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Fuentes D'Onoro. The work is by far too bulky, speaking merely of the number and size of its volumes : but what is worse, it is essentially a compilation clumsily constructed, consisting of extracts which laborious reading and note-taking have supplied, instead of the essence of the whole being present to the author's mind, and cast in a new and characteristic
ouid. Mr. Alison is deficient not merely as regards conciseness and force, but comprehensiveness and depth of thought. He is superficial as to matter, and most diffuse as well as long-winded in diction.
His political creed also seems frequently to divert his mind from the recognition and contemplation of Arst principles and remote causes. Some of his descriptions, such as his battle-pieces, have vividness about them; and here the verbosity of the rhetorician is less objectionable than when he attempts to speculate. Take a view of the field of Eckmuhl while still fresh and unstained :
“As they arrived on the top of the hills of Lintach, which separate the valley of the Iser from that of the Laber, the French, who came up from Landshut, beheld the field of battle stretched out like a map before them, From the marshy meadows which bordered the shores of the Laber, rose a succession of hills, one above another, in the form of an amphitheatre, with their slopes cultivated and diversified by bamlets, and beautiful forests clothing the higher ground. The villages of Echmuhl and Laichling, separated by a large copsewood, appeared in view, with the great road to Ratisbon winding up the acclivities behind them. The meadows were green with the first colours of spring ; the osiers and willows, which fringed the streams that intersected them, were just bursting into leaf; and the trees which bordered the roadside already cast an agreeable shade upon the dusty and beaten highway which lay beneath their boughs. The French soldiers involuntarily paused as they arrived at the summit, to gaze on this varied and interesting scene; but soon other emotions than those of admiration of nature swelled the breasts of the warlike multitude who thronged to the spot. In the intervals of these woods, artillery was to be seen; amidst those villages standards were visible; and long white lines, with the glancing of helmets and bayonets on the higher ground, showed columns of Rosenberg and Hohenzollern already in battle array, in very advan. tageous positions, on the opposite side of the valley. Joyfully the French troops descended into the low ground; while the Emperor galloped to the front, and, hastily surveying the splendid but intricate scene, immediately formed his plan of attack."
Art. XXIV.-Hood's Own. No. XII. London: Baily and Co. This Number, the appearance of which has been delayed in consequenee of the bad health of its versatile and inexhaustibly humorous author, completes a volume which alone would build a temple to his fame. We have, however, so often expressed our opinion of Mr. Hood's peculiar genius and productions that it would be but repeating ourselves were we to return to the subject. It will be more acceptable, if, in the present instance, we allow our author to tell a slight portion of his own story, and give an anecdote or two of his old associates.
We learn that Mr. Hood commenced a professional career as an engraver. But he had a bias, it seems, towards literature, and actually became subeditor of the “ London Magazine," on the death of John Scott. His dreams were now all about the articles he provided,—his hopes and delights were in " our Contributors." He says,
“ How I used to look forward to Elia! and backward for Hazlitt, and all round for Edward Herbert, and how I used to look up to Allan Cunningham! for at that time the London had a goodly list of writers—a rare company. It is now defunct, and, perhaps no ex-periodical might so appropriately be apostrophized with the Irish funeral question— Arrah, honey, why did you die ?' Had you not an editor, and elegant prose writers, and beautiful poets, and broths of boys for criticisms and classics, and wits and humorists-- Elia, Cary, Procter, Cunningham, Bowring, Barton, Hazlitt, Elton, Hartley, Coleridge, Talfourd, Soane, Horace Smith, Reynolds, Poole, Clare, and Thomas Benyon, with a power besides. Hadn't
Lion's heads with traditional tales ? Hadn't you an Opium Eater, and a Dwarf, and a Giant, and a Learned Lamb, and a Green Man? Had not you a regular Drama, and a Musical Report, and a Report of Agriculture, and an Obituary, and a Price Current, and a current price, of only half-a-crown? Arrah, why did you die? Why, somehow the contributors fell away—the concern went into other hands-worst of all, a new editor tried to put the Belles Lettres in Utilitarian envelopes; whereupon, the circulation of the Miscellany, like that of poor La Fevre, got slower, slower, slower,—and slower still—and then stopped for ever!"
Of Clare, and another self-taught poet, we have these further notices after the writer's own droll, kind, and sympathetic style
“ There was much about Clare for a Quaker to like; he was tenderhearted, and averse to violence. How he recoiled, once, bodily-taking his chair along with him,--from a young surgeon, or surgeon's friend, who let drop, somewhat abruptly, that he was just come · from seeing a child skinned !--Clare, from his look of horror, evidently thought that the poor infant, like Marsyas, had been flayed alive! He was both gentle and simple. I have heard that on his first visit to London, his publisher considerately sent their porter to meet him at the inn; but when Thomas necessarily inquired of the gentleman in green, 'Are you Mr. Clare ?' the latter, willing to foil the traditionary tricks of London sharpers, replied to the suspicious query with a positive negative. The Brobdignaggian next to Clare, overtopping him by the whole head and shoulders--a physical Colossus of Literature,' the grenadier of our corps—is Allan Cunningham, 'a credit, quoth Sir Walter Scott (he might have said a long credit) 'to Caledonia.' He is often called 'honest Allan,' to distinguish him, perhaps, from one Allan-a-Dale, who was apt to mistake his neighbours' goods for his own-sometimes, between ourselves, yclept the 'C. of Solway,' in allusion to that favourite. Allan Water,' the Solway Sea. There is something of the true moody poetical weather observable in the barometer of his face, alternating from Variable to Showery, from Stormy to Set Fair. At times he looks gloomy and earnest and traditional--a little like a Covenanterbut he suddenly clears up and laughs a hearty laugh that lifts him an inch or two from his chair, for he rises at a joke when he sees one, like a trout
at a fly, and finishes with a smart rubbing of his ample palms. He has store, too, of broad Scotch stories, and shrewd sayings; and he writes—no, he wrote rare old-new or new old ballads. Why not now? Has his Pegasus, as he once related of his pony, run from under him? Has the Mermaid of Galloway left no little ones? Is Bonnie Lady Ann married, or May Morison dead? Thou wast formed for a poet, Allan, by nature, and by stature too, according to Pope
* To snatch a grave beyond the reach of Art.'” Of Charles Lamb and his manners towards his visitors we learn, in reference to Colebrooke Cottage society, -a “ House of Call for all Denominations,”-that
“ Men of all parties postponed their partisanship, and met there as on a neutral ground. There were but two persons, whom L. avowedly did not wish to encounter beneath his roof, and those two, merely on account of private and family differences. For the rest, they left all their hostilities at the door, with their sticks. This forbearance was due to the truly tolerant spirit of the Host, which influenced all within its sphere. Lamb, whilst he willingly lent a crutch to halting Humility, took delight in tripping up the stilts of Pretension. Anybody might trot out his Hobby; but he allowed nobody to ride the High Horse. If it was a High German one, he would chant
Is a great Beauty.' till the rider moderated his gallop. He hated anything like Cock-of-theWalk-ism ; and set his face and his wit against all Ultraism, Transcendentalism, Sentimentalism, Conventional Mannerism, and above all, Separatism. In opposition to the Exclusives he was emphatically an Inclusive. As he once owned to me, he was fond of antagonising. Indeed in the sketch of himself, prefacing the Last Essays of Elia, he says, with the Religionist I pass for a Free-thinker, while the other faction set me down for a Bigot.' In fact, no politician ever laboured more to preserve the Balance of Power in Europe, than he did to correct any temporary preponderances. He was always trimming in the nautical, not in the political, sense."
Such are specimens of the pleasant gossip, amusing anecdotes, spirited sketches, and benign sentiment, that diversify and enrich the concluding Number of this very original and extended production.
Art. XXV.-Medical Notes and Reflections. By Henry HOLLAND,
M.D., Physician Extraordinary to the Queen, &c. London: LongHere we have the fruits of long and extensive medical practice, study and observation, by one of the most eminent physicians in England. Novelty is not the pretension of these Notes and Reflections ; but abundance, variety, and plainness, so as to serve popular as well as professional and scientific purposes. Throughout, the predominance of common senseviews, sedate judgment, and practical sagacity, is particularly apparent and satisfactory. A better antidote against quackery cannot be offered than this book. The Doctor does not attempt to point out how the human
constitution can be supported or renovated by violent attempts to master Nature, but rather how by judicious treatment she may be soothed, aided, and encouraged in her efforts.
Some of the chapters involve curious speculations; such as those in which the author treats of Epidemics, of Insect Life, and its connection with Disease, &c. Others are practical, and of a more popular character; as when Diet, Digestion, Exercise, &c., are the themes. Among this latter class of papers, there is one on the “Points where a Patient may judge for Himself,” that will afford a fair specimen of the Doctor's matter and manner :
"First-The patient may always safely choose a temperature for himself; and inconvenience in most cases, positive harm in many, will be the effect of opposing that which he desires. His feeling here is rarely, if ever, that of theory; though too often contradicted by what is merely such. It represents in him a definite state of the body, in which the alteration of temperature desired is that best adapted for relief, and the test of its fitness usually found in the advantage resulting from the change. This rule may be taken as applicable to all fevers, even to those of the exanthematous kind ; where, with an eruption on the skin, the balance between the outer and inner surfaces of the body, and the risk of repression, might seem, and actually are, of greatest importance.' In whatever stage the eruption be, if the patient expressly seeks for a cooler atmosphere or cooling applications, they may be fully conceded to him, without a fear of ill result; and under the guidance chiefly of his feelings as to the time during which their use may be continued. Except in some cases of vitiated sensation from nervous disease, I have scarcely ever known the judgment of a patient practically wrong on these points ; and in this case of exception the error itself is of very little consequence.
“ Secondly—In the majority of instances of actual illness, provided the real feelings of the patient can be ascertained, his desires as to food and drink may safely be complied with. Whatever be the physical causes of the relation (and they are yet beyond our research), the stomach itself is the best expounder of the general and more urgent wants of the system in this particular. But undoubtedly much care is needful that we be not deceived as to the state of the appetites, by what is merely habit or wrong impression on the part of the patient, or the effect of the solicitation of others. This class of sensations is much more nurtured out of the course of nature than are those which relate to the temperature of the body. The mind too becomes much more deeply engaged with them ; and though in acute illness they are generally submitted again to the natural law, there are many lesser cases where enough remains of the leaven of habit to render every precaution needful. With such precautions, however, which every physician who can take schooling from experience will employ, the stomach of the patient becomes a valuable guide-whether it dictate abstinence from or recurrence to food—whether much or little in quantity-whether what is solid or liquid—whether much drink or little—whether things warm or cold—whether sweet, acid, or saline-whether bland or stimulating to the taste. As respects limitation of food, indeed, the 'tempestiva absti
nentia' is often with the patient himself an urgent suggestion of nature, especially in cases where fever is present. It is a part of the provision for cure which we hold in our hands; and if not sufficiently regarded, all other remedies lose greatly of their value. Here, then, we are called upon to maintain the cause of the patient, for such it truly is, against the mistaken importunities which surround him, and which it sometimes requires much firmness to put aside. It is not wholly paradoxical to say that we are authorized to give greatest heed to the stomach, when it suggests some seeming extravagance of diet. It may be that this is a mere depravation of the sense of taste ; but frequently it expresses an actual need of the stomach, either in aid of its own functions, or indirectly, under the mysterious law just referred to, for the effecting of changes in the whole mass of blood. It is a good practical rule in such cases to withhold assent, till we find, after a certain lapse of time, that the same desire continues or strongly recurs ; in which case it may generally be taken as an index of the fitness of the thing desired for the actual state of the organs. In the early stage of recovery from long gastric fevers, I recollect many curious instances of such contrariety to all rule being aequiesced in, with manifest good to the patient."
“Thirdly-As regards exertion of body, posture, continuance in bed or otherwise, the sick may generally be allowed their own judgment, provided it is seen to be one dependent on bodily feelings alone. And so equally with respect to fresh air, methods of exercise, and times of repose. In these things, as on points of diet, suggestions, founded on careful notice of the feelings of the patient, and watchfulness as to the effect of the first trials, are all that is required from the physician ; and more than this often does mischief. I have often witnessed the ill effects of minute interference in such matters ; whether arising from excess of caution, or from the mischievous spirit of governing everything by medical rule and authority; without appeal to the feelings of the patient, even where these may securely be taken in evidence. The most important exception to this rule is in certain nervous and dyspeptic disorders of chronic kind, where it is needful to urge bodily exertion upon the patient, in contradiction to his own sensations, and sometimes even where the first trials are seemingly unsuccessful. With moderate care in observation, the tests of fitness here are so simple that there can be little chance of any error leading to injurious consequences. As respects mental exertion during illness or convalescence, much more caution is needful. Here the patient is usually less able to estimate his own power, and is more entirely at the discretion of those around him. The present condition of life among the higher classes produces as much of evil from excesses of moral and intellectual excitement, as from those of the stomach; and it is equally difficult to place watch and reasonable restraint upon them. In these instances, and they are of constant occurrence, the judgment of the physician, as well as firmness in his manner of interference, are urgently required. But in ordinary cases, and under more tranquil methods of life, he may leave much to the discretion and feeling of power in the patient himself; with the simple injunction that this feeling should be duly consulted before any change is made.”