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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XX, No. 579.] SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1832. [PRICE 2d.
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This Engraving may prove a welcome pictorial accompaniment to a score of plans of "the seat of war," in illustration of the leading topic of the day. The view may be relied on for accuracy; it being a transfer of the engraving in "Select Views of the Principal Cities of Europe, from Original Paintings, by Lieutenant Colonel Batty, F.R.S." We have so recently described the city, that our present notice must be confined to a brief outline.
Antwerp, one of the chief cities of the Netherlands, is situated on the river Scheldt, 22 miles north of Brussels, and 65 south of Amsterdam: longitude 4 deg. 23' East; latitude 51 deg. 13' North. It is called by Latin writers, Antverpia, or Andoverpum; by the Germans, Antorf; by the Spanish, Anveres; and by the French, Anvers. The city is of great antiquity, and is supposed by some to have existed before the time of Caesar. It was much enlarged by John, the first Duke of Brabant, in 1201; by John, the third, in 1314; and by the Emperor Charles V. in 1543: it has always been a place of commercial importance, and about twenty years after the last mentioned date, the trade is concluded to have been at its greatest height; the number of inhabitants was then computed at 200,000. A few years subsequently, Antwerp suffered much in the infamous war against religious freedom, projected by the detestable Philip II. (son of Charles V.) and executed by the sanguinary Duke of Alva, whose cruelty has scarcely a parallel in history. In this merciless crusade, Alva boasted that he had consigned 18,000 persons to the executioner; and with vanity as disgusting as his cruelty, he placed a statue of himself in Antwerp, in which he was figured trampling on the necks of two statues, representing the two estates of the Low Countries. Before the termination of the war, not less than 600 houses in the city were burnt, and 6 or 7,000 of the inhabitants killed or drowned. Antwerp was retaken and repaired by the Prince of Parma, in 1585. It has since that time been captured and re-captured so frequently as to render its decreasing prosperity a sad lesson, if such proof were wanting, of the baleful scourge of war. The reader need scarcely be reminded that the last and severest blow to the prosperity of Antwerp was occasioned by the overthrow of Buonaparte, when, by the treaty of peace signed in 1814, her naval establishment was utterly destroyed. The population has dwindled to little more than one-fourth of the original number, its present number scarcely exceeding 60,000.
The annexed view is taken from the Tete de Flandre, a fortified port on the left bank of the river Scheldt, immediately opposite to the city, and now in the possession of the Dutch. The river here is a broad and noble stream, and at high water navigable for vessels of large tonnage. A short distance below the town the banks are elevated, like part of Millbank, near Vauxhall Bridge; and the situation has much the same character. The river is here about twice the width of the Thames at London Bridge, and it flows with great rapidity.
Lieut.-Colonel Batty observes, "there is perhaps no city in the north of Europe which, on inspection, awakens greater interest" than Antwerp. It abounds in fine old buildings, which bear testimony to its former wealth and importance. The three most aspiring points in the View are—1. the Church of St. Paul, richly dight with pictures by Teniers, De Crayer, Quellyn, De Vos, Jordaens, &c.; 2. the tower of the Hotel de Ville, the whole facade of which is little short of 300 feet, a part of the front being cased with variegated marble, and ornamented with statues; 3. the lofty and richly-embellished Tower of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, forming the most striking object from whichever side we view the city. The interior is enriched with valuable paintings by Flemish masters; the height of the spire is stated at 460 feet.
The distance from the mouth of the Scheldt to Antwerp is usually reckoned to be sixty-two miles, allowing for the bending of the river. At Lillo, an important fortress, the appearance of the city of Antwerp becomes an interesting object, and the more imposing the nearer the traveller approaches along the last reach of the Scheldt.
Antwerp has been the birthplace of many learned men—as, Ortelius, an eminent mathematician and antiquary of the sixteenth century, and the friend of our Camden; Gorleus, a celebrated medallist, of the same period; Andrew Schott, a learned Jesuit, and the friend of Scaliger; Lewis Nonnius, a distinguished physician and erudite scholar, born early in the seventeenth century. Few places have produced so many painters of merit, as will be seen at page 380, by a well-timed communication from our early correspondent P.T.W.
 Copied by permission of the proprietors and publishers, Messrs. Moon, Boys, and Graves.
 The name of Antwerp, says an ingenious correspondent, at p. 287, vol. xiv. of The Mirror, is derived from Hand-werpen, or Hand-thrown: so called from a legend, which informs us that on the site of the present city once stood the castle of a giant, who was accustomed to amuse himself by cutting off and casting into the river the right hands of the unfortunate wights that fell into his power; but that being at last conquered himself, his own immense hand was disposed off, with poetical justice, in the same way. We quote this passage in a note, as it is only worthy of place beneath facts of sober history.
 See Antwerp described from a Tour in South Holland in the Family Library, at p. 109. vol. xviii of The Mirror.
 See Antwerp Cathedral, Mirror, vol. xiv, p. 286.
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A MALTESE LEGEND.
Hark, in the bower of yonder tower, What maiden so sweetly sings, As the eagle flies through the sunny skies He stayeth his golden wings; And swiftly descends, and his proud neck bends, And his eyes they stream with glare, And gaze with delight, on her looks so bright, As he motionless treads the air. But his powerful wings, as she sweetly sings, They droop to the briny wave, And slowly he falls near the castle walls, And sinks to his ocean grave. Was it arrow unseen with glancing sheen, The twang of the string unheard, Sped from hunter's bow, that has laid him low, And has pierced that kingly bird? That has brought his flight, from the realms of light, Where his hues in ether glow, To float for awhile in the sun's last smile, Then dim to the depths below? No! the pow'rful spell, that had wrought too well, Was sung by a maiden true, And it breath'd and flow'd, to her love who row'd, His path through the seas of blue. As she saw his sail, by the gentle gale, Slow borne to her lofty bower, Her heart it beat, in her high retreat, She sang by a spell-bound power:
"Zephyr winds, with gentlest motion Urge his bark the blue waves o'er; Cease your wild and deep commotion Waft him safely to the shore.
"Lovely art thou crested billow, On thy whiteness rests his eye, Thou art to his bark a pillow, Thou dost hear his ev'ry sigh.
"Would I were yon dolphin dancing Round his fragile vessel's stern; Ev'ry gaze my soul entrancing, I would woo him though he spurn."
Here she rais'd her eyes, to the once bright skies, For she heard the deep sea groan, And her song it stopp'd, and her hands they drop'd, Her face grew white as the foam; For the lovely blue, was hid from her view, By a black and mighty cloud! She saw in each wave, a watery grave, And again she sang aloud:
"But the clouds are rolling heavy, Fitful gusts distend his sail; See the whirlpool's foaming eddy, Hear the seagull's mournful wail.
"Now his vessel greets the thunder, Now she rests on ocean's bed, Where in shrines of pearl and amber, Youthful lovers, love, though dead.
"Gracious Heaven! in mercy spare him, Shield him with thine arm of pow'r; On thy wings, oh! Father, bear him Through this dark and troubled hour.
"In yon convent then to-morrow Will I give to thee my days; Flee this world of grief and sorrow, Endless sing thee hymns of praise.
"But if thou hast bid us sever, Till we reach the heavenly shore, I will steer my bark, where never, Waves nor death shall part us more.
"We will roam the plains of ocean, Tread the sands where rubies shine, Drink from starry founts the potion Mortals taste, and grow divine.
"But his vessel's sinking slowly, And mine hour of death is near; Yet I shrink not,—sweet and holy Is the end that knows no fear."
Scarce the words had died, and the crimson tide, Flow'd calm in her heaving breast, When she flew to the wave, to share his grave, And taste of his final rest. And the fishermen boast, who dwell on that coast, That after the ev'ning bell Has toll'd the hour, in sleet and in shower, They float on a golden shell. And all night they roam, where the breakers foam, When the moonbeams streak the waves, But when morn awakes and the twilight breaks, They glide to their coral caves.
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Manners and Customs.
EARLY INHABITANTS OF BRITAIN.
(To the Editor.)
In your Correspondent Selim's laudable endeavour to vindicate the ancient inhabitants of this island from the character of barbarians given them by Caesar, he has made some errors, which, with your permission, I will attempt to rectify. First, I beg leave to dissent from the derivation of the word Druid, "Druidh," a wise man, as such a word is not to be found in the Welsh language. In one of your early volumes there is a letter from a Correspondent, deriving the word (in the above language it is written Derwydd) from Dar and Gwydd, signifying chief in the presence, as the religious ceremonies of the Druids were considered to be performed in the presence of the Deity. This may seem far fetched; but, according to the genius of the language, any word commencing with g, and having another word prefixed, the sound of the g is always dropped: therefore, those words would be written Dar-wydd, only a difference of one letter from the proper word.
With regard to the statement of the Druids being "ever foremost in the battle strife," as your Correspondent has quoted Caesar, I am surprised that he has overlooked this passage: "The Druids were exempt from all military payment, and excused from serving in the wars;" indeed, one of the main objects of Bardism was to maintain peace, and the use of arms was therefore prohibited to its members; though in later times it was one of the duties of the king's domestic bard, on the day of battle, to sing in front of the army the national song of "Unbennaeth Prydain" (the Monarchy of Britain,) for the purpose of animating the soldiers.
It is not possible that a people possessing the three orders of Druid, Bard, and Ovate, who, (leaving their poetry out of the question for the present,) were able to raise the immense piles of Abury and Stonehenge, could be the barbarians they are thought to be; and those who could raise such immense blocks of stone deserve at least credit for ingenuity. Now, it does not appear to me to require a great stretch of fancy to believe that the requisite knowledge was obtained of the architects of the Pyramids, Temples, and cities of Egypt and the east: and this is not improbable; as, according to the Triads, the Cymmry (or Welsh) came from the Gwlad yr Haf, (the summer country) the present Taurida; and further, Herodotus says, that a nation called Cimmerians, (very much like their own name,) dwelt in that part of Europe and the neighbouring parts of Asia. Other historians are of similar opinion, and considering the numerous emigrations from Egypt, caused by religious persecutions and conquests, it is very likely that some of their priests or learned men were among those exiles, and that they communicated their knowledge to the same description of persons belonging to the nations with whom they sojourned. The founders of Athens and Thebes were exiles; and the Philistines, noted for their constant wars with the Jews, were originally expelled from Egypt. I have been informed that there has been found in the southern part of the United States, the remains of a building similar in its appearance to Stonehenge. Did a remnant of those Druids or Priests erect this and the Temples of Mexico, and leave behind them those implements of war and industry that have been found in the soil and in the mines of America? and to equal the manufacture of which, all the resources of modern art have proved inadequate. It appears that there existed at a most remote period, a sort of Freemasonry of priests, bards, and architects, who, and their successors extended themselves over the whole world; for, to whom else can be ascribed those stupendous structures, the ruins of which at the present day excite our admiration and wonder, and may be traced over Asia, Egypt, along the shores of the Mediterranean, in Britain and America. That the ancients knew of America is not improbable, when we recollect the extent of the voyages of the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, and what has been said of the great Island of Atlantis; it is not likely that Prince Madog would have sailed in search of a distant land if he had not heard something of its existence. In the fifth century, a chieftain named Gafran ab Aeddan, went in search of some islands called Gwerddonau Lliou, (Green Isles of the Floods,) supposed to be the Canaries; but whether he succeeded in reaching them is not known, as he was never heard of after he left Britain. This is a proof that the Welsh at least, had heard of distant lands in the Atlantic Ocean: another curious fact is, that the worship of the sun was prevalent in all the countries in which those remains have been found. In conclusion, I beg leave to say that the people could not be very barbarous, who were in the habit of hearing such precepts as "the three ultimate objects of bardism—to reform manners and customs, to secure peace, and to extol every thing that is good."
 Vol. iv. p. 10 and 50.
 Welsh name of Somersetshire.
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BATHING—ANCIENT AND MODERN BATHS.
Perhaps neither of the exercises that are indispensable to the health and comfort of man has so kept pace with his progressive improvement as bathing; and though of late years this effectual promoter of cleanliness has not in some parts of the world been sufficiently attended to, yet the custom is by no means on the decrease; nor can any fear be entertained, with propriety, that so excellent and so natural an expedient should ever be suffered to decline, from want of consideration of its benefits and advantages. But it must be owned, that while bathing in many countries is resorted to as a matter-of-course affair among all classes, in England it is in a great measure disregarded by most of the middle classes, and almost entirely so by those in the lower station of life, who perhaps require this exercise more than their richer neighbours.
A medical writer of the present day observes, with some grounds for complaint, that while "in almost all countries, both in ancient and modern times, whether rude or civilized, bathing was a part of the necessary and everyday business of life, in this country alone, with all its refinements in the arts which contribute to the happiness or comfort of man, and with all its improvements in medical science and jurisprudence, this salutary and luxurious practice is almost entirely neglected." But in many countries, particularly in the east, bathing is as much resorted to as ever; and its really powerful effects in invigorating the frame and promoting the porous secretions, (without which life itself cannot be long continued,) require only to be once known to be persevered in.
Among the ancients, bathing was far more generally practised than at the present day. In the city of Alexandria, there were 4,000 public baths; and the height of refinement in this luxury among the Romans is almost incredible. In addition to the private baths, with which almost every house was supplied, public baths were built, sometimes at the public cost, and often at the expense of private individuals, who nobly conceived their wealth to be laudably expended in giving each of their fellow-citizens the means of procuring, free of expense, bodily cleanliness and comfort. These baths were generally very extensive, and fitted up with every possible convenience;—the passages and apartments were paved with marbles of every hue, and the tesselated floors were adorned with representations of gladiatorial engagements, hunting, racing, and a variety of subjects from the mythology. In the Thermae at Rome, ingenuity and magnificence seem exhausted; and the elegance of the architecture, and the vast range of rooms and porticos, create in the beholder surprise and admiration, mingled with feelings of regret for their neglected state. A quadrans (about a farthing) admitted any one; for the funds bequeathed by the emperors and others were amply sufficient to provide for the expensive establishments requisite, without taxing the people beyond their means. Agrippa gave his baths and gardens to the public, and even assigned estates for their maintenance. Some of the Thermae were also provided with a variety of perfumed ointments and oils gratuitously. The chief Thermae were those of Agrippa, Nero, Titus, Domitian, Caracalla, and Diocletian. Their main building consisted of rooms for swimming and bathing, in either hot or cold water; others for conversation; and some devoted to various exercises and athletic amusements. In some assembled large bodies to hear the lectures of philosophers, or perhaps a composition of some favourite poet; while the walls were surrounded with statues, paintings, and literary productions, to suit the diversified taste of the company.
Eustace describes these Thermae at some length:—"Repassing the Aventine Hill, we came to the baths of Antoninus Caracalla, that occupy part of its declivity, and a considerable portion of the plain between it and Mons Caeliolus and Mons Caelius. The length of the Thermae was 1,840 feet; breadth, 1,476. At each end were two temples, one to Apollo and another to Esculapius, as the tutelary deities of a place sacred to the improvement of the mind, and the health of the body. In the principal building were, in the first place, a grand circular vestibule, with four halls on each side, for cold, tepid, warm, and steam baths; in the centre was an immense square for exercise, when the weather was unfavourable to it in the open air; beyond it a great hall, where one thousand six hundred seats of marble were placed for the convenience of the bathers; at each end of this hall were libraries. The stucco and paintings, though faintly indeed, are yet in many places perceptible. Pillars have been dug up, and some still remain amidst the ruins; while the Farnesian Bull and the famous Hercules, found in one of these halls announce the multiplicity and beauty of the statues which once adorned the Thermae of Caracalla."
Before they commenced bathing in the Thermae, the Romans anointed themselves with oil, in a room especially appropriated to the purpose; and oil was again applied, with the addition of perfumes, on quitting the bath. In a painting which has been engraved from one of the walls in the baths of Titus, the room is represented filled with a number of vases, and somewhat resembles an apothecary's shop. These vases contained a variety of balsamic and oleaceous compositions for the anointment, which, when ultimately performed, prepared the bathers for the sphaeristerium, in which various amusements and exercises were enjoyed. The subsequent operation of scraping the body with the strigil has given way to a mode of freeing the body from perspiration and all extraneous matter, by a sort of bag or glove of camel's hair, which is used in Turkey; while flannel and brushes are substituted in other parts.
The vapour-baths now used in Russia resemble very much those among the ancient Romans. These are generally rudely built of wood, over an oven, and the bathers receive the vapour at the requisite heat, reclining on wooden benches,—while, more powerfully to excite perspiration, they whip their bodies with birch boughs, and also use powerful friction. They then wash themselves; and, as these vapour-baths are often constructed on the banks of a river, throw themselves from the land into the water; or sometimes, by way of variety, plunge into snow, and roll themselves therein. This violent exercise and sudden transition of temperature is almost overpowering to persons unhabituated to the custom, and will oftentimes produce fainting,—though the patient, on recovering, finds himself refreshed, and experiences a delightful sense of mental, as well as bodily, vigour and energy. The enervating effects of the extreme luxury and refinement practised in the Greek and Roman baths are obviated in the Russian mode: to which may partly be ascribed the power which the latter people have in undergoing fatigue and the various hardships of their rigorous climate. Tooke says that without doubt the Russians owe their longevity, robust health, their little disposition to fatal complaints, and, above all, their happy and cheerful temper, mostly to these vapour-baths. Lewis and Clarke, in their voyage up the Missouri, have noticed the use of the vapour-bath in a somewhat similar contrivance to the Russians among the savage tribes of America;—so it appears that this effectual promoter of cleanliness is one of the most simple, original, and natural, that can be employed for that paramount duty.
 Culverwell on Bathing.
 [Greek: thermai]—hot springs.
 These baths, impregnated with medicinal herbs, and other preparations, are at the present day gaining great repute for the cure of cutaneous diseases, and other complaints.
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The Sketch Book.
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RECOLLECTIONS OF A WANDERER.
An Incident on the Coast.
Towards the close of an afternoon in the dreary month of December, a small vessel was descried in the offing, from the pier of a romantic little hamlet on the coast of ——. The pier was this evening nearly deserted by those bold spirits, who, when sea and sky conspire to frown together, loved to resort there to while away their idle hours. Only a few "out-and-outers" were now to be seen at their accustomed station, defying the rough buffetings of the blast, which on more tender faces might have acted almost with the keenness of a razor. Though the evening certainly looked wild and stormy to an unpractised eye, still to those who "gauge the weather" it was unaccompanied with those unerring symptoms which usually usher in a gale. However, the appearance of the night was so uninviting, as to have induced the local craft to run some time before along shore for shelter; and the movements of the strange vessel were consequently a matter of speculation to those on land. There is something to our minds exceedingly interesting in a solitary vessel at sea—it is a point on which you may hinge your attention—a living thing on the desert-bosom of the main. For sometime her movements were apparently very undecided, but though the weather seemed to be looking up, she suddenly put about helm, and ran without further wavering right for the shelter held out at Lanport. In less than twenty minutes she was safe alongside the pier. She was one of the larger class of fishing vessels and was well manned. The attention of the bystanders was now directed to an individual who seemed to be a passenger, and who immediately landed after conversing for a short while with the master. The gentleman brought ashore an immoderately large carpet-bag, and forthwith marched for the chief street of Lanport. When we say chief, we, perhaps, ought to add that it was the only assemblage of buildings in the village, which by the comparative uniformity of their arrangement, could lay claim to such a title. On reaching the foot of the declivity, the traveller, who was evidently much jaded with his marine excursion, espied with symptoms of satisfaction, the antiquated sign-post of an "hostelrie" swinging before him in the breeze. Without further investigation, but with "wandering steps and slow," he decided on taking up his quarters at the "Mermaid Inn and Tavern, by Judith, (or Judy as she was called by some) Teague." This determination of the traveller would, however, have turned out to be "Hobson's choice" had his eyes wandered in quest of a rival establishment, for here Mrs. Judy Teague reigned supreme amongst "licensed victuallers," no rival having hitherto been found bold enough to enter the field against her. The leisurely advance of the traveller up the street, had given all the old gossips and that numerous class who esteem other people's business of infinitely greater consequence than their own, full opportunity to remark on his dress and appearance; in which as faithful chroniclers we have not gathered that there was anything remarkable—save and except the enormous carpet-bag aforesaid, about which its owner seemed as solicitous as the traveller in Rob Roy. A stranger was, at the period we are describing, a rara avis in terris indeed at Lanport; and it may be conceived that the news of this arrival was discussed round every hearth in the place within half an hour at the utmost. Mrs. Teague is recorded to have advanced to the door with unwonted rapidity (bearing in mind that she had halted a little since she was on the wrong side of forty, from a rheumatic affection,) to meet such an "iligant-looking guest;" and certain it is that he had not been two hours in the house, before it was evident that both parties were on an excellent footing together. The old lady was seen to come from the best—the parlour we mean to say—of the Mermaid, with very unusual symptoms of good humour on her countenance, considering (as Betsy the "maid of all work" whispered to "Jack Ostler,") that her visage had generally a "vinegar cruet" association; though we would not take upon ourselves to assert that brandy had not a greater share in its composition.
The strange gentleman continued in close occupation of the parlour during the entire evening. The mysterious carpet bag was secured in an upper room, and its owner chased away the damps and cold of the season by unusually liberal potations; in short, Mrs. Judith declared to the numerous party of customers who had assembled from chance or curiosity on her hearth, that he was the most liberal gentleman that had ever crossed her threshold in the way of business, since Julius O'Brien (commonly called the tippling exciseman,) had unexpectedly departed this life by mistaking the steep staircase of the Mermaid for a single step, one night when his brain was more than usually beclouded. The arrival of the stranger, however, had nearly caused a schism between the hostess and her leading customers; for the former had whilst he honoured the Mermaid with his presence, engaged the parlour for his exclusive accommodation—an arrangement contrary to all the rules of Lanport etiquette; and he might have experienced rather a rude reception had not Mrs. Judy given up her sanctum sanctorum for the temporary use of the "elect."
Next day, the morning had passed away, nay, the sun was fast careering towards the western horizon, and yet the stranger exhibited no inclination to explore the locality of Lanport. Night at last set in, but still he remained in close quarters as before.
This appeared the more strange, as the situation of Lanport was singularly wild and interesting. The prospect from the wooded and rocky heights of the coast was of great and commanding beauty; and the inland view presented many scenes and objects highly calculated to invite the attention of the lover of nature or the curious traveller. It was evident that the stranger was deficient in both these points.
The history of the next day closely corresponded with that of the preceding. There he sat. That night there was again a strong muster around the capacious hearth of the Mermaid. If the stranger was deficient in that inherent passion of the human mind—curiosity—not so the villagers. But one sentiment seemed to pervade the assembled party, and that may be summed up in the words "Who is he?" An echo responded "Who is he?" Conjecture was literally at a fault. His very appearance was unknown to all except the fortunate few that had beheld him in his march from the pier; the fishing boat had put to sea before any one thought of making inquiry as to the freight it had delivered, but every one agreed that there was something of an extraordinary character about the said freight. Ever and anon the parlour door opened, and a lusty ring of the hand-bell summoned the hostess into that now mysterious room: and the volley of questions which assailed her on her return were enough to overturn the very moderate stock of patience which she possessed, had it been centupled. She declared that "the jintleman was like other jintlemen, and barring that he seemed the b'y for the brandy," she saw nothing amiss in him. In the midst of this excitement in walked the officer commanding the preventive service of the district. He was soon closeted in the sanctum, and after a due discussion of the singular proceedings of the stranger, on the part of each member of the Lanport smoking club, the worthy lieutenant declared "it was not only d——d odd, but very suspicious;" and that he would beard the foe who had so unceremoniously taken possession of their own proper apartment, face to face, even though he should turn out to be Beelzebub, in propria persona. This determination was received with a vast and simultaneous puff of exultation from every pipe in the room, so that the cloud was for a short space so great as completely to envelope the ample proportions of Mrs. Judy Teague, who had been an unnoticed witness of this bold proposal. The lieutenant was striding onwards in full career towards the parlour, which lay at the opposite side of the intervening kitchen, when he somewhat roughly encountered the fair form of Mrs. Teague, which was extended halfway through the doorcase with a view to prevent his egress.
"Och! murder, Lafetennant ——, and is this the way you'd be sarving a lone woman, and she a widow these twelve year agon, since Michael Tague's (Heaven rest his sowl!) been laid aneath the turf!"
The lieutenant apologized for the rather unceremonious way in which he had run foul of Mrs. Teague.
"Och! Lafetennant," she responded, "its not that agra! (here she gave a twinge) that Judy Tague would ever spake of from the like of you—but its against your goin' and insulting the jintl'm in the parlour that I was spaking of—and a rale jintl'm he is, I'll be bail."
But it was all of no avail. After holding forth for several minutes, now at the top of her voice, now in a beseeching whine—the lieutenant again got under weigh, and soon reached the parlour door; which after giving a slight tap, he entered fully prepared to take its inmate by storm. But, lo! he had vanished! It appeared impossible that any portion of the previous conversation could have been wafted to his ears, but certain it was, that in place of a living occupant of flesh and blood, nothing but the wavering shadow of an ancient high-backed chair near the fire—which cast a faint and uncertain light through the apartment—met the eyes of the angry lieutenant. A heavy step overhead announced that he had just retired to his sleeping-room. Thus was the now greatly increased curiosity of the smoking club doomed to receive an unexpected check. The stranger was evidently no ordinary person—the conversation gradually sank away—and more than one individual of the company started in the course of the evening as the wind now wailed with a strange unearthly sound up the silent street, and now blew in violent gusts which made the old house creak and groan to its very foundations. Our gallant friend, the lieutenant, was perhaps the only individual absolutely unmoved in the party; and his proposal to retake possession of the parlour met with a general negative. Nettled at this, he declared that another sun should not go down over his head, without obtaining some satisfactory account of this mysterious visitant.
The third day came, and with it a partial change in the conduct of the stranger. He appeared to have in some measure shaken off his indolence, and sallied forth betimes in the morning, apparently to examine the beauties of the coast, towards the rocky wilds of which he was seen to wend his way. About noon he again returned to the Mermaid. This conduct partially disarmed the suspicion which had been excited; however it was agreed that though nothing had hitherto occurred which could authorize any direct interference with his movements, yet that a watch should be kept over them for the present.
The afternoon threatened to turn out stormy. Vast masses of clouds were continually driven across the sky: and the increasing agitation and deep furrows of the ocean foretold a night fraught with peril and disaster to the seaman. Drear December seemed about to assume his wildest garb. This day of the week always brought the county paper. A solitary copy of this journal was taken by Mrs. Teague, and it formed the sole channel (alas! for the march of intellect,) by which the smoking club and other worthies of Lanport were enlightened on the sayings and doings of the great world. It must not be inferred from this that the demon of politics was unknown in this retired spot; on the contrary, the arrival of the —— Journal, was looked for with the utmost impatience from week to week; and as long as its tattered folio hung together, its contents formed a never ending subject of conversation. On the day of its arrival, therefore, the "club" invariably met many hours before their wonted time, to discuss politics and pigtail, revolutions and small beer.
This circumstance, and the state of the weather, had drawn a numerous party around the hearth at the Mermaid. The delay which took place in the arrival of the newspaper seemed unusual; the "spokesman" had cleared his throat, the pipes had long been lit, but still it was not forthcoming. Mrs. Teague at last announced that it was engaged by the "jintleman in the parlour." The patience of the party lasted half an hour longer, when the clamorous calls for news dictated the step of sending a message to the stranger. It met with an ungracious reception. At this moment some one came in with the intelligence that a suspicious looking craft was hovering off the coast, and that the lieutenant (whose absence was thus accounted for) was about to put off in his galley to bring her to and overhaul her.
A second and a third message to the parlour having met with the same success as the first, the ire of all began to rise, and after a clamorous discussion it was at last resolved, (it was now broad daylight,) that they should go in a body and storm the enemy's quarters. The room was situated at the other end of the house, and thither they proceeded, after a few preliminary difficulties had been arranged as to who should first lead the way. But if the lieutenant had been astonished at the disappearance of the stranger the preceding night, much greater was the surprise evinced on the present occasion on finding the room again tenantless. It had evidently only just been vacated; but what created the greatest sensation was the discovery of the smoking remains of the —— Journal, on the hood of the fireplace! Every one crowded around, and presently intelligence was brought that the stranger, carrying his enormous carpet bag had been seen walking at a great speed towards Shorne Cove, a retired little spot within a short distance of the harbour. As is often the case on such occasions, several minutes elapsed before any plan was determined upon, but some one at last wisely suggested that if he was to be pursued, no time ought to be lost. The appearance of the strange vessel on the coast, and the day's occurrence, were connected together, as they hurried onwards in the pursuit; but when they arrived at the seashore, the mysterious man and his carpet bag were no longer visible, unless a large boat which was pulling out to sea as fast as wind and tide would permit, gave a clue to his invisibility. Every eye was now cast out for the strange sail.
About a mile from the pier-head, a large lugger under a press of canvass was seen coming down the wind, with the galley in close pursuit. From the freshness of the wind and the quantity of sail she was able to carry, it was evident that the king's boat had little chance with her. As the chase came careering along, dropping the galley rapidly astern, the interest hinged on the apparent connexion between her and the boat which had just left Shorne Cove with its unknown freight. From their relative situations it was evident she must bring to for a short space if she intended to pick up the fugitive; and this delay might possibly enable the galley to draw her. For a few minutes the scene was one of exciting interest. The lugger broached to as had been anticipated, and she had scarcely shipped the strange boat's crew, when the galley pitching bows under was close in her wake. But it was too late. The lugger had no sooner paid off, so as to get the wind again abaft the beam, than she rapidly got way on her, and the wind continuing to freshen, in half an hour she was all but hull down.
The night passed not over the heads of the good folks of Lanport, without numberless recriminations on the stupidity which had been displayed in not arresting the stranger before it was too late; and the ferment was not lessened on the arrival of another copy of the —— Journal, which contained a paragraph headed with the glittering words, "ONE THOUSAND POUNDS REWARD."
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Spirit of Discovery.
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THE ISLAND OF ROTUMA.
"A new Cythera emerges from the bosom of the enchanted wave. An amphitheatre of verdure rises to our view; tufted groves mingle their foliage with the brilliant enamel of meadows; an eternal spring, combining with an eternal autumn, displays the opening blossoms along with the ripened fruit."—Maltebrun.
This is one of the beautiful islands of Polynesia, in the South Pacific Ocean. It was discovered in the year 1791, and has been since occasionally visited by English and American whalers, and a few other ships, for the purpose of procuring water and a supply of vegetable productions, with which it abounds. It is situated in latitude 12 deg. 30' south, and longitude 177 deg. east, and is distant about 260 miles from the nearest island of the Fidji group. It is of a moderate height, densely wooded, and abounding in cocoa-nut trees, and is about from thirty to thirty-five miles in circumference. Its general appearance is beautifully picturesque, verdant hills gradually rising from the sandy beach, giving it a highly fertile appearance. It is surrounded by extensive reefs, on which at low water the natives may be seen busily engaged in procuring shell and other fish, which are abundantly produced on them, and constitute one of their articles of daily food. At night, they fish by torch-light, lighting fires on the beach, by which the fish are attracted to the reefs. The torches are formed of the dried spathe or fronds of the cocoa-nut tree, and enable them to see the fish, which they take with hand-nets. It is by these lights that the fish are attracted, but not so in the opinion of the natives, who say, "they come to the reef at night to eat, then sleep, and leave again in the morning."
[Mr. George Bennett, in his account of his recent visit, says:—]
We made this island on the 21st of February, 1830: it bore west by south-half-south, about twenty-five miles distant; at 11 A.M. when close in, standing for the anchorage, we were boarded by several natives, who came off in their canoes, and surprised us by their acquaintance with the English language; this it seems they had acquired from their occasional intercourse with shipping, but principally from the European seamen, who had deserted from their ships and were residing on the island in savage luxury and indolence. When at anchor, the extremes of the land bore from east by north to west by compass. An island rather high, quoin shaped, and inhabited, situated at a short distance from the main land, (between which there is a passage for a large ship,) was at some distance from our present anchorage, and bore west-half-north by compass; it was named Ouer by the natives. Close to us were two rather high islands, or islets, of small extent, planted with cocoa-nut trees, and almost connected together by rocks, and to the main land by a reef; they shelter the bay from easterly winds. Their bearings are as follow:—the first centre bore east-half-north; the second centre bore east-half-south, extreme of the main land east-south-east by compass. One of the chiefs, on our anchoring, addressing the Commander made the following very humane observation, "If Rotuma man steal, to make hang up immediately." Had this request been complied with, there would have been a great depopulation during our stay, and it is not improbable that a few chiefs might have felt its effects.
On a second visit to this island in March, 1830, we anchored in a fine picturesque bay, situated on the west side of the island, named Thor, in fourteen fathoms, sand and coral bottom, about three miles distant from the centre. A reef extends out some distance from the beach at this bay, almost dry at low water, and with much surf at the entrance, from which cause the procuring of wood and water is attended with more difficulty than at Onhaf Bay.
On landing, the beautiful appearance of the island was rather increased than diminished; vegetation appeared most luxuriant, and the trees and shrubs blooming with various tints, spread a gaiety around; the clean and neat native houses were intermingled with the waving plumes of the cocoa-nut, the broad spreading plantain, and other trees peculiar to tropical climes. That magnificent tree the callophyllum inophyllum, or fifau of the natives, was not less abundant, displaying its shining, dark, green foliage, contrasted by beautiful clusters of white flowers teeming with fragrance. This tree seemed a favourite with the natives, on account of its shade, fragrance, and ornamental appearance of the flowers. When I extended my rambles more inland, through narrow and sometimes rugged pathways, the luxuriance of vegetation did not decrease, but the lofty trees, overshadowing the road, defended the pedestrian from the effects of a fervent sun, rendering the walk under their umbrageous covering cool and pleasant. The gay flowers of the hibiscus tiliaceus, as well as the splendid huth or Barringtonia speciosa, covered with its beautiful flowers, the petals of which are white, and the edges of the stamina delicately tinged with pink, give to the trees when in full bloom a magnificent appearance; the hibiscus rosa-chinensis, or kowa of the natives also grows in luxuriance and beauty. The elegant flowers of these trees, with others of more humble and less beautiful tints, everywhere meet the eye near the paths, occasionally varied by plantations of the ahan or taro, arum esculentum, which, from a deficiency of irrigation, is generally of the mountain variety. Of the sugar-cane they possess several varieties, and it is eaten in the raw state; a small variety of yam, more commonly known by the name of the Rotuma potato, the ule of the natives, is very abundant; the ulu or bread-fruit, pori or plantain and the vi, (spondias dulcis, Parkinson,) or, Brazilian plum, with numerous other kinds, sufficiently testify the fertility of the island. Occasionally the mournful toa or casuarina equisetifolia, planted in small clumps near the villages or surrounding the burial-places, added beauty to the landscape.
The native houses are very neat; they are formed of poles and logs, the roof being covered with the leaves of a species of sagus palm, named hoat by the natives, and highly valued by them for that purpose on account of their durability; the sides are covered with the plaited sections of the cocoa-nut branches, which form excellent coverings.
The natives are a fine-looking and well-formed people; they are of good dispositions, but are much addicted to thieving, which seems indeed to be a national propensity; they are of a light copper colour, and the men wear the hair long and stained at the extremities of a reddish brown colour; sometimes they tie the hair in a knot behind, but the most prevailing custom is to permit it to hang over the shoulders. The females may be termed handsome, of fine forms, and although possessing a modest demeanour, flocked on board in numbers on the ship's arrival. The women before marriage have the hair cut close and covered with the shoroi, which is burnt coral mixed with the gum of the bread-fruit tree; this is removed after marriage and their hair is permitted to grow long, but on the death of a chief or their parents it is cut close as a badge of mourning. Both sexes paint themselves with a mixture of the root of the turmeric plant (curcuma longa) and cocoa-nut oil, which frequently changed our clothes and persons of an icteroid hue, from our curiosity to mingle with them in the villages—theirs to come on board the ship.
On visiting the king, who resided at the village of Fangwot, we found him a well-formed and handsome man, apparently about thirty years of age; the upper part of his body was thickly covered with the Rang, or paint of turmeric and oil, which had been recently laid on in honour of the visit from the strangers. There was somewhat of novelty, but little of "regal magnificence" in our reception. In the open air, under the wide-spreading branches of their favourite Fifau, (Callophyllum Inophyllum) sat his Majesty squatted on the ground, and surrounded by a crowd of his subjects. The introduction was equally unostentatious; one of the natives who had accompanied us from the ship, pointing towards him, said, in tolerably pronounced English, "That the king." His Majesty not being himself acquainted with our language, one of his attendants, who spoke it with considerable fluency, acted as interpreter. After some common-place questions, such as where the ship came from, where bound to, what provisions we stood in need of, &c., we adjourned to the royal habitation, which differed in no respect from the other native houses. Yams, bread-fruit, and fish, wrapped in the plantain leaves in which they had been cooked, were here placed before us, with cocoa-nut water for our beverage; plantain leaves serving also as plates.
The chiefs are elected kings in rotation, and the royal office is held for six months, but by the consent of the other chiefs, it may be retained by the same chief for two or three years. The royal title is Sho: the king to whom we had been introduced, as a chief, is named Mora. We had an interview also with the former king, named Riemko; he is a chief of high rank, and a very intelligent man: he spoke the English language with much correctness. Being naturally of an inquisitive disposition, and possessing an exceedingly retentive memory, he had acquired much information; this he displayed by detailing to us many facts connected with the history of Napoleon Buonaparte, Wellington, &c., which had been related to him by various European visiters, and which he appeared to retain to the most minute particulars. He surprised us by inquiring if we resided in "Russell-square, London?"
An innate love of roaming seems to exist among these people; they set sail without any fixed purpose in one of their large canoes: few ever return, some probably perish, others drift on islands either uninhabited, or if inhabited, they mingle with the natives, and tend to produce those varieties of the human race which are so observable in the Polynesian Archipelago. I frequently asked those of Rotuma what object they had in leaving their fertile island to risk the perils of the deep? the reply invariably was, "Rotuma man want to see new land:" they thus run before the wind until they fall in with some island, or perish in a storm. Cook and others relate numerous instances of this kind.
As an evidence of the great desire of the natives of both sexes to leave their native land, I may mention the offers which were made to the commander of the ship, of baskets of potatoes and hogs, as an inducement to be carried to the island of Erromanga, where our vessel was next bound to. Two hundred were taken on board for the purpose of cutting Sandal wood, but from the unhealthy state in which we found the island on our arrival, and the numerous deaths that had occurred among native gangs that had been brought by other vessels for a similar purpose, we returned to Rotuma and landed them all safely. The perfect apathy with which they leave parents and connexions, departing with strangers to a place respecting which they are in total ignorance, is quite surprising, placing an unbounded confidence in those differing in colour, language, and customs from themselves: the young, timid females, to whom a ship was a novelty, those who had never before seen a ship, were all anxious to visit foreign climes,—even, they said, London.
Much wonder was excited, when I exhibited to the natives of this island coloured engravings of flowers, birds, butterflies, &c.; they imagined them to be the original plant or butterfly attached to the paper—no mean compliment to the artist. The engravings in Charles Bell's Anatomy of Expression always excited much interest when shown to the Polynesians; the plate representing Laughter never failed of exciting sympathy. A caricature representation of one of the fashionable belles of 1828 puzzled them exceedingly; some thought it "a bird," others that it was a nondescript of some kind, but when they were told that it was a Haina London, or English lady, they laughed, and said Parora, "you are in joke," so incredible did it seem to their unsophisticated minds.
 From a drawing, obligingly furnished by Mr. George Bennett, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in London, &c.
 Abridged from the United Service Journal.
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A short time since there were given in the St. Petersburgh Academical Journal some authentic particulars of Professor Parrot's journey to Mount Ararat. After being baffled in repeated attempts, he at length succeeded in overcoming the obstacles which beset him, and ascertained the positive elevation of its peak to be 16,200 French feet: it is, therefore, more than 1,500 feet loftier than Mount Blanc. He describes the summit as being a circular plane, about 160 feet in circumference, joined by a gentle descent, with a second and less elevated one towards the east. The whole of the upper region of the mountain, from the height of 12,750 English feet, being covered with perpetual snow and ice. He afterwards ascended what is termed "The Little Ararat," and reports it to be about 13,100 English feet high.—W.G.C.
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SAILING UP THE ESSEQUIBO.
(Concluded from page 360.)
A family of Indians was seen crossing the river in their log canoe, and disappearing under the bushes on the opposite side; my companion and myself paddled after them, and we landed under some locust trees, and found an Indian settlement. The logies were sheds, open all round, and covered with the leaves of the trooly-palm, some of them twenty-four feet long; and suspended from the bamboo timbers of the roof were hammocks of net-work, in which the men were lazily swinging. One or two of those who were awake were fashioning arrow-heads out of hard wood. The men and children were entirely naked, with the exception of the blue lap or cloth for the loins; the women in their blue petticoat and braided hair were scraping the root of the cassava tree into a trough of bark; it was then put into a long press of matting, which expresses the poisonous juice; the dry farina is finally baked on an iron plate. The old women were weaving the square coeoo or lap of beads, which they sometimes wear without a petticoat; also armlets and ankle ornaments of beads. Some were fabricating earthen pots, and all the females seemed actively employed. They offered us a red liquor, called caseeree, prepared from the sweet potato; also piwarry, the intoxicating beverage made by chewing the cassava, and allowing it to ferment. At their piwarry feasts the Indians prepare a small canoe full of this liquor, beside which the entertainers and their guests roll together drunk for two or three days. Their helpmates look after them, and keep them from being suffocated with the sand getting into their mouths: but piwarry is a harmless liquor, that is to say, it does not produce the disease and baneful effects of spirits, for after a sleep the Indians rise fresh and well, and only occasionally indulge in a debauch of this kind. Fish, which the men had shot with their arrows, and birds, were brought out of the canoe, and barbacoted or smoke-dried on a grating of bamboos over a fire; and we followed an old man with a cutlass to their small fields of cassava, cleared by girdling and burning a part of the forest behind the logies. These Indians were of the Arrawak nation; we afterwards saw Caribs, Accaways, &c.
The rivers and creeks, and the whole of the interior of British Guiana at a distance from the sea, are unknown and unexplored. October and November are the driest months in the year, and the best for expeditions into the interior. I was unable to go as far up the river as I wished, from the great freshes; the rain fell every day, yet I penetrated in all directions as far as I could, and I trust to be able, at some more favourable season, to return to that interesting country.
Two years ago, a Mr. Smith, a mercantile man from Caraccas, was joined at George Town by a Lieutenant Gullifer, R.N. They proceeded down the Pomeroon river, then up the Wyeena creek, travelled across to the Coioony, sailed down it, and then went up the Essequibo to the Rio Negro, which, it appears, connects the Amazons and Oroonoco rivers. At Bara, on the Rio Negro, Mr. Smith, from sitting so long cramped up in coorials or canoes, became affected with dropsy; and allowing himself to be tapped by an ignorant quack, died after a fortnight's illness. Lieutenant Gullifer sailed down the Rio Negro to the Amazons, and remained at Para for some months, till he heard from England. From domestic details he received at Para, he fell into low spirits, and proceeded to Trinidad, where, one morning, he was found suspended to a beam under the steeple of the Protestant church! His papers, and Mr. Smith's, consisting of journals of their travels, were sent to a brother of Lieutenant Gullifer's, on the Marocco coast of Essequibo, where I went and saw the papers, and was most anxious to obtain them for the Geographical Society; but Mr. Gullifer said that he must consult first with the other relatives.
Among other interesting details I found in the notes, I may mention the following:—High up the Essequibo they fell in with a nation of anthropophagi, of the Carib tribe. The chief received the travellers courteously, and placed before them fish with savoury sauce; which being removed, two human hands were brought in, and a steak of human flesh! The travellers thought that this might be part of a baboon of a new species; however, they declined the invitation to partake, saying that, in travelling, they were not allowed to eat animal food. The chief picked the bones of the hands with excellent appetite, and asked them how they had relished the fruit and the sauce. They replied that the fish was good and the sauce excellent. To which he answered, "Human flesh makes the best sauce for any food; these hands and the fish were all dressed together. You see these Macooshee men, our slaves; we lately captured these people in war, and their wives we eat from time to time." The travellers were horrified, but concealed their feelings, and before they retired for the night, they remarked that the Macooshee females were confined in a large logie, or shed, surrounded with a stockade of bamboos; so that, daily the fathers, husbands, and brothers of these unfortunate women, saw them brought out, knocked on the head, and devoured by the inhuman cannibals. Lieutenant Gullifer, who was in bad condition, got into his hammock and slept soundly; but Mr. Smith, being in excellent case, walked about all night, fearing that their landlord might take a fancy to a steak of white meat. They afterwards visited a cave, in which was a pool of water; the Indians requested them not to bathe in this, for if they did, they would die before the year was out. They laughed at their monitors and bathed; but sure enough were both "clods of the valley" before the twelvemonth had expired.—Journal of the Geographical Society, Part 2.
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CELEBRATED PAINTERS BORN AT ANTWERP.
Alexander Adriansen, born 1625, excelled in Fruit, Flowers, Fish, and Still Life; John Asselyn, 1610, Landscapes and Battles; Jacques Backer, 1530, History; Francis Badens, 1571, History and Portraits; Hendrick Van Balen, 1560, History and Portraits; John Van Balen, 1611, History, Landscapes, and Boys; Cornelius Biskop, 1630, Portraits and History; John Francis Van Bloemen, called Orizzonte, 1656, Landscape; Peter Van Bloemen, Battles, Encampments, and Italian Markets; Norbert Van Bloemen, 1672, Portraits and Conversations; Balthasar Vanden Bosch, 1675, Conversations and Portraits; Peter Van Breda, 1630, Landscapes and Cattle; John Van Breda, 1683, History, Landscapes, and Conversations; Charles Breydel, called Cavalier, 1677, Landscapes; Francis Breydel, 1679, Portraits and Conversations; Paul Bril, 1554, Landscapes, large and small; Elias Vanden Broek, 1657, Flowers, Fruit, and Serpents; Abraham Brueghel, called the Neapolitan, 1692, Fruit and Flowers; Denis Calvart, 1555, History and Landscapes; Joseph, or Joas Van Cleef, History and Portraits; Henry and Martin Van Cleef, brothers, Henry painted Landscapes, and Martin History; Giles Corgnet, called Giles of Antwerp, 1530, History, grotesque; Egidius, or Gillies Coningsloo, or Conixlo, 1544, Landscapes; Gonzalo Coques, 1618, Portraits and Conversations; John Cosiers, 1603, History; Gasper de Crayer, 1585, History and Portraits; Jacques Denys, 1645, History and Portraits; William Derkye, History; John Baptist Van Deynum, 1620, Portraits in Miniature, and History in Water Colours; Peter Eykens, 1599, History; Francis Floris, called the Raphael of Flanders, 1520, History; James Fouquieres, 1580, Landscapes; Sebastian Franks, or Vranx, 1571, Conversations, History, Landscapes, and Battle Pieces; John Baptist Franks, or Vranx, 1600, History and Conversations; John Fytt, 1625, Live and Dead Animals, Birds, Fruit, Flowers, and Landscapes; William Gabron, Still Life; Abraham Genoels, 1640, Landscapes and Portraits; Sir Balthasar Gabier, 1592, Portrait in Miniature; Gillemans, 1672, Fruit and Still Life; Jacob Grimmer, 1510, Landscapes; Peter Hardime, Fruit and Flowers; Minderhout Hobbima, 1611, Landscapes; John Van Hoeck, 1600, History and Portraits; Robert Van Hoeck, 1609, Battles; Dirk, or Theodore Van Hoogeshaeten, 1596, Landscapes and Still Life; Cornelius Huysman, 1648, Landscapes and Animals; Abraham Janssens, 1569, History; John Van Kessel, 1626, Flowers, Portraits, Birds, Insects, and Reptiles; David De Koning, Animals, Birds, and Flowers; Balthasar Van Lemens, 1637, History; N. Leyssens, 1661, History; Peter Van Lint, 1609, History and Portraits; Godfrey Maes, 1660, History; Quintin Matsys, 1460, History and Portraits; John Matsys, son of the above, Portrait and History; Minderhout, 1637, Sea Ports and Landscapes; Peter Neefs, the old, 1570, Churches, Perspective, and Architecture; William Van Nieulant, 1584, Landscapes and Architecture; Adam Van Oort, 1557, History, Portraits, and Landscapes; Bonarentine, Peters, 1614, Sea Pieces, and particularly Storms; Erasmus Quellinus, 1607, History; Jacques de Roore, 1686, History and Conversations; Martin Ryckaert, 1591, Landscapes, with Architecture and Ruins; David Ryckaert, the younger, 1615, Conversations, and Apparitions to St. Anthony; Anthony Schoonjans, 1655, History and Portraits; Cornelius Schut, 1600, History; Peter Snayers, 1593, History, Battles, &c.; Francis Snyders, 1579, Animals, Fruit, Still Life, and Landscapes; David Teniers, 1582, Conversations; Sir Anthony Van Dyke, 1599, History and Portraits; Paul Vansomer, 1576, Portraits; Lucas Vanuden, 1595, Landscapes; Adrian Van Utrecht, 1599, Birds, Fruit, Flowers, and Dead Game; Gasper Peter Verbruggen, 1668, Flowers; Simon Verelst, 1664, Fruit, Flowers, and Portraits; Verendael, 1659, Fruit and Flowers; Tobias Verhaecht, 1566, Landscapes and Architecture; Martin de Vos, 1520, History, Landscape, and Portrait; Simon De Vos, 1603, History, Portraits, and Hunting; Lucas De Waal, 1591, Battles and Landscapes; Adam Willaerts, 1577, Storms, Calms, and Sea Ports; John Wildens, 1584, Landscapes and Figures.
Peter Paul Rubens was of a distinguished family at Antwerp; but his father being (says Pilkington) under the necessity of quitting his country, to avoid the calamities attendant on a civil war, retired for security to Cologne; and during his residence in that city Rubens was born, in 1577. The day of his nativity was the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul; and thence he received at the baptismal font the names of these apostles.
Having been absent from his native country eight years, he was summoned home by the repeated illness of his mother; but, though he hastened with all speed, he did not reach Antwerp in time to afford his beloved parent the consolations of his presence and affections. The loss of her affected him deeply; and he intended, when he had arranged his private affairs, to go and reside in Italy; but the Archduke Albert and the Infanta Isabella exerted their interest to retain him in Flanders, and in their service. He consequently established himself at Antwerp, where he married his first wife, Elizabeth Brants, and built a magnificent house, with a saloon in form of a rotunda, which he enriched with antique statues, busts, vases, and pictures, by the most celebrated masters; and here, surrounded by works of art, he carried, (says his biographer,) into execution those numberless productions of his prolific and rich invention, which once adorned his native country, but now are become the spoil of war, and the tokens of conquest and ambition, shining with equal lustre among super-eminent productions of painting in the gallery of the Louvre.
The whole of the paintings, except two, which adorn the gallery of the Luxembourg, were executed at Antwerp, by Rubens, for Mary de Medici.
He died in the year 1640, at the age of 63; and was buried, with extraordinary pomp, in the church of St. James, at Antwerp, under the altar of his private chapel, which he had previously decorated with a very fine picture.
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The Public Journals.
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ADVENTURE WITH A SHARK.
(Abridged from Tom Cringle's Log, in Blackwood's Magazine.)
During the night we stood off and on under easy sail, and next morning, when the day broke, with a strong breeze and a fresh shower, we were about two miles of the Moro Castle, at the entrance of Santiago de Cuba.
The fresh green shores of this glorious island lay before us, fringed with white surf, as the everlasting ocean in its approach to it gradually changed its dark blue colour, as the water shoaled, into a bright, joyous green under the blazing sun, as if in sympathy with the genius of the fair land, before it tumbled at his feet its gently swelling billows, in shaking thunders on the reefs and rocky face of the coast, against which they were driven up in clouds, the incense of their sacrifice. The undulating hills in the vicinity were all either cleared, and covered with the greenest verdure that imagination can picture, over which strayed large herds of cattle, or with forests of gigantic trees, from amongst which, every now and then, peeped out some palm-thatched mountain settlement, with its small thread of blue smoke floating up into the calm, clear morning air, while the blue hills in the distance rose higher and higher, and more and more blue, and dreamy, and indistinct, until their rugged summits could not be distinguished from the clouds through the glimmering hot haze of the tropics.
A very melancholy accident happened to a poor boy on board, of about fifteen years of age, who had already become a great favourite of mine from his modest, quiet deportment, as well as of all the gunroom-officers, although he had not been above a fortnight in the ship. He had let himself down over the bows by the cable to bathe. There were several of his comrades standing on the forecastle looking at him, and he asked one of them to go out on the spritsail-yard, and look round to see if there were any sharks in the neighbourhood; but all around was deep, clear, green water. He kept hold of the cable, however, and seemed determined not to put himself in harm's way, until a little, wicked urchin, who used to wait on the warrant-officers' mess, a small meddling snipe of a creature, who got flogged in well behaved weeks only once, began to taunt my little mild favourite.
"Why, you chicken-heart, I'll wager a thimbleful of grog, that such a tailor as you are in the water can't for the life of you swim but to the buoy there."
"Never you mind, Pepperbottom," said the boy, giving the imp the name he had richly earned by repeated flagellations. "Never you mind. I am not ashamed to show my naked hide, you know. But it is against orders in these seas to go overboard, unless with a sail underfoot; so I sha'n't run the risk of being tatooed by the boatswain's mate, like some one I could tell of."
"Coward," muttered the little wasp, "you are afraid, sir;" and the other boys abetting the mischief-maker, the lad was goaded to leave his hold of the cable, and strike out for the buoy. He reached it, and then turned, and pulled towards the ship again, when he caught my eye.
"Who is that overboard? How dare you, sir, disobey the standing order of the ship? Come in, boy; come in."
My hailing the little fellow shoved him off his balance, and he lost his presence of mind for a moment or two, during which he, if any thing, widened his distance from the ship.
At this instant the lad on the spritsail-yard sung out quick and suddenly, "A shark, a shark!"
And the monster, like a silver pillar, suddenly shot up perpendicularly from out the dark green depths of the sleeping pool, with the waters sparkling and hissing around him, as if he had been a sea-demon rushing on his prey.
"Pull for the cable, Louis," shouted fifty voices at once—"pull for the cable."
The boy did so—we all ran forward. He reached the cable—grasped it with both hands, and hung on, but before he could swing himself out of the water, the fierce fish had turned. His whitish-green belly glanced in the sun—the poor little fellow gave a heart-splitting yell, which was shattered amongst the impending rocks into piercing echoes, and these again were reverberated from cavern to cavern, until they died away amongst the hollows in the distance, as if they had been the faint shrieks of the damned—yet he held fast for a second or two—the ravenous tyrant of the sea tug, tugging at him, till the stiff, taught cable shook again. At length he was torn from his hold, but did not disappear; the animal continuing on the surface crunching his prey with his teeth, and digging at him with his jaws, as if trying to gorge a morsel too large to be swallowed, and making the water flash up in foam over the boats in pursuit, by the powerful strokes of his tail, but without ever letting go his hold. The poor lad only cried once more—but such a cry—oh, God, I never shall forget it!—and, could it be possible, in his last shriek, his piercing expiring cry, his young voice seemed to pronounce my name—at least so I thought at the time, and others thought so too. The next moment he appeared quite dead. No less than three boats had been in the water alongside when the accident happend, and they were all on the spot by this time. And there was the bleeding and mangled boy, torn along the surface of the water by the shark, with the boats in pursuit, leaving a long stream of blood, mottled with white specks of fat and marrow in his wake. At length the man in the bow of the gig laid hold of him by the arm, another sailor caught the other arm, boat-hooks and oars were dug into and launched at the monster, who relinquished his prey at last, stripping off the flesh, however, from the upper part of the right thigh, until his teeth reached the knee, where he nipped the shank clean off, and made sail with the leg in his jaws. Poor little Louis never once moved after we took him in.—I thought I heard a small, still, stern voice thrill along my nerves, as if an echo of the beating of my heart had become articulate. "Thomas, a fortnight ago, you impressed that poor boy, who was, and now is not, out of a Bristol ship." Alas, conscience spoke no more than the truth.
Our instructions were to lie at St. Jago, until three British ships, then loading, were ready for sea, and then to convey them through the Caicos, or windward passage. As our stay was therefore likely to be ten days or a fortnight at the shortest, the boats were hoisted out, and we made our little arrangements and preparations for taking all the recreation in our power, and our worthy skipper, taught and stiff as he was at sea, always encouraged all kinds of fun and larking, both amongst the men and the officers on occasions like the present. Amongst his other pleasant qualities, he was a great boat-racer, constantly building and altering gigs, and pulling-boats, at his own expense, and matching the men against each other for small prizes. He had just finished what the old carpenter considered his chef-d'oeuvre, and a curious affair this same masterpiece was. In the first place it was forty-two feet long over all, and only three and a half feet beam—the planking was not much above an eighth of an inch in thickness, so that if one of the crew had slipped his foot off the stretcher, it must have gone through the bottom. There was a standing order that no man was to go into it with shoes on. She was to pull six oars, and her crew were the captains of the tops, the primest seamen in the ship, and the steersman no less a character than the skipper himself.
Her name, for I love to be particular, was the Dragon-fly; she was painted out and in of a bright red, amounting to a flame colour—oars red—the men wearing trousers and shirts of red flannel, and red net night caps—which common uniform the captain himself wore, I think I have said before, that he was a very handsome man, and when he had taken his seat, and the gigs, all fine men, were seated each with his oar held upright upon his knees ready to be dropped into the water at the same instant, the craft and her crew formed to my eye as pretty a plaything for grown children as ever was seen. "Give way, men," the oars dipped as clean as so many knives, without a sparkle, the gallant fellows stretched out, and away shot the Dragon-fly, like an arrow, the green water foaming into white smoke at the bows, and hissing away in her wake.
She disappeared in a twinkling round a reach of the canal where we were anchored, and we, that is the gunroom-officers, all except the second lieutenant, who had the watch, and the master, now got into our own gig also, rowed by ourselves, and away we all went in a covey; the purser and doctor, and three of the middies forward, Thomas Cringle, gent., pulling the stroke oar, with old Moses Yerk as coxswain;—and as the Dragon-flies were all red, so we were all sea-green, boat, oars, trousers, shirts, and night-caps. The strain was between the Devil's Darning Needle and our boat, the Watersprite, which was making capital play, for although we had not the bottom of the topmen, yet we had more blood, so to speak, and we had already beaten them, in their last gig, all to sticks. But the Dragon-fly was a new boat, and now in the water for the first time. * * *
We were both of us so intent on our own match, that we lost sight of the Spaniard altogether, and the captain and the first lieutenant were bobbing in the sternsheets of their respective gigs like a couple of souple Tams, as intent on the game as if all our lives had depended on it, when in an instant the long, black, dirty prow of the canoe was thrust in between us, the old Don singing out, "Dexa mi lugar, paysanos, dexa mi lugar, mis hijos." We kept away right and left, to look at the miracle; and there lay the canoe, rumbling and splashing, with her crew walloping about, and grinning and yelling like incarnate fiends, and as naked as the day they were born, and the old Don himself, so staid and sedate, and drawley as he was a minute before, now all alive, shouting, "Tira, diablitos, tira," flourishing a small paddle, with which he steered, about his head like a wheel, and dancing and jumping about in his seat, as if his bottom had been a haggis with quicksilver in it.
"Zounds," roared the skipper,—"why, topmen—why gentlemen, give way for the honour of the ship—Gentlemen, stretch out—Men, pull like devils; twenty pounds if you beat him."
It was now the evening, near night-fall. A splendid scene burst upon our view, on rounding a precipitous rock, from the crevices of which some magnificent trees shot up—their gnarled trunks and twisted branches overhanging the canal where we were pulling, and anticipating the fast falling darkness that was creeping over the fair face of nature; and there we floated, in the deep shadow of the cliff and trees—Dragon-flies and Water-sprites, motionless and silent, and the boats floating so lightly that they scarcely seemed to touch the water, the men resting on their oars, and all of us wrapped with the magnificence of the scenery around us, beneath us, and above us.
The left or western bank of the narrow entrance to the harbour, from which we were now debouching, ran out in all its precipitousness and beauty, (with its dark evergreen bushes overshadowing the deep blue waters, and its gigantic trees shooting forth high into the glowing western sky, their topmost branches gold-tipped in the flood of radiance shed by the rapidly sinking sun, while all below where we lay was grey cold shade,) until it joined the northern shore, when it sloped away gradually towards the east; the higher parts of the town sparkling in the evening sun, on this dun ridge, like a golden tower on the back of an elephant, while the houses that were in the shade covered the declivity, until it sank down to the water's edge. On the right hand the haven opened boldly out into a basin about four miles broad by seven long, in which the placid waters spread out beyond the shadow of the western bank into one vast sheet of molten gold, with the canoe tearing along the shining surface, her side glancing in the sun, and her paddles flashing back his rays, and leaving a long train of living fire sparkling in her wake.—It was now about six o'clock in the evening; the sun had set to us, as we pulled along under the frowning brow of the cliff, where the birds were fast settling on their nightly perches, with small happy twitterings, and the lizards and numberless other chirping things began to send forth their evening hymn to the great Being who made them and us, and a solitary white-sailing owl would every now and then flit spectrelike from one green tuft, across the bald face of the cliff, to another, and the small divers around us were breaking up the black surface of the waters into little sparkling circles as they fished for their suppers. All was becoming brown and indistinct near us; but the level beams of the setting sun still lingered with a golden radiance upon the lovely city, and the shipping at anchor before it, making their sails, where loosed to dry, glance like leaves of gold, and their spars, and masts, and rigging like wires of gold, and gilding their flags, which were waving majestically and slow from the peaks in the evening breeze; and the Moorish-looking steeples of the churches were yet sparkling in the glorious blaze, which was gradually deepening into gorgeous crimson, while the large pillars of the cathedral, then building on the highest part of the ridge, stood out like brazen monuments, softening even as we looked into a Stonehenge of amethysts.
We had not pulled fifty yards, when we heard the distant rattle of the muskets of the sentries at the gangways, as they discharged them at sundown, and were remarking, as we were rowing leisurely along, upon the strange effect produced by the reports, as they were frittered away amongst the overhanging cliffs in chattering reverberations, when the captain suddenly sung out, "Oars!" All hands lay on them. "Look there," he continued—"There—between the gigs—saw you ever any thing like that, gentlemen?" We all leant over; and although the boats, from the way they had, were skimming along nearer seven than five knots—there lay a large shark; he must have been twelve feet long at the shortest, swimming right in the middle, and equi-distant from both, and keeping way with us most accurately.
He was distinctly visible, from the strong and vivid phosphorescence excited by his rapid motion through the sleeping waters of the dark creek, which lit up his jaws, and head, and whole body; his eyes were especially luminous, while a long wake of sparkles streamed away astern of him from the lashing of his tail. As the boats lost their speed, the luminousness of his appearance faded gradually as he shortened sail also, until he disappeared altogether. He was then at rest, and suspended motionless in the water; and the only thing that indicated his proximity, was an occasional sparkle from the motion of a fin. We brought the boats nearer together, after pulling a stroke or two, but he seemed to sink as we closed, until at last we could merely distinguish an indistinct halo far down in the clear black profound. But as we separated, and resumed our original position, he again rose near the surface; and although the ripple and dip of the oars rendered him invisible while we were pulling, yet the moment we again rested on them, there was the monster, like a persecuting fiend, once more right between us, glaring on us, and apparently watching every motion. It was a terrible spectacle, and rendered still more striking by the melancholy occurrence of the forenoon. "That's the very identical, damnable baste himself, as murthered poor little Louis this morning, yeer honour; I knows him from the torn flesh of him under his larboard blinker, sir—just where Wiggen's boat hook punished him," quoth the Irish captain of the mizzen-top.
"A water-kelpie," murmured another of the Captain's gigs, a Scotchman.
The men were evidently alarmed, "Stretch out, men: never mind the shark. He can't jump into the boat surely," said the skipper. "What the deuce are you afraid of?"
We arrived within pistol-shot of the ship.
As we approached, the sentry hailed, "Boat, ahoy!"
"Firebrand," sung out the skipper, in reply.
"Man the side—gangway lanterns there," quoth the officer on duty; and by the time we were close to, there were two sidesmen over the side with the manropes ready stuck out to our grasp, and two boys with lanterns above them. We got on deck.
 "Leave me room, countrymen—leave me room, my children."
 Equivalent to "Pull, you devils, pull!"
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The Emperor Adrian and the Architect Apollodorus.—When Apollodorus was conversing with Trajan on some plans of architecture, Adrian interfered, and gave an opinion, which the artist treated with contempt. "Go," says he, "and paint gourds" (an amusement which Adrian was fond of), "for you are very ignorant of the subject on which we are conversing." When Adrian became emperor, the affront was remembered, and it prevented Apollodorus from being employed. Nor was the opinion which Apollodorus gave with respect to the plans of a sumptuous temple of Venus forgotten: viz.—upon seeing the statues sitting, as they were, in the temple (which, it seems, wanted much of its due proportion in height), he said, "if the goddesses should ever attempt to stand upon their feet, they would assuredly break their heads against the ceiling." Adrian, meanly jealous and inexcusably revengeful, banished the architect, and having caused him to be accused of various crimes, put him to death.
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Juan Rufa said—"There are two classes of persons who are inconsolable, the rich on the point of death, and women on the departure of their beauty." He said, on another occasion, "that he who defined a compliment to be an agreeable falsehood, which serves as a net to catch dupes, was not far short of the truth, since the greater part of compliments are expressions directly at variance with internal conviction."
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Dice are said to have been invented by Palamedes, at the siege of Troy, for the amusement of the soldiers.
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ANNUALS FOR 1833.
The time requisite for the completion of a large and picturesque Engraving compels us to defer the Supplement, containing the SPIRIT of the ANNUALS, till our next Number.
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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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