THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOLUME XX., NO. 578] SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1832. [PRICE 2d.
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Tanfield is a considerable village, situated seven miles from Gateshead, in the county of Durham, and eight miles in a south-west direction from Newcastle-on-Tyne. The above arch is about a mile from the village, and crosses a deep dell, called Causey Burne, down which an insignificant streamlet finds its sinuous course. The site possesses some picturesque beauty, though its silvan pride be
After a season gay and brief, Condemn'd to fade and flee.
It has much of the poet's "bosky bourne," and beside
The huddling brooklet's secret brim,
his pensive mind may feed upon the natural glories of the scene; while, attuned to melancholy,
In hollow music sighing through the glade, The breeze of autumn strikes the startled ear, And fancy, pacing through the woodland shade, Hears in the gust the requiem of the year.
KIRKE WHITE'S Early Poems.
The ARCH was an architectural wonder of the last century. It was built in the year 1729, as a passage for the wagon-way, or rail-road for the conveyance of coals from collieries in the vicinity of Tanfield, which were the property of an association called "the Great Allies." It is a magnificent stone structure, one hundred and thirty feet in the span, springing from abutments nine feet high, to the height of sixty feet: a dial is placed on the top with a suitable inscription. The expense of its construction is stated to have amounted to 12,000l.; the masonry is reputed to be extremely good, and the arch itself is nearly perfect, though it is now only known as a foot-way, the collieries for the use of which it was built, being no longer worked: previously it was but a private road-way. In Cooke's Topography we find it stated, (though it is not mentioned upon what authority,) that the architect built a former arch which fell, and that the apprehension of the second experiencing the same fate induced him to commit suicide.
Before the building of the New London Bridge, the arch at Tanfield is said to have been the largest stone arch in existence. The span of the central arch of the bridge is 152 feet; and that of the arches on each side of the centre, 140 feet: the span of the arches of Waterloo Bridge is 120 feet; so that the reader may form a tolerably correct estimate of the arch at Tanfield.
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Where shall this wounded, aching breast. Find a couch of soothing rest— A respite from its woes? Friend! mark'st thou that grassy bed, The cold, clay dwelling of the dead— There, there is sure repose.
When shall this soul, so long borne down By Fate's despite and with'ring frown, A rescue know from care? Friend! when that dark home is thine, Never more thy heart shall pine— Grim sorrow comes not there.
When thy name is of that number, Sound and sweet will be thy slumber;— All earthly pangs and troubles cease, Nor dare invade that house of peace. On that pillow, ozier drest, The worn, the "weary are at rest." Thy broken heart shall cease to sigh, And tears forsake that sunken eye;— No dreams distract that holy sleep— No tempests break that calm so deep. Come, then!—forsaken, wearied, come! Here is for thee a peaceful home.
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THE HORSE "ECLIPSE."
A warm—hearted Correspondent, "W.C." of Milton (who is anxious for our accuracy on all points), wishes us to correct an error or two in the account of Eclipse, at p. 362, vol. xix. of The Mirror. It is there stated that Mr. Wildman sold the moiety of Eclipse to Colonel O'Kelly, for 650 guineas; and that O'Kelly subsequently bought the other moiety for 1,100 guineas. But, our Correspondent, who was for many years intimate with both the above gentlemen, assures us that "the Colonel gave to Mr. Wildman 2,000l. for a moiety of Eclipse, and subsequently 2,000l. for the other moiety—making the whole purchase-money 4,000l."
In the page wherein the above mis-statement appears is another error, respecting the speed of Childers—"over the round course at Newmarket, 3 miles, 6 furlongs, and 93 yards, in 6 minutes and 40 seconds; to perform which, he must have moved 82-1/2 feet in a second of time, or at the rate of nearly one mile in a minute." We have referred to the work whence the above was quoted (Hist. Epsom, p. 103), and find it to correspond with our reprint. The calculation is evidently incorrect: for Childers would thus appear scarcely to have exceeded half a mile a minute.
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POISON OF THE HORNED VIPER.
Mr. Madden, whilst in Thebes, killed one of these animals, for the purpose of extracting its poison, which he found in a small membrane in the front of the jaw under the two hollow teeth. Having collected the venom carefully on a piece of glass, he examined it with a microscope, and found it to consist of sharp, saline spiculae, of a reticular appearance, extremely minute. "Half of this I gave to a dog, in a piece of meat—it produced no sensible effect; I then diluted the remainder, smeared the point of a lancet with it, and wounded the dog in the shoulder: this application he only survived three hours."'—Madden's Travels.
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Captain Crow, in a work published a short time since, relates the following as having occurred on a voyage to Memel:—"One morning during a cairn, when near the Hebrides, all hands were called up at three o'clock, to witness a battle between several of the fish called thrashers and some sword-fish on one side, and an enormous whale on the other. It was in the middle of summer, and the weather being clear, and the fish close to the vessel, we had a fine opportunity of witnessing the contest. As soon as the whale's back appeared above the water, the thrashers, springing several yards into the air, descended with great violence upon the object of their rancour, and inflicted upon him the most severe slaps with their tails, the sound of which resembled the reports of muskets fired at a distance. The sword-fish, in their turn, attacked the distressed whale, stabbing him from below;—and thus beset on all sides, and wounded, when the poor creature appeared, the water around him was dyed with blood. In this manner they continued tormenting and wounding him for many hours, until we lost sight of him; and I have no doubt they, in the end, accomplished his destruction."
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NOTES OF A READER.
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INFLUENCE OF THE MIND ON THE BODY.
"Should the body sue the mind before a court of judicature, for damages, it would be found that the mind would prove to have been a ruinous tenant to its landlord."—Plutarch.
[We abridge these interesting facts from "An Inquiry into the Influence of the Mind and Passions on the Body, in the production of Disease"—in No. 11 of the London Medical and Surgical Journal. The whole paper is written in as clear, concise, and popular a style as the subject will allow, and its importance demands the attention of the reader; although we have not thought it to our purpose to follow the writer to the main object—or how these causes operate in the production of disease.]
Descartes observes, that the soul is so much influenced by the constitution of our bodily organs, that if it were possible to find out a method of increasing our penetration, it should certainly be sought for in medicine, the connexion between the body and mind, is, in fact, so strong, that it is difficult to conceive how one of them should act, and the other not be sensible, in a greater or less degree, of that action. The organs of sense, by which we acquire all our ideas of external objects, when acted upon, convey the subject of thought to the nervous fibres of the brain; and while the mind is employed in thinking, the part of the brain is in a greater or less degree of motion; a large quantity of blood is transmitted to the brain, the action of the arteries become increased, and the nervous system sensibly affected.
Plato has remarked, with reference to the influence of the mind on the corporeal frame, "Where the action of the soul is too powerful, it attacks the body so powerfully that it throws it into a consuming state; if the soul exerts itself in a peculiar manner on certain occasions, the body is made sensible of it, for it becomes heated and debilitated." An Italian physician also observes on this subject, that the union of the soul with the body is so intimate, that they reciprocally share the good or evil which happens to either of them. The mind cannot put forth its powers when the body is tired with inordinate exercise and too close application to study destroys the body by dissipating the animal spirits which are necessary to recruit it.
The knowledge of the influence of the passions of the mind over the bodily functions, is of ancient date. Plato, in his "Timaeus," states it as his firm conviction, that the spirit exerted a marked influence in producing disease. This opinion was afterwards revived by Helmont, Hesper Doloeus, and Stahl; the latter plainly says, that the rational soul presides over and directs the animal functions. In this doctrine he was followed by Nichols, in his "Anima Medica." According to the doctrines of Stahl, the disorders of the body proceed principally from the mind; and, according as it is variously affected, it produces different effects (diseases.) Hence, when the mind, which animates the most robust and best organized body, is violently agitated by fright, rage, grief, vehement desire, or any other passion, whether sudden, or attended by long and painful sensations, the body manifestly suffers, and a variety of diseases, as apoplexy, palsy, madness, fever, and hysterics, may be the consequence. If this be true, an attention to the regulations of the mind is of much more importance than physicians seem disposed to admit. The poet of health justly says,
"'Tis the great art of life to manage well The restless mind."
In the course of this vitally important and deeply-interesting subject of inquiry, it is not my intention to enter into any metaphysical discussion respecting the inscrutable and mysterious union existing between matter and mind, or to endeavour to point out the manner in which the body influences the mind, and the mind the body. Such subjects we do not think to be legitimate objects of inquiry. The medical philosopher is engaged in less obscure and less uncertain researches; he does not attempt to solve the question regarding the intimate union subsisting between the natural and intellectual portions of our nature, but he wisely confines himself to an attentive examination of the phenomena which result from that union. Man is compounded of a soul and body, so closely united, not identified, that they frequently struggle and occasionally overpower each other. Sometimes the mind ascends the throne and subdues, in a moment, the physical energies of the most powerful of her subjects. At other times the body gains the ascendency, and lays prostrate before her the mightiest of human intellects. Instances illustrative of both propositions are of daily occurrence. It has been said of Sophocles, that being desirous of proving that at an advanced age he was in full possession of his intellectual faculties, he composed a tragedy, was crowned, and died through joy. The same thing happened to Philippides, the comic writer. M. Juventius Thalma, on being told that a triumph had been decreed to him for having subdued Corsica, fell down dead before the altar at which he was offering up his thanksgiving. Zimmerman, in his work on Experience in Physic, has related the circumstance of a worthy family in Holland being reduced to indigence; the elder brother passed over to the East Indies, acquired considerable fortune there, and returning home presented his sister with the richest jewel: the young woman, at this unexpected change of fortune became motionless and died. The famous Forquet died on being told that Louis XIV. had restored him to his liberty. It is also related of Diodorus Chronos, who was considered as the most subtle logician of the time of Ptolemy Soter, that Stilbo one day in the presence of the king, proposed a question to him, to which he was unable to reply. The king, willing to cover him with shame, pronounced only one part of his name, and called him ovos, ass, instead of Chronos. Diodorus was so much affected at this as to die soon afterwards.
Perhaps there is not a more remarkable instance on record showing, in a melancholy though forcible light, the dominion of mind over the material frame, than the circumstances which attended the death of John Hunter. This distinguished surgeon and physiologist died in a fit of enraged passion; and, what is somewhat extraordinary, he had often predicted that such excitement would prove fatal to him. He died at St. George's Hospital, Oct. 16, 1793, under these circumstances: being there in the exercise of his official duty as surgeon, he had a warm dispute with Dr. Pearson, on a professional subject; upon which he said, "I must retire, for I feel an agitation which will be fatal to me if I increase it." He immediately withdrew into an adjoining room; but Dr. Pearson, not being willing to give up his argument, followed him, which so annoyed Hunter, that he vehemently exclaimed, "You have followed me on purpose to be the death of me! You have murdered me!" and instantly fell and expired! Mrs. Byron, the mother of the noble bard, is said to have died in a fit of passion. Mr. Moore, in his life of Lord Byron, in speaking of Mrs. Byron's illness, says,—"At the end of July her illness took a new and fatal turn; and so sadly characteristic was the close of the poor lady's life, that a fit of ague, brought on, it is said, by reading the upholsterer's bills, was the ultimate cause of her death." A somewhat similar circumstance is recorded of Malbranche. The only interview that Bishop Berkley and Malbranche had was in the latter philosopher's cell, when the conversation turned upon the non-existence of matter, and Malbranche is said to have exerted himself so much in the discussion that he died in consequence. Sanctorius relates an instance of a famous orator, who so far exerted his mind in delivering an oration that he became, in a few hours, quite insane.
The effect of a too close application of mind to study on the bodily health has long been a matter of common observation. The Roman orator, Cicero, points out forcibly the dangers arising from inordinate exertion of mind; and he has laid down some rules for guarding against the effects of study. M. Van Swieten, in alluding to this subject, relates the case of a man whose health was severely injured, by what he calls "literary watchings." Whenever he listened with any attention to any story, or trifling tale, he was seized with giddiness; he was in violent agonies whenever he wanted to recollect any thing which had slipped his memory; he oftentimes fainted away gradually, and experienced a disagreeable sensation of lassitude. Rousseau has very justly remarked, that excessive application of mind "makes men tender, weakens their constitutions, and when once the body has lost its powers, those of the soul are not easily preserved. Application wears out the machine, exhausts the spirits, destroys the strength, enervates the mind, makes us pusillanimous, unable either to bear fatigue, or to keep our passions under."
Shakspeare appears to have formed a just conception of the great injury which the corporeal frame experiences from a too close application of mind. The immortal bard observes,—
"——Universal plodding poisons up The nimble spirits in the arteries As motion and long-during action tires The sinewy vigour of the traveller."
Love's Labour Lost.
In the consultations of Wesper we find related the history of a young man of family 22 years of age, who, having applied himself incessantly to intense mental exertion, was seized with a fit of insanity, in which fit he wounded several persons and killed his keeper. Catalepsy has been known to have been produced by great mental application. Fomelius gives us a remarkable instance of it. A man (says he) who passed whole nights in writing and studying, was suddenly attacked with a fit of catalepsy: all his limbs stiffened in the attitude he was in when the disease first seized him. He remained upon his seat, holding the pen in his hand, and with his eyes fixed on his paper, so that he was considered to be still at his studies, till being called to, and then shaken, he was found to be without motion or sensation.
Many extraordinary instances are on record, of remarkable changes having been produced in birds by an affection of the animal passions. The following fact is related by Mr. Young, in the Edinburgh Geographical Journal. A blackbird had been frightened in her cage by a cat; when it was relieved, it was found lying on its back, quite wet with perspiration. The feathers fell off, and were renewed, but the new ones were perfectly white.
A similar phenomenon has been observed in the human species, who have been exposed to the effects of inordinate passion. Borrelli relates the case of a French gentleman, who was thrown into prison, and on whom fear operated so powerfully as to change his hair completely grey in the course of one night. Dr. Darwin ascribes this phenomenon to the torpor of the vessels, which circulates the fluids destined to nourish the hair. Nothing will, perhaps, demonstrate more fully the effects of moral causes in producing disease than the structural alterations discoverable in the bodies of those who have died whilst labouring under nostalgia, or the Swiss malady. This disease is considered peculiar to the Swiss, and is occasioned by a desire of revisiting their own country, and of witnessing again the scenes of their youth. This desire begins with melancholy sadness, love of solitude, silence, bodily weakness, &c. and is only cured by returning to their native country. Avenbrugger says, that in dissecting the bodies of those who have died in consequence of this disease, organic lesions of the heart generally are detected. A particular musical composition, supposed to be expressive of the happiness of the people, is in great vogue in Switzerland. If this tune or piece of music is played among the Swiss in any foreign country, it tends strongly to recall their affections for their native soil, and their desire of returning, and to induce the desire called nostalgia consequent on their disappointment. The effects of this musical composition is so powerful, that it is forbidden to be repeated in the French camp on pain of death, it having at one period had the effect of producing a mutiny among the Swiss soldiers, at that time in the employ of the French king.
Predictions of death, whether supposed to be supernatural, or emanating from human authority, have often, in consequence of the poisonous effects of fear, been punctually fulfilled. The anecdote is well attested, of the licentious Lord Littleton, that he expired at the exact stroke of the clock, which in a dream or vision, he had been forewarned would be the signal of his departure. In Lesanky's voyage round the world, there is an account of a religious sect in the Sandwich Islands, who arrogate to themselves the power of praying people to death. Whoever incurs their displeasure, receives notice that the homicide litany is about to begin, and such are the effects of the imagination, that the very notice is frequently sufficient with these people to produce the effect.
Thousands of other instances might be cited, illustrative of the fatal effects of inordinate indulgence in passion.
 A cleverly conducted work containing more popular information on Medicine, Surgery, and what are termed the collateral sciences, than we are accustomed to find in a "professional" journal.
 Preface de Narcisse Oeuvres, Diverses, t. l. v. 172.
 Pathol. lib. 3. cap. 2. Oper. Omm. p. 406.
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The following curious facts, respecting the state of the metropolis during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, are extracted from the weekly reports made by William Fletewood, Recorder of London, to Lord Burghley:—
"My singuler good Lord, uppon Thursdaye, at even, her Majistie, in her coache, nere Islyngton, taking of the air, her Highnes was environed with a nosmber of roogs. One Mr. Stone, a foteman, cam in all hast to my Lord Maior, and after to me, and told us of the same. I dyd the same nyght send warrants owt into the seyd quarters, and into Westminster and the Duchie; and in the morning I went abrood my selff, and I tooke that daye lxxiiij. roogs, whereof some were blynde, and yet great usurers, and very rich; and the same daye, towards nyght, I sent Mr. Harrys and Mr. Smithe, the Governors of Bridwell, and tooke all the names of the roogs; and then sent theym from the Sessions Hall into Bridwell, where they remayned that nyght. Uppon Twelff daye, in the forenoone, the Master of the Rolls, my selff, and others, receyved a charge before my Lords of the Counsell, as towching roogs and masterles men, and to have a pryvie searche. The same daye, at after dyner (for I dyned at the Rolls), I mett the Governors of Bridwell, and so that after nowne wee examined all the seyd roogs, and gave them substanciall payment. And the stronger wee bestowed on the myine and the lighters; the rest wee dismyssed, with the promise of a dooble paye if we met with theym agayne. Uppon Soundaye, being crastino of the Twelffth daye, I dyned with Mr. Deane, of Westminster, where I conferred with hym touching Westminster and the Duchie; and then I tooke order for Sowthwarke, Lambeth, and Newyngton, from whence I receyved a shool of xl. roogs, men and women, and above. I bestowed theym in Bridwell. I dyd the same after nowne peruse Pooles (St. Paul's), where I tooke about xxii. cloked roogs, that there used to kepe standing. I placed theym also in Bridwell. The next mornyng, being Mundaye, the Mr of the Rolls and the reste tooke order with the constables for a pryvie searche agaynst Thursdaye, at nyght, and to have the offenders brought to the Sessions Hall uppon Frydaye, in the mornyng, where wee the Justices shold mete. And agaynst the same tyme, my Lo. Maior and I dyd the lyke in London and Sowthwarke. The same after nowne, the Masters of Bridwell and I mett; and after every man had been examined, eche one receyved his payment according to his deserts; at whiche tyme the strongest were put to worke, and the others dismissed into theyre countries. The same daye the Mr of the Savoye was with us, and sayd he was sworne to lodge 'claudicantes, egrotantes, et peregrinantes;' and the next morning I sent the constables of the Duchie to the Hospitall, and they brought unto me at Bridwell, vj. tall fellowes, that were draymen unto bruers, and were neither 'claudicantes, egrotantes, nor peregrinantes.' The constables, if they might have had theyre owen wills, would have browght us many moor. The master dyd wryte a very curtese letter unto us to produce theym; and although he wrott charitably unto us, yet were they all soundly paydd, and sent home to theyre masters. All Tewsdaye, Weddensdaye, and Thursdaye, there cam in nosmbers of roogs: they were rewarded all according to theyre deserts.—Uppon Frydaye mornyng, at the Justice Hall, there were brought in above a C. lewd people taken in the pryvie searche. The Mrs of Bridwell receyved theym, and immediately gave theym punishment. This Satterdaye, after causes of consciens, herd by my Lord Maior and me, I dyned and went to Polls (St. Paul's) and in other places, as well within the libertes as elsewhere. I founde not one rooge styuyng. Emongst all these thynges, I dyd note that wee had not of London, Westm., nor Sowthwarke, nor yett Midd., nor Surr., above twelve, and those we have taken order for. The resedew for the most were of Wales, Salop, Cestr., Somerset, Barks, Oxforde, and Essex; and that few or none of theym had been about London above iij. or iiij. mownthes. I did note also that wee mett not agayne with any, in all our searches, that had receyved punishment. The chieff nurserie of all these evill people is the Savoye, and the brick-kilnes near Islyngton. As for the brick-kilnes, we will take suche order that they shall be reformed; and I trust, by yr. good Lordship's help, the Savoye shall be amended; for surelie, as by experiens I fynd it, the same place, as it is used, is not converted to a good use or purpose. And this shall suffice for roogs."—W.G.C.
 See the Engraving, vol. xviii. p. 337 of The Mirror.
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POVERTY OF KINGS, AND THE BRITISH CROWN PAWNED.
As to increasing wealth by war, that has never yet happened to this nation; and, I believe, rarely to any country. Our former kings most engaged in war were always poor, and sometimes excessively so. Edward III. pawned his jewels to pay foreign forces; and magnam coronam Angliae, his imperial crown, three several times—once abroad, and twice to Sir John Wosenham, his banker, in whose custody the crown remained no less than eight years. The Black Prince, as Walsingham informs us, was constrained to pledge his plate. Henry V., with all his conquests, pawned his crown, and the table and stools of silver which he had from Spain. Queen Elizabeth is known to have sold her very jewels.
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HEAD-DRESS OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY, IN ENGLAND.
In Wickliffe's Commentaries upon the Ten Commandments, in the midst of a moral exhortation, he manages, by a few bold touches, to give us a picture of the fashionable head-dress of his day:—
"And let each woman beware, that neither by countenance, nor by array of body nor of head, she stir any to covet her to sin. Not crooking (curling) her hair, neither laying it up on high, nor the head arrayed about with gold and precious stones; not seeking curious clothing, nor of nice shape, showing herself to be seemly to fools. For all such arrays of women St. Peter and St. Paul, by the Holy Ghost's teaching, openly forbid."
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Oil for salads is mentioned in the Paston Letters, in 1466, in which year Sir John Paston writes to his mother, that he has sent her "ii. potts off oyl for salady's, whyche oyl was goode a myght be when he delyv'yd yt, and schuld be goode at the reseyving yff itt was not mishandled nor miscarryd." This indicates that vegetables for the table were then cultivated in England, although the common opinion is, that most of our fruit and garden productions were destroyed during the civil wars between the houses of York and Lancaster. A good salad, however, had become so scarce some years afterwards, that Katharine, the queen of Henry VIII., is said, on a particular occasion, to have sent to the continent to procure one.
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ADVERTISEMENT OF THE OPENING OF THE LONDON COFFEE HOUSE, UPWARDS OF A CENTURY AGO.
"Whereas it is customary for Coffee Houses and other Public Houses to take 8s. for a quart of Arrack, and 6s. for a quart of Brandy or Rum, made into Punch;
This is to give Notice,
That James Ashley has opened, on Ludgate Hill, the London Coffee House, Punch House, Dorchester Beer and Welsh Ale Warehouse, where the finest and best old Arrack, Rum, and French Brandy is made into Punch, with the other of the finest ingredients—viz.:
"A quart of Arrack made into Punch for six shillings; and so in proportion to the smallest quantity, which is half-a-quartern for fourpence halfpenny.
"A quart of Rum or Brandy made into Punch for four shillings; and so in proportion to the smallest quantity, which is half-a-quartern for threepence; and Gentlemen may have it as soon made as a gill of wine can be drawn."
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SIR WILLIAM JONES'S PLAN OF STUDY.
Some idea of the acquirements of the resolute industry with which Jones pursued his studies may be formed from the following memorandum:—
"Resolved to learn no more rudiments of any kind, but to perfect myself in—first, twelve languages, as the means of acquiring accurate knowledge of
I. History. 1. Man 2. Nature.
II. Arts. 1. Rhetoric. 2. Poetry. 3. Painting. 4. Music.
III. Sciences. 1. Law. 2. Mathematics. 3. Dialectics.
"N.B. Every species of human knowledge may be reduced to one or other of these divisions. Even law belongs partly to the history of man, partly as a science to dialectics. The twelve languages are Greek, Latin, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, German, English.—1780."
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SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
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SAILING UP THE ESSEQUIBO.
By Captain J.E. Alexander, H.P., late 16th Lancers, M.R.G.S., &c.
My purpose was now to proceed up the noble Essequibo river towards the El Dorado of Sir Walter Raleigh, and view the mighty forests of the interior, and the varied and beautiful tribes by which they are inhabited. Our residence on the island of Wakenaam had been truly a tropical one. During the night, the tree frogs, crickets, razor-grinders, reptiles, and insects of every kind, kept up a continued concert. At sunrise, when the flowers unfolded themselves, the humming birds, with the metallic lustre glittering on their wings, passed rapidly from blossom to blossom. The bright yellow and black mocking-birds flew from their pendant nests, accompanied by their neighbours, the wild bees, which construct their earthen hives on the same tree. The continued rains had driven the snakes from their holes, and on the path were seen the bush-master (cona-couchi) unrivalled for its brilliant colours, and the deadly nature of its poison; and the labari equally poisonous, which erects its scales in a frightful manner when irritated. The rattlesnake was also to be met with, and harmless tree snakes of many species. Under the river's bank lay enormous caymen or alligators,—one lately killed measured twenty-two feet. Wild deer and the peccari hog were seen in the glades in the centre of the island; and the jaguar and cougour (the American leopard and lion) occasionally swam over from the main land.
We sailed up the Essequibo for a hundred miles in a small schooner of thirty tons, and occasionally took to canoes or coorials to visit the creeks. We then went up a part of the Mazaroony river, and saw also the unexplored Coioony: these three rivers join their waters about one hundred miles from the mouth of the Essequibo. In sailing or paddling up the stream, the breadth is so great, and the wooded islands so numerous, that it appears as if we navigated a large lake. The Dutch in former times had cotton, indigo, and cocoa estates up the Essequibo, beyond their capital Kykoveral, on an island at the forks or junction of the three rivers. Now, beyond the islands at the mouth of the Essequibo there are no estates, and the mighty forest has obliterated all traces of former cultivation. Solitude and silence are on either hand, not a vestige of the dwellings of the Hollanders being to be seen; and only occasionally in struggling through the entangled brushwood one stumbles over a marble tombstone brought from the shores of the Zuyderzee.
At every turn of the river we discovered objects of great interest. The dense and nearly impenetrable forest itself occupied our chief attention; magnificent trees, altogether new to us, were anchored to the ground by bush-rope, convolvuli, and parasitical plants of every variety. The flowers of these cause the woods to appear as if hung with garlands. Pre-eminent above the others was the towering and majestic Mora, its trunk spread out into buttresses; on its top would be seen the king of the vultures expanding his immense wings to dry after the dews of night. The very peculiar and romantic cry of the bell-bird, or campanero, would be heard at intervals; it is white, about the size of a pigeon, with a leathery excrescence on its forehead, and the sound which it produces in the lone woods is like that of a convent-bell tolling.
A crash of the reeds and brushwood on the river's bank would be followed by a tapir, the western elephant, coming down to drink and to roll himself in the mud; and the manati or river-cow would lift its black head and small piercing eye above the water to graze on the leaves of the coridore tree. They are shot from a stage fixed in the water, with branches of their favourite food hanging from it; one of twenty-two cwt. was killed not long ago. High up the river, where the alluvium of the estuary is changed for white sandstone, with occasionally black oxide of manganese, the fish are of delicious flavour; among others, the pacoo, near the Falls or Rapids, which is flat, twenty inches long, and weighs four pounds; it feeds on the seed of the arum arborescens, in devouring which the Indians shoot it with their arrows: of similar genus are the cartuback, waboory, and amah.
The most remarkable fish of these rivers are, the peri or omah, two feet long; its teeth and jaws are so strong, that it cracks the shells of most nuts to feed on their kernels, and is most voracious; the Indians say that it snaps off the breasts of women, and emasculates men. Also the genus silurus, the young of which swim in a shoal of one hundred and fifty over the head of the mother, who, on the approach of danger, opens her mouth, and thus saves her progeny; with the loricaria calicthys, or assa, which constructs a nest on the surface of pools from the blades of grass floating about, and in this deposits its spawn which is hatched by the sun. In the dry season this remarkable fish has been dug out of the ground, for it burrows in the rains owing to the strength and power of the spine; in the gill-fin and body it is covered with strong plates, and far below the surface finds moisture to keep it alive. The electric eel is also an inhabitant of these waters, and has sometimes nearly proved fatal to the strongest swimmer. If sent to England in tubs, the wood and iron act as conductors, and keep the fish in a continued state of exhaustion, causing, eventually, death: an earthenware jar is the vessel in which to keep it in health.
(To be concluded in our next.)
* * * * *
* * * * *
We resume the illustration of these curious structures with two specimens of interesting architectural character, and memorable association with our early history. The first is Neville's Cross, at Beaurepaire (or Bear Park, as it is now called), about two miles north-west from Durham. Here David II., King of Scots, encamped with his army before the celebrated battle of Red Hills, or Neville's Cross, as it was afterwards termed, from the above elegant stone cross, erected to record the victory by Lord Ralph Neville. The English sovereign, Edward III., had just achieved the glorious conquest of Crecy; and the Scottish king judged this a fit opportunity for his invasion. However, "the great northern barons of England, Percy and Neville, Musgrave, Scope, and Hastings, assembled their forces in numbers sufficient to show that, though the conqueror of Crecy, with his victorious army, was absent in France, there were Englishmen enough left at home to protect the frontiers of his kingdom from violation. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the prelates of Durham, Carlisle, and Lincoln, sent their retainers, and attended the rendezvous in person, to add religious enthusiasm to the patriotic zeal of the barons. Ten thousand soldiers, who had been sent over to Calais to reinforce Edward III.'s army, were countermanded in this exigency, and added to the northern army."
The battle, which was fought October 17, 1346, lasted only three hours, but was uncommonly destructive. The English archers, who were in front, were at first thrown into confusion, and driven back; but being reinforced by a body of horse, repulsed their opponents, and the engagement soon became general. The Scottish army was entirely defeated, and the king himself made prisoner; though previous to the fight he is said to have regarded the English with contempt, and as a raw and undisciplined host, by no means competent to resist the power of his more hardy veterans.
"Amid repeated charges, and the most dispiriting slaughter by the continuous discharge of the English arrows, David showed that he had the courage, though not the talents, of his father (Robert Bruce). He was twice severely wounded with arrows, but continued to encourage to the last the few of his peers and officers who were still fighting around him." He scorned to ask quarter, and was taken alive with difficulty. Rymer says, "The Scotch king, though he had two spears hanging in his body, his leg desperately wounded, and being disarmed, his sword having been beaten out of his hand, disdained captivity, and provoked the English by opprobrious language to kill him. When John Copeland, who was governor of Roxborough Castle, advised him to yield, he struck him on the face with his gauntlet so fiercely, that he knocked out two of his teeth. Copeland conveyed him out of the field as his prisoner. Upon Copeland's refusing to deliver up his royal captive to the queen (Philippa), who stayed at Newcastle during the battle, the king sent for him to Calais, where he excused his refusal so handsomely, that the king sent him back with a reward of 500l. a year in lands, where he himself should choose it, near his own dwelling, and made him a knight banneret."
Hume states Philippa to have assembled a body of little more than 12,000 men, and to have rode through the ranks of her army, exhorting every man to do his duty, and to take revenge on these barbarous ravagers. "Nor could she be persuaded to leave the field till the armies were on the point of engaging. The Scots have often been unfortunate in the great pitched battles which they have fought with the English: even though they commonly declined such engagements where the superiority of numbers was not on their side; but never did they receive a more fatal blow than the present. They were broken and chased off the field: fifteen thousand of them, some historians say twenty thousand, were slain; among whom were Edward Keith, Earl Mareschal, and Sir Thomas Charteris, Chancellor: and the king himself was taken prisoner, with the Earls of Sutherland, Fife, Monteith, Carrick, Lord Douglas, and many other noblemen." The captive king was conveyed to London, and afterwards in solemn procession to the Tower, attended by a guard of 20,000 men, and all the city companies in complete pageantry; while "Philippa crossed the sea at Dover, and was received in the English camp before Calais, with all the triumph due to her rank, her merit, and her success." These indeed were bright days of chivalry and gallantry.
"The ground whereon the battle was fought," say the topographers of the county, "is about one mile west from Durham; it is hilly, and in some parts very steep, particularly towards the river. Near it, in a deep vale, is a small mount, or hillock, called the Maiden's Bower, on which the holy Corporex Cloth, wherewith St. Cuthbert covered the chalice when he used to say mass, was displayed on the point of a spear, by the monks of Durham, who, when the victory was obtained, gave notice by signal to their brethren stationed on the great tower of the Cathedral, who immediately proclaimed it to the inhabitants of the city, by singing Te Deum. From that period the victory was annually commemorated in a similar manner by the choristers, till the occurrence of the Civil Wars, when the custom was discontinued; but again revived on the Restoration," and observed till nearly the close of the last century.
The site of the Cross is by the road-side: it was defaced and broken down in the year 1589. Its pristine beauty is thus minutely described in Davis's Rights and Monuments: "On the west side of the city of Durham, where two roads pass each other, a most famous and elegant cross of stone work was erected to the honour of God, &c. at the sole cost of Ralph, Lord Neville, which cross had seven steps about it, every way squared to the socket wherein the stalk of the cross stood, which socket was fastened to a large square stone; the sole, or bottom stone being of a great thickness, viz. a yard and a half every way: this stone was the eighth step. The stalk of the cross was in length three yards and a half up to the boss, having eight sides all of one piece; from the socket it was fixed into the boss above, into which boss the stalk was deeply soldered with lead. In the midst of the stalk, in every second square, was the Neville's cross; a saltire in a scutcheon, being Lord Neville's arms, finely cut; and, at every corner of the socket, was a picture of one of the four Evangelists, finely set forth and carved. The boss at the top of the stalk was an octangular stone, finely cut and bordered, and most curiously wrought; and in every square of the nether side thereof was Neville's Cross, in one square, and the bull's head in the next, so in the same reciprocal order about the boss. On the top of the boss was a stalk of stone, (being a cross a little higher than the rest,) whereon was cut, on both sides of the stalk, the picture of our Saviour Christ, crucified; the picture of the Blessed Virgin on one side, and St. John the Evangelist on the other; both standing on the top of the boss. All which pictures were most artificially wrought together, and finely carved out of one entire stone; some parts thereof, though carved work, both on the east and west sides, with a cover of stone likewise over their heads, being all most finely and curiously wrought together out of the same hollow stone, which cover had a covering of lead."
The second specimen (see the Cut) stands by the side of the highway over Hedgeley Moor, in the adjoining county of Northumberland. This Cross is a record of the War of the Roses. Here, in one of the skirmishes preliminary to the celebrated victory at Hexham (May 12, 1464), Sir Ralph Percy was slain, by Lord Montacute, or Montague, brother to the Earl of Warwick, and warden of the east marches between Scotland and England. His dying words are stated to have been, "I have saved the bird in my breast:" meaning his faith to his party. The memorial is a square stone pillar, embossed with the arms of Percy and Lucy: they are nearly effaced by time, though the personal valour of the hero is written in the less perishable page of history.
The Nevilles are distinguished personages in the pages of the historians of the North. In Durham they have left a lasting memorial of their magnificence in Raby Castle, the principal founder of which was John de Neville, Earl of Westmoreland; who, in 1379, obtained a license to castellate his manor of Raby; though a part of the structure appears to have been of more ancient date. Leland speaks of it in his time as "the largest castle of lodgings in all the north country." It remains to this day the most perfect castellated mansion, or, more strictly, castle, in the kingdom, and its "hall" eclipses even the chivalrous splendour of Windsor: here 700 knights, who held of the Nevilles, are said to have been entertained at one time. The whole establishment is maintained with much of the hospitable glories of the olden time by the present distinguished possessor of Raby, the Marquess of Cleveland.
 See also pages 113 and 329 of the present volume.
 Hist. Scot. By Sir W. Scott, Bt., vol. i, p. 197.
 Ibid. p. 199.
 Faedera, tom. v. p. 542.
 Messrs Britton and Brayley—Beauties of England and Wales, vol. v. p. 199.
* * * * *
WINTER EXHIBITION OF PICTURES, AT THE SUFFOLK-STREET GALLERY.
(Concluded from page 231.)
144. Landscape and Figures. The first by Gainsborough; the latter by Morland.
145. The Body of Harold discovered by Swanachal and two Monks, the morning after the Battle of Hastings. A.J. Woolmer. A picture of some, and not undeserved, distinction in a previous exhibition.
150. Mr. King and Mrs. Jordan in the "Country Girl." R. Smirke, R.A. The drawing is easy and natural, but the colouring appears to us deficient in tone and breadth.
153. View of the River Severn near the New Passage House. Nasmyth. A delightful scene in what we may call the artist's best, or crisp style.
157. Puppy and Frog. E. Landseer, R.A. In the most vigorous style of our best animal painter.
163. A State Quarry. De Loutherbourg.
165—167. Portraits of Worlidge and Mortimer. Painted by themselves.
172. Villa of Maecenas. One of Wilson's most celebrated compositions, of classic fame.
181. Master's Out, "The Disappointed Dinner Party." R.W. Buss. A scene of cockney mortification humorously treated.—An unlucky Londoner and his tawdrily-dressed wife, appeared to have toiled up the hill, with their family of four children, to a friend's cottage, the door of which is opened by an old housekeeper, with "Master's out," while the host himself is peeping over the parlour window-blind at the disappointment of his would-be visitors. The annoyance of the husband at the inhospitable answer, and the fatigue of his fine wife, are cleverly managed; while the mischievous pranks of the urchin family among the borders of the flower-garden remind us of the pleasant "Inconveniences of a Convenient Distance." The colouring is most objectionable; though the flowers and fine clothes are very abundant.
194. Falls of Niagara. Wilson. A sublime picture of this terrific wonder of the world.
196. Erzelin Bracciaferro musing over Meduna, slain by him for disloyalty during his absence in the Holy Land. Fuseli. A composition of touching melancholy, such as none but a master-mind could approach.
199. The late R.W. Elliston, Esq. One of Harlow's best portraits: the likeness is admirable, and the tone well accords with Elliston's unguent, supple expression.
204. Portrait of Dr. Wardrope. Raeburn. This is one of the artist's finest productions: it is clever, manly, and vigorous—painting to the life, without the flattering unction of varnished canvass. The fine, broad, bold features of the sitter were excellently adapted to the artist's peculiar powers.
205. Portrait of Thomson, the Poet. Hogarth. The well-known picture. How fond poets of the last century were of their dishabille in portraits: they had their day as well as nightcaps.
217. Johnny Gilpin. Stothard. This lively composition is well known, as it deserves to be; but it may not so well be remembered that the popularity of John Gilpin was founded by a clever lecturer, who recited the "tale in verse" as part of his entertainment. (See page 367.) What would an audience of the present day say to such puerility; though it would be certainly more rational than people listening to a French play, or an Italian or German opera, not a line of which they understand.
229. Portrait of R.B. Sheridan. The well-known picture, by Reynolds, whence is engraved the Frontispiece to Moore's Life of the Statesman and Dramatist. Here is the "man himsel," in the formal cut blue dress-coat and white waistcoat of the last century. The face may be accounted handsome: the cheeks are full, and, with the nose, are rubicund—Bacchi tincti; the eyes are black and brilliantly expressive;—and the visiter should remember that Sir Joshua Reynolds, in painting this portrait, is said to have affirmed that their pupils were larger than those of any human being he had ever met with. They retained their beauty to the last, though the face did not, and the body became bent. How much it is to be regretted that Sheridan with such fine eyes had so little foresight. There is in the gallery a younger portrait of him, in a stage or masquerade dress, which is unworthy of comparison with the preceding.
231. Scene in Covent Garden Market. One of the best views of the old place, by Hogarth; and one of the last sketches before the recent improvements, will he found in The Mirror, vol. xiii. p. 121. By the way, the pillar and ball, which stood in the centre of the square, and are seen in the present picture, were long in the garden of John Kemble, in Great Russell-street, Bloomshury.
243. Portrait of the late Mr. Holcroft. Dawe. In this early performance of the artist, we in vain seek for the "best looks" of the sitter: such as the painter threw into his portraits of crowned heads.
248. The Happy Marriage. An unfinished picture by Hogarth; yet how beautifully is some of the distant grouping made out;—what life and reality too in the figures, and the whole composition, though seen, as it were, through a mist.
249. Study of a Head from Nature, painted by lamp-light. Harlow. A curious vagary of genius.
258. Daughter of Sir Peter Lely. Lely. We take this to be the oldest picture in the gallery. Lely has been dead upwards of a century and a half.
263. One of Lawrence's Portraits of himself.
286. Sir John Falstaff at Gad's Hill. T. Stothard, R.A. The figure has not the fleshy rotundity of the Falstaff of Shakspeare; he is like a half-stuffed actor in the part.
298. Portrait of the late King when Prince of Wales. Lawrence. The features at this period were remarkably handsome; and considering the influence of pre-eminence in birth, the expression is not over-tinged with hauteur. No persons have their portraits so frequently painted as princes; and the artist who has the fortune to paint them at all ages, as Lawrence did, must watch their personal changes with reflective interest, though he may confine them to the tablet of his memory. What an interval between the youthful vigour of the above portrait of the Prince and the artist's last, fine whole-length of the King, in dignified ease, on the sofa! Alas! lines increase in our faces as they do in the imperfect maps of a newly-discovered country.
313 and 228. Two Landscapes, by Lawrence, reminding us how strongly the artist's genius was fettered by public taste in Kneller's profitable glory of painting "the living."
In the Water-colour Room, are many interesting productions, and some curiosities in their way. We have Paul Sandby and the quaintly precise Capon beside Glover and Landseer—so that the drawings are as motley as the paintings. Here also are Lawrence's inimitable chalk portraits of his present Majesty and the Duke of Wellington, which show us how much true genius can accomplish in a few lines.
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SCHOOL OF PAINTING AT THE BRITISH INSTITUTION.
(From a Correspondent.)
The present school of painting commenced on the 17th of September, and the students, as usual, have made numerous attempts to copy the inimitable examples of art which have been selected for their improvement. The selections consist of specimens from the Italian, Flemish, Dutch, and English schools, and afford ample variety, in style and subject, for the different tastes of the students. We are sorry to state, however, that only a very few copies can be selected as possessing a fair resemblance to the superb originals. We proceed to notice those who deserve the most praise:—
Gainsborough's Milk Girl is a most happy production of the pencil: the figure possesses great infantile beauty; and the landscape is rural, and in perfect harmony with the subject. This work has been cleverly copied by Messrs. Sargeant and Lilley in oil, and by Miss Fanny Corbaux in water-colour.
An Advocate in his Study—Ostade: an exquisitely finished cabinet picture. The expression in the advocate's face is excellent, and the various objects in his study are in proper keeping with his calling. The copy by Mr. Novice is excellent; and those of Messrs. Robson and Higham display great ability, though they are not sufficiently finished.
A Sea-shore, attributed to Backhuysen, has been studied by Mr. Dujardin.
Landscape—Gaspar Poussin. This great master admirably delineated the grandeur of Italian scenery, and invariably chose to represent it when the clouds forboded a storm, or when other accidental effects of nature added to the sublimity of the occasion. We generally experience a kind of awe while contemplating his works; and this feeling is excited by the chef d'oeuvre before us. Several students have attempted it in oil; and Messrs. Musgrave, Burbank, and Taylor have copied it in water-colour.
Messrs. Marks, Sargeant, and Foster deserve notice for their studies from a Landscape with Figures, by Waterloo; and a charming picture by Albert Cuyp, representing a wide champaign country, with some well-executed figures in the foreground, has engaged the talents of Messrs. Hilder, Child, and Stanley.
Guido's Magdalen has been beautifully copied, on a small scale, by Mr. Emmerson; and St. Martin dividing his Garments, by Rubens, has met with successful imitators in the pencils of Messrs. Middleton and Buss. These gentlemen's copies, however, are considerably smaller than the original, which is of the dimensions of life.
The Water Mill, a brilliant little picture by Ruysdael, has employed the pencils of several students;—among the most successful of whom are Messrs. Stark, Lee, and Hilder.
View on the Grand Canal, Venice, by Canaletti: this is, perhaps, the ne plus ultra of the master, and is the property of that distinguished patron of the fine arts—Lord Farnborough. Miss Dujardin has produced the best copy: she has painted the buildings, boats, &c., with considerable accuracy, and has succeeded in imitating the transparency of the water. Miss Cook and Mr. Fowler have also copied this work.
Miss F. Corbaux (in water-colour), and Messrs. Sargeant, Robson, Simpson, and Lilley (in oil), have well copied the Cupid by Sir J. Reynolds; and Messrs. Fussel, Hilder, Sims, and Hoffland, deserve praise for their copies from a Dutch Village, by Ruysdael. A Corn Field, by the same master, appears to have been carefully studied by Messrs. Lee and Novice.
To conclude: A spirited series of small views in Venice, by Guardi, have been prettily imitated by Mr. Sargeant and Miss Dujardin.
* * * * *
THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
SCRAPS FROM THE DIARY OF A TRAVELLER.
If e'er you have seen an artist sketching The purlicus of this ancient city, I need not tell you how much stretching There is of truth, to make things pretty;— How trees are brought, perforce, together, Where never tree was known to grow: And founts condemned to trickle, whether There's water for said founts or no;— How ev'n the wonder of the Thane In sketching all its wonder loses, As woods will come to Dunsinane, Or any where the sketcher chooses.
For instance, if an artist see,— As at romantic Tivoli,— A water-fall and ancient shrine, Beautiful both, but not so plac'd As that his pencil can combine Their features in one whole with taste,— What does he do? why, without scruple, He whips the Temple up, as supple As were those angels who (no doubt) Carried the Virgin's House about,— And lands it plump upon the brink Of the cascade, or whersoever It suits his plaguy taste to think 'Twill look most picturesque and clever!
In short, there's no end to the treacheries Of man or maid who once a sketcher is, The livelier, too, their fancies are, The more they'll falsify each spot; As any dolt can give what's there, But men of genius give what's not. Then come your travellers, false as they,— All Piranesis, in their way; Eking out bits of truth with fallacies, And turning pig-stys into palaces. But, worst of all, that wordy tribe, Who sit down, hang them, to describe;
Who, if they can but make things fine, Have consciences by no means tender In sinking all that, will not shine, All vulgar facts, that spoil their splendour:— As Irish country squires they say, Whene'er the Viceroy travels nigh, Compound with beggars, on the way, To be lock'd up, till he goes by; And so send back his Lordship marvelling, That Ireland should be deem'd so starveling.
This cant, for instance,—how profuse 'tis Over the classic page of E——e! Veiling the truth in such fine phrase, That we for poetry might take it, Were it not dull as prose, and praise, And endless elegance can make it.—T. MOORE.
 The Santa Casa.
* * * * *
ASMODEUS IN LONDON.
(From the New Monthly Magazine.)
I was alone with Sleep.
* * * * *
I woke with a singular sense of feebleness and exhaustion, and turning my dizzy eyes—-beheld the walls and furniture of my own chamber in London. Asmodeus was seated by my side reading a Sunday newspaper—his favourite reading.
"Ah!" said I, stretching myself with so great an earnestness, that I believed at first my stature had been increased by the malice of the Wizard, and that I stretched from one end of the room to the other—"Ah! dear Asmodeus, how pleasant it is to find myself on earth again! After all, these romantic wonders only do for a short time. Nothing like London when one has been absent from it upon a Syntax search after the Picturesque!"
"London is indeed a charming place,"—said the Devil—"all our fraternity are very fond of it—it is the custom for the Parisians to call it dull. What an instance of the vanity of patriotism—there is vice enough in it to make any reasonable man cheerful."
"Yes: the gaiety of Paris is really a delusion. How poor its shops—how paltry its equipages—how listless its crowds—compared with those of London! If it was only for the pain in walking their accursed stones, sloping down to a river in the middle of the street—all sense of idle enjoyment would be spoilt. But in London—'the hum, the stir, the din of men'—the activity and flush of life everywhere—the brilliant shops—the various equipages—the signs of luxury, wealth, restlessness, that meet you on all sides—give a much more healthful and vigorous bound to the spirits, than the indolent loungers of the Tuileries, spelling a thrice-read French paper which contains nothing, or sitting on chairs by the hour together, unwilling to stir because they have paid a penny for the seat—ever enjoy. O! if London would seem gay after Paris, how much more so after a visit to the interior of the Earth. And what is the news, my Asmodeus?"
"The Theatres have re-opened. Apropos of them—I will tell you a fine instance of the futility of human ambition. Mr. Monck Mason took the King's Theatre, saith report—(which is the creed of devils)—in order to bring out an opera of his own, which Mr. Laporte, with a very uncourteous discretion, had thought fit to refuse. The season passes—and Mr. Monck Mason has ruined himself without being able to bring out his opera after all! What a type of speculation. A speculator is one who puts a needle in a hay-stack, and then burns all his hay without finding the needle. It is hard to pay too dear for one's whistle—but still more hard if one never plays a tune on the whistle one pays for. Still the world has lost a grand pleasure in not seeing damned an Opera written by the Manager of the Opera-house,—it would have been such a consolation to all the rejected operatives,—it would have been the prettiest hardship entailed on a great man ever since the time of that speaker who was forced himself to put the question whether he had been guilty of bribery, and should be expelled the House, and had the pleasure of hearing the Ayes predominate. Je me mete with the affairs of the Theatre—they are in my diabolic province, you know. But if the stage be the fosterer of vice, as you know it is said, vice just at this moment in England has very unattractive colours."
"Ah, wait till we break the monopoly. But even now have we not the 'Hunchback?'
"Yes; the incarnation of the golden mediocre: a stronger proof, by the hyperbolic praise it receives, of the decline of the drama than even the abundance of trash from which it gleams. Anything at all decent from a new dramatic author will obtain success far more easily than much higher merit, in another line; literary rivalship not having yet been directed much towards the stage, there are not literary jealousies resolved and united against a dramatist's as against a poet's or a novelist's success. Every one can praise those pretensions, however humble, which do not interfere with his own."
"It is very true; there is never any very great merit, at least in a new author, when you don't hear the abuse louder than the admiration. And now, Asmodeus, with your leave, I will prepare for breakfast, and our morning's walk."
"Oh, dear, dear London, dear even in October! Regent-street, I salute you!—Bond-street, my good fellow, how are you? And you, O beloved Oxford-street! whom the 'Opium Eater' called 'stony-hearted,' and whom I, eating no opium, and speaking as I find, shall ever consider the most kindly and maternal of all streets—the street of the middle classes—busy without uproar, wealthy without ostentation. Ah, the pretty ancles that trip along thy pavement! Ah, the odd country cousin-bonnets that peer into thy windows, which are lined with cheap yellow shawls, price L1. 4s. marked in the corner! Ah, the brisk young lawyers flocking from their quarters at the back of Holborn! Ah, the quiet old ladies, living in Duchess-street, and visiting thee with their eldest daughters in the hope of a bargain! Ah, the bumpkins from Norfolk just disgorged by the Bull and Mouth—the soldiers—the milliners—the Frenchmen—the swindlers, the porters with four-post beds on their back, who add the excitement of danger to that of amusement! The various, shifting, motley group, that belong to Oxford-street, and Oxford-street alone. What thoroughfares equal thee in variety of human specimens! in the choice of objects—for remark—satire—admiration! Beside the other streets seem chalked out for a sect,—narrow-minded and devoted to a coterie. Thou alone art Catholic—all receiving. Regent-street belongs to foreigners, cigars, and ladies in red silk, whose characters are above scandal. Bond-street belongs to dandies and picture-buyers. St. James's to club-loungers, and young men in the Guards, with mustachios properly blackened by the cire of Mr. Delcroix; but thou, Oxford-street, what class can especially claim thee as its own? Thou mockest at oligarchies; thou knowest nothing of select orders! Thou art liberal as air—a chartered libertine! accepting the homage of all, and retaining the stamp of none. And to call thee stony-hearted!—certainly thou art so to beggars—to people who have not the WHEREWITHAL; but thou wouldst not be so respectable if thou wert not capable of a certain reserve to paupers. Thou art civil enough, in all conscience, to those who have a shilling in their pocket;—those who have not, why do they live at all?"
"That's not exactly what surprises me," said Asmodeus; "I don't wonder why they live, but where they live: for I perceive boards in every parish proclaiming that no vagrant—that is, no person who is too poor to pay for his lodging—will be permitted to stay there. Where then does he stay?—every parish unites against him—not a spot of ground is lawful for him to stand on. At length he is passed on to his own parish; the meaning of which is, that not finding a decent livelihood in one place, the laws prevent his seeking it at any other. By the way, it would not be a bad plan to substitute a vagrant for a fox, and, to hunt him regularly, you might hunt him with a pack of respectable persons belonging to the middle class, and eat him when he's caught. That would be the shortest way to get rid of the race. You might proclaim a reward for every vagrant's head: it would gain the King more honour with the rate-payers than clearing the country of wolves won to his predecessor. What wolf eats so much as a beggar? What wolf so troublesome, so famished, and so good for nothing? People are quite right in judging a man's virtue by his wealth; for when a man has not a shilling he soon grows a rogue. He must live on his wits, and a man's wits have no conscience when his stomach is empty. We are all very poor in Hell—very; if we were rich, Satan says, justly, that we should become idle."
I know not how it is, but my frame is one peculiarly susceptible to ennui. There's no man so instantaneously bored. What activity does this singular constitution in all cases produce! All who are sensitive to ennui do eight times the work of a sleek, contented man. Anything but a large chair by the fireside, and a family circle! Oh! the bore of going every day over the same exhausted subjects, to the same dull persons of respectability; yet that is the doom of all domesticity. Then pleasure! A wretched play—a hot opera, under the ghostly fathership of Mr. Monck Mason—a dinner of sixteen, with such silence or such conversation!—a water-party to Richmond, to catch cold and drink bad sauterne—a flirtation, which fills all your friends with alarm, and your writing-desk with love-letters you don't like to burn, and are afraid of being seen; nay, published, perhaps, one fine day, that you may go by some d——d pet name ever afterwards!—hunting in a thick mist—shooting in furze bushes, that "feelingly persuade you what you are"—"the bowl," as the poets call the bottles of claret that never warm you, but whose thin stream, like the immortal river,—
"Flows and as it flows, for ever may flow on;"
or the port that warms you indeed: yes, into a bilious headach and a low fever. Yet all these things are pleasures!—parts of social enjoyment! They fill out the corners of the grand world—they inspire the minor's dreams—they pour crowds into St. James's, Doctors' Commons, and Melton Mowbray—they——Oh! confound them all!—it bores one even to write about them.
Only just returned to London, and, after so bright a panegyric on it, I already weary of the variety of its samenesses. Shall I not risk the fate of Faust, and fall in love—ponderously and bona fide? Or shall I go among the shades of the deceased, and amuse myself with chatting to Dido and Julius Caesar? Verily, reader, I leave you for the present to guess my determination.
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WASTE OF BONES
Is at all times reprehensible, but more especially as they are employed as a manure for dry soils, with the very best effect. They are commonly ground and drilled in, in the form of powder, with turnip seed. Mr. Huskisson estimated the real value of bones annually imported, (principally from the Netherlands and Germany) for the purpose of being used as a manure, at 100,000l.; and he contended that it was not too much to suppose that an advance of between 100,000l. and 200,000l. expended on this article occasioned 500,000 additional quarters of corn to be brought to market.—Loudon's Encycl. Agricult.
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According to the assize acts, a sack of flour weighing 280 lbs. is supposed capable of being baked into 80 quartern loaves; one-fifth of the loaf being supposed to consist of water and salt, and four-fifths of flour. But the number of loaves that may be baked from a sack of flour depends entirely on its goodness. Good flour requires more water than bad flour, and old flour than new flour. Sometimes 82, 83, and even 86 loaves have been made from a sack of flour, and sometimes hardly 80.
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LEGAL ADULTERATION OF BREAD.
Within the city of London, and in those places in the country where an assize is not set, it is lawful for the bakers to make and sell bread made of wheat, barley, rye, oats, buckwheat, Indian corn, peas, beans, rice, or potatoes, or any of them, along with common salt, pure water, eggs, milk, barm, leaven, potato or other yeast, and mixed in such proportions as they shall think fit. (3 Geo. IV. c. 106, and 1 and 2 Geo. IV. c. 50.)
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HIGH PRICE OF COALS IN LONDON.
Much has frequently been said of the monopoly of coal-owners; "but," observes Mr. Macculloch, "we are satisfied, after a pretty careful investigation of the circumstances, that no such monopoly has ever existed; and that the high price of coal in the metropolis is to be ascribed wholly to the various duties and charges that have been laid upon it, from the time that it has passed from the hands of the owner, to the time that it is lodged in the cellar of the consumer."—Dict. Commerce, &c. 1832.
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Coffee in this country is rarely well roasted; and in this consists its chief excellence. Dr. Moseley long since observed—"The roasting of the berry to a proper degree requires great nicety: the virtue and agreeableness of the drink depend upon it; and both are often injured by the ordinary method. Bernier says, when he was at Cairo, where coffee is so much used, he was assured by the best judges, that there were only two people in that great city who understood how to prepare it in perfection. If it be underdone, its virtues will not be imparted, and, in use, it will load and oppress the stomach; if it be overdone, it will yield a flat, burnt, and bitter taste, its virtues will be destroyed, and, in use, it will heat the body, and act as an astringent." The desirable colour of roasted coffee is that of cinnamon. Coffee-berries readily imbibe exhalations from other bodies, and thereby acquire an adventitious and disagreeable flavour. Sugar placed near coffee will, in a short time, so impregnate the berries as to injure their flavour. Dr. Moseley mentions, that a few bags of pepper, on board a ship from India, spoiled a whole cargo of coffee.
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History of "The Merry Devil of Edmonton" and "The Witch of Edmonton."—Lysons, in his Environs of London, says, "There is a fable (says Norden) of one Peter Fabell, that lyeth in Edmonton church, who is said to have beguiled the devell by policie for money; but the devell is deceit itselfe, and hardly deceived."—"Belike (says Weever) he was some ingenious, conceited gentleman, who did use some sleightie tricks for his own disport. He lived and died in the reign of Henry the Seventh, says the book of his merry pranks." The book Weever refers to is a pamphlet, now very scarce, called "The Life and Death of the Merry Devil of Edmonton, with the Pleasant Pranks of Smug the Smith, &c." These pleasant pranks compose the greater part of the book, which informs us that Peter Fabell was born at Edmonton, and lived and died there in the reign of Henry VII. He is called "an excellent scholar, and well seene in the arte of magick." His story was worked up into a play, called "The Merry Devil of Edmonton," which has been falsely attributed to Shakspeare, but is now generally supposed to have been written by Michael Drayton. There are five editions of this play; the first came out in 1608; the scene is laid at Edmonton and Enfield. Edmonton has furnished the stage with another drama, called, "The Witch of Edmonton."
"The town of Edmonton has lent the stage A Devil and a Witch, both in an age."
says the prologue to this play, which is said to be founded on a known true story, and exhibits various witchcrafts practised upon the neighbourhood by one Mother Sawyer, whose portrait with that of her familiar (a dog, called Tom, which is one of the dramatis personae,) is in the title-page. In the last act, Mrs. Sawyer is led out to execution. Thus far Lysons.—Many curious particulars relating to Mrs. Sawyer may be seen in a quarto pamphlet, published in 1621, under the title, of The wonderful discoverie of Elizabeth Sawyer, a witch, late of Edmonton; her conviction, her condemnation, and death; together with the relation of the Divel's accesse to her, and their conference together. Written by Henry Goodcole, Minister of the Word of God, and her continued visitor in the Goale of Newgate. The play of "The Merry Devil of Edmonton" was performed at the Globe, on the Bank-side. "The Witch of Edmonton" was often acted at the Cock-pit, in Drury-lane, and once at Court, with singular applause. It was never printed till the year 1658; and was composed by Rowley, Dekker, and Ford, as a tragi-comedy.
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Moody the Actor was an avaricious man. He once lent money to Mr. Brereton, the actor; Brereton did not return it immediately, and Moody waited with some degree of patience. At length, the first time Moody met him, he looked earnestly at him, and vented a kind of noise between a sigh and a groan. He repeated this interjection whenever he met Brereton, who at length was so annoyed, that he put his hand in his pocket and paid him. Moody took the money, and with a gentler aspect said, "Did I ask you for it, Billy?"—Speaking of Sheridan, Moody once said, "I have the highest respect for Mr. Sheridan; I honour his talents, and would do anything to show my friendship for him, but take his word."—Taylor.
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A Cruel Physiognomist.—Quin said of Macklin, "If God writes a legible hand, that fellow is a villain." At another time, Quin had the hardihood to say to Macklin himself, "Mr. Macklin, by the lines—I beg your pardon, sir—by the cordage of your face, you should be hanged."
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"The Grand Pause."—Macklin had three pauses in his acting—the first, moderate; the second, twice as long; but his last, or "grand pause," as he styled it, was so long, that the prompter, on one occasion, thinking his memory failed, repeated the cue (as it is technically called) several times, and at last so loud as to be heard by the audience. At length Macklin rushed from the stage, and knocked him down, exclaiming, "The fellow interrupted me in my grand pause!"
John Gilpin.—Henderson, the actor, in his public readings, first brought into notice the humorous tale of John Gilpin, which he recited with such spirit and comic effect that it drew public attention to the poems of Cowper in general, which, excellent as they are, particularly The Task, were but little known at the time, though they are now justly in universal estimation.
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Bibb the Engraver.—Taylor relates: How Bibb supported himself, having relinquished engraving, it would be difficult to conceive, if he had not levied taxes upon all whom he knew, insomuch that, besides his title of Count, he acquired that of "Half-crown Bibb," by which appellation he was generally distinguished; and according to a rough, and, perhaps, fanciful estimate, he had borrowed at least 2,000l. in half-crowns. I remember to have met him on the day when the death of Dr. Johnson was announced in the newspapers, and, expressing my regret at the loss of so great a man, Bibb interrupted me, and spoke of him as a man of no genius, whose mind contained nothing but the lumber of learning. I was modestly beginning a panegyric upon the doctor, when he again interrupted me with, "Oh! never mind, that old blockhead. Have you such a thing as ninepence about you?" Luckily for him I had a little more.
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Worst Leg—Theophilus Cibber was by no means wanting in abilities or humour. He had ill-formed legs; and having projected one of them in company, which was noticed with a laugh, he offered to lay a wager that there was a worse in company; and it being accepted, he put forward his other leg, which was indeed more ill-shaped than the other.
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A Painter's Gratitude.—Zoffani, the celebrated painter, who was born at Frankfort, 1735, came to England, as a painter of small portraits, when he was about the age of thirty years. He had the honour to be employed by his Majesty, and painted portraits of the royal family; and he was engaged by the Queen, to paint for her a view of the Tribune of the Gallery of Florence. He was somewhat of a humorist; and it is said of him, that whilst he was engaged painting in the Florentine Gallery, the Emperor of Germany visited the Grand Duke; and coining up to Zoffani, in the Gallery, was much pleased with his performance, and asked him his name; and on hearing it, inquired what countryman he was, when he answered, "An Englishman."—"Why," said the Emperor, "your name is German!"—"True," returned the painter. "I was born in Germany, that was accidental; I call that my country where I have been protected!" He was a member of the Royal Academy, and died in 1808.
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Watching for the Soul.—Margaret of Valois, Queen of Navarre, being present at the death-bed of one of her maids of honour, continued to fix her eyes on the dying person with uncommon eagerness and perseverance till she breathed her last. The ladies of the Court expressed their astonishment at this conduct, and requested to know what satisfaction her majesty could derive from so close an inspection of the agonies of death. Her answer marked a most daring and inquisitive mind. She said that having often heard the most learned doctors and ecclesiastics assert, that on the extinction of the body the immortal part was set at liberty and unloosed, she could not restrain her anxious curiosity to observe if such separation were visible or discernible; that none had she been able in any degree to discover. She was suspected of Hugonotism, and was so devout as to compose hymns.
Harvest-home.—This custom a Correspondent believes to be exclusively English; and its rapid disuse in many parts of England cannot be but a source of regret to those who study the moral enjoyment of the labouring classes of society. The social meal is now recompensed by a trifling sum of money, which is either the resource of drunkenness and debauchery, or at best is but comparatively ill-spent.
All things by Comparison.—Aristippus being reprehended of luxury by one that was not rich, for that he gave six crowns for a small fish, answered, "Why, what would you have, given?" The other said, "Some twelve pence." Aristippus said again, "And six crowns is no more with me."
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Epitaphs.—At Castle Camps, in Cambridgeshire, is the following quaint epitaph on a former rector—
Mors mortis morti mortem nisi morte dedisset, Aeternae Vitae Janua clausa foret.
The translation is obviously, "unless the Death of Death (Christ) had given death to Death by his own death, the gate of eternal life had been closed." A poetic specimen of declension!
At Babraham, in Cambridgeshire, is this on Orazio Palovicini, who was the last deputed to this country to collect the Peter-pence; but instead of returning to Rome, he divided the spoil with the Queen, and bought the estate at Babraham.—
Here lies Orazio Pulovicin, Who robb'd the Pope to pay the Queen. He was a thief:—A thief? thou liest! For why?—He robb'd but antichrist. Him Death with besom swept from Babraham, Unto the bosom of old Abraham; Then came Hercules, with his club, And knocked him down to Beelzebub.
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THE ANNUALS FOR 1833.
With our next Number, a SUPPLEMENT, CONTAINING THE Spirit of the Annuals for 1833: With a fine Engraving, &c.
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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 JUGEL, Francfort; and by all Newsmen and Booksellers.
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