THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 12, No. 331.] SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1828. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
Charlecote Hall, near Stratford-upon-Avon.
"One of the most delightful things in the world is going a journey." Now
if there be one of our million of friends who, like the fop in the play,
thinks all beyond Hyde Park a desert, let him forthwith proceed on a
pilgrimage to _Stratford-upon-Avon_, the birthplace of SHAKSPEARE; and
though he be the veriest Londoner that ever sung of the "sweet shady
side of Pall Mall," we venture to predict his reform. If such be not the
result, then we envy him not a jot of his terrestrial enjoyment. Let him
but think of the countless hours of delight, the "full houses," the
lighted dome and deeping circles, of the past season; when
Dread o'er the scene the ghost of Hamlet stalks;
Othello rages, &c.
and then will he not enjoy a visit to the place where--
----Sweetest Shakspeare, Fancy's child,
Warbled his native wood-notes wild.
Sterne, the prince of sentimental tourists, says, "Let me have a
companion of my way, were it but to remark how the shadows lengthen as
the sun declines;" but, for our part, we should prefer a visit to
Stratford, _alone_, unless it were with some garrulous old guide to
entertain us with his or her reminiscences.
This brings us to _Charlecote Hall_, one of the Shakspearean relics. It
consists of a venerable mansion, situated on the banks of the Avon,
about four miles from Stratford, and built in the first year of the
reign of Elizabeth, by Sir Thomas Lucy;
"A parliamente member, and justice of peace.
At home a poor scare-crow, at London an asse,"
and so well known as the prosecutor of Shakspeare.
The principal front, here represented, assumes, in its ground plan, the
form of the letter E--said to have been intended as a compliment to the
queen, who, as appears from the Black Book of Warwick, visited this
place in 1572.
 At Stratford, the family maintain that Shakspeare stole Sir
Thomas Lucy's buck, to celebrate his wedding-day, and for that
purpose only. But, in that age, when half the country was
covered with forests, deer-stealing was a venial offence, and
equivalent to snaring a hare in our days.
The above is copied from one of a Series of Views illustrative of the
Life of Shakspeare, drawn and etched by Mr. W. Rider, of Leamington.
These engravings are five in number, but the artist explains that he has
selected such subjects only, "as from tradition, or more certain record,
might fairly be presumed to bear direct relation to the life of the
poet. But while he regrets that the number of authenticated subjects are
so few, he feels that from innovation or decay, they are almost hourly
becoming fewer; and is, therefore, prompted to secure the few remnants
left, while they are yet within his reach."
There is no doubt that the grounds around Charlecote Hall, were the
early haunts of SHAKSPEARE; and that in the house itself sat the
magisterial authority, before which he was doomed to meet the charges,
to which his youthful indiscretions had rendered him liable; and, as it
remains, to the present time, for the most part, unaltered, and
_presents to the spectator of the present day the same image that was
often, and under such peculiar circumstances, impressed on the eye of
our_ SHAKSPEARE, it cannot but be regarded with the most intense
interest by all his admirers.
In conclusion, we would recommend the illustrators of Shakspeare to
possess themselves of a set of Mr. Rider's "Views;" whilst the visiter
of Stratford-upon-Avon would do well to lay a copy in his
portmanteau--for they are in truth so many faithful memorials of the
great poet of nature.
* * * * *
ON NATIONAL VARIETIES.
(_For the Mirror_.)
There are few more familiar subjects than that of the varieties of
national character, and the resemblances and differences that exist
between ourselves and the inhabitants of other countries. Few
conversations occur upon circumstances which may have happened abroad,
in which some one has not an anecdote to relate to illustrate the known
peculiarities of the nation in question; and the greater part of the
travels and tours which now issue in such formidable numbers from the
press, are naturally filled with stories and incidents, either to show
the correctness of our ideas of the manners and opinions of our
neighbours, or (perhaps more frequently) to prove that the public were
in error in that respect, up to the time when the traveller in question
had discovered the truth, or a clue to it. The daily accounts of the
outrages perpetrated in Ireland, and the alarms that are sounded ever
and anon, touching the state of that unhappy country, are continually
exciting surprise, that the natives of the sister island should be so
unaccountably deficient in that sense of order and sobriety which
prevails in Great Britain. We associate with a Scotchman the ideas of
shrewdness and prudence; with a Frenchman, gaiety and frivolity; with a
Spaniard, gravity and pride; with an Italian, strong passions of love
and revenge: with a German, plodding industry and habits of deep
thinking; and with the northern nations, an honest sincerity and
persevering courage. We sometimes judge with tolerable correctness; at
others are wholly mistaken, and not unfrequently run into such extremes,
that having established a principle, that a particular people are
knavish, or cowardly, or stupid, we are unwilling to admit any
exceptions, but include the whole race in our sweeping censure. We are
prejudiced at first sight against a Portuguese or Italian, and are
careful of our communications with him, even though we meet him on the
high road, or by mere accident in a public place. There can, however, be
no mistake in the common notion, that each nation has a peculiar
collection of qualities and habits, distinguishing it in a greater or
less degree from its neighbours, and the rest of the world; and it is,
therefore, at all events, an interesting, if not an useful topic, to
reflect a little how these differences arise. Not that we intend here to
give even any particular description of the various races of mankind, or
to enter into any inquiry upon the degrees of their mental and bodily
capacities; such would be foreign to our purpose, and would exceed our
limits. We shall merely hazard a few observations upon the several
causes to which the diversities in men have been referred, not
pretending to any decided opinion on so nice a point, as whether these
causes are wholly of a physical or of a moral kind, or whether they are
compounded of both. The question is, perhaps, one of the most difficult
in the whole range of philosophical experience; we say experience,
because it is obvious that all theory on the subject must be the result
of observation and analysis; and that no general principles can be laid
down in the first instance, as the ground work of any hypothesis we
might be inclined to frame.
The scientific men to whom we are chiefly indebted for the facts
accumulated on this subject, are Dr. Blumenbach, of Goettingen, Dr.
Pritchard, of Edinburgh, and the eminent surgeon, Mr. Lawrence. It has
been a favourite matter of speculation with Lord Monboddo, as well as
with Voltaire, Rousseau, and the philosophers of the French school, who
have endeavoured to show that men and other animals are endowed with
reason or instinct of the same kind, but of different degrees. According
to these fanciful writers, the monkey is but another species of the
human race, and has been termed by them _Homo Sylvestris_. They made the
most diligent researches into all accounts concerning men in a savage
state, and were delighted beyond measure with the discovery alleged to
have been made in the island of Sumatra, of men with tails regularly
protruding from their hinder parts, who, according to Buffon, walked and
talked in the woods like other gentlemen:--
And backwards and forwards they switched their long tails,
Like a gentleman switching his cane.
The appearance of Peter the Wild Boy, who was found in the woods of
Hamela, in Hanover, living on the bark of trees, leaves, berries, &c.
threw Voltaire into transports of joy. He declared the event to be the
most wonderful and important that ages had recorded in the annals of
science, as it demonstrated the fact of man living after the fashion of
beasts, without the least spark of civilization, and without speech;
thereby forming a species of a nature having more in common with monkeys
than with men, and presenting the regular degree, or intermediate class,
between the _homo civilis_ and the _homo sylvestris_. The circumstance,
however, which afterwards transpired, of Peter's having been found with
the remains of a shirt-collar about his neck, threw considerable
discredit on the whole story; and the young savage, on being brought to
England by order of Queen Caroline, lived in Hertfordshire for many
years, perfectly harmless and tractable, and behaving pretty much the
same as other idiots. The idea, therefore, of a race of men, in a
healthy, natural condition, having ever existed without the possession
of reason, is now deemed wholly fallacious. It is even maintained by
Schlegel, and other authorities of great weight, that the civilized
state is the primitive one, and that savage life is a degeneracy from
it, rather than civilized society being a graft upon barbarity. By
Schlegel's theory, the East, especially India, was the earliest seat of
arts and sciences; from the Sanscrit, or Indian language, now extinct,
are the Hebrew, the Chaldaic, the Greek, and many others of the most
ancient tongues, derived; and from the wisdom and learning of the East
"was the whole earth overspread." Undoubtedly it is difficult to imagine
by what gradation language could have proceeded, from the howl of
savages, and the cries of nature, till it reached the eloquent music,
the heart-stirring oratory of the Greek; and besides this, and other
considerations, Schlegel is supported by the opinions of Adelung, the
learned author of "Mithridates, oder Allgemeine Sprachenkunde," upon the
probable habitation of the first family of the human race. Adelung says,
that civilization began in Asia, as is, indeed, universally admitted to
have been the case; and that when the waters of the flood subsided, the
highest ground, we may naturally conclude, must have been the earliest
inhabited. We may also reasonably presume that a beneficent Providence
would place the first family in a situation where their wants could be
easily satisfied; in a garden, as it were, stocked with all herbs and
fruits, fit and agreeable to their use and taste. Now such a country is
actually to be found in Central Asia, between the degrees of 30 and 50
North lat. and 90 and 110 long. E. of Ferro; a spot as high as the
Plains of Quito, or 9,500 feet above the level of the sea. It contains
the sources of most of the great rivers of Asia; the Seleuga, the Ob,
the Lena, the Irtisch, and the Jenisey flow from hence to the North; the
Jaik, the Jihon, and the Jemba to the West; the Amur and the Hoang Ho to
the East; and the Indus, Ganges, and Burrampooter to the South. The
valleys within this space, which our readers, by referring to a map,
will find to be correctly delineated, abound with nutritive fruits and
vegetables, and with all animals capable of being tamed. There is
evidently, therefore, some plausibility in the notion that mankind
sprung originally from the East, and that from that quarter civilization
is derived; but what portion of knowledge was allotted to the primitive
people, or how far their descendants have surpassed or fallen short of
these olden times, must, we fear, be for ever beyond the reach of our
If we call to mind a summary of the general divisions of human beings
throughout the world, we shall find little room to doubt of the identity
of their genus, and shall, without much trouble of reflection, class
them as different species of that genus:--
------Facies non omnibus una,
Nec diversa, tamen.
Such seems to be the result of Mr. Lawrence's judgment; and though we
are aware that the descent of mankind from one common stock has been
much questioned and controverted, particularly in Germany, we prefer
resting upon the received opinion at present, to running the risk of
shocking established notions, by entering into the merits of the
Men are classed by Dr. Blumenbach under five great divisions, viz. the
Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, American, and Malay. The Caucasian
family may be asserted, though by its own members, to have been always
pre-eminent above the rest in moral feelings and intellectual powers,
and is remarkable for the large size of their heads. It need not be more
minutely described, than by saying it includes all the ancient and
modern Europeans, (except the Laplanders and Fins;) the former and
present inhabitants of Western Asia as far as the Ob, the Caspian Sea,
and the Ganges, viz. the Assyrians, Medes, Chaldeans, Sarmatians,
Scythians, Parthians, Philistines, Phoenicians, Jews, and Syrians; the
Tartars on the Caucasus, Georgians, Circassians, Mingrelians, Armenians,
Turks, Persians, Arabs, Hindoos of high caste, Northern Africans,
Egyptians, Abyssinians, and Guanches. They are supposed to have
originally had brown hair and dark eyes.
The Mongolian family is of an olive colour and black eyes, flat nose and
face, small stature, black hair, no beard, and thick lips. It comprises
the people of Central and Northern Asia, Thibet, Ava, Pegu, Cambodia,
Laos, and Siam; the Chinese, Japanese, Fins, and Esquimaux.
The Ethiopian family is black, with black and woolly hair, compressed
skull, low forehead, flat nose, and thick lips. It includes all Africans
not comprehended in the Caucasian family.
The American family has a dark skin, a red tint, straight hair, a small
beard, low forehead, and broad face. It includes all the American
tribes, except the Esquimaux.
The Malay family is brown, varying from a light tint to black. Their
hair is black and curled, head narrow, bones of the face prominent, nose
broad, and mouth large. They inhabit Malacca, Sumatra, Java, and the
adjacent islands; Molucca, the Ladrones, New Holland, Van Dieman's Land,
New Guinea, New Zealand, and the South Sea Islands. They speak generally
the Malay language.
The difference of character and disposition of these five families is
familiar to every one; they are as well known as is the superiority of
the Caucasian to the other races, and as the outward distinctions of
their bodies and complexions. The reasons of this difference have been
variously assigned, some ascribing it to natural, others altogether to
moral causes. By natural causes we understand either that the
constitutions of the races are such, that their capabilities of
informing their minds, and raising their intellectual powers, are
essentially not the same; or that the climate has an influence over both
their bodies and minds. By moral causes, we mean artificial or
accidental ones arising out of the state of society; such as the nature
of the government, the plenty or poverty in which people live, a period
of war or peace, the power of public opinion, and such circumstances.
The effect of climate cannot of itself be sufficient to change the
manners and habits of a people. The instances of migratory nations seem
to show this; the Jews are as cunning and fond of money in Asia or
Africa as they are in Poland or England; that extraordinary race, the
Gipsies, (which are now ascertained to be a Hindoo tribe, driven from
their country in the fifteenth century,) are not less thievish in
Transylvania than in Scotland. The Armenians of Constantinople, and
other parts of the Levant, are represented to be of the same mild and
persevering temper, of the same honesty and skilfulness in their
dealings, and the same kindness and civility of manners, as before they
were driven from their country by Sha-Abbas the Great. The changes,
however, in the habits and character of this people seem to mark the
influence of their several domestic situations. They were originally the
most warlike of the Asiatic tribes; after their subjection by the
Persians, they engaged themselves entirely in the patient cultivation of
the soil; and since the period of the depopulation of Armenia, and their
migrations into Persia, Russia, Turkey, and other countries, they have
been celebrated for their industry in commercial concerns. They are
bankers, money-brokers, merchants, surgeons, bakers, builders,
chintz-printers, and of all trades that can be imagined, and are
represented as the most useful subjects in the Ottoman empire, retaining
at the same time an almost patriarchal simplicity in their domestic
manners. The English in the East and West Indies, in New South Wales,
and in Canada, seldom lose a relish for the habits and enjoyments they
have been bred up in, whether they migrate to the extremes of heat or of
cold. John Bull is an Englishman in heart, and will remain so under
whatever sun his lot of life may be cast; for,
Coelum, non animum, mutant, qui trans mare currunt.
We rarely find the Spaniards or Italians, or the natives of the South of
Europe, lose their ideality of character and their warm passions when
settled permanently in England; the only alteration in them seems to be
such as the forms of society and intercourse with others has led them
to. Still the man is the same, though he may have adopted a new regime
in the fashion of his clothes, or the dishes of his dinner.
(_To be continued_.)
* * * * *
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
In a late Number of the MIRROR, in which you have given a view of the
Labyrinth at Woodstock, and several particulars respecting Fair
Rosamond, many doubts are stated relative to her death, viz. _how_ and
what time. I therefore send you the following account from _Collins's
Peerage of England:_--
"Rosamond de Clifford was the eldest of the two daughters of Walter de
Clifford, by Margaret his wife, daughter and heir of Ralph de Toeny,
Lord of Clifford Castle, in Herefordshire, (and had with her the said
castle and lands about it as an inheritance.) This Rosamond was the
unfortunate concubine of Henry II., for whom the king built that famous
Labyrinth at Woodstock, where she lived so retired, as not easily to
be found by his jealous queen. The king gave her a cabinet of such
elegant workmanship, as showed the fighting of champions, moving of
cattle, flying of birds, and swimming of fish, which were so artfully
represented, as if they had been alive. _She died 23rd Henry II. anno
1176_, by poison (as was suspected) given her by Queen Eleanor, and was
buried in the Chapter-house of the Nunnery of Godstow."
 Chron. Joreval, 1151.
* * * * *
On the banks of the Isis, about two miles from Oxford, are the remains
of Godstow Nunnery. It was founded towards the end of the reign of Henry
I. by Editha, a lady of Winchester, and when dissolved in the reign of
Henry VIII. it was valued at L274. per annum. A considerable portion of
its buildings remained until the end of the reign of Charles I. about
which time they were accidentally destroyed by fire. The present remains
consist chiefly of ranges of walls on the north, south, and east sides
of an extended area. Near the western extremity of the high north wall
are the remains of two buttresses. There is a small building which abuts
on the east, and ranges along the southern side, which was probably the
Chapter House of the Nuns. The walls are entire, the roof is of wood,
and some of the rafter work is in fair preservation. It is in this
building that the remains of Rosamond are supposed to have been
deposited, when they were removed from the choir of the church, by the
order of Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, in 1191. On the north wall is painted
a pretended copy of her epitaph in Latin. Many stone coffins have at
various times been found on this spot.
* * * * *
SCRAPS FROM TURKISH HISTORY.
(_For the Mirror_.)
_First Landing of the Turks in Europe._--Orchanes, second king of the
Turks, having settled his monarchy in Lesser Asia, was determined to get
footing in Europe. Solyman, his eldest son, being willing to undertake
the enterprise, was accordingly despatched with an army of veterans, who
crossed the Hellespont, and arrived on the European side. They soon
afterwards seized many considerable castles and cities belonging to the
Greeks, who offered little or no resistance to the invaders of their
empire. These occurrences transpired about the year 1358.
_A Woman's Revenge._--Mahomet the Great, on being proclaimed Sultan,
caused his two innocent brothers to be put to death; the mother of the
youngest immediately afterwards went to the new king, and reproached him
severely for his cruelty. In order to appease her, he said, "that it
consisted with the policy of his state to do as he had done, but that
whatever she asked of him should be granted her." The lady, therefore,
determining to be revenged, demanded one of the sultan's chief bassas to
be delivered to her. Mahomet, to keep his word, gave orders that it
should be done without delay; and the enraged lady, seeing the bassa
bound before her, first stabbed him, and then plucked out his liver,
which she cast to the dogs.
_Turkish Superstition._--Scanderbeg, prince of Epyrus, after many
glorious victories, died on the 17th of January, 1466, in the 53rd year
of his age, and 24th of his reign. He was buried with great solemnity in
the cathedral at Lyssa. The Turks, nine years afterwards, took the city,
and dug up his bones for the purpose of setting them in rings and
bracelets, thinking, by this means, that they should partake of his
_Amurath's Dream._--About the year 1594, Amurath III. dreamed that he
saw a man of prodigious stature, with one foot raised upon the Tower of
Constantinople, while the other reached over the Bosphorus, and rested
on the Asiatic shore. In one hand, the figure sustained the sun, while
the other held the moon. He struck his foot against the Tower of
Constantinople, the fall of which overthrew the great temple, and the
imperial palace. Amurath, being greatly discomfited by this dream,
consulted his wizard, who informed him, "that it was a warning sent by
their prophet Mahomet, who threatened the overthrow of their religion
and empire, unless Amurath engaged his whole force against the
Christians." This interpretation had so much influence with the emperor,
that he vowed not to lay down his arms until he had utterly exterminated
* * * * *
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
Sir,--I shall now sum up this _ticklish_ subject, by acquainting you
with three more methods of catching trout in Westmoreland.
_Flood-netting_.--A flood net is a small net with a semi-circular frame
at the mouth of it, from which projects a long handle. This is used only
when there are floods; the fisher draws it up the rivulets, and every
now and then pulls it up to look for his success. Sometimes he nets a
great many at a time, and especially if he wait the arrival of the
flood, because a large shoal mostly comes down with the first torrents.
_Pod-netting_.--This derives its name from the habitation of the trouts
(the banks of the "becks") which are called "hods" or "holds" and more
frequently "pods," and this net therefore goes by these three names. I
have before described to you the situation generally of these "_holds_"
to be either in the ledge of some rock or stone in the water, or under
some bank reaching over the stream. This net is used in fine weather,
and when the water is "_clear as crystal_;" the fisherman takes hold of
the handles of the net, and wades through the stream as gently as
possible, placing the net just at the side of a trout's "hold," taking
care to keep it as close to the bottom as possible, to afford the trout
no room for escape. Then another with a long pole drives the trouts from
the mouth of the "_hold_," when they immediately dart into the net, and
nothing remains but to draw the net quickly up. This is a famous method
of fishing. I have been with parties when we have completely cleared the
beck. We went to "Carmony" in the spring of 1825, and caught an immense
quantity by fishing with the hand and pod. This brings to my
recollection an amusing circumstance, which I intend troubling you with,
though you may think it unworthy of notice. It was reported in that year
that there was a large quantity of trouts in the beck; and I went at the
recommendation of those who had seen a particularly large one (when
passing by) "basking" in the streams. I was referred to a _certain_
"_lum_," and thither I went one afternoon with two friends, to try if we
could have an opportunity of seeing him. We had scarcely reached the
spot when we perceived him lying at the mouth of his "_hold_," a fine
grassy bank at the side of which grew a small bush; and I employed my
friends to watch the trout should he escape me. I crossed the brook (my
friends remaining on the opposite side), pulled off my coat and
waistcoat, and tucked up my shirt ready for action. He was still lying
very quietly, and as I knew I had no chance with him then, I touched him
gently with a twig and he moved into his habitation. I then leaned over
the bank, thrust in my arm, touched his back, I felt his size, and was
all caution. So first I began to secure him by building a piece of wall
before the bank to prevent his going out; but I had no sooner laid the
first stone than out he bounced, and darted down the river about twenty
yards, (we running after him all the while) then up again, and so on for
about a quarter of an hour, till at length he became tired and waddled
into his dwelling. I now thought all secure, and once more put in my
hand, when he jumped at least three or four yards out of the water. I
must confess, I was a little confused with my friends' dictation, who
feared I should lose him. Again housed, I made a kind of fort at one end
of the hold, and this done, I again thrust in my arm, when he was as
soon out again, and on getting up I found my hand covered with blood.
Still he came back to his favourite place, and I tried again, after
giving my friends caution to be on the look out. This time I was
successful, I put my hand gently under his belly, and by a tickle,
secured the rascal, by thrusting the fore-finger and thumb of my right
hand in his gills. I got him on to land, my friends ran about in
exstacy, and I think I never saw a finer trout than he proved to
be--real Eden. We gave a shout of triumph, after which we cut him on the
nose to kill him. From tail to snout he measured one foot four inches;
but he was beautifully plump and thick-made. We now began to wonder what
caused the blood on my hand, when on examination, we found a large night
hook in his side, which no doubt I had touched, and had thus given him
pain, and made him restless. I will not prolong the story, but tell you
he weighed about two pounds and a half, and was acknowledged to be the
plumpest trout ever caught in that county by the hand. Shortly
afterwards I caught the partner to it in the same place, but it was not
so fine a trout, and I had not so much effort in catching it. The
largest trout ever caught in this county weighed four pounds and a half,
but that was taken with the net. I have no other recommendation for this
paper but its originality. I have enjoyed the sport, and can only half
convey a description of it upon paper.
 This net is made differently from the other, there being no
frame to it and having two handles.
 The reader must consider the difficulty of holding a large
fish with the hand.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror._)
Mark, Laura, dearest, yonder rose
Its inner folds are sad and pale, love;
While blushing, outward leaves disclose
A lively crimson to the gale, love.
Yet as the secret canker-worm
Preys deeply on its drooping heart, love,
Soon from the flow'ret's with'ring form
Will all that vivid glow depart, love.
Then turn to me those beaming eyes--
A blooming cheek although you see, love,
Since hope is fled, then pleasure dies,
And read the rose's fate in me, love.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror._)
The passion for old wines has sometimes been carried to a very
ridiculous excess, for the "_thick crust_," the "_bee's wing_," and the
several other criterions of the epicure, are but so many proofs of the
decomposition and departure of some of the best qualities of the wine.
Had the man that first filled the celebrated Heidleburg tun been placed
as sentinel, to see that no other wine was put into it, he would have
found it much better at twenty-five or thirty years old, than at one
hundred, had he lived so long, and been permitted now and then to taste
At Bremen there is a wine-cellar, called the Store, where five hogsheads
of Rhenish wine have been preserved since 1625. These five hogsheads
cost 1,200 francs. Had this sum been put out to compound interest, each
hogshead would now be worth above a thousand millions of money, a bottle
of this precious wine would cost 21,799,480 francs, or about
908,311_l._, and a single wine-glass 2,723,808 francs, or about
* * * * *
A SKETCH FROM SUNDRY NOVELS.
(_For the Mirror._)
She must be, _a plaisir_, tall and slender in person, or of humbler
stature, but never inclining to stoutness, since the _en bon point_
savours (at least in romance) of vulgarity. Her complexion may be light
or dark, according to fancy; but her interesting pallidness may
occasionally be relieved by a hectic flush, yet more interesting. She
must possess small _alabaster_ hands, _coral_ or _ruby_ lips, enchasing
a double row of _pearls_; a neck rivalling _ivory_ or driven _snow_,
(yes, even if our heroine be a brunette, for incongruity is the very
essence of romance); _velvet_ cheeks, _golden_ or _jet_ black hair,
_diamond_ eyes, marvellous delicate feet, shrouded at all times in
_bas-de-soie_, and defended by the most enchanting slippers imaginable;
her figure must be a model for the statuary, and at all seasons, and in
every situation, arrayed in muslins or silks, which, wondrous to relate,
resist the injuries of time, weather, and wear in a manner perfectly
astounding. What heroine had ever an hiatus in her stocking, or a
fracture in her gown of finest woof? Ye gods! what an insult to suppose
her _repairing such_! The lady's mental accomplishments and
qualifications are as follow:--She sings divinely, plays on the harp
(and piano too in modern days) _a merveille_; occasionally condescends
to fascinate on the guitar, and the lute also, should that instrument,
now rather antiquated, fall in her way. She takes portraits, and
sketches from nature; she understands _all_ languages, or rather that
desideratum, an _universal tongue_, since in the most foreign lands she
is never at a loss to render herself understood, nor to comprehend that
which is addressed to her; she is of a melancholy cast of mind, and
carries sal-volatile in her reticule, and fountains of tears in her
eyes, for use on the most _public_ occasions; she likes gloomy
apartments, looking upon the sea, mountains, or black forests, and
leading into endless corridors; she has an AEolian lyre ever at her
casement, writes verses and weeps by moonlight, for--effect, or--
_nothing_; and is enamoured with a being, who, in the common course
of nature, could not exist; he possessing, amongst other fine qualities,
that of omnipresence in an impious degree. Should the heroine reside in
a town, and especially London, she must have dwelt previously in some
isolated mansion, seldom visited by beings superior in intellect to the
foxes they hunt; an idiot mother, vulgar aunt, a father, an uncle, or a
guardian in his dotage, must have superintended her education; and when,
at the age of sixteen, some fortunate chance throws her into society,
her accomplishments and manners are found more fitting for it and
finished, than those of persons who have from their cradles associated
with families of the highest distinction, and possessed all the
advantages of a polished and liberal education. The heroine has, in all
situations, an abundant store of money, jewels, and clothes, supplied no
one knows when, how, or by whom; and these, with her musical
instruments, drawing materials, &c. accompany her into every reverse of
situation, in a manner perfectly incomprehensible, but highly amusing
and edifying. A miniature portrait of some mysterious relative or
friend, seldom or ever seen, nay, indeed, a sacred memento of the dead,
is highly scenic and effective in a romance. The heroine ought, by all
means, to possess such; it _may_ do good, and it _can_ do no harm.
Finally, the lady must frequently faint, be twice or thrice on the brink
of the grave, undergo exquisite varieties of suffering, run all hazards,
but retain her beauty and reputation unblemished to the _last_, i.e. to
her _marriage_; after which, this wondrous and superlative creature, and
her partner in perfection, are never heard of more. _Why_?
* * * * *
ANCIENT ROMAN FESTIVALS.
The _Septmontium_ was a festival of the seven mountains of Rome, which
was celebrated in this month, near the seven mountains, within the walls
of the city; they sacrificed seven times in seven different places; and
on that day the emperors were very liberal to the people.
The _Meditrinalia_ were feasts instituted in honour of the goddess
_Meditrina_, and celebrated on the 13th of September. They were so
called from _medendo_, because the Romans then began to drink new wine,
which they mixed with old, and _that_ served them instead of physic.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
THE ANNUALS FOR 1829.
These elegant little works are already in a forward state. MR. ALARIC
WATTS announces the plates of the SOUVENIR, "of a more important size
than heretofore," and twelve in number, already completed. Among them
are _Cleopatra embarking on the Cydnus_, drawn by Danby, and engraved by
Goodall; _Love taught by the Graces_, drawn by Hilton, and engraved by
J.C. Edwards; a beautiful scene from _Lalla Rookh_, drawn by Stephanoff,
and engraved by Bacon; _She never told her Love_, drawn by Westall, and
engraved by Rolls. Whilst Mr. Watts has been catering for the "children
of a larger growth," Mrs. W. has been preparing a "New Year's Gift; or
_Juvenile_ Souvenir", to be accompanied with exquisite illustrations of
Nursery literature; as the Children in the Wood, Red Riding Hood, &c.
with two historical subjects after Northcote.
Mr. Ackermann, to whom we are indebted for the _naturalization_ of
"Annuals", announces that one of his plates in the forthcoming "FORGET
ME NOT"--(4 inches by 3 in dimension) has cost one hundred guineas! The
subject is "the Ruined City," by Martin, engraved by Le Keux. Fine
engraving is thus almost as dear as building-ground at Brighton.
The KEEPSAKE will appear much earlier than last year. Sir Walter Scott
has written three or four articles, and two or three "noble lords" are
among the contributors. Nothing can exceed the beauty of the specimens
of the illustrations.
The FRIENDSHIP'S OFFERING passes into the editorial hands of Mr. T.
Pringle, of whose poetical talents we have lately had some exquisite
The ANNIVERSARY.--Allan Cunningham has joined Mr. Sharp (of whose taste
in "getting up" books, our readers must be aware) in a splendid volume
to be called "The Anniversary." Among the engravings are _Psyche_, after
Sir Thomas Lawrence; _Young Cottagers_, after Gainsborough; the _Author
of Waverley in his Study_, after W. Allen; a _Monkey_, &c. by Landseer.
This is a new adventure, and we wish its projectors many
The CHRISTMAS BOX is to contain "A Story," from the pen of Miss
Edgworth. Mrs. Hofland, Miss Mitford, and Mrs. Hemans, likewise,
contribute their pleasing aid.
The PLEDGE OF FRIENDSHIP is to be altered to _The Gem_, to be edited by
Mr. T. Hood, whose wit and fancy will sparkle among the contributions;
and who hopes that it may prove one of those "hardy annuals," which are
to become perennials; the writers are to be of "_authorized_
popularity"--"the _plates_ not of the common _dessert_ kind, but a
welcome _service_"--the engravers "as true as steel" to their
originals--and the whole equally "mental" and "ornamental:" so the wight
has begun already.
The WINTER'S WREATH promises to bloom more vigorously than ever, and
earlier too--in September. Among the contributors are the names of
Hemans, Opie, Mitford, Montgomery, Wiffen, Delta, &c.
The AMULET is to be edited, as last year, by Mr. Hall.
The BIJOU is printing with _two-fold_ energy.
We read the other day that Schiller's "History of the German War," was
originally published in _Damen Almanach_--a Lady's Almanack! This is
real _azure_. "Annuals" do not, however, progress on the continent; for
a new one, lately published contained but a single original
contribution. In America they have bloomed with some success, though not
with the elegance and polish of our own country. Here their effect on
the Fine Arts has been very important, and they have done much for light
reading, every name of literary eminence, except those of Moore,
Campbell, and Rogers, having been enlisted in their ranks. We do not,
however, remember Leigh Hunt, although his pleasantries would relieve
the plaintiveness of some of the poetical contributions. A few
_Shandean_ articles would be very agreeable--something like the
Housekeepers in the last "Friendships' Offering."
Nothing is said of the "Literary Pocket Book;" but our old friend,
"Time's Telescope," will be mounted as usual.
We also take this opportunity to state that the "ARCANA OF SCIENCE AND
ART, FOR 1829," will appear towards the close of the present year; and,
we are enabled to promise its patrons a still greater modicum of novelty
and interest than was even comprised in its very successful forerunner.
* * * * *
There is no truth more abundantly exemplified in the history of mankind,
than that the blood of martyrs, spilt in whatever cause, political or
religious, is the best imaginable seed for the growth of favour towards
their persons, and, as far as conversion depends on feeling, of
conversion to their opinions. "_Quoites mori emur toties
* * * * *
Our liberty is neither Greek nor Roman; but essentially English. It has
a character of its own,--a character which has taken a tinge from the
sentiments of the chivalrous ages, and which accords with the
peculiarities of our manners, and of our insular situation. It has a
language, too, of its own, and a language too singularly idiomatic, full
of meaning to ourselves, scarcely intelligible to strangers.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
How different is the night of Nature from that of man, and the repose of
her scenes from the misrule of his sensual haunts; what a contrast
between the refreshing return of her morning, and the feverish agonies
of his day-dreams.--_Cameleon Sketches._
* * * * *
THE FLIMSY AGE.
Poets sing of the "golden age," the "silver age," and the "iron age,"
but were they to celebrate this, I think they should call it the flimsy
age, for every thing seems made to suit a temporary purpose, without any
regard to the sound and substantial. From printed calico to printed
books, from Kean's acting to Nash's architecture, all is made to catch
the eye, to gratify the appetite for novelty, without regard to real and
* * * * *
We find very few monasteries founded after the twelfth century; the
great majority, which rose through the kingdom "like exhalations," were
founded between the eleventh and twelfth centuries; and in all county
histories and authentic records, we scarce find a parish church, with
the name of its resident rector recorded, before the twelfth century.
The first notice of any village church occurs in the Saxon Chronicle,
after the death of the conqueror, A.D. 1087. They are called, there,
"upland churches." "Then the king did as his father bade him ere he was
dead; he then distributed treasures for his father's soul to each
monastery that was in England; to some ten marks of gold, to some six;
to each _upland_ church sixty pence."--Ingram's Saxon Chronicle.
Gibson's note on the passage is, "unicuique ecclesiae rurali." These
rare rural churches, after the want of them was felt, and after the
lords of manors built, endowed, and presented to them, spread so
rapidly, that in 1200 in almost every remote parish there was an "upland
church," if not a resident minister, as at this day.
The convents, however, still remained in their pristine magnificence,
though declining in purity of morals and in public estimation. In place
of new foundations of this august description, the--
"Village parson's modest mansion rose,"
gracefully shewing its unostentatious front, and, at length, humbly
adorning almost all the scattered villages of the land.--_Bowles's
History of Bremhill._
* * * * *
It was pleasantly observed by a sentimental jockey, who lost by a
considerable length the first race he ever rode, "I'll never ride
another race as long as I live. The riders are the most selfish, narrow
minded creatures on the face of the earth. They kept riding and
galloping as fast as they could, and never had once the kindness or
civility to stop for me."--_Penelope_.
* * * * *
It has lately been proved by indisputable evidence, that the present
condition of the peasantry of Ireland is much superior, to that of the
population of the same island some centuries ago, when the number of
people did not exceed one million. Spenser describes them as inhabiting
"sties rather than houses, which is the chiefest cause of the farmer's
so beastly manner of living and savage condition, lying and living
together with his beast, in one house, in one room, in one bed, that is
clean straw, or rather a foul dunghill."
In 1712, Dobbs, a man particularly conversant with the general condition
of Ireland, estimated that its population had increased 200,000. He
states that "the common people are very poorly clothed, go barelegged
half the year, and very rarely taste of that flesh meat with which we so
much abound, but are pinched in every article of life."
In 1762, Sir William Petty computed that the inhabitants of Ireland
amounted to about one million three hundred thousand. Their habitations,
he says, "are lamentable wretched cabins, such as themselves could make
in three or four days, not worth five shillings the building, and filthy
and disgusting to a degree, which renders it necessary for us to refrain
from quoting his description. Out of the 200,000 houses of Ireland,"
says he, "160,000 are wretched cabins, without chimney, window, or door
shut, even worse than those of the savages of America." Their food at
the same period, consisted "of cakes, whereof a penny serves for each a
week; potatoes from August till May; mussels, cockles, and oysters, near
the sea; eggs and butter made very rancid by keeping in bogs; as for
flesh they seldom eat it; they can content themselves with potatoes."
* * * * *
We often hear people call _themselves_ fools. Now a man ought to know
whether he is a fool or not, and he would not say it if he did not
believe it; and there is also a degree of wisdom in the discovery that
one has been a fool, for thereby it is intimated that the season of
folly is over. Whosoever therefore actually says that he was a fool
formerly, virtually says that he is not a fool now.--_Penelope_.
* * * * *
THE MAIDEN'S CHOICE.
Genteel in personage,
Conduct and equipage,
Noble by heritage,
Generous and free;
Brave, not romantic,
Learn'd, not pedantic,
Frolic, not frantic,
This must he be.
Engaging and new:
Neat, but not finical,
Sage, but not cynical,
But ever true.
* * * * *
In England, no class possesses so much of that peculiar ability which is
required for constructing ingenious schemes, and for obviating remote
difficulties, as the thieves and the thief-takers. Women have more of
this dexterity than men. Lawyers have more of it than statesmen;
statesmen have more of it than philosophers.
* * * * *
A friend of mine has one, and only one, good story, respecting a gun,
which he contrives to introduce upon all occasions, by the following
simple, but ingenious device. Whether the company in which he is placed
be numerous or select, addicted to strong potations, or to long and
surprising narratives; whatever may happen to be the complexion of their
character or conversation, let but a convenient pause ensue, and my
friend immediately hears, or pretends to hear, the report of a gun.
Every body listens, and recalls his late impressions, upon which "the
story of a gun" is naturally, and as if by a casual association,
introduced thus--"By the by, speaking of guns, that puts me in mind of a
story about a gun;" and so the gun is fixed in regular style, and the
company condemned to smell powder for twenty minutes to come! To the
telling of this gun story, it is not, you see, at all necessary that
there should be an actual explosion and report; it is sufficient that
there _might_ have been something of the kind.
* * * * *
PLEASURES OF TRAVELLING.
Dover quite full--horrible place! Shocking, the inns! Amphibious
wretches, the population. Ashore (from steam-packet) at four in the
morning. Fires out at The Ship. No beds! Think of it! Had to wait till a
party got up--going off at six. Six came--changed their minds (lazy!)
wouldn't go! Woke the whole house with ringing the bells, however--took
care they shouldn't sleep. Filthy breakfast! Bad butter--vile chops--
eggs! I never got an egg properly boiled in my life! Royal Society ought
to give a premium. Set off, starved and shuddering--roads heavy--four
horses. Ruined with the expense. Man wanted to take half. Fat--looked
greasy. Thought ruin best. Got up to Pagliano's a petrifaction! Worthy
creature, the cook! Tossed me up such a "_Saumon, Tartare_"--"_Vol au
vent_"--"Maccaroni"--all light. Coffee--_liqueur_--no wine for fear of
fever--went to bed quite thawed in body and mind; and walked round
Leicester-square next morning like "a giant refreshed!"--_Blackwood_.
* * * * *
A woman's true dowry is virtue, modesty, and desires restrained; not
that which is usually so called.
* * * * *
Mr. Bowles in his _History of Bremhill_, makes a few observations
suggested by the account in _Domesday Book_, on the wages, and some of
the prices of agricultural produce on the farms where the _villani_ and
_servi_, literally _slaves_ and _villans_, laboured. When we find two
oxen sold for seventeen shillings and four-pence, we must bear in mind
that one Norman shilling was as much in value as three of ours; when we
find that thirty hens were sold for three farthings each, we must bear
in mind the same proportion. The price of a sheep was one shilling, that
is three of ours. Wheat was six shillings a-quarter; that would be,
according to our scale, two shillings and three-pence a-bushel. Now, at
the time of this calculation, everything must have borne a greater
price, reckoning by money, than at the time of Domesday; for the prices
of articles now set down (from an authentic document of the accounts of
the Duke of Cornwall, first published from the original by Sir R.C.
Hoare, in his _History of Mere_,) bear date somewhat more than two
hundred years afterwards, in the reign of Edward the First, 1299. But at
that time, what were the wages of the labourer? The ploughman's wages
were about five shillings a-year, fifteen shillings by the present
scale; a maid for making "pottage" received a penny a week!
* * * * *
THE SKETCH BOOK.
STRIKING INCIDENT IN THE LIFE OF A MIDSHIPMAN.
I have read some theories, or rather hypotheses, of apparitions, in
which the authors attempt to account for the appearance of those
unsubstantial shadows, resembling the forms of living men, by
circumstances connected with the physical laws of matter. But I am
rather inclined to hold, with another class of inquirers, that the
origin of such marvels must be looked for in the mind of the seers;
although I do not go the length of their scepticism, and deny the actual
existence of the ghostly show, as a real and visible spectacle, before
These observations will derive some illustration at least, if not entire
confirmation, from the following narrative, which is deemed to be
authentic in the neighbourhood in which the scene is laid; and the
application of which the judicious reader will, no doubt, be able to
make for himself.
About the middle of the last war, the _Polly_, tender, commanded by
lieutenant Watts, came swooping up one evening to the small town of
Auchinbreck, in Scotland, and, resolving to pounce, without warning,
upon her prey, as soon as she had anchored in the roads, sent ashore the
press-gang to pick up as many of the stout boat-builder lads as they
could catch. The towns-people, however, were not so unprepared as the
captain of the tender imagined; some of those, indeed, who were fit for
sea, ran up into the hills, but by far the greater number collected
about the corner of a building-shed as you go on to the main street,
and, when the signal of hostility was given, by the capture of a man by
the press-gang, they rushed down upon them in a body, every one with his
axe on his shoulder like a troop of Indians with their tomahawks. It had
now become so dark that the sailors had much to do to keep their footing
upon the loose stones of the beach, which was just at this time rendered
a still more troublesome passage by the scattered materials of a pier,
then beginning to be built; and, besides, their number was so small
compared to the townspeople, that, after a few strokes of the cutlas,
and as many oaths as would have got a line-of-battle ship into action
and out again, they were fain to retreat to their boat, pursued by the
boat-builders, young and old, like furies. A midshipman, sitting in the
stern, whose name was William Morrison, a fine lad of fifteen, observed
the fate of the action with feelings in which local and professional
spirit struggled for the mastery. One moment he would rub his hands with
glee, and the next unsheath his dagger in anger, as he saw the axe of a
fellow-townsman descend on the half-guarded head of a brother sailor;
but, when the combatants came within oar's length of the boat, and the
retreat began to resemble a flight, the _esprit de corps_ got the upper
hand in the Auchinbrecken midshipman's feelings, and, unsheathing his
dagger, he jumped nimbly ashore and joined in the fray. At last the
sailors got fairly into their boat without a single man being either
missing or killed, although the list of the wounded included the whole
party; and the landsmen, apparently pretty much in the same
circumstances, although unable, from their number and the darkness, to
reckon as instantaneously the amount of the loss or damage, after giving
three cheers of triumph, retired in good order.
William Morrison, after discharging his duty so manfully, was permitted
to go on shore the same evening, to visit his friends; and, indeed, the
captain could not have known before that he belonged to the place, as he
surely would not have confided to the lad so unpopular a task as that of
kidnapping his own relations and acquaintances. He was landed at the
point of Scarlough, to prevent the necessity of going through the
streets, which might have been dangerous in the excited state of the
people's minds; and, stretching across the fields, and along the side of
the hill, he steered steadily on in the direction of his paternal home,
which was about a mile and a half from the Point, but only one mile from
the town. The moon had now risen, but was only visible in short glimpses
through the clouds that were hurrying across the sky; and the tall,
strange shadows of the willows and yews that skirted the churchyard,
appearing and disappearing as he passed, probably by recalling the
associations of his earlier years, made William shrink, and almost
tremble. His own shadow, however, was a more pleasing thing to look at.
The dress, which, grown familiar by usage, he would not have noticed
elsewhere, was here brilliantly contrasted in his recollection with the
more clownish and common garb of his boyhood--for he already reckoned
himself a man; and the dagger, projecting smartly from his belted side,
gave, in his opinion, a finish quite melodramatic to his air. He drew
out the tiny blade from its sheath, and its sparkle in the moonlight
seemed to be reflected in his eyes as he gazed on it from hilt to point;
but the expression of those eyes was changed as they discovered that its
polish in one place was dimmed by blood. This could easily be accounted
for by the affray on the beach--and at any other time and place it would
have been thought nothing of;--but at this moment, and on this spot, he
was as much startled by the sight, as if his conscience had accused him
of a deliberate murder. The impressions his mind had received while
passing the churchyard, now returned upon him with added gloom; a kind
of misgiving came over him; and a thousand boding thoughts haunted him
like spirits, and hanging, as it were, on his heart, dragged it down
farther and farther at every step. He bitterly regretted that he had not
remained in the boat, as he had at first resolved, a neutral spectator
of the strife. How did he know that his hand had not been raised against
the life of his own brother? As far as he could see or learn, indeed, no
fatal accident had occurred; but there have been instances of people
walking cheerily off the field of battle, and dying of their wounds
after all. And yet it was not likely--it was hardly possible--that John
could have been in the affray, his indentures protecting him from the
impress. These cogitations were speedily followed by others of as gloomy
a character; for the thoughts breed faster than we can perceive them,
and each multiplies after his kind. It was a year since he had heard
from his friends, and five years since he had seen them. Who could tell
what changes had taken place in that time? Who could tell whether poor
John had even lived to be killed by the pressgang? His father, his
mother, and his sisters--were they dead, were they living, were they
sick, or in health? His sister had been always a delicate girl, one of
those gentle and fragile flowers of mortality that are sure not to live
till the summer; perhaps consumption, with the deceitful beauty of his
smile, had already led his fair partner down the short dance of life.
Tormenting himself with such speculations, he arrived at his father's
house. Here he was surprised, bewildered, almost shocked, to observe a
new and handsome farm-house in place of the old one. On looking farther
on, however, he did detect the ancient habitation of his family, in its
original site; but it seemed, from the distance where he stood, to be
falling into ruins. His whole race must either be dead or banished, and
a new tribe of successors settled in their place; or else uncle William
must be deceased, and have left his father money enough to build a new
house. He walked up to the door, where he stood trembling for some
minutes, without courage to put his hand to the latch, and at last went
round to the window, and, with a desperate effort, looked in. How his
heart bounded! His father was there, still a stout healthy man of middle
life, his hair hardly beginning to be grizzled, by the meddling finger
of the old painter Time; and his mother, as handsome as ever, and her
face relieved by the smile either of habitual happiness, or of some
momentary cause of joyful excitation, from the Madonna cast which had
distinguished it in less prosperous days; and his sister, with only
enough left of her former delicacy of complexion to chasten the
luxuriant freshness of health on the ripe cheeks of nineteen. John,
indeed, was not there; but a vacant chair stood by the table ready to
receive him, and another--a second chair, beside it, only nearer the
fire--for whom?--for himself. His heart told him that it was. Some one
must have brought the tidings of his arrival; the family circle were at
that moment waiting to receive him; he could see his old letters lying
on the table before them, and recognised the identical red splash he had
dropped, as if accidentally, on the corner of one--the dispatch he had
written after his first action--although he had taken the trouble to go
to the cock-pit to procure, for the occasion, this valorous token of
danger and glory. But John--it was so late for him to be from
home!--and, as a new idea passed across his mind, he turned his eyes
upon the old house, which was distant about a hundred yards. It was
probable, he thought, nay, more than probable, that his father, when
circumstances enabled him to build a new house for himself, had given
the old one to his eldest son; and John, doubtless, was established
there as the master of the family, and perhaps at this moment was
waiting anxiously for a message to require his presence on the joyful
occasion of his brother's arrival. He did not calculate very curiously
time or ages, for his brother was only his senior by two years; he felt
that he was himself a man long ago, and thought that John by this time
must be almost an old man.
While these reflections were passing through his mind, he observed a
light in the window of the old house; but he could not well tell whether
it was merely the reflection of a moonbeam on the glass, or a candle in
the interior. He walked forward out of curiosity; but the scene, as he
approached the building, was so gloomy, and the air so chill, that he
wished to turn back; however, he walked on till he reached the door, and
there, sure enough, his brother was waiting on the threshold to receive
him. They shook hands in silence, for William's heart was too full to
speak, and he followed John into the house; and an ill-cared-for house
it was. He stumbled among heaps of rubbish in the dark passage; and, as
he groped along the wall, his hand brought down patches of old lime, and
was caught in spiders' webs almost as strong as if the spinner had meant
to go a-fowling. When they had got into the parlour, he saw that the
building was indeed a ruin; there was not a whole pane of glass in the
window, nor a plank of wood in the damp floor; and the fireplace,
without fire, or grate to hold it, looked like the entrance to a
burying-vault. John, however, walked quietly in, and sat down on a heap
of rubbish by the ingleside; and William, following his example, sat
down over-against him. His heart now began to quake, and he was afraid,
without knowing what he had to fear. He ran over in his mind the
transactions of the evening--his walk, his reflections, his
anxieties--embracing the whole, as if in one rapid and yet detailed
glance of the soul, and then turned his eyes upon his brother both in
fear and curiosity. What fearful secret could John have to communicate
in a place like this? Could he not have spoken as well in the open air,
where it was so much warmer, and in the blessed light of the moon? No
one was dead, or likely to die, that he cared for; his dearest and
almost only friends were at this moment talking and laughing round their
social table, and near a bright fire, expecting his arrival, and John
and he were--here! At length, repressing by a strong effort the
undefined and undefinable feelings that were crowding upon him, he broke
the silence, which was now beginning to seem strange and embarrassing.
"And how have you been, John?" said he, in the usual form of friendly
inquiries; "and how have you got on in the world since we parted?"
"I have been well." replied John; "and I have got on as well as mortal
man could desire."
"Yet you cannot be happy; you must have something to say--something I am
almost afraid to hear. Out with it, in God's name! and let us go home."
"Yes," said John, "I have something to say; but it will not take long to
hear, and then we shall both go home. I was apprenticed to the
boat-building four years ago." "I know it," replied William; "you wrote
to me about it yourself, John."
"I was made foreman before my time was out."
"I know that, too," said William; "Fanny gave me the whole particulars
in a letter I received at Smyrna;--surely that cannot be all."
"I have more to tell," said John, solemnly: "my apprenticeship is out."
"What, in four years!--you are mad, John! What do you mean?"
"The indenture was cancelled this evening."
"How?" cried William, with a gasp, and beginning to tremble all over,
without knowing why.
"I was wounded on the beach," said John, rising up, and walking
backwards towards the window; while the moon, entering into a dense
cloud, had scarcely sufficient power to exhibit the outlines of his
figure. "It was by the point of a dagger," continued he, his voice
sounding distant and indistinct, "_and I died of the wound!_"
William was alone in the apartment, and he felt the hair rising upon his
head, and cold drops of sweat trickling down his brow. His ghastly and
bewildered look was hardly noticed by his parents and sister during the
first moments of salutation; and, when it was, the excuse was illness
and fatigue. He could neither eat nor drink, (it seemed as if he had
lost altogether the faculty of swallowing,) but sat silent and
stupified, turning his head ever and anon to the door, till it struck
one o'clock. About this time a knocking was heard, and the sister,
jumping up, cried it was John come home, and ran to open the door. But
it was not John; it was the minister of the parish; and he had scarcely
time to break the blow to the parents with the shield of religion, when
the dead body of their eldest son was brought into the house.--_Orient.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
It is stated that upwards of one hundred and eighty pounds have been
received for the admission of the public to these gardens during one
We omitted to mention last week, that one of the lamas was presented by
Robert Barclay, Esq. of Bury Hill; a leopard by Lord Auckland; several
animals from the Arctic regions by the Hudson's Bay Company, &c. The
pair of emus were bred at Windsor, by Lord Mountcharles. The emu is
hunted in New South Wales for its oil; it frequently weighs 100 lbs.,
and its taste, when cooked, more resembles beef than fowl.--See _Notes_,
p. 378, vol. xi. MIRROR.
_Venerable Orange Tree._
There is an orange tree, still living and vigorous, in the orangery at
Versailles, which is well ascertained to be above 400 years old. It is
designated the Bourbon, having belonged to the celebrated constable of
that name in the beginning of the 16th century, and been confiscated to
the crown in 1522, at which time it was 100 years old. A crown is placed
on the box in which it is planted, with this inscription, "Sown in
Thirty-four orange-trees have lately been received at Windsor, as a
present from the king of France to George IV.
M. Cadet-de-Vaux found mortar of lime and sand, and also that made from
clay, greatly improved in durability by mixing boiled potatoes with it.
_An Experimental Farm,_
As a school of practical husbandry for a part of central France, has
been formed by the celebrated Abbe de Pradt. It is situated about a
league from Avranches, on the great road from that city to Bort, in the
department of Correze.--_Foreign Q. Rev._
_A Tunnel under the Vistula, at Warsaw,_
Has been projected. This mode of communication will be of the utmost
utility, especially at the times of the breaking up of the frost, when
all intercourse is interrupted. The architect is a foreigner, and has
engaged to complete the work in the space of three years.--_Paris
_Small White Slugs,_
In gardens, are more injurious than the larger variety, because their
diminutive size escapes the gardener's eye. A good way to keep them
under is to make small holes, about an inch deep, and about the diameter
of the little finger, round the plants which they infest. Into these
holes the slugs will retreat during the day, and they may be killed
there by dropping in a little salt, quicklime in powder, or by strong
lime and water.--_Gardener's Mag._
_Turkish Method of Preserving Filberts._
When perfectly ripe, remove the husks, and dry the nuts, by rubbing with
a coarse cloth; sprinkle the bottom of a stone jar with a very little
salt; then place a layer of filberts, adding a small quantity of salt
between each layer. The jar must be perfectly dry and clean. Secure the
top from air, and keep them in a dry place; and, at the end of six
months, they will peel.--_Ibid._
_Extinction of Fires._
When a chimney or flue is on fire, throw into the fire-place one handful
after another of flower of sulphur. This, by its combustion, effects the
decomposition of the atmospheric air, which is, in consequence,
paralysed, or, in effect, annihilated.
After the month of May, it is felony to carry away the caltch (the spawn
adhering to stones, old oyster-shells, &c.) and punishable to take any
oysters, except those of the size of a half-crown piece, or such as,
when the two shells are shut, will admit of a shilling rattling between
The liquor of the oyster contains incredible multitudes of small embryo
oysters, covered with little shells, perfectly transparent, swimming
nimbly about. One hundred and twenty of these in a row would extend one
inch. Besides these young oysters, the liquor contains a great variety
of animalcules, five hundred times less in size, which emit a phosphoric
light. The list of inhabitants, however, does not conclude here, for
besides these last mentioned, there are three distinct species of worms
(called the oyster-worm,) half an inch long, found in oysters, which
shine in the dark like glow-worms. The sea-star, cockles, and muscles,
are the great enemies of the oyster. The first gets within the shell
when they gape, and sucks them out.
While the tide is flowing, oysters lie with the hollow side downwards,
but when it ebbs they turn on the other side.
 See Bishop Spratt on Oysters.
_Swarming of Bees._
An interesting communication was read, at a recent sitting of the Royal
Society, from T.A. Knight, Esq. describing the precaution taken by a
swarm of bees, in reconnoitering the situation where they intend to
establish their new colony, or swarm from the parent hive. The bees do
not go out in a considerable body, but they succeed each other in going
and returning, until the whole of the swarm have apparently made good
the survey, after which the whole body take their departure in a mass.
If by any chance a large portion of a swarm take their departure without
the queen bee, they never proceed to take up the ulterior quarters
without her majesty's presence. The result of Mr. Knight's observations
tends to prove, that all the operations of a swarm of bees are dictated
by previous concert, and the most systematic arrangement.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS
LADDER OF LOVE.
Men and women,--more or less,--
Have minds o' the self-same metal, mould, and form!--
Doth not the infant love to sport and laugh,
And tie a kettle to a puppy's tail?--
Doth not the dimpled girl her 'kerchief don
(Mocking her elder) mantilla wise--then speed
To mass and noontide visits; where are bandied
Smooth gossip-words of sugared compliment?
But when at budding womanhood arrived,
She casts aside all childish games, nor thinks
Of aught save some gay paranymph--who, caught
In love's stout meshes, flutters round the door,
And fondly beckons her away from home,--
The whilst, her lady mother fain would cage
The foolish bird within its narrow cell!--
And then, the grandame idly wastes her breath,
In venting saws 'bout maiden modesty--
And strict decorum,--from some musty volume:
But the clipp'd wings will quickly sprout again;
And whilst the doating father thinks his child
A paragon of worth and bashfulness,--
_Her_ thoughts are hovering round the precious form
Of her sweet furnace-breathing Don Diego!--
And he, all proof 'gainst dews and nightly blasts,
In breathless expectation waits to see
His panting Rosa at the postern door;--
While she sighs forth "My gentle cavalier!"--
And then they straightway fall to kissing hands,
And antic-gestures--such as lovers use,--
Expressive of their wish quickly to tie
The gordian knot of marriage;--Pretty creatures!--
But why not earlier to have thought of this?--
When he, the innocent youth, was wont to play
At coscogilla; and the prattling girl,
Amid her nursery companions, toiled
In sempstress labours for her wooden dolls.--
Ah! wherefore, did I ask?--Because forsooth,
Their ways are changed with their increasing years!--
For when for gallantry the time be come--
And when the stagnant blood begins to boil
Within the veins, my master--then the lads
Cast longing looks on damosels--for nature
Defies restraint--and kin-birds flock together!--
And think not, Master, _Chance_ disposes thus;
Or were it so, then chance directs us all--
Whene'er we have attain'd the important age!
I, ------, am a living instance!--
Was I not once a lively laughing boy?
And, in my stripling age, did I not love
The pastimes suited to those madcap days?--
Oh! would to heaven those times were present still!
But wherefore fret myself with hopes so vain?--
The silly thought doth find no shelter here,--
That any beauty, with dark roguish eyes,
With sparkling blood, and rising warmth of youth,
Would e'er affect this wrinkled face of mine:--
The very thought doth smack of foolishness!--
And, though the truth may be a bitter pill,
It is most fitting that we know ourselves.
_Spanish Comedy--Foreign Review._
* * * * *
A HINT TO RETIRING CITIZENS.
Ye Cits who at White Conduit House,
Hampstead or Holloway carouse,
Let no vain wish disturb ye;
For rural pleasures unexplored,
Take those your Sabbath strolls afford,
And prize your _Rus in urbe_.
For many who from active trades
Have plung'd into sequester'd shades,
Will dismally assure ye,
That it's a harder task to bear
Th' ennui produced by country air,
And sigh for _Urbs in rure_.
The cub in prison born and fed,
The bird that in a cage was bred,
The hutch-engender'd rabbit,
Are like the long-imprison'd Cit,
For sudden liberty unfit,
Degenerate by habit.
Sir William Curtis, were he mew'd
In some romantic solitude,
A bower of rose and myrtle,
Would find the loving turtle dove
No succedaneum for his love
Of London Tavern turtle.
Sir Astley Cooper, cloy'd with wealth,
Sick of luxurious ease and health,
And rural meditation,
Sighs for his useful London life,
The restless night--the saw and knife
Of daily amputation.
Habit is second nature--when
It supersedes the first, wise men
Receive it as a warning,
That total change comes then too late,
And they must e'en assimilate
Life's evening to its morning.
Thrice happy he whose mind has sprung
From Mammon's yoke while yet unwrung
Or spoilt for nobler duty:--
Who still can gaze on Nature's face
With all a lover's zeal, and trace
In every change a beauty.
No tedium vitae round him lowers,
The charms of contrast wing his hours,
And every scene embellish:--
From prison, City, care set free,
He tastes his present liberty
With keener zest and relish.
_New Monthly Mag_.
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
ACCOMMODATION FOR THREE HALFPENCE.
A gentleman on a wet evening entered the bar of an inn, and while
standing before the fire, called to a servant girl who had come to
receive his orders, "Margaret, bring me a glass of ale, a clean pipe, a
spitoon, a pair of snuffers, and the newspaper. And Margaret, take away
my great coat, carry it into the kitchen, and hang it before the fire to
dry, and dry my umbrella, and tell me what o'clock it is; and if Mr.
Huggins should come in, request him to come this way, for I think 'tis
near seven, and he promised to meet me at that hour. And Margaret, get
me change for a sovereign, and see that all the change is good, take for
the glass of ale out of it, and put the coppers in a piece of paper. And
Margaret, tell Jemima to bring some more coals, take away the ashes, and
wipe the table. And Margaret, pull down the blinds, shut the door, and
put-to the window-shutters."--N.B. The gentleman had his own tobacco.
* * * * *
TWO EVILS, (EXTEMPORE.)
Can man sustain a greater curse
Than to possess an empty purse?
Yes, with abundance to be blest,
And not enjoy the pow'r to taste.
* * * * *
EPIGRAM, FROM THE GERMAN.
If one has served thee, tell the deed to many?
Hast thou served many?--tell it not to any.
* * * * *
To tell the reader exactly what class of persons was meant to be
designated by the word _gentleman_, is a difficult task. The last time
we heard it, was on visiting a stable to look at a horse, when,
inquiring for the coachman, his stable-keeper replied, "He has just
stepped to the public-house along with another gentleman."
The following is the negro's definition of a _gentleman_:--"_Massa make
de black man workee--make de horse workee--make de ox workee--make every
ting workee, only de hog: he, de hog, no workee; he eat, he drink, he
walk about, he go to sleep when he please, he liff like a GENTLEMAN_."
* * * * *
Why are washer-women, busily engaged, like Adam and Eve in Paradise?
Because they are _so-apy_ (so happy).
Why is a widower, going to be married, like Eau de Cologne? Because he
Why is a vine like a soldier? Because it is listed and trained, has
_ten-drills_, and shoots.
Why is a sailor, when at sea, not a sailor? Because he's _a-board_.
Why is a city gentleman, taken poorly in Grosvenor-square, like a
recluse? Because he is _sick-westward_ (sequestered.)
Why is it better for a man to have two losses than one? Because the
first is a loss, and the second is _a-gain_.
"If Britannia rules the waves," said a qualmish writing-master, going to
Margate last week in a storm, "I wish she'd rule 'em _straighter_."--
* * * * *
_Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset
House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; and
by all Newsmen and Booksellers._