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CONVERSATION. The Times; with Evening
2,684,800 44,746 “Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, Traveller; with Commer
more than any man in all Venice. His reasons cial and London Chro
are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels nicle
386,500 6,441 of chaff; you shall seek all day ere you find True Briton
165,600 2,760 them; and, when you have them, they are not Three times a Week.
worth the search.”
SHAKSPEARE. English Chronicle
160,500 2,675 General Evening Post 150,000 2,500 St. James's Chronicle;
Man being by nature to a certain with Baldwin's Journal 577,500 9,625 extent a sociable animal, it may be London Packet
102,000 1,700 needless to inquire, In what consists Twice a Week.
the chief pleasure which he derives Bell's Weekly Dispatch - 132,250 2,204 Bell's Weekly Messenger
from the society of his fellow mortals?
522,700 8,711 British Luminary
And though it must certainly be allowBritish Neptune; with
ed, that instinct is the first incitement British Freeholder, Bri
to cultivate sociéty, conversation, or tish Mercury, London
the pleasure arising from a familiar Moderator, London and Provincial Gazette, Na
interchange of sentiments, ought not tional Register,and Nor
to be classed amongst the least of the wich Courier
36,000 600 foundations of social intercourse. AlBrunswick
22,392 373 though it is true, that society at large Catholic Advocate
may be, at the bottom, considered but Champion
a refinement of self-love, the gratified Courier de Londres
22,500 375 Examiner
self-love, arising from conversation, Guardian
88,150 1,469 is essentially different from the sordid John Ball
468,002 7,800 acceptation of that term: I mean that John Bull's British Journal 2,000 33
acceptation of it, in which it is underLondon Gazette
stood as implying that propensity of News
506,500 8,441 Nicholson's Price Current 7,400
mankind to herd together, and contriObserver
714,000 11,900 bute each his part, to be laid up in Observer of the Times 55,150 919 store for the purpose of alleviating, or Real John Ball
77,568 1,292 averting, the evils to which, in the Wooler's British Gazette 66,500 1,108 course of providence, he may at some
Weekly. Aurora Borealis
future time be exposed.
24,600 410 Bell's Price Current
10,000 166 In conversation, as in every other British Monitor
25,075 417 | intellectual acquirement, there are Christian Reporter
24,650 410 great differences amongst men; and Cobbett’s Register
so very great are these differences, County Chronicle; with County Herald
that some have strenuously urged the County Literary Chronicle 1,500
25 necessity of natural abilities being Englishman; with Mirror
possessed by an individual who would of the Times
137,750 2,295 shine in this sphere of polite accomFarmer's Journal
155,000 2,583 plishment; true it is, that to converse Independent Observer 36,866 614 Law Chronicle
freely, and not hurt the feelings of the
185 Literary Gazette
60,197 1,003 present or absent,—to express opiniMarwade's Price Current 1,099 18 ons openly and not intrusively,—to Military Register
1,672 27 occupy the attention of those amongst Mirror
9,000 150 whom one is situated, and keep them Philanthropic Gazette 36,900
615 listening to what is worthy of their reSunday Monitor; with Westminster Journal,
membrance; are attainments which and Imperial Gazette 62,500 1,041 few who have even had the advantages Town Talk
3,000 50 of nature and art, can boast of having Once a Fortnight.
acquired. Whether we are to consiRacing Calendar
der garrulity as the sure evidence of a Once in Three Weeehs. Police Gazette
mind amply stored with erudition, is, Once a Month.
perhaps, problematical : it may rather Literary Advertiser
6,000 100 be regarded as evincing the forward Total number of London
superficiality of a mind that has been Newspapers
- 16,254,534 270,908 content with what appeared gay and Provincial Newspapers 8,525,252 142,087 fascinating, and has left the foundaTotal number of Newspaper Stamps issued 24,779,786 412,996 tions and causes, as undeserving of
their attention. It is a truth, that
many of our best authors, whose pro- ment of great minds, or always the ductions are deservedly admired, had concomitant of those who can jest little of this art; amongst whom was with readiness and suavity; let us Addison, who, after having passed an now preceed to take a review of some evening with some literary characters, characters, whose conversation admiwas, by one of them, Voltaire, rather rably develops the ruling propensiinvidiously compared to a moping ties of their hearts and actions. country curate in a tie-wig.
There is a certain class of men Conversation, viewed as entertain- whose loquaciousness is so irksome, ing, rather than profound, would seem who are so continually taken up with to have its peculiar charm in grace or the detailing of trifles, that it is imease, shewing not so much in origin- possible any man of sense could reality, or deep researches, as in a main for the shortest time in their graceful and not trite representation, company, without being irritated out of common objects and occurrences. of all humour ; and notwithstanding In considering conversation, as a me- the good terms on which these pratdium through which we disseminate tlers live with the belles, one cannot our opinions or sentiments, it is, per- help feeling a hearty contempt for haps, more successful than any other those who speak, and those who are means of conveying them ; for it entertained with such interminable more insinuating than writing. The insignificance. If means cannot be reason is plain ; what comes from the invented to get rid of these annoyanheart may be more simple, and una- ces, let such be classed under the gedorned, but not less fervid or impres- nus of drivellers, or talkers of nonsive.
sense, -creatures from whom nothing Although it is not always the case, can be learned ; and yet, with candour yet by a familiar interchange of senti- be it spoken, there is an art in speakments, and a beautiful representation ing about nothing at all. of the truth, we may win others from My friend, Bill Trimble, is a polierroneous views or wrong conclusions, tician, and his vain babblings are so and be successful in this good cause, pestiferous and loud, that one would not so much from exposing the incon- think his continual remonstrances gruous sentiments of our neighbour, were enough to silence every opinion as by shewing the superiority of our opposed to the sapient deductions of own ; for though truth be like nature, his vain self. Such is the hatred and “ when least adorned, adorned the spleen with which Peter, of the old most,” yet the best cause may be so school, descants upon the degeneracy clumsily defended, as rather to ex- of modern manners, and the wickedcite ridicule than produce convic- ness of the present generation, that tion.
the credulous, or easy to be imposed To illustrate the truth of this asser- upon, might doubt whether he had tion, I am acquainted with two gen- not past his youth in the latter part of tlemen, the one is a wag of the first “that Golden Age which poets write water, and can crack his joke with of.” the finest grace imaginable, but when In conclusion, let it be remembered once he attempts calmly to converse, that a wise man once said, much and relate any circumstance, his man- study was a weariness to the flesh; ner is so stiff, and unaccommodating, so, much speaking is generally not a that you are prejudiced against the friend to the reputation: for he that man, and his subject, before he has talks much, must speak either of himhalf finished. The other is a wit, but self or others; by doing the former, he one of the satirical kind,-one who only shews his own emptiness and seldom creates a laugh, but at the ex- vanity; and by practising the latter, pense of some individual's feelings or it is odds but he will, in some unguardreputation;but how disagreeable soever ed moment, say something amiss, and his witticisms are, his conversation is thereby expose himself to the ill-will pleasing and alluring, and he has too of some one: and thus go on, irritatoften the dexterity of making “the ing one after another, “till he has worse appear the better reason.” raised a swarm of wasps about his Granting that what has been addu- ears, and is half stung to death for his ced, may be sufficient to prove, that pains.”
JUVENIS. conversation is not solely the attain- Aberdeen, 4th May, 1822.
REMARKS ON MENTAL AFFECTIONS.
- That our involuntary thoughts, or
ideas, are of three kinds ;-that is, MR. EDITOR.
ideas of sensation, ideas of recollecSIR,—My letter, written on the 6th of tion or reflection, and ideas of imagiSeptember, was not published till the nation or fancy ;—that the thinking 15th of Dec. 1821, (col. 1185 ;) the principle, or perceptive faculty, is cause of which you have explained; constantly in action, so long as life and from the omissions of my booksel- remains, and when not engaged in ler, the Magazine in which it was ideas of sensation or ideas of recollecpublished did not come to hand till tion, it must be engaged in ideas of the 11th of May. The subsequent num- imagination, or what is sometimes bers having come regularly; and find called fancy, we having no power to ing no mention of my letter, I con- suspend the action of the thinking cluded that it had been rejected, and principle for a single moment.--That of course I had relinquished all idea insanity simply consists in a diseased of writing again upon the subject : a excitement of the imagination, there subject which I must presume will being no defect in the senses, nor any prove acceptable to a large proportion defect in the powers of recollection, of your readers.
in those properly called insane, acT, BAKEWELL. cording to the general acceptation of Spring Vale, May 13th.
the word.—And, lastly, that the line to
be drawn betwixt sanity and insanity Some six years ago, in consequence is, when the imagination has a disof a challenge, as I took it, from a eased excitement so strong, as to highly respected Magistrate, to dis- break out into words and actions that cuss publicly the merits of our large are inconsistent with, or in oppoinstitutions for the insane, I wrote a sition to, the suggestions of pure number of letters for the Monthly Magazine, upon our national scheme of
Asking a patient just brought into county asylums. These were followed the house, what was the matter with by one letter upon the nature of men- him? his answer was, “Why, Sir, the tal diseases, and I intended to go people say that I am mad, for I caninto the history and general treatment not, at times, help telling all that of insanity; and to speak of the cau- ever comes into my head:” now were ses, symptoms of its approach, and I to tell all that ever comes into my the means of prevention, and means head, the people would say that I was of cure ;-but I was prevented by cau- mad, and my readers may confess ses, which have since ceased to bave the same ; for the most perfect sanity any influence, and I shall feel happy does not consist in a freedom from to bestow a few leisure hours upon erroneous or visionary ideas, no huwhat I am convinced is of more impor-man Being being at all times in this tance than any other earthly concern ; state, but in the freedom of the reafor great as is the blessing of bodily soning powers, to suppress the words health, it bears no comparison with and actions these erroneous and vithe value of mental healtb; and to me sionary ideas would suggest. it will be both pleasing and easy:- Confirmed insanity generally acting pleasing, from an idea of its being only partially, that is, upon particuuseful to my fellow-creatures, and lar imaginations, and being intermiteasy, from its requiring only an ab-tent, those who are the most incurable stract of previous communications, have lucid intervals, during which either verbal or written. I am per- they can reason as well as they ever suaded too, that the subject, instead could; while the most sane are subject of being repulsive, as some suppose, to feelings and passions, under the may become highly interesting and influence of which the reasoning powattractive.
ers are suspended, and which may be I beg to repeat what I said in my deemed a state of insanity. former letter, (viz.) That to understand I have known serious characters the human mind, and the nature of made unhappy by the intrusion of what are called mental diseases, we what they called sinful thoughts ; but must clearly distinguish betwixt the if no voluntary indulgence were given involuntary action of thought, and the to these thoughts, and if they did not free exercise of the reasoning powers. break out into words and actions, they 553
Review--Sir Marmaduke Maxwell.
were not sinful, because involuntary. Review.-Sir Marmaduke Maxwell, a Milton says:
Dramatic Poem; The Mermaid of « Evil into the mind of God or man
Galloway; The Legend of Richard May come and go so unapprov'd,
Faulder ; and Twenty Scottish Songs. And leave no spot behind.
By Allan Cunningham. London: It is, however, too much to pre- Taylor and Hessey, Fleet-street. sume, that evil can enter into the
1822. pp. 210. 12mo. mind of a pure spiritual being; and an exemption from the intrusions of Few persons, we presume, are aware erroneous and disagreeable thoughts, of the immense number of poetical can only be the privilege of those works constantly issuing from the happy beings who are free from the press, varying in their value and style corruptions of matter.-But being in as much as in the subjects on which the full possession of our reasoning they treat. One hour exbibits a poem powers, we can use the means of dis- whose author is so great a favourite sipating our intrusive ideas; and our with the public, that all he sends into being under the necessity of using the the world is seized with the greatest means, proves that we have no direct avidity, and this partiality corrupts command over them, for if we had the judgment, so that its defects are we could banish them by a single voli- not discovered :—the next may protion of the mind.
claim the production of a mind unacSince I sat down to write this letter, customed to the eye of the critic, and I was intruded upon by a train of generally unknown to the public :thoughts, not at all agreeable; and I such a work must stand upon its own was under the necessity of walking out merits, or fall by its lack of any thing and diverting my ideas by a variety of engaging or instructing. And certain impressions, before I could resume it is, that few, very few, who venture my subject; and in cases of absolute into the lists of poetical competition, insanity, strong impressions upon the ever attain to any eminence on the senses will suspend the action of the hill of Parnassus. disease, and cause lucid intervals. The making of verses is now (and, Shakspeare says:
we believe, long has been) a great “ My brain I'll prove the female of my soul; source of amusement to those who My soul the father; and these two beget bave inclination or opportunity to turn A generation of still breeding thoughts, And these same thoughts people thy little from study or from business; and to world.”
such persons it affords an agreeable But a still higher authority says, relaxation; this, added to the fund of "And the Lord God formed man of materials daily afforded, -by incidents the dust of the ground, and breathed in life,--by the contemplation of the into his nostrils the breath of life, and works of naturo-_by the solemn and man became a living soul,” by which affecting dispensations of providence, I understand, that a principle of life, and at the same time requiring a feeling, and sensation, or, in other greater degree of fancy or imaginawords, a thinking principle, began to tion, perhaps, rather than severe operate upon matter in the form of thought or diligent application,-all man, and continued to operate upon operate, in some measure, to throw it so long as that matter remained into this department of our lite tenable, according to the eternal pur- rature, works of comparatively little pose; for we read in another place, value, and which, consequently, aro * Thou_takest away our breath, we scarcely out of the bookbinders' or die." But it may be asked, if this booksellers' bands, before they are thinking principle be a divine princi- thrown away as worthless, and are ple, how comes it to be disordered either consumed in the covering of In answer to this, I say, that it is not real Cheshire or good Dorsetshire, or a thinking principle, as it regards else used to light our kitchen fires, or man, till its union with matter, and for other purposes of domestic econothat all its derangements are owing to my.--How large a portion of the poetic the diseases incident to matter, and fire of some of our native bards has we all well know that the thinking thus kindled into smoke! principle in man is acted upon by We, however, venture to assort, physical causes.
that the work now before us will re(To be continued.)
tain a share in the memory of its readNo. 41.-.-VOL. IV.
ers, while memory remains,-for the
Say no more: poetical beauties with which it My Scotland, whilst one stone of thine is left abounds,--for its correct copyings
Unturn’d by ruin's plowshare, while ona of nature,--and for the lively and Grows green, untouch'd by the destroyer's brilliant sparks of fancy and imagina- axe,tion which it contains.
While one foundation-stone of palace, or The time of the story of the Drama church, is the close of the Commonwealth, The rocking of artillery,—while ove stream,
Or shepherd's hovel, stands unmoved by under the Second Cromwell. Lord Though curdling with warm life's blood, can Maxwell has a presentiment of woes frequent to fall upon Scotland, and makes the Its natural track,—while thou hold'st holy dust following patriotic speech. We be- of princes, heroes, sages, though their graves lieve we must commence with the And weep for thee, and fight for thee, while
Flood ankle-deep in gore; 0, I will love thee, scene:
heaven SCENE VI. Caerlaverock Hall. Lends life, and thy worst foes are but of flesh, LORD W. MAXWELL and LADY MAXWELL,
And can feel temper'd steel. Lady M.-Thou must not stand on earth
Surely this displays more than ordilike a carved saint Which men do bow to, but which ne'er re- nary powers; and were we to give all turus
the passages of equal or superior Their gratulatious.
worth we noticed in perusing this vo
lume, we should be compelled to omit Lord M.--Love, there is a voice Still whispering, that all we love or hate
the notice of any volume this month. All we admire, exalt, or hope to compass,
Two or three short sentences, and we Till the stars wax dim amid our meditation, extract no more. Is but as words graved on the ocean sands, Which the returning tide blots oat for ever.
Mary Douglas to her Servant. For I'm grown sick of the world's companion- Thou know'st the tree; ship,
Haste, haste: fly like a bird that leaves
Speak! I can now be silent as the grave ; In some vast desert, there I'd deem each star
Close, as cold lips of marble; still, as the deep That lumined me in loveliness was framed
Of the unvoyaged, fathomless profound
Learn to speak falsely in love's gilded terms; Fill'd all the Summer air, graced my hand
Go learn to sugar o'er a hollow heart;
And learn to shower tears, as the winter cloud, Than a dread sceptre : and the little birds Would know us, love; the grey and pleasant Bright, but all frozen. Would hang her mansion for her golden young
( Mary Douglas faints.) E’en in our woodland porch.
Graeme, (a Shepherd. )-Low thou liest, Lady M.-Thy country's woes
My beauteous fair one; my keen plowshare Have robb’d thee of thy peace,-have pluck'd ne'er thy spirit
Shared violet half so lovely. Take these drops, Down from its heaven, and made sweet sleep Pure from the spring, --they are not half so to thee
pure The bitterest bliss of life.
As thy most lovely self.
Lights at ber window ! blessed is the air
Her blooming cheek that kisses: looks she Whose pure blood has flow'd down-thro' the To see if earth hold aught that's worth her
forth Ora thousand noble bosoms?--a brave man
O let me steal one look at her sweet face, Who loves his country's ancient name and
For she doth still turn her dark eyes from me; law,
And she is silent as yon silver star
These sentences lose a great part of The halter, and whet axe, hold him in chase,
their beauty by being thus given; but And make a den of Scotland, for the fiends To bowl and sevel in.
the reader will perceive that there is poetry in them of a class superior to