Produced by Jonathan Ingram, David King, and the Online Distributed
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
Vol. 19, No. 544] SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 1832 [Price 2d.
* * * * *
SWISS COTTAGE, AT THE COLOSSEUM, IN THE REGENT'S PARK.
[Illustration: Swiss Cottage, At The Colosseum]
It is now upwards of three years since we directed the attention of our
readers to the wonders of this little world of art. The ingenious
projector, Mr. Horner, was then polite enough to conduct us throughout
the buildings and grounds, and to explain to us the original design of
the unfinished works as well as of many contemplated additions. This was
about three weeks before the Exhibition was opened to the public. The
_Panorama_ was then partly in outline, and we had to catch its
identities through a maze of scaffolding poles, planks, and stages;
while the immense domed area re-echoed with the operations of scores of
_artistes_ of every grade, from the upholsterer nailing up gay
draperies, to the heavy blow of the carpenter's mallet. We took
advantage of our privileged visit, to point out to the reader how much
he might expect from a visit to the Panorama, and, in our subsequent
visits we have not for a moment regretted the particular attention we
were induced to bestow upon this unrivalled work of art. It is justly
described to be "such a _Pictoral History of London_--such a faithful
display of its myriads of public and private buildings--such an
impression of the vastness, wealth, business, pleasure, commerce, and
luxury of the English metropolis, as nothing else can effect. Histories,
descriptions, maps, and prints, are all imperfect and defective, when
compared to this immense Panorama--they are scraps and mere touches of
the pen and pencil--whilst this imparts, at a glance, at one view, a
_cyclopaedia of information_--a concentrated history--a focal topography,
of the largest and most influential city in the world. The immense area
of surface which this picture occupies will surprise the reader: it
measures 40,000 square feet, or nearly an acre in extent." This may
be a glowing eulogium; but it is true to the line and letter.
 See _Mirror_, vol. xiii. p. 33.
 A graphic Account of the Colosseum, from the apt pen of Mr.
Britton, the architect.
We have already illustrated the Panorama, and it is our intention to
introduce other embellishments of the Colosseum, as far as may be
compatible with finished sketches. Our present subject is the principal
apartment in the _Swiss Cottage_, to which the reader or visiter is
conducted through a range of conservatories, containing choice exotics,
with some of the most majestic proportions of leaf and flower that can
be enjoyed in any clime. The communication is by a stone-work passage,
the temperature of which is a refreshing succedaneum to that of the
conservatories, or 72 deg.. This cottage was designed by P.F. Robinson, Esq.
who has evinced considerable taste in a publication on cottages and
cottage-villas, as well as in the execution of various buildings. It
consists of four apartments, three of which may be considered as
finished. The apartment in our Engraving was completed, or nearly so, on
our first visit. It is wainscotted with coloured (knotted) wood, and
carved in imitation of the ornamented dwelling of a Swiss family. The
fire-place will be recognised as the very _beau ideal_ of cottage
comfort: the raised hearthstone, massive fire-dogs and chimney-back, and
its cosy seats, calculated to contain a whole family seated at the sides
of its ample hearth---are characteristic of the primitive enjoyments of
the happy people from among whom this model was taken. Our view is from
the extreme corner, from which point the entrance-passage is shown in
 See _Mirror_, vol. xiii. p. 97.
[Illustration: Apartment Interior]
The second Engraving shows the recessed window of the apartment, which
faces the fire-place, and commands a view of a mass of rock-scenery,
ornamented with waterfalls of singular contrivance and effect. The
frames are filled in with plate-glass, so that the view of these
artificial wonders is unobstructed. Our artist has, in his sketch,
endeavoured to convey some idea of their outline; but he hopes to supply
an amplification of their scenic beauty in a future engraving. We may,
however, observe that the view from this window deserves the character
of the _sublime in miniature_, and presents even a microcosm, where
Rocks and forests, lakes, and mountains grand,
Mark the true majesty of Nature's hand.
The whole apartment presents a finished specimen of joinery, with a
tasteful display of ornamental carving. Its colour is a deep warm or, we
think, _burnt sienna_, brown; the furniture is in _recherche_ rusticated
style, planned by Mr. Gray, whose taste in these matters is elaborately
correct; and it requires but the social blaze on the hearth, (which our
artist has liberally supplied,) to complete the well-devised illusion of
the scene. The apartment was painted about two years since as a scene
for a musical piece at Covent Garden Theatre, the incidents of which lay
* * * * *
THE VOICES OF THE NIGHT.
BY MISS M.L. BEEVOR.
(_For the Mirror._)
Like some young veiled Bride,
Gleams the moon's hazy face,
When tissues that would hide
But lend her charms a grace:
Each winkling starlet pale,
Sleeps in its far, far fold,
Wrapp'd in the heavy veil
Of dewy clouds and cold.
The turmoil, din, and strife,
Of factious earth are o'er;
The turbid waves of life
Have ceas'd to roll and roar;
But tones now meet the ear,
Full fraught with strange delight,
And intermingling fear:
_The Voices of the Night!_
Not such as softly rise
When boughs with song o'erflow,
And lover's vows and sighs,
Like incense breathe below;
Not such as warm his breast,
Whose fever'd anxious brain
Toils when all else hath rest,
To bring the _lost_ again!
But the owl's boding shriek,
The death-cry of his prey;
The tongues that durst not speak
In bright unslumb'ring day;
The murd'rer's curses fell,
His quiv'ring victim's groan;
The mutt'red, moody spell
Which rocks ABADDON'S throne!
The song of winds that sweep
Our rolling sphere, and keep
Up conferences profound;
The music of the sea,
When battling waves run mad;
Far sweeter there may be,
But none so wild and sad.
The wail of forests vast
Thro' which pour storms like light,
Whilst rending in the blast,
They feebly own its might!
Deep thund'rings o'er the main:
The short shrill smother'd cry,
Hurl'd to the skies in vain,
Of drowning agony!
The SOMETHING _toneless_, which
Speaks awfully to men,
Startling the poor and rich,
For CONSCIENCE _will_ talk then;
These are the watch-words drear,
_The Voices of the Night_,
Which harrow the sick ear,
The stricken heart affright!
_Great Marlow, Bucks._
* * * * *
MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
This day of joyous festivity has almost ceased to be the harbinger of
mirth and jollity; and the gambols of our forefathers are nearly
forgotten amidst the high notions of modern refinement. Time was when
king, lords, and commons hailed May-day morning with delight, and bowed
homage to her fair and brilliant queen. West end and city folks united
in their freaks, ate, drank, and joined the merry dance from morning
dawn till close of day. Thus in an old ballad of those times we find
The hosiers will dine at the Leg,
The drapers at the sign of the Brush,
The fletchers to Robin Hood will go,
And the spendthrift to Beggar's bush.
The gentry to the King's head,
The nobles to the Crown, &c.
The rustic had his morrice-dance, hobby-horse race, and the gaudy
Mayings of Robin Hood, which last were instituted, according to an old
writer, in honour of his memory, and continued till the latter end of
the sixteenth century. These games were attended not by the people only,
but by kings and princes, and grave magistrates.
Stow says, "that in the moneth of May, the citizens of London, of all
estates, lightlie in every parish, or sometimes two or three parishes
joyning together, had their severall Mayinges, and did fetch in
Maypoles, with divers warlike showes, with good archers,
morrice-dancers, and other devices for pastime all the day long, and
towards the evening they had stage-playes and bone-fires in the
streetes. These greate Mayinges and Maygames, made by governors and
masters of this citie, with the triumphant setting up of the greate
shafte, (a principall May-pole in Cornhill, before the parish church of
S. Andrew, therefore called Undershafte,) by meane of an insurrection of
youthes against alianes, on May-day, 1517, have not beene so freely used
The disuse of these ancient pastimes and the consequent neglect of
Archerie, are thus lamented by Richard Niccols, in his _London's
How is it that our London hath laid downe
This worthy practise, which was once the crowne,
Of all her pastime which her Robin Hood
Had wont each yeare when May did clad the wood
With lustre greene, to lead his young men out,
Whose brave demeanour, oft when they did shoot,
Invited royall princes from their courts
Into the wilde woods to behold their sports!
Who thought it then a manly sight and trim,
To see a youth of clene compacted lim,
Who, with a comely grace, in his left hand
Holding his bow, did take his steadfast stand,
Setting his left leg somewhat foorth before,
His Arrow with his right hand nocking sure,
Not stooping, nor yet standing streight upright,
Then, with his left hand little 'bove his sight,
Stretching his arm out, with an easie strength
To draw an arrow of a yard in length.
"Invited royall princes from their courts
Into the wilde woods to behold their sports,"
may be reasonably supposed to allude to Henry the VIIIth, who appears to
have been particularly attached, as well to the exercise of archery, as
to the observance of Maying. "Some short time after his coronation,"
says Hall, "he came to Westminster with the quene, and all their traine,
and on a tyme being there, his grace, therles of Essex, Wilshire, and
other noble menne, to the number of twelve, came sodainly in a mornyng
into the quenes chambre, all appareled in short cotes of Kentish kendal,
with hodes on their heddes, and hosen of the same, every one of them his
bowe and arrowes, and a sworde and a bucklar, like outlawes, or Robyn
Hodesmen; whereof the quene, the ladies, and al other there were abashed
as well for the straunge sight, as also for their sodain commyng, and
after certayn daunces and pastime made, thei departed."
The same author gives the following curious account of a Maying, in the
7th year of that monarch, 1516: "The king and quene, accompanied with
many lords and ladies, rode to the high ground on Shooter's Hill to take
the air, and as they passed by the way, they espied a company of tall
yomen clothed all in green, with green whodes and bows and arrows, to
the number of 90. One of them calling himself Robin Hood, came to the
king, desiring him to see his men shoot, and the king was content. Then
he wistled, and all the 90 archers shot and losed at once, he then
whistled again, and they shot again; their arrows wistled by craft of
the head, so that the noise was strange and great, and much pleased the
king, the quene, and all the company. All these archers were of the
king's guard, and had thus appareled themselves to make solace to the
king. Then Robin Hood desired the king and quene to come into the green
wood, and see how the outlaws live. The king demanded of the quene and
her ladies, if they durst venture to go into the wood with so many
outlaws, and the quene was content. Then the horns blew till they came
to the wood under Shooter's Hill, and there was an arbour made of
boughs, with a hall and a great chamber, and an inner chamber, well made
and covered with flowers and sweet herbs, which the king much praised.
Then said Robin Hood, 'Sir, outlaws breakfasts is vensyon, and you must
be content with such fare as we have.' The king and quene sat down, and
were served with venison and wine by Robin Hood and his men. Then the
king and his party departed, and Robin and his men conducted them. As
they were returning, they were met by two ladies in a rich chairiot,
drawn by five horses, every horse had his name on his head, and on every
horse sat a lady, with her name written; and in a chair sat the Lady
May, accompanied with Lady Flora, richly appareled, and they saluted the
king with divers songs, and so brought him to Greenwhich."
The games of Robin Hood seem to have been occasionally of a dramatic
cast. Sir John Paston, in the time of King Edward IV. complaining of the
ingratitude of his servants, mentions one who had promised never to
desert him, and "ther uppon," says he, "I have kepyd hym thys iii yer to
pleye Seynt Jorge, and Robyn Hod, and the Shryf off Notyngham, and now
when I wolde have good horse he is goon into Bernysdale, and I without a
In some old accounts of the Churchwardens, of Saint Helens, at Abingdon,
Berks, for the year 1556, there is an entry for setting up Robins
Hoode's bower; supposed to be for a parish interlude.
Perhaps the clearest idea of these games will be derived from some
accounts of the Church-wardens, of the parish of Kingston-upon-Thames:
" _Robin Hood and Maygame.
L. s. d._
23 Henry 7th. To the menstorell
upon Mayday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 4
For paynting of the mores garments
and for sarten gret leveres . . . . . . 0 2 4
For paynting of a bannar for Robin
Hood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 3
For 2 M. and 1/2 pynnys . . . . . . . . . 0 0 10
For 4 plyts and 1/2 of laun for the mores
garments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 2 11
For orseden for the same. . . . . . . . . 0 0 10
For a goun for the lady . . . . . . . . . 0 0 8
For bellys for the dawnsers . . . . . . . 0 0 12
14 Henry 7th. For Little John's
cote. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 8 0
1 Henry 8th. For silver paper for
the mores dawnsars. . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 7
For kendall for Robyn Hode's cote . . . . 0 1 3
For 3 yerds of white for the frere's cote 0 3 0
For 4 yerds of kendall for mayde Marian's
huke. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 3 4
For saten of sypers for the same huke . . 0 0 6
For 2 payre of glovys for Robin Hode
and mayde Maryan. . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 3
For 6 brode arovys. . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 6
To mayde Mary an for her labour for
2 years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 2 0
To Fygge the taborer. . . . . . . . . . . 0 6 0
Received for Robyn Hode's gaderyng
5 Henry 8th. Received for Robin
Hood's gaderyng at Croydon. . . . . . . . 0 9 4
11 Henry 8th. Paid for 3 broad
yerds of rosett for makyng frer's cote. . 0 3 6
Shoes for the mores dawnsars, the frere
and mayde Maryan at 7_d_. a payre. 0 5 4
13 Henry 8th. Eight yerds of fustyan
for the mores dawnsars cotes. . . . . . . 0 16 0
A dosyn of gold skynnes for the mores . . 0 0 10
15 Henry 8th. Hire of hats for
Robin Hode. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 16
Paid for the hat that was lost. . . . . . 0 0 10
16 Henry 8th. Received at the
church-ale and Robyn Hode, all things
deducted. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 10 6
Paid for 6 yerds 1/4 of satyn for Robyn
Hode's cotys. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 12 6
For makyng the same . . . . . . . . . . . 0 2 0
For 3 ells of bocram . . . . . . . . . . 0 1 6
21 Henry 8th. For spunging and
brushing Robyn Hods cotys . . . . . . 0 0 2
28 Henry 8th. Five hats and 4 porses
for the dawnsars . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 4-1/2
4 yerds of cloth for the fole's cote . . 0 2 0
2 ells of worstede for mayde Marian's
kyrtle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 6 8
For 6 payre of double solly'd showne . . 0 4 6
To the mynstrele . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 10 8
To the fryer and the piper for to
go to Croydon . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 8
29 Henry 8th. Mem. left in the keeping of the wardens nowe beinge, a
fryers cote of russet, and a kyrtle of a worstyde weltyd with red cloth,
a mouren's cote of buckram, and 4 morres dawnsars cotes of white fustian
spangelyd, and two gryne saten cotes, and a dysardd's cote of cotton,
and 6 payre of garters with bells."
Having given so many items of the Robin Hood games, it will not be out
of place to furnish some account of the Morrice.
_The tabor and pipe strike up a morrice.--A shout within._
A lord, a lord, a lord, who!
ENTER THE MORRICE--_They sing_.
Skip it, and trip it, nimbly, nimbly,
Tickle it, tickle it, lustily,
Strike up the tabor, for the wenches favour,
Tickle it, tickle it, lustily.
Let us be seen on Hygale Greene,
To dance for the honour of Holloway,
Since we are come hither, let's spare for no leather,
To dance for the honour of Holloway.
_Ed._ Well said, my boys, I must have my lord's livery; what is't, a
maypole? troth, 'twere a good body for a courtier's impreza, if it had
but this life--_Frustra storescit_. Hold, cousin, hold.
(_He gives the fool money_.)
_Fool_. Thanks, cousin, when the lord my father's audit comes, we'll
repay you again, your benevolence too, sir.
_Mam._ What! a lord's son become a beggar!
_Fool_. Why not, when beggars are become lord's sons. Come, 'tis but a
_Mam._ Oh, sir, many a small make a great.
_Fool_. No, sir, a few great make a many small. Come, my lords, poor and
needy hath no law.
_Ed._ Nor necessity no right. Drum, down with them into the cellar. Rest
content, rest content, one bout more, and then away.
_Fool_. Spoke like a true heart; I kiss thy foot, sweet knight.
(_The Morrice sing and dance, and exeunt_.)
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF _NEW WORKS_.
* * * * *
SITTING IN THE DRUID'S CHAIR.
We detach the following scene from one of Mr. Horace Smith's _Tales of
the_ _Early Ages_. The date is the fifth century, about twenty years
after the final withdrawing of the Romans from Britain. The actors are
Hengist, the Saxon chief, Guinessa, his daughter, betrothed to Oscar, a
young prince, and Gryffhod, a Briton of some distinction, and proprietor
of Caer-Broc, a villa on the Kentish coast, where the parties are
sojourning. The incident embodies the _superstition of sitting in the
Druid's Chair_, similar in its portentous moment to sitting in St.
Michael's Chair, in Cornwall. It is told with considerable force and
"In the morning, Hengist informed his daughter, to her no small dismay,
that he meant to take her to Canterbury for the purpose of introducing
her to her uncle Horsa, desiring her to make preparations for her
immediate departure. 'But before I leave Caer-Broc,' said the Saxon, 'I
would fain mount that lofty cliff up which I climbed fifteen years ago,
in order that I might discover, if possible, upon what coast the storm
had cast me. It commands, as I recollect, an extensive inland view, and
I would show my fellow-soldiers the beauty of the country into which I
have led them.'
"'It must have been the Druid's Chair, for that is the loftiest headland
upon our coast.'
"'The higher the better, my child, for so shall we gain the wider
prospect. The morning is at present, clear, and I would climb the cliff
before those clouds which I see gathering in the west, shall be blown
hither to intercept our prospect.' So saying, he invited his comrades,
as well as Oscar, to accompany him; while Gryffhod, on learning his
purpose, joined his party with Leoline and others of his men, in order
that they might render assistance, should any such be required, in
climbing the broken and somewhat perilous ascent to the dizzy summit of
the cliff. Ropes were provided in case of accident, as persons had more
than once slipped from the narrow ledge, and fallen upon lower fragments
of the cliff, whence they could be only extricated by hauling them up.
"Battered and undermined by the storms of ages, the Druid's Chair has
long since been shivered into fragments and wasted away; but at the
period of which we are writing it formed the outermost of a chain of
crags which were connected together by a tongue of rock and cliff
sufficiently continuous to allow a passage, but broken into sharp
acclivities and descents which rendered the undertaking toilsome to all,
and not without peril for those who were liable to be giddy, or who did
not possess a good portion of activity. 'Surely,' said Hengist, as he
followed Gryffhod, 'this ridge was much more even when I traversed it
fifteen years ago.'
"'You are right,' replied the Briton; 'but rains and frosts have since
broken away its surface. This is our steepest ascent, but it is the
last. We will help Guinessa to surmount it, and when we gain the summit,
she shall be the first to sit in the Druid's Chair.'
"With some little mutual assistance, the whole party gained the pinnacle
of the cliff, which was a small and nearly circular platform, with a
central crag that bore a rude resemblance to a chair. 'You shall have
the honour that was promised you,' said the Saxon chief to his daughter;
'but we must first clear away the samphire and weeds which have taken
previous possession of your seat.' So saying, he cut them away with his
sword, and lead his panting daughter to the throne, upon which she was
by no means sorry to rest herself. Hengist then walked repeatedly round
the lofty level, pointing out with his weapon the distant objects that
engaged his attention, and demanding frequent explanations from
Gryffhod, more particularly as to the direction and distance of
Canterbury. While he was thus occupied, the heavy western clouds, whose
threatenings he had been so anxious to anticipate, were swept rapidly
towards them by a sudden storm gust, which lashed up the waves into
fury, and instantly surrounded the foot of the crag whirlpools of foam.
The extensive prospect upon which they had so lately been gazing was now
shrouded in a dense gloom, presently pierced and irradiated by a vivid
flash of lightning, followed by a crash of thunder that made the lofty
crag tremble beneath their feet. To a martial soul like that of Hengist,
this warring of the elements presented a more spirit-stirring and
congenial spectacle, than all the tranquil beauties of the previous
prospect, and he pointed out to the admiration of his comrades the
fiercer features of the scene, shouting with delight as a huge mass of
the next projecting cliff, undermined by the raving waters, fell
thundering into the depths below.
"While he was thus occupied, either his extended sword was touched, or
his arm was unnerved by the electric fluid, for the weapon fell from his
hand and instantly disappeared in the whirlpool beneath. 'My sword! my
enchanted sword!' exclaimed Hengist with a loud cry of consternation:
'it is lost, it is gone! a hundred pieces of gold to him who recovers my
precious weapon! I would plunge after it myself, but that I am
prohibited by the magician who fashioned it. My sword! my sword! a
hundred horses, besides the gold, to him who finds it. What! my brave
comrades,' he continued, casting a reproachful look at his
fellow-countrymen, 'will you see your leader ruined, and all his hopes
blasted, rather than attempt to get me back my sword?'
"'We came hither to fight the Picts and Scots, not to drown ourselves in
such a hopeless enterprise,' muttered the Saxons.
"'Oscar, my intended son-in-law! you are young and vigorous. Show
yourself worthy of Guinessa by plunging into the waters in search of my
"'It is inevitable death; and besides you have promised her to me
already,' replied the young Prince, recoiling with a shudder from the
edge of the precipice.
"'Craven! recreant! I recall my consent,' shouted Hengist, hoarse with
rage, 'and here in the face of Heaven I promise her to him, and him
only, who shall redeem my sword from the waters.'
"'Do you swear to that vow?' asked Leoline, starting forward.
"'Ay, I swear by the sword itself, an oath that I dare not violate, even
if I would.'
"'Enough?' said Leoline; and springing instantly from the rock, he
precipitated himself down the fearful abyss, and plunged into the
foaming whirlpool below. Bewildered and aghast at this sudden act of
desperation, Guinessa, uttering a scream of agonized terror, would have
thrown herself after him, had she not been restrained by Gryffhod; but
she still bent over the precipice, her long golden hair, as it streamed
upon the wind, together with her white robes and arms, and her fair
features, all shown in strong relief against the dark thunder-cloud,
imparting to her the appearance of an aerial spirit, just alighted upon
this craggy pinnacle to watch the conflict of the elements. Every eye
was rivetted upon the spot where Leoline had cleft the eddying waves;
not a syllable was uttered; every heart thrilled painfully in
expectation of his reappearance, but he rose not again to the surface,
and the fears of the gazers responded to those of Guinessa, as she at
length ejaculated, in a deep and hollow voice, 'He is lost--he is lost!'
Another brief but dreadful pause ensued, when Guinessa, clasping her
hands sharply together, exclaimed, with an ecstatic shout, 'He rises--he
rises--he has found the sword!' and she sank upon her knees, trembling
all over with a vehement and irrepressible agitation.
"The object of her deep emotion was now visible to all, holding the
recovered sword in his mouth, while with both hands he fought against
the buffetting billows, which hurled him against the foot of the cliff,
and as often by their recoil swept him back again; for the wave-worn
crag offered no holdfast either for the foot or hand. 'He will perish
still; he will be dashed to pieces against the rock,' cried Hengist,
almost wild with apprehension.
"'He swims like a fish,' exclaimed Gryffhod, 'but he cannot strike out
of that boiling whirlpool; it is too strong for him. The ropes! the
ropes! where are they? let us lower them instantly, and we may perhaps
succeed in hauling him up.'
"A rope, secured at top to the Druid's Chair, was instantly thrown over,
but the lower extremity being blown about by the wind, it was not till
after repeated efforts that Leoline could succeed in catching hold of
it, when he raised himself out of the water, and began to climb upwards
by supporting his feet against the cliff. More than once they slipped
away from the wet chalk, and he swung in mid-air; but his teeth still
firmly grasped the sword; he soon obtained a drier foothold, and thus
climbed to the summit: which he had no sooner reached in safety than
Guinessa, overcome by the revulsion of her feelings, sank panting and
fainting into her father's arms. Eagerly snatching the redeemed weapon,
its owner ran his eye over the blade, when finding that it had received
no injury, nor suffered any obliteration of the talismanic characters,
he repeatedly kissed it, replaced it in its scabbard, and then cordially
embracing its recoverer exclaimed, 'Thanks, brave Leoline; ay, and
something more substantial than empty thanks. Guinessa was right, after
all; she knows where to find a valiant and a worthy man; and, by Heaven!
I am glad that she preferred you to your rival. Right nobly have you won
her, and honourably shall you wear the prize. There she is; speak to
her; I warrant your voice will revive her more quickly than that of
Gryffhod; her consent you need not ask, for that you have obtained
already, so take her for your wife when you will, and God give you joy
of your choice, as for my part, I thank Heaven for bestowing on me so
dauntless a son-in-law!'
"Cordial were the congratulations from all parties except Oscar, who,
filled with mortification and jealous hatred, slunk away before the
others; and during the march to Canterbury, which was commenced
immediately after their descent from the Druid's Chair, kept himself
aloof, equally incensed against Gryffhod, Hengist, and Guinessa, and
meditating dark schemes of vengeance."
Oscar attempts to assassinate his successful rival at Canterbury; he
escapes, but in crossing the sea for Gaul, is taken by the piratical
Picts, carried to Scotland, and condemned to a rigorous and lifelong
slavery. Leoline and Guinessa are married, and Hengist becoming
paramount in Kent, assigns to them a castle with ample domains in the
Isle of Thanet; and in sailing along the coast they often pointed to
"the dizzy summit of the Druid's Chair," which Leoline often proudly
declared to be far more precious to him than any other object in
existence, since it had given him that which alone made existence
In one of the Tales--of the Council of Nice, in the fourth century, Mr.
Smith indulges his usual felicitous vein of humour, in a burlesque which
he puts into the mouth of a slave of the Bishop of Ethiopia,--"a little,
corpulent, bald-headed, merry-eyed man of fifty, whose name was Mark;
whose duty it was to take charge of the oil, trim the lamps, and perform
other menial offices in the church of Alexandria." The profane wight
deserved, for his wit, a better place.
* * * * *
THE JUST DYING SPEECH AND CONFESSION OF THE PAGAN IMMORTALS.
Alack and alas! it hath now come to pass,
That the Gods of Olympus, those cheats of the world,
Who bamboozled each clime from the birthday of Time,
Are at length from their mountebank eminence hurl'd.
On their cold altar-stone are no offerings thrown,
And their worshipless worships no passenger greets,
Though they still may have praise for amending our ways,
If their statues are broken for paving the streets.
The Deus Opt. Max. of these idols and quacks
Is now thrust in a corner for children to flout,
And the red thunder-brand he still grasps in his hand.
Lights not Jupiter Tonans to grope his way out.
Their Magnus Apollo no longer we follow,
He's routed and flouted and laid on the shelf,
And no poet's address will now reach him unless
He can play his own lyre and flatter himself.
As for Bacchus the sot, he has drain'd his last pot,
And must lay in the grave his intoxicate head,
For although by his aid he his votaries made
Full often dead drunk, they have now drunk him dead.
O Mars, battle's Lord! canst thou not draw a sword,
As forth from its temple thy statue we toss?
We want not thy lance, since our legions advance
Beneath the bless'd banner of Constantine's cross.
Juno, Venus, and Pallas, to shame were so callous,
And have always so widely from decency swerved,
That it well might be urged, if their statues were scourged
And then thrown in the kennel, their doom was deserved.
The pontiffs and priests, who have lost all their feasts,
And the oracles shorn of their hecatomb herds,
Having nothing to carve, if they don't wish to starve,
Must feed upon falsehoods and eat their own words.
O'er these mountebanks dead, be this epitaph read,
"The Gods, Priests and Oracles buried beneath,
Who were ever at strife which should lie most in life,
Here _lie_ all alike in corruption and death."
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
SHELLEY AT OXFORD.
A delightful paper, entitled, _Percy Bysshe Shelley at Oxford_ is now in
course of appearance in the _New Monthly Magazine_, from the pen of a
fellow collegian and an early admirer of the genius of the youthful
poet. It is in part conversational. Thus, Shelley _loquitur_:--
"I regret only that the period of our residence is limited to four
years; I wish they would revive, for our sake, the old term of six or
seven years. If we consider how much there is for us to learn," here he
paused and sighed deeply through that despondency which sometimes comes
over the unwearied and zealous student; "we shall allow that the longer
period would still be far too short!" I assented, and we discoursed
concerning the abridgement of the ancient term of residence, and the
diminution of the academical year by frequent, protracted and most
inconvenient vacations. "To quit Oxford," he said, "would be still more
unpleasant to you than to myself, for you aim at objects that I do not
seek to compass, and you cannot fail since you are resolved to place
your success beyond the reach of chance." He enumerated with extreme
rapidity, and in his enthusiastic strain, some of the benefits and
comforts of a college life. "Then the _oak_ is such a blessing," he
exclaimed with peculiar fervour, clasping his hands, and repeating
often--"the oak is such a blessing!" slowly and in a solemn tone. "The
oak alone goes far towards making this place a paradise. In what other
spot in the world, surely in none that I have hitherto visited, can you
say confidently, it is perfectly impossible, physically impossible, that
I should be disturbed? Whether a man desire solitary study, or to enjoy
the society of a friend or two, he is secure against interruption. It is
not so in a house, not by any means; there is not the same protection in
a house, even in the best-contrived house. The servant is bound to
answer the door; he must appear and give some excuse: he may betray, by
hesitation and confusion, that he utters a falsehood; he must expose
himself to be questioned; he must open the door and violate your privacy
in some degree; besides there are other doors, there are windows at
least, through which a prying eye can detect some indication that
betrays the mystery. How different is it here! The bore arrives; the
outer door is shut; it is black and solid, and perfectly impenetrable,
as is your secret; the doors are all alike; he can distinguish mine from
yours by the geographical position only. He may knock; he may call; he
may kick if he will; he may inquire of a neighbour, but he can inform
him of nothing; he can only say, the door is shut, and this he knows
already. He may leave his card, that you may rejoice over it and at your
escape; he may write upon it the hour when he proposes to call again, to
put you upon your guard, and that he may be quite sure of seeing the
back of your door once more. When the bore meets you and says, I called
at your house at such a time, you are required to explain your absence,
to prove an _alibi_ in short, and perhaps to undergo a rigid
cross-examination; but if he tells you, 'I called at your rooms
yesterday at three and the door was shut,' you have only to say, 'Did
you? was it?' and there the matter ends.
"Were you not charmed with your oak? did it not instantly captivate
"My introduction to it was somewhat unpleasant and unpropitious. The
morning after my arrival I was sitting at breakfast: my scout, the
Arimaspian, apprehending that the singleness of his eye may impeach his
character for officiousness, in order to escape the reproach of seeing
half as much only as other men, is always striving to prove that he sees
at least twice as far as the most sharpsighted: after many
demonstrations of superabundant activity, he inquired if I wanted
anything more; I answered in the negative. He had already opened the
door: 'Shall I sport, Sir?' he asked briskly as he stood upon the
threshold. He seemed so unlike a sporting character, that I was curious
to learn in what sport he proposed to indulge. I answered--'Yes, by all
means,' and anxiously watched him, but to my surprise and disappointment
he instantly vanished. As soon as I had finished my breakfast, I sallied
forth to survey Oxford; I opened one door quickly, and not suspecting
that there was a second, I struck my head against it with some violence.
The blow taught me to observe that every set of rooms has two doors, and
I soon learned that the outer door, which is thick and solid, is called
the oak, and to shut it is termed to sport. I derived so much benefit
from my oak, that I soon pardoned this slight inconvenience: it is
surely the tree of knowledge."
"Who invented the oak?"
"The inventers of the science of living in rooms, or chambers--the
"Ah! they were sly fellows; none but men who were reputed to devote
themselves for many hours to prayers, to religious meditations, and holy
abstractions, would ever have been permitted quietly to place at
pleasure such a barrier between themselves and the world. We now reap
the advantage of their reputation for sanctity; I shall revere my oak
more than ever, since its origin is so sacred."
* * * * *
GLEANINGS IN NATURAL HISTORY.
(_Concluded from page 247._)
What a lesson may art learn from contemplating scenes of nature.
"Thrushes feed very much on snails, looking for them in mossy banks.
Having frequently observed some broken snail-shells near two projecting
pebbles on a gravel walk, which had a hollow between them, I endeavoured
to discover the occasion of their being brought to that situation. At
last I saw a thrush fly to the spot with a snail-shell in his mouth,
which he placed between the two stones, and hammered at it with his beak
till he had broken it, and was then able to feed on its contents. The
bird must have discovered that he could not apply his beak with
sufficient force to break the shell while it was rolling about, and he
therefore found out and made use of a spot which would keep the shell in
one position. I do not know whether Mr. M'Adam has ever observed the
same circumstance, but his ingenious contrivance (if it is his) of
confining stones in a sort of hoop while they are being broken, is
somewhat similar to that of the thrush."
_The Pike_ it seems, is a formidable foe to _tackle_.
"The boldness of a pike is very extraordinary. I have seen one follow a
bait within a foot of the spot where I have been standing; and the head
keeper of Richmond Park assured me that he was once washing his hand at
the side of a boat in the great pond in that Park, when a pike made a
dart at it, and he had but just time to withdraw it. A gentleman now
residing at Weybridge, in Surrey, informed me that, walking one day by
the side of the river Wey, near that town, he saw a large pike in a
shallow creek. He immediately pulled off his coat, tucked up his shirt
sleeves, and went into the water to intercept the return of the fish to
the river, and to endeavour to throw it upon the bank by getting his
hands under it. During this attempt, the pike, finding he could not make
his escape, seized one of the arms of the gentleman, and lacerated it so
much that the wound is still very visible.
"A friend of mine caught a pike a few minutes after breaking his tackle,
and found it in the pike, a part of the gimp hanging out of his mouth.
He also caught another, in high condition, with a piece of strong
twisted wire projecting from its side. On opening it a double eel-hook
was found at the end of the wire, much corroded. This may account for so
few pike being found dead after they have broken away with a gorge-hook
in them. An account will be found, in 'Salmonia,' of a pike taking a
bait, with a set of hooks in his mouth, which he had just before broken
from a line."
_Affection of Animals._
"Animals are so capable of showing gratitude and affection to those who
have been kind to them, that I never see them subjected to ill treatment
without feeling the utmost abhorrence of those who are inflicting it. I
know many persons who, like myself, take a pleasure in seeing all the
animals about them appear happy and contented. Cows will show their
pleasure at seeing those who have been kind to them, by moving their
ears gently, and putting out their wet noses. My old horse rests his
head on the gate with great complacency when he sees me coming,
expecting to receive an apple or a piece of bread. I should even be
sorry to see my poultry and pigs get out of my way with any symptoms of
One of Mr. Haydon's new pictures is _the first start in life_--a mother
teaching her infant to walk--it is a clever sketch, but, bearing in mind
the beautiful comparison of Solomon and the lily of the valley, here is
"Fishing the other day in Hampton Court Park, I disturbed a moor-hen who
had just hatched, and watched her anxiety and manoeuvres to draw away
her young. She would go a short distance, utter a cry, return, and
seemed to lead the way for her brood to follow. Having driven her away,
that I might have a better opportunity of watching her young ones, she
never ceased calling to them, and they made towards her, skulking
amongst the rushes, till they got to the other side of the pond. They
had only just left the shell, and had probably never heard the cry of
their mother before."
There is true benevolence in these remarks. How much is conveyed in the
homely expression, that such a man "would not tread upon a worm:" we
should learn to covet such men as friends.
_The Cardinal Spider._
"There is a large breed of spiders which are found very generally in the
palace of Hampton-Court. They are called there 'cardinals,' having I
suppose been first seen in Cardinal Wolsey's hall. They are full an inch
in length, and many of them of the thickness of a finger. Their legs are
about two inches long, and their body covered with a thick hair. They
feed chiefly on moths as appears from the wings of that insect being
found in great abundance under and amongst their webs. In running across
the carpet in an evening, with the shade cast from their large bodies by
the light of the lamp or candle, they have been mistaken for mice, and
have occasioned no little alarm to some of the more nervous inhabitants
of the palace. A doubt has even been raised whether the name of cardinal
has not been given to this creature from an ancient supposition that the
ghost of Wolsey haunts the place of his former glory under this shape.
Be this as it may, the spider is considered as a curiosity, and
Hampton-Court is the only place in which I have met with it."
Did Wolsey, arrayed in all his glory, ever regard a spider, or think
that his proud name would be coupled with so minute a member of the
"Rooks are not easily induced to forsake the trees on which they have
been bred, and which they frequently revisit after the breeding season
is over. This is shown in Hampton-Court Park, where there is an
extensive rookery amongst the fine lime-trees, and where a barbarous and
unnecessary custom prevails of shooting the young rooks. As many as a
hundred dozen of them have been killed in one season, and yet the rooks
build in the avenue, though there is a corresponding avenue close by, in
Bushy Park, which they never frequent, notwithstanding the trees are
equally high and equally secure. I never hear the guns go off during
this annual slaughter without execrating the practice, and pitying the
poor rooks, whose melancholy cries may be heard to a great distance, and
some of whom may be seen, exhausted by their fruitless exertions,
sitting melancholy on a solitary tree waiting till the _sport_ is over,
that they may return and see whether any of the offspring which they
have reared with so much care and anxiety are left to them; or, what is
more probable, the call for assistance of their young having ceased,
they are aware of their fate, and are sitting in mournful contemplation
of their loss. This may appear romantic, but it is nevertheless true."
Who can read the above without a shudder at the brutal taste of the
lords of the lower world.
"The only instance I have met with in which the hen bird has not the
chief care in hatching and bringing up the young is in the case of the
emus at the farm belonging to the Zoological Society near Kingston. A
pair of these birds have now five young ones: the female at different
times dropped nine eggs in various places in the pen in which she was
confined. These were collected in one place by the male, who rolled them
gently and carefully along with his beak. He then sat upon them himself,
and continued to do so with the utmost assiduity for nine weeks, during
which time the female never took his place, nor was he ever observed to
leave the nest. When the young were hatched, he alone took charge of
them, and has continued to do so ever since, the female not appearing to
notice them in any way. On reading this anecdote, many persons would
suppose that the female emu was not possessed of that natural affection
for its young which other birds have. In order to rescue it from this
supposition, I will mention that a female emu belonging to the Duke of
Devonshire at Cheswick lately laid some eggs; and as there was no male
bird, she collected them together herself and sat upon them."
 There are now (June) five young emus alive, and appearing
"It is a curious fact that toads are so numerous in the island of
Jersey, that they have become a term of reproach for its inhabitants,
the word 'Crapaud' being frequently applied to them; while in the
neighbouring island of Guernsey not a toad is to be found, though they
have frequently been imported. Indeed, certain other islands have always
been privileged in this respect. Ireland is free from venomous animals,
of course by the aid of St. Patrick. The same was affirmed of Crete in
olden times, being the birthplace of Jupiter. The Isle of Man is said
also to be free from venomous creatures. The Mauritius, and I believe
one of the Balearic islands, enjoys the same immunity."
The following anecdote is as pretty as the writer conceives it to be:
"His present Majesty, when residing in Bushy Park, had a part of the
foremast of the Victory, against which Lord Nelson was standing when he
received his fatal wound, deposited in a small temple in the grounds of
Bushy House, from which it was afterwards removed, and placed at the
upper end of the dining-room, with a bust of Lord Nelson upon it. A
large shot had passed completely through this part of the mast, and
while it was in the temple a pair of robins had built their nest in the
shot-hole, and reared a brood of young ones. It was impossible to
witness this little occurrence without reflecting on the scene of blood,
and strife of war, which had occurred to produce so snug and peaceable a
retreat for a nest of harmless robins. If that delightful poet of the
lakes, Mr. Wordsworth, should ever condescend to read this little
anecdote, it might supply him with no bad subject for one of his
A few entertaining particulars of
_The Royal Parks._
"There are two elm trees, or rather the remains of two, in Hampton Court
Park, known by the name of the 'Giants,' which must have been of an
enormous size, the trunk of one of them measuring twenty-eight feet in
"Cork trees flourish in Hampton Court Park, where there are two large
ones. There are also some ilexes, or evergreen oaks, in Bushy Park, of a
very large size, and apparently as hardy as any other tree there. The
avenues in that park are perhaps the finest in Europe. There are nine of
them altogether, the centre one, formed by two rows of horse-chestnut
trees, being the widest. The side avenues, of which there are four on
each side of the main avenue, are of lime trees, and the whole length,
including the circuit round the Diana water, is one mile and forty
"Near the Queen's house in this park is a very fine Spanish chestnut
tree, said to have been planted by Charles II., and to have been the
first which was seen in this country.
"The trees which at present form so much of the beauty of Greenwich Park
were planted by Evelyn, and if he could now see them he would call them
'goodly trees,' at least some of them. The chestnuts, however, though
they produce some fine fruit, have not thriven in the same proportion
with the elms. In noticing this park I should not forget to mention that
the only remaining part of the palace of Henry VIII. is preserved in the
front of Lord Auckland's house looking into the park. It is a circular
delft window of beautiful workmanship, and in a fine state of
preservation. There are also a great number of small tumuli in the upper
part of the park, all of which appear to have been opened."
"In addition to the herd of fallow deer, amounting to about one thousand
six hundred, which are kept in Richmond Park, there is generally a stock
of from forty to fifty red deer. One fine stag was so powerful, and
offered so much resistance, that two of his legs were broken in
endeavouring to secure him, and he was obliged to be killed. One who had
shown good sport in the royal hunt, was named 'Sir Edmund,' by his late
Majesty, in consequence of Sir Edmund Nagle having been in at the
'_take_' after a long chase. This stag lived some years afterwards in
the park; and its a curious fact that he died the very same day on which
Sir Edmund Nagle died."
The volume contains some interesting antiquarian inquiries respecting
Caesar's ford at Kingston, and Maxims for an Angler, by a Bungler.
* * * * *
THE SKETCH BOOK
THE ABBOT OF TEWKESBURY.
(_For the Mirror._)
"After life's fitful fever be sleeps well."
(In opening the tomb of the founder of the Abbey at Tewkesbury, the body
of the Abbot was found clothed in full canonicals. The crosier was as
perfect as when, perhaps, first put in the coffin, while the body showed
scarcely any symptom of decay, though it had been entombed considerably
above six hundred years. On exposure to the air, the boots alone of the
Abbot were seen to sink, when the tomb was ordered to be sealed up, and
his holiness again committed in his darkness. On the above circumstance
this sketch is founded.)
Is this to be dead? Am I not clad in all pontifical splendour? Do I not
feel the crosier on my breast? The holy brethren of the Abbey surround
me. That which distinguished the Abbot when alive, is even here in
collected magnificence. I feel the priestly consequence of the Abbot. Is
this then the Chamber of the Dead? The pious monks are weeping. The
tears which have flowed before the marble shrine are recalled to weep
for a departed brother. The incense is full fragrant. I enjoy the
perception of its odour. It dilates in my stiffened nostrils, but it
supplies me not the breath of life. I hear the loud Hosanna chanted for
a soul which dies in the Lord. I will repeat the strain. No. My voice
refuses to fall back upon the ear. Where is my heart that it beats not
swelling to the anthem's measure? Cold! cold! cold! Nay; I will rise. I
will respond unto the funeral dirge. I will shout. Oh! my trunk is
hardened, and my tongue is glued. Silence! they pause. Say, do they hear
me? No. Silence, horrible and awful. Hark! they mourn with lamentation
on my fate. O, Heaven! must I endure all this? Must the living weep for
the dead, and the conscious dead be doomed to dismal silence. Horror!
horror! horror! IS THIS TO BE DEAD?
* * * * *
A convocation! Yes. The holy brothers in assembled synod to elect a
brother holier than themselves. Nay, I do forbid. I, the Abbot who have
loved ye all, refuse permission to your meeting. Disperse, disperse. Do
ye not hear? Is there no charity alive? Who dares usurp my chair, and I
not yet entombed? What! is justice driven out where heavenly men should
dwell? I see it. I mark it. The leaven of pride is kneaded in the
brotherhood. Intriguing hypocrites usurp the House of God. What! brother
John, the fat, the corpulent, the lazy! of whom I know ten thousand
heinous sins; the least sufficient to condemn a soul. An Abbot, chosen
by the holy, is the elect of God. But he--no, no, no. It shall not be.
God will forbid it. They put the crosier in his hand. For shame! for
shame! Let not the vicious living sit in the chair of virtue that is
departed. Why see! he kneels. He kneels before the shrine, where, until
now, he never bent to pray. He grasps the crosier with loving firmness.
It shall not be. Is there no interposing Deity to slay the sinner in his
wickedness? I, I will seize the crosier from his filthy hand. No. My arm
lays idly at my side. Is THIS TO BE DEAD?
* * * * *
They chant the funeral dirge. The mighty torches flash their blazing
light upon the frozen features of the dead. Mine eyes are sealed. I
strain to open them. No. Light gleams in upon me as through a clear
veil. Ah! monster of hateful mien! demon deceitful in religious robes!
avaunt! Thou shalt not touch my corpse. No. Thank God! It is a foretaste
of thy love to come. He passes on. He dares not lay polluted hands upon
the dead, whose becalmed face is looking up to thee. The dead, the
sacred dead. The living are for the world, the dead are Thine. Incense,
and prayer, and psalms for the departed. It is respectful, but what heed
I? Man comes into the world only to go out thereof. What then? The
grave! Horror. I have preached thereof. I have shocked others with the
enormities of life until they clung unto the grave. Now, I who have
bidden the virtuous look to the hopes beyond it, myself would cry to
live. But no! they bear me on. He, the foul monster, grins as he looks
upon my outstretched limbs. Wolf, I'll pray for thee. Breathe, breathe
hardly, ye distended nostrils; it is your last pulsation with the air of
earth. No. Sealed as the marble figures by which they bear me. Is this
my Tomb. Is this the narrow house appointed for the living? Is this the
Abbot's palace after death? Nay, I pray thee, brethren, close me not up
in yon receptacle. Where the cold air might shiver on my flesh I may be
happy. Yon tomb is dark and dismal, shut from the eye of day. Louder and
louder grows your chant, I know its terminating cadence. It falls upon
mine ear. Take off this stony lid. Nay, I will knock, knock, knock. My
arms are still unraised. They hear me not. Brethren! men! christians!
no, monks, monks, monks, cold as the stone ye place upon my breast! Have
ye no ears? no hearts? Do I not shout? Do I not pray? Ah! my tongue is
one of marble. It is cold and fixed. They will not hear me. Listen!
their parting and receding steps. Nay, hasten not away. Silence. No. One
step is lingering behind. Thank God! I shout. Brother! what, ho! He
hears. Brother! He pauses. What ho! He goes. Brother! Silence is around,
hushed as my own attempts to burst a voice. Hark! a noise. No. Silence.
Is THIS TO BE DEAD?
* * * * *
Yet in the grave. Years have rolled away. Successors to my chair sleep
in the stony sepulchres around me. Monks whom I have awed or blessed,
slumber in death. Men, whom I have known not, walk in the cloisters I
have built. I am but mentioned as a thing that was--the memory of a
name. Enough. There is no communion among the dead. Methought the
spirits of the other world held converse on the joys they left on earth.
But all is still. I cannot hear a lament, even for a rotted bone. The
dead are tongue-tied. In yonder chancel sleeps a monarch, murdered by
bloody relations. Should not such a spirit shriek aloud for vengeance,
or weep a wailing for his destiny? But all is still. I hear no night owl
screech. Earth is the only dwelling place of noise. Death knows it not.
Methinks a shriek were music, a sigh were melody, a groan a feast. But
no. Time has almost used me to its sombre sameness. Is not time tired to
have gone so long the same unchanging course? I cannot move. My joints
are aching with continued rest. I cannot turn:--my sides are sunken in.
Would I could turn and crush them into bones with my reclining weight.
Is my heart sinful that it weighs down all my body. Is this the gnawing
and undying worm? Is THIS TO BE DEAD.
* * * * *
Six hundred years and still I am in the tomb. So much of man has sought
a refuge in the grave. I well may ask if life is yet on earth. Has man
degraded or is England ruined! I hear the footsteps of those that gaze
upon the stony sepulchres. I feel the glaring of their curious eyes
between the crevices which time has uncemented. They make remarks. Is
then a tomb a monument of wonder? They talk of monks as things that are
no more. Then is the world no more. At last the time is come. They lay
their iron hand upon the stone. They knock, they knock. Hark! It rings
through the giant isles till the echo thrills with joy. They knock the
stony cerement that enshrines me. Great Heaven! I thank thee! Used as I
am become to my hollow narrowness, I shall rejoice to quit it. The lid
upraises. I feel the air. I feel the air. Now, now, let me rise. I feel
myself prepared. Ah! the boots fall off. I shall ascend. The boots fall
off. What are there none to raise me? See, they grin. Am I not come unto
the resurrection of the life? What! that horrid lid again. O, no, no.
They stifle me again. They fasten me to sleep--to sleep--to sleep. THIS,
THIS IS TO BE DEAD.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER
_Abridged from Powell's Advice to Executors, (just published.)_
_Queen Consort._--An ancient perquisite belonging to the Queen Consort
was, that on the taking of a _whale_ on the coasts, it should be divided
between the King and Queen; the head only becoming the King's property,
and the tail the Queen's. The reason of this whimsical distinction, as
assigned by our ancient records, was to furnish the Queen's wardrobe
_A civil Death_ is where a husband has undergone transportation for
life. In such case, his wife is legally entitled to make a will, and act
in every other matter, as if she was unmarried, or as though her husband
were dead.--_Roper's Husband and Wife_.
_Pin Money._--It has been judicially determined, that a married woman
having any _pin-money_, (by which is understood an annual income settled
by the husband, before marriage, on his intended wife, or allowed by him
to her after marriage, gratuitously, for her personal and private
expenditure during the existence of the marriage,) or any separate
maintenance, may, by will, bequeath her _savings_ out of such allowance,
without the license or consent of her husband.--_Clamey's Equitable
Rights of Married Women._
_Compulsory Will._--So cautious is the Ecclesiastical Court in guarding
against restraint of any kind, that in a case in which it was proved
that a man, in his last sickness, was compelled to make his will to
_procure quiet from the extreme importunity of his wife_, it was held to
have been made under restraint, and was declared void.
_Wills of Criminals._--The lands and tenements of _traitors_, from the
commission of the offence, and their goods and chattels, from the time
of their conviction, are forfeited to the king. They have therefore no
property in either; and are not merely deprived of the privilege of
making any kind of will after the period of their conviction, but any
will _previously_ made is rendered void by such conviction, both as
respects real and personal estate. The law respecting _felons_ is the
same, unless it be worth recording that a remarkable exception exists in
favour of Gavelkind lands, which, even though the ancestor be hanged,
are not forfeited for felony.
_Bachelors' Wills._--Without any express revocation, if a man who has
made his will, afterwards _marries, and has a child or children_, his
will, made while a bachelor, will be presumptively _revoked_, both as
regards real and personal estate, and he will be pronounced to have died
intestate. The law presumes that it must be the natural intention of
every man to provide for his wife and offspring before all others, and,
consequently, in such a case, apportions his property according to the
Statute of Distributions. But the fact of a marriage alone, _without a
child_, is no revocation; and though both facts conjoin to revoke the
will, yet such revocation is only on the presumption that the testator
_could not have intended_ his will to remain good. If, on the other
hand, from expressions used by him, and other proof, it be made to
appear unquestionable that it was his intent that his will _should_
continue in force, the marriage and birth of children will not revoke
_Paraphernalia of a Widow._--These are defined to be "such goods as a
wife is, after her husband's death, allowed to retain in preference to
all creditors and legatees; as necessary wearing apparel, and jewels, if
she be of quality; and whether so or not, all such ornaments of the
person, as watches, rings, and trinkets, as _she used to wear_ in her
husband's life-time. Under the term 'wearing apparel' are included
whatsoever articles were given to her by her husband for the purpose of
being made up into clothes, although he may have died before they were
made up." (_Clamey._) It should be added, however, that the jewels of
the wife are, after her husband's death, liable to the payment of his
debts, should his personal estate be exhausted; though her necessary
wearing apparel is protected against the claim of all creditors.
* * * * *
SUPERSTITION OF SAILORS.
The following is from Messrs. Bennet and Tyerman's _Voyages and
Travels_: "Our chief mate said, that on board a ship where he had
served, the mute on duty ordered some of the youths to reef the
main-top-sail. When the first got up, he heard a strange voice saying,
'_It blows hard_.' The lud waited for no more; he was down in a trice,
and telling his adventure; a second immediately ascended, laughing at
the folly of his companion, but returned even more quickly declaring
that he was quite sure that a voice, not of this world, had cried in his
ear, 'It blows hard.' Another went, and another, but each came back with
the same tale. At length the mate, having sent up the whole watch, run
up the shrouds himself; and when he reached the haunted spot, heard the
dreadful words distinctly uttered in his ears, 'It blows hard.' 'Ay, ay,
old one; but blow it ever so hard, we must ease the earings for all
that,' replied the mate undauntedly; and looking round, he spied a fine
parrot perched on one of the clues--the thoughtless author of all the
false alarms, which had probably escaped from some other vessel, but had
not been discovered to have taken refuge on this. Another of our
officers mentioned that, on one of his voyages, he remembered a boy
having been sent up to clear a rope which had got foul above the
mizen-top. Presently, however, he came back, trembling, and almost
tumbling to the bottom, declaring that he had seen 'Old Davy,' aft the
cross-trees; moreover, that the Evil One had a huge head and face, with
pricked ears, and eyes as bright as fire. Two or three others were sent
up in succession; to all of whom the apparition glared forth, and was
identified by each to be 'Old Davy, sure enough.' The mate, in a rage,
at length mounted himself; when resolutely, as in the former case,
searching for the bugbear, he soon ascertained the innocent cause of so
much terror to be a large horned owl, so lodged as to be out of sight to
those who ascended on the other side of the vessel, but which when any
one approached the cross-trees, popped up his portentous visage to see
what was coming. The mate brought him down in triumph, and 'Old Davy,'
the owl, became a very peaceable shipmate among the crew, who were no
longer scared by his horns and eyes; for sailors turn their backs on
nothing when they know what it is. Had the birds, in these two
instances, departed as they came, of course they would have been deemed
supernatural visitants to the respective ships, by all who had heard the
one or seen the other." W.G.C.
* * * * *
* * * * *
_Hard Duty._--As a gentleman's coachman washed his master's carriage
during divine service on Sunday morning, he was heard to say that "he
hoped his master and mistress prayed for him, as he had no time to pray
for himself." He brought his lady home from the Opera at one in the
morning; then went to fetch his master from the "Hell" in St.
James's-street, and by the time he had littered and rubbed down his
horses, and got to his own bed, it was four o'clock; he thought after
that he could not do less than sleep till nine; by half-past-ten he had
got his breakfast, and at twelve his carriage was ready; at one he took
his dinner; at two he was ordered to be at the door to take his lady and
the young ladies to the Park; at five he returned, and was ordered out
at six, to carry the family to dinner; after setting them down, he was
directed to come at half-past eleven; and by two o'clock on Monday
morning, the poor man was once more in his bed.
_Le Due de Bourdeaux._--It was still dark when the order was given to
notify the auspicious birth of the young Duc de Bordeaux, in November,
1820, to the inhabitants of Paris. It was observed to the Duc de
Richelieu, that it might perhaps be better to wait for the break of day,
to fire the cannon; to which he replied, "For news so glorious, it is
break of day at all times." S.H.
_Scriptural Memoranda._--Verse 18, chap. xii. of the first Book of
Maccabees, will make an excellent motto for a seal. The 21st verse of
the 7th chap. of Ezra, contains every letter of the alphabet. The 19th
chap, of the 2nd Book of Kings, and the 37th of Isaiah, are alike, as
are also the 31st chap, of the first Book of Samuel, and the 10th chap,
of the 1st Chronicles. T. GILL.
"_Caviare to the Multitude_," is as good a simile as Shakspeare ever
made, for where is the artisan, but after having tasted it, began to
spit and splutter as though he had been poisoned, while the aristocrat,
the one in a thousand, licks his lips after it, as the greatest
delicacy. This article is the roe of the sturgeon, salted down and
pressed, and is imported into this country from Odessa. S.H.
_Man-killing and Man-eating._--I really do not think the New Zealanders
are half so barbarous as the Russians, whatever other folks may say of
it, and I'll abide by what I've said too: it is true they sometimes
indulge a little by eating a man for dinner, as a delicacy; but leaving
eating out of the question, one Russian chief caused more bloodshed last
year, than all the New Zealanders put together; and after all, it is an
undoubted fact, that a couple of Russians will eat up a rein-deer at a
meal! (that is, they will not give over till they have finished it,) so
they do not want appetite; and if they were in New Zealand, and a man
were to fall in their way, it is very likely that they would eat him.
_Generosity of Marshal Turenne._--The deputies of a great metropolis in
Germany, once offered the great Turenne 100,000 crowns not to pass with
his army through the city. "Gentlemen," said he, "I cannot, in
conscience, accept your money, as I had no intention to pass that way."
_Spain._--It is remarkable that the Carthaginians having established
colonies in Spain, drew their riches from that country, as the Spaniards
themselves afterwards did from South America.
_Breakfast._--It has been observed, such is our luxury, that the world
must be encompassed to furnish a washerwoman with breakfast: with tea
from China, and sugar from the West Indies.
_Bamboo._--The largest and tallest sort of bamboo, known In India, is
about half the height of the London Monument, or 100 feet.
_Brick-building_ was practised largely in Italy in the beginning of the
fourteenth century; and the brick buildings erected at this period in
Tuscany, and other parts of the north of Italy, exhibit at the present
day the finest specimens extant of brick-work!
_Nothing Impossible._--Mirabeau's haste of temper was known, and he must
be obeyed. "Monsieur Comte," said his secretary to him one day, "the
thing you require is impossible." "Impossible!" exclaimed Mirabeau,
starting from his chair, "never again use that _foolish word_ in my
presence."--_Dumont's Mirabeau._ (This brief anecdote should never be
forgotten by the reader: it is more characteristic than hundreds of
pages; it is, to all men, a lesson almost in a line.)
_"Nice to a Shaving."_--When Louis VII. of France, to obey the
injunctions of his bishops, cropped his hair and shaved his beard,
Eleanor, his consort, found him with this unusual appearance, very
ridiculous, and soon very contemptible. She revenged herself as she
thought proper, and the poor shaved king obtained a divorce. She then
married the Count of Anjou, afterwards our Henry II. She had for her
marriage dower the rich provinces of Poitu and Guyenne; and this was the
origin of those wars which for three hundred years ravaged France, and
cost the French three millions of men: all which, probably, had never
occurred, had Louis VII. not been so rash as to crop his head, and shave
his beard, by which he became so disgustful in the eyes of our Queen
_American Wife._--The following advertisement for a wife appeared a few
years since, in a New York paper:--"Wanted immediately, a young lady, of
the following description, (as a wife,) with about 2,000 dollars as a
patrimony, sweet temper, spend little, be a good housewife, and born in
America; and as I am not more than twenty-five years of age, I hope it
will not be difficult to find a good wife. N.B. I take my dwelling in
South Second Street, No. 273. Any lady that answers the above
description will please to leave her card." W.G.C.
The following is said to be an unpublished epigram of Lord Byron:--
An old phlegmatic Dutchman took
A pretty Jewish wife,
And what still more surprising is,
He lov'd her 'bove his life--
Oh! Holland and Jerusalem,
What, tell me, do you think of them?
_A Queer Library._--The eccentric physician, Dr. Radcliffe, when
pursuing his studies, was content with looking into the works of Dr.
Willis. He was possessed of very few books, insomuch that when Dr.
Bathurst, head of Trinity College, asked him once with surprise, where
his study was? he pointed to a few vials, a skeleton, and a herbal, and
said, "Sir, this is Radcliffe's Library." P.T.W.
_How to detect a Thief._--A watch was stolen in the Pit of the Opera, in
Paris; the loser complained in a loud voice, and said, "It is just nine;
in a few minutes my watch will strike; the second is strong; and by that
means we shall instantly ascertain where it is." The thief, terrified at
this, endeavoured to escape, and by his agitation discovered himself. T.
* * * * *
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