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to the imaginative faculties of the spell-enthralled Macbeth a portion of the dark and visionary poetry with which their own inexplicable being is invested.
WITH fear and trembling I approach the sacred fane of Shakspeare. His mighty works are the titanian offspring of the highest genius in dramatic poetry that ever graced the world. In the very infancy of British literature his mind walked forth gigantic and alone-time has rolled on and not produced even an approximation to his lofty song: is it not wonderful to reflect that in an age when letters had just begun to emerge from the dark caverns in which monkery had so long enchained them, a being should step forth, at once, unconvented, uncolleged, to throw wide the book of nature, and in such strains as all succeeding poets have, in vain, toiled to produce, should stand alone-his own great equal-at once the Alpha and Omega of his class of lyrists; indeed, as a powerful essayist eloquently states, "such great national writers as he, so entirely pre-occupy their ground, that there is no room in the same language for an equal to themselves. You must overthrow them by one of those revolutions that sink the language itself in which they stand. You must bury them like huge fossils in their own buried soil, before the earth is free and the air open for such another out-growth, there must come a second deluge over all literature, and a second time the green earth must appear above the waters, before another Shakspeare can have place." Hamlet, the Dane, begins his loved
companionship with us in our fresh, early days— while life is in its spring-long ere the toils and buffets of the world pass with their blighting influence o'er the verdure of our hopes-and heof all the high dramatic characters of our immortal poet, creates the strongest, most enduring impress on our minds. Where is the educated being whose mind is not possessed with recollections, sweet, of mental intercourse with the melancholy philosophic prince, whose well-selected speeches and ideas have been impressed upon our memories at school; while, in maturer life, they fill our souls with those eternal thoughts, which then become almost a portion of our being, and tend to raise and elevate our minds above the clod-like nature of this earth-bound life? Where is the spectator whose heart has never thrilled at witnessing a being of another world, unfolding to a son most dear, "in the dead waste and middle of the night," the tale of murder and of incest foul, by which a regal soul has been despatched from life
No reckoning made, but sent to its account,
whilst, clothed in robes of usurpation, steeped in his brother's blood, the wretched fratricide remains on earth, possessor of the royal spoils, for which his hopes eternal stand for ever forfeited-driven in misery to and fro by conscience, like Orestes by the furies of old-conscience, that with her agonizing pangs, more stinging and exulcerating far than whips, with scorpions armed, pursues the guilty wretch, and drives him from each hold of hope, so that even—
Pray he cannot,
Though inclination be as sharp as will.
THE DUTY OF ENQUIRING AFTER TRUTH.
THE advocates of phrenology have had many prejudices to contend against. When any one reflects upon the undaunted perseverance they have displayed, and the philosophic patience they have exemplified, he must at once be struck with surprise and admiration. But when he finds that notwithstanding the hosts of opponents they have met with the ridicule and sarcasm heaped upon them the immense number of writings against their doctrines,-some of those writings, too, by men of the first-rate ability-when he finds, notwithstanding all this, the advocates of phrenology still holding their heads up in triumph, and making daily converts, even of those who were once among their most strenuous opponents, he must necessarily think there is something in the doctrine more than common-something meriting the deepest attention. It is a notable fact, and at the same time a melancholy one, that no new discoveries, however valuable-no great undertakings, however reasonable—but the adventurers have been assailed by legions of malignant scoffers. What great discovery was ever made, and the discoverer not ridiculed and slandered? Was not Columbus ridiculed? Were not steam engines ridiculed ? Were not canals ridiculed? Had Newton and Harvey nothing to contend against? But ridicule and sarcasm are not all that discoverers of truth have had to endure. Gallileo was persecuted! Then is it to be expected that the discoverers of phrenology should escape the attacks of stupid ignorance and blinded bigotry? Reasoning by analogy, we answer, no.
And what is the fact? We find that they have been ridiculed and slandered in the grossest manner; they have had difficulties to contend against which to common minds would have been altogether insurmountable; at many places they were not permitted to lecture at all, and at other places had to lecture to thin and sneering audiences; by ungentle reviewers they were termed visionaries, fanatics, hypocrites, madmen, and fools. They have also been opposed by some few conscientious persons who have a dread of the study of phrenology, because, they say, the conclusions which men are apt to draw from it are dangerous; but the slightest reflection will show that such ideas are very erroneous,-nay, even utterly nonsensical. Does not every one admit that truth cannot be dangerous;-will not every one allow that the more it is extended, so much more is the condition of mankind bettered; or are there any who will maintain, that our forefathers were better off and more happy in the midst of their ignorance and superstitions? If it be acknowledged that truth has hitherto proved a blessing, ought we not to take advantage of experience, and instead of doing our utmost (as our ancestors did) to retard, do everything in our power to accelerate, its progress? If the answer be, yes, then let us follow the divine precept, "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good: "-let every thing be examined before it is condemned: if what is examined be true, it will prevail, in spite of all opposition;-if false, no glittering eloquence-no means that could possibly be taken -could long rescue it from sinking into oblivion. Let phrenology, then, be examined fearlessly
and impartially. It is of real importance to know whether it be true or false. Upon the decision come to on this point, more than half of the philosophic writings that exist stand or fall. If it be found that phrenology is true, it is discovered that the grounds upon which the generality of philosophers have reasoned are unsolid, and consequently the superstructure comes tumbling down. Let us see, then, what are the proofs of the truth of phrenology, and whether they are sufficient to establish it permanently.
THE REWARD OF PERSEVERING STUDY.
He who does all his sphere in life allows,
WHEN we study the biographies of those who have raised themselves from the humblest stations in life, we have this lesson taught us, which it would be well if we always bore in mind :by great application every one, with common natural endowments, may raise himself to an honourable distinction. We have many instances recorded of men having acquired fame solely by their own industry. If we want proofs of what application can do, we may find them in every department of literature, art, and science. Look at our great painters; they afford a noble example. Their splendid productions were not owing so much to their genius as to their application. Michael Angelo and Raphael, who are esteemed the greatest, were industrious in the extreme. The former used to say, that no common labourer