Page images

• They know no

promise that inspires belief;
They know no God that pities their complaints ;
They know no balm that gives the heart relief;
They know no fountain when their spirit faints :
But superstition on their fancy paints
All shapes of bloody and vindictive gods,
Who frown alike on sinners and on saints,
And soon will drag them to their dark abodes.

Thus thus his monstrous faith the heathen's heart corrodes.' We shall not attempt any analysis of the poem. An argument' is prefixed to each part, which will 'shew the variety of important and interesting topics which are touched upon, with a skilful transition from descriptive to didactic, and from Jively to severe. In the third part, the Romish missions are adverted to, and the true spirit and aim of those equivocal enterprises are pointed out.

• There is a church not lacking in her zeal,
Nor backward in attempts to proselyte;
Nor unambitious to impress her seal
Upon the nations who her toils requite :
We may not treat her labours with despite,
Though pride and craft preside in her divan;
For many a bold and zealous anchorite,

Bearing her cross, forsook his cell, and ran,
To preach what he deem'd truth, from Afric to Japan.

• Xavier went forth, and after him a host;
And with their fame the land of idols rang :-
Seems it for Rome too glorious a boast,
That such men at her bidding nobly sprang
On danger and on death—mid trials sang
The hymn of thanks, and shed enthusiasm's tear-
Not that they bore the momentary pang,

That tore from home, and all that made home dear ;
But that in life in death-Christ's standard they might rear!

• Yea, it had been too much, if without foil,
The zeal of Rome bad grasp'd at nothing more,
Than to convert the sons of every soil ;
Opening to all sweet mercy's golden door-
Till she had made the world's encircling shore
The bound'ry of the church :-Had it been so,
Her “ deadly wound” had seem'd a trivial sore;
She had escap'd half her denounced woe ;
Her enemies made friends, or conquer'd long ago.

• But she God's glory sought not, but her own;
The lust of power and empire sway'd ber breast;
She made the cross a ladder to the throne,
And scrupled not Christ's sacred words to wrest

To her own purposes, and made the test
Of that belief to which the palm is given,
Implicit reverence for her own behest;

And Goa saw how limb from limb was riven
Of them who scorn'd her right to shut and open heaven.

• Heroic deeds were done in that fell age,
When booted monks and priests with helm and glaive
Rush'd forth, the warfare for the faith to wage,
And over Abyssinia did wave
A blood-stain's flag, the signal, not to save,
But to destroy, the lands o'er which it rose.
O shall it e'er be said that they were brave,

Who seiz'd the cross and massacred its foes,
But cowards we who know its power to heal their woes?

Shall it be said that they, who for their text
Took the unsheathed sword, and with its keen
And bloody point refuted all pretext
Of doubt or cavil—have more zealous been,
Than they whose temper'd blade of heavenly sheen,
Is mighty to subdue the rebel host ?
Shall not our youthful warriors be seen,

Steering for India's and China's coast, And shew that still the church of valorous sons can boast?! Part the fourth relates chiefly to the signs of the times.' And here, Mr. Swan takes occasion to introduce a striking apostrophe to the British and Foreign Bible Society, preceded by a graceful and feeling allusion to the estimable individual with whom the first idea of the Institution originated, and to whom, under the base calumnies with which he has been recently assailed by the Accuser of the Society, this honourable and well-timed tribute is particularly due, and must convey an enviable gratification. We must make room for the stanzas referred to.

• To thee, with no feigned reverence, I approach,
Boast of the age, august Society !
Honour'd above thy fellows by reproach;
From human systems thou dost shake thee free,
And standest in sublime simplicity:
Thou darest to dispense the bread of life
To whoso will, nor fearest it will be

A mess of poison, or a seed of strife,
Though, that it must prove both, assertions have been rife.

• But calumny betakes her to the shade,
Ashamed ; or, awed to silence, sees thee rise,
And, in the panoply of truth array'd,
Thou wear’st a front that pities and defies

The wily malice of thine enemies.
And now a bard may not disgrace his name,
Though he twine thine with the best symphonies

Even of a lyre ambitious of fame;
For such a theme might prop an else unhopeful claim.

• Thy foes thou need'st not fear; neither despise :
They have the godless many on their side.
Thy friends-kuow what they are, and how to prize,
And trust. Beware lest, in the flowing tide
Of thy prosperity, a thought of pride
Should swell thy bosom, and against thee wake
The jealousy of heaven. Know that thy wide-

Spread arms, if thou dost tempt him, God will shake,
And wrest from thee his word, nor spare thee for its sake.

• Thus would I mingle warning with the voice
Of gratulation on thy noble toils.
Be humble in thy greatness, and rejoice
With trembling, if thou hop'st to reap the spoils
Of the idol-serving host; and he who foils
The counsels of the wise, baffles the strong,
And reins the ocean when it foams and boils,

Will be thy shield and glory; whilst among Thy compeers thou art still-the Saul amid the throng." We cannot doubt that this poem will make a powerful impression ; a much stronger and more permanent one, we trust, ihan many productions of a more dazzling character, which command intense popular admiration for a time, and then fade away from recollection. The fourth part is not quite equal, perhaps, to the preceding ones: the Author seems to flag, and to close abruptly. We would strongly recommend him, if our voice may reach so far, to attempt its revision. But we cannot allow ourselves to enter into minute criticism, and will only add, that we trust these will not prove the dying notes of the Swan.

“ The Female Missionary Advocate" is the production of a 'poor but pious female in the evening of life ;' and is published with the hope of averting the object of her acute apprehension, recourse to the work house. We confidently hope that it will attract the benevolent attention of the Christian public, and that while its sale can at most yield only a temporary relief of pressing exigency, it may lead to measures which shall place the writer above the fear of bitter degradation, as the only alternative of distress.

Art. V. The Gold-headed Cane. Small Svo. pp. 179. Price 8s.6d.

London. 1827.
A short time previously

to the
opening of the new

buildings, in Pall-Mall East, appropriated to the accommodation of the college of Physicians, the widow of Dr. Baillie presented to the council of that learned society, - a gold-headed cane,' which had successively belonged to . Drs. Radcliffe, Mead, Askew, • Pitcairn, and her own lamented husband.' The donation was in good taste, and it has suggested the ingenious idea which it has been attempted to realize in the volume before us. The • Cane' is made to narrate a series of facts and circumstances illustrative, not only of the characters and medical practice of the individuals thus specifically referred to, but of other equally celebrated ornaments of the same profession, among whom, Linacre, Harvey, and Sydenham are pre-eminently distinguished. A number of wood-cuts, representing portraits, residences, and armorial bearings, add considerably to the interest of the publication.

Radcliffe is well known to have been the fashionable practitioner of his day, with better claim to that eminence than many who have enjoyed it in an equal degree. Before he had been in London a year, his receipts averaged twenty guineas per diem. When his practice increased, a Dr. Gibbons, who lived in his neighbourhood, is said to have gained a thousand pounds annually by Radcliffe's supernumerary patients; and Dandridge, an apothecary patronised by the latter, realized more than 50,0001. He was physician to the Princess Anne, and to King William; and his death is supposed to have been hastened by his dread of the populace, with whom he was in disfavour. His talent for sarcasm was unsparingly exercised, and a few illustrations of its quality would have given somewhat more of piquancy than we have found in the details of his life, as told by his rather prosing' cane.' When the famous Prince Eugene was in London, Radcliffe invited his bighness to dinner, and his preparation for the feast was singular.

«« Let there be no ragouts,” said he," no kickshaws of France ; but let us treat the prince as a soldier. He shall have a specimen of true English hospitality. I will have my table covered with barons of beef, jiggets of mutton, and legs of pork.” At the appointed hour, the guests assembled, and the prince charmed every one by his unassuming modesty, his easy address, and behaviour.

His aspect was erect and composed, his eye lively and thoughtful, yet rather vigilant than sparkling; but his manner was peculiarly graceful, and he descended to an easy equality with those who conversed with him. The shape of his person and composure of his limbs was remarkably erect and beautiful; still, with all his condescension, and though he was affable to every one, it was evident that he rather suffered the presence of much company, instead of taking delight in public gaze and popular applause. The entertainment of my master went off very well; all seemed to be pleased, though some of the courtiers indulged in a little pleasantry at the ample cheer with which the table groaned. The princely stranger expressed himself much satisfied, and was loud in his praise of some capital seven years old beer, which we happened at that time to have in tap.'

Radcliffe, with all his singularities, deserves a place among those who are on record as the benefactors of mankind; he strenuously advocated the cooling regimen in small-pox; and, at his death, directed that his property should be applied to charitable and scientific purposes. His practice was sensible and vigorous, and his qualities were kind and liberal, under an exterior of affected roughness.

Mead was, in most respects, the opposite of Radcliffe ; tho he succeeded, by his recommendation, to the greater part of his business. He was an amiable, generous, and highly accomplished man. It was said of him, after his death in 1754, that, of all the physicians who had ever lived, he had

gained the most, spent the most, and enjoyed the highest • fame during his life-time.'

Askew had been a great traveller, and distinguished himself chiefly as a scholar and book-collector. His house in Queen Square was filled to the very garrets with the doctor's accumulations, and he may be considered as the father of the present race of bibliomaniacs. He was greatly attached to Mead, and after the death of that distinguished man, employed Roubiliac to execute his bust. When it was sent home, • Dr. Askew was so highly pleased with its execution, that though he had previously agreed with the sculptor for 501., he offered him 1001. as the reward of his successful talent; when, to his astonishment, the sordid Frenchman exclaimed it was not enough, and actually sent in a bill for 108l. 2s. !—The demand, even to the odd shillings, was paid, and Dr. Askew enclosed the receipt to Hogartb, to produce at the next meeting of artists.'

Upon this story we shall only remark, that it sounds improbable, and is, we believe, at total variance with Roubiliac's generous character.

Dr. Pitcairn, during the latter period of his practice, was at. the head of his profession; and it is recorded to his distinguished honour, that po medical man of his eminence in

London perhaps ever exercised his profession to such a de : gree gratuitously.

Dr. Baillie, of our own time, deserves a more discriminating record 'than occurs in the volume before us. He was a

« PreviousContinue »