The Women of the Old and New Testament. Ed-
ited by William B. Sprague, D. D. New York:
Appleton & Co.

who hold to the maxim that "words are things," and with whom the word "lectures" awakens associations of inanity and tediousness, pompous displays of superficial knowledge, oracular utterances of commonplaces, and literary larcenies in comparThis is by far the most superb gift book we have ison with which hen-roost robbery is reputable, yet seen, and of the greatest intrinsic value. We from the pleasure of perusing one of the most brilpresume that its costliness will place it beyond the liant and fascinating volumes which has ever issued reach of many; for a work so richly bound, and so from the American press. It consists of six lecprofusely illustrated with fine engravings from orig-tures, or rather essays, on Authors in their Relainal designs, must necessarily be expensive. But tion to Life, Novels and Novelists, Wit and Huwhoever can afford the outlay will turn to this as mor, The Ludicrous Side of Life, Genius, Intelan appropriate and worthy token of pure affection lectual Health and Disease. In treating these and refined taste. The volume is embellished with subjects, the author has not inflicted upon his readeighteen exquisitely finished engravings, being the ers a single page of dulness. His style is remarkideals of so many female characters mentioned, with ably direct and energetic, a fitting medium of his more or less minuteness of narrative in the Holy clear and sharply defined conceptions-terse, epiBible. The engravings are all from designs by grammatic, brilliant, rising at times into true eloquence. But to commend his essays as specimens of fine writing merely, would do him serious injustice. They are characterized by shrewd insight, practical wisdom, and, as the necessary consequence of the utter absence of cant and sentimentalism, a hearty, healthy tone of sentiment and feeling. His ridicule of the unmanly puerilities of literature, and his contempt for shams, false pretences, affectations, and sentimentalisms, remind one of the savage mirth of Longfellow's Northern Jarl, whose


loud laugh of scorn From the deep drinking-horn Blew the foam lightly.

The reading matter is not of an ephemeral character. The pen-and-ink portraits are life-like, forming our judgment from the Scripture narratives, and skilfully wrought out. The Rev. Dr. W. J. Kip furnishes an article upon the Virgin Mary, which opens the volume, and the other contributors are Dr. E. Mason, the editor, the Revs. C. Wadsworth, E. N. Kirk, A. A. Wood, Drs. Halley and Beman, Bishops Henshaw and Hopkins, Drs. Todd, Cox, Murray, and others. We can assure our readers that they will find in this volume specimens of the most chaste and finished style, and delineative passages of the most exquisite character. He who presents to mother or sister, wife or daughter, loved one or friend, this sub-Disease, touches with no gloved hand the peculiar The concluding essay, on Intellectual Health and stantial and elegant volume, will not only indicate and besetting sins of the northern and southern sechis confidence in the refined and elevated taste of tions of our country-the Yankee's conceit and the the recipient of so handsome a gift, but will aid in Southerner's pride. He says of the Yankee, that giving even a still loftier tone to taste, by mingling he has a spruce, clean, Pecksniffian way of doing with its gratification the strength and purity of earnest moral and religious sentiment.—Com. Adv. certain fashion, in justice and retribution, he still a wrong, which is inimitable. Believing, after a Lectures on Subjects connected with Literature and thinks that a sly, shrewd, keen, supple gentleman, Life, is the title of an exquisitely printed little vol- like himself, can dodge, in a quiet way, the moral ume, by Edwin P. Whipple, published by Ticknor laws of the universe, without any particular pother & Co., of Boston. The popularity of the author being made about it." He illustrates this by the as a lecturer will secure for the work an extensive preaching and practice of Yankeedom in respect to sale in New England, but it has claims so much the Mexican war. beyond the ordinary range of similar books, that we desire to commend it to the reading public around us, as a very ingenious and suggestive work. The subjects treated by the lecturer are, "Authors,' ""Novels and Novelists,' 996 Wit and Humor," "The Ludicrous Side of Life,' nius," and "Intellectual Health and Disease." In discussing these topics, Mr. Whipple analyzes many of the essential principles of criticism, defines the characteristics of literature, and vindicates intellectual power with sagacity and eloquence. He voted to practical and elevated purpose will hail Every admirer of true and fervid eloquence detakes the highest moral view of authorship; and this volume with unqualified pleasure. For ourgives admirable hints for the cultivation of a dis-selves we have often regretted the ephemeral form criminating taste in reading. The style of these in which alone the orations of Dr. Bethune, and essays is vigorous, pointed and lively. There is a others whom we could name, were to be obtained. spirited rhetoric in the mode of handling each sub- This elegant volume meets our want and a general ject, at once fascinating and impressive. We do desire, and oftentimes will the intelligent young not agree with all the writer's positions; but we man and the man of more matured experience take sympathize heartily in the manly intelligence and it from the library shelf and refresh the intellect, independent philosophy of his tone; and feel in- and revive the heart with its perusal. The disdebted to him for one of the most charming belles-courses are twelve in number, including the noble lettres volumes of the day.-N. Y. Eve. Post.

996 Ge

From the National Era.

We fear the rather unpromising title of this volume may have the effect to deter a class of readers

We hazard nothing in predicting for these lectures a wide popularity. They will entitle their author to the same rank as an essayist which he already occupies as a reviewer and critic. J. G. W. Orations and Occasional Discourses. By Rev. GEORGE W. BETHUNE, D. D. New York: G. P. Putnam.

oration on "The Claims of our Country upon its literary Men," delivered during the present year before the Phi Beta Kappa society of Harvard University.-N. Y. Com. Adv.

1. The Electric Telegraph,

2. There and Back Again, Chaps. VI.-XV.


EUROPE: Austria; France and italy; The Spirit { Examiner, Spectator, Daily News,

of Evil; France,

4. Los Gringos; Inside View of Mexico and California,

5. Summer Journey, by Frederika Bremer, 6. Persia and Turkey,

ILLUSTRATION.- -Fatal Facility; or Poisons for you be so good as to fill this bottle again with and a half of Arsenic for the Rats (!)"

Edinburgh Review,
Tait's Magazine,

{N. Y. Tribune,

Foreign Quarterly Review,
the Asking.

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Child.-"Please, Mister, will Lodnum, and let mother have another pound

Duly Qualified Chemist.-"Certainly, Miss. Is there any other article?" 477. POETRY.-Autumn; The Hours, 451.-Death of the Flowers, 465.-Hungary in October 1849; A Woman's Plea for Mercy, 476.

SHORT ARTICLES.-Houses and Chinese in California, 450.-Caprices, 476.-Women of the Old and New Testament; Mr. Whipple's Lectures; Dr. Bethune's Oration, 479.

PROSPECTUS. This work is conducted in the spirit of Littell's Museum of Foreign Literature, (which was favorably received by the public for twenty years,) but as it is twice as large, and appears so often, we not only give spirit and freshness to it by many things which were excluded by a month's delay, but while thus extending our scope and gathering a greater and more attractive variety, are able so to increase the solid and substantial part of our literary, historical, and political harvest, as fully to satisfy the wants of the American reader.


now becomes every intelligeut American to be informed
of the condition and changes of foreign countries.
this not only because of their nearer connection with out-
selves, but because the nations seem to be hastening
through a rapid process of change, to some new state of
things, which the merely political prophet cannot compute
or foresee.

Geographical Discoveries, the progress of Colonization, (which is extending over the whole world,) and Voyages and Travels, will be favorite matter for our selections; and, in general, we shall systematically and very fully acquaint our readers with the great department of Foreign affairs, without entirely neglecting our own.

The elaborate and stately Essays of the Edinburgh, Quarterly, and other Reviews; and Blackwood's noble criticisms on Poetry, his keen political Commentaries, highly wrought Tales, and vivid descriptions of rural and While we aspire to make the Living Age desirable to mountain Scenery; and the contributions to Literature, all who wish to keep themselves informed of the rapid History, and Common Life, by the sagacious Spectator, progress of the movement-to Statesmen, Divines, Lawthe sparkling Examiner, the judicious Athenæum, the yers, and Physicians-to men of business and men of busy and industrious Literary Gazette, the sensible and leisure-it is still a stronger object to make it attractive comprehensive Britannia, the sober and respectable Chris- and useful to their Wives and Children. We believe that tin Observer; these are intermixed with the Military we can thus do some good in our day and generation; and and Naval reminiscences of the United Service, and with hope to make the work indispensable in every well inthe best articles of the Dublin University, New Monthly, formed family. We say indispensable, because in this Fraser's, Tait's, Ainsworth's, Hood's, and Sporting Mag-day of cheap literature it is not possible to guard against azines, and of Chambers' admirable Journal. We do not the influx of what is bad in taste and vicious in morals, consider it beneath our dignity to borrow wit and wisdom in any other way than by furnishing a sufficient supply from Punch; and, when we think it good enough, make of a healthy character. The mental and moral appetite ase of the thunder of The Times. We shall increase our must be gratified. variety by importations from the continent of Europe, and from the new growth of the British colonies.

The steamship has brought Europe, Asia and Africa, into our neighborhood; and will greatly multiply our connections, as Merchants, Travellers, and Politicians, with all parts of the world; so that much more than ever it

TERMS. The LIVING AGE is published every Saturday, by E. LITTELL & Co., corner of Tremont and Bromfield sts., Boston; Price 123 cents a number, or six dollars a year in advance. Remittances for any period will be thankfully received and promptly attended to. To insure regularity in mailing the work, orders should be addressed to the office of publication, as above.

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WASHINGTON, 27 Dec., 1945.

Or all the Periodical Journals devoted to literature and science which abound in Europe and in this country, this has appeared to me to be the most useful. It contains indeed the exposition only of the current literature of the English language, but this by its immense extent and comprehension includes a portraiture of the human mind the utmost expansion of the present age. J. Q. ADAMS


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a page from a parish-register would be nearly as edifying.

Addison and Montaigne, in their speculations upon Death, had chiefly in view the mental feelings. The physical part of the question had only been treated in detached fragments, until Bichat endeavored to give a connected view of those changes in the system which are immediately concerned in the extinction of life. Even this was only a single branch of an extensive subject; and, far from exhausting it, the state of knowledge obliged him to rest content with a general outline

-but it was an outline drawn with a master's hand. A more beautiful piece of scientific writing could nowhere be found-none more lucid in arrangement, more clear, simple, and concise in style. He had to deal with a mass of tangled threads, and wove them into a vivid and harmonious pattern. A disposition to fanciful system is the principal defect of the celebrated "Researches

when, by the progress of discovery, it has ceased to be an authority. Since Bichat led the way, numerous writers have followed in his track-extended his experiments, corrected his errors, and modified his theories. The knowledge is confined at present to professional works which few besides professional men are likely to read, and is too much bound up with general physiology to permit us to enter at large upon the question. What Bichat imperfectly discussed in a volume, we must dismiss in a page. A summary of the newest and best information will be found in the able and philosophical Principles of Medicine by Dr. Williams, or in the Lectures on the Principles and Practice of Medicine by Dr. Watson-a work upon which his own craft have set the seal of their highest approbation, and which it may interest others to be told is not a dry detail of symptoms and remedies, but a luminous account of disease, which he has had the art to make as entertaining as instructive. It was not consistent with the plan of Dr. Williams, or Dr. Watson, to write a formal treatise upon death. This was done by Dr. Symonds-whose

Ir was the opinion of Addison that nothing in history was so imposing, nothing so pleasing and affecting, as the accounts of the behavior of eminent person in their dying hour. Montaigne before him had given expression to the same sentiment. Of all the passages in the annals of mankind, those, he said, which attracted and delighted him most, were the words and gestures of depart-on Life and Death," which will continue a classic, ing men. "If," he adds, “I were a maker of books, I would compile a register, with comments, of various deaths; for he who should teach men to die would teach them to live." The register would not be difficult to supply. The commentary is a loss-rich as it would have been in the reflections of a shrewd and thoughtful mind, fearless in its confessions, holding up its feelings, in their weakness and their strength, as a mirror in which the readers might behold themselves. But Montaigne, who merely gives a formal adhesion to Christianity, and too generally draws both precept and practice from the code of Epicurus, was not the person to teach others to live or die. He had realized beyond most men the terror of death, studied it incessantly in all its aspects, and done his best to steel himself against the stroke; but the resources of religion are scarcely dreampt of in his philosophy of mortality. He treats the question almost like a heathen, raises more misgivings than he removes, and does less to reform the careless and encourage the timid, than to offend the pious and disturb the peaceful. He seldom, indeed, touches upon a sacred subject without leav-admirable article in the Cyclopædia of Anatomy ing us in doubt whether he is in earnest or in jest. He seems, in his bantering way, to be striking with one hand while he affects to support with the other; and his attack, though far from formidable, is more powerful than his defence. He would have been an eminent teacher in Greece or Rome, but was noways fitted to be a master in Christen-ject, such as the signs of dying, are more elabdom. Two or three of Montaigne's countrymen have since attempted to carry out his conception; but not inheriting his genius with his project, their works are said to be meagre and vapid. More worthless they could not be than the similar compilations which have been published in English; VOL. XXIII. 31



and Physiology, though a condensed, is the most comprehensive, description with which we are acquainted. The entire physical phenomena of natural death are passed in review; the results of original observation are combined with the researches of others; and some portions of the sub

orately treated than anywhere else. Addressed to medical men, it presumes a degree of acquaintance with their science; yet two thirds of the essay could hardly be more attractive to general readers if it had been penned for their use. General readers, however, are less inquisitive on the matter

than their deep concern in it might lead us to ex-| laying him backwards, which immediately sends a pect, or it would not be confined to the domain of the physician. Addison assumed that the interest was as universal as the lot; but though

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current of blood to the brain. The effect of the circulation on a limb is seen in the operation for an aneurism of the leg-a disease in which the artery, unable to resist the force of the blood, continues to distend, until, if left to itself, it usually bursts, and the patient bleeds to death. To prevent this result, the main artery itself is often tied above the tumor, and thus the blood is stopped short of the place where it was gradually working a fatal outlet. The lower part of the leg, cut off from its supply, at once turns cold, and, unless nature were ready with a new provision, would quickly perish; but if, by the disease, man is shown to be fearfully, the remedial contrivance proves him wonderfully, made. The trunk artery sends out numerous tributaries, which again rejoin it further on its course, and those above the aneurism gradually dilate to receive the obstructed circulation, and, carrying it past the break in the channel, restore warmth and vigor to the drooping

Most feel about it much the same as did Justice Shallow "The mad days that I have spent! and to see how many of mine old acquaintance are dead! Silence. We shall all follow, cousin! Shallow.-Certain, 't is certain; very sure, very sure; death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all-all shall die. How a good yoke of bullocks at Stamford fair?" He moralizes mechanically upon death, pays it parenthetically the tribute due to an indisputable truth-but the price of oxen has not the less of his thoughts. We persist in thinking death distant because the date is doubtful, and remain unconcerned spectators until we are sum-limb. What is true of the leg and brain is true moned to be actors in the scene.

Yet, however little the majority of men may be tempted to originate inquiry, there can hardly be many to whom an account of the mental and corporal sensations, which attend upon death, can be a matter of indifference when brought before their eyes. Father Bridaine, a French itinerant of the last century, who, in a mixture of eccentricity and fervid eloquence, combined the two most powerful agencies by which a vulgar auditory are attracted and moved, once wound up a discourse by the announcement that he would attend each of his hearers to his home; and, putting himself at their head, conducted them to the house appointed for all living a neighboring churchyard. We deeply feel that we are, in many respects, little qualified for the subject which we venture to take up; there is in it, however, a mysterious awfulness which may probably carry on our readers in spite of our imperfections. But the profit will be to those who remember, as they read, that we describe, or attempt to describe, the road which they themselves must travel, and, like Bridaine, are conducting them to their home.

John Hunter called the blood the moving material of life. Elaborated from the food we eat, it carries nutriment and stimulus to every part of the body; and, while in its progress, it replenishes the waste going on in the frame, it receives and throws off much of the effete and worn-out matter which would otherwise clog and encumber the machinery. The moment the blood is reduced below a certain standard, the functions languish ; the moment it is restored, the functions revive. The brain, in general bleeding, is the first to feel the loss; and a mere change of position, by affect ing the amount of blood in the head, will make the difference between unconsciousness and sense. Where the object is to bring down the circulation to the lowest point, the safeguard against carrying the depletion too far is to make the patient sit up; and when faintness ensues, sensibility returns by

of every portion of the body. Not an organ can subsist deprived of a due and healthy circulation; and when the blood is brought to a stand in its career, or is in a particular degree deficient in quantity or corrupted in quality, then is death inevitable. "We are born," says Seneca, "by a single method-we die by many." But though mortal diseases are legion in their seat and nature, they may all be resolved into the destruction of the circulation, like the radii of a circle which come from an infinity of directions and meet in a point.

The heart is the agent for propelling the blood. It acts the part of a pump to the system, plays without our aid at the rate of four thousand strokes an hour, and sometimes continues in operation a century; but no organ, however marvellous in its construction and performances, can be beyond the reach of injury and disease in a body created mortal by design. The heart is the seat of numerous disorders which destroy its power of contraction and expansion, and when its action ceases the blood must stop; but extreme cases are the clearest illustration of principles, and the effects of arresting its pulsations are seen best when the event is sudden. This is no uncommon occurrence. The passions of rage, joy, grief, and fear, make themselves felt in the centre of circulation; and these all have the power, when intense, to paralyze the heart in a moment, or even to burst it by the agitation they create. A lady, overjoyed to hear that her son had returned from India, died with the news in her ears; another, prostrate with grief at parting with a son who was bound for Turkey, expired in the attempt to bid him farewell. Physical causes, in like manner, put an immediate and lasting stop to the heart. It may be done by a blow on the stomach, by the fall from a height, by too violent an exertion.

The lungs are no less essential to the circulation. The entire blood of the system passes along their innumerable vessels on its return to the heart, and ejecting through the pores the foul matter collected

in its circuit, receives in exchange a fresh supply | if left to itself, and would fall to pieces with the of air. The process is stopped in drowning, when jolts and rough usage of better days. Lord Chesthere is no oxygen from without to inhale ; in hanging, when the communication is cut off with the lungs; in the morbid effusions which prevent the air from reaching the blood; in the pressure which holds down the chest and abdomen and will not permit them to play; and in injuries of the portion of the spinal cord whence the nerves are derived, by which the muscular movements of respiration are sustained. A vast variety of accidents and diseases operate in one or other of these ways, and with the uniform consequence that the unpurified blood becomes stagnant in the lungs and stops the road. Breathing is indispensable to life, because the blood will barely move an inch without it; and though it did, would carry corruption in its round instead of sustenance and health.

terfield, in his decrepitude was unable to support the rapid motion of a carriage; and when about to take an airing, said, in allusion to the foot's pace at which he crept along, “I am now going to the rehearsal of my funeral." The expression was one of many which showed that his mind had not participated in the decay of his body; but even with men less remarkable it is common for the intellect to remain unbroken amidst surrounding infirmity. The memory alone seldom escapes. Events long gone by retain their hold-passing incidents excite a feeble interest, and are instantly forgotten. The brain, like a mould that has set, keeps the old impressions, and can take no new ones. Living rather in the past than the present, the aged naturally love to reproduce it, and grow The brain is the centre of nervous power, and more narrative than is always entertaining to without its agency we are unable to think, move, younger ears; yet, without the smallest sense of or feel; but the immediate effect of mortal injuries weariness, they can sit for hours silent and unemis to paralyze the action of the heart or the lungs.ployed, for feebleness renders repose delightful, The apoplexies in which the blood escapes with force into the brain, and breaks up its substance, kill through the first; the congestion which is less violent acts by impeding, and ultimately arresting, the movements of the last. In either case the circulation stops, and with it life. Whatever is the locality of a disease, the heart and lungs are either implicated themselves, or through the nerves and brain; and in the majority of disorders the whole are enfeebled together, till it is difficult to determine which is failing most. In some diseases the blood itself is utterly corrupted, and every organ it touches feels its deadly influence. In others, the stomach is incapable of discharging its office, and the fountain is dried up which replenished the stream. The original stock, depositing its vitality as it goes, gets smaller and smaller every round. Soon the waste in the system exceeds the supply; the decaying parts drop away, and no new matter takes their place; the whole frame dwindles and languishes, and the organs, every instant feebler in their action, become finally motionless.

and they need no other allurement in existence than to feel that they exist. Past recollections themselves are sometimes erased. Fontenellenot the author on our present list-outlived the knowledge of his writings, but the winter which destroyed his memory allowed his wit to flourish with the freshness of spring. He could mark and estimate his growing infirmities, and make them the subject of lively sayings. "I am about," he remarked, "to decamp, and have sent the heavy baggage on before." When Brydone's family read him his admirable Travels in Sicily, he was quite unconscious that his own eyes had beheld the scenes, and his own lively pen described them; but he comprehended what he heard, thought it amusing, and wondered if it was true!

Next the body relapses into helplessness, the mind into vacancy-and this is the second childhood of man-an expression upon which some physiologists have built fanciful analogies, as if infancy and age, like the rising and setting sun, were the same unaltered object in opposite parts Rarely is there seen a case of death from pure of the horizon. But there is little more resemold age. In those who live longest, some disease blance than in the vegetable world between immais usually developed which lays the axe to the root turity and rottenness. Sir Walter Scott, when of the tree; but occasionally the body wears itself growing infirmities made him speak of himself out, and, without a malady or a pain, sinks by a playfully as coming round to the starting point of slow and unperceived decay. All the aged approx- the circle, said he wished he could cut a new set imate to the condition and show the nature of the of teeth. The remark touched the distinction beprocess. The organs have less life, the functions tween the morning and evening of life. Infancy less vigor; the sight grows dim, the hearing dull, and age are both toothless, but the teeth of the forthe touch obtuse; the limbs lose their suppleness, mer are coming, the teeth of the latter are gone— the motions their freedom, and, without local dis- the one is awakening to a world upon which the order or general disturbance, it is everywhere plain other is closing its eyes. The two portraits are in that vitality is receding. The old are often indo- perfect contrast. Here activity, there torpor― lent from natural disposition; they are slow in here curiosity, there listlessness-here the prattle their movements by a physical necessity. With of dawning intelligence, there the babbling of exthe strength enfeebled, the bones brittle, the liga- piring dotage. Decrepitude which has sunk into ments rigid, the muscles weak, feats of activity are imbecility must be endeared by past recollections no longer possible. The limbs which bent in to be loved. But to despise it is an insult to huyouth would break in age. Bentley used to say he man nature, and to pity it on its own account, was like his battered trunk, which held together wasted sympathy. Paley rightly asserted that

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