Page images

chambers for cooking atmospheres before mentioned. With the help of these medicators a wholesome European air was to be generated by means of chemical composition, and then distributed by the Ventilator to the ship's company :Ούρον δε προέηκεν απίμονα τε λιαρόν τε.

- the skilful hand Breezes prepared, innocuous and bland.' But this was not all. In order to dilute this medicated air it was obviously necessary to make use of a portion at least of the air of the country; but the Doctor had provided a remedy even for this inconvenience—the ships were provided with apparatus for filtering the African atmosphere, as a cook strains calf's-foot jelly :

The medicator was arranged as follows:- The windsails were hoisted, and attached to the lower lateral openings, which were covered with fine bunting sa kind of worsted gauze, such as flags are made of]. A filter of the same material was stretched across the upper tier, which is usually occupied by trays. Thus the air underwent filtration before it came in contact with the substances in the trays, and after it had been subjected to their action, chlorine was evolved from the lower compartment of the medicator, by disengaging it from the chloride of lime by means of sulphuric acid.'-—p. 411.

It was the alleged failure of all these precautions that furnished the pretext for the malignant criticisms of the Athenæum,' —which journal not only pronounced the whole affair a failure, but went so far as to state, on the authority of the medical officers of the expedition, that of 145 Europeans, all vigorous young men, there were no fewer than 130 cases of fever, 44 of which terminated fatally. How long the survivors continued to be affected with the consequences of the malady we are unable to say.'-Ath., No. 818. In reply to this and a series of similar misstatements in the Times,' Dr. Reid published in 1845 an admirable pamphlet, in which, by a species of literary filtration and condensation which he seems to have recently discovered, he has compressed into 14 leaves everything that he had before expanded into the volume of 450 pages. We fear not to say that any one who reads the pamphlet will have nothing to learn from the book. The pamphlet indeed contains additional matter, and produces, in special refutation of the Athenæum,' several letters from the officers of the ships, expressing their satisfaction with both the ventilators and medicators in terms so flattering to Dr. Reid, and so favourable to his system, that we must find room for an extract from one of them, addressed


to Dr. Reid by Capt. Trotter, commander of H.M.S. Albert, together with the few prefatory words with which Dr. Reid himself introduces it :

The following letter is an additional proof of the opinion entertained by Capt. Trotter and the officers of the expedition as to what the Atheneum is pleased to designate a signal failure, reproaching me also with a want of candour for not confessing it to be so:

"H.M.S. Albert, Devonport,

30th April, 1841. MY DEAR SIR,—The officers of the Niger expedition, duly appreciating the success which has attended your plan of ventilating the steamvessels in which they are embarked, and feeling grateful to you for the unwearied attention which, with the view of benefiting their health, and adding to their comfort, you have bestowed upon the subject, are desirous of marking their sense of your services, and have deputed me to ask your acceptance of two small pieces of plate for that purpose; and permit me, my dear Sir, to take this opportunity of adding my personal thanks for the great anxiety you have always evinced in carrying out this valuable improvement in naval equipment.'— Ventilation, pp. 23, 24.

To this and several other equally favourable testimonies we know not what answer malignant critics' can make, unless it be that it appears from the dates that they were all written—some like Capt. Trotter's, in England-others from Madeira on the voyage out—all before the actual trial. We must admit that no similar testimonies are produced after the experiment, but that may be fairly attributed, not to any change of opinion, but to the distressing fact that, owing to circumstances over which, of course, Dr. Reid could have no control, 130 out of the 140 officers and men who composed the expedition were no longer in a condition to write.

But while these lines are passing through the press, we find that a still more serious injustice--as with all our respect for trial by jury we must call it-has been lately done in Westminster Hall to the patrons and practitioners of the new science. We copy the report of this important case from the papers of the 19th of January last.

"Yates v. WATSON. “The action was brought to recover 1531. 8s. ld. for work and labour done and performed, and goods supplied to and for the defendant. It appeared that the plaintiff had engaged to erect an apparatus for warming and heating the house and conservatory of the defendant. The evidence given by the plaintiff went to show that the defendant had ordered the work to be done, and that he had agreed to pay a certain sum for the apparatus, but that afterwards the partner of Dr. Reid

had had interfered, and had altered the plan, in consequence of which the matter had not answered. For the defendant, the partner of Dr. Reid was called, and he stated that he had merely made suggeslions to the plaintiff, and that very few of those were adopted. The apparatus had not at all answered. He believed Dr. Reid's plan of heating and ventilating the Houses of Parliament had been successful. He also stated he believed Dr. Reid's plan had been successful as regarded the courts of law.

Here the reporter, who is evidently prejudiced against the system, indignanily contradicts this latter statement, interjecting,

'It is very much wished that Dr. Reid was compelled to spend much of his time in the Bail Court (where this cause was tried], which would enable him to form the best idea of the inconvenience sustained by those who are compelled to sit there.' And in this malediction against Dr. Reid and his practices, we regret to say that all Westminster Hall seems for once in its life to be agreed. The report proceeds:

Other witnesses stated that the apparatus had not at all answered. The materials of which the apparatus was composed were worth no more than 201.

"The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff for the full amount claimed.'

0! blindness of human bigotry!--the Inquisition incarcerated Galileo-and the Court of Queen's Bench condemns poor Mr. Watson to pay 1501. for an apparatus which cost but 201., and is worth nothing-only because Dr. Reid's partner introduced, by way of suggestion, some small portion of the Doctor's principle, which, trilling as it was, the judge and jury believed to be quite enough to spoil the whole affair. The young science,' it seems, which purifies air, vitiates contracts, and might involve its professors in awkward results. We therefore advise Dr. Reid and his partner to eschew Westminster Hall, and to content theinselves with the indulgent and liberal patronage of the two Houses,—who can put their hands into the public purse without the fear of a jury, and probably from the practice which has lately become habitual amongst thein of eating their own wordsseem to have grown very indifferent to the variations and impurities of the atmosphere which they breathe.

We cannot conclude without expressing in a few serious words our regret at perceiving, from the title-page of his pamphlet, that Dr. Reid has been appointed a Commissioner to inquire into the state of large towns and populous districts in England and Wales. We had rather the worthy Doctor had been lest to VOL. LXXVII. NO. CLIV. 2 E


regale legislators and lecturers with odours of orange or lavender, and muzzles of hair-cloth, as he and they may please; and we must add our anxious hope that the quackery and absurdity of interested or visionary projectors may not discourage the rational and benevolent feeling that the public has recently shown in favour of some enlarged and administrative system of sanatory improvement in the dwellings of the poor. The awful tragedy that lately occurred in Whetstone Park—a small street situated between Holborn and Lincoln's-Inn Fields, two of the airiest spaces in London-seems to have been occasioned by mortiferous effluvia, and is, probably, but a more notorious specimen of what is in slower operation in the squalid recesses of all our great towns--in which we fear, it may be said—with as much truth as of the Plague in Turkish cities—that putrid fever is never extinct. We could have wished that the 80,0001. or 100,0001., which it seems the fanciful experiments on the Houses of Parliament are likely to absorb, had been expended in some sober and practical efforts, guided by charity and common sense, to ventilate, and above all to cleanse and drain, those perennial hotbeds of disease. It will be time enough to talk of brewing graduated breezes and distilling aromatic atmospheres, when we shall have supplied such places as Whetstone Park with a good common sewer and the ordinary light and air of heaven.

Art. IV.-An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine.

By John Henry Newman. 8vo., London, 1845. ALL the world knows that, before the publication of this work, A Mr. Newman had passed over to the Church of Rome. May his restless spirit at length have repose! — the doubts, which still tremblingly betray themselves in his most positive conclusions, cease to haunt his mind !—his deep religious yearnings find satisfaction in those cloistral practices or observances, it should seem, absolutely indispensable to his peculiar temperament, but unnecessary to those Christians who are content with the higher mission of perseveringly discharging their duty to God and man, whether in the high places or the domestic sanctuaries of life! We write with no proud and unbecoming assumption of compassion towards one who, we think, has mistaken the lower for the higher view of Christian faith and love; but it is our solemn prayer and hope that he may escape all the anguish of selfreproach, and the reproach of others-self-reproach for baving


d has the onene into

sown the bitter seeds of religious dissension in many families; the reproach of others who, more or less blindly following his example, haye snapt asunder the bonds of hereditary faith and domestic attachment, and have trodden under foot the holiest charities of our being; who have abandoned their prospects in life, many of them- from their talents and serious characterprospects of most extensive usefulness to mankind; and who may hereafter find, when the first burst of poetry and of religious passion has softened down, that the void was not in the religion of their fathers but in themselves; that they have sought to find without, what they should have sought within; and will have to strive for the rest of their lives with baffled hopes, with ill-suppressed regrets; with an uneasy consciousness of their unfitness for their present position, and want of power or courage to regain that which they have lost; with a hollow truce instead of a firm peace within their conscience; a weary longing for rest where rest alone can be found.

Our business is with Mr. Newman's book, not with Mr. Newman himself or with his followers. It will, however, be impossible altogether to separate the examination of his work from what Mr. Coleridge would have called the psychological study of his mind-so completely is the one the reflexion, dare we use the word, the transfiguration of one into the other. Yet this consideration, while we scruple not strongly to assert our own convictions of the truth, is but a more grave admonition to labour at least to maintain throughout the discussion the most perfect candour and charity.

There is something significant in a few words of Mr. Newman's preface. The author's first act on his conversion was to offer his work for revision to the proper authorities; but the offer was declined, on the ground that it was written and partly printed before he was a Catholic, and that it would come before the reader in a more persuasive form if he read it as the author wrote it. His Church has not departed from her wonted wariness in declining the responsibility of a work, which might thus have appeared, in some degree, as an authorized vindication of herself. It may be well, according to her policy, to give free scope to bold and original minds ; to men of undoubted, though we think of very unequal ability, such as De Maistre, Möhler, and Mr. Newman, to promulgate brilliant theories, and to work them out with their utmost skill: the first, M. de Maistre, with all the dauntless hardihood of assertion, the recklessness of quotation, much of the point and brilliancy of French polemics, but utterly wanting in the logical accuracy, the profound but perspicuous philosophy of their higher school; the second, with solid German erudition, and 2 E 2


« PreviousContinue »