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called the immaterial system. Of this school the leading tenet is, that all matter exists only as it is perceived by the mind of the Supreme Being, and that it exists to us only as it is made perceptible to our minds by his agency. This grand but very subtle doctrine it is not easy to express in poetic language, and still more difficult to explain and discuss.
Mr. Grant, however, developes it very perspicuously in a fine speech which he puts into the mouth of the celebrated Indian poet and philosopher Vyasa; and then proceeds to reason, with great acumen and clearness, on the probable origin of such a doctrine in a country devoted to polytheism. We should be happy to transcribe both the speech and the reasoning; but we have not room for both; and, though the former contains some poetry of a very high order, we prefer citing the latter, because, taken in conjunction with the extracts already made, it best exemplifies the versatility of our author's poctic powers. This paragraph (and what more can be said of it?) is truly Lucretian.
Yet whence this progress of the sage's mind,
From mind within, that prompts, protects, provides,
This all in all, and that but empty shade;
The author has here ventured to propose a conjecture respecting the possible origin of (what is commonly, though inaccurately, termed) the immaterial philosophy, from the principles of polytheism.'
Durva is the most beautiful species of grass, and supposed to be the residence of a nymph of the same name. Its flowers, says sir William Jones, seen through a lens, are like minute rubies.'
( The God of the firmament.'
The Deity of the sun.'
Ganga is the goddess of the Ganges, who sprung like Pallas from the head of the Indian Jove.'
CRIT. REV. Vol. 4. April, 1805.
The mind extinct its shadows too must flee
But when the sage is taught these gods to deem
The varying powers of countless deities;
Through objects numberless those powers display?"
We cannot here refrain from expressing our astonishment at the coincidence between the theories of Berkeley, and the doctrines promulgated nearly three thousand years ago, by the Vedanti philosophers of India. This coincidence, if we rightly understand the Vedanti system, is minutely exact. At first, indeed, one slight feature of distinction occurred to us. The system of ideal perceptions was by the Hindû sages termed maya, which signifies delusion; and agreeably to this notion, Vyasa, in the poem before us, exclaims, "Tis all delusion.' Berkeley, on the contrary, sturdily maintains the reality of sensible objects, and asserts the conformity of his own opinion on this point with that of the vulgar; from which it would follow that the vulgar are under no 'delusion' whatever. Probably, however, it will be found on examination, that this distinction between the dogmas of the Vedanti and the Berkeleians, is merely verbal. Much of what Berkeley has said on this subject in his famous dialogue, seems, after all, to be mere quibbling on the word 'real." It is difficult to discover what he understands by the reality of sensible things,' unless he intends to affirm that certain impressions are really made on the human senses; and if he affirms only this, he affirms an identical proposition. At all events, few will now deny that the vulgar are firm materialists; that they have actually a belief in a material substance, without pretending to define it; and that (to adopt Berkeley's own illustration) they would rather be apt to say, There is a Goc'; he perceives all things: than to say, 'Sensible things exist; there must be a supreme mind in which they exist.’*
* See the second dialogue between Hylas and Philonous.
Notwithstanding the length of the extracts which we have already made, we shall beg leave to add one more; which in style, though not in merit, stands aloof from them all. It is the sketch of the march of Nadir Shah. The sound of that conqueror's voice is described as echoing successively through various realms; and under this fiction the actual route of his conquests is accurately, and at the same time very poetically, delineated.
Hark 'tis a voice on Meshed's holy walls
From Gebal's mountains whose rude summits shade
From fragrant Rersis gemm'd with orient flowers;
Where health on Tabrin § breathes with all her gales,
And Teflis to the nymphs of Georgia dear.
Back the dread echoes roll through climes of day;
There, there the tow'ring pride of Delhi bleeds.'
The author possibly caught the leading idea of these lines from a fact recorded by the biographers of Nadir-that the
Meshed means the tomb of martyrs. It is the capital of Khorasan, and was the city from which Nadir first went forth to conquest by his own authority, and which he made the principal seat of government.'
Afshars, the tribe to which Nadir belonged.'
Nohavend, the scene of the last decisive battle, which lasted for three days, between the Persians and Arabs, and terminated the empire of the former in the seventh century.'
§Tabrin or Tauris, remarkable for the purity of its air. Its name imports that it can never be infected by any contagious disorder.'
The ancient Caspia Porta, called by the Turks the gate of iron." ¶‘The Russians sent an embassy to Nadir.'
***Lahore is watered by the five branches of the Indus, and is thence called Panjab.'
Karnal thirty leagues from Delhi. Here was fought the decisive battle between Nadir and Mahommed the Mogul emperor.'
voice of this tyrant was remarkable for its strength and clearness. If this conjecture be just, we have here an example of the account to which poets can turn the most trivial circum
To bring up the rear of this article, we had prepared a catalogue, and not a very short one, of the minor defects with which this poem is chargeable; such as feeble passages, harsh or prosaic lines, and inanimate expressions. But on second thoughts, and especially considering the length of the preceding observations, we abandon them all, and cheerfully trust the discovery of them to an author who has manifestly too much taste and genius to offend often, except through haste or inattention. Our opinion of the poem in spite of its faults, the reader already knows. While we are sickened at the noise of the misbegotten brood that cackle at the foot of Parnassus, we contemplate with genuine pleasure even the desultory flight of a muse of fire. While so many candidates for the laurel are seduced, by the silly vanity of founding a new school, to mistake singularity for eminence, we applaud the poet who is content to cultivate the grand style, of which our great masters have bequeathed to us such noble models. While an inordinate rage for blank verse and descriptive poetry misleads not a few writers of real ability, we listen with fondness to the strain that revives in our minds the cherished memory of the greatest of our poetic moralists. Yet we must add that this poem, excellent as it is, gives no ambiguous promise of something still more distinguished; and we therefore recommend to the author the assiduous cultivation of his talents.
The notes which accompany this composition, are simple and satisfactory. Both in these and in the text, the author discovers much (and, as far as we are judges, accurate) information on Oriental subjects. One slight error we detected in page 10, which cannot, we fear, be corrected, without spoiling a very sounding distich. Bheem is classed among the Kooroos; whereas, if we are not mistaken, this hero, who was the elder brother of Arjun, sided with the Pandoos. It is also perhaps a fault, that in his mode of spelling Asiatic words, Mr. Grant has not adhered to a fixed standard; but sometimes follows the system of sir William Jones, and sometimes that of Mr. Wilkins.
We cannot take our leave of this author, without expressing our concurrence in the noble sentiments that give a double grandeur to the animated and majestic strains with which he concludes. How long shall we suffer millions of our fellow-subjects in the East to languish under the pressure of the most lamentable ignorance and superstition? When shall it cease to be a question, whether Europe has most benefited or injured Asia?
ART. X.-A Dissertation on Gout; exhibiting a new View of the Origin, Nature, Cause, Cure, and Prevention of that afflicting Disease; illustrated and confirmed by a variety of original and communicated Cases. By Robert Kinglake, M. D. &c. Physician at Taunton. Svo. 75. 6d. Murray. 1804.
KNOWING the nature of the remedy which Dr. Kinglake recommends for this afflicting disease,' we were much disposed to listen to his observations, and anticipated considerable advantage from a perusal of his book. Our imagination was roused by the prospect of curing a disease, which our present treatment barely palliates, and of substituting an active remedy, upon judicious and philosophical principles, for an unvarying and feeble empiricism. We expected to find a rational investigation of the errors of our great predecessors, who prescribed the practice which we employ; or a satisfactory evidence, from induction, that circumstances often render it safe and advantageous to deviate from it, and that these circumstances may be readily pointed out. But we have been greatly disappointed. The author seems to be little addicted to accuracy of observation, or precision in his ideas. He appears to have forgotten, that a few careless experiments do not constitute the groundwork of a rational induction; that the evidence of long-established experience is strong, and not to be overthrown but by a counter-evidence, deduced from an ample series of facts, ascertained with due accuracy; and that, on experimental subjects, declamation has little influence on our opinions.
The history of Dr. Kinglake's enquiry is briefly this. He first conceives an hypothesis, in contempt of general experience, or general opinion, which stands in direct contradiction to it. He next proceeds to put his hypothesis to the test of experiment, without any discrimination of circumstances, which not only experience would suggest, but which every principle of philosophical investigation demands. Meeting with success in five or six cases, he immediately sends them forth in a public journal, without caution or limitation, requesting that his brethren will adopt his plan of cure, and inform him of the result: and having collected some evidence in its favour, in which an equal inattention to circumstances appears, he publishes this systematic treatise, which is said to exhibit all the new vierus expressed in the title-page.
Unphilosophically and carelessly as this enquiry seems to have been conducted, the doctor already exclaims, with a pompous confidence, becoming a great discoverer: