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to health, or an equilibrium is regained. To this part of the work the author would call the particular attention of the medical profession. It cannot be too strongly insisted upon and enforced on all occasions, that in all investigations as to the real and true nature or condition of things, the power of the Almighty does not come up at all; it is a subject with which we have nothing to do in this examination. No mind of ordinary intelligence would for a moment think of calling in question a power which the Infinite alone expresses. When it has been unfolded to us by the science of astronomy, that from our planet here we can look forth through boundless space, and behold rolling there one hundred millions of worlds, the extent of thousands of which have been accurately measured, and surpass our own in size hundreds of thousands of times ;-when we find systems revolving round systems, some of whose orbits are so immense that it takes eighteen millions two hundred thousand years to complete a revolution ;when we find that the immensity of space is so great, and that part of tion, which is open to our view, so vast, that no calculation or conception of it can be made or formed by us;—when it is told us this is by no means the extent of the universe of God, on the contrary, that like him it is boundless, infinite, and that all we see is only in comparison one atom of his works;—when we see this vast infinitude of worlds moving in such perfect order and harmony—that their motion is music, and their being life; -when we see them balanced and sustained in space by the operation of this law of gravitation, which attracts every particle of matter in the universe with a force proportionate to its solid contents, directly and inversely in proportion as the square of its distance ;-when we see the nature of their being so perfect, that they seem to require no extraneous power to sustain them in their relationship to each other ;-when we go back thousands of millions, and millions of billions, and billions of quintillions of years in time, and find we are no nearer the beginning of the existence of this great creating power ;—when we find that he is an eternal present; that to him there is no time, nor place, nor distance, nor measure-no future, no past—that to him the future can reveal nothing, nor the past conceal—that with him there is no passing away of time, no renewal of being—that a thousand years are as one day, and one day as a thousand years—that, in short, all is an eternal present. When, I say, we see and know all this, for us to undertake to make a question of his power, as far as it relates to any thing here, is the folly of a fool, the part of a madman. Our business is to ascertain the direct and permanent manifestations of this great creating power. All things that relate in any shape or manner to material being, and our existence here, are reducible to immediate and visible causes, and are as susceptible of proof, or rather as self-evident, as that twice 2 are 4; and I fearlessly assert that nothing can come into being, or go out of being ; that nothing can change place, exist or cease to exist, but what is assignable to a direct and immediate cause. That there is no mystery connected with anything, so far as this world and our existence in it goes—that is to say, no more mystery in one thing than another thing; and all is explained in a few words. What exists, exists from the essential principles of matter, and the essential principles of matter exists because they were so created ; and there are scarce any but what have sufficient capacity to trace the cause of one thing to the cause of another thing. Let us take, for an example, a man who, by some accident, has broken bis leg. Now learn the cause of this; the circumstances are these :-the man is a mason; he standing on a scaffold laying bricks; the scaffolding not being equal to sustain his weight, gives way, and he with it falls to the earth, and his leg is broken. But this is not the cause of his leg being broken
after all; the real cause is the operation of certain laws of nature.It takes, for instance, a certain force to resist a certain force. The force or strength of the scaffolding was not equal to the force or weight of the man ; the weaker gives way to the greater ; the laws of gravitation bring both to the earth. The material of the scaffolding is uninjured, while the man's leg is broken; the cause of which is the difference of organization. The wood is not injured, because its force or strength is greater than the force opposed to it, when it strikes the earth. The man's leg, however, yields, because its force or strength is overcome by a greater, and is broken. Is there any mystery here? Certainly not. In order for such a train of circumstances not to be followed by such a train of causes, all these laws would necessarily have been suspended, which we know is never done. For further illustration, take some of the many steamboat explosions that are constantly occurring on the Mississippi River, where hundreds lose their life. What is the cause ? Merely by opposing force to force; and the greater overcoming the lesser, the cohesive force (or power, for it is the same) of the boiler gives way to the expansive force of steam. The force or power of the caloric contained in the steam, is greater than the force of resistance in the organization of man; the greater again overcomes the weaker, and the man is destroyed, or as we say, scalded to death; or a projectile force given to some surrounding splinters may come in contact with him, and destroy his life in the same way; or the boat may sink, and the man coming in contact with the water violates his relationship to life, for he cannot live in the water, and the force of the element overcomes his force of resistance, and we say he was drowned. Is there any mystery here? None, whatever. The relationship of material being have all been violated, the result is, material being ceases to be. Su in relation to railroad accidents, and all other events commonly known by accidents; they all grow out of permitting one force to become opposed to another force, in such a way as to cause either injury or death. The causes are all self-evident. There is no mystery growing out of any of these instances. All things come to pass by the operation of well known and established laws; and the law of opposing forces is the cause of action in all things, not only applying to this world, but to all which we have any knowledge of, lying away off in the depths of illimitable space. The law of gravitation or force, acting on a projectile force, the strength of the two forces results in their revolving around the sun, in an elliptic, instead of flying off through space. If the law of opposing forces should be responded, the whole universe would pause, and everything in our own world would remain stationary; every human being would remain in precisely the same position as they were in when this law was suspended. Life in every thing would be extinct, yet no change of the body would take place, because nothing can change without a force. Life is the product of contending forces, and the moment the contention ceased, life would cease. Let us view, for a moment, the world thus situated. Every one walking in the street would remain standing upright, a step partly taken, the mouth partly opened to speak, the smile on the lip-all would remain precisely the same; nothing could move either one way or the other, because there would be no force to move it—nothing could either fall to the earth or from the earth. What a picture! The man at bis merchandise, and the man at his trade—the minister in his desk-the physician beside his patient—the carriages in the streets-horses, drivers and occupants, all, all remaining fixed, stationary, lifeless. From opposing forces there spring beings, and by them it is continued ; the proof of which is, that the moment they should cease or be suspended, all would be stopped.
ODDS AND ENDS FROM A PORTFOLIO.
SOME DOMESTIC PECULIARITIES OF AUTHORS.
Sir E. Bulwer Lytton says, that “authors are the only men we ever really do know—the rest of mankind die with only the surface of their character understood.” This sentiment admits of qualification ; for we are told by another literary authority, that the reverse is no less proverbial. With a view to aid the reader in resolving the enigma, we propose to group together a few random characteristic facts connected with the private habits of literary men; more especially, as everything regarding their movements and peculiarities is full of interest.
We profess to abide by no strict rule of classification, but shall at once dash in medias res with our subject. It seems doctors are not the only parties, in this striving and struggling world, who disagree. Writers deserve to be classed under the same category, as is clearly evinced by the paradox of our first sentence, and also in the well-known and oft-repeated dictum of a certain scribe, that "genius is allied to madness," as contrasted with the pleasanter view of the subject, by Charles Lamb, in his beautiful essay on “ The Sanity of True Genius.” " So far from the position holding true,” he says, " that great wit (for genius in our modern way of speaking,) has a necessary alliance with insanity, the greatest wits on the con. trary will even be found to be the sanest writers.” It is impossible for the mind to conceive of a mad Shakspeare. The greatness of wit, by which the poetic talent is here to be chiefly understood, manifests itself in the admirable balance of all the faculties, Madness is the disproportion or excess of any one of them. Says Cowley, speaking of a poetical friend :
“So strong a wit did nature in him frame,
Our modern acceptation of the term wil is, however, susceptible of a somewhat different signification ; with us, it stands as an equivalent for humor. And here we are reminded of some observations, by a recent writer in the Edinburgh Review, on the union of this faculty, with scientific attainments, &c, Paradoxical," he says, "as the statement may at first sight appear to many who have been accustomed to consider wisdom and wit as dwelling apart, we doubt whether there is any one attribute so conimon to the highest order of mind, whether scientific or imaginative, as some form or other of this quality. The names of Bacon, Plato, Shakspeare, Pascal, Johnson, Byron, Scott, and many more, will instantly occur to the reader. It is true, that the history of the species reveals to us minds so exclusively devoted to the abstrusest branches of science, or so incessantly immersed in them, that if they possess the faculty of wit at all, it is never developed. Aristotle and Newton—though some of the few sayings of the former, which tradition has preserved, are not a little racy-may be named as examples. But in general, and the whole history of science and literature will show, that this attribute, in one or other of its thousand varieties, has formed an alınost perpetual accompaniment of the finest order of minds. And we may add, that a priori, we should expect it to be so. That same activity of suggestion, and aptitude for reflecting resemblances, analogies and differences, which qualify genius for making discoveries in science, or under different modifications for evoking the creations of imagination, may well be supposed not to desert their possessor, when, for playful purposes, and in moments of relaxation, he exercises himself in the detection of the analogies on which wit and drollery are founded. Yet clear as this truth seems to be, and strongly as it is corroborated by the history of genius, the opposite opinion has been, we believe, oftener expressed, and the highest order of mind
pronounced incompatible with such a conjunction. Hood was a case in point : his exquisite pathos, in one of his best poems—the " Song of the Shirl"—is doubtless unexcelled by any of his happiest puns and witicisms. That poem was the fruit of actual observation,-its graphic details having been derived from a sad instance of suffering and sorrow with which the writer became personally conversant. The same may be remarked of the like characteristics of the inimitable Dickens—he paints, it is well known, from actual life, and hence the wonderful truthfulness and versimilitude of his portraits. “I have been told," says a lady, " that on one occasion he wore a paper cap and a white apron, and sold peuknives with fourteen blades for a whole week at the Elephant & Castle,' purposely to study at his leisure the characteristics of tigers' and .omnibus cads." We learn from the same source, that Grant, the author of the “Great Metropolis," made himself a martyr to tea and toast, having visited most of the numerous coffee houses of London for the purpose of testing the respective merits of each ; and it is said, in consequence of his prodigal indulgence of the beverage, that he cannot now abide the sight of it. D'Israeli, “the younger,” previously to his writing “ Coningsby," was in the habit of daily visiting the purlieus of Holywell-street Strand--the locale of such as make merchandise of “old clo'.” He would sometimes take with him a dingy coat, or worn-out vest, or seedy pair of pants, as an excuse for courting a little colloquy with some of the venerable Hebrew patriarchs of that vicinity, and thus derived much materiel for the work referred to. Similar cases, of authors painting from living models, might be added; but we could also cite instances vastly more numerous, of precisely the opposite character, proving a preference of the ideal over the real : such as tourists, who describe the antipodes while lounging by their own fireside, and many other such like freaks. While on the subject of associations, it is worthy of remark, that circumstances have much to do with the true relish and understanding of an author; as much influence, indeed, as that afforded by the accompaniment of pictorial embellishments, which address the eye as directly as the text impresses the mind. It is justice to an author or artist to study his productions in connection with the attributes and circumstances of the age in which he lived. “Milton arose," says an elegant critical writer, " and struck the harp, while the sun of the reformation was high up in its zenith; and from this fact, as well as from the splendor of his productions, he has been considered the representative of the revival of letters and the poet-laureate of Protestantism. Cowper, Burns and Scott, belong to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—to different strata of society : one was the type of refinement and piety—the second, the bard of the people, and the analyst of rural joys—and the third, the wizard spirit of battle and feudal times." By viewing them, then, in connection with the age to which they belonged, and which they illumed, we shall have a clue to many beauties which otherwise might remain wholly obscured. Besides, the region of thought will become more widely expanded, and that which before would appear but as merely episodical, becomes, with these requisite accessories, an integral part of the great drama. We proposed, however, to notice a few of the domestic peculiarities of the literary profession, and as we have been digressing, must now return.
It has been remarked, that the greatest men are frequently found among the most timid and credulous ; the most trivial circumstances sometimes producing results which appear necessarily to have no connection with them. Dr. Johnson, it is stated, used to put one foot upon each stone of the pavement in coming up BoltCourt ; if he failed, he felt certain the day would be unpropitious. Another peculiarity of the "great colossus” was his inveterate habit of biting his nails,-an evidence of his irritability and nervous excitement. We know of some victims of this besetting sin of later times, who seem to be fuscinated by this most unaccountable nibbling propensity. Buffon, the naturalist, wrote only when in full dress; Dr. Routh, of Oxford, studied in full canonicals ; while others are said to have enjoyed the full afflatus of inspiration under the privation of certain portions of their usual apparel. Reiseg, the German critic, wrote his Commentaries on Sophocles with a pot of porter by his side ; and he was not the only instance of the kind, as we suppose the reader well knows. Schlegel lectured, at the age of seventy-two, extempore in Latin, with his snuff-box constantly in his hand; without it he could not get on. Menage, while science covered his cranium with laurels, used himself to cover his feet with a prodigious number of stockings.
Magliabeschi, of Tuscany, had a wonderful penchant for spiders, the webs of which he would not suffer to be disturbed. He seldom was without these chosen companions of his studies, not even at his meals, or during his nocturnal slumbers. Virgil was so excessively addicted 10 salt, (not attic.) that he is said to have been seldom without a supply, in which he indulged as the devotee to snuff tittillates his olfactories. Milton used to sit in his easy chair with his legs flung over the elbow. He frequently composed in bed in the morning; but when he could not sleep during the night, not one line could be made to flow from his Orphean muse; at other times his unpremeditated effusions were easy, with certain impetus and æstrum, as he himself used to believe. Then, whatever the hour, he rang for his daughter to commit them to paper. He would sometimes dictate from twenty to forty lines without pausing, and afterwards elaborate them to half the number. Burns used to woo his muse in the open field, and sometimes at night while stargazing. Young wrote his “ Night Thoughts," with a skull and a candle in it, by his side : an association that may, to some extent, account for the seeming ascetism of his vigorous verse. Among other favorite pastimes, that of gardening seems to have largely obtained with the learned ; it was common among the classic poets and philosophers, as well as the moderns. An English writer on this subject has collected some curious facts, which will illustrate our point, and from which we quote from the following paragraph. Lord Bacon seems to have done more towards encouraging a love for gardens, than almost any other writer :
“In Lord Bacon's style of living, there was something which struck his contemporaries as pecaliarly magnificent. The secret was, that he did everything in a high and natural taste. In compartments of his rooms, he had pictures painted on the walls from the stories of Grecian mythology. His garden was laid out, after the ideal pattern in his essays, with evergreens and other shrubs, to suit every month in the year. His feeling indeed for nature, was the main side on which his great philosophy ran into poetry; and vented itself in a very graceful as well as grand enthusiasm, befitting one of the high priests of wisdom. He was fond of meditating in groves, after the custom of his predecessors of antiquity; and when he sat down to his studies in the house, he would often have music in the next room. He had the flowers and sweet herbs in season, regularly set upon his table, to refresh his spirits,' and took such delight in being abroad among the elements, that riding in an open carriage during the rain, he would take off his hat to let the shower come upon his head, and say that he seemed to feel the spirit of the universe upon him.
"The association of gardening with pastoral poetry, was exemplified in Shenstone's design of Leasowes- as Mr. Whately observes a perfect picture of his mind, simple, elegant, and amiable, and which will always suggest a doubt whether the spot inspired his verses, or whether in the scenes which he form.d, he only realized the pastoral images which abound in his songs. That elegant trifler, Horace Walpole, was enthusiastically fond of gardening. One day, telling his nurseryman that he would have his trees planted irregularly, he replied: "Yes, sir, I understand ; you would have them hung down-somewhat poetical.”
Sir William Temple has many eloquent passages on this subject ; in one of which he styles gardening "the inclination of kings, the choice of philosophers, and the common favorite of public and private men; a pleasure of the greatest, and the care of the meanest ; and, indeed, an employment and a possession, for which no man is too high or too low.” Another quaint perman asks whither do men walk the most for recreation, but where the earth has most beneficially painted her face with flourishing colors. Sir William Temple says, Epicurus studied, exercised, and taught his philosophy in his garden; and Milton, we know, passed many hours in his garden at Chalfort.
Cowley poured forth the greatness of his soul in his rural retreat at Chertsey ; Cowper at Olney ; and Pope, in one of his letters, says, “ I am in my garden, amused and easy; this is a scene where one finds no disappointment.” Within the same neighborhood Thompson
“Sang the seasons and their change." Without adding to the catalogue of illustrious names, no less devoted to Florą than the Muses, we prefer to mention one or two cases of a different kind—the devotees to a weed yclept tobacco.