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infamous demoralization, and succeeded better than many other Irish birds, your fellow-labourers and compeers, in befouling the nest out of which you were taken. I suppose you are prepared thoroughly to sub. stantiate

' this too—that twenty-one convictions took place in Tipperary on this abominable charge—and then to argue, by learned deductions, and logic all your own, that Lord Mulgrave's tour through Ireland, and his release of certain minor offenders from the gaol of Clonmel

, produced the unnatural state of society out of which these enormities sprang. Let the people of England, however, understand that the odious imputation is totally groundless. It has not even the equivocal merit of lying like truth;' for not only were there no convictions for that nameless crime, but there was not one single charge.

Having professed a candid belief that the infamous imputation alluded to had originated in an unintended mistake, the pamphlet concludes with the following burst of honest indignation :

" But hold, Sir; never was error less excusable than in this case, when you come forward as a public accuser, voluntarily, officiously, after a long and painful preparation, and after the solemn prelude with which

you vouched for the accuracy of every single statement' you should make. The plea of "Non volens erravi,' must not avail you: • Non volens igitur pænas dato,' is its just and righteous answer. The blunder you have committed would, in an ordinary case, be merely ridiculous; but as an instance of the avidity with which a class of Irishmen grasp at every pretext, however monstrous or absurd, to defame their country, it is too melancholy a subject for laughter. You are slow to believe in the manifest signs of improvement and civilization, which the influence of a mild and paternal government has produced. If others rely on them, and confide in the able and honest men, who, in spite of all the efforts of your party to depress the character of their native land, are raising it above obloquy and contempt, you cry, More shame for them !' But let any dirty tale, or hideous aspersion--no matter how gross or incredible—be thrown in your way, you catch it up as bread from heaven, without inquiry, without hesitation, and in the full assurance of faith, that whatever tends to blacken—to malignto make us traduced and taxed of other nations,' must be true. This is more than an error of judgment. It is a wilful participation in the slander; and the community which has been belied through your means will hold you accountable for it."

There is a journal published in London, called the Record ;a gospel newspaper,

“Whose pious face some sacred texts adorn ;

As artful sinners cloak the secret sin

To veil with seeming grace the guile within." It is conducted, we believe, by an old man-of-war's man, who cruised for some years in the troubled waters of Irish controversy, and was, though not the first surely of the present age and generation the boldest

That practis'd falschood under saintly show."

We think we cannot conclude our observations on the calumniators of Ireland better, than by an extract from this one who has stuck to her as a leech. If it serves no other

purpose,

it

may serve to keep the poor worried Sergeant Jackson in countenance. It is, “in fact,the sort of comment which is germane to his speeches.

“The exposure made by Sergeant Jackson, of the proceedings of the Irish Government, was calculated to produce a powerful impression both on the House of Commons and the country. His statements completely altered the tone of the debate, and must have made Lord John Russell and his friends ashamed of what his Lordship had said about the 'miserable, monopolising minority,' as he was pleased to designate the Protestants of Ireland. In fact, the doings of Lord Mulgrave were such, that even Lord Morpeth is said to have expressed his surprise at circumstances with the existence of which he had previously been very partially acquainted !!!"

ART. VIII.1. Memoirs of the Life of Sir Humphry Davy, Bart.

LL.D., F.R.S., Foreign Associate of the Institute of France.

By John Davy, M.D.F.R.S. 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1836. 2. Consolations in Travel, or, The Last Days of a Philosopher.

Third edition. London. 1831. 3. Salmonia. Third edition, Third edition, London.

London. 1833.

WERE

the question to be proposed, as to which is the most that many very different answers would be returned, in accordance with the different opinions which men had formed of the summum bonum of life. Chemistry, as a purely intellectual science, cannot certainly be ranked with astronomy and the higher mathematics; nor yet, perhaps, with the classics and belles lettres, as a liberal study. It offers the most irrefragable proof and most striking example of the inductive philosophy, but from its accustoming the mind to demonstrative evidence, its general tendency may be thought to induce a scepticism of disposition in regard to such matters as depend for their proof on human testimony. Neither has chemistry any direct tendency to form pure principles of action, or to improve and cultivate those moral qualities of the human heart, in which the true dignity and real happiness of man consist. We apprehend that its chief apology is to be found in its numerous relations to the wants and comforts of society and the arts of life; and, on this

VOL. II.-NO. IV,

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ground, we can readily understand why, in a utilitarian age like the present, it should be esteemed as one of the most popular of all the sciences.

The phenomena which chemistry discloses, are precisely of that kind which captivate the popular taste ;-brilliant and almost magical in their nature, they appeal at once to the senses, while, on the other hand, they require no great depth of understanding, or previous knowledge of the subject, to apprehend the general principles on which they depend. It is not, however, the mere captivation of the fancy by striking experiments that the modern chemist aims at producing; neither is his object, like that of the ancient alchemists, to transmute the baser metals into gold, or to discover a universal elixir to prolong life, but to promote the health and happiness of his species by the multiplication of the comforts of social existence. Chemistry allied to the arts, has been the grand source of national aggrandizement and wealth, by enabling our manufacturers to compete with those of every other nation, and our merchants to monopolise the commerce of the world. Directed by its lights, we have been introduced into the very arcana of nature; and armed with its powers, we have been enabled to subdue the most refractory substances to our will.

By Franklin, we have been taught to disarm the lightning of its fury; by Davy, to avoid the terrific consequences of subterranean combustion; by Cavendish, to set free the imprisoned elements of water; and by Wollaston, to draw platinum wire finer than the finest gossamer, by which, it is said, that philosopher realized a sum of not less than £30,000. If, however, we may be allowed to judge of the importance of discoveries by the extent and permanency of their effects, we should not hesitate to assign the first place to Mr Watt's discovery of the steam-engine,-a discovery, which, we venture to affirm, is only paralleled by one other event in the annals of the world—that is, the art of printing; although it may be doubted, whether it is not calculated to effect even still greater changes in the physical than that has done in the intellectual world. In short, the dreams of the philosophical enthusiast are now no longer improbable, but a boundless prospect of new and inexhaustible discovery has been opened to our view.

Among the chemists of the eighteenth century, the names of Black, Cavendish, Priestley, and Scheele, hold a conspicuous rank; but they were each distinguished by a peculiar merit; Black for the simplicity and precision of his processes and the accuracy of his reasoning powers; Cavendish for the great delicacy and neatness of his manipulations, and the caution with which he advanced to general conclusions,- so that most of his processes were, from the very first, of a finished kind, requiring no subsequent correction, and remaining unimpaired amidst the progress of discovery; Priestley for the ingenuity with which he devised chemical apparatus, and for the light which his multifarious knowledge and research shed over every branch of the science; and Scheele for the boldness and originality of his mind, which disencumbered chemistry of many erroneous views, and paved the way for future discoveries. Such were the peculiar excellencies of those eminent chemists; but the claims of Davy were of a still higher order, whether we consider the peculiar nature of his genius, or the discoveries which it enabled him to effect. He seemed to combine in his own individual character, the separate excellencies of all those who preceded him. Bold and ardent in disposition, and patient and persevering in investigation, his mind seemed equally adapted to minute enquiry, and the most extensive generalization of facts. In the commencement, as well as in the decline of his life, when the imagination is less subject to the supremacy of reason, he exhibited many proofs of the natural force of this faculty of his mind; and to this source, we must refer that inexhaustible fertility of expedients and dexterity as an experimenter, for which he was so remarkably distinguished in his more mature years. Clear and accurate in his reasoning, and imbued with the true spirit of the Baconian philosophy, he was able not only to compare all the existing facts of chemistry, so as to deduce general conclusions ; but, to seize with intuitive sagacity, the remote resemblances of facts, and with no less singular adroitness, to devise, new experiments for testing their accuracy, and confirming and extending their proofs; so that in all respects his mind was peculiarly formed for original investigation, and for extending the boundaries of science. The circumstance, however, which, perhaps, more than any other, added to his general fame, was the wonderful ingenuity of his mind in surmounting obstacles, so as to render available to the arts of life, the abstract principles of science.

It strikes us as one great objection to the life of Davy, that it has been written too soon after his death, to enable us to judge of the real practical importance of many of his discoveries; many of which require time to confirm their truth, or to develope their consequences; we do not, by any means, subscribe to the opinion that the intrinsic merits of scientific discoveries are to be estimated by the extent of their practical and beneficial consequences; yet, when such consequences are of an universal kind, they cannot but encircle the inventor's brow with an additional halo of glory, and emphatically entitle him to the appellation of a permanent

benefactor of his species. We can no more dissociate the effects which the discoveries of Newton and Bacon have respectively produced on the mixed and experimental sciences, than we can disconnect the association of the New World with the name of Columbus, or of the steam-engine with that of Watt. There is also another objection to precipitate biography, which is, that we are unable sufficiently to distance ourselves from the object to observe its real proportions. Mont Blanc improves as one recedes from its vicinity, and heroes lose much by that familiarity which makes us acquainted with their daily wants ; inferior excellencies, in short, are incompatible with the grander styles of composition, and inevitably injure the general effect. The imagination is delighted in representing the character of such a man as Davy as the lofty embodiment of some celestial genius, alike free from the interruptions of human passion, and disengaged from the encumbrances of matter; but the illusion wholly vanishes when we are informed of the minuter incidents of his life, which individualize the portrait, and deprive it of that loftiness which it otherwise would possess. Besides, it is impossible to divest the mind of partial considerations. The illustrious dead leave behind them a glorious train of rosy twilight, which insensibly impresses all spectators. Friendship and jealousy equally tend to bias the judgment, and to warp the intellectual vision, nor is it possible, until time and distance have removed their disturbing influences, to form a correct judgment of character,

These observations have been forced from us in consequence of two memoirs, both the productions of friends, having been written of this illustrious individual within the short period of five years; but written, as it would seem, in a spirit of opposition. We might have expected, if any where, certainly in the present instance, an agreement of opinion. Dr. Paris and Dr. Davy, the former the friend, the latter the brother of the deceased, were both admitted to his intimate acquaintance, and both. enjoyed his private confidence, and yet they differ essentially in the account which they give of some important features of his character. We may also believe that, in many other respects, in which they agree, they have equally been misled by their partialities, of which, indeed, we shall have occasion to adduce more than one example in the present notice. In other respects, both these lives are written with great taste and judgment, except perhaps that Dr. Davy would have consulted his own and his brother's dignity more effectually, by abstaining from a controversial spirit, which mingles itself with the whole

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