Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

nary resolution may support; and would condescend to so rascally a by a pretty rapid course * of descent subject for its own sake, or indeed

To communicate this result of my for any, less object than that of geneexperiment-was my foremost pur. ral benefit to others. Such an anipose. 2dly, as a purpose collateral mal as the self-observing valetudito this, I wished to explain how it narian- I know there is : I have met had become impossible for me to him myself occasionally: and I know compose a Third Part in time to ac- that he is the worst imaginable company this republication: for dur- heautontimoroumenos. ; aggravating ing ihe very time of this experiment, and sustaining, by calling into disthe proof sheets of this reprint were tinct consciousness, every symptom sent to me from London: and such that would else perhaps-under a was my inability to expand or to different direction given to the improve them, that I could not even thoughts - become evanescent. But bear to read them over with atten- as to myself, so profound is my contion enough to notice the press er- tempt for this undignified and selfish rors, or to correct any verbal inaccu- habit, that I could as little conderacies. These were my reasons for scend to it as I could to spend my troubling my reader with any re- time in watching, a poor servant girl cord, long or short, of experiments - to whom at this moment I hear relating to so truly base a subject as some lad or other making love at my own body: and I am earnest the back of my house, Is it for a with the reader that he will not Transcendental Philosopher to feel forget them, or so far misapprehend any .curiosity on such an occasion ? me as to believe it possible that I Or can. I, whose life is worth only

[ocr errors]

FIRST WEEK.

9

SECOND WEEK.

[ocr errors]

2

733

On which last notice I would remark, that mine was too rapid, and the suffering therefore needlessly aggravated : or rather perhaps it was not sufficiently continuous and equably graduated. But, that the reader may judge for himself--and above all that the Opium-eater, who is preparing to retire from business, may have every sort of information before him, I subjoin my diary :

THIRD WEEK.
Drops of Laud.

Drops of Laud.
Mond. June 24
130 Mond. July 8

300
25
140

50
26
130

10
27
80

11

Hiatus in MS.
28
80

12
29
80

13
30
80
14

76

FOURTH WEEK.
Mond. July 1
80 Mond. July 15

76
80

16
3
90
17

734
4
100

18

70
5
80

19

240
80
20

80
7
80
21

350
FIFTH WEEK.

Drops of Land.
Mond. July 22

60

1

23

none. 24

none. 25

none. 26

200 27 What mean these abrupt relapses, the reader will ask perhaps, to such numbers as 300 -350, &c.? The impulse to these relapses was mere infirmity of purpose: the motive, where any motive blended with this impulse, was either the principle of " reculer pour mieux sauter ; ” (for under the torpor of a large dose, which lasted for a day or two, a less quantity satisfied the stomach – which, on awaking, found itself partly accustomed to this new ration): or else it was this principle--that of sufferings otherwise equal those will be borne best which meet with a mood of anger ; now, whenever I ascended to any large dose, I was furiously incensed on the following day, and could then have borne any thing

......

....

... none.

a

eight and a half years' purchase, be Let them not hesitate to express their
supposed to have leisure for such wishes upon any scruples of false
trivial employments ?-However, to delicacy, and consideration for my
"put this out of question, I shall say feelings: I assure them they will do
one thing, which will perhaps shock me too much honour by demonstrat
some readers : but I am sure it ought ing' on such a crazy body as mine:
not to do so, considering the mo- and it will give me pleasure to an
tives on which I say it. No man, I ticipate this posthumous revenge and
suppose, employs much of his time insult inflicted upon that which has
on the phenomena of his own body caused me so much suffering in this
without some regard for it; whereas life. Such bequests are not com-
the reader sees that, so far from mon: reversionary benefits contin-
looking upon mine with any com- gent upon the death of the testator
placency or regard, I hate it and are indeed dangerous to announce in
make it the object of my bitter ridi- many cases: of this we have a re-
cule and contempt: and I should not markable instance in the habits of a
be displeased to know that the last Roman prince-who used, upon any
indignities which the law inflicts notification made to him by rich per-
upon the bodies of the worst male- sons, that they had left him a hand-
factors might hereafter fall upon it. some estate in their wills, to express
And, in testification of my sincerity his entire satisfaction at such ar-
in saying this, I shall make the fol- rangements, and his gracious acceptin
lowing offer. Like other men, I have ance of those loyal legacies: but
particular fancies about the place of then, if the testators neglected to
my burial: having lived chietly in a give him immediate possession of the
mountainous region, I rather cleave property, if they traitorously “per-
to the conceit, that a grave in a green sisted in living' (si vivere perseverit-
church-yard, amongst the ancient rent, as Suetonius expresses it), he
and solitary hills, will be a sublimer was highly provoked, and took his
and more tranquil place of repose for measures accordingly. Inthose times,
a philosopher than any in the hideous and from one of the worst of the
Golgothas of London. Yet if the Cæsars, we might expect such con-
gentlemen of Surgeons' Hall think duct: but I am sure that from Eng-
that any benefit can redound to their lish surgeons at this day I need look
science from inspecting the appeare for no expressions of impatience, or
ances in the body of an Opium- of any other feelings, but such as are
eater, let them speak but a word, answerable to that pure love of sci-
and I will take care that mine shall ence and all its interests, which in-
be legally secured to them-iie. as duces me to make such an offer.
soon as I have done with it myself. Sept. 30, 1822.

ง Joukoa

PRESENTIMENT: A FRAGMENT. If a man has a little child to whom their lips: but if he be far distant, he bows his heart and stretches forth let him read my story, and weep, his arins--if he has an only son, and utter fond breath, kissing the or a little daughter-with her sweet words before they go, wishing that face and innocent hands, with her they could reach his children's ear. mother's voice, only louder--and her And yet let him be glad; for though mother's eyes, only brighter, let him he is beyond seas he is still near go and caress them while they are them while Death is behind him—for his, for the dead possess nothing. the greater distance swallows the Let him put fondness in his breath less. And the wings of angels may while it is with him, and caress his waft his love to their far-away babes as if they would be fatherless, thoughts, silently, like the whisperand blend his fingers with their ings of their own spirits while they glossy hair, as if it were a frail, frail weep for their father. gossamer. And if he be away, let him It was in the days of my bitterness, hasten homeward with his impatient when care had bewildered me, and spirit before him, plotting kisses for the feverish strife of this world had

[ocr errors]

texed me till I was mad, that I werit time came. So they approached,
into a little land of graves, and there dew-dabbled, and struggling through
wept; for my sorrow was deep unto the long-tangled weeds, to a new
darkness, and I could not win friend- grave, and stood before it, and gažed
ship by friendship, nor love, though on its record, like the ignorant sheep,
it still loved me, but in heaven--for without reading. They did not see
it was purer than the pure air, and their father, but only a little mound
had floated up to God. And I sat of earth, with strange grass and
down upon a tombstone with my un weeds; and they looked and looked
buried grief, and wondered what that again, and at each other, with whispa
earth contained, of joy and misery, ers in their eyes, and listened, till the
and triumph long past, and pride flowers dropped from their forgotten
·lower than nettles, and how old love hands. And when I saw how rosy
was joined to love again, and hate they were in that black, which only
was gone to hate. For there were made them the more rosy, and their
many monuments, with sunshine on bright curly hair that had no proud
one side and shade on the other, like hand to part it, I thought of the
life and death; with black frowning yearnings of disembodied love, and
letters upon their white bright faces; invisible agony that had no voice, till
and through those letters one might methought their father's spirit passed
hear the dead speaking silently and into mine, and burned, and gazed
slow, for there was much meaning in through my eyes upon his children.
those words and mysteries which They had not yet seemed to notice
long thought could not fathom. And me, but only that silent grave; and,
there was dust upon those flat dwell looking more and more sadly, their
ings, which I kissed, for lips like it eyes filled with large tears, and their
were there, and eyes where ' much lips drooped, and their heads sunk
love had been, and cheeks that had so mournfully and so comfortless, that
warmed the sunshine. But the dust my own grief rushed into my eyes
was gone in a breath, and so were and hid them from me. And I said
they, and the wind brought shadows inwardly, I will be their father, and
that passed and passed incessantly wipe their blue eyes, and win their
over that land of graves, which you sorrowful cheeks into dimples, for
might strive to stay, but could not, they are very fair, and young-too
even as the dead had passed away young for this stormy life. I will
and been missed in the after bright- watch them through the wide world,
ness.

for it is a cruel place, where the ten· Thus I buried my thoughts with derest are most torn, because they the dead, and, as I sat unconsci- are tenderest, and the most beautiful ously, I heard the sound of young are most blighted. Therefore this little sweet voices, and, looking up, I saw one shall be my daughter, that I two little children coming up the may gather her for heaven as my path. The lambs lifted up their best deed upon earth ; and this young heads as they passed, and gazed; boy shall be my son, to share my but fed again without stirring, for blessing when I die, that God in that there was nothing to fear from such time may so 'deal with my own innocent looks and so gentle voices; offspring. For I feel a misgiving there was even a melancholy in their that I shall soon die, and that my tone which does not belong to child- own little ones will come to my hood. The eldest was a young boy, grave and weep over me, even as very fair and gentle, with a little these poor orphans. Oh! how shall hand linked to his; and, by his talk, it I leave them to the care of the careseemed that he had brought his sis. less-to the advice of the winds--to ter, to show her where her poor the home of the wide world?-and, as father lay, and to talk about Death. I thought of this, the full tears Their lips seemed too rosy and ten- dropped from my eyes, and I saw der to utter his dreadful name,-but again the two children. They were the word was empty to them, and still there and weeping: but as I unmeaning as the sound of a shell, looked at them more earnestly, I for they knew him not, that he had perceived that they were altered, or kissed them before they were born or my sight changed, so that I knew breathed, and would again when the their faces. I knew them-for I had

seen them in very infancy, and through blessing, with a fierce strange voice. all their growth; in sickness when I Thus i hurried towards them, faster prayed over them-and in slumber, and faster, till I ran; but as my dewhen I had watched over them till i sire increased, my strength failed me, almost wept, they were so beautiful ! so that I wished for my death-bed, I had kissed, how often ! those very and threw myself down on a green cheeks, blushing my own blood, and hill, under the shade of trees that had breathed blessings upon their almost hid the sky with their intriglossy brows, and had pressed their cate branches. And as I lay, the little bands in ecstacies of anxious love. thought of death came over me as They also knew me; but there was an death, with a deep gloom, like the older grief in their looks than had ever shade of a darkened chamber, and been :--and why had they come to me blinded me to the trees, and the sky, in that place, and in black, so sad and and the grass, that were round me. so speechless, and with flowers so But a pale light came, as I thought, withering ? but they only shook their through the pierced shutters, and í heads and wept. Then I trembled saw by it strange and familiar faces exceedingly, and stretched out my full of grief, and eyes that watched arms to embrace them, but there was mine for the last look, and tiptoe nothing between me and the tomb- figures, gliding silently with clasped stone where they had seemed ; yet hands-and a woman that chafed my they still gazed at me from behind feet; and as she seemed to chafe it, and further and still further as I them, she turned to shake her head, followed, till they stood upon the and tears gushed into all eyes as if verge of the church-yard. Then I they had been one, so that I seemed saw, in the sunshine, that they were drowned, and could see nothing, exshadowless; and, as they 'raised their cept their shadows in the light of my hands in the light, that no blood was own spirit. In that moment, I heard in them; and as I moved still closer the cries of my children, calling to they slowly turned into trees, and hills, me, fainter and fainter, as if they and pale blue sky, that had been in died and I could not save them; and the distance. Still I gazed where I tried to stay them, but my tongue they had been, and the sky seemed was lifeless in my mouth, and my full of them ; but there were only breath seemed locked up in my boclouds; and the shadows on the earth som; and I thought, surely I now were merely shadows, and the rust- die, and the last of my soul is in ling was the rustling of the sheep. my ears, for I still hear, though I I saw them no more. They were see not: but the voices were soon gone from me, as if for ever :—but I crowned in a noise like the rushing knew that this was my warning, and of waters, for the hlood was strugwept, forit came to me through my own gling through my heart, slower and children in all its bitterness. I felt slower, till it stopped, and I turned that I should leave them as I had so cold, that I felt the burning of the foretold - their hearts, and lips, and air upon me, and the scalding of unsweet voices, to one another, to be known tears. Yet for a moment the their own comfort; for I knew that light returned to me, with those such grief is prophetic of grief, and mourners, for they were already in that angels so minister to man, and black, even their faces; but they that death thus converses in spirit turned darker and darker, and whirlwith his elect. So I spread my arms ed round into one shade, till it was to the world in farewell, and weaned utterly dark; and as my breath went my eyes from all things that had been forth, the air pressed heavy upon me, pleasant on the earth, and would be so so that I seemed buried, and in my after me, and prepared myself for her deep grave, and suffering the pain of ready bosom. And I said, now I worms till I was all consumed and will go home, and kiss my children no more conscious. Thus I lay for before I die, and put a life's love into unknown time, and without thought my last hour; for I must hasten while and again awakening I saw a dark my thoughts are with me, lest I figure bending over me, and felt him madden, arid perhaps wrong them in grasp me till I ached in all my bones. my delirium, and spurn their sorrow- Then I asked him if he was Death or ful love, and curse them, instead of an Angel, and if he had brought me wings ? for I could not see plainly:- away for ever, so that I should never but as my senses returned, I knew see my children again. At that an intimate friend and neighbour, thought my soul fainted within me and recognised the sound of his voice. without his touch, and_iny breath He had thus found me, he said, in went from me, so that I could not passing, and had seen me faint, and stir even from Death, though he had recovered me, but not till he had came nearer and nearer, and I could almost wrung the blood from my fin- see him frown through the black gers; and he inquired the cause of tossing mane. In a moment he was my distress.

So I thanked him, close-the wild foaming horse struck and told him of my vision, and he at me with his furious heels, so that tried to comfort me; but I knew that the loose sand flew up in my bosom;the angels of my children had told reared his head disdainfully,—and me truly, and the more so, for this flew past me with the rush of a whirlshadow of death that I had passed; wind. The Fiend grinned upon me and feeling that my hour was near, as he passed, and tossed his arms in and recollecting my home, I endea- an ecstacy of triumph; but he left voured to rise. But my strength was me untouched, and the noise soon gone, and I fell backwards ; till fear, died away behind me. Then a warm which had first taken away my jog trembled over my limbs, and I strength, restored it tenfold, and I hurried forward again with an hour's descended the hill, and hurried on- hope of life. My heart's beat quickwards before my friend, who could ened my feet, and I soon reached the not keep up with me. When I had corner where I had first seen the gone a little way, however, the road horse, but there I stopped-it was was of deep sand, so that I grew im- only a low moan—but my heart patient of my steps, and wished for stopped with it. In another throb I the speed of a horse that I heard was with my children, and in another galloping before me. Even as I - they were with God. I saw their heard it, the horse suddenly turned eyes before they closed—but my an angle of the road, and came son's running with all the madness of How it happened I have never fright, plunging, and scattering the asked, or have forgotten; I only know loose sand from his fiery heels. As that I had children, and that they are he came nearer, I thought I saw a dead. Now I have only their angels : rider upon his back :-it was only they still visit me in the church-yard; fancy--but he looked like Death, and but their eyes are closed, and their very terrible, for. I knew that he was little locks drop blood :- they still coming to tear me and trample me shrink, and faint, and fade away, under his horse's hoofs, and carry me but still I die not! Incog.

ON THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF

ERASMUS DARWIN. IN CONTINUATION OF DR. JOHNSON'S LIVES OF THE POETS. ERASMUS, the seventh child and After proceeding Bachelor in Me. fourth son of Robert Darwin, Esq. by dicine at Cambridge, Darwin went his wife, Elizabeth Hill, was born at to Edinburgh, in order to pursue his Elston, near Newark, in Nottingham- studies in that science to more adshire, on the 12th of Dec. 1731. He vantage. When he had been there was educated at the Grammar school long enough to entitle him to the deof Chesterfield, in Derbyshire, under gree of Doctor in Medicine, he quitted the Rev. Mr. Burrows, and from Edinburgh, and began his practice at thence sent to St. John's College, Nottingham, but soon after (in 1756) Cambridge, where he had for his tutor removed to Lichfeld. In the followDr. Powell

, afterwards Master of the ing year he married Mary, daughter College, to whose learning and good- of Charles Howard, Esq. a proctor ness, Mason, another of his pupils, in the Ecclesiastical Court of Lichhas left a testimony in one of his ear- field. He was very soon distinguish

ed for his professional skill. The first

liest poems.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »