Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Pauline, and the Online Distributed
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XIII, NO. 359.] SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 1829. [Price 2d.
[Illustration: Rugby School.]
On the eastern border of Warwickshire, about 13 miles from Coventry, and
16 from Warwick, stands the cheerful town of Rugby, a place of great
antiquity, but of little note previous to the erection of a grammar-school
there, towards the close of the sixteenth century. The circumstances under
which this school was founded, and the rank it has attained among our
classical seminaries, may probably be interesting to the reader.
Rugby School was founded in the ninth year of Elizabeth, by Lawrence
Sheriff, grocer, of London, chiefly as a free grammar-school for the
children of the parishes of Rugby and Brownsover, and places adjacent. For
the accommodation of the master, who was, "if it conveniently might be, to
be ever a Master of Arts," he bequeathed a messuage at Rugby, in which it
is probable he had himself resided during the last few years of his life,
and he directed that there should be built, near this residence, a fair
and convenient school-house, to defray which expense, and of a contiguous
almshouse, he bequeathed the revenue of the rectory of Brownsover, and a
third portion of twenty-four acres of land, situate in _Lamb's Conduit
Fields_, "near London," and termed the Conduit Close. These eight acres
were of trivial value at the period; and in 1653, the trustees of the
property paid the schoolmaster a salary of 12_l_. a year, and each of the
alms-men 7_s_. 7_d_. In 1686, the Lamb's Conduit property was leased for
fifty years at 50_l_. per annum. The metropolis increased, and stretching
one of its _Briareusian_ arms in this direction, the once neglected field
rose in value, and in 1702 (thirty-four years before the expiration of the
above term) the trustees granted a fresh lease to William (afterwards Sir
William) Milman, of forty-three years, to commence at the termination of
the former lease. Building was not then a mania, and Sir William obtained
his term for 60_l_. per annum; so that until the year 1780, the annual
produce of the estate belonging to the Rugby charity, was only 116_l_.
17_s_. 6_d_.! But, shortly after the grant of an extended term to Sir W.
Milman, handsome streets of family houses sprung up, and it was computed
that a ground-rent of at least 1,600_l_. would accrue to the charity on
the expiration of his lease. A much greater income has, in fact, arisen,
and the revenues will be materially increased on the termination of the
The flourishing finances of this noble institution are well managed by
twelve trustees, chosen from the nobility and gentry of the country.
The ancient buildings of the Rugby seminary were a humble tenement for the
schoolmaster, a principal school-room, and two or three additional
school-rooms, built at different times, as the finances would allow. These
being found too limited, in 1808 the trustees commenced the erection of
the present structure, from the designs of Mr. Henry Hakewill. It stands
nearly on the same spot as the former humble building, and is composed of
white brick, the angles, cornices, and dressings to the windows and
openings being of Aldborough stone. The style of architecture is that of
the reign of Elizabeth, the period at which the school was founded. The
building is massy, august, and interesting from its graceful disposition
of parts. The principal front is that represented in our engraving, which
extends 220 feet.
The schools are entered by a gateway opposite the street, which leads to
the principal court, a fine area, 90 feet long by 75 feet wide, with a
plain cloister on the east, south, and west sides. The buildings on the
south of the court comprise the dining hall, belonging to the boys in the
head master's house, and three schools for different classes; those on the
west are occupied by the great school; and on the north are the French and
writing schools. The east side adjoins the offices belonging to the head
master's house. About sixty boys are accommodated here; the remainder
lodge in the houses of the other masters, and in the town of Rugby.
Lawrence Sheriff, the benevolent founder of this institution, was born at
Brownsover, whence he removed to London, where he kept a grocer's shop in
Newgate-street. A more gratifying portrait of true beneficence than
Sheriff's bequest can scarcely be found in British annals; and this
gratification is greatly enhanced by the justice with which his intentions
have been carried into effect at Rugby. The alms-houses were originally
for four poor old men; but the dwellings have been augmented in proportion
to the increased revenues.
 Their annual meeting is in August, when the examination takes
place. Fourteen exhibitions have been instituted, each of the
exhibitioners being allowed forty pounds per annum to assist in
their support, for seven years, at either university.
* * * * *
CHOICE HINTS FOR A PLAN TO DISCHARGE THE NATIONAL DEBT.
(_For the Mirror_.)
"Great events sometimes spring from trivial causes," of the truth of this
adage, no man is, I think, so great a _heretic_, as to express any
doubt--were such the case, it would be by no means difficult to conjure up
a host of evidence, in support of our proposition; but, seeing that "such
things are," let us at once to the point.
The present age is so rife in whims and proposals, that I am rather
apprehensive, some may doubt the _feasibility_ of the following.
Nevertheless, it is, methinks, quite as good, as many others which
recently were strangled, in struggling for existence.
In looking over some old pamphlets the other day, I met with the following
"true and particular account" of Mr. Peter Pounce, Postmaster, of
Petersham, and his horse, Prance.
Now, according to my author (of whose veracity I entreat the reader to use
his own discretion) it seems this Mr. Pounce was an exceedingly good kind
of man, and that his horse, Prance, was also an exceedingly good kind of
horse; moreover, when the postmaster travelled, he usually put up at the
_George_, where there is exceeding good entertainment for both man and
horse. Upon one occasion, being in great haste, Mr. Pounce directed the
ostler not to put Prance into the stable, but to tie him to the brew-house
door. Now, as cruel fate would have it, there was just within the nag's
reach, a tub full of wine lees, which, luckless moment for him, (being
thirsty) he unceremoniously quaffed off in a trice, without even _here's
The consequence was, Prance fell down dead drunk; nay, he acted death so
much to the life, that his master, reckoning him absolutely defunct, had
him flayed, and sold his skin to a tanner, who happened to be drinking in
the alehouse kitchen. Mr. Pounce then walked in a solitary mood to his
home, and communicated the melancholy affair to his good lady, who wept
bitterly at Prance's untimely fate.
But leaving her to dry her eyes, we return to the nag--the weather being
cold, he was by the loss of his skin, &c. quite sobered, and prudently
trotted to his master's door, at which he whinnied with much clamour for
Bless me, my dear, exclaims Mrs. P. our nag's ghost is at the door--I know
him by his whinnies; upon which Mr. Pounce runs with alacrity to the
door, and sure enough there he was--no ghost--but in propria persona
except his skin. In this exigence, the gentleman had four sheep killed
forthwith, and covered the nag with a woollen garment. To make short of
it, the horse rapidly recovered, and bore two tods of wool every year.
From this narration it is proposed to embrace the manifest advantages
which offer themselves for improving the woollen trade--that great staple
of Britain's wealth, in manner following:--
First, then, let an accurate estimate be taken of the number of sheep
annually slaughtered in these kingdoms.
Secondly.--Let proper officers be appointed to collect these skins into
Lastly.--That such a number of horses, mares, and geldings as the said
skins will conveniently cover, be flayed (without fear of Mr. Martin!) and
their backs forthwith enveloped in fleece.
By this arrangement the following benefits will arise to the government
1. Every horse whose hide was formerly only useful after death, will then
afford an annual profit by producing two tods of wool yearly, without any
loss to the tanner or shoemaker, who will still necessarily have as many
hides as heretofore.
2. The health of that useful animal the horse, which is probably liable to
more disorders than any other (the human species excepted) will be much
better preserved by woollen than a hairy covering.
3. There will be little occasion for saddles, &c. as the fleece will
afford a very easy seat, much softer than leather, and well adapted for
ladies and invalids.
Lastly.--There will be an annual acquisition of about 40 millions
sterling, from this novel mode of procedure, of which please to accept the
following algebraical demonstration:--
Let _x_ be the unknown quantity; _a_, the horses; _b_, the sheep; then per
simple equations _x_, plus _a_, plus _b_, minus tods, plus sheepskins,
equal one thousand--then minus sheep, plus horses, minus wool, plus tods,
equal one million. Lastly, horses plus sheep, minus hides, plus fleeces,
in all equal forty millions.
Quod erat demonstrandum.
There, reader, if you are still a sceptic, I cannot help it.
* * * * *
ANSWER OF THE LONDON STONE.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Why hast thou mortal, on my slumber broken,
And dragged my struggling spirit back to earth?
Though "walls have ears," yet stones have never spoken.
Why am I made the object of thy mirth?
Why am I questioned thus to tell my fate,
And primal use? Yet hear--whilst I relate.
When time was young, and earth was in her prime,
Secure I slept within her spacious womb;
And ages passed--I took no heed of time,
Until some Druid burst my dismal tomb,
And dragged me forth amidst the haunts of man.
And then, indeed my life of woe began.
And ere great Caesar in triumphant pride,
Led on by conquest, bade Rome's eagles soar
To this fair isle; full many a victim died
Upon my breast, and I was drenched with gore:
For "midst the tangling horrors of the wood,"
I stood an altar, stained with human blood.
I've witnessed scenes, which I now dread to name,
I've seen the captive bound in wicker rods
Expire, midst shouts, to feed the sacred flame,
And glut the fury of offended gods;
Those days soon passed--the gospel's milder ray
Dispelled the gloom, and spread a brighter day.
Then superstition tottered on her throne,
And hid her head in shades of gloomy night;
Quenched were her fires--her impious fanes o'er thrown,
Her mists dispersed before the Prince of Light,
Then sank my grandeur; in some lonely spot
I slept for years unnoticed and forgot.
Until Vespasian, by Rome's stern command,
To quench rebellion in my native isle,
Brought his bold legions from a foreign strand,
Our land to torture, and our towers to spoil;
He hewed me in a fashion now unknown,
And dubbed me, what I am, "The London Stone."
From me, the miles by Britons once were counted,
Close to my side were monies lent and paid;
If princes died--some gaudy herald mounted
Upon my head, and proclamations read;
Till Gresham rose; who used me very ill,
He moved the place of commerce to Cornhill.
When reeling homewards from the tavern near,
Oft with prince Henry has old honest Jack
Sat on my breast, and I've been doomed to hear
Him talk of valour, and of unpaid sack;
And whilst he talked, the roysterers gave vent,
To peals of laughter and of merriment.
Yes, I'm the hone that "City's Lord" essayed,
To make the whetstone of his rebel sword;
On me, with mischief rife, rebellious Cade
Sat whilst he thought and dubbed himself a Lord;
And bade my conduit pipe for one whole year
At city's cost, run naught but claret clear.
I could a tale of harrowing woes reveal,
Whilst York and Lancaster for mastery tried:
When men the ties of nature ceased to feel,
When sires beneath their offsprings' sabres died;
And sires 'gainst children clad themselves in arms,
And England mourned the din of war's alarms.
Yes, I beheld the beauteous virgin queen,
And all the dauntless heroes of her court;
Where danger threatened, 'midst the danger seen,
Bending their fearless way to Tilbury Fort;
I heard the shouts of joy which Britons gave,
When th' Armada sank beneath the wave.
I mind, Augusta, well that fatal day,
When to thy ports with dire contagion fraught.
The laden vessel stemmed its gallant way.
And to thy sons the plague disastrous brought;
Quick through thy walls the foul infection spread,
And thou became the city of the dead.
Scarce ceased the plague--when to my aching sight
Appeared a scene of most terrific woe;
Around me burnt one monstrous blaze of light,
I warmed, and almost melted with its glow;
I burst the chains, which bound me fast, asunder,
And now remain, to learned men a wonder.
And when the city from her ruins rose,
I soon was left deserted and forlorn;
A porters' bench was raised beneath my nose.
And I became the object of their scorn:
I've heard the rascals, with a vacant stare,
Ask, just like you, what business I had there?
Few years have passed, since I, by parish sages,
Was called a monstrous nuisance to the street,
And, though I'd borne the brunt of varying ages,
Was doomed for pavement 'neath the horses' feet,
Until a Maiden, near to Sherborne Lane,
Saved me--and rescued London from that stain.
And now, vain mortal, I have told thee all,
My fate, my primal use, the what and which;
And though my struggling spirit owned thy salt,
Once more I'll slumber in my holy niche,
And "Britain's sun may set," what's that to me,
Since I, stone-blind and dumb, for aye will be.
 See _Ode to London Stone_. MIRROR, No. 357, p. 114.
 See Shakspeare's Henry VI., part 2, act 4, scene 6.
 The ancient name for London.
 The cause of the great plague in 1665, was ascribed to the
importation of infected goods from Holland, where the plague
had committed great ravages the preceding year.
 Stowe in his history describes the London Stone, "fixed in
the ground very deep, fastened with bars of iron and otherwise,
so strongly set that if carts do runne against it through
negligence, the wheels be broken, and the stone itself unshaken."
See No. 64 of the Mirror for an account of London Stone.
 When the church of St. Swithin was repaired in 1798, some of
the parishioners declared the London Stone a nuisance which
ought to be removed. Fortunately, one gentleman, Thomas Maiden,
of Sherborne Laue, interfered and rescued it from annihilation,
and caused it to be placed in its present situation.
* * * * *
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
A correspondent wishes to be informed of the definition of the word
_avver_. In the 15th volume of the "Beauties of England and Wales," it is
alluded to thus:--"This county (Westmoreland) being supposed unfavourable
to the growth of wheat, black oats, called _haver_, and the species of
barley called _bere_, or _bigg_, were the only grains it produced. Of the
_haver_, bread was made, or the species of pottage called hasty pudding;
this bread being made into thin unleavened cakes, and laid up in chests
within the influence of the fire, has the quality of preserving its
sweetness for several months; it is still in common use. The _bigg_ was
chiefly made into malt, and each family brewed its own ale; during the hay
harvest the women drank a pleasant sharp beverage, made by infusing mint
or sage buttermilk in whey, and hence called _whey-whig_. Wheaten bread
was used on particular occasions; small loaves of it were given to persons
invited to funerals, which they were expected "to take and eat" at home,
in religious remembrance of their deceased neighbour; a custom, the
prototype of which is evidently seen in the establishment of the
eucharist, for in this county it still bears its _Saxon name_, _Arvel
bread_, from appull, _full of reverence_, meaning the holy bread used at
* * * * *
* * * * *
BATTLE OF QUATRE BRAS.
Gray, as one of the party of dragoons who attended the Duke of Wellington,
proceeded onward at a sharp pace through the marching columns, which his
grace examined, with a close but quick glance, as he passed on, and after
a march of seven leagues, came up with the Belgian troops under the Prince
of Orange, who had been attacked and pushed back by the French. It was
about seven o'clock; none of the British troops had yet arrived within
some hours' march of the duke. The party of dragoons were ordered to
remain in readiness for duty in a cornfield near the road, on a rising
ground, which commanded a full view of the country in front, while the
duke and his staff proceeded to the left.
The four biscuits which had been served out to each man at Brussels the
night before, with some cold beef, and the contents of their canteen,
helped to regale the dragoons after their long and rapid march, while the
stout steeds that had borne them found a delightful repast in the high rye
that waved under their noses. Here they beheld passing on the road beside
them many wounded Belgians, and could see before them, at the distance of
a quarter of a mile, the French bayonets glistening over the high fields
of corn, and hear distinctly the occasional discharges of musketry from
tirailleurs. Gray's heart leaped with joy, and he thought no more of
"What's this place called?" inquired one of the dragoons, generally of his
"Called!--Oh, some jaw-breaking Dutch name of a yard long, I suppose,"
replied another. "Ax Gentleman Gray--he'll tell you."
"Well, Mr. Gray, do you know the name of this here place?"
"I believe," replied Gray, "we are near a point called _Quatre Bras_, or
the four roads."
"Well," rejoined the other, "if there were half-a-dozen roads, it wouldn't
be too much for these here Flemingers--yon road's not wide enough for
them, you see. Look, here's a regiment o' them coming back!"
"Ah! poor fellows--we might be in the same situation," observed Gray;
"remember that their force is not strong in comparison with the French, by
the accounts that have been received; better to fall back at the first of
a fight than at the last."
"I say, Jack," said another, with his mouth full of biscuit, "did you ever
meet with such a devil of a roadster as the _carpolar_ there with the
glazed cocked hat?"
"Who do you mean?" said Jack.
"Why the dook, to be sure--how he _did_ give it us on the long road
through the forest."
"Ay--he's the lad; well, here's God bless his jolly old glazed hat any
way," cried the trooper, swallowing a horn of grog; "he's the boy what has
come from the Peninsula just to gi' 'em a leaf out of his book. He was a
dancing last night--riding like a devil all the morning--and I'll warrant
he'll be fighting all the afternoon by way of refreshing himself."
"He look'd serious enough this morning though, Master Tom, as he was
"Serious! and so did you; hasn't he enough to make him look serious? Bony,
and all the flower of the French before him. I like to see him look
serious; he's just a thinking a bit, that's all. Look, look, look! where
he is now pelting away up the hill there. My eye! but he's a rum on'."
"Ay, just as he was in the ould ground," cried an Hibernian. "'Pon my
sowl, I think I'm in Spain agin. There he is, success to him!--an' the
smell o' the powther too so natural."
"The light troops are pushing on towards that wood," said Gray, fixing his
eyes on a particular spot.
"Sure enough they are. Ah! we'll soon have the boys up who will set them
off with a flea in their ear."
"Look--on the rising ground there, about half a mile away, how they are
moving about--that is a train of artillery--see the guns--there is a
regiment of infantry going to the left--do you see their bayonets? A fine
open place here for a battle."
"Not so good as that which we passed--the plain fields we crossed
immediately after we left the forest of Soignes," said Gray: "however,
that little wood on our right, in front, which runs along the road, is a
good flank, and the village before us is a strong point."
"Ay, but you see the Belgian troops couldn't keep it; the French have
pushed them out of it."
"We'll soon have it again, I'll warrant; our men have a fine open ground
here, to give the French a lesson in dancing," cried the corporal of the
party, throwing himself down on his back in the corn. "Here I'll lie and
rest myself; and I don't think I shall be disturb'd by the buzzing of the
blue flies! I'll have a snooze, until the Highlanders shall come up."
The party remained undisturbed, as the last speaker had intimated, until
about half-past one o'clock; nothing having been done in the way of attack
by the French. During the interval, Gray employed himself in watching
closely the scene around him, and mentally discussing the chances of the
now inevitably approaching fight.
The hour of struggle was near--the pibroch burst upon the ears of the
troopers, and up they started.
"Here they come," cried one.--"Here they come," cried another--"the
gallant 42nd; look at the petticoat-devils, how they foot it along!"
All stood on the highest part of the ground, to witness the arrival of the
troops, who were now within a quarter of a mile of them on the main road.
A hum arose. Belgian officers galloped down the road, and across the
fields in all directions; the duke was seen riding towards his expected
soldiers, and the scene was life at all points. The pibroch's sound grew
louder; and now the bands of the more distant regiments were heard; and
the harmonious bugles of the rifle corps, mingled their sounds with the
others. The long red line of Britons is fully before the sight, like a
giant stream of blood on the ripe and mellow bosom of the earth. Picton is
at its head, and the duke greets the heroic partner of his glory. The
first of the regiments passes close to the troopers, and receives a cheer
from them, which found a return in the relaxing muscles of the hardy
"What corps is that?" inquired one of the group.
"The Royal Highlanders, the 42nd--don't you see they are turned up with
blue and gold?" replied another.
"And what's this with the yellow facings?"
"The old 92nd."
"And the other Scotch regiment, with the green and gold?"
"The 79th; three as good kilted corps as ever crossed the Tweed. And
there's the 95th rifle boys, as green as the wood they are going to take.
And there see the 28th,--and the 44th,--and the 32nd;--that's Picton's
division; a glorious set of fellows as ever slept."
"And who are the fellows all in black?"
"The bold Brunswick corps, with death's head on their caps--the
_undertakers_ of the French," cried the corporal.
Never did a young hero gaze on a gallant army with more enthusiastic
feelings, than did Gray upon the troops before him--the sight stirred his
heart-strings. They were within shot of their foe, and half an hour should
see them in the bloody contest. He sighed to think that his own regiment
was not yet come up, with which he might share the glory of the fight.
One after the other, the corps entered the fields, across the high corn,
from the road, to take up their positions for the battle. Neither cavalry
nor artillery had they to support them--their bayonets were their hopes;
and their wise general placed them accordingly in squares, and at such
distances as that one might support the other, while each would protect
itself, independently, if necessary. The rifle corps now advanced, to open
the business of the day by firing into a field of tirailleurs. The French
were not idle at this time; they advanced in masses--cavalry and infantry;
while a roar of cannon, that almost deafened every ear, covered the
"They are coming on the centre," cried Gray: "see the cuirassiers--what a
body of men! Oh! where is our cavalry?"
"Ay," cried a trooper; "and look, what columns of infantry!"
All now remained in breathless anxiety, gazing on the approaching masses
of the enemy; not a word was spoken amongst the well-planted squares of
the British. The French are within fifty yards of them, and the battle
"There," cried a trooper; "how our men give it to them!--there's a
volley!--look how the horses fall!--see, they can't stand it--hurra!--the
rascals are staggered--the 27th are after them--they deploy into line;
there the French go, with the bayonet at them, helter-skelter. But
observe, at a little distance from them, the enemy's dragoons are at the
42nd--the Scotch open and let them pass; but now they get it right and
left. Down they go; bravo! old Scotland."
"By heaven!" cried Gray, "here come the Brunswick horse in confusion,
pursued by the cuirassiers along the road, near the village."
All turned to gaze at the point: it was too true: their leader had fallen;
they had advanced too incautiously, and were therefore obliged to fall
"Here they come, and the French cavalry are close upon them. But see the
Highlanders in the ditch. Hark! there--they give them a volley. Down
tumble the horsemen!--look! they are in a heap on the ground."
A shout from the troopers acknowledged the glorious truth. It was the fire
from the 92nd that achieved the triumph.
The artillery, the musketry, and the shouting of the combatants, became so
deafening, that even the group of troopers unoccupied in the fight, and in
the rear, could scarcely hear each other's voice. Gray's party mounted
their horses now, in order to have a better view of the battle, and from
the situation of the ground on which they were standing, they beheld, in
awful anxiety, rush after rush made against the British infantry, whose
duty was evidently that of firm defence; they beheld wave after wave of
blue ranks advance over the rising bosom of the ground, and saw them
successively battered by the rocks they assaulted--the ground covered with
men and horses by the well-directed fire of the squares. The other
divisions of the English army were fast arriving, and taking up ground on
the left, in spite of the efforts of the French to prevent it, and thus
divide them from their comrades engaged. A "lull," (as the sailors say,
when the storm pauses a little,) took place, and both armies stood, as it
were, looking at each other. But another and more desperate attack soon
followed; the tempest returned with double violence. The mouths of Ney's
numerous cannon opened again; the smoke drifted over on the English, and
under its cover were seen advancing an immense force, for another struggle
with the right of the duke's line, in order to turn it, and possess
themselves of the village. The duke and his staff were in front of the
92nd regiment, and the balls playing on them had knocked down several of
his aides-de-camp. As the foe came near, the artillery ceased, the close
fight began, and several regiments at once poured in their fire: both
sides kept their ground, and hundreds fell at every discharge of musketry.
The duke now, in the pithy and familiar language of the soldier, cried out
to the Scots, "Ninety-second, you must charge these fellows."
The word was magic; the kilts rushed against the blaze of the tirailleurs!
Their leader and their officer fell amongst them: but, alas! their blood
only enraged the men; fiercely as tigers they rush, and their bayonets
sink into the mass before them. The whole fly before them, while the
victorious Highlanders pursue them almost out of sight of their general.
Alas! many of these heroes fell in their gallant work.
This glorious charge was beheld by Gray and his comrades with delight;
their shacos waved over their heads, and their cries of exultation fully
showed what a catching thing is the fever of the fight. One of the
dragoons now turned his eyes to the wood on the right, which the French
had possessed themselves of, and exclaimed, "But look, the guards have
come up, and are in the wood. Where did they come from? I didn't see them
before. Hark! how they shout; they are all amongst the trees."
"Yes, and they'll not soon come back; they'll keep their ground, I'll
warrant," cried the corporal.
At this moment the troopers were somewhat disarranged by a part of the
earth suddenly flying upwards in a cloud; it was the effect of a
cannon-ball which had struck the ground. They started a few paces
backwards, wiped their faces, and having all passed their jocular
sentiments on the occasion, coolly united again to view and comment on the
They continued to gaze on the busy and bloody scene, with but few
observations. Mass after mass was advancing against the steady squares of
infantry, and received with roars of musketry; the cavalry of the enemy,
desperate and disappointed, galloped about the close and well-guarded
Britons, cutting at the ranks, and dropping as they cut. Artillery
bellowed upon the unyielding heroes, whose ranks closed up at every point
where the dead had opened them; they cried aloud for the order to advance;
but received the cool and prudent negative of the watchful chief, who,
during the action, was moving from rank to rank, encouraging and elevating
the energies of his men.
The repeated unsuccessful attacks of the French wore out the patience of
their general, and so thinned his ranks, that he at length ceased to
contend, and drew off his troops from the field, leaving the English
masters of it, and holding every point of the position which they had
taken up in the early part of the day.--_Tales of Military Life_.
* * * * *
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
Mr. Bentham, in his "History of Ely Cathedral," says, that one of the
earliest spires of which we have any account, "is that of old St. Paul's,
finished in the year 1222." This spire was of timber covered with lead;
"but, not long after, they began to build them of stone, and to finish all
their buttresses in the same manner." Mr. Murphy observes that spires were
introduced in the 12th century, about the time that the practice of
burying in churches became general over Europe; and he supposes that the
pyramidal form of the spire, was used as the denotation of a church
comprising a cemetery. This representation he imagines to have been
borrowed "from the ancient Egyptians, who placed the pyramid over their
cemeteries, as denoting the soul under the emblem of a flame of fire,
(whence it is supposed to derive its origin) thus to testify their belief
of its immortality." There are other opinions respecting the origin of
spires. It may appear probable (says Mr. Brewer,) to many persons, that
such an elevated feature of our ancient churches was merely designed in
the simplicity of its first intention, to act as a guide to the place of
worship, when rural roads, throughout the whole country, were devious, and
rendered more obscure by thick masses of forest and woodland.
* * * * *
[Illustration: Lead Miners.]
Lead is found in many countries, but is particularly abundant in England.
The lead-mines in Derbyshire are many, as the Odin, Speedwell, Tideswell
Moor, Dirtlow, &c.; and the ore is not only found in various soils, but
mingled with a variety of substances. The Odin mine, at the foot of Mam
Tor, and near it to the south, is the most celebrated and ancient of any
in the county, being worked by the Saxons, from whom it received its name,
whilst most of the mineral terms used there are of Saxon origin. The
Speedwell mine did not repay the cost of working it; and, therefore, after
an expense of 14,000_l_., and eleven years assiduous labour, was
abandoned. Its interior is worthy the attention of the tourist.
Our engraving endeavours to represent the costume of women who work in
some of the Derbyshire lead-mines; they are capital figures, to which the
pencil can scarcely do justice; indeed, though this sketch was drawn from
nature, it conveys but an imperfect idea of beings, (_nondescripts_,) who
would assuredly delight Cruikshank. The dress of these women, of whom the
writer saw several emerged from mines a few miles from the Peak, seems
contrived to secure them from the cold and wet attendant upon their
employment. The head is much enwrapped, and the features nearly hidden, in
a muffling of handkerchiefs, over which is put a man's hat, in the manner
of the _paysannes_ of Wales, but not near so neat and stylish; besides,
the Welsh women are generally handsome, and become the hat; but the case
is far different with the _fair_ miners of Derbyshire, at least those whom
I saw, who were complete harridans. A man's coat, of coarse gray or dark
blue cloth, defends the arms, back, throat, and bosom of each _lady_ from
the cold; beneath it, but tucked up all round so as to form a kind of bag,
appears a gown of red stuff, which, set off by a bright green petticoat,
produces an effect singular and amusing; then come the shoes, at least
three inches thick, and long in proportion, bound on to the feet, in some
instances, with handkerchiefs, and thongs, and cords: it is a wonder that
the women can stir in such unwieldy slippers. Our party had stopped to
collect specimens of the lead ore, when the carriages were instantly
surrounded by these females, offering ore, zinc, slick-and-slide, and
various quartz crystals and fluor spars for sale; some of the women were
very old, and one in particular, who had worked in the mine from her
youth, was nearly a hundred years of age, yet she was upright and active,
and wrinkles alone betrayed the fact.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
* * * * *
The curious mechanism by which it is proposed to elevate the visiters at
this emporium of wonders, is as follows: A large bucket or tank of water
will be connected with a movable platform that any number of persons may
be placed in equilibrium with its fluid contents, and directly a
sufficient quantity of water is introduced to produce a preponderance in
the tank, the persons stationed on the platform will ascend.--_The
_Spots on the Sun_.
An ingenious individual in Providence has very recently succeeded, by
means of a seven-feet telescope, constructed by himself, on a new
principle, in bringing the entire image of the sun into a darkened room,
upon a white screen, to the size of eight feet in diameter. He writes us
that his astonishment was great when he perceived that every spot now upon
the face of the sun, nine in number, was distinctly transferred to the
screen, and was so plain that he could see every movement of them in their
various and sudden changes. He says he could plainly discover that those
spots were immense bodies of smoke, apparently issuing from volcanoes; and
as they seem occasionally forced upward from the craters, now forming
dense clouds, and now dispersing, considers those phenomena as accounting
for the rapid changes of those spots. The escape of such a vast quantity
of gas from the interior of the body of the sun would, he observes, as it
surrounds that luminary, produce that bright and dazzling appearance which
is the atmosphere of the sun. This theory may not accord with the opinions
of others who have made observations on the subject; but the writer, at
any rate, entertains the strongest belief of its truth. With the same
instrument, which is but just finished, he has also examined the moon, and
states his conviction that that body is covered with perpetual snow and
ice, the dark spots discoverable on its surface being frozen seas, and the
lighter spaces land covered with snow. Those circular places, which have a
rising cone in the centre, he thinks are extinguished volcanoes, as no
clouds are perceptible over the moon's face; which being covered with snow
and ice, accounts, as he imagines, for its clear atmosphere, or for the
absence of an atmosphere. This vast accumulation of ice and snow upon the
moon's surface may be explained, the writer conjectures, by the nature of
the moon's revolutions. He offers to construct instruments of the above
description, by which these phenomena may be observed, at prices from 50
to 100 dollars; and at the same rate to furnish solar microscopes, on a
new principle, with a magnifying power at 12 feet distance, of
Nearly two hundred specimens of curious works in arts and manufacture have
already been laid before the committee of this establishment; the opening
of which will take place in a few days.
In 1820, the whole iron made in Great Britain was 400,000 tons: in 1827,
it had increased to 690,000 tons, from 284 furnaces. About three-tenths of
this quantity are of a quality suitable for the foundry, which is all used
in Great Britain and Ireland, with the exception of a small quantity
exported to France and America. The other seven-tenths are made into bars,
rods, sheets, &c., of which a large quantity is exported to all parts of
the world.--_Repertory of Arts_.
In some parts of India, the claystone contains numerous small _nodules_ or
lumps of clay iron-stone, which seldom exceed the size of a walnut. These
are picked up by the natives, and are smelted by means of charcoal in a
very small, rude furnace, blown by the hand-bellows, common all over
India, and still used in Europe by the Gipsies. Many of the hills composed
of claystone are neatly devoid of vegetation; their surface being bare and
smooth, and of a red or black colour. The soil produced by the action of
the atmosphere is not very productive; and so liable is it, in some
places, to consolidate, when deprived of its moisture, that, if it be not
constantly cultivated, it soon becomes hard and bare, and checks all
The spirit of general improvement pervades every part of the continent,
and is even more active in France than in Britain. In Britain, the spirit
of improvement is chiefly evinced in public works, and in the useful arts
and manufactures, and its efforts are characterized much more by
superfluity of wealth than by science or refinement: in Germany this
spirit is evinced in public buildings, in a superior taste, in
agriculture, and education--_Gard. Mag_.
_The Himalaya Mountains_.
This vast accumulation of sublime peaks, the pinnacles of our globe, is so
extensive, that a plane, resting on elevations 21,000 feet, may be
stretched in one direction as far as the Hindoo Cosh, for upwards of 1,000
miles, above which rise loftier summits, increasing in height to nearly
6,000 feet more.
_To make Gold Size_.
Melt one pound of asphaltum, and pour into it another pound of linseed
oil, rendered drying by litharge; add also to it half a pound of red lead
or vermilion. When the varnish becomes thick or pasty, thin it by adding
one pound, or a pound and a half of spirit of turpentine; as more is
required in winter than in summer.
Mr. C. Hall Jessop, of Cheltenham, asserts that he "was the first who
recommended the Indian corn for field culture in this country," which he
did "in a letter to G. Talbot, Esq., of Guiting, seven years ago."
The Hindoos polish all kinds of stones by means of powdered _corundrum_,
mixed with melted lac. The mixture being allowed to cool, is shaped into
oblong pieces, of three or four inches in length. The stone is polished by
being sprinkled with water; and at the same time rubbed with three oblong
masses; and the polish is increased by masses being used successively with
Mr. Burnet and Mr. Mayo have found, that at the moment the sensitive plant
is touched, so as to occasion motion, it _changes colour_. They have also
found that when a sensitive plant has been made to droop, the part in
which the moving power resides is blackened, so as to absorb the light of
the sun; the restoration of the plant to its natural state is much longer
in taking place.
In India, granite is hewn into hand-mills for grinding corn; two or four
of which are a load for an ass or a bullock, and are thus carried to the
bazaar for sale. These are the primeval mills of all countries, which are
mentioned in Scripture, and are still common among all uncivilized
Dr. Davey, by some recent experiments, has proved that when musk, in
admixture with quicklime, smells of ammonia, it is impure or adulterated;
and further, that, to preserve it well, it should be made perfectly dry;
but when it is to be used as a perfume, it should be _moistened_.
Mr. Galbraith has recently determined the quantity of water annually
discharged by the river Leven from the basin of Loch Lomond to be about
59,939 cubic feet per minute. Now, as 36 cubic feet of fresh water are
very near equal to a ton, this gives 1,665 tons per minute; and, supposing
the year to be 365 days, 5 hours, 40 minutes, the annual discharge, at
that rate, will be 877,295,085 tons. But as the river was rather below its
average height, one-third may be added to this result; and we have about
1,200,000,000, or twelve hundred millions of tons per annum.
* * * * *
MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.
 From sources entirely original.
* * * * *
Our English love-smitten lads and lasses are pretty generally aware of the
facility with which the most awful and holy of all engagements may be
contracted in North Britain. They sometimes make the experiment in their
own persons; and, "by the simplicity of Venus' doves," old boys and old
girls have been known to follow, as fast as post-chaises, horses, and lads
could carry them, close upon the heels of their juniors, (bound on the
same errand,) to the blissful land o' cakes and matrimony. An English
gentleman, known to the writer, was making a few purchases in a shop,
wherein stood three or four other customers. A man and woman entered, and
the former, addressing the master of the shop and his aforesaid customers,
used, as he took the woman's right hand, words to this effect:--"Witness,
ye that are here present, that I (N. or M.) take this woman (N. or M.) for
my wedded wife." In like manner the _sposa_ desired all present to witness
that she took the man for her wedded husband, with her own full
acquiescence in, and approbation of, his determination. The English
gentleman who had witnessed, in silent amazement, this (to him) novel
engagement, was informed, after the departure of the happy couple, that
the marriage was to all intents and purposes valid by Scotch law, having
been solemnized as effectually as if by religious rites, in the presence
of respectable _housekeepers_, who, as such, were efficient witnesses, and
all that were requisite of _ceremonial_ to make the marriage good!
I give this anecdote as related to me by the gentleman who saw the
incident mentioned; should there be any discrepancies in his relation, I
shall feel obliged by a _correct_ account of the manner of contracting
marriages in Scotland, from any of your correspondents capable of giving
A gentleman, who had resided many years abroad, and particularly amongst
the Italian Catholics, once described to me the manner in which the
Capuchins inter the brethren of their order. These defunct _freres_ are
embalmed, arrayed in their peculiar habits, as when living; and in the
vaults of their monastic churches or chapels, ranged upright in niches
formed for this purpose. On certain days, particularly on the Feast of All
Souls, the doors of these cemeteries are opened to the public, who, as a
religious duty, flock in to view these singular and affecting relics of
mortality. The bodies undergo but little alteration in appearance for
centuries; but Mr. M. being tempted to touch the very long nose of one old
fellow, who _looked_ "a leathern Pharoah, grinning in the dark," it
disappeared in a shower of dust beneath his fingers.
A PARTY AT PALERMO.
"Palermo," said a lady whom I saw immediately after her return from a tour
in Sicily, "is indeed a beautiful city; but I thought some things strange
in the manners of the inhabitants. Mr. H. and myself were invited to a
music-party, at the house of a person in the best society, whereat
appeared most of the ladies in coloured and high morning dresses. Two
_tallow_ candles and a small lamp stood on the piano-forte in the
music-room, and from this room we descended by three or four steps into
another, containing a bed, over which was a shelf; upon the shelf was
placed one bottle of wine and a few glasses; and this being intended
expressly for the ladies, they were expected to go and help themselves
when they pleased; but a fresh bottle of wine was brought when the first
FRENCH COUNTRY LIFE.
"The dinner-hour in the country," said a relation of the writer, who
spends a great deal of time in France, "is generally two o'clock, even
when company are invited to partake of the dinner; in which case, the
whole party has quitted the house by six or seven in the evening,--a
custom which ill accords with _English_ ideas of sociability. Three
table-cloths are usually laid upon the table, the first and second of
which are, or may be, removed during the repast; but the third is _never_
drawn off, except to be changed for a clean one. In England, we pride
ourselves upon the fine mahogany of which our dinner-tables are made; we
endeavour to obtain, in the first instance, an excellent piece of wood,
and to improve it by assiduous rubbing and polishing. In France, it
matters not of what material the table is framed; a cloth is always upon
it; and I have seen the hospitable _board_ of many families of rank
literally formed of _deal_."
"In this part of the world," says a private letter from India,
(Hyderabad,) "we do not talk of striking gongs for dinner, but
_ghuzzies_,--ghong meaning a horse or mare."
In Ireland, when a man marries, who cannot afford to treat his friends to
whiskey upon the occasion, they take the door of his house off the hinges,
lay him upon it, and carry him thus upon their shoulders all day. In the
evening he is allowed to return to his deserted bride. This custom is
called "boarding," and is so frequent, as I myself can attest from
personal observation, as to attract but little attention from the
commonalty, and nothing like a mob.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
We were all--Julia, her aunt, and myself, seated at a comfortable fire on
a December evening. The night was dark, starless, and rainy, while the
drops pattered upon the windows, and the wind howled at intervals along
the house-tops. In a word, it was as gloomy a night as one would wish to
see in this, the most dismal season of the year. Strictly speaking, I
should have been at home, for it was Sunday; and my own habitation was at
too great a distance to justify a visit of mere ceremony on so sacred a
day, and amid such stormy weather. The truth is, I sallied out to see
I verily believe I could write a whole volume about her. She came from the
north country, and was at this time on a visit to her aunt, in whose house
she resided; and in whose dining-room, at the period of my story, we were
all seated round a comfortable fire. Though a prodigious admirer of
beauty, I am a bad hand at describing it. To do Julia justice, however, I
must make the attempt. She was rather under the middle size, (not much,)
blue-eyed, auburn-haired, fair-complexioned, and her shape was of uncommon
elegance and proportion. Neck, bosom, waist, ankles, feet, hands, &c. all
were perfect, while her nose was beautifully Grecian, her mouth sweetness
itself, and her teeth as white and sparkling as pearls. In a word, I don't
believe that wide Scotland could boast of a prettier girl--to say nothing
of merry England and the Isle of Saints.
It was at this time about eight o'clock: tea had just been over, the tray
removed, and the table put to rights. The star of my attraction was
seated at one side of the fire, myself at the opposite, the lady of the
house in the centre. We were all in excellent humour, and Julia and I eyed
each other in the most persevering style imaginable. Her aunt indeed
rallied us upon the occasion; and I thought Julia never appeared half so
beautiful as now.
A servant bouncing by accident into a room where a gallant is on his knees
before his mistress, and in the act of "popping the question," is
vexatious. An ass thrusting its head through the broken window of a
country church, and braying aloud while the congregation are busily
chanting "Old Hundred," or some other equally devout melody, is vexatious.
An elderly gentleman losing his hat and wig on a windy day, is vexatious.
A young gentleman attempting to spring over a stile by way of showing his
agility to a bevy of approaching ladies, and coming plump down upon the
broadest part of his body, is vexatious. All these things are plagues and
annoyances sufficient to render life a perfect nuisance, and fill the
world with innumerable heart-breakings and _felo-de-sees_. But bad as they
are, they are nothing to the intolerable vexation experienced by me, (and
I believe by Julia too,) on hearing a slow, loud, solemn stroke of the
knocker upon the outer door. It was repeated once--twice--thrice. We heard
it simultaneously--we ceased speaking simultaneously--we (to wit, Julia
and I) ceased ogling each other simultaneously. The whole of us suspended
our conversation in a moment--looked to the door of the room--breathed
hard, and wondered what it could be. The reader will perhaps marvel how
such an impression could be produced by so very trivial a circumstance;
but if he himself had heard the sound, he would cease to wonder at the
strangeness of our feelings. The knocks were the most extraordinary ever
heard. They were not those petty, sharp, brisk, soda-water knocks given by
little, bustling, common-place men. On the contrary, they were slow,
sonorous, and determinate. What was still more remarkable, they were
_three_ in number, neither more nor less.
Scarcely had our surprise time to subside, than we heard the outer door
opened by the servant--then it closed--then heavy footsteps, one, two, and
three, were audible in the lobby--then the dining-room door was opened;
and a form which filled the whole of its ample aperture, from top to
bottom, from right to left, made its appearance. It was the figure of a
man, but language would sink under his immensity. Never in heaven, or
earth, or air, or ocean, was such a man seen. He was hugeness itself--bulk
personified--the _beau ideal_ of amplitude. When the dining-room door was
first opened, the glare of the well-lighted lobby gleamed in upon us,
illuminating our whole apartment with increase of lustre; but no sooner
did he set his foot upon the threshold, than the lobby light behind him
was shut out. He filled the whole gorge of the door like an enormous
Onward, clothed in black, came the moving mountain, and a very pleasing
monster he was. A neck like that of a rhinoceros sat piled between his
"Atlantean shoulders," and bore upon its tower-like and sturdy stem, a
countenance prepossessing from its good-humour, and amazing for its
plumpness and rubicundity. His cheeks were swollen out into billows of
fat--his eyes overhung with turgid and most majestic lids, and his chin
double, triple, ay quadruple. As for his mouth--
"It was enough to win a lady's heart
With its bewitching smile."
Onward came the moving mountain--shaking the floor beneath his tread,
filling a tithe of the room with his bulk, and blackening every object
with his portentous shadow.
I was amazed--I was confounded--I was horrified. Not so Julia and her
aunt, who, far from participating in my perturbed emotions, got up from
their seats, smiled with a welcoming nod, and requested him to sit down.
"Glad to see you, Mr. Tims," said Julia.
"Glad to see you, Mr. Tims," said her aunt.
"Mr. Tims!" Gracious heavens, and was this the name of the mighty entrant?
Tims! Tims! Tims!--the thing was impossible. A man with such a name should
be able to go into a nut-shell; and here was one that the womb of a
mountain could scarcely contain! Had he been called Sir Bullion O'Dunder,
Sir Theodosius M'Turk, Sir Rugantino Magnificus, Sir Blunderbuss Blarney,
or some other high-sounding name, I should have been perfectly satisfied.
But to be called _Tims_! Upon my honour, I was shocked to hear it.
Mr. Tims sat him down upon the great elbow-chair, for he was a friend, it
seems, of the family--a _weighty_ one assuredly; but one whose
acquaintanceship they were all glad to court. The ladies, in truth, seemed
much taken with his society. They put fifty questions to him about the
play--the assembly--the sermon--marriages--deaths--christenings, and what
not; the whole of which he answered with surprising volubility. His tongue
was the only active part about him, going as glibly as if he were ten
stones, instead of thirty, and as if he were a _Tims_ in person as well as
in name. In a short time I found myself totally neglected. Julia ceased to
eye me, her aunt to address me, so completely were their thoughts occupied
with the Man-Mountain.
In about half an hour I began to feel confoundedly uncomfortable. I was a
mere cipher in the room; and what with the appalling bulk of Mr. Tims, the
attention the ladies bestowed upon him, and the neglect with which they
treated me, I sunk considerably in my own estimation. In proportion as
this feeling took possession of me, I experienced an involuntary respect
for the stranger. I admired his intimate knowledge of balls, dresses,
_faux pas_, marriages, and gossip of all sorts--and still more I admired
his bulk. I have an instinctive feeling of reverence towards "Stout
Gentlemen;" and, while contrasting my own puny form with his, I laboured
under a deep consciousness of personal insignificance. From being five
feet eight, I seemed to shrink to five feet one; from weighing ten stones,
I suddenly fell to seven and a half; while my portly rival sat opposite to
me, measuring at least a foot taller than myself, and weighing good thirty
stones, jockey weight. If any little fellow like me thinks of standing
well with his mistress, let him never appear in her presence with such a
gentleman as Mr. Tims. She will despise him to a certainty; nor, though
his soul be as large as Atlas or Teneriffe, will it compensate for the
paltry dimensions of his body.
What was to be done? With the ladies, it was plain, I _could_ do nothing:
with Mr. Tims, it was equally plain, I _ought_ to do nothing--seeing that,
however much he was the cause of my uneasiness, he was at least the
_innocent_ cause, and therefore neither morally nor judicially amenable to
punishment. From respecting Mr. Tims I came to hate him; and I vowed
internally, that, rather than be annihilated by this enlarged edition of
Daniel Lambert, I would pitch him over the window. Had I been a giant, I
am sure I would have done it on the spot. The giants of old, it is well
known, raised Pelion upon Ossa, in their efforts to scale the throne of
heaven; and tossed enormous mountains at the godhead of Jupiter himself.
Unfortunately for me, Mr. Tims was a mountain, and I was no giant.
I accordingly got up, and, pretending it was necessary that I should see
some person in the next street, abruptly left the room. Julia--I did not
expect it--saw me to the door, shook hands with me, and said she hoped I
would return to supper when my business was finished. Sweet girl! was it
possible she could prefer the Man-Mountain to me?
Away I went into the open air. I had no business whatever to perform: it
was mere fudge; and I resolved to go home as fast as I could.
But I did not go home. On the contrary, I kept strolling about from street
to street, sometimes thinking upon Julia, sometimes upon Mr. Tims. The
night was of the most melancholy description--a cold, cloudy, windy, rainy
December night. Not a soul was upon the streets excepting a solitary
straggler, returning hither and thither from an evening sermon, or an
occasional watchman gliding past with his lantern, like an incarnation of
the Will-o'-wisp. I strolled up and down for half an hour, wrapped in an
olive great-coat, and having a green silk umbrella over my head. It was
well I chanced to be so well fortified against the weather; for had it
been otherwise, I must have been drenched to the skin. Where I went I know
not, so deeply was my mind wound up in its various melancholy cogitations.
This, however, I do know, that, after striking against sundry lamp-posts,
and overturning a few old women in my fits of absence, I found myself
precisely at the point from which I set out, viz. at the door of Julia's
aunt's husband's house.
I paused for a moment, uncertain whether to enter, and, in the meantime,
turning my eyes to the window, where, upon the white blind, I beheld the
enormous shadow of a human being. My flesh crept with horror on witnessing
this apparition, for I knew it to be the shadow of the Man-Mountain--the
dim reflection of Mr. Tims. No other human being could cast such a shade.
Its proportions were magnificent, and filled up the whole breadth of the
window-screen; nay, the shoulders shot away latterly beyond its utmost
limits, and were lost in space, having apparently nothing whereon to cast
their mighty image. On beholding this vast shade, my mind was filled with
a thousand exalted thoughts.
I paused at the door for sometime, uncertain whether to enter; at last my
mind was made up, and I knocked, resolved to encounter the Man-Mountain a
second time, and, if possible, recover the lost glances of Julia. On
entering the dining-room, I found an accession to the company in the
person of our landlord, who sat opposite to Mr. Tims, listening to some
facetious story, which the latter gentleman seemed in the act of relating.
He had come home during my absence, and, like his wife and her niece,
appeared to be fascinated by the eloquence and humour of his stout friend.
At least, so I judged, for he merely recognised my presence by a slight
bow, and devoted the whole of his attention to the owner of the mighty
shadow. Julia and her aunt were similarly occupied, and I was more
neglected than ever.
Perhaps the reader may think that there was something ludicrous in the
idea of such a man being in love. Not at all--the notion was sublime;
almost as sublime as his shadow--almost as overwhelming as his person.
Conceive the Man-Mountain playing the amiable with such a delicate young
creature like Julia. Conceive him falling on his knees before
her--pressing her delicate hand, and "popping the question," while his
large round eyes shed tears of affection and suspense, and his huge sides
shook with emotion! Conceive him enduring all the pangs of love-sickness,
never telling his love; "concealment, like a worm in the bud, preying upon
his damask cheek," while his hard-hearted mistress stood disdainfully by,
"like pity on a monument, _smiling_ at grief." Above all, conceive him
taking the lover's leap--say from Dunnet or Duncansby-head, where the
rocks tower four hundred feet above the Pentland Firth, and floundering in
the waters like an enormous whale; the herring shoals hurrying away from
his unwieldy gambols, as from the presence of the real sea-born leviathan.
Cacus in love was not more grand, or the gigantic Polyphemus, sighing at
the feet of Galatea, or infernal Pluto looking amiable beside his ravished
queen. Have you seen an elephant in love? If you have, you may conceive
what Mr. Tims would be in that interesting situation.
Supper was brought in. It consisted of eggs, cold veal, bacon-ham, and a
Welsh rabbit. I must confess, that, perplexed as I was by all the previous
events of the evening, I felt a gratification at the present moment, in
the anxiety to see how the Man-Mountain would comport himself at table. I
had beheld his person and his shadow with equal admiration, and I doubted
not that his powers of eating were on the same great scale as his other
qualifications. They were, indeed. Zounds, how he did eat! Cold veal,
eggs, bacon-ham, and Welsh rabbit, disappeared "like the baseless fabric
of a vision, and left not a wreck behind;" so thoroughly had nine-tenths
of them taken up their abode in the _bread basket_ (vide Jon Bee) of the
Man-Mountain; the remaining tenth sufficed for the rest of the company,
viz. Julia, her aunt, her aunt's husband, and myself.
Liquor was brought in, to wit, wine, brandy, whisky, and rum. I felt an
intense curiosity to see on which of the four Mr. Tims would fix his
choice. He fixed upon brandy, and made a capacious tumbler of hot toddy. I
did the same, and asked Julia to join me in taking a single glass--I was
forestalled by the Man-Mountain. I then asked the lady of the house the
same thing, but was forestalled by her husband.
Meanwhile, the evening wearing on, the ladies retired, and Mr. Tims, the
landlord, and myself, were left to ourselves. This was the signal for a
fresh assault upon the brandy-bottle. Another tumbler was made--then
another--then a fourth. At this period Julia appeared at the door, and
beckoned upon the landlord, who arose from table, saying he would rejoin
us immediately. Mr. Tims and I were thus left alone, and so we continued,
for the landlord, strange to say, did not again appear. What became of him
I know not. I supposed he had gone to bed, and left his _great_ friend and
myself to pass the time as we were best able.
We were now commencing our fifth tumbler, and I began to feel my whole
spirit pervaded by the most delightful sensations. My heart beat quicker,
my head sat more lightly than usual upon my shoulders; and sounds like the
distant hum of bees, or the music of the spheres, heard in echo afar off,
floated around me. There was no bar between me and perfect happiness, but
the Man-Mountain, who sat on the great elbow-chair opposite, drinking his
brandy-toddy, and occasionally humming an old song with the utmost
It was plain that he despised me. While any of the others were present he
was abundantly loquacious, but now he was as dumb as a fish--tippling in
silence, and answering such questions as I put to him in abrupt
monosyllables. The thing was intolerable, but I saw into it: Julia had
played me false; the "Mountain" was the man of her choice, and I his
despised and contemptible rival.
These ideas passed rapidly through my mind, and were accompanied with
myriads of others. I bethought me of every thing connected with Mr.
Tims--his love for Julia--his elephantine dimensions, and his shadow,
huge and imposing as the image of the moon against the orb of day, during
an eclipse. Then I was transported away to the Arctic sea, where I saw him
floundering many a rood, "hugest of those that swim the ocean stream."
Then he was a Kraken fish, outspread like an island upon the deep: then a
mighty black cloud affrighting the mariners with its presence: then a
flying island, like that which greeted the bewildered eyes of Gulliver. At
last he resumed his human shape, and sat before me like "Andes, giant of
the Western Star," tippling the jorum, and sighing deeply.
Yes, he sighed profoundly, passionately, tenderly; and the sighs came from
his breast like blasts of wind from the cavern of Eolus. By Jove, he was
in love; in love with Julia! and I thought it high time to probe him to
"Sir," said I, "you must be conscious that you have no right to love
Julia. You have no right to put your immense body between her and me. She
is my betrothed bride, and mine she shall be for ever."
"I have weighty reasons for loving her," replied Mr. Tims.
"Were your reasons as weighty as your person, you _shall not_ love her."
"She _shall_ be mine," responded he, with a deeply-drawn sigh. "You
cannot, at least, prevent her image from being enshrined in my heart. No,
Julia! even when thou descendest to the grave, thy remembrance will cause
thee to live in my imagination, and I shall thus write thine elegy:
I cannot deem thee dead--like the perfumes
Arising from Judea's vanished shrines
Thy voice still floats around me--nor can tombs
A thousand, from my memory hide the lines
Of beauty, on thine aspect which abode,
Like streaks of sunshine pictured there by God.
She shall be mine," continued he in the same strain. "Prose and verse
shall woo her for my lady-love; and she shall blush and hang her head in
modest joy, even as the rose when listening to the music of her beloved
bulbul beneath the stars of night."
These amorous effusions, and the tone of insufferable affectation with
which they were uttered, roused my corruption to its utmost pitch, and I
exclaimed aloud, "Think not, thou revivification of Falstaff--thou
enlarged edition of Lambert--thou folio of humanity--thou Titan--thou
Briareus--thou Sphynx--thou Goliath of Gath, that I shall bend beneath thy
ponderous insolence?" The Mountain was amazed at my courage; I was amazed
at it myself; but what will not Jove, inspired by brandy, effect?
"No," continued I, seeing the impression my words had produced upon him,
"I despise thee, and defy thee, even as Hercules did Antaeus, as Sampson
did Harapha, as Orlando did Ferragus. 'Bulk without spirit vast,' I fear
thee not; come on." So saying, I rushed onward to the Mountain, who arose
from his seat to receive me. The following passage from the Agonistes of
Milton will give some idea of our encounter:
"As with the force of winds and water pent,
When mountains tremble, these two massy pillars,
With horrible convulsion to and fro,
He tugged, he shook, till down they came, and drew
The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder,
Upon the heads of all who sat beneath."
"Psha!" said Julia, blushing modestly, "can't you let me go?" Sweet Julia,
I had got her in my arms.
"But where," said I, "is Mr. Tims?"
"Mr. who?" said she.
"Mr. Tims!--Man-Mountain!" resumed Julia, with unfeigned surprise. "I know
of no such persons. How jocular you are to-night--not to say how ill-bred,
for you have been asleep for the last five minutes!"
"Sweet, sweet Julia!"
A MODERN PYTHAGOREAN.
* * * * *
BY T. CAMPBELL.
'Tis now the hour--'tis now the hour
To bow at Beauty's shrine;
Now whilst, our hearts confess the power
Of woman, wit, and wine;
And beaming eyes look on so bright,
Wit springs--wine sparkles in their light.
In such an hour--in such an hour,
In such an hour as this,
While Pleasure's fount throws up a shower
Of social sprinkling bliss,
Why does my bosom heave the sigh
That mars delight?--She is not by!
There was an hour--there was an hour
When I indulged the spell
That Love wound round me with a power
Words vainly try to tell--
Though Love has fill'd my checker'd doom
With fruits and thorns, and light and gloom--
Yet there's an hour--there's still an hour
Whose coming sunshine may
Clear from the clouds that hang and lower
My fortune's future day;
That hour of hours beloved will be,
That hour that gives thee back to me!
_New Monthly Magazine_.
* * * * *
"A snapper-up of unconsidered tifles."
* * * * *
What will our civic friends say to this, about the date of 1686?--"Among
other policies of assurance which appear at the Exchange, there is one of
no ordinary nature; which is, that Esquire Neale, who hath for some time
been a suitor to the rich Welsh widow Floyd, offers as many guineas as
people will take to receive thirty for each one in case he marry the said
widow. He hath already laid out as much as will bring him in 10 or 12,000
guineas; he intends to make it 30,000, and then to present it to the lady
in case she marry him; and any one that will accept of guineas on that
condition may find as many as he pleases at Garraway's
* * * * *
PAT O'KELLY, THE IRISH POET.
Three poets, of three different nations born,
With works immortal do this age adorn;
Byron, of England--Scott, of Scotia's blood--And,
Erin's pride, O'Kelly, great and good.
'Twould take a Byron and a Scott, I tell ye,
Roll'd up in one, to make a Pat O'Kelly.
_Legends of the Lakes_.
* * * * *
IRISH NAMES, MADE ENGLISH.
(_For the Mirror_.)
_Macnamara_, son of a sea-hound.
_Macmahon_, son of a bear.
_Brien_, the force of water.
_Kennedy_, wearing a helmet.
_Horan_, the gold of poetry.
_Sullivan_, having but one eye.
_Gallagher_, the helper of Englishmen.
_Riordan_, a royal salmon.
_Lysaght_, a hired soldier.
_Farrell_, a fair man.
_Mohairey_, an early riser.
_Naghten_, a strong person.
_Trayner_, a strong man.
_Keating_, a shower of fire.
_Kinahan_, a moss trooper.
_Kearney_, a soldier.
_Leahy_, a champion.
_Macaveely_, son of the hero.
_Ardil_, of high descent.
_Dermid_, a god in arms.
_Toraylagh_, like a tower.
_Cairbre_, a royal person.
_Flinn_, red haired.
_Dwyer_, a dark man.
_Mullane_, broad head.
_Cullane_, broad poll.
_Flaherty_, a powerful chief.
_Lalor_, or _Lawler_, one who speaks by halves.
_Tierney_, a lord.
_Bulger_, a Dutchman.
_Dougal_, a Dane.
_Mac Intosh_, son of the chief.
_Mac Tagart_, son of the priest.
_Mac'Nab_, son of the abbot.
_Mac Clery_, son of a clerk.
_Mac Lure_, son of a tailor.
_Macgill_, son of a squire.
_Macbrehane_, son of a judge.
_Mac Tavish_, son of a savage.
_Goff_, or _Gough_, smith.
_Galt_, a Protestant.
_Gillespie_, the bishop's squire.
The whole of the above are literal translations without having recourse to
_fancy_, or _torturing the originals_; thus, _Macnamara_, called in Irish
_Mac Conmara_, from _mac_, a son, _con_, the genitive case of _cu_, a
hound, and _mara_, the genitive case of _muir_, the sea; and so of the
rest. It is proper, however, to observe, that although the name of
_Keating_ sounds exactly in Irish a "_shower of fire_" yet as the Keatings
came at first from England, this cannot be the real origin of that name.
All the rest are literally correct.
* * * * *
Lord Bacon tells us of a man who fasted five days, without meat, bread, or
drink, by smelling a wisp of herbs, among which were strong _onions_.
* * * * *
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