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perior order, were both firmly persuaded of the truth of the miraculous cure which took place at Port Royal, and I have seen two thick volumes of those performed at the tomb of the Abbe; they were published by a Mr. Carre de Montgeron, a counsellor of the Parliament of Paris, who was converted from infidelity by what he saw with his own eyes: he had been a man of very irregular life, and tells us in the preface how his attention was first awakened to the spiritual dangers of his situation; he had disguised himself in a female dress, and was on his way towards a convent, where he was to be introduced by a lady, who had lent her assistance to the plot, and was already flattering his imagination with an idea of the opportunities he should have of pursuing his projects against a young person, who had fled for shelter there from his pursuits, when the horses took fright, the carriage was broken to pieces, and he and his companions very narrowly escaped with their lives. But to return to the subject of miraculous cures, I have no doubt, in many instances, either of the veracity of the persons' relating, nor of the cure performed, but I doubt the intervention of Providence; and yet I confess myself at a loss how to explain the difficulty. Hope and fear, and all the forms which the human imagination can be made to take, are powerful agents in the hands of skilful men; they are frequently also applied unconsciously by man himself to his own use; but there are cases in which this solution would be of no avail; the tractors of Perkins have been applied, and with great success (in cases where there was no room for, no possibility of imagition) to infants, to persons asleep, and to brutes; nor can our reason take shelter in any hypothesis connected with electricity, for the same cures have been performed by fictitious tractors made of wood, or of slate, as by those which were from the manufactory of Perkins himself: leaving, therefore, the miracles performed at St. Medard, and at Port Royal, to be attributed to the imagination of the patient, or the effect of that deep impression of supernatural truth, which is denominated faith, we must still allow, that there are cures in which we are to look for another agent. To occupy the attention of a person very strongly will generally cure him of the hiccough, and sometimes of the toothach, and a salutary crisis in some acute cures has been produced, it is said, by the simple application of the hand, as by a vital principle which emanates from one body to another; but this again would lead to animal magnetism, which has contributed so much to bewilder some men, and has been made such an instrument for sordid purposes by others, that the secret of nature of which there was a glimpse, is now lost sight of, and perhaps forever. It was my good fortune one evening not very long ago to sit next to a person whom I soon found to be a believer in all the wonders of animal magnetism,

and who offered, if I would call upon him for the purpose, to give me any information I might desire in addition to the little I had been able to learn in the Encyclopedia. I was satisfied, however, with the conversation of the evening, during which I heard a person of some distinction in the literary world talk of that will, which operates from us upon the objects around, which adds force, real bodily force, to our efforts, and of that improvement in some of our senses, that increase even of our knowledge, which we receive in sleep; surely the account of miracles performed at the tomb of the Abbe Paris, is not so ridiculous: but it is time we should leave the ancient church of St. Medard, and go to the Royal garden of plants down to which the Rue Neuve d'Orleans will lead you. This garden affords an agreeable walk, and one who could have the advantage of frequenting it regularly for some months in company with a man of science, might, in the most pleasing manner, become acquainted with all the varieties of the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral reign. I have never, since my curiosity was first gratified, derived much satisfaction from seeing rare animals; they are frequently ugly, (what for instance can be more so than a camel?) and have always an air of melancholy, or convey that idea at least, and however ferocious their nature may be, we can not but pity their long and useless captivity. It is otherwise with plants, they are agreeable objects in themselves, and, without being at all acquainted with Botany, I was glad to have this opportunity of seeing several sorts, the fruits of which have been converted by the real or imaginary wants of Europe, into necessaries of life. At the lower extremity of the garden is the river over which there has been lately erected an iron bridge; to wander hence to the building, which serves as a Museum, at the other extremity, must in Summer be delightful; the rarest plants are removed out of the hot-houses, and placed to advantage, and a sort of tribute seems paid by nature to the Parisian from all the quarters of the earth, as he takes his evening walk; an artificial eminence too has been contrived on one side, where a winding road, and some rocky irregularities, and a growth of pines, in all the apparent irregularity of nature, form an agreeable contrast, with the formality of the garden. The Museum is a building of no grandeur externally; but the contents of three long and spacious rooms within, would reward the curiosity of a traveller, who had come even further than from America. The specimens and seed of every species of fruit and grain, the whole family of terrestrial animals, placed so as to represent life, from the elephant, the cameleopard, and the elk, to the beautifullyformed antelope-deer, who, made for speed, and yet with spreading antlers in case of necessity for defence, is not larger than a rat: and the whole race of birds, from the Ostrich to the humbird, with

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the almost endless catalogue of reptiles, and of insects, in all their various and successive changes, are ranged along in order, as if ready for embarkation in Noah's Ark. The inhabitants of the water too, of the great rivers in the South, and of the sea, from the hippopotamus to the flying-fish, and down to the lowest orders of being, may be here passed in review, and one may trace a lengthy chain of animated nature along its various links of connexion, from man downwards, which would seem to prove, that we are all of one family. There are many parts of the great chain to whose relationship I have no objection, they are like very distant cousins, who know nothing about us, and who give us no trouble; but there is something very disagreeable and very mortifying in the appearance of those who come immediately after us. A person skilled in mineralogy and chymistry might pass many days successively to very good purpose in one of these spacious rooms; he might there examine at his leisure the various sorts of primitive earth combined with substances, of which they take the name, and which are useful either in medicine, or the arts; and he might see specimens of every kind of stone, from such as must be nearly cceval with creation, to those of a subsequent period, comprehending every species of limestone, from the finest marble down to common chalk, and portions of pudding-stone, either from some rude mass, which has astonished the traveller on a mountain top, or with the shape and colouring of the beautıful Scotch pebble: he would find samples also of every kind of volcanic production ; of basalts, which are supposed to be the effect of submarine ejections; of lava, which is composed of the same materials as the basalt, but the produce of an eruption when the volcano was no longer covered by the sea; of pumice stone; and of some crystalized substances which are found near Ætna and Vesuvius. I had before seen a variety of crystals; they form an object of profit to the inhabitants of Chamounie, but I had no idea of their ever being found of a size which admitted of their being worked into vases and chandeliers, of which there are some specimens in the Museum; together with these, are those productions of the earth of a nearly similar nature, ta which the common consent of mankind has for time immemorial attached an idea of great value, under the name of precious stones. The diamond is generally placed first upon the splendid list; but I here learned that it is of a nature totally different from the rest, that it is not the effect of a crystalization, which takes place in the earth, or in some undisturbed corner of a rock, in a long succession of ages, but a combustible substance or concretion of charcoal. How this concretion takes place, or what it means in fact, I am very far from pretending to understand, but I believe it on the assertions of the learned, supported by exneriments, which have been repeatedly made: upon a diamond's being submitted to the action of heat, it was found to emit by combustion the same species of gas, that is emitted by charcoal, and it is known by some late experiments to have, in common with that substance, the property of converting iron into steel. It is singular that Sir Isaac Newton, should upwards of one hundred years ago, have surmised, in this and in other instances, what has since appeared to be the process of nature. But this great man must have possessed faculties very far removed indeed from the utmost to which the human mind had ever before attained, or has since reached; and was, I believe, as Hume has so well expressed it, the greatest and rarest genius that ever arose for the ornament, and instruction of mankind. Specimenis are also to be seen here of iron, tin, copper, and lead, such as they offer themselves to view, in that sort of disguise, of which human industry soon strips them; and of gold and silver ore, as they slumber in the mine; and there is a most comprehensive collection of fossils. By the term fossil you are to understand such of the animal and vegetable creation as are found buried in the earth; of these some are petrified, and others remain in their natural state, but it is a circumstance common to both, that they are scarcely ever found in places, to which, according to what we know of the present order of nature, they can have originally belonged. The bones of the elephant, of the rhinoceros, and of the mammoth, which seem to have ennobled the Natural History of America, and of other creatures of nearly equal size, to which no names have been applied, are found scattered over deserts, which these animals were never known to inhabit, or intermixed in the most inexplicable manner, with the various sorts of marine fossils; it would seem as if these had been exposed to some great catastrophe, which the rest of the terrestrial creation had escaped, or perhaps their bones being of a more solid texture, have been able to resist those causes of destruction, which have obliterated every appearance of weaker animals, who may have existed at the same time, and whose remains could not from their situation, be preserved as those of fish have been, from every external injury, and from the effects of the atmosphere. I mentioned to you in a former letter, and when this subject was first presented to my mind, that no remains of man, notwithstanding the most diligent researches, had been ever seen, and I find that such is still the case; not a single stone, which appears to have passed through human hands, not a brick, nothing in short, in the least connected with the antediluvian existence of man, has ever been discovered: and yet I cannot but believe, that creation in all its parts was a single act of the Almighty, and that the chain of existence has been always perfect: insects we find existed, by their impressions left in quarries of stone, and trees and plants, we are sure did, for some of these last are of sorts which it would seem required cultivation: they are frequently found so deep in the bowels of the earth, and so transformed into other substances, yet with enough of their original appearance to ascertain their identity, and so remote from the soil and climate proper to their growth, that they must have been operated upon by the same great cause, which was so fatal to other parts of creation, which converted the ocean into dry land, and overwhelmed such portions of the globe as were habitable with the waters of the sea: those parts were perhaps not without human inhabitants, and the time may come, either soon, or when century after century shall have rolled away, that the sea by some great convulsion of nature may again change its level, and human fossils be found in abundance, as those of marine and vegetable origin are now. Whatever may have been, or may hereafter be the case, we shall never know; but I do not think it possible for the busiest, the gayest, or the most ambitious man in Paris to enter this part of the Museum, without being led into a train of serious ideas on this subject; if I was extremely gratified at the sight of the single fish taken from a quarry which I had seen in Mr. de Luc's Cabinet at Geneva, you may conceive my surprise and satisfaction at finding myself in the midst of numbers of these animals in the most perfect preservation; some of them belong to species which are known to exist at present, though generally in distant seas, and others are unknown: the greater part are from quarry near Verona, where fish of all sizes and in great numbers, are still found in a soft calcareous rock, which is below the extinguished volcano of Bolca; thc immediate cause which destroyed the myriads of Bolca must always be a mystery, but it seems to have taken place at one instant of time, as if the wand of a magician had been waved over them, or the same electric shock had pervaded a whole region, and all its inhabitants: that their motions have been arrested by death without any previous pain or sense of danger, is evident from there being no marks of contortion or struggle in any of them; some, which have been split through the middle, have the undigested remains of the species they preyed upon still visible in the stomach, others are followed by smaller individuals, who were either their offspring or accustomed to prey upon their offal, and there are some instances of others again which were engaged in battle, when death put an end to the contest; one voracious animal of the eel tribe had already a third of his antagonist down his throat, when the terrible shock took place, which has kept his jaws distended ever since. There are also the head of a crocodile, and of an alligator, I believe, and several sorts of turtle and tortoises: I ought to inform you by the way, that the shells of a particular sort of this last animal, are the objects now

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