THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 13, NO. 371.] SATURDAY, MAY 23, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
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THE FORTUNE PLAYHOUSE.
The Engraving represents one of the playhouses of Shakspeare's time, as the premises appeared a few years since. This theatre was in Golden Lane, Barbican, and was built by that celebrated and benevolent actor Edward Alleyn, the pious founder of Dulwich College, in 1599. It was burnt in 1624, but rebuilt in 1629. A story is told of a large treasure being found in digging for the foundation, and it is probable that the whole sum fell to Alleyn. Upon equal probability, is the derivation of the name "The Fortune." The theatre was a spacious brick building, and exhibited the royal arms in plaster on its front. These are retained in the Engraving; where the disposal of the lower part on the building into shops, &c. is a sorry picture of the "base purposes" to which a temple of the Drama has been converted.
According to the testimony of Ben Jonson and others, Alleyn was the first actor of his time, and of course played leading characters in the plays of Shakspeare and Jonson. He was probably the Kemble of his day, for his biographers tell us such was his celebrity, that he drew crowds of spectators after him wherever he performed; so that possessing some private patrimony, with a careful and provident disposition, he soon became master of an establishment of his own—and this was the Fortune. Although Alleyn left behind him a large sum, it is hardly probable that he made it here; for in his diary, which, we believe is extant, he records that he once had so slender an audience, that the whole receipts of the house amounted to no more than three pounds and a few odd shillings—a sum which would not pay the expenses; for it appears by the MS. of Lord Stanhope, treasurer to James I. that the customary sum paid for the performance of a play at court, was 20 nobles, or 6l. 12s. 4d. Alleyn was likewise proprietor of the Blackfriars' Theatre, near what is still called Playhouse Yard. However he might have gathered laurels on the stage, he must have gained his fortune by other means. He was keeper of the King's Bear Garden and Menagerie, which were frequented by thousands, and produced Alleyn, the then great sum of 500l. per annum. He was also thrice married, and received portions with his two first wives; and we need not insist upon the turn which matrimony gives to a man's fortune.
 The nightly expenses of Drury Lane and Covent Garden Theatres in these days, are upwards of 200l.
Among the theatrico-antiquarian gossip of The Fortune is, that it was once the nursery for Henry VIII.'s children—but "no scandal about the"—we hope.
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EXHIBITION OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY.
All men are critics, in a greater or less degree. They can generalize upon the merits and defects of a picture, although they cannot point out the details of the defects, or in what the beauty of a picture consists; and to prove this, only let the reader visit the Exhibition at Somerset House, and watch the little critical coteries that collect round the most attractive paintings. Could all these criticisms be embodied, but in "terms of art," what a fine lecture would they make for the Royal Academy.
Our discursive notice would, probably, contribute but little to this joint-stock production; but as even comparing notes is not always unprofitable, we venture to give our own.
The present Exhibition is much superior to that of last year. There are more works of imagination, and consequently greater attractions for the lover of painting; for life-breathing as have been many of the portraits in recent exhibitions, the interest which they created was of quite a different nature to that which we take in not a few of the pictures of the present collection. Portraits still superabound, and finely painted portraits too; but, strange to say, there are fewer female portraits in the present than in any recent exhibition.
But the elite are seven pictures by Mr. Wilkie, who has reappeared, as it were, in British art, after an absence from England; during which he appears to have studied manners and costume with beautiful effect; and the paintings to which we allude, are triumphant proofs of his success. They are embodiments or realizations of character, manners, and scenery, with which the painter has been wont to mix, and thus to transfer them to his canvass with vividness and fidelity—merits of the highest order in all successes of art. We shall touch upon these pictures in our ramble through the rooms—
4. Subject from the Revelations.—F. Danby—A sublime composition.
10. The Fountain: morning.—A.W. Callcott. A delightful picture.
14. Rubens and the Philosopher.—G. Clint. The anecdote of Rubens and Brondel, the alchemist, remarkably well told.
16. Benaiah.—W. Etty—The line in 2 Samuel xxiii. 20., "he slew two lion-like men of Moab," has furnished Mr. Etty with the subject of this picture. It is a surprising rather than a pleasing composition; but the strength of colouring is very extraordinary. The disproportions of parts of the principal figure will, however, be recognised by the most casual beholder: although as a fine display of muscular energy, this picture is truly valuable, and is a proud specimen of the powerful genius of the painter.
28. Waterfall near Vatlagunta, in the peninsula of India, in the mountains that divide the Coasts of Coromandel and Malabar: its height between 500 and 600 feet.—W. Daniell.—The sublime and stupendous character of the scenery will enable the reader to form some idea of the difficulty with which the artist had to contend.
43. The Lady in St. Swithin's Chair from vol. i. Waverley.—Sir W. Beechey.—We confess ourselves far from pleased with this picture. There is a want of freedom in it which is any thing but characteristic of the incident which it is intended to portray.
56. The Spanish Posado.—D. Wilkie.—We must describe this picture in the words of the catalogue:—
This represents a Guerrilla council of war, at which three reverend fathers—a Dominican, a monk of the Escurial, and a Jesuit, are deliberating on some expedient of national defence, with an emissary in the costume of Valencia. Behind them is the posadera, or landlady, serving her guests with chocolate, and the begging student of Salamanca, with his lexicon and cigar, making love to her. On the right of the picture, a contrabandist of Bilboa enters, upon his mule, and in front of him is an athletic Castilian armed, and a minstrel dwarf, with a Spanish guitar. On the floor are seated the goatherd and his sister, with the muzzled house-dog and pet lamb of the family, and through the open portal in the background is a distant view of the Guadarama mountains—It is next to impossible for us to do justice to the diversified character of this picture. The deliberation of the fathers, and the little bit of episode between the landlady and student are extremely interesting.
(To be continued.)
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SPITTLE-FIELDS, AND WEAVING IN FORMER DAYS.
(For the Mirror.)
Stowe says, "On the east side of the churchyard of St. Mary Spittle, lyeth a large field, of old time called Lolesworth, now Spittle-Field, which about the year 1576, was broken up for clay to make bricke; in digging thereof many earthen pots called urnae, were found full of ashes and the bones of men, to wit of the Romans that inhabited here. For it was the custom of the Romans to burne their dead, to put their ashes in an urne, and then bury the same with certain ceremonies, in some field appointed for the purpose neere unto their city. Every one of these pots had in them (with the ashes of the dead) one piece of copper money, with an inscription of the emperor then reigning. Some of them were of Claudius, some of Vespasian, some of Nero, &c. There hath also been found (in the same field) divers coffins of stone, containing the bones of men; these I suppose to be the bones of some speciall persons, in the time of the Brittons, or Saxons, after that the Romans had left to govern here.
"The priory and hospital of St. Mary Spittle, was founded (says Pennant) in 1197, by Walter Brune, Sheriff of London, and his wife, Rosia, for canons regular of the order of St. Augustine. It was remarkable for its pulpit cross, at which a preacher used to preach a sermon consolidated out of four others, which had been preached at St. Paul's Cross, on Good Friday, and the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Easter week; giving afterwards a sermon of his own. At these sermons the mayor and aldermen attended, dressed in different coloured robes on each occasion. This custom continued till the destruction of church government in the civil wars. They have since been transferred to St. Bride's Church. Queen Elizabeth, in April, 1559, visited St. Mary Spittal, in great state, probably to hear a sermon delivered from the cross. This princess was attended by a thousand men in harness with shirts of mail and corslets, and morice pikes, and ten great pieces carried through London unto the court, with drums and trumpets sounding, and two morice-dancers, and in a cart two white bears."
The priory of St. Mary, of St. Mary Spittle, contained at its dissolution, about the year 1536, no less than 180 beds for the reception of sick persons and travellers. Richard Tarleton, the famous comedian, at the Curtain Theatre, it is said, "kept an ordinary in Spittle-fields, pleasant fields for the citizens to walk in;" and the row called Paternoster Row, as the name implies, was formerly a few houses, where they sold rosaries, relics, &c. The once celebrated herbalist and astrologer, Nicholas Culpepper, was another inhabitant of this spot. He died in 1654, in a house he had some time occupied, very pleasantly situated in the fields; but now a public house at the corner of Red Lion Court, Red Lion Street, east of Spittlefields market. The house, though it has undergone several repairs, still exhibits the appearance of one of those that formed a part of old London. The weaving art, which has arrived at such an astonishing perfection, was patronized by the wise and liberal Edward III., who encouraged the art by the most advantageous offers of reward and encouragement to weavers who would come and settle in England. In 1331, two weavers came from Brabant and settled at York. The superior skill and dexterity of these men, who communicated their knowledge to others, soon manifested itself in the improvement and spread of the art of weaving in this island. Many Flemish weavers were driven from their native country by the cruel persecutions of the Duke d'Alva, in 1567. They settled in different parts of England, and introduced and promoted the manufacture of baizes, serges, crapes, &c. The arts of spinning, throwing, and weaving silk, were brought into England about the middle of the fifteenth century, and were practised by a company of women in London, called silk women. About 1480, men began to engage in the silk manufacture, and in the year 1686, nearly 50,000 manufacturers, of various descriptions, took refuge in England, in consequence of the revocation of the Edict of Nantz, by Louis le Grand, who sent thousands (says Pennant) of the most industrious of his subjects into this kingdom to present his bitterest enemies with the arts and manufactures of his kingdom; hence the origin of the silk trade in Spittlefields.
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THE BIRD OF THE TOMB.
BY LEIGH CLIFFE.
(For the Mirror.)
In "Lyon's attempt to reach Repulse Bay," the following passage, which suggested these verses, may be met with. "Near the large grave was a third pile of stones, covering the body of a child. A Snow-Buntin (the Red-Breast of the Arctic Regions) had found its way through the loose stones which composed this little tomb, and its now forsaken, neatly built nest, was found placed on the neck of the child."
Beneath the chilly Arctic clime, Where Nature reigns severe, sublime, Enthron'd upon eternal snows, Or rides the waves on icy floes— Where fierce tremendous tempests sweep The bosom of the rolling deep, And beating rain, and drifting hail Swell the wild fury of the gale; There is a little, humble tomb, Not deckt with sculpture's pageant pride, Nor labour'd verse to tell by whom The habitant was lov'd who died! No trophied 'scutcheon marks the grave— No blazon'd banners round it wave— 'Tis but a simple pile of stones Rais'd o'er a hapless infant's bones; Perchance a mother's tears have dew'd This sepulchre, so frail and rude;— A father mourn'd in accents wild, His offspring lost—his only child— Who might, in after years, have spread A ray of honour round his head, Nor thought, as stone on stone he threw, His child would meet a stranger's view.
But, lo! upon its clay-cold breast, The Arctic Robin rais'd its nest, And rear'd its little fluttering young, Where Death in awful quiet slept, And fearless chirp'd, and gaily sung Around the babe its parents wept. It was the guardian of the grave, And thus its chirping seem'd to say:— "Tho' naught from Death's chill grasp could save, Tho' naught could chase his power away— As round this humble spot I wing, My thrilling voice shall daily sing A requiem o'er the faded flower, That bloom'd and wither'd in an hour, And prov'd life is, in every view, Naught but a rose-bud twin'd with rue. A blossom born at day's first light, And fading with the earliest night; Nor stranger's step, nor shrieking loom, Shall scare the warbler from the tomb'"
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CURING THE "KING'S EVIL."
(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
About five miles from Sturminster Newton, and near the village of Hazlebury, resides a Dr. B——, who has attained a reputation, far extended, for curing, in a miraculous manner, the king's evil; and as the method he employs is very different from that of most modern practitioners, a short account of it may, perhaps, be acceptable to the readers of the MIRROR.
I had long known that the doctor used some particular season for his operations, but was unable to say precisely the time, until a few days since I had a conversation with a person who is well acquainted with the doctor and his yearly "fair, or feast," as it is termed. Exactly twenty-four hours before the new moon, in the month of May, every year, whether it happens by night or by day, the afflicted persons assemble at the doctor's residence, where they are supplied, by him, with the hind legs of a toad! yes, gentle reader a toad—don't start—enclosed in a small bag (accompanied, I believe, with some verbal charm, or incantation,) and also a lotion and salve of the doctor's preparation. The bag containing the legs of the reptile is worn suspended from the neck of the patient, and the lotion and salve applied in the usual manner, until the cure is completed, or until the next year's "fair."
One would think that such a mysterious routine of doctoring, would attract but few, and those the most illiterate; but I can assure my readers the case is different. The number of carts, chaises, and other conveyances laden with the afflicted which passed through this place on the 2nd instant, bore ample testimony to the number of the doctor's applicants; and the appearance of many of them corroborated the opinion that they moved in a respectable sphere of life.
The new moon happening this year on the 3rd instant, at 57 minutes past 7 o'clock in the morning, the "fair" took place at the same hour the preceding day.
My readers, no doubt, have heard of the efficacy of the stone in the toad's head, alluded to by Shakspeare, for curing the cramp, &c. by application to the afflicted part; but it was left for Dr. B—— to discover the virtues of a toad's leg. Apropos, an eccentric friend of mine, once gravely told me he intended to procure this precious Bufonian jewel; and as probably some reader may feel a wish to possess it, I will furnish him with the proper method of obtaining it, as communicated by my scientific friend. Voici—Cut off poor bufo's head and enclose it in a small box pierced with many holes; place it in an ant hill, and let it remain some ten or twelve days, in which time, or a little longer, the ants will have entered and eaten up every part except the stone. RURIS.
 "Sweet are the uses of Adversity, Which, like a toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet, a precious jewel in his head."
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"THE MORNING STAR."
(For the Mirror.)
Queen of celestial beauty! Morning Star! Accept a humble bard's untut'red lay; To him, thy loveliness, surpasseth far The silv'ry moon, and eke the God of day. The world with all its pride cannot display A form so fair, so beautiful as thine; Its glories fade, its proudest beauties die; But you fair star! as first created shine, In never fading immortality! Like vice, from virtue's glance, yon clouds retire, Before the smile of one benignant ray, Sleepless and sad, my soul would fain aspire, Promethean like, to snatch ethereal fire, And draw relief from thee! bright harbinger of day!
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SCHINDERHANNES, THE GERMAN ROBBER.
At the commencement of the French Revolution, and for some time after, the two banks of the Rhine were the theatre of continual wars. Commerce was interrupted, industry destroyed, the fields ravaged, and the barns and cottages plundered; farmers and merchants became bankrupts, and journeymen and labourers thieves. Robbery was the only mechanical art which was worth pursuing, and the only exercises followed were assault and battery. These enterprises were carried on at first by individuals trading on their own capital of skill and courage; but when the French laws came into more active operation in the seat of their exploits, the desperadoes formed themselves, for mutual protection, into copartnerships, which were the terror of the country. Men soon arose among them whose talents, or prowess, attracted the confidence of their comrades, and chiefs were elected, and laws and institutions established. Different places of settlement were chosen by different societies; the famous Pickard carried his band into Belgium and Holland; while on the confines of Germany, where the wild provinces of Kirn, Simmerm, and Birkenfield offered a congenial field, the banditti were concentrated, whose last and most celebrated chief, the redoubted Schinderhannes, is the subject of this brief notice.
His predecessors, indeed, Finck, Peter the Black, Zughetto, and Seibert were long before renowned among those who square their conduct by the good old rule of clubs; they were brave men, and stout and pitiless robbers. But Schinderhannes, the boldest of the bold, young, active and subtle, converted the obscure exploits of banditti into the comparatively magnificent ravages of "the outlaw and his men;" and sometimes marched at the head of sixty or eighty of his troop to the attack of whole villages. Devoted to pleasure, no fear ever crossed him in its pursuit; he walked publicly with his mistress, a beautiful girl of nineteen, in the very place which the evening before had been the scene of one of his criminal exploits; he frequented the fairs and taverns, which were crowded with his victims; and such was the terror he had inspired, that these audacious exposures were made with perfect impunity. Free, generous, handsome, and jovial, it may even be conceived that sometime he gained the protection from love which could not have been extorted by force.
It is scarcely a wonder that with the admirable regulations of the robbers, they should have succeeded even to so great an extent as they did in that unsettled country. Not more than two or three of them were allowed to reside in the same town or village; they were scattered over the whole face of the district, and apparently connected with each other only by some mysterious free-masonry of their craft. When a blow was to be struck, a messenger was sent round by the chief to warn his followers; and at the mustering place the united band rose up, like the clan of Roderick Dhu from the heather, to disappear as suddenly again in darkness when the object was accomplished. Their clothing, names and nations were changed perpetually; a Jew broker at Cologne would figure some days after at Aix-la-Chapelle or Spa as a German baron, or a Dutch merchant, keeping open table, and playing a high game; and the next week he might be met with in a forest at the head of his troop. Young and beautiful women were always in their suite, who, particularly in the task of obtaining or falsifying passports, did more by their address than their lovers could have effected by their courage. Spies, principally Jews, were employed throughout the whole country, to give notice where a booty might be obtained. Spring and autumn were the principal seasons of their harvest; in winter the roads were almost impassable, and in summer the days were too long; the light of the moon, in particular, was always avoided, and so were the betraying foot prints in the snow. They seldom marched in a body to the place of attack, but went thither two or three in a party, some on foot, some on horseback, and some even in carriages. As soon as they had entered a village, their first care was to muffle the church bell, so as to prevent an alarm being rung; or to commence a heavy fire, to give the inhabitants an exaggerated idea of their numbers, and impress them with the feeling that it would be more prudent to stay at home than to venture out into the fray.
John Buckler, alias Schinderhannes, the worthy whose youthful arm wielded with such force a power constituted in this manner, was the son of a currier, and born at Muhlen, near Nastoeten, on the right bank of the Rhine. The family intended to emigrate to Poland, but on the way the father entered the Imperial service at Olmutz, in Moravia. He deserted, and his wife and child followed him to the frontiers of Prussia, and subsequently the travellers took up their abode again in the environs of the Rhine.
At the age of fifteen, Schinderhannes commenced his career of crime by spending a louis, with which he had been entrusted, in a tavern. Afraid to return home, he wandered about the fields till hunger compelled him to steal a horse, which he sold. Sheep stealing was his next vocation, but in this he was caught and transferred to prison. He made his escape, however, the first night, and returned in a very business-like manner to receive two crowns which were due to him on account of the sheep he had stolen. After being associated with the band as their chief, he went to buy a piece of linen, but thinking, from the situation of the premises, that it might be obtained without any exchange of coin on his part, he returned the same evening, and stealing a ladder in the neighbourhood, placed it at a window of the warehouse, and got in. A man was writing in the interior, but the robber looked at him steadily, and shouldering his booty, withdrew. He was taken a second time, but escaped as before on the same night.
His third escape was from a dark and damp vault in the prison of Schneppenbach, where, having succeeded in penetrating to the kitchen, he tore an iron bar from the window by main force, and leaped out at hazard. He broke his leg in the fall, but finding a stick, managed to drag himself along, in the course of three nights, to Birkenmuhl, without a morsel of food, but on the contrary, having left some ounces of skin and flesh of his own on the road.
Marianne Schoeffer was the first avowed mistress of Schinderhannes. She was a young girl of fourteen, of ravishing beauty, and always "se mettait avec une elegance extreme." Blacken Klos, one of the band, an unsuccessful suitor of the lady, one day, after meeting with a repulse, out of revenge carried off her clothes. When the outrage was communicated to Schinderhannes, he followed the ruffian to a cave where he had concealed himself, and slew him. It was Julia Blaesius, however, who became the permanent companion of the young chief. The account given by her of the manner in which she was united to the destiny of the robber is altogether improbable. A person came to her, she said, and mentioned that somebody wished to speak to her in the forest of Dolbach; she kept the assignation, and found there a handsome young man who told her that she must follow him—an invitation which she was obliged at length by threats to accede to. It appears sufficiently evident, however, that the personal attractions of Schinderhannes, who was then not twenty-two, had been sufficient of themselves to tempt poor Julia to her fate, and that of her own accord
"She fled to the forest to hear a love tale."
It may be, indeed, as she affirmed, that she was at first ignorant of the profession of her mysterious lover, who might address her somewhat in the words of the Scottish free-booter—
"A lightsome eye, a soldier's mien— A bonnet of the blue, A doublet of the Lincoln green, 'Twas all of me you knew."
But it is known that afterwards she even accompanied him personally in some of his adventures dressed in men's clothes.
The robberies of this noted chief became more audacious and extensive every day, and at last he established a kind of "black mail" among the Jews, at their own request. Accompanied one day by only two of his comrades, he did not hesitate to attack a cavalcade of forty-five Jews and five Christian peasants. The booty taken was only two bundles of tobacco, the robbers returning some provisions on a remonstrance from one of the Jews, who pleaded poverty. Schinderhannes then ordered them to take off their shoes and stockings, which he threw into a heap, leaving to every one the care of finding his own property. The affray that ensued was tremendous; the forty-five Jews who had patiently allowed themselves to be robbed by three men, fought furiously with each other about their old shoes; and the robber, in contempt of their cowardice, gave his carbine to one of them to hold while he looked on.
His daring career at length drew to a close, and he and his companions were arrested by the French authorities, and brought to trial. The chief, with nineteen others, were condemned to death in November, 1803, and Julia Blaesius to two years' imprisonment. The former met his fate with characteristic intrepidity, occupied to the last moment with his cares about Julia and his father.—From the Foreign Quarterly Review.—An excellent work.
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We are in the habit of passing by our old stone manor houses without knowing that they were important village fortresses, and substitutes for castles. That this is the fact is beyond all doubt, for Margaret Paston, writing to Sir John, says, "Ry't w'chipful hwsbond, I recomawnd to zw and prey zw to gete some crosse bowis and wydses (windlasses to strain cross-bows,) and quarrels (arrows with square heads) for zr howsis her ben low, yat yer may non man schet owt wt no long bowe." From hence we learn that the service of the long bow was connected with elevation in the building.
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LEGAL CRUSHING TO DEATH.
At the assizes in Sussex, August, 1735, a man who pretended to be dumb and lame, was indicted for a barbarous murder and robbery. He had been taken up upon suspicion, several spots of blood, and part of the property being found upon him. When he was brought to the bar, he would not speak or plead, though often urged to it, and the sentence to be inflicted on such as stand mute, read to him, in vain. Four or five persons in the court, swore that they had heard him speak, and the boy who was his accomplice, and apprehended, was there to be a witness against him; yet he continued mute; whereupon he was carried back to Horsham gaol, to be pressed to death, if he would not plead—when they laid on him 100 weight, then added 100 more, and he still continued obstinate; they then added 100 more, which made 300 lb. weight, yet he would not speak; 50 lb. more was added, when he was nearly dead, having all the agonies of death upon him; then the executioner, who weighed about 16 or 17 stone, laid down upon the board which was over him, and, adding to the weight, killed him in an instant. G.K.
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Socrates in his old age, learned to play upon a musical instrument. Cato, aged 80, began to learn Greek; and Plutarch, in his old age, acquired Latin. John Gelida, of Valentia, in Spain, did not begin the study of belles-lettres, until he was 40 years old.
Henry Spelman, having in his youth neglected the sciences, resumed them at the age of 50, with extraordinary success.
Fairfax, after having been the general of the parliamentary army in England, went to Oxford, and took his degree as Doctor-of-Law. Colbert, when minister, and almost 60 years of age, returned to his Latin and his law, in a situation where the neglect of one, if not both, might have been thought excusable; and Mons. Le Tellier, chancellor of France, reverted to the learning of logic that he might dispute with his grand-children.
Sir John Davies, at the age of 25, produced a poem on "The Immortality of the Soul," and in his 62nd year, as Mr. Thomas Campbell facetiously observes, when a judge and a statesman, another on dancing.
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ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN.
[As Sir Walter Scott's new work has not reached us in time to enable us to fill in the outline of the story in our present Number, we give a few sketchy extracts, or portraits,—such as will increase the interest for the appearance of the Narrative.
There are some admirable specimens of Swiss scenery, which have the effect of sublime painting: witness the following attempt of two travellers, father and son, who with their guide, are bewildered in the mountains by a sudden storm. The younger attempts to scale a broken path on the side of the precipice:]
Thus estimating the extent of his danger by the measure of sound sense and reality, and supported by some degree of practice in such exercise, the brave youth went forward on his awful journey, step by step, winning his way with a caution, and fortitude, and presence of mind, which alone could have saved him from instant destruction. At length he gained a point where a projecting rock formed the angle of the precipice, so far as it had been visible to him from the platform. This, therefore, was the critical point of his undertaking; but it was also the most perilous part of it. The rock projected more than six feet forward over the torrent, which he heard raging at the depth of a hundred yards beneath, with a noise like subterranean thunder. He examined the spot with the utmost care, and was led by the existence of shrubs, grass, and even stunted trees, to believe that this rock marked the farthest extent of the slip, or slide of earth, and that, could he but round the angle of which it was the termination, he might hope to attain the continuation of the path which had been so strangely interrupted by this convulsion of nature. But the crag jutted out so much as to afford no possibility of passing either under or around it; and as it rose several feet above the position which Arthur had attained, it was no easy matter to climb over it. This was, however, the course which he chose, as the only mode of surmounting what he hoped might prove the last obstacle to his voyage of discovery. A projecting tree afforded him the means of raising and swinging himself up to the top of the crag. But he had scarcely planted himself on it, had scarcely a moment to congratulate himself, on seeing, amid a wild chaos of cliffs and woods, the gloomy ruins of Geierstein, with smoke arising, and indicating something like a human habitation beside them, when, to his extreme terror, he felt the huge cliff on which he stood tremble, stoop slowly forward, and gradually sink from its position. Projecting as it was, and shaken as its equilibrium had been by the recent earthquake, it lay now so insecurely poised, that its balance was entirely destroyed, even by the addition of the young man's weight. Aroused by the imminence of the danger, Arthur, by an instinctive attempt at self-preservation, drew cautiously back from the falling crag into the tree by which he had ascended, and turned his head back as if spell-bound, to watch the descent of the fatal rock from which he had just retreated. It tottered for two or three seconds, as if uncertain which way to fall; and had it taken a sidelong direction, must have dashed the adventurer from his place of refuge, or borne both the tree and him headlong down into the river. After a moment of horrible uncertainty, the power of gravitation determined a direct and forward descent. Down went the huge fragment, which must have weighed at least twenty tons, rending and splintering in its precipitate course the trees and bushes which it encountered, and settling at length in the channel of the torrent, with a din equal to the discharge of a hundred pieces of artillery. The sound was re-echoed from bank to bank, from precipice to precipice, with emulative thunders; nor was the tumult silent till it rose into the region of eternal snows, which, equally insensible to terrestrial sounds, and unfavourable to animal life, heard the roar in their majestic solitude, but suffered it to die away without a responsive voice.
The solid rock had trembled and rent beneath his footsteps; and although, by an effort rather mechanical than voluntary, he had withdrawn himself from the instant ruin attending its descent, he felt as if the better part of him, his firmness of mind and strength of body, had been rent away with the descending rock, as it fell thundering, with clouds of dust and smoke, into the torrents and whirlpools of the vexed gulf beneath. In fact, the seaman swept from the deck of a wrecked vessel, drenched in the waves, and battered against the rocks on the shore, does not differ more from the same mariner, when, at the commencement of the gale, he stood upon the deck of his favourite ship, proud of her strength and his own dexterity, than Arthur, when commencing his journey, from the same Arthur, while clinging to the decayed trunk of an old tree, from which, suspended between heaven and earth, he saw the fall of the crag which he had so nearly accompanied. The effects of his terror, indeed, were physical as well as moral, for a thousand colours played before his eyes; he was attacked by a sick dizziness, and deprived at once of the obedience of those limbs which had hitherto served him so admirably; his arms and hands, as if no longer at his own command, now clung to the branches of the tree, with a cramp-like tenacity, over which he seemed to possess no power, and now trembled in a state of such complete nervous relaxation, as led him to fear that they were becoming unable to support him longer in his position.
[We must leave the reader here, although in dire suspense—and we regret to do so, because a beautiful incident follows—to give the following exquisite sketch of the heroine—a Swiss maiden. We will endeavour to connect these passages with our abridgment of the narrative.]
An upper vest, neither so close as to display the person—a habit forbidden by the sumptuary laws of the canton—nor so loose as to be an encumbrance in walking or climbing, covered a close tunic of a different colour, and came down beneath the middle of the leg, but suffered the ancle, in all its fine proportions, to be completely visible. The foot was defended by a sandal, the point of which was turned upwards, and the crossings and knots of the strings which secured it on the front of the leg were garnished with silver rings. The upper vest was gathered round the middle by a sash of parti-coloured silk, ornamented with twisted threads of gold; while the tunic, open at the throat, permitted the shape and exquisite whiteness of a well-formed neck to be visible at the collar, and for an inch or two beneath. The small portion of the throat and bosom thus exposed was even more brilliantly fair than was promised by the countenance, which last bore some marks of having been freely exposed to the sun and air—by no means in a degree to diminish its beauty, but just so far as to show that the maiden possessed the health which is purchased by habits of rural exercise. Her long, fair hair fell down in a profusion of curls on each side of a face whose blue eyes, lovely features, and dignified simplicity of expression, implied at once a character of gentleness, and of the self-relying resolution of a mind too virtuous to suspect evil, and too noble to fear it. Above these locks beauty's natural and most beseeming ornament—or rather, I should say, amongst them—was placed the small bonnet, which, from its size, little answered the purpose of protecting the head, but served to exercise the ingenuity of the fair wearer, who had not failed, according to the prevailing custom of the mountain maidens, to decorate the tiny cap with a heron's feather, and the then unusual luxury of a small and thin chain of gold, long enough to encircle the cap four or five times, and having the ends secured under a broad medal of the same costly metal. I have only to add, that the stature of the young person was something above the common size, and that the whole contour of her form, without being in the slightest degree masculine, resembled that of Minerva, rather than the proud beauties of Juno, or the yielding graces of Venus. The noble brow, the well-formed and active limbs, the firm and yet light step; above all, the total absence of any thing resembling the consciousness of personal beauty, and the open and candid look, which seemed desirous of knowing nothing that was hidden, and conscious that she herself had nothing to hide, were traits not unworthy of the goddess of wisdom and of chastity.
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THE SELECTOR, AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
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FRENCH COOKERY AND CONFECTIONERY.
Monsieur Ude, who is, unquestionably, the prince of gastronomers, has just published the tenth edition of his French Cook, of which, line upon line, we may say, Decies repelita placebit; and Jarrin, the celebrated artiste en sucre, has also revised his Italian Confectioner, in a fourth edition. We should think both these works must be the literary furniture of every good kitchen, or they ought to be; for there is just enough of the science in them to make them extremely useful, whilst all must allow them to be entertaining.
A few years ago, Mrs. Glasse ruled the roast of cookery, and not a stew was made without consulting her invaluable book. Whilst we were embroiled in war, her instructions were standing orders, but with the peace came a host of foreign luxuries and fashions, among these, Cookery from France. Hence the French system became introduced into the establishments of the wealthy of this country, to which may be attributed the sale of nine editions of M. Ude's work; for it is strictly what it professes to be, "A System of Fashionable and Economical Cookery, adapted to the use of English Families." The tenth edition, before us, is a bulky tome of about 500 pages, with an appendix of observations on the meals of the day; mode of giving suppers at Routs and soirees, as practised when the author was in the employ of Lord Sefton; and above all, a brief history of the rise and progress of Cookery, from an admirable French treatise. This is literally the sauce piquante of the volume, and we serve a little to our readers:—
It appears that the science of Cookery was in a very inferior state under the first and second race of the French kings. Gregory of Tours has preserved the account of a repast of French warriors, at which, in this refined age, we should be absolutely astounded. According to Eginhard, Charlemagne lived poorly, and ate but little—however, this trait of resemblance in Charlemagne and Napoleon, the modern Eginhards have forgotten in their comparison of these two great men. Philippe le Bel was hardly half an hour at table, and Francis I. thought more of women than of eating and drinking; nevertheless, it was under this gallant monarch that the science of gastronomy took rise in France.
Few have heard the name of Gonthier d'Andernach. What Bacon was to philosophy, Dante and Petrarch to poetry, Michael Angelo and Raphael to painting, Columbus and Gama to geography, Copernicus and Galileo to astronomy, Gonthier was in France to the art of cookery. Before him, their code of eating was formed only of loose scraps picked up here and there; the names of dishes were strange and barbarous, like the dishes themselves.
Gonthier is the father of cookery, as Descartes, of French philosophy. It is said that Gonthier, in less than ten years, invented seven cullises, nine ragouts, thirty-one sauces, and twenty-one soups.
A woman opened the gates of an enlightened age; it was Catherine, the daughter of the celebrated Lorenzo de Medici, niece of Leo the Tenth, then in all the bloom of beauty. Accompanied by a troop of perfumers, painters, astrologers, poets, and cooks, she crossed the Alps, and whilst Bullan planned the Tuileries, Berini recovered from oblivion those sauces which, for many ages, had been lost. Endowed with all the gifts of fortune, the mother and the wife of kings, nature had also gifted her with a palate, whose intuitive sensibility seldom falls to the lot of sovereigns. In consequence of which, after having driven before her this troop of male and female soothsayers, who pretended to foretel the future, she consulted her maitre d'hotel, about some roast meat brought from luxurious Florence; and dipped in a rich sauce the same hand that held the reins of the empire, and which Roussard compared to the rosy fingers of Aurora! Let the foolish vulgar laugh at the importance which the queen-mother seems to place in the art of cooking; but they have not considered that it is at table, in the midst of the fumes of Burgundy, and the savoury odour of rich dishes, that she meditated the means of quelling a dangerous faction, or the destruction of a man, who disturbed her repose. It was during dinner she had an interview with the Duke of Alba, with whom she resolved on the massacre of St. Bartholomew.
Not long after the massacre of St. Bartholomew the throne was occupied by Henry de Valois, brother to Charles the Ninth, and son of Catherine. He was a prince of good appetite, a lover of wine and good cheer, qualities which his mother had carefully fostered and cultivated, that she alone might hold the reigns of government. Henry de Valois spent whole days at table, and the constellations of the kitchen shone with the greatest splendour under this gourmand king. We date from the beginning of his reign the invention of the fricandeau, generally attributed to a Swiss. Now the fricandeau having its Columbus, its discovery appears not more wonderful than that of America, and yet it required une grande force de tete.
Though we acknowledge the immense influence this monarch had over cookery, we must not conceal that he brought in fashion aromatic sauces, tough macaroni, cullises, and brown sauces calcined by a process like that of roasted coffee. These sauces gave the dishes a corrosive acidity, and as Jourdan le Cointe remarks, far from nourishing the body, communicated to it a feverish sensation, which baffled all the skill of physicians, in their attempts to cure it. They were positive poisons which the Italians had introduced into France, a taste for which spread through every class of society.
Under the reign of Henry III. a taste for warm drinks was joined to that of spicy dishes. Hippocrates recommends hot water in fevers, Avicenna in consumption, Trallien in phrensy, Plato in loathings, Aetius in strangury,—whence we conclude that warm water, having so many different qualities, must have been a very useful article at table, had it only been to assist digestion, considering that people ate copiously in the reign of the Valois. They made not one single repast without a jug full of hot water, and even wine was drunk lukewarm.
If the poor have preserved the memory of Henry IV., we cannot say as much of his cooks. That monarch did nothing for them;—either Nature had not endowed him with a good appetite, (for what prince ever was perfect,) or he looked upon them, as, in the last century, we looked upon soups, as things of hardly any use; but in return they also did nothing for him.
It is very remarkable, that in France, where there is but one religion, the sauces are infinitely varied, whilst in England, where the different sects are innumerable, there is, we may say, but one single sauce. Melted butter, in English cookery, plays nearly the same part as the Lord Mayor's coach at civic ceremonies, calomel in modern medicine, or silver forks in the fashionable novels. Melted butter and anchovies, melted butter and capers, melted butter and parsley, melted butter and eggs, and melted butter for ever: this is a sample of the national cookery of this country. We may date the art of making sauces from the age of Louis XIV. Under Louis XIII. meat was either roasted or broiled: every baker had a stove where the citizen, as well as the great lord, sent his meat to be dressed; but, by degrees, they began to feel the necessity of sauces.
It appears that the great wits of the age of Louis XIV. had not that contempt for cookery which some idealists of our days affect to have. Boileau has described a bad repast like a man who has often seen better; he liked the pleasures of the table, which have never been incompatible with the gifts of genius, or the investigations of the understanding. "I cannot conceive," says Doctor Johnson, "the folly of those, who, when at table, think of every thing but eating; for my part, when I am there I think of nothing else; and whosoever does not trouble himself with this important affair at dinner, or supper, will do no good at any other time." Boswell affirms that he never knew a man who dispatched a dinner better than the great moralist. But what avails it to defend cooks and gourmands? It is an axiom in political economy, according to Malthus, that he who makes two blades of grass grow, where before there was but one, ought to be considered as the benefactor of his country, and of mankind. Is not this a service which the epicure and the cook every day do their country? Addison thought differently from Johnson on this subject: "Every time," says he, "that I see a splendid dinner, I fancy fever, gout, and dropsy, are lying in ambush for me, with the whole race of maladies which attack mankind: in my opinion an epicure is a fool." What does this blustering of Addison prove? Boswell also asserts, that Addison often complained of indigestion. And in the present times, the first chemist of the day, Sir Humphry Davy, passes for a finished gourmand.
Roasting, boiling, frying, broiling, do not alone constitute the arc of cooking, otherwise the savage of the Oronoco might be maitre d'hotel with Prince Esterhazy.
The science of gastronomy made great progress under Louis XV., a brilliant epoch for the literature of gastronomy: together with the fashions, customs, freedom of opinion, and taste for equipages and horses brought from Great Britain—some new dishes taken from the culinary code of this country, such as puddings and beef-steaks, were also introduced into France. Thanks to the increasing progress and discoveries in chemistry, and to the genius of our artists, the art of cookery rose to the greatest height towards the end of the last century. What a famous age was that of Mezelier, l'Asne, Jouvent, Richaud, Chaud, and Robert.
History will never forget that great man, who aspired to all kinds of glory, and would have been, if he had wished, as great a cook as he was a statesman—I mean the Prince de Talleyrand, who rekindled the sacred flame in France. The first clouds of smoke, which announced the resurrection of the science of cookery in the capital, appeared from the kitchen of an ancient bishop.
A revolution like the French, which presented to their eyes such terrible spectacles, must have left some traces in their physical or intellectual constitution. At the end of this bloody drama, the mind, bewildered by the late dreadful scenes, was unable to feel those sweet and peaceable emotions, in which it had formerly delighted; as the palate, having long been at rest, and now become blunted, must require high-seasoned dishes, to excite an appetite. The reign of the Directory, therefore is that of Romances a la Radcliffe, as well as of Sauces a la Provencale. Fortunately, the eighth of Brumaire pulled down the five Directors, together with their saucepans.
Under the Consulship, and during the empire, the art of cooking, thanks to the labours of Beauvilliers, Balaine, and other artists, made new and remarkable improvements. Among the promoters of the gastric science, the name of a simple amateur makes a distinguished figure—it is Grisnod de la Reyniere, whose almanac the late Duke of York called the most delightful book that ever issued from the press. We may affirm, that the Almanach des Gourmands made a complete revolution in the language and usages of the country.
We are yet too near the restoration to determine the degree of influence it had on cookery in France. The restoration has introduced into monarchy the representative forms friendly to epicurism, and in this respect it is a true blessing—a new era opened to those who are hungry.
M. Jarrin's fourth edition contains upwards of 500 receipts in Italian confectionery, with plates of improvements, &c. like a cyclopaedian treatise on mechanics; and when our readers know there are "seven essential degrees of boiling sugar," they will pardon the details of the business of this volume. The "degrees" are—1. Le lisse, or thread, large or small; 2. Le perle, or pearl, le soufflet, or blow; 4. La plume, the feather; 5. Le boulet, the ball, large or small; 6. Le casse, the crack; and, 7. the caramel. So complete is M. Jarrin's system of confectionery, that he is "independent of every other artist;" for he even explains engraving on steel and on wood. What a host of disappointments this must prevent!
If we look further into, or "drink deep" of the art of confectionery, we shall find it to be a perfect Microcosm—a little creation; for our artist talks familiarly of "producing picturesque scenery, with trees, lakes, rocks, &c.; gum paste, and modelling flowers, animals, figures, &c." with astonishing mimic strife. We must abridge one of these receipts for a "Rock Piece Montee in a lake."
"Roll out confectionery paste, the size of the dish intended to receive it; put into a mould representing your pond a lining of almond paste, coloured pale pink, and place in the centre a sort of pedestal of almond paste, supported by lumps of the same paste baked; when dry put it into the stove. Prepare syrup to fill the hollow of the lake, to represent the water; having previously modelled in gum paste little swans, place them in various parts of the syrup; put it into the stove for three hours, then make a small hole through the paste, under your lake, to drain off the syrup; a crust will remain with the swans fixed in it, representing the water. Next build the rock on the pedestal with rock sugar, biscuits, and other appropriate articles in sugar, fixed to one another, supported by the confectionery paste you have put in the middle, the whole being cemented together with caramel, and ornamented. The moulding and heads should then be pushed in almond paste, coloured red; the cascades and other ornaments must be spun in sugar."
These are, indeed, romantic secrets. Spinning nets and cages with sugar is another fine display of confectionery skill—we say nothing of the nets and cages which our fair friends are sometimes spinning—for the sugar compared with their bonds—are weak as the cords of the Philistines.
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We glean the following interesting facts from the Essex Herald, as they merit the record of a Naturalist.
"The voracious habits of the rook, and the vast increase of these birds of late years in certain parts of Essex, has been productive of great mischief, especially in the vicinity of Writtle and of Waltham. Since February last, notwithstanding a vigilant watch, the rooks have stolen sets of potatoes from a considerable breadth of ground at Widford Hall. On the same farm, during the sowing of a field of 16 acres with peas, the number of rooks seen at one time on its surface has been estimated at 1,000, which is accounted for by there being a preserve near, which, at a moderate computation, contains 1,000 nests. But the damage done by rooks at Navestock and Kelvedon Hatch, and their vicinities, within a small circle, has been estimated at L2,000. annually. Many farmers pay from 8s. to 10s. per week, to preserve their seed and plants by watching; but notwithstanding such precautions, acre after acre of beans, when in leaf and clear from the soil, have been pulled up, and the crop lost. The late hurricane proved some interruption to their breeding; and particularly at the estate of Lord Waldegrave, at Navestock, where the young ones were thrown from their nests, and were found under trees in myriads; the very nests blown down, it is said, would have furnished the poor with fuel for a short period."
The writer attributes this alarming increase of rooks to "a desire on the part of gentlemen to cause them to be preserved with the same watchfulness they do their game." The most effectual means of deterring the rook from their depredations, is, he says, "to obtain several of these birds at a period of the year when they can be more easily taken; then cut them open, and preserve them by salt. In the spring, during the seed time, these rooks are to be fastened down to the ground with their wings spread, and their mouths extended by a pebble, as if in great torture. This plan has been found so effectual, that even in the vicinity of large preserves, the fields where the dead birds have been so placed, have not been visited by a single rook."
The scarcity of the rook in France, and the antipathy which the French have to that bird is thus accounted for:—
"The fact has been often related by a very respectable Catholic Priest, who resided many years at Chipping-hill, in Witham, that such was the arbitrary conduct of the owners of abbeys and monasteries in France, in preserving and cultivating the rook and the pigeon, that they increased to such numbers as to become so great a pest, as to destroy the seed when sown, and the young plants as soon as they appeared above the ground; insomuch, that the farmer, despairing of a reward for his labour, besides the loss of his seed, the fields were left barren, and the supply of bread corn was, in consequence, insufficient to meet the necessities of so rapidly increasing a people. The father of the gentleman to whom we have alluded, was, for this offence, one of the first victims to his imprudence. The revolutionary mob proceeded to his residence, from whence they took him, and hung his body upon a gibbet; they next proceeded to destroy the rooks and pigeons which he had cultivated in great numbers, and strived to preserve with the same tenacity as others do in this country. We are told by the son of this martyr to his own folly, that the mob continued to shoot the birds amidst the loudest acclamations, and that they exulted in the idea that in each victim they witnessed the fall of an aristocrat."
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THE BANANA TREE.
The amount and rapidity of produce of this plant probably exceed that of any other in the known world. In eight or nine months after the sucker has been planted, clusters of fruit are formed; and in about two months more they may be gathered. The stem is then cut down, and a fresh plant, about two-thirds of the height of the parent stem, succeeds, and bears fruit in about three months more. The only care necessary is to dig once or twice a year round the roots. According to our author, on 1,076 square feet, from 30 to 40 banana trees may be planted in Mexico, which will yield in the space of the year 4,414 lbs. avoirdupois of fruit; while the same space would yield only 33 lbs. avoirdupois of wheat, and 99 of potatoes. The immediate effect of this facility of supplying the wants of nature is, that the man who can, by labouring two days in the week, maintain himself and family, will devote the remaining five to idleness or dissipation. The same regions that produce the banana, also yield the two species of manioc, the bitter and the sweet: both of which appear to have been cultivated before the conquest.—Foreign Quarterly Review.
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The most valuable article in South American agriculture, is unquestionably the maize, or Indian corn, which is cultivated with nearly uniform success in every part of the republic. It appears to be a true American grain, notwithstanding many crude conjectures to the contrary. Sometimes it has been known to yield, in hot and humid regions, 800 fold; fertile lands return from 300 to 400; and a return of 130 to 150 fold is considered bad—the least fertile soils giving 60 to 80. The maize forms the great bulk of food of the inhabitants, as well as of the domestic animals; hence the dreadful consequences of a failure of this crop. It is eaten either in the form of unfermented bread or tortillas (a sort of bannock, as it is called in Scotland;) and, reduced to flour, is mingled with water, forming either atolle or various kinds of chicha. Maize will yield, in very favourable situations, two or three crops per year; though it is but seldom that more than one is gathered.
The introduction of wheat is said to have been owing to the accidental discovery, by a negro slave of Cortez, of three or four grains, among some rice which had been issued to the soldiers. About the year 1530, these grains were sown; and from this insignificant source has flowed all the enormous produce of the upper lands of Mexico. Water is the only element necessary to ensure success to the Mexican wheat grower; but it is very difficult to attain this—and irrigation affords the most steady supply.
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THE AGAVE AMERICANA.
On Maguey, is an object of great value in the table land of the interior of Mexico; from this plant is obtained the favourite liquor, the pulque. At the moment of efflorescence, the flower stalk is extirpated, and the juice destined to form the fruit flows into the cavity thus produced, and is taken out two or three times a day for four or five months; each day's produce is fermented for ten or fifteen days; after which the pulque is fit to drink, and before it has travelled in skins, it is a very pleasant, refreshing liquor, to which the Mexicans ascribe as many good qualities as the Highlander does to whiskey. The stems of the maguey can supply the place of hemp, and may be converted into paper. The prickles too are used as pins by the Indians.—Ibid.
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THE ANECDOTE GALLERY.
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Concluded from page 334.
Parr was evidently fond of living in troubled waters; accordingly, on his removal to Colchester, he got into a quarrel with the trustees of the school on the subject of a lease. He printed a pamphlet about it, which he never published; restrained perhaps by the remarks of Sir W. Jones, who constantly noted the pages submitted to him, with "too violent," "too strong;" and probably thought the whole affair a battle of kites and crows, which Parr had swelled into importance; or, it might be, he suppressed it, influenced by the prospect of succeeding to Norwich school, for which he was now a candidate, and by the shrewd observation of Dr. Foster, "that Norwich might be touched by a fellow feeling for Colchester; and the crape-makers of the one place sympathize with the bag-makers of the other." If the latter consideration weighed with him, it was the first and last time that any such consideration did, Parr being apparently of the opinion of John Wesley, that there could be no fitter subject for a Christian man's prayers, than that he might be delivered from what the world calls "prudence." However it happened, the pamphlet was withheld, and Parr was elected to the school at Norwich.
At Norwich, Parr ventured on his first publications, and obtained his first preferment. The publications consisted of a sermon on "The Truth of Christianity," "A Discourse on Education," and "A Discourse on the Late Fast;" the last of which opens with a mistake singular in Parr, who confounds the sedition of Judas Gaulonitis, mentioned in Josephus, (Antiq. xviii. 1. 1.) with that under Pilate, mentioned in St. Luke, (xiii. 1, 2, 3.); whereas the former probably preceded the latter by twenty years, or nearly. The preferment which he gained was the living of Asterby, presented to him by Lady Jane Trafford, the mother of one of his pupils; which, in 1783, he exchanged for the perpetual curacy of Hatton, in Warwickshire, the same lady being still his patron neither was of much value. Lord Dartmouth, whose sons had also been under his care, endeavoured to procure something for him from Lord Thurlow, but the chancellor is reported to have said "No," with an oath. The great and good Bishop Lowth, however, at the request of the same nobleman, gave him a prebend in St. Paul's, which, though a trifle at the time, eventually became, on the expiration of leases, a source of affluence to Parr in his old age. How far he was from such a condition at this period of his life, is seen by the following incident given by Mr. Field. The doctor was one day in this gentleman's library, when his eye was caught by the title of "Stephens' Greek Thesaurus." Suddenly turning about and striking vehemently the arm of Mr. Field, whom he addressed in a manner very usual with him; he said, "Ah! my friend, my friend, may you never be forced, as I was at Norwich, to sell that work, to me so precious, from absolute and urgent necessity."
But we must on with the Doctor in his career. In 1785, for some reason unknown to his biographer, Parr resigned the school at Norwich, and in the year following went to reside at Hatton. "I have an excellent house, (he writes to a friend,) good neighbours, and a Poor, ignorant, dissolute, insolent, and ungrateful, beyond all example. I like Warwickshire very much. I have made great regulations, viz. bells chime three times as long; Athanasian creed; communion service at the altar; swearing act; children catechized first Sunday in the month; private baptisms discouraged; public performed after second lesson; recovered a 100l. a year left the poor, with interest amounting to 115l., all of which I am to put out, and settle a trust in the spring; examining all the charities."
Here Warwickshire pleases Parr; but Parr's taste in this, and in many other matters, (as we shall have occasion to show by and by,) was subject to change. He soon, therefore, becomes convinced of the superior intellect of the men of Norfolk. He finds Warwickshire, the Boeotia of England, two centuries behind in civilization. He is anxious, however, to be in the commission of the peace for this ill-fated county, and applies to Lord Hertford, then Lord Lieutenant; but the application fails; and again, on a subsequent occasion, to Lord Warwick, and again he is disappointed. What motives operated upon their lordships' minds to his exclusion, they did not think it necessary to avow.
Providence has so obviously drawn a circle about every man, within which, for the most part, he is compelled to walk, by furnishing him with natural affections, evidently intended to fasten upon individuals; by urging demands upon him which the very preservation of himself and those about him compels him to listen to; by withholding from him any considerable knowledge of what is distant, and hereby proclaiming that his more proper sphere lies in what is near;—by compassing, him about with physical obstacles, with mountains, with rivers, with seas "dissociable," with tongues which he cannot utter, or cannot understand; that, like the wife of Hector, it proclaims in accents scarcely to be resisted, that there is a tower assigned to everyman, where it is his first duty to plant himself for the sake of his own, and in the defence of which he will find perhaps enough to do, without extending his care to the whole circuit of the city walls.
The close of Parr's life grew brighter, The increased value of his stall at St. Paul's set him abundantly at his ease: he can even indulge his love of pomp—ardetque cupidine currus, he encumbers himself with a coach and four. In 1816, he married a second wife, Miss Eyre, the sister of his friend the Rev. James Eyre; he became reconciled to his two grand-daughters, now grown up to woman's estate; he received them into his family, and kept them as his own, till one of them became the wife of the Rev. John Lynes.
In the latter years of his life, Parr had been subject to erysipelas; once he had suffered by a carbuncle, and once by a mortification in the hand. Owing to this tendency to diseased action in the skin, he was easily affected by cold, and on Sunday, the 16th of January, 1825, having, in addition to the usual duties of the day, buried a corpse, he was, on the following night, seized with a long-continued rigor, attended by fever and delirium, and never effectually rallied again. There is a note, however, dated November 2, 1824, addressed by him to Archdeacon Butler, which proves that he felt his end approaching, even before this crisis.
"Dear and Learned Namesake,—This letter is important, and strictly confidential. I have given J. Lynes minute and plenary directions for my funeral. I desire you, if you can, to preach a short, unadorned funeral sermon. Rann Kennedy is to read the lesson and grave service, though I could wish you to read the grave service also. Say little of me, but you are sure to say it well."
Dr. Butler complied with his request, and amply made good the opinion here expressed. He spoke of him like a warm and stedfast friend, but not like that worst of enemies, an indiscreet one; he did not challenge a scrutiny by the extravagance of his praise, nor break, by his precious balms, the head he was most anxious to honour. Dr. Parr's death was tedious, and his faculties, except at intervals, disturbed. He took an opportunity, however, afforded him by one of these intervals, of summoning about his bed his wife, grand-children, and servants; confessed to them his weaknesses and errors, asked their forgiveness for any pain he might have caused them by petulance and haste, and professed "his trust in God, through Christ, for the pardon of his sins." One expression, which Dr. Johnstone reports him to have used on this occasion, is extraordinary—that "from the beginning of his life he was not conscious of having fallen into a crime." Far be it from us to scrutinize the words of a delirious death-bed—These must have been uttered (if, indeed, they are accurately given) either in some peculiar and very limited sense, or else at a moment when a man is no longer accountable to God for what he utters. The latter was, probably, the case: for in the same breath in which he declares "his life, even his early life, to have been pure," he sues for pardon at the hands of his Maker, and acknowledges a Redeemer, as the instrument through which he is to obtain it.
That quickness of feeling and disposition to abandon himself to its guidance, which made Parr an inconsistent man, made him also a benevolent one. Benevolence he loved as a subject for his contemplation, and the practical extension of it as a rule for his conduct. He could scarcely bear to regard the Deity under any other aspect. He would have children taught, in the first instance, to regard him under that aspect alone; simply as a being who displayed infinite goodness in the creation, in the government, and in the redemption of the world. Language itself indicates, that the whole system of moral rectitude is comprised in it—[Greek: energetein], benefacere, beneficencethe generic term being, in common parlance, emphatically restricted to works of charity. Nor was this mere theory in Parr. Most men who have been economical from necessity in their youth, continue to be so, from habit, in their age—but Parr's hand was ever open as day. Poverty had vexed, but had never contracted his spirit; money he despised, except as it gave him power—power to ride in his state coach, to throw wide his doors to hospitality, to load his table with plate, and his shelves with learning; power to adorn his church with chandeliers and painted windows; to make glad the cottages of his poor; to grant a loan, to a tottering farmer; to rescue from want a forlorn patriot, or a thriftless scholar. Whether misfortune, or mismanagement, or folly, or vice, had brought its victim low, his want was a passport to Parr's pity, and the dew of his bounty fell alike upon the evil and the good, upon the just and the unjust. It is told of Boerhaave, that, whenever he saw a criminal led out to execution, he would say, "May not this man be better than I? If otherwise, the praise is due, not to me, but to the grace of God." Parr quotes the saying with applause. Such, we doubt not, would have been his own feelings on such an occasion.—Quarterly Review.
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A snapper up of unconsidered trifles. SHAKSPEARE.
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SONG FROM THE ITALIAN OF P. ROLLI.
Babbling current, would you know Why I turn to thee again, 'Tis to find relief from woe, Respite short from ceaseless pain.
I and Sylvio on a day Were upon thy bank reclin'd, When dear Sylvio swore to me, And thus spoke in accents kind:
First this flowing tide shall turn Backward to its fountain head, Dearest nymph, ere thou shall mourn, Thy too easy faith betray'd.
Babbling current, backward turn, Hide thee in thy fountain head; For alas, I'm left to mourn My too easy faith betray'd.
Love and life pursu'd the swain, Both must have the self-same date, But mine only he could mean, Since his love is turn'd to hate.
Sure some fairer nymph than I, From me lures the lovely youth, Haply she receives like me, Vows of everlasting truth.
Babbling current should the fair Stop to listen on thy shore, Bid her, Sylvio, to beware, Love and truth he oft had sworn.
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THE SPRING AND THE MORNING,
Written by Sir Lumley Skeffington, Bart. Inscribed to Miss Foote.
When the frosts of the Winter, in mildness were ending, To April I gave half the welcome of May; While the Spring, fresh in youth, came delightfully blending The buds that are sweet, and the songs that are gay. As the eyes fixed the heart on a vision so fair, Not doubting, but trusting what magic was there; Aloud I exclaim'd, with augmented desire, I thought 'twas the Spring, when In truth, 'tis Maria.
When the fading of stars, in the regions of splendour, Announc'd that the morning was young in the East, On the upland I rov'd, admiration to render, Where freshness, and beauty, and lustre increas'd. Whilst the beams of the morning new pleasures bestow'd, While fondly I gaz'd, while with rapture I glow'd; In sweetness commanding, in elegance bright, Maria arose! a more beautiful light!
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The celebrated scholar, Muretus, was taken ill upon the road as he was travelling from Paris to Lyons, and as his appearance was not much in his favour, he was carried to an hospital. Two physicians attended him, and his disease not being a very common one, they thought it right to try something new, and out of the usual road of practice, upon him. One of them, not knowing that their patient knew Latin, said in that language to the other, "We may surely venture to try an experiment upon the body of so mean a man as our patient is." "Mean, sir!" replied Muretus, in Latin, to their astonishment, "can you pretend to call any man so, sir, for whom the Saviour of the world did not think it beneath him to die?"
The following is the territorial surface of Ireland:—
Arable land, gardens, meadows, pastures, and marshes 12,125,280
Uncultivated lands, and bogs capable of improvement ... 4,900,000
Surface incapable of any kind of improvement........ 2,416,664 Total of acres 19,441,944
 Parliamentary Report.
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ROUGE ET NOIR.
When jovial Barras was the Monarch of France, And its women all lived in the light of his glance, One eve, when tall Tallien and plump Josephine Were trying the question, of which should be Queen, Dame Josephine hung on one side of his chair, With her West Indian bosom as brown as 'twas bare; Dame Tallien as fondly on t'other side hung, With a blush that might burn up the spot where she clung. Old Sieyes stalked in; saw my lord at his wine, Now toasting the copper-skin, now the carmine; Then starting away, cried, "Barras, le bon soir; 'Twas for business I came; I leave you Rouge et Noir."
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