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We attach no little consequence to the influence of age upon the emotions, propensities and sentiments of the mind; and have dwelt somewhat upon the progress of mental developement, as depending on and connected with its gradations and the processes superinduced by them. Let us proceed to finish the picture. Ripe mapbood feels peculiarly the spur of ambition, the ardour of patriotisın, the delights of sober and less eager exertions of intellect, and exults proudly in the objects of domestic and paternal love. Yet, as if in confirmation of Pope's belief, that self-love and social feeling are identical and the same, it is now that he takes an active and zealous part in the concerns of the community to which he belongs, and of his country, and, perhaps, joins earnestly in the promotion of plans for the general good of mankind--it is now that selfishness begins to become a prominent feature in his mind, if not previously developednow that he anxiously grasps at personal advantages of all kinds--reputation, ease, pecuniary interest. It is now that he becomes envious of the prosperity of his neighbours; jealous of their etforts even for the public benefit ; covetous not only of their wealth, but even of their good name. The success of a competitor, although a brother, he regards as the triumph of a rival; additions to the happiness of others, as subtractions from his own. He is now not only, as in inore youthful days, “sudden and quick in quarrel,” but has grown more or less malicious and revengeful. If we are told that “this is not a true picture of Socrates," we reply that the modifications which affect the verisimilitude of the portrait, are not attributable to the absence of these dark shades of character in the individual we are describing, as a specimen of the race-no, nor even “to the mild influences of philosophy"-but to the force of circumstances in the existing condition of society, which absolutely compel each one of those who now compose the mass, to suppress and control his passions and dispositions for the sake of peace and concord. Now the character of the individual beconnes fixed. “Firmness of purpose" is substituted for vacillation; and decision in all matters of consequence, is looked on as one of the special distinctions which declare bim no longer a boy. This decision, however, often runs into sternness ; inflexibility increases into obstinacy. The will rather than the judgment governs the determinations. Prejudice assumes the helm, and reason is deposed from her high station of pilot. Incredulity and rational scepticism are lost in impiety and infidelity: devotion clothes herself in the mantle of superstition, and assumes her frowns and her presumption. The nature VOL. VI.-No. 12.
and extent of these changes are altogether dependent upon previous education, using that word in its most extended meaning. Even the earlier lessons of childhood, forgotten during the tumult of youthful passions, or voluntarily neglected for the gaieties of dissipation, strike forcibly upon the memory of the more sedate man, and impress his harder heart. Too often the impression is painful; to weaken and obliterate it, he rushes anew into levity and crime, and is lost-or his better angel prevails, and this becomes the season of remorse, repentance and reformation.
Old age takes its colouring, for the most part, from the circumstances of the previous life. If this has been comfortable and prosperous, the old man is mild, courteous and liberal, easily satisfied with the ordinary deference and respect so seldom denied his silvery locks and wrinkled front. His memory abounds in anecdotes of days that are past; he is a living record of a former age. He is talkative because he is urged with frequent inquiries, and the habit grows upon him because his chronicles always find pleased and ready listeners. No longer entangled in the active concerns of a busy life, he cons over and reflects upon the scenes in which he was an actor. If he has been engaged in matters of moment, in public affairs of consequence, or private business of responsibility, and has emerged with character and credit from these occupations, the retrospect is grateful and exhilarating, and serves to support his decaying spirits, and revive, in some degree, his exhausted energies. If, on the other hand, his path through the world has been rugged, if he has had to maintain a stern conflict with poverty or neglect, his temper and disposition will be found to be soured and rude. The transient delights of youth are forgotten; he has long since ceased to feel the sunshine of hope and the stimulus of sanguine anticipation. He is benumbed by the coldness of the wintry season of decay; he looks around for the faces with which he was once familiar, but in vain, and cannot now be pleased even with the sound of bis enemy's knell, for it warns him of the loss of an acquaintance, a cotemporary. Has he been poor, and by privations made to realize keenly the value of wealth? Avarice now freezes up his soul, and all around him are regarded as plunderers in will, if not in act. Has he been sick and afflicted ? He is peevish and fretful, and becomes more and more so, as he sees a steady and gradual abatement of the sympathy which his sufferings once excited, but which is easily and surely worn out by the incessant friction of a complaining disposition. Such is old age-withering and decaying old age; still sensible to the promptings of avarice, but yield
ing to the love of ease-garrulous, querulous old age, looking down upon all that is youthful and new as inferior, imperfect and unstable, and dwelling with pardonable self-delusion upon the morning of its own being, as the only bright and cheering period of human existence-reverend and venerated old age, smiling sarcastically but kindly upon the transitory amuscinents of the surrounding young, and sedately enjoying the calm quiet of a good conscience, and the devout, humble, yet confident anticipation of unchanging and interminable happiness beyond the grave.
We will not for a moment stop to pourtray the sad, remaining stages of decrepitude and dotage-to filter the cold dregs of life and exhibit the vapid contents of the vase, when all its more etherial essences have exhaled.* Let us draw the curtain over this last and lowest condition of the rational and intellectual spirit—this worse than second childhood, in which the bad passions and darker feelings of our evil nature, though weakened by the decay of the organs with which they are developed and by which they act, still survive the energy of those organs, and rage and rule uncontrolled by reason and prudence, or sink into a sullen and stupid apathy.
Yet the contemplation of this dreary and gloomy picture, is not without its uses. The shortness of life and the liability to disease, have been the subject of incessant lamentation and repining, though without just cause; for if decay be, necessarily, the ultimate tendency of the construction of our frame and the constitution of its materials, surely death is rather to be considered as a relief from the sufferings of extreme old age. Indeed, it would seem a matter of melancholy consolation that the outlets of life are so numerous, and the gates of death so widely open, that we are likely to reach our common goal, the grave, by some nearer and less lingering route, and thus escape this hopeless, helpless, and dependent state of wearisome existence.
# Thus fares it still in our decay,
And yet the wiser mind
Than what he leaves behind.
Art. II.-1. Outlines of Geology. By W. THOMAS BRANDE,
F.R.S. London. 8vo. 1829.
2. An Introduction to Geology, comprising the elements of that
science in its present advanced state, &c. By ROBERT BAKEWELL. 3d edition. 8vo. London. 1828.
3. A New System of Geology, in which the great revolutions of
the earth and animated nature are reconciled at once to modern science and sucred history. By ANDREW URE, M. D. 8vo. London. 1829.
4. Outline of the Course of Geological Lectures given in Yale
College. By Professor SILLIMAN. 8vo. New Haven. 1829.
This last work is appended to the American edition of Bakewell's Geology; and is, like Dr. Ure's, an attempt to reconcile modern science on this subject, to what is called sacred history. Of these four works, the most clear, the most satisfactory, the freest from disputable theory, and the most trust-worthy collection of facts, is, beyond all comparison, that of Mr. Bakewell; a gentleman, whose opportunities of information from extensive observations and surveys of geological districts, both at home and abroad, have rendered him peculiarly fitted for drawing up an Introduction to Geology, consisting of well-established and well-ascertained facts, in a modest and unpretending style, unmingled with suspicious theories or fanciful hypotheses, which, we regret to say, occupy a very large portion of the two last works under review.
Geology, as a science, may well be considered as dating its modern origin from the commencement of the present century. However useful have been the labours of Werner and his followers, and very useful they have been, they must, at present, be considered as relating to the very infancy of a branch of knowledge that has increased, indeed, at a very rapid rate, but which is even yet far from its manhood. Of the geological introductions that preceded the works above noticed, by D’Aubuisson, Breislak, Maclure, Brande, and even the immortal work of Cuvier, none are competent to afford us even the elementary knowledge of the present day: the admirable survey of the geology of England by Conybeare and Philips, is partial and incomplete, the submedial formations being wanting : indeed, although the closet compilation of Dr. Ure, furnishes a collec
tion of very interesting facts, there is no elementary work that can be put into the hands of a student but Bakewell's, that is not too imperfect, or too theoretical to be trusted.
The books of Brande and of Ure, have been reviewed in the last American Quarterly, vol. vii. p. 361, by a writer well acquainted with his subject.
In this country, the knowledge of mineralogy is almost exclusively owing to the scientific ardour of Colonel Gibbs; and of American geology, William Maclure is the parent: men, of whom we should delight to say more, if we did not consider their reputations too firmly established to need our eulogy. It is with no small pleasure, we take the present opportunity of acknowledging the obligations that fossil geology owes, and is likely to owe, to Mr. Featherstonhaugh.
The primitive rocks, and the numerous and splendid minerals imbedded in them, and which abound in number and beauty as you go through the granite country from Baltimore to Maine, have greatly contributed to make mineralogy a very fashionabie study every where through that part of the United States; in particular, the excellent use. that Professor Silliman has made of the very fine collection of Colonel Gibbs, so long loaned by that gentleman to the College at New Haven, has contributed to make that institution the best of all the schools of mineralogy in the United States. We wish we could add geology to these attainments; but on this branch of science, we regret to say, that the lectures of Professor Silliman, whose full prospectus is now under review, do not promise to contribute any thing that is new, or much that is accurate : the book before us is at least twenty years behind the knowledge of the day: theologically, it is quite unexceptionable to the most rigid interpreter: geologically, we could have wished to see more sound logic, and better use made of known facts, than the Professor appears to have furnished. We shall assign our reasons for this opinion before we close the present review,
The pursuits of mineralogy and geology, are almost unknown among the institutions of the South. The great interest these branches of knowledge have excited throughout Europe, and in the northern section of the United States, is almost unfelt in the South and West, unless the progress they may have made in Tennessee, under that able mineralogist, Dr. Troost, is far greater than has reached our knowledge. For this reason, and considering geology as comparatively unknown in our southern section of this country, we shall attempt to give an outline of the objects, the elementary principles, and a sketch of the present state of geology, with a view to extend a knowledge of