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Miller. What, however, can be more agreeable than to hear of ladies of four orfive-and-twenty stones; of Tunisian misses fattened for marriage; of butchers pinguifying on their own steaks; of Spanish generals feeding themselves on vinegar, until the skin hung round the body like a pelisse, thereby affording justification of what might otherwise seem a bouncer of George Colman's, in his description of Will Waddle,
"Whose skin, like a lady's loose gown, hung about him"
Of windows knocked out, and walls knocked in, to let out prodigious coffins; of Englishmen travelling through Saxony in quest of the picturesque, weighing 550 lb., or 39 st. 4lb. wafted through Italian vales and Valdarmian regions on the groaning necks of twelve chairmen ; of Captain K., of the Jamaica trade, of whom the astonished negro exclaimed, "Great big man-man big as tub, massa of the son of the Bishop of diocese which, we should imagine, must be always vacant,) who, at nineteen, weighed twenty stones, and was remarkable for his wit, of which we have the following specimen
"A fellow collegian, son of a dean, of a very lean and spare habit, expressing his astonishment at their difference of size, he explained the reason by the following extempore parody of the old song,
In antient Rome, when men loved fighting, And wounds and scars took much delight in ; Man-menders then had noble pay, Which we call surgeons to this day, 'Twas ordered, that a huge long pole, With basin deck'd, should grace the hole, To guide the wounded, who unlopt Could walk, on stumps the other hopt: But when they ended all their wars, And even grew out of love with scars, Their trade decaying; to keep swimming, They join'd the other trade of trimming, And to their poles, to publish either, Thus twisted both their trades together.'
"From Brand's History of Newcastle,' we find that there was a branch of the fraternity in that place, as, at a meeting, 1742, of the barber - chirurgeons, it was ordered, that they should not shave on a Sunday, and that no brother shave John Robinson till he pays what he owes to Robert Shafts. Speaking of the 'grosse ignorance of the barbers,' a facetious author says, 'This puts me in minde of a barber, who, after he had cupped me (as the physitian had prescribed) to turne away a catarrhe, asked me if I would be sacrificed.' 'Scarified,' said I, did the physitian tell you any such thing?'-' No,' quoth he, but I have sacrificed many, who have been the better for it.' Then musing a little with myselfe, I told him, 'Surely, sir, you mistake yourself; you mean scarified.'—' O, sir, by your favour,' quoth he, I have ever heard it called sacrificing; and as for scarifying, I never heard of it before.' In a word, I could by no means persuade him, but that it was the barber's office to sacrifice men,since which time I never saw any man in a barber's hands, but that sacrificing barber came into my mind."-Nuga, p. 192-194.
We shall conclude with a notice of Valentine Greatrakes.
"This singular person, according to Mr Boyle, was of 'great honesty and exemplary sobriety;' taking no gratuity for his performances, and curing a prodigious number of cases where King Charles II. had failed, as testified by Boyle, Cudworth, Bishop Wilkins, and the wisest of all surgeons, Surgeon Wiseman, who affirms that the King's touch had cured more in one year than all the surgeons in London had done in an age!—An hereditary race of Machaons, in Scotland, of the name of Macdonald, have subsequently performed the same operation, calling it Glacath, which is, handling the part affected, and muttering certain words. They also were of great honesty,' and never accepted of a fee on any entreaty.
"After the Restoration, great multitudes flocked to receive the benefit of the royal touch; insomuch, that'six or seven persons were crushed to death, pressing at the chirurgeon's doore for tickets.' -EVELYN's Journal, Vol. II. p. 571. In 1682, the King touched 8577; and Browne remarks, that notwithstanding the numbers were so great as to amount to a considerable portion of the whole nation, yet, upon any new declaration of healing, they were again as fast as if none VOL. XVII.
< a thing as monhad applied before; strous as strange.' Notwithstanding this, it began to decline. Oliver Cromwell tried in vain to exercise this royal prerogative; and in 1684, Thomas Rosewell "was tried for high-treason, because he spoke with contempt of King Charles's pretensions to the cure of Scrofula. Charles Bernard, who had made this touching the subject of raillery all his lifetime, till he became serjeant-surgeon, and found it a good perquisite, solved all difficulties by saying with a jeer, Really one could not have thought it, if one had not seen it.'
"The Hon. Daines Barrington, in his 'Observations on our Ancient Statutes,' p. 107, tells us of an old man, a witness in a cause, who averred, that when Queen Anne was at Oxford, she touched him, when a child, for the evil. Mr Barrington, when he had finished his evidence, 'asked him whether he was really cured?' Upon which, he answered, with a significant smile, that he believed himself never to have had a complaint that deserved to be considered as the evil, but that his parents were poor, and had no objection to the bit of GOLD.
"This new exploded royal gift is thus described by Shakespeare:
REMARKS CONNECTED WITH THE CRITICISM OF POETRY.
PERHAPS it has not been conceived, nor ever may be, what power is possible to be exerted over the spirit of a people by WORDS.
We understand imperfectly the effects of knowledge:-those less, which follow from the impressions made, by the positive and explicit meanings declared in language, upon imagination and sensibility. But if there be also, as doubtless there is, a not immomentous influence, which must be allowed as distinctly proper to the words themselves of discourse, this, especially, we find it difficult to measure, or conceive.
An Age, rejoicing, like our own, in intellectual proficiency, hardly believes that which hitherto it has not explained. An age, triumphing, like ours, in applications of Intellect to gross utility, and to knowledge of evident demonstration, is slow to comprehend, and reluctant to avow, the moment and power of FORMS. Yet is it just in such an age, in which the imagination of life declines, that the imagination adhering to-inhabiting-intellectual forms may become inestimably important.
Words are or in them is giventhe external form of Poetry. If the delight of Poetry is useful, a part of that Utility is to be ascribed, not to the substance, to the meanings which the words expound,-but to the exquisite labour which the Art of Poetry has bestowed on consummating its external form on the WORDS.
of intelligence instructed ;-hidden, than visible;-comprehending the long subsequent, with the present ;-and with those of which the mind first interested is the seat, the most widely diffused from it into others?—
Yet one part of such inquiry is supposed in the Theory of the Fine Arts: the other in the determination of their Utility.
Whence is Poetry the great cultivator of language ?-From-1. its topics, in which it is unlimited and universal:-2. its passions, which are free, intense, entire:-3. its peculiar, quick and deep sensibility for the properties of language. The knowledge, or use, by a poet, of his native speech, is, therefore, extended,-inventive,―skilful.
I. EXTENDED-since what is there -known or thought-that he must not delineate and express ?-II. INVENTIVE-not only as Language, to Passion, asking its utmost expression, usually yields more than it had seemed to possess; but as Intellect, under Passion, conceives in new modes, which Language is changed in following.-III. This head might be referred higher.-Poetry is, throughout, ART.-The bold Art, which constructed metre, has influenced in every way the language of Poetry. By severing it to Art, it justifies, if it does not almost exact pains more elaborate, and less disguisedly so, employed in framing it, than might else become the medium of men's natural communication:-And by laying the ground in Poetry of an otherwise unknown harmony of words, it induces in the spirit, awake and susceptible with that delight, a more observant and feeling apprehension of their other properties: In both ways, rendering the language of Poetry SKILFUL.
some part-one element-of the powerful harmony of verse, is of the sound, unreferred to the sense.
2. To the word must be ascribed, further, whatsoever force of action or impression,-though drawn from the meaning,—it adds to that which already and unavoidably accompanies the meaning.—We may therefore cite, in the second place,
-The second part of harmony in language,-relations of the material elements of the word, to the idea, (-harmony by expression.) These are manifold: more, and less obvious: -regarding in the word, its properties, natural, as articulated sound, and artificial, as a constituent of metre:in the signification, the essential idea, the connexions of ideas with one another, and specifically those modifications of the single idea, which give the grammatical quality of the word.
3. Other effects of the words require, without being drawn from, their significance. Such are, in the third place,
-Certain more general (verbal) qualities of STYLE :-As, the purity of idiom:-that use of a language which distinguishes degree in the speaker: the exemption from, at some times,-at others, the employment of -its familiar, and homely, expression: -Lastly, Some part of what has been accepted-whether rightly or not is not now our question-with every people, as a language of Poetry: And, in the fourth place,
4. Certain more particular (also verbal) conditions of Style:-viz. the effect in composition, of historically known facts of a language:-principally, of its more ancient, and more modern forms:-in tongues of mixed
origin, of derivation from one or another source:-of dialects :—of innovation, or invention in language.
5. A fifth instance of force proper to words may be mentioned in the aptitude for expression, differing in different languages, with the principle of their grammatical formation.
The most difficult, in truth the essential points of the argument remain ; and may be comprised in these two questions.-How much of the passion, or lively power belonging to the idea, is, by that habit of Association, which collects and concentrates upon the sign the affection proper to the thing signified, effectually transferred upon the word?-How much, in Style, universally, of the manner of presenting thought, is of the words, and how much is effected in the thought ?
These two questions answered, and the preceding considerations followed out, might want not much of exhausting the inquiry, which they serve to propose. Simply stated, they may remind us, that the force, in composition, proper, distinctively from the ideas annexed to them, to words, is not, nor by those who have endeavoured to fix the canons of writing, has ever been accounted of as slightly efficacious. The Inquiry, were it even somewhat minutely and anxiously pursued, is not of nice and vain curiosity; but necessary to the Criticism, as it is linked with the advancement, or maintenance-if any induction of their principles may avail to advance or maintain them of those Fine Arts, which speak to the human Mind by words, and which are usually comprehended by us under the denominations, Eloquence and Poetry.
"Words consiCAMPBELL'S Philosophy of Rhetoric. Book III. ch. I. § 3. "dered as sounds. When I entered on the consideration of vivacity as depending on "the choice of words, I observed that the words may be either proper terms, or "rhetorical tropes; and whether the one or other, they may be regarded not only as "signs, but as sounds, and consequently as capable in certain cases of bearing, in some ❝ degree, a natural resemblance or affinity to the things signified. The two first articles, proper terms and rhetorical tropes, I have discussed already, regarding only the sense and application of the words, whether used literally or figuratively. "mains now to consider them in regard to the sound, and the affinity to the subject of which "the sound is susceptible. When, as Pope expresseth it, the sound is made an echo to "the sense,' there is added, in a certain degree, to the association arising from custom; "the influence of resemblance between the signs and the things signified; and this doubiless "tends to strengthen the impression made by the discourse. This subject, I acknowledge, "hath been very much canvassed by critics; I shall therefore be the briefer in my "remarks, confining myself chiefly to the two following points. First, I shall in"quire what kinds of things language is capable of imitating by its sound, and in "what degree it is capable; secondly, what rank ought to be assigned to this spe"cies of excellence, and in what cases it ought to be attempted."
It is known to the more curious of my readers, (for, in truth, the affair has long since passed totally into oblivion, as concerns the reading public,) that Gilbert Wakefield, who corresponded with Charles Fox upon verbal emendations of Euripides, and so forth, and who enjoyed in his day considerable reputation as a classical scholar-once published a volume of Pope's poems, adorned with notes by himself, by way of specimen of a complete edition of that great poet's works. The undertaking went no further, but this volume having been almost entirely converted into trunk-lining, the few copies remaining acquire a high merit in the eyes of folks of a certain order; and accordingly, it is laid down at p. 730 of this "Guide and Companion," that "Wakefield's volume is, so far as it goes, ONE OF THE MOST SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCES OF ITS KIND; and that it IS TO BE REGRETTED, he felt himself deterred from its completion by the promised edition of Joseph Warton"!!!
How stands the fact ?-True, most true it is, that this is "one of the most SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCES of its KIND," if, by "its kind," is meant the great genus of ASSERY. The work is certainly below all contempt-ignorant, stupid, asinine, bestially dull and degraded to the utmost possible pitch of any man's satisfac
tion. The book not only damned Gilbert at once as an English critic; but, in the event, utterly damned him as a critic of anything, since people in general are not quite so stupid, but that they can perceive the extreme improbability of an Englishman being quite incapable of understanding one of the most correct of his own country's authors, and yet pretending to throw light upon the dark passages of authors who wrote some thousands of years ago, in a dead and forgotten tongue. But to cut matters short at once-who does not remember the famous quizz on the poetry of folks of quality, which some ascribe to Pope, others to Swift, others to Arbuthnot, but which all agree in considering as one of the broadest, if not of the best, pieces of quizzification extant in the English tongue? Well, only be pleased to see how the first verse of this jeu-d'esprit is introduced and commented on by the glorious emender of Euripides, the keen-sighted penetrator of the mysteries of old Greek choruses, the lynx-eyed hero of longs and shorts, in this most satisfactory performance, the non-completion of which is, in the opinion of the Reverend Thomas Frognall Dibdin, so deeply to be regretted."
Read, benevolent reader, what I transcribe from this great man's edition; read, and trust your eyes.
"SONG BY A PERSON OF QUALITY. (1)
Gentle Cupid, o'er my heart;
Nature must give way to Art.
"(1) This song is ascribed to Swift, in Sheridan's edition, vol. viii. p. 168. I am not able to ascertain the author, nor would it reflect much honour on the genius of either. It seems disjointed and obscure.
“(2) purple_pinions.]—Ovid speaks of purple Cupid, and Milton says, with inimitable elegance, Par. Lost, iv. 763:
"Here Love his golden shafts employs; here lights
"(3) Nature must give way to Art.]-What is the propriety of this observation? and what its application to the present subject ?"
Is it not a sweet thing, Christopher, to see one ass clawing another's ears in this amiable manner?
Certainly. Go on. C. N.