THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 10, No. 284.] SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1827. [PRICE 2d.
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NAVARINO AND THE ISLAND OF SPHAGIA.
As our victories, though managed by the hand, are achieved by the head, we feel little disposed to meddle with what Burke calls "the mystery of murder," or "the present perfection of gunnery, cannoneering, bombarding, and mining;" and inveterate as may be the weapon of the goose-quill, we trust our readers will not suspect us of any other policy than that of pleasing them, the ne plus ultra of all public servants. As our title implies, we are bound to present or reflect in our pages certain illustrations of popular topics, veluti IN SPECULUM; accordingly, we hope the accompanying View and Plan of the Bay of Navarino will be received in good season, quod rerum est omnium primum.
Thus far, the political or present interest attached to Navarino: with the recent event which has raised, or we may say resuscitated such interest, our readers have doubtless become familiar, and leaving the ephemeral glory to the Sun of all newspapers, and meaner "chronicles of the times," we shall proceed to the sober duty of describing the Bay of Navarino, as, it will be seen, a place of some interest in the annals of ancient as well as of modern warfare.
With our usual literary honesty, (we trust a characteristic of our whole conduct,) we have to acknowledge our obligations to the "Travels" of M. Pouqueville for the preceding view. "The port of Navarino, certainly one of the finest in the world," says Sir William Gell, in his interesting Journey in the Morea, "is formed by a deep indenture in the Morea, shut in by a long island, anciently called Sphacteria, famous for the defeat and capture of the Spartans, in the Peloponnesian war, and yet exhibiting the vestige of walls, which may have served as their last refuge. This island has been separated into three or four parts by the violence of the waves, so that boats might pass from the open sea into the port in calm weather, by means of the channel so formed. On one of the portions is the tomb of a Turkish saint, or santon; and near the centre of the port is another very small island, or rock." The modern name of the island is Sphagia.
Navarino, called by the Turks Avarin, and the Greeks Neo-Castron, is the Pylos of the ancients, and the supposed birthplace of the venerable Nestor—standing upon a promontory at the foot of Mount Temathia, and overlooking the vast harbour of the same name as the town. It is surrounded only by a wall without a ditch; the height commanding the city is a little hexagonal, defended by five towers at the external angles, which, with the walls, were built by the Turks in 1572, but were never repaired till after the war with the Russians in 1770; the Turks having previously taken it from the Venetians in 1499. At the gate of the fortress is a miserable Greek village; and the walls of the castle itself are in a dismantled condition.
"The town within the wall," says Sir W. Gell, "is like all those in this part of the world, encumbered with the fallen ruins of former habitations. These have been generally constructed by the Turks, since the expulsion of the Venetians; for it appears, that till the long continued habit of possession had induced the Mahometans to live upon and cultivate their estates in the country, and the power of the Venetian republic had been consumed by a protracted peace, a law was enforced which compelled every Turk to have a habitation in some one of the fortresses of the country. But the habitatations," says our traveller, "present generally an indiscriminate mass of ruins; they were originally erected in haste, and being often cemented with mud instead of mortar, the rains of autumn, penetrating between the outer and inner faces of the walls, swell the earth, and soon effect the ruin of the whole"—it must be confessed, but sorry structures for the triple fires of an enemy. Sir William, on his visit, found the commandant in a state of misery not exceeded by the lot of his meanest fellow-citizens, except that his robes were somewhat in better condition. He received him "very kindly in a dirty unfurnished apartment," into which he "climbed by a tottering ladder from a court strewed with ruins;" here he gave him "coffee," after which he took his leave. What would a first lord of the Admiralty say to such a reception? and it must have been somewhat uncourtly to our traveller.
The soil about Navarino is of a red colour, and is remarkable for the production of an infinite quantity of squills, which are used in medicine. The rocks, which show themselves in every direction through a scanty but rich soil, are limestone, and present a general appearance of unproductiveness round the castle of Navarino; and the absence of trees is ill compensated by the profusion of sage, brooms, cistus, and other shrubs which start from the innumerable cavities of the limestone.
The remains of Navarino Vecchio, or ancient Navarino, consist in a fort or castle of mean construction, covering the summit of a hill sloping quickly to the south, but falling in abrupt precipices to the north and east. The town was built on the southern declivity, and was surrounded by a wall, which, allowing for the natural irregularities of the soil, represented a triangle, with the castle at the apex or summit—a form observable in many of the ancient cities of Greece.
The foundation of the walls throughout the whole circuit remains entire; but the fortifications were never of any consequence, though they present a picturesque group of turrets and battlements from below, and must have been very imposing from the sea,—an effect which those of the modern city have recently failed to produce. From the top is an extensive view over the island of Sphacteria, the port, with the town of Navarino to the south, and a considerable tract of the territory anciently called Messenia on the east, with the conic hill, which, though some miles from the shore, is used as a landmark to point out the entrance of the port. Mr. Purdy, in his New Sailing Directory for the Mediterranean Sea, says, "from the sea, a frigate might, in two or three hours, batter down the walls (of Navarino); the artillery of the place (in 1825) consisted of forty pieces of cannon; the greater part in the fort, eight on the battery at the entrance of the harbour, and a few in some of the towers along the city." It should be added that the port is said to be capable of containing 2,000 sail; and the population of the town is about 3,000, the most of whom are Turks.
To the curious dilettanti in dates, &c. (such as our friend P.T.W. &c.) the following almost coinciding circumstances may not prove uninteresting:—The recent engagement took place on the anniversary of the memorable battle of Salamis, 480 B.C. when the invading army of Xerxes was defeated by the Greeks; and on which day Euripides, the Greek tragic poet, was born: Nestor is said to have been born at Navarino, as we have already mentioned: and, lastly, the attack, of which the subjoined plan is illustrative, was made on the eve of the anniversary of the glorious battle of Trafalgar, in which victory the vice-admiral of Navarino, then captain of the Orient, was engaged.
1. The English Squadron.
2. French Squadron.
3. Russian Squadron.
4. The combined Turko-Egyptian Fleet.
5. The boat sent by the "Dartmouth" to one of the Turkish Fire Ships, in which Lieutenant G.W.H.F. Fitzroy was killed.
6. and 7. Turkish Fire ships.
The other figures denote the depth of water in English fathoms.
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PART OF AN ANCIENT SONG.
The following is part of an old song which I have faithfully copied; it was, I am told, sung at Wakes in the north of England, and also previous to Christmas: from the appearance, little doubt is left as to its being of northern composition.
I have seen in former volumes of the MIRROR, specimens of two ancient ballads, and as they are a curiosity, I have sent mine as being, I think, equally so. There is an old ballad which I have met with and purchased, entitled "The Outlandish Knight," but it is certainly greatly altered, though the tale is preserved.
This ean night, this ean night, Every night and awle, Fire and fleet, and candle lyght, And Chryst receyve thy sawle.
When those from hence dost passe awaye, Every night and awle, To whinnye moore thou com'st at last, And Chryste receyve thy sawle.
If ever thou gav'st either hosen or shune, Every night and awle, Sit thee down and put them on, And Chryst receyve thy sawle.
But if hosen and shune thou never gav'st nean, Every night and awle, The whinnes shall prick thee to the bare beane, And Chryst receyve thy sawle.
From whynne moore then thou may'st passe, Every night and awle, To brigge of dread thou com'st at last, And Christ receyve thy sawle.
From brigge of dread that thou may'st passe, Every night and awle, To purgatory fire thou com'st at last, And Chryst receyve thy sawle.
If e'er thou gav'st either meate or drinke, Every night and awle, The fire shall never make thee shrynke, And Chryst receyve thy sawle.
But yf meate and drinke thou never gav'st neane, Every night and awle, The fire shall burn thee to the bare beane, And Chryst receyve thy sawle.
 Fleet from the Saxon flere, is cremon lactu, hence we have flett or flit, milk.
The next I give you is an extract from the Court Rolls of the Borough of Hales Owen, of the
Custom of Bride Ale.
"A payne ys made that no person or persons that shall brewe any weddyn ale to sell, shall not brewe aboue twelve stryke of mault at the most, and that the said persons so marryed shall not keep nor haue above eyght messe of persons at hys dinner within the burrowe, and before hys brydall daye he shall keep no unlawfull games in hys house nor out of hys house on payne of 20s."
Besides "Bride Ale," there was the Church Ales, and Easter Ales, Whitsuntide Ales, and a quantity of others which we have no accounts of. I conclude this short notice with the hope of soon supplying you with a fund of information against Christmas.
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BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR OF HELEN.
Princess Helen was born of an egg, And scarcely ten years had gone by, When Theseus beginning to beg, Decoyed the young chicken to fly. When Tyndarus heard the disaster, He crackled and thunder'd like Etna, So out gallop'd Pollux and Castor, And caught her a furlong from Gretna. Singing rattledum, Greek Romanorum, And hey classicality row. Singing birchery, floggera, borum, And folderol whack rowdy dow.
The newspapers puffed her each day, Till the princes of Greece came to woo her, Then coaxing the rest to give way, She took Menalaus unto her, So said they, "though we grieve to resign, Yet if ever you're put to a shift, Let your majesty drop us a line, And we'll all of us lend you a lift. With our rattledum, &c."
Menelaus was happy to win her. But she soon found a cure for his passion, By hobbing or nobbing at dinner, With Paris, a Trojan of fashion. This chap was a slyish young dog, The most jessamy fellow in life, For he drank Menalaus' grog, And d—me made off with his wife. Singing rattledum, &c.
The princes were sent for, who swore They would punish this finikin boy; So Achilles and two or three more, Undertook the destruction of Troy. But Achilles grew quite ungenteel, And prevented their stirring a peg, Till Paris let fly at his heel, And he found himself laid by the leg. With his rattledum, &c.
The Grecians demolish'd the city, And then (as the poets have told) Dame Helen might still be called pretty, Though very near sixty years old. Menelaus, when madam was found, Took her snugly away in his chaise, So Troy being burnt to the ground, Why the story goes off with a blaze. And a rattledum, &c.
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(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
In a recent number there was a notice of the uses of the Esculus Hippocastaneus, or horse chestnuts; but a very important one was omitted, namely, its substitution occasionally for Peruvian bark in cases of intermittent fever. This disorder, known better by the name of ague, had been formerly epidemic in Ireland, where the humidity of the atmosphere is continually increased by the exhalation of the lochs and bogs with which the country abounds. In consequence, however, of the formation of the Grand and Royal Canals, and the drainage of the waters in their vicinity, the tendency to this disease was greatly lessened; and about twenty years ago the disorder was so rare in Dublin and the neighbourhood, that the medical students often complained that they graduated without ever having an opportunity of seeing in the hospitals a single case of this once almost universal disorder. In consequence, however, of the extreme wetness of one summer and autumn, agues again resumed their ascendancy, and the hospitals and dispensaries became crowded with intermittent patients, and all the bark of the druggists and apothecaries was put into requisition; but to the surprise and disappointment of all the medical men, this infallible specific was altogether inert and powerless, and after repeated trials and disappointments, it was abandoned as useless. It was now a matter of importance to ascertain the cause of this extraordinary failure, whether it arose from the altered character of the complaint, or from the deteriorated quality of the medicine; and it was found to be the latter. In consequence of the long cessation of intermittent fever, bark had been little used or called for, and the stock had remained so long on hand, that it had become effete and worthless. It was necessary then to try some substitute. Quassia-wood, the acorus calamus, and other bitters and aromatics, were tried; but that which seemed to succeed best was the bark and kernel of the horse-chestnut. The nut was moderately dried in a stove, so as to be capable of being powdered, and in that state was exhibited in substance with cayenne pepper and other aromatics. The bark was taken in infusions and decoctions with quassia, and the effects were sometimes very decided and satisfactory, forming a providential substitute for the only kind of bark then to be procured in Ireland.
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(For the Mirror.)
Say what repays the gamester's nightly toil, Can hell itself more hideous woes impart? Can glitt'ring heaps of ill-begotten spoil, Appease the cravings of his callous heart? For this alone he severs every tie, For this he marks unmov'd the orphan's tear, E'en nature's charms, a smile from beauty's eye No longer can his blasted prospects cheer. But now prevails the dice's rattling sound, The loud blaspheming oath, and cry of woe, From tables set with spectre forms around, Hurrying with frantic haste, th' expected throw! Than this no greater foe to man remains This is the mightiest triumph Satan gains!
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(For the Mirror.)
Horace.—Ode xxx.—B. 1.
He invokes her to be present at Glycera's private sacrifice
Venus! leave thy loved isle, And on Glycera's altar smile; Breathing perfumes hail the day, Haste thee, Venus! haste away.
Bring with thee the am'rous boy; The loose-rob'd Graces crown our joy! Youth swell thy train, who owes to thee Her charms, and winged Mercury!
ODE xxvi.—B. 3.
TO THE SAME.
He renounces Love.
Not without renown was I, In the ranks of gallantry. Now, when Love no more will call, To battle; on this sacred wall, Venus, where her statue stands, To hang my arms, and lute commands; Here the bright torch to hang, and bars, Which wag'd so oft loud midnight wars.
But, O blessed Cyprian queen! Blest in Memphian bow'rs serene, Raise high the lash, and Chloe's be, All e'er proud Chloe dealt to me!
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Arcana of Science.
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Smoke of Lamps.
A recent number of Gill's "Technical Repository," contains a simple mode of consuming the smoke that ascends from the turner of an argand lamp. It consists of a thin concave of copper, fixed by three wires, at about an inch above the chimney-glass of the lamp, yet capable of being taken off at pleasure. The gaseous carbonaceous matter which occasionally escapes from the top of lamps, is thus arrested beneath the concave cap, and subsequently consumed by the heat of the flame, instead of passing off into the room, in the form of smoke or smut on the ceiling and walls.
[The "Technical Repository," may have the credit of introducing this contrivance to the British public; but it is somewhat curious that it had not been previously adopted, since scores of lamps thus provided, are to be seen in the cafes and restaurateurs of Paris. Apropos, the French oil burns equal in brightness to our best gas, and as we are informed, this purity is obtained by filtration through charcoal.—ED.]
The transformation of the deserted cases of numberless minute insects into a constituent part of a solid rock, first formed at the bottom of a lake, then constituting the sides of deep valleys, and the tabular summits of lofty hills, is a phenomenon as striking as the vast reefs of coral constructed by the labours of minute polyps. We remember to have seen such caddis-worms, as they are called by fishermen, very abundant in the wooden troughs constructed by the late Dr. Sibthorp, for aquatic plants, in the botanic garden at Oxford, to the cases of which many small shells of the G. Planorbis Limnea and Cyclas were affixed, precisely in the same manner as in the fossil tubes of Auvergne; an incrusting spring, therefore, may, perhaps, be all that is wanting to reproduce, on the banks of the Isis or the Charwell, a rock similar in structure to that of the Limagne. Mr. Kirby, in his "Entomology," informs us, that these larvae ultimately change into a four-winged insect. If you are desirous to examine them in their aquatic state, "you have only, (he says) to place yourself by the side of a clear and shallow pool of water, and you cannot fail to observe at the bottom little oblong moving masses, resembling pieces of straw, wood, or even stone—of the larvae itself, nothing is to be seen but the head and six legs, by means of which it moves itself in the water, and drags after it the case in which the rest of the body is enclosed, and into which, on any alarm, it instantly retires. The construction of these habitations is very various. Some select four or five pieces of the leaves of grass, which they glue together into a shapely polygonal case; others employ portions of the stems of rushes, placed side by side, so as to form an elegant fluted cylinder; some arrange round them pieces of leaves like a spirally-rolled riband; other species construct houses which may be called alive, forming them of the shells of various aquatic snails of different kinds and sizes, even while inhabited, all of which are immovably fixed to them, and dragged about at pleasure. However various may be the form of the case externally, within it is usually cylindrical and lined with silk."—Introduction to Entomology, by Kirby and Spence.
Engraving on Glass.
Cover one side of a flat piece of glass, after having made it perfectly clean, with bees' wax, and trace figures upon it with a needle, taking care that every stroke cuts completely through the wax. Next, make a border of wax all round the glass, to prevent any liquor, when poured on, from running off. Then take some finely powdered fluate of lime (fluor spar,) strew it even over the glass plate upon the waxed side, and then gently pour upon it, so as not to displace the powder, as much concentrated sulphuric acid diluted with thrice its weight of water, as is sufficient to cover the powdered fluor spar. Let every thing remain in this state for three hours; then remove the mixture, and clean the glass, by washing it with oil of turpentine; the figures which were traced through the wax will be found engraven on the glass, while the parts which the wax covered will be uncorroded. The fluate of lime is decomposed by the sulphuric acid, and sulphate of lime is formed. The fluoric acid, disengaged in the gaseous state, combines with the water that diluted the sulphuric acid, and forms liquid fluoric acid, by which the glass is corroded.
Habits of Seals.
The brain of this animal, observes Dr. Harwood, is I think, doubtless, of greater proportionate magnitude than in any other quadruped, and not only does it exhibit in its countenance, the appearance of sagacity, but its intelligence is in reality far greater than in most land quadrupeds: hence its domestication is rendered much easier than that of other animals, and it is susceptible of more powerful attachment. The large seal, which was exhibited some time ago at Exeter 'Change, appeared to me to understand the language of its keeper as perfectly as the most faithful dog. When he entered at one end of its long apartment, it raised its body from the water, in which it was injudiciously too constantly kept, supporting itself erect against the bar of its enclosure, and wherever he moved, keeping its large, dark eyes steadfastly fixed upon him. When desired to make obeisance to visitors, it quickly threw itself on one side, and struck the opposite one several times in quick succession with its fore-foot, producing a loud noise. The young seal, again, which was kept on board the Alexander, in one of the northern expeditions, became so much attached to its new mode of life, that after being thrown into the sea, and it had become tired of swimming at liberty, it regularly returned to the side of the beat, to be retaken on board. Such examples might be greatly multiplied; and I cannot help stating, that aware of this disposition to become familiar, and this participation in the good qualities of the dog, it is astonishing that mankind have not chosen this intellectual and finely organized quadruped, for aquatic services scarcely less important than some of those in which the dog is employed on the surface of the land.—Quarterly Journal.
Gas from Resin.
Mr. Daniel, the meteorologist, has contrived a process for generating gas from resin; which he effects by dissolving the resin in turpentine, or any other essential oil, and then allowing the fluid to drop gradually in a heated cylinder of iron.
A mode has been discovered in France of fabricating paper solely from the Glycyrrhiza Germanica, or liquorice plant. It is said that this paper is cheap, that it is of a whiteness superior to that generally made, and that size is not requisite in its manufacture.
A mathematical instrument maker at Paris, of the name of Conti, has conceived the notion of a portable instrument which he calls a tachygraph, by means of which any person may write, or rather print, as fast as any other person can speak. M. Conti, however, like many other ingenious men, is not rich; and he has applied to the Academie des Sciences, for pecuniary assistance, and a very favourable report has been made upon his request.
Valuable Discovery in Agriculture.
One of the most recent of useful discoveries in agriculture is to mix layers of green or new cut clover with layers of straw in ricks or stacks; thus the strength of the clover is absorbed by the straw, which, thus impregnated, both horses and cattle eat greedily, and the clover is dried and prevented from heating. This practice is particularly calculated for second crops of clover and rye-grass.
The largest pine ever grown in this kingdom was cut lately from the hothouse of John Edwards, Esq. of Rheola, Glamorganshire, and was presented to his Majesty at Windsor. It weighed 14 lbs. 12 oz. avoirdupois, was 12-1/2 inches high, exclusive of the crown, and 26 inches in circumference.
Sea Couch for preventing Sickness.
An elastic or swinging seat, couch, or bed, for preventing the uneasy motions of a ship or a carriage, has recently been invented. To effect this, the frame of the seat or couch is suspended on juribals or joints, turning at right angles to each other, and an elasticity is produced both in the seat or cushion, and in the swinging frames, by the use of spiral metal springs. These springs are made by twisting steel or iron wire into the form of an hour glass, that is, like two cones united at their apices. The lower points of their springs are to be sown to the canvass or webbing, and their upper parts secured in their proper situations and erect positions by pack-thread or small cords, tied or braced from one to the other, crossing like a net. On the tops of these springs the usual covering of canvass is laid, and then a thin layer of horsehair or wool, upon which the outer covering is bitted. Sir Richard Phillips, in the Monthly Magazine, describes the following successful experiment for preventing sea-sickness, made on his crossing from Dover to Calais, a few years since. He caused an armed chair to be placed on the deck of the vessel, and being seated in it, he began to raise himself up and down, as on horseback. The passengers laughed at his eccentricity, but before they reached Calais, many of them were sea-sick, whilst Sir Richard continued to enjoy his usual health and vigour.
Bites of Venomous Reptiles.
M. le D'Record, sen. discovered, during a long residence in America, what he considers a sure mode of preventing mischief from such bites. "It is sufficient," he says, "to pour a few drops of tincture of cantharides on the wound, to cause a redness and vesiccation; not only is the poison rendered harmless, but the stings of the reptiles are removed with the epidermis that the bladder raises."—Med. Journal.
Naval Schools of France.
In France, the system of mutual instruction among the working classes prospers in the bosoms of the ports, and schools are founded for the particular instruction of the sons of the inferior officers of the arsenals, in the elements of calculation, of geometry, and of design, as far as necessary for the plans of ships; also the principles of statics, so as to enable them to judge of the action and effect of machinery. Prizes of gold medals and special promotions are the rewards of the most deserving students. Brest was formerly the only port furnished with these schools; since the peace, however, libraries are forming in each of the others; and in almost all, cabinets of natural history and botanical gardens are enriched at every voyage undertaken by French ships, either to foreign coasts, or to those of the French colonies. An observatory has been given to Toulon and Rochefort. In both these ports naval museums are formed, in order to preserve types of the most eminent vessels, whose originals either have been, or soon will be, destroyed by time. Models of ingenious machines, representations of interesting manoeuvres, a methodical collection of raw materials, of tools, and of the product of all the arts exercised in a dock-yard—Such are the rich materials collected in these interesting repositories.—From the French of M. Dupin.
Antiquity of Locks.
Locks were known in Egypt above four thousand years since, as was inferred by M. Denon, from some sculptures of the great temple of Karnac, representing locks similar to those now used in that country. A lock resembling the Egyptian is used in Cornwall, and the same has been seen in the Faro Islands; to both which places it was probably taken by the Phoenicians.—Quarterly Journal.
To increase the odour of Roses.
Plant a large onion by the side of the rose-tree in such a manner that it shall touch the root of the latter. The rose which will be produced will have an odour much stronger and more agreeable than such as have not been thus treated; and the water distilled from these roses is equally superior to that prepared by means of ordinary rose leaves.—From the French.
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AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
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THE SPECTRE'S VOYAGE.
"I see a hand you cannot see, That beckons me away, I hear a voice you cannot hear, That will not let me stay."
There is a part of the river Wye, between the city of Hereford and the town of Ross, which was known for more than two centuries by the appellation of "The Spectre's Voyage;" and across which, as long as it retained that appellation, neither entreaty nor remuneration would induce any boatman to convey passengers after a certain hour of the night. The superstitious notions current among the lower orders were, that at about the hour of eight on every evening, a female was seen in a small vessel sailing from Hereford to Northbrigg, a little village then distant about three miles from the city, of which not even the site is now discernible; that the vessel sailed with the utmost rapidity in a dead calm and even against the wind; that to encounter it was fatal; that the voyager landed from it on the eastern bank of the river, a little beyond the village; that she remained some time on shore, making the most fearful lamentations; that she then re-entered the vessel, and sailed back in the same manner, and that both boat and passenger vanished in a sudden manner as they arrived at a certain part of the river, where the current is remarkably strong, within about half a mile of the city of Hereford,
This singular tradition, like most stories of a similar character, was not without a foundation in truth, as the reader will perceive who takes the trouble to peruse the following narrative.
In the turbulent reign of Edward the Second, when the whole of England was one theatre of lawless violence, when might was constantly triumphant over right, and princes and soldiers only respected the very intelligible, if not very equitable principle,
"That they should take who have the power, And they should keep who can,"
the city of Hereford was distinguished by the zeal and patriotism of its citizens, and by the unshrinking firmness with which they adhered to the cause of queen Isabella, and the young prince her son, afterwards the renowned king Edward the Third, in opposition to the weak and ill-fated monarch who then wore the crown, and his detested favourites the Spensers, father and son. Sir Hugh Spenser, the younger, was a man of unquestionable talents, and possessed virtues which, during a period of less violence and personal animosity, might have proved honourable to himself, and useful to his country.
The discontents of the queen and the barons were not vented in fruitless complaints or idle menaces. They flew to arms. The king of France, the queen's brother, assisted them with men and money; the Count of Hainault, to whose daughter Philippa, the young prince had been contracted, did the same. The king was driven from London, and forced, with the elder Spenser, whom he had created Earl of Winchester, to take refuge in Bristol. Being hotly pursued to this city by the Earl of Kent and the Count of Hainault, at the head of a formidable army, he was obliged to flee into Wales, leaving the elder Spenser governor of the castle of Bristol. This fortress was immediately besieged, and speedily taken, as the garrison mutinied against their governor, and delivered him into the hands of his enemies. This venerable noble, who had nearly reached his ninetieth year, was instantly, without trial, or witness, or accusation, or answer, condemned to death by the rebellious barons; he was hanged on a gibbet; his body was cut to pieces and thrown to the dogs; and his head was sent to Winchester, the place whence he derived his title, and was there set on a pole, and exposed to the insults of the populace.
When the news of this catastrophe reached the younger Spenser, he was at the head of a fine army, which had sat down before the city of Hereford, for the purpose of reducing it to obedience to king Edward. The formidable force which he commanded had struck terror into the hearts of the citizens, so that notwithstanding their attachment to queen Isabella, and their detestation of Spenser, they had shown symptoms of their willingness to yield to the latter upon reasonable terms; and he, desirous of obtaining possession of the city without any unnecessary effusion of blood, had granted a truce of a week's duration, to give them time to decide upon what conditions they would open their gates to him. The disastrous intelligence which he received from Bristol, however, made him doubtful whether he should hold inviolate the truce which he had granted to the besieged. He did not doubt but that the Earl of Kent and his troops, flushed with conquest, would hasten to his destruction, and to the relief of Hereford, and that unless he could possess himself of the city and castle, and by shutting himself up in the latter be enabled to bid defiance to his enemies, the fate of his father must inevitably be his own.
The favourite recreation of the inhabitants of Hereford was then, as it is now, to make excursions either alone, or in parties, upon their beautiful river. This amusement had become so much a custom with them, that the most timid females were not afraid to venture alone and at night in a small skiff, with which almost every family of respectability was provided; and on a bright moonlight night, the bosom of the river was beautifully diversified by the white sails glittering in the moonbeams, while sweet female voices would be heard warbling some popular melodies, the, subjects of which were usually the praises of prince Edward, or execrations of Spenser and those who had corrupted the king. It was on such a night, that the incident with which our narrative commences occurred. The moon was riding in an unclouded sky—unclouded except by those light fleecy vapours which hovered round the form of the queen of night, increasing rather than diminishing her beauty. The river seemed one sheet of silver, and numerous little vessels passing and repassing, gave it a delightfully animated appearance. In one, which seemed to be venturing nearer to the camp of the enemy than the others, might be seen a light and delicate female form, and on the shore which she was approaching, a little above the village of Northbrigg, stood a soldier, whose accoutrements bespoke him to belong to the army of Sir Hugh Spenser.
The lady landed, and the soldier hastened to meet her. "Dearest Isabel," he said, "blessings upon thy generous trusting heart, for this sweet meeting! I have much to tell thee, but that my tongue dares not utter all with which my mind is stored; and if it dared, it is not on such a night as this, so bright, so beautiful, that tidings dark as mine should be communicated." Isabel, who had laid her head upon his breast when they met, started from him, and gazed with the utmost terror and surprise at the unwonted gloom which darkened his countenance.
"Walter, what means this? Come you to break the trusting heart which beats for you alone? Come you to cancel your vows—to say that we must part for ever? Oh! better had you left me to the mercy of the wave, when its work of death was half achieved, if you reserved me only for the misery which waits upon a broken heart, and blighted and betrayed affections?"
"Sweet, dry these tears!" replied the soldier; "while I have life I am thine. I come to warn thee of sure but unseen danger. The walls of Hereford are strong, and the arms and hearts of her citizens firm and trusty; but her hour is come, and the path of the destroyer, although secret, is like the stream which hides itself for a time beneath the earth only to spring forth more strongly and irresistibly than ever."
"Thy words are dark and dreadful; but I do not know of any cause for fear, or of any means of avoiding it, if it exists."
"Fly with me, fly!—with thy heart and hand reward my love, and think no more of those grim walls, and sullen citizens, with souls as iron as their beavers, and hearts as cold as the waters of their river."
"Oh! no, no, no! my father's head is grey, and but for me alone all his affections, all his hopes are buried in my mother's grave. He hates thee and thy cause. When I told him a stranger had rescued his daughter from the wave, he raised his hands to heaven and blessed him. I told him that that stranger was a follower of the Spensers'; he checked his unfinished benediction, and cursed him. But if he knew thee, Walter, thy noble heart, thy constant love, methinks that time and entreaty would make him listen to his daughter's prayer."
"Alas! my Isabel, entreaty would be vain, and time is already flapping his wings, loaded with inevitable ruin, over yon devoted city and its inhabitants. Thy father shall be safe—trust that to me; and trust me, too, that what I promise I can perform. But thou, my loved one, thou must not look upon the horrid face of war: and though my power extends to save thy father from injury, it would be easier to save the wall-flowers on the ramparts of the city from the foot of the invader, than one so fair, so feeble, from his violence and lust."
"Whoe'er thou art," she said, "there is a spell upon my heart which love and gratitude have twined, and which makes it thine for ever: but sooner would I lock my hand with that of the savage Spenser himself, when reeking with the best blood of Hereford's citizens, than leave my father's side when his gray hairs are in danger, and my native city, when treachery is in her streets and outrage is approaching her walls."
These words were uttered with an animation and vehemence so unusual to her, that Walter stood for a moment transfixed with wonder; and before he recovered his self-possession, Isabel, with the velocity of lightning, had regained her skiff, and was sailing before the wind to Hereford. "Curse on my amorous folly!" he exclaimed, "that, for a pair of pale cheeks and sparkling eyes, has perhaps ruined a better concerted stratagem than ever entered the brain of the Grecian Sinon. I must away, or the false girl will wake the slumbering citizens to their defence before the deed is done; and yet, must I devote her to the foul grasp of ruffian violence? No, no! my power is equal to save or to destroy." As he uttered these words he rapidly ascended the rocks which skirted that part of the banks of the river on which he stood, and was soon lost among the wild woods that crowned their summit.
We shall not enter into any detailed account of the events of that night. The royalists, by means of an unexpected attack during the truce, and aided by internal treachery, hoped to make themselves masters of the city of Hereford. The citizens, however, had by some unknown means obtained intelligence of the designs of the enemy, and were prepared to repel their attacks. Every street was lined with soldiers, and a band of the bravest and most determined, under the command of Eustace Chandos, (Isabel's father,) manned the city walls. The struggle was short but sanguinary—the invaders were beaten back at every point, their best troops were left dead in the trenches, and above two hundred prisoners (among whom was Sir Hugh Spenser himself) fell into the hands of the citizens. The successful party set no bounds either to their exultation or their revenge. The rejoicings were continued for three successive days; the neighbouring country was ravaged without cessation and without remorse; and all the prisoners were ordered, by a message to that effect received from queen Isabella, to be treated as felons, and hanged in the most public places in the city. This decree was rigorously and unrelentingly executed. The royalist soldiers, without any distinction as to rank or character, suffered the ignominious punishment to which they were condemned, and the streets of Hereford were blocked up by gibbets, which the most timid and merciful of its inhabitants gazed upon with satisfaction and triumph.
Sir Hugh Spenser, both on account of his rank and of the peculiar degree of hatred with which each bosom beat against him, was reserved to be the last victim. On the day of his execution the streets were lined with spectators, and the principal families in the city occupied stations round the scaffold. So great was the universal joy at having their enemy in their power, that even the wives and daughters of the most distinguished citizens were anxious to view the punishment inflicted upon him whom they considered the grand cause of all the national evils. Isabel was not of this number; but her father sternly compelled her to be a witness of the dismal scene. The hour of noon was fast approaching, and the bell of the cathedral heavily and solemnly tolled the knell of the unfortunate Spenser. The fatal cavalcade approached the place of execution. A stern and solemn triumph gleamed in the eyes of the soldiers as they trod by the side of the victim; but most of the spectators, especially the females, were melted into tears when they beheld the fine manly form of the prisoner, which seemed better fitted to adorn the royal levee, or a lady's bower, than for the melancholy fate to which he was about to be consigned. His head was bare, and his light flaxen hair fell in a rich profusion of locks down his shoulders, but left unshaded his finely-proportioned and sunburnt features. He wore the uniform of the royal army, and a star on his breast indicated his rank, while he held in his hand a small ivory cross, which he frequently and fervently kissed. His deportment was firm and contemptuous, and, as he looked on the formal and frequently grotesque figures of his guards, his features even assumed an expression of risibility. The sight of the gibbet, however, which was raised fifty feet high, seemed to appal him, for he had not been apprized of the ignominious nature of his punishment. "And is this," he said, as he scornfully dashed away a tear which had gathered in his eye, "ye rebellious dogs, is this the death to which you doom the heir of Winchester?" A stern and bitter smile played on the lips of his guards, but they remained silent. "Oh, God!" he continued, "in the field, or on the wave, or on the block, which has reeked so often with the bravest and noblest blood, I could have died smiling; but this—" His emotion seemed increasing, but with a violent effort he suppressed every outward sign of it; for the visible satisfaction which gleamed on the dark faces around him, at the state of weakness to which they had reduced the proud heart of their foe, was more galling to his soul than the shameful death to which he was devoted.
By the time he reached the place of execution his face had assumed its calm and scornful air, and he sprang upon the scaffold with apparently unconcerned alacrity. At the same moment a dreadful shriek issued from that part of the surrounding booths in which the family of Chandos sat; and in another instant a female, deadly pale, and with her hair and dress disordered, had darted on to the scaffold, and clasped the prisoner in her arms.
"Walter!" she cried, "Walter! can it be thou? oh! they dare not take thy life; thou bravest, best of men! Avaunt, ye bloodthirsty brood! ye cannot tear me from him. Not till my arms grow cold in death I'll clasp him thus, and defy the world to sever us!"
"Oh! Isabel!" he said, "it is too much; my soul can bear no more. I hoped thy eyes had been spared this sight—but the cold tyrants have decreed it thus. On! leave me, leave me!—it is in vain—unmannered ruffians, spare her!" While he spoke, the soldiers forcibly tore her from him, and were dragging her through the crowd.—"My father! save him! he saved thy child!—Walter! supplicate him—he is kind." She turned her eyes to the scaffold as she uttered these words, and beheld the form of Spenser writhing in the air, and convulsed with the last mortal agony. A fearful shriek burst from her heart, and she sank senseless in the arms of those who bore her.
Isabel survived this event more than a twelvemonth; but her reason had fled and her health was so shattered that final recovery was hopeless. She took scarcely any food, refused all intercourse with her former friends, and even with her father, and would sit silent and motionless for days together. One thing only soothed her mind, or afforded her any gratification; and this, as she was an experienced navigator of the river, her friends indulged her in—to sail from the city of Hereford to that spot on which she used to meet her lover. This she did constantly every evening; but when she landed, and had waited a short time, her shrieks and cries were pitiable. This practice one evening proved fatal. Instead of steering to the usual landing-place, a little above the city, she entered a part of the river where the current is unusually strong. The rapidity of its waves mastered and overturned the frail bark in which she sailed, and the unfortunate Isabel sunk to rise no more!
The tragic nature of these events made an impression on the popular mind which two centuries did not efface. The spirit of Isabel was still said to sail every night from Hereford to Northbrigg, to meet her lover; and the beach across the river which this unearthly traveller pursued, was long distinguished by the name of "The Spectre's Voyage."
Neele's Romance of History.
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Conspicuous amongst the most conspicuous of the stars; of the ascendant, was a lady, who took the field with an eclat, a brilliancy, and bustle, which for a time fixed the attention of all upon herself. Although a fine woman, in the strictest sense of the term, and still handsome, though not still very young, she was even more distinguished by her air of high supremacy, than by her beauty. She sat loftily in a lofty phaeton, which was emblazoned with arms, and covered with coronets; and she played with her long whip, as ladies of old managed their fans, with grace and coquetry. She was dressed in a rich habit, whose facings and epaulettes spoke her the lady of the noble colonel of some provincial corps of volunteers. A high military cap, surmounted with a plume of black feathers, well became her bright, bold, black eyes, and her brow that looked as if accustomed "to threaten and command." The air had deepened her colour through her rouge, as it had blown from her dark, dishevelled tresses the mareschal powder, then still worn in Ireland—(the last lingering barbarism of the British toilette, which France had already abandoned, with other barbarous modes, and exchanged for the coiffure d'Arippine and the tete a la Brutus.) Her pose, her glance, her nod, her smile, all conscious and careless as they were, proclaimed a privileged autocrat of the Irish bon ton, a "dasher," as it was termed, of the first order; for that species of effrontery called dashing was then in full vogue, as consonant to a state of society, where all in a certain class went by assumption.
This lady had arrived rather early in the field, for one whose habits were necessarily on the wrong side of time and of punctuality. She came bowling along, keeping up her fiery steeds to a sort of curvetting gallop, like one deep in the science of the manege—now deranging the order of march of the troops, by breaking through the ranks, in spite of the impertinent remonstrances of the out-posts and videttes, at which she laughed, at once to show her teeth and her power;—and now scattering the humble crowd, "like chaff before the wind," as giving her horses the rein, she permitted them to plunge head-long on, while skilfully flourishing her long whip, she made on every side a preliminary clearance. Many among the multitude announced her as the famous Kitty Cut-dash, and nodded knowingly as she passed them; but the greater number detected in the beautiful charioteer, the equally famous Albina Countess Knocklofty, the female chief of that great oligarchical family, the Proudforts—a family on which the church rained mitres, the state coronets, and the people—curses.
Beside her sat, or rather lounged, another dame of quality, bearing the stamp of her class and caste as obviously, yet less deeply marked, than her companion. More feminine in her air, more foreign in her dress and entire bearing, her faultless form, and almost faultless face, had all the advantages of the new democratic toilet of Paris, (adopted by its court, when more important innovations were still fatally resisted;) and she appeared in the Phoenix Park, dressed much in the same costume as Marie Antoinette and her female favourites are described to have worn in the gardens of Trianon, or in the bowers of St. Cloud,—to the horror of all old dames d'atours, and all the partisans of the ancient regime of whalebone and buckram! The chemise of transparent muslin, or robe a la Poliynae, chapeau de paille a la bergere, tied down with a lilac ribbon, with
"Scarf loosely flowing, hair as free,"
gave an air of sylph-like simplicity to one, whose features, though beautiful, were marked by an expression foreign to simplicity, evincing that taste, not sentiment, presided over her toilet, and that, "chez elle, un beau desordre fut l'effet de l'art."
This triumphal car was followed, or surrounded, by a host of beaux; some in military uniform, and with true English faces and figures; but the greater number in the civil, though uncivilized, dress of the day, and with forms and physiognomies as Irish as ever were exhibited in Pale or Palatine, to the dread of English settlers and Scotch undertakers. Ponderous powdered clubs, hanging from heads of dishevelled hair—shoulders raised or stuffed to an Atlas height and breadth—the stoop of paviers, and the lounge of chairmen—broad beavers, tight buckskins, the striped vest of a groom, and the loose coat of a coachman, gave something ruffianly to the air of even the finest figures, which assorted but too well with the daring, dashing manner, that just then had succeeded, among a particular set, to the courtly polish for which the travelled nobility of Ireland were once so distinguished. Such, in exterior, were many of the members of the famous Cherokee Club, and such the future legislators of that great national indignity, which had procured them a contemptible pre-eminence in the black book of public opinion, by the style and title of the "Union Lords." As they now crowded round the cynosures of the day, there was something too ardent and unrestrained in their homage, something too emphatic in their expressions and gestures, for true breeding; while in their handsome, but "light, revelling, and protesting faces," traces of the night's orgies were still visible, which gave their fine features a licentious cast, and deprived their open and very manly countenances of every mark of intellectual expression.—Lady Morgan's "O'Briens and O'Flahertys."
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THE WEE MAN.
It was a merry company. And they were just afloat, When lo! a man of dwarfish span Came up and hail'd the boat.
"Good morrow to ye, gentle folks, And will you let me in? A slender space will serve my case, For I am small and thin."
They saw he was a dwarfish man, And very small and thin; Not seven such would matter much, And so they took him in.
They laugh'd to see his little hat, With such a narrow brim; They laugh'd to note his dapper coat, With skirts so scant and trim.
But barely had they gone a mile, When, gravely, one and all, At once began to think the man Was not so very small.
His coat had got a broader skirt, His hat a broader brim, His leg grew stout, and soon plump'd out A very proper limb.
Still on they went, and as they went More rough the billows grew,— And rose and fell, a greater swell, And he was swelling too!
And lo! where room had been for seven, For six there scarce was space! For five!—for four!—for three!—not more Than two could find a place!
There was not even room for one! They crowded by degrees— Ay, closer yet, till elbows met, And knees were jogging knees.
"Good sir, you must not sit a-stern. The wave will else come in!" Without a word he gravely stirr'd, Another seat to win.
"Good sir, the boat has lost her trim, You must not sit a-lee!" With smiling face and courteous grace The middle seat took he.
But still by constant quiet growth, His back became so wide. Each neighbour wight, to left and right, Was thrust against the side.
Lord! how they chided with themselves, That they had let him in; To see him grow so monstrous now, That came so small and thin.
On every brow a dew-drop stood, They grew so scared and hot,— "I' the name of all that's great and tall, Who are ye, sir, and what?"
Loud laugh'd the Gogmagog, a laugh As loud as giant's roar— "When first I came, my proper name Was Little—now I'm Moore!"
Hood's Whims and Oddities Second series.
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Manners & Customs of all Nations.
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LIVING AT CALAIS.
Calais may, for various reasons, be looked upon as one of the dearest towns in France. An excellent suite of furnished apartments may be had in one of the most respectable private houses in Calais, consisting of a sitting-room, three bedrooms, and a kitchen, for twenty shillings a week, and smaller ones in proportion, down to five shillings a week for a bachelor's apartment. This, however, does not include attendance of any kind; and, with few exceptions, the apartments can only be taken by the month. The price of meat is fixed by a tarif, at a maximum of sixpence per pound for the very best. It varies, therefore, between that price and fourpence; and this pound contains something more than ours. Poultry is still cheaper, in proportion, or rather in fact. My dinner to-day consists, in part, of an excellent fowl, which cost 8d. and a pair of delicate ducks, which cost 1s. 6d. The price of bread is also fixed by law, and amounts to about two-thirds of the present price of ours in London. Butter and eggs are excellent, and always fresh: the first costs from 9d. to 10d. the pound of 18 ounces; and the latter 10d. the quarter of a hundred. Vegetables and fruit, which are all of the finest quality, and fresh from the gardens of the adjacent villages, are as follow:—asparagus, at the rate of 8d. or 9d. the hundred, peas (the picked young ones,) 3d. per quart; new potatoes (better than any we can get in England, except what they call the framed ones,) three pounds far a penny; cherries and currants (picked for the table,) 2d. per pound; strawberries (the high flavoured wood-strawberry, which is so fine with sugar and cream,) 4d. for a full quart, the stocks being picked off. (This latter is a delicacy that can scarcely be procured in England for any price.) The above may serve as an indication of all the rest, as all are in proportion. The finest pure milk is 2d. per quart; good black or green teas, 4s. 6d. per pound; and the finest green gunpowder tea, 7s.; coffee, from 1s. 3d. to 2s.; good brandy, 1s. 3d. per quart, and the very best, 2s. (I do not mean the very finest old Cogniac, which costs 3s. 6d.) Wine is dearer in Calais than, perhaps, in any other town in France, that could be named; but still you may have an excellent table wine for 1s. per quart bottle; and they make a very palatable and wholesome beer, for 1-1/2d. and 2-1/2d. per bottle—the latter of which has all the good qualities of our porter, and none of its bad. Fish is not plentiful at Calais, except the skate, which you may have for almost nothing, as indeed you may at many of our own sea-port towns. But you may always have good sized turbot (enough for six persons for 3s. and a cod weighing from twelve to fifteen pounds,) for half that sum. As to the wages of female servants, they can scarcely be considered as much cheaper, nominally, than they are with us. But then the habits of the servants, and the cost of what they eat, make their keep and wages together amount to not more than half what they do with us.
It only remains to tell you of what is dearer here than it is in England, I have tried all I can to find out items belonging to this latter head, and have succeeded in two alone—namely, sugar and fuel. You cannot have brown sugar under 8d. and indifferent loaf sugar costs 1s. 3d. And as to firing, it is dearer, nominally alone, and in point of fact, does not cost, to a well regulated family, near so much, in the course of the year, as coals do in our houses.—Monthly Magazine.
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The ceremonial of the funeral of a cardinal is considered as one of the most imposing at Rome, which is a city of ceremonies, and yielding only in magnificence to the obsequies of royal personages. The burial of the Mezzo-ceto classes is conducted rather differently. The body is exposed much in the same manner, at home; but the convoi, or passage from the habitation to the sepulchre, is generally considered as an occasion which calls for the utmost display. Torches, priests, psalmody, are sought for with a spirit of rivalry which easily explains the sumptuary laws of the Florentine and Roman statute-books, and which, unnoticed but not extinguished in the present age, in a poorer must have been highly offensive to the frugality and jealousies of a republic. The religious orders, the Capucins particularly, are in constant requisition; not a day that you may not meet two or three of their detachments in various parts of the city:—-the religious or charitable fraternities, such as the Fratelli della Misericordia, of which the deceased is generally a brother or a benefactor, or both, think it also a point of duty and gratitude to swell the cortege, and in the greatest numbers they can muster to attend. Their costume, which is highly picturesque, is always a striking feature, and adds much to the brilliancy of the display. They wear a sort of sack robe or tunic, which covers the whole body, girt with a rope round the waist, and with holes pierced in the capuchon for the eyes; their large grey slouched hat is thrown back, much in the manner in which it appears on the statues of Mercury, on their shoulders; their feet are often in zoccoli, or sandals of wood, and sometimes, though rarely, bare. The colour of their dress varies according to the rule of their society; at Rome, I have noticed white, blue, and grey: at Florence they prefer black. The corpse is dressed up with great care, and often with a degree of luxury which would become a wedding; the best linen, the richest ornaments, are lavished; garlands are placed on the head; the hands crossed, with a crucifix between them, on the bosom, and the face and feet left quite bare. Sometimes, through a capricious fit of piety, all this is studiously dispensed with, and the body appears clad in the habit of some religious order, to which the deceased was especially addicted during life. In this manner the procession begins to move after sunset, preceded by a tall silver cross, beadles, &c.; friars, priests, &c. chanting the De Profundis through the principal streets to the church where it is intended it should be interred.
The effect, with some abatements for boys following to pick up the drippings of the torches, and the perfect indifference of the assistants, for neither friends nor relatives attend, is certainly very solemn. The deep hoarse recitative of the psalm, the strange phantom-like appearance of the fraternities, the flash and glare of the torches which they carry, on the face of the dead; the dead body itself, in all the appalling nakedness of mortality, but still mocked with the tawdry images of this world, in the flowers and tinsel and gilding which surround it; the quick swinging motion with which it is hurried along, and with which it comes trenching, when one least expects it, on all the gaieties and busy interests of existence (for at this hour the Corso and the Caffes are most crowded)—all this, without any reference to the intrinsic solemnity of such a scene, is calculated, as mere stage effect, powerfully to stir up the sympathies and imagination of a stranger. On the inhabitants, as might be apprehended, such pageants have long since lost all their influence; and I have seen a line extending down a whole street, without deranging a single lounger from his seat, or interrupting for an instant the pleasures of ice-eating and punch-drinking, which generally takes place in the open air. Whether this passion for bringing into coarse contact, as is often the case, both life and death, the gloomy and the gay, be constitutional or traditional, I know not; but a traveller can scarcely fail of being struck with the prevalence of the feeling and practice amongst southern nations at all periods of their history, and finding in the modern inhabitants of those favoured regions, frequent resemblances to that strange spirit of melancholy voluptuousness, which travelled onward from Egypt to Greece, and from Greece, together with the other refinements of her philosophy, into the greater part of Italy. On reaching the church, unless the wealth and situation of the departed can permit the consolation or the vanity of a high mass, the body is immediately committed to the tomb. Such at least is the practice at Rome; and there are few who have not witnessed with disgust the indecent haste of the few attendants by whom this portion of the last rites is usually despatched. In the country, and in smaller towns, the corpse is usually exposed for at least a day: I know few exceptions, from Trent to Naples. It is generally an affecting ceremony. One of the most touching instances of the kind I can remember, was the exposure of a young girl, who had just died in the flush of beauty in a small village in Tuscany. I was passing through at the time, and stepped by chance into the church. The corpse was lying on a low bier before the altar; a small lamp burnt above. Her two younger sisters were kneeling at her side, and from time to time cast flowers upon her head. Scarcely a peasant entered but immediately came up and touched the bier, and, after kneeling for a few moments, rose and murmured a prayer or two for the spiritual rest of the departed. All this was done very naturally, and with a kindliness which spoke highly for the warmth and purity of their affections. A similar custom still continues at Rome. The day after the execution of the conspirator Targioni, who suffered in the late affair of the Prince Spada, flowers and chaplets, notwithstanding every precaution on the part of the police, were found scattered on his tomb. He has been refused, for his contumacy in his last moments, Christian sepulture, and was buried in a field outside the Porta del Popolo. It is remarkable that, very nearly in the same place, the freedmen of Nero paid a similar tribute of affection to the mortal remains of their master. Garlands and flowers, the morning after his death, were also found upon his tomb.
New Monthly Magazine.
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SLAVERY IN THE EAST.
The slave in eastern countries, after he is trained to serve, attains the condition of a favoured domestic; his adoption of the religion of his master is usually the first step which conciliates the latter. Except at a few seaports, he is seldom put to hard labour. In Asia these are no fields tilled by slaves, no manufactories in which they are doomed to toil; their occupations are all of a domestic nature, and good behaviour is rewarded by kindness and confidence, which raises them in the community to which they belong. The term gholam, or slave, in Mahomedan countries, is not one of opprobrium, nor does it even convey the idea of a degraded condition. The Georgians, Nubians, and Abyssinians, and even the Seedee, or Caffree, as the woolly-headed Africans are called, are usually married, and their children, who are termed house-born, become, in a manner, part of their master's family. They are deemed the most attached of his adherents: they often inherit a considerable portion of his wealth; and not unfrequently (with the exception of the woolly-headed Caffree) lose, by a marriage in his family, or by some other equally respectable connexion, all trace of their origin.
According to the Mahomedan law, the state of slavery is divided into two conditions—the perfect and absolute, or imperfect and privileged. Those who belong to the first class are, with all their property, at the disposal of their masters. The second, though they cannot, before emancipation, inherit or acquire property, have many privileges, and cannot be sold or transferred. A female, who has a child to her master, belongs to the privileged class; as does a slave, to whom his master has promised his liberty, on the payment of a certain sum, or on his death.—Sir J. Malcolm's Sketches of Persia.
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"I am but a Gatherer and disposer of other men's stuff."—Wotton.
Secretaries of state, presidents of the council, and generals of an army, have crowds of visitants in a morning, all soliciting of past promises; which are but a civiller sort of duns, that lay claim to voluntary debts.—CONGREVE.
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The other day as Kenny was dining at a friend's house, after dinner wine being introduced and Kenny partaking of it, was on the instant observed to cough immoderately, when one of the company inquired if the cause was not owing to a bit of cork getting into the glass; to which Kenny replied, "I should think it was Cork, for it went far to Kill Kenny."
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AUTHORS AND EDITORS.
"Do you hear, let them be well used." SHAKSPEARE.
Accustomed as our readers are to the quips, quirks, and quibbles, of the Gatherer, we doubt whether the following loose reflections will not be received as egotistical, or out of place. But we are induced to the hazard by the recent appearance of "The Tale of a Modern Genius," (stated to be by Mr. Pennie,) and an interesting paper in the last London Magazine, entitled "Memoirs of a Young Peasant:" in which productions the fates and fortunes of genius are set forth with very powerful claims to the sympathy of readers. Indeed, we recommend their perusal to many of our "neglected" correspondents, in the hope of their becoming more reconciled to the justice with which their contributions are rejected. In the comparison, their works will be as "the labours of idleness," listlessly penned under first impressions, or, at best, with the fond anticipation of appearing in print. Vexatious as the disappointment may appear, what is it compared with the bare fate of genius, stripped of the bare means of sustenance by the unsuccessful result of a literary engagement, or the non-completion of a purchase, on which probably depended the very day's existence. The subject is trite and hacknied; but all that has been written about the illusions and misgivings of genius will not alter its complexion. It is true that such details have raised a spirit of sympathetic forbearance towards the distresses of men of letters, except in the breasts of the most barbarous and vulgar. But their sufferings are doubly acute, and their perceptions doubly tender. In their intercourse with mankind, they become flattered by associates, and it not unfrequently happens that men who are the most ready to quote such ascendancy or superiority in society, are the first to break the charm they have created, by some act of extreme rigour. Such conduct is cruel and unchristian.
Again, the sufferings of men of genius are increased by their own reflection on them, and in addition to real woes they thus inflict on themselves thousands of imaginary ones. A loss in trade may be repaired by the profits of the succeeding day, and all be set right, where gain is the sole idol; but when fame is mixed up in the pursuit, there is a suffering beyond the hour, the day, or the year—mixed up in the defeat. Hope is crushed; and after her flittering shade spring up misanthropy and despair.
Light and fickle as is the public taste for literature, we are disposed to think that, (barring the influence of great names) the chances of success are as frequent in this as in any other field of human ingenuity; and we can assure the public that our repose has not always been on a bed of roses. But it seems to be with certain literary candidates as with nations: there is a certain point of fame which men seem content to reach, after which, in return for the darling caresses of the world, they kick at their patrons; and if the maxim work true, that the fame of authors suffers by our known contact and conversation with them, Sir Walter Scott's recent avowal is a dangerous step, unless he was tired of his fame. Of course, we have not yet arrived at the above point, so that our readers need not fear our ingratitude; and we are willing to abide by the condition, that when we forget our patrons, may they forget us.
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CURE FOR ENVY.
Bishop Berkeley (that acute reasoner) contrived a lucky antidote, for the suffering of envy. "When I walk the streets," says he, "I use the following natural maxim, (viz. that he is the true possessor of a thing who enjoys it, and not he that owns it without the enjoyment of it,) to convince myself that I have a property in the gay part of all the gilt chariots that I meet, which I regard as amusement to delight my eyes, and the imagination of those kind people who sit in them gaily attired only to please me;" by which maxim he fancied himself one of the richest men in Great Britain.
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LIMBIRD'S EDITION OF THE BRITISH NOVELIST, Publishing in Monthly Parts, price 6d. each.—Each Novel will be complete in itself, and may be purchased separately.
The following Novels are already Published:
s. d. Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield 0 10 The Mysteries of Udolpho 3 6 Mackenzie's Man of Feeling 0 6 Rasselas 0 8 Paul and Virginia 0 6 The Old English Baron 0 8 The Castle of Otranto 0 6 The Romance of the Forest 1 8 Almoran and Hamet 0 6 Elizabeth, or the Exiles of Siberia 0 6 Nature and Art 0 8 The Italian 2 0 A Simple Story 1 4 The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne 0 6 Sicilian Romance 1 0 The Man of the World 1 0 Zeluco, by Dr. Moore 2 0 Joseph Andrews 1 6 Humphry Clinker 1 8 Edward, by Dr. Moore 2 6
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