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ON THE INFLUENCE OF POETRY.
they in an especial manner, impress upon their fellow-men the necessity of cultivating a due sense of the goodness of that mighty and beneficent Being, who has still suffered the earth we tread on to retain so much of the air of Paradise.
Blessings be with them--and eternal praise,
Of truth and pure delight in endless lays !
To fill the languid pulse with finer joy. It is they who appeal to us with so much earnestness and power to quit occasionally the grovelling and sordid cares of life for a sacred communion with Nature, and who bid us look with a reverential eye upon her countless glories. It is they who revive in the man of the world a due sense of his original and nobler nature, and make him ashamed of wholly sacrificing to sordid pursuits those higher and more innocent delights which God has granted to those who are willing to admire the productions of his hand. It is they who ask him
O how canst thou renounce the boundless store
of groves and garniture of fields;
Oh! how canst thou renounce and hope to be forgiven ? Perhaps there are few minds raised above the coldest and coarsest considerations, that have not received in occasional distresses a holy consolation breathed from the face of nature ; and certainly every worthy reader of poetry must have felt his sensi. bilities and his taste increased by a familiarity with descriptions from the pen of those who
Have looked on nature with a poet's eye.
ON THE INFLUENCE OF POETRY.
There is a part of a stanza in Thomson's " Castle of Indolence that so strongly expresses the independent pleasure derived from Nature in despite of Fortune, that it has assuredly been repeated by thousands of fine-minded enthusiasts, with a most cordial concurrence of sentiment, and with irrepressible delight.
I care not, Fortune, what you me deny ;
The woods and lawns by living streams at eve. And is that art useless which makes us so peculiarly alive to the charms of Nature ? But it is not the external universe alone that the poet brings to the else too sluggish observation of mankind. He not only shows us the wonders of God in material things and in the lower world, but he lifts up the curtain of the far more mysterious and mighty mechanism of the human heart, and reads us the most beautiful and impressive moral lessons ;he charms us with the fairest examples of virtue, or frightens us from sin by painting it in its truest colours. Hamlet and Lear, and Macbeth and Othello, and Timon of Athens, are pictures of humanity that assist us to understand our inner nature, and that yield us more positive instruction than the finest moral lecture that philosopher ever uttered.
And is poetry then—the question cannot be too often repeated -an idle and useless amusement ? Let us look at true poetry from what point of view we please, and we need not hesitate to pronounce that the Utilitarians who can speak of it with contempt, must be utterly ignorant of its nature. To confound it with mere verse is a piece of silliness and a deficiency of insight, that in this boasted age of education ought to be considered inex. cusable in a school-boy. When Thomas Campbell characterized the life of Sir Philip Sydney as poetry put into action, and when Byron in a fine enthusiasm called the stars the poetry of heaven,
ON THE INFLUENCE OF POETRY
these eminent writers had other notions of the nature of poetry than Jeremy Bentham and Mr. Mill. If the Utilitarians openly professed a natural antipathy to all that is beautiful or sublime, their opposition to poetry would be more intelligible—for there is nothing in the wide universe that is either beautiful or sublime, that is not poetical. When we elevate ourselves above the literal, the mean, and the sordid, we enter the pure atmosphere of poetry. But they who love the ground cannot be expected to appreciate the advantages of a more etherial region.
FLORA OF CASHMERE.
Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, King's College.
Now Complete, with Beautifully-Colored Plates,
ANY OF THE PARTS MAY BE HAD SEPARATELY, TO COMPLETE SETS,
This Work being now concluded, it is desirable to give a fuller idea of its contents than can be obtained from its title. The Himalayan Mountains, forming the stupendous barrier between the dominions of the British and of the Chinese, and having their south-western bases resting on the heated plains of India, abound in all the forms of Animal and Vegetable Life, characteristic of Tropical Countries in general, and of India in particular. Their gradually-elevated slope, supporting vegetation at the gr
test known heights, affords, at intermediate elevations, all the varieties of temperature adapted to forms, considered peculiar to very different latitudes. A gradual approach is thus observed to take place to the Animal and Vegetable forms common in Europe, China, Japan, Siberia, and North America.
Dr. Royle, while Superintendant of the Honourable East India Company's Botanic Garden at Saharunpore, within 30 miles of the Himalayas, had great advantages in becoming acquainted with the Natural History and Products of these Mountains. He made Meteorological Observations, collected Geological Specimens, and skins of the Mammalia and Birds, together with Insects, and about 4,000 species of Plants in the Plains of India, and in the Himalayas, as far as Cashmere. Drawings were made of the most interesting of these by the East India Company's Establishment of Painters.
To shew the connection between the different branches of Natural History, and their dependance on the Physical Features, Soil, and Climate of the Country, the work has been divided into two Parts. The Introductory portion treats, first, of the PhysicAL GEOGRAPHY of the Plains and Mountains of
WORKS RELATING TO INDIA,
India, dwelling especially on the results of the Surveys of the Himalayas, (of which a view from the vicinity of Almorah is given in the Frontispiece,) and the Travels of Messrs. Turner, Moorcroft, and the Gerards, with notices of the elevations of the highest Peaks and Passes. This is followed by a view of the GEOLOGICAL FEATURES of the Plains and Mountains, illustrated by a Plate of Sections, in which the Author was assisted by Mr. DE LA BECHE,) and three plates of Fossil Plants and Animals, containing 54 figures. The METEOROLOGY is next treated of, and the climate of the Tropics compared with that of the Plains and Mountains of India, with tabular Views of the monthly and diurnal range of the Barometer and Thermometer in the Plains of India. The characteristics of Himalayan Climate, consisting of mildness, and equability of Temperature and of Pressure, at such elevations as Simla and Mussooree, resorted to by Europeans for the recovery of health, are then given.
The Physical Features, Soil, and Climate having been noticed, a general view of the GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION of the Plants and Animals which these are calculated to support, is treated of in an Introductory Chapter, in connection with the CULTIVATION at different seasons and at several elevations.
The Botany itself is arranged according to the Natural System, under the heads of 207 families, illustrated by colored plates of 197 Plants. The observations on each Family consist of a notice of its Geographical Distribution in different parts of the world, an enumeration of the Genera and remarkable species found either in the Plains and Hot Vallies, or in the Mountains of India; and the Vegetation natural to different parts of India is compared with that of other countries enjoying similar climates. This plan was adopted, as giving the most interesting and important general results, and as leading to a just appreciation of the influence of Physical Agents on Vegetation, and as elucidating those principles which require to be attended to in the Culture both of new Plants, and of old Plants in new situations. It also afforded great facilities in treating of the properties of Plants as connected with structure, and for showing the immense resources of British India, and the probable means of still further increasing them.
The subjects of AGRICULTURAL and COMMERCIAL importance which are more fully treated of, are Tea, Cotton, and Tobacco; and the probability of the first being successfully grown in the Mountains, and the two latter in the Plains, is shown by application to Practice of the principles of Science. Also Hemp, Flax, and the Cordage Plants; and, among Medicines, the Cinchonas, Ipecacuanha, Sarsaparilla, Senna, Rhubarb, and Henbane, with many others. As articles of Culture and Commerce, various Timber trees, Gums, Resins, Caoutchouc, Astringents, Dyes, Vegetable Oils, Fruit Trees, the Olive and Carob Trees, Corn and Pasture Grasses, Salep, Arrow-Root, and other articles of diet, are pointed out. As subjects of CLASSICAL Interest elucidated, may be noticed Lycium, Agallochum, or. Eagle Wood, Calamus Aromaticus, and Spikenard of the Ancients; also their Costus, which is the Puchuk of Commerce.
In connection with the Climate and Vegetation, it is interesting to notice the Animal Forms, and this has been done in two able papers, one on the ENTOMOLOGY of India, and the Himalayas, by the Reverend F. W. Hope, President of the Entomological Society, which is illustrated with two colored plates of 20 insects, and the other on the MAMMALOGY of the Himalayas, by W. OGILBY, Esq., Secretary of the Zoological Society; this is illustrated by a figure of Lagomys, (new species,) and also by two of Deer. A list of the Birds in the Author's Collection is also appended, and two plates, one of Birds of Tropical Forms found in the Himalayas in the rainy season, and the other of Himalayan Birds of European forms are given.
As the work contains so much of detail as well as of General Views it would have been comparatively useless without easy means of reference. This has been supplied by an Analytical Table of Contents, and by Alphabetical Indexes at the end of the book, extending to 34 pages ; also an Alphabetical List of Plates for the Second Volume.