HotFreeBooks.com
The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 17, - Issue 491, May 28, 1831
Author: Various
Home - Random Browse

THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

VOL. 17, No. 491.] SATURDAY, MAY 28, 1831. [PRICE 2d.



* * * * *



AMPTHILL HOUSE, THE SEAT OF LORD HOLLAND.



This is a delightful retreat for the statesman and man of letters—distinctions which its illustrious occupant enjoys with high honour to his country and himself.

Ampthill is throughout a never-tiring region of romantic beauties. These were sung in some lines of great sweetness and poetical feeling, a few years since by Mr. Luttrell, who appears to have taken his muse by the arm, and "wandered up and down," describing the natural glories and olden celebrity of Ampthill. We remember to have read his "Lines" with unmixed pleasure.

The Engraving is copied from one of a Series of "Select Illustrations of Bedfordshire;" the letter-press accompaniments being neatly written by the Rev. I. D. Parry, M. A. author of the "History of Woburn." Ampthill follows.

Ampthill House, now the seat of the Right Hon. Lord Holland, is a plain but very neat edifice, built of good stone. It was erected by the first Lord Ashburnham, then the possessor of the estate, in 1694. It is situated rather below the summit of a hill, which rises at some little distance behind, and much less elevated than the site of the old castle, but has still a commanding situation in front, and is sufficiently elevated to possess a great share of the fine view over the vale of Bedford. It is also well sheltered by trees, though the passing traveller would have no idea of the magnificent lime alley, which is concealed behind it. The house has a long front, abundantly furnished with windows, and has two deep and projecting wings. In the centre is a plain angular pediment, bearing the late Lord Ossory's arms, and over the door is a small circular one, pierced for an antique bust, and supported by two three-quarter Ionic pillars. In this house is a small collection of paintings, &c., principally portraits.

At the foot of the staircase is a large painting, formerly in fresco at Houghton House, which was taken off the wall, and put on canvass by an ingenious process of the late Mr. Salmon. It represents a gamekeeper, or woodman, taking aim with a cross-bow, full front, with some curious perspective scenery, 6 feet by 9-1/2 feet. We have heard a tradition, that it is some person of high rank in disguise; some say James I., who was once on a visit at Houghton. From the propensities of "gentle King Jamie," this is not unlikely.

The pleasure ground at the back of the house, commands a pleasing, extensive view; beyond this is the lime walk, which is certainly one of the finest in England.—It is upwards of a quarter of a mile in length, the trees in some parts, finely arching; and may be pronounced, upon the whole, superior to any walk in Oxford or Cambridge.

The park in which this house stands, is well known, from many descriptions, to be a singularly picturesque and pleasing one. It is, at the same time, a small one, but the dimensions are concealed by the numerous and beautiful groups of trees with which it is studded. The oaks are particularly celebrated for their great size and age, several of them are supposed to be upwards of 500 years old, and some do not hesitate to say 1,000 years; the girth of many of them is ten yards, or considerably more. A survey of this park, by order of the Conventional Parliament, in 1653, pronounced 287 of these oaks as being hollow, and too much decayed for the use of the navy. The whole of these remain to this day, and may, perhaps, continue two or three centuries longer; some few of them have been scathed by lightning.

Behind the house, near the entrance of the park from the turnpike-road, are some ponds, similar in appearance to those frequently seen adjoining ancient mansions; above these, at the edge of a precipice, was the front of the ancient castle. This building is doubtless that erected by Lord Fanhope, at the beginning of the fifteenth century. It was used as a royal resort by Henry VIII., who was often here, and by Queen Catherine, who resided here some time previous, and during the time her divorce was in process at Dunstable. There are, in the possession of Lord Holland, two ground plans of this castle, which, by the late Lord Ossory, were supposed to have been taken about the year 1616, at which time it was supposed the castle was demolished. From these, the following particulars of this building are collected:—The area was a square of about 220 feet; in front was a large court, 115 feet by 120; behind this were two very small ones, each 45 feet square; and between these was an oblong courtyard. Between the front and back courts, the building had two small lateral projections, like the transepts of a church. In front were two square projecting towers; and round the building, at irregular distances, were nine others, projecting, of different shapes, but principally five-sided segments of octagons—if this description be intelligible. It was, probably, from the general appearance of the plan, intended more as a residence for a nobleman or prince, than a fortress, although the situation was favourable for defence. The view in front is extremely beautiful for this part of the country.

Lord Ossory planted a grove of firs at the back of this spot, and erected, in 1773, in the centre, a monument, consisting of an octagonal shaft raised on four steps, surmounted by a cross, bearing a shield with Queen Catherine's arms, of Castile and Arragon. This was designed by Mr. Essex, the improver of King's College, Chapel, and is very neat, but of small dimensions. On a tablet inserted in the base of the cross, is the following inscription, from the pen of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford, which when read on the spot, excites some degree of interest:—

In days of yore, here Ampthill's towers were seen, The mournful refuge of an injured queen; Here flowed her pure, but unavailing tears, Here blinded zeal sustained her sinking years. Yet Freedom hence her radiant banner wav'd, And Love avenged a realm by priests enslav'd; From Catherine's wrongs a nation's bliss was spread, And Luther's light from lawless Henry's bed.

The possessors of Ampthill are thus traced by Mr. Parry:—

The survey of Ampthill Park, made by order of Parliament, 1649, speaks of the castle as being long ago totally demolished.[1] There was, however, what was called the Great Lodge, or Capital Mansion. King James I. gave the Honour of Ampthill to the Earl of Kelly. It soon reverted to the Crown. In 1612, Thomas, Lord Fenton, and Elizabeth his wife, resigned the office of High Steward of the Honour of Ampthill to the King. The following year the custody of the Great Park was granted to Lord Bruce, whose family became lessees of the Honour, which they kept till 1738. In the 17th century, the Nicholls's became lessees of the Great Park under the Bruces, who reserved the office of Master of the Game. The Nicholls's resided at the Capital Mansion. After the Restoration, Ampthill Great Park was granted by Charles II. to Mr. John Ashburnham, as some reward for his distinguished services to his father and himself (vide Hist. Eng.) The first Lord Ashburnham built the present house, in 1694. In 1720 it was purchased of this family by Viscount Fitzwilliam, who sold it in 1736 to Lady Gowran, grandmother of the late Lord Ossory, who in 1800, became possessed of the lease of the Honour, by exchange with the Duke of Bedford. His family name, an ancient one in Ireland, was Fitzpatrick; he was Earl of Upper Ossory in Ireland, and Baron of the same in England. He died in 1818, and was succeeded by Lord Holland, the present possessor, who has also a fine old mansion at Kensington.[2]

[1] In Peck's "Desiderata Curiosa," is a list of salaries paid in Queen Elizabeth's time to the Keepers, &c. of all the Royal Palaces and Castles. At Ampthill they were as follow: Keeper of the Manor House, 2l. 13s. 4d., Great Park, 4l., with herbage and pannage, 15l.; Paler of the Park, 4l. 11s. 4d., herbage and pannage, 15l.

[2] For an Engraving of which see the Mirror, vol. xiii. p. 385.

The present Lord Holland, Henry Richard Vassal Fox, Baron Holland of Holland Co. Lincoln, and Foxley, Co. Wilts, Recorder of Nottingham, F.R.S.A.; was born November 23, 1773, succeeded to the title in 1774; married, 1797, Elizabeth, a daughter of Richard Vassal, Esq.

* * * * *

CHARACTER OF A GOOD ALBUM.

(For the Mirror.)

—"Here's a gem of beauty! It sparkles with a pure and virgin lustre, And many prize it much."

OLD POET.

There is something very interesting associated with a well-arranged and elegant album, embodying passages of delicate taste and superior talent, and containing the diversified, playful, pointed, eloquent, and original papers, of a number of intellectual and distinguished contributors.

I had, a short time ago, one of these beautiful albums placed in my hand, which was characterized by marked and pre-eminent excellencies. In addition to its being bound in the most splendid manner, and containing the most tasteful embellishments, on paper exquisitely embossed, it was adorned with appropriate contributions, from the vigorous mind of Mrs. Hannah Moore—from the pure and classic taste of the eloquent Robert Hall—from the fervid and poetic imagination of James Montgomery—and many an elegant and beauteous production, communicated by our superior and ingenious writers. It was deeply interesting to mark the specimens of penmanship which the various contributors furnished: the bold hand of one—the neat style of another—the careless and dashing strokes of another—and the stiff, awkward, and almost illegible writing of another. I was much struck, also, with the variety of mind which the album exhibited: on one page, there was the comic strain of Hood; on another, the pure and exquisite taste of Campbell; on another, the fire and vividness of Scott; on another, the minute and graphic painting of Crabbe; and on another, the bold, condensed, and impassioned style, in which Byron so peculiarly excelled.

Now, if all albums could be of this character, their value would be intrinsic and superior, and they would be permanently interesting, because to them we could frequently recur with refreshing and peculiar enjoyment. I regret, however, to say, that the majority of albums are comparatively valueless: they are written with so much negligence; many of the pieces are of so light and frivolous a character; there is so much childish and mawkish sentimentality in numbers of the effusions poured forth; and there is so great a destitution of solid, original, and striking thought, that, in my unpretending, yet honest estimation, the majority of albums are worth comparatively nothing. A good album should contain pieces of genuine talent; should be marked by no frivolity or childishness; should be concise, pointed, and powerful in its contributions; and should embody valuable moral principle; and, to secure these excellencies, the possessor of an elegant album should not place it in the hand of any, accompanied with the request that a contribution be inserted, without ascertaining, in the first instance, that the person solicited is of genuine taste and talent, and real principle; because, if these qualifications be not developed, an album will be merely filled with trifling, crude, unconnected, and worthless pieces—marked by no beauty, exhibiting no taste, characterized by no originality, and inculcating no valuable sentiment.

T. W.

* * * * *

POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS.

(For the Mirror.)

No man will be found in whose mind airy notions do not sometimes tyrannize and force him to hope or fear beyond the limits of sober probability.—JOHNSON.

The superstitions of nations must always be interesting, since they afford a criterion of the progress that knowledge and reason have made. To trace the origin of the belief that departed spirits revisit the earth, a belief apparently so repugnant to reason and revelation, must ever attract the attention of the curious. For it is a question of importance to religion, even although the existence of apparitions would not in the slightest degree invalidate those sacred writings on which the bases of religion are founded; on the contrary, if the reality of apparitions (that is of the existence of apparitions) could be ascertained, another proof would be added to an immense weight of testimony of the ability possessed by the Deity to arrest or alter what appears the ordinary course of nature.

The existence of apparitions has been acknowledged by many, and a tendency towards a belief of them is to be remarked in many more. Ardent, and what is stranger still, since directly opposed to ardent, morbid minds are too ready to embrace "the pleasing dreadful thought," and to this may be attributed the prevalence of this kind of superstition among the poets, and all indeed of an enthusiastic temperament.[3] Some of the tales urged in defence of apparitions are upon a prima facie observation to be traced to an exuberance[4] of imagination on the part of the ghost, others that are plainly false, and others that as they cannot be authenticated, are not worthy of notice. I shall here give what I consider an example of the former.

[3] Dr. Johnson, it is well known, was a firm believer in ghosts, as the following extract will show:—"That the dead are seen no more," said Imlac, "I will undertake to maintain, against the concurrent and unvaried testimony of all ages, and of all nations. * * * This opinion which, perhaps, prevails as far as human nature is diffused, could become universal only by its truth(!): those that never heard of one another would not have agreed in a tale which nothing but experience could make credible."—Rasselas, chap. xxx.

[4] When the grammarians could not interpret some word in a sentence, which they could make without it, they used to attribute the unfortunate word to a natural redundancy in the language, and in the same manner all ghost stories could be solved by referring it to "an exuberance," &c. &c.

During the celebrated Peninsular campaign, as a lady, whose son, a French officer in Spain, was seated in her room, she was astonished to perceive the folding doors at the bottom of the apartment slowly open, and disclose to her eyes, her son. He begged her not to be alarmed, and informed her that he had been just killed by a grape-shot, and even showed her the wound in his side; the doors closed again and she saw no more. In a few days she received a letter, which informed her that her son had fallen, after distinguishing himself in a most gallant manner, and mentioning the time of his death, which happened at precisely the same moment the apparition was seen by her! And when I add that the lady was not at all addicted to superstition, the strangeness of the occurrence is considerably increased. What inference is to be drawn from this extraordinary tale? I confess I cannot, and do not, believe that apparitions revisit the earth even at the "glimpses o' the moon," nor does this story at all change my opinion, and for one grand reason, which is this—That it is highly improbable that the course of nature would be interrupted for the production of so insignificant an effect, for it appears an unnecessary exertion of divine power, when the good attained would be little or none.

Let us, therefore, attribute it to a powerful imagination acting on a mind already affected with anxiety, and I believe we shall have no occasion for yielding to the idea of an apparition to explain the circumstance. I am acquainted with another tale of the same kind, but I am debarred from relating it, from my not being authorized to do so by the person, a gentleman of large property in Scotland, to whom it occurred. Lord Byron was much addicted to that species of superstition of which I am treating: the gloomy idea of spirits revisiting the earth to gaze on those who they loved, was congenial to his mind, and an overheated fancy indulged beyond its due limits, converted the morbid visionary into the superstitious ascetic.

There is an account of a ghost related in the Notes to Moore's Life of the Noble Poet (vol. i.) I have mentioned, which I shall detail here, as it may have escaped the memory of some of your readers. A captain of a merchant vessel was on a voyage to some port; having retired to rest, he was disturbed in the night by a horrid dream, that his brother, an officer in the navy was drowned. He awoke and perceived something dark lying at the foot of the hammock, and on putting out his hand discovered it was a naval uniform, wet. Some days after this his dream was confirmed by a letter informing him of his brother's death by drowning.

At Oakhampton, in Devonshire, there are the remains of a beautiful castle dismantled by Henry VIII. on the attainder of Henry Courtenay, which is situated in a park, concerning which many traditions exist, one of which I will give here as it was told by a native. A great many years ago, there lived a lady at Oakhampton Castle, who was famous for her love of cruelty and for unbounded ostentation. This lady was killed, and her ghost haunted some house in Oakhampton much to the discomfiture of all the inhabitants thereof. A conclave of "most grave and reverend signiors" was convoked, who ordained that the disturbed spirit should every night pluck a blade of grass till all should be gathered. And now, every night at the chilly hour of midnight, the lady in a splendid coach with four skeleton horses, a skeleton coachman, and skeleton footmen, is to be seen in the park obeying the dictum of the Oakhampton worthies. This legend will be found, I am told, in "Fitz, of Fitzford," by Mrs. Bray. I shall not comment on this, as it evidently appears a wild legend, on which we can found nothing.

There is another tale which I shall recount here, since I can vouch for its authenticity.

During the Irish Rebellion of 1798, a gentleman went to take possession of a house in a lone district of Ireland. The house had been uninhabited for some time, and was out of repair. Between nine and twelve at night, when the gentleman had retired to rest, he was alarmed by hearing a noise; he listened, the noise increased till the house rung with the repeated shocks; he hastily sprung out of bed, and imagining it was the Rebels, he rushed into the room where his servant slept; "Patrick, get up, the Rebels are breaking in," said he, "Don't you hear the noise?" "Lord bless yer honor's worship and glory, it's only the Daunder." "Daunder, sir, you rebel, the Daunder, what do you mean?" The servant explained that the knocking was regularly heard every night at the same time, and such was the case. Various parts of the wall were pulled down, and the house almost rebuilt, but to no purpose.

Foley Place. AN ANTIQUARY.

* * * * *

POEMS BY A KING OF PERSIA.

(To the Editor.)

It is rather an unusual thing in the present age to hear of monarchs being authors, and much more so of being poets. It is true, there have been instances of this kind in former times; but perhaps none deserved more notice than Fath Ali Shah, the King of Persia. The author of a collection of elegies and sonnets, Mr. Scott Waring, in his "Tour to Sheeraz," has exhibited a specimen of the king's amatory productions. He also states that the government of Kashan, one of the chief cities in Persia, was the reward of the king to the person who excelled in poetical composition.

The four subjoined poems are the production of this celebrated monarch.

WILLIAM RUNTING.

I.

She who is the object of my love Has just declared she will not grant me Another kiss, but at the price of my existence: Ah! why have I not a thousand lives, That I might sacrifice them all on these conditions.

The flame which she has enkindled in my heart Is so bright, that it dazzles the universe: It is a torch enclosed within crystal. This heart is a Christian temple, Wherein Beauty has established her sanctuary; And the sighs which escape from it Are like the loud ringing bells.[5]

Ah! too fascinating object! how dangerous Are thy looks!—they wound indifferently The hearts of young and old: they are More to be dreaded than the fatal arrows of the mighty Toos.[6] Delight us with a glimpse of thy lovely form; Charm our senses by the elegance of thy attitudes; Our hearts are transported by thy glances. The proud peacock, covered with confusion, Dares not display before thee the rich And pompous variety of his plumage. Thy ebon ringlets are chains, which hold Monarchs in captivity, and make Them slaves to the power of thy charms.

The dust on which thou treadest becomes an ornament, Worthy of the imperial diadem of Caus.[7] Haughty kings now prostrate themselves Before Khacan,[8] since he has obtained A favourable look from the object of his love.

II.

That blessing which the fountain of life Bestowed in former ages on Khezr[9] Thy lips can communicate in a manner Infinitely more efficacious. Nature, confounded at the aspect of thy lovely mouth, Conceals her rubies within a rock;— Our hearts, ensnared by those eyes which express All the softness of amorous intoxication, Are held captive in the dimples of thy chin.

Love has excited in my soul a fire Which cannot be extinguished;— My bosom is become red with flames, Like a parterre of roses;— This heart is no longer mine: It hangs suspended on the ringlets of thy hair— And thou, cruel fair! thou piercest it With a glance of thy cold disdain. Ah! inquire not into the wretched. Khacan's fate: Thy waving locks have deprived him of reason; But how many thousand lovers, before him, Have fallen victims to the magic of thy beauty.

III.

My soul, captivated by thy charms, Wastes itself away in chains, and bends beneath The weight of oppression. Thou hast said "Love will bring thee to the tomb—arise, And leave his dominions" But, alas! I wish to expire at thy feet, rather than to abandon Altogether my hopes of possessing thee. I swear, by the two bows that send forth Irresistible arrows from thine eyes, That my days have lost their lustre: They are dark as the jet of thy waving ringlets; And the sweetness of thy lips far exceeds, In the opinion of Khacan, all that The richest sugar-cane has ever yielded.

IV.

The humid clouds of spring float over the enamelled meads, And, like my eyes, dissolve in tears. My fancy seeks thee in all places; and the beauties Of Nature retrace, at every moment, Thy enchanting image. But thou, O cruel fair one! Thou endeavourest to efface from thy memory The recollection of my ardent love—my tender constancy.

Thy charms eclipse the growing tulip— Thy graceful stature puts to shame the lofty cyprus. Let every nymph, although equal in beauty to Shireen,[10] Pay homage to thy superiority; and let all men Become like Ferhad[11] of the mountain, Distracted on beholding thy loveliness.

How could the star of day have shone amidst the heavens, If the moon of thy countenance had not concealed Its splendour beneath the cloud of a veil? Oh! banish me not from thy sight; Command me—it will be charitable— Command me to die. How long wilt thou reject the amorous solicitations Of thy Khacan? Wilt thou drive him to madness By thy unrelenting cruelty? The doomed To endless tears and lamentations.

[5] A person, called the Mawezn, summons the people to prayers from the tower, at certain stated times, by ringing bells.

[6] Toos, the son of Nouder, makes a conspicuous figure among the princes and warriors, celebrated by Ferdoosi in his book of Kings.

[7] Caus supposed to have been Darius the Mede by some historians.

[8] This poetical surname Khacan, adopted by Fath Ali Shah, signifies emperor or king.

[9] The prophet Khezr (whom some mistake for Elias) is said to have discovered and tasted the "waters of immortality," and consequently to be exempt from death.

[10] Shireen, the favourite of Khosroo, is no less celebrated for her beauty than for the passion with which she inspired Ferhad.

[11] Of this unfortunate lover Ferhad, the romantic story has been told by several distinguished writers. The mountain to which our royal poet alludes is the Kooh Bisetoon (in the province of Curdistan), where are still visible many figures sculptured in the rock, which, by the romances of Persia, are ascribed to the statuary Ferhad. Among these sculptures, travellers have noticed the representation of a female—according to local tradition, the fair Shireen, mistress to King Khosroo, and the fascinating object of Ferhad's love. As a recompense for clearing a passage over the mountain of Bisetoon, by removing immense rocks, which obstructed the path (a task of such labour as far exceeded the power of common mortals, by Ferhad, however, executed with ease), the monarch had promised to bestow Shireen on the enamoured statuary. But a false report of the fair one's death having been communicated to Ferhad in a sudden manner, he immediately destroyed himself; and the scene of this catastrophe is still shown among the recesses of Mount Bisetoon.

* * * * *



ANECDOTE GALLERY.



THE LATE PRINCESS CHARLOTTE.

(From the Life and Correspondence of Sir Thomas Lawrence.)

"In 1817, Sir Thomas Lawrence was commissioned to paint the portrait of the princess a second time, and he staid at Claremont during nine days. He one morning filled up a few vacant hours in writing to his friend, and his description of the habits of the newly-married and juvenile offsprings and heirs of royalty, forms a calm, unostentatious, and delightful picture of domestic life. How ill such pleasures would have been exchanged for the public splendour and costly amusements by which they were tempted. It is a source of infinite gratification to lay before the country such a testimony to the disposition and virtues of one, in whom centered so much of the public hope and love."

"Extracts from Letters of Sir Thomas Lawrence."

"I am now returned from Claremont, my visit to which was agreeable to me in every respect; both in what regarded myself, my reception, and the complete success of my professional labours, and in the satisfaction of seeing the perfect harmony in which this young couple now live, and of observing the good qualities which promise to make it lasting."

"The princess is, as you know, wanting in elegance of deportment, but has nothing of the hoyden or of that boisterous hilarity which has been ascribed to her: her manner is exceedingly frank and simple, but not rudely abrupt nor coarse; and I have, in this little residence of nine days, witnessed undeniable evidence of an honest, just, English nature, that reminded me, from its immediate decision between the right and wrong of a subject, and the downrightness of the feeling that governed it, of the good king, her grandfather. If she does nothing gracefully, she does everything kindly."

"She already possesses a great deal of that knowledge of the past history of this country, that ought to form a part of her peculiar education."

"It is exceedingly gratifying to see that she both loves and respects Prince Leopold, whose conduct, indeed, and character, seem justly to deserve those feelings. From the report of the gentlemen of his household, he is considerate, benevolent, and just, and of very amiable manners. My own observation leads me to think, that, in his behaviour to her, he is affectionate and attentive, rational and discreet; and, in the exercise of that judgment which is sometimes brought in opposition to some little thoughtlessness, he is so cheerful and slily humorous, that it is evident (at least it appears to me so) that she is already more in dread of his opinion than of his displeasure."

"Their mode of life is very regular: they breakfast together alone about eleven: at half-past twelve she came in to sit to me, accompanied by Prince Leopold, who stayed great part of the time: about three she would leave the painting-room, to take her airing round the grounds in a low phaeton with her ponies, the prince always walking by her side; at five she would come in and sit to me till seven; at six, or before it, he would go out with his gun to shoot either hares or rabbits, and return about seven or half-past; soon after which we went to dinner, the prince and princess appearing in the drawing-room just as it was served up. Soon after the dessert appeared, the prince and princess retired to the drawing-room, whence we soon heard the piano accompanying their voices. At his own time, Colonel Addenbrooke, the chamberlain, proposed our going in, always, as I thought, to disturb them."

"After coffee, the card-table was brought, and they sat down to whist, the young couple being always partners, the others changing. You know my superiority at whist, and the unfairness of my sitting down with unskilful players; I therefore did not obey command, and from ignorance of the delicacy of my motives, am recommended to study Hoyle before my second visit there next week, which indeed must be a very short one."

"The prince and princess retire at eleven o'clock."

We leave out the link in the narrative that connects this pleasant description with the melancholy scene described in the following (for it is written in a sad taste) and only add, that the most amiable and beloved of women died within a month from the date of the above letter.

"Popular love and the enthusiasm of sorrow, never towards greatness, perhaps so real, saw in her a promised Elizabeth, and while yet she lived it was a character which I should sincerely have assigned to her, as that which she would most nearly have approached: certain I am that she would have been a true monarch—have loved her people: charity and justice, high integrity (as I have stated), frankness and humanity, were essentials and fixed in her character: her mind seemed to have nothing of subtlety or littleness in it, and she had all the courage of her station."

"She once said, 'I am a great coward, but I bluster it out like the best of them till the danger's over.' I was told by one of the members of the council awaiting her delivery, that Dr. Baillie came in, and said in answer to some inquiries, 'She's doing very well: she'll not die of fear: she puts a good Brunswick face upon the matter.' She had a surprisingly quick ear, which I was pleasantly warned of: whilst playing whist, which being played for shillings, was not the most silent game I ever witnessed, she would suddenly reply to something that the baron or I would be talking of, in the lowest tone, at the end of the room, whilst her companions at the table were ignorant of the cause of her observations."

"I have increased respect for the Bishop of Salisbury, because he appeared to have fully performed his duty in her education. She had, as I have said, great knowledge of the history of this country, and in the businesses of life, and a readiness in anecdotes of political parties in former reigns."

"How often I see her now entering the room (constantly on his arm) with slow but firm step, always erect—and the small but elegant proportion of her head to her figure, of course more striking from her situation. Her features, as you see, were beautifully cut; her clear blue eye, so open, so like the fearless purity of truth, that the most experienced parasite must have turned from it when he dared to lie."

"I was stunned by her death: it was an event in the great drama of life. The return from Elba! Waterloo! St. Helena! Princess Charlotte dead!—I did not grieve, I have not grieved half enough for her: yet I never think of her, speak of her, write of her without tears, and have often, when alone, addressed her in her bliss, as though she now saw me, heard me; and it is because I respect her for her singleness of worth, and am grateful for her past and meditated kindness."

"Her manner of addressing Prince Leopold was always as affectionate as it was simple—'My love;' and his always, 'Charlotte.' I told you that when we went in from dinner they were generally sitting at the pianoforte, often on the same chair. I never heard her play, but the music they had been playing was always of the finest kind."

"I was at Claremont, on a call of inquiry, the Saturday before her death. Her last command to me was, that I should bring down the picture to give to Prince Leopold upon his birthday, the 16th of the next month. * * *"

"If I do not make reply to different parts of your letter (always satisfactory in a correspondence), it is because I fear, having no long time to write in, that I may lose something by delay, in narrating the circumstances of my yesterday's visit to Claremont, when I was enabled through the gracious kindness of my sovereign, to fulfil that promise so solemnly given and now become so sacred a pledge."

"It was my wish that Prince Leopold should see the picture on his first entering the room to his breakfast, and accordingly at seven o'clock I set off with it in a coach. I got to Claremont, uncovered and placed it in the room in good time. Before I took it there, I carried it in to Colonel Addenbrooke, Baron Hardenbroch, and Dr. Short, who had been her tutor. Sir Robert Gardiner came in, and went out immediately. Dr. Short looked at it for some time in silence, but I saw his lips trembling, and his eyes filled to overflowing. He said nothing, but went out; and soon after him Colonel Addenbrooke. The baron and I then placed the picture in the prince's room."

"When I returned to take my breakfast, Colonel Addenbrooke came in; he said, 'I don't know what to make of these fellows; there's Sir Robert Gardiner swears he can't stay in the room with it: that if he sees it in one room, he'll go into another.'—Then there's Dr. Short. I said, I suppose by your going out and saying nothing, you don't like the picture. 'Like it,' he said, (and he was blubbering) ''tis so like her, and so amiable, that I could not stay in the room.'—More passed on the subject, not worth detailing. I learnt that the prince was very much overcome by the sight of the picture, and the train of recollections that it brought with it. Colonel Addenbrooke went in to the prince, and returning shortly, said, 'The prince desires me to say how much obliged to you he is for this attention, that he shall always remember it. He said, 'Do you think Sir Thomas Lawrence would wish to see me? If he would, I shall be very glad to see him.'—I replied that I thought you would: so if you like, he will see you whenever you choose, before your departure.' Soon after, I went in to him. As I passed through the hall, Dr. Short came up to me, (he had evidently been, and was crying,) and thanked me for having painted such a picture. 'No one is a better judge than I am, sir,' and he turned away."

"The prince was looking exceedingly pale; but he received me with calm firmness, and that low, subdued voice that you know to be the effort at composure. He spoke at once about the picture and of its value to him more than to all the world besides. From the beginning to the close of the interview, he was greatly affected. He checked his first burst of affection, by adverting to the public loss, and that of the royal family. 'Two generations gone!—gone in a moment! I have felt for myself, but I have felt for the Prince Regent. My Charlotte is gone from this country—it has lost her. She was a good, she was an admirable woman. None could know my Charlotte as I did know her! It was my happiness, my duty to know her character, but it was my delight.' During a short pause I spoke of the impression it had made on me. 'Yes, she had a clear, fine understanding, and very quick—she was candid, she was open, and not suspecting, but she saw characters at the glance—she read them so true. You saw her; you saw something of us—you saw us for some days—you saw our year! Oh! what happiness—and it was solid—it could not change, for we knew each other—except when I went out to shoot, we were together always, and we could be together—we did not tire.'"

"I tried to check this current of recollection, that was evidently overpowering him (as it was me) by a remark on a part of the picture, and then on its likeness to the youth of the old king. 'Ah! and my child was like her, for one so young, (as if it had really lived in childhood.) For one so young it was surprisingly like—the nose, it was higher than children's are—the mouth, so like hers; so cut (trying to describe its mouth on his own.) My grief did not think of it, but if I could have had a drawing of it! She was always thinking of others, not of herself—no one so little selfish—always looking out for comfort for others. She had been for hours, for many hours, in great pain—she was in that situation where selfishness must act if it exists—when good people will be selfish, because pain makes them so—and my Charlotte was not—any grief could not make her so! She thought our child was alive; I knew it was not, and I could not support her mistake. I left the room, for a short time: in my absence they took courage, and informed her. When she recovered from it, she said, 'Call in Prince Leopold—there is none can comfort him but me! My Charlotte, my dear Charlotte! And now, looking at the picture, he said, Those beautiful hands, that at the last, when she was talking to others were always looking out for mine!'"

"I need not tell you my part in this interview; he appeared to rely on my sharing his thoughts."

* * * * *

"Towards the close of our interview, I asked him, 'if the princess at the last felt her danger?' He said, 'No; my Charlotte thought herself very ill, but not in danger. And she was so well but an hour and a half after the delivery!—And she said I should not leave her again—and I should sleep in that room—and she should have in the sofa bed—and she should have it where she liked—she herself would have it fixed. She was strong, and had so much courage, yet once she seemed to fear. You remember she was affected when you told her that you could not paint my picture just at that time; but she was much more affected when we were alone—and I told her I should sit when we went to Marlborough House after her confinement, 'Then,' she said, 'if you are to sit when you go to town, and after my confinement—then I may never see that picture.' My Charlotte felt she never should."

"More passed in our interview, but not much more—chiefly, my part in it. At parting he pressed my hand firmly—held it long, I could almost say affectionately, I had been, by all this conversation, so impressed with esteem for him, that an attempt to kiss his hand that grasped mine was resistless, but it was checked on both sides. I but bowed—and he drew my hand towards him: he then bade me good by, and on leaving the room turned back to give me a slow parting nod,—and though half blinded myself, I was struck with the exceeding paleness of his look across the room. His bodily health, its youthfulness cannot sink under this heaviest affliction! And his mind is rational; but when thus leaving the room, his tall dark figure, pale lace, and solemn manner, for the moment, looked a melancholy presage."

"I know that your good-nature will forgive my not answering your letter in detail, since I have refrained from it but to give you this narration of beings so estimable, so happy, and so parted."

"Prince Leopold's voice is of very fine tone, and gentle; and its articulation exceedingly clear, accurate, and impressive, without the slightest affectation. You know that sort of reasoning emphasis of manner with which the tongue conveys whatever deeply interests the mind. His 'My Charlotte!' is affecting; he does not pronounce it as 'Me Charlotte,' but very simply and evenly, 'My Charlotte.'"

* * * * *



NOTES OF A READER.



KNOWLEDGE FOR THE PEOPLE.

Part VII.—Mechanics.

We quote a few articles from the Introductory portion, illustrating the general principles of Mechanical agencies.

Why are we said to know of nothing which is absolutely at rest?

Because the earth is whirling round its axis, and round the sun; the sun is moving round his axis, and round the centre of gravity of the solar system; and, doubtless, round some more remote centre in the great universe, carrying all his planets and comets about his path. One of the grand laws of nature is, that all bodies persevere in their present state, whether of motion or rest, unless disturbed by some foreign power. Motion, therefore, once began, would be continued for ever, were it to meet with no interruption from external causes, such as the power of gravity, the resistance of the medium, &c. Dr. Arnott adduces several familiar illustrations of motions and forces. Thus, all falling and pressing bodies exhibit attraction in its simplest form. Repulsion is instanced in explosion, steam, the action of springs, &c. Explosion of gunpowder is repulsion among the particles when assuming the form of air. Steam, by the repulsion among its particles, moves the piston of the steam-engine. All elasticity, as seen in springs, collision, &c. belongs chiefly to repulsion. A spring is often, as it were, a reservoir of force, kept ready charged for a purpose; as when a gun-lock is cocked, a watch wound up, &c.

Why does a billiard ball stop when it strikes directly another ball of equal size, and the second ball proceed with the whole velocity which the first had?

Because the action which imparts the new motion is equal to the re-action which destroys the old. Although the transference of motion, in such a case, seems to be instantaneous, the change is really progressive, and is as follows:—The approaching ball, at a certain point of time, has just given half of its motion to the other equal ball; and if both were of soft clay, they would then proceed together with half the original velocity; but, as they are elastic, the touching parts at the moment supposed, are compressed like a spring between the balls; and by their expanding, and exerting force equally both ways, they double the velocity of the foremost ball, and destroy altogether the motion in the other.

Why does a walking stick help a man on a journey?

Because he pushes against the ground with the stick, which may be considered as compressing a spring between the earth and the end of his stick, which spring is therefore pushing up as much as he pushes down; and if, at the time, he were balanced in the scales of a weighing beam, he would find that he weighed just as much less as he were pressing with his stick.

Why is sea-sickness produced on shipboard?

Because man, strictly to maintain his perpendicularity, that is, to keep the centre of gravity always over the support of his body, requires standards of comparison, which he obtains chiefly by the perpendicularity or known position of things about him, as on land; but on shipboard, where the lines of the masts, windows, furniture, &c. are constantly changing, his standards of comparison are soon lost or disturbed. Hence, also, the reason why persons unaccustomed to the motion of a ship, often find relief by keeping their eyes directed to the fixed shore, where it is visible, or by lying on their backs, and shutting their eyes; and, on the other hand, the ill-effects of looking over the side of the vessel at the restless waves of the sea.

Why is the pendulum a time-keeper?

Because the times of the vibrations are very nearly equal, whether it be moving much or little; that is to say, whether the arc described by it be large or small. A common clock is merely a pendulum, with wheel-work attached to it, to record the number of the vibrations; and with a weight or spring, having force enough to counteract the retarding effects of friction and the resistance of the air. The wheels show how many swings or beats of the pendulum have taken place, because at every beat, a tooth of the last wheel is allowed to pass. Now, if this wheel has sixty teeth, as is common, it will just turn round once for sixty beats of the pendulum, or seconds; and a hand fixed on its axis, projecting through the dial-plate, will be the second hand of the clock. The other wheels are so connected with this first, and the numbers of the teeth on them so proportioned, that one turns sixty times slower than the first, to fit its axis to carry a minute hand; and another, by moving twelve times slower still, is fitted to carry an hour-hand.—Arnott.

Why do clocks denote the progress of time?

Because they count the oscillations of a pendulum; and by that peculiar property of the pendulum, that one vibration commences exactly where the last terminates, no part of time is lost or gained in the juxtaposition (or putting together) of the units so counted, so that the precise fractional part of a day can be ascertained, which each such unit measures. The origin of the pendulum is traced to Galileo's observation of a hanging lamp in a church at Pisa continuing to vibrate long and with singular uniformity, after any accidental cause of disturbance. Hence he was led to investigate the laws of the phenomenon, and out of what, in some shape or other, had been before men's eyes from the beginning of the world, his powerful genius extracted the most important results. The invention of pendulum clocks took place about the middle of the seventeenth century; and the honour of the discovery is disputed between Galileo and Huygens. Becher contends for Galileo, and states that one Trifler made the first pendulum clock at Florence, under the direction of Galileo Galilei, and that a model of it was sent to Holland. The Accademia del Cimento also expressly declared, that the application of the pendulum to the movement of a clock, was first proposed by Galileo, and put in practice by his son, Vincenzo Galileo, in 1649. Huygens, however, contests the priority, and made a pendulum clock before 1658; and he insists, that if ever Galileo had entertained such an idea, he never brought it to perfection. Beckmann says the first pendulum clock made in England, was constructed in the year 1662, by one Tromantil, a Dutchman; but Grignon affirms that the first pendulum clock was made in England, by Robert Harris, in 1641, and erected in Inigo Jones's church of St. Paul, Covent-garden.

Why does the pendulum move faster in proportion as its journey is longer?

Because, in proportion as the arc described is more extended, the steeper are its beginning and ending; and the more rapidly, therefore, the pendulum falls down at first, sweeps along the intermediate space, and stops at last.—Arnott.

Why is it extremely difficult to ascertain the exact length of the pendulum?

Because of the various expansion of metals, respecting which no two pyrometers agree; the changeable nature of the atmosphere; the uncertainty as to the true level of the sea; the extreme difficulty of measuring accurately the distance between the point of suspension and the centre of oscillation, and even of finding that centre; also the variety of terrestrial attraction, from which cause the motions of the pendulum are also liable to variation, even in the same latitude. In pursuing his researches, Capt. Kater discovered that the motions of the pendulum are affected by the nature of the strata over which it vibrates.

Why is the iron rim of a coach wheel heated before putting on?

Because the expansion of the metal occasioned by the heat, facilitates the operation of putting on the iron, while the contraction which follows, brings the joints of the wooden part together; and thus, binding the whole, gives great strength to the wheel.

Why does a bottle of fresh water, corked and let down 30 or 40 feet into the sea, often come up again with the water saltish, although the cork be still in its place?

Because the cork, when far down, is so squeezed as to allow the water to pass in or out by its sides, but on rising, it resumes its former size.

Why do bubbles rise on a cup of tea when a lump of sugar is dropped into it?

Because the sugar is porous, and the air which filled its pores then escapes to the surface of the tea, and the liquid takes its place.

Why is there an opening in the centre of the upper stone of a corn mill?

Because through this opening the grain is admitted and kept turning round between the stones, and is always tending and travelling outwards, until it escapes as flour from the circumference.

Why does water remain in a vessel which is placed in a sling and made to describe a circle?

Because the water, by its inertia of straightness, or centrifugal (or centre-flying) force, tends more away from the centre of motion towards the bottom of the vessel, than towards the earth by gravity.

Why does a young quadruped walk much sooner than a child?

Because a body is tottering in proportion to its great altitude and narrow base. Now, the child has this latter, and learns to walk but slowly, because of the difficulty, perhaps in ten or twelve months, while the young of quadrupeds, having a broad supporting base, are able to stand, and even to move about almost immediately; but it is the noble prerogative of man to be able to support his towering figure with great firmness, on a very narrow base, and under constant change of attitude.—Arnott.

* * * * *



FINE ARTS.



THE ROYAL ACADEMY.

(From a Correspondent.)

The exhibition of works of art in the Royal Academy this year is equal to any preceding, except in the department of portraiture; nor is this deficiency by any means extraordinary, when we consider the severe loss the arts have sustained by the death of Sir Thomas Lawrence. We much regret that, out of one thousand two hundred and thirty-four productions, we can only enumerate a very small number for want of space:

No. 11. Dutch Coast—very fine and transparent in the colouring; painted by A. W. Callcott, R. A.

16. A Subject from the Winter's Tale—good. W. H. Worthington.

55. Progress of Civilization—painted for the Mechanics' Institute at Hull. This work is admirably conceived, and reflects great credit on the talents of Mr. H. P. Briggs.

56. Mary Queen of Scots meeting the Earl of Bothwell between Stirling and Edinburgh. Mr. Cooper has treated this subject with his usual care, and appears to have delineated the costume very accurately. The horses are spirited, and finely executed.

62. Portrait of Lady Lyndhurst—painted very much in the manner of Rembrandt, by D. Wilkie, R. A.

65 and 66. Portraits of their Majesties—painted for the Corporation of the Trinity House, by Sir William Beechy.

78. An Italian Family, by C. L. Eastlake, is an interesting picture, and extremely rich in colour.

79. The Maid of Judith waiting outside the tent of Holofernes, till her Mistress had consummated the deed that delivered her country from its invaders: a wonderful production, by Etty.

84. Scene near Hastings. Rev. T. J. Judkin.

86. Interior of a Highlander's House—very fine. Edwin Landseer.

105. Portrait of Miss Eliza Cooper—a chaste and highly-finished production, by Sir M. A. Shee.

Messrs. Pickersgill, Turner, Reinagle, Hilton, Newton, Constable, Good, Daniell, Clint, Kidd, Howard, Phillips, and Elford, have also some excellent pictures in the exhibition.

May 14, 1831.

G. W. N.

* * * * *



SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS



BILLINGTON.

(Print her name in grand capitals, Mr. Compositor)—Billington returned from Italy! My father, who remembered, I suspect, the beautiful woman more than the accomplished singer, determined to hear again her Mandane; and sorely against my will, I rather think to prevent the chance of my doing mischief at home, forced me to go along with him. With listless and unwilling ears I listened to her and Mrs. Mountain, that second best of English singers throughout "Fair Aurora." Gradually, however, and involuntarily, I became pleased, interested, delighted; and when the encored "Soldier tired" was ended, had I but possessed so much Italian, "Sono anch'io Cantatore" would have burst from my lips with as much fervour and devotedness of resolution as the "Sono anch'io Pittore" of the artist. From this moment never had I three shillings and sixpence in my pocket, and either Billington's or Braham's name in the bills of the night, that I was not to be seen planted in the front row of the pit, looking over the leader's book, and taking the only lessons I ever received in music. The opera over, no farce, however laughable, not even the "Turnpike Gate" with Joe Munden's Crack, had the power to detain me in the house.—My time of imitation was arrived, and I sallied forth to alarm watchmen with the last division of the "Soldier tired," affront my friends by saluting them with "Adieu thou dreary pile," or annoy my father with shouting "The Austrian trumpet's loud alarms" at a moment when, with all the fervour of true John Bull anti-gallicanism, he was lamenting over Ulm and Austerlitz; execrating Mack, pitying Francis and Alexander, and cursing the victorious Napoleon by all his gods.—Harmonicon, No. 41.

* * * * *

SUFFICING REASONS FOR SHAKING.

At a charity concert, given some time since in the sister island, one of the reverend directors, or stewards, was shocked at a long shake made by a juvenile chorister in the passage "and they were sore afraid" in the Messiah, and remonstrated with the boy's instructor on the impropriety of such an ornament to such words.

"And is it in regard to the shake you'd be spaking, sir?" replied the master. "Sure and if ye were sore afraid yourself, would not ye be shaking? Ay, I'll be your bail that you would, and shaking in your shoes too! Plase to leave me and my pupil alone: many a one will be coming to-morrow twenty and thirty miles, every inch of it, to hear Master —— sing, that would not step out twenty yards to hear you prache."—Ibid.

* * * * *

CALCULATING NOTES.—PAGANINI.

Stephen Storace had a remarkably good head for figures. When a boy, his passion for calculation was beyond all belief. Michael Kelly says, he has been known to multiply four figures by four figures, by memory, in three minutes. When young, Kelly tells us, Storace was so astonished that fifty guineas should be paid for singing a song, that he counted the notes in it, and calculated the amount of each at 4s. 10d.

This passion for calculating the value of notes (musical ones) has seized a Parisian dilettante, who, according to the Furet de Londres, has been fixing the price of every note and rest in certain pieces played by Paganini recently, at a concert given at the Opera at Paris, which produced him 16,500 francs. The following is the result:—He performed, during the evening, three pieces, each occupying five pages of music, of about 91 bars to the page. The fifteen pages thus contained 1,365 bars, by which the 16,500 francs are to be divided. The quotient will be 12 francs for each bar, or the proportions will be as follows:—For a semibreve, 12f.; a minim 6f.; a crotchet, 3f.; a quaver, 1f. 50c.; a semiquaver, 15 sous; a demisemiquaver, 7-1/2 sous. And, on the other hand, for a minim rest, 6f.; a crotchet rest, 3f.; &c. There would still remain out of the 16,500 francs, 420, which is exactly the price of such a violin as the Conservatory awards as a prize to its most distinguished pupils.

All this may be play to Paganini, but destruction to less fortunate musicians, for he swallows up all that would otherwise be distributed among many. An English violinist must work many long laborious days and nights before he can scrape together six hundred and eighty-seven pounds sterling—the sum, it seems, which the lucky Italian gets by a single concert!—Ibid.

* * * * *



THE SELECTOR AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.



FREEMASONRY.

In a neat volume, called The Freemasons' Pocket Companion, of size to fit the waistcoat pocket, we find the following brief sketch of the History of Freemasonry in England. This little Manual is "By a Brother of the Apollo Lodge, 711, Oxford," who acknowledges his obligation to Oliver and Preston, an article on Masonry, in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, &c.:—

In Britain, we are informed that St. Alban, the first martyr for Christianity in this country, was a great patron of the masons, and procured leave from the King or Emperor Carausius for a general meeting or assembly to be held by them, and higher wages to be given them. But we have no good reason, I think, to believe that these masons had much connexion with our fraternity, nor that freemasonry was introduced into Britain before the time of St. Austin, who, with forty more monks, among whom the sciences were preserved, was commissioned by Pope Gregory to baptize Ethelbert, King of Kent. About this time appeared those trading associations of architects who travelled over Europe, patronised by the See of Rome. The difficulty of obtaining expert workmen for the many pious works raised at that time in honour of religion, made it prudent to encourage, by peculiar privileges, those bodies of men, who had devoted themselves to the study and practice of architecture. Accordingly they were allowed to have their own government without opposition, and no others were permitted to work on any building with which they were concerned. They were under regular command, divided into lodges, with a master and wardens in each, and dwelt in an encampment near the building they were employed to erect.

It is not in my power to trace the progress of these lodges of masons in any connected history, but I will proceed with the accounts we have of the masons in England from the time of St. Austin. By them the old cathedral of Canterbury was built, in 600; St. Paul's, London, 604; and St. Peter's, Westminster, 605; with many others. In the year 680 some more expert brethren from France were formed into a lodge, under the direction of Bennet, Abbot of Wirral, who was appointed superintendent of the masons by Kinred, King of Mercia. From this time, however, little is known of the fraternity, until the year 856, when St. Swithin was the superintendent, appointed by Ethelwolf; from which time it gradually improved till the year 872, when King Alfred took the command of it. Upon his death, in 900, when Edward succeeded to the throne, and Ethred, Prince of Mercia, patronised the society, Edward was succeeded, in 924, by his son, Athelstan, whose brother, Edwin, procured from the king a charter for the masons, by which they were empowered to meet annually in a general assembly, and to have power to regulate their own order. And, according to this charter, the first grand lodge of England met at York, in 926. But here it is to be remarked that the grand lodge is not to be understood as the same in those times that it is now; it was not then restricted to the masters and wardens of private lodges, but was open to as many of the fraternity as could attend: for, until late years, the grand lodge as now constituted did not exist, but there was but one family of masons; and any sufficient number of masons met together, with the consent of the civil magistrate, to practise the rites of masonry, without warrant of constitution as a lodge.

On the death of Prince Edwin, Athelstan himself presided over the lodges; but after his decease, we know little of the state of the masons in Britain, except that they were governed by Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 960, and Edward the Confessor in 1041. But in 1066, William the Conqueror appointed Gondulph, Bishop of Rochester, to preside over the society. In 1100, Henry the First patronised them; and in 1135, during the reign of Stephen, the society was under the command of Gilbert de Clare, Marquess of Pembroke.

From the year 1155 to 1199, the fraternity was under the command of the grand master of the knights templars.

In 1199, Peter de Colechurch was appointed grand master; and the society continued to increase and flourish in the successive reigns of Henry III., Edward I., Edward II., and Edward III. This last prince revised the constitutions of the order, and appointed deputies to superintend the fraternity, one of whom was William a Wykeham, afterwards Bishop of Winchester. He continued grand master under the reign of Richard II.; was succeeded by Thomas Fitz Allen, Earl of Surrey, in Henry IV.'s reign; and on Henry V.'s accession, Chichely, Archbishop of Canterbury, presided over the society. We have records of a lodge held at Canterbury, under his patronage, where Thos. Stapylton was master, and the names of the wardens and other brethren are given. This was in 1429, four years after an act of parliament, passed early in the reign of Henry VI., against the meetings of the society, which was caused by the enmity of Cardinal Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, towards Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, the king's uncle, a great patron of the craft. But this act was never enforced, and in 1442 the king was himself initiated, and he patronised the society.

In the meantime, under the auspices of James I. of Scotland, masonry flourished in that country. It had been nursed, during the wars which ravaged Europe, in the humble village of Kilwinning, in the west of the country; from whence it at length burst forth, and communicated its light to the lodges in the south. The records of this lodge actually go back to the beginning of the fifteenth century, as also do those of a lodge in or near Edinburgh. And about this time the Scottish king appointed a fee to be paid by every master to the grand master, who was chosen by the grand lodge. James II. of Scotland made the grand mastership hereditary, and conferred it on the St. Clairs of Roslin, in which family it continued till 1736, when the then representative of the family, being old and childless, resigned it into the hands of the grand lodge, then first established on its present footing, by whom he was re-elected grand master for life.

During the civil wars in England masonry declined; but on the accession of Henry VII., in 1485, it revived again, under the patronage of the grand master of the order of St. John, at Rhodes, who, in 1500, chose King Henry their protector. In 1502 this king presided in person in a lodge of master masons, and proceeded in ample form to lay the foundation of the chapel, at the east end of Westminster Abbey, which bears his name.

The fraternity continued to flourish in the next reigns; and in the reign of Elizabeth, about 1550, Sir Thos. Sackville, then grand master, assembled the general lodge at York, which is said to have roused the jealousy of the queen; and she intended to break up the meeting, but being informed that they did not meddle with politics, she withdrew her orders, and permitted them to meet unmolested. Sackville was succeeded by Sir Thomas Gresham, in the south, who built the Royal Exchange, and by Francis Russell, Earl of Bedford, in the north.

Masonry continued to flourish in the next reign, under Inigo Jones, as grand master, till 1618, when the Earl of Pembroke succeeded him; and after some more changes, Jones again was elected, and continued to preside till his death, in 1646. But the civil war again obstructed the progress of the order, until the Restoration, when it revived under the auspices of Charles II.

In 1663, the Earl of St. Alban's was elected grand master, who appointed Mr. (afterwards Sir Christopher) Wren his deputy; which office he held until 1685, when he was himself appointed to the grand chair. During his deputy-ship he erected many noble buildings, particularly the cathedral of St. Paul's.

The short reign of James II. was not favourable to the order of masons; nor did it begin again to revive for many years. King William III. was initiated privately in 1695, and approved the choice of Sir Christopher Wren as grand master; but shortly after, and during the whole reign of Queen Anne, the society decreased gradually, for the grand master's age prevented his attending regularly, and the annual feasts were neglected.

On the accession, therefore, of Geo. I. the masons in London determined to revive, if possible, the grand lodge and the communications of the society under a new grand master, Sir Christopher Wren being dead. In February, 1717, accordingly, the only four lodges then existing in London met, and voting the oldest master mason, constituted themselves a grand lodge; and on St. John Baptist's day, meeting again, they elected Anthony Sayer, Esq., grand master, and he was regularly installed by the grand master who had before been voted into the chair.

Mr. Sayer was succeeded by George Payne, Esq., in 1718, who collected all the records of the society—by which means some copies of the old Gothic constitutions were produced and arranged. In 1719, Dr. Desaguliers was grand master, and by his activity the order made great progress; and at the feast of his installation, the custom of drinking healths was first introduced. In the next, year, under Mr. Payne again, the fraternity sustained a great loss by the burning of some valuable manuscripts, by some too scrupulous brethren; and next year, the Duke of Montague was proposed for, and accepted the chair of grand master.

* * * * *

In 1726, the masons of Wales attached themselves to the grand lodge of England, and the office of provincial master was instituted soon after. The Society was introduced into India in 1728, and the grand lodge of America constituted, by warrant from London, in 1735; and that of Holland, at Hamburgh, in the same year. In 1738, the Book of Constitutions was published; the grand lodge of Prussia constituted under the Scotch constitution, and has ever since flourished in that country; and in 1774, the grand lodge of Antigua was established, by warrant from the grand lodge of England.

Correspondence was opened with the grand lodge of France in 1768; with that of Holland in 1770; and that of Berlin in 1776. On the 1st of May, 1775, the foundation-stone of the Freemasons' Hall was laid; and the building was opened and dedicated in solemn form on the 23rd of May, 1776, Lord Petre being then grand master.

In 1779, a correspondence was established with the grand lodge of Germany; and in 1782 an attempt was made to open one with those of Scotland and Ireland. This was not then effected; but in 1803 explanations were made to the grand lodge of Scotland regarding the schism in England; in consequence of which, two years after, the wished for union was accomplished; and in 1808 the same gratifying proposals were made from Ireland, and accepted with cordiality. Meantime, the same brotherly communication had been instituted with Sweden in 1799, and Prussia in 1805.

While these friendly communications with foreign brethren were going on, masonic benevolence, ever privately exercised, had made a public exertion in favour of the children of deceased brethren at home, in the establishment of the charity for female children, in 1788; of the masonic society for the relief of sick, lame, or distressed brethren, and their widows, children, or orphans, in 1799. In the year 1816 freemasonry was revived in Russia, under the patronage of the emperor, and communications forwarded from the grand lodge at St. Petersburgh to that in London.

* * * * *



MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.



WATER AT SHAFTESBURY.

Motcomb, half a mile north from Shaftesbury, is noted for containing the wells from which the inhabitants of Shaftesbury are supplied with water. Great numbers of the inhabitants get their living by carrying water, for which they have three halfpence or twopence the horse load. On this account there is a particular custom yearly observed, according to ancient agreement, dated 1662, between the Lord of the Manor of Gillingham, and the Mayor and Burgesses of Shaftesbury. The Mayor is obliged, the Monday before Holy Thursday, to dress up a prize bezon, or bizant, somewhat like a May garland in form, with gold and peacocks' feathers, and carry to Enmori Green, half a mile below the town in Motcomb, as an acknowledgment for the water, together with a raw calf's head, a pair of gloves, a gallon of beer or ale, and two penny loaves of white wheaten bread, which the steward receives and carries away for his own use. The ceremony being over, the bizant is restored to the Mayor, and brought back by one of his officers with great solemnity. This bizant is generally so richly adorned with plate and jewels, borrowed from the neighbouring gentry, as to be worth not less than L1,500.

C. D.

* * * * *

TRINITY TERM ENDS 11th JUNE.

(For the Mirror.)

"On this day," says Brady, in his Calendaria, "Trinity Term ends; and immediately on the rising of the Court, commences that cessation from legal business emphatically denominated the 'long vacation,' or that space which our ancestors have wisely left undisturbed by law concerns, that the people may be the better able to attend to the different harvests throughout the kingdom. Thus the activity and bustle of the Inns of Court suddenly subside into a want of occupation, not unaptly displayed in the following anonymous parody:—"

"My lord now quits his venerable seat, The six clerk on his padlock turns the key, From business hurries to his snug retreat, And leaves vacation and the town to me."

"Now all is hush'd—asleep the eye of care— And Lincoln's Inn a solemn stillness holds, Save where the porter whistles o'er the square, Or our dog barks, or basket-woman scolds:"

"Save that from yonder pump and dusty stair The moping shoe-black and the laundrymaid Complain of such as from the town repair, And leave their little quarterage unpaid."

H. B. A.

* * * * *



SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.



THE RIVER NIGER.

A Second Edition of the Literary Gazette of Saturday last enables us to lay before our readers the following important discovery:—

"We have the gratification to state, that the great question respecting the course of the Niger, which has puzzled geography and literature for many centuries, has at last been determined by British courage and perseverance. We have just received the annexed letter from our esteemed and intelligent friend, Mr. Fisher, surgeon of the Atholl, well known to the world for his own interesting voyages and travels; and we lose no time in communicating the important information to the public, through the pages of the Literary Gazette."

"His Majesty's Ship Atholl, at Sea, Bight of Biafra, Feb. 2, 1831."

"Dear Sir,—I take the opportunity of writing you a few lines, by a vessel that we have just now met on her way to England. My object in writing in this hasty manner is to acquaint you that the grand geographical problem respecting the termination of the Niger is at length solved."

"The Landers, after having reached Youri, embarked in a canoe on the Niger, or, as it is called there, the Quarra, and came down the stream until they reached the sea, in the Bight of Biafra. The branch by which they came to the coast is called the Nun, or Brasse River, being the first river to the eastward of Cape Formosa. On their way down the river they were attacked by the Hibboos (a fierce nation that inhabit its banks), and made prisoners, or rather captives; but the King of Brasse happening to be in that country buying slaves, got them released, by giving the price of six slaves for each of them. In the scuffle that ensued at the time they were taken, one of them lost his journal."

"Whilst at Youri they got the Prayerbook that belonged to Mr. Anderson, the brother-in-law and fellow-traveller of the celebrated Mungo Park. They were upwards of a month at Fernando Po, whence they embarked, about ten days ago, in an English merchant-vessel bound to Rio Janeiro, on their way to England. From their taking that circuitous route, I am in hopes that this will reach you before they arrive, by which you will probably have it in your power to give the first news of this important discovery."

"I do not recollect of any thing else to acquaint you with that is worthy of notice; and even if I did, I have no time to mention it, as the boat by which I send this (to the vessel) is just this moment ordered away."

"I must therefore bid you adieu for the present; and believe me, dear sir, yours very sincerely."

"ALEXANDER FISHER."

* * * * *



THE GATHERER.

A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.

SHAKSPEARE.

* * * * *

EPITAPH

On a Porter who died suddenly under a load.

Pack'd up within these dark abodes, Lies one, in life inur'd to loads, Which oft he carried 'tis well known, Till Death pass'd by and threw him down; When he that carried loads before, Became a load which others bore To this his inn—where, as they say, They leave him till another day.

* * * * *

ROYAL OATHS.

In former times sovereign princes had their favourite oaths, which they made use of on all occasions when their feelings or passions were excited. The oaths of the English monarchs are on record, and a list of them might easily be made, by having recourse to the ancient writers of our history, from the conquest to the reign of Elizabeth, who did not scruple, pia regina, et bona mater, of the Church of England as she was, to swear by "God's wounds," an oath issuing at this time frequently from vulgar mouths, but softened down to "zounds."

Brantome, who lived in the court of Francis the First, contemporary with Henry the Eighth of England, has recorded the oaths of four succeeding monarchs immediately preceding his time. He tells us that Louis the Eleventh swore by "God's Easter;" Charles the Eighth, by "God's light;" Louis the Twelfth used an oath, still common among the French rabble, "The Devil take me;" but the oath of Francis the First was polished enough for the present day: it was, "On the word of a gentleman."

K——ll, Norfolk.

C. H. B.

* * * * *

Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; G. G. BENNIS, 55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin. Paris; and by all Newsmen and Booksellers.

THE END

Home - Random Browse