THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XIII, No. 358.] SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
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If the reader is anxious to illustrate any political position with the "signs of the times," he has only to start from Waterloo-place, (thus commencing with a glorious reminiscence,) through Regent-street and Portland-place, and make the architectural tour of the Regent's Park. Entering the park from the New Road by York Gate, one of the first objects for his admiration will be York Terrace, a splendid range of private residences, which has the appearance of an unique palace. This striking effect is produced by all the entrances being in the rear, where the vestibules are protected by large porches. All the doors and windows in the principal front represented in the engraving are uniform, and appear like a suite of princely apartments, somewhat in the style of a little Versailles. This idea is assisted by the gardens having no divisions.
The architecture of the building is Graeco-Italian. It consists of an entrance or ground story, with semicircular headed windows and rusticated piers. A continued pedestal above the arches of these windows runs through the composition, divided between the columns into balustrades, in front of the windows of the principal story, to which they form handsome balconies. The elegant windows of this and the principal chamber story are of the Ilissus Ionic, and are decorated with a colonnade, completed with a well-proportioned entablature from the same beautiful order. Mr. Elmes, in his critical observations on this terrace, thinks the attic story "too irregular to accompany so chaste a composition as the Ionic, to which it forms a crown;" he likewise objects to the cornice and blocking-course, as being "also too small in proportion for the majesty of the lower order."
York Terrace is from the design of Mr. Nash, whose genius not unfrequently strays into such errors as our architectural critic has pointed out.
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(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
As some of the customs described by your correspondent W.H.H. are left unaccounted for, I suppose any one is at liberty to sport a few conjectures on the subject. May not, for instance, the practice of burning the "holly boy" have its origin in some of those rustic incantations described by Theocritus as the means of recalling a truant lover, or of warming a cold one; and thus translated:—
 See No. 356 of the MIRROR, "Valentine's Day."
"First Delphid injured me, he raised my flame, And now I burn this bough in Delphid's name."
Virgil, too, in his 8th Eclogue, alludes to the same charm:—
"Sparge molam, et fragiles incende bitumine lauros; Daphnis me malus urit, ego hanc in Daphnide laurum."
"Next in the fire the bays with brimstone burn, And whilst it crackles in the sulphur, say, This I for Daphnis burn, thus Daphnis burn away." DRYDEN.
The "holly bush" being made to represent the person beloved, may also be borrowed from the ancients:—
—————————-"Terque haec altaria circum Effigiem duco." VIRGIL.
"Thrice round the altar I the image draw."
The burning wax candles may be more difficult to account for, unless it refer to the custom of melting wax in order to mollify the beloved one's heart:—
"As this devoted wax melts o'er the fire, Let Myndian Delphis melt with soft desire." THEOCRITUS.
———————-"Haec ut cera liquescit." ——————-"Sic nostro Daphnis amore." VIRGIL.
For a woman to compose a garland was always considered an indication of her being in love. Aristophanes says,
"The wreathing garlands in a woman is The usual symptom of a love-sick mind."
Should the charms resorted to by lovers two thousand years ago, appear to you, even remotely, to have influenced the love rites as performed by the village men and maidens of the present day, perhaps you may deem this string of quotations worthy of a corner in your amusing miscellany.
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On the Sarcophagus which contains the remains of Nelson in St. Paul's Cathedral.
(For the Mirror.)
To mark th' excess of priestly pow'r To keep in mind that gorgeous hour, Thou art no Popish monument, Altho' by Wolsey thou wer't sent, From thine own native Italy To tell where his proud ashes lie. To thee a nobler part is given! A prouder task design'd by heav'n! 'Tis thine the sea chief's grave to shroud, Idol and wonder of the crowd! The bravest heart that ever stood The shock of battle on the flood! The stoutest arm that ever led A warrior o'er the ocean's bed! Whose name long dreaded on the sea Alone secured the victory! His Britain sea-girt stood alone, Whilst all the earth was heard to moan, Beneath war's iron—iron rod, Trusting in Nelson as her god.—CYMBELINE.
 See MIRROR, No. 306, p 234.
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COINAGE OF THE ANCIENT BRITONS.
(For the Mirror.)
In 1749, a considerable number of gold coins were discovered on the top of Karnbre, in Cornwall, which are clearly proved to have belonged to the ancient Britons. The figures that were first stamped on the coins of all nations were those of oxen, horses, sheep, &c. It may, therefore, be concluded, that the coins of any country which have only the figures of cattle stamped on them, and perhaps of trees, representing the woods in which their cattle pastured,—were the most ancient coins of the country. Some of the gold coins found at Karnbre, and described by Dr. Borlase, are of this kind, and may be justly esteemed the most ancient of our British coins. Sovereigns soon became aware of the importance of money, and took the fabrication of it under their own direction, ordering their own heads to be impressed on one side of the coins, while the figure of some animal still continued to be stamped on the other. Of this kind are some of the Karnbre coins, with a royal head on one side, and a horse on the other. When the knowledge and use of letters were once introduced into any country, it would not be long before they appeared on its coins, expressing the names of the princes whose heads were stamped on them. This was a very great improvement in the art of coining, and gave an additional value to the money, by preserving the memories of princes, and giving light to history. Our British ancestors were acquainted with this improvement before they were subdued by the Romans, as several coins of ancient Britain have very plain and perfect inscriptions, and on that account merit particular attention.
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(For the Mirror.)
It is generally allowed, that a profusion of animal food has a tendency to vitiate and debase the nature and dispositions of men; notwithstanding, the lovers of flesh urge the names of many of the most eminent in literature and science, in opposition to this assertion.
Plutarch attributed the stupidity of his countrymen, the Boeotians, to the profusion of animal food which they consumed, and even now, our lovely, soup drinking, coffee sipping friends on the continent, attribute the saturnine, melancholy, and bearish dispositions of John Bull, to his partiality for,
"The famous roast-beef of Old England."
A facetious, philosophical, friend of mine, lately amused me with some remarks, on the nature and properties of different kinds of food. "We know," said he, "that one herb produces this effect, and another that; that different species and varieties of plants have different virtues; and, why may we not infer that the same rule extends to animated nature; that our fish, flesh, and fowl, not only serve as nutriment, but that each kind possesses peculiar and individual properties."
This will account for the piggish habits and propensities so conspicuous in the inhabitants of certain places in England, and whose partiality for swine's flesh, is proverbial. The sheepish manners of our students and school-boys, may also be attributed to the mutton so generally alloted to them. I might continue my observations, ad infinitum. I might say, that the wisdom of the goose was discoverable in—whose love of that, "most abused of God's creatures," is well known: and that the sea-side predilections of a certain Bart., of festive notoriety, were occasioned by his partiality for turtle.
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MARRIAGE OF ANNE BOLEYN
(For the Mirror)
The extraordinary revolution which took place in our religious institutions in the time of Henry VIII., has rendered his reign one of the most important in the annals of ecclesiastical history. For the great changes at that glorious aera, the reformation, when the clouds of ignorance and superstition were dispelled, we are principally indebted to the beauteous, but unfortunate Anne Boleyn, whose influence with the haughty monarch, was the chief cause of the abolition of the papal supremacy in England; one of the greatest blessings ever bestowed by a monarch on his country. Intimately associated with, and the principal scene of these important events, was the ancient palace of Whitehall, which Henry, into whose possession it came on the premunire of Wolsey, considerably enlarged and beautified, changing its name from that of York Place, to the one by which it is still designated.
 WHITEHALL was originally erected in the year 1243, by Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent, who bequeathed it to the House of the Blackfriars, near "Oldborne," where he was buried. It was afterwards purchased by Walter Gray, Archbishop of York, who made it his town residence, and at his death, left it to that See, whence it acquired the name of York House. Cardinal Wolsey, on his preferment to the Archbishoprick of York, resided here, in great state; but on his premunire it was forfeited (or as some authors assert had been previously given by him,) to the king. Henry VIII. made it his principal residence, and greatly enlarged it, the ancient and royal palace of Westminster having fallen to decay; at the same time he enclosed the adjoining park of St. James's, which appertained to this palace as well as to that of St. James's, which that monarch had erected on the site of an ancient hospital, founded before the conquest for "leprous sisters." For some curious details of Wolsey's magnificence and ostentation during his residence at York Place, we refer the reader to the second volume of Mr. Brayley's Londiniana.
In this building, an event, the most important, in its consequences, recorded in the history of any country, took place,—the marriage of Anne Boleyn, who had been created Countess of Pembroke, with the "stern Harry." The precise period of these nuptials, owing to the secrecy with which they were performed, is involved in considerable obscurity, and has given rise to innumerable controversies among historians; the question not being even to this hour satisfactorily decided as to whether they were solemnized in the month of November, 1532, or in that of January, 1533. Hall, Holinshed, and Grafton, whose authority several of our more modern historians have followed, place it on the 14th of November, 1532, the Feast Day of St. Erkenwald; but Stow informs us, that it was celebrated on the 25th of January 1533; and his assertion bears considerable weight, being corroborated by a letter from Archbishop Cranmer, dated "the xvij daye of June," 1533, from his "manor of Croydon," to Hawkyns, the embassador at the emperor's court. In this letter the prelate says, "she was marid muche about St. Paules daye last, as the condicion thereof dothe well appere by reason she ys now sumwhat bygg with chylde." This statement, coming as it does from so authentic a source, and coinciding with the accounts of Stow, Wyatt, and Godwin may, we think, be regarded as the most correct. Her marriage was not made known until the following Easter, when it was publicly proclaimed, and preparations made for her coronation, which was conducted with extraordinary magnificence in Whitsuntide. Her becoming pregnant soon after her marriage "gave great satisfaction to the king, and was regarded by the people as a strong proof of the queen's former modesty and virtue." This latter circumstance, however, has not met with that consideration among historians which it appears to merit; for we must remember that Elizabeth was born on the 7th of the following September, an event, which would perhaps rather tend to confirm the opinion of Hall, in contradiction to that of Stow, if, indeed, Anne had been proof against the advances of Henry, previous to their marriage, which some writers have doubted.
 Hall's "Chronicle," p. 794. edit. 1809.
 Holinshed says, "he married priuilie the Lady Anne Bullougne the same daie, being the 14th daie of Nouember, and the feast daie of Saint Erkenwald; which marriage was kept so secret, that verie few knew it till Easter next insuing, when it was perceiued that she was with child."—"Chronicles," vol. iii. p. 929. edit. 1587.
 Hume and Henry place the marriage in November. Lingard and Sharon Turner in January.
 Vide Stow's "Annals," by Howes, p. 562. edit. 1633. "King Henry priuily married the Lady Anne Boleigne on the fiue and twentieth of January, being St. Paul's daie: Mistresse Anne Sauage bore vp Queene Annes traine, and was herselfe shortly after marryed to the Lord Barkley. Doctor Rowland Lee, that marryed the King to Queene Anne, was made Bishop of Chester, then Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, and President of Wales."
 Harleian MSS. No. 6148. This letter is quoted by Burnet in the first volume of his "History of the Reformation:" it may be found printed entire in the eighteenth volume of the "Archaeologia:" and also in the second volume of Ellis's "Original Letters," first series, p. 33. The MS. consists of a rough copy-book of the Archbishop's letters, in his own hand writing.
 Wyatt's Life of "Queen Anne Boleigne." Vide Appendix to Cavendish's "Life of Wolsey," by Singer, vol. ii. p. 200. This interesting memoir was written at the close of the sixteenth century, (with the view of subverting the calumnies of Sanders,) by George Wyatt, Esq, grandson of the poet of the same name, and sixth son and heir of Sir Thomas Wyatt, who was decapitated in the reign of Queen Mary, for his insurrection.
 "Annales," p. 51. edit. 1616. "Ulterioris morae perlaesus Rex, Boleniam suam iam tandem Januarij 25, duxit uxorem, sed clauculum, & paucissimis testibus adhibitis." Polydor Virgil makes no mention of the period of the marriage, he only says, "in matrimonium duxit Annam Bulleyne, quam paulo ante amare caeperat. ex qua suscepit filiam nomine Elizabeth." p. 689. edit. 1570.
 Hume's "History of England," vol. iv. p 3.
Lingard, whose History is now in the course of publication, intimates that the ceremony was performed "in a garret, at the western end of the palace of Whitehall;" this, however, when we consider the haughty character of Henry, is totally improbable, and rests entirely on the authority of one solitary manuscript. There is no reason, however, to doubt but that they were married in some apartment in that palace, and most probably in the king's private closet. Dr. Rowland Lee, one of the royal chaplains, and afterwards Bishop of Coventry officiated, in the presence only of the Duke of Norfolk, uncle to the Lady Anne, and her father, mother, and brother. Lord Herbert, whose authority has been quoted by Hume, says, that Cranmer was also present, but this is undoubtedly an error, as that prelate had only just then returned from Germany, and was not informed of the circumstance until two weeks afterwards, as appears from the following passage in his letter to Hawkyns, before quoted:—"Yt hath bin reported thorowte a greate parte of the realme that I married her; which was playnly false, for I myself knew not thereof a fortenyght after it was donne."
 Lingard's "History of England," vol. iv. p. 190. 4to edit.
 Vide Speed's "Annals," p. 1029.
 "Life and Raigne of Henry the Eighth," p. 341. edit. 1649.
It may not, perhaps, prove uninteresting to our readers, or quite irrelevant to the subject, to close this brief account of the marriage of Anne Boleyn, with the copy of a letter from that queen to "Squire Josselin, upon ye birth of Q. Elizabth," preserved among the manuscripts in the British Museum.
 Harleian MSS. No. 787.
"By the Queen—Trusty and well beloved wee greet you well. And whereas it hath pleased ye goodness of Almighty God of his infinite mercy and grace to send unto vs at this tyme good speed in ye deliverance and bringing forth of a Princess to ye great joye and inward comfort of my lord. Us, and of all his good and loving subjects of this his realme ffor ye which his inestimable beneuolence soe shewed unto vs. We have noe little cause to give high thankes, laude and praysing unto our said Maker, like as we doe most lowly, humbly, and wth all ye inward desire of our heart. And inasmuch as wee undoubtedly trust yt this our good is to you great pleasure, comfort, and consolacion; wee therefore by these our Lrs aduertise you thereof, desiring and heartily praying you to give wth vs unto Almighty God, high thankes, glory, laud, and praising, and to pray for ye good health, prosperity, and continuall preservation of ye sd Princess accordingly. Yeoven under our Signett at my Lds Manner of Greenwch, ye 7th day of September, in ye 25th yeare of my said Lds raigne, An. Dno. 1533."
 Queen Elizabeth was born at the ancient Palace of Greenwich, or as it was then called, "the Manner of Plesaunce," one of the favourite residences of Henry VIII.
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Collop Monday is the day before Shrove Tuesday, and in many parts is made a day of great feasting on account of the approaching Lent. It is so called, because it was the last day allowed for eating animal food before Lent; and our ancestors cut up their fresh meat into collops, or steaks, for salting or hanging up until Lent was over; and even now in many places it is still a custom to have eggs and collops, or slices of bacon, for dinner on this day.
In Westmoreland, and particularly at Brough, where I have witnessed it many times, the good people kill a great many pigs about a week or two previous to Lent, which have been carefully fattened up for the occasion. The good housewife is busily occupied in salting the flitches and hams to hang up in the "pantry," and in cutting the fattest parts of the pig for collops on this day. The most luscious cuts are baked in a pot in an oven, and the fat poured out into a bladder, as it runs out of the meat, for hog's-lard. When all the lard has been drained off, the remains (which are called cracklings, being then baked quite crisp) resemble the crackling on a leg of pork, are eaten with potatoes, and from the quantity of salt previously added to them, to preserve the lard, are unpalatable to many mouths. The rough farmers' men, however, devour them as a savoury dish, and every time "lard" is being made, cracklings are served up for the servants' dinner. Indeed, even the more respectable classes partake of this dish.
PIG-FRY—This is a Collop Monday dish, and is a necessary appendage to "cracklings." It consists of the fattest parts of the entrails of the pig, broiled in an oven. Numerous herbs, spices, &c. are added to it; and upon the whole, it is a more sightly "course" at table than fat cracklings. Sometimes the good wife indulges her house with a pancake, as an assurance that she has not forgotten to provide for Shrove Tuesday. The servants are also treated with "a drop of something good" on this occasion; and are allowed (if they have nothing of importance to require their immediate attention) to spend the afternoon in conviviality.
AVVER BREAD.—During Lent, in the same county, a great quantity of bread, called avver bread, is made. It is of oats, leavened and kneaded into a large, thin, round cake, which is placed upon a "girdle" over the fire. The bread is about the thickness of a "lady's" slice of bread and butter.
 Rutherglen, in Lanarkshire, has also long been celebrated for baking sour cakes—See vol. X. MIRROR, p 316.—I am of opinion these cakes are of precisely the same make and origin as those to which the writer alludes under the above name of "sour cakes," which I presume he must have forgotten the name of. I should have mentioned, that when these cakes (for they are frequently called avver cakes) are baked, the fire must be of wood; they never bake them over any other fire. These cakes are of a remarkably strong, sour taste. I should further note, that the girdle is attached to a "crane" affixed in the chimney.
I am totally unable to give a definition of the word avver, and should feel much gratified by any correspondent's elucidation. I think P.T.W. may possibly assist me on this point; and if so, I shall be much obliged. There is an evident corruption in it. I have sometimes thought that avver means oaten, although I have no other authority than from knowing the strange pronunciation given to other words.
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THE CONTEMPORARY TRAVELLER.
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DESCRIPTION OF MEKKA.
Mekka maybe styled a handsome town; its streets are in general broader than those of eastern cities; the houses lofty, and built of stone; and the numerous windows that face the streets give them a more lively and European aspect than those of Egypt or Syria, where the houses present but few windows towards the exterior. Mekka (like Djidda) contains many houses three stories high; few at Mekka are white-washed; but the dark grey colour of the stone is much preferable to the glaring white that offends the eye in Djidda. In most towns of the Levant the narrowness of a street contributes to its coolness; and in countries where wheel-carriages are not used, a space that allows two loaded camels to pass each other is deemed sufficient. At Mekka, however, it was necessary to leave the passages wide, for the innumerable visiters who here crowd together; and it is in the houses adapted for the reception of pilgrims and other sojourners, that the windows are so contrived as to command a view of the streets.
The city is open on every side; but the neighbouring mountains, if properly defended, would form a barrier of considerable strength against an enemy. In former times it had three walls to protect its extremities; one was built across the valley, at the street of Mala; another at the quarter of Shebeyka; and the third at the valley opening into the Mesfale. These walls were repaired in A.H. 816 and 828, and in a century after some traces of them still remained.
The only public place in the body of the town is the ample square of the great mosque; no trees or gardens cheer the eye; and the scene is enlivened only during the Hadj by the great number of well stored shops which are found in every quarter. Except four or five large houses belonging to the Sherif, two medreses or colleges (now converted into corn magazines,) and the mosque, with some buildings and schools attached to it, Mekka cannot boast of any public edifices, and in this respect is, perhaps, more deficient than any other eastern city of the same size. Neither khans, for the accommodation of travellers, or for the deposit of merchandize, nor palaces of grandees, nor mosques, which adorn every quarter of other towns in the East, are here to be seen; and we may perhaps attribute this want of splendid buildings to the veneration which its inhabitants entertain for their temple; this prevents them from constructing any edifice which might possibly pretend to rival it.
The houses have windows looking towards the street; of these many project from the wall, and have their frame-work elaborately carved, or gaudily painted. Before them hang blinds made of slight reeds, which exclude flies and gnats while they admit fresh air. Every house has its terrace, the floor of which (composed of a preparation from lime-stone) is built with a slight inclination, so that the rain-water runs off through gutters into the street; for the rains here are so irregular that it is not worth while to collect the water of them in cisterns, as is done in Syria. The terraces are concealed from view by slight parapet walls; for throughout the east, it is reckoned discreditable that a man should appear upon the terrace, whence he might be accused of looking at women in the neighbouring houses, as the females pass much of their time on the terraces, employed in various domestic occupations, such as drying corn, hanging up linen, &c. The Europeans of Aleppo alone enjoy the privilege of frequenting their terraces, which are often beautifully built of stone; here they resort during the summer evenings, and often to sup and pass the night. All the houses of the Mekkawys, except those of the principal and richest inhabitants, are constructed for the accommodation of lodgers, being divided into many apartments, separated from each other, and each consisting of a sitting-room and a small kitchen. Since the pilgrimage, which has begun to decline, (this happened before the Wahaby conquest,) many of the Mekkawys, no longer deriving profit from the letting of their lodgings, found themselves unable to afford the expense of repairs; and thus numerous buildings in the out-skirts have fallen completely into ruin, and the town itself exhibits in every street houses rapidly decaying. I saw only one of recent construction; it was in the quarter of El Shebeyka, belonged to a Sherif, and cost, as report said, one hundred and fifty purses; such a house might have been built at Cairo for sixty purses.
The streets are all unpaved; and in summer time the sand and dust in them are as great a nuisance as the mud is in the rainy season, during which they are scarcely passable after a shower; for in the interior of the town the water does not run off, but remains till it is dried up. It may be ascribed to the destructive rains, which, though of shorter duration than in other tropical countries, fall with considerable violence, that no ancient buildings are found in Mekka. The mosque itself has undergone so many repairs under different sultans, that it may be called a modern structure; and of the houses, I do not think there exists one older than four centuries; it is not, therefore, in this place, that the traveller must look for interesting specimens of architecture or such beautiful remains of Saracenic structures as are still admired in Syria, Egypt, Barbary, and Spain. In this respect the ancient and far-famed Mekka is surpassed by the smallest provincial towns of Syria or Egypt. The same may be said with respect to Medina, and I suspect that the towns of Yemen are generally poor in architectural remains.
Mekka is deficient in those regulations of police which are customary in Eastern cities. The streets are totally dark at night, no lamps of any kind being lighted; its different quarters are without gates, differing in this respect also from most Eastern towns, where each quarter is regularly shut up after the last evening prayers. The town may therefore be crossed at any time of the night, and the same attention is not paid here to the security of merchants, as well as of husbands, (on whose account principally, the quarters are closed,) as in Syrian or Egyptian towns of equal magnitude. The dirt and sweepings of the houses are cast into the streets, where they soon become dust or mud according to the season. The same custom seems to have prevailed equally in ancient times; for I did not perceive in the skirts of the town any of those heaps of rubbish which are usually found near the large towns of Turkey.
With respect to water, the most important of all supplies, and that which always forms the first object of inquiry among Asiatics, Mekka is not much better provided than Djidda; there are but few cisterns for collecting rain, and the well-water is so brackish that it is used only for culinary purposes, except during the time of the pilgrimage, when the lowest class of hadjys drink it. The famous well of Zemzem, in the great mosque, is indeed sufficiently copious to supply the whole town; but, however holy, its water is heavy to the taste and impedes digestion; the poorer classes besides have not permission to fill their water-skins with it at pleasure. The best water in Mekka is brought by a conduit from the vicinity of Arafat, six or seven hours distant. The present government, instead of constructing similar works, neglects even the repairs and requisite cleansing of this aqueduct. It is wholly built of stone; and all those parts of it which appear above ground, are covered with a thick layer of stone and cement. I heard that it had not been cleaned during the last fifty years; the consequence of this negligence is, that the most of the water is lost in its passage to the city through apertures, or slowly forces its way through the obstructing sediment, though it flows in a full stream into the head of the aqueduct at Arafat. The supply which it affords in ordinary times is barely sufficient for the use of the inhabitants, and during the pilgrimage sweet water becomes an absolute scarcity; a small skin of water (two of which skins a person may carry) being then often sold for one shilling—a very high price among Arabs.
There are two places in the interior of Mekka where the aqueduct runs above ground; there the water is let off into small channels or fountains, at which some slaves of the Sherif are stationed, to exact a toll from persons filling their water-skins. In the time of the Hadj, these fountains are surrounded day and night by crowds of people quarrelling and fighting for access to the water. During the late siege, the Wahabys cut off the supply of water from the aqueduct; and it was not till some time after, that the injury which this structure then received, was partially repaired.
There is a small spring which oozes from under the rocks behind the great palace of the Sherif, called Beit el Sad; it is said to afford the best water in this country, but the supply is very scanty. The spring is enclosed, and appropriated wholly to the Sherif's family.
Beggars, and infirm or indigent hadjys, often entreat the passengers in the streets of Mekka for a draught of sweet water; they particularly surround the water-stands, which are seen in every corner, and where, for two paras in the time of the Hadj, and for one para, at other times, as much water may be obtained as will fill a jar.—Burckhardt's Travels in Arabia.
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Snow is one of the treasures of the atmosphere. Its wonderful construction, and the beautiful regularity of its figures, have been the object of a treatise by Erasmus Bartholine, who published in 1661, "De Figura Nivis Dissertatio," with observations of his brother Thomas on the use of snow in medicine. On examining the flakes of snow with a magnifying glass before they melt, (which may easily be done by making the experiment in the open air,) they will appear composed of fine shining spicula or points, diverging like rays from a centre. As the flakes fall down through the atmosphere, they are joined by more of these radiated spicula, and thus increase in bulk like the drops of rain or hail-stones. Dr. Green says, "that many parts of snow are of a regular figure, for the most part so many little rowels or stars of six points, and are as perfect and transparent ice as any seen on a pond. Upon each of these points are other collateral points set at the same angles as the main points themselves; among these there are divers others, irregular, which are chiefly broken points and fragments of the regular ones. Others also, by various winds, seem to have been thawed and frozen again into irregular clusters; so that it seems as if the whole body of snow was an infinite mass of icicles irregularly figured. That is, a cloud of vapours being gathered into drops, those drops forthwith descend, and in their descent, meeting with a freezing air as they pass through a colder region, each drop is immediately frozen into an icicle, shooting itself forth into several points; but these still continuing their descent, and meeting with some intermitting gales of warmer air, or, in their continual waftage to and fro, touching upon each other are a little thawed, blunted, and frozen into clusters, or entangled so as to fall down in what we call flakes." But we are not, (says the author of the "Contemplative Philosopher,") to consider snow merely as a curious phenomenon. The Great Disposer of universal bounty has so ordered it, that it is eminently subservient, as well as all the works of creation, to his benevolent designs.
"He gives the winter's snow her airy birth, And bids her virgin fleeces clothe the earth." SANDYS.
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MONKEYS AT GIBRALTAR.
Though Gibraltar abounds with monkeys, there are none to be found in the rest of Spain; this is supposed to be occasioned by the following circumstance;—The waters of the Propontis, which anciently might be nothing but a lake formed by the Granicus and Rhyndacus, finding it more easy to work themselves a canal by the Dardanelles than any other way, spread into the Mediterranean, and forcing a passage into the ocean between Mount Atlas and Calpe, separated the rock from the coast of Africa; and the monkeys being taken by surprise, were compelled to be carried with it over to Europe, "These animals," says a resident at Gibraltar, "are now in high favour here. The lieutenant-governor, General Don, has taken them under his protection, and threatened with fine and imprisonment any one who shall in any way molest them. They have increased rapidly, of course. Many of them are as large as our dogs; and some of the old grandfathers and great-grandfathers are considerably larger. I had the good fortune to fall in with a family of about ten, and had an opportunity of watching for a time their motions. There appeared to be a father and mother, four or five grown-up children, and three that had not reached the years of discretion. One of them was still at the breast; and although he was large enough to be weaned, and indeed made his escape as rapidly as the mother when they took the alarm, it was quite impossible to restrain laughter when one saw the mother, with great gravity, sitting nursing the little elf, with her hand behind it, and the older children skipping up and down the walls, and playing all sorts of antic tricks with one another. They made their escape with the utmost rapidity, leaping over rocks and precipices with great agility, and evidently unconscious of fear."
* * * * *
LITERARY NOTICES OF
* * * * *
THE GREAT WORLD OF FASHION.
Satire is the pantomime of literature, and harlequin's jacket, his black vizor, and his eel-like lubricity, are so many harmless satires on the weak sides of our nature. The pen of the satirist is as effective as the pencil of the artist; and provided it draw well, cannot fail to prove as attractive. Indeed, the characters of pantomime, harlequin, columbine, clown, and pantaloon, make up the best quarto that has ever appeared on the manners and follies of the times; and they may be turned to as grave an account as any page of Seneca's Morals, or Cicero's Disputations; however various the means, the end, or object, is the same, and all is rounded with a sleep.
"The Great World," in the language of satire, is the "glass of fashion and the mould of form." Its geography and history are as perpetually changing as the modes of St. James's, or the features of one of its toasted beauties; and what is written of it to-day may be dry, and its time be out of joint, before it has escaped the murky precincts of the printing-house. It is subtlety itself, and we know not "whence it cometh, and whither it goeth." Its philosophy is concentric, for this Great World consists of thousands of little worlds, usque ad infinitum, and we do well if we become not giddy with looking on the wheels of its vicissitudes.
We know not whom we have to thank for the pamphlet of sixty pages—entitled "A Geographical and Historical Account of the Great World"—now before us. It bears the imprint of "Ridgway, Piccadilly," so that it is published at the gate of the very region it describes—like the accounts of Pere la Chaise, sold at its concierge. Annexed is a Map of the Great World—but the author has not "attempted to lay down the longitude; the only measurements hitherto made being confined to the west of the meridian of St. James's Strait." Then the author tells us of the atomic hypothesis of the formation of the Great World. "These rules, for the performance of what appears to be an atomic quadrille, are furnished by Sir H. Davy, elected by the Great World, master of the ceremonies for the preservation of order, and prescribing rules for the regulation of the Universe." "The surface of the Great World, or rather its crust, has been ascertained to be exceedingly shallow."
The inhabitants of the Great World, in its diurnal rotation, receive no light from the sun till a few hours before the time of its setting with us, when it also sets with them, so that they are inconvenienced for a short time only, by its light. In its annual orbit, it has but one season, which, though called Spring, is subject to the most sudden alternations of heat and cold. The females have a singular method of protecting themselves from the baneful effects of these violent changes, which is worthy of notice:—they wrap themselves up, during the short time the sun shines, in pelisses, shawls, and cloaks, their heads being protected by hats, whose umbrageous brims so far exceed in dimensions the little umbrellas raised above them, that a stranger is at a loss to conjecture the use of the latter. Shortly after the sun has set, these habiliments are all thrown off, dresses of gossamer are substituted in their place, and the fair wearers rush out into the open air, to enjoy the cool night breezes.
This is but the "Companion to the Map." The Voyage to the several Islands of the Great World, "is in a frame-work of the adventures of Sir Heedless Headlong, who neither reaches the Great World by a balloon, nor Perkins's steam-gun. He cruises about St. James's Straits, makes for Idler's Harbour, in Alba; is repulsed, but with a friend, Jack Rashleigh, journeys to Society Island, lands at Small Talk Bay, and makes for the capital, Flirtington. He first visits a general assembly of the leaders of the isle. At the house of assembly the rush of charioteers was so great, that it is impossible to say what might have been the consequence of the general confusion, or how many lives might have been lost, but for the interference of a little man in a flaxen wig, and broad-brimmed hat, with a cane in his hand, whose authority is said to extend equally over ladies and pickpockets of all degrees." Then comes an exquisite bit of badinage on that most stupid of all stupidities, a fashionable rout.
 Quasi Townsend.
"On entering the walls, my surprise may be partly conceived, at finding those persons, whom I had seen so eagerly striving to gain admittance, crowded together in a capacious vapour bath, heated to so high a temperature, that had I not been aware of the strict prohibition of science, I should have imagined the meeting to have been held for the purpose of ascertaining, by experiment, the greatest degree of heat which the human frame is capable of supporting. That they should choose such a place for their deliberations upon the welfare of the island, appeared to me extraordinary, and only to be accounted for upon the supposition that it was intended to carry off, by evaporation, that internal heat to which the assemblies of legislators of some other countries are known to be subject. Judging from the grave and melancholy countenances of the persons assembled, I councluded the affairs of the island to be in a very disasterous state; and I could discover very little either said or done, at all calculated to advance its interests. Of the capital itself, some members said a few words; but, to use the language of our Globe, in so inaudible a tone of voice, that we could scarcely catch their import. The principal subject of their discussion consisted of complaining of the extreme heat of the bath, and mutual inquiries respecting their intention of immersing themselves in any others that were open the same night."
He next satirizes a fashionable dinner, the parks, the Horticultural Society, some pleasant jokes upon a rosy mother and her parsnip-pale daughters, and an admirable piece of fun upon the female oligarchy of Almacks.
"From hence I made a trip to Crocky's Island, situated on the opposite side of the Strait. On landing at Hellgate, within Fools' Inlet my surprise was much excited by the prodigious flocks of gulls, pigeons, and geese, which were directing their flight towards the Great Fish Lake, whither I, too, was making my way. I concluded their object was to procure food, of which a profusion was here spread before them, consisting of every thing which such birds most delight to peck at; but no sooner had they settled near the bank, than they were seized upon by a Fisherman, (who was lying in wait for them,) and completely plucked of their feathers, an operation to which they very quietly submitted, and were then suffered to depart. Upon inquiring his motive for what appeared to me a wanton act of cruelty, he told me his intention was to stuff his bed with the feathers; 'or,' added he, 'if you vill, to feather my nest.' Being myself an admirer of a soft bed, I saw no reason why I should not employ myself in the same way; but owing, perhaps, to my being a novice in the art, and not knowing how to manage the birds properly, they were but little disposed to submit themselves to my hands; and, in the attempt, I found myself so completely covered with feathers, that which of the three descriptions of birds aforesaid I most resembled, it would have been difficult to determine. The fisherman, seeing my situation, was proceeding to add to the stock of feathers which he had collected in a great bag, by plucking those from my person, when, wishing to save him any further trouble, I hurried back to Hellgate."
We cannot accompany Sir Heedless any further; but must conclude with a few piquancies from the Vocabulary of the Language of the Great World, which is as necessary to the enjoyment of fashionable life, as is a glossary to an elementary scientific treatise:—
At Home.—Making your house as unlike home as possible, by turning every thing topsy-turvy, removing your furniture, and squeezing as many people into your rooms as can be compressed together.
Not at Home.—Sitting in your own room, engaged in reading a new novel, writing notes, or other important business.
Affection.—A painful sensation, such as gout, rheumatism, cramp, head-ache, &c.
Mourning.—An outward covering of black, put on by the relatives of any deceased person of consequence, or by persons succeeding to a large fortune, as an emblem of their grief upon so melancholy an event.
Morning.—The time corresponding to that between our noon and sun-set.
Evening.—The time between our sun-set and sun-rise.
Night.—-The time between our sun-rise and noon.
Domestic.—An epithet applied to cats, dogs, and other tame animals, keeping at home.
Reflection.—The person viewed in a looking-glass.
Tenderness.—A property belonging to meat long kept.
An Undress.—A thick covering of garments.
A Treasure.—A lady's maid, skilful in the mysteries of building up heads, and pulling down characters; ingenious in the construction of caps, capes, and scandal, and judicious in the application of paint and flattery; also, a footman, who knows, at a single glance, what visiters to admit to the presence of his mistress, and whom to refuse.
Immortality.—An imaginary privilege of living for ever, conferred upon heroes, poets, and patriots.
Taste.—The art of discerning the precise shades of difference constituting a bad or well dressed man, woman, or dinner.
Tact.—The art of wheedling a rich old relation, winning an heiress, or dismissing duns with the payment of fair promises.
Album.—A ledger kept by ladies for the entry of compliments, in rhyme, paid on demand to their beautiful hair, complexions fair, the dimpled chin, the smiles that win, the ruby lips, where the bee sips, &c. &c.; the whole amount being transferred to their private account from the public stock.
Resignation.—Giving up a place.
A Heathen.—An infidel to the tenets of ton, a Goth; a monster; a vulgar wretch. One who eats twice of soup, swills beer, takes wine, knows nothing about ennui, dyspepsia, or peristaltic persuaders, and does not play ecarte; a creature—nobody.
Vice.—An instrument made use of by ladies in netting for the purpose of securing their work.
A Martyr.—A gentleman subject to the gout.
Temperate.——Quiet, an epithet applied only to horses.
Bore.—A country acquaintance, or relation, a leg of mutton, a hackney-coach, &c., children, or a family party.
Love.—Admiration of a large fortune.
Courage.—Shooting a fellow creature, perhaps a friend, from the fear of being thought a coward.
Christmas.—That time of year when tradesmen, and boys from school, become troublesome.
* * * * *
* * * * *
Best charge and bravest retreat in Cupid's fight, A double key which opens to the heart, Most rich, when most his riches it impart, Nest of young joys, schoolmaster of delight, Teaching the mean at once to take and give, The friendly stay, where blows both wound and heal, The petty death where each in other live, Poor hope's first wealth, hostage of promise weak, Breakfast of love. SIR P. SYDNEY.
* * * * *
——-Nine things to sight required are The power to see, the light, the visible thing: Being not too small, too thin, too nigh, too far, Clear space, and time the form distinct to bring. J. DAVIES.
* * * * *
MERCY AND JUSTICE.
Oh who shall show the countenance and gestures Of Mercy and Justice; which fair sacred sisters, With equal poise doth ever balance even, The unchanging projects of the King of heaven. The one stern of look, the other mild aspecting, The one pleas'd with tears, the other blood affecting; The one bears the sword of vengeance unrelenting The other brings pardon for the true repenting. J. SYLVESTER
* * * * *
I know that countenance cannot lie Whose thoughts are legible in the eye. M. ROYDON.
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Unthankfulness is that great sin, Which made the devil and his angels fall: Lost him and them the joys that they were in, And now in hell detains them bound in thrall. SIR J. HARRINGTON.
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Thou hateful monster base ingratitude, Soul's mortal poison, deadly killing-wound, Deceitful serpent seeking to delude, Black loathsome ditch, where all desert is drown'd; Vile pestilence, which all things dost confound. At first created to no other end, But to grieve those, whom nothing could offend. M. DRAYTON.
* * * * *
From hence with grace and goodness compass'd round, God ruleth, blesseth, keepeth all he wrought, Above the air, the fire, the sea and ground Our sense, our wit, our reason and our thought; Where persons three, with power and glory crown'd, Are all one God, who made all things of naught. Under whose feet, subjected to his grace Sit nature, fortune, motion, time and place.
This is the place from whence like smoke and dust Of this frail world, the wealth, the pomp, the power, He tosseth, humbleth, turneth as he lust, And guides our life, our end, our death and hour, No eye (however virtuous, pure and just) Can view the brightness of that glorious bower, On every side the blessed spirits be Equal in joys though differing in degree. E. FAIRFAX.
* * * * *
In choice of wife prefer the modest chaste, Lilies are fair in show, but foul in smell, The sweetest looks by age are soon defaced, Then choose thy wife by wit and loving well. Who brings thee wealth, and many faults withal, Presents thee honey mix'd with bitter gall. D. LODGE.
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Pride is the root of ill in every state, The source of sin, the very fiend's fee: The bead of hell, the bough, the branch, the tree; From which do spring and sprout such fleshly seeds, As nothing else but moans and mischief breeds. G. GASCOIGNE.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
NOTES FROM THE LONDON REVIEW,
ANCIENT AND MODERN LUXURIES.
As a learned doctor, a passionate admirer of the Nicotian plant, was not long since regaling himself with a pinch of snuff, in the study of an old college friend, his classical recollections suddenly mixed with his present sensation, and suggested the following question:—"If a Greek or a Roman were to rise from the grave, how would you explain to him the three successive enjoyments which we have had to-day after dinner,—tea, coffee, and snuff? By what perception or sensation familiar to them, would you account for the modern use of the three vulgar elements, which we see notified on every huckster's stall?—or paint the more refined beatitude of a young barrister comfortably niched in one of our London divans, concentrating his ruminations over a new Quarterly, by the aid of a highly-flavoured Havannah?" The doctor's friend, whose ingenuity is not easily taken at fault, answered, "By friction, which was performed so consummately in their baths. It is no new propensity of animal nature, to find pleasure from the combination of a stimulant, and a sedative. The ancients chafed their skins, and we chafe our stomachs, exactly for that same double purpose of excitement and repose (let physiologists explain their union) which these vegetable substances procure now so extensively to mankind. In a word, I would tell the ancient Greeks or Romans, that the dealer in tea, coffee, tobacco, and snuff, is to us what the experienced practioner of the strigil was to them; with this difference, however, that while we spare our skins, our stomachs are in danger of being tanned into leather."
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We may compare tragedy to a martyrdom by one of the old masters; which, whatever be its merit, represents persons, emotions, and events so remote from the experience of the spectator, that he feels the grounds of his approbation and blame to be in a great measure conjectural. The romance, such as we generally have seen it, resembles a Gothic window-piece, where monarchs and bishops exhibit the symbols of their dignity, and saints hold out their palm branches, and grotesque monsters in blue and gold pursue one another through the intricacies of a never-ending scroll, splendid in colouring, but childish in composition, and imitating nothing in nature but a mass of drapery and jewels thrown over the commonest outlines of the human figure. The works of the comedian, in their least interesting forms, are Dutch paintings and caricatures: in their best, they are like Wilkie's earlier pictures, accurate imitations of pleasing, but familiar objects—admirable as works of art, but addressed rather to the judgment than to the imagination.
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Nothing could be more easy than to prove, in the reflected light of our literature, that from the period of our Revolution to the present time, the education of women has improved among us, as much, at least, as that of men. Unquestionably that advancement has been greater within the last fifty years, than during any previous period of equal length; and it may even be doubted whether the modern rage of our fair countrywomen for universal acquirement has not already been carried to a height injurious to the attainment of excellence in the more important branches of literary information.
But in every age since that of Charles II, Englishwomen have been better educated than their mothers. For much of this progress we are indebted to Addison. Since the Spectator set the example, a great part of our lighter literature, unlike that of the preceding age, has been addressed to the sexes in common: whatever language could shock the ear of woman, whatever sentiment could sully her purity of thought, has been gradually expunged from the far greater and better portion of our works of imagination and taste; and it is this growing refinement and delicacy of expression, throughout the last century, which prove, as much as any thing, the increasing number of female readers, and the increasing homage which has been paid to the better feelings of their sex.
* * * * *
Mr. Lee, the high-constable of Westminster, in the Police Report, says, "I have known the time when I have seen the regular thieves watching Drummonds' house, looking out for persons coming out: and the widening of the pavement of the streets has, I think, done a great deal of good. With respect to pick-pocketing, there is not a chance of their doing now as they used to do. If a man attempts to pick a pocket, it is ten to one if he is not seen, which was not the case formerly."
* * * * *
CRIME IN PARIS.
Vidocq, in his Memoires, relates, that in 1817, with twelve agents or subordinate officers, he effected in Paris the number of arrests which he thus enumerates:—
Assassins or murderers 15 Robbers or burglars 5 Ditto with false keys 108 Ditto in furnished houses 12 Highwaymen 126 Pickpockets and cutpurses 73 Shoplifters 17 Receivers of stolen property 38 Fugitives from the prisons 14 Tried galley-slaves, having left their exile 43 Forgers, cheats, swindlers, &c. 46 Vagabonds, robbers returned to Paris 229 By mandates from his excellency 46 Captures and seizures of stolen property 39 —— 811
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The protracted proceedings of our criminal courts are productive of one serious evil, which we have never seen noticed. Domestic servants, and others who appear as witnesses, must frequently wait, day after day, in the court-yard and avenues, or in the adjacent public-houses, until the cases on which they have been subpoenaed are called for trial. During these intervals they converse and become acquainted with others in attendance, a large proportion of whom are generally friends or associates of the prisoners. It is thus that the most dangerous intimacies have been formed; and many instances have occurred where servants, who have been seen in the courts as witnesses for a prosecution, have soon afterwards appeared there as prisoners.
* * * * *
YOU'LL COME TO OUR BALL.
"Comment! c'est lui?—que je le regarde encore!—c'est que vraiment il est bien change; n'est pas, mon papa?"—Les premiers Amours.
You'll come to our Ball—since we parted, I've thought of you, more than I'll say; Indeed, I was half broken-hearted, For a week, when they took you away. Fond Fancy brought back to my slumbers Our walks on the Ness and the Den, And echoed the musical numbers Which you used to sing to me then. I know the romance, since it's over, 'Twere idle, or worse, to recall:— I know you're a terrible rover: But, Clarence,—you'll come to our Ball!
It's only a year, since at College You put on your cap and your gown; But, Clarence, you're grown out of knowledge, And chang'd from the spur to the crown: The voice that was best when it faltered Is fuller and firmer in tone; And the smile that should never have altered,— Dear Clarence,—it is not your own: Your cravat was badly selected, Your coat don't become you at all; And why is your hair so neglected? You must have it curled for our Ball.
I've often been out upon Haldon, To look for a covey with Pup: I've often been over to Shaldon, To see how your boat is laid up: In spite of the terrors of Aunty, I've ridden the filly you broke; And I've studied your sweet, little Dante, In the shade of your favourite oak: When I sat in July to Sir Lawrence, I sat in your love of a shawl; And I'll wear what you brought me from Florence, Perhaps, if you'll come to our Ball.
You'll find us all changed since you vanished: We've set up a National School, And waltzing is utterly banished— And Ellen has married a fool— The Major is going to travel— Miss Hyacinth threatens a rout— The walk is laid down with fresh gravel— Papa is laid up with the gout: And Jane has gone on with her easels, And Anne has gone off with Sir Paul; And Fanny is sick of the measles,— And I'll tell you the rest at the Ball.
You'll meet all your Beauties;—the Lily, And the Fairy of Willowbrook Farm, And Lucy, who made me so silly At Dawlish, by taking your arm— Miss Manners, who always abused you, For talking so much about Hock— And her sister who often amused you, By raving of rebels and Rock; And something which surely would answer, A heiress, quite fresh from Bengal— So, though you were seldom a dancer, You'll dance, just for once, at our Ball.
But out on the world!—from the flowers It shuts out the sunshine of truth; It blights the green leaves in the bowers, It makes an old age of our youth: And the flow of our feeling, once in it, Like a streamlet beginning to freeze, Though it cannot turn ice in a minute, Grows harder by sullen degrees— Time treads o'er the grave of Affection; Sweet honey is turned into gall. Perhaps you have no recollection That ever you danced at our Ball.
You once could be pleased with our ballads— To-day you have critical ears: You once could be charmed with our salads— Alas! you've been dining with Peers— You trifled and flirted with many—- You've forgotten the when and the how— There was one you liked better than any— Perhaps you've forgotten her now. But of those you remember most newly, Of those who delight or enthrall, None love you a quarter so truly As some you will find at our Ball.
They tell me you've many who flatter, Because of your wit and your song— They tell me (and what does it matter?) You like to be praised by the throng— They tell me you're shadowed with laurel, They tell me you're loved by a Blue— They tell me you're sadly immoral, Dear Clarence, that cannot be true! But to me you are still what I found you Before you grew clever and tall— And you'll think of the spell that once bound you— And you'll come—won't you come?—to our Ball!
* * * * *
Two dogs cannot worry one another in the streets without instantly forming each his party among the crowd; much more then does the principle apply to higher contests.
* * * * *
THE ANECDOTE GALLERY.
* * * * *
At the town of Pezenas they still show an elbow-chair of Moliere's (as at Montpelier they show the gown of Rabelais,) in which the poet, it is said, ensconced in a corner of a barber's shop, would sit for the hour together, silently watching the air, gestures, and grimaces of the village politicians, who, in those days, before coffee-houses were introduced into France, used to congregate in this place of resort. The fruits of this study may be easily discerned in those original draughts of character from the middling and lower classes with which his pieces everywhere abound.
Moliere's celebrated farce of Les Precieuses Ridicules; a piece in only one act, but which, by its inimitable satire, effected such a revolution in the literary taste of his countrymen, as has been accomplished by few works of a more imposing form—may be considered as the basis of the dramatic glory of Moliere, and the dawn of good comedy in France. The satire aimed at a coterie of wits who set themselves up as arbiters of taste and fashion, and was welcomed with enthusiastic applause, most of them being present at the first exhibition, to behold the fine fabric, which they had been so painfully constructing, brought to the ground by a single blow. "And these follies," said Menage to Chapelin, "which you and I see so finely criticised here, are what we have been so long admiring. We must go home and burn our idols." "Courage, Moliere," cried an old man from the pit; "this is genuine comedy." The price of the seats was doubled from the time of the second representation. Nor were the effects of the satire merely transitory. It converted an epithet of praise into one of reproach; and a femme precieuse, a style precieux, a ton precieux, once so much admired, have ever since been used only to signify the most ridiculous affectation. There was, in truth, however, quite as much luck as merit, in this success of Moliere; whose production exhibits no finer raillery, or better sustained dialogue, than are to be found in many of his subsequent pieces. It assured him, however, of his own strength, and disclosed to him the mode in which he should best hit the popular taste. "I have no occasion to study Plautus or Terence any longer," said he, "I must henceforth, study the world." The world accordingly was his study; and the exquisite models of character which it furnished him, will last as long as it shall endure.
Though an habitual valetudinarian, Moliere relied almost wholly on the temperance of his diet for the reestablishment of his health. "What use do you make of your physician?" said the king to him one day. "We chat together, Sire," said the poet. "He gives me his prescriptions; I never follow them; and so I get well."
In Moliere's time, the profession of a comedian was but lightly esteemed in France at this period. Moliere experienced the inconveniences resulting from this circumstance, even after his splendid literary career had given him undoubted claims to consideration. Most of our readers no doubt, are acquainted with the anecdote of Belloc, an agreeable poet of the court, who, on hearing one of the servants in the royal household refuse to aid the author of the Tartuffe in making the king's bed, courteously requested "the poet to accept his services for that purpose." Madame Campan's anecdote of a similar courtesy, on the part of Louis the Fourteenth, is also well known; who, when several of these functionaries refused to sit at table with the comedian, kindly invited him to sit down with him, and, calling in some of his principal courtiers, remarked that "he had requested the pleasure of Moliere's company at his own table, as it was not thought quite good enough for his officers." This rebuke had the desired effect.
Moliere died in 1673, he had been long affected by a pulmonary complaint, and it was only by severe temperance that he was enabled to preserve even a moderate degree of health. At the commencement of the year, his malady sensibly increased. At this very season, he composed his Malade Imaginaire; the most whimsical, and perhaps the most amusing of the compositions, in which he has indulged his raillery against the faculty. On the 17th of February, being the day appointed for its fourth representation, his friends would have dissuaded him from appearing, in consequence of his increasing indisposition. But he persisted in his design, alleging "that more than fifty poor individuals depended for their daily bread on its performance." His life fell a sacrifice to his benevolence. The exertions which he was compelled to make in playing the principal part of Argan aggravated his distemper, and as he was repeating the word juro, in the concluding ceremony, he fell into a convulsion, which he vainly endeavoured to disguise from the spectators under a forced smile. He was immediately carried to his house, in the Rue de Richelieu, now No. 34. A violent fit of coughing, on his arrival, occasioned the rupture of a blood-vessel; and seeing his end approaching, he sent for two ecclesiastics of the parish of St. Eustace, to which he belonged, to administer to him the last offices of religion. But these worthy persons having refused their assistance, before a third, who had been sent for, could arrive, Moliere, suffocated with the effusion of blood, had expired in the arms of his family.
Moliere died soon after entering upon his fifty-second year. He is represented to have been somewhat above the middle stature, and well proportioned; his features large, his complexion dark, and his black, bushy eye-brows so flexible, as to admit of his giving an infinitely comic expression to his physiognomy. He was the best actor of his own generation, and by his counsels, formed the celebrated Baron, the best of the succeeding. He played all the range of his own characters, from Alceste to Sganarelle; though he seems to have been peculiarly fitted for broad comedy.
He produced all his pieces, amounting to thirty, in the short space of fifteen years. He was in the habit of reading these to an old female domestic, by the name of La Foret; on whose unsophisticated judgment he greatly relied. On one occasion when he attempted to impose upon her the production of a brother author, she plainly told him that he had never written it. Sir Walter Scott may have had this habit of Moliere's in his mind, when he introduced a similar expedient into his "Chronicles of the Canongate." For the same reason, our poet used to request the comedians to bring their children with them, when he recited to them a new play. The peculiar advantage of this humble criticism, in dramatic compositions, is obvious. Alfieri himself, as he informs us, did not disdain to resort to it.
Moliere was naturally of a reserved and taciturn temper; insomuch that his friend Boileau used to call him the Contemplateur. Strangers who had expected to recognise in his conversation the sallies of wit which distinguished his dramas, went away disappointed. The same thing is related of La Fontaine. The truth is, that Moliere went into society as a spectator, not as an actor; he found there the studies for the characters, which he was to transport upon the stage; and he occupied himself with observing them. The dreamer, La Fontaine, lived too in a world of his own creation. His friend, Madame de la Sabliere, paid to him this untranslateable compliment; "En verite, mon cher La Fontaine, vous seriez bien bete, si vous n'aviez pas tant d'esprit." These unseasonable reveries brought him, it may be imagined, into many whimsical adventures. The great Corneille, too, was distinguished by the same apathy. A gentleman dined at the same table with him for six months, without suspecting the author of the "Cid."
Moliere enjoyed the closest intimacy with the great Conde, the most distinguished ornament of the court of Louis the Fourteenth; to such an extent indeed, that the latter directed, that the poet should never be refused admission to him, at whatever hour he might choose to pay his visit. His regard for his friend was testified by his remark, rather more candid than courteous, to an Abbe of his acquaintance, who had brought him an epitaph, of his own writing, upon the deceased poet. "Would to heaven," said the prince, "that he were in a condition to bring me yours."
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DOMESTIC HABITS OF NAPOLEON.
At nine o'clock the emperor came out of his sleeping apartments, dressed for the whole day. First the officers on duty were admitted, and received their orders for the day. Then the grandes entrees and the officers of the household not on duty were introduced; and if any one had any particular communication to make, he staid till the public audience was concluded. At half after nine o'clock Napoleon breakfasted, on a small mahogany table with one leg, and covered with a napkin. The prefect of the palace stood close by this table, with his hat under his arm. The breakfast rarely lasted beyond eight minutes. Sometimes, however, men of science or literature, or distinguished artists, were admitted at this time, with whom Napoleon is represented to have conversed in an easy and lively style. Amongst these were M. Monge, Costaz, Denon, Bertholet, Corvisart, David, Gerard, Isabey, Talma, and Fontaine. Dinner was served at six o'clock; the emperor and the empress dined alone on the common days of the week, but on Sunday all the imperial family attended, upon which occasion Napoleon, the empress, and Madame Mere had arm-chairs, and the rest chairs without arms. There was only one course. The emperor drank no wine but Chambertin, and that usually mixed with water. Dinner lasted in general from fifteen to twenty minutes. All this time the prefect of the palace had to superintend the affair en grand, and to answer any questions put to him. In the drawing-room a page presented to the emperor a waiter with a cup and a sugar-stand. Le chef d'office poured out the coffee; the empress took the cup from the emperor; the page and the chef d'office retired; the prefect waited till the empress had poured the coffee into the saucer and given it to Napoleon. After this the emperor went to his papers again, and the empress played at cards. Sometimes he would come and talk a little while with the people of the household in the apartments of the empress, but not often, and he never staid long. Upon his retiring, the officers on duty attended the audience du coucher, and received their orders for the morrow. This was the ordinary economy of the emperor's time, when not with the army.
Napoleon read the English newspapers every day in French, and M. de Bausset says the translation was rigorously exact. One day in January, 1811, the emperor gave some of these extracts to de B., and ordered him to read them aloud during dinner. The prefect got on pretty well, till he stumbled at some uncouth epithets, with which he was puzzled how to deal, especially in the presence of the empress, and a room full of domestics. He blew his nose, and skipped the words—"No!" said Napoleon, "read out! you will find many more." "I should be wanting—" "Read, I tell you," repeated the emperor, "read every thing!" At last de B. ran upon "tyrant or despot," which he commuted for "emperor." Napoleon caught the paper out of his hands, read the real phrase aloud, and then ordered M. de B. to continue. These translations used to be made by Maret, Duke of Bassano.
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"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles." SHAKSPEARE.
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The historian, Fuller, in 1607, had a most retentive memory; he could repeat 500 strange, unconnected words, after twice hearing them; and a sermon verbatim, after reading it once. He undertook, after passing from Temple Bar to the farthest part of Cheapside and back again, to mention all the signs over the shops on both sides of the streets, repeated them backwards and forwards, and performed the task with great exactness.
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About two miles northward of Djidda is shown the tomb of Howa (Eve), the mother of mankind; it is, as I was informed, a rude structure of stone, about four feet in length, two or three feet in height, and as many in breadth; thus resembling the tomb of Noah, seen in the valley of Bekaa, in Syria—Burckhardt's Travels in Arabia.
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ACROSTIC ON THE EYES.
E nchanting features! how thy beauties charm; Y e magic orbs, in which for ever dwell E ach varying passion, from the bosom warm, S ilently ye express what language ne'er, can tell. C.J.T.
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When Voltaire was once ridiculing our immortal author of "Paradise Lost," in the presence of Dr. Young, it is said the latter delivered the following extempore:
"Thou art so witty, profligate, and thin, Thou seem'st a Milton, with his Death and Sin." R.Y.
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Garrick told Cibber, "that his pieces were the best ventilators to his theatre at Drury Lane; for as soon as any of them were played, the audience directly left the house."
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ACROSTIC TO BRAHAM.
B ear not away ye gales that sound! R apture be mute, nor breathe one sigh! A ttentive angels hover round— H eaven listens to his melody; A nd all the spheres' harmonious strings M ove in celestial strains when Braham sings! G.J.T.
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