HotFreeBooks.com
The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 14, - Issue 386, August 22, 1829
Author: Various
Home - Random Browse

THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

VOL. 14. NO. 386.] SATURDAY, AUGUST 22, 1829. [PRICE 2d.



* * * * *



ST. PETER'S CHURCH, PIMLICO.



The engraving represents the new church on the eastern side of Wilton Place, in the Parish of St. George, Hanover Square. It is a chaste building of the Ionic order, from the designs of Mr. Henry Hakewill, of whose architectural attainments we have frequently had occasion to speak.

The plan of St. Peter's is a parallelogram, placed east and west, without aisles; the east being increased by the addition of a small chancel flanked by vestries. The west front, in our Engraving, is occupied by an hexastyle portico of the Ionic order, with fluted columns. The floor is approached by a bold flight of steps, and in the wall, at the back are three entrances to the church. The columns are surmounted by their entablature and a pediment, behind which a low attic rises from the roof of the church to the height of the apex of the pediment; it is crowned with a cornice and blocking-course, and surmounted by an acroterium of nearly its own height, but in breadth only equalling two-thirds of it; this is finished with a sub-cornice and blocking-course, and is surmounted by the tower, which rises from the middle. The addition of a steeple to a Grecian church forms a stumbling-block to our modern architects, forcing them to have recourse to many shifts to convert a Grecian temple into an English church, a forcible argument for the rejection of the classical styles altogether in this species of buildings.[1] Mr. Hakewill has, however, in part surmounted this difficulty, and the effect produced is not bad, as great value is given to the front elevation by it.

The tower consists of a square in plan, in elevation consisting of a pedestal, the dado pieced for the dials of a clock, sustaining a cubical story, with an arched window in each face, at the sides of which are Ionic columns, the angles being finished in antis. This story is crowned with an entablature, above which rises a small enriched circular temple; the whole is crowned with a spherical dome, surmounted by a cross.

The body of the church is built of brick, with stone dressings. The interior is chastely fitted up. The altarpiece is Mr. Hilton's splendid picture of "Christ crowned with thorns," exhibited at Somerset House, in 1825, and presented to this church by the British Institution in 1827.

The ground for the site was given by Lord Grosvenor, and the sum of 5,555l. 11s. 1d. was granted by the Royal Commissioners towards the building. It will accommodate 1,657 persons. The first stone was laid September 4, 1824, and the church was consecrated by the Bishop of London, (Dr. Howley,) July 20, 1827.

[1] See Gentlemen's Magazine, April, 1829.

* * * * *

PSALMODY.

(To the Editor of the Mirror.)

I have lately made a journey to the metropolis for the purpose of inquiring by my own personal attention and otherwise, whether any improvement had been made in the Psalmody of any of the numerous new churches and chapels in and near London. I have visited by far the greater part of them. In many of them I find no improvement, but there are two or three which merit distinction.

In the majority of the churches, I observe the singing of psalms or hymns (for I have not yet, after three months, heard an anthem) is confined generally to about three verses, and those more ordinarily of the common metre; the singing is very little of it congregational, but is chiefly performed by the schools of charity children, and there does not appear to have been any instruction for their singing in any other than the treble. The organists in general are very good performers, but, however well that office is filled, the voices of the congregation are wanting, by which a great improvement would be given to the harmony. In two of the congregations I happen to have a more numerous acquaintance, and know that numbers of the congregation have excellent judgment and good voices, and many are good performers on the piano-forte and harp. In conversing with several of them on this interesting and (to me) sublime subject, I have heard as an objection to their joining in the psalmody with any extensive power, that there are no persons, exclusively of the organist, to lead the voices, whether treble, counter, tenor, or bass, and yet what a delightful opportunity do these new churches afford; in general the sound is well and equally distributed.

The sublimity of this part of divine worship has been well expressed by many of our poets, translators, and versifiers of the Psalms—one of them speaks the feelings of a sincere congregation when he says,

Arise my heart! my soul arise! Jehovah praise! sing till the skies Re-echo his ascending fame! Rejoice and celebrate his name!

this does not admit of a deadly silence in the churches; and another excellent appeal to the true believer is made in the following beautiful and sublime act of devotion:—

Salvation! let the echo fly! The spacious earth around! While all the armies of the sky! Conspire to raise the sound.

It is the conviction not only of myself but of others who are in the same order of the musical profession, that the means of drawing forth the universal voices of congregations is by a number, not less than four, nor more than twelve, being appointed by the authority of the clergyman or minister, to sing with correct harmony, and with rather a louder tone than they might do if only an ordinary singer in the worship of the day as a congregational attendant. Those four (or more) voices would have the effect, in a few months, of producing a great improvement in the singing by the congregation at large; but such an appointment must not be alienated from its main purpose. These voices, scientifically as they will be exercised, must not sing in solos, duos, trios, or quartettes; they must be faithful to their institution, and must lead the congregation; not merely exhibit themselves, like the professional singers in the Roman Catholic chapels, but direct the voices of all that may feel the animating force of the 89th Psalm—

Lord God of hosts thy wond'rous ways, Are sung by saints above! And saints on earth their honours raise To thy unchanging love!

The only instance I have met with in any of the London churches or chapels of the Church of England (there may be others) is at the St. James's Chapel, near Mornington Place, on the road to Hampstead. I attended at that place of worship lately, and was delighted with the whole of the services, wishing only that greater numbers of the congregation had joined in the singing, which was conducted precisely on the principle of four being appointed to lead the congregation: the four voices were excellent, and naturally and easily led many to join, and I cannot doubt, but that this superior arrangement, whoever was the author, will tend to make the singing in that chapel an example to many others.

I lament that I am obliged to leave town, and may not be here again for several months, but when I do, I shall humbly offer my services to the clergyman of the chapel, for the improvement of so judicious a plan, and extending it to other chapels of the same parish.

I should offer some apology for not having noticed the discourses, though my remarks originate and have been chiefly confined to the psalmody. I will not, however, let this opportunity pass of saying the sermons, both morning and evening, were excellent, the attention of every part of the congregation was great; throughout all the services there was, while the minister was speaking, and the people not required to join, a most interesting but attentive silence, and in the evening I retired with a sympathetic feeling which I cannot describe.

In my next (should this receive your attention) I shall send you a few remarks on the psalmody of the new churches of Marylebone and Trinity.

CHRISTIANUS, A Cathedral Chorister.

* * * * *

THE LAY FROM HOME.

(For the Mirror.)

Its music beareth o'er my widow'd heart A tale of vanish'd innocence and love, And bliss that screw'd around the ark of life Sweet flow'rs of summer hue. It hath the tone, The very tone which wrapt my spirit up, In silent dreams mid visions. Oft, at eve, I heard it wandering thro' the silver air, As if some sylph had witch'd the stringed shell Of woods and lonely fountains:—and the birds That sang in the blue glow of heaven, the trees That whisper'd like a timid maiden's lips, The bees that kiss'd their bride-flow'rs into sleep, All breath'd the spell of that enchanting lay!

Whence came it now? perchance from yonder dell, O'er which the skies, in sunny beauty fix'd, Their sapphire mantle hang. Its Eden home Is in some beauteous place where faces beam In loveliness and joy! To hail the morn, The infant pours it from his rosy mouth, Ere, o'er the fields, with blissful heart he roams, To watch the syren lark, or mark the sun Surround with golden light the rainbow clouds.

That music-lay awak'd within my heart Thoughts, that had wept themselves to death, like clouds In summer hours.—It brought before mine eyes The haunts so often worshipped, the forms Revealing heav'n and holiness in vain. Alas, sweet lay, the freshness of the heart Is wasted, like an unfed stream, away; And dreams of Home, by Fancy treasurd up, Remain as wrecks around the tomb of Being!

REGINALD AUGUSTINE. Deal.

* * * * *

TYRE.

(For the Mirror.)

"And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease, and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard"—Ezekiel, chap. xxvi. verse 13.

"It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea." Ezekiel, chap xxvi. verse 5.

Thy harps are silent, mighty one! Thy melody no more: For ocean's mourning dirge alone Breaks on thy rocky shore.

The fisher there his net has spread, Thy prophecy to show; Nor dreams he that thy doom was read, Two thousand years ago.

On Chebar's banks the captive seer, Thy future ruin told: Visions of woe, how true and clear, With power divine unroll'd!

The tall ship there no more is riding, Of Lebanon's proud cedars made; But the wild waves ne'er cease their chiding, Where Tyre's past pomp and splendour fade.

The traveller to thy desert shore No cherish'd record found of thee; But fragments rude are scatter'd o'er Thy dreary land's blank misery.

The sounds of busy life were hush'd, But still the moaning blast, That o'er the rocky barrier rush'd, Sang wildly as it pass'd:— Spirit of Time, thine echoes woke, And thus the mighty Genius spoke:—

"Seek no more, seek no more, Splendour past and glories o'er, Here bleak ruin ever reigns; See him scatter o'er the plains, Arches broken, temples strew'd, O'er the dreary solitude! Long ago the words were spoken, Words which never can be broken. Where are now thy riches spread? Where wilt thou thy commerce spread? Thou shalt be sought but found no more! Wanderers to thy desert shore Former splendours bring thee never, Tyre is fallen, fallen forever!"

Kirton Lindsey. ANNIE R.

* * * * *

LINES ON THE DEATH OF SIR HUMPHRY DAVY, BART.[2]

(For the Mirror.)

Let science weep and droop her head, Her favourite champion, Davy's dead! The brightest star among the bright, Alas! has ceased to shed its light. Yet say not darkness reigns alone, While "Safety Lamps" are burning on, And shedding life that never dies. Around the tomb where Davy lies

J.F.C.

[2] See vol. xiii. MIRROR.

* * * * *

HAMPTON COURT:

BIRTH OF EDWARD THE SIXTH, AND DEATH OF QUEEN JANE SEYMOUR.

(For the Mirror.)

Every hint, every ray of light, which tends, in the most distant manner, to illustrate an obscure passage in the history of our country, cannot we presume, while it affords great pleasure and satisfaction to the student attentively employed in such researches, be deemed either insignificant or uninteresting by the general reader.

The birth of Edward the Sixth must always be regarded as a bright star in the horizon of the Reformation, and one, which tended greatly to blast the prospects of those who were inimical to that glorious change in our religious constitution.

The marriage of Henry the Eighth, with the Lady Jane Seymour,[3] immediately after the death of his former Queen, Anne Boleyn, is so well known as to render it superfluous, if not presuming in us to enlarge upon it in this place: suffice it to say, that the nuptials were celebrated on the day following the execution of Anne, the twentieth of May, 1536, the King "not thinking it fit to mourn long, or much, for one the law had declared criminall."[4] Old Fuller says, "it is currantly traditioned, that at her [Jane's] first coming to court, Queen Anne Bolen espying a jewell pendant about her neck, snatched thereat, (desirous to see, the other unwilling to show it,) and casually hurt her hand with her own violence; but it grieved her heart more, when she perceived it the King's picture by himself bestowed upon her, who from this day forward dated her own declining and the other's ascending in her husband's affection."[5] About seventeen months after her marriage at the Palace of Hampton Court, Queen Jane gave birth to a son, Edward the Sixth.

The precise period of the birth of this prince has been variously stated by historians. Sir John Hayward,[6] who bestowed considerable labour upon writing his life, places it on the seventeenth of October, 1537; while Sanders,[7] on the other hand, fixes it on the tenth. Herbert, Godwin,[8] and Stow, whom, all[9] his more modern biographers have followed, agree that it happened on the twelfth of the same month, and their testimony is fully corroborated by the following official letter, addressed to Cromwell, Lord Privy Seal, informing him of the birth of a prince:—

By the Quene.

"Right trustie and right welbeloved, wee grete you well; and, forasmuche as by the inestimable goodnes and grace of Almighty God wee be delivered and brought in childbed of a Prince, conceived in most lawfull matrimonie between my Lord the King's Majestie and us; doubtinge not but, for the love and affection which ye beare unto us, and to the commonwealth of this realme, the knowledge thereof should be joyous and glad tydeings unto you, we have thought good to certifie you of the same, to th' intent you might not onely render unto God condigne thanks and praise for soe greate a benefit but alsoe continuallie praie for the longe continuance and preservacion of the same here in this life, to the honour of God, joy and pleasure of my Lord the Kinge and us, and the universall weale, quiett, and tranquillitie of this hole realm."

"Given under our Signet, att my Lord's Mannor of Hampton Courte, the xii daie of October."[10]

Edward was christened with great state, on the Monday following, in the chapel at Hampton Court, Archbishop Cranmer, and the Duke of Norfolk being the godfathers, and his sister, the Princess Mary, godmother.[11] "At his birth," says Hall, "was great fires made through the whole realme, and great joye made with thankesgeuyng to Almightie God which had sent so noble a prince to succeed to the crowne of this realme."[12]

The joy, however, which the birth of a son and heir to the throne, excited in the mind of Henry was soon dispelled by the death of his queen. It was deemed necessary, both for the preservation of her life, and that of her offspring, to bring the latter into the world by means of the Caesarian operation, a mode which in the greater number of cases proves fatal to the mother. It has been maliciously, and without the least appearance of truth, asserted by Sanders,[13] one of the most bitter writers of the opposite party, that the question was put to the King by the physicians, whether the life of the Queen or the child should be saved, for it was judged impossible to preserve both? "The child's," he replied, "for I shall be able to find wives enough." Whether, however, her death originated from that terrible cause, we cannot, at this distant period, pretend to affirm, but from the report to the Privy Council of the birth of Edward the Sixth, still extant, it would appear not, as it informs us she was "happily" delivered, and died afterwards of a distemper incidental to women in that condition.

The death of Jane Seymour, like the birth of her son, is involved in considerable obscurity. Most of the chroniclers who appear to have followed Herbert[14] in this particular, fix it on the fourteenth of October, two days after the birth of Edward; Hayward, on the contrary, states that "shee dyed of the incision on the fourth day following," while Edward the Sixth, in his journal, written by himself, informs us, but without stating any precise period, that it happened "within a few dayes after the birth of her soone."[15] We shall, however, see from the following letter, that this event did not take place on either of the abovementioned days, nor until "duodecimo post die," as George Lilly truly informs us, the day also mentioned in the journal of Cecil.[16] This original document respecting the health of the Queen, which is still extant, is signed by Thomas Rutland, and five other medical men, is dated on a Wednesday, which if it were only the following Wednesday, and we shall presently prove that it was not, would, at least, make it five days afterwards.

"These shal be to advertise yor lordship of the Quenes estate. Yesterdaie afternonne she had an naturall laxe, by reason whereof she beganne sumwhat to lyghten, and (as it appeared,) to amende; and so contynued till towards night. All this night she hath bene very syck, and doth rather appaire than amend. Her Confessor hath bene with her grace this morning, and hath done [all] that to his office apperteyneth, and even now is preparing to minister to her grace the sacrament of unction. At Hampton Court, this Wednesday mornyng, at viii of the clock."[17]

As a further and additional proof of the date of her decease, we shall refer our readers to a manuscript, preserved in the Herald's College, the preamble of which runs as follows:—"An ordre taken and made for the interrement of the most high, most excellent, and most Chrysten Pryncess, Jane, Quene of England, and of France, Lady of Ireland, and mother of the most noble and puyssant Prynce Edward; which deceasyd at Hampton Courte, the xxixth yere of the reigne of our most dread Soveraigne Lord Kyng Henry the eight, her most dearest husband, the xxiiiith day of Octobre, beyng Wedynsday, at nyght, xii of the clock; which departyng was the twelf day after the byrthe of the said Prynce her Grace beying in childbed." By this document it is fixed on the second Wednesday after the birth of the prince, on the morning of which day, the abovementioned letter of her physicians was undoubtedly written, as the ministering of the holy unction would show that her death was fast approaching.

The remains of Jane Seymour were conveyed with great solemnity to Windsor, and interred in the choir of St. George's Chapel, on the 12th of November. The following epitaph was inscribed to her memory:—

Phoenix Jana iacet, nato Phoenice dolendum, Secala Phoenices nulla tulisse duas.

Of which Fuller gives this quaint translation—

Soon as her Phoenix Bud was blown, Root-Phoenix Jane did wither, Sad, that no age a brace had shown Of Phoenixes together.

The funeral rites were solemnized according to the forms of the Catholic faith. The original letter[18] from Richard Gresham to the Lord Privy Seal, dated "Thurssdaye the viiith day of Novbr." is still preserved, proposing that a solemn dirge, and masses should be said for the soul of the late Queen Jane, in St. Paul's, in presence of the Mayor, Alderman, and Commoners, which were accordingly performed, as appears from the following passage in Holinshed:—"There was a solemne hearse made for her in Paule's Church, and funerall exequies celebrated, as well as in all other churches within the Citie of London."[19]

S.I.B.

[3] Jane Seymour, or as is sometimes written de Sancto Mauro, eldest daughter of Sir John Seymour, Knight, and Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Wentworth, of Nettlestead, in Suffolk was born at her father's seat of Wolf Hall, in Wiltshire. From her great accomplishments, and her father's connexions at court, (he being Governor of Bristol Castle, and Groom of the Chamber to Henry VIII.) she was appointed Maid of Honour to Queen Anne Boleyn, in which situation, her beauty attracted the notice of Henry, who soon found means to gratify his desires, by making her his wife. The family of the Seymours had since the time of Henry II. been keepers of the neighbouring Forest of Savernac, "in memory whereof," says Camden, "their great hunting horn, tipped with silver, is still preserved."

[4] Herbert, p. 386.

[5] Fuller's "Worthies."

[6] "Life and Raigne of K. Edward the Sixth," p. 1.

[7] Sanders', de Schism Anglic, p. 122.

[8] "Octobris 12 Regina cum partus difficultate diu luctata, in lucem edidit, qui post patrem regnauit, Edvvardum, sed ex vtero matris excisum cum alterutri, aut parturienti nempe aut partui necessario percundum compertum esset."—"Annales," p. 64.

[9] "Chronicles," p. 575, edit. 1631.

[10] Of this letter, which was a circular to the Principal Officers of State, Sheriffs of Counties, &c. four original copies are preserved in the British Museum; three among the Harleian MSS., Nos. 283, and 2131; and one, from which the above is copied, Cotton. MSS, Nero, C. x.

[11] Holinshed, v. ii. p. 944. edit. 1587.—"At the bishopping the Duke of Suffolke was his godfather."

[12] "Chronicle," fol. 232, edit. 1548.

[13] This aspersion of Sanders, has been copied, greatly to the detriment of the character of Henry VIII. by several French writers; vide Mariceau "Traite des Maladies des Femmes Grosses," tom. i. p. 358.—and Dionis "Cours d'Operations de Chirurgie," p. 137.

[14] Herbert, p. 430. Fox, Hall, Stow, Holinshed, and Speed, all agree in placing it on the twelfth. Hume, in his History of England, has made a singular mistake with regard to this date: he says "two days afterwards," and quotes Strype as his authority, while that author, who fully investigated the subject, says, "she died on Wednesday night, the twenty-fourth."—"Memorials," v. iii. p. 1.

[15] Cotton. MSS, Nero, C. x—A copy of this Journal will be found printed entire in Burnet's "History," v. ii.

[16] Vide Burnet, v. iii, p 1.

[17] Cotton. MSS. Nero, C. x.

[18] Cotton. MSS. Nero, C. 10.

[19] "Chronicle," v. ii. p. 944.

* * * * *



THE NOVELIST.

* * * * *

THE HEARTHSTONE.—A GERMAN TRADITIONAL TALE.

(For the Mirror.)

Frantz did not at all like his new benefice; his parishioners were evidently idle, ill-disposed people, doing no credit to the ministry of the deceased incumbent; and looking with eyes any thing but respectful and affectionate upon their new pastor. In short, he foresaw a host of troubles; although he had not taken possession of his living for more than two days. Neither did he admire the lonely situation of his house, which, gloomy and old fashioned, needed (at least so thought the polished Frantz, just emerged from the puny restraints and unlimited licenses of college) nothing less than a total rebuilding to render it inhabitable. His own sleeping apartment he liked less than all; but what could be done? It was decidedly the only decent dormitory in the house—had been that of the late pastor—and there was no help for it—could not but be his own. The young minister was wretched—lamented without ceasing the enjoyments of Leipzig—missed the society of his fellow students, and actually began to meditate taking a wife. But upon whom should his election fall? He caused all his female acquaintances to pass in mental review before him; some were fair—some wealthy—some altogether angelic; but Frantz was not Grand Seignior, and he allowed himself to be puzzled in a matter where every sentiment of love and honour ought to have, without hesitation, determined his choice; for in his rainbow visions of bright beauty and ethereal perfection, appeared the lonely and lovely Adelinda. Adelinda, the poor, the fond, the devoted, and, but for him, the innocent. No; beautiful and loving as she was, connected with her were the brooding shadows of guilt, and the lurid clouds of fiery vengeance; and Frantz had rather not think of Adelinda.

On the morning of the third day of his residence at Steingart, he happened to awake very early; being summertime it was broad daylight, and a bright sun was endeavouring to beam upon his countenance through the small lozenges of almost opaque glass which filled the high, narrow, and many paned window. Not feeling inclined to sleep, nor for the present to rise, Frantz laid for some time in deep reverie, with his eyes fixed, as some would have deemed, upon the door; and as others, more justly, would have thought upon vacancy. As he gazed, however, he was suddenly conscious that the door slowly and sullenly swung open, and admitted three strangers; a man of tall and graceful figure, and of a comely but melancholy aspect, arrayed in a long, loose and dark morning gown; he led two young and lovely children, whose burnished golden hair, pale, clear, tranquil countenances and snow-white garments gave them the appearance of celestial intelligences. Frantz, terrified and confounded, followed with his eyes those whom he could but fancy to be apparitions, as with noiseless steps they walked, or rather glided, towards a table which stood near the fireplace; upon this laid the parish register, coming in front of which, the man opened it with a solemn air, and turning over a few pages, pointed with his finger to some record, upon which the fair children seemed to gaze with interest and attention. The trio smiled mournfully at each other, then moving so that they stood upon the hearth immediately opposite the foot of Frantz's bed, and facing the affrighted young minister, he had full leisure to contemplate his strange visiters. That they were of a superhuman nature, he was warranted in concluding from their appearance in so solitary a place as Steingart—from their unceremonious entree at that unusual hour into his dormitory, and from their movements, actions, and awful silence. Frantz endeavoured to recollect the form of adjuration, and also that of exorcism, commonly employed to tranquillize the turbulent departed, but vainly; his brain was giddy; his thoughts distracted; his heart throbbed to agony with terror, and his tongue refused its office. With a violent effort he sprang up in his bed, and in his address to the speechless trio, had proceeded as far as—"In the name of—" when the children sank down into the very hearthstone upon which they stood, and the man—Frantz saw not whither he went—perhaps up the chimney—but go he certainly did.

The terrified young man leapt in a state of desperation from his bed, and searched the apartment narrowly, as people commonly, but foolishly, are wont to do in similar cases. His search, as might have been expected, was useless; but not liking at present to alarm his domestics with a report of the house being haunted, he resolved to await further evidences of the supernatural visitation. Next morning at about the same hour, the apparitions again entered his apartment; and acting as they had previously done, gazed earnestly at him for some seconds ere they vanished. On the morning of the third day the trio appeared again, when the gentleman of the long robe, looking most earnestly at Frantz, pointed to the register, the children, and the hearthstone; and then, as usual, disappeared under the same circumstances as before.

Frantz was much distressed; he could not exactly comprehend the meaning of this dumb show; and yet felt that some dire mystery was connected with these phantoms, which he was called upon to unravel. After breakfast he wandered out, and lost in the maze of thought, sauntered, ere he was aware of it, into the churchyard. Shortly afterwards the church-door was opened by the sexton, who kept his pickaxe and mattock in a corner of the belfry, and Frantz remembering that as yet he had not entered the church, followed him in, and was struck with the appearance of many portraits which hung round the walls.

"What are these?" said he.

"The pictures, sir, of all your predecessors; know you not, that in some of our country churches it is the custom to hang up the likenesses of all the gentlemen who ever held the living?"

Frantz, in a tone of indifference, replied, that he fancied he had heard of such a thing.

"'Tis, sir," continued the man, "a custom with which you must comply at any rate. Why, bad as was our last pastor Herr Von Weetzer, he honoured us so far, that there hangs his picture."

Frantz advanced to view a newly painted portrait, which hung last in the line of his predecessors; and then the young man started back, changed colour, and the deadly faintness of terror seized his relaxing frame; for in it he recognised, exact in costume and features, the perfect likeness of his adult spectral visiter!

"Good God!" cried Frantz, "how very extraordinary!"

"A nice looking man, sir," said the sexton, not noticing his emotion; "pity 'tis that he was so wicked."

"Wicked!" exclaimed Frantz, almost unconscious of what he said; "how wicked?"

"Oh, sir, I can't exactly say how wicked; but a bad gentleman was Mr. Von Weetzer, that's certain."

"Wicked! well—was he married?" asked Frantz, with apparent unconcern.

"Why, no, sir;" replied the sexton, with a significant look; "people do say he was not; but if all tales be true that are rife about him, 'tis a sure thing he ought to have been."

"Hah! hum!" muttered Frantz, and a slight blush tinged his fine countenance. "His children you say—"

"Lord, sir! I said nothing about them—who told you? Few folks at Steingart, I guess, knew he had any but myself. 'Tis thought the poor things did not come fairly by their ends; and for certain, I never buried them!"

Frantz stood for some minutes absorbed in thought; at length he said— "were they baptized? I have a reason for asking."

"Perhaps sir, it is, that you are thinking if the poor, little, innocent creatures were not christened, they'd no right to be laid in consecrated ground."

"No matter what I think; I believe I have the register."

"You have, sir; please then to look at page 197, line 19, and I fancy you'll find the names of Gertrude and Erhard Dow, ('twas their poor misfortunate mother's sirname,) down as baptized."

"I have," interrupted Frantz, with an air of extreme solemnity, "seen, as I believe, those children and their father!"

"Mein Gott!" cried the sexton in excessive alarm—"seen them?—Seen Herr Von Weetzer! They do say he walks—dear, dear!—and after the shocking unchristian death that he died too! Where, sir? Where and when?"

"No matter, I also have my suspicions."

"He murdered them himself, sir—the wicked man! 'Twasn't their mother, my poor niece, God rest her soul! She died as easy as a lamb. Indeed, indeed, it wasn't her."

"Bring your tools," said Frantz, "and come with me."

He led the sexton to his chamber—desired him to raise the mysterious hearthstone, and dig up the ground beneath it. This was accordingly done, and in a few minutes, with sentiments of unspeakable pity and horror, Frantz beheld the fleshless remains of two children, who apparently from the size of the bones must have been about the age and figure, when deposited there, of the little phantoms. He found also upon turning to the register, that it laid open at the very page named by the sexton; and on the very spot which the apparition of the wretched Von Weetzer had indicated by his finger, was duly entered the baptism of the murdered children; and the sexton readily turned to the entries of their birth in other parts of the volume. Frantz interred the remains of these unfortunate beings in consecrated ground—immediately quitted Steingart— resigned a preferment which had (from the singularly terrible incident thus connected with his possession of it) equally alarmed and disgusted him—married Adelinda upon his return to Leipzig—and gradually became an exemplary member of Society.

M.L.B.

* * * * *

Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.—Swift.

* * * * *



THE NATURALIST.

* * * * *

NEST OF THE TAYLOR BIRD.



This is one of the most interesting objects in the whole compass of Natural History. The little architect is called the Taylor Bird, Taylor Wren, or Taylor Warbler, from the art with which it makes its nest, sewing some dry leaves to a green one at the extremity of a twig, and thus forming a hollow cone, which it afterwards lines. The general construction of the nest, as well as a description of a specimen in Dr. Latham's collection, will be found at page 180, of vol. xiii. of the MIRROR.

The Taylor Bird is only about three and a half inches in length, and weighs, it is said, three-sixteenths of an ounce; the plumage above is pale olive yellow; chin and throat yellow; breast and belly dusky white. It inhabits India, and particularly the Islands of Ceylon. The eggs are white, and not much larger than what are called ant's eggs.[1]

In constructing the nest, the beak performs the office of drilling in the leaves the necessary holes, and passing the fibres through them with the dexterity of a tailor. Even such parts in the rear as are not sufficiently firm are sewed in like manner.

[20] Notes to Jennings's Ornithologia, p. 324.

* * * * *

IVY.

Mr. Gilbert Burnett thus beautifully illustrates the transitorial metamorphosis of ivy:—

"The ivy, in its infant or very young state, has stalks trailing upon the ground, and protruding rootlets throughout their whole extent; its leaves are spear-shaped, and it bears neither flower nor fruit; this is termed ivy creeping on the ground. The same plant, when more advanced, quits the ground, and climbs on walls and trees, its rootlets becoming holdfasts only; its leaves are generally three or five lobed, and it is still barren; this is the greater barren ivy. In its next, or more mature state, it disdains all props, and rising by its own strength above the walls on which it grew, occasionally puts on the appearance of a tree; in this the flower of its age, the branches are smooth, devoid of radicles and holdfasts; and it is loaded with blossoms and with fruit; the lobulations of the leaves are likewise less; this is the war-poet's ivy. But when old, the ivy again becomes barren, again the suckers appear upon the stem, and the leaves are no longer lobed, but egg-shaped; this is the Bacchanalian ivy."

* * * * *

MICROSCOPIC AMUSEMENT.

Mr. Carpenter, in Gill's Repository, speaking of the fine displays of anatomy and wonderful construction of insects, creatures so much "despised, and which are, indeed, but too often made the subject of wanton sport by many persons, who amuse their children by passing a pin through the bottom of their abdomen, in order to excite pain and long-suffering in the insect, and thus making them spin, as they ignorantly term it," has the following most humane and benevolent observations:—"Many of these cruel sports might undoubtedly be effectively checked, if the teachers of schools were occasionally to exhibit to their pupils, under the microscope, the various parts of an insect with which they are familiar; and, by interesting lectures of instruction, to point out the uses to which those parts are applied by the insect, for its preservation and comfort; and that, when they are deprived of them, or they are even injured, a degree of suffering takes place in the creature, which the children at present seem to be wholly uninformed of. I certainly think that, if the abovementioned useful lessons were inculcated, they would afford a check to those cruel propensities in many children, which they at present indulge in, for want of being better instructed."

* * * * *



NOTES OF A READER.

* * * * *

ROYAL PROGRESSES, OR VISITS.

The celebrity attendant on a royal visit adhered long to places as well as persons. A chamber in the decayed tower of Hoghton, in Lancashire, still bears the name of James the First's room. Elizabeth's apartment, and that of her maids of honour, are still known at Weston House, in Warwickshire; her walk "marked by old thorn-bushes," at Hengrave, in Norfolk; near Harefield, the farm-house where she was welcomed by allegorical personages; at Bisham Abbey, the well in which she bathed; and at Beddington, in Surrey, her favourite oak. She often shot with a cross-bow in the paddock at Oatlands. At Hawsted, in Suffolk, she is reported to have dropped a silver-handled fan into the moat; and an old approach to Kenninghall Place, in Norfolk, is called Queen Bess's Lane, because she was scratched by the brambles in riding through it.—Quarterly Review.

* * * * *

SHAKSPEARE'S MACBETH.

During one of the progresses of James I. on passing the gate of St. John's College, at Oxford, his majesty was saluted by three youths, representing the weird sisters (sibyllae,) who, in Latin hexameters, bade the descendant of Banquo hail, as king of Scotland, king of England, and king of Ireland; and his queen as daughter, sister, wife, and mother of kings. The occasion is memorable in dramatic history, if it be true that this address, or a translation of it, led Shakspeare to write on the story of Macbeth. Much has been said for the probability of this supposition; but surely the legend of Macbeth and Banquo must have been abundantly discoursed of in England between James's accession and the year when this pageant was exhibited; and Shakspeare could find every circumstance alluded to by the Oxford speakers, and many more in Holinshed's Chronicle, which, through a great part of Macbeth, he has undoubtedly taken for his guide.—Ibid.

* * * * *

CHINESE DRAMA.

The Chinese themselves make no technical distinctions between tragedy and comedy in their stage pieces;—the dialogue of which is composed in ordinary prose, while the principal performer now and then chants forth, in unison with music, a species of song or vaudeville, and the name of the tune or air is always inserted at the top of the passage to be sung.— Quarterly Review.

* * * * *

THE HAWTHORN.

The trunk of an old hawthorn is more gnarled and rough than, perhaps, that of any other tree; and this, with its hoary appearance, and its fragrance, renders it a favourite tree with pastoral and rustic poets, and with those to whom they address their songs. Milton, in his L'Allegro, has not forgotten this favourite of the village:—

"Every shepherd tells his tale Under the hawthorn in the dale."

When Burns, with equal force and delicacy, delineates the pure and unsophisticated affection of young, intelligent, and innocent country people, as the most enchanting of human feelings, he gives additional sweetness to the picture by placing his lovers

"Beneath the milk-white thorn, that scents the evening gale."

There is something about the tree, which one bred in the country cannot soon forget, and which a visiter learns, perhaps, sooner than any association of placid delight connected with rural scenery. When, too, the traveller, or the man of the world, after a life spent in other pursuits, returns to the village of his nativity, the old hawthorn is the only playfellow of his boyhood that has not changed. His seniors are in the grave; his contemporaries are scattered; the hearths at which he found a welcome are in the possession of those who know him not; the roads are altered; the houses rebuilt; and the common trees have grown out of his knowledge: but be it half a century or more, if man spare the old hawthorn, it is just the same—not a limb, hardly a twig, has altered from, the picture that memory traces of his early years.—Library of Entertaining Knowledge.

* * * * *

TURKISH JOKE.

When the Caliph Haroun el Raschid (who was the friend of the great Charlemagne,) entertained Ebn Oaz at his court in the quality of jester, he desired him one day, in the presence of the Sultana and all her followers, to make an excuse worse than the crime it was intended to extenuate: the Caliph walked about, waiting for a reply. Alter a long pause, Ebn Oaz skulked behind the throne, and pinched his highness in the rear. The rage of the Caliph was unbounded. "I beg a thousand pardons of your Majesty," said Ebn Oaz, "but I thought it was her Highness the Sultana." This was the excuse worse than the crime; and of course the jester was pardoned.

* * * * *

FUND AND REFUND.

Disappointment at the theatre is a bad thing: but the manager returning admission money is worse. Sheridan, who understood professional feelings on this subject in the most acute degree, was in the habit of saying that he could give words to the chagrin of a conqueror, on seeing the fruit of his victories snatched from him; or the miseries of a broken down minister, turned out in the moment when he thought the cabinet at his mercy; or a felon listening to a long winded sermon from the ordinary; or a debtor just fallen into the claws of a dun; but that he never could find words to express the sensibilities of a manager compelled to disgorge money once taken at his doors. "Fund," says this experienced ornament of the art of living by one's wits, "fund is an excellent word; but re-fund is the very worst in the language."Monthly Magazine.

* * * * *

COURT SQUABBLES.

Mr. Crawfurd, in his Embassy, describes the following ludicrous scene arising from a misunderstanding between the sovereign of Birmah and his ministers:—"The ministers last night reported to the king the progress of the negotiation. His majesty was highly indignant, said his confidence had been abused, and that now, for the first time, he was made acquainted with the real state of affairs. He accused the ministers of falsehoods, malversations, and all kinds of offences. His displeasure did not end in mere words; he drew his Da, or sword, and sallied forth in pursuit of the offending courtiers. These took to immediate flight, some leaping over the balustrades which rail in the front of the Hall of Audience, but the greater number escaping by the stair which leads to it; and in the confusion which attended their endeavours, (tumbling head over heels,) one on top of another. Such royal paroxysms are pretty frequent, and, although attended with considerable sacrifices of the kingly dignity, are always bloodless. The late king was less subject to these fits of anger than his present majesty, but he also occasionally forgot himself. Towards the close of his reign, and when on a pilgrimage to the great temple of Mengwan, a circumstance of this description took place, which was described by an European gentleman, himself present, and one of the courtiers. The king had detected something flagitious, which would not have been very difficult. His anger rose; he seized his spear, and attacked the false ministers. These, with the exception of the European, who was not a party to the offence, fled tumultuously. One hapless courtier had his heels tripped up in his flight; the king overtook him, and wounded him slightly in the calf of the leg with his spear, but took no farther vengeance."

* * * * *

LULLABY.

SHAKSPEARE, in Titus Andronicus, says,

"Be unto us, as is a nurse's song Of Lullaby to bring her babe to sleep."

A learned commentator gives us what he facetiously calls a lullaby note on this.

"The verb to lull, means to sing Gently, and it is connected with the Greek [Greek: laleo], loquor, or [Greek: lala], the sound made by the beach of the sea. The Roman nurses used the word lalla, to quiet their children, and they feigned a deity called Lullus, whom they invoked on that occasion; the lullaby, or tune itself was called by the same name."— Douce.

Lullaby is supposed a contraction for Lull-a-baby. The Welsh are celebrated for their Lullaby songs, and a good Welsh nurse, with a pleasing voice, has been sometimes found more soporific in the nursery, than the midwife's anodyne. The contrary effects of Swift's song, "Here we go up, up, up," and the smile-provoking melody of "Hey diddle, diddle," cum multis aliis, are too well known to be enumerated or disputed. "The Good Nurse" give us a chapter on the advantage of employing music in certain stages of protracted illness.

* * * * *

GOOD NIGHT.

In northern Europe we may, without impropriety, say good night! to departing friends at any hour of darkness; but the Italians utter their Felicissima Notte only once. The arrival of candles marks the division between day and night, and when they are brought in, the Italians thus salute each other. How impossible it is to convey the exact properties of a foreign language by translation! Every word, from the highest to the lowest, has a peculiar significance, determinable only by an accurate knowledge of national and local attributes and peculiarites.

GOETHE.—Blackwood's Magazine.

* * * * *



THE ANECDOTE GALLERY.

* * * * *

THE EDDYSTONE LIGHTHOUSE.

(For The Mirror.)

In the year 1696, Mr. Henry Winstanley, undertook to build the Eddystone Lighthouse, and in 1700 he completed it. So confident was this ingenious mechanic of the stability of his edifice, that he declared his wish to be in it during the most tremendous storm that could arise. This wish he unfortunately obtained, for he perished in it during the dreadful storm which destroyed it, November 27th, 1703. While he was there with his workmen and light-keepers, that dreadful storm began, which raged most violently on the night of the 26th of the month, and appears to have been one of the most tremendous ever experienced in Great Britain, for its vast and extensive devastation. The next morning, at daybreak, the hurricane increased to a degree unparalleled; and the lighthouse no longer able to sustain its fury, was swept into the bosom of the deep, with all its ill-fated inmates. When the storm abated, about the 29th, people went off to see if any thing remained, but nothing was left save a few large irons, whereby the work had been so fastened into a clink, that it could never afterwards be disengaged, till it was cut out in the year 1756. The lighthouse had not long been destroyed, before the Winchelsea, a Virginiaman, laden with tobacco, for Plymouth, was wrecked on the Eddystone rocks in the night, and every soul perished.

Smeaton, in his Narrative of the Construction of the Eddystone Lighthouse, says, "Winstanley had distinguished himself in a certain branch of mechanics, the tendency of which is to excite wonder and surprise. He had at his house at Littlebury, in Essex, a set of contrivances, such as the following:—Being taken into one particular room of his house, and there observing an old slipper carelessly lying in the middle of the floor, if, as was natural, you gave it a kick with your foot, up started a ghost before you; if you sat down in a certain chair, a couple of arms would immediately clasp you in, so as to render it impossible for you to disengage yourself till your attendant set you at liberty; and if you sat down in a certain arbour by the side of a canal, you were forthwith sent out afloat into the middle, from whence it was impossible for you to escape till the manager returned you to your former place."

Mr. John Smeaton, who erected the Eddystone Lighthouse, in the years 1757-58 and 59, was born on the 28th, of May, 1724, at Ansthorpe, near Leeds. The strength of his understanding, and the originality of his genius, (says his biographer) appeared at an early age: his playthings were not the playthings of children, but the tools which men employ, and when he was a mere child he appeared to take greater pleasure in seeing the operations of workmen, and asking them questions, than in any thing else. Before he was six years old, he was once discovered at the top of his father's barn, fixing up what he called a windmill of his own construction, and at another time, while he was about the same age, he attended some men fixing a pump, and observing them cut off a piece of a bored part, he procured it, and actually made a pump, with which he raised water. When he was under fifteen years of age, he made an engine for turning, and worked several things in ivory and wood. He made all his own tools for working in wood and metals, and he constructed a lathe, by which he cut a perpetual screw in brass, a thing but little known, and which was the invention of Mr. Henry Hendley of York. His father was an attorney, and being desirous to bring up his son to the same profession, he brought him up to London with him in 1724, and attended the courts in Westminster Hall; but after some time, finding that the law was not suited to his disposition, he wrote a strong memorial to his father on the subject, who immediately desired the young man to follow the bent of his inclination.

P.T.W.

* * * * *



SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS

* * * * *

LINES

To a Friend who had spent some days at a Country Inn, in order to be near the Writer.

BY MISS MITFORD

The village inn, the woodfire burning bright, The solitary taper's flickering light, The lowly couch, the casement swinging free,— My noblest friend, was this a place for thee? No fitting place! Yet there, from all apart, We poured forth mind for mind and heart for heart, Ranging from idle words and tales of mirth To the deep mysteries of heaven and earth Yet there thine own sweet voice, in accents low, First breathed Iphigenias tale of wee, The glorious tale, by Goethe fitly told, And cast as finely in an English mould By Taylor's kindred spirit, high and bold:[21] No fitting place! yet that delicious hour Fell on my soul, like dewdrops on a flower Freshening and nourishing and making bright The plant, decaying less from time than blight, Flinging Hope's sunshine o'er the faint dim aim, Thy praise my motive, thine applause my fame. No fitting place! yet (inconsistent strain And selfish!) come, I prithee, come again!

Three Mile Cross, Feb 1829. Sharpe's Magazine.

[21] Mr. Taylor's transition of Goethe's Iphigenia in Tauris; one of the finest plays out of Shakspeare, and now extremely rare.

* * * * *

ILLUSTRIOUS FOLLIES.

We have been amused with a light pattering paper in Nos. 1. and 2. of Sharpe's London Magazine—entitled "Illustrious Visiters." Its only fault is extreme length, it being nearly thirty pages, and, as some people would say, "all about nothing." But some will think otherwise, and smile at the sly shafts which are let fly at our national follies, of which, it must be owned, we have a very great share. We ought to premise that the framework of the satire is a visit of the Court Cards to our metropolis, a pretty considerable hit at some recent royal visits. Of course, they see every thing worth seeing, and some of their remarks are truly piquant. The spirit, or fun, of the article would evaporate in an abridgment, so we will endeavour to give a few of the narrator's best points:—

The Arrival.

"On the day of their landing, the town of Dover was in a state of general excitement; bells were ringing, colours flying, artillery saluting; and the loyal inhabitants crowded forth to peep at the illustrious potentates. Often and often, even from our earliest years, have we heard of the fame of these kings and queens. Their pictures have been familiar to every eye; dealers transmitted them into every hand; their colourless extraordinary faces, their shapeless robes of every tint in the rainbow, and their sky-blue wigs, are as well known to every Englishman, as the head of his own revered monarch on a two-and-six-penny piece. Whenever there is any thing to be seen, an Englishman must go and see it; and, in the eager warmth of excited spirits, he will run after any vehicle, no matter whether caravan or carriage; no matter whence it comes or whither it goes; no matter whether its contents be a kangaroo or a cannibal chief, a giraffe or a Princess Rusty Fusty. He hears of an arrival from foreign parts, that is sufficient; a crowd is collected, and the 'interesting stranger' is cheered with enthusiasm, and speeds from town to town, graced with all the honours of extemporaneous popularity."

"I have already hinted that I consider it no business of mine to inquire why these potentates came to England; perhaps it was no business of theirs that brought them, but rather a party of pleasure; one of the results of a general peace, which is very far from producing general quietness; for when the sovereigns of remote countries become upon visiting terms, hospitality throws wide her gates, and loyalty is uproarious. They came, no doubt, like all our other royal exotics, from the unfortunate sovereigns of the Sandwiches down to the Don of yesterday, to see and to be seen; so, whilst the inhabitants of Dover shouted round their carriages, they condescendingly acknowledged the greetings they received, and proceeded on their journey towards the metropolis."

Visit to the Theatre.

"Precisely at seven o'clock the party entered their box, which was tastefully fitted up for their reception. They were received by the proprietors, and managers, and acting managers, with the customary etiquette, backing most adroitly up stairs, and holding wax candles in their hands (which circumstance was properly stated in the papers the next morning, for fear it should be supposed that tallow had been used on the occasion.)

"Far be it from ME, their most humble chronicler, to speak slightingly of their Majesties of Hearts and Diamonds; on the contrary, I would maintain a paper war with any one who dared to insinuate that these honours were not dealt most fairly: but, on some occasions, I cannot help thinking that these distinctions have been lavished rather injudiciously, and that royalty has been made too common. I have seen our own beloved monarch in public received with acclamations, ay, and with more than mouth honour— with waving handkerchiefs, and full hearts, and eyes that overflowed. The enthusiasm of such a welcome is honourable to the monarch who receives it, and the subjects who bestow it; and let levellers say what they will, the best feelings of our nature are brought into play on such occasions. There is a meaning in such a welcome; and long, very long, may our monarch live to witness proofs of attachment, which his heart well knows how to appreciate. But there is no meaning whatever in placing a tattooed chief, or a Hottentot Venus of the blood royal, on the same eminence: it is infra dig.—can answer no good purpose, and brings the genuine enthusiasm of loyalty into contempt. There is too much of the Dollalolla in such an exhibition. When his majesty squats uneasily, as if he considered his chair an inconvenience, and the queen wipes her ebony nose with her illustrious white satin play bill. When the royal party entered, the people seemed unable to contain their rapture, and God save the King was called for. This is the established custom: whenever we look upon the king of another country, we always stand up and sing, God save our own!"

Club-House Comforts.

"Far more cheap, and far more commodious than hotels used to be, they assuredly are; and country curates, poor poets, and gentlemen who live on very small means, may now take a slice off the joint, with a quarter of a pint of sherry, for next to nothing at all; sitting, at the same time, with their feet on a Turkey carpet, lighted by ormolu chandeliers, surrounded by gold and marble, and waited upon by liveried domestics, with the additional glory of walking away, and 'giving nothing to the waiter.' Nay, the more dainty gentleman may order his cotelette aux tomates and his omelette souffle, at a moderate expense."

"Men, in most countries, owe what they possess of suavity of manners to their intercourse with female society; after the drudgery of a professional morning, young men used to brush themselves up for their evening flirtations; but now few feminine drawing-rooms can tempt them to leave their luxurious palaces, where evening surtouts, and black neckcloths, and boots, may be freely indulged in. The wife takes her chop, and a half boiled potato at home, while her husband, who always has some excuse for dining at his club, is sure to enjoy every thing, the best of its kind, and cooked a merveille. The unmarried ladies lack partners at balls; the beaux fall asleep after dinner on the downy cushions of the sofas at the Club, or vote it a bore to dress of an evening, when they are sure to meet pleasant fellows at the Alma Mater. As to the young gentlemen who reap the advantages of these cheap and gilded houses of accommodation, it may be questioned whether they are thus enabled hereafter properly to appreciate the comforts of a home, the decorations of the farm-house residence of a curate, or the plain cookery of the farmer's wife, who dresses his dinner without even professing to be a cook."

* * * * *

"The King of Spades went his rounds, accompanied by the most eminent architects and engineers of the day. He dug deeply into the secret histories of the foundations of our national buildings, saw through the disorders of the egg-shell school of architecture, kept clear of the tottering lath and plaster of some of the new buildings, acknowledging that if such materials did ever tumble down, it was a comfort to know that they were considerably lighter than stone and cast iron. He felt a great respect for such persons of rank as professed to be supporters of the drama, trusting that they would keep the ceilings of the theatres from tumbling into the pits. He spent great part of his time in the Thames Tunnel, and if he ever felt a doubt respecting the ultimate success of that undertaking, he did justice to the enterprise and skill of its projector, that illustrious mole, and sincerely wished that zeal and talent might ultimately be crowned with success. He took shares in many mining speculations, and, in many instances, lived to repent it; for he got into troubled waters, and sought for his ore in vain. He attended agricultural meetings, and endeavoured to comprehend that debatable query, the corn question; he argued the point, like other great people, as if he did understand it, and got into repute with the leading Chiropodists, or corn cutters, of the day. He went to Cheltenham, and became proprietor of an acre of ground, on which he dug a score wells, and professed to find at the bottom of each of them, a spring of water sufficiently saline to pickle the constitutions of all valetudinarians. He was horticultural to a most praiseworthy extent, offering prizes to the ingenious young Meadowses who bring forth gigantic gooseberries, supernatural strawberries, and miraculous melons. He went into the country, and endeavoured to penetrate beyond the mere surface of things, listening to the speeches of county members, and dining diligently in warm weather with mayors, and people with corporations. He endeavoured to detect the root of all evil, investigated the ramifications of radical reform, and exposed the ephemeral bulbous roots of speculation. Prejudice he found too deeply rooted to be dug up very easily, whilst the fashions and follies of the day seemed to him to lie so entirely on the surface of the soil, and to be so shortlived, that to throw away any manual labour in an attempt to eradicate them, would be absurd."

"Impossible" Amusements.

"At many of your amusements, the chief attraction consists in the extreme bodily peril in which the exhibiter is placed. You took me to see a man walk up a rope, to an immense height, and had his foot slipped, he must have been dashed to pieces: the place was crowded with persons who were in raptures; yet had the man been dancing on level ground, he would have danced far better; and the merit of the dancer seemed to consist in his giving the audience a chance of seeing him break his neck or dash his brains out! If a foreigner were to announce that he would dance on a pack-thread, he would ruin the ropedancer; because, as the thread would in all probability break, his danger would be greater, and therefore his exhibition would be incomparable! Then you all delight in distortions; if a man can bend his back bone, or sit upon his head, you are in raptures, and seem to think it a good joke to see a fellow creature shortening his life. Then if any man will ride a dozen horses at once, without saddle or bridle; or go into an oven and be baked brown, or eat a fire shovel full of burning coals, or drink deadly poison, or fly off a church steeple, or thrust a pointed instrument down his throat, or walk on a ceiling with his head downwards, or go to sea in a washing tub, you would not lose the sight for the world; you clap your hands, shout with delight, and hold up your little children, that they may share papa and mamma's rational amusement! and yet you tell me your national characteristic is humanity!"

A Man of Honour.

"Is Mr. Rabbitts a man of honour?"

"In the strictest sense of the word."

"Living at the rate of thousands a year, when his income is just so many hundreds! furnishing his house magnificently without ever intending to pay for a pipkin, and at last making a sudden disappearance, which closely resembles what I have heard described as an Irish 'moonlight flitting,' where a tenant, who is unable to pay his rent, departs at dead of night with his wife and other movables, having previously thrashed his grain, and left the straw in its place to keep up appearances! The flittings of some of your 'leading stars in the hemisphere of fashion' are very similar; yet afterwards you may see them at some watering-place, as gay and as expensive as ever! Have they mislaid their bills, and forgotten the names of their creditors? If so, let them call for the Gazette, and look over the list of bankrupts. Such is the honour of Mr. Rabbitts!"

To want Style.

"It is difficult for me to explain, because your majesty has not seen specimens of that class of the community which is devoid of style, tact, and taste; but we have them in town, and we meet with them at watering-places; there indeed it is less in our power to keep quite clear of them. They are to be seen all day and all night; if the sun shines, they are promenading in its beams; if a house is lighted up, they will enter its open door; if a fiddle is heard, they are dancing to its squeaking; if petticoats are worn short, theirs are up to their knees; they are never out of sight, never in repose; summer and winter, day and night, they seem in a state of fearful excitement, flirting, philandering, raffling, racing, practising, and patronizing; they are great people in a small way, and only considered great because nothing greater is at hand; they prefer reigning in hell (excuse the word, I quote Milton) to serving in heaven; in London they would be nothing, at Hogs Norton Spa, or Pumpington Wells, they are every thing; making difficulties about admissions to Lilliputian Almack's."

To have Style.

"To have style is to be always dressed to perfection, without appearing to care about the fashion; and to take the station and precedence which you are entitled to, without seeming to be solicitous about it. I have seen dowagers at watering-places in a fever of anxiety about their rank and their consequence! patronizing puppetshows, seizing conspicuous seats, and withholding the sunshine of their smiles from commoners allied to older nobility than their own! How I should enjoy seeing them lost in a London crowd, where not an eye would notice their aristocracy unless they wore their coronets on the tops of their bonnets!"

The Popular Complaint.

"I am afraid of catching the popular complaint: all the professedly sane people in London are so evidently mad, that I am led to conclude that all the supposed lunatics are in their sound senses.

"For instance, your gay people, who toil through nominal pleasures, dressing by rule and compass, lacing, bracing, patching, painting, plastering, penciling, curling, pinching, and all to go out and be looked at: going from party to party in the middle of the night, pretending not to be sleepy, suppressing each rising yawn, and trying to make the lips smile and the eyes twinkle, and to look animated in spite of fatigue: and all this for no earthly purpose—too old to care about lovers, and without daughters to marry. Why should an ugly old maid of sixty-six take all these pains, or leave her own snug fireside, if she had not a touch of the popular complaint.

"Then your man of pleasure, risking his life at every corner in a cab, with a restive horse; wearing all his clothes painfully tight to show off his figure, confining his neck in a bandage, pouring liquids down his throat, though he knows they will give him a headache, sitting up all night shaking bits of bone together for the mere purpose of giving somebody a chance of winning all his money, or offering bets on racehorses to afford himself and family an opportunity of changing opulence for beggary! He has the popular complaint of course.

"Then your man of business: your public servant, toiling, and striving and figetting about matters of state, sacrificing health, and the snug comforts of a private gentleman, for the sake of popularity! His complaint is popular indeed. Then your physician, courting extensive practice, and ambitious of the honour of never having time to eat a comfortable meal, and proud of being called out of bed the moment he is composing himself to sleep! He must be raving. Then your barrister, fagging over dull books, and wearing a three-tailed wig, and talking for hours, that his client, right or wrong, may be successful! All these people appear to me to be awfully excited: the popular complaint is strong upon them, and I would put them all into the straightest waistcoats I could procure."

Patriotic Follies.

"It is delightful to hear English men and women talk of their dear country. There is nothing like Old England, say they; yet paramount as their love of country appears to be, their love of French frippery is a stronger passion! They will lament the times, the stagnation of trade, the scarcity of money, the ruin of manufacturers, but they will wear Parisian productions. It is a comfort, however, to know that they are often deceived, and benefit their suffering countrymen without knowing it—as lace, silks, and gloves have frequently been exported from this country, and sold to English women on the coast of France as genuine French articles. How little does Mrs. Alderman Popkins dream, when she returns to her residence in Bloomsbury, that her Parisian pelisse is of Spitalfields manufacture, and that her French lace veil came originally from Honiton."

* * * * *



THE GATHERER.

A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.

SHAKSPEARE.

* * * * *

BULL AND NO BULL.

"I was going," said an Irishman, "over Westminster Bridge the other day, and I met Pat Hewins—'Hewins,' says I, 'how are you?'—'Pretty well,' says he, 'thank you, Donnelly.'—'Donnelly,' says I, 'that's not my name.'— 'Faith, no more is mine Hewins,' says he. So we looked at each other again, and sure it turned out to be neither of us—and where's the bull of that now?"

* * * * *

BAD HABIT.

Sir Frederick Flood had a droll habit of which he could never effectually break himself (at least in Ireland.) Whenever a person at his back whispered or suggested any thing to him whilst he was speaking in public, without a moment's reflection, he always repeated the suggestion literatim. Sir Frederick was once making a long speech in the Irish Parliament, lauding the transcendent merits of the Wexford magistracy, on a motion for extending the criminal jurisdiction in that county, to keep down the disaffected. As he was closing a most turgid oration by declaring "that the said magistracy ought to receive some signal mark of the Lord Lieutenant's favour,"—John Egan, who was rather mellow, and sitting behind him, jocularly whispered, "and be whipped at the cart's tail."— "And be whipped at the cart's tail!" repeated Sir Frederick unconsciously, amidst peals of uncontrollable laughter.

* * * * *

CURIOUS POST OFFICE.

It is said, as the Isle of Ascension is visited by the homeward-bound ships on account of its sea fowls, fish, turtle, and goats, there is in a crevice of the rock a place called the "Post Office," where letters are deposited, shut up in a well-corked bottle, for the ships that next visit the island.[22]

P.T.W.

[22] Our correspondent calls this a "curious Post Office;" we should say it was merely an inland post.

* * * * *

AMERICAN COURTSHIP.

The young ladies of Medina county, among other means of preventing the too frequent use of ardent spirits, have resolved that they will not receive the addresses of any young gentleman who is in the habit of using spirituous liquors. The young gentlemen in the same neighbourhood, by way of retaliation, have resolved that they will not seriously pay their addresses to any young lady who wears corsets. This is right. If whiskey has slain its thousands—corsets have slain their tens of thousands.—N.Y. American.

* * * * *

What colours were the winds and waves the last tempest at sea?

Answer.—The winds blew and the waves rose.

C.K.W.

* * * * *

LIGHT EVIL.

A good natured citizen, on retiring from a large house of business, took a neat little country box at Laytonstone, and going with his wife to see it, she was very sulky and displeased; which "Gilpin" observing, said, "my dear Judy, don't you like the place?" "Like it indeed! no, why there isn't room to swing a cat in it." "Well, but my dear Judy, you know we never have any occasion to swing cats."

* * * * *

*** The signature C.C. to the Minstrel Ballad, in our last, merely implies the correspondent who sent it "for the MIRROR." The writer of the Ballad is Sir Walter Scott. It appears in the Notes to the New Edition of "Waverley," but was hitherto unpublished in Sir Walter's works.

* * * * *

LIMBIRD'S EDITIONS.

CHEAP and POPULAR WORKS published at the MIRROR OFFICE in the Strand, near Somerset House.

The ARABIAN NIGHTS' ENTERTAINMENTS. Embellished with nearly 150 Engravings. In 6 Parts, 1s. each.

The TALES of the GENII. Price 2s.

The MICROCOSM. By the Right Hon. G. CANNING. &c. 4 Parts, 6d. each.

PLUTARCH'S LIVES, with Fifty Portraits, 12 Parts, 1s. each.

COWPER'S POEMS, with 12 Engravings, 12 Numbers, 3d. each.

COOK'S VOYAGES, 28 Numbers, 3d. each.

The CABINET of CURIOSITIES: or, WONDERS of the WORLD DISPLAYED. 27 Nos. 2d. each.

BEAUTIES of SCOTT, 2 vols. price 7s. boards.

The ARCANA of SCIENCE for 1828. Price 4s. 6d.

*** Any of the above Works can be purchased in Parts.

GOLDSMITH'S ESSAYS. Price 8d.

DR. FRANKLIN'S ESSAYS. Price 1s. 2d.

BACON'S ESSAYS. Price 8d.

SALMAGUNDI. Price 1s. 8d.

* * * * *

Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; and by all Newsmen and Booksellers.

THE END

Home - Random Browse