HotFreeBooks.com
The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 17, - Issue 495, June 25, 1831
Author: Various
Home - Random Browse

THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

VOL. 17, No. 495.] SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 1831. [PRICE 2d.



* * * * *



HERMITAGE AT FROGMORE.



Frogmore is one of the most delightful of the still retreats of Royalty. It was formerly the seat of the Hon. Mrs. Egerton, of whom it was purchased by Queen Charlotte, in 1792, who made considerable additions to the house and gardens. The grounds were laid out by Uvedale Price, Esq. a celebrated person in the annals of picturesque gardening. The ornamental improvements were made by the direction of the Princess Elizabeth, (now Landgravine of Hesse Homburg,) whose taste for rural quiet we noticed in connexion with an Engraving of Her Royal Highness' Cottage, adjoining Old Windsor churchyard. [1]

[1]: See Mirror, No 475.

Frogmore occupies part of a fertile valley, which divides the Little Park from Windsor Forest, and comprises about thirteen acres. Mr. Hakewill describes it as "diversified with great skill and taste, and a piece of water winds throughout it with a pleasing variety of turn and shape. The trees and shrubs, both native and exotic, which spread their shade and diffuse their fragrance, are disposed with the best effect; while buildings are so placed as to enliven and give character to the general scene. The Ruin was designed by Mr. James Wyatt, and being seated on the bank of the water, as well as in part in the wood, it presents, with its creeping ivy and fractured buttresses, a most pleasing object from various points of the garden. The Hermitage (see the Engraving) is a small circular thatched building, completely embowered in lofty trees, and was constructed from a drawing of the Princess Elizabeth. There is also a Gothic Temple, sacred to solitude, and a well-imagined and picturesque barn, which heighten the appropriate scenery. Too much cannot be said of the secluded beauty of this charming spot, and nothing further need be said of the taste and judgment of Major Price, to whom its arrangements have been entrusted."

The Hermitage contains a tablet spread with fruit, eggs, and bread, and a figure of a hermit reading the Scriptures; at the entrance are the following lines, written on the marriage of the Princess Royal:—

Ye whom variety delights, Descend awhile from Windsor's heights, And in this hovel deign to tread, Quitting the castle for the shed; Such were the muse's favourite haunts, From care secluded and from wants. What nature needs this but can give, Could we as nature dictates live; For see, on this plain board at noon Are placed a platter and a spoon, Which, though they mark no gorgeous treat, Suggest 'tis reasonable to eat. What though the sun's meridian light Beams not on our hovel bright, Though others need, we need him not, Coolness and gloom befit a cot. Our hours we count without the sun. These sands proclaim them as they run, Sands within a glass confined, Glass which ribs of iron bind; For Time, still partial to this glass, Made it durable as brass, That, placed secure upon a shelf, None might crush it but himself. Let us here the day prolong With loyal and with nuptial song, Such as, with duteous strains addrest, May gratify each royal guest; Thrice happy, should our rural toils Be requited by their smiles.

There are other affectionate testimonials in the grounds. The Gothic ruin contains an apartment fitted up as an oratory, ornamented with a copy of the Descent from the Cross, modelled in chalk, after the celebrated painting by Rembrandt; busts of George III. and the Duke of Kent; a posthumous marble figure of an infant child of his present Majesty; and an alto-relievo representing an ascending spirit attended by a guardian angel with the inscription—

Monumental Tablet To the Memory of Her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte.

* * * * *

ANCIENT WAGES TO MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT.

(For the Mirror.)

Chamberlayne, in his Angliae Notitia, says, "Although the lords of parliament are to bear their own charges, because they represent there only themselves; yet all the commons, both lay and clergy, that is, Procuratores Cleri, are to have rationales expensus, (as the words of the writ are) that is, such allowance as the king considering the prices of all things, shall judge meet to impose upon the people to pay. In the 17th of Edward II. it was ten groats for knights, and five groats for burgesses; but not long after it was four shillings for all others, which in those days, as appears by the prices of all things, was a considerable sum, above ten times more than it is now, (1688) for not only then expenses were considered, though that was great by reason of the suitable attendance that then every parliament-man had, but also their pains, their loss of time, and necessary neglect of their own private affairs for the service of their country; and when the counties, cities, and boroughs paid so dear for their expenses, they were wont to take care to chuse such men as were best able, and most diligent in the speedy despatch of affairs; by which means, with some others, more business in those times was despatched in parliament in a week, than is now perhaps in ten; so that the protections for parliament-men and their servants from arrests were not then grievous, when scarce any parliament or sessions lasted so long as one of the four terms at Westminster.

"The aforementioned expenses duly paid, did cause all the petty decayed boroughs of England to become humble suitors to the king, that they might not be obliged to send burgesses to parliament; whereby it came to pass, that divers were unburgessed, as it was in particular granted to Chipping, or Market-Morriton, upon their petition; and then the number of the Commons House being scarce half so many as at present, then debates and bills were sooner expedited." page 156, 21st. edit.

Halsted, in his History of Kent, tells us, "The pay of the burgesses of Canterbury was fixed (anno 1411) at two shillings a-day for each, while such burgess was absent from his family attending his duty. In 1445 the wages were no more than twelve pence a-day; two years afterwards they were increased to sixteenpence, and in 1503 had again been raised to two shillings. In Queen Mary's reign, the corporation refused to continue this payment any longer, and the wages of the members were then levied by assessment on the inhabitants at large, and continued to be so raised till these kinds of payments were altogether discontinued."

P.T.W.

* * * * *

THE WORD "EI."

(For the Mirror.)

This word, which was engraven on the temple of Apollo, at Delphi, has occasioned much controversy among the literati. The learned and admirable Plutarch tells us that it means "thou art" as if "thou art one." The Langhornes, in their life of this philosopher, [2] attack his opinion as inconsistent with "the whole tenour of the Heathen Mythology." It in to be observed, that the Greek word for priests is "[Greek: iereis]" (iereis). But I infer nothing from this; yet at the same time it is a remarkable circumstance. The objection of the Langhornes is frivolous; for the sun (Apollo) in most nations, was considered chief of the gods, and this inscription was placed to prove his superiority and unity.

[2] Langhorne's Plutarch, vol. i. p. xv.—Limbird's edition.

It is a very remarkable circumstance, that when the Pythia refused to enter the temple, at the application of Alexander, "Philip's godlike son," and he attempting to force her in, she exclaimed—"[Greek: Anikaetos ei o pai]" (My son, you are invincible.) Now, probably, she had some other intention in using that word; but, however, that does not affect the argument. I cannot but consider that Plutarch is right.

B.K.

* * * * *

A FAREWELL TO SPAIN.

FOR MUSIC.

(For the Mirror.)

Land of the myrtle and the vine, The sunny citron-tree, With heart upon the waves I give My latest look to thee.

Thy glorious scenes of vale and hill With joy I now resign, And seek a more congenial land, Where Freedom will be mine.

Farewell! thou hast the iron sway Of bigots and of slaves, But mine shall be a chainless heart Upon the dark blue waves.

For thee our sires have fought and died, For thee their blood have given, When tyrants o'er the trampled field Like thunder-clouds were driven.

And has the purple tide in vain, From hill and vale been poured, Or do the hopes of Freedom sleep With mighty Mina's sword?

Oh! no—the trumpet-voice of war, Shall proudly sound again, And millions shall obey its call, And break their chartered chain!

Till then, my native hearth and home I'll joyfully resign; Farewell! thou song-enchanted land Of myrtle and of vine.

Deal. G.K.C.

* * * * *

THE DEATH-BEDS OF GREAT MEN.

(For the Mirror.)

If there are any remarks which deserve to be recorded for the benefit of mankind, they are those which have been expressed on a dying bed, when, unfettered by prejudice or passion, Truth shines forth in her real colours. Sir John Hawkins has recorded of Dr. Johnson, that when suffering under that disease which ended in his dissolution, he addressed his friends in the following words:—"You see the state I am in, conflicting with bodily pain and mental distraction. While you are in health and strength, labour to do good, and avoid evil, if ever you wish to escape the distress that oppresses me."

When Lord Lyttleton was on his death-bed, his daughter, Lady Valentia, and her husband, came to see him. He gave them his solemn benediction, adding—"Be good, be virtuous, my lord; you must come to this."

The triumphant death of Addison will be remembered with feelings of pleasure by all. Having sent for the young Earl of Warwick, he affectionately pressed his hand, saying—"See in what peace a Christian can die!"

The father of William Penn was opposed to his son's religious principles; but finding that he acted with sincerity, was at last reconciled. When dying, he adjured him to do nothing contrary to his conscience—"So," said he, "you will keep peace within, which will be a comfort in the day of trouble."

Locke, the day before his death, addressed Lady Masham, who was sitting by his bedside, exhorting her to regard this world only as a state of preparation for a better. He added, that he had lived long enough, and expressed his gratitude to God for the happiness that had fallen to his lot.

Tillotson, when dying, thanked his Maker that he felt his conscience at ease, and that he had nothing further to do but to await the will of Heaven.

Sir Walter Raleigh behaved on the scaffold with the greatest composure. Having vindicated his conduct in an eloquent speech, he felt the edge of the axe, observing with a smile—"It is a sharp medicine, but a sure remedy, for all woes." Being asked which way he would lay himself on the block, he replied—"So the heart be right, it is no matter which way the head lies."

Latimer, when he beheld a fagot ready kindled laid at Ridley's feet, exclaimed—"Be of good cheer, master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle in England, as I hope, by God's grace, shall never be put out."

The author of Hervey's Meditations, when on his sick bed, observed that his time had been too much occupied in reading the historians, orators, and poets of ancient and modern times; and that were he to renew his studies, he would devote his attention to the Scriptures.

The last words which the eminent physician Haller addressed to his medical attendant expressed the calm serenity of his mind. "My friend," said he, laying his hand on his pulse, "the artery no longer beats."

M. De La Harpe, one of the first literary characters of the last century, who for many years laboured to spread the principles of the French philosophy, but afterwards became a most strenuous defender of Christianity, on the evening preceding his death was visited by a friend. He was listening to the Prayers for the Sick; as soon as they were concluded, he stretched forth his hand and said—"I am grateful to Divine mercy, for having left me sufficient recollection to feel how consoling these prayers are to the dying."

Cardinal Wolsey, when dying, by slow progress and short journeys, reached Leicester Abbey. He was received with the greatest respect. His only observation was, "Father Abbot, I am come to lay my bones among you." He died three days after, with, great composure and fortitude. He said, shortly before his death—"Had I but served my God as diligently as I have served the king, he would not have forsaken me in my grey hairs; but this is the just reward I must receive for my pains and study, in not regarding my service to God, but only to my prince."

Melancthon, a few days before his death, although extremely debilitated, delivered his usual lecture. At the termination of it, he said, impressively—"I am a dying man, and these are the three subjects for intercession with God, which I leave to my children and their little ones—that they may form part of his church, and worship him aright—that they may be one in him, and live in harmony with each other—and that they may be fellow-heirs of eternal life." The day before his death, he addressed some present—"God bestows talents on our youth, do you see that they use them aright." While dying, his friends discerned a slight motion of the countenance, which was peculiar to him when deeply affected by religious joy.

W.

* * * * *



THE NOVELIST.

OSMYN AND ZAMBRI.

A Persian Tale. From the French.

(From a Correspondent.)

A worthy old Persian having arrived at the end of an irreproachable life, experienced in his last moments the greatest uneasiness for the fate of his two sons, whom he was about to leave without fortune, without a livelihood, and without a prospect. The elder called Osmyn, was twenty years of age, and the younger, eighteen, bore the name of Zambri.

As the old man drew near his last hour, he thought much less of his own sufferings than of the fate of his children, when his ear was agreeably struck with a soft and melodious voice, which said to him, "Fear nothing, old man, I will watch over your children; die in peace as thou hast lived. I bring a present for each of your sons; let them make good use of it, and one day perhaps they may be re-united, and live in happiness."

At these words a balsamic odour spread itself in the cottage, and a bright light discovered to the view of the astonished Persian, the features of a young man, whose expressive countenance had in it something celestial. It was a beneficent genius, who after having deposited his presents on the bed of the old man, vanished like lightning. The old man called his two sons, they ran eagerly towards him with a light, and approached the bed of their father, who related to them the visit he had been honoured with, and showed them the presents of the genius. On one side was a small box covered with brilliant spangles; on the other a sheet of paper carefully sealed. "Come Osmyn," said the old man, "you are the eldest, it is for you to choose."

Osmyn attracted by the richness of the box, chose it with eagerness, and poor Zambri was obliged to be contented with the humble envelope. The old man embraced them, blessed them, and died as one resigning himself to the arms of hope. After having wept sincerely the death of so good a father, and having rendered the last offices to his remains, the two brothers were anxious to know what aid they should find in the presents of the genius. Osmyn opened his little box and found it filled with pastilles of divers forms and colours. He was almost tempted to laugh at the meanness of such a gift, when he perceived these words written on the lid of the box—"Each time that thou eatest one of these pastilles, thine imagination will bring forth a poem perfect in all its parts, sublime and delicate in its details, such in short as will surpass the ablest works of the best Persian poets."

Osmyn did not want vanity; the possession of so fine a secret failed not to turn his young brain, and a hundred illusions of fortune and glory presented themselves at once to his imagination.

From the value of the present given by the genius to his brother, Zambri doubted not that his paper contained also some marvellous secret. He opened it and read with as much surprise as sorrow—"A new Receipt for preparing Sherbet." Some lines pointed out the method of composing a liquor, of which one drop only being infused in a bowl of Sherbet, would give it a taste and perfume hitherto unknown to the most voluptuous Asiatics.

Osmyn was overjoyed, and Zambri was in despair; Osmyn wished not to quit his brother, but the orders of the genius were imperative. The two brothers embraced each other tenderly, shed tears, and separated. The eldest took the road to Bagdad, where all the learned, and all the poets of Asia were assembled to attend the court of the Caliph. As to poor Zambri, he quitted the cottage of his father, carrying nothing with him but the humble receipt for preparing Sherbet, and leaving to chance the direction of his course.

Before his arrival at Bagdad, Osmyn had already eaten half-a-dozen of the pastilles, and consequently carried with him half-a-dozen poems, beside which were to fade the productions of the greatest Eastern poets. But he soon found that pretenders to talent often succeed better than those who really possess it. He felt the necessity of connecting himself with literary men, and men of the world; but he only found them occupied with their business, their pleasures, or their own pretensions. Under what title could he present himself? Under that of a poet? The court and the city overflowed with them; they had already filled every avenue. To consult his fellows would be to consult his rivals; to ask their praises would be to ask a miser for his treasures. Besides, so many books appeared, that people did not care to read. However, Osmyn's works were published, but they were not even noticed in the multitude of similar productions.

After having vegetated four or five years at Bagdad, without obtaining anything but weak encouragement given by wise men, (who are without influence because they are wise,) poor Osmyn began to lose the brilliant hopes that formerly had dazzled him. However, by dint of eating the pastilles, he at last attracted some notice. If it requires time for genius to emerge from obscurity, no sooner is it known than recompense is made for slow injustice. It is sought after not for itself, but for the sake of vanity. Envy often avails itself of it as a fit instrument subservient to its own purposes. Soon, in fact, the works of Osmyn only were spoken of, and after languishing a long time unnoticed, he saw himself at once raised to the pinnacle, without having passed the steps which lead from misery to fortune, from obscurity to glory.

The Caliph desired to see so great a genius, and to possess him at his court. Osmyn was overwhelmed with favours; he sung the praises of the Caliph with a delicacy that other poets were far from being able to imitate. The Caliph admired delicate praise the more because it is rare at court.

So much merit and favour besides, soon created the jealousy of other poets, and likewise of the courtiers. Even those, who had showed themselves the most enthusiastic admirers of Osmyn's talents, feared to see themselves eclipsed by this new comer, and resolved to destroy the idol they had raised so much higher than they wished.

One of the poets, Osmyn's enemy, was employed to compose a satire against the Caliph, and it was agreed that this should be circulated under the favourite's name. From that time the avenger of the common cause never quitted Osmyn, nor ceased to load him with praises and caresses.

One day when Osmyn delivered an extempore poem before the Caliph, his rival, after having warmly applauded him, cast down his eyes by accident, and saw shining on the floor one of the pastilles that Osmyn, who was led away by the vivacity of his declamation, had let fall by mistake. The traitor snatched it up, and put it mechanically in his mouth.

The pastille produced its effect; the poet felt a sudden inspiration, left the hall and flew to compose the projected satire. He was surprised at his own aptitude; the verses cost him no trouble, but flowed of themselves. The bitterest expressions escaped from his pen without his seeking for them. In short, in an instant, he brought forth a true chef-d'oeuvre of malice.

He continued some moments in ecstacy with his work, and carried it in triumph to his friends—or rather to his accomplices. The satire was received with the liveliest applause: it was the pure and vigorous style of Osmyn. The writer had imitated his handwriting; and soon the libel was spread about in his name.

Murmurs arose on all sides against the ingratitude of Osmyn. The satire fell into the hands of the Caliph, who in his rage ordered the unfortunate Osmyn to be stript of all his property, and driven from Bagdad. Osmyn, overpowered by the blow, could not defend himself; besides, how could he make his innocence heard amidst the cries of his calumniators.

After having wandered a long time, every where imploring pity—sometimes meeting with kindness, but oftener repulsed with selfishness—he arrived, at nightfall, before a superb country house, magnificently illuminated. He heard the accents of joy mingled with the sounds of a brilliant concert of music, and saw all the signs of a splendid fete. However, the thunder began to roll, the sky was obscured by heavy clouds, and Osmyn's miserable clothing was soon drenched by the rain.

He approached this beautiful house, in hopes to find there, if not hospitality for the night, at least an asylum for some minutes. The slaves perceived him, and said to him harshly—"What do you ask, beggar?"

"A humble shelter from the storm, a morsel of bread to appease my hunger, and a little straw to rest my body on, borne down by fatigue."

"Thou shalt have none of these."

"For pity—"

"Begone!"

"See how it rains!—Hear how it thunders!"

"Go elsewhere, and come not to disturb by thy presence the pleasures of our master."

Osmyn was on the point of obeying this order, when the master of the house, who had witnessed this scene from a window, came down, called his slaves, and ordered them to receive the unfortunate man, to procure him clothes, a bed, and all he was in need of. "Misery," said he, "misery is for him who revels in the presence of the poor, and suffers them to plead for assistance in vain; and misfortune for the rich who, cloyed with luxuries, refuse a morsel of bread to a famishing stranger. Poor traveller, go and repose thyself, and may the Prophet send thee refreshing slumbers, that thou mayst for a time forget thy sufferings."

"Oh Heaven!" cried Osmyn, "what voice strikes my ear? It is the voice—the voice of Zambri!"

"Zambri! what! do you know him?"

"Heavens! do I know him?—Do I know my brother?"

"You my brother!" cried Zambri in his turn. "Can it be? That voice—those features, disfigured by poverty and misery. Ah! I recognise you, my dear Osmyn!"

No more need be said: he flew to embrace his brother; but Osmyn, overcome by the excess of his joy, fell senseless at his feet.

He was conveyed into the finest apartment of the villa, every assistance was afforded him, and he was soon restored. Zambri ordered him magnificent apparel, and taking him by the hand, conducted him to the banquet, and presented him to his friends. After the repast, Osmyn related all the vicissitudes of his fortune, his long suffering, his rapid glory, the jealousy and perfidy of his enemies, "But thou," added he, "my dear Zambri, by what good fortune do I find you in such an enviable situation? What! this beautiful house, this crowd of slaves, these sumptuous ornaments!—to what dost thou owe them?"

"To the receipt for preparing Sherbet," said Zambri, smiling. "Listen to my story, it is very simple. Soon after we parted, I directed my steps towards Teflis, where I sought only to gain a livelihood. On my arrival, I went into the public places where the opulent people assemble, to refresh themselves with ices and sherbet. I solicited employment there, but was refused, and harshly sent away. Not knowing what to do, and not having money to procure a subsistence, I went at length to one of the obscure cafes, frequented by the lowest people. The master of this wretched place, who was named Mehdad, agreed to accept my services. I prepared a bottle of the liquor for which the good genius had given me the receipt, but the ingredients of which, although cheap, I had not before been able to purchase, and soon I found an immense company crowding to Mehdad's cafe. The rich people also would take no other; and Mehdad soon had before him the prospect of becoming opulent.

"He had a daughter; she was young and beautiful; I became enamoured of her, and ventured to ask her hand. I had preserved the secret of my receipt. Mehdad was ignorant that he owed his good fortune to me, and believed that it was through his own talent. He rejected my offer with disdain, and drove me from his house. Poor fellow! he was not the first who, without knowing it, had driven good luck from his home.

"I had gained some money in his service; and I employed the fruit of my economy in forming for myself an establishment in one of the public gardens of Teflis, on the banks of the charming river Khur. Here I erected a small, but elegant pavilion, and I sold my Sherbet to all the promenaders of the garden. In a short time Mehdad, and all the cafes of Teflis, were abandoned for my little pavilion. Zambri's Sherbet was alone in demand: it was spoken of in all companies—it was taken at all festivals. The garden of Zambri was crowded from morning till night. The multitude was attracted towards my pavilion like swarms of flies towards a honey-comb. I was compelled to erect a pavilion ten times larger than the former, and I decorated it magnificently.

"A year had scarcely elapsed before I had acquired a considerable fortune. I quitted my new establishment, returned to the city, and purchased merchandize of all descriptions. I prepared a great quantity of this favourite liquor, to which I owe all my wealth. I sent it to all the cities of Persia, and into the most distant countries. Heaven seemed to smile on my exertions. A beautiful widow, aged twenty years, saw and loved me; I was not insensible to her charms. We made mutual vows of attachment, and marriage crowned my happiness.

"We have acquired this charming retreat, and reside here during the most beautiful season of the year, amongst our good friends, who, in partaking our pleasures, add to them the charms of their society.

"How many times, dear Osmyn, have my thoughts been occupied with thee! Often have I said, in the midst of my prosperity, Where is my brother?—where dwells Osmyn? No doubt the invaluable secret he possesses has gained him an immense fortune, and raised him to the pinnacle of honour. But I see that in these times happiness, tranquillity, and perhaps riches, are more easily obtained by humble and modest employment, than by splendid abilities. In the course of my transactions, I have met with vexations and disappointments. Sometimes my Sherbet has been imitated; but the fraud has always been discovered, and the intrigues of my rivals have added to my reputation. At length I have found that it is easier to satisfy the caprice than the judgment of mankind, and that those who could not understand the merits of a clever work, would readily agree upon the subject of a delicious and agreeable beverage."

Thus spoke the good Zambri: he strove affectionately to console Osmyn. The two brothers separated no more; and, thanks to the receipt for preparing Sherbet, they lived long together amidst the pleasures that wealth commands, and the still more true and solid happiness procured by peace and friendship.

* * * * *



THE NATURALIST.

BOTANY OF SHAKSPEARE.

At a recent meeting of the Medico-Botanical Society, a very interesting dissertation on the medicinal plants which occur in the plays of Shakspeare, from the pen of Mr. Rootsay, of Bristol, was read, and excited considerable attention. The hebenon henbane alluded to in Hamlet, the mandragora, the various plants so beautifully alluded to in Romeo and Juliet, and in other dramas, were the subject of the inquiry, and much classical information was displayed by the ingenious author in the illustration of the subject. We hope to report more respecting this very interesting paper to our readers.

* * * * *

THE CUTTLE-FISH.

The following account of the sepia media, a small species of cuttle-fish, is given by Mr. Donovan, in his "Excursion through South Wales:"—"When first caught, the eyes, which are large and prominent, glistened with the lustre of the pearl, or rather of the emerald, whose luminous transparency they seemed to emulate. The pupil is a fine black, and above each eye is a semilunar mark of the richest garnet. The body, nearly transparent, or of a pellucid green, is glossed with all the variety of prismatic tints, and thickly dotted with brown. At almost every effort of respiration, the little creature tossed its arms in apparent agony, and clung more firmly to the finger; while the dark-brown spots upon the body alternately faded and revived, diminishing in size till they were scarcely perceptible, and then appearing again as large as peas, crowding, and becoming confluent nearly all over the body. At length, the animal being detained too long from its native element, became enfeebled, the colours faded, the spots decreased in size, and all its pristine beauty vanished with the last gasp of life."

W.G.C.

* * * * *

THE OSTRICH.

The Ostriches in the Gardens of the Zoological Society would be truly a noble pair, were it not for an unnatural curve in the neck of the male, in consequence, it is said, of its having formerly swallowed something more than usually bulky and hard of digestion.

* * * * *



MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.



RUSSIAN BURIAL GROUND.

Mr. James's popular Journal of a Tour in Russia, &c., has supplied the above illustration of honours paid to the dead in that country. The Cut represents one of the Cemeteries of the government of Tchernigoff. Mr. James describes it as planted around with trees, and studded thick with wooden crosses, oratories, and other permanent marks of reverence. The general appearance of piety with which these grounds are kept up, their sequestered situation apart from any town, the profound veneration with which they are saluted by the natives, added to the dark and sepulchral shade of the groves, lend them an interest with which the tinsel ornaments of more gorgeous cemeteries can in no degree compare.

* * * * *

ANCESTORS.

Some nations pay particular attention to the memory of their ancestors. The Quojas, a people of Africa, offer sacrifices of rice and wine to their ancestors, before they undertake any considerable action; and the anniversaries of their death are always kept by their families with great solemnity; the king invokes the souls of his father and mother to make trade flourish and the chase succeed. But the Chinese have distinguished themselves above all other nations, by the veneration in which they hold their ancestors. Part of the duty, according to the laws of Confucius, which children owe their parents, consists in worshipping them when dead. They have a solemn and an ordinary worship for this purpose, the former of which is held twice a year with great pomp, and is described as follows by an eye witness:—The sacrifices were made in a chapel, well adorned, where there were six altars, furnished with censers, tapers, and flowers. There were three ministers, and behind them two young acolites: he that officiated was an aged man, and a new Christian. The three former went with a profound silence, and made frequent genuflexions towards the five altars, pouring out wine; afterwards they drew near to the sixth, and when they came to the foot of the altar, half bowed down, they said their prayers with a low voice. That being finished, the three ministers went to the altar; the priest took up a vessel full of wine, and drank; then he lifted up the head of a deer, or goat; after which, taking fire from the altar, they lighted a bit of paper, and the minister of ceremonies turning towards the people, said, with a high voice, that he gave them thanks in the name of their ancestors, for having so well honoured them; and in recompense he promised them, on their part, a plentiful harvest, a fruitful issue, good health and long life, and all those advantages which are most pleasing to men.

The Chinese have also in their houses a niche, or hollow place, in which they put the names of their deceased fathers, to which they make prayers and offerings of perfumes and spices at certain periods.

A.V.

* * * * *

THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.

HISTORY OF POLAND.

This volume, a goodly octavo, will be peculiarly acceptable at the present season. It presents a lucid view of Polish history, from the earliest period to the present eventful moment; and, as a passage of immediate interest, we quote the following character of the President of the National Government of Poland:

This illustrious personage, Prince Adam Czartoryski, is the eldest son of the late prince of the same house, and is descended from the family of Jagellon, the ancient sovereigns of Lithuania. His father was long known, not only as a nobleman of the first rank in Poland, but as one of the most accomplished scholars in Europe. Such was his reputation, that at the period of the last vacancy in the throne of Poland, Poniatowski (afterwards king) was deputed by the diet to propitiate the Empress Catherine, to second the election of Czartoryski; but the deputy's handsome form found such favour in the licentious eyes of the modern Messalina, that he ceased to urge the suit of the diet, and returned the avowed nominee of his imperial mistress. Prince Czartoryski's claims on the throne, popularity, and consequent influence, rendered him odious to the court of St. Petersburg, and when the last act of spoliation was perpetrated, his lands were ravaged, his beautiful Castle of Pulawy destroyed, and a sentence of extermination pronounced against him, unless he would consent to send his two sons, one the subject of this notice, and the other Prince Constantino Czartoryski, as hostages to St. Petersburg. To avoid this wretched alternative, the prince and his princess, who still survive, consented to the separation, and the two young noblemen, were placed under the eye of those who were deemed worthy, by the Autocrat, of reforming their principles. The talents displayed by both brothers soon obtained for them the admiration of the court; and as it was of great importance to gain them over, every mark of imperial favour was heaped upon them by the Emperor Alexander, with whom, from infancy, they had established terms of the utmost familiarity. The elder brother held for a long time the portfolio of the Foreign Office, and, in his official capacity, accompanied his imperial master to the scenes of some of his most serious disasters. During Napoleon's invasion, Prince Constantino was in Poland, and confiding in the integrity of the then master of the destinies of Europe, and breathing naught but freedom for his country, he joined the banners of the invader, and raised a regiment at his own expense to aid in the cause of liberation. At Smolensk he received a severe wound, from the effects of which he has never yet recovered. He resides at Vienna.

The influence of Prince Adam Czartoryski proved to be singularly useful to Poland after the downfall of Napoleon. He interposed, and interposed successfully, between the anger of Alexander and his suffering country; and, on the establishment of the kingdom of Poland, was appointed the curator of all the universities, both there and in the incorporated provinces. These duties he sedulously discharged, until he was superseded by the notorious Count Novozilzoff. From this period he has lived in retirement, faithfully performing all the duties of private life. The promotion of agriculture, science in all its branches, and kindly offices among mankind, constituted his occupations until recent events drew him from his privacy. The first call was made by the Russian functionaries, as stated in the text, for the purpose of self-protection! the second was that of his devoted country, when a government was essential to success. He was chosen not only one of the five members of the executive body, but its president, a station which he still honourably fills. Into his new office he has carried all the unostentatious and disinterested virtues that adorned Pulawy, and there is little doubt that if (and no one suspects that such will not be the case) the independence of Poland be fairly won, the choice of his country will point to him as its sovereign. Having finished his academical career at the University of Edinburgh, he early acquired a strong taste for English institutions and for Englishmen, and of this he gave substantial proof by devoting 250 l. a-year to the exclusive purchase of English books. His revenues are enormous; but his liberality is unbounded; and, as it is a rule in his munificent establishment to provide liberally for the families of all his dependants, his means are comparatively restricted, but his personal wants are few; and that he is ready to accommodate himself to circumstances, was well shown by his only observation on hearing of the confiscation of his large property in Podolia by Nicholas. "Instead of riding, I must walk, and instead of sumptuous fare, I must dine on buck-wheat."[3] Such is a faint outline of this illustrious man's character. Were it only for the admirable example of such an individual guiding the reigns of the government of a devoted people, it is most ardently to be hoped that Poland may triumph over her enemies, and be raised to that rank from which she was degraded only by the basest of treasons.—Fletcher's History of Poland.

[3] The common food of the poor.

As the pronunciation of the Polish language is attended with some difficulty, the author of this work has, in his advertisement, subjoined the following hints, taken principally from the "Letters Literary and Political on Poland, Edinburgh, 1823."

All vowels are sounded as in French and Italian; and there are no diphthongs, every vowel being pronounced distinctly. The consonants are the same as in English, except

w, which is sounded like v, at the beginning of a word; thus, Warsawa—Varsafa; in the middle or at the end of a word it has the sound of f, as in the instance already cited; and Narew—Nareff.

c, like tz, and never like k; thus, Pac is sounded Patz.

g, like g in Gibbon; thus, Oginski.

ch, like the Greek [Greek: ch] or k; thus, Lech—Lek.

cz, like the English tch in pitch;—thus, Czartoryski pronounce Tchartoryski.

sz, like sh in shape; thus, Staszyc like Stashytz.

szcz, like shtch; thus, Szczerbiec like Shtcherbietz.

rz, like j in je, with a slight sound of r; thus, Rzewuski—Rjevuski.

* * * * *

WHITE'S BAMPTON LECTURES.

Dr. Dibdin has prefixed the subsequent Note to one of these Lectures (Character of Christ compared with that of Mahomet), which he has reprinted in vol. iii. of the Sunday Library:—

"Of all the sermons preached in this, or in any other country, THESE are perhaps the most celebrated; or, if this observation require qualification, the only exception may be in favour of those of the Petit Careme of MASILLON. For three successive terms, the church of St. Mary's, at Oxford, was crowded with an auditory breathless in admiration of the splendour of diction and vividness of imagery manifested in these discourses. The subject treated of—'A Comparison of Mahometanism and Christianity in their History, their Evidences, and their Effects'—was new and striking in the pulpit of the University Church. A great deal of highly wrought expectation, from more than a whisper spread abroad of the sources whence the chief materials had been derived, preceded their publicity; and the preacher, although by no means remarkable for elegance of manner, or ductility and melody of voice, applied his whole energies to the task of giving power and effect to his delivery. He succeeded, greatly beyond his own expectations; and the University rung with his praises. The fame which ensued was merited; for the public, till then satisfied with the tame polish and cold invective of BLAIR, became delighted by the union of such harmony of language, skilfulness of argument, and singularity of research, as were blended in these lectures. Yet it may be questioned, not only whether a display of similar talent would now receive the like applause, but whether many subsequent courses of Bampton lectures have not rendered a more essential service to Christianity.

"But, extraordinary as was the result of the preaching of these Bampton lectures, perhaps a more extraordinary history belongs to their composition; and posterity will learn, with wonder, and perhaps with mingled pity and contempt, that the measures resorted to by the Laudian Professor of Arabic, in order to impose upon his best friend and most able coadjutor, DR. PARR, form such a tissue of petty artifice and intrigue as scarcely to be believed. The whole plot, however, is minutely and masterly developed in Dr. Johnstone's Life of Dr. Parr, vol. i. p. 216-281, to which I refer the curious reader for some very singular particulars. The facts, as there delineated, are simply these:—A secret correspondence was carried on between Professor White and Mr. Badcock, a dissenting minister of Devonshire, who furnished the greater part of the materials of these lectures; which materials, copied out by Professor White, with a few emendations and additions, were sent to Dr. Parr as the exclusive composition of the Professor. Several of the lectures are wholly Badcock's, by the express admission of Dr. White; and the undeniable evidence of a douceur of 500l. from the Professor to Mr. Badcock, is a sufficiently solid proof of the value in which the former held the labours of the latter. There could be no violation of any great moral feeling in the transaction thus simply considered; for the labourer was worthy of his hire; but the evasive subtleties and shuffling subterfuges by which the literary intercourse was stubbornly denied, and attempted to be set aside, by Professor White, is matter of perfect astonishment! In the mean while, Dr. Parr steadily continued his critical labours, believing that the Professor sought no aid but his own. He revised, added, and polished at his entire discretion; and while it is allowed that one-fifth at least, of these lectures are the work of his learned hand, he undoubtedly gave to the whole its last and most effectual polish. The history which belongs to his discovery of the collateral aid of Badcock, is curious and amusing; but can have no place here. It does great credit to the head and heart of Dr. Parr. Thus the reader will observe that no small interest is attached to the volume from which the ensuing extracts are made: a volume, full, doubtless, of extensive and learned research, and exhibiting a style remarkable alike for its consummate art and harmonious copiousness."

* * * * *

WEALTH OF HENRY VII.

The hoard amassed by Henry, and "most of it under his own key and keeping, in secret places at Richmond," is said to have amounted to near 1,800,000 l., which, according to our former conjectures, would be equivalent to about 16,000,000 l.; an amount of specie so immense as to warrant a suspicion of exaggeration, in an age when there was no control from public documents on a matter of which the writers of history were ignorant. Our doubts of the amount amassed by Henry are considerably warranted by the computation of Sir W. Petty, who, a century and a half later, calculated the whole specie of England at only 6,000,000 l.—This hoard, whatever may have been its precise extent, was too great to be formed by frugality, even under the penurious and niggardly Henry. A system of extortion was employed, which "the people, into whom there is infused for the preservation of monarchies a natural desire to discharge their princes, though it be with the unjust charge of their counsellors, did impute unto Cardinal Morton and Sir Reginald Bray, who, as it after appeared, as counsellors of ancient authority with him, did so second his humours as nevertheless they did temper them. Whereas Empson and Dudley, that followed, being persons that had no reputation with him, otherwise than by the servile following of his bent, did not give way only as the first did, but shaped his way to those extremities for which himself was touched with remorse at his death."[4] The means of exaction chiefly consisted in the fines incurred by slumbering laws, in commuting for money other penalties which fell on unknown offenders, and in the sale of pardons and amnesties. Every revolt was a fruitful source of profit. When the great confiscations had ceased, much remained to be gleaned by true or false imputations of participation in treason. To be a dweller in a disaffected district, was, for the purposes of the king's treasure, to be a rebel. No man could be sure that he had not incurred mulcts, or other grievous penalties, by some of those numerous laws which had so fallen into disuse by their frivolous and vexatious nature as to strike before they warned. It was often more prudent to compound by money, even in false accusations, than to brave the rapacity and resentment of the king and his tools. Of his chief instruments, "Dudley was a man of good family, eloquent, and one that could put hateful business into good language; Empson, the son of a sieve-maker, of Towcester, triumphed in his deeds, putting off all other respects. They were privy counsellors and lawyers, who turned law and justice into wormwood and rapine."[5] They threw into prison every man whom they could indict, and confined him, without any intention to prosecute, till he ransomed himself. They prosecuted the mayors and other magistrates of the city of London, for pretended or trivial neglects of duty, long after the time of the alleged offences; subservient judges imposed enormous fines, and the king imprisoned during his own life some of the contumacious offenders. Alderman Hawes is said to have died heartbroken by the terror and anguish of these proceedings. [6] They imprisoned and fined juries who hesitated to lend their aid when it was deemed convenient to seek it. To these, Lord Bacon tells us, were added "other courses fitter to be buried than repeated."[7] Emboldened by long success, they at last disdained to observe "the half face of justice,"[8] but summoning the wealthy and timid before them in private houses, "shuffled up" a summary examination without a jury, and levied such exactions as were measured only by the fears and fortunes of their victims.—Mackintosh's England, Vol. 2.

[4] Bacon, iii. 409.

[5] Ibid. iii. 380.

[6] See examples in Bacon, iii.

[7] Bacon, iii. 382.

[8] E: Ibid. 381.

* * * * *



SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.

THE COURSE OF THE NIGER.

The discovery of the termination of the course of the Niger, will be of the greatest importance to geography, to our political power, and to civilization.

With regard to geography, perhaps the contradiction which was afforded by the various sources whence we derived our knowledge of the character of the interior of Africa, and of the course of, next to the Nile, the most renowned, and, as was considered from the same accounts, the greatest river of that country, have in late times given unlimited zest in the pursuit of further information, and has not in the least detracted from the pleasure with which we find that we are indebted to our countrymen for the solution of this all-absorbing problem. It appears, that among the ancients many facts connected with the geography of the interior of Africa were well known, which have still been an object of discussion among the moderns; and of these, we may enumerate the occurrence of a large lake or marsh (for it is either, at different seasons of the year), whose real existence, beyond the speculations of geographers, was very unsatisfactorily established, until the journey of Denham and Clapperton; and the fact of the occurrence of a great river in the west, emptying itself into the ocean, though many were of opinion that it lost itself in an inland marsh, or in the desert, while others supported the opinion of its identity with the Nile of the Egyptians. The researches of Ptolemy and the Arabian geographers on the Nile of the Negroes, and in later times the travels of Leo Africanus, who was a Moor of Grenada, demonstrated the absurdity of this opinion; and how extraordinary that, in the boasted perfection of human intellect, it should have been broached several centuries afterwards, and that the barometric levellings of Bruce should have been necessary to enforce conviction! It is not at all improbable that Hanno, the Carthaginian, as advanced by Macqueen, reached the Bight of Benin, or of Biafra; and certainly the geographical information obtained on these countries by Herodotus and Edrisi was more accurate than the speculations of many modern geographers. Observation had demonstrated to the moderns that no large river emptied itself into the ocean on the north-west coast, though it required a more accurate acquaintance with the Senegal and the Gambia before it was fully ascertained that they were not the outlets of this great stream. The progress of navigation along the south-eastern shores of Africa also showed that no large river emptied itself into the sea along that coast; while the settlements of the Portuguese on the coast to the south of Cape Lopez, led them, at an early period, to adopt the opinion afterwards supported by Mungo Park and Mr. Barrow, that one or more of the rivers in their vicinity were the outlets of the great river of the interior of Africa. Two celebrated geographers, D'Anville and Major Rennell, however, espoused the theory of the waters emptying themselves into the Wangara, or great marsh; which argument underwent various modifications in the hands of different geographers; and though the probability of its emptying itself into the Gulf of Guinea had been pointed out on the continent, and vigorously supported in this country, an expedition was fitted out to explore the Congo or Zaire, which, though unfortunate to the individuals concerned, was yet satisfactory in a geographical point of view, and demonstrated that the rivers south of Cape Lopez were not the outlets of the waters of the Niger, and gave origin to a speculation which partook of all the characters of a romance of the desert, beneath the sands of which its author buried the gigantic stream, loaded with the waters of the Wangara or Lake Tchad, to make it flow into the Mediterranean at the Syrtis of the ancients.

In the history of geography there are no examples of greater perseverance and courageous determination than in the efforts made to triumph over the difficulties presented in the solution of this important question. Since 1815, there has scarcely a year passed in which a new attempt has not been made; and of these, if we recede a little farther back, twenty-five were made by our countrymen, fourteen by Frenchmen, two by Americans, and one by a German; of which but a small number, since the days of Houghton, have not fallen victims to their heroic devotion.

Mungo Park first observed the direction of the stream which had become as much an object of discussion as its termination; and, strange to say, after the present discovery, it will, in some parts of its course, still remain so. The unfortunate traveller just alluded to, previous to his descent of the river, obtained some information from Moors and from negroes, on its course by Timbuctoo. The Jinnie of Park is synonymous with Jenne, Gine, Dhjenne, of other writers, as Jenne has again been confounded with Kano or Kanno. It may be a figurative term—for the Jinnie of Park was on an island, as was the Jenne of the Moorish reports, while the Jenne of some travellers is at a short distance from the river. This cannot be the case with regard to Timbuctoo, which is visited by caravans twice a year from Morocco; nor is the name met with any where, except the two first syllables in the town of Timbo, which cannot be mistaken for Timbuctoo.

Major Laing had discovered the source of the Niger to be in the mountains of Loma, in 9 deg. 15 min. west latitude, and had ascertained its course for a short distance from its source. We were also aware of the existence of one or two streams joining the great river, or branching from it near Timbuctoo. De Lisle had marked a river Gambarra, on his maps drawn up for Louis XV., and not without good authority. This is the river coming from Houssa; and the Joliba of modern travellers is a river, we could prove, from the concurring testimony of a variety of sources, coming from the north-west, and joining its waters with, that is to say flowing into the Niger, in the immediate neighbourhood of Timbuctoo; still at that point the Kowarra, or Quorra of the Moors, or Quolla of the Negroes, who always change the r for l a name which, according to Laing, it has at its sources—according to Clapperton, it preserves beyond Timbuctoo, and is probably still the name of the same stream at its embouchure in the Bight of Biafra. The Quarrama is another tributary stream which passes by Saccatoo, and falls into the Quorra above Youri, and above the point where Mungo Park was wrecked; and the line of country between this river and the Shashum, comprising the hills of Doochee, of Naroo, and of Dull, is the line of water-shed to the rivers joining the Quorra on the one hand, and those emptying themselves into the Wangara on the other. The course given by Sultan Bello, and the information obtained by Major Denham, both pointed out a river coursing to the east, which is probably the branch followed by the Landers: for its termination in Lake Tchad had not even the air of probability; though it is not, on the other-hand, at all improbable that other branches empty themselves into the Bight of Benin, by the rivers Formosa or Volta, according to information given to Captain Clapperton and Major Laing.

We had intended to embody some remarks upon the pretended journey of Caillie; but we find we have already occupied too much space in details necessary to make the geographical nature of the question well understood; and we shall content ourselves with remarking, that the discovery of the termination of the Quorra, or Niger, tends to throw a degree of improbability upon the narrative of that individual, which it will require much ingenuity to explain away. It is certain that the latitude given to Timbuctoo by the editor of those travels, and upon which sufficient ridicule has already been thrown in the Edinburgh Geographical Journal, may be considered as an error entirely of the editor's, who, by taking it upon himself, will relieve the burden of the mistake from the traveller, and thus lighten the weighty doubts which might in consequence bear upon the remainder of the details; for the situation of that city, as given by Jomard, is quite inconsistent with the situation it must be in, from the ascertained source, direction, and termination of the river. There can be no doubt but that a portion of the labours presented to the public as the travels of Caillie are founded upon valid documents, wherever obtained, and probably most of the errors are those of the editor. But though authorities can be found in support of the division of the Quorra into two branches; one of which, the Joliba, flows to the north-west, and the other in an almost opposite direction,—fact which has no analogy in geography, and, what is better, no existence in nature; yet no authority can be found for placing Timbuctoo on a river flowing north from the Niger.

The details which will be given to us by the results of this successful expedition will, then, not only be of assistance in allying the existing condition of things with the knowledge of the ancients, but it will enable us to reduce to a few facts the many contradictory statements which have originated in the variety of the sources of information, and the individual and national rivalry which the interest of the question gave birth to among the geographers of the present day. It will also be of importance, as it was connected with a great question, as to the possibility of a large river traversing an extensive continent, or losing itself in a marsh or lake, or being buried in the extensive sands of the desert. By laying open the interior of Africa to us, it will increase our political strength and commercial advantages on those coasts;—it will enable us to put into practice an amelioration long contemplated by Mr. Barrow, in the choice of our settlements on those coasts;—it will place the greatest and most important vent of the barbarous and inhuman traffic of negroes in our possession; and it will enable us to diffuse the benefits of superior intelligence among an ignorant and suffering people.—Literary Gazette.

* * * * *



SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.

DISAGREEABLES.

BY THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD.

"For four things the earth is disquieted, and five which it cannot bear." AGUR.

This world is a delightful place to dwell in, And many sweet and lovely things are in it; Yet there are sundry, at the which I have A natural dislike, against all reason. I never like A TAILOR. Yet no man Likes a new coat or inexpressibles Better than I do—few, I think, so well: I can't account for this. The tailor is, A far more useful member of society Than is a poet;—then his sprightly wit, His glee, his humour, and his happy mind Entitle him to fair esteem. Allowed. But then, his self-sufficiency;—his shape So like a frame, whereon to hang a suit Of dandy clothes;—his small straight back and arms, His thick bluff ankles, and his supple knees, Plague on't!—'Tis wrong—I do not like a tailor.

AN OLD BLUE-STOCKING MAID! Oh! that's a being, That's hardly to be borne. Her saffron hue, Her thinnish lips, close primmed as they were sewn Up by a milliner, and made water-proof, To guard the fount of wisdom that's within. Her borrowed locks, of dry and withered hue, Her straggling beard of ill-condition'd hairs, And then her jaws of wise and formal cast; Chat-chat—chat-chat! Grand shrewd remarks! That may have meaning, may have none for me. I like the creature so supremely ill, I never listen, never calculate. I know this is ungenerous and unjust: I cannot help it; for I do dislike An old blue-stocking maid even to extremity. I do protest I'd rather kiss a tailor.

A GREEDY EATER! He is worst of all. The gourmand bolts and bolts, and smacks his chops— Eyes every dish that enters, with a stare Of greed and terror, lest one thing go by him. The glances that he casts along the board, At every slice that's carved, have that in them Beyond description. I would rather dine Beside an ox—yea, share his cog of draff; Or with a dog, if he'd keep his own side; Than with a glutton on the rarest food. A thousand times I've dined upon the waste, On dry-pease bannock, by the silver spring. O, it was sweet—was healthful—had a zest; Which at the paste my palate ne'er enjoyed. My bonnet laid aside, I turned mine eyes With reverence and humility to heaven, Craving a blessing from the bounteous Giver; Then grateful thanks returned. There was a joy In these lone meals, shared by my faithful dog, Which I remind with pleasure, and has given A verdure to my spirit's age. Then think Of such a man, beside a guzzler set; And how his stomach nauseates the repast. "When he thinks of days he shall never more see. Of his cake and his cheese, and his lair on the lea, His laverock that hung on the heaven's ee-bree, His prayer and his clear mountain rill." I cannot eat one morsel. There is that, Somewhere within, that balks each bold attempt; A loathing—a disgust—a something worse: I know not what it is. A strong desire To drink, but not for thirst. 'Tis from a wish To wash down that enormous eater's food— A sympathetic feeling. Not of love! And be there ale, or wine, or potent draught Superior to them both, to that I fly, And glory in the certainty that mine Is the ethereal soul of food, while his Is but the rank corporeal—the vile husks Best suited to his crude voracity. And far as the bright spirit may transcend Its mortal frame, my food transcendeth his.

A CREDITOR! Good heaven, is there beneath Thy glorious concave of cerulean blue, A being formed so thoroughly for dislike, As is a creditor? No, he's supreme, The devil's a joke to him! Whoe'er has seen An adder's head upraised, with gleaming eyes, About to make a spring, may form a shade Of mild resemblance to a creditor. I do remember once—'tis long agone— Of stripping to the waist to wade the Tyne— The English Tyne, dark, sluggish, broad, and deep; And just when middle-way, there caught mine eye, A lamprey of enormous size pursuing me! L—— what a fright! I bobb'd, I splashed, I flew. He had a creditor's keen, ominous look, I never saw an uglier—but a real one. This is implanted in man's very nature, It cannot be denied. And once I deemed it The most degrading stain our nature bore: Wearing a shade of every hateful vice, Ingratitude, injustice, selfishness. But I was wrong, for I have traced the stream Back to its fountain in the inmost cave, And found in postulate of purest grain, It's first beginning.—It is not the man, The friend who has obliged us, we would shun, But the conviction which his presence brings, That we have done him wrong:—a sense of grief And shame at our own rash improvidence: The heart bleeds for it, and we love the man Whom we would shun. The feeling's hard to bear.

A BLUSTERING FELLOW! There's a deadly bore, Placed in a good man's way, who only yearns For happiness and joy. But day by day, This blusterer meets me, and the hope's defaced. I cannot say a word—make one remark, That meets not flat and absolute contradiction— I nothing know on earth—am misinformed On every circumstance. The very terms, Scope, rate, and merits of my own transactions Are all to me unknown, or falsified, Of which most potent proof can be adduced. Then the important thump upon the board, Snap with the thumb, and the disdainful 'whew!' Sets me and all I say at less than naught. What can a person do?—To knock him down Suggests itself, but then it breeds a row In a friend's house, or haply in your own, Which is much worse; for glasses go like cinders; The wine is spilled—the toddy. The chair-backs Go crash! No, no, there's nothing but forbearance, And mark'd contempt. If that won't bring him down, There's nothing will. Ah! can the leopard change His spots, or the grim Ethiop his hue? Sooner they may and nature change her course, Than can a blusterer to a modest man: He still will stand a beacon of dislike. A fool—I wish all blustering chaps were dead, That's the true bathos to have done with them.

Fraser's Magazine.

* * * * *



THE GATHERER.

A snapper up of unconsidered trifles. SHAKSPEARE.

GAD'S HILL.

Gad's Hill, not far from Chatham, was formerly a noted place for depredations on seamen, after they had received their pay at the latter place. The following robbery was committed there in or verging on the year 1676: About four o'clock one morning, a gentleman was robbed by one Nicks, on a bay mare, just as he was on the declivity of the hill, on the west side. Nicks rode away, and as he said, was stopped nearly an hour by the difficulty of getting a boat, to enable him to cross the river; but he made the best use of it as a kind of bait to his horse. From thence he rode across the county of Essex to Chelmsford. Here he stopped about an hour to refresh his horse, and give the animal a ball;—from thence to Braintree, Bocking, and Withersfield; thence over the Downs to Cambridge; and from thence, keeping still the cross roads, he went by Fenny Stratford, [9] to Godmanchester and Huntingdon, where he and his mare baited about an hour; and, as he said himself, he slept about half an hour: then holding on the north road, and keeping a full gallop most of the way, he came to York the same afternoon; put off his boots and riding clothes, and went dressed as if he had been an inhabitant of the place, to the bowling-green, where, among many other gentlemen, was the Lord Mayor of the city. He, singling out his lordship, studied to do something particular that the mayor might remember him, and then took occasion to ask him what o'clock it was. The mayor, pulling out his watch, told him the time, which was a quarter before, or a quarter after eight at night. Upon a prosecution for this robbery, the whole merit of the case turned upon this single point:—the person robbed, swore to the man, to the place, and to the time, in which the robbery was committed; but Nicks, proving by the Lord Mayor of York, that he was as far off as Yorkshire at that time, the jury acquitted him on the bare supposition, that the man could not be at two places so remote on one and the same day.

[9] Fenny, or Fen Stanton, not Stratford, must be here meant, as the former is in the direct road from Cambridge to Huntingdon.

I need not remind your numerous readers that the roads in 1676 were in a very different plight to those of 1831; at the former period it would not have been possible for Tom Thumb to have trotted sixteen miles an hour on any turnpike road in England. Even my friend, the respected driver of the Old Union Cambridge Coach to London, can remember, in his time, the coach being two days on the road, and occasionally being indebted to farmers for the loan of horses to drag the coach wheels out of their sloughy tracks.

J.S.W.

* * * * *

DIGNIFIED REPROOF.

Catherine Parthenay, niece of the celebrated Anna Parthenay, returned this spirited reply to the importunities of Henry IV.—"Your majesty must know, that although I am too humble to become your wife, I am at the same time descended from too illustrious a family ever to become your mistress."

P.

* * * * *

L—A—W.

The circumlocution and diffuseness of law papers—the apparent redundancy of terms, and multiplicity of synonymes, which may be found on all judicial proceedings, are happily hit off in the following, which we copy from Jenk's New York Evening Journal:—

"A LAWYER'S STORY.—Tom strikes Dick over the shoulders with a rattan as big as your little finger. A lawyer would tell you the story something in this way:—And that, whereas the said Thomas, at the said Providence, in the year and day aforesaid, in and upon the body of the said Richard, in the peace of God and the State, then and there being, did make a most violent assault and inflicted a great many and divers blows, kicks, cuffs, thumps, bumps, contusions, gashes, wounds, hurts, damages, and injuries, in and upon the head, neck, breast, stomach, lips, knees, shins, and heels of the said Richard, with divers sticks, staves, canes, poles, clubs, logs of wood, stones, guns, dirks, swords, daggers, pistols, cutlasses, bludgeons, blunderbusses, and boarding pikes, then and there held in the hands, fists, claws, and clutches of him the said Thomas."

* * * * *

WATERLOO—"FORGET ME NOT."

"On one of these graves I observed the little wild blue flower, known by the name of 'Forget me not'."—Visit to the Field of Waterloo.

No marble tells, nor columns rise, To bid the passing stranger mourn, Where valour fought, and bled, and died, From friends and life abruptly torn.

Yet on the earth that veils[10] their heads, Where bravest hearts are doom'd to rot, This simple flower, with meek appeal, Prefers the prayer "Forget me not."

Forget! forbid my heart responds While bending o'er the hero's grave— Forbid that e'er oblivion's gloom Should shade the spot where rest the brave.

Fond kindred at this awful shrine Will oft, with footsteps faltering, Approach and drop the pious tear— Sad Memory's purest offering.

And well their country marks those deeds— The land that gave each bosom fire: Deeds that her proudest triumph won, But gaining, saw her sons expire.

And ages hence will Britain's sons, As trophied tributes meet their view, Admire, exult—yet mourn the pangs These glories cost, at Waterloo.

D.

[10] The layer of earth scarce covers the bodies, so may be called a veil.

* * * * *

SWORD PRESENTED BY THE KING TO THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON, ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF WATERLOO.

On the hilt, and executed in high relief, are branches of oak surrounding the crown. The bark of the branches are opening, which display the words—"India, Copenhagen, Peninsula, and Waterloo." The top part of the scabbard exhibits his majesty's arms, initials, and crown; the middle of the scabbard exhibits the arms and orders of the Duke of Wellington on the one side, and on the reverse his batons. The lower end has the thunderbolt and wings, the whole surrounded with oak leaves and laurel, with a rich foliage, in which was introduced the flower of the Lotus. The blade exhibits, in has relief, his majesty's arms, initials, and crown; the arms, orders, and batons, of the Duke of Wellington, Hercules taming the tiger, the thunderbolt, the British colours bound up with the caduceus and fasces, surrounded by laurel, and over them the words—"India, Copenhagen, Peninsula, and Waterloo," terminating with a sheathed sword, surrounded by laurel and palm.

* * * * *

ODDITIES.

Fashion-mongers make odd work with language. Thus, we read of Mrs. Ravenshaw giving a "petit" souper to about 150 of the haut ton.

The Court Journal, too, tells us that a few days since Lord Lansdowne met with "a severe accident," by which "he suffered no material injury."

The Queen's dress at her last ball was "white and silver, striped with blue." The song says—

To be nice about trifles Is trifling and folly;—

but the modistes can gather little from such a description as the above.

In the Zoological Gardens is a pheasant, one of whose feathers measures 5 feet 11 inches in length!

A "Charming Fellow,"—The records of the Horticultural Society inform us that Lady Cochrane has been elected "a Fellow of the Society."

VEDI PAGANINI E MORI. See Paganini, and then die! I beg to tell a different story; And to the bowing crowd I cry, See Paganini, and then Mori! Court Journal.

In a List of New Books and Reprints we find one by "Bishop Home; in silk, 2s. 6d."

Epitaph on Spenser. In Spenserum.

Famous alive and dead, here is the odds, Then god of poets, now poet of the gods.

The Philomathic Society of Warsaw have elected Mr. Campbell a corresponding member, as "Campbell Tomes Poete Anglais."—Literary Gazette.

Anatomy.—The price for unopened subjects in Paris is 5 francs, or 4s. 2d.; and 3 francs, or 2s. 6d. for opened ones.—Lancet.

* * * * *

THE LORD CHANCELLOR.

Vol. XVII. of the MIRROR,

With a Steel-plate Portrait of this illustrious Individual, Memoir, &c., 50 Engravings, and 450 closely printed Pages, will be published on the 30th instant, price 5s. 6d. boards.

Part 110, price 10d., will be ready on the same day.

The Supplementary Number will contain the above Portrait, a copious Memoir, Title-page, Index, &c; and, from its extension beyond the usual space, will be published at 4d.

* * * * *

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