The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 576 - Vol. 20 No. 576., Saturday, November 17, 1832
Author: Various
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Vol. 20 No. 576.] SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1832. [PRICE 2d.


This interesting structure is referred to by a clever writer[1] as one of the richest specimens extant of the highly-ornamented embattled mansions of the time of Henry VII. and VIII., the period of transition from the castle to the palace, and undoubtedly the best aera of English architecture. This judgment will be found confirmed in the writings of distinguished antiquarians; and the reader's attention to the descriptive details of this building will be important in connexion with several notices, in our recent pages, of old English domestic architecture.

[1] See the paper in part quoted in our pages from the Quarterly Review, No. 90.

The manor of Wingfield, or Winfield, is situated four or five miles to the eastward of the centre of Derbyshire. The early lords had two parks, which, according to a survey made in 1655, contained nearly 1,100 acres. These parks are now divided into farms: on the border of one of them are a moat and other remains of an ancient mansion, traditionally said to have been called Bakewell Hall; by some, this is supposed to have been the original mansion, which is said by others to have been near the Peacock Inn, on the road between Derby and Chesterfield. The present Manor-House, (as represented in the Engraving,) according to Camden, was built about the year 1440, by Ralph, Lord Cromwell, in the time of Henry VI. This Lord Cromwell was treasurer of England; and the testimony of Camden that he was the founder, is strongly corroborated by the bags or purses of stones, (alluding to the office of treasurer which he filled,) carved over the gateway leading into the quadrangle. Bags or purses are mentioned to have been carved on the manor-house of Coly Weston, in Northamptonshire, augmented by this Lord Cromwell; and there were also similar ornaments carved in wood, removed about a century ago from Wingfield Manor.

The Manor-House originally consisted of two square courts, one of which, to the north, has been built on all sides, and the south side of it forms the north side of the south court, which has also ranges of buildings on the east and west sides, and on part of the south. The latter court seems principally to have consisted of offices. The first entrance is under an arched gateway on the east side of the south court. The arch of this gateway being a semicircle, was probably erected subsequently to the rest of the building: hence the communication with the inner court is under an arched gateway in the middle of the north side of the south court. One half of this range of building seems originally to have been used as a hall, which was lighted by a beautiful octagon window, and through a range of Gothic windows to the south, now broken away, and a correspondent range to the north. This part of the house was afterwards divided and subdivided into several apartments: these have suffered the same fate as the noble hall, the magnificence of which their erection destroyed. In the other part of this range are the portal, the remains of the chapel, and of the great state apartment, lighted by another rich Gothic window. Little or no part of the east side of the building remains; and only the outer wall and some broken turrets were a few years since, standing on the west side of the north court.

In the thirty-third year of the reign of Henry VIII. it appears that Wingfield Manor was in the possession of the Earl of Shrewsbury; and in the time of Queen Elizabeth, the Earl of Shrewsbury held in his custody here the unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scotland. Her suit of apartments, tradition informs us, was on the west side of the north court. This, in the memory of persons living but a few years since, was the most beautiful part of the building: it communicated with the great tower, whence it is said the ill-starred captive had sometimes an opportunity of seeing the friends approach with whom she held a secret correspondence; and "this tradition appears to have been founded upon good authority."[2] It is inferred that her captivity at Wingfield commenced in 1569, in which year an attempt was made by Leonard Dacre to rescue her; after which, Elizabeth, becoming suspicious of the Earl of Shrewsbury, under pretence of his lordship's being in ill health, directed the Earl of Huntingdon to take care of the Queen of Scots in Shrewsbury's house; and her train was reduced to thirty persons. This event happened the year after Mary was removed from Bolton Castle, in Yorkshire, to Tutbury Castle, in Staffordshire, and placed under the care of the Earl of Shrewsbury. Her captivity at Wingfield is stated to have extended to nine years; but it is improbable that so large a proportion of the time she was in the custody of this nobleman, should be spent here: for it is well known, that from 1568 to 1584, she was at Buxton, Sheffield, Coventry, Tutbury, and other places, and, if her confinement here continued so long, it must have been with many intervals of absence.

[2] Antiquarian and Topographical Cabinet, vol. i.

The Manor-House continued to be the occasional residence of the Shrewsburys till the death of Earl Gilbert, in the year 1616, who dying without male issue, the whole of his estates in this part of the kingdom descended to his three daughters and co-heirs by marriage, and their descendants, till one of the latter, the Hon. Henry Howard, becoming Duke of Norfolk, sold his portion to different tenants; and in the year 1666, we find Mr. Emanuel Halton resident at the Manor-House. He was a man of considerable literary and scientific attainments, as well as of good family, his father being sheriff of Cumberland in 1652. Being employed as auditor to Henry, Duke of Norfolk, he was, through that connexion, introduced into Derbyshire, and spent the latter part of his life, which was devoted to music and mathematics, at Wingfield. In the Appendix to Foster's Mathematical Miscellanies are some of his pieces. In the year 1676 he observed an eclipse of the sun at Wingfield, which was published in the Philosophical Transactions for that year. The Manor was, in 1817, in the possession of Wingfield Halton, Esq., great grandson of the aforesaid Emanuel; but it was not then inhabited. The last of the Halton family who resided at the Manor-House became its spoiler; for, desiring to build himself a house at the foot of the high hill upon which the mansion stands, he pulled down and unroofed part of the fine old structure—so that the hall, with its proud emblazonry of the Shrewsbury arms and quarterings, became exposed to the decaying influences of the elements.[3] The mansion had been, however, previously much injured during the civil wars, in the reign of Charles I.; and there are a few singular incidents in its fate. The house being possessed by the royal party, was besieged and taken by Lord Grey, of Groby, and Sir John Gall, of Hopton—brave officers in the service of the parliament, who, according to Whitelock, voted them a letter of thanks for this and other services. The assault was begun on the east side, with cannon planted on Pentridge Common, and a half-moon battery raised for its defence in this quarter was soon carried; but a breach being found impracticable, the cannon were removed to a wood on the opposite side. They soon opened a considerable breach in the wall, and captured the place. Colonel Dalby, who was the governor, was killed during the siege. He had disguised himself in the dress of a common soldier, but being seen and known by a deserter, he was shot by him in the face as he walked in one of the stables. The hole through which the assailant introduced his murderous musket might lately be seen, near the porter's lodge.

[3] The strange taste, or rather Vandalism, which despoiled the Manor House, had well nigh led the Halton family to consider the valuable MSS. and correspondence of their philosophical ancestor as so much waste paper.

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Posts of some kind or other appear to have been in extensive use, and to have been held in high importance, by all civilized nations, from an early period of history to the times we live in. Attempts were at first made to carry on correspondence by the means of pigeons and other birds, and though the attempt did not altogether fail, yet it was never carried into extensive practice, and in the progress of time was totally disused. The first establishment of Posts can be traced to the times of the ancient Persians. The honour of their invention is ascribed to Cyrus. It appears that on his conception of his Scythian expedition, he caused certain Post-houses to be erected on all the principal roads. These houses were a day's journey from each other; and Cyrus employed horsemen to convey the intelligence from the army to the first Post-house, and so to the second and third, till the end of the Post-houses, which was at Susa. The news of his victories was thus conveyed to his people in an almost incredible space of time. The Greeks were also in the possession of regular posts, but we have no data from which we can judge of the manner in which they were conducted, who founded them, or where they were first established.

At Rome, Posts and Post-houses were established, and designated statores and stationes; they were founded by the senate at a very early period of the Republic. They were at first very ill managed, the delivery of the post being extremely irregular, and confined to the great roads; but Augustus extended them throughout all parts of his mighty empire, and issued commands which appointed certain days for the delivery of the posts. At their first establishment the Posts were carried by young men on foot, who were met by others at the appointed post stations, but horses and chariots were substituted in their stead by Augustus.

The earliest institution of Posts in modern times was about the year 807. Charlemagne after he had subjugated to his power Germany, Italy, and a large part of Spain, seeing the inconvenience which the Government suffered from the non-delivery of important despatches from the governors of these distant parts of his dominion, caused Posts to be established at the expense of the people; but like the majority of the wise institutions of this warrior-statesman, shortly after his decease, they were discontinued, and till a long period after no traces are to be found of similar establishments. It is highly probable that they were re-instituted in the year 1484, by Louis XI. who employed in this department 230 couriers and messengers. Succeeding kings instituted officers expressly to superintend the Posts, as great abuses had crept in from time to time, but the multiplicity of the new made officers, and the frequent changes in the organization of the Post Office, kept the public from putting any faith in it, and it had almost ceased to exist when some spirited official men by organizing a new plan, and by giving a certainty to the public of the delivery of their letters, saved it from discontinuance.

From France the institution gradually spread over the other countries of Europe. In Germany, which country was one of the first to adopt the system of the French Posts were established through the influence and at the expense of Count Taxis, who was denominated "the Patriot." The wishes of the people caught the heart of the Emperor Matthias, who to reward Taxis for his public spirit, gave him the office of Post-master, and assigned it to his descendants for ever.

In England Posts appear to have been established as early as the reign of Edward III.; but the records of them handed down to us are obscure and uncertain. In the reign of Edward VI. they were however in full vigour: an Act of Parliament passed in 1548, which we have now before us, fixes the rate of postage at one penny per mile. The Posts here referred to were only used on important occasions. James I. erected a Post Office, which he placed under the control of Matthew de Questor; the office was claimed by Lord Stanhope, whose claim, however, was disallowed; but owing to the detection of de Questor in some mal-practices, the office was given and confirmed to W. Frizee and Thos. Witherings. In the year 1635, Charles I. erected a letter-office for England and Scotland, which he placed under the direction of the before-mentioned Thomas Witherings, who conducted it honourably, but was afterwards superseded for supposed abuses—a charge which was never proved. The rate paid about that time was "twopence for a letter, from 30 to 140 miles." The Posts then established were shortly after extended to the principal roads of England, and were from time to time increased, till they were spread over the kingdom, to the great benefit of a commercial people.

The Post Office forms one of the chief branches of the revenue, and the total received for the conveyance of letters during the last quarter amounted to 33,000l.

The present arrangements of the Post Office, at least as far as they are known, the certainty of the transmission of letters, the economy with which it is conducted, are the theme of admiration by the nation at large, and more particularly by foreigners.


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Night wanes apace!—The crowd are gone; The lamps have ceased to glow; And Cynthia's beams reflect upon The placid lake below.

The song of mirth is heard no more; No guests the goblet fill; The banquet's revelry is o'er, All—all is hush'd and still.

No more, amid the stately pile, The dance afford's delight; Nor tale, nor jocund sports beguile The silent hours of night.

All seek the downy couch of sleep— The host, and worthy guest; The drowsy guards on duty keep, And envy them their rest.

No minstrels strike th' enliv'ning string— None blow the twanging horn; The nightingale has ceas'd to sing, And slowly breaks the morn.

The portals of the dappled East Assume their bright array; The Sun, in new-born splendour drest, Drives sable clouds away.

Thick vapours from the earth arise, And pass away unseen, Till night again shall veil the skies, Now lucid and serene.

Above proud Offa's gate the gold Embroider'd banners hung— And 'scutcheon'd shields emblazon'd told From whence his race had sprung!

The glitt'ring lance and crested plume Adorn the sculptur'd wall, And deep'ning shadows cast a gloom Around his spacious hall!

On "South Town's" "heav'n directed" fanes Sol sheds his glowing ray; And Peace, and Joy, through Mercia's plains Their gladsome sceptre sway.

How diff'rent far the scene will be When night appears again;— O'er all now reigns festivity, But lamentation then!

A richly silver-braided vest The virgin train prepare— A scarf, to wrap the snow-white breast, And gems to deck the hair.

Elfrida, at her lattice high, Sits with the bridal throng— She looks and looks—then heaves a sigh— "Why tarries he so long?"

He comes!—'tis he!—and by his side Attend a noble band— He comes to claim his royal bride— His lov'd Elfrida's hand.

The wish'd-for hour is gone and past;— Slow chimes the marriage-bell; May Heav'n forbid it prove his last— The bridegroom's fun'ral knell!

The priest before the altar stands— The bride bends on her knee, And lifts to God her heart and hands In pious fervency!

But where is he, who should have knelt Before his Maker, low? And where are they, who might have felt What none but parents know!

In vain she waits, and looks around, Still vainer are her cries; With shrieks the sacred aisles resound;— Save echo, naught replies:

Fell grief her throbbing heart enthrals,— Her lips grow ghastly pale; She weeps—she faints—and senseless falls Before the altar-rail!

But where is he, by whom the vows Of love were pledg'd so late? Demand of Offa's artful spouse, Whose fiat seal'd his fate?

The blush of guilt upon her cheek Spreads forth its purple hues,— And agitation seems to speak What conscience dares refuse!

To Him who gives life's fleeting breath His soul has ta'en its flight!— He sleeps the last long sleep of death Upon his bridal night.

His guards were gone;—no friends were near To bless him ere he died! None, none to dry the falling tear, Or bid his pains subside.

Oh! where is she whom fate hath made Dejected and forlorn? She goes to Croyland's hallow'd shade, To live—alas!—to mourn!

Weep, Anglia, weep!—thy monarch's dead! To heav'n his spirit's flown; And he whose hands his blood have shed Will mount thy vacant throne.

He reigns!—but mark! how self-reproach Pervades his inmost breast;— And pangs of sad remorse encroach Upon his fever'd rest.

He lives—but life has little left, If aught, his love to claim; Of all, save grief, 'tis now bereft; To him 'tis but a name!


The event which the foregoing stanzas have attempted to describe laid the foundation of the future importance and prosperity of the Cathedral church of Hereford.

"The restless ambition of Offa prompted him to attack the neighbouring kingdom of the East Angles, with a view of adding it to his dominions; but in this attempt he was defeated by the successful valour of Ethelbert. Peace being subsequently concluded, Offa acceded to proposals of marriage between Ethelbert and his daughter Elfrida;—and the young and unsuspecting prince attended, invited, at the palace of Offa (at South Town, now Sutton, near Hereford), with a splendid retinue, to treat of the intended spousals. The queen of Offa, Quendreda, is recorded to have prevailed upon her husband to violate the ties of hospitality and humanity; and Ethelbert was treacherously murdered, A.D. 793. His guards and retinue were dispersed; his kingdom, taken by surprise, was annexed to the state of Mercia. The faithful Elfrida retired to Croyland Abbey; and Offa, seized with remorse, sought to appease his wounded conscience by actions which, at that time, were thought to atone for the deepest delinquency. He caused the body of Ethelbert to be removed from Marden, where it had been previously interred, to the cathedral of St. Mary, at Hereford, erecting over him a magnificent tomb, and endowing the church with valuable gifts, chiefly situated in the immediate vicinity of his own palace. The known virtues of the murdered prince caused his shrine to be visited as that of a martyr; and such was the fame of his miracles, that the city and cathedral attained a degree of opulence from the pious contributions of devoted pilgrims."

Wright's History of Hereford.

It is not asserted that Ethelbert was murdered on the day appointed for his marriage; but poetical license will, it is hoped, be pardoned for the variation, whilst the principal facts are strictly adhered to.

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(Concluded from vol. xvii.)

In 833, a parliament was held at London, in the presence of King Egbert, with his son Ethelwolf, and Withlaf, the tributary King of Mercia, and most of the prelates and great men of the realm, to deliberate on the best means they could adopt to prevent the Danes from invading England.

In 1210, King John summoned a parliament to meet him at his palace in St. Bride's parish, London; where he exacted of the clergy and religious persons the sum of 100,000l., and 40,000l. in particular from the white monks. The present hospital of Bridewell stands on a part of that palace.

In 1294, Edward I., in order to raise funds for the invasion of Scotland, addressed writs to the sheriffs, directing them to send "representatives for every city and borough in their bailiwicks." Many of the boroughs at this time, on account of the expense of paying their representatives, declined to send members; but the King took care for his own purposes that the Royal and other boroughs where his influence extended, should send members: hence in Cornwall and the other counties on the same coast, where the King's power and property chiefly lay, on account of the mines and tallages, almost every village sent representatives.

In 1414, the fifth year of the reign of Henry IV., the Commons proceeded in their design of regulating the King's household, with whom the Lords accorded; and they required that four persons should be removed out of the King's house,—namely, the Abbot of Dore, the King's confessor, with Durham and Crosbie, gentlemen of his chamber. On February 9, 1414, the confessor, Durham and Crosbie, came into the parliament before the King and the Lords, when his Majesty took occasion to excuse those officers himself, saying, that he knew no cause why they should be removed, but only because they were hated by the people: yet he charged them to depart from his house, according to the desire of his Commons, and would have proceeded in the same manner against the Abbot of Dore, had he been present. The printed roll of Parliamentary proceedings adds these remarkable expressions:—"And our Lord the King moreover said that he would see that the Same measures were taken with regard to any one about his Royal person, who might incur the hatred or indignation of his people." A proceeding similar to this took place in 1451, when Henry VI., at the request of the House of Commons, removed from his court and presence several individuals of either sex, against whom there was universal noise and clamour.

On November 27, 1621, the House of Lords sentenced John Blount to pillory, imprisonment, and labour for life, for counterfeiting a Lord's protection. This was the first case of imprisonment beyond the session, by the House of Lords. The first precedent for their infliction of fines appears about two years afterwards, when they sentenced one Morley to pay 1,000l., and condemned him to the pillory for a libel on the Lord Keeper.

The number of Bishops having seats in the House of Lords is thirty; namely, the two English archbishops, twenty-four English bishops, and four Irish bishops; and they all sit in the house, not as churchmen, or peers representing the clergy, in their various grades, (for these are all represented with the commonalty in the lower House,) but as soldiers, that is, as barons holding certain land by military tenure—tenants in capite per baroniam; and therefore compelled, under the feudal system, by which they were created, to furnish their quota of knights, or men-at-arms, and do other military service to the crown.

The following account of the manner of speaking and voting by the Lords and Commons, is given in A Key to both Houses of Parliament:

"In the House of Lords, the Peers give their votes or suffrages, by beginning with the lowest baron; and so on with the rest, seriatim, until all have expressed their opinions; each one answering apart, 'Content,' or 'Not Content.' If the affirmatives and negatives should happen to be equal in number, the question is invariably presumed to be in the negative, (semper praesumitur pro negante,) and the Not Contents have the effect of an absolute majority. In the House of Commons, the members vote by Ayes and Noes, altogether: but if it be doubtful which is the greater number, the House divides. If the question be whether any bill, petition, &c. is to be brought into the House, then the Ayes, or approvers of the same, go out; but, if it be upon anything which the House is once possessed of, the Noes go out. Upon all questions where the House divides, the Speaker appoints four tellers—two of each opinion; who, after they have told or numbered those within, place themselves in the passage between the Bar and the door, in order to tell those who went out; who, till then, are not permitted to re-enter the House. This being done, the two tellers who have the majority take the right hand, and all four placing themselves within the bar, make three reverences as they advance towards the table, where they deliver the written numbers, saying, 'the Ayes that went out are so many: the Noes who remain are so many:' and vice versa as it may happen. This the Speaker repeats, declaring the majority.

"In a committee of the whole House, the way of dividing is by changing sides, the Ayes taking the right, and the Noes taking the left hand of the Speaker's chair. On such occasions there are but two tellers.

"In each House the act of the majority binds the whole. This majority is openly declared, and the votes, with the names of their authors attached, are generally published in the newspapers; so that the people at large are well enabled to judge of the conduct of their legislators and representatives. This notoriety doubtless produces a very beneficial effect in preserving the integrity of the members of both houses. It is true that when the House of Commons is about to divide, the speaker orders the gallery to be cleared, and all strangers are compelled to withdraw, that the members may be free from popular influence in giving their votes. But, as tellers are appointed to count the votes on each side, there can be no collusion or deception in the decision of any question; at the same time, this method is attended with sufficient publicity for every constitutional purpose. Indeed, it has ever been held the law, rule, and usage of the House of Commons, that all strangers are there only by sufferance, consequently, whenever a member gives notice to the Speaker that he perceives a stranger or strangers, it is the invariable custom of the latter to order them to withdraw; otherwise the sergeant-at-arms will take them into custody, and so enforce the Standing Orders of the House for their exclusion. The publication of the speeches and votes delivered in Parliament is a modern practice, and certainly a breach of the privileges of the members; consequently it may at any time be prohibited by the enforcement of the Standing Orders of either House.

"In the House of Commons, the Speaker never speaks to any question, except the House be in a committee; nor does he even vote, unless the number of votes on both sides of the House be equal; when his casting vote decides the majority. In the Lords, if the Chancellor be desirous of giving his opinion, he must leave the woolsack, and go to his place among that rank of nobility to which he belongs. If he be not a peer, he may neither speak to the question, nor vote upon it; but if a peer, he has a vote on every question. The Speaker of the Commons is prohibited by the rules of that House from persuading or dissuading the members in the passing of any bill: his duty is merely to make a plain and short narrative of its objects. When any member of the Commons is desirous of speaking on a bill before the House, he stands up in his place; uncovered, and directs his speech to the Speaker. In the House of Peers, on the contrary, the orator addresses himself to the Lords generally, only. In either case he may remain on his legs for an indefinite length of time: using whatever arguments, and entering into as many details, as he pleases; but, having once sat down, he is not permitted, unless personally reflected on, to speak again on the same day, to the same matter; or on the same reading of the same bill, even although his arguments be confuted by another member: but, if the whole house should be turned into a committee on any business, then any member may reply as often as he pleases, or as the chairman of the said committee may judge expedient. If it happen that any member of either House should utter words offensive to the King's majesty, or to the House itself, he is immediately called to the bar: in the House of Commons he sometimes, on his knees, receives a reprimand from the Speaker, and is obliged to apologize: if the offence be great, he may, by the Speaker's warrant, be sent to the Tower, or even to Newgate. When a member, during the heat of debate, happens to be betrayed into intemperate language towards another member he is merely called to 'Order' by the Speaker, and this call has generally the desired effect of quelling all animosity between the parties; but if, as sometimes has happened, anything should be uttered amounting to a challenge to settle the dispute 'out of doors,' the Speaker invariably insists upon a pledge from both, 'upon their honour,' that there shall be no fight, and generally succeeds in making them shake hands; otherwise, he has it in his power to commit the would-be combatants to the safe-keeping of the sergeant-at-arms, and to bind the mover to keep the peace. If any member, notwithstanding the call to 'Order,' persist in being disorderly, it is customary for the Speaker to name him; by which indication he is sure to incur the displeasure or censure of the House."


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Before the Reformation there were no Poor Rates; the charitable dole given at the Religious Houses, and church-ale in every parish did the business. In every parish there was a church house, to which belonged spits, pots, crocks, &c. for dressing provision. Here the housekeepers met and were merry, and gave their charity. The young people met there too, and had dancing and bowling, shooting at butts, &c. A. Wood says there were few or no alms-houses before Henry VIII. In every church and large inn was a poor man's box.—From Aubrey's MSS. Collections.

It should be recollected that the present mode of assessment for the relief of the poor in England, was not adopted till every other mode had been tried. Before the dissolution of the religious houses, temp. Henry VIII., paupers were licensed to beg within certain limits (22nd. Henry VIII., chap. 12.) and magistrates were authorized to receive and support them, coming to the places of their birth, by voluntary and charitable alms, and a method was prescribed for collecting those alms. In the reign of Edward VI., laws were passed for enforcing charitable voluntary contributions (5th and 6th Edw. VI., chap. 2.) Persons refusing to give according to their means were to be admonished; first by the minister, and then by the bishop. These provisions were found insufficient, and it was enacted early in the reign of Elizabeth, that if the parties were insensible to the clerical and episcopal admonitions, they should be bound over by the minister or bishop to the quarter sessions; where they were again to be admonished; and if they remained refractory, the justices and churchwardens were to assess them according to their discretion. (5th Eliz. chap. 3.) In the 14th year of her reign the act was passed and provision made for regular assessments, and the appointment of overseers provided for; which the subsequent acts of the 18th, 39th, and 43rd of the same reign completed, and which has still remained.


Near Weymouth.

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(To the Editor.)

The following remarkable circumstance clearly proves how foreign to children, is the fear or even the idea of danger; and, at the same time, it presents to the contemplative mind a striking instance of the wisdom which the Almighty has displayed in the works of the creation! In what a wonderful manner has he endowed all his creatures with sensibility, regulated their habits, and provided for their wants; and so ingeniously are the animal and vegetable kingdoms arranged, that the former is, in a great measure, dependent on the latter for nourishment and support.

From the study of Nature may be deduced a most valuable lesson: namely, to think nothing that exists on the face of the globe unworthy of our attention and notice: and were we to confine ourselves to the practice of this excellent maxim, we should not rest satisfied, until we had obtained a complete insight into the economy and habits of such curious objects.

A labouring man residing near the White Cross, (about a mile westward of the city of Hereford,) and occupying a cottage belonging to Thomas Webb, Esq. of that place, in the month of May last, repeatedly observed one of his children (a little girl not eighteen months old,) reserving at meal-time a part of her allowance of food, and carrying it invariably to one particular corner of the house. Curiosity induced the father to watch more minutely the proceedings of the child, and great was his astonishment, when on the girl as usual repairing to the spot, and making a noise something similar to the chirping of a bird, a snake appeared out of a hole in the wall, and fearlessly partook of the repast provided for it by its infantine attendant.

Such a circumstance is very uncommon, though not unprecedented; for that indefatigable naturalist, Gilbert White, mentions a tame snake in his meritorious Natural History of Selborne. The greater degree of surprise must be attributed to the case itself, that a child so young should have the courage to approach an animal of the reptile order; but it serves only to corroborate the statement previously made:—children are destitute of fear, and consequently have no dread of danger.

In a former number (549) of The Mirror, appeared a paper headed "The Habits of the Common Snake," purported to be extracted from the Magazine of Natural History. The doctrine enforced by the writer of this article, as regards the impracticability of domesticating a snake, has been proved entirely erroneous by the fact recited; and were there no positive instance adduced to the contrary, it does not follow that, because his effort, were ineffectual, such a thing is utterly impossible; indeed, I think, the failure of his project may be dated from the means to which he resorted for its accomplishment. The snake we know is naturally very timid, and shuns even the society of its fellow-creatures; and consequently, must have a great dread of the presence of human beings. Then why, in the name of sense, did he suffer it to be handled by children; and what vessel could he have found worse adapted to his purpose than one composed of glass, in which the movements of its inmate were subjected to the continual gaze of bystanders? He may, perhaps, consider his plan a good one, and bring the case I have mentioned to support his argument, as the snake was tamed by the same means he himself had partially adopted; but it is totally different. Much more may be effected by the agency of one little child, than by the assistance of a number of older and consequently more unmanageable beings. One would suppose, by his attempting to "charm it" with music, that he put unlimited belief in the fables of old; but, alas! the poor creature had heard enough of nursery strains to render it deaf to the beauties of softer melody. The language with which he concludes his remarks is as unjust as it is uncalled for, and such as none but an illiberal and narrow-minded observer would, choose to apply to so beautiful a creature.[4] Even the cat[5] (the most ravenous domestic animal we have,) has been known, when confined, to permit mice to pass unmolested through the cage in which it was imprisoned; then why should he expect that an animal which (as he asserts) can live upwards of thirty days without food, would put itself so far out of its way as to gratify an idle spectator, by devouring in his presence, frogs, mice, and other such "delicacies of the season," when neither inclination, nor the wants of nature, stimulated it to the task.

[4] The passage to which our kindly Correspondent refers is as follows: "The serpent, instead of being the emblem of wisdom, should have been an emblem of stupidity."—See Mirror, vol. xviii. p. 343.

[5] See Mirror, vol. xviii. p. 356.



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The Bustard, huge Rasor, with gular pouch long, With legs formed for running, and beak that is strong, Whose presence this island regards now as rare.

Jennings's Ornithologia.

This bird is of the same order as the Dodo (the gallinaceous, cock or pheasant), figured and described at page 311. There are seventeen species, which form the genus Otis of Linnaeus. They are natives of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Their characteristics are—bill strong, a little incurvated; toes, three before, none behind; legs long, and naked above the knees. The specimen here figured is the Great Bustard, or Tarda, said to be the largest of British birds, sometimes weighing as much as thirty pounds. It is found in some parts of this country, and inhabits also the open plains of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Its colour is wave-spotted with black, and rufous; beneath, white; length, four feet; female not so large, weighing about twelve pounds: she has also different shades of colour. The male has a long pouch, (see the Cut), beginning under the tongue, and reaching to the breast, capable of holding several quarts of water—supposed to be for supplying the hen while sitting on the young. The cheek-feathers are elongated, so as to form on each side a sort of mustachio. It subsists on grains and herbs; it also feeds on worms and insects, and according to late observations, on rats and field-mice;[6] is solitary, shy, and timid; flies heavily, but runs swiftly; is quick of sight and hearing; lays two, pale, olive-brown eggs, with darker spots, in a hole scraped in the ground. In autumn Bustards are gregarious, when they leave the open downs for more sheltered situations. The eggs are eagerly sought after, for the purpose of hatching under hens: they have been reared thus in Wiltshire. As they are very valuable birds, and eagerly sought after, they are scarce. Mr. Jennings doubts whether they still exist in Wiltshire; but, from a paper lately read before the Linnaean Society, by Messrs. Sheppard and Whitear, it appears that Bustards now breed in the open parts of Suffolk and Norfolk: they have, too, been domesticated by Mr. Hardy, of Norwich.[7] Mr. Jennings, in a note to the lines above quoted, observes, "There were formerly great flocks of Bustards in this country, upon the wastes and in woods, where they were hunted by greyhounds, and easily taken. They have been latterly recommended to be bred as domestic fowls; and, to those who desire novelty, the Bustard seems to be peculiarly an object for propagation. The flesh is delicious; and it is supposed that good feeding and domestication might stimulate them to lay more eggs." We were aware that the Bustard was formerly eaten, and remember their mention among the delicacies of chivalric feasts, and in the bills of fare at civic banquets: probably, they are on the Guildhall table at the moment we are writing—on Lord Mayor's Day.

[6] Shaw's Zoolog. Lectures, vol. i. 1809.

[7] Ornithologia, p. 206.

Among the other species of Bustards are the Little, or Field, and the thick-kneed, Stone-curlew, or Norfolk Plover. There are also some fine species in India, where they are generally in pairs, but sometimes in families of four and five: as they do not fly high, they are sometimes pursued on horseback, and fired at with pistols. A young hen makes a particularly fine dish at table: the flesh of the breast is full of triangular cavities.[8] The Bustard accordingly bears a high price in the Indian markets: in some districts it is called the florikan.

[8] Mag. Nat. Hist. vol. iii. p. 517.

The Bustard is stated to have been known to descend suddenly from its flight, and from some unknown caprice, to attack a horse and its rider with great violence; and with such blind fury as to suffer itself to be seized by the traveller rather than attempt an escape. Two instances of this kind are recorded in the Gentleman's Magazine of about the year 1807.

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In a recent Number (563) we adverted to the origin of these interesting structures, and attributed their erection to pious feelings, as well as for purposes of a commercial character. The specimens before us appear to have belonged to the latter appropriation—inasmuch as they are what are commonly termed Market Crosses. The first is situate at Leighton Buzzard, or as the name was anciently written, Leighton beau-desert, on the borders of Buckinghamshire, and said to be the Lygean-burgh of the Saxon Chronicle, which was taken from the Britons by Cuthwulph, in the year 571. The principal of the antiquities of the town is the above Cross. It is of a pentagonal form, and of beautiful pointed architecture: it is stated to have been built upwards of five hundred years, but the name of its founder is not known. The anxiety of the inhabitants of Leighton-Buzzard to preserve this relic of olden time is entitled to special mention.

"In the year 1650, this cross was presented at the court-leet as being in such a ruinous state, that it greatly endangered the lives of those persons who were passing near it. Upon this occasion a rate of 4d. was levied upon every inhabitant to defray the charge of repairing it. The height of the cross is twenty-seven feet two inches, from the top of the stone-work to the basement story, which is seven feet four inches from the ground, at the lowest side, and consists of five rows of steps rising from the earth. The centre pillar, which supports the arch, is eight feet two inches high, and one foot one inch and a quarter wide, on the side fronting the largest angle. The upper story is disposed into five niches, and there were formerly as many pinnacles at the corners; but one of them has been destroyed: each niche contained a statue. The first appears to have been intended to represent a bishop, another seems like the Virgin and Jesus; a third appears to be Saint John the Evangelist; the others are too much mutilated to be known. Over each arch attached to the cornice, surrounding the building, there were three grotesque heads. The entire height of the cross, from the lowest base to the top of the vane, is thirty-eight feet. It is constructed of stone, and is situated in an open area, near the market-house."

The second Cross is at Holbeach, in the Holland division of Lincolnshire. The Cross is situate in the market-place of the town; and it is supposed to have been raised about the year 1253; near which period, Thomas de Malton, Lord Egremont, obtained for Holbeach the grant of a weekly market and annual fair.

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We attended the private view of this very attractive exhibition, and were happy to find the galleries filled with distinguished Artists and Patrons of Art. The collection is of a novel character, inasmuch as it associates the works of deceased and living British Artists; though, discouraging as may be the fact, the juxtaposition is not to the advantage of the latter: alas! "that's true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." Nevertheless, the object of the British Artists' Society in forming this collection, is laudable in every respect; since "it is evident that an Exhibition of the works of celebrated deceased Masters is calculated to benefit, in an essential degree, the race of living Artists, who will here have an opportunity of carefully inspecting, and deriving instruction from many of those pictorial efforts which are the pride and honour of the British School:" so true is it, in the case of painters, that the good which men do, lives after them. To the public, we mean the sight-craving public, this Exhibition may be of paramount interest: it may perchance modify their admiration of faithless vanity-feeding portraits, and gaudy compositions of vulgar life, full of coarse effect, and painted as less ingenious articles are made, to catch a purchaser.

The Exhibition embraces specimens of the works of nearly seventy deceased Artists, from various collections. Among them are Reynolds, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Morland, Wilson, Fuseli, Zoffani, Blake, Opie, De Loutherbourg, Northcote, Harlow, Jackson, Bonington, Lawrence, &c. &c.; and, as many of the specimens are associated with pleasurable recollections, we will endeavour to notice a few of them, in succession with the works of the living Artists.

1. Alderman Boydell, painted by Muller, and the property of Messrs. Moon, Boys, and Greaves, who, as the successors of the Alderman, retain his portrait as a kind of heirloom in connexion with the best days of British Art.

10. and 12. Duke and Duchess of Leinster. Reynolds. The drawing of the latter is not quite worthy of the President's fame.

7. Farm Yard and Pigs. Morland. Painted, for aught we know, at the artist's usual rate, when in confinement, "four-guineas per day with his drink."

8. Landscape. Gainsborough. Stamped, as Mr. Cunningham says, all Gainsborough's works are, "with the image of old England."

9. Sir W. Curtis, Bart. Lawrence. A fine portrait of the City wit: his face is lit up with good nature, such as proved in the Baronet's career, a surprising foil to the madness of party.

11. Landscape and Cattle. The former by Barrett, the latter by Gilpin. Cunningham calls Barrett "an indifferent dauber;" rather a harsh term in connexion with this picture.

18. Rape of the Lock. A picture of merit, by Henry Wyatt.

21. Death of Oedipus. One of Fuseli's most tragical creations.

31 and 33. Landscape and Figures. Morland.

34. Diana and Calista. Wilson. A beautifully poetic composition: yet the painter lived and died nearer to indigence than ease.

35. Alexander Pope and Martha Blount. Jervas. Of comparatively little interest for its pictorial merit; though Pope has enshrined the painter in elegant couplet. If poetry and painting be sister arts, they are rarely twin.

41 and 227. Dead Game, &c. Blake. Among the finest compositions of their class. It is worth while to compare these pictures, with what Smith, in his Life of Nollekens, tells us of Blake's colouring: "his modes of preparing his grounds, and laying them over his panels for painting, mixing his colours, and manner of working, were those which he considered to have been practised by the early fresco painters, whose productions still remain in many instances vividly and permanently fresh. His ground was a mixture of whiting and carpenters' glue, which he passed over several times in the coatings; his colours he ground himself and also united with them the same sort of glue, but in a much weaker state; he would in the course of painting, pass a very thin transparent wash of glue-water over the whole of the parts he had worked upon and then proceed with his finishing."

43. The Captive, Jackson. One of the finest pictures in the room. In colouring it approaches the olden school nearer than any recent specimen.

44. Carnarvon Castle, Moon-rising. E. Childe. A clever picture, and altogether an interesting scene.

53. Portrait of the late Queen Caroline, and the Princess Charlotte. Lawrence. One of the painter's early productions. The attitude of the Queen beside a harp is majestic, and her figure is not of such bulky proportion as she attained in after-life; the features are, too, more intelligent than many beneath a crown: the figure of the darling Princess in sportive mood, half clambering and reclining upon a chair, is pretty. Indeed, the picture, as well from its characters as from its merit and size, must command considerable interest in the collection. It may have associations of melancholy tendency; for the princesses and the painter have been numbered with the dead within a score of years.

55. The Benevolent Squire. Morland. A small oval picture of touching truth and nature. In the foreground is a widow, with two children, seated beside a cottage door. They have just divided a small loaf with hungry zest: in the distance is an old English 'squire on horseback, who is instructing his groom with undrawn purse to relieve the wants of the widow, while the good Samaritan casts an eye of true compassion at the almost starving group.

58. Portrait of Opie. Opie: showing, as Mr. Cunningham observes, "a noble forehead and an intellectual eye," with much of his country, Cornish air. The picture is but of few inches dimension, in a homely, broad, flat, oaken frame, somewhat resembling that of a miniature, with the name "Opie," plainly cut in capitals. It is noticeable for its unadornment.

64. The adjourned Debate. T. Clater. A cobbler, despite the ancient saw, ne sutor ultra crepidam, intently devouring the "folio of four pages."

67. The Sisters. John Wood. One of the painter's most successful productions, and deservedly so.

74. Diana and Actaeon. Another of Wilson's classic compositions of captivating loveliness, proving the painter, as Mr. Cunningham observes, to have wrought under historical and poetic influence.

80. Portrait of the late James Perry, Esq. Lawrence. The likeness is striking, and the colouring that of a master hand. The "head and front" bear intellectuality in an eminent degree.

82. Henry III. of France. Bonington. One of the lamented artist's most celebrated pictures. The personal elegance of the sovereign, and the luxurious details of the scene are in fine keeping with the minuteness of history in these matters.

89. The Trial Scene in the Merchant of Venice. Zoffani. With Macklin,

—The Jew That Shakspeare drew;

his daughter as Portia, in the habiliaments of "the learned lawyer;" Clark, Bensley, &c.

100. Portrait of Bishop Hoadley. Hogarth.

102. Banks of the Tiber. Wilson.

118 and 187. Portraits of the Princesses Sophia and Mary, when children.

125. Battle of Cressy. West.

137—138—151. Captain Macheath—the Grave-diggers—and the Ghost Scene in Hamlet—all gems in their way, by Liverseege, of Manchester; they are full of point, and so rich in promise of future excellence as to add to our regret for the premature death of the artist.

134. The First Study for the Niobe Landscape. Wilson. Peculiarly interesting to artists.

To be continued.

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[Much has been said of late years respecting the degeneracy of a very useful and generally respectable class of persons, termed "gentlemen's servants;" and the unjustifiable practices of tradesmen towards people of fashion. As is usual in hasty judgments, the many have been stigmatized with the vices of the few: the misconduct of reckless servants has been held forth as bespeaking the habits of the whole class, and the misdealing cupidity of a few purveyors of fashionable luxuries has been set down as the almost uniform rule of conduct of the worthiest classes in the empire. Such has been the exaggeration of a certain description of evils and abuses, which appertain rather to the manners and customs of fashionable life than to the sphere of the useful or industrious classes; and in support of this position of ours, we may be allowed to quote the following pertinent observations from no less aristocratic authority than the Quarterly Review. They occur in a notice of a few of the most recent novels of fashionable life; in which the writer argues that there remains to be produced a much more useful class of novels than has yet emanated from the silver fork school. The immediate objects of the present remarks are, however, to show that the artificial or even dissipated habits of servants and the bareweight honesty of tradesmen, are brought about by the corrupt manners of persons of fortune, who believe themselves to be the only sufferers by such evil courses.]

Society is so infinitely intersected and convolved,

"Cycle and epi-cycle, orb in orb,"

that observers who should be endowed with a sufficient portion of perspicacity, might no doubt trace the consequences of the vices and virtues prevailing in any section of it, through the entire social chain. But, hitherto, those who have undertaken to describe the ways of fashionable life, have not followed it even to its more direct and contiguous relations with other classes of mankind. This is a defect which it might be worth the while of any duly qualified writer to supply. It might be well, for instance, if any such writer would so far extend the sphere of his contemplations, as to observe and exhibit the effects of fashionable manners and customs upon the class of servants, and the class of tradesmen.

Under the former head, there may be found, perhaps, little to find fault with on the score of mere manner and outward demeanour. To use servants with harshness, or to be wanting in that species of consideration for them which consists in a certain mildness and amenity of manner, would ruffle and deform that smooth surface of things which it is agreeable to the taste of people in high life to see around them. Nor do they, perhaps, interfere with the comfort of their dependents, by any undue or onerous exactions of service; for their establishments, being for the most part calculated for show, are more numerous than is required for use, and are therefore necessarily underworked, except, perhaps, in the case of some poor drudges at the bottom, who slink up and down the back stairs unseen, and whose comfort, therefore, does not engage the attention of a family of this class; and even these will not be oppressed with their labours, unless when some impoverished people of fashion may find it necessary to dock the tails of their establishments in order to keep the more prominent portions entire. Nevertheless the exceptions which may be taken against fashionable life, as affecting the class of servants, are of a very grave description. Late hours and habits of dissipation in the heads of a family make it almost impossible, especially in London, to exercise that wholesome household discipline which is requisite to secure the well-being of a servant. Luxury and ostentation require that the servants of these people should be numerous; their number unavoidably makes them idle; idleness makes them debauched; debauchery renders them often necessitous; the affluence or the prodigality, the indolence or indulgence; or indifference of their masters, affords them every possible facility for being dishonest; and, beginning with the more venial kinds of peculation, their conscience has an opportunity of making an easy descent through the various gradations of larceny, till the misdemeanant passes into the felon. In the meantime, the master, taking no blame to himself, nor considering that servants are for the most part what their masters make them, that they are the creatures, at least, of those circumstances which their masters throw around them, and might be moulded in the generality of cases, with almost certain effect, by the will and conduct of the master—passes over, with an indolent and epicurean censure, the lighter delinquencies which he may happen to detect, laughs perhaps at his own laxity, and, when at length alarmed, discharges the culprit without a character, and relieves himself, at the expense of he knows not whom, by making of a corrupted menial a desperate outcast. If it be said that a man cannot be expected to change his mode of life for the sake of his servants, it might be answered, that any mode of life by which each individual indulging in it hazards the perdition of several of his fellow-creatures, ought to be changed, and cannot be persevered in without guilt. But even if no such sacrifice were insisted upon, there remain means by which the evil might be mitigated.

In the first place, the adherence to honesty on the part of the masters might be exemplary; whereas their actual measure of honesty would perhaps be indicated with sufficient indulgence, if they were described (in the qualified language which Hamlet applies to himself) to be "indifferent honest." There is a currency of untruth in daily use amongst fashionable people for purposes of convenience, which proceeds to a much bolder extent than the social euphemisms by which those of the middle classes also, not perhaps without some occasional violation of their more tender consciences, intimate a wish to be excused from receiving a guest. Fashionable people, moreover, are the most unscrupulous smugglers and buyers of smuggled goods, and have less difficulty than others and less shame, in making various illicit inroads upon the public property and revenue. It is not to be denied that these practices are, in point of fact, a species of lying and cheating; and the latter of them bears a close analogy to the sort of depredation in which the dishonesty of a servant commonly commences. To a servant it must seem quite as venial an offence to trench upon the revenues of a duke, as to the duke it may seem to defraud the revenues of a kingdom. Such proceedings, if not absolutely to be branded as dishonest, are not at least altogether honourable; they are such as may be more easily excused in a menial than in a gentleman. Nor can it ever be otherwise than of evil example to make truth and honesty matters of degree.

But there is a worse evil in the manners of this country in regard to servants. It is rarely that they are considered in any other light than as mechanical instruments. It unfortunately belongs very little to our national character to feel what the common brotherhood of humanity requires of us in a relation with our fellow-creatures, which however unequal, is so close as that of master and servant. We are not accustomed to be sensible that it is any part of our duty to enter into their feelings, to understand their dispositions, to acquire their confidence, to cultivate their sympathies and our own upon some common ground which kindness might always discover, and to communicate with them habitually and unreservedly upon the topics which touch upon that ground. This deficiency would perhaps be more observable in the middle classes than in the highest, who seem generally to treat their inferiors with less reserve, but that in the latter the scale of establishment often removes the greater part of a man's servants from personal communication with him. Whether most prevalent in the fashionable or in the unfashionable classes, it is an evil which, in the growing disunion of the several grades of society is now more than ever, and for more reasons than one, to be regretted.

(To be concluded in our next.)

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(From Fraser's Magazine.)

Although in the present day, notwithstanding the severity of the laws, the different modes of committing crime are almost endless, the principal actors in criminality may be classed under the following heads:—

Classification of Rogues.

Housebreakers Vulgus—Cracksmen, pannymen.

Highwaymen & } Grand-tobymen. Footpads } Spicemen.

Coiners Bit-makers.

Utterers of base metal Smashers.

Pickpockets Buzzmen, clyfakers, conveyancers.

Stealers of goods and money from } Sneaks. shops, areas, &c. &c. }

Shoplifters Shop-bouncers.

Snatchers of reticules, watches, } Grabbers. &c. &c. from the person }

Horse and cattle stealers Prad-chervers.

Women and men who waylay } inebriate persons for the } Ramps. purpose of robbery }

Receivers of stolen goods Fences.

Forgers Fakers.

Embezzlers Bilkers.

Swindlers of every description, } Macers, duffers, and ring-droppers. among which are }

Stealing from carts and } Dragsmen. carriages of all kinds }

To which may be added, all kinds } Light-horsemen, heavy-horsemen, of plundering on the river and } game watermen, do. lightermen, its banks, on board shipping, } scuffle-hunters, copemen, &c. barges, &c. }

The whole of these are carried on by confederacies of small parties, and at other times by gangs, when their operations become more extensive. The forger and the highwayman are exceptions; the latter offence is generally committed by one or more, in a fit of need and state of desperation, without any system or plan for carrying on the practice; and it may be affirmed, that, in almost every case of this nature, the criminal never committed the like offence before. There have been some few instances of five or six individuals associating for the purposes of committing forgeries, but the cases are rare.

Boy Burglars.

I can name several boys now in custody, who have been actors in some of the most complicated schemes of burglary, and from whom much on this head might be elicited. One in particular, who began his career by robbing a gentleman in Mark Lane of plate to a considerable amount; and as it shows one method of committing a robbery, I will relate how it was accomplished. The boy was under sentence of death when I got the history of his life from him, he having been nine years in the successful commission of crime; and although nearly eighteen years of age, his appearance gave him credit for only being fourteen. Whilst in custody, his constant theme of regret was that he had left the parties in whose services he had been so long and securely employed, to join some of his own age, embarking in business for themselves; by which he was "nicked" (taken up). He was an orphan, and had been brought up in the poor-house, whence he was apprenticed to a sweep in the city. He was a remarkably sharp boy, which no doubt was noticed by those who are always on the lookout for agents to aid them in their schemes. He was met one morning early, with the soot-bag on his back, by a man who pretended to be his uncle, and who gave him a half-crown piece, making another appointment for a meeting; the result of which was, before he had served sixteen months of his time he had given information by which fifteen robberies had been committed. He, of course, had been paid for his services, which soon made him disgusted with the sooty business; and he made an agreement with the man who drew him into crime, to leave his master's service, and to commit with him a robbery on their private account before he left. The house fixed on was the one above alluded to in Mark Lane. The premises had before been surveyed, and deemed impregnable; that is to say, was considered too well guarded to be robbed without detection. They, however, got possession of the plate in the following manner:—The boy was a favourite with the cook of the house, and she would have no other to sweep her kitchen-chimney; a matter of business which was performed the last Saturday in every month. It was concerted between the man and the boy, that the former should dress himself in the character of a sweep, and accompany the latter as his over-looker, or assistant. The real sweep-over-looker, of course, must be kept out of the way; and here laid all their difficulty. It cost the boy (to use his own expression) six months' longer punishment as a sweep, and the man six appearances, at an early hour of the morning, in the same character, before the object could be carried, namely, to get rid of the real sweep.

At length, one Saturday, by pretending to forget the job until all the men were gone out about other work, the boy, affecting suddenly to recollect it, persuaded the master to let him go alone, saying he himself could perform the duty. It was five o'clock in the morning when he and the disguised robber reached the house; the cook opened the door, having nothing on save a blanket thrown over her shoulders. The arch young rogue said, "It's only me and Harry; it's a very cold morning; if you like to go to bed again, cookey, we will do it well, and leave all clean, and shut the door fast after us." She went to bed, and they went to the plate depository, which had been well noted oft times before. They put the whole of its contents into the soot-bag, and fearlessly walked through the streets with it on their backs. The boy, a few hours afterwards, was so metamorphosed, being dressed in the smartest manner, with cane in hand and fifty pounds in his pocket, that he walked the streets in full confidence that not even his master or his fellow-apprentices would know him.


The qualifications for a pickpocket are a light tread, a delicate sense of touch, combined with firm nerves. These boys may be known by their shoes in the street; they generally wear pumps, or shoes of a very light make, having long quarters. There is about their countenance an affected determination of purpose, and they walk forward, as if bent on some object of business: it is a rule with them never to stop in the street. When they want to confer for a moment they drop into some by-court or alley, where they will fix on an object of attack, as the people pass down a main street; when they start off in the same manner, the boy going first, to do what they call "stunning," that is to pick the pocket. The first rate hands never, on any occasion, loiter in the streets, unless at a procession or any exhibition, when there is an excuse for so doing. Many have a notion that instruments are used in disencumbering the pockets: this is a false idea; the only instrument they use is a good pair of small scissors, and which will always be found on the person of a pickpocket when searched; these they use to cut the pocket and all off, when they cannot abstract its contents.

To these qualifications they unite a quick sight, and a tact of observing when the attention is engaged, or of devising some means to engage it themselves, until the act is done. They are most busy in foggy weather. When in prison, they will be heard to say on such days, "What a shame to lose such a fine day as this!" On great public days, when the streets are expected to be crowded, and much business is anticipated, several parties of them will unite for the day, under special contract, either to divide all gains between them, or for each one to retain what he gets, agreeing, under every circumstance, to mutually assist each other in the bustle of the crowd. The wary and superior pickpocket, however, seldom runs this risk, but steadily pursues his course, surveying every day the objects around him, and sending off his emissaries to fetch in the plunder, or, by detection, to be handed off to prison. Pickpockets are the least faithful to each other of all known rogues, and are the most difficult of all biped animals to tame, or make any thing of in the way of improvement when caught.

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(Edited by Mrs. S.C. Hall.)

This is a delightful little book for the improvement of the mind and heart, as well as for the amusement, of young persons. It is full of prose and poetic story, pretty incident and anecdote—all which convey some useful moral, and point to some really good end and purpose. It is still a book for the play-room, notwithstanding it treats of botany and zoology. Travelling on the Ice, by Dr. Walsh, explains "what put it into Captain Parry's head to go to the North Pole;" the Poet's Invitation, by Allan Cunningham, is sweet and simple; the Shamrock, by L.E.L., consists of some clever lines, accompanying a portrait of two fairy sisters and a little laughing brother—

The image of a happy child Doth link itself with all That natural loveliness, which least Reminds us of our fall. Somewhat of angel purity, Somewhat of angel grace, Ere longer years bring shade and toil. Are on a childish face.

My Dog Quail contains some amusing anecdotes by the late Dr. Walsh; and in the Settlers, a dialogue, by Miss Leslie, of Philadelphia, are a few touching points of distinction between savage and civilized life; the Indian Island, by L.E.L., is more of a story; a Walk in a Flower Garden is from the accomplished pen of Mrs. Loudon, explaining to two juvenile inquirers the origin of the names and properties of certain plants; a Girl's Farewell to the River Lee, by Charles Swain, is plaintively interesting; Seven and Seventeen, by Mrs. S.C. Hall, is clever and lively, and full of home truth; the Sailor's Wife is a pensive ballad-tale of the sea, by M. Howitt, and likely to linger on the mind of childhood; the First Weavers, by the Rev. C. Williams, is as ingenious in its way as Professor Rennie's Bird or Insect Architecture: it enumerates many interesting processes of weaving by insects and birds, who, unlike human artificers, pursue their tasks in the untainted atmosphere of nature;—there are also two or three pretty playful prose sketches, and some clever lines by Miss Leslie, of Philadelphia, on C.R. Leslie's picture of Lady Jane Grey's reluctance to accept the crown of England. We quote the concluding lines, by L.E.L., to accompany the frontispiece:—


They were so beautiful this morn— The lily's graceful wand Hung with small bells, as delicate As from a fairy's hand. The Indian rose, so softly red, As if in coming here It lost the radiance of the south, And caught a shade of fear. The white geranium vein'd with pink, Like that within the shell Where, on a bed of their own hues, The pearls of ocean dwell. But where is now the snowy white, And where the tender red? How heavy over each dry stalk Droops every languid head! They are not worth my keeping now— She flung them on the ground— Some strewed the earth, and some the wind Went scattering idly round. She then thought of those flowers no more, But oft, in after years, When the young cheek was somewhat pale, And the eyes dim with tears— Then she recalled the faded wreath Of other happier hours, And felt life's hope and joy had been But only Hot-house Flowers!

The Engravings, ten in number, with an inscription plate and vignette, are above the usual calibre of the "juvenile" embellishments: they are better than mere pictures for children, and the chosen subjects harmonize with the benevolent tone and temper of the letter-press; all of them will tend to cherish kindly feelings in the hearts of the little readers. Among the best of the prints are Going to the Well, from Gainsborough; and the Industrious Young Cottager—a contented girl at work, with a bird in an opened cage beside her: the little scene is one of happy un-imprisonment and cheerful task.

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[In one of the recent prize essays of the Highland Society of Scotland, the Ettrick Shepherd writes thus of his distinguished contemporary. The general subject of the Essay is the statistics of Selkirkshire: after referring to Sir Walter as sheriff of Ettrick Forest for thirty years, Mr. Hogg observes:]

To speak of Sir Walter Scott as a literary man, would be the height of absurdity in a statistical writer. In that light he is known and duly appreciated over the whole world, wherever letters have found their way. But I shall say, that those who know him only by the few hundreds of volumes that he has published, know only the one half of the man, and that not the best half neither. As a friend, he is steady, candid, and sincere, expressing his sentiments freely, whether favourable or the reverse. He is no man's enemy, though he may be to his principles; and I believe that he never in his life tried to do an individual hurt. His impartiality as a judge is so well known, that no man, either rich or poor, ever attempts to move him from the right onward path. If he have a feeling of partiality in his whole disposition, it is for the poachers and fishers, at least I know that they all think that he has a fellow-feeling with them,—that he has a little of the old outlaw blood in him, and, if he had been able, would have been a desperate poacher and black-fisher. Indeed, it has been reported that when he was young he sometimes "leistered a kipper, and made a shift to shoot a moorfowl i' the drift." He was uncommonly well made. I never saw a limb, loins, and shoulders so framed for immoderate strength. And, as Tom Purdie observed, "Faith, an he hadna' been crippled he wud ha'e been an unlucky chap."

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*** "An Old Friend of the late Mr. Terry" has requested us to insert the following correction: "In our notices respecting Sir Walter Scott, (see Mirror, No. 571, p. 254,) we stated that Mrs. Terry had in her possession a tragedy written by Sir Walter for her son W.S. Terry, and intended by the author as a legacy for Walter's first appearance on the stage. We have been since assured that it never was intended by his parents, nor was it ever in the contemplation of his godfather, that Walter Scott Terry should appear at all upon the stage. The youth is in fact at this time a cadet at the Military College, Addiscombe, to which establishment he obtained an appointment through the kind exertions of Sir Walter, who has thus placed young Terry in a situation to distinguish himself in a line of life perfectly according with his own talents and inclinations."

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Islington Stages—The stage-coaches to Islington, sixty years ago, were drawn by three horses, on account of the badness of the roads. The inside fare was at that time sixpence each person. H.B. ANDREWS.

Dr. Ken and Nell Gwynne.—When Charles II. went down to Winchester with the Court, the house of Dr. Ken was destined to be the residence of Nell Gwynne. The good little man declared that she should not be under his roof: he was as steady as a rock; and the intelligence was carried to the king, who said, "Well, then, Nell must take lodging in the city." All the Court and divines were shocked at Dr. Ken's strange conduct, saying that he had ruined his fortune, and would never rise in the church. Sometime after, the bishopric of Bath and Wells became vacant: the ministers recommended some learned and pious divines; to whom the king answered, "No, none of them shall have it, I assure you. What is the name of that little man at Winchester, that would not let Nell Gwynne lodge at his house?"—"Dr. Ken, please your majesty."—"Well, he shall have it then; I resolved that he should have the first bishopric that fell, if it had been Canterbury."—Bishop Ken every morning made a vow that he would not marry on that day. Mr. Cherry used frequently, on entering the breakfast-room, to say, "Well, my lord, is the resolution made this morning?"—"Oh, yes, sir, long ago," was the constant reply. M.J.T.

Accession of Territory without Bloodshed.—The Venetians, desirous of possessing the island of Curzola, which belonged to the little republic of Raguza, and was situate in their neighbourhood, made use of a singular stratagem to render themselves masters of it. They erected in one night, on a little rock, which belonged to them, very near Raguza, a card-board fortress, painted of a brick-colour, and armed with wooden cannons. The next day the Ragusans, alarmed at seeing themselves so closely invested, entered into a negotiation with the Venetian State, to which they ceded Curzola, in exchange for this miserable rock, on which there was scarcely room for a moderately sized dwelling. W.N.

Excuses for not Marrying.—Thales, who was ranked among the seven wise men of Greece, declined involving himself by marriage in the cares of a family, that he might devote his whole time and attention to the study of philosophy,—alleging to his mother, who urged him to marry, at an early age, "it is too soon," and at a more advanced period, "it is too late." P.T.W.

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Epigram on Sir P——p F——n——s being bit by a cobracappo:—

A serpent bit F—— ——s, that virulent knight;— What then? 'twas the serpent that died of the bite.



Dente venenato stimulatur Zoilus Anguis, Quid Tum? vivit adhuc Zoilus, Anguis obit.


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Botanical A.B.C.—The A.B.C. Daria is a name given to a plant of the camomile species. The appellation is designed to express the use made of this plant by the black schoolmasters at Amboyna, who cause their young pupils to chew the flowers and roots, either alone or with beetlenut, in order that they may more easily pronounce some of the difficult Arabic letters. It is similar to the Anthemis Pyrethrum, as stimulating the mouth, and is recommended in paralyses of the tongue. P.T.W.

Smoking.—A standing order of the House of Commons, in 1693, directs, "that no member of the house do presume to smoke tobacco in the gallery, or at the tables of the house sitting at committees." H.B. ANDREWS.

A Turn-coat.—De Dominis, Archbishop of Spalato, was notorious for his shiftings in religion. One of his friends ended a report of an interview with him as follows:—"It is clear he is a wily-beguily, rightly bred in the nest of the Jesuits."

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A Turtle Mayor.—In the fourteenth century, one Roger Turtle was Mayor of Bristol no less than seven times, 1326 to 1341—a circumstance which elicited the following jeu d'esprit:—

If old Roger Turtle was seven times mayor, An honour which fell to no other man's share, His descendant, a Turtle, in this modern day, Bears, as mayor-elect, a perpetual sway.

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Auctions.—In France, to this day, sales are announced with the drum. In this country they were formerly accompanied by trumpet; for, in a will of 1388, we find "that the tenements so bequeathed shall be sold separately, by the sound of the trumpet, at the High Cross (Bristol), without fraud or collusion."

Charters.—In one of the most valuable, but least known collections in the British Museum, are about ten thousand charters, which were indexed by Ayscough.

Cowley, the poet, was the son of a grocer, who lived in Fleet-street, near the end of Chancery-lane.

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Epitaph, formerly in a Churchyard at Bristol.

Ye witty mortals! as you're passing by, Remark, that near this monument doth lie, Center'd in dust, Described thus: Two Husbands, two Wives, Two Sisters, two Brothers, Two Fathers, a Son, Two Daughters, Two Mothers, A Grandfather, a Grandmother, a Granddaughter, An Uncle and an Aunt—their Niece follow'd after. This catalogue of persons mentioned here Was only five, and all from incest free.


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Printed and published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House) London; sold by G.G. BENNIS, 55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris; CHARLES FUGEL, Francfort; and by all Newsmen and Booksellers.


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