Obrázky na stránke

while I gave my interesting visiter a segar. He took it in his hand, smelt at it, and then put it into his waistcoat pocket with a smile of infinite satisfaction. I took another segar from the case, and having lighted it, I put it into his hand. He carried it also directly towards his nose, but in its way thither the red glare of the burning end of it caught his eye, (which is perfectly aware of light, although not of form,) and arrested his hand. He looked at it for a moment, turned it round, and having extinguished it between his finger and his thumb, he put it also into his pocket with the air of being much amused.

I was then convinced that he had never before met with a segar, and that he knew it only as tobacco. I therefore prepared another, lighted it, smoked two or three whiffs, so as to make him sensible of the odour, and then taking his hand, I put it into it, and guided it to his mouth. He now at once comprehended matters, and began whiffing away with great delight. But the fumes of the tobacco ascending from the burning end of the segar, stimulated his eye, and gave him pain ; yet he was not to be defeated by this circumstance ; for, retaining the segar between his fore-finger and thumb, he stretched up his middle finger, and keeping his eyelid close with it, he went on smoking, until I judged it proper to remore the end of the segar from his mouth when it was nearly finished. By this time Lady Lauder came in, and I begged that the children might be brought. I took each of them to him in succession, and he patted their heads; but the ceremony, though tolerated, seemed to give him little pleasure. A tray now appeared, and I led him to a seat at the table. I put a napkin on his knee, and comprehending what he was to be employed in, he drew his chair very close to the table, as if to prevent accident to the carpet, and spread the napkin so as to protect his clothes. I helped him to some broth, and guided his spoon for two or three times, after which I left him to himself, when he leaned over the table, and continued to eat the broth without spilling any of it, groping for the bread, and eating slice after slice of it with seeming appetite. The truth was, he had been wandering for some days, had been at Ardelach, his native place, had had a long walk that morning, and was very hungry. My house, you know, is seventeen miles from Nairn. I then cut some cold meat for him, and he helped himself to it very adroitly with his fork, drinking beer from time to time as he wanted it, without losing a drop of it. After he had finished, he sat for a few minutes, and then he arose as if he wished to go. I then gave him a glass of wine, and each of us having shaken him by the hand, he moved towards the door, where I


got him his hat, and taking him by the arm, I led him down the approach to the lodge. Having made him aware of the obstruction which the gate presented, I opened it for him, led him into the road, and giving his arm a swing in the direction I wished him to take, I shook hands with him again, and he moved away at a good round pace as I had indicated.

Some years ago Mitchell paid a visit to Relugas, but I was unfortunately from home at the time, and as he was known to no one else, his awkward gait occasioned his being mistaken. for a drunk or insane person, and the doors being shut against him he went away. He never repeated his visit until the late occasion ; but I am not without hope, that the kind treatment he last met with may induce him to come here the next time he takes a ramble. His countenance is so intelligent, and its expression in every respect so good, that he interested every individual of the family, and delighted us all.

Will you have the goodness to say to Mr. Stewart, with my best compliments, that I consider myself highly honoured by his application to me. I have given him all the circumstances I can at present remember ; and I beg you will assure him, that should he have any queries to propose, it will give me great pleasure to satisfy him to the best of my power, and I hope he will have no scruple in commanding my services. Believe me, my dear Napier,

Ever yours most sincerely,

(Signed) Thos. Dick LAUDER. After reading the foregoing letters, (the minutest details in which were to me deeply interesting,) I could not help feeling much additional regret at the failure of the plan which I had formed for attempting the farther education of Mitchell. See pp. 285, 289 of this Volume. His intellectual capacity (manifested in that prudential sagacity which has been the gradual result of his very limited experience, and still more remarkably in that foresight which enables him to look forward with dread to the possibility of future contingencies) seems to me now to be far superior to what I had previously apprehended. How invaluable was the opportunity which has been thus lost of adding to the Natural History of the Human Mind! No exertion certainly wàs wanting on my part, aided by the cordial co-operation of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, to accomplish the objects we had in view.



Note (A.) p. 125.

The following anecdote of Campanella is told by an old French author, who represents himself as having been an eye-witness of the particulars he relates. As I have never happened to see the. book in the original, I shall copy the words of the English translator, whose work, I believe, is seldom to be met with but in the libraries of the curious.

“ If a man endeavour to counterfeit any other man's countenance, and that he fancy himselfe to have his haire, eyes, nose, “ mouth, and all other parts like him; and, in a word, if he ima“ gine himselfe to be like him in his physiognomy, he may by this

mean's come to know what his natural inclinations, and what his " thoughts are, by the same which he finds in himselfe, during the “ time of this his making of faces. This opinion is grounded upon “the experience of Campanella, who expresseth himselfe in these " words: • Cum quis hominem videt, statim imaginari oportet, se “ nasum habere, ut alter habet, et pilum, et vultum, et frontem, et “ locutionem : et tunc qui affectus, et cogitationes in hac cogita“ tione illi obrepunt, judicat homini illi esse proprios, quem ita

imaginando contuetur. Hoc non absque ratione et experientia. Spiritus enim format corpus, et juxta affectus innatos ipsum fin

git, exprimitque. (De Sensu Rerum et Magia.) I alwais “ thought that the opinion of Campanella was, that a man should " only imagine himselfe to have the same countenance with the 6 other, as his words seem to mean; but when I was at Rome, un“ derstanding that he was brought into the Inquisition, I did, out “ of curiosity to be satisfied in this particular, take the pains to “ visit him there. Being therefore in the company of some abbots,

we were brought to the chamber where he was ; who, as soon as " he perceived us, came to us, and entreated us to have a little

patience till he had ended a little note, which he was writing to “ Cardinal Magaloti. When we were sate down, we observed him “ oftentimes to make certain wry faces, which we conceived to

proceed either from folly, or else from some pain that the vio6 lence of the torments which he had endured put him to ; the

calves of his legs being all beaten black and blue, and his but“ tocks having hardly any flesh on them; it having been taken “ from him, piece-meal, to the end they might force him to confess “ the crimes that he was accused of. But a learned German will

shortly publish the history of his life and misfortunes. To re“ turn, then, to our purpose, one of our company, amongst other “discourse, asking him if he felt no pain, he smiling, answered “no. And supposing that we had been something troubled at the

wry faces which he made, he told us that, at our coming in he “ fancied himself to be Cardinal Magaloti, as he had heard him “ described. And he asked us withal, if he were not a very “ hairy man. Now I, who had before read that passage in his “ book, which I have before set down, presently conceived that “ these wry faces are altogether necessary for to be able to judge “ aright of another man's natural inclination. I shall not here set “ down what passed betwixt us in this interview, because it is “ wholly besides my present subject.”—(Unheard of Curiosities, &c. &c. Written in French, by James Gaffarel, and Englished by Edmund Chilmead, chaplaine of Christ-Church, Oxon. pp. 174, 175, 176. London, 1650.)

To this book, (which possesses very little merit of any kind, being full of the follies of astrology, the following testimony is prefixed by the translator, from Leo Allatius, author of a work entitled, Äpes Urbana. “ Curiosus hic liber intra sex menses ter “ fuit editus: bis Parisiis, et semel alia Galliarum in Urbe inno“ minatâ.” The only copy of the translation that has fallen in my way is in the library of the Earl of Minto.

Note (B.) p. 194.

“ The figur'd brass, the choral song," &c. &c.,

Akenside's Ode to sleep.

These lines, and various other passages in this poet's works, will be read with additional interest, when it is known that they were not suggested entirely by fancy. I allude to those passages where he betrays a secret consciousness of powers adapted to a higher station in life than fell to his lot. Akenside, when a student at Edinburgh, was a member of the Medical Society, then recently formed,* and was eminently distinguished by the eloquence which he displayed in the course of the debates. Dr. Robertson (who was at that time a student of divinity in the same university) told me that he was frequently led to attend their meetings, chiefly to hear the speeches of Akenside ; the great object of whose ambition then was a seat in Parliament, a situation which he was sanguine enough to flatter himself he had some pros

* I was informed by the late Dr. James Gregory (whose father, Dr. John Gregory, was a contemporary and an intimate friend of Akenside's,) that in this Society the doctrines of the great Boerhaave were first overthrown.

« PredošláPokračovať »