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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 19, by Various

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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

VOL. 19. No. 552.] SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 1832. [PRICE 2d.

* * * * *

THE BRAHMIN BULL, IN THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS, REGENT'S PARK.

[Illustration: THE BRAHMIN BULL, IN THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS, REGENT'S PARK.]

The Zoological Society possess several _Zebus_, or Indian oxen. These
were formerly considered a distinct species, but zoologists are now of
opinion that the Zebu is merely a variety of the common ox, "although,"
as Mr. Bennett observes, "it is difficult to ascertain the causes by
which the distinctive characters of the two races have been in the
process of time gradually produced."[1] Their anatomical structure is
precisely the same, and the only circumstances in which the two animals
differ consist in the fatty hump on the shoulders of the Zebu, and in
the somewhat more slender and delicate make of its legs.

[1] Gardens and Menageries of the Zoological Society Delineated
Quadrupeds--vol. i.

The object of the Zoological Society in their collection of Zebus is the
introduction of an improved breed of oxen. The larger specimens are kept
at the farm at Kingston Hill, and only a pair of small ones are reserved
for the Gardens, in addition to the Brahmin Bull, who occupies the
central division of the Cattle Shed.

[Illustration: Brahmin Bull in Cattle Shed.]

The specimen before us has been received by the Society from India, and
is one of the largest that has ever been seen in Europe. It is equal in
size to the larger breeds of our native oxen, and is of a slaty grey on
the body and head; with cream-coloured legs and dewlap, the latter
exceedingly long and pendulous; very short horns directed upwards and
outwards; and ears of great proportional magnitude, and so flexible and
obedient to the animal's will as to be moved in all directions with the
greatest facility. Although a full-grown male, he is perfectly quiet,
good-tempered, and submissive, and receives the caresses of strangers
with apparent satisfaction.

The whole of the breeds of Zebus are treated with great veneration by
the Hindoos, who hold it sinful to deprive them of life under any
pretext whatever. They are in general used as beasts of draft,
principally for purposes of husbandry, but a select number (of which the
specimen before us is one,) are exempted from all services, and even
idolized.

Bishop Heber,[2] calls them _Brahminy_ Bulls, and tells us they are
turned out when calves, on different solemn occasions by wealthy
Hindoos, as an acceptable offering to Siva. It would be a mortal sin to
strike or injure them. They feed where they choose, and devout persons
take great delight in pampering them. They are exceeding pests in the
villages near Calcutta, breaking into gardens, thrusting their noses
into the stalls of fruiterers and pastry-cook's shops, and helping
themselves without ceremony. Like other petted animals, they are
sometimes mischievous, and are said to resent with a push of their horns
any delay in gratifying their wishes.

[2] Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Provinces of India,
vol. i. 4to., 1828.

We may here in connexion with the Zoological Gardens, not
inappropriately introduce the following graphic passage from the
concluding Number of Mr. Landseer's "Characteristic Sketches of
Animals." It appears as a "Note by the Editor," Mr. John Barrow, and
represents the labours of the Zoological Society as very gratifying to
the subscribers and the public.[3]

[3] We are indebted to the _Literary Gazette_ of Saturday last
for early cognizance of this extract.

"By the spirit and perseverance with which they have succeeded in
_domiciling_ their magnificent collection of living animals in the
Regent's Park--by the knowledge and experience they have evinced in the
arrangements adopted in that establishment, and the good taste, skill,
and industry, they have employed in carrying into effect its multiplied
details--they have accomplished a task of far higher importance, and of
infinitely nobler character, than that of merely providing for all
classes of an enlightened metropolis an additional source of amusement
and recreation. Such a collection, so maintained and so displayed,
advances--slowly but certainly--the best interests of morals and
philosophy. The curiosity which it excites, the gratification it
affords, operate, though with differing degrees of intensity, on the
most uncultivated and the best informed of those who visit it, to beget
inquiry and awaken reflection; and in what can inquiry and reflection,
thus originated, determine, but in producing or extending the most
sublime impressions of the beneficence, the power, and the providence,
of the Great Author of Creation? The physical mechanism of birds, the
muscular energies of brutes, strike us at first with wonder, or move us
with mingled terror and delight; but the activity of the human mind will
not suffer us long to remain at this point of simple excitement. We
involuntarily begin to analyze the properties of animals, the relations
of their structure to those properties, the adaptation of the parts to
the whole of that structure, and the conformity of their physical
endowment and their instincts to the various _habitats_ or regions in
which they respectively exist. Whether we reason from causes to effects,
as from instinct to habit; or endeavour, upon an inverted process, to
arrive from the consideration of effects at causes, as from habit to
instinct; or attempt, upon the analysis and analogies of admitted facts
in the natural history of one animal, to deduce a theory of the history
of another,--we shall find this mysterious but beautiful chain of
relation and adaptation unbroken, impassable, perpetual.

* * * * *

"Observe how this infant colony, of which we are especially speaking,
has already been peopled! The majestic rusa, captured in the sultry
forests of Bengal, and the elegant gazelle, which has once bounded over
the parching deserts of Barbary, have become intimate and make their
couch with the white reindeer, brought from the icy wastes of Lapland.
The misshapen but harmless kangaroo of New Holland is a fellow-lodger
with the ferocious gnu of Southern Africa; and the patient llama, who
has left the snowy sides and precipitous defiles of the Andes,
contemplates without terror its formidable neighbours, the wolf of the
Pyrenees, and the bear of the stupendous mountains of Thibet. In the
immediate vicinity of the sacred bull, whose consecrated life has
heretofore been passed in luxurious freedom or insolent enjoyment on the
banks of the Ganges or the Jumna--feeds the gaunt and shaggy bison,
which crops with sullen tranquillity a herbage more nutritious but less
grateful to him than he loved to cull among the stony pastures of the
Alleghany range, or of the howling solitudes surrounding Hudson's Bay.
Though thousands of leagues have interposed between the arid sands from
which they have been imported into this peaceful and common home, the
camel of the Thebais, as he ruminates in his grassy _parterre_, surveys
with composed surprise the wild dog of the Tierra del Fuego and the
sharp-eyed dingo of Australia. Around the ghastly sloth-bear,
disentombed from his burrows in the gloomiest woods of Mysore or
Canara--and his more lively congener of Russia--the armadillo of Brazil
and the pine marten of Norway display a vivacity of action and a
cheerfulness of gesture which captivity seems powerless to repress. The
elephant of Ceylon, and the noble wapiti of the Canadas, repose beneath
the same roof; and from his bath, or his pavilion, the Arctic bear
contemplates--not his native rocks and solitudes, the crashing of
icebergs, and the Polar seas, alternately lashed into terrific fury or
hemmed in by accumulating precipices of ice; but--monkeys of almost
every size, form, and family, which gambol in the woods of Numidia or
Gundwana; in the loftiest trees of Sumatra; on the mountains of Java; by
the rivers of Paraguay and Hindustan; of South America and South Asia;
among the jungly banks of the Godavery and the woody shores of the
Pamoni, of the Oroonoko, and the Bramahputra--in short, in every sunny
clime and region where the rigours of his own winter are not only
unknown, but inconceivable. There is something sublime in the mere
consideration of the prodigious remoteness from one another of the
various points from which these animals have thus been collected;
something gratifying to human pride, in the thought that neither the
freezing atmosphere of the countries which surround the Pole, nor the
fierce heats of those which lie beneath the Line, or are enclosed
between the Tropics--neither destructive climates, nor trackless
deserts, nor stormy oceans, can interpose obstacles powerful enough to
quell the enterprise of man!--that the rocky caverns of the loneliest
sea-coasts, and the deepest recesses of inland forests, are insufficient
to protect from him the most terrible beasts of prey which inhabit
them;--and that, in short, all the kingdoms of nature pay tribute to his
sagacity or his power, his courage or his curiosity. This feeling is
heightened, amidst the scene we have attempted to describe, by still
more numerous representatives of the feathered race. Birds of the
boldest wing and brightest hues--the denizens of the woods and the
waters--of every variety of plumage, habit, song, and size--from the
splendid macaw and toucan to the uncouth pelican and the shapeless
puffin--from the gigantic ostrich to the beautiful but diminutive golden
wren; in short, all the birds which are congregated in this spot come,
literally, from every corner of our globe. The great alpine vulture may
have sailed above the heights of Hohenlinden; the Egyptian vulture have
roosted on the terraced roofs of Cairo, or among the sacred walls of
Phylae; the condor, have built in the ruined palaces of the Incas of
Peru; the flamingo or the ibis have waded through the lakes and marshes
which surround the desolation of Babylon; the eagle of America have
ranged, perhaps daily, over those narrow straits which separate two
worlds and bid defiance to all navigation! The emu has long since
tracked the vast interior of that fifth continent whose inland rivers,
tribes of mankind, quadrupeds, and mineral and vegetable productions,
remain still, to us, sealed mysteries. The crowned crane has drawn its
food from the waters of that vast lake of Tschad, in the search for
which so many Europeans have perished; the little stormy petrel, borne
on the surge, or wafted by the gale, has travelled to every shore that
has been visited by the tempests in which it loves to rove; and the
wandering stork, like the restless swallow, has nestled, indifferently,
among the chimneys of Amsterdam, the campaniles of Rome or of Pisa, and
on the housetops of Timbuctoo. In looking round upon these various birds
and quadrupeds of all the regions of our globe--in considering the
distant countries of their birth--their strangeness to us in feature or
in form--the endless varieties of their instincts, their habits, their
affections, their antipathies, their appetites--the several important
offices they are destined to perform in what may be called the physical
economy of the world,--in observing the powers of offence in some, of
defence in others, and the astonishing means which have been supplied to
certain classes of them destitute both of one and the other, of
procuring their subsistence with equal facility,--it is surely
impossible not to ascend to the contemplation of that all-wise and
benevolent Power which has called all these creations into being, and
thus informed and thus endowed them!"

* * * * *

ST. PANCRAS OLD CHURCH.

(_To the Editor._)

In No. 546, of _The Mirror_, you gave a History of Old Saint Pancras
Church. Will you allow me to say that it is not at a Church in the South
of France, where prayers are said for the souls of those that are buried
here, but at the Church of St. Peter, at Rome. A writer in the _Morning
Herald_ of August, 1825, states thus: "The History of the Old Church of
Saint Pancras is not a little singular; it is one of the oldest in the
county of Middlesex, and the parish it belongs to one of the largest,
being eighteen miles in circumference. The name was sent from Rome by
the Pope, expressly for this church, which has the only general Catholic
burial ground in England; and mass is daily said in St. Peter's, at
Rome, for the repose of the souls of the faithful, whose bodies are
deposited therein; and it was also the last church in England whose bell
tolled for mass, or in which any Catholic rites were celebrated. A few
months ago an Italian showed me an Italian prayer-book, in which was a
coloured drawing of St. Pancras Church; he told me it was held in great
veneration at Rome, and prayers are said daily in St. Peter's, for its
prosperity, and it is considered to be the oldest church now standing in
Europe." A writer in the _Gentleman's Magazine_, 1749, states thus:
"Christ's sacred altar here first Britain saw. Saint Pancras is included
in that land granted by Ethelbert, the fifth King of Kent, to the
Cathedral Church of St. Paul, London, about the year 603. The first
mention that has been found to be made of this church, occurs in the
year 1183; but it does not appear whether it was, or was not, of recent
erection."

It is said there was a silver tomb in this church, which was probably
taken away at the time of the commonwealth. About a mile from the
church, in a field in Kentish Town, is the Gospel Oak, under which,
tradition says, that Saint Austin, or one of his monks, preached. Near
the church was a medicinal spa, which once attained some celebrity under
the name of St. Pancras' Well, and was held in such estimation as to
occasion great resort of company to it during the season. It is said the
water was tasteless, but had a slight cathartic property.

Dr. Stukely, in a work published in 1756, says there was a Roman camp
where St. Pancras Church stands.

The old church was repaired in 1827, when the old gallery was taken
down. It was reopened under the name of St. Pancras Chapel, August 1828,
by the Rev. James Moore, L.L.D., the Vicar; on which occasion he
delivered a lecture, in which he gave a history of the church.

Since the year 1822, five new churches have been erected in this parish:
the New St. Pancras Church, Euston-square; Regent Church,
Sidmouth-street; Somers Church, Seymour-street; Camden Church,
Pratt-street; and Highgate Church, on the Hill.

The first Bishop of Calcutta, the Rev. Thomas Fanshaw Middleton, D.D.
was Vicar of St. Pancras. He died of a stroke of the sun, on the 8th of
July, 1822. _A Parishioner of St. Pancras._

* * * * *

MARY OF CAMBRIA.--A SONNET.
(_For the Mirror._)

There was a maiden once would come and sit
Upon our mountain, the long summer day;
And watch'd the sun, till he had beauteous lit
The mist-envelop'd rocks of Mona grey:
Beneath whose base, the timid hinds would say,
Her lover perish'd; and from that dread hour,
Bereft of reason's mind ennobling ray,
Poor Mary droop'd: Llanellian's fairest flower!
Why gazeth she thus lone; can those soft eyes
Interpret aught in each dim cloud above?
Yes, there's more joy in her wild phantasies
Than reasons in its sober power could prove.
List to her wild laugh now; she smiles and cries,
It is my William's form; he beckons from you skies.

_The Author of a Tradesman's Lays_[4]

[4] In our correspondent's notice of Mrs. Hemans in No. 550, for
"Lady then," read "this Lady."

This little metrical record is founded on fact. In the year 1808, a
young female visited the grey, sterile mountain tract of Cefu Ogo, in
Denbighshire, each day successively for two months. Her lover, who was a
seaman on board one of the Welsh traders, had often met her there, and a
tranquil, uninterrupted walk it afforded them, for exchanging the
reciprocities of their mutual affection. He was lost not far from the
iron-bound coast of Carnarvonshire, but nearer towards Anglesea. I saw
her frequently, and her demeanour was most peaceable, except towards the
evening, when her benighted fancy would conjure up a variety of pleasing
expressions, which were uttered in the Welsh language; and were
invariably directed towards her lover, whom she often fancied was
present with her. I was happy to hear, that through the kind
superintendence of the late Dr. Jones, of Denbigh, she in a great
measure recovered her faculties, but died two or three years after at
Liverpool.

* * * * *

SHAKSPERIANA.

(_For the Mirror._)

"Each scene of many-colour'd life he drew
Exhausted worlds,--and then imagin'd knew."

JOHNSON.

So much has been said, and said so well, respecting the writings of
Shakspeare and the peculiar character of his genius, that it would be a
hopeless as well as a presumptuous task to attempt adding anything to
public information on that head. But I know not that any one has
ventured to point out a few of those instances in which our great
dramatist has stooped to plagiarize. That he must have done so, at least
occasionally, is a matter of course, as no voluminous writings were ever
given to the world that were not the result of study as well as original
thought, for genius must ever be corrected by judgment, and what is
judgment but the child of experience and study? Observation alone can
tell us, that man is an imitative animal, and philosophy teaches us that
his ideas are not innate; he must borrow them at first in a simple form
from those around him, and though by the association of these ideas, and
the gradual extension and improvement of them, he may eventually
generate new ones, yet some traces cannot but remain of what was
originally lodged in the mind, and will come into play as occasion may
call them forth. Shakspeare was a perfect master of human nature, but he
was a master of our language as well; he was indeed one of those who
have improved it, but he could never have himself arrived at the degree
of perfection in which he found it, had he not derived assistance from
others, and made himself intimately acquainted with our purest national
works of talent. Thus, he could never have been so ignorant as he is
said to have been of English literature.

Little is known of Shakspeare's earlier years, except that he was sent
to the free school at Stratford, where he acquired the rudiments of the
learned languages; that he was never a distinguished classic is certain,
but it is equally certain that he must have been acquainted with the
Greek dramatists by the use of translations, though he may not have had
scholarship enough to study them in the original. So many parallel
passages might be drawn from this source, that the task would be an
endless one; besides the fact is so well known and admitted, that it
would be unnecessary. "We find him," says Mr. Pope, "very knowing in all
the customs of antiquity." In _Julius Caesar, Coriolanus_, and other
plays where the scene is laid at Rome, not only the spirit but the
manners of the ancient Romans is exactly shown, and his reading in the
ancient historians is no less conspicuous. It is well known at the
universities of this country, that on any public examination, be the
play either tragic or comic, the students are frequently required to
produce parallel passages from the writings of Shakspeare: now it might
indeed with some reason be supposed that occasionally the same ideas
would present themselves to different minds, and where two writers are
equally well acquainted with the nature of man, and equally skilled in
analyzing his passions, it might well, I say, be supposed, that such
true and acute observation would suggest similar ideas, and perhaps even
the same method of defining them. Yet when this similarity is frequent
instead of occasional, when the unusual peculiarity of the sentiment
renders it startling and suspicious, then the above supposition becomes
too extensive even for prejudice to admit. Such however is the case
here, and so the matter stands between Shakspeare and the ancient
dramatists. Even some of the machinery he has made use of is not his
own. Thus, the seemingly ingenious introduction of "The Play" into
_Hamlet_, is borrowed from an old Greek drama, where Alexander, the
tyrant of Pharos, is struck with remorse for his crimes upon viewing
similar cruelties to his own, practised upon the stage.

At that earlier period of literature when Shakspeare flourished, books
were few in number, and consequently scarce; yet there can be no doubt
that our author seized every opportunity of improving and strengthening
his mind: whether he had any acquaintance with the modern languages is
unknown, but he has certainly introduced many French scenes in his
works, and he has taken several of his plots, such as that of _Romeo and
Juliet_, from the Italians. As to his own language, he is said to have
made the poems of Chaucer principally his study, so that it would not be
quite fair to produce any plagiarisms from that writer; but I give the
reader a few specimens of English literature taken from other quarters,
which seem to have afforded Shakspeare ideas, or else matter, to work
upon. The following passage is from one of our oldest dramas, and it
will readily call to the recollection of the reader, the celebrated
speech of Claudio in _Measure for Measure_:

"To die is sure to go we know not whither,
We lie in silent darkness, and we rot.
Perhaps the spirit, which is future life,
Dwells, salamander-like, unharm'd in fire,
Or else with wand'ring winds is blown about
The world; but if condemned like those
Whom our uncertain thought imagines howling,
Then the most loath'd and the most weary life,
Which age, ache, penury or imprisonment
Can lay on nature, is a Paradise.
To what we fear of death."

The sentences that follow are from a small historical work I have fallen
in with, written in old English, but without its date; about a fourth
part of the matter contained in this little book is to be found woven
into the different historical plays of Shakspeare, but the underwritten
extracts are very nearly in his own words, allowing, of course, for the
more poetical expression.

(_Fall of Wolsey._) "Being near his end, he called Sir William Kingston
to him, and said, 'Pray, present my duty to his majesty, who is a noble
and gallant prince, and of a resolved mind, for he will venture the loss
of his kingdom, rather than be contradicted in his desires. And now, Mr.
Kingston, had I but served my God as diligently as I have served the
king, he never would have forsaken me in my grey hairs!'" (Compare this
with Cardinal Wolsey's speech to Cromwell, _Henry VIII._, Act iii.)

Amongst other particulars in this book, concerning _Richard III._ we
have the following: "The Protector coming in council, seemed more than
ordinarily merry, and after some other discourses, 'My lord (says he to
the Bishop of Ely) you have very good strawberries in your garden in
Holborn, pray let us have a dish of them.' 'With all my heart,' replied
the bishop, and sent for some. Afterwards, the Protector knit his brows
and his lips, and rising up in great wrath, he exclaimed, 'My lords, I
have to tell you, that that old sorceress, my brother Edward's widow,
and her partner, that common prostitute, Jane Shore, have by witchcraft
and enchantment been contriving to take away my life, and though by
God's mercy they have not been able to finish this villany, yet see the
mischief they have done me; (and then he showed his left arm,) how they
have caused this dear limb of mine to wither and grow useless.'" (Vide
_Richard III._ Act iii. Scene 2.)

Shakspeare was contemporary with Bacon, and he no doubt valued and
studied with attention, the writings of that great man. The working up
of the splendid dialogue between Iago and Othello, may not impossibly
have been suggested by this sentence of Lord Bacon: "Breaking off in the
midst of what one was about to say, (as if he took himself up) breeds a
greater appetite in him with whom you confer, to know more." (Vide
_Essays_.)

But let us drop the tone of attempted criticism, which ill becomes an
embryo writer at any time, and still less so when Shakspeare is the
theme. Having mentioned Bacon, perhaps the following authenticated
dialogue may not be uninteresting to the reader, especially as it is
only to be met with in one or two scarce books:

(_Shakspeare._) "I have heard, my lord, that a certain arch in Trinity
College, Cambridge, would stand until a greater man than your lordship
should pass through it."

(_Bacon._) "Did you ever pass through it, Mr. Shakspeare?"

(_Shakspeare._) "No, my lord, I never was at Cambridge."

(_Bacon._) "Then we cannot decide which of us two is the greater man. I
am told that most of the professors there pass under the arch without
tear; which indeed shows a wise contempt of the superstition."

(_Shakspeare._) "I rejoice to think that the world is yet to have a
greater man than your lordship, since the arch must fall at last."

Several of Shakspeare's least amusing plays are supposed to be not of
his composition, such as _Henry VI._, and _Troilus and Cressida_, with
the exception of the master-touches and some of the finer speeches,
which probably were introduced by him. This, however, is a trick of
trade in every department of science; and when we see, for instance, the
collected works of some great artist, it would be ridiculous to suppose
that his whole lifetime could have sufficed for so much handicraft, and
perhaps in reality, only the faces and more delicate parts were the work
of his pencil.

To return to Shakspeare. The objections to his style, which are many,
especially to a more modern reader, are excusable from several causes.
The writers of the Elizabethan age and previously, were all of them very
coarse in their mode of expression, and the dramatists not very delicate
in their plots, though in doing so they did but obey the dictates of
fashion and the bad taste of the times. Even prolixity and
circumlocution were countenanced, and the insufferable conceits we meet
with in the poems of Donne, Cowley, and others, were highly relished in
those days. Euphaeism (mentioned so often by Sir W. Scott in _The
Abbot_,) was also then in vogue, and all these various peculiarities of
style, language, &c. were indispensable in all that was offered to the
public. Shakspeare's fondness and propensity for punning may claim the
same excuse, viz. "the hoary head and furrowed face of custom;" yet
there are some of these puns interspersed through his works, which are
sad blots indeed to our modern fastidious eyes, and that we could well
wish to see expunged; such a one now is this:

"Say, '_pardon_,' king, let pity teach thee now."
"Speak it in French, king, say, '_pardonnez moi_.'"

"A quibble (says Dr. Johnson,) gave him such delight that he was content
to purchase it by the sacrifice of reason, of propriety, and even of
truth; a quibble was to him the fatal Cleopatra for which he lost the
world, and was content to lose it!"

Schiller, who is styled "the Shakspeare of Germany," and who is so
ardently admired at the present day, has indeed taken our author for his
model; he has in many respects been too servile a student, for his
plagiarisms are both close and numerous. Thus, any one acquainted with
his celebrated play of _The Robbers_, will readily recollect that the
whole story is built upon the secondary plot in _King Lear_, between the
Duke of Gloucester and his two sons; one of these who is a natural
child, and a villain withal, contrives to poison the mind of the father,
and to eject the legitimate son from his favour; it will be found
exactly thus in Schiller's famous story of "The Robbers." It must be
acknowledged, however, that foreigners in general have never idolized
Shakspeare, or paid him that devoted adoration, which his countrymen
both pay and think him entitled to. Hear Voltaire's overdrawn and even
paltry criticism of _Hamlet_. "The tragedy of _Hamlet_ is a gross and
barbarous composition, which would not be supported by the lowest
populace in France and Italy. Hamlet goes mad in the second act, Ophelia
in the third; he takes the father of his mistress for a rat, and runs
him through the body. In despair, the heroine drowns herself. Her grave
is dug on the stage, while the grave-diggers enter into a conversation
_suitable_ (!) to such low wretches, and play, as it were, with dead
men's bones! Hamlet answers their abominable stuff, with follies equally
disgusting. Hamlet, with his father and mother-in-law, drink together
upon the stage; they sing at table, afterwards they quarrel, and battle
and death ensue. In short, one might take this performance for the
fruits of the imagination of _a drunken savage_." (_Letters on the
English Nation._)

In another place, this writer says, "Shakspeare had not a single spark
of good taste, or knew one rule of the drama. In one of his _monstrous
farces_, to which he has given the name of Tragedies, we find the jokes
of the Roman shoemakers and cobblers introduced in the same scene with
the orations of Brutus and Antony." (See Voltaire's _Essays on Tragedy
and Comedy_.) Here this rival dramatist again objects to any
introduction of the lower orders on the stage, and seems averse to
whatever is natural, and to depicting life as it is; but if any excuse
is necessary for Shakspeare on this head, we must remember that the
stage was in his time, and indeed is now perhaps, more particularly
levelled to please the populace, and its success more immediately
depends on the common suffrage; accordingly the scenes of our English
drama, and Shakspeare's scenes particularly, are very often laid among
tradesmen and mechanics, and though it may be contrary to all good
taste, the author is compelled to indulge in bombast expressions,
pompous and thundering rhymes, and sometimes even ribaldry and mean,
unmannerly buffoonery.

During his lifetime, Shakspeare acquired reputation principally through
his poems, which from some unaccountable cause, are now comparatively
neglected, and we may add unfortunately so for the enjoyment of the
public. These poems were more admired than his plays, and what speaks
higher in their favour, they are more expressively alluded to by
contemporary writers. The "Venus and Adonis" is a splendid piece of
composition, and very touching in its sentiment; even its illustrious
author was proud to call it "the first heir of his invention." We have
from it one of our most popular songs, which constitutes one of its
stanzas:

"Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear,
Or like a fairy, trip upon the green,
Or like a nymph with long dishevell'd hair
Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen."

His ready talent for composition was singular, and perhaps unparalleled;
his mind and hand ever went together, and it is reported he was never
known to blot a line. He was an actor occasionally in his own plays, but
it does not indeed appear that he excelled in this art.

Shakspeare never considered his works worthy of posterity, and was
little careful of popularity while he lived; having acquired a
competency by his labours, he retired to Stratford, and spent the
remainder of his life in ease and retirement, like a private gentleman.
His income was estimated at L200. The epitaph--not that on his monument,
but on the rude stone actually covering his remains is to the following
effect, and thus curiously written:

"Good friend, for Jesus SAKE forbeare
To digg T--E dust EncloAsed HERE
T
Blese be T--E man spares TEs stones
T y
And curst be hey moves my bones."

I conclude this rather desultory article with Lord Lyttleton's splendid
eulogy on him, which in a few words expresses more than the finest
Philippic to his memory--"If all human things were to perish except the
works of Shakspeare, it might still be known from them what sort of a
creature Man was!"

F.

* * * * *

SIR THOMAS FOWLER'S LODGE, ISLINGTON.

[Illustration: SIR THOMAS FOWLER'S LODGE, ISLINGTON.]

Few parishes in the environs of London are so rich in architectural
antiquities as the "considerable village" of Islington. Canonbury-house,
of which a solitary tower remains, is said to have been the
country-residence of the Priors of St. Bartholomew, and to have been
_re_built early in the 16th century. Highbury belonged also to the
Priory. The existing relics are chiefly of the Elizabethan age. The
lodge, represented in the cut, belonged to an old mansion; the property
of the Fowler family, built in 1595, which appears on a ceiling. The
house fronts Cross-street, and the lodge is at the extremity of the
garden, and adjoins Canonbury Fields. It is most probable that this was
built as a summer-house by Sir Thomas Fowler, the younger, whose arms
are placed in the wall, with the date 1655. It has been absurdly called
Queen Elizabeth's Lodge, but with no other foundation than her majesty
having passed through it when on a visit to Sir Thomas Fowler.

The Fowlers appear to have been of some note. Sir Thomas Fowler, the
elder, who died in 1624, was one of the jury on Sir Walter Raleigh's
trial: his son, Sir Thomas, was created a baronet in 1628; the title
became extinct at his death. Some coats of arms were taken out of the
windows of the old mansion. Among these were the arms of Fowler and
Heron. Thomas Fowler, the first of the family who settled at Islington
married the daughter of Herne, or Heron, of that place.[5]

[5] See Harl. MSS., No. 1551.

The Pied Bull, near Islington Church, is stated to have been the
residence of Sir Walter Raleigh; though Oldys, in his _Life of Raleigh_,
says there is no proof of it; and John Shirley, of Islington, another of
Raleigh's biographers, records nothing of his living there. The
statement is, however, renewed in a Life of Sir Walter, published in
1740.

* * * * *

FINE ARTS.

* * * * *

THE PANORAMA OF MILAN.

By the aid of Mr. Burford's panoramic pencil, the sight-hunter of our
times may enjoy a kind of imaginary tour through the world. At one
season he wafts us to the balmy climes of India--next he astounds us
with the icy sublimities of the Pole (a fine summer panorama, by the
way)--then to the glittering spires, minarets, and mosques of
Constantinople--then to the infant world of New Holland--and back to the
Old World, to enjoy scenes and sites which are hallowed in memory's fond
shrine, by their association with the most glorious names and events in
our history. We remember the philosophical amusement of the great Lord
Shaftesbury, in contriving _all the world in an acre_ in his retreat at
Reigate: what his Lordship laboured to represent in his garden, Mr.
Burford essays in his panoramas--in short, he gives us all the world on
an acre--of canvass.

Reader, we do not hold the grand secret of life to be the art of
hoaxing, when we tell you that for a Greenwich fare you may be
transported to the classic regions of Italy--that a walk to Leicester
Square will probably delight you more than a ride to Greenwich, little
as we are inclined to underrate the last of the pleasures of the people.
The contrast is forcible, and the intellectual advantage to be enjoyed
in the metropolis too evident to be overlooked.

At the Panorama, _Florence_ is in the upper circle, and _Milan_ in the
lower one. The main attraction of the latter is the celebrated
cathedral, which forms, as it were, the nucleus of the scene. The point
of view has been objected to, as the spectator is placed about mid-way
up the cathedral, and thus looks down into the streets and squares of
the city; but, it should be remembered, that he also enjoys the distant
country, which he could not have done had the view been from the area of
the city; and, as we have before said, the beauty of the _paysage_ is
one of the perfections of Mr. Burford's paintings. Its present success
may be told from the _Description:_

"Beyond, the eye ranges to an immense distance over the rich and fertile
plains of Lombardy, Piedmont, and the Venetian States, luxuriant with
every description of rural beauty, intersected by rivers and lakes, and
thickly studded with towns and villages, with their attendant gardens,
groves, and vineyards. The Northern horizon, from East to West, is
bounded by the vast chain of the Alps, which form a magnificent
semicircle at from eighty to one hundred and twenty miles distant, Monte
Rosa, Monte Cenis, Monte St. Gothard, the Simplon, &c. covered with
eternal snow, being conspicuous from their towering height; towards the
South the view is bounded by the Apennines, extending across the
peninsula from the Mediterranean to the Adriatic; and on the South-west,
the Piedmontese hills, in the neighbourhood of Turin, appear a faint
purple line on the horizon, so small as to be scarcely visible; the
purity of the atmosphere enables the eye to discern the most distant
objects with accuracy, and the brilliant sunshine gives inconceivable
splendour to every part of the scene; each antique spire and
curiously-wrought tower sparkles brightly in its beams, whilst the dark
foliage of fine trees, even in the heart of the city, relieves the eye,
and produces a beautiful and pleasing effect."

The cathedral will be recollected as the finest specimen extant of
pointed Gothic architecture, and termed by the Milanese, the eighth
wonder of the world. It is entirely of white marble, and its highest
point four hundred feet from the base. A better idea of its minute as
well as vast beauty will be afforded by the reader turning to our
engraving of the exterior in vol. xiv. of _The Mirror_. It is
successfully painted in the Panorama, although it has not the dazzling
whiteness that a stranger might expect; and, on it are those beautiful
tinges which are thought to be shed by the atmosphere upon buildings of
any considerable age. This effect is visible ever in the fine climate of
Italy: it is ingeniously referred to by Sir Humphry Davy in his last
work[6] to the chemical agency of water. He speaks, however, rather of
the _decay_ produced by water, of which _tinge_ is but the first stage.
The latter is very pleasing, and, about two years since, the fine
portico of the Colosseum, in the Regent's Park, was artificially
coloured to produce this effect of _time_, as it has been poetically
considered.

[6] "Consolations in Travel, or the Last Days of a Philosopher."
1830.

The City of Milan is not particularly interesting, though to an
untravelled beholder, it has points of attraction. He may probably be
struck with the vast extent of some of the structures when compared with
the puny buildings of our own country and times; and the space occupied
by the palaces will but remind him of the mistaken magnificence of
Buckingham, or the gloomy grandeur of St. James's. Again, the plastered
and fancifully coloured fronts of the dwelling-houses, their gay
draperies, &c. but ill-assort with the heavy red-brick exteriors of our
metropolis; although this contrast is to be sought elsewhere than in
externals. Mr. Burford's summary, or characteristics of the city may be
quoted:

"The form of the city is nearly circular, about ten miles in
circumference, although perhaps the thickly built and more densely
populated part may be confined to an area of half that size. There are
several large and handsome squares, but the streets, with very few
exceptions, are neither wide nor regular; the pavement is formed like
that of Paris, of small, sharp pebbles, with occasionally a narrow
footway on each side, and the addition of two (or in the wider streets
four) strips of flat stones in the centre, forming a sort of railway, on
which the carriage wheels run with great smoothness and very little
noise. The churches, hospitals, establishments for the poor, and other
public institutions, are numerous, and display all the richness and
magnificence of Italian architecture, and are at the same time endowed
on a most liberal scale; the ancient palaces of the nobles, vast and
rude, bear stamp of the importance of the city in the middle ages, when
they served as domestic fortresses and lodged well-appointed and
numerous retinues; and although they cannot at present vie with those of
Rome or Genoa, yet they display considerable architectural luxury, and
contain fine collections of works of art; attached to many are large and
well-stocked gardens, which add much to the beauty of the city. Very
little regard is paid to regularity of appearance in the general
buildings; they vary in height from two to five stories, and are built
of brick, or granite from the Lago Maggiori, plastered, coloured, or
ornamented, according to the taste of the owner; many are still without
the luxury of glass in the windows; the shops are numerous and well
furnished; their entrances, as well as those of the coffee-houses, are
frequently defended only by a coloured drapery, which, with the silk
tapestry hung at the church doors, and occasionally from the balconies,
&c., has a gay and pleasing effect; indeed the whole appearance of the
city is cheerful and flourishing."

The groupes and incidents in the streets will amuse the spectator. There
is _Policinel_--the eternal Punch--with his audience, a short distance
from the Cathedral. All over Europe, the most enlightened portion of the
world, is this little _Motley_ to be seen frolicking with flashes of
satire; the motto for his proscenium should be _hic et ubique_.

One of the beauties of this Panorama is the masterly effect of _the
Italian_ sky. There are fewer cloudless days in Italy than the stranger
may imagine, but Mr. Burford was fortunate in his season.

* * * * *

SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.

* * * * *

CHIT CHAT OF THE DAY.

There is a good share of pleasant patter in the following abridged from
the _Metropolitan_.

"Every one says that I am an odd person; I presume I am, and so is every
one else taken singly. I can prove that by Cocker. One and one make
two--two is even, one is odd, I am but one. There's logic for you. I am
also a rambler by temperament. I ramble my person at my own free will,
and my mind rambles quite indifferent as to its intimate connexion with
the former. I look at the stars, and my thoughts are of women--I look at
the earth, and my thoughts run upon heaven--I frequent the opera, and
moralize upon the world and its vanities--I sit in my pew at church, and
my thoughts ramble every where in spite of my endeavours and those of
the parson to boot--I live in town all the year, because it's the
fashion to be here in the season, and because I prefer London most when
I can walk about where there is nobody to interrupt me. In the season, I
am allowed to walk into every body's house, very often get an invite to
fill up an odd corner, and as there generally is an odd corner at every
party, and I do not stand at a short notice, I eat more good dinners
than most people. I am not a fool, and yet not too clever, so that
poised in that happy medium, I hear all, see all, know a great deal of
what is going on, and hold my tongue. When people inhabit their town
houses, I spend the whole day going from one to the other. I consider a
house the only safe part of the metropolis. Were I to frequent the
street during the season, I am so apt to fall into a brown study, that
I'm certain to be jostled until I am black and blue--I have found myself
calculating an arithmetical problem at a crossing, and have not been
aware of my danger until a pair of greys sixteen hands high in full trot
have snorted in my face--I am an idler by profession, live at a club,
sleep at chambers, and have just sufficient means to pay my way and
indulge my disposition. But I've not stated why I particularly like town
when it is empty. It is because I feel relieved of all the fashionable
et ceteras. By the time the season is over I am tired of dinners, of
wine, of the opera, the eternal announcement of visiters at parties and
balls, the music, the exotics, the suppers, the rattling of carriages,
and the rattling of tongues. I rejoice at last to find London _en
deshabille_--I can then do as I please without any fear of losing my
character as a fashionable man. I consider that I can in London extract
more amusement in a given quantity of ground than at any other place. A
street will occupy me for a whole day: with an indifferent coat, and
nothing but silver in my waistcoat pocket, I stop at every shop-window
and examine every thing. Should it so happen that the prices are affixed
to every article displayed, I make it a rule to read every one of them.
I know therefore when Urling's lace is remarkably cheap, the value of
most articles of millinery, the relative demands for boots, shoes, and
hats, and prices of 'reach-me-downs' at a ready-made warehouse. At a
pawn-broker's shop-window I have passed two or three hours very
agreeably in ascertaining the sums at which every variety of second-hand
goods are 'remarkably cheap,' from a large folio Bible as divinity,
flutes and flageolets as music, pictures and china as taste, gold and
silver articles as luxury, wedding rings as happiness, and duelling
pistols as death. I could not of course indulge in these peripatetic
fancies during the season without losing caste, but there is a season
for all things."

* * * * *

"Talking of pictures, by the way, what a marvellous falling off is there
in Wilkie!--a misfortune arising, as I take it, from a struggle after
novelty of style. There is a portrait of the King by him in Somerset
House Exhibition, like nothing on earth but a White Lion on its hinder
legs, and there was one a year or two since of George the Fourth in a
Highland dress--a powerful representation of Lady Charlotte Bury,
dressed for Norval. Look at that gem of art, his Blind Fiddler, now in
the National Gallery, or at his Waterloo Gazette, or at the Rent Day,
and compare any one of them with the senseless stuff he now produces,
and grieve. His John Knox--ill placed for effect, as relates to its
height from the ground, I admit; but look at that--flat as a
teaboard--neither depth nor brilliancy. Knox himself strongly resembling
in attitude the dragon weathercock on Bow steeple painted black. Has
Wilkie become thus demented in compliment to Turner, the Prince of
Orange (colour) of artists? Never did man suffer so severely under a
yellow fever, and yet live so long. I dare say it is extremely bad taste
to object to his efforts; but I am foolish enough to think that one of
the chief ends of art is to imitate nature as closely as possible. Look,
for instance, at Copley Fielding's splendid drawing in the Water Colour
Exhibition, of vessels in a gale off Calshot; and certainly I have never
yet seen any thing either animal or vegetable at all like the men,
women, trees, grass, mountains, which appear in Mr. Turner's works.

"This is of course an individual opinion, but I think it may be
expressed without any fear of incurring a charge of ill-nature, when one
thing is recollected. Copley Fielding cannot be a bad artist; Prout
cannot be a bad artist; Nash cannot be a bad artist; De Vint, Stanfield,
Reinagle, Calcott, none of these can be called bad artists; yet not one
of these gentlemen, eminent as they are, produce any thing like Turner's
drawings. Now if they are all wrong, Mr. Turner is quite right; but it
is utterly impossible _he_ should be so, if they are.

"Everybody knows the story of the sign-painter in the country, who could
paint nothing but a red lion; and accordingly he advised every
inn-keeper and alehouse-keeper in the neighbouring village, who applied
to him, to have the sign of the Red Lion. This did very well for a
considerable time, and the painter practised so successfully that not a
hamlet or town, for ten miles round, that had not its red lion; until at
length a new-comer, who, like Daniel of old, thought there were quite as
many lions round him as were wanted, suggested to the artist that he
should like to have a swan for the sign of his small concern. In vain
the painter protested, Boniface was resolute. 'Well,' said the rural
Apelles, 'if you will have a swan you must, but you may rely upon it
when it is finished, it will be so like a red lion, you would not know
the difference.' So Turner, if he were to paint a blackbird, it would be
so like a canary when it was finished, you would not know one from the
other.

"Among other sights, I was induced to go and visit the 'Fleas,' last
Saturday. Never was there such an imposition; instead of being
harnessed, they were tied by the hind legs, and the combatants, poor
wretches! were pinched by the tails in tweezers, and of course moved
their legs in their agony. Well, thought I, as I went out, I have been
in Spain, and Portugal, and Italy, and have passed many a restless
night, but hang me if ever I was so flea bitten in my life as I have
been to day; and I thought of my shilling and the old proverb.

"There is a picture of Lord Mulgrave in the Somerset House exhibition,
very like, painted by Briggs. The best portrait there, is Pickersgill's
Lord Hill; as a likeness, it is identity; and I admire it the more, from
the total absence of what the painters call accessories. It is simple,
and though honourably decorated, is unadorned by what is considered
'groscape' drapery; and yet Mr. Pickersgill was at one time an
unqualified admirer of cloaks; every hawbuck of a fellow who sat to him,
was wrapped up in a cloak: this he has conquered, and we rejoice at it.
The portrait of Lady Coote is a good picture; it is a pity that her
ladyship had not sat a few years earlier; but that is no affair of the
painter. A picture of Lady Londonderry, in the costume of Queen
Elizabeth, by a Frenchman is amazingly like. There is a story about this
dress which only proves the advantages of making experiments before any
grand display. The petticoat of the Virgin Queen, as personated by her
ladyship, was so thickly covered with diamonds, that the substratum of
material could scarcely be seen; and nothing could be more splendid than
the effect; but the diamonds glittered all round the dress, behind and
before, and at the side; and so long as her ladyship paraded the
magnificent suite of her apartments, all was well, and all shone
brilliantly; but lo and behold, when her ladyship threw herself
gracefully on her mimic throne, she found that she might as well be
sitting in her _robe de chambre_ on a pebbly pavement, or a heap of
flints just prepared for Macadamization. Stones, though precious, are
still stones, and the jump the Marchioness gave when she first felt the
full effect of her jewels, is described as something prodigious. So
handsome a person, however, might easily dispense with such ornaments. A
queen of hearts may always look down upon a mere queen of diamonds.

"And what are we to say of other representations? What a sensation (at
any other period how much greater would it have been!) Mr. Sheridan
Knowles' Hunchback has made: why Mr. Sheridan Knowles made his hero a
Hunchback I cannot imagine. The play is an admirable play; and what is
as strange a part of the affair as any, is the acting of the author. To
say it is finished, or fine, would be to talk nonsense; but it is plain,
straightforward, common-scene acting, which very much surprised us, more
especially from an author, still more from an Irish author; and more
still from an author, who in private life is a perfect enthusiast, and a
fine phrenzied-eye orator. Fanny Kemble never appeared to greater
advantage in public--in private, her charming conduct with regard to her
brother, the young soldier, speaks volumes for her. They say she is
going to marry a son of Keppell Craven's, Lord Craven's uncle. They met
first, I believe, at the acting of Lord Leveson Gower's play of Hernani,
at Bridgewater House, when Mr. Craven reaped much histrionic fame as an
amateur. Of one thing we are quite sure, Miss Kemble will act well
wherever she may be placed in the world.

"One of the best conundrums I have heard for a long time, is attributed
to that excellent and agreeable fellow, Yates, who is amongst those who
do credit to the stage. Whether it is his own, or not, is a question to
rest upon his veracity. It is this--'When does an alderman look like a
ghost?' Answer. 'When he's a _gobbling_.' This is surely a _jeu
d'esprit_. By the way, Rogers begins to whistle now; not in fear, or
harmony, or for amusement, but I am afraid from the effects produced by
advanced age. I regret this--he is an excellent person, and a
gentlemanly poet; and I never shall forget the patience with which he
bore a most unintentional misquotation, made from his works, and in his
presence, by a man of the name of Barton, who wanted to compliment him,
by recollecting his verses. The story that he quoted was Rogers' pretty
song of

"Dear is my little native vale,
The ring-dove builds and warbles there,
Close by my cot she tells her tale,
To every passing villager."

"Mr. Barton--who he was I never found out--having eulogized this little
effusion with a superhuman ecstacy, repeated it right to a line--but not
to a word. He gave it us thus--

"Dear is my little native vale,
The ring-dove builds and warbles there,
Close by my cot she _shows_ her _tail_
To every passing villager."

"Not a muscle moved in Mr. Rogers' pale and placid countenance, you
would hardly have thought he lived; but turning to Luttrell, whose mouth
twisted and whose eye rolled at the fun of the mistake, he simply
whispered, 'Non _tali_ auxilio, &c.' Barton survived it, and is still
alive and merry.

"I perceive that there have been changes at the Admiralty. Dyer, Darch,
and Riley superannuated. Hay takes Darch's place as reading clerk. This
is right. Hay is a gentleman, and a man of business. Met Sir
Francis--which Sir Francis, you would say, for there are two who
frequent the Admiralty, the obtuse and the clever. I mean the clever.
'Well, Frank, how goes on the Vernon, and how did she go off the other
day? No want of water, I presume.' 'No; thank _heaven_ for that! Why,
she went off beautifully, but the lubberly mateys contrived to get her
foul of the hulk, and Lord Vernon came out of the conflict minus a leg
and an arm.'--'Who had you there?' 'Upon my honour I hardly know. I was
so busy paying my devoirs to Lady Graham; she looked for all the world
like a mermaid, as she stood by the bows and christened the vessel. Her
hair hung down as straight as the lower rigging when first put over the
mast heads.'--'I wish I had such a beautiful mermaid for a wife,'
replied H----, who had joined and listened to our conversation. 'What a
pretty creature is that Miss E----; she looked as fresh as if she had
just come out of a shower bath.' 'Well, so she had.'"

* * * * *

"I went to the Opera on Tuesday to hear Mariani. She is
splendid--confounded plain, but that's no consequence. That Grisi
screams rather too much, although she acts well, and has a pretty
person, if it was washed. I believe Brugnoli's toes are made of _cast
iron_. _Toe_ K--g, could make no impression upon them. You know how K--g
obtained that name. He is a little puffy fellow, who goes about town,
making acquaintance with every body--is endured at watering places for
his poodle qualities of 'fetch and carry:' he is very anxious to become
acquainted with noblemen, and his plan is to sidle up and tread very
lightly upon an aristocratical toe--then an immediate apology, and the
apology is followed also with the wind and weather, and the leading
topic of the day, a knowledge of his lordship's friends or relations,
and a good morning. The next day when they meet, a polite bow from Mr.
K--g, and if an opportunity offers he enters into conversation, and thus
establishes his acquaintance.

"Such is his EXTREME method of introducing himself, which deserves
credit for its ingenuity and exclusiveness. I once knew a man who had
only one story, and that was about a gun. His difficulty was to
introduce this story, and he at last succeeded, like K--g, by the use of
his foot. When sitting after dinner he would stamp under the table and
create a hollow sound. Then, God bless me! what's that--a gun? By the
by, talking about guns--and then came his story."

* * * * *

THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF _NEW WORKS._

* * * * *

THE MESSIAH.

_By Robert Montgomery._

The subsequent passages exhibit many of the beauties and few of the
blemishes of Mr. Montgomery's new poem:

THE WILDERNESS.

Oh, when hath mind conceived
Magnificence beyond a midnight there,
When Israel camp'd, and o'er her tented host
The moonlight lay?--On yonder palmy mount,
Lo! sleeping myriads in the dewy hush
Of night repose; around in squared array,
The camps are set; and in the midst, apart,
The curtain'd shrine, where mystically dwells
Jehovah's presence!--through the soundless air
A cloudy pillar, robed in burning light,
Appears:--concenter'd as one mighty heart,
A million lie, in mutest slumber bound.
Or, panting like the ocean, when a dream
Of storm awakes her:--Heaven and Earth are still;
In radiant loveliness the stars pursue
Their pilgrimage, while moonlight's wizard hand
Throws beauty, like a spectre light, on all.
At Judah's tent the lion-banner stands
Unfolded, and the pacing sentinels,--
What awe pervades them, when the dusky groves,
The rocks Titanian, by the moonshine made
Unearthly, or yon mountains vast, they view!
But soon as morning bids the sky exult,
As earth from nothing, so that countless host
From slumber and from silence will awake
To mighty being! while the forest-birds
Rush into song, the matin breezes play,
And streamlets flash where prying sunbeams fall:
Like clouds in lustre, banners will unroll!
The trumpet shout, the warlike tramp resound,
And hymns of valour from the marching tribes
Ascend to gratulate the risen morn.

PATRIARCHAL TIMES.

A vision of that unforgotten prime,
The patriarchal age, when Earth was young,
A while oh: let it linger!--oh the soul
It breaketh, like a lovely burst of spring
Upon the gaze of captives, when the clouds
Again are floating over freedom's head!--
Though Sin had witherd with a charnel breath
Creation's morning bloom, there still remain'd
Elysian hues of that Adamic scene,
When the Sun gloried o'er a sinless world,
And with each ray produced a flower!--From dells
Untrodden, hark! the breezy carol comes
Upwafted, with the chant of radiant birds.--
What meadows, bathed in greenest light, and woods
Gigantic, towering from the skiey hills,
And od'rous trees in prodigal array,
With all the elements divinely calm--
Our fancy pictures on the infant globe!
And ah! how godlike, with imperial brow
Benignly grave, yon patriarchal forms
Tread the free earth, and eye the naked heavens!
In Nature's stamp of unassisted grace
Each limb is moulded; simple as the mind
The vest they wear; and not a hand but works,
Or tills the ground with honourable toil:
By youth revered, their sons around them grow
And flourish; monarch of his past'ral tribe,
A patriarch's throne is each devoted heart!
And when he slumbers on the tented plain
Beneath the vigil stars, a living wall
Is round him, in the might of love's defence:
For he is worthy--sacrifice and song
By him are ruled; and oft at shut of flowers,
When queenly virgins in the sunset go
To carry water from the crystal wells,
In beautiful content,--beneath a tree
Whose shadows hung o'er many a hallow'd sire,
He sits; recording how creation rose
From nothing, of the Word almighty born;
How Man had fallen, and where Eden boughs
Had waved their beauty on the breeze of morn;
Or, how the angels still at twilight love
To visit earth with errands from the sky.

ISAIAH.

Terrific bard! and mighty--in thy strain
A torrent of inspiring passion sounds--
Whether for cities by the Almighty cursed,
Thy wail arose--or, on enormous crimes
That darken'd heav'n with supernat'ral gloom,
Thy flash of indignation fell, alike
The feelings quiver when thy voice awakes!--
Borne in the whirlwind of a dreadful song,
The spirit travels round the destin'd globe,
While shadows, cast from solemn years to come,
Fall round us, and we feel a God is nigh!

But when a gladness from thy music flows,
Creation brightens!--glory paints the sky,
The Sun hath got an everlasting smile,
And Earth in temper'd for immortal spring--
The lion smoothes his ruffled mane, the lamb
And wolf together feed, and by the den
Of serpents, see! the rosy infant play.

THE SAVIOUR.

As o'er the grandeur of unclouded heaven
Our vision travels with a free delight,
As though the boundless and the pure were made
For speculation--so the tow'ring mind,
By inward oracle inspired and taught,
The lofty and the excellent in mind adores.
Then, Saviour! what a paragon art Thou
Of all that Wisdom in her hope creates--
A model for the universe--Though God
Be round us, by the shadow of His might
For aye reflected, and with plastic hand
Prints on the earth the character of things--
Yet He Himself,--how awfully retired
Depth within depth, unutterably deep!
His glory brighter than the brightest thought
Can picture, holier than our holiest awe
Can worship,--imaged only in I AM!
But Thou--apparell'd in a robe of true
Mortality; meek sharer of our low
Estate, in all except compliant sin;
To Thee a comprehending worship pays
Perennial sacrifice of life and soul,
By love enkindled;--Thou hast lived and breathed;
Our wants and woes partaken--all that charms
Or sanctifies, to Thine unspotted truth
May plead for sanction--virtue but reflects
Thine image! wisdom is a voice attuned
To consonance with Thine--and all that yields
To thought a pureness, or to life a peace,
From Thee descends--whose spirit-ruling sway,
Invisible as thought, around us brings
A balm almighty for affliction's hour--
Once felt, in all the fullness of Thy grace
The living essence of the living soul,--
And there is faith--a firm-set, glorious faith,
Eternity cannot uproot, or change--
Oh, then the second birth of soul begins,
That purifies the base, the dark illumes,
And binds our being with a holy spell,
Whereby each function, faculty, and thought
Surrenders meekly to the central guide
Of hope and action, by a God empower'd.

THE CRUCIFIXION.

A God with all his glory laid aside,
Behold Him bleeding,--on his awful brow
The mingled sorrows of a world repose--
"'Tis FINISH'D,"--at those words creation throbs,
Round Hell's dark universe the echo rolls--
All Nature is unthroned--and mountains quake
Like human being when the death-pang comes--
The sun has wither'd from the frighted air,
And with a tomb-burst, hark, the dead arise
And gaze upon the living, as they glide
With soundless motion through the city's gloom,
Most awfully,--the world's Redeemer dies.

* * * * *

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL.

We quote the following from the _Cabinet Cyclopaedia_ history of these
countries:

_The Penitential Habit._

"From the fifth century," says Masden, "or from the beginning of the
sixth, the custom prevailed in Spain of the infirm, when so heavily
afflicted as to be in danger of death, piously assuming the tonsure and
the penitential habit, and engaging to continue both through life, if
God raised them up. As the use of this penance became common enough to
throw discredit on the piety of all who did not thus undertake it, if
the sick or dying man was unable to demand the habit, his relations or
friends could invest him with it, and his obligation to a penitential
life thenceforward was as great as if that obligation had been imposed,
not by others, but at his own request, since, as he was charitably
supposed to be thus piously inclined, he must of necessity wish to
become a penitent. This continued in force until king Chindaswind,
impressed with the abuses to which it had given rise, decreed that in
such cases the obligation imposed by others should be void unless the
patient should afterwards ratify it when in a sound state of mind.
Penitents of this class might remain in their own houses, without
seclusion within the walls of a monastery; but they were for ever
compelled to wear the habit and shaven crown, to shun business and
diversions, to lead exemplary and chaste lives: if single, they could
not marry; if married, they could not enjoy the privileges of the state:
hence, though they inhabited not the cloister, they were of the
religious order, and consecrated to God."

"This penance was not merely assumed by such as were anxious to make
atonement for some heavy sin; it was often voluntarily undertaken by
individuals whose lives had been blameless, and who were anxious by this
work of supererogation to increase their stock of merits. If the
penitent died of his disease, the intention of his sacrifice was
believed to be availing in the sight of Heaven; if he recovered, he
became a monk. No less a doom than excommunication, and a rigorous
penitential seclusion during life within the walls of a monastery, were
hurled against such as married, or used their conjugal privilege, or
laid down the habit. If, however, the married penitents were _very
young_ at the time he or she entered on the monastic obligation, in case
of recovery the bishop had power to permit the use of matrimony a
certain number of years. This was called an _indulgence_ or
_dispensation_, the _debitum conjugale_ being totally annihilated by the
obligations of the new state.

"This custom is not yet extinct in Spain, though, like many others of a
similar kind, its observance is daily weakening since the period of the
French revolution, and of the increased intercourse between the two
nations. Many of the greatest names in the Spanish annals voluntarily
assumed the profession, and thereby ceased to be laymen. Among these was
the author of Don Quixote."

* * * * *

THE GATHERER.

CONCEALED SORROW.

(_From the portfolio of a Correspondent._)

There oft times dwells within the human breast, a grievous and a bitter
sorrow; a sorrow once formed--seldom, if ever, entirely eradicated. Such
sorrow hath borne down to the grave many a noble, though ill-fated,
heart; there to seal up the remembrance of the degraded, the broken,
feelings of its once fine nature, and for ever crush the spirit of its
love. It is a sorrow that cometh not as the whirlwind's rushing blast,
in the fury of the tempest, or as the lion's roar; but rather as the
soft, still moan of the desert's poisoned breeze, or as the silent
gnawing of a cankering worm: so comes it preying on our heart's fondest
hopes till they gradually sink to ruin and oblivion. It is a grief that
mortal eyes cannot see; it is only keenly felt; its tears are the
wasting away of health, and its lamentation is the low beating of a
sinking pulse. The loudest cry of its woe is but the dull, bitter sigh
of its lonely unhappiness, engendered by the deep misery of the secret
depression of its mental complaining, making the heart like a faded
flower in a gloomy wilderness; like a blighted tree in a sultry waste.
Weep! weep! and sigh from thy very soul; yet thy sorrows will not end;
their root will still remain to spring and spread afresh. Unhappy they
that such sorrows have! alas! for them! R.N.

_Pleasure Gardens._--Has it never occurred to any nurseryman that his
garden might be made delightful and profitable promenades for the
public, at a low charge for admission? In the neighbourhood of
Philadelphia, we learn from a communication to the _Gardeners'
Magazine_, there is a class of gardens very distinct from any in this
country; those of plant-growers, who to a small nursery, and green and
hot-houses, add the appendage of a tavern. The two principal ones of
this description are kept by Mr. Arran, and M. d'Arras: the first has a
very good museum in his garden; and the latter possesses a beautiful
collection of orange and lemon trees, very large, but trimmed after the
French fashion. These places are the resort of many of the citizens;
Philadelphia having no park, or national gardens, for the purpose of
recreation.

_American Prejudice._--Everything British creates a spirit of rivalry
among the vulgar Americans. A great number of the workmen's anecdotes
are directed against the aristocratical bearing of Englishmen: nothing
gives greater delight to the rustics than to hear of the Honourable D.S.
or Lord John P. having been the last served, or badly served, at an inn
for being surly to the waiters, &c.

_Cheap Fruit._--In Philadelphia, peaches are 25 cents, (about a
shilling) per bushel; pine-apples from the West Indies from 5 to 15
cents. (2d. to 6d.) each, and water melons cheaper.

_Newtown Pippin._--Near New York, at the residence of Mrs. Col. More, is
the original tree of the celebrated apple called the Newtown pippin. It
stands in the centre of an old orchard; the tree divides itself about
2-1/2 or 3 feet from the ground; but, although the estate has been in
the possession of Colonel More's family for two centuries, they are
unable to give any account of its origin; consequently the tree must be
of very old standing.

_Hyde Park on the Hudson River._--Our Hyde Park on this side the water,
can bear no comparison with its namesake on the other side of the
Atlantic, The latter is extensive; the rides numerous; and the variety
of delightful distant views embrace every kind of scenery. The
pleasure-grounds are laid out on just principles, and in a most
judicious manner; there is an excellent range of hot-houses, with a
collection of rare plants; remarkable for their variety, their
cleanliness, and their handsome growth. The construction and arrangement
of the farm buildings deserve the strongest praise; but, in fact,
everything connected with Hyde Park is performed in a manner
unparalleled in America. The proprietor of Hyde Park is Dr. David
Hosack, a gentleman well known in the literary and scientific world--the
Sir Joseph Banks of America.

_Modern Cincinnatus._--Near Bordentown, in the state of New Jersey is
the seat of the Count de Survilliers, elder brother of Napoleon
Buonaparte, and formerly King of Spain. He has effected great
improvements on this estate, and is now actively employed in others. It
is most gratifying to see this amiable nobleman withdrawing himself from
the busy scene of politics into retirement, and expending his princely
fortune in rural improvements.

_Fiddling Poetry._--The following may be seen in the first volume of
Purcell's _Catches_, on two persons of the name of Young, father and
son, who lived in St. Paul's Churchyard; the one was an instrument
maker, and the other an excellent performer on the violin:--

"You scrapers that want a good fiddle well strung,
You must go to the man that is old while he's Young,
But if this same fiddle you fain would play bold,
You must go to his son, who'll be Young when he's old.
There's old Young and young Young, both men of renown,
Old sells, and Young plays, the best fiddle in town;
Young and old live together, and may they live long,
Young to play an old fiddle, old to sell a new song."

P.T.W.

_Greenwich Hospital._--The foundation-stone of this magnificent building
was laid June 30, 1696, by John Evelyn (the treasurer), with a select
committee of the commissioners, and Sir Christopher Wren, the architect,
precisely at five in the evening, _after they had dined together_!
Flamstead, the royal astronomer, observing the punctual time by
instruments. The time is not unworthy of remark. The King (Charles II.)
subscribed 2,000_l._; the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Keeper Sommers,
Dukes of Leeds, Pembroke, Devonshire, Shrewsbury, and Earls of Dorset
and Portland, 500_l._ each; with others amounting to upwards of
9,000_l_. According to a note by the Treasurer, four months after the
foundation, the work done amounted to upwards of 5,000_l._ towards which
the treasurer had received only 800_l._, there being among the
defaulters the king's 2,000_l._, paid by exchequer tallies on the
post-office, "which," says he, "nobody will take at 30 per cent
discount:" so that we see the suspension of great works for want of
friends was never uncommon; though this was a "season of debt and
disgrace" in England. The sum paid in Evelyn's time towards building
Greenwich Hospital, seems to have been upwards of 69,000_l_.

_Major Mason and George II._--During the siege of Fort St. Philip, a
young lieutenant of the Marines was so unhappy as to lose both his legs
by a chain shot. In this miserable and helpless condition, he was
conveyed by the first opportunity to England, and a memorial of his case
presented to an honourable Board, in order to obtain some additional
consideration to the narrow stipend of half-pay. The honourable Board
pitied the youth, but disregarded his petition. Major Mason had the poor
lieutenant conducted to court on a public day, in his uniform, where,
posted in the guard-room, and supported by two brother officers, he
cried out as George II. was passing to the drawing-room, "Behold, great
sire, a man who refuses to bend his knee to you; he has lost both in
your service." The king, struck no less by the singularity of this
address, than by the melancholy object before him, stopped, and hastily
demanded what had been done for him. "Half-pay," replied the lieutenant,
"and please your majesty." "Fie, fie, on't," said the king, shaking his
head, "but let me see you again next levee-day." The lieutenant did not
fail to appear at the place of assignation, when he received from the
immediate hands of royalty, five hundred pounds, smart money, and a
pension of two hundred a-year.

* * * * *

_Printed and published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset
House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; G.G.
BENNIS, 55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris; and by all Newsmen and
Booksellers._

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