THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
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VOL XVII, NO. 470.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, 1831. [PRICE 2d.
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Few places in Britain can boast of higher antiquity than the city of Chichester. Its origin is supposed to date back beyond the invasion of Britain by the Romans. It was destroyed towards the close of the fifth century, by Ella, but rebuilt by his son, Cissa, the second king of the South Saxons, who named it after himself, and made it the royal residence and capital of his dominions.
Chichester, as may be expected, is a fertile field for antiquarian research. Its cathedral, churches, and ecclesiastical buildings abound with fine architecture; and its Cross is entitled to special mention. It is thus minutely described in the Beauties of England and Wales:
The Cross stands in the centre of the city, at the intersection of the four principal streets. According to the inscription upon it, this Cross was built by Edward Story, who was translated to this see from that of Carlisle, in 1475. It was repaired during the reign of Charles II., and at the expense of the Duke of Richmond, in 1746; though we are told that Bishop Story left an estate at Amberley, worth full 25l. per annum, to keep it in constant repair; but a few years afterwards the mayor and corporation sold it, in order to purchase another nearer home. The date of the erection of this structure is not mentioned in the inscription; but, from the style and ornaments, it must be referred to the time of Edward IV. This Cross is universally acknowledged to be one of the most elegant buildings of the kind existing in England. Its form is octangular, having a strong butment at each angle, surmounted with pinnacles. On each of its faces is an entrance through a pointed arch, ornamented with crockets and a finial. Above this, on four of its sides, is a tablet, to commemorate its reparation in the reign of Charles II. Above each tablet is a dial, exhibiting the hour to each of the three principal streets; the fourth being excluded from this advantage by standing at an angle. In the centre is a large circular column, the basement of which forms a seat: into this column is inserted a number of groinings, which, spreading from the centre, form the roof beautifully moulded. The central column appears to continue through the roof, and is supported without by eight flying buttresses, which rest on the several corners of the building. Till a few years since this Cross was used as a market-place; but the increased population of the city requiring a more extensive area for that purpose, a large and convenient market-house was, about the year 1807, erected in the North-street; on the completion of which, it was proposed to take down this Cross, then considered as a nuisance. Fortunately, however, the city was exempted from the reproach of such a proceeding by the public spirit of some of the members of the corporation, who purchased several houses on the north side of the Cross, in order to widen that part of the street, by their demolition.
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(For the Mirror.)
He that will not live long, Let him dwell at Murston, Tenham, or Tong.
Queen Elizabeth's Gun at Dover.
"O'er hill and dale I throw my ball, Breaker my name of mound and wall."
Deal famed much vaunts of new turrets high, A place well known by Caesar's victory.
Dover, Sandwich, and Winchelsea, Rumney and Rye the Five Ports be.
Hampshire—Sir Bevis of Southampton.
Bevis conquered Ascupart And after slew the Boar, And then he crossed beyond the seas To combat with the Moor.
I came to Lonsdale where I staid At hall, into a tavern made, Neat gates, white walls, nought was sparing, Pots brimful, no thought of caring. They eat, drink, laugh, are still mirth making— Nought they see, that's worth care taking.
Drunken Barnaby's Journal.
Chester of Castria took the name, As if that Castria were the same.
"To all friends round the Wrekin."
Doctrinae studium, quod nunc viget ad vada Boum Tempore venture celebrabitur ad vada Saxi. Science that now o'er Oxford sheds her ray Shall bless fair Stamford at some future day. Merlin.
Or Trent who like some earth-born giant spreads His thirsty arms along the indented meads. Milton.
And beauteous Trent that in himself enseams (fattens) Both thirty sorts of fish and thirty sundry streams. Spenser.
(From Piers Plowman's MSS. 1400.)
And there shall come a king and confess you religious, And beat you as the Bible telleth, for breaking of your rule, And then shall the Abbot of Abingdon and all his issue for ever Have a knock of a king, and incurable the wound.
As many days as in one year there be, So many windows in this church you see, As many marble pillars here appear As there are hours throughout the fleeting year, As many gates as moons one here does view, Strange tale to tell, yet not more strange than true.
A noble park near Sarum's stately town, In form a mount's clear top call'd Clarendon; There twenty groves, and each a mile in space, With grateful shades, at once protect the place.
Chippenham.—On a Stone.
Hither extendeth Maud Heath's Gift, For where I stand is Chippenham Clift.
An owl shall build her nest upon the walls of Gloucester, And in her nest shall be brought forth an ass.
The Severn sea shall discharge itself through seven mouths, And the river Usk shall burn seven months. Merlin.
Robin Hood in Barnesdale stood, An arrow to head drew he, "How far I can shoot," quoth he, "by the rood My merry men shall see."
SURREY.—ON THE MARKET HOUSE, FARNHAM.
You who do like me, give money to end me, You who dislike me, give as much to mend me. And Mole that like a nousling mole doth make His way still underground till Thames he over-take. Spenser.
The chalky Wey that rolls a milky wave. Pope.
What ear so empty is, that hath not heard the sound Of Tannton's fruitful Deane; not matched by any ground. Drayton.
"Stanton Drew, One mile from Pensford, and another from Chew."
The castle there and noble tower, Of all the towers of England is held the flower.
Stay curious traveller, and pass not bye, Until this fetive (elegant) pile astound thine eye, That shoots aloft into the realms of day, The Record of the Builder's fame for aie— The pride of Bristowe and the Western Lande. Chatterton.
When the hoarse waves of Severn are screaming aloud, And Penline's lofty castle involv'd in a cloud, If true, the old proverb, a shower of rain, Is brooding above, and will soon drench the plain.
Once to Rome thy steps incline. But visit twice St. David's shrine.
When Percelly weareth a hat, All Pembrokeshire shall weet of that.
"Maidens of England, sore may ye mourn, For your lemans ye've lost at Bannockburn"
"Some of his skill he taught to me, And, warrior, I could say to thee, The words that cleft Eildon Hills in three, And bridled the Tweed with a curb of stone." Scott.
Seven years before that awful day, When time shall be no more, A watery deluge will o'ersweep Hibernia's mossy shore. The green clad Isla too shall sink, While with the great and good, Columba's happy isle shall rear Her towers above the flood.
This prophecy is said to be the reason why so many kings of Scotland, Norway, and Ireland have selected Icombkill for the place of their interment.
So cold the waters are of Lomond Lake, What once were sticks, they hardened stones will make.
"Fear not till Birnam Wood Do come to Dunsinane"
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GREEK BALLOT.—VOTING AMONG THE ANCIENT GREEKS.
The manner of giving their suffrages (says Potter) was by holding up their hands. This was the common method of voting among the citizens in the civil government; but in some cases, particularly when they deprived magistrates of their offices for mal-administration, they gave their votes in private, lest the power and greatness of the persons accused should lay a restraint upon them, and cause them to act contrary to their judgments and inclinations.
The manner of voting privately was by casting pebbles into vessels or urns. Before the use of pebbles, they voted with beans: the beans were of two sorts, black and white. In the Senate of Five Hundred, when all had done speaking, the business designed to be passed into a decree was drawn up in writing by any of the prytanes, or other senators, and repeated openly in the house; after which, leave being given by the epistata, or prytanes, the senators proceeded to vote, which they did privately, by casting beans in a vessel placed there for that purpose. If the number of black beans was found to be the greatest, the proposal was rejected; if white, it was enacted into a decree, then agreed upon in the senate, and afterwards propounded to an assembly of the people, that it might receive from them a farther ratification, without which it could not be passed into a law, nor have any force or obligatory power, after the end of that year, which was the time that the senators, and almost all the other magistrates, laid down their commissions.
In the reign of Cecrops, women were said to have been allowed voices in the popular assembly; where Minerva contending with Neptune which of the two should be declared Protector of Athens, and gaining the women to her party, was reported by their voices, which were more numerous than those of the men, to have obtained the victory.
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CLARENCE AND ITS ROYAL DUKES.
(To the Editor.)
Clarentia, or Clarence, now Clare, a town in Suffolk, seated on a creek of the river Stour, is of more antiquity than beauty; but has long been celebrated for men of great fame, who have borne the titles of earls and dukes. It has the remains of a noble castle, of great strength and considerable extent and fortification (perhaps some of your readers could favour you with a drawing and history of it); and ruins of a collegiate church. It had once a monastery of canons, of the order of St. Augustine, or of St. Benedict, founded in the year 1248, by Richard Clare, Earl of Gloucester. This house was a cell to the Abbey of Becaherliven, in Normandy, but was made indigenous by King Henry II., who gave it to the Abbey of St. Peter, at Westminster. In after time, King John changed it into a college of a dean and secular canons. At the suppression, its revenues were 324l. a year.
Seated on the banks of Stour river is a priory of the Benedictine order, translated thither from the castle, by Richard De Tonebridge, Earl of Clare, about the year 1315. Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, converted it into a collegiate church. Elizabeth, the wife of Lionell, Duke of Clarence, was buried in the chancel of this priory, 1363; as was also the duke.
The first duke was the third son of King Edward III. He created his third son, Lionell of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence, in 1362. His first wife was Elizabeth of Clare, daughter of William De Burgh, Earl of Ulster; she died in 1363. His second wife was Violante, daughter of the Duke of Milan. He died in Italy, 1370.
Clarencieux, the second king-at-arms, so called by Lionell, who first held it. King Henry IV. created his second son, Thomas of Lancaster, to the earldom of Albemarle and duchy of Clarence. He was slain in Anjou, in 1421.
The third duke was the second son of Richard of Plantagenet, Duke of York, George Duke of Clarence, in Suffolk. He was accused of high treason, and was secretly suffocated in a butt of Malmsley, or sack wine, in a place called Bowyer Tower, in the Tower of London, 1478, by order of his brother, King Edward IV.
The fourth duke. There was an interregnum of 311 years before another Duke of Clarence. George III. created his third son, William Henry, to the duchy of Clarence, August 16, 1789. The only Duke of Clarence who ever was raised to the throne is King William IV. of England.
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SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
(From the first of "Living Literary Characters," in the New Monthly Magazine.)
It would be superfluous to continue the list of his prose works: they are numerous; but they are in all people's hands, and censure or praise would come equally late. He has triumphed over every difficulty of subject, place, or time—exhibited characters humble and high, cowardly and brave, selfish and generous, vulgar and polished, and is at home in them all. I was present one evening, when Coleridge, in a long and eloquent harangue, accused the author of Waverley of treason against Nature, in not drawing his characters after the fashion of Shakspeare, but in a manner of his own. This, without being meant, was the highest praise Scott could well receive. Perhaps the finest compliment ever paid him, was at the time of the late coronation, I think. The streets were crowded so densely, that he could not make his way from Charing Cross down to Rose's, in Abingdon-street, though he elbowed ever so stoutly. He applied for help to a sergeant of the Scotch Greys, whose regiment lined the streets. "Countryman," said the soldier, "I am sorry I cannot help you," and made no exertion. Scott whispered his name—the blood rushed to the soldier's brow—he raised his bridle-hand, and exclaimed, "Then, by G-d, sir, you shall go down—Corporal Gordon, here—see this gentleman safely to Abingdon-street, come what will!" It is needless to say how well the order was obeyed.
I have related how I travelled to Edinburgh to see Scott, and how curiously my wishes were fulfilled; years rolled on, and when he came to London to be knighted, I was not so undistinguished as to be unknown to him by name, or to be thought unworthy of his acquaintance. I was given to understand, from what his own Ailie Gourlay calls a sure hand, that a call from me was expected, and that I would be well received. I went to his lodgings, in Piccadilly, with much of the same palpitation of heart which Boswell experienced when introduced to Johnson. I was welcomed with both hands, and such kind, and complimentary words, that confusion and fear alike forsook me. When I saw him in Edinburgh, he was in the very pith and flush of life—even in my opinion a thought more fat than bard beseems; when I looked on him now, thirteen years had not passed over him and left no mark behind: his hair was growing thin and grey; the stamp of years and study was on his brow: he told me he had suffered much lately from ill-health, and that he once doubted of recovery. His eldest son, a tall, handsome youth—now a major in the army—was with him. From that time, till he left London, I was frequently in his company. He spoke of my pursuits and prospects in life with interest and with feeling—of my little attempts in verse and prose with a knowledge that he had read them carefully—offered to help me to such information as I should require, and even mentioned a subject in which he thought I could appear to advantage. "If you try your hand on a story," he observed, "I would advise you to prepare a kind of skeleton, and when you have pleased yourself with the line of narrative, you may then leisurely clothe it with flesh and blood." Some years afterwards, I reminded him of this advice. "Did you follow it?" he inquired. "I tried," I said; "but I had not gone far on the road till some confounded Will-o-wisp came in and dazzled my sight, so that I deviated from the path, and never found it again."—"It is the same way with myself," said he, smiling; "I form my plan, and then I deviate."—"Ay, ay," I replied, "I understand—we both deviate—- but you deviate into excellence, and I into absurdity."
I have seen many distinguished poets, Burns, Byron, Southey, Wordsworth, Campbell, Rogers, Wilson, Crabbe, and Coleridge; but, with the exception of Burns, Scott, for personal vigour, surpasses them all. Burns was, indeed, a powerful man, and Wilson is celebrated for feats of strength and agility; I think, however, the stalworth frame, the long nervous arms, and well-knit joints of Scott, are worthy of the best days of the Border, and would have gained him distinction at the foray which followed the feast of spurs. On one occasion he talked of his ancestry, Sir Thomas Lawrence, I think, was present. One of his forefathers, if my memory is just, sided with the Parliament in the Civil War, and the family estate suffered curtailment in consequence. To make amends, however, his son, resolving not to commit the error of his father, joined the Pretender, and with his brother was engaged in that unfortunate adventure which ended in a skirmish and captivity at Preston, in 1715. It was the fashion of those times for all persons of the rank of gentlemen to wear scarlet waistcoats—a ball had struck one of the brothers, and carried a part of this dress into his body; it was also the practice to strip the captives. Thus wounded, and nearly naked, having only a shirt on and an old sack about him, the ancestor of the great poet was sitting along with his brother and a hundred and fifty unfortunate gentlemen, in a granary at Preston. The wounded man fell sick, as the story goes, and vomited the scarlet which the ball had forced into the wound. "L——d, Wattie!" cried his brother, "if you have got a wardrobe in your wame, I wish you would bring me a pair of breeks, for I have meikle need of them." The wound healed; I know not whether he was one of those fortunate men who mastered the guard at Newgate, and escaped to the continent.
The mystery which hung so long over the authorship of the Waverley Novels, was cleared up by a misfortune which all the world deplores, and which would have crushed any other spirit save that of Scott. This stroke of evil fortune did not, perhaps, come quite unexpected; it was, however, unavoidable, and it arose from no mismanagement or miscalculation of his own, unless I may consider—which I do not—his embarking in the hazards of a printing-house, a piece of miscalculation. It is said, that he received warnings: the paper of Constable, the bookseller, or, to speak plainer, long money-bills were much in circulation: one of them, for a large sum, made its appearance in the Bank of Scotland, with Scott's name upon it, and a secretary sent for Sir Walter. "Do you know," said he, "that Constable has many such bills abroad—Sir Walter, I warn you."—"Well," answered Sir Walter, "it is, perhaps, as you say, and I thank you; but," raising his voice, "Archie Constable was a good friend to me when friends were rarer than now, and I will not see him balked for the sake of a few thousand pounds." The amount of the sum for which Scott, on the failure of Constable, became responsible, I have heard various accounts of—varying from fifty to seventy thousand pounds. Some generous and wealthy person sent him a blank check, properly signed, upon the bank, desiring him to fill in the sum, and relieve himself; but he returned it, with proper acknowledgments. He took, as it were, the debt upon himself, as a loan, the whole payable, with interest, in ten years; and to work he went, with head, and heart, and hand, to amend his broken fortunes. I had several letters from him during these disastrous days: the language was cheerful, and there were no allusions to what had happened. It is true, there was no occasion for him to mention these occurrences to me: all that he said about them was—"I miss my daughter, Mrs. Lockhart, who used to sing to me; I have some need of her now." No general, after a bloody and disastrous battle, ever set about preparing himself for a more successful contest than did this distinguished man. Work succeeded work with unheard of rapidity; the chief of which was, "The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte," in nine volumes—a production of singular power, and an almost perfect work, with the exception of the parts which treat of the French Revolution, and the captivity of the great prisoner. I had the curiosity, on seeing one of the reviews praising Hazlitt's description of the Battle of the Pyramid's, to turn to the account of Scott. I need not say which was best: Scott's was like the sounding of a trumpet. The present cheap and truly elegant edition of the works of the author of "Waverley" has, with its deservedly unrivalled sale, relieved the poet from his difficulties, and the cloud which hung so long over the towers of Abbotsford has given place to sunshine.
Of Abbotsford itself, the best description ever given, at least the briefest, was "A Romance in stone and lime." It would require a volume to describe all the curiosities, ancient and modern, living and dead, which are here gathered together;—I say living, because a menagerie might be formed out of birds and beasts, sent as presents from distant lands. A friend told me he was at Abbotsford one evening, when a servant announced, "A present from"—I forget what chieftain in the North.—"Bring it in," said the poet. The sound of strange feet were soon heard, and in came two beautiful Shetland ponies, with long manes and uncut tails, and so small that they might have been sent to Elfland, to the Queen of the Fairies herself. One poor Scotsman, to show his gratitude for some kindness Scott, as sheriff, had shown him, sent two kangaroos from New Holland; and Washington Irving lately told me, that some Spaniard or other, having caught two young wild Andalusian boars, consulted him how he might have them sent to the author of "The Vision of Don Roderick."
This distinguished poet and novelist is now some sixty years old—hale, fresh, and vigorous, with his imagination as bright, and his conceptions as clear and graphic, as ever. I have now before me a dozen or fifteen volumes of his poetry, including his latest—"Halidon Hill"—one of the most heroically-touching poems of modern times—and somewhere about eighty volumes of his prose: his letters, were they collected, would amount to fifty volumes more. Some authors, though not in this land, have been even more prolific; but their progeny were ill-formed at their birth, and could never walk alone; whereas the mental offspring of our illustrious countryman came healthy and vigorous into the world, and promise long to continue. To vary the metaphor—the tree of some other men's fancy bears fruit at the rate of a pint of apples to a peck of crabs; whereas the tree of the great magician bears the sweetest fruit—large and red-cheeked—fair to look upon, and right pleasant to the taste. I shall conclude with the words of Sir Walter, which no man can contradict, and which many can attest: "I never refused a literary person of merit such services in smoothing his way to the public as were in my power; and I had the advantage—rather an uncommon one with our irritable race—to enjoy general favour, without incurring permanent ill-will, so far as is known to me, among any of my contemporaries."
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A CHRISTMAS CAROL.—IN HONOUR OF MAGA. (BLACKWOOD.)
SUNG BY THE CONTRIBUTORS.
Noo—hearken till me—and I'll beat Matthews or Yates a' to sticks wi' my impersonations.
When Kit North is dead, What will Maga do, sir? She must go to bed, And like him die too, sir! Fal de ral, de ral, Iram coram dago; Fal de ral, de ral, Here's success to Maga.
When death has them flat, I'll stitch on my weepers, Put crape around my bat, And a napkin to my peepers! Fal de ral, de ral, &c.
Your words go to my heart, I hear the death-owl flying, I feel death's fatal dart— By jingo, I am dying! Fal de ral, de ral, &c.
See him, how he lies Flat as any flounder! Blow me! smoke his eyes— Death ne'er closed eyes sounder! Fal de ral, de ral, &c.
Yet he can't be dead, For he is immortal, And to receive his head Earth would not ope its portal! Fal de ral, de ral, &c.
Kit will never die; That I take for sartain! Death "is all my eye"— An't it, Betty Martin? Fal de ral, de ral, &c.
Suppose we feel his arm— Zounds' I never felt a Human pulse more firm: What's your opinion, Delta? Fal de ral, de ral, &c
Kit, I hope you're well, Up, and join our ditty; To lose such a fine old fel- Low would be a pity! Fal de ral, de ral, &c.
Let's resume our booze, And tipple while we're able; I've had a bit of a snooze, And feel quite comfortable! Fal de ral, de ral, &c.
Be he who he may, Sultan, Czar, or Aga, Let him soak his clay To the health of Kit and Maga! Fal de ral, de ral, &c.
Search all the world around, From Greenland to Malaga, And nowhere will be found A magazine like Maga! Fal de ral, de ral, Iram coram dago; Fal de ral, de ral, Here's success to Maga!
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NOTES OF A READER.
KNOWLEDGE FOR THE PEOPLE; OR, THE PLAIN WHY AND BECAUSE.
PART III.—Origins and Antiquities.
This contains the Why and Because of the Curiosities of the Calendar; the Customs and Ceremonies of Special Days; and a few of the Origins and Antiquities of Social Life. We quote a page of articles, perhaps, the longest in the Number:—
Why was throwing at cocks formerly customary on Shrove Tuesday?
Because the crowing of a cock once prevented our Saxon ancestors from massacreing their conquerors, another part of our ancestors, the Danes, on the morning of a Shrove Tuesday, while asleep in their beds.
This is the account generally received, although two lines in an epigram "On a Cock at Rochester," by the witty Sir Charles Sedley, imply that the cock suffered this annual barbarity by way of punishment for St. Peter's crime, in denying his Lord and Master—
"Mayst thou be punish'd for St. Peter's crime, And on Shove Tuesday perish in thy prime."
A writer in the Gentleman's Magazine also says—"The barbarous practice of throwing at a cock tied to a stake on Shrovetide, I think I have read, has an allusion to the indignities offered by the Jews to the Saviour of the World before his crucifixion."—Ellis's Notes to Brand.
Why was cock-fighting a popular sport in Greece?
Because of its origin from the Athenians, on the following occasion: When Themistocles was marching his army against the Persians, he, by the way, espying two cocks fighting, caused his army to halt, and addressed them as follows—"Behold! these do not fight for their household gods, for the monuments of their ancestors, nor for glory, nor for liberty, nor for the safety of their children, but only because the one will not give way to the other."—This so encouraged the Grecians, that they fought strenuously, and obtained the victory over the Persians; upon which, cock-fighting was, by a particular law, ordered to be annually celebrated by the Athenians.
Caesar mentions the English cocks in his Commentaries; but the earliest notice of cock-fighting in England, is by Fitzstephen the monk, who died in 1191.
Why is St. George the patron saint of England?
Because, when Robert, Duke of Normandy, the son of William the Conqueror, was fighting against the Turks, and laying siege to the famous city of Antioch, which was expected to be relieved by the Saracens, St. George appeared with an innumerable army, coming down from the hills, all clad in white, with a red cross on his banner, to reinforce the Christians. This so terrified the infidels that they fled, and left the Christians in possession of the town.—Butler.
Why is St. George usually painted on horseback, and tilting at a dragon under his feet?
Because the representation is emblematical of his faith and fortitude, by which he conquered the devil, called the dragon in the Apocalypse.—Butler.
Why was the Order of the Garter instituted?
Because of the victory obtained over the French at the battle of Cressy, when Edward ordered his garter to be displayed as a signal of battle; to commemorate which, he made a garter the principal ornament of an order, and a symbol of the indissoluble union of the knights. The order is under the patronage or protection of St. George, whence he figures in its insignia. Such is the account of Camden, Fern, and others. The common story of the order being instituted in honour of a garter of the Countess of Salisbury, which she dropped in dancing, and which was picked up by King Edward, has been denounced as fabulous by our best antiquaries.
Why was it formerly supposed that cocks crowed all Christmas-eve?
Because the weather is then usually cloudy and dark (whence "the dark days before Christmas,") and cocks, during such weather, often crow nearly all day and all night. Shakspeare alludes to this superstition in Hamlet—
Some say that even 'gainst that hallow'd season, At which our Saviour's birth is celebrated, The Bird of Dawning croweth all night long. The nights are wholesome, and no mildew falls; No planet strikes, nor spirits walk abroad: No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm, So gracious and so hallowed is the time.
The ancient Christians divided the night into four watches, called the evening, midnight, and two morning cock-crowings. Their connexion with the belief in walking spirits will be remembered—
The cock crows, and the morn prows on, When 'tis decreed I must be gone."—Butler.
—The tale Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly, That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand O'er some new-open'd grave; and, strange to tell, Evanishes at crowing of the cock—Blair.
Who can ever forget the night-watches proclaimed by the cock in that scene in Comus, where the two brothers, in search of their sister, are benighted in a forest?—
—Might we but hear The folded flocks, penned in their wattled cotes, Or sound of pastoral reed with oaten stops, Or whistle from the lodge, or village cock Count the night-watches to his feathery dames, 'Twould be some solace yet, some little cheering, In this close dungeon of innumerous boughs.
Dr. Forster observes—"There is this remarkable circumstance about the crowing of cocks—they seem to keep night-watches, or to have general crowing-matches, at certain periods—as, soon after twelve, at two, and again at day-break. These are the Alectrephones mentioned by St. John. To us, these cock-crowings do not appear quite so regular in their times of occurrence, though they actually observe certain periods, when not interrupted by the changes of the weather, which generally produce a great deal of crowing. Indeed, the song of all birds is much influenced by the state of the air." Dr. F. also mentions, "that cocks began to crow during the darkness of the eclipse of the sun, Sept. 4, 1820; and it seems that crepusculum (or twilight) is the sort of light in which they crow most."
Goes of Liquor.
Why did tavern-keepers originally call portions of liquor "goes?"
Because of the following incident, which, though unimportant in itself, convinces us how much custom is influenced by the most trifling occurrences:—The tavern called the Queen's Head, in Duke's-court, Bow-street, was once kept by a facetious individual of the name of Jupp. Two celebrated characters, Annesley Spay and Bob Todrington, a sporting man, meeting one evening at the above place, went to the bar, and each asked for half a quartern of spirits, with a little cold water. In the course of time, they drank four-and-twenty, when Spay said to the other, "Now we'll go."—"O no," replied he, "we'll have another, and then go."—This did not satisfy the gay fellows, and they continued drinking on till three in the morning, when both agreed to GO; so that under the idea of going, they made a long stay. Such was the origin of drinking, or calling for, goes.
Why was the celebrated cabinet council of Charles II. called the Cabal?
Because the initials of the names of the five councillors formed that word, thus—
Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham Ashley, Lauderdale.
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COMPANION TO THE ALMANAC.
The volume for the present year appears to bring into play all the advantages of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. The majority of the papers are of permanent value,—as the Division of the Day—a Table of the difference between London and Country Time—the continuation of the "Natural History of the Weather," commenced in last year's Companion—Chronological Table of Political Treaties, from 1326—a Literary Chronology of Contemporaneous Authors from the earliest times, on the plan of last year's Regal Table—Tables for calculating the Heights of Mountains by the Barometer—and illustrative papers on Life Assurance, the Irish Poor, and East India Trade.
The condensations of the official documents of the year follow; and from these we select two or three examples:
Bankruptcy Analysis, from November 1, 1829, to November 1, 1830.
Agricultural Implement Maker, 1; Anchorsmiths, 3; Apothecaries, 7; Auctioneers, 10; Bakers, 15; Bankers, 3; Barge-master, 1; Basket-maker, 1; Blacksmiths, 2; Bleacher, 1; Boarding-house Keepers, 9; Boarding-school Keeper, 1; Boat-builder, 1; Bombasin Manufacturer, 1; Bone Merchant, 1; Bookbinders, 3; Booksellers, 20; Boot and Shoemakers, 14; Brassfounders, 4; Brewers, 17; Bricklayers, 5; Brickmakers, 4; Brokers, 10; Brush Manufacturer, 1; Builders, 38; Butchers, 8; Cabinet Makers, 9; Calico Printers, 3; Canvass Manufacturer, 1; Cap Manufacturer, 1; Carpenters, 12; Carpet Manufacturer, 1; Carriers, 4; Carvers and Gilders, 2; Cattle Dealers, 13; Cement Maker, 1; Cheesemongers, 12; China Dealers, 2; Chemists and Druggists, 16; Clothes' Salesman 1; Clothiers, 9; Cloth Merchants, 8; Coach Builders, 10; Coach Proprietors, 9; Coal Merchants, 28; Coffeehouse Keeper, 1; Colour Maker, 1; Commission Agents, 7; Confectioners, 3; Cook, 1; Cork Merchants, 2; Corn Merchants, 36; Cotton Manufacturers, 16; Curriers, 8; Cutlers, 3; Dairyman, 1; Dealers, 20; Drapers, 35; Drysalter, 1; Dyers, 12; Earthenware Manufacturers, 4; Edge-tool Maker, 1; Engineers, 5; Factors, 4; Farmers, 15; Farrier, 1; Feather Merchants, 3; Fellmongers, 2; Fishmongers, 2: Flannel Manufacturers, 2; Flax-dressers, &c., 2; Fruit Salesman 1; Furriers, 3; Gardener, 1; Gingham Manufacturers, 2; Glass Cutters, 2; Glass Dealers, 3; Glove Manufacturers, 2; Goldsmiths, 2; Grazier, 1; Grocers, 98; Gunmakers, 4; Haberdashers, 4; Hardwareman, 1; Hat Manufacturers, 9; Hop Merchants, 2; Horse Dealers, 10; Hosiers, 9; Innkeepers, 40; Ironfounders, 5; Iron Masters, 4; Iron Merchants, 4; Ironmongers, 19; Jewellers, 7; Joiners, 7; Lace Dealer, 1; Lace Manufacturers, 3; Lapidary 1; Leather Cutters, 2; Leather Dressers, 2; Lime Burners, 5; Linendrapers, 62; Linen Manufacturers, 2; Livery Stable Keepers, 9; Looking Glass Manufacturer, 1; Machine Makers, 2; Maltsters, 9; Manchester Warehousemen, 2; Manufacturers, 10; Manufacturing Chemist, 1; Master Mariners, 10; Mast Maker, 1; Mattress Maker, 1; Mealman, 1; Mercers, 16; Merchants, 71; Millers, 22; Milliners, 7; Miner, 1; Money Scriveners, 21; MusicSellers, 5; Nurserymen, 4; Oil and Colourman, 8; Painters, 6; Paper Hanger, 1; Paper Manufacturers, 8; Pawnbrokers, 2; Perfumers, 4; Picture Dealers, 3; Pill Box Maker, 1; Plasterer, 1; Plumbers, 12; Porter Dealers, 2; Potter, 1; Poulterer, 1; Printers, 4; Provision Brokers, 2; Ribbon Manufacturers, 6; Rope Manufacturer, 1; Sack Maker, 1; Saddlers, 6; Sail Cloth Makers, 2; Sail Makers, 4; Salesmen, 3; Scavenger, 1; Schoolmasters, 6; Seedsmen, 2; Ship Chandlers, 3; Ship Owners, 5; Shipwrights, 8; Shopkeepers, 11; Silk Manufacturers, 6; Silk Throwsters, 2; Silversmiths, 2; Slate Merchants, 2; Smiths, 2; Soap Maker, 1; Stationers, 7; Statuaries, 2; Steam Boiler Manufacturers, 2; Stock Brokers, 2; Stocking Manufacturer, 1; Stonemasons, 8; Stuff Merchants, 7; Sugar Refiner, 1; Surgeons, 13; Surveyor, 1; Tailors, 25; Tallow Chandler, 1; Tanners, 7; Tavern Keepers, 3; Timber Merchants, 18; Tinmen, 3; Tobacconists, 4; Toymen, 3; Turners, 2; Umbrella Manufacturer, 1; Underwriter, 1; Upholsterers, 16; Veneer Cutter, 1; Victuallers, 88; Warehousemen, 15; Watch and Clock Makers, 6; Wax Chandler 1; Wheelwright, 1; White Lead Manufacturer, 1; Whitesmith, 1; Whitster, 1; Wine and Spirit Merchants, 50; Woollen Drapers, 18; Woolstaplers, 5; Worsted Manufacturers, 6.—Total, 1467.
This is but a gloomy page in the commercial annals.
Duties on Soap and Candles.
The amount of the duty on Candles has been, for the year ending 5th of Jan. 1826, 491,236l.; 1827, 471,994l.; 1828, 492,622l.; 1829, 503,779l.; 1830, 495,138l.
The rate of duty on the above articles is—On hard soap, 3d. per lb.; soft soap, 13/4d.; candles, tallow, 1d. per lb.; wax and spermaceti, 31/2d. These duties are payable by law one week after the accounts are made up; but as the accounts for the country include the operations of six or seven weeks alternately, the period allowed for payment depends upon the locality of the traders, as those resident where the collector attends latest upon the round have a proportionally longer credit; the time allowed for payment may be stated generally at from fourteen to twenty-eight days. Within the limits of the chief office the duties on candles are paid weekly; but those on soap have, by custom, been extended to fourteen days after the account has been made up.
Duties on Newspapers.
Amount of Stamp Duties on Newspapers and Advertisements in England and Scotland, during the five years ending January 5, 1830:
_Year_ NEWSPAPERS. ADVERTISEMENTS. _ending_ - - _Jan. 5. England Scotland England. Scotland. L. L. L. L. 1826 425,154 24,419 144,751 18,708 1827 429,662 22,013 135,687 17,779 1828 428,629 29,929 133,978 18,400 1829 439,798 33,556 136,368 18,939 1830 438,667 42,301 136,052 17,592
In Ireland the total number of Newspaper Stamps issued has been, in the years ending 5th Jan. 1827, 3,473,014; 1828, 3,545,846; 1829, 3,790,272; and 1830, 3,953,550.
* * * * *
LITERARY NOTICES OF
MOORE'S LIFE OF BYRON. VOL. II.
It is our intention to condense a sheet of extracts from the above volume, upon the plan adopted by us on the appearance of the previous portion of the work. Our publishing arrangements will not, however, advantageously allow the appearance of this sheet until next Saturday week. In the meantime, a few extracts, per se, may gratify the curiosity of the reader, and not interfere with the interest of our proposed Supplement.
Extracts from Lord Byron's Journal.
"Diodati, near Geneva, Sept. 19th, 1816.
"Rose at five. Crossed the mountains to Montbovon on horseback, and on mules, and, by dint of scrambling, on foot also; the whole route beautiful as a dream, and now to me almost as indistinct. I am so tired;—for, though healthy, I have not the strength I possessed but a few years ago. At Montbovon we breakfasted; afterwards, on a steep ascent, dismounted; tumbled down; cut a finger open; the baggage also got loose and fell down a ravine, till stopped by a large tree; recovered baggage; horse tired and drooping; mounted mule. At the approach of the summit of Dent Jument dismounted again with Hobhouse and all the party. Arrived at a lake in the very bosom of the mountains; left our quadrupeds with a shepherd, and ascended farther; came to some snow in patches, upon which my forehead's perspiration fell like rain, making the same dints as in a sieve; the chill of the wind and the snow turned me giddy, but I scrambled on and upwards. Hobhouse went to the highest pinnacle; I did not, but paused within a few yards (at an opening of the cliff.) In coming down, the guide tumbled three times; I fell a laughing, and tumbled too—the descent luckily soft, though steep and slippery; Hobhouse also fell, but nobody hurt. The whole of the mountains superb. A shepherd on a very steep and high cliff playing upon his pipe; very different from Arcadia, where I saw the pastors with a long musket instead of a crook, and pistols in their girdles. Our Swiss shepherd's pipe was sweet, and his tune agreeable. I saw a cow strayed; am told that they often break their necks on and over the crags. Descended to Montbovon; pretty scraggy village, with a wild river and a wooden bridge. Hobhouse went to fish—caught one. Our carriage not come; our horses, mules, &c. knocked up; ourselves fatigued.
 Dent de Jaman.
"The view from the highest points of to-day's journey comprised on one side the greatest part of Lake Leman; on the other, the valleys and mountain of the Canton of Fribourg, and an immense plain, with the Lakes of Neuchatel and Morat, and all which the borders of the Lake of Geneva inherit; we had both sides of the Jura before us in one point of view, with Alps in plenty. In passing a ravine, the guide recommended strenuously a quickening of pace, as the stones fall with great rapidity and occasional damage; the advice is excellent, but, like most good advice, impracticable, the road being so rough that neither mules, nor mankind, nor horses, can make any violent progress. Passed without fractures or menace thereof.
"The music of the cows' bells (for their wealth, like the patriarchs', is cattle,) in the pastures, which reach to a height far above any mountains in Britain, and the shepherds shouting to us from crag to crag, and playing on their reeds where the steeps appeared almost inaccessible, with the surrounding scenery, realized all that I have ever heard or imagined of a pastoral existence;—much more so than Greece or Asia Minor, for there we are a little too much of the sabre and musket order—and if there is a crook in one hand, you are sure to see a gun in the other;—but this was pure and unmixed—solitary, savage, and patriarchal. As we went, they played the 'Ranz des Vaches' and other airs by way of farewell. I have lately repeopled my mind with nature.
"Up at six; off at eight. The whole of this day's journey at an average of between from 2,700 to 3,000 feet above the level of the sea. This valley, the longest, narrowest, and considered the finest of the Alps, little traversed by travellers. Saw the bridge of La Roche. The bed of the river very low and deep, between immense rocks, and rapid as anger;—a man and mule said to have tumbled over without damage. The people looked free, and happy, and rich (which last implies neither of the former;) the cows superb; a bull nearly leapt into the char-a-banc—'agreeable companion in a post-chaise;' goats and sheep very thriving. A mountain with enormous glaciers to the right—the Klitzgerberg; further on, the Hockthorn—nice names—so soft;—Stockhorn, I believe, very lofty and scraggy, patched with snow only; no glaciers on it, but some good epaulettes of clouds.
"Passed the boundaries, out of Vaud and into Berne canton; French exchanged for bad German; the district famous for cheese, liberty, property, and no taxes. Hobhouse went to fish—caught none. Strolled to the river—saw boy and kid—kid followed him like a dog—kid could not get over a fence, and bleated piteously—tried myself to help kid, but nearly overset both self and kid into the river. Arrived here about six in the evening. Nine o'clock—going to bed; not tired to-day, but hope to sleep, nevertheless."
"Left Thoun in a boat, which carried us the length of the lake in three hours. The lake small, but the banks fine. Rocks down to the water's edge. Landed at Newhause—passed Interlachen—entered upon a range of scenes beyond all description, or previous conception. Passed a rock: inscription—two brothers—one murdered the other; just the place for it. After a variety of windings came to an enormous rock. Arrived at the foot of the mountain (the Jungfrau, that is, the Maiden)—glaciers—torrents: one of these torrents nine hundred feet in height of visible descent. Lodged at the curate's. Set out to see the valley—heard an avalanche fall, like thunder—glaciers enormous—storm came on, thunder, lightning, hail—all in perfection, and beautiful. I was on horseback; guide wanted to carry my cane; I was going to give it him, when I recollected that it was a sword-stick, and I thought the lightning might be attracted towards him; kept it myself; a good deal encumbered with it, as it was too heavy for a whip, and the horse was stupid, and stood with every other peal. Got in, not very wet, the cloak being stanch. Hobhouse wet through; Hobhouse took refuge in cottage; sent man, umbrella, and cloak, (from the curate's when I arrived) after him. Swiss curate's house very good indeed—much better than most English vicarages. It is immediately opposite the torrent I spoke of. The torrent is in shape curving over the rock, like the tail of a white horse streaming in the wind, such as it might be conceived would be that of the 'pale horse' on which Death is mounted in the Apocalypse. It is neither mist nor water, but a something between both; its immense height (nine hundred feet) gives it a wave or curve, a spreading here, or condensation there, wonderful and indescribable. I think, upon the whole, that this day has been better than any of this present excursion.
 It is interesting to observe the use to which he afterwards converted these hasty memorandums in his sublime drama of Manfred:—
It is not noon—the sunbow's rays still arch The torrent with the many hues of heaven, And roll the sheeted silver's waving column, O'er the crag's headlong perpendicular, And fling its lines of foaming light along, And to and fro, like the pale courser's tail, The Giant steed, to be bestrode by Death, As told in the Apocalypse.
"Before ascending the mountain, went to the torrent (seven in the morning) again; the sun upon it, forming a rainbow of the lower part of all colours, but principally purple and gold; the bow moving as you move; I never saw anything like this: it is only in the sunshine. Ascended the Wengen mountain; at noon reached a valley on the summit; left the horses, took off my coat, and went to the summit, seven thousand feet (English feet) above the level of the sea, and about five thousand above the valley we left in the morning. On one side, our view comprised the Jungfrau, with all her glaciers; then the Dent d'Argent, shining like truth; then the Little Giant (the Kleine Eigher;) and the Great Giant (the Grosse Eigher,) and last, not least, the Wetterhorn. The height of the Jungfrau is 13,000 feet above the sea, 11,000 above the valley: she is the highest of this range. Heard the avalanches falling every five minutes nearly. From whence we stood, on the Wengen Alp, we had all these in view on one side; on the other, the clouds rose from the opposite valley, curling up perpendicular precipices like the foam of the ocean of hell, during a spring tide—it was white and sulphury, and immeasurably deep in appearance. The side we ascended was, of course, not of so precipitous a nature; but on arriving at the summit, we looked down upon the other side upon a boiling sea of cloud, dashing against the crags on which we stood (these crags on one side quite perpendicular.) Staid a quarter of an hour—begun to descend—quite clear from cloud on that side of the mountain. In passing the masses of snow, I made a snowball and pelted Hobhouse with it.
 Ye avalanches, whom a breath draws down In mountainous o'erwhelming, come and crush me! I hear ye momently above, beneath, Crash with a frequent conflict * * * * * The mists boil up around the glaciers; clouds Rise curling fast beneath me, white and sulphury, Like foam from the roused ocean of deep hell! MANFRED.
 O'er the savage sea, The glassy ocean of the mountain ice We skim its rugged breakers, which put on The aspect of a tumbling tempest's foam Frozen in a moment. MANFRED.
"Got down to our horses again; ate something; remounted; heard the avalanches still: came to a morass; Hobhouse dismounted to get over well; I tried to pass my horse over; the horse sunk up to the chin, and of course he and I were in the mud together; bemired, but not hurt; laughed, and rode on. Arrived at the Grindenwald; dined, mounted again, and rode to the higher glacier—like a frozen hurricane. Starlight, beautiful, but a devil of a path! Never mind, got safe in; a little lightning, but the whole of the day as fine in point of weather as the day on which Paradise was made. Passed whole woods of withered pines, all withered; trunks stripped and lifeless, branches lifeless; done by a single winter."
 Like these blasted pines, Wrecks of a single winter, barkless, branchless MANFRED.
Shelley and Byron,
It appears, first met at Geneva:—
There was no want of disposition towards acquaintance on either side, and an intimacy almost immediately sprung up between them. Among the tastes common to both, that for boating was not the least strong; and in this beautiful region they had more than ordinary temptations to indulge in it. Every evening, during their residence under the same roof at Secheron, they embarked, accompanied by the ladies and Polidori, on the Lake; and to the feelings and fancies inspired by these excursions, which were not unfrequently prolonged into the hour of moonlight, we are indebted for some of those enchanting stanzas in which the poet has given way to his passionate love of Nature so fervidly.
 Childe Harold, Canto 3.
"There breathes a living fragrance from the shore Of flowers yet fresh with childhood; on the ear Drips the light drop of the suspended oar. * * * * * At intervals, some bird from out the brakes Starts into voice a moment, then is still There seems a floating whisper on the hill, But that is fancy,—for the starlight dews All silently their tears of love instil, Weeping themselves away."
A person who was of these parties has thus described to me one of their evenings. 'When the bise or northeast wind blows, the waters of the Lake are driven towards the town, and, with the stream of the Rhone, which sets strongly in the same direction, combine to make a very rapid current towards the harbour. Carelessly, one evening, we had yielded to its course, till we found ourselves almost driven on the piles; and it required all our rowers' strength to master the tide. The waves were high and inspiriting,—we were all animated by our contest with the elements. 'I will sing you an Albanian song,' cried Lord Byron; 'now be sentimental, and give me all your attention.' It was a strange, wild howl that he gave forth; but such as, he declared, was an exact imitation of the savage Albanian mode, laughing, the while, at our disappointment, who had expected a wild Eastern melody.
Sometimes the party landed, for a walk upon the shore, and, on such occasions, Lord Byron would loiter behind the rest, lazily trailing his sword-stick along, and moulding, as he went, his thronging thoughts into shape. Often too, when in the boat, he would lean abstractedly over he side, and surrender himself up, in silence, to the same absorbing task.
The conversation of Mr. Shelley, from the extent of his poetic reading and the strange, mystic speculations into which his system of philosophy led him, was of a nature strongly to arrest and interest the attention of Lord Byron, and to turn him away from worldly associations and topics into more abstract and untrodden ways of thought. As far as contrast, indeed, is an enlivening ingredient of such intercourse, it would be difficult to find two persons more formed to whet each other's faculties by discussion, as on few points of common interest between them did their opinions agree; and that this difference had its root deep in the conformation of their respective minds needs but a glance through the rich, glittering labyrinth of Mr. Shelley's pages to assure us.
Letter of Lord to Lady Byron.
"I have to acknowledge the receipt of 'Ada's hair,' which is very soft and pretty, and nearly as dark already as mine was at twelve years old, if I may judge from what I recollect of some in Augusta's possession, taken at that age. But it don't curl—perhaps from its being let grow. I also thank you for the inscription of the date and name, and I will tell you why;—I believe that they are the only two or three words of your hand-writing in my possession. For your letters I returned, and except the two words, or rather the one word, 'household,' written twice in an old account book, I have no other. I burnt your last note, for two reasons:—firstly, it was written in a style not very agreeable; and, secondly, I wish to take your word without documents, which are the worldly resources of suspicious people. I suppose that this note will reach you somewhere about Ada's birthday—the 10th of December, I believe. She will then be six; so that in about twelve more I shall have some chance of meeting her; perhaps sooner, if I am obliged to go to England by business or otherwise. Recollect, however, one thing, either in distance or nearness;—every day which keeps us asunder should, after so long a period, rather soften our mutual feelings, which must always have one rallying-point as long as our child exists, which I presume we both hope will be long after either of her parents. The time which has elapsed since the separation has been considerably more than the whole brief period of our union, and the not much longer one of our prior acquaintance. We both made a bitter mistake; but now it is over, and irrevocably so. For, at thirty-three on my part, and a few years less on yours, though it is no very extended period of life, still it is one when the habits and thought are generally so formed as to admit of no modification; and as we could not agree when younger, we should with difficulty do so now. I say all this, because I own to you, that, notwithstanding everything, I considered our re-union as not impossible for more than a year after the separation; but then I gave up the hope entirely and for ever. But this very impossibility of reunion seems to me at least a reason why, on all the few points of discussion which can arise between us, we should preserve the courtesies of life, and as much of its kindness as people who are never to meet may preserve perhaps more easily than nearer connexions. For my own part, I am violent, but not malignant; for only fresh provocations can awaken my resentments. To you, who are colder and more concentrated, I would just hint, that you may sometimes mistake the depth of a cold anger for dignity, and a worse feeling for duty. I assure you, that I bear you now (whatever I may have done) no resentment whatever. Remember, that if you have injured me in aught, this forgiveness is something; and that, if I have injured you, it is something more still, if it be true as the moralists say, that the most offending are the least forgiving. Whether the offence has been solely on my side, or reciprocal, or on yours chiefly, I have ceased to reflect upon any but two things,—viz. that you are the mother of my child, and that we shall never meet again. I think if you also consider the two corresponding points with reference to myself, it will be better for all three."
* * * * *
DANCING FISH—SEA-SERPENT, &c.
In a paper on "Oceanic Dangers," in the United Service Journal is the following:—
There is a species of grampus from two to three tons weight, and about sixteen feet in length, that amuses itself with jumping, or rather springing its ponderous body entirely out of the water, in a vertical position, and falling upon its back; this effort of so large a fish is almost incredible, and informs us how surprisingly great the power of muscle must be in this class of animal. I have seen them spring out of the water within ten yards of the ship's side, generally in the evening, after having swam all the former part of the day in the ship's wake, or on either quarter. When several of these fish take it into their heads to dance a "hornpipe," as the sailors have termed their gambols, at the distance of half a mile they, especially at or just after sun-down, may easily be mistaken for the sharp points of rocks sticking up out of the water, and the splashing and foam they make and produce have the appearance of the action of the waves upon rocks. An officer of the navy informed me, that after sunset, when near the equator, he was not a little alarmed and surprised (because quite unexpected) at the cry of "rocks on the starboard bow:" looking forward through the dubious light (if the expression may be admitted,) he indistinctly saw objects which he and all on board took to be the pinnacles of several rocks of a black and white colour: in a short time, however he discovered this formidable danger to be nothing more than a company of dancing grampuses with white bellies: as one disappeared, another rose, so that there were at least five or six constantly above the surface!
The uncertainty attending the visual organ during the continuance of the aurora and of the twilight, must have been noticed by all those person's who have frequented the ocean. Most sailors have the power of eye-sight strengthened from constant practice, and from having an unobstructed view so generally before them; yet I have known an officer, who was famous for his quickness of sight, declare that in the evening and morning he found it difficult to retain sight for more than a second or two at a time, of a strange sail; at night, even with an inverting glass, his practised eye could retain the object more steadily.
The public were amused for some time, a few years ago, by the tales of brother Jonathan respecting the huge sea-serpent. Without at all disputing the existence of creatures of that nature in the ocean, I have little doubt that a sight I witnessed in a voyage to the West Indies, was precisely such as some of the Americans had construed into a "sea-serpent a mile in length," agreeing, as it did, with one or two of the accounts given. This was nothing more than a tribe of black porpoises in one line, extending fully a quarter of a mile, fast asleep! The appearance certainly was a little singular, not unlike a raft of puncheons, or a ridge of rocks; but the moment it was seen, some one exclaimed, (I believe the captain)—"here is a solution of Jonathan's enigma"—and the resemblance to his "sea-serpent" was at once striking.
Ice, sometimes, when a-wash with the surface of the sea may be mistaken for breakers; and that which is called "black ice" has, both by Capt. Parry and Mr. Weddell, been taken for rocks until a close approach convinced them of the contrary; and, I dare say, others have been in like manner deceived, especially near Newfoundland.
A scole of or indeed, a single, devil fish (Lophius) when deep in the water, may appear like a shoal; and I think, that of all the various appearances of strange things seen at sea, this monstrous animal is more likely to deceive the judgment into a belief of a submarine danger being where none actually exists, than any other. I have watched one of these extraordinary creatures, as it passed slowly along, occupying a space two-thirds of the length of the ship (a 32-gun frigate;) its shape was nearly circular, of a dark green colour, spotted with white and light green shades, like the ray, and some other flat-fish.
Mr. Kriukof gave a curious description to Capt. Kotzebue of a marine serpent which pursued him off Behring's island: it was red and enormously long, the head resembling that of the sea-lion, at the same time two disproportionately large eyes gave it a frightful appearance. Mr. Kriukof's situation seems to have been almost as perilous above the surface of the sea, as Lieutenant Hardy's Spanish diver's was, with the tinterero underneath!
In the History of Greenland, (which, by the by, may with propriety be called Parrynese,) I think there is a well authenticated account of a large sea-serpent seen upon the coast of that vast insular land in Hudson's sea.
Sea-Devil.—Extract from the log-book of the ship Douglas.—"Sailed May 3rd from Curacoa. May 6th, at three P.M. in lat. 35 long. 68.40, made, as we supposed, a vessel bottom up, five or six miles distant—proceeded within forty feet of the object, which appeared in the form of a turtle—its height above water ten or twelve feet; in length twenty-five or thirty feet, and in breadth twelve feet, with oars or flappers, one on each side; twelve or fifteen feet in length, one-third of the way from his tail forward, and one on each side near his tail five feet long. The tail twenty to twenty-five feet long,—had a large lion face with large eyes. The shell or body looked like a clinker-built boat of twenty-five or thirty tons, bottom up, and the seams of the laps newly paid. There were some large branches on him. This animal was standing south-east, and in the course of Bermuda, and his velocity about two knots per hour. A vessel running foul of this monster might be much injured."—New York Paper, May 22.
Spawn of fish, minute mollusca, the small classes of squilla and cancer, are known to voyagers as causing a discolouration of the sea in particular places. Patches and lines of these are often seen within the tropics, of a brown colour, and sometimes of a yellow, and of a red shade, floating upon the surface of the ocean, which, to those unused to such sights, are considered as indications of danger beneath. I met with two patches of this description lately in the Torrid Zone, but the captain being familiar with such instances, sailed through them without apprehension. The first consisted of myriads of small orbicular medusae, about the size of a pea, of a purple hue; the other patch of a reddish-brown colour, was produced by small mollusca, the size of a needle, and about a line in length.
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles. SHAKSPEARE.
The following is on a violin maker's sign-board, at Limerick:—"New Villins mad here and old ones rippard, also new heads, ribs, backs, and bellys mad on the shortest notice. N.B. Choes mended, &c.
"Pat O'Shegnassy, painter."
* * * * *
The author of "The Blasynge of Armes," at the end of Dame Julian Berners's celebrated Treatise on Hawking, Hunting, and Fishing, has informed us that "Tharmes of the Kynge of Fraunce were certaynly sent by an angel from heven, that is to saye, thre floures in manere of swerdes in a feld of azure, the whyche certer armes were given to the forsayd Kynge of Fraunce in sygne of everlastynge trowble, and that he and his successours alway with batayle and swerdes sholde be punysshyd."
 This book was printed at St. Albans in the year 1486, and afterwards reprinted by Wynkyn de Worde, in 1496.
* * * * *
BATHOS AND PATHOS.
(To the Editor.)
Perceiving that you sometimes admit curious and eccentric epitaphs into your very amusing and instructive periodical, if the enclosed is worthy a place, it at least has this merit, if no other, that it is a literal copy, from a tombstone in St. Edmund's churchyard, Sarum:—
In Memory of 3 Children of Joseph and Arabella Maton, who all died in their Infancy, 1770.
Innocence Embellishes Divinely Compleat To Prescience Coegent Now Sublimely Great In the Benign, Perfecting, Vivifying State.
So Heavenly Guardian Occupy the Skies The Pre-Existent God, Omnipotent Allwise He can Surpassingly Immortalize thy Theme And Permanent thy Soul Celestial Supreme.
When Gracious Refulgence, bids the Grave Resign The Creators Nursing Protection be Thine Thus each Perspiring AEther will Joyfully Rise Transcendantly Good Supereminently Wise.
* * * * *
THE LETTER B.
"Or like a lamb, whose dam away is fet, He treble baas for help, but none can get." SIDNEY.
Its pronunciation is supposed to resemble the bleating of a sheep; upon which account the Egyptians represented the sound of this letter by the figure of that animal. It is also one of those letters which the eastern grammarians call labial, because the principal organs employed in its pronunciation are the lips. With the ancients, B as a numeral stood for 300. When a line was drawn above it, it stood for 3,000, and with a kind of accent below it, for 200.
* * * * *
(To the Editor.)
I read your story of the cherry-coloured cat. The clergyman with whom I was educated astonished me when a child, by saying, when at his living at ——, he preached in a cherry-coloured gown and a rose-coloured wig (white.)
AN OLD ONE.
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PROPHECY OF LORD BYRON.
In his journal, under the date of January 13, 1821, Lord Byron writes: "Dined—news come—the powers mean to war with the people. The intelligence seems positive—let it be so—they will be beaten in the end. The King-times are fast finishing. There will be blood shed like water, and tears like mist; but the people will conquer in the end. I shall not live to see it—but I foresee it."
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Snuff-takers generally, especially the patrons of Hardham's 37 will read the following record of benevolence with some gratification:—"In 1772, Mr. John Hardham, a tobacconist, in London, a native of Chichester, left by his will the interest of all his estates to the guardians of the poor, 'to ease the inhabitants in their poor-rates for ever.' This valuable legacy amounting to 653l. per annum was subject to the life of the housekeeper of the testator, so that it was not till 1786 that it reverted to the city."—This is even better than the plan for snuff-takers paying off the national debt.
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Preston is a market-town, borough, and parish; situated on the river Ribble, in the hundred of Amounderness, county palatine of Lancaster. It was incorporated by Henry II., in 1160; and the privileges and free customs granted by this and subsequent royal grants were confirmed by Charter of 36th Charles II. The body corporate consists of a mayor, recorder, seven aldermen, and seventeen capital burgesses, who, together, form the common council of the borough. The mayor, two town-bailiffs, and two sergeants are elected annually, upon the Friday preceding the festival of St. Wilfrid, who was formerly lord of this town; and they are invested, on the 12th of October following, by a jury of twenty-four guild burgesses. The members of the council, with the exception of the mayor, retain their seats for life, or during the pleasure of a majority, and vacancies are supplied by the remaining members. The town sends two representatives to parliament, and affords the nearest practical example of universal suffrage in the kingdom—every male inhabitant, whether housekeeper or lodger, who has resided six months in the town, and who has not, during the last twelve months, been chargeable to any township as a pauper, having a right to vote for two candidates at elections. This principle was established by a decision of the House of Commons, on an appeal, in the year 1766, and has ever since been acted upon. The burgesses are entitled, by the charter of Henry II., to have a GUILD MERCHANT, with the usual franchises annexed, of safe transit through the kingdom, exemption from toll, pontage, and stallage; liberty to buy and sell peaceably; and power to hold a guild for the renewal of freedom to the burgesses, the confirming of by-laws, and other purposes. This privilege is still made the occasion of great festivity. For a long time after their first institution, the guilds were held at irregular periods, but they have now, for more than a century, been uniformly celebrated every twentieth year, commencing on the Monday next after the Decollation of St. John, which generally happens in the last week of August; the last was held in 1822, and commenced on the 22nd of September. The amusements, which are of great variety, continue for a fortnight; but, for civic purposes, the guild books are open for one entire month. The corporation are obliged to hold this carnival, on pain of forfeiting their elective franchises, and their rights as burgesses. The guild appears to be of the nature of the ancient frank-pledge: it is of Saxon origin, and derived from the word gile, signifying money, by which certain fraternities enter into an association, and stipulate with each other to punish crimes, make losses good, and acts of restitution proportioned to offences;—for which purposes, they raised sums of money among themselves, forming a common stock; they likewise endowed chantries for priests to perform orisons for the defunct. Fraternities and guilds were, therefore, in use, long before any formal licenses were granted to them; though, at this day, they are a company combined together, with orders and laws made by themselves, under sanction of royal authority. The several trades of Preston are incorporated; twenty-five chartered companies go in procession on the guild festival.
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Bob scrubs his head, in search of wit, And calls his follies phrenzy fit; But Bob forgets, with all his wit, Poeta nascitur, non fit!
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COMPLETION OF VOL. XVI.
WITH THE PRESENT NUMBER
A SUPPLEMENTARY NUMBER,
With a Portrait of the Queen, and a Memoir of her Majesty; with Title-page, Preface, and Index to Vol. XVI.
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[***] Books are flocking fast around us. Among them are Mr. Boaden's Life of Mrs. Jordan—the Romance of History—Vols. 13 and 14 of Lardner's Cyclopaedia—Dr. Dibdin's Sunday Library—Vol 1 of the Cabinet Library—and three other volumes of the periodical libraries. Our preference of Moore's Byron is, we hope, borne out by its paramount interest.
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