THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL 10. No. 283. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1827. [PRICE 2d.]
The locomotive facility with which the aid of our graphic department enables us to transport our readers, (for we have already sent them to Sydney,) is somewhat singular, not to say ludicrous; and would baffle the wand of Trismegistus, or the cap of Fortunatus himself. Thus, during the last six weeks we have journeyed from the Palace at Stockholm (No. 277) to that of Buckingham, in St. James's Park, (278;) thence to Brambletye, in the wilds of Sussex, (279;) to Hamlet's Garden at Elsineur, (280;) then to the deserts of Africa, and Canterbury, (281;) in our last, (282,) we introduced our readers to the palatial splendour of the Regent's Park; and our present visit is to Haddon Hall, in Derbyshire, one of the palaces of olden time, whose stupendous towers present a strong contrast with the puny palace-building of later days, and the picturesque beauty of whose domain pleasingly alternates with the verdant pride of the Regent's Park.
Haddon is situate about one mile south-east of Bakewell, and is one of the most curious and perfect of the old castellated mansions of this country. It stands on a gentle hill, in the midst of thick woods overhanging the Wye, which winds along the valley at a great depth beneath. The house consists of two courts; in the centre building behind which is the great hall, with its butteries and cellars. Over the door of the great porch, leading to the hall, are two coats of arms cut in stone; the one is those of Vernon, the other of Fulco de Pembridge, lord of Tong, in Shropshire, whose daughter and heir married Sir Richard Vernon, and brought him a great estate. In one corner of the hall is a staircase, formed of large blocks of stone, leading to the gallery, about 110 feet in length and 17 in width, the floor of which is said to have been laid with boards cut out of one oak, which grew in the park. In different windows are the arms of England in the garter, surmounted with a crown; and those of Rutland impaling Vernon with its quarterings in the garter; and these of Shrewsbury. In the east window of the Chanel adjoining were portraits of many of the Vernon family, but a few years ago the heads were stolen from them. A date of Mi esimo ccccxxvii. is legible. In the north window the name Edwardus Vernon and his arms remain; and in a south window is Willmus Trussel. In the chapel also stands a Roman altar, dug up near Bakewell.
All the rooms (except the gallery) were hung with loose arras, a great part of which still remains; and the doors were concealed every where behind the hangings, so that the tapestry was to be lifted up to pass in or out. The doors being thus concealed, are of ill-fashioned workmanship; and wooden bolts, rude bars, &c. are their only fastenings. Indeed, most of the rooms are dark and uncomfortable; yet this place was for ages the seat of magnificence and hospitality. It was at length quitted by its owners, the Dukes of Rutland, for the more splendid castle of Belvoir, in Lincolnshire.
For many generations Haddon was the seat of the Vernons, of whom Sir George, the last heir male, who lived in the time of queen Elizabeth, gained the title of king of the Peak, by his generosity and noble manner of living. His second daughter and heir married John Manners, second son of the first Earl of Rutland, which title descended to their posterity in 1641. For upwards of one hundred years after the marriage, this was the principal residence of the family; and so lately as the time of the first Duke of Rutland, (so created by queen Anne,) seven score servants were maintained, and during twelve days after Christmas, the house was "kept open."
A few years before the death of Mrs. Radcliffe, the writer of "The Mysteries of Udolpho," and several other romances, a tourist, in noticing Haddon Hall, (and probably supposing that Mrs. R. had killed heroes enough in her time,) asserted that it was there that Mrs. R. acquired her taste for castle and romance, and proceeded to lament that she had, for many years, fallen into a state of insanity, and was under confinement in Derbyshire. Nor was the above traveller unsupported in her statement, and some sympathizing poet apostrophized Mrs. R. in an "Ode to Terror." But the fair romance-writer smiled at their pity, and had good sense enough to refrain from writing in the newspapers that she was not insane. The whole was a fiction, (no new trick for a fireside tourist,) for Mrs. Radcliffe had never seen Haddon Hall.
In the "Bijou" for 1828, an elegant annual, on the plan of the German pocket-books, (to which we are indebted for the present engraving,) are a few stanzas to Haddon Hall, which merit a place in a future number of the MIRROR.
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(For the Mirror.)
The sweeper of New Haven College, in New England, lately becoming a widower, conceived a violent passion for the relict of his deceased Cambridge brother, which he expressed in the following strain:—
Mistress A—y. To you I fly, You only can relieve me; To you I turn, For you I burn, If you will but believe me.
Then, gentle dame, Admit my flame, And grant me my petition: If you deny, Alas! I die In pitiful condition.
Before the news Of your poor spouse Had reached our New Haven, My dear wife died, Who was my bride, In anno eighty-seven.
Then being free, Let's both agree To join our hands—for I do Boldly aver A widower Is fittest for a widow.
You may be sure 'Tis not your dow'r I make this flowing version; In those smooth lays I only praise The glories of your person.
For the whole that Was left to Mat, Fortune to me has granted In equal store, Nay, I have more. What Mathew always wanted.
No teeth, 'tis true, You have to shew; The young think teeth inviting— But, silly youths, I love those mouths Where there's no fear of biting.
A leaky eye, That's never dry, These woeful times is fitting; A wrinkled face Adds solemn grace To folks devout at meeting.
A furrow'd brow, Where corn might grow, Such fertile soil is seen in't, A long hook nose, Though scorn'd by foes, For spectacles convenient.
Thus to go on, I could pen down Your charms from head to foot— Set all your glory In verse before you, But I've no mind to do't.
Then haste away, And make no stay, For soon as you come hither We'll eat and sleep, Make beds and sweep, And talk and smoke together.
But if, my dear, I must come there, Tow'rd Cambridge strait I'll set me, To touze the hay On which you lay, If, madam, you will let me.
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(For the Mirror.)
"Whose morning, like the spirit of a youth, That means to be of note, begins betimes."
SHAKSPEARE'S Ant. and Cleop.
It is asserted by a tragic poet, "est nemo miser nisi comparatus;" which, by substituting one single word, is exactly applicable to our present subject; "est nemo serus nisi comparatus." All early rising is relative; what is early to one, is late to another, and vice versa. "The hours of the day and night," says Steele, (Spec. No. 454.) "are taken up in the Cities of London and Westminster, by people as different from each other as those who are born in different countries. Men of six o'clock give way to those of nine, they of nine to the generation of twelve; and they of twelve disappear, and make room for the fashionable world, who have made two o'clock the noon of the day." Now since, of these people, they who rise at six pique themselves on their early rising, in reference to those who rise at nine; and they, in their turn, on theirs, in reference to those who rise at twelve; since, like Homer's generations, they "successive rise," and early rising is, therefore, as I said, a phrase only intelligible by comparison, we must (as theologians and politicians ought oftener to do) set out by a definition of terms. What is early rising? Is it to rise
"What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails, Can neither call it perfect day nor night?"
"Patience!" I think I hear some of my fair readers exclaim, "Is this the early rising this new correspondent of the MIRROR means to enforce? Drag us from our beds at peep of day! The visionary barbarian! Why, ferocious as our Innovator is, he would just as soon drag a tigress from her's! We will not obey this self-appointed Dictator!" Stay, gentle ladies; in the first place I am not going to enforce this or any other hour; in the second place, I am not going to enforce early rising at all.—Convinced you feel, with me, the importance of time, and your responsibility for its right improvement, I leave it to your consciences whether any part of it should be uselessly squandered in your beds. The moral culpability of late rising is when it interferes with the necessary duties of the day; and though, my fair readers, you may in a great measure claim exemption from these, I would still, simply in reference to your health and complexions, advise you not to exceed seven o'clock. But, to effect this, a sine qua non is, retiring early, say at eleven—(though really I am too liberal.)—When people were compelled to retire at the sound of the curfew, when
"The curfew toll'd the parting knell of day,"
early rising was a necessary consequence, as they were earlier tired of their beds; and this may account for the singular difference between ancient and modern times in this respect; so that late rising, though a modern refinement, is by no means exclusively attributable to modern luxury and indolence, but partly to a change of political enactments, (you see, ladies, I am giving you every chance.)
In the man of business, late rising is perfectly detestable; but to him, instead of the arguments of health and moral responsibility for time, (or rather in addition to these arguments,) I would urge the argumentum ad crumenam; which is so pithily, however homelily, expressed in these two proverbs, which he cannot be reminded of once too often:
"Early to bed, and early to rise, Will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
"There are no gains without pains; Then plough deep, while sluggards sleep."
And a third proverb is a compendium of my advice to both classes of readers:
"He who will thrive must rise at five; He who has thriven may sleep till seven."
So then we have defined what early rising is; seven, to those who have nothing to do,—as soon as ever business calls, to those who have. Was ever bed of sloth more eloquently reprobated than in the following lines from the Seasons?
"Falsely luxurious will not man awake, And, springing from the bed of sloth, enjoy The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour, To meditation due and sacred song? For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise? To lie in dead oblivion, losing half The fleeting moments of too short a life, Total extinction of th' enlighten'd soul! Or else, to feverish vanity alive, Wilder'd and tossing through distemper'd dreams? Who would in such a gloomy state remain Longer than nature craves, when every Muse And every blooming pleasure wait without, To bless the wildly devious morning walk?"
Exquisite indeed! But this too is a proof how nearly the sublime and ridiculous are associated,—"how thin partitions do their bounds divide;" for this fine poetry is associated, in most reader's minds, with Thomson's own odd indulgence in the "dead oblivion." He was a late riser, sleeping often till noon; and when once reproached for his sluggishness, observed, that "he felt so comfortable he really saw no motive for rising." As if, according to the popular version of the story, "I am convinced, in theory, of the advantage of early rising. Who knows it not, but what can Cato do?" "Ay, he's a good divine, you say, who follows his own teaching; don't talk to us of early rising after this." Why not, unless like Thomson, you're kept up till a very late hour by business? The fact is he did not
—"In that gloomy state remain Longer than nature craves,"
after all. He had a strong apology for not rising early, in the late hours of his lying down. The deep silence of the night was the time he commonly chose for study; and he would often be heard walking in his library, at Richmond, till near morning, humming over what he was to write out and correct the next day, and so, good reader, this is no argument against my position; but observe, retiring late is no excuse for late rising, unless business have detained you: balls and suppers are no apology for habitual late rising. And now, my dearest readers, do you spend the night precisely as Thomson did, and I'll grant you my "letters patent, license, and protection," to sleep till noon every day of your life. You have only to apply to me for it through "our well-beloved" editor of the MIRROR.
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BUNHILL FIELDS BURYING-GROUND.
This extensive burial-place is part of the manor of Finsbury, or Fensbury, which is of great antiquity, as appears by its being a prebend of St. Paul's Cathedral in 1104. In the year 1315, it was granted by Robert de Baldock to the mayor and commonalty of London. Part of it was, in 1498, converted into a large field for the use of archers and other military citizens to exercise in. This is now called The Artillery Ground.
In the year 1665, that part of the ground now called Bunhill (originally Bonhill) Field, was set apart as a common cemetery, for the interment of such bodies as could not have room in their parochial burial-grounds in that dreadful year of pestilence. However, not being made use of on that occasion, a Mr. Tindal took a lease thereof, and converted it into a burial-place for the use of Dissenters. It was long called Tindal's Burial-place. Over the west gate of it was the following inscription:—"This church-yard was inclosed with a brick wall at the sole charges of the city of London, in the mayoralty of Sir John Lawrence, Knt., Anno Domini 1665; and afterwards the gates thereof were built and finished in the mayoralty of Sir Thomas Bloudworth, Knt., Anno Domini, 1666."
The fen or moor (in this neighbourhood), from whence the name Moorfields, reached from London-wall to Hoxton; the southern part of it, denominated Windmill Hill, began to be raised by above one-thousand cart-loads of human bones, brought from St. Paul's charnel-house in 1549, which being soon after covered with street dirt from the city, the ground became so elevated, that three windmills were erected on it; and the ground on the south side being also much raised, it obtained the name of The Upper Moorfield.
The first monumental inscription in Bunhill-fields is, Grace, daughter of T. Cloudesly, of Leeds. Feb. 1666.—Maitland's Hist. of London, p. 775.
Dr. Goodwin was buried there in 1679; Dr. Owen in 1683; and John Bunyan in 1688.
Park-place, Highbury Vale.
J. H. B.
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SUPPOSED ORIGIN OF MEZZO-TINTO.
Mezzo-tinto is said to have been first invented by Prince Rupert, about the year 1649: going out early one morning, during his retirement at Brussels, he observed the sentinel, at some distance from his post, very busy doing something to his piece. The prince asked the soldier what he was about? He replied, the dew had fallen in the night, had made his fusil rusty, and that he was scraping and cleaning it. The prince, looking at it, was struck with something like a figure eaten into the barrel, with innumerable little holes, closed together, like friezed work on gold or silver, part of which the fellow had scraped away. The genie second en experiences (says Lord Orford), from so trifling an accident, conceived mezzo-tinto. The prince concluded, that some contrivance might be found to cover a brass plate with such a ground of fine pressed holes, which would undoubtedly give an impression all black, and that, by scraping away proper parts, the smooth superfices would leave the rest of the paper white. Communicating his idea to Wallerant Vaillant, a painter, they made several experiments, and at last invented a steel roller with projecting points, or teeth, like a file, which effectually produced the black ground; and which, being scraped away or diminished at pleasure, left the gradations of light. Such was the invention of mezzo-tinto, according to Lord Orford, Mr. Evelyn, and Mr. Vertue.
 The word mezzo-tinto is derived from the Italian, meaning half painted.
P. T. W.
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[For the following succinct account of the Gunpowder Conspiracy, our acknowledgments are due to the proprietors of an elegant and interesting Annual, entitled "THE AMULET" for 1828.]
A BRIEF HISTORY OF "THE GUNPOWDER PLOT."
(Compiled from original and unpublished documents.)
Of all the plots and conspiracies that ever entered into the mind of man, the Gunpowder plot stands pre-eminent in horror and wickedness.
The singular perseverance of the conspirators is shown by the fact, that so early as in Lent of the year 1603, Robert Catesby, who appears to have been the prime mover of the plot, in a conversation with Thomas Wintour and John Wright, first broke with them about a design for delivering England from her bondage, and to replant the Catholic religion. Wintour expressed himself doubtful whether so grand a scheme could be accomplished, when Catesby informed him that he had projected a plan for that purpose, which was no less than to blow up the Parliament House with gunpowder.
Wintour consented to join in the scheme, and, at the suggestion of Catesby, went over to Flanders to arrange some preliminary affairs there, and to communicate the design to Mr. Fawkes, who was personally known to Catesby. At Ostend, Wintour was introduced to Mr. Fawkes by Sir Wm. Stanley. Guy Fawkes was a man of desperate character. In his person he was tall and athletic, his countenance was manly, and the determined expression of his features was not a little heightened by a profusion of brown hair, and an auburn-coloured beard. He was descended from a respectable family in Yorkshire, and having soon squandered the property he inherited at the decease of his father, his restless spirit associated itself with the discontented and factious of his age. Wintour and Fawkes came over to England together, and shortly after met Catesby, Thomas Percy, and John Wright, in a house behind St. Clement's; where, in a chamber with no other person present, each administered an oath of secresy to the other, and then went into another room to hear mass, and to receive the sacrament. Percy was then sent to hire a house fit for their purpose, and found one belonging to Mr. Whinniard, Yeoman to the King's Wardrobe of the Beds, then in the occupation of one Henry Ferrers; of which, after some negociation, he succeeded in obtaining possession, at the rent of twelve pounds per annum, and the key was delivered to Guy Fawkes, who acted as Mr. Percy's man, and assumed the name of John Johnson. Their object in hiring this house was to obtain an easy communication with the upper Parliament House, and by digging through the wall that separated them, to form an extensive mine under the foundations. A house was also hired in Lambeth, to serve as a depository for the powder, and Mr. Keys, who was then admitted as one of the number, was placed in charge. The whole party then dispersed, and agreed to meet again at Michaelmas. At Michaelmas it was resolved that the time was arrived when they should commence working at their mine; but various causes hindered them from beginning, till within a fortnight of Christmas. The party, at that time, consisting of five, then entered upon their work; and, having first provided themselves with baked meat that they might not have occasion to leave the house, they worked incessantly till Christmas Eve, underpropping the walls, as they proceeded, with wood. A little before Christmas, Christopher Wright was added to the number; and, finding their work to be extremely laborious, the walls being upwards of three yards in thickness, they afterwards admitted Robert Wintour to assist them. Taking advantage of the long and dreary nights between Christmas and Candlemas, they then brought their powder over from Lambeth in a boat and lodged it in Percy's house, and afterwards continued to labour at the mine. In the Easter following (1605) as they were at their work, the whole party were dreadfully alarmed on hearing a rushing noise near them; but on inquiry they found no danger menaced them, but that it proceeded from the removal of some coals in an adjoining vault, under the Parliament House. Nothing could be more propitious for the conspirators; and, ascertaining that it belonged to the same parties of whom they held the house, but in the possession of a man of the name of Skinner, they lost no time in purchasing the good-will of Skinner, and eventually hired the vault of Whinniard, at the rate of four pounds per annum. Abandoning their original intention of forming a mine under the walls, they placed the powder in this vault, and afterwards gradually conveyed into it three thousand billets of wood, and five hundred fagots; Guy Fawkes arranging them in order, making the place clean and neat, in order that if any strangers, by accident or otherwise, entered the house, no suspicion might be excited. Fawkes then went into Flanders to inform Sir W. Stanley and Mr. Owen of their progress, and returned in the following August. Catesby, meeting Percy at Bath, proposed that himself should have authority to call in whom he pleased, as at that time they were but few in number, and were very short of money. This being acceded to, he imparted the design to Sir Everard Digby, Francis Tresam, Ambrose Rookewood, and John Grant. Digby promised to subscribe one thousand five hundred pounds, and Tresam two thousand pounds. Percy engaged to procure all he could of the Duke of Northumberland's rents, which would amount to about four thousand pounds, and to furnish ten good horses.
Thus far, every thing had prospered with the conspirators; success had followed every effort they had made.
On Thursday evening, the 24th of October, eleven days before the intended meeting of Parliament, an anonymous letter was put into the hands of the servant of Lord Monteagle, warning his Lordship not to attend the Parliament that season, for that God and man had concurred to punish the wickedness of the times. It is a most extraordinary fact, that the conspirators knew of the delivery of this letter to the Lord Monteagle, and that it was in the possession of the Earl of Salisbury, Secretary of State, for eight days before the disclosure took place, as developed in Thomas Wintour's confession, taken before the Lord's Commissioners on the 23rd of November, 1605; yet so strong was their infatuation, and so desperately had they set their fortunes on the event, that they unanimously resolved "to abyde the uttermost tryall."
The generally received opinion has been, that it was to the sagacity and penetration of King James that the detection of the conspiracy must be ascribed, and that it was his Majesty who first suggested the agency of gunpowder: but the Earl of Salisbury, in a letter to Sir Charles Cornwallis, ambassador at Madrid, asserts, that in a conversation between the Earl of Suffolk (Lord Chamberlain) and himself, on perusal of the anonymous letter, the employment of gunpowder first occurred to them, and that the King subsequently concurred in their opinion. The letter, after having been communicated to several of the Privy Council, was shewn to the King three or four days before the opening of Parliament, who, with great prudence, gave orders that no notice whatever should be taken of it, but that every thing should go on as usual, until the very day appointed. On Saturday, the Lord Chamberlain, according to the customary forms of his office previous to the meeting of every Parliament, viewed every room and cellar belonging to the Parliament House, and amongst others the identical vault in which the wood and powder was deposited, and observed a man, who subsequently proved to be Guy Fawkes, standing there to answer any questions that might have been asked. The Lord Chamberlain then went to the Privy Council and reported what he had seen. After much discussion it was resolved that a more minute search should be made, under pretence of seeking for stolen goods, in order that no suspicion might arise if nothing should be discovered. Accordingly, on Monday at midnight, Sir T. Knyvett, accompanied by a small band of men, went to Percy's house, where, at the door, they found Guy Fawkes with his clothes and boots on. Sir Thomas immediately apprehended him, and then proceeded to search the house and vault, and upon removing some of the wood, they soon discovered the powder ready prepared for the explosion; then, directly afterwards, searching Guy Fawkes, they found on him three matches and other instruments for setting fire to the train. He confessed himself guilty, and boldly declared, that if he had happened to have been within the house when Sir T. Knyvett apprehended him, he would instantly have blown him up, house and all.
On the arrest of Guy Fawkes, such of the conspirators as at the time were in London, fled into the country to meet Catesby at Dunchurch, according to previous arrangement; and after taking some horses out of a stable at Warwick, they reached Robert Wintour's house, at Huddington, on the Wednesday night. On Thursday morning the whole party, amounting to about twenty persons, confessed themselves to Hammond, a priest, received absolution from him, and partook of the sacrament together, and then, with their followers and servants, proceeded to Lord Windsor's house, at Hewell, from whence they took a great quantity of armour and weapons. They then passed into Staffordshire, and by night reached the house of Stephen Littleton, called Holbeach house, about two miles from Stourbridge. By this time the whole country was raised in pursuit of the rebels; and a large party, under the direction of Sir Richard Walshe, high sheriff of Worcestershire, early on Friday morning arrived at Holbeach house. The party in the house—consisting of Catesby, Percy, Sir E. Digby, Robert, John, and Thomas Wintour, Grant Rookewood, the two Wrights, Stephen Littleton, and their servants,—finding their condition now to be desperate, determined to fight resolutely to the last, treating the summons to surrender with contempt, and defying their pursuers. A singular accident, however, put an end to all conference between the parties. Some gunpowder, which the conspirators had provided for their defence, proving damp, they had placed nearly two pounds in a pan near the fire to dry; and a person incautiously raking together the fading embers, a spark flew into the pan, ignited the powder, which blew up with a great explosion, shattered the house, and severely maimed Catesby, Rookewood, and Grant; but the most remarkable circumstance was, that about sixteen pounds of powder, in a linen bag, which was actually under the pan wherein the powder exploded, was blown through the roof of the house, and fell into the court-yard amongst the assailants, without igniting, or even bursting.
Sir R. Walshe then gave orders for a general assault to be made upon the house; and, in the attack that followed, Thomas Wintour, going into the court-yard, was the first who was wounded, having received a shot in the shoulder, which disabled him; the next was Mr. Wright, and after him the younger Wright, who were both killed; Rookewood was then wounded. Catesby, now seeing all was lost, and their condition totally hopeless, exclaimed to Thomas Wintour, "Tom, we will die together." Wintour could only answer by pointing to his disabled arm, that hung useless by his side, and as they were speaking, Catesby and Percy were struck dead at the same instant, and the rest then surrendered themselves into the hands of the sheriff.
At the end of January, 1606, the whole of the conspirators, at that time in custody, being eight in number, were brought to their trial in Westminster Hall, and were all tried upon one indictment, except Sir E. Digby, who had a separate trial. On Thursday, January 30th, Sir E. Digby, Robert Wintour, John Grant, and Thomas Bates, were executed at the west end of St. Paul's Church, and on the next day Thomas Wintour, Ambrose Rookewood, Robert Keys, and Guy Fawkes, suffered within the Old Palace-yard at Westminster.
On the 28th of February, 1606, Garnet was brought to trial at Guildhall, before nine Commissioners specially appointed for that purpose. Of his participation in the plot there was no doubt; and he admitted himself criminal in not revealing it, although, as he asserts, it was imparted to him only in confession: but it is more than probable that the valuable papers, lately rescued from oblivion, and preserved in his Majesty's State Paper Office, will be able to prove his extensive connexion with the plot, his knowledge of it, both in and out of confession, and his influential character with all the conspirators.
Garnet was hanged on the 3rd of May, 1606, on a scaffold, erected for that purpose, at the west end of St. Paul's Church. Held up to infamy by one party as a rebel and a traitor, and venerated as a saint and a martyr by the other; the same party spirit, and the same conflicting opinions, have descended from generation to generation, down to the controversialists of the present day.
We subjoin the Autographs of some of the principal conspirators, from the same source as the preceding narrative, as an appropriate and equally authentic accompaniment:—
Robert Catesbye.—Taken from an original letter from Catesbye to his cousin, John Grant, entreating him to provide money against a certain time. This autograph is very rare.
Guido Fawkes.—Taken from his declaration made in the Tower on the 19th of November, and afterwards acknowledged before the Lord's Commissioners.
Thomas Percy.—From an original letter to W. Wycliff, Esq. of York, dated at Gainsborough, November 2nd, 1605.
Henry Garnet.—From one of his examinations, wherein he confessed to have been in pilgrimage to St. Winifred's Well.
Ambrose Rookewood.—From an original letter, declared that he had felt a scruple of conscience, the fact seeming "too bluddy."
Thomas Wintour.—From an original examination before the Lord's Commissioners, on the 25th of November, 1605.
Francis Tresam.—From his examination relative to the book on Equivocation. Tresam escaped being hanged by dying in the Tower, on the 23rd of December, 1605.
Sir Everard Digby.—From an original examination. He was related to John Digby, subsequently created Baron Digby and Earl of Bristol, and was a young man of considerable talent. He was in the twenty-fourth year of his age when executed.
To the Right Hon. the Lord Mounteagle.—The superscription to the anonymous letter that led to the discovery of the plot. By whom it was written still remains a mystery.
All the principal conspirators were married and had families; several of them possessed considerable property, and were highly, and, in some instances, nobly related.
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THE SKETCH BOOK
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(For the Mirror.)
"Tais-toi, Louise," exclaimed the landlady of a small but neat auberge at ——— to her daughter, a sweet child, about seven years of age, who, playing with a little curly French dog, was sitting on a three-legged stool, humming a trifling chanson which she had gleaned from a collection of ditties pertaining to an old woman, who, when the landlady might be busily engaged, attended the infant steps and movements of Louise. "Tais-toi, ecoutez, la diligence s'approche;" the truth of the good woman's remark being vouched for by the heavy rumbling of that ponderous machine, the "Vite, vite" of the postilion, and the "crack, crack" of his huge whip. This was shortly after the battle of Waterloo, when our troops, crowned with laurels, were hastily leaving the continent, burning with anxiety to revisit their native soil, and their countrymen of the peace department were as hastily leaving it, fired with curiosity to behold the spot where such laurels had been so hardly earned. At least such was undoubtedly the most prevalent cause of the great influx of continental visiters at that period; but there were, by way of contrast to these votaries of curiosity, too many whose contracted brow and thoughtful melancholy cast of visage betrayed forcibly their owners' curiosity to be otherwise and more feelingly worked upon; 'twas the anxiety, the wish to gather information respecting relatives or friends, killed or wounded in the late dire struggle, which had caused those appearances. But to my subject. 'Twas at the close of a very hot July day that the diligence drew up to the door of the before-mentioned auberge. "A diner," as the postilion (nearly smothered in his tremendous "bottes fortes," genteelly taking from his head a hat almost as small as the boots were in comparison large) was politely pleased to term it. No pressing invitation was requisite to incline our English travellers to take their seats around the table well arranged with French fare, and fatigue seemed to lose itself in the exhilaration proceeding from the chablis, champagne, and chambertin; but there was one traveller, whose melancholy defied eradication—an English lady, genteelly but plainly habited, to appearance about seven and twenty years of age; her features handsome and strongly marked; when in health of mind and body, they might have possessed the "besoin du souci," habitual to the country in which she was then travelling, but were now too deeply clouded with that "apparence de la misere," to which the English seem alone to give fullness of effect—a fault, perhaps, but a sentimental one, worthy of that or any other country. She had with her a beautiful boy, whose age might be about five, who, attracted partly by the pretty appearance of the dog, by signs and childish frolics, soon formed acquaintance with the hostess's daughter, the little Louise. For some time previous to the arrival of the diligence at the auberge, a storm had been expected; and the distant thunder and heavy drops of rain beating against the casements before the dinner was half over, gave appearance of justice and reason to the entertainment of such anticipations, and caused a general congratulation at the party being so safely housed. As the storm was increasing every minute, much argument was not necessary to induce the postilion to delay proceeding until it might abate. Some of the party adhered to the bottle, some resorted to a book, and some to cards, to wile away the time. The lady requested to be conducted to a private apartment, wherein to pass with her dear child (remote from the noisy mirth of her companions, so little according with her then feelings) the time, until the diligence might again be ready to start. But half an hour had scarce elapsed from the formation of this arrangement ere admission was sought and gained by a brigade of English soldiers, six of whom, on a support formed by muskets, bore what seemed to be the corpse of an officer, whose arm, hanging down, gave to another officer the hand. Such a scene soon attracted general attention. In a few minutes a couch, by the junction of two or three chairs, was made, and on that the body laid. The soldiers who had formed the support, with arms grounded and grief deeply marked on their countenances, presented a melancholy group; whilst the young officer, kneeling by the couch, and gazing intently on his friend, but served to heighten the melancholy of the scene. A long silence of anxiety, interrupted but by the rolling of the thunder and the pattering of the rain, ensued. "'Tis no use," at length exclaimed the friend of the wounded man, "'tis now no use even to hope, my brave fellows; the surgeon was deceived, and rash to consent to his removal. Your commander has sunk beneath the fatigue. I thought it would be so. Peace," he exclaimed, as the tears fell fast from his eyes, "peace to thy manes, brave, generous St. Clair." An agonizing shriek from above startled all; and in another moment the lady (the traveller in the diligence) fell on what appeared to be the soldier's bier. "Heavens! what dream is this?" exclaimed the officer who had been so assiduous in his attention to the unfortunate man; "my sister here!—let me intreat, let me beg—" "No, Albert Fitzalleyn—no, brother, no," uttered Mrs. St. Clair, "remove me not—I am calm, resigned, very, very calm—I expected this—if I cannot live I can die with him. St. Clair, awake—your wife, your Charlotte calls—what not one smile?—look here," she cried, pulling the frightened, trembling, weeping child towards the body, "your child, your boy, your dearest Edward calls for you too. O, agony! he does not move. Dead! no, no, it cannot be—my life, my love, my husband." And there was something, it did seem, in that sweet voice which reached the dying warrior's heart, for he opened those eyes already partly glazed with the film of death, and if in them expression remained, it beamed on his afflicted wife. Reason and strength too returned, but their dominion was momentary, for with one hand feebly grasping that of his wife, his other resting on the head of his dear boy, and his sunken eyes directed from the one to the other, the brave, the respected, the beloved St. Clair died! He sank on the rough, uncouth couch, and with him the senseless form of his fond wife. The stillness of the corpse scarcely surpassed that which for a time was reigning over the group assembled there; at length the brother gently raised the wretched widow from her sad resting-place; but the fair sufferer was released from all earthly pain; with her husband she could not live, but she indeed with him had died! Their son, Edward St. Clair, is in existence, living with, and beloved by, his uncle, Albert Fitzalleyn,
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
What was Kemble, Cooke, Kean, or Young, to the celebrated Diamond Coates, who, about twenty years since, shared with little Betty the admiration of the town? Never shall I forget his representation of Lothario at the Haymarket Theatre, for his own pleasure, as he accurately termed it; and certainly the then rising fame of Liston was greatly endangered by his Barbadoes rival. Never had Garrick or Kemble, in their best times, so largely excited the public attention and curiosity. The very remotest nooks of the galleries were filled by fashion, while in a stage-box sat the performer's notorious friend, the Baron Ferdinand Geramb.
Coates's lean Quixotic form, being duly clothed in velvets and in silks, and his bonnet richly fraught with diamonds, (whence his appellation,) his entrance on the stage was greeted by such a general crowing, (in allusion to the large cocks, which as his crest adorned his harness,) that the angry and affronted Lothario drew his sword upon the audience, and actually challenged the rude and boisterous inhabitants of the galleries, seriatim, or en masse, to combat on the stage. Solemn silence, as the consequence of mock fear, immediately succeeded. The great actor, after the overture had ceased, amused himself for some time with the baron, ere he condescended to indulge the wishes of an anxiously expectant audience. At length he commenced; his appeals to his heart were made by an application of the left hand so disproportionably lower than the "seat of life" has been supposed to be placed; his contracted pronunciation of the word "breach," and other new readings and actings, kept the house in a right joyous humour, until the climax of all mirth was attained by the dying scene of "the gallant and the gay;" but who shall describe the prolonged agonies of the dark seducer! his platted hair escaping from the comb that held it, and the dark crineous cordage that flapped upon his shoulders in the convulsions of his dying moments, and the cries of the people for medical aid to accomplish his eternal exit. Then, when in his last throes his bonnet fell, it was miraculous to see the defunct arise, and after he had spread a nice handkerchief on the stage, and there deposited his head-dress, free from impurity, philosophically resume his dead condition; but it was not yet over, for the exigent audience, not content "that when the man were dead, why there an end," insisted on a repetition of the awful scene, which the highly flattered corpse executed three several times to the gratification of the cruel and torment-loving assembly.
Coates, too, was destined to participate somewhat in the celebrated fete in honour of the Bourbons in 1811. Having no opportunity of learning in the West Indies the propriety of being presented at court, ere he could be upon a more intimate footing with the prince, he was less astonished than delighted at the reception of an invitation on that occasion to Carlton house. What was the fame acquired by his cockleshell curricle, (by the way, the very neatest thing seen in London before or since;) his scenic reputation; all the applause attending the perfection of histrionic art; the flatteries of Billy Finch, (a sort of kidnapper of juvenile actors and actresses, of the O. P. and P. S. in Russell-court;) the sanction of a Petersham; the intimacy of a Barrymore; even the polite endurance of a Skeffington to this! To be classed with the proud, the noble, and the great. It seemed a natural query, whether the Bourbon's name were not a pretext for his own introduction to royalty, under circumstances of unprecedented splendour and magnificence. It must have been so. What cogitations respecting dress, and air, and port, and bearing! What torturing of the confounded lanky locks, to make them but revolve ever so little! then the rich cut velvet—the diamond buttons—ay, every one was composed of brilliants! The night arrived: ushered by well-rigged watchmen to clear the way, the honoured sedan bore its precious burthen to the palace, and the glittering load was deposited in the royal vestibule itself. Alas! what confusion, horror, and dismay were there, when the ticket was pronounced a forgery! All that the considerate politeness of a Bloomfield or a Turner might effect was done to alleviate the fatal disappointment. The case was even reported instanter to the prince himself; but etiquette was amongst the other "restrictions" imposed upon his royal highness; and, however tempered by compliment and excuse, "the diamonds blaze" reached not farther than the hall, and were destined to waste their splendour, for the remainder of the night, in the limited apartments of Craven-street.
New Monthly Magazine.
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THE VOICE OF NATURE.
I heard a bird on the linden tree, From which November leaves were falling, Sweet were its notes, and wild their tone; And pensive there as I paused alone, They spake with a mystical voice to me, The sunlight of vanish'd years recalling From out the mazy past.
I turned to the cloud-bedappled sky, To bare-shorn field and gleaming water; To frost-night herbage, and perishing flower; While the Robin haunted the yellow bower; With his faery plumage and jet-black eye, Like an unlaid ghost some scene of slaughter: All mournful was the sight.
Then I thought of seasons, when, long ago, Ere Hope's clear sky was dimm'd by sorrow, How bright seem'd the flowers, and the trees how green, How lengthen'd the blue summer days had been; And what pure delight the young spirit's glow, From the bosom of earth and air, could borrow Out of all lovely things.
Then my heart leapt to days, when, a careless boy, 'Mid scenes of ambrosial Autumn roaming, The diamond gem of the Evening Star, Twinkling amid the pure South afar, Was gazed on with gushes of holy joy, As the cherub spirit that ruled the gloaming With glittering, golden eye.
And oh! with what rapture of silent bliss. With what breathless deep devotion, Have I watch'd, like spectre from swathing shroud, The white moon peer o'er the shadowy cloud, Illumine the mantled Earth, and kiss The meekly murmuring lips of Ocean, As a mother doth her child.
But now I can feel how Time hath changed My thoughts within, the prospect round us— How boyish companions have thinn'd away; How the sun hath grown cloudier, ray by ray; How loved scenes of childhood are now estranged; And the chilling tempests of Care have bound us Within their icy folds.
'Tis no vain dream of moody mind, That lists a dirge i' the blackbird's singing; That in gusts hears Nature's own voice complain, And beholds her tears in the gushing rain; When low clouds congregate blank and blind, And Winter's snow-muffled arms are clinging Round Autumn's faded urn.
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Calais will merit to be described by every Englishman who visits it, and to be read of by every one who does not—so long as Hogarth, and "Oh! the Roast Beef of Old England!" shall be remembered, and—which will be longer still—till the French and English become one people, merely by dint of living, within three hours' journey of each other. Calais has been treated much too cavalierly by the flocks of English, who owe to it their first, and consequently most fixed impressions of French manners, and the English want of them. Calais is, in fact, one of the most agreeable and characteristic little towns in France. It is "lively, audible, and full of vent"—as gay as a fair, and as busy as a bee-hive—and its form and construction as compact.
Calais, unlike any English town you could name, is content to remain where it is—instead of perpetually trying to stretch away towards Paris, as our's do towards London, and as London itself does towards them. Transporting you at once to the "Place" in the centre of the town (an entirely open square, of about 150 paces by 100,) you can scarcely look upon a more lively and stirring scene. The houses and their shops (they have all shops) are like nothing so much as so many scenes in a pantomime—so fancifully and variously are they filled, so brightly and fantastically painted, and so abruptly do they seem to have risen out of the ground! This last appearance is caused by the absence of a foot-path, and of areas, porticoes, railings, &c.—such as, in all cases, give a kind of finish to the look of our houses. The houses here seem all to have grown up out of the ground—not to have been built upon it. This is what gives to them their most striking effect of novelty at the first view. Their brilliant and various colourings—so unlike our sombre brick-work—is the next cause of the novel impression they produce. The general strangeness of the effect is completed by the excellence of the pavement, which is of stones, shaped like those of our best London carriage-ways, but as white as marble in all weathers, and as regular as the brick-work of a house-front. The uniformity of the "Place" is broken (not very agreeably) by the principal public edifice of Calais—the Town Hall; a half-modern, half-antique building, which occupies about a third of the south side, and is surmounted at one end by a light spiring belfry, containing a most loquacious ring of bells, which take up a somewhat unreasonable proportion of every quarter of an hour in announcing its arrival; and, in addition, every three hours they play "Le petit chaperon rouge" for a longer period than (I should imagine) even French patience and leisure can afford to listen to it. Immediately behind the centre of this side of the "Place" also rises the lofty tower, which serves as a light-house to the coast and harbour, and which at night displays its well-known revolving lights. Most of the principal streets run out of this great Square. The most busy of them—because the greatest thoroughfare—is a short and narrow one leading to the Port—(Rue du Havre:) in it live all those shopkeepers who especially address themselves to the wants of the traveller. But the gayest and most agreeable street is one running from the north-east corner of the "Place" (Rue Royale.) It terminates in the gate leading to the suburbs (Basse Ville,) and to the Netherlands and the interior of the country. In this street is situated the great hotel Dessin—rendered famous for the "for ever" of a century or so to come, by Sterne's Sentimental Journey. The only other street devoted exclusively to shops is one running parallel with the south side of the "Place." The rest of the interior of Calais consists of about twenty other streets, each containing here and there a shop, but chiefly occupied by the residences of persons directly or indirectly connected with the trade of Calais as a sea-port town.
If you believe its maligners, Calais is no better than a sort of Alsatia to England, a kind of extension of the rules of the King's Bench. The same persons would persuade you that America is something between a morass and a desert, and that its inhabitants are a cross between swindlers and barbarians; merely because its laws do not take upon them to punish those who have not offended against them! If America were to send home to their respective countries, in irons, all who arrive on her shores under suspicion of not being endowed with a Utopian degree of honesty—or, if (still better) she were to hang them outright, she would be looked upon as the most pious, moral, and refined nation under the sun, and her climate would rival that of Paradise. And if Calais did not happen to be so situated, that it affords a pleasant refuge to some of those who have the wit to prefer free limbs and fresh air to a prison, it would be all that is agreeable and genteel. It seems to be thought, that a certain ci-devant leader of fashion has chosen Calais as his place of voluntary exile, out of a spirit of contradiction. But the truth is, he had the good sense to see that he might "go farther and fare worse;" and that, at any rate, he would thus secure himself from the intrusions of that "good company," which had been his bane. By-the-by, his last "good thing" appertains to his residence here. Some one asked him how he could think of residing in "such a place as Calais?" "I suppose," said he, "it is possible for a gentleman to live between London and Paris."
The interior of Calais I need not describe further, except to say that round three-fourths of it are elevated ramparts, overlooking the surrounding country to a great extent, and in several parts planted with trees, which afford most pleasant and refreshing walks, after pacing the somewhat perplexing pavements of the streets, and being dazzled by the brilliant whiteness which reflects from that, and from the houses. The port, which occupies the other fourth, and is gained by three streets parallel to each other, and leading from the "Place," is small, but in excellent order, and always alive with shipping, and the amusing operations appertaining thereto; and the pier is a most striking object, especially at high water, when it runs out, in a straight line, for near three quarters of a mile, into the open sea. It is true our English engineers—who ruin hundreds of their fellow citizens by spending millions upon a bridge that nobody will take the trouble to pass over, and cutting tunnels under rivers, only to let the water into them when they have got all the money they can by the job—would treat this pier with infinite contempt as a thing that merely answers all the purposes for which it was erected! as if that were a merit of any but the very lowest degree. "Look at Waterloo Bridge!" they say; "we flatter ourselves that was not a thing built (like the pier of Calais) merely for use. Nobody will say that any such thing was wanted! But, what a noble monument of British art, and what a fine commemoration of the greatest of modern victories!" True: but it would have been all this if you had built it on Salisbury Plain; and in that case it would have cost only half the money. The pier of Calais is, in fact, every thing that it need be, and what perhaps no other pier is; and yet it is nothing more than a piece of serviceable carpentery, that must have cost about as much, perhaps, as to print the prospectuses of some of the late undertakings, and pay the advertisements and the lawyer's bill.
* * * * *
If I were to enumerate all the great and venerable personages who indulge in an extensive curiosity, I should never arrive at the end of my subject. Lawyers and physicians are eternal questionists; the clergy are curious, especially on agricultural affairs; the first nobles in the land take in the "John Bull" and the "Age" to gratify the most prurient curiosity. The gentlemen of the Stock Exchange live only from one story to another, and are miserable if a "great man's butler looks grave," without their knowing why. So general indeed is this passion, that one half of every Englishman's time is spent in inquiring after the health of his acquaintance, and the rest in asking "what news?" There is a very respectable knot of persons who go up and down the country asking people their opinion of the pope's infallibility, and what they think of the Virgin Mary; and when they do not get an answer to their mind, they fall to shouting, "The Church is in danger," like a parcel of lunatics. Another set, equally respectable, are chiefly solicitous for your notions concerning the Apocalypse; and to learn whether you read your Bible at all, or whether with or without note or comment. Then again, a third set of the curious are to be seen, mounted upon lamp-posts, and peeping into their neighbours' windows, to learn whether they shave themselves, or employ a barber on a Sunday morning; and a fourth, who cannot find time to go to church, in their anxiety to know that their neighbours do not smoke pipes and drink ale in the time of divine service. In short, society may be considered as one great system of espionage; and the business of every man is not only with the actions, but with the very thoughts of all his neighbours.
New Monthly Magazine.
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LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
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CHRONICLES OF THE CANONGATE.
[Ecce iterum Crispinus!—We intend to continue our notice of the above work in a series of snatches, or portraitures, for which mode (from its varied and detached character) it is perhaps better calculated than any of its predecessors. Our anticipatory anxiety in selecting the Two Drovers was a forcible illustration of the maxim, Qui dat cito, dat bis; for the extent occupied by the portion already quoted and its interruption, with the immense influx of works recently published, have somewhat interfered with our arrangements. In "the Introduction" to the "Chronicles," Sir Walter Scott avows the authorship of the Waverley Novels, and recapitulates the explanation which took place at the Theatrical Fund Meeting, at Edinburgh, in July last. Sir Walter then proceeds to acknowledge, with gratitude, "hints of subjects and legends" which he received from various quarters, and occasionally used as a foundation of his fictitious compositions, or wove in the shape of episodes; and from these acknowledgments we select the following dram. pers.]
Old Mortality.—It was Mr. Train, supervisor of excise at Dumfries, who recalled to my recollection the history of Old Mortality, although I myself had a personal interview with that celebrated wanderer, so far back as about 1792. He was then engaged in repairing the grave-stones of the Covenanters who had died while imprisoned in the castle of Dunnottar, to which many of them were committed prisoners at the period of Argyle's rising; their place of confinement is still called the Whig's vault. Mr. Train, however, procured for me far more extensive information concerning this singular person, whose name was Patterson, than I had been able to acquire during my short conversation with him. He was (as I may have somewhere already stated) a native of the parish of Closeburn, in Dumfries-shire, and it is believed that domestic affliction, as well as devotional feeling, induced him to commence the wandering mode of life, which he pursued for a very long period. It is more than twenty years since Robert Patterson's death, which took place on the high road near Lockerby, where he was found exhausted and expiring. The white pony, the companion of his pilgrimage, was standing by the side of its dying master; the whole furnishing a scene not unfitted for the pencil. These particulars I had from Mr. Train.
Jennie Deans.—An unknown correspondent (a lady) favoured me with the history of the upright and high principled female, whom, in the "Heart of Mid Lothian," I have termed Jeanie Deans. The circumstance of her refusing to save her sister's life by an act of perjury, and undertaking a pilgrimage to London to obtain her pardon, are both represented as true by my fair and obliging correspondent; and they led me to consider the possibility of rendering a fictitious personage interesting by mere dignity of mind and rectitude of principle, assisted by unpretending good sense and temper, without any of the beauty, grace, talent, accomplishment, and wit, to which a heroine of romance is supposed to have a prescriptive right. If the portrait was received with interest by the public, I am conscious how much it was owing to the truth and force of the original sketch, which I regret that I am unable to present to the public, as it was written with much feeling and spirit.
Bride of Lammermoor.—The terrible catastrophe of the Bride of Lammermoor actually occurred in a Scottish family of rank. The female relative, by whom the melancholy tale was communicated to me many years since, was a near connexion of the family in which the event happened, and always told it with an appearance of melancholy mystery, which enhanced the interest. She had known, in her youth, the brother who rode before the unhappy victim to the fatal altar, who, though then a mere boy, and occupied almost entirely with the gallantry of his own appearance in the bridal procession, could not but remark that the hand of his sister was moist, and cold as that of a statue. It is unnecessary further to withdraw the veil from this scene of family distress, nor, although it occurred more than a hundred years since, might it be altogether agreeable to the representatives of the families concerned in the narrative. It may be proper to say that the events are imitated; but I had neither the means nor intention of copying the manners, or tracing the characters, of the persons concerned in the real story.
The Antiquary.—The character of Jonathan Oldbuck, in the "Antiquary," was partly founded on that of an old friend of my youth, to whom I am indebted for introducing me to Shakspeare, and other invaluable favours; but I thought I had so completely disguised the likeness, that it could not be recognised by any one now alive. I was mistaken, however, and indeed had endangered what I desired should be considered as a secret; for I afterwards learned that a highly respectable gentleman, one of the few surviving friends of my father, and an acute critic, had said, upon the appearance of the work, that he was now convinced who was the author of it, as he recognised, in the "Antiquary," traces of the character of a very intimate friend of my father's family.
Waverley.—The sort of exchange of gallantry between the Baron of Bradwardine and Col. Talbot is a literal fact. [For the real circumstances of the anecdote, we must refer our readers to the "Introduction" itself. It was communicated to Sir Walter by the late Lord Kinedder.]
Guy Mannering.—The origin of Meg Merrilies, and of one or two other personages of the same cast of character, will be found in a review of the Tales of my Landlord in the Quarterly Review of January, 1817.
Legend of Montrose.—The tragic and savage circumstances which are represented as preceding the birth of Allan Mac Aulay, in the "Legend of Montrose," really happened in the family of Stewart of Ardvoirloch. The wager about the candlesticks, whose place was supplied by Highland torch-bearers, was laid and won by one of the Mac Donalds of Keppoch.
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I may, however, before dismissing the subject, allude to the various localities which have been affixed to some of the, scenery introduced into these novels, by which, for example, Wolf's-Hope is identified with Fast Castle, in Berwickshire; Tillietudlem with Draphane, in Clydesdale; and the valley in the "Monastery," called Glendearg, with the dale of the Allan, above Lord Somerville's villa, near Melrose. I can only say, that, in these and other instances, I had no purpose of describing any particular local spot; and the resemblance must therefore be of that general kind which necessarily exists betwixt scenes of the same character. The iron-bound coast of Scotland affords upon its headlands and promontories fifty such castles as Wolf's-Hope; every country has a valley more or less resembling Glendearg; and if castles like Tillietudlem. or mansions like the Baron of Bradwardine's, are now less frequently to be met with, it is owing to the rage of indiscriminate destruction, which has removed or ruined so many monuments of antiquity, when they were not protected by their inaccessible situation.—The scraps of poetry which have been in most cases tacked to the beginning of chapters in these novels, are sometimes quoted either from reading or from memory, but, in the general case, are pure invention. I found it too troublesome to turn to the collection of the British poets to discover apposite mottos, and, in the situation of the theatrical mechanist, who, when the white paper which represented his shower of snow was exhausted, continued the storm by snowing brown, I drew on my memory as long as I could, and when that failed, eked it out with invention. I believe that, in some cases, where actual names are affixed to the supposed quotations, it would be to little purpose to seek them in the works, of the authors referred to.—And now the reader may expect me, while in the confessional, to explain the motives why I have so long persisted in disclaiming the works of which I am now writing. To this it would be difficult to give any other reply, save that of Corporal Nym—It was the humour or caprice of the time.
It was not until I had attained the age, of thirty years that I made any serious attempt at distinguishing myself as an author; and at that period, men's hopes, desires, and wishes, have usually acquired something of a decisive character, and are not eagerly and easily diverted into a new channel. When I made the discovery,—for to me it was one,—that by amusing myself with composition, which I felt a delightful occupation, I could also give pleasure to others, and became aware that literary pursuits were likely to engage in future a considerable portion of my time, I felt some alarm that I might acquire those habits of jealousy and fretfulness which have lessened, and even degraded, the character of the children of imagination, and rendered them, by petty squabbles and mutual irritability, the laughing-stock of the people of the world, I resolved, therefore, in this respect, to guard my breast (perhaps an unfriendly critic may add, my brow,) with triple brass, and as much as possible to avoid resting my thoughts and wishes upon literary success, lest I should endanger my own peace of mind and tranquillity by literary failure. It would argue either stupid apathy or ridiculous affectation, to say that I have been insensible to the public applause, when I have been honoured with its testimonies; and still more highly do I prize the invaluable friendships which some temporary popularity has enabled me to form among those most distinguished by talents and genius, and which I venture to hope now rest upon a basis more firm than the circumstances which gave rise to them. Yet feeling all these advantages, as a man ought to do, and must do, I may say, with truth and confidence, that I have tasted of the intoxicating cup with moderation, and that I have never, either in conversation or correspondence, encouraged discussions respecting my own literary pursuits. On the contrary, I have usually found such topics, even when introduced from motives most flattering to myself, rather embarrassing and disagreeable. I have now frankly told my motives for concealment, so far as I am conscious of having any, and the public will forgive the egotism of the detail, as what is necessarily connected with it. I have only to repeat, that I avow myself in print, as formerly in words, the sole and unassisted author of all the novels published as the composition of the "Author of Waverley." I ought to mention, before concluding, that twenty persons at least were, either from intimacy or from the confidence which circumstances rendered necessary, participant of this secret; and as there was no instance, to my knowledge, of any one of the number breaking the confidence required from them, I am the more obliged to them, because the slight and trivial character of the mystery was not qualified to inspire much respect in those intrusted with it.
Abbotsford, Oct. 1, 1827.
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"I am but a Gatherer and disposer of other men's stuff."—Wotton
* * * * *
At the late fancy ball in Liverpool, a gentleman who had assumed the swarthy hue of a "nigger," was requested to favour the company with Matthews's song—"Possum up a gum tree."—"Non possum," replied the wit.
* * * * *
"SPIRITS" OF THE MAGAZINES.
Is it not diverting to see a periodical supported, not by the spirits of the age, but by the small beers, with now and then a few ales and porters? Yet we doubt not that one and all of the people employed about the concern may be, in their way, very respectable schoolmasters, who, in small villages, cannot support themselves entirely on their own bottoms,—ushers in metropolitan academies, whose annual salary rarely exceeds twenty pounds, with some board, and a little washing—third-rate actors on the boards of the Surrey or Adelphi, who have generally a literary turn—a player on the hautboy in some orchestra or other—unfortunate men of talent in the King's Bench—a precocious boy or two in Christ's hospital—an occasional apprentice run away from the row, and most probably cousin of Tims.
After this specimen of "Contributors" who would be an Editor? It is a fair sample of more than one "paralytic periodical:" our readers must bear in mind a certain point of etiquette about "present company."
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FRAMEWORK OF SOCIETY.
"It is curious," says the London Magazine, "to imagine what the society of New South Wales may be two thousand years hence. The ancestors of a portion of our proud nobility were thieves of one kind, the chieftain of ruder times being often nothing better than a well-established robber. And why may not the descendants of another kind of thieves glory equally in their origin at some distant day, and proudly trace themselves to a Soames and a Filch, and dwell with romantic glow, on their larcenous deeds? A descendant of Soames may have as much pride in recalling the deeds of that distinguished felon in the Strand, as a descendant of a border chief has in recounting his ancestors levies of blackmail."—Pope might well say—
"What can ennoble sots, or fools, or cowards, Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards"
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SEEING IS BELIEVING.
In South America, the whole population is equestrian. No man goes to visit his next door neighbour on foot; and even the beggars in the street ask alms on horseback. A French traveller being solicited for charity by one of these mounted petitioners, at Buenos Ayres, makes the following entry in his note-book.—"16th November. Saw a beggar this morning, who asked alms of me, mounted on a tall grey horse. The English have a proverb, that says—'Set a beggar on horseback, and he'll ride to the devil!' I had often heard this mentioned, but never saw one upon his way before."
We remember to have seen in Paris a man in a sort of chaise, grinding an organ, drawn by two ponies, and followed by a boy—begging from house to house. From the faded livery worn by the boy, we set the whole down as a burlesque.
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I was present, some years ago, at the trial of a notorious obeah-man, driven on an estate in the parish of St. David, who, by the overwhelming influence he had acquired over the minds of his deluded victims, and the more potent means he had at command to accomplish his ends, had done great injury among the slaves on the property before it was discovered. One of the witnesses, a negro belonging to the same estate, was asked—"Do you know the prisoner to be an obeah-man?"—"Ees, massa, shadow-catcher, true." "What do you mean by a shadow-catcher?"—"Him ha coffin, (a little coffin produced,) him set for catch dem shadow." "What shadow do you mean?"—"When him set obeah for summary, (some body,) him catch dem shadow and dem go dead;" and too surely they were soon dead, when he pretended to have caught their shadows, by whatever means it was effected.
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John Kemble being present at the sale of the books of Isaac Reed, the commentator on Shakspeare, when "a Treatise on the Public Securities" was knocked down at the humble price of sixpence—the great tragedian observed, "that he had never known the funds so low before."
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TEMPUS EDAX RERUM.
"Time is money," Robin says, 'Tis true I'll prove it clear: Tom owes ten pounds, for which he pays in Limbo half a year.
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ON JACK STRAW'S CASTLE, HAMPSTEAD HEATH, BEING REPAIRED.
With best of food—of beer and wines, Here may you pass a merry day; So shall "mine host," while Phoebus shines, Instead of straw, make good his hay.