The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Vol 20 No 563 by Various

THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION. Vol. 20, No. 563.] SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 1832. [PRICE 2d * * * * * ANTIQUITIES OF THE PEAK. CROSSES Mr. Rhodes, the elegant topographer of _the Peak_, observes, “there are but few individuals in this country, possessing the means and the opportunities of travel, who have not,
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Vol. 20, No. 563.] SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 1832. [PRICE 2d

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[Illustration: (At Eyam.)]

[Illustration: (At Wheston.)]

[Illustration: (Beauchief Abbey.)]

Mr. Rhodes, the elegant topographer of _the Peak_, observes, “there are but few individuals in this country, possessing the means and the opportunities of travel, who have not, either from curiosity or some other motive, visited the Peak of Derbyshire.” This remark is correct; and to it we may add, that the “few” who have not personally visited the Peak, have become familiar with its wonders through the pencils of artists, or the graphic pens of accomplished tourists. Yet their attractions are not of that general character which delights an untravelled eye: they belong rather to the wonderful than what is, in common parlance, the beautiful. Mr. Rhodes says, “Travellers accustomed to well-wooded and highly-cultivated scenes only, have frequently expressed a feeling bordering on disgust, at the bleak and barren appearance of the mountains in the Peak of Derbyshire; but to the man whose taste is unsophisticated by a fondness for artificial adornments, they possess superior interest, and impart more pleasing sensations. Remotely seen, they are often beautiful; many of their forms, even when near, are decidedly good; and in distance, the features of rudeness, by which they are occasionally marked, are softened down into general and sometimes harmonious masses. The graceful and long-continued outline which they present, the breadth of light and shadow that spreads over their extended surfaces, and the delightful colouring with which they are often invested, never fail to attract the attention of the picturesque traveller.”

Our present road, however, lies through the dales rather than the mountainous portion of this district. To enjoy the picturesque variety of the former we must leave the cloud-capped peaks, and ramble with the reader through “cultivated meadows, luxuriant foliage, steep heathy hills, and craggy rocks, while the eye is enchanted with brilliant streams.” Such indeed is the character of the dales, especially those through which the Derwent, the Dove, and the Wye meander. Hitherto we have but adverted to the natural beauties of the country; although they are checkered with many mouldering relics of “hoar antiquity”–many crumbling memorials of ages long past, reminding us of the nothingness of man’s labours, yet harmonizing most happily with the feelings inspired by the natural sublimities of the scene. By such associations, the decaying glories of art lend even a charm to ever flourishing nature!

The Cuts are but three vignettes from the architectural lore of the district. They stand in sheltered valleys, though, as their ruinous condition implies, their situation has not saved them from the destroying hand of time. Indeed, one of them, Beauchief Abbey, gives name to its locality, Abbey Dale, not far from the partition line that separates Derbyshire from Yorkshire. In this road, the ruin in the Cut is the first object that claims the attention of the tourist in his progress to the Peak; being part of a once magnificent abbey, founded by Robert Fitz-Ranulph, Lord of Alfreton; as an expiation for the part he is said to have taken in the murder of Thomas a Becket. The late Dr. Pegg, the antiquary, discountenances this tradition. His arguments, however, which are chiefly founded on the circumstance of the brother of Robert Fitz-Ranulph, being afterwards in great favour with Henry the Second, do not appear conclusive, particularly when opposed to the authority of Dugdale, Fuller, Bishop Tanner, and others who have written on the subject.[1]

[1] Dugdale says, “Robert Fitz-Ranulph, Lord of Alfreton, Norton, and Marnham, was one of the four knights who martyred the blessed Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury; and afterwards founded the Monastery of Beauchief, by way of expiating his crime; in the reign of Henry the Second.” Bishop Tanner writes, “Beauchief, an Abbey of Promonstatentian, or White Canons, founded A.D. 1183, by Robert Fitz-Ranulph, Lord of Alfreton, one of the executioners of Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, to whom canonized, this monastery was dedicated.” These authorities are quoted by Mr. Rhodes. Sir James Mackintosh names the four “knights of distinguished rank,” (apparently upon the authority of Hoveden,) to have been “William de Tracy, Hugh de Moreville, Richard Britto, and Reginald Fitz-Urse.” We do not attempt to reconcile the conflicting chroniclers; but we should add, from the subsequent page, by Sir James, “the conspirators, despairing of pardon, found a distant refuge in the Castle of Knaresborough, in the town of Hugh de Moreville, and were, after some time, enjoined by the Pope to do penance for their crime, by a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where _they died_, and were interred before the gate of the Temple.” Sir James describes the murder of Becket with minuteness: “the assassins fell on him with many strokes; and though the second brought him to the ground, they did not cease till _his brains were scattered over the pavement_.”–We know the Cathedral guide at Canterbury shows you the stone in the place of that on which Becket fell, and states the original stone to be preserved in St. Peter’s, at Rome; but the story is to us rather apocryphal. At St. Alban’s they show you the _dust_ of the good Duke Humphrey: we once begged a pinch, which the guide granted freely; this induced us to ask him how often he re-supplied the dust: the man stared at our ungrateful incredulity.

The walls of Beauchief Abbey, with the exception of the west end, represented in the Cut, have long since either been removed, or have mouldered into dust. Parochial service is still performed in the remains; but the whole of the original form of the once extensive pile of building cannot now be traced.

The exterior architecture of the chapel is almost destitute of ornament; if we except the reeded windows, and the double buttresses at the angles of the tower, which is stated to be short of its original height. On the east side, two angular lines mark the connexion which the chapel had with the other buildings, and a part of the ground plan may be traced by an adjoining wall, in which are the remains of two circular arches, comparatively little impaired. Mr. Rhodes observes “a wreath of ivy which falls from the top of the tower, and nearly invests one side of it, breaks the dull monotony of its outline, and produces a tolerably good effect: in other respects it is not strikingly attractive as a picturesque object. The Abbey of _Bello-Capite_ will ever be dear to the antiquary who will visit it with veneration and delight; nor will the artist pass it by unnoticed. The magnificent woods, and the beautiful hills that environ the Abbey of Beauchief, amply compensate for any deficiency of grandeur in the subordinate adornments of so rich a scene.”

Beauchief Abbey, though once a considerable structure, was never proportionally wealthy. At the time of its dissolution, (Henry VIII.) the whole of its revenues were estimated but at 157_l_; and with the materials furnished by its demolition was built Beauchief House upon the same estate, granted by Henry VIII. to Sir William Shelly. The mansion is still tenanted.


These emblematic relics stand in two of the villages in the Peak district: viz. Eyam and Wheston. They are places of little importance; though a touching interest is attached to Eyam, from it having been visited by the Great Plague of the year 1666; its population, at this time, was about 330; of whom 259 fell by the plague.[2] The history of this calamitous visitation forms the subject of a meritorious poem by W. and M. Howitt, entitled _the Desolation of Eyam_, in which the piety of Mr. Mompesson, (who then held the living of Eyam,) his pastoral consolations to his mourning people, and the amiable character of his beautiful wife, who fell a victim to the plague,–are narrated with true pathos. Yet, this afflicting episode in village history–

So sad, so tender and so true.

having been but recently related by our ingenious contemporary, Mr. Hone,[3] we quote but two of the opening stanzas by the Messrs. Howitt:

Among the verdant mountains of the Peak There lies a quiet hamlet, where the slope Of pleasant uplands wards the north-wind’s bleak; Below wild dells romantic pathways ope; Around, above it, spreads a shadowy cope Of forest trees: flower, foliage, and clear rill Wave from the cliffs, or down ravines elope; It seems a place charmed from the power of ill By sainted words of old: so lovely, lone, and still.

And many are the pilgrim’s feet which tread Its rocky steps, which thither yearly go; Yet, less by love of Nature’s wonders led, Than by the memory of a mighty woe,
Which smote, like blasting thunder, long ago, The peopled hills. There stands a sacred tomb, Where tears have rained, nor yet shall cease to flow; Recording days of death’s sublimest gloom; Mompesson’s power and pain,–his beauteous Catherine’s doom.

[2] Dr. Mead, in his Narrative of the Great Plague in London, particularly mentions its introduction into Eyam, through the medium of a box of clothes, sent to a tailor who resided there.

[3] Table Book, 1827, p. 481.

The cross at Eyam stands near the entrance into the chancel of the church. According to village tradition, this rare relic was found on some of the neighbouring hills. It is curiously ornamented with symbolic devices in bold relief. “It has suffered dilapidation from the culpable neglect of those who should have felt an interest in its preservation. About two feet of the top of the shaft is wanting, as may be seen by reference to the engraved sketch, (_See the Cut_,) which was taken in the year 1815.” The sexton of the church, who was then an old man, told Mr. Rhodes in 1818, that he well recollected the missing part being thrown carelessly about the churchyard, as if of no value, until it was broken up by some of the inhabitants, and knocked to pieces for domestic purposes. The preservation of the Cross, to the extent we have shown, is referable to the philanthropic Howard, who, in a visit to Eyam, about the year 1788, or 44 years since, particularly noticed the finest part of the relic lying in a corner of the churchyard, and nearly overgrown with docks and thistles. “The value this hitherto unregarded relic had in the estimation of Howard,” says Mr. Rhodes, “made it dearer to the people of Eyam: they brought the top part of the cross from its hiding-place, and set it on the still dilapidated shaft, where it has ever since remained.” Other crosses, similar in appearance and workmanship, have been found on the hills of Derbyshire, particularly one in the village of Bakewell, which we have already figured in _The Mirror_.[4] It evidently originated with the same people as that at Eyam, though it is much more mutilated. These crosses have been generally regarded as Saxon or Danish, though the probability is in favour of the Saxon origin, from the high veneration of the Saxons for the sacred symbol of the cross. Thus, stone crosses were not only parts of the decorations of every church and altar, but set up as land-marks on the high roads as aids to devotion, and in market-places as incentives to integrity and fair-dealing.

[4] Vol. xi. p. 40.

Near the cross at Eyam, and in the distance of the Cut, is the tomb of Mrs. Mompesson, on one end of which is an hour-glass with two expanded wings; and underneath on an oblong tablet is inscribed CAVETE; (beware,) and nearer the base, the words _Nescitis Horam_ (ye know not the hour). On the other end of the tomb is a death’s head resting on a plain, projecting tablet; and below the words _Mihi lucrum_ (mine is the gain).

The second hallowed relic is at Wheston a small and pleasant village, which is situated on an eminence that forms one side of Monksdale, and which at this place is known by the name of Peter-dale. A short distance from hence is Tideswell, about four miles from Eyam.[5] “Wheston,” observes Mr. Rhodes, “though consisting of a few houses only, is a picturesque little place: the trees which are mingled with the cottages, are so abundant, and everywhere so finely foliaged, that the place altogether, particularly when seen at a short distance, appears more like a copse or wood than a village.” The position of the Wheston cross favours the conclusion already made as to the purposes for which this kind of emblem was originally set up in England. It stands in the village, _near the road-side_. The upper part of the cross resembles in some of its ornaments the mullion-work of a Gothic window: the shaft is unadorned, and more modern. One side represents the infant Saviour in the arms of his mother: over their heads is a faint indication of a star, emblematic of the ray that directed the wise men of the East to the birthplace of Jesus. The reverse of the cross exhibits the crucifixion of Christ, whose birth and death it has apparently been the design of the sculptor to commemorate in the erection of this symbol of his faith. Similar structures are by no means uncommon by the road-sides throughout France, and to this day the peasantry may be seen bending before them; while the drivers of carriages on the most frequented roads are not unmindful of an act of passing homage to the time-worn emblem.

[5] From King John, the Eyam estate descended to the Stafford family, on whom it was bestowed in consideration of certain military services, and on the express condition “that a lamp should be kept perpetually burning before the altar of St. Helen, in the parish-church of Eyam.” The lamp has long since ceased to burn, and the estate has passed into other hands: it now constitutes a part of the immense property of his Grace the Duke of Devonshire.

Several crosses have been found in this part of Derbyshire, but only a few have escaped the dilapidations of age; the others have been, we had almost said sacrilegiously, destroyed as objects of no value. Mr. Rhodes tells us that “in one place the shaft of a cross, originally of no mean workmanship, has been converted into a gate-post; at another, one has been scooped and hollowed out, and made into a blacksmith’s trough. I have seen one, which is richly sculptured on the three remaining sides, with figures and a variety of ornaments, all well executed, that was long applied to this humble purpose.” The Cut shows that a portion of the cross at Wheston has been broken off; Mr. Rhodes saw the fragment as a common piece of stone, built and cemented into an adjoining wall; and he judiciously adds, “where so little interest has been felt in the preservation of these relics, it is only surprising that so many of them yet remain in different parts of the kingdom.” Among all acts of wanton license, the destruction of a cross is to us the most unaccountable. We can readily refer the defacement of imperial insignia and the spoliation of royal houses to political turbulence engendered by acts of tyrannical misrule; but the mutilation of _the cross_–the _universal_ Christian emblem–remains to be explained, unless we attribute it to the brutal ignorance of the spoilers. Its religious universality ought consistently to protect it from intolerance.

We must not bring this paper to a close without explaining that the preceding Engravings have been copied from the first of Mr. Rhodes’s excursions of seventeen miles, viz. from Sheffield to Tideswell. The Abbey and the two Crosses therefore occur in that district. The original plates are effectively engraved by W. and W.B. Cook, from drawings by Mr. Chantrey, R.A., who presented to Mr. Rhodes a series of drawings for his work, “as a token of his friendship, and a mark of his attachment to his native country.”

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The late French premier, was the son of a rich merchant at Grenoble, where he was born October 12, 1777. At an early age he entered the army: he served in the Italian campaigns of 1799 and 1800, in the staff of the Military Engineers. On the death of his father, however, he quitted the service and devoted himself wholly to commercial pursuits. In 1802, he opened a bank at Paris, and subsequently, establishments for cotton-spinning and sugar-refining, and a steam flour mill, all of which were eminently successful, and contributed to the formation of his immense fortune. He first became known to the public in 1816, by a pamphlet against the foreign loan system, which was equally remarkable for its clearness of argument and profound knowledge of finance. In 1817, he was elected one of the Deputies for the Department of the Seine, and from that time until the revolution of 1830, he continued the firm opponent of every ministerial encroachment on the rights and privileges of the people. He particularly distinguished himself by his hostility to the Villele administration; himself supporting almost singly the whole burden of the opposition to the famous budget of Villele, which he disputed, item by item, with talent and perseverance worthy of entering the lists with the distinguished financier to whom he was opposed. When M. de Polignac became President of the Council, the opposition of M. Perier assumed a more violent character, and he was pre-eminent among the 221 deputies who voted the address which led to the fatal ordonnances of July. When the revolution broke out, he at once avowed himself the advocate of the popular cause, and opened his house as the place of meeting of the deputies, who assembled to protest against the illegality of the proceedings of the Crown. Firmly, however, attached to the principles of constitutional opposition, and shrinking, therefore, from the probable effects of a revolution, he was one of the last to abandon the hope that his infatuated sovereign would open his eyes to the gulf on the brink of which he was standing, and by a timely revocation of the ordonnances, prevent the necessity of the extreme measure of an appeal to arms, and a consequent change of dynasty. When these became inevitable, M. Perier attached himself firmly to the work of consolidating the new throne of Louis Philippe, and reassembling those elements of order and stability which the convulsion of July had scattered, but not annihilated. On the dissolution of the ministry of M. Lafitte, M. Casimir Perier was called to the head of the government, and immediately entered into the system of conservative policy, which he continued until the close of his career. The last time he took any important part in the debates of the Chamber of Deputies was on the 20th of March, when he made an ingenious defence of the conduct of government with respect to the events of Grenoble. His last appearance in the Chamber was on the 29th of March, when he merely brought in several private bills. On the 3rd of April he was attacked by the cholera, and, although the indefatigable care bestowed on him by his medical attendants had more than once apparently eradicated the disease, his frame, enfeebled by a long standing internal complaint, as well as by his intense and incessant application, was unable to resist the violence of the disease, and, after several relapses, he at length sunk under his sufferings, on the morning of the 16th of May, 1832.

As an orator M. Perier was energetic and impassioned: the natural warmth of his temper, added to the irritability produced by illness, frequently imparted a _brusque_ acerbity to his style, which injured both the oratorical and moral effect of his eloquence; but his reasoning was forcible, and his manner commanding and effective. “It is not our province,” says the editor of the Journal, whence these particulars have been chiefly obtained, “to examine the merits or demerits of his political system: recorders of, not actors in, the great political struggle in which France is engaged, we have too often had occasion to quote the enthusiastic eulogiums and unmeasured invectives heaped upon him by different parties, to render it necessary to repeat here, that he possessed the strongest proofs against the reproach of mediocrity ever being applicable to him.”


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[The elegantly embellished volumes by Mrs. Jamieson, with the above attractive title, present the prettiest code of ladye-philosophy we have ever witnessed on paper. They aim at illustrating the characters of Intellect, Passion, and Imagination, the Affections, and what are purely Historical Characters, in the females of Shakspeare’s Plays. Such is the design: of its beautiful execution we can give the reader but a faint idea by extracting from Passion and Imagination, part of the _Character of Juliet_:–]

It is not without emotion, that I attempt to touch on the character of Juliet. Such beautiful things have already been said of her–only to be exceeded in beauty by the subject that inspired them!–it is impossible to say any thing better; but it is possible to say something more. Such in fact is the simplicity, the truth, and the loveliness of Juliet’s character, that we are not at first aware of its complexity, its depth, and its variety. There is in it an intensity of passion, a singleness of purpose, an entireness, a completeness of effect, which we feel as a whole; and to attempt to analyze the impression thus conveyed at once to soul and sense, is as if while hanging-over a half-blown rose, and revelling in its intoxicating perfume, we should pull it asunder, leaflet by leaflet, the better to display its bloom and fragrance. Yet how otherwise should we disclose the wonders of its formation, or do justice to the skill of the divine hand that hath thus fashioned it in its beauty?

All Shakspeare’s women, being essentially women, either love, or have loved, or are capable of loving; but Juliet is love itself. The passion is her state of being, and out of it she has no existence. It is the soul within her soul; the pulse within her heart; the life-blood along her veins, “blending with every atom of her frame.” The love that is so chaste and dignified in Portia–so airy-delicate, and fearless in Miranda–so sweetly confiding in Perdita–so playfully fond in Rosalind–so constant in Imogem–so devoted in Desdemona–so fervent in Helen–so tender in Viola,–is each and all of these in Juliet. All these remind us of her; but she reminds us of nothing but her own sweet self: or if she does, it is of the Grismunda, or the Lisetta, or the Fiamminetta of Boccaccio, to whom she is allied, not in the character or circumstances, but in the truly Italian spirit, the glowing, national complexion of the portrait.[6]

[6] Lord Byron has remarked of the Italian women, (and he could speak _avec connaissance de fait_,) that they are the only women in the world capable of impressions at once very sudden and very durable; which, he adds, is to be found in no other nation. Mr. Moore observes afterwards, how completely an Italian woman, either from nature or her social position, is led to invert the usual course of frailty among ourselves, and weak in resisting the first impulses of passion, to reserve the whole strength her character for a display of constancy and devotedness afterwards.–Both these traits of national character are exemplified in Juliet.–_Moore’s Life of Byron_, vol. ii p. 303, 338, 4to edit.

There was an Italian painter who said that the secret of all effect in colour consisted in white upon black, and black upon white. How perfectly did Shakspeare understand this secret of effect! and how beautifully he has exemplified it in Juliet!

So shews a snowy dove trooping with crows, As yonder lady o’er her follows shews!

Thus she and her lover are in contrast with all around them. They are all love, surrounded with all hate; all harmony, surrounded with all discord; all pure nature, in the midst of polished and artificial life. Juliet, like Portia, is the foster-child of opulence and splendour: she dwells in a fair city–she has been nurtured in a palace–she clasps her robe with jewels–she braids her hair with rainbow-tinted pearls; but in herself she has no more connexion with the trappings around her, than the lovely exotic transplanted from some Eden-like climate, has with the carved and gilded conservatory which has reared and sheltered its luxuriant beauty.

But in this vivid impression of contrast, there is nothing abrupt or harsh. A tissue of beautiful poetry weaves together the principal figures and the subordinate personages. The consistent truth of the costume, and the exquisite gradations of relief with which the most opposite hues are approximated, blend all into harmony. Romeo and Juliet are not poetical beings placed on a prosaic background; nor are they, like Thekla and Max in the Wallenstein, two angels of light amid the darkest and harshest, the most debased and revolting aspects of humanity; but every circumstance, and every personage, and every shade of character in each, tends to the developement of the sentiment which is the subject of the drama. The poetry, too, the richest that can possibly be conceived, is interfused through all the characters; the splendid imagery lavished upon all with the careless prodigality of genius, and all is lighted up into such a sunny brilliance of effect, as though Shakspeare had really transported himself into Italy, and had drunk to intoxication of her genial atmosphere. How truly it has been said, that “although Romeo and Juliet are in love, they are not love-sick!” What a false idea would any thing of the mere whining amoroso, give us of Romeo, such as he is really in Shakspeare–the noble, gallant, ardent, brave, and witty! And Juliet–with even less truth could the phrase or idea apply to her! The picture in “Twelfth Night” of the wan girl dying of love, “who pined in thought, and with a green and yellow melancholy,” would never surely occur to us, when thinking on the enamoured and impassioned Juliet, in whose bosom love keeps a fiery vigil, kindling tenderness into enthusiasm, enthusiasm into passion, passion into heroism! No, the whole sentiment of the play is of a far different cast. It is flushed with the genial spirit of the south; it tastes of youth, and of the essence of youth; of life, and of the very sap of life. We have indeed the struggle of love against evil destinies and a thorny world; the pain, the grief, the anguish, the terror, the despair:–the aching adieu; the pang unutterable of parted affection; and rapture, truth, and tenderness trampled into an early grave: but still an Elysian grace lingers round the whole, and the blue sky of Italy bends over all!

Lord Byron’s Haidee is a copy of Juliet in the Oriental costume, but the development is epic, not dramatic.

I remember no dramatic character, conveying the same impression of singleness of purpose, and devotion of heart and soul, except the Thekla of Schiller’s Wallenstein: she is the German Juliet; far unequal, indeed, but conceived, nevertheless, in a kindred spirit. I know not if critics have ever compared them, or whether Schiller is supposed to have had the English, or rather the Italian, Juliet in his fancy when he portrayed Thekla; but there are some striking points of coincidence, while the national distinction in the character of the passion leaves to Thekla a strong cast of originality.

With regard to the termination of the play, which has been a subject of much critical argument, it is well-known that Shakspeare, following the old English versions, has departed from the original story of Da Porta;[7] and I am inclined to believe that Da Porta, in making Juliet waken from her trance while Romeo yet lives, and in his terrible final scene between the lovers, has departed from the old tradition, and as a romance, has certainly improved it: but that which is effective in a narrative is not always calculated for the drama; and I cannot but agree with Schlegel, that Shakspeare has done well and wisely in adhering to the old story.[8] Can we doubt for a moment that Shakspeare, who has given us the catastrophe of Othello, and the tempest scene in Lear, might also have adopted these additional circumstances of horror in the fate of the lovers, and have so treated them as to harrow up our very souls–had it been his object to do so? But apparently it was _not_. The tale is one,

Such, as once heard, in gentle heart destroys All pain but pity.

[7] The “Giulietta” of Luigi da Porta was written about 1520. In a popular little book published in 1565, thirty years before Shakspeare wrote his tragedy, the name of Juliet occurs as an example of faithful love, and is thus explained by a note in the margin. “Juliet, a noble maiden of the citie of Verona, which loved Romeo, eldest son of the Lord Monteschi; and being privily married together, he at last poisoned himself for love of her: she, for sorrow of his death, slew herself with his dagger.” This note, which furnishes in brief, the whole argument of Shakspeare’s play, might possibly have made the first impression on his fancy.

[8] There is nothing so improbable in the story of Romeo and Juliet as to make us doubt the tradition that it is a real fact. “The Veronese,” says Lord Byron, in one of his letters from Verona, “are tenacious to a degree of the truth of Juliet’s story, insisting on the fact, giving the date 1303, and showing a tomb. It is a plain, open, and partly decayed sarcophagus, with withered leaves in it, in a wild and desolate conventual garden–once a cemetery, now ruined, to the very graves! The situation struck me as very appropriate to the legend, being blighted as their love.” He might have added, that when Verona itself, with its amphitheatre and its Palladian structures, lies level with the earth, the very spot on which it stood will still be consecrated by the memory of Juliet. When in Italy, I met a gentleman, who being then “_dans le genre romantique_,” wore a fragment of Juliet’s tomb set in a ring.

It is in truth a tale of love and sorrow, not of anguish and terror. We behold the catastrophe afar off with scarcely a wish to avert it. Romeo and Juliet _must_ die: their destiny is fulfilled: they have quaffed off the cup of life, with all its infinite of joys and agonies, in one intoxicating draught. What have they to do more upon this earth? Young, innocent, loving, and beloved, they descend together into the tomb: but Shakspeare has made that tomb a shrine of martyred and sainted affection consecrated for the worship of all hearts,–not a dark charnel vault, haunted by spectres of pain, rage, and desperation.

The poem, which opened with the enmity of the two families, closes with their reconciliation over the breathless remains of their children; and no violent, frightful, or discordant feeling, is suffered to mingle with that soft impression of melancholy left within the heart, and which Schlegel compares to one long, endless sigh.

“A youthful passion,” says Goethe, (alluding to one of his own early attachments), “which is conceived and cherished without any certain object, may be compared to a shell thrown from a mortar by night: it rises calmly in a brilliant track, and seems to mix, and even to dwell for a moment, with the stars of heaven; but at length it falls–it bursts–consuming and destroying all around even as itself expires.”

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At Aix-la-Chapelle, situated nearly in the centre of his vast dominions, and in a salubrious climate, Charlemagne had fixed upon a spot for building a palace, in the neighbourhood of some natural warm baths,–a Roman luxury, in which the Frankish monarch particularly delighted. All that the great conception of Charlemagne could devise, and the art of the age could execute, was done, to render this structure, and the church attached to it, worthy of their magnificent founder. But no account can be given;[9] for nothing has come down to the present age which can justify any thing like detailed description. Nevertheless, a number of circumstances in regard to this building are occasionally mentioned in the historians of the time, that convey an idea of vastness and splendour, which probably might have been lost had minute examination been possible. Immense halls[10]–magnificent galleries–a college–a library–baths, where a hundred persons could swim at large–a theatre and a cathedral–a profuse display of the finest marble–gates and doors of wrought brass–columns from Rome, and pavements from Ravenna,–such, we know, to have been some of the many things which that great palace displayed.

[9] In all probability, the crypt of the church of Aix-la-Chapelle, as it stands at present, is all that remains of the original edifice.

[10] The baths of Aix-la-Chapelle, constructed by the emperor for the enjoyment of this recreation, were of immense extent; and while their splendour and their size showed the progress of luxury, the manner in which they were used, evinces the curious simplicity and condescension of the monarch. “Not only his sons,” says Eginhard, “but also the great men of his court, his friends, and the soldiers of his guard, were invited to partake of the enjoyment which the monarch had provided for himself; so that sometimes as many as a hundred persons were known to bathe there together.”

Workmen were gathered together from every part of Europe; and, though but small reliance can be placed upon the anecdotes related by the Monk of St. Gall, it is evident, from every account, that the building must have been the most magnificent architectural effort which Europe had beheld since the days of the splendour of ancient Rome.

Besides the palace itself, we find, that an immense number of buildings were constructed around it, for the accommodation of every one in any way connected with the court, and adjoining, were particular halls, open at all times, and in which all classes and conditions might find a refuge from the cold of night, or from the wintry storm.[11]

[11] Stoves were furnished also to warm those who might take refuge in these general chambers; and the Monk of St. Gaul asserts, that the apartments of Charlemagne were so constructed, that he could see everything which took place in the building round about,–an impossible folly, imagined by the small cunning of a monk.

Within the walls, was that famous domestic college, on the maintenance, extension, and direction of which Charlemagne, amidst all the multiplicity of his occupations, found means to bestow so much of his time and attention. But every trace of his actions tends to prove, that his first and greatest, object–to which even conquest was secondary, if not subservient–was to civilize his dominions, and to raise mankind in general from that state of dark ignorance into which barbarian invasion had cast the world.

During the first ten or fifteen years after its establishment, the college of the palace had probably followed the court during its frequent migrations, notwithstanding the number of members, and the difficulty of transporting the library, which soon became considerable. Many circumstances, however, seem to show, that after the construction of the great palace at Aix-la-Chapelle, it became fixed in that place. The library, we know, was there concentrated; and several of the books thus collected, such as the Codex Carolinus, &c. have come down through a long line of emperors to the present day. Indeed, a great part of the most valuable literature of former ages, was preserved alone by the efforts of the French monarch for the revival of science; and the link of connexion between ancient and modern civilization, owes its existence, as much to the endeavours of Charlemagne, as even to the papal preservation of antique Rome.

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In the reign of Charlemagne, in the year 796, the mode of writing underwent a change. The rude characters employed under the Merovingian race were disused, and the small Roman letters were introduced. As the spirit of improvement proceeded, new alterations were sought; and some years afterwards, to write in the large Roman capitals, became the mode of the day, the initial letter of each paragraph being always highly ornamented, and sometimes painted, many specimens of which have come down to the present time. Though at an advanced[12] period of life when this method of writing first began to prevail, Charlemagne endeavoured to learn it, and even caused models of the letters to be laid by his pillow, that during the waking moments of the night, he might practise the art which he sought to acquire.

[12] I do not know whether it be worth while to attempt to refute the opinion which has been founded on an erroneous passage in Eginhard, that Charlemagne could not write. Eginhard understood, as Gibbon says, the court and the world, and the Latin language, it is true; but, nevertheless, we may much more rationally believe that the secretary made use of a vague expression, than suppose that he wished to imply, in one sentence, the manifest contradiction of Charlemagne being in the habit of going through all the abstruse calculations of astronomy, in an age when those calculations were most complicated, without being able to write. The whole of Charlemagne’s life renders the supposition absurd. He studied under Alcuin, whose first rule was to teach the most correct orthography in writing. We know that he subscribed many deeds, though his signature was abbreviated, to render it as rapid as possible. Eginhard himself states, that the monarch wrote the history of the ancient kings in verse: and Lambecius, one of the highest antiquarian authorities, declares, that the imperial library still contains a manuscript, corrected by the hand of Charlemagne himself.

Nor did the monarch remain satisfied with leading the way himself on the path of knowledge which he desired the whole nation to follow; nor content himself with bestowing on his children a careful and judicious education, both mental and corporeal; but by constantly proposing in writing questions for solution, addressed to the various prelates and teachers of his realm, he forced them to exercise their talents and cultivate their minds, under the severe penalty of shame and ridicule. On the other hand, literary merit was never without its reward, for though, as far as we can discover, Charlemagne, wise in his generosity, seldom if ever gave more than one profitable charge at once to one man, yet those who distinguished themselves by talent and exertion, were sure to meet with honour, distinction, and competence.–_James_.

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[Two Illustrations]

The following very curious notice respecting the money (coin and value) for which Judas Iscariot betrayed our Redeemer, (and afterwards, with it, purchased “the Potter’s Field, to bury strangers in,”) is extracted from _The Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem_, by ANDREW FAVINE, 1620, and will no doubt prove acceptable to the reader:–

“In this citty of Rhodes they did beate and stamp money of silver, in bignesse somewhat neare to an half teston of France, but yet much thicker, and the figures thereon more embossed than ours are. These pieces of silver are like to the halfe sickle of the Jews, or the diobrachma of the Romaines, but they be more worth. There is a tradition, that the thirtie pence, for which the Saviour of the world was sold and delivered to the Jews, by the traitor, Judas, were of this kinde. And in very deede, in the Church of the Holy Crosse of Jerusalem, at Rome, is to be seene one of those thirtie pence, which is wholly like to that in the Church of the Temple, in the citty of Paris. It is enchased in a shrine, and is to be seene but thorow a christall glasse, and on the side which may be noated, appeareth nothing but a head.

“The learned Gulielmus Budeus, the honour of our Citty of Paris, and of all France, in the remarkable tract which he wrote, _De Asse_, affirmeth that he had scene the pennie of silver, in the Temple at Paris, and that on it was represented a head, as in truth there is. But, concerning the other side, neither the learned Cardinall Baronius, nor Budeus, doe speake anything else; then of the weight of those silver pence, which the Evangelists tearme Argenteos. One of those silver pence of Rhodes I have, and both the sides thereof, in this manner I shew to you (_vide Engraving_).

“I have confronted and compared it with the sight of that pennie at Rome, and the other in the Temple at Paris, and they are all three alike, both in the visage and in the circumference. Mine is in weight two groates, a halfe pennie less of silver, which commeth to twelve sols and one liard. On the other (_one?_) side, it hath the visage of the sunne, like to the fashion of a young man’s face, without a beard, with long locks of hayre, as here it is figured, and as poets have feigned. On the other side is a blowne rose, higher and greater than ours are;[13] which commeth somewhat neare in resemblance to the rose which we tearme of Jericho, and which are brought from the Holy Land. Upon this pennie the rose hath, on eache side, a button, (bud) the one whereof beginneth to blome, but not the other. Above the rose, on the ring of the piece, is formed in capitall Greeke letters, [Greek: RODION], (Rhodian,) which signifieth, and would say (if it could) _a rose_. At the foote whereof is this sillable, EY. (Favine then mentions the arms of Rhodes, which, as well as we are able to translate the old French, left untranslated, appears to be Field _d’Argent_, a rose _proper_, with buds; _gules_, stalk, _de synople_.) So,” he continues, “that thirtie pence of this money amounteth not but altogether to the summe of eighteen poundes seaven shillings and sixe-pence of our money, and seemeth a very small summe for buying a piece of ground, or land, which the Evangelists call Ackeldemach, (Alcedaema), ‘The Potter’s Field,’ so neere to Jerusalem peopled with more than a million of men, solde for an offence, and with condition that it should never be redeemed, in regard it was destined for the Burial-place of Pilgrims, which came to Jerusalem at the solemn Feasts there held; and every one well knoweth, that (amongst the Jews) inheritances were sold, more or less, according as the conditions were made, either neere, or further off, from the yeare of jubilee, which they feasted from fifty yeares, to fifty yeares; a feast, so solemnly observed among them, that the sellers did then re-enter into their sold inheritances, which they possessed again freely, and without any charge, or paying any arrerages, according as it was ordained by their law, in the five-and-twentieth chapter of Leviticus. But it may be, this Potter’s Field was (in parte) bought with those thirtie pence, and the other parte might be the almes and giftes of the proprietaries or owners, both in the Temple of Jerusalem and publickly, for so good a subject as the buriall of pilgrims, and poore strangers. For ever, and beside the offerings and Tribute-money, which the Jews offered and paid to the treasurers in the Temple, for maintaining the Tribe of Levi, (the deserving ministers thereof) who, at the distribution and division of the Land of Promise to the Jewish people, had not any lot or partage (but were assigned to the Jews devotion,) inheritances might be legacied to them, which falling into mortmaine, could not be redeemed by any custome of kindred, whatsoever jubilee might be alledged, or selling, or alienating, as it is written in the seaven-and-twentieth of Leviticus. And such an inheritance was called _Ager Anathematis_–a field wholly dedicated and consecrated to God; and which from thenceforward, might fall no more into any secular, or prophane hand.”

[13] Amongst other interpretations of “_Under the Rose_,” why may we not conjecture that it may have something to do with _bribes to silence?_ with _hush-money?_ the _Rose_, in many countries, being not an unusual stamp on their coins.

After this erudite disquisition, which endeavours to account for the _smallness_ of the sum for which our blessed Lord was betrayed, and for which Alcedama was purchased, how would honest Andrew Favine stare, could he learn that modern commentators have, _without comment_, assigned something less than _one-fifth_ of 18_l_. 7_s_. 6_d_. as the “price of innocent blood.” We transcribe in proof, the annotation on Mat. 26 c. 15 v. from D’Oyly and Mant’s Bible:–“‘_Thirty pieces of silver_.’ Thirty shekels, about 3_l_. 10_s_. 8_d_. of our money. It appears from Exod. 21 c. 32 v., that this was the price to be paid for a slave or servant, when killed by a beast. So vilely was HE esteemed, who shed his precious blood for man; and so true it is, that _Christ_ took upon him the form of a servant.” Now, the Jewish _shekel_ being valued at 2_s_. 4-1/4_d_. and the coin of the _next_ superior denomination, (the _maneh_) being set down in our Bible money-tables, at 7_l_. 1_s_. 5_d_. it is clear that _several_ of _intermediate value_ must have existed, for exchange, which might reconcile this difference. M.L.B.

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[A series of characteristic sketches of Life in the Navy, has appeared in the successive numbers of the _Metropolitan_, from the pen of Captain Marryatt, author of the _King’s Own_, and other popular novels, with a high stamp of originality. The sketches before us are entitled Peter Simple, and detail the early adventures of a Middy with much of that delightful ease we are wont to admire in the writings of Smollett, Fielding, and the _character_ novelists of the latter half of the past century. The style of Captain Marryatt is fresh, vigorous, and racy–“native and to the manner born,”–abounding in lively anecdote, but never straying into caricature–with just enough of the romance of life to keep the incidents afloat from commonplace, and probability above-board. This and the following are specimen sketches.]

We all had leave from the first lieutenant to go to Portdown fair, but he would only allow the oldsters to sleep on shore. We anticipated so much pleasure from our excursion, that some of us were up, and went away in the boat sent for fresh beef. This was very foolish. There were no carriages to take us to the fair, nor indeed any fair so early in the morning: the shops were all shut, and the Blue Posts, where we always rendezvoused was hardly open. We waited there in the coffee-room, until we were driven out by the maid sweeping away the dirt, and were forced to walk about until she had finished, and lighted the fire, when we ordered our breakfast; but how much better would it have been to have taken our breakfast comfortably on board, and then to have come on shore, especially as we had no money to spare. Next to being too late, being too soon is the worst plan in the world. However, we had our breakfast, and paid the bill; then we sallied forth, and went up George Street, where we found all sorts of vehicles ready to take us to the fair. We got into one which they called a dilly. I asked the man who drove us why it was so called, and he replied because he only charged a shilling. O’Brien, who had joined us after breakfasting on board, said that this answer reminded him of one given to him by a man who attended the hackney-coach stands in London. “Pray,” said he, “why are you called Watermen?” “Watermen,” replied the man, “vy, sir, ’cause ve opens the hackney-coach doors.” At last, with plenty of whipping, and plenty of swearing, and a great deal of laughing, the old horse, whose back curved upwards like a bow, from the difficulty of dragging so many, arrived at the bottom of Portdown hill, where we got out, and walked up to the fair. It really was a most beautiful sight. The bright blue sky, and the coloured flags flapping about in all directions, the grass so green, and the white tents and booths, the sun shining so bright, and the shining gilt gingerbread, the variety of toys and variety of noise, the quantity of people and the quantity of sweetmeats; little boys so happy, and shop people so polite, the music at the booths, and the bustle and eagerness of the people outside, made my heart quite jump. There was Richardson, with a clown and harlequin, and such beautiful women, dressed in clothes all over gold spangles, dancing reels and waltzes, and looking so happy! There was Flint and Gyngell, with fellows tumbling over head and heels, playing such tricks–eating fire, and drawing yards of tape out of their mouths. Then there was the Royal Circus, all the horses standing in a line, with men and women standing on their backs, waving flags, while the trumpeters blew their trumpets. And the largest giant in the world, and Mr. Paap, the smallest dwarf in the world, and a female dwarf, who was smaller still, and Miss Biffin, who did every thing without legs or arms. There was also the learned pig, and the Herefordshire ox, and a hundred other sights which I cannot now remember. We walked about for an hour or two, seeing the outside of every thing: we determined to go and see the inside. First we went into Richardson’s, where we saw a bloody tragedy, with a ghost and thunder, and afterwards a pantomime, full of tricks, and tumbling over one another. Then we saw one or two other things, I forget which, but this I know, that generally speaking, the outside was better than the inside. After this, feeling very hungry, we agreed to go into a booth and have something to eat. The tables were ranged all around, and in the centre there was a boarded platform for dancing. The ladies were there already dressed for partners; and the music was so lively, that I felt very much inclined to dance, but we had agreed to go and see the wild beasts fed at Mr. Polito’s menagerie, and as it was now almost eight o’clock, we paid our bill and set off. It was a very curious sight, and better worth seeing than any thing in the fair; I never had an idea that there were so many strange animals in existence. They were all secured in iron cages, and a large chandelier, with twenty lights, hung in the centre of the booth, and lighted them up, while the keeper went round and stirred them up with his long pole; at the same time he gave us their histories, which were very interesting. I recollect a few of them. There was the tapir, a great pig with a long nose, a variety of the hiptostomass, which the keeper said was an amphibious animal, as couldn’t live on land, and _dies_ in the water–however, it seemed to live very well in a cage. Then there was the kangaroo with its young ones peeping out of it–a most astonishing animal. The keeper said that it brought forth two young ones at a birth, and then took them into its stomach again, until they arrived at years of discretion. Then there was the pelican of the wilderness, (I shall not forget him,) with a large bag under his throat, which the man put on his head as a night-cap; this bird feeds its young with its own blood–when fish are scarce. And there was the laughing hyaena, who cries in the wood like a human being in distress, and devours those who come to his assistance–a sad instance of the depravity of human nature, as the keeper observed. There was a beautiful creature, the royal Bengal tiger, only three years old, what growed ten inches every year, and never arrived at its full growth. The one we saw measured, as the keeper told us, sixteen feet from the snout to the tail, and seventeen feet from the tail to the snout; but there must have been some mistake there. There was a young elephant and three lions, and several other animals, which I forget now, so I shall go on to describe the tragical scene which occurred. The keeper had poked up all the animals, and had commenced feeding them. The great lion was growling and snarling over the shin bone of an ox, cracking it like a nut, when by some mismanagement, one end of the pole upon which the chandelier was suspended fell down, striking the door of the cage in which the lioness was at supper, and bursting it open. It was all done in a second; the chandelier fell, the cage opened, and the lioness sprung out. I remember to this moment seeing the body of the lioness in the air, and then all as dark as pitch. What a change! not a moment before all of us staring with delight and curiosity, and then to be left in darkness, horror and dismay! There was such screaming and shrieking, such crying, and fighting, and pushing, and fainting, nobody knew where to go, or how to find their way out. The people crowded first on one side, and then on the other, as their fears instigated them. I was very soon jammed up with my back against the bars of one of the cages, and feeling some beast lay hold of me behind, made a desperate effort, and succeeded in climbing up to the cage above, not however without losing the seat of my trousers, which the laughing hyaena would not let go. I hardly knew where I was when I climbed up; but I knew the birds were mostly stationed above. However, that I might not have the front of my trousers torn as well as the behind, as soon as I gained my footing I turned round, with my back to the bars of the cage; but I had not been there a minute, before I was attacked by something which digged into me like a pickaxe, and as the hyaena had torn my clothes, I had no defence against it. To turn round would have been worse still; so after having received above a dozen stabs, I contrived by degrees to shift my position, until I was opposite to another cage, but not until the pelican, for it was that brute, had drawn as much blood from me as would have fed his young for a week. I was surmising what danger I should next encounter, when to my joy I discovered that I had gained the open door from which the lioness had escaped. I crawled in, and pulled the door too after me, thinking myself very fortunate; and there I sat very quietly in a corner during the remainder of the noise and confusion. I had not been there but a few minutes, when the beef-eaters, as they were called, who played the music outside, came in with torches and loaded muskets. The sight which presented itself was truly shocking; twenty or thirty men, women, and children, lay on the ground, and I thought at first the lioness had killed them all, but they were only in fits, or had been trampled down by the crowd. No one was seriously hurt. As for the lioness, she was not to be found; and as soon as it was ascertained that she had escaped, there was as much terror and scampering away outside, as there had been in the menagerie. It appeared afterwards, that the animal had been as much frightened as we had been, and had secreted himself under one of the wagons. It was sometime before she could be found. At last O’Brien who was a very brave fellow, went a-head of the beef-eaters, and saw her eyes glaring. They borrowed a net or two from the carts which had brought calves to the fair, and threw them over her. When she was fairly entangled, they dragged her by the tail into the menagerie. All this while I had remained very quietly in the den, but when I perceived that its lawful owner had come back again to retake possession, I thought it was time to come out; so I called to my messmates, who with O’Brien were assisting the beef-eaters. They had not discovered me, and laughed very much when they saw where I was. One of the midshipmen shot the bolt of the door, so that I could not jump out, and then stirred me up with a long pole. At last I contrived to unbolt it again, and got out, when they laughed still more, at the seat of my trousers being torn off. It was not exactly a laughing matter to me, although I had to congratulate myself upon a very lucky escape: and so did my messmates think, when I narrated my adventures. The pelican was the worst part of the business. O’Brien lent me a dark silk handkerchief, which I tied round my waist, and let drop behind, so that my misfortunes might not attract any notice, and then we quitted the menagerie; but I was so stiff that I could scarcely walk.


We had a new messmate of the name of M’Foy. I was on the quarter-deck when he came on board and presented a letter to the captain, inquiring first if his name was “Captain Sauvage.” He was a florid young man nearly six feet high, with sandy hair, yet very good-looking. As his career in the service was very short, I will tell at once what I did not find out till some time afterwards. The captain had agreed to receive him to oblige a brother officer, who had retired from the service, and lived in the Highlands of Scotland. The first notice which the captain had of the arrival of Mr. M’Foy, was from a letter written to him by the young man’s uncle. This amused him so much, that he gave it to the first lieutenant to read. It ran as follows;–

Glasgow, April 25th, 1—.


“Our much esteemed and mutual friend, Captain M’Alpine, having communicated by letter, dated the 14th inst., your kind intentions relative to my nephew Sholto M’Foy, (for which you will be pleased to accept my best thanks,) I write to acquaint you that he is now on his way to join your ship the Diomede, and will arrive, God willing, twenty-six hours after the receipt of this letter.

“As I have been given to understand by those who have some acquaintance with the service of the King, that his equipment as an officer will be somewhat expensive, I have considered it but fair to ease your mind as to any responsibility on that score, and have therefore enclosed the half of a Bank of England note for ten pounds sterling, No. 3742, the other half of which will be duly forwarded in a frank promised to me the day after tomorrow. I beg you will make the necessary purchases, and apply the balance, should there be any, to his mess account, or any other expenses which you may consider warrantable or justifiable.

“It is at the same time proper to inform you, that Sholto had ten shillings in his pocket at the time of his leaving Glasgow; the satisfactory expenditure of which I have no doubt you will inquire into, as it is a large sum to be placed at the discretion of a youth only fourteen years and five months old. I mention his age, as Sholto is so tall that you might be deceived by his appearance, and be induced to trust to his prudence in affairs of this serious nature. Should he at any time require further assistance beyond his pay, which I am told is extremely handsome to all king’s officers, I beg you to consider that any draft of yours, at ten days’ sight, to the amount of five pounds sterling English, will be duly honoured by the firm of Monteith, M’Killop, and Company, of Glasgow. Sir, with many thanks for your kindness and consideration,

“I remain your most obedient,


The letter brought on board by M’Foy was to prove his identity. While the captain read it, M’Foy stared about him like a wild stag. The captain welcomed him to the ship, asked him one or two questions, introduced him to the first lieutenant, and then went on shore. The first lieutenant had asked me to dine in the gun-room; and when the captain pulled on shore, he also invited Mr. M’Foy, when the following conversation took place.

“Well, Mr. M’Foy, you have had a long journey; I presume it is the first that you have ever made.”

“Indeed is it, Sir,” replied M’Foy; “and sorely I’ve been pestered. Had I minded all they whispered in my lug as I came along, I had need been made of money–sax-pence here, sax-pence there, sax-pence every where. Sich extortion I ne’er dreamt of.”

“How did you come from Glasgow?”

“By the wheel-boat, or steam-boat, as they ca’d it, to Lunnon: where they charged me sax-pence for taking my baggage on shore–wee boxy nae bigger than yon cocked-up hat. I would fain carry it mysel’, but they wadna let me.”

“Well, where did you go to when you arrived in London?”

“I went to a place ca’d Chichester Rents, to the house of Storm and Mainwaring, Warehousemen, and they must have anither sax-pence for showing me the way. There I waited half-an-hour in the counting-house, till they took me to a place ca’d Bull and Mouth, and put me into a coach, paying my whole fare; nevertheless they must din me for money the whole of the way down. There was first the guard, and then the coachman, and another guard, and another coachman; but I wudna listen to them, and so they growled and abused me.”

“And when did you arrive?”

“I came here last night; and I only had a bed and a breakfast at the twa Blue Pillars’ house, for which they extortioned me three shillings and sax-pence, as I sit here. And then there was the chambermaid hussy and waiter loon axed me to remember them, and wanted more siller; but I told them, as I told the guard and coachman, that I had none for them.”

“How much of your ten shillings have you left?” inquired the first lieutenant, smiling.

“Hoot! sir lieutenant, how came you for to ken that? Eh! it’s my uncle Monteith at Glasgow. Why, as I sit here, I’ve but three shillings and a penny of it lift. But there’s a smell here that’s no canny; so I just go up again into the fresh air.”

When Mr. M’Foy quitted the gun-room, they all laughed very much. After he had been a short time on deck, he went down into the midshipmen’s berth; but he made himself very unpleasant, quarrelling and wrangling with every body. It did not, however, last very long; for he would not obey any orders that were given to him. On the third day, he quitted the ship without asking the permission of the first lieutenant; when he returned on board the following day, the first lieutenant put him under an arrest, and in charge of the sentry at the cabin door. During the afternoon I was under the half-deck, and perceived that he was sharpening a long clasp knife upon the after truck of the gun. I went up to him, and asked him why he was doing so, and he replied, as his eyes flashed fire, that it was to revenge the insult offered to the bluid of M’Foy. His look told me that he was in earnest. “But what do you mean?” inquired I. “I mean,” said he, drawing the edge and feeling the point of his weapon, “to put into the wheam of that man with the gold podge on his shoulder, who has dared to place me here.”

I was very much alarmed, and thought it my duty to state his murderous intentions, or worse might happen; so I walked up on deck and told the first lieutenant what M’Foy was intending to do, and how his life was in danger. Mr. Falcon laughed, and shortly afterwards went down on the main-deck. M’Foy’s eyes glistened, and he walked forward to where the first lieutenant was standing; but the sentry, who had been cautioned by me, kept him back with his bayonet. The first lieutenant turned round, and perceiving what was going on, desired the sentry to see if Mr. M’Foy had a knife in his hand; and he had it sure enough, open, and held behind his back. He was disarmed, and the first lieutenant, perceiving that the lad meant mischief, reported his conduct to the captain, on his arrival on board. The captain sent for M’Foy, who was very obstinate, and when taxed with his intention would not deny it, or even say that he would not again attempt it; so he was sent on shore immediately, and returned to his friends in the Highlands. We never saw any more of him; but I heard that he obtained a commission in the army, and three months after he had joined his regiment, was killed in a duel, resenting some fancied affront offered to the bluid of M’Foy.–_Metropolitan_

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Thurlow had travelled the —- Circuit for some years with little notice, and with no opportunity to put forth his abilities; when the housekeeper of a Duke of N—- was prosecuted for stealing a great deal of linen, with which she had been intrusted. An attorney of little note and practice conducted the woman’s case. He knew full well that he could expect no hearty co-operation in employing any of the leading counsel: it was a poor case, and a low case; and it could not be supposed that they, “the foremost men of all the bar,” would set themselves, “_tooth and nail_,” against the Duke, who in himself, his agents, and his friends, made the greatest part of every high legal and political assemblage in the country. The attorney looked round, therefore, for some young barrister who had nothing to lose, and might have something to win; and he fixed upon Thurlow. Thurlow read over his brief with the highest glee, and had an interview with the prisoner. As he entered the court, he jogged another briefless one like himself, and said, in his favourite slang language–“Neck or nothing, my boy, to-day! I’ll soar or tumble!” The opening speech of the eminent counsel for the Duke, and the evidence, completely convicted the woman. The articles stolen were brought into court. When Thurlow rose to cross-examine the leading witness, before he asked a question, he merely, bending his black brows upon the man, turned round, and desired to look at the things that were said to be stolen. They were before him all the time, and were then presented to him; and, without a word, he carelessly tossed them again upon the table before him. He now closely questioned the witness, as to points of honour and honesty; then, in a minute or two, again asked to see the things. He was informed that he had already had them handed to him, and that they were now before him. “I mean,” said he, with well-assumed ignorance, “the things that this unhappy woman is accused of having stolen.” The witness, with great sufficiency and knowledge, as if to prove his own correctness, pointed them out upon the table before him. “And what else?” said he. He was answered that they were the whole. “And you, Mr. Witness,” said he, with a sneer, “are the man of great trust, of accredited honour and honesty; and, full of your own consequence, and in high feather, you come here to follow up a prosecution against a fellow-servant, and a confidential one (you tell me), whom you have indicted as a felon, for taking these rags,” exhibiting some cloth that happened to be torn; “and this is the sum and substance of her offence! And all these witnesses,” pointing to a group, who had pushed themselves forward, “have been brought into this honourable court, to affix the ownership of the high and mighty noble Duke and Duchess to these cast-off, worn-out clothes! And here comes this fine gentleman to swear to the robber of that,” holding up the garment, “which he himself would not accept as a gift! Shame, say I; and I am certain every one of your hearts, Gentlemen of the Jury, reechoes my indignant feeling! Shame, say I, on everyone of the party,” pausing to give one of his looks to each individual, “that is concerned in such a business! Why, it is more like a conspiracy against this poor destitute woman, against whom I lament to see my very honourable and learned brethren,” pointing to the other counsel, “here arrayed–it is more like a conspiracy (not that my learned friends have lot, or part, or feeling in the business)–more like a conspiracy against this woman, than any, the least act of felony on her part. These clothes! I pray you look at them, Gentlemen of the Jury–these clothes!! Can you conceive, Gentlemen, that if you were a Duke and Duchess of N—-, you would have even offered to give a housekeeper, a woman of credit and respectability–a fellow-servant of this fine gentleman before you–such worn-out rags as these? Would you have thought it worthy of consideration, if such a servant had thought proper to appropriate to her own use a cart-load of this trumpery? If the poor woman did remove out of sight such trash as this, all I say is, that she seems to have had more respect for the credit and honour of that noble house than any of the people whose ridiculous pretensions to honesty have persecuted her and exhibited themselves here. _Gentlemen and Ladies_, witnesses! I have done with you; you may all leave the court!”

They were all glad to take him at the first word, and in a few minutes not one of them was to be seen. “I have heard,” he continued, “of the pride of a noble house, and of its poverty, being nearly allied; but here we have all the poverty and none of the pride!” Some one unluckily said that the things were not all in that torn state. “What,” said he, with the utmost contempt, looking to the party, “is there any one that wishes to exhibit his devoted baseness? Let him not whisper here behind my back, but come forward and get into the box.” He paused, and had no further interruption. “To you, Gentlemen of the Jury, I appeal. I ask you if you have seen enough of the rags of this noble family?” and he pulled out the worst piece of the linen, and held it at arm’s length during the greater part of a taunting speech of the same kind: then, throwing it contemptuously from him–“Away, away, I say, with these rags of the noble family of N—-!” (and some one gathered up all together, and took them out of court)–“and God grant that they may never rise up in judgment against them! Poor, weak, foolish woman! she took them as her perquisite. Perquisite indeed! her folly was her fault; for you have seen that they were not worth the taking.

“Gentlemen of the Jury, I cannot believe that you will lend yourselves to such a grovelling prosecution–_persecution_, as this. I pause not to investigate where the evil spirit arose, in principles or agents, against this injured and calumniated female. If the great ones of our earth will disgrace themselves–if they will listen to the suggestions of envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness, I trust that you, more humble members of the community, will not be partakers of these evil passions. Where the prosecutor has sustained no personal fear and no personal loss, it is impossible that any offence can have been committed. You are not twelve despots sitting upon a case of high treason against the game-laws, and are to have your consciences racked, to bring in a verdict of trespass, where no damage can be proved; you are not required to strain right against justice and honesty. What is the offence? How is our Lord the King or his subjects aggrieved? Those rags!–I know not what the splendid household of the Duke may require for matches and tinder; for this is all the value that can be attached to them. Shall we call for them back again, lest the Duke and the Duchess should lose their recovered treasure? I am not disposed to dispute their right; for even if they were the perquisite of the housekeeper, I am convinced that she would not get a farthing emolument for those tattered remnants of nobility. Of one thing I am well assured, that there is not a sufficiency of sound linen in the whole to make lint enough to cover the wound that the reputation of the noble Duke and Duchess has sustained in this disgraceful prosecution. Gentlemen, I will trouble you no further–I confidently expect your verdict.” And the woman was acquitted: and from that day the powers of Thurlow, in voice, sarcasm, gesture, and all the superior intonations of browbeating, which raised him to the most dangerous pinnacle of legal greatness, became known, and rapidly advanced him to fame,[14] and the grandchildren of his father to be enrolled among the established peers of our realm.

[14] “The foregoing anecdote was told to the writer by the late James Burton, Esq., of Lockeridge House, a seat of the Marquess of Aylesbury’s, near Marlborough. Mr. Burton married a daughter of the celebrated actress, Mrs. Cibber, by _General Sloper,_ a man of the highest fashion of _his_ day, from whom, I believe, Mr. Burton received the account; the particulars of which, as I have narrated, no doubt, many persons of Mr. Burton’s acquaintance still remember.”

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Mr. Knight is convinced by the evidence of experiments, “that the potato plant, under proper management, is capable of causing to be brought to market a much greater weight of vegetable food, from any given extent of ground, than any other plant which we possess.” There is no crop, he says, “so certain as that of potatoes; and it has the advantage of being generally most abundant, when the crops of wheat are defective; that is, in wet seasons.” The following observations are extremely interesting:–

“I think I shall be able to adduce some strong facts in support of my opinion, that by a greatly extended culture of the potato for the purpose of supplying the markets with vegetable food, a more abundant and more wholesome supply of food for the use of the labouring classes of society may be obtained, than wheat can ever afford, and, I believe, of a more palatable kind to the greater number of persons. I can just recollect the time when the potato was unknown to the peasantry of Herefordshire, whose gardens were then almost exclusively occupied by different varieties of the cabbage. Their food at that period consisted of bread and cheese with the produce of their gardens; and tea was unknown to them. About sixty-six years ago, before the potato was introduced into their gardens, agues had been so exceedingly prevalent, that the periods in which they, or their families, had been afflicted with that disorder, were the eras to which I usually heard them refer in speaking of past events; and I recollect being cautioned by them frequently not to stand exposed to the sun in May, lest I should get an ague. The potato was then cultivated in small quantities in the gardens of gentlemen, but it was not thought to afford wholesome nutriment, and was supposed by many to possess deleterious qualities. The prejudice of all parties, however, disappeared so rapidly, that within ten years the potato had almost wholly driven the cabbage from the gardens of the cottagers. Within the same period, ague, the previously prevalent disease of the country, disappeared; and no other species of disease became prevalent. I adduce this fact, as evidence only, that the introduction of the potato was not injurious to the health of the peasantry at that period; but whether its production was, or was not, instrumental in causing the disappearance of ague, I will not venture to give an opinion. I am, however, confident, that neither draining the soil (for that was not done,) nor any change in the general habits of the peasantry, had taken place, to which their improved health could be attributed. Bread is well known to constitute the chief food of the French peasantry. They are a very temperate race of men; and they possess the advantages of a very fine and dry climate. Yet the duration of life amongst them is very short, scarcely exceeding two thirds of the average duration of life in England; and in some districts much less. Dr. Hawkins, in his _Medical Statistics_, states, upon the authority of M. Villerme that, in the department of Indre, ‘one fourth of the children born die within the first year, and half between fifteen and twenty; and that three fourths are dead within the space of fifty years. Having inquired of a very eminent French physiologist, M. Dutrochet, who is resident in the department of Indre, the cause of this extraordinary mortality, he stated it to he their food, which consisted chiefly of bread; and of which he calculated every adult peasant to eat two pounds a day. And he added, without having received any leading question from me, of in any degree knowing my opinion upon the subject, that if the peasantry of his country would substitute (which they could do) a small quantity of animal food, with potatoes, instead of so much bread, they would live much longer, and with much better health. I am inclined to pay much deference to M. Dutrochet’s opinion; for he combines the advantages of a regular medical education with great acuteness of mind, and I believe him to be as well acquainted with the general laws of organic life as any person living: and I think his opinion deserves some support, from the well known fact, that the duration of human life has been much greater in England during the last sixty years, than in the preceding period of the same duration. Bread made of wheat, when taken in large quantities, has probably, more than any other article of food in use in this country, the effect of overloading the alimentary canal: and the general practice of the French physician points out the prevalence of diseases thence arising amongst their patients. I do not, however, think, or mean to say, that potatoes alone are proper food for any human being: but I feel confident, that four ounces of meat, with as large quantity of good potatoes as would wholly take away the sensation of hunger, would afford, during twenty-four hours, more efficient nutriment than could be derived from bread in any quantity, and might be obtained at much less expense.”–_Trans. Hort. Soc. quoted in Gardeners’ Mag._

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The Caliph Haroun al Raschid is stated to have maintained an unbroken friendship with his contemporary Charlemagne, throughout their mutual reign. A variety of magnificent presents attested the esteem of the caliph for his Christian friend. Among them were several objects, which tend to show the advance which art had made, at this time in the East. The first of these was a clock of gilded bronze, round which the course of the twelve hours was displayed; while, at the end of each hour, the number of brazen balls which were requisite to mark the division of time, were thrown out from above, and falling consecutively on a cymbal below, struck the hour required. In like manner a number of horsemen issued forth from windows placed around the dial; while a number of other clock-work miracles attested the height which the mechanical arts had reached at the court of Haroun.

The carriage of such objects, as the above presents sent from Bagdad to France, was, of course, attended with no small inconvenience; and the neglected state of the science of navigation, rendered the journeys of the ambassadors long and dangerous. Between three and four years were generally consumed in a mission from one capital to another; and, indeed, it happened more than once, that even after arriving within the dominions of the Frankish monarchs, the envoys had still to seek him over a tract nearly as extensive as that which they had before crossed.

_Parliamentary Debates_.–Originally these debates were given in the _Gentleman’s Magazine_, under the fiction of “Debates in the Senate of Liliput,” and the speakers were disguised under feigned names. Guthrie, for a time, composed these speeches from such hints as he could bring away in his memory. Dr. Johnson first assisted in this department, and then entirely filled it, and the public was highly gratified with the eloquence displayed in these compositions. P.T.W.

_Steam Carriages_.–By the formation of rail-roads, a loss has occurred in the revenue from stage coaches, to the amount of 8,384_l_.

_Electro-Magnetism_.–The largest electro-magnet is that constructed by the American philosophers. It is of a horse-shoe form, and weighs about 60 lbs.; around it are 26 coils of wire, the united lengths of which are 800 feet. When excited by about five feet of galvanic surface, it is said to have supported nearly two tons. We here see that the exciting cause of magnetism is the action of the galvanic battery; and a variety of other interesting experiments in electro-magnetics, tend to the conclusion that the magnetic and electric fluids are nearly allied.–_Imperial Magazine._

_Salary of the Chancellor, 700 years since_.–The salary of the Chancellor, as fixed by Henry I., amounted to five shillings per diem, and a livery of provisions.

_Dibdin_.–On the tombstone of Dibdin, the celebrated song composer, in St. Martin’s, by Pancras New Church, is the first verse of his _Tom Bowling_:

“His form was of the manliest beauty, His heart was kind and soft,
Faithful on earth he did his duty, But now he’s gone aloft.”

_Studious Printer_.–Morel was an eminent French printer, who sacrificed every thing to study. On being informed that his wife was dying, he refused to quit his pen till he had finished what he was about, and by that time news was brought him that she was dead; to which he coolly replied, “I am sorry for it–she was a good woman.” He died in 1638, at the age of 78. P.T.W.

_A Painter’s Retort, or Dangerous Re-touch_.–Antonio More, the celebrated painter, was highly favoured by Philip of Spain, whose familiarity with him placed his life in danger; for More ventured to return a slap on the shoulder which the king in a playful moment gave him, by rubbing some carmine on his majesty’s hand. This behaviour was accepted by the monarch as a jest, but it was hinted to More that the holy tribunal might regard it as sacrilege, and he fled, to save himself, into Flanders, where he was employed by the Duke of Alva. P.T.W.

_Steam Power_.–Mr. Alexander Gordon states, that in various departments of the revenue, the saving of expenditure by the substitution of inanimate for animate power, would, in the Post Office alone, amount to upwards of half a million; whilst, from the cheapness of food which the substitution would produce, the navy and army estimates would be most essentially reduced.

Steam may now be said to maintain the power which can engrave a seal, and crush a mass of obdurate metal like wax before it; draw out, without breaking, a thread as fine as gossamer, and lift a ship of war like a bauble in the air; to embroider muslin, forge anchors, cut steel into ribands, and impel itself against the opposition of the very tempest.

Charlemagne was buried on the day of his death in the great church which he had constructed at Aix-la-Chapelle. The Monk of Angouleme declares that he was inhumed in his imperial robes, and that the pilgrim’s wallet which he wore on his journeys to Rome was also consigned with his body to the tomb.

_Indian Hail Storms_.–Captain Skinner says, during one in which a heavy shower of hail fell, the thermometer sunk nine degrees in fewer minutes–from 75 to 66; it rose again as rapidly. Although it was more than four o’clock in the afternoon when the hail fell, it was still on the ground the following morning; a proof of the coldness of the night air.

_Waterloo Child_.–A private of the 27th regiment, who was severely wounded at the battle of Waterloo, was carried off the field by his wife, then far advanced in pregnancy; she also was wounded by a shell, and with her husband, remained a considerable time in one of the hospitals at Antwerp, in a hopeless state. The man lost both his arms, his wife was extremely lame, and here gave birth to a daughter, to whom it is said the late Duke of York stood sponsor; her names being Frederica M’Mullen Waterloo. A.H.K.–T.

_The Royal Academy_.–The receipts for admission to the Exhibition of this year were L300. short of what they were last year. The sale of pictures at the Gallery of the Society of British Artists has been greater than in any preceding season.

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