图书图片
PDF
ePub

ficiently distant to admit of his Lord- gow, where they have accommodation ship’s receiving the sentiments of the for 120, the governors expressly state county meetings. The bill was, accord- that the plan of their institution proingly, transmitted to the several coun- ceeds upon the principle that the in ties. Now it was that they saw the come is to equal the expenditure ; and matter in a serious light. The alarm unless, therefore, a very great majowas first sounded, we believe, by the rity of the patients are of the higher county of Ayr. It spread rapidly; classes of society, the benefit which it and, at the general county meetings can afford to paupers must be very in April last, the proposed measure trifling. Of these facts we conceive was taken into consideration-not, the gentlemen of Stirling must have however, as was intended, that they been ignorant when they formed such might amend and correct it, so as to a resolution as that quoted. render it as perfect as possible, but We shall not refer here to the resowith the avowed intention, as appears lutions of the same county with refrom the resolutions of a great majo- gard to idiots, or, as they are called rity, of rejecting it in toto. Nay, in the law language of Scotland, fasome of the counties even went so far tuous persons. It is sufficient for our as to declare the proposed act not on- purpose to observe, that, from the ly improper, but altogether unneces summary printed by order of the sury. The gentlemen of the county House of Commons, it appears that of Stirling resolved, “ Athly, That the there are not less than 622 furious lumeans of cure are much inore likely to natics in 740 parishes in Scotland. prove efficacious in the lunatic asy- How then, we would ask, are they to lums already existing in several of the be treated in asylums that can only most considerable towns in Scotland, accommodate 311, even supposing the especially in Edinburgh and Glasgow, parishes were willing to pay for their where the ablest medlical assistance is board ?-But enough of this. The ferto be had, than they could be in the ment continued great and general, and, proposed district asylums, some of as de magnis majora loquuntur, it was which must necessarily be placed in considered nothing short of imposing the smaller towns, where the medical a poor’s rate upon the country; and the attendants cannot be supposed equally representatives of almost every county eminent in their profession.”. All this in Scotland were instructed to opmay be very true; but are the lunatic pose the bill in every stage of its proasylums already existing capable of gress through the House. Ainidst receiving the number of patients that all this opposition, it is pleasing to rerequire treatment? From a document flect, that the enlightened county of in the appendix to Dr Halliday's let- Edinburgh held a very different conter, we observe that there are only duct. The gentlemen of this county four public asylums at present existing met indeed, but not to throw obstacles in Scotland, viz. those of Edinburgh, in the way of such an important and Glasgow, Montrose, and Aberdeen; necessary measure. We know that and that these, when perfectly full, they canvassed the printed act paracan only contain 255 patients, while, graph by paragraph, suggesting such at the most, only 100 of these can alterations and improvements as they be of the poorer classes, or what may thought it required; and, instead of be considered parish paupers. At publishing their resolutions in the Dundee an asylum has been built by newspapers, they sent their detailed subscription, which, when completed, statement and remarks to the benevowill accommodate 40 more. The lent mover of the bill. Such conduct Dumfries Infirmary has accommoda- merits the highest praise. After the tion for 12, and the Inverness County second reading, the bill was withdrawn Hospital cells for 4, so that, in all the altogether, and towards the end of the public establishments in the kingdom, session an amended bill was introduthere is only accommodation for 311. ced by the same indefatigable philanAt Edinburgh, where the accommo- thropist. It was read a first time, dation at present is only for 20, no pa- ordered to be printed, and is now in tient can be received for a less board the hands of the county gentlemen for than one guinea per week,-a sum their consideration. What may be its which we conceive few parishes would fate we know not ; but to us it apagree to pay for their poor. At Glas- pears to be free from all those enact

ments which seemed to give so much We would earnestly recommend Dr offence in the first act; and we would Halliday's letter to the perusal of such fain hope that it will meet with the of our readers as may wish for furdecided approbation of at least a great ther information. It contains the majority of the nation, as we are sa sentiments of one who has attended a tistied it will meet with no opposition good deal to the subject, and will, we in either House of Parliament. Dur- trust, convince them, as it has done ing the last session, a Committee was us, not only of the importance, but of appointed on a motion of the Right the absolute necessity of public asyHonourable Robert Peel, to inquire lums in Scotland, where the insane into the state of lunatic asylums in poor may be received and properly Ireland ; and, from the report of that treated. We regret that we have not Committee, a bill was brought in by room for the remarks which we inthe same gentleman, (which has pas- tended to have offered on the improvesed into a law,) * authorizing the ments which have taken place in the Lord-Lieutenant and Privy Council treatment of insanity. But on this to establish district asylums in that subject our readers will find much kingdom ; so that Scotland is now the valuable information in the minutes only portion of the British empire of evidence taken before the Select where no legal establishments exist Committee, as well as in the reports for the custody and cure of the of the principal asylums in this kingmost helpless of our afflicted fellow- don, which are submitted annually creatures. Are we poorer than our to the public. It is now no longer to neighbours ? or have we less humani. be considered an incurable disease; ty? We are certain that neither the and we do not hesitate to affirm that, one nor the other can be fairly al- under proper management, ninetyleged. We would rather impute the nine out of a hundred of the cases opposition which the measure has which have been allowed to degenemet with to ignorance, and to the dis- rate into hopeless idiotism, might have tressed state of the country at the been cured, and the individuals, who time ; and we flatter ourselves, that are now for ever lost, restored to reathe detail which we have now given son and to society. Some strong rewill clear up many doubts, and tend marks, in the concluding page of Dr not a little to enlighten some, while Halliday's letter, led us to pay a visit the distress which prevailed so univer

to the Bedlam of this city a few days sally shall have passed away. We have ago, and we were both delighted and read over the proposed act with some highly gratified to witness the imattention, and the whole, except per- provements which have taken place in haps one clause, has our fullest ap- that abode of wretchedness within the probation. The clause to which we last twelvemonth. We cannot call it allude, is that by which it is enacted an asylum for the cure of lunatics, as that parishes are to bear the expence

we could not find that any atiention of their insane poor in the district asy- had been paid by the medical attendlums. Now, though we are aware ant to the disease for which the pathat this is merely a repetition of the tients had been sent there ; but, as a existing law of the land, yet we think place of confinement, we will venture that many evils would be obviated by to pronounce it as comfortable and making ita county measure; and we are well regulated as any in the world ; sure that it would be more palatable to and every attention which humanity our countrymen, who have a just ab can suggest, seems to be paid to the horrence of everything like parish unhappy inmates; yet, as we trust rates. Under Mr Wynne's act for the the time has passed when confinement establishment of lunatic asylums in

was considered all that was necessary England, vagrant lunatics are sup- in the case of a madman, we would ported by the county at large ; and it recommend to the governors of the is the opinion of the best informed in- charity work-house to inculcate upon that part of the kingdom, that the in- their medical attendant the necessity sane poor of every description ought of applying himself to the cure of the to be supported in the same manner. primary complaint,-a duty for which

he is so eminently qualified by his ex

tensive practice in one of the best re• 57th Geo. III. cap. 106. gulated private establishments in Elia

к k

VOL. I.

and a

rope, which is under his own imme We have made a very extensive, diate management; and where, if we and, we will venture to add, a very are rightly informed, more cures are accurate calculation of the probable exaccomplished than in any other esta- pence of the district asylums, (it is blishment in the kingdom. The old not intended to propose more than part of the building upon the city five, some say three,) and we find that wall, which is no longer inhabited, the sum which the largest landed proought, in our opinion, to be removed prietor in Scotland would have to conaltogether. It would make a consi- tribute will notexceedtwenty pounds!!! derable addition to the men's court, It therefore cannot be the dread of the or airing-ground. In its present state, expence which has excited such an it can only be considered as a recep- alarm. tacle for vermin; and, from the number of neat comfortable apartments Pocms. By John Keats. London, which have been lately fitted up, we are convinced that the cells in the old

12mo. pp. 121. Ollier, 1817. building will never again be required.

Of the author of this small volume We intended to have concluded we know nothing more than that he our remarks here, when a resolution is said to be a very young man, passed by the freeholders, &c. of the particular friend of the Messrs Hunt, county of Perth, at their Michaelmas the editors of the Examiner, and of meeting, caught our attention. It ap- Mr Hazlitt. His youth accounts well pears that the gentlemen of that wide enough for some injudicious luxurianand important county (wemean thefree

cies and other faults in his poems; and holders) are still determined to oppose

his intimacy with two of the wittiest Lord Binning's bill, even though they writers of their day, sufficiently vouches grant that it is purged of all the ini. both for his intellect and his taste. quities of his first measure. We Going altogether out of the road of confess that we feel utterly at a loss to high raised passion and romantic enaccount for this opposition, more par- terprise, into which many ordinary ticularly in a county, where, from an

versifiers have been drawn after the accidental circumstance, the sum ne

example of the famous poets of our cessary to be raised by assessment for time, he has attached himself to a building an asylum would be very model more pure than some of these, small indeed. A poor family in the we imagine ; and, at the same time, town of Perth came into the posses- as poetical as the best of them.“ Sage, sion of a very large property by the serious” Spencer, the most melodious sudden death of a gentleman who was and mildly fanciful of our old English on his way home from India. One of poets, is Mr Keats's favourite. He the sons of this family, who earned takes his motto from him-.-puts his a subsistence as a common weaver, head on his title-page,--and writes shortly after he came into possession one of his most luxurious descriptions of his wealth, burst a blood-vessel. of nature in his measure. We find, inHe lingered for about twelve months in deed, Spencerianisms scattered through very bad health, when he died, leaving a all his other verses, of whatsoever measum of money for the purpose of build- sure or character. But, though these ing a lunatic asylum in his native things sufficiently point out where Mr town. This sum, as directed by his K. has caught his inspiration, they by will, was to accumulate for eight years,

no means determine the general chawhen, from some other additions which racter of his manner, which partakes it was to receive, it would amount to a great deal of that picturesqueness of about L.20,000. A few years have still fancy and licentious brilliancy of epito run of this prescribed period. But thet which distinguish the early Itawith such a sum, left expressly for lian novelists and amorous poets. For a lunatic asylum, we conceive that the instance, those who know the carecounty of Perth would have to contri- less, sketchy, capricious, and yet archbute a very trifle. Yet we repeat, the ly-thoughtful manner of Pulci and freeholders of that county have resolve Ariosto, will understand what we ed to oppose the measure ! Is it pos- mean from the following specimens, sible that party politics could thus better than from any laboured or speblunt those fine feelings, which we cific assertion of ours. trust will ever reign paramount in the “ Linger awhile upon some bending planks nature of man?

That lean against a streamlet's rushy banks,

and green.

drest;

And watch intently nature's gentle doings : On one side is a field of drooping oats, They will be found softer than ring-doves Through which the poppies shew their cooings.

scarlet coats ; How silent comes the water round that bend; So pert and useless that they bring to mind Not the minutest whisper does it send The scarlet coats that pester human kind. To the o'erhanging sallows; blades of grass And, on the other side, outspread is seen Slowly across the chequered shadows pass," Ocean's blue mantle streaked with purple

&c. « Sometimes goldfinches one by one will Now 'tis I see a canvass’d ship, and now drop

Mark the bright silver curling round her From low hung branches ; little space they prow; stop;

I see the lark down-dropping to his nest, But sip, and twitter, and their feathers sleek; And the broad wing'd sea-gull never at rest; Then off at once, as in a wanton freak; For when no more he spreads his feathers Dr, perhaps, to shew their black and golden

free, wings,

His breast is dancing on the restless sea. Pausing upon their yellow flutterings. Now I direct my eyes into the west, Were I in such a place, I sure should pray Which at this moment is in sun-beams That nought less sweet might call my thoughts away,

Why westward turn ? 'Twas but to say Than the soft rustle of a maiden's gown adieu ! Fanning away the dandelions down; 'Twas but to kiss my hand, dear George, Than the light music of her nimble toes to you." Patting against the sorrel as she goes. How she would start and blush thus to be dent fancies of an aspiring and poeti

This is so easy, and so like the arcaught Playing in all her innocence of thought.

cal spirit, that we have a real pleasure O let me lead her gently o'er the brook,

in quoting, for the benefit of our readWatch her half smiling lips and downward ers, another fragment of one of Mr look;

Keats's epistles : Olet me for one moment touch her wrist;

“ Oft have you seen a swan superbly Let me one moment to her breathing list ; And as she leaves me, may she often turn

frowning,

And with proud breast his own white sha. Her fair eyes looking through her locks

dow crowning, auburne.”

He slants his neck beneath the waters

bright,

So silently it seems a beam of light Could I at once my mad ambition smo Come from the galaxy : anon he sports, ther

With outspread wings the Naiad Zephyr For lasting joys like these, sure I should be

courts, Happier and dearer to society.

Or ruffles all the surface of the lake, At times, 'tis true, I've felt relief from pain, In striving from its crystal face to take When some bright thought has darted

Some diamond water drops, and them to through my brain :

treasure Through all that day I've felt a greater În milky nest, and sip them off at leisure. pleasure

But not a moment can he there insure Than if I'd brought to light a hidden trea

them,

Nor, to such downy rest can he allure As to my sonnets, though none else should heed them,

For down they rush as though they would I feel delighted still that you should read

be free, them.

And drop like hours into eternity." Of late too, I have had much calm enjoy.

All this is just, and brilliant too, ment, Stretched on the grass at my best lov'd em. though rather ambitious to be kept ployment

up for any length of time in a proper Of scribbling lines for you. These things I and fitting strain. What follows apthought,

pears to us the very pink of the smart While, in my face, the freshest breeze I and flowing conversational style. It caught.

is truly such elegant badinage as E'en now I'm pillowed on a bed of flowers should pass between scholars and genThat crowns á lofty clift, which proudly tlemen who can feel as well as judge.

towers Above the ocean waves. The stalks and " But many days have past since last my blades

heart Chequer my tablet with their quivering Was warmed luxuriantly by divine Moshades.

zart;

sure.

them ;

By Arne delighted, or by Handel made who really appear as much alive to dened ;

the socialities and sensual enjoyments Or by the song of Erin pierc'd and sad- of life, as to the contemplative beau

dened : What time you were before the music sit- familiarity, though,--they appear to

ties of nature. In addition to their ting, And the rich notes to each sensation fitting. be too full of conceits and sparkling Since I have walk'd with you through points, ever to excite any thing more shady lanes

than a cold approbation at the longThat freshly terminate in open plains,

run--and too fond, even in their faAnd reveli'd in a chat that ceased not, vourite descriptions of nature, of a reWhen at nightfall among your books we ference to the factitious resemblances got:

of society, ever to touch the heart. No, nor when supper came, nor after that, Their verse is strageling and uneven, Nor when reluctantly I took my hat;

without the lengthened flow of blank No, nor till cordially you shook my hand Mid-way between our homes: Your ac

verse, or the pointed connection of cents bland

couplets. They aim laudably enough Still sounded in my cars, when I no more

at force and freshness, but are not so Could hear your footsteps touch the grav’ly careful of the inlets of vulgarity, nor floor.

so self-denying to the temptations of Sometimes I lost them and then found indolence, as to make their force a again ;

merit. In their admiration of some You changed the footpath for the grassy of our elder writers, they have forgot plain.

the fate of Withers and Ben Jonson, In those still moments I have wished you and May: And, without forgetting joys

that Petrarch and Cowley are harılly That well you know to honour : “ Life's read, though it be decent to profess

very toys With him,” said I, “ will take a pleasant to bear in mind the appalling doom

admiration of them,--they seem not charm ; It cannot be that aught will work him harm. which awaits the faults of mannerism These thoughts now come o'er me with all or the ambition of a sickly refinement. their might :

To justify the conclusions of their Again I shake your hand,-friend Charles, poetical philosophy, they are brave good night."

enough to sacrifice the sympathetic These specimens will be enough to enthusiasm of their art, and that comshew that Mr K. has ventured on

mon fame which recurs to the mind ground very dangerous for a young

with the ready freshness of remempoet ;-calculated, we think, to fa- bered verse,--to a system of which tigue his ingenuity, and try his re- the fruits come, at last, to make us sources of fancy, without producing exclaim with Lycidas, any permanent effect adequate to the

" Numeros memini, si verba tenerem." expenditure of either. He seems to have formed his poetical predilections If Mr Keats does not forthwith cast in exactly the saine direction as Mr off the uncleannesses of this school, Hunt ; and to write, from personal he will never make his way to the choice, as well as emulation, at all truest strain of poetry in which, taktimes, in that strain which can being him by himself, it appears he most recommended to the favour of might succeed. We are not afraid to the general readers of poetry, only by say before the good among our readthe critical ingenuity and peculiar re ers, that we think this true strain finements of Mr Hazlitt. That style dwells on features of manly singleness is vivacious, smart, witty, change- of heart, or feminine simplicity and ful, sparkling, and learned-full of constancy of affection,-mixed up bright points and flashy expressions with feelings of rational devotion, and that strike and even seem to please by impressions of independence spread a sudden boldness of novelty, -rather over pictures of domestic happiness abounding in familiarities of concep- and social kindness,-more than on tion and oddnesses of manner which the fiery and resolute, the proud and shew ingenuity, even though they repulsive aspects of misnamed hube perverse, or common, or con- manity. It is something which bears, temptuous. The writers themselves in fact, the direct impress of natural seem to be persons of considerable passion,-- which depends for its effect taste, and of comfortable pretensions, on the shadowings of unsophisticated

« 上一页继续 »