« VorigeDoorgaan »
The account of this miraculous well, of which a few more particulars are given in the book, closes Mr. Elstob's performance, and shall likewise put a period to the present thort Article :-an Article which we have limited in proportion to the fize, merit, and importance of the publication to which it re, låtes.
ART. IV. Six Etruy's or. Discourses on the following Subjelis: The
Balance of Aitrea, or upright Administration of Justice ; Ambition in Sovereigns; the Love of our Country, and National Pre. judice or Prepoffefiion; the Semblance of Virtue, or Virtoe in Appearance, the Virtue or Superior Excellence of Nobility, with fome Remarks on the Power or Influence of high Blood; the Maechiavelianiim of the Antients. Translated from the Spanith of Feyjoo.. By a Gentleman. 8vo. 48. sewed. Becket. 1779.
caft this , and especially the liberal spirit and manly superiority to vulgar prepoffeffions, which appear in his writings, entitle him to the attention of the public. His Translator has already introduced several of his Efíays to the notice of the Enghfh Teader,'. of which we have expressed our 'approbation in general terms. He has now added a third volume, which treats of feveral interesting topics, the particulars of which are enumerated in the Title. From them we fhall select as a specimen, the following remarks on the character of Sir Thomas More, from the Essay on the Semblance of Virtue.
• I have iaken notice of a thing which is very remarkable, and that is, that great virtues are less perceptible than small ones. Thie is derived from the exercise of them nos being fo frequent, and the value of them not being generally understood. The going regularly. to, church, exterior modeit deporiment, taciturnity and falling, are virtues, which Itrike the eyes of every one, because they are daily practised, and every body knows them. There are other virtues, that are more subitantial, and which spring from more noble roots, that the vulgar are unacquainted with, because they are carried about by those who are masters of them, like ladies who go abroad incog. without the ostentatious parade and show of equipage. There are men (would to God there were more of them !), who with an opencarriage, and the free correspondence and intercourse of an ordinary life, and who do not seem the least sensible or affected with myfterious niceties, that nourish within their breasts, a robust virtue and folid piety, impenetrable to the most furious batteries of the three enemies of the soul. Let Sir Thomas More, that juft, wise, and prudent Englishman, whom I have always regarded with profound Jespect, and a tenderness approaching to devotion; I say let this maa serve as an example to all men, and stand as a pattern to future ages, of all the virtues and excellencies I have been describing.
2. If we view the exterior part of the life of Sir Thomas More, we only see an able politician, simple in his manners, engaged in a de. partment of the ttate, and attentive to the affairs of the king and
kingdom, always suffering himself to be wafted by the gale of fortune, without foliciting honours, and without refusing to accept of them; in private life, open, courteous, gentle, cheerful, and even fond of a convivial song, frequently partaking, in the halls of mirth, of the jovial relaxations of the mind, and in the circulation of wit and pleasantry, always innocent, but never shewing the leaf lymprom of aufteriry. His application in literature was directed, indifferently and alternately, to the study of sacred and profane learning, and he made great advances in both the one and the other. His great ap. plication to, and proficiency in the living languages of Europe, reprefent him as a genius desirous of accommodating himself to the world at large. His works, except such as he composed in prison during the latt year of his life, seemed more to favour of politics than religion. I speak of the subject of them, not of the motive with which he wrote them. In his description of Utopia, which was truly ingenious, delicate, and entertaining, he lets his pen run fo much on the interefts of the state, as makes it feem'as if he was in. different about the concerns of religion.
· Who in this image or description of Sir Thomas More, would recognize that glorious martyr of Christ, and that generous hero, whofe conftancy to the obligations of his religion could not be bent or warped, neither by the threats or promises of Henry VIII. nor a hard imprisonment of fourteen months, nor the persuasions and entreaties of his wife, nor by the fad prospect of seeing his family and children reduced to misery and beggary, nor by che privation of all human comfort, in taking from him all his books, nor finally by the terrors of a scaffold placed before his eyes ? So certain is it, that the qualities of great souls are not to be discovered, but by the touchfone of great occasions and hard trials, and may be compared to Jarge flints, which only manifeft their smooth or shining surfaces by the execution of hard blows.
• Sir Thomas More was the same while he was a prisoner of state, as when he was High Chancellor of England; the same in adverse, as in prosperous fortune; the fame ill created, as in high favour; the same in the prison, as feated at the head of the Court of Chancery ; but adversity manifested and made visible his whole heart, of which the greatest and best part had before laid hid. This great man used to give to his own virtues an air of humanity and condescenfion, which in the eyes of the vulgar abated their splendour ; but in proportion as it obscured the lultre of them to their view, it augmented it in the light of all men of discernment and penetration. It once happened when he was High Chancellor, that a gentleman, who had a suit depending before him, made him a present of two filver bottles : It was inconsistent with his dignity or integrity to acceps the present; and how did Sir Thomas conduct himself? Did he fall into-a paflion against the suitor for having offered an affront to his see patation ? Did he punish the criminal audacity of the man, for attempting to corrupt and make venal che functions of his dury? Did he manifeft before his domestics any difinterested delicacy, or appear fcandalized at the temptation ? No; he did none of all this, because nothing of this fort was correspondent to the nobleness or generous turn of his mind. He received the bottles with a good grace, and
immediately gave orders to one of his servants to fill them with the beft wine he had in his cellar, and carry them back to the gentleman, together with this courteous message, That it gave him great pleasure to have an opportunity of obliging him, and that any sort of wine he bad in his house was much at his service. Exprelling, by this prudent feeming insensibility or want of apprehention, that he fupposed that was the purpose for which the gentleman sent the bottles. In this manner he joined integrity to genileness of reproof, and correction with courteous bchaviour; and by so much the less parade he made of his own purity, by so much the more was the confusion of the gentleman diminished.
• It is clear, that the heroic confiancy with which he supported his adherence to his religion, was not the effect of a strained violence on his nature, but proceeded from innate virtue, which acts in all things and on all occasions according to the habitual dispositions of the mind; for always, to the very crisis of his suffering, he preserved the native cheerfulness of his disposition. He did not appear less feftive, nor less tranquil in chains, than he had before appeared in the banquet pom. During the time of his trial he was all composure, and when it was drawing near a conclusion, and those iniquitous judges, who had already sacrificed their consciences to the will of their sovereign, were on the point, to please and flatter him, of delivering that innocent man, as a victim to his resentment, the barber came to shave him, and just as he was going to begin his work, Sir Thomas recollected himself, and said Hoid, as the King and I at present are contending to whom this head belongs, in case it should be adjudged to bim, it would be wrong for me to ,rob him of the beard, so you must defift. Being about to ascend the scaffold, and finding himself feeble, he begged one who was near to aid him in getting up the ladder, saying to him at the same time, Ajit me to get up, for be assured I shall not trouble you to help me down again. O eminent virtue! O spirit truly sublime, who mounted the scaffold with the same festive cheerfulness, that he would fit down to a banquet! Let men of little minds and narrow fouls contemplate this example, and learn to know, that true virtue does not consist in the observance of forms and scrupulous niceties.
• O how many antipodes in morality to Sir Thomas More are to be found in every state! for both in the east and the west you will meet with many of those ridiculous scare. crows, who lead a kind of her. metic life, and are called fanérified or holy men; but those of this day do not mortify themselves so much, and offend other people more, than those of former times were used to do. With a displeasing gravity, and forbidding look, that amounts to four fternness; a conversation ro opposite to the cheerful, that ic borders on the exo treme of clownish surliness; a zeal so haríh and severe, that it degenerates into cruelty; a scrupulous observance of sites and cere. monies, that approaches to superstition; and by the mere want or absence of a few vices; I say, that with the help of these appearances, they, without more colt or trouble, set themselves up as patterns or images of ultimate perfection; and they are truly images in the itrict sense of the word, for their whole value confiits in their external fhape and figure; and I besides call them images, because they are
not endued or informed with a true, but with the ham, semblance of a spirit. I repeat again that they are images, because they are as hard as marble, and insensible and unfeeling as the trunks of trees. - In the morality that directs them, gentleness of manners, affability, and pity, are bloured out of the catalogue of virtues. I have not even yet said enough. Those two fenfible characteristics of charity, pointed out by St. Paul, that is to say, pacience and benevolence, are so foreign to their dispositions, that they are inclined to consider them as signs of relaxation of discipline, or at lealt of lukewarmness, They assume the figure of saints, without poffeffing more sancticy than the stock or stone images of such, and would number themselves among the blessed, wanting the requisites which the gospel expresses to constitute them (deserving of being inserted in that catalogue), which are meekness, compassion, and a conciliatory spirit. Beati mites, beati misericordes, beati pacifici.'
The last Effay, on the Machiavelianism of the Ancients, is a curious attempt to prove that the principles of arbitrary power were adopted, and the arts of despotism practised in the Greek and Roman states, during the periods most celebrated for freedom. But for the illustration of this point, we must refer our Readers to the work, which is lively and ingenious, and abounds with manly reflections.
Art. V. Remarks in that kind of Pally of the lower Limbs, which is
frequently found to accompany, a Curvature of the Spine, and is fupposed to be caused by it; together with its Method of Cure. which are added, Observations on the Neceflity and Propriety of Amputation in certain Cases, and under certain Circumstances. By Percival Pott, F. R. S. and Surgeon to St. Bartholomew's Hospital. 8vo.
1 s. 6d. Johnson. 1779. HE' first of the two tracts which 'this very valuable
Author has here presented to the public, relates to a difease little known to many of the faculty, which he describes in the following manner: it consists in the total or partial abolition of motion in the lower limbs, in consequence, as is supposed, of a curvature of some part of the spine. Both sexes, and all ages, are equally liable to it. It is gradual, though not very flow, in its progress. When a child is the subject, he begins with complaining of being foon tired; is languid, liftJess, and unwilling to move much, or at all briskly.
Not long after, he may be observed frequently to trip and stumble, though there be no impediment in his way; and whenever he attempts to move briskly, he finds that his legs involuntarily cross each other, by which he is frequently thrown down; and on endeavouring to stand still, without support, for a few mia nutes, his knees give way, and bend forwards. When the diftemper is farther advanced, he cannot, without much difficulty and deliberation, direct either of his feet 'precisely to any.
exact point; and very soon after, both thighs and legs lole much of their natural sensibility, and become useless with respect to all the purposes of loco-motion. They have
They have not, how. ever, the Rabby feel and unresisting looseness that a paralytic limb has ; but the joints, particularly of the ancles, have a confiderable stiffness. The accompanying curvature of the Ipine varies in situation, extent, and degree, being either in the neck or back, and fometimes, though seldom, in the upper part of the loins; and comprehending two, three, or more vertebræ. On examining the affected part of the spine after death, it is found in all the different states from laxity of the ligaments and sponginess and enlargement of the vertebræ, to manifeft difea fe of the former and complete caries of the latter.
The cure of this formidable disorder (which is found to refilt all the general and common remedies) is, according to Mr. Patt, with considerable certainty effected, when the case is not too far gone, by procuring a purulent discharge from the neighbourhood of the curvature in the spine. He candidly acknow. ledges receiving the first hint of this practice from Dr. Cameron and Mr. Jeffreys of Worcester, and gives the following method of performing it most conveniently and effectually. A small caustic is applied on each fide beneath the curvature, big enough, when the eschar is separated, to contain a large kidney-bean. Every third or fourth day a little powder of cantharides is fprinkled on the fores, and the discharge is thus maintained till the patient perfectly recovers the use of his legs,
We are persuaded the fimplicity of this method will not be an objection to it in the opinion of any sensible practitioner ; and we think the Author has considerably increased the obligations the Public are under to him, by this liberal communication of his success.
The second tract is principally an enlargement on what the writer has already laid down in his former works, particularly in his remarks on compound fractures, concerning the inevitable neceffity of amputation in certain cafes, and the danger of defaying it
. He particularly criticises Meffrs. Bilguer and Tissot, whođe doctrines on this subject, to say the truth, are too manifeftły irrational to need a formal refutation. As in all Mr. Port's works, the Reader may even in this short piece meet with some new and useful observations. His account of an anomalous kind of affection of the leg, requiring amputation, will, probably, afford new information to most of his Readers. • It has its feat in the middle of the calf of the leg, or rather more toward its upper part, under the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, It begins by a small, hard, deep-seated swelling, fometimes very painful, sometimes but little for and only hindering the patient's exercises : it does not alter the natural