THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 12, No. 331.] SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1828. [PRICE 2d.
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Charlecote Hall, near Stratford-upon-Avon.
"One of the most delightful things in the world is going a journey." Now if there be one of our million of friends who, like the fop in the play, thinks all beyond Hyde Park a desert, let him forthwith proceed on a pilgrimage to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of SHAKSPEARE; and though he be the veriest Londoner that ever sung of the "sweet shady side of Pall Mall," we venture to predict his reform. If such be not the result, then we envy him not a jot of his terrestrial enjoyment. Let him but think of the countless hours of delight, the "full houses," the lighted dome and deeping circles, of the past season; when
Dread o'er the scene the ghost of Hamlet stalks; Othello rages, &c.
and then will he not enjoy a visit to the place where—
——Sweetest Shakspeare, Fancy's child, Warbled his native wood-notes wild.
Sterne, the prince of sentimental tourists, says, "Let me have a companion of my way, were it but to remark how the shadows lengthen as the sun declines;" but, for our part, we should prefer a visit to Stratford, alone, unless it were with some garrulous old guide to entertain us with his or her reminiscences.
This brings us to Charlecote Hall, one of the Shakspearean relics. It consists of a venerable mansion, situated on the banks of the Avon, about four miles from Stratford, and built in the first year of the reign of Elizabeth, by Sir Thomas Lucy;
"A parliamente member, and justice of peace. At home a poor scare-crow, at London an asse,"
and so well known as the prosecutor of Shakspeare.
The principal front, here represented, assumes, in its ground plan, the form of the letter E—said to have been intended as a compliment to the queen, who, as appears from the Black Book of Warwick, visited this place in 1572.
 At Stratford, the family maintain that Shakspeare stole Sir Thomas Lucy's buck, to celebrate his wedding-day, and for that purpose only. But, in that age, when half the country was covered with forests, deer-stealing was a venial offence, and equivalent to snaring a hare in our days.
The above is copied from one of a Series of Views illustrative of the Life of Shakspeare, drawn and etched by Mr. W. Rider, of Leamington. These engravings are five in number, but the artist explains that he has selected such subjects only, "as from tradition, or more certain record, might fairly be presumed to bear direct relation to the life of the poet. But while he regrets that the number of authenticated subjects are so few, he feels that from innovation or decay, they are almost hourly becoming fewer; and is, therefore, prompted to secure the few remnants left, while they are yet within his reach."
There is no doubt that the grounds around Charlecote Hall, were the early haunts of SHAKSPEARE; and that in the house itself sat the magisterial authority, before which he was doomed to meet the charges, to which his youthful indiscretions had rendered him liable; and, as it remains, to the present time, for the most part, unaltered, and presents to the spectator of the present day the same image that was often, and under such peculiar circumstances, impressed on the eye of our SHAKSPEARE, it cannot but be regarded with the most intense interest by all his admirers.
In conclusion, we would recommend the illustrators of Shakspeare to possess themselves of a set of Mr. Rider's "Views;" whilst the visiter of Stratford-upon-Avon would do well to lay a copy in his portmanteau—for they are in truth so many faithful memorials of the great poet of nature.
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ON NATIONAL VARIETIES.
(For the Mirror.)
There are few more familiar subjects than that of the varieties of national character, and the resemblances and differences that exist between ourselves and the inhabitants of other countries. Few conversations occur upon circumstances which may have happened abroad, in which some one has not an anecdote to relate to illustrate the known peculiarities of the nation in question; and the greater part of the travels and tours which now issue in such formidable numbers from the press, are naturally filled with stories and incidents, either to show the correctness of our ideas of the manners and opinions of our neighbours, or (perhaps more frequently) to prove that the public were in error in that respect, up to the time when the traveller in question had discovered the truth, or a clue to it. The daily accounts of the outrages perpetrated in Ireland, and the alarms that are sounded ever and anon, touching the state of that unhappy country, are continually exciting surprise, that the natives of the sister island should be so unaccountably deficient in that sense of order and sobriety which prevails in Great Britain. We associate with a Scotchman the ideas of shrewdness and prudence; with a Frenchman, gaiety and frivolity; with a Spaniard, gravity and pride; with an Italian, strong passions of love and revenge: with a German, plodding industry and habits of deep thinking; and with the northern nations, an honest sincerity and persevering courage. We sometimes judge with tolerable correctness; at others are wholly mistaken, and not unfrequently run into such extremes, that having established a principle, that a particular people are knavish, or cowardly, or stupid, we are unwilling to admit any exceptions, but include the whole race in our sweeping censure. We are prejudiced at first sight against a Portuguese or Italian, and are careful of our communications with him, even though we meet him on the high road, or by mere accident in a public place. There can, however, be no mistake in the common notion, that each nation has a peculiar collection of qualities and habits, distinguishing it in a greater or less degree from its neighbours, and the rest of the world; and it is, therefore, at all events, an interesting, if not an useful topic, to reflect a little how these differences arise. Not that we intend here to give even any particular description of the various races of mankind, or to enter into any inquiry upon the degrees of their mental and bodily capacities; such would be foreign to our purpose, and would exceed our limits. We shall merely hazard a few observations upon the several causes to which the diversities in men have been referred, not pretending to any decided opinion on so nice a point, as whether these causes are wholly of a physical or of a moral kind, or whether they are compounded of both. The question is, perhaps, one of the most difficult in the whole range of philosophical experience; we say experience, because it is obvious that all theory on the subject must be the result of observation and analysis; and that no general principles can be laid down in the first instance, as the ground work of any hypothesis we might be inclined to frame.
The scientific men to whom we are chiefly indebted for the facts accumulated on this subject, are Dr. Blumenbach, of Goettingen, Dr. Pritchard, of Edinburgh, and the eminent surgeon, Mr. Lawrence. It has been a favourite matter of speculation with Lord Monboddo, as well as with Voltaire, Rousseau, and the philosophers of the French school, who have endeavoured to show that men and other animals are endowed with reason or instinct of the same kind, but of different degrees. According to these fanciful writers, the monkey is but another species of the human race, and has been termed by them Homo Sylvestris. They made the most diligent researches into all accounts concerning men in a savage state, and were delighted beyond measure with the discovery alleged to have been made in the island of Sumatra, of men with tails regularly protruding from their hinder parts, who, according to Buffon, walked and talked in the woods like other gentlemen:—
And backwards and forwards they switched their long tails, Like a gentleman switching his cane.
The appearance of Peter the Wild Boy, who was found in the woods of Hamela, in Hanover, living on the bark of trees, leaves, berries, &c. threw Voltaire into transports of joy. He declared the event to be the most wonderful and important that ages had recorded in the annals of science, as it demonstrated the fact of man living after the fashion of beasts, without the least spark of civilization, and without speech; thereby forming a species of a nature having more in common with monkeys than with men, and presenting the regular degree, or intermediate class, between the homo civilis and the homo sylvestris. The circumstance, however, which afterwards transpired, of Peter's having been found with the remains of a shirt-collar about his neck, threw considerable discredit on the whole story; and the young savage, on being brought to England by order of Queen Caroline, lived in Hertfordshire for many years, perfectly harmless and tractable, and behaving pretty much the same as other idiots. The idea, therefore, of a race of men, in a healthy, natural condition, having ever existed without the possession of reason, is now deemed wholly fallacious. It is even maintained by Schlegel, and other authorities of great weight, that the civilized state is the primitive one, and that savage life is a degeneracy from it, rather than civilized society being a graft upon barbarity. By Schlegel's theory, the East, especially India, was the earliest seat of arts and sciences; from the Sanscrit, or Indian language, now extinct, are the Hebrew, the Chaldaic, the Greek, and many others of the most ancient tongues, derived; and from the wisdom and learning of the East "was the whole earth overspread." Undoubtedly it is difficult to imagine by what gradation language could have proceeded, from the howl of savages, and the cries of nature, till it reached the eloquent music, the heart-stirring oratory of the Greek; and besides this, and other considerations, Schlegel is supported by the opinions of Adelung, the learned author of "Mithridates, oder Allgemeine Sprachenkunde," upon the probable habitation of the first family of the human race. Adelung says, that civilization began in Asia, as is, indeed, universally admitted to have been the case; and that when the waters of the flood subsided, the highest ground, we may naturally conclude, must have been the earliest inhabited. We may also reasonably presume that a beneficent Providence would place the first family in a situation where their wants could be easily satisfied; in a garden, as it were, stocked with all herbs and fruits, fit and agreeable to their use and taste. Now such a country is actually to be found in Central Asia, between the degrees of 30 and 50 North lat. and 90 and 110 long. E. of Ferro; a spot as high as the Plains of Quito, or 9,500 feet above the level of the sea. It contains the sources of most of the great rivers of Asia; the Seleuga, the Ob, the Lena, the Irtisch, and the Jenisey flow from hence to the North; the Jaik, the Jihon, and the Jemba to the West; the Amur and the Hoang Ho to the East; and the Indus, Ganges, and Burrampooter to the South. The valleys within this space, which our readers, by referring to a map, will find to be correctly delineated, abound with nutritive fruits and vegetables, and with all animals capable of being tamed. There is evidently, therefore, some plausibility in the notion that mankind sprung originally from the East, and that from that quarter civilization is derived; but what portion of knowledge was allotted to the primitive people, or how far their descendants have surpassed or fallen short of these olden times, must, we fear, be for ever beyond the reach of our investigation.
If we call to mind a summary of the general divisions of human beings throughout the world, we shall find little room to doubt of the identity of their genus, and shall, without much trouble of reflection, class them as different species of that genus:—
———Facies non omnibus una, Nec diversa, tamen.
Such seems to be the result of Mr. Lawrence's judgment; and though we are aware that the descent of mankind from one common stock has been much questioned and controverted, particularly in Germany, we prefer resting upon the received opinion at present, to running the risk of shocking established notions, by entering into the merits of the contrary theory.
Men are classed by Dr. Blumenbach under five great divisions, viz. the Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, American, and Malay. The Caucasian family may be asserted, though by its own members, to have been always pre-eminent above the rest in moral feelings and intellectual powers, and is remarkable for the large size of their heads. It need not be more minutely described, than by saying it includes all the ancient and modern Europeans, (except the Laplanders and Fins;) the former and present inhabitants of Western Asia as far as the Ob, the Caspian Sea, and the Ganges, viz. the Assyrians, Medes, Chaldeans, Sarmatians, Scythians, Parthians, Philistines, Phoenicians, Jews, and Syrians; the Tartars on the Caucasus, Georgians, Circassians, Mingrelians, Armenians, Turks, Persians, Arabs, Hindoos of high caste, Northern Africans, Egyptians, Abyssinians, and Guanches. They are supposed to have originally had brown hair and dark eyes.
The Mongolian family is of an olive colour and black eyes, flat nose and face, small stature, black hair, no beard, and thick lips. It comprises the people of Central and Northern Asia, Thibet, Ava, Pegu, Cambodia, Laos, and Siam; the Chinese, Japanese, Fins, and Esquimaux.
The Ethiopian family is black, with black and woolly hair, compressed skull, low forehead, flat nose, and thick lips. It includes all Africans not comprehended in the Caucasian family.
The American family has a dark skin, a red tint, straight hair, a small beard, low forehead, and broad face. It includes all the American tribes, except the Esquimaux.
The Malay family is brown, varying from a light tint to black. Their hair is black and curled, head narrow, bones of the face prominent, nose broad, and mouth large. They inhabit Malacca, Sumatra, Java, and the adjacent islands; Molucca, the Ladrones, New Holland, Van Dieman's Land, New Guinea, New Zealand, and the South Sea Islands. They speak generally the Malay language.
The difference of character and disposition of these five families is familiar to every one; they are as well known as is the superiority of the Caucasian to the other races, and as the outward distinctions of their bodies and complexions. The reasons of this difference have been variously assigned, some ascribing it to natural, others altogether to moral causes. By natural causes we understand either that the constitutions of the races are such, that their capabilities of informing their minds, and raising their intellectual powers, are essentially not the same; or that the climate has an influence over both their bodies and minds. By moral causes, we mean artificial or accidental ones arising out of the state of society; such as the nature of the government, the plenty or poverty in which people live, a period of war or peace, the power of public opinion, and such circumstances.
The effect of climate cannot of itself be sufficient to change the manners and habits of a people. The instances of migratory nations seem to show this; the Jews are as cunning and fond of money in Asia or Africa as they are in Poland or England; that extraordinary race, the Gipsies, (which are now ascertained to be a Hindoo tribe, driven from their country in the fifteenth century,) are not less thievish in Transylvania than in Scotland. The Armenians of Constantinople, and other parts of the Levant, are represented to be of the same mild and persevering temper, of the same honesty and skilfulness in their dealings, and the same kindness and civility of manners, as before they were driven from their country by Sha-Abbas the Great. The changes, however, in the habits and character of this people seem to mark the influence of their several domestic situations. They were originally the most warlike of the Asiatic tribes; after their subjection by the Persians, they engaged themselves entirely in the patient cultivation of the soil; and since the period of the depopulation of Armenia, and their migrations into Persia, Russia, Turkey, and other countries, they have been celebrated for their industry in commercial concerns. They are bankers, money-brokers, merchants, surgeons, bakers, builders, chintz-printers, and of all trades that can be imagined, and are represented as the most useful subjects in the Ottoman empire, retaining at the same time an almost patriarchal simplicity in their domestic manners. The English in the East and West Indies, in New South Wales, and in Canada, seldom lose a relish for the habits and enjoyments they have been bred up in, whether they migrate to the extremes of heat or of cold. John Bull is an Englishman in heart, and will remain so under whatever sun his lot of life may be cast; for,
Coelum, non animum, mutant, qui trans mare currunt.
We rarely find the Spaniards or Italians, or the natives of the South of Europe, lose their ideality of character and their warm passions when settled permanently in England; the only alteration in them seems to be such as the forms of society and intercourse with others has led them to. Still the man is the same, though he may have adopted a new regime in the fashion of his clothes, or the dishes of his dinner.
(To be continued.)
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(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
In a late Number of the MIRROR, in which you have given a view of the Labyrinth at Woodstock, and several particulars respecting Fair Rosamond, many doubts are stated relative to her death, viz. how and what time. I therefore send you the following account from Collins's Peerage of England:—
"Rosamond de Clifford was the eldest of the two daughters of Walter de Clifford, by Margaret his wife, daughter and heir of Ralph de Toeny, Lord of Clifford Castle, in Herefordshire, (and had with her the said castle and lands about it as an inheritance.) This Rosamond was the unfortunate concubine of Henry II., for whom the king built that famous Labyrinth at Woodstock, where she lived so retired, as not easily to be found by his jealous queen. The king gave her a cabinet of such elegant workmanship, as showed the fighting of champions, moving of cattle, flying of birds, and swimming of fish, which were so artfully represented, as if they had been alive. She died 23rd Henry II. anno 1176, by poison (as was suspected) given her by Queen Eleanor, and was buried in the Chapter-house of the Nunnery of Godstow."
 Chron. Joreval, 1151.  Ibid.
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On the banks of the Isis, about two miles from Oxford, are the remains of Godstow Nunnery. It was founded towards the end of the reign of Henry I. by Editha, a lady of Winchester, and when dissolved in the reign of Henry VIII. it was valued at L274. per annum. A considerable portion of its buildings remained until the end of the reign of Charles I. about which time they were accidentally destroyed by fire. The present remains consist chiefly of ranges of walls on the north, south, and east sides of an extended area. Near the western extremity of the high north wall are the remains of two buttresses. There is a small building which abuts on the east, and ranges along the southern side, which was probably the Chapter House of the Nuns. The walls are entire, the roof is of wood, and some of the rafter work is in fair preservation. It is in this building that the remains of Rosamond are supposed to have been deposited, when they were removed from the choir of the church, by the order of Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, in 1191. On the north wall is painted a pretended copy of her epitaph in Latin. Many stone coffins have at various times been found on this spot.
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SCRAPS FROM TURKISH HISTORY.
(For the Mirror.)
First Landing of the Turks in Europe.—Orchanes, second king of the Turks, having settled his monarchy in Lesser Asia, was determined to get footing in Europe. Solyman, his eldest son, being willing to undertake the enterprise, was accordingly despatched with an army of veterans, who crossed the Hellespont, and arrived on the European side. They soon afterwards seized many considerable castles and cities belonging to the Greeks, who offered little or no resistance to the invaders of their empire. These occurrences transpired about the year 1358.
A Woman's Revenge.—Mahomet the Great, on being proclaimed Sultan, caused his two innocent brothers to be put to death; the mother of the youngest immediately afterwards went to the new king, and reproached him severely for his cruelty. In order to appease her, he said, "that it consisted with the policy of his state to do as he had done, but that whatever she asked of him should be granted her." The lady, therefore, determining to be revenged, demanded one of the sultan's chief bassas to be delivered to her. Mahomet, to keep his word, gave orders that it should be done without delay; and the enraged lady, seeing the bassa bound before her, first stabbed him, and then plucked out his liver, which she cast to the dogs.
Turkish Superstition.—Scanderbeg, prince of Epyrus, after many glorious victories, died on the 17th of January, 1466, in the 53rd year of his age, and 24th of his reign. He was buried with great solemnity in the cathedral at Lyssa. The Turks, nine years afterwards, took the city, and dug up his bones for the purpose of setting them in rings and bracelets, thinking, by this means, that they should partake of his invincible fortune.
Amurath's Dream.—About the year 1594, Amurath III. dreamed that he saw a man of prodigious stature, with one foot raised upon the Tower of Constantinople, while the other reached over the Bosphorus, and rested on the Asiatic shore. In one hand, the figure sustained the sun, while the other held the moon. He struck his foot against the Tower of Constantinople, the fall of which overthrew the great temple, and the imperial palace. Amurath, being greatly discomfited by this dream, consulted his wizard, who informed him, "that it was a warning sent by their prophet Mahomet, who threatened the overthrow of their religion and empire, unless Amurath engaged his whole force against the Christians." This interpretation had so much influence with the emperor, that he vowed not to lay down his arms until he had utterly exterminated the Christians.
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(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
Sir,—I shall now sum up this ticklish subject, by acquainting you with three more methods of catching trout in Westmoreland.
Flood-netting.—A flood net is a small net with a semi-circular frame at the mouth of it, from which projects a long handle. This is used only when there are floods; the fisher draws it up the rivulets, and every now and then pulls it up to look for his success. Sometimes he nets a great many at a time, and especially if he wait the arrival of the flood, because a large shoal mostly comes down with the first torrents.
Pod-netting.—This derives its name from the habitation of the trouts (the banks of the "becks") which are called "hods" or "holds" and more frequently "pods," and this net therefore goes by these three names. I have before described to you the situation generally of these "holds" to be either in the ledge of some rock or stone in the water, or under some bank reaching over the stream. This net is used in fine weather, and when the water is "clear as crystal;" the fisherman takes hold of the handles of the net, and wades through the stream as gently as possible, placing the net just at the side of a trout's "hold," taking care to keep it as close to the bottom as possible, to afford the trout no room for escape. Then another with a long pole drives the trouts from the mouth of the "hold," when they immediately dart into the net, and nothing remains but to draw the net quickly up. This is a famous method of fishing. I have been with parties when we have completely cleared the beck. We went to "Carmony" in the spring of 1825, and caught an immense quantity by fishing with the hand and pod. This brings to my recollection an amusing circumstance, which I intend troubling you with, though you may think it unworthy of notice. It was reported in that year that there was a large quantity of trouts in the beck; and I went at the recommendation of those who had seen a particularly large one (when passing by) "basking" in the streams. I was referred to a certain "lum," and thither I went one afternoon with two friends, to try if we could have an opportunity of seeing him. We had scarcely reached the spot when we perceived him lying at the mouth of his "hold," a fine grassy bank at the side of which grew a small bush; and I employed my friends to watch the trout should he escape me. I crossed the brook (my friends remaining on the opposite side), pulled off my coat and waistcoat, and tucked up my shirt ready for action. He was still lying very quietly, and as I knew I had no chance with him then, I touched him gently with a twig and he moved into his habitation. I then leaned over the bank, thrust in my arm, touched his back, I felt his size, and was all caution. So first I began to secure him by building a piece of wall before the bank to prevent his going out; but I had no sooner laid the first stone than out he bounced, and darted down the river about twenty yards, (we running after him all the while) then up again, and so on for about a quarter of an hour, till at length he became tired and waddled into his dwelling. I now thought all secure, and once more put in my hand, when he jumped at least three or four yards out of the water. I must confess, I was a little confused with my friends' dictation, who feared I should lose him. Again housed, I made a kind of fort at one end of the hold, and this done, I again thrust in my arm, when he was as soon out again, and on getting up I found my hand covered with blood. Still he came back to his favourite place, and I tried again, after giving my friends caution to be on the look out. This time I was successful, I put my hand gently under his belly, and by a tickle, secured the rascal, by thrusting the fore-finger and thumb of my right hand in his gills. I got him on to land, my friends ran about in exstacy, and I think I never saw a finer trout than he proved to be—real Eden. We gave a shout of triumph, after which we cut him on the nose to kill him. From tail to snout he measured one foot four inches; but he was beautifully plump and thick-made. We now began to wonder what caused the blood on my hand, when on examination, we found a large night hook in his side, which no doubt I had touched, and had thus given him pain, and made him restless. I will not prolong the story, but tell you he weighed about two pounds and a half, and was acknowledged to be the plumpest trout ever caught in that county by the hand. Shortly afterwards I caught the partner to it in the same place, but it was not so fine a trout, and I had not so much effort in catching it. The largest trout ever caught in this county weighed four pounds and a half, but that was taken with the net. I have no other recommendation for this paper but its originality. I have enjoyed the sport, and can only half convey a description of it upon paper.
 This net is made differently from the other, there being no frame to it and having two handles.
 The reader must consider the difficulty of holding a large fish with the hand.
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(For the Mirror.)
Mark, Laura, dearest, yonder rose Its inner folds are sad and pale, love; While blushing, outward leaves disclose A lively crimson to the gale, love.
Yet as the secret canker-worm Preys deeply on its drooping heart, love, Soon from the flow'ret's with'ring form Will all that vivid glow depart, love.
Then turn to me those beaming eyes— A blooming cheek although you see, love, Since hope is fled, then pleasure dies, And read the rose's fate in me, love.
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(For the Mirror.)
The passion for old wines has sometimes been carried to a very ridiculous excess, for the "thick crust," the "bee's wing," and the several other criterions of the epicure, are but so many proofs of the decomposition and departure of some of the best qualities of the wine. Had the man that first filled the celebrated Heidleburg tun been placed as sentinel, to see that no other wine was put into it, he would have found it much better at twenty-five or thirty years old, than at one hundred, had he lived so long, and been permitted now and then to taste it.
At Bremen there is a wine-cellar, called the Store, where five hogsheads of Rhenish wine have been preserved since 1625. These five hogsheads cost 1,200 francs. Had this sum been put out to compound interest, each hogshead would now be worth above a thousand millions of money, a bottle of this precious wine would cost 21,799,480 francs, or about 908,311l., and a single wine-glass 2,723,808 francs, or about 113,492l..
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A SKETCH FROM SUNDRY NOVELS.
(For the Mirror.)
She must be, a plaisir, tall and slender in person, or of humbler stature, but never inclining to stoutness, since the en bon point savours (at least in romance) of vulgarity. Her complexion may be light or dark, according to fancy; but her interesting pallidness may occasionally be relieved by a hectic flush, yet more interesting. She must possess small alabaster hands, coral or ruby lips, enchasing a double row of pearls; a neck rivalling ivory or driven snow, (yes, even if our heroine be a brunette, for incongruity is the very essence of romance); velvet cheeks, golden or jet black hair, diamond eyes, marvellous delicate feet, shrouded at all times in bas-de-soie, and defended by the most enchanting slippers imaginable; her figure must be a model for the statuary, and at all seasons, and in every situation, arrayed in muslins or silks, which, wondrous to relate, resist the injuries of time, weather, and wear in a manner perfectly astounding. What heroine had ever an hiatus in her stocking, or a fracture in her gown of finest woof? Ye gods! what an insult to suppose her repairing such! The lady's mental accomplishments and qualifications are as follow:—She sings divinely, plays on the harp (and piano too in modern days) a merveille; occasionally condescends to fascinate on the guitar, and the lute also, should that instrument, now rather antiquated, fall in her way. She takes portraits, and sketches from nature; she understands all languages, or rather that desideratum, an universal tongue, since in the most foreign lands she is never at a loss to render herself understood, nor to comprehend that which is addressed to her; she is of a melancholy cast of mind, and carries sal-volatile in her reticule, and fountains of tears in her eyes, for use on the most public occasions; she likes gloomy apartments, looking upon the sea, mountains, or black forests, and leading into endless corridors; she has an AEolian lyre ever at her casement, writes verses and weeps by moonlight, for—effect, or— nothing; and is enamoured with a being, who, in the common course of nature, could not exist; he possessing, amongst other fine qualities, that of omnipresence in an impious degree. Should the heroine reside in a town, and especially London, she must have dwelt previously in some isolated mansion, seldom visited by beings superior in intellect to the foxes they hunt; an idiot mother, vulgar aunt, a father, an uncle, or a guardian in his dotage, must have superintended her education; and when, at the age of sixteen, some fortunate chance throws her into society, her accomplishments and manners are found more fitting for it and finished, than those of persons who have from their cradles associated with families of the highest distinction, and possessed all the advantages of a polished and liberal education. The heroine has, in all situations, an abundant store of money, jewels, and clothes, supplied no one knows when, how, or by whom; and these, with her musical instruments, drawing materials, &c. accompany her into every reverse of situation, in a manner perfectly incomprehensible, but highly amusing and edifying. A miniature portrait of some mysterious relative or friend, seldom or ever seen, nay, indeed, a sacred memento of the dead, is highly scenic and effective in a romance. The heroine ought, by all means, to possess such; it may do good, and it can do no harm. Finally, the lady must frequently faint, be twice or thrice on the brink of the grave, undergo exquisite varieties of suffering, run all hazards, but retain her beauty and reputation unblemished to the last, i.e. to her marriage; after which, this wondrous and superlative creature, and her partner in perfection, are never heard of more. Why?
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ANCIENT ROMAN FESTIVALS.
The Septmontium was a festival of the seven mountains of Rome, which was celebrated in this month, near the seven mountains, within the walls of the city; they sacrificed seven times in seven different places; and on that day the emperors were very liberal to the people.
The Meditrinalia were feasts instituted in honour of the goddess Meditrina, and celebrated on the 13th of September. They were so called from medendo, because the Romans then began to drink new wine, which they mixed with old, and that served them instead of physic.
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NOTES OF A READER.
THE ANNUALS FOR 1829.
These elegant little works are already in a forward state. MR. ALARIC WATTS announces the plates of the SOUVENIR, "of a more important size than heretofore," and twelve in number, already completed. Among them are Cleopatra embarking on the Cydnus, drawn by Danby, and engraved by Goodall; Love taught by the Graces, drawn by Hilton, and engraved by J.C. Edwards; a beautiful scene from Lalla Rookh, drawn by Stephanoff, and engraved by Bacon; She never told her Love, drawn by Westall, and engraved by Rolls. Whilst Mr. Watts has been catering for the "children of a larger growth," Mrs. W. has been preparing a "New Year's Gift; or Juvenile Souvenir", to be accompanied with exquisite illustrations of Nursery literature; as the Children in the Wood, Red Riding Hood, &c. with two historical subjects after Northcote.
Mr. Ackermann, to whom we are indebted for the naturalization of "Annuals", announces that one of his plates in the forthcoming "FORGET ME NOT"—(4 inches by 3 in dimension) has cost one hundred guineas! The subject is "the Ruined City," by Martin, engraved by Le Keux. Fine engraving is thus almost as dear as building-ground at Brighton.
The KEEPSAKE will appear much earlier than last year. Sir Walter Scott has written three or four articles, and two or three "noble lords" are among the contributors. Nothing can exceed the beauty of the specimens of the illustrations.
The FRIENDSHIP'S OFFERING passes into the editorial hands of Mr. T. Pringle, of whose poetical talents we have lately had some exquisite specimens.
The ANNIVERSARY.—Allan Cunningham has joined Mr. Sharp (of whose taste in "getting up" books, our readers must be aware) in a splendid volume to be called "The Anniversary." Among the engravings are Psyche, after Sir Thomas Lawrence; Young Cottagers, after Gainsborough; the Author of Waverley in his Study, after W. Allen; a Monkey, &c. by Landseer. This is a new adventure, and we wish its projectors many anniversaries.
The CHRISTMAS BOX is to contain "A Story," from the pen of Miss Edgworth. Mrs. Hofland, Miss Mitford, and Mrs. Hemans, likewise, contribute their pleasing aid.
The PLEDGE OF FRIENDSHIP is to be altered to The Gem, to be edited by Mr. T. Hood, whose wit and fancy will sparkle among the contributions; and who hopes that it may prove one of those "hardy annuals," which are to become perennials; the writers are to be of "authorized popularity"—"the plates not of the common dessert kind, but a welcome service"—the engravers "as true as steel" to their originals—and the whole equally "mental" and "ornamental:" so the wight has begun already.
The WINTER'S WREATH promises to bloom more vigorously than ever, and earlier too—in September. Among the contributors are the names of Hemans, Opie, Mitford, Montgomery, Wiffen, Delta, &c.
The AMULET is to be edited, as last year, by Mr. Hall.
The BIJOU is printing with two-fold energy.
We read the other day that Schiller's "History of the German War," was originally published in Damen Almanach—a Lady's Almanack! This is real azure. "Annuals" do not, however, progress on the continent; for a new one, lately published contained but a single original contribution. In America they have bloomed with some success, though not with the elegance and polish of our own country. Here their effect on the Fine Arts has been very important, and they have done much for light reading, every name of literary eminence, except those of Moore, Campbell, and Rogers, having been enlisted in their ranks. We do not, however, remember Leigh Hunt, although his pleasantries would relieve the plaintiveness of some of the poetical contributions. A few Shandean articles would be very agreeable—something like the Housekeepers in the last "Friendships' Offering."
Nothing is said of the "Literary Pocket Book;" but our old friend, "Time's Telescope," will be mounted as usual.
We also take this opportunity to state that the "ARCANA OF SCIENCE AND ART, FOR 1829," will appear towards the close of the present year; and, we are enabled to promise its patrons a still greater modicum of novelty and interest than was even comprised in its very successful forerunner.
* * * * *
There is no truth more abundantly exemplified in the history of mankind, than that the blood of martyrs, spilt in whatever cause, political or religious, is the best imaginable seed for the growth of favour towards their persons, and, as far as conversion depends on feeling, of conversion to their opinions. "Quoites mori emur toties nasciemur."—Edin. Rev.
* * * * *
Our liberty is neither Greek nor Roman; but essentially English. It has a character of its own,—a character which has taken a tinge from the sentiments of the chivalrous ages, and which accords with the peculiarities of our manners, and of our insular situation. It has a language, too, of its own, and a language too singularly idiomatic, full of meaning to ourselves, scarcely intelligible to strangers.—Ibid.
* * * * *
How different is the night of Nature from that of man, and the repose of her scenes from the misrule of his sensual haunts; what a contrast between the refreshing return of her morning, and the feverish agonies of his day-dreams.—Cameleon Sketches.
* * * * *
THE FLIMSY AGE.
Poets sing of the "golden age," the "silver age," and the "iron age," but were they to celebrate this, I think they should call it the flimsy age, for every thing seems made to suit a temporary purpose, without any regard to the sound and substantial. From printed calico to printed books, from Kean's acting to Nash's architecture, all is made to catch the eye, to gratify the appetite for novelty, without regard to real and substantial excellence.—Blackwood.
* * * * *
We find very few monasteries founded after the twelfth century; the great majority, which rose through the kingdom "like exhalations," were founded between the eleventh and twelfth centuries; and in all county histories and authentic records, we scarce find a parish church, with the name of its resident rector recorded, before the twelfth century. The first notice of any village church occurs in the Saxon Chronicle, after the death of the conqueror, A.D. 1087. They are called, there, "upland churches." "Then the king did as his father bade him ere he was dead; he then distributed treasures for his father's soul to each monastery that was in England; to some ten marks of gold, to some six; to each upland church sixty pence."—Ingram's Saxon Chronicle. Gibson's note on the passage is, "unicuique ecclesiae rurali." These rare rural churches, after the want of them was felt, and after the lords of manors built, endowed, and presented to them, spread so rapidly, that in 1200 in almost every remote parish there was an "upland church," if not a resident minister, as at this day.
The convents, however, still remained in their pristine magnificence, though declining in purity of morals and in public estimation. In place of new foundations of this august description, the—
"Village parson's modest mansion rose,"
gracefully shewing its unostentatious front, and, at length, humbly adorning almost all the scattered villages of the land.—Bowles's History of Bremhill.
* * * * *
It was pleasantly observed by a sentimental jockey, who lost by a considerable length the first race he ever rode, "I'll never ride another race as long as I live. The riders are the most selfish, narrow minded creatures on the face of the earth. They kept riding and galloping as fast as they could, and never had once the kindness or civility to stop for me."—Penelope.
* * * * *
It has lately been proved by indisputable evidence, that the present condition of the peasantry of Ireland is much superior, to that of the population of the same island some centuries ago, when the number of people did not exceed one million. Spenser describes them as inhabiting "sties rather than houses, which is the chiefest cause of the farmer's so beastly manner of living and savage condition, lying and living together with his beast, in one house, in one room, in one bed, that is clean straw, or rather a foul dunghill."
In 1712, Dobbs, a man particularly conversant with the general condition of Ireland, estimated that its population had increased 200,000. He states that "the common people are very poorly clothed, go barelegged half the year, and very rarely taste of that flesh meat with which we so much abound, but are pinched in every article of life."
In 1762, Sir William Petty computed that the inhabitants of Ireland amounted to about one million three hundred thousand. Their habitations, he says, "are lamentable wretched cabins, such as themselves could make in three or four days, not worth five shillings the building, and filthy and disgusting to a degree, which renders it necessary for us to refrain from quoting his description. Out of the 200,000 houses of Ireland," says he, "160,000 are wretched cabins, without chimney, window, or door shut, even worse than those of the savages of America." Their food at the same period, consisted "of cakes, whereof a penny serves for each a week; potatoes from August till May; mussels, cockles, and oysters, near the sea; eggs and butter made very rancid by keeping in bogs; as for flesh they seldom eat it; they can content themselves with potatoes."
* * * * *
We often hear people call themselves fools. Now a man ought to know whether he is a fool or not, and he would not say it if he did not believe it; and there is also a degree of wisdom in the discovery that one has been a fool, for thereby it is intimated that the season of folly is over. Whosoever therefore actually says that he was a fool formerly, virtually says that he is not a fool now.—Penelope.
* * * * *
THE MAIDEN'S CHOICE.
Genteel in personage, Conduct and equipage, Noble by heritage, Generous and free; Brave, not romantic, Learn'd, not pedantic, Frolic, not frantic, This must he be.
Honour maintaining, Meanness disdaining. Still entertaining, Engaging and new: Neat, but not finical, Sage, but not cynical, Never tyrannical, But ever true.
* * * * *
In England, no class possesses so much of that peculiar ability which is required for constructing ingenious schemes, and for obviating remote difficulties, as the thieves and the thief-takers. Women have more of this dexterity than men. Lawyers have more of it than statesmen; statesmen have more of it than philosophers.
* * * * *
A friend of mine has one, and only one, good story, respecting a gun, which he contrives to introduce upon all occasions, by the following simple, but ingenious device. Whether the company in which he is placed be numerous or select, addicted to strong potations, or to long and surprising narratives; whatever may happen to be the complexion of their character or conversation, let but a convenient pause ensue, and my friend immediately hears, or pretends to hear, the report of a gun. Every body listens, and recalls his late impressions, upon which "the story of a gun" is naturally, and as if by a casual association, introduced thus—"By the by, speaking of guns, that puts me in mind of a story about a gun;" and so the gun is fixed in regular style, and the company condemned to smell powder for twenty minutes to come! To the telling of this gun story, it is not, you see, at all necessary that there should be an actual explosion and report; it is sufficient that there might have been something of the kind.
* * * * *
PLEASURES OF TRAVELLING.
Dover quite full—horrible place! Shocking, the inns! Amphibious wretches, the population. Ashore (from steam-packet) at four in the morning. Fires out at The Ship. No beds! Think of it! Had to wait till a party got up—going off at six. Six came—changed their minds (lazy!) wouldn't go! Woke the whole house with ringing the bells, however—took care they shouldn't sleep. Filthy breakfast! Bad butter—vile chops— eggs! I never got an egg properly boiled in my life! Royal Society ought to give a premium. Set off, starved and shuddering—roads heavy—four horses. Ruined with the expense. Man wanted to take half. Fat—looked greasy. Thought ruin best. Got up to Pagliano's a petrifaction! Worthy creature, the cook! Tossed me up such a "Saumon, Tartare"—"Vol au vent"—"Maccaroni"—all light. Coffee—liqueur—no wine for fear of fever—went to bed quite thawed in body and mind; and walked round Leicester-square next morning like "a giant refreshed!"—Blackwood.
* * * * *
A woman's true dowry is virtue, modesty, and desires restrained; not that which is usually so called.
* * * * *
Mr. Bowles in his History of Bremhill, makes a few observations suggested by the account in Domesday Book, on the wages, and some of the prices of agricultural produce on the farms where the villani and servi, literally slaves and villans, laboured. When we find two oxen sold for seventeen shillings and four-pence, we must bear in mind that one Norman shilling was as much in value as three of ours; when we find that thirty hens were sold for three farthings each, we must bear in mind the same proportion. The price of a sheep was one shilling, that is three of ours. Wheat was six shillings a-quarter; that would be, according to our scale, two shillings and three-pence a-bushel. Now, at the time of this calculation, everything must have borne a greater price, reckoning by money, than at the time of Domesday; for the prices of articles now set down (from an authentic document of the accounts of the Duke of Cornwall, first published from the original by Sir R.C. Hoare, in his History of Mere,) bear date somewhat more than two hundred years afterwards, in the reign of Edward the First, 1299. But at that time, what were the wages of the labourer? The ploughman's wages were about five shillings a-year, fifteen shillings by the present scale; a maid for making "pottage" received a penny a week!
* * * * *
THE SKETCH BOOK.
STRIKING INCIDENT IN THE LIFE OF A MIDSHIPMAN.
I have read some theories, or rather hypotheses, of apparitions, in which the authors attempt to account for the appearance of those unsubstantial shadows, resembling the forms of living men, by circumstances connected with the physical laws of matter. But I am rather inclined to hold, with another class of inquirers, that the origin of such marvels must be looked for in the mind of the seers; although I do not go the length of their scepticism, and deny the actual existence of the ghostly show, as a real and visible spectacle, before the eyes.
These observations will derive some illustration at least, if not entire confirmation, from the following narrative, which is deemed to be authentic in the neighbourhood in which the scene is laid; and the application of which the judicious reader will, no doubt, be able to make for himself.
About the middle of the last war, the Polly, tender, commanded by lieutenant Watts, came swooping up one evening to the small town of Auchinbreck, in Scotland, and, resolving to pounce, without warning, upon her prey, as soon as she had anchored in the roads, sent ashore the press-gang to pick up as many of the stout boat-builder lads as they could catch. The towns-people, however, were not so unprepared as the captain of the tender imagined; some of those, indeed, who were fit for sea, ran up into the hills, but by far the greater number collected about the corner of a building-shed as you go on to the main street, and, when the signal of hostility was given, by the capture of a man by the press-gang, they rushed down upon them in a body, every one with his axe on his shoulder like a troop of Indians with their tomahawks. It had now become so dark that the sailors had much to do to keep their footing upon the loose stones of the beach, which was just at this time rendered a still more troublesome passage by the scattered materials of a pier, then beginning to be built; and, besides, their number was so small compared to the townspeople, that, after a few strokes of the cutlas, and as many oaths as would have got a line-of-battle ship into action and out again, they were fain to retreat to their boat, pursued by the boat-builders, young and old, like furies. A midshipman, sitting in the stern, whose name was William Morrison, a fine lad of fifteen, observed the fate of the action with feelings in which local and professional spirit struggled for the mastery. One moment he would rub his hands with glee, and the next unsheath his dagger in anger, as he saw the axe of a fellow-townsman descend on the half-guarded head of a brother sailor; but, when the combatants came within oar's length of the boat, and the retreat began to resemble a flight, the esprit de corps got the upper hand in the Auchinbrecken midshipman's feelings, and, unsheathing his dagger, he jumped nimbly ashore and joined in the fray. At last the sailors got fairly into their boat without a single man being either missing or killed, although the list of the wounded included the whole party; and the landsmen, apparently pretty much in the same circumstances, although unable, from their number and the darkness, to reckon as instantaneously the amount of the loss or damage, after giving three cheers of triumph, retired in good order.
William Morrison, after discharging his duty so manfully, was permitted to go on shore the same evening, to visit his friends; and, indeed, the captain could not have known before that he belonged to the place, as he surely would not have confided to the lad so unpopular a task as that of kidnapping his own relations and acquaintances. He was landed at the point of Scarlough, to prevent the necessity of going through the streets, which might have been dangerous in the excited state of the people's minds; and, stretching across the fields, and along the side of the hill, he steered steadily on in the direction of his paternal home, which was about a mile and a half from the Point, but only one mile from the town. The moon had now risen, but was only visible in short glimpses through the clouds that were hurrying across the sky; and the tall, strange shadows of the willows and yews that skirted the churchyard, appearing and disappearing as he passed, probably by recalling the associations of his earlier years, made William shrink, and almost tremble. His own shadow, however, was a more pleasing thing to look at. The dress, which, grown familiar by usage, he would not have noticed elsewhere, was here brilliantly contrasted in his recollection with the more clownish and common garb of his boyhood—for he already reckoned himself a man; and the dagger, projecting smartly from his belted side, gave, in his opinion, a finish quite melodramatic to his air. He drew out the tiny blade from its sheath, and its sparkle in the moonlight seemed to be reflected in his eyes as he gazed on it from hilt to point; but the expression of those eyes was changed as they discovered that its polish in one place was dimmed by blood. This could easily be accounted for by the affray on the beach—and at any other time and place it would have been thought nothing of;—but at this moment, and on this spot, he was as much startled by the sight, as if his conscience had accused him of a deliberate murder. The impressions his mind had received while passing the churchyard, now returned upon him with added gloom; a kind of misgiving came over him; and a thousand boding thoughts haunted him like spirits, and hanging, as it were, on his heart, dragged it down farther and farther at every step. He bitterly regretted that he had not remained in the boat, as he had at first resolved, a neutral spectator of the strife. How did he know that his hand had not been raised against the life of his own brother? As far as he could see or learn, indeed, no fatal accident had occurred; but there have been instances of people walking cheerily off the field of battle, and dying of their wounds after all. And yet it was not likely—it was hardly possible—that John could have been in the affray, his indentures protecting him from the impress. These cogitations were speedily followed by others of as gloomy a character; for the thoughts breed faster than we can perceive them, and each multiplies after his kind. It was a year since he had heard from his friends, and five years since he had seen them. Who could tell what changes had taken place in that time? Who could tell whether poor John had even lived to be killed by the pressgang? His father, his mother, and his sisters—were they dead, were they living, were they sick, or in health? His sister had been always a delicate girl, one of those gentle and fragile flowers of mortality that are sure not to live till the summer; perhaps consumption, with the deceitful beauty of his smile, had already led his fair partner down the short dance of life.
Tormenting himself with such speculations, he arrived at his father's house. Here he was surprised, bewildered, almost shocked, to observe a new and handsome farm-house in place of the old one. On looking farther on, however, he did detect the ancient habitation of his family, in its original site; but it seemed, from the distance where he stood, to be falling into ruins. His whole race must either be dead or banished, and a new tribe of successors settled in their place; or else uncle William must be deceased, and have left his father money enough to build a new house. He walked up to the door, where he stood trembling for some minutes, without courage to put his hand to the latch, and at last went round to the window, and, with a desperate effort, looked in. How his heart bounded! His father was there, still a stout healthy man of middle life, his hair hardly beginning to be grizzled, by the meddling finger of the old painter Time; and his mother, as handsome as ever, and her face relieved by the smile either of habitual happiness, or of some momentary cause of joyful excitation, from the Madonna cast which had distinguished it in less prosperous days; and his sister, with only enough left of her former delicacy of complexion to chasten the luxuriant freshness of health on the ripe cheeks of nineteen. John, indeed, was not there; but a vacant chair stood by the table ready to receive him, and another—a second chair, beside it, only nearer the fire—for whom?—for himself. His heart told him that it was. Some one must have brought the tidings of his arrival; the family circle were at that moment waiting to receive him; he could see his old letters lying on the table before them, and recognised the identical red splash he had dropped, as if accidentally, on the corner of one—the dispatch he had written after his first action—although he had taken the trouble to go to the cock-pit to procure, for the occasion, this valorous token of danger and glory. But John—it was so late for him to be from home!—and, as a new idea passed across his mind, he turned his eyes upon the old house, which was distant about a hundred yards. It was probable, he thought, nay, more than probable, that his father, when circumstances enabled him to build a new house for himself, had given the old one to his eldest son; and John, doubtless, was established there as the master of the family, and perhaps at this moment was waiting anxiously for a message to require his presence on the joyful occasion of his brother's arrival. He did not calculate very curiously time or ages, for his brother was only his senior by two years; he felt that he was himself a man long ago, and thought that John by this time must be almost an old man.
While these reflections were passing through his mind, he observed a light in the window of the old house; but he could not well tell whether it was merely the reflection of a moonbeam on the glass, or a candle in the interior. He walked forward out of curiosity; but the scene, as he approached the building, was so gloomy, and the air so chill, that he wished to turn back; however, he walked on till he reached the door, and there, sure enough, his brother was waiting on the threshold to receive him. They shook hands in silence, for William's heart was too full to speak, and he followed John into the house; and an ill-cared-for house it was. He stumbled among heaps of rubbish in the dark passage; and, as he groped along the wall, his hand brought down patches of old lime, and was caught in spiders' webs almost as strong as if the spinner had meant to go a-fowling. When they had got into the parlour, he saw that the building was indeed a ruin; there was not a whole pane of glass in the window, nor a plank of wood in the damp floor; and the fireplace, without fire, or grate to hold it, looked like the entrance to a burying-vault. John, however, walked quietly in, and sat down on a heap of rubbish by the ingleside; and William, following his example, sat down over-against him. His heart now began to quake, and he was afraid, without knowing what he had to fear. He ran over in his mind the transactions of the evening—his walk, his reflections, his anxieties—embracing the whole, as if in one rapid and yet detailed glance of the soul, and then turned his eyes upon his brother both in fear and curiosity. What fearful secret could John have to communicate in a place like this? Could he not have spoken as well in the open air, where it was so much warmer, and in the blessed light of the moon? No one was dead, or likely to die, that he cared for; his dearest and almost only friends were at this moment talking and laughing round their social table, and near a bright fire, expecting his arrival, and John and he were—here! At length, repressing by a strong effort the undefined and undefinable feelings that were crowding upon him, he broke the silence, which was now beginning to seem strange and embarrassing.
"And how have you been, John?" said he, in the usual form of friendly inquiries; "and how have you got on in the world since we parted?"
"I have been well." replied John; "and I have got on as well as mortal man could desire."
"Yet you cannot be happy; you must have something to say—something I am almost afraid to hear. Out with it, in God's name! and let us go home."
"Yes," said John, "I have something to say; but it will not take long to hear, and then we shall both go home. I was apprenticed to the boat-building four years ago." "I know it," replied William; "you wrote to me about it yourself, John."
"I was made foreman before my time was out."
"I know that, too," said William; "Fanny gave me the whole particulars in a letter I received at Smyrna;—surely that cannot be all."
"I have more to tell," said John, solemnly: "my apprenticeship is out."
"What, in four years!—you are mad, John! What do you mean?"
"The indenture was cancelled this evening."
"How?" cried William, with a gasp, and beginning to tremble all over, without knowing why.
"I was wounded on the beach," said John, rising up, and walking backwards towards the window; while the moon, entering into a dense cloud, had scarcely sufficient power to exhibit the outlines of his figure. "It was by the point of a dagger," continued he, his voice sounding distant and indistinct, "and I died of the wound!"
William was alone in the apartment, and he felt the hair rising upon his head, and cold drops of sweat trickling down his brow. His ghastly and bewildered look was hardly noticed by his parents and sister during the first moments of salutation; and, when it was, the excuse was illness and fatigue. He could neither eat nor drink, (it seemed as if he had lost altogether the faculty of swallowing,) but sat silent and stupified, turning his head ever and anon to the door, till it struck one o'clock. About this time a knocking was heard, and the sister, jumping up, cried it was John come home, and ran to open the door. But it was not John; it was the minister of the parish; and he had scarcely time to break the blow to the parents with the shield of religion, when the dead body of their eldest son was brought into the house.—Orient. Herald.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
It is stated that upwards of one hundred and eighty pounds have been received for the admission of the public to these gardens during one week.
We omitted to mention last week, that one of the lamas was presented by Robert Barclay, Esq. of Bury Hill; a leopard by Lord Auckland; several animals from the Arctic regions by the Hudson's Bay Company, &c. The pair of emus were bred at Windsor, by Lord Mountcharles. The emu is hunted in New South Wales for its oil; it frequently weighs 100 lbs., and its taste, when cooked, more resembles beef than fowl.—See Notes, p. 378, vol. xi. MIRROR.
Venerable Orange Tree.
There is an orange tree, still living and vigorous, in the orangery at Versailles, which is well ascertained to be above 400 years old. It is designated the Bourbon, having belonged to the celebrated constable of that name in the beginning of the 16th century, and been confiscated to the crown in 1522, at which time it was 100 years old. A crown is placed on the box in which it is planted, with this inscription, "Sown in 1421."
Thirty-four orange-trees have lately been received at Windsor, as a present from the king of France to George IV.
M. Cadet-de-Vaux found mortar of lime and sand, and also that made from clay, greatly improved in durability by mixing boiled potatoes with it.
An Experimental Farm,
As a school of practical husbandry for a part of central France, has been formed by the celebrated Abbe de Pradt. It is situated about a league from Avranches, on the great road from that city to Bort, in the department of Correze.—Foreign Q. Rev.
A Tunnel under the Vistula, at Warsaw,
Has been projected. This mode of communication will be of the utmost utility, especially at the times of the breaking up of the frost, when all intercourse is interrupted. The architect is a foreigner, and has engaged to complete the work in the space of three years.—Paris Paper.
Small White Slugs,
In gardens, are more injurious than the larger variety, because their diminutive size escapes the gardener's eye. A good way to keep them under is to make small holes, about an inch deep, and about the diameter of the little finger, round the plants which they infest. Into these holes the slugs will retreat during the day, and they may be killed there by dropping in a little salt, quicklime in powder, or by strong lime and water.—Gardener's Mag.
Turkish Method of Preserving Filberts.
When perfectly ripe, remove the husks, and dry the nuts, by rubbing with a coarse cloth; sprinkle the bottom of a stone jar with a very little salt; then place a layer of filberts, adding a small quantity of salt between each layer. The jar must be perfectly dry and clean. Secure the top from air, and keep them in a dry place; and, at the end of six months, they will peel.—Ibid.
Extinction of Fires.
When a chimney or flue is on fire, throw into the fire-place one handful after another of flower of sulphur. This, by its combustion, effects the decomposition of the atmospheric air, which is, in consequence, paralysed, or, in effect, annihilated.
After the month of May, it is felony to carry away the caltch (the spawn adhering to stones, old oyster-shells, &c.) and punishable to take any oysters, except those of the size of a half-crown piece, or such as, when the two shells are shut, will admit of a shilling rattling between them.
The liquor of the oyster contains incredible multitudes of small embryo oysters, covered with little shells, perfectly transparent, swimming nimbly about. One hundred and twenty of these in a row would extend one inch. Besides these young oysters, the liquor contains a great variety of animalcules, five hundred times less in size, which emit a phosphoric light. The list of inhabitants, however, does not conclude here, for besides these last mentioned, there are three distinct species of worms (called the oyster-worm,) half an inch long, found in oysters, which shine in the dark like glow-worms. The sea-star, cockles, and muscles, are the great enemies of the oyster. The first gets within the shell when they gape, and sucks them out.
While the tide is flowing, oysters lie with the hollow side downwards, but when it ebbs they turn on the other side.
 See Bishop Spratt on Oysters.
Swarming of Bees.
An interesting communication was read, at a recent sitting of the Royal Society, from T.A. Knight, Esq. describing the precaution taken by a swarm of bees, in reconnoitering the situation where they intend to establish their new colony, or swarm from the parent hive. The bees do not go out in a considerable body, but they succeed each other in going and returning, until the whole of the swarm have apparently made good the survey, after which the whole body take their departure in a mass. If by any chance a large portion of a swarm take their departure without the queen bee, they never proceed to take up the ulterior quarters without her majesty's presence. The result of Mr. Knight's observations tends to prove, that all the operations of a swarm of bees are dictated by previous concert, and the most systematic arrangement.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS
LADDER OF LOVE.
Men and women,—more or less,— Have minds o' the self-same metal, mould, and form!— Doth not the infant love to sport and laugh, And tie a kettle to a puppy's tail?— Doth not the dimpled girl her 'kerchief don (Mocking her elder) mantilla wise—then speed To mass and noontide visits; where are bandied Smooth gossip-words of sugared compliment? But when at budding womanhood arrived, She casts aside all childish games, nor thinks Of aught save some gay paranymph—who, caught In love's stout meshes, flutters round the door, And fondly beckons her away from home,— The whilst, her lady mother fain would cage The foolish bird within its narrow cell!— And then, the grandame idly wastes her breath, In venting saws 'bout maiden modesty— And strict decorum,—from some musty volume: But the clipp'd wings will quickly sprout again; And whilst the doating father thinks his child A paragon of worth and bashfulness,— Her thoughts are hovering round the precious form Of her sweet furnace-breathing Don Diego!— And he, all proof 'gainst dews and nightly blasts, In breathless expectation waits to see His panting Rosa at the postern door;— While she sighs forth "My gentle cavalier!"— And then they straightway fall to kissing hands, And antic-gestures—such as lovers use,— Expressive of their wish quickly to tie The gordian knot of marriage;—Pretty creatures!— But why not earlier to have thought of this?— When he, the innocent youth, was wont to play At coscogilla; and the prattling girl, Amid her nursery companions, toiled In sempstress labours for her wooden dolls.— Ah! wherefore, did I ask?—Because forsooth, Their ways are changed with their increasing years!— For when for gallantry the time be come— And when the stagnant blood begins to boil Within the veins, my master—then the lads Cast longing looks on damosels—for nature Defies restraint—and kin-birds flock together!— And think not, Master, Chance disposes thus; Or were it so, then chance directs us all— Whene'er we have attain'd the important age! I, ———, am a living instance!— Was I not once a lively laughing boy? And, in my stripling age, did I not love The pastimes suited to those madcap days?— Oh! would to heaven those times were present still! But wherefore fret myself with hopes so vain?— The silly thought doth find no shelter here,— That any beauty, with dark roguish eyes, With sparkling blood, and rising warmth of youth, Would e'er affect this wrinkled face of mine:— The very thought doth smack of foolishness!— And, though the truth may be a bitter pill, Yet,— It is most fitting that we know ourselves.
Spanish Comedy—Foreign Review.
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A HINT TO RETIRING CITIZENS.
Ye Cits who at White Conduit House, Hampstead or Holloway carouse, Let no vain wish disturb ye; For rural pleasures unexplored, Take those your Sabbath strolls afford, And prize your Rus in urbe.
For many who from active trades Have plung'd into sequester'd shades, Will dismally assure ye, That it's a harder task to bear Th' ennui produced by country air, And sigh for Urbs in rure.
The cub in prison born and fed, The bird that in a cage was bred, The hutch-engender'd rabbit, Are like the long-imprison'd Cit, For sudden liberty unfit, Degenerate by habit.
Sir William Curtis, were he mew'd In some romantic solitude, A bower of rose and myrtle, Would find the loving turtle dove No succedaneum for his love Of London Tavern turtle.
Sir Astley Cooper, cloy'd with wealth, Sick of luxurious ease and health, And rural meditation, Sighs for his useful London life, The restless night—the saw and knife Of daily amputation.
Habit is second nature—when It supersedes the first, wise men Receive it as a warning, That total change comes then too late, And they must e'en assimilate Life's evening to its morning.
Thrice happy he whose mind has sprung From Mammon's yoke while yet unwrung Or spoilt for nobler duty:— Who still can gaze on Nature's face With all a lover's zeal, and trace In every change a beauty.
No tedium vitae round him lowers, The charms of contrast wing his hours, And every scene embellish:— From prison, City, care set free, He tastes his present liberty With keener zest and relish.
New Monthly Mag.
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A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
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ACCOMMODATION FOR THREE HALFPENCE.
A gentleman on a wet evening entered the bar of an inn, and while standing before the fire, called to a servant girl who had come to receive his orders, "Margaret, bring me a glass of ale, a clean pipe, a spitoon, a pair of snuffers, and the newspaper. And Margaret, take away my great coat, carry it into the kitchen, and hang it before the fire to dry, and dry my umbrella, and tell me what o'clock it is; and if Mr. Huggins should come in, request him to come this way, for I think 'tis near seven, and he promised to meet me at that hour. And Margaret, get me change for a sovereign, and see that all the change is good, take for the glass of ale out of it, and put the coppers in a piece of paper. And Margaret, tell Jemima to bring some more coals, take away the ashes, and wipe the table. And Margaret, pull down the blinds, shut the door, and put-to the window-shutters."—N.B. The gentleman had his own tobacco.
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TWO EVILS, (EXTEMPORE.)
Can man sustain a greater curse Than to possess an empty purse? Yes, with abundance to be blest, And not enjoy the pow'r to taste.
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EPIGRAM, FROM THE GERMAN.
If one has served thee, tell the deed to many? Hast thou served many?—tell it not to any.
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To tell the reader exactly what class of persons was meant to be designated by the word gentleman, is a difficult task. The last time we heard it, was on visiting a stable to look at a horse, when, inquiring for the coachman, his stable-keeper replied, "He has just stepped to the public-house along with another gentleman."
The following is the negro's definition of a gentleman:—"Massa make de black man workee—make de horse workee—make de ox workee—make every ting workee, only de hog: he, de hog, no workee; he eat, he drink, he walk about, he go to sleep when he please, he liff like a GENTLEMAN."
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Why are washer-women, busily engaged, like Adam and Eve in Paradise? Because they are so-apy (so happy).
Why is a widower, going to be married, like Eau de Cologne? Because he is re-wiving.
Why is a vine like a soldier? Because it is listed and trained, has ten-drills, and shoots.
Why is a sailor, when at sea, not a sailor? Because he's a-board.
Why is a city gentleman, taken poorly in Grosvenor-square, like a recluse? Because he is sick-westward (sequestered.)
Why is it better for a man to have two losses than one? Because the first is a loss, and the second is a-gain.
"If Britannia rules the waves," said a qualmish writing-master, going to Margate last week in a storm, "I wish she'd rule 'em straighter."— Lit. Gaz.
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Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; and by all Newsmen and Booksellers.