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small pox and the yaws have thus full opportunity of spreading, and that the most fatal consequences are tiot produced, mușt in great measure be imputed to the excellence of thie climate. So Mr. Koster thinks, --but the excellence of the climate must pot be relied on with too much confidence. The bicha, the most destructive pestilence which ever visited Brazil, broke out at Recife; - from that malady the negroes and the coloured races were exempt; and in like manner, perhaps, the white population may not be susceptible of diseases which the negroes bring with them from Africa. They are driven into warehouses, like cattle into a pen, by night, and by day they are seen sitting or lying upon the footpath, to the number of two or three hundred ;-the stench is almost intolerable to one unaccustomed to it, and the sight of them'- Mr. Koster exclaims-'good God! is horrid beyond any thing! It is not wonderful that they start up eagerly to be examined and handled when a purchaser appears, and that they appear joyful when they are led away from this state of inaction and wretchedness. The slaves upon the Church property are those who have least reason to regret their lot. The Benedictines, in particular, omit nothing which can contribute to their well-being. The children are carefully instructed in their religion ; they generally solicit permission to begin their regular work before the age which the rulers of the estates have appointed. Marriages are encouraged; the means of emancipation facilitated by allowing them the Saturday in addition to the other holidays; and those who are superannuated enjoy every comfort of which feeble age is capable. Upon estates which are thus managed, there is no occasion to keep up the stock by purchase ;-on that which Mr. Koster describes there were about an hundred, and all creoles. Here also it is not the custom to inflict corporal punishment: the slaves are regarded as moral and intellectual beings, -as men and brethren,-severity, therefore, is not needful. It is only when the slaveholder is a brute that the slaves are treated as such. In Brazil it appears that, generally speaking, the richer the proprietor the better is the condition of the slaves ; men who are greedy of gain are proportionately hard-hearted; but individuals are found like Hodge and Huggins, whose cruelties uot only render the men themselves infamous, but prove the system to be in itself radically wrong under which such things are possible. Mr. Koster has not, like Stedman, lacerated the feelings of his readers by entering into the dreadful detail of such crimes ; but he tells us that they exist; and delivers his opinions with good feeling and good sense, upon the impolicy of Portugal in continuing the slave-trade.
The volume concludes with some remarks upon the last treaty between this country and Portugal, the writer arguing that the
manner in which it has been condemned by both parties is presuinptive proof of its general fairness; and entering into its merits. He points out the abuses and grievances in Brazil which the government could easily reform, and the reform of which he considers as absolutely necessary to the security of the government, and a sure means of averting the unatterable miseries and infinite evils of revolution. The general spirit of the book, indeed, is excellent; the manner more resembling the good, old, plain, straight-forward style of our best travellers, than the modern fashion of fine periods; and the matter for the most part equally curious and amusing, presenting a faithful picture of a very interesting stage in the progress of society.
Art. V. The Veils, or the Triumph of Constancy. A Poem,
in Six Books. By Miss Porden. 8vo. London. 1816. WE have been much pleased with Miss Porden's poem, and
almost against our will. In our opinion she could not have chosen a species of composition by which her extraordinary powers of versification could have been exercised under greater disadvantages, than a poem intended to display the different energies of nature, exerted in producing the various changes which take place in the physical world, but personified and changed into the spirits of the Rosicrucian doctrine.' • A system' which, as she observes,
was introduced into poetry by Pope, and since used by Darwin in the Botanic Garden.'
We have sometimes thought that the ministry of the people of the elements might be profitably employed; but for that purpose the tenets relating to them should be sought for in their native truth and orthodoxy, and not as corrupted by the French novelist, who has most wrongfully ascribed those tenets to the pure brethren of the Rosie Cross. The Intelligences with which this holy fraternity held converse were more ethereal, and housed above the lunar sphere. They knew nothing of the existence of the guomes, and nymphs, and sylphs, and salamanders, whose secrets were first revealed to the listening world by Paracelsus. This • daring dreamer' deserves not the name of an impostor which some of our friends have given him, Wild as his visions were, they were undoubtedly his belief; hence they have acquired a fanciful but impressive consistency. He delivers his oracles with a solemn tone of mystic theosophy, whilst his eyes are glistening with the keen, wandering gaze of rising madness.
Happier is he,' quoth Philip Theophrastus Bombast Hohen, heym Paracelsus, leaning on the tremendous long sword whose 3 3 3
hilt incloses a captive angel-—- who describeth the origin of the giants, than he who descanteth on courtly pride! Happier is he who describeth Melusina, than he who writeth of armies and artillery;' ' and happier still is he who describeth the gnomes who dwell beneath the earth than he who delighteth in ladies' love, and tourpaments. But although our adept speaks thus contemptuously of ladies' love, he was far more indulgent towards the nymphs and Undines. Melusina is an Undine, and Venus in her time, for she is dead and gone now, was another. And he gives a most circumstantial detail of the gallantries of those fair nymphs, who, as every one knows, are constantly on the watch to obtain a terrestrial lover: honestly, indeed, warning us, at the same time, not to trust the 'elemental' charmers, whose temper is none of the most serene.
« The theologians' maintained that the nymphs were devils. They are not devils,' says Paracelsus, although they are nearly the same as our women.' • They were the goddesses of the blind heathens.' The 'blind heathens, however, as well as Bombast, preserve some degree of consistency in their mythology; and never represent, even a goddess, as endowed with unalterable temper. The nature of the inhabitants of the elements is indeed singular. Although they are of human kind, they owe not their race to Adam. They are susceptible of every passion which agitates the human heart. The sylphid can hate like a woman, or love like one; the gnome can be bountiful or churlish ; the salamander, vindictive or grateful. They can gratify their passions with boundless might. A wish transports them from pole to pole. They cannot be confined by walls, or bonds, or fetters : and they command the elements, and all which the elements bestow. But, with all these advantages, they are as much below the children of Adam as the beasts of the field. The existence of these demons is cheerless and gloomy; although prolonged through ages, it must end; they die, and their death is annihilation.
With Pope they are no longer the powerful beings, at once the objects of pity and of awe, who hold their midnight revels in the forest, or guard the treasures of the mine. He wanted spirits of lither. mold;.such as could nestle in Belinda's bosom, or shew their tiny faces peeping between the heavy plaits of the rich brocade. And the light militia of the lower sky assume the size and semblance of the playful winged genii whom the French designers used to be so fond of representing---one wrapped from head to foot in a cap of Mechlin lace; another girt with a diamond hilted sword; and a third bending beneath the weight of a laced hat and military plume. Thus diminished, they became suitable machinery for the Rape of the Lock. But Pope only calculated them for this elegant trifle, the labour of a week, the perusal of an hour; and there alone can Ariel and his subjects act a consistent part. His wit reduced the heroes and the gods of the classical epic to a scale of miniature brilliancy. He was sporting with the lessons which the critic finds, or imagines that he finds, in the master-pieces of antiquity.
When the Doctor-Wo worth the while !--made bold to borrow Pope's machinery' for his philosophical poem, he never stopped to recollect that Pope was not in earnest, that his epic was a inock epic, and that his gnomes, and sylphs, and salamanders, were nothing less than the hieroglyphic figures of the elements.' In the days of good Queen Anne
the gnome could spoil a grace,
Or discompose the bead-dress of a prude.' Such tasks were light ones: but Doctor Darwin set the gnomes at hammering granite rocks, calcining fints, and grinding Ka-o-lins and Pe-tun-sees.* The nymphs were disturbed in the enjoyment of their elemental tea,' and called away to watch the 'sinimering cauldrons' + of Bolton's steam-engine, or the deep cauldrons' of Etna and Hecla.
The sylphs fared as badly—perhaps worse :—they whose provivce had been
to tend the fair, To save the powder from too rude a gale,
Nor let th' imprisoned essences exhale’were dispatched by him in ' bold myriads' to the most unhealthy climes, and on the most dangerous services--to stop #' fell Syroc's' breath; to arrest Simoom, in spite of his poisoned javelin' and 'whistling hair,' and seize the locks of old Tornado. Whilst others, once · light coquettes,' are ordered, as a penance, we presume, to listen to Doctor Priestley's courtship, and to slip into his cabinet in the most tempting dishabille.
• SYLPHS! you retiring to sequestered bowers,
Drinks with red lips the purest breath of beaven;
How while Conferva from its tender hairisi one just out 16
| Economy of Vegetation, Cant. IV. v..17787) Throughout the Doctor's · Philosophical Poem,' he is in a constant fidget to support his multifarious pretensions. He was to shine as a man of science, and as a man of the world - he was to come out of the laboratory perfumed with bergamot, and to puti down the retort, and take a seat in the 'gilt landau. He was to? be a sans-culotte philosopher, and fraternize with the citizens in dirty linen : and, at the same time, to gain adınittance to the s.veges table pride of Imperial Kew,' and to make his bow to the ROYAL PARTNERS,' with his red night-cap in his hand. The learned were to be astounded at his gentility, and the ladies to be enraptured with his learning. But above all, he was to excite universal admiration by the poetie ability with which he had enlisted imagination under the banner of science."
The Doctor made one happy discovery. He has enriched the poetical Pharmacopeia with an exceedingly neat and compendious formula for preparing personifications in any quantity which may be required. As most of our nouus'--so his prescription runs-
have in general no genders affixed to them in prose composition, and in the habits of conversation, they become easily personified only by the addition of a masculine or feminine pronoun—and secondly, as most of our nouns have the article a or the prefixed to them in prose writing and in conversation, they in general become personified even by the omission of their articles.'- Botanic Garden, p. 182, &c.
Nothing could be more ingenious than this prescription for making hé and she personifications at pleasure, nor could it be supposed that the ingenious inventor would neglect to administer a dose of it as often as he could find occasion: the poem, therefore, teems with life and action, originating simply in the application of the magic pronouns, or in the banishment of the definite indefinite article. Of course, the Doctor gave what gender pleased him best, without being over anxious to preserve either propriety or consistency. PLATINA is a he, in spite of the termination; Night bows' his Ethiop brow,' and Earth has his realms of fire.'
Existence having been thus bestowed, it yet required a little garnish, a little ornament; and this the Doctor found in the looser analogies which dress out the imagery of poetry.--His . personification' was to stand up in the ranks, and bustle about in the Economy of Vegetation. When children are at play they produce personifications with the utmost ease. A cross on the siate is a for, and a round on the slate is a goose." The nursery seamstress takes a piece of rag, and rolls it up, and stitches it in the middle,