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on his lips and sensual lusts in his heart; or for Coleridge says, with truth, that " a was it the Dutchman of the “ purest Norse rogue is only a fool with a circumbendibus.”
a blood,” too thick to run through his veins And now, at the time when paper has betill urged by alcohol ? Was is not, rather, come widely extended in other lands, when that out of the mingling of the highest honesty is greatly increased, precisely at qualities of all these, purged from their de- this time has nature discovered to man large fects, those great spirits arose? We hold hoards of gold hitherto unknown, and which to this belief.
are probably only the forerunners of masses Throughout all nature, animate and in- yet to be discovered, in quantities to render animate, we seem to recognize two great them applicable to useful purposes in the principles-elasticity and gravity; and with arts, after their rarity and value as an exout their mutual action and reaction the change medium shall be lost. For in this world could scarcely exist. In man, the question of gold, if we consider it rightly, principle of elasticity is represented by the there seems to be no reason why it should Celt, whose elastic energy all boils off in not be as plentiful in the world as other vapor, till controled by the Saxon gravity, metals, only it is less accessible. Gold is or moral force, which holds it down like the the only metal that is always found, in the weighty valve of a steam-engine--if too metallic state, not chemically combined with tightly, producing dangerous explosions ; if other bodies. Therefore, at the cooling too loosely, producing no result; but, at the down of the crust of the globe, its mere right degree of pressure, giving world-wide weight would carry it down into crevices advantage.
below the surface, precisely as the metal in Had England remained Celtic, she would a smelting-furnace falls through the slag to have been as Ireland-never to thrive till the bottom. The gold found in streams, and gravitated. But she was an open road for all alluvium and diluvium, has been subsequently men; and when, by the process of railways, thrown out by volcanic action ; as the spangle Ireland shall become the jumping-off place" gold of California testifies, and also the lumps for men who go down to the ocean in ships melted in matrices. The traditions of all -the highway to the Far West, then she, South-American gold mines are, that when too, will be resorted to by strong men, the water broke in---the usual mode for nawho will make of her a “ boast, a marvel, ture to close a mine—“it was at its richest” and a show.” They who grow cotton in ----mus riquesas que nunca. Marvellously the Union, will perchance bring it to Ire- has nature timed this Californian discovery. land's western ports; and, beholding wasted The railway of Panama, the first of numerwater-power, and delicate Celtic fingers, fit- ous railways through that district, shortented for textile fabrics, also lying waste in ing man's transit to the East—the thing close contiguity, will draw the inference that talked of and desired for ages, is its first there needs but a mill and machinery to do result; and with that railway the reign of all the rest. And thus will Ireland be law and order commences in that region of come a land of manufactured fabrics, and stagnant listlessness and active tyranny. A the reproach of her poverty and misery be new and improving race is planting progress. removed from us.
When the work shall be done, and civilizaThe want of communion, of free and cheap tion rooted, probably more gold will be disintercourse amongst the nations of the earth, covered, if not in the very act of cutting, has generated want of confidence. There- side by side with the coal beds we are now fore commercial transactions have required told of for the first time. If gold and silver a medium of exchange not easy to counter- can be procured as plentifully as copper, feit or falsify. This nature provided in the we shall he enabled to use pleasant utensils precious metals. The less civilized, the more without risk of thieves. But assuredly men barbarous the nation, the more essential the will not coin it into money, when free railmetallic currency. A Spanish dollar was way transit over all the earth shall have said to “speak all languages." As knowl. made honesty not merely the “best policy, edge increased and faith grew—that faith but the only practicable policy. which has removed so many railway
Looking back on what we have written mountains,” and which faith will grow almost reminds us of the noted book title, again, the Hudsons notwithstanding-paper" De omnibus rebus et quibusdam aliis.” was substituted for metals. The paper Our excuse must be, that man, being uniwould be universal were honesty universal - versal, all things fall into his category. Meanin other words, were knowledge universal ; while we hold to the faith, that what the
printing press has been to the “republic of what shall men do then ? Shall they sit on letters' P-a bond and a covenant—that will thrones apart like gods, holding high conthe railway become to the republic of na- verse; or, like Alexander, shall they weep tions—Peace on earth and goodwill to men. for more worlds to conquer ? We believe And what then? When all these things that, As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be done, when man's physical wants ever shall be : world without end :" that the shall be all supplied, and
law of progress goes on through all eternity;
that the highest philosopher of our time will · Food, like air, be common unto all;" be but the common staple of the times to when we shall not live to eat, but eat to live ;
We have faith that when war shall be extinct, and
“Ever through the ages one increasing purpose
runs, “ Man to man, the warld o'er, And the thoughts of men are widened with the Shall brithers be, and a'that :"
process of the suns.""
From the Metropolitan.
from the Quarterly Review.
THE PHYSICAL PHENOMENA OF DEATH.
1. Recherches Medico-légales sur l'incertitude des signes de la mort, les dangers des
inhumations précipitées, les moyens de constater les décès et de rappeler à la vie ceux qui sont état de mort apparente. Par M. JULIA DE Fontenelle. 8vo. Paris.
1834. 2. The Cyclopædia of Anatomy and Physiology. Part VIII. Art.“ Death.” By
. J. A. SYMONDS, M.D. London. 1836, . 3. Recherches Physiologiques sur la Vie et la Mort. Par Zav. Bichat. Cinquième
édition, revue et augmentée de notes pour la deuxième fois par F. Magendie. 8vo. Paris. 1829.
It was the opinion of Addison that nothing , ing us in doubt whether he is in earnest or in history was so imposing, nothing so pleas- in jest. He seems, in his bantering way, to ing and affecting, as the accounts of the be- be striking with one hand while he affects havior of eminent persons in their dying to support with the other; and his attack, hour. Montaigne before him had given ex- , though far from formidable, is more powerpression to the same sentiment. Of all the ful than his defence. He would have been passages in the annals of mankind, those, he an eminent teacher in Greece or Rome, but said, which attracted and delighted him was no ways fitted to be a master in Christmost, were the words and gestures of depart- endom. Two or three of Montaigne's couning men. “If,” he adds, “ I were a maker trymen have since attempted to carry out of books, I would compile a register, with his conception : but, not inheriting his genius comments, of various Deaths, for he who with his project, their works are said to be should teach men to die would teach them meagre and vapid. More worthless they to live.” The register would not be difficult could not be than the similar compilations to supply. The commentary is a loss-rich which have been published in English; a as it would have been in the reflections of a page from a parish-register would be nearly shrewd and thoughtful mind, fearless in its as edifying. confessions, holding up its feelings, in their Addison and Montaigne, in their speculaweakness and their strength, as a mirror in tions upon Death, had chiefly in view the which the readers might behold themselves. mental feelings. The physical part of the But Montaigne, who merely gives a formal question had only been treated in detached adhesion to Christianity, and too generally fragments, until Bichat endeavored to give a Iraws both precept and practice from the connected view of those changes in the syssode of Epicurus, was not the person to l tem which are immediately concerned in ibe each others to live or die. He had realized extinction of life. Even this was only a beyond most men the terror of death, stu- single branch of an extensive subject; and, lied it incessantly in all its aspects, and done far from exhausting it, the state of knowledge his best to steel himself against the stroke ; obliged him to rest content with a general put the resources of religion are scarcely outline—but it was an outline drawn with lreamt of in his philosophy of mortality. a master's hand. A more beautiful piece of le treats the question almost like a heathen, scientific writing could nowhere be foundaises more misgivings than he removes, and none more lucid in arrangement, more clear, loes less to reform the careless and encou- simple, and concise in style. He had to age the timid than to offend the pious and deal with a mass of tangled threads, and disturb the peaceful. He seldom, indeed, wove them into a vivid and harmonious Louches upon a sacred subject, without leav- pattern. A disposition to fanciful system is the principal defect of the celebrated “Re- Justice Shallow : The mad days that I searches on Life and Death,” which will have spent ! and to see how many of mine continue a classic, when, by the progress of old acquaintance are dead! Silence. We discovery, it has ceased to be an authority. shall all follow, cousin ! Shallow. Certain, Since Bichat led the way, numerous writers | 'tis certain ; very sure, very sure: death, as have followed in his track-extended his the Psalmist saith, is certain to all; all shall experiments, corrected his errors, and mo- die. How a good yoke of bullocks at Stamdified his theories. The knowledge is con- ford fair ?” He moralizes mechanically upon fined at present to professional works which death, pays it parenthetically the tribute due few besides professional men are likely to to an indisputable truth—but the price o read, and is too much bound up with gene- oxen has not the less of bis thoughts. We ral physiology to permit us to enter at large persist in thinking death distant because the upon the question. What Bichat imperfectly date is doubtful, and remain unconcerned discussed in a volume, we must dismiss in a spectators until we are summoned to be page. A summary of the newest and best actors in the scene. information will be found in the able and Yet, however little the majority of men philosophical Principles of Medicine by Dr. may be tempted to originate inquiry, there Williams, or in the Lectures on the Prin- can hardly be many to whom an account of ciples and Practice of Medicine. by Dr. the mental and corporal sensations which Watson—a work upon which his own craft attend upon death can be a matter of indifhave set the seal of their highest approba- ference when brought before their eyes. tion, and which it may interest others to be Father Bridaine, a French itinerant of the told is not a dry detail of symptoms and last century, who in a mixture of eccentricity remedies, but a luminous account of disease, and fervid eloquence combined the two most which he has had the art to make as enter- powerful agencies by which a vulgar auditory taining as instructive. It was not consistent are attracted and moved, once wound up a with the plan of Dr. Williams or Dr. Wat- discourse by the announcement that he would son to write a formal treatise upon death. attend each of his hearers to his home, and This was done by Dr. Symonds—whose ad- putting himself at their head, conducted mirable article in the Cyclopaedia of Anato-them to the house appointed for all livingmy and Physiology, though a condensed, is a neighboring churchyard. We deeply feel the most comprehensive description with that we are in many respects little qualified which we are acquainted. The entire phy- for the subject which we venture to take up: sical phenomena of natural death are passed there is in it, however, a mysterious awfulin review; the results of original observation ness which may probably carry on our readare combined with the researches of others; ers in spite of our imperfections. But the and some portions of the subject, such as profit will be to those who remember, as they the signs of dying, are more elaborately read, that we describe or attempt to describe treated than anywhere else. Addressed to the road which they themselves must travel, medical men, it presumes a degree of ac- and, like Bridaine, are conducting them to quaintance with their science ; yet two-thirds their home. of the essay could hardly be more attractive John Hunter called the blood the moving to general readers if it had been penned for material of life. Elaborated from the food
General readers, however, are we eat, it carries nutriment and stimulus to less inquisitive on the matter than their every part of the body; and while in its deep concern in it might lead us to expect, progress it replenishes the waste going on in or it would not be confined to the domain of the frame, it receives and throws off much of the physician. Addison assumed that the the effete and worn-out matter which would interest was as universal as the lot; but otherwise clog and encumber the machinery. though
The moment the blood is reduced below a
certain standard, the functions languish ; the “Death only is the fate which none can miss," moment it is restored, the functions revive.
The brain, in general bleeding, is the first another poet has said with almost equal truth to feel the loss; and a mere change of posithat
tion, by affecting the amount of blood in the
head, will make the difference between un“All men think all men mortal but themselves.” consciousness and sense. Where the object
is to bring down the circulation to the lowest Most feel about it much the same as did | point, the safeguard against carrying the de
pletion too far is to make the patient sit up; | intense, to paralyze the heart in a moment, and when faintness ensues, sensibility returns or even to burst it by the agitation they creby laying him backward, which immediately ate. A lady, overjoyed to hear that her son sends a current of blood to the brain. The had returned from India, died with the news effect of the circulation on a limb is seen in in her ears; another, prostrate with grief at the operation for an aneurism of the leg - parting with a son who was bound for Tura disease in which the artery, unable to key, expired in the attempt to bid him fareresist the force of the blood, continues well. Physical causes, in like manner, put to distend, until
, if left to itself, it usually an immediate and lasting stop to the heart. bursts, and the patient bleeds to death. To It may be done by a blow on the stomach, prevent this result, the main artery itself is by the fall from a height, by too violent an often tied above the tumor, and thus the exertion. blood is stopped short of the place where it The lungs are no less essential to the cirwas gradually working a fatal outlet. The culation. The entire blood of the system lower part of the leg, cut off from its supply, passes along their innumerable vessels on its at once turns cold, and, unless nature were return to the heart, and ejecting through the ready with a new provision, would quickly pores the foul matter collected in its circuit
, perish; but if, by the disease, man is shown receives in exchange a fresh supply of air. to be fearfully, the remedial contrivance The process is stopped in drowning, when proves him wonderfully made. The trunk there is no oxygen from without to inhale ; artery sends out numerous tributaries, which in hanging, when the communication is cut again rejoin it further on in its course, and off with the lungs; in the morbid effusions those above the aneurism gradually dilate to which prevent the air from reaching the receive the obstructed circulation, and, car- blood ; in the pressure which holds down rying it past the break in the channel, restore the chest and abdomen and will not permit warmth and vigor to the drooping limb. them to play; and in injuries of the portion What is true of the leg and brain is true of of the spinal cord whence the nerves are deevery portion of the body. Not an organ rived, by which the muscular movements of can subsist deprived of a due and healthy respiration are sustained. A vast variety of circulation ; and when the blood is brought accidents and diseases operate in one or other to a stand in its career, or is in a particular of these ways, and with the uniform consedegree deficient in quantity or corrupted in quence that the unpurified blood becomes quality, then is death inevitable. “We are stagnant in the lungs and stops the road. born,” says Seneca, “ by a single method - Breathing is indispensable to life, because we die by many
But though mortal dis- the blood will barely move an inch without eases are legion in their seat and nature, it; and though it did, would carry corrupthey may all be resolved into the destruction tion in its round instead of sustenance and of the circulation, like the radii of a circle health. which come from an infinity of directions and
The brain is the centre of nervous power, meet in a point.
and without its agency we are unable to The heart is the agent for propelling the think, move, or feel; but the immediate efblood. It acts the part of a pump to the fect of mortal injuries is to paralyze the acsystem, plays without our aid at the rate of tion of the heart or the lungs. The apoplexies, four thousand strokes an hour, and some in which the blood escapes with force into times continues in operation a century ; but the brain, and breaks up its substance, kill
a no organ, however marvellous in its construc- through the first; the congestion, which is tion and performances, can be beyond the less violent, acts by impeding, and ultimately reach of injury and disease in a body created arresting, the movements of the last. In mortal by design. The heart is the seat of either case the circulation stops, and with it numerous disorders which destroy its powers life. Whatever is the locality of a disease, of contraction and expansion, and when its the heart and lungs are either implicated action ceases the blood must stop; but ex- themselves, or through the nerves and brain; treme cases are the clearest illustration of and in the majority of disorders the whole principles, and the effects of arresting its are enfeebled together, till it is difficult to pulsations are seen best when the event is determine which is failing most. In some sudden. This is no uncommon occurrence.
diseases the blood itself is utterly corrupted, The passions of rage, joy, grief, and fear, and every organ it touches feels its deadly make themselves felt in the centre of circu- influence. In others, the stomach is incapalation; and these all have the power, when ble of discharging its office, and the fountain