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able truth, though, perhaps, with a little of that involuntary exaggeration that mere contrast can hardly fail to produce. The coldness of manner in the English ladies, their reserve and want of animation, are painted too harshly, even though a large share of understanding and accomplishment is allowed them. Mad. de Staël at the same time entertains a high opinion of the men, and is aware of the superiority that they derive from having some object in active life, and some concern in the government of their country. In what respects conversation, however, and cultivation of mind, we must be permitted to say, that we believe the women are often superior to the men. The very circumstance of not being destined for active or public life, renders their conversation more intellectual, more connected with general principles, and more allied to philosophic speculation. Their taste, also, is often more cultivated; and we have known instances, where the daughters of a family could relish the beauties of Racine and Metastasio, while the sons could not converse on any thing but hunting, horse-racing, or those methods of training, by which the talents of men and of horses are brought as near as possible to an equality.

During the residence of Corinna in Northumberland, though her mind revolted against the formal rules of the dull and common-place people that surrounded her, yet she found herself gradually subdued by them, and insensibly tied down by their opinions, as Gulliver was by the threads of the Lilliputians. It is in vain says she, that you say this man is not a proper judge of me; that woman has no comprehension of what I am about.The human countenance ever exercises a great power over the human heart; and when you read on the faces of those around you, a disapprobation of your conduct, it disquiets you in spite of yourself. The circle you live in always comes to conceal from you the rest of the world; the smallest atom, placed near the eye, hides from it the body of the sun; and it is the same with the little coterie in which you live. Neither the voice of Europe, nor of posterity, can make you insensible to the noise of your neighbour's family; and therefore, whoever would live happily, and give scope to his genius, must first of all choose carefully the atmosphere with which he is to be immediately surrounded.' (Vol. H. p. 377.) These reflections are very just; but one who would apply them to his own case, must be careful not to mistake the suggestions of levity and caprice for the inspiration of genius and talent; for the same power which adjusts all to the mediocrity of the vulgar, and which may so unhappily fetter the two latter, often furnishes a salutary restraint to the two former. Much is said through the whole book, of the effect of climate; and the

VOL. XI. NO. 21.



sun of Italy is never mentioned but with an enthusiasm, that we believe arises from the author having really felt all that she describes. We are persuaded, however, that she has ascribed too much to physical causes, and that she does not sufficiently allow for the circumstances, moral and political, by which they are often overruled. The climate of Italy is not probably very different now from what it was in ancient times; and yet, what a difference between the antient Romans and the modern Italians? We are persuaded we shall not, even by Mad. de Staël, be accused of any immoderate partiality in favour of our countrymen, when we say that an Englishman bears a much greater resemblance to a Roman, than an Italian of the present day. Here, therefore, the possession of liberty and laws, and, above all, the superiority which a man derives from having a share in the government of his country, has, in opposition to climate and situation, produced a greater resemblance of character, than the latter was able to do, when counteracted by the former.

On the whole, notwithstanding some such imperfections as we' have now pointed out; notwithstanding also, that in the analysis. of feeling, which is usually managed with great skill, some fanciful reflections now and then occur,-some false refinements, and some sentiments brought from too great a distance, we can have no hesitation to say, that those blemishes are very inconsi derable, compared with the general execution of the work-with the imagination, the feeling, and the eloquence displayed in it.

Some of the writings of Madame de Staël have been censured, though perhaps without due consideration, as having an immoral tendency. This, we think, cannot, on any pretence, be alleged of the work before us: From the history and fate of the amiable and accomplished Corinna, the reader may learn to watch over a passion which, if left to itself, may become one of the worst distempers of the mind, blasting and consuming even the noblest faculties. One may learn, too, the necessity of conforming to those rules that restrain the intercourse of the sexes, and that are not to be rashly dispensed with, even where no imme-diate danger is apprehended.

The example of Lord Nelvil is calculated to show the danger of irresolution, especially when the interest of another is concerned; and to remind us, that a man, by the fear of doing what is not perfectly correct, may be led, if he is not on his guard, to the commission of what is highly criminal. The fear of impropriety might have been consulted, when the mutual attachment of Corinna and himself was in its commencement; but it was mere selfishness and want of feeling to be afterwards guided by such a fear, in opposition to the best sentiments of the heart,


and one of the greatest and most imperious of all moral obligations.

ART. XIII. The Code of Health and Longevity; or a Concise View of the Principles calculated for the Preservation of Health, and the Attainment of Long Life: Being an Attempt to prove the Practicability of condensing, within a narrow Compass, the most material Information hitherto accumulated, regarding the different Arts and Sciences, or any particular Branch thereof. By Sir John Sinclair, Bart. 8vo. 4 vol. Constable & Co. Edinburgh. Cadell & Davies, and J. Murray, London. 1807:

WR have studied this long title-page with great diligence, without being able to make even a probable conjecture as to the meaning of the greater part of it; and indeed have receiv ed no distinct impression from it whatever, except that it is a very improper title to stand at the head of four goodly octavo volumes, each containing about 800 pages of very close printing. It would require a greater share of health and longevity, than we can presume to reckon on, to carry us fairly through every part of their contents; but from what we have been able to examine, as well as from à distant view of the remainder, we think ourselves justified in saying, that this concise view of the principles of health and longevity,-this proof of the practicability of condensing within a narrow compass the essence of the arts and sciences, is the most diffuse, clumsy, and unsatisfactory compilation that has ever fallen under our notice.

The first volume consists of a vast indigested and injudicious abstract of all that the author had been able to find written upon the subject of which he was to treat; in which no attempt is made to separate truth from falsehood, to reconcile contradictions, or even to distinguish what is profound or important, from what is most trivial and obvious. The book, therefore, is chiefly occupied with rules and statements, which are perfectly familiar, not only to every individual who has had occasion but once in his life to consult an apothecary, but to every one almost who has merely existed about twelve or fifteen years in this great lazarhouse of a world. If we add to this, the blundering indistinctness of the worthy Baronet's divisions,-the incredible credulity ma nifested in many of his statements,-the masses of mawkish morality with which the whole olio is seasoned, the marvellous ignorance that is occasionally betrayed on the subjects which lay properly in his way, and the still more insufferable display of su

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perficial learning on others to which he chuses to digress, we shall have a pretty accurate conception of the value of this last great digest of the Macrobiotic art. The other three volumes consist of choice extracts from the books which the author had read, and the communications which he had received. They are the raw materials, in short, out of which the first volume has been manufactured; and his conduct in reprinting them at large, as a sequel to it, resembles that of a man who should first cloy his guests with bad soups, jellies, and conserves, and then insist on cramming down their throats the bones, husks, and egg shells out of which his banquet had been extracted. Such, however, is the worthy author's own opinion of the value and importance of this publication, that he modestly proposes in the preface, that it should be translated into the principal languages of the continent, circulated among the learned in all quarters of the world, and premiums given (by government we suppose) to those who transmitted the best observations upon it;' and afterwards asserts, without any hesitation, that any person who will carefully peruse and apply the maxims contained in it, can hardly fail to add from ten to twenty, or even thirty years, to his comfortable existence. After all this, his readers may not perhaps be very much surprised to find him anticipating his own apotheosis; and informing them, in the motto on his title-page, that it is impossible for any mortal to approach nearer to a Divinity. Though our estimate of the work is certainly a great deal more moderate, yet, the very magnitude of these pretensions, imposes upon us the necessity of giving a pretty full

account of it.


After a pretty long introduction, in which we are carefully informed that the worthy author was born in the year 1754, and, about five or six years ago, fell into a state of weakness, which made him incapable of prosecuting useful inquiries, or applying his mind to political pursuits with his former energy, we have a short view of the plan of the work; in the first part of which, he proposes to treat of the circumstances which necessarily tend to promote health and longevity, independent of individual attention, or the observance of particular rules; and, in the second, to deliver those rules by which these great ends are to be at


The learned author is resolved to begin at the beginning; and accordingly, in his two first sections, he treats of the structure of the human body,' and of its tendency to decay and perish." In the former, he is kind enough to present us with a definition


Neque enim ulla alia re homincs propius ad Deos accedunt, quam falutem hominibus dando.

of man, in which, however, the mind makes a much greater figure than the body. It is as follows.

Man may be defined, " a being, in whom reafon or spirit, and body or matter are united, and whofe exiftence depends upon that union; for the individual who lofes his reafon, unless preserved by the care of others from deftruction, would foon perish. ”

As, without the poffeffion and the exercise of reason, man could not exift for any space of time, it is neceffary that the mind, and the reafoning and other faculties connected therewith, fhould be furnished with a proper place of refidence; accordingly, fhe is provided with the brain, where fhe dwells as governor or fuperintendant of the whole fabric.' I. p. 28, 29.

In the second section, he undertakes to prove, that all men must die; and that not only by the vulgar argument derived from experience, but by a learned investigation of the changes which time necessarily makes on his structure. We do not very clearly see the force of the latter mode of reasoning; but we are of opinion, notwithstanding, that he has made out the main fact of our mortality in a very satisfactory manner.

The first of the circumstances, independent of individual attention, by which health is likely to be influenced, according to our author, is Parentage;' and the sum of his doctrine, on this subject, is, that healthy and long-lived parents, are likely to have healthy and long-lived children; but that this is not a necessary or uniform consequence. By far the most interesting part of the chapter, however, is an original theory of Sir John's own, that a man generally takes his bodily form from his father, and his talents and disposition from his mother. In confirmation of this pleasant hypothesis, we are then informed, that the abilities and eloquence of Lord Chatham and Mr Pitt, was owing (so Sir John writes) to a fortunate connexion which one of their ancestors had made with a Miss Innes of Redhall, in the Highlands of Scotland! -and that the talents of the Dundases, in like manner, were also derived from the marriage of one of their progenitors to a Miss SINCLAIR of this kingdom!-Our national partialities disposed us very strongly to receive this intellectual genealogy; but, unfortunately, its authenticity is completely disproved by the very theory in support of which it is referred to. If the talents come always through the mother, we are really at a loss to conceive how the genius of the Inneses-or even of the Sinclairs-could possibly be of any benefit, except to those who were immediately sprung from those accomplished females; and, as this happy inoculation took place long ago, it seems difficult to imagine, that either Lord Chatham or Mr Pitt, whose mothers were unquestionably degenerate English, could derive any advantage from it.

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