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The secret enemy whose sleepless eye
Stands sentinel - accuser - judge--and spy,
The foe - the fool — the jealous — and the vain,
The envious who but breathe in others' pain,
Behold the host! delighting to deprave,
Who track the steps of Glory to the grave,
Watch every fault that daring Genius owes
Half to the ardour which its birth bestows,
Distort the truth - accumulate the lie

And pile the Pyramid of Calumny!
• These are his portion - but if joined to these

Gaunt Poverty should league with deep Disease,
If the high Spirit must forget to soar,
And stoop to strive with Misery at the door,
To soothe Indignity - and face to face
Meet sordid Rage — and wrestle with Disgrace,
To find in Hope but the renewed caress,
The serpent-fold of further Faithlessness, -
If such may be the Ills which men assail,
What marvel if at last the mightiest fail?
Breasts to whom all the strength of feeling given
Bear hearts electric-charged with fire from Heaven,
Black with the rude collision - inly torn,
By clouds surrounded, and on whirlwinds borne,
Driven o'er the lowering Atmosphere that nurst

Thoughts which have turned to thunder-scorch - and burst." The concluding lines unfortunately depend on a metaphor which wants effect and attraction because it wants novelty:

Sighing that Nature form'd but one such man,

And broke the die in moulding Sheridan! If lovers and mourners may be credited, Nature has so often broken the moulds in which she has cast her favoured sons and daughters, that the old Dame must by this time have acquired a famous knack at a knock! Art. 17. Farewell for Ever! A Tale of the Last Century. Dedi

cated to her Royal Highness the Princess Mary. By a Lady. 8vo. pp. 42. Black. 1816.

A title-page usually contains something that in a degree indicates the qualities of the book to which it is prefixed; and we think that we neither overstate this doctrine when we so express it, nor misapply it to the poem before us. Surely, it is impossible for a person of good taste and good sense to prefix such a title to his work as the foregoing; and especially if it be intended in any way, to imitate, or to be mistaken for, a certain celebrated “ Farewell," of which we could have wished never to have been reminded.

It is scarcely credible that such verses as the subjoined can really be published! We are inclined to believe that the abuse of printing has been carried to an excess in our times, which was wholly unknown to our ancestors; and that things, which even REV. Nov. 1816. Y


the printers of George the First's or George the Second's æra would have rejected with scorn, are unblushingly wire-woven and hot pressed by order of the authors of the new æra.

• A faithful slave liv'd with the fair

Forgot (Irene be) her name;
And o'er her store of wordly wealth
A Ulemas * of neighbouring fame,
(Deep in the Koran's mystics read)

Assumes a titled guardian's claim.' The claim to compassion, which a suffering female urges, cannot be extended to a presuming authoress ; for presume she must on something who publishes her writings. We are ever, we hope, among the foremost to acknowlege and to admire the talents of the fair : but, where no talent is shewn, it would be any thing but fair to extend our indulgence.

How oft on fertile Danube's shores
His valiant single troop defied
Catherine's great General Romanzow,

And Galitzin, the Russian pride ;'-and this is printed and published !!

“ The great Dalhousie, mighty God of War!
Lieutenant-Colonel to the Earl of Mar!"

BIOGRAPHY. The Lives of Alchemystical Philosophers; with a Critical Catalogue of Books in Occult Chemistry, and a Selection of the most celebrated Treatises on the Theory and Practice of the Hermetic Art. 8vo. pp. 384. jos. 6d. Boards. Lackington and Co. 1815

We scarcely expected to have been called, in our critical capacity, to peruse a treatise on alchemy: but it appears that this science, once so celebrated and now so degraded, has still some adherents. To prove the truth of this position, which perhaps may be scarcely credited by the majority of our readers, we shall bring forwards no other testimony than that of the present author himself; and for this purpose we shall transcribe the whole of the introduction, though it is rather long, as it will also afford a fair specimen of the kind of mysticism which forms so characteristic a feature of all the alchemical writings.

· Tubal Cain, the first artificer in brass and iron, was, no doubt, skilled in the preparatory work of finding the mines, raising the ore, and smelting it. The reduction of copper ore to metal, by several calcinations, and its admixture with calamine, to make brass, is not the least difficult among metallurgic operations. Tubal Cain is therefore reputed the first inventor of chemistry, relating to manufactures.

· Ulemas, a Doctor of Laws and Divinity' !!!

Note of the author.

« The

* The universal chemistry, by which the science of alchemy opens the knowledge of all nature, being founded on first principles, forms analogy with whatever knowledge is founded on the same first principles. In this view, Moses, describing the creation, is an universal chemist, and reveals at the same time the creation of the philosopher's stone, in this process: “ The earth was without form, and void ; 2. Darkness was on the face of the deep; 3. The spirit of God moved on the face of the waters; 4. God said, Let there be light, and there was light; 5. He divided the light from the darkness; 6. He divided the upper from the lower waters, by a firmament; 7. He separated the water from the earth; 8. The earth vegetated; 9. He made the stars, sun, and moon; 10. The waters brought forth animal life; 11. The earth brought forth animal life ; 12. He made his own image, having dominion over all."

· The same alchemic knowledge is ascribed to Saint John the Divine, and may be said of all the inspired writers, who were intimately acquainted with the wisdom of God. Saint John describes the redemption, or the new creation of the fallen soul, on the same first principles, until the consummation of the work, in which the Divine tincture transmutes the base metal of the soul into a perfection that will pass the fire of eternity.

· The seven churches, or states of regeneration, analogize with the seven days of the creation, and the seven regimens of the stone, the last of which is gold tried in the fire.

• The revelation of the Divine Chemistry, by which the fire of the last day will make a new heaven and a new earth, on the same first principles, is, by analogy, equally descriptive of the stone, and the process into which the fallen universe has passed, is passing, and which at last will assimilate with the philosophic transmutation, that of the earth and elements, as described by Saint John.

· Saint Peter speaks of the first creation, of the earth standing out of the water, and in the water, which earth being overflowed, perished, but is now reserved unto fire. And St. John describes the new earth having the light of chrystal, cities of transparent gold, stones of jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth, amethist; gates of pearls, and water of life or health.

' All the wise observers of nature among the heathen have, in their writings, left traits of the same first principles. This produces frequent reference, in the writings of the adepts, to the Heathen Mythology, which has been preserved by the Greeks and Romans. The poem of the Argonauts, by Orpheus, is founded on a Hermetic allegory, that he brought from Egypt, where Hermes Trismegistus, whose name signifies a spiritual trinity in Mercury, was celebrated as the founder of religion and the sciences.

Alchemy is called Hermetic philosophy, from Hermes, the author of seven books, and a tablet of alchemy, which are the most ancient and esteemed writings on this subject now extant. Y 2

They They were found in the Hebrew and Arabic languages, in the year of the Christian era 400, from which date there is literary evidence of the lives and writings of adepts.

• The destruction of ancient manuscripts prevents higher research; for, in 296, Dioclesian burned the books of the Egyptians, on the chemistry of gold and silver, peri chumeias argurou kai chrusou. Cæsar burned 700,000 rolls at Alexandria ; and Leo Isaurus 300,000, at Constantinople, in the eighth century; about which time the Mahometans commenced the work of destroying literature in its principal sources.'

As the title-page imports, the volume consists of two principal parts; first, the lives of some of the most noted alchemists; and secondly, a collection of several of their most curious treatises. The lives are 40 in number, and include short biographical sketches, together with an account of the principal works and remarkable opinions, of the individuals specified. They may be read with some amusement; for to a great portion, even of those who are versed in the history of science, the characters which are here introduced will be new, while the doctrines that are maintained will prove interesting from their extreme singularity and absurdity. It would be a dreadful waste of time to be long occupied on such a topic: but it is a part of the history of knowlege, and discovers the human mind under a new aspect; and therefore the most enlightened and philosophical chemist of the present day should make himself acquainted with the general character of those pursuits, that engrossed the attention of some of the first men of the age in which they lived, and who were in possession of all the science that then existed in the world. The reader must not be repelled from the task, if he finds the writings of these learned individuals' often impenetrably obscure : because we know that it was a part of their system not to be intelligible; they professed to employ words and phrases which contained some concealed meaning, that was intended to be understood only by a few favoured adepts; and it is not improbable that, if the real truth were known, these words and phrases were for the most part as incomprehensible to the initiated as to the profane vulgar. It may appear at first view to imply a singular state of the human mind, when the same person who endeavours to deceive others becomes the dupe of his own artifices: but we suspect that this has actually been the effect of mysticism, as well scientific as religious.

We do not deem it necessary to enter into any minute exami. nation of the individual parts of this work. As far as we have been able to judge from a general survey, the biography is executed with sufficient fidelity; and, though many of the lives are very short, they are probably copious enough to satisfy the curiosity of the reader. It is not a little amusing to observe in what excessive terms of commendation the author speaks of the learning and acquirements of many of the alchemists. He thus sums up his account of Raymond Lully :

· The labours of Raymond are prodigious, when we observe, that his travels, voyages, and public teaching, did not prevent


him from writing five hundred treatises on various subjects, especially of grammar, rhetoric, logic, analectic, morals, politics, civil and canon laws, physics, metaphysics, music, astronomy, medicine, chemistry, and theology: all have been well written by this learned man.

We may venture to say that Raymond Lully would have conferred more real benefit on science by a single well digested and intelligible treatise, on some one branch of philosophy, than by a whole Encyclopædia of mysticism. — We have given our readers a quotation from the commencement of the volume, and we shall conclude with a passage from the termination. It is intitled " The Emerald Table of Hermes,' and is (we believe) regarded as a kind of concentration of the learning of the celebrated Hermes Tris. megistus.

This is true, and far distant from a lie; whatsoever is below, is like that which is above; and that which is above, is like that which is below; by this are acquired and perfected the miracles of the one thing.

• Also, as all things were made from one, by the help of one: so all things are made from one thing by conjunction.

· The father thereof is the sun, and the mother thereof is the moon; the wind carries it in its belly, and the nurse thereof is the earth.

• This is the mother or fountain of all perfection, and its power is perfect and entire, if it be changed into earth.

Separate the earth from the fire, and the subtile and thin from the gross and thick: but prudently with long sufferance, gentleness and patience, wisdom and judgment.

• It ascends from the earth up to heaven, and descends again from the heaven to the earth, and receives the powers and efficacy of the superiors and inferiors.

In this work, you acquire to yourself the wealth and glory of the whole world: drive therefore from you all cloudiness or obscurity, darkness and blindness.

• For the work increasing, or going on in strength, adds strength to strength, forestalling and over-topping all other fortitudes and powers; and is able to subjugate and conquer all things, whether they be thin and subtile, or thick and solid bodies.

In this manner was the world made; and hence are the wonderful conjunctions or joinings together of the matter and parts thereof, and the marvellous effects, when in this way it is done, by which these wonders are effected.

• And for this cause I am called Hermes Trismegistus, for that I have the knowledge or understanding of the philosophy of the three principles of the universe. My doctrine or discourse, which I have here delivered concerning this solar work, is compleat and perfect.'

NATURAL HISTORY. Art. 19. An Introduction to the Natural History and Classification

of Insects, in a Series of Familiar Letters. With illustrative Engravings. By Priscilla Wakefield. 12mo. pp. 200. 58. Boards. Darton and Co. 1816.


Y 3.

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