THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 19, NO. 537.] SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 1832. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
[Illustration: PIERCY ISLANDS]
Mr. George Bennett, whose "Journals" and "Researches" denote him to
be a shrewd and ingenious observer, has favoured us with the original
sketches of the above cuts. They represent three of the spots that stud
the Southern Pacific Ocean. The first beams with lovely luxuriance in
its wood-crowned heights; while the second and third rise from the bosom
of the sea in frowning sterility amidst the gay ripple that ever and
anon laves their sides, and plashes in the brilliancy of the sunbeam.
Tucopia, or Barwell's Island, has recently been elsewhere described by
Mr. Bennett. His sketch includes the S.W. side of the island, and
his entertaining description is as follows:
"This small but elevated and wooded island was discovered by the
ship Barwell in 1798; it was afterwards (1810) visited by the French
navigators, who called it by the native name Tucopia. On the S.W. side
of the island is a wooded, picturesque valley, surrounded by lofty
mountains, and containing a small but well-inhabited village. Two
singularly isolated basaltic rocks, of some elevation, partially bare,
but at parts covered by shrubs, rise from about the centre of the
valley. When close in, two canoes came off containing several natives,
who readily came on board; two of them had been in an English whaler,
(which ships occasionally touched at the island for provisions, &c.) and
addressed us in tolerable English. They were well formed, muscular men,
with fine and expressive features, of the Asiatic race, in colour of a
light copper; they wore the hair long, and stained of a light brown
colour; they were tattooed only on the breast, which had been executed
in a neat vandyked form; the ears, as also the septum narium, were
perforated, and in them were worn tortoiseshell rings; around the waist
was worn a narrow piece of native cloth (died either of a dark red or
yellow colour), or a small narrow mat formed from the bark of a tree,
and of fine texture; some of these had neatly-worked dark red borders,
apparently done with the fibres of some dyed bark. They rub their bodies
with scented cocoa-nut oil as well as turmeric. The canoes were neatly
constructed, had outriggers, and much resemble those of Tongatabu; the
sails were triangular, and formed of matting. No weapons were observed
in the possession of any of the natives; they said they had two muskets,
which had been procured in barter from some European ship. We landed on
a sandy beach, and were received by a large concourse of natives. We
were introduced to a grave old gentleman, who was seated on the ground,
recently daubed with turmeric and oil for this ceremony; he was styled
the ariki, or chief, of this portion of the island. On an axe, as well
as other presents, being laid before him, he (as is usual among the
chiefs of the Polynesian Islands on a ceremonial occasion) did not show
any expression of gratification or dislike at the presents but in a
grave manner made a few inquiries about the ship. Near the ariki sat a
female, whose blooming days had passed; she was introduced as his wife;
her head was decorated with a fillet of white feathers; the upper part
of her body was exposed, but she wore a mat round the waist which
descended to the ankles; the chief was apparently a man of middle age.
"The native habitations were low, of a tent form, and thatched with
cocoa-nut leaves; these habitations were not regular, but scattered
among the dense vegetation which surrounded them on all sides. The tacca
pinnatifida, or Polynesian arrow-root plant, called massoa by the
natives, was abundant, as also the fittou, or calophyllum inophyllum,
and a species of fan palm, growing to the height of fifteen and twenty
feet, called tarapurau by the natives; the areka palm was also seen, and
the piper betel was also cultivated among them. They had adopted the
oriental custom of chewing the betel; in using this masticatory they
were not particular about the maturity of the nuts, some eating them
very young as well as when quite ripe; they carried them about enclosed
in the husk, which was taken off when used. At a short distance from
the beech, inland, was a lake of some extent, nearly surrounded by
lofty, densely-wooded hills. Some wild ducks were seen, and a gun being
fired at them, the report raised numbers of the 'plumy tribe,' filling
the air with their screams, alarmed at a noise to which they had been
unaccustomed. Several native graves were observed, which were very neat;
a stone was placed at the head and the grave neatly covered over by
plaited sections of the cocoa-nut frond; no particular enclosures for
the burial of the dead were observed. When rambling about, the 'timid
female' fled at our approach. From a casual glimpse of the _fair_
objects, they merit being classed among the 'beautiful portion of the
creation;' their hair was cut close.
"Cooked yams, cocoa-nuts, &c. were brought us by the natives, and
their manner was very friendly; of provisions, yams, hogs, &c. could
be procured. The natives were anxious to accompany us on the voyage,
and it was with the greatest difficulty that we could get rid of them.
It seems they have occasional intercourse with islands at some distance
from them; two fine polished gourds, containing lime, &c. used with
their betel, were observed among them--one was plain and the other
ornamented with figures, apparently burnt by some instrument. They
stated that these had been procured from the island of Santa Cruz
(Charlotte's Archipelago) by one of the chief's sons. Some of the
natives were observed much darker than others, and there appeared
a mixture of some races. Their numerals were as follows:--
10 Tanga, foru."
The isolated basaltic rocks in the centre of the valley may give rise to
some curious speculations on the origin of this island. It has long been
decided that basaltic rocks are of igneous origin, in opposition to the
theory of Werner--that they were deposited by the ocean on the summits
of elevated mountains. May not the occurrence of these basalt rocks
therefore illustrate the more immediate volcanic origin of Tucopia?
The second Cut represents the PIERCY ISLANDS, two barren islets situated
a short distance off Cape Bret, (New Zealand,) near the entrance of the
Bay of Islands: one is of very small size, and appears connected to the
other by a ledge of rocks visible at low water. The larger one is quoin
shaped, and has a remarkable perforation, seen in the sketch.
 Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in London, &c.
 United Service Journal, Jan. 1832.
 I did not observe them take the trouble of wrapping up the
ingredients together, as is customary in India; but some would
eat the betel leaf, previously dipping it in some lime (made
from burnt coral) which he held in his hand, and ate the
areka-nut afterwards; they had no tobacco to eat with it, nor
did I hear them inquire for any.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror._)
One of the residences of this historian and poet, was about a mile from
Paddington on the north side of the Edgware Road, near a place called
Kilburn Priory; and the wooden cottage is still standing, although the
land near it has been of late covered with newly-erected villas. It is
occupied by a person in humble life, and is not to be altered or removed
owing to the respect entertained for the memory of this remarkable
literary character. In this cottage, Goldsmith wrote his admirable
treatise on _Animated Nature._ A sketch of this rustic dwelling is
a desideratum, as, in after days, it may be demolished to make way for
* * * * *
TO THE SPIRIT OF EVENING.
(_For the Mirror._)
Mild genius of the silent eve!
Thy pathway through the radiant skies,
Is the rich track which sunbeams weave
With all their varied, mingling, dyes,
Ere yet the lingering sun has fled,
Or glory left the mountain's head.
Yet not one ray of sunset's hue
Illumes thy silent, peaceful train;
And scarce a murmur trembles through
The woods, to hail thy gentle reign,
Save where the nightingale, afar,
Sings wildly to thy lonely star.
Yet gentlest eve, attending thee,
Come meek devotion, peace, and rest,
Mild contemplation, memory,
And silence with her sway so blest;
And every mortal wish and thought,
By thee to holiest peace is wrought.
Thine airs that crisp the quiet stream,
Are soft as slumbering infants' breath:
The trembling stars, that o'er thee beam,
Are pure as Faith's own crowning wreath:
And e'en thy silence has for me
A charm more sweet than melody.
Oh gentle spirit, blending all
The beauties parting day bestows,
With deeper hues that slowly fall,
To shadow Nature's soft repose;
So sweet, so mild, thy transient sway,
We mourn it should so soon decay.
But like the loveliest, frailest things
We prize on earth, thou canst not last;
For scarce thine hour its sweetness brings
To soothe, and bless us, e'er 'tis past;
And night, dull cheerless night destroys
Thy tender light, and peaceful joys.
* * * * *
TRAVELLING NOTES IN SOUTH WALES.
(_To the Editor._)
I observe a communication respecting my little note on the shrimp in one
of your recent Numbers. Whether shrimps or not, I was not aware of my
error, for they closely resembled them, and were not "as different as
possible," as H.W. asserts. Every person too, must have remarked the
agility of the old shrimp when caught. They were besides of various
sizes, many being much larger that what H.W. means as the "sea flea."
Perhaps H.W. will be good enough to describe the size of the latter
when he sends his history of the shrimp.
With regard to the "encroachers," my information must have been
incorrect. I had omitted, accidentally however, in the hurry of writing,
to add "if undisturbed for a certain period," to the passage quoted in
page 20 of your No. 529.
In North Wales, some years ago, there were some serious disturbances
concerning an invasion of the alleged rights of the peasantry, but
I do not now remember the particulars. Few things by the way, have been
attended with more mischievous effects in England than the extensive
system of inclosures which has been pursued within the last thirty
years. No less than 3,000 inclosure acts have been passed during that
period; and nearly 300,000 acres formerly common, inclosed: from which
the poor cottager was once enabled to add greatly to his comfort, and
by the support thus afforded him, to keep a cow, pigs, &c.
I attended a meeting at Exeter Hall, the other day, of the "Labourers'
Friend Society," whose object is to provide the peasantry with small
allotments of land at a low rent. This system, if extensively adopted,
promises to work a wonderful change for the better in the condition of
the working classes. Indeed the system where adopted has already been
attended with astonishing results. When we come to consider that out of
the 77,394,433 acres of land in the British Isles, there are no less
than 15,000,000 acres of uncultivated wastes, which might be profitably
brought under cultivation; it is surprising to us, that instead of
applying funds for emigration, our legislators have so long neglected
this all-important subject. Of the remaining 62,394,433 acres, it
appears that 46,522,970 are cultivated, and 15,871,463 unprofitable
land. The adoption of the allotment system has been justly characterized
as of national importance, inasmuch as it diminishes the burdens of the
poor, is a stimulus to industry, and profitably employs their leisure
hours; besides affording an occupation for their children, who would
otherwise, perhaps, run about in idleness.
In the reign of Elizabeth, no cottager had less than four acres of land
to cultivate; but it has been found that a single rood has produced the
most beneficial effects. We need scarcely add that where adopted, it has
very greatly reduced the poor-rates. The subject is an interesting one,
and, I trust, we shall in a short period hear of the benevolent and
meritorious objects of the Society being extensively adopted. We refer
the reader to some remarks on the subject in connexion with the Welsh
peasantry, &c. in _The Mirror_, No. 505.
In our description of Swansea, in No. 465, we mentioned the facility
with which the harbour could be improved, and the importance of adapting
it for a larger class of shipping than now frequent that port. On a
recent visit to South Wales, we found this improvement about to be
carried into effect, and an act is to be obtained during the present
session of Parliament. A new harbour on an extensive scale, is also
about to be commenced near Cardiff. The increase of population in Wales
has been very considerable since the census of 1821. Wales contains a
superficies of 4,752,000 acres; of which 3,117,000 are cultivated;
530,000 capable of improvement, and 1,105,000 acres are unprofitable
* * * * *
THE SKETCH BOOK
* * * * *
(_Concluded from page_ 137.)
But here come the graces of the forest, fifty at least in the herd--how
beautifully light and airy; elegance and pride personified; onward they
come in short, stately trot, and tossing and sawing the wind with their
lofty antlers, like Sherwood oak taking a walk; heavens! it is a sight
of sights. Now advance in play, a score of fawns and hinds in front of
the herd, moving in their own light as it were, and skipping and leaping
and scattering the dew from the green sward with their silvery feet,
like fairies dancing on a moonbeam, and dashing its light drops on to
the fairy ring with their feet of ether. O! it was a sight of living
electricity; our very eyes seemed to shoot sparks from man to man, and
even the monkey himself, as we gazed at each other in trembling
"Noo, here they coom wi' their een o' fire an' ears o' air," whispered
the Ettric poet.
"Hush," quoth I, "or they'll be off like feathers in a whirlwind, or
shadows of the lights and darks of nothingness lost in a poet's
"A _sumph_ ye mean," answered Jammie.
"Hush, there they are gazing in the water, and falling in love with
their own reflected beauty."
"Mark the brindled tan buck," whispered one keeper to the other. They
fired together, and both struck him plump in his eye of fire; mine
seemed to drop sparks with sympathy: he bounded up ten feet high--he
shrieked, and fell stone dead; Gods, what a shriek it was; I fancy even
now I have that shriek and its hill-echo chained to the tympanum of my
ear, like the shriek of the shipwrecked hanging over the sea--heavens!
it was a pity to slay a king I thought, as I saw him fall in his pride
and strength; but by some irresistible instinct, my own gun, pulled, I
don't know how, and went off, and wounded another in the hip, and he
plunged like mad into the river, to staunch his wounds and defend
himself against the dogs. Ay, there he is keeping them at bay, and
scorning to yield an inch backward; and now the keeper steals in behind
him and lets him down by ham-stringing him: but when he found his
favourite dog back-broken by the buck, why he cursed the deer, and
begged our pardon for swearing; and now he cuts a slashing gash from
shoulder to chop to let out the blood; and there lay they, dead, in
silvan beauty, like two angels which might have been resting on the
pole, and spirit-stricken into ice before they had power to flee away.
But we must away to Sir Reynard's hall, and unsough him; this we can
do with less sorrowful feelings than killing a deer, which indeed,
is like taking the life of a brother or a sister; but as to a fox,
there is an old clow-jewdaism about him, that makes me feel like
passing Petticoat-lane or Monmouth-street, or that sink of iniquity,
Holy-well-street. O, the cunning, side-walking, side-long-glancing,
corner-peeping, hang-dog-looking, stolen-goods-receiving knave;
"Christian dog" can hold no sympathy with thee, so have at thee.
Ah, here is his hold, a perfect Waterloo of bones.
"The banes o' my bonnie Toop, a prayer of vengeance for that; an' Sandy
Scott's twa-yir-auld gimmer, marterdum for that." "An' my braxsied
wether," quoth a forester; "the rack for that, and finally the auld
spay-wife's bantam cock, eyes and tongue cut out and set adrift again,
for that." Now we set to work to clear his hole for "rough Toby"
(a long-backed, short-legged, wire-haired terrier of Dandy Dinmont's
breed) to enter; in he went like red-hot fire, and "ready to nose the
vary deevil himsel sud he meet him," as Jammie Hogg said; and to see
the chattering anxiety of the red-coated monkey, as he sat at the mouth
of the fox-hole, on his shaggy, grizzle-grey shadow of a horse, like a
mounted guardsman in the hole yonder at St. James's; it truly would have
made a "pudding creep" with laughter--"Reek, reek, reeking into th' hole
after Toby, with his we we cunnin, pinkin, glimmerin een, an' catchin
him 'bith stump o' th' tail as he were gooin in an' handing as long as
he could," as James said. O, it was a very caricature of a caricature.
But list, I hear them scuffle, they are coming out. Notice the monkey
shaking his "bit staff;" here they come like a chimney swept in a hurry,
they are out. "What a gernin, glowerin, sneerin, deevilitch leuk can a
tod gie when hee's keepit at bay just afore he slinks off," exclaimed
the poet, as Reynard was stealing away; but yonder they go before the
wind, down the sweeping, outstretched glen, like smoke in a blast.
Ay, there they go, two stag hounds, monkey, and grew, and Toby yelping
behind; what a view we have of them--the grew is too fleet for him, he
turns him and keeps him at bay till the hounds come up; now they are
off again, and now we lose them, vanished like the shadow of a dream.
We followed, and on our way we met a herdsman, with his eyes staring
like two bullets stuck in clay, or rather two currants stuck in a
pudding: he said he had met "the deevil, a' dress'd like a heelanman o'
tod huntin;" of course we laughed from the bottom end of our very
bowels; but that was not the way to undemonize him, no, he pledged
himself that he saw him "wi' his own twa een lowp off the shoather o' a
thing lik a snagged foal, an' gie the tod such a dirl 'ith heed, that he
kilt him deed's a herrin, an' we micht a' witness the same by gannin to
the Shouther o' Birkin Brae." And truly it was as he said, for we found
the mark of the little Highlandman's shillela on the fox's head, while
he himself was sitting a straddle on him, like "the devil looking over
Lincoln Minster," and the dogs lying panting round about.
On our road home to Hogg's we paid a visit to a wild-cat's lair in the
Eagle's Cragg, and of all the incarnate devils, for fighting I ever saw,
they "cow the cuddy," as the Scotch say; perfect fiends on earth. There
was _pa_ and _ma_, or rather _dad_ and _mam_, (about the bigness of
tiger-cats, one was four feet and a half from tip to tail) and seven
kittens well grown; and O, the spit, snarl, tusshush and crissish, and
mow-waaugh they did kick up in their den, whilst in its darkness we
could see the _electricity_ or phosphorescence of their eyes and hair
sparkling like chemical fire-works. But I must tell you the rest
hereafter, for my paper is out!
* * * * *
* * * * *
MR. HAYDON'S PICTURES.
Mr. Haydon has nearly completed his _Xenophon_, which he intends to
make the nucleus of an Exhibition during the present town season. The
King has graciously lent Mr. Haydon the _Mock Election_ picture;
(for an Engraving of which see Mirror, vol. xi. p. 193,) for the above
purpose. There will be other pictures, of comic and domestic interest
by the same artist; among which will be _Waiting for the Times_,
(purchased by the Marquess of Stafford;) _The First Child_, very
like papa about the eyes, and mamma about the nose; _Reading the
Scriptures; Falstaff and Pistol; Achilles playing the Lyre;_ and
others, which with a variety of studies, will make up an interesting
* * * * *
* * * * *
A DAY IN BRAZIL.
The following is a translation of the leaf from the journal of Dr.
Martins, dated Para, August 16, 1819; and describes an equatorial day,
as observed near the mouths of the Para and the Amazons:--
How happy am I here! How thoroughly do I now understand many things
which before were incomprehensible to me! The glorious features of this
wonderful region, where all the powers of nature are harmoniously
combined, beget new sensations and ideas. I now feel that I better know
what it is to be a historian of nature. Overpowered by the contemplation
of an immense solitude, of a profound and inexpressible stillness,
it is, doubtless, impossible at once to perceive all its divine
characteristics; but the feeling of its vastness and grandeur cannot
fail to arouse in the mind of the beholder the thrilling emotions
of a hitherto inexperienced delight.
It is three o'clock in the morning, I quit my hammock; for the
excitement of my spirits banishes sleep. I open my window, and gaze on
the silent solemnity of night. The stars shine with their accustomed
lustre, and the moon's departing beam is reflected by the clear surface
of the river. How still and mysterious is every thing around me! I take
my dark lantern, and enter the cool verandah, to hold converse with my
trusty friends the trees and shrubs nearest to our dwelling. Most of
them are asleep, with their leaves closely pressed together; others,
however, which repose by day, stand erect, and expand themselves in
the stillness of night. But few flowers are open; only those of the
sweet-scented Paulli_nia_ greet me with a balmy fragrance, and
thine, lofty mango, the dark shade of whose leafy crown shields me from
the dews of night. Moths flit, ghost-like, round the seductive light of
my lantern. The meadows, ever breathing freshness, are now saturated
with dew, and I feel the damp of the night air on my heated limbs.
A Cicada, a fellow-lodger in the house, attracts me by its domestic
chirp back into my bedroom, and is there my social companion, while,
in a happy dreaming state, I await the coming day, kept half awake by
the buzz of the mosquites, the kettle-drum croak of the bull-frog, or
the complaining cry of the goatsucker.
About five o'clock I again look out, and behold the morning twilight.
A beautiful even tone of grey, finely blended with a warmth-giving red,
now overspreads the sky. The zenith only still remains dark. The trees,
the forms of which become gradually distinct, are gently agitated by
the land wind, which blows from the east. The red morning light and
its reflexes play over the dome-topped caryocars, bertholetias, and
symphonias. The branches and foliage are in motion, and all the lately
slumbering dreamers are now awake, and bathe in the refreshing air
of the morning. Beetles fly, gnats buzz, and the varied voice of the
feathered race resounds from every bush; the apes scream as they clamber
into the thickets; the night moths, surprised by the approach of light,
swarm back in giddy confusion to the dark recesses of the forest; there
is life and motion in every path; the rats and all the gnawing tribe are
hastily retiring to their holes, and the cunning marten, disappointed of
his prey, steals from the farm-yard, leaving untouched the poultry, to
whom the watchful cock has just proclaimed the return of day.
The growing light gradually completes the dawn, and at length the
effulgent day breaks forth. It is nature's jubilee. The earth awaits her
bridegroom, and, behold, he comes! Rays of red light illumine the sky,
and now the sun rises. In another moment he is above the horizon, and,
emerging from a sea of fire, he casts his glowing rays upon the earth.
The magical twilight is gone; bright gleams flit from point to point,
accompanied by deeper and deeper shadows. Suddenly the enraptured
observer beholds around him the joyous earth, arrayed in fresh dewy
splendour, the fairest of brides. The vault of heaven is cloudless;
on the earth all is instinct with life, and every animal and plant is
in the full enjoyment of existence. At seven o'clock the dew begins to
disappear, the land breeze falls off, and the increasing heat soon makes
itself sensibly felt. The sun ascends rapidly and vertically the
transparent blue sky, from which every vapour seems to disappear; but
presently, low in the western horizon, small, flaky, white clouds are
formed. These point towards the sun, and gradually extend far into the
firmament. By nine o'clock the meadow is quite dry, the forest appears
in all the splendour of its glowing foliage. Some buds are expanding;
others, which had effloresced more rapidly, have already disappeared.
Another hour, and the clouds are higher: they form broad, dense masses,
and, passing under the sun, whose fervid and brilliant rays now pervade
the whole landscape, occasionally darken and cool the atmosphere.
The plants shrink beneath the scorching rays, and resign themselves
to the powerful influence of the ruler of the day. The merry buzz of the
gold-winged beetle and humming-bird becomes more audible. The variegated
butterflies and dragon-flies on the bank of the river, produce, by
their gyratory movements, lively and fantastic plays of colour. The
ground is covered with swarms of ants, dragging along leaves for
their architecture. Even the most sluggish animals are roused by the
stimulating power of the sun. The alligator leaves his muddy bed, and
encamps upon the hot sand; the turtle and lizard are enticed from their
damp and shady retreats; and serpents of every colour crawl along the
warm and sunny footpaths.
But now the clouds are lowering; they divide into strata, end,
gradually getting heavier, denser, and darker, at last veil the horizon
in a blueish grey mist. Towards the zenith they tower up in bright
broad-spreading masses, and assume the appearance of gigantic mountains
in the air. All at once the sky is completely overcast, excepting that a
few spots of deep blue still appear through the clouds. The sun is hid,
but the heat of the atmosphere is more oppressive. The noontide is past;
a cheerless melancholy gloom hangs heavily over nature. Fast sink the
spirits; for painful is the change to those who have witnessed the
joyous animation of the morning. The more active animals roam wildly
about, seeking to allay the cravings of hunger and thirst; only the
quiet and slothful, who have taken refuge in the forest, seem to have
no apprehension of the dreadful crisis. But it comes! it rushes on with
rapid strides, and we shall certainly have it here. The temperature is
already lowered; the fierce and clashing gales tear up trees by the
roots. Dark and foaming billows swell the surface of the deeply agitated
sea. The roar of the river is surpassed by the sound of the wind, and
the waters seem to flow silently into the ocean. There the storm rages.
Twice, thrice, flashes of pale blue lightning traverse the clouds in
rapid succession: as often does the thunder roll in loud and prolonged
claps through the firmament. Drops of rain fall. The plants begin to
recover their natural freshness; it thunders again, and the thunder
is followed, not by rain, but by torrents, which pour down from the
convulsed sky. The forest groans; the whizzing rustle of the waving
leaves becomes a hollow murmuring sound, which at length resembles
the distant roll of muffled drums. Flowers are scatterd to and fro,
leaves are stripped from the boughs, branches are torn from the stems,
and massy trees are overthrown; the terrible hurricane ravishes all
the remaining virgin charms of the levelled and devastated plants.
But wherefore regret their fate? Have they not lived and bloomed?
Has not the _Inga_ twisted together its already emptied stamens?
Have not the golden petals fallen from the fractified blossoms of the
Baniser_ia_, and has not the fruit-loaded _A_rum yielded its
faded spathe to the storm? The terrors of this eventful hour fall
heavily even on the animal world. The feathered inhabitants of the woods
are struck dumb, and flutter about in dismay on the ground; myriads of
insects seek shelter under leaves and trunks of trees. The wild Mammalia
are tamed, and suspend their work of war and carnage; the cold-blooded
Amphibia alone rejoice in the overwhelming deluge, and millions of
snakes and frogs, which swarm in the flooded meadows, raise a chorus of
hissing and croaking. Streams of muddy water flow through the narrow
paths of the forests into the river, or pour into the cracks and chasms
of the soil. The temperature continues to descend, and the clouds
gradually empty themselves.
But at length a change takes place, and the storm which lately raged so
furiously is over. The sun shines forth with renovated splendour through
long extended masses of clouds, which gradually disperse towards the
horizon on the north and south, assuming, as in the morning, light,
vapoury forms, and hemming the azure basis of the firmament. A smiling
deep blue sky now gladdens the earth, and the horrors of the past
are speedily forgotten. In an hour no trace of the storm is visible;
the plants, dried by the warm sunbeams, rear their heaps with renewed
freshness, and the different kinds of animals obey, as before, their
respective instincts and propensities.
Evening approaches, and new clouds appear between the white flaky
fringes of the horizon. They diffuse over the landscape tints of violet
and pale yellow, which harmoniously blends the lofty forests in the
back-ground with the river and the sea. The setting sun, surrounded by
hues of variegated beauty, now retires through the western portals of
the firmament, leaving all nature to love and repose. The soft twilight
of evening awakens new sensations in animals and plants, and buzzing
sounds prove that the gloomy recesses of the woods are full of life and
motion. Love-sighs are breathed through the fragrant perfumes of newly
collapsed flowers, and all animated nature feels the influence of this
moment of voluptuous tranquillity. Scattered gleams of light, reflected
splendours of the departed sun, still float upon the woodland ridges;
while, amidst a refreshing coolness, the mild moon arises in calm and
silent grandeur, and diffusing her silver light over the dark forest,
imparts to every object a new and softened aspect. Night comes;--nature
sleeps, and the etheral canopy of heaven, arched out in awful immensity
over the earth, sparkling with innumerable witnesses of far distant
glories, infuses into the heart of man humility and confidence,--a
divine gift after such a day of wonder and delight!--_Mag. Nat.
Hist_. No. 24.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
We are happy to learn that the celebrated Arundel MSS., which had been
held for some time by the Royal Society, have recently been transferred
to the British Museum; as well as a valuable addition of coins.
In accordance with the suggestions made during the last Session of
Parliament, the library of the Museum will henceforth be open to the
public every day in the week, except Sundays.
During the past year 38,000 individuals visited the Museum, and very
nearly 100,000, namely, 99,852 persons, from all parts of the kingdom,
visited the Library for the purposes of study.
By the way, a livery-servant complained, in _The Times_ of the 1st
instant, that he had been refused admission to the Museum on an open and
public day, in consequence of his wearing a livery, notwithstanding he
saw "soldiers and sailors go in without the least objection." _The
Times_ remarks, "We believe livery-servants are not excluded from the
sight at Windsor on an open day. We suspect that the regulation is not
so much owing to any aristocratical notions on the part of the Directors
of the Museum, as to that fastidious feeling which prevails in this
country more than any other, and most of all among the lower ranks of
the middle classes." The cause is reasonable enough; but we believe that
livery-servants are not admitted at Windsor: the exclusion seems to be a
caprice of Royalty, for servants are excluded from our palace-gardens,
as Kensington. Surely this is unjust. If servants consent to wear
liveries to gratify the vanity of their wealthy employers, it is hard to
shut them out from common enjoyments on that account. This is in the
true spirit of vassalage, of which the liveries are comparatively a
harmless relic. In Paris we remember seeing a round-frocked peasant,
apparently just from the plough, pacing the polished floor of the Louvre
gallery with rough nailed shoes, and then resting on the velvet topped
settees; and he was admitted _gratis_. Would such a person,
tendering his shilling, be admitted to the Exhibition at Somerset House?
* * * * *
_Elements of Chemistry familiarly explained and practically
This is an excellent little work by Mr. Brande: it is not avowedly so,
although everyone familiar with his valuable Manual of Chemistry will
soon identify the authorship. The present is only the first Part of this
petite system, containing Attraction, Heat, Light, and Electricity.
It is, as the author intended it to be, "less learned and elaborate
than the usual systematic works, and at the same time more detailed,
connected, and explicit than the 'Conversations' or 'Catechisms.'"
It avoids "all prolixity of language and the use of less intelligible
terms;" and, to speak plainly, the illustrative applications throughout
the work are familiar as household words. Witness the following extract
from the effects of Heat:
"In consequence of the _lightness_ of heated air, it always rises
to the upper parts of rooms and buildings, when it either escapes, or,
becoming cooled and _heavier_, again descends. If, in cold weather,
we sit under a skylight in a warm room, a current of cold air is felt
descending upon the head, whilst warmer currents, rising from our bodies
and coming into contact with the cold glass, impart to it their excess
of heat. Being thus contracted in bulk, and rendered specifically
heavier, they in their turn descend, and thus a perpetual motion is kept
up in the mass of air. This effect is attended with much inconvenience
to those who inhabit the room, and is in great measure prevented by the
use of double windows, which prevent the rapid cooling and production of
troublesome currents in the air of the apartment.
"We generally observe, when the door of a room is opened, that there are
two distinct currents in the aperture; which may be rendered evident
by holding in it the flame of a candle. At the upper part it is blown
outwards, but inwards at the lower part; in the middle, scarcely any
draught of air, one way or other, is perceptible.
"The art of ventilating rooms and buildings is in a great measure
dependent upon the currents which we are enabled to produce in air by
changes of temperature, and is a subject of considerable importance.
As the heated air and effluvia of crowded rooms pass upwards, it is
common to leave apertures in or near the ceiling for their escape. Were
it not, indeed, for such contrivances, the upper parts of theatres and
some other buildings would scarcely be endurable; but a mere aperture,
though it allows the foul air to escape, in consequence of its specific
lightness, is also apt to admit a counter-current of denser and cold
air, which pours down into the room, and produces great inconvenience.
This effect is prevented by heating, in any convenient way, the tube or
flue through which the foul air escapes. A constantly ascending current
is then established; and whenever cold air attempts to descend, the
heat of the flue rarefies and drives it upwards. Thus the different
ventilators may terminate in tubes connected with a chimney; or they
may unite into a common trunk, which may pass over a furnace purposely
for heating it.
"In some of our theatres, the gas chandelier is made a very effectual
ventilator. It is suspended under a large funnel, which terminates
in a cowl outside the roof; and the number of burners heat the air
considerably, and cause its very rapid and constant ascent through the
funnel, connected with which there may be other apertures in the ceiling
of the building. But in these and most other cases, we may observe that
the vents are not sufficiently capacious; and the foul air from the
house, and from the gas-burners themselves, not being able readily to
escape, diffuses itself over the upper part of the building, and renders
the galleries hot and suffocating--all which is very easily prevented by
the judicious adjustment of the size of the ventilating channels to the
quantity of air which it is requisite should freely pass through them.
"The small tin ventilators, consisting of a rotating wheel, which we
sometimes see in window-panes, are perfectly useless, though it is often
imagined, in consequence of their apparent activity, that they must be
very effectual; but the fact is, that a very trifling current of air
suffices to put them in motion, and the apertures for its escape are so
small as to produce no effectual change in the air of the apartment:
they are also as often in motion by the ingress as by the egress of air.
"From what has been said, it will be obvious that our common fires
and chimneys are most powerful ventilators, though their good services
in this respect are often overlooked. As soon as the fire is lighted,
a rapid ascending current of air is established in the chimney, and
consequently there must be a constant ingress of fresh air to supply
this demand, which generally enters the room through the crevices of the
doors and windows. When these are too tight, the chimney smokes or the
fire will not draw; and in such cases it is sometimes necessary to make
a concealed aperture in some convenient part of the room for the
requisite admission of air, or to submit to sitting with a window or
door partly open. Any imperfect action of the chimney, or descending
current, is announced by the escape of smoke into the room, and is
frequently caused by the flue being too large, or not sufficiently
perpendicular and regular in its construction. When there is no fire,
the chimneys also generally act as ventilators; and in summer there is
often a very powerful current up them, in consequence of the roof and
chimney-pots being heated by the sun, and thus accelerating the ascent
of the air. In a well-constructed house there should be sufficient
apertures for the admission of the requisite quantity of air into the
respective rooms, without having occasion to trust to its accidental
ingress through every crack and crevice that will allow it to pass.
These openings may either be concealed, or made ornamental, and by
proper management may be subservient to the admission of warm air
* * * * *
HENRI III. OF FRANCE.
We quote the following scene from one of the Tales recently published
in three volumes with the general cognomen of _Chantilly_. It is from
the longest and most successful of the stories called "D'Espignac,"
in the time of Henri III., and, as our extract shows, the scenes and
sketches exhibit considerable talent, and a certain graphic minuteness
which has become very popular in modern novels. The tale itself is not
to our purpose, but we promise the reader a _petit souper_ of horrors
from its perusal, especially to those who woo terror to delight them.
The pen is young and feminine, and of high promise. The occasion of the
following scene is an interview of one of the characters with Henri.
"It was a small dark apartment, hung round with tapestry, the ceiling
richly decorated with massive ornaments of carved oak, and the floor
covered with a dark-coloured carpet of Turkey manufacture, so thick and
soft that the footsteps fell unheard as they advanced over it. It was
here that the monarch usually spent his leisure hours, and various were
the objects indicative of his tastes and habits scattered around, in a
confusion which completely put to flight all ideas of study or devotion
in the mind of the visiter. On a small table near the door were strewn
divers preparations for the toilette, and cosmetics for improving the
complexion, of which the King used quantities almost incredible, all
prepared by his own hand; and the mixing and arranging of these formed
his greatest delight and amusement. In the recesses on each side the
window stood two highly-polished ebony cases, which Catherine de Medicis
his mother had brought from Italy, for containing books and holy relics;
but for this they were totally useless to the present royal owner, who
applied them to a far different purpose. On the lower shelf next the
ground, were arranged small ornamented baskets, in each of which, on
satin cushions, reposed in regal luxury a litter of spaniel puppies,
which, together with their pampered mother, did not fail to salute with
deafening noise any stranger who entered. The messes, medicines, and
food of these little favourites completely filled the upper shelves, or
only disputed ground with the chains and collars of their predecessors,
a few of whom, rescued from oblivion, stood on the top, seemingly ready
as in life to fly out with inhospitable fury on the approach of
"The upper compartments of the window were of painted glass, and cast a
dismal light through the apartment, while the lower panes were darkened
by the hawk-mews raised on the terrace, that the King might enjoy the
daily satisfaction of seeing the birds fed before his eyes. On a table
near the window stood an inkstand, with various implements for writing,
but from the sorry condition in which they appeared, and the confusion
prevailing around, it was evident they were but seldom used. Small was
the space, however, allotted to such unimportant objects. His Majesty
had been deeply engaged during the morning tending a sick puppy, which
having washed in sweet water, and combed with a gilt comb, he had
adorned with ribbons, and placed in a basket by his side; mixing a
scented paste for whitening the hands, preparing a wash for the skin,
binding the broken leg of a wounded merlin, and finally seeking
relief from such engrossing pursuits in the favourite recreation of
disburdening a precious missal of its exquisite illuminations, in order
to ornament the walls and enliven the chamber! It was at this table
that Henri himself was seated, with his head resting on his hands, and
apparently buried in thought. The noisy greeting of the spaniels as
La Vallee entered caused him to start, and he turned towards the door
an anxious unquiet look, bespeaking distrust and apprehension, which,
however, quickly changed to one of pleasure as he heard the name and
recognised the features of his visiter.
"The King was at that time in the very flower of his age, and yet
he appeared no longer young. The cares of royalty, the murder of the
Guises, had planted many a deep and lasting furrow on his brow, which
time would have otherwise withheld for many years. His pallid cheek
and sunken eye told of a mind but ill at ease. No art, no charm could
restore the bloom and freshness which remorse for the past and fear for
the future had long ago dispelled, never to return. And yet, with that
sweet self-deception which all are so disposed to practise, he sought
to banish reflection and beguile alarm in the pursuit of all kinds of
frivolous amusements unworthy of his rank or station, and fancied he
had succeeded in chasing care if for a moment he ceased to think.
"His costume even now was foppish and _recherche_. Much time had
evidently been spent in adjusting the drooping leathers of his jewelled
toque, and no pains had been spared in properly disposing the plaits
of his _fraise_ and ruffles, or in arranging the folds of his
broidered mantle. The snow-white slippers, with the sky-blue roses, the
silken hose and braided doublet, seemed better fitted for the parade of
the courtly saloon than the privacy of the closet. The hand he extended
to the Count was like that of a youthful beauty, rather than of one who
had once wielded sword with the bravest. Every finger was adorned with
a costly jewel, which flashed and sparkled in the light as he waved his
hand in token of welcome, and, pointing to a chair, bade his visiter be
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
THE LAW OF ARREST. A TALE FROM FACTS.
Once upon a time there lived at Hamburgh a certain merchant of the name
of Meyer--he was a good little man; charitable to the poor, hospitable
to his friends, and so rich that he was extremely respected, in spite
of his good nature. Among that part of his property which was vested
in other people's hands, and called debts, was the sum of five hundred
pounds owed to him by the Captain of an English vessel. This debt had
been so long contracted that the worthy Meyer began to wish for a new
investment of his capital. He accordingly resolved to take a trip to
Portsmouth, in which town Captain Jones was then residing, and take that
liberty which in my opinion should in a free country never be permitted,
viz. the liberty of applying for his money.
Our worthy merchant one bright morning found himself at Portsmouth; he
was a stranger to that town, but not unacquainted altogether with the
English language. He lost no time in calling on Captain Jones.
"And vat?" said he to a man whom he asked to show him to the Captain's
house, "vat is dat fine veshell yondare?"
"She be the Royal Sally," replied the man, "bound for Calcutta--sails
to-morrow; but here's Captain Jones's house, Sir, and he'll tell you
all about it."
The merchant bowed, and knocked at the door of a red brick house--door
green--brass knocker. Captain Gregory Jones was a tall man; he wore a
blue coat without skirts; he had high cheek bones, small eyes, and his
whole appearance was eloquent of what is generally termed the bluff
honesty of the seaman. Captain Gregory seemed somewhat disconcerted at
seeing his friend--he begged for a little further time. The merchant
looked grave--three years had already elapsed. The Captain demurred--the
merchant pressed--the Captain blustered--and the merchant, growing
angry, began to threaten. All of a sudden Captain Jones's manner
changed--he seemed to recollect himself, begged pardon, said he could
easily procure the money, desired the merchant to go back to his inn,
and promised to call on him in the course of the day. Mynheer Meyer went
home, and ordered an excellent dinner. Time passed--his friend came not.
Meyer grew impatient. He had just put on his hat and was walking out,
when the waiter threw open the door, and announced two gentlemen.
"Ah, dere comes de monish," thought Mynheer Meyer. The gentlemen
approached--the taller one whipped out what seemed to Meyer a receipt.
"Ah, ver well, I vill sign, ver well!"
"Signing, Sir, is useless; you will be kind enough to accompany us. This
is a warrant for debt, Sir; my house is extremely comfortable--gentlemen
of the first fashion go there--quite moderate, too, only a guinea
a-day--find your own wine."
"I do--no--understand, Sare," said the merchant, smiling amiably,
"I am ver vell off here--thank you--"
"Come, come," said the other gentleman, speaking for the first time,
"no parlavoo Monsoo, you are our prisoner--this is a warrant for the
sum of 10,000l. due to Captain Gregory Jones."
The merchant stared--the merchant frowned--but so it was. Captain
Gregory Jones, who owed Mynheer Meyer 500l., had arrested Mynheer Meyer
for 10,000l.; for, as every one knows, any man may arrest us who has
conscience enough to swear that we owe him money. Where was Mynheer
Meyer in a strange town to get bail? Mynheer Meyer went to prison.
"Dis be a strange vay of paying a man his monish!" said Mynheer Meyer.
In order to wile away time, our merchant, who was wonderfully social,
scraped acquaintance with some of his fellow-prisoners. "Vat be you in
prishon for?" said he to a stout respectable-looking man who seemed in
a violent passion--"for vhat crime?"
"I, Sir, crime!" quoth the prisoner; "Sir, I was going to Liverpool
to vote at the election, when a friend of the opposite candidate had
me suddenly arrested for 2,000l. Before I get bail the election will
"Vat's that you tell me? arrest you to prevent your giving an honesht
vote? is that justice?"
"Justice, no!" cried our friend, it's the Law of Arrest."
"And vat be you in prishon for?" said the merchant pityingly to a thin
cadaverous-looking object, who ever and anon applied a handkerchief to
eyes that were worn with weeping.
"An attorney offered a friend of mine to discount a bill, if he could
obtain a few names to indorse it--_I_, Sir, indorsed it. The bill
became due, the next day the attorney arrested all whose names were
on the bill; there were eight of us, the law allows him to charge two
guineas for each; there are sixteen guineas, Sir, for the lawyer--but
I, Sir--alas my family will starve before _I_ shall be released.
Sir, there are a set of men called discounting attorneys, who live upon
the profits of entrapping and arresting us poor folk."
"Mine Gott! but is dat justice?"
"Alas! No, Sir, it is the law of arrest."
"But," said the merchant, turning round to a lawyer, whom the Devil had
deserted, and who was now with the victims of his profession; "dey tell
me, dat in Englant a man be called innoshent till he be proved guilty;
but here am I, who, because von carrion of a shailor, who owesh me five
hundred pounts, takes an oath that _I_ owe him ten thousand--here am
I, on that schoundrel's single oath, clapped up in a prishon. Is this
a man's being innoshent till he is proved guilty, Sare?"
"Sir," said the lawyer primly, "you are thinking of criminal cases;
but if a man be unfortunate enough to get into debt, that is quite a
different thing:--we are harder to poverty than we are to crime!"
"But, mine Gott! is that justice?"
"Justice! pooh! it's the law of arrest," said the lawyer, turning on
Our merchant was liberated; no one appeared to prove the debt. He flew
to a magistrate; he told his case; he implored justice against Captain
"Captain Jones!" said the magistrate, taking snuff; "Captain Gregory
Jones, you mean!"
"Ay, mine goot Sare--yesh!"
"He set sail for Calcutta yesterday. He commands the Royal Sally.
He must evidently have sworn this debt against you for the purpose of
getting rid of your claim, and silencing your mouth till you could
catch him no longer. He's a clever fellow is Gregory Jones!"
"De teufel! but, Sure, ish dere no remedy for de poor merchant?"
"Remedy! oh, yes--indictment for perjury."
"But vat use is dat? You say he be gone--ten thousand miles off--to
"That's certainly against your indictment!"
"And cannot I get my monish?"
"Not as I see."
"And _I_ have been arreshted instead of him!"
"Sare, I have only von vord to say--_is_ dat justice?"
"That I can't say, Mynheer Meyer, but it is certainly the law of
arrest," answered the magistrate; and he bowed the merchant out of
_New Monthly Magazine_.
* * * * *
SONGS FOUND IN A GRECIAN URN.
Beautiful, O woman! the sun on flower and tree,
And beautiful the balmy wind that dreameth on the sea;
And softly soundeth in thine ear, the song of peasants reaping,
The dove's low chant among the leaves, its twilight vigil keeping.
And beautiful the hushing of the linnet in her nest,
With her young beneath her wings, and the sunset on her breast:
While hid among the flowers, where the dreamy bee is flitting,
Singing unto its own glad heart, the poet child is sitting.
It stirreth up the soul, upon the golden waves to see,
The galley lifting up her crowned head triumphantly--
Io! Io! now she laugheth like a Queen of Araby,
While Joy and Music strew with flowers the pathway of her Chariotry!
And beautiful unto thy soul, at summer time to wait,
Till Moonlight with her sweet pale feet, comes dancing to thy gate;
Thy violet-eyes upturn'd unto thy love with timid grace,
He feels thine arm about his neck, thy kisses on his face.
Beautiful, O gentle girl, these pleasant thoughts to thee,
These chosen sheaves, long harvested within thy memory!
But when thy face grows dim, with weariness and care,
Thy heart, forgetting all its songs, awaketh but to prayer!
Thou lookest for a gleeful face, thine opening eyes to greet,
While coldness gathers on thy breast, the shadow round thy feet--
Beautiful, O woman, the green earth and the flowers may be,
But sweeter in that hour the voice of thy First-born Child to thee!
* * * * *
THE ATHENIAN LOVER TO HIS MISTRESS.
The spirit of mine eyes is faint
With gazing on thy light;
I close my eyelids, but within,
Sweet, thou art shining bright,
Sitting amid the purple gloom,
Like a flower-bird at night!
Thy beauty walketh by my side
By the green wood, on the sea;
I hear thee in the bird that sings
Upon the orange-tree;
Thy face upon the haunted streams
Is looking up to me.
Gentle one, in grief I linger
Beside the glimmering nest,
Till evening sinketh in the flowers,
Like a weary fawn to rest,
Yea, my heart is sick with longing
To dream upon thy breast!
From the dark of their golden lids
Thy singing eyes look out,
Like doves in the olives hearing
The shepherd's jocund shout,
As he wandereth with his pipe
The sunny glen about.
I have opened mine eyes--
Thy beauty will not part,
But thy feet are dancing round me,
Lovely! that thou art--
The sweet breath of thine eyes doth fall,
Like odour on my heart!
* * * * *
TO AN ARCADIAN CHILD SLEEPING.
Sleep on--sleep on--the silver flowers
A pillow for thy head may be,
While Evening with her band of hours
Sits by thee silently.
From Morning in the vine-yards straying--
Sweet child, so fair and meek!
She lieth down, and tired of playing,
Darkens the bright grass with her cheek.
One arm upon her eyes she foldeth,
O'er which her hair is softly fann'd,
And still with fainting grasp she holdeth
The lilies in her hand.
Oh--wake her not! the forest streams
With balmy lips are breathing rest;
Nor stir the garland of sweet dreams
Which Sleep hath bound upon her breast.
_New Monthly Magazine_.
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF _NEW WORKS_.
* * * * *
ADVENTURES OF A YOUNGER SON.
These are three volumes of spirit-stirring scenes, understood to
be written by Captain Trelawney, the friend of Lord Byron. They are
said to embody many incidents of the early life of the writer, though
portions are too strongly tinged with romance to belong to sober
reality. The Younger Son is driven from his native hearth by a cruel
father. His proud spirit revolts at such oppression. He sings with Byron
And now I'm in the world alone,
Upon the wide wide sea;
But why should I for others groan,
When none will sigh for me.
His father intends him for the church, but instead of being sent to
Oxford, he is taken to Portsmouth, and shipped on board a line of battle
ship, the Superb, as passenger to join one of Nelson's squadron; but
through delay he falls in with the Nelson fleet of Trafalgar, two days
after the deathless victory. He returns to England, and is sent to Dr.
Burney's navigation school. He next sails for the East Indies, and at
Bombay he falls in with an adventurous stranger, whom he is minute in
describing, "to account in part for the extraordinary influence he
gained, on so short an acquaintance," over his mind and imagination.
He became his model. The height of his ambition was to imitate him,
even in his defects. Thenceforth his life of adventure begins. In its
progress, he describes many beautiful scenes in the East with touching
enthusiasm, and some of his pictures of luxuriant nature are admirably
We pass over these to the heroine, at Port St. Louis:
_An Arabian Beauty_.
"Zela had the blood of a fearless race. She had been bred and
schooled amidst peril always at hand. Not having learnt to affect
what she did not feel, she crossed ravines, wound along precipices,
and waded through streams and rivers, not only without impeding us
by enacting a pantomimic representation of fears, tears, entreaties,
prayers, screaming, and fainting, but she was such a simpleton as not
even to notice them, unless, in the usual sweet, low tone of her voice,
to remark that they were delightful places to sit in, during the sultry
part of the day; or she would stop her pony over a precipice to gather
some curious flowers, drooping from a natural arch; or to pluck the
pendant and waving boughs of the most graceful of Indian tress, the
imperial mimosa, sensitive and sacred as love, shrinking from the
touch of the profane.
"'Put this,' she said, holding out a branch, 'in your turban; for I am
sure in some of these hollow caves and dreary chasms the ogres live;
they feed their young with human blood, and they love to give them the
young and beautiful. Put it in your turban, brother,--since you say I
must not call you master;--and never frown,--I do not like to see it,
for then you are not so handsome,--I mean, good, as when you smile.
Do not laugh, but take it. It will preserve you from every spell and
magic. Nothing bad dares come near it.'
"While crossing a sandy level, suddenly she started, as her eye caught
some object. Without stopping her horse, which was ambling along, she
sprang off, and ran up a sand hill, like a white doe. Never having
witnessed any thing like this before, I was so astonished that she was
returning, ere I could overtake her to ask if an ogre had lured her with
his evil eye. 'O, no,' she cried,--'look here! You like flowers, but did
you ever see any so lovely as this?--Smell it,--'tis so sweet, that the
rose, if growing near it, loses its beauty and fragrance, from envy of
"Certainly I thought she was bewitched. It was a glaring, large, red
bough, full of blowzy blossoms, and yellow berries, with a musky, foeted
odour. 'Why,' I exclaimed, 'you have as much reason to be jealous of old
Kamalia, your nurse, as the rose to be jealous of such a scraggy bramble
as this! Faugh! the smell makes me sick.'
"I suppose I was instigated to make this rude speech by her fondling
and kissing it. Her dark eyes expanded; and she seemed, for an instant,
to view me with astonishment, then with sorrow; as they closed, I
perceived that their brightness was gone, and the long, jetty fringe,
which arched upwards as it pressed her cheek, was covered with little
pearly dew-drops. The branch fell from her hand under my feet, her
sprightly form drooped, and the tones of her voice reminded me of the
time when she hung over her dying parent, as she said,--'pardon me,
stranger! I had forgotten you are not of my father's land. This tree
covered my father's tent, sheltered us from the sun, and kept away the
flies, when we slept in the day. Our virgins wreathe it in their hair,
and, if they die, it is strewed over their graves. So, I can't help
loving it better than any thing. But, since you say it makes you sick,
I won't love it, or gather it any more.' Then her words became almost
inarticulate from sobbing, as she added,--'Why should I wear it now?
I belong to a stranger!. My father is gone!'
"I need scarcely say that I not only returned the flowers, and pleaded
my ignorance, but I went up to the hill, and pulled up the tree by the
roots. 'Sweet sister,' said I, 'I was only angry with it because you
abused the favoured tree of our country, the rose. But now, as the sun
shines on it, and I see it nearer,'--looking at her,--'I do think the
rose may envy it, as the loveliest of my country women might envy you.
I'll plant it in our garden.'
"'O, how good you are!' she exclaimed; 'and I'll plant a rose-tree near
it, and they shall mingle their sweets; for our love and care of them
will make them live together without envy. Every thing should love each
other. I love every tree, and fruit, and flower.'
"Still I observed, as her thin robes were disarranged, that her little
downy bosom fluttered like an imprisoned bird panting for liberty; and,
to turn her thoughts from what had pained her, I said,--'Do not fear,
dear Zela. That is the last stream we have to cross; and then we shall
ride over that beautiful plain.'
"'O, stranger!' she replied, 'Zela never feared any thing, but her
father, when angry; and then, those who feared not to gaze on the
lightning, when all the world appeared to be on fire, feared to look
in his face. Then his voice was louder than the thunder, and his lance
deadlier than the thunderbolt. Last evening, when you talked to that
tall man, who is so gentle, you looked like my father; and I thought you
were going to kill him, and I wanted to tell you not; for I have read
his eyes, and he loves you much. It is very bad to be angry with those
that love us.'
"'Oh, you mean Aston! No, dear, I was not angry with him. I love him
too. We were talking of the horrid cruelties practised on the poor
slaves here; and I was angry at that.'
"'I wish I knew your language! How I should have loved to hear you! And
then I should have slept; but being ignorant of that, I did nothing but
weep, because I thought I saw you angry with one that loves you.'"
* * * * *
"It was only in Zela's absence that I could dwell on her portraiture.
She had just turned her fourteenth year; and though certainly not
considered, even in the east, as matured, yet, forced like a flower,
fanned by the sultry west wind, into early developement, her form, like
its petals bursting through the bud, gave promise of the rarest beauty
and sweetness. Nurtured in the shade, her hue was pale, but contrasted
with the date-coloured women about her, the soft and transparent
clearness of her complexion was striking; and it was heightened by
clouds of the darkest hair. She looked like a solitary star unveiled
in the night, The breadth and depth of her clear and smooth forehead
were partly hidden by the even silky line from which the hair arose,
fell over in rich profusion, and added to its brightness; as did the
glossy, well-defined eye-brow, boldly crossing the forehead, slightly
waved at the outer extremities, but not arched. Her eyes were full, even
for an orientalist, but neither sparkling nor prominent, soft as the
thrush's. It was only when moved by joy, surprise, or sorrow, that the
star-like iris dilated and glistened, and then its effect was most
eloquent and magical. The distinct ebon-lashes which curtained them were
singularly long and beautiful; and when she slept they pressed against
her pale cheeks, and were arched upwards.
"That portion of the eye, generally of a pearly whiteness, in hers was
tinted with a light shade of blue, like the bloom on a purple grape, or
the sky seen through the morning mist. Her mouth was harmony and love;
her face was small and oval, with a wavy outline of ineffable grace
descending to her smooth and unruffled neck, thence swelling at her
bosom, which was high, and just developing into form. Her limbs were
long, full, and rounded, her motion was quick, but not springy, light
as a zephyr. As she then stood canopied beneath the dense shade of that
sacred Hindoo tree, with its drooping foliage hanging in clusters round
her, in every clasped and sensitive leaf of which a fairy is said to
dwell, I fancied she was their queen, and must have dropped from one of
the leaves, to gambol and wanton among the flowers below. Running to
her, I caught her in my arms, and said, 'I watched your fall, and have
you now, dear sprite, and will keep you here!'--pressing her to my
"'Oh, put me down! You hurt me,--I have not fallen,--oh, let me go!'
"'Will you promise then not to take flight to your leafy dwelling, in
that your fairy kingdom-tree?'
"'What do you mean? Oh, let me go,--you'll crush me!'
"I gently placed her on the ground, and told her my fears. The instant
I unclutched her, she ran to her old attendant, scared like a young
leveret; and this was my first embrace of my Arab maid.
"That it may not be considered I exaggerate, when speaking of the Arabs
in India generally, I must refer the reader to what a recent, learned,
and unprejudiced traveller says of them: 'The Arabs are numerous in
India; their comparative fairness, their fine, bony, and muscular
figures, their noble countenances, and picturesque dress, intelligent,
bold, and active,' &c.
"Zela's father was all this, and her mother a celebrated beauty brought
from the Georgian Caucasus, and twice made captive by the chance of war.
After giving birth to Zela, she looked, and saw her own image in her
child, blessed it, and yielded up her mortality. Is it to be marvelled
at, that the offspring of such parents was as I have described, or
rather what I have attempted to describe? For I am little skilled in
words, or words are insufficient to represent what the eye sees, and
the heart feels."
We must return to these very attractive volumes.
* * * * *
* * * * *
_A Mistake_.--In consequence of some transposition by which an
announcement of the decease of a country clergyman had got inserted
amongst the announcements of the marriages in a country paper a few
days since, the announcement read thus: "Married the Rev. ----, curate
of ----, to the great regret of all his parishioners, by whom he was
universally beloved. The poor will long have cause to lament the
_New Bankrupt Court_.--One of the inferior judges, whose salaries
are, by the Act, to be paid out of the fees, seeing that the whole
amount was absorbed by the chief, observed to an associate on the bench,
"Upon my word, R----, I begin to think that our appointment is all a
matter of moonshine." "I hope it may be so," replied R----, "for then
we shall soon see the first quarter."
The same humorous judge had listened to a very long argument on a
particular case in which the counsel rested much upon a certain act of
parliament. His opponent replied, "You need not rely on _that_ act,
for its teeth have been drawn by so many decisions against it, that it
is worth nothing." Still the counsel argued on, and insisted on its
authority; after listening to which for a good hour, his lordship drily
remarked, "I do believe all the teeth of this act have been drawn, for
there is nothing left but the jaw."--_Literary Gazette_.
_Criticism_.--A print of a wounded leopard is described by a
contemporary as "a powerful exhibition of animal agony." Did our critic
ever hear of vegetable agony?
_Humbug_.--A correspondent of the _Times_ says "Every body is not
acquainted with the etymology of the word Humbug. It is a corruption
of Hamburgh, and originated in the following manner: During a period
when war prevailed on the Continent, so many false reports and lying
bulletins were fabricated at Hamburgh, that, at length, when any one
would signify his disbelief of a statement, he would say, 'You had
that from Hamburgh;' and thus, 'That is Hamburgh,' or 'Humbug,' became
a common expression of incredulity."
_A Clincher_.--An American paper says, this is the method of catching
tigers in India:--"A man carries a board, on which a human figure is
painted; as soon as he arrives at the den, he knocks behind the board
with a hammer; the noise rouses the tiger, when he flies in a direct
line at the board, and grasps it, and the man behind clinches his claws
in the wood, and so secures him."
_Franking Letters_.--The Princess Augusta asked Lord Walsingham for
a frank; he wrote one for her in such detestable characters that, at the
end of a week, after having wandered half over England, it was opened,
and returned to her as illegible. The Princess complained to Lord
Walsingham, and he then wrote the frank for her so _legibly_, that at
the end of a couple of days, it was returned to her, marked
_Epigram from Scarron_.
A Confessor was caugh t'other day rather jolly,
Who observed, "When a man has committed a folly,
If he has any sense left, hastens straightway to me,
When, confessing his guilt, I can soon set him free;
But how hard is my fate! for when wrong I have done,
Absolution's denied me by every one;
In which case, that I may from conscience escape,
Take refuge from thought in the juice of the grape."
_Signs_.--To trace the origin of signs would be an amusing relaxation
for the Society of Antiquaries. Who could have imagined that "bag o'
nails," was a corruption of the Bacchanals, which it evidently is from
the rude epigraph still subjoined to the fractured classicism of the
title? In the same manner the more modern "Goat and compasses" may be
identified with the text of "God encompasseth us," which was a favourite
motto amongst the ale-house Puritans.--_Blackwood's Magazine_.
_Half-honesty_.--A few nights since a friend gave a hackney-coachman
two sovereigns instead of two shillings for his fare; when the coachman
turned sharply and said, "Sir, you have given me a sovereign," keeping
back the other; for which supposed honesty he was rewarded.
_Proxy_.--In 1436, we find the Bishop of Hola, in Iceland, whimsically
enough hiring the master of a London merchant ship to sail to Iceland as
his proxy, and to perform the necessary visitation of his see; the good
prelate dreading in person to encounter the boisterous northern ocean.
_Swelled Ankles at a Discount_.--In the year 1699, when King William
returned from Holland in a state of severe indisposition, he sent for
Dr. Radcliffe, and showing him his swollen ankles, while the rest of
his body was emaciated, said, "What think you of these?" "Why truly,"
replied the doctor, "I would not have your majesty's two legs for your
three kingdoms." This freedom was never forgiven by the king, and no
intercession could ever recover his favour towards Radcliffe.
Judge Rumsey was so excellent a lawyer that he was called the _Picklock
of the Law_.
_Commerce and Theft_ in every age and country have gone regularly
together. Commerce accumulates riches, supplies the commodities to be
stolen, supplies therefore the temptation, and puts the temptation in
the way. Mercury was the God at once of Peace, of Merchants, and of
Thieves; and it is not very long since an African king said he designed
to send his son to Europe, "to read book and be rogue like white man."
* * * * *
With many Engravings, price 5s.
ARCANA OF SCIENCE
And Annual Register of the Useful Arts for 1832.
"This work is exceedingly valuable, and may be considered as an
Encyclopaedia, to which the most eminent of their time are constantly
contributing."--_New Monthly Magazine, March_.
Printed for JOHN LIMBIRD, 143, Strand.
* * * * *
_Printed and published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset
House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic;
G.G. BENNIS, 55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris; and by all Newsmen