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434 srhatover defcioncios exit; and as for readers, tens of thousands De naadingtickets are ebroad among the people. It is end (o Glink however: tone with all thi, the Reading Room i, ia. miobal point of view litle batter than a falure.- Hew conte rately ofthe buders of tickets derive any ndvantago whaterer Rian Cher pritiege, and. most of those few obuaia nothing Ike the eneh "whieh ‘night, be easily aMforded to. then; while {housnnds of others do not think tiekels worth asking for. esate aap fom fdamental cor of sustain svhich sory bi aad alpaye sant oy condinged, fl ah ofibe Maseum, We have no aort of eonnexion with «the fnndno interest in i except an a Natooal Tostitution of imostimablo veluo; and in what wo face to may, we have no intention to rellect on aay ane engaged Ine masdgement of it, We only win to offer few words tne single point leaving it to the edmmon seas of cur readers fo judge wit our suggestions may be wortb. Whatever iden may be suggeated by etymological origin or ancient igo, we take the word Museum” ia ts moers popular fonse, ead are not dispoved to quatre with Johoou's deilticn, Serre eepostory of losened earlosiies,” TF wo had Wstion the Dictioncry. wevmight, perhaps, hare hesitated about giving the Hie" louried to'a stated iaimming-bird or a fossil monkeys Etre ae ot eps, ane tho eases, ound na meu Delong ondenebly the right things in the vight plaoe, are highly Feopsclable. At tho same tim, we should hs inlined to drop the Trofd learned,” and to dwell upon " cutiosties." From child. Food. we huve hnd vague fetling af mystery connected sith theliden of ¢ museum, ava place stocked witha sorts of rere, Sollosted aod preserved beeause they are rere—n place wliere ono ‘rill Gad what is not to'be found-aoywhero elie, Tndood, wo Tare been used to suppose tint, without some quality of richness or vanity to make thevs curiositiea, things ad a0 bisiuens a all HE asin bles it were obioaaiy ia wong cident or fusllinry character, as necessary to coaveet or, llutrate things Ofmore intrusio veluc. Among the “learned curiosities” of & ‘Mtusetm, we should certainly expect to ae the curiosities of lite- Fate abt Spd evry tpi and hogouriio pap sxigoed fpihe ras of the pres None bave'a great right tbe there, whatever may be the specide ground of their “curioity.* Such books are, no it vere, on the foundation; and further, a ‘voll furnished tuscume-oven one framed on tho strictest ca ‘Most exclusive plan—must conten a library, aa complete ax it on bo mado, of books relating either geacrally (9 the arts, , Helens, and literature ofits departieat, or partieulanly to the tpecimens deposited withia ita wall Jah ‘With this idea of Nalional Museum, our equally simple notion of « National Inowant i thal of « place where people fy Bud, and read, euch ‘books as they swish for, al ach [ere aa thoy oun command, A great Library—at great a6 Hevea be ante by ‘collecting all good and aneful booka-—all Booka in short, excopt such as ouplt to Vo at once pub into the Btuseam as cfeiontes, or dato tho fro am simple rabbish=—n fen ia ike is ould be worthy of grea atin," Tat Sesitanutbo made season anda manent iba should jt aot be freely opened to overy applicant whose appearanceaalorde a reasonable warrant that the books wil not iBPmeterally iojred by his bandling them? Let this be done Under eivict and consiant superintendence ; and if, obit tandigg, some. of the bool should be injured. or stolen, 1 grett hrm wil have been dono, provided they are such (and Sich they ought tobe) as we hay iuntantly replaca, The publig Qo not wiot-“or, if they do wants they muse ga elapchere to seek tobecdled ment : ‘The style ia whieh this book is writen i admirably suited to ~ its geneml vlarsetor Te is full of bad: grammy end bad Engle We le tzradeter” fre pradeny ete ‘opponotte of te elastes not noble” for "the opponouts of the elatses which did: not fori pave of tho nobility” "Among other ‘benuties of Cayléy, wo, ftd’ such sentences the flog ‘Tis love of ie subjegts would bo turned ta hatred their io hor changed to" suspicion, and-their obedience etd" Tg and. -busons aro. imueh moro ‘haractertstie mewning ae ee ae ee a was ting aguiggh ihn, widhout the “Emperor Icing’ die: charged them froin thet‘ ollies,"” Eleowtero we ave. ia iy elo kes st 436 The Saturday Review. [March 29, 1856, reticable persons," for “ unpractical."” ‘We must not, how Ever, forget the principal characteristic of this practical i his ‘constant affectation of a certain. dr ‘hin eonocptign i eared out by putting an exceedingly conimonplace remark: in n very short form, andl in fn unexpected. place. Thus, "* Preedon an-the mouth of an Englisiman does not mean either licens or pillage" —" Practical fgommon sense i our eafognnrd"—"'This practical twen of mind san English characteristic, and is one of the most. stable elemonls af our constitution, an itis me more important the at firal appears to national’ prosperity’'—" Undergraduates are not At tepoalories for poliieal power"—" Gentlemen do, not usually lie" Talent without prineiple doos nat, on the whole, geen to oporate forthe tranquility ov permanency of In short, if any one wishes 10 read G84 pages of the « finttery of his own country, and the nartowesb criticism of all others ill-stated, il-written, and ill-argwed, we ean canscicatiously yecommend to him—but to no one clse—Mr. Cayley’s Revol- tions of 1848 torian, which ALCHEMY AND THE ALCHEMISTS# ITPA geo ition fh wor shout ae Hon ead rin Hide more Iisa a geckomontic is is facta ret ith nator hr mre i sng snc Jelrution oan egunt sel commgnly equaled by errs, ewes, Heroes che apa the gts ofthe thet cei” tag opted to Asie see lbate thea Pe heey aka sea ei Serle af ae Jaeba tae Tag ste os BShcle Ahn i tat lo ad fo shaban och: a a, ei a Brea St ma au St aa peta 9 ly ye ect fe Po, hee ooLLlr—~—COM $0 the strenuous Ample evidence both of the “strenuous pains” and of the ‘pote, faventiong” of the alchemists wilt"bo fount in Figuere works "Te ie distedted into four parton Tho fist evan exposition of the opinions and. practiten of the alehe- Insts, tie. properties_atcrbed to the-plilosopie?'™. stan, tho meana employed in its preparation, the proofe advanced by Alahemistoin nupportof thei doctrines, (ho discoveries fs hich hamrry ipindebted to the hermetic pulosopiers, the decline fal fal of hermtie opinionagag'The tecond pure’ realn the Subject os « socal phenomendM’ot the Middle Ages and the ‘Kevatgence, It Urge fore uote protetors andepponcnts of inermetie lore, the nae mao of alchemy by ‘needy States gad Enuvsh sovercigas for replenishing ttt colors by tho debanee tment of their con, aud lesily ie contains a long. and iteresting Chapter, ful of anecdote, on fhe private lie ef the aehemise | TH ial prt ote Go retry the pricy itallg trassmatitions, comprising a eomorbat meng agcouat Of tho brothers of the Red Cross wile the font and eon luding soction trent of aleken'y fn the uineteenth peatury. Gree au mits whieh’ AE Wiguier ws handled ie subject, we’ sill speak “preven(ly. Before we cuter, hom: fren pon any eriismreeritjolame whieh, wil ast the encral bearings of the book rather than ‘nuts detals—let us fenton, once forall to, ondovee the favourable judgment whieh the publi bas -aljeady posted onthe first edition, by warmly ecommending fe oe pera) and, we tlh add for stost Trepite of all ite delestiie matter i extremely entertain; snd a0 lively isthe author's style, that fom the beginning to te fend of tho volume the reader's attention a never sullered 0 Sa. a one of his. prefaces, the sulhor records his obligations fo Kopy's wellknown Wistory of Chenixiry, and to other German molly on Alchemy proper.‘ avowal i highly to lig ere Tate wight have dlapensed with the infatmation, dete but too evident that all bis acquaintance with alchemy is derived secondhand: We have now by our side a copy, Gearing dato eats oF li fimous Summa pedfets Magister rita the fit century, by the Arebian polypharasee Gebi, the contents fvhich acarely juetify te aleged. pedigree of our: English bea” —preseting, as tes! day tho eavtoxt on fone, of vatloun rottsses sch hnve™ot ie superseded ia the laboratory, and of nitmerous chemieals(ith wwllich modern. pharmacy could ill dispense. Into. on}inal ‘works euch as this, which we merely select a8 one of tho earliest fad raresl, we doubt whelle M. Figuier has over dipped, much pas dived. It is the misfortune of information obtained second- Band, that the possessor of it fs soldom abl to arrive at lange and general viows, or to tako a compichensve gran of is sujet." Crag, indeed ho hun none Tngayed ih loving, ‘step hy step, the footprint of somé predecestor of prestor ndustay ‘han bined be never quits the yround. He is always creoping, never soarealways rr hie suljeet, never gdove it.” Lacking & © Lidichiwie oles Alchinintes,” Taal. Mietorigue et Critique war In ogi Horméliguo.. Dar ‘Lauin Figuier, Docten, ey, Dostout losin, Ageégé de Chimie AT ‘Baitien, roeke ob augracatce.” Pura? Lcholto, 1855, bird's-eye view, he seldom achieves an adequate notion of the Bene erat a la al aprightly, clever, with a flash of genius and originality here repel Serer i eho gray he ves ut ae win Ht may, he ill noe, to use Milton's’ phraso, unsphere its spirit, "so" Jong as he fontents himself with ‘connog the, latter throug “anoles man's spectecles. From the dangers thus incident to those whe are “gatherers of other men's stufl,” our author has not been able fo. steer clear; and when wo lay’ the volume dora, homever thankfal we may be for ‘the entertainment afforded nig, we feel constrained to declare that we rise from the perusal without having obtained any adequate elue to the meaning of Alchemy as a phenomenon in the istory of the buman mind ad it been otherwiso—had M. Figuior abided by the maxim, Fontes exquirito,* go to the founiain head” —wve tink it mut needs have oreurred to him that the position which the hormetie Aocirines hold in the history of physical science emunot be ruhly appreciated ils ting place las bee afforded Wher ne hay of metaphysical philosophy. He might have seen that there ls, Sre may 80 spoal,a sevalehemy a8 well axan alchemy, nc thatthe Tondamental error of the herisetic hiorophants was simply tig, that they submitted the course of chemical processes to the wild ‘agoriesofmetachembienl thootie. a fact there was no etenife connexion whatever between tho theory elaborated in the cloaet and the process carried out in’ the erucible, ‘Th former wax founded, -not upon eareful inductions from observed? facts, but rather upon a yust and heterogencous system of grand myatial notions of tho “visible world, lied i priori to the consideation and explanation of visit ppssengig,” after such hon enc svea, leh sted. ‘In those curious tracts ascribed to the mythical personage * Hermes Trimegit, an well ay in other eary recor of i otic doctrines, we havo met with singular axininatie statemeats, all of which converge to the reat central fuel, dat a vicious methodology—a substitution of & priori fora posteriori reasoning was the rock upon which the alchemists split. If in the preseat day any danger is to be apprehended from’ tho predominance alleged to bo given, in scicntiio researches, to matter over spint, tho ovil in the age of the alchemists lay in a totally oppose direction. A-kind of mystical, emanational theory, occasional verging ipon_pnnthetom, fed yen to. sects in the Yeyetable and mineral kingdom for traces of that higher life whieh belongs to the-kingdom of heaven : so that & priart eousiderations, deduced from curious speculations on things wholly beyond the cogui zance of Iruman ken, were brought to bear on tha decision ¢ ‘questions which lay Beneath men's very noses. With a cerlair grandee of purpose, sometimes whimsical, and often wild— Dut inspired, we should remember, more by an exazgersted sense of a grent truth than by a feble dallging with ¢ le they took’ up ‘thelr postion i 4 suppose entre of eer unity, and thenée surveying the ‘whole universe, they. grappled wih 'the mysteries of maluee, aud. dived iglo the Seat at of man, In the one, by a vicious warping of right veusoning, they fancied thoy deseried general laws, the gent realils of Which particular facts were but passing slndovrs, and s0 soagt to reliearse, and, as it were, to epitomise in phial and crucible, those hidden processes which thoy believed to be going on in the wider Jaborafory iof Nature. In man—that: lesser’ world, of “microcosm,” as he was styled—they beheld a being int whom ‘was hoarded up, through many a subtle influence, the scattered eulth of life which tho Creater hsid lavished on the univers of which man was but the epifome and the crown, They assignod him, therefore, a middle position, Vetween the lordship of the astral’ heavens and-the tliralvom of: the passive cat, setting him for his appoisted task the duty of gathering up in his 6wn person the lower springs of vital energy—that s0, pried and exalted: through eootact with man's higoer nature, Gey ‘ight fully vetom, fo that great’ Father of ally wom they had been appointed to run their course thigagh all the several orders of existence: ae Such were:the metalehemical doctrines of which alchemiéal processes, philosophers’ siouds, and elixirs of life, were bal extreme ‘aspects and grosser manifestations. Believing tat vitality was the law of the tunivense, nnd that inthis letras to be found the principle of unity, by which all forms and moles o matter and being wore knit together, they thought to worm the socret from sun, moon, and stax—those higlier eentres and foatil souvees of life—and so to impart to the vilor metals, by contact withthe, philosopher's stone, that fuller mensure of vital energy by swhich they should ‘ferment ” into gold. ‘To explain whene® ‘thesel@getrines sprang, and how they throve, woud xequire us vite wehapter in th hinlory of sebolasis plosply, aad show how the Gubbila of the Jexe, the physical tonet of the Monten; and the unspent ecioes ofthe vole of Groge, too oe drowned by thie shriller notes of lesandtian mystice—how all these, leavened by the powerful influence of Chiristimity, shape and huo fo-lho shifting, modes of bxtman, imagination Ue middle ages, till one English chancellor pointed out a new and a better way. ‘Phat M, Figuior never gives his venders to ‘understand. that, somie stich elimpter ay this has fo. be conned, some such doctrines as the above to be mastored, boforo alien ean’ appear to bo. anything but a eluotic edngories of il ‘ead crude vagaries, ip one of the gravest faults of whicl: we bare to complain, : But alchemy, Tamus-like, Woksbeth bofore and after, Wemeaa