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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XII, NO. 336.] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1828. [PRICE 2d.
[Illustration: Richmond Palace]
Richmond has comparatively but few antiquarian or poetical visiters,
notwithstanding all its associations with the ancient splendour of the
English court, and the hallowed names of Pope and Thomson. Maurice sings,
To thy sequester'd bow'rs and wooded height,
That ever yield my soul renew'd delight,
Richmond, I fly! with all thy beauties fir'd,
By raptur'd poets sung, by kings admir'd!
but ninety-nine out of a hundred who visit Richmond, thank the gods they
are not poetical, fly off to the _Star and Garter_ hill, and content
themselves with the inspirations of its well-stored cellars. All this
corresponds with the turtle-feasting celebrity of the modern _Sheen_; but
it ill accords with the antiquarian importance and resplendent scenery of
this delightful country.
Our engraving is from a very old drawing, representing the palace at
Richmond, as built by Henry VII. The manor-house at Sheen, a little east
of the bridge, and close by the river side, became a _royal palace_ in
the time of Edward I., for he and his successor resided here. Edward III.
died here in 1377. Queen Anne, the consort of his successor, died here in
1394. Deeply affected at her death, he, according to Holinshed, "caused
it to be thrown down and defaced; whereas the former kings of this land,
being wearie of the citie, used customarily thither to resort as to a
place of pleasure, and serving highly to their recreation." Henry V.,
however, restored the palace to its former magnificence; and Henry VII.
held, in 1492, a grand tournament here. In 1499, it was almost consumed
by fire, when Henry rebuilt the palace, and gave it the name of RICHMOND.
Cardinal Wolsey frequently resided here; and Hall, in his Chronicles,
says, that "when the common people, and especially such as had been
servants of Henry VII., saw the cardinal keep house in the manor royal at
Richmond, which that monarch so highly esteemed, it was a marvel to hear
how they grudged, saying, 'so a butcher's dogge doth lie in the manor of
Queen Elizabeth was prisoner at Richmond during the reign of her sister
Mary; after she came to the throne, the palace was her favourite
residence; and here she died in 1608. Charles I. formed a large
collection of pictures here; and Charles II. was educated at Richmond. On
the restoration, the palace was in a very dismantled state, and having,
during the commonwealth, been plundered and defaced, it never recovered
its pristine splendour.
The survey taken by order of parliament in 1649, affords a minute
description of the palace. The great hall was one hundred feet in length,
and forty in breadth, having a screen at the lower end, over which was
"fayr foot space in the higher end thereof, the pavement of square tile,
well lighted and seated; at the north end having a turret, or clock-case,
covered with lead, which is a special ornament to this building." The
prince's lodgings are described as a "freestone building, three stories
high, with _fourteen turrets_ covered with lead," being "a very graceful
ornament to the whole house, and perspicuous to the county round about."
A round tower is mentioned, called the "Canted Tower," with a staircase
of one hundred and twenty-four steps. The chapel was ninety-six feet long
and forty broad, with cathedral-seats and pews. Adjoining the prince's
garden was an open gallery, two hundred feet long, over which was a close
gallery of similar length. Here was also a royal library. Three pipes
supplied the palace with water, one from the white conduit in the new
park, another from the conduit in the town fields, and the third from a
conduit near the alms-houses in Richmond. In 1650, it was sold for
10,000_l_. to private persons.
All the accounts which have come down to us describe the furniture and
decorations of the ANCIENT PALACE as very superb, exhibiting in gorgeous
tapestry the deeds of kings and of heroes who had signalized themselves
by their conquests throughout France in behalf of their country.
The site of Richmond Palace is now occupied by noble mansions; but AN OLD
ARCHWAY, seen from _the Green_, still remains as a melancholy memorial of
its regal splendour.
 Mrs. A.T. Thomson, in her _Memoirs of the Court of Henry the Eighth_,
says, "On the night of the Epiphany (1510), a pageant was introduced
into the hall at Richmond, representing a hill studded with gold and
precious stones, and having on its summit a tree of gold, from which
hung roses and pomegranates. From the declivity of the hill descended
a lady richly attired, who, with the gentlemen, or, as they were then
called, children of honour, danced a morris before the king. On
another occasion, in the presence of the court, an artificial forest
was drawn in by a lion and an antelope, the hides of which were
richly embroidered with golden ornaments; the animals were harnessed
with chains of gold, and on each sat a fair damsel in gay apparel. In
the midst of the forest, which was thus introduced, appeared a gilded
tower, at the end of which stood a youth, holding in his hands a
garland of roses, as the prize of valour in a tournament which
succeeded the pageant!"
* * * * *
EPITOME OF COMETS.
(_For the Mirror_.)
"Hast thou ne'er seen the Comet's flaming flight?"
Comets, according to Sir Isaac Newton, are compact, solid, fixed, and
durable bodies: in one word, a kind of planets, which move in very
oblique orbits, every way, with the greatest freedom, persevering in
their motions even against the course and direction of the planets; and
their tail is a very thin, slender vapour, emitted by the head, or
nucleus of the comet, ignited or heated by the sun.
There are _bearded_, _tailed_, and _hairy_ comets; thus, when the comet is
eastward of the sun, and moves from it, it is said to be _bearded_,
because the light precedes it in the manner of a beard. When the comet is
westward of the sun, and sets after it, it is said to be _tailed_,
because the train follows it in the manner of a tail. Lastly, when the
comet and the sun are diametrically opposite (the earth being between
them) the train is hid behind the body of the comet, excepting a little
that appears around it in the form of a border of hair, or _coma_, it is
called _hairy_, and whence the name of comet is derived.
For the conservation of the water and moisture of the planets, comets
(says Sir Isaac Newton) seem absolutely requisite; from whose condensed
vapours and exhalations all that moisture which is spent on vegetations
and putrefactions, and turned into dry earth, may be resupplied and
recruited; for all vegetables increase wholly from fluids, and turn by
putrefaction into earth. Hence the quantity of dry earth must continually
increase, and the moisture of the globe decrease, and at last be quite
evaporated, if it have not a continual supply. And I suspect (adds Sir
Isaac) that the spirit which makes the finest, subtilest, and best part
of our air, and which is absolutely requisite for the life and being of
all things, comes principally from the comets.
Another use which he conjectures comets may be designed to serve, is that
of recruiting the sun with fresh fuel, and repairing the consumption of
his light by the streams continually sent forth in every direction from
"From his huge vapouring train perhaps to shake
Reviving moisture on the numerous orbs,
Thro' which his long ellipsis winds; perhaps
To lend new fuel to declining suns,
To light up worlds, and feed th' ethereal fire."
Newton has computed that the sun's heat in the comet of 1680, was, to
his heat with us at Midsummer, as twenty-eight thousand to one; and that
the heat of the body of the comet was near two thousand times as great as
that of red-hot iron. The same great author also calculates, that a globe
of red-hot iron, of the dimensions of our earth, would scarce be cool in
fifty thousand years. If then the comet be supposed to cool a hundred
times as fast as red-hot iron, yet, since its heat was two thousand times
greater, supposing it of the bigness of the earth, it would not be cool
in a million of years.
An elegant writer in the Guardian, says, "I cannot forbear reflecting on
the insignificance of human art, when set in comparison with the designs
of Providence. In pursuit of this thought, I considered a comet, or in
the language of the vulgar, a blazing star, as a sky-rocket discharged by
a hand that is Almighty. Many of my readers saw that in the year 1680,
and if they were not mathematicians, will be amazed to hear, that it
travelled with a much greater degree of swiftness than a cannon ball, and
drew after it a tail of fire that was fourscore millions of miles in
length. What an amazing thought is it to consider this stupendous body
traversing the immensity of the creation with such a rapidity; and at the
same time wheeling about in that line which the Almighty had prescribed
for it! That it should move in such inconceivable fury and combustion,
and at the same time with such an exact regularity! How spacious must the
universe be, that gives such bodies as these their full play, without
suffering the least disorder or confusion by it. What a glorious show are
those beings entertained with, that can look into this great theatre of
nature, and see myriads of such tremendous objects wandering through
those immeasurable depths of ether, and running their appointed courses!
Our eyes may hereafter be strong enough to command the magnificent
prospect, and our understandings able to find out the several uses of
these great parts of the universe. In the meantime, they are very proper
objects for our imagination to contemplate, that we may form more
extensive notions of infinite wisdom and power, and learn to think humbly
of ourselves, and of all the little works of human invention." Seneca saw
three comets, and says, "I am not of the common opinion, nor do I take a
comet to be a sudden fire; but esteem it among the eternal works of
 The Comet which appeared in 1759, and which (says Lambert) returned
the quickest of any that we have an account of, had a winter of
seventy years. Its heat surpassed imagination.
* * * * *
BY LEIGH CLIFFE, AUTHOR OF "PARGA," "THE KNIGHTS OF RITZBERG," &c.
(_For the Mirror_.)
TO THE SUN.
Hail to thee, fountain of eternal light,
Streaming with dewy radiance in the sky!
Rising like some huge giant from the night,
While the dark shadows from thy presence fly.
Enshrin'd in mantle of a varied dye,
Thou hast been chambering in the topmost clouds,
List'ning to peeping, glist'ning stars on high,
Pillow'd upon their thin, aerial shrouds;
But when the breeze of dawn refreshfully
Swept the rude waters of the ocean flood,
And the dark pines breath'd from each leaf a sigh,
To wake the sylvan genius of the wood,
Thou burst in glory on our dazzled sight,
In thy resplendent charms, a flood of golden light!
TO THE MOON.
Spirit of heaven! shadow-mantled queen,
In mildest beauty peering in the sky,
Radiant with light! 'Tis sweet to see thee lean,
As if to listen, from cloud-worlds on high,
Whilst murmuring nightingales voluptuously
Breathe their soft melody, and dew-drops lie
Upon the myrtle blooms and oaken leaves,
And the winds sleep in sullen peacefulness!
Oh! it is then that gentle Fancy weaves
The vivid visions of the soul, which bless
The poet's mind, and with sweet phantasies,
Like grateful odours shed refreshfully
From angels' wings of glistening beauty, tries
To waken pleasure, and to stifle sighs!
* * * * *
EMBLEM OF WALES.
(_For the Mirror_.)
It is supposed by some of the Welsh, and in some notes to a poem the
author (Mr. P. Lewellyn) says he has been confidently assured, that the
leek, as is generally supposed to be, is not the original emblem of Wales,
but the sive, or chive, which is common to almost every peasant's garden.
It partakes of the smell and taste of the onion and leek, but is not so
noxious, and is much handsomer than the latter. It grows in a wild state
on the banks of the Wye, infinitely larger than when planted in gardens.
According to the above-mentioned author, the manner in which it became
the national emblem of Cambria was as follows:--As a prince of Wales was
returning victorious from battle, he wished to have some leaf or flower
to commemorate the event; but it being winter, no plant or shrub was seen
until they came to the Wye, when they beheld the sive, which the prince
commanded to be worn as a memorial of the victory.
* * * * *
HISTORY OF FAIRS.
(_For the Mirror._)
Fairs, among the old Romans, were holidays, on which there was an
intermission of labour and pleadings. Among the Christians, upon any
extraordinary solemnity, particularly the anniversary dedication of a
church, tradesmen were wont to bring and sell their wares even in the
churchyards, which continued especially upon the festivals of the
dedication. This custom was kept up till the reign of Henry VI. Thus we
find a great many fairs kept at these festivals of dedications, as at
Westminster on St. Peter's day, at London on St. Bartholomew's, Durham on
St. Cuthbert's day. But the great numbers of people being often the
occasion of riots and disturbances, the privilege of holding a fair was
granted by royal charter. At first they were only allowed in towns and
places of strength, or where there was some bishop or governor of
condition to keep them in order. In process of time there were several
circumstances of favour added, people having the protection of a holiday,
and being allowed freedom from arrests, upon the score of any difference
not arising upon the spot. They had likewise a jurisdiction allowed them
to do justice to those that came thither; and therefore the most
inconsiderable fair with us has, or had, a court belonging to it, which
takes cognizance of all manner of causes and disorders growing and
committed upon the place, called _pye powder_, or _pedes pulverizati_.
Some fairs are free, others charged with tolls and impositions. At free
fairs, traders, whether natives or foreigners, are allowed to enter the
kingdom, and are under the royal protection in coming and returning.
They and their agents, with their goods, also their persons and goods,
are exempt from all duties and impositions, tolls and servitudes; and
such merchants going to or coming from the fair cannot be arrested, or
their goods stopped. The prince only has the power to establish fairs of
any kind. These fairs make a considerable article in the commerce of
Europe, especially those of the Mediterranean, or inland parts, as
Germany. The most famous are those of Frankfort and Leipsic; the fairs
of Novi, in the Milanese; that of Riga, Arch-angel of St. Germain, at
Paris; of Lyons; of Guibray, in Normandy; and of Beauclaire, in
Languedoc: those of Porto-Bello, Vera Cruz, and the Havannah, are the
most considerable in America.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
A rare and beautiful relic of the olden time was lately presented to the
museum of the Northern Institution, by William Mackintosh, Esq. of
Milbank--an ancient virginal, which was in use among our ancestors prior
to the invention of the spinnet and harpsichord. Mary, Queen of Scots,
who delighted in music, in her moments of "joyeusitie" as John Knox
phrases it, used to play finely on the virginal; and her more fortunate
rival, Queen Elizabeth, was so exquisite a performer on the same
instrument, that Melville says, on hearing her once play in her chamber,
he was irresistibly drawn into the room. The virginal now deposited in
the museum formerly belonged to a noble family in Inverness, and is
considered to be the only one remaining in Scotland. It is made of oak,
inlaid with cedar, and richly ornamented with gold. The cover and sides
are beautifully painted with figures of birds, flowers, and leaves, the
colours of which are still comparatively fresh and undecayed. On one part
of the lid is a grand procession of warriors, whom a bevy of fair dames
are propitiating by presents or offerings of wine and fruits. Altogether,
the virginal may be regarded as a fine specimen of art, and is doubly
interesting as a memorial of times long gone by.
* * * * *
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
Your correspondent, a _Constant Reader_, in No. 330 of the MIRROR, is
informed that the identical telescope which he mentions is now in the
possession of Mr. J. Davies, optician, 101, High-street, Mary-le-bone,
where it may be seen in a finished and perfect state. It is reckoned the
best and most complete of its size in Europe.
It was ordered to be made for his late majesty George III. as a challenge
against the late Dr. Herschel's; but was prevented from being completed
till some time after. The metals, 9-1/4 inches in diameter, having a
diagonal eye-piece, four eye tubes of different magnifying powers, and
three small specula of various radii, were made by Mr. Watson.
* * * * *
ANCIENT ROMAN FESTIVALS.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
The _Augustalia_ was a festival at Rome, in commemoration of the day on
which Augustus returned to Rome, after he had established peace over the
different parts of the empire. It was first established in the year of
The _Fontinalia_, or _Fontanalia_, was a religious feast, held among the
Romans in honour of the deities who presided over fountains or springs.
Varro observes, that it was the custom to visit the wells on those days,
and to cast crowns into fountains. This festival was observed on the 13th
The _Armilustrum_ was a feast held on the 19th of October, wherein they
sacrificed, armed at all points, and with the sound of trumpets. The
sacrifice was intended for the expiation of the armies, and the
prosperity of the arms of the people of Rome. This feast may be
considered as a kind of benediction of arms. It was first observed among
* * * * *
THE ANECDOTE GALLERY.
LORD BYRON AT MISSOLONGHI.
[The _Foreign Quarterly Review_ gives the following sketch as a
"_pendant_ to Mr. Pouqueville's picture of the poet, given in a
preceding page," and requoted by us in the last No. of the MIRROR. It is
from a History of Greece, by Rizo, a Wallachian sentimentalist of the
first order, and in enthusiasm and exuberance of style, it will perhaps
compare with any previous sketches of the late Lord Byron: but the
romantic interest which Rizo has thrown about these "more last words"
will doubtless render them acceptable to our readers.]
For several years a man, a poet, excited the admiration of civilized
people. His sublime genius towered above the atmosphere, and penetrated,
with a searching look, even into the deepest abysses of the human heart.
Envy, which could not reach the poet, attacked the man, and wounded him
cruelly; but, too great to defend, and too generous to revenge himself,
he only sought for elevated impressions, and "_vivoit de grand
sensations_," (which we cannot translate), capable of the most noble
devotedness, and, persuaded that excellence is comprised in justice, he
embraced the cause of the Greeks. Still young, Byron had traversed Greece,
_properly so called_, and described the moral picture of its inhabitants.
He quitted these countries, pitying in his verses the misery of the
Greeks, blaming their lethargy, and despising their stupid submission; so
difficult is it to know a nation by a rapid glance. What was the
astonishment of the poet, when some years later he saw these people, whom
he had thought unworthy to bear the name of Greeks, rise up with
simultaneous eagerness, and declare, in the face of the world, that "they
_would_ again become a nation." Byron hesitated at first; ancient
prepossessions made him attribute this rupture to a partial convulsion,
the ultimate effort of a being ready to breathe the last sigh. Soon new
prodigies, brilliant exploits, and heroic constancy, which sustained
itself in spite of every opposition, proved to him that he had ill-judged
this people, and excited him to repair his error by the sacrifice of his
fortune and life; he wished to concur in the work of regeneration. From
the shores of the beautiful Etruria he set sail for Greece, in the month
of August, 1823. He visited at first the seven Ionian Isles, where he
sojourned some time, busied in concluding the first Greek loan. The death
of Marco Botzaris redoubled the enthusiasm of Byron, and perhaps
determined him to prefer the town of Missolonghi, which already showed
for its glory the tombs of Normann, Kyriakoulis, and Botzaris. Alas! that
town was destined, four months later, to reckon another mausoleum!
Towards the month of November a Hydriote brig of war, commanded by the
nephew of the brave Criezy, sailed to Cephalonia to take him on board,
and bring him to Missolonghi; but the Septinsular government, not
permitting ships bearing a Greek flag to come into its harbours, Byron
was obliged to pass to Zante in a small vessel, and to join the Greek
brig afterwards, which was waiting for him near Zante. Hardly was Byron
on board when he kissed the mainmast, calling it "_sacred wood_." The
ship's crew astonished at this whimsical behaviour, regarded him in
silence; suddenly Byron turned towards the captain and the sailors, whom
he embraced with tears, and said to them, "It is by this wood that you
will consolidate your independence." At these words the sailors, moved
with enthusiasm, regarded him with admiration. Byron soon reached
Missolonghi: the members of the Administrative Council received him at
the head of two thousand soldiers drawn up in order. The artillery of the
place, and the discharge of musquetry announced the happy arrival of this
great man. All the inhabitants ran to the shore, and welcomed him with
acclamations. As soon as he had entered the town, he went to the hotel of
the Administrative Council, where he was complimented by Porphyrios,
Archbishop of Arta, Lepanto and Etolia, accompanied by all his clergy.
The first words of Byron were, "Where is the brother of the modern
Leonidas?" Constantine Botzaris, a young man, tall and well made,
immediately stepped forward, and Byron thus accosted him:--"Happy mortal!
Thou art the brother of a hero, whose name will never be effaced in the
lapse of ages!" Then perceiving a great crowd assembled under the windows
of the hotel, he advanced towards the casement, and said, "Hellenes! you
see amongst you an Englishman who has never ceased to study Greece in her
antiquity, and to think of her in her modern state; an Englishman who has
always invoked by his vows that liberty, for which you are now making so
many heroic efforts. I am grateful for the sentiments which you testify
towards me; in a short time you will see me in the middle of your
phalanxes, to conquer or perish with you." A month afterwards the
government sent him a deputation, charged to offer him a sword and the
patent of Greek citizenship; at the same time the town of Missolonghi
inscribed him in its archives. For this public act they prepared a solemn
ceremony for him; they fixed beforehand the day--they invited there by
circular letters the inhabitants of the neighbouring districts--and more
than twenty thousand persons arrived at Missolonghi. Byron in a Greek
costume, preceded and followed by all the military, who loved him,
proceeded to the church, where the Archbishop Porphyrios and the bishop
of Rogon, Joseph, that martyr of religion and his country, received him
in the vestibule of the church, clothed in their sacerdotal habits; and,
after having celebrated mass, they offered him the sword and the patent
of citizenship. Byron demanded that the sword should be first dedicated
on the tomb of Marco Botzaris; and immediately the whole retinue, and an
immense crowd, went out of the church to the tomb of that warrior, which
had been ornamented with beautiful marble at the expense of the poet.
The archbishop placed the sword upon this tomb, and then Byron, to
inspire the Greeks with enthusiasm, advanced with a religious silence,
and stopping all on a sudden, he pronounced this discourse in the Greek
tongue:--"What man reposes buried under this stone? What hollow voice
issues from this tomb? What is this sepulchre, from whence will spring
the happiness of Greece? But what am I saying? Is it not the tomb of
Marco Botzaris, who has been dead some months, and who, with a handful of
brave men, precipitated himself upon the numerous ranks of the most
formidable enemies of Greece? How dare I approach the sacred place where
he reposes--I, who neither possess his heroism nor his virtues? However,
in touching this tomb, I hope that its emanations will always inflame my
heart with patriotism." So saying, and advancing towards the sepulchre,
he kissed it while shedding tears. Every spectator exclaimed, "Lord Byron
for ever!" "I see," added his lordship, "the sword and the letter of
citizenship, which the government offers me; from this day I am the
fellow-citizen of this hero, and of all the brave people who surround me.
Hellenes! I hope to live with you, to fight the enemy with you, and to
die with you if it be necessary." Byron, superior to vulgar prejudice,
saw in the manners of the _pallikares_ an ingenuous simplicity, a manly
frankness and rustic procedure, but full of honour; he observed in the
people a docility and constancy capable of the greatest efforts, when it
shall be conducted by skilful and virtuous men; he observed amongst the
Greek women natural gaiety, unstudied gentleness, and religious
resignation to misfortunes.
Byron did not pretend to bend a whole people to his tastes and European
habits. He came not to censure with a stern look their costumes, their
dances, and their music; on the contrary, he entered into their national
dances, he learned their warlike songs, he dressed himself like them, he
spoke their language; in a word, he soon became a true _Roumeliote_.
Consequently, he was adored by all Western Greece; every captain
acknowledged him with pleasure as his chief; the proud Souliots gloried
in being under his immediate command. The funds of the first loan being
addressed to him, and submitted to his inspection, gave him influence,
not only over continental Greece, but even over the Peloponnesus; so that
he was in a situation, if not sufficient to stifle discord, at least to
keep it within bounds. Not having yet fathomed the character of all the
chief people, as well civil as military, he was sometimes deceived in the
beginning of his sojourn, which a little hurt his popularity; but being
completely above trifling passions, being able to strengthen by his union
with it the party which appeared to him the most patriotic, he might
without any doubt, with time and experience, have played a part the most
magnificent and salutary to Greece. At first he had constructed, at his
own expense, a fort in the little isle of Xeclamisma, the capture of
which would have given great facilities to the enemies to attack by sea
Missolonghi or Anatoliko. Missolonghi gave to this important fort the
name of "Fort Byron." This nobleman conceived afterwards, studied and
prepared an expedition against the strong place of Lepanto, the capture
of which would have produced consequences singularly favourable. Once in
possession of the means of regularly paying the soldiers, he would have
been able to form a choice body, and take the town, which did not present
any difficulty of attack, either on account of the few troops shut up
there, or the weakness of its fortifications. Byron only waited the
arrival of the loan, to begin his march.
Thus he led an agreeable life in the midst of a nation which he aimed at
saving. Enchanted with the bravery of the Souliots, and their manners,
which recalled to him the simplicity of Homeric times, he assisted at
their banquets, extended upon the turf; he learnt their pyrrhic dance,
and he sang in unison the airs of Riga, harmonizing his steps to the
sound of their national mandolin. Alas! he carried too far his benevolent
condescension. Towards the beginning of April he went to hunt in the
marshes of Missolonghi. He entered on foot in the shallows; he came out
quite wet, and, following the example of the _pallikares_ accustomed to
the _malaria_, he would not change his clothes, and persisted in having
them dried upon his body. Attacked with an inflammation upon the lungs,
he refused to let himself be bled, notwithstanding the intreaties of his
physician, of Maurocordato and all his friends. His malady quickly grew
worse; on the fourth day Byron became delirious; by means of bleeding he
recovered from his drowsiness, but without being able to speak; then,
feeling his end approaching, he gave his attendants to understand that he
wished to take leave of the captains and all the Souliots. As each
approached, Byron made a sign to them to kiss him. At last he expired in
the arms of Maurocordato, whilst pronouncing the names of his daughter
and of Greece. His death was fatal to the nation, which it plunged in
mourning and tears.
* * * * *
MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.
* * * * *
CEREMONIES RELATING TO THE HAIR.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Among the ancient Greeks, all dead persons were thought to be under the
jurisdiction of the infernal deities, and therefore no man (says Potter)
could resign his life, till some of his hairs were cut to consecrate to
them. During the ceremony of laying out, clothing the dead, and sometimes
the interment itself, the hair of the deceased person was hung upon the
door, to signify the family was in mourning. It was sometimes laid upon
the dead body, sometimes cast into the funeral pile, and sometimes placed
upon the grave. Electra in Sophocles says, that Agamemnon had commanded
her and Chrysothemis to pay him this honour:--
"With drink-off'rings and _locks_ of _hair_ we must,
According to his will, his _tomb_ adorn."
Candace in Ovid bewails her calamity, in that she was not permitted to
adorn her lover's tomb with her locks.
At Patroclus's funeral, the Grecians, to show their affection and
respect to him, covered his body with their hair; Achilles cast it into
the funeral pile. The custom of nourishing the hair on religious
accounts seems to have prevailed in most nations. Osiris, the Egyptian,
consecrated his hair to the gods, as we learn from Diodorus; and in
Arian's account of India, it appears it was a custom there to preserve
their hair for some god, which they first learnt (as that author
reports) from Bacchus.
The Greeks and Romans wore false hair. It was esteemed a peculiar honour
among the ancient Gauls to have long hair. For this reason Julius Caesar,
upon subduing the Gauls, made them cut off their hair, as a token of
submission. In the royal family of France, it was a long time the
peculiar mark and privilege of kings and princes of the blood to wear
long hair, artfully dressed and curled; every body else being obliged to
be polled, or cut round, in sign of inferiority and obedience. In the
eighth century, it was the custom of people of quality to have their
children's hair cut the first time by persons they had a particular
honour and esteem for, who, in virtue of this ceremony, were reputed a
sort of spiritual parents or godfathers to them. In the year 1096, there
was a canon, importing, that such as wore long hair should be excluded
coming into church when living, and not be prayed for when dead.
Charlemagne wore his hair very short, his son shorter; Charles the _Bald_
had none at all. Under Hugh Capet it began to appear again; this the
ecclesiastics were displeased with, and excommunicated all who let their
hair grow. Peter Lombard expostulated the matter so warmly with Charles
the Young, that he cut off his own hair; and his successors, for some
generations, wore it very short. A professor of Utrecht, in 1650, wrote
expressly on the question, Whether it be lawful for men to wear long
hair? and concluded for the negative. Another divine, named Reeves, who
had written for the affirmative, replied to him. In _New_ England a
declaration was inscribed in the register of the colony against the
practice of wearing long hair, which was principally levelled at the
Quakers, with unjust severity.
* * * * *
Pagoda in Kew Gardens.
[Illustration: Pagoda in Kew Gardens.]
In one of the wildernesses of Kew Gardens stands the _Great Pagoda_,
erected in the year 1762, from a design in imitation of the Chinese Taa.
The base is a regular octagon, 49 feet in diameter; and the
superstructure is likewise a regular octagon on its plan, and in its
elevation composed of 10 prisms, which form the 10 different stories of
the building. The lowest of these is 26 feet in diameter, exclusive of
the portico which surrounds it, and 18 feet high; the second is 25 feet
in diameter, and 17 feet high; and all the rest diminish in diameter and
height, in the same arithmetical proportion, to the ninth story, which is
18 feet in diameter and 10 feet high. The tenth story is 17 feet in
diameter, and, with the covering, 20 feet high, and the finishing on the
top is 17 feet high; so that the whole structure, from the base to the
top of the fleuron, is 163 feet. Each story finishes with a projecting
roof, after the Chinese manner, covered with plates of varnished iron of
different colours, and round each of them is a gallery enclosed with a
rail. All the angles of the roof are adorned with large dragons, eighty
in number, covered with a kind of thin glass of various colours, which
produces a most dazzling reflection; and the whole ornament at the top is
double gilt. The walls of the building are composed of very hard bricks;
the outside of well-coloured and well-matched greystocks, (bricks,)
neatly laid. The staircase is in the centre of the building. The prospect
opens as you advance in height; and from the top you command a very
extensive view on all sides, and, in some directions, upwards of forty
miles distant, over a rich and variegated country.
* * * * *
* * * * *
MR. HAYDON'S PICTURE OF "CHAIRING THE MEMBERS."
In our last volume we were induced to appropriate nearly six of our
columns to a description of Mr. Haydon's Picture of the Mock Election in
the King's Bench Prison--or rather _the first_ of a series of pictures to
illustrate the Election, the subject of the present notice being the
Second, or the Chairing of the Members, which was intended for the
concluding scene of the burlesque. It will, therefore, be unnecessary for
us here to give any additional explanation of the real life of these
paintings, except so far as may be necessary to the explanation of the
The "_Chairing_" was acted on a water butt one evening, but was to have
been again performed in more magnificent costume the next day; just,
however, as all the actors in this eccentric masquerade, High Sheriff,
Lord Mayor, Head Constable, Assessor, Poll Clerks, and Members, were
ready dressed, and preparing to start, the marshal interfered, stopped
the procession, and, after some parley, was advised to send for the
"About the middle of a sunny day," says Mr. Haydon, "when all was quiet,
save the occasional cracking of a racket ball, while some were reading,
some smoking, some lounging, some talking, some occupied with their own
sorrows, and some with the sorrows of their friends, in rushed six fine
grenadiers with a noble fellow of a sergeant at their head, with bayonets
fixed, and several rounds of ball in their cartouches, expecting to meet
(by their looks) with the most desperate resistance."
"The materials thus afforded me by the entrance of the guards, I have
combined in one moment;" or "I have combined in one moment what happened
at different moments; the _characters_ and _soldiers are all portraits_.
I have only used the poets and painters' license, to make out the second
part of the story, a part that happens in all elections, viz. the
chairing of the successful candidates."
"In the corner of the picture, on the left of the spectator, are three
of the guards, drawn up across the door, standing at ease, with all the
self-command of soldiers in such situations, hardly suppressing a laugh
at the ridiculous attempts made to oppose them; in front of the guards,
is the commander of the enemy's forces; viz.--a little boy with a tin
sword, on regular guard position, ready to receive and oppose them, with
a banner of 'Freedom of Election,' hanging on his sabre; behind him
stands the Lord High Sheriff, affecting to charge the soldiers with his
mopstick and pottle. He is dressed in a magnificent suit of decayed
splendour, with an old court sword, loose silk stockings, white shoes,
and unbuckled knee-bands; his shoulders are adorned with white bows, and
curtain rings for a chain, hung by a blue ribbon from his neck. Next to
him, adorned with a blanket, is a character of voluptuous gaiety,
helmeted by a saucepan, holding up the cover for a shield, and a bottle
for a weapon. Then comes the Fool, making grimaces with his painted
cheeks, and bending his fists at the military; while the Lord Mayor with
his white wand, is placing his hand on his heart with mock gravity and
wounded indignation at this violation of _Magna Charta_ and civil
rights. Behind him are different characters, with a porter pot for a
standard, and a watchman's rattle; while in the extreme distance, behind
the rattle, and under the wall, is a ragged Orator addressing the
burgesses on this violation of the privileges of Election.
"Right over the figure with a saucepan, is a Turnkey, holding up a key
and pulling down the celebrated Meredith; who, quite serious, and
believing he will really sit in the House, is endeavouring to strike the
turnkey with a champagne glass. The gallant member is on the shoulders of
two men, who are peeping out and quizzing.
"Close to Meredith is his fellow Member, dressed in a Spanish hat and
feather, addressing the Sergeant opposite him, with an arch look, on the
illegality of his entrance at elections, while a turnkey has taken hold
of the member's robe, and is pulling him off the water butt with violence.
"The sergeant, a fine soldier, one of the heroes of Waterloo, is smiling
and amused, while a grenadier, one of the other three under arms, is
looking at his sergeant for orders.
"In the corner, directly under the sergeant, is a dissipated young man,
addicted to hunting and sports, without adequate means for the enjoyment,
attended by his distressed family. He, half intoxicated, has just drawn a
cork, and is addressing the bottle, his only comfort, while his daughter
is delicately putting it aside and looking with entreaty at her father.
"The harassed wife is putting back the daughter, unwilling to deprive the
man she loves, of what, though a baneful consolation, is still one; while
the little, shoeless boy with his hoop, is regarding his father with that
strange wonder, with which children look at the unaccountable alteration
in features and expression, that takes place under the effects of
"Three pawnbroker's duplicates, one for the child's shoes, 1_s_. 6_d_.,
one for the wedding ring, 5_s_., and one for the wife's necklace, 7_l_.,
lie at the feet of the father, with the Sporting Magazine; for drunkards
generally part with the ornaments or even necessaries of their wives and
children before they trespass on their own.
"At the opposite corner lies curled up the Head Constable, hid away under
his bed-curtain, which he had for a robe, and slyly looking, as if he
hoped nobody would betray him. By his side is placed a table, with the
relics of a luxurious enjoyment, while a washing tub as a wine cooler,
contains, under the table, Hock, Champagne, Burgundy, and a Pine.
"Directly over the sergeant, on the wall, are written, 'The _Majesti_
of the _Peepel_ for ever--huzza!'--'No military at Elections!' and 'No
Marshal!'--on the standards to the left, are '_Confusion to Credit, and
no fraudulent Creditors_.' In the window are a party with a lady smoking
a hookah; on the ledge of the window, "Success to the detaining Creditor!"
--At the opposite window is a portrait of the Painter, looking down on
the extraordinary scene with great interest--underneath him is, 'Sperat
"On a board under the lady smoking, is written the order of the Lord
Mayor, enjoining _Peace_, as follows:--
Court House, July 16,
In the Sixth year of the
Reign of GEORGE IV.
"That the Special Constables and Headboroughs
of this ancient Bailwick do take into
custody all Persons found in any way committing
a breach of the Peace, during the Procession
of Chairing the Members returned to represent
"SIR ROBERT BIRCH, (Collegian) Lord Mayor.
"'A New Way to pay Old Debts,'--is written over the first turnkey; and
below it, 'N.B. A very old way, discovered 3394 years B.C.;' and in the
extreme distance, over a shop, is--'Dealer in every thing genuine.'
"While the man beating the long drum, at the opposite end, another the
cymbals, and the third blowing a trumpet, with the windows all crowded
with spectators, complete the composition, with the exception of the
melancholy victim behind the High Sheriff.
"I recommend the contemplation of this miserable creature, once a
gentleman, to all advocates of imprisonment for debt. First rendered
reckless by imprisonment--then hopeless--then sottish--and, last of all,
from utter despair of freedom, insane! Round his withered temples is a
blue ribbon, with 'Dulce est pro Patria mori,' (it is sweet to die for
one's country); for he is baring his breast to rush on the bayonets of
the guards, a willing sacrifice, as he believes, poor fellow, for a great
public principle. In his pocket he has three pamphlets, 'On Water
Drinking, or The Blessings of Imprisonment for Debt,'--and Adam Smith's
'Moral Essays.'--Ruffles hang from his wrists, the relics of former days,
rags cover his feeble legs, one foot is naked, and his appearance is that
of a decaying being, mind and body."
Such is Mr. Haydon's "Explanation" of his own Picture; and it only
remains for us to give the reader some idea of its most prominent
beauties. As a whole, it is very superior to the "Election," highly as we
were disposed to rate the merits of that performance. The style is
masterly throughout, and every shade of the colouring has all the depth
and richness which characterize works of real genius. There is a spirit
in every touch which differs as much from the softened and soulless
compositions of certain modern artists, as does the florid architecture
of the ancients from the starved proportions of these days, or the rich
and graceful style of the Essayists from the fabrications of little,
self-conceited biographers. In short, the whole scene is dashed off in the
first style of art; the subject and humour are all over English--true to
nature, and so forcible as to seize on the attention of the most listless
We must notice a few of the details. The three guards are foremost in the
picture, and in merit; the struggle in their countenances between
discipline and a sense of the ludicrous scene before them is admirably
represented; as well as the little urchin with his tin sword. The centre
figure of the High Sheriff, with his tattered and faded finery of office,
is equally clever; but the skill with which the artist has contrived to
express his forced mirth, and mopstick bravado, is still more forcible.
The troubled countenance of the Lord Mayor is an excellent portrait of
the indignation of little authority when perturbed by men of greater
place. The faces of the turnkey and the sergeant are likewise admirable;
and that of the soldier looking towards the latter for orders, is like an
excellent piece of byplay in the farce. The drunken patriot, behind the
High Sheriff, is well entitled to the attention which the artist, in his
explanation, suggests; but the spectator must not dwell too long on this
sorrowful wreck of fallen nature. The group in the foreground of the
right hand corner, is an episode which must not be omitted, for it
corresponds with the fine portrait in the same situation in the "Election"
picture. The reckless dissipation of the fine, young fox-hunter, the half
intoxicated chuckle with which he holds the bottle, the grief of his
daughter and wife, and the little shoeless boy with his hoop, are finely
contrasted with the rich humour and extravagant burlesque of all around
them. The slyness of the Head Constable, in the left hand corner, half
smothered in his mock robes, is expressively told; and the painter is a
From the success of Mr. Haydon in the particular line of art requisite
for scenes of real humour, it is not unlikely that his execution of the
first picture, the "Election" may prove one of the most fortunate events
in his professional career, and turn out to be one of the "sweet uses of
adversity," by eliciting talent which he probably did not believe himself
to possess. Much as we admire this style of art, we can but deplore that
purchasers cannot be found for such pictures as his _Entry into
Jerusalem_, and _Judgment of Solomon_, both which, with two others, are
exhibited in the room with the Chairing of the Members. Out of the scores
of new churches which are yearly completed, surely some altar-pieces
might be introduced with propriety; and when we consider the peculiar
influence which such scenes as those chosen by Mr. Haydon are known to
possess over the human heart, we do not think their entire exclusion from
modern churches contributes to their devotional character.
Such pictures are intended for better purposes than mere seclusion in
large galleries and mansions, of which there are but comparatively few in
England; and it is always with regret that we see these noble efforts of
art in such profitless situations. Occasionally a nobleman, or parochial
taste, introduces a valuable painted window, and sometimes an altarpiece
into a church; but we wish the practice were more general.
* * * * *
* * * * *
ENGLAND IN THE DAYS OF GOOD "QUEEN BESS."
The misery and mendicity which prevailed in this country before the
provisions of the poor laws in the time of Elizabeth became duly enforced,
might be proved by the following extract from a curious old pamphlet,
which describes, in very forcible language, the poverty and idleness
which prevailed in one of the fairest and most fertile districts of the
The Golden Vale in Herefordshire, (being ye pride of al that country,)
being the richest yet (for want of employment) the plentifullest place of
poore in the kingdom--yielding two or three hundred folde; the number so
increasing (idleness having gotten the upper hand;) if trades bee not
raised--beggery will carry such reputation in my quarter of the country,
as if it had the whole to halves.
There bee, says this author, within a mile and a halfe from my house
every waye, five hundred poore habitations; whose greatest meanes consist
in spinning flaxe, hemp, and hurdes. They dispose the seasons of the
yeare in this manner; I will begin with May, June, and July, (three of
the merriest months for beggers,) which yield the best increase for their
purpose, to raise multitudes: whey, curdes, butter-milk, and such belly
provision, abounding in the neighbourhood, serves their turne. As wountes
or moles hunt after wormes, the ground being dewable, so these idelers
live intolerablie by other meanes, and neglect their painfull labours by
oppressing the neighbourhood. August, September, and October, with that
permission which the Lord hath allowed the poorer sorte to gather the
eares of corne, they do much harme. I have seen three hundred leazers or
gleaners in one gentleman's corn-field at once; his servants gathering
and stouking the bound sheaves, the sheaves lying on the ground like dead
carcases in an overthrown battell, they following the spoyle, not like
souldiers (which scorne to rifle) but like theeves desirous to steale; so
this army holdes pillaging, wheate, rye, barly, pease, and oates; oates,
a graine which never grew in Canaan, nor AEgypt, and altogether out of
the allowance of leazing.
Under colour of the last graine, oates, it being the latest harvest,
they doe (without mercy in hotte bloud) steale, robbe orchards, gardens,
hop-yards, and crab trees; so what with leazing and stealing, they doe
poorly maintaine themselves November, December, and almost all January,
with some healpes from the neighbourhood.
The last three moneths, February, March, and Aprill, little labour serves
their turne, they hope by the heat of the sunne, (seasoning themselves,
like snakes, under headges,) to recover the month of May with much
poverty, long fasting, and little praying; and so make an end of their
yeares travel in the Easter holy days.
* * * * *
In the earlier periods of their history, both in England and Scotland,
beggars were generally of such a description as to entitle them to the
epithet of _sturdy_; accordingly they appear to have been regarded often
as impostors and always as nuisances and pests. "Sornares," so violently
denounced in those acts, were what are here called "masterful beggars,"
who, when they could not obtain what they asked for by fair means, seldom
hesitated to take it by violence. The term is said to be Gaelic, and to
import a soldier. The life of such a beggar is well described in the
"Belman of London," printed in 1608--"The life of a beggar is the life of
a souldier. He suffers hunger and cold in winter, and heate and thirste
in summer; he goes lowsie, he goes lame; he is not regarded; he is not
rewarded; here only shines his glorie. The whole kingdome is but his walk;
a whole cittie is but his parish. In every man's kitchen is his meate
dressed; in every man's sellar lyes his beere; and the best men's purses
keepe a penny for him to spend."
* * * * *
CURIOUS MANORIAL CUSTOM.
At King's Hill, about half a mile north-east of Rocford Church, Essex, is
held what is called the _Lawless Court_, a whimsical custom, the origin
of which is not known. On the Wednesday morning next after Michaelmas day,
the tenants are bound to attend upon the first cock-crowing, and to kneel
and do their homage, without any kind of light, but such as heaven will
afford. The steward of the court calls all such as are bound to appear,
with as low a voice as possible, giving no notice when he goes to execute
his office; however, he that does not give an answer is deeply amerced.
They are all to whisper to each other, nor have they any pen and ink, but
supply that deficiency with a coal; and he that owes suit and service,
and appears not, forfeits to the lord of the manor double his rent every
hour he is absent.
A tenant, some years ago, forfeited his land for non attendance, but was
restored to it, the lord taking only a fine.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS
* * * * *
THE PET DOG.
Dogs, when they are sure of having their own way, have sometimes ways as
odd as those of the unfurred, unfeathered animals, who walk on two legs,
and talk, and are called rational. My beautiful, white greyhound,
Mayflower, for instance, is as whimsical as the finest lady in the land.
Amongst her other fancies, she has taken a violent affection for a most
hideous stray dog, who made his appearance here about six months ago,
and contrived to pick up a living in the village, one can hardly tell
how. Now appealing to the charity of old Rachael Strong, the
laundress--a dog-lover by profession; now winning a meal from the
light-footed and open-hearted lasses at the Rose; now standing on his
hind-legs to extort, by sheer beggary, a scanty morsel from some pair of
"drowthy cronies," or solitary drover, discussing his dinner or supper
on the alehouse-bench; now catching a mouthful, flung to him in pure
contempt by some scornful gentleman of the shoulder-knot, mounted on his
throne, the coach-box, whose notice he had attracted by dint of
ugliness; now sharing the commons of Master Keep the shoemaker's pigs;
now succeeding to the reversion of the well-gnawed bone of Master Brow
the shopkeeper's fierce house-dog; now filching the skim-milk of Dame
Wheeler's cat:--spit at by the cat; worried by the mastiff; chased by
the pigs; screamed at by the dame; stormed at by the shoemaker; flogged
by the shopkeeper; teased by all the children, and scouted by all the
animals of the parish;--but yet living through his griefs, and bearing
them patiently, "for sufferance is the badge of all his tribe;"--and
even seeming to find, in an occasional full meal, or a gleam of
sunshine, or a whisp of dry straw, on which to repose his sorry carcass,
some comfort in his disconsolate condition.
In this plight was he found by May, the most high-blooded and
aristocratic of greyhounds; and from this plight did May rescue him;--
invited him into her territory, the stable; resisted all attempts to
turn him out; reinstated him there, in spite of maid, and boy, and
mistress, and master; wore out every body's opposition, by the activity
of her protection, and the pertinacity of her self-will; made him sharer
of her bed and her mess; and, finally, established him as one of the
family as firmly as herself.
Dash--for he has even won himself a name amongst us, before he was
anonymous--Dash is a sort of a kind of a spaniel; at least there is in
his mongrel composition some sign of that beautiful race. Besides his
ugliness, which is of the worst sort--that is to say, the shabbiest--he
has a limp on one leg that gives a peculiarly one-sided awkwardness to
his gait; but, independently of his great merit in being May's pet, he
has other merits which serve to account for that phenomenon--being,
beyond all comparison the most faithful, attached, and affectionate
animal that I have ever known; and that is saying much. He seems to think
it necessary to atone for his ugliness by extra good conduct, and does so
dance on his lame leg, and so wag his scrubby tail, that it does any one,
who has a taste for happiness, good to look at him--so that he may now be
said to stand on his own footing. We are all rather ashamed of him when
strangers come in the way, and think it necessary to explain that he is
May's pet; but amongst ourselves, and those who are used to his
appearance, he has reached the point of favouritism in his own person. I
have, in common with wiser women, the feminine weakness of loving
whatever loves me--and, therefore, like Dash. His master has found out
that Dash is a capital finder, and, in spite of his lameness, will hunt a
field, or beat a cover with any spaniel in England--and, therefore, _he_
likes Dash. The boy has fought a battle, in defence of his beauty, with
another boy, bigger than himself, and beat his opponent most handsomely--
and, therefore, _he_ likes Dash; and the maids like him, or pretend to
like him, because we do--as is the fashion of that pliant and imitative
class. And now Dash and May follow us every where, and are going with us
now to the Shaw, or rather to the cottage by the Shaw, to bespeak milk
and butter of our little dairy-woman, Hannah Bint--a housewifely
occupation, to which we owe some of our pleasantest rambles--_Miss
* * * * *
FROM THE ROMAIC.
When we were last, my gentle Maid,
In love's embraces twining,
'Twas Night, who saw, and then betray'd!
"Who saw?" Yon Moon was shining.
A gossip Star shot down, and he
First told our secret to the Sea.
The Sea, who never secret kept,
The peevish, blustering railer!
Told it the Oar, as on he swept;
The Oar informed the Sailor.
The Sailor whisper'd it to his fair,
And she--she told it every where!
_New Monthly Magazine_.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
The problem of the generation of eels is one of the most abstruse and
curious in natural history; but we have been much pleased, and not a
little enlightened, by some observations on the subject in Sir Humphrey
Davy's delightful little volume, _Salmonia_, of which the following is
Although the generation of eels occupied the attention of Aristotle, and
has been taken up by the most distinguished naturalists since his time,
it is still unsolved. Lacepede, the French naturalist, asserts, in the
most unqualified way, that they are _viviparous_; but we do not remember
any facts brought forward on the subject. Sir Humphrey then goes on to
say--This is certain, that there are two migrations of eels--one up and
one down rivers, one _from_ and the other _to_ the sea; the first in
spring and summer, the second in autumn or early winter. The first of
very small eels, which are sometimes not more than two or two and a half
inches long; the second of large eels, which sometimes are three or four
feet long, and which weigh from 10 to 15, or even 20 lbs. There is great
reason to believe that all eels found in fresh water are the results of
the first migration; they appear in millions in April and May, and
sometimes continue to rise as late even as July and the beginning of
August. I remember this was the case in Ireland in 1823. It had been a
cold, backward summer; and when I was at Ballyshannon, about the end of
July, the mouth of the river, which had been in flood all this month,
under the fall, was blackened by millions of little eels, about as long
as the finger, which were constantly urging their way up the moist rocks
by the side of the fall. Thousands died, but their bodies remaining moist,
served as the ladder for others to make their way; and I saw some
ascending even perpendicular stones, making their road through wet moss,
or adhering to some eels that had died in the attempt. Such is the energy
of these little animals, that they continue to find their way, in immense
numbers, to Loch Erne. The same thing happens at the fall of the Bann,
and Loch Neagh is thus peopled by them; even the mighty Fall of
Shaffausen does not prevent them from making their way to the Lake of
Constance, where I have seen many very large eels. There are eels in the
Lake of Neufchatel, which communicates by a stream with the Rhine; but
there are none in the Lake of Geneva, because the Rhone makes a
subterraneous fall below Geneva; and though small eels can pass by moss
or mount rocks, they cannot penetrate limestone rocks, or move against a
rapid descending current of water, passing, as it were, through a pipe.
Again: no eels mount the Danube from the Black Sea; and there are none
found in the great extent of lakes, swamps, and rivers communicating with
the Danube--though some of these lakes and morasses are wonderfully
fitted for them, and though they are found abundantly in the same
countries, in lakes and rivers connected with the ocean and the
Mediterranean. Yet, when brought into confined water in the Danube, they
fatten and thrive there. As to the instinct which leads young eels to
seek fresh water, it is difficult to reason; probably they prefer warmth,
and, swimming at the surface in the early summer, find the lighter water
warmer, and likewise containing more insects, and so pursue the courses
of fresh water, as the waters from the land, at this season, become
warmer than those from the sea. Mr. J. Couch, in the Linnaean
Transactions, says the little eels, according to his observation, are
produced within reach of the tide, and climb round falls to reach fresh
water from the sea. I have sometimes seen them in spring, swimming in
immense shoals in the Atlantic, in Mount Bay, making their way to the
mouths of small brooks and rivers. When the cold water from the autumnal
flood begins to swell the rivers, this fish tries to return to the sea;
but numbers of the smaller ones hide themselves during the winter in the
mud, and many of them form, as it were, masses together. Various authors
have recorded the migration of eels in a singular way; such as Dr. Plot,
who, in his History of Staffordshire, says they pass in the night across
meadows from one pond to another; and Mr. Arderon, in the Philosophical
Transactions, gives a distinct account of small eels rising up the
flood-gates and posts of the water-works of the city of Norwich; and
they made their way to the water above, though the boards were smooth
planed, and five or six feet perpendicular. He says, when they first
rose out of the water upon the dry board, they rested a little--which
seemed to be till their slime was thrown out, and sufficiently
glutinous--and then they rose up the perpendicular ascent with the same
facility as if they had been moving on a plane surface.--There can, I
think, be no doubt that they are assisted by their small scales, which,
placed like those of serpents, must facilitate their progressive motion;
these scales have been microscopically observed by Lewenhoeck. Eels
migrate from the salt water of different sizes, but I believe never when
they are above a foot long--and the great mass of them are only from two
and a half to four inches. They feed, grow, and fatten in fresh water.
In small rivers they seldom become very large; but in large, deep lakes
they become as thick as a man's arm, or even leg; and all those of a
considerable size attempt to return to the sea in October or November,
probably when they experience the cold of the first autumnal rains.
Those that are not of the largest size, as I said before, pass the
winter in the deepest parts of the mud of rivers and lakes, and do not
seem to eat much, and remain, I believe, almost torpid. Their increase
is not certainly known in any given time, but must depend upon the
quantity of their food; but it is probable they do not become of the
largest size from the smallest in one or even two seasons; but this, as
well as many other particulars, can only be ascertained by new
observations and experiments. Block states, that they grow slowly, and
mentions that some had been kept in the same pond for fifteen years. As
very large eels, after having migrated, never return to the river again,
they must (for it cannot be supposed that they all die immediately in
the sea) remain in salt water; and there is great probability that they
are then confounded with the conger, which is found from a few ounces to
one hundred pounds in weight.
* * * * *
At Munich, every child found begging is taken to a charitable
establishment; the moment he enters his portrait is given to him,
representing him in his rags, and he promises by oath to keep it all his
* * * * *
[This is _one_ of the gems of the quarto volume of poetry recently
published by the author of the "Omnipresence of the Deity;" but in our
next we intend stringing together a few of the resplendent beauties which
illumine almost every page.]
On yonder mead, that like a windless lake
Shines in the glow of heaven, a cherub boy
Is bounding, playful as a breeze new-born,
Light as the beam that dances by his side.
Phantom of beauty! with his trepid locks
Gleaming like water-wreaths,--a flower of life,
To whom the fairy world is fresh, the sky
A glory, and the earth one huge delight!
Joy shaped his brow, and Pleasure rolls his eye,
While Innocence, from out the budding lip
Darts her young smiles along his rounded cheek.
Grief hath not dimm'd the brightness of his form,
Love and Affection o'er him spread their wings,
And Nature, like a nurse, attends him with
Her sweetest looks. The humming bee will bound
From out the flower, nor sting his baby hand;
The birds sing to him from the sunny tree;
And suppliantly the fierce-eyed mastiff fawn
Beneath his feet, to court the playful touch.
To rise all rosy from the arms of sleep,
And, like the sky-bird, hail the bright-cheek'd morn
With gleeful song, then o'er the bladed mead
To chase the blue-wing'd butterfly, or play
With curly streams; or, led by watchful Love,
To hear the chorus of the trooping waves,
When the young breezes laugh them into life!
Or listen to the mimic ocean roar
Within the womb of spiry sea-shell wove,--
From sight and sound to catch intense delight,
And infant gladness from each happy face,--
These are the guileless duties of the day:
And when at length reposeful Evening comes,
Joy-worn he nestles in the welcome couch,
With kisses warm upon his cheek, to dream
Of heaven, till morning wakes him to the world.
The scene hath changed into a curtain'd room,
Where mournful glimmers of the mellow sun
Lie dreaming on the walls! Dim-eyed and sad,
And dumb with agony, two parents bend
O'er a pale image, in the coffin laid,--
Their infant once, the laughing, leaping boy,
The paragon and nursling of their souls!
Death touch'd him, and the life-glow fled away,
Swift as a gay hour's fancy; fresh and cold
As winter's shadow, with his eye-lids seal'd,
Like violet-lips at eve, he lies enrobed
An offering to the grave! but, pure as when
It wing'd from heaven, his spirit hath return'd,
To lisp his hallelujahs with the choirs
Of sinless babes, imparadised above.
_Death, a Poem, by R. Montgomery._
* * * * *
THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY.
What a fashionable place
Soon the Regent's Park will grow!
Not alone the human race
To survey its beauties go;
Birds and beasts of every hue,
In order and sobriety,
Come, invited by the Zo-
Notes of invitation go
To the west and to the east.
Begging of the Hippopo-
Tamus here to come and feast:
Sheep and panthers here we view,
All united by the Zo-
Monkeys leave their native seat,
Monkeys green and monkeys blue,
Other monkeys here to meet,
And kindly ask, "Pray how d'ye do?"
From New Holland the emu,
With his better moiety,
Has paid a visit to the Zo-
Here we see the lazy tor-
Toise creeping with his shell,
And the drowsy, drowsy dor-
Mouse dreaming in his cell;
Here from all parts of the U-
Niverse we meet variety,
Lodged and boarded by the Zo-
Bears at pleasure lounge and roll,
Leading lives devoid of pain,
Half day climbing up a poll,
Half day climbing down again;
Their minds tormented by no su-
While on good terms with the Zo-
Would a mammoth could be found
And made across the sea to swim!
But now, alas! upon the ground
The bones alone are left of him:
I fear a hungry mammoth too,
(So monstrous and unquiet he.)
By hunger urged might eat the Zo-
_The Christmas Box._
* * * * *
One great protection against all creeping things is, to stir the ground
very frequently along the foot of the wall. That is their great place of
resort; and frequent stirring and making the ground very fine, disturbs
the peace of their numerous families, gives them trouble, makes them
uneasy, and finally harasses them to death.
_Cobbett's English Gardener._
* * * * *
SIR W. TEMPLE'S GARDEN.
It was formerly the fashion to have a sort of canal, with broad grass
walks on the sides, and with the water coming up to within a few inches
of the closely shaven grass; and certainly few things were more beautiful
than these. Sir William Temple had one of his own constructing in his
gardens at Moor Park. On the outsides of the grass-walks were borders of
beautiful flowers. I have stood for hours to look at this canal, which
the good-natured manners of those days had led the proprietor to make an
opening in the outer wall in order that his neighbours might enjoy the
sight as well as himself; I have stood for hours, when a little boy,
looking at this object; I have travelled far since, and have seen a great
deal; but I have never seen any thing of the gardening kind so beautiful
in the whole course of my life--_Ibid_.
* * * * *
In glasses filled with water, bulbous roots, such as the hyacinth,
narcissus, and jonquil, are blown. The time to put them in is from
September to November, and the earliest ones will begin blowing about
Christmas. The glasses should be blue, as that colour best suits the
roots; put water enough in to cover the bulb one-third of the way up,
less rather than more; let the water be soft, change it once a week, and
put in a pinch of salt every time you change it. Keep the glasses in a
place moderately warm, and _near to the light_. A parlour window is a
very common place for them, but is often too warm, and brings on the
plants too early, and causes them to be weakly.--_Ibid_.
* * * * *
We cannot refrain from stating our belief, and this on the authority of
intelligent physicians, as well as from personal observation, that much
mischief is done by committing invalids to long and precarious journeys,
for the sake of doubtful benefits. We have ourselves seen consumptive
patients hurried along, through all the discomforts of bad roads, bad
inns, and indifferent diet, to places, where certain partial advantages
of climate poorly compensated for the loss of the many benefits which
home and domestic care can best afford. We have seen such invalids lodged
in cold, half-furnished houses, and shivering under blasts of wind from
the Alps or Apennines, who might more happily have been sheltered in the
vales of Somerset or Devon. On this topic, however, we refrain from
saying more--further than to state our belief, that much misapprehension
generally prevails, as to the comparative healthiness of England, and
other parts of Europe. Certain phrases respecting climate have obtained
fashionable currency amongst us, which greatly mislead the judgment as to
facts. The accurate statistical tables, now extended to the greater part
of Europe, furnish more secure grounds of opinion; and from these we
derive the knowledge, that there is no one country in Europe where the
average proportion of mortality is so small as in England. Some few
details on this subject we subjoin,--tempted to do so by the common
errors prevailing in relation to it.
The proportion of deaths to the population is nearly one-third less in
England than in France. Comparing the two capitals, the average mortality
of London is about one-fifth less than that of Paris. What may appear a
more singular statement, the proportion of deaths in London, a vast and
luxurious metropolis, differs only by a small fraction from that of the
whole of France; and is considerably less than the average of those
Mediterranean shores which are especially frequented by invalids for the
sake of health. In Italy, the proportion of deaths is a full third
greater than in England; and even in Switzerland and Sweden, though the
difference be less, it is still in favour of our own country.--_Q. Rev_.
* * * * *
The paper so highly esteemed, entitled, _The Courier de l'Europe_,
originated in the following circumstances:--
"Monsieur Guerrier de Berance was a native of Auvergne, whose fortune in
the origin was very low, but who by his intrigues succeeded in gaining
the place of Procureur General of the Custom-house. He married two wives;
the name of the last was Millochin, who was both young and handsome. She
soon began to find out that her husband was very disagreeable; and what
caused her more particularly to remark his faults was her contrasting him
with M. Cevres de la Tour, with whom she fell most desperately in love.
This passion became so violent, that Madame Guerrier fled into England
with her lover, who, in his turn, left his wife behind him in Paris. The
finances of these two lovers growing rather low, M. Sevres de la Tour,
who was a man of talent, thought, as a plan to enrich himself, to turn
editor to a newspaper, and for this purpose started the _Courier de
l'Europe_, which succeeded beyond his most sanguine hopes. Disgust, which
commonly follows these sort of unions, caused Madame Guerrier to be
deserted by her lover, and she was obliged to turn a teacher of languages
for her subsistence.--_The Album of Love_.
* * * * *
"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles."
* * * * *
REPLY TO THE DIRGE ON MISS ELLEN GEE, OF KEW.
(_See Mirror, page 223_.)
Forgive, ye beauteous maids of Q,
The much relenting B,
Who vows he never will sting U,
While sipping of your T.
One nymph I wounded in the I,
The charming L N G,
The fates impell'd, I know not Y,
The luckless busy B.
And oh recall the sentence U
Pass'd on your humble B,
Let me remain at happy Q,
Send me not o'er the C.
And I will mourn upon A U,
The death of L N G,
And all the charming maids of Q
Will pity the poor B.
I will hum soft her L E G,
The reason some ask Y,
Because the maiden could not C,
By me she lost her I.
To soothe ye damsels I'll S A,
Far sooner would I B
Myself in funeral R A,
Than wound one fair at T.
* * * * *
THE BITER BIT.
In the reign of Charles II. a physician to the court was walking with the
king in the gallery of Windsor Castle, when they saw a man repairing a
clock fixed there. The physician knowing the king's relish for a joke,
accosted the man with, "My good friend, you are continually doctoring
that clock, and yet it never goes well. Now if I were to treat my
patients in such a way, I should lose all my credit. What can the reason
be that you mistake so egregiously?" The man dryly replied, "The reason
why you and I, Sir, are not upon a par is plain enough--the sun discovers
all my blunders, but the earth covers yours."
* * * * *
On a tablet in the outside wall of the old church, at Taunton, in
Somersetshire, is the following on "James Waters, late of London,
Death traversing the western road,
And asking where true merit lay,
Made in this town a short abode,
Then took this worthy man away.
* * * * *
Grass of levity,
Span in brevity,
Fire of misery,
* * * * *
NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHER.
Purchasers of the MIRROR, who may wish to complete their volumes, are
informed that the whole of the numbers are now in print, and can be
procured by giving an order to any Bookseller or Newsvender.
Complete sets Vol I. to XI. in boards, price L3. 19_s_. 6_d_ half bound,
* * * * *
LIMBIRD'S EDITION OF THE
_Following Novels are 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...6
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...0
Edward, by Dr. Moore .................... 2...6
Roderick Random ......................... 2...6
The Mysteries of Udolpho ................ 3...6