Изображения страниц

others the bodies are burnt, but the ashes are carefully preserved. And I see no reason why we should abolish a custom seemingly innate in the human breast. To carry our friend to his grave, or otherwise to dispose of him, is what we must do, or else he would soon be disgustful: to leave him without a memorial is what we may do, but it would be disgraceful-it is, in fact, telling the world that we cared no more for our friend after he could do no more for us—but to place a neat tomb-stone over his grave, informing the passenger that we respected the departed person for his virtues, not from self-interest, it protests, that if wealth could have brought back his spirit, we would chearfully have resigned it; but since it cannot effect his return, we will pay him his last merited respect. It bespeaks gratitude and veneration on the part of relicts; and assures future generations in the best characters we have in our possession

That such men were,

And were most precious to us.

1. F. 8th January, 1801.

[ocr errors]

HE magnificent plume worn by his majesty at

St. James's, on the birth-day, is a present from the Grand Seignior, and arrived from Constantinople only in the course of the preceding week. An ornament of such extraordinary beauty, novelty, and splendour, attracted every eye, and hence we are enabled to present a description of it, which may be relied on as faithful, being the result of the combined observations of many who had an oppor

tunity, on that brilliant occasion, of examining it with minute and fixed attention.

Rising from the hat, to which it is affixed, the first part intended to meet the eye is a knot of brilliants, composed in a style of elegant simplicity. This serves as a root or basis from which the principal stems and supporters of the ornament, con.. sisting of sprigs of laurel, and spiral branches of diamonds, spring up. A little above the knot is a superb crescent of brilliants, remarkable for their size and the fineness of their quality. Out of it rise five spiral branches of the same materials, and between each a sprig of laurel composed of diamonds. reaching to the same height as the spires; from the top of each branch is suspended a string of six diamonds as large as a pea; the fashion Indian cut drops; and beneath the crescent, strings of diamond, similar in quality and construction, and of the same number as those above, hang down from each of the exterior stems.

On each side of the crescent are two flags representing the colours of England and Turkey.--The English flag on each side is in front, and the Turkish appears on the back ground. The colours are represented by pink and plain diamonds; the standards are confined by a knot of small pink brilliants.

Over the flags and on the centre is the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland executed in small brilliants, with the most perfect accuracy and strict attention to the minuiiæ of heraldry.

From the back of that part of the ornament which we have been just describing, springs up a bunch of heron's feathers. They are perfectly straight, not quite so broad as the ordinary feathers of a cock's tail, and about twelve inches long. The colour is black, which is esteemed the most rare, and is peculiarly adapted to the display of the brilliants, for which, when viewed in soine directions, they appear as a ground.

From thence it appears, that this ornament, an unique in magnificence, is a composition of parts of very different nature, comprising the plume, the cheling, and the bouquet. In this structure, the part immediately connected with the crescent is the bouquet, or, as this splendid article is called in Turkty, the Ottoman; and the crescent is designed as a basket, in which its beauties are arranged and unfolded.

The bunch of heron's feathers alone is estimated at 1000l. owing not so much to the scarcity of that bird, as the circumstance of its having only two such feathers in its plumage. The plume contains about an hundred of them. Of the yalue of the whole ornament we are not capable of forming an opinion, as, exclusive of the plume, it is composed entirely of jewellery, consisting of brilliants and diamonds of the first class and fine."



THE celebrated physiognomist, who lately died

[ocr errors]


the most famous men in Europe.

He was an humble country clergyman of good education, a warm fancy, and a natural acuteness of discernment. His perspicuity of intelligence was associated with weakness of sensibility and imagination, not a little akin to those of J. J, Rousseau.

In this situation, and with these qualities, he was accidentally led to turn his attention, in a particular manner, to the expression of human sen-> timent and character in the varied conformation of the countenance, head, and other parts of the frame, in the complexion, in the habitual motions and attitudes, in the temperament of health, &c. He perceived that, in all these, not only transient passion, but even the more perinanent qualities of character, are often very distinctly expressed. He carried his observations, in his way, much farther than any other person had before advanced.Success inflamed his imagination; and he became an enthusiast in the study of physiognomy. The opinions relative to it, which he propagated, were a medley of acute observation, ingenious conjecture, and wild reverie. They were divulged by him in conversation, and in a multitude of fragments, which he and his disciples soon assembled into volumes. Novelty, mystery, and the dreams of enthusiasm, have inexpressible charms for the multitude : every one was eager to learn to read his neighbour's heart in his face. In Switzerland, in Germany, in France, even in Britain, all the world became passionate admirers of the physiogpomical science of Lavater.

His books, published in the German language, were multiplied by many additions. In the enthusiasm with which they were studied and ad> mired, they were thought as necessary in every family, as even the Bible itself. A servant would, at one time, scarcely be hired till the descriptions and engravings of Lavater had been consulted, in careful comparison, with the lines and features of the young man's or woman's countenance. The same system was eagerly translated into the French lan


guage: and, as the insight into character and secret intention which it promised, was infinitely grateful to female curiosity, all the pretenders to wit, taste, and fashion, among the lively women of France, soon became distractedly fond of it. It was talked of as a science susceptible of mathematical certainty; and was applauded as capable of endowing man with the power of omniscient intuition into the hearts and intentions of his fellows.'

Two well executed translations naturalized the same books of Lavater in the English language: this naturalization was requisite, to shew us the fallacy of his pretensions. The wanderings of ima. gination, the dreams referable to no scientific prina; ciples, even the occasional effusions of sublimity and pathos which those books displayed, might interest the curious remarker on human genius and character; but served, at the same time, to evince to the sound sense and shrewd discernment of Englishmen, that physiognomy was but an idle study, the amusement it might be of the wise ; the delusion of fools. The multitude run ever in exo tremes: and, notwithstanding the labours of Dr. Hunter and Mr. Holcroft, the writings of Lavater have been since treated, in England, with a slighting disregard, that does injustice to their genuine merits.

The physiognomical delirium of the weak excited, also, in Germany, the derision of the witty and the wise. The Physiognomical Travels, or Physiognomical Quixote of the celebrated Musaus, the preceptor of Kotzebue, was written in ridicule of the dreams and pursuits of Lavater and his phy. siognomical disciples: and, though to an Englishman, its humour may not appear very happy, nor its wit admirably lively and pointed, yet its effect

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »