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particular nation or pursuit of the respective persons whom he occasionally addressed. Of the fruits of his studies, there still remain, or were lately remaining, in his own hand-writing, two voluminous manuscripts, in Italian, of an history of the founders of the principal l-'uropean monarchies, and a treatise, in French, on heraldry. The wisdom, learning and valorous deeds of this amiable, accomplished, and heroic pnnce, arc recorded in the page of history; and his taste, genius, and munificence, live in the glowing numbers of Marino, Chiabrera, Guarini, and Tassoni.' pp. 115, 116.
The patronage of the house of Savoy was, however, far from being propitious to Tassoni; his honours were of a very empty nature At one time he had an order from the duke for two hundred Roman crowns;but, unfortunately, the coffers just then proved to be empty Another time he had a prospect of receiving thirty pieces of gold, and three hundred gold crowns, out of certain benefices in Piedmont, which were daily expected to become vacant; but, alas! the incumbents, as fond of the good things of this world as the rest of their brethren, were in no haste to depart. Tassoni waited in vain for their removal to a better state; and this disappointment being succeeded by others, bis faith in the malignant aspect of his stars waxed so strong, that in a letter to his friend Barisoni, he said,' I do not despair of 'seeing, ere I die, the mountains of the earth fly before me, if I 'should happen to have occasion to ascend one of them.'
Overwhelmed with the cares, and disgusted with the intrigues, of a courtier's life, Tassoni, after many difficulties and dangers, disengaged himself from the court of Turin, and taking a house in the neighbourhood of Rome, with a garden and vineyard attached to it, he devoted himself to the luxury of ' lettered ease,' cultivating with his own hands his flowers, of which he boasts la a letter to a friend that he had a hundred different sorts; pruning his vines, and occasionally making war upon the thrushes, a sport of which he appears to have been more fond than ' bard be'seems.' Persons who have been accustomed to active life and violent excitement of mind, soon become weary of tranquil occupations and sequestered enjoyments. Tassoni quitted his retreat three years after the time he entered upon it, and accepted an appointment under Cardinal Lodivisio, nephew of Gregory XV. and a kind and liberal patron of men of genius, with a salary of four hundred crowns, and apartments in the Cardinal's palace at Bologna. Our Author seems to have kept both himself and his muse in good humour, as well as his patron, who used to laugh immoderately at his effusions. He remained six years in the service of the Cardinal, when death deprived him of his patron. But the stars had by this time changed their aspect: Francis I. one of the most accomplished princes of his age, a munificent patron of letters and the fine arts, was at this period the reigning sovereign of Modena. He immediately invited Tassoni to his court, appointed him one of his gentlemen in waiting, with a liberal salary, and at the same time nominated him a member of his council. Thus covered with honours and easy in circumstances, it was Tassoni':-. rare and enviable fate to close his days in his native city, fortunate in meeting there with some of his early friends, and proving himself deserving of his good fortune, by encouraging elegant literature, performing acts of charity and benevolence, and s. rving his natural sovereign with fidelity and zeal There are persons who reap more benefit fro n prosperity than from adversity Tassoni appears to have been of this description; he became infuriated under opposition, but under soothing circumstances he was kind and gentle, lie was never married: like Petrarch he had one natural sou, whom, in early youth, he disliked for his profligacy; but from whom, in later life, he received comfort in consequence of his amended conduct.
Mr. Walker's minute and elegant criticism of 'Li Secchia 'Rapita,' will, we hope, so far turn the attention of the public to its merits, as to procure us a good translation of it; more particularly as the historic il and personal allusions, even at this distance of time, are susceptible of easy and interesting illustration. It is almost unnecessary to say, that these Memoirs, like Mr. Walker's other productions, abound with entertaining anecdotes and interesting remarks
We shall conclude this article with some observations on the state of patronage in Italy, in the seventeenth century, which Mr. Walker remarks his researches warrant him in making.
'Men of learning and genius were, during that period, rarely allowedto pine in indigence and obscurity. They were not compelled to ascend to the chilly region of the garret, and to write for bread at a "broken pane.'' Princes sought them out, received them into their courts, admitted them into their cabinets, and investing them with diplomatic powers, dispatched them on missions to the neighbouring courts. Nor were the doors of the palaces of the nobility, or of the chief dignitaries of the church closed against them. In many of these palaces a state and splendour, much resembling that of the royal court, were affected. Their households were generally established on the same plan, and their officers bore the same titles. This magnificence of establishment afforded an ample provision , arid an honourable asylum for indigent merit, while it proved an incitement to the cultivation ol elegant literature. The votaries of the muses, if the muses were propitious, were not diverted from their pursuits by the dread of future scorn or neglect. They knew that if they should not be honoured with the protection of their sovereigns, they might look forward, with well founded hope, to a provision, and to Battering distinctions, in some of the palaces of the prelates, or of the nobility. Nor were their feelings in danger of being wounded: for if invested with the titles of chamberlains, gentlemen in waiting, or secretaries. they felt honoured by the distinction, as the same respectability attached to these offices on private establishments, as to those of equal rank in the households of sovereign princes, provided that the investiture proceeded from holy, or from noble hands.' pp. 183—185.
When we contrast this account with the board wages, and vulgar appendages in the establishments of some of our nobility in the present day, we feel an increasing desire for the diffusion of works which may direct them to the imitation of some of the most laudable customs of their ancestors, who were attentive to the quality as well as to the number of those whom they retained iiinl r iheir roofs, and who seemed to think it one of the privileges of rank to encourage the efforts of those who had only their lalrnis to ennoble them.
Art. X. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. For the Year 18 1 4 Parts I. and II 4to. G. and W. Nicol. London, (Chemical and Physiological Papers). •
[Concluded from p. 369 of our last Number.]
An Account of a Family having Hands and Feet mith Supernu i erary Fingers and Toes. By Anthony Carlisle, Esq. F. R.S.
singularities of anatomical structure of which we have • a statement in this paper, occurred in the family of the American boy who was lately exhibited in London, on account of his extraordinary powers of calculation by memory. Mr. Carlisle has stated the particular facts with great circumstantiality, as he received them from Abiah Colburn, the boy's father. The peculiarity was introduced into the family by the mother of Abiah Colburn, his father having no such deviation from the ordinary structure. Of the issue of this marriage, four in number, three had the peculiarity in both hands and both feet; the fourth had one hand and one foot naturally formed. The mother of Abiah Colburn had herself derived the peculiarity from her mother, the father having his hands and feet naturally formed, and all the children of this marriage, eleven in number, were reported to Mr. C. to have been completely marked with the mother's peculiarity, though she herself had one hand without the supernumerary finger. The knowledge of the parties did not extend farther back.
The wife of Abiah Colburn, the father of Zerah Colburn, the calculating boy, had no deviation from the ordinary structure; but of their children, eight in number, four inherit the father's peculiarity more or less completely; the other four being perfectly free from it. The subject is extremely curious and interesting in a physiological view; but the facts hitherto collected, are too scanty to authorize any general deductions on an inquiry so extremely obscure. Mr. C. justly remarks that 'it is not altogether vain to expect, that more profound views, and 'more applicable facts, await the researches of men, who have as 'yet only begun to explore this branch of natural history, by subjecting it to physical rules.'
■ ■Experiments and Observations on the Influence of the Nerves of the Eighth Pair, on the Secretions of the Stomach. By B. C. Brodie, Esq. F. R. S. Communicated by the Society for the Promotion of Animal Chemistry.
The prosecution of the inquiry into the influence of the nervous system on the secretions of the animal economy, has been found to be obstructed by almost insufferable difficulties; and with reference to the nerves of the stomach, the death of the animal has generally occurred too early after the division of the nerves, to allow time for ascertaining its effect on the gastric secretions. As, however, the action of arsenic on the animal economy, occasions a very copious and almost immediate secretion of mucous in the stomach, Mr. B. thought it might afford some illustration of this subject, to ascertain the effect which the division of the nerves of the eighth pair might have in an animal to whom this poison was applied. Four experiments were made, and the arsenic was applied immediately after the division of the nerves, either directly to the stomach, or to some other part of the body. In either case, the effect would have been a copious secretion of mucous into the stomach, had the animal been entire; but in the animals subjected to these experiments, though the poison produced death in a few honrs, the stomach presented no appearance of unusual or unnatural secretion; nor had any been discharged by vomiting or otherwise during the life of the animal, though the mucous membrane was much inflamed. This result is certainly strongly in favour of the opinion, that the secretions are greatly under the control of the nervous power.
On a Fossil Human Skeleton from Gvadaloupe. By Charles Konig, Esq. F. R. S.
The block in which these human bones, improperly denominated a fossil remain, are imbedded, was brought from Guadaloupe by Sir Alexander Cochrane. It is about a foot and a half in thickness, of a flattened oval figure, and weighing nearly two tons' The whole has very much the appearance of a huge nodule, which had been disengaged from a surrounding mass.
From notices by General Ernouf, in the Annates de Museum for 1805, and by M. Lavaisse in his Voyage a la Trinidad,
Vol. V. N. S. R r
J»ubn»h'ed in 1813, it appears, that these remains exist on a poribn of the windward side of the Grande-Terre called ia Ktoule. The situation of this skeleton in the block, is so very superficial, that Mr. K. thinks it probable its existence may have been indicated in the rock on the coast, by the projection of some portion of the bones of the left fore arm. He has given a very circumstantial account of the skeleton; and has accompanied it with an engraving, which conveys a still better idea than any description can do of its natural appearance and situation, in relation to the block in which it is imbedded.
The skull is entirely wanting, which is the more to be regretted, as its form might possibly have led to some probable conclusion as to the peculiar race to which the individual belonged. The profound researches of Cuvier, have conferred a high degree of importance on the study of the organic remains of former ages, since by connecting them with geology, he has proved how precious are the elucidations which they afford of the history of the globe. In this point of view, the skeleton described in this paper, though it has proved on examination to be only an incrustation, possesses a peculiar interest, as it is, we believe, the only example which has yet been observed, of human remains occurring in any of the strata of the globe. The rock in which it was found, is calcarious ; but the information on this subject is too scanty and imperfect to afford a basis for any very positive concluseons as to its probable age; and until the geological structure of the West Indian Islands shall have been more carefully studied, any attempt to assign its probable date -would be premature and unsatisfactory.
Observations on the Functions of the Brain. By Sir Everard Home, Bart. F. R. S.
This paper exhibits a highly philosophical attempt to elucidate the physiology of the brain, by an attentive study of its pathology • and it is, perhaps, the only means which affords a reasonable prospect of our ever arriving at any safe and satisfactory conclusions, relative to functions of any particular portions of this most important organ. In this point of view, every injury done to the structure of the brain, either by accident or disease, may be considered as an experiment madeUpOn it, and a careful observation of the derangements produced on the functions of the nervous system during life, connected with a minute and accurate examination of the parts after death, may ultimately lead to conclusions which may enable us to assign to each individual part, its appropriate function in the animal economy.
As the commencement of such an investigation, this paper is curious and valuable. It contains the results of the obsem