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In all matters of this sort each case must stand upon its own ground. The institutions established by William the Conqueror, which made every landed proprietor pay a fine to the King on succeeding to his father's inheritance, furnish documents by which much light is cast on family history: but when we refuse all illustration except that which they give, we pervert their use and become misled. It is the fashion to withhold faith from all writers previous to the Conquest; but their histories, save where obviously fabulous, are quite as much to be relied upon as many of those written subsequently. Ancient chronicles, histories, abbey rolls, charters, &c., are good evidence so far as they go, and their absurdities must be rejected by common sense, and their discrepancies reconciled by research and criticism. Chalmers and Tytler both speak of “the fictions of Boece;" and if whole expeditions, and treaties which terminate them-such, for example, as the first expedition of Henry III. into Scotland-are unnoticed by Fordun, Bishop Leslie, Buchanan, professing to write detailed histories of their country, it is not to be wondered at that they make no mention of many private individuals whose existence nevertheless cannot be doubted.'

Mr. Drummond appears to be very strong in Heraldic lore; much of what he has said on that subject is curious and interesting,--and still more so perhaps is what he has engraved in illustration of the text. But, as we hope before long to insert a paper on that 'science,' we defer until then discussing his always ingenious and elegantly stated speculations.

The two parts of the work that have been published contain the ancient families of Ashburnham, Arden, Compton, Cecil, and Harley. The first part contains twenty-two, and the second part twenty-seven portraits, views of monuments, and family-seats, including those of Compton Wyngates, Castle Ashby, four of Burghley, two of Theobald's, Hatfield and Wimbleton; and his pages are gorgeous with heraldic illustrations from the pencil of Mr. Frederick Montagu, one of the very few artists who are capable of representing the blazon of the middle ages. Of these adinirable engravings, some of which are exquisitely coloured, the author says in his prospectus,

It is obvious that a work of this description can have but a limited sale, because its interest will be confined chiefly to the members of the families whose histories are published, and to such as, either through themselves or their ancestors, are connected with them. For this reason, and also in order to prevent its becoming hereafter deteriorated in price, it is determined to destroy the plates so soon as 500 copies have been struck off: and as the price to subscribers of the work is the lowest possible to defray the expenses of publication, it follows that it is a work which must always rise, and never fall, in value.

* The chief expense of publication arises from the portraits : in some families there are few, and perhaps none, preserved of the most celebrated members; in others there are many: the same observation applies to


monuments, &c. The intention of the editor is in the latter case to give only the portraits of the most remarkable persons, however good other portraits may be of individuals less publicly known: but if the members of any family who are in possession of private plates of portraits, views, monuments, armorial bearings, &c., will lend them, that family will be more completely illustrated, and the editor will feel grateful for the assistance; or if any gentleman will contribute one or more plates, or any illustration, of the family to which he belongs, he will in like manner greatly forward the present undertaking. The editor has already received the loan of several private letters, papers, and genealogies, which have been of great service.'

Four parts, forming a volume, are intended to be issued annually; and though but two have yet appeared, we lose no time in bringing a work which has originated in such disinterested motives, and which from its intrinsic merits is so deserving of support, to the attention of the nobility and old gentry of Great Britain. No private fortune can bear so heavy an outlay; and without their encouragement we can hardly hope for the completion of this spirited effort on their behalf.

Art. VII.-1. The Nervous System of the Human Body. By

Sir Charles Bell, K.G.H., F.R.S. 3rd edition. 1836. 2. The Hand; its Mechanism and Vital Endowments, as evincing

Design. By Sir Charles Bell. 4th edition. 1837. 3. Narrative of the Discoveries of Sir Charles Bell in the

Nervous System. By Alexander Shaw, Surgeon to the Middlesex Hospital. London. 1839.

a , kind towards their benefactor, are phenomena so constantly co-existent that the most consolatory aspect of the stern fact is to consider it to be a law by which the race is benefited at the expense of the individual. Truth is so terrible when exhibited in its concentrated form of a principle, and involves such consequences, that all the energies of man are required to test it in the furnace of human passions ere it can be purged of its dross and fitted for

Mankind feel that it approaches them as a conqueror, and they receive it as an enemy. Few discoverers have survived this ordeal; none have escaped it. Harvey owned that his doctrine of the circulation cost him his practice, and gained him instead the reputation of a madman. Newton was undoubtedly worried into melancholy-exhibiting the signs of that kind of aberration which pertains to the sentient rather than to the logical qualities of the mind. Kepler's enthusiastic temperament sustained him



under the consciousness of being misunderstood: How can I,' said he, hope in my own century to be comprehended, when God has in fifty found but one man to comprehend him?' But to the list of great hearts crushed under the burden of truth, must be added that of Sir Charles Bell.

He was born in Edinburgh in 1774, of parents remarkable for simplicity and strength of character-not untinged with romance. He could hardly recal the person of his father, but deeply venerated his memory. It appears that, bred up among rigid Presbyterians and destined for the Kirk, the old man became before quitting college, in 1720, a convert to the tenets of the Protestant Episcopalian Church, then languishing in a most depressed condition in the North; and by and bye devoted himself to the service of its ministry, in which he attained no higher preferment than a small village cure at Doun in Menteath, with a stipend of 251. per annum. Upon this humble income a well-born and well-bred gentleman and his lady (whom he married late in life) not only contrived to live with decent hospitality in their rural retirement, but to bestow a liberal education on three sons :—Robert, a Writer to the Signet—the late celebrated surgeon of Edinburgh, John Bell-and George Joseph, now Professor of Scots Law with high reputation in that University. The means of doing equal justice to the youngest brother were much curtailed by the death of the good old Jacobite priest. Reading in 1839 Mr. Pettigrew's little biography of him for the · Medical Gallery,' Sir Charles wrote opposite to a sentence on its opening page this note:

Nonsense !—I received no education but from my mother, neither reading, writing, cyphering, nor anything else. My education was the example set me by my brothers; there was in all the members of my family a reliance on self, a true independence-and by imitation I obtained it. People prate about education, and put out of sight example, which is all in all.

My mother was my only teacher. I hope I was a comfort to her. On her deathbed John said, “ Let it be a pleasure to you to reflect that you were always her comfort.""

He passed without distinction through the High School of Edinburgh-having no turn for grammar, and labouring under a constant burden of misery from the feeling that his faculties were below the common mark. His brother John, however, saw that there was more in him than in many forward scholars—and soon took him into his own hands; and undoubtedly he owed much to John's early care and zeal, though the elder brother's manner was not always so kind as his intentions.' Under his

eye Charles became a skilful dissector and anatomist; and in due time he VOL. LXXII. NO. CXLIII.


also established himself as a surgical lecturer in Edinburgh. But the close connexion with his elder brother had also its misfortune Charles soon found himself in a vortex of medical polemics, waged between parties headed by Gregory on the one side, and by John Bell on the other. The former was certainly the most accomplished physician of his time-chiselled in mind and

person after the Johnsonian model --while the latter exhibited, in a diminutive vivacious body, that vigorous combination of qualities which made him the most dexterous as well as the boldest operator, the best surgical writer, the most eloquent though the most indolent surgical lecturer then extant. Had he possessed the controlling power which belongs only to the highest order of intellects, few could have done more; as without it, few have done less than John Bell. The sarcasm, learning, wit, and personalities which the Dawplucker' controversy called forth in these great rivals, made the elder brother the terror of all the pompous mediocrities of his day; and the prejudice was most unjustly extended to Charles Bell.

In 1804, at the age of thirty, he became so weary of Edinburgh, in spite of many dear friendships, that he made up his mind to remove to London. He arrived towards the end of the


with a light purse, and without almost a single acquaintance—but with the spirits of youth about him-encouraged by the steady affection of George Joseph Bell, who was already of some note at the Scotch bar-above all, sustained by a consciousness of powers which he believed would inevitably lead him to honourable competency. Sixteen years after, when he looked back on the step he had taken, he was struck with its hardihood; time and the world had had their usual effect on the head and heart.

The teachers in the several great London medical schools were then Cline and Cooper in the Borough, Abernethy at St. Bartholomew's, Sir Everard Home and Wilson in the west. His few direct introductions extended, we believe, to none of these gentlemen; but the reputation of his family and his own talents very soon made him known to all the most worthy members of his profession. He shared the hospitality and as much of the friendship of Baillie as that great physician's busy life could offer : with Dr. Maton he lived in close intimacy; a man of that stamp that he chose to die in comparative poverty rather than not devote his large professional income to the discharge of liabilities incurred by his father, a banker, we believe, in Salisbury. To these were added a few others, especially the good old Lynn,' surgeon to the Westminster Hospital, who appears to have been the most zealous of all in assisting the views of the amiable adventurer. Bell's early letters to his brother George Joseph present a vivid


picture of hope and fear-of domestic affections left and as yet unreplaced—of a manly spirit now and then almost shaken, but as often buoyant with the pardonable presumption of feelings untried and unscathed by experience. These letters show to his

earliest and dearest friend'the most unreserved confidence-not a thought is concealed; but we prefer to quote from his own diary of 1820:

I could see that much could be done—but where to begin ? Where find a resting-place? How show my capacity of teaching or illustrating my profession? These days of misery greatly tended to fortify me, so that nothing afterwards could come amiss, or bring me to a condition of suffering equal to what I then endured. A little romance tinctured the whole-for I felt I was such an outcast from society I loved and thought I deserved—so alone in the world, that I was sure some connexion was to be formed; and I entertained myself with fancies as to what family—what place—what set of people, it was likely Providence was to unite me to. There was scarcely a street or a house in which my imagination did not lead me to think of the probability of finding a home at some future period. In short, I was as romantic as any young man could be, though the prevailing cast of my mind was to gain celebrity and independence by science, and perhaps this was the most extravagant fancy of all.'

Bell, in the commencement of his London career, was cordially received by Sir Joseph Banks :

30th Nov., 1804.-I breakfasted with Sir J. Banks. He is in good style, but has a set of the absurdest animals, living animals—German and French Toadeaters—about him. There came in presently two old ladies, and a respectable, fresh-looking, gouty old gentleman, whom I took for the knight, and was angry with myself for coming to put myself in the train of this stupid, unmannerly man—unmannerly quà Sir Joseph, because he took no particular notice of me. The gentleman was a guest like myself, which when I knew I saw him through a different medium. Presently the knight made his appearance, a very kingly figure of an old man, with a blazing star on his breast. He received my Infirmary Paper from Dr. Garthshore, and sat down and read it before he took his breakfast. He spoke highly of it, and gave a general invitation.'

Before he arrived in London, he had projected and nearly finished his first great work, that on the Anatomy of Expression :' but some time passed before he could get a publisher; and meanwhile we see that living with the most rigid frugality, he was obliged to accept the assistance, now and then, of his brother George. In truth, the Edinburgh prejudice against John had pursued him; but he seems to have believed that the mere national prejudice was in his way:

When I got into Lynn's carriage to-day, “ Well, I wanted to speak and laugh with you. We have got scent of you--they are looking sharp



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