THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
Vol. 10, No. 273. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1827. PRICE 2d.
GASPARD MONGE'S MAUSOLEUM.
(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
Sir,—As one of your correspondents has favoured you with a drawing of the gaol I designed for the city and county of Norwich, with which you have embellished a recent number of the MIRROR, I flatter myself that an engraving from the drawing I herewith send you of the mausoleum of Gaspard Monge, which I drew while at Paris, in 1822, will also be interesting to the readers of your valuable little miscellany. Gaspard Monge, whose remains are deposited in the burying ground in Pere la Chaise, at Paris, in a magnificent mausoleum, was professor of geometry in the Polytechnique School at Paris, and with Denon accompanied Napoleon Bonaparte on his memorable expedition to Egypt; one to make drawings of the architectural antiquities and sculpture, and the other the geographical delineations of that ancient country. He returned to Paris, where he assisted Denon in the publication of his antiquities. At his decease the pupils of the Polytechnique School erected this mausoleum to his memory, as a testimony of their esteem, after a design made by his friend, Monsieur Denon. The mausoleum is of Egyptian architecture, with which Denon had become familiarly acquainted.
There is a bust of Monge placed on a terminal pedestal underneath a canopy in the upper compartment, which canopy is open in front and in the back. In the crown cavetto of the cornice is an Egyptian winged globe, entwined with serpents, emblematical of time and eternity; and on the faci below is engraved the following line:—
A. GASPARD MONGE.
On each side of the upper compartment is inscribed the following memento mori:
LES ELEVES DE L'ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE. A.G. MONGE. COMTE DE PELUSE.
Underneath this inscription is carved in sunk work an Egyptian lotus flower in an upright position; on the back of the mausoleum is the date of the year in which Gaspard Monge died. The body is in the cemetery below.
Monge was a man of considerable merit as a geometrician, and, while living, stood preeminent above his contemporaries in the French school of that day. He is the author of several works, but his most popular one is entitled "Geometrie Descriptive. par G. Monge, de l'Institut des Sciences, Lettres et Arts, de l'Ecole Polytechnique; Membre du Senat Conservateur, Grand Officier de la Legion d'Honeur et Cointe de l'Empire."
The programme to this work is interesting, as it urges the necessity of making geometry a branch of the national education, and points out the beneficial results that would arise therefrom. The following is the translation:—
To draw the French nation from the dependence, which, even in the present day it is obliged to place in foreign industry, it is necessary first to direct the national education towards the knowledge of those objects which require a correctness which hitherto has been totally neglected; to accustom the hands of our artists to the management of the various instruments that are necessary to measure the different degrees of work, and to execute them with precision; then the finisher becomes sensible of the accuracy it will require in the different works, and he will be enabled to set the necessary value on it. For our artists to become, from their youth, familiar with geometry, and to be in a condition to attain it, it is necessary in the second place to render popular the knowledge of a great number of natural phenomena that are indispensable to the progress of industry; they will then profit for the advancement of the general instruction of the nation, which by a fortunate circumstance it has at its disposal, the principal resources that are necessary for it. Lastly, it is requisite to extend among our artists the knowledge of the advancement of the arts and that of machines, whose object is either to diminish manual labour or to give to the result of labour more uniformity and precision; and on those heads it must be confessed we have much to draw from foreign nations. All these views can only be accomplished by giving a new turn to national education.
 Monsieur Monge has drawn much from our countryman, Hamilton's work on Stereography but he has not mentioned his work.
This is to be done, in the first place, by making all intelligent young men (who are born with a fortune) familiar with the use of descriptive geometry, so that they may be able to employ their capital more profitably both for themselves and the nation, and also for those who have no other fortune than their education, so that their labour will bring them the greater reward. This art has two principal objects, the first to represent with exactness, from drawings which have only two dimensions, objects which have three, and which are susceptible of a strict definition; under this point of view it is a language necessary to the man of genius when he conceives a project, and to those who are to have the direction of it; and lastly, to the artists who are themselves to execute the different parts.
The second object of descriptive geometry, is to deduce from the exact description of bodies all that necessarily follows of their forms and their respective positions; in this sense it is a means of seeking truth, as it offers perpetual examples of the passage from what is known to what is unknown, and as it is always applied to objects susceptible of the minutest evidence, it is necessary that it should form part of the plan of a national education. It is not only fit to exercise the intellectual faculties of a great people, and to contribute thereby to the perfection of mankind, but it is also indispensable to all workmen, whose end is to give to certain bodies determined forms, and it is principally owing to the methods of this art having been too little extended, or in fact almost entirely neglected, that the progress of our industry has been so slow. We shall contribute then to give an advantageous direction to national education, by making our young artist familiar with the application of descriptive geometry, to the graphic constructions which are necessary in the greater number of the arts, and in making use of this geometry in the representation and determination of the elements of machinery, by means of which, man by the aid of the forces of nature, reserves for himself, in a manner, in his operations no other labour than that of his intellects. It is no less advantageous to extend the knowledge of those phenomena of nature which may be turned to the profit of the arts. The charm which accompanies them will overcome the repugnance that men have in general for manual operations, (which most regard as painful and laborious,) as it will make them find pleasure in the exercise of their intellect; thus there ought to be in the formal school a course of descriptive geometry.
As yet we have no well compiled elementary work on that art, because till this time learned men have taken too little interest in it, or it has only been practised in an obscure manner by persons whose education had not been sufficiently extended, and were unable to communicate the result of their lucubrations. A course simply oral would be absolutely without effect. It is necessary then, for the course of descriptive geometry, that practice and execution be joined to the hearing of methods; thus pupils will be exercised in graphic construction of descriptive geometry. The graphic arts have general methods with which we can only become familiar by the use of the rule and compass. Among the different applications that may be made of descriptive geometry, there are two which are remarkable, both for their universality and their ingenuity; these are the constructions of perspective and the strict determination of the shadows. These two parts may finally be considered as the completion of the art of describing objects.
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AN IDLER'S ALBUM; OR, SKETCHES OF MEN AND THINGS.
THE RADIANT BOY.
It is now more than twenty years since the late Lord Londonderry was, for the first time, on a visit to a gentleman in the north of Ireland. The mansion was such a one as spectres are fabled to inhabit. It was associated with many recollections of historic times, and the sombre character of its architecture, and the wildness of its surrounding scenery, were calculated to impress the soul with that tone of melancholy and elevation, which,—if it be not considered as a predisposition to welcome the visitation of those unearthly substances that are impalpable to our sight in moments of less hallowed sentiment,—is indisputably the state of mind in which the imagination is most readily excited, and the understanding most favourably inclined to grant a credulous reception to its visions. The apartment also which was appropriated to Lord Londonderry, was calculated to foster such a tone of feeling. From its antique appointments; from the dark and richly-carved panels of its wainscot; from its yawning width and height of chimney—looking like the open entrance to a tomb, of which the surrounding ornaments appeared to form the sculptures and the entablature;—from the portraits of grim men and severe-eyed women, arrayed in orderly procession along the walls, and scowling a contemptuous enmity against the degenerate invader of their gloomy bowers and venerable halls; from the vast, dusky, ponderous, and complicated draperies that concealed the windows, and hung with the gloomy grandeur of funereal trappings about the hearse-like piece of furniture that was destined for his bed,—Lord L., on entering his apartment, might be conscious of some mental depression, and surrounded by such a world of melancholy images, might, perhaps, feel himself more than usually inclined to submit to the influences of superstition. It is not possible that these sentiments should have been allied to any feelings of apprehension. Fear is acknowledged to be a most mighty master over the visions of the imagination. It can "call spirits from the vasty deep"—and they do come, when it does call for them. It trembles at the anticipation of approaching evil, and then encounters in every passing shadow the substance of the dream it trembled at. But such could not have been the origin of the form which addressed itself to the view of Lord Londonderry. Fear is a quality that was never known to mingle in the character of a Stewart. Lord Londonderry examined his chamber—he made himself acquainted with the forms and faces of the ancient possessors of the mansion, who sat up right in their ebony frames to receive his salutation; and then, after dismissing his valet, he retired to bed. His candles had not been long extinguished, when he perceived a light gleaming on the draperies of the lofty canopy over his head. Conscious that there was no fire in the grate—that the curtains were closed—that the chamber had been in perfect darkness but a few moments before, he supposed that some intruder must have accidentally entered his apartment; and, turning hastily round to the side from which the light proceeded—saw—to his infinite astonishment—not the form of any human visiter—but the figure of a fair boy, who seemed to be garmented in rays of mild and tempered glory, which beamed palely from his slender form, like the faint light of the declining moon, and rendered the objects which were nearest to him dimly and indistinctly visible. The spirit stood at some short distance from the side of the bed. Certain that his own faculties were not deceiving him, but suspecting that he might be imposed upon by the ingenuity of some of the numerous guests who were then visiting in the same house, Lord Londonderry proceeded towards the figure. It retreated before him. As he slowly advanced, the form, with equal paces, slowly retired. It entered the vast arch of the capacious chimney, and then sunk into the earth. Lord L. returned to his bed; but not to rest. His mind was harassed by the consideration of the extraordinary event which had occurred to him. Was it real?—was it the work of imagination?—was it the result of imposture?—It was all incomprehensible. He resolved in the morning not to mention the appearance till he should have well observed the manners and the countenances of the family: he was conscious that, if any deception had been practised, its authors would be too delighted with their success to conceal the vanity of their triumph. When the guests assembled at the breakfast-table, the eye of Lord Londonderry searched in vain for those latent smiles—those cunning looks—that silent communication between the parties—by which the authors and abettors of such domestic conspiracies are generally betrayed. Every thing apparently proceeded in its ordinary course. The conversation flowed rapidly along from the subjects afforded at the moment, without any of the constraint which marks a party intent upon some secret and more interesting argument, and endeavouring to afford an opportunity for its introduction. At last the hero of the tale found himself compelled to mention the occurrences of the night. It was most extraordinary—he feared that he should not be credited: and then, after all due preparation, the story was related. Those among his auditors who, like himself, were strangers and visiters in the house, were certain that some delusion must have been practised. The family alone seemed perfectly composed and calm. At last, the gentleman whom Lord Londonderry was visiting, interrupted their various surmises on the subject by saying:—"The circumstance which you have just recounted must naturally appear most extraordinary to those who have not long been inmates of my dwelling, and are not conversant with the legends connected with my family; to those who are, the event which has happened will only serve as the corroboration of an old tradition that long has been related of the apartment in which you slept. You have seen the Radiant Boy; and it is an omen of prosperous fortunes;—I would rather that this subject should no more be mentioned."
The above adventure is one very commonly reported of the late Marquis of Londonderry; and is given on the authority of a gentleman, to whom that nobleman himself related it.—The Album.
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THE CROSS ROADS.
(For the Mirror.)
Methought upon a mountain's brow Stood Glory, gazing round him; And in the silent vale below Lay Love, where Fancy found him; While distant o'er the yellow plain Glittering Wealth held wide domain.
Glory was robed in light; and trod A brilliant track before him, He gazed with ardour, like a god, And grasp'd at heaven o'er him; The meteor's flash his beaming eye, The trumpet's shriek his melody.
But Love was robed in roses sweet, And zephyrs murmur'd nigh him, Flowers were blooming at his feet, And birds were warbling by him: His eyes soft radiance seem'd to wear, For tears and smiles were blended there.
Gay Wealth a gorgeous train display'd. (And Fancy soon espied him,) Supine, in splendid garb array'd, With Luxury beside him; He dwelt beneath a lofty dome, Which Pride and Pleasure made their home.
Well; seeking Happiness, I sped, And, as Hope hover'd o'er me, I ask'd which way the nymph had fled, For four roads met before me— Whether she'd climb'd the height above, Or bask'd with Wealth, or slept with Love?
I paus'd—for in the lonely path, 'Neath gloomy willows weeping, Wrapt in his shroud of sullen wrath, The Suicide was sleeping, A scathed yew-tree's wither'd limb, To mark the spot, frown'd o'er him.
I wept—to think my fellow-man, (To madness often driven,) Pursue false Glory's phantoms, then Lose happiness and heaven: I wept—for oh! it seem'd to be A mournful moral meant for me!
But lo! an aged traveller came, By Wisdom sent to guide me, Experience was the pilgrim's name, And thus he seem'd to chide me— "Fool! Happiness is gone the road That leads to Virtue's calm abode!"
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MY COMMON-PLACE BOOK.
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Four kinds of ordeals were chiefly used by our German ancestors:—1. "The Kamp fight," or combat; during which the spectators were to be silent and quiet, on pain of losing an arm or leg; an executioner with a sharp axe. 2. "The fire ordeal," in which the accused might clear his innocence by holding red-hot iron in his hands, or by walking blind-fold amidst fiery ploughshares. 3. "The hot-water ordeal," much of the nature as the last. 4. "The cold-water ordeal:" this need not be explained, since it is looked on as supreme when a witch is in question. The cross ordeal was reserved for the clergy. These, if accused, might prove their innocence by swallowing two consecrated morsels taken from the altar after proper prayers. If these fragments stuck in the priest's throat he stood ipse facto—condemned; but we have no record of condemnation.
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Forgive not the man who gives you bad wine more than once. It is more than an injury. Cut the acquaintance as you value your life.
If you see half-a-dozen faults in a woman, you may rest assured she has a hundred virtues to counterbalance them. I love your faulty, and fear your faultless women. When you see what is termed a faultless woman, dread her as you would a beautiful snake. The power of completely concealing the defects that she must have, is of itself a serious vice.
If you find no more books in a man's room, save some four or five, including the red-book and the general almanac, you may set down the individual as a man of genius, or an ass;—there is no medium.
The eye is never to be mistaken. A person may discipline the muscles of the face and voice, but there is a something in the eye beyond the will, and we thus frequently find it giving the tongue the lie direct.
I never knew a truly estimable man offer a finger, it is ever a sign of a cold heart; and he who is heartless is positively worthless, though he may be negatively harmless.
Cut the acquaintance of any lady who signs a letter with "yours obediently."
Always act in the presence of children with the utmost circumspection. They mark all you do, and most of them are more wise than you may imagine.
Men of genius make the most ductile husbands. A fool has too much opinion of his own dear self, and too little of women's to be easily governed.
A passion for sweetmeats, and a weak intellect, generally go together.
I have known many fools to be gluttons, but never knew one that was an epicure.
The affection of women is the most wonderful thing in the world; it tires not—faints not—dreads not—cools not. It is like the Naptha that nothing can extinguish but the trampling foot of death.
There is a language in flowers, which is very eloquent—a philosophy that is instructive. Nature appears to have made them as emblems of women. The timid snow-drop, the modest violet, the languid primrose, the coy lily, the flaunting tulip, the smart marigold, the lowly blushing daisy, the proud foxglove, the deadly nightshade, the sleepy poppy, and the sweet solitary eglantine, are all types.
W.C. B—— M.
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There are a set of malicious, prating, prudent gossips, both male and female, who murder characters to kill time; and will rob a young fellow of his good name before he has years to know the value of it.—Sheridan.
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MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.
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A BURMESE EXECUTION.
The scene took place at Rangoon, and the sufferers were men of desperate characters, who merited death. At a short distance from the town, on the road known to the army by the name of the Forty-first Lines, is a small open space, which formerly was railed in: and here all criminals used to be executed. On this occasion several gibbets, about the height of a man, were erected, and a large crowd of Burmans assembled to feast their eyes on the sanguinary scene that was to follow.
When the criminals arrived, they were tied within wooden frames, with extended arms and legs, and the head-executioner going round to each, marked with a piece of chalk, on the side of the men, in what direction his assistant (who stood behind him with a sharpened knife,) was to make the incision. On one man he described a circle on the side; another had a straight line marked down the centre of his stomach; a third was doomed to some other mode of death; and some were favoured by being decapitated. These preparations being completed, the assistant approached the man marked with a circle, and seizing a knife, plunged it up to the hilt in his side, then slowly and deliberately turning it round, he finished the circle! The poor wretch rolled his eyes in inexpressible agony, groaned, and soon after expired; thus depriving these human fiends of the satisfaction his prolonged torments would have afforded them. The rest suffered in the same manner; and, from the specimens I have seen of mangled corpses, I do not think this account overdrawn. Hanging is a punishment that seldom, if ever, takes place.
The manner in which slighter punishments are made is peculiar to the Burmans, and, as nearly as I can make it out, according to our pronunciation, is called "toung." The delinquent is obliged to kneel down, and a man stands over him with a bent elbow and clenched fist. He first rapidly strikes him on the head with his elbow, and then slides it down until his knuckles repeat the blow, the elbow at the same time giving a violent smack on the shoulders. This is repeated until it becomes a very severe punishment, which may be carried to great excess.—Two Years in Ava.
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BILL OF FARE AT AN ANCIENT INSTALMENT.
The following is a true copy of the original lodged in the Tower of London:—
George Nevil, brother to the great Earl of Warwick, at his instalment into his archbishopric of York, in the year 1470, made a feast for the nobility, gentry, and clergy, wherein he spent:
300 quartrs of wheat 300 ton of ale 104 ton of wine 1 pipe of spic'd w. 80 fat oxen 6 wild bulls 300 pigs 1004 wethers 300 hogs 300 calves 3000 geese 3000 capons 100 peacocks 200 cranes 200 kids 2000 chickens 4000 pidgeons 4000 rabitts 204 bitterns 4000 ducks 400 hernsies 200 pheasants 500 partridges 4000 woodcocks 400 plovers 100 carlews 100 quails 1000 eggets 200 rees 4000 bucks and does, and roebucks 155 hot venison pasties 1000 dishes of jellies 4000 cold venison past 2000 hot custards 4000 ditto cold 400 tarts 300 pikes 300 breams 8 seals 4 porpusses
At this feast the Earl of Warwick was steward; the Earl of Bedford treasurer; the Lord Hastings comptroller, with many noble officers servitors.
1000 cooks. 62 kitchiners. 515 scullions.
 Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xxx.
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THE SERGEANT'S WIFE.
A drama, named as above, has been played with eminent success during the present season at the English Opera House. The plot is founded on the following horrible occurrence, which actually took place in Ireland in the year 1813, and which we extract from the columns of an Irish paper of the same date. The narrative is powerfully worked up in The Nowlans, in the second series of the O'Hara Tales, and Mr. Banim is the author both of the novel and the drama:—
"The speech of George Smith, William Smith, and James Smith, who were lately executed at Longford for the murder of James Reilly, a pedlar, near Lanes-borough, has been published. It gives the following description of the inhuman crime for which they suffered:
"The discovery of this murder, as decreed by the Almighty, was made by Margaret Armstrong, the wife of Sergeant Armstrong, of the 27th regiment of foot, on the recruiting service in Athlone. She was going to her husband, when she was overtaken by this dealing man. He asked her how far she was going—she answered to Athlone, to her husband, and said as it was getting late, and being scarce of money, she would make good her way that night. He then replied, 'my poor woman, let not that hurry you, I am going to Athlone myself, and there is a lodging at the next cross at which I mean to stop, be advised, and go no farther to-night, and I will pay your expenses.' When they came to the house, he asked for a bed for himself and another for the woman, and called for supper; when that was over, he paid the bill, and taking out his pocket-book, he counted 150l. which he gave in charge to George Smith, and retired to bed; the woman likewise went to her's, the family sat up till twelve; after which, when the man was fast asleep and all was silent, we, (the three Smiths) went into the room where the man lay; we dragged him out of bed, and cut his throat from ear to ear; we saved his blood in a pewter dish, and put the body into a flaxseed barrel, among feathers, in which we covered it up. Take care, and do the same with the woman, said our mother. We accordingly went to her bedside, and saw her hands extended out of the bed; we held a candle to her eyes, but she did not stir during the whole time, as God was on her side; for had we supposed that she had seen the murder committed by us, she would have shared the same fate with the deceased man. Next morning when she arose, she asked was the man up? We made answer, that he was gone two hours before, left sixpence for her, and took her bundle with him. 'No matter,' said she, 'for I will see him in Athlone.' When she went away, I (George Smith) dressed myself in my sister's clothes, and having crossed the fields, met her, I asked her how far she was going? She said to Athlone: I then asked her where she lodged? She told me at one Smith's, a very decent house, where she met very good entertainment. 'That house bears a bad name,' said I. 'I have not that to say of them,' said she, 'for they gave me good usage.' It was not long until we saw a sergeant and two recruits coming up the road; upon which she cried out, 'here is my husband coming to meet me; he knew I was coming to him.' I immediately turned off the road, and made back to the house. When she met her husband, she fainted; and on recovering, she told him of the murder, and how she escaped with her life. The husband went immediately and got guards, and had us taken prisoners; the house was searched, and the mangled body found in the barrel." The three monsters were, it is mentioned, ordered for execution from the dock.
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ANECDOTES AND RECOLLECTIONS.
Notings, selections, Anecdote and joke: Our recollections; With gravities for graver folk.
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THE BAR—THE MASTER OF THE ROLLS.
It must be admitted (talking of the late Vice) that he really was enough to annoy any sober staid master, by his frolics and gambols since he has been made a judge. I remember him a quiet good sort of man enough: with a bed-room and kitchen in the area of No. 11, New-square; and his dining-room above, serving also for consultations: and his going, now and then, only to have a game of whist and glass of negus at Serle's;—but, now, he is a perfect Monsieur Tonson to all continental travellers. Never can you take up the police-book at the hotels, on the road to Italy, without Sir John Leach staring you in the face. The other day at the Cloche at Dijon (I will never go there again, and beg Sir John to do me the favour to withdraw his patronage also,—the Parc is worth twenty of it), yawning over my bottle of Cote d'Or, I inquired of the waiter who of my "land's language" had lately been there. "Vy, Sare, ve have de Milor Leash." "Lord Leash?"—"Oui, Monsieur;—mais, Fanchette, apportez le livre ici pour Monsieur—le voila."—"Ah, ha! Sir John Leach; I see."—"Ah qu'il est bon enfant! qu'il est gai!" exclaimed the garcon. "Ah! qu'il est aimable!" sighed Fanchette—Enter De Molin the banker's little bureau at Lausanne—(by the way, it is the favourite chamber of Gibbon the historian, and if you pay the house a visit from motives of curiosity respecting its former occupant, you will be happy to be allowed to remain and converse with the actual owner, for a more honourable, liberal, and better-informed man, does not exist)—there, I say, in the glass over the mantlepiece, will you see the card of Sir John Leach. Milan—Florence—the same. At Torlogna's the same. Then at Naples: go to San Carlos'; and if you get behind the scenes, ask for Braccini, the poeta of the theatre, who has been long in England; "Cospetto di Bacco!" he will exclaim: "il degn uomo, quel Vice Cancelliere: il Cavaliere Licci!—Gran Dio! quale talento per la musica!-Cappari! egli ha guadagnato i cuori di tutte le donne Napolitane." I certainly expect to hear him some day astonish the bar, by unwittingly striking up "O Pescator delle onde," or "Sul margine del Rio," in the Rolls Court; and, as in ancient Greece ('tis said) pleadings were chanted, let us yet hope to hear an argument preferred to the tune of "They are a' noddin, noddin, noddin;" an answer stated andante; a reply given in a bravura, and judgment pronounced presto. With all his faults (if they be such, which I do not admit), the present Master of the Rolls is a good judge, and an able man;—"un peu vif, peut-etre," as Fanchette might say; and it is more agreeable than otherwise, to see one who has devoted his life to the study of the law, enjoying himself in lighter pursuits, after having attained rank and dignity in the profession; and after having punctually and satisfactorily executed the important duties of the day, seeking at its close, and participating in the gaiety which society offers. It speaks a good heart and cheerful temper; whereas, when we hear a distaste declared for music, and that of the highest character, we cannot but call to mind "He who has not the concord of sweet sounds" within himself;—but I will not pursue the quotation. Besides, were there persons fools enough to blame Sir John for his social propensities, he might answer them as the Parisian coachman did.—"What was that?"—"Why, a French Jehu was tried in 1818, for some accident caused by his cabriolet, before the Criminal Court of Paris; when, having heard the evidence, the President of the Tribunal declared that he stood acquitted, but that the court felt it its duty to blame him, and that he was blamed accordingly." "Blamed!" exclaimed Jehu; "Blamed!—I don't quite understand your Honor;—but—but—will it prevent my handling the ribands, and driving the wehicle?"—"No!" said the judge. "Then, with all respect for your Honor, I just laugh at it," said coachee, bowing. "And so do I," said the president also, in rising to leave the court.—New Monthly Magazine.
 By Bacchus! what a worthy man is the Vice Chancellor, the Chevalier Leach! gods! what a taste for music; i' faith he has gained the hearts of all the Neapolitan ladies.
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THE CARTOONS OF RAPHAEL.
These Cartoons were executed by the famous Raphael, while engaged in the chambers of the Vatican, under the auspices of Pope Julius II. and Leo X. As soon as they were finished, they were sent to Flanders to be copied in tapestry, for adorning the pontifical apartments; but the tapestries were not conveyed to Rome till after the decease of Raphael, and probably not before the dreadful sack of that city in 1527, under the pontificate of Clement VII; when Raphael's scholars having fled from thence, none were left to inquire after the original Cartoons, which lay neglected in the storerooms of the manufactory, the money for the tapestry having never been paid. The revolution that happened soon after in the low countries prevented their being noticed during a period in which works of art were wholly neglected. They were purchased by king Charles I. at the recommendation of Rubens, but had been much injured by the weavers. At the sale of the royal pictures in 1653, these Cartoons were purchased for 300l. by Oliver Cromwell, against whom no one would presume to bid. The protector pawned them to the Dutch court for upwards of 50,000l., and, after the revolution, King William brought them over again to England, and built a gallery for their reception in Hampton Court. Originally there were twelve of these Cartoons, but four of them have been destroyed by damps and neglect. The subjects were the adoration of the Magi, the conversion of St. Paul, the martyrdom of St. Stephen and St. Paul before Felix and Agrippa. Two of these were in the possession of the King of Sardinia, and two of Louis XIV. of France, who is said to have offered 100,000 louis d'ors for the seven, which are justly represented as "the glory of England, and the envy of all other polite nations." The twelfth, the subject of which was the murder of the innocents, belonged to a private gentleman in England, who pledged it for a sum of money; but when the person who had taken this valuable deposit found it was to be redeemed, he greatly damaged the drawing; for which the gentleman brought an action against him. A third part of it is still remaining in the possession of William Hoare, R.A., at Bath.
Cartoon is derived from the Italian cartone, a painting or drawing upon large paper. Raphael died on the same day of the year on which he was born, Good Friday, in 1520, at the age of thirty-seven, deeply lamented by all who knew his value. His body lay for awhile in state in one of the rooms wherein he had displayed the powers of his mind, and he was honoured with a public funeral; his last produce, the transfiguration, being carried before him in the procession. The unrelenting hand of death (says his biographer) set a period to his labours, and deprived the world of further benefit from his talents, when he had only attained an age at which most other men are but beginning to be useful. "We see him in his cradle (said Fuseli); we hear him stammer; but propriety rocked the cradle, and character formed his lips."
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TO MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS. WRITTEN ON VISITING WESTMINSTER ABBEY.
My murder'd queen, as on thine image once The gaze alike of prince and peasant rested— As if, unsated of thy thrilling glance, They never until then of beauty tasted: So I, by lonely contemplation led To muse awhile amid the silent dead— Turn me from all around I hear or see— From all of Shakspeare and of great to thee: And think on all thy wrongs—on all the shame That dims for ever thine oppressor's name; On all thy faults, nor few nor far between, But then thou wert—a woman and a queen. Proud titles, even in a barb'rous age, To stem th' impetuous tide of party rage; While as I gaze each well-known feature seems To stir with life, and realise my dreams That paint thee seated on the Scottish throne, With all the blaze of beauty round thee thrown; Then see thee passing from thy dungeon cell, And hear thy parting sigh—thy last farewell.
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ANCIENT GRECIAN SEPULCHRE
A beautiful illustration of an ancient Grecian sepulchre or funeral chamber, heads the second chapter of Mr. Britton's "Union of Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting," from which work we have copied the annexed engraved view. The interior of the chamber exhibits a skeleton and the urns containing the ashes of the dead. The combat leads us to the conclusion, that the tomb contains the remains of a chief; for it was the barbarous custom of the Greeks to sacrifice captives at the tombs of their heroes.
Of the funeral rites and ceremonies of the Greeks and other nations, we subjoin the following:—
The most simple and natural kind of funeral monuments, and therefore the most ancient and universal, consist in a mound of earth, or a heap of stones, raised over the ashes of the departed: of such monuments mention is made in the Book of Joshua, and in Homer and Virgil. Many of them still occur in various parts of this kingdom, especially in those elevated and sequestered situations where they have neither been defaced by agriculture nor inundation.
The ancients are said to have buried their dead in their own houses, whence, according to some, the original of that species of idolatry consisting in the worship of household gods.
The place of burial amongst the Jews was never particularly determined. We find that they had burial-places upon the highways, in gardens, and upon mountains. We read, that Abraham was buried with Sarah, his wife, in the cave of Macphelah, in the field of Ephron, and Uzziah, King of Judah, slept with his fathers in the field of the burial which pertained to the kings.
The primitive Greeks were buried in places prepared for that purpose in their own houses; but in after ages they adopted the judicious practice of establishing the burial grounds in desert islands, and outside the walls of towns, by that means securing them from profanation, and themselves from the liability of catching infection from those who had died of contagious disorders.
The Romans prohibited burning or burying in the city, both from a sacred and civil consideration, that the priests might not be contaminated by touching a dead body, and that houses might not be endangered by the frequency of funeral fires.
The custom of burning the dead had its foundation laid deep in nature: an anxious fondness to preserve the great and good, the dear friend and the near relative, was the sole motive that prevailed in the institution of this solemnity. "That seems to me," says Cicero, "to have been the most ancient kind of burial, which, according to Xenophon, was used by Cyrus. For the body is returned to the earth, and so placed as to be covered with the veil of its mother." Pliny also agrees with Cicero upon this point, and says the custom of burial preceded that of burning among the Romans. According to Monfaucon, the custom of burning entirely ceased at Rome about the time of Theodorius the younger. When cremation ceased on the introduction of Christianity, the believing Romans, together with the Romanized and converted Britons, would necessarily, as it is observed by Mr. Grough, "betake themselves to the use of sarcophagi (or coffins,) and probably of various kinds, stone, marble, lead," &c. They would likewise now first place the body in a position due east and west, and thus bestow an unequivocal mark of distinction between the funeral deposit of the earliest Roman inhabitants of this island, and their Christian successors. The usual places of interment were in fields or gardens, near the highway, to be conspicuous, and to remind the passengers how transient everything is, that wears the garb of mortality. By this means, also, they saved the best part of their land:
—Experiar quid concedatur in illos Quorum Flaminia tegitur cinis, atque Latina. Juv. Sat I.
The Romans commonly built tombs for themselves during their lifetime. Hence these words frequently occur in ancient inscriptions, V.F. Vivus Facit, V.S.P. Vivus Sibi Posuit. The tombs of the rich were usually constructed of marble, the ground enclosed with walls, and planted round with trees. But common sepulchres were usually built below ground, and called hypogea. There were niches cut out of the walls, in which the urns were placed: these, from their resemblance to the niche of a pigeon-house, were called columbaria.
 Our blessed Saviour chose the garden sometime for his oratory, and, dying, for the place of his sepulture; and we also do avouch, for many weighty causes, that there are none more fit to bury our dead in than in our gardens and groves where our beds may he decked with verdant and fragrant flowers. Trees and perennial plants, the most natural and instructive hieroglyphics of our expected resurrection and immortality, besides what they might conduce to the meditation of the living, and the taking off our cogitations from dwelling too intently upon more vain and sensual objects: that custom of burying in churches, and near about them, especially in great and populous cities, being both a novel presumption, indecent, and very prejudicial to health.—Evelyn's Discourse on Forest Trees.
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SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
PREPARATIONS FOR A JOURNEY.
I am fond of travelling: yet I never undertake a journey without experiencing a vague feeling of melancholy. There is to me something strangely oppressive in the preliminaries of departure. The packing of a small valise; the settlement of accounts—justly pronounced by Rabelais a blue-devilish process; the regulation of books and papers;—in short, the whole routine of valedictory arrangements, are to me as a nightmare on the waking spirit. They induce a mood of last wills and testaments—a sense of dislocation, which, next to a vacuum, Nature abhors—and create a species of moral decomposition, not unlike that effected on matter by chemical agency. It is not that I have to lament the disruption of social connexions or domestic ties. This, I am aware, is a trial sometimes borne with exemplary fortitude; and I was lately edified by the magnanimous unconcern with which a married friend of mine sang the last verse of "Home! sweet home!" as the chaise which was to convey him from the burthen of his song drove up to the door. It does not become a bachelor to speculate on the mysteries of matrimonial philosophy; but the feeling of pain with which I enter on the task of migration has no affinity with individual sympathies, or even with domiciliary attachments. My landlady is, without exception, the ugliest woman in London; and the locality of Elbow-lane cannot be supposed absolutely to spellbind the affection of one occupying, as I do, solitary chambers on the third floor.
The case, it may be supposed, is much worse when it is my lot to take leave, after passing a few weeks at the house of a friend in the country;—a house, for instance, such as is to be met with only in England:—with about twenty acres of lawn, but no park; with a shrubbery, but no made-grounds; with well-furnished rooms, but no conservatory; and with a garden, in which dandy tulips and high-bred anemones do not disdain the fellowship of honest artichokes and laughing cauliflowers—no bad illustration of the republican union of comfort with elegance which reigns through the whole establishment. The master of the mansion, perhaps an old and valued schoolfellow:—his wife, a well-bred, accomplished, and still beautiful woman—cordial, without vulgarity—refined, without pretension—and informed, without a shade of blue! Their children!... But my reader will complete the picture, and imagine, better than I can describe, how one of my temperament must suffer at quitting such a scene. At six o'clock on the dreaded morning, the friendly old butler knocks at my room-door, to warn me that the mail will pass in half an hour at the end of the green lane. On descending to the parlour, I find that my old friend has, in spite of our over-night agreement and a slight touch of gout, come down to see me off. His amiable lady is pouring out for me a cup of tea—assuring me that she would be quite unhappy at allowing me to depart without that indispensable prelude to a journey. A gig waits at the door: my affectionate host will not permit me to walk even half a mile. The minutes pass unheeded; till, with a face of busy but cordial concern, the old butler reminds me that the mail is at hand. I bid a hasty and agitated farewell, and turn with loathing to the forced companionship of a public vehicle.
My anti-leave-taking foible is certainly not so much affected when I quit the residence of an hotel—that public home—that wearisome resting-place—that epitome of the world—that compound of gregarious incompatibilities—that bazaar of character—that proper resort of semi-social egotism and unamalgable individualities—that troublous haven, where the vessel may ride and tack, half-sheltered, but finds no anchorage. Yet even the Lilliputian ligatures of such a sojourn imperceptibly twine round my lethargic habits, and bind me, Gulliver- like, a passive fixture. Once, in particular, I remember to have stuck at the Hotel des Bons Enfants, in Paris—a place with nothing to recommend it to one of ordinary locomotive energies. But there I stuck. Business of importance called me to Bordeaux. I lingered for two months. At length, by one of those nervous efforts peculiar to weak resolutions, I made my arrangements, secured my emancipation, and found myself on the way to the starting-place of the Diligence. I well remember the day: 'twas a rainy afternoon in spring. The aspect of the gayest city in the world was dreary and comfortless. The rain dripped perpendicularly from the eves of the houses, exemplifying the axiom, that lines are composed of a succession of points. At the corners of the streets it shot a curved torrent from the projecting spouts, flooding the channels, and drenching, with a sudden drum-like sound, the passing umbrellas, whose varied tints of pink, blue, and orange, like the draggled finery of feathers and flounces beneath them, only made the scene more glaringly desolate. Then came the rush and splatter of cabriolets, scattering terror and defilement. The well-mounted English dandy shows his sense by hoisting his parapluie; the French dragoon curls his mustachio at such effeminacy, and braves the liquid bullets in the genuine spirit of Marengo; the old French count picks his elastic steps with the placid and dignified philosophy of the ancien regime; while the Parisian dames, of all ranks, ages, and degrees, trip along, with one leg undraped, exactly in proportion to the shapeliness of its configuration.
The huge clock of the Messageries Royales told three as I entered the gateway. The wide court had an air of humid dreariness. On one side stood a dozen of those moving caravansaras, the national vehicles, with their leathern caps—like those of Danish sailors in a north-wester— hanging half off, soaked with wet. Opposite was the range of offices, busy with all the peculiar importance of French bureaucracie. Their clerks, decorated with ribbons and crosses, wield their pens with all the conscious dignity of secretaries of state; and "book" a bale or a parcel as though they were signing a treaty, or granting an amnesty. The meanest employe seems to think himself invested with certain occult powers. His civility savours of government patronage; and his frown is inquisitorial. To his fellows, his address is abrupt and diplomatic. He seems to speak in cipher, and to gesticulate by some rule of freemasonry. But to the uninitiated he is explanatory to a scruple, as though mischief might ensue from his being misapprehended. He makes sure of your understanding by an emphasis, which reminds one of the loudness of tone used towards a person supposed to be hard of hearing—a proceeding not very flattering where there happens to be neither dulness nor deafness in the case. In a word, the measured pedantry of his whole deportment betrays the happy conviction in which he rejoices of being conversant with matters little dreamt of in your philosophy. Among the bystanders, too, there are some who might, probably with more reason, boast their proficiency in mysterious lore—fellows of smooth aspect and polite demeanour, whom at first you imagine to have become casual spectators from mere lack of better pastime, but whose furtive glances and vagrant attention betray the familiars of the police—that complex and mighty engine of modern structure, which, far more surely than the "ear of Dionysius," conveys to the tympanum of power each echoed sigh and reverberated whisper. It is a chilling thing to feel one's budding confidence in a new acquaintance nipped by such frosty suspicions; yet—Heaven forgive me!—the bare idea has, before now, caused me to drop, unscented, the pinch of carote which has been courteously tendered by some coffee-house companion. In the group before me, I fancied that I could distinguish some of this ungentle brotherhood; and my averted eye rested with comparative complacency even on a couple of gens d'armes, who were marching up and down before the door, and whose long swords and voluminous cocked hats never appeared to me less offensive.
In the mean time, knots of travellers were congregating round the different vehicles about to depart. In the centre of each little band stood the main point of attraction—Monsieur le Conducteur—that important personage, whose prototype we look for in vain among the dignitaries of Lad-lane, or the Bull-and-Mouth, and whose very name can only be translated by borrowing one of Mr. M'Adam's titles—"the Colossus of Roads." With fur cap, official garb, and the excursive eye of a martinet, he inspects every detail of preparation—sees each passenger stowed seriatim in his special place—then takes his position in front—gives the word to his jack-booted vice, whose responsive whip cracks assent—and away rolls the ponderous machine, with all the rumbling majesty of a three-decker from off the stocks.—Monthly Magazine.
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THE RETORT MEDICAL.
Quoth Doctor Squill of Ponder's End, "Of all the patients I attend, Whate'er their aches or ails, None ever will my fame attack." "None ever can," retorted Jack: "For dead men tell no tales" New Monthly Magazine.
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THE SELECTOR, AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
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We observed two women looking out of a balcony, and earnestly beckoning to us. We were the more surprised at their appearance, as we believed that the Mahometan women of the Caucasus, like those of Persia, were strictly confined to the interior of their houses, or that, at all events, they never went unveiled, a custom which we found was not general among the inhabitants of the Caucasus. We, however, entered the house, and saw in the court two Russian grenadiers, who, by a mistake of their corporal, had taken there quarters here, and whose presence was the cause of the inquietude manifested by the two ladies, who, with an old man, were the only inhabitants of the house. Whilst the soldiers were explaining these things to us, they appeared at the top of the stairs, and again renewed their invitation by violent gesticulations. On a nearer approach, we guessed by their age that they were mother and daughter. The former, who still preserved much of the freshness and beauty of youth, wore very tight trousers, a short tunic, and a veil, which fell in graceful folds on her back, while round her neck she had some valuable jewels, though badly mounted. With respect to the daughter, who was scarcely fifteen years of age, she was so extraordinarily beautiful, that both my companion and myself remained awhile motionless, and struck with admiration. Never in my life have I seen a more perfect form. Her dress consisted of a short white tunic, almost transparent, fastened only at the throat by a clasp. A veil, negligently thrown over one shoulder, permitted part of her beautiful ebony tresses to be seen. Her trousers were of an extremely fine tissue, and her socks of the most delicate workmanship. The old man received us in a room adjoining the staircase: he was seated on the carpet, smoking a small pipe, according to the custom of the inhabitants of the Caucasus, who cultivate tobacco. He made repeated signs to us to sit down, that is to say, in the Asiatic manner, a posture extremely inconvenient for those who, like ourselves, wore long and tight trousers, whilst the two beautiful women on their side earnestly seconded his request. We complied with it, though it was the first time that either of us had made the essay. The ladies, having left the room for a moment, returned with a salver of dried fruits, and a beverage made of sugar and milk; but I was so much engaged in admiring their personal attractions, that I paid but little attention to their presents. It appeared to me an inconceivable caprice of nature to have produced such prodigies of perfection amidst such a rude and barbarous people, who value their women less than their stirrups. My companion, who like myself was obliged to accept of their refreshments, remarked to me, whilst the old man was conversing with them, what celebrity a woman so transcendently beautiful as the daughter was would acquire in any of the capitals of Europe, had she but received the benefits of a suitable education.—Van Halen's Narrative.
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As beggars, the whole world will not produce their match. They do not attempt to coax you, but firmly rely on incessant importunity; following you, side by side, from street to street, as constant as your shadow, pealing in your ears the never ceasing sound of "Massa, gim me a dum! massa, gim me a dum!" (dump.) If you have the fortitude to resist firmly, on two or three assaults, you may enjoy ever after a life of immunity; but by once complying, you entail yourself a plague which you will not readily throw off, every gift only serving to embolden them in making subsequent demands, and with still greater perseverance. Neither are their wishes moderately gratified on this head—less than a dump (fifteen pence) seldom proving satisfactory. When walking out one morning, I accidentally met a young scion of our black tribes, on turning the corner of the house, who saluted me with "Good morning, sir, good morning;" to which I in like manner responded, and was proceeding onwards, when my dingy acquaintance arrested my attention by his loud vociferation of "Top, sir, I want to peak to you." "Well, what is it?" said I. "Why, you know I am your servant, and you have never paid me yet." "The devil you are!" responded I "it is the first time I knew of it, for I do not recollect ever seeing your face before." "Oh yes, I am your servant," replied he, very resolutely; "don't I top about Massa ——'s, and boil the kettle sometimes for you in the morning?" I forthwith put my hand in my pocket, and gave him all the halfpence I had, which I left him carefully counting, and proceeded on my walk; but before advancing a quarter of a mile, my ears were again assailed with loud shouts of "Hallo! top, top!" I turned round, and observed my friend in "the dark suit" beckoning with his hand, and walking very leisurely toward me. Thinking he was despatched with some message, I halted, but as he walked on as slowly as if deeming I ought rather to go to him than he come to me, I forthwith returned to meet him; but on reaching close enough, what was my astonishment on his holding out the halfpence in his open hand, and addressing me in a loud, grumbling, demanding tone with—"Why this is not enough to buy a loaf! you must give me more." "Then buy half a loaf," said I, wheeling about and resuming my walk, not without a good many hard epithets in return from my kettle-boiler.—Cunningham's Two Years in New South Wales.
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CONFESSION OF THE EXECUTIONER OF CHARLES I.
There have been great disputes about the person who beheaded Charles I. Mr. Ellis says, "it seems most probable that the person who actually beheaded the king was the common executioner." And then adds the following valuable and interesting note, which seems to us to settle the question.
"Among the tracts relating to the civil war, which were given to the British Museum by his late majesty King George III. in 1762, there are three upon this subject. One is entitled, 'The Confession of Richard Brandon the Hangman (upon his death-bed), concerning his beheading his late Majesty. Printed in the year of the hangman's downfall, 1649.' The second is entitled, 'The last Will and Testament of Richard Brandon,' printed in the same year. The third is, 'A Dialogue or Dispute between the late Hangman (the same person), and Death,' in verse, without date. All three are in quarto."
The following are the most important paragraphs of the first tract:
"The confession of the hangman concerning his beheading his late majesty the king of Great Britain (upon his death-bed) who was buried on Thursday last in Whitechapel church-yard, with the manner thereof:—
"Upon Wednesday last (being the 20th of this instant, June 1649), Richard Brandon, the late executioner and hangman, who beheaded his late majesty, king of Great Britain, departed this life; but during the time of his sicknesse his conscience was much troubled, and exceedingly perplexed in mind, yet little shew of repentance for remission of his sins, and by past transgressions, which had so much power and influence upon him, that he seemed to live in them, and they in him. And on Sunday last, a young man of his acquaintance going to visit him, fell into discourse, asked him how he did, and whether he was not troubled in conscience for cutting off the king's head. He replyed, 'yes, by reason that (upon the time of his tryall, and at the denouncing of sentence against him,) he had taken a vow and protestation, wishing God to punish him body and soul, if ever he appeared on the scaffold to do the act, or lift up his hand against him.'
"He likewise confessed that he had thirty pounds for his pains, all paid him in half-crowns, within an hour after the blow was given; and that he had an orange stuck full of cloves, and a handkircher out of the king's pocket, so soon as he was carried off from the scaffold, for which orange he was proffered twenty shillings by a gentleman in Whitehall, but refused the same, and afterwards sold it for ten shillings in Rosemary-lane. About six of the clock at night, he returned home to his wife living in Rosemary-lane, and gave her the money, saying, that it was the deerest money that ever he earned in his life, for it would cost him his life; which prophetical words were soon made manifest, for it appeared, that ever since he hath been in a most sad condition, and upon the Almightie's first scourging of him with the rod of sicknesse, and the friendly admonition of divers friends for the calling of him to repentance, yet he persisted on in his vicious vices, and would not hearken thereunto, but lay raging and swearing, and still pointing at one thing or another, which he conceived to be still visible before him."
"About three days before he dy'd, he lay speechlesse, uttering many a sigh and heavy groan, and so in a most desperate manner departed from his bed of sorrow. For the buriall whereof great store of wines were sent in by the sheriff of the city of London, and a great multitude of people stood wayting to see his corpse carryed to the church-yard, some crying act, 'Hang him, rogue!' 'Bury him in the dunghill;' others pressing upon him, saying, they would quarter him for executing of the king: insomuch that the churchwardens and masters of the parish were fain to come for the suppressing of them, and (with great difficulty) he was at last carryed to White Chappell church-yard, having (as it is said) a bunch of rosemary at each end of the coffin, on the top thereof, with a rope tyed crosse from one end to the other.
"And a merry conceited cook living at the sign of the Crown, having a black fan (worth the value of thirty shillings), took a resolution to rent the same in pieces, and to every feather tied a piece of pack-thread dyed in black ink, and gave them to divers persons, who (in derision) for a while wore them in their hats.
"Thus have I given thee an exact account and perfect relation of the life and death of Richard Brandon, to the end that the world may be convinced of those calumnious speeches and erroneous suggestions which are dayly spit from the mouth of envy against divers persons of great worth and eminency, by casting an odium upon them for the executing of the king; it being now made manifest that the aforesaid executioner was the only man who gave the fatal blow, and his man that wayted upon him, was a ragman (of the name of Ralph Jones) living in Rosemary-lane."—Ellis's Historical Inquiries.
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A MIDNIGHT ADVENTURE.
The night was rather dark, and we had not seen the figure of our postilion, or even heard his voice; but we suspected, by the slowness of his movements, that he was some old crony of his master. On arriving towards the end of the relay, he began to blow a bugle with all his might, surprising us with a number of flourishes. Mr. Koch informed me that we were going to cross a small river, and that the blast with which we had been regaled was a warning for the bargeman. Our vehicle then stopped before the door of an inn, which stood on an elevated spot, and the postilion, alighting, asked Mr. Koch's permission to enter the inn to drink a glass of brandy, whilst the bargeman answered his sign. It was midnight, and we expected soon to cross the river; but after waiting a quarter of an hour for his return, and seeing that the fellow did not come out, I alighted, and proceeded towards a window, where a light was perceivable. As I looked through it, I saw what I certainly did not expect, but what convinced me that the flourishes of his bugle were addressed to a very different person from the bargeman. Our postilion was sitting near a table, with a huge flagon beside him, and a wench on his knee. Provoked beyond expression at this unseasonable courtship, I shook the window till it flew open, and, before my companion had time to alight and witness the scene, both the hero and the heroine came to the door of the inn, the latter holding a lantern in her hand, by which I observed she was an ugly kitchen wench of about eighteen, and he a young man of five-and-twenty. Displeased with my interruption, he muttered something at my impatience, and at the unseasonableness of my call, and again blew his bugle, though by no means so vigorously as he had before done; after which we gained the barge, and continued our way without farther interruption.—Van Halen's Narrative.
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BARBARISM OF THE CAUCASIAN TRIBES.
Opposite to our encampment, on the other side of the Alazann, and at a distance of eighteen or twenty wersts, is the city of Belohakan, situated at the foot of the Caucasus, and inhabited by the Eingalos, a people whom the Lesghis keep in the most horrible state of slavery, and who formerly belonged to Georgia; but who being too industrious, and attached to their native soil, would never abandon it, during the different revolutions which that country has undergone, and became subject to their present masters. That city carries on a great trade with Teflis, principally in bourkas, which are manufactured there; and as the traders pass through Karakhach, our colonel, who was the commandant of this district, and from whom they must obtain a passport for Georgia, was obliged to have near him an Eingalo, who understood the Russian language, and served as interpreter. This man had become so familiarized with the officers, that the colonel allowed him to sit at our table. One day we remarked that the interpreter was absent, a circumstance which seldom occurred; but, as we were finishing our dessert, he entered the dining-room in high spirits, bringing under his arm a bundle, carefully tied, which, he said, contained a fine water melon for our dessert. This fruit, in the middle of December, is considered a great delicacy, and we all expressed a wish that he should produce it, when he immediately untied the bundle, and, to our great Horror, we beheld the head of a Lesghi, whom he had killed in fight on the other side of the Alazann during a sporting expedition, roll on the table. Disgusted at this action, which among these barbarous mountaineers would pass as an excellent joke, we all rose from table, and retired to another apartment, whilst the Eingalo sat down to dinner, and, at every mouthful he took, amused himself with turning the head, which he kept close to his plate, first one way and then another.—Ibid.
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RELIGIOUS FORTUNE TELLING.
The Sortes Sanctorum, or Sortes Sacrae, of the Christians, has been illustrated in the Classical Journal.
These, the writer observes, were a species of divination practised in the earlier ages of Christianity, and consisted in casually opening the Holy Scriptures, and from the words which first presented themselves deducing the future lot of the inquirer. They were evidently derived from the Sortes Homerica and Sortes Virgilanae of the Pagans, but accommodated to their own circumstances by the Christians.
Complete copies of the Old and New Testaments being rarely met with prior to the invention of printing, the Psalms, the Prophets, or the four Gospels, were the parts of holy writ principally made use of in these consultations, which were sometimes accompanied with various ceremonies, and conducted with great solemnity, especially on public occasions. Thus the emperor Heraclius in the war against the Persians, being at a loss whether to advance or retreat, commanded a public fast for three days, at the end of which he applied to the four Gospels, and opened upon a text which he regarded as an oracular intimation to winter in Albania. Gregory, of Tours, also relates that Meroveus, being desirous of obtaining the kingdom of Chilperic, his father consulted a female fortune-teller, who promised him the possession of royal estates; but to prevent deception and to try the truth of her prognostications, he caused the Psalter, the Book of Kings, and the four Gospels to be laid upon the shrine of St. Martin, and after fasting and solemn prayer, opened upon passages which not only destroyed his former hopes, but seemed to predict the unfortunate events which afterwards befel him.
A French writer, in 506, says, "this abuse was introduced by the superstition of the people, and afterwards gained ground by the ignorance of the bishops." This appears evident from Pithon's Collection of Canons, containing some forms under the title of The Lot of the Apostles. These were found at the end of the Canons of the Apostles in the Abbey of Marmousier. Afterwards, various canons were made in the different councils and synods against this superstition; these continued to be framed in the councils of London under Archbishop Lanfranc in 1075, and Corboyl in 1126.
The founder of the Francisians, it seems, having denied himself the possession of any thing but coats and a cord, and still having doubts whether he might not possess books, first prayed, and then casually opened upon Mark, chapter iv, "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables;" from which he drew the conclusion, that books were not necessary for him.
One Peter of Thoulouse being accused of heresy, and having denied it upon oath, one of those who stood by, in order to judge of the truth of his oath, seized the book upon which he had sworn, and opening it hastily, met with the words of the devil to our Saviour, "What have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth?" and from thence concluded that the accused was guilty, and had nothing to do with Christ!
The extraordinary case also of King Charles I. and Lord Falkland, as applicable to divination of this kind, is related. Being together at Oxford, they went one day to see the public library, and were shown, among other books, a Virgil, finely printed and exquisitely bound. Lord Falkland, to divert the king, proposed that he should make a trial of his fortune by the Sortes Virgilanae. The king opening the book, the passage he happened to light upon was part of Dido's imprecation against Aeneas in lib. iv. l. 615. King Charles seeming concerned at the accident, Lord Falkland would likewise try his own fortune, hoping he might fall upon some passage that could have no relation to his case, and thus divert the king's thoughts from any impression the other might have upon him; but the place Lord Falkland stumbled upon was still more suited to his destiny, being the expressions of Evander upon the untimely death of his son Pallas, lib. xi. Lord Falkland fell in the battle of Newbury, in 1644, and Charles was beheaded in 1649.
The kind of divination among the Jews, termed by them Bath Kol, or the daughter of the voice, was not very dissimilar to the Sortes Sanctorum of the Christians. The mode of practising it was by appealing to the first words accidentally heard from any one speaking or reading. The following is an instance from the Talmud:—Rabbi Jochanau and Rabbi Simeon. Ben Lachish, desiring to see the face of R. Samuel, a Babylonish doctor: "Let us follow," said they, "the hearing of Bath Kol." Travelling, therefore, near a school, they heard the voice of a boy: reading these words out of the First Book of Samuel, "And Samuel died." They observed this, and inferred from hence that their friend Samuel was dead, and so they found it. Some of the ancient Christians too, it seems, used to go to church with a purpose of receiving as the will of heaven the words of scripture that were singing at their entrance.
To pay a very great deference in opening upon a place of scripture, as to its affording an assurance of salvation, used to be a very common practice amongst the people called Methodists, but chiefly those of the Calvinistic persuasion; this, it is probable, has declined in proportion with the earnestness of these people in other respects. They had also another opinion, viz. that if the recollection of any particular text of scripture happened to arise in their minds, this was likewise looked upon as a kind of immediate revelation from heaven. This they call being presented or brought home to them!
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"I am but a Gatherer and disposer of other men's stuff."—Wotton.
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Whoever the following story may be fathered on, Sir John Hamilton was certainly its parent. The duke of Rutland, at one of his levees, being at a loss (as probably most kings, princes, and viceroys occasionally are) for something to say to every person he was bound in etiquette to notice, remarked to Sir John Hamilton that there was "a prospect of an excellent crop:—the timely rain," observed the duke, "will bring every thing above ground." "God forbid, your excellency!" exclaimed the courtier. His excellency stared, whilst Sir John continued, sighing heavily as he spoke:—"yes, God forbid! for I have got three wives under it."—Barrington's Sketches.
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It is a singular circumstance that Italia, or, as it is called in English, Italy, has, under all the changes and revolutions to which it has been subjected, always preserved its name. Every other country in Europe is now known to its inhabitants by other names than were given to it by their ancestors in the time of the Romans; but Italia continues to be the name of the country at the present day, and we have no authentic records by which we can ascertain that it ever bore any other.
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Written over the Ten Commandments in a church in Wales.
The meaning can only be developed by adding the vowel E, which makes the sense thus—
Persevere ye perfect men Ever keep these precepts ten.
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In a new farce, supposed to have been written by Maddocks, was the following curious pun:—A large party of soldiers surprising two resurrection men in a church-yard, the officer seized one of them, and asked him what he had to say for himself. "Say, sir! why, that we came here to raise a corpse, and not a regiment!"