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But few such minds appear in a century; and it is absurd to reason from these few to the many. We must take men as they are, and form such rules and principles as will apply to the masses. Because there are instauces of natural talent so strong as to break through all barriers, and in the face of every conceivable disadvantage attain distinction in the different branches of science, or in civil, military or political lifo, where not only all facilities of education are wanting, but even access to necessary books denied; we certainly have no right to conclude that therefore all education is useless, and that timo spent in mental culiure and discipline is, for all useful purposes, wasted and thrown away. With equal propriety might we conclude that, because some men have rendered their names illustrious in tho annals of our race, without a knowledge of the literature of the ancients, or the study of their languages, that therefore all such study is unnecessary, and destitute of all practical utility. Moreover, what a fund of enjoyment, what inestimable resources in the hours of fatigue, of leisure, or of adversity, has that man who can turn to the pages of classic lore with ever-new delight, and feast upon the mental banquet that ever there lies open before him. Certainly, we may apply to them the langurge of the Roman orator on another occasion: “These studies are the intelleetual nourishment of youth and the cheering recreation of age; they adorn prosperity and are the solace and refuge of adversity; they are pleasant at home, and are no incumbrance abroad; they abide with us by night, go with us in our travels, and lend additional charms to the attractions of our rural retreats.'
With kindred ability the advantages of an acquaintance with the French and German languages are illustrated. They abound in medical works of the highest interest and value, which have not been translated into English, and they furnish the record of the most important discoveries and improvements in medicine. Indeed, no one can keep pace with the progress of medical science, unless he is able to peruse the works that are constantly being issued from the press in those countries.' We pass, as more especially interesting to the medical student, the remarks upon the various collateral branches of professional study, in which, among other things, a deserved tribute is paid to the great chemical discoveries of the present era ; contenting ourselves with this synopsis of the requisites for a professor of the science of healing :
"It implies a knowledge of every other branch of medicine; a full acquaintance with the recorded experience of the past; great powers of discrimination, and actual opportunities for witnessing disease. She lays under contribution every department of nature; the animal, vegetable and mineral; she ransacks earth, ocean and air, and calls in the other sciences, as handmaids, to aid in her arduous work. Botany yields up her choicest stores at her command: mineralogy, from the lowest depths of the earth, gives up her earths and ores and metals: animals, from the icy pole or beneath the equatorial sun, are obedient to her call: chemistry seizes them, and by refined and delicate processes of art, extorts from them their hidden virtues; forces them to confess their secret source of action; and then science steps in and applies them all to the relief of human maladies and the cure of disease. Here is a noble field for stady and investigation. Human ambition could scarcely wish a broader theatre for enterprise and action. Notwithstanding all that is known, how much yet remains to be discovered! What trophies are yet to be won, what victories achieved, in our conflicts with disease! The vegetable materia medica of our coantry remains as yet almost unexplored.'
We cannot more appropriately close our notice of this excellent discourse, than by quoting the conclusion of the performance :
'Ours is a privileged profession. When pursued with proper motives and a proper spirit, it improves the heart as well as the intellect; and the duties to which it calls us awaken the best emotions of our nature, foster the benevolent affections, and promote all the charities of social life. As there is do profession that holds out greater inducements for industry and honorable exertion than ours; none, the conscientious pursuit of which earries along with it so full and abundant rewards ; so, also, there is none which offers such frequent opportunities of doing good; of manifesting that kindness and disinterested benevolence that blesses the giver more than the recipient. When prosecuted, I say, with correct feelings and motives, the study as well as practice of medicine is preeminently calculated to advance our moral as well as mental improvement. Who that has witnessed the remorse of the dying penitent. looking back on days misspent, time misimproved, and privileges abused and perverted, but will be prompted to faithfulness in the discharge of his own personal and relative duties? It would seem that he whose heart is not made better by scenes like those which we are constantly witnessing, would not be moved though one should rise from the dead. Every day, the practising physician sees how vice carries along with it its own punishment; how the iniquities of the father are visited upon the children to the third and fourth generation; how unbridlet passions deform and break down the bodily tenement which temporarily shelters the immortal principle, so defaced and polluted; how, even in this world, virtue meets its just reward. Who, so often as the physician, is prompted to reflect upon the uncertainty of buman health and human life? who so often reminded of its extreme brevity,' so scantily proportioned to our moral wants and our intellectual aspirations?' Who so often beholds the silver cord loosed, the golden bowl broken, the pitcher broken at the fountain, the wheel broken at the cistern?' And who, therefore, bas greater reason to abide in the conclusion of the preacher: 'Fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man?'
With this forcible and feeling illustration of the mission of the true practitioner of the healing art, we take leave of the matter-full pamphlet before us; commending it, (if need be, after our liberal extracts,) to the heedful perusal of our readers.
THE WAIF: A COLLECTION OF POEMs. In one volume. pp. 144. Cambridge, Massachusetts:
Press of John Owen. The purity and delicacy of the externals of this exceedingly handsome little volume, so creditable to the established taste of the worthy publisher, are in perfect keeping with its contents. Beside the contributions from the pen of the Editor, (which we suspect may be included as well in the designation 'ANONYMOUS' as in the proper name of 'HENRY W. Longfellow,') there are gathered together a goodly number of delightful effusions, various in kind, combining fancy, feeling, pure affection, and pictures of natural scenes, and embodying the cherished thoughts, not only of the more eminent modern poets, English and American, but those of the glorious bards who “illuminated the golden age of English song.' We are gratified, in looking over the pages before us, to find our own taste endorsed by so competent a judge as our accomplished friend. We remember to have transfer. red at different times, or copied passages from, a moiety at least of the charming poems that go to make up the collection, including Hood's touching ‘Bridge of Sighs ;' yet we have read them again with a renewed relish, while very many of them are entirely new to us. From the · Proem,' by the editor, we take these admirable stanzas :
How sweet, how inexpressibly beautiful, are the following tender lines from the tender heart of Thomas Hood:
We have no space, we are sorry to say, for farther extracts; and can only recommend all readers who desire an ornament to their libraries, in a double sense, to purchase at once the charming volume which we have been compelled so hastily to despatch.
CONVERSATIONS ON SOME OF THE OLD Poets. By JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL. In one volume.
pp. 263. Cambridge: John OWEN.
Many readers of this volume will recognize in a large portion of its contents the substance of a series of papers which appeared formerly in the ‘Boston Miscellany,'a monthly magazine, which ‘endured but for a season.' We remember to have read the articles with pleasure, and are not surprised to learn, from the author's preface, that in collecting them into a volume, he has only yielded to the solicitations of many friends, who in common with the public at large had received them with approbation. Mr. LOWELL, in the present volume, has thrown his essays into the form of conversations, after the manner of Walter Savage Landor, in order to give them greater freedom and an added interest. l'he author says of them, with equal modesty and felicity: 'I am not bold enough to esteem them of any great price. Standing as yet only in the outer porch of life, I cannot be expected to report of those higher mysteries which lie unrevealed in the body of the temple. Yet as a child, when he be has found but a mean pebble, which differs from ordinary only so much as by a stripe of quartz or a stain of iron, calls his companions to behold his treasure, which to them also affords matter of delight and wonder; so I cannot but hope that my little findings may be pleasant and haply instructive to some few. We annex two brief passages :
* Keats and TENNYSON are both masters of description, but Keats bad the finer ear for all the nice analogies and suggestions of sound, while his eye had an equally instinctive rectitude of perception in color. TENNYSON's epithets suggest a silent picture; KEat's the very thing itself, with its sound or stillness. 'I remember a stanza of TENNYSON's which unites these excellences :
"A STILL, salt pool, locked in with bars of annd.
Left on the shore ; which hears all night
Their moon led water
PEILIP That is one of the most perfect images in any language, and as a picture of a soul made lonely and selfish by indulgence in over-refined philosophizing, it is yet more exquisite. But, if Tennyson's mind be more sensitive, Keat's is grander and of a larger grasp. It may be a generation or two before there comes another so delicate thinker and speaker as TENNYSON; but it will be centuries before another nature so spontaneously noble and majestic as that of Keats, and so tender and merciful, too, is embodied. What a scene of despair is that of his, where Saturn finds the vanquished Titans!
*SCAROR images of life, one hera, one there,
The subjoined thoughts upon death are impressive ; but ah! they proceed from one who is yet upon the threshold of life, and who knows little whereof he speaks.
What we should do and what we can do, present differences which we hope our young poet may be long in discovering. Let the beloved companion of his bosom fade from his sight; let an infant perish like a blossom from the maternal arms ; let the dear departed go down into the dust together, together to sleep the dreamless sleep of the grave; and sure we are, that to welcome death' would be deemed a task too hard for poor humanity:
Why should men ever be afraid to die, but that they regard the spirit as secondary to that which is but its mere appendage and conveniency, its symbol, its word, its means of visibility? If the soul lose this poor mansion of hers by the sudden conflagration of disease, or by the slow decay of age, is she therefore houseless and shelterless? If she cast away this soiled and tattered garment, is she therefore naked? A child looks forward to his new suit, and done it joyfully; we cling to our rags and foulness. We should welcome Death as one who brings us tidings of the finding of long-lost titles to a large family estate, and set out gladly to take possession, though, it may be, not without a natural tear for the humbler home we are leaving. Death always means us a kindness, though he has often a gruff way of offering it. Even if the soul never returned from that chartless and unmapped country, which I do not believe, I would take Sir John Davies's reason as a good one:
• Bot, as NOAH's pigeon, wbich returned no more,
Did show she footing found, for all the flood,
•The realm of Death seems an enemy's country to most men, on whose shores they are loathly driven by stress of weather; to the wise man it is the desired port where le moors bis bark gladly, as in some quiet haven of the Fortuuate Isles; it is the golden west into which his sun sinks, and, sinking, casis back a glory upon the leaden cloud-rack which had darkly besieged his day.' . ..We look at death through the cheap-glazed windows of the flesh, and believe him for the monster which the flawed and cracked glass presents him.'
The volume, we should not omit to mention, to the credit of the publisher, is characterized by the same neatness of execution for which LONGFELLOW's Waif' is so remarkable.
An Essay ON THE ANCIENT AND MODERN GREEK LANGUAGES: containing Remarks on the
Accents, Pronunciation, etc.; to which is added Extracts from Modern Greek Authors. By CHRISTOPHOROS PLATO CASTANIS, of Scio, Greece. Andover : 1844.
MR. CASTANIS, who has been delivering lectures on the Greek Revolution, calculated to awaken a strong interest in the minds of those who by taste and education are inspired with a love for the history and literature of Greece, has written a pamphlet wit) the above title. His remarks on accents, etc., will be interesting to the scholar, as well as his notice of some modern authors, examples of poetry, and kindred topics. The fires which blazed in olden times still glow in their ashes. The mountains are the home of freedom, and the nurse of men whose souls are filled with a love of liberty, and with a corresponding grandeur. And songs are still rife, noble as that of Harmodius and ARISTOGITON; while the same knell which told the death of Hippias, has been lately made to ring exultingly through Greece. We have room but for an extract or two touching upon the Greek mountaineers :
*THE mountaineers often make the vallies and precipices echo with voices of melody, while they march along, or dance the Pyrrhica. They are generally tall, with very slender waist and lofty brow. Dark and sometimes light hair, growing long, as with the ancients, depends over their shoulders : Black and frequently blue eyes are found, distinguished by sharpness and brilliancy; their limbs are well formed, and they answer to the description of Homer:
• The bright-eged, well-booted, long-haired Achaians.'
* Their valor is connected with noble qualities of the soul, resembling the god-like traits of the primeval occupants of Olympus. Before battle, they practise the strictest temperance. They drink usually no stimulants, and abstain from all effeminate indulgence, entertaining an opinion that the least gratification of sense imparts to the enemy's ball or sabre a fatal effect. . . With all their impetuosity, the Clepts are patient. NicozarAg at the bridge of Pravi, on the river Carason, fought three days without provisions, under a driving snow-storm. A song commemorates the event. Before the fight that was fatal to Marco BoZZARIS, he with his band, the same night, had in nine hours travelled forty-two miles over precipices, mountains and torrents, in a deluge of rain.
• The Suliotes and Parganiotes are less numerous than the Olympians and Parnassians, yet they have gained more credit by their bravery, among foreigners. Byron says:
On Suli's rock and Parga's shore,
The Cleptic women, in general, have a fair complexion, slender waists, black and sometimes light hair, and dark or blue eyes. The female relatives of MARCO BOZZARIS are celebrated for their beauty. The dress of the Doric maidens is destitute of whale-bone and other artificial but destructive charms, and is usually more costly than the costume of the men. To display wealth, gold coins are strung for beads; the number of these specie neck-laces is an index of ihe lady's fortune. The prospects of the lover are exposed to view, without any deceit like that practised in other lands, where the maidens frequently make false pretensions to opulence, in order to ensuare an unsuspecting youth, in matrimony, : : : A large portion of IBRAHIM Pasha's army was routed by a party of Laconian women in the defiles of Taygetus. When they saw the descendants of PHARAOH advanciog, they shouted, alluding to their marks of Ophthalmia, 'Death to the cross-eyed Egyptians !'
This · Essay’ is exceedingly well executed, in a typographical point of view; and is thus worthy alike of preservation and perusal; which is more than can be said of a large portion of the pamphlet-works of this cheap' literary age. VOL. XXV.
ANCIENT TRAVELLERS IN THE East. — We have been permitted, through the kind-
Nicholas NICKLEBY,) Daulphinous, Lord of Arfeuila, Chamberlaine and Geographer Ordinarie to
• THE Travels of Signor PIETRO DELLA VALLE, a noble Romay, into East India and Arabia Deserta.
SOME Yeares Travels into Africa and Asia the Great, especially describing the famous Empires of
Persia and Industant: as also divers other kingdoms in the Orientall ladies and lies adjacent: by
Sir THOMAS HERBERT London, 1677.' • THE Six Voyages of John BAPTISTA TRAVERNIER, a noble man of France, now living, through
Turkie into Persia and the East Indies. Finished in the year 1670. Giving an account of the state of those countries; illustrated with divers sculptures, together with a new relation of the present Grand Seignor's Seraglio, by the same author; made English by J. P.; to which is added a description of all the kingdoms which encompass the Euxine and Caspian Seas: by an English travel
ler: never before printed. London, 1678.' *The Four Epistles of BUSBEQUIUS, concerning his Embassy into Turkie; being remarks upon the
religion, customs, richer, etc.; to which is added his advice how to manage war against the Turks. Done into English. London, 1694.'
These form but few of the titles of ihose antique volumes, with their eccentric figures and illustrations, their flourishes, and pictures designed in the bosom of initial letters, and their ponderous proportions covered with the dust of centuries; which, standing by the flippant duodecimos of modern travels, would make the eye of the antiquary roll over them with delight. In examining their pages we are struck with that delightful simplicity of narrative, and that hearty old Saxon, which distinguish them. The men of that comparative antiquity told their tale with that delightful faith with which a child now-a-days would listen to a grand-father's stories. Both speakers and listeners are enveloped in the same atmosphere of romance, and carried along by the same spirit; and unwearied, unwearying, go on, charmed with each other's society, through the lengthened narrative. When Sir John MAUNDEVILLE tells straunge Marveilles in Inde or in the Holy Londe,' where he journeyed many years, he does it with an unflinching trust in the reader's credibility; or when he presaces his strangest curiosities with they seyn,' professing simply to give them at second-hand, he never pauses to bolster them up with proof or evidence, knowing full well that he has got the ear of his auditory; or with such common-place remarks, as