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pre-eminently distinguished himself. In 1763 he went to the university of Gottingen, where, with the most unwearied diligence, he applied himself to the whole circle of studies pursued there. In 1770 he was about to accept a professorship at Giesen; but at Gottingen, where the merit of the young student was recognized and appreciated, an extraordinary professorship was offered to him, which he accepted. He subsequently accompanied two young Englishmen of high family to England, where he became acquainted with many celebrated men, particularly with those to whom the tendency of his scientific pursuits would bear him,-namely, the great mathematicians and astronomers of his day; and had the honour of being presented to George the Third. His sojourn in our country was not of long duration; but his love of England, her literature and learned men, induced him again to visit it, a few years afterwards, where, among the many additional friendships he formed, not the least interesting were those of Sir Joseph Banks, Johann Reinhold Foster, the companion of the celebrated circumnavigator Cooke, and his son, George Foster. The next year, with much enlargement of his intellectual acquirements, he returned to Gottingen, and in 1788 he had conferred on him the dignity of Hofrath. Here he entered upon an active discharge of his official duty; his lectures upon experimental physics were of most distinguished merit, and his apparatus for operation and illustration was princely. His vigorous and original intellect, applied to the consideration of physical subjects and matters of scientific comprehension, had the most beneficial result in enlightening and advancing these studies. But not to subjects of such abstract and philosophic character was his activity confined. He soon became involved in learned controversies, in which he brought the force of his vigorous and peculiar humour, and keen wit, to bear in such a manner, as always to come off triumphant. Amongst others, he attacked the new physiognomical views of Lavater, then making much noise in the world; in which, if the argument was not always on his side (and it was rarely that it was not so), the laugh never failed to be. In a multiplicity of minor essays and fugitive writings, scattered in the Gottingen Magazine, and other similar works, such as his “ Patriotic Contribution on the Methyology of the Germans, with a preface on methyologic study, or the art of getting drunk ;" “ On the particular estimation of women among certain

VOL. XI.--NO, XXI.

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nations;” “On Christian names—a contribution to the history of human follies;” “ On the varieties and uses of cudgellings, ear-boxings, and thrashings, among divers nations ;" “ Consolations for those unhappy ones born on 29th February;"

Speech of the Number 8, in the last day of the year 1798, at a grand council of all the numerals," when “ the cipher, as usual, was in the president's chair ;” and many other writings of similar character ;-but, more than all, by his admirable commentaries on Hogarth, he has acquired a conspicuous place among the humorous authors of Germany; and his productions of this class are ranked among the foremost in his countrymen's estimation. In the latter years of his life, from increasing bodily distortion, and the derangement of his health, this able man suffered much from attacks of hypochondriasis, so that he almost entirely confined himself to his chamber, and, except the society of a few confidential friends, lived apart from the world. A series of nervous attacks continually tormented him ; fancies and notions the most absurd and extravagant, which, like Nicolai, a similar sufferer, he felt to be delusions, and which present to the psychological and physiological enquirer a most singular case.

Of these a detailed account will be found in a biographical sketch which he published in his lifetime, entitled, The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance. These so completely destroyed all healthful functions, as to shorten the career of this original-minded man, and led to his death in 1790, in his fifty-seventh year.

Sickly and deranged as might be the outward frame, the soul of the man nevertheless was sound, vigorous and aspiring, as a forest-tree. In him were united a keen speculative understanding, with a reverence for the supersensual; great powers of humour and irony, with a loving respect for humanity, and a confidence in its essential nobleness; scientific ability, with poetic feeling; and faculties of such opposite tendency were so melted together in him, as to present an interesting and many-sided unity, worthy of study. Not artificially, by gathering and reminting other men's jokes, but as the result of an original individuality, he stands distinguished among German writers in that mysterious but fascinating mixture of playful wit, capricious satire, and deep feeling, which we call humour, and which is much more easily recognised than philosophically defined. Truth, above all things, had a preciousness for him; and in his works he shows himself to be a man whom no new view appals, but who resolutely and honestly sets himself to work, in a praiseworthy spirit of acuteness and justice, to sever the real from the seeming, the veritable from the false.

His detractors have described him, but unjustly, as a mere imitator of Swift. There is much in him that reminds us of the witty dean; in Lichtenberg, however, it was no imitation, but a genuine idiosyncratic affinity; and he has manifested, particularly in his essays on Hogarth, an appreciation of the deep truth and living nature exhibited in the graphic poetry of our immortal engraver, a warmth of heart, and an earnest healthy humanity, that places him in a very advantageous position, in comparison. On the subject of Hogarth, we may observe a stronger resemblance in Lichtenberg to our Charles Lamb, the “gentle-hearted Charles," "alike, but yet how different !" And we may safely declare, that finer commentaries that those of Lichtenberg and Lamb, on these undying productions, have not been written, nor is it very likely that they will ever be surpassed.

We should be much pleased to exhibit to our readers specimens of these illustrations of Lichtenberg ; but to do so effectually would demand too much of our space, and we must therefore content ourselves with laying before them the following specimens from his Remarks on Divers Subjects, Religious, Political, Moral, and Literary. An edition of his collected works, in nine volumes, was published in Germany in 1805.

“ If I should ever write a sermon, it should be on the power of doing good,-a faculty which every one possesses. We should be unhappy creatures if the emperor alone had the power of doing good. Every one in his position is an emperor....

“ Would but that one-tenth of the religion and the morality which we find in books, existed in our hearts.".

“ There is something in the character of every man which cannot be destroyed. It is the osseous frame of his character. To seek to change this, is to attempt to bleach a negro.”......

“ I am astonished that cats have two holes in their skins exactly at that place where their eyes are.'

“ We ought not, ordinarily, to trust a man who, in asserting anything, always puts his hand upon his heart.”......

“ How happy would many men be if they occupied themselves as little with the affairs of others as their own.”.

“ There are really many persons in the world, who read on purpose that they may not think.'

“ There is no man in the world who, having become a scoundrel for a thousand dollars, would not have remained honest for half the

' “ I lodged at H—, in a situation which commanded a view of a small street, that formed a communication with two great ones. It was amusing to notice the change of mien and action in those who passed; how much more they seemed at their ease when they entered the small street, where they supposed themselves less subject to observation. One drew up his stockings, another laughed, a third drooped his head. The young women were thinking of the preceding evening, and smiled; while some of them arranged their ribands, and made a species of toilet, for the conquests they expected to make in the great street.”......

“ If physiognomy become what Lavater anticipates, they will hang young children before they commit those offences which would make them worthy of the gallows. In fact, every year, it will be necessary to hold a new species of confirmation, a physiognomical auto-da-fe."......

“ It is singular, and I could not, in remarking it, avoid smiling, that Lavater discovers many more things in the conformation of the noses of our present authors, than the rational world does in their writings."......

“ We ought to investigate profoundly the causes which so commonly produce flowers without fruit; and that not only with regard to trees. The same thing occurs with our learned children ; superb flowers, but no fruit.”...

“ There, perhaps, never was a father who did not consider his child as something entirely original. I believe, that amongst parents, the learned are most exposed to this error.

“ If chance did not interfere so much with our education, what would become of the world ?”...

“ I would give something to know for whom those actions have really been done, which it is publicly said have been performed for our country.”......

“ There is a certain country, it is said, in which a particular custom prevails. The sovereign, as well as the ministers, are bound to sleep on a barrel of gunpowder as long as the state is at war, and that in the chambers of the palace; and so arranged that every one may see that the night-lamp is not extinguished. The barrels are sealed, not only with the seals of the deputies of the people, but they are attached to the floor with leather bands, which are also sealed. Every night and morning the seals are inspected. It is said, that for a long time that country has not been at war !”*......

They pretend that, for the last five years, no one has died of joy in our land.”......

“ It is an opinion somewhat received in Germany (thank heaven, however, only among young persons), that a man should understand the subject thoroughly, upon which he has to write at length. It is quite the contrary. Those persons who do not think, and who write only in order to write, do not know, fifteen days after, what they have written. Heaven preserve us from such writers; but, unfortunately, they are the most common.”

“ That which is opposed to the glory and immortality of such writers, (an obstacle more to be feared than the envy and malice of all the gazettes and critical journals together), is this unfortunate circumstance,—they are obliged to print their works on the same material which serves to enwrap pepper."...

“ There is no merchandise in the world so singular as books. Printed by persons who do not understand them, sold by persons who do not understand them, bound, criticised, and read by those who do not understand them, and often written by persons who do not understand them.”......

“ I am astonished that no one has ever written a Bibliogeny-a didactic poem, in which might be described the origin, not so much of books, but of a book, from the very springing of the flax seed until it is placed in the library. Many most amusing and instructive things might be said upon the subject. The derivation of rags, the manufacture of paper, the rich stores of waste paper, printing, how one letter is used here to-day, there to-morrow; then how books are written (here would be an ample field for satirical display); then would follow the binder, the titles of books, and finally, the cornets de poivre. Each of these subjects might make a canto, at the commencement of which there should be an invocation to the spirit of an author.".

“A philosopher, somewhat impertinent in joking (I believe it was Hamlet, prince of Denmark), has said somewhere, that there were in heaven and earth many things not found in our philosophic compendiums. If this good young man, who, all the world knows, was a little cracked, intended to make any allusions to our treatises of natural philosophy, we might boldly reply to him, “That is true;

* We should recommend the adoption of this custom to our French neighbours.

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