THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INTRUCTION.
VOL. 13, No. 353.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 24, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
VILLAS IN THE REGENT'S PARK
The villas of this district are among the most pleasing of all the architectural creations that serve to increase its picturesque beauty. Their structure is light and elegant, and very different from the brick and mortar monstrosities that line the southern outlets of London.
The engravings on the annexed page represent two of a group seen to advantage from Macclesfield Bridge, pictured in our 351st Number. The first is
the residence of Colonel Sir Robert Arbuthnot, K.C.B. The architectural simplicity and beauty of this mansion can scarcely fail to excite the admiration of the beholder. The entrance is by a handsome portico; and the internal accommodations combine all the luxuries of a well- proportioned dining-room, and a splendid suite of drawing-rooms, extending above sixty feet in length, by eighteen feet in breadth. The upper story comprises nine chambers, bathing-room, dressing-rooms, &c.; and the domestic offices are in the first style of completeness.
The grounds are unusually picturesque, for they have none of the geometrical formalities of the exploded school of landscape-gardening, or of Nature trimmed and tortured into artificial embellishment. We have often wondered where the old gardeners acquired their mathematical education; they must have gone about with the square and compasses in their pockets—for knowledge was then clasped up in ponderous folios.
The second engraving is
the elegant residence of George Bellas Greenough, Esq., built from the designs of Mr. Decimus Burton. This is a happy specimen of the villa style of architecture. The garden front, represented in the print, is divided into three portions. The centre is a tetrastyle portico of the Ionic order, raised on a terrace. Between the columns are three handsome windows. The two wings have recesses, "the soffites of which are supported by three-quarter columns of the Doric order. Between these columns are niches, each of which contains a statue. The absence of other windows and doors from the front," (observes Mr. Elmes,) "gives a remarkable and pleasing casino or pleasure-house character to the house."
The portico is purely Grecian, and the proportion of the pediment very beautiful. The entrance front also consists of a centre and two wings; but the former has no pediment. The door is beneath a spacious semicircular portico of the true Doric order, which alternates with the Ionic in the other parts of the building with an effect truly harmonious.
Of the internal arrangements of Grove House we will vouch; but our artist has endeavoured to convey some idea of the natural beauties with which this little temple of art is environed; and the engraver has added to the distinctness of the floral embellishments in the foreground. Altogether, the effect breathes the freshness and quiet of a rural retreat, although the wealth and fashion of a metropolis herd in the same parish, and their gay equipages are probably whirling along the adjacent road.
The exterior of the "COLOSSEUM" (of the interior of which building our last Number contained a description) was intended for the embellishment of the present Number. Our engraver promised—but, as Tillotson quotes in one of his sermons, "promises and pie-crusts," &c. The engraving is, however, intended for our next MIRROR, with some additional particulars of the interior, &c.
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(For the Mirror.)
On the 25th of December, 1749, a most severe frost commenced; it continued without intermission for several weeks, during which time the people, especially the working classes, experienced dreadful hardships. Many travellers were frozen to death in coaches, and even foot passengers, in the streets of London, shared the same fate. Numerous ships, barges, and boats, were sunk by the furious driving of the ice in the Thames. Great were the distresses of the poor, and even those who possessed all the comforts of life, confined themselves within doors, for fear of being frozen if they ventured abroad.
The watermen of the river received great assistance from merchants, and other gentlemen of the Royal Exchange; but the fishermen, gardeners, bricklayers, and others, were reduced to a miserable extremity. These poor men, presenting a sad aspect, assembled to the number of several hundreds, and marched through the principal streets of the metropolis, begging for bread and clothing. The fishermen carried a boat in mourning, and the unfortunate mechanics exhibited their implements and utensils. The citizens of London contributed largely to their relief, as did most of the inhabitants of the main streets through which the melancholy procession passed.
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OTWAY, THE POET.
(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
Any anecdote relating to, or illustrative of, the works of this great man is a public benefaction; and I, in common with all your readers, (no doubt,) feel obliged to your correspondent for his history of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk; at least, so much of it as, it would seem, was connected with the tragedy of the Orphan. Charles Brandon was, as history informs us, a gay, young, rattling fellow, a constant exhibitant at all tilts and tournaments at Whitehall and elsewhere; courageous, "wittie and of goodlie persone," in fact, a regular dandy of bygone days, a fine gallant, and of course a great favourite of his royal master; but, notwithstanding all this, it is not clear to me that Charles Brandon and his brother were the romantic originals of Polydore and Castalio. I rather think, if Otway did form his characters on any real occurrence of the sort, the distressing event must be laid to the noble family now proprietors of Woburn.
Perhaps the old nobleman misunderstood the duchess-dowager when she explained the picture to him; or perhaps her grace did not choose to be quite so communicate as she could have been, and, therefore, fixed the sad event upon the gay Charley Brandon, in whose constellation of gay doings it would, indeed, be a romantic diamond of the first water.
Every body who knows the gallery at Woburn, must remember the remarkable picture alluded to. There is in the same apartment a very fine whole-length of Charles Brandon; but in no way can I see is it connected with the work which has furnished this tragic anecdote. At some distance from Brandon's portrait appears the first Francis, Earl of Bedford, with a long white beard, and furred robe, and George, pendant,—an illustrious personage of this house, who discharged several great offices in the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth. Such was his hospitality, that Elizabeth used good-humouredly to say, "Go to, Frank, go to; it is you make all the beggars." He died, aged 58, on the 28th of July, 1585, the day after his third son, Francis, was slain, happily unapprized of the misfortune.
Now comes the interesting picture in connexion with Otway and his play. This youth, Francis and his elder brother, the Lord Edward Russell, are represented in small full-lengths, in two paintings; and so alike, as scarcely to be distinguished one from the other; both dressed in white, close jackets, and black and gold cloaks, and black bonnets. The date by Lord Edward is aet. 22, 1573. He is represented grasping in one hand some snakes with this motto, Fides homini, serpentibus fraus; and in the back ground he is placed standing in a labyrinth, above which is inscribed, Fata viam invenient. This young nobleman died before his father. His brother Francis has his accompaniments not less singular. A lady, seemingly in distress, is represented sitting in the back ground, surrounded with snakes, a dragon, crocodile, and cock. At a distance are the sea and a ship under full sail. He, by the attendants, was, perhaps, the Polydore of the history. Edward seems by his motto, Fides homini, serpentibus fraus, to have been the Castalio, conscious of his own integrity, and indignant at his brother's perfidy. The ship probably alludes to the desertion of the lady. If it conveyed Francis to Scotland, it was to his punishment, for he fell on July 27, 1585, in a border affray, the day before his father's death.
There, make what you like of this. This is how matters stand at the Abbey; but I cannot see how this remarkable picture connects itself with Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. I pause for elucidation.
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ON THE CONSTANCY OF WOMAN.
(For the Mirror.)
True love has no reserves—LANSDOWNE.
There is not an accomplishment in the mind of a female more enchanting, nor one which adds more dignity and grace to her person, than constancy. Whatever share of beauty she may be possessed of, whether she may have the tinge of Hebe on her cheeks, vying in colour with the damask rose, and breath as fragrant—and the graceful and elegant gait of an Ariel—still, unless she is endowed with this characteristic of a virtuous and ingenuous mind, all her personal charms will fade away, through neglect, like decaying fruit in autumn. The whole list of female virtues are in their kind essential to the felicity of man; but there is such beauty and grandeur of sentiment displayed in the exercise of constancy, that it has been justly esteemed by the dramatic poets as the chief excellence of their heroines. It nerves the arm of the warrior when absent from the dear object of his devoted attachment, when he reflects, that his confidence in her regard was never misplaced; but yet, amidst the dangers of his profession, he sighs for his abode of domestic happiness, where the breath of calumny never entered, and where the wily and lustful seducer, if he dared to put his foot, shrunk back aghast with shame and confusion, like Satan when he first beheld the primitive innocence and concord between Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It adds a zest to the toils of the peasant, and his heart expands with joy and gratitude when he returns in the evening to his ivy-mantled cottage, and finds his wife assiduously engaged in the household duties of his family. And it soothes the mind of the lunatic during the lucid intervals of the aberration of his intellects, and tends more than anything else to restore him to reason. In fact, there is no calamity that is incident to man, but that female constancy will assuage. Whether in sickness or health, in prosperity or poverty, in mirth or sadness, (vicissitudes which form the common lot of mankind in their pilgrimage through this life;) the loveliness of this inestimable blessing will shine forth, like the sun on a misty morning, and preserve the even temperature of the mind. To the youthful lover it is the polar star that guides him from the shoals and quicksands of vice, among which his wayward fancy and inexperience are too apt to lead him. But in the matrimonial state, the pleasures arising from the exercise of this virtue are manifold, as it sheds a galaxy of splendour around the social hemisphere; for it is such a divine perfection, that Solomon has wisely observed, that
"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband."
A husband so blessed in marriage, might exclaim with the lover in one of Terence's comedies, "I protest solemnly that I will never forsake her; no, not if I was sure to contract the enmity of mankind by this resolution. Her I made the object of my wishes, and have obtained her; our dispositions suit; and I will shake hands with them that would sow dissension betwixt us; for death, and only death, shall take her from me."
The eulogies of the poets in regard to this amiable trait in the female character, are sublime and beautiful; but none, I think, have surpassed in vivid fancy and depth of feeling, that of Lord Byron, in his elegant poem of the Corsair. The following passage describing the grief of Medora on the departure of Conrad, the pirate, is sketched with the pencil of a poet who was transcendently gifted with a knowledge of the inmost recesses of the human heart:—
"And is he gone,"—on sudden solitude How oft that fearful question will intrude? "'Twas but an instant past—and here he stood! And now"—without the portal's porch she rush'd, And then at length her tears in freedom gush'd; Big, bright, and fast, unknown to her they fell. But still her lips refus'd to send—"Farewell!" "He's gone!"—against her heart that hand is driven, Convuls'd and quick—then gently rais'd to heav'n; She look'd and saw the heaving of the main: The white sail set—she dared not look again; But turn'd with sickening soul within the gate— "It is no dream—and I am desolate!"
The description of Conrad's return from his piratical cruise, the agony of his mind when he finds that his lovely Medora had fallen a sacrifice to her affectionate regard for him, and his sudden departure in a boat, through despair, is equally grand and powerful, and exhibits a fine specimen of the influence of female constancy even on the mind of a man like Conrad, who, from the nature of his pursuits, was inured to the infliction of wrongs on his fellow-creatures.
The anecdote of the behaviour of Arria towards her husband, Paetus, related by Pliny, is one of the greatest instances of constancy and magnanimity of mind to be met with in history. Paetus was imprisoned, and condemned to die, for joining in a conspiracy against the Emperor, Claudius. Arria, having provided herself with a dagger, one day observed a more than usual gloom on the countenance of Paetus, when judging that death by the executioner might be more terrible to him than the field of glory, and perhaps, too, sensible that it was for her sake he wished to live, she drew the dagger from her side, and stabbed herself before his eyes. Then instantly plucking the weapon from her breast, she presented it to her husband, saying, "My Paetus, it is not painful!" Read this, ye votaries of voluptuousness. Reflect upon the fine moral lesson of conjugal virtue that is conveyed in this domestic tragedy, ye brutal contemners of female chastity, and of every virtue that emits a ray of glory around the social circle of matrimonial happiness! Take into your serious consideration this direful but noble proof of constancy, ye giddy and thoughtless worshippers at the shrine of beauty, and know, that a virtuous disposition is the brightest ornament of the female sex.
There is another instance of constancy of mind, under oppression, in Otway's tragedy of Venice Preserved, in a dialogue between Jaffier and Belvidera, where the former questions her with great tenderness of feeling in regard to her future line of conduct in the gloomy prospect of his adverse fortune. She replies to him with great animation and pathos:
"Oh, I will love thee, ev'n in madness love thee, Tho' my distracted senses should forsake me! Tho' the bare earth be all our resting place, Its roots our food, some cliff our habitation, I'll make this arm a pillow for thy head, And as thou sighing ly'st, and swell'd with sorrow, Creep to thy bosom, pour the balm of love Into thy soul, and kiss thee to thy rest."
This is a true and beautiful picture of constancy of mind, under those rude blasts of adversity, which too frequently nip the growth of affection. The only alternative against a decay of passion on such occasions, is a sufficient portion of virtue, strong and well-grounded love, and constancy of mind as firm as the rock. In short, without constancy, there can be neither love, friendship, nor virtue, in the world.
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CAVE AT BLACKHEATH.
(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
Allow me to hand you an account of a very curious cavern at Blackheath, fortuitously discovered in the year 1780, and which will form, I have no doubt, a pleasing addition to the valued communication of your correspondent Halbert H., in the 348th Number of the MIRROR, and prove interesting to the greater portion of your numerous readers. It is situated on the hill, (on the left hand side from London,) and is a very spacious vaulted cavern, hewn through a solid chalk-stone rock, one hundred feet below the surface. The Saxons, on their entrance into Kent, upwards of 1,300 years ago, excavated several of these retreats; and during the discord, horrid murders, and sanguinary conflicts with the native Britons, for nearly five hundred years, used these underground recesses, not only as safe receptacles for their persons, but also secure depositaries for their wealth and plunder. After these times, history informs us the caves were frequently resorted to, and occupied by the disloyal and unprincipled rebels, headed by Jack Cade, in the reign of Henry VI., about A.D. 1400, who infested Blackheath and its neighbourhood, (as also mentioned by your correspondent;) since then by several banditti, called Levellers, in the rebellious times of Oliver Cromwell. The cave consists of three rooms, which are dry, and illuminated; in one of which, at the end of the principal entrance, is a well of soft, pure, and clear water, which, according to the opinion of several eminent men, is seldom to be met with. The internal structure is similar to the cave under the ruins of Reigate Castle, built by the Saxons; where the barons of England, in the year 1212, with their followers, (frequently amounting to five hundred persons,) held their private meetings, and took up arms, previous to their obtaining Magna Charta at Runny Mead, near Egham, in Surrey.
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(For the Mirror.)
This odd custom is now vice versa. The stang is of Saxon origin, and is practised in Lancashire, Cumberland, and Westmoreland, for the purpose of exposing a kind of gyneocracy, or, the wife wearing the galligaskins. When it is known (which it generally is) that a wife falls out with her spouse, and beats him right well, the people of the town or village procure a ladder, and instantly repair to his house, where one of the party is powdered with flour—face blacked—cocked hat placed upon his cranium—white sheet thrown over his shoulders—is seated astride the ladder, with his back where his face should be—they hoist him upon men's shoulders—and in his hands he carries a long brush, tongs, and poker. A sort of mock proclamation is then made in doggerel verse at the door of all the alehouses in the parish, or wapentake, as follows:—
"It is neither for your sake nor my sake That I ride stang; But it is for Nancy Thomson, Who did her husband hang. But if I hear tell that she doth rebel, Or him to complain, with fife and drum Then we will come, And ride the stang again. With a ran tan tang, And a ran tan tan tang," &c.
The conclusion of this local custom is generally ended at the market cross, (if any,) or in the middle of the hamlet; after which, one of the posse goes round with a hat, begging the contributions of those present; they then regale themselves at some of the village ale-shops, out of the proceeds of the day's merriment.—Brand and Strutt mention this custom; as does Brigg, in his "Westmoreland as it was."
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[The following characteristic sketch having been presented to me by a friend as, to the best of his knowledge, an unpublished morceau by the celebrated Ettrick Shepherd, I have by his permission the pleasure of adding it, to the many interesting cabinet pictures, already preserved in this department of the MIRROR.—M.L.B.]
Rover is now about six years old. He was born half a year before our eldest girl; and is accordingly looked upon as a kind of elder brother by the children. He is a small, beautiful liver-coloured spaniel, but not one of your goggle-eyed Blenheim breed. He is none of your lap dogs. No, Rover has a soul above that. You may make him your friend, but he scorns to be a pet. No one can see him without admiring him, and no one can know him without loving him. He is as regularly inquired after as any other member of the family; for who that has ever known Rover can forget him? He has an instinctive perception of his master's friends, to whom he metes out his caresses in the proportion of their attachment to the chief object of his affections. When I return from an absence, or when he meets an old friend of mine, or of his own (which is the same thing to him) his ecstacy is unbounded; he tears and curvets about the room as if mad; and if out of doors, he makes the welkin ring with his clear and joyous note. When he sees a young person in company he immediately selects him for a play fellow. He fetches a stick, coaxes him out of the house, drops it at his feet; then retiring backwards, barking, plainly indicates his desire to have it thrown for him. He is never tired of his work. Indeed, I fear poor fellow, that his teeth, which already show signs of premature decay, have suffered from the diversion. But though Rover has a soul for fun, yet he is a game dog too. There is not a better cocker in England. In fact he delights in sport of every kind, and if he cannot have it with me, he will have it on his own account. He frequently decoys the greyhounds out and finds hares for them. Indeed he has done me some injury in this way, for if he can find a pointer loose, he will, if possible, seduce him from his duty, and take him off upon some lawless excursion; and it is not till after an hour's whistling and hallooing that I see the truants sneaking round to the back door, panting and smoking, with their tails knitted up between their legs, and their long dripping tongues depending from their watery mouths—he the most bare-faced caitiff of the whole. In general, however, he will have nothing to say to the canine species, for notwithstanding the classification of Buffon, he considers he has a prescriptive right to associate with man. He is, in fact, rather cross with other dogs; but with children he is quite at home, doubtless reckoning himself about on a level with them in the scale of rational beings. Every boy in the village knows his name, and I often catch him in the street with a posse of little, dirty urchins playing around him. But he is not quite satisfied with this kind of company; for, if taking a walk with any of the family, he will only just acknowledge his plebeian play-fellow with a simple shake of the tail, equivalent to the distant nod which a patrician school-boy bestows on the town-boy school-fellow whom he chances to meet when in company with his aristocratical relations. The only approach to bad feeling that I ever discovered in Rover is a slight disposition to jealousy; but this in him is more a virtue than a vice; for it springs entirely from affection, and has nothing mean or malicious in it, one instance will suffice to show how he expresses this feeling. One day a little stray dog attached himself to me and followed me home; I took him into the house and had him fed, intending to keep him until I could discover the owner. For this act of kindness the dog expressed thanks in the usual way. Rover, although used to play the truant, from the moment the little stranger entered the premises, never quitted us till he saw him fairly off. His manner towards us became more ingratiating than usual, and he seemed desirous, by his assiduities and attentions, to show us, that we stood in need of no other favourite or companion. But at the same time he showed no animosity whatever towards his supposed rival. Here was reason and refinement too. Besides the friends whom he meets in my house, Rover also forms attachments of his own, in which he shows a great discrimination. It is not every one who offers him a bone that he will trust as a friend. He has one or two intimate acquaintances in the village whom he regularly visits, and where in case of any remissness on the part of the cook, he is sure to find a plate of meat. Rover is a most feeling, sweet dispositioned dog—one instance of his affection and kindheartedness I cannot omit. He had formed an attachment to a labourer, who worked about my garden, and would frequently follow him to his home, where he was caressed by the wife and children. It happened that the poor wife was taken ill and died. The husband was seriously afflicted, and showed a feeling above the common. At this time I observed that Rover had quite lost his spirits, and appeared to pine. Seeing him in this state one day, when in company with the widowed labourer, and thinking in some measure to divert the poor fellow's thoughts from his own sorrows, I remarked to him the state that Rover was in, and asked him if he could guess the cause. "He is fretting after poor Peggy," was his reply, giving vent at the same time to a flood of tears.
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NOTES OF A READER.
An "Old Subscriber," who loves a friend and a jest's prosperity, has sent us a few leaves of "The Dancing Master," printed in 1728, which form a curious contrast with Mr. Lindsay's elegant treatise, printed at Mr. Clowes's musical office. What will some of the quadrillers say to the following exquisite morsel of dancing, entitled, "The Old Maid in Tears?"—"Longways for as many as will".—(then the notes, and the following instructions:)—"Note: Each strain is to be play'd twice ov'er.—The first wo. holds her handkerchief on her face, and goes on the outside, below the 3d wo. and comes up the middle to her place; first man follows her (at the same time pointing and smiling at her) up to his place. First man do the same, only he beckons his wo. to him. First woman makes a motion of drying first one eye, then the other, and claps her hands one after another on her sides, (the first man looks surprizingly at her at the same time,) and turn her partner. First cu. move with two slow steps down the middle and back again. The first cu. sett and cast off."
As we love to keep up the dance, if we are not leading the reader a dance, we give A Dance in Hoops, as described in a fashionable novel, just published:—
When the whole party was put in motion, but little trace of a regular dance remained; all was a perfect maze, and the cutting in and out (as the fraternity of the whip would phrase it) of these cumbrous machines presented to the mind only the figure of a most formidable affray.
The nearest assimilation to this strange exhibition of the dance in full career, at all familiar to our minds, is the prancing of the basket-horses in Mr. Peake's humorous farce of Quadrupeds.
An entertaining variety of appearance arose also from the conformity of the steps to the diversified measure of the tune. The jig measure, which corresponds to the canter in a horse's paces, produced a strong bounding up and down of the hoop—and the gavotte measure, which corresponds to the short trot, produced a tremulous and agitated motion. The numerous ornaments, also, with which the hoops were bespread and decorated—the festoons—the tassels—the rich embroidery—all of a most catching and taking nature, every now and then affectionately hitched together in unpremeditated and close embrace. To the parties in action, it is not difficult to suppose these combinations might prove something short of perfectly agreeable, more especially, as on such occasions as these, some of the fair daughters of our courtly belles were undergoing the awful ordeal of a first ball-room appearance, on whom these contingencies would inflict ten-fold embarrassment.—The Ball, or a Glance at Almack's in 1829.
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General le Jeune has added a new picture to his collection of battle paintings, exhibiting at the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly. It represents one of the general's perilous adventures in the Peninsular War, and is a vigorous addition to these admirable productions of the French school. The whole series will be found noticed at page 212 of our vol. xi.
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FLOWERS ON THE ALPS.
The flowers of the mountains—they must not be forgotten. It is worth a botanist's while to traverse all these high passes; nay, it is worth the while of a painter, or any one who delights to look upon graceful flowers, or lovely hues, to pay a visit to these little wild nymphs of Flora, at their homes in the mountains of St. Bernard. We are speaking now, generally, of what may be seen throughout the whole of the route, from Moutier, by the Little St. Bernard, to Aosta,—and thence again to Martigny. There is no flower so small, so beautiful, so splendid in colour, but its equal may be met with in these sequestered places. The tenaciousness of flowers is not known; their hardihood is not sufficiently admired. Wherever there is a handful of earth, there also is a patch of wild-flowers. If there be a crevice in the rock, sufficient to thrust in the edge of a knife, there will the winds carry a few grains of dust, and there straight up springs a flower. In the lower parts of the Alps, they cover the earth with beauty. Thousands, and tens of thousands, blue, and yellow, and pink, and violet, and white, of every shadow and every form, are to be seen, vying with each other, and eclipsing every thing besides. Midway they meet you again, sometimes fragrant, and always lovely; and in the topmost places, where the larch, and the pine, and the rhododendron (the last living shrub) are no longer to be seen, where you are just about to tread upon the limit of perpetual snow, there still peep up and blossom the "Forget me not," the Alpine ranunculus, and the white and blue gentian, the last of which displays, even in this frore air, a blue of such intense and splendid colour, as can scarcely be surpassed by the heavens themselves. It is impossible not to be affected at thus meeting with these little unsheltered things, at the edge of eternal barrenness. They are the last gifts of beneficent, abundant Nature. Thus far she has struggled and striven, vanquishing rocks and opposing elements, and sowing here a forest of larches, and there a wood of pines, a clump of rhododendrons, a patch of withered herbage, and, lastly, a bright blue flower. Like some mild conqueror, who carries gifts and civilization into a savage country, but is compelled to stop somewhere at last, she seems determined that her parting present shall also be the most beautiful. This is the limit of her sway. Here, where she has cast down these lovely landmarks, her empire ceases. Beyond, rule the ice and the storm!—New Monthly Magazine.
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THE COMPANION TO THE ALMANAC.
This is the age of utility, and the little volume published under the above title is altogether characteristic of the age. Its contents are calculated to feed and foster the spirit of inquiry which is abroad. People are beginning to find they are not so wise as they had hitherto conceived themselves to be, or rather, that their knowledge on every-day subjects is very scanty. We are therefore pleased to see in the present "Companion" a popular paper on Comets; a series of attractive Observations of a Naturalist; papers on the Management of Children, Clothing, Economy in the Use of Bread and Flour, and a concise account of Public Improvements during the year. All these are matters of interest to every house and family in the empire. There is, besides, an abundance of Parliamentary papers, judiciously abridged, from which the reader may obtain more information than by passing six months in "both your Houses," or reading a session of debates. The Table of Discoveries is likewise a valuable feature; and the Chronological Table of European Monarchs is almost a counterpart of a "Regal Tablet" sent to us, some weeks since, for the MIRROR, and promised for insertion. There is, however, one feature missing, which we noticed in the "Companion" of last year, and we cannot but think that, to make room for its introduction, some of the parliamentary matter in the present volume might have been spared. The editor will be aware of our disinterestedness in making this suggestion, and we hope will give us credit accordingly.
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"Will you play upon this pipe?"
"My Lord, I cannot." So say we; but some novel instruction on the subject may not be unacceptable to our piping friends. We recommend to them "The Elements of Flute-playing, according to the most approved principles of Fingering," by Thomas Lindsay, as containing more practical and preceptive information than is usually to be met with in such works. The advantage in the present treatise arises out of one of the many recent improvements in the art of printing, viz., the adoption of movable types for printing music, instead of by engraved pewter plates; which method enables the instructor to amplify his precepts, or didactic portion of his work, and thus simplify them to the pupil. According, in Mr. Lindsay's treatise, we have upwards of forty pages of elementary instructions, definitions, and concise treatises, copiously interspersed with musical illustrations; whereas the engraved treatises are generally meagre in their instructions, from the difficulty of punching text illustrations. The article on accentuation is, we are told, the first successful attempt in any elementary work on the Flute, to define this important subject. It is written in a lucid and popular style, and is so attractive, that did our room allow, we might be induced to insert part of it. Appended to the treatise are thirty pages of Duettinos and Exercises, and altogether the work, (of which the present is Part I.,) is well worth the attention of such as study Flute-playing, which, as Mr. L. observes, is "one of those elegant and delightful recreations, which constitutes, at once, the grace and the solace of domestic life."
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The sweetest flowers their odours shed In silence and alone; And Wisdom's hidden fount is fed By minds to fame unknown.
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CHANGES OF INSECTS.
Insects are strikingly distinguished from other animals, by a succession of changes in their organization and forms, and by their incapacity of propagating before their last metamorphosis, which, in most of them, takes place shortly before their death. Each of these transformations is designated by so many terms, that it may not be useless to observe to the reader, who has not previously paid attention to the subject, that larva, caterpillar, grub, maggot, or worm, is the first state of the insect on issuing from the egg; that pupa, aurelia, chrysalis, or nympha are the names by which the second metamorphosis is designated, and that the last stage, when the insect assumes the appearance of a butterfly, is called the perfect state.—North American Review.
* * * * *
"LITTLE SONGS FOR LITTLE SINGERS."
The little folks will soon have a microcosm—a world of their own. The other day we noticed the "Boy's Own Book," and the girls are promised a match volume: children, too, have their own camerae obscurae; there are the Cosmoramas at the Bazaar, as great in their way as Mr. Hornor's Panorama at the Colosseum; besides half a dozen Juvenile Annuals, in which all the literary children of larger growth write. At our theatres, operas are sung by children, and the pantomimes are full of juvenile fun. In short, every thing can be had adapted to all ages; till we begin to think it is once a world and twice a little world. But we have omitted the pretty little productions named at the head of this article. They consist of seven little songs for little people, set to music on small-sized paper, so that the little singer may hold the song after the orchestra fashion, without hiding her smiles. 1. The Little Fish, harmonized from Nursery Rhymes; 2. The Little Robin; 3. The Little Spider and his Wife, from Original Poems; 4. The Little Star, from Nursery Rhymes; 5. A Summer Evening, from the Infant Minstrel; 6. Come Away, Come Away, to the air of the Swiss Boy, by Mr. Green, the publisher; and, 7. The Little Lady Bird:—
Lady Bird! Lady Bird! fly away home, The field-mouse is gone to her nest, The daisies have shut up their sleepy red eyes, And the bees and the birds are at rest. Lady Bird! Lady Bird! fly away home, The glow-worm is lighting his lamp, The dew's falling fast, and your fine speckled wings Will be wet with the close-clinging damp. Lady Bird! Lady Bird! fly away home, The fairy bells tinkle afar; Make haste, or they'll catch ye, and harness ye fast, With a cobweb, to Oberon's car. Lady Bird! Lady Bird! fly away now To your home in the old willow-tree, Where your children so dear have invited the ant, And a few cosy neighbours to tea.
There is some novelty and ingenuity in adapting the words and music of songs for young singers. Love, war, and drinking songs are very well for adults, but are out of time in the nursery or schoolroom; for these predilections spring up quite early enough in the bosoms of mankind. We should not forget the vignette lithographs to the little songs, which are beautifully executed by Hullmandel. All beginners will do well to see these songs, for we know many of the "larger growth" who are little singers.
* * * * *
MACB. How now, you secret, black, and mid-night hags? What is't you do?
WITCHES. A deed without a name.
I conjure you by that which you profess, (Howe'er you come to know it,) answer me; Though you untie the winds, and let them fight Against the churches—though the yesty waves Confound and swallow navigation up— Though bladed corn be lodg'd, and trees blown down— Though castles topple on their warder's heads— Though palaces and pyramids do slope Their heads to their foundations—though the treasure Of nature's germins tumble all together, Even till destruction sicken, answer me To what I ask you. SHAKSPEARE.
In our two preceding papers, we have briefly brought before the attention of the reader, a few of the most prominent and striking features connected with the history of the first (as the honourable house hath it in 1602) "of those detestable slaves of the devil, witches, sorcerers, enchanters and conjurors." And now we proceed to offer a few concluding illustrations of the subject.
 See vol xi. p. 391—vol. xii. p. 70.
In the early ages, to be possessed of a greater degree of learning and science than the mass of mankind (at a time when even kings could not read or write) was to be invested with a more than earthly share of power; and the philosopher was in consequence subjected in many cases to a suspicion at once dangerous and dishonourable: to use the language of Coleridge, the real teachers and discoverers of truth were exposed to the hazard of fire and faggot; a dungeon being the best shrine that was vouchsafed to a Roger Bacon or a Galileo!
A few years since, a place was pointed out to the writer, on the borders of Scotland, which had been even within the "memory of the oldest inhabitant," used for the "trial" of witches; and a pool of water in an adjacent stream is still to be seen, where the poor old creatures were dragged to sink or swim; and our informant added, that a very great number had perished on that spot. Indeed, in Scotland, a refinement of cruelty was practised in the persecution of witches; the innocent relations of a suspected criminal were tortured in her presence, in the hope of extorting confession from her, in order to put an end to their sufferings, after similar means had been used without effect on herself. Even children of seven years of age were sometimes tortured in the presence of their mothers for this design. In 1751, at Trigg, in Hertfordshire, two harmless old people above seventy years of age, being suspected of bewitching a publican, named Butterfield, a vast concourse of people assembled for the purpose of ducking them, and the poor wretches were seized, and "stripped naked by the mob, their thumbs tied to their toes, and then dragged two miles and thrown into a muddy stream;" the woman expired under the hands of her persecutors, but her husband, though seriously injured, escaped with his life. One of the ringleaders of this atrocious outrage, was tried and hung for the offence.
The delusion respecting witches was greatly increased in the first instance by a Bull issued by Pope Innocent III. in 1484, to the inquisitors at Almaine, "exhorting them to discover, and empowering them to destroy, all such as were guilty of witchcraft." The fraternity of Witchfinders arose in consequence, and they seem to have been imbued with the genuine spirit of inquisitors, delighting in hunting out and dragging to the torture the innocent and harmless. They had the most unlimited authority granted them, and the whole thunders of the Vatican were directed to the destruction of witches and wizards. The bloody scenes which followed, exceed description. In 1435, Cumanus (an inquisitor) burnt forty-one poor women for witches, in the country of Burlia, in one year. One inquisitor in Piedmont burnt a hundred in a very short time; and in 1524, a thousand were burnt in one year in the diocese of Como, and a hundred annually for a considerable period; on all of whom the greatest cruelties were practised. The fraternity of witchfinders soon found their way to this country, under the fostering protection of the government; and it was of course their interest to keep up the delusion by every means in their power. We have already alluded to the cruelties exercised in Great Britain during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and add an account of one of the cruel ceremonies used to detect witches:—"Having taken the suspected witch," says Gaule, "she is placed in the middle of a room upon a stool or table, cross-legged, or in some other uneasy posture, to which if she submits not, she is then bound with cords. There she is watched and kept without meat or sleep for the space of four-and-twenty hours; for (they say) that within that time they shall see her imp come and suck. A little hole is likewise made in the door for the imp to come in at; and lest it should come in some less discernible shape, they that watch are taught to be ever and anon sweeping the room, and if they see any spiders or flies, to kill them. And if they cannot kill them, they may be sure they are her imps!" Towards the conclusion of the seventeenth century, the delusion and jugglery of witchcraft was in a great measure overthrown by the firmness of the English judges; amongst the most prominent of whom stands Chief Justice Holt. Indeed a statute was shortly after passed, which made it wilful murder, should any of the objects of persecution lose their lives. The popular belief, however, in witchcraft still continued, and it was not till the ninth year of George II., that the statutes against it were repealed. We believe there is still an Irish statute unrepealed, which inflicts capital punishment on witches.
All is now of the past. The "schoolmaster is abroad," and not only is the belief in witches, but all the tribe of ghosts and spirits is fast melting away. The latter have also added in no inconsiderable degree to the sum of human suffering. The number of the good was small compared to the evil, and though it was in their power to come in what shape or guise they chose, "dilated or condensed, bright or obscure," yet it must be confessed they generally chose to assume "forms forbidden," and their visitations were much oftener accompanied with "blasts from hell" than "airs from heaven." It has been justly remarked that "they were potent agents in the hands of the priest and the tyrant to delude and to enslave; for this business they were most admirably fitted, and most faithfully did they perform it." Those inevitable evils which man is destined to endure in this present state, are enough without the addition of the almost unmingled bitterness of the infusion, which superstition would pour into his cup.
(To be continued.)
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
LONDON LYRICS.—THE IMAGE BOY.
Whoe'er has trudged, on frequent feet, From Charing Cross to Ludgate-street, That haunt of noise and wrangle, Has seen, on journeying through the Strand, A foreign image-vender stand Near Somerset's quadrangle.
His coal-black eye, his balanced walk, His sable apron, white with chalk, His listless meditation, His curly locks, his sallow cheeks, His board of celebrated Greeks, Proclaim his trade and nation.
Not on that board as erst, are seen A tawdry troop; our gracious Queen With tresses like a carrot, A milk-maid with a pea-green pail, A poodle with a golden tail, John Wesley, and a parrot;—
No; far more classic is his stock; With ducal Arthur, Milton, Locke, He bears, unconscious roamer, Alemena's Jove-begotten Son, Cold Abelard's too tepid Nun, And pass-supported Homer.
See yonder bust adorned with curls; 'Tis her's, the Queen who melted pearls Marc Antony to wheedle. Her bark, her banquets, all are fled; And Time, who cut her vital thread, Has only spared her Needle.
Stern Neptune, with his triple prong, Childe Harold, peer of peerless song, So frolic Fortune wills it, Stand next the Son of crazy Paul, Who hugg'd the intrusive King of Gaul Upon a raft at Tilsit.
"Poor vagrant child of want and toll! The sun that warms thy native soil Has ripen'd not thy knowledge; 'Tis obvious, from that vacant air, Though Padua gave thee birth, thou ne'er Didst graduate in her College.
"'Tis true thou nam'st thy motley freight; But from what source their birth they date, Mythology or history. Old records, or the dreams of youth, Dark fable, or transparent truth, Is all to thee a mystery.
"Come tell me, Vagrant, in a breath, Alcides' birth, his life, his death, Recount his dozen labours: Homer thou know'st—but of the woes Of Troy, thou'rt ignorant as those Dark Orange-boys, thy neighbours."
'Twas thus, erect, I deign'd to pour My shower of lordly pity o'er The poor Italian wittol, As men are apt to do, to show Their 'vantage-ground o'er those who know Just less than their own little.
When lo, methought Prometheus' flame Waved o'er a bust of deathless fame, And woke to life Childe Harold: The Bard aroused me from my dream Of pity, alias self-esteem, And thus indignant caroll'd:—
"O thou, who thus in numbers pert And petulant, presum'st to flirt With Memory's Nine Daughters: Whose verse the next trade-winds that blow Down narrow Paternoster-row Shall 'whelm in Lethe's waters:
"Slight is the difference I see Between yon Paduan youth and thee: He moulds, of Pans plaster, An urn by classic Chantrey's laws,— And thou a literary vase Of would-be alabaster.
"Were I to arbitrate betwixt His terra cotta, plain or mix'd, And thy earth-gender'd sonnet; Small cause has he th' award to dread:— Thy Images are in the head, And his, poor boy, are on it!"
New Monthly Magazine.
* * * * *
Punch was first made by the English at Nemle, near Goa, where they have the Nepa die Goa, commonly called arrack. This fascinating liquor got the name of punch, from its being composed of five articles—that word, in the Hindostanee language, signifying five. The legitimate punch-makers, however, consider it a compound of four articles only; and some learned physicians have, therefore, named it Diapente (from Diatesseron,) and have given it according to the following prescription—
Rum, miscetur aqua—dulci miscetur acetum, fiet et ex tali foedere—nobile Punch.
and our worthy grand-fathers used to take a dose of it every night in their lives, before going to bed, till doctor Cheyne alarmed them by the information, that they were pouring liquid fire down their throats. "Punch," said he, "is like opium, both in its nature and manner of operation, and nearest arsenic in its deleterious and poisonous qualities; and, so," added he, "I leave it to them, who, knowing this, will yet drink on and die."
Who, that has drunk this agreeable accompaniment to calapash, at the City of London Tavern, ever found themselves the worse for it? They may have felt their genius inspired, or their nobler passions animated—but fire and inflammation there was none. The old song says—
It is the very best of physic.
and there have been very excellent physicians, who have confirmed the opinion by their practice. What did the learned Dr. Sherard, the grave Mr. Petiver, and the apothecary Mr. Tydall, drink in their herborizing tour through Kent? Why—punch! and so much were they delighted with it, at Winchelsea, that they made a special note in their journal, in honour of the Mayoress, who made it, that the punch was not only excellent, but that "each succeeding bowl was better than the former!"—Brande's Journal.
* * * * *
CHOICE OF A RESIDENCE.—ADVICE TO BACHELORS.
There is a sort of half-way between town and the country, which some assert combines the advantages, others the defects, of each; and this is a country-town. Here, indeed, a little money, a little learning, and a little fashion, will go ten times as far as they will in London. Here, a man who takes in the Quarterly or Edinburgh, is a literary character; the lady who has one head-dress in the year from a Bond-street milliner, becomes the oracle of fashion, "the observed of all observers;" here dinners are talked of as excellent, at which neither French dishes nor French wines were given, and a little raspberry ice would confer wide celebrity on an evening party, and excite much animadversion and surprise. Here, notwithstanding a pretty strong line of demarcation between the different sets of society, every one appears to know every body; the countenances and names of each are familiar; we want no slave, who calls out the names; but are ready with a proper supply of condescending nods, friendly greetings, and kind inquiries, to dispense to each passenger according to his claims. Indeed, in calculating the length of time requisite for arriving at a certain point, the inhabitant of a country town should make due allowance for the necessary gossip which must take place on the road, and for the frequent interchange of bulletins of health, which is sure to occur; and after a residence of any length in these sociable places, a sensation of solitude and desertion is felt in those crowded streets of our metropolis, where the full tide of population may roll past us for hours without bringing with it a single glance of recognition or kindness. Here round games and Casino still find refuge and support amidst a steady band of faithful partizans; here old maids escape ridicule from being numerous, and old bachelors acquire importance from being scarce. It is, indeed, to this latter description of persons that I would especially recommend a residence in a country town; and, as Dr. Johnson said, that "wherever he might dine, he would wish to breakfast in Scotland;" so, wherever I may pass my youth, let my days of old bachelorship, if to such I am doomed, be spent in a country town. There the genteel male population forsake their birthplace at an early age; and since war no longer exists to supply their place with the irresistible military, the importance of a single man, however small his attractions, however advanced his age, is considerable; while a tolerably agreeable bachelor under sixty is the object of universal attention, the cynosure of every lady's eye. In the cathedral city, where I visited a friend some years since, there were forty-five single women, from sixteen to fifty, and only three marriageable men. Let any one imagine the delight of receiving the most flattering attentions from fifteen women at once, some of them extremely pretty and agreeable; or, I should rather say, from forty-five, since the three bachelors, politically avoiding all appearance of preference, were courted equally by nearly the whole phalanx of the sisterhood. One of the enviable men, being only just of age, was indeed too young to excite hopes in the more elderly ladies, but another more fortunate, if he knew his happiness, ("sua si bona norit"), was exposed to the attacks, more or less open, of every unmarried woman. Alas! he was insensible to his privileges; a steady man of fifty-five, a dignitary of the church, devoted to study, and shy in his habits, he seemed to shrink from the kind attentions he received, and to wish for a less favoured, a less glorious state of existence. His desires seemed limited to reading the Fathers, writing sermons, and doing his duty as a divine; and he appeared of opinion that no helpmate was required to fulfil them. But still the indefatigable phalanx of forty-five, with three or four widows as auxiliaries, continued their attacks, and his age, as I before observed, was fatally encouraging to the hopes of each. The youngest looked in their glasses and remembered the power of youth and beauty; the middle-aged calculated on the good sense and propriety of character of their object, and were "sure he would never marry a girl;" and the most elderly exaggerated his gravity, thought of his shovel hat, and seemed to suppose that every woman under fifty must be too giddy for its wearer. Meanwhile, what a life he led!—his opinions law; his wishes gospel; the cathedral crowded when he preached; churches attended; schools visited; waltzing calumniated; novels concealed; shoulders covered; petticoats lengthened—all to gain his approving eye. The fact is, his sphere of useful influence was much enlarged by his single state; as a married man, he could only have reformed his wife; as a bachelor, he exercised undisputed power over every spinster in his neighbourhood. He was, indeed, unconscious of, or ungratified by the deference and incense he received; but the generality of men are less insensible, and half the homage he so carefully rejected would have been sufficient to intoxicate with delight and self-complacency the greater part of his fraternity. What object in nature is more pitiable than a London old bachelor, of moderate fortune and moderate parts? whose conversational powers do not secure him invitations to dinners, when stiffness of limb and a growing formality have obliged him to retreat from quadrilles. The rich, we know, thrive everywhere, and at all seasons, safe from neglect, secure from ridicule. I speak of those less strongly fortified against the effects of time; those who, scarcely considered good speculations in their best days, are now utterly insignificant, concealed and jostled by a crowd of younger aspirants, overlooked by mammas, except when needed to execute some troublesome commission; and without a chance of receiving a single word or glance from their daughters unmarked by that provoking ease and compassionate familiarity, which tell them, better than words, that their day of influence has closed for ever. Let such unhappy men fly from the scenes of former pleasure and power, of former flirtation and gaiety, to the quieter and surer triumphs of a country town. Here crowds of young women, as certainly devoted to celibacy as the inmates of a nunnery, accustomed from necessity to make beaux out of the most unprecedented materials, and concoct flirtations in the most discouraging circumstances, will welcome him with open arms, underrate his age, overrate his merits, doubt if his hair is gray, deny that he wears false teeth, accept his proffered arm with an air of triumph, and even hint a wonder that he has given up dancing. To their innocent cheeks his glance will have the long-lost power of calling up a blush; eyes as bright as those which beamed upon his youth will sparkle at his approach; and tender hearts, excluded by fate from palpitations for a more suitable object, must per force beat quicker at his address. Here let him revel in the enjoyment of unbounded influence, preserve it by careful management to the latest possible moment, and at length gradually slide from the agreeable old beau into the interesting invalid, and secure for his days of gout, infirmity, and sickness, a host of attentive nurses, of that amiable sex which delights and excels in offices of pity and kindness; who will read him news, recount him gossip, play backgammon or cribbage, knit him comfortables, make him jellies, and repay by affectionate solicitude and unselfish attentions the unmeaning, heartless, worthless admiration which he bestowed upon them in his better days.—New Monthly Magazine.
* * * * *
THE ANECDOTE GALLERY.
* * * * *
On the crew of the Flora being treated to see Othello at the Portsmouth Theatre, Cassio's silly speech proved an exquisite relish to the audience, where he apostrophizes heaven, "Forgive us our sins," and endeavours to persuade his companion that he is sober. "Do not think, gentlemen, I am drunk? this is my Ancient: this is my right hand, and this is my left hand: I am not drunk now." "No, not you," roared a Jack, who no doubt would have been a willing witness in Cassio's defence, had he been brought to the gangway for inebriety. "I can stand well enough," continued the representative of Cassio. "Then, hang it! why don't you walk the plank at once, and prove yourself sober?" vociferated a long-tailed wag, determined not to slip this opportunity of having a shot on the sly at his first lieutenant, who had only a night or two before put his perpendicularity to a similar test.
At the last scene the shouts became alarming; volleys of imprecations were hurled at his head—his limbs—his life. "What!" said one of the rudest of the crew, "can the black brute cut her lifelines? She's a reg'lar-built angel, and as like my Bet as two peas."—"Ay," said a messmate, "it all comes of being jealous, and that's all as one as mad; but you know, if he's as good as his word, he's sure to be hanged,— that's one comfort!" When the Moor seized her in bed by the throat, Desdemona shrieking for permission to repeat but one short prayer, and he rancorously exclaims, in attempting to strangle her, "It is too late!" the house, as it is said a French audience had done ere now, could endure no more; and the sailors rose in their places, giving the most alarming indications of angry excitement, and of a determination to mingle in the murderous scene below. "I'm ——, Dick, if I can stand it any longer," said the spokesman of the gallery. "You're no man, if you can sit and look on quietly; hands off, you blood-thirsty niggar," he vociferated, and threw himself over the side of the gallery in a twinkling; clambering down by a pillar into the boxes, and scrambled across the pit, over every person in his way, till he reached the noisy boatswain's mate. Him he "challenged to the rescue," and exclaimed, "Now's your time, Ned,—Pipe the boarders away—all hands,—! if you're a man as loves a woman. Now, go it," said he, and dashed furiously over all obstacles,—fiddles, flutes, and fiddlers. Smash went the foot-lights—Caesar had passed the Rubicon. The contagion of feeling became general; and his trusty legions, fired with the ambition that inspired their leader, followed, sweeping all before them, till the whole male population of the theatre crowded the stage en masse, amid shouts of encouragement, or shrieks of terror; outraging, by their mistaken humanity, all the propriety of this touching drama; and, for once, rescuing the gentle Desdemona from the deadly grasp of the murderous Moor, who fled in full costume, dagger in hand, from the house, and through the dark streets of Dock, until he reached his home in a state of inconceivable affright. The scene of confusion which followed, it would be fruitless to attempt to describe. All was riot and uproar.—Sailors and Saints.
* * * * *
DEATH OF DAUBENTON.
We have had countless instances of "the ruling passion strong in death;" but perhaps we can adduce nothing more illustrative of that feeling than the following fact, which may vie with the sublimity of Rousseau's death, when he desired to look on the sun ere his eyes were closed in the rayless tomb:—M. Daubenton, the scientific colleague of Buffon, and the anatomical illustrator of his "Histoire Naturelle," on being chosen a member of the Conservative Senate, was seized with apoplexy the first time he assisted at the sessions of that body, and fell senseless into the arms of his astonished colleagues. The most prompt assistance could only restore him to feeling for a few moments, during which he showed himself, what he had always been—a tranquil observer of nature. He felt with his fingers, which still retained sensation, the various parts of his body, and pointed out to the assistants the progress of the disease! He died on the 31st of December, 1799. The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal states, "it may be said of him, that he attained happiness the most perfect, and the least mixed, that any man could hope to attain. His life was marked by an undeviating pursuit of science; and to him was Buffon indebted for instruction and example. Naturally of a mild and conciliatory disposition, and gifted with cool and dispassionate consideration, he was just such a preceptor as was calculated to curb the imagination of Buffon, whose fiery and ardent genius was apt to substitute theory for proof, and fancy for fact; and often did the 'biting smile' of M. Daubenton check the ardency of Buffon, and his well-weighed words arrest him in his headlong progress." What more noble picture of scientific devotion can we imagine than the feeble and aged Daubenton, shut up for whole days in his cabinet of natural history, ardently exerting himself in the complex and weary task of arranging the objects according to their several relations? But Buffon, with the wayward negligence which clings to genius, did wrong to his friend in publishing an edition of his "Histoire Naturelle" without the dissections. Yet such a step, discountenanced by all the liberal body of science, was forgiven by the philosophic and gentle Daubenton; and Buffon made atonement for his aberration, by re-uniting himself to the companion of his childhood, the participator in his studies, and the preceptor of his genius.
* * * * *
STORY ON A MARCH.
An officer in India, whose stock of table-linen had been completely exhausted during the campaign,—either by wear or tear or accident,—had a few friends to dine with him. The dinner being announced to the party, seated in the al fresco drawing-room of a camp, the table appeared spread with eatables, but without the usual covering of a cloth. The master, who, perhaps, gave himself but little trouble about these matters, or who probably relied upon his servant's capacity in the art of borrowing, or, at all events, on his ingenuity on framing an excuse, inquired, with an angry voice, why there was no table-cloth. The answer was, "Massa not got;" with which reply, after apologizing to his guests, he was compelled, for the present, to put up. The next morning he called his servant, and rated him soundly, and perhaps beat him, (for I lament to say that this was too much the practice with European masters in India,) for exposing his poverty to the company; desiring him, another time, if similarly circumstanced, to say that all the table-cloths were gone to the wash. Another day, although the table appeared clothed in the proper manner, the spoons, which had probably found their way to the bazar, perhaps to provide the very articles of which the feast was composed, were absent, whether with or without leave is immaterial. "Where are all the spoons?" cried the apparently enraged master. "Gone washerman, sar!" was the answer. Roars of laughter succeeded, and a teacup did duty for the soup-ladle. The probable consequence of this unlucky exposure of the domestic economy of the host, namely, a sound drubbing to the poor maty-boy, brings to my mind an anecdote which, being in a story-telling vein, I cannot resist the temptation of introducing. It was related to me, with great humour, by one of the principals in the transaction, whose candour exceeded his fear of shame. He had been in the habit of beating his servants, till one in particular complained that he would have him before Sir Henry Gwillam, then chief justice at Madras, who had done all in his power to suppress the disgraceful practice. Having a considerable balance to settle with his maty-boy on the score of punishment, but fearing the presence of witnesses, the master called him one day into a bungalow at the bottom of his garden, at some distance from the house. "Now," said he as he shut the door and put the key into his pocket, "you'll complain to Sir Henry Gwillam, will you? There is nobody near to bear witness to what you may say, and, with the blessing of God, I'll give it you well."—"Massa sure nobody near?" asked the Indian.—"Yes, yes, I've taken good care of that."—"Then I give massa one good beating." And forthwith the maty-boy proceeded to put his threat into execution, till the master, being the weaker of the two, was compelled to cry mercy; which being at length granted, and the door opened with at least as much alacrity as it was closed, Maotoo decamped without beat of drum, never to appear again.—Twelve Years' Military Adventures, &c.
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles. SHAKSPEARE.
* * * * *
Inscribed on a Tombstone.
When you look on my grave, And behold how they wave, The cypress, the yew, and the willow, You think 'tis the breeze That gives motion to these— 'Tis the laughter that's shaking my pillow.
I must laugh when I see A poor insect like thee Dare to pity the fate thou must own; Let a few moments slide, We shall lie side by side, And crumble to dust, bone for bone.
Go, weep thine own doom, Thou wert born for the tomb— Thou hast lived, like myself, but to die; Whilst thou pity'st my lot, Secure fool, thou'st forgot Thou art no more immortal than I! H.B.A.
* * * * *
While the late Mr. Gifford was at Ashburton, he contracted an acquaintance with a family of that place, consisting of females somewhat advanced in age. On one occasion he ventured on the perilous exploit of drinking tea with these elderly ladies. After having swallowed his usual allowance of tea, he found, in spite of his remonstrances to the contrary, that his hostess would by no means suffer him to give up, but persisted in making him drink a most incredible quantity. "At last," said Gifford in telling the story, "being really overflooded with tea, I put down my fourteenth cup, and exclaimed, with an air of resolution, 'I neither can nor will drink any more.' The hostess then seeing she had forced more down my throat than I liked, began to apologize, and added, 'but, dear Mr. Gifford, as you didn't put your spoon across your cup, I supposed your refusals were nothing but good manners.'"
* * * * *
An anecdote is told of a captain in the service, since dead, that whilst carrying out a British ambassador to his station abroad, a quarrel arose on the subject of precedency. High words were exchanged between them on the quarter-deck, when, at length, the ambassador, thinking to silence the captain, exclaimed, "Recollect, sir, I am the representative of his majesty!" "Then, sir," retorted the captain, "recollect that here I am more than majesty itself. Can the king seize a fellow up and give him three dozen?" Further argument was useless—the diplomatist struck.
* * * * *
A lady who had been a pupil of this distinguished professor of dancing, and remained subsequently his steady and zealous friend, succeeded in obtaining for him from the government a pension for life. In her great joy at having such a boon to put into his possession, she advanced to him—the certificate in her hand—with a hurried and anxious step; when M. Marcel, shocked at the style of presentation, struck the paper out of her hand, demanding if she had forgotten his instructions? The lady immediately picked it up, and presented it with due form and grace; on which the accomplished Marcel, the enthusiastic professor of his art, respectfully kissed her hand, and with a profound bow exclaimed, "Now I know my own pupil!"
* * * * *
C ould angel's voice, or poet's lays, A ttune my votive song to praise R esistless then I'd touch the lyre, O r chant her praise, whom all admire. L et candour, dearest maid, excuse; I claim no kindred to the muse, N or can a lowly song of mine E xpress the worth of Caroline. A.C.
* * * * *
"JACK OF BOTH SIDES."
This proverb is derived from the Greek, and applied to Theramenes, who was at first a mighty stickler for the thirty tyrants' authority: but when they began to abuse it by defending such outrageous practices, no man more violently opposed it than he; and this (says Potter) got him the nick-name of "Jack of both sides," from Cothurnus, which was a kind of shoe that fitted both feet. P.T.W.
* * * * *
PLAY OF "CAESAR IN EGYPT."
When the pack'd audience from their posts retir'd, And Julius in a general hiss expir'd, Sage Booth to Cibber cried, "Compute your gains; These Egypt dogs, and their old dowdy queens, But ill requite these habits and these scenes! To rob Corneille for such a motley piece— His geese were swans, but, zounds, thy swans are geese." Rubbing his firm, invulnerable brow, The bard replied, "The critics must allow, 'Twas ne'er in Caesar's destiny to run." Wils bow'd, and bless'd the gay, pacific pun. Mist's Journal, 1724.
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FRIENDSHIP AND LOVE.
Friendship is like the cobbler's tye, That binds two soles in unity; But love is like the cobbler's awl, That pierces through the soul and all. W.J.
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Why is St. Giles's clock like a pelisse, and unlike a cloak?—Because it shows the figure without confining the hands.
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The mayor of a country town, conceiving that the word clause was in the plural number, would often talk of a claw in an act of parliament.
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A HUNDRED POUND NOTE.
The following pathetic soliloquy was found written on the back of a hundred pound note of the National Bank, which passed through our hands lately, and we are sorry we can now add our sympathies to those of our poet on the transitory nature of those sublunary enjoyments:—
"A little while ye hae been mine; Nae langer can I keep ye; I fear ye'll ne'er be mine again, Nor any ither like ye."
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"NOTICE to Informe the gentries: Find Dogs and some to be sold."
"M. Boursier, mershant, has the honour to give account at the English and strangers, gentlemen and livings from East Indies, that he takes charge of all species of goods or ventures, and all commissions. Like all kinds of spices and fine eating things: keep likewise a general staple of French and strangers wines, the all in confidence, and the most reasonable prices."
"Bed and table linen, plate, knives, and forks, also donkies to let. Mangling done here."
In the church al Calais.
"Tronc pour les pauvres de L'hopital." "Trunk for the poor hospitable."
"Quand on a tout perdu et qu'on a plus despoir On prend l'devant sa chemise pour sa farie un mouchoir."
The above are all copied verbatim and literatim. J.G.R.
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When a Grand Vizier is favourably deposed, that is, without banishing or putting him to death, it is signified to him by a messenger from the Sultan, who goes to his table, and wipes the ink out of his golden pen; this he understands as the sign of dismissal. W.G.C.
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It is the remark of a sensible authoress, (Miss Hawkins,) that every day resembles a trunk which has to be filled; and when we fancy that we have packed it to the uttermost, we shall still find that by good management it might, and would, have held more.—Our quotation is from memory, but correct as to simile and substance; and we consider the remark not less striking than quaint. M.L.B.
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On January 31 will be published, price 5s. with a Frontispiece, and upwards of thirty other Engravings, the
ARCANA OF SCIENCE, AND ANNUAL REGISTER OF THE USEFUL ARTS, FOR 1829.
The MECHANICAL department contains ONE HUNDRED New Inventions and Discoveries, with 14 Engravings.
CHEMICAL, SEVENTY articles, with 2 Engravings.
NATURAL HISTORY, 135 New Facts and Discoveries, with 7 Engravings.
ASTRONOMICAL and METEOROLOGICAL PHENOMENA—35 articles—6 Engravings.
AGRICULTURE, GARDENING, and RURAL ECONOMY, 30 pages.
MISCELLANEOUS REGISTER, &c.
For Critical Opinions of the Volume for last year, see Gardener's, New Monthly, and London Magazines, &c. &c.