THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 14, NO. 402] SUPPLEMENTARY NUMBER. [PRICE 2d.
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The Leaning Towers of Bologna.
The Landscape Annual.
LONDON AND PARIS, 1830.
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MAGNIFIQUE! SUPERBE! will be the exclamation of the Parisians on beholding the Plates of this Work, at the Publishers, in the Gallerie Vivienne, and equally enthusiastic will be the admiration of all Londoners whilst inspecting them in Cheapside. The second title, "The Tourist in Italy and Switzerland," implies the contents of the volume far better than the first. There are twenty-five Plates, each nearly as large as one of our pages, by various engravers, and all from drawings, by Mr. Prout. The subjects are as follow:—Geneva, Lausanne, Chillon, Bridge of St. Maurice, Lavey, Martigny, Sion, Visp, Domo d'Ossola, Castle of Anghiera, Milan Cathedral, Lake of Como, Como, Verona, Vicenza, Padua, Petrarch's House at Arqua, the Rialto at Venice, Ducal Palace at ditto, Palace of the Two Foscari, ditto; Bridge of Sighs, ditto; Old Ducal Palace at Ferrara, Bologna, Ponte Sisto, Rome, Fish Market, Ruins, ditto, and a Vignette of Constantine's Arch.
The Descriptions are from the elegant pen of Thomas Roscoe, Esq. By permission, of the proprietor we have selected one of the plates, and a portion of its accompanying description.
"Celebrated alike in arts and in letters, Bologna, 'the mother of studies,' presents numerous objects of interest to the amateur and to the scholar. The halls which were trod by Lanfranc and Irnerius, and the ceilings which glow with the colours of Guido and the Carracci, can never be neglected by any to whom learning and taste are dear.
"The external appearance of Bologna is singular and striking. The principal streets display lofty arcades, and the churches, which are very numerous, confer upon the city a highly architectural character. But the most remarkable edifices in Bologna are the watch-towers, represented in the engraving. During the twelfth century, when the cities of Italy, 'tutte piene di tirranni,' were rivals in arms as afterwards in arts, watch-towers of considerable elevation were frequently erected. In Venice, in Pisa, in Cremona, in Modena, and in Florence these singular structures yet remain; but none are more remarkable than the towers of the Asinelli and Garisenda in Bologna. The former, according to one chronicler, was built in 1109, while other authorities assign it to the year 1119. The Garisenda tower, constructed a few years later, has been immortalized in the verse of Dante.
"When the poet and his guide are snatched up by the huge Antaeus, the bard compares the stooping stature of the giant to the tower of the Garisenda, which, as the spectator stands at its base while the clouds are sailing from the quarter to which it inclines, appears to be falling upon his head,
"'As appears The tower of Cariaenda from beneath Where it doth lean, if chance a passing cloud So sail across that opposite it hangs; Such then Antaeus seem'd, as at mine ease I mark'd him stooping.'
"The tower of the Asinelli rises the height of about 350 feet, and is said to be three feet and a half out of the perpendicular. The adventurous traveller may ascend to the top by a laborious staircase of 500 steps. Those steps were trod by the late amiable and excellent Sir James Edward Smith, who has described the view presented at the summit. 'The day was unfavourable for a view; but we could well distinguish Imola, Ferrara and Modena, as well as the hills about Verona, Mount Baldus, &c., seeming to rise abruptly from the dead flat which extends on three sides of Bologna. On the south are some very pleasant hills stuck with villas.' The Garisenda tower, erected probably by the family of the Garidendi, is about 130 feet in height, and inclines as much as eight feet from the perpendicular. It has been conjectured that these towers were originally constructed as they now appear; but it is difficult to give credit to such a supposition.
"According to Montfaucon, the celebrated antiquary, the leaning of these towers has been occasioned by the sinking of the earth. 'We several times observed the tower called Asinelli, and the other near it, named Garisenda. The latter of them stoops so much that a perpendicular, let fall from the top, will be seven feet from the bottom of it; and, as appears upon examination, when this tower bowed, a great part of it went to ruin, because the ground that side that inclined stood on was not so firm as the other, which may be said of all other towers that lean so; for besides these two here mentioned, the tower for the bells of St. Mary Zobenica, at Venice, leans considerably to one side. So also at Ravenna, I took notice of another stooping tower occasioned by the ground on that side giving way a little. In the way from Ferrara to Venice, where the soil is marshy, we see a structure of great antiquity leaning to one side. We might easily produce other instances of this nature. When the whole structure of the Garisenda stooped, much of it fell, as appears by the top of it.
"Bologna, like most of the cities of Italy, has been the seat of many tragical incidents, affording such rich materials for her novelists. Amongst others, is one which we give in the words of the excellent critic by whom it is related. 'The family Geremie of Bologna were at the head of the Guelphs, and that of the Lambertazzi of the Ghibbelines, who formed an opposition by no means despicable to the domineering party. Bonifazio Geremei and Imelda Lambertazzi, forgetting the feuds of their families, fell passionately in love with each other, and Imelda received her lover into her house. This coming to her brothers' knowledge, they rushed into the room where the two lovers were, and Imelda could scarcely escape, whilst one of the brothers plunged a dagger, poisoned after the Saracen fashion, into Bonifazio's breast, whose body was thrown into some concealed part of the house and covered with rubbish. Imelda hastened to him, following the tracks of his blood, as soon as the brothers were gone; found him, and supposing him not quite dead, generously, as our own Queen Eleanor had done about the same time, sucked the poison from the bleeding wound, the only remedy which could possibly save his life; but it was too late: Imelda's attendants found her a corpse, embracing that of her beloved Bonifazio.'"
The success of the Landscape Annual is very far from problematical. All our travelled nobility and people of fortune will buy it to refresh their acquaintance with the beautiful scenes it includes; and it is hardly possible to imagine a more agreeable book-companion on the journey itself.
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(Concluded from Supplement, page 336.)
The poetry of the Souvenir is, as usual, for the most part excellent. Among the best pieces are The Dying Mother to her Infant, by Caroline Bowles; Bring back the chain, by the authoress of the "Sorrows of Rosalie;" and The Birth-day, by N.P. Willis, a popular American writer. There are likewise some very graceful and touching pieces by Mr. Watts, the editor, one of which will be found in our next number. There are too some pleasant attempts at humorous relief; but "Vanity Fair" is a very poor attempt at jingling rhyme. We quote one of these light pieces for the sake of adding variety to our sheet:
WHERE IS MISS MYRTLE?
AIR—Sweet Kitty Clover.
Where is Miss Myrtle? can any one tell? Where is she gone, where is she gone? She flirts with another, I know very well; And I—am left all alone! She flies to the window when Arundel rings: She's all over smiles when Lord Archibald sings; It's plain that her Cupid has two pair of wings; Where is she gone, where is she gone? Her love and my love are different things: And I—am left all alone!
I brought her, one morning, a rose for her brow Where is she gone, where is she gone? She told me such horrors were never worn now: And I—am left all alone! But I saw her at night with a rose in her hair, And I guess who it came from,—of course I don't care! We all know that girls are as false us they're fair; Where is she gone, where is she gone? I'm sure the lieutenant's a horrible bear; And I—am left all alone!
Whenever we go on the Downs for a ride, Where is she gone, where is she gone? She looks for another to trot by her side: And I—am left all alone! And whenever I take her down stairs from a ball, She nods to some puppy to put on her shawl: I'm a peaceable man, and I don't like a brawl: Where is she gone, where is she gone? But I would give a trifle to horsewhip them all: And I—am left all alone!
She tells me her mother belongs to the sect, Where is she gone, where is she gone? Which holds that all waltzing is quite incorrect: And I—am left all alone! But a fire's in my heart and a fire's in my brain, When she waltzes away with Sir Phelim O'Shane; I don't think I ever can ask her again: Where is she gone, where is she gone? And, lord! since the summer she's grown very plain, And I—am left all alone!
She said that she liked me a twelvemonth ago! Where is she gone, where is she gone? And how should I guess that she'd torture me so! And I—am left all alone! Some day she'll find out it was not very wise To laugh at the breath of a true lover's sighs: After all, Fanny Myrtle is not such a prize; Where is she gone, where is she gone? Louisa Dalrymple has exquisite eyes: And I'll be—no longer alone!
Mr. Praed has an exquisite poem, "Memory;" and we had nearly passed by a song by Mr. T. Moore.
Alone beneath the moon I roved, And thought how oft in hours gone by, I heard my Mary say she loved To look upon a moonlight sky! The day had been one lengthened shower, Till moonlight came, with lustre meek, To light up every weeping flower, Like smiles upon a mourner's cheek.
I called to mind from Eastern books A thought that could not leave me soon:— "The moon on many a night-flower looks, The night-flower sees no other moon." And thus I thought our fortune's run, For many a lover sighs to thee; While oh! I feel there is but one, One Mary in the world for me!
The illustrations are almost unexceptionably good; the gems in this way being Mrs. Siddons, as Lady Macbeth, by C. Rolls, after Harlowe: the face is perhaps the most intellectual piece of engraving ever seen; the sublime effect in so small a space is truly surprising. A Portrait, by W. Danforth, after Leslie, ranks next; and the beauty and variety of the remainder of the prints are so great as to prevent our individualizing them to the reader. Taken altogether, they form one of the finest Annual Galleries or Collections.
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Without going into a dreamy discussion on the literature of this work, we venture to say it has rather retrograded from, than improved upon the volume of last year. Great and titled names only furnish the gilt: and this fact is now so generally understood, that readers are no longer deceived by them, in the quality of the gingerbread. Mr. Watts is so convinced of this fact, that he has given the cut direct to many titled authors; and, for aught we know, he has produced as good a volume this year as on any former occasion. The proprietor of the Keepsake appears to think otherwise; and his editor has accordingly produced a book of very meagre interest, though of mightier pretensions than his rivals. Months ago we were told by announcement, paragraph and advertisement, of a tragedy, The House of Aspen, by Sir Walter Scott, which now turns out to be as dull an affair as any known in these days of dramatic poverty and theatrical ups and downs. Sir Walter, in an advertisement of great modesty, dated April 1, says, that "being of too small a size of consequence for a separate publication, the piece is sent as a contribution to the Keepsake, where its demerits may be hidden amid the beauties of more valuable articles." The piece has been adapted to a minor stage with some effect, but nothing higher than a melodrama. We have neither room nor inclination to extract a scene, but one of the metrical pieces has tempted us:—
Sweet shone the sun on the fair Lake of Toro, Weak were the whispers that waved the dark wood, As a fair maiden bewilder'd in sorrow, Sigh'd to the breezes and wept to the flood.
"Saints from the mansion of bliss lowly bending, Virgin, that hear'st the poor suppliant's cry, Grant my petition, in anguish ascending. My Frederick restore, or let Eleanor die."
Distant and faint were the sounds of the battle, With the breezes they rise, with the breezes they fail, Till the shout, and the groan, and the conflict's dread rattle, And the chase's wild clamour came loading the gale.
Breathless she gaz'd through the woodland so dreary, Slowly approaching, a warrior was seen; Life's ebbing tide mark'd his footstep so weary, Cleft was his helmet, and woe was his mien.
"Save thee, fair maid, for our armies are flying; Save thee, fair maid, for thy guardian is low; Cold on yon heath thy bold Frederick is lying, Fast through the woodland approaches the foe."
Two of the best stories are The Bride, by Theodore Hook, and the Shooting Star, an Irish tale, by Lord Nugent; and a Dialogue for the year 2310, by the author of Granby, has considerable smartness. The scene is in London, where one of the speakers has just arrived "from out of Scotland; breakfasted this morning at Edinburgh, and have not been in town above a couple of hours. The roads are dreadfully heavy now: conceive my having been seven hours and a half coming from Edinburgh to London. Killing between four and five thousand head of game in one day is shooting ill; and one of the party has a gun which would give twenty-seven discharges in a minute, and mine would give only twenty-five. I really must change my maker. Have you seen the last new invention, the hydro-potassian lock?" Hunting machines, that would fly like balloons over a ten-foot wall—A candidate for the Circumnavigation Club, who has been four times round the world in his own, yacht—A point of bad taste to make a morning call by daylight—Dining at twelve P.M.—A spring-door with a self-acting knocker, which gives a treble knock, and is opened by a steam porter in livery—A chair mounting from the hall, through the ceiling, into the drawing room—Talking to a lady two miles off through a telescope, till one's fingers ache—A callisthenic academy for the children of pauper operatives—An automaton note-writer—A lady professing ignorance of Almack's, "a club where Swift and Johnson used to meet, but I don't profess to be an antiquarian"—"Love and Algebra," one of the common scientific novels thumbed by coal-heavers and orange-women, very well for the common people—Every thing is taught them now by means of scientific novels: such as "Geological Atoms, or the Adventures of a Dustman"—Doubted very much whether English wheat is fit for any thing but the brute creation—Dark times of the 19th century—Six-hourly and half-daily newspapers—"apropos, as the hackney-coachmen say"—Turkey, one of the southern provinces of Russia—His Majesty Jonathan III. of Washington—The Emperor of India—The Burmese Republic—English the language of three-fourths of Asia, nine-tenths of North America, half Africa, and all the insular states in the South Seas—and England, that little kingdom, with a population of not more than forty millions, has had the honour of colonizing half the globe; but "these countries are our colonies no longer." Such are a few of the wonders of 2130! In the Dialogue is an admirable joke with a scientific street-sweeper and a learned beggar, who pleads necessitas non habet legem, and "embraces the profession of an operative mendicant." But here is a morceau:
Lady D.—Ah! Lord A.! Mr. C.! most unexpected persons both! I heard only yesterday that one of you was in Greenland, and the other in Africa. What false reports they circulate!
Lord A.—The reports were true not long ago, and I believe we returned about the same time. You, Lady D., have been also travelling, I believe.
Lady D.—Yes, we were out of England in the winter. Our physician commanded a warmer climate for Lord D. so we took a villa on the Niger, and afterwards spent a short time at Sackatoo.
Mr. C.—I suppose you found it full of English?
Lady D.—Oh, quite full—and such a set! We knew hardly any of them. In fact, we did not go there for society. We met a few pleasant people, Australians; the Abershaws, the Hardy Vauxes, and Sir William and Lady Soames.
Mr. C.—Did you go by the new Tangier and Timbuctoo road?
Lady D.—Yes, we did, and we found it excellent. By the bye, Lord A., to digress to a different latitude, how did you succeed in your last excursion to the North Pole?
Lord A.—To tell you the truth, extremely ill; we had most improvidently taken with us scarcely enough of the solvent to work our way through the ice, and our concentrated essence of caloric was found to be of a very inferior quality. I shall try again next summer.
Lady D.—I believe we shall go to Spitzbergen ourselves.
Lord A.—I am happy to think that, in that case, I may perhaps have the pleasure of meeting you there on my return. I must go to the Pole, by the way of North Georgia: I am engaged to visit an Eskimaux friend.
Still more ludicrous are the following historical blunders:—One of the party asks how Napoleon is introduced in an historical novel of 1830? The reply is—"He and the Emperor Alexander of Russia are introduced dining with the King at Brighton. Napoleon quarrels with the two sovereigns, and challenges them to a personal encounter. Each claims the right of fighting by deputy. The King of England appoints his prime minister, the Duke of Wellington; the Emperor Alexander appoints Prince Kutusoff. The Duke of Wellington is to go out first, and is to meet Napoleon at Battersea Fields. There were open fields at Battersea: then: only think! open fields! I don't know how the duel ends—I am just in the midst of it—it is so interesting."
The author of Anastasius (Mr. Thos. Hope) has contributed five or six pages on Self-love, Sympathy, and Selfishness—which are deep enough for any Lady D. of this or the next century. We expected a powerful and picturesque tale of the East, and not such sententious matter as this:—"Every sentient entity, from the lowest of brutes to the highest of human beings, desires self-gratification:" we may add, a principle as well understood in Covent-garden as in Portland-place. Mr. Banim has written The Hall of the Castle, an interesting Irish story; and Lord Normanby, The Prophet of St. Paul's, of the date of 1514—which concludes the volume.
Among the Poetry are some pretty verses by Lord Porchester; but it is well that metrical pieces do not predominate, for some of the writers are sadly unmusical sonneteers.
The "Letters from Lord Byron to several Friends" are not of interest enough for the space they occupy.
The Plates are beyond praise. The Frontispiece Portrait of Lady Georgiana Agar Ellis, by Charles Heath, is one of the most exquisite ever engraved; and two plates illustrating Sir Walter Scott's House of Aspen have the effect of beautiful pictures on a blank wall. Two views of Virginia Water are, perhaps, questionable in the same volume; but they are admirably engraved. Wilkie's "beautiful, though," as Lord Normanby says, "somewhat slight cabinet picture of the Princess Doria and the Pilgrims" has been finely executed by Heath; and a View of Venice, from a drawing by Prout, is a masterpiece of Freebairne. Equal to either of these is The Faithful Servant, engraved by Goodyear, after Cooper, and Dorothea, the title-page plate. Of The Bride, engraved by Charles Heath, from a picture by Leslie, it is impossible to speak in terms of sufficient praise, as it is, without exception, one of the loveliest prints ever beheld. We have had our laugh at The Portrait, a scene from Foote, painted by Smirke, and engraved by Portbury. Its whim and humour is describable only by the British Aristophanes. We can only add, that it is Lady Pentweazle sitting to Carmine for her portrait—the look that he despairs of imitating, as we do Foote's account of her family:—
 Some nice calculators have estimated that the various sums received by Mr. Wilkie for the supplies he has furnished to the Illustrations of the Annuals of the coming season amount to upwards of L1,000.—Athenaeum.
"All my family, by the mother's side, are famous for their eyes. I have a great aunt amongst the beauties at Windsor; she has a sister at Hampton Court, a perdegeous fine woman! she had but one eye, but that was a piercer: that one eye got her three husbands."
The painter appears to us to be a portrait of Foote. We ought not to forget to mention, at least, Francis I. and his Sister, splendidly engraved by C. Heath, from a picture by Bonington.
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THE COMIC ANNUAL.
By Thomas Hood, Esq.
We intend to let the facetious author have his own say on the comical contents of this very comical little work, by merely running over a few of the head and tail pieces of the several pages. We think with Mr. Hood, that "In the Christmas Holidays, or rather, Holly Days, according to one of the emblems of the season, we naturally look for mirth. Christmas is strictly a Comic Annual, and its specific gaiety is even implied in the specific gravity of its oxen." So much for the design, which is far more congenial to our feelings than the thousand and one sonnets, pointless epigrams, laments, and monodies, which are usually showered from crimson and gold envelopes at this dull season of the year. There are thirty-seven pieces—all in humorous and "righte merrie conceite." We shall give a few random extracts, or specimens, and then run over the cuts. Our first is—(and what should it be?)
"It's very hard! and so it is, To live in such a row, And witness this, that every Miss But me has got a beau. For Love goes calling up and down, But here he seems to shun. I'm sure he has been asked enough To call at Number One!
"I'm sick of all the double knocks That come to Number Four! At Number Three I often see A lover at the door; And one in blue, at Number Two, Calls daily like a dun,— It's very hard they come so near And not at Number One.
"Miss Bell, I hear, has got a dear Exactly to her mind, By sitting at the window pane Without a bit of blind; But I go in the balcony, Which she has never done, Yet arts that thrive at Number Five Don't take at Number One.
"'Tis hard with plenty in the street, And plenty passing by,— There's nice young men at Number Ten, But only rather shy; And Mrs. Smith across the way Has got a grown-up son. But la! he hardly seems to know There is a Number One!
"There's Mr. Wick at Number Nine, But he's intent on pelf, And though he's pious, will not love His neighbour as himself. At Number Seven there was a sale— The goods had quite a run! And here I've got my single lot On hand at Number One!
"My mother often sits at work And talks of props and stays, And what a comfort I shall be In her declining days! The very maids about the house Have set me down a nun, The sweethearts all belong to them That call at Number One!
"Once only, when the flue took fire, One Friday afternoon, Young Mr. Long came kindly in, And told me not to swoon. Why can't he come again without The Phoenix and the Sun? We cannot always have a flue On fire at Number One!
"I am not old, I am not plain, Nor awkward in my gait— I am not crooked like the bride That went from Number Eight; I'm sure white satin made her look As brown as any bun— But even beauty has no chance I think at Number One.
"At Number Six they say Miss Rose Has slain a score of hearts, And Cupid, for her sake, has been Quite prodigal of darts. The imp they show with bended bow— I wish he had a gun; But if he had, he'd never deign To shoot with Number One.
"It's very hard, and so it is, To live in such a row; And here's a ballad-singer come To aggravate my woe; O take away your foolish song And tones enough to stun— There is 'nae luck about the house,' I know at Number One."
Next is a prose sketch:
THE FURLOUGH.—AN IRISH ANECDOTE.
"In the autumn of 1825, some private affairs called me into the sister kingdom; and as I did not travel, like Polyphemus, with my eye out, I gathered a few samples of Irish character, amongst which was the following incident:—
"I was standing one morning at the window of 'mine Inn,' when my attention was attracted by a scene that took place beneath. The Belfast coach was standing at the door, and on the roof, in front, sat a solitary outside passenger, a fine young fellow, in the uniform of the Connaught Rangers. Below, by the front wheel, stood an old woman, seemingly his mother, a young man, and a younger woman, sister or sweetheart; and they were all earnestly entreating the young soldier to descend from his seat on the coach.
"'Come down wid ye, Thady'—the speaker was the old woman—'come down now to your ould mother; sure it's flog ye they will, and strip the flesh off the bones I giv ye. Come down, Thady, darlin!'
"'It's honour, mother,' was the short reply of the soldier; and with clenched hands and set teeth, he took a stiffer posture on the coach.
"'Thady, come down—come down, ye fool of the world—come along down wid ye!' The tone of the present appeal was more impatient and peremptory than the last; and the answer was more promptly and sternly pronounced: 'It's honour, brother!' and the body of the speaker rose more rigidly erect than ever on the roof.
"'O Thady, come down! sure it's me, your own Kathleen, that bids ye! Come down, or ye'll break the heart of me, Thady, jewel; come down then!' The poor girl wrung her hands as she said it, and cast a look upward that had a visible effect on the muscles of the soldier's countenance. There was more tenderness in his tone, but it conveyed the same resolution as before.
"'It's honour, honour bright, Kathleen!' and, as if to defend himself from another glance, he fixed his look steadfastly in front, while the renewed entreaties burst from all three in chorus, with the same answer.
"'Come down, Thady, honey!—Thady, ye fool, come down!—O Thady, come down to me!'
"'It's honour, mother!—It's honour, brother!—Honour bright, my own Kathleen!'
"Although the poor fellow was a private, this appeal was so public, that I did not hesitate to go down and inquire into the particulars of the distress. It appeared that he had been home, on furlough, to visit his family,—and having exceeded, as he thought, the term of his leave, he was going to rejoin his regiment, and to undergo the penalty of his neglect. I asked him when the furlough expired?
"'The first of March, your honour—bad luck to it of all the black days in the world—and here it is, come sudden on me, like a shot!'
"'The first of March!—why, my good fellow, you have a day to spare then—the first of March will not be here till to-morrow. It is Leap Year, and February has twenty-nine days.'
"The soldier was thunder-struck.—'Twenty-nine days is it?—you're sartin of that same! Oh, mother, mother!—the devil fly away wid yere ould almanack—a base cratur of a book, to be deceaven one, afther living so long in the family of us!'
"His first impulse was to cut a caper on the roof of the coach, and throw up his cap with a loud hurrah! His second was to throw himself into the arms of his Kathleen; and the third was to wring my hand off in acknowledgment.
"'It's a happy man I am, your honour, for my word's saved, and all by your honour's manes. Long life to your honour for the same! May ye live a long hundred—and lape-years every one of them.'"
What will Mr. Gurney's helpers say to the following
SONNET ON STEAM.
BY AN UNDER-OSTLER.
I wish I livd a Thowsen year Ago Wurking for Sober six and Seven milers And dubble Stages runnen safe and slo! The Orsis cum in Them days to the Bilers But Now by meens of Powers of Steem forces A-turning Coches into Smoakey Kettels The Bilers seam a Cumming to the Orses And Helps and naggs Will sune be out of Vittels Poor Bruits I wander How we bee to Liv When sutch a change of Orses is our Faits No nothink need Be sifted in a Siv May them Blowd ingins all Blow up their Grates And Theaves of Oslers crib the Coles and Giv Their blackgard Hannimuls a Feed of Slaits!
Space we have not for the whole of "A Letter from a Market Gardener to the Secretary of the Horticultural Society," but here is the concluding paragraph:—
"My Wif had a Tomb Cat that dyd. Being a torture Shell and a Grate faverit, we had Him berrid in the Guardian, and for the sake of inrichment of the Mould, I had the carks deposeted under the roots of a Gosberry Bush. The Frute being up till then of a smooth kind. But the nex Seson's Frute after the Cat was berrid, the Gosberris was al hairy—and more Remarkable, the Capilers of the same bush was All of the same hairy description.
"I am, Sir, your humble servant,
We have lately paid much attention to the subject of Emigration, but quite in a different vein to the following, which will introduce one of the cuts:—
"Squampash Flatts, 9th Nov. 1827.
"Dear Brother—Here we are, thank Providence, safe and well, and in the finest country you ever saw. At this moment I have before me the sublime expanse of Squampash Flatts—the majestic Mudiboo winding through the midst—with the magnificent range of the Squab mountains in the distance. But the prospect is impossible to describe in a letter! I might as well attempt a panorama in a pill-box! We have fixed our settlement on the left bank of the river. In crossing the rapids we lost most of our heavy baggage, and all our iron work; but, by great good fortune, we saved Mrs. Paisley's grand piano, and the children's toys. Our infant city consists of three log-huts and one of clay, which, however, on the second day, fell in to the ground landlords. We have now built it up again, and, all things considered, are as comfortable as we could expect: and have christened our settlement New London, in compliment to the old metropolis. We have one of the log-houses to ourselves—or at least shall have, when we have built a new hog-sty. We burnt down the first one in making a bonfire to keep off the wild beasts, and, for the present, the pigs are in the parlour. As yet our rooms are rather usefully than elegantly furnished. We have gutted the Grand Upright, and it makes a convenient cupboard; the chairs were obliged to blaze at our bivouacs—but thank Heaven, we have never leisure to sit down, and so do not miss them. My boys are contented, and will be well when they have got over some awkward accidents in lopping and felling. Mrs. P. grumbles a little, but it is her custom to lament most when she is in the midst of comforts: she complains of solitude, and says she could enjoy the very stiffest of stiff visits. The first time we lighted a fire in our new abode, a large serpent came down the chimney, which I looked upon as a good omen. However, as Mrs. P. is not partial to snakes, and the heat is supposed to attract those reptiles, we have dispensed with fires ever since. As for wild beasts, we hear them howling and roaring round the fence every night from dusk till daylight; but we have only been inconvenienced by one lion. The first time he came, in order to get rid of the brute peaceably, we turned out an old ewe, with which he was well satisfied, but ever since he comes to us as regular as clock-work for his mutton; and if we do not soon contrive to cut his acquaintance, we shall hardly have a sheep in the flock. It would have been easy to shoot him, being well provided with muskets; but Barnaby mistook our remnant of gunpowder for onion seed, and sowed it all in the kitchen garden. We did try to trap him into a pit-fall; but after twice catching Mrs. P. and every one of the children in turn, it was given up. They are now, however, perfectly at ease about the animal, for they never stir out of doors at all; and, to make them quite comfortable, I have blocked up all the windows, and barricaded the door. We have lost only one of our number since we came—namely, Diggory, the market-gardener, from Glasgow, who went out one morning to botanize, and never came back. I am much surprised at his absconding, as he had nothing but a spade to go off with. Chippendale, the carpenter, was sent after him, but did not return; and Gregory, the smith, has been out after them these two days. I have just dispatched Mudge, the herdsman, to look for all three, and hope he will soon give a good account of them, as they are the most useful men in the whole settlement, and, in fact, indispensable to its existence. The river Mudiboo is deep and rapid, and said to swarm with alligators, though I have heard but of three being seen at one time, and none of those above eighteen feet long: this, however, is immaterial, as we do not use the river fluid, which is thick and dirty, but draw all our water from natural wells and tanks. Poisonous springs are rather common, but are easily distinguished by containing no fish or living animal. Those, however, which swarm with frogs, toads, newts, efts, &c., are harmless, and may be safely used for culinary purposes. In short, I know of no drawback but one, which, I am sanguine, may be got over hereafter, and do earnestly hope and advise, if things are no better in England than when I left, you, and as many as you can persuade, will sell off all, and come over to this African Paradise. The drawback I speak of is this:—Although I have never seen any one of the creatures, it is too certain that the mountains are inhabited by a race of monkeys, whose cunning and mischievous talents exceed even the most incredible stories of their tribe. No human art or vigilance seems of avail: we have planned ambuscades, and watched night after night, but no attempt has been made; yet the moment the guard was relaxed, we were stripped without mercy. I am convinced they must have had spies night and day on our motions—yet so secretly and cautiously, that no glimpse of one has yet been seen by any of our people. Our last crop was cut and carried off with the precision of an English harvesting. Our spirit stores—(you will be amazed to hear that these creatures pick locks with the dexterity of London burglars)—have been broken open and ransacked, though half the establishment were on the watch; and the brutes have been off to their mountains, five miles distant, without even the dogs giving an alarm. I could almost persuade myseif at times, such are their supernatural knowledge, swiftness, and invisibility, that we have to contend with evil spirits. I long for your advice, to refer to on this subject; and am, dear Philip,
"Your loving brother,
"P.S. Since writing the above, you will be concerned to hear the body of poor Diggory has been found, horribly mangled by wild beasts. The fate of Chippendale, Gregory, and Mudge is no longer doubtful. The old lion has brought the lioness, and, the sheep being all gone, they have made a joint attack upon the bullock-house. The Mudiboo has overflowed, and Squampash Flatts are a swamp. I have just discovered that the monkeys are my own rascals, that I brought out from England. We are coming back as fast as we can."
Meeting a Settler.
A clear stage, and no favour: a coach and horses on their sides, with all the passengers' heels uppermost, in a horse-pond.—The air adapted to a Violin: a fellow flying a kite-fiddle in a field.—"Those Evening Bells:" a postman and muffin-man.—Shrimp Sauce to a Lobster: a little urchin putting out his tongue at a Foot Guard.—"Toe-ho:" a sportsman caught in a spring-trap.—Boarded, Lodged, and Done for: a wight in the pillory, and a shower of brick-bats, dead cats, &c.—"A Constable's Miscellany:" a crowd of offenders, preceded by the man in office, staff-in-hand.—Unlicensed Victuallers: a couple of greyhounds seizing a dinner. "She walks in beauty, like the night:" a black girl, shaded by a broad leaf.—Boxer and Pincher: a pair of dogs taking snuff together.—A Round Robin: a red-breast in the shape of a ball.— Hook and Eye: a parrot on a perch.—A Leading Article: a jockey a-head in a race.—A Sweepstakes—"Every jockey has a jenny:" sweeps on donkeys.—Soap-orifics and Sud-orifics: two busy washerwomen.—A Court Day: a crowd sheltered from the rain, beneath "Poppin's Court." These are but a few of the eighty-seven drolleries of the cuts and plates, which have more fun and humour than all the pantomime tricks and changes of our time; they are worth all the fine conceits of all the great painters of any age, and the pun and patter which accompany them are excellent. We give one of the tail-pieces:
Breaking up—no Holiday.
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This little work is "decidedly of a religious character," and, to quote the preface, "its contents are in unison with the sanctity of its title." The editor is the Rev. W. Shepherd, the author of Clouds and Sunshine; and we quote an extract from one of his contributions: its gravities will blend with the gaieties of our sheet. The passage occurs in "Holy Associations:"—
"But there are other feelings besides those of mortality which are closely connected with a churchyard. Whilst from the ashes of the dead comes forth a voice which solemnly proclaims, 'The end of all things is at hand,' there arises also to the well-regulated mind a scene of still greater interest—one more in unison with the soul. There is a kind of indescribable sympathy, which, like the sentiment of the prophet of Judah, prompts us to wish that our bones may lie by the side of our brethren in the sepulchre. This feeling is part of our nature, and belongs to that universal link which connects and binds man to man, and continues the chain till lost in the essence of divinity....
"What, indeed! can mark a greater alienation of the soul from its original nature, than the infidelity which chooses for the bed of the grave spots unhallowed by religious associations. They who deny their God, and cavil at his Word, can have no reverence for places which, like his houses of prayer and the consecrated receptacles of the dead, derive all their sanctity and influence from a belief in his mercies, and a sense of our demerits—hence, having banished themselves from their Father's house, they are content to 'lie down in the grave like the beasts that perish.' Whilst, on the contrary, the simply virtuous, the sincerely religious, the soberly pious, without attaching any value as to the future destination of the soul, to the spot in which its earthly sister may crumble to its kindred dust, cherish the pleasing hope that their mortal bodies may repose in those places alone which religion hallows. They long not for pleasure grottos or druidical coppices, in which to be gathered to their fathers, but dwelling with chastened hope on the glories of the resurrection, they desire their mortal particles may be found when the Lord cometh to complete his victory over the grave, in the spot, and contiguous to the house 'in which he has chosen to place his name there.'
"From the same fountain of ethereal purity, deduced through this genuine principle of amiability, is derived that love of country which makes his Alps and Avalanches dear to the Swiss, and suggested that beautiful image to the Mantuan muse, of the Grecian soldier remembering in the last struggles of death his pleasant Argos. It is this which makes us revert, with ever verdant freshness, to our homes and native places, and binds us to the land of our birth with adamantine links. From the burning desarts of sunny Africa—from the wild tornados of the gusty West—from the mountains of ice piled by a thousand ages, like impassable barriers round each frozen pole—from the fertile plains and trackless forests of Australia, frequently rises, like a breeze of sweetest incense, the fond remembrance of our native land; which, even in bosoms scathed by storm and pilgrimage, causes to spring up, like a sudden fountain in a barren waste, the gushing images of the scenes of home, and all their prime deliciousness."
There are seventy-five pieces in prose and verse, narrative and descriptive.—The price and pretensions would not allow costly engravings; and, with the exception of a beautiful architectural frontispiece, by Mr. Britton, F.S.A. the embellishments are but meagre. This plate is accompanied by a brief paper on Christian Architecture, at the close of which Mr. Britton says, "The frontispiece has been composed from the architectural members of the west front of York Minster; and it shows that the monastic artist who designed that magnificent facade, gave to it a decided, unequivocal Christian character."
* * * * *
Is very properly entitled "An Annual of Literature and the Arts," since considerably more attention seems to have been paid to the Illustrations than to their accompaniments. Few of the prose or verse pieces present much novelty of matter or manner; but the following will, perhaps, be esteemed a curiosity:—
PORTRAIT OF UGO FOSCOLO.
(From the Italian,) by Himself.
A furrow'd brow, intent and deep sunk eyes, Fair hair, lean cheeks, are mine, and aspect bold; The proud quick lip, where seldom smiles arise, Bent head and fine form'd neck, breast rough and cold, Limbs well compos'd; simple in dress, yet choice: Swift or to move, act, think, or thoughts unfold; Temperate, firm, kind, unus'd to flattering lies, Adverse to th' world, adverse to me of old. Oftimes alone and mournful. Evermore Most pensive—all unmov'd by hope or fear: By shame made timid, and by anger brave— My subtle reason speaks; but, ah! I rave, 'Twixt vice and virtue, hardly know to steer Death may for me have FAME and rest in store.
There is an abundance of Sonnets and short pieces which would dovetail in our columns, were we tempted by their merit to extract them; but, in place of enumerating them, we notice the Engravings, some of which are excellent specimens of art. Among these is a Portrait of THE KING, by Ensom, from a painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence, in the collection of Sir William Knighton, Bart. Next is Ada, a Portrait of a Young Lady, delicately engraved by T.A. Dean, after Sir Thomas Lawrence. The print is about the size of a crown-piece, a perfect gem—a bijou in itself. The African Daughter, by Sangster, from a picture by Bonington, abounds with vigorous and effective touches; some of the lights are extremely brilliant. Next is the Portrait of Mrs. Arbuthnot, by W. Ensom, from the President's picture, full of grace and life, and richly meriting the term exquisite: nothing can be finer than the dark luxuriant hair contrasted with the alabaster delicacy and elegance of the features; the eyes too beam with benignant expressiveness. Wilkie's Bag-Piper has been powerfully engraved by Aug. Fox; and a Portrait of Lady Jane Grey, after De Heere, is an interesting variety. Milton composing Paradise Lost, from a drawing by Stothard, is far from our taste; but the Blue Bell, by Fox, from a picture by W.A. Hastings, somewhat atones for the previous failure: its prettiness is of the first class.
Our notice has extended to all the Engravings except one—Rosalind and Celia—about which, the less said the better. There are, perhaps, too many portraits in the collection, but taken apart, they are among the first-rate productions of their class.
* * * * *
Eighty-three pieces in verse and prose are the modicum of entertainment in this delightful little work. Of course we cannot enumerate a quarter of their titles, but only mention a few of the most striking. Among the prose is "A Quarter of an Hour too soon," by the author of "The Hour too many," in the last Forget-Me-Not. Our favourite story is The Red Man, by the Modern Pythagorean of Blackwood, which we quote almost entire:—
"It was at the hour of nine, in an August evening, that a solitary horseman arrived at the Black Swan, a country inn, about nine miles from the town of Leicester. He was mounted on a large, fiery charger, as black as jet, and had behind him a portmanteau attached to the croup of his saddle. A black travelling cloak, which not only covered his own person, but the greater part of his steed, was thrown around him. On his head he wore a broad-brimmed hat, with an uncommonly low crown. His legs were cased in top-boots, to which were attached spurs of an extraordinary length; and in his hands he carried a whip, with a thong three yards long, and a handle which might have levelled Goliath himself. On arriving at the inn, he calmly dismounted, and called upon the ostler by name. 'Frank!' said he, 'take my horse to the stable; rub him down thoroughly; and, when he is well cooled, step in and let me know.' And, taking hold of his portmanteau, he entered the kitchen, followed by the obsequious landlord, who had come out a minute before, on hearing of his arrival. There were several persons present, engaged in nearly the same occupation. At one side of the fire sat the village schoolmaster—a thin, pale, peak-nosed little man, with a powdered periwig, terminating behind in a long queue, and an expression of self-conceit strongly depicted upon his countenance. He was amusing himself with a pipe, from which he threw forth volumes of smoke with an air of great satisfaction. Opposite to him sat the parson of the parish—a fat, bald-headed personage, dressed in a rusty suit of black, and having his shoes adorned with immense silver buckles. Between these two characters sat the exciseman, with a pipe in one hand, and a tankard in the other. To complete the group, nothing is wanting but to mention the landlady, a plump, rosy dame of thirty-five, who was seated by the schoolmaster's side, apparently listening to some sage remarks which that little gentleman was throwing out for her edification. But to return to the stranger. No sooner had he entered the kitchen, followed by the landlord, than the eyes of the company were directed upon him. His hat was so broad in the brim, his spurs were so long, his stature so great, and his face so totally hid by the collar of his immense black cloak, that he instantly attracted the attention of every person present. His voice, when he desired the master of the house to help him off with his mantle, was likewise so harsh, that they all heard it with sudden curiosity. Nor did this abate when the cloak was removed, and his hat laid aside. A tall, athletic, red-haired man, of the middle age, was then made manifest. He had on a red frock coat, a red vest, and a red neckcloth; nay, his gloves were red! What was more extraordinary, when the overalls which covered his thighs were unbuttoned, it was discovered that his small-clothes were red likewise. 'All red!' ejaculated the parson almost involuntarily. 'As you say, the gentleman is all red!' added the schoolmaster, with his characteristic flippancy. He was checked by a look from the landlady. His remark, however, caught the stranger's ear, and he turned round upon him with a penetrating glance. The schoolmaster tried to smoke it off bravely. It would not do: he felt the power of that look, and was reduced to almost immediate silence.
"'Now, bring me your boot-jack,' said the horseman. The boot-jack was brought, and the boots pulled off. To the astonishment of the company, a pair of red stockings were brought into view. The landlord shrugged his shoulders, the exciseman did the same, the landlady shook her head, the parson exclaimed, 'All red!' as before, and the schoolmaster would have repeated it, but he had not yet recovered from the rebuke. 'Faith, this is odd!' observed the host. 'Rather odd,' said the stranger, seating himself between the parson and the exciseman. The landlord was confounded, and did not know what to think of the matter. After sitting for a few moments, the new-comer requested the host to hand him a night-cap, which he would find in his hat. He did so: it was a red worsted one; and he put it upon his head. Here the exciseman broke silence, by ejaculating, 'Red again!' The landlady gave him an admonitory knock on the elbow: it was too late. The stranger heard his remark, and regarded him with one of those piercing glances for which his fiery eye seemed so remarkable. 'All red!' murmured the parson once more. 'Yes, Doctor Poundtext, the gentleman, as you say, is all red,' re-echoed the schoolmaster, who by this time had recovered his self-possession. He would have gone on, but the landlady gave him a fresh admonition, by trampling upon his toes; and her husband winked in token of silence.
"As in the case of the exciseman, the warnings were too late. 'Now, landlord,' said the stranger, after he had been seated a minute, 'may I trouble you to get me a pipe and a can of your best Burton? But, first of all, open my portmanteau, and give me out my slippers.' The host did as he was desired, and produced a pair of red morocco slippers. Here an involuntary exclamation broke out from the company. It began with the parson, and was taken up by the schoolmaster, the exciseman, the landlady, and the landlord, in succession. 'More red!' proceeded from every lip, with different degrees of loudness. The landlord's was the least loud, the schoolmaster's the loudest of all. 'I suppose, gentlemen,' said the stranger, 'you were remarking upon my slippers.'—'Eh—yes! we were just saying that they were red,' replied the schoolmaster. 'And pray,' demanded the other, as he raised the pipe to his mouth, 'did you never before see a pair of red slippers?' This question staggered the respondent; he said nothing, but looked to the parson for assistance. 'But you are all red,' observed the latter, taking a full draught from a foaming tankard which he held in his hand. 'And you are all black,' said the other, as he withdrew the pipe from his mouth, and emitted a copious puff of tobacco smoke. 'The hat that covers your numskull is black, your beard is black, your coat is black, your vest is black, your small-clothes, your stockings, your shoes, all are black. In a word, Doctor Poundtext, you are——' 'What am I, sir?' said the parson, bursting with rage. 'Ay, what is he, sir?' rejoined the schoolmaster. 'He is a black coat,' said the stranger, with a contemptuous sneer, 'and you are a pedagogue.' This sentence was followed by a profound calm."
The stranger goes to the stable, and returns.
"The appearance of the Red Man again acted like a spell on the voices of the company. The parson was silent, and by a natural consequence his echo, the schoolmaster, was silent also; none of the others felt disposed to say any thing. The meeting was like an assemblage of quakers. ...
"'Who can this man be?' 'What does he want here?' 'Where is he from, and whither is he bound?' Such were the inquiries which occupied every mind. Had the object of their curiosity been a brown man, a black man, or even a green man, there would have been nothing extraordinary; and he might have entered the inn and departed from it as unquestioned as before he came. But to be a Red Man! There was in this something so startling that the lookers-on were beside themselves with amazement. The first to break this strange silence was the parson. 'Sir,' said he, 'we have been thinking that you are——' 'That I am a conjurer, a French spy, a travelling packman, or something of the sort,' observed the stranger. Doctor Poundtext started back on his chair, and well he might; for these words, which the Man in Red had spoken, were the very ones he himself was about to utter. 'Who are you, sir?' resumed he, in manifest perturbation; 'what is your name?' 'My name,' replied the other, 'is Reid.' 'And where, in heaven's name, were you born?' demanded the astonished parson. 'I was born on the borders of the Red Sea.'
"Doctor Poundtext had not another word to say. The schoolmaster was equally astounded, and withdrew the pipe from his mouth; that of the exciseman dropped to the ground: the landlord groaned aloud, and his spouse held up her hands in mingled astonishment and awe. After giving them this last piece of information, the strange man arose from his seat, broke his pipe in pieces, and pitched the fragments into the fire; then, throwing his long cloak carelessly over his shoulders, putting his hat upon his head, and loading himself with his boots, his whip, and his portmanteau, he desired the landlord to show him to his bed, and left the kitchen, after smiling sarcastically to its inmates, and giving them a familiar and unceremonious nod.
"His disappearance was the signal for fresh alarm in the minds of those left behind. Not a word was said till the return of the innkeeper, who in a short time descended from the bedroom overhead, to which he had conducted his guest. On re-entering the kitchen, he was encountered by a volley of interrogations. The parson, the schoolmaster, the exciseman, and his own wife, questioned him over and over again. 'Who was the Man in Red?—he must have seen him before—he must have heard of him—in a word, he must know something about him.' The host protested 'that he never beheld the stranger till that hour: it was the first time he had made his appearance at the Black Swan, and so help him God, it should be the last!' 'Why don't you turn him out?' exclaimed the exciseman. 'If you think you are able to do it, you are heartily welcome,' replied the landlord; 'for my part, I have no notion of coming to close quarters with the shank of his whip, or his great, red, sledge hammer fist.'
"This was an irresistible argument, and the proposer of forcible ejectment said no more upon the subject. At this time the party could hear the noise of heavy footsteps above them. They were those of the Red Man, and sounded with slow and measured tread. They listened for a quarter of an hour longer, in expectation that they would cease. There was no pause: the steps continued, and seemed to indicate that the person was amusing himself by walking up and down the room. It would be impossible to describe the multiplicity of feelings which agitated the minds of the company. Fear, surprise, anger, and curiosity, ruled them by turns and kept them incessantly upon the rack. There was something mysterious in the visiter who had just left them—something which they could not fathom—something unaccountable. 'Who could he be?' This was the question that each put to the other, but no one could give any thing like a rational answer. Meanwhile the evening wore on apace, and though the bell of the parish church hard by sounded the tenth hour, no one seemed inclined to take the hint to depart. Even the parson heard it without regard, to such a pitch was his curiosity excited. About this time also the sky, which had hitherto been tolerably clear, began to be overclouded. Distant peals of thunder were heard; and thick sultry drops of rain pattered at intervals against the casement of the inn: every thing seemed to indicate a tempestuous evening. But the storm which threatened to rage without was unnoticed.—Though the drops fell heavily; though gleams of lightning flashed by, followed by the report of distant thunder, and the winds began to hiss and whistle among the trees of the neighbouring cemetery, yet all these external signs of elementary tumult were as nothing to the deep, solemn footsteps of the Red Man. There seemed to be no end to his walking. An hour had he paced up and down the chamber without the least interval of repose, and he was still engaged in this occupation as at first. In this there was something incredibly mysterious; and the party below, notwithstanding their numbers, felt a vague and indescribable dread beginning to creep over them. The more they reflected upon the character of the stranger, the more unnatural did it appear. The redness of his hair and complexion, and, still more the fiery hue of his garment, struck them with astonishment. But this was little to the freezing and benumbing glance of his eye, the strange tones of his voice, and his miraculous birth on the borders of the Red Sea.
"There was now no longer any smoking in the kitchen. The subjects which occupied their minds were of too engrossing a nature to be treated with levity; and they drew their chairs closer, with a sort of irresistible and instinctive attraction. While these things were going on, the bandy-legged ostler entered, in manifest alarm. He came to inform his master that the stranger's horse had gone mad, and was kicking and tearing at every thing around, as if he would break his manger in pieces. Here a loud neighing and rushing were heard in the stable. 'Ay, there he goes,' continued he, 'I believe the devil is in the beast, if he is not the old enemy himself. Ods, master, if you saw his eyes! they are like—' 'What are they like?' demanded the landlord. 'Ay, what are they like?' exclaimed the rest with equal impatience. 'Ods, if they a'n't like burning coals!' ejaculated the ostler, trembling from head to foot, and sqeezing himself in among the others, on a chair which stood hard by. His information threw fresh alarm over the company, and they were more agitated and confused than ever.
"During the whole of this time the sound of walking over-head never ceased for one moment. The heavy tread was unabated: there was not the least interval of repose, nor could a pendulum have been more regular in its motions. Had there been any relaxation, any pause, any increase or any diminution of rapidity in the footsteps, they would have been endurable; but there was no such thing; the same deadening monotonous, stupifying sound continued, like clock-work, to operate incessantly above their heads. Nor was there any abatement of the storm without; the wind blowing among the trees of the cemetery in a sepulchral moan; the rain beating against the panes of glass with the impetuous loudness of hail; and lightning and thunder flashing and pealing at brief intervals through the murky firmament. The noise of the elements was indeed frightful; and it was heightened by the voice of the sable steed, like that of a spirit of darkness; but the whole, as we have just hinted, was as nothing to the deep, solemn, mysterious treading of the Red Man."
The party argue themselves into the belief that he is indeed the enemy of mankind.
"'If more proof is wanting,' resumed the parson, after a pause, 'only look to his dress. What Christian would think of travelling about the country in red? It is a type of the hell-fire from which he is sprung.' 'Did you observe his hair hanging down his back like a bunch of carrots?' asked the exciseman. 'Such a diabolical glance in his eye!' said the schoolmaster. 'Such a voice!' added the landlord: 'it is like the sound of a cracked clarionet.' 'His feet are not cloven,' observed the landlady. 'No matter,' exclaimed the landlord, 'the devil, when he chooses, can have as good legs as his neighbours.' 'Better than some of them,' quoth the lady, looking peevishly at the lower limbs of her husband. Meanwhile the incessant treading continued unabated, although two long hours had passed since its commencement. There was not the slightest cessation to the sound, while out of doors the storm raged with violence, and in the midst of it the hideous neighing and stamping of the black horse were heard with pre-eminent loudness. At this time the fire of the kitchen began to burn low; the sparkling blaze was gone, and in its stead nothing but a dead red lustre emanated from the grate. One candle had just expired, having burned down to the socket; of the one which remained, the unsnuffed wick was nearly three inches in length, black and crooked at the point, and standing like a ruined tower amid an envelopement of sickly yellow flame; while around the fire's equally decaying lustre sat the frightened coterie, narrowing their circle as its brilliancy faded away, and eyeing each other like apparitions amidst the increasing gloom.
"At this time the clock of the steeple struck the hour of midnight, and the tread of the stranger suddenly ceased. There was a pause for some minutes—afterwards a rustling—then a noise as of something drawn along the floor of his room. In a moment thereafter his door opened; then it shut with violence, and heavy footsteps were heard trampling down the stair. The inmates of the kitchen shook with alarm as the tread came nearer. They expected every moment to behold the Red Man enter, and stand before them in his native character. The landlady fainted outright: the exciseman followed her example: the landlord gasped in an agony of terror: and the schoolmaster uttered a pious ejaculation for the behoof of his soul. Dr. Poundtext was the only one who preserved any degree of composure. He managed, in a trembling voice, to call out 'Avaunt, Satan! I exorcise thee from hence to the bottom of the Red Sea!' 'I am going, as fast as I can,' said the stranger, as he passed the kitchen-door on his way to the open air. His voice aroused the whole conclave from their stupor. They started up, and by a simultaneous effort rushed to the window. There they beheld the tall figure of a man, enveloped in a black cloak, walking across the yard on his way to the stable. He had on a broad-brimmed, low-crowned hat, top-boots, with enormous spurs, and carried a gigantic whip in one hand, and a portmanteau in the other. He entered the stable, remained there about three minutes, and came out leading forth his fiery steed thoroughly accoutred. In the twinkling of an eye he got upon his back, waved his hand to the company, who were surveying him through the window, and clapping spurs to his charger, galloped off furiously, with a hideous and unnatural laugh, through the midst of the storm.
"On going up stairs to the room which the devil had honoured with his presence, the landlord found that his infernal majesty had helped himself to every thing he could lay his hands upon, having broken into his desk and carried off twenty-five guineas of king's money, a ten pound Bank of England note, and sundry articles, such as seals, snuff-boxes, &c. Since that time he has not been seen in these quarters, and if he should, he will do well to beware of Doctor Poundtext, who is a civil magistrate as well as a minister, and who, instead of exorcising him to the bottom of the Red Sea, may perhaps exorcise him to the interior of Leicester gaol, to await his trial before the judges of the midland circuit."
Next is the Omen, by Mr. Galt, a powerful sketch. Affixed to St. Feinah's Tree, a Legend of Loch Neagh, we notice the signature of an esteemed correspondent, (M.L.B.) whose taste and ingenuity entitle her to high rank among the contributors to the present work. Kemp, the Bandit, by Delta, is an interesting tale; Life and Shade, a Portuguese Sketch, by Mrs. M. Baillie, is in her best narrative style; and Seeking the Houdy, by the Ettrick Shepherd, is in his happiest familiar vein. The curiosity of the volume, and indeed, the only poetical contribution we have room to notice, is the following lines of Lord Byron, written in his boyhood, to "Mary," (Mrs. Musters,) about a year before her marriage:—
Adieu to sweet Mary for ever; From her I must quickly depart; Though the Fates us from each other sever, Still her image will dwell in my heart.
The flame that within my heart burns, Is unlike what in lovers hearts glows; The love which for Mary I feel, Is far purer than Cupid bestows.
I wish not your peace to disturb, I wish not your joys to molest, Mistake not my passion for Love, 'Tis your friendship alone I request.
Not ten thousand lovers could feel The friendship my bosom contains; It will ever within my heart dwell, While the warm blood flows through my veins.
May the ruler of heaven look down, And my Mary from evil defend; Mny she ne'er know adversity's frown, May her happiness ne'er have an end.
Once more, my sweet Mary, adieu; Farewell; I with anguish repeat, For ever I'll think upon you, While this heart in my bosom shall beat.
The Editor has subjoined a note, explaining his reason for printing these "schoolboy rhymes," which, of course, is not for their literary merit; still, in comparison with many of Lord Byron's after productions, what the present want of head, others lack of heart, and this is a home truth which his warmest admirers must acknowledge.
The Illustrations are varied and interesting. One of them—the Death of the Dove, engraved by W. Finden, from a picture by T. Stewardson, is remarkably expressive. The Ghaut, by E. Finden, after W. Daniell, is an exquisite Oriental scene. The Frontispiece, Wilkie's Spanish Princess, is finely engraved by R. Greaves; and Mr. H. Le Keux has done ample justice to the Place de Jeanne d'Arc, Rouen, from a picturesque drawing, by S. Prout: the lights and shadows being very effectively managed. But we must be chary of our room, as we have other claimants at hand.
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THE JUVENILE FORGET-ME-NOT.
This little work is a sort of protege of The Forget-Me-Not, and is by the same editor. It contains fifty pieces in verse and prose, and eight pleasing plates and a vignette—all which will please the little folks more than our description of them would their elders. Nearly all of them contain several figures, but one—The Riding School—about twenty boys playing at Soldiers, horse and foot, very pleasantly illustrates an observation in a recent number of the Edinburgh Review, on the dramatic character of the amusements of children. The scene is a large, ancient, dilapidated building, and the little people personate the Duke of Wellington, the Marquess of Anglesea, &c., with all the precision of military tactics—but no one has a taste for being a private. So it is through life.
Our extract is almost a literary curiosity:
"THE INVALID'S PIPE.
 This story has been transmitted to the Editor as the genuine production of the son of a British military officer, only nine years of age, and composed from a circumstance which actually occurred in a noble German family.
"It was not far from the Castle of Fuerstenstein, near the spot where the gallant Blucher, with the brave army of Silesia, won such glory, that the Baron of Fuerstenstein met a maimed soldier, who was endeavouring to reach Berlin to claim his pension, and whose age denoted that his wounds had long been his honourable though painful companions. The Baron, observing a very richly mounted pipe in the old man's possession, accosted him with, 'God bless you, old soldier! does your pipe comfort you this morning?' The pipe which the old soldier was smoking was made of a curious sort of porcelain, and mounted with gold. The Baron wondered to see so costly a pipe in the old soldier's possession, and wishing to purchase it from him, said, 'My friend! what shall I give you for your pipe?'
"'Oh, sir!' replied the soldier, shaking his head, 'this pipe I can never part with; it was the gift of the bravest of men, who took it from a Turkish Bashaw at the battle of Belgrade. There, sir, thanks to Prince Eugene, we obtained noble spoils—there, where our troops so bravely destroyed the Turkish squadrons.'
"'Talk another time of your exploits, my friend,' said the nobleman; 'here take this double ducat, and give me your pipe; I feel an insurmountable wish to possess it.'
"'I am a poor man, sir, and have nothing to live upon but my pension; yet I would not part with this pipe for all the gold that you possess. Listen, sir, and I will relate to you the story of this pipe, which is remarkable, or my poverty would long ere now have induced me to sell it:—As we Hussars were charging over the enemy, a shot from the ranks of the Janissaries pierced our noble captain through the breast; I caught him in my arms, placed him on my horse, and carried him out of the confusion of the battle. It was an irresistible sensation of gratitude that prompted me to do so, for he had once rescued me when I was wounded and taken prisoner. I watched over him to the latest moment; and a few moments before his death, he gave me his purse and this pipe, then pressed my hand and breathed his last sigh. Heroic spirit! never shall I forget him!'
"As he thus spoke, the tears fell fast from the old man's eyes; but he soon recovered himself, and proceeded—'The money I gave to the worthy landlord under whose roof he died, and who had been thrice plundered by the enemy; the pipe I kept as a sacred remembrance of the brave. In every situation, and through all the vicissitudes of my life, I have taken care to preserve it as a sacred relic, whether pursuing or retreating from the enemy; and when it was not in use, I placed it for safety withing my boot. At the battle of Prague, a cannon-ball unfortunately carried my right leg and pipe away together. My first thought was to secure the safety of my pipe, for at the moment I felt but little pain, and then———'
"'Stop, soldier; your story is too affecting! O tell me, I entreat you, who was the brave man, that I may also honour and respect his memory?'
"'His name was Walter von Fuerstenstein; and I have heard that his family was of Silesia, and that his estates lay in that province.'
"'Gracious God!' ejaculated the nobleman, 'he was my father! and the estates you mention, good old man, are now mine. Come, friend, forget all your sorrows, and live with me under that same Walter's roof whom you so faithfully served; and come and eat of Walter's bread, and partake of that comfort which your age demands, and which my gratitude for your services to the best of fathers is ready to bestow. I am too deeply affected to say more at present; enter this mansion, where you shall repose in peace for the remainder of your life!'
"'Thanks, noble sir, I accept your generous charity; the son of Walter von Fuerstenstein is worthy of such a father. Here, sir, take this relic (presenting the pipe)—it is a memorial of that Providence which has so miraculously conducted me from the father to the son.'
"The pipe still remains hung up among the family trophies in the Castle of Fuerstenstein."
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The reader may perhaps require to be told that this work is "a Literary and Religious Offering," or Annual. It has been tastefully and judiciously edited by the Rev. F. Dale, M.A., and its characterestics, if we may use the term, are several productions of his highly imaginative and powerful pen. These accompany, or rather are accompanied by a series of Engravings from pictures, by old masters, on the subject of the Life of our Saviour. The other pieces, upwards of forty in number, blend the grave with the gayer or lighter subjects.
Among the embellishments are the Madonna and Child, from Murillo; half-figure of the Saviour, and St. John, and St. Magdalen, all from Carlo Dolci; The flight into Egypt, from Claude; Christ expounding the Law, from Leonardo da Vinci; the Incredulity of St. Thomas, from L. Caracci; Hagar and Ishmael, from Barocci. The idea of transferring the pictures of the old masters to the present work in place of original designs, is excellent, and the style in which this arduous task has been executed, is creditable to the talents of the respective artists.
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Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; and by all Newsmen and Booksellers.