The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Vol 13 No 352 by Various

THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION. VOL. 13, No. 352.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 17, 1829. [PRICE 2d. * * * * * PRINCE RUPERT’S PALACE Prince Rupert, who will be remembered in the annals of the useful and fine arts when his military fame shall be forgotten, resided at a house in Beech-lane, Barbican, of
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VOL. 13, No. 352.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 17, 1829. [PRICE 2d.

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[Illustration: Prince Rupert’s palace, Barbican.]

Prince Rupert, who will be remembered in the annals of the useful and fine arts when his military fame shall be forgotten, resided at a house in Beech-lane, Barbican, of the remains of which the above is a representation. His residence here was in the time of Charles II.; for it is said that Charles paid him a visit, when the ringers of Cripplegate had a guinea for complimenting the royal guest with a “merry peal.” As the abode of a man of science, (for the prince was one of the most ingenious men of his time,) this engraving will doubtless be acceptable to the readers of the MIRROR. It, moreover, shows that even at that period, a residence in the City and its neighbourhood was not thought derogatory to a man of rank or fortune.[1]

With the historical character of Prince Rupert, most of our readers are probably familiar. Many useful inventions resulted from his studies, among which are the invention of “Prince’s Metal,” locks for fire-arms, improvements in gunpowder, &c. After the restoration, he was admitted into the Privy Council. He likewise became a fellow of the newly-founded Royal Society, and a member of the Board of Trade; and to his influence is ascribed the establishment of the Hudson’s Bay Company, of which he was the first governor. Orford, Evelyn, and Vertue attribute to him the invention of mezzotinto engraving; but this has been disputed, and, we believe, disproved.

[1] He likewise held the villa of Brandenburgh House, at Hammersmith, since known as the residence of Queen Caroline.

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By the courtesy of Mr. Hornor, the proprietor, we have been favoured with a private view of the _interior_ of this stupendous building; and, as it is our intention to illustrate the ensuing Number of the MIRROR with a view of the exterior, we shall for the present confine ourselves to such descriptive details as we have been enabled to collect in our recent visit. The interior is, however, in an unfinished state; the works are in actual progress, and the operations of the several artists continue uninterrupted by the access of visiters.

On entering the edifice by the large door in front, a staircase on the right leads to a passage, which communicates with a circular saloon hung with coloured drapery. This room, which, when finished, will be the largest of the kind in London, occupies the whole internal space, or the basement of the building, with the exception of the staircase leading to the summit, which rises like a large column from the centre. This circular saloon is intended for the exhibition of paintings and other productions of the fine arts; and it redounds highly to the credit of Mr. Hornor, that this exhibition is to be entirely free of charge to the artists. Such an introduction of their works to public notice cannot fail to prove mutually advantageous.

It may be here necessary to state that the wall of the building represents a panoramic _View of London_, as seen from the several galleries of St. Paul’s Cathedral–and that the view of the picture is obtained from three galleries–the _first_ of which corresponds, in relation to the view, with the first gallery at the summit of the dome of St. Paul’s; the _second_ is like that of the upper gallery on the same edifice; and the _third_, from its great elevation, commands a view of the remote distance which describes the horizon in the painting. Above the last-mentioned gallery is placed the identical copper ball which for so many years occupied the summit of St. Paul’s; and above it is a fac-simile of the cross by which it was surmounted. Over these is hung the small wooden cabin in which Mr. Hornor made his drawings for the picture, in the same perilous situation it occupied during the period of the repairs which some years ago were done to the cathedral. A small flight of stairs leads from this spot to the open gallery which surrounds the top of the Colosseum, commanding a view of the Regent’s Park and the subjacent country.

The communication with the galleries is by staircases of curious construction, built on the outer side of the central column already mentioned. This column is hollow, and within it a small circular chamber is to be caused to ascend when freighted with company, by means of machinery, with an imperceptible motion to the first gallery. The doors of the chamber will then open, and by this novel means of being elevated, visiters may avoid the fatigue of ascending by the stairs, and then walk out into the gallery to enjoy the picture.

In extent and accuracy, the Panorama is one of the most surprising achievements of art in this or any other country. The picture covers upwards of 40,000 square feet, or nearly an acre of canvass; the dome of the building on which the sky is painted, is thirty feet more in diameter than the cupola of St. Paul’s; and the circumference of the horizon from the point of view, is nearly 130 miles. The painting is almost completed; indeed, sufficiently so, for the general effect; although this will be considerably increased by the insertion of the remaining details, and the last or finishing touches. Much as the spectator will be struck by the fidelity of the representation, there is one claim it has to his admiration, which has only to be explained to be universally acknowledged. It is simply this. Only let such of our readers as have ascended the galleries of St. Paul’s, think of the fatigue they experienced in the toil, and comparatively speaking, the little gratification they experienced on their arrival at the summit. In short, what had they for their pains but the distinct roofs of the houses in the immediate vicinity, while the rest of the city was half lost in fog and the smoke of “groves of chimneys.” The only period at which London _can be seen_, is at sun-rise on a fine summer morning–such a morning, for instance, as that of the last Coronation. This too must be before the many thousand fires are lighted–exactly the period at which it is impossible to gain admittance to the cathedral. In the Panorama of the Colosseum, therefore, alone it is that we can see the “mighty heart,” the town we inhabit; and for this grand scene we are indebted to the indefatigable genius of Mr. Hornor.[2]

The magnificent effect of the Panorama, however, baffles all description of our pen. Indeed, the scene gives rise to so many inspiring associations in an enthusiastic mind, that few Englishmen, and still fewer Londoners, are equal to the detail of its description. Every inch of the vast circumference abounds with subject for reflection. The streets filled with passengers and vehicles–the grandeur of the public buildings, churches, and palatial structures–the majestic river winding grandly along, with the shipping, vessels, and gay trim of civic barges gliding on its surface, its banks studded with splendid hospitals, docks, and antique towers–and its stream crossed with magnificent bridges–till it stretches away beyond the busy haunts of industry, to the rural beauties of Richmond, and the castellated splendour of Windsor. Of course, the river is the most attractive object in the painting; but overlooking the merits of the town itself, and the world of streets and buildings–the representation of the environs is delightfully picturesque, and the distances are admirably executed; while the whole forms an assemblage of grandeur, unparalleled in art, as the reality is in the history of mankind.

The grand and distinguishing merit of the Panorama at the Colosseum is, however, of a higher order than we have yet pointed out to the reader. It has the _unusual_ interest of picturesque effect with the most scrupulous accuracy; and, in illustration of the latter excellence, so plain are the principal streets in the view, that thousands of visitors will be able to identify their own dwellings. We have termed this an unusual effect, because we are accustomed to view panoramas as fine productions of art, with fascinating and novel contrasts, and altogether as beautiful pictures; but pleasing as may be their effect on the spectator, it must fall very short of the intense interest created by the topographical or map-like accuracy of Mr. Hornor’s picture, which is correct even to the most minute point of detail. Thousands of spectators will therefore become rivetted by some particular objects, for every Londoner can name a score of sites which are endeared to him by some grateful recollections and associations of his life; whilst our country friends will be lost in admiration at the immense knot of dwellings, till they contrive to pick their road back to their inn or temporary abode in this queen of cities. In order to court the rigorous inspection of the most critical visiters, engraved sections of the various parts of the picture, numbered and described, will be placed in the compartments to which the panorama corresponds; and for still further gratification, glasses will he placed in the gallery, by which houses at the distance of ten or twelve miles from the city may easily be discerned. All this amounts to microscopic painting, or the most elaborate mosaic-work of art.

The effect of the near houses, or those in the immediate vicinity of St. Paul’s, is very striking; and the perspective and effect of light and shade of the campanile towers in front of the cathedral are admirably managed. In short, nothing can exceed the fine contrast of the bold and broad buildings in the fore-ground with the work of the middle, and the minuteness of the back-ground:–

Now to the sister hills that skirt her plain, To lofty Harrow now, and now to where
Majestic Windsor lifts his princely brow, In lovely contrast to this glorious view, Calmly magnificent.

Heavens! what a goodly prospect spreads around, Of hills, and dales, and woods, and lawns, and spires, ———————————till all The stretching landscape into mist decays.

It seems scarcely possible for painting to achieve anything nearer to reality than has been effected in the union of the projecting portions and the flat surface of the picture–an effect which will be hailed with enthusiasm by the spectator. This part is the work of Mr. Paris, “of whose talents and valuable assistance in the execution of the painting,” says a writer in the _Times_, “the proprietor speaks in terms of generous enthusiasm, which are well deserved, and equally honourable to both parties.” Another critical writer, in the _Weekly Review_, likewise, pays a deserved tribute to the genius of Mr. Paris, in his share of the painting. He says, “The spectator who shall view this magnificent Panorama, without being previously informed of the difficulties with which the able and indefatigable artist, Mr. E.T. Paris, had to contend, however he may be struck with the _tout ensemble_, will hardly be able to appreciate the merit of the work. In the first place, as no one individual could accomplish such an undertaking in a sufficiently short period, many artists were necessarily employed; each of these had his own peculiar style, and taste, and notions, which of course he would not depart from; when each of the assistant artists, therefore, had finished his part, it was necessary for Mr. Paris to go himself over the whole, retouch everything, and reduce the various parts into harmony with each other. This he has effected in the most admirable manner, so that, at present the productions of numerous dissimilar pencils appear like the creation of one man. Another, and perhaps still greater difficulty, was to preserve the true perspective from so elevated and novel a point of view, and on curved canvass; for, by the closing of the dome, that part of the picture upon which the greatest distance was to be represented, is in reality placed nearest to the spectator. We must observe, however, that these difficulties have all been surmounted, and that the illusion is most complete.”

Our limits advise us to quit the principal building, or that appropriated to the panoramic view, especially as we cannot convey to the reader an indistinct notion of the curious stair-work, machinery, and carpentry of the ascents, &c. We were induced to ascend to the exterior, but the mid-day smoke of the town, and the heavy fog of the day, spoiled our view. Had it not been so, the numerous buildings below, with the gardens, &c. would have reminded us that much yet remained to be seen. We hastened down the staircase, as quickly as the loop-hole light would allow, (for this part is to be lit with gas,) and returned to the front court by the large door at which we entered. In the entrance-hall are two aloes in tubs, one of them of noble size, and we could not help contrasting this single triumph of Nature with the little world of art we had just been exploring; and our train of reflection was unbroken on our entering by the left-hand lodge-door, a range of arched conservatories, in the centre of one of which is a _Camellia Japonica_, which produces thirty varieties of flower, and is, perhaps, the most magnificent specimen in England. Already here are several rare and beautiful plants–a large proportion of exotics, and some of the most curious plants of this country’s growth. In the centre of one of the chambers is a circular tank of water, surrounded by small _jets_, which are to raise their streams so as to form a round case of water, within which are to be aquatic plants, &c. At the end of this room aviaries are in preparation.

Hence we ascended into a beautiful reading-room, with French windows and rusticated Gothic verandas. The _artistes_ were here busy in hanging the walls, &c. with green damask moreen. The next room in the suite will be a library of beautiful proportions; and beyond this will be another room equally splendid, besides numerous other smaller apartments, in all numbering thirty. The object of this part of the building is to afford to subscribers all the advantages of a club and a reading-room, combined with the novel and luxurious conveniences of the establishment. We now come to what appears to us the _bijou_ of the whole. A passage leads from the saloon to a suite of small chambers, representing a Swiss cottage. One of these rooms is finished. It is wainscotted with coloured (knotted) wood, and carved in imitation of the fanciful interior of the dwellings of the Swiss mountaineers. The immense projecting chimney, its capacious corners, and the stupendous fire-dogs, are truly characteristic charms of cottage life; and the illusion is not a little enhanced by the prospect from the windows, consisting of terrific rocks and caverns,[3] among which a cascade is to fall from an immense height into a lake, which is to spread immediately beneath the windows. The water is not yet admitted here; but from some successful specimens of this branch of art, which we have seen, we are induced to think the Swiss cottage and its scenery will be very attractive. The exterior of the dwelling, with its broad eaves, &c. is beautifully picturesque; and the interior, supplied with a _suite_ of rustic furniture, is even sufficiently unique for the _recherche_ taste of Mr. Hope.

This is but an imperfect outline of the ingenious works which are now just finishing at the Colosseum. The undertaking, as the name imports, is one of the most gigantic enterprises for public gratification which it has ever been our lot to witness; but great as may be the capital already expended here, and indefatigable as have been the exertions of the proprietor during the last seven years, it is almost impossible that such genius should not be amply remunerated. As a concentration of every refined amusement and luxurious comfort which the taste of the times can dictate, the Colosseum will doubtless be without a rival in Europe. The charms of useful and elegant literature will here alternate with the exquisite masterpieces of modern art–and to aid these attractions, the pure pleasures of the garden and green-house, and studies from the wild and wonderful of sublime nature–will be superadded. The extent occupied by the requisite buildings, &c. is, as we were informed, little short of five acres.

To conclude, the Colosseum will very shortly be opened to the public. In the meantime, such persons as wish, may be gratified with a private view of the works in their present state, on terms which have already been announced by the proprietor.

[2] It may be a test of the length of the reader’s acquaintance with the MIRROR–but at page 450, vol. i. he will find a brief account of the means by which Mr. Hornor completed his sketches for the Panorama–his erection of an observatory–and a faint idea of the extreme perils, all which did not daunt the fearless mind of this aspiring artist. Mr. Britton says the sketches made for the projected picture, occupied 2,000 sheets of paper!

[3] Mimic rocks and stones may be wrought into sublime effect; and have often been introduced into landscape-gardening with striking success.

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TO —-

(_For the Mirror._)

Yes! tis to thee love
I waken the string:
Yes! ’tis to thee love
I only would sing;
And in thine eyes love,
I ask but to shine;
With softest affection,
As thou dost in mine.

Dearest and kindest,
I ask but to be
Cherished by thee love,
As thou art by me;
Then shall our moments
Glide sunnily o’er.
And blest with each other,
We sigh for no more.

Wife of thy bosom,
By thee loved alone,
No dearer blessing
This proud world can own:
All its attractions
Delighted I’ll fly,
For thee love, to live,
And with thee love to die!


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(_For the Mirror._)

Hieroglyphics consist in certain symbols which are made to stand for invisible objects, on account of some analogy which such symbols were supposed to bear to the objects. Egypt was the country where this sort of writing was most studied, and brought into a regular science. In hieroglyphics was conveyed all the boasted knowledge of their priests. According to the properties which they ascribed to animals, they chose them to be the emblems of moral objects. Thus ingratitude was expressed by a viper; imprudence, by a fly; wisdom, by an ant; knowledge, by an eye; eternity, by a circle which has neither beginning nor end; a man universally shunned, by an eel, which they supposed to be found with no other fish. Sometimes they joined two or more of these characters together, as a serpent with a hawk’s head, denoted nature, with God presiding over it.


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_From General Miller’s Memoirs. Second edition._

The taste for bull-fights, introduced by the early Spaniards, is retained by their American descendants with undiminished ardour. The announcement of an exhibition of this kind produces a state of universal excitement. The streets are thronged, and the population of the surrounding country, dressed in their gayest attire, add to the multitudes of the city. The sport is conducted with an eclat that exceeds the bull-fights in every other part of South America, and perhaps even surpasses those of Madrid. The death of the bull, when properly managed, creates as much interest in the ladies of Lima, as the death of the hare to the English huntress, or the winning horse to the titled dames at Newmarket or Doncaster. Nor can the pugilistic _fancy_ of England take a deeper interest in the event of a prize-fight, than the gentlemen of Lima in the scientific worrying of a bull. It is curious to observe how various are ideas of cruelty in different countries. The English, for instance, exclaim against the barbarity of the bull-fight, as compared with the noble sport of cock-fighting, badger-baiting, &c. But their enlightened horror could not exceed the disgust shown by a young South American, who witnessed a casual boxing-match between two boys in Hyde Park, surrounded and encouraged, as he expressed himself, by well-dressed barbarians. It is amusing to witness the complacency with which one nation accuses another of cruelty, without taking a glance at customs at home. The bulls destined for the ring are obtained principally from the woods in the valleys of Chincha, where they are bred in a wild state. To catch and drive them to Lima, a distance of sixty leagues, is a matter of no inconsiderable expense. A bull is given by each _gremio_, or incorporated trading company of the city. The gremios vie in decorating their donation, which is bedizened with ribbons and flowers; across its shoulders are suspended mantles richly embroidered with the arms of the gremio to which it belongs, all of which become the perquisite of the _Toreador_ or _Matador_ who slays the bull. The price of admission is four reals, or two shillings; but an additional charge is made for seats in the boxes; and the managers pay a considerable tax to government on every performance. Early in the afternoon of the day fixed upon for a bull-fight, every street leading to the amphitheatre is crowded with carriages, horsemen, and pedestrians. All are in the highest state of excitement, the highest glee, and in full dress. The business of the ring commences, about 2 p.m. by a curious sort of prelude. A company of soldiers perform a _despejo_, or a military pantomime. The men having been previously drilled for that purpose, go through a variety of fanciful evolutions, forming the Roman and Greek crosses, stars, and figures, so describing a sentence, such as _viva la patria, viva San Martin_, or the name of any other person who happens to be at the head of the government. As a _finale_, the soldiers form a circle, face outwards, then advance towards the boxes, preserving their circular order, which they extend, until they approach close enough to climb up to the benches. Every movement is made to the sound of the drum; the effect is exceedingly good. A band of music is likewise in attendance, and plays at intervals. The prelude being over, six or seven toreador enter the arena on foot, dressed in silk jackets of different colours, richly spangled or bordered with gold or silver lace. One or two of these men, and who are called _matadores_, are pardoned criminals, and they receive a considerable sum for every bull they kill. About the same time various amateurs, well mounted on steeds gaily caparisoned, fancifully and tastefully attired, present themselves. When all is prepared, a door is opened under the box occupied by the municipality, and a bull rushes from a pen. At first he gazes about as if in surprise, but is soon put upon his mettle, by the waving of flags and the throwing of darts, crackers, and other annoyances. The amateur cavaliers display their horsemanship and skill in provoking and in eluding his vengeance, in order to catch the eye of some favourite fair one, and to gain the applause of their friends and the audience. They infuriate the animal by waving a mantle over his head, and when pursued they do not allow their horses to advance more than a few inches from the horns of the angry bull. When at full speed, they make their horse revolve upon his hind legs, and remain in readiness to make a second turn upon the animal. This operation is several times repeated with equal agility and boldness, and is called _capear_. The amateurs then promenade around to acknowledge the plaudits bestowed. This species of sparring on horseback with the bull, is practised only in South America. Indeed in no other part of the world is the training of the horses, or the dexterity of the horseman, equal to the performance of such exploits. Effigies made of skin and filled with wind, and others made of straw, in which are live birds, are placed in the arena. The bull tosses them in the air, but being made heavy at the base, they come to the ground always retaining an upright posture. The straw figures are furnished with fire-works, which are made to take fire when the birds escape from within, and it sometimes happens that the bull has the flaming and cracking figure upon his horns. Sometimes the bull is maddened by fire-works being fastened on him, which go off in succession. The crackers being expended, the animal usually stands gazing around with rolling tongue, panting sides, and eyes sparkling with rage. He is then faced by the principal matador, who holds a straight sword in one hand and a flag in the other; as the bull runs at him with full speed, the matador coolly, but with great celerity, takes one step to the left, holding the flag just over the spot he occupied when the bull took aim. Being foiled, the bull wheels round, and charges his tormentor a second time, who again skilfully eludes being caught on the horns: this is repeated about three times, to the great delight of the audience. At length the matador assumes a sort of fencing attitude, and at the critical moment, plunges his sword into the bull’s neck, near to its shoulders, when it falls dead at his feet. Handkerchiefs are waved, and applauding shouts resound from every side. Four horses richly harnessed then appear. The dead bull is quickly fixed to traces, and dragged out at a gallop, cheered by continued acclamations.

“Four steeds that spurn the rein, as swift as shy, Hurl the dark bulk along, scarce seen in dashing by.”


Other bulls are killed in the same way by successive matadores. One is generally despatched by means of a long knife grasped by the matador, so that when his arm is extended, the blade is perpendicular to the wrist. The bull being worried for a time, the matador, instead of receiving him on the point of a sword as before, steps one pace aside as the bull runs at him, and adroitly plunges the knife into the spinal marrow behind the horns, and the animal drops dead instantaneously. Another bull is next attacked by mounted picadores, armed with lances. Their legs are protected by padding. Their horses are of little value, and cannot easily get out of the way of the bull. Neither do the riders often attempt it; to do so being considered cowardly. The consequence is, the horses generally receive a mortal gore; part of their entrails are frequently torn out, and exhibit a most disgusting spectacle. The riders run considerable risk, for their lances are inadequate to killing the bull, which after being gored and mangled, is finally despatched by a matador.

The next bull, as he sallies from the pen, is encountered by six or eight Indians with short lances, who kneel down like the front rank of a battalion to receive a cavalry charge. One or two Indians are usually tossed; the others follow up the bull, and when he turns upon them, they drop on one knee and receive him as before. They are seldom able to despatch him, and a matador steps forward to end his sufferings. Some of the Indians are often much hurt: they invariably make themselves half drunk before they enter the circus, alleging that they can fight the bull better when they see double. Again, another bull is let into the ring for the lanzada, or trial of the lance, the handle of which is very long and strong, fixed into a wooden socket secured to the ground, and supported by an Indian torrero. The head of the lance is a long blade of highly tempered steel; and made sharp as a razor. Before the bull is permitted to leave the pen, he is rendered furious by a variety of torments. When he has been sufficiently maddened, the doors are thrown open, and the animal makes a rush at the Indian, who is dressed in scarlet, and directs the lance as he kneels on the ground. The raging bull runs at him; but he steadily points the lance, so as to receive the bull on its point. Such is the force with which he plunges at his opponent, that the lance generally enters at the head, and breaking through skull and bones, comes out at the sides or back. Finally, a bull with tail erect, comes bellowing and bounding in, with a man strapped on his back. The animal jumps and capers about, making every effort to rid himself of his burthen, to the no small amusement of the spectators. The rider at length loosens the straps, and the bull is attacked on all sides by amateurs and matadores on foot and on horseback. When a matador has killed a bull, he bows to the government box, then to the municipality, and then all around, receiving plaudits in proportion to the skill he has shown, and the sport he has afforded. Advancing then to the box of the municipality, he receives his reward from one of the members, who is appointed as judge on the occasion, which consists of a few dollars thrown into the arena. When the spectators are particularly gratified by the performance, they also throw money into the ring.

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Crebillon’s manner of life was extremely singular. He slept little, and lay very hard; he was always surrounded with about thirty cats and dogs; and used to smoke tobacco, to keep his room sweet against their exhalations. Being one day asked, in a large company, which of his works he thought the best? “I don’t know,” answered he, “which is my best production; but this (pointing to his son, who was present) is certainly my worst.” “It is,” replied the son, with vivacity, “because no Carthusian had a hand in it,” alluding to the report that the best passages in his father’s tragedies had been written by a Carthusian friar, who was his friend.

Molieres, the celebrated French priest and mathematician, was a very irritable man, which led him frequently into passions, of which one was the cause of his death in 1742. In other respects he was reckoned a very amiable character; but was apt to be so absent, or absorbed in his studies, as to appear almost wholly insensible to surrounding objects. His infirmity in this respect became known, and he was accordingly made the subject of depredations. A shoe-black once finding him profoundly absorbed in a reverie, contrived to steal the silver buckles from his shoes, replacing them with iron ones. At another time, while at his studies, a villain broke into the room in which he was sitting, and demanded his money; Molieres, without rising from his studies, or giving any alarm, coolly showed him where it was, requesting him, as a great favour, that he would not derange his papers.

Ariosto, the celebrated Italian poet, being asked why he had not built his house in a more magnificent manner, and more suitable to the noble descriptions which he had given of sumptuous palaces, beautiful porticoes, and pleasant fountains, in his _Orlando Furioso_, he replied, “that words were combined together with less expense than stones.” To such a degree was he charmed with his own verse, and so much did he also excel in his manner of reading, that he was always disgusted if he heard his own writings repeated with an ill grace and accent. Accordingly, it is said, that, when he accidentally heard a potter singing a stanza of his _Orlando_ in an incorrect and ungraceful manner, he was so incensed, that he rushed into his shop and broke several of the pots which were exposed to sale; when the potter expostulated with him for this unprovoked injury, Ariosto replied, “I indeed have broken half a dozen of your pots, which are not worth so many halfpence, and you have spoiled a stanza of mine, which is worth a considerable sum of gold.” He was so attached to a plain and frugal mode of life, that he says of himself in one of his poems, “that he was a fit person to have lived in the world when acorns were the food of mankind.” His constitution was delicate and infirm; and, notwithstanding his temperance and general abstemiousness, his health was often interrupted. He bore his last sickness with uncommon resolution and serenity; affirming, “that he was willing to die on many accounts, and particularly because he found that the greatest divines were of opinion that we shall know one another in the other world;” and he observed to those who were with him, “that many of his friends were departed, whom he desired to visit, and that he thought every moment tedious till he gained that happiness.”

Dante, the celebrated Italian poet, has been described by Boccacio, as of a middle stature, of a pensive and melancholy expression in his countenance. He was courteous and civil, and his way of living extremely temperate. He is said to have been a very absent man, of which instances have been recorded; once meeting with a book in an apothecary’s, which he had been long looking for, he opened it, and read from morning till night without being roused from his pursuit by the distraction and tumult occasioned by a great wedding passing through the street. For some time he roved about Italy in an indigent and distressed condition, till he was hospitably received by the Lord of Ravenna, his patron and friend.

Paul Scarron, whose life abounds with curious features, married Mademoiselle d’Aubigne, afterwards the celebrated Madame de Maintenon, who was at that time only sixteen years of age. On his marriage, the notary asked him what dowry he would settle upon his wife? he replied, “Immortality: the names of the wives of kings die with them, but the name of Scarron’s wife shall live for ever.” He was accustomed to talk to his superiors with great freedom, and in a very jocular style. In a dedication to the king, he thus addressed his majesty: “I shall endeavour to persuade your majesty, that you would do yourself no injury, were you to do me a small favour; for in that case I should become gay. If I should become more gay, I should write sprightly comedies; and if I should write sprightly comedies, your majesty would be amused, and thus your money would not be lost. All this appears so evident that I should certainly be convinced of it, if I were as great a king as I am now a poor unfortunate man.” Scarron took pleasure in reading his works to his friends, as he composed them; he used to call it trying them. Segrais and another person coming to him one day, “Take a chair,” he said, “and sit down, that I may examine my Comic Romance.” When he saw them laugh very heartily, he said he was satisfied, “my book will be well received since it makes persons of such delicate taste laugh.” He was not disappointed in his expectations, for the Romance had a great run. In the year 1638, he was attending the Carnival at Mons, of which he was a canon. Having put on the dress of a savage, he was followed by a troop of boys into a morass, where he was kept so long, that the cold penetrated his debilitated limbs, which became contracted in such a manner, that he used to compare his body to the shape of a Z. He died in 1660, at the age of fifty; he said to his friends who surrounded his dying bed, “I shall never make you weep so much as I have made you laugh.” In his epitaph, made by himself, he desires, in a mixture of the comic and the pathetic, that the passengers would not awaken, by their noise, poor Scarron from the first good sleep he had ever enjoyed.


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_By T. Crofton Croker, Esq._

Two volumes of “tickling” legendary tales are almost too much for our laughter-holding sides, but more especially at this merry season–fraught with humour–and when reminiscences of the past make up for lack of realities of the present. To “notice” such a work is ten times more (we had almost said) trouble than to despatch half a dozen dull books, or a dozen harmless, well-meaning satires on human nature. But we will do our best to detach some of the good things from Mr. Croker’s volumes, although the humour of the _sketches_ which adorn them, is of too subtle a quality for our pen or sheet to hold.

Mr. Croker takes for granted that when people go to see the Lakes of Killarney, they do not intend making a very serious business of the excursion; but rather desire, while their eyes are pleased with romantic scenery, that their ears should be tickled by legendary tales; and accordingly he thinks it extraordinary that no guide-book should exist for the local traditions of Killarney. This accounts for our finding Mr. Croker on the box of the Killarney mail coach, beside Mat. Crowley, the driver, at page 2, of his first volume. Here is no preamble about “friends pressing the author to print–not intended for the public eye–a mere note-book,” &c.–but he begins his journey with the first crack of the whip, and a “righte merrie” journey it is.

Our facetious friend soon reaches Killarney, and is introduced to the lord high-admiral of the lakes, and then, as the newspapers say of a pantomime, the “fun begins.” Our first extract is


“What are we to land here for?” said I to the coxswain.

“Only just to show your honour O’Sullivan’s cascade,” was the reply. “Here, Doolan, show the gentleman the way.” Ascending a rugged path through the wood, we soon reached the foot of the fall.

“Isn’t that as fine a sight as you’d meet with in a month of Sundays,” said Doolan. “Only see how the white water comes _biling_ like a pot of _praties_ over the big, black rocks, down it comes, one tumble over the other, the green trees all the while stretching out their arms as if they wanted to stop it. And then it makes such a _dickins_ of a _nise_ as it pounces into that black pool at the bottom, that it’s enough to bother the brains of a man entirely. Why, then, isn’t it a wonder how all that water sprung up out of the mountain? for sure, isn’t there a bit of a lake above there, in the hollow of the hill that the waterfall comes out of,–they calls it O’Sullivan’s Punch Bowl?”

“And, pray, who was this O’Sullivan that had such a capacious Punch Bowl?”

“Och, then, ’tis he’s the fine, portly looking _jantleman_, and has a _vice_ (voice) as big as twenty; ‘twould do your heart good to hear the cry of him on a stag hunt day, making the mountain ring again.”

“Well, Doolan, you haven’t told me all this time who O’Sullivan is.”

“Why, then, that’s the _quare_ question for your honour to be after _axing_ me. Sure all the country knows O’Sullivan of Toomies, for didn’t him, and his father before him, live at the butt end of the mountain, near the neck of the Lawn; and wasn’t they great chieftains in the _ould_ times; and hadn’t they a great sketch of country to themselves: they haven’t so much now, for their hearts were too big for their _manes_ (means;) and that’s the _rason_ O’Sullivan was obligated to sell this part of the mountain to Mr. Herbert of Mucruss?”

“A sad story this, Doolan; but it seems to me these O’Sullivans must have been very fond of a bowl of punch, or why is the lake you mentioned called O’Sullivan’s Punch Bowl?”

“Oh, then, your honour’s as sharp as a needle entirely; but about that same lake it’s a _quare_ story sure enough. A long time before there was a waterfall here at all, one of the _rale ould_ O’Sullivans was out all day hunting the red deer among the mountains. Well, sir, just as he was getting quite weary, and was wishing for a drop of the _cratur_ to put him in spirits–”

“Or spirits into him,” said I.

“Oh, sure, ’tis all the same thing,” returned Doolan with a grin, intended for a smile. “‘Tis all one surely, if a man can only have the drop when he wants it. Well, what should O’Sullivan see but the most beautiful stag that ever was seen before or since in this world; for he was as big as a colt, and had horns upon him like a weaver’s beam, and a collar of real gold round his neck. Away went the stag, and away went the dogs after him full cry, and O’Sullivan after the dogs, for he was determined to have that beautiful fine stag; and though, as I said, he was tired and weary enough, you’d think the sight of that stag put fresh life into him. A pretty bit of a dance he led him, for he was an enchanted stag. Away he went entirely off by Macgillicuddy’s Reeks, round by the mountains of the Upper Lake, crossed the river by the Eagle’s Nest, and never stopped nor staid till he came to where the Punch Bowl is now. When O’Sullivan came to the same place he was fairly ready to drop, and for certain that was no wonder; but what vexed him more than all was to find his dogs at fault, and the never a bit of a stag to be seen high nor low. Well, my dear _sowl_, he didn’t know what to make of it, and seeing there was no use in staying there, and it so late, he whistled his dogs to him, and was just going to go home. The moon was just setting over to the top of the mountain shedding her light, broad and bright, over the edge of the wood and down on the lake, which was like a sheet of silver, except where the islands threw their black shadows over the water. O’Sullivan looked about him, and began to grow quite dismal in himself, for sure it was a lonesome sight, and besides he had a sort of dread upon him, though he couldn’t tell the reason why. So not liking to stay there, as I said before, he was just going to make the best of his way home, when, who should he see, but Fuan Mac Cool (Fingal.) standing like a big _joint_ (giant) on the top of a rock. ‘Hallo, O’Sullivan,’ says he, ‘where are you going so fast?’ says he, ‘come back with me,’ says he, ‘I want to have some talk with you.’ You may be sure it was O’Sullivan was amazed and a little bit frightened too, though he wouldn’t _pertind_ to it; and it would be no wonder if he was; for if O’Sullivan had a big _vice_, (voice) Fuan Mac Cool had a bigger ten times, and it made the mountains shake again like thunder, and all the eagles fly up to the moon. ‘What do you want with me?’ says O’Sullivan, at the same time putting on as _bould_ a face as he could. ‘I want to know what business you had hunting my stag?’ says Fuan, ‘by the vestment,’ says he, ‘if ’twas any one else but yourself, O’Sullivan, I’d play the red vengeance with him. But, as you’re one of the right sort, I’ll pass it over this time; and, as my stag has led you a pretty dance over the mountains, I’ll give you a drop of good drink, O’Sullivan; only take my advice, and never hunt my stag again.’ Then Fuan Mac Cool stamped with his foot, and all of a sudden, just in the hollow which his foot made in the mountain, there came up a little lake, which tumbled down the rocks, and made the waterfall. When O’Sullivan went to take a drink of it, what should it be but _rale_ whiskey punch, and it staid the same way, running with whiskey punch, morning, noon, and night, until the _Sasenaghs_[4] came into the country, when all at once it was turned to water, though it goes still by the name of O’Sullivan’s Punch Bowl.'”

[4] Saxons–The English.

* * * * *

In the island, the guide importunes Mr. Croker to visit the shelf of a rock overshadowed by yew, and called the Bed of Honour, “because ’twas there a lord-lieutenant of Ireland would go to sleep to cool himself after drinking plenty of whiskey punch.” He is cautioned against venturing too near the ledge of a rock, “the very spot the poor author gentleman fell from; they called him Hell–Hell–no, ’twasn’t Hell, either, but Hal; oh, then, what a head I have upon me–oh, I have it now–Hallam’s the name, your honour.”

“What the author of the Middle Ages?”

“True for you, sir, he was a middle aged man;” “and then there was another great writing gentleman, one Sir Walter Scott,” &c.

Mr. Croker chances to be confined to his hotel by the rainy weather, and this circumstance introduces the following legend, narrated by one of his old friends:–

“Well, well,” said Lynch, smiling, “I’ll give you the legend of Saint Swithin exactly as it was told to me about a month since–I have occasionally employed an industrious, poor man, named Tom Doody, to work in my garden. ‘Well, Tom,’ said I to him, ‘this is Swithin’s day, and not a drop of rain–you see the old saying of “forty days’ rain” goes for nothing.’–‘O, but the day isn’t over yet,’ said Tom, ‘so you’d better not halloo, sir, till you’re out of the wood. I’ll go bail we’ll have rain some time of the day, and then you may be sure of it for the forty days.’–‘If that’s the way, Tom,’ said I, ‘this same Swithin must have been the thirstiest saint in the calendar; and it’s quite certain he must be a real Irish saint, since he’s so fond of the drop.’–‘You may laugh if you please,’ said Tom, resting on his spade, ‘you may laugh if you please, but it’s a bad thing any how to _spake_ that way of the saints; and, sure, Saint Swithin was a blessed priest, and the rain was a miracle sent on his account; but may be you never heard how it came to pass.’–‘No, Tom, I did not,’ said I–‘Well, then, I’ll tell you,’ said he, ‘how it was. Saint Swithin was a priest, and a very holy man, so holy that he went by no other name but that of the blessed priest. He wasn’t like the priests now-a-days, who ride about on fine horses, with spectacles stuck upon their noses, and horsewhips in their hands, and polished boots on their legs, that fit them as _nate_ as a Limerick glove (God forgive me for _spaking_ ill of the _clargy_, but some of them have no more conscience than a pig in a _pratie_ garden;’) I give you Doody’s own words,” said Mr. Lynch.

“That’s exactly what I wish.”

“And he continued–‘Saint Swithin was not that kind of priest, no such thing; for he did nothing but pray from morning to night, so that he brought a blessing on the whole country round; and could cure all sorts of diseases, and was so charitable that he’d give away the shirt off his back. Then, whenever he went out, it was quite plain and sober, on a rough little _mountainy garran_; and he thought himself grand entirely if his big _ould_ fashioned boots got a rub of the _grase_. It was no wonder he should be called the blessed priest, and that the people far and near should flock to him to mass and confession; or that they thought it a blessed thing to have him lay his hands on their heads. It’s a pity the likes of him should ever die, but there’s no help for death; and sure if he wasn’t so good entirely he’d have been left, and not be taken away as he was; for ’tis them that are most wanting the first to go. The news of his death flew about like lightning; and there was nothing but _ullagoning_ through all the country, and they had no less than right, for they lost a good friend the day he died. However, from _ullagoning_, they soon came to fighting about where he was to be buried. His own parish wouldn’t part with him if they got half Ireland, and sure they had the best right to him; but the next parish wanted to get him by the _lauve laider_ (strong hand,) for they thought it would bring a blessing on them to have his bones among them; so his own parishioners at last took and buried him by night, without the others knowing any thing about it. When the others heard it they were tearing mad, and raised a large faction, thinking to take him up and carry him away in spite of his parishioners; so they had a great battle upon it; but those who had the best right to him were beat out and out, and the others were just going to take him up, when there came all at once such rain as was never seen before or since; it was so heavy that they were obliged to run away half _drownded_, and give it up as a bad job. They thought, however, that it wouldn’t last long, and that they could come again; but they were out in that, for it never stopped raining in that manner for forty days, so they were obliged to give it up entirely; and ever since that time there’s always more or less rain on Saint Swithin’s day, and for forty days after.’

“Just as Tom Doody had finished his story there came a tremendous shower. ‘There now, why,’ said Tom, with a look of triumph, as we ran for shelter, ‘there now, why, isn’t it a true bill? well, I knew Saint Swithin wouldn’t fail us.’ And I, as the very elements seemed to be in his favour, was obliged to leave him the victory.”

* * * * *

We pass over Mr. Croker’s account of Mucruss Abbey and all its legendary lore, to “Tim Marcks’s adventures with a walking skull,” at Aghadoe.

“A fine extensive prospect this,” said I to General Picket, so was my guide called.

“That’s the good truth for your honour,” he replied, “only it’s a mighty lonesome place, and they say it’s haunted by spirits, though Tim Marcks says there’s no such thing. May be your honour wouldn’t know _Thicus Morckus_; he’s a long _stocah_ of a fellow, with a big nose, wears knee breeches, corderoy leggings, and takes a power of snuff. And, if your honour would like to see him, he lives at Corrigmalvin, at the top of High Street, in the town of Killarney. To be sure, some people say, all that comes from Tim isn’t gospel, but that’s neither here nor there; so, as I was saying, ‘I don’t believe in spirits,’ says he to me, of a day he was mending the road here, and I along with him–‘The dickins you don’t,’ says I, ‘and what’s your _rason_ for that same?’–‘I’ll tell you that,’ says he; ‘it was a _could_ frosty night in the month of December, the doors were shut, and we were all sitting by the side of a blazing turf fire. My father was smoking his _doodeen_ in the chimney corner, my mother was overseeing the girls that were tonging the flax, and I and the other _gossoons_ were doing nothing at all, only roasting _praties_ in the ashes. “Was the colt brought in?” says my father. “Wisha, fakes then! I believes not,” says I. “Why, then, Tim,” says he, “you must run and drive him in directly, for it’s a mortal could night.” “And where is he, father?” says I. “In the far field, at the other side of the _ould_ church,” says he. “Murder!” says I, for I didn’t like the thoughts of going near the _ould_ church at all, at all. But there was no use in saying _agen_ it, for my father (God be merciful to him!) had us under as much command as a regiment of soldiers. So away I went, with a light foot and a heavy heart. Well, I soon came to the bounds’ ditch between the farm and the _berrin_ ground of the _ould_ church. Then I slackened my pace a little, and kept looking hither and over, for fear of being taken by surprise. The moon was shining clear as day, so that I could see the gray tombstones and the white skulls; when, all at once, I thought one of them began to move. I could hardly believe my two eyes; but, fakes, it was true enough; for presently it came walking down the hill, quite leisurely at first, then a little faster, till at last it came rolling at the rate of a fox hunt. “Twill be stopped at the bounds’ ditch,” thinks I; but I was never more out in my reckoning, for it bowled fair through the gap, and made directly up to me. “By the mortal frost,” says I, “I’m done for;” and away I scampered as fast as my legs could carry me; but the skull came faster after me, for I could hear every lump it gave against the stones. It’s a long stretch of a hill from the _berrin_ ground down to the road; but you’d think I wasn’t longer getting down than whilst you’d be saying “Jack Robinson.” Sure enough I did make great haste; but if I did, “the more haste the worse speed,” they say, and so by me any how, for I went souse up to my neck in a dirty _Lochaune_ by the side of the road. Well, when I recovered a little, what would I see but the skull at the edge of the _Lochaune_, stuck fast in a furze bush, and grinning down at me. “Oh, you’re there,” says I; “I’ll have one rap at you any how, for worse than die I can’t;” so I up with a lump of a blackthorn, I had in my fist, and gives it a rap, when what should it be after all, but a huge rat, which had got into the skull, and, trying to get out again, it made it to roll down the hill in that frightful way. To be sure,’ said Tim, ‘to be sure it was mighty frightful, but it wasn’t a ghost after all; and, indeed, (barring that) I never saw any thing worse than myself, though we lived for a long time near the _ould_ church of Aghadoe.'”

This is all we can spare room for at present. The second volume is untouched, and will afford us a few extractable pieces–but they must be short. We have heard of all stages of laughter–as being convulsed–ready to burst–splitting sides–and if our readers promise not to _die_, in due order, with laughter–we may probably recur to Mr. Croker’s very tickling volumes.

* * * * *


_Analogous Growth of Trees and Animals._

Trees placed in an exposed situation have their resources;–the object being to protect the sap-vessels, which transmit nutriment, and which lie betwixt the wood and the bark, the tree never fails to throw out, and especially on the side most exposed to the blast, a thick coating of bark, designed to protect, and which effectually does protect, the sap-vessels and the process of circulation to which they are adapted, from the injury which necessarily must otherwise ensue. Now, if an animal is in danger of suffocation from want of vital air, instead of starving by being exposed to its unqualified rigour, instinct or reason directs the sufferer to approach those apertures through which any supply of that necessary of human life can be attained, and induces man, at the same time, to free himself from any coverings which may be rendered oppressive by the state in which he finds himself. Now it may be easily proved, that a similar instinct to that which induced the unfortunate sufferers in the black-hole of Calcutta to struggle with the last efforts to approach the solitary aperture which admitted air to their dungeon, and to throw from them their garments, in order to encourage the exertions which nature made to relieve herself by perspiration, is proper, also, to the noblest of the vegetable tribe. Look at a wood or plantation which has not been duly thinned:–the trees which exist will be seen drawn up to poles, with narrow and scanty tops, endeavouring to make their way towards such openings to the sky as might permit the access of light and air. If entirely precluded by the boughs which have closed over them, the weaker plants will be found strangely distorted by attempts to get out at a side of the plantation; and finally, if overpowered in these attempts by the obstacles opposed to them, they inevitably perish. As men throw aside their garments, influenced by a close situation, trees placed in similar circumstances, exhibit a bark thin and beautifully green and succulent, entirely divested of that thick, coarse, protecting substance which covers the sap-vessels in an exposed position.

There is a singular and beautiful process of action and re-action which takes place betwixt the progress of the roots and of the branches. The latter must, by their vigour and numbers, stretch out under ground before the branches can develope themselves in the air; and, on the other hand, it is necessary that the branches so develope themselves, to give employment to the roots in collecting food. There is a system of close commerce between them; if either fail in discharging their part, the other must suffer in proportion. The increase of the branches, therefore, in exposed trees is and must be in proportion with that of the roots, and _vice versa_; and as the exposed tree spreads its branches on every side to balance itself against the wind, as it shortens its stem or trunk, to afford the mechanical force of the tempest a shorter lever to act upon, so numerous and strong roots spread themselves under ground, by way of anchorage, to an extent and in a manner unknown to sheltered trees.–_Quarterly Review_.

* * * * *

_Preservation of Eggs._

Relative to the preservation of eggs by immersion in lime-water, M. Peschier has given most satisfactory evidence of the efficacy of the process. Eggs which he had preserved for six years in this way, being boiled and tried, were found perfectly fresh and good; and a confectioner of Geneva has used a whole cask of eggs preserved by the same means. In the small way eggs may be thus preserved in bottles or other vessels. They are to be introduced when quite fresh, the bottle then filled with lime-water, a little powdered lime sprinkled in at last, and then the bottle closed. To prepare the lime-water, twenty or thirty pints of water are to be mixed up with five or six pounds of slaked quick-lime put into a covered vessel allowed to clear by standing, and the lime-water immediately used.

* * * * *



SCENE–A conversazione at Lady Crumpton’s–Whist and weariness, caricatures and Chinese Puzzle.–Young ladies making tea, and young gentlemen making the agreeable.–The stableboy handing rout-cakes.– Music expressive of there being nothing to do.

I play a spade–such strange new faces Are flocking in from near and far:
Such frights–Miss Dobbs holds all the aces.– One can’t imagine who they are!
The lodgings at enormous prices,
New donkeys, and another fly–
And Madame Bonbon out of ices,
Although we’re scarcely in July– We’re quite as sociable as any,
But our old horse can hardly crawl– And really where there are so many,
We can’t tell where we ought to call.

Pray who has seen the odd old fellow Who took the Doctor’s house last week?– A pretty chariot,–livery yellow,
Almost as yellow as his cheek–
A widower, sixty-five, and surly,
And stiffer than a poplar-tree–
Drinks rum and water, gets up early To dip his carcass in the sea–
He’s always in a monstrous hurry,
And always talking of Bengal;
They say his cook makes noble curry– I think, Louisa, we should call.

And so Miss Jones, the mantua-maker, Has let her cottage on the hill?–
The drollest man, a sugar-baker,
Last year imported from the till– Prates of his _orses_ and his _oney_,
Is quite in love with fields and farms– A horrid Vandal,–but his money
Will buy a glorious coat of arms; Old Clyster makes him take the waters;
Some say he means to give a ball– And after all, with thirteen daughters, I think, Sir Thomas, you might call.

That poor young man!–I’m sure and certain Despair is making up his shroud:
He walks all night beneath the curtain Of the dim sky and murky cloud–
Draws landscapes,–throws such mournful glances!– Writes verses,–has such splendid eyes– An ugly name,–but Laura fancies
He’s some great person in disguise! And since his dress is all the fashion, And since he’s very dark and tall,
I think that, out of pure compassion, I’ll get papa to go and call.

So Lord St. Ives is occupying
The whole of Mr. Ford’s Hotel–
Last Saturday his man was trying
A little nag I want to sell.
He brought a lady in the carriage– Blue eyes,–eighteen, or thereabouts– Of course, you know, we _hope_ it’s marriage! But yet the _femme de chambre_ doubts. She look’d so pensive when we met her– Poor thing! and such a charming shawl! Well! till we understand it better,
It’s quite impossible to call.

Old Mr. Fund, the London banker,
Arrived to-day at Premium Court– I would not, for the world, cast anchor In such a horrid dangerous port–
Such dust and rubbish, lath and plaster, (Contractors play the meanest tricks)
The roof’s as crazy as its master, And he was born in fifty-six–
Stairs creaking–cracks in every landing, The colonnade is sure to fall–
We sha’n’t find post or pillar standing, Unless we make great haste to call.

Who was that sweetest of sweet creatures, Last Sunday, in the Rector’s seat?
The finest shape,–the loveliest features, I never saw such tiny feet.
My brother,–(this is quite between us) Poor Arthur,–’twas a sad affair!
Love at first sight,–She’s quite a Venus, But then she’s poorer far than fair–
And so my father and my mother
Agreed it would not do at all–
And so,–I’m sorry for my brother! It’s settled that we’re not to call.

And there’s an author, full of knowledge– And there’s a captain on half-pay–
And there’s a baronet from college, Who keeps a boy, and rides a bay–
And sweet Sir Marcus from the Shannon, Fine specimen of brogue and bone–
And Doctor Calipee, the canon,
Who weighs, I fancy, twenty stone– A maiden lady is adorning
The faded front of Lily Hall–
Upon my word, the first fine morning, We’ll make around, my dear, and call.

Alas! disturb not, maid and matron,
The swallow in my humble thatch– Your son may find a better patron,
Your niece may meet a richer match– I can’t afford to give a dinner,
I never was on Almack’s list–
And since I seldom rise a winner,
I never like to play at whist–
Unknown to me the stocks are falling– Unwatch’d by me the glass may fall–
Let all the world pursue its calling, I’m not at home if people call.

_London Magazine._

* * * * *


Use a little wine, for thy stomach’s sake.

I Tim. v. 23.

So says St. Paul–and this seems to have been the opinion of the most ancient philosophers and physicians. A moderate use of it has been sanctioned by the wise and good in all ages. Those who have denied its virtues are those who have not been able to drink it. Asclepiades wrote upon wine, the use of which he introduced with almost every remedy, observing, that the gods had bestowed no more valuable gift on man: even the surly Diogenes drank it; for it is said of him, that he liked that wine best, which he drank at other people’s cost–a notion adopted by the oinopholous Mosely, who, when asked, “What wine do you drink, doctor?” answered, “Port at home–claret abroad!”

Hippocrates, the father of physic, recommends a cheerful glass; and Rhases, an ancient Arabian physician, says, no liquor is equal to good wine. Reineck wrote a dissertation “De Potu Vinoso;” and the learned Dr. Shaw lauded the “juice of the grape.” But the stoutest of its medical advocates was Tobias Whitaker, physician to Charles II., who undertook to prove the possibility of maintaining life, from infancy to old age, without sickness, by the use of wine!

It must, however, be remembered, that Whitaker was cordially attached to wine, and a greater friend to the vintner than to the apothecary, having as utter a dislike to unpalatable medicines, as the most squeamish of his patients; therefore, Dr. Toby’s evidence must be taken with caution, independently of the courtly spirit that might have led him to adapt his theories to the times.

It has been questioned whether the use of wine was known to the antediluvian world; but there can be do doubt, in the corrupt state of man, that wine would have its share in his debasement, and it may be very strongly inferred, from the circumstance that Noah planted a vineyard, and, moreover, “that he drank of the wine, and was drunken,” (Gen, ix. 20.)–a sad stain in the character of a man who was “perfect in his generation;” and which also proves that, in the earliest period of the world, the very best of men were liable to fall into error and excess.

But the antiquity and propriety of wine-drinking is not matter of question. The archbishop of Seville, Antonio de Solis, who lived to be 110 years old, drank wine; and even that wonderful pattern of propriety, Cornaro, did the same: but the question is about quantity. Sir William Temple was pleased to lay down a rule, and limit propriety to three glasses. “I drink one glass,” says he, “for health, a second for refreshment, a third for a friend; but he that offers a fourth is an enemy.”

As in eating, so in drinking, in the question of quantity–much depends on the capacity of the stomach. A very abstemious friend of mine, not long since, dined tete-a-tete with a gentleman well known for his kindness and hospitality, and not less so for his powers of bibulation. After dinner, at which a fair share of many excellent wines was taken, Port and Madeira were put on the table, and before the host, a _magnum_ of Claret. My friend drank his usual quantum, three glasses of Madeira, during which time a great portion of the magnum had disappeared; and soon afterwards, being emptied, the host said, “I think we can just manage a bottle between us.” The bottle was brought, and very shortly disappeared, without the aid of the visiter.

The same gentleman and Lord —-, at the Angel at Bury, fell in with some excellent Claret. They had disposed of six bottles, when the landlord, who did not guess or _gauge_ the _quality_ of his customers (the bell being rung for a fresh supply,) begged very gently to hint that it was expensive stuff, being fifteen shillings a bottle! “Oh! is it so? then bring up two bottles directly!”

We have nothing, however, in modern times, at all equal to the account given of some of the ancients. The elder Cato, we are told, warmed good principles with a considerable quantity of good wine.[5] But Cicero’s son exceeds all others; so much so, that he got the name of _Bicongius_, because he was accustomed to drink two congii[6] at a sitting. Pliny, and others, abound in grand examples, that prove we have degenerated at any rate in this respect, for these convivials were neither sick nor sorry. Even that eminent debauchee, Nero, was only three times sick in fourteen years. “Nam qui luxuriae immoderatissimae esset, ter omnino per xiv. annos languit; atque ita, ut neque _vino_, neque consuetudine _reliqua_ abstineret.”

The Abbe de Voisenon, a very diminutive man, said to his physician, who ordered him a quart of ptisan per hour, “Ah! my friend, how can you desire me to swallow a quart an hour? I hold only a pint.”

Wine has not only been considered good for the body, but has, from the earliest period, been thought invigorating to the mind. Thus we find it a constant theme of praise with poets. Martial says–

Regnat nocte calix, volvuntur biblia mane, Cum Phoebo Bacchus dividit imperium.

All night I drink, and study hard all day; Bacchus and Phoebus hold divided sway.

Horace has done ample justice to it; and even Homer says–

The weary find new strength in generous wine.

Upon the principle, no doubt, of expanding the imagination, we find, so early as 1374, old Geoffrey Chaucer had a pitcher of wine a day allowed him. Ben Jonson, in after times, had the third of a pipe annually; and a certain share of this invigorating aliment has been the portion of Laureates down to the present day.

Nor are the poets the only eulogists of wine. Some of the greatest names in history are to be found in the list. We find Mr. Burke furnishing reasons why the rich and the great should have their share of wine. He says, they are among _the unhappy_–they feel personal pain and domestic sorrow–they pay their full contingent to the contributions levied on mortality in these matters;–therefore they require this sovereign balm. “Some charitable dole,” says he, “is wanting to those, our often _very unhappy brethren_, to fill the gloomy void that reigns in minds which have nothing on earth to hope or fear; something to relieve the killing languor and over-laboured lassitude of those who have nothing to do.”

This observation of Mr. Burke’s introduces it to our notice as a remedy–as a medicine, in the hands of a physician. Thus we find particular wines recommended by particular doctors, having a fashionable run as specifics:–at one time all the gouty people were drinking Madeira; and many a man persuaded himself he had a fit of _flying_ gout, for the sake of the remedy.[7] Somebody, however, found out that Madeira contained acid, and straight the cellars were rummaged for old Sherry. This change was attributed to Dr. Baillie, who had no more to do with it than Boerhaave, as he has been known to declare. Sherry, and nothing but Sherry, however, could or would the _Podagres_ drink.

Dr. Reynolds, who lived and practised very much with the higher orders, had a predilection for that noble and expensive comforter, Hoc! which short word, from his lips, has often made the doctor’s physic as costly as the doctor’s fee.

Wine has also been recommended, by the highest medical authorities, as alleviating the infirmities of old age.

A Greek physician recommended it to Alexander as the pure blood of the earth.

Though an excess in wine is highly blamable, yet it is more pardonable than most other excesses. The progressive steps to it are cheerful, animating, and seducing; the melancholy are relieved, the grave enlivened, the witty and gay inspired–which is the very reverse of excess in eating: for, Nature satisfied, every additional morsel carries dulness and stupidity with it. “Every inordinate cup is unbless’d, and the ingredient is a devil,” says Shakspeare.

“King Edgar, like a king of good fellows,” adds Selden, “or master of the revels, made a law for Drinking. He gave orders that studs, or knobs of silver or gold (so Malmesbury tells us.) should be fastened to the sides of their cups, or drinking vessels, that when every one knew his mark or boundary, he should, out of modesty, not either himself covet, or force another to desire, more than his stint.” This is the only law, before the first parliament under king James, that has been made against those swill-bowls,

Swabbers of drunken feasts, and lusty rowers, In full-brimmed rummers that do ply their oars,

“who, by their carouses (tippling up Nestor’s years as if they were celebrating the goddess _Anna Perenna_,) do, at the same time, drink others’ health, and mischief and spoil their own and the public.”

An argument very much after this fashion was held by the learned Sir Thomas More. Sir Thomas was sent ambassador to the Emperor by king Henry the Eighth. The morning he was to have his audience, _knowing the virtue of wine_, he ordered his servant to bring him a good large glass of Sack; and, having drunk that, called for another. The servant, with officious ignorance, would have dissuaded him from it, but in vain; the ambassador drank off a second, and demanded a third, which he likewise drank off; insisting on a fourth, he was over-persuaded by his servant to let it alone; so he went to his audience. But when he returned home, he called for his servant, and threatened him with his cane. “You rogue,” said he, “what mischief have you done me! I spoke so to the emperor, on the inspiration of those three glasses that I drank, that he told me I was fit to govern three parts of the world. Now, you dog! if I had drunk the fourth glass, I had been fit to govern all the world.”

The French, a very sober people, have a proverb–

Qu’il faut, a chaque mois,
S’enivrer au moins une fois.

Which has been improved by some, on this side the water, into an excuse for getting drunk every day in the week, for fear that the _specific day_ should be missed. It would, however, startle some of our sober readers, to find this made a question of grave argument–yet, “whether it is not healthful to be drunk once a month,” is treated on by Dr. Carr in his letters to Dr. Quincy.–_Brande’s Jour._

[5] Cato allowed his slaves, during the Saturnalia, four bottles of wine per diem.

[6] Two congii are seven quarts, or eight bottles!

[7] An eminent house-painter in the city, a governor of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, got a receipt for the Painter’s Cholic (cholica pictonum,) which contained all sorts of comfortable things–the chief ingredients being Cogniac brandy and spices. It did wonders with the first two or three cases; but he found the success of the remedy so increased the frequency of the complaint, that he was compelled to give up his medical treatment; for as long as he had the _Specific_, his men were constantly making wry faces at him.

* * * * *

It is somewhat curious that two illustrious members of the Royal Society should have distinguished themselves on _Angling_. Nearly 200 years ago, Prince Rupert studied the art of tempering _fish-hooks_; and the other day Sir Humphry Davy published a volume on _Fly-fishing_.

* * * * *


A snapper up of unconsidered trifles


* * * * *


It was a good defence of baskets of game and periodical remittances of Norfolk turkeys, that “_Presents_ endear _absents_.”

* * * * *

Some one observed, on hearing of the _Manchew_ Tartars, that they must be a race of Cannibals; on which another said, that he concluded the Chinese must be a tribe of the Celtes, (_Sell-Teas_.)

* * * * *

Bannister being impudently asked, “If he was not a relation of Lord STAIR?” good-humouredly answered, “It must then be by collateral descent.”

* * * * *

A gentleman having received a shot in _the Temple_, Mr. Theodore Hook remarked that it was a _legal wound_; an inveterate punster who overheard this never forgave himself for not replying on the spot, “As it was not fatal, it could only have been a _Gray’s Inn_ (grazing) wound.”

* * * * *


After the battle of Assaye, at a _fete_, I recollect, on one of these occasions, a rather illiterate character, who used to say that “Father and he fit, caise he sold the beastesses for too little money; so he coummed out a cadet,” sat as vice-president; the toast of “General Wellesley, and the heroes of Assaye,” was, as usual, given from the chair; when Mr. Vice, rising majestically, and holding aloft his brimming glass, with a sonorous voice, and north-country accent, echoed the toast in the words, “General Wellesley, and here he is I say!”–_Twelve Years’ Military Adventures, &c_.

* * * * *


(_From “A Journey through England,” 1722_.)

In the City of London, almost every parish hath its separate club, where the citizens, after the fatigue of the day is over in their shops, and on the Exchange, unbend their thoughts before they go to bed.

But the most diverting, or amusing of all, is the Mug-House-Club in Long-Acre, where, every Wednesday and Saturday, a mixture of gentlemen, lawyers, and tradesmen, meet in a great room, and are seldom under a hundred.

They have a grave old gentleman in his own gray hairs, now within a few months of ninety years old, who is their president; and sits in an armed-chair, some steps higher than the rest of the company, to keep the whole room in order. A harp plays all the time at the lower end of the room; and every now and then one or other of the company rises and entertains the rest with a song, and (by the by) some are good masters. Here is nothing drank but ale, and every gentleman hath his separate mug, which he chalks on the table where he sits as it is brought in; and every one retires when he pleases, as from a coffee-house.

The room is always so diverted with songs, and drinking from one table to another to one another’s healths, that there is no room for politics, or any thing that can sour conversation.

One must be there by seven to get room, and after ten the company are for the most part gone.

This is a winter’s amusement, that is agreeable enough to a stranger for once or twice, and he is well diverted with the different humours, when the Mugs overflow.

* * * * *


The light of heaven unheeded shines, If cloudless be our skies;
But when it beams on life’s dark clouds, What _rainbow_ beauties rise!

_Lit. Gaz._

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* * * * *

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