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it have afforded a sufficient stimulus to have occasioned the production of any considerable quantity of wealth. Nothing short of an iron necessity, an inexorable sine quâ non, is adequate to these important purposes. It is the limited quantity of that which is essential to life which does this.-Food, under the particular circumstances in which it is now produced, sets the whole machine in motion, and regulates its action. Man must eat in order to live. Hence the multiplication of the species is confined within limits which are conducive to the sum total of the general happiness and comfort. But he must also work in order to eat. Hence he must either produce food himself, or failing to do so from want of the proper means, he must produce something else whereby he may earn it of those who are in possession of more than they can themselves consume, and who are willing to part with it in exchange for other things.-This is the real secret of the existence of all other descriptions of produce, and the cause of that endless variety of commodities which constitute so large a portion of the wealth of the civilized world.
Those," says Adam Smith, "who have the command of more food than they themselves consume, are always willing to exchange the surplus, or what is the same thing the price of it, for other gratifications. What is over and above satisfying the limited desire, is given for the amusement of those desires which cannot be satisfied, but seem to be altogether endless. The poor, in order to obtain food, exert themselves to gratify those fancies of the rich; and to obtain it more certainly, they vie with one another in the cheapness and perfection of their work. The number of workmen increases with the increasing quantity of food or with the growing improvement and cultivation of the lands. Hence arises a demand for every sort of material which human invention can employ either usefully or ornamentally, in building, dress, equipage or household furniture, for the fossils and minerals contained in the bowels of the earth, for the precious metals, and the precious stones."*
This peculiarity in the nature of food, which renders it a commodity" distinct from all others and pre-eminently valuable," is calculated to call forth both our admiration and our gratitude. It has been beautifully illustrated by our author in the following extract, with which we shall conclude our notice of his work.
"There is a certain point, beyond which, if human beings were multiplied, a serious inconvenience must be felt, from the mere crowding and compression of their excessive numbers. This is obvious enough, should it take place within the limits of any separate locality; but it would be as sure and severely felt, if, in virtue of a production of food ad libitum, it did take place over the whole surface of the globe. The human species would then become as sordid and miserable, as those
* Wealth of Nations, Bk. 1, chap. XI.
maggots appear to be who swarm on some mass of hideous putrefaction. The herrings that accumulate and condense in the western bays of our island, are said to push the outskirts of their shoal upon the beach. And better surely that there should be such a limitation in the powers of the land, and such an utter impotency in human art to multiply beyond a certain point the means of subsistence, than that the great human shoal should be protruded at its extreme margin into the sea, and serve for food to the fishes there waiting to devour them. Rather than that this goodly earth of ours should be turned into a human ant-hill, it is better for man that he should have uncumbered fields-that he should have open and spacious solitudes, to which he might make occasional escape from its more crowded receptacles, and might, on the ample domain of nature, company with nature's elements, and inhale their freshness. It is no interest, and ought to be no care of his, that the terrestrial space on which he walks, should be so over-peopled; or that, for the mere sake of numbers, human beings should multiply to suffocation. The number of His derived and dependent family, is the care of Him who sitteth on high-and most nobly hath he provided for it. He who hath the command of infinity, hath enriched its mighty tracts with innumerable worlds; and, without overburdening the one we occupy, He finds accommodation and space for the innumerable myriads of creation. Better far, than that, from the vomitories of human mechanism, there should go forth indefinite subsistence for indefinite multitudesbetter far, that this should have its fixed and impassable limits; and that men with the glorious arch of heaven above their heads, and with an ample platform beneath them, should walk forth in largeness and liberty, the privileged denizens of nature.
"There is an optimism in the actual constitution of the land, as in every thing else that has proceeded from the hand of the Almighty. Had its fertility been limited to the maintenance of agrarian and secondary labourers, we should have had no disposable population; and neither science nor civilization would have arisen, to bless and to adorn the companionships of men. Had its fertility been unlimited, or could the powers of human art have extracted, without measure, the necessaries of life from any quarter of nature, the species would have lived in greater sordidness and misery still, on an earth laden by its wretched, because its overcrowded generations."-pp. 471–473.
ART. III.-Death-Bed Scenes and Pastoral Conversations. Second Series. By the late John Warton, D.D. Edited by his Sons. London. Calkin and Budd, Pall Mall. Svo. pp. 543.
WE are not about to whisper to the late Dr. Warton's sons, executors, and representatives, the ungracious advice "Solve senescentem;" for the goodly steed which they have taken upon themselves to bestride does not as yet betray a single symptom of the infirmities of old age. His action, indeed, is as vigorous, his paces are as steady, his courage is as high, and his bottom is as sound (if we may thus persist in our metaphor of the manége without fear of riding it to death) as when he first took the field, nearly a lustre and a half ago. Still, nevertheless, there are signs and tokens which induce us to wish that he would change his course. Toujours beau chanter souvent ennuye, says the French Proverb: and he is after all assuredly the most skilful musician who is best aware of the fitting moments for occasional change of time and of movement, or even for the introduction of a discord. Now Dr. Warton has so repeatedly
"Turn'd and return'd in not a different way,"
weaving and counterweaving the same interminable texturedum vetus in telâ deducitur argumentum-that we should most gladly see him throw the shuttle, of which he has proved that he possesses so nice a mastery, in search of some fresher figure and some newer pattern.
Of Death-bed Scenes in Ancient Literature, the best known and the most remarkable are those of Cyrus and of Socrates. The account of the last moments of the former of those great men, even if it were not altogether at variance with received History, carries with it much internal evidence of fiction. No man labouring under a sickness which is to be mortal, and after three days refusal of food--τῷ δὲ ἡ ψυχὴ σῖτον μὲν οὐ προσίετο .... ὡς δὲ καὶ τῇ ὑπεραίᾳ συνέβαινεν αὐτῷ τὰ αὐτὰ ταῦτα, και τῇ τρίτῃ—can be supposed to retain strength enough to make a set speech which shall occupy more than half a dozen octavo pages; and on that ground alone we might feel confident that his παιδες καὶ παρόντες οι φίλοι never heard one syllable of the discipline upon which the Persian monarch informed them that his conduct had been framed, of the sound advice which he delivered for their own future guidance, of his theories regarding Death and Sleep, and of his instructions for his laying out and burial,-all these matters belong to the imagination of Xenophon. On the other hand, we as confidently believe that we do really possess the substance, if not the very
words, of the conversations held with the great Athenian Sage during his imprisonment, down to the very moment in which he poured out his last libation and drank the fatal cup. And it is needless here to offer a eulogy, which might seem vapid, misplaced, and impertinent, upon those almost divine speculations, which confessedly have never been equalled in purity, piety, or loftiness, by any other product of merely human intelligence.
In later days, if we look only for a picture of manners, we have little doubt that we shall find one very accurately drawn in that wild Runic composition, the Death-Song of Ragnar Lodbrog. No one will suppose for a moment that we mean to avouch the truth of that personage's history, nor that we entertain the slightest belief that he really delivered the words attributed to him by the Northern Scald, Nevertheless, we are convinced that the feeling which pervades that terrific Ode genuinely represents the spirit with which the Scandinavian warrior of those days and the North American Savage of our own would encounter a death of refined and lingering torture. The recital of their battle-deeds, of the rivers of blood which they had shed, of the banquets with which they had glutted the eagle and the vulture, of the glory which they bequeathed to their posterity, and the vengeance which they expected at their hands in return, of the opening scenes of immortal bliss, varied according to the tenets of the particular mythology of each, which then floated before their eyes; all these are the natural themes suggested by their past modes of life: and the Ridens morior is probably the latest meaning which would quiver on the expiring lips of either the Icelander or the Iroquois.
The narratives of approaching death which are to be found in the Biographies of Izaak Walton, and in Bishop Burnet's unique and unrivalled account of his communications with the Earl of Rochester, are beyond all praise; and a few other pleasing specimens will, perhaps, offer themselves to the recollection of every reader. But, on the whole, Christianity has not been fortunate in similar relations. For a while the Monastic writers deluged the World with legends; every Death-bed presented an actual and often a visible struggle between the Powers of Light and of Darkness for the departing Soul, which winged its course from the mouth of the Sinner or the Saint, as it happened, under the semblance of a Raven or of a Dove, accompanied by the yelling of Dæmons or the strains of celestial harmony; fetid with the fumes of sulphur or redolent of the gales of Paradise. The dawn of the Reformation tendered much to dissipate these shadows, even among the Romanists themselves; and it then became a Court fashion, especially in France, that every person of distinction should be reputed to make a goodly end; and, whatever
C I-dingC had been his past course, to go away "into Arthur's bosom an it had been any chrison'd child." Some Divine in attendance was always sure to offer the pen of a ready writer to the task of canonization, and to scatter flowers of Theology upon lips from which the name of God had seldom issued unless in blasphemy. Perhaps no more curious instance of this prevailing habit of apotheosis can be mentioned than will be found in a short Tract, not of very common occurrence, purporting to convey an account of the few days during which Francis, Duke of Guise, lingered after receiving his death-wound from the assassin Poltrot, at Orleans. The Duke of Guise, whose stock of Literature probably did not exceed a correct knowledge of the Alphabet; who, on one occasion, grievously scandalized his wily and more erudite brother, the Cardinal of Lorraine, by not recognizing a Bible at sight; and whose entire life had been engrossed by alternations of pleasure and of ambition, is made in those pages to exhort his youthful son to regularity of moral habits; to preach nuptial fidelity to his Wife, who had afforded him opportunities for recrimination; and to inculcate humility and obedience upon the bystanders in general. His thoughts are conceived with the devotion of a Hermit, and enounced with all the technical subtilties of a Doctor of the Sorbonne; and so overflowing with grace and unction is the Sermon which Carles, Bishop of Rienz, has put into the dying Prince's mouth, that, with but few and trivial alterations, it might have been delivered ex cathedra by the Prelate himself during the mortifications of Le petit Carême.
Of Obituaries in the Saintly Periodicals of our own times we forbear to speak; they may be read usque ad nauseam on the Kalends of every succeeding month, when the enrolment among the Blessed of some great mother in Israel furnishes abundant sweet discourse for the tea-tables of the deceased's sectarian Coterie. The subject is dangerous, and if it were pursued, might bring hornets about our ears. It may be discreet, therefore, to confine ourselves to those writers
"Quorum Flaminia tegitur cinis atque Latiná;"
and on the principle that a living Class-Teacher is more to be dreaded than a dead Pope, we will restrict ourselves to contrasting with the relations of Dr. Warton a few Death-bed Scenes recorded by a Pontiff among the most distinguished and influential of those who have worn the tiara-Gregory the Great.
Many Chapters in the IVth Book of Gregory's Dialogues are occupied with mortuary narratives; but, before we approach these, we must pause a little upon the earlier marvels which attended the decease of Scolastica, Sister of St. Benedict, one time