THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 14, NO. 401.] SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
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The Siamese Twins.
The Engraving is an accurate sketch of this extraordinary lusus naturae, which promises to occupy the attention of the whole Town, and has already excited no ordinary curiosity among all ranks of the scientific and sight-loving. Deviations from the usual forms of nature are almost universally offensive; but, in this case, neither the personal appearance of the boys, nor the explanation of the phenomenon by which they are united, is calculated to raise a single unpleasant emotion. The subject is, therefore, not unfit for our pages, and the following descriptive particulars, which we have collected from various authentic sources, and our own observation, will, we are persuaded, be read with considerable interest:
The earliest account of the Siamese Twins is by Dr. I.C. Warren, of Boston, and was published in Professor Silliman's Journal of October last. They were received of their mother by Captain Coffin and Mr. Hunter, in a village of Siam, where the last-mentioned gentleman saw them, fishing on the banks of the river. Their father has been some time dead, since which they lived with their mother in a state of poverty. They were confined within certain limits, by order of the Siamese Government, and supported themselves principally by taking fish. Their exhibition to the world was suggested to the mother as a means of bettering their condition; to which proposition she acceded for a liberal compensation, and the promised return of her sons at a specific time. She accompanied them on board the ship and, as it was not about to sail for some time, she was invited to remain on board; but she declined, observing that she might as well part with them then as a few days hence. They were first exhibited at Boston, and subsequently at New York, in the United States. At Boston, Dr. Warren was appointed to report on them; and such of his observations as are free from anatomical technicalities, and otherwise adapted for our pages, will be found in the subsequent pages. In the meantime, we shall proceed with a more popular account of their present appearance, which has some of the most interesting characteristics of human nature.
They are two distinct and perfect youths, well formed and straight, about eighteen years of age, and possessing all the faculties and powers usually enjoyed at that period of life. They are united together by a short band at the pit of the stomach. On first seeing them, it may be supposed, so closely are their sides together—or rather, they over-lap a little—that there is no space between them. On examining them, however, they are found not to touch each other, the band which connects them being, at its shortest part, which is the upper and back part, about two inches long. At the lower front part the band, which is there soft and fleshy, or rather like soft thick skin, is about five inches long, and would be elastic, were it not for a thick rope-like cartilaginous or gristly substance, which forms the upper part of the band, and which is not above three inches long. The band is probably two inches thick at the upper part, and above an inch at the lower part. The back part of the band, which is rounded from a thickening at the places where it grows from each body, is not so long as the front part, which is comparatively flat. The breadth or depth of the band is about four inches. It grows from the lower and centre part of the breast of each boy, being a continuation of the cartilaginous termination of the breast bone, accompanied by muscles and blood-vessels, and enveloped, like every other portion of the body, with skin, &c. At present this band is not very flexible; and there is reason to believe that the cartilaginous substance of the upper part is gradually hardening, and will eventually become bone. From the nature of the band, and the manner in which it grows from each boy, it is impossible that they should be in any other position in relation to each other, but side by side, like soldiers, or coming up a little to front each other. Their arms and legs are perfectly free to move. The band is the only connexion between them; and their proximity does not inconvenience either; each of them, whether standing, sitting, or moving, generally has his arm round the neck or the waist of the other. When they take the arm from this position, so close are they kept together that their shoulders cannot be held straight; and the near shoulder of each being obliged to be held down or up, to allow them room to stand, gives them the appearance of being deformed; but two straighter bodies can scarcely be seen.
In their ordinary motions they may be said to resemble two persons waltzing. In a room they seem to roll about, as it were, but when they walk to any distance, they proceed straight forward with a gait like other people. As they rise up or sit down, or stoop, their movements are playful, though strange, not ungraceful, and without the appearance of constraint. The average height of their countrymen is less than that of Europeans, and they seem rather short for their age, even judging them by their own standard. They are much shorter than the ordinary run of youths in this country at eighteen years of age, and are both of the same height. In personal appearance there is a striking resemblance between them; this, however, is but on first impression, for, on closer examination, considerable difference will be observed. The colour of their skin and form of the nose, lips, and eyes, denote them as belonging to the Chinese; but they have not that broad and flat face which is characteristic of the Mingol race. Their foreheads are higher and narrower than those of their countrymen generally. Both are lively and intelligent; they pay much attention to what is passing around them; and are very grateful for any little attention that is paid to them. As a proof of their intelligence, it may be stated that they learned to play at Draughts very readily, and were soon able to beat those who had assisted in teaching them. Their appearance is perfect health. To their friends and attendants, and to each other, they are said to be much attached. They appear to be excellent physiognomists, for they read the countenance of the visiter readily, and are easily affronted with any contemptuous expressions. It is said they have not learnt any manual art beyond rowing a boat, but they can run and jump, and climb cracks and rigging with great facility. They are dressed in short, loose, green jackets and trousers, the costume of their country, which is very convenient, and allows the utmost freedom of motion, but does not show the form of the boys to advantage. With their arms twined round each other, as they bend down or move about, they look like a group of statuary. Dr. Warren, in his report, states that he never heard them speak to each other, though they were very fond of talking with a young Siamese, who was brought with them as a companion. They, however, appear to have a means of communication more rapid than by words. The point most worthy of remark, in regard to their actions and movements, is, that they seem, generally speaking, to be actuated but by one will; and that from whichever of them the volition of the moment proceeds, it seems imperative upon both. Occasionally, there is an exception to this remark—as, on the voyage from Siam to the United States, when one wanted to bathe, and the other refused, on account of the coldness of the weather, they quarrelled on the subject.
Each has a name of his own—the one, Chang, and the other, Eng; but, when persons wish to address them as one—to claim their attention to anything, for example, or to call them—they are addressed as—Chang Eng.
The union of twins is not an unusual occurrence, and various anatomical collections present many such objects. Ambrose Pare relates several instances. Dr. Warren is, however, of opinion, that the Siamese Boys present the most remarkable case of the lusus naturae which has yet been known, taking into view the perfection and distinctness of organization, and the length of time they have lived. The whole phenomenon may be described in a very few words—two perfect bodies united and bound together by an inseparable link. As we have already stated, their health is at present good; but, observes Dr. Warren, "it is probable that the change of their simple living for the luxuries they now obtain, together with the confinement their situation necessarily involves, will bring their lives to a close within a few years." We hope that such will not be the result of their leaving their native shores; and we are much pleased with this passage in a letter from Drs. Samuel Mitchill and Anderson to Capt. Coffin—"They (the youths) are under the protection of a kind and benevolent gentleman, and we know you will take good care of them, and if they live, return them to their homes again." Of their strength many instances are related: since they have arrived in London they have lifted a gentleman of considerable weight, with great ease; and on this point Drs. Mitchill and Anderson say—"As they are so vigorous and alert, we readily coincide that in ten seconds they can lay a stout ordinary man on his back."
We shall not go out of our way to state half the curious questions which forcibly arose in our minds on visiting this interesting exhibition. One of the most important, and least easy of solution, is the structure of the connecting band—how it is kept alive—whether blood flows into and circulates through it from each, and passes into the system of the other—whether it be composed of bone, as well as of cartilage—and whether it could be safely divided? Upon examining the connexion, or cord, Dr. Warren says—"Placing my hand on this substance, I found it extremely hard. On further examination, the hardness was found to exist at the upper part of the cord only, and to be prolonged into the breast of each boy. Tracing it upwards, I found it to be constituted by a prolongation of the ensiform cartilage of the sternum, or extremity of the breast-bone. The cartilages proceeding from each sternum meet at an angle, and then seem to be connected by a ligament, so as to form a joint. This joint has a motion upwards and downwards, and also a lateral motion—the latter operating in such a way, that when the boys turn in either direction, the edges of the cartilage are found to open and shut.
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"Besides this there is nothing remarkable felt in the connecting substance. I could distinguish no pulsating vessel. The whole of this cord is covered by the skin. It is remarkably strong, and has no great sensibility, for they allow themselves to be pulled by a rope fastened to it, without exhibiting uneasiness. On ship board, one of them sometimes climbed on the capstan of the vessel, the other following as well as he could, without complaining. When I first saw the boys, I expected to see them pull on this cord in different directions, as their attention was attracted by different objects. I soon perceived that this did not happen. The slightest impulse of one to move in any direction is immediately followed by the other; so that they appear to be influenced by the same wish."
This harmony in their movements, Dr. Warren thinks, is a habit formed by necessity. His further account of their habits is extremely curious:
"They always face in one direction, standing nearly side by side, and are not able, without inconvenience, to face in the opposite direction—so that one is always at the right, and the other at the left. Although not placed exactly in a parallel line, they are able to run and leap with surprising activity. On some occasions a gentleman, in sport, pursued them round the ship, when they came suddenly to the hatchway, which had been inadvertently left open. The least check would have thrown them down the hatchway, and probably killed one, or both, but they leaped over it without difficulty. They differ in intellectual vigour; the perceptions of one are more acute than those of the other, and there is a corresponding coincidence in moral qualities. He who appears most intelligent is somewhat irritable in temper, while the other's disposition is mild."
The connexion between these boys might present an opportunity for some interesting observations in regard to physiology and pathology. There is, no doubt, a network of blood-vessels and some minute nerves passing from one to the other. How far these parts are capable of transmitting the action of medicines, and of diseases, and especially what medicines and diseases, are points well worthy of consideration. Dr. W. thinks that any indisposition of one extends to the other; that they are inclined to sleep at the same time; eat about the same quantity, and perform other acts with great similarity. Both he and Mr. Hunter are of opinion that touching one of them when they are asleep, awakens both. When they are awake, an impulse given to one does not in the least affect the other. There is evidently no impression received by him who is not touched. But the opinion just mentioned is undoubtedly erroneous. The slightest movement of one is so speedily perceived by the other, as to deceive those who have not observed closely. There is no part of them which has a common perception, excepting the middle of the connecting cord, and a space near it. When a pointed instrument is applied precisely to the middle of the cord, it is felt by both, and also for about an inch on each side; beyond which the impression is limited to the individual of the side touched.
"In the function of the circulation there is a remarkable uniformity in the two bodies. The pulsations of the hearts of both coincide exactly under ordinary circumstances. I counted seventy-three pulsations in a minute while they were sitting—counting first in one boy and then in the other; I then placed my fingers on an arm of each boy, and found the pulsations take place exactly together. One of them stooping suddenly to look at my watch, his pulse became much quicker than that of the other; but after he had returned to his former posture, in about a quarter of a minute his pulse was precisely like that of the other; this happened repeatedly. Their respirations are, of consequence, exactly simultaneous."
Dr. Warren next starts a question as to their moral identity, and says—"There is no reason to doubt that the intellectual operations of the two are as perfectly distinct as those of any two individuals who might be accidentally confined together. Whether similarity of education, and identity of position as to external objects, have inspired them with any extraordinary sameness of mental action, I am unable to say—any farther, at least, than that they seem to agree in their habits and tastes." The concluding observation is on their separation, which we may remark, appears to be to them a painful subject; for whenever it is mentioned, they weep bitterly. Dr. Warren thinks an attempt to cut the cord, or separate them, would be attended with danger, though not necessarily fatal, and as they are happy in their present state, he reasonably enough thinks such an operation uncalled for. "Should one die before the other," adds he, "they should be cut apart immediately." He, however, quotes a case from Ambrose Pare, of two girls united by the forehead, one of whom died at ten years of age, when a separation was made; and the wound of the surviving girl soon proved fatal.
From the report of Drs. Mitchill and Anderson, we collect their opinion that the band which joins these boys, has a canal with a protrusion of viscera from the abdomen of each boy, upon every effort of coughing or other exercise. The sense of feeling on the skin of this band is connected with each boy, as far as the middle of its length from his body. There can be no doubt, but that if the band was cut across at any part, a large opening would be made into the belly of each, and the wound prove fatal.
Such are the principal and most popular descriptive details of the Siamese Youths, with the substance of the reports of the American physicians who have examined them. Of course, we look with some anxiety for the opinions of the professional men of our own country. Of equal importance are the questions connected with the minds of the two youths, which can only be settled by continued observation. The phenomenon is altogether of the most attractive character, and will doubtless receive all the attention it deserves from our savans, as well as from all those who delight in witnessing the curiosities of Nature.
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A DRAMATIC SKETCH.
(For the Mirror.)
The Roman Forum.—An opening in the ground. M. Curtius, Soothsayers, and a vast concourse of Citizens.
Cit.—Place ingot upon ingot, till the mass exceed The bulk of Croesus' wealth, or Sardanapalus' pile. Let every Roman contribution bring An offering worthy of his house, since what Is valued most must in the gulf be cast, To save us from an overwhelming death. A richer treasure than the gorgeous Xerxes knew Will we entomb.
Cur.—How base the offering that were made in gold. What are riches to the blood that flows Within a good man's veins? rather let him Who is the wisest, bravest, best amongst us Fall in this fearful pit. Now ye who read The hidden books of nature say—who is The man most envied by his fellows,—by the gods Most lov'd?—That man is more than all the gems This teeming earth can boast. Name but that man And in an instant shall the debt be paid; For Rome's best patriot is her greatest good.
Sooth.—Ay, noble Curtius, and that man art thou, Thy words proclaim thy patriotic blood! Thy tongue first names the gift that angry heav'n Asks of rebellious earth. We need thy life. Destruction hovers o'er the trembling crew, That fills this little forum. Thou alone, The noblest, bravest, wisest, best of us, Canst scare the monster from the frowning skies, And fill the gulf that yawns beneath us. Die, Curtius, and thy name shall be enroll'd With gods and heroes—honour'd, lov'd, and fam'd. When senates are forgot!
Cur.—Since then by dying I can refound Rome, For Rome preserv'd is built and born again. Be mine a Roman's death. Else 'twere in vain That once Eneas toil'd—that Romulus bore sway! In vain the matron's tears subdued her flinty son! In vain did Manlius for his country fight! In vain Lucretia and Virginia bleed! Romans, farewell!—I look around and see A band of augurs—an assembled senate, Plebeians and patricians— A people and a nation met together In council to avert calamity, And all are friends. Farewell, farewell, farewell! Favourites of Fortune what is it to die? Ye sons of pleasure! look on him who once Did sternly look on you—who dies for you! Scions of Victory! how cracks the heart, In that short moment of a bright career, When the last echo from the couch of Fame Falls on the dying ear? Oh! this mine act Were best done whilst the blood is warm—lest time For thought should mar the purpose. Thought?—a glorious deed Needs none. Come horse!—and at one fearful bound Plunge in the gulf beneath!
Curtius leaps into the chasm.
Sooth.—The gods attest the worth of this bold youth.
Cit.—The chasm closes—and the dangers pass: With buried Curtius following envy lies, Nor dare she lift her sickly head Above his giant grave.
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(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
Probably the following observations upon singular words, may amuse some of your readers. I should, however, premise that as regards myself, the greater part are not original.
Without further preface, allow me in the first place to call your attention to a word, which, by adding a syllable, becomes shorter, viz. the word short—on the other hand we have words of one syllable, which, by taking away two letters, become words of two syllables, as plague, league, both of which, by such an elision, leave ague. By dropping the two first letters of the word monosyllable, we have no syllable remaining.
It has been remarked that heroine is one of the most peculiar words in our language, as it may be thus divided—the two first letters of it are male—the three first female—the four first a brave man, and the whole word a brave woman. Thus: he, her, hero, heroine. A beggar may address himself, and say, mend I can't!—leave out the apostrophe and he still remains a mendicant. Tartar, papa, murmur, etc. may be noticed as doubling the first syllable, and eye, level, and other words as having the same meaning whether read backwards or forwards. Some few by a reverse reading give a different sense as leper, revel, etc.
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ADDITIONAL REMARKS ON THE SCHOOL OF PAINTING, AT THE BRITISH INSTITUTION.
(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
My first view of the copies at the British Institution being rather too cursory to allow me to do ample justice to several of much merit. Another visit has enabled me to make a few additional remarks on the performances of many worthy young aspirants, who, it is presumed, will receive fresh stimulus from the approbation extended to them.
In my last notice, which appeared in No. 396, of the MIRROR, I adverted to Miss Sharpe's water-colour drawing of the Holy Family, by Sir J. Reynolds; this is really an inimitable copy, possessing all the richness of tint, and even the boldness and texture, of the original. It is unquestionably the finest copy in water ever executed in the Institution, to which, as well as to the talented lady, it is a very high honour. From the numerous small copies in oil of the Holy Family, I regret not being able to select more than one—that by Mr. Sargeant.
Mr. Heaphy, in all his drawings, evinces considerable artistical knowledge; his small study from Vandyke's Portrait of a Gentleman is admirable in colour and execution.
Messrs. Drake, Fussell, and Sargeant, have cleverly imitated the fine Cattle Piece, by Cuyp; and Messrs. Pasmore and Novice deserve notice for their studies from Gainsborough's large landscape with figures. Messrs. Anderson and Woolmer are the best imitators of Berghem's Landscape and Cattle; and the Interior of a Kitchen, by Maaes, has met with the greatest possible attention from Miss Alabaster, Mr. Bone, Jun., and Messrs. Novice and Buss. The best attempts from the Canaletti are by Miss Dujardin, Mr. F. Watts, and D. Pasmore, Jun. From the copies of Titian's Holy Family, we may prefer Mr. Rochard's, which is the same size as the original.
Guercino's magnificent work, the Soul of St. Peter ascending into Heaven attended by Angels, which was formerly an altar-piece, has been copied in small. This is not, perhaps, at first sight, a very attractive picture; but the longer we look at it, the longer we seem disposed to admire it, for it insensibly conveys to the mind sublime ideas, seldom experienced before.
Perhaps the most novel performance in the present school is by Mr. Davis; representing a View of the Gallery, with all the original pictures, the different styles of which he has well succeeded in. His work is a sort of multum in parvo, extremely pretty and interesting.
To conclude—the copies by Mrs. Pearson, Miss Farrier, Miss Kearsley, &c. are very clever; as are those by Messrs. Wate, Phillips, Brough, Hastings, Mackay, and Irving.
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Several years ago I took up my abode at the retired village of D——. I had chosen this residence on account of its sequestered situation, as solitude was, at that time, more accordant to my feelings than the bustle of a populous town. At no great distance from my habitation stood the Castle of D——, an ancient Gothic structure, sinking fast into decay. The last of its original possessors had been dead more than half a century, and it was the property of a gentleman who resided on the continent. The interior of the mansion spoke loudly of desolation and ruin: the state apartments were despoiled of their magnificent decorations, and scarcely a vestige remained of their former splendour. An aged female domestic was the sole inhabitant of this deserted pile. Born in the service of the family of D——, she had survived the last of its race, and remained a solitary relic of that illustrious house. It was the business of old Alice to show the castle to strangers; and I soon became a favourite with her, from the interest I appeared to take in the fate of its former inhabitants. The gallery was our chief resort; and, finding me a willing listener, my ancient companion delighted to inform me of all tradition had supplied her with, respecting the mighty warriors and stately dames, whose portraits still hung on the walls, smiling, as if in mockery of the desolation around.
One fine autumnal evening found me, as usual, in my favourite retreat. The rays of the departing sun streamed in rich dyes through the coloured window, and fell with softened glory on the picture of a bridal ceremony. I was surprised that it had never before engaged my attention. The bridegroom was young, graceful, and noble—the bride, fair, soft, and delicate. By her side stood a form of unequalled loveliness: it seemed too beautiful to have belonged to a daughter of earth; and I imagined the painter had designed it to represent the guardian saint of the youthful pair. I inquired of my ancient conductress the history of this picture, and whether the beautiful female was not an ideal being? "Alas!" said she, "it commemorates a heavy day for the house of D——; on that day the last and fairest of its race sunk the victim of unrequited affection. That is her picture; but, oh! her soul was more angelic than her person; she"—but, reader, let me give the story in my own words. The Lady Isabel was the last descendant of the family of D——; her father had fallen in battle; his lady did not long survive him; and thus, at an early age, Isabel became an orphan. Her mother's brother was appointed her guardian, and, with his son Albert, came to reside at the Castle. The children, thus insulated from the world, and educated entirely at home, saw nothing so worthy to be loved as each other, and their attachment was as romantic as the scenes around them. They both (but particularly Isabel) delighted in the high chivalrous legends of antiquity—and the tales of eternal constancy and self-devoted affection recorded of some of the earlier heroines of her family, were read with sacred veneration by the young enthusiast. In a mind of ordinary temperament, little harm would have resulted from the indulgence of such a taste; to the impassioned soul of Isabel it was destructive and fatal. Deprived by death of the mother who might have taught her to restrain and regulate her ardent feelings, they acquired by neglect additional strength, and eventually concentrated into a passion deep and lasting as her existence. As years passed on, so did her love increase; she regarded Albert as the perfection of human excellence, and worshipped him with all the full devotedness of her warm heart. It was not so with Albert; he thought of his fair cousin with pride—with tenderness; but it was only the calm affection of a brother: other feelings than those of love possessed him—he languished for fame, for honourable distinction among his fellow men, and at length left his peaceful home, and the sweet companion of his youth, to fight the battles of his country. His career was glorious; and after an absence of three years, he was recalled by the death of his father. Isabel welcomed him with rapturous joy; he embraced her with a brother's fondness, and gazed with delight on her improved beauty. He suspected not that she loved him with more than a sisterly affection, and thought not of the wound he was about to inflict on this tender, enthusiastic being. He told her of his attachment to a fair girl, who had consented to become his bride at the expiration of the term of mourning for his father. She heard him with death-like silence, checked the groan that was bursting from her agonized heart, and strove to assume a look of cheerfulness. Retired to the solitude of her apartment, she wept in bitter anguish—her young soul was blighted; she had nothing left to live for; hope, happiness, and love were at an end; for love would now be guilt. At length she grew calm, but it was the fearful calmness of despair; she complained not—reproached not; for she felt that she had been self-deceived; she could not, however, conceal the devastation which sorrow was making in her graceful form. Albert beheld her with concern, but ascribed the alteration to her grief for his father's loss, for Isabel had tenderly loved her uncle. She rejoiced at his mistake, and attempted not to undeceive him: one only wish possessed her—it was, to see the chosen of her Albert; and, with a feverish impatience, she urged him to accelerate his nuptials. The appointed day arrived—Isabel, attired in robes of richest state, stood beside the altar, and witnessed the annihilation of all her earthly happiness; still she sunk not; but, with a mighty effort, pronounced a blessing on the wedded pair. The excitement brought back a vivid colour to her cheeks, and rekindled the lustre of her large dark eyes. The painter had seized that moment to depict her glowing form—the enthusiasm was but momentary—her angel face soon lost its lovely tint, and her beautiful eyes sunk again into languor. The castle was thronged with noble guests—sick at heart the wretched Isabel wandered abstractedly amid the gay assembly—her large floating eyes seemed straying vacantly around, until they met the bridegroom's look of joy. Then came the madness of recollection; with a convulsive shuddering she averted her head, and stole unnoticed from the company. Morning came, but she appeared not; her chamber was searched—she had not entered it. Albert flew distractedly into the park, and, at length perceived her quietly sitting by the side of the lake, near a bower, which, when a boy, he had helped to decorate. She was still clad in the robes of last night's festival. He ran eagerly towards her—she spoke not—he entreated her to answer him, but he implored in vain—there was neither breath, nor sense, nor motion—she was dead! 'Twas a mournful sight! one white hand, stiffened to marble, was pressed upon her broken heart, as she had sought to stay its painful throbbings—the cold night dews hung in large drops upon her silken hair, and shed a tremulous gleam upon the diamonds that sparkled on her pale, icy forehead—the withered leaves had found a resting place upon her bosom, and her white garments were embroidered by their many colourings. The castle became hateful to Albert after this event: he removed to a distant part of the country, and never again revisited the scenes of his earlier years. He also was dead; and Isabel, her love, and her despair, were forgotten by all, save one aged, isolated being, whose time-whitened locks and decrepit frame showed that she too was rapidly descending to the silence of the grave.
London University Magazine. No. II.
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NOTES OF A READER.
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Are so voracious as not even to spare their own species. If two are shut up together without food, there will shortly be nothing left of the weakest but its skin, slit along the belly.—Cuvier.
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The strength of Scotch ale, whence it deserves the name, ranges between 32 and 44 pounds weight to the imperial barrel, according to the price at which it is meant to be sold. The general mode of charge is by the hogshead (about a barrel and a half,) for which five pounds, six, seven, or eight pounds are paid, as the quality may warrant; the strength for every additional pound of price being increased by about four pounds per barrel of weight.—Library of Useful Knowledge.—Scotch two-penny was so called because it was sold at twopence the Scotch pint, which was nearly two English quarts.
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In a Scotch brewer's instructions for Scotch ale, dated 1793, we meet with the following curious mystical instruction:—"I throw a little dry malt, which is left on purpose, on the top of the mash, with a handful of salt, to keep the witches from it, and then cover it up. Perhaps this custom gave rise to the vulgar term water bewitched for indifferent beer."
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A recent traveller, in describing the American courts of law and their proceedings, says, in one instance Counsellor Lloyd had grossly insulted Judge Turner in the street, and was tried for the offence by the judge. He was half-drunk, but defended himself by the vilest abuse of the judge, who could not silence him. No jury was appealed to; but (we suppose for contempt of court) he was ordered to give security for one year's good behaviour, and, not procuring sufficient bail, was committed to prison.
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The Galwegians who attended David I. of Scotland to Custon Moor, had a favourite amusement of tossing infants upon their pikes!
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A CAT STORY.
Lady Morgan tells a story of an "amiable and intelligent" grimalkin, which belonged to a young girl who was subject to epileptic fits. Puss, by dint of repeated observation, knew when they were coming on, and would run, frisking her tail, to the girl's parents, mewing in the most heart-breaking tones, and clawing at their legs, till she made them follow her. Her name was Mina; and her history is extant in "choice Italian." At length the girl died, and poor puss went to the funeral of her own accord. Being a black cat, she was already in mourning—"nature's mourning!" She wanted to jump into the grave, but that was prevented. So puss, the "chief mourner," was carried home again. But her amiable heart could not survive the shock, for, after pining three months, refusing boiled liver and new milk, poor grimalkin was found "dead upon the green mound that covered her beloved mistress's remains." There was a cat for you!
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TURKS AND RUSSIANS.
The character of the Russ differs from that of the Turk in little more than in the quality of his barbarism. The Turk loves blood;—the Russ loves craft;—The Turk takes at once to the dagger;—the Russ begins by the snare; but when the matter presses, he will use the steel as readily as any Turk on earth. The ferocity of the Turk flourishes in the streets, in his own house, in the seraglio—every where that he has a victim within his reach, and that it pleases him to destroy that victim. The Russ knows something more of the law, and is by no means so domestic a cut-throat; but his mercy in the field or in the stormed city, is massacre.—Monthly Magazine.
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Lady Hester Stanhope related the following to Mr. Madden:—
When Mr. Pitt was out of office, I acted as his secretary, and he had then as much business as when he was in. He very seldom opposed my opinions, and always respected my antipathies. In private life he was cheerful and affable; he would rise in the midst of his gravest avocations to hand me a fallen handkerchief; he was always polite to women, and a great favourite with many of them; but he was wedded to the state, and nothing but death could divorce him from his country. He was fond of me; he loved originality in any shape. His great recreation, after the fatigue of business, was stealing into the country, entering a clean cottage, where there was a tidy woman and a nicely-scoured table, and there he would eat bread and cheese like any ploughman. He detested routs, and always sat down to plain dinners. He never ate before he went to the House; but when any thing important was to be discussed, he was in the habit of taking a glass of port wine with a tea-spoonful of bark.
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ENGLISH AND FRENCH.
In the arts, while French productions display resource, ingenuity, and dexterity, they at the same time show a striking want of the sense of fitness, and are unfinished and flimsy. Such, in the cities of France, is remarkably the case with whatever regards furniture and decoration, while the productions of cookery are at once impregnated with filth, and admirably calculated to conceal it. In the country, again, with a climate superior to that of England, there is everywhere to be seen open fields, later harvests, corn full of weeds, and inferior grain. The difference between French and English taste in dress is very remarkable. Even when English women take a hint from French contrivances, they endeavour to be more natural, modest, and classical. As to male dress, an English gentleman always desires his tailor to avoid the extremes of fashion; and, as his dress is grave and manly, it is generally followed throughout Europe. The French use of forks, napkins, &c. really requires some notice. A French gentleman, in adjusting himself at his coarse deal table and shabby cloth, does not hesitate to fix a napkin about his neck, in such a manner as to protect his clothes in front against the certainty of being bespattered by his mode of eating. An Englishman of the middle class would be ashamed of such a contrivance; for, without any particular care, he eats so as not even to stain the damask cloth with which his mahogany table is covered. The French gentleman is perpetually wiping his dirty fingers on a napkin spread out before him, and of which the beauties are not invisible to his neighbours on each side. The Englishman of the middle class requires no napkin, because his fingers are never soiled. The French gentleman, incapable of raising his left hand properly to his mouth, first hastily hacks his meat into fragments, then throws down his dirty knife on the cloth, and seizing the fork in his right hand, while his left fixes a mass of bread on his plate, he runs up each fragment against it, and having eaten these, he wipes up his plate with the bread and swallows it. An English peasant would blush at such bestiality. A French gentleman not only washes his filthy hands at table, but, after gulping a mouthful, and using it as a gargle, squirts it into the basin standing before him, and the company, who may see the charybdis or maelstrom he has made in it, and the floating filth he has discharged, and which is now whirling in its vortex. In England this practice is unknown, except to those whose taste and stomach are too strong for offence. It has been stupidly borrowed from the Oriental nations, who use no knives and forks, and where, though it has this apology, it has always excited the disgust of enlightened travellers. When dinner is over, the Englishman's carpet is as clean as before; the Frenchman's bare boards resemble those of a hog-sty. In short, in all that regards the table, the French are some centuries behind the English.—Blackwood's Magazine.
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In the last Quarterly Review we find that "the safety of the British empire is now entrusted to 130,000 men. Now France, we believe, maintains about 200,000 soldiers. The forces of Austria and Prussia have always been on a much higher footing than ours. Even the late King of Bavaria kept, we know not how, 70,000 men under arms. Indeed Old England is by nothing more happily distinguished from her neighbours than by the silence of the trumpet and drum. At this moment, moreover, the due level of our peace establishment is but an object of speculative research. No man who looks to the placing of Roumelia, or whose vision reaches even to the palace of Elysee Bourbon, would consent that this country should lose the aid of a single right."
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ALI PACHA'S HEAD.
Dr. Walsh tells us that the head of Ali Pacha was sent to Constantinople, and exhibited to the public on a dish. As the name of Ali had made a considerable noise in Europe, and more particularly in England, in consequence of his negociations with Sir Thomas Maitland, and still more, perhaps, the stanzas in Childe Harold, a merchant of Constantinople thought it no bad speculation to purchase the head and dish, and send them to London for exhibition; but a former confidential agent obtained it from the executioner for a higher price than the merchant had offered; and together with the heads of his three sons and grandson, who, according to custom, were all seized and decapitated, had them deposited near one of the city gates, with a tombstone and inscription.
* * * * *
Imagine a sensation in the great toe, as if it had been suddenly seized with a pair of red-hot pincers. Whew! There they are at it! nipping and tearing the flesh, and then rubbing the lacerated joint with aquafortis, or a solution of blue vitriol. And now, the pain shoots along the nerves on that side, till my head bumps and bumps as if a legion of imps were playing at leap-frog in it.
* * * * *
The state of business in the United States is thus described in a letter from Boston, dated the 7th of last July:—"The commercial world over the globe seems paralyzed, and many manufactories on a large scale, with the proprietors and stockholders, have failed, and are utterly ruined. All business is confined to the wants only of the day, teaching a necessary absolute economy, which men of business in times past have not been accustomed to."
* * * * *
Rice Paper is the pith of the Tong-t-sao—a valuable Chinese tree.
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THE SELECTOR and LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
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EMIGRATION TO NEW SOUTH WALES.
People who are accustomed to sit half the day with their hands folded, over a bright November fire, talking of hard times and other standing grievances, will do well to read "A Letter from Sydney, the principal town of Australasia, edited by Robert Ganger;" and study an annexed system of colonization as a remedy for their distress. The Letter is written by a plain-sailing, plain-dealing man of the world, and though on a foreign topic, is in a homely style. We are therefore persuaded that a few extracts will be useful to the above class of thinkers and readers, as well as to others who do not, like the great man of antiquity, sigh for new worlds.
Climate and Soil.
All that you read in the works of Wentworth and Cunningham, as to the healthfulness and beauty of the climate, is strictly true. There are scarcely any diseases but what result immediately from intemperance. Dropsy, palsy, and the whole train of nervous complaints, are common enough; but then, drunkenness is the vice par excellence of the lower orders; and the better class of settlers have not learned those habits of temperance which are suited to the climate of Naples. The two classes often remind me of English squires and their grooms, as I used to see them at Florence, just after the peace; masters drinking at dinner, because they were abroad, and after dinner because they were Englishmen; the servants drinking always, because wine and brandy were cheap. Perhaps a generation must pass away before the people here will accommodate their habits to the climate, which is that of Italy, without either malaria or the sirocco.
The soil of New South Wales is not particularly fertile. The plains of the Granges, and of the great rivers of China, the lowlands of the West India islands, the swamps of the Gulf of Mexico, and even the marshes of Essex, produce crops of which the people here have no conception; but then, as we are without great masses of alluvial deposit, so are agues and intermittent fevers absolutely unknown. In point of natural fertility, I am inclined to compare this soil to that of France; and I have no doubt that, if the same quantity of agricultural labour as is employed in France, were here bestowed upon an area equal to the French territory, the quantity of produce would fully equal that of France. Timber, coal, iron, and other useful minerals, abound; the harbours and rivers teem with fish; cattle of all sorts thrive and multiply with astonishing rapidity; every fruit that flourishes in Spain and Italy comes to the highest perfection; and Nature fully performs her part in bestowing upon man the necessaries, comforts, and luxuries of life.
Value of Land, &c.
I was told that an estate of 10,000 acres might be obtained for a mere trifle. This was true. I have got 20,000 acres, and they did not cost me more than 2s. per acre. But I imagined that a domain of that extent would be very valuable. In this I was wholly mistaken. As my estate cost me next to nothing, so it is worth next to nothing. It is a noble property to look at; and "20,000 acres in a ring fence," sounds very well in England; but here, such a property possesses no exchangeable value. The reason is plain: there are millions upon millions of acres, as fertile as mine, to be had for nothing; and, what is more, there are not people to take them. Of my 20,000 acres I reckon about 5,000 to be woodland, though, indeed, there are trees scattered over the whole property, as in an English park. For my amusement, I had a rough estimate made of the money that I could obtain for all this timber, were it growing in any part of England. The valuation amounts to above L150,000.
Having fortune enough for all my wants, I proposed to get a large domain, to build a good house, to keep enough land in my own hands for pleasure-grounds, park, and game preserves; and to let the rest, after erecting farm-houses in the most suitable spots. My mansion, park, preserves, and tenants, were all a mere dream. I have not one of them. When, upon my first arrival, I talked of these things to some sensible men, to whom I was recommended, they laughed in my face. I soon found that a house would, though the stone and timber were to be had for nothing, cost three times as much as in England. This was on account of the very high wages required by mechanics; but this was not all. None of the materials of a house, except stone and timber, are produced in the colony. Every pane of glass, every nail, every grain of paint, and every piece of furniture, from the kitchen copper to the drawing-room curtains, must have come from England. My property is at a distance of nearly seventy miles from the sea, and there is no road, but a track through the forest, for two-thirds of that distance. The whole colony did not contain as many masons, carpenters, glaziers, painters, black and whitesmiths, and other mechanics, as I should have required. Of course, I soon abandoned all thought of building a mansion. As for a park, my whole property was a park, and a preserve for kangaroos and emus.
* * * * *
A friend of ours, a free emigrant, has more than once facetiously wished for our company in the colony; but judging from the following, we had rather "let well alone," and stay at home, than play the schoolmaster or march-of-intellect-man at Sydney:—
As for mental wants, talking and reading are out of the question, except it be to scold your servants, and to con over a Sydney newspaper, which contains little else but the miserable party politics of this speck upon the globe, reports of crime and punishment, and low-lived slang and flash, such as fill the pothouse Sunday papers of London.
Literary men, men of science, philosophers, do not emigrate to new countries where their acquirements would be neither rewarded nor admired. Sir Walter Scott, Sir Humphry Davy, and Mr. Malthus, would not earn as much in this colony as three brawny experienced ploughmen; and though the inordinate vanity of a new people might be gratified by the possession of them, they would be considered as mere ornaments, and would often be wholly neglected for things of greater utility.
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House-rent, that great bugbear of certain economists, is indeed a grievous affair at Sydney, as page 20 proves:—
Behold me established at Sydney, in a small house, a poor vamped-up building, more inconvenient, and far more ugly, than you can imagine, for which I pay a rent of L250 a year. For half the money you could get twice as good a house in any English country town. This excessive house-rent is caused by the dearness of labour, which enhances the cost of building; for, either the builder will exact a rent proportioned to his outlay, or (if he cannot obtain such a rent) he will not build.
Of what class then, you ask, have been the great mass of emigrants from England, not convicts? Excellent people in their way, most of them; farmers, army and navy surgeons, subalterns on half-pay, and a number of indescribable adventurers, from about the twentieth rank in England. They came here to live, not to enjoy; to eat and drink, not to refine; "to settle"—that is, to roll in a gross plenty for the body, but to starve their minds. To these must be added convicts, many of whom are become rich and influential; and some, not exactly convicts, to whom England ceased to be a convenient residence. The English who live at Boulogne, some for cheapness, some from misfortune, and some from fear, would offer, I should think, a fair sample of the materials which compose the best society in New South Wales; though, I must admit, that the bustling, thriving settler of New South Wales is a companion, rather ignorant though he be—far away preferable to the not more enlightened, but melancholy English sluggard of Boulogne. To form a due conception of the "upper classes" here, suppose all the natives of France annihilated, and the whole country belonging to the English residents of Boulogne. In that case, there would be an almost perfect resemblance between those Englishmen who, across a narrow channel, can see their own country, and those who, at its antipodes look upon the Pacific Ocean.
Society and Manners.
As in France, the first class call themselves "gens comme il faut;" and in England, "people of fashion," or "the world"—so here, the leaders of society are distinguished by a peculiar term. They are called "respectable." Not to speak of France, it is difficult to say what in England constitutes "fashion." Not high birth, certainly—for some of the despots of English society are sprung from the dunghill. Our epithet to express exclusiveness is, I think better chosen—for, though strictly speaking, it means worthy of respect, it is claimed, here, only by those to whom respect is paid. In England, the Quarterly Review tells us, "respectability" sometimes means keeping a gig—here it always means dining with the governor.
Our manners set the fashion. Those whom we exclude, exclude others. Free emigrants claim to be of a nature superior to convicts; convicts, whose terms of punishment have expired, behave as if their flesh and blood were wholly unlike that of convicts still in durance; convicts, who have not been convicted south of the line, scorn those who have; and these several classes, except the last, are as proud and tenacious of their privileges as is every distinctive class in England, except the unhappy lowest; or, as is every shade of colour in the West Indies except the perfect black.
Of the settlement may amount in round numbers to 45,000. Of these only 14,000, including women and children, have not been convicted of felony; and two-thirds of the remainder, seven-eights being grown men, are galley-slaves, still in chains!
Influence of Convict Labour.
Little more than forty years ago this country was an absolute waste. By way of contrast, behold, in the parts first settled, the following proofs of wealth: a thriving capital, and several interior towns, the latter being larger and better constructed than the capitals of some English settlements in America, a hundred years after their foundation; excellent roads; productive turnpikes; crowded market-places; public hotels, superior to the best in North America, even at this late hour; warehouses, through which there is a constant flow of luxuries from all parts of the world; public carriages, almost as well managed as those of England; an astonishing number of private carriages, built in Long Acre; several newspapers, and other periodical works; booksellers' shops, well supplied from Europe; two banks of deposit and discount; many churches and chapels; very good schools for rich and poor; scientific, literary, and philanthropic societies; a botanical garden; a turf club; packs of hounds; dinner parties, concerts and balls; fine furniture, plate, and jewels; and though last, not least, many gradations in society, being so many gradations in wealth.
Whence have come all those things, over and above mere subsistence, which astonish the beholder, when he reflects that this colony has been planted little more than forty years?
An example has just passed my window, in the shape of a dashing English landau. It contains a "lady," who married a poor half-pay lieutenant, and who now drinks tea that would cost in England twenty shillings the pound. They emigrated to New South Wales in 1815. But how did she get that carriage, and how does she manage to send to China for the gunpowder? Thus:—Her husband is both landowner and merchant. Being constantly supplied with a number of convict labourers, he breeds cattle and cultivates grain; and as he gives to his labourers but just enough for their subsistence, he has a large surplus produce. Having sold to the local government wheat and beef for the supply of prisons, hospitals, and barracks, he is paid partly with bills upon the English treasury, and partly with dollars, sent from England for the support of the great penitentiary. He remits one of those bills to his London agent, and desires him to purchase, with the proceeds thereof, a superb landau. In less than a year, his wife "rides in her coach." He sends some of the dollars to Canton, and purchases therewith a cargo of tea, of which he gives to his wife as much as she likes, and sells the rest to the wives of other men, who pay him with bills or dollars, received again from the government for wheat and beef. Thus, you see, Mrs. —— is indebted for two decided proofs of wealth to the prevalence of crime in England. Even the coat of arms on her landau was found by your Herald's College, in return for a part of the proceeds of that bill, which was drawn to pay for the food of the soldiers who drove the convicts, who produced the food. Our old friend Sir George Nayler would no doubt start at being told of his obligation to the pickpockets of London. And the rogues are little aware of their influence in political economy; but I have stated a plain fact, which, if you have any doubts about it, pray submit both to Sir George himself, and to Mr. M'Culloch.
That is, indeed, an ill-wind which blows no good. We owe every thing, over and above mere subsistence, to the wickedness of the people of England. Who built Sydney? Convicts. Who made the excellent roads from Sydney to Parramatta, Windsor, and Liverpool? Convicts. By whom is the land made to produce? By convicts. Why do not all our labourers exact high wages, and, by taking a large share of the produce of labour, prevent their employers from becoming rich? Because most of them are convicts. What has enabled the landowner readily to dispose of his surplus produce? The demand of the keepers of convicts. What has brought so many ships to Port Jackson, and occasioned a further demand for agricultural produce? The transportation of convicts. What has tempted free emigrants to bring capital into the settlement? The true stories that they heard of fortunes made by employing the cheap labour of convicts. But here are questions and answers enough. The case is plain. Nearly all that we possess has arisen from the happy influence of penal emigration and discipline, on production, distribution, and consumption. Thanks to the system of transportation, we have had cheap labour and a ready market; production, consequently, has exceeded consumption; and the degree of that excess is the measure of our accumulation—that is, of our wealth.
The transportation of at least ten males for one female, maintains a great disproportion between the sexes. This is the greatest evil of all.
On the banks of the Illinois, I met with a labouring man, who was always tipsy without ever being drunk. Enervated by dram-drinking, he had not the courage to obtain a bit of forest and settle; but he could earn seven shillings a day by his labour. When I spoke to him, he complained of low wages. "At New York, friend," said I, "five shillings a day are thought quite enough." "I know that," he answered; "I was born there, and came here to get eight shillings a day, which, I was told, was the lowest rate hereabouts." It turned out that he never worked more than three days in the week, and that, in order to obtain twenty-four shillings a week by three days' labour, he had made a circuitous voyage of some thousand miles from the place where he was born, and where he could have earned thirty shillings a week by working every day.
The base language of English thieves is becoming the established language of the colony. Terms of slang and flash are used, as a matter of course, every where, from the gaols to the Viceroy's palace, not excepting the Bar and the Bench. No doubt they will be reckoned quite parliamentary, as soon as we obtain a parliament.
Is a dreadful evil, being a kind of land piracy. None but back settlers, it is true, are exposed to its burnings, rapes, and massacres; but these are as much British subjects as the inhabitants of Sydney or of Downing Street. And, if the inhabitants of towns escape those horrors, they are liable to be murdered in a quiet way, and their property is exposed to every kind of depredation. Their actual losses by robbery, including the expense and loss of time occasioned by prosecutions, are very great.
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The concluding observations on "the extension of Britain," and her colonial interests, are in a forcible and liberal tone, but as they take rather too political a turn for our pages, we recommend the anxious reader to the volume itself, which is altogether the production of an original thinker and an impartial writer.
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SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS
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THE CRUISE OF H.M. SHIP TORCH.
I was the mate of the morning watch, and, as day dawned, I had amused myself with other younkers over the side, examining the shot holes and other injuries sustained from the fire of the frigate, and contrasting the clean, sharp, well-defined apertures, made by the 24 lb. shot from the long guns, with the bruised and splintered ones from the 32 lb. carronades; but the men had begun to wash down the decks, and the first gush of clotted blood and water from the scuppers fairly turned me sick. I turned away, when Mr. Kennedy, our gunner, a good steady old Scotchman, with whom I was a bit of a favourite, came up to me—"Mr. Cringle, the captain has sent for you; poor Mr. Johnstone is fast going, he wants to see you."
I knew my young messmate had been wounded, for I had seen him carried below after the frigate's second broad-side; but the excitement of a boy, who had never smelled powder fired in anger before, had kept me on deck the whole night, and it never once occurred to me to ask for him, until the old gunner spoke.
I hastened down to our small confined berth, and there I saw a sight that quickly brought me to myself. Poor Johnstone was indeed going; a grape shot had struck him, and torn his belly open. There he lay in his bloody hammock on the deck, pale and motionless as if he had already departed, except a slight twitching at the corners of his mouth, and a convulsive contraction and distension of his nostrils. His brown ringlets still clustered over his marble forehead, but they were drenched in the cold sweat of death. The surgeon could do nothing for him, and had left him; but our old captain—bless him for it—I little expected, from his usual crusty bearing, to find him so employed—had knelt by his side, and, whilst he read from the Prayer Book one of those beautiful petitions in our church service to Almighty God, for mercy to the passing soul of one so young, and so early cut off, the tears trickled down the old man's cheeks, and filled the furrows worn in them by the washing up of many a salt spray. On the other side of his narrow bed, fomenting the rigid muscles of his neck and chest, sat Mistress Connolly, one of three women on board—a rough enough creature, heaven knows, in common weather; but her stifled sobs showed that the mournful sight had stirred up all the woman within her. She had opened the bosom of the poor boy's shirt, and untying the ribbon that fastened a small gold crucifix round his neck, she placed it in his cold hand. The young midshipman was of a respectable family in Limerick, her native place, and a Catholic—another strand of the cord that bound her to him. When the captain finished reading, he bent over the departing youth, and kissed his cheek. "Your young messmate just now desired to see you, Mr. Cringle, but it is too late, he is insensible and dying." Whilst he spoke, a strong shiver passed through the boy's frame, his face became slightly convulsed, and all was over! The captain rose, and Connolly, with a delicacy of feeling which many might not have looked for in her situation, spread one of our clean mess table-cloths over the body. "And is it really gone you are, my poor, dear boy!" forgetting all difference of rank in the fulness of her heart. "Who will tell this to your mother, and nobody here to wake you but ould Kate Connolly, and no time will they be giving me, nor whisky—Ochon! ochon!"
But enough and to spare of this piping work. The boatswain's whistle now called me to the gangway, to superintend the handing up, from a shore boat alongside, a supply of the grand staples of the island—ducks and onions. The three 'Mudians in her were characteristic samples of the inhabitants. Their faces and skins, where exposed, were not tanned, but absolutely burnt into a fiery-red colour by the sun. They guessed and drawled like any buckskin from Virginia, superadding to their accomplishments their insular peculiarity of always shutting one eye when they spoke to you. They are all Yankees at bottom; and if they could get their 365 Islands—so they call the large stones on which they live—under weigh, they would not be long in towing them into the Chesapeake.
The word had been passed to get six of the larboard guns and all the shot over to the other side, to give the brig a list of a streak or two a-starboard, so that the stage on which the carpenter and his crew were at work over the side, stopping the shot holes above the water line, might swing clear of the wash of the sea. I had jumped from the nettings, where I was perched, to assist in unbolting one of the carronade slides, when I slipped and capsized against a peg sticking out of one of the scuppers. I took it for something else and damned the ring-bolt incontinently. Caboose, the cook, was passing with his mate, a Jamaica negro of the name of Johncrow, at the time. "Don't damn the remains of your fellow-mortals, Master Cringle; that is my leg." The cook of a man-of-war is no small beer, he is his Majesty's warrant officer, a much bigger wig than a poor little mid, with whom it is condescension on his part to jest.
It seems to be a sort of rule, that no old sailor who has not lost a limb, or an eye at least, shall be eligible to the office; but as the kind of maiming is so far circumscribed that all cooks must have two arms, a laughable proportion of them have but one leg. Besides the honour, the perquisites are good; accordingly, all old quartermasters, captains of tops, &c., look forward to the cookdom, as the cardinals look to the popedom; and really there is some analogy between them, for neither is preferred from any especial fitness for the office. A cardinal is made pope because he is old, infirm, and imbecile—our friend Caboose was made cook because he had been Lord Nelson's coxswain, was a drunken rascal, and had a wooden leg; for, as to his gastronomical qualifications, he knew no more of the science than just sufficient to watch the copper where the salt junk and potatoes were boiling. Having been a little in the wind overnight, he had quartered himself, in the superabundance of his heroism, at a gun where he had no business to be, and in running it out, he had jammed his toe in a scupper hole, so fast that there was no extricating him; and notwithstanding his piteous entreaty "to be eased out handsomely, as the leg was made out of a plank of the Victory, and the ring at the end out of one of her bolts," the captain of the gun finding, after a stout pull, that the man was like to come "home in his hand without the leg," was forced "to break him short off," as he phrased it, to get him out of the way, and let the carriage traverse. In the morning when he sobered, he had quite forgotten where the leg was, and how he broke it; he therefore got Kelson to splice the stump with the butt-end of a mop; but in the hurry it had been left three inches too long, so that he had to jerk himself up to the top of his peg at every step. The doctor, glad to breathe the fresh air after the horrible work he had gone through, was leaning over the side, speaking to Kelson. When I fell, he turned round and drew Cookee's fire on himself. "Doctor, you have not prescribed for me yet."—"No, Caboose, I have not; what is wrong?"—"Wrong, sir! why, I have lost my leg, and the captain's clerk says I am not in the return!—Look here, sir, had doctor Kelson not coopered me, where should I have been?—Why, doctor, had I been looked after, amputation might have been unnecessary; a fish might have done, whereas I have had to be spliced." He was here cut short by the voice of his mate, who had gone forward to slay a pig for the gunroom mess. "Oh, Lad, oh!—Massa Caboose!—Dem dam Yankee! De Purser killed, massa!—Dem shoot him troo de head!—Oh, Oh, Lad!" Captain Deadeye had come on deck. "You, Johncrow, what is wrong with you?"—"Why, de Purser killed, captain, dat all."—"Purser killed?—Doctor, is Saveall hurt?" Treenail could stand it no longer. "No, sir, no; it is one of the gunroom pigs that we shipped at Halifax, three cruises ago; I am sure I don't know how he survived one, but the seamen took a fancy to him, and nicknamed him the Purser. You know, sir, they make pets of any thing, and every thing, at a pinch!"
Here Johncrow drew the carcass from the hog-pen, and sure enough a shot had cut the poor Purser's head nearly off. Blackee looked at him with a most whimsical expression; they say no one can fathom a negro's affection for a pig. "Poor Purser! de people call him Purser, sir, because him knowing chap; him cabbage all de grub, slush, and stuff in him own corner, and give only de small bit, and de bad piece, to de oder pig; so, captain"—Splinter saw the poor fellow was like to get into a scrape. "That will do, Johncrow—forward with you now, and lend a hand to cat the anchor.—All hands up anchor!" The boatswain's hoarse voice repeated the command, and he in turn was re-echoed by his mates; the capstan was manned, and the crew stamped round to a point of war most villanously performed by a bad drummer and a worse fifer, in as high glee as if those who were killed had been snug and well in their hammocks on the berth-deck, in place of at the bottom of the sea, with each a shot at his feet. We weighed, and began to work up, tack and tack, towards the island of Ireland, where the arsenal is, amongst a perfect labyrinth of shoals, through which the 'Mudian pilot cunned the ship with great skill, taking his stand, to our no small wonderment, not at the gangway or poop, as usual, but on the bowsprit end, so that he might see the rocks under foot, and shun them accordingly, for they are so steep and numerous, (they look like large fish in the clear water), and the channel is so intricate, that you have to go quite close to them. At noon we arrived at the anchorage, and hauled our moorings on board. Blackwood's Magazine.
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A snapper up of unconsidered trifles. SHAKSPEARE.
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(For the Mirror.)
About five or six miles from Mansfield is the mill where the incident took place on which Dodsley founded his pleasing drama of The Miller of Mansfield.
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Bottles for ginger-beer, soda-water, ink, blacking, &c. are principally manufactured near Codnor Castle, in Derbyshire. About fifty women and children finish one hundred gross per day.
* * * * *
Glauber Salts are a more tonic aperient than Epsom Salts, which is accounted for by the presence of a little iron, in the one, which has not been detected in the other.
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The tip of the cat's nose is always cold, except on the day of the summer solstice, when it becomes lukewarm.
* * * * *
Cod-fish are sorely attacked by dog and cuttle-fish. The latter, with their hard mouths, resembling parrots' bills, cut up the mackerel and herrings with great adroitness. The cuttle-fish are, in their turn, sometimes attacked by the dog-fish; but they generally escape, by ejecting a liquid resembling ink, which renders the water dark and turbid.
* * * * *
When red mullet are abundant in fishmongers' shops, a fine mackerel season may be expected. The early mackerel are frequently attended by a few mullet; and whenever they nearly, if not altogether, equal the mackerel in number, the circumstance is generally the presage of the approach of great shoals of mackerel.
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The course of herrings and mackerel is traced by their eggs, which, during a calm, may be seen floating on the surface of the water, like saw-dust, amidst an appearance like the wake or track of a vessel.
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SPRATS AND WHITE BAIT.
Mr. Yarrell has recently shown that the sprat is not the young of the herring and pilchard, as has been generally supposed. One of the most material differences is, that the vertebrae in the sprat are forty-eight in number, while in the herring there are fifty-six. The same gentleman has also proved that white bait are not the young of the shad, or mother of herrings; but that they are a well-marked and distinct species.
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It is a curious fact, that until the legal distillation of whisky was prohibited in the Highlands, it was never drunk at gentlemen's tables. "Mountain dew," and such poetic names, are of modern invention, since this liquor became fashionable. It is altogether of modern introduction into the Highlands; the name being only mentioned in modern ballads.
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ANNUALS FOR 1830.
The Second SUPPLEMENT, containing Choice Extracts from the "Keepsake," "Forget-me-not," &c., with a fine Large Engraving from the "Landscape Annual," will be published with our next number.
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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.
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