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though beautiful country; so cheerless indeed to all but its own children, that we owe some apology to these, for having dwelt upon their alleged national failings at all, when we consider how few of what we regard as the pleasures and blessings of life they possess, and how contented is their existence in scenes and a climate full, to more fortunate men, of intolerabe privations. Madame Pfeiffer did not indeed prove what an Iceland winter is, but its best season is a bad one to live in, especially exposed as she was to all its vicissitudes by day and night, if we can apply, as she says, that term to their short summer twilight. After describing a halt, necessary from the exhausted state of the horses, in an open field in a pouring rain, where she had no alternative but to walk, weary as she was, or sit down on the wet ground, she says:
I think I may flatter myself that I was born to be a traveller; I never take cold from any degree of exposure; in this whole tour I had not a single warm meal, nor any substantial food. I slept every night on chests or benches, rode fifty-five miles (about 247 English miles) in six days, besides scrambling about in the Grotto of Surthellix; and in spite of all these privations and hardships ) returned to Reikjavick in perfect health and spirits.'— Voyage to Iceland, p. 165.
In giving advice to travellers in general, she speaks of what economy obliged her to endure, especially the necessity of riding incredible' distances to obtain any shelter for the night. Also her distaste for Iceland cookery, and the disregard of cleanliness with which it was managed,-for she is not in this volume quite as independent of such considerations as experience afterwards made her,—-confined her sometimes for ten days at a time to bread and cheese. The dangers of the way were often really alarming; where, for example, the path led over fields of snow far from any human habitation, ready to crack under the horses' feet and to precipitate the rider into inextricable depths; or where swollen rivers had to be forded, and the horses, in terror at the torrent around them, could scarcely be brought to obey the rein. Our readers, however, are acquainted with Madame Pfeiffer's spirit; we have only to show them that Iceland afforded a good education for her, more varied adventures. And every danger passed, with her, was in truth and in more senses than one, a danger over, as she explains in re-fording the torrent which had the first time really alarmed her.
• When I rode up the Rangaa, I crossed it a second time without the least alarm, although I had no longer a protector (a kind village priest who had guided her before] by my side. Such is our nature; dangers once passed have no longer the power to terrify us; we meet them with scarcely à thought, and are only surprised to remember how much uneasiness we may have suffered at first.'— Ibid. p. 204.
This is doubtless a true saying as well as a good rule, but it needs a brave spirit to adventure upon known dangers a second and a third time, till custom has power to exercise its sure control over the mind. In saying our farewell to this singular woman, we must wish her good success in her present undertaking, one in which she is engaged while we write, and which we should describe as more formidable as well as more useful than any previous journey, but that it is feared that want of means will prevent her carrying out her full design, which is no other than to penetrate into the interior of Africa, and bring to light some of the secrets of that hidden and mysterious land; trusting that a constitution that had borne the cold of Iceland and the heat of Babylonia unimpaired, might even endure the more subtle dangers which there await the European. But no sooner does she touch Capetown than she is tormented by her monster evil, high charges. Not even in London or Canton does money fly so fast, and she stands in great danger, with her goal in view, and encouraged by all who know the habits of the natives to trust in her sex and adventure among them, to be turned back for the want of a very few hundred pounds. One person in the world has the inclination and all requisites for an important and hazardous work, but the money; amongst the hundreds of thousands who fail in all she possesses, and possess the one thing that she lacks, surely
, some one will be found to come forward and help her.
ART. II.-1. The Poetical Works of David Macbeth Moir (A).
Edited by THOMAS AIRD; with a Memoir of the Author.
Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh and London. 2. The Poetical Works of John Edmund Reade. London : Chap
man & Hall. It is but a trite remark, that, as no two individuals are precisely the same externally in features and countenance, so likewise are there none altogether presenting the same cast and character of mind and thought. It is true also, that, as in respect of outward appearance it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between those who strongly resemble each other, so oftentimes it requires a subtle discrimination to discern the peculiarities of intellect in men whose minds seem to have been cast in the same mould. The majority of men, indeed, have so little which stands forth as preeminently characteristic; being formed as though after a general type, admitting manifold slight differences, which yet are in great measure merged in a general likeness. But even amongst men who are not to be classed with those who exhibit only this ordinary type of intellectual character, and in whom exist peculiarities both moral and mental, constituting a clear individuality, we do from time to time meet with examples of intellectual development which appear to belong to one or more in common-wherein the dwelling on the cast of mind which one displays, instantly brings before us the picture of another. So much do the minds of some men appear but an echo of each other. But if the strong mental resemblances, which we frequently find in different individuals, are such as to make the task of discriminating between them no very easy matter, the utterly opposing and conflicting methods by which different minds may work out the same subject,—nay, even arrive, perhaps, at the same conclusion,-are even more remarkable and astonishing.
To analyse and classify the various forms of mental character which are found in men whose intellectual faculties have not been dulled by a protracted slumber, but have acquired vigour from constant exercise, is a work beyond our province ;-but amidst all these indefinite varieties two especial types seem prominently to stand forth, which, although by no means serving for an exhaustive division, appear practically to distinguish men, who have not suffered their minds to remain inert, in ordinary life and conversation. These two classes seem to have
but little in common with each other; they will conteinplate the same object, and their thoughts, after proceeding a step or two, as we might imagine, in the same direction, verge off almost invariably into entirely opposite tracks; or if by chance they hold a principle in common, or entertain the same opinion on a given question, the result will in very many cases have been obtained by modes of argument so contrary to each other, as to leave it a matter of wonder that methods thus conflicting could bring about an agreement in the end. And, as a consequence which might reasonably be inferred, men of these opposite forms of intellectual character will give utterance to their thoughts in a language which invariably attests its peculiar origin; expressions apparently conflicting in their signification will stand for the same objects,—and statements
, more or less at variance with each other, may be found to represent sentiments which in reality are not very dissimilar. The distinguishing characteristic of these two classes (by whatever names we may choose to designate them) would appear to be this, that the one will deal with one object or question after another according to the peculiarities which each presents, comparing it with other things to which it may exhibit resemblance or contrast, -but probably resting content with this, unless it be requisite to advance further for the purposes of more general classification; with the other, any external object, after being apprehended by the mind, seems to undergo a kind of transformation ; and the attempt to picture it results in a description which would appear to the other as having failed to describe those distinguishing properties which make the thing to be what it is. This seems to result from a constant tendency to look upon different objects as possessing certain qualities in common, and to dwell upon those qualities only,-a tendency which in the treatment of most questions brings them into regions which men of the other class would perhaps never enter, unless the subject involved the necessity of so doing, and causes them to speak as it were in terms of abstract science so constantly recurring as to create a strain in minds differently constituted. But, indeed, to men of this class everything seems to be but a link in one universal abstract science, to the further pursuit of which every sight and every sound appears calculated to lead them :-to such, the contemplation of a building will almost instantly suggest recondite questions of variety in unity, of proportion, harmony, and order; the sight of a picture lead them at once to its formal cause, or to thoughts on the general laws of colour; a landscape at once bring to mind the qualities of beauty or of power, of sublimity and grandeur which it possesses in common with others.
Such a mode of looking at things may perhaps be amenable to the charge of a monotonous and wearisome sameness, which is for ever treading in the same track, and ever loth to diverse either to the right hand or the left. The reply perhaps of most weight to this objection might be, that minds of this metaphysical character and generalizing tendency are adapted for the accomplishment of a work which can never be effected by those of the opposite stamp. Yet this also becomes matter of doubt upon consideration that, although men whose cast of mind seems ever to lead then into abstract thought rarely if ever speak the language which is used by men of different intellectual character, yet the latter are frequently well able and ready to handle questions of an abstract nature, or prepare themselves to master an abstract science; whence it would follow that their range of mind is, after all, a wider one. Whether such as these are calculated to reach the greatest heights of abstract research, and add to the amount of knowledge already gained, is another question; but it may well be doubted whether they, whose names in this province are most eminent, did, on whatsoever subject, ordinary or otherwise, exhibit the same tendency to generalize, and ever employed the same strained and monotonous language; and it might perhaps be a subject worthy of examination, whether the presence of the highest capabilities for abstract science may be consistent with the greatest power of looking upon and treating objects as existing in, so to speak, their concrete and embodied state. Howsoever this may be, there are certainly very many, who, without winning for themselves the highest celebrity in that province of knowledge the peculiar language of which they ordinarily employ, appear still for the most part incapable of clothing their thoughts in the expressions made use of by men whose minds are content to dwell in less remote and exalted regions, and exhibit in themselves the very opposite to the tendency for personification manifested by the Greek, a proneness to merge distinct individual forin in the contemplation of general and pervading qualities.
Nor is the whole topic one which may be cursorily noticed and lightly laid aside, for it involves considerations of some moment in the giving judgment, in the way of either praise or blame, for the particular treatinent of any given subject. The last-named class of minds is by no means scanty in numbers ; it seems to exist in stronger force in other countries; but many belonging to it are to be found here also; and it becomes necessary to realize, so far as in us lies, the condition of intellectual power and its exercise as manifested by them. For in addition to the monotonousness which after a:vhile becomes