THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 14, No. 390.] SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
Clifton is the Montpellier of England, and is associated with all that is delightful in nature: of this, the Engraving before us is a true picture, whether we contemplate the winding Avon; the sublime beauty of its rocks—
Clifton's airy rocks,
(as Mr. Bowles poetically calls them), the picturesque scenery of the opposite shore; or the abodes of cottage comforts which cluster into a rural village beside the cliff till the eye reaches a splendid range of crescents and terraces which art has reared on the stupendous brow above.
Clifton is situated on the south and west of the cliff, or hill, (whence its name), one mile westward of the city of Bristol, over great part of which it commands a very pleasing prospect, as also of the ships that, on the flood and ebb tides, sail up and down the Avon. From the opposite shore the richly cultivated lands of Somersetshire present themselves in a very beautiful landscape, rising gradually four or five miles from the verge of the river to the top of Dundry Hill, whereon is a high tower, esteemed the Proteus of the weather, as being commonly enveloped with mist, so as scarcely to be visible, against rain; but, on the contrary, if it be seen clear and distinct in the morning, it denotes the approach of a fine day.
The salubrious situation of Clifton has long since attracted the wealthy. Hence, the hill is nearly covered with superb buildings, (for which the freestone of the country affords peculiar facilities), till the village has almost become an elegant city. The Downs are covered with verdure all the year, and the turf abounds with aromatic plants, growing wild, which are not to be met with elsewhere in England. Here are also discernible ancient fortifications and intrenchments; and coins of the later Roman emperors have frequently been found about the camp; there are other military works opposite, on the Somersetshire side of the Avon. Besides the above remains, on Clifton Downs, is an old tower with a brick floor, but without any roof. (See the Engraving.) From three open spaces, formerly doors, are exquisite views: in front an extensive prospect of Gloucestershire; on the right, part of Clifton, and in the background Dundry Hill; and on the left, King's Road, with the ships at anchor, the Bristol Channel, and the mountains of South Wales. At the end of the Downs stands the mansion of Sir William Draper, once so conspicuous in the public mind from the severe chastisement he received from Junius. To the left is an expensive monument erected by Sir William, who was colonel of the 79th regiment, to the memory of his soldiers who fell in the East Indies, in 1768; and to the right is a pillared tribute to the patriotic Earl of Chatham, with a brief Latin inscription by Sir William Draper.
Our view of Clifton is from the Ferry, and is from an effective lithograph, of very recent date.
Added to the charms of the romantic scenery of Clifton are the attractions of the Bristol Hot Wells, in the vicinity; upon which fashion has conferred too great celebrity to render description needful. The richness and grandeur of the scenery of the Hot Wells are almost inconceivable; in some places the rocks, venerably majestic, rise perpendicularly, or overhanging, craggy and bare; and in others they are clothed with luxuriant shrubs and stately trees. From the bottom of these cliffs, on the east bank of the river, issues the Bristol Hot Well water. The spring rises out of an aperture in the solid rocks and is computed to discharge about forty gallons in a minute.
The author of the History and Beauties of Clifton Hot Wells, in describing this scenery, says, "One of the sublimest and most beautiful scenes in nature is exhibited by those bold and rugged eminences behind the crescent, known by the name of St. Vincent's Rocks, which appear to have been rent asunder by some violent convulsion of nature." They are misshapen and massy projections, nearly 300 feet in height. Pieces of this rock, when broken, have much the appearance of a dark, red marble; and when struck by a substance of corresponding hardness, emit a strong sulphureous smell. It is sometimes used as a substitute for foreign marble for chimney-pieces; but principally for making lime. In the fissures of these rocks are found those fine crystals usually called Bristol stones, which are so hard as to cut glass, and sustain the action of fire and of aquafortis; this, however, is only the case with such as are tinged. The imperfect ones, in which there appears something like small hairs, white specks, or bubbles of air and water, turn white when calcined.
On these rocks, the Rev. W. Lisle Bowles has the following lines:—
How beauteous the pale rocks above the shore Uplift their bleak and furrow'd aspect high! How proudly desolate their foreheads, hoar, That meet the earliest sunbeam of the sky!
Bound to yon dusky mart, with pennants gay, The tall bark on the winding water's line, Between the river cliffs plies her hard way, And peering on the sight the white sails shine.
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(For the Mirror.)
It is not perhaps generally known, that in the writings of Sodates, a poet of Thrace, many of the verses may be turned and read different ways, without either losing the measure or sense; for instance the following, which may be read backwards:—
"Roma tibi stibito motibus ibit amor Si bene te, tua laus taxat, sua laute tenebis Sole medere pede, ede perede, melos."
His writings are nearly extinct, and are for the most part of a very immoral kind. He wrote some verses against Philadelphus Ptolemy, and was, in consequence, put into a cage of lead and thrown into the sea.
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MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.
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(For the Mirror.)
 The intelligent friend from whose conversation the writer gleaned the following account, has resided three years in Genoa, and therefore is fully competent to speak of the customs of its inhabitants. This paper is derived from the same source as that entitled "A Recent Visit to Pompeii."—Vide MIRROR, vol xiii p. 276.
The Genoese women, are almost without exception beautiful, and many of them retain their loveliness for a longer period than is usual in warm climates; I have seen very handsome females turned of forty. They are excessively fond of adorning themselves on Sundays and all festive occasions, with a profusion of rich and expensive gold ornaments; indeed the married women cannot be seen without them, for they are an essential part of their hymeneal dower. A young woman, upon the occasion of her nuptials, is obliged to purchase a set of gold trinkets, should the existence of her mother prevent her inheriting those which are already in the family; and in order to make this important purchase, no small property is required, since as much as three or four hundred francs are often given for a pair of ear-rings, seven or eight hundred for a necklace, chain, bracelets, or other articles individually; a few more trifling ornaments complete the set, with a curious kind of gold filagree cap, or net, for the head. These trinkets are in fact necessary adjutants to Genoese domestic economy, since, though as heir-looms they are never sold, except three or four sets should, from family casualties, become the property of an individual, yet there is neither law nor prejudice against pawning them; and, in pawn they generally are, from the week's commencement to its end, being redeemed on the Saturday night, only to be worn on Sunday, and pledged again on the Monday morning. There are shops in Genoa expressly for the sale of these bridal ornaments, which are worn there, exclusively by the inferior classes; for the higher orders of society if seen in such, would forfeit, whether foreigners or citizens, all pretentions to rank and fashion; however, the Genoese gold trinkets, may be, and are, much worn by the Hidalgos of many a place afar from that of their manufacture. These ornaments are not wrought into more than four fashions, which never vary. The Genoese women marry at fifteen or sixteen years of age, and it is impossible to imagine a creature more innocent, childish-looking, and perfectly beautiful, than a young bride in her nuptial attire.
The female children of genteel parentage are, in Genoa, allowed to visit amongst themselves in balls and fetes, until they have attained the age of fourteen; when, being considered marriageable, instead of "coming out" as in England, they are kept strictly at home; allowed indeed to see a little company there, but there only, except when taken per favour, once or twice to the opera, to which they go purposely in an undress, sit at the back of the box, so as not to be seen, or if accidentally beheld, they are not to be recognised. When a girl reaches the appointed years of discretion, the sole consideration of her parents is, to marry her, and in this matter she, poor thing, has no voice, as I shall proceed to prove. Negotiating matches, making proposals, and arranging marriages, are affairs confided to the prudence and mediation of certain busy old ladies, who find their account in bringing about weddings, since they receive a regular per centage upon them. One of these emissaries of Hymen will call on a parent who has a son, reported to be an eligible match, and open the business by talking of the young man, until an opportunity occurs of inquiring whether he is not soon to be settled, and how much will be allowed him? These queries being answered to the good lady's satisfaction, she proceeds a step further, and enumerates the principal families of her acquaintance, who have daughters to dispose of, adding an accurate description of each Signorina's person, connexions, property, expectancies, and other advantages. A lady having been selected as an eligible match for the youth, the parents on both sides being agreed, and the young gentleman duly informed of their arrangements for his happiness, he is allowed to commence paying his addresses to the fair one, by sending her a large, and peculiarly constructed bouquet, the acceptance of which, is in fact an acceptance of himself, and the girl is immediately considered a Sposina, or betrothed one. The bouquet, and herself, in full dress, are forthwith carried to the opera, where the former is laid, and the latter seated, immediately in front of the box; when, numerous are the eyes and glasses levelled at the new Sposina, upon this her first appearance in public. On this interesting and trying occasion, her accepted lover stands during the performance behind her chair, and is assiduous in his attentions. The next amusement at which, according to etiquette the Sposina appears, is a ball, to which she goes attended by her lover, and one or both of her parents. The bouquet, the emblem of her engagement goes with her, which never quits her hand, except when she dances, and is then laid on her seat, until her return. She is not allowed to dance with any one but her brother, intended husband, or his most intimate friend to whom perhaps as a favour, he may choose to introduce her. The duty of the engaged man is, to present his Sposina every morning up to the period of their union, with a fresh bouquet, the size of which intimates the degree of affection and respect that he entertains for her. But should the lover's finances be slender, and his nuptials long delayed, he must find this elegant custom a very ruinous one, since the price of the best of these bouquets (and who durst for his own credit's sake present an inferior one?) is five or six francs. The Sposina appears everywhere and everyday with a bouquet in her hand, closely attended by her lover, and either or both of her parents; and a female, a stranger in Genoa, commits a breach of etiquette by walking through the streets carrying a nosegay, besides subjecting herself to the impertinence of a thousand eyes, that ask, "Are you a Sposina?" The wedding is celebrated with splendour, the fortune of the bride being sometimes expended in purchasing a magnificent dress, which is then deemed essential. Amongst the highest classes, the English custom of the bride and bridegroom quitting the wedding party immediately after the performance of the marriage-ceremony, for a tour, has commenced; but this innovation upon their established national manners, has not yet obtained a very general footing. The match-maker is, upon the wedding-day, presented with a sum of money adequate to the trouble she has taken to effect the alliance; for a lack of beauty, or fortune on the lady's side, mars her matrimonial prospects, and causes as great difficulties respecting her settlement in life, at Genoa, as in some other places I could mention rather nearer home. Once, being in company with an ancient dame, who had brought about a marriage that astonished all Genoa, she informed me, that she received as her douceur upon the occasion, 50l. This, I am to conclude, was a liberal recompense; for the Sposina, in that instance, was so plain, (a circumstance unusual with the Genoese women,) and afflicted with so bad a breath, as to be an object of disgust with all the men who heard of her. The bouquets which I have mentioned, are peculiar in structure, and beautiful in appearance: they are composed of the most brilliantly coloured flowers, disposed round a large central flower, in tiers, or rows, of the same colour; as, first perhaps, a row of red, then white, then purple, then yellow, then blue, &c. &c.; the stalks are cut short, curiously attached to wire by fine silk or thread, and being bound compactly together, so that the stalks and wires brought into a point, form a convenient handle, the petals of the flowers stand out in lines of the most vivid hues, making a kind of smooth, expanded, circular, and convex, surface. The manufacture of these bouquets, one of which takes a considerable time to complete, is a distinct occupation, and the sale of them, quite a trade; and though made elsewhere than at Genoa, those of that town are most esteemed, and sent over all parts of Italy. The flowers composing these bouquets, will keep for at least a fortnight as fresh and beautiful as when first gathered, and are capable of bearing long journeys, for they are constantly forwarded in boxes made expressly for them, to Turin, which is about a hundred miles from Genoa, where they arrive fresh and uninjured. An English nobleman indeed, not long since, having a quick conveyance, dispatched a Genoese bouquet to his family in England, who received it in its pristine beauty. Besides being presented by lovers to their affianced brides, they are the gifts of friend to friend on most festive occasions, such as weddings, christenings, birthdays, Saint's days, and holidays; and always upon New Year's day, which is as great an occasion for the transfer of gifts in Italy, as it is in France. The freshness and beauty of these bouquets, of which several were sent to me during my residence in Genoa, are to be thus preserved: at night put your flowers into a glass or vase, without water, since the stalks bound together in the manner described have lost the power of suction and could not be benefitted by it; then, lightly sprinkle, or water (with a watering-pot, the rose of which is finely bored,) the flowery head of the bouquet, and carefully cover it with a fine, light handkerchief, also moistened. This attention paid every night will preserve these beautiful nosegays, fresh and fair for many weeks.
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WRITTEN FOR MUSIC.
(For the Mirror.)
Hark! 'tis the song of the sailor shell, Sweet on the breezes swelling: Rearing its arms to the breathing gale, Over the billows sailing. Calm is the eve, The wavelets heave Their crests to the setting sun, Glitter awhile In his golden smile, And their brilliant course is run. Hasten, my brothers, our boat along, Off to our sea side dwelling: Haste; while the Nautilus' evening song Sweet on the breeze is swelling.
Up with the sail! for the earliest boat Lies 'neath the world of waters Ceased is the wild harmonious note That melody's soul first taught us. Over the sea The wind blows free, The spray in the air is hurl'd: Clouds in the wave Their bosoms lave; Then quick be our sail unfurl'd, Haste ye, my brothers, ere night comes on, Over the world of waters: Sing to high heaven, the mellow song The Nautilus' note first taught us.
 The Nautilus, or Sailor-shell, is said to be the origin of Music and Navigation.
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PARAPHRASE ON BISHOP HEBER'S PICTURE OF HUMAN LIFE.
(For the Mirror.)
Life, like a mighty river, bears us on A rapid tide, we ne'er can rest upon, Adown the narrow stream, at first, we glide Thro' fruits and flowers that fringe the grassy side. The playful murmurings of its windings seem Soft, as the far-off music of a dream, Over our heads the trees their blossoms shed, Flowers on the brink their mingled odours shed. Beauty around, above us, Hope within; Eager we grasp each dazzling charm to win. But hurried on and on, we ne'er can stay Our little bark to anchor or delay. For now, how full, how deep, how vast the river On which we glide, that stays its journey never! As rolling years bring with them joy and woe, Dark, and more various, seems our voyage to grow. Buoyant we ride on waves of hope and joy, Down, down, we sink, when earthly cares annoy! Futile and vain, alike each hope or fear On, on, we glide, there is no resting here. For far behind is left each joy and woe, The mighty river ne'er will cease to flow! And, rough and smooth, it hastens to its home, Glides by each futile hope and pleasure gone. Until within our ears the ocean roars, And the bleak billows break upon the shores; Beneath our keel the bounding waves arise, And the land lessens from our aching eyes. The floods of "Time's wide ocean" round us swell, Earth take of us thy long and last farewell! For witness of our future voyage there's none But He, the Infinite, Eternal One!
Kirton Lindsey. ANNIE R.
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(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
In No. 385, of the MIRROR, one of your Correspondents gives an account of the "Origin of wearing the veil," in which he attributes it to Penelope, the beautiful wife of Ulysses. Now, for my own part, I feel inclined to query this statement of C.K.W. first by his own account of the origin, and second by Scripture.
Your Correspondent, speaking of the decision which the wife of Ulysses was to give, says, "the beautiful Penelope finding herself in this dilemma, blushed, and without making the least reply, drew her veil over her face," &c. By this I think it is clearly understood that veils were common in Greece when this occurrence took place; or why say "her veil," which readily implies, that it was customary to wear them, and also that it was near her at the time; although, perhaps, she might have been the first to use it upon such an occasion, namely, to hide her blushes from the observation of her father when she decided upon accompanying her husband in preference to staying with her parent. 2nd. In Scripture we find the veil used in Moses' time, and even by Moses himself, 1491 years before Christ; but the earliest mention of it which I can find in the Old Testament is in Genesis, xxiv. 65, (before Christ 1857 years,) where it says "Rebekah took a veil when she saw Isaac coming towards her, and covered herself;" it being customary even in those early times to wear them, especially with brides. Now, by referring to the History of Greece, it appears that Sparta, near which this scene of Penelope's is said to have taken place, was not founded or instituted till about A.M. 2650, or before Christ 1354, which alone makes a difference of 500 years, setting aside the time from the foundation of Sparta to the period in which Ulysses lived.
 Exodus, xxxiv. 33, 34, and 35.
I therefore come to the conclusion that your Correspondent is mistaken with regard to the origin of wearing the veil; for it is allowed by all that the Bible is the most ancient work extant, therefore to that we must go for such information as cannot be derived from any other source. I beg leave to conclude this paper with a few observations, and some extracts from different writers, on the veils worn in the East, which may not, perhaps, be uninteresting to your numerous readers.
By perusing the various accounts given us by travellers in the East, it appears that great importance is attached to the veil. The strictness with which the ladies keep their faces covered and hidden from the sight of men, is common in the East, for they are generally of the most exquisite beauty; and would take it as the greatest insolence which could be offered to them, should their veils at any time be drawn aside.
"Veil answers to the Hebrew word tzaiph, translated by a veil, a scarf, or mantle, with which the eastern women covered their head and face. The Hebrew has also haradidim, or veils to sit at table in. The veil was a kind of crape, so that they could see through it, or at least a passage was left for the light to come to their eyes." Calmet, vol. ii. art. Veil.
Veils are usually worn both in the house and when abroad, and are of four kinds; one of which is a kind of handkerchief, which the Eastern ladies wear over the face and the temples. This handkerchief or veil has a net work at the place of the eyes, like point or thread lace, in order that it may be seen through.
Chardin, in his Voyage en Perse, tom. ii. p. 50, says, "The Armenian women, contrary to the Mahometan women, have, even when in the house, the lower part of the face veiled, even including the nose, if they are married. This is in order that their nearest relations and their priests, who have the liberty of visiting them, may see only a part of their face; but the girls wear this veil only to the mouth, for the contrary reason, in order that they may be seen enough to judge of their beauty, and to talk of it.... Girls are not shut up in Persia till they attain the age of six or seven years; before that age they go out of the seraglio, sometimes with their father, so that they may then be seen. I have seen some wonderfully pretty. They show the neck and bosom, and more beautiful cannot be seen."
Hanway gives the following account, Travels in Persia, vol i. 185:—"The women in Ghilan are fair, their eyes and hair black; but here, as in other places, they often use a drug with which they blacken their eyes. In this province their features are small: these, as well as their stature, partaking much of the delicate. But in general the Georgians are most esteemed for the charms of their persons. The females who do not labour in the field, are seldom seen abroad, except in a morning before the sun rises, and then they are covered with veils, which reach down to their feet. When they travel on horseback, every lady of distinction is not only veiled, but has generally a servant; who runs or rides before her to clear the way; and on such occasions the men, even in the market-places, always turn their backs till the women are past, it being thought the highest ill manners to look at them; but this awful respect is a proof of the slavery in which they are doomed to live. The care which they take to conceal their faces, to avoid the imputation of acting indelicately, and contrary to custom, has made so strong an impression on them, that I was told of a woman who being accidentally surprised when bathing, showed her whole person except her face; to hide which all her solicitude was employed."
From Volney, vol. ii. p. 481, we have the following:—"In Asia the women are rigorously secluded from the society of men; constantly shut up in their houses, they have no communication but with their husband, their father, their brother, or at most their cousin german. Carefully veiled in the streets, they dare hardly speak to a man, even on business. Everybody must be strangers to them; it would be indecent to fix your eyes on them; and you must let them pass you as if there were something contagious in their nature. The situation of the women among the Orientals, occasions a great contrast between their manners and ours. Such is their delicacy on this head, that they never speak of them; and it would be esteemed highly indecent to make any inquiries of the men respecting the women of their family. They are unable to conceive how our women go with their faces uncovered; when, in their country, an uplifted veil is the mark of a prostitute, or the signal for a love adventure."
Pitt's account coincides with the above. "At Algiers, if there are two, three, or four families in one house, as many times there happens to be, yet they may live there many years and never see one another's wife." p. 63. "The women wear veils, so that a man's own wife may pass him in the street and he not have the least knowledge of her. They will not stop to speak with men, or even with their own husbands in the street." p. 67.
Niebuhr says, p. 44. "A man never salutes women in public; he would even commit an indecency if he looked at them steadily. An Arab lady who met us in a wide valley of the desert of Mount Sinai, went out of the way, gave her camel to be led by her servant, and walked on foot till we were passed; another, who met us in a narrow way, and who was on foot, sat down, and turned her back towards us."
We see by the above, the importance attached to this part of female dress in the East. The females of the Jewish nation, as referred to above, in the case of Rebekah, wore the veil as a token of modesty, reverence, or subjection to their husbands. Chardin also says, (Voyage en Perse) speaking of a peculiar sort of veil, "Only married women wear it; and it is the mark by which it is known that they are under subjection or power."
I will not enlarge further upon the subject, but leave it to your readers to draw their own conclusions.
JOSEPH TEMPLE E——K.
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A NIGHT IN A SEDAN CHAIR.
From the German of Theodore Koerner.
(For the Mirror.)
I came from a party where the wine had not been spared, and the guests had but just separated, in a state of tolerable elevation. It was a drear and stormy autumn night. On reaching the door of my abode, I first became aware that I had forgotten the key. As I could not imagine that any one would be awake at this late hour,—for it now drew near twelve—and, besides, as I lived on the fourth story, I had humanity enough not to alarm the whole street, by ringing and shouting, for admittance. As this was a circumstance of no very infrequent occurrence, I was not long perplexed for a shelter; but directed my steps, as usual, towards the sedan stand, at the market place, where of course I still met with society, though fast locked in the fetters of sleep. In the hall, lay stretched and snoring, the whole corps of the honourable company of sedan chairmen; and on a bench near the wall, lay, as usual, the sleeping guardian of the night. Without troubling myself much about my companions, I gently opened a sedan—crept into the corner—and slept much the sooner for "the good wine having done its good office" on me.
I had slept but a very short time when I heard it strike twelve; the watchman now arose, and blew a blast upon his horn that thrilled through my every nerve, and sang:—
List—Christians list!—the passing bell Of twelve, has just now told its knell, And midnight is, when evil sprites, Scare the tired sense, with wild affrights. Now close your eyes in peace, and rest Till morning rays illume the west: Praise God the Lord!
A second time he blew his horn, and the sound re-echoed fearfully through the old Town House; the storm howled terrifically, and the rain pattered against the panes of my dwelling. In spite of the injunction of the watchman, I opened my eyes, and beheld him advancing towards the other end of the market-place, where he stopped to repeat his song; and again occasionally from street to street, till his voice died away in the distance. At this moment I was seized with an indefinable sensation of dread. I would have run after the watchman, but the rain deterred me. He, too, might have sung of something else than exactly of that fearful hour of night—
"When tombs do yawn and graves yield up their dead."
I did not feel at all comfortable. I was, notwithstanding, just about to nestle myself up again in the corner, and once more close my eyes, when they lighted on two, tall, meagre forms, whom I immediately recognised by their garb as chairmen. There was something mysterious in their movements, as if they were consulting on matters of grave import—of their discourse I could understand nothing—and their voices sounded to me, in the chair, something like the noise made by a brush when drawn over the surface of a sheet of paper. I was considering what might be the result of all this, when they suddenly seized hold of the chair, and marched off. I ought now indeed to have called out to them, but partly from a curiosity to discover the cause of this singular nocturnal ramble, and partly from a fear of being roughly treated for my obtrusiveness, I was induced to remain quietly in my corner. My weight did not seem to attract their notice; but how great was my astonishment on observing that my bearers were carrying me, in unvarying circles, round the market place, though at every turn they contracted the space they traversed—and that the usual heavy-sounding tread of the chairmen was changed for a noiseless, gliding pace. I looked out to see whether they had not drawn off their boots, but I was soon convinced by the evidence of my eyes that their heavy boots were in unison with the rest of the customary apparel of that class. Their evolutions now became gradually narrower, and I, in the same proportion, more anxious and excited. At length they stopped, panting, under the lamp-post which stands in the middle of the market place, and I was once more greeted by those low, hoarse sounds, which I have already mentioned, and it was only by dint of the most attentive listening, that I could distinguish the following words:
We are formed of the mist of the grave, We bear to the feast of the slain, There we carry the free and the slave, The host and his numberless train, Yonder we carry—to and fro, Nor end our labours e'er shall know.
At this moment a mist floated before my eyes—I endeavoured to shout—but although I used the utmost exertion, I could not produce a sound—I felt as if palsied and enchained—my situation was desperate—what species of civility could I expect from the spirits, (for that they were supernatural beings I could no longer doubt) of those chairmen who during their mortal career are so noted for their brutality? After a short halt, they recommenced their march at the same stealthy pace, through how many streets I cannot now tell, for fear almost deprived me of my senses. We came to the town gate—it opened—and my conductors bore me directly towards—the churchyard! I was in a fever of excitement. They no sooner reached this desired spot, than they stopped, and I heard their accursed voices for the third time. They opened the door, as if waiting for some one—I endeavoured to embrace this opportunity to escape, or to call out, but my strength had totally deserted me; every limb felt paralyzed. And now a whole legion of similar fiends swarmed around my conductors, and one after another, sprang in upon me, apparently no more remarking my presence than if I had formed part of the cushion. The first that fell upon me was a cold, heavy carcass that might have been buried, at farthest, about three days. I thought horror and disgust would have destroyed me. Then came a countless myriad of the skeletons of the defunct, all crowding into the sedan, as if it had been the ark of Noah. At length, to all appearance, the whole of the inhabitants of the churchyard were safely seated upon and beside me, and the tombstones which had pertinaciously adhered to many a greasy soul, added not a little to the load which lay rattling and groaning upon me. A monstrous skeleton which lay at my side—with its eternal grin—made the most horrible inroads into my right side with its bony elbow, and such a smell—even now I wonder that every sense did not leave me. The patience of my bearers seemed however now to be exhausted. They still battled at the door with hundreds of this amiable fraternity; at length they dashed the door to with a force that made the windows quiver, and made off with me and my noble troop. And now it was that the rattling, and groaning, and the elbow manoeuvre were first fully brought into action, and in their endeavours to seat themselves more conveniently, my accursed freight jolted from one side to the other till I thought my knees would have broken down under their burthen. One would imagine that in such numerous society I should have been warmly seated, yet no icehouse ever was colder. At every step that our bearers took, the icy mass of putridity before me, shook together—my flesh creeps even now at the recollection. The company, growing merry, began to sing—and with organs similar to those I had already remarked in our guides; but what airs! what tunes! The corpse before me seemed to be a leading singer; his soul-moving, heart-rending treble, sounded something like scraping slate pencil upon glass; the stave was of the following joyous import:—
See, how glows the deadly wine, Upon the bony lip, And arranged in spectral line, Our joyous numbers trip. See—attentive at her side, The ghastly lover woos his bride; Whilst sepulchral music flowing, Scares the dawning day from growing.
To the latest hour of my existence, I shall retain a vivid recollection of this auricular martyrdom. After a ride of about half an hour, during which, my situation was more horrible than I can depict, our conductors stopped at another churchyard; the door was now opened, and as each passed forward to escape, a terrific squabble ensued between the cargo and my two attendants, probably about the fare. A third time I strained every nerve to call out, but it was absolutely impossible; at length, however, their quarrel seemed to have been adjusted; the chairman shut the door, still grumbling, and I was again, thank God, alone—could once more breathe freely—and by degrees became warmer. My conductors took their way through the gate back again, and I became more easy in the reflection that, in consonance with old habits of good order, they would probably replace the chair in its original situation; but, to my astonishment and terror, I now first became aware that the size of my conductors was rapidly enlarging. Instantly their statures became more exalted, their forms more aerial, and their strides more gigantic; and I could see distinctly into the first floor of the houses of the street through which we were passing. In the square where stands the monument of our late lamented monarch, their forms became really terrific, and as the foremost strode past, he swept the statue from its pedestal with his coat, with as much apparent ease as if it had been a wax doll. In the next street, I could, without difficulty, look into the third floor of the houses we were passing, and on reaching the market place, I found myself elevated to the altitude of the church-clock; my bearers having become as attenuated as the conductor. Here all consciousness left me, and what farther became of me, I know not. On recovering myself, I lay in the chair which stood in its old place. It was already near mid-day; I therefore crept softly out of my fearful tenement, and luckily escaped unobserved. My friends to whom I related my adventure, said, that I had dreamed—that I had been visited by the nightmare—but to me it has always appeared singular, that for the whole of the next day, my coat had a smell as earthy as if it had lain in a grave; and that the storm should this very night have thrown down the statue of the king from its pedestal.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
Mr. Henry Hunt, the patentee of the "Waterproof Composition," informs us that for the above invention we are indebted to the scientific researches of Baron Charles Wetterstedz, the brother of one of the ministers of state at the Court of Sweden, by whom it was employed to prevent the infection of the plague, by means of absorption through the pores of the soles of boots and shoes; but he accidentally discovered that it rendered them waterproof, during a thaw in Sweden, when his boots, being prepared with this composition, resisted the snow-water, and remained perfectly dry, whilst the boots of other persons were saturated, and resembled tripe.
Mr. Scott, an experienced engineer, has experimented upon leather prepared with Mr. Hunt's Composition, and found it "impervious to moisture at all degrees of pressure that leather will bear." The best tannage becomes saturated at from ten to fourteen pounds upon the inch, whilst that prepared with the Composition, was not penetrated at 180 lbs. upon the inch. With such testimony, we need not add our recommendation of "the Waterproof Composition" as likely to prove of great benefit, especially to our sporting and country friends.
Preservation of Canvass.
The Literary Gazette informs us, that an inhabitant of Troyes, in Champagne, has discovered a method of preparing canvass, and every other description of coarse linen, so as to resist damp, and prevent the approach of insects and vermin, and that the inventor promises to make his discovery public.
An American journal says, that Elder leaves bruised in a mortar, with a little water, will destroy skippers in bacon, without injuring the meat.
Ale brewers usually put into the bung-hole of each cask, when stowed away, a handful of half boiled hops impregnated with wort, the object of which is to exclude the atmospheric air by covering the surface of the liquid; but some brewers, more rigidly attentive, insert (privately) at the same time, about one ounce of powdered black rosin, previously mixed with beer, which swims on the surface, but after a time is partially absorbed.—Lib. Useful Know.
Cocculus Indicus is largely imported into this country, considering that few know for what other purpose it is used than to adulterate beer. We suspect what was at one time generally sold to brewers for Cocculus Indicus was really Nux Vomica (used to poison rats), and that the brewers' druggists when making their defence, passed Nux Vomica for Cocculus Indicus, on the same principle as the forgers of bank notes plead guilty to the lesser indictment. Opium, we believe, is still in use; for we have known seizures of that article in the custody of ale brewers, within the last two years.—Library of Useful Know.
A Correspondent of the Magazine of Natural History, says, "the superstition respecting bees prevails in some parts, as to informing them of any great public event that takes place."
Swan River Settlement.
The soil of Swan River, from its moist state, is better adapted to the cultivation of tobacco and cotton than any other part of Australia. Both these articles are intended to be cultivated on a large scale, as also sugar and flax, with various important articles of drugs that the climate is peculiarly adapted to the growth of.—Parliamentary Papers.
The Harvest Bug
Is so minute as to be visible only to the keenest eyes, and then only when on any very smooth white surface. Ladies and children are the first to complain of their attacks; and chiefly where any part of the dress fits closely to the skin. There they seat themselves at the intersection of the lines, and lay such firm hold with their feet and jaws, that they cannot be displaced by rubbing, nor by washing, unless a powerful spirit or acid be used. By a microscope, the bug will be seen to have eight legs, two feelers, and an abdomen something egg-shaped; colour livid red; and in size no bigger than the point of a small needle. They lacerate the epidermis in some way or other, as a small hole is observable where they have been seated; and cause extreme itching and considerable inflammation of the part.—Magazine of Natural History.
We should think Eau de luce or ammonia a remedy for their bite.
If flour adulterated with potato starch be sprinkled upon black paper, and examined by a powerful lens, or a microscope, the starch may be detected by the brilliancy of its grains.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
A BOTTLE OF GOOD WINE.
The following (from the Ramblings of a Desultory Man, in the New Monthly Magazine) is in the best vein of a bon vivant and will be easily credited:—
"After dinner we ordered a bottle of Sautern, which was marked in the carte at two francs ten sous. It was in a kind of despair that we did it, for the red wine was worth nothing. It came—people may talk of Hocheim, and Burgundy, and Hermitage, and all the wines that ever the Rhone or the Rhine produced, but never was their wine like that one bottle of Sautern. It poured out as clear as the stream of hope ere it has been muddied by disappointment, and it was as soft and generous as early joy ere youth finds out its fallacy. We drank it slowly, and lingered over the last glass as if we had a presentiment that we should never meet with any thing like it again. When it was done, quite done, we ordered another bottle. But no—it was not the same wine. We sent it away and had another—in vain;—and another—there was no more of it to be had.
"It was like one of those days of pure unsophisticated happiness, that sometimes break in upon life, and leave nothing to be desired; that come unexpectedly, last their own brief space, like things apart, and are remembered for ever." We remember just such a bottle of Grave at Abbeville.
* * * * *
ST. SAVIOUR, SOUTHWARK.
 In connexion with the decay of this venerable pile, we notice with sincere regret the recent and premature death of Mr. George Gwilt, jun., who assisted his father in the restoration of the tower and the choir of St. Saviour's, (see MIRROR, vol. xiii p. 227.) Though little advanced in his 27th year, he had already proved an honour to his family and his profession of an architect, by the production of a design for the restoration of the church, for which a premium of one hundred guineas was awarded to him about five years since. Of his excellent disposition and many good qualities as a friend and associate, we are enabled to speak with equal confidence; and seldom has it been our lot to meet with so much good sense and correct taste in an individual as we were wont to enjoy in the society of the deceased. This is far from a full eulogium on his merits; but as the above extract, presented an opportunity, we could not omit this slight tribute to the memory of A LAMENTED FRIEND.
Among the fine old localities of London is the neighbourhood of the church of St. Saviour, Southwark; this is one of the noblest and largest churches in London, and when the new London Bridge is finished, might be made a noble object from the approach on the Borough side. It is a positive disgrace if it be suffered to remain in its present dilapidated state by the parishioners. The massy spaciousness of the structure, and the solidity of its walls, strike the stranger who first beholds it with admiration. In this church lies old Gower the poet, and there are several very curious relics of the olden time scattered about within its walls. Its date is believed to be anterior to London Bridge. All the ground along the river near it towards Blackfriars' Bridge is filled with remains celebrated in the annals of the church, and what is singular, also of the theatre.—New Monthly Magazine.
* * * * *
Human life is like a river— Its brightness lasts not on for ever— That dances from its native braes, As pure as maidhood's early days; But soon, with dark and sullen motion, It rolls into its funeral ocean, And those whose currents are the slightest, And shortest run, are aye the brightest: So is our life—its latest wave Rolls dark and solemn to the grave.
* * * * *
The following description of Shumla, by an experienced officer, will at this moment, be particularly interesting:—
"What is properly called the town of Shumla, is nearly surrounded by a rampart of Mount Haemus, or the Balkan, which descends on both sides in the form of a horse-shoe. The steep slopes of this great fence are covered with detached rocks and close thorny bushes. The nature of the ground makes it a most advantageous position for the Turkish soldier, who when sheltered by these inequalities, rapid steeps and a few intrenchments, displays all the address of the most skilful marksman. Like some orators, who cannot express themselves unless when partly concealed by a table or tribunal, the Turk cannot use his musket unless he can rest it on a stone or against the trunk of a tree, but then his aim is infallible.
"The town is about a league in length, with half that breadth, and may contain from thirty to thirty-five thousand souls. The fortifications are of barbarian architecture; a ditch, with a simple rampart, partly of earth, partly of brick, flanked here and there with little towers, which serve neither for support nor resistance, and which contain not above seven or eight fusileers. But it is not the town itself which is to be considered, but the vast intrenched field in the centre of which it is placed, and which is capable of containing an immense army, with its magazines, its utensils and equipage, without the enemy having the power to throw a single shell into the place, or disturb it by any manoeuvre whatever.
"The air is extremely healthy in the elevated positions of the Balkan and in the narrow valleys which lie between its ridges.... On the other hand, there cannot be a more unhealthy country than that which extends from the Balkan to the borders of the Danube and Pruth. This difference between the climate of the mountains and the plain is the most formidable defence which nature has given Shumla. While the enemy is encamped in wet grounds and pestilential marshes, in want of wood, of provisions, and sometimes of men in health to take care of the sick; the Turks breathe a keen, dry air, and have an inexhaustible supply of fuel in the forests which surround them. In summer, Shumla is an agreeable abode; the town is surrounded by pleasant gardens, by vineyards, and a stream running from the mountains maintains the verdure of the fields. In time of peace it may be entered without hindrance, and the Turks allow the curious to walk about and survey all the posts. In this there is perhaps a secret pride, joined with the wish to communicate to others the conviction which they themselves feel, that the place is inexpugnable."
* * * * *
Here is a draught of "delicious essence," proffered by the lord of the Burmese granaries to the British embassy:—"The most glorious monarch, the lord of the golden palace, the sunrising king, holds dominion over that part of the world which lies towards the rising sun; the great and powerful monarch, the King of England, rules over the whole of that portion of the world which lies towards the setting sun. The same glorious sun enlightens the one and the other. Thus may peace continue between the two countries, and for ever impart mutual blessings to both. Let no cloud intervene, or mist arise, to obscure its genial rays."
* * * * *
The Archbishop of Saltzburg paid, in 1745, 995 scudi for his pallium, and 31,338 for his confirmation; i.e. (roughly speaking) about 7,000l. The pallium consists of two stripes of white wool, cut from two lambs offered up, in St. Agnes's Church, on St. Agnes's Day, spun into a sort of cloth by the nuns of St. Agnes, and consecrated by the Pope on the altar of St. Peter's.
* * * * *
In the reign of James I. the sober liverymen of London decked themselves, on days of state, with chains of gold, pearl, or diamonds. The wealthy merchant, Sir Paul Pindar, had a diamond valued at thirty thousand pounds, which he lent to the king on great occasions, but refused to sell. It was said by the Prince of Anhalt, in 1610, after seeing "the pleasant triumphs upon the water, and within the city, which at this time, were extraordinary, in honour of the lord mayor and citizens," that "there was no state nor city in the world that did elect their magistrates with such magnificence, except the city of Venice, unto which the city of London cometh very near." These exhibitions were more splendid, and, though quaint and whimsical, savoured more of intellect and invention than the similar "triumphs" of the present day.—Quarterly Review.
* * * * *
Brussels is rapidly advancing in the art of printing; one individual published no less than 250,000 volumes in the year 1827. Books are published much cheaper than in Paris, which creates no small jealousy there. Didot projected to bring his press into Brussels, but found that he had been forestalled by the labours of more than one printer. Neither the type nor the paper equal the printing of London or Edinburgh, or perhaps Paris; but they are daily improving, and an immense number of books are exported.—New Mon. Mag.
* * * * *
Huber, a German priest, relates a curious instance, in his own experience, of the mischief done by hasty proceedings. When he first went to his parish, he found, to his great disgust, only the common books of devotion, viz.:—P. Cochem, the Great and Little Garden, the Spiritual Soul-watcher, &c. The very first occasion which offered, he attacked these books publicly and vehemently from the pulpit. The people were shocked and offended; they said that their fathers knew how to pray as well as fresh teachers, and would not look at his new volumes of prayer. Taught by his ill success to vary his plan, on a subsequent occasion he took occasion to speak in proper terms of respect of the piety of the composers of those early books, but added that many improvements, as they all knew, were constantly making in agriculture, masonry, &c., and so they must see that this might be the case with books. He then proceeded in the pulpit to compare the old and one of his new books of devotion, and before the evening he had numerous applications for copies.—Foreign Quarterly Review.
* * * * *
When sunbeams on the river blaze, You on its glory scarce can gaze; But when the moon's delirious beam, In giddy splendour woos the stream, Its mellow'd light is so refined, 'Tis like a gleam of soul and mind; Its gentle ripple glittering by, Like twinkle of a maiden's eye; While all amazed at Heaven's steepness, You gaze into its liquid deepness, And see some beauties that excel— Visions to dream of, not to tell— A downward soul of living hue, So mild, so modest, and so blue!
* * * * *
PERILS OF TRAVEL.
Humboldt and his party, on their memorable ascent of the volcano of Tunguragna, in the Nevado del Chimborazo, at the elevation of 19,300 feet, the highest spot ever trod by man, suffered severely. The air was reduced to half its usual density, and felt intensely cold and piercing. Respiration was laborious; and blood oozed from their eyes, their lips, and their gums. Another peculiarity of great elevations, noticed by travellers, is the astonishing clearness of the atmosphere. Captain Head was struck with it in the case of a condor shot, which appeared to fall within thirty or forty yards; but on sending one of his miners to bring it back, to his astonishment he found that the distance was such, as to take up above half an hour, going and returning. In Norway, a friend of the present writer stepped out of a boat to visit a spot, as he conceived, of a few hundred yards distant, when in fact it proved to be some miles. In the Pyrenees, the celebrated cascade of Gavarni appears about a short mile from the auberge, where travellers frequently leave their mules to rest, while they proceed on foot, little aware that they are thereby exposing themselves to a long and laborious walk of above an hour's duration. In the Andes, Humboldt remarks this phenomenon; stating that in the mountains of Quito he could distinguish the white poncho of a person on horseback, at the distance of seventeen miles. He also notices the extreme clear and steady light of the stars, which we can vouch to be true to a most extraordinary degree even in Europe, having distinctly seen the planet Venus, in a dazzling sunshine, at half past eleven, from the summit of the port of Venasque, in the Pyrenees.
* * * * *
Everybody knows that titles and dignities are not only integral parts of the person, but its most distinctive attributes. When Earl Grey said he would stand or fall by his order, it was as if he had said, he would stand or fall by himself. Take a noble lord, and, if the process be possible, abstract him mentally from his titles and privileges, and offer the two lots separately for sale in the market, who would not buy the latter if they could? who would, in most cases, even bid for the first? It is the title that is asked everywhere to dinner; it is the title receives all the bows and prostrations, that gets the nomination to so many places, that commands the regiments and ships-of-war, and "robs the Exchequer with unwashed hands." The man who owns it, may be what he can, an honest man, or a scoundrel, a mushroom or an Howard, a scholar, or a brute, a wit or a blockhead, c'est egal. Proud, haughty, highdaring, free England, is not this true to the letter?—New Monthly Magazine.
* * * * *
At Thetford, not far from his beloved Newmarket, James I. was threatened with an action of trespass for following his game over a farmer's corn.—Quarterly Review.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
"SIR DAN DANN'LY, THE IRISH HAROE."
From "Walks in Ireland," in the Monthly Magazine.
In spite of all that yet remains, it must be admitted with a sigh, that the glory of Donnybrook has departed in the person of the renowned Daniel Donnelly, better known among his admiring followers, by the sounding title of "Sir Dan Dann'ly, the Irish haroe." Of course if you know any thing of the glorious science of self-defence, a necessary accomplishment which I hope you have not neglected amidst the general diffusion of knowledge which distinguishes this happy age, of course if you have cultivated that noble art which teaches us the superiority of practical demonstration over theoretical induction, the recollection of that celebrated champion must fill your mind with reverence for his exploits, mingled with regret that he was snatched so soon from the path of glory.
I was fortunate enough to possess the friendship of that great man, and I esteem among the happiest days of my life, that on which I was lucky enough to attract his attention: it was during a row at Donnybrook Fair. I was defending myself with whatever energy I possess, against overwhelming odds, when suddenly, as if Mars himself had listened to my invocation, and descended to the fray, Dan rushed from his tent to show fair play, and in an instant my cowardly assailants fled, as if scattered by a whirlwind. From that hour, gratitude on my part, and a consciousness of protection on his, cemented an intimacy between us.
During the fair week, Dan Donnelly's tent (he always kept one after he became a celebrated character) was always crowded to excess by all classes, high and low; some attracted by admiration of the good things of this life dispensed by the amiable Lady Dann'ly, others by the convivial and facetious qualities of her redoubted spouse; in the evening, especially, you were sure to find him the centre of a circle of wondering listeners, detailing some of his extraordinary adventures, the most astonishing of which it was heresy in the eyes of his followers to doubt for an instant, though my love of truth obliges me to confess, that one or two I have heard him relate sounded a little apocryphal. But great and extraordinary characters are not to be judged of by common rules; for instance, his account of the manner in which he obtained the honour of knighthood from the hands of our present gracious sovereign, then Prince Regent, always appeared to me to differ in some material circumstances from the ordinary routine of court etiquette, and rather to resemble one of those amusing and instructive narratives denominated fairy tales. But on this delicate subject perhaps the safest course is to suffer the reader to judge for himself: so without further circumlocution, I will submit my lamented friend's account to his perusal, in the precise words in which I have so often had the pleasure of hearing it:—
"My jewels, I was lyin' in bed one mornin', restin' myself, in regard ov bein' dhrunk the night afore, wid Scroggins an' Jack Randall, an' some more ov the boys; an' as I was lyin' on the broad ov my back, thinkin' ov nothin', a knock came to my door. 'Come in,' says I, 'iv you're fat.' So the door opened sure enough, an' in come a great big chap, dhressed in the most elegantest way ever you see, wid a cockade in his hat, an' a plume ov feathers out ov id, an' goolden epulets upon his shouldhers, an' tossels an' bobs of goold all over the coat ov him, jist like any lord ov the land. 'Are you Dan Dann'ly,' says he;—'Throth an' I am,' says I; 'an' that's my name sure enough, for want ov a better; an' what do ye want wid me now you've found me.'—'My masther is waitin' to spake to ye, an' sint me to tell you to come down to his place in a hurry.'—'An' who the devil is your masther?' says I; 'an' didn't think ye had one, only yourself, an' you so fine.'—'Oh,' says he, 'my masther is the Prence Ragin.'—'Blur an' ouns,' says I; 'tell his honour I'll be wid him in the twinklin' ov a bedpost, the minit I take my face from behind my beard, an' get on my clane flax; but stop a bit,' says I; 'where does the masther live?'—'Down at Carltown Palace,' says he; 'so make yourself dacent, an' be off wid yourself afther me.' Wid that away he wint.
"Up I gets, an' away I goes, the instant minit I put on my duds, down to Carltown Palace. An' it's it that's the place; twicet as big as the castle, or Kilmainham gaol, an' groves ov threes round about it, like the Phaynix Park. Up I goes to the gate, an' I gives a little asy rap to show I wasn't proud; who should let me in but the 'dentical chap that come to ax me up. 'Well, Dan,' says he, 'you didn't let the grass grow undher your feet; the masther's waitin', so away in wid ye as fast as ye can.'—'An' which way will I go?' says I.—'Crass the yard,' says he, 'an' folley your nose up through the house, ever 'till you come to the dhrawin'-room door, an' then jist rap wid your knuckle, an' ye'll get lave to come in.' So away I wint acrass the yard, an' it's there the fun was goin' on, soldiers marchin', and fiddlers playin', and monkeys dancin', an' every kind ov diversion, the same as ourselves here at Donnybrook Fair, only it lasts all the year round, from mornin' till night, I'm tould.
"When I come to the house, in I wint, bowin' an' doin' my manners in the most genteelest way to all the grand lords an' ladies that was there, folleyin' their own divarsion, the same as thim that was in the yard, every way they liked—dhrinkin', an' singin', an' playin' ov music, and dancin' like mad! I wint on, on, on, out ov one room an' into another, till my head was fairly addled, an' I thought I'd never come to the ind. And sich grandeur!—why, the playhouse was nothin' to id. At last I come to a beautiful big stairs, an' up I wint; an' sure enough there was the drawin'-room door, reachin' up to the ceilin' almost, an' as big as the gate ov a coach-house, an' wrote on a board over the door, 'No admittance for strangers, only on business.'—'Sure,' says I, 'I'm come on the best ov business, whin the Prence is afther sendin' his man to tell me to come on a visit.'—An' wid that I gave a knock wid my knuckle the way I was bid. 'Come in,' says a voice; and so I opened the door.
"Oh! then, ov all the sights ever I see, an' it's that was the finest! There was the Prence Ragin' himself, mounted up upon his elegant throne, an' his crown, that was half a hundred weight ov goold, I suppose, on his head, an' his sceptre in his hand, an' his lion sittin' on one side ov him, an' his unicorn on the other.—'Morrow, Dan,' says he, 'you're welcome here.'—'Good morning, my Lord,' says I, 'plase your Reverence.'—'An' what do you think ov my place,' says he, 'Dan, now you're in it?'—'By Dad! your worship,' says I, 'it bates all the places ever I see, an' there's not the like ov id for fun in the wide world, barrin' Donnybrook Fair.'—'I never was at the fair,' says he, 'bud I'm tould there's plenty ov sport there for them that has money, an' is able to take their own part in a row.'—'Throth, Majesty,' says I, 'your honour may say that; an' iv your holiness 'ill come an' see us there, it's myself that 'ill give you a dhrop ov what's good, an' show ye all the divarsion ov the place—ay, an' leather the best man in the fair, that dare say, Black is the white ov your eye!'—'More power to ye, Dan!' says he, laughin'; 'an' what id you like to dhrink now?'—'Oh, by Gor!' says I, 'I'm afeard to take any thing, for I was dhrunk last night, an' I'm not quite study yet.'—'By the piper that played afore Moses,' says he, 'ye'll not go out ov my house till ye dhrink my health;' so wid that he mounted down off his throne, an' wint to a little black cupboard he had snug in the corner, an' tuck out his gardy vine an' a couple of glasses. 'Hot or cowld, Dan?' says he.—'Cowld, plase your reverence,' says I. So he filled a glass for me, an' a glass for himself.—'Here's towards ye, Dan,' says he.—'The same to you, Majesty!' says I;—an' what do ye think it was? May I never tell a lie iv id wasn't as good whiskey as ever you see in your born days. 'Well,' says I, 'that's as fine sperits as ever I dhrunk, for sperits like id; might I make bould to ax who does your worship dale wid?'—'Kinahan, in Dublin,' says he.—'An' a good warrant he is,' says I: so we wint on, dhrinkin' and chattin', till at last, 'Dan,' says he, 'I'd like to spar a round wid ye.' 'Oh,' says I, 'Majesty, I'd be afeard ov hurtin' ye, without the gloves.'—'Arrah, do you think it's a brat ov a boy ye're spakin' to?' says he; 'do ye're worst, Dan, and divil may care!' An' so wid that we stud up.
"Do you know he has a mighty purty method ov his own, bud thin, though id might do wid Oliver, it was all nonsense wid me, so afore you could say Jack Lattin, I caught him wid my left hand undher the ear, an' tumbled him up on his throne. 'There now,' says I, 'Majesty, I tould ye how id would be, but you'd never stop until you got yourself hurt.'—'Give us your fist, Dan,' says he, 'I'm not a bit the worse of the fall; you're a good man, an' I'm not able for you.'—'That's no disgrace,' says I, 'for it's few that is; but iv I had you in thrainin' for six months, I'd make another man ov ye;' an' wid that we fell a dhrinkin' again, ever till we didn't lave a dhrop in the bottle; an' then I thought it was time to go, so up I got.—'Dan,' says he, 'before you lave me I'll make you a knight, to show I have no spite again ye for the fall.'—'Oh,' says I, 'for the matter ov that, I'm sure ye're too honourable a gintleman to hould spite for what was done in fair play, an' you know your reverence wouldn't be easy until you had a thrial ov me.'—'Say no more about id, Dan,' says he, laughin', 'bud kneel down upon your bended knees.' So down I kneeled.—'Now,' says he, 'ye wint down on your marrow bones plain Dan, but I give ye lave to get up Sir Dan Dann'ly, Esquire.'—'Thank your honour,' says I, 'an' God mark you to grace wherever you go.' So wid that we shook hands, an' away I wint. Talk of your kings and prences, the Prence Ragin' is the finest Prence ever I dhrunk wid."
* * * * *
I'D BE A PARODY.
BY THOMAS HAYNES BAYLEY.
I'd be a Parody, made by a ninny On some little song with a popular tune, Not worth a halfpenny, sold for a guinea, And sung in the Strand by the light of the moon. I'd never sigh for the sense of a Pliny, (Who cares for sense at St. James's in June?) I'd be a Parody, made by a ninny, And sung in the Strand by the light of the moon.
Oh! could I pick tip a thought or a stanza, I'd take a flight on another bard's wings, Turning his rhymes into extravaganza, Laugh at his harp—and then pilfer its strings! When a poll-parrot can croak the cadenza A nightingale loves, he supposes he sings! Oh, never mind, I will pick up a stanza, Laugh at his harp—and then pilfer its strings!
What though you tell me each metrical puppy Might make of such parodies two pair a day; Mocking birds think they obtain for each copy Paradise plumes for the parodied lay:— Ladder of fame! if man can't reach thy top, he Is right to sing just as high up as he may; I'd be a Parody, made by a puppy, Who makes of such parodies two pair a day!
* * * * *
THE ANECDOTE GALLERY.
* * * * *
VISIT TO FERNEY IN 1829.
Sharpe's London Magazine, (No, 3.),
Contains a pleasant article under the above title, describing the present state of Ferney, the residence of Voltaire, an engraving of which appeared in our No. 384. We would willingly have made the journey, and written our description in the Poet's salon, could we have "stayed time;" but as the old dials quaintly tell us, time "tarryeth for no man," and we were then compelled to adopt the most recent description.
Such of this last "Visit to Ferney" as relates to the Chateau will therefore be interesting, as a supplement to our previous illustration:—
"The road leading from Geneva to this celebrated spot is delightful, bordered on each side with superb villas, and presenting picturesque points of view only to be found in the environs of that enchanting city. A handsome avenue conducts the traveller to the chateau, the architecture of which is nothing very remarkable. After mounting three steps, and crossing a narrow vestibule, we entered the salon, which in its day received most of the wits and celebrated personages of Europe: for as a contemporary of Voltaire observed, 'to have been admitted at Ferney, is to have taken out a patent for genius.' The appearance of this salon is far from brilliant: a few indifferent pictures, some old red tapestry, and antiquated furniture compose the whole of its ornaments. To the left we entered the chamber of Voltaire.
"On one side of the apartment an humble mausoleum has been reared, the sanctity of which was not however respected by the sabres of the Austrians. The inscription on the top (a happy inspiration of the husband of Mademoiselle Varicourt), contains these simple words: 'Mon coeur est ici; et mon esprit est partout.' The most elaborate panegyric could not have conveyed a finer eulogium.
"On entering, the spectator is struck with the view of a bed of simple materials, and which was pillaged by the Austrians. Hung round the room are the portraits of Frederick, of Catharine, of Lekain—one of Voltaire himself, taken at the age of forty, and full of expression, with a number of silhouettes of the celebrated men of the day.
"The window of this apartment looks upon the gardens, and upon a little wood, which has undergone many changes since the death of Voltaire. Time however has hitherto respected a long and thick row of elm trees, whither he was wont to repair at sunrise, and where he usually meditated and recited aloud the scenes of his tragedies when finished, to any one whom he could find. His jealousy of criticism on such occasions is matter of record.
"The gardener at present belonging to the chateau was there during the latter period of Voltaire's life, and related to us with much naivete several anecdotes, not generally known, of his master.
"Where the thickly-spreading branches of the elm trees present the slightest opening, the spectator enjoys one of the most beautiful views that can be imagined. In the distance, that giant of the hills—Mont Blanc, crowned with its eternal snows, rises majestically. At the base of the mountain the eye is gratified with the sight of variegated plains, smiling with verdure, and cultivated with the most industrious care. The Rhone with its silver stream floats through the beautiful country that surrounds Geneva, which may be said to describe an amphitheatre just above the lake.
"A spacious park, not far from the chateau, usually formed the termination of Voltaire's rambles: in its cool shades he delighted to indulge his poetic meditations. To this place he was in the habit of driving daily in a little open caleche, drawn by a favourite black mare. The space which separates the park from the chateau, and which forms a gentle acclivity, is planted with vines."
* * * * *
"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles." SHAKSPEARE.
* * * * *
A WELSH RABBIT.
Colonel A—— baiting for the first time in his life at a Welsh inn, thought he would order for his dinner, a dish which must be perfection in its own country: viz. a Welsh rabbit. The dinner hour arrived, and the colonel lifting up the cover of the dish next him, exclaimed in angry astonishment to the waiter, upon beholding a large, dry-looking, fleshy animal before him. "What the d——l d'ye call this, a Welsh rabbit?" "Why, noo, noo, Sir!" replied the man, perfectly cool, and unconscious of the error, "Noo, it certainly an't exactly a Welsh rabbit, but 'tis a Monmouthshire one!"
* * * * *
The celebrated David Hartley entertained, at his apartments in Merton College, of which he was fellow, a party of his friends; they all dined well, comme de raison; and there was every likelihood that the evening would conclude with the utmost festivity, when a letter was brought to the naturalist; after due apology, he opened and read it; then starting up, he rushed out of the room. He soon returned, with horror on his face and a basketful of feathers in his hand; "Gentlemen, what do you think we have been eating?" Some of the guests began to fear they had been poisoned; even the boldest felt qualms. "Oh! that the letter had but arrived before the bird!" Then holding up some of the feathers, and letting them fall into the basket to display them to the company, he relieved their apprehensions, while he revealed the cause of his own grief, "we have eaten a nondescript." Though no blame could attach to him, there was something in all appearance so disreputable in the untoward accident by which, under his auspices, a scientific object had been treated in so vulgar a manner, that Hartley did not quickly recover from the mortification.
* * * * *
THE COMEDY OF LIFE.
The world is the stage; men are the actors; the events of life form the piece; fortune distributes the parts; religion governs the performance; philosophers are the spectators; the opulent occupy the boxes; the powerful the amphitheatre; and the pit is for the unfortunate; the disappointed snuff the candles; folly composes the music; and time draws the curtain.
* * * * *
DUKE OF GRAFTON.
The late duke, when hunting, was thrown into a ditch, at the same time a young curate called out, "Lie still, my lord," leaped over him, and continued the chase. Such apparent want of feeling, might be presumed, was properly resented. But on being helped out by his attendants, his grace said, "that man shall have the first good living that falls to my disposal, had he stopped to have taken care of me I would never have given him any thing:" his grace being delighted with an ardour similar to his own, or with a spirit that would not stoop to flatter.
* * * * *
Be ignorance thy choice when knowledge leads to woe.
* * * * *
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