THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 14, No. 405.] SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
NEW BUILDINGS, INNER TEMPLE.
"The Temple," as our readers may be aware, is an immense range of buildings, stretching from Fleet-street to the River Thames, north and south; and from Lombard-street, Whitefriars, to Essex-street, in the Strand, east and west. It takes its name from having been the principal establishment, in England, of the Knights Templars; and here, in the thirteenth century they entertained King Henry III., the Pope's Nuncio, foreign ambassadors, and other great personages. The king's treasure was accustomed to be kept in the part now called the Middle Temple; and from the chief officer, who, as master of the Temple, was summoned to Parliament in the 47th of Henry III., the chief minister of the Temple Church is still called Master of the Temple. After the suppression of this once celebrated order, the professors of the common law purchased the buildings, and they were then first converted into Inns of Court, called the Inner and Middle Temple, from their former relation to Essex House, which as a part of the buildings, and from its situation outside the division of the city from the suburbs formed by Temple Bar, was called the Outer Temple.
 In the Temple Church, lie the remains, marked out by their effigies, of numbers of the Templars. For a Description and Engraving of the Church, see MIRROR, No. 274.
The principal part, or what we might almost call the nucleus of the Inner Temple, is the Hall and Chapel, which were substantially repaired in the year 1819. Thence a range of unsightly brick buildings extended along a broad paved terrace, to the south, descending to the Garden, or bank of the Thames. These buildings have lately been removed, and the above splendid range erected on their site, from the designs of Robert Smirke, Esq., R.A. They are in the Tudor, or to speak familiarly, the good Old English school of architecture, and combine all the picturesque beauty of ancient style with the comfort and elegance of modern art in the adaptation of the interior. Our succinct sketch of the origin of the Temple will sufficiently illustrate the appropriateness of Mr. Smirke's choice. Over the principal windows, on escutcheons, are the Pegasus, the Temple arms, and the respective arms of Henry III. and George IV. At the end immediately adjoining the Chapel, is a Latin inscription with the date of the repairs, 1819, and at the eastern extremity of the present building is another inscription with the date of 1828, in which the last improvements were commenced. Viewed from the Terrace, the whole range has a handsome and substantial appearance, sufficiently decorated, yet not overloaded with ornament. From another point, Whitefriars Gate, the end of the building, with its fine oriel window, is seen to considerable advantage. Against the old brick house on this spot was a sun-dial, with the quaint conceit, "Begone about your business." The cast-iron railing of the area appears to us extremely elegant and appropriate.
The interior is not yet completed, but, by the courtesy of the architect we have obtained a view of its unfinished state. The principal apartments are the Parliament Chamber on the first, and the Library on the second floor. The Chamber adjoins the Hall, and is intended for a withdrawing-room, whither the Templars of our times, after dining in the Hall, may repair to exercise the argumentum ad Bacculinum in term time. The dimensions of this room are in height about 13 feet; length 37 feet; and width about 27 feet. Above is the Library, which is indeed a magnificent room. The height is about 20 feet; length 39 feet; and width in the centre about 37 feet. The fine window, of which we spoke in our description of the exterior, is not yet glazed; its height is 17 feet, and width 14 feet; and the mullions, &c. are very rich. The remainder of the buildings will be occupied by ante-rooms, and chambers for barristers. The whole will be fire-proof, the floors being divided by plate-iron archings upon cast-iron bearings.
The Inner Temple Hall is a fine room, though comparatively small. It is ornamented with the portraits of William III. and Mary, and the Judges Coke and Littleton; it is also embellished with a picture of Pegasus, painted by Sir James Thornhill. The Middle Temple has likewise a Hall, which is spacious and fine: here were given many of the feasts of old times, before mentioned. It contains a fine picture of Charles I. on horseback, by Vandyke, and portraits of Charles II. Queen Anne, George I. and George II.
There is a host of pleasing associations connected with the Temple, if we only instance the seasonable doings there at Christmas—as breakfasting in the hall "with brawn, mustard, and malmsey;" and at dinner, "a fair and large Bore's head upon a silver platter with minstralsaye."
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(For the Mirror.)
At page 310 of the present volume of your miscellany, your correspondent Vyvyan states that the tide rises at Chepstow more than 60 feet, and that a mark in the rocks below the bridge there denotes its having risen to the height of 70 feet, which is, perhaps (Vyvyan states), the greatest altitude of the tides in the world. At Windsor, seated on the east bank of the Avon river, which falls into the Basin of Mines, at the head of the Bay of Fundy, the spring tides regularly rise 70 feet and upwards; and at Truro, at the eastern extremity of the Bay of Fundy, the spring tides rise to an altitude of 100 feet. There are some parts of the west coast of North America also where the tides rise to a very high altitude; but I do not at this moment remember the particulars. My attention having thus been directed to the Bay of Fundy, it induces me to inform you, that an inland water communication, at a minimum depth of eight feet, and proportionate expanse, is now forming from Halifax, Nova Scotia, by the Shubenacadie river, falling into the Bay of Fundy, near the abovementioned town of Truro.
The total length of this canal is 53 miles, 1,024 yards, the artificial portion of which is only 2,739 yards, the remainder being formed by a chain of deep lakes and the Shubenacadie river. The summit level is 95 feet 10 inches above the high-water surface of medium tides in Halifax harbour; and is attained by seven locks, each 87 feet long, and 22 feet six inches wide; and the tide locks nine feet in depth of water. The descent into the Bay of Fundy, at highwater surface medium tides, is by eight locks.
The estimated expense of this interesting work is L54,000.
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(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
Sir,—Sometime ago a discussion arose in the public papers respecting the right of the King's Sergeant Trumpeter to grant licenses to minstrels for carrying on their calling in London and Westminster. I do not recollect whether this officer succeeded in establishing the right; but the following account of a similar privilege in another part of the country is founded on fact, and may furnish amusement to some of your readers:—
About the latter end of the reign of Richard I., Randal Blundeville, Earl of Chester, was closely besieged by the Welsh in his Castle, in Flintshire. In this extremity, the earl sent to his constable, Roger Lacy, (who for his fiery qualities received the appropriate cognomen of hell), to hasten, with what force he could collect, to his relief. It happened to be Midsummer-day, when a great fair was held at Chester, the humours of which, it should seem, the worthy constable, witless of his lord's peril, was then enjoying. He immediately got together, in the words of my authority, "a great, lawless mob of fiddlers, players, cobblers, and such like," and marched towards the earl. The Welsh, although a musical people, not relishing this sort of chorus, thought it prudent to beat a retreat, and fled. The earl, by this well-timed presto-movement, being released from danger, returned with his constable to Chester, and in reward of his service, granted by deed to Roger and his heirs, authority "over all the fiddlers, minstrels, and cobblers in Chester."
About the end of the reign of John, or the beginning of that of Henry III., the fire of Roger being extinguished by death, his son John Lacy, granted this privilege by deed to his steward, one Hugh Dutton and his heirs, in the words following:—"Dedi et concessi, et per hac presenti charta mea, confirmavi Hugoni de Dutton, et heredibus suis, magistratum omnium lecatorum, et meretricum, totius Cestershiriae," &c.
Dugdale relates in his Monasticon, p. 860, that "under this grant, and by ancient custom, the heirs of Dutton claim and exercise authority over all the common fiddlers and minstrels in Chester and Cheshire; and in memory of it, keep a yearly court at Chester on Mid-summer-day, being Chester Fair, and in a solemn manner ride attended through the city to St. John the Baptist's Church, with all the fiddlers of the county playing before the Lord of Dutton, and then at the court renew their licenses yearly; and that none ought to use the trade or employment of a minstrel, or fiddler, either within the city or county, but by an order and license of that court." I find too that this privilege has received the sanction of the legislature; for by the Act of 17 George II., cap. 5., commonly called the Vagrant Act, which includes "minstrels" under that amiable class of independents, the rights of the family of Dutton in the county of Chester are expressly reserved. Perhaps some of your numerous Correspondents may be able to say whether this very singular Court of Concert is still kept up.
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(For the Mirror.)
 We would suggest "Gleanings on Gardens." were not that title forestalled by an interesting little work, lately published by Mr. S. Felton.—ED.
The hanging gardens, in antiquity called Pensiles Horti, were raised on arches by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, in order to gratify his wife, Amyctis, daughter of Astyages, King of Media. These gardens are supposed by Quintus Curtius to have been equal in height to the city, viz. 50 feet. They contained a square of 400 feet on every side, and were carried up into the air in several terraces laid one above another, and the ascent from terrace to terrace was by stairs 10 feet wide.
Among the Mexicans there are floating gardens, which are described by the Abbe Clavigero, as highly curious and interesting, so as to form a place of recreation and amusement. The abundant produce of these prolific gardens, are brought daily by the canal in numerous small vessels, at sun-rise, to the market-place of the capital to be sold. The plants thrive in these situations in an astonishing manner, the mud of the lake being extremely fertile and productive, without the aid of rain. Whenever the owners of these gardens are inclined to change their situations, they get into their little vessels, and by their own strength alone, or where that is not sufficient, by the assistance of others, they get them afloat, and tow them after them wherever they please.
Gardening was introduced into England from the Netherlands, from whence vegetables were imported till 1509. Fruits and flowers of sundry sorts before unknown, were brought into England in the reigns of Henry VII. and VIII. from about 1500 to 1578. Grapes were first planted at Blaxhall, in Suffolk, 1552. The ingenuity and fostering care of the people of England, have brought under their tribute all the vegetable creation.
Lord Bacon has truly observed, "A garden is the purest of all human pleasures," and no doubt he felt its influence, when he returned from the turmoil of a court and courts. Many of his writings were composed under the shade of the trees in Gray's Inn Gardens; he lived in a house facing the great gates, forming the entrance to the gardens, and Sir Fulke Greville, Lord Brook, frequently sent him "home-brewed beer." Epicurus, the patron of refined pleasure, fixed the seat of his enjoyment in a garden. Dr. Knox says, "In almost every description of the seats of the blessed, ideas of a garden seem to have predominated. The word paradise itself is synonymous with garden. The fields of Elysium, that sweet region of poesy, are adorned with all that imagination can conceive to be delightful. Some of the most pleasing passages of Milton are those in which he represents the happy pair engaged in cultivating their blissful abode. Poets have always been delighted with the beauties of a garden. Lucan is represented by Juvenal as reposing in his garden. Virgil's Georgies prove him to have been captivated with rural scenes; though to the surprise of his readers he has not assigned a book to the subject of a garden. But let not the rich suppose they have appropriated the pleasures of a garden. The possessor of an acre, or a smaller portion, may receive a real pleasure from observing the progress of vegetation, even in the plantation of culinary plants. A very limited tract properly attended to, will furnish ample employment for an individual, nor let it be thought a mean care; for the same hand that raised the cedar, formed the hyssop on the wall."
 In the street called Brook Street, was Brook House.
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(For the Mirror.)
In modern days we should term Grecian Flies, Spongers; alias Dinner Hunters. Among the Grecians (according to Potter) "They who forced themselves into other men's entertainments, were called flies, which was a general name of reproach for such as insinuated themselves into any company where they were not welcome." In Plautus, an entertainment free from unwelcome guests is called hospitium sine muscis, an entertainment without flies; and in another place of the same author, an inquisitive and busy man, who pries and insinuates himself into the secrets of others, is termed musca. We are likewise informed by Horus Apollo, that in Egypt a fly was the hieroglyphic of an impudent man, because that insect being beaten away, still returns again; on which account it is that Homer makes it an emblem of courage.
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THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
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[No apology is requisite for our introduction of the following passage from the life of Marshal Ney, in a volume of the Family Library, entitled "The Court and Camp of Buonaparte."]
In the campaign of 1813, Ney faithfully adhered to the falling emperor. At Bautzen, Lutzen, Dresden, he contributed powerfully to the success; but he and Oudinot received a severe check at Dennewitz from the Crown Prince of Sweden. From that hour defeat succeeded defeat; the allies invaded France; and, in spite of the most desperate resistance, triumphantly entered Paris in March, 1814. Ney was one of the three marshals chosen by Napoleon to negotiate with Alexander in behalf of the King of Rome, but the attempt was unsuccessful, and all he could do was to remain a passive spectator of the fall and exile of his chief.
On the restoration of the Bourbons, Ney was more fortunate than many of his brethren: he was entrusted with a high military command, and created a knight of St. Louis, and a peer of France.
But France was now at peace with all the world; and no one of these great military chiefs could be more unprepared for the change than the Prince of Moskwa. He was too old to acquire new habits. For domestic comforts he was little adapted: during the many years of his marriage, he had been unable to pass more than a very few months with his family. Too illiterate to find any resource in books, too rude to be a favourite in society, and too proud to desire that sort of distinction, he was condemned to a solitary and an inactive life. The habit of braving death, and of commanding vast bodies of men, had impressed his character with a species of moral grandeur, which raised him far above the puerile observances of the fashionable world. Plain in his manners, and still plainer in his words, he neither knew, nor wished to know, the art of pleasing courtiers. Of good nature he had indeed a considerable fund, but he showed it, not so much by the endless little attentions of a gentleman, as by scattered acts of princely beneficence. For dissipation he had no taste; his professional cares and duties, which, during twenty-five years, had left him no respite, had engrossed his attention too much to allow room for the passions, vices, or follies of society to obtain any empire over him. The sobriety of his manners was extreme, even to austerity.
His wife had been reared in the court of Louis XVI., and had adorned that of the emperor. Cultivated in her mind, accomplished in her manners, and elegant in all she said or did, her society was courted on all sides. Her habits were expensive; luxury reigned throughout her apartments, and presided at her board; and to all this display of elegance and pomp of show, the military simplicity, not to say the coarseness, of the marshal, furnished a striking contrast. His good nature offered no other obstacle to the gratification of her wishes than the occasional expression of a fear that his circumstances might be deranged by them. But if he would not oppose, neither could he join in her extravagance. While she was presiding at a numerous and brilliant party of guests, he preferred to remain alone in a distant apartment, where the festive sounds could not reach him. On such occasions he almost always dined alone.
Ney seldom appeared at court. He could neither bow nor flatter, nor could he stoop to kiss even his sovereign's hand without something like self-humiliation. To his princess, on the other hand, the royal smile was as necessary as the light of the sun; and unfortunately for her, she was sometimes disappointed in her efforts to attract it. Her wounded vanity often beheld an insult in what was probably no more than an inadvertence. In a word she ere long fervently regretted the court in which the great captains had occupied the first rank, and their families shared the almost exclusive favour of the sovereign. She complained to her husband; and he, with a calm smile, advised her never again to expose herself to such mortifications if she really sustained them. But though he could thus rebuke a woman's vanity, the haughty soldier felt his own wounded through hers. To escape from these complaints, and from the monotony of his Parisian existence, he retired to his country-seat, in January, 1815, the very season when people of consideration are most engrossed by the busy scenes of the metropolis. There he led an unfettered life; he gave his mornings to field sports; and the guests he entertained in the evening were such as, from their humble condition, rendered formality useless, and placed him completely at his ease.
It was here that on the 6th of March he was surprised by the arrival of an aide-de-camp from the minister at war, who ordered him, with all possible despatch, to join the sixth division, of which he was the commander, and which was stationed at Besancon. In his anxiety to learn the extent of his instructions, Ney immediately rode to Paris; and there, for the first time, learned the disembarkation of Buonaparte from Elba.
Ney eagerly undertook the commission assigned him of hastening to oppose the invader. In his last interview with Louis his protestations of devotedness to the Bourbons, and his denunciations against Napoleon, were ardent—perhaps they were sincere. Whether he said that Buonaparte deserved to be confined in an iron cage, or that he would bring him to Paris in one, is not very clear, nor indeed very material.—We reluctantly approach the darker shades in the life of this great officer.
On his arrival at Besancon, March 10th, he learned the disaffection of all the troops hitherto sent against the invader, and perceived that those by whom he was surrounded were not more to be trusted. He was surrounded with loud and incessant cries of Vive l'Empereur! Already, at Lyons, two members of the royal family had found all opposition vain; the march of Napoleon was equally peaceful and triumphant. During the night of the 13th, Ney had a secret interview with a courier from his old master; and on the following morning he announced to his troops that the house of Bourbon had ceased to reign—that the emperor was the only ruler France would acknowledge! He then hastened to meet Napoleon, by whom he was received with open arms, and hailed by his indisputed title of Bravest of the Brave.
Ney was soon doomed to suffer the necessary consequence of his crime—bitter and unceasing remorse. His inward reproaches became intolerable: he felt humbled, mortified, for he had lost that noble self-confidence, that inward sense of dignity, that unspeakable and exalted satisfaction, which integrity alone can bestow: the man who would have defied the world in arms, trembled before the new enemy within him; he saw that his virtue, his honour, his peace, and the esteem of the wise and the good, were lost to him for ever. In the bitterness of his heart, he demanded and obtained permission to retire for a short time into the country. But there he could not regain his self-respect. Of his distress, and we hope of his repentance, no better proof need be required than the reply, which, on his return to Paris, he made to the emperor, who feigned to have believed that he had emigrated: "I ought to have done so long ago (said Ney); it is now too late."
The prospect of approaching hostilities soon roused once more the enthusiasm of this gallant soldier, and made him for awhile less sensible to the gloomy agitation within. From the day of his being ordered to join the army on the frontiers of Flanders, June 11, his temper was observed to be less unequal, and his eye to have regained its fiery glance.
The story of Waterloo need not be repeated here. We shall only observe, that on no occasion did the Bravest of the Brave exhibit more impetuous though hopeless valour. Five horses were shot under him; his garments were pierced with balls; his whole person was disfigured with blood and mud, yet he would have continued the contest on foot while life remained, had he not been forced from the field, by the dense and resistless columns of the fugitives. He returned to the capital, and there witnessed the second imperial abdication, and the capitulation of Paris, before he thought of consulting his safety by flight. Perhaps he hoped that by virtue of the twelfth article of that convention, he should not be disquieted; if so, however, the royal ordinance of July 24th, terribly undeceived him. He secreted himself with one of his relatives at the chateau of Bessaris, department of Lot, in the expectation that he should soon have an opportunity of escaping to the United States. But he was discovered, and in a very singular manner.
In former days Ney had received a rich Egyptian sabre from the hands of the First Consul. There was but another like it known to exist, and that was possessed by Murat. The marshal was carefully secluded both from visiters and domestics, but unluckily this splendid weapon was left on a sofa in the drawing-room. It was perceived, and not a little admired by a visiter, who afterwards described it to a party of friends at Aurillac. One present immediately observed, that, from the description, it must belong to either Ney or Murat. This came to the ears of the prefect, who instantly despatched fourteen gensdarmes, and some police agents, to arrest the owner. They surrounded the chateau; and Ney at once surrendered himself. Perhaps he did not foresee the fatal issue of his trial; some of his friends say that he even wished it to take place immediately, that he might have an opportunity to contradict a report that Louis had presented him with half a million of francs, on his departure for Besancon.
A council of war, composed of French marshals, was appointed to try him; but they had little inclination to pass sentence on an old companion in arms; and declared their incompetency to try one, who, when he consummated his treason, was a peer of France. Accordingly, by a royal ordinance of November 12th, the Chamber of Peers were directed to take cognizance of the affair. His defence was made to rest by his advocates—first, on the twelfth article of the capitulation, and when this was overruled, on the ground of his no longer being amenable to French laws, since Sarre-Louis, his native town, had recently been dissevered from France. This the prisoner himself overruled; "I am a Frenchman, (cried Ney), and I will die a Frenchman!" The result was that he was found guilty and condemned to death by an immense majority, one hundred and sixty-nine to seventeen. On hearing the sentence read according to usage, he interrupted the enumeration of his titles, by saying: "Why cannot you simply call me Michael Ney—now a French soldier, and soon a heap of dust?" His last interview with his lady, who was sincerely attached to him, and with his children, whom he passionately loved, was far more bitter than the punishment he was about to undergo. This heavy trial being over, he was perfectly calm, and spoke of his approaching fate with the utmost unconcern. "Marshal," said one of his sentinels, a poor grenadier, "you should now think of God. I never faced danger without such preparation." "Do you suppose (answered Ney) that any one need teach me to die?" But he immediately gave way to better thoughts, and added, "Comrade, you are right. I will die as becomes a man of honour and a Christian. Send for the curate of St. Sulpice."
A little after eight o'clock on the morning of December 7th, the marshal, with a firm step and an air of perfect indifference, descended the steps leading to the court of the Luxembourg, and entered a carriage which conveyed him to the place of execution, outside the garden gates. He alighted, and advanced towards the file of soldiers drawn up to despatch him. To an officer, who proposed to blindfold him, he replied—"Are you ignorant that, for twenty-five years, I have been accustomed to face both ball and bullet?" He took off his hat, raised it above his head, and cried aloud—"I declare before God and man that I have never betrayed my country: may my death render her happy! Vive la France!" He then turned to the men, and, striking his other hand on his heart, gave the word, "Soldiers—fire!"
Thus, in his forty-seventh year, did the "Bravest of the Brave" expiate one great error, alien from his natural character, and unworthy of the general course of his life. If he was sometimes a stern, he was never an implacable, enemy. Ney was sincere, honest, blunt even: so far from flattering, he often contradicted him on whose nod his fortunes depended. He was, with rare exceptions, merciful to the vanquished; and while so many of his brother marshals dishonoured themselves by the most barefaced rapine and extortion, he lived and died poor.
Ney left four sons, two of whom are in the service of his old friend, Bernadotte.
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BY ALARIC A. WATTS.
"Nay, chide me not; I cannot chase The gloom that wraps my soul away, Nor wear, as erst, the smiling face That best beseems this hallow'd day Fain would my yearning heart be gay, Its wonted welcome breathe to thine; But sighs come blended with my lay, And tears of anguish blot the line.
I cannot sing as once, I sung, Our bright and cheerful hearth beside; When gladness sway'd my heart and tongue, And looks of fondest love replied— The meaner cares of earth defied, We heeded not its outward din; How loud soe'er the storm might chide, So all was calm and fair within.
A blight upon our bliss hath come, We are not what we were of yore; The music of our hearts is dumb; Our fireside mirth is heard no more! The little chick, its chirp is o'er, That fill'd our happy home with glee; The dove hath fled, whose pinions bore Healing and peace for thee and me.
Our youngest-born—our Autumn-flower, The best beloved, because the last; The star that shone above our bower, When many a cherish'd dream had past, The one sweet hope, that o'er us cast Its rainbow'd form of life and light, And smiled defiance on the blast, Hath vanished from our eager sight.
Oh, sudden was the wrench that tore Affection's firmest links apart; And doubly barb'd the shaft we wore Deep in each bleeding heart of heart; For, who can bear from bliss to part Without one sign—one warning token; To sleep in peace—then wake and start To find life's fairest promise broken.
When last this cherish'd day came round, What aspirations sweet were ours! Fate, long unkind, our hopes had crown'd, And strewn, at length, our path with flowers. How darkly now the prospect lowers; How thorny is our homeward way; How more than sad our evening hours, That used to glide like thought away.
And half infected by our gloom, Yon little mourner sits and sighs, His playthings, scatter'd round the room, No more attract his listless eyes. Nutting, his infant task, he plies, On moves with soft and stealthy tread, And call'd, in tone subdued replies, As if he feard to wake the dead.
Where is the blithe companion gone, Whose sports he lov'd to guide and share? Where is the merry eye that won All hearts to fondness? Where, oh where? The empty crib—the vacant chair— The favourite toy—alone remain, To whisper to our hearts' despair, Of hopes we cannot feel again.
Ah, joyless is our 'ingle nook,'— Its genial warmth we own no more; Our fireside wears an alter'd look,— A gloom it never knew before; The converse sweet—the cherish'd lore— That once could cheer our stormiest day,— Those revels of the soul are o'er; Those simple pleasures past away.
Then chide me not, I cannot sing A song befitting love and thee;— My heart and harp have lost the string On which hung all their melody; Yet soothing sweet it is to me, Since fled the smiles of happier years; To know that still our hearts are free, Betie what may, to mingle tears!"
Literary Souvenir for 1830.
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NOTES OF A READER.
CURIOSITIES OF FRANCE.
Noted by John Locke.
At Lyons, "they showed us, upon the top of the hill, a church, now dedicated to the Virgin, which was formerly a temple of Venus; near it dwelt Thomas a Becket, when banished from England.... About half a league from St. Vallier, we saw a house, a little out of the way, where they say Pilate lived in banishment. We met with the owner, who seemed to doubt the truth of the story; but told us there was mosaic work very ancient in one of the floors." At Montpelier, "I walked, and found them gathering of olives—a black fruit, the bigness of an acorn, with which the trees were thickly hung. All the highways are filled with gamesters at mall, so that walkers are in some danger of knocks.... Parasols, a pretty sort of cover for women riding in the sun, made of straw, something like the fashion of tin covers for dishes.... Monsieur Renaie a gentleman of the town, in whose house Sir J. Rushworth lay, about four years ago, sacrificed a child to the devil—a child of a servant of his own, upon a design to get the devil to be his friend, and help him to get some money. Several murders committed here since I came, and more attempted; one by a brother on his sister, in the house where I lay." [This species of crime is therefore not so new in France as recent cases have induced the philosophical to imagine.]
"At Toulouse saw the charteraux, very large and fine; saw the relics at St. Sernin, where they have the greatest store of them that I have met with; besides others, there are six apostles, and the head of the seventh; viz. two Jameses, Philip, Simon, Jude, Barnahas, and the head of Barthelmy. We were told of the wonders these and other relics had done being carried in procession, but more especially the head of St. Edward, one of our Kings of England, which, carried in procession, delivered the town from a plague some years since....
"At Paris, the bills of mortality usually amount to 19 or 20,000; and they count in the town about 500,000 souls, 50,000 more than in London, where the bills are less. Quaere, whether the Quakers, Anabaptists, and Jews, that die in London, are reckoned in the bills of mortality."— Lord King's Life.
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The income of the King of England is somewhat more than L400,000. per annum; but its amount does not perhaps exceed, in a duplicate ratio, the receipts of some opulent subjects; and may be advantageously compared with the French King's revenue, a civil list of about one million sterling, free from diplomatic, judicial, and, we believe, from all other extraneous charges. Our late excellent king's regard for economy led him, in the early part of his reign, to approve a new arrangement of the civil list expenditure, by which he accepted of a fixed revenue, in lieu of those improvable funds which had formerly been appropriated to the crown. On the revision of the civil list in 1816, it appeared, that had George III. conducted the entire branch of expenditure with those funds which had been provided for his predecessors, there would at that period have remained to the crown a total surplus of L6,300,000. which sum the public had gained by the change of provision. Quarterly Review.
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BRITISH ALMANAC AND COMPANION.
Swift, if our memory serves us aright, compares abstracts, abridgments, and summaries to burning-glasses, and has something about a full book resembling the tail of a lobster. The French too have a proverb—"as full as an egg"—but these home similes will hardly give the public an idea of the vast variety of useful matters which these two Year Books contain.
The Almanac, besides an excellent arrangement, astronomical, meteorological, and philosophical, contains a list of common indigenous field plants in flower, and even the taste of the epicure is consulted in a table of fish in season, at the foot of each month. The Miscellaneous Register includes nearly all the Court, Parliament, and other Lists of a Red Book; and a List of Mail Coach routes direct from London, with the hours of their arrival at the principal towns, is completeness itself: but how will these items be deranged by Steam Coaches? Among the Useful Tables, one of Excise Licenses is especially valuable.
The Companion is even more important in its contents than last year. An Explanation of the Eras of Ancient and Modern Times, and of various countries, with a view to the comparison of their respective dates,—stands first; next are "Facts pertaining to the course of the Seasons," under the "Observations of a Naturalist;" an excellent paper on the Tides; and a concise Natural History of the Weather—to be continued in the Companion for 1831; this is a delightful paper. The Comparative Scales of Thermometers are next, with a wood-cut of the Scales and Explanation. We have only room to particularize a Chronological Table of the principal Geographical Discoveries of Modern European Nations; a paper on French Measures; and a List of our Metropolitan Charitable Institutions, their officers, &c. The Parliamentary Register is as copious as usual; the Chronicle of the Session is neatly compiled; and a rapid Sketch of Public Improvements, and a Chronicle of Events of 1829 will be interesting to all readers. In short, we can scarcely conceive a work that is likely to be more extensively useful than the present: it concerns the business of all; it is perhaps less domestic than in previous years; but as "great wits have short memories," its scientific helps are not overrated.
* * * * *
The following letter occurs in Captain Beaver's Memoirs, said to be written by a runaway pirate:—
"To Mr. Beaver.—Sir, I hope that you will parden me for riteing to you, which I know I am not worthy of, but I hope you will forgive me for all things past, for I am going to try to get a passage to the Cape deverds, and then for America. Sir, if you will be so good as to let me go, I shall be grately ableaght to you. Sir, I hope you will parden me for running away. Sir, I am your most obedent umbld servant,
"Sir, I do rite with tears in my eyes."
* * * * *
FRENCH TRAVELLERS IN ENGLAND.
A Frenchman in London, without any knowledge of our language will cut but a sorry figure, and be more liable to ridicule than an Englishman in a similar condition in Paris: to wit, the waggish joke told of the Parisian inquiring for Old Bailey, or Mr. Bailey, Sen. It is, therefore, quite as requisite that a Frenchman should be provided with a good French and English phrase-book, as that an Englishman should have an English and French Manual. Of the former description is Mr. Leigh's "Recueil de Phrases utiles aux etrangers voyageant en Angleterre," a new and improved edition of which is before us. It contains every description of information, from the embarkation at Calais to all the Lions of London—how to punish a roguish hackney-coachman—to criticise Miss Kemble at Covent Garden—to write an English letter, or to make out a washing-bill—which miscellaneous matters are very useful to know in a metropolis like ours, where, as the new Lord Mayor told a countryman the other day, we should consider every stranger a rogue. Glancing at the fetes or holidays, there is a woeful falling off from the Parisian list—in ours only eleven are given—but "they manage these things better in France."
* * * * *
In the Quarterly Review (lately published) there is an excellent paper on these Societies.
Of the spread of these Societies we take this anecdote as an example:—"A lady, who became acquainted at Brighton with the Co-operative Society of that town, and carried away a knowledge of the scheme, has formed three similar societies!, one at Tunbridge, one at Hastings, the third we know not where. That at Hastings was, at the end of July, just thirteen weeks old; it had made a clear profit of L79. 5s. 4d. and its returns for the last week of that month were L104. There are now upwards of seventy Co-operative Societies in different parts of England, and they are spreading so rapidly that the probability is that by the time this number of our Review is published, there will be nearly one hundred." Upon the system of Co-operation the Editor forcibly remarks, "It is at present in its infancy—a cloud no bigger than a man's hand. Whether it is to dissipate in heat, or gradually spread over the land and send down refreshing showers on this parched and withered portion of society, God only knows, and time only can reveal."
* * * * *
STANDARD OF THE JANISSARIES.
Odd as it may seem, a soup-kettle is the standard of the Janissaries, an emblem rather more appropriate for a Court of Aldermen. Dr. Walsh says that he saw in the streets of Constantinople, an extraordinary greasy-looking fellow dressed in a leather jacket, covered over with ornaments of tin, bearing in his hand a lash of several leather thongs; he was followed by two men, also fantastically dressed, supporting a pole on their shoulders, from which hung a large copper kettle. They walked through the main streets with an air of great authority, and all the people hastily got out of the way. This he found on inquiry was the soup-kettle of a corps of Janissaries, and always held in high respect; indeed, so distinguishing a characteristic of this body is their soup, that their colonel is called Tchorbadge, or the distributor of soup. Their kettle, therefore, is in fact, their standard, and whenever that is brought forward, it is the signal of some desperate enterprize, and in a short time 20,000 men have been known to rally round their odd insignia of war. Apropos, have they not something to do with kettle-drums?
* * * * *
Workhouses are moral pesthouses, for the encouragement of idleness and profligacy, where at a great charge to the public, a host of outcasts are reared and trained for a career of misery. For these costly and demoralizing establishments, which the English poor dread even more than imprisonment or transportation—for
"That pauper-palace which they hate to see,"
we would fain see substituted a district or county colony, where every able-bodied human being out of employment might find work and subsistence.—Quarterly Review.
* * * * *
BEWICK, THE ENGRAVER.
The Duke of Northumberland, when first he called to see Mr. Bewick's workshops at Newcastle, was not personally known to the engraver; yet he showed him his birds, blocks, and drawings, as he did to all, with the greatest liberality and cheerfulness; but on discovering the high rank of his visiter, exclaimed, "I beg pardon, my lord, I did not know your grace, and was unaware I had the honour of talking to so great a man." To which the duke good-humouredly replied, "You are a much greater man than I am, Mr. Bewick." To which Bewick, with his ready wit that never failed or offended, resumed, "No, my lord; but were I Duke of Northumberland, perhaps I could be."—Mag. Nat. Hist.
* * * * *
Voltaire, as a dramatic writer, studied only to complete what is called stage effect; and with him, moreover, originated the contemptible practice, now so prevalent in France, and once so much in this country, (and which the Irish triumvirate justly call 'blarneying John Bull,') of flattering the passions, and pouring incense on the high altar of popular vanity.—Foreign Review.—Nearly all Colman's comedies have this glaring weakness, although some allowance should be made for the strong excitement amidst which they were first produced on our stage.
* * * * *
It was a remark of Lord Chatham's, and equally so of Mr. Burke's, that the occasional use of low words does not detract from the dignity of true eloquence. Mr. Canning and some of his successors have, however, ventured to differ from these two great men.
* * * * *
The people of England have, in the last year, consumed one half more of candles, soap, starch, bricks, sugar, brandy, and one-third more of tea, than they did only twelve years ago, a date which seems to most of us recent.—Finance Article, in Quarterly Review.
* * * * *
THE ANECDOTE GALLERY
BALLADS VERSUS BONNETS.
(For the Mirror.)
A Mr. L———, a respectable straw-hat manufacturer, from the vicinity of Bond-street, who had dabbled considerably in the fine arts, in the way of sketches and outlines, taken at the different watering-places which he visited, determined on making a tour to the Lakes, "in search of the picturesque." Desirous of rendering his journey poetically interesting, he solicited from a friend of his in town, who was acquainted with Dr. Southey, a letter of introduction to the Laureate, which was accorded. But the epistle, instead of describing Mr. L——— as an artist, merely designated him "an honest bonnet-maker," who had a penchant for lionizing, and who desired to be introduced to Dr. Southey in "the way of business." With this vexatiously facetious and laconic scrawl, poor Mr. L. made his way to the Lakes, and in due time was ushered into the Parnassian presence of the author of "Thalaba." The address of one of Southey's celebrity might well perplex a "man of straw;" and it had somewhat of this effect on our tradesman-artist; who, however, according to his own account of the affair, bustled through pretty tolerably; adopting the nonchalance of Geoffrey Crayon's uncle on entering a superb drawing-room—looking around him with an air of indifference, which seemed to say, "he had seen finer things in his time." After some desultory conversation, regarding the heights of hills, the breadths of lakes, and the curative influence of the sentimental region on the smoke-dried citizens, mixed with some elaborate eulogies on the "Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society," the "last new work" of the Doctor's, he began to evince a little uneasiness at so much ceremony with a mere tradesman; which was more than was called for towards even the modest and retiring "bard of Sheffield," on Mr. Southey's difficultly-acquired interview with the latter. Mr. L., however, before parting, thought it due to the poet, as a mark of an artist's respect for the "classic nine," to present him with a few sketches of the scenery, which he had already taken. Unrolling a bundle of drawing paper, Southey, who thought he had been talking to a bonnet-maker, come to solicit orders, remarked, "Your latest spring patterns, I suppose?" "Sir!" faintly articulated the now-enlightened Mr. L., "I merely beg leave to present you—" "Really, Sir," said the impatient poet, "I thank you sincerely; but I have no taste in selecting bonnets; had the ladies—" a sentence which was interrupted by the abashed and confounded bonnet-maker grasping his hat and drawings, and hastily wishing the Laureate a good morning.
* * H.
* * * * *
Dr. George Horne was a man of unaffected piety, cheerful temper, great learning, and, notwithstanding his propensity to jesting, dignified manners. He was much beloved in Magdalen College, of which he was president; the chief complaint against him being, that he did not reside the whole of the time in every year that the statutes required. He resigned his headship on being promoted from the Deanery of Canterbury to the See of Norwich; the alleged reason was, the incompatibility of the duties; though other heads of houses, when made bishops, have retained their academical situations. He never manifested the least ill-humour himself, and repressed it, but with gentleness, in others. Having engaged in a party at whist, merely because he was wanted to make up the number, and playing indifferently ill, as he forewarned his partner would be the case, he replied to the angry question, "What reason could you possibly have, Mr. President, for playing that card?" "None upon earth, I assure you." On the morning when news was received in college of the death of one of the fellows, a good companion, a bon vivant, Horne met with another fellow, an especial friend of the defunct, and began to condole with him: "We have lost poor L——." "Ah! Mr. President, I may well say I could have better spared a better man." "Meaning me, I suppose?" said Horne, with an air that, by its pleasantry, put to flight the other's grief. I was talking with Henry James Pye, late poet-laureate, when he happened to mention the name of Mr. P., a gentleman of Berkshire, and M.P. I think, for Reading; "That is the man," said I, "who damned the king's wig in the very presence of his majesty; with great credit, however, to his own loyalty, and very much to the amusement of the king." "I do not well see how that could be." "You shall hear a story which our president (Pye had been a gentleman commoner of Magdalen College) told at his own table. The king was out a hunting; P—— was in, and of, the field; the king's horse fell; the king was thrown from the saddle, and his hat and wig were thrown to a little distance from him: he got on his feet again immediately, and began to look about for the hat and wig, which he did not readily see, being, as we all know, short-sighted. P——, very much alarmed by the accident, rides up in great haste and arrives at the moment when the king is peering about and saying to the attendants, 'Where's my wig? where's my wig?' P—— cries out, 'D—n your wig! is your majesty safe?'"
* * * * *
While the late Edmund Burke was making preparation for the indictment before the House of Lords, of Warren Hastings, Governor-general of India, he was told that a person who had long resided in the East Indies, but who was then an inmate of Bedlam, could supply him with much useful information. Burke went accordingly to Bedlam, was taken to the cell of the maniac, and received from him, in a long, rational, and well-conducted conversation, the results of much and various knowledge and experience in Indian affairs, and much instruction for the process then intended. On leaving the cell, Burke told the keeper who attended him, that the poor man whom he had just visited, was most iniquitously practised upon; for that he was as much in his senses as man could be. The keeper assured him that there was sufficient warranty and very good cause for his confinement. Burke, with what a man in office once called "Irish impetuosity," known to be one of Burke's characteristics, insisted that it was an infamous affair, threatened to make the matter public, or even bring it before parliament. The keeper then said, "Sir, I should be sorry for you to leave this house under a false impression: before you do so, be pleased to step back to the poor gentleman's cell, and ask him what he had for breakfast." Burke could not refuse compliance with a request so reasonable and easily performed. "Pray, Sir," says he to his Indian counsellor, "be so obliging as to tell me what you had for breakfast." The other, immediately putting on the wild stare of the maniac, cried out, "Hobnails, Sir! It is shameful to think how they treat us! They give us nothing but hobnails!" and went on with a "descant wild" on the horrors of the cookery of Bethlehem Hospital. Burke staid no longer than that his departure might not seem abrupt; and, on the advantage of the first pause in the talk, was glad to make his escape. I was present when Paley was much interested and amused by an account given by one of the company, of a widow lady, who was of entirely sound mind, except that she believed herself made of glass. Given the vitrification, her conduct and discourse were consequent and rational, according to the particulars which Paley drew forth by numerous questions. Canes and parasols were deposited at the door of her drawing-room as at the Louvre or Florentine Gallery, and for the same reason. "You may be hurt by a blow," said she, to one of flesh and blood; "but I should be broken to pieces: and how could I be mended?"—Best's Mems.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS
THE FOREIGN REVIEW, NO. IX.
More than one acknowledgment is due from us to this excellent work, although the publishers may doubt our sincerity by our selecting the following interesting Ballad, from the German of Christian Count Stolberg; which, observes the reviewer, "is by some considered the poet's best effort, and a translation is therefore here attempted:"—
ELIZA VON MANSFIELD.
A BALLAD OF THE TENTH CENTURY.
"Still night! how many long for thee! Now while I wake to weep, O thou to them hast comfort brought, Repose and gentle sleep.
Wished too, thou comest to me; now I Am lonely, and am free, And with my many sighs profound May ease my misery.
Alas! what evil have I done They treat me so severely? My father always called me his Good child whom he loved dearly.
My dying mother on my head Poured her best blessings forth: It may in heaven be fulfill'd, But surely not on earth!
Change not this blessing to a curse For those who me offend. O God! forgive them what they do, And cause them to amend.
Ah, I with patience might bear all, If, Love, thou wouldst not be, Thou who consumest my troubled heart With hopeless agony!
If now, while one sweet hope remains, I cannot this endure; Thou breakest then, poor heart. So, 'till Thou breakest, hold it sure."
Meanwhile, sweeps on a knightly man, Upon his gallant steed, And reaches, guided by the path, The castle bridge, with speed.
There deeply sank into his heart, The plaint of the ladye, He deems she pleads to him for help, And will her saviour be.
Full of impatience and desire, His glowing eyes ranged round, Till high, within the window, they The lovely lady found.
"Ah! lady, speak, why mournest thou? Confide thy grief to me, And to thy cause this sword, this arm, This life, devoted be!"
"Ah! noble knight, nor sword, nor arm I need, right well I wot, But comfort for my sorrowing heart. And, ah, that thou hast not!"
"Let me partake thy saddening woe. That will divide thy grief. My tear of pity will bestow Both comfort and relief."
"Thou good kind youth, then hear my tale; An orphan I, sir knight, And with my parents did expire My peace and my delight
An uncle and an aunt are now To me in parents' stead, Who wound my heart, (God pardon it!) As if they wished me dead.
My father was a wealthy Count: The inheritance now mine— Would I were poor! this wretched wealth 'Tis makes me to repine.
My uncle thirsteth, day and night, For my possessions rare, And therefore shuts me in this tower. Hard-hearted and severe.
Here shall I bide, he threatens, choose I not, in three days, whether I wed his son, or leave the world. For a cloister, altogether.
How quickly might the choice be made. And I the veil assume, Ah, had my youthful heart not loved A youth in beauty's bloom.
The youngest at the tournament, I saw him, and I loved, So free, so noble, and so bold— No one like him approved!"
"Be, noble lady, of good cheer. No cloister shalt thou see, Far less of that bad cruel man The daughter ever be.
I can, I will deliver thee, I have resolved it too, To yield thee to thy youngling's arms. As I am a Stolberg true!"
"Thou? Stolberg? O my grief is gone! Mine angel led thee, sure; Thou art the dear, dear youth for whom These sorrows I endure.
Now say I free and openly, What then my looks confest, When I, my love, thy earliest lance With oaken garland drest."
"O God! thou? my beloved child, Eliza Mansfield Dove, I loved thee, too, with the first look, As none did ever love.
See on my lance the garland yet, It ever carries there; O could'st thou see thy image too, Imprinted deeply here!
And now, why loiter we? Ere shine The sun, I'll bring thee home, And nothing more shall our chaste loves Divide, whatever come."
"With all my soul I love thee, youth, Yet still my virgin shame Struggles against thy rash design, And trembles for my fame."
* * * * *
"We'll seek my sister first, and there Our wedding shall precede. And then into my castle I My noble bride will lead.—
Eliza' let us hasten, come— It is the mid of night, The moon will soon conclude her course, That shineth now so bright."
Now softly by a secret way The lady lightly trod. Till she beneath the window—pale As deadly marble, stood.
Yet soon she felt her heart again, And sprung unto her knight, Who press'd her speechless to his heart That throbb'd with chaste delight.
Then lifts her gladly on his steed, And her before sits he; She winds about him her white arms, Forth go they, valiantly.
Now, wakened by the prancing steed. And that true griffin's neigh, The damsel from the window spied Her lady borne away.
She wildly shrieks, and plains to all Of her calamity: The old man foams, and cursing, swears His niece in shame shall die.
He summon'd all his people up, And ere the day began, They left the castle ready armed, Led by that wicked man.
Meanwhile, cheered by the friendly moon, Through common, field, and mead, Far over hill, and vale, and wood, That knightly pair proceed.
What torrent now with dashing foam Roars loud before them so "Fear not, my love," the Stolberg said, "This stream full well I know."
The gallant roan makes head, his feet Approve the flood with care, Then dashes, neighing, through, as if A tiny brook it were.
Now come they to the castle wet, Yet wrapt in heavenly bliss; Let them describe who such have felt, The intensity of this.
Now, sate they at the early meal; The cup careered about ... But entering soon—"Up noble Count! The Mansfield!" cried a scout.
The bride and sister fearfully Their hair in sorrow tore; The Count already had to horse, And his full armour wore.
Forth went he out to meet the strife. And called to Mansfield loud, "In vain your anger is, for she My wife is, wed and vow'd.
And am I not of noble stem, Whose fame is bruited wide, Who princes to our nation gave, E'en in the heathen tide?"
With lance in rest, upon him springs That uncle bad and old, His people follow—but the knight Awaits him calm and bold.
And draws his sword. As Mansfield nears, His fury stoppage found— He lays about, and cleaves his scull, And smites him to the ground.
The rest disperse, and Stolberg hastes Into the house again, And him throughout the long sweet night Her gentle arms enchain.
* * * * *
A FEARFUL PROSPECT.
(From the "Noctes" of Blackwood.)
Shepherd.—I look to the mountains, Mr. North, and stern they staun' in a glorious gloom, for the sun is strugglin' wi' a thunder-cloud, and facing him a faint but fast-brightenin' rainbow. The ancient spirit o' Scotland comes on me frae the sky; and the sowl within me reswears in silence the oath o' the Covenant. There they are—the Covenanters a' gather'd thegither, no in fear and tremblin', but wi' Bibles in their bosoms, and swords by their sides, in a glen deep as the sea, and still as death, but for the soun' o' a stream and the cry o' an eagle. "Let us sing, to the praise and glory o' God, the hundred psalm," quoth a loud clear voice, though it be the voice o' an auld man; and up to Heaven hands he his strang wither'd hauns, and in the gracious wunds o' heaven are flying abroad his gray hairs', or say rather, white as the silver or the snaw.
North.—Oh, for Wilkie!
Shepherd.—The eagle and the stream are silent, and the heavens and the earth are brocht close thegither by that triumphin' psalm. Ay, the clouds cease their sailing and lie still; the mountains bow their heads; and the crags, do they not seem to listen, as in that remote place the hour o' the delighted day is filled with a holy hymn to the Lord God o' Israel!
North.—My dear Shepherd!
Shepherd.—Oh! if there should be sittin' there—even in that congregation on which, like God's own eye, looketh down the meridian sun, now shinin' in the blue region—an Apostate!
North.—The thought is terrible.
Shepherd.—But na, na, na! See that bonny blue-e'ed, rosy-cheek'd, gowden-haired lassie,—only a thought paler than usual, sweet lily that she is,—half sittin' half lyin' on the greensward, as she leans on the knee o' her stalwart grand-father—for the sermon's begun, and all eyes are fastened on the preacher—look at her till your heart melts, as if she were your ain, and God had given you that beautifu' wee image o' her sainted mother, and tell me if you think that a' the tortures that cruelty could devise to inflict, would ever ring frae thae sweet innocent lips ae word o' abjuration o' the faith in which the flower is growing up amang the dew-draps o' her native hills?
Shepherd.—She proved it, sir, in death. Tied to a stake on the sea-sands she stood; and first she heard, and then she saw, the white roarin' o' the tide. But the smile forsook not her face; it brichten'd in her een when the water reach'd her knee; calmer and calmer was her voice of prayer, as it beat again' her bonny breast; nae shriek when a wave closed her lips for ever; and methinks, sir,—for ages on ages hae lapsed awa' sin' that martyrdom, and therefore Imagination may withouten blame dally wi' grief—methinks, sir, that as her golden head disappear'd, 'twas like a star sinkin' in the sea!
North.—God bless you, my dearest James! shake hands.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY
* * * * *
Dr. Arnott's Elements of Physics.
Vol. ii. Part I.
We are warm friends to the diffusion of knowledge, and accordingly receive the present portion of Dr. Arnott's work with much satisfaction. We believe the sale of the first volume to have been almost unprecedentedly rapid, (a fourth edition being called for within two years) in comparison with the usual slow sale of scientific works. This success may easily be traced. The title of the work is not extraordinarily inviting, illustration, not embellishment, is attempted in a few outline diagrams, and the only external inducement to read, is a plain, legible type, to suit all sights. Looking further, we find the great cause in the manner as well as the matter of the volume, which is throughout a text-book of plain-spoken philosophy, or as the author says in his title-page, "independently of technical mathematics." Again, in his introductory chapter on "Imponderable Substances," he says, "To understand the subjects as far as men yet usefully understand them, and sufficiently for a vast number of most useful purposes, it is only necessary to classify important phenomena, so that their nature and resemblances may be clearly perceived." The main error of most people who write on philosophical subjects, or the stumbling-block of all students, has been that of the writer presuming too much upon the cultivated understanding of his reader. Thus, in the midst of very familiar explanations we have often seen technicalities which must operate as a wet blanket on the enthusiasm of the reader; and break up the charm which the subject had hitherto created. Upon this principle, treatise upon treatise has been published without effecting the primary object. The matter of Dr. Arnott's work, however, appears to us to be in strict accordance with its title—elementary; but it is accompanied with a variety of explanations of familiar facts on philosophical principles, which possess attractions of a most amusive character.
The present portion of Dr. Arnott's work comprehends the subjects of Light and Heat, which admit of more familiar illustration than any other branches of Natural Philosophy. Of this advantage the author has fully availed himself in a variety of familiar exemplars, which, to speak seriously are brought home to our very firesides. A few of these facts will form a recreative page or two for another MIRROR: in the meantime we quote a few illustrative observations on the most interesting exhibitions of the day:—
"Common paintings and prints may be considered as parts of a panoramic representation, showing as much of that general field of view which always surrounds a spectator, as can be seen by the eye turned in one direction, and looking through a window or other opening. The pleasure from contemplating these is much increased by using a lens. There is such a lens fitted up in the shops, with the title of optical pillar machine, or diagonal mirror, and the print to be viewed is laid upon a table beyond the stand of the lens, and its reflection in a mirror supported diagonally over it, is viewed through the lens. The illusion is rendered more complete in such a case by having a box to receive the painting on its bottom, and where the lens and mirror, fixed in a smaller box above, are made to slide up and down in their place to allow of readily adjusting the focal distance. This box used in a reverse way becomes a perfect camera obscura. The common show-stalls seen in the streets are boxes made somewhat on this principle, but without the mirror; and although the drawings or prints in them are generally very coarse, they are not uninteresting. To children whose eyes are not yet very critical, some of these show boxes afford an exceeding great treat."
Cosmoramas and Dioramas.
"A still more perfect contrivance of the same kind has been exhibited for some time in London and Paris under the title of Cosmorama (from Greek words signifying views of the world, because of the great variety of views.) Pictures of moderate size are placed beyond what have the appearance of common windows, but of which the panes are really large convex lenses fitted to correct the errors of appearance which the nearness of the pictures would else produce. Then by farther using various subordinate contrivances, calculated to aid and heighten the effects, even shrewd judges have been led to suppose the small pictures behind the glasses to be very large pictures, while all others have let their eyes dwell upon them with admiration, as magical realizations of the natural scenes and objects. Because this contrivance is cheap and simple, many persons affect to despise it; but they do not thereby show their wisdom; for to have made so perfect a representation of objects, is one of the most sublime triumphs of art, whether we regard the pictures drawn in such true perspective and colouring, or the lenses which assist the eye in examining them.
"It has already been stated, that the effect of such glasses in looking at near pictures, is obtainable in a considerable degree without a glass, by making the pictures very large and placing them at a corresponding distance. The rule of proportion in such a case is, that a picture of one foot square at one foot distance from the eye, appears as large as a picture of sixty feet square at sixty feet distance. The exhibition called the Diorama is merely a large painting prepared in accordance with the principle now explained. In principle it has no advantage over the cosmorama or the show box, to compensate for the great expense incurred, but that many persons may stand before it at a time, all very near the true point of sight, and deriving the pleasure of sympathy in their admiration of it, while no slight motion of the spectator can make the eye lose its point of view."
"A round building of prodigious magnitude has lately been erected in the Regent's Park, in London, on the walls of which is painted a representation of London and the country around, as seen from the cross on the top of St. Paul's Cathedral. The scene taken altogether is unquestionably one of the most extraordinary which the whole world affords, and this representation combines the advantages of the circular view of the panorama, the size and distance of the great diorama, and of the details being so minutely painted, that distant objects may be examined by a telescope or opera-glass.
"From what has now been said, it may be understood, that for the purpose of representing still-nature, or mere momentary states of objects in motion, a picture truly drawn, truly coloured, and which is either very large to correct the divergence of light and convergence of visual axes, or if small, as viewed through a glass, would affect the retina exactly as the realities. But the desideratum still remained of being able to paint motion. Now this too has been recently accomplished, and in many cases with singular felicity, by making the picture transparent, and throwing lights and shadows upon it from behind. In the exhibitions of the diorama and cosmorama there have been represented with admirable truth and beauty such phenomena as—the sun-beams occasionally interrupted by passing clouds, and occasionally darting through the windows of a cathedral and illuminating the objects in its venerable interior—the rising and disappearing of mist over a beautiful landscape, runningwater, as for instance the cascades among the sublime precipices of Mount St. Gothard in Switzerland;—and most surprising of all, a fire or conflagration. In the cosmorama of Regent-street, the great fire of Edinburgh was admirably represented:—first that fine city was seen sleeping in darkness while the fire began, then the conflagration grew and lighted up the sky, and soon at short intervals, as the wind increased, or as roofs fell in, there were bursts of flame towering to heaven, and vividly reflected from every wall or spire which caught the direct light—then the clouds of smoke were seen rising in rapid succession and sailing northward upon the wind, until they disappeared in the womb of distant darkness. No one can have viewed that appalling scene with indifference, and the impression left by the representation, on those who knew the city, can scarcely have been weaker than that left on those who saw the reality. The mechanism for producing such effects is very simple; but spectators, that they may fully enjoy them, need not particularly inquire about it."
Even for the present we cannot omit mention of the delight with which we have read several of the more playful portions of the present work; we allude to such passages as the Influence of Heat on Animated Beings, in which Dr. Arnott has really blended the pencil of the artist with the pen of the philosopher, and thus produced many sketches of extreme picturesque beauty.
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A snapper up of unconsidered trifles. SHAKSPEARE.
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A German having been shown Mount Edgcumbe, and magnificently entertained with sea-fish, exclaimed—"For my part, I like flat countries, and fresh-water fish."
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Inscription over a chimney-sweeper's door, at the entrance to Hastings, from the London Road:—
W. Freelove liveth here, Is willing to serve both far and near: He'll sweep your chimneys cheap and clean, And hopes your custom to obtain; And, if your chimney should catch fire, He'll put it out at your desire.
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The following article appeared, some years since, in a Valenciennes journal:—Six merchants crossing the Coast of Guinea, with seventy-five large monkeys, were attacked by upwards of a hundred negroes. Being at a loss how to defend themselves against such odds, one of the merchants proposed arming the prisoners: accordingly, swords, poniards, and pistols, were distributed amongst them, and, by imitating their masters, these grotesque auxiliaries succeeded in putting their aggressors to flight.
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On the dispute which occurred betwixt Bononcini and Handel.
Bononcini swears that Handel Cannot to him hold a candle; And Handel swears that Bononcini, Compared to him is a mere ninny. 'Tis strange there should such difference be 'Twixt tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee!
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"At what time does a lady lose all susceptibility of the tender passion?" said his lordship to the Duchess of C——, then close upon a century of years. The reply was brisk and animated—"Your lordship must apply to some one older than me, for I am incapable of answering the question."
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Over the fire-place at the public office, Bow-street is a likeness of the celebrated Sir John Fielding Knight, who was at the head of this establishment after losing his sight. A gentleman, a few days ago, observed that Fielding was a great encourager of thieving. "How so?" asked his friend. "Why don't you know he was a dark-knight."
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The following epitaph is on the tomb of David Birkenhead, in Davenham churchyard, Cheshire:
"A tailor by profession, And in the practice, a plain and honest man: He was a useful member of society; For, though he picked holes in no man's coat, He was ever ready to repair The mischief that others did; And whatever breaches broke out in families, He was the man to mend all, And make matters up again: He lived and died respected."
Forty years' service in Lord Penryhn's family induced Lady Penryhn to bestow this stone to his memory.
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Nought but love can answer love, And render bliss secure; But virtue nought can virtue prove To make that bliss secure.
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FOR A WATCH-CASE.
Life's but a transient span: Then, with a fervent prayer each night, Wind up the days, and set 'em right, Vain mortal man!
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LIMBIRD'S EDITION OF THE Following Novels is already Published:
s. d. Mackenzie's Man of Feeling 0 5 Paul and Virginia 0 6 The Castle of Otranto 0 6 Almoian and Hamet 0 6 Elizabeth, or the Exiles of Siberia 0 6 The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne 0 6 Rasselas 0 8 The Old English Baron 0 8 Nature and Art 0 8 Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield 0 10 Sicilian Romance 1 0 The Man of the World 1 0 A Simple Story 1 4 Joseph Andrews 1 6 Humphry Clinker 1 6 The Romance of the Forest 1 8 The Italian 2 0 Zeluco, by Dr. Moore 2 6 Edward, by Dr. Moore 2 6 Roderick Random 2 6 The Mysteries of Udelpho 3 6 Peregrine Pickle 4 6