Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Margaret Macaskill and PG Distributed
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. X, No. 289.] SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1827. [Price 2d.
Among the suburban beauties of the metropolis, and as an attraction for
home-tourists, Bushy is entitled to special notice, independent of its
celebrity as the retreat of royalty--it being the residence of _His
Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence_, an accurate portrait of whom will
be presented, to our readers with the usual _Supplementary Number_ at
the close of the present volume of the MIRROR.
_Bushy Park_ is an appendage to the palace and honour of Hampton Court;
and though far from assimilating to that splendid pile, it is better
fitted for rural enjoyment, whilst its contiguity to the metropolis
almost gives it the character of _rus in urbe_. The residence is a
handsome structure, and its arrangement is altogether well calculated
for the indulgence of royal hospitality--a characteristic of its present
distinguished occupant, as well as of that glorious profession, to the
summit of which his royal highness has recently been exalted. The park,
too, is well stocked with deer, and its rangership is confided to the
duke. The pleasure grounds are tastefully disposed, and their beauty
improved by the judicious introduction of temples and other artificial
embellishments, among which, a naval temple, containing a piece of the
mast of the Victory, before which Nelson fell, and a bust of the noble
admiral, has been consecrated to his memory by the royal duke, with
devotional affection, and the best feelings of a warm heart.
 The Duke is a good economist of time; for what with excellent cattle
and the glory of Macadamized roads, his R.H. comes to town in the
morning, transacts his official business at the Admiralty, and
frequently returns to Bushy to dinner.
The park is a thoroughfare, and the circumstances by which this public
claim was established are worthy of record, as a specimen of the justice
with which the rights of the community are upheld in this country. The
_village Hampden_, in the present case, was one Timothy Bennet, of whom
there is a fine print, which the neighbours, who are fond of a walk in
Bushy Park, must regard with veneration. It has under it this
inscription:--"Timothy Bennet; of Hampton Wick, in Middlesex, shoemaker,
aged 75, 1752. This true Briton, (unwilling to leave the world worse
than he found it,) by a vigorous application of the laws of his country
in the cause of liberty, obtained a free passage through Bushy Park,
which had many years been withheld from the public." Regeneration (or
the renewal of souls) is, however, a shoemaker's _forte_.
The above engraving of Bushy is copied from an elegant coloured view,
drawn by Ziegler, and published by Griffiths, of Wellington-street,
* * * * *
A SCOTCH TALE.
_(For the Mirror.)_
It was now abute the gloaming when my ain same Janet (heav'n sain her
saul) was sitting sae bieldy in a bit neuk ayant the ingle, while the
winsome weans gathering around their minnie were listing till some auld
spae wife's tale o' ghaists and worriecows; when on a sudden some ane
tirled at the door pin.
"Here's your daddie, bairns," said the gudewife ganging till the door;
but i' place o' their daddie, a tall chiel wrappit i' a big cloak,
rushed like a fire flaught into the bield, and drappit doun on the
sunkie ewest the ingle droghling and coghling.
"What's your wull, friend?" said Janet, glowering on him a' i' a gliff,
"the gudeman's awa."
"Save me, save me," shrieghed the stranger, "the sleuth hounds are at my
"But wha may ye be, maister," cried the dame, "I durstna dee your
bidding while Jamie's frae the hause."
"Oh, dinna speir, dinna speir mistress," exclaimed the chiel a' in a
curfuffle, "ainly for the loe of heav'n, hide me frae the red coats
whilk are comin' belive--O God, they are here," he cried, as I entered
the shealing, and uttering a piercing skirl, he sprung till the wa', and
thrawing aff his cloak, drew his broad claymore, whilk glittered
fearsome by the low o' the ingle.
"Hauld, hauld, 'tis the gudeman his nainsell," shreighed Janet, when the
stranger drapping the point o' the sword, clingit till my hand, and
while the scauding tear draps tricklit adoun his face prigged me to fend
"Tak' your certie o' that my braw callant," said I, "ne'er sail it be
tauld o' Jamie Mc-Dougall, that he steeked his door again the puir and
hauseless, an the bluidy sleuth hounds be on ye they'se find it ill
aneugh I trow to get an inkling o' ye frae me, I'se sune shaw 'em the
Sae saying, I gared him climb a rape by whilk he gat abune the riggin o'
the bield, then steeking to the door thro' whilk he gaed, I jimp had
trailed doun the rape, when in rinned twa red coat chiels, who couping
ilka ane i' their gait begun to touzle out the ben, and the de'il gaed
o'er Jock Wabster.
"Eh, sirs! eh, sirs!" cried I, "whatna gaits' that to steer a bodie, wad
ye harry a puir chiel o' a' his warldly gear, shame till ye, shame till
ye, shank yoursell's awa."
"Fusht, fusht, fallow," cried ane o' the churls, "nane o' your bourds
wi' us, or ye may like to be the waur aff; where is the faus loon? we
saw him gae doun the loaning afore the shealing, and here he maun needs
"Aweel, sirs," I exclaimed, "ye see there isna ony creatur here, our
nainsell's out-taken; seek again an ye winna creed a bodie; may be the
bogle is jumpit into the pot on the rundle-tree ower the ingle, or
creepit into the meal ark or aiblins it scoupit thro' the hole as ye cam
in at the door. Ye may threep and threep and wampish your arms abute, as
muckle as ye wuss, ye silly gowks, I canna tell ye mair an I wad."
"May be the Highland tyke is right, cummer, (said one o' the red coats)
and the fallow is jumpit thro' the bole, but harkye maister gudeman, an
ye hae ony mair o' your barns-breaking wi us, ye'se get a sark fu' o'
sair banes, that's a'."
"Hear till him, hear till him, Janet," said I, as the twa southron
chiels gaed thro' the hole, trailing their bagganets alang wi' 'em;
"winna the puir tykes hae an unco saft couch o' it, think ye, luckie, O
'tis a gude sight for sair e'en to see 'em foundering and powtering i'
the latch o' the bit bog aneath."
"Nane o' your clashes e'enow, gudemon," said she, "but let the callant
abune gang his gate while he may."
"Ye're aye cute, dame," I cried, thrawing the bit gy abune, and in a
gliffing, doun jumpit the chiel, and a braw chiel he was sure enough,
siccan my auld e'en sall ne'er see again, wi' his brent brow and buirdly
bowk wrappit in a tartan plaid, wi' a Highland kilt.
"May the gude God o' heaven sain you," he said "and ferd you for aye,
for the braw deed ye hae dreed the day; tak' this wee ring, gudemon, and
tak' ye this ane, gudewife, and when ye look on this and on that, I rede
ye render up are prayer to him abune for the weal o' Charles Edward,
your unfortunate prince."
Sae speaking, he sped rath frae the bield, and was sune lost i' the
glunch shadows o' the mirk night.
Mony and mony a day has since rollit ower me, and I am now but a dour
carle, whose auld pow the roll o' time hath blanched; my bonnie Janet is
gone to her last hame, lang syne, my bairns hae a' fa'en kemping for
their king and country, and I ainly am left like a withered auld trunk,
waiting heaven's gude time when I sall be laid i' the mouls wi' my
Ben--inner apartment of a house that contains but two.
Brent-brow--smooth open forehead.
De'il gaed o'er Jock Wabster--everything went topsy-turvy.
Dour carle--rugged old man.
Dreed the day--done this day.
Droghling and coghling--puffing and blowing.
Fire flaught--flash of lightning.
Gliffing--very short time.
Laid i' the mouls--laid in the grave.
Sark fu' o' sair banes--sound beating.
Shank yoursell's awa--take yourselves off.
Show 'em the cauld shouther--appear cold and reserved.
Tirled at the door pin--knocked at the door.
* * * * *
THE INDIAN MAIDEN'S SONG,
BY WILLIAM SHOBERL.
The youth I love is far away.
O'er forest, river, brake, and glen;
And distant, too, perchance the day,
When I shall see him once again.
Nine moons have wasted since we met,
How sweetly, then, the moments flew!
Methinks the fairy vision yet
Portrays the joy that ZEMLA knew.
In list'ning to the tale of strife,
When Shone AZALCO'S prowess bright,
The strange adventures of his life,
That gave me such unmix'd delight.
That dream of happiness is past!
For ever fled those magic charms!
The cruel moment came at last,
That tore AZALCO from my arms!
What bitter pangs my bosom rent,
When he my sight no longer bless'd!
To some lone spot my steps I bent,
My secret sorrows there confess'd.
My sighs, alas! were breath'd unheard,
Could aught on earth dispel my grief?
Nor smiling sun, nor minstrel bird,
Can give this aching heart relief.
Since he I love is far away,
O'er forest, river, brake, and glen,
And distant, too, perchance the day,
When I shall see him once again.
 "Till now some nine moons wasted."--SHAKSPEARE.
* * * * *
_(For the Mirror.)_
"Do you look for ale and cakes here, you rude rascals?"
SHAKSPEARE'S _Henry the Eighth._
Since, my dear readers, even in this season of busy festivity I can
spare a few moments to write for your gratification, I venture to hope
you will spare a few to read for mine.
And so here we are, once again on tiptoe for a merry Christmas and a
happy new year. My good friends, especially my fair friends, permit me
to wish you both. Yes, Christmas is here--Christmas, when winter and
jollity, foul weather and fun, cold winds and hot pudding, good frosts
and good fires, are at their meridian! Christmas! With what dear
associations is it fraught! I remember the time when I thought that word
cabalistical; when, in the gay moments of youth, it seemed to me a
mysterious term for every thing that is delightful; and such is the
force of early associations, that even now I cannot divest myself of
them. Christmas has long ceased to be to me what it once was; yet do I
even now hail its return with pleasure, with enthusiasm. But, alas! how
differently is it viewed, not only by the same individual at different
periods of life, but by different individuals of the same age; by the
rich and poor, the wretched and the happy, the pampered and the
To proceed to the object of this paper, which is simply to throw
together a few casual hints, connected with the period. I would beg my
reader's attention, in the first place, to an odd superstition,
countenanced by Shakspeare, and which, if he happens to lie awake some
night, (say with the tooth-ache--what better?--for that purpose I mean,)
he will have an opportunity of verifying. The passage which contains it
is in _Hamlet_ and exhibits at once his usual wildness of imagination,
and a highly praiseworthy religious veneration for the season. Where the
ghost vanishes upon the crowing of the cock, he takes occasion to
mention its crowing all hours of the night about Christmas time. The
last four lines comprise several other superstitions connected with the
It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes,
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long.
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad:
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike;
No fairy takes; no witch hath power to charm;
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
It is to be lamented that the hearty diet, properly belonging to the
season, should have become almost peculiar to it; the _Tatler_
recommends it throughout the year. "I shall begin," says Steele, "with a
very earnest and serious exhortation to all my well-disposed readers,
that they would return to the food of their forefathers, and reconcile
themselves to beef and mutton. This was the diet which bred that hardy
race of mortals who won the fields of Cressy and Agincourt. I need not
go so high up as the history of Guy, earl of Warwick, who is well known
to have eaten up a dun cow of his own killing. The renowned king Arthur
is generally looked upon as the first who ever sat down to a whole
roasted ox, which was certainly the best way to preserve the gravy; and
it is farther added, that he and his knights sat about it at his round
table, and usually consumed it to the very bones before they would enter
upon any debate of moment. The Black Prince was a professed lover of the
brisket; not to mention the history of the sirloin, or the institution
of the order of Beefeaters, which are all so many evident and undeniable
proofs of the great respect which our warlike predecessors have paid to
this excellent food. The tables of the ancient entry of this nation were
covered thrice a day with hot roast-beef; and I am credibly informed by
an antiquary, who has searched the registers in which the bills of fare
of the court are recorded, that instead of tea and bread and butter
which have prevailed of late years, the maids of honour in queen
Elizabeth's time were allowed three rumps of beef for their breakfast!"
Now this is manly, and so is the diet it advises; I recommend both to my
readers. Let each determine to make one convert, himself that one. On
Christmas day, let each dine off, or at least have on his table, the
good old English fare, roast beef and plum-pudding! and does such beef
as our island produces need recommendation? What more nutritive and
delicious? and, for a genuine healthy Englishman, what more proper than
this good old national English dish? Let him whose stomach will not bear
it, look about and insure his life--I would not give much for it. It
ought, above all other places, to be duly honoured in our officers'
mess-rooms. As Prior says,
"If I take Dan Congreve right,
Pudding and beef make Britons fight."
So, then, if beef be indeed so excellent,
we shall not much wonder that Shakspeare
--"A pound of man's flesh
Is not so estimable or profitable.
As flesh of mutton, beeves, or goats!"
The French have christened us (and I think it no disreputable
_sobriquet_) Jack Roastbeef, from a notion we cannot live without
roast-beef, any more than without plum-pudding, porter, and punch;
however, the notion is palpably erroneous. We are proving more and more
every day--to our shame be it spoken!--that we can live without it. At
least do not let it be said we can pass a Christmas without it, merely
to make way for turkeys, fricassees, and ragouts! "Oh, reform it
* * * * *
England was always famous among foreigners for the celebration of
Christmas, at which time our ancestors introduced many sports and
pastimes unknown in other countries, or now even among ourselves. "At
the feast of Christmas," says Stowe, "in the king's court, wherever he
chanced to reside, there was appointed a lord of misrule, or master of
merry disports; the same merry fellow made his appearance at the house
of every nobleman and gentleman of distinction; and, among the rest, the
lord mayor of London and the sheriffs had their lords of misrule, ever
contending, without quarrel or offence, who should make the rarest
pastime to delight the beholders." Alas! where are all these, or any
similar, "merry disports" in our degenerate days? We have no "lords of
misrule" now; or, if we have, they are of a much less innocent and
pacific character. Mr. Cambridge, also, (No 104, of the _World_) draws a
glowing picture of an ancient Christmas. "Our ancestors," says he,
"considered Christmas in the double light of a holy commemoration and a
cheerful festival; and accordingly distinguished it by devotion, by
vacation from business, by merriment and hospitality. They seemed
eagerly bent to make themselves and every body about them happy. With
what punctual zeal did they wish one another a merry Christmas! and what
an omission would it have been thought, to have concluded a letter
without the compliments of the season! The great hall resounded with the
tumultuous joys of servants and tenants, and the gambols they played
served as an amusement to the lord of the mansion and his family, who,
by encouraging every art that conduced to mirth and entertainment,
endeavoured to soften the rigour of the season, and to mitigate the
influence of winter. How greatly ought we to regret the neglect of
mince-pies, which, besides the idea of merry-making inseparable from
them, were always considered as the test of schismatics! How zealously
were they swallowed by the orthodox, to the utter confusion of all
fanatical recusants! If any country gentleman should be so unfortunate
in this age as to lie under a suspicion of heresy, where will he find so
easy a method of acquitting himself as by the ordeal of plum-porridge?"
This alludes to the Puritans, who refused to observe Christmas, or any
other festival of the church, either by devotion or merriment. And I
regret to say there are certain modern "fanatical recusants," certain
modern Puritans, as schismatical in this particular as their gloomy
precursors. Mr. Cambridge then proceeds "to account for a revolution
which has rendered this season (so eminently distinguished in former
times) now so little different from the rest of the year," which he
thinks "no difficult task." The reasons he assigns are, the decline of
devotion, and the increase of luxury, the latter of which has extended
rejoicings and feastings, formerly peculiar to Christmas, through the
whole year; these have consequently lost their raciness, the appetite
for amusement has become palled by satiety, and the relish for it,
reserved formerly for this particular season, is now no longer peculiar
to it, having been already dissipated and exhausted. Another cause he
assigns is, "the too general desertion of the country, the great scene
of hospitality." Now this was written just fifty-three years ago, and as
all the causes assigned for the declension of this grand national
festivity up to that period are incontrovertible, and have been
operating even more powerfully ever since, they will sufficiently
account for the still greater declension observable in our days. And the
declension appears to me to consist in this,--there is more gastronomy
and expanse, but less heartiness and hospitality; and these latter are
the only legitimate characteristics of Englishmen. Be they then
restored, this very Christmas, to the English character; the opportunity
is fast approaching--be it employed.
I know nothing better to conclude with than a good old Christmas carol
from _Poor Robin's Almanack_ for 1695, preserved in Brand's _Popular
Antiquities_, to which work I refer those of my readers who may require
further information on the subject of Christmas customs and
Now, thrice welcome, Christmas!
Which brings us good cheer;
Mince-pies and plum-pudding--
Strong ale and strong beer;
With pig, goose, and capon,
The best that may be:
So well doth the weather
And our stomachs agree.
Observe how the chimneys
Do smoke all about;
The cooks are providing
For dinner no doubt.
But those on whose tables
No victuals appear,
O may they keep Lent
All the rest of the year!
With holly and ivy,
So green and so gay,
We deck up our houses
As fresh as the day;
With bays and rosemary,
And laurel complete,--
And every one now
Is a king in conceit,
But as for curmudgeons
Who will not be free,
I wish they may die
On a two-legged tree!
* * * * *
To the proof that we are not _unseasonable, here are in this
sheet--_Merry Christmas! the Turks_, (of a darker hue;) _Exhibitions; a
Consolatory "Population" Scrap; Hints for Singing_ after a good master;
_a Bunch of Facts on Turnips; a column on Liston_--that living limner of
laughter; and other _seasonables_.
* * * * *
MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.
* * * * *
_(For the Mirror.)_
The Turks have a manly and prepossessing demeanour; being generally of a
good stature, and remarkably well formed in their limbs. The men shave
their heads, but wear long beards, and are extremely proud of their
mustaches, which are usually turned downwards, and which give the other
features of the face a cast of peculiar pensiveness. They wear turbans,
sometimes white, of an enormous size on their heads, and never remove
them but when they go to repose. Their breeches, or drawers, are united
with their stockings, and they have slippers, which they never put off
but when they enter a mosque, or the house of a great man. Large shirts
are worn, and over them is a vest tied with a sash; the outer garment
being a sort of loose gown. Every man, in whatever station he is,
carries a dagger in his sash. The women's attire much resembles that of
the other sex, only they have a cap on their heads, something like a
bishop's mitre, instead of a turban. Their hair is beautiful and long,
mostly black, but their faces, which are remarkably handsome, are so
covered when they walk out, that nothing is to be seen but their eyes.
The ladies of the sultan's _haram_ are lovely virgins, either captives
taken during war, or presents from the governors of provinces. They are
never allowed to stir abroad except when the grand signior removes; and
then they are put into close chariots, signals being made at certain
distances that no man may approach the road through which the ladies
pass, on pain of death. There are a great number of female _slaves_ in
the sultan's haram, whose task it is to wait on the ladies, who have,
besides, a black eunuch for their superintendant.
There are three colleges in Turkey where the children of distinguished
men are educated and fitted for state employments. The children are
first approved by the grand signior before they are allowed to enter
these seminaries; and none dare come into his majesty's presence who are
not handsome and well-made. Silence is first taught them, and a becoming
behaviour to their superiors; then they are instructed in the Mahometan
faith, the Turkish and Persian languages, and afterwards in the Arabic.
At the age of twenty-one they are taught all manner of manly exercises,
and above all, the use of arms. As they advance to proficiency in these,
and other useful arts, and as government places become vacant, they are
preferred; but it is to be observed, that they generally attain the age
of forty before they are thought capable of being entrusted with
important slate affairs.
Those who hold any office under the grand signior are called his slaves;
the term slave, in Turkey, signifying the most honourable title a
subject can bear. The grand signior is commonly supposed among his own
people, to be something more than human; for he is not bound by any laws
except that of professing and maintaining the Mahometan religion. A
stranger desiring to be admitted into his majesty's presence, is first
examined by proper persons, and his arms taken from him; he is then
ushered before the royal personage between two strong supporters, but is
not even then permitted to approach near enough to kiss the sultan's
foot. This custom, which is observed by every sultan, originated in
the following manner:--Amurath I. having obtained a great victory over
the Christians, was on the field of battle with his officers viewing the
dead, when a wounded Christian soldier, rising from among the slain,
came staggering towards him. The king, supposing the man intended to beg
for his life, ordered the guards to make way for him; but drawing near,
he drew a dagger from under, his coat, and plunged it into the heart of
the great king, who instantly died.
 The ceremony of kissing the foot, as well as the hand, of a
sovereign, is yet observed in the east.
In Turkey, no man marries a deformed wife for the sake of a fortune, as
with us; beauty and good sense, to their credit be it spoken, are the
only inducements to matrimony among the Turks. But they are an indolent
people, and are much averse to improving their country by commerce,
planting, or building; appearing to take delight in letting their
property run to ruin. Alexandria, Tyre, and Sidon, which once commanded
the navigation and trade of the whole world, are at present in the
Turks' possession, but are only very inconsiderable places. Indeed,
observes a judicious author, it is well for us that the Turks are such
an indolent people, for their situation and vast extent of empire, would
enable them to monopolize the trade of the world if they attended to it.
They appear to possess very little genius or inclination for the
improvement of _arts and sciences_ although they live in countries which
were once in the possession of the classic Greeks; but seem to prefer a
slothful mode of life to an active one, continually sauntering away their
time, either among women, or in taking coffee and smoking. Being men of
great taciturnity, they very seldom disturb a stranger with questions; and
a person may live in their country a dozen years, without having twenty
words addressed to him, except on important business. They seldom
travel, and have very little wish to be informed of the state of their
own, or any other country; when a minister of state is turned out of his
place, or strangled, (which is a frequent custom,) they coldly observe
that there will be a new one, without inquiring into the reason of the
disgrace of the former. The doctrine of predestination prevails, and
they therefore think it wicked to endeavour to avoid their fate;
frequently entering houses where they know the plague is raging.
All religions are tolerated in Turkey, though none are encouraged but
the Mahometan faith. The Christians have churches, which the Turks not
unfrequently convert into mosques for their own use; nor will they
suffer any new churches, or temples, to be built, without extorting an
exorbitant fine from the poor Christians. The high-priest of the
Mahometan religion is called the _mufti_; he is invested with great
power, and his seal is necessary to the passing of all acts of state.
But any individual, who pleases to take the habit, may be a priest, and
may leave the office when he is weary of it; for there is nothing like
ordination among them.
G. W. N.
Pulque, which is the favourite drink of the Mexicans, is extracted from
the Manguey, or Great American Aloe; at the time of throwing its flower
stem, it is hollowed in the centre and the juice which should have
supplied the flowers, is taken from it daily, for about two months;
which juice when fermented is immediately fit for drinking. A very
strong brandy is obtained by distillation. So great is the consumption
that the duty collected at the city gates, amounts annually to 600,000
dollars--_From a Correspondent_.
The following singular, though effectual mode of hatching chickens,
prevails in the interior of Sumatra; and is vouched for by Major Clayton
of the Bencoolen council:--
The hens, whether from being frightened off their nests by the rats,
which are very numerous and destructive, or from some other cause
hitherto prevalent in Sumatra, do not hatch their chickens in the
ordinary way, as is seen in almost all other climates. The natives have
for this purpose, in each village, several square rooms, the walls of
which are made of a kind of brick, dried in the sun. In the middle of
these rooms they make a large fire, round which they place their eggs at
regular distances. In this manner they let them lie for fourteen days,
now and then turning them, that the warmth may be equal in all parts;
and on the fifteenth day, the chicken makes its appearance, and proves
in every respect as strong as those hatched according to the course of
nature.--_From a Correspondent._
The legs and feet of the rhinoceros are cooked in the following curious
method by the wild tribes of Southern Africa:--The ants nests are
composed of hard clay, shaped like a baker's oven, and are from two to
four feet in height. Some of these are excavated by the people, and
their innumerable population destroyed. The space thus obtained is
filled with lighted fuel, till the bottom and sides become red hot
within. The embers of the wood are then removed, the leg or foot of the
rhinoceros introduced, and the door closed up with heated clay and
embers. Fire is also made on the outside over the nests, and the flesh
is allowed to remain in it several hours. Food cooked in this way is
highly relished by all the tribes.
If a man pronounce three divorces against a free woman, or two against a
slave, he can lawfully wed neither of them again, unless they have been
espoused by another, and this second husband dies, or shall divorce
them. When it happens that a husband wishes to recover his wife, whom he
had divorced in a passion, a convenient husband is sought; but the law
forbids a mockery being made of such marriages. They may be short in
duration, but the parties must live, during the period they are united,
as man and wife.
The Arabs have always been commended by the ancients for the fidelity of
their attachments, and they are still scrupulously exact to their words,
and respectful to their kindred; they have been universally celebrated
for their quickness of apprehension and penetration, and the vivacity of
their wit. Their language is certainly one of the most ancient in the
world; but it has many dialects. The Arabs, however, have their vices
and defects. They are naturally addicted to war; and so vindictive as
scarcely ever to forget an injury. Select Biography.
The military career of this hero was one of singular activity. Foy was
born in 1775, and educated in the military school of La Fere, and made
sub-lieutenant of artillery in 1792. He was present at the battles of
Valmy and Jemappe, and in 1793 obtained a company--promotion was rapid
in those days. In all the subsequent campaigns he was actively employed
under Dumourier, Pichegru, Moreau, Massena, &c. In 1803, he was colonel
of the 5th regiment of horse artillery, and refused, from political
principles, the appointment of aide-de-camp on Napoleon's assumption of
the imperial throne; but was still employed, and shared in the victories
of the short but brilliant campaign of Germany in 1804. In 1806 he
commanded the artillery of the army stationed in Friuli, for the purpose
of occupying the Venetian territory incorporated by the treaty of
Presburg with the kingdom of Italy. In 1807 he was sent to
Constantinople to introduce European tactics in the Turkish service--but
this object was defeated by the death of Selim, and the opposition of
the Janissaries. On Foy's return, the expedition against Portugal was
preparing, and he received a command in the artillery under Junot,
during the occupation of Portugal, and filled the post of inspector of
forts and fortresses. He was severely wounded at the battle of Vimiera.
On the capitulation he returned to France, and with the same army
proceeded to Spain; and, subsequently, under the command of Soult, again
went into Portugal. When commanded to summon the Bishop of Oporto to
open its gates, he was seized and stript by the populace, and thrown
into prison, and escaped with difficulty. The same year he was made
general of brigade. In 1810, he made a skilful retreat at the head of
600 men, in the face of 6,000 Spaniards, across the Sierra de Caceres;
and at the head of his brigade was wounded in the battle of Busaco.
Early in 1811 he was selected by Massena to convey to the emperor the
critical state of the French army before the lines of Torres Vedras.
This commission, though one of great peril--the country being in a
complete state of insurrection--he successfully accomplished, and
brought back the emperor's instructions, for which service he was made
general of division. In July 1812, Foy was in the battle of Salamanca,
and was one of those who, when Lord Wellington raised the siege of
Burgos and retreated to the Douro, hung upon his rear, and took some
prisoners and artillery.
On the news of the disasters in Russia, and Lord Wellington's consequent
resumption of offensive movements, Foy was sent with his division beyond
Vittoria to keep the different parties in check; and after the battle of
Vittoria, at which he was not present, he collected at Bergana 20,000
troops, of different divisions, and had some success in skirmishes with
the Spanish corps forming the left wing of the allied army. He arrived
at Tolosa about the same time with Lord Lynedoch, and after a sanguinary
contest in that town, retreated upon Irun--from which he was quickly
dislodged, and finally recrossed the Bidassao. In the affair of the
passage of the Nive, on the 9th of December, 1813, and the battle of St.
Pierre d'Irrube on the 13th, Foy distinguished himself, and in the hard
fought battle of Orthez, on the 27th of February, 1814, he was left
apparently dead on the field. Before this period be had been made count
of the empire, and commander of the legion of honour. In March 1815, he
was appointed inspector general of the fourteenth military division; but
on the return of Napoleon, during the 100 days, he embraced the cause of
the emperor, and commanded a division of infantry in the battles of
Ligny and Waterloo, at the last of which he received his fifteenth
wound. This terminated his military career. In 1819, he was elected a
member of the Chamber of Deputies, the duties of which he discharged
till his death in November 1825; and from his first entrance into the
chamber, was distinguished for his eloquence, and quickly became the
acknowledged leader of the opposition--_From Foy's History of the
* * * * *
ARCANA OF SCIENCE _Museum of Natural History._
There is now exhibiting in one of the Saloons of "The Egyptian Hall," in
Piccadilly, an interesting collection of zoological rarities, stated to
have been assembled by M. Villet, at the Cape of Good Hope. Some of the
specimens, especially the birds, are really beautiful; none but the
smallest being cooped up in glazed cases; but many are effectively
placed on branches of trees, whilst the quadrupeds are arranged with
still better taste. Among the latter is a fine Hippopotamus, the
Behemoth of Scripture. We are happy to hear this exhibition has already
been numerously visited, since it augurs well of public taste and
Akin to the preceding exhibition in its claim to popular attention, may
be noticed a pleasing collection of shells, now open to the public, a
short distance from Somerset House. To the mere tyro in zoology, shells
are attractive as the elegant sports of nature, in the beauty,
splendour, and intricacy of their colours and structure; while their
scientific arrangement is one of the most delightful pursuits of refined
The quince, used as a stock, has the property of stunting the growth of
pears, of forcing them to produce bearing branches, instead of sterile
ones, and of accelerating the maturity of the fruit.
The depressing effects of the corroding wind of a hot Sirocco can only
be conceived by those who have suffered from them; the unwonted dulness
with which it overcasts even the most active mind; the deep-drawn sighs
it will elicit; and if there be one melancholy feeling which presses on
the heart more heavily than another, it is the ample developement which
it enjoys during the prevalence of this enervating breeze. It seldom,
however, blows with force; it is rather an exhalation than a wind. It
scarcely moves the leaves around the traveller, but it sinks heavily and
damply in his heart. A stranger is at first unaware of the cause of the
mental misery he endures; his temper sours as his spirits sink; every
person, and every circumstance, annoys him; it affects even his dreams;
sleep itself is not a refuge from querulous peevishness, and every
motion is an irritating exertion.
The government of the United States has appointed an expedition, under
Capt. Reynolds, to explore the northern coasts. A Captain Cunningham is
mentioned to have traversed the country from St. Louis in the Missouri,
to St. Diego, St. Pedro, in California.
From an article which has appeared in a late number of the "Biblioteca
Italiana," it appears that Sermefelder was not the original discoverer
of the art of Lithography, but Simon Schmidt, a professor at the Cadet
Hospital at Munich.
Within the last twelve months, only 503 deaths have occurred from small
pox within the Bills of Mortality; whereas, in the preceding year 1299
persons are recorded as having fallen victims to that loathsome
disease.--_Vaccine Institut. Report._
A valuable museum of the products of Chinese skill and industry has
recently been exhibited at Rome, in which the progress made by a people
of whom so little is known, and civilization and the arts, is
demonstrated. The manufacture of bronzes, porcelain, gold work, and
casts in copper, has arrived in China at an approach to perfection which
the most advanced European nations would find it difficult to surpass.
Some of the Chinese vases may really be compared to those of the finest
time of Greece. The sculptures and the paintings, even with reference to
anatomical precision, are as highly finished as ours.--_Literary
_Recovery from Suspended Animation_.
A case is reported in a recent number of the _Bulletin Universel_, by a
French physician, M. Bourgeois, showing the importance of never
abandoning all hope of success in restoring animation. A person who had
been twenty minutes under water, was treated in the usual way for the
space of half an hour without success: when a ligature being applied to
the arm, above a vein that had been previously opened, ten ounces of
blood were withdrawn, after which the circulation and respiration
gradually returned, though accompanied by the most dreadful convulsions.
A second, and a third bleeding was had recourse to, which brought about
a favourable sleep, and ultimate recovery on the ensuing day.
It is a singular fact, that the value of the iron annually produced in
England greatly exceeds the value of the silver annually produced in
At a recent meeting of the Academy of Sciences, at Paris, M. F. Cuvier,
in a memoir on the generation of feathers, spines, and hair, introduced
the following curious conclusion:--"I consider the organic system which
produces hair as analogous to that of the senses, and even as forming
part of them; for the hair is in a great number of animals a very
sensitive organ of touch. It is not only in mustaches that we have a
proof of it, but on the whole surface of the body. The slightest touch
of a hair is sufficient in cats, for example, to make them contort their
skin and shudder, as they do when they find something light attached to
the hair, and that they wish to shake off."
_Population of England_.
The United Kingdom of Britain and Ireland contains 74 millions of acres,
of which at least 64 millions of acres may be considered capable of
cultivation. Half an acre, with ordinary cultivation, is sufficient to
supply an individual with corn, and one acre is sufficient to maintain a
horse; consequently, the united kingdom contains land enough for the
sustenance of 120 millions of people, and four millions of
horses.--_Edmunds on Political Economy_.
The following passage from a letter by the late _Carl M. Von Weber_
appears to be worthy of the attention of dramatic and other singers:--
"Every singer imparts, though unconsciously, the colouring of his own
individual character to the dramatic character which he sustains. Thus,
two singers, the one possessed of a slight and flexible voice, the other
of an organ of great volume and power, will give the same composition in
a manner widely different. The one will, doubtless, be more animated
than the other; and yet both may do justice to the composer, inasmuch as
both mark the gradations of passion in his composition, faithfully and
expressively, according to the nature and degree of power possessed by
each. But it is the duty of the music director to prevent the singer
from deceiving himself, by following too exclusively what at first
appears to him most suitable. This caution is particularly necessary
with respect to certain passages, but the effect of the whole piece
should not suffer for the sake of some favourite roulade, which the
singer must needs introduce."
_Culture of Turnips._
Until the beginning of the eighteenth century, this valuable root was
cultivated among us only in gardens or other small spots, for culinary
purposes; but Lord Townshend, attending King George the First on one of
his excursions to Germany, in the quality of secretary of State,
observed the turnip cultivated in open and extensive fields, as fodder
for cattle, and spreading fertility over lands naturally barren; and on
his return to England he brought over with him some of the seed, and
strongly recommended the practice which he had witnessed to the adoption
of his own tenants, who occupied a soil similar to that of Hanover. The
experiment succeeded; the cultivation of field turnips gradually spread
over the whole county of Norfolk; and in the course of time it has made
its way into every other district of England. The reputation of the
county as an agricultural district dates from the vast improvements of
heaths, wastes, sheepwalks, and warrens, by enclosure and manuring--the
fruit of the zealous exertions of Lord Townshend and a few neighbouring
land-owners--which were, ere long, happily imitated by others. Since
these improvements were effected, rents have risen in that county from
one or two shillings to fifteen or twenty shillings per acre; a country
of sheep-walks and rabbit-warrens has been rendered highly productive;
and by dint of management, what was thus gained has been preserved and
improved even to the present moment. Some of the finest corn-crops in
the world are now grown upon lands which, before the introduction of the
turnip husbandry, produced a very scanty supply of grass for a few lean
and half-starved rabbits. Mr. Colquhoun, in his "Statistical
Researches," estimated the value of the turnip crop annually grown in
this country at fourteen millions; but when we further recollect that it
enables the agriculturist to reclaim and cultivate land which, without
its aid, would remain in a hopeless state of natural barrenness; that it
leaves the land so clean and in such fine condition, as almost to insure
a good crop of barley and a kind plant of clover, and that this clover
is found a most excellent preparative for wheat, it will appear that the
subsequent advantages derived from a crop of turnips must infinitely
exceed its estimated value as fodder for cattle. If we were, therefore,
asked to point out the individual who, in modern times, has proved the
greatest benefactor to the community, we should not hesitate to fix upon
the ingenious nobleman, whom the wits and courtiers of his own day were
pleased to laugh at as "Turnip Townshend." In something less than one
hundred years, the agricultural practice which he introduced from
Hanover has spread itself throughout this country, and now yields an
annual return which, probably, exceeds the interest of our national
debt.--_Sir Walter Scott--in the Quarterly Review._
_Coals in the East._
The Dutch newspapers state, that extensive coal mines have been
discovered in Sumatra and Bantam.
Has been found to burn much better than other oils in mines where bad
air prevails, and is less injurious to the health of the workmen. Oil of
colza and tallow are extinguished, where naphtha, petroleum, and oil of
bone, continue burning.
Plates of above 600 fossil bones, (remains of a former world) recently
discovered in the neighbourhood of Issoire, in France, are preparing for
publication. They belong to more than 50 species of animals, now
extinct; among which are elephants, horses, tapirs, rhinoceri, eleven or
twelve kinds of stags, large cats, oxen, bears, dogs, otters, &c.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
POTIER, THE FRENCH "LISTON."
Potier, generally speaking--and it is the same with our own Liston--has
never Actually observed any thing of what he presents to us. It is the
spontaneous effusion of his own feelings--the immediate creation of his
own mind--frequently arising at the moment at which we see it, and
therefore never to be seen a second time--but always generated by the
actor himself, and never mixed up with any thing else of an extraneous
nature. This is one cause of the extraordinary variety of this actor,
and consequently of his extraordinary popularity in his own country. We
never tire of going to see him, because he is never the same on any two
nights--or rather he never performs the same character twice in the same
manner. It is also the secret of his unrivalled originality. There are
but very few characters in which he can repeat himself, even if he
would. And those are such as depend for their comicality upon collateral
circumstances connected with them, rather than upon any thing essential
There are some persons whose every look, feature, expression, and tone
of voice conduce to comic effects; and many an actor has owed his
success more to these than to any mental qualities or dispositions
corresponding with them; or has even been successful in spite of these
latter being in no degree adapted to the profession which circumstances
have induced him to adopt. In proof of this fact, comic actors are quite
as often dull and solemn people, as droll ones, in private life. The
most remarkable instance of a face being a fortune, in this respect, is
our own Liston. If he had not possessed a comic countenance, nothing
could have prevented him from being a tragic actor, or have made him a
comic one; for it is well understood that all his inclinations led him
in that direction. The truth is, that Liston's style of acting is too
chaste and natural to have been so universally popular as it is, but for
the irresistible drollery of his features--which are the finest farce
that ever was written. Now in this respect, as in all others, Potier
differs from his contemporaries.
His voice, his face, and his person altogether, are in themselves
antidotes to mirth, and might almost be supposed to set it at defiance.
He might play the _Apothecary_, in _Romeo and Juliet_, or the _Anatomie
Vivante_, without painting for them--as Stephen Kemble used to play
their antithesis, _Falstaff_, without stuffing. And yet, instead of this
seeming contradiction counteracting the essentially comic turn of his
mind, the latter is so completely paramount, that it changes every thing
within its reach to its own complexion.--_New Monthly Magazine._
* * * * *
FRAGMENT OF THE NARRATIVE OF A STUDENT AT LAW.
This is a portion of what the writer calls "a series of the most
singular and mysterious events," commenced January 29,1791. It is
perhaps a romance of _real life_, although there is something in it
beyond probability--but nothing impossible. Our _student_ is at first
almost _cut_ by an acquaintance for neglecting to notice him in the
park, when in fact he was not in the park: the hall butler of the Temple
proves by the parchment that he dined there four days of term, when he
was sick, and some distance from town: next he is _cut_ by a second
acquaintance for not recognising him at a masquerade: then a similar
affair occurs with a beautiful girl in ----- square; at the Theatre; and
on the Serpentine. He is next recognised by an old friend at a
gaming-table, who mentions the sale of an estate there for his last
stake, which property our student really had sold, though under
different circumstances; and then rejected by his _chere amie_ for a
slight which he never offered. The last event or link of this mysterious
chain is familiarly narrated as follows:--
In returning one morning from Westminster, as I was passing through one
of those small courts between Essex-street and Norfolk-street, (for of
late I had sought the most retired ways,) I observed that two persons,
of rather mean appearance, seemed to be dogging my footsteps. Uneasy at
this circumstance, I hastened directly on to my chambers. I had,
however, scarcely seated myself, when my servant informed me that two
men wished to speak to me. On being admitted, they told me that they
were officers of the police, and that they had a warrant to arrest me on
a charge of felony. Surprise at the moment prevented my speaking; but as
soon as I recovered myself I offered to accompany them to the
magistrate. He was sitting, and the witnesses being in attendance, my
examination took place immediately. A young man, of gentleman-like
address, swore, that on the preceding evening he had been induced by one
of his friends to visit one of the gambling-houses in the
Haymarket--that he there saw me both playing and betting very
rashly--that I appeared to be losing--that at length I quitted the room,
and that soon afterwards his friend and himself followed. Now came the
accusation. He swore, that just as he was leaving the door he felt some
person drawing his purse from his pocket--that he immediately pursued
the man, and at the corner of Jermyn-street seized _me._ That at first I
submitted, and he dragged me to one of the lamps, and there most
distinctly saw my countenance, when at that moment, by some piece of
adroitness, which he could not explain, I slipped from his grasp, and
instantly disappeared. His friend corroborated the story. The
magistrate, after cautioning me, and expressing his regret at seeing a
person of my appearance before him, asked me whether I wished to say any
thing in my defence, I answered that I was the victim of some secret and
devilish conspiracy, and that I would prove that I was at my chambers on
the night in question. "I hope you may be able to do so," said the
magistrate; "but in the mean time it is, my duty to commit you;" and I
was conducted to gaol in a hackney-coach. I immediately summoned one or
two of my friends, and after laying open to them the circumstances in
which I had been placed, we concerted the best means of defence. My
laundress could swear that I was in chambers the whole of the evening
when the robbery was committed; and though this was the only direct
evidence in my favour, yet I assembled at least a dozen persons, men of
repute and station, as witnesses to my character. The trial excited
prodigious interest, but what was that interest to the agony with which
I regarded the issue! Should I be convicted, my mysterious enemies would
enjoy, in triumph, my disgrace and degradation, and might probably
proceed by the same diabolical contrivances to attempt even my life. The
day came, and I was arraigned among a herd of common felons; but the
consciousness of my innocence, and the hope of establishing it,
supported my heart. No sooner had I heard the witnesses for the
prosecution, than that hope died within me. A number of persons deposed,
that on the night in question they had seen me in the gambling-house;
but they were men of indifferent character, and not personally
acquainted with me. At last, with astonishment and horror I saw my
venerable friend, Mr. B----, put into the box, and heard him swear in
positive terms that he was present in the room, and saw me at play. My
defence availed nothing. The wretched old woman, whom I produced, as the
court and jury believed, to establish my defence by perjury, was
immediately discredited, and the jury returned a verdict of guilty. I
was sentenced to six months' imprisonment. My feelings I will not
attempt to describe.
During my confinement I made the most energetic attempts to reconcile
myself to my fatal destiny. I formed a plan for my future life, complete
in every particular. My character being destroyed, and most of my
friends alienated, I determined to convert my property into money, and
to seek a refuge in the United States. At length the term of my
imprisonment approached its close, and on the 30th of September, 1791, I
was liberated--my flesh creeps as I name the day.
I waited in the prison till it was dusk. Finding that I had the key of
my chambers upon my person, I resolved, in the first instance, to visit
once again the scene of my former tranquil studies. Before I reached the
Temple the gates had been closed, and the gatekeeper, as I entered, eyed
me with an unpleasant curiosity. I reached my chambers. There was still
light sufficient to enable me to select some papers which I particularly
wished to secure. I entered the chambers and walked in to my
sitting-room, but suddenly stopped on seeing a figure reclining on the
sofa. My library-table was before him, covered with law books. At first
I imagined that my laundress had permitted some stranger to occupy my
rooms during my incarceration. As I entered the chamber the figure rose,
and with feelings of indescribable horror I perceived the semblance of
--"And my flesh's hair upstood,
'Twas mine own similitude."
--I cannot relate what followed, for my senses deserted me. On
recovering, my mysterious visiter had departed without leaving the
slightest clue by which I might fathom the impenetrable secret of my
persecutions. I have sometimes imagined that they arose from one of
those wonderful natural resemblances which in some instances appear to
be well authenticated; but, natural or supernatural, they changed the
current of my life. Unable to endure the disgrace of being pointed at as
a convicted felon, I converted my property into money, and, under
another name, I now live respected in a foreign land.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
* * * * *
Lord Normanby has written one of the best, if not _the best_, of this
class of works, the tendency of which is in most instances of
questionable character. But they give a tone to the reading taste of the
day, as the recent circumstance of two of them forming the first subject
of three _literary_ reviews will sufficiently attest. The work to which
we specially allude, is _Matilda, a Tale of the Day_, the noble author
of which has just produced another of the same stamp, entitled _Yes and
No_, to whose sketches and portraits we shall shortly introduce our
readers. It will be seen that his lordship is no mean artist, nor does
he belong to the novel-making tribe, whose hole-and-corner curiosity has
made us as familiar with the _Corso_ as we are with our own Bond-street.
But the following snatch from _Yes and No_ proves that these smatterers
of fashion--these clippers of reputation--are encouraged by some portion
of that class whose vanities they affect to expose:--
SCENE--_A "Hall" in the Country._
"It is always as well here to know who one's next neighbour is,"
continued Fitzalbert, "for this is not one of those snug parties where
one can do or say what one pleases without observation." "How do you
mean?" asked Germain. "Why, Lady Boreton encourages these literary
poachers on the manors, or rather _manners_ of high life; she gives a
sort of right of free chase to all cockney sportsmen to wing one's
follies in a double-barrelled duodecimo, or hunt one's eccentricities
through a hot-pressed octavo. Not that they are, generally speaking,
very formidable shots--they often bring down a different bird from the
one they aimed at, and sometimes shut their eyes and blaze away at the
whole covey; which last is, after all, the best way. Their coming here
to pick out individuals is needless trouble. Do you know the modern
recipe for a finished picture of fashionable life? Let a gentleman_ly_
man, with a gentleman_ly_ style, take of foolscap paper a few quires;
stuff them well with high-sounding titles--dukes and duchesses, lords
and ladies, _ad libitum_. Then open the peerage at random, pick a
supposititious author out of one page of it, and fix the imaginary
characters upon some of the rest; mix it all up with quantum suff. of
puff, and the book is in a second edition before ninety-nine readers out
of a hundred have found out the one is as little likely to have written,
as the others to have done what is attributed to them."
Again--here is a picture of the guests: "Captains that have been to the
North Pole; chemists who can extract ice from caloric; transatlantic
travellers and sedentary bookworms; some authors, who own to anonymous
publications they have never written; and others who are suspected of
those they deny; besides the usual quantum of young ladies and
gentlemen, who rest their claims to distinction upon the traditionary
deeds of their great grandfathers."
* * * * *
SOCIETY OF UNITED IRISHMEN.
At the head of the table, which occupied the centre of the apartment,
and in an arm-chair raised by a few steps from the floor, sat the
president of the society of United Irishmen. He alone was covered, and
though plainly dressed, there was an air of high breeding and
distinction about him; while in his bland smile were exhibited, the open
physiognomy of pleasantness, and love-winning mildness, which still mark
the descendants of the great Anglo-Norman Lords of the Pale, the Lords
of Ormond, Orrery, and Arran, the Mount Garrets, and Kilkennys,--in
former times, the great oligarchs of Ireland, and in times more recent,
the grace and ornament of the British court.
The president was the Honourable Simon Butler: beside him, on a lower
seat, sat the secretary. His uncovered head, and unshaded temples
received the full light of the suspended lamp. It was one of those
finely chiselled heads, which arrest the imagination, and seem to bear
incontrovertible evidence of the certainty of physiognomical science. A
dress particularly studied, was singularly contrasted with the athletic
figure and antique bearing of this interesting looking person. For
though unpowdered locks, and the partial uncovering of a muscular neck,
by the loose tie of the silk handkerchief had something of the
simplicity of republicanism, yet the fine diamond chat sparkled at the
shirt breast, and the glittering of two watch-chains (the foppery of the
day), exhibited an aristocracy of toilet, which did not exactly assort
with the Back-lane graces. The secretary of the United Irishmen, was
Archibald Hamilton Rowan.
On the opposite side sat a small, well-formed, and animated person, who
was talking with singular vivacity of look and gesture, to one of
extremely placid and even formal appearance. The first was the gay,
gallant, and patriotic founder of the society, Theobald Wolfe Tone, the
other was the celebrated and clever Doctor Drennan, a skilful physician,
and an elegant writer, who might have passed in appearance, for the
demure minister of some remote village-congregation of the Scotch kirk.
A tail, elegant, and sentimental looking person sat near to them, in an
attitude of interested attention, listening to the speaker, to whom, it
seemed, he was about to reply. It was Thomas Addas Emmet, the son of the
state physician of Ireland--then a young lawyer of great promise, and
now the Attorney-General of New York. The handsome and animated Dr.
Mackenna, one of the most popular writers of the day, and Oliver Bond,
the representative of the most reputable class of merchants, had grouped
forward their intelligent heads; while one who brought no personal
beauty to the cause (that letter of recommendation to all causes), James
Napper Tandy, stood waiting with a packet of letters, which he had
received in his former quality of secretary to the meeting.
While other leaders of the Union distinguished for their birth, talents,
or principles (and it is remarkable that they were all protestants),
filled up the seats near the head of the table; more mixed groups less
distinguished by the _beau sang_, which then came forth, in the fine
forms of the genuine Irish gentry of both sects, were congregated in the
obscurity of the bottom of the room--_Lady Morgan's O'Briens and
* * * * *
STORY OF RICHARD PLANTAGENET, SON OF RICHARD III.
It was on this awful night (the night preceding the battle of Bosworth
Field), according to a letter which I have read from Dr. Thomas Brett to
Dr. William Warren, president of Trinity-hall, that the king took his
last farewell in his tent of Richard Plantagenet, his natural son, who
himself thus describes that interview:--"I was boarded with a Latin
schoolmaster, without knowing who my parents were, till I was fifteen or
sixteen years old; only a gentleman, who acquainted me he was no
relative of mine, came once a quarter and paid for my board, and took
care to see that I wanted for nothing. One day this gentleman took me
and carried me to a great fine house, where I passed through several
stately rooms, in one of which he left me, bidding me stay there. Then a
man richly dressed, with a star and garter, came to me, asked me some
questions, talked kindly to me, and gave me some money. Then the
fore-mentioned gentleman returned, and conducted me back to my school.
"Some time after, the same gentleman came to me again with a horse and
proper accoutrements, and told me I must take a journey with him into
the country. We went into Leicestershire, and came to Bosworth Field,
and I was carried to king Richard's tent. The king embraced me, and told
me I was his son. 'But, child,' said he, 'to-morrow I must fight for my
crown. And assure yourself if I lose that, I will lose my life too; but
I hope to preserve both. Do you stand on yonder hill, where you may see
the battle out of danger, and when I have gained the victory, come to
me; I will then own you to be mine, and take care of you. But if I
should be so unfortunate as to lose the battle, then shift as well as
you can, and take care to let no one know that I am your father; for no
mercy will be shown to any one so nearly related to me.' The king then
presented me with a purse of gold, and giving me a farewell embrace,
dismissed me from his tent. I followed the king's directions; and when I
saw the battle lost and the king killed, I hastened back to London, sold
my horse and fine clothes, and the better to conceal myself from all
suspicion of being son to a king, and that I might have the means to
live by my honest labour, I put myself apprentice to a bricklayer. But
having a competent skill in the Latin tongue, I was unwilling to lose
it; and having an inclination also to reading, and no delight in the
conversation of those I am obliged to work with, I generally spend all
the time I have to spare in reading by myself."
The letter says, "When Sir Thomas Moyle built Eastwell House, near
London, about the year, 1544, he observed his chief bricklayer, whenever
he left off work, retired with a book. Sir Thomas had curiosity to know
what book the man read, but was some time before he could discover it;
he still putting the book up if any one came toward him. However, at
last Sir Thomas surprised him, and snatched the book from him, and
looking into it found it to be Latin. He then examined him, and finding
he pretty well understood that language, he inquired how he came by his
learning. Hereupon the man told him, as he had beer, a good master to
him, he would venture to trust him with a secret he had never before
revealed to any one. He then related the above story. Sir Thomas said,
'You are now old, and almost past your labour; I will give you the
running of my kitchen as long as you live.' He answered, 'Sir, you have
a numerous family; I have been used to live retired, give me leave to
build a house of one room for myself in such a field, and there, with
your good leave, I will live and die.' Sir Thomas granted his request,
he built his house, and there continued to his death. Richard
Plantagenet was buried the 22nd day of December, anno ut supra ex
registro de Eastwell sub 1550. This is all the register mentions of him,
so that we cannot say whether he was buried in the church or
church-yard; nor is there now any other memorial of him except the
tradition in the family, and some little marks where his house stood.
This story my late Lord Heneage, earl of Winchelsea, told me in the year
1720." Thus lived and died, in low and poor obscurity, the only
remaining son of Richard III!
_Tale of a Modern Genius._
* * * * *
* * * * *
ART OF MOSAIC.
At Rome are many minor fine arts practised, which are wholly unknown in
England. The most remarkable of them is the _Mosaic Manufactory_,
carried on at the cost of government: and its fruits are theirs. The
workmen are constantly occupied in copying paintings for altarpieces,
though the works of the first masters are fast mouldering away on the
walls of forgotten churches. They will soon be lost forever; it is yet
possible to render them imperishable by means of Mosaic copies; and why
is it not done? The French, at Milan, set an example of this, by
copying, in mosaic, the _Last Supper_ of Leonardo da Vinci; but it was
their plan to do much for Milan, and nothing for Rome; and the
invaluable frescos of Michael Angelo, Raphael, Domenichino, and Guido,
were left to perish.
It takes about seven or eight years to finish a mosaic copy of a
painting of the ordinary historical size, two men being constantly
employed. It generally costs from eight to ten thousand crowns, but the
time and expense are of course regulated by the intricacy of the subject
and quantity of work. Raphael's _Transfiguration_, cost about 12,000
crowns, and the labour of nine years, ten men constantly working at it.
The late works, are, however, of very inferior execution.
The slab upon which the mosaic is made, is generally of Travertine, (or
Tiburtine) stones, connected together by iron cramps. Upon the surface
of this a mastic or cementing paste, is gradually spread, as the
progress of the work makes it wanted, which forms the adhesive ground,
or bed, on which the mosaic is laid. This mastic is composed of fine
lime from burnt marble, and finely powdered Travertine stone, mixed to
the consistence of a paste, with strong linseed oil. Into this paste are
stuck the _smalts_, of which the mosaic picture is formed. They are a
mixed species of opaque vitrified glass, partaking of the mixed nature
of stone and glass, and composed of a variety of minerals and materials,
coloured for the most part, with different metallic oxydes. Of these no
less than 1,700 different shades are in use; they are manufactured in
Rome in the form of long, slender rods like wires, of different degrees
of thickness, and are cut into pieces of the requisite sizes, from the
smallest pin point to an inch. When the picture is completely finished,
and the cement thoroughly dried, it is highly polished.
Mosaic, though an ancient art, is not merely a revived, but an improved
one; for the Romans only used coloured marbles, or natural stones in its
composition, which admitted of comparatively little variety; but the
invention of smalts has given it a far wider range, and made the
imitation of painting far closer. The mosaic work at Florence is totally
different to this, being merely inlaying in _pietre dure_, or natural
precious stones, of every variety, which forms beautiful, and very
costly imitations of shells, flowers, figures, &c. but bears no
similitude to painting.
Besides this government establishment at Rome, there are hundreds of
artists, or artisans, who carry on the manufactory of mosaics on a small
scale. Snuff-boxes, rings, necklaces, brooches, earrings, &c. are made
in immense quantity; and since the English flocked in such numbers to
Rome, all the streets leading to the Piazza di Spagna are lined with the
shops of these _Musaicisti_, &c.
Oriental shells are made at Rome into beautiful cameos, by the white
outer surface being cut away upon the deeper coloured internal part,
forming figures in minute bassi relievi. The subjects are chiefly taken
from ancient gems, and sometimes from sculpture and painting. The shells
used for this purpose are chiefly brought from the Levant; and these
shell cameos make remarkably beautiful ornaments. Hundreds of artists
also find support at Rome, in making casts, sulphurs, &c. from ancient
gems and medals, and in selling or fabricating antiques. Marble and
stone-cutting are also beautifully executed both at Rome and
Florence--_Abridged, (but interspersed) from "Rome in the 19th
* * * * *
"I am but a Gatherer and disposer of other men's stuff."--Wotton.
* * * * *
Moria pur quando vuol non e bisogna mutar ni faccia ni voci per esser un
Angelo.--The words addressed by Lord Herbert of Cherbury, to the
beautiful Nun at Murano. (See his Life.)
Die when you will, you need not wear At heaven's Court, a form more
fair, Than beauty here on earth has giv'n, Keep but the lovely looks we
see--The voice we hear--and you will be An angel _ready made_ for
* * * * *
_Left at the_ Queen's house _during the_ King's _illness in March_,
"Captain Blake of the Grenadiers, (George 1st.), was in the regiment of
Colonel Murray at the battle of Preston Pans, in the year 1745. He was
left among the dead in the field of action, with no less than eleven
wounds, one so capital as to carry away three inches of his skull. Has
been preserved fifty-six years to relate the event, and enabled by
gracious protection, to make his personal inquiry after his majesty."
* * * * *
The following is the original, epistle of this famous lunatic to the
matron of Bedlam; No other proof is necessary of her insanity:--
Madam,--I've recollected perhaps 'tis necessary to acquaint you upon
what account I continue here yet, _maim_, after making you privy to my
great concerns, _madam_ I only wait for alteration of the globe which
belongs to this house, _maim_ and if the time is almost expired I wish
to know it _maim_. Tho' I am not unhealthy, yet I am very weak, know
_maim_ therefore I hope it won't be long _maim_.
I am, madam, your most obedient,
Wednesday. M. NICHOLSON.
* * * * *
LADY ARCHER, Formerly Miss West, lived to a good age--a proof that
cosmetics are not so fatal as has been supposed. Nature had given her a
fine aquiline nose, like, the princesses of the house of Austria, and
she did not fail to give herself a complexion. She resembled a fine old
wainscotted painting with the face and features shining through a thick
incrustation of copal varnish.
Her ladyship was for many years the wonder of the fashionable world,
envied by all the ladies that frequented the court. She had a splendid
house in Portland-place, with _et caetera_ equal in brilliancy and
beauty to, or rather surpassing those of any of her contemporaries.
Magnificent appendages were a sort of scenery. She gloried in milk-white
horses to her carriage--the coachman and footman in grand shewy
liveries--the carriage lined with a silk calculated to exhibit the
complexion, &c. &c.
I recollect, however, to have seen the late Mrs. Robinson go far beyond
all this in the rich exuberance of her genius; a yellow lining to her
landau, with a black footman, to contrast with her beautiful countenance
and fascinating figure, and thus render both more lovely. Lady Archer's
house at Barnes Elms Terrace, had an elegance of ornaments and drapery
to strike the senses, and yet powerfully addressed to the imagination.
She could give an insinuating interest to the scenes about her; which
other eyes were viewing. Her kitchen garden and pleasure ground of five
acres--the Thames running in front as if appertaining to the
grounds--the apartments most tastefully decorated in the Chinese
style--a fine conservatory opening, into the principal apartment with
grapes, slow peaches, &c. at the end a magnificent sofa, with a superb
curtain all displayed with a peculiar grace and to the greatest
advantage. Much praise was due to her arrangement of green and hot-house
plants, the appellations of which she was well acquainted with, as also
everything relating to their history.--_from the Papers of the late
Alexander Stephens, Esq._
* * * * *
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