and - was a grand reservoir, from which the wildness in the eyes; hy shrieks, tears, And was diffused through the branches biocuppings, and immoderate laughter

They were either preceded or followed ultimately to share the fate of every by a state of languor and reverie, by popular delusion. Fortunately howa species of dejection, and even drow- ever for science, Mesmer's operations siness. The least unforeseen noise were deemed worthy of the attention occasioned, starting; and it was ob- of government; and on the 12th of served, that the changing the key and March 1784, a committee, consisting the time in the airs played upon the partly of physicians, and partly of piano forte, had an effect upon the members of the royal acadeny. of patients ; so that a quicker motion sciences, was appointed by the king agitated them more, and renewed the to examine thoroughly the principles vivacity of their convulsions. Nothing of the new magnetical systems at could be more astonishing than the the head of this committee We the sight of these spasms. One that had celebrated Dr Franklin ; and the innot seen them could have no idea of dividuals united with him in the in, them; and in beholding the whole quiry were, Majault, Le Roy, Sallin, scene, the profound repose of one class Bailly, D'Arcet, De Bory, Cullotin, of patients was not less striking than and Lavoisier . These philosophers the violence with which another class immediately entered on the discharge was agitated.

of the duty which had been intrusted The first part of the work to which to them, with all the judgments and I have alluded, by Thouret, had for assiduity which it was natural ito ex its object to shew, that the theory of pect from men soj eminently qualified Mesmer, instead of being a novelty in for the task. Mesmer refused to have science, was an ancient system, which any communication with this commithad been abandoned by the learned a tee; but M. Deslon, the most concentury before. He demonstrated, in siderable of his pupils, consented to the most satisfactory manner, by pre- disclose to them the whole principles cise references to the writings of Para- and practice of his master, and to celsus, Van Helmont, Godenius, Bar- sist them in all their investigations gravius, Libavius, Wirdig, Maxwel, Accordingly, the commissioners, after Sir Kenelin Digby, Santanelli, Tento having made themselves acquainted zel, Kircher, and Borel, that all the with the theory of animal magnetist, propositions published and avowed by as it was professed by Mesmer, witness Mesmer were positively laid down by ed each of them repeatedly, its effects one or other of these authors. In the in public, when administered by Das second part, Thouret proves, by obser- lon; they submitted,'in private, to be vations and reasoning, remarkable foru magnetised themselves; and they make their acuteness and good sense, that netised others in a variety of circundall the effects ascribed by Mesmer to stances. The final results of their iDai? the operation of a new species of mag- quiry were communicated to the king, netism, were to be attributed solely to on the 11th of August, in: a Report the influence of the imagination on the which was drawn up by Dr Franklin, body; that they admitted of the same and which will be read with adinir explanation as the cures of the two tion, as long as the history of; the un famous empirics, Greatrakes and Gass- man mind affords interest to the moral ner, and that to pretend to the dis- philosopher or the physiologist. The covery of a curative means, which animal magnetic fluid was pronounod should extend to every species of dis to have no existence; and compression, ease, or, in other words, to a universal imagination, and imitation, were shewa medicine, was an illusion unworthy of to be the true causes of the effects stre an enlightened age. it's 'n 17 700 tributed to it. "The curious and ing

This work of Thouret's received, i teresting inquiries of M. Thouret," from a Committee of the Royal Society - say the commissioners, haser conof Medicines appointed to examine it, i vinced the publik, that the theory the that praise to which it was so justly operations, and the effects of the abide entitled, from the talent and the eru- mali magnetism proposed in the future dition, it displayed; and it cannot be uage, were nearly the same with those doubted, that its influence would aldne revived in the present. Phe maghel have been sufficient to have arrested cism, then, is no more than an old filte the progresof the doctrine it exposed, uuhoodsa The theory, indeed, is now patt evenit o animale magnetism zhad anotuisentert (48 was Decemasará? more and been, fumoritsovety w UQ, destined usliglutepediago) with is greutet degrees

of pomp; but it is not, on this ac- ating influence which they have over count, the less erroneous.”

the understanding. To be convinced . This interesting Report was trans- of the reality of this fact, it is only lated into English, with an Historical necessary to attend to the operations Introduction, in 1785; and it is from of the mind to be called forth in learnthis translation, which is respectably ing any language. In acquiring a executed, that the preceding detail has knowledge of Latin, for instance, a been almost verbatim extracted. It person ought (if I may be allowed to is very important however to mention, borrow the words of Beattie) to be able that in addition to this Memoir, which to “ show, that he not only knows the was obviously meant for the public general meaning, the import of the eye, the commissioners deemed it their particular words, but also can refer duty to communicate a private Report each to its class ; enumerate all its to the king; in which, with a laudable terminations, specifying every change solicitude for the morals of the sex, of sense, however minute, that may they disclosed certain circumstances, be produced by a change of inflection accompanying the administration of or arrangement ; explain its several the magnetismn, in the highest degree dependencies; distinguish the literal unfavourable to the purity of the fee meaning from the figurative; one spemale feeling and character, and which, cies of figure from another; and even by designing individuals, might be the philosophical use of words from rendered subservient to purposes of the the idiomatical, and the vulgar from most criminal proftigacy. This secret the elegant; recollecting occasionally Memoir has since been made public.. other words and phrases that are sy

An exposure 80 complete, accom- nonymous or contrary, or of different plished by men whose integrity and though similar signification; and actalents were acknowledged over the counting for what he says, either from

whole of Europe, speedily produced the reason of the thing, or by quoting • the effects that were to have been ex- a rule of art or a classical authority;"

pected from it. In a few months, -a mode of proceeding which must Mesmer and his animal magnetism no doubt operate differently, according were forgotten.

as it is more or less scrupulously obSinee the overthrow of this system, served; but by which, even when the most remarkable popular delusion partially adopted, and as far as possiwhich has prevailed, is the belief in ble applied to other languages, it will the influence of the metallic tractors not surely be denied, the attention of Perkins. With how much talent must be fixed, the judgment strengththis deception was exposed by Dr ened, and the memory improved. Haygarth and his scientific friends, is All this, it may be answered, is very generally known. To this most able true, and all this may be safely and intelligent physician, physiology granted; but it may be asked, in conis indebted for a series of experiments, formity with a very popular objection, displaying in a manner still more strik- at how high a price are these beneing perhaps than had hitherto, been fits to be purchased? Why at the exdoney the influence of powerful emo- pense of thought ? at the expense tions on the corporeal frame. ' G. of that which alone merits a moment's Edinburgh, Ist Sept. a

consideration, for, it may be main

tained, the natural tendency of such vies

,. . " an employment of the human faculties OY TRE Útry Of STUDYING AN, is to abstract the attention from things CIENT AND FOREIGN LANGUAGES.

ī to words; from real important know

: ledge to things insignificant in themMR EDITOREM and's .il selves, and valuable only as a means It is my object; on the present oC for the attainment of an end... i casion, to advers to some of the ad.. This, however, is evidently founded vantages of which, if impartially con- upon error.. Every thing is liable to sidered, the study of ancient and fore be abused. But because some men eign languages will be found to be have been deluded by contracted views, productive, samb it i ri and foolishly árhagined that their men

The first adva@tage which I shall tal aliment was augmented in propor notice, as, resulting from an acquaint. tion as their verbal stores were increase ance with such studies, is the invigort ed, it does not surely follow that all

ate equally misled by fancy, or that, the enjoyment of the benefits of cultiin studying different languages, a man vated society altogether, or be commay not, at the same time, and with at pelled to listen to that which we do least equal fervour, attend to the thought not understand, and which can only as well as to the expression of an au- mortify our feelings by impressing us thor. In faet, no sensible person ever with a sense of our own inferiority. thought of separating the two objects. But independently of advantages thus • But besides their útility in invigor- extensive and adventitious, ancient and ating the understanding, ancient and foreign languages will be found to be foreign languages ought likewise to be well entitled to attention, from the studied, inasmuch as they facilitate pleasure and instruction which they the attainment of our own tongue. In themselves are capable of affording, glancing at this part of the subject, I It is to these languages that we axe do not mean to insist upon the advan- to look for some of the best writers tages of etymological researches, in that the world has ever produced. In opposition to usage and the practice of poetry, in oratory, and in some branchthe best models of English style.' es of philosophy, they have never been With respect to their mutual influence surpassed. Shall we then deliberatele upon composition, the former must relinquish the possession of such undoubtedly be ranked infinitely be tellectual treasures, merely because te low the latter. But I believe it will cannot undergo the toil of rendering be admitted by the most inveterate them accessible ? . enemy of such inquiries, that by trac- Translations will not answer the ing words to their originals, and by purpose. “Let any man," says the viewing them in all different varieties writer whom I formerly quoted, read of acceptation in which they have been a translation of Cicero and Livy, and successively received, a much greater then study the original in his own insight into the principles of our ver- tongue, and he shall find himself bet nacular speech will be obtained, than only more delighted with the mantia, could have been expected from any but also more fully instructed in the other source.

matter." “ I never could bear to read Another advantage to be derived a translation of Cicero,” says Burke, from acquisitions of this nature arises in & letter to Sir William Jones from the intimate connexion subsist. “ Demosthenes," continues the saine ing between the literature of other writer, “ suffers, I think, somewhat countries and the literature of this. less ; but he suffers greatly -50 much They are, indeed, so interwoven with that no English reader could well evereach other, that there is scarcely one ceive from whence he had acquired celebrated work in the English lan- the reputation of the first of orators guage whose pages do not teem with " I once intended,” says Dugald der allusions to ancient and foreign writ art, in reference to some extracts from ers. Their very phraseology is often Bacon, which he had inserted in the introduced; sometimes for its beauty original Latin-"I once intended

sometimes for arguments connected have translated thein ; but found unwith it. If unconversant with the self quite unable to preserve the originals from whom quotations are weighty and authoritative tone of thus frequently introduced, we must, original.". M i rosul. therefore, be content to remain ignor- In the enumeration just exhibited ant of many passages in our own writ- it will be observed I have not included ers, and, consequently, a great portion the advantages to be derived from the of our pleasure and our profit must be stụdy of the dead languages by pe

sons who wish to be of the leastent Conversation, too, at least that professions, and from that of the livkind of it which ought most highly to ing ones, by those whose inclinatul be prized as the conversation of the or whose way of life, renders it nett knowing and informed, -turns so fre sary to travel into foreign parts quently upon books, and upon topics this branch of the subject, indeed, to which books relate, that without a were useless to enlarge; for to permet tolerable knowledge of other languages of this description, such philologici besides our own, or unless endowed studies inust be considered not with very extraordipary powers in- mere matter of choice, but as absolute deed, we must either be debarred from ly necessary. i l judi


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

REMARKS ON THE STUDY OF Some the sea-shore *

ples and of cities upon the sand by BRANCHES OF NATURAL HISTORY.

I believe it will be acknowledged, on THERE is 'not any branch of Nat reflection, as well by the uninitiated as ural History which has been more spar- the learned, that a comparatively imingly illustrated, in a popular man

perfect knowledge of those, minuter ner, than the science of Entomology : parts of animals which distinguish and though it may safely be averred, that characterise the species, if united with few of its departments present a more a zeal for acquiring an intimate acextensive field of observation, or are quaintance with their instinctive hamore capable of exciting astonishment

bits, their uses in the creation, their and admiration in the minds of its

relations to each other as members of votaries. In truth, Entomology, as a one great family, and their beautiful science, so far from having kept adaptation to the soils and to the cliplace with the advancements in other mates in which they exist, is of greatbranches of natural knowledge, may er value than an exclusive knowledge, be said rather to have retrograded durs however perfect it may be, of those ing the labours of the existing gener

corporeal differences or affinities, by Ation. That the description of exter which the various species, families, or nal character, and the determination classes of animals, may be either sepaof species, has been carried to a great rated or combined. degree of excellence cannot be deni- 3) If, therefore, it be true, that of two ed; but that a corresponding neglect evils we should choose the less, I would of the habits. the instincts, and the not hesitate to say, that it would be wonderful economy of insects, has far more advisable that naturalists taken place, must also unfortunately should follow the loose and desultory be adiñitted. in ,

method of Buffon, and others of his TwThat systematic arrangement is new school, than by an entire subjection

eessary in natural history, as in all and devotion to all the minutie of sysother branches of human knowledge, tematic detail, to neglect whatever is ljs a fact too obvious to stand in need great and beautiful in the science, and of illustration, and is perhaps suffici- thereby forfeit all claim to the praises ently proved by the circumstance of of mankind, as agents in the extension Buffon is one of the most accomplished of the most admirable species of human men, and the most brilliant writer knowledge. The conduct of such men whom natural history has enlisted bebis in fact incapable of vindication, in Heath her banners having failed to in as far as the perversion of talent, and Istüde the prevalence of a contrary the neglect of profiting by those faciCopinion, notwithstanding every effort lities which the nature of their studies of his powerful genius. The want afford them, are incapable of being vinsof fixed and deterininate principles in dicated. In derson of arripuit theliarrangement of Buffon was in- . Such a mode of prosecuting scientific deed be the very head and front of his research, if it deserve such an appellaoffending" and it is well for science tion, evidently lessens, not only the that his example has not been follow degree of interest which natural hised. 10 ust wrisc a lip

t ory is calculated to excite, but by con. The human mind, however, as has fining this pleasure, limited though it been often treinarked. is at all times be to the understanding of those only, fapt ro indulge in extremes, and with

*I have much pleasure in mentioning of thirty years from the death of that one work, which certainly forms an except

Philosopher, who affected to disdain tion to the general rule. I allude to the Icher trammels of system, we have seen - Introduction to Entomology," by Kirby Dicloud of men arise, some of them and Spence, in which many singular facts, Hot andistinguished in the annals of judiciously arranged, care collected from the sciencej who have devoted themselves writings of ancient and modern, authors, industriously, and almost exclusively, which illustrate well some singular particuFin Faisiig up and tumbling down one lars in the history of Insects... I would systern of classification after another. also recommend, as worthy of perusal, an without velation to any consequent

elegant Essay on the Philosophy of Nat

History. Fothergin published a objedprofo deeper interest;/or greater few years ago, which contains some pleasArteportinee, Aske children tracking outing and enlightenea roviews of the lobbthe plans and the boundaries of ter feet, bensdeb od vantis tai 9W boole • Vol. I.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »