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vous indications, were enabled to speak with ease and fluency; and one gentleman, who had scarcely ever ventured to breathe a sound before company, was enabled to make a formal speech before a large party, who had been assembled by his father to commemorate the almost miraculous cure of his son.

The removal of impediments of speech, has always been considered as the work of time and laborious exertion, and those who professed to have studied the subject most deeply, required the constant attendance of their pupils for months, and even for years. Mr Broster's system, however, is of a very different character. Some of his most striking cures have been performed after a single lesson, and, in general, a few days is all the time that he requires for effecting it. This rapidity of cure, indeed, is one of the most valuable features in his system. The hope of a speedy remedy encourages the patient to apply his whole mind to the system, and enables the poor, and those who cannot quit their professions, to avail themselves of a discovery, which otherwise could have been of no benefit to them.

Hitherto we have considered this new method as applicable only to the ordinary impediments of speech, but we have reason to know that Mr Broster's method embraces a much wider range. He has applied it to the cure of cases of weak articulation; he has, as it were, given the power of speech to those who were supposed to be la bouring under bodily disease, and he actually communicated the power of reading aloud before company, to a venerable philosopher, whom a paralytic affection had almost deprived of the power of speech.

During our inquiries into the success of Mr Broster's system, we have

had occasion to peruse several of the letters which have been addressed to him by the individuals whom he has cured, and by the parents of those pupils who were unable to express their own gratitude. The respect and affection which these letters breathe, while they shew the value which has been set upon the cure, evince also the kindness and gentleness of the treatment by which it has been effected. Mr Broster's humanity to the poor, and to those whose circumstances do not permit them to prove their gratitude by their liberality, deserves to be especially noticed. We know of cases where he has refused any compensation for his trouble; and we are sure, that in every case where it is necessary, his liberality will be conspicuous.

As we are not acquainted with the nature of Mr Broster's system, we cannot give any opinion of it as a scientific method. We understand, however, that it is as simple as it is efficacious; and that though much de pends on the skill and judgment of the person who applies it, yet it is ca pable of being successfully practised by those who have been completely instructed in its principles and details.

This important discovery has hitherto excited little general curiosity. The interest which it has called forth has been chiefly local, and confined to the relatives and friends of the persons whom it has benefited; but, as Mr Broster's pupils increase in number as the remarkable cures which he performs become better known, it cannot fail to excite that notice which it so justly merits; and if its success shall continue to be as great as it has hitherto been, we have no doubt that the legislature itself will rank Mr Broster among those public benefac tors whose services entitle them to a public remuneration.

AMERICAN WRITERS:

No. IV.

66

FARCES. About a dozen or twenty sober, childish, or disagreeable entertainments" have been produced, in the United States of America-by the natives-within the memory of man, we believe under this title; but, in almost every case, with such a serious, reasonable, or cautious, untimely air, that, when they came to be performed, people who were not in the secret-nor concerned in any way, with, or for, the piece,-knew not whether to laugh or cry.

The truth is, that our Transatlantic brethren-fruitful, as they certainly are, in a sort of stubborn oddity -a kind of unmalleable humour; abounding, as they certainly do, in what may be called respectable absurdities have nothing outrageous in their nature; little or no raw material, of their own, for generous, broad, rich caricature; no humour, worth working up; no delicious drollery; little or nothing, in themselves, or their habits, for good-natured misrepresentation. The farces, in America, therefore, without one exception, are made, by English workmen, of English-or British material-and performed, in almost every case, by Eng lishmen. Our friends, over the water, in this part of their practice, therefore, not only steal our brooms ready made-but people to use them-which we take to be a great "improvement," as they would call it, of Joe Millar. The French pieces, which appear in America, are always in our translations, after they have been adopted here. See DRAMA, Vol. XVI. p. 567.

FARMER-DR :-A young physi cian, who wrote some five or six years ago-some five or six-(we mean to be very bitter, now, of course-very) -some five or six downright, Philadelphia poems. Nevertheless-in mercy-that we may not break his heart, altogether-drive him stark, staring mad-we must allow him a word or two of comfort, after this-a spoonful of syrup—a lump of sugarto quiet him.

He has, really, some good stuff, in his nature: some ore, worth coining: -a little (the stronger, perhaps, for being so little)-of that fiery, strange

element the true elixir vita-which, in its rectified state, becomes the elixir of immortality-" that is to say "poetry.-We would advise him to try once more; give the public another dose; and, if they won't have it without-pinch their noses for them, till they are glad enough to swallow it— critics or not.

The poetical ore, by the way, in Dr F. may be estimated-safely-thus6 parts fire: 2 earth: 1 lead: 1 pure gold.

Yes-let him try again. Let him sink a shaft-not himself-in some other place-not in Philadelphia-that Quaker" ATHENS." It is too low and flat for him, there: he will find little or nothing but cold water-dirty water, perhaps go as deep as he may, into that land of accretion; where there is nothing primitive, but a few Quakers-nothing solid, or heavy, but a few purses, and a few heads-nothing rich or valuable, under the surface; that alluvial district, where everything but wreck and rubbish, driftwood, or animal remains-like those of the Port-Folio-and some other antediluvian shell-fish-are secondary. Let him do this, in some other place among the mountains; work hard, in the granite region; build a better furnace; begin altogether anew; sweat, like a good fellow, over the anvil shut his eyes to everything else neither sleep nor doze, while the fire is in blast. If he follow our advice, we will answer for his "turning out" a piece of workmanship, after all, of which his country may be proud.

FESSENDEN DR: (we believe.)—A "has been" of "American literature" -so called: author of a poem or two -so called: and, among others, which had a prodigious run, for a time, of "Terrible Tractoration;" a parcel of stuff, in poor doggrel, about Perkins, the man, who, some twenty-five years ago, more or less, cured people of almost everything-head-ache-lameness,-cash,-rheumatism,-fever,common sense-on both sides of the water, with two small pieces of metal, which went by the name of "metallic points," or "tractors." The wise men of America, by the way, were

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hundred others might have done; each with more genius; more fervour; more eloquence; and more brilliancy.

He was born of English parents, in Boston, Massachusetts, New England, about 1706, we believe. When a lad, he ran away to Philadelphia. After a Dr F. is a good prose writer; but long course of self-denial, hardship, about as much of a poet, as-as-now and wearying disappointment, which for it!-as the multiplication table, or nothing but his frugal, temperate, couJeremy Bentham's "own self." He rageous good sense carried him through, is the editor of some village newspa- he came to be-successively-a jourper, now; the prose part of which, is neyman printer, (or pressman, rather, really worth reading; but his poetry on account of his great bodily strength,) -God forgive us for calling any dog-in a London printing-office ;*-edigrel, poetry-although "five lines tor and publisher, at home, in Philawere a day's work with him "-is-delphia, of many papers, which had a d. prodigious influence on the temper of his countrymen ;-agent, for certain of the colonies, to this government;-an author of celebrity;-a philosopher, whose reputation has gone over the whole of the learned world-continually increasing, as it went ;-a very able negotiator; a statesman;-a minister plenipotentiary to France, of whose king he obtained, while the Bourbons were in their glory-by his great moderation, wisdom, and republican address, a treaty, which enabled our thirteen colonies of North America to laugh all the power of Great Britain, year after year, to scorn ;-yesand all these things, did Benjamin Franklin, by virtue alone, of his good

quite as foolish, credulous, and absurd, as ours. They made up their full quota of believers: like the French, while the wonders of animal magnetism were the "go:" like ourselves, now that craniology, etc. etc. are the creed of the orthodox.

FRANKLIN-DR BENJAMIN. Of this extraordinary man, we could say much, that would be new to his countrymen; but, our limits will not permit of our doing it, worthily, now. We shall confine ourselves, therefore, to a few remarks; one or two short anecdotes; and a faithful account, of his philosophical pretensions. His Life, partly written by himself, is, or should be, in the hands of every young person. It is a plain, homely narrative; remarkable for candour, sincerity, and good common sense. The style is clear, strong, and simple.

His Philosophical, Moral, Political, and Humorous Essays, are pretty well known. A word or two, however, concerning each class-by way of correcting certain errors, which are continually repeated.

The leading property of Dr Franklin's mind-great as it was-the faculty, which made him remarkable, and set him apart from other men; the generator, in truth, of all his power-was good sense only plain, good sense-nothing more. He was not a man of genius; there was no brilliancy about him; little or no fervour; nothing like poetry, or eloquence and yet-by the sole, untiring, continual operation of this humble, unpretending quality of the mind; he came to do more, in the world of science; more, in council; more, in the cabinets of Europe, more, in the revolution of empires, (uneducated or self-educated, as he was,) than five

common sense.

He died, in 1790," full of years, and full of honours;" the pride and glory of that empire, the very foundations of which, he had assisted in laying;-the very corner-stone of which, he had helped in to the appointed place, with his own powerful hands. He was one of the few-the priesthood of liberty-that stood up, undismayed, unmoved, while the ark of their salvation thundered, and shook, and lightened in their faces ;-putting all of them, their venerable hands upon it, nevertheless; and abiding the issue, while the "DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE" went forth, like the noise of trumpets, to the four corners of the earth. He lived, until he heard a warlike flourish echoing through all the great solitudes of America-the roar of battle, on every side of him-all

The very press, at which he worked, is now in the possession of Messrs Cox and Baylis GREAT QUEEN'S STREET, LINCOLN'S-INN-FIELDS-near the place where Dr F. worked.

VOL. XVII.

G

Europe in commotion-her over-peopled empires riotous with a new spirit -his country quietly taking her place among the nations. What more could he wish ?-Nothing. It was time to give up the ghost.

He was a great-and, of course-a good man. We have but few things to lay, seriously, to his charge-very few: and, after all, when we look about us; recollecting, as we do, the great good which he has done, everywhere; the little mischief that he has donethe less than little, that he ever meditated, anywhere-in all his life-to the cause of humanity—we have no heart -we confess it-again to speak unkindly of him. The evil that Benjamin Franklin did, in the whole of his fourscore years-and upward of life -was, in comparison with his good works, but as dust in the balance.

In his personal appearance, a few years before his death, he was very much like Jeremy Bentham, as he is,

now.

In his moral temperament, he was altogether one of the old-fashioned Yankees or New Englanders-for they only are Yankees: one of that peculiar people, who are somewhat over zealous of good works. Like his countrymen, he was cool, keen, firm, cautious, and benevolent: a man of few words; yet able, nevertheless, with a part of those few-hardly more than a dozen, or twenty, at one time-to overthrow all opposition-quiet a long debate-shame the talkative, and silence the powerful-in the state assembly, of which he was a member.

By nature, perhaps, like George Washington, whose character, by the way, is greatly misunderstood, he was a man of strong passions, which, after many years, by continual guardianship, trial, and severe discipline, he had brought entirely under his control. This, we say positively, was the character of Washington: this, we believe to have been the character of Franklin.

The troubles had already begun, there. One day, he went before the Privy Council, as agent, with a petition from the assembly of Massachusetts; or, more carefully speaking-one day, when a petition from the provincial assembly of Massachusetts-Bay, already presented by him, was taken up. He was treated with great indignity-insulted-grossly abused, by the Solicitor General, Wedderbourne. He bore it, without any sign of emotion. All eyes were upon him. No change, or shadow of change, went over his face. His friends were amazed at his forbearance. They wondered at his equanimity-they were almost ready to reproach him for it. Such untimely selfcommand could only proceed from indifference to the great cause-or-so they thought-from a strange moral insensibility. On his way from the place of humiliation, they gathered about him. He stopped-he stood still-his manner-look-voice-were those of a man, who has quictly concentrated every thought, every hope, under heaven-all his energies-upon a single point.-"HIS MASTER SHALL PAY FOR IT," said he, and passed on.

We happen to know something of the Doctor's determination, however, in two cases; both growing out of the same event, where the natural temper of the man broke out-blazed up, like a smothered fire-became visible, as it were, all at once, in spite of himself. Some time in the year 1767, or 8, he was in this country, acting as agent for some of our Transatlantic possessions.

The other circumstance grew out of the same affair. As a mark of especial consideration, for the Privy Council, the Doctor appeared before them, in a superb dress, after the court fashion of the time. He wore it bravely-he looked uncommonly well in it. Finding, however, that his courtly garb, thus chosen, thus worn, had been of no avail, as a refuge or shelter, to him; that, on the contrary, it had only made him a better mark, and exasperated his adversary; that, worse than all, his considerate loyalty had been misunderstood, for a piece of dirty adulation; or, worse yet,-for a piece of wretched foppery-he went, on leaving the Council, straightway home; threw the dress aside; and, from that hour, never wore it again, till the day, on which he went, with full power, into the court of the Bourbons, to sign the treaty between France and America -the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! What must have been his feelings!That paper gave the death-blow to British dominion over the western world. It was done-the threat was accomplished: Franklin was at peace with himself: the majesty of Great Britain had paid-bitterly paid, for the insolence of the Solicitor General.

It was while preparing himself, on this very occasion, for his appearance at Versailles, among the pride and flower of the French nobility, that a little circumstance occurred, which the Doctor was fond of relating, all his life, as finely characteristic of the French temper-full of resource-full of apology, such as it is-never to be taken by surprise.

He had ordered a fashionable courtwig to be made for the occasion; desiring Monsieur le Perruquier, whatever else he did (for the Doctor had already heard something of these encumbrances)-whatever else to make it large enough. The wig was brought home, at a very late hour: nothing could be more stately, "superb," or "magnificent."-But when he came to try it on, the Doctor-otherwise the patient-found it insupportably tight. He complained: Monsieur le Perruquier bowed. He remonstrated-grew red in the face-the Perruquier bowed again."It is too small, sir-too small entirely," said Franklin-" altogether too small, sir."-" Après tout," answered Monsieur le Perruquier, cutting a light pigeon-wing before the Doctor" Apres tout, Monsieur, ce n'est pas la perruque, qui est trop petite; c'est la tete, qui est trop grosse." -The Frenchman, with all his politeness, however, did not say, or think of saying-c'est la tete, qui est trop grande. If he had, perhaps the Docfor would have borne the head-ache more quietly.

But enough. Turn we now to his PHILOSOPHICAL ESSAYS. These are plain, downright, sensible papers, wherein all the world may see, that nothing is done for display; nothing for effect; nothing, without a serious consideration. The Doctor lays down, throughout, no proposition-strongly -positively-unless where he is justified by his own repeated, personal experience. He takes nothing for granted; he simply records the progress of his own experiments; putting his queries modestly-never flying off into hypothesis and reserving his conjectures, for their proper place-a memorandum-book. It is gratifying to follow such a man; to observe his holy caution-his awful regard for truth, whatever may come of it-his faculty of explanation, which, half a century ago, when most of the subjects, upon which he wrote, were little

understood, made whatever he thought as intelligible to other men, as if they themselves had also thought it.

In electricity, his bold, adventurous course of experiment, cannot be overpraised. It was unspeakably daringsublime. It led, in every part of the globe, to fearless inquiry; a more intrepid zeal; a more peremptory mode of interrogating the dangerous element:-it led, in short, everywhere, to noble adventures; brave experiments; rational doctrines; useful discoveries:-and, after seventy years of jealous, continual examination, has obtained, except in a few particulars, for his theory-that of the self-educated American-a decided, open, almost universal preference among the philosophers of Europe.

To Franklin we owe the knowledge, that electricity and lightning are similar. He proved it; shewed others how to prove it; and formed, without assistance, thereupon a scientific theory, which continues, of itself, to explain the principal phenomena of thunderstorms-lightning-and electricity. It had been suspected, before, by the Abbe Nolet; but, in throwing out his conjecture, the Abbe, himself, attached no value to it.; and, without a question, had no idea of any method, by which the truth of it could be shewn. It was only one of those accidental vague thoughts, continually to be met with in the works of brilliant, flighty men, for whom the world are claiming the honour of all our discoveries

all our inventions-all our improvements-one after the other, as fast as they appear as if to imagine were the same as to invent, or make :as if to dream were to demonstrate: —as if to talk, without knowing why, of an idle, strange possibility, were to establish a great, useful truth :—as if a poet were a mathematician :—as if a writer, who may have said a century ago, on seeing the top of a tea-kettle forced off, or a coffee-pot nose explode in the fire that, after a time, the smoke of water might be turned, perhaps, to account-were to have the credit, now, of our great steam discoveries -nay, as if we ourselves, who, in our soothsaying capacity, now whisper, that, perhaps, the time will come, when star-light will be for sale in the jewellery-shops; put up, in lumps of crystal, for the rich-in plebeian glass, for the poor: when there will be turn

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