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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL XII, NO. 334.] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1828. [PRICE 2d.
[Illustration: UNITED SERVICE CLUB-HOUSE.]
UNITED SERVICE CLUB-HOUSE
Modern club-houses are, for the most part, splendid specimens of the
style which luxury and good-living have attained in this country.
Such are their internal recommendations; but to the public they are
interesting for the architectural embellishment which they add to the
streets of the metropolis. If we reason on Bishop Berkeley's theory--that
all the mansions, equipages, &c. we see abroad, are intended for our
gratification--we must soon forget the turtle, venison, and claret
that are stored in the larders and cellars of club-houses, whilst
our admiration is awakened at the taste which is lavished on their
The "United Service" Club-House is, as its name implies, intended for
the Officers of the Army and Navy, who, in these pacific times, may here
enjoy _otium cum dignitate_, and fill up the intervals of refection, in
reading the "history of the war," from the noble quarto to the last
dispatches received at the Foreign Office.
The above Club-House, which occupies an angle of Charles-street and
Regent-street, is, however, but a meagre specimen of the abilities of
the architect, Mr. Smirke. It has none of the characteristic decorations
of either service, if we except the bas-relief on the entrance-front in
Charles street, which represents Britannia distributing laurels to her
brave sons by land and sea. The architecture of the whole is cold and
unfeeling, and even the columns supporting the porticoes are of a very
rigid order--when we consider that the clubhouse is not an official
establishment, but one intended for luxurious accommodation, and that it
would have admitted of much more florid embellishment. At the same time,
although we quarrel with the frigidity of the exterior, we do not
question the warmth of its kitchens, or the potency of its cellars;
neither do we affect any knowledge of the latter--nay, not even enough
to weave into a "fashionable" novel.
A new mansion is building for the United Service Club, on the site of
Carlton House, under the superintendance of Mr. Nash, and which, with
another new clubhouse for the Athaenaeum, will form an entrance to the
new square opposite Waterloo-Place. The taste of the sword and pen does
not, however, agree, and their buildings are dissimilar. In the United
Service Club are two rooms of 150 feet by 50, the floors of which are
constructed of cast-iron girders. At the back of these club-houses will
be a large ornamental garden.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
The primitive Christians censured a practice prevalent among the Romans,
of decorating a corpse, previous to interment or combustion, with
garlands and flowers. Their reprehension extended also to a periodical
custom of placing the "first-fruits of Flora" on their graves and tombs.
Thus Anchises, in Dryden's Virgil,_Aeneid,_ book 6, says,
"Full canisters of fragrant lilies bring,
Mix'd with the purple roses of the spring;
Let me with _funeral flowers_ his body strew--
This gift, which parents to their children owe,
This unavailing gift I may bestow."
Notwithstanding the anathemas of the church, these simple, interesting,
and harmless (if not laudable) practices still remain. The early customs
and features of all nations approximate; and whether the following
traits, which a friend has kindly obliged me with, are relics of Roman
introduction, or national, I leave the antiquary to decide.
On Palm Sunday, in several villages in South Wales, a custom prevails
of cleaning the grave-stones of departed friends and acquaintances, and
ornamenting them with flowers, &c. On the Saturday preceding, a troop of
servant girls go to the churchyard with pails and brushes, to renovate
the various mementos of affection, clean the letters, and take away
the weeds. The next morning their young mistresses attend, with the
gracefulness of innocence in their countenances, and the roses of health
and beauty blooming on their cheeks. According to their fancy, and
according to the state of the season, they place on the stones
snow-drops, crocuses, lilies of the valley, and roses.
A sacrifice such as this, so pure, so innocent, so expressive, is surely
acceptable to the great God of nature.
To our Correspondent's communication, which is worthy of record, from
its originality, we could add many well-authenticated accounts of the
rite of decorating graves, &c. There is in our drawer an interesting
paper on the subject; but we give _Quaesitor_ the priority.
* * * * *
THE SPIDER'S WEB.
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
To the curious among the perusers of the Mirror, it may not be
uninteresting to know that a beautiful impression may be taken on paper
of the reticulated web of the _field-spider_, by sprinkling it finely
with any dark-coloured liquid, and placing the paper intended for the
impression behind the web, and drawing it gently towards you. I do not
know of what ingredients bookbinders' blue-sprinkle is made, but it seems
to absorb the gelatinous matter of which the web is composed. The idea
that an impression might be produced in this manner, was suggested to me
by observing the dew on the web in the morning.
Our ingenious Correspondent has, on the fly-leaf of his letter, furnished
us with the impression of a web, as a proof of the practicability of the
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
Who hath not inhaled with ecstasy the delicious, the heavenly odour of
"the Atar Gul, more precious than gold?" Who hath not in fancy wandered,
as he inspired it, to the terrestrial paradise from whence it is
procured? And who that knew not how so volatile an essence was collected,
hath not marvelled, over the enjoyment of Otto of Roses? Persia, Turkey,
and Egypt, are the principal countries in which it is manufactured, and
the Atar of Persia is generally allowed to be the most superior, and the
most difficult to be obtained genuine. The rose of Cashmire is proverbial
throughout the east for its brilliancy and fragrance; and "the Roses of
the Jinan Nile, or Garden of the Nile, (attached to the Emperor of
Morocco's palace) are unequalled; mattresses are made of their leaves for
the men of rank to recline upon." I transcribe from a published account
in my possession, the method of obtaining Atar Gul in the _east_ (for
I have heard that some _English_ chemists have endeavoured to procure
it from _English_ roses.) merely begging to observe that it exactly
corresponds with that given to me by a gentleman who had witnessed the
process in Egypt.
"_Otto of Roses_.--The usual method of making it is, to gather the roses
with their calyces, and put them into a still with nearly double their
weight of pure spring water; which, when sufficiently distilled, will be
highly scented with roses; this is then poured into shallow vessels and
exposed to the nocturnal air. Next morning, the _Atar, or essential oil_
of the flowers is found swimming in small congealed particles on the
surface of the water; it is carefully collected and preserved in small
glass bottles." A hundred pounds of the flowers scarcely afford in
India two drachms of essential oil. "Cent livres de petales de Roses,"
says a French chemist, "N'en fournissent par la distillation que
_quatre_ drachmes." Tachenius from the same quantity obtained half
an ounce, and Hoffman a much larger proportion. The trials of other
chemists have been attended with various results. It is most difficult
to procure the _genuine_ Otto of Roses, since even in the countries
where it is made, the distillers are tempted to put sandal wood, scented
grasses, and other oily plants into the still with the roses, which
alter their perfume, and debase the value of the Atar; colour is no test
of genuineness; green, amber, and light red or pink. The hues of the
_real_ otto, are also those of the adulterated; the presence of the
sandal wood may be detected by the simple sense of smelling; but in
order to discover the union of a grosser oil with the _essential_, drop
a very little otto on a piece of clean writing paper, and hold it to the
fire; if the article is _genuine_, it will evaporate without leaving
a mark on the paper, so ethereal is the _essential oil of roses!_ if
otherwise, a grease-spot will declare the imposition. I need scarcely
expatiate upon the delicate and long-continuing fragrance which this
luxuriant perfume imparts to all things with which it comes in contact;
it is peculiarly calculated for the drawer, writing-desk, &c. since its
aroma is totally unmingled with that most disagreeable effluvium, which
is ever proceeding from alcohol. Lavender-water, _esprit_ de rose &c.
&c. are quite disgusting shut up in box or drawer, but the Atar Gul, is
as delightful there as in the most open and airy space. Some persons
there are, however, who have an antipathy to it, and others will, as
they inhale its delicious odour, fancy with myself, what may be.
THE SONG OF THE ATAR GUL!
I'm come! I'm come! for you've charm'd me here
_Soul of the Rose_, from divine Cashmire
I'm come,--all orient, odorous, rare,
An Eden-breath in your boreal air;
I'm come. I'm come! like a seraph's sigh
Breath'd to ethereal minstrelsy,
And well ye'll deem what a sigh must be
From the tearless heirs of eternity!
I've fled my bright frame from Tirnagh's stream,
And, wand'ring here, am sweet as the dream
Of passion, which stirs the Peri's breast,
Whom her dear one's winglets fan to rest;
I've dwelt i' the rose-cup, and drunk the tone--
Of my lover the Bulbul, all low and lone;
And the maid's soul-song, who forth hath crept,
When pale stars peer'd, and night flow'rs wept.
But oh! from the songs of Cashmire's vale,
The rose, the lute, and the nightingale,
From flow'rs, whose odours were _too_ divine;
From gems of beauty whose souls were mine;
From floating eyes, that could wound, yet bless,
In their warm, dark, deep, voluptuousness;
I'm come, in young iv'ry breasts to lie,
Betray'd like Love, by my luscious sigh!
I'm come, and my holy, rich, perfume
Makes faint your roses of palest bloom;
Soul, as _I_ am, of an orient gem,
My aroma's too divine for them;
I'm come! but mine odorous, elfin wing
Rises from earth, and that one fair thing
_First_ Love's _first_ sigh, which ye know to be,
More exquisite, and more brief than _me_!
 Having, not long since, purchased a bottle of Persian Otto, warranted
_genuine_, (as is all) I laid it carefully by, wrapped thickly round
with cotton wool; the Atar which was certainly excellent, was in a
curious bottle of rough misshapen workmanship, but ornamented with
sundry circles, and lozenges, of various coloured glass. I was
inclined to regard this bottle as a more genuine specimen of oriental
art, than one of those, which, enamelled, with gold, stands forth in
its way an _elegant_ of the first water, and I hoped to have kept it
long. On visiting my Otto shortly afterwards, I found that not only
had it all evaporated, but destroyed its receptacle. Its strength (I
conclude) had dissolved the cement of the aforesaid coloured bits of
glass, and left me only an empty and plain bottle, the ugliest of the
ugly. I mention this circumstance as a caution to amateurs in Atar
* * * * *
SHOOTING AT THE POPINJAY.
(_For the Mirror_.)
The Popinjay or Popingo (signifying painted bird) is a very favourite and
popular diversion in Denmark, and of which it may be interesting to give
some account. A society is constituted of various members, called the
"King's Shooting Club," who have a code of laws and regulations drawn up
for their observance; and are under the direction of nine managers. The
entrance-money is 60 dollars. Members are admitted by ballot, and on
election receive a diploma on parchment, with the seal of the society.
The meetings are held in a large building in the environs, and members
are decorated with an order or badge of distinction, which is the figure
of a gilded bird with outstretched wings, perching on a branch of laurel.
This is worn on the left breast, and attached to a button-hole of the
waistcoat by a green silk riband. On the breast are marked the letters
"_D.C._" meaning "_Danish Company_." On one side of the branch is the
date 1542, and on the other 1739. In the month of August, when the
amusement commences, the members meet in their hall, and proceed in
formal procession to an adjoining field on the western side of the city;
where arrangements are previously made for the numerous spectators. The
bird to be shot at is about the size of a parrot, gilded, and placed on
the top of a high pole. On their way to the field they are attended by a
band of music, which precedes the members as they march with their pieces
over their shoulders.
According to a law of the institution, the competitors fire at this mark
with large rifle pieces charged with balls, and rested on triangular
stands. Whoever is so fortunate as to strike the wing of the Popingo
first, is entitled to a prize. This is sometimes a pair of handsome
candlesticks, or a silver tea-pot and spoons. Whoever hits the tail is
entitled to another prize not inferior to the last; but he who wounds the
body of the bird is complimented with the principal one which weighs at
least 65 ounces of silver, and is honoured with the title of the "BIRD
KING." These prizes are surmounted with the royal cipher and crown. His
Danish majesty opens this ceremony in person, and is entitled to the
first shot, and the queen to the second, then they are followed by the
other branches of the royal family in succession. The firing continues
until the bird falls. In returning to the hall, the "Bird King,"
accompanied by the procession, first enters the room, and is placed at
the head of the table laid out for an entertainment, even in the presence
of his majesty. On this occasion he is understood to be invested with
peculiar privileges, such as proposing toasts, directing the order of the
feast, &c. and his own health is first given by the judges. The members
pay 100 dollars each. The festival is honoured by the presence of the
royal family, and no person excepting the members, the foreign ministers,
and other distinguished persons, who are specially invited, can be
The practice of shooting at the Popingo or Popinjay, however, is not
peculiar to Denmark. In Scotland a nearly similar amusement is observed,
where the head marksman receives the title of "Captain." In a future
paper, perhaps, I may notice the subject again, as it may prove
 I imagine this to mean the time of the introduction of the sport, and
the year when the company was instituted.
* * * * *
(_To the Editor of the Mirror._)
In No. 331 of the MIRROR, I observed an article on Trout-fishing in
Westmoreland. The writer states, that the largest trout ever caught in
that county weighed four pounds and a half. This circumstance induces me
to send you the annexed account respecting trout in Kent.
The county of Kent affords a vast number of trout-streams, which are
nowhere surpassed in England; and fish of extraordinary size and beauty
have frequently been caught in them. Some years ago, at Farningham, (a
village through which a noble trout-stream takes its course), stood a
flour-mill, the proprietor of which informed my father, that he had often
observed an enormous trout in the stream, near the mill-head, and that he
would endeavour to catch it, in order to ascertain its real dimensions,
as he was very desirous to have a picture done from it. My father having
consented to undertake the picture, the proprietor caused the trout,
though with much difficulty, to be caught in a stub-net. It appeared of a
most beautiful colour, and was finely variegated with spots; but it
possessed such exceeding strength, that the assistance of two men was
necessary to hold it down on a table while the measurement was made. It
proved to be twenty-six inches in length, and weighed _nine pounds_. The
proprietor returned it to the water unhurt, for he would by no means
suffer it to be killed, but caused food from time to time to be thrown
into the stream. This food chiefly consisted of meal and flour, made into
small balls, which allured the trout to remain near the mill-head. When
the particulars concerning this remarkable fish were circulated, many
persons came from different parts of Kent, and even from London, to
obtain a sight of it.
Numerous individuals now living at Farningham can attest the truth of
this account; and, probably, the painting may still be seen at that place.
_September_ 20, 1828.
* * * * *
INSCRIPTION FOR A BROOK
(_For the Mirror_.)
SUR UN RUISSEAU.
Coule gentil ruisseau, sous cet epais fouillage:
Ton bruit charme les sens--il attendrit le coeur.
Coule gentil ruisseau, car ton cours est l'image
D'un beau jour ecoule dans le sein du bonheur.
J. J. ROUSSEAU.
IMITATED FROM THE ABOVE.
Flow, gentle stream, thy course pursue
Beneath the shade of waving bowers,
Where sunbeams lightly glancing through,
The dew-drops kiss from off the flowers.
Thy murmurs charm the list'ning ear,
And soothe the senses to repose--
No wayward passion rages here,
The heart no throbbing tumult knows.
Thy waters, as they glide along,
Reflect but images of peace,
Emblem of days, too swiftly flown,
Pass'd in the midst of happiness.
Flow on, fair stream, thy course pursue
Beneath the shade of waving bowers,
Where sunbeams lightly glancing through,
Kiss the bright dew from off the flowers.
* * * * *
(_Continued from page_ 165.)
It is almost impossible to lay down any rule which would define the
variations of national manners as having any reference to climate. We
frequently find that the passage of a river, or a chain of mountains,
dividing countries of the same natural features, brings us among an
entirely new people, and presents us with a fresh scene in the melodrama
of life. The inhabitants of Languedoc and Gascony, and the southern parts
of France, are the gayest and most lively of the subjects of Charles X.;
but the moment we have crossed the Pyrenees, we are among one of the
gravest nations in the world, the Spaniards. Again, contrast the
solemnity and deep sense of honour of the Turks, with the vivacity and,
we regret to add, the deceit and bad faith of the unfortunate modern
Greeks. The virtuous spirit will, we trust, revive in the Morea with the
return of civilization and freedom; for, as no one will attribute the
degradation of the modern Greeks from the high moral cultivation of their
ancestors, to any alteration in the climate of their country, so let us
never despair of the return of virtue, of poetry, of the arts and
sciences, whilst Parnassus and Helicon still enjoy the same glorious sun,
and whilst the Isles are still gilded by eternal summer. We want no
proofs that patriotism still lives in Greece, and with that feeling will
ever be associated the powers that are able to invigorate a nation.
Although a mountainous country like Greece, situated in the loveliest
climate in the world, must of course have some effect on the spirit of
the people, yet the degree of it seems extremely uncertain. The Swiss
seem in a great measure to have lost their renown for patriotism, by
their slavish submissions to foreign yokes during the late war, and by
the apathy with which they allow their rights to be trampled on at this
day by a tyrannical aristocracy at home. There is now a proverb of
"_Point d'argent, point de Suisse!_"--a melancholy reflection for a land
where Tell drew his unerring shaft in the cause of freedom--where, so
late as 1798, a patriot of the canton of Schwyz concluded an address with
these words:--"The dew of the mountain may still moisten its verdure--the
sweets of the valley may still shed their fragrance around you--the
purple grape may still mingle with the green vine--the note of the maiden
may still sound sweetly to the ear of her lover--the soft cry of the
infant charm the feelings of the father--the confiding wife may yet
gladden the home of her husband--but the heart of man will be rotten--the
spirit of your ancestors extinguished--Switzerland no more, if you submit
to the French. If you love your country, and value your honour, be men,
and resist. If not, prove cowards, and obey."
Patriotism, however, does not confine itself to mountains, as witness the
history of the ancient and modern republics of Italy; of the resistance
of Holland and Belgium to their oppressors; of the English and French
revolutions. It is unnecessary to look across the Atlantic, to prove the
existence of the pure plant in its most healthy and vigorous growth. The
new world is dedicated to the cause of liberty, and from that good seed
is now springing forth fruit an hundred fold; the progress of
civilization, of knowledge, of virtue, and happiness in the United States,
is, by every recent traveller there, proved to be immense. The example of
her own children is becoming an additional security for right principles
to the mother country; and long may it so continue:
Yes! in that generous cause, for ever strong,
The patriot's virtue and the poet's song,
Still as the tide of ages rolls away,
Shall charm the world, unconscious of decay!
We cannot even contend that the sun has the effect of inflaming the
imaginations of men, and infusing into them either vivacity or a poetic
spirit. The French, Greeks, Egyptians, and Persians are all remarkable
for gaiety; while the Spaniards, Turks, and Chinese, the latitudes of
whose countries vary but little, are noted for a grave and serious
deportment. The land that has given birth to Shakspeare and Milton has no
reason to complain of the want of warmth of imagination. Klopstock and
Goethe,--the latter now allowed to be first of the living poets,--are
instances of the wide range of the spirit of poetry. Shall we, who have
seen Byron writing, as it were, in the midst of us, yield assent to
calling Greece and Italy the countries of imagination, _par excellence_,
because they have produced Homer and Dante? Assuredly not. We cannot even
admit, as a general proposition, that the languages of the south are
always the smoothest and most melodious, and the northern ones harsh, and
not adapted for music. The liquid, smooth, and effeminate language of
modern Italy is totally different from the strong, energetic, and harsh
Latin used by the ancient Romans. The Arabic will be immediately admitted,
by any who has heard a page of it read, to be extremely uncouth and
disagreeable. The Russian, on the contrary, is soft and musical. And to
recur to a more familiar instance, we shall find the Welsh tongue, on
examination, to be in fact very poetic, and peculiarly capable of giving
force and expression--whether of grandeur, of terror, or of melody--to
the idea the words are intended to convey. Let the reader who understands
the Welsh pronunciation, judge whether the following distich is not an
echo to, and as it were a picture of, the sense of the majestic sound of
"Tan a dwr y'n ymwriaw,
Yw'r taranau dreigiau draw."
The roaring thunder, dreadful in its ire,
Is water warring with aerial fire.
The next specimen will show the capability of the Welsh to express soft
and melodious sounds:--
"Mae mil o leisian meluson,
Mai mel o hyd ym mola hon."
The mellifluence of these lines, written on a harp, is totally lost in
Within the concave of its womb is found
The magic scale of soul-enchanting sound.
The best illustration of the comparative degree of mental excellence
between the southern and northern nations, is, perhaps, that of Bishop
Berkeley, who compares the southern wits to cucumbers, which are commonly
all good of their kind, but at best an insipid fruit; while the northern
geniuses are like melons, of which not one in fifty is good; but when it
is so, it has an excellent relish. Now it is not probable that the same
climate which is favourable to the study of the sciences and to the
reasoning powers, would prevent their being pushed to the utmost extent;
and the solution of this difference may, perhaps, depend on the question,
whether a general diffusion of learning among a people is a state of
things usually accompanied by a remarkable perfection in particular
persons. A man of ordinary acquirements in the present day might have
passed for a prodigy in the thirteenth century; and the novelty and
distinction attaching to one who rises above the rest, is, of course,
more difficult to attain in an age where knowledge is possessed
universally. Inasmuch, therefore, as the liberal arts have been imported
to us from the south, and their progress is as yet not so extensive in
cold countries, the stimulus to their cultivation in the latter is so
much the greater; which is one way of accounting for the giants in
science that have appeared in the north, It is moreover remarkable, that
the northern nations have a stronger apprehension of abstract
propositions, and a greater fondness for generalizing, than seems to be
the case in the south. The difference between a Frenchman and a German is
observable in this particular, by any one who attends to their manner of
telling stories. The former, in giving you an account of his being robbed
by a servant to whom he had been particularly kind, first tells you the
facts, and concludes with a reflection, "_Voila que le monde est ingrat!_"
The German, on the other hand, in order to prove to you the general
proposition of the unthankfulness of men to their benefactors, gives you
the instance that has recently happened. To the one, the fact is
interesting, because it proves the proposition; to the other, the
proposition is a conclusion, which he hastily draws from an individual
occurrence that has suggested it.
The climate does not appear to affect even the bodies of men to any
great degree. We cannot pronounce that it is the sun which makes
the African black, when we see the same heat pouring down on the
copper-coloured American, in the same degree of latitude, though in
another longitude. The inhabitants of Terra del Fuego are of a very dark
hue, approaching to black; and yet that island experiences as severe
cold as any part of the earth, as Sir Joseph Banks and Dr. Solander
have testified. The complexion and appearance of the Jews, and other
emigratory races, is the same in all parts of the world. And a stronger
proof cannot be given, than the marked distinction which still exists
among the three great families that divide Europe. These three have been
for the last 2,500 years, and still are, the Celts, the Teutonic race,
and the Slavonic race.
The Celts have black hair and eyes, and a white skin, verging to brown.
They chiefly inhabit the west of Europe, viz. the south of France,
(called by M. Dupin, _France obscure_,) Spain, Portugal, and the
greatest part of Italy. To them also belong the ancient Britons, the
Welsh, Bretons, Irish, Highland Scotch, and the Manks, or people of the
Isle of Man. The great German race, with blue eyes, yellow or reddish
hair, and a fair and red skin, occupies the middle of Europe. It
includes the Swedes, Norwegians, Icelanders, Danes, ancient and modern
Germans, Saxons and English, Caledonians and Lowland Scotch, the
Belgians, the Vandals, and the Goths.
The east of Europe contains the Sarmatian and Slavonic tribes, with
dark hair and eyes, darker skin than the Germans, and larger limbs than
the Celts. This race includes the Russians, Poles, Croats, Slavons,
Bohemians, Bulgarians, Cossacks, and other tribes using the Slavonic
We trust we shall not give offence to such of our readers as wear the
Celtic appearance, if we assume, as undisputed, the general superiority
of the Teutonic to the Celtic or Slavonic races in mental acquirements.
We believe that the German race are pre-eminent for their sense of order,
of law, and of social institutions; and whether they derive these
advantages from the east, whence their origin has now been satisfactorily
traced, or however they have attained them, we have only to reflect on
the civilization introduced by the Saxons into England--on the actual
state of the ancient Britons at present inhabiting Wales and the
Highlands--and on the terrible disorder and barbarism that reigns in
Ireland--to be thankful that the pure Celtic blood has not been allowed
to remain unmixed in these islands.
What, then, it will be asked, is the result of these speculations? Are we
to conclude that the races of men are essentially different, or that the
variations are attributable to the various degrees of moral cultivation
that each nation has received? And our answer is, that we are inclined to
believe the capacities for improvement of races, as of individuals, to
have been differently bestowed by nature; but that none are actually
incapable of culture. There is no land, however sterile, that the art of
man may not make to produce fruit; but the difficulty and expense of
tillage must be in proportion to the intrinsic richness or poverty of the
soil. We fear that the soil of the Negroes, of the American Indians,
and of the Esquimaux, must be laboured at early and late, before it
brings forth even an average crop. But we do not despair even here. Still
less could we for a moment depreciate the labours of those who are
carrying education to the utmost bounds of the earth. The more degraded
and stupid the condition of any set of people may be, the more
meritorious and thankworthy are those efforts that are made to advance
them one point nearer to the heavens--one step above the beasts that
perish. The advancement of Hayti, though much overrated, is nevertheless
considerable; and we trust that national independence will co-operate
there also with the progress of learning, for the increase of happiness
and prosperity. A free government, high public spirit, and an eager
desire for wisdom, are permanent securities for the welfare of the state,
and the happiness of the citizens; and though we cannot control nature,
let us endeavour by art to supply what is wanting, where her bounty has
been limited; "let us," in the words of Lord Bacon, "labour to restore
and enlarge the power and dominion of the whole race of man over the
universe of things!"
 The idea of the ancient Egyptians, as mentioned by Herodotus, having
been of the same family as the Negroes, is now completely refuted by
the inquiries of Cuvier and other naturalists. The examinations of
mummies have been highly useful in setting this question at rest.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
The remorseless tragedy on which this ballad is founded, took place
upwards of a century ago. In the retired village of Romanby, near
Northallerton, Yorkshire, there resided a desperate band of coiners,
whose respectability and cunning concealment precluded all possibility of
suspicion as to their proceedings. The victim of their revenge was Mary
Ward, the servant of one of those ruffians. Having obtained an accidental
view of some secret apartments appropriated to their treasonable
practices, she unguardedly communicated her knowledge to an acquaintance;
which reaching her master's ears, he determined to destroy her. The most
plausible story, time, and means were selected for this purpose. On a
Sunday evening, after sunset, an unknown personage on horseback arrived
at her master's mansion, half equipped, to give colour to his alleged
haste, and slated that he was dispatched for Mary, as _her mother was
dying_. She lingered to ask her master's permission; but he feigned sleep,
and she departed without his leave. On the table of her room was her
Bible, opened at those remarkable words in Job, "They shall seek me _in
the morning_, and shall not find me; and where I am, they shall not come."
Her home was at the distance of eight miles from Romanby; and Morton
bridge, hard by the heath where she was murdered, is the traditionary
scene of her nocturnal revisitings. The author has seen the tree said to
have been distorted by her in endeavouring to climb the fence; and has
visited the village and bridge, from which his descriptions are
accurately taken. The impression of her re-appearance is only
_poetically_ assumed, for there is too much of what Coleridge would term
"the divinity of nature" around Morton Bridge, to warrant its association
with supernatural mysteries.
Oh! sights are seen, and sounds are heard,
On Morton Bridge, at night,
When to the woods the cheerful birds
Have ta'en their silent flight.
When through the mantle of the sky
No cheering moonbeams delve,
And the far village clock hath told
The midnight hour of twelve.
Then o'er the lonely path is heard
The sigh of sable trees,
With deadly moan of suff'ring strife
Borne on the solemn breeze--
For Mary's spirit wanders there,
In snowy robe array'd,
To tell each trembling villager
Where sleeps the murder'd maid.
It was a Sabbath's eve of love,
When nature seem'd more holy;
And nought in life was dull, but she
Whose look was melancholy.
She lean'd her tear-stain'd cheek of health
Upon her lily arm,
Poor, hapless girl! she could not tell
What caus'd her wild alarm.
Around the roses of her face
Her flaxen ringlets fell;
No lovelier bosom than her own
Could guiltless sorrow swell!
The holy book before her lay,
That boon to mortals given,
To teach the way from weeping earth
To ever-glorious heaven;
And Mary read prophetic words,
That whisper'd of her doom--
"Oh! they will search for me, but where
I am, they cannot come!"
The tears forsook her gentle eyes,
And wet the sacred lore;
And such a terror shook her frame,
She ne'er had known before.
She ceas'd to weep, but deeper gloom
Her tearless musing brought;
And darker wan'd the evening hour,
And darker Mary's thought.
The sun, he set behind the hills,
And threw his fading fire
On mountain rock and village home,
And lit the distant spire.
(Sweet fane of truth and mercy! where
The tombs of other years
Discourse of virtuous life and hope,
And tell of by-gone tears!)
It was a night of nature's calm,
For earth and sky were still;
And childhood's revelry was o'er,
Upon the daisied hill.
The ale-house, with its gilded sign,
Hung on the beechen bough,
Was mute within, and tranquilly
The hamlet stream did flow.
The room where sat this grieving girl
Was one of ancient years;
Its antique state was well display'd
To conjure up her fears;
With massy walls of sable oak,
And roof of quaint design,
And lattic'd window, darkly hid
By rose and eglantine.
The summer moon now sweetly shone
All softly and serene;
She clos'd the casement tremblingly
Upon the beauteous scene.
Above that carved mantle hung,
Clad in the garb of gloom,
A painting of rich feudal state,--
An old baronial room.
The Norman windows scarcely cast
A light upon the wall,
Where shone the shields of warrior knights
Within the lonely hall.
And, pendent from each rusty nail,
Helmet and steely dress,
With bright and gilded morion,
To grace that dim recess.
Then Mary thought upon each tale
Of terrible romance:--
The lady in the lonely tower--
The murd'rer's deadly glance--
And moon-lit groves in pathless woods,
Where shadows nightly sped;
Her fancy could not leave the realms
Of darkness and the dead.
There stood a messenger without,
Beside her master's gate,
Who, till his thirsty horse had drunk,
Would hardly deign to wait.
The mansion rung with Mary's name,
For dreadful news he bore--
A dying mother wish'd to look
Upon her child once more.
The words were, "Haste, ere life be gone;"
Then was she quickly plac'd
Behind him on the hurrying steed,
Which soon the woods retrac'd.
Now they have pass'd o'er Morton Bridge,
While smil'd the moon above
Upon the ruffian and his prey--
The hawk and harmless dove.
The towering elms divide their tops;
And now a dismal heath
Proclaims her "final doom" is near
The awful hour of death!
The villain check'd his weary horse,
And spoke of trust betray'd;
And Mary's heart grew sick with fright,
As, answering, thus she said--
"Oh! kill me not until I see
My mother's face again!
Ride on, in mercy, horseman, ride,
And let us reach the lane!
"There slay me by my mother's door,
And I will pray for thee--
For she shall find her daughter's corse"--
"No, girl, it cannot be.
"This heath thou shalt not cross, for soon
Its earth will hide thy form;
That babbling tongue of thine shall make
A morsel for the worm!"
She leap'd upon the ling-clad heath,
And, nerv'd with phrensied fear,
Pursued her slippery way across,
Until the wood was near.
But nearer still _two_ fiends appear'd,
Like hunters of the fawn,
Who cast their cumb'ring cloaks away,
Beside that forest lone;
And bounded swifter than the maid,
Who nearly 'scap'd their wrath,
For well she knew that woody glade,
And every hoary path,
Obscur'd by oak and hazel bush,
Where milk-maid's merry song
Had often charm'd her lover's ear,
Who blest her silv'ry tongue.
But Mary miss'd the woodland stile--
The hedge-row was not high;
She gain'd its prickly top, and now
Her murderers were nigh.
A slender tree her fingers caught--
It bent beneath her weight;
'Twas false as love and Mary's fate!
Deceiving as the night!
She fell--and villagers relate
No more of Mary's hour,
But how she rose with deadly might,
And, with a maniac's power,
Fought with her murd'rers till they broke
Her slender arm in twain:
That none could e'er discover where
The maiden's corse was lain.
When wand'ring by that noiseless wood,
Forsaken by the bee,
Each rev'rend chronicler displays
The bent and treach'rous tree.
Pointing the barkless spot to view,
Which Mary's hand embrac'd,
They shake their hoary locks, and say,
"It ne'er can be effac'd!"
* * H.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
The tanner steeps the skin at first in a weak infusion of bark, until it
has acquired a nutmeg brown colour, and then he gradually increases the
strength of the steeping liquors, and after a time he draws the skin
out, and finds that it is converted into leather. A thick piece of hide
requires ten, twelve, or fourteen months, to be converted into good
leather; and when you consider the length of time consumed in the
process, and the great capital necessarily employed, you cannot feel
surprised that various plans should have been proposed to lessen both.
It was proposed to tan with warm instead of cold liquors; and although
the tan appeared to promote the skins in a shorter time, the quality of
the leather was so much injured, that it was soon given up. Then it was
tried to force the tan through the pores of the skin, by employing great
pressure; but this was not found to answer. But you may ask why the
tanner does not put the skins at once into a strong liquor? The reason
is, that the exterior surface of the skin would soon become tanned, and
the central part would remain untanned, which, in a short time, would
begin to rot and decay, and the leather so treated would soon fall to
pieces. The tanner, therefore, judges of the perfection of the tanning
by cutting through the leather; and if he finds it of an uniform brown
colour, without any white streak in the centre, he considers that the
process has been successfully conducted. It would require much time to
describe all the operations of the _tan-yard_, but many of them are
interesting, as regards the chemical agents employed. I might have
mentioned to you, that the mode of preparing the skin for tanning, is
first to soak it in lime-water, by which the hair is easily detached;
but the cuticle and under part of the skin, the cellular substance, are
scraped off after it has been soaked in the lime water. A great variety
of substances have been used for tanning, as the acorn-cup of the
oriental bark; catechu and sumach have been also used; but the oak bark
is most generally used, as furnishing a large quantity of astringent
matter. It is not the business of the chemist to describe the different
kinds of leather, but I may just mention, that the upper leather of
shoes is called _curried_ leather; the leather having been tanned, is
rubbed over with oil before it is dried, and it is then very flexible,
pliable, and durable; but if you take a piece of dry leather, and try to
rub it over with oil or grease, you cannot make it enter the pores of
the leather; the black colour is produced by rubbing it over with a
solution of green vitriol, the sulphate of iron. _Russian_ leather is
tanned in an infusion of birch bark, and is said to be afterwards mixed
with a quantity of birch tar, to give it that odour for which it is
peculiar, which renders it valuable for book-binding, on account of
preventing it from being attacked by insects. _Tawed_ leather, used for
gloves, is made by impregnating the skin with a liquor containing alum
and salt, and afterwards washed in a mixture of yolks of eggs and water;
the saline and animal matters combine, and give it that peculiar
softness, and such leather is afterwards coloured as may be required;
having been rolled over wooden rollers, in which are grooves, it is
called _Morocco_ leather. These are the principal varieties of leather
employed in this country.--_Brande's Lectures--Lancet_.
An indefatigable naturalist has undertaken the very difficult task
of arranging the family of _acarides_, or mites; he divides them into
sixty-nine genera, the greater part of them new!
_Electro-Attraction of Leaves_.
The results of a French experimentalist have lately led him to conclude
that the leaves, hairs, and thorns of plants tend to maintain in them
the requisite proportion of electricity; and, by drawing off from the
atmosphere what is superabundant, they also act in some measure as
The skeleton of a whale, 95 feet long by 18 feet high, has lately been
deposited in the Cabinet of Natural History at Ghent. In the opinion of
many naturalists, among whom is M. Cuvier, this fish could not have been
less than 900 or 1,000 years old!
_Fly in Wheat_.
In North America, much damage is done to crops of wheat by the Hessian
fly. The female deposits from one to eight or more eggs upon a single
plant of wheat, between the vagina or sheath of the inner leaf and the
culm nearest the roots; in which situation, with its head towards the
root or first joint, the young larva pass the winter. They eat the stem,
which thus becomes weak, and breaks; but are checked by another insect,
called the destructor, otherwise whole crops of wheat would be
A correspondent of London's _Magazine of Natural History_ says, that he
lately amused himself for more than an hour in observing the proceedings
of a little spider, whose bag of eggs had been removed and restored!
_Light of the Sea_.
Its appearance previous to a storm is a very old observation among
sailors. It is, however without foundation, as it is to be seen, more
or less, all the year round in the Carribean sea, where there are no
storms but in the hurricane months. In the hand it has a kind of mucous
feel.--_Mag. Nat. Hist_.
A specimen of the _least woodpecker_ was lately shot near Newcastle; and
another has since been heard and seen near Coventry. Its noise resembles
that made by the boring of a large auger through the hardest wood; whence
the country people sometimes call the bird "the pump-borer."--_Ibid_.
_The Tea Shrub_
Has been naturalized in Java with complete success; so that, sooner or
later, the Chinese monopoly will come to an end.
From the earliest times, there are to be found in authors, notices of the
singular geological phenomena of floating islands. Pliny tells us of the
floating islands of the Lago de Bassanello, near Rome; in Loch Lomond, in
Scotland, there is or was a floating island; and in the Lake of Derwent
Water, in Cumberland, such islands appear and disappear at indefinite
periods. Mr. A. Pettingal, jun. has recently described a floating island,
about a mile southwards of Newbury port, 140 poles in length, and 120 in
breadth. It is covered with trees; and in summer, when dry weather is
long continued, it descends to the bottom of the lake.--_American,
Journal of Science_.
_An immense Medusa_.
A species of sea-serpent, was thrown on shore near Bombay, in 1819.
It was about 40 feet long, and must have weighed many tons. A violent
gale of wind threw it high above the reach of ordinary tides; in which
situation it took nine months to rot; during which process travellers
were obliged to change the direction of the road for nearly a quarter of
a mile, to avoid the offensive effluvia. It rotted so completely, that
not a vestige of bone remained.--(_C. Telfair, Esq. to R. Barclay, Esq.
of Bury Hill._)
Captain Gerard, in exploring these mountains, with a view to measurement,
had ascended to the height of 19,600 feet, being 400 feet higher than
Humboldt had ascended on the Andes. The latter part of Captain Gerard's
ascent, for about two miles, was on an inclined plane of 42 deg., a nearer
approach to the perpendicular than Humboldt conceived it possible to
climb for any distance together.--_Heber's India_.
The head of a Hippopotamus has recently been brought to England, with
all the flesh about it, in a high state of preservation. This amphibious
animal was harpooned while in combat with a crocodile, in a lake in
the interior of Africa. The head measures near four feet long, and
eight feet in circumference; the jaws open two feet wide, and the
cutting-teeth of which it has four in each jaw, are above a foot
long, and four inches in circumference. Its ears are not bigger than
a terrier's, and are much about the same shape. This formidable and
terrific creature, when full-grown, measures about 17 feet long from the
extremity of the snout to the insertion of the tail, above 16 feet in
circumference round the body, and stands above 7 feet high. It runs with
astonishing swiftness for its great bulk, at the bottom of lakes and
rivers, but not with as much ease on land. When excited, it puts forth
its full strength, which is prodigious. "I have seen," says a mariner,
as we find it in Dampier, "one of these animals open its jaws, and
seizing a boat between its teeth, at once bite and sink it to the
bottom. I have seen it on another occasion place itself under one of our
boats, and rising under it, overset it, with six men who were in it, but
who, however, happily received no other injury." At one time it was not
uncommon in the Nile, but now it is no where to be found in that river,
except above the cataracts.
* * * * *
A CHAPTER OF BULLS.
I confess it is what the English call _a bull_, in the expression,
though the sense be manifest enough.--POPE.
We are friends to the exposition of the weak sides of great men, inasmuch
as it reads them a valuable lesson on their own infallibility, and tends
to lower the molehills of conceit that are raised in the world as
stumbling-blocks along every road of petty ambition. It would, however,
be but a sorry toil for the most cynical critic to illustrate these
vagaries otherwise than so many slips and trippings of the tongue and pen,
to which all men are liable in their unguarded moments--from Homer to
Anacreon Moore, or Demosthenes to Mr. Brougham. Our course is rather that
of a good-humoured _expose_, the worst effect of which will be to raise a
laugh at the expense of poor humanity, or a merited smile at our own
dulness and mistaken sense of the ridiculous.
First, of the ancient Poets, who make departed spirits know things past
and to come, yet ignorant of things present. Agamemnon foretels what
should happen to Ulysses, yet ignorantly inquires what is become of his
own son. The ghosts are afraid of swords in Homer, yet Sibylla tells
Aeneas in Virgil, that the then habit of spirits was beyond the force of
weapons. The spirits put off their malice with their bodies; and Caesar
and Pompey accord in Latin hell; yet Ajax in Homer, endures not a
conference with Ulysses.
In Painting alone we have a rich harvest. Burgoyne in his travels,
notices a painting in Spain, where Abraham is preparing to shoot Isaac
_with a pistol!_
There is a painting at Windsor, of Antonio Verrio, in which, he has
introduced himself, Sir Godfrey Kneller, and Bap. May, surveyor of the
works, in long periwigs, as spectators of Christ healing the sick.
In the Luxembourg is a picture of Reubens, in which are the queen-mother
in council, with two cardinals, and _Mercury!_
There may be, also, a sort of anachronism of the limbs, as in the case of
the painter of Toledo, who painted the story of the three wise men of the
east coming to worship, and bringing their presents to our Lord, upon his
birth, at Bethlehem, whence he presents them as three Arabian, or Indian
kings; two of them are white, and one of them black; but, unhappily, when
he drew the latter part of them kneeling, which, to be sure, was done
after their faces, their legs being necessarily a little intermixed, he
made three black feet for the negro king, and but three white feet for
the two white kings; and yet never discovered the mistake till the piece
was presented to the king, and hung up in the great church.
There was, also, in the Houghton Hall collection, Velvet Brughel's
Adoration of the Magi, in which were a multitude of figures, all finished
with the greatest Dutch exactness; in fact, the ideas are rather a little
too Dutch, for the Ethiopian king is dressed in a surplice, with boots
and spurs, and brings, for a present, a gold model of a modern ship.
The monks of a certain monastery at Messina, exhibited, with great
triumph, a letter written by the Virgin Mary with her own hand. Unluckily
for them, this was not, as it easily might have been, written on the
ancient papyrus, but on paper made of rags. On some occasion, a visiter,
to whom this was shown, observed, with affected solemnity, that the
letter involved also a miracle, for the paper on which it was written was
not in existence till several hundred years after the mother of our Lord
had ascended into heaven.
In the church of St. Zacharia, at Venice, is the picture of a Virgin and
Child, whom an angel is entertaining with an air upon the violin. Jean
Belin was the artist, in 1500. So, also, in the college library of
Aberdeen, to a very neat Dutch missal, are appended elegant paintings on
the margin, of the angels appearing to the shepherds, with one of the men
playing on the bagpipes.
There is a picture in a church at Bruges that puts not only all
chronology, but all else, out of countenance. It is the marriage of Jesus
Christ with Saint Catherine of Sienna. But who marries them? St. Dominic,
the patron of the church. Who joins their hands? Why, the Virgin Mary.
And to crown the anachronism, King David plays the harp at the wedding!
Albert Durer represented an angel in a flounced petticoat, driving Adam
and Eve from Paradise.
Lewis Cigoli painted a picture of the Circumcision of the Holy Child,
Jesus, and drew the high priest, Simeon, with spectacles on his nose;
upon a supposition, probably, that, in respect of his great age, that aid
would be necessary. Spectacles, however, were not known for fourteen
In a picture painted by F. Chello della Puera, the Virgin Mary is placed
on a velvet sofa, playing with a cat and a paroquet, and about to help
herself to coffee from an engraved coffee-pot.
In another, painted by Peter of Cortona, representing the reconciliation
of Jacob and Laban, (now in the French Museum), the painter has
represented a steeple or belfry rising over the trees. A belfry in the
mountains of Mesopotamia, in the time of Jacob!
N. Poussin's celebrated picture, at the same place, of Rebecca at the
Well, has the whole back-ground decorated with Grecian architecture.
Paul Veronese placed Benedictine fathers and _Swiss soldiers_ among his
paintings from the Old Testament.
A painter, intending to describe the miracle of the fishes listening to
the preaching of St. Anthony of Padua, painted the lobsters, who were
stretching out of the water, _red!_ probably having never seen them in
their natural state. Being asked how he could justify this anachronism,
he extricated himself by observing, that the whole affair was a miracle,
and that thus the miracle was made still greater.
In the Notices des MSS. du Roi VI. 120, in the illuminations of a
manuscript Bible at Paris, under the Psalms, are two persons playing at
cards; and under Job and the Prophets are coats of arms and a windmill.
Poussin, in his picture of the Deluge has painted boats, not then
invented. St. Jerome, in another place, with a clock by his side; a thing
unknown in that saint's days.--_Nous revenons._
* * * * *
* * * * *
(_The favourite Retreat of his Majesty_.)
Virginia Water was planted, and the lake executed, under the direction of
Paul Sandby, at a time when this part of Windsor Forest was the favourite
residence of Duke William of Cumberland. The artificial water is the
largest in the kingdom, with the single exception of Blenheim; the
cascade is, perhaps, the most striking imitation we have of the great
works of nature; and the grounds are arranged in the grandest style of
landscape-gardening. The neighbouring scenery is bold and rugged, being
the commencement of Bagshot Heath; and the variety of surface agreeably
relieves the eye, after the monotony of the first twenty miles from town,
which fatigues the traveller either upon the Bath or Western roads. At
the time when the public were allowed to visit Virginia Water, the best
point of entrance was at the gate at Bishopsgate; near which very pretty
village, or rather green, the Royal Lodge is at present situated. Shelley,
who had a true eye for the picturesque, resided for some time at this
place; and it would have been difficult for a poet to have found, in any
of the highly cultivated counties of England, a spot so full of the most
exquisite variety of hill and dale, of wood and water,--so fitted to call
forth and cherish the feelings upon which poetry must depend for its
Bishopsgate is situated about a mile to the right of the western road
from London, after you ascend the hill beyond Egham. To the left, St.
Anne's Hill, the favoured residence of Charles Fox, is a charming object;
and upon the ridge which the traveller ascends, is the spot which has
given a name to Denham's celebrated poem. "Cooper's Hill" is not shut out
from the contemplative searchers after the beauties of nature; and,
however the prospect here may be exceeded by scenes of wider extent, or
more striking grandeur, certainly the _locale_ of the earliest, and
perhaps the best, descriptive poem of our language, is calculated to
produce the warmest feelings of admiration, both for its actual beauty
and its unrivalled associations. From an elevation of several hundred
feet, you look down upon a narrow fertile valley, through which the
Thames winds with surpassing loveliness. Who does not recollect the
charming lines with which Denham describes the "silver river:"--
"Oh! could I flow thee, and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme;
Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not dull;
Strong without rage; without o'erflowing full."
Immediately at your feet is the plain of Runnemede, where the great
battle between John and the Barons was fought; and in the centre of the
river is the little fishing island, where Magna Charta was signed. At the
extremity of the valley is Windsor Castle, rising up in all the pomp of
its massive towers. We recollect the scene as Windsor _was_. Whatever Mr.
Wyattville may have done for its internal improvement, and for its
adaptation to the purposes of a modern residence without sacrificing all
its character of antiquity, we fear that he has destroyed its picturesque
effect in the distant landscape. Its old characteristic feature was that
of a series of turrets rising above the general elevation. By raising the
intermediate roofs, without giving a proportionate height to the towers,
the whole line has become square and unbroken. This was, perhaps, an
unavoidable fault; but it is a fault.
From Cooper's Hill, the entrance to Virginia Water is a walk of a quarter
of an hour. We were accustomed to wander down a long and close plantation
of pines, where the rabbit ran across with scarcely a fear of man. A more
wild and open country succeeded; and we then followed the path, through
many a "bosky bourn," till we arrived at a rustic bridge, which crossed
the lake at a narrow neck, where the little stream was gradually lost
amongst the underwood. A scene of almost unrivalled beauty here burst
upon the view. For nearly a mile, a verdant walk led along, amidst the
choicest evergreens, by the side of a magnificent breadth of water. The
opposite shore was rich with the heather-bloom; and plantations of the
most graceful trees--the larch, the ash, and the weeping birch ("the lady
of the woods"), broke the line of the wide lake, and carried the
imagination on, in the belief that some mighty river lay beyond that
screening wood. The cascade was at length reached. Cascades are much upon
the same plan, whether natural or artificial; the scale alone makes the
difference. This cascade is sufficiently large not to look like a
plaything; and if it were met with in Westmoreland or Wales, tourists
would dilate much upon its beauties. At this point the water may be
easily forded; and after a walk of the most delicious seclusion, we used
to reach a bold arch, over which the public road was carried. Here have
been erected some of the antique columns, that, a few years ago, were in
the court-yard of the British Museum.
From this arch a variety of walks, of the most delightful retirement,
present themselves. They are principally bounded with various trees of
the pine tribe, intermingled with laurel and acacia. The road gradually
ascends to a considerable elevation, where there is a handsome building,
called the Belvidere. The road from this spot is very charming. We
descend from this height, through a wild path, by the side of trees of
much more ancient growth than the mass around; and, crossing the high
road, again reach the lake, at a point where its dimensions are ample and
magnificent. About this part a splendid fishing-temple has lately been
erected. Of its taste we can say nothing.
The common road from Blacknest (the name of this district of Windsor
Forest) to the Royal Lodge is strikingly beautiful. Virginia Water is
crossed by a very elegant bridge, built by Sandby; on one side of it the
view terminates in a toy of the last age--a Chinese temple; on the other
it ranges over a broad expanse of water. The road sometimes reminds one
of the wildness of mountain scenery, and at another turn displays all the
fertility of a peaceful agricultural district. We at length pass the
secluded domain of the Royal Lodge; and when we reach the edge of the
hill, we look upon a vista of the most magnificent elms, and over an
expanse of the most striking forest scenery, with the splendid Castle
terminating the prospect--a monument of past glories, which those who
have a feeling for their country's honour may well uphold and cherish.--
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
The principal article of our commerce with China, namely, tea, is,
perhaps, more singular in its history than any other article of commerce
in the known world. A simple and unsophisticated shrub, in little more
than half a century, has become an article of such general consumption,
that it seems to form one of the prime articles of existence among the
great bulk of mankind. It is the peculiar growth of a country, of which
it forms almost the only link of connexion with the rest of the world. It
forms the source of the largest commercial revenue to the British
Government of any other commodity whatever, and of the largest commercial
profits to the individuals concerned in its importation. Withal, it is
the simplest, the most harmless thing that ever was offered to the
gratification of man,--having, it is believed and argued by many, a moral
influence wherever it is diffused. It is the rallying point of our
earliest associations; it has ever given an additional charm to our
firesides; and tends, perhaps, more than any one thing, to confirm the
pre-existing domestic habits of the British public. Its exhilarating
qualities are eagerly sought after as a restorative and solace from the
effects of fatigue or dissipation; the healthy and the sick, the young
and the old, all equally resort to the use of it, as yielding all the
salutary influence of strong liquors, without their baneful and
pernicious effects. Yet this shrub, so simple and so useful, is delivered
to the community of this country, so surcharged with duties and profits
beyond its original cost, that, did it contain all the mischievous
qualities that are opposed to its real virtues, it could not be more
strictly guarded from general use.
For the whole of our imports, including factory expenses and commission,
the original cost in China amounts to the sum of two millions sterling.
This is wonderfully increased before the British public can have any
access to the article of consumption; thus:--
1. The value of the Company's importations from China
into Great Britain, as established by their own
statements, is L2,000,000
2. On this they charge 100 per cent, for their own
especial benefit 2,000,000
3. And the Government duty, as by law established, is
equal to the original cost, and the profits charged
by the company; both forming the _sale price_ 4,000,000
* * * * *
DEATH OF YOUNG PARK.
It is quite inconceivable with what increased zeal new candidates for
African discovery come forward the moment that the death of any fresh
victim to this pestilential country is announced. To the list of those
who have already fallen, may be added young Park, the son of the late
enterprising Mungo Park, and a midshipman of his majesty's ship Sybille.
He went out in this ship with a full determination to proceed on foot,
and alone, from the coast to the spot where his father perished, in the
hope of hearing some authentic and more detailed account of the
catastrophe than had yet been received. With leave of the commodore, he
set out from Accra, and proceeded as far as Yansong, the chief town of
Acquimbo, distant from the coast about one hundred and forty miles. Here
the natives were celebrating the Yam feast, a sort of religious ceremony,
to witness which Park got up into a Fetish tree, which is regarded by the
natives with fear and dread. Here he remained a great part of the day,
exposed to the sun, and was observed to drink a great quantity of palm
wine. In dropping down from one of the lower branches, he fell on the
ground, and said, that he felt a severe shock in his head. He was that
evening seized with a fever, and died in three days, on the 31st October,
1827. As soon as the king, Akitto, heard of his death, he ordered all his
baggage to be brought to his house, and instantly despatched a messenger
to Accra, first making him swear "by the head of his father," that he
would not sleep till he had delivered the message; it was to inform the
resident of the event, and that all the property of the deceased would be
forthwith sent down to Accra. This was accordingly done, and it did not
appear on examination, that a single article was missing; even an old hat,
without a crown, was not omitted. There was an idle report of Park being
poisoned, for which there appears not the slightest foundation.--_Q. Rev._
* * * * *
TO THE MEMORY OF MISS ELLEN GEE, OF KEW,
_Who died in consequence of being stung in the eye._
Peerless, yet hapless maid of Q!
Accomplish'd LN G!
Never again shall I and U
Together sip our T.
For, ah! the Fates, I know not Y,
Sent midst the flowers a B,
Which ven'mous stung her in the I,
So that she could not C.
LN exclaim'd, "Vile, spiteful B!
If ever I catch U
On jess'mine, rosebud, or sweet P,
I'll change your stinging Q.
"I'll send you, like a lamb or U,
Across the Atlantic C,
From our delightful village Q,
To distant OYE.
"A stream runs from my wounded I,
Salt as the briny C,
As rapid as the X or Y,
The OIO, or D.
"Then fare thee ill, insensate B!
Who stung, nor yet knew Y;
Since not for wealthy Durham's C
Would I have lost my I."
They bear with tears fair LN G
In funeral RA,
A clay-cold corse now doom'd to B,
Whilst I mourn her DK.
Ye nymphs of Q, then shun each B,
List to the reason Y!
For should a B C U at T,
He'll surely sting your I.
Now in a grave, L deep in Q,
She's cold as cold can B;
Whilst robins sing upon A U,
Her dirge and LEG.
_New Monthly Magazine_.
* * * * *
LINES SENT WITH A GOOSE.
"When this you see,
Was long a phrase in use,
And so I send
To you, dear friend,
My proxy. "What?" A goose!
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
At a late meeting of a certain corporation in Dorsetshire, for the
nomination of a person to fill the office of Mayor, a sufficient number
of the burgesses not being in attendance, it was intimated that an
application would be made for a _Mandamus_, when one of "the worthy
electors," being un-"learned in the law," innocently remarked, "I hope
_he_ will come, and then _he'll_ put _un_ all right and make _un_ elect
Sept. 25, 1828.
This is not a Joe Miller joke, but one of actual and recent occurrence;
although there is a similar story fathered on a sapient civic authority.
* * * * *
SELLING A WOMAN.
The value that was set upon the bond-servants in the West Indies, is
curiously exemplified in the following anecdote:--
There was a planter in Barbadoes that came to his neighbour, and said to
him, "Neighbour, I hear you have lately brought good store of servants
out of the last ship that came from England; and I hear withal that you
want provisions. I have great want of a woman servant, and would be glad
to make an exchange. If you will let me have some of your woman's flesh,
you shall have some of my hog's flesh." So the price was set, a groat
a-pound for the hog's flesh, and sixpence for the woman's. The scales were
set up, and the planter had a maid that was extremely fat, lazy, and good
for nothing; her name was Honour. The man brought a great fat sow, and
put it in one scale, and Honour was put in the other. But when he saw how
much the maid outweighed his sow, he broke off the bargain and would not
* * * * *
Such is the passion for smoking at Hamburgh, that children about ten
years of age may be seen with pipes in their mouths, whiffing with great
gravity and composure.
* * * * *
The turnpike-roads of England are above twenty thousand miles in length,
and upwards of a million sterling is annually expended in their repair
* * * * *
John Bulwer, M.D. was author of many books, the most curious of which
were his "Anthropo Metamorphoses," and "Pathomyotomia." We might conclude
he was of Irish extraction; St. Patrick, the old song says, "ne'er shut
his eyes to complaints," and Bulwer in his "Instructions to the Deaf and
Dumb," tells us they are intended "to bring those who are so born to
_hear_ the sound of words with their _eyes!_"--_Wadd's Memoirs_.
* * * * *
Philosophy is a very pleasant thing, and has various uses; one is, that
it makes us laugh; and certainly there are no speculations in philosophy,
that excite the risible faculties, more than some of the serious stories
related by fanciful philosophers.--One man cannot think with the left
side of his head; another, with the sanity of the right side judges the
insanity of the left side of his head. Zimmerman, a very grave man, used
to draw conclusions as to a man's temperament, from his _nose!_--not from
the size or form of it, but the peculiar sensibility of the organ; while
some have thought, that the temperature of the atmosphere might be
accurately ascertained by the state of its tip! and Cardan considered
_acuteness of the organ_ a sure proof of genius!--_Ibid_.
* * * * *
WILSON THE PAINTER.
The late Mr. Christie, the auctioneer, while selling a collection of
pictures, having arrived at a _chef-d'oeuvre_ of Wilson's, was
expatiating with his usual eloquence on its merits, quite unaware that
Wilson himself had just before entered the room. "This gentlemen, is one
of Mr. Wilson's Italian pictures; he cannot paint anything like it now."
"That's a lie!" exclaimed the irritated artist, to Mr. Christie's no small
discomposure, and to the great amusement of the company; "he can paint
* * * * *
A few years since, a vain old country surgeon obtained a diploma to
practice, and called on Dr. H----, of Bath, with the important
intelligence. At dinner, the doctor asked his new brother, if the form of
diplomas ran now in the same style as at the early commencement of those
honours? "Pray Sir, what might that form be?" says the surgeon, "I'll
give it to you," replied our Galen, when stepping to his daughter's
harpsichord, he sung the following prophecy of the Witches to _Macbeth_:
He must, he must,
He shall, he shall
Spill much more blood
And become worse,
To make his title good.
"That, sir, was the true ancient mode of conferring a Scotch degree on Dr.
* * * * *
Three faces wears the doctor; when first sought
An angel's--and a god's the cure half wrought;
But when, that cure complete, he seeks his fee,
The devil looks then less terrible than he.
This epigram is illustrated by the following conversation, which passed
between Bouvart and a French marquis, whom he had attended during a long
and severe indisposition. As he entered the chamber on a certain occasion,
he was thus addressed by his patient: "Good day to you, Mr. Bouvart; I
feel quite in spirits, and think my fever has left me."--"I am sure of it,
" replied the doctor; "the very first expression you used convinces me of
it."--"Pray explain yourself."--"Nothing more easy; in the first days of
your illness, when your life was in danger, I was your _dearest friend_;
as you began to get better, I was your _good Bouvart_; and now I am Mr.
Bouvart; depend upon it you are quite recovered."
* * * * *
A Dutch ambassador, entertaining the king of Siam with an account of
Holland, after which his majesty was very inquisitive, amongst other
things told him, that water in his country would sometimes get so hard,
that men walked upon it; and that it would bear an elephant with the
utmost ease. To which the king replied, "Hitherto I have believed the
strange things you have told me, because I looked upon you as a sober,
fair man; but now _I am sure you lie_."
* * * * *
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