Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Barbara Tozier and PG Distributed
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 17, No. 483.] SATURDAY, APRIL 2, 1831. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
[Illustration: GROTTO AT ASCOT PLACE.]
Here is a picturesque contrivance of Art to embellish Nature. We have
seen many such labours, but none with more satisfaction than the Grotto
at Ascot Place.
This estate is in the county of Surrey, five miles south-east from
Windsor, on the side of Ascot Heath, near Winkfield. The residence was
erected by Andrew Lindergreen, Esq.; at whose death it was sold to
Daniel Agace, Esq., who has evinced considerable taste in the
arrangement of the grounds. The house is of brick, with wings. On the
adjoining lawn, a circular Corinthian temple produces a very pleasing
effect. The gem of the estate is, however, the above Grotto, which is
situate at the end of a canal running through the grounds. Upon this
labour of leisure much expense and good taste have been bestowed. It
consists of four rooms, but one only, for the refreshing pastime of tea
drinking, appears to be completed. It is almost entirely covered with a
white spar, intermixed with curious and unique specimens of polished
pebbles and petrifactions. The ceiling is ornamented with pendants of
the same material; and the whole, when under the influence of a
strong sun, has an almost magical effect. These and other decorations of
the same grounds were executed by a person named Turnbull, who was
employed here for several years by Mr. Agace. Our View is copied from
one of a series of engravings by Mr. Hakewill, the ingenious architect;
these illustrations being supplementary to that gentleman's quarto
_History of Windsor_.
We request the reader to enjoy with us the delightful repose--the cool
and calm retreat--of the Engraving. Be he never so indifferent a lover
of Nature, he must admire its picturesque beauty; or be he never so
enthusiastic, he must regard with pleasure the ingenuity of the artist.
To an amateur, the pursuit of decorating grounds is one of the most
interesting and intellectual amusements of retirement. We have
worshipped from dewy morn till dusky eve in rustic temples and "cool
grots," and have sometimes aided in their construction. The roots,
limbs, and trunks of trees, and straw or reeds, are all the materials
required to build these hallowed and hallowing shrines. We call them
hallowing, because they are either built, or directed to be built, in
adoration of the beauties of Nature; who, in turn, mantles them with
endless varieties of lichens and mosses. In the Rookery adjoining John
Evelyn's "Wotton" were many such temples dedicated to sylvan deities:
one of them, to Pan, consists of a pediment supported by four rough
trunks of trees, the walls being of moss and laths, and enclosed with
tortuous limbs. Beneath the pediment is the following apposite line from
Pan curat oves oviumque magistros.
Pan, guardian of the sheep and shepherds too.
Yet the building is not merely ornamental, for the back serves as a
Pope's love of grotto-building has made it a poetical amusement. Who
does not remember his grotto at Twickenham--
The EGERIAN GROT,
Where, nobly pensive, ST. JOHN sat and thought;
Where British sighs from dying _Wyndham_ stole,
And the bright flame was shot through Marchmont's soul.
Let such, such only, tread this sacred floor,
Who dare to love their COUNTRY, and be poor.
--The Grotto, has, however, crumbled to the dilapidations of time, and
the pious thefts of visiters; but, proud are we to reflect that the
poetry of the great genius who dictated its erection--LIVES; and his
fame is untarnished by the canting reproach of the critics of our time.
True it is that the best, or ripest fruit, is always most pecked at.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror._)
Slowly o'er the mountain's brow
Rosy light is dawning;
See! the stars are fading now
In the beam of morning.
Yonder soft approaching ray
Bids us, Fairies, haste away.
Fairy guardians, watching o'er
Flowers of tender blossom,
Chilling damps descend no more,
And the flow'ret's bosom,
Opening to th' approaching day,
Bids ye, Fairies, haste away.
Hark! the lonely bird of night
Stays its notes of sadness;
Early birds, that hail the light,
Soon shall wake to gladness.
Philomel's concluding lay
Bids us follow night away.
Ye that guard the infant's rest,
Or watch the maiden's pillow;--
Demons seek their home unblest
'Neath Ocean's deepest billow:
Harmless now the dreams that play
O'er slumbering eyes, then haste away.
Farewell lovely scenes, that here
Wait the day god's shining;
We must follow Dian's sphere
O'er the hills declining.
Brighter comes the beam of day--
Haste ye, Fairies, haste away.
* * * * *
DREAMS PRODUCED BY WHISPERING IN THE SLEEPER'S EAR.
(_For the Mirror._)
Dreams are but interludes which fancy makes;
When monarch Reason sleeps, this mimic wakes.
Dr. Abercrombie, in his work on the Intellectual Powers, has recorded
several instances of remarkable dreams.--Among them is the following
extraordinary instance of the power which may be exercised over some
persons while asleep, of creating dreams by whispering in their ears. An
officer in the expedition to Lanisburg, in 1758, had this peculiarity in
so remarkable a degree, that his companions in the transport were in the
constant habit of amusing themselves at his expense. It had more effect
when the voice was that of a friend familiar to him. At one time they
conducted him through the whole progress of a quarrel, which ended in a
duel, and when the parties were supposed to be met, a pistol was put
into his hand, which he fired, and was awakened by the report. On
another occasion they found him asleep on the top of a locker, or
bunker, in the cabin, when they made him believe he had fallen
overboard, and exhorted him to save himself by swimming. They then told
him a shark was pursuing him, and entreated him to dive for his life;
this he instantly did, but with such force as to throw himself from the
locker to the cabin floor, by which he was much bruised, and awakened of
course. After the landing of the army at Lanisburg, his companions found
him one day asleep in the tent, and evidently much annoyed by the
cannonading. They then made him believe he was engaged, when he
expressed great fear, and an evident disposition to run away. Against
this they remonstrated, but at the same time increased his fears by
imitating the groans of the wounded and the dying; and when he asked, as
he sometimes did, who were down, they named his particular friends. At
last they told him that the man next him in the line had fallen, when he
instantly sprang from his bed, rushed out of the tent, and was roused
from his danger and his dream together, by falling over the tent ropes.
By the by, all this is quite contrary to Dryden's theory, who says--
"As one who in a frightful dream would shun
His pressing foe, _labours in vain_ to run;
And his own slowness in his sleep bemoans,
With thick short sighs, weak cries, and tender groans."
And again, in his Virgil--
"When heavy sleep has closed the sight,
And sickly fancy labours in the night,
We seem to run, and, destitute of force,
Our sinking limbs forsake us in the course;
In vain we heave for breath--_in vain we cry_--
_The nerves unbraced, their usual strength deny,
And on the tongue the flattering accents die_."
Now this man seems to have had the use not only of his limbs, but of his
faculty of speech, while dreaming; and it was not till after he awoke
that he felt the oppression Dryden describes; for it is stated, that
when he awoke he had no distinct recollection of his dream, but only a
confused feeling of oppression and fatigue, and used to tell his
companions that he was sure they had been playing some trick upon him.
P.S. This is a sleepy article; and I would warn its reader to endeavour
not to fall asleep over it, and thus endanger his falling over his
chair; and lest some familiar friend or _chere amie_ should, finding
his instructions in his hand, take the opportunity of making the
experiment, and may be create a little jealous quarrel or so.
* * * * *
SONNET TO THE RIVER ARUN.
(_For the Mirror._)
Pure Stream! whose waters gently glide along,
In murmuring cadence to the Poet's ear,
Who, stretch'd at ease your flowery banks among,
Views with delight your glassy surface clear,
Roll pleasing on through Otways sainted wood;
Where "musing Pity" still delights to mourn,
And kiss the spot where oft her votary stood,
Or hang fresh cypress o'er his weeping urn;--
Here, too, retir'd from Folly's scenes afar,
His powerful shell first studious Collins strung;
Whilst Fancy, seated in her rainbow car,
Round him her flowers Parnassian wildly flung.
Stream of the Bards! oft Hayley linger'd here;
And Charlotte Smith hath grac'd thy current with a tear.
_The Author of "A Tradesman's Lays." No. 85, Leather Lane._
 This charming, accomplished poetess has addressed one of her
most beautiful "Elegiac Sonnets" to this inspiring River.
Her tender image of the "infant Otway" is, however, borrowed
from a stanza in Collins's inimitable "Ode to Pity:"--
"Wild Arun, too, has heard thy strains
And echo 'midst my native plains
Been sooth'd by Pity's lute;
There first the wren thy myrtles shed
On gentlest Otway's _infant head_--
To him thy cell was shown," &c.
* * * * *
* * * * *
ANCIENT BLACK BOOKS, &c.
(_For the Mirror._)
The Black Book of the Exchequer is said to have been composed in the
year 1175, by Gervase of Tilbury, nephew of King Henry the Second. It
contains a description of the court of England, as it then stood, its
officers, their ranks, privileges, wages, perquisites, powers, and
jurisdictions; and the revenues of the crown, both in money, grain, and
cattle. Here we find, that for one shilling, as much bread might be
bought as would serve a hundred men a whole day; and the price for a fat
bullock was only twelve shillings, and a sheep four, &c. At the end of
this book are the Annals of William of Worcester, which contain notes on
the affairs of his own times.
The Black Book of the English Monasteries was a detail of the scandalous
enormities practised in religious houses: compiled by order of the
visiters, under King Henry the Eighth, to blacken them, and thus hasten
Books which relate to necromancy are called Black Books.
Black-rent, or Black-mail, was a certain rate of money, corn, cattle, or
other consideration, paid (says Cowell) to men allied with robbers, to
be by them protected from the danger of such as usually rob or steal.
* * * * *
ANCIENT STATE OF PANCRAS.
(_For the Mirror._)
Brewer, in his "London and Middlesex," says--"When a visitation of the
church of Pancras was made, in the year 1251, there were only forty
houses in the parish." The desolate situation of the village, in the
latter part of the 16th century, is emphatically described by Norden, in
his "Speculum Britanniae." After noticing the solitary condition of the
church, he says--"Yet about the structure have bin manie buildings, now
decaied, leaving poore Pancrast without companie or comfort." In some
manuscript additions to his work, the same writer has the following
observations:--"Although this place be, as it were, forsaken of all, and
true men seldom frequent the same, but upon deveyne occasions, yet it is
visayed by thieves, who assemble not there to pray, but to waite for
prayer; and many fall into their handes, clothed, that are glad when
they are escaped naked. Walk not there too late."
Pancras is said to have been a parish before the Conquest, and is
mentioned in Domesday Book. It derived its name from the saint to whom
the church is dedicated--a youthful Phrygian nobleman, who suffered
death under the Emperor Dioclesian, for his adherence to the Christian
* * * * *
SALT AMONG THE ANCIENT GREEKS.
(_For the Mirror._)
Potter, in his "Antiquities of Greece," says--"Salt was commonly set
before strangers, before they tasted the victuals provided for them;
whereby was intimated, that as salt does consist of aqueous and terrene
particles, mixed and united together, or as it is a concrete of several
aqueous parts, so the stranger and the person by whom he was entertained
should, from the time of their tasting salt together, maintain a
constant union of love and friendship."
Others tell us, that salt being apt to preserve flesh from corruption,
signified, that the friendship which was then begun should be firm and
lasting; and some, to mention no more different opinions concerning this
matter, think, that a regard was had to the purifying quality of salt,
which was commonly used in lustrations, and that it intimated that
friendship ought to be free from all design and artifice, jealousy and
It may be, the ground of this custom was only this, that salt was
constantly used at all entertainments, both of the gods and men, whence
a particular sanctity was believed to be lodged in it: it is hence
called divine salt by Homer, and holy salt by others; and by placing of
salt on the table, a sort of blessing was thought to be conveyed to
them. To have eaten at the same table was esteemed an inviolable
obligation to friendship; and to transgress the salt at the table--that
is, to break the laws of hospitality, and to injure one by whom any
person had been entertained--was accounted one of the blackest crimes:
hence that exaggerating interrogation of Demosthenes, "Where is the
salt? where the hospital tables?" for in despite of these, he had been
the author of these troubles. And the crime of Paris in stealing Helena
is aggravated by Cassandra, upon this consideration, that he had
contemned the salt, and overturned the hospital table.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE GAMESTER'S DAUGHTER.
_From the Confessions of an Ambitious Student._
A fit, one bright spring morning, came over me--a fit of poetry. From
that time the disorder increased, for I indulged it; and though such of
my performances as have been seen by friendly eyes have been looked upon
as mediocre enough, I still believe, that if ever I could win a lasting
reputation, it would be through that channel. Love usually accompanies
poetry, and, in my case, there was no exception to the rule.
"There was a slender, but pleasant brook, about two miles from our
house, to which one or two of us were accustomed, in the summer days, to
repair to bathe and saunter away our leisure hours. To this favourite
spot I one day went alone, and crossing a field which led to the brook,
I encountered two ladies, with one of whom, having met her at some house
in the neighbourhood, I had a slight acquaintance. We stopped to speak
to each other, and I saw the face of her companion. Alas! were I to live
ten thousand lives, there would never be a moment in which I could be
alone--nor sleeping, and that face not with me!
"My acquaintance introduced us to each other. I walked home with them to
the house of Miss D----(so was the strange, who was also the younger
lady named.) The next day I called upon her; the acquaintance thus
commenced did not droop; and, notwithstanding our youth--for Lucy D----
was only seventeen, and I nearly a year younger--we soon loved, and with
a love, which, full of poesy and dreaming, as from our age it
necessarily must have been, was not less durable, nor less heart-felt,
than if it had arisen from the deeper and more earthly sources in which
later life only hoards its affections.
"Oh, God! how little did I think of what our young folly entailed upon
us! We delivered ourselves up to the dictates of our hearts, and forgot
that there was a future. Neither of us had any ulterior design; we did
not think--poor children that we were--of marriage, and settlements, and
consent of relations. We touched each other's hands, and were happy; we
read poetry together--and when we lifted up our eyes from the page,
those eyes met, and we did not know why our hearts beat so violently;
and at length, when we spake of love, and when we called each other Lucy
and ----; when we described all that we had thought in absence--and all
we had felt when present--when we sat with our hands locked each in
each--and at last, growing bolder, when in the still and quiet
loneliness of a summer twilight we exchanged our first kiss, we did not
dream that the world forbade what seemed to us so natural; nor--feeling
in our own hearts the impossibility of change--did we ever ask whether
this sweet and mystic state of existence was to last for ever!
"Lucy was an only child; her father was a man of wretched character. A
profligate, a gambler--ruined alike in fortune, hope, and reputation, he
was yet her only guardian and protector. The village in which we both
resided was near London; there Mr. D---- had a small cottage, where he
left his daughter and his slender establishment for days, and
sometimes for weeks together, while he was engaged in equivocal
speculations--giving no address, and engaged in no professional mode of
life. Lucy's mother had died long since, of a broken heart--(that fate,
too, was afterwards her daughter's)--so that this poor girl was
literally without a monitor or a friend, save her own innocence--and,
alas! innocence is but a poor substitute for experience. The lady with
whom I had met her had known her mother, and she felt compassion for the
child. She saw her constantly, and sometimes took her to her own house,
whenever she was in the neighbourhood; but that was not often, and only
for a few days at a time. Her excepted, Lucy had no female friend.
"One evening we were to meet at a sequestered and lonely part of the
brook's course, a spot which was our usual rendezvous. I waited
considerably beyond the time appointed, and was just going sorrowfully
away when she appeared. As she approached, I saw that she was in
tears--and she could not for several moments speak for weeping. At
length I learned that her father had just returned home, after a long
absence--that he had announced his intention of immediately quitting
their present home and going to a distant part of the country,
or--perhaps even abroad.
* * * * *
"It is an odd thing in the history of the human heart, that the times
most sad to experience are often the most grateful to recall; and of all
the passages in our brief and checkered love, none have I clung to so
fondly or cherished so tenderly, as the remembrance of that desolate and
tearful hour. We walked slowly home, speaking very little, and lingering
on the way--and my arm was round her waist all the time. There was a
little stile at the entrance of the garden round Lucy's home, and
sheltered as it was by trees and bushes, it was there, whenever we met,
we took our last adieu--and there that evening we stopped, and lingered
over our parting words and our parting kiss--and at length, when I tore
myself away, I looked back and saw her in the sad and grey light of the
evening still there, still watching, still weeping! What, what hours of
anguish and gnawing of heart must one, who loved so kindly and so
entirely as she did, have afterwards endured.
"As I lay awake that night, a project, natural enough, darted across me.
I would seek Lucy's father, communicate our attachment, and sue for his
approbation. We might, indeed, be too young for marriage--but we could
wait, and love each other in the meanwhile. I lost no time in following
up this resolution. The next day, before noon, I was at the door of
Lucy's cottage--I was in the little chamber that faced the garden, alone
with her father.
"A boy forms strange notions of a man who is considered a scoundrel. I
was prepared to see one of fierce and sullen appearance, and to meet
with a rude and coarse reception. I found in Mr. D---- a person who
early accustomed--(for he was of high birth)--to polished society, still
preserved, in his manner and appearance, its best characteristics. His
voice was soft and bland; his face, though haggard and worn, retained
the traces of early beauty; and a courteous and attentive ease of
deportment had been probably improved by the habits of deceiving others,
rather than impaired. I told our story to this man, frankly and fully.
When I had done, he rose; he took me by the hand; he expressed some
regret, yet some satisfaction, at what he had heard. He was sensible how
much peculiar circumstances had obliged him to leave his daughter
unprotected; he was sensible, also, that from my birth and future
fortunes, my affection did honour to the object of my choice. Nothing
would have made him so happy, so proud, had I been older--had I been my
own master. But I and he, alas! must be aware that my friends and
guardians would never consent to my forming any engagement at so
premature an age, and they and the world would impute the blame to him;
for calumny (he added in a melancholy tone) had been busy with his name,
and any story, however false or idle, would be believed of one who was
out of the world's affections.
"All this, and much more, did he say; and I pitied him while he spoke.
Our conference then ended in nothing fixed;--but--he asked me to dine
with him the next day. In a word, while he forbade me at present to
recur to the subject, he allowed me to see his daughter as often as I
pleased: this lasted for about ten days. At the end of that time, when I
made my usual morning visit, I saw D---- alone; he appeared much
agitated. He was about, he said, to be arrested. He was undone for
ever--and his poor daughter!--he could say no more--his manly heart was
overcome--and he hid his face with his hands. I attempted to console
him, and inquired the sum necessary to relieve him. It was considerable;
and on hearing it named, my power of consolation I deemed over at once.
I was mistaken. But why dwell on so hacknied a topic as that of a
sharper on the one hand, and a dupe on the other? I saw a gentleman of
the tribe of Israel--I raised a sum of money, to be repaid when I came
of age, and that sum was placed in D----'s hands. My intercourse with
Lucy continued; but not long. This matter came to the ears of one who
had succeeded my poor aunt, now no more, as my guardian. He saw D----,
and threatened him with penalties, which the sharper did not dare to
brave. My guardian was a man of the world; he said nothing to me on the
subject, but he begged me to accompany him on a short tour through a
neighbouring county. I took leave of Lucy only for a few days as I
imagined. I accompanied my guardian--was a week absent--returned--and
hastened to the cottage; it was shut up--an old woman opened the
door--they were gone, father and daughter, none knew whither!
"It was now that my guardian disclosed his share in this event, so
terribly unexpected by me. He unfolded the arts of D----; he held up his
character in its true light. I listened to him patiently, while he
proceeded thus far; but when, encouraged by my silence, he attempted to
insinuate that Lucy was implicated in her father's artifices--that she
had lent herself to decoy, to the mutual advantage of sire and daughter,
the inexperienced heir of considerable fortunes,--my rage and
indignation exploded at once. High words ensued. I defied his
authority--I laughed at his menaces--I openly declared my resolution of
tracing Lucy to the end of the world, and marrying her the instant she
was found. Whether or not that my guardian had penetrated sufficiently
into my character to see that force was not the means by which I was to
be guided, I cannot say; but he softened from his tone at
last--apologized for his warmth--condescended to soothe and
remonstrate--and our dispute ended in a compromise. I consented to leave
Mr. S----, and to spend the next year, preparatory to my going to the
university, with my guardian: he promised, on the other hand, that if,
at the end of that year, I still wished to discover Lucy, he would throw
no obstacles in the way of my search. I was ill-contented with this
compact; but I was induced to it by my firm persuasion that Lucy would
write to me, and that we should console each other, at least, by a
knowledge of our mutual situation and our mutual constancy. In this
persuasion, I insisted on remaining six weeks longer with S----, and
gained my point; and that any letter Lucy might write, might not be
exposed to any officious intervention from S----, or my guardian's
satellites, I walked every day to meet the postman who was accustomed to
bring our letters. None came from Lucy. Afterwards, I learned that
D----, whom my guardian had wisely bought, as well as intimidated, had
intercepted three letters which she had addressed to me, in her
unsuspecting confidence--and that she only ceased to write when she
ceased to believe in me.
"I went to reside with my guardian. A man of a hospitable and liberal
turn, his house was always full of guests, who were culled from the most
agreeable circles in London. We lived in a perpetual round of amusement;
and my uncle, who thought I should be rich enough to afford to be
ignorant, was more anxious that I should divert my mind, than instruct
it. Well, this year passed slowly and sadly away, despite of the gaiety
around me; and, at the end of that time, I left my uncle to go to the
university; but I first lingered in London to make inquiries after
D----. I could learn no certain tidings of him, but heard that the most
probable place to find him was a certain gaming-house in K---- Street.
Thither I repaired forthwith. It was a haunt of no delicate and
luxurious order of vice; the chain attached to the threshold indicated
suspicion of the spies of justice; and a grim and sullen face peered
jealously upon me before I was suffered to ascend the filthy and noisome
staircase. But my search was destined to a brief end. At the head of the
_Rouge et Noir_ table, facing my eyes the moment I entered the evil
chamber, was the marked and working countenance of D----.
"He did not look up--no, not once, all the time he played; he won
largely--rose with a flushed face and trembling hand--descended the
stairs--stopped in a room below, where a table was spread with meats and
wine--took a large tumbler of Madeira, and left the house. I had waited
patiently--I had followed him with a noiseless step--I now drew my
breath hard, clenched my hands, as if to nerve myself for a contest--and
as he paused a moment under one of the lamps, seemingly in doubt whither
to go--I laid my hand on his shoulder, and uttered his name. His eyes
wandered with a leaden and dull gaze over my face before he remembered
me. _Then_ he recovered his usual bland smile and soft tone. He
grasped my unwilling hand, and inquired with the tenderness of a parent
after my health. I did not heed his words. 'Your daughter,' said I,
"'Ah! you were old friends,' quoth he, smiling; 'you have recovered that
folly, I hope. Poor thing! she will be happy to see an old friend. You
know of course--
"'What?' for he hesitated.
"'That Lucy is married!'
"'Married!' and as that word left my lips, it seemed as if my very life,
my very soul, had gushed forth also in the sound. When--oh! when, in the
night-watch and the daily yearning, when, whatever might have been my
grief or wretchedness, or despondency, when had I dreamt, when imaged
forth even the outline of a doom like this? Married! my Lucy, my fond,
my constant, my pure-hearted, and tender Lucy! Suddenly, all the chilled
and revolted energies of my passions seemed to re-act, and rush back
upon me. I seized that smiling and hollow wretch with a fierce grasp.
'You have done this--you have broken her heart--you have crushed mine! I
curse you in her name and my own!--I curse you from the bottom and with
all the venom of my soul!--Wretch! wretch! and he was as a reed in my
"'Madman,' said he, as at last he extricated himself from my gripe, 'my
daughter married with her free consent, and to one far better fitted to
make her happy than you. Go, go--I forgive you--I also was once in love,
and with _her_ mother!'
"I did not answer--I let him depart.
"It was a little while after this interview--but I mention it now, for
there is no importance in the quarter from which I heard it--that I
learned some few particulars of Lucy's marriage. There was, and still
is, in the world's gossip, a strange story of a rich, foolish man, awed
as well as gulled by a sharper, and of a girl torn to a church with a
violence so evident that the priest refused the ceremony. But the rite
was afterwards solemnized by special license, in private, and at night.
The pith of that story has truth, and Lucy was at once the heroine and
victim of the romance. Now, then, I turn to somewhat a different strain
in my narrative.
"You, A----, who know so well the habits of a university _life_,
need not be told how singularly monotonous and contemplative it may be
made to a lonely man. The first year I was there, I mixed, as you may
remember, in none of the many circles into which that curious and motley
society is split. My only recreation was in long and companionless
rides; and in the flat and dreary country around our university, the
cheerless aspect of nature fed the idle melancholy at my heart. In the
second year of my college life, I roused myself a little from my
seclusion, and rather by accident than design--you will remember that my
acquaintance was formed among the men considered most able and promising
of our time. In the summer of that year, I resolved to make a bold
effort to harden my mind and conquer its fastidious reserve; and I set
out to travel over the North of England, and the greater part of
Scotland, in the humble character of a pedestrian tourist. Nothing ever
did my character more solid good than that experiment. I was thrown
among a thousand varieties of character; I was continually forced into
bustle and action, and into _providing for myself_--that great and
indelible lesson towards permanent independence of character.
"One evening, in an obscure part of Cumberland, I was seeking a short
cut to a neighbouring village through a gentleman's grounds, in which
there was a public path. Just within sight of the house (which was an
old, desolate building, in the architecture of James the First, with
gable-ends and dingy walls, and deep-sunk, gloomy windows,) I perceived
two ladies at a little distance before me; one seemed in weak and
delicate health, for she walked slowly and with pain, and stopped often
as she leaned on her companion. I lingered behind, in order not to pass
them abruptly; presently, they turned away towards the house, and I saw
them no more. Yet that frail and bending form, as I too soon afterwards
learned--that form, which I did not recognise--which, by a sort of
fatality, I saw only in a glimpse, and yet for the last time on
earth,--that form--was the wreck of Lucy D----!
"Unconscious of this event in my destiny, I left that neighbourhood, and
settled for some weeks on the borders of the Lake Keswick. There, one
evening, a letter, re-directed to me from London, reached me. The
hand-writing was that of Lucy; but the trembling and slurred characters,
so different from that graceful ease which was wont to characterize all
she did, filled me, even at the first glance, with alarm. This is the
letter--read it--you will know, then, what I have lost:--
"'I write to you, my dear, my unforgotten ----, the last letter this
hand will ever trace. Till now, it would have been a crime to write to
you; perhaps it is so still--but dying as I am, and divorced from all
earthly thoughts and remembrances, save yours, I feel that I cannot
quite collect my mind for the last hour until I have given you the
blessing of one whom you loved once; and when that blessing is given, I
think I can turn away from your image, and sever willingly the last tie
that binds me to earth. I will not afflict you by saying what I have
suffered since we parted--with what anguish I thought of what _you_
would feel when you found me gone--and with what cruel, what fearful
violence, I was forced into becoming the wretch I now am. I was hurried,
I was driven, into a dreadful and bitter duty--but I thank God that I
have fulfilled it. What, what have I done, to have been made so
miserable throughout life as I have been! I ask my heart, and tax my
conscience--and every night I think over the sins of the day; they do
not seem to me heavy, yet my penance has been very great. For the last
two years, I do sincerely think that there has not been one day which I
have not marked with tears. But enough of this, and of myself. You,
dear, dear L----, let me turn to you! Something at my heart tells me
that you have not forgotten that once we were the world to each other,
and even through the changes and the glories of a man's life, I think
you will not forget it. True, L----, that I was a poor and friendless,
and not too-well educated girl, and altogether unworthy of your destiny;
but you did not think so then--and when you have lost me, it is a sad,
but it is a real comfort, to feel that that thought will never occur to
you. Your memory will invest me with a thousand attractions and graces I
did not possess, and all that you recall of me will be linked with the
freshest and happiest thoughts of that period of life in which you first
beheld me. And this thought, dearest L----, sweetens death to me--and
sometimes it comforts me for what has been. Had our lot been
otherwise--had we been united, and had you survived your love for me
(and what more probable!) my lot would have been darker even than it has
been. I know not how it is--perhaps from my approaching death--but I
seem to have grown old, and to have obtained the right to be your
monitor and warner. Forgive me, then, if I implore you to think
earnestly and deeply of the great ends of life; think of them as one
might think who is anxious to gain a distant home, and who will not be
diverted from his way. Oh! could you know how solemn and thrilling a joy
comes over me as I nurse the belief, the certainty, that we shall meet
at length, and for ever! Will not that hope also animate you, and guide
you unerring through the danger and the evil of this entangled life?
"May God bless you, and watch over you--may He comfort and cheer, and
elevate your heart to him! Before you receive this, _I_ shall be no
more--and my love, my care for you will, I trust and feel, have become
"The letter," continued L----, struggling with his emotions, "was dated
from that village through which I had so lately passed; thither I
repaired that very night--Lucy had been buried the day before! I stood
upon a green mound, and a few, few feet below, separated from me by a
scanty portion of earth, mouldered that heart which had loved me so
faithfully and so well!"
_New Monthly Magazine._
* * * * *
A Jew said to the venerable Ali, in argument on the truth of their
religion, "You had not even deposited your prophet's body in the earth,
when you quarrelled among yourselves." Ali replied, "Our divisions
proceeded from the loss of him, not concerning our faith; but your feet
were not yet dry from the mud of the Red Sea, when you cried unto Moses,
saying, 'Make us gods like unto those of the idolaters, that we may
worship them.'" The Jew was confounded.
* * * * *
[Illustration: KILCOLMAN CASTLE, THE RESIDENCE OF THE POET SPENCER.]
Few of the original houses of Genius will excite more interest than
the above relic of SPENCER. It is copied from a lithographic drawing in
Mr. T. Crofton Croker's "Researches in the South of Ireland," where it
is so well described, that we can spare but few lines in our abridgement
of the passage:--
Kilcolman Castle is distant three English miles from Doneraile, and is
seated in as unpicturesque a spot as at present could have been
selected. Many of the delightful and visionary anticipations I had
indulged, from the pleasure of visiting the place where the Fairy Queen
had been composed, were at an end on beholding the monotonous reality of
the country. Corn fields, divided from pasturage by numerous
intersecting hedges, constituted almost the only variety of feature for
a considerable extent around; and the mountains bounding the prospect
partook even in a greater degree of the same want of variety in their
forms. The ruin itself stands on a little rocky eminence. Spreading
before it lies a tract of flat and swampy ground, through which, we were
informed, the "River Bregog hight" had its course; and though in winter,
when swollen by mountain torrents, a deep and rapid stream, its channel
at present was completely dried up.
 We have the pleasure of informing our esteemed
correspondent, H.H. of Twickenham, that the very interesting
memorial of GRAY, to which he alluded in his last letter,
will illustrate an early number of the _Mirror_.
"Sometimes, misguided by the tuneful throng,
I look for streams immortalized in song,
That lost in silence and oblivion lie;
Dumb are their fountains, and their channels dry."
Judging from what remains, the original form of Kilcolman was an oblong
square, flanked by a tower at the south-east corner. The apartment in
the basement story has still its stone arched roof entire, and is used
as a shelter for cattle; the narrow, screw-like stairs of the tower are
nearly perfect, and lead to an extremely small chamber, which we found
in a state of complete desolation.
Kilcolman was granted by Queen Elizabeth, on the 27th June, 1586, to
Spencer (who went into Ireland as secretary to Lord Grey), with 3,028
acres of land, at the rent of 17l. 3s. 6d.; on the same conditions with
the other undertakers (as they were termed) between whom the forfeited
Desmond estate was divided. These conditions implied a residence on the
ground, and their chief object seems to have been the peopling Munster
with English families: a favourite project of Elizabeth's for
strengthening the English influence in Ireland, by creating the tie of
consanguinity between the two countries.
It is supposed that this castle was the principal residence of Spencer
for about ten years, during which time he composed the works that have
chiefly contributed to his fame. But the turbulent and indignant spirit
of the Irish regarded not the haunts of the muse as sacred, and wrapped
the poet's dwelling in flames. An infant child of Spencer's, together
with his most valuable property, were consumed, and he returned into
England;--where, dejected, and broken-hearted, he died soon after, at an
inn in King-street, Westminster.
"It does not appear what became of Spencer's wife and children. Two sons
are said to have survived him, Sylvanus and Peregrine; Sylvanus married
Ellen Nangle or Nagle, eldest daughter of David Nangle of Moneanymy, in
the county of Cork, by whom he had two sons, Edmund and William Spencer.
His other son, Peregrine, also married, and had a son Hugolin, who,
after the restoration of Charles II. was replaced by the Court of Claims
in as much of the lands as could be found to have been his ancestor's.
Hugolin attached himself to the cause of James II. and after the
revolution, was outlawed for treason and rebellion. Some time after his
cousin William, son of Sylvanus, became a suitor for the forfeited
property, and recovered it by the interest of Mr. Montague, afterwards
Earl of Halifax, who was then at the head of the treasury. He had been
introduced to Mr. Montague by Congreve, who with others was desirous of
honouring the descendant of so great a poet. Dr. Birch describes him as
a man somewhat advanced in years, but unable to give any account of the
works of his ancestor which are wanting. The family has been since very
imperfectly traced."--_Chalmers's Biog. Dic._
The visits of Sir Walter Raleigh to Spencer at Kilcolman increase the
interest attached to the place, and are not in the slightest degree
questionable. To the advice of Raleigh the publication of the first
books of the Fairy Queen has been ascribed; and the existence of a
poetical intercourse between such minds, and in such distracting scenes,
is a delightful recollection that almost warms the heart into romance.
 Raleigh, it will be recollected, became Spencer's patron,
upon the death of Sir Philip Sidney, whom he celebrates
under the title of "The Shepherd of the Ocean." Raleigh also
ensured Spencer the favour of Elizabeth, a pension of 50l.
per annum, and the distinction of her laureate.--ED.
Amongst the literary pilgrims whose veneration for Spencer has
prompted them to examine Kilcolman was the celebrated Edmund Burke;
nor should the imprudent and enthusiastic Trotter be forgotten; the
account given by him of his visits, in 1817, are very pleasing,
though highly tinged with that fanaticism to which he ultimately
became a victim.
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
* * * * *
The author of _Headlong Hall_ has, under the above title,
produced as lively a little volume of humour and pleasantry as it
has lately been our good fortune to meet with. Every page, nay,
every line is a satire upon the extravagance and precocity of what
Vivian Grey calls our "artificial state;" and all the weak sides of
our age are mercilessly dealt with by the _coterie_ at Crotchet
Castle. The book is altogether _Shandean_, and the satire
_shandied_ to and fro with great vivacity. We need not tell the
reader what period or event of the last seven years is pointed to in
the following extract. Mr. Touchandgo, it appears, was a great
banker, who was "suddenly reported absent one foggy morning, with
the contents of his till;" his daughter was to have been married to
Mr. Crotchet but for this untoward event. Here are two of the
father's letters from his new settlement, and a reply:--
Dotandcarryonetown. State of Apodidraskiana, April 1, 18--.
My dear Child,--I am anxious to learn what are your present position,
intention, and prospects. The fairies who dropped gold in your shoe, on
the morning when I ceased to be a respectable man in London, will soon
find a talismanic channel for transmitting you a stocking full of
dollars, which will fit the shoe, as well as the foot of Cinderella
fitted her slipper. I am happy to say, I am again become a respectable
man. It was always my ambition to be a respectable man, and I am a very
respectable man here, in this new township of a new state, where I have
purchased five thousand acres of land, at two dollars an acre, hard
cash, and established a very flourishing bank. The notes of Touchandgo
and Company, soft cash, are now the exclusive currency of all this
vicinity. This is the land, in which all men flourish; but there are
three classes of men who flourish especially, methodist preachers,
slave-drivers, and paper-money manufacturers; and as one of the latter,
I have just painted the word BANK, on a fine slab of maple, which was
green and growing when I arrived, and have discounted for the settlers,
in my own currency, sundry bills, which are to be paid when the proceeds
of the crop they have just sown shall return from New Orleans; so that
my notes are the representatives of vegetation that is to be, and I am
accordingly a capitalist of the first magnitude. The people here know
very well that I ran away from London; but the most of them have run
away from some place or other; and they have a great respect for me,
because they think I ran away with something worth taking, which few of
them had the luck or the wit to do. This gives them confidence in my
resources, at the same time that, as there is nothing portable in the
settlement except my own notes, they have no fear that I shall run away
with them. They know I am thoroughly conversant with the principles of
banking; and as they have plenty of industry, no lack of sharpness, and
abundance of land, they wanted nothing but capital to organize a
flourishing settlement; and this capital I have manufactured to the
extent required, at the expense of a small importation of pens, ink, and
paper, and two or three inimitable copperplates. I have abundance here
of all good things, a good conscience included; for I really cannot see
that I have done any wrong. This was my position: I owed half a million
of money; and I had a trifle in my pocket. It was clear that this trifle
could never find its way to the right owner. The question was, whether I
should keep it, and live like a gentleman; or hand it over to lawyers
and commissioners of bankruptcy, and die like a dog on a dunghill. If I
could have thought that the said lawyers, &c. had a better title to it
than myself, I might have hesitated; but, as such title was not apparent
to my satisfaction, I decided the question in my own favour; the right
owners, as I have already said, being out of the question altogether. I
have always taken scientific views of morals and politics, a habit from
which I derive much comfort under existing circumstances.
I hope you adhere to your music, though I cannot hope again to accompany
your harp with my flute. My last _andante_ movement was too
_forte_ for those whom it took by surprise. Let not your _allegro
vivace_ be damped by young Crotchet's desertion, which, though I have
not heard it, I take for granted. He is, like myself, a scientific
politician, and has an eye as keen as a needle, to his own interest. He
has had good luck so far, and is gorgeous in the spoils of many gulls;
but I think the Polar Basin and Walrus Company will be too much for him
yet. There has been a splendid outlay on credit, and he is the only man,
of the original parties concerned, of whom his Majesty's sheriffs could
give any account.
I will not ask you to come here. There is no husband for you. The men
smoke, drink, and fight, and break more of their own heads than of
girls' hearts. Those among them who are musical sing nothing but psalms.
They are excellent fellows in their way, but you would not like them.
_Au reste_, here are no rents, no taxes, no poor-rates, no tithes,
no church establishment, no routs, no clubs, no rotten boroughs, no
operas, no concerts, no theatres, no beggars, no thieves, no kings, no
lords, no ladies, and only one gentleman, videlicit your loving father,
P.S. I send you one of my notes; I can afford to part with it. If you
are accused of receiving money from me, you may pay it over to my
assignees. Robthetill continues to be my factotum; I say no more of him
in this place; he will give you an account of himself.
Dear Miss,--Mr. Touchandgo will have told you of our arrival here, of
our setting up a bank, and so forth. We came here in a tilted wagon,
which served us for parlour, kitchen, and all. We soon got up a
log-house; and, unluckily, we as soon got it down again, for the first
fire we made in it burned down house and all. However, our second
experiment was more fortunate; and we are pretty well lodged in a house
of three rooms on a floor--I should say the floor, for there is but one.
This new state is free to hold slaves; all the new states have not this
privilege. Mr. Touchandgo has bought some, and they are building him a
villa. Mr. Touchandgo is in a thriving way, but he is not happy here: he
longs for parties and concerts, and a seat in Congress. He thinks it
very hard that he cannot buy one with his own coinage, as he used to do
in England. Besides, he is afraid of the Regulators, who, if they do not
like a man's character, wait upon him and flog him, doubling the dose at
stated intervals, till he takes himself off. He does not like this
system of administering justice: though I think he has nothing to fear
from it. He has the character of having money, which is the best of all
characters here, as at home. He lets his old English prejudices
influence his opinions of his new neighbours; but I assure you they have
many virtues. Though they do keep slaves, they are all ready to fight
for their own liberty; and I should not like to be an enemy within reach
of one of their rifles. When I say enemy, I include bailiff in the term.
One was shot not long ago. There was a trial; the jury gave two dollars
damages; the judge said they must find guilty or not guilty, but the
counsel for the defendant (they would not call him prisoner) offered to
fight the judge upon the point; and as this was said literally, not
metaphorically, and the counsel was a stout fellow, the judge gave in.
The two dollars damages were not paid after all; for the defendant
challenged the foreman to box for double or quits, and the foreman was
beaten. The folks in New York made a great outcry about it, but here it
was considered all as it should be. So you see, Miss, justice, liberty,
and every thing else of that kind, are different in different places,
just as suits the convenience of those who have the sword in their own
hands. Hoping to hear of your health and happiness, I remain,
Dear Miss, your dutiful servant,
Miss Touchandgo replied as follows, to the first of these letters:--
My dear Father,--I am sure you have the best of hearts, and I have no
doubt you have acted with the best intentions. My lover, or I should
rather say, my fortune's lover, has indeed forsaken me. I cannot say I
did not feel it; indeed, I cried very much; and the altered looks of
people who used to be so delighted to see me, really annoyed me so, that
I determined to change the scene altogether. I have come into Wales, and
am boarding with a farmer and his wife. Their stock of English is very
small; but I managed to agree with them; and they have four of the
sweetest children I ever saw, to whom I teach all I know, and I manage
to pick up some Welsh. I have puzzled out a little song, which I think
very pretty; I have translated it into English, and I send it to you,
with the original air. You shall play it on your flute at eight o'clock
every Saturday evening, and I will play and sing it at the same time,
and I will fancy that I hear my dear papa accompanying me.
The people in London said very unkind things of you: they hurt me very
much at the time; but now I am out of their way, I do not seem to think
their opinion of much consequence. I am sure, when I recollect, at
leisure, everything I have seen and heard among them, I cannot make out
what they do that is so virtuous, as to set them up for judges of
morals. And I am sure they never speak the truth about any thing, and
there is no sincerity in either their love or their friendship. An old
Welsh bard here, who wears a waistcoat embroidered with leeks, and is
called the Green Bard of Cadair Idris, says the Scotch would be the best
people in the world, if there was nobody but themselves to give them a
character: and so I think would the Londoners. I hate the very thought
of them, for I do believe they would have broken my heart, if I had not
gone out of their way. Now I shall write you another letter very soon,
and describe to you the country, and the people, and the children, and
how I amuse myself, and every thing that I think you will like to hear
about; and when I seal this letter, I shall drop a kiss on the cover.
Your loving daughter,
P.S. Tell Mr. Robthetill I will write to him in a day or two. This is
the little song I spoke of:
Beyond the sea, beyond the sea,
My heart is gone, far, far from me;
And ever on its track will flee,
My thoughts, my dreams, beyond the sea.
Beyond the sea, beyond the sea,
The swallow wanders fast and free:
Oh! happy bird, were I like thee,
I, too, would fly beyond the sea.
Beyond the sea, beyond the sea,
Are kindly hearts and social glee;
But here for me they may not be:
My heart is gone beyond the sea.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
THE AUTOCRAT'S PRAYER.
Europe! hear the voice that rose
From the chief of Freedom's foes--
When he bade war's thunders roll
O'er the country of the Pole--
To his Cossacks on parade
Thus the Calmuck robber said:
"Mine the might, and mine the right,
Stir ye, spur ye to the fight--
Bare the blade, and strike the blow
To the heart's core of the foe--
Slaughter all the rebel bands
Found with weapons in their hands;
On! the holy work of fate
Russia's God will consecrate.
"'Tis decreed that they shall bleed
For their dark and trait'rous deed.
Poles! to us by conquest given,
Ye provoke the wrath of Heaven:
Therefore, purging sword and shot
Use we must, and spare you not.
Guardian of our northern faith,
Guide us to the field of death!
"Ere we've done, many a one
Shall weep they ever saw the sun.
Rouse the noble in his hall
To a fiery festival;
Dash the stubborn peasant's mirth--
Drown in blood his alien hearth;
Babe or mother, never falter--
Spear the priest before the altar.
Onward, and avenge our wrong!
God is good, and Russia strong!"
_Englishman's Magazine, No 1._
* * * * *
_From a paper on the Fine Arts of old in England, in Blackwood's
The sex and character of Elizabeth herself was no weak ingredient in the
poetic spirit of the time. Loyalty and gallantry blended in the
adoration paid her; and the supremacy which she claimed and exercised
over the church, invested her regality with a sacred unction that
pertained not to feudal sovereigns. It is scarce too much to say, that
the virgin-queen appropriated the Catholic honours of the Virgin Mary.
She was as great as Diana of the Ephesians. The moon shone but to
furnish a type of her bright and stainless maidenhood. To magnify her
greatness, the humility of courtly adulation merged in the ecstasies of
Platonic love. She was charming by indefeasible right;--a _jure
divino_ beauty. Her fascinations multiplied with her wrinkles, and
her admirers might have anticipated the conceit of Cowley,
"The antipevistoisis of age
More inflamed their amorous rage."
It is easy for a Whig, or a Puritan, or any other unimaginative
blockhead, to cry out against all this as nauseous flattery, and assert
that after all she was rather an unpoetical personage than otherwise--a
coarse-minded old maid, half prude, half coquette, whose better part was
mannish, and all that belonged to her sex a ludicrous exaggeration of
its weaknesses. But meanwhile, they overlook the fact, that not the
woman Elizabeth, but the Virgin-queen, the royal heroine, is the theme
of admiration. Not the petty virtues, the pretty sensibilities, the
cheap charity, the prim decorum, which modern flatterers dwell upon,
degrading royalty, while they palaver its possessor, but Britannia's
sacred majesty, enshrined in chaste and lofty womanhood. Our ancestors
paid their compliments to sex or rank--ours are addressed to the person.
There is no flattery where there is no falsehood--no falsehood where
there is no deception. Loyalty of old was a passion, and passion has a
truth of its own--and as language does not always furnish expressions
exactly adapted, or native to the feeling, what can the loyal poet do,
but take the most precious portion of the currency, and impress it with
the mint-mark of his own devoted fancy? Perhaps there never was a more
panegyrical rhymer than Spenser, and yet, so fine and ethereal is his
incense, that the breath of morning is not more cool and salutary:--
"It falls me here to write of Chastity
That fayrest virtue, far above the rest.
For which what needs me fetch from Faery,
Forreine ensamples it to have exprest,
Sith it is shrined in my soveraine's brest,
And form'd so lively on each perfect part,
That to all ladies, who have it protest,
Needs but behold the pourtraict of her part,
If pourtray'd it might be by any living art;
But living art may not least part expresse,
Nor life-resembling pencil it can paint,
All it were Zeuxis or Praxiteles--
His daedale hand would faile and greatly faynt,
And her perfections with his error taynt;
Ne poet's wit that passeth painter farre--
In picturing the parts of beauty daynt," &c.
But neither Zeuxis nor Praxiteles was called from the dead to mar her
perfections, nor record her negative charms. Poetry was the only art
that flourished in the Virgin reign. The pure Gothic, after attaining
its full efflorescence under Henry VII., departed, never to return. The
Grecian orders were not only absurdly jumbled together, but yet more
outrageously conglomerated with the Gothic and Arabesque. "To gild
refined gold--to paint the lily," was all the humour of it. A similar
inconsistency infected literature. The classic and the romantic (to use
those terms, which, though popular, are not logically exact) were
interwoven. The Arcadia and the Fairy Queen are glorious offences, which
"make defect perfection." Perhaps, Shakspeare's "small Latin and less
Greek," preserved him from worse anachronisms than any that he has
committed. Queen Bess's patronage was of the national breed: she loved
no pictures so well as portraits of herself. As, however, her painters
have not flattered her, it may not uncharitably be concluded that they
were no great deacons in their craft. It is a much easier thing to
assure a homely female, in prose or rhyme, that she is beautiful, than
to represent her so upon canvass. Her effigies are, I believe, pretty
numerous, varying in ugliness, but none that I have seen even
handsome--prettiness, of course, is out of the question. She was fond of
finery, but had no taste in dress. Her ruff is downright odious; and the
liberal exposure of her neck and bosom anything but alluring. With all
her pearls about her, she looks like a pawnbroker's lady bedizened for
an Easter ball, with all the unredeemed pledges from her husband's shop.
She seems to have patronized that chimera in the ideal or allegorical
portrait, at which Reubens and Sir Joshua were so often doomed to toil.
She would not allow a shadow in her picture, arguing, like a Chinese, or
a chop-logic, that shade is only an accident, and no true property of
body. Like Alexander, who forbade all sculptors but Lysippus to carve
his image, she prohibited all but special cunning limners from drawing
her effigy. This was in 1563, anno regni 5, while, though no chicken,
she still was not clean past her youth. This order was probably intended
to prevent caricatures. At last she quarrelled with her looking-glass as
well as her painters, and her maids of honour removed all mirrors from
her apartments, as carefully as Ministers exclude opposition papers (we
hope not Maga) from the presence of our most gracious sovereign. It is
even said, that those fair nettles of India took advantage of her
weakness, to dress her head awry, and to apply the rouge to her nose,
instead of her cheeks. So may the superannuated eagle be pecked at by
daws. But the tale is not probable. After all, it is but the captious
inference of witlings and scoffers, that attributes to mere sexual
vanity that superstitious horror of encroaching age, from which the
wisest are not always free. It may be, that they shrink from the
reflection of their wrinkles, not as from the despoilers of beauty, but
as from the vaunt-couriers of dissolution. In rosy youth, while yet the
brow is alabaster-veined with Heaven's own tint, and the dark tresses
turn golden in the sun, the lapse of time is imperceptible as the
throbbing of a heart at ease. "So like, so very like, is day to
day,"--one primrose scarce more like another. Whoever saw their first
grey hairs, or marked the crow-feet at the angle of their eyes, without
a sigh or a tear, a momentous self-abasement, a sudden sinking of the
soul, a thought that youth is flown for ever? None but the blessed few
that, having dedicated their spring of life to Heaven, behold in the
shedding of their vernal blossoms, a promise that the season of immortal
fruit is near. It is a frailty, almost an instance of humanity, to aim
at concealing that from others, of which ourselves are painfully
conscious. The herculean Johnson keenly resented the least allusion to
the shortness of his sight. So entirely is man a social animal, so
dependent are all his feelings for their very existence upon
communication and sympathy, that the "fee griefs," which none but
ourselves are privy to, are forgotten as soon as they are removed from
the senses. The artifices to which so many have recourse to conceal
their declining years, are often intended more to soothe themselves,
than to impose on others. This aversion to growing old is specially
natural and excusable in the celibate and the childless. The borrowed
curls, the pencilled eyebrows,
"The steely-prison'd shape,
So oft made taper, by constraint of tape,"
the various cosmetic secrets, well-known to the middle ages, not only of
the softer sex, are not unseemly in a spinster, so long as they succeed
in making her look young. They are intolerable in a mother of any age.
But we, my dear Christopher, resigned and benevolent old bachelors as we
are, can well appreciate the vanity of the aged heart, that sees not its
youth renewed in any growing dearer self. Nothing denotes the advances
of life, at once so surely and so pleasantly as children springing up
around a good man's table. Perhaps our famous Queen, in her latter days,
though full of honours as of years, would gladly have changed places
with the wife of any yeoman that had a child to receive her last
blessing, whose few acres were not to pass away to the hungry expecting
son of a hated rival. Her virginity was not like that of Jephthah's
daughter, a free-will offering to the Lord. Pride, and policy, and
disappointment, and, it may be, hopeless, self-condemned affection,
conspired to perpetuate it. Probably it was well for England that no
offspring of hers inherited her throne. By some strange ordinance of
nature, it generally happens that these wonderful clever women produce
idiots or madmen.--Witness Semiramis, Agrippina, Catherine de Medicis,
Mary de Medicis, Catherine of Russia, and Lady Wortley Montague. One
miniature of Elizabeth I have seen, which, though not beautiful, is
profoundly interesting: it presents her as she was in the days of her
danger and captivity, when the same wily policy, keeping its path, even
while it seemed to swerve, was needful to preserve her life, that
afterwards kept her firm on a throne. Who was the artist that produced
it? I know not; but it bears the strongest marks of authenticity, if to
be exactly what a learned spirit would fancy Elizabeth--young, a
prisoner, and in peril--be evidence of true portraiture. There is pride,
not aping humility, but wearing it as a well-beseeming habit;--there is
passion, strongly controlled by the will, but not extinct, neither dead
nor sleeping, but watchful and silent; brows sternly sustaining a weight
of care, after which a crown could be but light; a manly intellect,
allied with female craft;--but nonsense! it will be said; no colours
whatever could represent all this, and that, too, in little, for the
picture was among Bone's enamels. Well, then, it suggested it all.
Perhaps the finest Madonna ever painted would be no more than a meek,
pious, pretty woman, and an innocent child, if we knew not whom it was
* * * * *
THE HAUNTED HOUSE.
(_By Mrs. Hemans._)
I seem like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he, departed.
Seest thou yon grey gleaming hall,
Where the deep elm shadows fall?
Voices that have left the earth
Still are murmuring round its hearth,
Soft and low:
Ever there:--yet one alone
Hath the gift to hear their tone.
Guests come thither, and depart,
Free of step, and light of heart;
Children, with sweet visions bless'd,
In the haunted chambers rest;
One alone unslumbering lies
When the night hath seal'd all eyes,
One quick heart and watchful ear,
Listening for those whispers clear.
Seest thou where the woodbine-flowers
O'er yon low porch hang in showers?
Startling faces of the dead,
Pale, yet sweet,
One lone woman's entering tread
There still meet!
Some with young smooth foreheads fair,
Faintly shining through bright hair;
Some with reverend locks of snow--
All, all buried long ago!
All, from under deep sea-waves,
Or the flowers of foreign graves,
Or the old and banner'd aisle,
Where their high tombs gleam the while,
Rising, wandering, floating by,
Suddenly and silently,
Through their earthly home and place,
But amidst another race.
Wherefore, unto one alone,
Are those sounds and visions known?
Wherefore hath that spell of power
Dark and dread,
On _her_ soul, a baleful dower,
Thus been shed?
Oh! in those deep-seeing eyes,
No strange gift of mystery lies!
She is lone where once she moved
Fair, and happy, and beloved!
Sunny smiles were glancing round her,
Tendrils of kind hearts had bound her;
Now those silver cords are broken,
Those bright looks have left no token,
Not one trace on all the earth,
Save her memory of her mirth.
She is lone and lingering now,
Dreams have gather'd o'er her brow,
Midst gay song and children's play,
She is dwelling far away;
Seeing what none else may see--
Haunted still her place must be!
_New Monthly Magazine_.
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
In 1760, a Mr. Cross was prompter at Drury Lane Theatre, and a Mr.
Saunders the principal machinist. Saunders laboured under an idea that
he was qualified for a turf-man, and, like most who are afflicted with
that disorder, suffered severely. The animals he kept, instead of being
safe running horses for him, generally made him a safe stalking-horse
for others. Upon one occasion he came to the theatre in great
ill-humour, having just received the account of a race which he had
lost. Cross was busily engaged in writing, and cross at the interruption
he met with from Saunders's repeated exclamations against his jockey; he
at length looked up, and said impatiently, "His fault--his fault--how
was it his fault?" "Why," said Saunders, "the d--d rascal ran my horse
against a wagon." "Umph!" replied Cross, "I never knew a horse of yours
that was fit to _run against any thing else_!"
A musician of the name of Goodall, who belonged to the orchestra of the
Theatre Royal, Richmond, in 1767, was fonder of his, or any other man's,
bottle than his own bassoon. The natural consequence was, that he
frequently failed in his attendances at the theatre. Upon one occasion,
after an absence of a week, he returned in the middle of the
performances for the evening. A piece was being acted called the
"Intriguing Chambermaid," in which there is a character of an old
gentleman called _Mr. Goodall_, who comes on as from a journey,
followed by a servant carrying his portmanteau. To him there enters a
lady, _Mrs. Highman_, whose first exclamation is, "Bless my eyes,
what do I see? _Mr. Goodall_ returned?" At that precise moment Old
Goodall happened to put his head into the orchestra, and fancying
himself addressed, called out, "Lord bless you, ma'am, I've been here
this half hour."
Old Storace (the father of the celebrated composer) had lost nearly all
his teeth at rather an early period of his life. This, to one who was
decidedly a _bon vivant_, was a great annoyance. A dentist of
eminence undertook to supply the defect: he drew the few teeth which,
remained, and fitted the patient with an entire new set, which acted by
means of springs, and were removable at pleasure. The operation was so
skilfully performed, and the resemblance so good, that Storace flattered
himself that no one could discover the deception. Being one day in
company with Foster (a performer in the Drury Lane orchestra, and one
celebrated among his companions for quaintness and humour), he said,
"Now, Foster, I'll surprise you--I'll show you something you never
could have guessed." So saying, he took out the ivory teeth, and
exclaimed with an air of triumph, "There, what do you think of that?"
"Poh! nonsense! surprise me," replied Foster, "I knew perfectly well
they were false." "How the devil could you know that?" said Storace.
"Why," rejoined Foster, "_I never knew anything true come out of your
* * * * *
The King of Prussia, in his correspondence with Voltaire, relates the
following anecdote of the Czar Peter, as illustrative of Russian
despotism:--"I knew Printz, the great marshal of the court of Prussia,
who had been ambassador to the Czar Peter, in the reign of the late
king. The commission with which he was charged proving very acceptable,
the prince was desirous of giving him conspicuous marks of his
satisfaction, and for this purpose a sumptuous banquet was prepared, and
to which Printz was invited. They drank brandy, as is customary with the
Russians, and they drank it to a brutal excess. The Czar, who wished to
give a particular grace to the entertainment, sent for twenty of the
Strelitz Guards, who were confined in the prisons of Petersburgh, and
for every large bumper which they drank, this hideous monster struck-off
the head of one of these wretches. As a particular mark of respect, this
unnatural prince was desirous of procuring the ambassador the pleasure
(as he called it) of trying his skill upon these miserable creatures.
The Czar was disposed to be angry at his refusal, and could not help
betraying signs of his displeasure."
* * * * *
Poliarchus, the Athenian, according to AElian, when any of the dogs or
cocks that he particularly loved, happened to die, was so foolish as to
honour them with a public funeral, and buried them with great pomp,
accompanied by his friends, whom he invited on the _solemn_
occasion. Afterwards he caused monumental pillars to be erected, on
which were engraven their epitaphs.
 The late Duchess of York paid the latter honours to her
little canine friends, at Oatlands.
* * * * *
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
Ascham, in the Epistle prefixed to his "Toxophilus," 1571, observes that
"Manye Englishe writers usinge straunge wordes as Lattine, Frenche, and
Italian, do make al thinges darke and harde. Ones," says he, "I communed
with a man which reasoned the Englishe tongue to be enriched and
encreased thereby, sayinge, Who will not prayse that feast, where a man
shall drincke at a dinner both wyne, ale, and beere? Truly (quoth I)
they be al good every one taken by itself alone; but if you put malmesye
and sack, redde wyne and white, ale and beere, and al in one pot, you
shall make a drinke neither easye to be knowen, nor holsom for the
* * * * *
When King James I. first saw the public library at Oxford, and perceived
the little chains by which the books were fastened, he expressed his
wish that if ever it should be his fate to be a prisoner, this library
might be his prison, those books his fellow prisoners, and the chains
* * * * *
_On a Marine Officer, in the churchyard of Burwick-in-Elmet, Yorkshire._
Here lies, retired from busy scenes,
A first lieutenant of Marines,
Who lately lived in gay content,
On board the brave ship Diligent.
Now stripp'd of all his warlike show,
And laid in box of elm below,
Confin'd in earth in narrow borders,
He rises not till further orders.
* * * * *
ANNUAL OF SCIENCE.
This Day is published, price 5s.
ARCANA of SCIENCE, and ANNUAL REGISTER of the USEFUL ARTS for 1831.
Comprising POPULAR INVENTIONS, IMPROVEMENTS, and DISCOVERIES Abridged
from the Transactions of Public Societies and Scientific Journals of the
past year. With several Engravings.
"One of the best and cheapest books of the day."--_Mag. Nat. Hist._
"An annual register of new inventions and improvements in a popular form
like this, cannot fail to be useful."--_Lit. Gaz._
Printed for JOHN LIMBIRD, 143. Strand;--of whom may be had the Volumes
for the three preceding years.
* * * * *
_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 and