THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 10, No. 264.] SATURDAY, JULY 14, 1827. [PRICE 2d.
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NEW CHURCH, REGENT'S PARK.
The architectural splendour which has lately developed itself in and about the precincts of the parish of St. Mary-le-Bonne, exhibits a most surprising and curious contrast with the former state of this part of London; and more particularly when compared with accounts extracted from newspapers of an early date.
Mary-le-Bonne parish is estimated to contain more than ten thousand houses, and one hundred thousand inhabitants. In the plans of London, in 1707, it was a small village one mile distant from the Metropolis, separated by fields—the scenes of robbery and murder. The following from a newspaper of 1716:—"On Wednesday last, four gentlemen were robbed and stripped in the fields between Mary-le-Bonne and London." The "Weekly Medley," of 1718, says, "Round about the New Square which is building near Tyburn road, there are so many other edifices, that a whole magnificent city seems to be risen out of the ground in a way which makes one wonder how it should find a new set of inhabitants. It is said it is to be called by the name of Hanover Square! On the other side is to be built another square, called Oxford Square." From the same article I have also extracted the dates of many of the different erections, which may prove of benefit to your architectural readers, as tending to show the progressive improvement made in the private buildings of London, and showing also the style of building adopted at later periods. Indeed, I would wish that some of your correspondents— F.R.Y., or P.T.W., for instance, would favour us with a list of dates answering this purpose. Rathbone-place and John-street (from Captain Rathbone) began 1729. Oxford market opened 1732. Newman-street and Berners-street, named from the builders, between 1723 and 1775. Portland-place and street, 1770. Portman-square, 1764. Portman-place, 1770. Stratford-place, five years later, on the site of Conduit Mead, built by Robert Stratford, Esq. This had been the place whereon stood the banquetting house for the lord mayor and aldermen, when they visited the neighbouring nine conduits which then supplied the city with water. Cumberland-place, 1769. Manchester-square the year after.
Previous to entering upon an architectural description of the superb buildings recently erected in the vicinity of Regency Park, I shall confine myself at present to that object that first arrests the attention at the entrance, which is the church; it has been erected under the commissioners for building new churches. The architect is J. Soane, Esq. There is a pleasing originality in this gentleman's productions; the result of extensive research among the architectural beauties of the ancients, together with a peculiar happy mode of distributing his lights and shadows; producing in the greatest degree picturesque effect: these are peculiarities essentially his own, and forming in no part a copy of the works of any other architect in the present day. The church in question by no means detracts from his merit in these particulars. The principal front consists of a portico of four columns of the Ionic order, approached by a small flight of steps; on each side is a long window, divided into two heights by a stone transum (panelled). Under the lower window is a raised panel also; and in the flank of the building the plinth is furnished with openings; each of the windows is filled with ornamental iron-work, for the purpose of ventilating the vaults or catacombs. The flank of the church has a central projection, occupied by antae, and six insulated Ionic columns; the windows in the inter-columns are in the same style as those in front; the whole is surmounted by a balustrade. The tower is in two heights; the lower part has eight columns of the Corinthian order. Example taken from the temple of Vesta, at Tivoli; these columns, with their stylobat and entablature, project, and give a very extraordinary relief in the perspective view of the building. The upper part consists of a circular peristyle of six columns; the example apparently taken from the portico of the octagon tower of Andronicus Cyrrhestes, or tower of the winds, from the summit of which rises a conical dome, surmounted by the Vane. The more minute detail may be seen by the annexed drawing. The prevailing ornament is the Grecian fret.
Mr. Soane, during his long practice in the profession, has erected very few churches, and it appears that he is endeavouring to rectify failings that seem insurmountable in the present style of architecture,—that of preventing the tower from having the appearance of rising out of the roof, by designing his porticos without pediments; if this is the case, he certainly is indebted to a great share of praise, as a pediment will always conceal (particularly at a near view) the major part of a tower. But again, we find ourselves in another difficulty, and it makes the remedy as bad as the disease,—that of taking away the principal characteristic of a portico, (namely, the pediment), and destroying at once the august appearance which it gives to the building; we find in all the churches of Sir Christopher Wren the campanile to form a distinct projection from the ground upwards; thus assimilating nearer to the ancient form of building them entirely apart from the main body of the church. I should conceive, that if this idea was followed by introducing the beautiful detail of Grecian architecture, according to Wren's models it would raise our church architecture to a very superior pitch of excellence.
In my next I shall notice the interior, and also the elevation towards the altar.
July 1, 1827.
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The heat is greatest in this month on account of its previous duration. The reason why it is less so in August is, that the days are then much shorter, and the influence of the sun has been gradually diminishing. The farmer is still occupied in getting the productions of the earth into his garners; but those who can avoid labour enjoy as much rest and shade as possible. There is a sense of heat and quiet all over nature. The birds are silent. The little brooks are dried up. The earth is chapped with parching. The shadows of the trees are particularly grateful, heavy, and still. The oaks, which are freshest because latest in leaf, form noble clumpy canopies; looking, as you lie under them, of a strong and emulous green against the blue sky. The traveller delights to cut across the country through the fields and the leafy lanes, where, nevertheless, the flints sparkle with heat. The cattle get into the shade or stand in the water. The active and air-cutting-swallows, now beginning to assemble for migration, seek their prey about the shady places; where the insects, though of differently compounded natures, "fleshless and bloodless," seem to get for coolness, as they do at other times for warmth. The sound of insects is also the only audible thing now, increasing rather than lessening the sense of quiet by its gentle contrast. The bee now and then sweeps across the ear with his gravest tone. The gnats
"Their murmuring small trumpets sounden wide:"—SPENSER.
and here and there the little musician of the grass touches forth his tricksy note.
The poetry of earth is never dead; When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead: That is the grasshopper's.
 Poems, by John Keats, p. 93.
The strong rains, which sometimes come down in summer-time, are a noble interruption to the drought and indolence of hot weather. They seem as if they had been collecting a supply of moisture equal to the want of it, and come drenching the earth with a mighty draught of freshness. The rushing and tree-bowing winds that precede them, the dignity with which they rise in the west, the gathering darkness of their approach, the silence before their descent, the washing amplitude of their out-pouring, the suddenness with which they appear to leave off, taking up, as it were, their watery feet to sail onward, and then the sunny smile again of nature, accompanied by the "sparkling noise" of the birds, and those dripping diamonds the rain-drops;—there is a grandeur and a beauty in all this, which lend a glorious effect to each other; for though the sunshine appears more beautiful than grand, there is a power, not even to be looked upon, in the orb from which it flows; and though the storm is more grand than beautiful, there is always beauty where there is so much beneficence.—The Months.
It is now the weather for bathing, a refreshment too little taken in this country, either summer or winter. We say in winter, because with very little care in placing it near a cistern, and having a leathern pipe for it, a bath may be easily filled once or twice a week with warm water; and it is a vulgar error that the warm bath relaxes. An excess, either warm or cold, will relax, and so will any other excess; but the sole effect of the warm bath moderately taken is, that it throws off the bad humours of the body by opening and clearing the pores. As to summer bathing, a father may soon teach his children to swim, and thus perhaps may be the means of saving their lives some day or other, as well as health. Ladies also, though they cannot bathe in the open air, as they do in some of the West Indian islands and other countries, by means of natural basins among the rocks, might oftener make a substitute for it at home in tepid baths. The most beautiful aspects under which Venus has been painted or sculptured have been connected with bathing; and indeed there is perhaps no one thing that so equally contributes to the three graces of health, beauty, and good temper; to health, in putting the body into its best state; to beauty, in clearing and tinting the skin; and to good temper, in rescuing the spirits from the irritability occasioned by those formidable personages, "the nerves," which nothing else allays in so quick and entire a manner. See a lovely passage on the subject of bathing in Sir Philip Sydney's "Arcadia," where "Philoclea, blushing, and withal smiling, makeing shamefastnesse pleasant, and pleasure shamefast, tenderly moved her feet, unwonted to feel the naked ground, until the touch of the cold water made a pretty kind of shrugging come over her body; like the twinkling of the fairest among the fixed stars."—Ibid.
Insects now take the place of the feathered tribe, and, being for the most part hatched in the spring, they are now in full vigour. It is a very amusing sight in some of our rural rambles, in a bright evening after a drizzling summer shower, to see the air filled throughout all its space with sportive organized creatures, the leaf, the branch, the bark of the tree, every mossy bank, the bare earth, the pool, the ditch, all teeming with animal life; and the mind that is ever framed for contemplation, must awaken now in viewing such a profusion and variety of existence. One of those poor little beings, the fragile gnat, becomes our object of attention, whether we regard its form or peculiar designation in the insect world; we must admire the first, and innocently, perhaps, conjecture the latter. We know that Infinite Wisdom, which formed, declared it "to be very good;" that it has its destination and settled course of action, admitting of no deviation or substitution: beyond this, perhaps, we can rarely proceed, or, if we sometimes advance a few steps more, we are then lost in the mystery with which the incomprehensible Architect has thought proper to surround it. So little is human nature permitted to see, (nor perhaps is it capable of comprehending much more than permitted,) that it is blind beyond thought as to secondary causes; and admiration, that pure fountain of intellectual pleasure, is almost the only power permitted to us. We see a wonderfully fabricated creature, decorated with a vest of glorious art and splendour, occupying almost its whole life in seeking for the most fitting station for its own necessities, exerting wiles and stratagems, and constructing a peculiar material to preserve its offspring against natural or occasional injury, with a forethought equivalent to reason—in a moment, perhaps, with all its splendour and instinct, it becomes the prey of some wandering bird! and human wisdom and conjecture are humbled to the dust. We can "see but in part," and the wisest of us is only, perhaps, something less ignorant than another. This sense of a perfection so infinitely above us, is the natural intimation of a Supreme Being; and as science improves, and inquiry is augmented, our imperfections and ignorance will become more manifest, and all our aspirations after knowledge only increase in us the conviction of knowing nothing. Every deep investigator of nature can hardly be possessed of any other than a humble mind.
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(For the Mirror.)
Of this bird, there are several species, distinguished by their different colours. The male of the common kind is, perhaps, the most gaudy of all the bird-kind; the length and beauty of whose tail, and the various forms in which the creature carries it, are sufficiently known and admired among us. India is, however, his native country; and there he enjoys himself with a sprightliness and gaiety unknown to him in Europe. The translators of Hindoo poetry concur in their description of his manners; and is frequently alluded to by the Hindoo poets.
"Dark with her varying clouds, and peacocks gay."
It is affirmed, among the delightful phenomena which are observable at the commencement of the rainy season, (immediately following that of the withering hot winds,) the joy displayed by the peacocks is one of the most pleasing. These birds assemble in groups upon some retired spot of verdant grass; jump about in the most animated manner, and make the air re-echo with their cheerful notes.
"Or can the peacock's animated hail."
The wild peacock is also exceedingly abundant in many parts of Hindoostan, and is especially found in marshy places. The habits of this bird are in a great measure aquatic; and the setting in of the rains is the season in which they pair; the peacock is, therefore, always introduced in the description of cloudy or rainy weather. Thus, in a little poem, descriptive of the rainy season, &c., the author says, addressing his mistress,—
"Oh, thou, whose teeth enamelled vie With smiling Cunda's pearly ray, Hear how the peacock's amorous cry Salutes the dark and cloudy day."
And again, where he is describing the same season:—
"When smiling forests, whence the tuneful cries Of clustering pea-fowls shrill and frequent rise, Teach tender feelings to each human breast, And please alike the happy or distressed."
The peacock flies to the highest station he can reach, to enjoy himself; and rises to the topmost boughs of trees, though the female makes her nest on the ground.
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A WARNING TO FRUIT EATERS.
(For the Mirror.)
The mischiefs arising from the bad custom of many people swallowing the stones of plums and other fruit are very great. In the Philosophical Transactions, No. 282, there is an account of a woman who suffered violent pains in her bowels for thirty years, returning once in a month, or less, owing to a plum-stone which had lodged; which, after various operations, was extracted. There is likewise an account of a man, who dying of an incurable colic, which had tormented him many years, and baffled the effects of medicine, was opened after his death, and in his bowels was found the cause of his distemper, which was a ball, composed of tough and hard matter, resembling a stone, being six inches in circumference, when measured, and weighing an ounce and a half; in the centre of this there was found the stone of a common plum. These instances sufficiently prove the folly of that common opinion, that the stones of fruits are wholesome. Cherry-stones, swallowed in great quantities, have occasioned the death of many people; and there have been instances even of the seeds of strawberries, and kernels of nuts, collected into a lump in the bowels, and causing violent disorders, which could never be cured till they were carried off.
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BY THE AUTHOR OF "AHAB."
(For the Mirror.)
In the low dingle sings the nightingale. And echo answers; all beside is still. The breeze is gone to fill some distant sail, And on the sand to sleep has sunk the rill. The blackbird and the thrush have sought the vale. And the lark soars no more above the hill, For the broad sun is up all hotly pale, And in my reins I feel his parching thrill.
Hark! how each note, so beautifully clear, So soft, so sweetly mellow, rings around. Then faintly dies away upon the ear, That fondly vibrates to the fading sound. Poor bird, thou sing'st, the thorn within thy heart, And I from sorrows, that will not depart.
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SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS
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A NIGHT ATTACK.
Charlton and I were in the act of smoking our cigars, the men having laid themselves down about the blaze, when word was passed from sentry to sentry, and intelligence communicated to us, that all was not right towards the river. We started instantly to our feet. The fire was hastily smothered up, and the men snatching their arms, stood in line, ready to act as circumstances might require. So dense, however, was the darkness, and so dazzling the effect of the glare from the bivouac, that it was not possible, standing where we stood, to form any reasonable guess, as to the cause of this alarm. That an alarm had been excited, was indeed perceptible enough. Instead of the deep silence which five minutes ago had prevailed in the bivouac, a strange hubbub of shouts, and questions, and as many cries, rose up the night air; nor did many minutes elapse, ere first one musket, then three or four, then a whole platoon, were discharged. The reader will easily believe that the latter circumstance startled us prodigiously, ignorant as we were of the cause which produced it; but it required no very painful exertion of patience to set us right on this head; flash, flash, flash, came from the river; the roar of cannon followed, and the light of her own broadside displayed to us an enemy's vessel at anchor near the opposite bank, and pouring a perfect shower of grape and round shot into the camp.
For one instant, and only for an instant, a scene of alarm and consternation overcame us; and we almost instinctively addressed to each other the question, "What can all this mean?" But the meaning was too palpable not to be understood at once. "The thing cannot end here," said we—"a night attack is commencing;" and we made no delay in preparing to meet it. Whilst Charlton remained with the picquet, in readiness to act as the events might demand, I came forward to the sentries, for the purpose of cautioning them against paying attention to what might pass in their rear, and keeping them steadily engaged in watching their front. The men were fully alive to the peril of their situation. They strained with their hearing and eyesight to the utmost limits; but neither sound nor sight of an advancing column could be perceived. At last, however, an alarm was given. One of the rifles challenged—it was the sentinel on the high road; the sentinel who communicated with him challenged also; and the cry was taken up from man to man, till our own most remote sentry caught it. I flew to his station; and sure enough the tramp of many feet was most distinctly audible. Having taken the precaution to carry an orderly forward with me, I caused him to hurry back to Charlton with intelligence of what was coming, and my earnest recommendation that he would lose no time in occupying the ditch. I had hardly done so, when the noise of a column deploying was distinctly heard. The tramp of horses, too, came mingled with the tread of men; in a word, it was quite evident that a large force, both of infantry and cavalry, was before us.
There was a pause at this period of several moments, as if the enemy's line, having effected its formation, had halted till some other arrangement should be completed; but it was quickly broke. On they came, as far as we could judge from the sound, in steady array, till at length their line could be indistinctly seen rising through the gloom. The sentinels with one consent gave their fire. They gave it regularly and effectively, beginning with the rifles on their left, and going off towards the 85th on their right, and then, in obedience to their orders, fell back. But they retired not unmolested. This straggling discharge on our part seemed to be the signal to the Americans to begin the battle, and they poured in such a volley, as must have proved, had any determinate object been opposed to it, absolutely murderous. But our scattered videttes almost wholly escaped it; whilst over the main body of the picquet, sheltered as it was by the ditch, and considerably removed from its line, it passed entirely harmless.
Having fired this volley, the enemy loaded again, and advanced. We saw them coming, and having waited till we judged that they were within excellent range, we opened our fire. It was returned in tenfold force, and now went on, for a full half hour, as heavy and close a discharge of musketry as troops have perhaps ever faced. Confident in their numbers, and led on, as it would appear, by brave officers, the Americans dashed forward till scarcely ten yards divided us; but our position was an admirable one, our men were steady and cool, and they penetrated no farther. On the contrary, we drove them back, more than once, with a loss which their own inordinate multitude tended only to render the more severe.
The action might have continued in this state about two hours, when, to our horror and dismay, the approaching fire upon our right flank and rear gave testimony that the picquet of the 85th, which had been in communication with us, was forced. Unwilling to abandon our ground, which we had hitherto held with such success, we clung for awhile to the idea that the reverse in that quarter might be only temporary, and that the arrival of fresh troops might yet enable us to continue the battle in a position so eminently favourable to us. But we were speedily taught that our hopes were without foundation. The American war-cry was behind us. We rose from our lairs, and endeavoured, as we best could, to retire upon the right, but the effort was fruitless. There too the enemy had established themselves, and we were surrounded. "Let us cut our way through," cried we to the men. The brave fellows answered only with a shout; and collecting into a small compact line, prepared to use their bayonets. In a moment we had penetrated the centre of an American division; but the numbers opposed to us were overwhelming; our close order was lost; and the contest became that of man to man. I have no language adequate to describe what followed. For myself, I did what I could, cutting and thrusting at the multitudes about me, till at last I found myself fairly hemmed in by a crowd, and my sword-arm mastered. One American had grasped me round the waist, another, seizing me by the wrist, attempted to disarm me, whilst a third was prevented from plunging his bayonet into my body, only from the fear of stabbing one or other of his countrymen. I struggled hard, but they fairly bore me to the ground. The reader will well believe, that at this juncture I expected nothing else than instant death; but at the moment when I fell, a blow upon the head with the butt-end of a musket dashed out the brains of the man who kept his hold upon my sword-arm, and it was freed. I saw a bayonet pointed to my breast, and I intuitively made a thrust at the man who wielded it. The thrust took effect, and he dropped dead beside me. Delivered now from two of my enemies, I recovered my feet, and found that the hand which dealt the blow to which my preservation was owing, was that of Charlton. There were about ten men about him. The enemy in our front were broken, and we dashed through. But we were again hemmed in, and again it was fought hand to hand, with that degree of determination, which the assurance that life and death were on the issue, could alone produce. There cannot be a doubt that we should have fallen to a man, had not the arrival of fresh troops at this critical juncture turned the tide of affairs. As it was, little more than a third part of our picquet survived, the remainder being either killed or taken; and both Charlton and myself, though not dangerously, were wounded. Charlton had received a heavy blow upon the shoulder, which almost disabled him; whilst my neck bled freely from a thrust, which the intervention of a stout leathern stock alone hindered from being fatal. But the reinforcement gave us all, in spite of wounds and weariness, fresh courage, and we renewed the battle with alacrity.
In the course of the struggle in which we had been engaged, we had been borne considerably out of the line of our first position, and now found that the main-road and the picquet of the rifles, were close in our rear. We were still giving way—for the troops opposed to us could not amount to less than fifteen hundred men, whilst the whole force on our part came not up to one hundred—when Captain Harris, major of brigade to Colonel Thornton, came up with an additional company to our support. Making way for them to fall in between us and the rifles, we took ground once more to the right, and driving back a body of the enemy, which occupied it, soon recovered the position from which we had been expelled. But we did so with the loss of many brave men, and, among others, of Captain Harris. He was shot in the lower part of the belly at the same instant that a musket-ball struck the hilt of his sword, and forced it into his side. Once more established in our ditch, we paused, and from that moment till the battle ceased to rage we never changed our attitude.
It might be about one o'clock in the morning,—the American force in our front having fallen back, and we having been left, for a full half hour to breathe, when suddenly the head of a small column showed itself in full advance towards us. We were at this time amply supported by other troops, as well in communication as in reserve; and willing to annihilate the corps now approaching, we forbade the men to fire till it should be mingled with us. We did even more than this. Opening a passage for them through our centre, we permitted some hundred and twenty men to march across our ditch, and then wheeling up, with a loud shout, we completely enclosed them. Never have I witnessed a panic more perfect or more sudden than that which seized them. They no sooner beheld the snare into which they had fallen, than with one voice they cried aloud for quarter; and they were to a man made prisoners on the spot. The reader will smile when he is informed that the little corps thus captured consisted entirely of members of the legal profession. The barristers, attorneys, and notaries of New Orleans having formed themselves into a volunteer corps, accompanied General Jackson in his operations this night; and they were all, without a solitary exception, made prisoners. It is probably needless to add, that the circumstance was productive of no trifling degree of mirth amongst us; and to do them justice, the poor lawyers, as soon as they recovered from their first alarm, joined heartily in our laughter.
This was the last operation in which we were engaged to-night. The enemy, repulsed on all sides, retreated with the utmost disorder, and the whole of the advance, collecting at the sound of the bugle, drew up, for the first time since the commencement of the affair, in a continuous line. We took our ground in front of the bivouac, having our right supported by the river, and our left covered by the chateau and village of huts. Among these latter the cannon were planted; whilst the other divisions, as they came rapidly up, took post beyond them. In this position we remained, eagerly desiring a renewal of the attack, till dawn began to appear, when, to avoid the fire of the vessel, the advance once more took shelter behind the bank. The first brigade, on the contrary, and such portion of the second as had arrived, encamped upon the plain, so as to rest their right upon the wood; and a chain of picquets being planted along the entire pathway, the day was passed in a state of inaction.
I hardly recollect to have spent fourteen or fifteen hours with less comfort to myself than these. In the hurry and bustle of last night's engagement, my servant, to whose care I had intrusted my cloak and haversack, disappeared; he returned not during the whole morning; and as no provisions were issued out to us, nor any opportunity given to light fires, I was compelled to endure, all that time, the extremes of hunger, weariness, and cold. As ill luck would have it, too, the day chanced to be remarkably severe. There was no rain, it is true, but the sky was covered with gray clouds; the sun never once pierced them, and a frost, or rather a vile blight, hung upon the atmosphere from morning till night. Nor were the objects which occupied our senses of sight and hearing quite such as we should have desired to occupy them. In other parts of the field, the troops, not shut up as we were by the enemy's guns, employed themselves in burying the dead, and otherwise effacing the traces of warfare. The site of our encampment continued to be strewed with carcases to the last; and so watchful were the crew of the schooner, that every effort to convey them out of sight brought a heavy fire upon the party engaged in it. I must say, that the enemy's behaviour on the present occasion was not such as did them honour. The house which General Kean had originally occupied as head-quarters, being converted into an hospital, was filled at this time with wounded, both from the British and American armies. To mark its uses, a yellow flag, the usual signal in such cases, was hoisted on the roof—yet did the Americans continue to fire at it, as often as a group of six or eight persons happened to show themselves at the door. Nay, so utterly regardless were they of the dictates of humanity, that even the parties who were in the act of conveying the wounded from place to place, escaped not without molestation. More than one such party was dispersed by grape-shot, and more than one poor maimed soldier was in consequence hurled out of the blanket in which he was borne.
The reader will not doubt me when I say, that seldom has the departure of day-light been more anxiously looked for by me, than we looked for it now. It is true, that the arrival of a little rum towards evening served in some slight degree to elevate our spirits; but we could not help feeling, not vexation only, but positive indignation, at the state of miserable inaction to which we were condemned.
There was not a man amongst us who would have hesitated one moment, had the choice been submitted to him, whether he would advance or lie still. True, we might have suffered a little, because the guns of the schooner entirely commanded us; and in rushing out from our place of concealment some casualties would have occurred; but so irksome was our situation, that we would have readily run all risks to change it. It suited not the plans of our general, however, to indulge these wishes. To the bank we were enjoined to cling; and we did cling to it, from the coming in of the first gray twilight of the morning, till the last twilight of evening had departed.
As soon as it was well dark, the corps to which Charlton and myself were attached received orders to file off to the right. We obeyed, and passing along the front of the hospital, we skirted to the rear of the village, and established ourselves in the field beyond. It was a positive blessing this restoration to something like personal freedom. The men set busily to work, lighting fires and cooking provisions;—the officers strolled about, with no other apparent design than to give employment to their limbs, which had become stiff with so protracted a state of inaction. For ourselves we visited the wounded, said a few kind words to such as we recognised, and pitied, as they deserved to be pitied, the rest. Then retiring to our fire, we addressed ourselves with hearty good will to a frugal supper, and gladly composed ourselves to sleep.—A Subaltern in America.—Blackwood's Magazine.
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How tranquil is the night! The torrent's roar Dies off far distant; through the lattice streams The pure, white, silvery moonshine, mantling o'er The couch and curtains with its fairy gleams. Sweet is the prospect; sweeter are the dreams From which my loathful eyelid now unclosed:— Methought beside a forest we reposed, Marking the summer sun's far western beams, A dear-loved friend and I. The nightingale To silence and to us her pensive tale Sang forth; the very tone of vanish'd years Came o'er me, feelings warm, and visions bright; Alas! how quick such vision disappears, To leave the spectral moon and silent night!
Delta of Blackwood's Magazine.
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ARTS AND SCIENCES.
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THE BEECH TREE.—A NONCONDUCTOR OF LIGHTNING.
Dr. Beeton, in a letter to Dr. Mitchill of New York, dated 19th of July, 1824, states, that the beech tree (that is, the broad leaved or American variety of Fagus sylvatiea,) is never known to be assailed by atmospheric electricity. So notorious, he says, is this fact, that in Tenessee, it is considered almost an impossibility to be struck by lightning, if protection be sought under the branches of a beech tree. Whenever the sky puts on a threatening aspect, and the thunder begins to roll, the Indians leave their pursuit, and betake themselves to the shelter of the nearest beech tree, till the storm pass over; observation having taught these sagacious children of nature, that, while other trees are often shivered to splinters, the electric fluid is not attracted by the beech. Should farther observation establish the fact of the non-conducting quality of the American beech, great advantage may evidently be derived from planting hedge rows of such trees around the extensive barn yards in which cattle are kept, and also in disposing groups and single trees in ornamental plantations in the neighbourhood of the dwelling houses of the owners.—New Monthly Magazine.
A valuable discovery was made the other day in Westminster Abbey. It had become necessary to make repairs near the tomb of Edward the Confessor, when, by removing a portion of the pavement, an exquisitely beautiful piece of carved work, which had originally formed part of the shrine of Edward's tomb, was discovered. This fine relic, the work of the eleventh or twelfth century, appears to have been studded with precious stones; and the presumption is, that during the late civil wars it was taken down for the purpose of plunder, and after the gems were taken out, buried under the ground (very near the surface of the earth) to avoid detection.—Ibid.
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Previous to introducing the communication of a much respected correspondent, who has well described, by drawing and observation, a Royal Archer of Scotland, we shall offer a few general remarks on the subject of the above engraving, which relates to an amusement which we are happy to find is patronized in many counties in England by respectable classes of society at this day. No instrument of warfare is more ancient than that of the bow and arrow, and the skill of the English bowmen is celebrated. It seems, that in ancient times the English had the advantage over enemies chiefly by their archers and light-armed troops.
The archers were armed with a long-bow, a sheaf of arrows, a sword, and a small shield.
The cross-bowmen, as their name implies, were armed with the cross-bow, and arrows called quarrels.
Even after the invention of guns, the English archers are spoken of as excelling those of all other nations; and an ancient writer affirms that an English arrow, with a little wax upon its point, would pass through any ordinary corselet or cuirass. It is uncertain how far the archers with the long-bow could send an arrow; but the cross-bowmen could shoot their quarrels to the distance of forty rods, or the eighth part of a mile. For a more general and extended notice of the history of archery, however, we refer our readers to a recent volume, and here we have the correspondence alluded to a few lines above.
 MIRROR, Vol. viii., p. 324.
A ROYAL ARCHER OF SCOTLAND.
(For the Mirror.)
"Good-morrowe, good fellow,— Methinks, by this bowe thou beares in thy hand A good archere thou shouldst bee." Old Ballad.
I feel happy that it is in my power to present a drawing, made expressly for the purpose, of the picturesque costume worn by the Royal Company of Archers, or King's Body Guard of Scotland. This is described in Stark's "Picture of Edinburgh" thus:—"Their uniform is 42nd tartan, with green velvet collar and cuffs, and a Highland bonnet, with feathers; on the front of the bonnet is the cross of St. Andrew, and a gold arrow on the collar of the jacket." There is a something in the very idea of an archer, and in the name of Robin Hood, particularly charming to most bosoms, coming as they do to us fraught with all delicious associations; the wild, free forest life, the sweet pastime, the adventures of bold outlaws amid the heaven of sylvan scenery, and the national renown of British bowmen which mingles with the records of our chivalry in history and romance; while the revival of archery in England of late years, as an elegant amusement, sufficiently proves that the high feeling which seems mysteriously to blend a present age with one long since gone by, is not totally extinct. Shall I venture to assert, that for this we are indebted to the charmed light cast around a noble and ancient pastime by the antiquary, poet, and romance-writer of modern times? But to return, the Scottish archers were first formed into a company and obtained a charter, granting them great privileges, under the reign of queen Anne, for which they were to pay to the crown, annually, a pair of barbed arrows. One of these allowances was, that they might meet and go forth under their officer's conduct, in military form, in manner of weapon-showing, as often as they should think convenient. "But they have made no public parade since 1743," owing, probably, to the state of parties in Edinburgh, for their attachment to the Stuart family was well understood, and falling under the suspicion of the British government after the rebellion of 1745, they were watched, "and spies appointed to frequent their company." The company possess a house built by themselves, termed Archers' Hall. All their business is transacted by a president and six counsellors, who are nominated by the members at large, and have authority to admit or reject candidates ad libitum. The number of this association is now very great, having been of late years much increased; they have standards, with appropriate emblems and mottoes, and shoot for several prizes annually; amongst these are a silver bowl and arrows, which, by a singular regulation, "are retained by the successful candidate only one year, when he appends a medal to them; and as these prizes are of more than a hundred years standing, the number of medals now attached to them are very curious."
 Their part in the procession formed to welcome our monarch to his Scottish metropolis, should be excepted.
To this notice may I be permitted to subjoin a few stanzas? Old Izaak Walton hath put songs and sylvan poesy in plenty into the mouths of his anglers and rural dramatis personae, and shall I be blamed for following, in all humility, his illustrious example? Perchance—but hold! it is one of the fairest of summer mornings; the sun sheds a pure, a silvery light on the young, fresh, new-waked foliage and herbage; a faint mist veils the blue distance of the landscape; but the pearly shroud conceals not yonder troop of young blithe men, who, arranged in green, after the olden fashion, each bearing the implements of archery, and tripping lightly over the heath, are carolling in the joy of their free spirits, while the fresh breeze brings to my ear most distinctly the words of
THE ARCHER'S SONG.
Away!—away!—yon golden sun Hath chas'd nights' shadows damp and dun; Forth from his turfy couch, the lark Hath sprung to meet glad day: and hark! A mingling and delicious song Breathes from the blithe-voiced plumy throng; While, to the green-wood hasten we Whose craft is, gentle archery!
Now swift we bound o'er dewy grass! Rousing the red fox as we pass, And startling linnet, merle, and thrush, As recklessly the boughs we brush. The hunter's horn sings thro' the brakes. And its soft lay apt echo takes; But soon her sweet enamoured tone Shall tell what song is all our own!
On!—on!—glad brothers of the bow! The dun deer's couching place ye know, And gallant bucks this day shall rue Our feather'd shafts,—so swift,—so true; Yet, sorer than the sylvan train, Our foes, upon the battle-plain, Will mourn at the unerring hands Of Albion's matchless archer bands!
Now hie we on, to silent shades, To glist'ning streams, and sunlit glades, Where all that woodland life can give, Renders it bliss indeed, to live. Come, ye who love the shadowy wood, Whate'er your days, whate'er your mood. And join us, freakish knights that be Of grey-goose wing, and good yew-tree!
Say—are ye mirthful?—then we'll sing Of wayward feasts and frolicking;— Tell jests and gibes,—nor lack we store Of knightly tales, and monkish lore; High freaks of dames and cavaliers, Of warlocks, spectres, elfs, and seers, Till with glad heart, and blithesome brow, Ye bless your brothers of the bow!
Is sadness courted?—ye shall lie When summer's sultry noons are high, By darkling forest's shadow'd stream To muse;—or, sweeter still, to dream Day-dreams of love; while round ye rise Distant, delicious harmonies; Until ye languishing declare An archer's life, indeed is fair!
M. L. B.
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* * * * *
A Fragment of a Tuscan Tale.
BY MISS EMMA ROBERTS.
"His name's Gonzago.—The story is extant, and written in very choice Italian."
Ten thousand lights burned throughout the Alberoni palace, and all the nobility of Florence flocked to the bridal of its wealthy lord. It was a fair sight to see the stately mirrors which spread their shining surfaces between pillars of polished marble reflecting the gay assemblage, that, radiant with jewels, promenaded the saloon, or wreathed the dance to the witching music of the most skilful minstrels in all Tuscany. Every lattice was open, and the eye, far as it could reach, wandered through illuminated gardens, tenanted by gay groups, where the flush of the roses, the silver stars of the jasmine, the crimson, purple, orange, and blue of the variegated parterre were revealed as if the brightest blaze of day flashed upon their silken leaves. Amid all this pomp of beauty and splendour the bride moved along, surpassing all that was fair and resplendent around her by the exceeding loveliness of a face and form to which every eye and every heart paid involuntary homage. At her side appeared the exulting bridegroom, to whom, however, more it should seem through diffidence than aversion, her eyes were never raised; for though Count Alberoni had advanced beyond the middle age of life, yet he still retained the majestic port and commanding lineaments for which he had been distinguished in early youth; his riches rendered him all potent in Florence, and none dared dispute with him the possession of its fairest flower. Intoxicated with the pleasures offered at the banquet and the ball, whatever of envy or of jealousy might have been hidden in the bosoms of the guests while contemplating the treasure which the triumphant Alberoni had snatched from contending suitors, it was concealed, and the most cheerful hilarity prevailed. Yet, amid the general expression of happiness, there were two persons who, attracting notice by the meanness of their attire, and the melancholy gloom upon their countenances, seemed to be out of place in so stately and so joyous an assembly. They were brother and sister, the descendants of Ghibellines who had died in exile, and distant relations of the Count, who though not choosing to regard them as his heirs, had, when the abolition of a severe law enabled the proscribed faction to return to Florence, accorded them shelter and protection. Meanly clad in vestments of coarse serge, there were yet no cavaliers who fluttered in silk and velvet who could compare in personal beauty with Francesco Gonzago; and the bride alone, of all the beauties who shone in gold and silver, appeared superior in feminine charms to the lovely Beatrice, notwithstanding that her cumbrous robe of grey stuff obscured the delicate proportions of her sylph-like form. Buoyant in spirit, and animated by the scene before her, occasionally a gleam of sunshine would irradiate her brow as she gazed upon the sparkling throng who formed the brilliant pageant which so much delighted her; but as she turned to express her feelings to her brother, his pale pensive features and the recollection of the intense anguish which wrung his heart, subdued her gaiety, the smile passed away from her lip, the rose deserted her cheek, and she stood by his side sad and sorrowful as some monumental statue. Many persons grieved at the depressed fortunes of the once powerful Gonzagos, but there were others who sneered at their present degradation, enjoying the cruel mockery with which Alberoni had forced the man who had cherished hopes of succeeding as heir-at-law to his immense estates, to witness the downfall of those flattering expectations. Few and slight were the salutations which passed between the dejected pair and the more illustrious guests; but as the bride made the circuit of the apartments, she paused when approaching her husband's neglected relatives, and raising eyes swimming with drops of sympathy, greeted them with unaffected tenderness. Francesco was unprepared for the gentle kindness of her address; his stern heart melted, his proud glance suddenly changed to one of gracious courtesy; he gazed upon her as upon some angelic being sent down from heaven to soothe and gladden his perturbed soul; and henceforward he saw nothing in the glare, and the crowd, and the splendour around him, save the sweet face and the delicate form of the Countess Alberoni; his charmed eyes followed her from place to place, and so entirely was he engrossed by one object, that he did not perceive that the attention of Beatrice was almost wholly occupied by a young and sprightly cavalier, who pursued her like a shadow, pouring tender tales in a not unwilling ear. Group by group the guests retired from the festive scene, and the brother and sister, scarcely able to define the new feelings which sprung up in the heart of each, quitted the magnificent palace to seek their forlorn abode. A pavilion, nearly in ruins, was the sole shelter which the proud lord of Alberoni afforded to the only surviving branches of his family, when returning to their native city they found their patrimonial estates confiscated, and themselves dependent upon the niggard bounty of a cold and selfish relative. Slowly recovering from a severe wound which he had received in the wars of Lombardy, and disgusted with the ingratitude of the prince he served, the ill-starred Francesco was at first rejoiced to obtain any refuge from the storms of a tempestuous world; and the unceasing efforts of his young and affectionate sister to reconcile him to a bitter lot were not wholly unavailing. Summer had spread her richest treasures upon the lap of Nature; and the fairy hands of Beatrice transformed the bare walls of the dilapidated edifice which they inhabited into bowers of luxuriant foliage; the most delicious fruit also, the spontaneous product of the garden, cooled at some crystal fount and heaped with flowers, tempted her brother's languid appetite; and, waking the soft notes of her lute, she soothed his desponding spirit with music's gentlest sound. Fondly trusting that Francesco might be won to prize the simple enjoyments of which fortune could not despoil him, and to find his dearest happiness in an approving conscience, the light hearted girl indulged in delusive hopes of future felicity. But these expectations were soon damped; as Francesco's health returned he became restless and melancholy; he saw no prospect of arriving at distinction by his talents, or by his sword; peace reigned throughout the Tuscan states, and the jealousy of the government of all who bore the mark of Ghibelline extraction, forbade the chance of successful exertion and honourable reward; his days were spent in moody abstraction, his nights in feverish dreams; his misfortunes, his accomplishments and his virtues failed to excite affection in the breast of his kinsman, who, jealous of the youth and personal attractions of the man apparently destined to be his heir, grew uneasy at the thought of benefitting a person he had learned to hate; and suddenly resolving to cut off at once the presumptuous expectations which the luckless exile might have cherished, exerted the influence procured by his wealth to form an alliance with the most peerless beauty which the city boasted. A new source of anguish added to the misery already sustained by the wretched Gonzago; his arm was paralyzed by the utter hopelessness of any attempt to emerge from the obscurity to which fate had condemned him; he brooded over the dismal futurity which opened before him; and, as a solace to these gloomy meditations, suffered his imagination to dwell upon the charms and graces of the lovely Giacinta, his kinsman's gentle bride. He saw her sometimes flitting through the myrtle groves which skirted the neighbouring palace; and when night favoured his concealment, he would approach the marble porticos to catch the sound of her voice as, accompanied by a lute, she wasted its melody upon the silent stars. Beatrice, in the mean time, experienced only in the pale brow and haggard form of her brother an alloy to her happiness. Alessandro, the young heir of the Orsini family, had abandoned the gay revels of Florence to share the solitude of the despised Ghibellines; and although there seemed to be little chance of ultimate triumph over the obstacles which opposed themselves to an alliance between the prosperous scion of a noble house and the unportioned orphan of a banished man, yet hope pre-ponderated over fear, and, blessed by her enchanting smiles, the lover indulged in delightful anticipations.
Again was the Alberoni palace illumined by innumerable tapers; again were the glittering saloons filled with all the noble population of Florence. A second nuptial feast, more splendid and joyous than the first, was celebrated; again Giacinta, lovelier than ever, shone as the bride, and by her side a cavalier appeared, whose summer of life was better adapted to match with her tender years than the mature age of her late husband had been.
The Count Alberoni Gonzago was dead; and Francesco succeeding to his wealth, had obtained the hand of his widow. Beatrice, also a bride, followed in the train of the Countess, but followed more like a mourner at some funeral solemnity than as the newly wedded consort of the husband of her choice. Francesco all smiles and triumph, as he stood with the fairest hand in Florence hanging on his arm, proudly greeting the guests who crowded to pay him homage, turned frequently, and cast looks of piercing examination and reproach upon his pale and trembling sister, and, as if fascinated by his glance, she would rally her, failing spirits and smile languidly upon the bridegroom, who bent over her enamoured; and then, as if beguiled from some painful contemplation by the sweet accents of the man she loved, she became calm, and her quivering features resumed their wonted placidity. But these moments of tranquillity were of short duration; she started at every shadow; the flash of one of the jewels which broidered her satin robe would cause a fit of trembling; and at length, when seated at the banquet opposite her brother and his bride, a richly clad domestic offered wine in a golden goblet; for a moment she held it to her lips, and then dashed it away, exclaiming—"It is poison! Hide me,—save me. I see it every where; in those green leaves from whence it was distilled.—Oh! Francesco, Francesco, let us be poor and happy!" The guests shrunk aghast from the speaker, who, falling from her seat, expired in convulsions.
The power conferred by Gonzago's immense riches silenced the whispered murmurs of the assembly. No man rose to higher eminence in the state than the idolized husband of the beautiful Giacinta; but a dark cloud hung upon his house, his children were all cut off in their infancy, and, after a few brief years of outward felicity, struck from his horse by the fragment of a building which fell upon him as he rode in pomp through the city, he received a mortal wound, surviving the accident only long enough to unburthen his soul to his confessor.
His dying words were addressed to Alessandro, from whom since the hour of his nuptials he had been estranged; pressing his hand, he exclaimed—"She was innocent! she heard not of the murder until it had been accomplished."—London Weekly Review.
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
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RAFTS AND RHINE SCENERY.
Between Andernach and Bonn I saw two or three of those enormous rafts which are formed of the accumulated produce of the Swiss and German forests. One was anchored in the middle of the river, and looked like a floating island. These Krakens of the Rhine are composed of oak and fir floated in smaller rafts down the tributary streams, and, their size constantly increasing till they arrive hereabouts, they make platforms of from four hundred to seven hundred feet long, and one hundred and forty feet in breadth. When in motion, a dozen boats and more precede them, carrying anchors and cables to guide and arrest their course. The navigation of a raft down the Rhine to Dort, in Holland, which is the place of their destination, is a work of great difficulty. The skill of the German and Dutch pilots who navigate them, in spite of the abrupt turnings, the eddies, the currents, rocks and shoals that oppose their progress, must indeed be of a very peculiar kind, and can be possessed but by few. It requires besides a vast deal of manual labour. The whole complement of rowers and workmen, together with their wives and children, on board one of the first-rates, amounts to the astonishing number of nine hundred or a thousand; a little village, containing from forty to sixty wooden houses, is erected upon each, which also is furnished with stalls for cattle, a magazine for provisions, &c. The dwelling appropriated to the use of the master of the raft and the principal super-cargoes was conspicuous for its size and commodiousness. It is curious to observe these rafts, on their passage, with their companies of rowers stationed at each end, making the shores ring again to the sound of their immense oars.
 About twelve of these rafts annually arrive at Dort, in July or August; when the German timber merchants, having converted their floats into good Dutch ducats, return to their own country. When the water is low, those machines are sometimes months upon the journey.—Campbell's Guide.
The succession of grand natural pictures, which I had been gazing upon since my departure from Mentz and the district of the Rheingau, are undoubtedly similar, but not the same; there is alternately the long noble reach, the sudden bend, the lake-like expanse, the shores on both sides lined with towns whose antique fortifications rise in distant view, and villages whose tapering spires of blue slate peer above the embosoming foliage; the mountains clothed with vines and forests, their sides bristled and their summits crowned with the relics of feudal residences, or of cloistered fanes: but the varieties in the shape and character of all these are inexhaustible; it is this circumstance that enhances the pleasure of contemplating, scenery, in which there is, as Lord Byron says,
"A blending of all beauties, streams and dells, Fruit, foliage, crag, wood, corn-field, mountain, vine, And chiefless castles breathing stern farewells, From gray but leafy walls where ruin greenly dwells."
 There are the ruins of fourteen castles on the left bank, and of fifteen on the right bank of the Rhine, from Mentz to Bonn, a distance of thirty-six leagues.
The oppositions of light and shade; the rich culture of the hills contrasted with the rugged rocks that often rise from out of the midst of fertility; the bright verdure of the islands which the Rhine is continually forming; the purple hues and misty azure of the distant mountains—these and a thousand other indescribable charms constitute sources of visual delight which can be imparted only by a view of the objects themselves. And is excitement awakened in contemplating the borders of this graceful and magnificent river? Yes. When we revert to the awful convulsions of the physical world, and the important revolutions of human society, of which the regions it flows through have been successively the theatre—when we meditate on the vast changes, the fearful struggles, the tragic incidents and mournful catastrophes, which they have witnessed from the earliest ages to the very times in which we have ourselves lived and marked the issue of events—"the battles, sieges, fortunes" that have passed before its green tumultuous current, or within ken of its mountain watch-towers—the shouts of nations that have resounded, and the fates of empires that have been decided, on its shores—when we think of the slaughtered myriads whose bones have bleached on the neighbouring plains, filled up the trenches of its rock-built strong-holds, or found their place of sepulture beneath its wave—when, at each survey we take of the wide and diversified scene, the forms of centuries seem to be embodied with the objects around us, and the record of the past becomes vividly associated with the impression of present realities—it is then that we are irresistibly led to compare the greatness of nature with the littleness of man; it is then that we are forcibly struck with the power and goodness of the Author of both; and that the deepest humility unites itself in a grateful mind, with the highest admiration, at the sight of "these His lowest works."
But do you pretend, it may be asked, in the course of a three days' journey, however lengthened by celerity of conveyance, or favoured by advantages of season or weather—do you pretend to have experienced that very eminent degree of gratification which the country is capable of communicating? Certainly not. I speak of these scenes but as of things, which before my own hasty and unsatisfied glances came like shadows—so departed. Instead of two or three days, a whole month should be spent between Mentz, Coblentz, and Bonn, in order fully to know and thoroughly to enjoy the beauties and grandeurs with which that space abounds.—Stevenson's Tour in France, &c.
* * * * *
Nick Razorblade a barber was, A strapping lad was he; And he could shave with such a grace, It was a joy to see!
And tho' employ'd within his house, He kept like rat in hole; All those that pass'd the barber's door, Could always see his pole!
His dress was rather plain than rich, Nor fitted over well; Yet, tho' no macaroni, Nick, He often cut a swell!
And Nick was brave, and he could fight, As many times he proved; A lamb became a lion fierce, Whenever he was moved!
Like many of his betters, who To field with pistols rush, When Nicky lather'd any one, He was obliged to brush!
Some say Nick was a brainless block, While those who've seen him waving His bright sharp razor, o'er scap'd chins, Declare he was a shaving!
His next door neighbour, Nelly Jones, A maid of thirty-eight, 'Twas said regarded Nick with smiles, But folks will always prate.
'Tis known in summer time that she, (A maid and only daughter) To show her love for Razorblade, Kept Nicky in hot water!
For politics Nick always said, He never cared a fig; Quoth he:—"If I a Tory were, I likewise wear a wig!"
No poacher he, yet hairs he wired, With skill that made maids prouder; And though he never used a gun, He knew the use of powder!
He never took offence at words, However broad or blunt; But when maids brought a front to dress, Of course he took a front!
Beneath his razor folks have slept, So easy were they mown; Yet (oh! most passing strange it was!) His razor was his own!
Nick doubtless had a tender heart, But not for Nelly Jones; He made Miss Popps "bone of his bone," But never made old bones!
He died and left an only son, A barber too by trade; But when they ope'd his will, they found A cruel will he'd made.
And doubtless he was raving mad, (To slander I'm unwilling) For tho' a barber, Nicky cut His heir off with a shilling!
_Absurdities: in Prose and Verse_._
* * * * *
BONAPARTE ATTEMPTS SUICIDE.
While we endeavour to sum up the mass of misfortunes with which Bonaparte was overwhelmed at this crisis, it seems as if Fortune had been determined to show that she did not intend to reverse the lot of humanity, even in the case of one who had been so long her favourite, but that she retained the power of depressing the obscure soldier, whom she had raised to be almost king of Europe, in a degree as humiliating as his exaltation had been splendid. All that three years before seemed inalienable from his person, was now reversed. The victor was defeated, the monarch was dethroned, the ransomer of prisoners was in captivity, the general was deserted by his soldiers, the master abandoned by his domestics, the brother parted from his brethren, the husband severed from the wife, and the father torn from his only child. To console him for the fairest and largest empire that ambition ever lorded it over, he had, with the mock name of emperor, a petty isle, to which he was to retire, accompanied by the pity of such friends as dared express their feelings, the unrepressed execrations of many of his former subjects, who refused to regard his present humiliation as an amends for what he had made them suffer during his power, and the ill-concealed triumph of the enemies into whose hands he had been delivered.
A Roman would have seen, in these accumulated disasters, a hint to direct his sword's point against his breast; a man of better faith would have turned his eye back on his own conduct, and having read, in his misuse of prosperity, the original source of those calamities, would have remained patient and contrite under the consequences of his ambition. Napoleon belonged to the Roman school of philosophy; and it is confidently reported, especially by Baron Fain, his secretary, though it has not been universally believed, that he designed, at this extremity, to escape from life by an act of suicide.
The emperor, according to this account, had carried with him, ever since the retreat from Moscow, a packet containing a preparation of opium, made up in the same manner with that used by Condorcet for self-destruction. His valet-de-chambre, in the night betwixt the 12th and 13th of April, heard him arise and pour something into a glass of water, drink, and return to bed. In a short time afterwards, the man's attention was called by sobs and stifled groans—an alarm took place in the chateau—some of the principal persons were roused, and repaired to Napoleon's chamber. Yvan, the surgeon, who had procured him the poison, was also summoned; but hearing the emperor complain that the operation of the poison was not quick enough, he was seized with a panic-terror, and fled from the palace at full gallop. Napoleon took the remedies recommended, and a long fit of stupor ensued, with profuse perspiration. He awakened much exhausted, and surprised at finding himself still alive; he said aloud, after a few moments' reflection, "Fate will not have it so," and afterwards appeared reconciled to undergo his destiny, without similar attempts at personal violence. There is, as we have already hinted, a difference of opinion concerning the cause of Napoleon's illness; some imputing it to indigestion. The fact of his having been very much indisposed is, however, indisputable. A general of the highest distinction transacted business with Napoleon on the morning of the 13th of April. He seemed pale and dejected, as from recent and exhausting illness. His only dress was a night-gown and slippers, and he drank from time to time a quantity of tisan, or some such liquid, which was placed beside him, saying he had suffered severely during the night, but that his complaint had left him.
After this crisis, and having ratified the treaty which his mareschals had made for him. Napoleon appeared more at his ease than he had been for some time before, and conversed frankly with his attendants upon the affairs of France.
NAPOLEON TAKES LEAVE OF THE IMPERIAL GUARD.
Napoleon having now resigned himself entirely to his fate, whether for good or evil, prepared, on the 20th of April, to depart for his place of retreat. But first, he had the painful task of bidding farewell to the body in the universe most attached to him, and to which he was probably most attached,—his celebrated Imperial Guard. Such of them as could be collected were drawn out before him in review. Some natural tears dropped from his eyes, and his features had the marks of strong emotion while reviewing for the last time, as he must then have thought likely, the companions of so many victories. He advanced to them on horseback, dismounted, and took his solemn leave. "All Europe," he said, "had armed against him; France herself had deserted him, and chosen another dynasty. He might," he said, "have maintained with his soldiers a civil war of years, but it would have rendered France unhappy. Be faithful," he continued, (and the words were remarkable,) "to the new sovereign whom France has chosen. Do not lament my fate; I will always be happy while I know you are so. I could have died—nothing was easier—but I will always follow the road of honour. I will record with my pen the deeds we have done together. I cannot embrace you all, but I embrace your general,"—(he pressed the general to his bosom.)—"Bring hither the eagle,"—(he embraced the standard, and concluded)—"Beloved eagle, may the kisses I bestow on you long resound in the hearts of the brave!—Adieu, my children,—Adieu, my brave companions.—Surround me once more—Adieu." Drowned in grief, the veteran soldiers heard the farewell of their dethroned leader; sighs and murmurs broke from their ranks, but the emotion burst out in no threats or remonstrances. They appeared resigned to the loss of their general, and to yield, like him, to necessity.—Scott's Napoleon.
* * * * *
THE ARK OF NOAH
The Rabbins make the giant Gog or Magog contemporary with Noah, and convinced by his preaching. So that he was disposed to take the benefit of the Ark. But here lay the distress; it by no means suited his dimensions. Therefore, as he could not enter in, he contented himself to ride upon it astride. And though you must suppose that, in that stormy weather, he was more than half boots over, he kept his seat, and dismounted safely, when the Ark landed on Mount Ararat. Image now to yourself this illustrious Cavalier mounted on his hackney; and see if it does not bring before you the Church, bestrid by some lumpish minister of state, who turns and winds it at his pleasure. The only difference is, that Gog believed the preacher of righteousness and religion.—Warburton's Letters.
* * * * *
"I am but a Gatherer and disposer of other men's stuff."—Wotton
* * * * *
A preacher had held forth diffusely and ingeniously upon the doctrine that the Creator of the universe had made all things beautiful. A little crooked lawyer met him at the church door, and exclaimed, "Well, doctor, what do you think of my figure? does it correspond with your tenets of this morning?"—"My friend," replied the preacher, with much gravity, "you are handsome for a hunch-backed man."
* * * * *
Kosciusko once wished to send some bottles of good wine to a clergyman of Solothurn; and as he hesitated to send them by his servant, lest he should smuggle a part, he gave the commission to a young man of the name of Zeltner, and desired him to take the horse which he himself usually rode. On his return, young Zeltner said that he would never ride his horse again unless he gave him his purse at the same time. Kosciusko asking what he meant, he answered, "As soon as a poor man on the road takes off his hat and asks for charity, the horse immediately stands still, and won't stir till something is given to the petitioner; and, as I had no money about me, I was obliged to make believe to give something, in order to satisfy the horse."
* * * * *
Persons in warm countries certainly possess powers of imagination superior to persons in colder climates. The following description of a small room will appear very poetic to an English reader: "I am now," says a Turkish spy, writing to his employers, "in an apartment so little, that the least suspicion cannot enter it."
* * * * *
An author, as too often happens, was very irritable in his disposition, and very unfortunate in his productions. His tragedy and comedy had both been rejected by the managers of both theatres. "I cannot account for this," said the unfortunate bard to his friend; "for no one can say that my tragedy was a sad performance, or that my comedy was a thing to laugh at."
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