THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 12, No. 330.] SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1828. [PRICE 2d.
WHY ARE NOT THE ENGLISH A MUSICAL PEOPLE?
We cannot help it.—Massinger's Roman Actor.
Astronomy, music, and architecture, are the floating topics of the day; on the second of these heads we have thrown together a few hints, which may, probably prove entertaining to our readers.
The English are not—you know, reflective public—a musical people; this has been said over and over again in the musical and dramatic critiques of the newspapers. True it is that we have no national music, like our neighbours the Welsh, the Irish, or the Scotch; for our music, like out language, is a mere riccifamento, stolen from every nation in Europe. But our king (God bless him) is an excellent musician, and plays the violoncello most delightfully; and we have an Academy of Music. Then we have an Italian Theatre that burns the feet and fingers of all who meddle with its management—witness, Mr. Ebers, who, by being "married" to sweet sounds, lost the enormous sum of 47,000l.—it must be owned, an unfortunate match, or as Dr. Franklin would have said, "paying rather too dear for his whistle." We have too an English Opera House, where scarcely any but foreign music is heard, and which, to the ever-lasting credit of its management, has transplanted from the warm climes of the south to our ungenial atmosphere, some of the finest compositions in the continental schools of modern music. Success has, however, attended most of their enterprises; for the taste of the English for foreign music is by no means a modern mania. From Pepys's Diary we learn that the first company of Italian singers came here in the reign of Charles II.: they were brought by Killigrew from Venice, about 1688; but they did not perform whole operas, only detached scenes in recitative, and not in any public theatre, but in the houses of the nobility. Thus, Italian music was loved and cultivated very early in England, and London was the next capital, after Vienna, which established and supported an Italian Opera. But, as we never do things by halves, we had soon afterwards, two opposition houses. This proves that the English have a taste for music; indeed they have much more judgment than some of their neighbours, which makes it still more to be regretted that nothing is done in England towards the advancement of music as a science. Is the world of sound and the soul of song exhausted? Why should we, who are marching in every other direction, stand still in this? But no; what Orpheus did with music, we are striving to accomplish by steam; what he effected by quietly touching his lyre, we study with the atmospheres and condensers of high and low pressure engines.
The writer of a delightful paper in the Foreign Review, No. 3, in tracing the rise and progress of music, inquires what has become of "its loftier pretensions, its celestial attributes, its moral and political influence." He then facetiously observes, "How should we marvel to see the Duke of Wellington, like another Epaminondas, take his flute out of his pocket to still the clamour of the opposition, or Mr. Peel reply to the arguments of Mr. Huskisson with an allegro on the fiddle."
The Greeks were not such grave people as some may be inclined to think them. Among them, poetry and music were so intimately connected, that they were in fact one and the same. It is not so with us; we have Byron and Moore, in poetry; but where are their parallels in English music!
"Music," says Plutarch, "was the universal language of Greece, the sacred vehicle of history, philosophy, laws, and morals;" but in England it is little more than a mere amusement to while away the evening, or at best, but a branch of female education. Pianos are become articles of furniture to be met with in almost every other genteel house; Miss and her sisters sit down by turns, and screw themselves up to Ah vous dirai, or "I'd be a butterfly"—till some handsome young fellow who has stood behind her chair for six months, turned over her music, or accompanied her through a few liquorish airs, vows his tender passion, brings her the last new song, and at length swears to be her accompaniment throughout life. The piano is then locked up, the music sent to Bath or Canterbury, and the lady is married and cannot sing.
But the Greek poets sang their own verses: "Homer literally sang the wrath of Achilles, and the woes of Greece;" would it were so in England. Then, my poetical public, we should have Anacreon Moore singing his "Rich and rare were the gems she wore," in some such place as the Quadrant, or Opera Colonnade; and Sir Walter Scott celebrating the Field of Waterloo, not in the broad-margined octavos of Paternoster-row, but about the purlieus of the Horse Guards. Wordsworth would be his own Skylark. The laureate, Southey, would perch himself on the dome of the New Palace. Campbell would step out of New Burlingtonstreet into the Park; Miss Mitford would keep a Covent-Garden audience awake with her own tragedies, and Planche would no longer entrust his rhymes to Paton or Vestris. On the other hand, Braham would no longer be indebted to Moore for his songs, Bishop would write, compose, and sing his own operas, and all our vocalists enter, like Dryden's king and two fiddlers, solus!
Could we but once become a musical people, we should no longer marvel at the effect of music in ancient times; for who knows but that if an Englishman were to play like Orpheus, the River Thames might cease to flow; the disposal of Mr. Cross's menagerie be no longer a question, since the animals might be allowed to ramble about the Strand; and Snowdon or Cader Idris journey to the King's Theatre to listen to his inspirations.
It is, however, impossible to calculate the benefits which this acquisition of musical skill might prove to the English people. What bloodshed and tribulation it would prevent. Weare, or Maria Marten, like Stradella, might have disarmed their assassins; the Insolvent Act would be obsolete, and duns defeated; since hundreds of improvident wights, like Palma, might, by their strains, soften the hearts of their creditors, and draw tears from sheriff's officers. Chancery-lane would be depopulated, and Cursitor-street be left to the fowls of the air; locks would fall 50 per cent, and Mr. Bramah might betake himself to Van Dieman's Land. What a pleasant thing would a public dinner be; for, instead of a gentleman in a dress coat singing as from the orchestra of an oratorio, he would throw a more impassioned energy into his own compositions than he could possibly impart to those of another, and proportionally enhance the delight of his company. All the mechanism of professional singing would then give way to "the feast of reason and the flow of soul."
We know not how to have done with these pleasures of "linked sweetness"—this "mosaic of the air," as Marvell quaintly calls it. We have a decided aversion to the system of borrowing, which, in the absence of our own musical resources, seems to be universally adopted. Thus, as Charles Mathews says, "every footman whistles Frieschutz;" and the barrel organ which does not play two or three of its airs may be consigned to the brokers. A few months since every bachelor hummed or whistled "C'est l'amour," and the French, to return the compliment, have made our "Robin Adair," one of the claptraps of the music of their La Dame Blanche. Next, when will Mr. Bishop's Home, sweet home, be forgotten, although the original is a Sicilian air of considerable antiquity. All the baker's and butcher's boys in London can go through "Di tanti pal"—where they leave off, answer a question, and take up the "piti," with the skill of a musician; and as readily fall into the sympathetic melodies of "Oh no we never mention her," or the "Light Guitar." But to atone for these vulgarisms, who that has heard the syren strains of Stephens or Paton, or the Anglo-Italian style of Braham, but has envied them the pleasurable monopoly of delighting thousands, and sending them home with the favourite air still echoing in their ears, and lulling them to soft slumbers! Who is there that has enjoyed his circle of friends without regretting a thousand times that he had not a fiftieth part of such talent to enliven the festive hour, and lend a charm, however, fleeting, to what may be termed the poetry of life.
As we have noticed the taste of the Greeks for music, it is but fair that we should allude to that of their successors. In ancient Rome, music was never popular. Combats of gladiators and wild beasts filled their theatres with streams of blood, instead of their resounding with music; and after the death of Nero, that beautiful art was declared infamous, and by a public decree, banished from the city. In our theatres, however, heroes fight to music, from the Richard III. and Richmond of Shakspeare to the "terrific combats" of modern melodrame.
 "When Nero exhibited himself as a singer and flute-player on the stage at Naples, the musicians of that province assembled to hear him; and Suetonius tells us that the emperor selected five thousand among the best to be his household musicians, and clothed them in a rich and uniform dress."
Anything is, however, better than despair, and let us hope that something may be done towards the amendment of our musical reputation. We have too much of what Cobbett would call the "dead-weight" in us to become adopted by Apollo as the "children of song;" but what with the school of music in Tenterden-street, and numberless juvenile prodigies, we may indulge the expectation of rising in the diatonic scale, and that too at no very distant period. Burney and Crotch were remarkable instances of precocious musical skill; and in the present day, children from eight to twelve sing the most popular Italian airs on the English stage, with remarkable accuracy.
Apropos, we hear of constitutions being set to music, for says the Foreign Review, "during the short revolution at Naples, in 1820, a Neapolitan was heard to swear that if the government intended that the new constitution should be understood or accepted by the people, they must first have it set to music by Rossini."
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GARDENS OF THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY, REGENT'S PARK.
We are again in the Regents Park; but we must leave its architectural splendour for the present, and request our readers to accompany us towards the eastern verge of the Park, to the Gardens of the Zoological Society, established in 1826, and whose members now amount to eleven hundred! The grounds are daily filled with fashionable company, notwithstanding the great migrations which usually take place at this season of the year, and almost depopulate the western hemisphere of fashion. The gardens, independent of their zoological attractions, are a delightful promenade, being laid out with great taste, and the parterres boasting a beautiful display of flowers. The animals, too, are seen to much greater advantage than when shut up in a menagerie, and have the luxury of fresh air, instead of unwholesome respiration in a room or caravan.
 It should, however, be noticed, that the object of the Zoological Society is not the mere exhibition of animals. In the original prospectus it is observed, that "Animals brought from every part of the globe to be applied to some useful purpose as objects of scientific research, not of vulgar admiration; and upon such an institution, a philosophy of zoology founded, pointing out the comparative anatomy, the habits of life, the improvement and the methods of multiplying those races of animals which are most useful to man, and thus fixing a most beautiful and important branch of knowledge on the permanent basis of direct utility." The Secretary of the Society is N.A. Vigors, Esq., M.A., F.R.S., &c. who, from his extensive attainments in the science of zoology, fills the office with honor to himself, and peculiar advantage to the public.
At page 413 of our last volume, the reader will find an abstract of the second anniversary of the Society, since which the Gardens in the Regent's Park have been opened for public inspection. We have accordingly availed ourselves of this privilege, and our draughtsman has been at some pains in the annexed sketch, together with the vignette portraits accompanying it. The "Bird's-Eye View" will be better explained by reference to the figures; thus,
1. Entrance Gate and Pay Hut. 2. Ditto Check Hut. 3. House and Ground for Emus:
Two awkward land birds, resembling ostriches. Their incapability of flying is compensated by the exceeding speed with which they run. They are natives of New Holland.
4. Central Walk. 5. Sloping Shrubbery of Defence. 6. Fields for Horses and Cattle. 7. Building for Bears,,
communicating with their pit, in the centre of which is a pole with steps for the animals to ascend and descend. At the extremity of the upper walk, the pit is surrounded with a dwarf wall and coping, to which (since our sketch was taken) have been added iron rails. There are here two Arctic bears, and a small black bear, the latter brought from Russia, and presented to the Society, by the Marquess of Hertford. There is usually a crowd of visiters about this spot, and the sagacity and antics of our four-footed friends ensure them liberal supplies of cakes and fruit, handed to them on a pole. We were much interested with their tricks, especially with the vexation betrayed by one of them, at the top of the pole, when he saw his companion below seize a cake which the former had previously eyed with great gout. His wringing and biting his paws reminded us of many scenes out of a bear-pit. Then the snorting and snarling of the old bear below, when the young one attempted to obtain a cake thrown to him; and above all, the small share which our black friend Toby enjoyed, probably from his docility over-much,—like good-natured men who are mastered by those of rough natures. We could have staid here a whole hour, watching their antics, and likening them to the little trickery of human nature.
 He was previously at Sudborne, the seat of the Marquess of Hertford, where Toby, as our Russian friend was christened, became equally sagacious with bipeds, in distinguishing strong ale from small beer. To the former beverage, Toby became freely attached; but when we saw him at the Gardens in the Regent's Park, he appeared too docile for his companions.
8 and 9. Ground enclosed for Kangaroos,
of which there is a little herd, large and small. They are natives of New Holland. The fore legs are seldom more than twenty inches in length, whilst the hinder ones are sometimes three feet and a half long. They rest on the whole length of the hind feet, supporting themselves by the base of the tail, which, in truth, acts as a fifth leg, and is sometimes used as a weapon, being of such strength as to break a man's leg at a single blow. They move by leaps, which have been known to exceed twenty feet. Several kangaroos have been kept in the park at Richmond, and where they have produced young ones.
containing two fine leopards, a porcupine, and racoons. In an adjoining den are three wolves.
11. Gothic House for Lamas.
This is one of the most picturesque objects in the grounds. It contains two lamas. These animals are common in South America, particularly in the mountainous parts of Peru, where they are employed as beasts of burthen. One of the lamas was presented to the Society by the Duke of Bedford.
12. Circular Aviary for Birds of Prey
containing a fine griffon vulture, a white-headed North American eagle, hawks, falcons, and owls; among the latter is the great horned owl. This is supposed by Linnaeus, and many antiquaries, to have been the bird of Minerva. The collection is remarkably splendid.
13. Hut for Beavers. 14. Hut for Foreign Goats. 15. Enclosed Area and Fountain for Aquatic Birds, as pelicans, Solan geese, China geese, black swans, &c. 16. Aviary.
Here are three handsome crested cranes, four Indian spoonbills, together with three storks, three or four cockatoos, whose brilliant plumage outvies the gayest robe of art, and three curassos.
17. Grove and Huts for Esquimaux Dogs
of which there are three fine specimens.
18. Fountain, &c. for Water Fowl. 19. Enclosure for Zebras, Indian Cows, &c. 20. Houses on poles for Monkeys.
These are distributed beside the walks. The monkey is attached by a chain to a ring loosely round the pole, by which means he ascends and descends at pleasure.
21. Intended Aviary, (supposed for Eagles, Vultures, &c.). 22. Twenty acres about to be added. 23. House for Monkeys, &c.
Here are double rows of cages, containing a fine South American ocelot, a lynx, a puma, coatamondis, an ichneumon, and several monkeys; the last affording an excellent opportunity of appreciating the fidelity of Mr. Landseer's Monkeyana, and illustrating the vraisemblance of men and monkeys.
24. Intended Aviary. 25. Mexican Hogs, &c. 26. Huts for Jackalls, &c. 27. Unfinished Houses.
The carriage-road is formed of the outer side of the Park.
There is likewise an enclosure for Tortoises, of which there are three large and several small ones. We saw one of them devouring pumpkin as a gourmand would turtle, and this voracity is by weather-wise people considered as a sure indication of rain. This turtle is believed to be very old; he is of stupendous size, but buried as he was (except his neck) with shell, he soon became aware of the approach of his companion, nearly as large, and accordingly ate with increased greediness. Among the birds, too, should be mentioned several beautiful varieties of pheasants, partridges, &c. which are well worth the attention of the visiter.
We have probably passed over many animals, our object being merely to mention a few of the most interesting for their habits and peculiarities. Of course the collection is as yet incomplete, there being neither lion, tiger, hyaena, elephant, nor rhinoceros; but when it is considered that the Society has been established little more than two years, in which time a Museum has been formed, and 1,100 subscribers obtained, besides the arrangement of the Gardens—it will be acknowledged that much has been done in a short time, and judging from the excellent organization of the Society and their past success, we anticipate the utmost realization of their plan.
Our readers need not be told that the Zoological Society is partly on the plan of the Museum of Natural History at Paris, except that the latter is supported by the Government, the Gardens are indiscriminately opened to the public, free of cost, and the Museum on stated days; and when we add that the names of Fagon, Duverney, Tournefort, Vaillant, De Jussieu, Buffon, Daubenton, Fourcroy, Desfontaines, De Lamarck, and Cuvier, occur in its list of professors, they will not be surprised at the Musee d'Histoire Naturelle being the richest of its kind in the world.
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As acceptable information, we subjoin the regulations for the admission of members and visiters to the Gardens in the Regent's Park, and the Museum, in Bruton-street; to the latter we shall allude at an early opportunity:—
Every member shall have personal admission to the gardens and museum, with two companions. If accompanied by more than two, he shall pay one shilling for each extra person.
A member, on payment of one guinea annually, may obtain an ivory ticket, which will admit one named person with a companion to both establishments; or a transferable ivory ticket which will admit one person. He may obtain two or more such tickets at the same rate.
Any member who may find it inconvenient to attend personally at the gardens or museum, may, upon application to the council, have his privileges transferred, within the present year, to any individual of his family, whom he may name.
Every member will be expected to give his name on entering the gardens and museum.
The gardens will be open to members from eight o'clock, A.M.; but they will be in complete readiness for the reception of visiters only from ten o'clock to sunset. The museum will be open from ten o'clock to six.
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(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
Your article on the "Patrons of Astronomy," in the Mirror, No. 328, brought to my recollection the following anecdote, for the truth of which I can answer, having received it from Mr. Watson, well known as the most celebrated private optical instrument maker in Europe, and at the time living on intimate terms with the late Mr. Arnold, the most eminent watchmaker of the day. When the late Sir William Herschel's great telescope was first exhibited at Slough, among other scientific men who went to see it was Mr. Arnold, who took Mr. W. with him. Neither of them thought much of it, though it was praised by the multitude; as it was, with its constructor, patronized by the late king and his consort, for Herschel was a German, as you well know. A few astronomical amateurs, who thought as Mr. Arnold did, proposed to Mr. Adams, of Fleet-street, then astronomical instrument maker to the king, (by whom Mr. Watson was employed,) to get Watson to make an instrument in opposition to Herschel's. The order being given by Adams, Watson set about the work, and had made some progress in the construction of the instrument, when the circumstance found its way to the ears of royalty. Orders were immediately sent to Mr. Adams to put a stop to the work, or he should no longer be optician to the king. Watson did not proceed, but could never learn the cause of the counter-order, till after a lapse of several years, when a stranger called on him, in Valentine-place, Blackfriars-road, and after putting several questions to him about his instruments, related to him the cause of the counter-order; upon which Mr. Watson showed him the progress he had made, and which I have also seen. This story I heard related by Mr. Watson at a dinner party at Mr. Arnold's, at Well Hall, near Eltham, where were also Mr. Dollonds, and Mr. J. R. Arnold, the son.
A Constant Reader.
August, 24, 1828.
Our Correspondent will perceive that we have qualified some phrases of his letter, but that all the facts appear.
The Quarterly Review, No. 75, from which our notice was taken, is tolerably plain upon the lack of patronage towards astronomy in this country, and seems disposed, in enumerating the state of astronomical knowledge in civilized Europe, to place Great Britain beside Spain or Turkey! We chance to know that one of the most able and enterprising astronomers of the present day relinquished a lucrative profession, that he might be more at leisure to indulge his philosophical pursuits; so that, if patrons be wanting, this apathy does not appear to have entirely destroyed the taste for the divine study. This gentleman, in concert with another, ascertained, in the course of three years, the position and apparent distances of 380 double and triple stars, the result of about 10,000 individual measurements, and for their Memoir, they received the astronomical prize of the French Academy of Sciences. In the following year, the former individual communicated to the Royal Society the apparent distances and positions of 458 double stars, of which 160 had never before been observed.
 We feel as if it were a species of treason to record the fact, that, within the wide range of the British islands, there is only one observatory, and scarcely one, supported by the government! We say scarcely one, because we believe that some of the instruments in the observatory of Greenwich were purchased out of the private funds of the Royal Society of London. The observatories of Oxford, Cambridge, Dublin, Edinburgh (except a grant of 2,000l.), Armagh, and Glasgow, are all private establishments, to the support of which government contributes nothing. The consequence of this is, that many of them are in a state of comparative inactivity; and none of them, but that of Dublin, have acquired any celebrity in the astronomical world. Such, indeed, was the state of practical astronomy in Scotland, that within these few years, a Danish vessel, which arrived at Leith, could not obtain, even in Edinburgh, the time of the day for the purpose of setting its chronometers.—Q. Rev.
Of course, our correspondent does not impeach the talent of HERSCHEL; but it is lamentable to reflect that no attempt has been made to repeat or extend the labours of that indefatigable astronomer.—ED.
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A SCOTTISH LEGEND.
(For the Mirror.)
"Kelpie's a river demon or a god," Thus say the lexicons; I'll not belie 'em, For though I mind not in the least the nod Of these same critics, still I'll not defy 'em; But that you may know more of this same god, (Though I can't sing as Homer sung of Priam,) I'll write a very pretty little poem, Of which this present stanza's but the proem.
But to begin, for though 'tis rather long, My poem I'll comprise into twelve stanzas, Or fourteen at the furthest, if my song Don't run to twenty—I'll offend no man, sirs, If I can help it. So now I'm along The road, and beg you'll notice these two lancers, Who, on the backs of horses full of mettle Hold a dispute, which we'll leave them to settle,
While you go with me, reader, kind and good, To a small tributary stream from Tweed, Which, if you don't know, as I'm in the mood, I'll do my best to teach you, if you'll read; I'll introduce you to the stream Glenrude— This name will do—'twas in a glen—indeed, 'Twas not its proper name—'twill do quite well, Why I choose so to call it I shan't tell,
But still it was a very pretty river, Or rather stream, as ever could be seen— If not so wide as the great Guadalquiver, Its banks were nearly always clothed in green, (Save when in winter the winds made you shiver,) While the waves, bickering so bright and sheen, Put you in mind of Avon, Rhine, or Hellespont, Or any other stream to admire you're wont.
And round about the stream there were huge hillocks, And firs and mountains, houses too and farms; A maid lay on the grass—her light and fair locks Were gently wound around her folded arms, While softly grazing near there stood a huge ox, And o'er her head an old oak threw its arms. She was asleep, when, lo! the sound of horses' Feet woke her, and, behold, she saw two corses.
At least she thought so—but at last thought better 'Twould be for her to get up and go home; She got up quickly, and would soon have made her Way home, but that the men who had just come Spurr'd past her, and alighted when they met her, While she with her surprise was almost dumb; But soon spoke she, and bade them both disclose Their names—to which one said, "I'm Richard Groze."
The next spoke not at first, but soon replied, "Pray wherefore are you so surprised, my dear? And wherefore, likewise, have you not complied With my request, which I have sent in near Some good score letters? which you did deride, When they were forwarded by this man here." He pointed then to Groze, and then he sighed, "My dear, dear Jeannie, will you be my bride?"
The which words when our Jeannie heard, she stared, And said, "What do you mean, John Fitzadree? You talk of letters, but of them the laird Has never brought a single one to me; But when I've seen him I have never cared How soon he went, for he told me that ye Were either dead or faithless—so he said I'd better wed the live, than mourn the dead.
"And then he promis'd I should have six horses, Besides a coach, if I would be his bride; But I refus'd—and he swore all his crosses Should soon be o'er, and something else beside And that's the reason why I thought ye corses, When o'er the green this way I saw ye ride. But now I see you've both served in the Lancers, Though on my word you look much more like dancers."
To which John answer'd, "Oh, the filthy fellow, I gave him letters to you, which he said He would deliver, were you ill or well. Oh! How I should like to knock him on the head, And would, but that would show I was quite mellow— Besides, I see the coward has just fled, Has ta'en to horse, and got across the ford— Hang him, that I should with him be so bored!"
But Jeannie said, "John, thou shall do no murder." To which he answer'd, "I will not do so;" Then bounded off as though he had not heard her, And reached a fording-place, but not so low As where Groze cross'd, and who had now got further Than John would have thought possible, although He'd a good-horse, and nearly half an hour In start—but now the clouds began to lower.
Now Fitzadree's good charger was all mettle, And soon won to the middle of the stream— But then the sky grew black as a tea kettle; It rained, too, quite as fast as ever steam Rose. But the thing which did at last unsettle The balance of John's steed, was what you'll deem A being that was nearly supernatural— But here the waves John's clothes began to spatter all.
A form rose up from out the waves' abyss— A monstrous little man with a black hide, Scarce four feet high, yet he was not remiss, But dash'd the waves about—and then he cried, With a demoniac laugh, or rather hiss, "Die, mortal, die!" and John sank down and died, The which, when Jeannie saw, she only sigh'd, "I come, my John, I come, to be thy bride."
The figure was the Kelpie—that she knew, And madly she rush'd on towards the shore; The Kelpie roar'd, "Come, mortal, come thou too." Ere he'd done speaking, Jeannie was no more; She'd dash'd into the waves, and left no clue, More than a steamer leaves just left the Nore, By which you might discover where she lay, And drag her upwards to the realms of day.
But what befel the cause of all these woes? That's what I never heard, so cannot tell; But this I know, that this same Richard Groze Return'd no more to bonnie Scotland. Well, I only hope he may in bed repose, And that he may at last escape from hell. And this I know, that if you do not smother This poem, when I choose I'll write another. J.S.
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SUGAR AND WATER CRITICISM.
In one of the critiques on the last Monthly Magazine, some verses by Mrs. Hemans are said to be "elegant and lady-like."
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THE SKETCH BOOK
A DAY AT ST. CLOUD.
September 24, 1826.
I walked up gravely to the window in my dusty black coat, and looking through the glass, saw all the world in yellow, blue, and green, running at the ring of pleasure.—STERNE.
St. Cloud is the Richmond of France; or rather, it is to Paris what Richmond, in the days of its regal splendour, was to London—the summer palace of the court. In this comparison, allowance must be made for the opposite building taste of each nation; especially as Richmond has an appearance of substantial comfort in its massive brick mansions and rusticated cottage groups. The French Sheen is, on the contrary, gayer; the exterior of the residences being whitened, or what is still more artificial, coloured and decorated in tawdry French taste. Such, at least, is the character of the auberges, or inns, and restaurateurs, with which St. Cloud is even better supplied than our Richmond. In situation, however, they strongly assimilate; the former being placed on an acclivity overlooking the Seine, as the latter is on the banks of the Thames.
St. Cloud, as I have already said, is the usual summer residence of the French court; and with a royal liberality which might be less politic elsewhere, the park is granted for three fairs—September 7, and the three following Sundays, on the last of which I resolved to visit the fete of St. Cloud. It was a glowing September day. The sun shone with more than mellow warmth through the groves of the Tuilleries, and on the little southern terrace, which was unusually crowded with groups of rosy children, with here and there a valetudinarian, who seemed to have emerged from his chamber to enjoy the parting glories of the season. Crowds of elegantly-dressed company were promenading the mall, or principal walk, and some few were not incuriously lingering about the enclosed parterres of the garden, whose beauties would soon be transported to a milder atmosphere. There was a general stir in the neighbouring streets; it did not resemble the bustle of business, but had more of the gaiety of a holiday scene. The Pont Royal was thronged with passengers, and just beneath it, were several hundreds, many of whom were embarking in the steam-boat for St. Cloud. But the Seine is at all times less inviting for such an excursion than our Thames; and in the summer months many insulated spots may be seen in the centre of the French river. At the next bridge (Louis XVI.) there was a general muster of carriages, each adapted for six or eight passengers, and drawn by one or two horses. Here was a loud clamour of "St. Cloud" and "Versailles" among the drivers, some of whom were even more officious than the Jehus of Greenwich, or the wights of Charing Cross or Piccadilly. I resisted all their importunities, and passed on through the Champs Elysees, or a dusty road through a grove, intersected with ill-formed paths, with a few gaudy cafes bearing pompous inscriptions—for Voltaire has made the French too fond of nomenclature to say with our Shakspeare, "what's in a name?" The road presented a strange specimen of the insubordination of French driving, notwithstanding police superintendants affected much concern in the matter. Diligences, fiacres, and carriages resembling large, covered cabriolets, might be seen loaded with gaily-dressed women and children, with a due proportion of young Parisians, all just in the hey-day of mirth, drawn by dust-provoking Flanders horses, their drivers slashing almost indiscriminately, and, with their clamour and confusion, far exceeding the Epsom road on a raceday.
At length, escaping from the dust and din of the French Elysium, I halted to enjoy the distant view of the city of Paris, from the gate of the barrier. It was indeed an interesting scene. Through the avenue, whose area presented a living stream of traffic, might be seen the terraces and groves of the Tuilleries, and the spacious and irregular palace, with its cupola tops; the tarnished dome of the Invalides; the cupola of St. Genevieve; the gray towers of Notre Dame; then the winding Seine, with its bridges, quays, and terraces, flanked with the long line of the Tuilleries, and the Luxembourg, and Louvre galleries, on the one side; and on the other by the noble facade of the Chamber of Deputies; the courtly mansions of St. Germain, and the blackened front and dome of the Institute. What a multitude of associations flitted across the memory, by a single glance at PARIS—the capital of that gay, light-hearted, and mercurial people—the French nation—the focus of European luxury, and the grand political arena of modern history, the very calendar of whose events, within the last half century, will form one of the most interesting episodes that ever glowed among the records of human character. In the chain might be traced the vain-glory of conquest linked with defeated ambition, and the sullied splendour of royalty just breaking through the clouds of discontent, and slowly dispelling the mists of disaffection and political prejudice. What an unenviable contrast to the man who has "no enemy but wind and rough weather." The same objects that prompted these discordant reflections gave rise to others of the most opposite character; and within the walls, where treaties, abdications, and warrants, by turns, settled and resettled, exiled and condemned—were the store-houses of art, with all her proud and peaceful labours of sculpture, painting, and architecture, through galleries and saloons, on whose contents the chisel and the pencil had lingered many a life, and reduced the compass of its fond designs to the cubits of a statue, the fame of a picture, or the glory of a pillar or ceiling—such are the frail elements of human art.
The road now began to exhibit the usual appearance of an approach to a country fete or fair. Scores of pedestrians, overcome with the heat and dust of the day, might be seen at the little boxes or shops of the traiteurs, or cooks, and at the houses of the marchands de vin et de la biacre; these by their anticipated anxiety caused the line from Paris to St. Cloud to resemble a road-side fair. Cheerfulness and vivacity were upper-most in the passengers; and the elastic pace of dozens of gaily-dressed soubrettes not a little enhanced the interest of the scene. Neither were these charms impaired by that species of vulgarity which not unfrequently characterizes the road to our suburban fairs; and, what is still more creditable to humanity, there was no brutality towards jaded horses or hacks sinking beneath their loads.
Historians attach some antiquarian importance to the village of St. Cloud, it being historically confounded with the earliest times of the French monarchy; for, from the beginning of the first race, the kings of France had a country-seat here.
 For an engraving and account of the Palace of St. Cloud, see MIRROR, vol. ii. page 225.
I now reached the bridge of St. Cloud, an elegant modern structure which crosses the Seine, near the entrance to the village. Here the river loses much of its importance; and in summer, the steam-boats are not unfrequently delayed in their voyage (if it may be so designated) for lack of water. The prospect of the chateau, or palace, embosomed in trees, and the park variegated with natural and artificial beauties, with the adjoining village on a steep, shelving hill—is unusually picturesque. On the present occasion, however, the principal attraction was the fete, which reminded me more forcibly of John Bunyan's Vanity Fair, than any other exhibition I had ever witnessed.
The entrance to this motley scene was by the principal gate, where the carriages set down their company, and at a short distance along the bank of the river, the steam-boat in like manner contributed its visiters. On entering the park, I was first struck with a long row of boxes, (somewhat in the style of those at Vauxhall) but on a raised bank, and attached to a restaurateur. Here were tables for dinner, and as many others were laid in the open air—with the usual carte of 2 or 300 articles, and the economical elegancies of silver, napkins, and china, and this, too, in style little inferior to Verey's in the Palais Royal. Promenaders of the better description appeared in the mall, or principal walk, and it being the last fete of the season, their attendance was very numerous. The stalls and exhibitions were chiefly on the left side of this walk; at the former was displayed an almost indescribable variety of wares, which were the adjudged prizes in a lottery; but, from the decisions which I witnessed, they resembled the stationary capitals in an English scheme—the nominal Stock in trade of the office-keepers. Many of these little gambling shops were superintended by women, who proved themselves far from deficient in loquacious inducements for adventurers; and by their dexterous settlement of the chances, left little time for losers to reflect on their folly. Provisions of various descriptions were to be purchased at every turn, and among their marchands, it was not incurious, to see some humble professors of gastronomy over smoking viands, fritters, and goffers or indented wafers baked on cast-iron stoves a la minute—it must be owned, unseasonable luxuries for a September day. The spectacles, or shows, in noise and absurdity, exceeded the English trumpery of that order; and to judge from the gaping crowds which they attracted, we are not the only credulous nation in the world. Among the games was a machine resembling an English round-a-bout, with wooden horses for the players, each of whom was furnished with a foil, with which he strove to seize the greatest number of rings from the centre; this was, indeed, a chivalrous exhibition. Stilt-walkers, mountebank families, and jugglers, "chequered in bulk and brains," lent their aid to amuse the crowd; and, occasionally, two or three fellows contrived to enact scenes from plays, and with their vulgar wit to merit the applause of their audience. Portable clock-work exhibitions swarmed, and mummeries or mysteries, representing the Life and Death of our Saviour and the blessed Virgin, appeared to be ritual accompaniments of the day, and represented each stage of the holy lives. The bearers of the latter machinery enlivened their exhibitions with a grinding organ, which they accompanied with appropriate ditties or carols. Crosses and other religious emblems were hung about the theatrical boxes or shows, which, with their representations, could only be compared with the nursery toys of Noah's ark, with which most of us have been amused. Accordingly, here were models of Nazareth, Jerusalem, and Mount Calvary, in the characteristic accuracy of biblical topography, and from the zeal of the spectators, the ingenuity of the inventors was unsparingly rewarded.
I turned from these sights to the natural beauties of the park, which, aided by the happy inequalities of the ground, (which French artists imagined would be such an obstacle to its perfection,) possesses far more variety than is usually found in the pleasure-grounds of France. The original plantation of the park was the work of La Notre, who, it will be recollected, planned the garden of Versailles; but St. Cloud is considered his chef-d'oeuvre, and proves, that with the few natural advantages which it afforded him, he was enabled to effect more here than millions have accomplished at Versailles—where art is fairly overmatched with her own wasteful and ridiculous excess. This alone ought to make the French blush for that monument of royal folly.
The situation of the chateau is its greatest attraction. It possesses a fine view of Paris, which is indeed a splendid item in the prospect of the princely occupants; and the sight of the capital may, perhaps, be a pleasant relief to the natural seclusion of the palace.
One of the most remarkable objects in the park is a kind of square tower, surmounted with an exact copy, in terra cotta, of the lantern of Diogenes at Athens, ornamented with six Corinthian columns. It is used as an observatory, and, like its original, is associated with the name of the illustrious Grecian—it being also called the lantern of Diogenes. Its view of the subjacent plain overlooks the city of Paris by a distance of twenty miles.
The fountains and jets d'eau are entitled to special notice, although in extent and variety they are far exceeded by those of Versailles. The arrangement of the principal cascade is well contrived, and I had the good fortune to be present at the moment the water commenced flowing, which continued but a short time. This struck me as a singular piece of mimicry, and compared with those truly-sublime spectacles—the cascades of Nature—the boasted works of St. Cloud seemed mere playthings, like the little falls which children contrive in running brooks; or at best resembling hydraulic exhibitions on an extensive scale. The playing commenced by a jet bursting from a point almost secluded by trees, which appeared on a level with the first story of the palace; the stream then fell into stone basins, and by turns threw itself aloft, or gushed from the mouths of numberless marine animals, and descended by glassy falls into a basin, whence it found its way into several vase-shaped forms, and again descended by magnificent cascades, discharging themselves into a large, circular tank or basin, with two strong jets throwing their limpid streams many feet high. In the sculptured forms there is some display of classic design; and the effect of many mouths and forms gushing forth almost instantaneously was altogether that of magic art, not unaided by the lines of trees on two sides being clipped or cut into semi-arched forms. The most powerful of the fountains is, however, a grand jet, characteristically named the Geant, or giant, for the incredible force with which it springs from its basin, and rises 125 feet high, being more than the elevation of Napoleon's triumphal column, in the Place Vendome, at Paris. An uninterrupted view of these exhibitions may be enjoyed from the river, which runs parallel with the road adjoining the park. Crowds flocked from all directions to witness the first gush of the fountains; but their attention soon became directed to a royal party attended by footmen, from the palace, who came to witness the sights of the fair, and appeared especially amused with a family of vaulters and stilt-walkers. They were received with a slight buzz of curiosity, but without that enthusiasm with which the English are accustomed to recognise, and, not unfrequently, to annoy royalty; for here
No man cried, God save them.
I now began to make a more minute survey of the preparations for amusement, for the fete was not yet in its equinoctial splendour. The most prominent of these were plots of the raised bank on one side, and at the termination of the principal walk, which were enclosed with hurdles or frames, a platform being elevated and decorated with festooned curtains, &c. for an orchestra, and the whole hung round with illumination lamps. Towards evening, but long before dark, these enclosures were blazing with variegated splendour; the bands commenced playing several lively French airs, and the area was occupied with groups of waltzing and quadrilling votaries. As the evening darkened, lamps began to glisten in every direction, and the well-lighted cafes resembled so many Chinese lanterns; and these, aided by the discordant sounds of scores of instruments, gave the whole scene an air of enchantment, or rather a slight resemblance to one of its exorcisms. The effect was, however, improved by distance. Accordingly, I stole through a solitary shrubbery walk, which wound round the hill, and at length led me to a forest-like spot, or straggling wood, which flanked the whole of the carnival. Viewed from hence, it was, indeed, a fantastical illustration of French gaiety, and it momentarily reminded me of some of Shakspeare's scenes of sylvan romance, with all their fays and fairy population.
The English reader who has not witnessed one of the fetes of St. Cloud, may probably associate them with his own Vauxhall; but the resemblance is very slight. At one of these entertainments in France, there is much less attempted, but considerably more effected, than in England; and all this is accomplished by that happy knack which the French possess of making much of a little. Of what did this fete consist—a few hundred lamps—a few score of fidlers, and about as much decoration as an English showman would waste on the exterior of his exhibition, or assemble within a few square yards. There were no long illuminated vistas, or temples and saloons red hot with oil and gas—but a few slender materials, so scattered and intermixed with the natural beauties of the park, as to fascinate, and not fatigue the eye and ear. Even the pell-mell frolics of St. Cloud were better idealities of enjoyment, than the splendid promenade of Vauxhall, in the days of its olden celebrity; for diamonds and feathers are often mere masquerade finery in such scenes—so distant are the heads and hearts of their wearers.
 We are not permitted to allude to the fete of St. Cloud as a scene of pastoral amusement, or of the primitive simplicity which is associated with that epithet. The French are not a pastoral people, although they are not less so than the English; neither are the suburbs of a metropolis rural life. They are too near the pride of human art for pastoral pleasures, and no aristocracy is more infested with little tyrants than the neighbourhood of great cities, the oppressors being too timid to trust themselves far out of the verge of public haunts, in the midst of which they would be equally suspicious.
Amusements are at all times among the best indications of national character; a truth which the ancients seem to have exaggerated into their maxim in vino veritas. Here the national comparison is not "odious." Three Sunday fairs are held within six miles of Paris, in a park, as was once the custom at Greenwich: the latter, though a royal park, does not boast of the residence of royalty, as does St Cloud. The objection to the day of the French fetes is cleared by another argument. But what would be the character of a week-day fair, or fete, in Kensington Gardens? The intuitive answer will make the moral observer regret that man should so often place the interdict on his own happiness, and then peevishly repine at his uncheery lot.
Night, with her poetic glooms, only served to heighten the lustre of the fairy fete; and as I receded through the wood, the little shoal of light gleamed and twinkled through "branches overgrown," and the distant sounds began to fall into solitary silence—even saddening to meditation—so fast do the dying glories of festive mirth sink into melancholy—till at once, with the last gleam and echo, I found myself in a pleasant little glade on the brow of the hill. The day had been unusually hot—all was hushed stillness. But the darkening clouds were fast gathering into black masses:—
The rapid lightning flames along the sky. What terrible event does this portend?
The stifling heat of the atmosphere was, however, soon changed by slight gusts of wind; the leaves trembled; and a few heavy drops of rain fell as harbingers of the coming storm; the pattering ceased; an impressive pause succeeded—broken by the deepening roar of thunder.
The threatening storm hastened my return to the focus of the carnival. The partial sprinkling had already caused many of the dancers to withdraw to the cafes, and to the most sheltered parts of the park. The lightning became more and more vivid; and, at length, the thousands who had lingered in these groups of gaiety, were fairly routed by pelting rain; and the park, with a few lamps flickering out, and decorative finery drenched with rain, presented a miserable contrast with the festivities of the previous hour. The crowd streamed through the park-gate into the village, where hundreds of competitors shouted "Paris, Paris;" and their swarms of diligences, cabriolets, and curtained carts, were soon freighted. One of these charioteers engaged to convey me to Paris for half a franc, in a large, covered cart, with oil-skin curtains to protect the passengers in front. To my surprise I found the vehicle pre-occupied by twelve or fourteen well-dressed persons—male and female, who appeared to forget their inconvenient situation in sallies of laughter, which sometimes bordered on boisterous mirth. The storm increased; lamps gleamed and flitted across the road; many of the horses plunged with their heavy loads, and swept along the line in resistless confusion; for nothing can be less characteristic of timidity than French driving.
On reaching Paris, the streets resembled so many torrents, and in most places were not fordable, notwithstanding scores of persons, with the alacrity of mushrooms after rain, had placed themselves at the narrowest parts of the streams, with raised planks, or temporary bridges for crossing. Our load was landed under the arcade of the Hotel de Ville; but the driver, in the genuine spirit of a London hackney-coachman, did not forget to turn the "ill-wind" to his own account, by importuning me for a double fare.
I learned that the storm had been less tremendous in its consequences at St. Cloud and Paris than at Versailles, the lightning having consumed a farm-house and barns near that town. It is an event worthy of notice, from its being part of the phenomenon of what is termed a returning stroke of lightning, the circumstances of which are recorded in a recent number of Brande's philosophical journal.—Abridged from "Cameleon Sketches," by the author of the "Promenade round Dorking."
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ALFREDE AND MATYLDA.
WRITTEN BY ROBERT HAIEWOODE, OF CHEPING-TORITON, IN 1520.
The bryghtt enamell of the mornyng's gleame Begann to daunce onn bobblynge Avonn's streame, As yothefull Alfrede and Matylda fayre Stoode sorowynge bie, ennobledd bie despayre: Att tymes theyr lypps the tynts of Autumpe wore, Att tymes a palerr hewe thann wynterr bore; And faste the rayne of love bedew'dd theyr eyne, As thos, in earnefull strayns, theyr tenes theie dyd bewreene.
Ah! iff we parte, ne moe to meete agayne, Wythyn thie wydow'dd berte wyll everr brenn The frostie vygyls of a cloysterr'd nun, Insteade of faerie love's effulgentt sonne! Ne moe with myne wyll carolynge beatt hie, Gyve throbb for throbb, and sygh returne forr sygh, Butt bee bie nyghtt congeall'dd bie lethall feares, Bie daie consum'dd awaie inn unavaylynge teares!
Alas! howe soone is happlesse love ondonne, Wytherr'd and deadde almostt beforre begunn: Lych Marchh's openyng flowrs thatt sygh'dd forr Maie, Which Apryll's teares inn angerr wash'dd awaie. Onr tenes alych, alych our domes shall bee, Where'err thou wander'stt I wyll followe thee; And whann our sprytes throughe feere are purg'dd fromm claie, Inn pees theie shalle repose upponn the mylkie waie.
The raynbowe hewes that payntt the laughyng mees, The gule-stayn'dd folyage of the okenn trees, The starrie spangells of the mornynge dewe, The laverock's matyn songes and skies of blewe, Maie weel the thotes of gentill shepherdds joie. Whose hertes ne hopelesse loves or cares alloie; Butt whatt cann seeme to teneful loverrs fayre. Whose hopes butt darkenns moe the mydnyghtt of despayre?
To thotelesse swayns itt maie bee blyss indeede, To marke the yeare through alle hys ages speede, Butt everie seasone seemes alych to mee, Eternall wynterr whann awaie from thee! Fromm howrr to howrr I oftt beweepe ourr love, Wyth all the happie sorowe of the dove, And fancie, as itts sylentt waterrs flowe, Mie bosome's swetestt joies mustt thos bee mientt wyth woe.
Palerr thann cloudes thatt stayne the azure nyghtt, Or starrs thatt shoote beneathe theyr feeble lyghtt, And eke as crymson as the mornyng's rode, The lornlie payre inn dumbe dystracyon stoode Whann onn the banke Matylda sonke and dyed, And Alfrede plong'dd hys daggerr inn hys syde: Hys purpell soule came roshynge fromm the wounde, And o'err the lyfeless claie deathe's ensygns stream'dd arownde.
 Tender.  Woes.  Express.  Fiery.  Dancing.  Meadows.  Blood-coloured.  Mingled.  Complexion.  Forlorn.
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SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS
"Well, do you know, that after all you have said, Mr. North, I cannot understand the passion and the pleasure of fox-hunting. It seems to me both cruel and dangerous."
Cruelty! Is there cruelty in laying the rein on their necks, and delivering them up to the transport of their high condition—for every throbbing vein is visible—at the first full burst of that maddening cry, and letting loose to their delight the living thunderbolts? Danger! What danger but breaking their own legs, necks, or backs, and those of their riders? And what right have you to complain of that, lying all your length, a huge hulking fellow snoring and snorting half asleep on a sofa, sufficient to sicken a whole street? What though it be but a smallish, reddish-brown, sharp-nosed animal, with pricked-up ears, and passionately fond of poultry, that they pursue? After the first tallyho, Reynard is rarely seen, till he is run in upon—once perhaps in the whole run, skirting a wood, or crossing a common. It is an idea that is pursued, on a whirlwind of horses to a storm of canine music,—worthy, both, of the largest lion that ever leaped among a band of Moors, sleeping at midnight by an extinguished fire on the African sands. There is, we verily believe it, nothing foxy in the fancy of one man in all that glorious field of three hundred. Once off and away—while wood and welkin rings—and nothing is felt—nothing is imaged in that hurricane flight, but scorn of all obstructions, dikes, ditches, drains, brooks, palings, canals, rivers, and all the impediments reared in the way of so many rejoicing madmen, by nature, art, and science, in an enclosed, cultivated, civilized, and Christian country. There they go—prince and peer, baronet and squire,—the nobility and gentry of England, the flower of the men of the earth, each on such steed as Pollux never reined, nor Philip's warlike son—for could we imagine Bucephalus here, ridden by his own tamer, Alexander would be thrown out during the very first burst, and glad to find his way dismounted to a village alehouse for a pail of meal and water. Hedges, trees, groves, gardens, orchards, woods, farm-houses, huts, halls, mansions, palaces, spires, steeples, towers, and temples, all go wavering by, each demigod seeing, or seeing them not, as his winged steed skims or labours along, to the swelling or sinking music, now loud as a near regimental band, now faint as an echo. Far and wide over the country are dispersed the scarlet runners—and a hundred villages pour forth their admiring swarms, as the main current of the chase roars by, or disparted runlets float wearied and all astray, lost at last in the perplexing woods. Crash goes the top-timber of the five-barred gate—away over the ears flies the ex-rough-rider in a surprising somerset—after a succession of stumbles, down is the gallant Grey on knees and nose, making sad work among the fallow—Friendship is a fine thing, and the story of Damon and Pythias most affecting indeed—but Pylades eyes Orestes on his back sorely drowned in sludge, and tenderly leaping over him as he lies, claps his hand to his ear, and with a "hark forward, tan-tivy!" leaves him to remount, lame and at leisure—and ere the fallen has risen and shook himself, is round the corner of the white village-church, down the dell, over the brook, and close on the heels of the straining pack, all a-yell up the hill crowned by the Squire's Folly. "Every man for himself, and God for us all," is the devout and ruling apothegm of the day. If death befall, what wonder? since man and horse are mortal; but death loves better a wide soft bed with quiet curtains and darkened windows in a still room, the clergyman in the one corner with his prayers, and the physician in another with his pills, making assurance doubly sure, and preventing all possibility of the dying Christian's escape. Let oak branches smite the too slowly stooping skull, or rider's back not timely levelled with his steed's; let faithless bank give way, and bury in the brook; let hidden drain yield to fore feet and work a sudden wreck; let old coal-pit, with briery mouth, betray; and roaring river bear down man and horse, to banks unscaleable by the very Welsh goat; let duke's or earl's son go sheer over a quarry fifty feet deep, and as many high; yet, "without stop or stay, down the rocky way," the hunter train flows on; for the music grows fiercer and more savage,—lo! all that remains together of the pack, in far more dreadful madness than hydrophobia, leaping out of their skins, under insanity from the scent, now strong as stink, for Vulpes can hardly now make a crawl of it; and ere he, they, whipper-in, or any one of the other three demoniacs, have time to look in one another's splashed faces, he is torn into a thousand pieces, gobbled up in the general growl; and smug, and smooth, and dry, and warm, and cozey, as he was an hour and twenty-five minutes ago exactly, in his furze bush in the cover,—he is now piece-meal, in about thirty distinct stomachs; and is he not, pray, well off for sepulture?— Blackwood's Magazine.
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THE BLIND BEAUTY OF THE MOOR.
To thee—O palest phantom—clothed in white raiment, not like unto a ghost risen with its grave-clothes to appal, but like a seraph descending from the skies to bless—unto thee will we dare to speak, as through the mist of years back comes thy yet unfaded beauty, charming us, while we cannot choose but weep, with the self-same vision that often glided before us long, long ago in the wilderness, and at the sound of our voice would pause for a little while, and then pass by, like a white bird from the sea, floating unscared close by the shepherd's head, or alighting to trim its plumes on a knoll far up an inland glen! Death seems not to have touched that face, pale though it be—life-like is the waving of those gentle hands—and the soft, sweet, low music which now we hear, steals not sure from lips hushed by the burial-mould! Restored by the power of love, she stands before us as she stood of yore. Not one of all the hairs of her golden head was singed by the lightning that shivered the tree under which the child had run for shelter from the flashing sky. But in a moment the blue light in her dewy eyes was dimmed—and never again did she behold either flower or star. Yet all the images of all the things she had loved remained in her memory, clear and distinct as the things themselves before unextinguished eyes—and ere three summers had flown over head, which, like the blossom of some fair perennial flower, in heaven's gracious dew and sunshine each season lifted its loveliness higher and higher in the light—she could trip her singing way through the wide wilderness, all by her joyful self, led, as all believed, nor erred they in so believing, by an angel's hand! When the primroses peeped through the reviving grass upon the vernal braes, they seemed to give themselves into her hand; and 'twas thought they hung longer unfaded round her neck or forehead than if they had been left to drink the dew on their native bed. The linnets ceased not their lays, though her garment touched the broomstalk on which they sung. The cushat, as she thrid her way through the wood, continued to croon in her darksome tree—and the lark, although just dropped from the cloud, was cheered by her presence into a new passion of song, and mounted over her head, as if it were his first matin hymn. All the creatures of earth and air manifestly loved the Wanderer of the Wilderness—and as for human beings, she was named, in their pity, their wonder, and their delight, the Blind Beauty of the Moor!
She was an only child, and her mother had died in giving her birth. And now her father, stricken by one of the many cruel diseases that shorten the lives of shepherds on the hills, was bed-ridden—and he was poor. Of all words ever syllabled by human lips, the most blessed is—Charity. No manna now in the wilderness is rained from heaven—for the mouths of the hungry need it not in this our Christian land. A few goats feeding among the rocks gave them milk, and there was bread for them in each neighbour's house—neighbour though miles afar—as the sacred duty came round—and the unrepining poor sent the grateful child away with their prayers.
One evening, returning to the hut with her usual song, she danced up to her father's face on his rushy bed, and it was cold in death. If she shrieked—if she fainted—there was but one ear that heard, one eye that saw her in her swoon. Not now floating light like a small moving cloud unwilling to leave the flowery braes, though it be to melt in heaven, but driven along like a shroud of flying mist before the tempest, she came upon us in the midst of that dreary moss; and at the sound of our quaking voice, fell down with clasped hands at our feet—"My father's dead!" Had the hut put already on the strange, dim, desolate look of mortality? For people came walking fast down the braes, and in a little while there was a group round us, and we bore her back again to her dwelling in our arms. As for us, we had been on our way to bid the fair creature and her father farewell. How could she have lived—an utter orphan—in such a world! The holy power that is in Innocence would for ever have remained with her; but Innocence longs to be away, when her sister Joy has departed; and 'tis sorrowful to see the one on earth, when the other has gone to heaven! This sorrow none of us had long to see; for though a flower, when withered at the root, and doomed ere eve to perish, may yet look to the careless eye the same as when it blossomed in its pride,—its leaves, still green, are not as once they were,—its bloom, though fair, is faded—and at set of sun, the dews shall find it in decay, and fall unfelt on all its petals. Ere Sabbath came, the orphan child was dead. Methinks we see now her little funeral. Her birth had been the humblest of the humble; and though all in life had loved her, it was thought best that none should be asked to the funeral of her and her father, but two or three friends; the old clergyman himself walked at the head of the father's coffin—we at the head of the daughter's—for this was granted unto our exceeding love;—and thus passed away for ever the Blind Beauty of the Moor!—Ibid.
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A snapper up of unconsidered trifles, SHAKSPEARE.
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(For the Mirror.)
At a public dinner, Captain R. commencing a conversation with a gentleman next to him, was astonished at not being able to elicit one word in answer. At length his silent neighbour turned to him, and said, with a look and tone suitable to the importance of the communication, "Sir, whenever you are at a venison feast, let me advise you never to speak during dinner. In endeavouring to reply to you, I have actually at this moment swallowed entire a fine piece of fat, without tasting it!"
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An Englishman, named Drinkwater, was nearly drowned the other day off Boulogne; on hearing which, a wag observed that he had "almost taken a drop too much."
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Prussic Acid has been obtained from the leaves of green tea, in so concentrated a state, that one drop killed a dog almost instantaneously. A strong infusion of Souchong tea, sweetened with sugar, is as effectual in poisoning flies as the solution of arsenic, generally sold for that purpose.
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There may now be seen, written on a board on a new house in the Blackfriars-road, the following words:—"Hird robeish may be had heare."
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NO JOKE OR RIDDLE.
A house with wings extended wide, A racket-ground to play in, Two porters' lodges there beside, And porters always staying To guard the inmates there within, And keep them from the town; From duns as free as saints from sin, And sheriffs of renown. To get white wash'd it is their plan, 'Tis such a cleansing thing— Then out they come with blacker hands Than when they first went in.
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The following lines are copied from a seat in Greenwich Park, written in chalk; and from their style, they may be supposed to have been written by one who meditated suicide:—
Oh! deaf to nature and to heav'n's command, Against thyself to lift the murd'ring hand, Oh! damn'd despair to shun the living light, And plunge thy guilty soul to endless night.
Written also in the same hand:—Charlotte Rumpling, you did not use me well, but I forgive you—God bless you.
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WANTS A WIFE.
She must bee middel eaged and good tempered widdow, or a Maid, and pursest of propertey, and I wood far reather have a Wife that is ever so plain then a fine Lady that think herself hansom; the Advertiser is not rich nor young, old nor poor, and in a very few years he will have a good incumb. Can be hiley reckamended for onestey, sobrieaty, and good temperd, and has no in combranc, is very actif, but not a treadesman, have been as Butler and Bailiff for meney years in most respectable families, and shood I not be so luckey as to get me a wife, wood be most willing to take a sitteyeashan once moor, wood prefer living in the countrey, under stands Brewing feamosley, is well adapted for a inn or publick hous. Please to derect W.W., 268, Berwick-street, Oxford-roade, or aney Ladey may call and have a interview with the widdow that keeps the hous, and say wher and when we can meet each other. All letters must be pd, no Ofice-keeper to applygh. My fameley ar verey well off and welthey, far above the midling order.
This is a good joke upon Matrimonial Advertising.
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Jack Bannister visited the Haymarket theatre on Wednesday night, August 20, and made in the free-list book the following entry:—"Fifty years ago, in the year 1778, I made my first appearance at this theatre. Half a century is not bad. Hurra!! John Bannister."
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In reading over an agreement, for letting a house, the other day, the initials of the party letting it were A.B., of the party taking C.D., and of the witness to the signatures E.F.
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OBSTINACY AND PERSEVERANCE.
Obstinacy and perseverance, though often confounded, are two very different things; a man may be very obstinate, and yet not persevere in his opinion ten minutes. Obstinacy is resistance to truth; perseverance is a continuance in truth or error.
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The origin of idolatry is by many attributed to the age of Eber, though most of the fathers place it no higher than that of Serug; but it appears to me certain, that image worship existed in the time of Jacob, from the account of Rachel taking images along with her on leaving her father's house, which is given in the book of Genesis.
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ORIGIN OF THE WORD GALLIMATHIAS.
This word, which signifies nonsense, alias talk without meaning, is supposed to have first arisen at the time when all pleadings at the bar were in Latin. There was a cause, it seems, about a cock, belonging to the plaintiff Matthias; the counsel, in the heat of the harangue, by often repeating the words gallus and Matthias, happened to blunder, and, instead of saying gallus Matthiae, said galli Matthias, which at length became a general name for all confused, embroiled language and discourse.
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SALLIE TO JOHN.
Changed ere long shall my fortunes be, Yet my faith is firm—I will go with thee. I yield not weakly to fancy's trance, Or the fitful flame of young romance; I dwell with a calm, unshrinking mind On the scenes that I seek and leave behind; My future fate spread forth I see, And my choice is fix'd—I will go with thee.
I have thought on this hour with many a tear, In the timid weakness of woman's fear; It comes, and I rise, the test above, In the dauntless strength of woman's love. Gaze not upon me with looks so sad— My step is firm, and my heart is glad; This last, last sigh for my home shall be— Past is the trial—I go with thee.
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Diogenes was not in the wrong, who, when the great Alexander, finding him in the charnel-house, asked him what he was seeking for, answered, "I am seeking for your father's bones, and those of my slave; but I cannot find them, because there is no difference between them."
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GETTING A JOURNEY.
By Dr. Kitchiner.
I GOT on horseback within ten minutes after I received your letter. When I GOT to Canterbury, I GOT a chaise for town. But I GOT wet through before I GOT to Canterbury, and I have GOT such a cold as I shall not be able to GET rid of in a hurry. I GOT to the Treasury about noon, but first of all I GOT shaved and drest. I soon GOT into the secret of GETTING a memorial before the board, but I could not GET an answer then; however, I GOT intelligence from the messenger that I should most likely GET one next morning. As soon as I GOT back to my inn, I GOT my supper and GOT to bed. It was not long before I GOT to sleep. When I GOT up in the morning, I GOT my breakfast, and then GOT myself drest, that I might GET out in time, to GET an answer to my memorial. As soon as I GOT it, I GOT into the chaise, and GOT home by three o'clock.