THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 19, NO. 546.] SATURDAY, MAY 12, 1832. [PRICE 2d.
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ST. PANCRAS (OLD) CHURCH.
This humble village fane is situated to the north of London, somewhat more than a mile from Holborn Bars. Persons unacquainted with the site, may hitherto have considered it as part and parcel of this vast metropolis: but, lo! here it stands amidst much of its primitive, peaceful rusticity.
Pancras is still, by courtesy, called a village, though its charms may be of the rus-in-urbe description. It derives its name from the saint to whom the church is dedicated: it was called St. Pancras when the Survey of Domesday was taken. The parish is of great extent. Mr. Lysons states it at 2,700 acres of land, including the site of buildings. It is bounded on the north by Islington, Hornsey, and Finchley; and on the west by Hampstead and Marybone. On the south it meets the parishes of St. Giles's in the Fields, St. George the Martyr, St. George, Bloomsbury, and St. Andrew's, Holborn. On the east it is bounded by St. James's, Clerkenwell. Kentish Town, part of Highgate, Camden Town, and Somer's Town, are comprised within this parish as hamlets. Mr. Lysons supposes it to have included the prebendal manor of Kentish Town, or Cantelows, which now constitutes a stall in St. Paul's Cathedral. Among the prebendaries have been men eminent for their learning and piety: as Lancelot Andrews, bishop of Winchester, Dr. Sherlock, Archdeacon Paley, and the Rev. William Beloe, B.D. well known by his translation of Herodotus.
 St. Pancras was a young Phrygian nobleman, who suffered death under the Emperor Dioclesian, for his zealous adherence to the Christian faith.
 Lysons's Environs, 4to. vol. ii. part ii.
 The parish extends in this direction to the foot of Gray's Inn Lane, and includes part of a house in Queen's Square.
 Anciently Kentistonne, where William Bruges, Garter King at Arms in the reign of Henry V. had a country-house, at which he entertained the emperor Sigismund.
It would occupy too much space to detail the progressive increase of this district. When a visitation of the church was made in the year 1251, there were only forty houses in the parish. The desolate situation of the village in the latter part of the sixteenth century is emphatically described by Norden, in his Speculum Britanniae. After noticing the solitary condition of the church, he says, "yet about this structure have bin manie buildings now decaied, leaving poore Pancras without companie or comfort." In some manuscription additions to his work, the same writer has the following observations:—"Although this place be, as it were, forsaken of all; and true men seldom frequent the same, but upon devyne occasions; yet it is visyted by thieves, who assemble there not to pray, but to wait for praye; and manie fell into their handes, clothed, that are glad when they are escaped naked. Walk not there too late." Newcourt, whose work was published in 1700, says that houses had been built near the church. The first important increase of the parish took place in the neighbourhood of Tottenham Court Road.
"Pancras Church," says Norden, "standeth all alone, as utterly forsaken, old and wether-beten, which, for the antiquity thereof, it is thought not to yield to Paules in London." It is of rude Gothic architecture, built of stones and flints, which are now covered with plaster. Mr. Lysons says, "It is certainly not older than the fourteenth century, perhaps in Norden's time it had the appearance of great decay; the same building, nevertheless, repaired from time to time, still remains; looks no longer 'old and wether-beten,' and may still exist perhaps to be spoken of by some antiquary of a future century. It is a very small structure, consisting only of a nave and chancel; at the west end is a low tower, with a kind of dome." Mr. Lysons speaks of the disproportionate size of the church to the population of the parish; but since his time another church has been erected, the splendour and size of which in every respect accord with the increased wealth and numbers of the parish.
 The visitation of the church in the year 1251, mentions a very small tower, a good slope font, and a small marble stone ornamented with copper to carry the Pax.
The church and churchyard of Pancras have long been noted as the burial-place of such Roman Catholics as die in London and its vicinity. Many of the tombs exhibit a cross, and the initials R.I.P. (Requiescat in pace), which initials, or others analogous to them, are always used by the Catholics on their sepulchral monuments. Mr. Lysons heard it assigned by some of that persuasion, as a reason for this preference to Pancras as a burial-place, that masses were formerly said in a church in the south of France, dedicated to the same saint, for the souls of the deceased interred at St. Pancras in England. After the French revolution, a great number of ecclesiastics and other refugees, some of them of high rank, were buried in this churchyard; and in 1811, Mr. Lysons observed that probably about 30 of the French clergy had on an average been buried at Pancras for some years past: in 1801 there were 41, and in 1802, 32. Mr. Lysons's explanation of this preference to Pancras by the Catholics is, however, disputed by the author of Ecclesiastical Topography, who observes that a reason more generally given is, that "Pancras was the last church in England where mass was performed after the Reformation."
 Strype, in his additions to Stowe, says, the Roman Catholics have of late effected to be buried at this place.
In the chancel are monuments of Daniel Clarke, Esq. who had been master-cook to Queen Elizabeth; and of Cooper the artist, whose style approached so near to that of Vandyke, that he has been called Vandyke in miniature: he taught the author of Hudibras to paint; his wife was sister to Pope's mother.
In the churchyard are the tombs of Anthony Woodhead, 1678, who was in his day, the great champion of the Roman Catholic religion, and was reputed to have written the Whole Duty of Man; Lady Slingsby, whose name occurs as an actress in Dryden and Lee's plays, from 1681 to 1689; Jeremy Collier, 1726, the pertinacious non-juror, who repressed the immoralities of the stage; Ned Ward, author of the London Spy, 1731; Leoni, the architect, 1746; Lady Henrietta, wife of Beard, the vocalist, 1753; Van Bleeck, the portrait-painter; Ravenet, the engraver, 1764; Mazzinghi, 1775, leader of the band at Marylebone Gardens, and father of Mazzinghi, the celebrated composer; Henry and Robert Rackett, Pope's nephews; Woollett, the engraver, 1785, to whose memory a monument has been placed in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey; Baron de Wenzel, the celebrated oculist, 1790; Mary Wollestonecraft Godwin, author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman, 1797; the Rev. Arthur O'Leary, or Father O'Leary, the amiable Franciscan friar, 1802; Paoli, the patriotic Corsican, 1807; Walker editor of the Pronouncing Dictionary; the Chevalier d'Eon, 1810, of epicene notoriety; and Packer, the comedian, 1806, who is said to have performed 4,852 times, besides walking in processions; Edwards, professor of Perspective, 1806; Scheemakers, the statuary, 1808.
In the Beauties of England and Wales, it is stated that 23 acres of land belong to the church; and the great increase of buildings renders these of considerable value; though it is not known to whom the church is indebted for this possession.
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FROM THE GERMAN.
(For the Mirror.)
Through oak-woods green, A silver sheen, Sweet moon, from thee Afforded me A tranquil joy, Me, then, a happy boy. Still makes thy light My window bright, But can no more Lost peace restore: My brow is shaded, My cheek with weeping faded. Thy beams, O moon, Will glitter soon, As softly clear, Upon my bier: For soon, earth must Conceal in youth my dust.
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(For the Mirror.)
These remains of ancient art are destined to be removed to Europe. The palace of Cleopatra was built upon the walls facing the port of Alexandria, Egypt, having a gallery on the outside, supported by several fine columns. Towards the eastern part of the palace are two obelisks, vulgarly called Cleopatra's Needles. They are of Thebaic stone, and covered with hieroglyphics; one is overturned, broken, and lying under the sand; the other is on its pedestal. These two obelisks, each of them of a single stone, are about sixty feet high, by seven feet square at the base. The Egyptian priests called these obelisks the sun's fingers, because they served as stiles or gnomons to mark the hours on the ground. In the first ages of the world they were made use of to transmit to posterity the principal precepts of philosophy, which were engraven on them in hieroglyphics.
"Between the statues, Obelisks were placed: And the learned walls with hieroglyphics grac'd. Pope.
In after ages they were used to immortalize the actions of heroes, and the memory of persons beloved.
 One is stated to be on its way to England; our parliament has voted 10,000l to defray the expense. The other needle is destined for France.
The first obelisk we know of was that raised by Rameses, King of Egypt, in the time of the Trojan war. Augustus erected an obelisk at Rome, in the Campus Martius, which served to mark the hours on an horizontal dial, drawn on the pavement. This obelisk was brought from Egypt, and was said to have been formed by Sesostris, near a thousand years before Christ. It was used by Manlius for the same purpose for which it was originally destined, namely, to measure the height of the sun.
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THE DYING MAIDEN'S PARDON TO HER FAITHLESS LOVER.
FROM THE FRENCH.
(For the Mirror.)
If death's keen anguish thou would'st charm Ere speeds his fatal dart, Come, place thine hand—while yet 'tis warm, Upon my breaking heart.
And though remorse—thou may'st not feel When its last throb is o'er, Thou'lt say—"that heart which lov'd so well, Shall passion feel no more."
E'en love for thee forsakes my soul— Thy work, relentless see, Near as I am life's destin'd gaol, I'm frozen—less than thee.
Yet take this heart—I ne'er had more To give thee in thy need: Search well—for at its inmost core, Thy pardon thou may'st read.
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TRAITS OF IRISH CHARACTER.
(For the Mirror.)
A gentleman residing in the vicinity of Dublin, found, notwithstanding the protection of a thick, and thorny hedge, that great depredations were committed on his garden and paddocks; so he inclosed them with a high, strong wall. As he kept cows, and had more milk than was sufficient for his family, he distributed the overplus amongst his poor neighbours. One day, inspecting in person, this distribution, he saw a woman attending with her pails, who, he was tolerably certain did not require such assistance. "You, here! my good friend," said he, "I thought you kept a cow?"
"Ay, plase yer honour's honour, and two it was that I once kept, the craters!"
"Once, why don't you keep them now?"
"Ough! 'tis yeaself must answer that question, for why? the bastes did well enough afore your rav'rence run up that bit o' wall round your fields, seein' the cows lived off your grass; but sorra for me now, I've sold 'em both, by rason I couldn't keep 'em no longer."
An English gentleman, on a tour in Ireland, was beset at a fine waterfall by numerous beggars; one woman was particularly clamorous for relief, but Mr. R. instructed by his guide, said to her, "My good friend, you cannot possibly want relief, as you keep several cows, and have a very profitable farm; indeed I cannot bestow my charity upon you." The woman, looking sulky, and detected, immediately pointed to another, exclaiming, "Then give to her, for she's got nothing!" The stranger in Dublin is particularly requested to send all beggars to an institution in Copper Alley, for their relief. Being once much importuned by an old man for money, we desired him to go to this place. "I can't," said he.
"Becase 'tis a bad place for the poor."
"How so? don't they give you anything to eat?"
"Ah, yes, yes, but the thing is, my jewel, they wont by no manes give a poor body anything to drink." The intelligent reader will not be at a loss to translate the complaint of thirsty Pat.
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During the late French Revolution, one of the royalist soldiers having his horse shot under him by a pupil of the Polytechnic School, and finding when thus brought down, that he could not regain his feet and resume a posture of defence, but was entirely at the mercy of his ferocious young adversary, he immediately surrendered his sword, exclaiming, "I am your prisoner, and entreat of you mercy and life." To which the generous and heroic youth replied, "No prisoners, no mercy!" and taking from his pocket a pike-head or some similar rough weapon, deliberately drove it into the unfortunate soldier's heart!
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A nobleman being, it is said, some years since, in the shop of a celebrated London shoemaker, saw, pass through it, a very handsome young woman, "Who is that fine girl?" said he.
"My daughter," replied the cord-wainer, "with sixty thousand pounds at your lordship's service."
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Literary topics came under discussion one evening in a small social circle, of which the writer made one, and particularly the autobiographical works, and personal memoirs, now so much in vogue. A gentleman then stated, that having seen much of the world, he thought he must follow the fashion, and one day favour it with his own life and adventures. Numerous ladies were to figure in his book, which was, in fact, as he modestly gave the present company to understand, to be a complete chronicle of the flirtations and conquests of himself, and male allies, with letters, portraits, &c. and names in full. "But," remarked a lady, humouring the jest, "if you do render your book so very personal, are you not afraid of the consequences?"
"Not at all," replied the embryo author very gravely, "for though I shall enjoy the remarks of the world, upon my autobiography, they cannot affect me, as it will of course be a posthumous work."
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During the disastrous fire of the Kent East Indiaman, a lady on board exhibited a very singular instance of sang froid and presence of mind. Being in one of the cabins, with a large, helpless, despairing, and of course, most troublesome party, chiefly of her own sex, "all hands" of the other being "turned up," we presume, to check the advances of the devouring element, she proposed, by way of keeping them quiet, to make tea for them, and we believe her proposal was accepted, and had the desired effect.
Great Marlow, Bucks.
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(For the Mirror.)
Demosthenes to be the more removed from noise, and less subject to distraction, caused a small chamber to be made under ground, in which he shut himself up sometimes for whole months, shaving half his head and only half his face, that he might not be in a condition to go abroad. It was there, by the light of a small lamp, he composed his admirable Orations, which were said by those who envied him, to smell of the oil, to imply that they were too elaborate. He rose very early, and used to say, that he was sorry when any workman was at his business before him. He copied Thucydides' history eight times with his own hand, in order to render the style of that great man familiar to him.
Adrian Turnebus, a French critic, was so indefatigable in his study, that it was said of him, as it was of Budaeus, that he spent some hours in study even on the day he was married.
Frederick Morel had so strong an attachment to study, that when he was informed of his wife's being at the point of death, he would not lay down his pen, till he had finished what he was upon, and when she was dead, as she was before they could prevail on him to stir, he was only heard to reply coldly, "I am very sorry, she was a good woman."
Sir Isaac Newton, when he had any mathematical problems or solutions in his mind, would never quit the subject on any account; dinner was often known to be three hours ready for him before he could be brought to table. His man often said, when he was getting up in the morning, and began to dress, he would, with one leg in his breeches, sit down again on the bed, and remain there for hours before he got his clothes on.
Mr. Abraham Sharp, the astronomer, through his love of study, was very irregular as to his meals, which he frequently took in the following manner: a little square hole, something like a window, made a communication between the room where he usually studied, and another chamber in the house, where a servant could enter, and before this hole he had contrived a sliding board, the servant always placing his victuals in the hole, without speaking a word or making the least noise, and when he had leisure he visited it to see what it contained, and to satisfy his hunger or thirst. But it often happened that the breakfast, the dinner, and the supper remained untouched by him, so deeply was he engaged in his calculations and solemn musings. At one time after his provisions had been neglected for a long season, his family became uneasy, and resolved to break in upon his retirement; he complained, but with great mildness, that they had disconcerted his thoughts in a chain of calculations which had cost him intense application for three days successively. On an old oak table, where for a long course of years he used to write, cavities might easily be perceived, worn by the perpetual rubbing of his arms and elbows.
 Mr. Colton used to say that he wrote his treasurable, "Lacon: or, many things in a few words," upon a small, rickety deal table. We perceive from Galignani's Messenger, that Mr. Colton put an end to his existence, a few days since, at Fontainbleau, it is stated in consequence of the dread of a surgical operation which it had become necessary that he should undergo.
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THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
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The title of Lord Mulgrave's clever novel is sufficiently explained by the hero, Lord Castleton, a man of high refinement, marrying an unsophisticated, uneducated peasant girl. The scenes and incidents of her introduction into the fashionable world are replete with humour, yet true to the life. Thus, how naturally are her new Ladyship's embarrassments told:—
"There were some points on which she would even have endeavoured to extract knowledge from the servants; but dreading, from her former habits, nothing so much as too great a familiarity in this respect, Castleton had made it one of his first desires to her, that she would confine her communications with them, to asking for what she wanted. To this, as to every other desire of his, she yielded, as far as she could, implicit obedience; but it was often a great exertion on her part to do so. Of her own maid she had felt from the first a considerable awe; and to such a degree did this continue, that she could not conceive any fatigue from labour equal to the burthen of her assistance. Being naturally of a disposition both active and obliging, it was quite new to her to have any thing done for her which she could do for herself. For some time she had as great a horror of touching a bell-rope, as others have in touching the string of a shower-bath; and when services were obtruded on her by the domestics as a matter of course, she had much difficulty in checking the exuberance of her gratitude.
"At home, Big Betsey, mentioned before as the maid of all work, never considered as any part of her multitudinous duties the waiting on Miss Lucy, who she not only said 'mought moind herself,' but sometimes called to her, almost authoritatively, 'to lend a hauping haund.' It was, probably, in consequence of the habit thus engendered, that Lady Castleton was one day caught 'lending a helping hand' to an over-loaded under laundry-maid, who had been sent by her superior with a wicker-bound snowy freight of her Ladyship's own superfine linen. But of all the irksome feelings caused by Lucy's new position, there was none from which she suffered more, than waiting to be waited on. And it was hinted in the hall, that when my Lord was not in the room, my Lady got up to help herself to what she wanted from the sideboard!! And it was whispered in the female conclave of the housekeeper's room, that her Lady-ship seemed even to like to—lace her own stays!!"
Again, after Lady Castleton receiving a visit from a ton-ish family, his Lordship asks:—
And did they make many inquiries of you? ask many questions?"
"Oh, such a many!"
"So many, dearest love, you mean to say."
"Well, so I do, thank you; and then the mamma asked me, as she had never seen me before, if I had not been much abroad; and I said, never at all till I married; and then she said, 'What! had I been to Paris since?' and I find she meant foreign parts by abroad. And she told me that we ought to go to London soon; that the season was advanced, and that the Pasta would come out soon this spring. What is the Pasta—a plant?"
"A plant! no, love. Pasta is a singer's name, you could not be expected to know that; but I hope you didn't say any thing to show them your ignorance?"
"Oh, no; you told me, whenever I was completely puzzled, that silence was best; so I said nothing. Pasta's the name of a singer, then! Oh, that accounts, for a moment after she the mamma said, that her daughter Arabella sang delightfully, and asked me if I would sing with her; so I said no, I'd much rather listen. That was right, warn't it? You see I knew you'd ask me all about it, so I recollected it for you. Arabella then asked me if I would accompany her? so I said, Wherever she liked,—where did she want to go? But, I suppose, she altered her mind, for she sat down to the grand instrument you had brought here for me to begin my lessons upon; and then she sang such an extraordinary song—all coming from her throat. And the sister asked me if I understood German? and I answered, No, nor French neither."
"That was an unnecessary addition, my love."
"Well, so it was. Then the youngest sister explained to me, that it was a song a Swiss peasant girl sang whilst she was milking her cow; and I said that must be very difficult, to sing while milking a cow. And then the mamma asked how I knew; and I said I had tried very often."
"How could you, dear Lucy, volunteer such an avowal?"
"I thought you would be afraid of that; but it all did very well, for the mother said I was so amusing, had so much natural wit, and they all tried to persuade me I had said something clever."
"Well, go on—and what then?"
"And then the lady took me aside, and began saying so much in praise of you; and when she once got me on that subject, I was ready and glib enough, I warrant you. But somehow, though I then found it so much easier to speak, I find it more difficult to recollect exactly what I said. Is not that strange? And then she said that my happiness would excite so much envy in the great world; that you had been admired, courted, nay, even loved by rich, noble, clever ladies. Why was all this? and how could you ever think to leave all these, to seek out from her quiet home your poor little Lucy?"
"Oh, that's a story of by-gone days. These were follies of my youth, which I thought I had lived to repent.
"'Nor knew, till seated by thy side, My heart in all save hope the same.'"
"Why, save hope, my dear Lord? What may you not only hope, but trust, from my constant devotion?"
"I did not mean to tie myself precisely to every word I uttered. It was only a quotation."
"And what is a quotation?"
"A quotation is the vehicle in which imagination posts forward, when she only hires her Pegasus from memory. Or sometimes it is only a quit-rent, which the intellectual cultivator, who farms an idea, pays to the original proprietor; or rather,"—(seeing that he was not making the matter more intelligible by his explanation,)—"or rather, it is when we convey our own thoughts by the means of the more perfect expressions of some favourite author."
"But then, surely you need not be driven to borrow, whose own words always sound to me like a book. As for poor me, I wish I could talk in quotations for ever; then I need not fear to make these mistakes, which, as it is, I am afraid I am always like to do."
(A scene at the Opera is richer still: the performance Semiramide:)
"Lady Gayland took the opportunity of inquiring of Lady Castleton, 'how the opera had amused her?' There was that unmistakable air of real interest in Lady Gayland's manner, whenever she addressed Lucy, which made her always reply in a tone of confidence, different from that which she felt towards any other member of the society in which she moved.
"Why, to tell the honest truth," said she, leaning forwards towards her questioner, "I can't say that I could the least understand what it all meant. It's not likely that people should sing when they're in such sorrow; and then I can't guess why that young man should kill the queen that was so kind to him all along."
"I don't wonder that that should surprise you, my dear; but he was not aware of what he was doing. It was in the dark."
"In the dark! But I could see very well who it was, though I did not know her so well as he did, and was so much farther off."
"I am afraid you are in the dark, too, a little as yet," said Lady Gayland, (tapping her gently with her fan.) "But, tell me, did you not admire the singing, though you could not understand the story."
"Why, I should, perhaps, if I had known the language; but even then they seemed to me more like birds, than men and women singing words. I like a song that I can make out every word that's said."
"The curtain then rose for the ballet; at first, Lucy was delighted with the scenery and pageantry, for the spectacle was grand and imposing. But at length the resounding plaudits announced the entree of the perfect Taglioni. Lucy was a little astonished at her costume upon her first appearance. She was attired as a goddess, and goddesses' gowns are somewhat of the shortest, and their legs rather au naturel; but when she came to elicit universal admiration by pointing her toe, and revolving in the slow pirouette, Lucy, from the situation in which she sat was overpowered with shame at the effect; and whilst Lady Gayland, with her longnette fixed on the stage, ejaculated, 'Beautiful! inimitable!' the unpractised Lucy could not help exclaiming, 'O that is too bad! I cannot stay to see that!' and she turned her head away blushing deeply."
"Is your ladyship ill?" exclaimed Lord Stayinmore. "Castleton, I am afraid Lady Castleton feels herself indisposed."
"Would you like to go?" kindly inquired Castleton.
"O so much!" she answered.
"Are you ill, my dear?" asked Lady Gayland.
"Oh, no!" she said.
"Then you had better stay, it is so beautiful."
"Thank you, Lord Castleton is kind enough to let me go."
(They get into the carriage.)
"And how do you find yourself now, my dear Lucy?" tenderly inquired Castleton, as the carriage drove off.
"Oh, I am quite well, thank you."
"Quite well! are you? What was it, then, that was the matter with you?"
"There was nothing the matter with me, it was that woman."
"What woman? what can you mean? Did you not say that you were ill; and was not that the reason that we hurried away?"
"No! YOU said I was ill; and I did not contradict you, because you tell me that in the world, as you call it, it is not always right to give the real reason for what we do; and therefore I thought, perhaps, that though of course you wished me to come away, you liked to put it upon my being ill."
"Of course I wished you to come away! I was never more unwilling to move in all my life; and nothing but consideration for your health would have induced me to stir. Why should I have wished you to come away?"
"Why, the naked woman," stammered Lucy.
"What can you mean?"
"You couldn't surely wish me to sit by the side of those people, to see such a thing as that?"
"As to being by the side of those people, I must remind you, that it was Lady Gayland's box in which you were; and that whatever she, with her acknowledged taste and refinement, sanctions with her presence, can only be objected to by ignorance or prejudice. You have still a great deal to learn, my dear Lucy," added he, more kindly; "and nothing can be so fatal to your progress in that respect, as your attempting to lead, or to find fault, with what you do not understand."
"But surely I can understand that it is not right to do what I saw that woman do," interrupted Lucy, presuming a little more doggedly than she usually ventured to do on any subject with her husband; for this time she had been really shocked by what she had seen.
"Wrong it certainly is not, if you mean moral wrong. As to such an exhibition being becoming or not in point of manners, that depends entirely upon custom. Many things at your father's might strike me as coarseness, which made no impression upon you from habit, though much worse in my opinion than this presumed indecorum. Those things probably arose from ignorance on your parts, which might be corrected. This, on the other hand, from conventional indifference, consequent on custom, which it is not in you to correct. Depend upon it you will only get yourself laughed at, and me too, if you preach about dancers' petticoats."
"I don't want to preach to any body; and you know how much it fashes me to contend with you."
"Don't say FASHES, say distresses, or annoys, not fashes, for heaven's sake, my dear Lucy."
"Oh, dear, it was very stupid of me to forget it. That was one of the first things you taught me, and it is a many days since I said it last; but it is so strange to me to venture to differ with you, that I get confused, and don't say any thing as right as I could do. Even now I should like to ask, if modesty is a merit, whether nakedness ought to be a show; but I'll say no more, for I dare say you won't make me go there again."
"No, that will be the best way to settle it."
The plot of the Contrast is not, as the reader may perceive, one of fashionable life: it has more of the romance of nature in its composition: the characters are not the drawling bores that we find in fashionable novels, though their affected freaks are occasionally introduced to contrast with unsophisticated humility, and thus exhibit the deformities of high life. The whole work is, however, light as gossamer: we had almost said that a fly might read it through the meshes, without endangering his patience or liberty.
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THE LIBRARY OF ENTERTAINING KNOWLEDGE
Maintains its rank in sober, we mean useful, literature. The volume before us contains such matter as is only to be found in large and expensive works, with a host of annotations from the journals of recent travellers and other volumes which bear upon the main subject. This part of the series, describing vegetable substances used for the food of man, is executed with considerable minuteness. A Pythagorean would gloat over its accuracy, and a vegetable diet man would become inflated with its success in establishing his eccentricities. The contents are the Corn-plants, Esculent Roots, Herbs, Spices, Tea, Coffee, &c. &c. In such a multiplicity of facts as the history of these plants must necessarily include, some misstatements may be expected. For example, the opinion that succory is superior to coffee, though supported by Drs. Howison and Duncan, is not entitled to notice. All over the continent, succory, or chicoree, is used to adulterate coffee, notwithstanding which a few scheming persons have attempted to introduce it in this country as an improvement, by selling it at four times its worth. Why say "it is sometimes considered superior to the exotic berry," and in the same page, "it is not likely to gain much esteem, where economy is not the consideration." We looked in vain for mention of the President of the Horticultural Society under Celery; though we never eat a fine head of this delicious vegetable without grateful recollection of Mr. T.A. Knight. All preachment of the economy of the Potato is judiciously omitted, though we fear to the displeasure of Sir John Sinclair; nor is there more space devoted to this overpraised root than it deserves. Truffles are not only used "like mushrooms," but for stuffing game and poultry, especially in France: who does not remember the perdrixaux truffes, of the Parisian carte. The chapter on coffee, cacao, tea, and sugar, is brief but entertaining. We may observe, by the way, that one of the obstacles to the profitable cultivation of tea in this country is our ignorance of the modes of drying, &c. as practised in China.
Another volume of the Entertaining Series, published since that just noticed, contains a selection of Criminal Trials, amongst which are those of Throckmorton and the Duke of Norfolk, for treason. They are, in the main, reprints from the State Trials, which the professional editor states to contain a large fund of instruction and entertainment. We have been deceived in the latter quality, though we must admit that in judicious hands, a volume of untiring interest might be wrought up from the State records. As they are, their dulness and prolixity are past endurance. As the present work proceeds in chronological order, it will doubtless improve in its entertaining character, since no class of literature has been more enriched by the publication of journals, diaries, &c., than historical biography, which will thus enable the editor to enliven his pages with characteristic traits of the principal actors. This has been done, to some extent, in the portion before us, and in like manner fits the volume for popular reading.
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MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.
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FIRE TEMPLES IN PERSIA.
These mystical relics are but a short journey from the celebrated ruins of Persepolis. Mr. Buckingham describes them in his usual picturesque language: "Having several villages in sight, as the sun rose, with cultivated land, flocks, trees, and water, we arrived at the foot of the mountain, which forms the northern boundary of the plain of Merdusht. The first object we saw on the west was a small rock, on which stood two fire altars of a peculiar form: their dimensions were five feet square at the base, and three at the top, and they were five feet high. There were pillars or pilasters at the corners, and arches in the sides. In the centre of each of these, near the top, was a square basin, about eight inches in diameter, and six in depth, for the reception of the fire, formerly used by the disciples of Zoroaster in their worship."
Like Pythagoras, it may be here observed, Zoroaster, the inventer of Magic, or the doctrines of the Magi, admitted no visible object of devotion except fire, which he considered as the most proper emblem of a supreme being; these doctrines seem to have been preserved by Numa, in the worship and ceremonies which he instituted in honour of Vesta. According to some of the moderns, the doctrines, laws, and regulations of Zoroaster are still extant, and they have been lately introduced in Europe, in a French translation by M. Anquetil.
Mr. Buckingham notices an existing custom, which he attributes to this reverence to fire. "Throughout all Persia, a custom prevails of giving the salute 'Salami Alaikom,' whenever the first lighted lamp or candle is brought into the room in the evening; and this is done between servants and masters as well as between equals. As this is not practised in any other Mahommedan country, it is probably a relic of the ancient reverence to fire, once so prevalent here, though the form of the salute is naturally that of the present religion."
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A Scottish journal, the Caledonian Mercury, describes the following animated scene, which lately took place off the town of Stornoway, in the island of Lewis. An immense shoal of whales was, early in the morning, chased to the mouth of the harbour by two fishing-boats, which had met them in the offing.
"The circumstance was immediately descried from the shore, and a host of boats, amounting to 30 or 40, and armed with every species of weapon, set off to join the others in pursuit. The chase soon became one of bustle and anxiety on the part both of man and fish. The boats arranged themselves in the form of a crescent, in the fold of which the whales were collected, and where they had to encounter incessant showers of stones, splashing of oars, with frequent gashes from a harpoon or spear, while the din created by the shouts of the boats' crews and the multitude on shore, was tremendous. On more than one occasion, however, the floating phalanx was broken, and it required the greatest activity and tact ere the breach could be repaired and possession of the fugitives regained. The shore was neared by degrees, the boats advancing and retreating by turns, till at length they succeeded in driving the captive monsters on a beach opposite to the town, and within a few yards of it. The gambols of the whales were now highly diverting, and, except when a fish became unmanageable and enraged while the harpoon was fixed, or the noose of a rope pulled tight round its tail, they were not at all dangerous to be approached. In the course of a few hours the capture was complete, the shore was strewed with their dead carcases, while the sea presented a bloody and troubled aspect, giving evident proofs that it was with no small effort they were subdued. For fear of contagion, the whole fish amounting to ninety-eight, some of them very large, were immediately towed to a spot distant from the town, where they were on Thursday sold by public roup, the proceeds to be divided among the captors. An annual visit is generally paid by the whales to the Lewis coast, and besides being profitable when caught, they generally furnish a source of considerable amusement. On the present occasion, the whole inhabitants of the place, male and female, repaired to the beach, opposite to the scene of slaughter, where they evidently were delighted spectators, and occasionally gave assistance. A young sailor received a stroke from the tail of one of the largest fish, which nearly killed him."
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The Philadelphia journals communicate some particulars of the journey of this enterprising naturalist into E. Florida. He has discovered, shot, and drawn a new Ibis, which he has named Tantalus fuscus. In a letter, he says
"I have discovered three different new species of Heath, one bearing a yellow blossom, the two others a red and purple one;—also, a beautiful new Kalmia, and several extraordinary parasitical plants, bearing some resemblance to the pineapple plant, growing on the eastern side of the cyprus tree in swamps, about 6 or 10 feet above the water.
"During my late excursion I almost became an amphibious being—spending the most of my days in the water, and by night pitching my tent on the barren sands. Whilst I remained at Spring Garden, the alligators were yet in full life; the white-headed eagles setting; the smaller resident birds paring; and strange to say, the warblers which migrate, moving easterly every warm day, and returning every cold day, a curious circumstance, tending to illustrate certain principles in natural economy."
Six boxes of prepared skins of birds, &c. as well as a number of choice shells, seeds, roots, &c. the result of Audubon's researches, have been received in Charleston.
"In this collection there are between four and five hundred skins of Birds, several of them rare in this part of the United States—some that are never found here, and a few that have not yet been described. Of these are two of the species of Pelican (Pelicanus) not described by Wilson. The Parrot (psittacus Carolinensis); the palm warbler of Buonaparte (Silvia palmerea), and the Florida Jay, a beautiful bird without the crest, so common in that genus.
"Among the new discoveries of Audubon in Florida, we perceive a noble bird partaking of the appearance both of the Falcon and Vulture tribes, which would seem to be a connecting link between the two. His habits too, it is said, partake of his appearance, he being alternately a bird of prey, and feeding on the same food with the Vultures. This bird remains yet to be described, and will add not only a new species, but a new genus to the birds of the United States. We perceive also in Mr. Audubon's collection, a new species of Coot (Fulica).
 Abridged from printed extracts furnished by our correspondent, M.L.B.
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A lady residing at Blackheath has in her possession a fine Jay, which displays instinct allied to reason and reflection in no ordinary degree. This bird is stated by a Correspondent, (A.T.) to repeat distinctly any word that may be uttered before. She can identify persons after having once seen them, and been told their names; the latter she will pronounce with surprising clearness. She has a strong affection for a goldfinch in the same apartment, the latter bird appearing to return this fondness by fluttering its wings and other demonstrations of delight. The Jay has also been seen playing with two kittens, while the old cat looked composedly on at their gambols. This bird is in beautiful plumage, and is about twenty years of age. She is well known to the residents of Blackheath and its vicinity.
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I have lately observed a curious fact, which I have never seen noticed in any book which has fallen in my way, viz. that it is the tail of the caterpillar which becomes the head of the butterfly. I found it hard to believe till I had convinced myself of it in a number of instances. The caterpillar weaves its web from its mouth, finishes with the head downwards, and the head, with the six front legs, are thrown off from the chrysalis, and may be found dried up, but quite distinguishable, at the bottom of the web. The butterfly comes out at the top. Is this fact generally known?—Corresp. Mag. Nat. Hist.
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THE RIVER TINTO.
The river Tinto rises in Sierra Morena, and empties itself into the Mediterranean, near Huelva, having the name of Tinto given it from the tinge of its waters, which are as yellow as a topaz, hardening the sand and petrifying it in a most surprising manner. If a stone happen to fall in, and rest on another, they both become in a year's time perfectly united and conglutiated. This river withers all the plants on its banks, as well as the roots of trees, which it dyes of the same hue as its waters. No kind of verdure will flourish where it reaches, nor any fish live in its stream. It kills worms in cattle, when given them to drink; but in general no animals will drink out of the river, except goats, whose flesh, nevertheless, has an excellent flavour. These singular properties continue till other rivulets run into it, and alter its nature; for when it passes by Niebla, it is not different from other rivers. It falls into the Mediterranean six leagues lower down, at the town of Huelva, where it is two leagues broad, and admits of large vessels, which may come up the river as high as San Juan del Puerto, three leagues above Huelva.—From a Correspondent.
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SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS
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THE GALLEY SLAVES.
About a mile distant from one of the southern barriers of Paris, a palace was built during our Henry the Sixth's brief and precarious possession of French royalty, by the Bishop of Winchester. It was known by the name of Winchester, of which, however, the French kept continually clipping and changing the consonants, until the Anglo-Saxon Winchester dwindled into the French appellation of Bicetre. The Bishop's old palace was treated as unceremoniously as his name, being burnt in some of the civil wars. But there is this advantage in a sumptuous edifice, that its very ruins suggest the thought and supply the means of rebuilding it. Bicetre, accordingly, reared its head, and is now a straggling mass of building, containing a mad-house, a poor-house, an hospital, and a prison.
To see it is a matter of trifling difficulty, except on one particular day—that devoted to the rivetting of the chaine. A surgeon, however, belonging to the establishment, promised to procure me admission, and on receiving his summons, I started one forenoon for Bicetre. Mortifying news awaited my arrival. The convicts had plotted a general insurrection and escape, which was to have taken place on the preceding night. It had been discovered in time, however, and such precautions taken, as completely prevented even the attempt. The chief of these precautions appeared in half a regiment of troops, that had bivouacked all night in the square adjoining the prison, and were still some lying, some loitering about. Strict orders had been issued, that no strangers should be admitted to witness the ceremony of rivetting; and the turnkeys and gaolers, in appearance not yet recovered from the alarm of the preceding evening, refused to listen to either bribe, menace, or solicitation. It was confoundedly vexatious. Whilst expostulating with the turnkey, I caught a glimpse through a barred window of the interior court, athwart which the chains lay extended, whilst in one railed off even from this the convicts were crowded, marching round and round—precaution forbade their remaining still—and uttering from time to time such yells and imprecations as might deafen and appal a Mohawk. "I have caught a glimpse at least," thought I, as we were unceremoniously turned out.
My friend, the surgeon, bade us, however, not despair. When the man of influence arrived he hoped to prevail; and in the mean time he led us to view the other curiosities of Bicetre. There was the well, the kitchen, the anatomical theatre. The courts were crowded with aged paupers, who each well knew that his carcass would undergo what laceration the scalpel of my friend and his comrades chose to inflict upon it. But the thought seemed not to affect them so much as it did us. Methought the business of dissecting dead subjects might have been carried on more remote from the living candidates; but I was wrong, for mystery and secrecy always beget fear.
The mad-house was another curiosity. It contains many whose brain the revolution of July, 1830, had turned. One man, a fine youth, had travelled on foot from a distant part of the kingdom, to shed his blood as a sacrifice to the memory of Napoleon. He gave his last franc to obtain admission within the pillar of the Place Vendome, and when there opened the veins of both his arms, crying out, "I offer the blood of the brave to the manes of Napoleon." His rolling black eye was now contrasted with a face pale as death. He had lost so much blood that few hopes were entertained of his recovery.
But by far the most curious patient of the mad-house, was a young man who imagined himself to be a woman. He was handsome, but not feminine in appearance. He adored a little mirror, with which he was gratified. Rags of all colours were his delight; and he had made a precious collection. His coquetry was evident; and he answered pertinently all questions, never belying at the same time his fixed opinion, that he was endowed with a maiden's charms.
We looked over the book of reports, and found seven-eighths of the female patients to have become deranged from love; whilst, with the majority of the males, the hallucination proceeded from disappointments of ambition. Surprised, I could make out no case of a religious maniac; glad, I could discover none of a student.
We now returned to machinations for the purpose of entering the forbidden prison. Aprons were handed us, not unlike a barber's. They were surgeons' aprons, always worn by those of the establishment when on duty. Might not then the barbers' aprons be a tradition of the barber-surgeons? I refrained from asking the question in that company. The scheme was, that we should pass for Carabins—such is the nickname of French students in chirurgery—and in this quality demand admission. The Cerberus of the prison grinned at the deceit, but wearied and amused by our importunities, he actually opened the quicket and admitted us. There are two grated doors of this kind, one always locked whilst the other is opened. In an instant we were in Pandemonium.
The buildings, which surrounded and formed the courts, evidently the oldest and strongest of Bicetre, harmonized in dinginess with the scene. At every barred window, and these were numerous, about a dozen ruffianly heads were thrust together, to regard the chains of their companions.—What a study of physiognomy! The murderer's scowl was there, by the side of the laughing countenance of the vagabond, whose shouts and jokes formed a kind of tenor to the muttered imprecations of the other. Here and there was protruded the fine, open, high-fronted head,—pale, striking, features, and dark looks, of some felon of intellect and natural superiority; whilst by his side, ignominy looked stupidly and maliciously on. A handsome little fellow at one of the grates, was dressing his hair unconsciously with most agitated fingers, evidently affected by the scene. Our question of "What are you in for?" aroused him. "False signing a billet of twenty thousand francs," replied he, with a shrug and a smile. "And he, your neighbour?" asked we cautiously, concerning one of a fine, thoughtful, philosophic, and passionate countenance. "Ha! you may ask—he gave his mistress a potion, for the purpose of merely seducing her, and it turned out to be poison—a carabin like yourselves." But these made no part of the chaine.
The convicts destined for this operation were kept in movement round a post in an adjoining court, and were shouting, rarely in intelligible language, to their companions. Joy was the universal tone, and a sniveller ran imminent danger. One poor fellow I remarked holding down his head, when he was saluted with a kick from him who followed, and the objurgation, Tu es forcat, toi, heim?—"You a convict, and durst be sad." These men were all unmanacled. Methought a general rush on their part both practicable and formidable. One half must have perished, and the other half might have escaped.
They were now marched out from the inner court in batches of thirty at a time, drawn up in rank, stripped, and examined with such rigid scrutiny as I dare not precise. They were then marched and placed along one of the extended chains, and made to sit down, resting it in their laps. A square fetter was then fitted and placed around the neck of each. In this, before, some detached links from the chain were placed, whilst a huge smith proceeded to rivet each from behind. Fixing a kind of movable anvil behind the convict's back, the fetter that encircled his neck was brought with its joint upon it, and half a dozen blows of the sledge riveted the captive inextricably to the main chain and to his twenty-nine comrades. The smith must be adroit at his task, and the convict steady in his position; for, as the fetter is tight round the neck, the hammer, in its blow, must pass within a quarter of an inch of his skull, and a wince on his part might prove fatal. This, indeed, is the trying moment, when the stoutest cheek is blanched. The sturdiest frame, shaken by the blows of the sledge, then betrays emotion, and tears of penitence are at that moment almost always seen to fall. On sitting down, each had in general an air of bravado, produced in a great measure by the regards of the seemingly more hardened ruffians from the windows. Under the riveting there was no smile; whilst after it, apathy was affected or resumed, each endeavouring to make his iron collar as supportable and comfortable as possible, by enveloping it in a handkerchief, and guaranteeing the neck from its chill or galling.
When the chaine was completed, its wearers were made to stand up. They formed themselves in couples, the chain running betwixt two ranks, and they walked round the yard to take their first lesson in their galling exercise. They are thus fettered together till they reach Brest or Toulon. The choice is left to them of walking or being carried in carts, more provender being given to those who make the journey on foot.
The only part of their habiliments, which seemed left to themselves to provide, was a covering for the head, the red or green cap being given them only upon entering the bagne. For their journey, some of the fellows had provided themselves with strange head-gear, mostly made of straw; one had a three-cocked hat; others, one of all kinds of outre shapes. A prime vagabond had woven for himself a complete and magnificent tiara, precisely like the Roman Pontiff's in form, and surmounted by a cross. This was the Pope, the Pope of the Chaine, and I never heard a shout so appalling, as that with which his appearance was welcomed by the prisoners from the windows of the building. They danced, they yelled, tore and tumbled over each other in the most exuberant delight, thrusting their crowded heads and distorted features almost through the gratings. I have gleaned from it quite an idea of a scene of merriment and exultation below.
The said Pope was a very extraordinary fellow: a slight fair form, pointed features, and eyes that were penetrating, despite their common shade of grey. He was called Champenois, his real name unknown, not more than three-and-twenty, and the Lieutenant of the Chaine said, one of the most talented and extraordinary characters that he had ever met with. He had been the prime mover of the intended insurrection, but without a proof against him, except his universal authority, unusual in so young a thief. His physiognomy was one, which it required not a second look in order to remember for ever.
Another figure struck me, not so much as singular in itself, as in contrast with those around. It struck me as that of an English cabin-boy, a pale, freckled, ill-conditioned lad. On following the calling over of the register in roll, I found my conjecture too true. He was an unfortunate young sailor, a native of England, guilty of some misdemeanour, and by name Aikin. He understood not a word of French, but protested with a shake of his head against his being English; patriotism had in him outlived honesty and self-respect. I spoke to him in English: he wept, but would not reply, puckering up his poor lips in all the agony of his desolate condition. I was glad to remark the humanity with which he had been chained to a prisoner, pensive and downcast like himself.
There were some cases certainly hard; one or two for resisting the gen-d'armerie in a riot at Rouen. To transport a rioter, unless under aggravated circumstances, is grievous enough; but after the revolution of July, that hallowed riot, to make a galley-slave of a brave for resisting the police, must have been at least surprising to him. The tribunal no doubt felt the necessity of severity; and we acknowledged it all in deploring the degradation of these poor devils for an act, which in so many thousand others was, at the moment, extolled to the skies as the acme of heroism. But justice hath her lottery-wheel as well as fortune.
As the last chaine was completing, an ecclesiastic went round to collect money of the visitors. But as there were few, so were the offerings. The convicts at the same time produced the fruits of their ingenuity in straw work-boxes, needle-cases, carved ivory and wood. The guardians, to do them justice, seemed humane.
The bagne at Toulon, the destination of the members of the chaine, was respectably peopled when I visited it some years ago. It contained amongst others, Sarrazin, a famous general, who had deserted to us from Buonaparte, and whose works on the Spanish and other campaigns, are still read with interest. The general had caught the inexcusable habit of marrying a wife in each town wherein he was quartered, and was sent to the gallies for trigintagamy. They boasted a bishop too amongst the convicts at Toulon, a merry little fellow, that bore his fate gaily, and who still contrived to exercise a kind of spiritual supremacy over his unfortunate comrades.
The ingenuity and hardihood of these men is surprising. Despite the vigilance, the ramparts, the fetters, and the logs, they escape hourly and daily;—at what risk is manifest from the regulations, by which three cannon shots always announce the disappearance of a convict, serving to warn the peasants, and call them to earn the handsome reward given to whoever arrests one of the branded fugitives. They are easily recognised by the halt in one limb; as they are wont to drag after them that which has been accustomed to the bullet.
The only pursuits that seem to pervade the bagne, are those of eating and dying: with the exception of escape, all others are denied. And those who have given up the latter hope, confine their thoughts either to bettering their meagre fare of beans, or to getting rid of existence in the most advantageous way. It is remarkable and degrading to observe the utmost human ingenuity and industry employed, in order to procure a dish of potatoes fried in grease once in the week. Yet such is the luxury of a forcat, and he must labour for it harder than even an Hibernian peasant, or a poet of the same line.
The more philosophic, who scorn the luxury of potatoes, and with it the life that affords no other, meditate how best to get rid of existence; and this they effect almost ever in one way; viz., by killing their most obnoxious keeper, and thus earning the guillotine.
It is a frequent scene in the bagne, that of an execution. It occurs every week or fortnight. All the convicts are obliged to attend, for the purpose of striking them with terror, and working contrition and good behaviour in them. Alas! it is a huge mistake. For these days are of all other days of fete to them. Their countenances are marked by universal joy, and they shout congratulations, not condolences, to their comrade about to perish. Death to them is indeed an escape. Its ceremony is to them a marriage feast: and decapitation, what a black job was to Lord Portsmouth,—the only variety and excitement that could give a spur to their heavy and painful existence.
Speak as we may against the pains of death, this is worse, not only physically but morally; for it degrades humanity far lower than is conceiveable. The French have an idea that they can imitate the American mode of punishment by solitary confinement. This again will be still worse than the galleys; since religious consolation can alone redeem or ameliorate man in this state of durance; and as this makes no part of the French system, I cannot help thinking the guillotine more merciful, than either their bagne or their solitary cells.—Monthly Magazine.
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Written at the suggestion of a Lover who inferred the decline, of his mistress's affections from her changing the seals of her letters.
BY THE AUTHOR OF THE HUNCHBACK.
You've changed the seal—you've changed it thrice: Your first implied you loved: How welcome was the dear device, A thousand kisses proved.
Your next was love—it spoke the flame, Yet scarce so plain methought— I kiss'd it, wishing it the same Your first sweet letter brought
The second change, was change indeed— To friendship—Judge my bliss— And did I kiss that seal—I did— But 'twas a farewell kiss.
The third—nor love, nor friendship—There Indeed love's dream should end— As coldest stranger better far Than lover turn'd to friend.
No kiss I gave that seal—no name— Still dear—of thine it bore— The signet, whence the impress came, Perhaps a rival wore.
I smil'd to think 'twas so—'twas strange— And have such cause to sigh— How couldst thou—fairest creature—change? O, wherefore could not I.
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By a Parliamentary return it appears, that Kensington Palace cost the public in 1828, 2,412l. 8s. 11d.; in 1829, 4,638l. 8s.; in 1830, 6,203l. 5s. 11d.; and in 183l, 3,921l. 15s. Hampton Court in 1828, cost 4,430l. 19s. 5d.; in 1829, 5,964l. 13s. 1d.; in 1830, 4,144l. 2s. 4d.; and in 183l, 3,994l. 15s. 11d.—Times.
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Dr. Johnson has remarked that the French are fond of Young's Night Thoughts, a fact which is hard to be accounted for, that a nation so celebrated for their gaiety should have a regard for an author treating on such serious subjects.
Wigs.—In the reign of Queen Anne, enormous full-bottomed wigs often cost twenty or thirty guineas each.
"Capillary Attraction."—When Charles II. was espoused to the Infanta of Portugal, a fleet was sent over to Lisbon, with proper attendants to bring her hither, but her majesty being informed that there were some particular customs in Portugal, with relation to the ladies, which the king would not easily dispense with, the fleet was detained six or seven weeks, at a great expense, till her majesty's hair grew.
(Mr. Prince, with his Russia Oil, would have prospered under Royal Patronage in those days; and Mr. Rowland would not have needed immortality in Byron's verse: "incomparable huile Macassar.")
The King of Kippen.—When James V. of Scotland, travelled in disguise, he used a name which was known only to some of the principal nobility and attendants. He was called the Goodman (the tenant, that is) of Ballangiech. Ballangiech is a steep pass, which leads down behind the Castle of Stirling. Once, when he was feasting in Stirling, the king sent for some venison from the neighbouring hills. The deer were killed and put on horses' backs to be transported to Stirling. Unluckily, they had to pass the castle gates of Ampryor, belonging to a chief of the Buchanans, who had a considerable number of guests with him. It was late, and the company were rather short of victuals, though they had more than enough of liquor. The chief, seeing so much fat venison passing his very door, seized on it; and, to the expostulations of the keepers, who told him that it belonged to King James, he answered insolently, that if James was king in Scotland, he, Buchanan, was king in Kippen, being the name of the district in which the Castle of Ampryor lay. On hearing what had happened, the king got on horseback, and rode instantly from Stirling to Buchanan's house, where he found a strong, fierce-looking Highlander, with an axe on his shoulder, standing sentinel at the door. This grim warder refused the king admittance, saying that "the Laird of Arnpryor was at dinner, and would not be disturbed." "Yet go up to the company, my good friend," said the king, "and tell him that the good man of Ballangiech is come to feast with the King of Kippen." The porter went grumbling into the house, and told his master that there was a fellow with a red beard who called himself the good man of Ballangiech, at the gate, and said he was come to dine with the King of Kippen. As soon as Buchanan heard these words, he knew that the king was there in person, and hastened down to kneel at James's feet, and to ask forgiveness for his insolent behaviour. But the king, who only meant to give him a fright, forgave him freely, and, going into the castle, feasted on his own venison, which Buchanan had intercepted. Buchanan of Arnpryor was ever afterwards called King of Kippen.
Remarkable Murder.—"Anno 1605: one William Calverly, of Calverly, in the county of York, esquire, murthered two of his own children at home at his own house, then stabbed his wife into the body, with full intent to have killed her, and then went out with intention to have killed his child, at nurse, but was prevented. He was pressed to death, at York, for this murther, because he stood mute, and would not plead."—Old History.
Law respecting Caps.—An old Law, enacted that every person above seven years of age, should wear on Sundays, and Holidays, a cap of wool, knit-made, thickened and dressed in England, by some of the trade of Cappers—under the forfeiture of three-farthings for every day's neglect; excepting Maids, Ladies, and Gentlemen, and every Lord, Knight, and Gentleman of Twenty marks of land, and their heirs, and such as had borne office of worship in any City, Town, or Place, and the Wardens of the London Companies.
Splendid Biography.—Richard Neville, the Great Earl of Warwick and Salisbury, was well known in history by the appellation of the King Maker. His biographer says, "He was a man whose hospitality was so abundant, that the ordinary consumption of a breakfast, at his house in London, was six oxen; whose popularity was so great, that his absence was accounted as the absence of the sun from the hemisphere; whose service was so courted, that men of all degrees were proud to wear the badges of his livery; and whose authority was so potent, that kings were raised, or deposed, as suited his humour."
Character of England by Henry the Seventh.—Henry the Seventh (whose breeding had been low and private) being once pressed by some of his council, to pursue his title to France, returned this answer: "That France was indeed a flourishing and gallant kingdom; but England, in his mind, was as fine a seat for a country gentleman as any that could be found in Europe."
"Look how the purple flower, which the plough Hath shorn in sunder, languishing doth die."
This implement was known to the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, and was invented at a very early period, being perhaps nearly coeval with the cultivation of the soil itself. Anciently, the tenants (in England) in some manors, were not allowed to have their rural implements sharpened by any but those whom the lord appointed; for which an acknowledgment was to be paid, called agusa dura; in some places agusage, a fee for sharpening plough-tackle, which some take to be the same with what was otherwise called reillage, from the ancient French reille, a ploughshare.
Ancient Fete at Gorhamlury.—In the year 1577, Queen Elizabeth was entertained at Gorhambury, by Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper, from Saturday, May the 18th, to the Wednesday following, at the expense of 577l. 6s. 7-1/4d. besides fifteen bucks and two stags. Among the dainties of the feathered kind, enumerated in this entertainment, Mr. Nichols mentions herons, bitterns, godwites, dotterels, shovelers, curlews, and knots. Sir Nicholas Bacon was frequently visited by the queen, who dated many of her state papers from Gorhambury.
Adrian the Fourth.—Adrian the Fourth was the only Englishman who ever filled the Papal chair. His name was Nicholas Breakspeare, and he was born at Abbot's Langley, a village in Herts. Such was the unbounded pride of this pontiff, that when the Emperor Frederick the First went to Rome, in 1155, to receive the imperial diadem, the Pope, after many difficulties concerning the ceremonial of investiture, insisted that the emperor should prostrate himself before him, kiss his feet, hold his stirrup, and lead the white palfrey on which the holy father rode. Frederick did not submit to this humiliation without reluctance; and as he took hold of the stirrup, he observed that "he had not yet been taught the profession of a groom." In a letter to his old friend, John of Salisbury, he says that St. Peter's Chair was the most uneasy seat in the world, and that his crown seemed to be clapped burning on his head. Yet did this haughty Pope (according to Dr. Cave) allow his mother to be maintained by the alms of the church of Canterbury.
Quid pro quo.—A peasant of Burgundy, whom Louis XI. had taken some notice of, while Dauphin, appeared before him when he ascended the throne, and presented him with an extraordinary large radish; Louis received it with much goodwill, and handsomely repaid the peasant. The great man of the place, to whom the countryman related his good fortune, imagined that if he were to offer Louis something, he would, at any rate, make him a prince. Accordingly he went to court, and presented his finest horse to the king. Louis received his present as graciously as he had before taken the radish, and after he had sufficiently praised the horse, "See here," said he, taking the radish in his hand, "here is a radish, which, like your horse, is one of the rarest of its kind; I present it to you with many thanks."
Muswell Hill derives its name from a famous well on the hill, where, formerly, the fraternity of St. John of Jerusalem, in Clerkenwell, had their dairy, with a large farm adjacent. Here they built a chapel for the benefit of some nuns, in which they fixed the image of our Lady of Muswell. These nuns had the sole management of the dairy: and it is singular, that the said well and farm do, at this time, belong to the parish of St. James, Clerkenwell. The water of this spring was then deemed a miraculous cure for scrofulous and cutaneous disorders. For that reason it was much resorted to; and, as tradition says, a king of Scotland made a pilgrimage hither, and was perfectly cured.
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