The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Vol 19 No 553 by Various

THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION. VOL. 19. No. 553.] SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 1832. [PRICE 2d. * * * * * DUNHEVED CASTLE, CORNWALL. These mouldering ruins occupy the crest of the hill, upon which stands the town of Launceston, near the centre of the eastern side of the county of Cornwall. They are
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VOL. 19. No. 553.] SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 1832. [PRICE 2d.

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These mouldering ruins occupy the crest of the hill, upon which stands the town of Launceston, near the centre of the eastern side of the county of Cornwall. They are the works of a thousand years since, when might triumphed over right with an unsparing hand, and when men perpetrated by fire and sword millions of murders, which, through the ignorance and credulity of their fellow creatures, have been glossed over with the vain glory of heroism.

The ancient name of Launceston was Dunheved, or the Swelling Hill; its present appellation, according to Borlase, the antiquarian illustrator of Cornwall, signifies, in mixed British, the Church of the Castle. The latter structure is the most important object in the town, to which, in all probability, it gave origin. The remains surround a considerable extent of ground, and prove it to have been a very strong and important fortress. Borlase, who examined the building with great attention about the middle of the last century, thus describes it:–

“The principal entrance is on the north-east, the gateway 120 feet long; whence, turning to the right, you mount a terrace, running parallel to the rampart till you come to the angle, on which there is a round tower, now called the Witches’ Tower, from which the terrace runs away to the left at right angles, and continues on a level parallel to the rampart, which is nearly of the thickness of 12 feet, till you come to a semicircular tower, and, as I suppose, a guard-room and gate. From this the ground rises very quick, and, through a passage of seven feet wide, you ascend the covered way betwixt two walls, which are pierced with narrow windows for observation, and yet cover the communication between the base-court and the keep or dungeon. The whole keep is 93 feet diameter; it consisted of three wards: the wall of the first ward was not quite three feet thick; and therefore, I think, could only be a parapet for soldiers to fight from, and defend the brow of the hill. Six feet within it stands the second wall, which is twelve feet thick, and has a staircase three feet wide, at the left hand of the entrance, running up to the top of the rampart; the entrance of this staircase has a round arch of stone over it. Passing on to the left, you find the entrance into the innermost ward, and on the left of that entrance a winding staircase conducts you to the top of the innermost rampart; the wall of which is 10 feet thick, and 32 feet high from the floor; the inner room is 18 feet 6 inches diameter; it was divided by a planking into two rooms. The upper room had to the east and west two large openings, which were both windows and (as I am inclined to think) doors, also in time of action to pass from this dungeon out upon the principal rampart, from which the chief defence was to be made; for it must be observed, that the second ward was covered with a flat roof, at the height of that rampart, which made the area very roomy and convenient for numbers. These openings, therefore, upon occasion, served as passages for the soldiers to go from one rampart to the other. In the upper room of the innermost building there was a chimney to the north; underneath there was a dungeon, which had no lights. The lofty taper hill, on which this strong keep is built, is partly natural and partly artificial. It spread farther in the town anciently than it does now; and, by the radius of it, was 320 feet diameter, and very high.”

The building of Dunheved Castle has been generally attributed to William, Earl of Moreton and Cornwall, the son and heir of Robert, Earl of Moreton, to whom 288 manors in this county were given by William the Norman. “But this opinion is most probably erroneous, as the style of workmanship exhibited in several parts of the remains, is apparently of a much earlier date. The walls of the keep, in particular, have every appearance of being considerably more ancient; and from a retrospective view of the events that have happened in this county, the conjecture appears to be fully warranted, that its foundation is as remote as the time of the Britons, who would undoubtedly endeavour to defend their territory both from Roman and Saxon usurpation, by fortifying the more advanced and important situations. The most therefore that can with certainty be attributed to the above earl, is the repairing and extending the fortifications. Carew, in his _Survey of Cornwall_, published in 1602, mentions the finding about sixty years before, ‘of certain leather coins in the castle walls, whose fair stamp and strong substance till then resisted the assaults of time.’ These singular coins, if they had been preserved or their impressions had been copied, might have thrown some light on the age of the building, as money of similar _substance_ was employed by Edward I. in erecting Caernarvon Castle in Wales, ‘to spare better bullion,'[1] Some Roman coins have likewise, according to Borlase, been found in this neighbourhood; so that it is not unlikely that the Romans had possession of this fortress, which, from its situation near the ford of the river Tamar, was a fort of great importance. The earliest historical documents that are known concerning the castle, mention the displacing of Othomarus de Knivet, its hereditary constable, for being in arms against the Conqueror. It was then, as before mentioned, given to Robert, Earl of Moreton, whose son William, kept his court here. From him it reverted to the crown, but continued attached to the earldom of Cornwall till Edward III. when it was constituted and still continues, part of the inheritance of the Duchy. In Leland’s time, several gentlemen of the county held their lands by _castle-guard_, being bound to repair and defend the fortifications of this castle.[2] During the civil wars, this fortress was garrisoned for the king, and was one of the last supports of the royal cause in this part of the county.”[3]

[1] Kennet’s _Parochial Antiquities_.

[2] Leland says “the hill on which the Keep stands, is large and of a terrible height, and the arx (i.e.) Keep, of it, having three several wards, is the strongest, but not the biggest, that I ever saw in any ancient work in England.”

[3] _Beauties of England and Wales_, vol. ii.

The reader may more than once have noticed our predilection for illustrating the castellated antiquities of Britain in our pages. We have a threefold object in this choice: first, the architectural investigation of these structures is of untiring interest; the events of their histories are so many links in the annals of our country; while they enable us to take comprehensive glances of the domestic manners of times past, and by contrasting them with the present, to appreciate the peaceful state of society in which we live.

Happily, such means of defence as castles supplied to our ancestors, are no longer requisite. The towers, ramparts, and battlements that once awed the enemy, or struck terror into an oppressed people, are now mere objects of curiosity, The unlettered peasant gazes upon their ruins with idle wonder; the antiquary explores their flittering masses with admiration and delight. The breaches of the last siege are unrepaired; the courtyard is choked up and overgrown with luxuriant weeds; the walls become dank and discoloured with rank vegetation; the winds and rains of heaven displace and disintegrate their massive stones; the tempest tears them as in a terrific siege; or the slow and silent devastations of nature go on beneath ivy and mossy crusts obscuring the proud work of man’s hand, and defacing its glories in desert waste. Such effects the reader may witness in a few of the illustrations of the present volume: the long tale of conquest upon conquest is told from the Norman sway to the Revolution, in the history of Pontefract Castle (page 50); the picturesqueness of decay in the towers of Wilton (page 306); and the stratagems of war in the mounds and lines of Dunheved.

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(_From a Correspondent._)

The recent death of this eccentric man of letters may perhaps render the following recollections generally interesting.

I remember once spending an afternoon with him at Mr. Tucker’s, quill merchant, Middleton-street, Clerkenwell; when I was delighted with the spontaneous flow of his Latin, his quotations from the ancient and modern poets, and indeed his masterly and eloquent developement of every subject that his acute intellect chose to dilate upon; I was, however, sorry to perceive there was occasionally a want of “holding in” in his conversation upon points which a due self-respect for those acquirements which he possessed, equal to any individual living, should have taught him to have observed. To describe this deficiency as laconically as possible, Mr. Colton wanted that mental firmness which the unfortunate Burns has aptly enough termed “Self-control.” I once saw him, in the company of the above mentioned Mr. Tucker, seat himself, at Edmonton Fair, in one of those vulgar vehicles called swings: he was highly delighted with the novelty of the exercise, which he enjoyed amidst the rude stare and boisterous grins of the motley group around him; “this _is_ life,” said he, upon getting out of the swing, “what shall we see next?” In his poem of _Hypocrisy_, he has beautifully eulogized General Graham, who showed his sense of this intellectual tribute by sending the author a complimentary piece of plate. Like Goldsmith, Mr. Colton entertained an unfortunate predilection for gaming, and although he often proved a better match for his wily antagonists than “the mild bard of Auburn” was to his, still he was subject to the fluctuations of the Goddess of Chance, and the quiet charms of literature which once had a beautiful hold upon his mind, were succeeded by the demons of worldly anxiety, which heavy losses, among professed gamesters as acute as himself, would occasionally subject him to. ENORT.

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(_To the Editor._)

Perhaps the following traits of the national fidelity of the French people may not be unacceptable to some of your readers. During my stay at St. Helena, about six months ago, a French transport arrived with an old regiment of French soldiers, who had fought under Napoleon, and who had been from France ever since the exile of the emperor. When they came on shore, they marched in regularity and silence to the tomb, before which they knelt (many weeping) and uttered prayers for their fallen emperor: this done, they marched back to the town with the same regularity and silence, and returned to their ship much affected.

The account of Captain Mundy’s visit to Longwood is very correct.[4] The billiard table which he mentions is still there, and gentlemen visiting Longwood, generally play there; the trees which he so justly calls “scrubby” are “gum-wood” trees, from which an intoxicating liquor (called by the natives “Toddy,”) is extracted. The garden has lately been much improved, as several gentlemen of the island have taken up their residence at the New House. In the vicinity of Longwood are many beautiful and romantic scenes. About a mile from thence is Halley’s Mount, from which that great astronomer observed the transit of Venus. It is but too true that Napoleon’s parlour is now occupied by a threshing machine. H.M.B.

[4] See Supplementary Number of the _Mirror_, No. 549.

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(_To the Editor._)

At Sturminster Newton, in Dorsetshire, there is an Infant and Sunday School, founded by the Rev. T.L. Fox. A handsome bronzed gateway forms the entrance, which is surmounted by an escutcheon, containing what may be termed the Christian’s armorial bearings, (see Ephesians vi. 14, &c.) The shield itself denotes “the _shield_ of faith;” on the four divisions are emblazoned “the _girdle_ of truth;” “the _breast-plate_ of righteousness;” “_feet_, shod with the gospel of peace,” and “the _sword_ of the spirit;” the crest is “the _helmet_ of salvation,” over which is a crown of glory; the motto “THE FOUNDATION OF GOD STANDETH SURE.” The benevolence of the reverend founder of this establishment should not pass unnoticed. Pope has described his character to a tittle, in his _Man of Ross_–

“Who bade the heaven directed spire to rise,” &c.

Not only has he rebuilt the church in handsome style–presented it with a noble organ, &c., and founded the above school, but the whole business of his life appears to be to provide by his munificence for the present comfort, and by his pastoral labours, for the future happiness, of all around him.

A humble slab of white marble over the south door of the church, bears the following inscription:



[5] Hinton is about a mile from Sturminister Newton.

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[6] From Rhodes’s “Peak Scenery.”

Of all the personages connected with the local history of Chatsworth, who may have been rendered conspicuous either by their situation or their talents, perhaps no one has a more powerful claim to notice than the once celebrated latin poet and philosopher, Hobbes: his connexion with the Devonshire family began early in life, and Chatsworth, in consequence, became his occasional residence; he was a man originally of a weak constitution, and he is said to have been subject through life to imaginary and unnecessary personal fears, which continually preyed upon and agitated his spirits; yet by a strict and uniform attention to diet and exercise, he lived to the age of 92. He was a very early riser, and as soon as he had quitted his bed he walked or rather ran to the tops of some of the hills about Chatsworth, that he might enjoy a fresher and a purer breeze than circulated through the valley. This practice he continued until he was compelled to relinquish it by the infirmities of age. After breakfast he visited the Earl and the Countess of Devonshire and their children, until about twelve o’clock, when he dined in a private apartment by himself: he then retired to his own room, where ten or twelve pipes, filled with tobacco, were ranged in a row on his table ready to be used in succession: he then commenced his usual afternoon’s employment of smoking, thinking, and writing, which he continued for several hours. When thus engaged he was frequently visited by foreigners of distinction, who were attracted to Chatsworth chiefly by the celebrity which Hobbes had acquired amongst the learned and the great. St. Evermond, in one of his letters to Waller, which is dated from Chatsworth, details some interesting particulars of this extraordinary man, whom he found, as he expresses it, “like Jupiter, involved in clouds of his own raising.” He says,

“I now write to you from the Earl of Devonshire’s, where I have been this fortnight past, paying my devotions to the Genius of Nature. Nothing can be more romantic than this country except the region about Valois, and nothing can equal this place in beauty but the borders of the Lake.

“It was not, however, so much the desire of seeing natural curiosities that drew me hither: there is a certain moral curiosity under this roof which I have long wished to see, and my lord Devonshire had the goodness to indulge me by a very kind invitation: I need not tell you that I mean the great philosopher Mr. Hobbes, so distinguished for the singularity of his sentiments and disposition. I arrived a little before dinner, notwithstanding which the earl told me he believed I was too late to see Mr. Hobbes that day. ‘As he does not think like other men,’ said his lordship, ‘it is his opinion that he should not live like other men; I suppose he dined about two hours ago, and he is now shut up for the rest of the day: your only time to see him is in the morning, but then he walks so fast up those hills that unless you are mounted on one of my ablest hunters you will not keep pace with him.’ It was not long before I obtained an audience extraordinary of this literary potentate, whom I found like Jupiter involved in clouds of his own raising. He was entrenched behind a battery of ten or twelve guns, charged with a stinking combustible called _tobacco_. Two or three of these he had fired off, and replaced them in the same order. A fourth he levelled so mathematically against me, that I was hardly able to maintain my post, though I assumed the character and dignity of ambassador from the republic of letters. ‘I am sorry for your republic,’ said Hobbes, ‘for if they send you to me in that capacity, they either want me or are afraid of me: men have but two motives for their applications–interest and fear; but the latter is in my opinion most predominant.’ I told him that my commission extended no farther than to make him their compliments and to enquire after his health. ‘If that be all,’ said he, ‘your republic does nothing more than negotiate by the maxims of other states, that is, by hypocrisy: all men are necessarily in a state of war, but all authors hate each other upon principle: for my part, I am at enmity with the whole corps, from the bishop of Salisbury down to the bell-man: nay, I hate their writings as much as I do themselves: there is nothing so pernicious as reading; it destroys all originality of sentiment. My lord Devonshire has more than ten thousand volumes in his house; I entreated his lordship to lodge me as far as possible from that pestilential corner: I have but one book, and that is _Euclid_, but I begin to be tired of him; I believe he has done more harm than good; he has set fools a reasoning.’ ‘There is one thing in Mr. Hobbes’s conduct,’ said lord Devonshire, ‘that I am unable to account for: he is always railing at books, yet always adding to their number.’ ‘I write, my lord,’ answered Hobbes, ‘to show the folly of writing. Were all the books in the world on board one vessel, I should feel a greater pleasure than that Lucretius speaks of in seeing the wreck.’ ‘But should you feel no tenderness for your own productions?’ ‘I care for nothing,’ added he, ‘but the _Leviathan_, and that might possibly escape by swimming.'”

Hobbes remained at Chatsworth until a very short time before his death. The Earl of Devonshire and his family were removing to Hardwick Hall in the same county, and Hobbes, who felt his days were fast drawing to a close, was anxious to be near them in his last moments; his journey, though short, was accompanied with both pain and inconvenience: he travelled on a feather bed, and in a few days after his arrival at Hardwick a paralysis terminated his existence on the 4th of December, 1679.

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From early records it appears that the amusements of our ancestors had a direct tendency to utility; since nearly all their recreations were resolvable into public defence against the attacks of an enemy. The “play at ball was,” says Fitz-Stephen, “derived from the Romans, and was the common exercise of every schoolboy.” The intention of this game was to make the young men active, nimble, and vigourous, whenever they should be called upon to fight the battles of their country. The necessity of the above accomplishments must be obvious to all who are the least acquainted with their manner of fighting.

Another species of exercise was truly martial. It is related by Fitz-Stephen thus: “Every Friday in Lent a company of young men enter the field on horseback, conducted by the best horsemen. Then march forth the sons of citizens and other young men armed with lances and shields, and these practise feats of war, and show by good proof how serviceable they would be in martial affairs.” This is evidently of Roman descent, and cannot fail of bringing to our recollection the “Ludus Trojae,” which is supposed to be the invention, as it was the exercise, of Ascanius. The common people in that age of masculine manners made every kind of amusement, where strength was exerted, the subject of instruction and improvement.

In those vacant intervals of industry vulgarly entitled “holidays,” indolence which characterizes the present period, was left to the aged or infirm. The writer whom we have before quoted says “The youths are exercised in the summer holidays in leaping, dancing, wrestling, casting the hammer, the stone, and in practising their shields; and in winter holidays the boars prepared for brawn are set to fight, or else in bull and bear baiting.” Such we see were the pursuits to which our forefathers devoted their leisure time in or about the year 1130. Their immediate descendants breathed the same spirit. In 1222 certain masters, or professors as we should call them, made a public profession of their instruction and discipline, which they imparted to those who were desirous of making themselves perfect in the above honourable achievements, which we think they were, in spite of these enlightened times, or of the slow “march of intellect.”

But of all the manly pastimes our ancestors delighted to honour, archery appears to have gained the greatest sway over the hearts of the multitude. It is stated that through the introduction of several “pernicious games,” it had for a long time been disused, and in the 33rd year of the reign of Henry VIII. a statute was made for its revival; it then continued till the reign of Charles I. A faint trial to revive it has again been attempted, but we doubt its success.

James I., at the beginning of his reign, to gratify the people, published a book of sports, of which the women had some time before participated on Sunday evenings, but which had been prohibited. These sports consisted of dancing, ringing, wrestling, and other profanations of that day, and which had risen to such a height that the land would have been deluged with immorality, if Charles I. had not wisely shown his piety, by totally abolishing them; this he did as soon as he came to his throne. In this reign may be said to have ended all those games that taught Britons to defend their altars and their homes, and unhappily nothing has been since instituted to compensate for their loss. E.J.K.

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Stowe tells us–“About the year 1585, certain gallant, active, and forward citizens, having had experience abroad and at home, voluntarily exercised themselves, and trayned uppe others, for the readie use of warre, so as within two years, there was almost three hundredth marchants, and others of like quality, very sufficient and skillful to traine and teache common souldiers, the managing of their peeces, pikes, and holberds, to march countermarch, and ring; which said marchants, for their owne perfection in military affairs and discipline, met every Tuesday in the year, practising all usual points of warre, and every man by turn bare orderly office, from the Corporall to the Captain: some of them in the yeare 1588 had charge of men in the great Campo at Tilbury, and were generally called _Captaines of the Artillery Garden_.”

After the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the association soon fell to decay. The ground they used was at the north extremity of the city, nigh Bishopsgate, and had before been occupied (says Ellis) by the “fraternity of artillery,” or gunners of the Tower.

From the company’s register, the only book they saved in the civil wars, it appears that the association was revived in the year 1611, by warrant from the privy council; and the volunteers soon amounted to six thousand. In the year 1640, they quitted their old field of discipline, and entered upon a plot of ground in Bunhill-fields, leased to them by the city.–(See Ellis’s History of Shoreditch, and Nicholson’s London Artillerie.)

In the thirteenth year of the reign of Henry VII. “All the gardens which had continued time out of mind without Moorgate: to wit, about and beyond the lordship of Fensberry (Finsbury) were destroyed: and of them was made plain field for archers to shoote in.” This was the origin of what is now called the Artillery Ground. P.T.W.

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During the funeral ceremony, in some parts of Hindostan, the Brahmins address the respective elements in words to the following purport:–

“O Earth! to thee we commend our brother; of thee he was formed, by thee he was sustained, and unto thee he now returns!

“O Fire! thou hadst a claim in our brother during his life; he subsisted by thy influence in nature, to thee we commit his body, thou emblem of purity, may his spirit be purified on entering a new state of existence!

“O Air! while the breath of life continued, our brother respired by thee; his last breath is now departed, to thee we yield him!

“O Water! thou didst contribute to the life of our brother, thou wert one of his sustaining elements. His remains are now dispersed, receive thy share of him, who has now taken an everlasting flight.” SWAINE.

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Crusca is an Italian term, signifying _bran_, hence the name Academy _della Crusca_, or the _Bran_ Academy, which was established at Florence, for purifying and perfecting the Tuscan language; it was formed in the year 1582, but scarcely heard of before the year 1584, when it became noted for a dispute between Tasso and several of its members. According to its origin, its device is a sieve, and its motto, _Il piu bel fior ne coglie_; that is, _It gathers the finest flour thereof_.

In the hall or apartment where the Academy meets, every thing bears allusion to the name and device: the seats are in the form of a baker’s basket; their backs like a shovel for moving of corn; the cushions of grey satin in form of sacks, or wallets; and the branches, where the lights are placed, likewise resemble sacks. This Academy is now united with two others, viz. the Fiorentina, and the Apatisti, under the name of _Reale Accademia Fiorentina_.


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(_For the Mirror_.)

“Among the ornaments,” says Mr. Turner, “worn by the ladies, mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon documents, we read of a golden fly, beautifully adorned with gems; of golden vermiculated necklaces; of a bulla; of golden head-bands, and of a neck-cross. The ladies had also gowns; for a Bishop of Winchester sends us a present, ‘a shot gown (_gunna_) sown in our manner.’ Thus we find the mantle, the kirtle, and the gown mentioned by these names among the Saxons, and even the ornaments of cuffs. In the drawings of the manuscripts of these times, the women appear with a long, loose robe, reaching down to the ground, and large loose sleeves. Upon their head is a hood or veil, which falling down before, was wrapped round the neck and breast. All the ladies in the drawing having their necks, from the chin, closely wrapped in this manner, and in none of them is a fine waist attempted to be displayed, nor have their heads any other covering than their hoods.”


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_By the Author of “Granby,”_

Is not the most striking novel of the season. This may by some readers be attributed to the absence of that dashing _caricatura_ style and constant aiming at antitheses, which, if it relieve the vapidness of the story, does not add to its natural attractions. Nevertheless, there are pictures of life and manners in these volumes which have the easy and unconstrained air of an author who is not writing for mere effect, but for the purpose of “holding the mirror up to nature,” and correcting the follies and vices of the age without attempting to exaggerate them.

We do not attempt to unravel the story of Arlington, but quote a few flying extracts. First is a

_Scandal-loving Letter_

from Sir Gerald Denbigh to Lady Ulverston, a lady distinguished by a congenial love of _tracasserie_, and a congenial idolization of social distinctions; an address which passed for cleverness; unimpeachable taste in self-adornment; and who was courted by the ball-going part of London as a dispenser of tickets for Almack’s.

“Do you know you are paying us all a very undeserved compliment in being curious about our proceedings; and I will not turn the head of any one here, by imparting a syllable touching your inquiries. You ask what the party is composed of–a sign that you don’t consume your invaluable time in spelling newspapers–for Berwick announces the accessions to his menagerie as diligently as Pidcock. Our last arrivals were those Polar bears, the Rochdales, with their pretty youngest daughter, who is surprisingly little, chilly and frozen for a creature that has always been living among icebergs. We are doomed to them for a week, Lord Rochdale having promised to stay so long; and he is one of those patterns of inconvenient precision, who, having once promised, will certainly pay the heavy debt of visitation to the uttermost minute. Arlington is here–brought expressly to play suitor, and looking affectingly conscious of his _role_. Berwick, I believe, has told him that he shall die of disappointment, or, what is as bad, shut up his house, if he quits them unaccepted. What an alternative for the poor youth–to be forced to marry at one-and-twenty, or deprive the world of the fortunate master of the best cook in Christendom.

“There is a strange heterogeneous medley here. Fancy, of all living creatures, the Bolsovers being brought hither to meet the Rochdales, whom they suit like point ruffles with a shooting-jacket. Either Berwick has acquired a taste for contrasts, or, in assorting his party, has overlooked every thing but the prospective match, and drawn the rest of the company by lot. His only other considerate arrangement is having Charles Theobald here to swain Lady Bolsover, and talk ‘Turf’ with her Lord. This is one of Berwick’s ‘good-natured things.’ To do him justice, nobody knows better how to place _chacun avec sa chacune_; but it is a pity that in this case it contributes so little to the general amusement; for really Theobald’s intense flirtation with Lady Bolsover, is the flattest piece of dull indecorum that ever met my virtuous eyes. They are dull, these people–keep him from quadrupeds, and Theobald is a cipher; and Lady B. has little more than the few ideas which she gets sent over with her dresses from Paris. I know it is _mauvais ton_ to cry them down–but I cannot help it. My sincerity will ruin me some fine day.

“The Hartlands are here: he talks parliament, and she talks strong sense, and tells every body how to do every thing, and seems to say, like Madame de Sevigne’s candid Frenchwoman, _Il n’y a que moi qui ai toujours raison_. To close the list, we have that good-looking puppy, young Leighton, an underbred youth, spoiled by premature immersion in a dandy regiment, who goes about saying the same things to every body, and labouring to reward the inconsiderate benevolence of you soft-hearted patronesses, by talking as if London lay packed in Willis’s rooms, and nobody existed but on Wednesday nights. Forgive my impertinence; you know how, in my heart, I revere your oligarchy.

“You will wonder how I amuse myself in the midst of this curious specimen of a social _Macedoine_–quite well–and am acquiring a taste for that true epicurean apathy which one enjoys in perfection, among people whom one expects neither to interest, nor to be interested by; and I sit down among them as calmly comfortable as I can conceive a growing cabbage to be in wet weather. I hold my tongue and watch the chaos as gravely as I can, while Berwick labours to make the jarring elements of his party harmonize, and offends every one in turn by trying to talk to him in his own way. I observe this generally irritates people; nobody likes to be so well understood.

“I can hardly judge at present, but I don’t think Arlington’s suit will prosper, and you will laugh when I tell you why: it is not that the youth is too shy and the maiden too cold; it is not the officiousness of the Berwicks;–it is because Lord Arlington has some thirty or forty thousand a-year. He is so rich, and the Rochdales so poor, and so stiffly disinterested withal; and it is such a mortal sin to think of money in this dirty world, where we cannot live without it, that they actually discourage him, and make it a point of honour to snub him daily, to prove their superiority to mercenary considerations. What weak things your strong-minded people sometimes do! and what horrors arise from acting upon principle! I, who have none, fancy I sometimes stumble into right by just doing what I please, and letting others do the same.

“Pray be bountiful, and send me some news, true or false–only if the latter, tell me the inventors. I have had nothing of the kind save a letter from Neville, full of comfortable lies, which I have already re-told, and now dearth is staring us in the face–not five minutes consumption in the house–and we are reduced to talk about each other, Berwick excepted, who falls back upon himself, and tells one again and again the ‘very good thing’ he said ten years ago. Tell me something about your intimates–what are their high mightinesses, Ladies Crawford and Cheadle, now doing for the edification of the world? Has the former forgiven his Majesty of —-? or is she _brouillee_ with any other potentate! Has the latter made peace with the Cabinet? or are Ministers still doomed to exclusion from her parties unless they will be good boys, and do as she bids them? and is she still chattering party gossip, and thinks all the while she is talking politics? Send me our dear friend’s last silly thing; and if you don’t know which is the last, do, pray do, go to her house and gather one.

“I know nothing of Beauchamp but that he is now in Scotland, chin-deep in heather, killing grouse against time for a bet of some hundreds, which he has persuaded some simpleton to make with him. No man knows better than Beauchamp how to get paid for amusing himself. I had never heard, and don’t believe, that Beauchamp is going to take a wife. Whatever you know of this, pray tell me; and say _whose_ wife–not Sir Robert Ridware’s, I hope; that would be so illiberal, and so unnecessary! I hate monopolies; and, moreover, I have always admired, the example of the poet Thomson, who ate his peaches off the tree. Forgive this pedantry, and any other sins in my letter; or if you are to scold me, let it be in person. Addio! fair lady. Yours,–not unalterably, for that is tiresome,–but as long as it pleaseth you.


A pleasant anecdote follows, by Sir James Berwick, “a busy, meddling, vain, good-humoured man, whose chief ambition it was to be considered thoroughly ‘a man of the world,’ and ‘a good member of society.'”

“I was asked to dine with a Sir Dixie Hickson, a stiff, bluff, beef-eating sort of man, who was under some obligation to me, or I to him, I don’t know which. Well, I forgot name, residence all but the day–came home in a hurry, looked into the Court Guide, found a Sir Hicks Dixon, drove to his house, found a party assembled, bowed to a fat woman in a turban who sailed forward _a la maitresse de maison_, and simpered an apology, for Sir Hicks’, or Sir Dicks’, or whatever he might be, ‘unavoidable absence;’ I forget why, ‘but did not like to put off the party, and hoped to look in in the evening.’ (Mind I had never seen the _femme_ Hickson.) Down we went to dinner; a guest had failed, so there was a place for me; did not know a soul of the party; such a set of creatures were never before assembled on God’s earth! Well, I ate, drank, and talked with the savages, told them some of my best lies, and was growing immensely popular, when in drops Sir Hicks from the country. You should have seen us! we set each other like two pointers backing in a stubble, with a covey between them, while the _femme_ Dixon kept fussing with an introduction–‘Sir Hicks, Sir James,–Sir James, Sir Hicks!’ At last the light broke in, and I explained, and we laughed about it for a whole hour. I was afraid when all was over I should have had to pay my debt of dinner to Sir Dixie; but the best of it is, I have not seen or heard more of either him or Sir Hicks. It would have served me right if they had asked me to dinner once a week for ever visiting such people. It is not likely that you should know them.”

There is much truth in the following satire upon fashionable travelling; though persons of fashion are not the only unimproved tourists. In travelling, a man must carry half the entertainment along with him.

“‘Listen,’ said he, ‘and you will hear more of the uses and advantages of travel.’

“Mr. Theobald at that instant was speaking to Lord Bolsover.

“‘I will just tell you what I did. Brussels, Frankfort, Berlin, Vienna, Munich, Milan, Naples and Paris; and all that in two months. No man has ever done it in less.’

“‘That’s a fast thing; but I think I could have done it,’ said Lord Bolsover, ‘with a good courier. I had a fellow once, who could ride a hundred miles a day for a fortnight.’

“‘I came from Vienna to Calais,’ said young Leighton, ‘in less time than the Government courier. No other Englishman ever did that.’

“‘Hem! I am not sure of that,’ said Lord Bolsover; ‘but I’ll just tell you what I have done–from Rome to Naples in nineteen hours; a fact, upon my honour–and from Naples to Paris in six days.’

“‘Partly by sea?’

“‘No! all by land;’ replied Lord Bolsover, with a look of proud satisfaction.

“‘I’ll just tell you what I did,’ Mr. Leighton chimed in again, ‘and I think it is a devilish good plan–it shows what one can do. I went straight an end, as fast as I could, to what was to be the end of my journey. This was Sicily; so straight away I went there at the devil’s own rate, and never stopped any where by the way; changed horses at Rome and all those places, and landed in safety in —- I forget exactly how long from the time of starting, but I have got it down to an odd minute. As for the places I left behind, I saw them all on my way back, except the Rhine, and I _steamed_ down that in the nighttime.’

“‘I have travelled a good deal by night,’ said Theobald. ‘With a _dormeuse_ and travelling lamp I think it is pleasant, and a good plan of getting on.’

“‘And you can honestly say, I suppose,’ said Denbigh, ‘that you have slept successfully through as much fine country as any man living?’

“‘Oh, I did see the country–that is, all that was worth seeing. My courier knew all about that, and used to stop and wake me whenever we came to any thing remarkable. Gad! I have reason to remember it, too, for I caught an infernal bad cold one night when I turned out by lamp-light to look at a waterfall. I never looked at another.'”

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We resume our quotations from this treasurable little volume already noticed in No. 551, of _The Mirror_. Taken altogether, it is an exhaustless mine of research upon subjects which have awakened curiosity from childhood to old age–from the little wonder-struck learner on the school form to the patient inquirer with spectacle on nose.

_The Raven and the Dove at the Deluge._

“We shall quote the interesting account which the Sacred Volume supplies us, of the singular messenger employed by the patriarch, to procure information as to the state of the diluvial waters;–‘And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: and he sent forth a raven, which went to and fro (in going forth and returning), until the waters were dried up from off the earth. Also, he sent forth a dove from him to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground: but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark: for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. Then he put forth his hand, and took her and pulled her (caused her to come) in unto him into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark: and the dove came into him in the evening; and lo! in her mouth was an olive leaf, plucked off. So Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days, and sent forth the dove which returned not again unto him any more.’ This narrative, though simple in its style, is expressive and beautiful. There is an eloquent charm which, while it touches the chords of truth, makes the heart respond to the tale. The raven would find sufficient for its carnivorous appetite in the floatage of the animal remains, on the briny flood, and would return to roost on the ark; but it was far different with Noah’s bird, so long as the waters prevailed, there could be no pause for her weary wing, and the messenger would return to the ark. So soon, however, as the subsidence of the waters had permitted the olive to emerge, a sprig was plucked off, and borne to the patriarch in triumph. Emphatic symbol of peace! Commemorated through ages, it is still the symbol of peace. Along with the fig tree and vine, it is associated, as the emblem of man’s inheritance, and in the geography of its locality, the patriarch would hail the plain on which it flourished, and from which it was borne, as the place of his former abode. The dove would return, though the olive had emerged, because no food had as yet been provided. How long this ambassador of peace was absent, we cannot tell: we are only informed that the dove returned in the _evening_. If the winged messenger was despatched early in the day, it is not improbable that the delightful trophy was obtained from Mount Olivet, where, according to the late Dr. Clarke, ‘the olive still vindicates its parental soil.’ In considering the question of the geographical distribution of plants, this would likely be the nearest olive plane from the mountains of Armenia. It may be remarked also, that the olive remarkably synchronizes with the habits of the dove; since, according to Dr. Chandler, in his Travels in Greece, as soon as the olive matures its berries, vast numbers of doves, among other birds, repair for food to the olive groves. It cannot be irrelevant to remind our readers of the habits of the _columba tabellaria_, or the carrier pigeon, so called from the office to which it has been applied, viz. that of carrying letters, in the Levant, &c. Those of Mesopotamia are the most famous in the world, and the Babylonian carrier pigeon is employed even on ordinary occasions at Bagdad. The geographical locality, therefore, of the carrier pigeon, it is interesting to remember, is in the vicinity of those very mountains where the ark finally rested. With us the carrier pigeon is an exotic, and is now acclimated, or naturalized. Carrier pigeons fly at the rate of fifty miles an hour.–‘Napoleon,’ the name of one of the carrier pigeons which was despatched from London a short time ago, at four o’clock A.M., reached Liege, in France, about ten o’clock in the day. Mr. Audubon states his having shot the passenger pigeon (_columba migratoria_) in America, and found in its stomach, _rice_, which could not have been obtained within a distance of eight hundred miles.”

_Parable of the Good Samaritan._

“Our readers will remember the beautiful parable of the _good Samaritan_, and his kindness and compassion for the wounded stranger ‘who fell among thieves,’ on his journey from _Jerusalem to Jericho_. Sichem or Sychar, the district of the Samaritans, and which they now inhabit, is about forty miles from Jerusalem. Jericho is about nineteen miles from the capital of Judea; and, as it was in the first century, so the intervening country _still remains_ infested by banditti. Sir Frederick Henniker, as late as 1820, on his journey from Jerusalem to Jericho, was way-laid, attacked by a band of predatory Arabs, and plundered. He was stripped naked, and left severely wounded; and in this state was carried to Jericho.”

_David and Goliath._

“David’s encounter with Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, is mentioned in I Samuel xvii.: and in the 40th verse is described the simple armour with which the shepherd boy, Jesse’s son, repaired to the contest. Many a thirsty pilgrim, as he passes through the valley of Eluh, on the road from Bethlehem to Jaffa (Joppa), has drunk of ‘the brook in the way’–that very brook from whence the minstrel youth ‘chose him five smooth stones.’ ‘Its present appearance,’ says a recent traveller, ‘answers exactly to the description given in Scripture; the two hills on which the armies stood, entirely confined it on the right and left. The valley is not above half a mile broad. Tradition was not required to identify this spot. Nature has stamped it with everlasting features of truth. The brook still flows through it in a winding course, from which David took the smooth stones.'”

_The Willows of Babylon._

“In reference to the willow and the streams of Babylon, where the Hebrews remembered Zion so mournfully, Sir Robert Ker Porter states, that ‘the banks of the Euphrates were hoary with reeds, and the grey osier willows were yet there on which the captives of Israel hung their harps,’ and wept in the land of the stranger. The _salix babylonica_, or the weeping willow, in its geographical range, sweeps through the plains of Judea, and by the ruins of Babylon, from the verge of the Mediterranean to the frontiers of Japan–a lovely line of beauty–the Niobe of vegetation! Sad memorial of the mournful march of the captive Hebrews. It is, we think, a very striking circumstance, that these countries should even now retain such unchanged lineaments of their ancient history. Time seems to linger, or move slowly on; as if the wheels of nature stood still, and paused at the mournful sight of departed grandeur and buried magnificence–BABYLON in ruins! ‘MENE!–GOD hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it!’ Mr. Rich has given us a sketch of a spade copied from a Babylonian brick found near El Kasr, and detached from a mass of ruin, in all probability, on the very site of Nebuchadnezzar’s pensile gardens; and he remarks, that it is almost a fac simile of the spade used at this very day in Chaldea.”

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_Heating with Hot Water._

Mr. A.M. Perkins has communicated to the _Gardeners’ Magazine_ the details of his plan for heating hot-houses by the circulation of hot water in hermetically sealed tubes of small diameter. Upon the economy of the plan, Mr. Loudon observes:–“With respect to the power of the one-inch tubes, it has been demonstrated by a mathematician and chemist of the very first authority, that as much will be effected by one of Mr. Perkins’s one-inch tubes, heated to 300 deg. as by one of the three-inch tubes, employed in any of the ordinary modes of heating by hot water when heated to 180 deg..” A second advantage of Mr. Perkins’s mode for hot-houses, is the small space which the pipes occupy. A third advantage is, that the water may be circulated without regard to whether the tubes are below or above the level of the fire-place. “But, however favourable this plan may be for heating hot-houses, the advantage for that class of structures are as nothing compared to those which it offers for heating _dwelling-houses_ and all kinds of _manufactories_. This will be understood at once, when it is stated that the water may be circulated under ordinary circumstances of attention to the fire, at from 300 deg. to 600 deg.; and, with extraordinary strength of pipe, and application of fuel to a still higher degree. It is found that 400 deg. will roast meat. The workmen in the bank-note printing-office of Messrs. Perkins and Bacon have dressed a beefsteak at the further extremity of the pipe of hot water used for heating the steel plates; and Mr. Perkins is constructing for himself an oven for roasting by water. It is easy to see, that, in a very short time, this will lead to extraordinary and most beneficial changes in domestic arrangements; and that if we could get rid of our prejudices in favour of open fires, the smoky atmospheres of our great towns would be got rid of at the same time. Water at 500 deg., or, at least, water at 300 deg., for the purposes of cookery, and for heating reserve cisterns of cold water, or masses of metal or masonry, for various domestic purposes, including warming rooms, heating baths, laundries, &c. may, at no distant time, be circulated by companies, in the same manner as gas; and, in London, instead of one fire for every room, as at present, there may be only one in a parish, or in every square of an acre in area.”

_A Marine Railway_

for the purpose of conveying vessels overland, has been projected by Mr. Henry Fairbairn, in the United Service Journal for May, 1832. The vessels are to be raised from the sea by machinery, placed in slips and dragged along the railway by locomotive steam-engines. The same author proposes to connect Ireland with Scotland, by means of a bank between Portpatrick and Donaghadee; and England with France, by means of a chain bridge, causeway, or tunnel, from Dover to Calais. Over all the lines of marine railways he proposes to form suspension railways, resting upon arches, in the manner of Mr. Dick’s, for the conveyance of passengers, mails, and merchandise.

_Silk from Spiders._

At the last Anniversary of the Society of Arts, the Silver Isis Medal was presented to Mr. D.B. Rolt for obtaining Silk from the Garden Spider. We find the details in the volume of the Society’s _Transactions_ lately published.

“The subject of Mr. Rolt’s experiments has been the garden spider, Aranea diadema, the webs of which, in autumn, are so conspicuous on the surface of shrubs and in other similar situations. On allowing one of these animals to crawl over his hand, he found that it drew a thread with it wherever it went: he likewise, without any difficulty, wound some of this thread over his hand, finding that the spider continued spinning while the thread was winding up.

“On this hint, he connected a small reel with the steam-engine of the factory in which he is occupied, and putting it in motion, at the rate of 150 feet per minute, found that the spider would thus continue to afford an unbroken thread during from three to five minutes. The specimen of this silk, which accompanies Mr. Rolt’s communication, was wound off from twenty-four spiders in about two hours. Mr. R. estimates its length at 18,000 feet; its colour is white, and its lustre is brilliant, and completely metallic, owing, probably, to its great opacity. No attempt has been made by him to combine two or more filaments into one by winding, nor, of course, to form it into thread by throwing.

“The thread of the garden spider is so much finer than that of the silk-worm, that the united strength of five of the former is, according to Mr. Rolt, equal only to one of the latter; and, assuming that the weight is in proportion to the strength, and that a spider will yield twice a-year a thread 750 feet long, while that produced by a single silk-worm is 1,900 feet, it follows that the produce of one silk-worm is equal to that of 6.3 spiders. Now, as on an average it takes about 3,500 silk-worms to produce a pound of silk, it would take about 22,000 spiders to produce an equal quantity. Besides, spiders are not so easily confined as silk-worms, and whenever two come in contact, a battle ensues, which ends in the destruction of the weaker one. Spiders kept for silk must, therefore, be each in separate dens or cells; and the apparatus contrived by Mr. Rolt for this purpose, although very ingenious and well adapted to carry on a course of experiments with a hundred or two, would manifestly be wholly inapplicable to any purpose of commercial utility. Mr Rolt has, however, made some interesting additions to the history of the garden spider, and has obtained the silk in its natural state, exhibiting all its peculiar lustre; his method, likewise, of winding the silk directly from the animal is, to say the least of it, effectual and ingenious.”

It should be added that “the Society are of opinion that it will never be possible to employ spiders’ silk, beautiful as it is, in any profitable manufacture; but have thought proper to confer a reward on this gentleman for his communication, as forming an interesting addition to the natural history of the spider.”

_Medicinal Employment of Holly Leaves._

Dr. Rousseau has obtained from the Medico-Botanical Society of London its silver Medal, for an essay on the effects of holly leaves in fever: he has cured several intermittent fevers by the remedy, whose alkali he calls Ilicine.–_Gazette of Health._

_Tobacco no security against Cholera._

M. Chevalier proved, from documents, that the assertion made on a former evening, that tobacco was a preservative against cholera, was erroneous. He stated that twenty-seven mechanics employed in the tobacco manufactories had died of the disease.–Ibid.

_Prussic Acid a Poison to Vegetables._

The sensitive plant, when exposed to the vapour of prussic acid, instantly closes its leaves. The same plant, as well as other tender plants, such as the garden pea and kidney bean, when subject to the influence of this acid, quickly wither and die, and the laurel-water has the same effect upon them. It appears also that plants which naturally contain the acid, such as the cherry-laurel and almond tree, are not less susceptible of its poisonous action than others. Seeds, steeped for some time in the acid, lose their power of germination.–Ibid.

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Two or three miles from Cairo, approached by an avenue of sycamores, is Shubra, a favourite residence of the Pasha of Egypt. The palace, on the banks of the Nile, is not remarkable for its size or splendour, but the gardens are extensive and beautiful, and adorned by a Kiosk, which is one of the most elegant and fanciful creations I can remember.

Emerging from fragrant bowers of orange trees, you suddenly perceive before you, tall and glittering gates rising from a noble range of marble steps. These you ascend, and entering, find yourself in a large quadrangular colonnade of white marble. It surrounds a small lake, studded by three or four gaudy barques fastened to the land by silken cords. The colonnade terminates towards the water by a very noble marble balustrade, the top of which is covered with groups of various kinds of fish in high relief. At each angle of the colonnade, the balustrade gives way to a flight of steps which are guarded by crocodiles of immense size, admirably sculptured and all in white marble. On the farther side, the colonnade opens into a great number of very brilliant banqueting-rooms, which you enter by withdrawing curtains of scarlet cloth, a colour vividly contrasting with the white shining marble of which the whole Kiosk is formed. It is a favourite diversion of the Pasha himself to row some favourite Circassians in one of the barques and to overset his precious freight in the midst of the lake. As his Highness piques himself upon wearing a caftan of calico, and a juba or exterior robe of coarse cloth, a ducking has not for him the same terrors it would offer to a less eccentric Osmanlee. The fair Circassians shrieking with their streaming hair and dripping finery, the Nubian eunuchs rushing to their aid, plunging into the water from the balustrade, or dashing down the marble steps,–all this forms an agreeable relaxation after the labours of the Divan.

All the splendour of the Arabian Nights is realized in the Court of Egypt. The guard of Nubian eunuchs with their black glossy countenances, clothed in scarlet and gold, waving their glittering Damascus sabres, and gently bounding on their snow-white steeds, is, perhaps, the most picturesque corps in the world. The numerous Harem, the crowds of civil functionaries and military and naval officers in their embroidered Nizam uniforms, the vast number of pages and pipe-bearers, and other inferior but richly attired attendants, the splendid military music, for which Mehemet Ali has an absolute passion, the beautiful Arabian horses and high-bred dromedaries, altogether form a blending of splendour and luxury which easily recall the golden days of Bagdad and its romantic Caliph.

Yet this Court is never seen to greater advantage than in the delicious summer palace in the gardens of Shubra. During the festival of the Bairam, the Pasha generally holds his state in this enchanted spot, nor is it easy to forget that strange and brilliant scene. The banqueting-rooms were all open and illuminated, the colonnade full of guests in gorgeous groups, some standing and conversing, some seated on small Persian carpets smoking pipes beyond all price, and some young grandees lounging in their crimson shawls and scarlet vests over the white balustrade, and flinging their glowing shadow over the moonlit water: from every quarter bursts of melody, and each moment the river breeze brought gusts of perfume on its odorous wings.

_New Monthly Magazine_.

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We find this spice of _the Wonderful_ in the _Cabinet Cyclopaedia_, History of Spain and Portugal.

“The character of Alfonso must be sufficiently apparent from his actions. It may be added, that his acquirements were of a very superior order. The Astronomical Tables which he composed, and which are called by his name, have been often adduced as proofs of his science. It is, however, certain, that in their construction he was greatly indebted to the Moorish astronomers of Granada, some of whom visited his court for the express purpose of superintending, if not of calculating them. That he had a hand in the composition of the Chronicle which also bears his name, is no less undoubted; but we should vainly attempt to ascertain the portion issuing from his own pen. In the compilation of the Laws of the Partidas from the Justinian and Wisigothic Codes, he had also a share,–how large a one must in like manner remain for ever unknown. On the whole, it may be said of him, that, like our James I., he was an extraordinary instance of weakness and learning. Of his vanity, the well known saying has been often adduced,–that if he had been consulted at the creation of the world, he could have advised some things for the better. If this saying were really uttered–which there are strong reasons to doubt–it is probable that the king had no blasphemous intention in view, but that he was merely ridiculing the then received system of Ptolemy.”

The following curious account of Alfonso’s punishment for his alleged blasphemy has never been noticed by any writer in this country. It is a translation of an extract made by Ortiz (Compendio Cronologica de la Historia de Espana, tom. iv. p. 184. Madrid, 1797), from a MS. in the Royal Library of Madrid:–

“On Saturday, April 2, aera 1332 (A.D. 1294), king don Alfonso having heard mass at the hour of tierce in the city of Seville, entered into his chamber, as he had long been wont, to pray before an image of St. Mary; and while he was praying, a sudden shining light filled the room, like unto the light of fire; and in this light appeared an angel’s face exceedingly beautiful. And when the king saw it he was much afraid, and he said, ‘I conjure thee, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to tell me what thou art,–whether thou art a good or evil spirit!’ And the angel answered, ‘Fear not; a messenger am I unto thee, as thou wilt soon perceive. Well, thou knowest how, on such a day, being at table in this city, thou didst blaspheme, and say, that if thou hadst been with God the Father when he made the world and all things in it, thou couldst have mended many of them; and that many others would have been done which were not done. And God the Father was much offended with thy saying (supposing it possible for Him to be offended), and he was very wroth with thee; wherefore the Highest gave sentence against thee, to the effect that, since thou didst despise Him who made thee and gave thee honour among men, so shouldest thou be despised by thine own offspring, and shouldest be degraded from thine high estate, and in lowliness end thy days! Which sentence was revealed to an Augustine friar, while in his cell at Molina studying a sermon that he was to preach the following day. This friar told it in confession to his superior, and the superior to the infante don Manuel, who loves thee like his own soul. And in a week don Manuel came to this city of Seville, and said to thee, “Tell me, I pray thee, whether thou didst ever speak so and so?” and thou repliedst, “that thou didst speak thus, and wouldst speak so again.” Wherefore don Manuel was sore grieved, and exhorted thee to amend, and ask pardon of God; yet thou heardest him not. And for that thou mayest know how all power is from God the Father, and not from any other, the sentence is perfected and fulfilled. And moreover, in as much as thou hast cursed don Sancho thy son, because of the dishonour and rebellion and despite which he hath done thee, know thou for a surety that the Highest hath heard thy curse;–that all who spring from him shall sink lower and lower, with all their lordship, in such wise that some of them may wish the earth to open and swallow them up: and this shall last until the fourth generation from don Sancho thy son, when thy male heirs shall fail, and none shall remain to inherit this lordship; and the people shall be in grief and trouble, not knowing what counsel to follow. And all this dole shall be for thy sins and others, especially for the sin which thy son and those of the realm have committed in rising against thee. But the Highest shall send them salvation from the East,–a right noble king, and a good and a perfect one, and one endued with justice, and with all the great and noble things becoming a king. And he shall be fatherly to the people, in such wise that the living, and those even whose bones lie in the grave, shall bless God for his coming and for his goodness. And he shall be aided by the High God, as he shall well merit; so his people shall forget their past sufferings, how great ones soever may befall them before that joyful day. Moreover, know thou for a surety, that by reason of thy continual prayers to the Glorious Mother of God, from seventeen years of age until now, she hath obtained from the Highest, that in thirty days hence thy soul depart from the world and enter purgatory, which is good hope; and in time, when the Highest shall see fit, it shall enter into glory everlasting!’

“And these words being said, the angel vanished: and the king was long afraid. Then he arose quickly, and opened the door of his cabinet, and he found in the room his four chaplains, who never forsook him; and he had great comfort with them in his sufferings, and in reckoning his hours with them: and he made them bring ink and paper, and he made them write down all which the angel had told him. And during the thirty days he confessed and communicated every third day; and except on Sundays, during the whole thirty days, he ate only three mouthfuls of bread in the week, and drank water only, and that no more than once a day. And he confirmed his last testament, and promoted his servants. And at the end of the thirty days, his soul departed according to the angel’s warning, which he knew through the intercession of Our Lady the Virgin St. Mary.”

Ortiz thinks it necessary to enter into a formal and lengthened refutation of the angel’s visit, and to prove, from the style, the anachronisms, and other circumstances, that it must be a forgery.

Don Rodrigo Sanchez de Arevalo, bishop of Valencia (in his Historia Hispana, lib. iv. cap. 5.), was the first to publish the apparition, but with many varying circumstances. He says that the angel appeared in a dream to one Pedro Martinez of Pampliega, of the household of the infante don Manuel; and that, by order of the celestial messenger, Pedro waited on the king at Burgos, who ridiculed the whole matter. Some days having passed, Alfonso went to Segovia, where he was troubled by another visit from a holy hermit, who exhorted him to repentance. The king having caused the messenger to be kicked out of the palace, there arose a furious storm, attended with thunder and lightning, which the night season rendered still more awful; the liquid element fell into the royal apartment, and consumed the queen’s wardrobe. The terrified king immediately sent in search of the hermit, begged pardon of God, and confessed his impiety.

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If we except our Elizabeth, and Catherine of Russia, no princess of modern times can equal Isabel in ability, or in the success of her administration: and, in the qualities of her heart, in Christian fervour, and an unspotted life, how far does she not exceed either! Prudent in the formation, yet prompt in the execution, of her plans; severe towards guilt, yet merciful towards misfortune; unbending in her purposes, yet submissive to her husband; of rigid virtue, yet indulgent to minor frailties; devout without ostentation, and proud without haughtiness; feeling towards the pains of others, yet exhibiting no sentiment of her own, she might well command the respect, no less than the affection, of her people. Of her humble piety an anecdote is related, with great applause, by catholic writers. When the sovereigns of Castile were at confession, it was usual for the priest to kneel at the same time with themselves. The first time she attended this duty, after her elevation to the throne, she knelt; but the priest, Fernando de Talavera, quietly seated himself beside her. On her expressing some surprise that he also did not kneel, the friar replied, “This, senora, is the tribunal of God, whom I here represent, and I shall therefore remain seated; your highness will continue to kneel!” After her devotions were concluded, instead of expressing any resentment, she observed to an attendant, “This is just the director I have long sought!” The friar became archbishop of Granada. Her only defect–yet it is surely great enough–is her approval of the infernal tribunal which consigned to torture, imprisonment, or death, so many thousands of her subjects. Strange that this very lady, whom sufferings so exquisite could not move, should have been the constant and successful advocate of the Moors, whenever any town or fortress was taken by storm.

To Isabel must be ascribed the glory of the enterprise of Columbus in his discovery of America. At first she received with natural coldness the proposals of this wonderful man; but overcome at length by the representation of a monk, the friend of Columbus, and still more by the resistless reasoning of the navigator himself, whom she admitted to her presence, she borrowed the sum of money necessary for the armament, and bade him depart.

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_Garratt Election.–Proclamation issued by the Mayor of Garratt_.–Whereas _his_ Majesty, the King and Queen, _is_ expected to honour this ancient Corporation with _his_ presence, in their tour to Coxheath; in order to prevent his Majesty from no impediment in his journey, the worshipful the Mayor and Bailiff, has thought proper the following regulations should be prohibited as following:–Nobody must not leave no dirt, nor any thing in that shape, before the doors nor shops. And all wheelbarrows, carts, dunghills, oyster-shells, cabbage-stalks, and other four-wheeled carriages, must be swept out of the streets. Any one who shall fail of offending in any article, shall be dealt with according to law.

J. DUNSTAN, _Mayor_.

_Punishment of Death._–The _Morning Herald_ of the 14th states–“We have it on the authority of one who heard the fact from a member of the Privy Council, (at present a Cabinet Minister,) that he frequently saw George the Fourth in a state of extraordinary agitation at the meeting of the Council, when the fate of a criminal was under consideration. He would contend the matter with the ministers and leave the table, and lean sometimes on the chimney-piece, advocating the cause of mercy, until overruled by his responsible advisers.”

_Erratum in the Washington “Globe.”_–For “Bumbleton’s storm destroying porringers,” read “Hamilton’s worm-destroying lozenges.”

_Plain Sermons._–Bishop Heber has the following sensible remark in his Journal of Travels:–“I am, on the whole, more and more confirmed in the opinion which Horsley has expressed in one of his Sermons, that a theological argument, clearly stated in terms derived from the English language exclusively, will generally be both intelligible and interesting to the lower classes. They do not want acuteness, or power of attending; it is their vocabulary only which is confined, and if we address them in such words as they understand, we may tell them what truths we please, and reason with them as subtlely as we can.”

_Chelsea Heroines._–In the year 1739 was interred in the college burying-ground, Christian Davies, alias Mother Ross, who, according to her own narrative, served in several campaigns under King William and the Duke of Marlborough, and behaved with signal bravery. During the latter part of her life she resided at Chelsea, where her third husband was a pensioner in the college: at this time she subsisted, as she tells us, principally on the benevolence of the quality at court, whither she went twice a-week in a hackney-coach, old age and infirmities having rendered her unable to walk. The famous Hannah Snell, whose history is recorded in various publications of the year 1750, was actually at that time put upon the out-pensioners list at Chelsea, on account of the wounds which she received at the siege of Pondicherry. Her singular story excited a considerable share of public attention; and she was engaged to sing, and perform the military exercises at various places of public entertainment: soon afterwards she married one Eyles, a carpenter at Newbury. A lady of fortune, who admired the heroism and eccentricity of her conduct, having honoured her with particular notice, became godmother to her son, and contributed liberally to his education. Mrs. Eyles, to the day of her death, continued to receive her pension, which, in the year 1786, was augmented by a special grant to a shilling a day. In the latter part of her life she discovered symptoms of insanity, and was admitted a patient into Bethlehem-hospital, where she died, Feb. 8, 1792, aged 69 years.

_Longevity of Chelsea Pensioners_.–The following records are collected from among the epitaphs in the college burying-ground:

Thomas Azbey, died .. 1737 aged .. 112 Captain Laurence …. 1765 …….. 95 Robert Cumming …… 1767 ……. 116 Peter Dowling ……. 1768 ……. 102 A soldier who had fought
at the battle of the
Boyne …………… 1772 ……. 111 Peter Bennet, of Tinmouth
……………….. 1773 ……. 107

_Cholera._–During the late panic, a coalheaver went into a tobacconist’s shop to purchase a halfpenny worth of pig-tail, when a gentleman asked him if he was in any alarm about the cholera? “No, measter,” he said, “them says it’s only among the lower classes like.”

_Calves-Head Roll._–This is a Roll in the two Temples, in which every bencher is taxed yearly at 2s., every barrister at 1s. 6d., and every gentleman under the bar at 1s. to the cook, and other officers of the house, in consideration of a dinner of calves-heads, provided in Easter. P.T.W.

_Curious Registry._–The following entry occurs in the register of the parish of Hanwell, Middlesex, viz.:–

“Thomas, _daughter/son_ of Thomas Messenger, and Elizabeth, his wife, was born and baptized, October 24, 1731.”

To which is added in the margin, “by the midwife, at the font, called a boy, and named by the godfather, Thomas, but proved a girl.” P.T.W.

_Aged Dancers._–Sergeant Hoskyns, the owner of Ingeston House, Herefordshire, entertained James I. with a morrice-dance, performed by ten persons, whose united ages exceeded one thousand years, all natives of Herefordshire. P.T.W.

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