THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
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[NO. 321.] SATURDAY, JULY 5, 1828. [PRICE 2d.]
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EATON HALL, CHESHIRE,
The Seat of the Rt. Hon. Earl Grosvenor.
This mansion is a princely specimen of Gothic architecture; and is in every respect calculated for the residence of its noble possessor, whose taste and munificence in patronizing the Fine Arts are well known to our readers. Nevertheless, it is worthy of special remark, that not only is the name of GROSVENOR conspicuous in this patronage, but his lordship has further evinced his love of art in the construction of one of the most splendid buildings in the whole empire,—the present mansion having been completed within a few years. Here the noble founder seems to have realized all that the ingenious Sir Henry Wotton considered requisite for a man's "house and home—the theatre of his hospitality, the seat of self-fruition, a kind of PRIVATE PRINCEDOM; nay, to the possessors thereof, an epitome of the whole world."
 At this moment, Earl Grosvenor has in progress a splendid gallery for the reception of his superb collection of pictures, adjoining his town mansion, in Grosvenor-street. This is one of the few "Private Collections" to which, through the good taste and courtesy of the proprietor, the public are admitted, on specified days, and under certain restrictions. The nucleus of Earl Grosvenor's collection, was the purchase of Mr. Agar's pictures for 30,000; since which it has been enlarged, till it has at length become one of the finest in England. In the drawing-room at Eaton are, Our Saviour on the Mount of Olives, by Claude Lorraine, which is the largest painting known to have been executed by him; and A Port in the Mediterranean, by Vernet. In the dining-room, Rubens with his Second Wife; by himself; and The Judgment of Paris, a copy, by Peters, after Rubens. In the dressing-room of the state bed-room, David and Abigail, also by Rubens. Over the ornamented chimney-pieces of the hall are, West's Dissolution of the Long Parliament, and The Landing of Charles the Second.
Eaton is situated about three miles to the south of Chester, on the verge of an extensive park, thickly studded with fine old timber. The present "Hall" occupies the site of the old mansion, which is described as a square and spacious brick building erected by Sir Thomas Grosvenor, in the reign of William III. The architect was Sir John Vanbrugh, who likewise laid out the gardens with straight walks and leaden statues, in the formal style of his age. In the reconstruction, the fine vaulted basement story of the old Hall was preserved, as were also the external foundations, and some subdivisions; but the superstructure was altered and entirely refitted, and additional apartments erected on the north and south sides, so as to make the area of the new house twice the dimensions of the old one.
The style of architecture adopted in the new Hall is that of the age of Edward III, as exhibited in that Parthenon of Gothic architecture, York Minster; although the architect, Mr. Porden, has occasionally availed himself of the low Tudor arch, and the forms of any other age that suited his purpose, so as to adapt the rich variety of our ancient ecclesiastical architecture to modern domestic convenience. Round the turrets, and in various parts of the parapets are shields, charged in relievo with the armorial bearings of the Grosvenor family, and of other ancient families that, by intermarriages, the Grosvenors are entitled to quarter with their own. The windows, which are "richly dight" with tracery, are of cast-iron, moulded on both sides, and grooved to receive the glass. The walls, battlements, and pinnacles, are of stone, of a light and beautiful colour, from the Manly quarry about ten miles distant.
The annexed engraving represents the west-front of the house, in the centre of which is the entrance, by a vaulted porch, which admits a carriage to the steps that lead to the Hall, a spacious and lofty room, occupying the height of two stories, with a groined ceiling, embellished with the Grosvenor arms, and other devices, in the bosses that cover the junction of the ribs. The pavement is of variegated marble in compartments. At the end of the Hall, a screen of five arches support a gallery which connects the bed-chambers on the north side of the house with those on the south, which are separated by the elevation of the Hall. Under this gallery, two open arches to the right and left conduct to the grand staircase, the state bed-room, and the second staircase; and opposite to the door of the hall is the entrance to the saloon. The grand staircase is elaborately ornamented with niches and canopies, and with tracery under the landings; and in the principal ceiling, which is surmounted with a double skylight of various coloured glass. The state bed-room is lighted by two painted windows, with tracery and armorial bearings. In the saloon are three lofty and splendidly painted windows, which contain, in six divisions,—the portraits of the conqueror's nephew, Gilbert le Grosvenor, the founder of the Grosvenor family, and his lady; of William the Conqueror, with whom Gilbert came into England; the Bishop of Bayeux, uncle to the conqueror; the heiress of the house of Eaton; and Sir Robert le Grosvenor, who signalized himself in the wars of Edward III.
The saloon is a square of thirty feet, formed into an octagon by arches across the angles, which give to the vaultings a beautiful form. Opposite to the chimney piece is an organ richly decorated. On the left of the saloon is an ante-room leading to the dining-room; and on the right, another leading to the drawing-room: the windows of these rooms are glazed with a light Mosaic tracery, and exhibit the portraits of the six Earls of Chester, who, after Hugh Lupus, governed Cheshire as a County Palatine, till Henry III bestowed the title on his son Edward; since which time the eldest sons of the kings of England have always been Earls of Chester.
The dining-room, situated at the northern extremity of the east front, is about 50 feet long and 30 feet wide, exclusive of a bay-window of five arches, the opening of which is 30 feet. In the centre window is the portrait of Hugh Lupus; which, with the portraits of the six Earls of Chester, in the ante-room windows, were executed from cartoons, at Longport, Staffordshire. The ceiling is of bold and rich tracery, with a profuse emblazoning of heraldic honours, and a large ornamented pendant for a chandelier.
The drawing room, which is at the southern extremity of the east front, is of the same form and dimensions as the dining-room, with the addition of a large window to the south, commanding the luxuriant groves of meadows of Eaton, and the village and spire of Oldford above them. All the windows of this room are adorned with heads and figures of the ancestors of the family; also the portraits of the present Earl and Countess, in a beautiful brown chiaro-scuro. The ceiling is tracery of the nicest materials and workmanship emblazoned with the arms of the Grosvenor family, and those of Egerton, Earl of Wilton, the father of the present Countess Grosvenor.
Eaton became the property of the Grosvenor family through the marriage of Ralph Grosvenor, in the reign of Henry VI with Joan, daughter of John Eaton, then owner of this estate. The Grosvenor family, as we have already intimated, came into England with William the Conqueror; they derived their name from the office of chief huntsmen, which they held in the Norman court; and, when "chivalry was the fashion of the times," says Pennant, "few families shone in so distinguished a manner: none shewed equal spirit in vindicating their rights to their looms." He then mentions the celebrated legal contest with Sir Richard le Scroope, for the family arms—Azure, a bend or. This cause was tried before the High Constable and the Earl Marshal of England, in the reign of Richard II. It lasted three years; kings, princes of the blood, and most of the nobility, and among the gentry, Chaucer, the poet, gave evidence on the trial. "The sentence," says Pennant, "was conciliating; that both parties should bear the same arms; but the Grosvenours avec une bordure d'argent. Sir Robert resents it, and appeals to the king. The judgment is confirmed; but the choice is left to the defendant, either to use the bordure, or bear the arms of their relations, the ancient Earls of Chester, azure, a gerb d'or. He rejected the mortifying distinction, and chose a gerb: which is the family coat to this day."
Hitherto we have only spoken of the artificial splendour of Eaton. The natural beauties with which it is environed will, however, present equal, if not superior, attraction for the tourist. The stiff, formal walks of Vanbrugh no longer disfigure the grounds, which are now made to harmonize with the contiguous landscape, and are enlivened by an inlet of the Dee, which intervenes between the eastern front of the mansion, and the opposite plantations. These alterations have, however, been made with great judgment, and a few of the venerable beauties of the park remain. Thus, a fine aged avenue extends westward to a Gothic lodge in the hamlet of Belgrave, about two miles distant from the Hall. Another lodge, in a similar style of design, is approached by a road, which diverges from this avenue towards Chester, and crosses the park, through luxuriating plantations, which open occasionally in glade views of the Broxton and Welsh Hills. The most pleasing approach to this noble mansion is one which has been cut through the plantations, towards the north-east angle of the house, so as to throw the whole building into perspective.
Viewed from either of the beautiful sites with which the park abounds, Eaton is a magnificent display of towers, and turrets, pinnacles and battlements, partly embosomed in foliage, and belted with one of the richest domains in England. Indeed, its splendour seldom fails to strike the overweening admirer of art with devotional fondness, which is not lessened by his approach to the fabric. The most favourable distant views are from the Aldford road, and from the romantic banks of the Dee, whence there is a proud display of architectural grandeur. In every point, however, the grounds and mansion of Eaton will abundantly gratify the expectations of the visiter. Altogether, they present a rich scene of nature, diversified and embellished by the attributes of art; and the admiration of the latter will be not a little enhanced by the reflection that the building of this sumptuous pile provided employment for a large portion of the poor of Chester during one of the most calamitous periods of the late war.
 One view from the interior deserves special mention: viz. from the saloon, upon a terrace 350 feet in length, commanding one of the richest landscapes on the banks of Dee. The boasted terrace at Versailles is but 400 feet in length; yet, how many Englishmen, who have seen the latter, are even ignorant of that at Eaton.
The noble founder of Eaton has indeed learned to "build stately," and "garden finely;" and has thus made the personal fruition of his wealth subservient to its real use—the distribution.
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ORIGIN OF CHESS.
(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
SIR,—In vol. 3, page 211, of the MIRROR, is an account of the origin of the scientific game of chess, the invention of which, your correspondent F. H. Y. has attributed to a brahmin, named Sissa. But I believe it is entirely a matter of doubt, both as to where, and by whom it was invented; it is evidently of very high antiquity, and if we recur to the original names of the pieces with which it is played, we shall readily be convinced it is of Asiatic original. The honour of inventing it, is contended for by several nations, but principally by the Hindoos, the Chinese, and the Persians. In support of the first, we are told, by Sir William Jones, in the 2nd vol. of his Asiatic Researches, that the game of chess has been immemorably known in Hindostan, by the name of Chaturanga, or the four members of an army, viz. elephants, horses, chariots, and foot soldiers. And yet, the same learned author observes, that no account of the game has hitherto been discovered in the classical writings of the brahmins. Mr. Daines Barrington supposed the Chinese to be the inventers, and in this he is supported by a paper published in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, for 1794, vol. 5, by Mr. Eyles Irwin. It states, that when Mr. Irwin was at Canton, a young mandarin, on seeing the English chess-board, recognised its similarity with that used for a game of their own; and brought his board and equipage for Mr. Irwin's inspection, and soon after gave him a manuscript extract from a book, relating the invention of the Chinese game, called by them chong-he, or the royal game, which it attributed to a Chinese general (about 1,965 years ago) who by its means reconciled his soldiers to passing the winter in quarters in the country of Shensi, the cold and inconvenience of which were likely to have occasioned a mutiny among them. Other writers contend that chess is a game of Persian invention, since scah muth is the Persic term for check-mate; and since the Persians were sedulous in recommending it to their young princes, as a game calculated to instruct kings in the art of war. It has been attributed to Palamedes, who lived during the Trojan war; but it was a game played with pebbles, or cubes, of which he was the inventer. Palamedes was so renowned for his sagacity, that almost every early discovery was ascribed to him. Whether the Greeks or Romans were acquainted with this game is doubtful. Of the three contending nations, the claim of the Persians appears to me to be least eligible, and that of the Chinese the most.
J. M. C-D.
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THREE SONNETS TO JOHN KEATS.
(For the Mirror.)
I can think of thee! now that the light spring Showers live in the rich breezes, and the dyes Of the glad flowers are won from her blue eyes Exulting; whilst loud songs, on the fleet wing Of the Earth's seraphs, bear her welcoming From it to heaven, and, up to the far skies, From turf-born censers floods of incense rise. I can think of thee in my wandering; And when the heart leaps up within to bless The sights of love and beauty, on each hand,— The pouring-out of sky-sprung happiness Over the dancing sea and the green land, Thought wakes one saddening thrill of bitterness— Thou canst not o'er this Eden smiling stand!
Yes! even as the quick glow of Spring's first smile Is unto the renewed spirit,—even As that abundant gush of wine from Heaven Loosens the dreary grasp of Cares which coil Round the lone heart like serpents,—the sweet toil Of draining the dear dream-cup thou hast given Is unto me,—and thoughts which long have striven With joyousness, flit far away the while My lips are prest to it. By the fire-light, Or in full gaze of sun-set, when the choirs Of winged minstrels, waking out of light, Ring requiem meet to those departing fires— Let me be with thee then—forgetting quite The world, its scornfulness, and its desires.
O! I could weep for thee! and yet not tears Of hopelessness, but triumph, and sit down And weave for thee wet wild-flowers for a crown— Then up, and sound rich music in thine ears; And teach thee, that sweet lips, in coming years, Shall lisp the songs which cold dull hearts disown,— That all which hope could pant for is thine own,— Dimmed, for a moment's space, with human fears. Then watch the new-born glories in thine eye, Glancing like lightning from its chariot cloud, And list these words, which know not how to die,— Joy's inspiration gushing forth aloud: Then back again unto the world and sigh, And wrap my heart up in a dusky shroud.
THOMAS M—— S.
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CHOOSING OF BAILIFFS AT BRIDGNORTH.
(For the Mirror.)
The bailiffs of Bridgnorth are chosen out of the twenty-four aldermen upon St. Matthew's Day in the following manner:—The court having met, the names of twelve aldermen being separately written on small pieces of paper, are closely rolled up by the town clerk, and thrown into a purse, which is shaken by the two chamberlains standing upon the chequer, (a large table in the middle of the court,) and held open to the bailiffs, when each, according to seniority, takes out a roll. By this means the callers are decided, who, mounting the chequer, alternately call the jury of fourteen out of the burgesses present. They are then sworn neither to eat nor drink till they, or twelve of them, have chosen two fit persons, who have not been bailiffs for three years before, to serve that office for the ensuing year; they are locked up till they have agreed, which sometimes occasions long fastings. In 1739, the jury fasted seventy hours. The persons chosen are sworn into office on Michaelmas Day.—W. H.
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ON COALS, AND THE PERIOD WHEN THE COAL MINES IN ENGLAND WILL BE EXHAUSTED.
(From Bakewell's Introduction to Geology, 3rd Edition, 1828.)
Coal was known, and partially used, at a very early period of our history. I was informed by the late Marquis of Hastings, that stone hammers and stone tools were found in some of the old workings in his mines at Ashby Wolds; and his lordship informed me also, that similar stone tools had been discovered in the old workings in the coal-mines in the north of Ireland. Hence we may infer, that these coal-mines were worked at a very remote period, when the use of metallic tools was not general. The burning of coal was prohibited in London in the year 1308, by the royal proclamation of Edward I. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the burning of coal was again prohibited in London during the sitting of parliament, lest the health of the knights of the shire should suffer injury during their abode in the metropolis. In the year 1643, the use of coal had become so general, and the price being then very high, many of the poor are said to have perished for want of fuel. At the present day, when the consumption of coal, in our iron-furnaces and manufactories and for domestic use, is immense, we cannot but regard the exhaustion of our coal-beds as involving the destruction of a great portion of our private comfort and national prosperity. Nor is the period very remote when the coal districts, which at present supply the metropolis with fuel, will cease to yield any more. The annual quantity of coal shipped in the rivers Tyne and Wear, according to Mr. Bailey, exceeded three million tons. A cubic yard of coals weighs nearly one ton; and the number of tons contained in a bed of coal one square mile in extent, and one yard in thickness, is about four millions. The number and extent of all the principal coal-beds in Northumberland and Durham is known; and from these data it has been calculated that the coal in these counties will last 360 years. Mr. Bailey, in his Survey of Durham, states, that one-third of the coal being already got, the coal districts will be exhausted in 200 years. It is probable that many beds of inferior coal, which are now neglected, may in future be worked; but the consumption of coal being greatly increased since Mr. Bailey published his Survey of Durham, we may admit his calculation to be an approximation to the truth, and that the coal of Northumberland and Durham will be exhausted in a period not greatly exceeding 200 years. Dr. Thomson, in the Annals of Philosophy, has calculated that the coal of these districts, at the present rate of consumption, will last 1,000 years! but his calculations are founded on data manifestly erroneous, and at variance with his own statements; for he assumes the annual consumption of coal to be only two million eight hundred thousand tons, and the waste to be one-third more,—making three million seven hundred thousand tons, equal to as many square yards; whereas he has just before informed us, that two million chaldrons of coal, of two tons and a quarter each chaldron, are exported, making four million five hundred thousand tons, beside inland consumption, and waste in the working. According to Mr. Winch, three million five hundred thousand tons of coal are consumed annually from these districts; to which if we add the waste of small coal at the pit's mouth, and the waste in the mines, it will make the total yearly destruction of coal nearly double the quantity assigned by Dr. Thomson. Dr. Thomson has also greatly overrated the quantity of the coal in these districts, as he has calculated the extent of the principal beds from that of the lowest, which is erroneous; for many of the principal beds crop out, before they reach the western termination of the coal-fields. With due allowance for these errors, and for the quantity of coal already worked out, (which, according to Mr. Bailey, is about one-third,) the 1,000 years of Dr. Thomson will not greatly exceed the period assigned by Mr. Bailey for the complete exhaustion of coal in these counties, and may be stated at three hundred and fifty years.
 The waste of coal at the pit's mouth may be stated at one-sixth of the quantity sold, and that left in the mines at one-third. Mr. Holmes, in his Treatise on Coal Mines, states the waste of small coal at the pit's mouth to be one-fourth of the whole.
It cannot be deemed uninteresting to inquire what are the repositories of coal that can supply the metropolis and the southern counties, when no more can be obtained from the Tyne and the Wear. The only coal-fields of any extent on the eastern side of England, between London and Durham, are those of Derbyshire and those in the west riding of Yorkshire. The Derbyshire coal-field is not of sufficient magnitude to supply, for any long period, more than is required for home consumption, and that of the adjacent counties. There are many valuable beds of coal in the western part of the west riding of Yorkshire which are yet unwrought; but the time is not very distant when they must be put in requisition, to supply the vast demand of that populous manufacturing county, which at present consumes nearly all the produce of its own coal mines. In the midland counties, Staffordshire possesses the nearest coal districts to the metropolis, of any great extent; but such is the immense daily consumption of coal in the iron-furnaces and founderies, that it is generally believed this will be the first of our own coal-fields that will be exhausted. The thirty-feet bed of coal in the Dudley coal-field is of limited extent; and in the present mode of working it, more than two-thirds of the coal is wasted and left in the mine.
If we look to Whitehaven or Lancashire, or to any of the minor coal-fields in the west of England, we can derive little hope of their being able to supply London and the southern counties with coal, after the import of coal fails from Northumberland and Durham. We may thus anticipate a period not very remote, when all the English mines of coal and ironstone will be exhausted; and were we disposed to indulge in gloomy forebodings, like the ingenious authoress of the "Last Man," we might draw a melancholy picture of our starving and declining population, and describe some manufacturing patriarch, like the late venerable Richard Reynolds, travelling to see the last expiring English furnace, before he emigrated to distant regions.
 The late Richard Reynolds, Esq., of Bristol, so distinguished for his unbounded benevolence, was the original proprietor of the great iron-works in Colebrook Dale, Shropshire. Owing, I believe, partly to the exhaustion of the best workable beds of coal and ironstone, and partly to the superior advantages possessed by the iron-founders in South Wales, the works at Colebrook Dale were finally relinquished, a short time before the death of Mr. Reynolds. With a natural attachment to the scenes where he had passed his early years, and to the pursuits by which he had honourably acquired his great wealth, he travelled from Bristol into Shropshire, to be present when the last of his furnaces was extinguished, in a valley where they had been continually burning for more than half a century.
Fortunately, however, we have in South Wales, adjoining the Bristol Channel, an almost exhaustless supply of coal and ironstone, which are yet nearly unwrought. It has been stated, that this coal-field extends over about twelve hundred square miles, and that there are twenty-three beds of workable coal, the total average thickness of which is ninety-five feet, and the quantity contained in each acre is 100,000 tons, or 65,000,000 tons per square mile. If from this we deduct one half for waste and for the minor extent of the upper beds, we shall have a clear supply of coal, equal to 32,000,000 tons per square mile. Now if we admit that the five million tons of coal from the Northumberland and Durham mines is equal to nearly one-third of the total consumption of coals in England, each square mile of the Welsh coal-field would yield coal for two years' consumption; and as there are from one thousand to twelve hundred square miles in this coal-field, it would supply England with fuel for two thousand years, after all our English coal-mines are worked out.
It is true, that a considerable part of the coal in South Wales is of an inferior quality, and is not at present burned for domestic use; but in proportion as coal becomes scarce, improved methods of burning it will assuredly be discovered, to prevent any sulphureous fumes from entering apartments, and also to economize the consumption of fuel in all our manufacturing processes.
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(For the Mirror.)
Thou hast not seen the tear-drops fill The eyes which worship thee; The deepest curse, the darkest ill, Hovers above—around me—still There are no tears for me!
Thou canst not know, why I should kneel For tears to heaven—in vain; The thousand changeless pangs we feel,— The precious drops, perchance, might heal,— They will not start again!
Thou canst not know what hopes will spring When I can gaze on thee, Even in the cold heart withering; Oh! thou to whom that heart must cling, Art more than tears to me!
THOMAS M—— S.
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HINTS FOR HEALTH.
["A very old and active correspondent," Tim Tobykin, has furnished us with the following interesting extracts from Dr. Rennie's Treatise on Gout and Nervous Diseases, just published. These, however, are but a portion of our correspondent's selections; and as they are written in a popular style and appear to be equally applicable to the welfare of all classes, they will doubtless be acceptable to our readers. We are not friendly to the introduction of purely professional matters into the pages of the MIRROR, but the following extracts are so far divested of technicality as to render their utility and importance obvious to every reader.]
CLIMATE, LOCALITY, AND SEASONS.
I shall first inquire, says Dr. Rennie, what are the effects of climate on healthy constitutions, as respects heat, cold, moisture, and vicissitudes; including also the diurnal and annual revolutions.
Cold applied to the body acts as a direct sedative. It diminishes the nervous sensibility, represses the activity of the circulation, detracts from the sum of the animal heat, and thereby diminishes stimulation. In the cessation of excitement and sensibility that ensues, the whole vital actions are moderated, existing irritation is soothed; and in the same manner as sleep recruits the wasted powers, so does cold restore and invigorate the nerves when overstimulated, and in fact promotes the tone and vigour of the whole body; when again a warmer atmosphere succeeds a colder, the animal heat increases in its sum, the surface of the body is re-excited, nervous sensibility returns, and a reaction of the circulation takes place; so that the blood diffuses itself in greater abundance towards the remote and superficial parts of the body, and the secretions are also promoted.
Alternations of cold and heat therefore in healthy constitutions within certain limits, are salutary; promoting, on the one hand, the vigour and tone of the body; on the other, the due activity and excitement of the various functions.
The temperature occasioned by day and night, and also those more progressive and slow alternations of heat and cold, on the large scale, attending the annual revolution of the seasons, are a natural provision admirably adapted to effect these objects as described; constituted as our bodies are, such a constant and regular succession of heat and cold is just such as the necessities of the human frame require. The alternations of day and night, of winter and summer, are far from being merely incidental and unimportant circumstances in the general adaptation of the earth to man's constitutional wants; neither do they bear reference solely to the productions of the earth for his use. They exert a continual and direct influence on his constitution, calculated to aid the vigorous and healthy performance of the various functions of the body each in its due degree and order, and they conduce mainly to the perfection and longevity of the species.
Let us therefore trace the effects of these changes on the human body.
During the winter, the prevailing cold acts as a universal sedative and tonic, soothing the nervous excitement and sensibility, allaying the activity of the circulation, moderating the functions of the skin, and diminishing the various secretions.
As the Spring opens, the sun gains daily in influence, generating a gradually increasing atmospheric warmth. The body therefore becomes subject from this heat to a reactive effect, during which the nervous sensibility and circulation are gradually re-excited, the blood is more equally diffused towards the surface and extremities of the body, and the secretion by the skin is increased.
If the cold of winter were to continue unmitigated from year to year, without the genial influence of summer, the human race, as is apparent in polar regions and upland mountainous districts, would degenerate into dwarfishness.
If the heat of summer were continually maintained the whole year round, a tendency to degeneracy of the race would be also observed, as we see in tropical latitudes. It is in the medium betwixt these extremes, where a moderate and regular winter cold is succeeded by a mild, genial summer temperature, that the species approaches most to perfection in stature, health, strength, and longevity.
In observing also the influence of day and night on the constitution, there is a sedative effect produced in the morning before the sun is up, a reactive tendency promoted towards noon under the solar influence, and again towards evening this reaction is repressed by the sedative effect of the evening cold; and this sedative effect is at its maximum at midnight. Hence those who sit up late feel unusually chilly and depressed towards midnight, partly owing to exhaustion from want of sleep, but chiefly from the total absence of solar influence in the atmospherical temperature. In regular habits this sedative effect is never thoroughly experienced; for before midnight, the constitution, enveloped in warm blankets, has experienced the reaction arising from the accumulation of heat in bed. Whence the common remark, that one hour's sleep before midnight is worth three after that hour, is actually true to a certain extent. By early retirement to rest, the sedative effect on the constitution, to an extent such as to disturb the functions, is escaped.
If we connect these two influences, the annual and diurnal successions of cold and heat, in their joint effect, we find, that about, or a little after the summer solstice, the influence of the sun being at its maximum, the nervous sensibility, heat, circulating excitement, and cutaneous secretions of the body, are also at their maximum. The temperature of the day and night differ so little, that the sedative effects of evening and morning are not sufficient to restore the frame by soothing the sensibilities, overexcited and irritable from the previous warmth. Whence the languor and irritability felt in summer, when the heat is long continued, and the nights are spent in restlessness and anxious oppression. Exhaustion and relaxation of the frame are the consequence.
As the autumnal equinox verges on, the mornings and evenings get cooler in relation to the mid-day heat; and about the equinox, the difference in the temperature of mid-day and midnight is at its maximum. We have therefore a powerful sedative effect in the morning, which braces and invigorates the body; a powerful reactive effect at mid-day, which rouses and stimulates the actions and sensibilities of the frame; and again towards evening a sedative effect, from the increasing cold reaching its maximum at midnight.
As the season passes on from the Equinox towards the winter solstice, the heat of the sun daily diminishes, and the cold gains a daily preponderance. The sedative effect on the body goes on progressively increasing, being less and less counteracted by any genial influence from the solar heat at mid-day; whence the gloom and depression so universally experienced by the nervous in November and December, which is more and more felt till the shortest day. So soon as the minimum of solar influence and maximum of sedative effect on the body has passed over, the sun gradually acquires more of meridian influence, and a daily increasing ascendancy over the prevalent cold. The human constitution at the same time is subject to a proportionate reactive disposition; which reaction is felt most at noon, and it daily becomes more and more apparent till the vernal equinox, when we have the difference betwixt the meridian and midnight temperature again at a maximum. We have daily a powerful sedative effect in the morning, a powerful meridian reaction, which again subsides into a sedative condition on the access of the evening. This daily effect on the constitution is exactly similar to that at the autumnal equinox, only it occurs under different circumstances. In autumn it is connected with departing heat and progressively increasing cold; in Spring it is connected with progressively diminishing cold and advancing heat. After the vernal equinox, the difference in the meridian and midnight temperature gradually diminishes; the daily sedative effect at morning and evening becomes less and less apparent as general atmospheric warmth prevails, till towards the summer solstice, the general effect on the constitution is stimulation and excitement by atmospheric heat.
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NOTES OF A READER.
BYRON'S "FARE THEE WELL."
On one occasion of a mediator waiting upon Lord Byron upon the subject of a reconciliation with his wife, he produced from his desk a paper on which was written "fare thee well," and said, "Now these are exactly my feelings on the subject—they were not intended to be published, but you may take them."—Lit. G.
Dr. Franklin published an ingenious Essay on the advantages of early rising.—He called it "an economical project," and calculated the saving that might be made in the city of Paris, by using the sunshine instead of the candles—at no less than 4,000,000l. sterling.
Light exercises a very remarkable influence upon the irritability of the sensitive plant. Thus, if a sensitive plant be placed in complete darkness, by carrying it within an opaque vessel, it will entirely lose its irritability, and that in a variable time, according to a certain state of depression or elevation of the surrounding temperature.
At Brussels, the demand for labour is so great, in consequence of the number of new buildings, that tradesmen consider they confer a favour on a customer by the execution of his orders. The lower classes have become, within the last seven years, extremely dissipated, owing it is supposed to the increase in the wages of the mechanics and labourers employed in the numerous buildings erected within that period. During the Kaermess annual feast of three days, it is calculated 80,000 litres (pots) are drunk each day!
Cooper, the American novelist, has just published two volumes of "Notions" of his countrymen, in the course of which he bestows on them the following surperlative epithets: "most active, quick-witted, enterprising, orderly, moral, simple, vigorous, healthful, manly, generous, just, wise, innocent, civilized, liberal, polite, enlightened, ingenious, moderate, glorious, firm, free, virtuous, intelligent, sagacious, kind, honest, independent, brave, gallant, intellectual, well-governed, elevated, dignified, pure, immaculate, extraordinary, wonderful," &c. He then calls them the "most improving," which is painting, nay coating, the lily, to "wasteful and ridiculous excess."
Impart a lively interest to a ride in the Pampas. They are sometimes seen in coveys of twenty or thirty, gliding elegantly along the undulations of the plain, at half pistol-shot from each other, like skirmishers. The young are easily domesticated, and soon become attached to those who caress them; but they are troublesome inmates; for, stalking about the house, they will, when full grown, swallow coin, shirt-pins, and every small article of metal within reach. Their usual food, in a wild state, is seeds, herbage, and insects; the flesh is a reddish brown, and if young, not of bad flavour. A great many eggs are laid in the same nest. Some accounts exonerate the ostrich from being the most stupid bird in the creation. This has been proved by the experiment of taking an egg away, or by putting one in addition. In either case she destroys the whole by smashing them with her feet. Although she does not attend to secrecy, in selecting a situation for her nest, she will forsake it if the eggs have been handled. It is also said that she rolls a few eggs thirty yards distant from the nest, and cracks the shells, which, by the time her young come forth, being filled with maggots, and covered with insects, form the first repast of her infant brood. The male bird is said to take upon himself the rearing of the young. If two cock-birds meet, each with a family, they fight for the supremacy over both; for which reason an ostrich has sometimes under his tutelage broods of different ages.—Mem. Gen. Miller.
Dr. Kitchiner recommends a gentleman who has a mind to carry the arrangement of his clothes to a nicety, to have the shelves of his wardrobe numbered 30, 40, 50, and 60, and according to the degree of cold pointed to by his thermometer, to wear a corresponding defence against it.
Dr. Harwood fed two pointers; one he suffered to sleep after dinner, another he forced to take exercise. In the stomach of the one who had been quiet and asleep, all the food was digested; in the stomach of the other, that process was hardly begun.
SIR WALTER'S LAST.
At page 354 of our last vol., the reader will find an eloquent description of Perth, from the Wicks of Beglie, quoted from St. Valentine's Eve. This turns out to be a topographical blunder, for the "fair city" cannot be seen at all from the said Wicks, whereas the author has described it as the best point of view. As our readers have long since enjoyed the description, we shall doubtless be pardoned for thus noticing the mistake.
The system of telegraphs has arrived at such perfection in the presidency of Bombay, that a communication may be made through a line of 500 miles in eight minutes.—Weekly Rev.
One of the drawing-room critics who uphold the literature of lords and ladies, sums up the merits of fashionable novel-writing as follows:—"After all, it is something to scrutinize lords and ladies, recline on satin sofas, eat off silver dishes—whose nomenclature is the glory of l'artiste—though only in a book."
The largest and finest log of mahogany ever imported into this country has been recently sold by auction at the docks in Liverpool. It was purchased for 378l., and afterwards sold for 525l., and if it open well, it is supposed to be worth 1,000l. If sawed into veneers, it is computed that the cost of labour in the process will be 750l. The weight on the king's beam is six tons thirteen hundred weight.
Dugald Stewart, the celebrated metaphysician, of whom Scotland has just reason to be proud, died a short time since at Edinburgh, at the age of seventy-five. He recently published two volumes, of which a distinguished gentleman in Edinburgh thus speaks:—"June 16. Dugald Stewart is to be buried to-morrow. A great light is gone out, or rather gone down,—for its glory will long be in the sky, though its orb be no more visible above the horizon. He corrected his last two volumes with his own hand within these three months. What philosopher, especially palsy-stricken ten years ago,—could ring in better. Glorious fellow! I hear his splendid sentences and exquisite voice sounding in mine ear at the distance of nearly thirty winters. His peculiar merit was the purity and loftiness of his moral taste. For about forty years he raised the standard of thought and feeling among successive generations of young men, to a range it would never otherwise have attained."
OLD AND NEW VAUXHALL.
Of old, a half-crown at the door, and the price of such comestibles as were devoured, were grumbled at as tax enough; but now the account stands in a fairer form, because you are charged distinctly for every item, so that you know what you are paying for, and may choose or reject, as you think fit. Thus Mr. Bull, from Aldgate, with Mrs. Bull, and only four of the younger Bulls and Cows, numbering six in all, make good their entry at the cost of 1l. 4s.—Books to tell them what they are to see and hear, the when and the how are 3s. Seats for the vaudeville (average of modest places) 9s. Ditto for the ballet 6s. Ditto for the battle 6s. Ditto for the fire-works 6s.—Total 2l. 14s.—But then they are not charged for seeing the lamps; there is no charge for walking round the walks; there is no charge for looking at the cosmoramic pictures; there is no charge for casting a glance at the orchestra; there is no charge for staring at the other people; there is no charge for bowing or talking to an acquaintance, if you meet one—all these are gratis; and if you neither eat nor drink, there is no charge for witnessing those who do mangle the long-murdered honours of the coop, and gulp down the most renovating of liquors, be they hale or stout, vite vine, red port, or rack punch.—Lit. Gaz.
Bruges, (celebrated as the birthplace of John Van Eyck, said to have invented the art of oil-painting), is now in a very dilapidated condition. It was formerly a place of great commerce, and the merchants of Bruges were the wealthiest in Europe. The population is reduced from 100,000 to 25,000.—Brussels Companion.
DISTURBING THE DEAD.
Mr. Crawfurd, in his recent Mission to Hu, wished to visit the mausoleum of the late king; "but," says he, "we were politely informed that the king was always reluctant to permit the visits of strangers, whose presence," he said, "might 'trouble the repose of the spirits of his ancestors.'"
Dine with a march-of-intellect man, and only observe the downcast eyes of his pale-faced, trembling wife—the knit brows of his sullen sons—the sulky sorrows of his joy-denied daughters. All that comes of your hard-hearted, hard-headed, music-painting-and-poetry-despising, utilitarian, intellectual, all-in-all educationists, who know nothing so admirable as a steam-engine, and would wish to see the whole world worked by machinery.
Here is a specimen of the slip-slop with which so many thousand reams of paper have lately been spoiled. "Tea was announced, and the ladies adjourned to the saloon; Lady Harriet and Lady Charlotte, discussing, as they went in together, the difficult question, whether it was or was not an improvement in modern arrangements to have tea en-buffet. One of its advantages the ladies were perfectly aware of, namely, that it afforded a point de runir, for both beaux and belles, which is always so much wanted before the music begins; and calculating on this important circumstance, Lady Charlotte possessed herself of the chair which was the most accessible of the whole group. Miss Mortimer, with equal foresight, stationed herself at the fire:—"Good generalship," whispered Lady Hauteville to the duchess, as the two experienced matrons communicated together sur les petites ruses, which the actors fancied were unperceived, &c."
Dr. Walsh, in his Journey from Constantinople, describes a species of woodpecker, about the size of a thrush, of a light, blue colour, with black marks beside the bill. "It entered my room," says he, "with all the familiarity of an old friend, hopped on the table, and picked up the crumbs and flies. It had belonged to the doctor's child, just buried, and by a singular instinct, left the house of the dead, and flew into my room. Its habits were curious, and so familiar, that they were quite attractive; it climbed up the wall by any stick or cord near it, devouring flies. It sometimes began at my foot, and at one race, ran up my leg, arm, round my neck, down my other arm, and so to the table. It there tapped with its bill with a noise as loud as a hammer. This was its general habit on the wood in every part of the room; when it did so, it would look intently at the place, and dart at any fly or insect it saw running. Writers on Natural History say it makes this noise to disturb the insects concealed within, so to seize them when they appear."
At Brussels apartments are not to be procured for a shorter term than six months.
In the prison at Ghent, spirits are sold, but pens and paper cannot be obtained without a special application to the governor.
Mr. Brande, in his recent Lecture on Vegetable Chemistry, says, "Salt has been very much extolled for a manure; I believe that a great deal more has been said of it than it deserves; it certainly destroys insects, but I do not believe what has been said of its value. We are not to infer that because a manure is found to be useful on one soil in a certain climate, that it shall prove equally useful in others; experience must direct us in this particular."
In Prussia there exist, what are termed Strolling Schools, having no fixed place. The teacher, with his scholars or his classical furniture, establishes himself in all the houses or a village successively, where he affords instruction; and his stay is determined by the number of persons he is called upon to instruct under each roof, a week being the allotted term, for each child, during which period the parents supply all the wants of the Domine.—Athenaeum.
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The following extracts from a "roll of the expenses of Edward I., at Rhuddlan Castle, in Wales, in the tenth and eleventh years of his reign" (1281 and 1282), may perhaps amuse our readers, as showing the rates of wages paid to different workmen, tradesmen, archers, &c. at that period. Under the head of necessaries, are some curious items. Rhuddlan Castle was the head quarters of Edward, during an insurrection of the Welsh, under Llewellin, Prince of Wales, at which time it had many additions made to it:—
Paid to Master Peter de Brompton for the wages of 100 carpenters, each receiving 4d. per day, and their constable receiving 8d. per day; of which five are overseers of twenty, and each receives 6d. per day for his wages, from Sunday 23rd of August for the seven following days, 12l. 3s. 9d.
To two smiths, one receiving 4d. per day, and the other 3d. for their wages, from Sunday 23rd of August to Sunday 12th of September, each day being reckoned, for twenty one days, 12s. 3d.
Two shoeing smiths by the day, at 3d.
Paid to forty-seven sailors of the king for their wages, seven days; each receiving per diem 3d., except seven, each of whom received 6d. per day, 4l. 14s. 6d.
Paid to Geoffry le Chamberlin for the wages of twelve cross-bowmen and thirteen archers for twenty-four days; each cross-bowman receiving by the day 4d, and each archer 2d.,—7l. 8s.
Paid to one master mason, receiving 6d. per diem, and five masons at 4d., and one workman at 3d.; for twenty-eight days, 3l. 7s. 8d.
Sunday next, after the feast of St. John Baptist, paid to twenty-two mowers, each receiving 1-1/2d. per day for four days, 11s.
Wednesday following paid to twenty-three mowers, each receiving 6d. per day for their wages of two days, 1l. 3s.
Paid to fourscore and sixteen spreaders of hay for one day's wages, whereof fourscore received each per day 1-1/2d, and each of the others 2d., l2s. 8d.
Paid to 160 spreaders of hay for their wages, Sunday and Monday, 16s. 6d.
For six carts, each with three horses, hired to carry the hay from the meadows to the castle of Rothelan, for one day, 6s. 10d.
For the carriage of turf, with which the house was covered in which the hay was placed, 1s. 5d.
For an iron fork bought to turn the hay, 3d.
For making a ditch about the house where the said hay was put, 1s. 8d.
For putting and piling up one rick of hay in the house, 1s. 8d.
Wages of two turf-cutters, seven days, at 5d. per day, 5s. 10d.
For the carriage of turves to cover the king's kitchen, 7s. 6d.
For twenty-two empty casks, bought to make paling for the queen's court yard, 18s. 4d.
To Wildbor, the fisherman, receiving 10d. per day, and his six companions, the queen's fishermen, at 3d. per day each, fishing in the sea, forty-two days, 4l. 18s.
Repairing a cart of the king's, conveying a pipe of honey from Aberconway to Rothelan, 1s. 4d.
To six men carrying shingles to cover the hall of the castle, at 2-1/2d each per day, seven days, 8s. 9d.
To a certain female spy, as a gift, 1s.
To a certain female spy, to purchase her a house, as a gift, 1l.
To Ralph le Vavasour, bringing news to the queen of the taking of Dolinthalien, as a gift, 5l.
To John de Moese, coming immediately after with the same news, with letters of the Earl of Gloucester, by way of gift, 5l.
To a certain player, as a gift, 1s.
Swan with Two Necks.
It appears from the roll of swan's marks, in the time of Henry VIII., that the king's swans were doubly marked, and had what were called two nicks, or notches. The term, in process of time, not being understood, a double animal was invented, with the name of "The Swan with Two Necks." But this is not the only ludicrous mistake that has arisen on the subject, since "swan-upping," or the taking up of swans, performed annually by the swan companies, with the Lord Mayor at their head, for the purpose of marking them, has been changed, by an unlucky asperite, into swan-hopping, which is perfectly unintelligible.
Trial of the Pix.
The invention of it, in this kingdom, or at least its introduction into our courts, is probably of high antiquity, being mentioned in the time of Edward I., as a mode well known and of common usage. At present it is seldom required, except on the removal of the master of the Mint from his office. Upon a memorial praying for a trial of the Pix by this officer, a summons issues to certain members of the privy council to meet on a day fixed. The Lord Chancellor also directs a precept to the wardens of the Goldsmith's company, requiring them to nominate a competent number of able freemen of their company, skilful to judge of, and to present the defaults of the coin, if such be found, to be of a jury. When the court is formed, twelve of these persons are sworn, who are directed by the president to examine whether the moneys were made according to the indenture, and standard trial pieces, and within the remedies. But in 1754, Lord Chancellor Talbot directed the jury to express precisely how much the money was within the remedies; and the practice which he thus enjoined is still continued. The Pix, or box containing the coins to be examined, is then delivered to the jury, who retire to the court room of the Duchy of Lancaster, whither the Pix is removed, together with the weights of the Exchequer and Mint, and where the scales used on this occasion are suspended; the beam of which is so delicate, that it will turn with six grains, when loaded with the whole of those weights, to the amount of 48 lbs. 8 oz. in each scale. The Pix is then opened, and the money which had been taken out of each delivery, and enclosed in a parcel under the seals of the warden, master, and comptroller of the Mint, is given to the foreman, who reads aloud the endorsement, and compares it with the account which lies before him; he then delivers the parcel to one of the jury, who opens it and examines whether its contents agree with the endorsement. When all the parcels have been opened, and found right, the moneys contained in them are mixed together in wooden bowls, and afterwards weighed. Out of the said moneys so mingled, the jury take a certain number of each species of coin, to the amount of one pound for the assay by fire. And the indented trial pieces of gold and silver, of the dates specified in the indenture, being produced by the proper officer, a sufficient quantity is cut from either of them, for the purpose of comparing with it the pound weight of gold or silver which is to be tried by the usual methods of assay. The jury then return their verdict, stating how much the coins examined have varied from the weight and fineness required, and whether the variations exceed or fall short of the remedies which are allowed; and according to the terms of the verdict, the master's quietus is either granted or withheld.
Note.—The remedies are an allowance of one sixth of a carat, or forty grains, in the pound weight of gold, and of two pennyweights in that of silver, considered either as to fineness or weight, or both of them taken together; the moneyers are, however, at this time so expert, that these quantities are much greater than are necessary.
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SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY
Society of Civil Engineers.
A charter of incorporation has just received the royal signature, constituting an institution of Civil Engineers, and naming Mr. Telford its president. The objects of such institution, as recited in the charter, are, "The general advancement of mechanical science, and more particularly for promoting the acquisition of that species of knowledge which constitutes the profession of a civil engineer; being the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man, as the means of production and of traffic in states, both for external and internal trade, as applied in the construction of roads, bridges, aqueducts, canals, river navigation, and docks, for internal intercourse and exchange; and in the construction of ports, harbours, moles, breakwaters, and light-houses, and in the art of navigation by artificial power, for the purposes of commerce; and in the construction and adaptation of machinery, and in the drainage of cities and towns."
Toads as Ant-eaters.
In the autumn of last year, a pit, wherein I grew melons, was so much infested with ants, as to threaten the destruction of the whole crop; which they did, first by perforating the skin, and afterwards eating their way into the fruit; and, after making several unsuccessful experiments to destroy them, it occurred to me that I had seen the toad feed on them. I accordingly put about half a dozen toads into the pit, and, in the course of a few days, scarcely an ant was to be found.—Corresp. Gard. Mag.
Laying out Part of the Calton Hill as Pleasure-Ground.
We observe with pleasure plans advertised for in the Edinburgh newspapers, for this purpose. There is no city in Britain which presents greater facilities for public walks and gardens than Edinburgh, notwithstanding the immense injury which it has sustained in a picturesque point of view by the earthen mound, and the mean buildings which cover great part of the bottom and sides of the valley of the North Loch. That valley ought to have been laid out in terraces, some open, or covered with glazed verandas, for winter use, and others shaded by trees for summer walking. The great art in laying out walks for recreation and ease on sloping surfaces, is so to direct them as not to render them more fatiguing than straight walks on level ground. But the grand subject of improvement at Edinburgh, in the way of planting in the public walks, is the hill of Arthur's Seat, which, planted and built on, might be rendered one of the most unique scenes in Europe.—Gard. Mag.
Watering gives vegetables long exposed a fresher colour, and a more attractive appearance; but repeated waterings are highly pernicious, as they neutralize the natural juices of some, render others bitter, and make all others vapid or disagreeable.—Ibid.
The use of lime in mortar, is to fill up the hollow spaces or vacuities between the grains of sand, and to cement them together, thereby forming a kind of artificial stone. To add any more lime than is sufficient to fill up these spaces, seems to be useless, and to add much more must weaken the mortar; but, if too little lime be used, there will be cavities left between some of the grains of sand, and the mortar will consequently be short or brittle: therefore, when we cannot ascertain the best proportions of lime and sand, it is better to use too much lime than too little.—Ibid.
Treatment of Gold and Silver Fish.
These beautiful objects of the animal kingdom, though long ago introduced into Europe from China, their native country, seldom breed in such numbers as they might be expected to do. It has been lately discovered that in ponds heated by waste water discharged from steam factories, the gold and silver fish breed abundantly. From this circumstance, it has been suggested, that, as heating hothouses by warm water is now so generally adopted, a portion of this, led occasionally into a garden basin, would keep the water in such a temperament as would not only always be agreeable to the fish, but promote their breeding.—Ibid.
Professor Schow, of Copenhagen, has lately read a paper "On the supposed Changes in the Climate of the different parts of the Earth, during the period of Human History," from which, as far as it has appeared in our language, it seems to be his opinion, that, on a general view, climates are the same now as in ancient times. The identity of the climate of Palestine, now and during antiquity, is thus beautifully made out:—"It will be convenient to begin with Palestine, the Bible being the oldest, or one of the oldest of books; and, although great uncertainty exists about the determination of the plants which are mentioned in it, yet two of them do not admit of any doubt, (and these are sufficient for the determination of the climate of Palestine, in former times,) viz. the date-tree and the vine. The date-tree was frequent, and principally in the southernmost part of the country. Jericho was called Palm-town. The people had palm branches in their hands. Deborah's palm-tree is mentioned between Rama and Bethel. Pliny mentions the palm-tree as being frequent in Judea, and principally about Jericho. Tacitus and Josephus speak likewise of woods of palm-trees, as well as Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, and Theophrastus. Among the Hebrew coins, those with date-trees are by no means rare, and the tree is easily recognised, as it is figured with its fruit. The vine, also, was one of the plants most cultivated in Palestine, and not merely for the grapes, but really for the preparation of wine. The feast of the tabernacle of the Jews was a feast on account of the wine harvest. From a passage where the cultivation of the vine is mentioned, in the Valley of Engeddy, it is evident that the vine not only grew in the northernmost mountainous part of the country, but also in its southern lower part. Besides these, there are other ancient testimonies in favour of the vine. This plant, indeed, sometimes occurs on the same coin with the date palm. The date-tree, in order to bring its fruit to perfection, requires a mean temperature of 78 Fahr. The vine, on the other hand, cannot be cultivated to any extent if the mean temperature be above 72 Fahr. Such, then, must have been the temperature of Palestine, in former ages; and by all that is known of its present climate, the mean temperature seems to be the same now. Nor has the time of harvest undergone any change. Snow and ice, which were known, though rarely, in ancient times, are occasionally met with now and at present, as in former times. The inhabitants make use of artificial heat to warm themselves."—Dr. Brewster's Journal.
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SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
NUISANCES OF SOCIETY.
It is quite true that the largest part of conversation turns upon eating and drinking, the weather, the vices and follies of our neighbours, and a thousand other trifles that lead not to dispute; and it must be admitted that it is bad companionship to be eternally canvassing the greater interests of life, and forcing upon society opinions upon things in general. There are, indeed, themes in plenty which belong to the neutral ground of debate; but it is very pitiable that they should so ill bear repetition. All the world, if they dared avow as much, are heartily tired of them. Like cursing and swearing, they are merely unmeaning expletives to supply the lack of sense, to gain time, and to give a man the satisfaction of sometimes hearing his own voice. With all the assistance of cards, music, dancing, and champagne, society is at best but a dreary business, and it requires no little animal spirits to undergo the infliction with decency. Are you admitted on terms of familiarity to the domestic hearth of your friend, that privilege confers on you the opportunity of becoming intimately acquainted with the faults of his servants, and (what is worse) with the merits of his children.
A dinner of ceremony is a funeral without a legacy; an assembly is a mob, and a ball a compound of glare, tinsel, noise, and dust. However amusing in their freshness, after a few repetitions, they are only rendered endurable by the prospect of some collateral gain, or the gratification of personal vanity. To exhibit the beauty of a young wife, or the diamonds of an old one; to be able to say the best thing that is uttered; to sport a red ribbon or a Waterloo medal in their first novelty; to carry a point with a great man, or to borrow money from a rich one, may pass off an evening very well, with those who happen to be interested in such speculations; but, these things apart, the arrantest trifler in the circle must get weary at last, and be heartily rejoiced when the conclusion of the season spares him all further reiteration of the mill-horse operation. It is this insipidity of society that forces so many of its members upon desperate adventures of gallantry, and upon deep play. Any thing, every thing is good to escape from the languor and listlessness of a converse from which whatever interests is banished. Many a woman loses her character, and many a man incurs a verdict of ruinous damages, in the simple search of that rarest of all rare things in society—a sensation. Neither is the matter much mended, if, barring the insipidity of bon-ton company, you plunge into the formal gravity of the middle classes, or into the noisy, empty mirth of the lower. The man of sense and feeling, wherever he goes, will find himself in a minority, in which few will speak his language or comprehend his ideas. He will seldom return to his home without a weary sense of the "stale, flat, and unprofitable" nothings he has been compelled to entertain in his intercourse with the world,—without the recollection of some outrage on his independence, some dogmatism that he dared not question, some impertinence that he dared not confute. With his ears ringing with blue-stocking literature, threadbare sophistries, forms erected into important principles, mediocrity elevated into consideration, and the pre-eminence of the vain, the ignorant, and the contemptible, he will shut himself up in his solitude, and say with the Englishman at Paris Je m'ennuis trs bien ici. Against the recurrence of these annoyances, day after day renewed, what nerves can hold out? As life advances, time becomes precious, every moment is counted, every enjoyment is computed; and while the effort necessary for pleasing and being pleased becomes greater, the motive for making that exertion grows less. When the sources of physical gratification are dried up, and the illusions of life are dissipated, there remains nothing for enjoyment but a tranquil fireside, and the mastery of our own ideas and of our own habits in the privacy of home. But then, to enjoy these, you must not have a methodist wife, and you must have a porter who can lie with a good grace, a fellow who could say "not at home," though death himself knocked at the door. Neither should you read the newspapers, nor walk the streets. The times are long gone by since "wisdom cried out there." Folly, impertinence, sheer impertinence, has exclusive possession of the king's highway; and a dog with a tin-kettle at tail has as good a chance as the wretch who dares to tread the pavement without partaking of the ruling insanity. Oh! Mr. Brougham, Mr. Brougham! your schoolmaster has a great deal yet to do: pray heaven his rods and his fools' caps may hold out!—New Month. Mag.
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The morn is up! wake, Beauty, wake! The flower is on the lea, The blackbird sings within the brake, The thrush is on the tree; Forth to the balmy fields repair, And let the breezes mild Lift from thy brow the falling hair, And fan my little child— Yet if thy step be 'mid the dews, Beauty! be sure to change your shoes!
'Tis noon! the butterfly springs up, High from her couch of rest, And scorns the little blue-bell cup Which all night long she press'd. Away! we'll seek the walnut's shade, And pass the sunny hour, The bee within the rose is laid, And veils him in the flower; Mark not the lustre of his wing, Beauty! be careful of his sting!
'Tis eve! but the retiring ray A halo deigns to cast Round scenes on which it shone all day, And gilds them to the last: Thus, ere thine eyelids close in sleep, Let Memory deign to flee Far o'er the mountain and the deep, To cast one beam on me! Yes, Beauty! 'tis mine inmost prayer— But don't forget to curl your hair!
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GOG AND MAGOG.—(A Fragment.)
Pensively and profoundly was I meditating, seated one evening upon a stone bench in Guildhall, when, as the gathering gloom invested the solemn faces of Gog and Magog, rendering them mysteriously dim and indistinct, methought I saw them slowly shut their eyes, nod their heads, fall asleep, and actually begin to snore. Never did I hear any thing more sonorously grand and awful than that portentous inbreathing of Gog and Magog, resounding through the Gothic vastness of Guildhall; but, behold! how omnipotent is the dreaming imagination! I myself had been dozing; the sound of my own nose, transferred by a metonymy of the fancy to the nostrils of those wooden idols, had become, as it were, the living apotheosis of a snore, which had subdued me by its sublimity. Most fortunate was it that I awoke; for, on attentively inspecting the faces of the figures, I saw them working and writhing with all the contortions of the Pythoness or the Sibyl, labouring in the very throes of inspiration, struggling with the advent of the prophetical afflatus. At length their lips parted, when, in a low, solemn voice, that thrilled through the dark, deserted, and silent hall, they poured forth alternately the following vaticinal strain, each starting and trembling as he concluded:—
"From Bank, Change, Mansion-house, Guildhall, Throgmorton, and Threadneedle, From London-stone, and London wall, When City housewife's wheedle To Brunswick, Russell, Bedford Squares, And Portland-place, their spouses, Anxious to give themselves great airs Of fashion in great houses, Then Gog shall start, and Magog shall Tremble upon his pedestal."
"When merchant, banker, broker, shake In Crockford's club their elbow, And for St. James's clock forsake The chiming of thy bell, Bow: When Batson's, Garraway's, and John's, At night show empty boxes, While cits are playing dice with dons, Or ogling opera doxies; Then Gog shall start, and Magog shall Tremble upon his pedestal."
"When city dames give routs and reels, And ape high-titled prancers, When City misses dance quadrilles, Or waltz with whisker'd Lancers; When City gold is quickly spent In trinkets, feasts, and raiment, And none suspend their merriment Until they all stop payment, Then Gog shall start, and Magog shall Tremble upon his pedestal."
I was reflecting what dire calamities would fall upon the doomed City, since the era of luxury, corruption, and desertion, thus denounced, had now manifestly arrived, and Gog and Magog were actually starting and trembling upon their pedestals, when the hall-keeper, shaking me by the shoulder, exclaimed—"Come, Sir, you musn't be sleeping here all night! Bundle out, if you please, for I am just going to shut the great gates!"—New Monthly Mag.
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A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.—SHAKSPEARE.
An experiment to ascertain the degree of heat it is possible for a man to bear, was made a few days ago at the New Tivoli, at Paris, in the presence of a company of about 200 persons. The man on whom this experiment was made is a Spaniard of Andalusia, named Martenez, aged 43. A cylindrical oven, constructed in the shape of a dome, had been heated for four hours, by a very powerful fire. At ten minutes past eight, the Spaniard, having on large pantaloons of red flannel, a thick cloak also of flannel, and a large felt, after the fashion of straw hats, went into the oven, where he remained, seated on a foot-stool, during fourteen minutes, exposed to a heat of from 45 to 50 degrees, of a metallic thermometer, the gradation of which did not go higher than 50. He sang a Spanish song while a fowl was roasted by his side. At his coming out of the oven, the physicians found that his pulse beat 134 pulsations a minute, though it was but 72 at his going in, The oven being healed anew for a second experiment, the Spaniard re-entered and seated himself in the same attitude; at three quarters past eight, ate the fowl, and drank a bottle of wine to the health of the spectators. At coming out his pulse was 176, and the thermometer indicated a heat of 110 degrees of Reaumur. Finally, for the third and last experiment, which almost immediately followed the second, he was stretched on a plank, surrounded with lighted candles, and thus put into the oven, the mouth of which was closed this time. He was there nearly five minutes, when all the spectators cried out, "Enough, enough," and anxiously hastened to take him out. A noxious and suffocating vapour of tallow filled the inside of the oven, and all the candles were extinguished and melted. The Spaniard, whose pulse was 200 at coming out of this gulf of heat, immediately threw himself into a cold bath, and in two or three minutes after was on his feet safe and sound.
WILL OF MR. WILLIAM HICKINGTON,
Proved in the Deanery Court of York, 1772.
This is my last Will, I insist on it still, So sneer on and welcome And e'en laugh your fill. I, William Hickington, Poet of Pocklington, Do give and bequeathe, As free as I breathe, To thee, Mary Jaram, The queen of my haram, My cash and cattle, With every chattel, To have and to hold, Come heat or come cold, Sans hindrance or strife, (Tho' thou art not my wife,) As witness my hand, Just here as I stand, This 12th of July, In the year seventy ——
Signed, &c. W. HICKINGTON.
J. W. F. B.
The receipt for this "nectarious drink" is as follows:—Three bottles of champagne, a bottle of hock, a bottle of curaoa, a quart of brandy, a pint of rum, two bottles of Madeira, two bottles of seltzer water, four pounds of bloom raisins, Seville oranges, lemons, white sugarcandy, and, instead of water, green tea. The whole to be highly iced.
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The Supplement, containing a fine Portrait of CAPTAIN CLAPPERTON, Memoir, &c. and a Title-Page, Preface, and copious Index to Vol XI., is now published. It extends beyond the usual quantity, the Memoir is of original interest, and the price is (in the present instance only) unavoidably advanced to Fourpence.
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Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House,) London; Published by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; and Sold by all Newsmen and Booksellers.