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THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL SCIENCE, for the February quarter, has just been published. It is a full and varied number. The contents embrace, among other things, the singular story of a lady in New-Hampshire, who, after having beheld an exhibition of the aurora borealis, 'gave out lambent glories' for the space of two months, from the extremities of her person, in the shape of electric sparks; and a report of a well-known trial for murder, in Massachusetts, by means of abortion. There are descriptions, moreover, of some splendid funguses, several admirable tumors, one or two pleasing 'issues,' and a beautisome case of 'infantine monstrosity,' of which we perceive our charming bard, O. W. HOLMEs, Esq., with characteristic (professional, not poetical,) enthusiasm, has secured a cast. Delightsome reading, especially to the uninitiated, are the 'General Therapeutics;' but, beside these and the other attractive subjects we have mentioned, we were chiefly interested in the treatises on opthalmology, toxicology, staphylorophy, and anchylosis - not forgetting the pleasant miscellaneous matter, (we trust we are understood,) in the 'Quarterly Periscope,' or medical 'Editor's Table,' whereon many subjects are cut up with great coolness and evident discrimination. Philadelphia : CAREY, LEA AND BLANCHARD. New-York : WILEY AND PUTNAM.
"THE GREAT METROPOLIS.' -A second series of the 'Great Metropolis,' by the author of 'Random Recollections of the Lords and Commons,' has just been issued, in two volumes, by Messrs. E. L. CAREY AND A. Hart. The first of these volumes is much the most novel and entertaining. “Almacks,' that tyrannical congress of metropolitan 'society'-dealers, is here laid open, in all its ramified details; there is a chapter upon parties and politics; literature, authors, and publishers, furnish themes for two more divisions; and the Bank of England, with its diversified objects of interest, forms the subject of another. A history of, and scenes at, the Stock and Royal Exchanges, and sketches of the Old bailey and Newgate prisons, with some very hard reading under the caption of 'Penny-a-Liners,' complete the second volume. The wit and pathos of the prison portions of the work are labored and feeble ; and both are hacknied, withal. For the rest, there is much of entertaining information embraced, in a book-making way; that is, a large piece of bread is covered with a small piece of butler. The style is loose and gossiping, but perhaps it will not be the less attractive on this account, to the general reader.
A REVIEWER REVIEWED. - We have looked over the sheets of a neat pamphlet, from the pen of a resident Virginian, now passing through the press, entitled ' A Defence of the Character of Thomas JEFFERSON, against a writer in the 'New-York Review.' After animadverting with much severity upon the character and spirit of the article in the review, as well as upon the precepts and practice of the supposed author, the writer proceeds to notice, seriatim, the various charges against Mr. JEFFERSON ; as his religious opinions, attempts at proselyteism, perversions in his 'Ana,' authorship of the Declaration of Independence, etc. The whole concludes with a summary of Mr. JEFFERSON's public acts, and a few reflections upon his life and character. The pamphlet will soon be published.
AMERICAN MONTHLY MAGAZINE. — A new volume of this periodical commenced in January last, with increased attractions, both in a literary and external point of view, The editor, PARK BENJAMIN, Esq., is the capable pilot at the helm, and under him is a 'branch' adjunct, in the person of Mr. ROBERT WALSH, Jr., of Philadelphia, (son of the sometime editor of the American Quarterly Review, and 'National Gazette' newspaper, now abroad,) of whom report speaks favorably. Imbued with the proper American spirit, in relation to our literary interests and repute, rendered entertaining by good contributors, and valuable from unbiassed critical and competent editorial direction, we cannot choose but solicit for the work the patronage which its merits demand, and should secure, and to wish for it a prosperous and useful longevity.
THE PICKWICK PAPERS. A large and very handsome volume, with numerous illustrations by Sam Weller, JR., and ALFRED CROWQUILL, recently published by Messrs. CABEY, LEA AND BLANCHARD, contains all the 'papers' connected with the life and times of that renowned old twaddler, 'SAMUEL PICKWICK, Esq., G. C., M. P. C. But what an incarnation of benevolence was he, and what a very clever servant that was of his - young Mr. Weller! Oh, quite so! Mr. TURNEY, Gold-street, has issued a similar edition, but upon a larger type, and with more numerous, and in some instances better, engravings, fac similes of the London edition. WILEY AND PUTNAM.
Thomas CAMPBELL, Esq. – We have examined a specimen or 'order' copy of a new London edition of CAMPBELL's poems, admirably illustrated, (after the manner of the English issue of Rugers' . Italy,') by numerous engravings in the best style of the art. Two or three poems, never before published, will appear in the work. One of these is given in preceding pages of our present number. We cannot doubt that when the splendid volume in question shall have been published in this country, it will command an extensive sale. How indeed should it be otherwise?
The 'Rejected Addresses.' — Why is not this admirable work reprinted, and 'Warreniana' along with it? Both are as rich as they are rare. We have had numerous inquiries for the former, but it is not to be obtained. A friend writes us from Buffalo, in this state: 'I possessed, some eighteen years since, a copy of the 'Rejected Addresses,' and lost it by casualty. I have been ever since seeking it, in vain; nor have I seen, in all that time, an extract made from its pages, until I saw yours. I heard of a copy in a private library in Vermont, and commissioned a friend to procure it for me, but as yet without success.'
New Works.- The BROTHERS Harper have published, in one volume, with illustrations by CRUIKSHANK, FIELDING'S 'Amelia. Good wine needs no bush. The same publishers will issue, in the course of the present month, 'Scenery of the Heavens,' by our correspondent, Dr. Dick, of Scotland; Rev. Dr. Fisk's Travels in Europe ; "The Monk of Cimies,' by Mrs. SHERWOOD, and 'Cromwell,' by the popular author of "The Brothers.'
The New-York Daily Whig' and 'MORNING Chronicle' are two diurnals, of the smaller class, which deserve mention and praise, for literary and other merits. Mr. Dawes, of the former, is a fine poet, a ripe scholar, and an able prose-writer; and the last named journal, aside from its claims as a literary vehicle, is the most perfect specimen of newspaper typography we have ever seen.
The Albion. — This excellent literary journal commenced its sixth volume, of the new series, on the first Saturday in January. The two plates of the New Houses of Parliament,' and Miss Ellen Tree, to which we have heretofore referred, have been retouched by the artist, and together with a new one, of equal merit, will be included in the numbers forwarded to new subscribers.
* MULTUM IN PARVO.' – Messrs. E. L. CAREY AND A. Hart have issued, in two very handsome and corpulent volumes, the complete works of Captain MARRYAT and LADY BLESSINGTON. Fine portraits of each author embellish the volumes.
THE DRAMA. --The dramatic notices for the last month, with much other matter, prepared for the prescut number, are bidden, hy inexorable Necessity, to bide their time. Mr. WALLACK certainly deserves the praise so liberally bestowed by our correspondent; for better scenery, a better company, aud better acting, are not to be found hereabout, than at the National Theatre. And equally just is the critique of .C.' upon the Love Chase,' as performed at the Park; since its involutions, convolutions, inversions, and affectations of quaintners, where plain prose is alone the raw matériel, deserved showing up.' Yet are we compelled to omit both these articles, 'and pameless numbers moe.'
*** The poetical favors of three or four valued correspondents, some of which are in type, havo presented accidental barriers to insertion. “King Christian,' • Marks of Time,' and 'Our Wedding. Days,' will appear in the April number.
Among the earliest ideas which we form, is that of power. When its exertion is seen, our interest is always excited, and where there is a possibility that it may be possessed and wielded by us, at our pleasure, its possession is intensely desired. The infant,' says Dr. Brown, ‘is pleased, when we shake for the first time the bells of his little rattle, before we put it into his possession; but when he has it in his own hands, and makes the noise, which is then such delightful music to his ear, by his own effort, his rapture is more than doubled.' This desire of power grows with our growth, and exterids through the whole circle of faculties which we call into successive exercise, and to nearly all the objects with which we find ourselves surrounded. We learn indeed to control its exercise, and we strive to dissimulate, when conscious of its existence, and are unwilling to permit the disclosure of its influence. But this only shows the extent to which its prevalence may be traced.
The simple desire of power is not of itself, not necessarily, wrong. It is not one of those dispositions against which we are bound to wage unceasing war for its extinction. On the contrary, many valuable and important purposes are promoted by it. Its uncontrolled indulgence, or its mere subordination to the principle of selfaggrandizement, is indeed much to be deprecated. And perhaps unfortunately for the good name of this desire of power, its perversion has most frequently attended its successful prosecution.
The mere power of muscular force, which we possess in common with the brute creation, and in an inferior degree to many of them, is surely not that which gives any ennobling distinction to us, or on account of which we have any high cause for self-gratulation. It is very often possessed, to the greatest extent, by those who seem endued with very few estimable qualities of heart or mind. Nor is the power which wealth, or rank, or ancestry gives, though certainly elevated above the level of that which consists in brute force, to be considered as invested with any thing like the same interest, to the noble and ingenuous soul, as the power of mind.
This is the subject, which too tamely, perhaps too presumptuously, we have selected for the present consideration of the reader. What school-boy has not written something upon the power of mind ?
and what philosopher has ever fully analyzed it? With no pretensions to have struck out new light on such a topic, our humble purpose shall be, to concentrate, and profitably direct, some rays of the old. We shall endeavor briefly to sketch the appropriate sphere of its exercise ; offer some practical suggestions on the means of increasing this power; and then consider the motives by which its exercise, and the desire of its acquisition, ought always to be controlled.
The first thing proposed is, to sketch the appropriate sphere for the exercise, or the development of the power of mind. It has indeed an ample field — from the lowest act, dependant on the will, , upward through all the simple and complex arrangement of ingenious mechanism, comprising by far the most interesting of all the relation's we sustain to the material universe. The power, too, of adaptation and subserviency ; where the ascertainment of nature's laws gives to this power of mind the opportunity of rendering nature's most steadfast course obedient to some useful subordinate purposes to which man desires to direct it; and last of all, and chief of all, the power over mind itself, either our own or the mind of others, in all its faculties, understanding, affections, and will. To give a few of the simplest illustrations in each of these departments, must suffice.
The first and lowest exercise of the power of mind, above noticed, is when the mechanical powers are applied for the accomplishment of some object, to which our physical energy, without this assistance, would be inadequate. Necessity, that prolific mother of useful inventions, must early have led to the discovery and application of the simpler mechanical powers; and perhaps no nation or tribe of men has ever been found so ignorant, as not to have employed some of them, to accomplish that which the hand or the shoulder was found unequal to, without this aid. In the absence of all historical records, of the first invention and application of so simple a contrivance, conjecture may easily and safely suggest the process. When, in erecting their first rude dwellings, or in removing some obstructions from an oft-frequented pathway, man, unaided by his fellows, had found his own strengh unequal to the task of raising the mass of stone or wood, which his purpose required him to remove, he casts around him for the means of its accomplishment. Accidental observation may, in many ways, have taught him, for instance, the use of the lever. Accustomed, as he would be, to the observation of the simplest objects and occurrences in nature, we can conceive of no way in which he would more likely discover this power, than by beholding the sturdy trunks or even roots of lofty trees, caused to move, to vibrate by the power of the winds on their tops ; when the same power, or a far greater, if applied near to the ground, would produce no effect. The inference and the application would be easy. With some long branch of the tree, of convenient size, he repairs again to the object he had just found too ponderous to be moved by his hand. Placing one end of this rude lever-bar under the mass, and fixing a rest or fulcrum, he applies his band to the other end, and as he finds the object accomplished with ease, he experiences a satisfaction arising from the same principle, which gives delight, on the other hand, to the infant first shakiug his rattle, and on the other to the philosopher of Syracuse, exclaiming with ecstacy, on accomplishing the solution of a difficult and important problem, ' &vpēxa ! evgēxa ! From this lowest specimen of the power of mind - so low, indeed, that perhaps it will be contended that there is no mind about it. you may go upward, step by step, through all the simple and combined exercise of mechanical skill, in giving new force, or rather new modifications and useful varieties to the application of force, from the simplest artificer's wedge or wheel, to the astonishing achievements of Archimedes, in the defence of an ancient, or that of Crale, in that of a more modern, city; where, so confident were a small garrison of the power of mind, that they dared an overwhelming army to the assault, and by the machines of their ingenuity, sent them back discomfited and overwhelmed.
The power of adaptation and subserviency may be variously illustrated. In hydraulics, or the application of water-falls to the moving of machinery, where a knowledge of the principles of gravitation, and the force of fluids, enables man to apply that force, which before expended itself in vain, to any of his purposes; in the expansive force of rapid combustion, which has led to the discovery and application of gunpowder; in the power of steam, also, which is now developed in some of the most splendid exhibitions of human skill and ingenuity which have marked the progress of modern discovery. The polarity of the magnet is, in the mariner's compass, made subservient to the most useful and important purposes; and the transit of a planet, which with mathematical precision is anticipated, furnishes, in its occurrence, the means or the opportunity for still farther and more interesting discovery. So the air and the light, the tides and the winds, the instincts of animals, and most of the properties of matter, man, by the power of mind, investigates, and then, by an adaptation in itself as simple as its results are wonderful, makes them subservient to his purposes. How noble, in this respect, are our endowments, and how gloriously do they illustrate the wisdom of the Author of our being! Many things which He has placed entirely beyond our control, whose natures we cannot alter, whose course we can neither stop nor change, we are thus permitted, by a knowledge of their properties, and by a confidence in the stability of their course, to make almost as directly, and far more extensively, subservient to our own benefit, than though their natures and movements were entirely under our direction.
But the power of mind over mind, over itself and over others', is the noblest of its achievements. By this, he who has skill to wield the energies within him, may control, to an almost indefinite extent, the noblest of the works of God. By argument, he can carry conviction to the reason, and bend the understanding to his purpose. By sympathy, and all the other inlets to the heart, he wins over its affections, and makes them cooperate in the attainment of his objects. Ву imagination, and the graphic delineations and vivid coloring of the brilliant images made successively to pass before the contemplation, an ideal presence arrests and enchains the attention. Then, having yielded ourselves up to the entire control of the potent enchantment, by the combined influence of motives which the understanding admits, and the affections and imagination cooperate to strengthen, the will is gained, and whatever of influence and aid is in our power,