Produced by Jonathan Ingram, David Garcia and the Online Distributed
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XIV, No. 395.] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
The Original Royal Exchange.
(_From a Correspondent_.)
Four centuries since the Merchants of London could not boast of a public
Exchange. They then assembled to transact business in Lombard-street,
among the Lombard Jews, from whom the street derives its name, and who
were then the bankers of all Europe. Here too they probably kept their
_benches_ or _banks_, as they were wont to do in the market-places of
the continent, for transacting pecuniary matters; and thus drew around
them all those of whose various pursuits money is the common medium.
At length, in 1534, Sir R. Gresham, who was agent for Henry the Eighth
at Antwerp, and had been struck with the advantages attending the
_Bourse_, or Exchange, of that city, prevailed upon his Royal Master to
send a letter to the Mayor and Commonalty of London, recommending them
to erect a similar building on their manor of Leadenhall. The Court of
Common Council, however, were of opinion that such a removal of the
seat of business would be impracticable, and the scheme was therefore
dropped; but in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Sir Thomas Gresham, who
succeeded to the Antwerp agency, happily accomplished what had been
denied to the hopes of his father. In 1564 Sir Thomas proposed to the
Corporation--"That if the City would give him a piece of ground, in a
commodious spot, he would erect an Exchange at his own expense, with
large and covered walks, wherein the merchants might assemble and
transact business at all seasons, without interruption from the weather,
or impediments of any kind." The Corporation met the proposal with
a spirit of equal liberality; and in 1566 various buildings, houses,
tenements, &c. in Cornhill, were purchased for rather more than L3,530,
and the materials re-sold for L478, on condition of pulling them down
and carrying them away.--The ground plot was then levelled at the charge
of the City, and possession given to Sir Thomas, who in the deed is
styled, "Agent to the Queen's Highness," and who laid the foundation of
the new Exchange on the 7th of June following; and the whole was covered
in before November 1567.
The plan adopted by Sir Thomas, in the formation of his building, was
similar to the one at Antwerp. An open area was inclosed by a quadrangle
of lofty stone-buildings, with a colonnade as at present, supported,
by marble columns of the Doric order, over which ran a cornice, with
Ionic pilasters above, having niches between, containing statues of the
English Sovereigns. The entrances were from Cornhill and Broad-street.
Over the first, between two Ionic three-quarter columns, were the Royal
Arms, and on either side were those of the City and Sir Thomas; on the
north side, but not exactly in the centre, rose a Corinthian pillar
to about the same height as the tower in front surmounted with the
grasshopper. In every other respect it was similar to the south, of
which the previous engraving is a view.
Over the arcade were shops, to which you ascended by two staircases,
north and south. Above stairs were about one hundred shops, varying
from 2-3/4 feet to 20 in breadth and forming a sort of bazaar, then
called the Pawne. These shops, for the first two or three years did not
answer the expectation of the founder, for such was the force of habit,
that the merchants, notwithstanding all the inconveniences attending
Lombard-street, could not be prevailed upon to avail themselves of the
 From an old Vestry-book belonging to St. Michael's we also
learn the rents of the shops, which were at first only forty
shillings, in the course of a few years were raised to four
marks; afterwards to four pounds, and after the fire they were
let at ten shillings per foot.
The building had been opened two or three years, when the Queen
signified her intention of paying it a visit of inspection; but so
many of the shops still remained unoccupied, that Sir Thomas found it
necessary to go round to the shopkeepers, and beseech them "to furnish
and adorne it with wares and wax lights, in as many shoppes as they
either could or woulde, and they should have all those so furnished
rent-free for that yeare."--_Stowe_.
Her Majesty on the day fixed (Jan. 23, 1570), having dined with the
founder, at his house in Bishopsgate-street, returned by the way of
Cornhill, and entered on the south side; and having viewed it, she
expressed herself much pleased; and, with the national spirit which so
eminently distinguished her, commanded that, instead of the foreign name
_Bourse_, by which the citizens had begun to call it, it should be
styled, in plain English--The Royal Exchange--which was proclaimed by
sound of trumpet:--
"Proclaim through every high street of the city,
This place be no longer called a Burse;
But since the building's stately, fair, and strange,
Be it for ever called--The Royal Exchange!"
 Second part of "Queen Elizabeth's Troubles"--a Play, by
T. Heywood, 1609.
The building could not have been very substantial, for by an entry in
the Wardbook of Cornhill ward, we find that in 1581, not fourteen years
after its completion, some of the arches of the arcade were in an unsafe
condition, and the lives of the merchants passing under were in danger.
And further--in 1603 another entry states, that the east and north walls
were also unsafe; and thus it continued wanting still greater repairs,
in which the Mercers' Company expended vast sums of money, till it was
entirely destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.
Sir Thomas Gresham, by his will, bequeathed this building, with his
house in Bishopsgate-street, to the Mercers' Company and the Corporation
of London, in joint trust: the house as a college, and the produce of
the Exchange for the payment, in the first place, of the salaries of the
lecturers and the other expenses of the college; and secondly, of
certain annual sums to different hospitals, prisons, and almshouses.
Such was the origin of the Royal Exchange. After its destruction, in
1666, the funds in the hands of Sir Thomas Gresham's trustees amounted
to no more than L234. 8s. 2d.; but, with a spirit beyond all praise,
they contributed from their own resources the necessary sum for
rebuilding the Exchange, which was completed and opened September 28,
1669, the total cost being L58,962, which the City Corporation and the
Mercers' Company defrayed equally between them. Since that period it has
undergone several reparations; but a most complete and substantial one
was commenced in 1820, under the direction of Mr. Geo. Smith, architect
to the Mercers' Company, the estimated expense of which was nearly
L33,000; and staircases on the north, south, and west sides have since
been built of stone, at an expense of about L6,000.
The emoluments derived by Lady Gresham from the Royal Exchange are
stated to have amounted to L751. 5_s_. per annum; and these she
continued to enjoy till her decease, in the year 1596; but the Mercers'
Company, instead of profiting by the donation, had, after the late
repairs, expended out of their own fund no less a sum than L200,500.
We are indebted to an active Correspondent for the original of
the engraving (a pencil drawing), and the abridgment of the previous
description, from a neatly compiled work--the _Percy_ History of London,
and from original and authentic sources. We are, however, compelled
to omit the "dimensions of the ground on which the original Exchange
stood," notwithstanding our Correspondent has been at the pains to copy
the items from "an old record in the Chamber of London, never before
made public." The document is of considerable value, in illustrating the
topography of ancient London; but its interest is hardly popular enough
for our pages.
* * * * *
ON LEAVING WINCHESTER.
Winton--ere thee I leave in hoary pride,
Thy hallow'd temples, and thine aged towers,
Lifting their heads amid the rural bowers
That grace fair Itchen's ever-rippling tide,
I gaze--and think how many a century
Hath slowly roll'd along, since in their might
The British Chieftain and the Roman Knight
First met in thee in triumph or to die.
But now in peace along thy vale I rove,
Or mark with awe thy venerable pile
Of mitred pomp, and down the lengthen'd aisle
Listen to notes divine, with those I love.
These are the charms that memory must renew,
Till I shall gaze again, with reverence due.
* * * * *
HORACE. Part of Ode 3rd, Book 3rd, paraphrased.
_"Justum et tenacem propositi virum"_
Nor direful rage, nor bois'trous tumult loud,
Nor looks infuriate of the threat'ning crowd--
Nor haughty tyrants, with their angry scowl,
Like beasts that o'er the traveller's pathway prowl--
Nor southern storm, that o'er the ocean raves,
And swells in mountain heights its restless waves,
Can aught avail, with all their force combined,
To shake the man with firm, though tranquil, mind!
Guided by Justice and by Wisdom's laws,
Secure he stands to guard his righteous cause.
What--tho' in awful haste the tott'ring world,
By Heaven's command, be into ruin hurl'd:
As on a rock unshaken he remains,
Upborne by Him who all the just sustains!
Destruction's thunders rage from pole to pole--
Yet he undaunted smiles, and bids them calmly roll!
* * * * *
ST. SEPULCHRE'S BELL.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Among the list of benefactions in the parish church of St. Sepulchre is
the following, relative to the tolling of the church-bell on the eve of
the execution of unhappy criminals:
"Robert Doue, Citizen and Merchant Tailor of London, gave to the parish
church of St. Sepulchre's the somme of L50. That after the several
Sessions of London, when the prisoners remain in the gaole as condemned
men to death, expecting execution on the morrow following, the clarke
(that is, the parson) of the church shoold come in the night time, and
likewise in the morning, to the window of the prison where they lye, and
there ringing certain tolls with a hand-bell appointed for the purpose,
he doth afterwards (in most Christian manner) put them in mind of their
present condition and ensuing execution, desiring them to be prepared
therefore as they ought to be. When they are in the cart, and brought
before the wall of the church, there he standeth ready with the same
bell, and after certain toles rehearseth an appointed praier, desiring
all the people there present to pray for them. The Beadle, also, of
Merchant Taylors' Hall hath an honest stipend allowed to See that this
is duly done."
It has been a very ancient custom, on the night previous to the
execution of condemned criminals, for the bellman of the above parish to
go under Newgate, and, ringing his bell, repeat the verses beneath
(which, by the above extract, it would appear, should be the duty of the
clergyman), as a friendly admonition to the wretched prisoners:
"All you that in the condemned hold do lie,
Prepare you, for to-morrow you shall die!
Watch all and pray, the hour is drawing near
That you before the Almighty must appear:
Examine well yourselves, in time repent,
That you may not t' eternal flames be sent.
And when St. Sepulchre's bell to-morrow tolls,
The Lord above have mercy on your souls!
Past twelve o'clock!"
In the case of Stephen Gardener, who was executed at Tyburn, in 1724,
the bellman chanted the above verses. This man, with another, being
brought to St. Sepulchre's watch-house, on suspicion of felony, which,
however, was not validated, they were dismissed. "But," said the
constable to Gardener, "beware how you come here again, or this bellman
will certainly say his verses over you;" for the dreaded bellman
happened to be then in the watch-house.--Such proved to be the case,
for the same man suffered the penalty of the law, for housebreaking,
"the day and year first above mentioned."
* * * * *
The Contemporary Traveller.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A TOUR IN THE ISLAND OF JERSEY.
_By Alexander Sutherland, Esq. Member of the Royal Physical Society of
We lost sight of the Needles at sunset. There was little wind; but a
heavy weltering sea throughout the night. Nevertheless, our bark drove
merrily on her way, and at day-break the French coast, near Cape de
la Hogue, was dimly visible through the haze of morning. At dawn the
breeze died away; and as the tide set strongly against us, it was found
necessary to let go an anchor, in order to prevent the current from
carrying us out of our course. The surface of the ocean, though furrowed
by the long deep swell peculiar to seas of vast extent, looked as if
oil had been poured upon it. The vessel pitched prodigiously too; but
neither foam-bubbles nor spray ruffled the glassy expanse. Wave after
wave swept by in majesty, smooth and shining like mountains of molten
crystal; and though the ocean was agitated to its profoundest depths,
its convulsed bosom had a character of sublime serenity, which neither
pen nor pencil could properly describe.
The night-dew had been remarkably heavy, and when the sun burst through
the thick array of clouds that impended over the French coast, the
cordage and sails discharged a sparkling shower of large pellucid drops.
In the course of the forenoon, a small bird of the linnet tribe perched
on the rigging in a state of exhaustion, and allowed itself to be
caught. It was thoughtlessly encaged in the crystal lamp that lighted
the cabin, where it either chafed itself to death, or died from the
intense heat of the noon-day sun, which shone almost vertically on its
prison. At the time this bird came on board, we were at least ten miles
northward of the island of Alderney, the nearest land.
At one P.M. tide and wind favouring, we weighed anchor, and stood away
for the Race of Alderney, which separates that island from Cape de la
Hogue. In the Race the tide ran with a strength and rapidity scarcely
paralleled on the coasts of Britain. The famous gulf of Coryvreckan in
the Hebridean Sea, and some parts of the Pentland Firth, are perhaps the
only places where the currents are equally irresistible. To the latter
strait, indeed, the Alderney Race bears a great resemblance; and an
Orkney man unexpectedly entering it, would be in danger of mistaking
Alderney for Stroma, and Cape de la Hogue for Dunnet Head. In stormy
weather the passage of the Race is esteemed by mariners an undertaking
of some peril--a fact we felt no disposition to gainsay; for though the
day was serene, and the swell from the westward completely broken by
the intervention of the island, the conflict of counter-currents was
tremendous. At some places the water appeared in a state of fierce
ebullition, leaping and foaming as if convulsed by the action of
submarine fires; at others it formed powerful eddies, which rendered
the helm almost of no avail in the guidance of the vessel.
We steered as near to Alderney, or Aurigni as it is frequently called,
as prudence warranted. It is a high, rugged, bare-looking island,
encompassed by perilous reefs, but supporting a pretty numerous
population. The only arborescent plants discernible from the deck of our
vessel, were clumps of brushwood. The grain on the cultivated spots was
uncut, and several wind-mills on the higher grounds, indicated the means
by which the islanders, who have very little intercourse with the rest
of the world, reduce their wheat into flour. The southern side of the
island is precipitous, and its eastern cape terminates in a fantastic
rock called the Cloak, which our captain consulted as a landmark in
steering through the Race. There is only one village in Alderney--a
paltry place, named St. Anne, or in common parlance La Ville; and there
a detachment of troops is generally stationed. Small vessels only can
enter the harbour, which is shelterless, and rendered difficult of
access by a sunken reef. At sunset Alderney was far astern, and three
of its sister islands, Sark, Herm, and Jethau, were in view ahead.
It was impossible to behold, without a portion of romantic enthusiasm,
the dazzling radiance of the orb of day, as it went down in splendour
beyond the gleaming waves. A thousand affecting emotions are liable to
be excited by the prospect of that mighty sea whose farther boundaries
lie in another hemisphere--whose waters have witnessed the noblest feats
of maritime enterprise, and the fiercest conflicts of hostile fleets.
Where shall we find the man to whom science is dear, who dreams not of
Columbus, when he first feels himself rocked by the majestic billows
of the Atlantic--who regards not the golden line of light, which
the setting sun casts over the waste of waters, as a type of the
intellectual illumination experienced by the ocean pilgrim, when he
first steered his bark into its solitudes? Who can survey, even the
hither strand of that vast sea, without reflecting that the waves that
break at his feet have laved the palm-fringed shores of America; and
that the bones of millions--the pride, and pomp, and treasure of
nations--repose in the same capacious tomb?
Anxious to be a spectator of the perils that beset navigation among
these islands, I repaired to the deck before day-break, at which time,
according to our captain's calculation, we were likely to double the
Corbiere--a well-known promontory on the western side of Jersey--which
requires to be weathered with great circumspection. Jersey was already
visible on our larboard bow--a lofty precipitous coast. Wind and tide
were in our favour, and we swept smoothly and rapidly round the cape;
but the jagged summits of the reefs that environ it, and the impetuosity
of the currents, bore incontestable evidence to the verity of the tales
of misfortune which our captain associated with its name. The rock
which bears the appellation of the Corbiere, is close in shore, and
so grotesque in form, as to be readily singled out from the adjacent
cliffs. A reef, visible only at low water, shoots from it a considerable
distance into the sea, and another ledge of the same aspect, lies still
farther seaward; consequently the course of a careful pilot, is to hold
his way free through the channel between them. If a lands-*man may be
permitted to make an observation on a nautical point, I would say that
our steersman kept the peak of the Corbiere exactly on a level with the
adjacent precipices, till we were directly abreast of the headland, and
then stood abruptly in-shore till within a few fathoms of the cliffs,
under the shadow of which he afterwards held a steady course till
we opened the bay of St. Aubin.
The fantastic and inconstant outline of the Corbiere, as we were
hurried swiftly past it, was a subject of surprise and admiration.
When first seen through the haze of morning, it resembled a huge
elephant supporting an embattled tower; a little after, it assumed
the similitude of a gigantic warrior in a recumbent posture, armed
_cap-a-pie;_ anon, this apparition vanished, and in its stead rose a
fortalice in miniature, with pigmy sentinels stationed on its ramparts.
The precipices between the Corbiere and the bay of St. Aubin, are no
less worthy of notice than that promontory. They slope down to the
water-edge in enormous protuberances, resembling billows of frozen
lava, intersected by wide sinuous rifts, and present a most interesting
field for geological research.
The bay of St. Aubin is embraced by a crescent of smiling eminences
thickly sprinkled with villas and orchards. St. Helier crouches at the
base of a lofty rock that forms the eastern cape: the village of St.
Aubin is similarly placed near Noirmont Point, the westward promontory,
and between the two, stretches a sandy shelving beach, studded with
martello towers. The centre of the bay is occupied by Elizabeth
Castle--a fortress erected on a lofty insulated rock, the jagged
pinnacles of which shoot up in grotesque array round the battlements.
The harbour is artificial, but capacious and safe, and so completely
commanded by the castle, as to be nearly inaccessible to an enemy. The
jetties and quays, which had only been recently constructed, are of
great extent and superior masonry. The majority of the vessels in port
were colliers from England; but summer is not the season to look for
crowded harbours. The merchants of St. Helier engage deeply in the
Newfoundland fishery, and are otherwise distinguished for maritime
enterprise; consequently there is no reason to infer that the vast sum
of money which must of necessity have been expended in the improvement
of the harbour, has been unprofitably sunk. During the late war the
islanders rapidly increased in opulence, as the island was filled with
troops and emigrants, who greatly enhanced the value of home produce;
but the cessation of hostilities restored matters to their natural
order, and the Jerseymen bewail the return of peace and plenty with
as much sincerity as any half-pay officer that ever doffed his martial
St. Helier may contain about 7,000 inhabitants. Internally it differs
little from the majority of small sea-ports in England, save it may be
in the predominance of foreign names on the signboards, and the groups
of French marketwomen, distinguished by their fantastic head-gear, who
perambulate the streets. The only place worthy of a visit is the market,
which, for orderly arrangement, and plenteous supply, is scarcely
excelled in any quarter of the world. It was occupied chiefly by Norman
women, who repair here regularly once a-week from Granville to dispose
of their fowls, fish, eggs, fruit, and vegetables. Most of them were
seated at their stalls, and industriously plying their needles, when
not occupied in serving customers. They had a mighty demure look, and
never condescended to solicit any person to deal with them--a mode of
behaviour which the butchers, fishmongers, fruiterers, and greengrocers,
of Great Britain would do well to imitate. The generality were
hard-featured; and their grotesque head-dresses, parti-coloured
kerchiefs, and short clumsily-plaited petticoats, gave them a grotesque,
antiquated air, altogether irreconcilable to an Englishman's taste.
They were, however, wonderfully clean, and civil and honourable in their
traffic, compared with the filthy, ribald, over-reaching hucksters who
infest our markets; and it was gratifying to hear that the Jersey people
encouraged their visits, and treated them with hospitality and respect.
The rock on which Elizabeth Castle is perched, is nearly a mile in
circuit, and accessible on foot at low water by means of a mole, formed
of loose stones and rubbish, absurdly termed "the Bridge," which
connects it with the mainland. In times of war with France, this
fortress was a post of great importance, and strongly garrisoned;
but in these piping days of peace, I found only one sentinel pacing his
"lonely round" on the ramparts. The barracks were desolate--the cannon
dismounted--and grass sufficient to have grazed a whole herd, had sprung
up in the courts, and among the pyramids of shot and shells piled up at
the embrazures. The gate stood open, inviting all who listed to enter,
and native or foreigner might institute what scrutiny he pleased without
The hermitage of St. Elericus, the patron saint of Jersey, a holy man
who suffered martyrdom at the time the pagan Normans invaded the island,
is said to have occupied an isolated peak, quite detached from the
fortifications, which commands a noble seaward view of the bay. A small
arched building of rude masonry, having the semblance of a watch-tower,
covers a sort of crypt excavated in the rock, into which, by dint of
perseverance, a man might introduce himself; and this, if we are to
credit tradition, is the cave and bed of the ascetic. Here, like the
inspired seer of Patmos, he could congratulate himself on having shaken
off communion with mankind. Cliffs shattered by the warfare of the
elements--a restless and irresistible sea, intersected by perilous
reefs--and the blue firmament--were the only visible objects to distract
the solemn contemplations of his soul.
An abbey, dedicated to St. Elericus, once occupied the site of Elizabeth
Castle. The fortress was founded on the ruins of this edifice in 1551,
in the reign of Edward VI., and according to tradition, all the bells in
the island, with the reservation of one to each church, were seized by
authority, and ordered to be sold, to defray in part the expense of its
erection. The confiscated metal was shipped for St. Malo, where it was
expected to bring a high price, but the vessel foundered in leaving the
harbour, to the triumph of all good Catholics, who regarded the disaster
as a special manifestation of divine wrath at the sacrilegious
The works of Fort Regent occupy the precipitous hill that overhangs the
harbour, and completely command Elizabeth Castle, and indeed the whole
bay. They are of great strength, and immense masses of rock have been
blown away from the cliff in order to render it impregnable. The
barracks are bomb-proof, and scooped in the ramparts; and the parade
ground, which in shape exactly resembles a coffin, forms the nucleus of
the fortifications. This fortress had been completed since the peace,
and we found the 12th regiment of the line garrisoning it; but little
of the pomp and circumstance of warlike preparation was visible on
its ramparts. The prospect seaward is magnificent, and includes
a vast labyrinth of rocks called the Violet Bank, which fringes the
south-eastern corner of the island. One glimpse of this submarine garden
is sufficient to satisfy the most apprehensive patriot, that Jersey
is in a great measure independent of "towers along the steep."
At St. Helier a stranger may, without any great stretch of imagination,
fancy himself in England; but no sooner does he penetrate into the
country, than such self-deception becomes impossible. The roads, even
the best of them, are mere paths, narrow, deep sunk between enormous
dikes, and so fenced by hedges and trees, as to be almost impervious to
the light of day. The fields, of which it is scarce possible to obtain a
glimpse from these "covered ways," are paltry paddocks, rarely exceeding
two or three acres. Hedges and orchards render the face of the country
like a forest, and nearly as much ground is occupied by lanes and fences
as is under the plough.
(_To be concluded in our next_.)
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE Public Journals
* * * * *
THE IDIOT.--AN ANECDOTE.
Every reader of dramatic history has heard of Garrick's contest with
Madam Clairon, and the triumph which the English Roscius achieved over
the Siddons of the French stage, by his representation of the father
struck with fatuity on beholding his only infant child dashed to pieces
by leaping in its joy from his arms: perhaps the sole remaining conquest
for histrionic tragedy is somewhere in the unexplored regions of the
mind, below the ordinary understanding, amidst the gradations of
idiotcy. The various shades and degrees of sense and sensibility which
lie there unknown, Genius, in some gifted moment, may discover. In the
meantime, as a small specimen of its undivulged dramatic treasures, we
submit to our readers the following little anecdote:--
A poor widow, in a small town in the north of England, kept a booth or
stall of apples and sweetmeats. She had an idiot child, so utterly
helpless and dependent, that he did not appear to be ever alive to anger
He sat all day at her feet, and seemed to be possessed of no other
sentiment of the human kind than confidence in his mother's love, and
a dread of the schoolboys, by whom he was often annoyed. His whole
occupation, as he sat on the ground, was in swinging backwards and
forwards, singing "pal-lal" in a low pathetic voice, only interrupted
at intervals on the appearance of any of his tormentors, when he clung
to his mother in alarm.
From morning to evening he sang his plaintive and aimless ditty; at
night, when his poor mother gathered up her little wares to return home,
so deplorable did his defects appear, that while she carried her table
on her head, her stock of little merchandize in her lap, and her stool
in one hand, she was obliged to lead him by the other. Ever and anon as
any of the schoolboys appeared in view, the harmless thing clung close
to her, and hid his face in her bosom for protection.
A human creature so far below the standard of humanity was no where ever
seen; he had not even the shallow cunning which is often found among
these unfinished beings; and his simplicity could not even be measured
by the standard we would apply to the capacity of a lamb. Yet it had a
feeling rarely manifested even in the affectionate dog, and a knowledge
never shown by any mere animal.
He was sensible of his mother's kindness, and how much he owed to her
care. At night when she spread his humble pallet, though he knew not
prayer, nor could comprehend the solemnities of worship, he prostrated
himself at her feet, and as he kissed them, mumbled a kind of mental
orison, as if in fond and holy devotion. In the morning, before she went
abroad to resume her station in the market-place, he peeped anxiously
out to reconnoitre the street, and as often as he saw any of the
schoolboys in the way, he held her firmly back, and sang his sorrowful
One day the poor woman and her idiot boy were missed from the
market-place, and the charity of some of the neighbours induced them to
visit her hovel. They found her dead on her sorry couch, and the boy
sitting beside her, holding her hand, swinging and singing his pitiful
lay more sorrowfully than he had ever done before. He could not speak,
but only utter a brutish gabble! sometimes, however, he looked as if
he comprehended something of what was said. On this occasion, when the
neighbours spoke to him, he looked up with the tear in his eye, and
clasping the cold hand more tenderly, sank the strain of his mournful
"pal-lal" into a softer and sadder key.
The spectators, deeply affected, raised him from the body, and he
surrendered his hold of the earthy hand without resistance, retiring in
silence to an obscure corner of the room. One of them, looking towards
the others, said to them, "Poor wretch! what shall we do with him?" At
that moment he resumed his chant, and lifting two handfuls of dust from
the floor, sprinkled it on his head, and sang with a wild and clear
heart-piercing pathos, "pal-lal--pal-lal."--_Blackwood's Magazine_.
* * * * *
Comparative estimate respecting the dimensions of the head of the
inhabitants in several counties of England.
The male head in England, at maturity, averages from 6-1/2 to 7-5/8 in
diameter; the medium and most general size being 7 inches. The female
head is smaller, varying from 6-3/8 to 7, or 7-1/2, the medium male
size. Fixing the medium of the English head at 7 inches, there can be
no difficulty in distinguishing the portions of society above from
those below that measurement.
_London_.--The majority of the higher classes are above the medium,
while amongst the lower it is very rare to find a large head.
_Spitalfields Weavers_ have extremely small heads, 6-1/2, 6-5/8, 6-3/4,
being the prevailing admeasurement.
_Coventry_.--Almost exclusively peopled by weavers, the same facts are
_Hertfordshire, Essex, Suffolk_, and _Norfolk_, contain a larger
proportion of small heads than any part of the empire; Essex and
Hertfordshire, particularly. Seven inches in diameter is here, as in
Spitalfields and Coventry, quite unusual--6-5/8 and 6-1/2 are more
general; and 6-3/8, the usual size for a boy of six years of age, is
frequently to be met with here in the full maturity of manhood.
_Kent, Surrey_, and _Sussex_.--An increase of size of the usual average
is observed; and the inland counties, in general, are nearly upon the
_Devonshire_ and _Cornwall_.--The heads of full sizes.
_Herefordshire_.--Superior to the London average.
_Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumberland_, and _Northumberland_, have more
large heads, in proportion, than any part of the country.
_Scotland_.--The full-sized head is known to be possessed by the
inhabitants; their measurement ranging between 7-3/4 and 7-7/8 even to
8 inches; this extreme size, however, is rare.--_Literary Gazette_.
* * * * *
The laying-out of the tract of ground on the northern verge of the
Regent's Park, and divided from the present garden of the Zoological
Society, has at length been commenced, and is proceeding with great
activity. We described this as part of the gardens in our illustrated
account of them in No. 330 of the MIRROR, and we now congratulate the
Society on their increased funds which have enabled them to begin this
very important portion of their original design.
For the purposes of these alterations, the belt of trees and shrubs
which formed so complete and natural a barrier between the road and
canal, will be removed; but when the buildings, &c. are completed, trees
and shrubs are to be replanted close to the road. In addition to huts,
cages, &c. for the reception of living animals, it is said that a
building will be erected in the new garden for the whole or part
of the Society's Museum, now deposited in Bruton Street. This is very
desirable, as the Establishment will then combine similar advantages to
those of the _Jardin des Plantes_ at Paris, where the Museum is in the
grounds. The addition of a botanical garden would then complete the
scheme, and it is reasonable to hope that some of the useless ground in
the park may be applied to this very serviceable as well as ornamental
The communication between the present Zoological exhibition, and the
additions in preparation, will be by a vaulted passage beneath the road.
This subterranean passage will be useful for the abode of such portions
of varied creation as love the shade, as bats, owls, &c.
* * * * *
The King's Giraffe died on Sunday week, at the Menagerie at
Sandpit-gate, near Windsor. It was nearly four years and a half old, and
arrived in England in August, 1827, as a present from the Pacha of Egypt
to his Majesty.
About the same time another Giraffe arrived at Marseilles, being also
a present from the Pacha to the King of France. This and the deceased
animal were females, and were taken very young by some Arabs, who fed
them with milk. The Governor of Sennaar, a large town of Nubia, obtained
them from the Arabs, and forwarded them to the Pacha of Egypt. This
ruler determined on presenting them to the Kings of England and France;
and as there was some difference in size, the Consuls of each nation
drew lots for them. The shortest and weakest fell to the lot of England.
The Giraffe destined for our Sovereign was conveyed to Malta, under the
charge of two Arabs; and was from thence forwarded to London, in the
Penelope merchant vessel, and arrived on the 11th of August. The animal
was conveyed to Windsor two days after, in a spacious caravan. The
following were its dimensions, as measured shortly after its arrival
From the top of the head to the bottom of the hoof ... 10 8
Length of the head ... 1 9
From the top of the head to the neck root ... 4 0
From the neck-root to the elbow ... 2 3
From the elbow to the upper part of the knee ... 1 8
From the upper part of the knee to the fetlock joint ... 1 11
From the fetlock joint to the bottom of the hoof ... 0 10
Length of the back ... 3 1
From the croup to the bottom of the hoof ... 5 8
From the hock to the bottom of the hoof ... 2 9
Length of the hoof ... 0 7-1/2
From the period of its arrival to June last, the animal grew 18 inches.
Her usual food was barley, oats, split beans, and ash-leaves: she drank
milk. Her health was not good; her joints appeared to _shoot over_, and
she was very weak and crippled. She was occasionally led for exercise
round her paddock, when she was well enough, but she was seldom on her
legs: indeed, so great was the weakness of her fore legs for some time
previous to her death, that a pulley was constructed, being suspended
from the ceiling of her hovel, and fastened round her body, so as to
raise her on her legs without any exertion on her part. When she first
arrived she was exceedingly playful, and up to her death continued
perfectly harmless.--_Abridged from the library of Entertaining
* * * * *
The Anecdote Gallery.
* * * * *
YOUTH AND GENIUS OF MOZART.
(_Concluded from page 256_.)
On the 10th of April, 1764, the family arrived in England, and remained
there until the middle of the following year. Leopold Mozart fell ill of
a dangerous sore throat during his stay, and as no practising could go
forward in the house at that time, his son employed himself in writing
his first sinfonia. It was scored with all the instruments, not omitting
drums and trumpets. His sister sat near him while he wrote, and he said
to her, "remind me that I give the horns something good to do." An
extract or two from the correspondence of the father will show how
they were received in England:--
"A week after, as we were walking in St. James's Park, the king and
queen came by in their carriage, and, although we were differently
dressed, they knew us, and not only that, but the king opened the
window, and, putting his head out and laughing, greeted us with head
and hands, particularly our Master Wolfgang."
"On the 19th of May, we were with their Majesties from six to ten
o'clock in the evening. No one was present but the two princes, brothers
to the king and queen. The king placed before Wolfgang not only pieces
of Wagenseil, but of Bach, Abel, and Handel, all of which he performed
_prima vista_. He played upon the king's organ in such a style that
every one admired his organ even more than his harpsichord performance.
He then accompanied the queen, who sang an air, and afterwards a
flute-player in a solo. At last they gave him the bass part of one of
Handel's airs, to which he composed so beautifal a melody that all
present were lost in astonishment. In a word, what he knew in Salzburg
was a mere shadow of his present knowledge; his invention and fancy gain
strength every day."
"A concert was lately given at Ranelagh for the benefit of a newly
erected Lying-in-Hospital. I allowed Wolfgang to play a concerto on the
organ at it. Observe--this is the way to get the love of these people."
A large portion of Leopold Mozart's letters is occupied with masses
to be offered up for the health, &c.; and during his sojourn in the
Five-fields, Chelsea, he appears to have been in considerable hope that
he had converted a Mr. Sipruntini (a Dutch Jew, and a fine violoncello
player), to Catholicism. After dedicating a set of sonatas to the queen,
and experiencing great patronage from the nobility, Mozart, with his
father and sister, in July, 1765, crossed over into the Netherlands.
At the Hague, a fever attacked both children, and had nearly cost the
daughter her life. On their recovery, they played before the Prince of
Orange, and Wolfgang composed some variations on a national air, which
was, just then, sung, piped, and whistled throughout the streets of
Holland. The organist of the cathedral in Haerlem waited upon the
Mozarts, and invited the son to try his instrument, which he did the
next morning. Mozart senior describes the organ as a magnificent one, of
sixty-eight stops, and built wholly of metal, "as wood would not endure
the dampness of the Dutch atmosphere." Upon the return of the family to
Salzburg, Mozart enjoyed a year of quiet and uninterrupted study in the
higher walks of composition. Besides applying to the old masters, he was
indefatigable in perusing the works of Emanuel Bach, Hasse, Handel, and
Eberlin, and by the diligent performance of these authors, he acquired
extraordinary brilliancy and power in the left hand. On the 11th of
September, 1767, the whole family proceeded on their way to Vienna; but
as the small pox was raging there, they went to Ollmuetz instead, where
both the children caught that disorder. At Vienna, Mozart wrote his
first opera, by desire of the emperor. Though the singers extolled their
parts to the skies, in presence of Leopold Mozart, they formed in secret
a cabal against the work, and it was never performed. The Italian
singers and composers who were established in this capital did not like
to find themselves surpassed in knowledge and skill by a boy of twelve
years old, and they therefore not only charged the composition with a
want of dramatic effect, but they even went so far as to say, that he
had not scored it himself. To counteract such calumnies, Leopold Mozart
often obliged his son to put the orchestral parts to his compositions in
the presence of spectators, which he did with wonderful celerity before
Metastasio, Hasse, the Duke of Braganza, and others. The injurious
opinion of the nobility, which these people hoped to excite against
the young musician, had no success; for he composed a Mass--an
Offertorium--and a Trumpet Concerto for a Boy--which were performed
before the whole court, and at which he himself presided and beat the
time. The year 1769 was employed by Wolfgang in studying the Italian
language, and in the practice of composition; and at this time he was
appointed concert master to the court of Salzburg.
Father and son now made the tour of Italy, and met in every city with an
In Rome, Mozart gave a miraculous attestation of his quickness of ear,
and extensive memory, by bringing away from the Sistine Chapel the
"Miserere of Allegri," a work full of imitation and repercussion, mostly
for a double choir, and continually changing in the combination and
relation of the parts. This accomplished piece of thievery was thus
performed:--the sketch was drawn out upon the first hearing, and filled
up from recollection at home--Mozart then repaired to the second and
last performance, with his manuscript in his hat, and corrected it.
The slow voluptuous movement of the style of dancing prevalent in Italy
gave Mozart great pleasure; in the postscripts to his father's letters,
which he generally addressed to his sister and playfellow, he speaks of
this subject with as much zest as of his own art. Later in manhood he
became a pupil of Vestris, and the gracefulness of his dancing was much
admired, especially in the minuet.
About this time Mozart's voice began to break, and he ceased to sing in
public, unless words were put before him; the violin he continued to
play, but mostly in private. The alarming illnesses which had attacked
his children on their journey kept Leopold Mozart in continual
anxiety--the malaria of Rome and the heat of Naples were alike dreaded
The travellers arrived at Naples in May, and fortunately procured cool
and healthy lodgings. Here they visited the English Ambassador, Sir
William Hamilton, whose acquaintance they had made in London, and whose
lady was not only a very agreeable person, but a charming performer on
the harpsichord. She trembled on playing before Mozart. The concerts
given by the Mozarts in Naples were very successful, and they were
treated with great distinction; the carriages of the nobility, attended
by footmen with flambeaux, fetched them from home and carried them back;
the queen greeted them daily on the promenade, and they received
invitations to the ball given by the French Ambassador on the marriage
of the Dauphin.
If Mozart had not been engaged to compose the carnival opera for Milan,
he might have written that for Bologna, Rome, or Naples, as at these
three cities offers were made to him, a proof of what his genius had
effected in Italy.
* * * * *
The epoch at which Mozart's genius was ripe may be dated from his
twentieth year; constant study and practice had given him ease in
composition, and ideas came thicker with his early manhood--the fire,
the melodiousness, the boldness of harmony, the inexhaustible invention
which characterize his works, were at this time apparent; he began to
think in a manner entirely independent, and to perform what he had
promised as a regenerator of the musical art. The situation of his
father as Kapell-meister, in Salzburg, indeed gave Mozart some
opportunities of writing church music, but not such as he most coveted,
the sacred musical services of the court being restricted to a given
duration, and the orchestra but poorly supplied with singers; it was
therefore his earnest desire to get some permanent appointment in which
he could exercise freely his talent for composition, and reckon on
a sufficient income. When childhood and boyhood had passed away, his
_quondam_ patrons ceased to wonder at, or feel interest in, his genius,
and Mozart, whose early years had been spent in familiar intercourse
with the principal nobility of Europe, who had been from court to court,
and received distinctions and caresses unparalleled in the history of
musicians, up to the period of his death gained no situation worthy
his acceptance, but earned his fame in the midst of worldly cares and
annoyances, in alternate abundance and poverty, deceived by pretended
friendship, or persecuted by open enmity. The obstacles which Mozart
surmounted in establishing the immortality of his muse, leave those
without excuse who plead other occupations and the necessity of gaining
a livelihood as an excuse for want of success in the art. Where the
creative faculty has been bestowed, it will not be repressed by
In the exterior of Mozart there was nothing remarkable; he was small in
person, and had a very agreeable countenance, but it did not discover
the greatness of his genius at the first glance. His eyes were tolerably
large and well shaped, more heavy than fiery in the expression; when he
was thin they were rather prominent. His sight was always quick and
strong; he had an unsteady abstracted look, except when seated at the
piano-forte, when the whole form of his visage was changed. His hands
were small and beautiful, and he used them so softly and naturally upon
the piano-forte, that the eye was no less delighted than the ear. It was
surprising that he could grasp so much as he did in the bass. His head
was too large in proportion to his body, but his hands and feet were in
perfect symmetry, of which he was rather vain. The stunted growth of
Mozart's body may have arisen from the early efforts of his mind; not,
as some suppose, from want of exercise in childhood--for then he had
much exercise--though at a later period the want of it may have been
hurtful to him. Sophia, a sister-in-law of Mozart, who is still living,
relates: "he was always good-humoured, but very abstracted, and in
answering questions seemed always to be thinking of something else.
Even in the morning when he washed his hands, he never stood still, but
would walk up and down the room, sometimes striking one heel against the
other; at dinner he would frequently make the ends of his napkin fast,
and draw it backwards and forwards under his nose, seeming lost in
meditation, and not in the least aware of what he did." He was fond of
animals, and in his amusements delighted with any thing new; at one
time of his life with riding, at another with billiards.
* * * * *
LITERARY NOTICES OF
* * * * *
A PORTRAIT, BY MISS LANDON.
FROM "THE VENETIAN BRACELET, AND OTHER POEMS," (JUST PUBLISHED)
"O No, sweet Lady, not to thee
That set and chilling tone,
By which the feelings on themselves
So utterly are thrown,
For mine has sprung upon my lips,
Impatient to express
The haunting charm of thy sweet voice
And gentlest loveliness.
A very fairy queen thou art,
Whose only spells are on the heart.
The garden it has many a flower,
But only one for thee--
The early graced of Grecian song,
The fragant myrtle tree;
For it doth speak of happy love,
The delicate, the true.
If its pearl buds are fair like thee,
They seem as fragile too;
Likeness, not omens; for love's power
Will watch his own most precious flower.
Thou art not of that wilder race
Upon the mountain side,
Able alike the summer sun
And winter blast to bide;
But thou art of that gentle growth
Which asks some loving eye
To keep it in sweet guardianship,
Or it must droop and die;
Requiring equal love and care,
Even more delicate than fair.
I cannot paint to thee the charm
Which thou hast wrought on me;
Thy laugh, so like the wild bird's song
In the first bloom-touch'd tree.
You spoke of lovely Italy,
And of its thousand flowers;
Your lips had caught the music breath
Amid its summer bow'rs.
And can it be a form like thine
Has braved the stormy Apennine?
I'm standing now with one white rose
Where silver waters glide
I've flung that white rose on the stream--
How light it breasts the tide!
The clear waves seem as if they loved
So beautiful a thing;
And fondly to the scented leaves
The laughing sunbeams cling.
A summer voyage--fairy freight;--
And such, sweet Lady, be thy fate!"
* * * * *
Three volumes of tales and sketches of considerable graphic interest,
have lately been published under the title of "_Stories of Waterloo_."
The first inquiry will naturally be whether they throw any new lights
on the ever-memorable struggle. The details of the day are vividly
sketched, and as they must be familiar to all our readers, the following
excellent general observations will be appreciated:--
"No situation could be more trying to the unyielding courage of the
British army than their disposition in square at Waterloo. There is an
excited feeling in an attacking body that stimulates the coldest, and
blunts the thought of danger. The tumultuous enthusiasm of the assault
spreads from man to man, and duller spirits catch a gallant frenzy
from the brave around them. But the enduring and devoted courage which
pervaded the British squares, when, hour after hour, mowed down by
a murderous artillery, and wearied by furious and frequent onsets of
lancers and cuirassiers; when the constant order--'Close up!--close up!'
marked the quick succession of slaughter that thinned their diminished
ranks; and when the day wore later, when the remnants of two, and even
three regiments were necessary to complete the square which one of them
had formed in the morning--to support this with firmness, and 'feed
death,' inactive and unmoved, exhibited that calm and desperate bravery
which elicited the admiration of Napoleon himself.
"There was a terrible sameness in the battle of the 18th of June, which
distinguishes it in the history of modern slaughter. Although designated
by Napoleon 'a day of false manoeuvres,' in reality there was less
display of military tactics at Waterloo than in any general action we
have on record. Buonaparte's favourite plan was perseveringly followed.
To turn a wing, or separate a position, was his customary system. Both
were tried at Hougomont to turn the right, and at La Haye Sainte to
break through the left centre. Hence the French operations were confined
to fierce and incessant onsets with masses of cavalry and infantry,
generally supported by a numerous and destructive artillery.
"Knowing that to repel these desperate and sustained attacks a
tremendous sacrifice of human life must occur, Napoleon, in defiance
of their acknowledged bravery, calculated on wearying the British into
defeat. But when he saw his columns driven back in confusion--when
his cavalry receded from the squares they could not penetrate--when
battalions were reduced to companies by the fire of his cannon, and
still that 'feeble few' showed a perfect front, and held the ground
they had originally taken, no wonder his admiration was expressed to
Soult--'How beautifully these English fight!--but they must give way!'"
The closing scene is then described with great animation:--
"The irremediable disorder consequent on this decisive repulse, and the
confusion in the French rear, where Bulow had fiercely attacked them,
did not escape the eagle glance of Wellington. 'The hour is come!' he is
said to have exclaimed; and closing his telescope, commanded the whole
line to advance. The order was exultingly obeyed: forming four deep, on
came the British:--wounds, and fatigue, and hunger, were all forgotten!
With their customary steadiness they crossed the ridge; but when they
saw the French, and began to move down the hill, a cheer that seemed to
rend the heavens pealed from their proud array, and with levelled
bayonets they pressed on to meet the enemy.
"But, panicstruck and disorganized, the French resistance was short and
feeble. The Prussian cannon thundered in their rear; the British bayonet
was flashing in their front; and, unable to stand the terror of the
charge, they broke and fled. A dreadful and indiscriminate carnage
ensued. The great road was choked with the equipage, and cumbered with
the dead and dying; while the fields, as far as the eye could reach,
were covered with a host of helpless fugitives. Courage and discipline
were forgotten, and Napoleon's army of yesterday was now a splendid
wreck--a terror-stricken multitude. His own words best describe it--'It
was a total rout!'
"But although the French army had ceased to exist as such, and now
(to use the phrase of a Prussian officer) exhibited rather the flight
of a scattered horde of barbarians, than the retreat of a disciplined
body--never had it, in the proudest days of its glory, shown greater
devotion to its leader, or displayed more desperate and unyielding
bravery, than during the long and sanguine battle of the 18th. The
plan of Buonaparte's attack was worthy of his martial renown: it was
unsuccessful; but let this be ascribed to the true cause--the heroic and
enduring courage of the troops, and the man to whom he was opposed.
Wellington without that army, or, that army without Wellington, must
have fallen beneath the splendid efforts of Napoleon.
"While a mean attempt has been often made to lower the military
character of that great warrior, who is now no more, those who would
libel Napoleon rob Wellington of half his glory. It may be the proud
boast of England's hero, that the subjugator of Europe fell before
him, not in the wane of his genius, but in the full possession
of those martial talents which placed him foremost in the list of
conquerors--leading that very army which had overthrown every power that
had hitherto opposed it, now perfect in its discipline, flushed with
recent success, and confident of approaching victory."
* * * * *
ANNUALS FOR 1830.
1. _The Juvenile Forget-me-not. Edited by Mrs. S.C. Hall_.
2. _The Amulet. By Mr. S.C. Hall_.
The tone and temper of these two works--to us the _first fruits_ of
"the Annuals" are excellent, as their literary execution is admirable.
The first has innumerable attractions for _the young_; its pleasantness
consists in simplicity and truth, whilst its narratives of the playful
incidents of childhood are interspersed with "good seed," and precept
and pretty illustration spring up in every page. The second work, _the
Amulet_, is calculated for maturer age, and its literary pretensions are
consequently of a more advanced order: but of these we shall speak more
at length on a future occasion. Our intention in coupling the works at
the head of this slight notice is to express our high esteem of the
taste which has dictated the scholar and the gentleman in the production
of the _Amulet_, and his ingenious lady in the "delightful task" of
writing and catering for those of tender growth, in the _Juvenile
Forget-me-not_. The association is indeed delightful, and has all the
interest of a family picture: it beams with affection and parental love,
truth, and nature; and happy, thrice happy, must be the union that is
crowned with so amiable an intercommunity of mind.
The first few pages of the _Juvenile Forget-me-not_ are very
appropriately occupied by a playful paper by the late Mrs. Barbauld,
the sincerity and tenderness of whose Lessons and Hymns we have never
forgotten even amidst all the cares and crosses of after life. How often
and how fondly too have we lingered over their delightful pages; and
it may be questioned whether any works ever produced a better or more
lasting impression on the infantine mind--than these unassuming little
volumes. Mrs. Barbauld's present article is entitled "the Misses,
addressed to a careless girl"--as the Misses Chief, Management, Lay,
Place, Understanding, Representation, Trust, Rule, Hap, Chance, Take,
and Miss Fortune; the "latter, though she has it not in her power to
be an agreeable acquaintance, has sometimes proved a valuable friend.
The wisest philosophers have not scrupled to acknowledge themselves the
better for her company, &c." Then follow some pleasing lines to "My Son,
My Son," by Allan Cunningham, glorifying the bounty of Providence,
"A Tale of a Triangle," by Mary Howitt, is a pretty school sketch. Next
are some lines by James Montgomery, on Birds--as the Swallow, Skylark,
&c. in all, numbering forty-five. "The Muscle," by Dr. Walsh, consists
of half-a-dozen conversational pages, illustrating its natural history
in a very pleasing style, which is really worth the attention of many
who attempt to simplify science. Next Miss Mitford has a true story of
"Two Dolls," and the author of Selwyn a pretty little story, entitled
"Prison Roses;" Miss Jewsbury, "Aunt Kate and the Review;" and Mr. S.C.
Hall a sketch of a "Blind Sailor"--both of which are very pleasing.
"A Child's Prayer," by the Ettrick Shepherd, is a sweet and simple hymn
of praise. "The Royal Sufferer," by Mrs. Hofland, follows, and gives
the misfortunes of Prince Arthur in an interesting historiette.--We
have only room to enumerate "The Birth-day," a sketch from Nature, by
Mrs. Opie; an extremely well-drawn Irish sketch, by Mrs. S.C. Hall; and
"The Shipwrecked Boy," a tale, by the author of Letters from the East.
The Engravings, twelve in number, are, for the most part, excellent.
The Frontispiece--two lovely children--is exquisitely engraved by
J. Thomson, as is also "Heart's Ease," by the same artist: the last,
especially, is of great delicacy. "Holiday Time," from Richter, is
well chosen for this delightful little work.
Altogether, we congratulate the fair Editoress on the very pleasing,
attractive, and useful character of her volume for the coming season;
and as that for the previous year did not reach us early enough for
special notice at the time of publication, we are happy to make the
_amende_, by placing the _Juvenile Forget-me-not_ first on our list
of Annuals for 1830.
* * * * *
As the waters of the Irawadi begin to fall, a yearly festival of three
days is held, consisting chiefly of boat-racing. It is called the
Water-festival, of which we have the following account in Crawfurd's
_Embassy to Ava_:--
"According to promise, a gilt boat and six common war-boats were sent to
convey us to the place where these races were exhibited, which was on
the Irawadi, before the palace. We reached it at eleven o'clock. The
Kyi-wun, accompanied by a palace secretary, received us in a large and
commodious covered boat, anchored, to accommodate us, in the middle of
the river. The escort and our servants were very comfortably provided
for in other covered boats. The king and queen had already arrived, and
were in a large barge at the east bank of the river. This vessel, the
form of which represented two huge fishes, was extremely splendid; every
part of it was richly gilt; and a spire of at least thirty feet high,
resembling in miniature that of the palace, rose in the middle. The king
and queen sat under a green canopy at the bow of the vessel, which,
according to Burman notions, is the place of honour; indeed, the only
part ever occupied by persons of rank. The situation of their majesties
could be distinguished by the white umbrellas, which are the appropriate
marks of royalty. The king, whose habits are volatile and restless,
often walked up and down, and was easily known from the crowd of his
courtiers by his being the only person in an erect position; the
multitude sitting, crouching, or crawling all round him. Near the king's
barge were a number of gold boats; and the side of the river, in this
quarter, was lined with those of the nobility, decked with gay banners,
each having its little band of music, and some dancers exhibiting
occasionally on their benches. Shortly after our arrival, nine gilt,
war-boats were ordered to manoeuvre before us. The Burmans nowhere
appear to so much advantage as in their boats, the management of which
is evidently a favourite occupation. The boats themselves are extremely
neat, and the rowers expert, cheerful, and animated. In rowing, they
almost always sing; and their airs are not destitute of melody. The
burthen of the song, upon the present occasion, was literally translated
by Dr. Price, and was as follows:--"The golden glory shines forth like
the round sun; the royal kingdom, the country and its affairs, are the
most pleasant." If this verse be in unison with the feelings of the
people, (and I have no doubt it is,) they are, at least, satisfied
with their own condition, whatever it may appear to others."
Boat-racing, taming wild elephants, and boxing-matches, are said to be
the chief amusements of the king and the people. Mr. Crawfurd saw all
these, and he tells us that in the last of them the populace formed a
ring with as much regularity as if they had been true-born Englishmen,
and preserved it with much greater regularity than is usually witnessed
here--thanks to the assistance of the constables with their long staves.
While these official persons were duly exercising their authority, the
same good-natured monarch, who roasted his prime minister in the sun,
frequently called out, "Don't hurt them--don't prevent them from
* * * * *
Mr. Madden, in his recent _Travels in Turkey_, having determined to
experience the effects of that pestilent practice of eating opium,
which is so common in Turkey, he repaired to the market of Theriaki
Tchachissy, where he seated himself among the persons who were in the
habit of resorting thither for the purpose of enjoying (?) this fatal
pleasure. His description of those victims to sensuality is very
striking, and is enough to cure any man of common sense of wishing
to become an opium eater.
"Their gestures were frightful; those who were completely under the
influence of the opium talked incoherently, their features were flushed,
their eyes had an unnatural brilliancy, and the general expression of
their countenances was horribly wild. The effect is usually produced in
two hours, and lasts four or five; the dose varies from three grains
to a drachm. I saw one old man take four pills, of six grains each,
in the course of two hours; I was told he had been using opium for
five-and-twenty years; but this is a very rare example of an opium eater
passing thirty years of age, if he commence the practice early. The
debility, both moral and physical, attendant on its excitement, is
terrible; the appetite is soon destroyed, every fibre in the body
trembles, the nerves of the neck become affected, and the muscles get
rigid; several of these I have seen, in this place, at various times,
who had wry necks and contracted fingers; but still they cannot abandon
the custom; they are miserable till the hour arrives for taking their
daily dose; and when its delightful influence begins, they are all
fire and animation. Some of them compose excellent verses, and others
addressed the bystanders in the most eloquent discourses, imagining
themselves to be emperors, and to have all the harems in the world at
their command. I commenced with one grain; in the course of an hour and
a half it produced no perceptible effect, the coffee-house keeper was
very anxious to give me an additional pill of two grains, but I was
contented with half a one; and another half hour, feeling nothing of the
expected reverie, I took half a grain more, making in all two grains in
the course of two hours. After two hours and a half from the first dose,
I took two grains more; and shortly after this dose, my spirits became
sensibly excited; the pleasure of the sensation seemed to depend on a
universal expansion of mind and matter. My faculties appeared enlarged;
every thing I looked on seemed increased in volume; I had no longer the
same pleasure when I closed my eyes which I had when they were open; it
appeared to me as if it was only external objects, which were acted on
by the imagination, and magnified into images of pleasure; in short, it
was 'the faint exquisite music of a dream' in a waking moment. I made my
way home as fast as possible, dreading, at every step, that I should
commit some extravagance. In walking, I was hardly sensible of my feet
touching the ground, it seemed as if I slid along the street, impelled
by some invisible agent, and that my blood was composed of some ethereal
fluid, which rendered my body lighter than air. I got to bed the moment
I reached home. The most extraordinary visions of delight filled my
brain all night. In the morning I rose, pale and dispirited; my head
ached; my body was so debilitated that I was obliged to remain on the
sofa all the day, dearly paying for my first essay at opium eating."
* * * * *
* * * * *
I had a friend that lov'd me;
I was his soul; he liv'd not but in me;
We were so close within each other's breast,
The rivets were not found that join'd us first.
That does not reach us yet; we were so mix'd,
As meeting streams, both to ourselves were lost.
We were one mass, we could not give or take,
But from the same: for He was I; I He;
Return my better half, and give me all myself,
For thou art all!
If I have any joy when thou art absent,
I grudge it to myself; methinks I rob
Thee of thy part.
* * * * *
As good and wise; so she be fit for me,
That is, to will, and not to will the same;
My wife is my adopted self, and she
As me, to what I love, to love must frame.
And when by marriage both in one concur,
Woman converts to man, not man to her.
SIR T. OVERBURY.
* * * * *
What do you think of marriage?
I take't, as those that deny purgatory;
It locally contains or heaven or hell;
There's no third place in it.
* * * * *
Nor stand so much on your gentility,
Which is an airy, and mere borrow'd thing,
From dead men's dust and bones; and none of yours,
Except you make, or hold it.
* * * * *
Heav'n is a great way off, and I shall be
Ten thousand years in travel, yet 'twere happy
If I may find a lodging there at last,
Though my poor soul get thither upon crutches.
* * * * *
Dazzled with the height of place,
While our hopes our wits beguile,
No man marks the narrow space
Between a prison and a smile.
Then since fortune's favours fade,
You that in her arms do sleep,
Learn to swim and not to wade,
For the hearts of kings are deep.
But if greatness be so blind,
As to trust in tow'rs of air,
Let it be with goodness joyn'd,
That at least the fall be fair.
* * * * *
An honest soul is like a ship at sea,
That sleeps at anchor upon the occasion's calm;
But when it rages, and the wind blows high,
She cuts her way with skill and majesty.
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
* * * * *
O sweet woods, the delight of solitariness!
O how much do I like your solitariness!
Here nor reason is hid, vailed in innocence,
Nor envy's snaky eye, finds any harbour here.
Nor flatterer's venomous insinuations.
Nor coming humourist's puddled opinions,
Nor courteous ruin of proffer'd usury,
Nor time prattled away, cradle of ignorance,
Nor causeless duty, nor cumber of arrogance,
Nor trifling titles of vanity dazzleth us,
Nor golden manacles stand for a paradise.
Here wrong's name is unheard; slander a monster is,
Keep thy sprite from abuse, here no abuse doth haunt,
What man grafts in a tree dissimulation.
SIR P. SIDNEY'S _Arcadia_.
* * * * *
Each state must have its policies:
Kingdoms have edicts, cities have their charters.
Ev'n the wild outlaw, in his forest walk,
Keeps yet some touch of civil discipline.
For not since Adam wore his verdant apron,
Hath man with man in social union dwelt,
But laws were made to draw that union closer.
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
Lady Morgan, in her _Book of the Boudoir_, says, "The late Marquess of
Londonderry was a _liveable_, cheerful, _give-and-take person_." Again,
"_Vitality_, or _all-a-live-ness_, energy, and activity, are the great
elements of what we call talent;" which occasions a critic to observe,
"What a prodigious quantity of this "all-a-liveness" her ladyship must
have in her composition."
* * * * *
What burns to keep a secret?--_Sealing Wax_.
When is wine like a pig's tusk?--When it is in a hogs head.
* * * * *
The young Duke of Rutland, when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in a drunken
frolic knighted the landlord of an inn in a country town. Being told the
next morning what he had done, the duke sent for _mine host_, and begged
of him to consider the ceremonial as merely a drunken frolic. "For my
own part, my lord duke, I should readily comply with your excellency's
wish; but Lady O'Shannessy!"
* * * * *
EPITAPH ON MARSHAL SAXE.
N.B. The figures are to be pronounced in French, as _un, deux,
Ses vertus le feront admire de chac 1
Il avait des Rivaux, mais il triompha 2
Les Batailles qu' il gagna sont au nombre de 3
Pour Louis son grand coeur se serait mis en 4
En amour, c'etait peu pour lui d'aller a 5
Nous l'aurions s'il n'eut fait que le berger Tir 6
Pour avoir trop souvent passe douze, "Hic-ja" 7
Il a cesse de vivre en Decembre 8
Strasbourg contient son corps dans un Tombeau tout 9
Pour tant de "Te Deum" pas un "De profun" 10
He died at the age of 55
 Tircis, the name of a celebrated Arcadian shepherd.
 A great personage of the day remarked, that it was a pity
after the marshal had by his victories been the cause of so many
"Te Deums" that it would not be allowed (the marshal dying in the
Lutheran faith) to chant _one_ "de profundis" over his remains.
* * * * *
A lady consulted St. Francis of Sales on the lawfulness of using rouge.
"Why," says he, "some pious men object to it; others see no harm in it;
I will hold a middle course, and allow you to use it on _one_ cheek."
* * * * *
A PARLIAMENTARY JOKE.
The prevailing fashion of certain orators interlarding their speeches
with frequent classical quotations, reminds us of a piece of mischievous
waggery perpetrated by one of the greatest men of his time. Sheridan
once electrified the country gentlemen in the House of Commons, by
concluding an animated appeal to their patriotism, with a quotation
from Herodotus, which they cheered most vociferously; when, in fact,
he merely strung together a jumble of words, a jargon uttered on the
instant, which sounded very much _like_ Greek. Pitt, it is said, was
in a convulsion of laughter all the time.
* * * * *
THOUGHTS ON THE TIMES.
There is not a word of news stirring. Yesterday's papers may serve for
to-day's, and Sunday's for all the week. There is, as it were, a syncope
in all things; nothing is doing; art, science, and business, are alike
at a stand-still. The stage, the press, the easel, the loom, the rudder
of the merchantman, and the helm of the state, all are alike in a most
extraordinary negative condition. The world is in a catalepsy. It hears
and sees, but it can do nothing.--_Blackwood_.
* * * * *
LIMBIRD'S EDITION OF THE
_Following Novels is already Published:_
Mackenzie's Man of Feeling 0 6
Paul and Virginia 0 6
The Castle of Otranto 0 6
Almoran and Hamet 0 6
Elizabeth, or the Exiles of Siberia 0 6
The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne 0 5
Rasselas 0 8
The Old English Baron 0 8
Nature and Art 0 8
Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield 0 10
Sicilian Romance 1 0
The Man of the World 1 0
A Simple Story 1 4
Joseph Andrews 1 6
Humphry Clinker 1 8
The Romance of the Forest 1 8
The Italian 2 0
Zeluco, by Dr. Moore 2 6
Edward, by Dr. Moore 2 6
Roderick Random 2 6
The Mysteries of Udolpho 3 6
Peregrine Pickle 4 6
* * * * *
_Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD 143, Strand, (near Somerset House,)
London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; and by all
Newsmen and Booksellers_.
* * * * *