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which the world has too much good sense to confirm. No family ever deserved better of literature and science than the Medici; and yet the name of the Medicean stars, assigned by Galileo to the satellites of Jupiter, never travelled beyond the confines of Tuscany, and was quickly dropped even in that country. At a later date, when the planet Ceres was discovered by Piazzi, it received the royal cognomen of Ferdinandea, an addition never recognized by Europe, and now forgotten everywhere. Botanists have very properly bestowed their own names, or those of their friends, upon the new or exotic plants which they have discovered or imported; nor is it easy to conceive a more pleasing immortality than to descend to posterity, enshrined in the petals of a flower, like Hyacinthus, or the supposed child-deity of India. Sir Anthony Ashley, who first planted them in England, has a cabbage sculptured at his feet upon his monument; a much more honorable trophy than all the herald's mummery, or the emblems of military prowess. A potato plant would have afforded the noblest crest for Sir Walter Raleigh, were it not deemed more honorable to destroy our fellow-creatures in war, than to minister to their gratification and support in peace.
DISEASE-a new and fatal one. During the prevalence of the cholera in Ireland, a soldier hurrying into the mess-room, told his commanding officer that his brother had been carried off two days ago by a fatal malady, expressing his apprehensions that the whole regiment would be exposed to a similar danger in the course of the following week. “Good heavens!” ejaculated the officer, “what then did he die of?” “Why, your honor, he died of a Tuesday."
DISTINCTION—with a difference. “I have no objection,” said a leveller, “that the ranks below me should be preserved just as they are now, but I wish to have none above me; and that is my notion of a fair and perfect equality.”
An instance of the distinction without a difference was offered by the Irishman who, having legs of different sizes, ordered his boots to be made accordingly. His directions were obeyed; but, as he tried the smallest boot on his largest leg, he exclaimed petulantly, “ Confound the fellow! I ordered him to make one larger than the other; and, instead of that, he has made one smaller than the other."
DISTINCTIONS—It is idle to talk of the abolition of distinctions, for Nature herself has created them. A great and happy change, however, is taking place in our estimate of these honors. Every day adds to our reverence of intrinsic, and diminishes our respect for extrinsic superiority. Patents of nobility, signed by the hand of God, are rising in general esteem, while those merely signed by the hand of a king are declining. Hereditary distinctions, whether of an exalting or degrading aspect, generally deteriorate their objects. It was once questioned, whether a villein, or serf, could enter heaven, and the very doubt rendered him unfit for it, just as the certainty of succeeding to honors often disqualifies their inheritor from wearing them becomingly.
DISTRESS—even when positive or superlative, is still only comparative. “Such is the pressure of the times in our town,” said a Birmingham manufacturer to his agent in London, “that we have good workmen who will get up the inside of a watch for eighteen shillings.”—“Pooh! that is nothing, compared to London," replied his friend ; "we have boys here who will get up the inside of a chimney for sixpence!”
DRAM-A small quantity taken in large quantities by those who have few grains of sobriety, and no scruples of conscience. Horace Walpole records, that when one of his contemporaries died, in consequence, as it was currently said, of an over-addiction to brandy, the escutcheon affixed to the house of the deceased exhibited the common motto of “Mors janua vita ;" upon which a wag observed—“Surely there has been a mistake in this inscription: it should have been ‘ Mors aqua ritæ.?"
DRAMA—MODERN—Every sort of drama, except tragedy and comedy; such as melo-drama, hippo-drama, &c.
DREAMS—The invisible visions to which we are awake in our sleep; the life of death; the sights seen by the blind; the sounds heard by the deaf; the language of the dumb; the sensations of the insensible; a mystery which may afford us some vague notion of the undeveloped powers of the human mind, waiting, perhaps, the longer sleep of death, before they receive a full expansion. Objects thus presented to us can only be a wild combination, we are told, of those with which we have been previously conversant; but in these revelations, there seems to be an occasional apocalypse of another world, or, at least, a different state of being from our present existence. What are the prevalent dreams of persons born blind? This subject has not excited inquiry, but it seems of a nature to deserve it, as it might lead to some very curious results. Are forms or. figures presented to them, either animate or inanimate, and if so, do they bear any resemblance to their originals ? Every thing thus fitting before the mind's eye must be a creation, not a recollection, to him who can only have gathered vague notions of form from the touch, and can have no idea of color. The dreams of maniacs, could they be detailed, would supply matter for not less interesting speculation. We may imagine them to embody forth all that is gorgeous, magnificent, rapturous, and paradisiacal; or to evoke the most hideous and terrific phantasmagoria, according to the different moods of their madness. Somnambulism, which may be termed an intermediate affection between dreaming and insanity, would also present many mental diagnostics, of the most curious character, could we “observingly distil them out.”
It has been asserted by medical writers, who have attentively considered the subject, that our senses and organs sink to sleep in the following succession :--1st, the sense of sight; 2d, the taste ; 3d, the smell; 4th, the hearing; 5th, the touch. The powers of the mind may, in the mean time, be inert, active or deranged, according to circumstances; but they are never altogether coherent. The two principal theories of dreams suppose them to originate wholly in direct impressions on the senses during sleep; or to be ascribable to the supremacy of the mind, which, being unfettered by objects of sense, takes a wider