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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Issue 266, July 28, 1827 by Various

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Transcriber's note: In "A Churchyard Scene" the word "iugrate" occurs in
the original text. This was probably a typographical
error, and the correct word was likely "ingrate."


VOL. 10, No. 266.] SATURDAY, JULY 28, 1827. [PRICE 2d.

* * * * *



The palace of Croydon is a building of great antiquity, and was for
several centuries the magnificent abode of the haughty dignitaries of
Canterbury. At the period of the Conquest, Lanfranc resided here, and
most of the decrees and audits of his successors were issued from, and
held at, this palace. It was here that Archbishop Parker entertained his
queen, Elizabeth and her august court, with great splendour and
festivity; as also did the celebrated Whitgift, who refused to accept of
the high office of lord chancellor. Courtney received his pall here with
great solemnity and pomp in the presence of the chief nobility of the
realm; and Chichley, Stafford, Laud, Juxon, Wake, and Herring, made it
their frequent residence, and were liberal contributors to its
architectural beauties. The remains of this interesting fabric are, with
the exception of the hall, composed entirely of brick, occupying a
considerable space on the south-west side of Croydon church, and are in
some points peculiarly striking in local appearance; but on account of
their unconnected state, with the intervening screens of garden walls,
&c. the view is confined and partial.

The grand hall is a lofty imposing structure, and at a casual
computation appears to contain an area of eight hundred square yards;
between which and the cornice, at the height of about fifteen feet, a
moulding or frieze is carried over the surface of each wall, from
whence, resting their bases on angels bearing, shields variously
blazoned, issue in the alternate spaces of twelve feet, five ligneous
pillars, supporting immense beams traversing the intervening distances
of the confronting sides. The roof is formed of large solid pieces of
timber, running diagonally to a point; the upper compartment of which
(springing from perpendicular posts), is ribbed so as to make it have
the appearance of a polygonal ellipsis.

On the right of the southern entrance an escutcheon, surmounted by a
canopy, is fixed at a considerable height from the pavement, and must
have had formerly a splendid appearance, as faint traces even now of its
original pomp are discernible in the faint glittering of the gilding,
and the exquisite symmetry of its execution. The bearings appeared to me
as--party per pall,--dexter division.--Sapphire a cross gules ensigned
with fleur de lis between six martlets topaz.--Sinister--quarterly
sapphire and ruby, first and third, three fleur de lis; topaz, second
and fourth, three lions passant gardant of the same, supported by two
angels, and surmounted by a coronet; the whole resting on an angel
bearing a scroll with a motto in old English text, but illegible.[1]

[1] I should feel highly obliged if any of your valuable
correspondents would favour me, through the medium of the
MIRROR, with the name of the noble to whom the above arms

This hall is now occupied by a carpenter, and is almost filled with old
furniture and timber; other parts of the building are appropriated for
charity-schools, and the trade of bleaching is practised in its


* * * * *


* * * * *


The first attempt to form an academy for the encouragement of the fine
arts in this country was made in Great Queen-street, in the year 1697.
The laudable design was undertaken by Sir Godfrey Kneller, and by the
most respectable artists of the day, who endeavoured to imitate the
French Academy founded by Lewis XIV. Their undertaking, however, was
wholly without success; jealousies arose among the members, and they
were ultimately compelled to relinquish the project as fruitless. Sir
James Thornhill, a few years afterwards, commenced an academy in a room
he had built for the purpose at the back of his own residence, near
Covent-garden theatre; but his attempt, likewise, proved abortive.
Notwithstanding these failures, Mr. Vanderbank, a Dutchman, headed a
body of artists, and converted an old Presbyterian meeting-house into an
academy. Besides plaster figures, Mr. Vanderbank and his associates
procured a living female figure for study, which circumstance tended to
gain a few subscribers; but, in a very short space of time, for want of
money sufficient to defray the necessary expenses, all the effects
belonging to the establishment were seized for rent, and the members, in
disgust, accordingly separated.

On the demise of Sir James Thornhill, in 1734, the celebrated William
Hogarth became possessed of part of his property.[2] Although much
averse to the principles on which academies were generally founded, Mr.
Hogarth considered that one conducted wisely would probably be of great
advantage to the public, as well as to the artists in general. He,
therefore, proposed, that a body of artists should enter into a
subscription for the purchase of a house sufficiently large and
capacious to admit thirty or forty persons to draw from a naked figure.
This proposition being unanimously agreed to, a place was forthwith
taken in St. Martin's-lane; and Hogarth, to forward the undertaking as
far as he could, lent them the furniture, &c. formerly belonging to Sir
James Thornhill's academy.

[2] The remaining part was left to Lady Thornhill, who lived
several years with her son-in-law after the death of Sir James.

The failure of all preceding attempts to form an academy was attributed
by Mr. Hogarth to the principal members assuming too much authority over
their brother artists; he, therefore, proposed, that every member should
contribute an equal sum of money to the establishment, and should have
an equal right to vote on every question relative to the society. He
considered electing presidents, directors, and professors, to be a
ridiculous imitation of the forms of the French Academy, and liable to
create jealousies.[3] Under Hogarth's guidance, the Academy continued
for thirty years, with little alteration, to the high satisfaction of
its several members, and the public in general.

[3] Our Royal Academy is _now_ governed precisely on the same
principles as is the French Academy. What would Hogarth have
said, had he lived at the present day?

On ascending the British throne, George III. evinced so much interest
for the arts, that most of the members of the academy (though contrary
to the wishes of their leader, who possessed a most independent spirit,)
solicited the royal patronage to a plan they had in view of establishing
an academy for _painting, sculpture_, and _architecture_. The success of
this appeal is too well known to English readers to need much comment.
His majesty was pleased to appropriate those very splendid apartments in
Somerset-house for the use of artists, who shortly formed a _new_
society, over which, by his majesty's special command, the great Sir
Joshua Reynolds presided.


* * * * *


(_For the Mirror_.)

To describe the awful grandeur and terrific phenomena of volcanic
eruptions in an adequate manner, is perhaps beyond the power of
language. The number of volcanoes now known is about four hundred;
nearly all of them are situated a small distance from the sea, and many
appear to have been burning from time immemorial.

A certain mixture of sulphur, steel-filings and water, buried a short
depth from the ground, will exhibit a kind of miniature volcano; and
hence some philosophers have concluded, that in the bowels of burning
mountains there are various sorts of bodies which probably ferment by
moisture, and being thus expanded, at last produce eruptions and
explosions. The mouth or chimney of a burning mountain is, in many
instances, upwards of a mile across! from which, in an eruption, are
emitted torrents of smoke and flame, rivers of lava, (consisting chiefly
of bitumen and melted metal,) and clouds of cinders, stones, &c. to an
immense distance. The wonderful quantity of these materials thrown out
from the orifice almost exceeds belief; the lava rushes like a fiery
torrent at a very rapid pace,--ravages the labours of agriculture,
overthrows houses, and in a few seconds utterly destroys the hopes of
hundreds of families--the toils of hundreds of years. Nothing impedes
its awful course; when interrupted by stone walls, or even rocks, it
collects in a few moments to the height of eight or ten feet; its
immense heat and violent pressure quickly batter down the obstacle,
which is literally made rotten by the fire, and the whole mass seems to
melt together into the lava, which again continues its progress until
exhausted by the distance of its destructive march.

An English traveller, who was at Naples during the eruption of Mount
Vesuvius, on the 10th of September, 1810, thus describes the scene:--

"Curious to witness the volcano as near as possible, I set out for
Portici, where I arrived at eight in the evening; from thence to the
summit of the mountain the road is long and difficult; having procured a
guide about the middle of the distance, we had to climb a mountain of
cinders, every step nearly knee-deep; this made it near midnight when we
reached the crater, which we approached as near as the heat would
permit. The fire of the mountain served us for a beacon, and we set
light to our sticks in the lava, which slowly ran through the hollows of
the crater. The surface of the inflamed matter nearly resembles metal in
a state of fusion, but as it flows it carries a kind of scum, which
gradually hardens into scoria and rolls like fire-balls to the bottom of
the mountain. We thought ourselves pretty secure in this spot, and had
no wish to retire; but shortly a most terrific explosion which launched
to an inconceivable height in the air, immense fragments of burning
rocks, &c. reminded us of our dangerous situation. We lost not a moment
in retreating, and driven on by fear almost with miraculous speed,
cleared in about five minutes, a space we had taken two hours to climb;
we had hardly gained this spot when a second explosion more terrible, if
possible, than the former was heard. The volcano in all its fury vomited
forth some thousands of cart-loads of stones and burning lava. As the
projection was nearly vertical, the greater part fell back again into
the mouth of the mountain and this was again vomited forth as before. On
the 11th and 12th, the fury somewhat abated, but on the 13th a fresh
eruption commenced, and burning matter flowed down all the sides of the
volcano;--all Vesuvius itself seemed on fire,--not a vestige of property
for miles could be discovered, and thousands of families were ruined."


* * * * *


How sweet and solemn, all alone,
With reverend steps, from stone to stone,
In a small village churchyard lying,
O'er intervening flowers to move!
And as we read the names unknown
Of young and old to judgment gone,
And hear in the calm air above
Time onwards softly flying,
To meditate, in Christian love,
Upon the dead and dying!
Across the silence seem to go
With dream-like motion, wavery, slow,
And shrouded in their folds of snow,
The friends we loved long, long ago!
Gliding across the sad retreat,
How beautiful their phantom feet!
What tenderness is in their eyes,
Turned where the poor survivor lies
'Mid monitory sanctities!
What years of vanished joy are fanned
From one uplifting of that hand
In its white stillness! when the shade
Doth glimmeringly in sunshine fade
From our embrace, how dim appears
This world's life through a mist of tears!
Vain hopes! blind sorrows! needless fears!

Such is the scene around me now:
A little churchyard on the brow
Of a green pastoral hill;
Its sylvan village sleeps below,
And faintly here is heard the flow
Of Woodburn's summer rill;
A place where all things mournful meet,
And yet the sweetest of the sweet,
The stillest of the still!
With what a pensive beauty fall
Across the mossy, mouldering wall
That rose-tree's clustered arches! See
The robin-redbreast warily,
Bright through the blossoms, leaves his nest:
Sweet iugrate! through the winter blest
At the firesides of men--but shy
Through all the sunny summer-hours,
He hides himself among the flowers
In his own wild festivity.
What lulling sound, and shadow cool
Hangs half the darkened churchyard o'er,
From thy green depths so beautiful
Thou gorgeous sycamore!
Oft hath the holy wine and bread
Been blest beneath thy murmuring tent,
Where many a bright and hoary head
Bowed at that awful sacrament.
Now all beneath the turf are laid
On which they sat, and sang, and prayed.
Above that consecrated tree
Ascends the tapering spire, that seems
To lift the soul up silently
To heaven with all its dreams,
While in the belfry, deep and low,
From his heaved bosom's purple gleams
The dove's continuous murmurs flow,
A dirge-like song, half bliss, half woe,
The voice so lonely seems!

* * * * *


Notings, selections,
Anecdote and joke:
Our recollections;
With gravities for graver folk.

* * * * *


It was at the strongly contested election for Westminster, when Sheridan
was opposed by Sir Francis Burdett and Lord Cochrane, that the latter,
in allusion to the orator's desire of ameliorating his situation on the
poll by endeavouring to blend his cause with that of the baronet,
characteristically observed, "that the right honourable gentleman sought
to have his _little skiff_ taken _in tow_ by the _line of battle ship_
of Sir Francis." Sheridan, in whom the metaphor had awakened the
remembrance of the remarkable and successful influence of his speech in
the House of Commons on the occasion of the mutiny at the Nore, in
calming the irritation of the rebels and reducing them to obedience, in
reply to his lordship, bade him "to recollect that it was that _little
skiff_ which once brought the whole navy of England safely into port."

The election drew towards its termination, but all the efforts of his
friends had proved unavailing to secure Sheridan's return, although his
minority was any thing but formidable. The interest that attended the
contest had, at its close, become intense; and every spot, whence the
candidates might be seen or heard, was crowded in the extreme. A sailor,
anxious to acquire a view of the scene of action, after all his exertion
to push his way through the crowd had proved fruitless, resorted to the
nautical expedient of climbing one of the poles which supported a booth
directly in front of the hustings, from the very top of which Jack was
enabled to contemplate all that occurred below. As the orator commenced
his speech, his eye fell on the elevated mariner, whom he had no sooner
observed than he rendered his situation applicable to his own, by
stating that "had he but other five hundred voters as _upright_ as the
_perpendicular_ gentleman before him, they would yet place him where
_he_ was--_at the head of the pole_."

Often were his addresses to his constituents interrupted by the tumult
that arose from the anxiety of the public to get within hearing of him.
A person, mounted on horseback, had penetrated to the very centre of the
crowd, with more regard for himself than consideration towards others,
as the animal he rode, affrighted by the noise, became equally annoying
and dangerous to those by whom he was surrounded. The outcry was
excessive, and, while some strove to appease the clamour, others urged
Sheridan to proceed. "Gentlemen," replied he to the latter, "when the
_chorus of the horse and his rider_ is finished, I shall commence."

His good humour was at no time disturbed during the election, although
the observations of his noble Caledonian opponent manifested no amicable
disposition towards the orator. As it terminated, a mutual friend of the
rival candidates expressed a hope that, with the contest, all animosity
should cease; and that the gallant officer should drown the memory of
differences in a friendly bottle. "With all my heart," said Sheridan,
"and will thank his lordship to make it _a Scotch pint_."

His treatment of Coleridge, the poet, who had submitted a tragedy to his
managerial decision, was wholly unmerited by the author, the success of
whose piece subsequently so well justified the better claims it had on
Sheridan's attention. In the cavern scene, where the silence of the
place is presumed to be only broken by the slow dropping of the water
from its vault, Sheridan, in reading it to his friends, repeated the
words of one of the characters, in a solemn tone, "Drip! drip! drip!"
adding, "Why, here's nothing but _dripping_:" but the story is told by
Coleridge himself, in the preface to his tragedy, with that good humour
and frankness becoming one sensible of his powers, and conscious that
the witty use of an unfortunate expression (were it such) could but
little affect the real and numerous beauties of the production.

An author, whose comedies, when returned upon his hands, were generally
reduced, by the critical amputation of managers, from the fair
proportion of five acts to two, or even one, with the ordinary
suggestion of "_necessary alteration_," &c. complained in wrath and
bitterness to Sheridan, who, it is said, attempted to console him, by
saying, "Why, my good fellow, what I would advise you is, to present a
comedy of a _score_ of acts, and the devil will be in it if _five_ be
not saved."

I have heard it said, that, at the first performance of _The Critic_,
Sheridan had adopted, as the representative of Lord Burleigh, an actor
whose "looks profound" accorded with his "ignorance;" but who, until
then, had only aspired to the livery of the theatre--the placing of
chairs, or the presentation of a letter; yet who, in this humble display
of histrionic art, generally contrived to commit some egregious blunder.
He was remonstrated with, on his choice, by one of the performers, who
demonstrated the excessive dulness of apprehension of _the would-be
Minister of State_; and, like other and recent instances in that
capacity, his singular aptitude to error, however simple the part he had
to enact, or clear and concise the instructions with which it might be
accompanied. As Sheridan had planned the character, the face was every
thing, and the lengthened, dull, and inexpressive visage of the subject
was too _strictly ministerial_ to be lost; and the author would, as he
said, "defy him to go wrong," Still his friend was sceptical; nor were
his doubts removed by Sheridan's assuring him that the representative of
Lord Burleigh "would have only to look wise, shake his head, and hold
his tongue;" and he so far persisted as to lay a bet with the author
that some capital blunder would nevertheless occur. The wager was
accepted, and, in the fulness of his confidence, Sheridan insisted that
the actor should not even rehearse the part, and yet that he should get
through with it satisfactorily to the public and himself on the night of
the first performance. It came. The arbiter of hopes and fears appeared
in all the "bearded majesty" of the age of Elizabeth; and, flattered by
the preference of the great author, had carefully conned over the
following instructions:--"Mr. ----, as Lord Burleigh, will advance from
the prompter's side;--proceed to the front of the stage;--fall back to
where Mr. G---- stands as Sir Christopher Hatton,--shake his head and
exit." The important moment came. With "stately step and slow," Lord
Burleigh advanced in face of the audience. "Capital!" exclaimed the
gratified author;--with equal correctness he retreated to the side of
Sir Christopher, without _literally falling back_, which Sheridan had
for a moment doubted might be the case. "Good! a lucky escape though."
half faltered the anxious poet. "Now! now!" he continued, with eager
delight at having got so far so well; but, what was his horror, when his
unlucky pupil, instead of shaking his _own_ blundering head, in strict
but unfortunate interpretation of his orders, took _that_ of Sir
Christopher within his hands, shook it long and manfully, and then
walked off with a look of exultation at having so exactly complied with
his lesson.--_New Monthly Magazine_.


The French, however wretched may be their condition, are attached to
life, while the English frequently detest life in the midst of affluence
and splendour. English criminals are not dragged, but run to the place
of execution, where they laugh, sing, cut jokes, insult the spectators;
_and if no hangman happens to be present, frequently hang
themselves_.--_Memoirs of Lewis Holberg_.

* * * * *



(_For the Mirror_.)

I smiled, for not a cloud was seen o'er the blue heaven's expanse,
As summer's myriad insect tribe led on the winged dance;
The gaudy butterfly was there ranging from flower to flower,
And by its side the wild bee humm'd amid the woodbine bower.

I sighed, for when I looked again the sky was overcast,
The summer insect's winged dance was o'er, yet on I past,
The gaudy butterfly was gone, the bee away had fled,
While on each fairest, brightest flower the wasteful locust fed.

Yet e'en this simple scene to youth a moral shall convey,
Since thus full oft misfortune's clouds obscure life's summer ray;
To-day we smile, for beauty smiles in all her spring-tide bloom--
To-morrow sigh, for beauty's bower has now become her tomb!

H. B.

* * * * *


No. LVI.

* * * * *


Gilbert Burns was born about the year 1760. He was eighteen months
younger than his brother Robert, Scotland's most gifted bard. With him
he was early inured to toil, and rendered familiar with the hardships of
the peasant's lot; like him, too, he was much subject to occasional
depression of spirits, and from whatever cause, he had contracted a
similar bend or stoop in the shoulders; his frame, like that of Robert,
was cast in a manly and symmetrical mould. The profile of his
countenance resembled that of his brother, and their phrenological
developments are said to have been not dissimilar; the principal
disparity lay in the form and expression of the eye, which in Gilbert
was fixed, sagacious, and steady--in Robert, almost "in a fine
frenzy rolling."

Gibert Burns was the archetype of his father, a very remarkable man; his
piety was equally warm and sincere; and, in all the private relations of
life, as an elder of the church, a husband, a father, a master, and a
friend, he was preeminent. His writings want that variety, originality,
and ease, which shine so conspicuously even in the prose works of the
poet; but they have many redeeming points about them. His taste was as
pure as his judgment was masculine. He has been heard to say, that the
two most pleasurable moments of his life were--first, when he read
Mackenzie's story of La Roche, and secondly, when Robert took him apart,
at the breakfast or dinner hour, during harvest, and read to him, while
seated on a barley sheaf, his MS. copy of the far-famed Cotter's
"Saturday Night."

When Robert Burns was invited by Dr. Blacklock to visit Edinburgh,
Gilbert was struggling in the unthrifty farm of Mosgiel, and toiling
late and early to keep a house over the heads of his aged mother and
unprotected sisters. The poet's success was the first thing that stemmed
the ebbing tide of his fortunes. On settling with Mr. Creech, in
February, 1788, he received, as the profits of his second publication,
about 500l.; and, with that generosity which formed a part of his
nature, he immediately presented Gilbert with nearly half of his whole
wealth. Thus succoured, Gilbert married a Miss Breconridge, and removed
to a better farm at Dinning, in Dumfriesshire. While there, he was
recommended to Lady Blantyre, whose estates in East Lothian he
subsequently managed for nearly a quarter of a century. He died at
Grant's Braes, in the neighbourhood of Haddington, on one of the
Blantyre farms, on the 8th of April. He had no fixed complaint; but, for
several months preceding his dissolution, a gradual decay of nature had
been apparent. It is probable that his death was accelerated by severe
domestic afflictions; as, on the 4th of January, he lost a daughter, who
had long been the pride of his family hearth; and, on the 26th of
February following, his youngest son, a youth of great promise, died at
Edinburgh, of typhus fever, on the eve of his being licensed for the
ministry. Mrs. Burns, who brought him a family of six sons and five
daughters, of whom five sons and one daughter are living, survivors.

It ought to be mentioned that the two hundred pounds which Robert Burns
lent to his brother, in the year 1788, was not repaid till 1820. Gilbert
was far from affluent; in early life he had to struggle even for
existence; and, therefore, to know that his aged mother and one or two
sisters, were properly supported, was, in the poet's eyes, a full
acquittance of all claims. The children of Robert viewed the subject in
the same light. In 1819, Gilbert Burns was invited by Messrs. Cadell and
Davies, to revise a new edition of his brother's works; to supply
whatever he found wanting, and correct whatever he thought amiss. He
accepted the invitation; and, by appending much valuable matter to the
late Dr. Currie's biography, he at once vindicated his brother's memory
from many aspersions which had been cast upon it, and established his
own credit as an author. On receiving payment for his labour, the first
thing he did was, to balance accounts, to the uttermost farthing, with
the widow and family of his deceased brother. The letter which
accompanied the remittance of the money was, in the highest degree,
creditable to his feelings.

_Monthly Magazine_.

* * * * *


No. XI.

* * * * *


Shortly after our arrival at Prome we had an opportunity of witnessing
some boxing and wrestling matches, exercises which the Burmahs are very
fond of, and which they pride themselves much on excelling in. The
challenge is given by stepping to the front, and with the right hand
slapping the left shoulder, at the same time taunting the opponent in
order to excite him; the struggle does not last long, and when ended, no
animosity remains between the parties.

Another amusement of the Burman youth deserves mentioning on account of
its singularity. This is a game at ball, played by six or eight young
men, formed in a circle; the ball is hollow, and made of wicker work;
and the art of the game consists in striking this upwards with the foot,
or the leg below the knee. As may be conceived, no little skill is
required to keep the ball constantly in motion; and I have often been
much entertained in watching the efforts made by the players to send the
ball high in the air, so that it should fall within the limits of the
ring, when it is again tossed by the foot of another. The natives of
Hindostan are not acquainted with this game, but it is said to be common
amongst the Chinese, Japanese, and other nations east of the Ganges. But
by far the most favourite amusements of the Burmahs are acting and
dancing, accompanied by music, which to my ear appeared very discordant,
although occasionally a few rather pleasing notes might be
distinguished. The principal instrument used in the Burman bands of
music is the kiezoop, which is formed of a number of small gongs,
graduated in size and tone on the principle of the harmonica, and
suspended in a circular frame about four feet high and five feet wide;
within which the performer stands, and extracts a succession of soft
tones, by striking on the gongs with two small sticks. Another circular
instrument (the boundah) serves as a bass; it contains an equal number
of different-sized drums, on which the musician strikes with violence,
with a view perhaps to weaken the shrill, discordant notes of a very
rude species of flageolet, and of an equally imperfect kind of trumpet,
which are usually played with a total disregard of time, tune, or
harmony. Two or three other instruments, similar in principle to the
violin, complete the orchestra. To Europeans, there was not much to
admire in the sounds produced by these instruments; neither did our
music appear to have many charms for the Burmahs, whom I have seen
present at the performance of some of Rossini's most beautiful airs, and
of different martial pieces, by one of our best regimental bands,
without expressing, either by their words or gestures, the least
satisfaction at what they heard.

In condemning, however, the Bunnaa instrumental music generally, I would
observe, that some of the vocal airs have a very pleasing effect when
accompanied by the Patola. This is an instrument made in the fantastic
shape of an alligator; the body of it is hollow, with openings at the
back, and three strings only are used, which are supported by a bridge,
as in a violin.

I chanced one day to meet with a young Burman who had been stone blind
from his birth, but who, gifted with great talent for music, used to
console himself for his misfortune by playing on this species of guitar,
and accompanying his voice. When I expressed a wish to hear him perform,
he immediately struck out a most brilliant prelude, and then commenced a
song, in a bold tone, the subject of which was a prophecy that had been
current at Rangoon before we arrived. It predicted the appearance of
numerous strangers at that place, and that two-masted ships would sail
up the Irrawaddy, when all trouble and sorrow would cease! Animated by
his subject, his voice gradually became bolder and more spirited, as
well as his performance, and without any hesitation he sung with much
facility two or three stanzas composed extempore.

Changing suddenly from the enthusiastic tone, he commenced a soft
plaintive love-song, and then, after striking the chords for some time
in a wild but masterly manner, retired. I confess I felt much interested
in this poor fellow's performance, he seemed so deeply to feel every
note he uttered, particularly at one time, when he touched upon his own
misfortune, that it appeared Providence, in ordaining he should never
see, had endowed him with this "soul-speaking" talent in some measure to
indemnify him.

The Burmahs, generally speaking, are fond of singing, and, in some
instances, I have heard many very good songs. The war-boat song, for
example, is remarkably striking. The recitative of the leading songster,
and then the swell of voices when the boatmen join in chorus, keeping
time with their oars, seemed very beautiful when wafted down the
Irrawaddy by the breeze; and the approach of a war-boat might always be
known by the sound of the well-known air.

I have sometimes heard a trio sung in parts by three young girls, with a
correctness of ear and voice which would do credit to others than the
self-taught Burmahs. Many little songs, amongst others that commencing
"Tekien, Tekien," were composed and sung by the Burman fair in
compliment to their new and welcome visiters, the white strangers; but
these, of course, are long since consigned to oblivion, unless they
recollect with pleasure

--"The grateful breath of song,
That once was heard in happier hours;"

for it is very certain that the Bunnahs considered themselves quite
happy, when enjoying the transient glimpse of liberty, and the
advantages of a just government which were offered them during the short
stay of the British army at Prome.

The Burman plays do not appear to be remarkable for the number of their
_dramatis personæ_. In most there is a prince, a confidant, a buffoon or
two, and a due proportion of female characters, represented by boys
dressed in female attire. The dresses are handsome; and in one which I
attended, the dialogue appeared to be lively and well supported, as far
as I can judge from the roars of laughter which resounded from the
Burman part of the audience. One sentimental scene, in which the loving
prince takes leave of his mistress, and another where, after much
weeping and flirtation, she throws herself into his arms, were
sufficiently intelligible to us; but some, in which the jokes of the
clown formed the leading feature, were quite lost upon those who did not
understand the language. The place chosen for the representation was a
spot of ground outside of our houses, the heat being very great; and
here a circle was formed of carpets and chairs, lighted by torches
dipped in petroleum, which threw a brilliant flare around, though
accompanied by a most unpleasant odour.

Dancing succeeded, and one or two young women were the performers; like
the Hindostanee Nautch, it merely consisted in throwing the body and
arms into numerous graceful and rather voluptuous postures; at the same
time advancing slowly, with a short steady step, and occasionally
changing it for a more lively figure.

All this time the drums, cymbals, and clarionets were unceasing in their
discordant sounds, and, before long, fairly drove me from the field.

_Two Years in Ava._

* * * * *


No. CVI.

* * * * *


While passing some time in the south of France, I spent a few days at
S----, a town on the banks of the Loire, situated in that province,
which, from its fertility and beauty, is usually designated the garden
of France.

S----, I had been informed, was a place famed alike for its vineyards
and its pretty girls, a coincidence certainly natural, since it fairly
may be supposed, that the sun which ripens the richest fruit in nature,
should alike mature its sweetest flowers, and perfect the beauties and
the charms of that sex, which is literally "like the fair flower in its
lustre." As the friend, by whom I was accompanied, was well known in the
place, we were soon introduced to a circle of respectable families; and
among others, to that of Berton, consisting of the father, mother,
and daughter.

Rosalie Berton was the _belle_ of S----, or to borrow the far prettier
French phrase, she was "_la perle de ville_." And a sweet and lovely
girl she was, as ever the eye of affection hailed with delight. Her
charms had something of a peculiar style and character; for, with the
bright black eyes, and fine dark hair of the south, were united the fair
complexion and delicately tinted cheek of a northern beauty. Her face
was of a somewhat more pensive turn than usual, and her meek, mild
features, and soft dark eyes, bore traces of tender feeling and of
gentle thought; while so expressive was her countenance, that it
responded, at will, to her feelings, and the eye and the cheek which
were one moment impressed with melancholy, beamed forth the next with
all the warmth of intelligence, affection, or delight. Her
accomplishments were really of a superior kind; she walked with more
than the usual elegance of her country-women, and danced with equal
animation and grace. But her most attractive charm consisted in her
voice, which, though not particularly powerful, had a sweetness and a
melody which were perfectly delightful; so that never methinks have I
heard a softer strain, than when that fair girl was wont to sing to her
guitar the simple ballads and sweet romances of her native land. And her
musical talents were enhanced by her gentle, complying disposition, and
by the readiness with which she obeyed every call on her exertions. From
her music-master, who was a native of Italy, she also learnt Italian,
which she spoke with more fluency and correctness than is usual among
the French; she drew, moreover, with considerable taste. So affectionate
and so amiable was she, that she deserved all the encomiums of her
friends and even their hyperbolical compliments were scarcely
extravagant when applied to her. She was literally "_douce comme un
ange, jolie comme les amours;_" and, as the _ne plus ultra_ of merit in
France, she was "_tout a fait gentille_." She possessed also,
considerable dramatic skill and tact, and would, I think, have proved a
delightful acquisition to the stage, from the skill she displayed in
those little playful scenes, with which the French delight to
embellish life.

We were favoured with a specimen of her talents in this way, on the
evening of our arrival. It was the fête day of madame, the mother of
Louise, and we were invited to be present. After some time passed in
taking refreshments, varied by dancing, conversation, &c., the little
ceremony of the evening commenced; the door opened, and a small but gay
procession entered the room. It consisted of several young persons, all
friends of the family, headed by Louise, who was charmingly dressed, and
looked altogether most lovely. She bore her guitar across her bosom, and
the instrument was encircled with a wreath of flowers. Each individual
carried some little offering, such as bottles of wine and liqueurs,
conserves and sweetmeats, flowers and fruit, &c. &c.; and these were
placed on the table, the whole group forming a circle round Rosalie, who
advanced to her mother, and sang to the guitar the well-known verses
consecrated to such occasions.

Madame c'est aujourdhui votre fete,
C'est aussi celle de nos coeurs;
A vous chanter chacun s'apprete!
Et veut vous courouner de fleurs!

The lovely girl then loosed the garland from her lyre, placed it with
light hand on the brow of her mother, and sank in a graceful bending
attitude to receive her parent's blessing. She was instantly raised,
fondly embraced by both her admiring parents, and with a repetition of
the song, the whole party left the room. The scene is long past, but I
have often recalled it since; and in many an hour of fancy and of
thought, have again beheld that fair girl kneeling to her mother, again
beheld her clasped to that mother's heart. Nor was the above the only
instance of her skill, every day presented some fresh instance of her
feeling and of taste.

A _plaisanterie_, which proved very successful, was arranged as
follows:--We were sitting one evening up stairs, when we were attracted
by the performance of three musicians, who were singing in the _cour_.
The party consisted of two young men, and a female, who wore a veil;
they accompanied their songs by playing on the guitar; their performance
was evidently of a superior character; the music and the words were
Italian, and the voice of the female performer was eminently sweet and
touching. After listening some time with great delight--

"Go," said I to one of the party, "find Rosalie, and tell her to come
and listen to a better singer than herself, who will give her a _lecon
de chant_."

This was said in the hearing of the foreign songstress, for whom it was
intended as a compliment, while, at the same time, some silver was
thrown upon the ground. But what was our surprise, when the lovely girl
threw aside her veil, exclaiming--

"He! bien messieurs et dames! vous ne connaissez donc plus votre pauvre

Such was one of many pleasantries by which we were diverted and amused.
Idle fancies these indeed, and such as sterner judgments may deem
trifling or absurd, yet not uninteresting, since many of them evidently
afford vestiges of classic times and manners, transmitted through the
course of ages; nor unuseful, since they tend to smooth and adorn the
rugged way of life, and to strew its flinty path with flowers.

With the charms and accomplishments which I have described, (and the
sketch can convey but a faint idea of those which she actually
possessed,) it cannot be supposed that Rosalie was destitute of
admirers. She had, indeed, had several, but their suits were all
unsuccessful. She had been addressed in turn by the _medecin_ of the
place--by the son of the President of the Tribunal du Commerce--and by a
nephew to a Monsieur de V----, the seigneur who resided at a
neighbouring château. But they were all, more or less, improper
characters; the _medecin_ was a gamester; the president's son a
drunkard, a character utterly despised in these parts; while the nephew
to the seigneur, was actually a _mauvais sujet_! What the French
precisely understand by a _mauvais sujet_, I never could exactly make
out; for, when impelled by curiosity to inquire, my queries were always
met by such a volley of vituperation, as left one altogether in the dark
with regard to the real nature of the charge. On the whole, I presume,
we are to consider a _mauvais sujet_ as a culprit, compared with whose
transgressions, the several enormities of gaming, drinking, and the
like, sink into mere peccadilloes.

The parents of Rosalie (the parents settle all these matters in France),
on learning the character of their intended sons-in-law, dismissed them
one after the other; and Rosalie acquiesced in their determination with
a readiness and a decision, which did equal honour to her affection and
her judgment.

So interesting a girl, however, was not likely to remain long without a
suitable admirer, and she speedily had another _affaire du coeur_. A
young and handsome _militaire_, a sous-lieutenant in the royal guard,
aspired to gain her hand, and to replace the vacancy in her affections.

Henri Vaucouleurs was a fine, tall, dark, martial-looking young man (the
French make fine-looking soldiers), and, with his luxuriant mustachios
and the eager glance of his keen black eye, seemed the very _beau ideal_
of a modern hero. Born at Mezieres, in the department of Ardennes, he
was cradled in the very lap of war, and was yet a mere boy; when, in the
summer of 1813, he joined the corps called the _garde d'honneur_. He
made the campaign of Germany, and was present in the battles of Leipzig
and of Hanau, in the last of which he received a ball in the right arm.
He shortly, however, resumed his post with the army assembled for the
defence of France, and at the battle of Laon received a severe _coup de
sabre_ on his forehead, the scar of which added much to the martial
aspect of his countenance. At the peace he joined the royal guard, in
which corps he still continued. He was really a very estimable and
engaging young man; and possessed more candour, intelligence, and good
sense, than I think I ever witnessed in a military man among the French.
His account of his campaigns was exceedingly modest, unaffected, and
intelligent, and his whole conversation and manner were of a superior
character. I remember, he spoke with great forbearance of the three
principal nations among the allies, the Russians, Prussians, and
Austrians; but inveighed, bitterly, against several of the auxiliaries,
who, he said, having received only benefits of the French emperor,
embraced the first opportunity offered by a reverse of fortune, to
desert and betray him. Of Napoleon, he spoke with enthusiasm as a
soldier; but with detestation, as an intoxicated and deluded tyrant, a
rash and desperate gamester, who sent forth his attached and devoted
soldiers, to be devoured by the destroying elements, without provision,
or scarcely a thought for their natural and indispensable wants.

Such were the character and pretensions of him who was destined to gain
the affections of Rosalie. At first, he seemed to have but little chance
of success. Old people commonly entertain a prejudice against the
character and profession of military men, and are seldom ambitious of
such an alliance for a daughter. The parents of Rosalie were
prepossessed against Henri on account of his calling; and, though
Rosalie herself early entertained an interest in his favour, yet she was
too good and too _sage_ to cherish in herself, or to encourage in her
lover, an attachment which her parents might disapprove. Henri was,
however, admitted as a visiter at the house, and by degrees his amiable
manners and correct deportment won, first on the old lady, and then on
the father, till their scruples vanished, and, indeed, they wondered
they could ever have entertained any against so estimable a young man
and an officer. He was thus speedily received as the lover of Rosalie,
and about the time of my visit was installed in all the privileges of a
_bon ami_. He was equally accomplished with herself; spoke German
fluently, Italian passably well, and was an excellent performer on the
flute and the guitar; so that he was a fit companion for his charming
intended, and was able to assist in those refined and elegant
recreations, in which she also excelled.

_(To be concluded in our next.)_

* * * * *


* * * * *


"Dozing very much delights."

Our corporeal machinery requires an occasional relaxation, as much as
the steam engine does the application of oil to its divers springs; and,
after a _bonâ fide_ slumber, we rise with a freshness equal to that of
flowers in the best regulated flower-pots. But dozing must not be
confounded with legitimate sleep, though frequently tending to the same
purpose; it may be termed an embryo slumber, that entertaineth the body
with the most quiescent gentleness, acting on our senses as a sort of
mental warm bath; till, finally, the "material man" himself luxuriates
in tepidity.

Nothing can be more ungodly than to enter the church with an express
purpose of dozing there. Arm-chairs, sofas, and beds are the legitimate
places for dozers. But there is no accounting for that conquering spirit
of all-besetting drowsiness that attacks us at sundry times and places.
It is in vain that we lengthen our limbs into an awakening stretch--that
we yawn with the expressive suavity of yawning no more--that we
dislocate our knuckle bones, and ruffle the symmetry of our visage, with
a manual application; like the cleft blaze of a candle, drowsiness
returns again. Well, then, what manner of reader is he that hath never
sinned by drowsing in church time? Let him read on; and I'll realize by
description what he has realized by endurance.

It is after the embodying of a good dinner with ourselves, that doziness
is most tempting. You have dined at four o'clock to-day. Well, that's a
decent Sabbatical hour. After due potations of wine, coffee, &c. your
gratitude is awakened; and, like a good Christian, you arrange your
beaver, and walk off steadily to church. Now, remember, I give you full
credit for your wish to exhibit your external holiness--that you are
indeed conscious of the reverence that should accompany all your
engagements in the fane of the Deity; and yet I prognosticate that if
the Rev. Nabob Narcotic happen to preach this evening, you will, of a
surety, doze--infallibly doze--in the midst of his sermon!

'Tis a summer month, and the very church windows seem labouring with a
fit perspiration. Horribly boring--isn't it? How your hat clings to your
moistened forehead, and the warm gloves droop from your fingers, like
roasting chicken! Get as much room as possible; tenderly pass little
miss there, and her unbreeched brother, over to their smiling mamma. Now
you have the balmy corner to yourself! "Psalms," first lesson--second
ditto--prayers--thanksgivings--all reverently attended to; there is a
little dreaminess settling on your lids--your lips begin to close with
languor; but you have not dozed. Let's hear the sermon. You are seated
with tolerable erectness; and, judging from the steady determination of
your eyebrows, one would imagine that your eyes would be open for the
whole of the discourse. But, alas! 'tis Mr. Narcotic, whose spectacled
nose is just verging above the crimson horizon of his pulpit.--"Awake,
thou that sleepest!" Why, the text is quite opposed to DOZINESS! But
what of this, if the preacher be addicted to drawling, the weather
unobligingly sultry, and you yourself have gradually been dwindling from
an uncongenial state of wakefulness into a sleepy calm? 'Tis too much
for beldame Nature, believe me!

I perceive that you have rubbed the bridge of your nose several
times--that you have tried to swell forth your eyes with a full round
stare at the parson; but your stoicism "profiteth nothing." The sermon
is irreligiously long; and you are nodding--in a doze! Whether there be
much pleasure in a church doze, I am not presuming enough to determine.
For myself, I have found nothing more tantalizing than the endeavour to
restrain from an occasioned doze during church time. After a certain
period, I have perceived the parson diminishing, like a phantasmagoric
image--all the ladies' black bonnets sinking away, like a cluster of
clouds--and (shame on the confession!) I have performed head worship to
the front of my seat, instead of keeping an immovable post-like
position, before his reverence. However, a church doze is seldom admired
by the wakeful. Should an embryo snore escape from one's nose (and this
is possible,) some old grandam, or an upright piece of masculine
sanctity, is sure to rouse you; the former will either _hem_ you into
awakening shame, or drop her prayer-book on the floor; the latter will
most likely thump the same with the imperative tip of his boot. How
horridly stupid one seems after being aroused! The woman eyes you with
the most piquant, self-justifying sneer possible; while all her little
IMMACULATES, if she have any, look at you like so many hissing young
turkey cocks; and as for the man--bless his holiness!--he'd frown you
down to Hades at once.

"My heart leaps up" when I behold a stage coach--that snug, panel
painted, comfortable wheel-whirling "thing of life." O ye days of
juvenilian sensibilities--ye eye-feeding, heart-rising scenes of
remembered felicity!--how glorious was the coach at the school door! The
whip--Ajax _Mastigoferos_ never had such a powerful one as the modern
Jehu! The spokes of the wheels--they were handled with admiring fingers!
That Jupiter-like throne, the coach-box--who would not have risked his
neck to have been seated on it? When all was "right," how eloquent the
lip-music of coachee! how fine the introductory frisks of the horses'
tails, and the arching plunge of the fore-foot--no rainbow-curve ever
was so beauteous! "Oh, happy days! who would not be a boy again?" But
away with my puerilities. I intend the reader to take a doze in that
comfortable repository for the person--the inside of a coach.

With all the reckless simplicity of boyhood, I maintain that travelling
by coach is by no means the least of our sublunary pleasures. Man is a
_wheelable_ animal as well as walking one. Winter is the time for a nice
inside jaunt. What divine evaporations from the coachman's muzzle! What
a joyous creak in the down-flying steps!--and, oh! that comfortable
alertness with which we deposit ourselves in the padded corner, and fold
our coatflaps over our knees, glance at the frosty steam of the window;
and then, quite _à la Tityre_, repose our recumbent bodies at our ease!
Such moments as these are snatches of indefinable bliss. It would appear
probable, that a coach was a very inconvenient place for a doze; the
attendant bustle, the whip-smacks, bickering wheels, and
untranquillizing jolts--

"Like angels' visits, few and far between,"--

are not calculated for sleepiness. Notwithstanding these correlative
interruptions, a doze in the coach is by no means uncommon, even in the
daytime. Let us examine this a little more intellectually.

Suppose a man is returning to his friends, with a mind composed, and
"all his business settled." (By-the-by, how vastly comprehensive this
speech is!) Suppose he has entered the coach about four in the
afternoon, and, by rare luck, finds he is, for the present, the only
inside passenger. Such a man, I say, will be likely to doze before
twenty miles have run under the coach-wheels--speaking _Hibernicè_. For
the last half-hour, he will be thinking of himself--how many commissions
he has performed--how many he has left undone--and how many he intends
to do. The next, he will probably give to his home attractions--his
anxious wife, sat musingly round the tea-table--his favourite son George
(so like his father)--and all the nine hundred and ninety-nine pretty
nothings we hear of, after a brief absence. These will send his heart a
long way from the coach, and therefore keep him in the full enjoyment of
wakefulness. But this train of delectable musing is by no means
exhaustless. The roll of the wheels gradually becomes naturalized to the
ear, and the body moves in sympathy with the coach; the road gets very
monotonously barren; the lounge in the corner--how suitable then to this
solitary languor! Lulled here, the traveller for awhile admires the
leathern trappings of the coach, hums a tune perhaps, and affects a
dubious whistle. Meantime the operations of _doziness_ have been gently
applying themselves. His eye is sated with the road and the coach; his
hands become stationary on his lap; his feet supinely rested on the
opposite seat; his head instinctively motions to the corner--and he
dozes! A doze in the coach is the flower of dozes, when you are alone.
There, you may twist your person into any shape you please, without the
fear of discomposing a silken dress, or a nursemaid's petticoats. No
boisterous arguments from snuff-taking sexagenarians: all is placid
--Eden-like--just as a dozer's _sanctorum_ ought to be! The only thing
attendant on the doze of an inside passenger, is the great chance of
being suddenly aroused by the entrance of company. O tell me, ye of the
fine nerve, what is more vexing than to be startled from your nest by
the creaking slam of the steps, the bleak winter gales galloping along
your face, and a whole bundle of human beings pushing themselves into
your retreat! There is no rose without its thorn, as myriads have said
before me:--

----"O beate Sexti,
Vitæ summa brevis SPEM nos vetat inchoare LONGAM!"

Not all the morose sarcasms of Johnson, on the pleasures of rural life,
have ever weakened my capability for enjoying it at convenient
intervals. His antipathy to the country resembled his contempt for
blank-verse--_he_ could not enjoy it. I have now moped away a
considerable number of months in this city of all things--this--this
London. "Well?" Pray restrain yourself, reader; I am coming to the point
in due season. During my metropolitan existence--although I am neither a
tailor, nor any trade, nor anything exactly--I have never beheld a
downright intellectual-looking blade of grass. I mean much by an
intellectual blade of grass. The Londoners--poor conceited
creatures!--have denominated sundry portions of their Babylon "fields."
But--I ask it in all the honest pride of sheer ignorance--is there the
ghost even of a bit of grass to be seen in many of them? I cannot easily
forget my vexation, when, after a tedious walk to one of those
misnomered "fields," I found nothing but a weather-beaten, muggy, smoky
assemblage of houses of all sizes, circumscribed by appropriate filth
and abundant cabbage-stumps. Innocent of London quackeries, I strolled
forth with the full hope of laying me down on a velvet carpet of
grass--the birds carolling around me--and, perchance, a flock of
lambkins, tunefully baying to their mammas!! "Said I to myself," when I
reached these fields, "what a fool I am!" I had contemplated a doze on
the grass.

But leaving all thoughts of disappointment, who will not allow that
there is something exceedingly delightful in dozing calmly beneath the
shade of an o'er-arching tree?

----"recubans sub tegmine fagi."

Of course, the weather should be fine, to admit of this luxurious
idleness. Let the blue-bosomed clouds be sailing along, like Peter
Bell's boat; let the sunbeams be gilding the face of nature, and tinging
the landscape with multiform hues; let the breezes be gentle, the spot
retired, and the heart at ease. Now, go and stretch yourself on the
grassy couch, while the branches of an aged tree shadow forth the imaged
leaves around you. What a congenial situation for philosophy--under an
old tree, on a sunny summer day! How much more becoming than the
immortal tub of the sour-minded Diogenes? Who will be able to refrain
from philosophizing. I repeat it, beneath such an old tree? 'Tis at such
times that the heart spontaneously unbends itself--that the fancy
tranquillizes its thoughts--and that memory awakens her

----"treasured pictures of a thousand scenes."

Place the palms of your hands beneath your pole, and survey the
skies!--calm, beautifully unconscious! By-gone times, and by-gone
friends--the thousand commingling scenes of varied life--how they all
recur to you now! You fancy you could lie beneath the tree for
eternity--so soothing is the employment of doing nothing--or field
philosophy! Yet, to speak correctly, you are doing a great deal; your
imagination is flying in all directions--from the death of Caesar to the
last cup of Congou that you took with a regretted friend. What a mystery
your existence is! The world turns round as gently as ever; the flowers
bud into life; and the winter nips them. Man lives, thinks, and dies.
All very wondrous truisms. Well, after a half-hour--or perchance
more--you will be gradually relapsing into a state of soporific
nothing-at-all-ness (the best word I can find to express my meaning.)
May there be some clear little stream just behind you, laughing along
its idle way;--some chirping birds, singing their roundelay--some
buzzing flies--you will then be lulled into doziness. However, with or
without the purling murmur of the brook--the joyous warbling of the
birds--the busy bustling flies--you will not be able to resist the
dozing temptations that will steal over you. Your eyes will close gently
as flower-leaflets--your thoughts die away in a heavenly confusion--and
then you doze!--neither sleeping nor waking, but absolved in delicious
dreaminess! O, for such a doze!--_Monthly Magazine_.

* * * * *


* * * * *


Notwithstanding the aversion of the Chinese to the profession of the
Roman Catholic religion, which has been shown, first by persecuting, and
then by expelling the Jesuits from the empire, the Chinese government
is, however, obliged to keep at least some missionaries at Pekin to
compile the almanac. While astrology has led in other nations to the
study of astronomy, the Chinese, though they have studied astrology for
some thousand years, have made no progress in the real knowledge of the
stars. Their ancient boasted observations, and the instruments which
they make use of, were brought by the learned men, whom Koubilaï, the
grandson of Gingis Khan, had invited from Balk and Samarcand. The
government, at present, considers the publication of an annual calendar
of the first importance and utility. It must do every thing in its
power, not only to point out to its numerous subjects the distribution
of the seasons, the knowledge of which is essentially necessary to them,
to arrange the manner of gaining their livelihood, and distributing
their labour; but on account of the general superstition, it must mark
in the almanac, the lucky and unlucky days, the best days for being
married, for undertaking a journey, for making their dresses, for
buying, or building, for presenting petitions to the emperor, and for
many other cases of ordinary life. By this means, the government keeps
the people within the limits of humble obedience; it is for this reason
that the emperors of China established the academy of astronomy, but we
must not expect to find men really acquainted with that science. When
this illustrious body, composed of Mantchoos, and in which Europeans,
though subordinate, are the most active, condescended to look at the
planetarium, which was among the presents which the king of England sent
to the emperor of China by lord Macartney, Mr. Barrow was not able to
make the president of this learned society understand the real merit of
that instrument. Besides, how should a people be able to comprehend
astronomy, to know the position of the heavenly bodies, and determine
the orbits of the planets, while it is ignorant of the elements of
mathematics, and makes its calculations by the help of vertical
arithmetical tables, like those used by the shop-keepers in Russia, and
who are ignorant both of analysis and geometry?--_Timkowski's Mission
to China_.

* * * * *


The following are points of comparison which may be remarked in the
characters of the French and English. The French are great talkers, the
English great thinkers; the former excel in vivacity, the latter in
solidity of intellect. The French dress with splendour, the English with
neatness; the French live almost exclusively on bread, the English on
meat. Both are passionate; but it is the blood which rouses the passion
of a Frenchman, and the bile which exasperates an Englishman. The anger
of a Frenchman is more violent, that of an Englishman more pertinacious.
A Frenchman spends his money on his clothes, an Englishman on his belly.
A Frenchman follows the stream, an Englishman delights in struggling
against it. The friendships of the French are quickly formed, and as
quickly dissolved; those of the English are formed slowly, and as slowly
relinquished. The French respect their superiors, the English respect
themselves; the former are better citizens, the latter better men. The
mental endowments of the French are of a more refined, those of the
English of a loftier, character. The French practise virtue for the sake
of reputation, and seek the reward of meritorious actions in popular
applause; the English practise it for its own sake, and seek no reward
but that which springs from the consciousness of rectitude. There is the
same relative difference in their vices as in their virtues. Both commit
crimes; the French from the love of gain, the desire of vengeance or
similar motives; but the English are often criminal for the mere sake of
committing crime. The French, like the people of other countries, often
commit crimes in the hope of escaping punishment, but the English
frequently commit crimes because they know they cannot escape
unpunished; so that the very severity of the law, which deters others
from crime, often operates as an additional stimulus on the English for
the commission of offences, "I would commit this offence," exclaims the
Frenchman, "if the law permitted it." "I would not commit this offence,
if it were not prohibited by law," is frequently the language of the
Englishman.--_Memoirs of Lewis Holberg_.

* * * * *


With tender vine-leaves wreathe thy brow,
And I shall fancy that I see,
In the bright eye that laughs below,
The dark grape on its parent tree.
'Tis but a whim--but, oh! entwine
Thy brow with this green wreath of mine.

Weave of the clover-leaves a wreath,
Fresh sparkling with a summer-shower,
And I shall, in my fair one's breath,
Find the soft fragrance of the flower.
'Tis but a whim--but, oh! do thou
Twine the dark leaves around thy brow.

Oh, let sweet-leaved geranium be
Entwined amidst thy clustering hair,
Whilst thy red lips shall paint to me,
How bright its scarlet blossoms are.
'Tis but a whim--but, oh! do thou
Crown with my wreath thy blushing brow.

Oh, twine young rose-leaves round thy head,
And I shall deem the flowers are there,--
The red rose on thy rich cheek spread,
The white upon thy forehead fair.
'Tis but a whim--but, oh! entwine
My wreath round that dear brow of thine.

_The Draught of Immortality, &c._

* * * * *


* * * * *


At the Academy of Sciences at Paris, a memoir was read by Captain
Duperrey, on the experiments made with the invariable pendulum, during
the voyage of the _Coquille_ round the world. He states that various
experiments confirmed the fact of the flattening of the terrestrial
globe, conjectured by several travellers, who had remarked that the
number of oscillations which the pendulum made at certain places,
differed from what had been observed in the extent of the same parallel.
The principal anomalies observed by Captain Duperrey were at the Isle of
France, Mons, Guam, and the Island of Ascension. At the Isle of France,
the invariable pendulum (as had been remarked by M. Freycinet) made in
one day, upon an average, thirteen or fourteen oscillations more than it
ought, supposing the depression to be 1.305, according to the lunar
theory. At Ascension, the acceleration, as noticed by Captain Sabine,
was five or six oscillations, even supposing the depression to be 1.228.
At other stations the difference was almost nothing; and in some, the
motion of the pendulum was retarded. Such differences, Captain Duperry
remarks, between the results of experiment and those given by theory,
cannot be attributed to errors of observation. He is disposed to refer
the cause of the phenomena, with Captain Sabine, to the want of
homogeneousness in the earth, considered as a mass, or to the mere
variations of density in the superficial strata. What tends to confirm
this hypothesis, he says, is, that all observations show that an
acceleration of the pendulum generally takes place on volcanic ground
and a retardation on such as is sandy and argillaceous. A very important
question to ascertain is, whether the flattening is exactly the same in
both hemispheres. From the observations of Captains Duperrey and
Freycinet, it appears that in the southern hemisphere it is 1.291, and
in the northern 1.288; that is to say, it is sensibly the same, or
1.290 in both.

* * * * *


The following curious observations on the habits of plants, were made by
General Walker, in his address to the Agricultural Society of St.
Helena, in February last:--"The functions of plants, as well as of
animals, depend upon the air in which they live. I have observed that
those of St. Helena, which have been brought from another hemisphere,
are very irregular in their annual progress; many of them, in the
development of their foliage, have adopted the law of nature peculiar to
the country into which they have been transplanted. Others, more
obstinate, remain faithful to their own habits, and continue to follow
the stated changes to which they had been accustomed. They all appear to
maintain a struggle either before they adopt the habits which belong to
the seasons of their new country, or decide on retaining their relations
with the old. In yielding to external circumstances, they appear to have
different tempers. This appearance of contention is often observed in
plants of the same species; they seem to hesitate and deliberate, ere
they adopt the mode of performing the functions of life. At length when
the decision is made, apparently not without pain and effort, we are at
a loss to discover an adequate cause. An oak, for instance, which loses
its leaves in a St. Helena winter of 68 degrees, scarcely experiences
the difference of temperature, which, reasoning by analogy, could cause
that change. It would have continued to maintain inflexibility, in its
original climate, its old habits, though exposed to far greater
irregularity and severity of climate. But though the law is obeyed by
many plants, it does not determine the periodical changes of the whole,
nor do they all submit to it with equal readiness and regularity. It
would add, I conceive, to the natural history of vegetation, and improve
our knowledge of the geography of plants, were the facts concerning
their habits and changes, under different temperatures, carefully

* * * * *


* * * * *


The wonderful miracles wrought by Bridget Bostock, of Cheshire, who
healed all diseases by prayer, faith, and an embrocation of fasting
spittle, induced multitudes to resort to her from all parts of the
country, and kept her salival glands in full employ. Sir John Pryce,
with a high spirit of enthusiasm, wrote to this woman to make him a
visit at Newton Hall, in order to restore to him his third, a favourite,
wife. His letter will best tell the foundation on which he built his
strange hope, and every uncommon request.

_To Mrs. Bridget Bostock._

Madam,--Having received information, by repeated advices, both
public and private, that you have of late performed many
wonderful cures, even where the best physicians have failed;
and that the means used appear to be very inadequate to the
effect produced; I cannot but look upon you as an extraordinary
and highly favoured person. And why may not the same most
merciful God, who enables you to restore sight to the blind,
hearing to the deaf, and strength to the same, also enable you
to raise the dead to life? Now, having lately lost a wife, whom
I most tenderly loved, my children a most excellent
step-mother, and our acquaintances a most dear and valuable
friend, you will lay us all under the highest obligations; and
I earnestly entreat you, for God Almighty's sake, that you will
put up your petitions to the Throne of Grace on our behalf,
that the deceased may be restored to us, and the late dame
Eleanor Pryce be raised from the dead. If your personal
attendance appears to you to be necessary, I will send my coach
and six, with proper servants to wait on you hither, whenever
you please to appoint. Recompense of any kind that you may
please to propose would be made with the utmost gratitude; but
I wish the bare mention of it is not offensive to both God
and you.

I am, madam,

Your most obedient, and very much afflicted, humble servant,



The late Rev. Thomas Toller, an eminent dissenting minister, (joint
preacher with the celebrated Dr. James Fordyce, at Monkwell-street,)
resided many years in the Lower-street, Islington. One day, when he got
into the stage to come to London, he met with two ladies of his
acquaintance, and a loquacious young Irishman, who was very obtrusive
with his "would-be wit" to the females. The coachman soon stopped to
take up another passenger, who, Dutchman-like, was "_slow to make
haste_." A young dog, being confined in the neighbourhood, bewailed its
loss of liberty, by making an hideous noise; which all the party agreed
was very disagreeable. The Hibernian, desirous to display his wit, and
to _quiz_ the parson, said, "The animal was so unpleasantly noisy, it
must be a presbyterian _dog_." Mr. Toller calmly, but with much apparent
confidence, said, "I am sure it is an Irish dog."--"How do you know
that?" exclaimed the astonished young man with eagerness.--"I know it,
sir," (replied the divine,) "by its impudence and its howl." This
seasonable retort cured the garrulity of the patient, and gave him a
locked-jaw till the stage arrived at the Royal Exchange.


It was his custom, to retire in the evening to what he considered the
most comfortable corner in the house, and take his seat close, to the
kitchen fireside, in order to draw some plan for the forming a new
instrument, or scheme for the improvement of one already made. There,
with his drawing implements on the table before him, a cat sitting on
the one side, and a certain portion of bread, butter, and a small mug of
porter placed on the other side, while four or five apprentices commonly
made up the circle, he amused himself with either whistling the
favourite air, or sometimes singing the old ballad of

"If she is not so true to me,
What care I to whom she be?
What care I, what care I, to whom she be!"

and appeared, in this domestic group, contentedly happy. When he
occasionally sent for a workman, to give him necessary directions
concerning what he wished to have done, he first showed the recent
finished plan, then explained the different parts of it, and generally
concluded by saying, with the greatest good humour, "Now see, man, let
us try to find fault with it;" and thus, by putting two heads together,
to scrutinize his own performance, some alteration was probably made for
the better. But, whatever expense an instrument had cost in forming, if
it did not fully answer the intended design, he would immediately say,
after a little examination of the work, "Bobs, man! this won't do, we
must have at it again;" and then the whole of that was put aside, and a
new instrument, begun. By means of such perseverance, he succeeded in
bringing various mathematical, philosophical, and astronomical
instruments to perfection. The large theodolite for terrestrial
measurements, and the equal altitude instrument for astronomy, will
always be monuments of his fertile, penetrating, arduous, superior
genius! There cannot be a lover (especially of this more difficult part)
of philosophy, in any quarter of the globe, but must admire the
abilities, and respect the memory, of Jesse Ramsden--_Practical
Observations on Telescopes_.

* * * * *


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

* * * * *

Mr. Kelly, in his "Reminiscences," relates, that in 1792 he was walking
in the Place Vendome with two Irish gentlemen, a Colonel Stark Macarthy
and a Captain Fagan, the latter possessing "a vast portion of the ready
wit of his country." Coming to the celebrated statue of Victory holding
the laurel crown over the head of Louis XIV., a French officer was
enumerating the splendid achievements of that heroic king, and
particularly desired us to observe the attitude of the figure of
Victory. "Pray, sir," said Fagan, "may I take the liberty of asking the
question--Is Victory putting the laurel on his majesty's head, or taking
it off?" The question puzzled the Frenchman, and made us
laugh heartily.

* * * * *

Parr carried his compassion towards the inferior tribes so far, that two
or three hares found a secure asylum for nearly two years in his garden
at Hatton. He said that they were his clients, for they had placed
themselves under his protection. He gave strict orders that they should
not be shot. "It would be a gross violation," he said, "of a tacit
covenant of hospitality."

* * * * *

A few months since, a noble marquis bespoke a play at a country
theatre, the representation of which Mr. Canning, prime minister,
honoured with his presence. The boxes and other parts of the house were
crammed, with the exception of the pit, which looked beggarly; on which
an actor observed to a brother of the sock, "We've no _pit_
to-night."--"No _Pitt_!" rejoined the other, "and none we want while we
have a _Canning!_"

* * * * *

_Printed and published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset
House,) and sold by all Newsmen and Booksellers._

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