The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Vol 19 No 530 by Various

Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Allen Siddle, David King, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION. VOL. XIX. NO. 530.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 1832. [PRICE 2_d_. * * * * * LAW INSTITUTION. This handsome portico is situate on the west side of Chancery Lane. It represents, however, but a
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Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Allen Siddle, David King, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team


VOL. XIX. NO. 530.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 1832. [PRICE 2_d_.

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[Illustration: LAW INSTITUTION.]

This handsome portico is situate on the west side of Chancery Lane. It represents, however, but a portion of the building, which extends thence into Bell Yard, where there is a similar entrance. The whole has been erected by Messrs. Lee and Sons, the builders of the new Post Office and the London University; whose contract for the present work is stated at 9,214_l_. The portion in our engraving is one of the finest structures of its kind in the metropolis. The bold yet chaste character of the Ionic columns, and the rich foliated moulding which decorates the pediment, as well as the soffit ceiling of the portico, must be greatly admired. We should regret this handsome structure being pent up in so narrow a street as Chancery Lane, did not the appropriateness of its situation promise advantages of greater importance than mere architectural display.

From the Fourth Annual Report, we learn that “the plan of the _Law Institution_ originated with some individuals in the profession, who were desirous of increasing its respectability, and promoting the general convenience and advantage of its members.” Rightly enough it appeared to them “singular, that whilst the various public bodies, companies, and commercial and trading classes in the metropolis, and indeed in many of the principal towns in the kingdom, have long possessed places of general resort, for the more convenient transaction of their business; and while numerous institutions for promoting literature and science amongst all ranks and conditions of society, have been long established, and others are daily springing up, the attorneys and solicitors of the superior courts of record at Westminster should still be without an establishment in London, calculated to afford them similar advantages; more particularly when the halls and libraries of the inns of court, the clubs of barristers, special pleaders, and conveyancers, the libraries of the advocates and writers to the signet at Edinburgh, and the association of attorneys in Dublin, furnish a strong presumption of the advantages which would probably result from an establishment of a similar description for attorneys in London.

“For effecting the purposes of the institution, it was considered necessary to raise a fund of 50,000_l_. in shares of 25_l_. each, payable by instalments, no one being permitted to take more than twenty shares. The plan having been generally announced to the profession, a large proportion of the shares were immediately subscribed for, so that no doubt remained of the success of the design, and the committee therefore directed inquiries to be made for a site for the intended building, and succeeded in obtaining an eligible one in Chancery Lane, nearly opposite to the Rolls Court, consisting of two houses, formerly occupied by Sir John Silvester (and lately by Messrs. Collins and Wells,) and Messrs. Clarke, Richards and Medcalf, and of the house behind, in Bell Yard, lately in the possession of Mr. Maxwell; thus having the advantage of two frontages, and, from its contiguity to the law offices and inns of court, being peculiarly adapted to the objects of the institution.”

“It is the present intention of the committee to provide for the following objects:–_viz_–_A Hall_, to be open at all hours of the day; but some particular hour to be fixed as the general time for assembling: to be furnished with desks, or inclosed tables, affording similar accommodations to those in Lloyd’s Coffee House; and to be provided with newspapers and other publications calculated for general reference.”

“An Ante-room for clerks and others, in which will be kept an account of all public and private parliamentary business, in its various stages, appeals in the House of Lords, the general and daily cause papers, seal papers, &c.”

“A Library to contain a complete collection of books in the law, and relating to those branches of literature which may be considered more particularly connected with the profession; votes, reports, acts, journals, and other proceedings of parliament; county and local histories; topographical, genealogical, and other matters of antiquarian research, &c. &c.”

“An Office of Registry in which will be kept accounts and printed particulars of property intended for sale, &c.”

“A Club Room which may afford members an opportunity of procuring dinners and refreshments, on the plan of the University, Athenaeum, Verulam, and similar clubs.”

“A suite of rooms for meetings.”

“Fire-proof rooms, in the basement story, to be fitted up with closets, shelves, drawers, and partitions, for the deposit of deeds, &c.”

Upon reference to the list of members to Jan. 1831, we find their number to be 607 in town, and 88 in the country, who hold 2000 shares in the Institution. A charter of incorporation has recently been granted to the Society by his Majesty, by the style of “The Society of Attorneys, Solicitors, Proctors, and others, not being Barristers, practising in the Courts of Law and Equity in the United Kingdom,” thus giving full effect to the arrangements contemplated by this building in Chancery Lane.

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(_For the Mirror_.)

He mark’d two sunbeams upward driven Till they blent in one in the bosom of heaven; And when closed o’er the eye lid of night, His own mind’s eye saw it doubly bright, And as upward and upward it floated on
He deemed it a seraph–and anon.
Through its light on heaven’s floor he made, The shadow bright of his dead love’s shade, In her living beauty, and he wrapt her in light, Which dropped from the eye of the _Infinite_. And as she breathed her heavenward sigh, ‘Twas halved by that light all radiently, As it lit her up to eternity.
Then the future opened its ocult scroll. And his own inward man was refined to soul, And straightway it rose to the realms above, On the wings of thought till it joined his love, And though from that beauteous trance he woke Still linger’d the thought–and he called it–hope!

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(_For the Mirror._)

It was a custom in my time to look through a handkerchief at the new year’s moon, and as many moons as ye saw (multiplied by the handkerchief,) so many years would ye be before ye were wed.

When sunset and moon-rise
Chill and burn at once on the earth– When love-tears and love-sighs
Tickle up boisterous mirth–
When fate-stars are shooting,
Sparks of love to the maid
To fill her funeral eye with light, And owlets are hooting
Her sire’s ghost, which she’s unlaid With vexation, down backward in night; Then the lover may spin from that light of her eye, (As through his sigh it glances silkily,) With the wheel of a dead witch’s fancy, The thread of his after destiny–
All hidden things to prove.
Then make a warp and a woof of that thread of sight, And weave it with loom of a fairy sprite, As she works by the lamp of the glow-worm’s light, While it lays drunk with the dew-drop of night, And ye’ll have the _kerchief_ of love: Then peep through it at the waning moon, And ye shall read your fate–anon.

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Near the village of Kampong Glam[2] I observed a poor-looking bungalow, surrounded by high walls, exhibiting effects of age and climate. Over the large gateway which opened into the inclosure surrounding this dwelling were watch-towers. On inquiry, I found this was the residence of the Rajah of Johore, who includes Sincapore also in his dominions. The island was purchased of him by the British Government, who now allow him an annual pension. He is considered to have been formerly a leader of pirates; and when we saw a brig he was building, it naturally occurred to our minds whether he was about to resort to his old practices. We proposed visiting this personage; and on arriving at the gateway were met by a peon, who, after delivering our message to the Rajah, requested us to wait a few minutes, until his _Highness_ was ready. We did not wait long, for the Rajah soon appeared, and took his seat, in lieu of a throne, upon the highest step of those which led to his dwelling. His appearance was remarkable: he appeared a man of about forty years of age–teeth perfect, but quite black, from the custom of chewing the betel constantly. His head was large; and his shaven cranium afforded an interesting phrenological treat. He was deformed; not more than five feet in height, of large body, and short, thick, and deformed legs, scarcely able to support the ponderous trunk. His neck was thick and short, and his head habitually stooped; his face bloated, with the lower lip projecting, and large eyes protruding, one of them having a cataractal appearance. He was dressed in a short pair of cotton drawers, a sarong of cotton cloth came across the shoulders in the form of a scarf, and with tarnished, embroidered slippers, and handkerchief around the head (having the upper part exposed) after the Malay fashion, completed the attire of this singular creature.

As much grace and dignity was displayed in our reception as such a figure could show, and chairs were placed by the attendants for our accommodation. He waddled a short distance, and, notwithstanding the exertion was so extraordinary as to cause large drops of perspiration to roll down his face, conferred a great honour upon us by personally accompanying us to see a tank he had just formed for fish, and with a flight of steps, for the convenience of bathing. After viewing this, he returned to his former station, when he re-seated himself, with a dignity of look and manner surpassing all description; and we took our departure, after a brief common-place conversation.

I remarked, that on his approach the natives squatted down, as a mark of respect: a custom similar to which prevails in several of the Polynesian islands.

_Mr. G.B.’s MS. Jour., Nov. 15, 1830_.

[1] Singapoor is derived from Sing-gah, signifying to call or touch at, bait, stop by the way; and poor, a village (generally fortified), a town, & c.–(Marsden’s Malay Dictionary). It is considered at this island, or rather at this part of the island where the town is now situated (the name, however, has been given by Europeans to the whole island), there was formerly a village, inhabited principally by fishermen. The Malays, who traded from the eastward to Malacca, and others of the ports to the westward, touched at this place. Singa also signifies a lion (known by name only in the Malay countries), from which the name of the island has been (no doubt erroneously) supposed to be derived.

[2] Kampong Glam, near Sincapore, has its flame derived, it is said, from Kampong, signifying a village; and Glam, the name of a particular kind of tree.

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(_For the Mirror_.)

The Emperor Claudius had a strong predilection for mushrooms: he was poisoned with them, by Agrippina, his niece and fourth wife; but as the poison only made him sick, he sent for Xenophon, his physician, who, pretending to give him one of the emetics he commonly used after debauches, caused a poisoned feather to be passed into his throat.

Nero used to call mushrooms the relish of the gods, because Claudius, his predecessor, having been, as was supposed, poisoned by them, was, after his death, ranked among the gods.

Domitian one day convoked the senate, to know in what fish-kettle they should cook a monstrous turbot, which had been presented to him. The senators gravely weighed the matter; but as there was no utensil of this kind big enough, it was proposed to cut the fish in pieces. This advice was rejected. After much deliberation, it was resolved that a proper utensil should be made for the purpose; and it was decided, that whenever the emperor went to war a great number of potters should accompany him. The most pleasing part of the story is, that a blind senator seemed in perfect ecstacy at the turbot, by continually praising it, at the same time turning in the very opposite direction.

Julius Caesar sometimes ate at a meal the revenues of several provinces.

Vitellius made four meals a day; and all those he took with his friends never cost less than ten thousand crowns. That which was given to him by his brother was most magnificent: two thousand select dishes were served up: seven thousand fat birds, and every delicacy which the ocean and Mediterranean sea could furnish.

Nero sat at the table from midday till midnight, amidst the most monstrous profusion.

Geta had all sorts of meat served up to him in alphabetical order.

Heliogabalus regaled twelve of his friends in the most incredible manner: he gave to each guest animals of the same species as those he served them to eat; he insisted upon their carrying away all the vases or cups of gold, silver, and precious stones, out of which they had drunk; and it is remarkable, that he supplied each with a new one every time he asked to drink. He placed on the head of each a crown interwoven with green foliage, and gave each a superbly-ornamented and well-yoked car to return home in. He rarely ate fish but when he was near the sea; and when he was at a distance from it, he had them served up to him in sea-water.

Louis VIII. invented a dish called _Truffes a la puree d’ortolans_. The happy few who tasted this dish, as concocted by the royal hand of Louis himself, described it as the very perfection of the culinary art. The Duc d’Escars was sent for one day by his royal master, for the purpose of assisting in the preparation of a glorious dish of _Truffes a la puree d’ortolans_; and their joint efforts being more than usually successful, the happy friends sat down to _Truffes a la puree d’ortolans_ for ten, the whole of which they caused to disappear between them, and then each retired to rest, triumphing in the success of their happy toils. In the middle of the night, however, the Duc d’Escars suddenly awoke, and found himself alarmingly indisposed. He rang the bells of his apartment, when his servant came in, and his physicians were sent for; but they were of no avail, for he was dying of a surfeit. In his last moments he caused some of his attendants to go and inquire whether his majesty was not suffering in a similar manner with himself, but they found him sleeping soundly and quietly. In the morning, when the king was informed of the sad catastrophe of his faithful friend and servant, he exclaimed, “Ah, I told him I had the better digestion of the two.”


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(_For the Mirror_.)

During the rage of the last continental war in Europe, occasion–no matter what–called an honest Yorkshire squire to take a journey to Warsaw. Untravelled and unknowing, he provided himself no passport: his business concerned himself alone, and what had foreign nations to do with him? His route lay through the states of neutral and contending powers. He landed in Holland–passed the usual examination; but, insisting that the affairs which brought him there were of a private nature, he was imprisoned–questioned–sifted;–and appearing to be incapable of design, was at length permitted to pursue his journey.

To the officer of the guard who conducted him to the frontiers he made frequent complaints of the loss he should sustain by the delay. He swore it was uncivil, and unfriendly, and ungenerous: five hundred Dutchmen might have travelled through Great Britain without a question,–they never questioned any stranger in Great Britain, nor stopped him, nor imprisoned him, nor guarded him.

Roused from his native phlegm by these reflections on the police of his country, the officer slowly drew the pipe from his mouth, and emitting the smoke, “Mynheer,” said he, “when you first set your foot on the land of the Seven United Provinces, you should have declared you came hither on affairs of commerce;” and replacing his pipe, relapsed into immovable taciturnity.

Released from this unsocial companion, he soon arrived at a French post, where the sentinel of the advanced guard requested the honour of his permission to ask for his passports. On his failing to produce any, he was entreated to pardon the liberty he took of conducting him to the commandant–but it was his duty, and he must, however reluctantly, perform it.

Monsieur le Commandant received him with cold and pompous politeness. He made the usual inquiries; and our traveller, determined to avoid the error which had produced such inconvenience, replied that commercial concerns drew him to the continent. “Ma foi,” said the commandant, “c’est un negotiant, un bourgeois”–take him away to the citadel, we will examine him to-morrow, at present we must dress for the comedie–“Allons.”

“Monsieur,” said the sentinel, as he conducted him to the guard-room, “you should not have mentioned commerce to Monsieur le Commandant; no gentleman in France disgraces himself with trade–we despise traffic; you should have informed Monsieur le Commandant, that you entered the dominions of the Grand Monarque to improve in dancing, or in singing, or in dressing: arms are the profession of a man of fashion, and glory and accomplishments his pursuits–Vive le Roi.”

He had the honour of passing the night with a French guard, and the next day was dismissed. Proceeding on his journey, he fell in with a detachment of German Chasseurs. They demanded his name, quality, and business. He came he said to dance, and to sing, and to dress. “He is a Frenchman,” said the corporal–“A spy!” cries the sergeant. He was directed to mount behind a dragoon, and carried to the camp.

There he was soon discharged; but not without a word of advice. “We Germans,” said the officer, “eat, drink, and smoke: these are our favourite employments; and had you informed the dragoons you followed no other business, you would have saved them, me, and yourself, infinite trouble.”

He soon approached the Prussian dominions, where his examination was still more strict; and on answering that his only designs were to eat, and to drink, and to smoke–“To eat! and to drink! and to smoke!” exclaimed the officer with astonishment. “Sir, you must he forwarded to Postdam–war is the only business of mankind.” The acute and penetrating Frederick soon comprehended the character of our traveller, and gave him a passport under his own hand. “It is an ignorant, an innocent Englishman,” says the veteran; “the English are unacquainted with military duties; when they want a general they borrow him of me.”

At the barriers of Saxony he was again interrogated. “I am a soldier,” said our traveller, “behold the passport of the first warrior of the age.”–“You are a pupil of the destroyer of millions,” replied the sentinel, “we must send you to Dresden; and, hark’e, sir, conceal your passport, as you would avoid being torn to pieces by those whose husbands, sons, and relations have been wantonly sacrificed at the shrine of Prussian ambition.” A second examination at Dresden cleared him of suspicion.

Arrived at the frontiers of Poland, he flattered himself his troubles were at an end; but he reckoned without his host.

“Your business in Poland?” interrogated the officer.

“I really don’t know, sir.”

“Not know your own business, sir!” resumed the officer; “I must conduct you to the Starost.”

“For the love of God,” said the wearied traveller, “take pity on me. I have been imprisoned in Holland for being desirous to keep my own affairs to myself;–I have been confined all night in a French guard-house, for declaring myself a merchant;–I have been compelled to ride seven miles behind a German dragoon, for professing myself a man of pleasure;–I have been carried fifty miles a prisoner in Prussia, for acknowledging my attachment to ease and good living;–I have been threatened with assassination in Saxony, for avowing myself a warrior. If you will have the goodness to let me know how I may render such an account of myself as not to give offence, I shall ever consider you as my friend and protector.”


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(_To the Editor_.)

The following speech of Henry the First will, no doubt, be thought by some of your numerous readers curious enough to deserve a corner in your valuable _Mirror_. It is the first that ever was delivered from the throne; –is preserved to us by only one historian (Mathew Paris), and scarcely taken notice of by any other. Henry the First, the Conqueror’s youngest son, had dispossessed his eldest brother, Robert, of his right of succession to the crown of England. The latter afterwards coming over to England, upon a friendly visit to him, and Henry, being suspicious that this circumstance might turn to his disadvantage, called together the great men of the realm, and spoke to them as follows:–

“My friends and faithful subjects, both natives and foreigners,–You all know very well that my brother Robert was both called by God, and elected King of Jerusalem, which he now might have happily governed; and how shamefully he refused that rule, for which he justly deserves God’s anger and reproof. You know also, in many other instances, his pride and brutality: because he is a man that delights in war and bloodshed, he is impatient of peace. I know that he thinks you a parcel of contemptible fellows: he calls you a set of gluttons and drunkards, whom he hopes to tread under his feet. I, truly a king, meek, humble, and peaceable, will preserve and cherish you in your ancient liberties, which I have formerly sworn to perform; will hearken to your wise councils with patience; and will govern you justly, after the example of the best of princes. If you desire it, I will strengthen this promise with a written character; and all those laws which the Holy King Edward, by the inspiration of God, so wisely enacted, I will again swear to keep inviolably. If you, my brethren, will stand by me faithfully, we shall easily repulse the strongest efforts the cruelest enemy can make against me and these kingdoms. If I am only supported by the valour of the English nation, all the weak threats of the Normans will no longer seem formidable to me.”

The historian adds, that this harrangue of Henry to his nobles had the desired effect, though he afterwards broke all his promises to them. Duke Robert went back much disgusted; when his brother soon after followed, gained a victory over him, took him prisoner, put out his eyes, and condemned him to perpetual imprisonment.


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“Sleep no more.”–_Macbeth_.

Bishop Andrews was applied to for advice by a corpulent alderman of Cambridge, who had been often reproved for sleeping at church, and whose conscience troubled him on this account. Andrews told him it was an ill habit of body, and not of mind, and advised him to eat little at dinner. The alderman tried this expedient, but found it ineffectual. He applied again with great concern to the bishop, who advised him to make a hearty meal, as usual, but to take his full sleep before he went to church. The advice was followed, and the alderman came to St. Mary’s Church, where the preacher was prepared with a sermon against sleeping at church, which was thrown away, for the good alderman looked at the preacher during the whole sermon time, and spoiled the design.


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(_Concluded from page 28._)

When I found that this first settlement on the gateway had succeeded so well, I set about forming other establishments. This year I have had four broods, and I trust that next season I can calculate on having nine. This will be a pretty increase, and it will help to supply the place of those which in this neighbourhood are still unfortunately doomed to death, by the hand of cruelty or superstition. We can now always have a peep at the owls, in their habitation on the old ruined gateway, whenever we choose. Confident of protection, these pretty birds betray no fear when the stranger mounts up to their place of abode. I would here venture a surmise, that the barn owl sleeps standing. Whenever we go to look at it, we invariably see it upon the perch bolt upright, and often with its eyes closed, apparently fast asleep. Buffon and Bewick err (no doubt, unintentionally) when they say that the barn owl snores during its repose. What they took for snoring was the cry of the young birds for food. I had fully satisfied myself on this score some years ago. However, in December, 1823, I was much astonished to hear this same snoring kind of noise, which had been so common in the month of July. On ascending the ruin, I found a brood of young owls in the apartment.

Upon this ruin is placed a perch, about a foot from the hole at which the owls enter. Sometimes, at midday, when the weather is gloomy, you may see an owl upon it, apparently enjoying the refreshing diurnal breeze. This year (1831) a pair of barn owls hatched their young, on the 7th of September, in a sycamore tree near the old ruined gateway.

If this useful bird caught its food by day, instead of hunting for it by night, mankind would have ocular demonstration of its utility in thinning the country of mice, and it would be protected and encouraged every where. It would be with us what the ibis was with the Egyptians. When it has young, it will bring a mouse to the nest about every twelve or fifteen minutes. But, in order to have a proper idea of the enormous quantity of mice which this bird destroys we must examine the pellets which it ejects from its stomach in the place of its retreat. Every pellet contains from four to seven skeletons of mice. In sixteen months from the time that the apartment of the owl on the old gateway was cleaned out, there has been a deposit of above a bushel of pellets.

The barn owl sometimes carries off rats. One evening I was sitting under a shed, and killed a very large rat, as it was coming out of a hole, about ten yards from where I was watching it. I did not go to take it up, hoping to get another shot. As it lay there, a barn owl pounced upon it, and flew away with it.

This bird has been known to catch fish. Some years ago, on a fine evening in the month of July, long before it was dark, as I was standing on the middle of the bridge, and minuting the owl by my watch, as she brought mice into her nest, all on a sudden she dropped perpendicularly into the water. Thinking that she had fallen down in epilepsy, my first thoughts were to go and fetch the boat; but before I had well got to the end of the bridge, I saw the owl rise out of the water with a fish in her claws, and take it to the nest. This fact is mentioned by the late much revered and lamented Mr. Atkinson of Leeds, in his _Compendium_, in a note, under the signature of W., a friend of his, to whom I had communicated it a few days after I had witnessed it.

I cannot make up my mind to pay any attention to the description of the amours of the owl by a modern writer; at least the barn owl plays off no buffooneris here, such as those which he describes. An owl is an owl all the world over, whether under the influence of Momus, Venus, or Diana.

When farmers complain that the barn owl destroys the eggs of their pigeons, they lay the saddle on the wrong horse. They ought to put it on the rat. Formerly I could get very few young pigeons till the rats were excluded effectually from the dovecot. Since that took place, it has produced a great abundance every year, though the barn owls frequent it, and are encouraged all around it. The barn owl merely resorts to it for repose and concealment. If it were really an enemy to the dovecot, we should see the pigeons in commotion as soon as it begins its evening flight; but the pigeons heed it not: whereas if the sparrow-hawk or windhover should make their appearance, the whole community would be up at once, proof sufficient that the barn owl is not looked upon as a bad, or even a suspicious, character by the inhabitants of the dovecot.

Till lately, a great and well-known distinction has always been made betwixt the screeching and the hooting of owls. The tawny owl is the only owl which hoots; and when I am in the woods after poachers, about an hour before daybreak, I hear with extreme delight its loud, clear, and sonorous notes, resounding far and near through hill and dale. Very different from these notes is the screech of the barn owl. But Sir William Jardine informs us that this owl hoots; and that he has shot it in the act of hooting. This is stiff authority; and I believe it because it comes from the pen of Sir William Jardine. Still, however, methinks that it ought to be taken in a somewhat diluted state; we know full well that most extraordinary examples of splendid talent do, from time to time, make their appearance on the world’s wide stage. Thus, Franklin brought down fire from the skies:–“Eripuit fulmen coelo, sceptrumque tyrannis.”[1] Paganini has led all London captive, by a single piece of twisted catgut:–“Tu potes reges comitesque stultos ducere.”[2] Leibnetz tells us of a dog in Germany that could pronounce distinctly thirty words, Goldsmith informs us that he once heard a raven whistle the tune of the “Shamrock,” with great distinctness, truth, and humour. With these splendid examples before our eyes, may we not be inclined to suppose that the barn owl which Sir William shot in the absolute act of hooting may have been a gifted bird, of superior parts and knowledge (una de multis,[3] as Horace said of Miss Danaus), endowed perhaps, from its early days with the faculty of hooting, or else skilled in the art by having been taught it by its neighbour, the tawny owl? I beg to remark that though I unhesitatingly grant the faculty of hooting to this one particular individual owl, still I flatly refuse to believe that hooting is common to barn owls in general. Ovid, in his sixth book _Fastortim_, pointedly says that it screeched in his day:–

“Est illis strigibus nomen: sed nominis hujus Causa, quod horrenda stridere nocte Solent.”[4]

The barn owl may be heard shrieking here perpetually on the portico, and in the large sycamore trees near the house. It shrieks equally when the moon shines and when the night is rough and cloudy; and he who takes an interest in it may here see the barn owl the night through when there is a moon; and he may hear it shriek when perching on the trees, or when it is on wing. He may see it and hear it shriek, within a few yards of him, long before dark; and again, often after daybreak, before it takes its final departure to its wonted resting place. I am amply repaid for the pains I have taken to protect and encourage the barn owl; it pays me a hundred-fold by the enormous quantity of mice which it destroys throughout the year. The servants now no longer wish to persecute it. Often, on a fine summer’s evening, with delight I see the villagers loitering under the sycamore trees longer than they would otherwise do, to have a peep at the barn owl, as it leaves the ivy-mantled tower: fortunate for it, if, in lieu of exposing itself to danger, by mixing with the world at large, it only knew the advantage of passing its nights at home; for here

“No birds that haunt my valley free
To slaughter I condemn;
Taught by the Power that pities me, I learn to pity them.”

_Magazine of Natural History._

[1] “He snatched lightning from heaven, and the sceptre from tyrants.”

[2] “Thou canst lead kings and their silly nobles.”

[3] “One out of many.”

[4] “They are called owls (striges) because they are accustomed to screech (stridere) by night.”

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This species of bat is abundant at Tongatabu, and most of the Polynesian Islands. At the sacred burial place at Maofanga (island of Tongatabu) they were pendant in great numbers from a lofty Casuarina tree, which grew in the enclosure. One being shot, at Tongatabu, it was given to a native, at his request, who took it home to eat. From the number of skulls found in the huts at the island of Erromanga (New Hebrides group), and the ribs being also worn in clusters, as ornaments, in the ears, they very probably form an article of food among the natives. Capt. S.P. Henry related to me, that when at Aiva (one of the Fidji group) he fired at some of these bats, which he had observed hanging from the trees, on which they all flew up, making a loud screaming noise, at the same time discharging their foeces on the assailants.–_Mr. G.B.’s MS. Journal, August, 1829._

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Within this volume, it may almost be said, “keeps death his antic court.” It comprises biographies of celebrated persons, who have died within the year, as well as a General Biographical List of others lower in the roll of fame. The biographies are 31 in number: among them are memoirs of Henry Mackenzie, Elliston, Jackson the artist, Abernethy, Mrs. Siddons, Rev. Robert Hall, Thomas Hope, Carrington, the poet of Dartmoor, Northcote the artist, and the Earl of Norbury, and William Roscoe. These names alone would furnish a volume of the most interesting character, and they are aided by others of almost equal note. The memoirs are from various sources, in part original; but, as we have cause to know the difficulty of procuring biographical particulars of persons recently deceased, from their surviving relatives, we are not surprised at the paucity of such details in the present volume. Nevertheless some of the papers are stamped with this original value; as the memoirs of Mrs. Siddons and Mr. Thomas Hope. Our extracts are of the anecdotic turn.


An anecdote illustrative of the sound integrity, as well as of the humour, of Mr. Abernethy’s character, may here be introduced. On his receiving the appointment of Professor of Anatomy and Surgery to the Royal College of Surgeons, a professional friend observed to him that they should now have something new.–“What do you mean?” asked Mr. Abernethy. “Why,” said the other, “of course you will brush up the lectures which you have been so long delivering at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, and let us have them in an improved form.”–“Do you take me for a fool or a knave?” rejoined Mr. Abernethy. “I have always given the students at the Hospital that to which they are entitled–the best produce of my mind. If I could have made my lectures to them better, I would certainly have made them so. I will give the College of Surgeons precisely the same lectures, down to the smallest details:–nay, I will tell the old fellows how to make a poultice.” Soon after, when he was lecturing to the students at St. Bartholomew’s, and adverting to the College of Surgeons, he chucklingly exclaimed, “I told the big wigs how to make a poultice!” It is said by those who have witnessed it, that Mr Abernethy’s explanation of the art of making a poultice was irresistibly entertaining.

“Pray, Mr. Abernethy, what is a cure for gout?” was the question of an indolent and luxurious citizen. “Live upon sixpence a-day–and earn it!” was the pithy answer.

A scene of much entertainment once took place between our eminent surgeon and the famous John Philpot Curran. Mr. Curran, it seems, being personally unknown to him, had visited Mr. Abernethy several times without having had an opportunity of fully explaining (as he thought) the nature of his malady: at last, determined to have a hearing, when interrupted in his story, he fixed his dark bright eye on the “doctor,” and said–“Mr. Abernethy, I have been here on eight different days, and I have paid you eight different guineas; but you have never yet listened to the symptoms of my complaint. I am resolved, Sir, not to leave this room till you satisfy me by doing so.” Struck by his manner, Mr. Abernethy threw himself back in his chair, and assuming the posture of a most indefatigable listener, exclaimed, in a tone of half surprise, half humour,–“Oh! very well, Sir; I am ready to hear you out. Go on, give me the whole–your birth, parentage, and education. I wait your pleasure; go on.” Upon which Curran, not a whit disconcerted, gravely began:–“My name is John Philpot Curran. My parents were poor, but I believe honest people, of the province of Munster, where also I was born, at Newmarket, in the County of Cork, in the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty. My father being employed to collect the rents of a Protestant gentleman, of small fortune, in that neighbourhood, procured my admission into one of the Protestant free-schools, where I obtained the first rudiments of my education. I was next enabled to enter Trinity College, Dublin, in the humble sphere of a _sizer_:”–and so he continued for several minutes, giving his astonished hearer a true, but irresistibly laughable account of his “birth, parentage, and education,” as desired, till he came to his illness and sufferings, the detail of which was not again interrupted. It is hardly necessary to add, that Mr. Abernethy’s attention to his gifted patient was, from that hour to the close of his life, assiduous, unremitting, and devoted.

In lecturing, Mr. Abernethy’s manner was peculiar, abrupt, and conversational; and often when he indulged in episodes and anecdotes he convulsed his class with laughter, especially when he used to enforce his descriptions by earnest gesticulation. Frequently, while lecturing, he would descend from his high stool, on which he sat with his legs dangling, to exhibit to his class some peculiar attitudes and movements illustrative of the results of different casualties and disorders; so that a stranger coming in, unacquainted with the lecturer’s topics, might easily have supposed him to be an actor entertaining his audience with a monologue, after the manner of Matthews or Yates. This disposition, indeed, gave rise to a joke among his pupils of “_Abernethy at Home_,” whenever he lectured upon any special subject. In relating a case, he was seen at times to be quite fatigued with the contortions into which he threw his body and limbs; and the stories he would tell of his consultations, with the dialogue between his patient and himself, were theatrical and comic to the greatest degree.

_Northcote and the present King._

A certain Royal Duke was at the head of those who chaperoned Master Betty, the young Roscius, at the period when the _furor_ of fashion made all the _beau monde_ consider it an enviable honour to be admitted within throne-distance of the boy-actor. Amongst others who obtained the privilege of making a portrait of this chosen favourite of fortune, was Mr. Northcote.

The royal Duke to whom we allude was in the habit of taking Master Betty to Argyll Place in his own carriage; and there were usually three or four ladies and gentlemen of rank, who either accompanied his Royal Highness, or met him at the studio of the artist.

Northcote, nothing awed by the splendid coteries thus assembled, maintained his opinions upon all subjects that were discussed,–and his independence obtained for him general respect, though one pronounced him a cynic–another an eccentric–another a humorist–another a free-thinker–and the prince, with manly taste, in the nautical phrase, dubbed him a d—-d honest, independent, little old fellow.

One day, however, the royal Duke, being left with only Lady —-, the young Roscius, and the painter, and his patience being, perhaps, worn a little with the tedium of an unusually long sitting, thought to beguile an idle minute by quizzing the personal appearance of the Royal Academician. Northcote, at no period of life, was either a buck, a blood, a fop, or a maccaroni; he soon dispatched the business of dressing when a young man; and, as he advanced to a later period, he certainly could not be called a dandy. The loose gown in which he painted was principally composed of shreds and patches, and might, perchance, be half a century old; his white hair was sparingly bestowed on each side, and his cranium was entirely bald. The royal visiter, standing behind him whilst he painted, first gently lifted, or rather twitched the collar of the gown, which Mr. Northcote resented, by suddenly turning and expressing his displeasure by a frown. Nothing daunted, his Royal Highness presently, with his finger, touched the professor’s grey locks, observing, “You do not devote much time to the toilette, I perceive–pray how long?”

Northcote instantly replied, “Sir, I never allow any one to take personal liberties with me;–you are the first who ever presumed to do so, and I beg your Royal Highness to recollect that I am in my own house.” He then resumed his painting.

The Prince, whatever he thought or felt, kept it to himself; and, remaining silent for some minutes, Mr. Northcote addressed his conversation to the lady, when the royal Duke, gently opening the door of the studio, shut it after him, and walked away.

Northcote did not quit his post, but proceeded with the picture. It happened that the royal carriage was not ordered until five o’clock;–it was now not four. Presently the royal Duke returned, reopened the door, and said, “Mr. Northcote, it rains; pray lend me an umbrella.” Northcote, without emotion, rang the bell; the servant attended; and he desired her to bring her mistress’s umbrella, that being the best in the house, and sufficiently handsome. The royal Duke patiently waited for it in the back drawing-room, the studio door still open; when, having received it, he again walked down stairs, attended by the female servant. On her opening the street door, his Royal Highness thanked her, and, spreading the umbrella, departed.

“Surely his Royal Highness is not gone,–I wish you would allow me to ask,” said Lady —-. “Certainly his Royal Highness is gone,” replied Northcote; “but I will inquire at your instance.” The bell was rung again, and the servant confirmed the assertion.

“Dear Mr. Northcote,” said Lady —-, “I fear you have highly offended his Royal Highness.”–“Madam,” replied the painter, “I am the offended party.” Lady —- made no remark, except wishing that her carriage had arrived. When it came, Mr. Northcote courteously attended her down to the hall: he bowed, she curtsied, and stepping into her carriage, set off with the young Roscius.

The next day, about noon, Mr. Northcote happening to be alone, a gentle tap was heard, and the studio door being opened, in walked his Royal Highness. “Mr. Northcote,” said he, “I am come to return your sister’s umbrella, which she was so good as to lend me yesterday.” The painter bowed, received it, and placed it in a corner.

“I brought it myself, Mr. Northcote, that I might have the opportunity of saying that I yesterday thoughtlessly took a very unbecoming liberty with you, and you properly resented it. I really am angry with myself, and hope you will forgive me, and think no more of it.”

“And what did you say?” inquired the first friend to whom Northcote related the circumstance. “Say! Gude God! what would ‘e have me have said? Why, nothing? I only bowed, and he might see what I felt. I could, at the instant, have sacrificed my life for him!–such a Prince is worthy to be a King!” The venerable painter had the gratification to live to see him a King. May he long remain so!

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Tartini’s compositions are very numerous, consisting of above a hundred sonatas, and as many concertos. Among them is the famous “Sonata del Diavolo,” of the origin of which Tartini himself gave the following account to the celebrated astronomer Lalande:–

“One night, in the year 1713, I dreamed that I had made a compact with his Satanic Majesty, by which he was received into my service. Everything succeeded to the utmost of my desires, and my every wish was anticipated by my new domestic. I thought that, on taking up my violin to practise, I jocosely asked him if he could play on this instrument? He answered, that he believed he was able to pick out a tune; when, to my astonishment, he began a sonata, so strange, and yet so beautiful, and executed in so masterly a manner, that in the whole course of my life I had never heard anything so exquisite. So great was my amazement that I could scarcely breathe. Awakened by the violence of my feelings, I instantly seized my violin, in the hope of being able to catch some part of the ravishing melody which I had just heard, but all in vain. The piece which I composed according to my scattered recollections is, it is true, the best I ever produced. I have entitled it ‘Sonata del Diavolo;’ but it is so far inferior to that which had made so forcible an impression on me, that I should have dashed my violin into a thousand pieces, and given up music for ever in despair, had it been possible to deprive myself of the enjoyments which I receive from it.”

Time, and the still more surprising flights of more modern performers, have deprived this famous sonata of anything diabolical which it may once have appeared to possess; but it has great fire and originality, and contains difficulties of no trifling magnitude, even at the present day. That process of mind, by which we sometimes hear in sleep a beautiful piece of music, an eloquent discourse, or a fine poem, seems one of those mysterious things which show how fearfully and wonderfully we are made. It would appear that there are times when the soul, in that partial disunion between it and the body which takes place during sleep, and when it sees, hears, and acts, without the intervention of the bodily organs, exerts powers of which at other times its material trammels render it incapable.–What powers may it not exert when the disunion shall be total!

(From an interesting paper on “the Violin,” in the _Metropolitan_.)

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See a stripling alighting from the Cambridge “Fly” at Crisford’s Hotel, Trumpington-street. It is a day or two before the commencement of the October term, and a small cluster of gownsmen are gathered round to make their several recognitions of returning friends, in spite of shawls, cloaks, petershams, patent gambroons, and wrap-rascals, in which they are enveloped; while our fresh-comer’s attention is divided between their sable “curtains” and solicitude for his bags and portmanteau. If his pale cheek and lack-lustre eye could speak but for a moment, like Balaam’s ass, what painful truths would they discover! what weary watchings over the midnight taper would they describe! If those fingers, which are now as white as windsor soap can make them, could complain of their wrongs, what contaminations with dusty Ainsworth and Scapulas would they enumerate! if his brain were to reveal its labours, what labyrinths of prose and verse, in which it has been bewildered when it had no clue of a friendly translation, or Clavis to conduct it through the wanderings, would it disclose! what permutations and combinations of commas, what elisions and additions of letters, what copious annotations on a word, an accent, or a stop, parallelizing a passage of Plato with one of Anacreon, one of Xenophon with one of Lycophron, or referring the juvenile reader to a manuscript in the Vatican,–what inexplicable explanations would it anathematize!

The youth calls on a friend, and if “gay” is inveigled into a “wet night,” and rolls back to the hotel at two in the morning _Bacchi plenus_, whereas the “steady man” regales himself with sober Bohea, talks of Newton and Simeon, resolves to read mathematics with Burkitt, go to chapel fourteen times a week, and never miss Trinity Church[1] on Thursday evenings. The next day he asks the porter of his college where the tutor lives; the key-bearing Peter laughs in his face, and tells him where he _keeps_; he reaches the tutor’s rooms, finds the door _sported_, and knocks till his knuckles bleed. He talks of Newton to his tutor, and his tutor thinks him a fool. He sallies forth from Law’s (the tailor’s) for the first time in the academical toga and trencher, marches most majestically across the grass-plot in the quadrangle of his college, is summoned before the master, who had caught sight of him from the lodge-windows, and reprimanded. His gown is a spick-and-span new one, of orthodox length, and without a single rent; he caps every Master of Arts he meets; besides a few Bachelors, and gets into the gutter to give them the wall. He comes into chapel in his surplice, and sees it is not surplice-morning, runs back to his rooms for his gown, and on his return finds the second lesson over. He has a tremendous larum at his bed’s head, and turns out every day at five o’clock in imitation of Paley. He is in the lecture-room the very moment the clock has struck eight, and takes down every word the tutor says. He buys “Hints to Freshmen,” reads it right through, and resolves to eject his sofa from his rooms.[2] He talks of the roof of King’s chapel, walks through the market-place to look at Hobson’s conduit, and quotes Milton’s sonnet on that famous carrier. He proceeds to Peter House to see Gray’s fire-escape, and to Christ’s to steal a bit of Milton’s mulberry tree. He borrows all the mathematical MSS. he can procure, and stocks himself with scribbling paper enough for the whole college. He goes to a wine-party, toasts the university officers, sings sentiments, asks for tongs to sugar his coffee, finds his cap and gown stolen and old ones left in their place. He never misses St. Mary’s (the University Church) on Sundays, is on his legs directly the psalmody begins, and is laughed at by the other gownsmen. He reads twelve or thirteen hours a day, and talks of being a wrangler. He is never on the wrong side of the gates after ten, and his buttery bills are not wound up with a single penny of fines. He leaves the rooms of a friend in college, rather late perhaps, and after ascending an Atlas-height of stairs, and hugging himself with the anticipation of crawling instanter luxuriously to bed, finds his door broken down, his books in the coal-scuttle and grate, his papers covered with more curves than Newton or Descartes could determine, his bed in the middle of the room, and his surplice on whose original purity he had so prided himself, drenched with ink. If he is matriculated he laughs at the _beasts_ (those who are not matriculated), and mangles slang: _wranglers, fops, and medalists become_ quite “household words” to him. He walks to Trumpington every day before _hall_ to get an appetite for dinner, and never misses grace. He speaks reverently of masters and tutors, and does not curse even the proctors; he is merciful to his wine-bin, which is chiefly saw-dust, pays his bills, and owes nobody a guinea–he is a Freshman!–_Monthly Magazine._

[1] Mr. Simeon’s. None of our well-beloved renders, we presume, are so fresh as not to know this gentleman’s name.

[2] One of the sage and momentous injunctions of this pastoral charge.

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_From the Latin of an ancient Paduan Manuscript._

_By Miss M.L. Beevor._

(_For the Mirror_.)

The hours of my weary existence are fast verging to a close: already have the dreadful preparations commenced. Heavily falls the sound of the midnight bell upon my shrinking ear; upon my withered, quailing heart, it is _felt_ in every stroke like a thunder-bolt; and the rude, reckless shout, heard, though far distant, as distinctly as the fearful throbbings of that miserable heart, tells but too eloquently that the faggots have reached their place of destination, and that the fearful pile is even now erecting. Once I believed myself one of the most courageous of men; I have beheld _death_ in many terrible shapes, and feared it in none; but, oh! to burn,–to _burn!_ this is a thing from which the startled spirit recoils in speechless horror, and vainly, vainly strives to wrench itself by forceful thought from the shuddering, encumbering frame! Even now, do I seem to behold the finger of scorn pointed at me;–ay,–at ME! whilst bound to the firm stake with thongs, strong as the iron bands of death, I cannot even writhe under the anguish of shame, wrath, and apprehended bodily torture! The pile is lighted,–the last words of the reckless priest have died upon mine ear, and his figure and countenance, with the myriad forms and faces, of the insulting multitude around me, are lost in suffocating volumes of uprising, dense, white smoke! The blaze enfolds me like a garment! my unspeakable tortures,–my infernal agonies have commenced!–the diabolical shouts and shrieks of the fiendish spectators–the crackling and hissing of my tender flesh–the bursting of my over swollen tendons, muscles, and arteries, with the out-gush of the crimson vital stream from every pore,–I hear,–I see,–I feel,–and in my morbid imagination, die many deaths in one! I fancied myself brave; alas! I never fancied myself–_burning!_ But, no more; since I have taken up my pen solely to wile away these last, brief, melancholy hours, in narrating those circumstances of my past life, which shall have tended to shrivel ere long, amidst diabolical agonies, the trembling hand that records them, like a parched scroll, and to scatter the ashes of this now vigorous body, to the winds.

ROME,–the beautiful–the Eternal,–was my birthplace; and those, whom I was taught to consider as my parents, said, that the blood of its ancient heroes filled my veins. If so,–and if Servilius and Andrea, were indeed my progenitors, our family must have suffered the most amazing reverses of fortune; they were venders of fruit, lemonade, and perfumed iced waters, in the streets, but a kind-hearted pair, and for their station, well-informed.

In the clear moon-light of our Italian skies, in those soft nights, when, instead of ingloriously slumbering away the cool calm hours, all come forth who are capable of feeling the beauties and sublimities of nature, and of inhaling inspiration with the rich, odorous breeze,–in those fresh, fragrant, and impassioned hours, did Servilius and Andrea delight to lead me through ROME, and to _read_ the Eternal City unto me, as a book; and then fell upon me, in that most sacred place, a portion of divine enthusiasm, of holy inspiration, until, in a retrospect of the thoughts, feelings, schemes, and aspirations of that infantile era, freely could I weep, and ask myself, were such things in sober earnest, _ever?_

It was singular, that Servilius and Andrea, never suffered _me_ to toil; their sole care seemed to be, to bestow upon me, during their intervals of labour, all the instruction and accomplishments which their limited means allowed; and without vanity I may affirm, that my mind richly repaid them for the trouble of cultivation. I trust I was not haughty in my childhood, but when I observed other boys of my age and station, water-carriers, labourers in the vineyards, and engaged in various menial occupations from which I was exempted, the knowledge that in _something_ I was regarded as their superior, soon forced itself upon me; I felt a distaste for the society of little unlettered, and unmannered boors, and in silence and solitude made progress in studies, which, mere matters of amusement to me, would have been hailed by many youths as tasks more severe than daily manual labour.

Servilius and Andrea associated with but few in their own rank of life; but now and then received visits from their superiors; amongst these were two, whom I shall never, never cease to remember, and to lament, and to whom, as I look backwards through the vista of five-and-thirty years, I still cannot forbear imagining that _I_ was _related_ by no _common ties_. Of this interesting pair, one was a lady, young, pale, but strikingly beautiful, and the other, a cavalier, her senior but by a very few years, handsome, noble, graceful and accomplished.

Artemisia, so was the lady called, always wore the costume of a religious house when she visited Andrea, but whether this were merely assumed for convenience, or whether she were actually one of the holy sisterhood, I had then neither the desire, nor the means of ascertaining; I only know, that she used sometimes to call me her “dear child,” and seemed to vie in affection for me, with the cavalier. Serventius,–yes–the noble gentleman bore my name, for which I liked him all the better, used occasionally to meet her at the house of Servilius and Andrea; and their affection for each other struck even my childish spirit as being more than fraternal; shall I also confess, that I indulged myself in the indistinct idea–the sweet dream–that this noble, virtuous, accomplished, and beautiful pair, (whose only object in visiting our humble residence seemed to be to behold me) were my real parents, and that of Servilius and Andrea, I was only the foster-child.

One evening Serventius and Artemisia having concluded their usual repast of bread, honey, eggs and fruit, amused themselves by asking me a thousand different questions concerning the history, biography, geography, customs, religion, and arts of the ancient Romans, to all of which, my replies were, it seems, extremely satisfactory. Serventius warmly thanked Servilius and Andrea for the pains they had bestowed upon my education, and then said, turning to me:

“My son, the time is coming when we must begin to think of some profession for you; what do you desire to be?”

“A soldier,” said I.

“Then ask that lady.”

I flew to Artemisia, who shook her head at me. “She will not–she will not, Sir,” I exclaimed, “let me be a soldier like you.”

“No, my dear, I know she will not; she cannot spare you to go to the wars and get killed, so you must make up your mind never to be a soldier.”

“Then,” answered I proudly, “I will be a poet.” Hereupon Artemisia and Serventius laughed, and informed me that the profession of a poet, if such it might be termed, was the most laborious, thankless, and ill requited of any, and that to be a poet, was in fact little better than being an honourable mendicant. The Church and the Bar were mentioned, but as I expressed a decided antipathy to them, Serventius named the medical profession.

“Yes,” said I, with great glee, “I like that, and I will be a doctor;” for the bustle, importance, visiting, and gossiping of the honourable fraternity of physicians, had given me an idea that the profession itself was one of unmingled pleasure! Hapless choice! Miserable infatuation! And shall I most blame myself for selecting that which has caused my present fatal situation, or the foolish fondness which placed in the hands of a child, the decision of his future fate? But, let me proceed; the first faint glimmerings of dawn are stealing into my grated cell, and, at noon–I shudder…

Shortly after this memorable conversation, Andrea and Servilius appeared overwhelmed with affliction, and one evening brought home with them a large package, containing as I supposed, new clothes; next morning, I found that those which I had been accustomed to wear had been removed whilst I slept, and in their stead, suits of the very deepest mourning appeared. I dressed myself in one of these, and upon asking Servilius and his wife the meaning of this change, was answered by Andrea with so wild a burst of grief, and incoherent lamentation, that I durst inquire no further. After they had gone forth to their daily employment I also quitted the cottage for a stroll, and detected a woman pointing me out to her children as “a poor, little boy, who had probably lost both his parents.” “That I have not,” said I, sharply, “for I breakfasted with them not half an hour ago!” The woman stared at me with an expression of doubt, and muttering something that sounded extremely like “little liar,” turned from me, and went her way.

(_To be concluded in our next_.)

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The origin of prairies has occasioned much theory; it is to our mind very simple: they are caused by the Indian custom of annually burning the leaves and grass in autumn, which prevents the growth of any young trees. Time thus will form prairies; for, some of the old trees annually perishing, and there being no undergrowth to supply their place, they become thinner every year; and, as they diminish, they shade the grass less, which therefore grows more luxuriantly; and, where a strong wind carries a fire through dried grass and leaves, which cover the earth with combustible matter several feet deep, the volume of flame destroys all before it; the very animals cannot escape. We have seen it enwrap the forest upon which it was precipitated, and destroy whole acres of trees. After beginning;, the circle widens every year, until the prairies expand boundless as the ocean. Young growth follows the American settlement, since the settler keeps off those annual burnings.

_American Quarterly Review_.

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This is said to be one of the grandest public works ever achieved in England. It is an elevated mound of earth, with a road over, carried across an estuary of the sea situated between Lynn and Boston, and shortening the distance between the two towns more than fifteen miles. This bank has to resist, for four hours in every twelve, the weight and action of the German Ocean, preventing it from flowing over 15,000 acres of mud, which will very soon become land of the greatest fertility. In the centre the tide flows up a river, which is destined to serve as a drain to the embanked lands, and has a bridge over it of oak, with a movable centre of cast iron, for the purpose of admitting ships.

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The following view of the progressive and wonderful increase of the iron-trade is extracted from the Companion to the Almanac for 1829:–

Iron made in Number
Great Britain. of
Tons. Furnaces.
In 1740 17,000 59
1788 68,000 85
1796 125,000 121
1806 250,000
1820 400,000
1827 690,000 284

The difference iron districts in which it is made are as under, in 1827:

Tons. Furnaces.
South Wales, 272,000 90
Staffordshire, 216,000 95
Shropshire, 78,000 31
Yorkshire, 43,000 24
Scotland, 36,500 18
North Wales, 24,000 12
Derbyshire, 20,500 14

“About 3/10ths of this quantity is of a quality suitable for the foundry, which is all used in Great Britain and Ireland, with the exception of a small quantity exported to France and America. The other 7/10ths is made into bars, rods, sheets,” &c. It will be seen that the make of the Welsh furnaces is much greater with reference to their number, than that of any other district. By a Parliamentary paper, it is stated that in 1828, of “Iron and Steel, wrought and unwrought,” there were exported from Great Britain, 100,403 tons, of the _declared_ (under real) value of 1,226,617_l_. In the same year 15,495 tons of bar iron was imported from abroad. We believe since 1828, the export of iron has greatly increased. Our foreign trade, however, is likely to receive a check in a short period. Both the French and Americans are beginning to manufacture extensively for themselves; a result that might naturally be anticipated. An extensive new joint-stock company has been established in the former country, one of the principal proprietors of which is Marshal Soult, and works on a great scale are forming near Montpellier. We have always thought that it was excessively injudicious to permit our machinery to be exported abroad; and it appears that the British iron masters are now constructing the machinery for these very works, where it is stated that pig iron can be made for half the price it now costs to manufacture it in this country. The exportation of machinery is continually increasing, for we find by a Parliamentary paper, the declared value in 1824 stated at 129,652_l._, while the machinery exported in 1829, amounts to 256,539_l_. Time will exhibit the policy of such proceedings.–VYVYAN.

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Whose chief pleasure was in the proficiency of his troops in military discipline, whenever a new soldier made his first appearance in the guards, asked him three questions. The first was, “How old are you?” the second, “How long have you been in my service?” and the third, if he received his pay and his clothing as he wished.

A young Frenchman, who had been well disciplined, offered himself to enter the guards, where he was immediately accepted, in consequence of his experience in military tactics. The young recruit did not understand the Prussian language; so that the captain informed him, that when the king saw him first on the parade, he would make the usual inquiries of him in the Prussian language, therefore he must learn to make the suitable answers, in the form of which he was instructed. As soon as the king beheld a new face in the ranks, taking a lusty piece of snuff, he went up to him, and, unluckily for the soldier, he put the second question first, and asked him how long he had been in his service. The soldier answered as he was instructed, “Twenty-one years, and please your Majesty.” The king was struck with his figure, which did not announce his age to be more than the time he answered he had been in his service. “How old are you?” said the king, in surprise. “One year, please your Majesty.” The king, still more surprised, said, “Either you or I must be a fool!” The soldier, taking this for the third question, relative to his pay and clothing, replied, “Both, please your Majesty.” “This is the first time,” said Frederick, still more surprised, “that I have been called a fool at the head of my own guards.”

The soldier’s stock of instruction was now exhausted; and when the monarch still pursued the design of unravelling the mystery, the soldier informed him he could speak no more German, but that he would answer him in his native tongue.

Here Frederick perceived the nature of the situation, at which he laughed very heartily, and advised the young man to apply himself to learning the language of Prussia, and mind his duty.


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Derham, in his _Physico-Theology_ on Respiration, says–“The story of Anne Green, executed at Oxford, December 14, 1650, is still well remembered among the seniors there. She was hanged by the neck near half an hour, some of her friends in the mean time thumping her on the breast, others hanging with all their weight upon her legs, sometimes lifting her up, and then pulling her down again with a sudden jerk, thereby the sooner to dispatch her out of her pain, as her printed account wordeth it. After she was in her coffin, being observed to breathe, a lusty fellow stamped with all his force on her breast and stomach, to put her out of her pain; but, by the assistance of Dr. Piety, Dr. Willis, Dr. Bathurst, and Dr. Clark, she was again brought to life. I myself saw her many years after, after she had (I heard) borne divers children. The particulars of her crime, execution, and restoration, see in a little pamphlet, called _News from the Dead_, written, as I have been informed, by Dr. Bathurst (afterwards the most vigilant and learned President of Trinity College, Oxon), and published in 1651, with verses upon the occasion.”


* * * * *


A pleasant young fellow, about half-seas-over, passing through the Strand at a late hour, was accosted by a watchman, who began with all the insolence of office to file a string of interrogatories, in the hope of being handsomly paid for his trouble.

“What is your name, sir?”–“Five Shillings.”

“Where do you live?”–“Out of the king’s dominions.”

“Where have you been?”–“Where you would have been with all your heart.”

“Where are you going?”–“Where you dare not go for your ears.”

The officious guardian of the night thought these answers sufficient to warrant him to take the young man to the watch-house. The next morning, on being brought before the magistrate, he told his worship, “that as to the first question, his name was Thomas Crown; with regard to the second, he lived in Little Britain; with respect to the third, he had been drinking a glass of wine with a friend; and that as to the last,” said he, “I was going home to my wife.” The magistrate reprimanded the watchman in severe terms, and wished Mr. Crown a good morning.–I.B.D.

* * * * *


General Anstruther, having made himself unpopular, was obliged, on his return to Scotland, to pass in disguise to his own estate; and crossing a frith, he said to the waterman, “This is a pretty boat, I fancy you sometimes smuggle with it.” The fellow replied, “I never smuggled a Brigadier before.”

* * * * *


Amadeus the Ninth, Count of Savoy, being once asked where he kept his hounds, he pointed to a great number of poor people, who were seated at tables, eating and drinking, and replied, “Those are my hounds, with whom I go in chase of Heaven.” When he was told that his alms would exhaust his revenues, “Take the collar of my order,” said he, “sell it, and relieve my people.” He was surnamed “the Happy.”


* * * * *


_In Stratford Churchyard, near Salisbury._

To the memory of Elizabeth, wife of William Brunsdon, who died Dec. 31, 1779, aged 101 years.

Freed from the sorrows, sickness, pain, and care, To which all breath-inspired clay is heir, The tend’rest mother, and the worthiest wife, Reaps the full harvest of a well-spent life. Here rest her ashes with her kindred dust– Death’s only conquest o’er the favoured just: Her soul in Christ the tyrant’s power defied, And the _Saint_ triumphed when the woman died.

_In Amesbury Churchyard, Witts._

When sorrow weeps o’er virtue’s sacred dust, Then tears become us, and our grief is just; Such cause had she to weep who gratefully pays This last sad tribute of her love and praise, Who mourns a sister and a friend combined, Where female softness met a manly mind: Mourns, but not murmurs–sighs, but not despairs– Feels for her loss, but as a Christian bears.


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On January 31st will be published, with many Engravings, price 5 s.,


Abridged from the Transactions of Public Societies, and Scientific Journals, British and Foreign, for the past year.

*** This volume will contain all the Important Facts in the year 1831–in the


Printing for JOHN LIMBIRD, 143, Strand; of whom may be had volumes (upon the same plan) for 1828, price 4_s_. 6_d_., 1829–30–31, price 5_s_. each.

* * * * *

_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._