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attempts that excellento his compositiofensive imp
propriate designation. Taking this truth for granted, on all hands, we shall advance to the flimsy defence which the dramatist has set up, to shelter himself from the offensive imputation of a low code of morals in his compositions. Here he manifestly adopts that excellent, old, established practice of paying no attention to the precise charge against him; which is that of clothing a ruffian with the attributes of a hero, the common scandal of many of our modern poems; - and he deprecates, meanwhile, the supposed severity and injustice of an accusation levelled at his muse for the exposure of adultery! It is not the exposure, however, it is the decoration of guilt of which we complain; nor is that a fastidious delicacy, as the author would describe it, but a virtuous indignation, which cannot bear to see the gallows deprived of one of its most worthy candidates, namely, the heroic Bertram; — who, after five acts of majestic misanthropy, commits a triumphant suicide, and closes the scene with a proud effusion of false sublimity and perverted courage. In vain would the dramatist plead the examples of older and Un-Germanized authors. Their villains are not clothed with that revolting mixture of sentiment and atrocity; they are not at once vagabond murderers and the resistless objects of some illustrious wife's affections: - but the fact is too plain to need farther illustration. It is matter of historical record that, within the last half century, this dangerous and dazzling mode of representing vice under a brilliant veil of virtue has been imported into the British dominions. It is matter, we say, of historical record, and of national shame. We could shew, with facility, how the heroine of the first drama of this author was liable to the same species of strong objection, were not the hero enough to condemn any work, however marked by genius: but of this high gift of Heaven we saw no pure or lofty traces in Bertram ; and, although we are sincerely happy not to have the same censures on the score of imperfect morals to apply to Manuel, yet in Manuel also we have a plentiful harvest of weeds, an indigested mass of every species of bad composition. Here indeed the villain, when discovered to be a villain, is odious throughout; and he would excite detestation, as he ought, unmixed with any less appropriate feeling, were it not for the most facetious, merry, and diverting incident which we recollect in any tragedy since the days of Chrononhotonthologos and Tom Thumb.
It is actually to be read in the play of Manuel, and (still more trying to the faith of our posterity!) it has actually been proved to be there, by representation on the stage, that a murderer by proxy gives that proxy a dagger, with the name (not
of the maker, but) of De Zelos, - with his own name, -marked on it !!! - Parson Adams forgetting his sermons is nothing to this; no, nor his prototype, who walked unconsciously into the enemy's camp. The play should have been called . The Absent Man;" it should have been a comedy; and we have no doubt that it would have been as well received, and by as judicious an audience as that which tolerated the farrago of improbability and bombast intitled Manuel. Of the former of these qualities, the incident which we have mentioned is a sufficient example; of the latter, we could furnish the reader with specimens from almost every scene: but we shall be contented with a few of the choicest flowers of rhetoric, and then endeavour to find some passage which may enable us to leave the dramatist in better humour with himself than reflection on the foregoing faults can make him.
Let us first give a soliloquy of young Torrismond, the virtuous avenger of his guilty father, De Zelos. Manuel's son has just been missed.,
• Act II. Scene 1. • The Gardens of Manuel's Castle a clouded Moon-a part of
the Castle seen on one side of the Garden. Torrismond enters much agitated, after an unsuccessful search.
• Tor, Hopeless and desperate - no trace, no sound !
The various defects of diction and of versification in this short passage are manifold indeed. We shall mark some of them, and the observant reader will easily detect the remainder.
Hopeless and desperate!' - Desperate is here used in the identical sense of hopeless ; and, after such tautology, that taste must indeed be exquisite which could recall the reader to itself, by closing the speech with the hackneyed image of • Hope striving with Despair.' The simile is spoiled ; in its original and unadulterated state, it is found in a play written by Home:
“ Hope and fear alternate sway'd his breast
Like light and shade upon a field of corn
"A stern soul jealous of its foul secret,' failing to be terrific, becomes absurd : but it is a waste of time and criticism to say a word more on such ordinary stuff. We give the concluding speech of the tragedy: “The Attendants lift up De Zelos, who struggles to hide his face from
them, and dies. - Man. False !- false ! ---ye cursed judges - do ye hide him? I'll grasp the thunderbolt - rain storms of fire — There-- there - I strike ! - the whizzing bolt hath struck him! He shrieks!- his heart's blood hisses in the flame! Fiends rend him!-- lightnings sear him!-- Hell gapes for him! Oh, I am sick with death! (staggering among the bodies.) Alonzo !- Victoria! -I call, and none answer me. I stagger up and down - an old man and none to guide me not one (takes Victoria's hand) - Cold! - cold! – that was an ice-bolt! ) shiver - It grows - very dark - Alonzo!--Victoria! - very-very dark
[Dies.' It is scarcely credible that the same theatre, which is well pleased to witness the pathetic efforts of an Otway or a Southern, and which sympathizes with the touching and subdued vehemence, or even madness of passion, in some of the nobler scenes of Shakspeare, can endure such ludicrous rhapsodies as the foregoing: but we have another specimen in another author of the day, of exactly the same description, to present to our readers; and we must therefore bid adieu to Mr. Maturin ; not, however, without earnestly asking him how the writer, who can so decently and properly conduct himself as in the subjoined passage, could run into such rant and nonsense as that which we have just quoted ?
« Vic. Oh! Hope will long abide, and hardly part
If it be said, “ this is sanity; the other passage was madness;" we reply that good writers preserve “ method” even in madness. . . Insanire docent certâ ratione modoque.”
as contain whether" with a
ART. VII. The Morbid Anatomy of the Brain, in Mania and
Hydrophobia ; with the Pathology of these two Diseases, as cola lected from the Papers of the late Andrew Marshal, M.D., many Years Teacher of Anatomy in London ; with an Account of some Experiments, to ascertain whether the Pericardium and Ventricles of the Brain contain Water in a State of Health. To which is prefixed a Sketch of his Life. By S. Sawrey, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons. 8vo. pp. 330. 1os. 6d.
Boards. Longman and Co. THE editor of this volume was the friend and assistant of
1 Dr. Marshal, and at his death became the depository of his papers, having previously received an injunction from him to publish such of them as might be deemed worthy of the press. We are in consequence here presented with four treatises; of which the first is a discussion of the physiological opinion, whether water is contained in the pericardium and ventricles in the healthy state of these parts: -- the second consists of two cases of hydrophobia: - the third is on the morbid anatomy of mania, the principal object being to prove that the disease generally produces disorganization in the brain; — and the fourth is on the nature of mania, in which is introduced an account of the author's opinion respecting the functions of the brain and nerves. .
Before we enter on these discussions, we have a sketch of the life of Dr. Marshal, of which the introductory sentences afford a characteristic specimen.
The life of Dr. Marshal does not present any of those incidents which give interest to biography. It had no romantic adventures; nor was it chequered by any singular misfortune; it was the life of a man of original genius, emerging, unassisted, from his native obscurity, quietly and unustentatiously maturing himself by studies and meditations unknown to the world : long hesitating in the choice of a profession; beginning late, but pursuing it, when de. cided upon, with all that force of mind and enthusiasm which make difficulties but the means of increased progress. At all times rather shrinking and secluding himself from public notice, than ambitious of notoriety, and yet calmly and steadily advancing to knowledge and reputation; so that he was enabled to meet the de. cline of life with a competence satisfying all his wishes, and with high professional respectability.'
He was born in Fifeshire, received a kind of miscellaneous and irregular education, was originally destined for an agri
cultural life, afterward entered on the clerical profession, and did not commence the study of medicine until he was between thirty and forty years of age. In his forty-third year he undertook the office of an anatomical lecturer in London, pursued it for sixteen years with considerable reputation and some emolument, and afterward practised medicine until his death, which took place in his seventy-first year. He never appeared as an author, but in the course of his lectures he gave publicity to some new physiological doctrines; and, if it does not appear that he is intitled to the honour of what can be properly called anatomical discovery, he was justly celebrated for the accuracy of his dissections, and for the nice developement of minute parts that had not been before sufficienty discriminated. His moral and intellectual character was deserving of great praise; and, although his biographer falls into the usual encomiastic strain of one who is celebrating the virtues of a deceased friend, yet all those who knew Dr. Marshal will recognise in these pages many appropriate features. Among his physiological tenets, those to which he seems to have attached the most consequence were the passive nature of the lymphatics, and the dependance of the nervous on the sanguiferous system. One of the most important of his anatomical researches was his minute examination of the coats of the hernial sac; the result of which, we are informed, will probably be laid before the public on some future occasion.
The first of the treatises before us respects the existence of fluid in the brain, pleura, and pericardium. Most of the distinguished anatomists and physiologists, – among others Lower, Haller, and Hunter, - maintained that a quantity of fluid was naturally present in these cavities; whereas Dr. Marshal contends that it is always occasioned by disease, or by some unnatural condition of the parts concerned. To prove his opinion, he performed some simple but direct experiments; he killed some animals suddenly by dividing the large arteries, and instantly examined the cavities in question; and he afterward killed others by immersing them in water, where some time was necessarily occupied before life was completely extinguished: in the latter, a portion of serous fluid was found in the pericardium and the cavity of the chest, while not a particle was detected in the former. Hence he concludes that, in the healthy and natural state, these cavities are completely empty; and that the fluid observed in the drowned animals was effused during the struggles that took place in the act of dying, and must therefore bé regarded as the effect of a morbid process.
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