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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Issue 262, July 7, 1827 by Various

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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

VOL. 10, No. 262.] SATURDAY, JULY 7, 1827. [PRICE 2d.

* * * * *

HIS MAJESTY'S PONEY PHAETON.

[Illustration]

We commence our tenth volume of the MIRROR with an embellishment quite
novel in design from the generality of our graphic illustrations, but
one which, we flatter ourselves, will excite interest among our friends,
especially after so recently, presenting them with a Portrait and Memoir
of his Majesty in the Supplement, which last week completed our ninth
volume. His Majesty, when residing at his cottage in Windsor Forest, the
weather being favourable, seldom allows a day to pass without taking his
favourite drive by the Long Walk, and Virginia Water, in his poney
phaeton, as represented in the above engraving. Windsor Park being
situated on the south side of the town, and 14 miles in circumference,
is admirably calculated for the enjoyment of a rural ride. The entrance
to the park is by a road called the _Long Walk_, near three miles in
length, through a double plantation of trees on each side, leading to the
Ranger's Lodge: on the north east side of the Castle is the _Little Park_,
about four miles in circumference: _Queen Elizabeth's Walk_ herein is
much frequented. At the entrance of this park is the _Queen's Lodge_,
a modern erection. This building stands on an easy ascent opposite the
upper court, on the south side, and commands a beautiful view of the
surrounding country. The gardens are elegant, and have been much
enlarged by the addition of the gardens and house of the duke of St.
Albans, purchased by his late majesty. The beautiful _Cottage Ornée_, an
engraving of which graces one of our early volumes, is also in the park,
and to which place of retirement his present Majesty resorts, and passes
much of his time in preference to the bustle and splendour of a royal
town life.

Having now given as much description of the engraving as the subject
requires, we shall proceed to lay before our readers some further
anecdotes connected with the life of his Majesty; for our present
purpose, the following interesting article being adapted to our limits,
we shall introduce an

_Original Letter of his present Majesty, when Prince of Wales, to
Alexander Davison, Esq., on the death of Lord Nelson._

I am extremely obliged to you, my dear sir, for your confidential
letter, which I received this morning. You may be well assured,
that, did it depend upon me, there would not be a wish, a desire of
our-ever-to-be-lamented and much-loved friend, as well as adored
hero, that I should not consider as a solemn obligation upon his
friends and his country to fulfil; it is a duty they owe his memory,
and his matchless and unrivalled excellence: such are my sentiments,
and I should hope that there is still in this country sufficient
honour, virtue, and gratitude to prompt us to ratify and to carry
into effect the last dying request of our Nelson, and by that means
proving not only to the whole world, but to future ages, that we
were worthy of having such a man belonging to us. It must be
needless, my dear sir, to discuss over with you in particular the
irreparable loss dear Nelson ever must be, not merely to his friends
but to his country, especially at the present crisis--and during the
present most awful contest, his very name was a host of itself;
Nelson and Victory were one and the same to us, and it carried
dismay and terror to the hearts of our enemies. But the subject is
too painful a one to dwell longer upon; as to myself, all that I can
do, either publicly or privately, to testify the reverence, the
respect I entertain for his memory as a Hero, and as the greatest
public character that ever embellished the page of history,
independent of what I can with the greatest truth term, the
enthusiastic attachment I felt for him as a friend, I consider it as
my duty to fulfil, and therefore, though I may be prevented from
taking that ostensible and prominent situation at his funeral which
I think my birth and high rank entitled me to claim, still nothing
shall prevent me in a private character following his remains to
their last resting place; for though the station and the character
may be less ostensible, less prominent, yet the feelings of the
heart will not therefore be the less poignant, or the less acute.

I am, my dear sir, with the greatest truth,

Ever very sincerely your's,

G. P.[1]

_Brighton, Dec, 18th, 1805_.

[1] _New London Literary Gazette_.

* * * * *

BYRON AND OTHER POETS COMPARED.

(_For the Mirror._)

There is a natural stimulus in man to offer adoration at the shrine of
departed genius.--

"There is a tear for all that die."

But, when a transcendant genius is checked in its early age--when its
spring-shoots had only began to open--when it had just engaged in a new
feature devoted to man, and man to it, we cannot rest

"In silent admiration, mixed with grief."

Too often has splendid genius been suffered to live almost unobserved;
and have only been valued as their lives have been lost. Could the
divine Milton, or the great Shakspeare, while living, have shared that
profound veneration which their after generations have bestowed on their
high talents, happier would they have lived, and died more
extensively beloved.

True, a Byron has but lately paid a universal debt. His concentrated
powers--his breathings for the happiness and liberty of mankind--his
splendid intellectual flowers, culled from a mind stored with the
choicest exotics, and cultivated with the most refined taste are all
still fresh in recollection. As the value of precious stones and metals
have become estimated by their scarcity, so will the fame of Byron live.

A mind like Lord Byron's,

"----born, not only to surprise, but cheer
With warmth and lustre all within its sphere,"

was one of Nature's brightest gems, whose splendour (even when
uncompared) dazzled and attracted all who passed within its sight.

"So let him stand, through ages yet unborn."

As comparison is a medium through which we are enabled to obtain most
accurate judgment, let us use it in the present instance, and compare
Lord Byron with the greatest poets that have preceded him, by which
means the world of letters will see what they have _really_ lost in Lord
Byron. To commence with the great Shakspeare himself, to whom universal
admiration continues to be paid. Had Shakspeare been cut off at the same
early period as Byron, _The Tempest, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth, Julius
Caesar, Coriolanus_, and several others of an equal character, would
never have been written. The high reputation of Dryden would also have
been limited--his fame, perhaps, unknown. The _Absalom_ and _Achitophel_
is the earliest of his best productions, which was written about his
fiftieth year; his principal production, at the age of Byron, was his
_Annus Mirabilis_; for nearly the whole of his dramatic works were
written at the latter part of his life. Pope is the like situated; that
which displayed most the power of his mind--which claims for him the
greatest praise--his _Essay on Man_, &c. appeared after his fortieth
year. _Windsor Forest_ was published in his twenty-second or
twenty-third year, both were the labour of some _years_; and the
immortal Milton, who published some few things before his thirtieth
year, sent not his great work, _Paradise Lost_, to the world until he
verged on sixty.

With the poets, and the knowledge of what Byron _was_, we may ask what
he would have been had it pleased the Great Author of all things to
suffer the summer of his consummate mental powers to shine upon us? Take
the works of any of the abovenamed distinguished individuals previous to
their thirty-eighth year, and shall we perceive that flexibility of the
English language to the extent that Byron has left behind him? His
versatility was, indeed, astonishing and triumphant. His _Childe
Harold_, the _Bride of Abydos_, the _Corsair_, and _Don Juan_, (though
somewhat too freely written,) are established proofs of his unequalled
energy of mind. His power was unlimited; not only eloquent, but the
sublime, grave and gay, were all equally familiar to his muse.

Few words are wanted to show that Byron was not depraved at heart; no
man possessed a more ready sympathy, a more generous mind to the
distressed, or was a more enthusiastic admirer of noble actions. These
feelings all strongly delineated in his character, would never admit, as
Sir Walter Scott has observed, "an imperfect moral sense, nor feeling,
dead to virtue." Severe as the

"Combined usurpers on the throne of taste"

have been, his character is marked by some of the best principles in
many parts of his writings.

"The records there of friendships, held like rocks,
And enmities like sun-touch'd snow resign'd,"

are frequently visible. His glorious attachment to the Grecian cause is
a sufficient recompense for _previous_ follies exaggerated and
propagated by calumny's poisonous tongue. In a word, "there is scarce a
passion or a situation which has escaped his pen; and he might be drawn,
like Garrick, between the weeping and the laughing muses."

A. B. C.

* * * * *

THE SONG OF THE WIDOWED MOTHER TO HER CHILD.

BY THE AUTHOR Of "AHAB."

(_For the Mirror._)

O Sink to sleep, my darling boy,
Thy father's dead, thy mother lonely,
Of late thou wert his pride, his joy,
But now thou hast not one to own thee.
The cold wide world before us lies,
But oh! such heartless things live in it,
It makes me weep--then close thine eyes
Tho' it be but for one short minute.

O sink to sleep, my baby dear,
A little while forget thy sorrow,
The wind is cold, the night is drear,
But drearier it will be to-morrow.
For none will help, tho' many see
Our wretchedness--then close thine eyes, love,
Oh, most unbless'd on earth is she
Who on another's aid relies, love.

Thou hear'st me not! thy heart's asleep
Already, and thy lids are closing,
Then lie thee still, and I will weep
Whilst thou, my dearest, art reposing,
And wish that I could slumber free,
And with thee in yon heaven awaken,
O would that it our home might be,
For here we are by all forsaken.

* * * * *

PAY OF THE JUDGES IN FORMER TIMES.

(_For the Mirror._)

In the twenty-third year of the reign of king Henry III., the salary of
the justices of the bench (now called the Common Pleas) was 20l. per
annum; in the forty-third year, 40l. In the twenty-seventh year, the
chief baron had 40 marks; the other barons, 20 marks; and in the forty,
ninth year, 4l. per annum. The justices _coram rege_ (now called the
King's Bench) had in the forty-third year of Henry III. 40l. per annum.;
the chief of the bench, 100 marks per annum; and next year, another
chief of the same court, had 100l.; but the chief of the court _coram
rege_ had only 100 marks per annum.

In the reign of Edward I., the salaries of the justices were very
uncertain, and, upon the whole, they sunk from what they had been in the
reign of Henry III. The chief justice of the bench, in the seventh year
of Edward I., had but 40l. per annum, and the other justices there, 40
marks. This continued the proportion in both benches till the
twenty-fifth year of Edward III., then the salary of the chief of the
King's Bench fell to 50 marks, or 33l. 6s. 8d., while that of the chief
of the bench was augmented to 100 marks, which may be considered as an
evidence of the increase of business and attendance there. The chief
baron had 40l.; the salaries of the other justices and barons were
reduced to 20l.

In the reign of Edward II., the number of suitors so increased in the
common bench, that whereas there had usually been only three justices
there, that prince, at the beginning of his reign, was constrained to
increase them to six, who used to sit in two places,--a circumstance not
easy to be accounted for. Within three years after they were increased
to seven; next year they were reduced to six, at which number they
continued.

The salaries of the judges, though they had continued the same from the
time of Edward I. to the twenty-fifth year of Edward III., were become
very uncertain. In the twenty-eighth year of this king, it appears, that
one of the justices of the King's Bench had 80 marks per annum. In the
thirty-ninth year of Edward III. the judges had in that court 40l.; the
same as the justices of the Common Pleas; but the chief of the King's
Bench, 100 marks.

The salaries of the judges in the time of Henry IV. were as
follows:--The chief baron, and other barons, had 40 marks per annum; the
chief of the King's Bench, and of the Common Pleas, 40l. per annum; the
other justices, in either court, 40 marks. But the gains of the
practisers were become so great, that they could hardly be tempted to
accept a place on the bench with such low salaries; therefore in the
eighteenth year of Henry VI. the judges of all the courts at
Westminster, together with the king's attorney and sergeants, exhibited
a petition to parliament concerning the regular payment of their
salaries and perquisites of robes. The king assented to their request,
and order was taken for increasing their income, which afterwards became
larger, and more fixed; this consisted of a salary and an allowance for
robes. In the first year of Edward IV., the chief justice of the King's
Bench had 170 marks per annum, 5l. 6s. 6d. for his winter robes, and the
same for his Whitsuntide robes. Most of the judges had the honour of
knighthood; some of them were knights bannerets; and some had the order
of the Bath.

In the first year of Henry VII. the chief justice of the court of King's
Bench had the yearly fee of 140 marks granted to him for his better
support; he had besides 5l. 6s. 11-1/4 d., and the sixth part of a
halfpenny (such is the accuracy of Sir William Dugdale, and the
strangeness of the sum,) for his winter robes, and 3l. 6s. 6d. for his
robes at Whitsuntide.

In the thirty-seventh year of Henry VIII. a further increase was made to
the fees of the judges;--to the chief justice of the King's Bench 30l.
per annum; to every other justice of that court 20l. per annum; to every
justice of the Common Pleas, 20l. per annum.

There were usually in the court of Common Pleas five judges, sometimes
six; and in the reign of Henry VI. there were, it is said, eight judges
at one time in that court; but six appear to have been the regular
number. In the King's Bench there were sometimes four, sometimes five.
They did not sit above three hours a day in court,--from eight in the
morning to eleven. The courts were not open in the afternoon; but that
time was left unoccupied for suitors to confer with their counsel
at home.

F. R. Y.

* * * * *

THE SELECTOR
AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.

* * * * *

SIR WALTER SCOTT'S LIFE OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE.

Sir Walter Scott, the author of _Waverley_, has become the biographer of
Napoleon Bonaparte; and the deepest interest is excited in the literary
world to know how the great master of romance and fiction acquits
himself in the execution of his task. In the preface to this elaborate
history, Sir Walter, with considerable ingenuousness, informs us that
"he will be found no enemy to the person of Napoleon. The term of
hostility is ended when the battle has been won, and the foe exists no
longer." But to our task: we shall attempt an analysis of the volumes
before us, and endeavour to gratify our readers with a narrative of
incidents that cannot fail interesting every British subject, whose
history, in fact, is strongly connected with the important events that
belong to the splendid career of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The first and second volumes of Sir Walter's history are taken up with a
view of the French Revolution, from whence we shall extract a sketch of
the characters of three men of terror, whose names will long remain, we
trust, unmatched in history by those of any similar miscreants. These
men were the leaders of the revolution, and were called

THE TRIUMVIRATE.

Danton deserves to be named first, as unrivalled by his colleagues in
talent and audacity. He was a man of gigantic size, and possessed a
voice of thunder. His countenance was that of an Ogre on the shoulders
of a Hercules. He was as fond of the pleasures of vice as of the
practice of cruelty; and it was said there were times when he became
humanized amidst his debauchery, laughed at the terror which his furious
declamations excited, and might be approached with safety, like the
Maelstrom at the turn of tide. His profusion was indulged to an extent
hazardous to his popularity, for the populace are jealous of a lavish
expenditure, as raising their favourites too much above their own
degree; and the charge of peculation finds always ready credit with
them, when brought against public men.

Robespierre possessed this advantage over Danton, that he did not seem
to seek for wealth, either for hoarding or expending, but lived in
strict and economical retirement, to justify the name of the
Incorruptible, with which he was honoured by his partizans. He appears
to have possessed little talent, saving a deep fund of hypocrisy,
considerable powers of sophistry, and a cold exaggerated strain of
oratory, as foreign to good taste, as the measures he recommended were
to ordinary humanity. It seemed wonderful, that even the seething and
boiling of the revolutionary cauldron should have sent up from the
bottom, and long supported on the surface, a thing so miserably void of
claims to public distinction; but Robespierre had to impose on the minds
of the vulgar, and he knew how to beguile them, by accommodating his
flattery to their passions and scale of understanding, and by acts of
cunning and hypocrisy, which weigh more with the multitude than the
words of eloquence, or the arguments of wisdom. The people listened as
to their Cicero, when he twanged out his apostrophes of _Pauvre Peuple,
Peuple vertueux!_ and hastened to execute whatever came recommended by
such honied phrases, though devised by the worst of men for the worst
and most inhuman of purposes.

Vanity was Robespierre's ruling passion, and though his countenance was
the image of his mind, he was vain even of his personal appearance, and
never adopted the external habits of a sans culotte. Amongst his fellow
Jacobins, he was distinguished by the nicety with which his hair was
arranged and powdered; and the neatness of his dress was carefully
attended to, so as to counterbalance, if possible, the vulgarity of his
person. His apartments, though small, were elegant and vanity had filled
them with representations of the occupant. Robespierre's picture at
length hung in one place, his miniature in another, his bust occupied a
niche, and on the table were disposed a few medallions exhibiting his
head in profile. The vanity which all this indicated was of the coldest
and most selfish character, being such as considers neglect as insult,
and receives homage merely as a tribute; so that, while praise is
received without gratitude, it is withheld at the risk of mortal hate.
Self-love of this dangerous character is closely allied with envy, and
Robespierre was one of the most envious and vindictive men that ever
lived. He never was known to pardon any opposition, affront, or even
rivalry; and to be marked in his tablets on such an account was a sure,
though perhaps not an immediate, sentence of death. Danton was a hero,
compared with this cold, calculating, creeping miscreant; for his
passions, though exaggerated, had at least some touch of humanity, and
his brutal ferocity was supported by brutal courage.--(_Continued at
page 17. [Note: See Mirror 263.])

* * * * *

THE EPICUREAN.

_By T. Moore, Esq._

The following is described by Alciphron, the hero of the tale, at the
termination of a festival, in a tone which strongly reminds us of
Rasselas:--

"The sounds of the song and dance had ceased, and I was now left in
those luxurious gardens alone. Though so ardent and active a votary of
pleasure, I had, by nature, a disposition full of melancholy;--an
imagination that presented sad thoughts even in the midst of mirth and
happiness, and threw the shadow of the future over the gayest illusions
of the present. Melancholy was, indeed, twin-born in my soul with
passion; and, not even in the fullest fervour of the latter were they
separated. From the first moment that I was conscious of thought and
feeling, the same dark thread had run across the web; and images of
death and annihilation mingled themselves with the most smiling scenes
through which my career of enjoyment led me. My very passion for
pleasure but deepened these gloomy fancies. For, shut out, as I was by
my creed, from a future life, and having no hope beyond the narrow
horizon of this, every minute of delight assumed a mournful preciousness
in my eyes, and pleasure, like the flower of the cemetery, grew but more
luxuriant from the neighbourhood of death. This very night my triumph,
my happiness, had seemed complete. I had been the presiding genius of
that voluptuous scene. Both my ambition and my love of pleasure had
drunk deep of the cup for which they thirsted. Looked up to by the
learned, and loved by the beautiful and the young, I had seen, in every
eye that met mine, either the acknowledgment of triumphs already won, or
the promise of others, still brighter, that awaited me. Yet, even in the
midst of all this, the same dark thoughts had presented themselves; the
perishableness of myself and all around me every instant recurred to my
mind. Those hands I had prest--those eyes, in which I had seen sparkling
a spirit of light and life that should never die--those voices that had
talked of eternal love--all, all, I felt, were but a mockery of the
moment, and would leave nothing eternal but the silence of their dust!

"Oh, were it not for this sad voice,
Stealing amid our mirth to say,
That all in which we most rejoice,
Ere night may be the earth-worm's prey:
_But_ for this bitter--only this--
Full as the world is brimm'd with bliss,
And capable as feels my soul
Of draining to its depth the whole,
I should turn earth to heaven, and be,
If bliss made gods, a deity!"

* * * * *

THE FALLS OF NIAGARA.

I had already seen some of the most celebrated works of nature in
different parts of the globe; I had seen Etna and Vesuvius; I had seen
the Andes almost at their greatest elevation; Cape Horn, rugged and
bleak, buffeted by the southern tempest; and, though last not least, I
had seen the long swell of the Pacific; but nothing I had ever beheld or
imagined could compare in grandeur with the Falls of Niagara. My first
sensation was that of exquisite delight at having before me the greatest
wonder of the world. Strange as it may appear, this feeling was
immediately succeeded by an irresistible melancholy. Had this not
continued, it might perhaps have been attributed to the satiety incident
to the complete gratification of "hope long deferred;" but so far from
diminishing, the more I gazed, the stronger and deeper the sentiment
became. Yet this scene of sadness was strangely mingled with a kind of
intoxicating fascination. Whether the phenomenon is peculiar to Niagara
I know not, but certain it is, that the spirits are affected and
depressed in a singular manner by the magic influence of this stupendous
and eternal fall. About five miles above the cataract the river expands
to the dimensions of a lake, after which it gradually narrows. The
Rapids commence at the upper extremity of Goat Island, which is half a
mile in length, and divides the river at the point of precipitation into
two unequal parts; the largest is distinguished by the several names of
the Horseshoe, Crescent, and British Fall, from its semi-circular form
and contiguity to the Canadian shore. The smaller is named the American
Fall. A portion of this fall is divided by a rock from Goat Island, and
though here insignificant in appearance, would rank high among
European cascades....

The current runs about six miles an hour; but supposing it to be only
five miles, the quantity which passes the falls in an hour is more than
eighty-five millions of tuns avoirdupois; if we suppose it to be six, it
will be more than one hundred and two millions; and in a day would
exceed two thousand four hundred millions of tuns....

The next morning, with renewed delight, I beheld from my window--I may
say, indeed, from my bed--the stupendous vision. The beams of the rising
sun shed over it a variety of tints; a cloud of spray was ascending from
the crescent; and as I viewed it from above, it appeared like the steam
rising from the boiler of some monstrous engine....

This evening I went down with one of our party to view the cataract by
moonlight. I took my favourite seat on the projecting rock, at a little
distance from the brink of the fall, and gazed till every sense seemed
absorbed in contemplation. Although the shades of night increased the
sublimity of the prospect and "deepened the murmur of the falling
floods," the moon in placid beauty shed her soft influence upon the
mind, and mitigated the horrors of the scene. The thunders which
bellowed from the abyss, and the loveliness of the falling element,
which glittered like molten silver in the moonlight, seemed to complete
in absolute perfection the rare union of the beautiful with the
sublime....

While reflecting upon the inadequacy of language to express the feelings
I experienced, or to describe the wonders which I surveyed, an American
gentleman, to my great amusement, tapped me on the shoulder, and
"guessed" that it was "_pretty droll!_" It was difficult to avoid
laughing in his face; yet I could not help envying him his vocabulary,
which had so eloquently released me from my dilemma....

Though earnestly dissuaded from the undertaking, I had determined to
employ the first fine morning in visiting the cavern beneath the fall.
The guide recommended my companion and myself to set out as early as six
o'clock, that we might have the advantage of the morning sun upon the
waters. We came to the guide's house at the appointed hour, and
disencumbered ourselves of such garments as we did not wish to have
wetted; descending the circular ladder, we followed the course of the
path running along the top of the _débris_ of the precipice, which I
have already described. Having pursued this track for about eighty
yards, in the course of which we were completely drenched, we found
ourselves close to the cataract. Although enveloped in a cloud of spray,
we could distinguish without difficulty the direction of our path, and
the nature of the cavern we were about to enter. Our guide warned us of
the difficulty in respiration which we should encounter from the spray,
and recommended us to look with exclusive attention to the security of
our footing. Thus warned, we pushed forward, blown about and buffeted by
the wind, stunned by the noise, and blinded by the spray. Each
successive gust penetrated us to the very bones with cold. Determined to
proceed, we toiled and struggled on, and having followed the footsteps
of the guide as far as was possible consistently with safety, we sat
down, and having collected our senses by degrees, the wonders of the
cavern slowly developed themselves. It is impossible to describe the
strange unnatural light reflected through its crystal wall, the roar of
the waters, and the blasts of the hurried hurricane which perpetually
rages in its recesses. We endured its fury a sufficient time to form a
notion of the shape and dimensions of this dreadful place. The cavern
was tolerably light, though the sun was unfortunately enveloped in
clouds. His disc was invisible, but we could clearly distinguish his
situation through the watery barrier. The fall of the cataract is nearly
perpendicular. The bank over which it is precipitated is of concave
form, owing to its upper stratum being composed of lime-stone, and its
base of soft slate-stone, which has been eaten away by the constant
attrition of the recoiling waters. The cavern is about one hundred and
twenty feet in height, fifty in breadth, and three hundred in length.
The entrance was completely invisible. By screaming in our ears, the
guide contrived to explain to us that there was one more point which we
might have reached had the wind been in any other direction. Unluckily
it blew full upon the sheet of the cataract, and drove it in so as to
dash upon the rock over which we must have passed. A few yards beyond
this, the precipice becomes perpendicular, and, blending with the water,
forms the extremity of the cave. After a stay of nearly ten minutes in
this most horrible purgatory, we gladly left it to its loathsome
inhabitants the eel and the water-snake, who crawl about its recesses in
considerable numbers,--and returned to the inn--_De Roos's Travels in
the United States, &c._

* * * * *

THE GUILLOTINE.

The first sight, however, which it fell to my lot to witness at Brussels
in this second and short visit, was neither gay nor handsome, nor dear
in any sense, but the very reverse; it being that of the punishment of
the guillotine inflicted on a wretched murderer, named John Baptist
Michel.[2] Hearing, at the moment of my arrival, that this tragical
scene was on the point of being acted in the great square of the
market-place, I determined for once to make a sacrifice of my feelings
to the desire of being present at a spectacle, with the nature of which
the recollections of revolutionary horrors are so intimately associated.
Accordingly, following to the spot a guard of soldiers appointed to
assist at the execution, I disengaged myself as soon as possible from
the pressure of the immense crowd already assembled, and obtained a seat
at the window of a house immediately opposite the Hotel-de-Ville, in
front of the principal entrance to which the guillotine had been
erected. At the hour of twelve at noon precisely, the malefactor, tall,
athletic, and young, having his hands tied behind his back, and being
stripped to the waist, was brought to the square in a cart, under an
escort of gen-d'armes, attended by an elderly and respectable
ecclesiastic; who, having been previously occupied in administering the
consolations of religion to the condemned person in prison, now appeared
incessantly employed in tranquillizing him on his way to the scaffold.
Arrived near the fatal machine, the unhappy man stepped out of the
vehicle, knelt at the feet of his confessor, received the priestly
benediction, kissed some individuals who accompanied him, and was
hurried by the officers of justice up the steps of the cube-form
structure of wood, painted of a blood-red, on which stood the dreadful
apparatus of death. To reach the top of the platform, to be fast bound
to a board, to be placed horizontally under the axe, and deprived of
life by its unerring blow, was, in the case of this miserable offender,
the work literally of a moment. It was indeed an awfully sudden transit
from time to eternity. He could only cry out, "_Adieu, mes amis_," and
he was gone. The severed head, passing through a red-coloured bag fixed
under, fell to the ground--the blood spouted forth from the neck like
water from a fountain--the body, lifted up without delay, was flung down
through a trap-door in the platform. Never did capital punishment more
quickly take effect on a human being; and whilst the executioner was
coolly taking out the axe from the groove of the machine, and placing
it, covered as it was with gore, in a box, the remains of the culprit,
deposited in a shell, were hoisted into a wagon, and conveyed to the
prison. In twenty minutes all was over, and the _Grande Place_ nearly
cleared of its thousands, on whom the dreadful scene seemed to have
made, as usual, the slightest possible impression--_Stevenson's Tour in
France, Switzerland, &c._

[2] The circumstances of the case were as follows:--Jean
Baptiste Michel, aged 36, a blacksmith, accompanied by a female
named Marie Anne Debeyst, aged 22, was proceeding from Brussels
to Vilvorde, one day in the month of March, 1824. In the
Alléverte, they overtook a servant girl, who was imprudent
enough to mention to them that her master had entrusted her
with a sum of money. Near Vilvorde, Michel and his paramour,
having formed their plan of assassination and robbery, rejoined
the poor girl, whom they had momentarily left, and violently
demanded the bag containing the gold and silver. The
unfortunate young creature resisted their attacks as long as
she could, but was soon felled to the ground by Michel, who
with a thick stick fractured her skull, whilst Debeyst trod
upon the prostrate victim of their horrid crime. These wretches
were shortly afterwards arrested and committed to prison. On
the 5th of April, 1825, they were condemned to death by the
Court of Assize at Brussels, but implored of the royal clemency
a commutation of punishment. This was granted to the woman,
whose sentence was changed to perpetual imprisonment. Michel's
petition was rejected.

* * * * *

THE HEIR PRESUMPTIVE.

Of all the miseries of human life, and God knows they are manifold
enough, there are few more utterly heart-sickening and overwhelming than
those endured by the unlucky Heir Presumptive; when, after having
submitted to the whims and caprices of some rich relation, and endured a
state of worse than Egyptian bondage, for a long series of years, he
finds himself cut off with a shilling, or a mourning ring; and the El
Dorado of his tedious term of probation and expectancy devoted to the
endowment of methodist chapels and Sunday schools; or bequeathed to some
six months' friend (usually a female housekeeper, or spiritual adviser)
who, entering the vineyard at the eleventh hour, (the precise moment at
which his patience and humility become exhausted,) carries off the
golden prize, and adds another melancholy confirmation, to those already
upon record, of the fallacy of all human anticipations. It matters
little what may have been the motives of his conduct; whether duty,
affection, or that more powerful incentive self-interest; how long or
how devotedly he may have humoured the foibles or eccentricities of his
relative; or what sacrifices he may have made to enable him to comply
with his unreasonable caprices: the result is almost invariably the
same. The last year of the Heir Presumptive's purgatory, nay, perhaps
even the last month, or the last week, is often the drop to the full cup
of his endurance. His patience, however it may have been propped by
self-interest, or feelings of a more refined description, usually breaks
down before the allotted term has expired; and the whole fabric it has
cost him such infinite labour to erect, falls to the ground along with
it. It is well if his personal exertions, and the annoyances to which he
has subjected himself during the best period of his existence, form the
whole of his sacrifices. But, alas! it too often happens that,
encouraged by the probability of succeeding in a few years to an
independent property, and ambitious, moreover, of making such an
appearance in society as will afford the old gentleman or lady no excuse
for being ashamed of their connexion with him, he launches into expenses
he would never otherwise have dreamed of incurring, and contracts debts
without regard to his positive means of liquidating them, on the
strength of a contingency which, if he could but be taught to believe
it, is of all earthly anticipations the most remote and uncertain. A
passion for unnecessary expense is, under different circumstances,
frequently repressed by an inability to procure credit; but it is the
curse and bane of Mr. Omnium's nephew, and Miss Saveall's niece, that so
far from any obstacle being opposed to their prodigality, almost
unlimited indulgence is offered, nay, actually pressed upon them, by the
trades-people of their wealthy relations; who take especial care that
their charges shall be of a nature to repay them for any complaisance or
long suffering, as it regards the term of credit, they may be called
upon to display. But independently of the additional expense into which
the Heir Presumptive is often seduced by the operation of these
temptations, and his anxiety to live in a style in some degree accordant
with his expectations, what is he not called upon to endure from the
caprices, old-fashioned notions, eccentricities, avarice, and obstinacy,
of the old tyrant to whom he thus consents to sell himself, and it may
be his family, body and soul, for an indefinite number of
years.--_National Tales_.

* * * * *

THE MONTHS.

JULY.

[Illustration]

The sultry noontide of July
Now bids us seek the forest's shade;
Or for the crystal streamlet sigh.
That flows in some sequestered glade.

B. BARTON.

* * * * *

Summer! glowing summer! This is the month of heat and sunshine, of
clear, fervid skies, dusty roads, and shrinking streams; when doors and
windows are thrown open, a cool gale is the most welcome of all
visiters, and every drop of rain "is worth its weight in gold." Such is
July commonly--such it was in 1825, and such, in a scarcely less degree,
in 1826; yet it is sometimes, on the contrary, a very showery month,
putting the hay-maker to the extremity of his patience, and the farmer
upon anxious thoughts for his ripening corn; generally speaking,
however, it is the heart of our summer. The landscape presents an air of
warmth, dryness, and maturity; the eye roams over brown pastures, corn
fields "already white to harvest," dark lines of intersecting
hedge-rows, and darker trees, lifting their heavy heads above them. The
foliage at this period is rich, full, and vigorous; there is a fine haze
cast over distant woods and bosky slopes, and every lofty and majestic
tree is filled with a soft shadowy twilight, which adds infinitely to
its beauty--a circumstance that has never been sufficiently noticed by
either poet or painter. Willows are now beautiful objects in the
landscape; they are like rich masses of arborescent silver, especially
if stirred by the breeze, their light and fluent forms contrasting
finely with the still and sombre aspect of the other trees.

Now is the general season of _haymaking_. Bands of mowers, in their
light trousers and broad straw hats, are astir long before the fiery eye
of the sun glances above the horizon, that they may toil in the
freshness of the morning, and stretch themselves at noon in luxurious
ease by trickling waters, and beneath the shade of trees. Till then,
with regular strokes and a sweeping sound, the sweet and flowery grass
falls before them, revealing at almost every step, nests of young birds,
mice in their cozy domes, and the mossy cells of the humble bee
streaming with liquid honey; anon, troops of haymakers are abroad,
tossing the green swaths wide to the sun. It is one of Nature's
festivities, endeared by a thousand pleasant memories and habits of the
olden days, and not a soul can resist it.

There is a sound of tinkling teams and of wagons rolling along lanes and
fields the whole country over, aye, even at midnight, till at length the
fragrant ricks rise in the farmyard, and the pale smooth-shaven fields
are left in solitary beauty.

They who know little about it may deem the strong _penchant_ of our
poets, and of ourselves, for rural pleasures, mere romance and poetic
illusion; but if poetic beauty alone were concerned, we must still
admire _harvest-time_ in the country. The whole land is then an Arcadia,
full of simple, healthful, and rejoicing spirits. Overgrown towns and
manufactories may have changed for the worse, the spirit and feelings of
our population; in them, "evil communications may have corrupted good
manners;" but in the country at large, there never was a more
simple-minded, healthful-hearted, and happy race of people than our
present British peasantry. They have cast off, it is true, many of their
ancestors' games and merrymakings, but they have in no degree lost their
soul of mirth and happiness. This is never more conspicuous than in
_harvest-time_.

With the exception of a casual song of the lark in a fresh morning, of
the blackbird and thrush at sunset, or the monotonous wail of the
yellow-hammer, the silence of birds is now complete; even the lesser
reed-sparrow, which may very properly be called the _English mock-bird_,
and which kept up a perpetual clatter with the notes of the sparrow, the
swallow, the white-throat, &c. in every hedge-bottom, day and night,
has ceased.

Boys will now be seen in the evening twilight with match, gunpowder,
&c., and green boughs for self-defence, busy in storming the paper-built
castles of _wasps_, the larvae of which furnish anglers with store of
excellent baits. Spring-flowers have given place to a very different
class. Climbing plants mantle and festoon every hedge. The wild hop, the
brione, the clematis or traveller's joy, the large white convolvulus,
whose bold yet delicate flowers will display themselves to a very late
period of the year--vetches, and white and yellow ladies-bed-straw--
invest almost every bush with their varied beauty, and breathe on the
passer-by their faint summer sweetness. The _campanula rotundifolia_,
the hare-bell of poets, and the blue-bell of botanists, arrests the eye
on every dry bank, rock, and wayside, with its beautiful cerulean bells.
There too we behold wild scabiouses, mallows, the woody nightshade,
wood-betony, and centaury; the red and white-striped convolvulus also
throws its flowers under your feet; corn fields glow with whole armies
of scarlet poppies, cockle, and the rich azure plumes of
viper's-bugloss; even _thistles_, the curse of Cain, diffuse a glow of
beauty over wastes and barren places. Some species, particularly the
musk thistles, are really noble plants, wearing their formidable arms,
their silken vest, and their gorgeous crimson tufts of fragrant flowers
issuing from a coronal of interwoven down and spines, with a grace which
casts far into the shade many a favourite of the garden.

But whoever would taste all the sweetness of July, let him go, in
pleasant company, if possible, into heaths and woods; it is there, in
her uncultured haunts, that summer now holds her court. The stern
castle, the lowly convent, the deer and the forester have vanished
thence many ages; yet nature still casts round the forest-lodge, the
gnarled oak and lovely mere, the same charms as ever. The most hot and
sandy tracts, which we might naturally imagine would now be parched up,
are in full glory. The _erica tetralix_, or bell-heath, the most
beautiful of our indigenous species, is now in bloom, and has converted
the brown bosom of the waste into one wide sea of crimson; the air is
charged with its honied odour. The dry, elastic turf glows, not only
with its flowers, but with those of the wild thyme, the clear blue
milkwort, the yellow asphodel, and that curious plant the _sundew_, with
its drops of inexhaustible liquor sparkling in the fiercest sun like
diamonds. There wave the cotton-rush, the tall fox-glove, and the taller
golden mullein. There creep the various species of heath-berries,
cranberries, bilberries, &c., furnishing the poor with a source of
profit, and the rich of luxury. What a pleasure it is to throw ourselves
down beneath the verdant screen of the beautiful fern, or the shade of a
venerable oak, in such a scene, and listen to the summer sounds of bees,
grasshoppers, and ten thousand other insects, mingled with the more
remote and solitary cries of the pewit and the curlew! Then, to think of
the coach-horse, urged on his sultry stage, or the plough-boy and his
teem, plunging in the depths of a burning fallow, or of our ancestors,
in times of national famine, plucking up the wild fern-roots for bread,
and what an enhancement of our own luxurious ease![3]

But woods, the depths of woods, are the most delicious retreats during
the fiery noons of July. The great azure campanulas, or Canterbury
bells, are there in bloom, and, in chalk or limestone districts, there
are also now to be found those curiosities, the _bee_ and _fly
orchises_. The soul of John Evelyn well might envy us a wood lounge at
this period.

_Time's Telescope._

[3] It is a fact not known to every juvenile lover of nature,
that a transverse section of a fern-root presents a miniature
picture of an _oak tree_ which no painter could rival.

* * * * *

ASTRONOMICAL OCCURENCES
FOR JULY, 1827.

* * * * *

(_For the Mirror._)

The sun is in apogee, or at his greatest distance from the earth on the
2nd, in 10 deg. _Cancer_; he enters _Leo_ on the 23rd, at 5h. 13m.
afternoon; he is in conjunction with the planet Saturn on the 2nd at
11h. 30m. morning, in 9 deg. _Cancer_, and with Mars on the 12th at 1h.
45m. afternoon, being advanced 10 deg. further in the eliptic.

Venus and Saturn are also in conjunction on the 26th at 3 h. afternoon,
in 13 deg. _Cancer_.

Mercury will again be visible for a short time about the middle of the
month a little after the sun has set, arriving on the 16th at his
greatest eastern elongation, or apparent distance from the centre of the
system, as seen from the earth in 20 deg. _Leo_; and in aphelio, or that
point of his orbit most distant from the sun, on the 22nd; he becomes
stationary on the 29th.

There is only one visible eclipse of Jupiter's first satellite this
month--on the 5th, at 10h. 21m. evening.

The Georgium Sidus, or Herschel, comes to an opposition with the sun on
the 19th, at 6h. 15m. evening; he is then nearest the earth, and
consequently in the most favourable position for observation; he began
retrograding on the 1st of May in 28 deg. 12m. of _Capricornus_; he
rises on the 1st, at 9h. 11m. evening, culminating at 1h. 16m., and
setting at 5h. 21m. morning, pursuing the course of the sun on the 17th
of January; he moves only 13m. of a deg. in the course of the month,
rising 2 h. earlier on the 31st.

This planet, called also Uranus, was discovered by Herschel on the 13th
of March, 1781. It is the most distant orb in our system yet known. From
certain inequalities on the motion of Jupiter and Saturn, the existence
of a planet of considerable size beyond the orbit of either had been
before suspected; its apparent magnitude, as seen from the earth, is
about 3-1/2 sec., or of the size of a star of the sixth magnitude, and
as from its distance from the sun, it shines but with a pale light, it
cannot often be distinguished with the naked eye. Its diameter is about
4-1/2 times that of the earth, and completes its revolution in something
less than 83-1/2 years. The want of light in this planet, on account of
its great distance from the sun, is supplied by six moons, which revolve
round their primary in different periods. There is a remarkable
peculiarity attached to their orbits, which are nearly perpendicular to
the plane of the ecliptic, and they revolve in them in a direction
contrary to the order of the signs.

"Moore," in an old almanack, speaking on the difference of light and
heat enjoyed by the inhabitants of _Saturn_, and the _earth_, says,--

"From hence how large, how strong the sun's bright ball,
But seen from thence, how languid and how small,
When the keen north with all its fury blows,
Congeals the floods and forms the fleecy snows:
'Tis heat intense, to what can there be known,
Warmer our poles than in its burning (!) zone;
One moment's cold like their's would pierce the bone,
Freeze the heart's blood, and turn us all to stone."

Were Saturn thus situated, what would the inhabitants of Herschel feel,
whose distance is still further?--pursuing this train of reasoning, the
heat in the planet Mercury would be seven times greater than on our
globe, and were the earth in the same position, all the water on its
surface would boil, and soon be turned into vapour, but as the degree of
sensible heat in any planet _does not_ depend altogether on its nearness
to the sun, the temperature of these planets may be as mild as that of
the most genial climate of our globe.

The theory of the sun being a body of fire having been long since
exploded, and heat being found to be generated by the union of the sun's
rays with the atmosphere of the earth, so the caloric contained in the
atmosphere on the surfaces of the planets may be distributed in
different quantities, according to the situation they occupy with regard
to the sun, and which is put into action by the influence of the solar
rays, so as to produce that degree of sensible heat requisite for each
respective planet. We have only to suppose that a small quantity of
caloric exists in Mercury, and a greater quantity in Herschel, which is
fifty times farther from the sun than the other, and there is no reason
to believe that those planets nearest the sun suffer under the action of
excessive heat, or that the more distant are exposed to the rigours of
insufferable cold, which, in either case, might render them unfit for
the abodes of intellectual beings. PASCHE.

* * * * *

THE SKETCH BOOK

NO. XLI.

* * * * *

THE AUTHOR AND HIS COAT.

(_For the Mirror._)

My master, at first sight of me, expressed great admiration. He had
given his architect of garments orders to make him a blue coat in his
best style; in consequence of which I was ushered into the world. The
gentleman who introduced me into company was at the time in very high
spirits, being engaged in a new literary undertaking, of the success of
which he indulged very sanguine hopes. On this occasion we, that is, to
use similar language to Cardinal Wolsey, in a well-known instance, I and
my master paid a great number of visits to his particular friends, and
others whom he thought likely to encourage and promote his project The
reception _we_ generally met with was highly satisfactory; smiles and
promises of support were bestowed in abundance upon _us_. I use the
plural number, with justice, as it will appear in the sequel, although
my master scarcely ever dreamt that I had anything to do with it. As I
had, however, the special privilege of being _behind his back_, I had
the advantage which that situation peculiarly confers, of arriving at a
knowledge of the truth. He never dreamt that the expressions, "How well
you are looking,"--"I am glad to see you," &c. so common in his ears,
would scarcely ever have been used had it not been for my influence. To
be sure I have overheard him say, as we have been walking along, "There
goes an old acquaintance of mine; but, bless me, how altered he is! he
looks poor and meanly dressed, but I'm determined I'll speak to him, for
fear he should think me so shabby as to shy him." Thus giving an
instance in himself, certainly, of respect for the _man_ and not the
_coat_. My short history goes rather to prove that the reverse is almost
every day's experience. Matters went on pretty well with us until my
master was seized with a severe fit of illness, in consequence of which
his literary scheme was completely defeated, and his condition in life
materially injured; of course, the glad tones of encouragement which I
had been accustomed to hear were changed into expressions of condolence,
and sometimes assurances of unabated friendship; but then it must be
remembered that I, the handsomest blue coat, was _still in good
condition_, and it will perhaps appear, that if I were not my master's
_warmest_ friend, I was, at all events, the only one that _stuck to him
to the last_. Eternal respect to both of us continued much the same for
some time longer, but by degrees we both, _at the same time_, observed,
that an alteration began to take place. My master attributed this to his
altered fortunes, and I placed it to the score of my decayed
appearance--the threadbare cloth and tarnished button came in, I was
sure, for their full share of neglect, and he at last fell into the same
opinion. To describe all the variety of treatment that we experienced
would be a tedious and unpleasant task,--but I was the more convinced
that I had at least as much to do with it as my master, from observing
that all the gradations in manner, from coolness to shyness, and from
shyness to neglect, kept pace, remarkably, with the changes in my
appearance. My master was, at length, the only individual who paid any
respect or attention to me, after most of his old acquaintances had
ceased to notice him. I have heard him exclaim, "Oh, that mankind would
treat me with as much constancy as my old true blue! Thou hast
faithfully served me throughout the vicissitudes of fortune, and art
faithful still, now both of us are left to wither in adversity."

I could make a long story of it, were I to detail all my adventures;
they may, however, be easily imagined from what has been stated, and
from which it is evident, that in too many instances, the world pays
more respect to _the coat_, than to _the man_, and therefore that a man
would often derive more consequence and benefit if he had the advantage
of having for his patron--_a tailor_ instead of _a man of rank_. J. B.

* * * * *

THE NOVELIST.

NO. CIV.

* * * * *

THE COTTER'S DAUGHTER.

It was a cold stormy night in December, and the green logs as they
blazed and crackled on the Cotter's hearth, were rendered more
delightful, more truly comfortable, by the contrast with the icy showers
of snow and sleet which swept against the frail casement, making all
without cheerless and miserable.

The Cotter was a handsome, intelligent old man, and afforded me much
information upon glebes, and flocks, and rural economy; while his
spouse, a venerable matron, was humming to herself some long since
forgotten ballad; and industriously twisting and twirling about her long
knitting needles, that promised soon to produce a pair of formidable
winter hose. Their son, a stout, healthy young peasant of
three-and-twenty, was sitting in the spacious chimney corner, sharing
his frugal supper of bread and cheese with a large, shaggy sheep dog,
who sat on his haunches wistfully watching every mouthful, and snap,
snap, snapping, and dextrously catching every morsel that was cast
to him.

We were all suddenly startled, however, by his loud bark; when, jumping
up, he rushed, or rather flew towards the door.

"Whew! whew!" whistled the youth--"Whoy--what the dickens ails thee,
Rover?" said he, rising and following him to the door to learn the cause
of his alarm. "What! be they gone again, ey?" for the dog was silent.
"What do thee sniffle at, boy? On'y look at 'un feyther; how the beast
whines and waggles his stump o' tail!--It's some 'un he knows for
sartain. I'd lay a wager it wur Bill Miles com'd about the
harrow, feyther."

"Did thee hear any knock, lad?" said the father.

"Noa!" replied the youth; "but mayhap Bill peep'd thro' the hoal in the
shutter, and is a bit dash'd like at seeing a gentleman here. Bill! is't
thee, Master Miles?" continued he, bawling. "Lord! the wind whistles so
a' can't hear me. Shall I unlatch the door, feyther?"

"Ay, lad, do, an thou wilt," replied the old man; "Rover's wiser nor we
be--a dog 'll scent a friend, when a man would'nt know un."

Rover still continued his low importunate whine, and began to scratch
against the door. The lad threw it open--the dog brushed past him in an
instant, and his quick, short, continuous yelping, expressed his
immoderate joy and recognition.

"Hollo! where be'st thee, Bill?" said the young peasant, stepping over
the threshold. "Come, none of thee tricks upon travellers, Master Bill;
I zee thee beside the rick yon!" and quitting the door for half a
minute, he again hastily entered the cot. The rich colour of robust
health had fled from his cheeks--his lips quivered--and he looked like
one bereft of his senses, or under the influence of some frightful
apparition.

The dame rose up--her work fell from trembling hands--

"What's the matter?" said she.

"What's frighted thee, lad?" asked the old man, rising.

"Oh! feyther!--oh! mother!"--exclaimed he, drawing them hastily on one
side and whispering something in a low, and almost inaudible voice.

The old woman raised her hands in supplication and tottered to her
chair while the Cotter, bursting out into a paroxysm of violent rage,
clutched his son's arm, and exclaimed in a loud voice:

"Make fast the door, boy, an thou'lt not have my curse on thee!--I tell
'ee, she shan't come hither!--No--never--never;--there's poison in her
breath--a' will spurn her from me!--A pest on her!--What; wilt not do
my bidding?"

"O! feyther, feyther!" cried the young peasant, whose heart seemed
overcharged with grief, "It be a cold, raw night--ye wou'dna kick a cur
from the door to perish in the storm! Doant 'ee be hot and hasty,
feyther, thou art not uncharitable--On me knees!"--

"Psha!" exclaimed the enraged father, only exasperated by his
remonstrances. "Whoy talk 'ee to me, son--I am deaf--deaf!--Mine own
hand shall bar the door agen her!"--adding with bitterness--"let her
die!"--and stepping past his prostrate son, was about to execute his
purpose--when, a young girl, whose once gay and flimsy raiment was
drenched and stained, and torn by the violence of the storm, appeared at
the door. The old man recoiled with a shudder--she was as pale as
death--and her trembling limbs seemed scarcely able to support her--a
profusion of light brown hair hung dishevelled and in disorder about her
neck and shoulders, and added to her forlorn appearance. She stretched
forth her arms and pronounced the name of "Father!" but further
utterance was prevented by the convulsive sobs that heaved her bosom.

"Mary--woman!" cried the old man, trembling--"Call me not feyther--thou
art none of mine--thou hast no feyther now--nor I a daughter--thou art a
serpent that hath stung the bosom that cherished thee! Go to the fawning
villain--the black-hearted sycophant that dragged thee from our
arms--from our happy home to misery and pollution--go, and bless him for
breaking thy poor old feyther's heart!"

Overcome by these heart-rending reproaches, the distressed girl fainted;
but the strong arm of the young Cotter supported her--for her
tender-hearted youth, moved by his fallen sister's sorrows, had ventured
again to intercede.

"Hah! touch not her defiled and loathsome body," cried the old
man--"thrust her from the door, and let her find a grave where she may.
Boy! wilt thou dare disobey me?" and he raised his clenched hand, while
anger flashed from his eye.

"Strike! feyther--strike me!" said the poor lad, bursting into
tears--"fell me to the 'arth! Kill me, an thou wilt--I care not--I will
never turn my heart agen poor Mary!--Bean't she my sister? Did thee not
teach me to love her?--Poor lass!--she do want it all now, feyther--for
she be downcast and broken-hearted!--Nay, thee art kind and good,
feyther--know thee art--I zee thine eyes be full o' tears--and
thee--thee woant cast her away from thee, I know thee woant. Mother,
speak to 'un; speak to sister Mary too--it be our own Mary! Doant 'ee
kill her wi' unkindness!"

The old man, moved by his affectionate entreaties, no longer offered any
opposition to his son's wishes, but hiding his face in his hands, he
fled from the affecting scene to an adjoining room.

Her venerable mother having recovered from the shock of her lost
daughter's sudden appearance, now rose to the assistance of the
unfortunate, and by the aid of restoratives brought poor Mary to the
full sense of her wretchedness. She was speedily conveyed to the same
humble pallet, to which, in the days of her innocence and peace, she had
always retired so light-hearted and joyously, but where she now found a
lasting sleep--an eternal repose!--Yes, poor Mary died!--and having won
the forgiveness and blessing of her offended parents, death was welcome
to her.--_Absurdities: in Prose and Verse_.

* * * * *

ORIGINS AND INVENTIONS.

No. XXVII.

* * * * *

VAUXHALL GARDENS.

_(For the Mirror.)_

"Here waving groves a checkered scene display,
And part admit, and part exclude the day."

POPE.

Of the origin of these enchanting gardens, Mr. Aubrey, in his
"Antiquities of Surrey," gives us the following account;--"At Vauxhall,
Sir Samuel Morland built a fine room, anno 1667, the inside all of
looking-glass, and fountains very pleasant to behold, which is much
visited by strangers: it stands in the middle of the garden, covered
with Cornish slate, on the point of which he placed a punchinello, very
well carved, which held a dial, but the winds have demolished it." And
Sir John Hawkins, in his "History of Music," has the following account
of it:--"The house seems to have been rebuilt since the time that Sir
Samuel Morland dwelt in it. About the year 1730, Mr. Jonathan Tyers
became the occupier of it, and, there being a large garden belonging to
it, planted with a great number of stately trees, and laid out in shady
walks, it obtained the name of Spring Gardens; and the house being
converted into a tavern, or place of entertainment, was much frequented
by the votaries of pleasure. Mr. Tyers opened it with an advertisement
of a _Ridotto al Fresco_, a term which the people of this country had
till that time been strangers to. These entertainments were repeated in
the course of the summer, and numbers resorted to partake of them. This
encouraged the proprietor to make his garden a place of musical
entertainment, for every evening during the summer season. To this end
he was at great expense in decorating the gardens with paintings; he
engaged a band of excellent musicians; he issued silver tickets at one
guinea each for admission, and receiving great encouragement, he set up
an organ in the orchestra, and, in a conspicuous part of the garden,
erected a fine statue of Mr. Handel." These gardens are said to be the
first of the kind in England; but they are not so old as the Mulberry
Gardens, (on the spot now called Spring Gardens, near St. James's Park,)
where king Charles II. went to regale himself the night after his
restoration, and formed an immediate connexion with Mrs. Palmer,
afterwards Duchess of Cleveland. The trees, however, are more than a
century old, and, according to tradition, were planted for a public
garden. This property was formerly held by Jane Fauxe, or Vaux, widow,
in 1615; and it is highly probable (says Nichols) that she was the
relict of the infamous Guy. In the "Spectator," No. 383, Mr. Addison
introduces a voyage from the Temple Stairs to Vauxhall, in which he is
accompanied by his friend, Sir Roger de Coverley. In the "Connoisseur,"
No. 68, we find a very humourous description of the behaviour of an old
penurious citizen, who had treated his family here with a handsome
supper. The magnificence of these gardens calls to recollection the
magic representations in the "Arabian Nights' Entertainments," where

"The blazing glories, with a cheerful ray,
Supply the sun, and counterfeit the day."

Grosely, in his "Tour to London,"[4] says, (relating to Ranelagh and
Vauxhall,) "These entertainments, which begin in the month of May, are
continued every night. They bring together persons of all ranks and
conditions; and amongst these, a considerable number of females, whose
charms want only that cheerful air, which is the flower and quintessence
of beauty. These places serve equally as a rendezvous either for
business or intrigue. They form, as it were, private coteries; there you
see fathers and mothers, with their children, enjoying domestic
happiness in the midst of public diversions. The English assert, that
such entertainments as these can never subsist in France, on account of
the levity of the people. Certain it is, that those of Vauxhall and
Ranelagh, which are guarded only by outward decency, are conducted
without tumult and disorder, which often disturb the public diversions
of France. I do not know whether the English are gainers thereby; the
joy which they seem in search of at those places does not beam through
their countenances; they look as grave at Vauxhall and Ranelagh as at
the Bank, at church, or a private club. All persons there seem to say,
what a young English nobleman said to his governor, _Am I as joyous as I
should be?_"

P. T. W.

[4] 1765, translated from the French by Thomas Nugent, LL.D.

* * * * *

FINE ARTS.

* * * * *

THE CHIEF CAUSES OF THE SUCCESS OF PAINTING AND SCULPTURE IN GREECE AND
ROME.

(_For the Mirror._)

A cursory glance at the principal occasion of the amazing success
obtained by the Greeks and Romans, in painting and sculpture, during the
early ages, may perhaps prove interesting to the lovers of the arts in
this country.

The elevation to which the arts in Greece arrived was owing to the
concurrence of various circumstances. The imitative arts, we are told,
in that classic country formed a part of the administration, and were
inseparably connected with the heathen worship. The temples were
magnificently erected, and adorned with numerous statues of pagan
deities, before which, in reverential awe, the people prostrated
themselves. Every man of any substance had an idol in his own
habitation, executed by a reputed sculptor. In all public situations the
patriotic actions of certain citizens were represented, that beholders
might be induced to emulate their virtues. On contemplating these
masterpieces of art, which were so truly exquisite that the very coldest
spectator was unable to resist their _almost magical_ influence, the
vicious were reclaimed, and the ignorant stood abashed. Indeed, it has
often been asserted, that the statues by Phidias and Praxiteles were so
inimitably executed, that the people of Paros adored them as living
gods. Those artists who performed such extraordinary wonders as these
were held in an esteemed light, of which we cannot form the least idea.
We are certain they were paid most enormous prices for their
productions, and consequently could afford to adorn them with every
beauty of art, and to bestow more time on them than can ever be expected
from any modern artist.

As soon as the arts had arrived at their highest pitch of excellency in
Greece, the country was laid waste by the invading power of the Romans.
All the Greek cities which contained the greatest treasures were
demolished, and all the pictures[5] and statues fell into the hands of
the victorious general, who had them carefully preserved and conveyed
from the land where they had been adored. Of the estimation in which
these great works were held by the Romans, we may form some idea by the
general assuring a soldier, to whose charge he gave a statue by
Praxiteles, that if he broke it, he should get another as well made in
its place. War is a very destructive enemy to painting and sculpture;
the intestine quarrels which ensued after the Romans had conquered the
country, rendered the exercise of the art impracticable.

The arts were neglected in Rome until the introduction of the popish
religion. At that eventful era, statues and pictures were eagerly sought
for; the admirable Grecian works were appropriated to purposes quite
contrary to their pagan origin, for in many cases heathen deities were
converted into apostles. The labours of Phidias, Myron, Praxiteles,
Lysippus, and Scopas,[6] were highly valued by the Romans, who became
the correct imitators, and in time the rivals, of those celebrated
sculptors. G.W.N.

[5] The pictures alluded to were the works of Apelles,
Apollodorus, and Protogenes.

[6] These sculptors, according to Pliny, were the most reputed
among the ancients.

* * * * *

SPIRIT OF THE
PUBLIC JOURNALS

* * * * *

LOVE'S VICTIM.[7]

She left her own warm home
To tempt the frozen waste,
What time the traveller fear'd to roam,
And hunter shunn'd the blast,
Love pour'd his strength into her soul--
Could peril e'er his power controul!

She left her own warm home.
When stone, and herb, and tree,
And all beneath heaven's lurid dome
By wintry majesty,
In his stern age, were clad with snow,
And human hearts beat chill and slow.

It was a fearful hour
For one so young and fair:
The woods had not one sheltering bower,
The earth was trackless there,
The very boughs in silver slept,
As the sea-foam had o'er them swept.

Snow after snow came down,
The sky look'd fix'd in ice;
She deem'd amid the season's power,
Her love would all suffice
To keep the source of being warm,
And mock the terrors of the storm.

Love was her world of life.
She thought but of her heart,
And knowing that the winter's strife
Could not its hope dispart,
She dream'd not that its home of clay
Might yield before the tempest's sway--

Or judged that passion's power--
Passion so strong and pure.
Might mock the snow-flake's wildering shower,
Proud that it could endure,
As woman oft in times before
Had peril borne as much or more.

She went--dawn past o'er dawn,
None saw her face again,
The eyes she should have gazed upon,
Look'd for her face in vain--
The ear to which her voice was song,
Her voice had sought--how vainly long!

There is in Saco's vale
A gently swelling hill,
Shadows have wrapt it like a veil
From trees that mark it still,
Around, the mountains towering blue
Look on that spot of saddest hue.

'Twas by that little hill,
At the dark noon of night,
Close by a frozen snow-hid rill,
Where branches close unite
Even in winter's leafless time,
The skeletons of summer's prime.

That flash'd the traveller's flame
On tree and precipice,
And show'd a fair unearthly frame
In robes of glittering ice,
With head against a trunk inclined,
Like a dream-spirit of the mind.

'Twas that love-wander'd maid, death-pale,
Her very heart's blood froze,
Love's Niobe, in her own vale,
Now reckless of all woes--
Love's victim fair, and true, find meet,
As she of the famed Paraclete.

The mountains round shall tell
Her tale to travellers long.
The little vale of Saco swell
The western poet's song,
And "Nancy's Hill" in loftier rhymes
Be sung through unborn realms and times.

_New Monthly Magazine_.

[7] A few miles below the Notch of the White Mountains in the
Valley of Saco, is a little rise of land called "Nancy's Hill."
It was formerly thickly covered with trees, a cluster of which
remains to mark the spot. In 1773, at Dartmouth, Jefferson co.
U.S. lived Nancy----, of respectable connexions. She was
engaged to be married. Her lover had set out for Lancaster. She
would follow him in the depth of winter, and on foot. There was
not a house for thirty miles, and the way through the wild
woods a footpath only. She persisted in her design, and
wrapping herself in her long cloak, proceeded on her way. Snow
and frost took place for several weeks, when some persons
passing her route, reached the lull at night. On lighting their
fires, an unearthly figure stood before them beneath the
bending branches, wrapped in a robe of ice. It was the lifeless
form of Nancy.

* * * * *

THE GATHERER

"I am but a _Gatherer_ and disposer of other men's
stuff."--_Wotton_.

* * * * *

The late Dr. Barclay was a wit and a scholar, as well as a very great
physiologist. When a happy illustration, or even a point of pretty broad
humour, occurred to his mind, he hesitated not to apply it to the
subject in hand; and in this way, he frequently roused and rivetted
attention, when more abstract reasoning might have failed of its aim. On
one occasion he happened to dine with a large party, composed chiefly of
medical men. As the wine cup circulated, the conversation accidentally
took a professional turn, and from the excitation of the moment, or some
other cause, two of the youngest individuals present were the most
forward in delivering their opinions. Sir James McIntosh once told a
political opponent, that so far from following his example of using hard
words and soft arguments, he would pass, if possible, into the opposite
extreme, and use soft words and hard arguments. But our unfledged M.D.'s
disregarded the above salutary maxim, and made up in loudness what they
wanted in learning. At length, one of them said something so
emphatic--we mean as to manner--that a pointer dog started from his lair
beneath the table and _bow-wow-wowed_ so fiercely, that he fairly took
the lead in the discussion. Dr. Barclay eyed the hairy dialectician, and
thinking it high time to close the debate, gave the animal a hearty push
with his foot, and exclaimed in broad Scotch--"Lie still, ye brute; for
I am sure ye ken just as little about it as ony o'them." We need hardly
add, that this sally was followed by a hearty burst of laughter, in
which even the disputants good-humouredly joined.

* * * * *

Fair woman was made to bewitch--
A pleasure, a pain, a disturber, a nurse,
A slave, or a tyrant, a blessing, or curse;
Fair woman was made to be--which?

* * * * *

_Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand (near Somerset
House), and sold by all Newsmen and Booksellers_.

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