« PreviousContinue »
Electricity was to be the wonder- N--, on receiving a tolerably working talisman! I lectured him smart shock, started out of his chair, out of all opposition, silenced his and I had not time to give him the scruples, and got him to fix an even- twist I had intended. After a few ing for the exorcisation of the evil moments, however, he protested spirit--as it might well be called — that he felt “ something loosened" which had taken possession of him. about his neck, and was easily inLet the reader fancy, then, Noms duced to submit to another shock sitting-room, about seven o'clock in considerably stronger than the forthe evening, illuminated with a The instant the rod was apcheerful fire, and four mould can- plied to his neck, I gave the head
I dles ;-the awful electrifying ma- a sudden excruciating wrench tochine duly disposed for action ; Mr. wards the left shoulder, S-strikSof Hospital, Dr.
ing him, at the same moment, a and myself, all standing round it, smart blow on the crown. Poor adjusting the jars, chains, &c. ; and N--!-" Thank God ! ” we all Nambo busily engaged in laying exclaimed, as if panting for breath. bare his master's neck, N all “I-i-e it all over )" stammerthe while eyeing our motions with ed N-, faintiy-quite confounded excessive trepidation. I had infic with the effects of the threefold renite difficulty in getting his consent medy we had adopted. to one preliminary--the bandaging “Yes-thank God, we have at of his eyes. I succeeded, however, last brought your head round again, at last, in persuading him to under- and your face looks forward now as go the operation blindfolded, in as. heretofore !” said I. suring him that it was essential to “O, remove the bandage-resuccess ; for that if he was allowed move it! Let my own eyesight beto see the application of the con- hold it !- Bring me a glass !” ductor to the precise spot requisite, " As soon as the proper bandages he might start, and occasion its ap- have been applied to your neck, position to a wrong place ! The Mr. N--." real reason will be seen presently ; “ What, eh-a second pudding, the great man@uvre could not have eh ? " been practised but on such terms ; “No, merely a broad band of for how could I give his head a dyachlym plaster, to prevent-hem sudden twist round at the instant of the contraction of the skin,” said his receiving the shock, if he saw I. As soon as that was done, we what I was about ? I ought to removed the handkerchiefs from his have mentioned that we also pre- eyes and arms. vailed upon him to sit with his arms “Oh, my God, how delightful !” pinioned, so that he was completely he exclaimed, rising and walking at our mercy. None of us could up to the mirror over the mantelrefrain from an occasional titter at piece. “Ecstacy! All really right the absurdity of the solemn farce again”we were playing-fortunately, how- "My dear N, do not, I beg, ever, unheard by N-. At length, do not work your neck about in that Vambo being turned out, and the way, or the most serious disarrangedoors locked, lest, seeing the trick, ment of the-the parts,” said Ihe might disclose it subsequently to "Oh, it's so, is it? Then I'd his master, we commenced opera- better get into bed at once, I think, tions. worked the machine and you'll call in the morning." -round, and round, and round, I did, and found him in bed, whizzing-sparkling—- crackling — “Well, how does all go on this
till the jar was moderately charged: morning P" I inquired. it was then conveyed to N--'s “Pretty well-middling," he repeck, Dr.-- using the conductor, plied, with some embarrassment of
"Do you know, Doctor, only that were turned-and-thatI've been thinking about it all night that-most ridiculous piece of busilong-and I strongly suspect His serious air alarmed me-I be- Why, to be sure, Mr. N-" gan to fear that he had discovered *
and he was so ashamed the trick, “I strongly suspect- about it, that he set off for the counhem-hem”-he continued. try immediately, and among the
“What?” I inquired, rather glens and mountains of Scotland, sheepishly.
endeavored to forget that ever he “Why, that it was my brains dreamed that his HEAÐ WAS TURNED.
THE PENITENT'S RETURN.
BY MRS. HEMANS.
Can guilt or misery ever enter here?
the spirit of domestic peace,
My father's house once more,
Broods, never mark'd before !
Is it the brooding night?
O'erwhelming to my sight?
All solemnized it seems,
As now, by starry gleams.
And this high elm, where last
So far and dark a shado!
How spirit-like a tone
Now those grey locks are gone !
My soul grows faint with fear!
Is in the foliage here!
Is it indeed the night
The in-boru gladdening light!
No outward thing is changed ;
Thou hear'st their tones with dread.
Therefore, the calm abode
Truth. What is Immortality ?
or the old forgotten graves,
Leaving not a wreck to say,
Here an empire once hath stood It breathes a grandeur and a power,
Ask it in thy solitude, Which shine when countless years have of thy solemn musing mind, fled,
And, too truly, wilt thou find Magnificent as the first hour!
Earthly immortality Truth. What is Immortality!
Is a splendid mockery! Age. Ask it of the gloomy waves,
MORAL INFLUENCE OF THE PHYSICAL NECESSITIES OF MAN.
The primary physical wants of the But to see what he owes to invenhuman being are food, clothing, tive art, we should compare man, shelter, and defence. To supply not with inferior creatures, but with these, he has cleared and cultivated himself, looking over the face of the earth—he has invented his va- human society, as history or obserrious arts, and built houses and vation shows it. We shall find him cities. At first, we see him like almost sharing the life of brutes, the other animals, laboring under or removed from them by innumethe wants which their common na- rable differences, and incalculable ture produces--under sufferings to degrees. In one place we see him which they are alike exposed, actuat- harboring in caves, naked, living, ed by passions which boil in their we might almost say, on prey, blood, -Hunger, Thirst, the incle- seeking from chance his wretched mency of the skies, the fear and sustenance, food which he eats just anger of self-preservation in the as he finds it. This extreme demidst of powerful and inflammable gradation is rare ; perhaps nowhere enemies. Hunger and Thirst cul- are all these circumstances of destivate the earth. Fear builds cas- titution found together-but still tles and embattles cities. The ani- they are found, fearfully admonishmal is clothed by nature against ing us of our nature. Man has cold and storm, and shelters himself as yet done nothing for himself-his in his den. Man builds his habita- own hands have done nothing for tion, and weaves his clothing. him—he lives like a beggar on the With horns, or teeth, or claws, the alms of nature. Turn to another strong and deadly weapons with land, and you see the face of the which nature has furnished them, earth covered with the works of his the animal kinds wage their war í hand-his habitation, wide-spreadhe forges swords and spears, and ing, stately cities-bis clothing and constructs implements of destruc- the ornaments of his person culled tion that will send death almost as and fashioned from the three kingfar as his eye can mark his foe, doms of nature. For his food, the and sweep down thousands toge- face of the earth bears him tribute ; ther. The animal that goes in and the seasons and changes of quest of his food, that pursues or heaven concur with his own art in flies from his enemy, has feet, or ministering to his board. wings, or fins; but man bids the This is the difference which man horse, the camel, the elephant, bear has made in his own condition by him, and yokes them to his chariot. the use of his intellectual powers, If the strong animal would cross awakened and goaded on by the the river, he swims. Man spans it necessities of his physical constituwith a bridge. But the most pow- tion. He stands naked in the midst erful of them all stands on the beach of nature, but armed with powers and gazes on the ocean. Man con- which will make him her sovereign structs a ship, and encircles the lord. Want, Pain, and Death, globe. Other creatures must tra- howling in the forest, urge him on, verse the element nature has as- and he rouses up the powers of his signed, with means she has furnish- invincible mind to the contention ed. He chooses his element, and with physical evil. It is not his makes his means. Can the fish hand alone that delivers him from traverse the waters ? So can he. this lot of affliction ; but it is his Can the bird fly the air ? So can mind working in that powerful orhe. Can the camel speed over the gan. His first food is from nature's desart? He shall bear man as his bounty ; his next is from his own rider.
art. He sees that the seeds she
casts into the ground spring up with should we look on, if we could inanother season. He casts them in, deed behold man armed only with and waits for the season. He then, his own implanted powers, and going at her guidance, chooses the soil forth to conquer the creation! If and prepares it ; and thus his first we could see him beginning by substep towards the conquest of na- duing evils, and supplying painful ture, is to observe her own silent wants ; going on to turn those evils and mysterious operations.
and wants into the means of enjoyThe early history of the greatment—and at length, in the wanprimary arts of life, their origin, tonness and pride of his power, and the first steps of their progress, filling his existence with luxuries ! lie buried in the darkness of anti- If we could see him from his first quity ; but thus much we may un- step, in the untamed though fruitful derstand, that man found himself in wilderness, advancing to subdue the midst of a world teeming with the soil, to tame and multiply the natural productions, and full of the herds,-from bending the branches operation of natural powers offering into a bower, to fell the forest and him benefit, or menacing him with quarry the rock,-seizing into his destruction. The various know- own hands the element of fire, diledge, the endlessly multiplied arts, recting its action on substances got by which he fills his life with the from the bowels of the earth, supplies of its great necessities, fashioning wood, and stone, and and with all its great resources of metal, to the will of his thought, security and power, or with which searching the nature of plants to he adorns it, are all merely the re- spin their fibres, or with their virgulated application of powers of tues to heal his disease ;-if we nature acting at his discretion upon could see him raise his first cities, her own substances and produc- launch his first ship, calling the tions. But the various knowledge, winds and waters to be his servants, the endlessly multiplied observation, and to do his work,--changing the the experience and reasonings of face of the earth,-forming lakes man added to man, of generation and rivers,—joining seas, or stretchfollowing generation, which were ing the continent itself into the dorequired to bring to a moderate minion of the sea ;-if we could do state of advancement the great pri- all this in imagination, then should mary arts subservient to physical we understand something of what life,-the arts of providing food, man's intellect has done for his phyhabitation, clothing, and defence, sical life, and what the necessities to man, we are utterly unable to of his physical life have done in conceive. We are born to the forcing into action all the powers of knowledge, which was collected at his intelligence. first by the labors of many genera- But there are still higher consitions. How slowly with continual derations arising from the influence accessions of knowledge were those of man's physical necessities on the arts reared up which still remain to destiny of the species. It is this us! How many arts which had subjugation of natural evil, and this laboriously been brought to perfec- created dominion of art, that pretion, have been displaced by supe- pares the earth to be the scene of rior invention, and fallen into obli- his social existence. His hard convion ? Fenced in as we are by the quest was not the end of his toil. works of our predecessors, we see He has conquered the kingdom in but a small part of the power of which he was to dwell in his state. man contending with the difficulties That full unfolding of his moral of his lot. But what a wonderful powers to which he is called, was scene would be opened up before only possible in those states of our eyes, with what intense interest society which are thus brought into
48 ATHENEUM, vol. 5, 3d series.