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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 333 - Vol. 12, Issue 333, September 27, 1828
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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

VOL. XII, NO. 333.] SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 1828. [PRICE 2d.

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FIRE TOWER



Throughout Scotland and Ireland there are scattered great numbers of round towers, which have puzzled all antiquarians. They have of late obtained the general name of Fire Towers, and our engraving represents the view of one of them, at Brechin, in Scotland. It consists of sixty regular courses of hewn stone, of a brighter colour than the adjoining church. It is 85 feet high to the cornice, whence rises a low, spiral-pointed roof of stone, with three or four windows, and on the top a vane, making 15 feet more, in all 100 feet from the ground, and measuring 48 feet in external circumference.

Many of these towers in Ireland vary from 35 to 100 feet. One at Ardmore has fasciae at the several stories, which all the rest both in Ireland and Scotland, seem to want, as well as stairs, having only abutments, whereon to rest timbers and ladders. Some have windows regularly disposed, others only at the top. Their situation with respect to the churches also varies. Some in Ireland stand 25 to 125 feet from the west end of the church. The tower at Brechin is included in the S.W. angle of the ancient cathedral, to which it communicates by a door.

There have been numerous discussions respecting the purposes for which these towers were built; they are generally adjoining to churches, whence they seem to be of a religious nature. Mr. Vallencey considers it as a settled point, that they were an appendage to the Druidical religion, and were, in fact, towers for the preservation of the sacred fire[1] of the Druids or Magi. To this Mr. Gough, in his description of Brechin Tower,[2] raises an insuperable objection. But they are certainly not belfries; and as no more probable conjecture has been made on their original purpose, they are still known as Fire Towers.

For this curious relic we are indebted to Mr. Godfrey Higgins's erudite quarto, entitled "The Celtic Druids," already alluded to at page 121 of our present volume.

[1] Like the ancient Jews and Persians, the Druids had a sacred and inextinguishable fire, which was preserved with the greatest care. At Kildare it was guarded, from the most remote antiquity, by an order of Druidesses, who were succeeded in later times by an order of Christian Nuns. The fire was fed with peeled wood, and never blown with the mouth, that it might not be polluted.

[2] "On the west front of the tower are two arches, one within the other in relief. On the point of the outermost is a crucifix, and between both, towards the middle, are figures of the Virgin Mary and St. John, the latter holding a cup with a lamb. The outer arch is adorned with knobs, and within both is a small slit or loop. At the bottom of the outer arch are two beasts couchant. If one of them by his proboscis was not evidently an elephant, I should suppose them the supporters of the Scotch arms. Parallel with the Crucifix are two plain stones, which do not appear to have had anything upon them. Here is not the least trace of a door in these arches, nor anywhere else, except in the church."

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SOME ACCOUNT OF STIRBITCH FAIR.

BY A SEPTUAGENARIAN.

(For the Mirror.)

(Stirbitch Fair, as our correspondent observes, was once the Leipsic or Frankfurt of England. He has appended to his "Account" a ground plan of the fair, which we regret we have not room to insert; the gaps or spaces in which, serve to show how much this commercial carnival (for such it might be termed) has deteriorated; for the remaining booths were built on the same site as during the former splendour of the fair. Our correspondent accounts for this "decay, by the facilities of roads and navigable canals for the conveyance of goods;" the shopkeepers, &c, "being able to get from London and the manufacturing districts, every article direct, at a small expense, the fair-keepers find no market for their goods, as heretofore." His paper is, however, a curious matter-of-fact description of Stirbitch, "sixty years since." We have been compelled to reject all but one verse of the "Chaunt," on account of some local allusions, the justice of which we do not deny, but which are scarcely delicate enough for our pages.

Stirbitch is still a festival of considerable extent, although it has lost so much of its commercial importance. There are but few fortnight fairs left: Portsmouth, we recollect, lasts 14 days, and there is a fair held on some fine downs in Dorsetshire, which extends to that period.)

Stirbitch Fair is held in a large field near Barnwell, about two miles from Cambridge, covering a space of ground upwards of two miles in circumference. It commences on the 16th day of September, and continues till the beginning of October, for the sale of all kinds of manufactured and other goods, and likewise for horses.

The etymology of the name of this fair has been much disputed. A silly tradition has been handed down, of a pedlar who travelled from the north to this fair, where, being very weary, he fell asleep at the only inn in the place. A person coming into the room where he lay, the pedlar's dog growled and woke his master, who called out, "Stir, bitch"; when the dog seized the man by the throat, which proved to be the master of the inn, who, to get released from the gripe of the dog, confessed his intention was, with the aid of the ferryman who rowed him over from Chesterton, to rob the pedlar; from which circumstance the fair ever after obtained the name of Stirbitch. But a more reasonable derivation might be found in the known custom of holding a festival on the anniversary of the dedication of any religious foundation. There is a small and very ancient chapel, or oratory, of Saxon architecture, still standing in the field where the fair is kept; but to what saint dedicated, is not recorded. I know not if a St. Ower is to be found in the calendar; if there is, it will, by adding "wijk," or "wych," a district or boundary, be no great stretch of invention to account for a transition from "St. Ower wijch" to Stirbitch; or perhaps from a rivulet which empties itself into the Cam at Quy-water, small streams, in some counties, being called "stours."

Leaving this argument, however, at the road-side chapel, we must proceed to the fair, where the "busy hum of men" announced the approach of the mayor and corporate body to make proclamation. First are,

Mr. Samuel Saul, the beadle, and his assistant, in full costume, with their staves tipped with silver, bearing the arms of the Corporation. Next followed two trumpeters, in gowns, on horseback. Sackbut and clarionets. The mace. The Worshipful the Mayor, in a scarlet gown. The Vicar of Barnwell, (formerly the Abbot,) and other of the Clergy and Collegians. The Corporate Body, two and two. The Deputy Beadle. All the train, as above, on horseback, robed in full costume.

Then followed Gentlemen and Ladies in their carriages and on horseback, invited by the Mayor to the grand dinner given on the occasion.

The proclamation was read, (heads uncovered,) first at the upper end of the fair, next in the Mead where the pottery and coal fair were held, and last at a little inn near the horse fair, in which place a "Pied-poudre" court was held during the fair, for deciding disputes between buyers and sellers, and for punishing abuses and breaches of the peace in a summary way—stocks and a whipping-post being placed before the door for that purpose. Here the mayor and the cavalcade partook of some refreshment.

Should the harvest be backward, and the corn not off the ground, the booths, nevertheless, are erected, the farmers being, as they admit, more than indemnified for their losses in that case, by the immense quantity of litter, offal, and soil left on the ground after the standings and booths are cleared away; besides which, they seize on every thing left upon the land after a fixed day. This has sometimes occurred, and the forfeiture of the goods and chattels so seized has been recognised judicially as a fine for the trespass. This local custom, sanctioned by usage from time immemorial, is without appeal.

The booths were from 15 to 20 feet wide by 25 to 30 feet deep; they were set out in two apartments, the one behind, about 10 feet wide, serving for bed-room, dining-room, parlour, and dressing-room, The bedstead was of four posts and a lath bottom, on which was laid a truss of clean, dry straw, serving as a palliasse, with bed and bedding. The front was fitted up with counters and shelves. The stubble was well trodden into the ground; over which were laid sawdust and boards behind and before the counters, to secure the feet from damp. The shutters, of the space allowed for the windows, were fixed with hinges, and when let down, rested upon brackets, serving as showboards for goods. The booths were constructed of new boards, with gutters for carrying the rain off, and covered with stout hair cloth, with which also a covering was made to an arcade in front, about 10 feet wide. Under this the company walked, protected from rain or the heat of the sun.

The proclamation being made, the clamour and din from the trumpets, drums, gongs, and other noisy instruments, began. The road from Cambridge was actually covered with post-chaises, hackney-coaches from London, gigs, and carts, which brought visiters to the fair from Jesus-lane, in Cambridge, at sixpence each. As soon as you passed the village of Barnwell, your attention was attracted by flags streaming from the show-booths, suttling-booths, &c.; whilst your ears were stunned with the "harsh discord" of a thousand Stentorian bawlers, and the clang of jarring instruments of music. The show-booths were the first on entering the fair, being situated on the north side of the high road. Here were three companies of players, viz. the Norwich company, a very large booth; Mrs. Baker's, whose clown, Lewy Owen, was "a fellow of infinite jest and merriment;" and Bailey's. The latter had formerly been a merchant, and was the compiler of a Directory which bore his name, and was a work of some celebrity and great utility. Fronting these were the fruit and gingerbread stands. On the opposite side of the road stood the cheese fair, attended by dealers from all parts, and where many tons' weight changed hands in a few days, some for the London market, by the factors from thence; and such cheeses as were brought from Gloucester, Cheshire, and Wiltshire, and not made elsewhere, were purchased by the dealers and farmers of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex. Opposite the cheese fair, on the north side of the road, stood the small chapel, which was then used as a warehouse for wool, hops, seed, and leather[3]. Here were the wool-staplers, hop-factors, leather-sellers, and seedsmen. The range of booths in the front were for glovers, leather-breeches makers, saddlers, and other dealers in leather. Opposite to this, at the end of the line of show-booths, Garlick-row commenced; the first range being occupied by hardwaremen, silversmiths, jewellers, and fine ironmongery. The next range was the row of mercers and linen-drapers, where a draper from Holborn had a stock of not less than 5,000l. value. The next range of booths was occupied by stuff-merchants, hosiers, lacemen, milliners, and furriers; here one vender has been known to receive from 1,000l. to 1,200l. for Norwich and Yorkshire goods. A lace-dealer from Tavistock-street likewise attended here with a stock of 2,000l. value, together with many other respectable tradesmen, with goods according to the London fashion. Then followed the ladies and gentlemen's shoe-makers, hatters, and perfumers; and next to the inn was an extensive store of oils, colours, and pickles, kept by an oilman from Limehouse, whose returns were seldom less than 2,000l. during the fair; and the father of the writer of this article, who attended the fair during forty years, usually brought away from 1,200l. to 1,500l. for goods sold and paid for on the spot, exclusive of those sold on credit to respectable dealers, farmers, and gentry. On the outside of the inn were temporary stables for baiting the horses belonging to the visiters. The carriages were drawn up in the fields in a line with the stables or standings for the horses.

Next was the oyster fair; the oysters from Lynn, called the Lynn channel, were the size of a horse's hoof, and were opened with a pair of pincers. At the bottom, in the Mead, next the river, was the coal fair; opposite which were the pottery and fine Staffordshire wares. Returning to and opposite the oyster fair was the horse fair, held on the Friday in the week after the proclamation. The show of beautiful animals here was, perhaps, unrivalled by any fair in the empire; the choicest hunters and racers from Yorkshire, muscular and bony draught-horses from Suffolk and every other breeding county, drew together dealers and gentlemen from all quarters, so that many hundreds of valuable animals changed masters in the space of twelve hours. Higher up was Dockrell's coffee-house and tavern, spacious and well stored with excellent accommodations. About 200 yards onward was Ironmonger-row, where the dealers from Sheffield, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and other parts, kept large stocks of all sorts of iron and tin wares, agricultural implements, and tools of every description. About 20 yards from them, westward, and bordering on the road, were slop-sellers, dealers in haubergs, wagoners' frocks, and other habiliments for ploughmen; and next, the Hatters'-row. Behind Garlick-row, next the show booths, stood the basket fair, where were sold rakes for haymakers, scythe-hafts, and other implements of husbandry, of which one dealer has been known to sell a wagon-load or two.

Having now made the promenade of the fair, let us step into one of the suttling booths. The principal booth was the Robin Hood, behind Garlick-row, which was fitted up with a good sized kitchen, detached from a long room and parlour. Here were tables covered with baize, and settles of common boards covered with matting. The roof covering was of hair cloth, the same as the shops, but not boarded.

When a new-comer or fresh man arrived to keep the fair, he was required to submit to the ceremony of christening, as it was called, which was performed as follows:—On the night following the horse-fair day, which was the principal day of the whole fair, a select party occupied the parlour of the Robin Hood, or some other suttling booth, to which the novice was introduced, as desirous of being admitted a member, and of being initiated. He was then required to choose two of the company as sponsors, and being placed in an arm-chair, his shoes were taken off, and his head uncovered. The officiator, vested in a cantab's gown and cap, with a book in one hand and a bell in the other, with a verger on each side, robed, and holding staves (alias broomsticks) and candles, preceded by the suttler, bearing a bowl of punch, entered the parlour, and demanded "If there was an infidel present?" Being answered, "Yes," he asked, "What did he require?" Answer. "To be initiated." Q. "Where are the oddfathers?" R. "Here we are." He then proceeded as follows:—

(Plain chant.)

"Over thy head I ring this bell, [Rings the bell, Because thou art an infidel, And such I know thee by thy smell.

CHORUS.

With a hoccius proxius mandamus, Let no vengeance light on him, And so call upon him."

Supper was then served up, at the moderate charge of one shilling a head, exclusive of beer and liquors. The cloth being cleared, the smokers ranged themselves round the fire, and kept up the meeting with mirth and harmony, till all retired and were lulled to anticipating dreams of the profits of the coming day, to which they woke with the sun, cheerful and unenvious of each other's success. Such was Stirbitch fair some sixty years ago, as witnessed by

Your constant reader,

[Greek: Senua]

[3] A church or chapel is generally to be found throughout the whole Christian world near a ferry, to which the passenger went to propitiate the Deity before embarking, and to express his gratitude when safely arrived.

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NOTES ON NORTHERN LITERATURE.

(For the Mirror.)

Tordenskiold is a name frequently met with in the annals of Denmark. A singular anecdote is connected with one of the bravest individuals who ever bore the name—the renowned Admiral Tordenskiold, of the days of Frederick IV. While he was yet a young and undistinguished naval officer, he chanced to be in the hall of the royal palace at the time that the king, wearied with the flatteries of some courtiers, who were congratulating him on the success of his war with Sweden, exclaimed, "Ay, I know what you will say, but I should like to know the opinion of the Swedes themselves." Tordenskiold slipped unobserved from the royal palace, hurried to his ship, set sail, and was in an hour on the coast of Sweden. The first sight that caught his eye on landing was a bridal procession. Hastily seizing bride, bridegroom, minister, peasants, and all, he hurried them aboard, and returned to Denmark. Two hours had scarcely elapsed from the moment of the king's expressing his wish, when Tordenskiold, stepping from the crowd of courtiers who surrounded his majesty, informed him that he had now an excellent opportunity of gratifying his wishes, as Swedes of every class of society were in waiting. The astonished monarch, who had not yet missed the young captain from the hall, demanded his meaning; and on being informed of the adventure, summoned the captives to his presence. After gratifying his curiosity, he dismissed them with a handsome present, and ordered them to be conveyed back to Sweden. The promptness of young Tordenskiold was not forgotten, and he speedily rose to the high admiralship of Denmark, a post which he filled with more glory than any other of his countrymen, either before or since.

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The memoirs of Lewis Holberg, which have lately appeared in English, are remarkably curious and interesting. It is not generally known, that this celebrated writer, the Moliere of Denmark, was educated at Oxford, whither he repaired penniless, to secure a good education.

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Holberg, Samsoe, and Oehlenschlager are the three dramatic luminaries of Denmark. The best production of Samsoe is the play of Dyveke, produced a few days after his death. Such was the enthusiasm it excited, that the following epitaph was proposed to be inscribed on his tomb, in the public cemetery of Copenhagen:—

"Here lies Samsoe; He wrote Dyveke and died."

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The best poet that Sweden has ever produced is Esaias Tegner, the bishop of Wexio, now living. His first production was Axel, a short poem on the adventures of one of those pages of Charles XII. who were sworn to a single life, to be entirely devoted to the fortunes of war. He has struck out great interest by plunging this hero in love, and painting the conflicts between his passion and his reverence for his oath. The words have been translated into Danish, German, and English. The latter translation appeared in Blackwood's Magazine. Although the Danish language is so akin to the Swedish, that translation is the worst of the three. It is said that this poem procured Tegner the bishoprick of Wexio. A singular circumstance is connected with it. A German literary gentleman was so delighted with the version of it in his own language, that he actually studied Swedish for the sole purpose of reading it in the original.

A compliment like this has rarely been paid, as the poem does not contain more than about a thousand lines. Since then, Tegner has written a poem, entitled Frethioff's Sage founded on one of the wild and singular traditions of the North. It has been more popular than even Axel, and the announcement of a third poem from the same hand, said to outdo all former efforts, excites the greatest interest in Stockholm.

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Novels have only been introduced within these few years in Denmark. Ingemann is their most successful manufacturer. His last production is entitled Valdemar Seier, or Waldemar the victorious. The Danes have translations of Sir Walter Scott and Cooper.

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It is supposed there are not above three persons in Copenhagen who cannot speak German. Oehlenschlager, the best modern author of Denmark, writes equally well in German and Danish.

ANGLO-SVECUS.

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PLEASURES OF SNUFF-TAKING.

Let some the joys of Bacchus praise, The vast delights which he conveys, And pride them in their wine; Let others choose the nice morceau, The piquant joys of feasting know, But other gifts are mine.

Give me, ye gods, my quantum suff. Of Grimstone's or Gillespie's snuff— These are the sorts I crave; Defend me from the Lundyfoot, 'Tis to my nostrils worse than soot, And from the Irish save.

Your Prince's Mixture I despise, It clogs the head and dims the eyes— The nose rejects such burden; Sure 'tis the critic's vast delight, So dull and stupidly they write, I call for witness ——.

Oh! where shall I for courage fly? Or what restorative apply? A pinch be my resource; Perchance the French are not polite, And with my country wish to fight, Then I must grieve perforce;

Or, if with doubt the bosom heaves. The heart for Grecian sorrows grieves, And pines to see them fail. Such critics sometimes court the muse, And I perchance the rhymes peruse, Then heaves the breast with pain.

To soothe the mind in such an hour, A pinch of snuff has ample power— One pinch—all's well again. A pinch of snuff delights again, And makes me view with great disdain, And soothes my patriot grief.

Thus for the list of human woes, The pangs each mortal bosom knows, I find in snuff relief: It makes me feel less sense of sorrow, When modern bards their verses borrow, And soothes my patriot grief.

Then let me sing the praise of snuff— Give me, ye gods, I pray, enough— Let others boast their wine; Let some prefer the nice morceau And piquant joys of feasting know, The bliss of snuff be mine.

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ODE ON A COLLEGE FEAST DAY.

(For the Mirror.)

Hark! hear ye not yon footsteps dread That shook the hall with thundering tread? With eager haste, The fellows past. Each intent on direful work. High lifts the mighty blade and points the deadly fork!

But hark! the portals sound and pacing forth, With steps, alas! too slow, The college gips of high illustrious worth With all the dishes in long order go; In the midst, a form divine, Appears the fam'd Sir-loin; And soon with plums and glory crown'd, A mighty pudding sheds its sweets around. Heard ye the din of dinner bray? Knife to fork, and fork to knife: Unnumber'd heroes through the glorious strife, Through fish, flesh, pies, and puddings cut their destin'd way.

See, beneath the mighty blade, Gor'd with many a ghastly wound, Low the fam'd Sir-loin is laid, And sinks in many a gulph profound. Arise, arise, ye sons of glory, Pies and puddings stand before ye; See, the ghosts of hungry bellies Point at yonder stand of jellies; While such dainties are beside ye. Snatch the goods the gods provide ye: Mighty rulers of this state, Snatch before it be too late, For, swift as thought, the puddings, jellies, pies, Contract their giant bulks, and shrink to pigmy size.

From the table now retreating, All around the fire they meet, And, with wine, the sons of eating, Crown, at length, the mighty treat: Triumphant plenty's rosy graces Sparkle in their jolly faces: And mirth and cheerfulness are seen In each countenance serene. Fill high the sparkling glass, And drink the accustom'd toast; Drink deep, ye mighty host, And let the bottle pass. Begin, begin, the jovial strain, Fill, fill, the mystic bowl, And drink, and drink, and drink again, For drinking fires the soul

But soon, too soon, with one accord they reel Each on his seat begins to nod. All conquering Bacchus' power they feel, And pour libations to the jolly god. At length with dinner, and with wine oppressed, Down in their chairs they sink, and give themselves to rest.

HUGH DELMORE.

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THE TOPOGRAPHER

VISIT TO MATLOCK BATHS.

(For the Mirror.)

It was on a fine evening in autumn, when the rays of departing day began to glimmer in the west, and twilight had just spread her dusky gloom. All was silent, save the low rushing of the Derwent stream, purling its way through dense groves, and winding round the stupendous rock of Matlock's Vale. As I paced along, the grave, sombre hue of evening fell full on the rocks, which rose in magnificent grandeur, and seemed to look with contempt on all around them. These beauties, combined with the gray tint of the stone, the cawing of the rooks, which nestle in the crevices and underwood, with now and then the screeching of the night-owl,—were such as would make the most cold and indifferent acknowledge the delight to be enjoyed in the silent walks of nature.

Perhaps among all the varied scenery in the north of England, none is more sublime than that of Matlock; whose romantic range, interspersed with some of the finest touches of art, forms an interesting contrast. The road from the village to the Baths is as diversified as sublime. It is situated in the bosom of a deep vale; here, on one side, rocks or crags, tower above you to the height of two hundred feet; at the base they form, a graceful slant, which is covered with thick, clustering foliage. On the summit, verdure is seen; and sometimes sheep, unconscious of their danger, will stray, and nip the grass from the very edge. Beneath flows the river Derwent, now, in rapid, though solemn state, reminding us of the peaceful stream of life—but only in fictitious calm, luring on to its more ruffled scenes; next, a rushing noise reminds you a cataract is near, which, combined with the rustling of the foliage by the breeze, wakens the mind to gratifying contemplation. The other side is bounded by immense hills, which have a gradual ascent. Along the regular connexion of the road are cottages, whose symmetry adds the charm of artificial embellishment to this luxuriant display of nature. Here you perceive a sumptuous villa; a little farther, a simple cot, where nature has displayed her master-hand: but the most charming group is where three rows of cottages rise in regular succession towards the summit of the hill, their gardens contrasting with the barren appearance of their opposite neighbours. These delightful scenes alternate until your arrival at the Baths.

The Baths are situated about one mile from the village of Matlock, and are a collection of lodging-houses, which, during the summer season, are usually occupied. The baths are filled by springs, which issue in great abundance from limestone rocks; the water is exceedingly clear, and bears a temperature of 68 deg. Fahrenheit. Here are the wells which produce the petrifactions; any substance placed in them being, in the course of a few months, covered with stone. Visiters are in the habit of leaving various articles, which, by the ensuing season, thus become incrusted. Birds' nests with eggs in them, baskets, shoes, &c. &c. are among the articles which may be seen here.

Matlock abounds with subterraneous caverns, which excite the surprise and admiration of strangers. These are entered by a passage, formed with immense labour through the solid rock. In the interior you are surrounded by brilliant crystallizations, various kinds of metallic ores, spars, &c., with petrifactions hanging from the roof, pendent as icicles. The roofs of the numerous caves are of different descriptions; some have the appearance of arches formed by the hand of man, others appear to be immense masses of rock, which have fallen into their present situation by chance, or through some violent convulsion of the earth, by which they have been disjointed and separated. In several of them there are fine springs of limpid water. Here are likewise several productive lead mines.

At the Museum the most interesting productions of the Peak are to be seen. Many of the specimens are manufactured into vases, copied from the antique. Besides the natural productions of the place, there are a great variety of fine alabaster vases from Florence, with statues of various kinds of Italian marble. Immediately facing the museum are the gardens, called the Museum Gardens, in which are several grottoes, curiously ornamented. Perched upon a rock, just at the entrance, is a fine venerable hawk, of the bustard species, which was winged about four years ago, and took its station there, from which spot it rarely moves.

The Botanical Gardens, belonging to Mr. Bownes, are much visited, and contain nearly seven hundred indigenous plants. They are situated along the rise of the hill, known by the name of the Heights of Abraham, from the summit of which can be enjoyed the most extensive views of the scenery round Matlock.

About half a mile from Matlock Baths is situated Willersley Castle, the seat of R. Arkwright, Esq., built by his father, the late Sir R. Arkwright. No spot could be more happily chosen for the site of a mansion than than of Willersley. By the liberality of Mr. A. strangers are admitted to the grounds, gardens, &c.; after passing through which, you reach the summit of the hills, which immediately face the Old and New Baths. This range of rocks is variously named; one, called the Lover's Leap, is a most terrific height. After winding by a circuitous route, you are led to the Lover's Walk, which is a shady path immediately at the base. Here lovers may in

"Sweet retirement court the shade."

In passing through one of the caverns, our guide, after describing to us the various places, in general had a comment to make; one I well remember. The solemnity of the situation, and stupendous grandeur of the cave, struck me with mournful awe. At one part of the cave there was a large hole or well, surrounded by a wooden railing, which our guide informed us was fathomless. A party passing through the cavern, in the full buoyancy of youth, after having expressed their surprise and admiration at the wonders of the place, were preparing to retire, when this spot was mentioned to them. Anxious to see all the curiosities, they returned to this, when one of the party, in a playful mood, placed his hands upon the shoulders of a young lady, and gently pushed her forward. Somewhat terrified, she uttered a scream, but finding herself unhurt, she endeavoured to turn round, when, horrible to relate, the railing gave way, and she was precipitated into the abyss. Picture to yourselves, if possible, the consternation caused by this dreadful occurrence. The alarm was given, ropes, &c. provided, a man immediately lowered, but all their efforts were ineffectual, for the body was never discovered.

M.S.P.

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STEAKS.

People who want to enjoy a steak should eat it with shalots and tarragon. Mr. Cobbett says, an orthodox clergyman once told him that he and six others once ate some beef-steaks with shalots and tarragon, and that they "voted unanimously, that beef-steaks never were so eaten before."

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FINE ARTS.

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THE CAT RAPHAEL.

Gottfried Mind was born at Bern, in the year 1768. His father, but a short time before, had come in the capacity of joiner and form-cutter into Switzerland from Lipsich, in Upper Hungary, and had fixed his abode at Warblaufen, a village near Bern, where he was chiefly employed for the paper-manufactory of one Herr Gruner, and soon after his arrival purchased the freedom of Pizif, in the Waadtland. Young Mind, on account of his weak constitution of body, was in great measure left to himself, perhaps in the hope of making him healthier and stronger by the cheap and easy means of idle running about. Herr Gruner was a lover of art; during summer he had a German artist, named Legel, in his house, a talented and active man, who often, in country excursions, drew buildings and cattle from nature. This excited the attention of young Mind in some of his idle rambles: he followed Legel every where, and watched him while he worked. Legel, touched with compassion for the poor boy, showed him what he was engaged with, or what he had already finished; and, in the end, would take him along with him in his walks, or amuse him in his own apartment with exhibitions of prints. In particular, he allowed the boy, as often as he liked, to turn over Ridinger's Animals, of which Herr Gruner had a collection; and some of these Mind was not long in trying to imitate with the lead pencil, preferring above all lions, which continued long his favourite animals. These attempts Legel from time to time corrected, and, from less to more, the youngster at length ventured to copy from nature, like his master, and to draw some sheep, goats, and cats.

His father, the joiner, however, thought that to draw on paper was nothing, and wood was the only material on which it was worth one's pains to work. Accordingly, whenever the boy asked paper for drawing, he threw him a bit of wood; so that Gottfried was fain to try also cutting animals in wood, an art in which he speedily attained such dexterity, that, by degrees, his wooden sheep and goats came to ornament all the presses and mantel-pieces in the village. Occasionally, too, he tried drawing likenesses of some peasant boys of Worblaufen, or carving them in wood; and these attempts were not unsuccessful.

It is unknown on whose recommendation Mind, in his eighth year, was placed at the academy for poor children, which Pestalozzi had previously instituted at Neuenhof, near Bern, Aargau; but, in the year 1778, we find, in the authentic account of that institution, published by the Economic Society of Bern, the following short and somewhat clumsily expressed notice:—"Friedly Mynth of Bossi (Mind of Pizy), of the bailliwick of Aubonne, resident in Worblaufen, very weak, incapable of hard work, full of talent for drawing, a strange creature, full of artist-caprices, along with a certain roguishness: drawing is his whole employment: a year and a half here: ten years old." Neither do we know how long he remained at this academy; somewhere between the years 1780 and 1785, he came to the painter, Sigmund Hendenberger, at Bern, a man who had formed himself mostly at Paris in the Boucher school, but afterwards rather inclined to Greuze's style, and who, by his painting of Swiss family pieces, had acquired a considerable sum of money, and a reputation not undeserved. With this person Mind learnt his art of drawing, and colouring with water-colours, &c. but nothing more; in all the other branches of human knowledge he remained at the lowest grade; for he could with difficulty be made to write his name, and he had not the slightest idea of arithmetic. Thus, for example:—once, when he had to pay the postman six kreuzers for a letter, and Madame Freudenberger gave him the money in two silver pieces, he positively refused to take them and carry them down, affirming that two pieces were not enough; and, though his mistress assured him that these were equal in value to six kreuzers, still he persisted in his refusal, and went on grumbling until the six kreuzers, one by one, were counted into his hand. This ignorance and helplessness his master was not slow to take advantage of, so that poor Mind never once thought of looking about him for a better place. From his entrance into Freudenberger's house up to the time of his death, there is nothing to tell of him except that he spent his whole life on the selfsame stool, busied in colouring Freudenberger's sheets so long as he was alive, and, after his death, in drawing and painting, after his own fancy, bears, cats, and children at play, for the benefit of the widow, with the same pitiful day's wages which he had formerly received from his master. Many artists, after Freudenberger's death, would gladly have taken poor Mind into their service, but, like his beloved cats, he was so attached to the house, to his corner and its appurtenances, that he constantly turned a deaf ear to such proposals; and, at last, when Madame Freudenberger began to notice that the people wished to buy away her Friedli from her, she would not let them come near him; and only at rare times, and by way of special favour, allowed a few acquaintances, whom she could depend on, to visit him in her presence. She used, for the most part, to sit beside him herself, with her knitting implements, spurring him on to work. When he had to copy any of his drawings, he usually sketched the outline of them against the glass of the window; and if, on these occasions, it chanced that some boy, cat, dog, or other street passenger he might think worth looking at, withdrew his eye for a moment from the work, his taskmistress failed not to squall forth—"Gaping out again! Not a bit of work done all day! Sit down with thee! Mind thy paper, and give over spying!" How meanly he was kept in regard to clothing—how he had to sleep, for his life long, in a child's bed, far too short for him, for want of a straw mattress—and how, under such continual toil and miserable constraint, he at last sank, and died of water in the chest, it is now needless to say or to lament. We turn, rather, to the more pleasing contemplation of what Mind, in this most unfavourable situation, nevertheless succeeded in performing, and rendering himself as an artist.

Mind's special talent for representing cats was discovered and awakened by chance.[4] It was not till after Freudenberger's death that Mind fully developed his peculiar talent for the objects to which, subsequently, through his whole life, he applied himself with such special affection, and which, accordingly, he succeeded in representing with such fidelity and truth. The condition of peasant children, their sorrows and joys, their sports and bickerings—the coarse insolence of the richer, the timid dispiritment of the needy, all stood in lively remembrance before his fancy, which liked to go back into that first and only period of his freedom, though, perhaps, also of his beggarhood. In Freudenberger's school he had learned a natural, easy, and comprehensible arrangement of little groups, and a neat, dainty manner, in which wise it was no difficult task for him to represent such scenes with truth and grace. Thus we find these pictures of his, which, for the most part, are painted on small sheets, his sports, banterings, quarrellings, sledge-parties of children, with their half-frozen but still merry faces, in their puffy yet not unpicturesque costume; his beggar-boys, with their rag-ware on their backs, are almost always genial and pleasing. In the course of his narrow, in-doors life, he had worked himself into a friendly, nay, as it were, almost paternal relation with domestic and fire-side animals, especially with cats. While he sat painting, a cat might generally be seen sitting on his back or on his shoulder; and many times he kept, for hours, the most awkward postures, that he might not disturb it. Frequently there was a second cat sitting by him on the table, watching how the work went on; sometimes a kitten or two lay in his lap under the table. Frogs (in bottle) floated beside his easel; and with all these creatures he kept up a most playful, loving style of conversation; though, often enough, any human beings about him, or such even as came to see him, were growled or grunted at in no social fashion. His countenance, especially in latter years, was a mixture of the bear's, the lion's, and the human, for most part of a dull brick-colour; so that many people, particularly children, were afraid to look at him. In figure he was very small, and bent; but, at the same time, had hands and fingers of extraordinary size and coarseness, with which, nevertheless, he produced the cleanest and prettiest drawings. His chief diligence and most careful elegance he brought to work in the painting of his beloved cats. In right delineation of their forms he had the art to seize the general nature of this animal, and, in the portrait-like indication of their various physiognomies, to reflect the specific character of each. The sycophantic look full of falseness, the dainty movements of the kittens, several of which are sometimes painted sporting round their dam—all this, in the most multifarious postures, turns, groups, sports, and quarrels, is depicted with a true observance to nature,—nay, one might say with genius and fidelity.

On Sundays and winter nights, Mind, by way of pastime, used, out of dried, wild chestnuts, to carve little cats, bears, and other beasts, and this with so much art that these little dainty toys were shortly in no less request than his drawings. It is a pity that insects, such as frequently exist in the interior of chestnuts, have already destroyed so many of these carvings.

At the Barengraben (bear-yard) in Bern, where a few live bears are always to be seen, Mind passed many a happy hour; and, between the beasts and him there seemed to prevail a singularly confidential feeling. The moment Friedli—such was the name Mind was best known by in Bern—made his appearance, the bears hastened towards him with friendly grumbling, stationed themselves on their hind feet, and received, impartially, each a piece of bread or an apple out of his pocket. For this reason, bears, next to cats, were a favourite subject of his art; and he reckoned himself, not unjustly, better able to delineate these animals than even celebrated painters have been. Moreover, next to his intercourse with living cats and bears, Mind's greatest joy was in looking at objects of art, especially copper-plates, in which, too, animal figures gave him most satisfaction.

Herr Sigmund Wagner, of Bern, who possesses a choice collection of copper-plates, frequently invited Mind, on winter Sunday evenings, to his house, and would then show him his volumes. While Herr Wagner might be writing, reading, or drawing, Mind, grumbled to himself half-aloud, made his remarks on each sheet, and frequently gave a true, stubborn, rugged judgment even on the most celebrated masters, especially on pictures of animals; for, among these, nothing pleased him but the lions of Rubens, of Rembrandt, and Potter, and the stags of Kidinger; the other animals of the latter he declared to be falsely drawn. Even the most applauded cats of Cornelius Vischer and Wenzel Hollar could not obtain his approbation. After such picture-reviewing he used to drink tea with Herr Wagner; and it seemed as if the baked ware presented therewith was somewhat to his taste. Such evenings were, to a certain extent, his heaven upon earth; nevertheless, he sometimes replied to Herr Wagner's invitation with a "could not come—his Busi (puss) was sick—he must stay with her." Another time he signified "that Busi was like to have kittens to-day, and so it was impossible to leave her."

Mind seldom drew from Nature; at most he did it with a few strokes. His conception was so strong, that whatever he had once strictly observed, stamped itself so firmly in his memory that, on his return home, and often a considerable time afterwards, he could represent it with entire fidelity. On such occasions he would look now and then, as it were, into himself; and when at these moments, he lifted his head, his eyes had something dreamy in them.

An increasing disorder in the breast had put him past all exertion for the space of a year; and, on the 17th of November, 1814, a paroxysm of his malady carried him off, in the 46th year of his age.

Foreign Review.

[4] See "Painting Cats," page 190.

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THE COLISEUM, REGENT'S PARK,

Will be opened in about four months. Our readers are aware that it will present a Panoramic View of London, taken from the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, and imitated in a bungling manner in a recent pantomime at Covent Garden Theatre. The picture covers 40,000 square feet, or nearly an acre of canvass; the dome of the building on which the sky is painted, is 30 feet more in diameter than the cupola of St. Paul's; and the circumference of the horizon visible from the point of view, is nearly 130 miles. "The Coliseum" is evidently a misnomer, since the building is very similar to the Pantheon at Rome; but we perceive by a letter from the proprietor, that its proper designation is the "Colosseum."

* * * * *

MR. HAYDON

Has just finished a companion to his admirable picture of the Mock Election in the King's Bench, viz. the Chairing of the Members. The first-mentioned is now in the king's collection at Windsor.

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NOTES OF A READER

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THE JEWS.

The undeviating and uniform identity of the features and general character of countenance, which accompany the Jews, wherever they settle, is one of the most curious phenomena in nature; climate and all those physical circumstances belonging to localities, which work such wonderful changes in the physical character of man, appear to have no influence upon the tribe of Israel. The circumcised of Monmouth-street is as like that of Judea-Gape, in Frankfort, as two individuals of the same nation can be; let them be by birth and residence German, English, Russian, Portuguese, or Polish, still the one and only set of features belonging to the race will be seen equally in all.—Granville's, Tour.

* * * * *

FRENCH MUSIC.

About the year 1760, Piccini, who was the Rossini of his day, was called to Paris to reform the grand opera. The French, roused by the elegant tirades of Rousseau, and the piquant witticisms of all the foreigners who visited Paris, began to conceive it possible that their music was not the finest in the world. The reform which Piccini introduced, was however, but partial, and the French insisted on having Italian music adapted to French words. They have still an opera of their own; but nothing can be more noisy, or less harmonious than the music at the Academie Royale—all tumult, glitter, and show. There is no ballet, except that incidental to the opera; but in scenery and machinery they surprise the English visiter. The French military bands too are equally discordant; so fond are they of drums, that they seem to have converted the tympana of their ears into parchment.

* * * * *

MATHEMATICS.

We consider it quite possible to bring down to ordinary capacities even the truths of pure mathematics, by the substitution of a less general and precise species of evidence. We have ourselves made the attempt, and hence we are satisfied of its entire practicability. Into what a small space would the useful and practical truths of geometry be reduced, were we to dispense with the auxiliary propositions which are required merely to complete the rigid process of demonstration. How simple, for example, would be the doctrine of parallel lines!—Foreign Review.

* * * * *

THE SOUTH SEAS.

The government of the United States are fitting out a commercial expedition to explore the South Seas. The vessels are to stay long enough to complete the necessary inquiries, to ensure the safety of the traders, and to give time for the establishment and consolidation of relations of reciprocal utility. The advantages which it is evident America must derive from this undertaking will, it is supposed, not cost more than 50,000 dollars—Lit. Gaz.

* * * * *

THE OPERA.

Rousseau defines the opera to be a dramatic, lyrical, and scenic representation, in which agreeable sensations are conveyed by the combined effect of all the fine arts, the poetry and action being addressed to the mind, the music to the ear, and the scenic decorations to the eye of the spectator.

* * * * *

PICTURESQUE DRESSES IN SPANISH MARKETS.

On entering Madrid by the gate of Toledo, or the Place de la Cenada, where the market is held, nothing is more striking than the confused mass of people from the country and provinces. There a Castilian draws around him with dignity the folds of his ample cloak, like a Roman senator in his toga. Here a cowherd from La Mancha, with his long goad in his hand, clad in a kilt of ox-skin, whose antique shape bears some resemblance to the tunic worn by the Roman and Gothic warriors. Farther on may be seen men with their hair confined in long nets of silk. Others wearing a kind of short brown vest, striped with blue and red, conveying the idea of Moorish garb. The men who wear this dress come from Andalusia.

* * * * *

HYMN.

I praised the earth, in beauty seen, With garlands gay of various green; I praised the sea, whose ample field Shone glorious as a silver shield, And earth and ocean seemed to say, "Our beauties are but for a day."

I praised the sun, whose chariot roll'd On wheels of amber and of gold; I praised the moon, whose softer eye Gleamed sweetly through the summer sky; And moon and sun in answer said, "Our days of light are numbered."

Oh God, oh good beyond compare! If thus thy meaner works are fair! If thus thy bounties gild the span Of ruined earth, and sinful man; How glorious must the mansion be Where thy redeem'd shall dwell with thee!

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MECHANICAL TRIUMPHS.

To those interested in the mechanical sciences, and their application to manufactures and the arts, England offers larger scope of observation than any other country in the world. Throughout the vast establishments of our cotton, woollen, linen, silk, and hardware manufactures, there is even less to create astonishment in the multitude and variety of the products, than in the exquisite perfection of the machinery employed—machinery, such in kind, that it seems almost to usurp the functions of human intelligence. No one can conceive its completeness, who has not witnessed the workings of the power-loom, or seen the mechanism by which the brute power of steam is made to effect the most minute and delicate processes of tambouring. Nor can any one adequately comprehend the mighty agency of the steam-engine, who has not viewed the machinery of some of our mining districts, where it is employed on a scale of magnitude and power unequalled elsewhere. In Cornwall,[5] especially, steam-engines may be seen working with a thousand horse power, and capable (according to a usual mode of estimating their perfection as machinery) of raising nearly 50,000,000 pounds of water through the space of a foot, by the combustion of a single bushel of coals. No Englishman, especially if destined to public life, can fitly be ignorant of these great works and operations of art which are going on around him; and if time can be afforded in general education for Paris, Rome, and Florence, time is also fairly due to Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, and Sheffield.—Q. Rev.

[5] It is a remarkable proof of the amount of improvement effected in some of the Cornish steam engines, that the result obtained from a given quantity of coal, estimated in the manner alluded to above, is nearly three times as great now as it was twenty years ago. Nor will the spectator find more cause for astonishment in the magnitude of these engines, than in the order, or even beauty, of every minute part pertaining to them. The furniture of a drawing-room is not more scrupulously arranged, or preserved in a state of higher polish, than are those huge representatives of human power.

* * * * *

LEARNING FRENCH.

Fashion dominates in this, as in other things. Of late its dictation has been to cradle children in French; often, even to prohibit English in the nursery and school-room; and, frequently, at a later time, to detach our youth from their own country, for the sake of forwarding the same object in foreign pensions, or schools. We have seen this fashion extending itself to more mature life; and serious and discreet men, senators and judges, toiling painfully through elements, vocabularies, and rules of pronunciation, to acquire an amount of speech sufficient to attract ridicule, and produce inconvenience, but very inadequate to any useful or ornamental purpose.—Ibid.

* * * * *

POOR-MAN-OF-MUTTON

Is a term applied to the remains of a shoulder of mutton, which, after it has done its regular duty as a roast at dinner, makes its appearance as a broiled bone at supper, or upon the next day.

The late Earl of B., popularly known by the name of Old Rag, being indisposed in a hotel in London, the landlord came to enumerate the good things he had in his larder, to prevail on his guest to eat something. The earl at length, starting suddenly from his couch, and throwing back a tartan night-gown which had covered his singularly grim and ghastly face, replied to his host's courtesy; "Landlord, I think I could eat a morsel of a poor man." Boniface, surprised alike at the extreme ugliness of Lord B.'s countenance, and the nature of the proposal, retreated from the room, and tumbled down stairs precipitately; having no doubt that this barbaric chief, when at home, was in the habit of eating a joint of a tenant or vassal when his appetite was dainty.—Jamieson's Diet.

* * * * *

THE GREEN ROOM.

Nothing can be more striking than to hear a lady, who has just been figuring upon the stage as a coquette or a romp, explaining to some friend the distress she is labouring under in consequence of the serious illness of her mother or aunt; or to see a gentleman fresh from the boards, upon which he has been amusing the audience as Caleb Quotem or Jeremy Diddler, with tears in his eyes, and a low comedy wig on his head, giving an account of the melancholy state of his wife and three children, all dying of scarlatina; but such is too often the case: too often, while the player is tortured with physical pain, or sinking under moral distress, he is obliged in his vocation to wear the face of mirth, and distort his features into the extremes of grimace. The actress, writhing under the pangs of ingratitude in man, or insult from woman, is similarly driven to strain her lungs to charm the ears of an audience, or exhibit her graceful figure to the best advantage in the animated dance, for the amusement of the half-price company of a one shilling gallery, while her heart is bursting with sorrow; add to all these inevitable ills, the constant labour of practice and rehearsal, the caprice of the public, the tyranny of managers, the rarity of excellence, the misery of defeat, and the uncertainty of health and capability, and then might one ask, Who would be an actor, who could be any thing else?—Hook's Gervase Skinner.

* * * * *

The first Italian performer that made any distinguished figure in London was Valentini, a true, sensible singer at that time, but of a throat too weak to sustain those melodious warblings, for which the fairer sex have since idolized his successors. However, this defect was so well supplied by his action, that his hearers bore with the absurdity of his singing his first part of Turnus, in Camilla, all in Italian, while every other character was sung and recited to him in English.—Life of Colley Gibber.

* * * * *

To attain complex and difficult ends by simple means, whether in physics or politics, falls not to the lot of man. What should we think of the man who should insist on having a simple watch, which should answer every object of that machine, and yet possess the simplicity of a sun-dial? The artificer would naturally say to such a customer, "Sir, if you want a sun-dial, you can have a very cheap and a very simple one; but if you desire a watch, I shall be glad to learn how its operations are to be accomplished without complex mechanism."

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THE SELECTOR;

AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.

* * * * *

A RUSSIAN WEDDING.

(From Dr. Granville's Travels.)

Early one day in November, a kind young friend, the son of Mr. Anderson, the oldest English merchant in St. Petersburgh, whose attentions to me were unremitting, put a finely embossed card into my hands, on which was printed, in Russian characters, the following invitation, literally translated:—

"Ivan Ivanovitch and Prascovia Constantinova Ivanoff humbly request the favour of your attendance on the marriage ceremony of their daughter Anna Ivanowna with Nicholai Demetrivich Borissow, and to the dinner-table, this November the 13th day, in the year 1827, at two o'clock in the afternoon."

On the embossed border of the card, delicately edged with rose colour, the emblematic figure of Hymen was represented on the one side, standing under a palm-tree, between the sleeping dogs of fidelity, and inviting from the other side the figures of the bride and bridegroom. I learned that the parties were wealthy Russian hemp-commission agents, and most excellent people; and as such an invitation promised to afford me an opportunity of witnessing the church marriage ceremony, of which I had read so many dissimilar accounts, I gladly accepted it. At two, the friends of the parties assembled from all quarters in the winter church of the Annunciation, in the Vassileiostrow, where a great concourse of people had already collected round the choristers or chanters, who, in the most delightful manner imaginable, and in the fuga style, were singing hymns, mixing with skilful combination the sopranos and bass voices. We beguiled half an hour in listening to their strains, waiting for the arrival of the bride. In the meantime I surveyed the picturesque groups of people that kept gradually forming in various parts of the church, where the kaftaned Russian, with his well-caressed beard, mixed with the throng of young and good-looking females. Some of the latter, dressed in the fashion of the country, their heads profusely ornamented with gold and embroidered veils; and others, according to the more attractive garb of the French, presented a striking contrast to many of the assembled men, whom I understood to belong to the class of Russian merchants, but who wore neither the kaftan nor the beard. Their smooth and shaven faces, with the general style of dress common to most of the European nations, scarcely permitted their being distinguished from several English merchants present, who had been invited on the occasion. The officiating priest, decked in his rich church vestments, accompanied by the deacon advanced from the sanctuary towards the door of entrance into the church, and there received the pair about to be made happy, to whom he delivered a lighted taper, making, at the same time, the sign of the cross thrice on their foreheads, and conducted them to the upper part of the nave. Incense was scattered before them, while maids, splendidly attired, walked between the paranymphy, or bridegroom and bride. The Greek church requires not the presence of either of the parents of the bride on such an occasion. Is it to spare them the pain of voluntarily surrendering every authority over their child to one who is a stranger to her blood? I stood by the side of the table on which were deposited the rings, and before which the priest halted at the conclusion of a litany, wherein the choristers assisted, and from which he pronounced, in a loud and impressive voice, the following prayer, his face being turned towards the sanctuary, and the bride and bridegroom placed immediately behind him, holding their lighted tapers:—

"O Eternal God! thou who didst collect together the scattered atoms by wonderous union, and didst join them by an indissoluble tie, who didst bless Isaac and Rebecca, and made them heirs of thy promise; give thy blessing unto these thy servants, and guide them in every good work: for thou art the merciful God, the lover of mankind, and to thee we offer up our praise, now and for ever, even unto ages of ages."

The import of this beautiful invocation was at the time, interpreted to me by a friend well acquainted with the whole service and office of espousals, the language of which he assured me was all equally impressive. The priest, next turning round to the couple, blessed them, and taking the rings from the table, gave one to each, beginning with the man, and proclaiming aloud that they stood betrothed, "now and for ever, even unto ages of ages," which declaration he repeated thrice to them, while they mutually exchanged the rings an equal number of times. The rings were now again surrendered to the priest, who crossed the forehead of the couple with them, and put them on the fore-finger of the right hand of each; and turning to the sanctuary, read another impressive part of the service, in which an allusion is made to all the circumstances in the Holy Testament, where a ring is mentioned as the pledge of union, honour, and power; and prayed the Lord "to bless the espousals of thy servants, Anna Ivanowna and Nicholai Demetrivich, and confirm them in thy holy union; for thou in the beginning didst create them, male and female, and appointed the woman for a help to the man, and for the succession of mankind. Let thine angel go before them to guide them all the days of their life." The priest now taking hold of the hands of both parties, led them forward and caused them to stand on a silken carpet, which lay spread before them. The congregation usually watch this moment with intense curiosity, for it is augured that the party who steps first on the rich brocade will have the mastery over the other through life. In the present case, our fair bride secured possession of this prospective privilege with modest forwardness. Two silver imperial crowns were next produced by a layman, which the priest took, and first blessing the bridegroom, placed one of them on his head, while the other, destined for the bride, was merely held over her head by a friend, lest its admirable superstructure, raised by Charles, the most fashionable perruquier of the capital, employed on this occasion, should be disturbed. That famed artist had successfully blended the spotless flower, emblematic of innocence, with the rich tresses of the bride, which were farther embellished by a splended tiara of large diamonds. Her white satin robe, from the hands of Mademoiselle Louise, gracefully penciling the contours of her bust, was gathered around her waist by a zone studded with precious stones, which fastened to her side a bouquet of white flowers. The common cup being now brought to the priest, he blessed it, and gave it to the bridegroom, who took a sip from its contents thrice, and transferred it to her who was to be his mate, for a repetition of the same ceremony. After a short pause, and some prayers from the responser, in which the choristers joined with musical notes, the priest took the bride and bridegroom by the hand, the friends holding their crowns, and walked with them round the desk thrice, having both their right hands fast in his, from west to east, saying—

"Exult, O Isaiah! for a virgin has conceived and brought forth a son, Emanuel, God and man; the East is his name. Him do we magnify, and call the virgin blessed!"

Then taking off the bridegroom's crown, he said—

"Be thou magnified, O bridegroom, as Abraham! Be thou blessed as Isaac, and multiplied as Jacob, walking in peace, and performing the commandments of God in righteousness."

In removing the bride's crown, he exclaimed—

"And be thou magnified, O bride, as Sarah! Be thou joyful as Rebecca, and multiplied as Rachael; delighting in thine own husband, and observing the bounds of the law, according to the good pleasure of God."

The ceremony now drew to its conclusion, the tapers were extinguished and taken from the bride and bridegroom, who walking towards the holy screen were dismissed by the priest, received the congratulations of the company, and saluted each other. We all now hurried to our carriages, the youngest to their sledges, and took the direction of the house of the bride's father, where we were received by that person in his Russian costume, and with a flowing beard, who conducted the company, at the sound of a full band of music, into the banqueting-room, already prepared for about fifty guests, with tables decked with golden plateaux and vases bearing artificial flowers, mixed with piles of fruit and bonbons. Here a large assemblage of friends had already met, through which we made our way to an inner room, where the bride, seated by the side of her mother, and surrounded by matrons and damsels, received, with becoming modesty, our congratulations. I was surprised at finding in the gynaeceum of a class of society of this description, such agreeable and easy manners, untainted by the least gaucherie or awkward pretensions. My engagement prevented my remaining to dinner; but I returned time enough in the evening to be present at the conclusion of the day's ceremony. The dinner had passed off without any remarkable occurrence, and considering the ominous quantity of Champagne consumed (a very favourite beverage on all gala days with the middle classes of society at St. Petersburgh), I found the party almost philosophical. Toasts to the bride and bridegroom had been repeatedly drunk, and the night was far advanced when the passajonaiatetz took the bride by the hand, and conducted her into the bed-chamber, where he consigned her to the care of all the married ladies present, himself retiring immediately after. Those matrons assisted in disrobing her of the bridal vestments, and in assuming the garb appropriate to the chamber in which they were. The passajonaiatetz next performed the like office of conducting the bridegroom to the chamber, who put on his schlafrock, or nightgown, the married ladies having previously retired. These operations being concluded, the doors of the bed-chamber were thrown open, and we all walked in in procession, quaffing a goblet of Champagne to the health of the parties, kissing the bride's hands, who returned the salutations on our cheeks, and embracing a la Francaise the cheeks of the bridegroom, who luckily, in the present instance, had neither the Russian beard nor the modern English whiskers. With one voice we then wished the happy pair a hearty blessing, and withdrew, when the doors were closed. The company gradually dispersed. Dinners and dancing went on for three successive days. On the first of these I attended for a few minutes, being determined to satisfy my curiosity to the last. I had, however, to pay for this indulgence, having been compelled, by immemorial usage, on entering the room, to drink a bumper of the sparkling juice to the dregs in honour of the bride, to undergo the same ceremony of bride and bridegroom's salutation, and to whirl half a round of a waltz with the former. But I had made up my mind to bear even worse inconveniences than these, should it have been necessary, rather than forego the advantage of judging for myself of the truth or falsehood of the many exaggerated and fanciful descriptions given by travellers of a Russian wedding. To complete this account of what I witnessed, I should add, that on the eighth day, the happy pair attended once more at the church, for the ceremony of "dissolving the crowns," which is performed by the priest, with appropriate prayers, in allusion to the rites of matrimony.

* * * * *



THE ANECDOTE GALLERY

* * * * *

DOCTOR PARR.

Dr. Parr's nature was highly social; and he almost always spent his evenings in the company of his family and his domestic visiters, or in that of some neighbouring friends. He was fond of the pleasures of the table; and probably, in the course of the whole year, few days passed in which he did not meet some social party, round the festive board, either at home or abroad. At such times his dress was in complete contrast with the costume of the morning, for he appeared in a well-powdered wig, and always wore his band and cassock. On extraordinary occasions he was arrayed in a full-dress suit of black velvet, of the cut of the old times, when his appearance was imposing and dignified.

After dinner, but not often till the ladies were about to retire, he claimed, in all companies, his privilege of smoking, as a right not to be disputed; since, he said, it was a condition, "no pipe, no Parr," previously known, and peremptorily imposed on all who desired his acquaintance. Speaking of the honour once conferred upon him, of being invited to dinner at Carlton-house, he always mentioned, with evident satisfaction, the kind condescension of his present Majesty, then Prince of Wales, who was pleased to insist upon his taking his pipe as usual. Of the Duke of Sussex, in whose mansion he was not unfrequently a visiter, he used to tell, with exulting pleasure, that his Royal Highness not only allowed him to smoke, but smoked with him. He often represented it as an instance of the homage which rank and beauty delight to pay to talents and learning, that ladies of the highest stations condescended to the office of lighting his pipe. He appeared to no advantage, however, in his custom of demanding the service of holding the lighted paper to his pipe from the youngest female who happened to be present; and who was, often, by the freedom of his remarks, or by the gaze of the company, painfully disconcerted. This troublesome ceremony, in his later years, he wisely discarded.

The reader will probably recollect, in the well-known story, his reply to the lady by whom he had been hospitably entertained, but who refused to allow him the indulgence of his pipe. In vain he pleaded that such indulgence had always been kindly granted in the mansions of the highest nobility, and even in the presence and in the palace of his sovereign. "Madam," said Dr. Parr to the lady, who still remained inexorable, "you must give me leave to tell you, you are the greatest—" whilst she, fearful of what might follow, earnestly interposed, and begged that he would express no rudeness—"Madam," resumed Dr. Parr, speaking loud, and looking stern, "I must take leave to tell you, you are the greatest—tobacco-stopper in England." This sally produced a loud laugh; and having enjoyed the effects of his wit, he found himself obliged to retire, in order to enjoy the pleasures of his pipe.

Dr. Parr was accustomed to amuse himself in the evening with cards, of which the old English game of whist was his favourite. But no entreaties could induce him to depart from a resolution, which he adopted early in life, of never playing, in any company whatever, for more than a nominal stake. Upon one occasion only, he had been persuaded, contrary to his rule, to play with the late Bishop Watson for a shilling, which he won. Pushing it carefully to the bottom of his pocket, and placing his hand upon it, with a kind of mock solemnity, "There, my Lord Bishop," said he, "this is a trick of the devil; but I'll match him: so now, if you please, we will play for a penny;" and this was ever after the amount of his stake. He was not, on that account, at all the less ardent in the prosecution, or the less joyous in the success, of the rubber. He had a high opinion of his own skill in this game, and could not very patiently tolerate the want of it in his partner. Being engaged with a party, in which he was unequally matched, he was asked by a lady how the fortune of the game turned? when he replied, "Pretty well, Madam, considering that I have three adversaries!"

Even ladies were not spared, who incurred his displeasure, either by pertinacious adherence to the wrong in opinion, or by deficiency of attention to the right and the amiable in conduct. To one, who had violated, as he thought, some of the little rules of propriety, he said, "Madam, your father was a gentlemen, and I thought that his daughter might have been a lady." To another, who had held out in argument against him, not very powerfully, and rather too perseveringly, and who had closed the debate by saying, "Well, Dr. Parr, I still maintain my opinion." He replied, "Madam, you may, if you please, retain your opinion, but you cannot maintain it."

* * * * *



THE GATHERER

"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles." Shakspeare.

* * * * *

OBSTINATE PUN.

Aliquid is mater unite dextra ordinari laeto he at.

A liquid is matter united extraordinarily to heat.

* * * * *

A worthy Cambrian at the recent Eisteddfod, or Welsh Musical Festival, after staying a short time at the concert, walked off, shaking his head, exclaiming, "I like singing and drinking by turns—here it is all sing and no drink—that will never do."

* * * * *

PARISIAN MARRIAGE MART.

Among the curious institutions in Paris, is an establishment by a marriage negotiator, by means of which persons who are seeking for wives are enabled to view all the females upon his list, who are placed in different rooms with glazed doors, so classed as to give an easy reference to the particulars on his books, as to their ages, fortunes, and qualifications. When the inspector is satisfied with these particulars, and with the personal appearance, an interview takes place, and the bargain is struck.

* * * * *

Captain Basil Hall has addressed a letter to a Scotch newspaper, stating that the story of his walking 16,000 miles in fifteen months, is a hoax—the whole journey being performed in land conveyances and steam-vessels! Not a line is written of the "Book" of these exploits, said to be "in the press;" the latter is by no means so great a blunder as the former.

* * * * *

A facetious gourmand suggests that the old story of "lighting a candle to the devil," or as it has been corrupted, "holding a candle to the devil," probably arose from the adage of "GOD sends meat, and the devil sends cooks,"—and was an offering to his Infernal Majesty, by some epicure who was in want of a cook.

* * * * *

GERMAN MODE OF PREVENTING TIPPLING.

The following is a late order from the mayor of a department in the Isere:—-"All persons drinking and tippling upon Sundays and holidays, in coffee-houses, &c. during the celebration of mass or vespers, are hereby authorized to depart without paying for what they have had."

* * * * *

[*.*] ERRATA at page 189—for Quoites read Quoties, and in the same line insert hyphen—thus, mori.

* * * * *

LIMBIRD'S EDITION OF THE

BRITISH NOVELIST, Publishing in Monthly Parts, price 6d. each.—Each Novel will be complete in itself, and may be purchased separately.

The following Novels are already Published:

s. d. Mackenzie's Man of Feeling 0 6 Paul and Virginia 0 6 The Castle of Otranto 0 6 Almoran and Hamet 0 6 Elizabeth, or the Exiles of Siberia 0 6 The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne 0 6 Rasselas 0 8 The Old English Baron 0 8 Nature and Art 0 8 Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield 0 10 Sicilian Romance 1 0 The Man of the World 1 0 A Simple Story 1 4 Joseph Andrews 1 6 Humphry Clinker 1 8 The Romance of the Forest 1 8 The Italian 2 0 Zeluco, by Dr. Moore 2 0 Edward, by Dr. Moore 2 6 Roderick Random 2 6 The Mysteries of Udolpho 3 6 Peregrine Pickle 4 6

* * * * *

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THE END

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