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given. Lautaro, that he may not fight against his countrymen, is placed by Valdivia apart from the engagement, with the good Anselmo : but, in the heat of the battle, he sees a Chilian warrior down,
• Upon whose features Memory seem'd to trace,
A faint resemblance of his father's face,' and a Spanish horseman above, in act to strike.' He springs forward, dispatches the Spaniard, rallies his yielding countrymen, puts himself at their head, and gains a complete victory. Valdivia and the Missionary are taken prisoners. The former falls a prey to the revenge of the Indians; but Lautaro manages to save the life of Anselmo.
Of course the hero is received by his countrymen with all possible joy.
His father had been killed in the battle ; but he finds his sister, and discovers his wife and boy, who had wandered from Lima to seek him. The party return to the home of the old warrior, where they inter his bones; and Anselmo declares, that his bones shall likewise be interred in the same spot. And so the poem closes.
There is, as we said before, little of character and passion in all this, and not one person about whom we feel in the slightest degree interested. Still there is much that pleases: there is a power of description, and the style is certainly elegant. The İndian assembly is strongly painted.
• Far in the centre of the deepest wood,
And long wild locks, in the red blaze were seen,' p. 53. The description of morning, with which the fifth canto opens, is pleasing and appropriate.
• 'Tis now rare dawn :—the Andes' distant spires,
We add the description of Anselmo's cell.
• Fronting the ocean, but beyond the ken
Of public view, and sounds of murm'ring men,
“ To count, with passing shade, the hours,
“ Its pensive moral to thy heart!"
Here, every human sorrow hush'd to rest,
Now, all his features lit, he rais'd his look,
And whilst the hour-glass shed its silent sand,
hairs.' In the last quotation, the reader finds the regular versification broken by the introduction of an inscription for a dial : and throughout the poem, we find inscriptions, and hymns, and songs, and addresses, in different measures. Of this practice we have before expressed our disapprobation, and we must do it again. What end does it answer? Is it because such things are generally in such measures ? For the same reason, the speeches night be given in prose. Is it to relieve the monotony of the verse ? This monotony is itself owing to the want of skill in the poet. On the other hand, the poet may begin to question us, and demand what there is in the practice that offends us. We answer, that it draws our attention too much to the verse. So long as every thing goes on in regular beroic, we forget the poet and the versification in the subject; but, . when song-measure is introduced for the sake of a song, the dream is broken, and we think of the propriety of this : we begin to criticise, our feeling is interrupted in its current, and the illusion half destroyed.
Art. VI.-An Enquiry into the Probability and Rationality of Mr.
Hunter's Theory of Life: being the Subject of the first two Anatornical Lectures delivered before the Royal College of Surgeons, London. By John Abernethy, F. R. S. &c. Professor of Ana.
tony and Surgery to the College. Longman, Hurst, Rees, &c. MR. Abernethy is already known to the public, not only as
standing in the foremost rank of bis profession, but also, as a writer of several works which display originality of thought, and patience, and perspicacity of observation.
Modern improvements in medicine have consisted, not so much in the discovery of new truths, as in the detection and renunciation of ancient errors. As a science, it has been reduced within a smaller compass, but what it has lost in bulk, it has gained in solidity. The complication of art has been brought back, nearer at least, to the simplicity of nature, and medical practice as well as theory has become more than it ever was before, a matter of common sense.
These remarks apply almost equally, to that branch of the philosophy of the human frame, which falls more especially within the province of the surgeon. Surgery was once, and
that not very long since, little more than a mechanical art. But such men as a Hunter and an- Abernethy lave progressively raised it to the character and dignity of a science. By the latter, it has been more distinctly shown than by any preceding writer, that diseases which have been considered as merely local, are, in a great variety of instances, to be regarded as affections of the general system, and are therefore to be eradicated only by those remedies which act through the medium of the constitution.
Mr. A. has no passion for the employment of the knife. It is to be feared, that many a limb has been sacrificed to the display of manual adroitness, which might have been spared by the exercise of intellectual skill. What a poor consolation is it to the wretch who has unnecessarily lost a leg that it was taken off with admirable dexterity; or to another, that he has been deformed for life, by an elegant operation !
We have thought it right to give our readers some preliminary knowledge of the character of the author, that they may feel the same desire that we did, to become acquainted with a work, the perusal of which has by no means disappointed our expectations.
Some of Mr. Abernethy's introductory observations are particularly worthy of notice, and may be quoted as specimens of his style of thinking as well as writing. By exercising the powers
of our minds in the attainment of me. dical knowledge, we learn and improve a science of the greatest public utility. We have need of enthusiasm, or of some strong incen. tive, to induce us to spend our nights in study, and our days in the disgusting and health-destroying avocations of the dissecting room ; or in that careful and distressing observation of human diseases and infirmities, which alone can enable us to understand, alleviate, or remove them: for upon no other terms can we be considered as real students of our profession. We have need of some powerful inducement, exclusively of the expectation of fame or emolument : for unfortunately a man may attain a considerable share of public reputation and practice, without undertaking the labours I have men tioned, without being a real student of his profession.' pp. 4, 5.
The remark with which the above extract concludes, is sufficiently founded on experience. To something extraneous to merit, is medical prosperity too frequently to be ascribed. The most lucrative part, perhaps, of professional skill consists not in the knowledge either of diseases or of remedies. It is not the student, but the man of the world that is best fitted for climbing the ladder of ambition. It is the cultivation of the exterior, , rather than of the understanding,--of what is polished, rather
than of what is profound, that is most likely to gain the confidence of the greater part of mankind.
Mr. Hunter's Theory of Life is placed in a clearer light hy Mr. A. than by its author. Mr. H. was a remarkable instance of the different degrees, in which the same man may possess the faculty of thinking, and that of expressing thought. He could see, but he could not show, things distinctly. His language was not a sufficiently transparent medium to the images of his mind.
We shall refer our readers to the work before us for a statement of Mr. Hunter's Theory, as well as for the arguments which are adduced in its favour. Mr. A. has succeeded so far at Jeast, as to make it appear the most plausible conjecture, that can be formed upon a subject, which, after all, is perhaps equally out of the reach of our senses and our understanding. The whole of life might be fruitlessly spent, in a search after its mysterious essence. We know that we exist, but we do not know, nor is it likely that, with our terrestrial faculties, we ever shall, in what our existence consists, or on what it may depend. But the agitation of a question, which must probably terminate in doubt, may yet be attended with a certain degree of rational entertainment; and a writer may gratify us by the display of talent or ingenuity, although he fail to produce that kind of conviction, wbich can arise only from demonstrative evidence.
Mr. A. judiciously observes, p. 92.
• If errors of thought terminated in opinions, they would be of less consequence; but a slight deviation from the line of rectitude in thought, may lead to a most distant and disastrous aberration from that line in action.'
This remark is not exclusively applicable to medicine: it is a maxim of moral wisdom. Conduct has its root in opinion. Practical transgression may, in general, be traced up to speculative error : to think correctly, is the only security for acting correctly. Let the understanding, in early life, be enriched with sound principles, and weeded as much as possible from every species of error and prejudice, and it will form a soil out of which will naturally grow an upright and exalted character. Between absurdity and vice there is an inseparable, although not always a visible connexion. The importance of theoretical rectitude will be generally conceded upon grand and cardinal points, and yet it may not be equally acknowledged upon others that seem trifling and irrelevant to the purposes of life. But no false opinion is trivolous in its possible result. A speck on the mental eye, which is too small almost to be discerned, may, if not dispersed in time, gradually overspread the organ, and intercept altogether