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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 565 - Vol. 20, No. 565., Saturday, September 8, 1832
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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

Vol. 20, No. 565.] SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1832. [PRICE 2d.



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The luxurious indulgence of baths in the East is generally known to the reader of travels, so as to render acceptable the following details. They are extracted from Mr. Buckingham's Travels,[1] and bear all the graphic minuteness of his entertaining pen.

[1] Travels in Assyria, Media, and Persia. H. Colburn, 4to., 1829.

The Bath is one of the principal ones of Kermanshah, an important frontier town of Persia. "It was entered by a porch, extremely clean, and neatly ornamented by painting and other devices on its ceiling and walls. This remarkable contrast to the low, dark, and foul passages which generally lead to Turkish baths, was a presage, upon the very threshold, of greater comfort and accommodation within.

"When we reached the undressing-room, this prepossession was still further strengthened. Here we found a square hall, well lighted from above, having on three of its sides elevated recesses for the visiters, and on the fourth, the passage from the outer porch to the hall, and from this to the inner bath. At the angles of these raised recesses, and dividing their lower roof, which they supported, from the higher one of the central square, were, four good marble pillars, with spirally fluted shafts, and moulded capitals, perfectly uniform in size and design, and producing the best effect. In the centre of the square space, which these marked out, and on a lower floor, was a large marble cistern of cold water; and at each end of this, on wooden stands, like those used in our arbours and breakfast rooms, were arranged coloured glass jars, with flowers of various kinds in them, well watered and perfectly fresh.

"The walls of this outer hall were ornamented all around by designs of trees, birds, and beasts, in fanciful forms, executed in white upon a blue ground. We undressed here, and were led from hence into the inner bath, where all was still free from everything offensive, either to the sight or smell. This inner room was originally an oblong space of about fifty feet by twenty-five, but had been since made into two square divisions. The first, or outer one, was a plain paved hall, exactly like the undressing-room, except that it had no side recesses, but its floor was level, close to the walls. There were here also four pillars; and in the square space which they enclosed in the centre of the room, was a cistern of water as in the outer one. It was on the floor of this that the visiters lay, to be washed by the attendants; for there were no raised seats for this purpose as in Turkish baths, and the great octagonal one, with its cold fountain, the sides and tops of which are ornamented with mosaic work of marble in Turkey, was here replaced by the cistern described.

"The second division to which this room led, consisted of three parts; the central one was a large and deep bath, filled with warm water, its bottom being level with the lower floor of the building, and the ascent to it being by three or four steep steps.

"As few pleasures are entirely perfect, so here, with all its general apparent superiority to the baths of Turkey, this was inferior to them in the most essential points. The attendants seemed quite ignorant of the art of twisting the limbs, moulding the muscles, cracking the joints, opening the chest, and all that delicious train of operations in which the Turks are so skilful. The visitors were merely well though roughly scrubbed, and their impurities then rinsed off in the large cistern above, from which there was neither a running stream to carry off the foul water, nor cocks of hot and cold to renew and temper it at pleasure, as in Turkey.

"In place of the luxurious moulding of the muscles, the use of the hair-bag, or glove, for removing the dirt, and the profusion of perfumed soap, with which the Turks end a course of treatment full of delight, the Persians are occupied in staining the beard and hair black, the nails of the toes and fingers of a deep red, and the whole of the feet and hands of a yellow colour, by different preparations of henna. This operation is the most unpleasant that can be imagined. The Persians do not shave the whole of the head, as is usual with most of the Turks and Arabs, but, taking of all the hair from the forehead, over the crown, and down the neck, for about a hand's breadth, they leave on each side two large bushy masses depending over their shoulders. This, then, with a very long and full beard, in which all the people here take pride, is plastered with a thick paste, of the consistence of hog's lard, and not less than two pounds weight of which is sometimes used on one person. It possesses a strongly astringent and penetrating quality, and requires great skill in the use of it, to avoid doing considerable mischief. As the eye-brows are plastered with it, as well as the rest of the hair, and as it softens by the heat of the room and of the body, it frequently steals into the eyes, and produces great pain.

"When all is finished, and the visiter leaves the inner bath, he is furnished with two cloths only, one for the waist, and the other to throw loosely over the head and shoulders: he then goes into the outer room into a colder air, thus thinly clad, and without slippers or pattens; no bed is prepared for him, nor is he again attended to by any one, unless he demands a nargeel to smoke; but, most generally, he dresses himself in haste, and departs."

ORIGIN OF PSALMODY.

In D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature, there is an amusing and instructive account of the Origin of Psalm-Singing. It appears that Psalms in verse were first written by that elegant French poet, Clement Marot, the favoured court bard of Francis I., who was termed by his un-envious brother poets, "the poet of princes." They were published at Paris, and the volume contained fifty Psalms, written in various measures, and, which, from the beauty of their composition, (some specimens of which we have seen,) appear to be worthy of the muse of Marot. This "Holy Song Book," as he entitled it, was "humbly dedicated to the powerful King of France," and being considered by the volatile French people as an amusing novelty, it sold faster than any book of that period. In fact, the printers could not supply impressions fast enough for the demand; and, as the Psalms were considered in the light of ballads, they were set by the people to popular tunes, and were commonly sung as ballads.

This good reception of Marot's Psalms induced the celebrated Theodore Beza to continue the collection; and another volume was printed, of which 20,000 were immediately sold: this was a considerable circulation, when we consider the few readers that then existed, in comparison with the number of readers in the present age. These had the advantage over Marot's of being set to tunes of greater spirit. Beza, in his preface, says, that "these Psalms are admirably suited for the violin and other musical instruments;" and our readers will learn, not without surprise, that through the instrumentality of the gloomy Calvin, these compositions were set to most beautiful and simple airs. He wisely took advantage of popular feeling to spread his religious opinions, through the means of melody, and, in furtherance of this plan, he engaged the most celebrated composers of his time to furnish tunes to these Psalms. At first, the scheme was not discovered: for Catholics sang the Psalms as well as Hugonots; but, when Calvin appointed these Psalms, with their music, to be sung at his meetings, there was an end to the solace of the dreary hours of the poor Catholics. Marot himself was compelled to quit Geneva; Psalm-singing became an open declaration of Lutheranism; and "woe to the poor wight" who was caught in the diabolical act of singing these "pernicious Psalms."

The history of Psalm-singing in our own island can be comprised in very few words. When the enthusiasm of the French in favour of their Psalms was at its height, one Sternhold, undertook to be our Marot, and wrote a Book of Psalms, which captivated the hearts of the Puritans, by whom they were practised at their chapels in the Protectorate of Cromwell, but were more particularly set and sung in the reign of Elizabeth. Psalms, about this time, were sung at City and Lord Mayors' feasts, and turtle-eaters delighted to honour Psalm-singers. Soldiers used them as stimulants to exertion on their march, and even on parade; and there was scarcely a regiment but could boast of its Marot. About this time, too, it was customary for the inhabitants of houses which had windows facing the street, to regale the passenger with the "holy songs" of Sternhold.

E.J.H.

[By way of an appropriate pendent to our Correspondent's paper, we quote the following excellent passage on Psalmody, by the Rev. W.S. Gilly, in his Memoir of Felix Neff.]

The effect produced by the words, or by the music, or by the combination of the two, is such, that the cultivation of psalmody has ever been earnestly recommended by those who are anxious to excite true piety. Tradition, history, revelation, and experience, bear witness to the truth, that there is nothing to which the natural feelings of man respond more readily. Every nation, whose literary remains have come down to us, appears to have consecrated the first efforts of its muse to religion, or rather all the first compositions in verse seem to have grown out of devotional effusions. We know that the book of Job, and others, the most ancient of the Old Testament, contain rhythmical addresses to the Supreme Being. Many of the psalms were composed centuries before the time of king David, and it is not extravagant to imagine, that some of them may have been sung even to Jubal's lyre, and were handed down from patriarch to patriarch by oral tradition. Nor did the fancy of Milton take too bold a flight when it pleased itself with the idea that our first parents, taught by the carols of the birds in the garden of Eden, raised their voices in tuneful notes of praise to the Creator of all, when they walked forth in the cool of the day to meet their God before the fall. But this is certain, that one of our Lord's last acts of social worship on earth was to sing a hymn with his disciples. Few, therefore, can be slow to understand, that if Christ and his disciples broke forth in holy song, immediately after the solemnities of the Last Supper, and just before the Shepherd was smitten, and the sheep were scattered; and if Paul and Silas sung praises unto God in their prison-house, congregational worship may always be the better for such helps. Add to these examples, the apostolical exhortation to the merry hearted to sing psalms, and the apostolical descriptions of the choral strains which resound in the courts of heaven, and we cannot but feel certain, that the services of the Christian church were cheered from the earliest times by hymns and psalms. "Those Nazarenes sing hymns to Christ," said Pliny, in contempt. We thank him for recording the fact. The words of the Te Deum were composed by a native of Gaul, (for the use probably of one of the churches on the Rhone, or of the Alps) about the third century; and at the same period, men, women, youths of both sexes, and even children joined in the psalmody of the sanctuaries, in such cordial and harmonious unison, that a father of the church has well compared the sound to the loud, but not discordant, noise of many waves beating against the sea shore.

At the time of the Reformation, sacred music, which had begun to run wild, was brought back to its first principles. The melodies of religious worship were rendered more heart-touching, by being set to words in the vernacular tongues, which every body could understand. Luther's hymn, "Great God, what do I hear and see," led the way. Henry VIII. hated the German reformer, and all that he did, but he burned to rival him in every thing, and he gave a stimulus to the public taste, by composing words and music for the service of the English church. In France, soon after the middle of the sixteenth century, when it was doubtful whether the nation would become Protestant or remain Roman Catholic, the pathetic tunes and devotional stanzas of the reformers obtained so great an influence over the minds of men, that the music of the temples, as the Protestant sanctuaries were called, to distinguish them from the Roman Catholic churches, became the fashionable melodies of the day. This taste found its way even to the court, and to the great alarm of the Romish party, some of the sweetest and most stirring of the psalms, which had been translated into French metre by Clement Marot, were set to music by Lewis Guadimel, and were constantly in the mouths not only of the Protestant families of the provinces, but of the ornaments of the saloons of Paris, and of the palace of the Louvre. It is said to have been quite astonishing how much this pious and simple device found favour for the Protestant cause, and induced people, who had never read Scripture before, to search the holy volume out of which those treasures were drawn, which so charmed their ears and their imagination. It is still the practice in most of the mountain churches to make sacred music a part of family devotion, and many of the tunes which Guadimel composed with such success are still sung to the praise of God. I can bear witness to the forcible manner in which these strains, rising to heaven from the lips of parents, children and domestics, quicken piety, and stir up the best affections of the heart towards God and man. I have seen and felt the effect produced by them in the humble dwelling of the village pastor, where none but human voices swelled the notes; and in the chateau, where the harp and the organ have mingled their fine sounds with the well modulated tones of an accomplished family of sons and daughters. My thoughts, at the moment I am writing this, are at Chateau Blonay, but most of the voices, which I heard there, are now silent in death! I am thoroughly convinced that family worship, and congregational worship lose a great auxiliary to piety, when there is not the power or the inclination to join in psalmody.

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LINES

Written after reading the Memoir and Poems of Miss Lucretia Davidson.[2]

Ev'n till thy latest hour, Lucretia! thou Didst cherish that which but consum'd thy frame. 'Twas then it shone the brightest on thy brow, Like the last flickerings of an earthly flame— Yes, thy brain harass'd by deep toil, became With all its fire, a tenant of the tomb, And dim is now thine eye, Belov'd of Fame! Thy cheek is pale—thy lip without perfume— And there thou liest—the child of Genius—and its doom.

Like the proud eagle soaring to the skies, Intent "the topmost arch" of heaven to scale, When heeding naught that would oppose its rise, It breaks with fearless nerve the tempest-gale— And spreads its wings like a majestic sail, Full on the bosom of the raging blast, Thy spirit soar'd—but ah! too like us frail, When the same breeze which bore it from the dust Wing'd home the fatal shaft that tore its bleeding breast.

Would I could sing thy fame with thine own lyre, Then should I breathe a more deserving lay, A lay which every spirit would inspire, And melt each eye to tears of sympathy; But others at thy shrine, their tributes pay. Offspring of Beauty! child of native song! And I, ev'n I, would venture to essay, To raise my lauding voice amidst the throng Of those who weep thy loss—and who shall weep it long!—N.C.

[2] See Memoir, and specimens of her Poetry, Mirror, vol. xiv. p. 340.

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SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.

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IMPROVED RAW SUGAR.

[We find the following information communicated to the Literary Gazette, apparently by the parties connected with the improvement.]

Considerable interest has been excited in the market by the introduction of an improved native raw sugar, which portends very great advantages to all who are engaged in this so long unprofitable branch of colonial and commercial intercourse. It is pure raw sugar, obtained direct from the cane-juice, without any secondary process of decoloration or solution, and by which all necessity for any subsequent process of refining is entirely obviated. It is obtained in perfectly pure, transparent, granular crystals, being entirely free from any portion of uncrystallisable sugar or colouring matter, and is prepared by the improved process of effecting the last stages of concentration in vacuum, and at a temperature insufficient to produce any changes in its chemical composition; the mode of operation first proposed by the late Hon. Ed. Charles Howard, and subsequently introduced, with the most important advantages and complete success, into the principal sugar-refineries of Great Britain.

By this improved and scientific process of manufacture, the application of which to the purpose of preparing raw sugar from the cane-juice has now first been proposed, the most singular advantages are secured to the planter, in an increased quantity of sugar, the product of his operation, and in saving from the immense quantity of deteriorated material, uncrystallisable sugar and molasses, which were products of the former mode of operation, from the intense and long-continued degree of heat employed in the processes. The time and labour of the operation are also greatly decreased; the apparatus possesses the power to make double the quantity in the same space of time as the old method, and this is ready for shipment in four days, in lieu of three weaks, as heretofore. The sugar likewise readily commands an advanced price in the market to the planter of ten or twelve shillings per cwt.

This improved sugar readily ensures a preference for all purposes of manufacture, solution, or domestic economy. It is a purer sweet, and of a richer mellifluous taste than even the best refined; it is not apt to become ascescent in solution; and, from its superior quality, it well answers all purposes of the table. In the manufacture of rum from the molasses, which are separated during the first process of the operation, there is no danger of deterioration in the production of empyreuma, and a far purer spirit is obtained than that made from ordinary molasses.

This improved process is now in complete and successful operation on eight estates in Demerara. The general introduction of the process is considered by the best practical judges to ensure certain means of revivifying the spoiled fortunes of the planters, and to open a new era in the prosperity of those portions of the British crown, of which this forms the principal staple commodity of support.

[According to Dr. Moseley, the art of refining sugar, and what is called loaf sugar, is a modern European invention, the discovery of a Venetian, about the end of the fifteenth or beginning of the sixteenth century. Sugar candy is of much earlier date, for in Marin's Storia del Commercio de Veneziani, there is an account of a shipment made at Venice for England in 1319, of 100,000 lbs. of sugar, and 10,000 lbs. of sugar candy. Refined, or loaf sugar is mentioned in a roll of provisions in the reign of Henry VIII.

The process of refining sugar in vacuo is the most useful application of "the fact that liquids are driven off, or made to boil at lower degrees of heat when the atmospheric pressure is lessened or removed."[3] The first part of the process is to dissolve impure sugar in water, and after clarifying the solution, to boil off or evaporate the water again, that the dry crystallized mass may remain. Formerly this evaporation was performed under the atmospheric pressure, and a heat of 218 deg. or 220 deg. was required to make the syrup boil; by which degree of heat, however, a portion of the sugar was discoloured and spoiled, and the whole produce was deteriorated. The valuable thought occurred to Mr. Howard, that the water might be dissipated by boiling the syrup in a vacuum or place from which air was excluded, and therefore at a low temperature. This was done accordingly; and the saving of sugar and the improvement of quality were such as to make the patent right, which secured the emoluments of the process to him and other parties, worth many thousand pounds a-year. The syrup, during this process, is not more heated than it would be in a vessel merely exposed to a summer sun.

[3] Arnott's Elements of Physics.

Lord Brougham, in his Introduction to the Library of Useful Knowledge, characterizes this as a process, by which more money has been made in a shorter time, and with less risk and trouble, than was ever perhaps gained from an invention; and as "the fruit of a long course of experiments, in the progress of which known philosophical principles were constantly applied, and one or two new principles ascertained."[4]

[4] Objects, Advantages, and Pleasures of Science. In the first edition, the inventer is erroneously stated to be Edward Howard.

The scene of this discovery was, in all probability, the Deepdene, near Dorking, the retreat of the late Mr. Thomas Hope, the author of Anastasius. Here the Hon. Mr. Howard, brother of the Duke of Norfolk, resided at the commencement of the last century, and is stated to have enjoyed that philosophical retirement which may be described as the happy haven of a truly great mind. He planted a portion of the grounds, the greater part of the estate being so admirably disposed by nature as almost to forbid the fashioning of men's hands. At Mr. Howard's death, the estate descended to the Duke of Norfolk, who sold the property, in 1791, to the late Sir William Burrell, whose lady wrote the following lines, which are on a tablet in the grounds:

"This votive Tablet is inscribed to the memory of the Honourable Charles Howard, who built an oratory and laboratory on this spot: he died at the Deepdene, 1714.

If worth, if learning, should with fame be crown'd, If to superior talents, fame be due, Let Howard's virtues consecrate the ground Where once the fairest flowers of science grew.

Within this calm retreat, th' illustrious sage Was wont his grateful orisons to pay, Here he perused the legendary page, Here gave to chemistry the feeling day.

Cold to ambition, far from courts remov'd, Though qualified to fill the statesman's part, He studied nature in the paths he lov'd, Peace in his thoughts, and virtue in his heart.

Soft may the breeze sigh through the ivy boughs That shade this humble record of his worth; Here may the robin undisturbed repose, And fragrant flowers adorn the hallow'd earth.

January 1792."

The tablet is of plain wood—black letters painted on a white ground. It is an unostentatious memorial, which has been respected amidst the extensive alteration and embellishment of the grounds by the late Mr. Hope. To our minds, neither of the treasures of art which are assembled within the splendid saloons of the adjoining mansion, or sculpture gallery, will outvie the interest of this humble tribute to the memory of departed genius.]

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THE LANDERS VOYAGE AND DISCOVERIES ON THE NIGER.

The travellers, in embarking on the Atlantic, had solved the greatest problem in African, and even in modern geography;—one which had exercised the ingenuity and conjecture of so many learned inquirers, and in the efforts to solve which so many brave and distinguished adventurers had perished. This discovery divested the Niger of that singular and mysterious character, which had been one chief cause of the interest that it had excited—when seen rolling its ample flood from the sea towards vast unknown regions in the interior. The circuit by which it reaches the Atlantic assimilates its character to that of ordinary rivers, without any much more remarkable windings than are found in others of similar length. It displays, however, a magnitude considerably greater than had been suggested by any former observation.

We can now trace very distinctly, the entire line of this great river. Its source, though not actually visited, seems ascertained by Laing to exist in the high country of Kissi, about 200 miles in the interior from Sierra Leone. Thence it rolls through Foota Jallo and Kankan, where Caillie describes himself to have found it already a rapid and considerable stream. At Bammakoo, having received the tributary from Sankari in Manding, which Park mistook for the main river, it begins its course over the fine plain of Bambarra, where it forms a noble stream; and in passing Sego, the capital, has been considered as equalling the Thames at Westminster. Thence it pursues a north-westerly course, and flowing through the lake Dibbie, reaches Timbuctoo. Its course from that city to Youri has not yet been delineated; but the fact that Park navigated down from one place to the other, fully establishes the continuity. During this reach the Niger makes a great change of direction from north-east to almost due south. From Youri to the sea, it was navigated by the present travellers, and was found following generally a southern direction, though making in one part a rapid bend to the east, whence it gradually returns. If we measure two distances, one from the source to Timbuctoo, and the other from that city to the sea, we shall have nearly 2,000 miles, which may be considered as the direct course; and the various windings must raise the whole line of the stream to upwards of 3,000 miles. For several hundred miles of its lower course, it forms a broad and magnificent expanse, resembling an inland sea. The Niger must after all yield very considerably to the Missouri and Orellana, those stupendous rivers of the new world. But it appears at least as great as any of those which water the old continents. There can rank with it only the Nile, and the Yangtse-kiang, or Great River of China. But the upper course of neither is yet very fully ascertained; and the Nile can compete only in length of course, not in the magnitude of its stream, or the fertility of the regions which it waters. There is one feature in which the Niger may defy competition from any river, either of the old or new world. This is in the grandeur of its Delta. Along the whole coast, from the river of Formosa or Benin to that of Old Calabar, about 300 miles in length, there open into the Atlantic its successive estuaries, which navigators have scarcely been able to number. Taking this coast as the base of the triangle or Delta, and its vertex at Kirree, about 170 miles inland, where the Formosa branch separates, we have a space of upwards of 25,000 square miles, equal to the half of England. Had this Delta, like that of the Nile, been subject only to temporary inundations, leaving behind a layer of fertilizing slime, it would have formed the most fruitful region on earth, and might have been almost the granary of a continent. But, unfortunately, the Niger rolls down its waters in such excessive abundance, as to convert the whole into a huge and dreary swamp, covered with dense forests of mangrove, and other trees of spreading and luxuriant foliage. The equatorial sun, with its fiercest rays, cannot penetrate these dark recesses; it only exhales from them pestilential vapours, which render this coast the theatre of more fatal epidemic diseases than any other, even of Western Africa. That human industry will one day level these forests, drain these swamps, and cover this soil with luxuriant harvests, we may confidently anticipate; but many ages must probably elapse before man, in Africa, can achieve such a victory over nature.

The Niger, besides its own ample stream, has a number of tributaries, equal perhaps in magnitude and importance to those of any other river on the globe; with the exception of the united streams of the Mississippi and Missouri. At no great distance above the point where the Delta commences, the Tshadda, nearly equal in magnitude to itself, enters it; after watering large and fruitful kingdoms, of which the names only, and of these but a very few, have reached us. On this river an extensive commerce and active navigation is said to prevail; the existence of which is further confirmed by the great importance attached to Funda, and other cities situated at or near the junction. It would have been deeply interesting, and have given a new importance to the river communications of Africa, could we have believed, what was positively asserted by very credible witnesses, that vessels by its channel sailed to and from the lake Tchad, and thus held intercourse with the kingdoms of Loggun and Bornou. It seems certain that the names Tshadda, Shary, and Tchad, are one and the same. But the identity of the two first as rivers is what we are precluded from all possibility of believing, by the circumstance that the Shary of Loggun and Bornou, which Major Denham saw and sailed upon, was found by him falling into lake Tchad, while the Tshadda of Lander fell into the Niger; consequently they are distinct streams, flowing in opposite directions. It is very probable indeed that their fountains may be in the same mountain chain, and at no great distance; and even that some of their branches may approach very near, so that merchants may, by an easy portage, convey commodities between them. Nay, it is not quite impossible that they may be united by some connecting channel, as the Amazons and the Oronooka are; but this seems scarcely probable.

At no great distance above the Tshadda, enters the Coodonia, a smaller river, but which Lander had seen flowing through a very fertile and highly cultivated country. Considerably higher is the Cubbie, a large stream from the country and city of that name; and higher still the Quarrama, which has passed by Zirmie and Sackatoo. Between this point and Timbuctoo, we have no means of knowing whether any or what rivers fall into the Niger. The tributary which passes that city is of no great importance; but at the eastern boundary of Bambarra, Park describes the influx from the south of two great streams, the Maniana and Nimma; and it seems very doubtful if Caillie was not mistaken in supposing the latter to be a mere branch of the Niger. The higher tributaries, descending from the mountains, swell the stream, without themselves affording any important navigation.—Edinburgh Review.

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NOTES OF A READER.

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LAURENCEKIRK SNUFF-BOXES.

[Probably one of the most amusing articles in Mr. Macculloch's bulky Dictionary of Commerce of 1,150 pages, is the following account of the manufacture of the celebrated Laurencekirk snuff-boxes. It is right, however, to explain, that Mr. Macculloch only mentions these boxes here for the purpose of giving the following details, not to be met with in any other publication.]

These beautiful boxes were first manufactured at the village of Laurencekirk, in Kincardineshire, about forty years since. The original inventer was a cripple hardly possessed of the power of locomotion. In place of curtains, his bed (rather a curious workshop) was surrounded with benches and receptacles for tools, in the contrivance and use of which he discovered the utmost ingenuity. The inventer, instead of taking out a patent, confided his secret to a joiner in the same village, who in a few years amassed a considerable property; while the other died, as he had lived, in the greatest poverty. The great difficulty of the manufacture lies in the formation of the hinge, which in a genuine box is so delicately made as hardly to be visible. Peculiar, or, as they are called, secret tools are required in its formation; and though they must have been improved by time and experience, the mystery attached to their preparation is still so studiously kept up, that the workmen employed in one shop are rigorously debarred from having any communication with those employed in another.

About the beginning of this century, an ingenious individual belonging to the village of Cumnock, in Ayrshire, of the name of Crawford, having seen one of the Laurencekirk snuff-boxes, succeeded, after various attempts, by the assistance of a watchmaker of the same village, who made the tools, in producing a similar box; and by his success, not only laid the foundation of his own fortune, but greatly enriched his native parish and province. For awhile, the Laurencekirk boxes were most in demand; but Mr. Crawford and his neighbours in Cumnock not only copied the art, but so improved and perfected it, that in a very few years, for every box made in the north there were, probably, twenty made in the south. In 1826, the Cumnock trade was divided amongst eight master manufacturers, who employed considerably more than 100 persons. The demand at that time equalled the supply, and it was calculated that the trade yielded from 7,000l. to 8,000l. annually,—a large product for a manufacture seemingly so insignificant, and consisting almost exclusively of the wages of labour. Plane is the wood in common use, and the cost of the wood in an ordinary sized box does not exceed 1d.; the paints and varnish are rated at 2d.; and though something is lost by selecting timber of the finest colour, the whole expense of the raw material falls considerably short of 1/2 per cent. on the return it yields!

Snuff-box, like pin making, admits of subdivision of labour; and in all workshops of any size three classes of persons are employed—painters, polishers, and joiners. At the period alluded to, an industrious joiner earned from 30s. to 40s. weekly, a painter from 45s. to 3l., and a polisher considerably less than either. When Mr. Crawford first commenced business he obtained almost any price he chose to ask; and many instances occurred, in which ordinary sized snuff-boxes sold at 2l. 12s. 6d., and ladies' work-boxes at 25l. But as the trade increased, it became necessary to employ apprentices, who first became journeymen and then masters; and such have been the effects of improvement and competition, that articles such as are specified above, may now be obtained at the respective prices of six and twenty-five shillings. While the joiner's part of the art has remained pretty stationary, that of the painter has been gradually improving. By means of the Pentagraph, which is much employed, the largest engravings are reduced to the size most convenient for the workman, without injuring the prints in the slightest degree; and hence a snuff-box manufacturer, like a Dunfermline weaver, can work to order by exhibiting on wood his employer's coat of arms, or in short, any object he may fancy within the range of the pictorial art. Some of the painters display considerable talent, and as often as they choose to put forth their strength, produce box-lids, which are really worthy of being preserved as pictures. At first, nearly the whole subjects chosen as ornaments, were taken from Burns's poems; and there can be no doubt, that the "Cotter's Saturday Night," "Tam O'Shanter," "Willie brewed a peck o' maut," &c. &c., have penetrated in this form into every quarter of the habitable globe. Now, however, the artists of Cumnock take a wider range; the studios of Wilkie, and other artists, have been laid under contribution; landscapes are as often met with as figures; and there is scarcely a celebrated scene in the country that is not pictured forth more or less perfectly on the lid of a Cumnock snuff-box. A few years ago, the art in question was much affected by the long-continued depression of the weaving business; so much so, that many left it for some other employment. And some of those who emigrated, having made a good deal of money, instead of being cooped up in a workshop, are now thriving proprietors in Upper Canada. But after a brief interval the trade rallied; and though prices are low, it is now more flourishing than ever. In Cumnock the number of hands has increased considerably, and in Mauchline there is one workshop so extensive that it may almost be compared to a cotton mill or factory. In other quarters the trade is extending, such as Helensburgh near Greenock, Catrine, Maxwelltown, Dumfries, &c. The principal markets for the snuff-boxes are London, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. At one time large lots of boxes were exported to South America, and probably are so at present. Cumnock, in a word, in regard to its staple manufacture, is in that palmy state so well described by a modern writer:—"the condition most favourable to population is that of a laborious, frugal people ministering to the demands of opulent neighbours; because this situation, while it leaves them every advantage of luxury, exempts them from the evils which accompany its admission into a country. Of the different kinds of luxury, those are the most innocent which afford employment to the greatest number of artists and manufacturers; or those in which the price of the work bears the greatest proportion to that of the raw material." Some very wretched imitations of Cumnock boxes have been produced in different parts of England; but they can deceive no one who ever saw a genuine box. The hinge, as well as the finishing, is clumsy in the extreme.

[Mr. Macculloch acknowledges himself indebted for this curious and instructive article to his esteemed friend "John M'Diarmid, Esq. Editor of the Dumfries Courier, one of the best provincial papers published in the empire."

By the way, what a colossal labour must have been the preparation of the above Dictionary. How it reminds us of the words of poor, patient Antony Wood: "What toyle hath been taken, as no man thinketh, so no man believeth, but he that hath made the trial." Yet it has often occurred to us that the compiler, or editor, as he is complimentarily called, is barely treated with proper respect in these days. What is all knowledge but a continued accumulation and comparison of facts, by "following the example of time?" Yet, all this is not original; but we ask, in what does the intellectual originality of the present day consist? does it add a spark to the minds of men which they cannot find in the labours of past ages? New books (we mean new original works) are like dull, pointless flints; the reader cannot scintillate, strike-fire, or steal from them; they are mere changes of words, often at the sacrifice of sense to sound. A flashy novel would, perhaps, secure the writer more celebrity than Mr. Macculloch's Dictionary will obtain for him, though his reputation for talent and industry want not the false glory, the common-place praise—the dullest outpourings—of a very dull perception. Perhaps the whole series of the Waverley Novels might have been written while this Dictionary was in course of compilation.

We heartily wish that Mr. Macculloch's work may become as popular as it deserves. It will then enjoy extensive fame. It would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to acquaint the reader with its mass of well-arranged materials; its laborious abstracts, documents, and information upon every point that bears upon the main subjects, commerce and commercial navigation, practical, theoretical, and historical. It deserves to be the library of every counting-house, manufactory, and workshop in the empire; it is, indeed, a delightful relief to mere figures, and we should think better of the man whom we caught dipping into its pages by turns with his book of accounts: for, with Addison, we have no noble opinion of a man who is ever poring over his cash-book, and deriving all his ideas of happiness from its balances.]

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COMPARATIVE MORTALITY.

A curious official paper has been circulated, ordered by the House of Commons, showing the comparative mortality in many large towns, &c., of the kingdom, from 1813 up to the present year. Among the towns included in this comparative calculation of mortality are, Leeds (town), Bradford, Holbeck, Beeston, Wigan, Preston, Norwich, Bolton-le-Moors, London, Bury, (Lancashire), Essex, &c. The result of the investigation of mortality may be concisely stated as follows:—Of children born there die, in Leeds, 53 per cent. under 5 years of age, and 62 per cent. under 20 years of age; in Bradford, 47 per cent. under 5, and 59 per cent. under 20 years of age; in Beeston, 39 per cent. under 5, and 52 per cent. under 20 years of age; in Holbeck, 50 per cent. under 5, and 62 per cent. under 20 years of age; in Norwich, 42 per cent. under 5, and 50 per cent. under 20 years of age; in Bolton, 49 per cent. under 5, and 61 per cent. under 20 years of age; in Wigan, 48 per cent. under 5, and 59 per cent. under 20 years of age; in London, 38 per cent. under 5, and 46 per cent. under 20 years of age; in Rutland, 29 per cent. under 5, and 37-1/2 per cent. under 20 years of age, &c. It further appears, that in Essex, Rutland, and the metropolis, persons live to an advanced age in a greater extent than others.—Morning Herald.

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LEE, KENT.

The rural village of Lee is situate six miles south of London, on the south side of Blackheath, and on the road to Maidstone. It is a place of considerable antiquity; and was originally written Legheart, and in old Latin, Laga, i.e. a place which lies sheltered. "The manor was held of Edward the Confessor by Alwin. William the Conqueror gave it to his half-brother, Odo, bishop of Baieux, and Earl of Kent, of whom it was held by Walter de Donay." In the time of the Confessor, it was valued at 3l. and in Domesday at 100s. Its extent is somewhat more than 1,000 acres. Hasted enumerates the successive lords, among whom were Lord Rivers, who was beheaded at Banbury in 1649; and his son, Anthony, Earl Rivers, who was beheaded at Pomfret, in 1483. The manor was purchased by Sir Francis Baring, bart., in 1798.

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* * * * *

The picturesque vignette includes the church and parsonage. The Church is in what is called the pointed style, or rather in humble imitation of antiquity, for it is a recent structure built on the site of the walls of the old church, but with the addition of side-aisles. Nearly two centuries before the erection of the present church, the villagers reported the old building to be in a state too ruinous to admit of repair: how long did its stability gainsay their judgment, while they were laid asleep about the walls. The church was an appendage to the manor till the time of Charles I., who granted away the fee of the manor, but reserved the patronage of the church to the crown, where it continues to this time. It was valued l5 Edward I. at 10 marks; in the king's books it is at 3l. 11s. 8d.; and the yearly tenths at 7s. 2d. The parsonage has much of the snug character of the glebe-house; it was rebuilt in 1636, by the rector, the Rev. Abraham Sherman.

In the church are some monumental brasses and a handsome tomb of marble and alabaster. One of the former is to the memory of Nicholas Ansley, or Annesley, Esq. who died in 1593; with the following inscription:—

When the Quene Elizabeth full five years had rain'd, Then Nicholas Ansley, whos corps lyes here interred, At fyve and twenty yeres of age was entertayned Into her servis, where well himself he caried In eche man's love till fifty and eight yeres ould, Being Sergant of the Seller, death him contrould.

Above is an upright figure (on a brass plate,) of the deceased, in armour, kneeling at a desk. The latter monument is to Brian Annesley, Esq. (son of Nicholas) gentleman pensioner to Queen Elizabeth. It consists of an elliptic arch supported by Corinthian columns, and ornamented with a Mosaic pattern studded with roses. Beneath lie the effigies of Annesley, in armour, and his wife, in a gown and ruff; their son, and three daughters.

In the churchyard, among the tombs, is that of Dr. Halley, who succeeded Flamstead as Astronomer Royal at Greenwich, where he died in 1741-2: Halley published a treatise on Comets, when he was nineteen years old; and first applied the barometer to measure heights. Here also lie William Pate, whom Swift, in his Letters, calls the learned woollen-draper: Sir Samuel Fludyer, bart., the courtly lord mayor; Parsons, the comedian, with this quaint epitaph:—

Here Parsons lies, oft on life's busy stage With nature, reader, hast thou seen him vie; He science knew, knew manners, knew the age, Respected knew to live, lamented die.

Bliss, the Astronomer Royal, who died in 1762, is also buried here; Charnock, the author of Biographia Navalis, a Life of Nelson, &c.; the amiable Lord Dacre, who died in 1794; and Mary, his relict, 1808.[5]

[5] Lady Dacre visited her dear lord's tomb daily for several years; at the foot of the grave she was accustomed to kneel, and utter a fervent prayer. We can just remember seeing this devout lady on one of these pilgrimages. She usually rode from her mansion in the neighbourhood to the churchyard, on a favourite poney, and wore a large, flapping, drab beaver hat, and a woollen habit, nearly trailing on the ground. At home she evinced an eccentric affection for her deceased lord: his chair was placed, as during his lifetime, at the dinner-table; and its vacancy seemed to feed his lady's melancholy.

Harris says that Samuel Purchas resided at Lee, and there wrote a great part of his collection of travels, or "Celebrated Pilgrimages and Relations of the World."

Among the grateful recollection of Lee we must not omit the alms-house, chapel, and school-house founded by C. Boone, Esq. in 1638.

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THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.

THE VICTIMS OF SUSCEPTIBILITY.

BY A MODERN PYTHAGOREAN.

Fortune, it has been truly said, is blind, and the same thing may be alleged of nature; for while there are some to whom the latter goddess has denied the commonest gifts, either of person or intellect, she has bestowed the most splendid upon others, with a prodigality which astonishes and perplexes the world. A beautiful person, and genius almost superhuman, fell to the share of Milton; nor can it be doubted, that in these respects the blind goddess was equally kind to the bard of Avon, whose presence, even judging from the imperfect, and somewhat apocryphal likenesses handed down to us, was noble to behold, while his genius more resembled that of a superior nature than of a human being. The same remark applies to the beautiful, the divine Raphael,—nor less to Tasso, and various others, whom we might easily point out.

It will perhaps be deemed presumptuous, after naming those illustrious characters—those "demigods of fame"—to allude to Augustus Merton, who, although he obtained the distinction of first wrangler at Brazennose, Oxford, and carried off a multitude of prizes from that seat of learning, may yet be thought an inadequate testimony of the fact with which we set out, more especially when placed in juxtaposition with the Miltons, the Shakespeares, the Raphaels, and the Tassos of the world. We discuss not this point. We claim for him no equality with these august names; and yet, with all such reservations, do we set him forward as no unmeet proof of the soundness of our assertion.

Merton was gifted with fine genius, and with a person all but faultless. In stature he rose to six feet, and was slightly but elegantly formed; while his whole air bespoke at once the gentleman and scholar. Those who have seen his fine Spanish countenance, dark eyes, and rich clustering hair,—the whole communicating dignity, grace, and interest to his natural melancholy,—will not soon efface his imposing image from their remembrance. His talents were of a highly-diversified order. He was a first-rate Grecian and had he turned his attention exclusively to that language might have contested the palm with Porson himself; nor do those who are best qualified to judge hesitate to place him upon an equality with Burney, Young or Parr. He was also an excellent Latinist, and had a profound acquaintance with geometry, and the other branches of mathematical science. For knowledge of the various eastern tongues he was no unequal match for Lee, of Cambridge; while his acquirements in natural philosophy, political economy, and metaphysics, were such as would have fairly entitled him to prelect on these subjects in any university in Europe. Besides this, he had an exquisite poetical genius; and, in his very first contest, succeeded in carrying off the prize of poetry, to the utter discomfiture of many formidable rivals.

But, with all these high acquirements, he was not a happy man. He had been baptized in the waters of melancholy; and a circumstance which occurred in the fifth year of his curriculum had a baleful and, ultimately, a fatal effect upon him, dethroning reason from its lofty seat, and plunging not him only, but another estimable individual, in the deepest distress. This circumstance, painful as it is, we must relate; and, on perusing it, the reader will see that the noble aspirations, the keen susceptibilities, of the mind do not always lead to happiness; for, alas! it was such an excess of susceptibility in his intellect which disturbed so sadly the current of his ideas, and made him an inmate of St. Luke's.

The weather at the period we speak of was truly melancholy. It was in the gloomy month of November,—that month in which it is said the suicidal propensities of the English nation are most strongly in force. The air was either filled with dull, sluggish, unwholesome fogs, which hung upon it like a nightmare, or soaked in a constant drizzle of small, annoying, contemptible rain-drops, which, without possessing the energy and dignity of a shower, were infinitely more disagreeable, and found their way to the flesh in spite of all the protective armoury of great-coats, hessian cloaks, or umbrellas. It seemed as if a wet blanket were drawn between the sun and the earth. The atmosphere was always foggy, often perfectly wet, but never thoroughly dry. It wanted vitality; and every person that breathed it partook of its own damp, hypochondriac, inanimate character.

It was in the morning of one of those days of fog, gloom, and ennui, that Augustus last sallied out to lounge about the streets of Oxford, as was his custom, before breakfast. There was a favourite spot in which he was wont to walk; it was upon the footpath of a very short street, about the middle of which stood the shop of Jonathan Hookey, a barber. This street (we forget its name) is not above fifty yards in length, and opens at each end into a cross street. Now, Merton's walk extended from one of those cross streets to the other, including, of course, the whole extent of the short street; he always walked on one side of this street, viz. on that opposite to the barber's shop. These particulars may seem trifling, but they are essential to the proper understanding of the story.

While making these morning perambulations, he had always an air of deep thought, his arms were crossed, and he kept his eyes constantly fixed upon the ground, as if deeply engrossed in profound meditation. It boots not now to inquire on what subjects his thoughts were mostly employed, but it was unquestionably on themes of deep import, and concerned not himself only, but the interests of science, learning, and humanity at large. The morning in question was peculiarly dull and foggy; but whether it was this or something else, certain it is, that he felt himself more than usually overpowered. The air oppressed him like a leaden shroud, and the energies of his soul seemed for once on the point of sinking beneath the superincumbent burden.

Turn we now to Jonathan Hookey, the barber. In person he differed much from Merton. His height did not exceed five feet, but, he made amends for it in breadth; for he was a man of a lusty habit, and sported a paunch which no London alderman or burgomaster of Amsterdam would look upon with contempt. Bald was his head, and his nose was not merely large but immense; but it is idle to grow eloquent upon noses. Has not Sterne exhausted the theme? have not we ourselves more than once expatiated upon it? Swakenbergius had a nose, so had Ovidius Naso; but to neither would Jonathan Hookey's strike its colours, and good crimson ones they were.

Jonathan, despite his bald head, his diminutive stature, his ample pot-belly, and ampler nose, was a man of fine feelings. Nature was outraged when he became a barber. He most assuredly was never destined by her to shave beards, and manufacture perukes for heads more brainless, many of them, than his own blocks. He ought to have been a professor of metaphysics or logic in some famous university, such as Heidelburg, Gottingen, or Glasgow;—but why lament over cureless evils? it is sufficient to say he is a barber, and there is an end of the matter.

We must now return to Merton. His solitary walks on the opposite side of the street had not even, from the first, escaped the scrutinizing eyes of Mr. Hookey. No: he saw in the tall, pale, elegant, dark-haired student the victim of deep sensibility. From seeing him, he wondered, from wondering he loved him, from loving he adored him: he knew at once he was no common man. Having perused Byron's Manfred, he conceived him to be such another as that strange character; or he might be a second Lara; or, more, he might be, nay he was, a glorious genius, full of high imaginings. Little do we know what bright thoughts passed through the mind of the enthusiastic Hookey. He cursed his profession, which debarred him from the fellowship of such a man: he cursed his nose, which stood between him and the object of his adoration.

Day after day had Mr. Hookey noticed the accomplished, the highly-gifted Merton; but it was only upon this particular morning that the recognition was mutual. Merton, on turning his eyes by chance from the ground, looked to the opposite side of the street, and there beheld a nose. He then turned his eyes to the earth in his usual meditative mood; but, reflecting that a nose without an owner was rather a singular phenomenon, he looked a second time, and there, behind the nose, he saw a man; it was Mr. Hookey himself.

This was the first time that the melancholy and intellectual student reciprocated upon Hookey the attention which Hookey had hitherto bestowed exclusively upon him. No more was the barber's "sweetness wasted upon the desert air," but fell on one who knew how to appreciate it to its fullest extent. Merton stood stock-still, and gazed upon him with mute admiration. He was positively fascinated. The nose operated upon him like the head of Medusa, and almost turned him to stone. And Mr. Hookey was fascinated too. Merton also had become Medusafied, and exercised a petrifactive influence upon the barber. He was nailed fast to the threshold of his own door, and gazed upon his fancied personification of Lara and Manfred with an indomitable and resistless perseverance, which utterly confounded himself; while Merton, nailed alike fast to the opposite footpath, stood staring at his antagonist, or rather at his nasal protuberance. This impressive scene continued for several minutes, when Merton, regaining the power of locomotion, slowly approached the barber, his arms all the while crossed, and his eyes intently fixed upon the nose. Nine slow and awful steps brought him face to face with Hookey. The barber's eyes were fixed intently upon his—his eyes upon the barber's nose. The scene was extremely dreadful; and Mr. Hookey, after vainly trying to keep his ground, retreated into the shop, still facing Merton, who kept advancing upon him as he receded. Back, step by step, went Hookey; forward, step by step, came Merton; each all the while eyeing the other with equal astonishment. The barber continued retreating, the other following him,—first through the shop, then through the kitchen, then through the parlour—the three apartments leading into one another. At last he got to the remotest corner of the parlour, and could get no farther. Here he paused, and Merton paused also. Still they gazed on each other,—the barber in the corner overpowered with amazement, and the student standing before him hardly less surprised. At last Merton broke silence in the following awful words,—"GRACIOUS HEAVENS WHAT A NOSE!" So saying, he retreated as slowly as he entered, leaving Mr. Hookey utterly stupified and bewildered. The sentence went like iron into the barber's soul; he felt it in all its bitterness.

It is almost unnecessary to say what an effect this scene had upon the highly-susceptible temperament of Merton. From that moment peace fled his mind. He went instantly home; but instead of devoting himself, as before, to those studies in which he delighted, and in which he was wont so highly to excel, he immured himself in his chamber, giving way to gloomy abstraction, and agonizing his spirit with painful and most distressing fancies. The great power of his imagination caused him, in a peculiar manner, to suffer from the remembrance of what he had witnessed; and, accordingly, his waking as well as his sleeping hours were haunted with visions of noses,—noses of stupendous size, which arose, like ocean islands, amid the gloomy tabernacle of his brain, and filled him with utter despair. At last, from bad to worse, he became the mere shadow of his former self, the wreck of what he was, and a picture of fallen and shattered genius. To drive away the hideous phantasmagorias that tortured him, as with the stings of demons, he had recourse to gin, and soon became a confirmed drunkard: the next stage was lunacy; and he was confined for fourteen months in Saint Luke's Hospital for the insane.

The fate of the barber was equally deplorable. The awful words pronounced by Merton may be considered his death-knell. They rang ever after in his ears; and, in a few weeks, his head was turned, his shop shut up, and himself sent to Bedlam. "Gracious heavens, what a nose!" This dreadful sentence—more dreadful than the hand-writing on the wall to Belshazzar,—haunted him by day and by night. Reason was dethroned, and "moody madness, laughing wild," was the result. Such are the frightful consequences of extreme susceptibility, against which the youth of both sexes ought to be constantly on their guard.

The worst remains to be told. These unhappy men were liberated from confinement about the same time, and both returned to Oxford. They seemed to have recovered their reasoning faculties, but the result showed that this was very far from being the case; for, happening to meet on the banks of the Cherwell, they attacked each other with such fury, that, like Brutus and Aruns, they were both killed on the spot,—the barber having been burked in the encounter, and the student having died of a wound which he received in the throat by his antagonist's razor.—Fraser's Magazine.

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THE LAST OF THE FAMILY.

I bid thee welcome to my father's halls, But fled for ever is their wonted mirth, Death hath been busy in these fated walls, Casting dark shadows o'er our house and hearth, The brave—the beauteous from their home have past, And I remain of that loved band the last.

Thou wilt not now my gallant brothers greet, Hiding amidst the glades with hound and horn, Nor my fair sisters, warbling ditties sweet, While gathering wild flowers in the dewy morn; Evening will come, but will not bring again, The song—the tale—the dance—the festal train.

I can but bid thee to my lonely room, Where in fond dreams I pass my blighted youth. Musing on vanished loveliness and bloom, Man's dauntless courage, woman's changeless truth, And scenes of joyous glee, or tranquil rest, Shared with the early-lost—the bright—the blest.

Yet chide me not—mine is no impious grief, Meekly I pray for Heaven's supporting grace. And soon, I feel, his hand will give relief, And the last sad survivor of her race Quit this lone mansion for the home above. Where dwell her happy family of love!

Metropolitan. * * * * *

CONVERSATIONS WITH LORD BYRON.

BY THE COUNTESS OF BLESSINGTON.

It is difficult to judge when Lord Byron is serious or not. He has a habit of mystifying, that might impose upon many; but that can be detected by examining his physiognomy; for a sort of mock gravity, now and then broken by a malicious smile, betrays when he is speaking for effect, and not giving utterance to his real sentiments. If he sees that he is detected, he appears angry for a moment, and then laughingly admits, that it amuses him to hoax people, as he calls it, and that when each person, at some future day, will give their different statements of him, they will be so contradictory, that all will be doubted,—an idea that gratifies him exceedingly! The mobility of his nature is extraordinary, and makes him inconsistent in his actions as well as in his conversation.

Byron spoke to-day in terms of high commendation of Hope's "Anastasius;" said that he wept bitterly over many pages of it, and for two reasons, first, that he had not written it, and secondly, that Hope had; for that it was necessary to like a man excessively to pardon his writing such a book—a book, as he said, excelling all recent productions, as much in wit and talent, as in true pathos. He added, that he would have given his two most approved poems to have been the author of "Anastasius."

From "Anastasius" he wandered to the works of Mr. Galt, praised the "Annals of the Parish" very highly, as also "the Entail," which we had lent him, and some scenes of which he said had affected him very much. "The characters in Mr. Galt's novels have an identity," added Byron, "that reminds me of Wilkie's pictures."

As a woman, I felt proud of the homage he paid to the genius of Mrs. Hemans, and as a passionate admirer of her poetry, I felt flattered, at finding that Lord Byron fully sympathized with my admiration. He has, or at least expresses a strong dislike to the Lake school of poets, never mentions them except in ridicule, and he and I nearly quarrelled to-day because I defended poor Keats.

On looking out from the balcony this morning, I observed Byron's countenance change, and an expression of deep sadness steal over it. After a few minutes silence he pointed out to me a boat anchored to the right, as the one in which his friend Shelley went down, and he said the sight of it made him ill.—"You should have known Shelley (said Byron) to feel how much I must regret him. He was the most gentle, most amiable, and least worldly-minded person I ever met; full of delicacy, disinterested beyond all other men, and possessing a degree of genius, joined to a simplicity, as rare as it is admirable. He had formed to himself a beau ideal of all that is fine, high-minded, and noble, and he acted up to this ideal even to the very letter. He had a most brilliant imagination but a total want of worldly-wisdom. I have seen nothing like him, and never shall again, I am certain. I never can forget the night that his poor wife rushed into my room at Pisa, with a face pale as marble, and terror impressed on her brow, demanding, with all the tragic impetuosity of grief and alarm, where was her husband! Vain were all our efforts to calm her; a desperate sort of courage seemed to give her energy to confront the horrible truth that awaited her; it was the courage of despair; I have seen nothing in tragedy on the stage so powerful, or so affecting, as her appearance, and it often presents itself to my memory. I knew nothing then of the catastrophe, but the vividness of her terror communicated itself to me, and I feared the worst, which fears, were alas! too soon fearfully realized."

Byron talked to-day of Leigh Hunt, regretted his ever having embarked in the "Liberal," and said that it had drawn a nest of hornets on him, but expressed a very good opinion of the talents and principle of Mr. Hunt, though, as he said, "our tastes are so opposite, that we are totally unsuited to each other. He admires the Lakers, I abhor them; in short, we are more formed to be friends at a distance, than near." I can perceive that he wishes Mr. Hunt and his family away. It appears to me that Byron is a person who, without reflection, would form engagements which, when condemned by his friends or advisers, he would gladly get out of without considering the means, or at least, without reflecting on the humiliation such a desertion must inflict on the persons he had associated with him. He gives me the idea of a man, who, feeling himself in such a dilemma, would become cold and ungracious to the parties with whom he so stood, before he had mental courage sufficient to abandon them. I may be wrong, but the whole of his manner of talking of Mr. Hunt gives me this impression, though he has not said what might be called an unkind word of him.

Much as Byron has braved public opinion it is evident he has a great deference for those who stand high in it, and that he is shy in attaching himself publicly to persons who have even, however undeservedly, fallen under its censure. His expressed contempt and defiance of the world, reminds me of the bravadoes of children, who, afraid of darkness, make a noise to give themselves courage to support what they dread. It is very evident that he is partial to aristocratic friends, he dwells with complacency on the advantages of rank and station, and has more than once boasted that people of family are always to be recognised by a certain air, and the smallness and delicacy of their hands.

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NEW BOOKS.

THE PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE OF A WOMAN OF FASHION.

[This work is, to our thinking, what it professes to be, an actual correspondence, and from the pen of a lady who, as her motto states—"writes of countries and their societies as she finds them, and as they strike her imagination." There is much good sense in her letters, and less aristocratic affectation than might be expected. The subjects are of the most miscellaneous description. Her pen is what the small critics call eminently graphic: in short, the work is one of the pleasantest of the season. To be more explicit, it consists of letters written between June, 1814, and December, 1816; dated from South Lancing, (near Worthing), Rouen, Paris, and Brussels; and the writer's domicile, Hampton Court. The most interesting portion of the work is the gossip it contains on the state of things in the French capital, on the return of Napoleon, in 1815, and in Brussels, before and after the battle of Waterloo. Nevertheless, as the whole is indiscribably discursive, so must be our quotations.]

Arundel Castle.—Arundel Castle did not gratify my expectations although the coup d'oeil, taking the structure en masse, is imposing, and it has an advantageous position on the banks of the river Arun. The Castle has undergone modern alterations in bad taste; the details are of that description of the ornamental gothic, which appear to me to throw severe criticism on the abilities of the architect; and, as a family residence, its interior is neither grand nor comfortable. From its commanding site and vicinity to the Roman villa, it was probably a Roman station previous to its becoming a Saxon residence. The walls and Norman gateway are fine. The massive keep, ponderous in stability, has the characteristic marks of the twelfth century, and is a noble ruin. It is called King Alfred's Keep; and with what hallowed feelings of reverence must a locale ever be approached which bears the name of that illustrious monarch! The present occupants are an assemblage of German owls, of varied species; they look analagous with the venerable ruin.

The castle contains a few curious portraits of the illustrious race of Howard, which have an interest also from the distinguished parts that family have played in English history. There is one of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, so famous for his talents in state affairs, and for his bravery in the field. He is represented standing under a noble gateway. The picture is moreover valuable as a work of art.[6]

[6] Surrey's accomplishments and political talents, and his bravery in the battle-field, cast additional splendour over the house of Howard; and his violent death, another stain on the tyranny of Henry VIII.

Some richly-wrought chalices[7] and censers, and other symbolic emblems of the Roman Catholic religion are there, but I imagine little prized by the present noble possessor; for at the age of twenty-seven, he became a convert to the Protestant faith. Whether conviction, or ambition to serve his country as a legislator were his motives, it is not for man to judge: but he is unlike his ancestor, Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, who, braving the power of Queen Elizabeth, disregarded her favour, and almost merited the title of martyr from the persecutions she heaped upon him for having abjured the Protestant worship, although educated in it by his father, the attainted Duke of Norfolk, in despite of Mary and her Spanish consort, who was likewise his sponsor.

[7] Several of these splendid emblems of the Roman Catholic faith the late duke gave to his worthy kinsman, the present possessor of C——y Castle; and they decorate his house in London, amidst some chef d'oeuvres of the old Italian masters, which his good taste selected in Italy.

The late Queen Caroline.—A servant entered in haste to induce me to go down to the sea-shore, and witness the embarkation of the P——ss of W——s. I immediately sallied forth, and found her r——l h——ss seated on the shingles, the adopted boy at her feet; and on her left sat, with the skirts of his coat spread under his r——l mistress, to protect her from the stones, our old ally Sir W——m G——l. The frigate had arrived off Worthing some days previous, commanded by the handsome Captain K——g; but her r——l h——ss was deterred from embarking there by a numerous assemblage of John Bulls, their wives, and babes, who were so rude and impetuous, as to terrify and induce her to take refuge on a less populous shore. The lively and merry Lady C—— L——y, and the less pleasing Lady E—— F—s, with two foreign women, Major S—r, and the odious S——o, composed her suite. Her r——l h——ss was habited in light green cloth, embroidered in silver, a Prussian cap of green satin, with a splendid plume of green feathers: the crown of the cap was conical, giving her an air something resembling Mother Shipton. Terror and dismay were depicted on her countenance, with all the varieties of unhappy feelings—not a smile played over her features—her voice was tremulous, and her brow contracted into one deep furrow—she was highly rouged, and her eyebrows pencilled with a broad line of black chalk—never was any person's appearance less formed to inspire interest!

Sir W——m forgot his usual indifferent manner on seeing me, and put on one of his comic expressions. In the impulse of the moment, I was on the point of addressing him, but fortunately recovered my presence d'esprit, and did not commit such a breach of etiquette, although there was such a total deficiency of r——l dignity in the group that I might almost have been excused. In half an hour the cutter put off from the frigate: Captain K—g came from W—— by land, and apologized for the delay. Her r——l h——ss replied in a tremulous voice "Never mind!" A small group of persons kept a respectful distance and a profound silence. One old man blessed her and wished her a safe return—when her footman burst into tears. The ocean raged tempestuous, as if in the spirit of anger, and the boat could not reach the shore. Her r——l h——ss was obliged to enter a pony cart, and her coachman drove it with difficulty through the billows. With some exertion Captain K—g and his lieutenant dragged her unwieldy form into the barge: the P——ss went first, Lady E. F——s followed, and then the tin box: our knight went last; he came up to me, squeezed my hand affectionately, whispered a saucy adieu, and jumped into the boat. Such was the embarkation of the P——ss of W——s, and so passed away the illustrious consort of the heir apparent of these realms.

[WE SHALL RETURN TO THESE AMUSING VOLS.]

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EGYPTIAN PYRAMIDS AND HINDOO TEMPLES COMPARED.

The most common form of the Hindoo pagodas[8] is the pyramidal, of which one of the most remarkable is that of Chalembaram, on the Coromandel coast, about thirty-four geographical miles south of Pondicherry, and seven from the sea.

[8] The word pagoda is a corruption of Bhagavati, "holy house," one of the several names by which the Hindoo temples are known.

The whole temple, with its attached buildings covers an area of 1,332 feet by 936, (according to others 1,230 feet by 960,) and is surrounded with a brick wall[9] 30 feet high and 7 thick, round which there is another wall furnished with bastions. The four entrances are under as many pyramids, which, up to the top of the portal, 30 feet in height, are formed of free-stone, ornamented with sculptured figures. Above the portal, the pyramid is built of tiles or bricks, to the height of 150 feet, with a coat of cement upon it, which is covered with plates of copper, and ornaments of baked clay. On passing through the chief portico of the western propylaea, we see on the left an enormous hall with more than 1,000 pillars, which are above 36 feet high, and covered over with slabs of stone; this hall might have served as a gallery for the priests to walk about in, just like the hypostyle halls of the Egyptian temples. In the midst of these columns, and surrounded by them, is a temple called that of eternity. On the right or south side, we see the chief temple, with halls of several hundred pillars at the east and west end, also supporting a flat roof of stone. The pagoda itself rests on a basis 360 feet long and 260 broad, and rises to a surprising height. It is formed of blocks of stone 40 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 5 thick, which must have been brought, about 200[10] miles, as there are no stone quarries in the neighbourhood. The temple has a peristyle round it; and thirty-six of the pillars, which are placed in six rows, and form the portico, support a roof of smooth blocks. The columns are 30 feet high, and resemble the old Ionic pillar. The whole pyramid surpasses in size St. Paul's church in London, the latter being only 474[11] feet long and 207 wide. The roof of the pyramid has a copper casing covered with reliefs referring to mythical subjects; the gilding which was once on it is still visible. In the middle of the courtyard there is a great tank, surrounded with a gallery of pillars and also an enclosure round it of marble, well polished and ornamented with sculptures and arabesques. In the eastern part there is still another court surrounded with a wall, on the inside of which is a colonnade covered with large slabs of stone. Here also there is a pagoda, which is but little inferior in size to the larger one; but it contains only large dark chambers covered with sculptures, which have reference to the worship of certain deities, particularly Vishnu. The interior ornaments are in harmony with the whole; from the nave of one of the pyramids there hang, on the tops of four buttresses, festoons of chains, in length altogether 548 feet, made of stone. Each garland, consisting of twenty links, is made of one piece of stone 60 feet long; the links themselves are monstrous rings 32 inches in circumference, and polished as smooth as glass. One chain is broken, and hangs down from the pillar. In the neighbourhood of the pagodas there are usually tanks and basins lined with cement, or buildings attached for the purpose of lodging pilgrims who come from a distance. It is, however, often the case that the adjoining buildings, as well as the external ornaments in general, are in bad taste, and the work of a later age than the pagoda itself.

[9] The outer wall is brick cased with stone: the inner is all of stone. The four sides are turned respectively to the four cardinal points,—Heeren, India, p. 74.

[10] Fifty meilen.

[11] These dimensions are not exact, even making allowance for Berlin feet.

The pyramidical entrances of the Indian pagodas are analogous to the Egyptian propyla, while the large pillared rooms which support a flat roof of stone, are found frequently in the temples of both countries. Among the numerous divisions of the excavations of Ellora, there is an upper story of the Dasavatara, or the temple of Vishnu's incarnations, the roof of which is supported by sixty-four square based pillars, eight in each row. This chamber is about 100 feet wide, and somewhat deeper, and as to general design may be compared with the excavated chambers of Egypt, which are supported by square columns. The massy materials, the dark chambers, and the walls covered with highly wrought sculptures; and the tanks near the temples, with their enclosure of stone, and the steps for the pilgrims, are also equally characteristic of a pagoda and an Egyptian temple. To this we may add the high thick wall, of a rectangular form, carried all round the sacred spot: it is, however, principally the massy structure of these surrounding walls which forms the point of comparison, as Greek temples also had a wall enclosing the sacred ground, and the temples and churches of all countries are as a general rule separated from unhallowed ground, if not by strong walls at least by some mark which determines the extent of the sacred precincts. Yet there is a further resemblance worth noticing between some of these Hindoo pagodas and the great temple of Phtha at Memphis. The Egyptian temple had four chief entrances, or propyla, turned to the four cardinal points of the compass; which is also the case with the pagoda of Chalembaram, with another at Siringam, and probably others also. The pagoda of Chalembaram, according to Indian tradition, is one of the oldest in their country, and this opinion is confirmed by the appearance of the principal temple contained within the walls; but other parts, such as the pyramidal entrances, the highly finished sculptures, and the chain festoons, must be the work of a later date. It seems probable then that this enormous religious edifice was the growth of many ages, each adding something to enlarge and perfect the work of former days.—Lib. Ent. Knowledge.

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I look upon indolence as a sort of suicide; for the man is efficiently destroyed, though the appetite of the brute may survive.—Lord Chesterfield. * * * * *



THE GATHERER

A true Abernethian.—"An old country curate," says Zimmerman, "who had all his life resided upon a lofty mountain in the Canton of Berne, was one day presented with a moor-cock. A consultation took place in what manner it should be disposed of—at last it was agreed to bury it in the garden!"

Epitaph on a notorious Liar.

I always lied and lied till death, But now I lie for want of breath.

Castanets are small wooden rattles, made in the shape of two bowls or cups, fitted together, and tied by a string, and then fastened to the thumbs. The fingers being rapidly struck upon them, a tremulous sound is produced, which marks exactly the measure of the dance. Something similar to this was the crotalon of the ancients, who also made use of small cymbals in their dances and festivals in honour of Bacchus. It is probable, however, that they had their origin in the East, and were brought by the Moors into Spain. Here too they received their name castennalas, from being commonly made of the wood of the chestnut, (castano) or from their colour. They are still common in Spain, and here and there in the South of France. In this country they are common in stage dances only.

Cannon were formerly dignified with great names. Twelve cast by Louis XII. were called after the twelve peers of France. Charles V. had twelve, which he called the Twelve Apostles. One at Bois-le-Duc is called the Devil; a sixty-pounder at Dover Castle, is named Queen Elizabeth's Pocket Pistol; an eighty-pounder at Berlin, is called the Thunderer; another at Malaga, the Terrible; two sixty-pounders at Bremen, the Messengers of Bad News.

Dripping Rock, in India.—Sansadhara or the dripping rock, is a singular phenomenon, situated at the head of a dell, through which a rapid stream runs, between two lines of hills towards the valley of the Dhoon. It is an overhanging rock, about 50 feet high, through which water pours from above, in innumerable little streams, like a perpetual shower of rain! The never-abating action of the water has worn the rock into many fantastic shapes; and, crusting round the moss and fibres of the roots of trees, has given to it almost the appearance of a spar cavern. In several places the water has worn little reservoirs for itself, which are always full. It is cool, clear, and pleasant to the taste.—Captain Skinner.

Catching Wild Ducks, &c. in India.—In the lower parts of Bengal, wild ducks, widgeon, and teal, are often taken by means of earthen pots. A number of these pots are floated amongst them in the lakes where they abound, to the sight of which they soon become reconciled, and approach them fearlessly. A man then goes into the water up to the chin, with one of these pots over his head, in the centre of which two small holes are made for him to see through; and when he gets into the midst of the birds, he pulls them by the legs under water, fastening them to a girdle round his waist.—T. GILL.

Hampden.—Lord Nugent, in his Memorials of John Hampden, relates the attack of Rupert's troops upon the village of Chinnor. A local tradition of the affair has been related to me by an old inhabitant. In the room of a house, until lately occupied as a boarding-school, two of Rupert's soldiers are said to have evinced great brutality. On entering the house, they demanded a flitch of bacon, hanging up in the room; one of them held up a child which he had taken from a cradle, and crossing a sword over it, threatened its immediate destruction if their demands were not instantly complied with. There appear to have been sharp hostilities in the vicinity of Chinnor, and more particularly on the hills, as military buttons, sword handles, &c. and other vestiges of war are frequently found there.—W.H.

Parody on Scott's Lines "Breathes there the Man," &c.

Breathes there a cit, with taste so dead, Who never to himself hath said, "This haunch surpasses all the rest;" Whose mouth hath ne'er within him burn'd, Whene'er his footsteps he hath turn'd From home, to Guildhall's civic feast? If such there breathe, go mark him well— For him no portly paunch can swell; Large though his shop, his trade the same, Boundless his wealth as wish can claim, Despite his shop, his trade, his cash, The wretch who knows not ven'son hash, Living, shall forfeit civic fame, And dying, shall descend with shame, In double death, to Lethe's pools, Despis'd by epicures and fools. REX.

Alchemy and Printing.—Antimony, once celebrated in the laboratories of the alchemists, who hoped to discover in it the philosopher's stone, is now employed in the casting of types for printing.—There is much food for reflection in this curious fact in the history of science. How has this simple substance originated dreams of spell-bound ignorance, and realities of godlike intelligence. Nay, we are almost persuaded that the hopes of the alchemists were not altogether unfounded—that antimony is indeed what they hoped to find it—that the invention of printing was the finding of the philosopher's stone; and that we are at this moment enjoying ten-fold the advantages which the alchemists anticipated from their secret.—J.T.

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Printed and published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; G.G. BENNIS, 55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris; and by all Newsmen and Booksellers.

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THE END

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