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Of lusting to be known,

And gladly hail my changeless doom,

The darkness of a nameless tomb."-pp. 107-110.

These specimens must suffice to enable the reader to form a judgment of the general merits of Motherwell's poetry. We could have wished to extract a few stanzas from the Northern Battle-songs, to which we have already referred, and from another piece of very dissimilar character, but perhaps of still greater power, "The Madman's

Love." But for these and many other most interesting pieces we must refer to the volume itself.


The passages which we have selected will be found to possess many points of resemblance with the poetry of Mrs. Hemans. Indeed, there are some of Motherwell's odes and ballads which, if printed in the same collection with her poetry, would bear all the internal marks of authenticity. In those gifts which are commonly regarded as the source of great poetical power-the capacity of representing strong passion, especially of the darker kind or of sustaining through a lengthened and connected poem the individualities of a character or the consistencies of a plot, both must be regarded as notably deficient. But in those pleasing qualities which lend to poetry so much of its attraction-simple and unstudied pathos, a thorough mastery of the language and the sentiment of the affections, a vivid though chaste and natural imagination, and a perfect command of all the niceties of poetic language and all the varieties of poetic rhythm-in these and a thousand other nameless perfections, their works present a most striking similarity, and (if we allow for the peculiarities induced in each by national associations, and for the naturally less masculine tone of the female mind) we might almost say, identity, of style and of character.

It is hardly necessary in conclusion to express our anxious hope that the success of the present volume may be such as speedily to induce the editor to prepare for publication the whole, or at least a selection, of the poems which yet remain in manuscript.

ART. IV. Supplement to the Penny Cyclopædia (Article, "Tables)". London 1846.


WE suppose it will hardly be disputed, that to speak the

opinion of mankind, we must say that of all disgusting drudgery, numerical calculation is the worst: a combination of all the worry of activity with all the tediousness of monotony and all the fear of failure. That there should

be some who are fond of it, is evidently in the fitness of things: for de gustibus non est disputandum must be and ought to be a rule of quiet life; and to secure it, the most extreme cases should be capable of citation. But that this most misguided minority should be excessively small, and always has been, and always will be, is what will be held incontrovertible. Nevertheless, seeing that calculation is one of the active wants of life, that some of it is necessary to all, and that it is the soul of commerce, and one of the great helps of every kind of administration, many who are as averse to its practice as the very soundest of the majority could wish, may be interested in some cursory remarks on the steps by which mankind have, in these later ages, attempted to supply their deficiencies and avoid their antipathy at one and the same time.

It may also be a question whether, as ideas connected with number are more and better instilled into us in early youth, we are not, without knowing it, gradually advancing; though the phrases by which each age expresses its disgust at more than it can easily do, remain the same. The Homeric chief, who had no easier way of saying that the Greeks were more than ten times as numerous as the Trojans except a declaration that if one Trojan were to serve wine to each decad of Greeks, many decads would want a wine-bearer,-would probably have found it no very easy thing to count his clan or his prisoners. But the children among us can run up and down the scale of numbers, and can command a varied phraseology on the subject of absolute and relative magnitude, which would have made Ulysses himself pause and rub his forehead. Nor have differences of race and country shown less marked effects than those of time. While Archimedes was writing a book, merely to show that it was possible to carry expression of ideas so far as to imagine and write down the number of grains of sand which would fill what was then supposed to be the universe, the Brahmins were teaching a popular mythology which made use of such numbers, and described the existence of the gods in terms of them. A London stock-broker of our day has often a power of mental calculation which would have appeared little short of miraculous to the splendid Italian merchants who first in Europe made use of the Indian notation. A child of the nineteenth century would smile at Oughtred, one of the great promoters of algebra in Eng

land, and the inventor of the sliding rule, when he found 18 times 17+15 by first finding 18 times 17, then 18 times 15, and afterwards putting the two together. Since great progress is possible and is actually being made, we may look forward to the period when our best computers will be the object of a similar comparison.

If we might venture to predict, we should say that a change such as none but a sanguine mind can now contemplate as possible, will be wrought by the introduction of a decimal coinage, and a decimal system of weights and measures: the first alone would be sufficient, since most calculations are made in terms of money. At present the future man of business is soon taken from the great processes connected with abstract numbers, to employ himself upon the subdivisions of our monetary system, in which his previous acquirements are but of secondary use. It is not to the point to urge upon the public the superiority of the race of calculators which would arise under a plan in which, from beginning to end, operations of arithmetic would be simple and uniform: the public would not understand it. When other modes of reasoning have convinced them that it would be for their benefit to make the change, they will then learn to find out that they have several advantages which they did not count upon into the bargain. In the meanwhile, all that calls attention to the subject of calculation in general, and brings people to think of it as a matter to be amended, is a step towards another order of things.

It would seem as if from time to time, persons have arisen with an extraordinary power of calculation, just to prove that humanity is capable of much more than is in its present state. And it is, we believe, indisputable, that in no one instance has extraordinary power of calculation been allied to or followed by, anything like aberration of, or morbid deficiency in, the other parts of intellect. The love of computation has sometimes been a ruling passion, but we have never met with an instance in which it has led to, or even been said to have led to, any more than the mildest form of the usual effects of ruling passions. In the three remarkable instances of the last century and of the Saxon race, in which individuals were publicly exhibited and gave the most surprising proofs of mental power in arithmetic, the subsequent lives of those individuals were (in two cases are) unmarked by any want of proper balance

of mind. An active and intelligent civil engineer in this country, and a plain teacher of religion in the United States, can bear testimony to an excessive, and apparently morbid, early power of calculation being no hindrance, but the contrary, in the pursuits of life. On the other hand, we have had many opportunities of seeing and reading of the good effects of computation as a discipline, independent of mathematics, from which it is perfectly distinct. A restless and unsettled habit of mind, apt to diverge from the point under consideration, has often been mended or cured by a methodical application to mere routine of arithmetic. Diversion from unpleasant thoughts, when desirable, can by many be more easily obtained by turning the attention to numbers than in any other way. But this resource fails at last, for after sufficient practice, most persons would be able to calculate and to think of other things at the same time.

At the time of the invention of printing, the sole help of the computer was the abacus, or board on which he made counters help his memory. The places of public resort were provided with them; and the Chequers as the sign of a public-house, still reminds us of the table on which the worthies of the town settled their accounts by the unerring process of absolute counting; the ipsa corpora of the coins they were to exchange being represented by bits of wood. Whether our community is much entitled to smile at their ancestry, considering the coarse and rude processes to which so many of themselves are oblige to have recourse, is more than we can undertake to settle in the affirmative. We have seen men of business multiply by ten by making the multiplications of each figure, the carriages, &c., instead of annexing a cipher to the multiplicand. We know that there are many who have no multiplication table except actual addition pro re nata, and men too who make a respectable show in business. And the great majority of those who can work a question dare not diverge in the slightest degree from their routine: they have no command of the principles which will give certain reliance upon the truth of the result in instances which present a short way of working. A great many can only master half the multiplication table: they remember 8 times 5, by first suggesting to themselves that it is 5 times 8, and then, and not before, they can remember 40. All who know how much the ordinary power of computation de

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