Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 12, by Various

Adobe PDF icon
The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 12, by Various - Full Text Free Book
File size: 0.1 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.


VOL. 12, No. 323.] SATURDAY, JULY 19, 1828. [PRICE 2d.

* * * * *

[Illustration: COLUMBIA COLLEGE]

"It is intended that a large academy be erected, capable of
containing nine thousand seven hundred and forty-three
persons: which, by modest computation, is reckoned to be
pretty near the current number of wits in this island,"
--_Swift's Tale of a Tub._

London is at length destined to become a seat of learning; or
rather, a seminary as well as a focus and mart of literature:

Instruction, manners, mysteries, and trades.

One college is almost completed within her radius, and will be
opened in a few weeks; whilst munificent subscriptions are pouring
in from all quarters of the empire, towards the endowment of a
second. We have hitherto been silent spectators of these grand
strides in the intellectual advancement of our country; but we have
not, on that account, been less sensible of the important benefits
which they are calculated to work in her social scheme, and in

The nurture of her youth, her dearest pledge.

We are not of those who would (even were Newton's theory
practicable) compress the world into a nutshell, or neglect "aught
toward the general good;" and one of our respected correspondents,
who doubtless participates in these cosmopolitan sentiments, has
furnished us with the original of the above view of COLOMBIA
COLLEGE; seeing that this, like the universities of our own country,
is equally important to "Prince Posterity," and accordingly we
proceed with our correspondent's description.

Colombia College, in the city of New York (of the principal building
of which the annexed sketch is a correct representation) may be
ranked among the chief seminaries of learning in America. It was
principally founded by the voluntary contributions of the
inhabitants of the province, assisted by the general assembly and
corporation of Trinity Church, in 1754; at which time it was called
King's College.

A royal charter, and grant of money, was obtained, incorporating a
number of gentlemen therein mentioned, by the name of "The Governors
of the College of the province of New York, in the City of New
York;" and granting to them and their successors for ever, among
various other rights and privileges, the power of conferring such
degrees as are usually conferred {34} by the English universities. The
president and members to be of the church of England, and the form
of prayer used to be collected from the Liturgy of the church of

Since the revolution, the legislature passed an act, constituting
twenty-one gentlemen, (of whom were the governor and
lieutenant-governor for the time being,) a body corporate and
politic, by the name of "the Regents of the University of the state
of New York." They were entrusted with the care of the literature of
the state, and a power to grant charters for erecting colleges and
academies throughout the state.

It received the name of Colombia College in 1787; when by an act of
the legislature, it was placed under the care of twenty-four
gentlemen, styled, "the trustees of the Colombian College," who
possessed the same powers as those of King's College.

In 1813, the College of Physicians and the Medical School were
united; and the academical and medical departments are together
styled "The University of New York." It is now well endowed and
liberally patronized by the legislature of the state. The College
consists of two handsome stone edifices, but the view given is but
one-third of the originally intended structure, and contains a
chapel, hall, library of 5,000 volumes, museum, anatomical theatre,
and school for experimental philosophy.

The Medical College is a large, brick building, containing an
anatomical museum, chemical laboratory, mineralogical cabinet,
museum of natural history, and a botanical garden, and nine medical
professors. Every student pays to each professor from 15 to 25
dollars per course.

There are also professors of mathematics, natural philosophy,
history, ancient and modern languages, logic, &c. The number of
students in 1818 was 233, but it has now greatly increased. As many
in each year as finish their course of study, walk in procession
with the other students and all the professors, preceded by a band
of music to St. Paul's church, where they deliver orations in
English and Latin before a crowded assembly. This is called "a

The situation is about 150 yards from the Hudson, of which, and the
surrounding country it commands an extensive view. The whole is
enclosed by a stone wall, with an area of several acres,
interspersed with gravel walks, green plats, and full-grown trees.


_Note_.--All our readers may not be aware that the remains
of Two Literary Colleges still exist in London: _Gresham
College_ and _Sion College_--or we should say of one of them.
The first was founded and endowed by that excellent citizen
Sir Thomas Gresham. He was much opposed by the university of
Cambridge, which endeavoured to prevent the establishment of
a rival institution. (This was two centuries and a half ago.)
He devised by will, his house in Bishopsgate street, to be
converted into habitations and lecture-rooms for seven
professors or lecturers on seven liberal sciences, who were
to receive a salary out of the revenues of the Royal
Exchange. Gresham College was subsequently converted into the
modern general excise-office; but _the places_ are still
continued, with a double salary for the loss of apartments,
and the lectures are delivered gratuitously twice a day in a
small room in the Royal Exchange, during term-time. The will
of the founder has not, however, been actually carried into
execution. As we hate "solemn farce" and "ignorance in
stilts," we hope "scrutiny will not be stone blind" in this
matter. A more useful man than Sir Thomas Gresham is not to
be found in British biography, and it is painful to see his
good intentions frustrated.

_Sion College_ is situated near London Wall, to the south of
Fore-street. It was founded in 1623 by the rector of St.
Dunstan's in the west, for the London clergy. The whole body
of rectors and vicars within the city are fellows of this
college, and all the clergy in and near the metropolis may
have free access to its extensive and valuable library.

* * * * *


_From Sir H. Davy's Salmonia; or, Days of Fly-fishing.
(In Conversations.)_

POIETES, a Tyro in Fly-fishing.--PHYSICUS, an uninitiated
Angler, fond of inquiries in natural history, &c.--HALIEUS,
an accomplished fly-fisher.--ORNITHER, a sporting gentleman.

_Poietes_. I hope we shall have another good day to-morrow, for
the clouds are red in the west.

_Physicus_. I have no doubt of it, for the red has a tint of

_Halieus_. Do you know why this tint portends fine weather?

_Phys_. The air, when dry, I believe, refracts more red, or
heat-making rays; and as dry air is not perfectly transparent, they
are again reflected in the horizon. I have generally observed a
coppery or yellow sun-set to foretell rain; but, as an indication of
wet weather approaching, nothing is more certain than a halo round
the moon, which is produced by the precipitated water; and the
larger the circle, the nearer the clouds, and consequently the more
ready to fall.

_Hal_. I have often observed that the old proverb is correct--

A rainbow in the morning is the shepherd's warning:
A rainbow at night is the shepherd's delight.

Can you explain this omen?

_Phys_. A rainbow can only occur when the clouds containing or
depositing the rain are opposite to the sun,--and in the evening the
rainbow is in the east, and in the morning in the west; and as our
{35} heavy rains in this climate are usually brought by the westerly
wind, a rainbow in the west indicates that the bad weather is on the
road, by the wind, to us; whereas the rainbow in the east proves
that the rain in these clouds is passing from us.

_Poiet_. I have often observed, that when the swallows fly
high, fine weather is to be expected or continued; but when they fly
low, and close to the ground, rain is almost surely approaching. Can
you account for this?

_Hal_. Swallows follow the flies and gnats, and flies and gnats
usually delight in warm strata of air; and as warm air is lighter,
and usually moister, than cold air, when the warm strata of air are
high, there is less chance of moisture being thrown down from them
by the mixture with cold air; but when the warm and moist air is
close to the surface, it is almost certain that, as the cold air
flows down into it, a deposition of water will take place.

_Poiet_. I have often seen sea-gulls assemble on the land, and
have almost always observed that very stormy and rainy weather was
approaching. I conclude that these animals, sensible of a current of
air approaching from the ocean, retire to the land to shelter
themselves from the storm.

_Ornither_. No such thing. The storm is their element; and the
little petrel enjoys the heaviest gale, because, living on the
smaller sea-insects, he is sure to find his food in the spray of a
heavy wave--and you may see him flitting above the edge of the
highest surge. I believe that the reason of this migration of
sea-gulls, and other sea-birds, to the land, is their security of
finding food; and they may be observed, at this time, feeding
greedily on the earth-worms and larva, driven out of the ground by
severe floods: and the fish, on which they prey in fine weather in
the sea, leave the surface and go deeper in storms. The search after
food is the principal cause why animals change their places. The
different tribes of the wading birds always migrate when rain is
about to take place; and I remember once, in Italy, having been long
waiting, in the end of March, for the arrival of the double snipe in
the Campagna of Rome, a great flight appeared on the 3rd of April,
and the day after heavy rain set in, which greatly interfered with
my sport. The vulture, upon the same principle, follows armies; and
I have no doubt that the augury of the ancients was a good deal
founded upon the observation of the instincts of birds. There are
many superstitions of the vulgar owing to the same source. For
anglers, in spring, it is always unlucky to see single magpies,--but
two may be always regarded as a favourable omen; and the reason is,
that in cold and stormy weather, one magpie alone leaves the nest in
search of food, the other remaining sitting upon the eggs or the
young ones; but when two go out together, it is only when the
weather is warm and mild, and favourable for fishing.

_Poiet_. The singular connexions of causes and effects, to
which you have just referred, make superstition less to be wondered
at, particularly amongst the vulgar; and when two facts naturally
unconnected, have been accidentally coincident, it is not singular
that this coincidence should have been observed and registered, and
that omens of the most absurd kind should be trusted in. In the west
of England, half a century ago, a particular hollow noise on the
sea-coast was referred to a spirit or goblin, called Bucca, and was
supposed to foretell a shipwreck: the philosopher knows that sound
travels much faster than currents in the air, and the sound always
foretold the approach of a very heavy storm, which seldom takes
place on that wild and rocky coast without a shipwreck on some part
of its extensive shores, surrounded by the Atlantic.

_Phys_. All the instances of omens you have mentioned are
founded on reason; but how can you explain such absurdities as
Friday being an unlucky day, the terror of spilling salt, or meeting
an old woman? I knew a man of very high dignity, who was exceedingly
moved by these omens, and who never went out shooting without a
bittern's claw fastened to his button-hole by a riband, which he
thought ensured him good luck.

_Poiet_. These, as well as the omens of death-watches, dreams,
&c., are for the most part founded upon some accidental
coincidences; but spilling of salt, on an uncommon occasion, may, as
I have known it, arise from a disposition to apoplexy, shown by an
incipient numbness in the hand, and may be a fatal symptom; and
persons, dispirited by bad omens, sometimes prepare the way for evil
fortune; for confidence in success is a great means of ensuring it.
The dream of Brutus, before the field of Pharsalia, probably
produced a species of irresolution and despondency, which was the
principal cause of his losing the battle: and I have heard that the
illustrious sportsman to whom you referred just now, was always
observed to shoot ill, because he shot carelessly, after one of his
dispiriting omens.

_Hal_. I have in life met with a few {36} things which I found
it impossible to explain, either by chance coincidences or by
natural connexions; and I have known minds of a very superior class
affected by them,--persons in the habit of reasoning deeply and

_Phys_. In my opinion, profound minds are the most likely to
think lightly of the resources of human reason; and it is the pert,
superficial thinker, who is generally strongest in every kind of
unbelief. The deep philosopher sees chains of causes and effects so
wonderfully and strangely linked together, that he is usually the
last person to decide upon the impossibility of any two series of
events being independent of each other; and in sciences, so many
natural miracles, as it were, have been brought to light,--such as
the fall of stones from meteors in the atmosphere, the disarming of
a thunder-cloud by a metallic point, the production of fire from ice
by a metal white as silver, and referring certain laws of motion of
the sea to the moon,--that the physical inquirer is seldom disposed
to assert, confidently, on any abstruse subjects belonging to the
order of natural things, and still less so on those relating to the
more mysterious relations of moral events and intellectual natures.

* * * * *


(_For the Mirror._)

At about three quarters of a mile east of Kirby Stephen,
Westmoreland, is a bridge of solid rock, known by the name of
_Staincroft Bridge_ or Stonecroft Bridge, under which runs a
small but fathomless rivulet. The water roars and gushes through the
surrounding rocks and precipices with such violence, as almost to
deafen the visitor. Three or four yards from the bridge is an
immense abyss, where the waters "incessantly roar," which goes by
the name of _Devil's Hole_; the tradition of which is, that two
lovers were swallowed up in this frightful gulf. The neighbouring
peasants tell a tale of one _Deville_, a lover, who, through
revenge, plunged his fair mistress into these waters, and afterwards
followed her. How far this story may get belief, I know not; but
such they aver is the truth, while they mournfully lament the sad
affair.--They point out a small hole in the bank where you may hear
the waters dashing with fury against the projecting rocks. This,
some imagine to be the noise of infernal spirits, who have taken up
their abode in this tremendous abyss; while others persist in their
opinion, that the lover's name was _Deville_, and that it
retains his name to this day, in commemoration of the horrid deed.

I have seen, and taken a view of the frightful place, which may
rather be imagined than described. One part of the water was
formerly so narrow, that a wager was laid by a gentleman that he
could span it with the thumb and little finger, and which he would
have accomplished, but his adversary, getting up in the night time,
chipped a piece off the rock with a hammer, and thus won the wager.
It is now, however, little more than from a foot and a half, to two
feet broad, excepting at the falls and _Devil's Hole_. The
water runs into the Eden at the distance of about a mile or two from
Staincroft Bridge. Trout are caught with the line and net in great
quantities, and are particularly fine here.


* * * * *



[Mrs. Bowdich is the widow of Mr. Thomas Edward Bowdich,
who fell a victim to his enterprize in exploring the
interior of Africa, in 1824. Mr. B. was a profound classic
and linguist and member of several learned societies in
England and abroad. In 1819 he published, in a quarto
volume, his "Mission to Ashantee," a work of the highest
importance and interest. Mrs. B., whose pencil has
furnished embellishments for her husband's literary
productions, has published "Excursions to Madeira, &c.,"
and this amiable and accomplished lady has now in course
of publication, a work on the Fresh-water Fishes of Great
Britain.--The subsequent anecdotes are of equal interest
to the student of natural history and the general reader,
especially as they exhibit the habits and disposition of
the Panther in a new light. The Ounce, a variety of the
Panther is, however, easily tamed and trained to the chase
of deer, the gazelle, &c.--for which purpose it has long
been employed in the East, and also during the middle ages
in Italy and France.--Mr. Kean, the tragedian, a few years
since, had a tame _Puma_, or American Lion, which he
kept at his house in Clarges-street, Piccadilly, and
frequently introduced to large parties of company.--ED.]

I am induced to send you some account of a panther which was in my
possession for several months. He and another were found when very
young in the forest, apparently deserted by their mother. They were
taken to the king of Ashantee, in whose palace they lived several
weeks, when my hero, being much larger than his companion, suffocated
him in a fit of romping, and was then sent to Mr. Hutchison, the
resident left by Mr. Bowdich at Coomassie. This gentleman, observing
that the animal was very docile, took pains to tame him, and in a great
measure succeeded. When he was about a year old, Mr. Hutchison returned
to Cape Coast, and had him led through the country by a chain,
occasionally letting {37} him loose when eating was going forward, when
he would sit by his master's side, and receive his share with
comparative gentleness. Once or twice he purloined a fowl, but easily
gave it up to Mr. Hutchison, on being allowed a portion of something
else. The day of his arrival he was placed in a small court, leading to
the private rooms of the governor, and after dinner was led by a thin
cord into the room, where he received our salutations with some degree
of roughness, but with perfect good-humour. On the least encouragement
he laid his paws upon our shoulders, rubbed his head upon us, and his
teeth and claws having been filed, there was no danger of tearing our
clothes. He was kept in the above court for a week or two, and evinced
no ferocity, except when one of the servants tried to pull his food
from him; he then caught the offender by the leg, and tore out a piece
of flesh, but he never seemed to owe him any ill-will afterwards. He
one morning broke his cord, and, the cry being given, the castle gates
were shut, and a chase commenced. After leading his pursuers two or
three times round the ramparts, and knocking over a few children by
bouncing against them, he suffered himself to be caught, and led
quietly back to his quarters, under one of the guns of the fortress.

By degrees the fear of him subsided, and orders having been given to
the sentinels to prevent his escape through the gates, he was left at
liberty to go where he pleased, and a boy was appointed to prevent him
from intruding into the apartments of the officers. His keeper,
however, generally passed his watch in sleeping; and Sai, as the
panther was called, after the royal giver, roamed at large. On one
occasion he found his servant sitting on the step of the door, upright,
but fast asleep, when he lifted his paw, gave him a blow on the side of
his head which laid him flat, and then stood wagging his tail, as if
enjoying the mischief he had committed. He became exceedingly attached
to the governor, and followed him every-where like a dog. His favourite
station was at a window of the sitting-room, which overlooked the whole
town; there, standing on his hind legs, his fore paws resting on the
ledge of the window, and his chin laid between them, he appeared to
amuse himself with what was passing beneath. The children also stood
with him at the window; and one day, finding his presence an
encumbrance, and that they could not get their chairs close, they used
their united efforts to pull him down by the tail. He one morning
missed the governor, who was settling a dispute in the hall, and who,
being surrounded by black people, was hidden from the view of his
favourite. Sai wandered with a dejected look to various parts of the
fortress in search of him; and, while absent on this errand, the
audience ceased, the governor returned to his private rooms, and seated
himself at a table to write. Presently he heard a heavy step coming up
the stairs, and, raising his eyes to the open door, he beheld Sai. At
that moment he gave himself up for lost, for Sai immediately sprang
from the door on to his neck. Instead, however, of devouring him, he
laid his head close to the governor's, rubbed his cheek upon his
shoulder, wagged his tail, and tried to evince his happiness.
Occasionally, however, the panther caused a little alarm to the other
inmates of the castle, and the poor woman who swept the floors, or, to
speak technically, the _pra-pra_ woman, was made ill by her fright. She
was one day sweeping the boards of the great hall with a short broom,
and in an attitude nearly approaching to all-fours, and Sai, who was
hidden under one of the sofas, suddenly leaped upon her back, where he
stood in triumph. She screamed so violently as to summon the other
servants, but they, seeing the panther, as they thought, in the act of
swallowing her, one and all scampered off as quickly as possible; nor
was she released till the governor, who heard the noise, came to her
assistance. Strangers were naturally uncomfortable when they saw so
powerful a beast at perfect liberty, and many were the ridiculous
scenes which took place, they not liking to own their alarm, yet
perfectly unable to retain their composure in his presence.

This interesting animal was well fed twice every day, but never given
any thing with life in it. He stood about two feet high, and was of a
dark yellow colour, thickly spotted with black rosettes, and from the
good feeding and the care taken to clean him, his skin shone like silk.
The expression of his countenance was very animated and good-tempered,
and he was particularly gentle to children; he would lie down on the
mats by their side when they slept, and even the infant shared his
caresses, and remained unhurt. During the period of his residence at
Cape Coast, I was much occupied by making arrangements for my departure
from Africa, but generally visited my future companion every day, and
we, in consequence, became great friends before we sailed. He was
conveyed on board the vessel in a large, wooden cage, thickly barred in
the front with iron. {38} Even this confinement was not deemed a
sufficient protection by the canoe men,[1] who were so alarmed at
taking him from the shore to the vessel, that, in their confusion, they
dropped cage and all into the sea. For a few minutes I gave up my poor
panther as lost, but some sailors jumped into a boat belonging to the
vessel, and dragged him out in safety. The beast himself seemed
completely subdued by his ducking, and as no one dared to open his cage
to dry it, he rolled himself up in one corner, nor roused himself till
after an interval of some days, when he recognised my voice. When I
first spoke, he raised his head, held it on one side, then on the
other, to listen; and when I came fully into his view, he jumped on his
legs, and appeared frantic; he rolled himself over and over, he howled,
he opened his enormous jaws and cried, and seemed as if he would have
torn his cage to pieces. However, as his violence subsided, he
contented himself with thrusting his paws and nose through the bars of
the cage, to receive my caresses.

The greatest treat I could bestow upon my favourite was lavender water.
Mr. Hutchison had told me that, on the way from Ashantee, he drew a
scented handkerchief from his pocket, which was immediately seized on
by the panther, who reduced it to atoms; nor could he venture to open a
bottle of perfume when the animal was near, he was so eager to enjoy
it. I indulged him twice a week by making a cup of stiff paper, pouring
a little lavender water into it, and giving it to him through the bars
of his cage: he would drag it to him with great eagerness, roll himself
over it, nor rest till the smell had evaporated. By this I taught him
to put out his paws without showing his nails, always refusing the
lavender water till he had drawn them back again; and in a short time
he never, on any occasion, protruded his claws when offering me his

We lay eight weeks in the river Gaboon, where he had plenty of
excellent food, but was never suffered to leave his cage, on account of
the deck being always filled with black strangers, to whom he had a
very decided aversion, although he was perfectly reconciled to white
people. His indignation, however, was constantly excited by the pigs,
when they were suffered to run past his cage; and the sight of one of
the monkeys put him in a complete fury. While at anchor in the
before-mentioned river, an orang-outang (Simia Satyrus) was brought for
sale, and lived three days on board; and I shall never forget the
uncontrollable rage of the one, or the agony of the other, at this
meeting. The orang was about three feet high, and very powerful in
proportion to his size; so that when he fled with extraordinary
rapidity from the panther to the further end of the deck, neither men
nor things remained upright when they opposed his progress: there he
took refuge in a sail, and although generally obedient to the voice of
his master, force was necessary to make him quit the shelter of its
folds. As to the panther, his back rose in an arch, his tail was
elevated and perfectly stiff, his eyes flashed, and, as he howled, he
showed his huge teeth; then, as if forgetting the bars before him, he
tried to spring on the orang, to tear him to atoms. It was long before
he recovered his tranquillity; day and night he appeared to be on the
listen; and the approach of a large monkey we had on board, or the
intrusion of a black man, brought a return of his agitation.

We at length sailed for England, with an ample supply of provisions;
but, unhappily, we were boarded by pirates during the voyage, and
nearly reduced to starvation. My panther must have perished had it not
been for a collection of more than three hundred parrots, with which we
sailed from the river, and which died very fast while we were in the
northwest trades. Sai's allowance was one per diem, but this was so
scanty a pittance that he became ravenous, and had not patience to pick
all the feathers off before he commenced his meal. The consequence was,
that he became very ill, and refused even this small quantity of food.
Those around tried to persuade me that he suffered from the colder
climate; but his dry nose and paw convinced me that he was feverish,
and I had him taken out of his cage; when, instead of jumping about and
enjoying his liberty, he lay down, and rested his head upon my feet. I
then made him three pills, each containing two grains of calomel. The
boy who had the charge of him, and who was much attached to him, held
his jaws open, and I pushed the medicine down his throat. Early the
next morning I went to visit my patient, and found his guard sleeping
in the cage with him; and having administered a further dose to the
invalid, I had the satisfaction of seeing him perfectly cured by the
evening. On the arrival of the vessel in the London Docks, Sai was
taken ashore, and presented to the Duchess of York, who placed him in
Exeter Change, to be taken care of, till she herself went to Oatlands.
He {39} remained there for some weeks, and was suffered to roam about
the greater part of the day without any restraint. On the morning
previous to the Duchess's departure from town, she went to visit her
new pet, played with him, and admired his healthy appearance and gentle
deportment. In the evening, when her Royal Highness' coachman went to
take him away, he was dead, in consequence of an inflammation on his
lungs--_Loudon's Magazine of Natural History._

[1: The panther in these countries is a sacred, or Fetish,
animal; and not only a heavy fine is extorted from those
who kill one, but the Fetish is supposed to revenge his
death by cursing the offender.]

* * * * *

Manners & Customs of all Nations.


The church of Rome, in the height of its power, was extremely
scrupulous in all that related to the sacramental bread. According
to Steevens, in his _Monasticon_, they first chose the wheat,
grain by grain, and washed it very carefully. Being put into a bag,
appointed only for that use, a servant, known to be a just man,
carried it to the mill, worked the grindstones, covering them with
curtains above and below; and having put on himself an albe, covered
his face with a veil, nothing but his eyes appearing. The same
precaution was used with the meal. It was not baked till it had been
well washed; and the warden of the church, if he were either priest
or deacon, finished the work, being assisted by two other religious
men, who were in the same orders, and by a lay brother, particularly
appointed for that business. These four monks, when matins were
ended, washed their faces and hands. The three first of them put on
albes; one of them washed the meal with pure, clean water, and the
other two baked the hosts in the iron moulds. So great was the
veneration and respect, say their historians, the monks of Cluni
paid to the Eucharist! Even at this day, in the country, the baker
who prepares the sacramental wafer, must be appointed and authorized
to do it by the Catholic bishop of the district, as appears by the
advertisement inserted in that curious book, published annually,
_The Catholic Laity's Directory_.

* * * * *


There still remains in the Hebrides, though it is passing fast away,
the custom of fosterage. A laird, a man of wealth and eminence,
sends his child, either male or female, to a tacksman or tenant to
be fostered. It is not always his own tenant, but some distant
friend that obtains this honour; for an honour such a trust is very
reasonably thought. The terms of fosterage seem to vary in different
islands. In Mull, the father sends with his child a certain number
of cows, to which the same number is added by the fosterer. The
father appropriates a proportionable extent of ground, without rent,
for their pasturage. If every cow bring a calf, half belongs to the
fosterer, and half to the child; but if there be only one calf
between two cows, it is the child's; and when the child returns to
the parents, it is accompanied with all the cows given, both by the
father and by the fosterer, with half of the increase of the stock
by propagation. These beasts are considered as a portion, and called
_Macalive_ cattle, &c.

Children continue with the fosterer perhaps six years; and cannot,
where this is the practice, be considered as burdensome. The
fosterer, if he gives four cows, receives likewise four, and has,
while the child continues with him, grass for eight without rent,
with half the calves, and all the milk, for which he pays only four
cows, when he dismisses his _dalt_, for that is the name for a
fostered child.--_Johnson's Journey_.

* * * * *


Holinshed, speaking of the Irish, observes:--"Greedy of praise they
be, and fearful of dishonour; and to this end they esteem their
poets, who write Irish learnedly, and pen their sonnets heroical,
for the which they are bountifully rewarded; if not, they send out
libels in dispraise, whereof the lords and gentlemen stand in great
awe. They love tenderly their foster children, and bequeath to them
a child's fortune, whereby they nourish sure friendship,--so
beneficent every way, that commonly 500 cows and better are given in
reward to win a nobleman's child to foster; they love and trust
their foster children more than their own. Proud they are of long
crisped bushes of hair, which they term _libs_. They observe
divers degrees, according to which each man is regarded. The basest
sort among them are little young wasps, called _daltins_: these
are lacqueys, and are serviceable to the grooms, or horseboys, who
are a degree above the daltins. The third degree is the
_kaerne_, which is an ordinary soldier, using for weapon his
sword and target, and sometimes his piece, being commonly so good
marksmen, as they will come within a score of a great cartele. The
fourth degree is a _gallowglass_, using a kind of poll-axe for
his weapon, strong, robust men, chiefly feeding on beef, pork, and
butter. The fifth degree is to be a horseman, which is the {40}
chiefest, next to the lord and captain. These horsemen, when they
have no stay of their own, gad and range from house to house, and
never dismount till they ride into the hall, and as far as the

* * * * *


The minister of Logierait, in Perthshire, in his statistical account
of that parish, supplies us with the following curious information
on this and other marriage ceremonies:--"Immediately before the
celebration of the marriage ceremony, every knot about the bride and
bridegroom (garters, shoe-strings, strings of petticoats, &c.) is
carefully loosed. After leaving the church, the whole company walk
round it, keeping the church walls always upon the right hand; the
bridegroom, however, first retires one way, with some young men, to
tie the knots that were loosened about him, while the young married
woman, in the same manner, retires somewhere else to adjust the
disorder of her dress."

* * * * *


The following extract contains a distinct and interesting account of
this very ancient superstition, as used in Caithness:

"In 1788, when the stock of any considerable farmer was seized with
the murrain, he would send for one of the charm doctors to
superintend the raising of a _needfire_. It was done by
friction, thus: upon any small island, where the stream of a river
or burn ran on each side, a circular booth was erected, of stone and
turf, as it could be had, in which a semicircular or highland couple
of birch, or other hard wood, was set; and, in short, a roof closed
on it. A straight pole was set up in the centre of this building,
the upper end fixed by a wooden pin to the top of the couple, and
the lower end in an oblong _trink_ in the earth or floor; and
lastly, another pole was set across horizontally, having both ends
tapered, one end of which was supported in a hole in the side of the
perpendicular pole, and the other end in a similar hole in the
couple leg. The horizontal stick was called the auger, having four
short arms or levers fixed in its centre, to work it by; the
building having been thus finished, as many men as could be
collected in the vicinity, (being divested of all kinds of metal in
their clothes, &c.) would set to work with the said auger, two after
two, constantly turning it round by the arms or levers, and others
occasionally driving wedges of wood or stone behind the lower end of
the upright pole, so as to press it the more on the end of the
auger; by this constant friction and pressure, the ends of the auger
would take fire, from which a fire would be instantly kindled, and
thus the _needfire_ would be accomplished. The fire in the
farmer's house, &c. was immediately quenched with water, a fire
kindled from this _needfire_, both in the farm-house and
offices, and the cattle brought to feel the smoke of this new and
sacred fire, which preserved them from the murrain. So much for
superstition.--It is handed down by tradition, that the ancient
Druids superintended a similar ceremony of raising a sacred fire,
annually, on the first day of May. That day is still, both in the
Gaelic and Irish dialects, called _La-bealtin, i.e._ the day
of Baal's fire, or the fire dedicated to Baal, or the sun."

* * * * *


In Scotland, water from under a bridge, over which the living pass
and the dead are carried, brought in the dawn or twilight to the
house of a sick person, without the bearer's speaking, either in
going or returning, is called _Unspoken Water_.

The modes of application are various. Sometimes the invalid takes
three draughts of it before anything is spoken. Sometimes it is
thrown over the houses the vessel in which it was contained being
thrown after it. The superstitious believe this to be one of the
most powerful charms that can be employed for restoring a sick
person to health.

The purifying virtue attributed to water, by almost all nations, is
so well known as to require no illustration. Some special virtue has
still been ascribed to silence in the use of charms, exorcisms, &c.
I recollect, says Mr. Jamieson, being assured at Angus, that a
Popish priest in that part of the country, who was supposed to
possess great power in curing those who were deranged, and in
exorcising demoniacs, would, if called to see a patient, on no
account utter a single word on his way, or after arriving at the
house, till he had by himself gone through all his appropriate forms
in order to effect a cure. Whether this practice might be founded on
our Lord's injunction to the Seventy, expressive of the diligence he
required, Luke x. 4, "Salute no man by the way," or borrowed from
heathen superstition, it is impossible to ascertain. We certainly
know that the Romans viewed silence as of the utmost importance in
their sacred rites. Hence the phrase of Virgil,---

"Fida silentia sacris."

_Fauere sacris, fauere linguis_, and {41}_pascere
linguam_, were forms of speech appropriated to their sacred
rites, by which they enjoined silence, that the act of worship might
not be disturbed by the slightest noise or murmur. Hence also they
honoured Harpocrates as the god of silence; and Numa instituted the
worship of a goddess under the name of _Tacita_.

* * * * *



_(To the Editor of the Mirror.)_

A A. The Pot.
B B. The Triangular Board.
C. The Cover.
D. Vessel to receive the Filtered Water.
E. Dotted Line, showing the Proportion of
Charcoal and Sand.]

Herewith I send you an outline drawing of an economical filtering
apparatus, suitable for the use of any dwelling. Its construction is
perfectly simple, and at the cost of a few shillings in its
erection. The pot consists of an unglazed inverted vessel,
manufactured at potteries for the use of sugar-bakers, and placed
through a hole in a triangular board, resting upon two ledges,
occupying a corner in a kitchen or any other apartment. In the
inside of the pot a bushel of the whitest sand is to be introduced;
which sand, after being washed in a clean tub with about three
changes of water, to dissolve and clear away the clayey matter, is
to be mixed with half a peck of finely-bruised charcoal. This will
fill about one-third of the pot; but before the sand is placed in
the vessel, the small hole at the bottom of the pot should have an
oyster-shell placed over it, with the convex side uppermost, to
prevent the sand washing through. This filters foul water perfectly
pellucid and clear very quickly, as I have seen its effects for
years with the most perfect success. When the sand becomes foul by
time, it can be taken out and washed, or fresh materials can be
repeated; great care should be observed not to put more water in the
pot than your vessel underneath will receive.


* * * * *

_Effects of Lightning_.

The analogy between the electric spark, and more especially of the
explosive discharge of the Leyden jar, with atmospheric lightning
and thunder, is too obvious to have escaped notice, even in the
early periods of electrical research. It had been observed by Dr.
Wall and by Gray, and still more pointedly remarked by the Abbe
Nollet. Dr. Franklin was so impressed with the many points of
resemblance between lightning and electricity, that he was convinced
of their identity, and determined to ascertain by direct experiment
the truth of his bold conjecture. A spire which was erecting at
Philadelphia he conceived might assist him in this inquiry; but,
while waiting for its completion, the sight of a boy's kite, which
had been raised for amusement, immediately suggested to him a more
ready method of attaining his object. Having constructed a kite by
stretching a large silk handkerchief over two sticks in the form of
a cross, on the first appearance of an approaching storm, in June
1752, he went out into a field, accompanied by his son, to whom
alone he had imparted his design. Having raised his kite, and
attached a key to the lower end of the hempen string, he insulated
it by fastening it to a post, by means of silk, and waited with
intense anxiety for the result. A considerable time elapsed without
the apparatus giving any sign of electricity, even although a dense
cloud, apparently charged with lightning, had passed over the spot
on which they stood. Franklin was just beginning to despair of
success, when his attention was caught by the bristling up of some
loose fibres on the hempen cord; he immediately presented his
knuckle to the key, and received an electric spark. Overcome with
the emotion {42} inspired by this decisive evidence of the great
discovery he had achieved, he heaved a deep sigh, and conscious of
an immortal name, felt that he could have been content if that
moment had been his last. The rain now fell in torrents, and wetting
the string, rendered it conducting in its whole length; so that
electric sparks were now collected from it in great abundance.

It should be noticed, however, that about a month before Franklin
had made these successful trials, some philosophers, in particular
Dalibard and De Lors, had obtained similar results in France, by
following the plan recommended by Franklin. But the glory of the
discovery is universally given to Franklin, as it was from his
suggestions that the methods of attaining it were originally

This important discovery was prosecuted with great ardour by
philosophers in every part of Europe. The first experimenters
incurred considerable risk in their attempts to draw down
electricity from the clouds, as was soon proved by the fatal
catastrophe, which, on the 6th of August, 1753, befel Professor
Richman, of Petersburg. He had constructed an apparatus for
observations on atmospherical electricity, and was attending a
meeting of the Academy of Sciences, when the sound of distant
thunder caught his ear. He immediately hastened home, taking with
him his engraver, Sokolow, in order that he might delineate the
appearances that should present themselves. While intent upon
examining the electrometer, a large globe of fire flashed from the
conducting rod, which was insulated, to the head of Richman, and
passing through his body, instantly deprived him of life. A red spot
was found on his forehead, where the electricity had entered, his
shoe was burst open, and part of his clothes singed. His companion
was struck down, and remained senseless for some time; the door-case
of the room was split, and the door itself torn off its hinges.

The protection of buildings from the effects of lightning, is the
most important practical application of the theory of electricity.
Conductors for this should be formed of metallic rods, pointed at
the upper extremity, and placed so as to project a few feet above
the highest part of the building they are intended to secure; they
should be continued without interruption till they descend into the
ground, below the foundation of the house. Copper is preferable to
iron as the material for their construction, being less liable to
destruction by rust, or by fusion, and possessing also a greater
conducting power. The size of the rods should be from half an inch
to an inch in diameter, and the point should be gilt, or made of
platina, that it may be more effectually preserved from corrosion.
An important condition in the protecting conductor is, that no
interruption should exist in its continuity from top to bottom; and
advantage will result from connecting together by strips of metal
all the leaden water pipes, or other considerable masses of metal in
or about the building, so as to form one continuous system of
conductors, for carrying the electricity by different channels to
the ground. The lower end of the conductors should be carried down
into the earth till it reaches either water, or at least a moist
stratum.--_Library of Useful Knowledge._

* * * * *

The Sketch-Book.


_A Romance of High Holborn._

It came to pass that, towards the close of 1826, I found occasion to
change my tailor, and by chance, or the recommendation of friends--I
cannot now remember which--applied to one who vegetated in that
particular region of the metropolis where the rivers of
Museum-street and Drury-lane (to adopt the language of metaphor)
flow into and form the capacious estuary of High Holborn. Whoever
has sailed along, or cast anchor in this confluence, must have seen
the individual I allude to. He sits--I should perhaps say sat,
inasmuch as he is since defunct--bolt upright, with a pen behind his
ear, in the centre of a dingy, spectral-looking shop, quaintly hung
round with clothes, of divers forms and patterns, in every stage of
existence--from the first crude conception of the incipient surtout
or pantaloons, down to the last glorious touch that immortalizes the
artist. His figure is slim and undersized; his cheeks are sallow,
with two furrows on each side his nose, filled not unfrequently with
snuff; his eyes project like lobsters', and cast their shifting
glances about with a vague sort of mysterious intelligence; and his
voice--his startling, solemn, unearthly voice--seems hoarse with
sepulchral vapours, and puts forth its tones like the sighing of the
wind among tombs. With regard to his dress, it is in admirable
keeping with his countenance. He wears a black coat, fashioned in
the mould of other times, with large cloth buttons and flowing
skirts; drab inexpressibles, fastened at the knee with brass
buckles; gaiters, which, reaching no higher than the calf of the
leg, set up independent claims to eccentricity and exact
consideration on their own account; creaking, square-toed shoes; and
a hat, broad in front, pinched up at the sides, verging to an angle
behind, and worn close over the forehead, with the lower part
resting on the nose. His manner is equally peculiar; it cannot be
called vulgar, nor yet genteel--for it is too passive for the one,
and too pompous for the other; it forms, say, a sort of compromise
between the two, with a slight infusion of pedantry that greatly
adds to its effect.

On reaching this oddity's abode, I at once proceeded to business;
and was promised, in reply, the execution of my order on the
customary terms of credit. Thus far is strictly natural. The clothes
came home, and so, with admirable punctuality, did the bill; but the
death of a valued friend having withdrawn me, soon afterwards, from
London, six months elapsed; at the expiration of which time I was
refreshed, as agreed on, by a pecuniary application from my tailor.
Perhaps I should here mention, to the better understanding of my
tale, that I am a medical practitioner, of somewhat nervous
temperament, derived partly from inheritance, and partly from an
inveterate indulgence of the imagination. My income, too--which
seldom or never encumbers a surgeon who has not yet done walking the
hospitals--is limited, and, at this present period, was so far
contracted as to keep me in continual suspense. In this predicament
my tailor's memorandum was any thing but satisfactory. I wrote
accordingly to entreat his forbearance for six months longer, and,
as I received no reply, concluded that all was satisfactorily
arranged. Unluckily, however, as I was strolling, about a month
afterwards, along the Strand, I chanced to stumble up against him.
The shock seemed equally unexpected on both sides; but my tailor (as
being a dun) was the first to recover self-possession; and, with a
long preliminary hem!--a mute, but expressive compound of
remonstrance, apology, and resolution--opened his fire as follows:--

"I believe, sir, your name is D----?"

"I believe it is, sir."

"Well, then, Mr. D----, touching that little account between us, I
have to request, sir, that--"

"Very good; nothing can be more reasonable; wait the appointed time,
and you shall have all."

This answer served, in some degree, to appease him; no, not exactly
to appease him, because that would imply previous excitement, and he
was invariably imperturbable in manner; it satisfied him, however,
for the present, and he forthwith walked away, casting on me that
equivocal sort of look with which Ajax turned from Ulysses, or Dido
from AEneas, in the Shades.

A lapse of a few weeks ensued, during which I heard nothing further
from my persecutor; when, one dark November evening--one of those
peculiarly English evenings, full of fog and gloom, when the
half-frozen sleet, joined in its descent by gutters from the
house-tops, comes driving full in your face, blinding you to all
external objects--on one of these blessed evenings, on my road to
Camden Town, I chanced to miss my way, and was compelled,
notwithstanding a certain shyness towards strangers, to ask my
direction of the first respectable person I should meet. Many passed
me by, but none sufficiently prepossessing; when, on turning down
some nameless street that leads to Tottenham Court-road, I chanced
to come behind a staid-looking gentleman, accoutred in a dark brown
coat, with an umbrella--the cotton of which had shrunk half-way up
the whalebone--held obliquely over his head. Hastily stepping up to
him, "Pray, sir," said I, "could you be kind enough to direct me to
---- place, Camden Town?"

The unknown, thus addressed, made the slightest possible inclination
towards me; and then, in an under tone, "I believe, sir, your name
is D----?"

I paused; a vague sort of recollection came over me. Could it
be?--no, surely not! And yet the voice--the manner--the--the--

My suspicions were soon converted into certainty, when the stranger,
with his own peculiar expression, quietly broke forth a second time
with, "Touching that little account--"

This was enough; it was more than enough--it was vexatiously
superfluous. To be dunned for a debt, at the very time when the
nerves could best dispense with the application; to be recalled back
to the vulgarities of existence, at that precise moment when the
imagination was most abstracted from all commercial common-places;
to be stopped by a tailor, (and such a tailor!) when the mind was
dreaming of a mistress--the bare idea was intolerable! So I thought;
and, without further explanation, hurried precipitately from the
spot, nor ever once paused till far removed from the husky tones of
that sepulchral voice which had once before so highly excited my

[The narrater then visits one of Mr. Champagne Wright's masquerades,
where he falls in love with a _fresco_ nun. He receives a

I stood like one bewildered; but, soon recovering my self-possession,
moved direct towards the chandelier, with a view to peruse an
epistle expressive of woman's fondest love. As with glistening
eyes I proceeded to tear open the billet, a flood of transporting
thoughts swept over me. I fancied that I was on the eve of
acquaintance with ----; but, judge my astonishment, when, instead
of the expected document, the key to such transporting bliss, I
read, engraved in large German text, on a dirty square card,
embossed at the edge with flowers, the revolting, business-like
address of

Mr. Thomas M----e,
116, High Holborn.

It so happened that, the next day, I dined with C----. Of course the
masquerade, and with that the tailor, were the first topics of
conversation between us. Both allowed that the circumstances
respecting his late appearance were uncommon; but there, with my
friend, the matter ended: with me it was a more enduring subject for
reflection; and, after a night kept up till a late hour over a bowl
of C----'s most faultless punch, I set out, moody and apprehensive,
to my humble abode. By this time it was past three o'clock; the
streets were nearly all deserted.--While thoughtfully plodding
onwards, a sudden noise from the Holborn end of Drury-lane took my
attention; it evidently proceeded from a row--a systematic,
scientific row; and, indeed, as I drew near the scene of action, I
could distinctly hear the watchman's oaths blending in deep chorus
with the treble of some dozen or two valorous exquisites.

I felt certain rising abstract ideas of pugnacity, and conceived
myself bound to indulge them on the first head and shoulders I
should meet. This spirit brought me at once into the thick of the
fight, and, before I was well aware of my proximity, I found myself
fast anchored alongside a veteran watchman, with a pigtail and half
a nose. The conflict now commenced in good earnest; there were few
or no attempts at favouritism; the blows of one friend told equally
well on the scull of another; watchman assaulted watchman with a
zeal respectable for its sincerity; and, indeed, had these last been
any thing more than a bundle of old coats and oaths, they would most
undoubtedly have drubbed each other into a better world. After a
lively and well-sustained affair of about twenty minutes, a squadron
of auxiliary watchmen arrived, and, with some difficulty, deposited
us all safely in the watch-house. And here the very first person
that met my gaze--seated, with due regard to dignity, in an
arm-chair, a pair of spectacles on his nose, a glass of
brandy-and-water by his side, and a newspaper, redolent of cheese,
before him--was the constable of the night--the nun of the
masquerade--the Mysterious Tailor of High Holborn! The wretch's eyes
gleamed with a savage but subdued joy at the recognition; a low,
chuckling laugh escaped him; while his dull countenance, made doubly
revolting by the dim light of the watch-house, fell, fixed and
scowling, upon me, as he pointed towards the spot where I
stood.--"Dobson," he exclaimed; and, at the word, forth stepped the
owner of this melodious appellative, with "this here man."--Luckily,
before he could finish his charge, a five-shilling-piece, which I
thrust into his unsuspecting palm, created a diversion among the
watchmen in my behalf; under favour of which, while my arch enemy
was adjusting his books, I contrived to escape from his detested

It happened that about a month subsequent to this last rencontre,
circumstances led me to Bologne, whither I arrived, late in the
evening, by the steamboat. On being directed to the best English
hotel in that truly social Anglo-Gallic little town, I chanced to
find in the coffee-room an old crony, whom I had known years since
at Cambridge, and who had just arrived from Switzerland, on a
speculation connected with some vineyards.

I had a thousand questions to ask my friend, a thousand memories to
disinter from their graves in my heart, past follies to re-enact,
past scenes to re-people. We began with our school-days, pursued the
subject to Cambridge, carried it back again to Reading, and thence
traced it through all its windings, now in sunshine, now in gloom,
till the canvass of our recollection was fairly filled with
portraits. In this way, time, unperceived, slipped on; noon deepened
into evening, evening blackened into midnight, yet nothing but our
wine was exhausted.

At last, after a long evening spent in the freest and most social
converse, my friend quitted the coffee-room, while I--imitating, as
I went, the circumlocutory windings of the Meander--proceeded to my
allotted chamber. Unfortunately, on reaching the head of the first
staircase, where two opposite doors presented themselves, I opened
(as a matter of course) the wrong one, which led me into a spacious
apartment, in which were placed two fat, full-grown beds. My lantern
happening to go out at the moment, I was compelled to forego
all further scrutiny, so without more ado, flung off my clothes,
and dived, at one dexterous plunge, right into the centre
of the nearest vacant bed. In an instant I was fast asleep;
my imagination, oppressed with the day's events, had become
fairly exhausted, and I now lay chained down in that heavy,
dreamless sleep, which none but fatigued travellers can appreciate.
Towards daybreak, I was roused by a peculiar long-drawn snore,
proceeding from the next bed. The music, though deep, was gusty,
vulgar, and ludicrous, like a west wind whistling through a
wash-house. I should know it among a thousand snores. At first I
took no notice of this diversified sternutation, but as it deepened
every moment in energy, terminating in something like a groan, I was
compelled to pay it the homage of my admiration and astonishment.
This attention, however, soon flagged; in a few minutes I was a
second time asleep, nor did I again awake till the morning was far
advanced. At this eventful juncture, while casting my eyes round the
room with all the voluptuous indolence of a jaded traveller, they
suddenly chanced to fall on a gaunt, spectral figure, undressed,
unwashed, unshaved, decked out in a red worsted night-cap, its left
cheek swollen, as if with cold or tooth-ache, and seated bolt
upright in the very next bed, scarce six inches off my nose. And
this figure was----but I need add no more; the reader must by this
time have fully anticipated my discovery.

That night I started from Bologne. I could no more have endured to
stop there, conscious that the town contained my persecutor, than I
could have flown. Accordingly, after a hurried breakfast, I
proceeded to arrange what little business I had to transact; and
this completed, away I posted to the well-known shop of Monsieur
----, dentist, perruquier, and general agent to the steam-packet
company. Fortunately the little man was at home, and received me
with his usual courtesy. He was very, very sorry that he could not
stay to converse with me, but a patient in the inner parlour
required his immediate attendance; he must therefore--. I
entreated him not to apologize; my business was simple--it was
merely to ascertain at what hour the first packet sailed; and having
so said, and received a satisfactory reply, I prepared to quit the
shop, when just as I was turning round to shut the door, I caught a
glimpse through the half-closed curtains that shaded the inner room
of a cheek and one eye. The cheek was swollen, and a solitary patch
of snuff rested, like a fly, upon its surface. It was the Mysterious
Tailor; he had come in to have his tooth pulled out.

Notwithstanding my anxiety to quit Bologne, it was evening before I
was on board the packet; nor did I feel myself at ease, until the
heights had dwindled to a speck, and the loud carols of the
fishermen returning home from their day's sport, had sunk into a
faint, undistinguished whisper. Our vessel's course for the first
hour or so was delightful. Towards night, the weather, which had
hitherto proved so serene, began to fluctuate; the wind shifted, and
gradually a heavy swell came rolling in from the north-east towards
us. As the hour advanced, a storm seemed advancing with it; and a
hundred symptoms appeared, the least of which was fully sufficient
to certify the coming on of a tremendous hurricane. Our captain,
however--a bronzed, pinched-up little fellow, whom a series of
north-westers seemed to have dried to a mummy--put a good face on
the matter, and our mate whistled bluffly, though I could not help
fancying that his whistle had something forced about it.

We had by this time been tossing about upwards of four hours, yet
despite the storm, which increased every moment in energy, our
vessel bore up well, labouring and pitching frightfully to be sure,
but as yet uninjured in sail, mast, or hull. As for her course, it
was--so the mate assured me--"a moral impossible to say which way we
were bound, whether for a trip to Spain, Holland, or Van Dieman's
Land; it might be one, it might be t'other." Scarcely had he uttered
these words, when a long rolling sea came sweeping on in hungry
grandeur towards us, and at one rush tore open the ship's gun-wale,
which now, completely at the mercy of the wave, went staggering,
drunken, and blindfold, through the surge. From this fatal moment
the sailors were kept constantly at the pumps, although so
instantaneous was the rush of water into the hold, that they did
little or no good; there seemed, in fact, not the ghost of a chance
left us; even the mate had ceased whistling, and the captain's oaths
began to assume the nature of a compromise between penitence and

It was now midnight, deep, awful midnight; the few remaining
passengers had left the deck and retreated into a bed which they
shared in common with the salt water. The Captain stood, like one
bewildered, beside the helm, while I lay stretched along the
forecastle, watching, as well as I could, the tremendous rushing of
the waves. It was during a partial hush of the storm, when the wind,
as if out of breath, was still, that a shifting light attached
to some moving body, came bearing down full upon us.

"This is an ugly night, sir," said the Captain, who now, for the
first time, found words, "yet methinks I see a sail a-head."

"Surely not," I replied, "no earthly vessel but our own can live on
such a sea."

Scarcely had the words escaped me, when "helm a lee!" was roared out
in a loud emphatic tone, something between rage and fright.

The captain strove to turn his helm, but in vain, the rudder had
lost all power. At this instant, a rushing sound swept past us, and
the two ships came in direct contact with each other. The crash was
tremendous: down with a dizzy spinning motion went the strange
vessel; one yell--but one shrill piercing yell, which is ever
sounding in my ears, ensued--a pause, and all was over.

My heart died within me at that cry; an icy shudder crept through
me, every hair of my head seemed endowed with separate vitality. To
go down into the tomb--and such a tomb!--unwept, unknown, the very
lights from the English coast still discernible in distance, yet not
a friend to hold forth aid; the idea was inexpressibly awful. Just
at this crisis, while grasping the bannister with weak hands, I lay
faint and hopeless on the deck, I fancied I saw a dark figure
crawling up the cabin-steps towards me. I listened; the sound drew
near, the form advanced, already it touched that part of the
staircase to which I clung. Was it the phantom of one of those
wretches who had just met death? Had it come fresh from eternity,
the taint of recent earth yet hanging about it, to warn me of my own
departure? A sudden vivid flash enabled me to dispel all doubt; the
dull, grey eye, and thin furrowed form, were not to be so mistaken;
the voice too--but why prolong the mystery? it was my old
unforgotten persecutor, the Mysterious Tailor of High Holborn. What
followed I know not: overpowered by previous excitement, and the
visitation of this infernal phantom, my brain spun round--my heart
ticked audibly like a clock--my tongue glued to my mouth--I sank
senseless at the cabin door.

_(To be concluded in our next.)_

* * * * *




Twenty quarts of real Nantz,
Eau-de-vie of southern France;
By Arabia's chemic skill,
Sublimed, condensed, in trickling still;
'Tis the grape's abstracted soul,
And the first matter of the bowl.

Oranges, with skins of gold,
Like Hesperian fruit of old,
Whose golden shadow wont to quiver
In the stream of Guadalquiver,
Glowing, waving as they hung
Mid fragrant blossoms ever young,
In gardens of romantic Spain,--
Lovely land, and rich in vain!
Blest by nature's bounteous hand,
Cursed with priests and Ferdinand!
Lemons, pale as Melancholy,
Or yellow russets, wan and holy.
Be their number twice fifteen,
Mystic number, well I ween,
As all must know, who aught can tell
Of sacred lore or glamour spell;
Strip them of their gaudy hides,
Saffron garb of Pagan brides,
And like the Argonauts of Greece,
Treasure up their Golden Fleece.

Then, as doctors wise preserve
Things from nature's course that swerve,
Insects of portentous shape--worms,
Wreathed serpents, asps, and tape-worms,
Ill-fashion'd fishes, dead and swimming,
And untimely fruits of women;
All the thirty skins infuse
In Alcohol's Phlogistic dews.
Steep them--till the blessed Sun
Through half his mighty round hath run--
Hours twelve--the time exact
Their inmost virtues to extract.

Lest the potion should be heady,
As Circe's cup, or gin of Deady,
Water from the crystal spring.
Thirty quarterns, draw and bring;
Let it, after ebullition,
Cool to natural condition.
Add, of powder saccharine,
Pounds thrice five, twice superfine;
Mingle sweetest orange blood,
And the lemon's acid flood;
Mingle well, and blend the whole
With the spicy Alcohol.

Strain the mixture, strain it well
Through such vessel, as in Hell
Wicked maids, with vain endeavour,
Toil to fill, and toil for ever.
Nine-and-forty Danaides,
Wedded maids, and virgin brides,
(So blind Gentiles did believe,)
Toil to fill a faithless sieve;
Thirsty thing, with naught content,
Thriftless and incontinent.

Then, to hold the rich infusion,
Have a barrel, not a huge one,
But clean and pure from spot or taint,
Pure as any female saint--
That within its tight-hoop'd gyre
Has kept Jamaica's liquid fire;
Or luscious Oriental rack,
Or the strong glory of Cognac,
Whose perfume far outscents the Civet,
And all but rivals rare Glenlivet.

To make the compound soft as silk,
Quarterns twain of tepid milk,
Fit for babies, and such small game,
Diffuse through all the strong amalgame.
The fiery souls of heroes so do
Combine the _suaviter in modo_,
Bold as an eagle, meek as Dodo.

Stir it round, and round, and round,
Stow it safely under ground,
Bung'd as close as an intention
Which we _are_ afraid to mention;
Seven days six times let pass,
Then pour it into hollow glass;
Be the vials clean and dry,
Corks as sound as chastity;--
Years shall not impair the merit
Of the lively, gentle spirit.

Babylon's Sardanapalus,
Rome's youngster Heliogabalus,
Or that empurpled paunch, Vitellius,
So famed for appetite rebellious--
Ne'er, in all their vastly reign,
Such a bowl as this could drain.
Hark, the shade of old Apicius
Heaves his head, and cries--Delicious!
Mad of its flavour and its strength--he
Pronounces it the real Nepenthe.

'Tis the Punch, so clear and bland,
Named of Norfolk's fertile land,
Land of Turkeys, land of Coke,
Who late assumed the nuptial yoke--
Like his county beverage,
Growing brisk and stout with age.
Joy I wish--although a Tory--
To a Whig, so gay and hoary--
May he, to his latest hour,
Flourish in his bridal bower--
Find wedded love no Poet's fiction,
And Punch the only contradiction.

_Blackwood's Magazine._

* * * * *



Two French officers resident at Kermanshaw, lately quarrelled; a
challenge ensued; but a reconciliation was effected; when the
incident drew forth the following natural and affecting remark from
a native:--"How foolish it is for a man who wishes to kill his
enemy, to expose his own life, when he can accomplish his purpose
with so much greater safety, by shooting at him from behind a rock."

* * * * *


A young preacher, who chose to enlarge to a country congregation on
the beauty of _virtue_, was surprised to be informed of an old
woman, who expressed herself highly pleased with his sermon, that
her daughter was the most _virtuous_ woman in the parish, for "that
week she had spun sax spyndles of yarn."--_Sir W. Scott._

* * * * *


There is a beautiful painted window, which was made by an
apprentice, out of the pieces of glass which had been rejected by
his master. It is so far superior to every other in the church,
that, according to the tradition, the vanquished artist killed
himself from mortification.

* * * * *

A great lawyer in the sister kingdom, when asked by the viceroy,
what Captain Keppel meant by his "_Personal_ Travels in India, &c."
replied, that lawyers were wont to use this word in contradistinction
to "_Real_."

* * * * *

It is said that the intestines of the Carolina parrot are an
instantaneous poison to cats.

* * * * *


When a debtor refuses payment in China, the creditor, as a last
resource, threatens to carry off the door of his house on the first
day of the year. This is accounted the greatest misfortune that
could happen, as in that case there would be no obstruction to the
entrance of evil genii. To avoid this consummation, a debtor not
unfrequently sets fire to his house on the last night of the year.

* * * * *

During the times of Catholicism in Scotland, _Fishing_ was
prohibited from the Sabbath after vespers, till Monday after
sunrise. This was termed _Setterday's Slopp_.

* * * * *


says a recent traveller in the east, now presents the appearance of
a large mound or hill, with a castle on the top, in mounting to
which, the traveller now and then discovers, through the light sandy
soil, that he is treading on a vast heap of bricks. The total
circumference of the ruin is 2,286 feet, though the building itself
was only 2,000, allowing 500 to the stadia, which Herodotus assigns
as the side of its square. The elevation of the west side is 198
feet. What seems to be a castle at a distance, when examined, proves
to be a solid mass of kiln-burnt bricks, 37 feet high, and 28 broad.

* * * * *


The Spaniards are particularly averse to borrowing from the
intellectual treasures of other nations. They glean the field of
their own muses to the very last ear, and then commence the same
labour over again.

* * * * *


Here is a well-turned reply to plaintiff's counsel, available in all
suits and times. It occurred in the trial of Lord Danby, in the time
of Charles II. "If the gentleman were as just to produce all he
knows for me, as he hath been malicious to show what may be liable
to misconstruction against me, no man could vindicate me more than

* * * * *

In modern education there is a lamentable lack of veneration for the
great masters of English literature. Spenser, Milton, and Dryden are
altogether less familiar to the present generation than they were to
that which preceded it. "We will not say that our Shakspeare is
neglected, for his age is ever fresh and green, and he comes
reflected back to us from a thousand sources, whether in the
tranquillity of home, the turbulent life of capitals, or the
solitude of travel through distant lands."--_Edin. Rev._

* * * * *


What an idea of the dismantling of our nature do the few words which
Roper, Sir Thomas More's son-in-law, relates, convey! He had seen
Henry VIII. walking round the chancellor's garden at Chelsea, with
his arm round his neck; he could not help congratulating him on
being the object of so much kindness. "I thank our lord, I find his
grace my very good lord indeed; and I believe he doth as singularly
favour me as any subject in his realm. However, son Roper, I may
tell thee, I have no cause to be proud thereof, for if my head
would win a castle in France, it would not fail to be struck
off."--_Edinburgh Review._

* * * * *

There is not only room, but use, for all that God has made in his
wisdom--a use not the less real, because not always tangible, or

* * * * *

Nicholas Brady, (the coadjutor of Tate, in arranging the New Version
of Psalms,) published a translation of the AEneid of Virgil, which
(says Johnson,) when dragged into the world, did not live long
enough to cry.

* * * * *

Blue appears to be the most important of all colours in the
gradations of society. A licensed beggar in Scotland, called a
bedesmen, is so privileged on receiving a _blue_ gown. Pliny informs
us that blue was the colour in which the Gauls clothed their slaves;
and _blue_ coats, for many ages, were the liveries of servants,
apprentices, and even of younger brothers, as now of the Blue Coat
Boys, and of other Blue Schools in the country. Women used to do
penance in _blue_ gowns. Is it not unseemly that blue which has
hitherto been the colour of so many unenviable distinctions, should
be the adopted emblem of liberty--_English True Blue!_

* * * * *



The gliding fish that takes his play
In shady nook of streamlet cool,
Thinks not how waters pass away,
And summer dries the pool.

The bird beneath his leafy dome
Who trills his carol, loud and clear,
Thinks not how soon his verdant home
The lightning's breath may sear.

Shall I within my bridegroom's bower
With braids of budding roses twined,
Look forward to a coming hour
When he may prove unkind?

The bee reigns in his waxen cell,
The chieftain in his stately hold,
To-morrow's earthquake,--who can tell?
May both in ruin fold.

* * * * *

The Gatherer.

"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles." SHAKSPEARE.

CATS _(again.)_

Charles James Fox walking up Bond-street from one of the club-houses
with an illustrious personage, laid him a wager, that he would see
more cats than the prince in his walk, and that he might take which
side of the street he liked. When they got to the top, it was found
that Mr. Fox had seen thirteen cats, and the prince not one. The
royal personage asked for an explanation of this apparent miracle;
Mr. Fox said, "Your royal highness took, of course, the shady side
of the way, as most agreeable; I knew that the sunny side would be
left for me, and cats always prefer the sunshine."

* * * * *


It having happened for several successive summers, that wet weather
took place just as the Vauxhall season commenced, Tom Lowe, Tyers's
principal vocal performer, accidentally meeting the proprietor,
expressed an anxious desire to know when he meant to open his
gardens. "Why are you so particular, Mr. Lowe?" said Jonathan. "I
have a very good reason, sir, and should like to know the very day."
"Why, why?" reiterated Tyers, impatiently. "That I may bespeak a
great coat to sing in; for you know we shall be sure to have rain."

* * * * *


A few days since, a musicsellers's boy was sent to the publisher's
for a number of copies of the song "I'd be a Butterfly, arranged for
_two trebles;_" when, on being desired to repeat his order, he
replied, "I'd be a Butterfly, arranged for _two cripples._"

* * * * *


Democritus, who was always laughing, lived one hundred and nine
years; Heraclitus, who never ceased crying, only sixty. Laughing
then is best; and to laugh at one another is perfectly justifiable,
since we are told that the gods themselves, though they made us as
they pleased, cannot help laughing at us.

* * * * *

_Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, London;
Sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic, and by all
Newsmen and Booksellers._

Book of the day: