THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 13, NO. 377.] SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
Loch Goil Head
[Illustration: Loch Goil Head]
AND RESIDENCE OF CAMPBELL, THE POET.
The Engraving represents Loch Goil Head, a small village in Argyleshire,
as it name imports, at the end of Loch Goil. It is an exquisite vignette,
of Alpine sublimity, and is rendered extremely interesting as the
residence of Thomas Campbell, Esq. author of the "Pleasures of Hope," &c.
and one of the most celebrated of British poets. His _chateau_, or
retreat, is represented on the left of the Engraving, and its romantic
position has probably inspired many of the soul-stirring compositions of
the illustrious resident.
In this parish are the remains of Carrick Castle, which is said to have
been built by the Danes. It stands on a rock, and was formerly surrounded
by a ditch filled by the sea. The whole county in which Loch Goil is
situate, is indeed a region of romantic beauty and mountain wild; of the
last, Ben Cruchan is a sublime specimen, rising 3,300 feet above the
level of the sea. At Inverary, the splendid castle of the Duke of Argyle
rears in all the pride of art amidst the more lasting sublimities of
nature; and in the same vicinity is Loch Lomond, whose limpid streams
bathe the foot of Ben Lomond, where the tourist is fascinated with one of
the most glorious scenes in nature. The valley of Glencoe, too, is not
far distant, with all its opposite associations of massacre and maurauder,
by its severe and desert aspect, recalling to the traveller's mind the
most elevated defiles of the Alps, and whose massive heaps of rocks
covered with shaggy turf are the only charms to gladden the eye. At
Ardinglass, a few miles from Loch Goil, begins the country of _the
Campbells_, storied and consecrated with some of the most brilliant
epochs of Scottish lore.
The steam-boat on the lake is an attractive object in such a district as
Loch Goil--by associating one of the boasted triumphs of art with the
stupendous grandeur of the sublime.
* * * * *
HILLAH ON THE EUPHRATES.
The town of Hillah lies in latitude 32 deg. 31 min. 18 sec.; in longitude
12 min. 36 sec. west of Bagdad, and according to Turkish authorities, was
built in the fifth century of the Hegira, in the district of the
Euphrates, which the Arabs call El-Ared-Babel. Lying on a part of the
site of Babylon, nothing was more likely than that it should be built out
of a few of the fragments of that great city. The town is pleasantly
situated amidst gardens and groves of date trees; and spreads itself on
both sides of the river, where it is connected by a miserable wooden
bridge, the timbers of which are so rotten, that they tremble under the
foot of the passenger. The portion of the town, or as it is usually
called, the suburb, on the eastern bank, consists of one principal street
or bazaar, reaching from the small defenceless gate by which it is
entered from Bagdad, down to the edge of the water; this is deemed the
least considerable part of Hillah. On the other side, the inhabitants,
Jews, Turks, and Arabs, are much thicker, and the streets and bazaars
From the great central bazaar, well filled with merchandize, branch off
in various directions minor ranges, amongst which are found the fish and
flesh markets. In the former are several varieties, and some of enormous
size, resembling the barbel. The fish in question is from 4 to 5 feet
long, and is covered with very large, thick scales. The head is about
one-third part of the length of the fish. They are said to eat coarse and
dry, but are, nevertheless, a favourite food with the inhabitants; and
are caught in great quantities near the town, and to a considerable
distance above it. The flesh market is sparingly served with meat, for
when Sir Robert Ker Porter visited the town, he states that the whole
contents of the market appeared to be no more than the dismembered
carcasses of two sheep, two goats, and the red, rough filaments of a
buffalo. This display was but scant provision for a population of 7,000.
The streets are narrow like those of Bagdad; a necessary evil in Eastern
climates, to exclude the power of the sun; but they are even more noisome
and filthy. In like manner also, they are crowded, but not with so many
persons in gay attire. Here are to be seen groups of dark, grim-looking,
half-naked Arabs, sitting idly on the sides of the streets, and so
numerously, as scarcely to leave room for a single horse to pass; and
even a cavalcade in line will not alarm them, so indifferent are they,
even when travellers are compelled, at some abrupt turn, almost to ride
over them. A few sombre garbed Israelites, and occasionally the Turks,
attendant on official duties of the Pashalic in this part of the
government, also mingle in the passing or seated crowd; when the solemn,
saturnine air of the latter, with their flowing, gaudy apparel, forms a
striking contrast to the daring, dirty, independent air of the almost
ungarmented, swarthy Arab.
A few paces above the bridge, stands the palace of the governor, and the
citadel, which was built by order of Ali Pasha. This imposing fortress,
externally, is a handsome, smooth-faced, demi-fortified specimen of
modern Turkish architecture, erected with ancient materials. Within is a
spacious court, partly shaded with date trees. The whole of the town
towards the desert is defended by a pretty deep ditch, overlooked by a
proportionate number of brick-built towers (all the spoil of Babylon)
flanking the intermediate compartments of wall. In this rampart are three
As far as the eye can reach, both up and down the river, the banks are
thickly shaded with groves of dates, displacing, it should seem, the
other species of trees, from which Isaiah names this scene "the Brook or
Valley of Willows," although the humble races of that graceful tribe, in
the osier, &c. are yet the prolific offspring of its shores.
* * * * *
CURIOUS EXTRACTS FROM CURIOUS AUTHORS, FOR CURIOUS READERS.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Hollingshed, who was contemporary with Queen Elizabeth, informs us,
"there were very few chimneys (in England in his time) even in the capital
towns; the fire was laid to the wall, and the smoke issued out at the
roof, or door, or window. The houses were wattled, and plastered over
with clay, and all the furniture and utensils were of wood. The people
slept on straw pallets, with a log of wood for a pillow."
Cambrensis, Bishop of St. David's, says, "It was the common vice of the
English, from their first settlement in Britain, to expose their children
and relations to sale;" and it also appears, "that the wife of Earl
Godwin, who was sister to Canute, the Danish King of England, made great
gain by the trade she made of buying up English youths and maids to sell
Lord Bacon in his Apophthegms, says, "Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester,
in a famine, sold all the rich vessels and ornaments of the church, to
relieve the poor with bread; and said, 'There was no reason that the dead
temples of God should be sumptuously furnished, and the living temples
suffer penury.'" Ingulphus tells us, "For want of parchment to draw the
deeds upon, great estates were frequently conveyed from one family to
another, only by the ceremony of a turf and a stone, delivered before
witnesses, and without any written agreement." Andrews, in his History of
Great Britain, says, "In France, A.D. 1147, the great vassals emulated
and even surpassed the sovereign in pomp and cost of living." As an
instance of the wild liberality of the age, we are informed, that Henry
the "munificent" Count of Champagne, being applied to by a poor gentleman
for a portion to enable him to marry his two daughters: his steward
remonstrated to him, "that he had given away every thing," "thou _liest_,"
said Henry, "I have _thee_ left;" so he delivered over the steward to the
petitioner, who put him into confinement until he gave him 500 livres, a
handsome sum in those days.
Bede tells us, "Archbishop Theodore, when (in the seventh century) he
gave lectures on medicine at Canterbury, remonstrated against bleeding on
the 4th day of the moon, since at that period (he said) the light of the
planet and the tides of the ocean were on the increase." Yet Theodore was,
for his era, deeply learned.
William of Malmsbury says, "Very highly finished works in gold and silver,
were the produce even of our darkest ages. The monks were the best
artists. A jewel, now in the museum at Oxford, undoubtedly made by
command of, and worn by Alfred the Great, is an existing witness of the
height to which the art was carried. Curious reliquaries, finely wrought
and set with precious stones, were usually styled throughout Europe,
Howel tells us, "In the education of their children, the Anglo-Saxons
only sought to render them dauntless and apt for the two most important
occupations of their future lives--war and the chase. It was a usual
trial of a child's courage, to place him on the sloping roof of a
building, and if, without screaming or terror, he held fast, he was
styled a _stout-herce_, or brave boy."
Fitz-Stephen says, "Thomas a Becket lived in such splendour, that besides
having silver bits to his horses, he had such numerous guests at his
banquets, that he was obliged to have rooms covered with clean hay or
straw, in winter, and green boughs or rushes in summer, every day, lest
his guests, not finding seats at his tables, should soil their gay
clothes by sitting on the floor." He would pay five pounds (equal nearly
to fifty pounds of our money) for a single dish of eels. Once riding
through London with Henry, the King seeing a wretched, shivering beggar,
"It would be a good deed (said he) to give that poor wretch a coat."
"True, (said Becket.) and you, sir, may let him have yours." "He shall
have _yours_" said Henry, and after a heavy scuffle, in which they had
nearly dismounted each other, Becket proved the weakest, and his coat was
allotted to the astonished mendicant.
"When William the Conqueror was crowned at Westminster, the people (says
Andrews) within the Abbey shouted, on the crown being placed on his head,
the Normans without, thought the noise a signal of revolt, and began to
set fire to houses, and massacre the populace, nor were they satisfied
that all was well until considerable mischief had been done."
"Dr. Henry, (says Sulivan) who has made a very full collection of the
facts mentioned by ancient authors, concerning the provincial government
of Britain, supposes its annual revenue amounted to no less than two
millions sterling; a sum nearly as great as that which was derived from
Egypt, in the time of the father of Cleopatra. But this calculation is
built upon the authority of Lipsius. Nor are there perhaps any accounts
transmitted by historians, from which the point can be accurately
determined. The Britons excelled in agriculture. They exported great
quantities of corn, for supplying the armies in other parts of the empire.
They had linen and woollen manufactures; as their mines of lead and tin
were inexhaustible. And further we know, that Britain, in consequence of
her supposed resources, was sometimes reduced to such distress, by the
demands of government, as to be obliged to borrow money at an exorbitant
interest. In this trade, the best citizens of Rome were not ashamed to
engage; and, though prohibited by law, Seneca, whose philosophy, it seems,
was not incompatible with the love of money, lent the Britons at one time
above three hundred and twenty thousand pounds."
* * * * *
HINTS ON DRINKING.
_Abridged from Mr. Richards's Treatise on Nervous Disorders._
Without any intention of advocating the doctrine, or of commending the
reputed practice of the Pythagoreans, ancient or modern, I must be
allowed to reprobate the abuse of fermented liquors. Although wine was
invented, and its use allowed "to make glad the heart of man," and
although a moderate and prudent indulgence in it can never excite
reprobation, or cause mischief, still the sin of drunkenness is an
extensive and a filthy evil. Not only does it demoralize, debase, and
finally destroy its unhappy victim, but it renders him incapable of
performing the ordinary duties of his station; constituting him an object
of disgust to others, and of pitiable misery to himself. It is well to
talk of the Bacchanalian orgies of talented men, and to call them
hilarity and glee. The flashes of wit "that were wont to set the table in
a roar;" the brilliancy of genius, that casts a charm even over folly and
vice; the rank and fame of the individual, no doubt, increased the
fascination of his failings; but however bright and wonderful may be the
coruscations of his talent, while under the influence of wine, his frame
is debilitated, tottering, and imbecile, when the stimulus of the
potation has subsided.
But I do not proscribe indiscriminately all stimulus. Those whose
occupations are laborious, and who are much exposed to our variable
climate, require an absolute stimulus, over and above what they eat.
Dr. Franklin advocated a contrary doctrine, and inculcated the fact, that
a twopenny loaf was much better for a man than a quart of beer; and he
adduces the horse and other beasts of burthen as examples of the
inefficacy of the use of fermented liquors. But all this is founded upon
decidedly erroneous premises. To enable a hard-working horse to go
through his toil with spirit, he must have corn, or some other article
subject to fermentation. Now, the horse, as well as many other animals,
have stomachs very capacious, and probably adapted to the production of
this fermentation. So that corn is, in fact, a powerful fermented
stimulus to the beast.
Let us then assume, that stimulus in a certain degree is necessary to
sustain the strength and invigorate the frame of the toiling man; and the
best proof of its good effect is the comfort and energy which it imparts
to its consumer; but if this necessary stimulus be exceeded, then it is
abused, and every mouthful in addition becomes ultimately poisonous. The
first effect which is produced is upon the internal coat of the stomach,
as we may learn from the warmth which we feel. The repetition increases
the circulation of the blood, which seems, as it were, to dance through
the veins; the pulse becomes quick and full, the eyes sparkle, and the
imagination is quickened; in short, the whole frame is excited, as is
evinced by every word, look, and action. If the affair end here, well and
good; but we will suppose that the potation goes on, and very speedily a
new effect is produced. The brain, oppressed by the load of blood thrown
up into it, and irritated through its quick sympathy with the stomach;
oppressed, also, by the powerful pulsation of the larger arteries about
the head, becomes, in a degree, paralyzed. The tongue moves with
difficulty, and loses the power of distinct articulation; the limbs
become enfeebled and unsteady; the mind is deranged, being either worked
up into fury, or reduced to ridiculous puerility, and if the stimulus be
pushed farther than this, absolute insensibility ensues. Such is a brief
view of the physical progress of a debauch; and it is needless to point
out the effect of all this mischief upon the frame which is subjected to
Although we have thus seen that fermented liquors, if taken to excess,
become pernicious in their effect, we must not condemn their _use_,
because their _abuse_ is bad. Why should we act and feel as if this
bountiful world, brilliant in beauty and overflowing with blessings, was
a collection of steel traps and spring guns, set to catch the body and
shoot the soul? Is it not much better and wiser to avail ourselves of the
many blessings which Providence has placed before us, than to set
ourselves to work to detect poison in our drink, and God knows what in
our meat? It savours of learning, doubtless, to do all this; but _cui
bono_? where is the _real_ utility which it produces? Our grandfathers
and their progenitors were well convinced that a good cup of
"sherris-sack" comforted the heart, and aided digestion; and why the same
opinion should not govern us, I must leave to the dieteticians to decide.
The moderate use of wine and of malt liquors is exceedingly grateful to
our feelings, and abundantly beneficial to our constitution; but ardent
spirits are found to be so pernicious to most constitutions, and
especially to those: of the inhabitants of crowded towns and cities, that,
excepting under peculiar circumstances, it is better to discard them
altogether. A glass or two of good wine can never do any harm; neither
can a cup of good, genuine, "humming ale." The chemists tell us that the
London ale is a horrid and narcotic compound; and so, in truth, by far
the largest portion of it is. But there are two or three honest men in
the metropolis, who sell genuine Kennet, Nottingham, and Scotch ales,
from whom it is very easy to procure it quite pure. If, however, malt
liquor does not agree with the stomach, or what is the same thing, is
_supposed_ not to agree, it is a very easy matter to substitute wine for
A word or two, here, with regard to _genuine_ ale. Half of what is sold
under the name of Scotch, Kennet, &c. is manufactured at Bromley, or
elsewhere, according to prescriptions adapted to the peculiarities of
each kind. This, perhaps, is nothing very enormous; but the publicans
"_doctor_" their beer, after it has left the brewhouse, in a manner that
calls loudly for reprehension. Salt of tartar, carbonate of soda, oil of
vitriol, and green copperas (sulphate of iron) are some of the articles
in common use; and knowing this to be the case, it is really a matter of
importance to know where good, pure beer is to be obtained. The best
Kennet ale is to be had at Sherwood's, in Vine Street, Piccadilly, or at
Chapman's, in Wardour Street; both these dealers have it direct from
Butler's, at Kennet, and a very superior article it is. Nottingham ale
may be procured in casks at Sansom's, in Dean Street, Red Lion Square;
and the best Scotch ale in London, whether in draught or bottle, is at
Normington's, in Warren Street, Fitzroy Square.
 The reader, who is interested in this subject, will find in Mr.
Richards's treatise a candid description of the ill effects of
drunkenness, explained with a view to admonish, rather than to
censure the sufferer.
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS
* * * * *
[In our vol. xii. we gave a few extracts from vol. i. of the _Memoirs of
Vidocq_, the principal agent of the French Police, until 1827; which
extracts we have reason to know were received with high _gout_ by most of
our readers. The second and third volumes of these extraordinary
adventures have just appeared, and contain higher-coloured depravities
than their predecessors. Some of them, indeed, might have been spared;
but as a graphic illustration of the petty thievery of Paris, the
following extract bears great merit:--]
I do not think that amongst the readers of these Memoirs one will be
found who, even by chance, has set foot at Guillotin's.
"Eh! what?" some one will exclaim, "Guillotin!"
Ce savant medecin
Que l'amour du prochain
Fit mourir de chagrin.
"You are mistaken; we all know the celebrated doctor, who ----;" but the
Guillotin of whom I am speaking is an unsophisticated adulterer of wines,
whose establishment, well known to the most degraded classes of robbers,
is situate opposite to the Cloaque Desnoyers, which the raff of the
Barriere call the drawing-room of la Courtille. A workman may be honest
to a certain extent, and venture in, _en passant_, to papa Desnoyers's.
If he be _awake_, and keep his eye on the company, although a row should
commence, he may, by the aid of the gendarmes, escape with only a few
blows, and pay no one's scot but his own. At Guillotin's he will not come
off so well, particularly if his _toggery_ be over spruce, and his
_pouch_ has _chink_ in it.
Picture to yourself, reader, a square room of considerable magnitude, the
walls of which, once white, have been blackened by every species of
exhalation. Such is, in all its simple modesty, the aspect of a temple
consecrated to the worship of Bacchus and Terpsichore. At first, by a
very natural optical illusion, we are struck by the confined space before
us, but the eye, after a time, piercing through the thick atmosphere of a
thousand vapours which are most inodorous, the extent becomes visible by
details which escape in the first chaotic glimpse. It is the moment of
creation, all is bright, the fog disappears, becomes peopled, is animated,
forms appear, they move, they are agitated, they are no illusory shadows;
but, on the contrary, essentially material, which cross and recross at
every moment. What beatitudes! what joyous life! Never, even for the
Epicureans, were so many felicities assembled together. Those who like to
wallow in filth, can find it here to their heart's content; many seated
at tables, on which, without ever being wiped away, are renewed a hundred
times a day the most disgusting libations, close in a square space
reserved for what they call the dancers. At the further end of this
infected cave there is, supported by four worm-eaten pillars, a sort of
alcove, constructed from broken-up ship timber, which is graced by the
appearance of two or three rags of old tapestry. It is on this chicken
coop that the music is perched: two clarinets, a hurdy-gurdy, a cracked
trumpet, and a grumbling bassoon--five instruments whose harmonious
movements are regulated by the crutch of Monsieur Double-Croche, a lame
dwarf, who is called the leader of the orchestra. Here all is in
harmony--the faces, costumes, the food that is prepared; a general
appearance is scouted. There is no closet in which walking-sticks,
umbrellas, and cloaks are deposited; the women have their hair all in
confusion like a poodle dog, and the kerchief perched on the top of the
head, or in a knot tied in front with the corners in a rosette, or if you
prefer it, a cockade, which threatens the eye in the same manner as those
of the country mules. As for the men, it is a waistcoat with a cap and
falling collar, if they have a shirt, which is the regulated costume;
breeches are not insisted on; the supreme bon ton would be an
artilleryman's cap, the frock of an hussar, the pantaloon of a lancer,
the boots of a guardsman, in fact the cast-off attire of three or four
regiments, or the wardrobe of a field of battle. The ladies adore the
cavalry, and have a decided taste for the dress of the whole army; but
nothing so much pleases them as mustachios, and a broad red cap adorned
with leather of the same colour.
In this assembly, a beaver hat, unless napless and brimless, would be
very rare; no one ever remembers to have seen a coat there, and should
any one dare to present himself in a great coat, unless _a family man_,
he would be sure to depart skirtless, or only in his waistcoat. In vain
would he ask pardon for those flaps which had offended the eyes of the
noble assembly; too happy would he be if, after having been bandied and
knocked about with the utmost unanimity as a greenhorn, only one skirt
should be left in the hands of these youthful beauties, who, in the
fervour of gaiety, rather roar out than sing.
Desnoyers's is the Cadran bleu de la Canaille, (the resort of the lower
orders;) but before stepping over the threshold of the cabaret of
Guillotin, even the canaille themselves look twice, as in this repository
are only to be seen prostitutes with their bullies, pick-pockets and
thieves of all classes, some _prigs_ of the lowest grade, and many of
those nocturnal marauders who divide their existence into two parts,
consecrating it to the duties of theft and riot. It may be supposed that
slang is the only language of this delightful society: it is generally in
French, but so perverted from its primitive signification, that there is
not a member of the distinguished "company of forty" who can flatter
himself with a full knowledge of it, and yet the "dons of Guillotin's"
have their purists; those who assert that slang took its rise in the East,
and without thinking for a moment of disputing their talent as
Orientalists, they take that title to themselves without any ceremony; as
also that of Argonauts, when they have completed their studies under the
direction of the galley sergeants, in working, in the port of Toulon, the
dormant navigation on board a vessel in dock. If notes were pleasing to
me, I could here seize the opportunity of making some very learned
remarks. I should, perhaps, go into a profound disquisition, but I am
about to paint the paradise of these bacchanalians; the colours are
prepared--let us finish the picture.
If they drink at Guillotin's they eat also, and the mysteries of the
kitchen of this place of delights are well worthy of being known. The
little father Guillotin has no butcher, but he has a purveyor; and in his
brass stewpans, the verdigris of which never poisons, the dead horse is
transformed into beef a-la-mode; the thighs of the dead dogs found in Rue
Guenegaud become legs of mutton from the salt-marshes; and the magic of a
piquant sauce gives to the _staggering bob_ (dead born veal) of the
cow-feeder the appetizing look of that of Pontoise. We are told that the
cheer in winter is excellent, when the rot prevails; and if ever (during
M. Delaveau's administration) bread were scarce in summer during the
"massacre of the innocents," mutton was to be had here at a very cheap
rate. In this country of metamorphoses the hare never had the right of
citizenship; it was compelled to yield to the rabbit, and the rabbit--how
happy the rats are!
* * * * *
Father Guillotin consumed generally more oil than cotton, but I can,
nevertheless, affirm, that, in my time, some banquets have been spread
at his cabaret, which, subtracting the liquids, could not have cost more
at the cafe Riche, or at Grignon's. I remember six individuals, named
Driancourt, Vilattes, Pitroux, and three others, who found means to
spend 166 francs there in one night. In fact, each of them had with him
his favourite _bella_. The citizen no doubt pretty well fleeced them,
but they did not complain, and that quarter of an hour which Rabelais
had so much difficulty in passing, caused them no trouble; they paid
like grandees, without forgetting the waiter. I apprehended them whilst
they were paying the bill, which they had not even taken the trouble of
examining. Thieves are generous when they are caught "i' the vein."
They had just committed many considerable robberies, which they are now
repenting in the bagnes of France.
It can scarcely be believed that in the centre of civilization, there can
exist a den so hideous as the cave of Guillotin; it must be seen, as I
have seen it, to be believed. Men and women all smoked as they danced,
the pipe passed from mouth to mouth, and the most refined gallantry that
could be offered to the nymphs who came to this rendezvous, to display
their graces in the postures and attitudes of the indecent Chahut, was,
to offer them the _pruneau_, that is, the quid of tobacco, submitted or
not, according to the degree of familiarity, to the test of a previous
mastication. The peace-officers and inspectors were characters too
greatly distinguished to appear amongst such an assemblage, they kept
themselves most scrupulously aloof, to avoid so repugnant a contact; I
myself was much disgusted with it, but at the same time was persuaded,
that to discover and apprehend malefactors it would not do to wait until
they should come and throw themselves into my arms; I therefore
determined to seek them out, and that my searches might not be fruitless,
I endeavoured to find out their haunts, and then, like a fisherman who
has found a preserve, I cast my line out with a certainty of a bite. I
did not lose my time in searching for a needle in a bottle of hay, as
the saying is; when we lack water, it is useless to go to the source of a
dried-up stream and wait for a shower of rain; but to quit all metaphor,
and speak plainly--the spy who really means to ferret out the robbers,
ought, as much as possible, to dwell amongst them, that he may grasp at
every opportunity which presents itself of drawing down upon their heads
the sentence of the laws. Upon this principle I acted, and this caused my
recruits to say that I made men robbers; I certainly have, in this way,
made a vast many, particularly on my first connexion with the police.
* * * * *
CONSUMPTION OF EUROPEAN MANUFACTURES.
_From the Memoirs of General Miller_.
The aboriginal inhabitants of Peru are gradually beginning to experience
the benefit which has been conferred upon them, by the repeal of ancient
oppressive laws. In the districts that produce gold, their exertions will
be redoubled, for they now work for themselves. They can obtain this
precious metal by merely scratching the earth, and, although the
collection of each individual may be small, the aggregate quantity thus
obtained will be far from inconsiderable. As the aborigines attain
comparative wealth, they will acquire a taste for the minor comforts of
life. The consumption of European manufactures will be increased to an
incalculable degree, and the effect upon the general commerce of the
world will be sensibly perceived. It is for the first and most active
manufacturing country in Christendom to take a proper advantage of the
opening thus afforded. Already, in those countries, British manufactures
employ double the tonnage, and perhaps exceed twenty times the value, of
the importations from all other foreign nations put together. The wines
and tasteful bagatelles of France, and the flour and household furniture
of the United States, will bear no comparison in value to the cottons of
Manchester, the linens of Glasgow, the broadcloths of Leeds, or the
hardware of Birmingham. All this is proved by the great proportion of
precious metals sent to England, as compared with the remittances to
other nations. The very watches sent by Messrs. Roskell and Co. of
Liverpool, would out-balance the exports of some of the _nations_ which
trade to South America.
* * * * *
SOUTH AMERICAN MANNERS.
Whether it be the romantic novelty of many places in South America, the
salubrity of the climate, the free unrestrained intercourse of the more
polished classes, or whether there be some undefinable charm in that
state of society which has not passed beyond a certain point of
civilization, certain it is that few foreigners have resided for any
length of time in Chile, Peru, or in the principal towns of the Pampas,
without feeling an ardent desire to revisit them. In this number might be
named several European naval officers who have served in the Pacific, and
who nave expressed these sentiments, although they move in the very
highest circles of England and France. Countries which have not reached
the utmost pitch of refinement have their peculiar attractions, as well
as the most highly polished nations; but, to the casual resident, the
former offers many advantages unattainable in Europe. The virtue of
hospitality, exiled by luxury and refinement, exhibits itself in the New
World under such noble and endearing forms as would almost tempt the
philosopher, as well as the weary traveller, to dread the approach of the
factitious civilization that would banish it.
* * * * *
THE LABYRINTH, AT VERSAILLES.
[Illustration: The Labyrinth, at Versailles.]
This charming labyrinth is attached to _Le Petit Trianon_ at Versailles.
The palace and its gardens were formed under the reign of Louis XV., who
was there when he was attacked by the contagious disease of which he died.
Louis XVI. gave it to his queen, who took great delight in the spot, and
had the gardens laid out in the English style. The _chateau_, or palace,
is situated at one of the extremities of the park of the Grand Trianon,
and forms a pavilion, about seventy-two feet square. It consists of a
ground floor and two stories, decorated with fluted Corinthian columns
and pilasters crowned by a balustrade. The gardens are delightful: here
is a temple of love; there an artificial rock from which water rushes
into a lake; there a picturesque wooden bridge, a rural hamlet, grottoes,
cottages embowered in groves of trees, diversified with statues and
seats--and above all, the fascinating MAZE, the plan of which is
represented in the Engraving.
Versailles, its magnificent palace and gardens, are altogether fraught
with melancholy associations. When we last saw them, the grounds and
buildings presented a sorry picture of neglect and decay. The mimic lakes
and ponds were green and slimy, the grottoes and shell-work crumbling
away, the fountains still, and the cascades dry. But the latter are
exhibited on certain days during the summer, when the gardens are
thronged with gay Parisians. The most interesting object however, is, the
orange-tree planted by Francis I. in 1421, which is in full health and
bearing: alas! we halted beside it, and thought of the wonderful
revolutions and uprootings that France had suffered since this tree was
In _Le Petit Trianon_ and its grounds the interesting Queen Marie
Antoinette passed many happy hours of seclusion; and would that her
retreat had been confined to the _maze_ of Nature, rather than she had
been engaged in the political intrigues which exposed her to the fury of
a revolutionary mob. In the palace we were shown the chamber of Marie
Antoinette, where the ruffians stabbed through the covering of the bed,
the queen having previously escaped from this room to the king's chamber;
and, as if to keep up the folly of the splendid ruin, a gilder was
renovating the room of the ill-starred queen.
* * * * *
RECENT BALLOON ASCENT.
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
I trust you will pardon my feeble attempt last week, and I wish you had
been in the car with us, to have witnessed the magnificent scene, and the
difficulty of describing it. At our ascent we rose, in a few seconds, 600
feet; and instantly a flood of light and beautiful scenery burst forth.
Picture to yourself the Thames with its shipping; Greenwich with its
stately Hospital and Park; Blackwall, Blackheath, Peckham, Camberwell,
Dulwich, Norwood, St. Paul's, the Tower of London, &c. and the
surrounding country, all brought immediately into your view, all
apparently receding, and lit up into magnificence by the beams of a
brilliant evening sun, (twenty-seven minutes past seven,) and then say
who can portray or describe the scene, I say I cannot.
* * * * *
* * * * *
The faculty, or instinct of bees is sometimes at fault, for we often hear
of their adopting the strangest and most unsuitable tenements for the
construction of cells. A hussar's cap, so suspended from a moderate sized
branch of a tree, as to be agitated by slight winds, was found filled
with bees and comb. An old coat, that had been thrown over the decayed
trunk of a tree and forgotten, was filled with comb and bees. Any thing,
in short, either near the habitations of man, or in the forests, will
serve the bees for a shelter to their combs.
The average number of a hive, or swarm, is from fifteen to twenty
thousand bees. Nineteen thousand four hundred and ninety-nine are neuters
or working bees, five hundred are drones, and the remaining _one_ is the
queen or mother! Every living thing, from man down to an ephemeral insect,
pursues the bee to its destruction for the sake of the honey that is
deposited in its cell, or secreted in its honey-bag. To obtain that which
the bee is carrying to its hive, numerous birds and insects are on the
watch, and an incredible number of bees fall victims, in consequence, to
their enemies. Independently of this, there are the changes in the
weather, such as high winds, sudden showers, hot sunshine; and then there
is the liability to fall into rivers, besides a hundred other dangers to
which bees are exposed.
When a queen bee ceases to animate the hive, the bees are conscious of
her loss; after searching for her through the hive, for a day or more,
they examine the royal cells, which are of a peculiar construction and
reversed in position, hanging vertically, with the mouth underneath. If
no eggs or larvae are to be found in these cells, they then _enlarge_
several of those cells, which are appropriated to the eggs of neuters,
and in which _queen eggs have been deposited_. They soon attach a royal
cell to the enlarged surface, and the queen bee, enabled now to grow,
protrudes itself by degrees into the royal cell, and comes out perfectly
formed, to the great pleasure of the bees.
The bee seeks only its own gratification in procuring honey and in
regulating its household, and as, according to the old proverb, what is
one man's meat is another's poison, it sometimes carries honey to its
cell, which is prejudicial to us. Dr. Barton in the fifth volume, of the
"American Philosophical Transactions," speaks of several plants that
yield a poisonous syrup, of which the bees partake without injury, but
which has been fatal to man. He has enumerated some of these plants,
which ought to be destroyed wherever they are seen, namely, dwarf-laurel,
great laurel, kalmia latifolia, broad-leaved moorwort, Pennsylvania
mountain-laurel, wild honeysuckle (the bees, cannot get much of this,)
and the stramonium or Jamestown-weed.
A young bee can be readily distinguished from an old one, by the greyish
coloured down that covers it, and which it loses by the wear and tear of
hard labour; and if the bee be not destroyed before the season is over,
this down entirely disappears, and the groundwork of the insect is seen,
white or black. On a close examination, very few of these black or aged
bees, will be seen at the opening of the spring, as, not having the
stamina of those that are younger, they perish from inability to
encounter the vicissitudes of winter.--_American Farmer's Manual_.
* * * * *
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
I shall be obliged to any of your correspondents who can inform me from
whence came the term _witch-elm_, a name given to a species of elm tree,
to distinguish it from the common elm. Some people have conjectured that
it was a corruption of _white elm_, and so called from the silvery
whiteness of its leaves when the sun shines upon them; but this is hardly
probable, as Sir F. Bacon in his "_Silva Silvarum_, or Natural History,
in Ten Centuries," speaks of it under the name of _weech-elm_.
* * * * *
CROP OF BIRDS.
Besides the stomach, most birds have a membranous sac, capable of
considerable distension; it is usually called a crop, (by the scientific
_Ingluvies_,) into which the food first descends after being swallowed.
This bag is very conspicuous in the granivorous tribes immediately after
eating. Its chief use seems to be to soften the food before it is
admitted into the gizzard. In _young fowls_ it becomes sometimes
preternaturally distended, while the bird pines for want of nourishment.
This is produced by something in the crop, such as straw, or other
obstructing matter, which prevents the descent of the food into the
gizzard. In such a case, a longitudinal incision may be made in the crop,
its contents removed, and, the incision being sewed up, the fowl will, in
general, do well.
Another curious fact relative to this subject was stated by Mr. Brookes,
when lecturing on birds at the _Zoological Society_, May 1827. He had an
eagle, which was at liberty in his garden; happening to lay two dead rats,
which had been poisoned, under a pewter basin, to which the eagle could
have access, but who nevertheless did not see him place the rats under it,
he was surprised to see, some time afterwards, the crop of the bird
considerably distended; and finding the rats abstracted from beneath the
basin, he concluded that the eagle had devoured them. Fearing the
consequences, he lost no time in opening the crop, took out the rats, and
sewed up the incision; the eagle did well and is now alive. A proof this
of the acuteness of smell in the eagle, and also of the facility and
safety with which, even in grown birds, the operation of opening the crop
may be performed.--_Jennings's Ornithologia_.
* * * * *
The following singular fact was first brought into public notice by
Mr. Yarrel; and will be found in his papers in the second volume of the
_Zoological Journal_. The fact alluded to is, that there is attached to
the upper mandible of all young birds about to be hatched a _horny
appendage_, by which they are enabled more effectually to make
perforations in the shell, and contribute to their own liberation. This
sharp prominence, to use the words of Mr. Yarrel, becomes opposed to the
shell at various points, in a line extending throughout its whole
circumference, about one third below the larger end of the egg; and a
series of perforations more or less numerous are thus effected by the
increasing strength of the chick, weakening the shell in a direction
opposed to the muscular power of the bird; it is thus ultimately enabled,
by its own efforts, to break the walls of its prison. In the common fowl,
this horny appendage falls off in a day or two after the chick is hatched;
in the pigeon it sometimes remains on the beak ten or twelve days; this
arises, doubtless, from the young pigeons being fed by the parent bird
for some time after their being hatched; and thus there is no occasion
for the young using the beak for picking up its food.--_Ibid_.
* * * * *
Man is a monster,
The fool of passion and the slave of sin.
No laws can curb him when the will consents
To an unlawful deed.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS
* * * * *
THE CHOSEN ONE.
"Here's a long line of beauties--see!
Ay, and as varied as they're many--
Say, can I guess the one would be
Your choice among them all--if any?"
"I doubt it,--for I hold as dust
Charms many praise beyond all measure--
While gems they treat as lightly, _must_
Combine to form my chosen treasure."
"Will this do?"--"No;--that hair of gold,
That brow of snow, that eye of splendour,
Cannot redeem the mien so cold,
The air so stiff, so quite _un-tender_."
"This then?"--"Far worse! _Can_ lips like these
Thus smile as though they asked the kiss?--
Thinks she that e'en such eyes can please,
Beaming--there is no word--like _this?_"
"Look on that singer at the harp,
Of her you cannot speak thus--ah, no!"
--"Her! why she's _formed_ of flat and sharp--
I doubt not she's a fine soprano!"
"The next?"--"What, she who lowers her eyes
From sheer mock-modesty--so pert,
So doubtful-mannered?--I despise
Her, and all like her--she's a _Flirt!_
"And this is why my spleen's above
The power of words;--'tis that they can
Make the vile semblance be to Love
Just what the Monkey is to Man!
"But yonder I, methinks, can trace
One _very_ different from these--
Her features speak--her form is Grace
Completed by the touch of Ease!
"That opening lip, that fine frank eye
Breathe Nature's own true gaiety--
So sweet, so rare _when thus_, that I
Gaze on't with joy, nay ecstacy!
"For when _'tis_ thus, you'll also see
That eye still richer gifts express--
And on that lip there oft will be
A sighing smile of tenderness!
"Yes! here a matchless spirit dwells
E'en for that lovely dwelling fit!--
I gaze on her--my bosom swells
With feelings, thoughts,----oh! exquisite!
"That such a being, noble, tender,
So fair, so delicate, so dear,
Would let one love her, and _befriend_ her!--
--Ah, yes, _my_ Chosen One is here!"
* * * * *
TRAVELLING ON THE CONTINENT.
The man whom we have known to be surrounded by respect and attachment at
home, whose life is honourable and useful within his proper sphere, we
have seen with his family drudging along continental roads, painfully
disputing with postilions in bad French, insulted by the menials of inns,
fretting his time and temper with the miserable creatures who inflict
their tedious ignorance under the name of guides, and only happy in
reaching any term to the journey which fashion or family entreaty have
forced upon him. We are willing, however, to regard such instances as
casual, and proving only that travelling, like other pleasures, has its
alloys; but stationary residence abroad brings with it other and more
serious evils. To the animation of a changing scene of travel, succeeds
the tedious idleness of a foreign town, with scanty resources of society,
and yet scantier of honourable or useful occupation. Here also we do but
describe what we have too frequently seen--the English gentleman, who at
home would have been improving his estates, and aiding the public
institutions of his country, abandoned to utter insignificance; his mind
and resources running waste for want of employment, or, perchance, turned
to objects to which even idleness might reasonably be preferred. We have
seen such a man loitering along his idle day in streets, promenades, or
coffee-houses; or sometimes squandering time and money at the
gambling-table, a victim because an idler. The objects of nature and art,
which originally interested him, cease altogether to do so.
We admit many exceptions to this picture; but we, nevertheless, draw it
as one which will be familiar to all, who have been observers on the
continent. One circumstance must further be added to the outline; we mean,
the detachment from religious habits, which generally and naturally
attends such residence abroad. The means of public worship exist to our
countrymen but in few places; and there under circumstances the least
propitious to such duties. Days speedily become all alike; or if Sunday
be distinguished at all, it is but as the day of the favourite opera, or
most splendid ballet of the week. We are not puritanically severe in our
notions, and we intend no reproach to the religious or moral habits of
other nations. We simply assert, that English families removed from out
of the sphere of those proper duties, common to every people, and from
all opportunities of public worship or religious example, incur a risk
which is very serious in kind, especially to those still young and
unformed in character.
* * * * *
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
The following curious verses are copied from an engraving which the
Farriers' Company have lately had taken from an old painting of their
pedigree, on vellum, at the George and Vulture Tavern.
If suche may boast as by a subtile arte,
Canne without labour make excessive gayne,
And under name of Misterie imparte,
Unto the worlde the Crafie's but of their brayne.
How muche more doe their praise become men's themes
That bothe by art and labour gett their meanes.
And of all artes that worthe or praise doeth merite,
To none the _Marshall Farrier's_ will submitt,
That bothe by Physicks, arte, force, hands, and spiritt
The Kinge and subject in peace and warre doe fitt,
Many of Tuball boast first Smythe that ever wrought,
But _Farriers_ more do, doe than Tuball ever taught.
Three things there are that _Marshalry_ doe prove
To be a Misterie exceeding farre,
Those wilie Crafte's that many men doe love.
Is unfitt for peace and more unaptt for warre,
For Honor, Anncestrie, and for Utilitie,
_Farriers_ may boast their artes habilitie,
For Honor, view, this anncient Pedigree
Of Noble Howses, that did beare the name
Of _Farriers_, and were _Earles_; as you may see,
That used the arte and did supporte the same,
And to perpetuall honour of the Crafte,
Castells they buylt and to succession left.
For anncestrie of tyme oh! who canne tell
The first beginning of so old a trade,
For Horses were before the Deluge fell,
And cures, and shoes, before that tyme were made,
We need not presse tyme farther then it beares,
A Company have _Farriers_ beene 300 Yeres!!
And in this _Cittie London_ have remayned
Called by the name of _Marshall Farriers_,
Which title of Kinge Edward the Third was gaynde,
For service done unto him in his warres,
A _Maister_ and two _Wardens_ in skill expert,
The trade to rule and give men their desert.
And for utilitie that cannot be denied,
That many are the Proffitts that arise
To all men by the _Farriers_ arte beside.
To them they are tied, by their necessities,
From the Kinge's steede unto the ploweman's cart,
All stande in neede of _Farriers_ skillfull arte.
In peace at hande the _Farriers_ must be hadde,
For lanncing, healinge, bleedinge, and for shooeinge,
In Warres abroade of hym they wille be gladd
To cure the wounded Horsse, still he is douinge,
In peace or warre abroade, or ellse at home,
To Kinge and Countrie that some good may come.
Loe! thus you heare the _Farriers_ endelesss praise,
God grant it last as many yeres as it hath lasted Daies.
Anno Dni 1612.
 It commences from Henri de Ferrer, Lord of Tetbury, a Norman who came
over with William the Conqueror.
* * * * *
We read of a beautiful table, "wherein Saturn was of copper, Jupiter of
gold, Mars of iron, and the Sun of silver, the eyes were charmed, and the
mind instructed by beholding the circles. The Zodiac and all its signs
formed with wonderful art, of metals and precious stones."
Was not this an imperfect orrery?
In 1283, say the annals of Dunstable, "We sold our slave by birth,
William Pike, with all his family, and received one mark from the buyer."
Men must have been cheaper than horses.
In 1340, gunpowder and guns were first invented by Swartz, a monk of
Cologne. In 1346, Edward III. had four pieces of cannon, which
contributed to gain him the battle of Cressy. Bombs and mortars were
invented about this time.
In 1386, the magnificent castle of Windsor was built by Edward III. and
his method of conducting the work may serve as a specimen of the
condition of the people in that age. Instead of engaging workmen by
contracts or wages, he assessed every county in England to send him a
certain number of masons, tilers, and carpenters, as if he had been
levying an army.
In 1654, the air pump was invented by Otto Guericke, a German.
1406, B.C. Iron first discovered by burning the woods on Mount Ida, in
720, B.C. The first lunar eclipse on record.
Anaximander, the disciple of Thales, invented maps and globes; born about
894, B.C. Gold and silver money first coined at Argos, in Greece.
274, A.D. Silk first imported from India.
664, A.D. Glass first invented in England by O. Benalt, a monk.
1284, A.D. The Alphonsine Astronomical Tables constructed, under the
patronage of Alphonso X. of Laon and Castile.
1337, A.D. The first comet described with astronomical precision.
The first diving bell we read of was a very large kettle suspended by
ropes with the mouth downwards, and planks fixed in the middle of its
concavity. Two Greeks at Toledo in 1583, made an experiment with it
before Charles V. They descended in it with a lighted candle to a great
The Odyssey was written upon the skin of a serpent.
Formerly pennies were marked with a double cross and crease, so that it
might easily be broken into two or four parts.
* * * * *
* * * * *
SKETCH OF THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS.
_By an officer engaged._
The Leander, fitted for the flag of Rear-Admiral Milne, was at Spithead,
in June, 1816, when Lord Exmouth arrived with a squadron from the
Mediterranean, where a dispute had arisen between the Dey of Algiers and
his lordship, in consequence of a massacre that took place at Bona, on
the persons of foreigners, then under the protection of the British flag.
When the particulars were made known to government, Lord Exmouth was
ordered to return to Algiers, and to demand, in the name of the Prince
Regent, instant reparation for the insult offered to England. The
squadron being still on the war establishment, the crews were discharged,
and another expedition was ordered to be equipped with all possible
dispatch. The Leander instantly offered her services, and she soon had
the satisfaction to hear, that they were graciously accepted, and never
was greater joy expressed throughout her crew, than when her Captain
(Chetham) announced the determination of the Admiralty, that she was to
complete to the war complement; an extra lieutenant (Monk) was appointed,
a rendezvous for volunteers opened on the Point at Portsmouth, and in ten
days she was ready for sea, with 480 men on board.
The flag of Rear-Admiral Milne was hoisted, and the Leander sailed for
Plymouth, where she anchored in two days, and joined part of the squadron
intended for the same service: the Queen Charlotte, bearing the flag of
Lord Exmouth, soon appeared, and on the 29th of July, the expedition
sailed from England with a fine easterly breeze.
The expedition arrived at Gibraltar in eleven days, when it was joined by
a Dutch squadron of five frigates and a corvette, under the command of
Vice-Admiral Von Capellan; five gun-boats were fitted out and manned by
the ships of the line, and two transports were hired to attend with
ammunition, &c. All lumber and bulkheads, were landed at the dock-yard;
the ships were completed with water, and in all points ready for sea by
the 13th of August. The Rear-Admiral shifted his flag into the
Impregnable, and on the 14th the combined expedition sailed for Algiers.
The Leander was ordered to take a transport in tow, and keep on the
Admiral's weather-beam, and the Dutchmen kept to windward of all. We were
met by an easterly wind two days after leaving Gibraltar, and on the
third day we were joined by the Prometheus, from Algiers, whither she had
been dispatched to bring away the British Consul; the Dey, however, was
apprized of the expedition and detained him, as well as two boats' crews
of the Prometheus, but the Consul's wife and daughter escaped, and got
safely on board.
The foul wind prevented the squadron making much way, but the
time was employed to advantage in constant exercise at the guns, and the
men were brought as near to perfection as they could be; in handling them
each man knew his own duty, as well as that of the captain of the gun,
fireman, boarder, powder-man, rammer, &c. Each took his turn to the
several duties, and continued changing up to the 27th.
The coast of Africa was seen on Monday, and as the day dawned on Tuesday,
the 27th, Algiers appeared about ten miles off. The morning was
beautifully fine, with a haze which foretold the coming heat: as the
morning advanced, the breeze failed us, but at nine o'clock we had neared
the town to within about five miles; the long line of batteries were
distinctly seen, with the red flag flying in all directions, and the
masts of the shipping showed above the walls of the mole. The Severn,
with a flag of truce flying, was detached with the terms of the Prince
Regent, and this was a most anxious period, for we were in the dark as to
the feelings of the Dey, whether the offered terms were such as he could
consistently accept, or that left him no alternative but resistance.
During this state of suspense, our people were, as usual, exercised at
the guns, the boats hoisted out, and prepared for service by signal, and
at noon we were ready for action.
The ship's company were piped to dinner, and at one o'clock the captain
and officers sat down to theirs in the gun-room, the principal dish of
which was a substantial sea pie; wine was pledged in a bumper to a
successful attack, and a general expression of hope for an unsuccessful
negotiation. At this time, the officer of the watch reported to the
captain, that the admiral had made the general telegraph "Are you ready?"
Chetham immediately directed that our answer "ready" should be shown, and
at the same moment the like signal was flying at the mastheads of the
entire squadron. The mess now broke up, each individual of it quietly
making arrangements with the other in the event of accident, and we had
scarcely reached the deck, when the signal "to bear up" was out, the
commander in-chief leading the way, with a fine, steady breeze blowing on
the land. We ran in on the admiral's larboard-beam, keeping within two
cables' length of him; the long guns were loaded with round and grape,
the carronades with grape only; our sail was reduced to the topsails, and
topgallant sails, the main-sail furled, and the boats dropped astern in
tow. The ships were now steering to their appointed stations, and the
gun-boats showing their eagerness, by a crowd of sail, to get alongside
the batteries. As we drew towards the shore, the Algerines were observed
loading their guns, and a vast number of spectators were assembled on the
beach, idly gazing at the approach of the squadron, seemingly quite
unconscious of what was about to happen. Far different were appearances
at the mouth of the mole as it opened; the row-boats, fully manned, were
lying on their oars, quite prepared for the attack, and we fully expected
they would attempt to board, should an opportunity offer; each boat had a
flag hanging over the stern. A frigate was moored across the mouth of the
mole, and a small brig was at anchor outside of her.
At fifteen minutes before three P.M. the Queen Charlotte came to an
anchor by the stern, at the distance of sixty yards from the beach, and,
as was ascertained by measurement, ninety yards from the muzzles of the
guns of the mole batteries, unmolested, and with all the quietude of a
friendly harbour; her flag flew at the main, and the colours at the peak;
her starboard broadside flanked the whole range of batteries from the
mole head to the lighthouse; her topsail yards (as were those of the
squadron,) remained aloft, to be secure from fire, and the sails brought
snugly to the yards by head-lines previously fitted; the topgallant sails
and small sails only were furled, so that we had no man unnecessarily
The Leander, following the motions of the admiral, was brought up with
two anchors by the stern, let go on his larboard beam, veered away, until
she obtained a position nearly a-head of him, then let go an anchor under
foot, open by this to a battery on the starboard side at the bottom of
the mole, and to the Fish-market battery on the larboard side. At this
moment Lord Exmouth was seen waving his hat on the poop to the idlers on
the beach to get out of the way, then a loud cheer was heard, and the
whole of the Queen Charlotte's tremendous broadside was thrown into the
batteries abreast of her; this measure was promptly taken, as the smoke
of a gun was observed to issue from some part of the enemy's works, so
that the sound of the British guns was heard almost in the same instant
with that to which the smoke belonged. The cheers of the Queen Charlotte
were loudly echoed by those of the Leander, and the contents of her
starboard broadside as quickly followed, carrying destruction into the
groups of row-boats; as the smoke opened, the fragments of boats were
seen floating, their crews swimming and scrambling, as many as escaped
the shot, to the shore; another broadside annihilated them. The enemy was
not slack in returning this warm salute, for almost before the shot
escaped from _our_ guns, a man standing on the forecastle bits, hauling
on the topsail buntlines, received a musket bullet in his left arm, which
broke the bone, and commenced the labours in the cockpit. The action
became general as soon as the ships had occupied their positions, and we
were engaged with the batteries on either side; so close were we, that
the enemy were distinctly seen loading their guns above us. After a few
broadsides, we brought our starboard broadside to bear on the Fish-market,
and our larboard side then looked to seaward. The rocket-boats were now
throwing rockets over our ships into the mole, the effects of which, were
occasionally seen on the shipping on our larboard bow. The Dutch flag was
to be seen flying at the fore of the Dutch Admiral, who, with his
squadron, were engaging the batteries to the eastward of the mole. The
fresh breeze which brought us in was gradually driven away by the
cannonade, and the smoke of our guns so hung about us, that we were
obliged to wait until it cleared; for the men took deliberate and certain
aims, training their guns until they were fully satisfied of their
precision. But our enemies gave us no reason to suppose that they were
idle; so great was the havoc which they made amongst us, that the surgeon
in his report stated, that sixty-five men were brought to him wounded
after the first and second broadsides.
About four o'clock, a boat, with an officer, came with orders from the
admiral to cease firing, as an attempt to destroy the Algerine frigates
was about to be made. Accordingly three boats pushed into the mole,
running the gantlet in gallant style; they boarded the outermost frigate,
which was found deserted by her crew; and in a few minutes she was in a
blaze; in doing this the boats' crews suffered severely. The smoke of our
last broadside had scarcely left us, when the Algerines renewed their
fire of musketry upon our decks, fortunately the men were lying down by
the guns, and the officers alone were marks for them, but one midshipman
was their only victim at this time. The masts began to suffer in all
parts, splinters were falling from them, and shreds of canvass from the
sails came down upon us in great quantities; traces, bowlines, and other
running gear, suffered equally; the shrouds, fore and aft, got cut up so
quickly, that the rigging men attempted in vain to knot them, and were at
last forced to leave the rigging to its fate.
When the boats returned, we recommenced our fire with renewed vigour;
occasionally a flag-staff was knocked down, a fact which was always
announced with a cheer, each captain of a gun believing himself to be the
faithful marksman. The Algerine squadron now began, as it were, to follow
the motions of the outer frigate; the rockets had taken effect, and they
all burned merrily together. A hot shot, about this time, struck a
powder-box, on which was sitting the powder-boy, he, poor fellow, was
blown up, and another near him was dreadfully scorched.
Through the intervals of smoke, the sad devastation in the enemy's works
was made visible; the whole of the mole head, near the Queen Charlotte,
was a ruin, and the guns were consequently silenced; but we were not so
fortunate with the Fish-market; the guns there still annoyed us, and ours
seemed to make no impression. A battery in the upper angle of the town
was also untouched, and we were so much under it, that the shot actually
came through our decks, without touching the bulwarks, and we could not
elevate our guns sufficiently to check them.
As the sun was setting behind the town, the whole of the shipping in the
mole were in flames; their cables burned through, left them at the mercy
of every breeze: the outermost frigate threatened the Queen Charlotte
with a similar fate, but a breeze sent her clear on towards the Leander;
a most intense heat came from her, and we expected every moment to be in
contact; the flames were burning with great power at the mast heads, and
the loose fire was flying about in such a way that there seemed little
chance of our escaping, but we checked her progress towards us, by firing
into her, and in the act of hauling out, we were rejoiced to see a
welcome sea-breeze alter the direction of the flames aloft, the same
breeze soon reached her hull, and we had the satisfaction in a few
minutes to see her touch the shore to which she belonged.
The guns were now so much heated by the incessant fire kept up, that we
were forced to reduce the cartridges nearly one-half, as well as to wait
their cooling before reloading; the men, too, were so reduced at some
guns, that they required the assistance of the others to work them; the
aftermost gun on the gangway had only two men left untouched, Between
seven and eight o'clock, the fire of the enemy's guns had sensibly
diminished, and their people were running in crowds from the demolished
works to the great gate of the city; they were distinctly seen in all
their movements by the light of their burning navy and arsenal. The
battery in the upper angle of the town, which, was too high to fire upon,
kept up a galling fire, and another further to the eastward was still at
work. To bring our broadside to bear upon it, a hawser was run out to the
Severn, on our larboard bow, the ship was swung to the proper bearing,
and we soon checked them. At 45 minutes past nine, the squadron began to
haul out, some making sail, and taking advantage of a light air off the
land, while others were towing and warping: the only sail which we had
fit to set, was the main-topmast staysail, and this was of too stout
canvass to feel the breeze; the boats of our own ship were unable to move
her, after a kedge anchor, which was run out to the length of the
stream-cable, had come home; thus we were left, dependant either on a
breeze or the assistance of the squadron. An officer was sent to tell the
admiral our situation, but the boat was sunk from under the crew, who
were picked up by another; a second boat was more successful, and the
admiral ordered all the boats he could collect to our assistance. At this
time the Severn, near us, had caught the breeze, and was moving steadily
out; a hawser was made fast to her mizen-chains secured to its bare end,
which had just sufficient length to reach the painter of the headmost
boat, towing; by this means the Leander's head was checked round, and we
had again the gratification to see her following the others of the
squadron. The small portion of our sails were set to assist our progress;
but without the help of the Severn there we should have remained; our
mizen-topmast fell into the maintop, shot through. When the Algerines saw
us retiring they returned to the guns which they had previously abandoned,
and again commenced a fire on the boats, which made the water literally
in a foam; this fire was returned by our quarter guns, but with very
little effect. As we left the land, the breeze increased; the Severn cast
off her tow, and our boats returned on board: at 25 minutes past eleven
we fired our last gun, and the cannonade was succeeded by a storm of
thunder and lightning. At midnight we anchored within three miles of the
scene of action; the report of a gun on shore was still heard at
intervals, but all was soon quiet, except the shipping in the mole, which
continued to burn, keeping all around brilliantly illuminated. We now
attempted to furl sails, but the men were so thoroughly stiffened by the
short period of inaction since the firing had ceased, that they stuck
almost powerless to the yards; after great exertion, the gaskets were
somehow passed round the yards, and the labours of the day ended; grog
was served out, and the hammocks piped down, but few had the inclination
to hang them up.
Soon after daylight we mustered at quarters, and found that 16 officers
and men were killed, and 120 wounded; the three lower masts badly wounded,
every spar wounded, except the spanker-boom; the shrouds cut in all parts,
leaving the masts unsupported, which would have fallen had there been the
least motion; the running gear entirely cut to pieces; the boats _all_
shot through; the bulwarks riddled with grape and musketry; 96 round-shot
in the starboard side, some of them between wind and water; the guns were
all uninjured to any extent, and remained, the only part of the Leander,
The ship's company were again at work, clearing decks, unbending sails,
and making every preparation to renew the action; but at noon we had the
satisfaction to hear that the Dey had accepted the terms which were
offered him the day before; at the same time that this information was
conveyed to the squadron, a general order was issued to offer up "public
thanksgiving to Almighty God for the signal victory obtained by the arms
of England."--_United Service Journal_.
* * * * *
"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles."
* * * * *
THE RANZ DES VACHES.
The Kurieholen, or Ranz des Vaches, the celebrated national air of the
Swiss, does not consist in articulated sounds, nor is it accompanied by
words; but is a simple melody formed by a kind of guttural intonation
very closely resembling the tones of a flute. Two of these voices at a
short distance produce the most pleasing effect, the echoes of the
surrounding rocks reverberating the music till it seems like enchantment;
but sometimes the illusion is dissipated by the appearance of the singers,
in the persons of two old women, returning from their labour in a
* * * * *
During a tour through France shortly before Bonaparte's accession to the
throne he received the addresses of the Priests and Prefects, who vied
with each other in the grossness and impiety of their adulation. The
Prefect of the Pas de Calais seems to have borne away the palm from all
his brethren. On Napoleon's entrance into his department, he addressed
him in the following manner:--"Tranquil with respect to our fate, we know
that to ensure the happiness and glory of France, to render to all people
the freedom of commerce and the seas, to humble the audacious destroyers
of the repose of the universe, and to fix, at length, peace upon the
earth, God created Bonaparte, and rested from his labour!"
* * * * *
In the diplomatic language of Charles I.'s time, were marginal notes,
generally in the king's hand, written on the margin of state papers. The
word, in somewhat a similar sense, had its origin in the canon law. There
are many instances of apostles by Charles I. in Archbishop Laud's Diary
* * * * *
When Voltaire was at Berlin, he wrote this epigram on his patron and host
the king of Prussia:--
"King, author, philosopher, hero, musician,
Freemason, economist, bard, politician,
How had Europe rejoiced if a _Christian_ he'd been,
If a man, how he then had enraptured his queen."
For this effort of wit, Voltaire was paid with thirty lashes on his bare
back, administered by the king's sergeant-at-arms, and was compelled to
sign the following curious receipt for the same:--
"Received from the righthand of Conrad
Backoffner, thirty lashes on my bare
back, being in full for an epigram on
Frederick the Third, King of Prussia."
I say received by me, VOLTAIRE.
_Vive le Roi_!
* * * * *
The church at Gondhurst, in Kent, is a fine old building, and remarkable
for several reasons; one of which is, that thirty-nine different parishes
may be distinctly seen from it, and in clear weather the sea, off
Hastings, a distance of twenty-seven miles and a half.
* * * * *
Sir William Adams, afterwards Sir William Rawson, which name he took in
consequence of some property he succeeded to by right of his wife, was one
of the victims of the South American mining mania. He plunged deeply into
speculation, and wrote pamphlets to prove that so much gold and silver
must ultimately find its way into Europe from Mexico, that all the
existing relations of value would be utterly destroyed. He believed what
he wrote, though he failed to demonstrate what he believed. At one period
he might have withdrawn himself from all his speculations with at least a
hundred thousand pounds in his pocket; but he fancied he had discovered
the philosopher's stone--dreamed of wealth beyond what he could
count--went on--was beggared--and you know how and where he died. Poor
fellow! He deserved a better fate. He was a kind-hearted creature; and if
he coveted a princely fortune, I am satisfied he would have used it like
a prince. But I am forgetting my story. Well, then, it was after he had
totally relinquished his profession as an oculist, that he might devote
his entire time and attention to the Mexican mining affairs, that a
gentleman, ignorant of the circumstance, called upon him one morning to
consult him. Sir William looked at him for a moment, and then exclaimed,
in the words of Macbeth, addressing Banquo's ghost, "Avaunt--there is _no
speculation_ in those eyes!"
* * * * *
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