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shouted, “ The holy man, the saint !” and gave him every assistance in their power, to enable him to carry off his burthen, and he made his ample collections with the utmost security, and in the most agreeable manner.
• The STRANGER.—I do not approve of pious frauds, even for philosophical purposes ; my rosary excited in others the same kind of feeling which it excited in my own bosom, and which I hold to be perfectly justifiable, and of which I shall never be ashamed.
AMB.—You must have travelled in Italy in very dangerous times; have you always been secure ?
THE STRANGER.—Always; I have owed my security partly, as I have said, to my rosary, but more to my dress and my acquaintance with the dialect of the natives ; I have always carried with me a peasant as a guide, who has been entrusted with the small sums of money I wanted for my immediate purposes, and my baggage has been little more than a cynic philosopher would have carried with him ; and when I have been unable to walk, 1 have trusted myself to the conduct of a vetturino, a native of the province, with his single mule and caratella.'—pp. 160—165.
Shortly after this memorable meeting with the scientific Stranger, our author is forced, by a domestic calamity, to return to England, where, however, he delays as short a time as possible, for he is too much attached to the charming climates and soothing scenery of the Continent, to relinquish them for any protracted interval. He confesses, too, that the recollections of the Unknown haunted him night and day, and the idea of again seeing him was associated in our author's mind with the most pleasurable sensations. He soon departed from England, and, accompanied by one who had been an early friend and medical adviser, to whom he gives the name of Eubathes, he directed his course to the Alpine country of Austria. Proceeding by Lintz on the Danube, and, following the course of the Traun, to Gmünden on the Traun See, they stopped there for a short time. This visit proved very nearly fatal to our author, in consequence of an accident, which he thus graphically describes :
The fall of the Traun, about ten miles below Gmünden, was one of our favourite haunts. It is a cataract, which when the river is full, may be almost compared to that of Schaffhausen for magnitude, and possesses the same peculiar characters of grandeur in the precipitous rush of its awful and overpowering waters, and of beauty, in the tints of its streams and foam, and in the forms of the rocks over which it falls, and the cliffs and woods by which it is overbung. In this spot an accident, which had nearly been fatal to me, occasioned the renewal of my acquaintance in an extraordinary manner with the mysterious unknown stranger. Eubathes, who was very fond of fly-fishing, was amusing himself by catching graylings for our dinner in the stream above the fall. I took one of the boats, which are used for descending the canal or lock artificially cut in the rock by the side of the fall, on which salt and wood are usually transported from Upper Austria to the Danube ; and I desired two of the peasants to assist iny servant in permitting the boat to descend by a rope to the level of the river below. My intention was to amuse myself by this rapid species of locomotion along the descending sluice. For some moments the boat glided gently along the smooth current, and I enjoyed the beauty of the moving scene around me, and had my eye fixed upon the bright rainbow seen upon the spray of the cataract above my head ; when I was suddenly roused by a shout of alarm from my servant, and looking round I saw that the piece of wood, to which the rope had been attached, had given way, and the boat was floating down the river at the mercy of the stream. I was not at first alarmed, for I saw that my assistants were procuring long poles, with which it appeared easy to arrest the boat before it entered the rapidly descending water of the sluice, and I called out to them to use their united force to reach the longest pole across the water, that I might be able to catch the end of it in my hand. And at this moment I felt perfect security; but a breeze of wind suddenly came down the valley, and blew from the nearest bank, the boat was turned by it out of the side current, and thrown nearer to the middle of the river, and I soon saw that I was likely to be precipitated over the cataract. My servant and the boatmen rushed into the water, but it was too deep to enable them to reach the boat; I was soon in the white water of the descending stream, and my danger was inevitable. I had presence of mind enough to consider, whether my chance of safety would be greater by throwing myself out of the boat, or by remaining in it, and I preferred the latter expedient. I looked from the rainbow upon the bright sun above my head, as if taking leave for ever of that glorious luminary; I raised one pious aspiration to the divine source of light and life; I was immediately stunned by the thunder of the fall, and my eyes were closed in darkness. How long I remained insensible I know not. My first recollections after this accident were of a bright light shining above me, of warmth and pressure in different parts of my body, and of the noise of the rushing cataract sounding in my ears. I seemed awakened by the light from a sound sleep, and endeavoured to recal my scattered thoughts, but in vain ; I soon fell again into slumber. From this second sleep, I was awakened by a voice which seemed not altogether unknown to me, and looking upwards, I saw the bright eye and noble countenance of the Unknown Stranger, whom I had met at Pæstum. I faintly articulated, “ I am in another world.” “No," said the stranger, “ you are safe in this; you are a little bruised by your fall, but you will soon be well; be tranquil and compose yourself. Your friend is here, and you will want no other assistance than he can easily give you." He then took one of my hands, and I recognised the same strong and warm pressure which I had felt from his parting salute at Pæstum. Eubathes, whom I now saw with an expression of joy and of warmth unusual to him, gave a hearty shake to the other hand, and they both said, “ You must repose a few hours longer.” After a sound sleep till the evening, I was able to take some refreshment, and found little inconvenience from the accident, except some bruises on the lower part of the body, and a slight swimming in the head. The next day, I was able to return to Gmünden, where I learnt from the Unknown, the history of my escape, which seemed alınost miraculous to me. He said, that he was often in the habit of combining pursuits of natural history, with the amusements derived from rural sports, and was fishing, the day that my accident happened, below the fall of the Traun, for that peculiar species of the large salmo of the Danube, which, fortunatcly for me, is only to be caught by very strong tackle. He saw, to his very great asto
nishment and alarm, the boat and my body precipitated by the fall; and was so fortunate as to entangle his books in a part of my dress, when I had been scarcely more than a minute under water, and by the assistance of his servant, who was armed with the gaff or curved hook for landing large fish, I was safely conveyed to the shore, undressed, put into a warm bed, and by the modes of restoring suspended animation, which were familiar to bim, I soon recovered my sensibility and consciousness.'pp. 176—181.
The Unknown and his patient, now having become connected by new ties, perform various excursions to the adjacent country, always in search of materials for adding to the stock of natural history. Their visit to the grotto of the Maddalena at Adelsberg, where that extraordinary animal, the Proteus, (the title of the fourth Dialogue) is found, gives rise to a very interesting dissertation on its habits and peculiarities; its mode of respiration, however, and the changes which its breathing produces on water, seem to be subjects of very great curiosity. From this, the transition to the principles of general respiration is easy and natural, and thence we are led to the consideration of the origin of animal heat, one of the opprobria of physiology ; nothing almost is certainly known concerning it. The question is treated by our author, with profound philosophy, which, when compared with the flippant and unsatisfactory essays of most modern physiologists on the subject, is worthy of the greatest admiration.
• The powers of the organic system depend upon a continued state of change; the waste of the body produced in muscular action, perspiration, and various secretions, is made up for by the constant supply of nutritive matter to the blood by the absorbents, and by the action of the heart the blood is preserved in perpetual motion through every part of the body. In the lungs, or bronchia, the venous blood is exposed to the influence of air, and undergoes a remarkable change, being converted into arterial blood. The obvious chemical alteration of the air is sufficiently simple in this process; a certain quantity of carbon only is added to it, and it receives an addition of heat or vapour; the volumes of elastic fluid inspired and expired (making allowance for change of temperature) are the same, and if ponderable agents only were to be regarded, it would appear as if the only use of respiration were to free the blood from a certain quantity of carbonaceous matter. But it is probable that this is only a secondary object, and that the change produced by respiration upon the blood is of a much more important kind. Oxygen, in its elastic state, has properties which are very characteristic; it gives out light by compression, which is not certainly known to be the case with any other elastic Auid except those with which oxygen has entered without undergoing combustion ; and from the fire it produces in certain processes, and from the manner in which it is separated by positive electricity in the gaseous state from its combinations, it is not easy to avoid the supposition, that it contains, besides its ponderable elements, some very subtile matter which is capable of assuming the form of heat and light. My idea is, that the common air inspired enters into the venous blood entire, in a state of dissolution, carrying with it its subtile or ethereal part, which in ordinary cases of chemical change is given off; that it expels from the blood carbonic acid gas and azote ; and that, in the course of the circulation, its ethereal parts and its ponderable part undergo changes which belong to laws that cannot be considered as chemical,—the ethereal part probably producing animal heat and other effects, and the ponderable part contributing to form carbonic acid and other products. The arterial blood is necessary to all the functions of life, and it is no less connected with the irritability of the muscles and the sensibility of the nerves than with the performance of all the secretions.'pp. 194—197.
It is easy to see that the author is of opinion, that in the air which is continually absorbed through the medium of the lungs, a subtile matter is received, which is immediately connected with the functions of life. Certainly, throughout nature, air, in whatever manner conveyed, seems to be indispensable to the support of life. The instant animation commences, the communication of air is begun. Air is conveyed from the blood of the mother, through the placenta, in the mammalia ; and to meet the peculiar process of re-production in oviparous reptiles or fishes, a system is constructed for causing air to have access to the receptacles, where the eggs are deposited. The proof of the necessity of air in such cases is, that without air no incubation can be effectual. The instinct of fishes, as connected with this general law, seems very surprising. They will not lay their eggs in water, which holds but a small portion of air, because they seem to be apprised that great danger exists for the security of their offspring. The expedient which, from their instinct, they employ, in these untoward circumstances, is precisely that which the profoundest science would point out. Those fishes that keep in deep and still waters, take care to place their eggs upon the leaves of aquatic vegetables ; and why? because those plants, acted on by the sun, keep the water sufficiently saturated with air, and thus the spawn is unfailingly animated into existence. The salmon, as well as other fishes of the same genus, is seen, at certain seasons of the year, to retire from the mouth of a river, and ascend, as nearly as possible, to its source. This fish will encounter all manner of difficulties, such as leaping up cataracts and wiers, in order to attain its destination. Why does it take all this trouble ? Because it is only near the source of the stream, oftentimes, that the water is duly combined with air ; and it is not until the fish is satisfied that there is sufficient air in the place where it is about to spawn, that it will ultimately deposit its eggs.
Some of the physiologists of our time, and one in particular, who now fills a chair in a distinguished school of anatomy in this metropolis, hare insinuated, but not actually inculcated, something like this doctrine,-ihat, by some unknown principle of arrangement, by organization, particles of matter, which, in their separate state, were entirely insensate, become endowed with sensibility, life, and intelligence. The advocates of Materialism have usually relied on what they consider the intimate correspondence between the body and the mind. They are both weak in infancy; they are both strongest in mature age; as the body decays in advanced life, the mind declines with it. The Materialists, therefore, believe that the strength of the mind, or its weakness, depends on the more perfect, or the imperfect, state of the organization of the body. A spoonful of blood effused upon the brain, and allowed to coagulate upon it, would effectually destroy the mind of a Newton. Then, the material pulse being stopped, the mind no longer exists. Such are the grounds on which are built the sophisms of some modern physislogists. The answer, not less ingenious than completely triumphant, is furnished by this truly Christian philosopher :
*These arguments have weight in appearance, but not in reality; they prove that a certain perfection of the machinery of the body is essential to the exercise of the powers of the mind,—but, they do not prove that the machine is the mind. Without the eye there can be no sensations of vision, and without the brain there could be no recollected visible ideas; but neither the optic nerve nor the brain can be considered as the percipient principle, they are but the instruments of a power which has nothing in common with them. What may be said of the nervous system, may be applied to a different part of the frame; stop the motion of the heart, and sensibility and life cease, yet the living principle is not in the heart nor in the arterial blood which it sends to every part of the system. A savage who saw the operation of a number of power-looms weaving stockings cease at once on the stopping of the motion of a wheel, might well imagine that the motive force was in the wheel; he could not divine that it more immediately depended upon the steam, and ultimately upon a fire below a concealed boiler. The philosopher sees the fire which is the cause of the motion of this complicated machinery, so unintelligible to the savage ; but both are equally ignorant of the divine fire which is the cause of the mechanism of organized structures. Profoundly ignorant on this subject, all that we can do is to give a history of our own minds. The external world or matter is to us in fact nothing but a heap or cluster of sensations, and in looking back to the memory of our own being, we find one principle which may be called the monad, or self, constantly present, intimately associated with a particular class of sensations, which we call our own body or organs. These organs are connected with other sensations, and move as it were with them in circles of existence, quitting for a time some trains of sensation to return to others, but the monad is always present; we can fix no beginning to its operations, We can place no limit to them. We sometimes, in sleep, lose the beginning and end of a dream, and recollect the middle of it, and one dream has no connexion with another, and yet we are conscious of an infinite variety of dreams, and there is a strong analogy for believing in an infinity of past existences, which must have had connexion; and human life may be regarded as a type of infinite and immortal life, and its succession of sleep and dreams as a type of the changes of death and birth to which from its nature it is liable. That the ideas belonging to the mind were Originally gained from those classes of sensations called organs, it is imVOL. XIII