« PředchozíPokračovat »
Crashing the forest in his race,
V. The mountain bull comes thundering Then adieu, silver Teivi! I quit thy on.
To join the dim choir of the bards The curious reader, who prefers who have been : plain latin prose to english poetry, With Lewarch, and Meilor, and Mer. will be attracted to the history of
lin the old, this animal by Lesleus, Scotia de. And sage Taliessin, high harping to
hold. scriptio, page 13.
VI. For the remaining selection we were about to refer our readers to
And adieu, Dinas Emlinn ! still green
be thy shades, the volume ; but upon reperusing
Unconquer'd thy warriors, and matchit, we are tempted to transcribe it, less thy maids ! and sincerely hope that they will And thou, whose faint warblings my derive as much pleasure from
weakness can tell, reading as we experience in copy
Farewell; my lov'd harp, my last trea
sure, farewell !
THE DYING BARD.
ARTICLE 23. 1.
(Continued.) Dinas Emlinn, lament; for the moment Memoirs of Dr. Joseph Priestley, to is nigh
the year 1795, written by himself; When mute in the woodlands thine
with a continuation to the time of echoes shall die : No more by sweet Teivi Cadwallon
his decease, by his son, Joseph shall rave,
Priestley : and observations on And mix his wild notes with the wild his writings, by Thomas Cooper, dashing wave.
president judge of the 4th district
of Pennsylvania : and the Rev. II.
William Christie. NorthumberIn spring and in autumn thy glories of
land, Penn. printed by J. Binns. shade, Unhonour'd shall flourish, unhonour'd
1806. shall fade ;
The first appendix contains a For soon shall be lifeless the eye and the tongue
succinct account of the discoveries That view'd them with rapture, with in factitious airs before the time of rapture that sung.
Dr. Priestley, and of those made III.
by himself.' On these has been Thy sons, Dinas Emlinn, may march in founded the pneumatic theory, and their pride,
the name of Priestley will always And chase the proud Saxon from Pres. be associated with the new princi
tatyn's side ; But where is the harp shall give life to of his experiments, and the accu
ples of chemistry. The simplicity their name? And where is the bard shall give heroes racy of his inductions on the sub, their fame?
jects which he has investigated,
have left little room to his succes. IV.
sors to doubt the former or correct And oh, Dinas Emlinn! thy daughters the latter. It is remarkable, how.
so fair, Who heave the white bosom, and wave
ever, that this philosopher, who, the dark hair ;
with Cavendish and Scheele, has What tuneful enthusiast shall worship laid the foundation of most of the
modern improvements in the When half of their charms with Cad. science of chemistry, should have wallon shall die
continued, till his death, the only
solitary instance of a constant ad- ly analysed by any other writer. herence to the exploded doctrine From this it appears, that though of Stahl. Dr. Priestley was early he was evidently acquainted with convinced of the apparently partial the composition of the atmosphere, application of the new theory to and of nitre; though he explained the explanation of chemical phe- the uses of the air in respiration, nomena, and this conviction induc- and demonstrated the existence of ed him, perhaps too hastily, to re- the same gas, which was denomiject its principles, and to advocate nated dephlogisticated by Priestthe doctrine of phlogiston. If we ley, and oxygen by Lavoisier, he mistake not, however, he was more considered them rather as insulatsuccessful in opposing the theories ed facts, than a part of a great sysof others, than in establishing his tem, which his genius, though aown. It is true, that there exist cute, was unable to develope. With some phenomena, which do not these writings, say his biographers, admit of an easy solution on the Dr. Priestley was unacquainted, in principles of the new school. But consequence of the limited extent these are by no means in direct of his reading, at the early period contradiction to its general princi- of his experiments. This phiples ; and the difficulty of explain- losopher commenced his chemical ing their actions results rather from career in 1772, and two years afthe imperfect state of the science, terwards announced at the table of than from any positive failure in Lavoisier the discovery, and de. their application. It is only neces- monstrated at Trudaines the exsary to recollect the names of Ca- istence of vital or dephlogisticated vendislı, of Black, of Lavoisier, and air, the oxygen of the French of fourcroy, to be convinced, that chemists. This fact is confirmed the new theory of chemistry is not by Dr. Black. To him, therefore, merely the speculation of inge- and to the celebrated Scheele of nious minds, but a fair induction Sweden, who obtained it about the from facts and the nature of things. same period, belongs the honour To comprehend the extent, and of this great discovery. Lavoisier appreciate the value of Dr. Priest- has done much for the science of ley's discoveries, the editors have chemistry, but it is to be lamented, prefixed a short account of those that his avarice of scientifick fame of his predecessors. The claims was such, as to induce him to apof these men were forgotten with propriate to himself the literary their writings, till more modern property of another. The bistory discoveries gave strength to the of the claims of these chemists former, and currency to the latter. may be found in the writings of They were then sought after with Dr. Black. The editors, after en: avidity, for the labours of the pneu- umerating the many discoveries matic chemists were said to have of Dr. Priestley in almost every been superceded by the experi- species of air, finish their account ments of Jean Rey, of Mayow, of of his chemical writings, by stating Boyle, and of Dr. Hooke. The his arguments against the pneueditors have given additional inter- matic theory. Beautiful and eleest to the appendix, by the inser- gant,' say they, as the simplicity tion of a concise account of the of the new theory appears, many works of Mayow, which we do not facts still remain to be explained, recollect to have seen so complete- to which the old system will-apply, and the French theory is in- of previous circumstances. All adequate. These are collected with choice is governed by motives, not an ingenuity of argument, and a within the control of the agent. force of reasoning, in the last In consequence of the former opino pamphlet published by the Doctor ion, he considered the evidence of on the subject,* which no man yet a future state, as resting almost unprejudiced can peruse without entirely on revelation ; and to meet hesitating on the fashionable doc- one of the difficulties, arising from trine of the day.' We consider the latter, inasmuch as it makes this as a valuable collection, since God the author of sin, he joined to it exbibits all the arguments, which necessity the system of optimism ; a mind,so ingenious and scientifick which teaches that all evil, physias Dr. Priestley's, was capable of cal and moral, is the means of advancing against the truth of the good, and will result in good, to pneumatic theory. We mean not the whole and to the parts ; and to make any observations on these that all intelligent and moral beresults of his experiments. To ings will be conducted, through enter on their discussion would ex- various stages of discipline, to haptend our paper far beyond the lim- piness. These sentiments are its of a review. The reputation of suggested in his · Examination of Dr. Priestley, as a chemist and a the Works of Drs. Reid, Beattie, philosopher, is great. We may ob- and Oswald ;' and maintained and serve in the language of his biogra- illustrated in his Disquisitions on phers, that he did more for chem- Matter and Spirit, in his controistry in two years, than all his pre- versy with Dr. Price, and in his decessors ; that the many kinds of answers to the remarks made by aëriform fluids discovered by him; Mr. Palmer, Mr. Bryant, Dr.Kenthe many methods of procuring rick, Mr. Whitehead, Dr. Horsethem ; the skilful investigation of ley, and others. Mr. Cooper protheir properties ; the foundation fesses to give a brief history of the he laid for the labours of others ; rise and progress of these opinthe simplicity, the novelty,the neat- ions ; of the successive writers on ness, and the cheapness of his ap- the subjects, to which they relate ; paratus, and his unequalled indus- and a sketch of the reasonings try, have deservedly placed him at employed to support them. He the head of pneumatic chemistry. treats the adversaries of these doc
Appendix No. 2. gives an ac- trines with serene contempt, callcount of Dr. Priestley's Metaphy. ing the system of the Scotch sical Writings. The basis of his metaphysicians “ young gentletheory upon these subjects was men and ladies' philosophy," unHårtley on Man. Dr. P. is well worthy the attention of a thinking known to have been a materialist man. The belief in a soul, distinct and a necessarian. He maintain- from the body, he ascribes to ignoed, that all sensations and ideas rance, prejudice, popular superstimay be resolved into affections of tion, priestcraft, and state policy ; the brain perceived, and that this though he admits, that many of perception is the result of organi- the wisest and best men adopt it, zation ; and that all acts of will or and that plausible arguments are volitions are the necessary result not wanting to give it currency.
Without any doubt, many per* The doctrine of Phlogiston, estab- sons, who think severely and acutelished 1803.
ly, find these arguments not only duced to the organized body, ip plausible but convincing. They which the phenomena of thought cannot bring themselves to believe are exhibited. As the belief in a that their thoughts and affections soul may be promoted by prejudice, are nothing more than agitations so may the belief of the contrary. of the brain, or vibrations of the Dr. P.'s position, that the leadnerves, They deny that any juxta ing and solitary end of Christianiposition, or combination of imper- ty was to establish the doctrine of cipient particles, can form a per. a future state, would incline bim cipient being ; that consciousness, to depreciate the arguments for reasoning, memory, all the phe- the natural immortality of man. nomena of intellect, are composed Mr. Cooper considers the docof the dust of the ground. Think- trine of philosophical necessity, or ing they have arguments for the the invariable connection between existence of mind, as a distinct motive and volition, by the labours substance, they cannot admit that, of Dr. Priestley and his predecesbecause the mind and body are sors, as so far settled, as to be no mutually dependent, they are one longer a subject of discussion; apand the same ; or, because some plying, in this relation, the maxim kind of organized body is neces- of law, “ Interes respublicæ ut sary to the inind as an instrument, denique sit finis litium.”, Tbat therefore the mind must be a sys- the human mind is subject to laws, tem of matter. They would as and especially to the law of asso-, soon assert, that the electrician and ciation, cannot be denied. That his apparatus, the musician and his the Supreme Being is the great instrument, the smith and his substratum of the moral, as well as forge, are one and the same. It the physical worlá ; that he foreappears to them, that the property knows all the operations of all or the phenomenon of thought causes'; and that there is a deterand sensation, is inconsistent with mination of his will concerning the disceptibility of matter ; that every event, every motion of malfigure, magnitude, and motion, ter, and every exercise of mind, however varied, can produce only must be admitted. Still, so far as figure, magnitude, and motion; there is a right and a wrong, merit or that, if matter be, as Dr. Priest- and demerit, in human actions, so ley maintains, a more subtle thing, far human beings must be the and almost not matter, consisting causes of those actions, As the of centres of attraction and repul- doctrine of necessity is often stasion, yet these centres, multiplied ted, many of the arguments in its and combined ever so often, can support are of difficult compreproduce only more enlarged hension, and the doctrine infallibly spheres of attraction and repulsion. liable to abuse. It makes but one Constant concomitancy, which is agent in the universe. The springs the alleged proof of materialism, of action are weakened, and conin their view does not imply neces- science lulled into security and sary connection, except when rea- ease. If a man is convinced that sons cannot be discovered to show he can do nothing, he will infer, the connection arbitrary. They that he has nothing to do. believe therefore, that a sentient man think he has no power over principle, or a substance or being, the determinations of his will, how the subject of thought, is superin- can be feel accountable for the
state of his will? This doctrine commenced under the most fahas been applied to various purpo. vourable auspices, when the spirit ses by Spinosa to the support of of party was comparatively asikep; Atheism, and by Edwards and his and it was committed lo the confollowers to the support of Cal- duct of the greatest and best men, vanism. Lord Kaimes could find and the most tried patiiots of the in this theory a defence of Deism, country--first with Washington, and Dr. Priestley a strong-hold of and then with Adams at its head. Universalism. In general, how. Probably it never fell to any other ever, ethical teachers have not in- government to contribute so much troduced it into their lectures on to the general prosperity, and to human duties ; and few or no produce such a favourable change christian preachers have ever ap- in the condition and prospects of peared to think it could be made a people. The United States were intelligible or useful to the mass of raised from a state of the utmost their hearers, except a numerous depression, weakness, disunion, and sect in this country, and chiefly in insecurity, and in a few years placNew England, who, as Plato pla- ed in the possession or expectation ced over the door of his school of all that a good man ought to “ Let no one who is unacquainted wish for his country. After the with geometry enter here,” may experiment of twelve years, “a inscribe on their pulpits “Let no majority of the American people" one who wants skill in metaphy. were made to believe, or professech .sicks presume to expect admis- to believe, that they had been illsion into the school of Christ.” governed ; and men who had op
Appendix No. 3, contains the posed every leading measure of the account of the political works and federal government, and who proopinions of Dr. Priestley.
mised to abolish and new-model The complexion of the editor's every thing in the political mamind respecting these subjects, chine, were brought into power. may be conceived, from his obser- If the administration of Washingvation, that while society exists, ton and Adams, and their coadjuthe Rights of Man, and Common tors, was as corrupt or weak as the Sense, of Thomas Paine, will be democrats, who succeeded them, classiek books on the theory of averred, what security have the government ;' from his commen- people for obtaining wise and updation of the writings of Barlow, on right rulers? These were persons the same topicks, and especially who had rendered the greatest serfrom the following impudent and vices to their country in the most " wicked' proscription of Mr. Ad. difficult times ; who, if there be ams's administration Of that ad- any men of principle, of integrity, ministration,' says he, weak, wick- of patriotism, in America, were in ed, and vindictive, what real repub- that class of characters, and who lican can speak well ?' The his. were chosen when elections were .tory of the federal administration much purer than they can ever be of our country does indeed bring a again. On the other hand, if the reproach upon the republican sys- administration, during the period tem, and countenance the doubt, mentioned, was as wise, as virtu· whether such a system can stand ous, and as successful, as there is
the test of experiment in this every reason to believe it was, country. This administration was where is the good sense, where
Vol. IV. No.7. 3B