THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
Vol. 20. No. 573.] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1832. [PRICE 2d.
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OLD HALL, IN DERBYSHIRE.
This picturesque specimen of olden architecture stands upon the Norton Lees estate, on the northern verge of Derbyshire upon the adjacent county of York; about a mile from Sheffield, and eight miles north of Chesterfield, and but a short distance from Bolsover Castle, pictured in No. 566 of The Mirror. "The estate, in the reign of Henry VII., was the property of the family of the Blythes of Norton, two of whom arrived at great honours in the church; one of them, John, being the Bishop of Salisbury, and the other, Geoffrey, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry." The above was the mansion of the family: its picturesqueness is of pleasing character; and our inquiry into the probable age of the structure has naturally enough led us into a few observations upon the early domestic architecture of this country. The subject is, however, too rife with interesting details for the present occasion; so that all we now purpose is by way of reference to the specimen or illustration before us.
 Rhodes's Peak Scenery, Part IV.
The house at Norton Lees has been supposed by some persons to be as old as the reign of Richard II.; but Mr. Rhodes observes, "that it was erected many years after this period can hardly be doubted." Certain features of resemblance assist its appearance of antiquity, as the wooden framework, which is observable in the oldest specimens of house-building in this country. According to Strutt, the Saxons usually built their houses of clay, kept together by wooden frames; shortly after the Norman Conquest plaster was intermixed with timber, and subsequently the basement story was made of stone. The upper apartments were so constructed as to project over the lower, and considerable ornament both in carved wood and plaster was introduced about the doors and windows and roof of the building. Nevertheless, timber, with lath and plaster, and thatch for the roofs, constituted the chief materials in the dwellings of the English from an early period till near the close of the fourteenth century and beginning of the fifteenth, when bricks began to be used in the better sort of houses. The mansion before us, as we have seen, is referred to the first-mentioned period. Mr. Rhodes, however, observes, "though composed of stone and wood, it is evident not one of the earliest structures of this description: it is indeed highly probable that it was built in the reign of the Seventh or Eighth Henry, but certainly not sooner. At this period the halls or family mansions of the yeomanry of the country had nearly all the same general character. Previously, but little stone was used in any of them."; It is true that stone houses are mentioned nearly three centuries and a half before the date of the hall at Norton Lees, as settled by Mr. Rhodes; as we find them belonging to citizens of London in the reign of Henry II.; "and," observes Mr. Hallam, "though not often perhaps regularly hewn stones, yet those scattered over the soil, or dug from flint quarries, bound together with a very strong and durable cement, were employed in the construction of manorial houses, especially in the western counties and other parts where that material is easily procured. Harrison says, that few of the houses of the commonalty, except here and there in the west country towns, were made of stone. This was about 1570. Gradually, even in timber buildings, the intervals of the main beams were occupied by stone walls, or where stone was expensive, by mortar or plaster, intersected by horizontal or diagonal beams, grooved into the principal piers. This mode of building continued for a long time, and is familiar to our eyes in the older streets of the metropolis, and in many parts of the country." Harrison, just quoted, says, "the ancient manours and houses of our gentlemen are yet and for the most part of strong timber, in framing whereof our carpenters have been and are worthily preferred before those of like science among all other nations. Howbeit, such as are lately builded are either of brick or hard stone, or of both."
 Britton's Architect. Antiq. ii. 86.
 Rhodes's Peak Scenery, Part iv. p. 4.—One of the oldest of these structures at present in the kingdom, is Moreton Hall in Cheshire, which, though a highly-ornamented building, is entirely composed of wood, and was erected at a time before stone was generally used even for the lower apartments. The earliest date about this ancient remain is 1559.
 Hist. Middle Ages, vol. iii., p. 420.
The "Hall" before us may but ill accord with the present idea of one of these ancient residences; but, to explain away this error, it may be necessary to show in what respects the earliest "halls" (of which but few specimens are extant,) differed from those which remain in considerable numbers, to this day. A passage to this point will be found in Mr. Hallam's valuable work. "It is," observes this able historical writer, "an error to suppose that the English gentry were lodged in stately or even in well-sized houses. Generally speaking, their dwellings were almost as inferior to those of their descendants in capacity as they were in convenience. The usual arrangement consisted of an entrance-passage running through the house, with a hall on one side, a parlour beyond, and one or two chambers above, and on the opposite side, a kitchen, pantry, and other offices." Such was the ordinary manor-house of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as appears not only from the documents and engravings, but as to the latter period from the buildings themselves, sometimes, though not very frequently, occupied by families of consideration, more often converted into farm-houses, or distinct tenements. Larger structures were erected by men of great estates, during the reigns of Henry VI. and Edward IV.; but very few can be traced higher; and such has been the effect of time, still more through the advance or decline of families, and the progress of architectural improvement, than the natural decay of these buildings, that I should conceive it difficult to name a house in England, still inhabited by a gentleman, and not belonging to the order of castles, the principal apartments of which are older than the reign of Henry VII. The instances at least must be extremely few. Single rooms, windows, doorways, &c. of an earlier date, may perhaps not unfrequently be found; but such instances are always to be verified by their intrinsic evidence, not by the tradition of the place.
 Hist. of Whalley. In Strutt's view of Manners, we have an inventory of furniture in the house of Mr. Richard Fermor, ancestor of the Earl of Pomfret, at Easton in Northamptonshire, and another in that of Sir Adrian Foskewe. Both these houses appear to have been of the dimensions and arrangement mentioned. And even in houses of a more ample extent, the bi-section of the ground-plot by an entrance-passage, was, I believe, universal, and is a proof of antiquity. Haddon Hall and Penshurst still display this ancient arrangement, which has been altered in some old houses. About the reign of James I., or, perhaps, a little sooner, architects began to perceive the additional grandeur of entering the great hall at once. This apartment subsequently gave its name to the whole house.—See an interesting paper on Old English Halls, Mirror, vol. xviii. p. 92-108.
 Hist. Middle Ages, vol. iii., p. 423.—The most remarkable fragment of early building which I have any where found mentioned is at a house in Berkshire, called Appleton, where there exists a sort of prodigy, an entrance-passage with circular arches in the Saxon style, which must probably be as old as the reign of Henry II. No other private house in England can, I presume, boast of such a monument of antiquity.
It need scarcely be remarked, in conclusion, that the Hall at Norton Lees, as it appears to the reader, conveys but an imperfect idea of the ancient structure. The walls of the lower story entirely of stone, and the upper, stone and plaster intersected by wood, are original, as is probably the enriched gable, with the pinnacled ornament at its apex; beneath was originally a small bay window, which has been stopped up: the other gable, it is reasonable to conclude, once possessed similar enrichments. The chimneys are modern, since they are neither pyramidal in their terminations, as was the fashion of the 14th and 15th centuries, nor have they the long polygonal shafts of the Elizabethan and subsequent periods, which has caused chimneys to be characteristically termed "the wind-pipes of hospitality." The "Hall" would likewise appear to be divided into two tenements, which but ill assorts with its original appropriation; though we are not to consider these deviations as affecting the architectural character or identity.
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A person named Goldsmith, who stated himself to be a nephew of the great Oliver Goldsmith, died a short time since of cholera, in the country. A correspondent of the Morning Herald observes, the assertion may be true, and states that Dr. Goldsmith had a brother, whose name he thinks was Charles, and whom he met in public company about thirty years since. In person he resembled the poet, and was a man of some pleasantry, sang a tolerable song, and, like his brother, had a good deal of oddity in his manner. He then resided at Somer's Town, and as the correspondent was informed, had been many years in the West Indies, whence he came to England possessed of a small independence. Some years since the correspondent made inquiry at Somer's Town for Charles Goldsmith, but was told that he had left his residence there for some years. He is anxious for some information respecting the latter history of the poet's brother: he has a faint idea of hearing he had some children by a native of the West Indies, and he thinks it probable that the first-named individual, lately deceased, might have been one of them. The settlement of this point may not be of general importance; but it leads the correspondent to mention that in the Temple churchyard, where he remembers the burial of Goldsmith, there is no stone or other memorial to mark his grave. So posterity, for nearly threescore years, have treated a man of genius, who, to quote Dr. Johnson's opinion, left no species of writing untouched, and adorned all to which he applied himself. "How different," observes the above correspondent, "the attention and honours paid to the memory of Walter Scott, scarcely cold in his coffin! a more voluminous writer certainly, but not a superior genius to the author of the Deserted Village and the Vicar of Wakefield." Goldsmith died in the Inner Temple. Aikin says he was buried with little attendance in the Temple church; the correspondent of the Herald states, in the churchyard, so that the poet's biographers are not even agreed WHERE he was buried. Yet, since his death, thousands of pounds have been expended in restoring the architecture of the Temple church, and one hears everlastingly of the rare series of effigies of Knights Templars: but a few pounds have not been spared for a stone to tell where the poor poet sleeps. True it is, that a monument has been erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey, with a Latin inscription, by Dr. Johnson, but the locality of his actual resting-place is untold. We may say with equal truth and justice—
Oh shame to the land of his birth!
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By E.B. Impey, Esq.
[The following ballad is founded on the melancholy fact of a Savoyard boy and his monkey having been found starved to death in St. James's Park during the night of a severe frost.]
Weary and wan from door to door With faint and faltering tread, In vain for shelter I implore, And pine for want of bread.
Poor Jacko! thou art hungry too; Thy dim and haggard eye Pleads more pathetically true, Than prayer or piercing cry.
Poor mute companion of my toil, My wanderings and my woes! Far have we sought this vaunted soil, And here our course must close.
Chill falls the sleet; our colder clay Shall to the morning light, Stretch'd on these icy walks, betray The ravages of night.
Scarce have I number'd twice seven years; Ah! who would covet more? Or swell the lengthen'd stream of tears To man's thrice measur'd score?
Alas! they told me 'twas a land Of wealth and weal to all; And bless'd alike with bounteous hand The stranger and the thrall.
A land whose golden vallies shame Thy craggy wilds, Savoy, Might well, methought, from want reclaim One poor unfriended boy.
How did my young heart fondly yearn To greet thy treach'rous shore! And deem'd the while, for home-return To husband up a store.
Why did I leave my native glen And tune my mountain-lay, To colder maids and sterner men Than o'er our glaciers stray?
There pity dews the manly cheek And heaves the bosom coy, That quail'd not at the giddy peak Which foils the fleet chamois.
Here—where the torrents voice would thrill Each craven breast with fear; For dumb distress or human ill There drops no kindred tear.
The rushing Arc, the cold blue Rhone, That in their channels freeze; And snow-clad Cenis' heart of stone Might melt ere one of these.
Why did I loathe my lowly cot Where late I caroll'd free, Nor felt, contrasted with my lot, The pomp of high degree?
Lo! where to mock the houseless head Huge palaces arise, Whose board uncharitably spread The unbidden guest denies.
O for the crumbs that reckless fall From that superfluous board! O for the warmth you gorgeous hall And blazing hearth afford!
All unavailing is the prayer— The proud ones pass us by; Their chariots roll, their torches glare Cold on the famish'd eye.
And yet a little from their need Some poorer hands have spared: And some have sighed, with little heed, "Alas! poor Savoyard!"
And some have bent the churlish brow, And curl'd the lip of scorn; For they at home had brats enow, And beggars British-born.
And some have scoff'd as proud to bear Brute heart in human shape; Nor drop nor morsel deign'd to share With alien or with ape.
Poor Jacko! yet one soul can feel Sad fellowship with thee; And we have shared our scanty meal In bitterness or glee.
Yes! we have shared our last—and here Have little now to crave; No bounty, save a passing tear, No gift, beyond a grave.
Still let these arms to thy bare breast Their lingering heat impart; Come shroud thee in my tatter'd vest, And nestle next my heart.
Partners in grief, in want allied, E'en as we lived, we die; So let one grave our relics hold, Entwined, as thus we lie.
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MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
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EARLY INHABITANTS OF BRITAIN.
(To the Editor.)
Your interesting columns have afforded me much gratification by the sketches of the manners of various nations. I am a thorough Englishman in principle, with a sprinkling, however, of German in my veins, and as the early history of this country is a point of great interest, if The Mirror can allow, I will offer a few reflections.
Caesar, speaking of our ancestors, calls them, in blunt and plain Latin "Barbari." Now Caesar was a disappointed man; he knew but little of this land, he invaded it wantonly, and left it gladly. The Briton was by no means so luxurious as the Roman, but it is wrong to call him a barbarian.
As priests generally (in such periods as those to which we allude,) take good care of themselves, and as the Druids were the chiefs, let us take a few cursory observations upon their manners and customs.
The Druids were priests and magistrates. They were divided into three classes: the bard proper, whose province was philosophy and poetry; the Druid, or minister of religion; and the ovate, or mechanic and artist. These classes were all obedient to one superior—the Archdruid.
 Vide Introduction to Owen's Translations of the Elegies of Llywarch Hen.
The etymology of the word Druid has long been a subject of dispute, many deriving it from the Greek word [Greek: drus], an oak, because it has been affirmed that their mysteries were carried on in oak groves and forests; but as the latter fact is doubtful, consequently the etymology founded upon it is shaken. It has been already stated that the Druids were magistrates and philosophers, and very few etymologists will cavil with me if we fix it at once upon the Celtic word druidh, signifying "a wise man."
The theological tenets of the Druids were of a most interesting character—professing future punishments and immortality. Their heaven partook of the nature of the Elysian Fields, while their hell was as horrible as the most violent fanatic could depict it. It was a gulph of darkness, where the baneful animal crept, where the cold, gliding serpent maddened the sinner with his envenomed tooth, and hissed the dirge of horror, while the lion prowled along with his noiseless paw, and hungry wolves devoured those whom for their crimes on earth the Druids (unable to conquer or correct) condemned to
"Those dark solitudes and awful cells."
No sacred ceremonies could be performed but in the Druid's presence: they were the guardians of religion, the interpreters of mysteries; and the foolish "cunning man" of the north, who is often consulted in these days relative to strayed cattle, intended matches, &c. is a relic of the "druidh," the wise man of the ancient Celts.
 Gaelic Antiquities, p. 21.
Sun worship was the original creed; but as abuses crept in, other gods were variously introduced at the altars, Mercury being the most noted. The Druids were astronomers, and they divided time, not by the days but nights; a custom as old as any with which we are acquainted, as it appears Genesis i.5: "And the evening and the morning were the first day." Whence we say, to this day, a "se'en night"—a "fort night."
 Vide Richard of Cirencester.
As the sun was the object of adoration, no wonder that mysteries were also performed to the moon, riding in silver splendour through azure space; smiling from her height upon the departed and unseen luminaries which had sunk over the distant hill, the fearful mind would watch the lamp of night as a guardian world, or deity, and in the fervour of gratitude, or under the impulse of fear, would address her as the mediatrix between man and his deity.
The chief times of devotion were at the summer solstice and the winter solstice, (whence the YULE clog), mid-day, or midnight—a zenith being their period. The new and full moon was duly reverenced. On the sixth day, a high officiating Druid gathered mistletoe; a ceremony conducted with great solemnity. It was cut with a golden knife, caught in a white robe, and not allowed to touch the ground. The shadow of this Druidical rite exists in the peculiar privileges of kissing under the mistletoe at Christmas times.
Lustrations were used, sacrifices were made, and the altar reeked, some say with human gore. The victim being dead, prayers succeeded; the entrails were examined, and certain portions were consumed upon the fire altar:
"Crepitant preces, altaria fumant."
Intemperate drinking generally closed the sacrifice, and a fresh strewing of oak leaves reconsecrated the altar. It is remarkable that drinking—hard drinking—should have been practised by the priesthood in those remote periods, but as they were pagan heathens any animadversions can be made in safety. I cannot digress upon it. White bulls were sacrificed, and it is a singular coincidence (too striking to be the effect of chance) that white bulls were sacrificed by the Egyptians to Apis.
 Herodotus describes the subject more minutely.
The Druids inculcated an utter disregard of death, themselves showing a good example, being ever foremost in the battle strife, urging on their countrymen to deeds of valour; not doling out their maxims in slothful indolence, and acting the reverse of their doctrine:
Certe populi qui despicit arctos Felices errore suo, quos ille timorum Maxumus, haud urget Lethi metus: inde ruendi In ferrum mens prona viris, animae capaces Mortis, et ignavum rediturae parcere vitae.
Lucan. Phars. L. i.
Thrice happy they beneath their northern skies Who that worst fear—the fear of death—despise— Hence they no cares for this frail being feel, But rush undaunted on the pointed steel; Provoke approaching fate, and bravely scorn To spare that life which must so soon return.
The Druids were wont to teach in small cells, but lived in large buildings and fared sumptuously. Some of the cells are remaining to this day, as at Ty Iltud, in Brecknockshire.
From these observations it is apparent that a portion of men extraordinary in their vast power over the human mind, and possessed of superior knowledge, were here before Caesar's arrival, and that our ancestors were not such barbarians as the proud Roman would lead us to consider them.
 See also "the Druids and their Times," from the German of Wieland, p. 20 of the present volume.
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CURIOUS CUSTOM RELATING TO INHERITANCE.
Salmon, in his History of Hertfordshire, imagines that the East Saxon and Mercian kingdoms were, in the upper part of this county, separated from each other by the Ermin-street; and in the lower part, in the parish of Cheshunt, by a bank, which anciently reached from Middlesex through Theobald's Park, across Goffe's Lane, to Thunderfield Grove, over Beaumont Green, to Nineacres Wood. There is a custom in the manor of Cheshunt, he says, "by which the elder brother inherits above the bank, and the youngest below it, in the same fields;—which could not have been introduced but from the different laws of a different government."
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ANECDOTES OF THE BAR.
(By a retired Barrister.)
Mr. Justice Lawrence possessed the advantage of a very handsome person, accompanied with a great share of dignity of manner. His deportment was haughty; but it was one of pride unmarked with insolence. He knew what was due to the station which he filled, and he exacted the respect to which it was entitled. He crushed assumption and forward impudence by a look, and brought them down to the level of their own insignificance. I recollect an instance of this on one occasion, when I attended him as counsel on a summons. The Attorney on the opposite side was a Mr. Tomlinson, a man then in extensive practice, but forward, assuming, and self-sufficient. He made some observation which offended the learned judge. He rose haughtily from his chair, and without uttering a word, fixed his eyes on Tomlinson, and waved his hand towards the door. Contempt could not have been conveyed half so expressively by any words which he could have used. Tomlinson understood his meaning, and instantly retired.
He was partial to those to whom birth or education gave a claim to the title of gentleman. To those who derived no pretension to it from either of those sources, he never showed a want of attention, unless they exhibited any traits of vulgar assurance, or upstart insolence; to those he unsparingly dealt the full measure of contemptuous observance. To the incorrect in morals or professional conduct, he was irreconcileably supercilious and invariably severe.
I recollect but one anecdote of any pleasantry which occurred before Mr. Justice Lawrence, in which he had any part, and at which he enjoyed a hearty laugh. An Irish milkman was brought up to take the benefit of the Lord's Act (by which Insolvents were then discharged.) He was suspected of concealing his property, having given no schedule, though he was known at not a very distant period to have possessed some. He was asked by the counsel who opposed him, whether he had not some property, which he had omitted to insert in his schedule? "The devil a bit of property," says he, "have I at all at all." "Why, what's become of your furniture and your cows? Cows you were known to have, as you sold milk." "Yes, I had," says he; "but I have none now." "Why, what have you done with them?" "I have signed away every thing I had." "How have you assigned them?" "I have made my will, and given them all away." "What, are you dead, man?" said the judge. "No, please your honour," says Pat; "but I soon will, if you take away every thing I have to live on from me." He refused to make any assignment or schedule, and was remanded.
After his death, the following anecdote was circulated of Mr. Justice Lawrence. A cause had been tried before him at York, in which he had summed up to the jury to find a verdict for the defendant, which they accordingly did. On further consideration, it appeared to him that he had mistaken the law. A verdict having been recorded against the plaintiff, he had no redress; but it was said, that Mr. Justice Lawrence left him by his will a sum sufficient to indemnify him for his loss. This I give merely as a report, and give it willingly, as honourable to the memory of one of the most able, most independent, and most dignified of the judges who filled a judicial seat in my day.
The following anecdote I think I have seen in print, but without the name of the person to whom it happened. I have heard Sergeant Bond relate it with great humour of himself, and he is to be relied on as the unquestionable original. "I once," said he, "bought a horse of a horse-dealer, warranted sound in all his points. I thought I had got a treasure, but still wished to find out if he had any fault. I therefore, when I had paid for him, said to the seller, 'Now, my friend, you have got your money and I the horse, so that the bargain is closed; but do, like an honest fellow, tell me fairly of any fault which he has.' 'Why, sir,' says he, 'you have dealt with me like a gentleman, and as you ask me to be frank with you, I must tell you that the horse has one fault.' I pricked up my ears: 'What is it, my friend?' 'Why, sir,' says he, 'it is that he will not go into the yard of the Crown Inn at Uxbridge.' 'Pooh, pooh,' said I, 'if that is all, I'm not likely to put him to the trial, as I have nothing to do with, or to lead me to Uxbridge.'
"It however so happened, that I had occasion to go to Uxbridge, and I determined to try if my horse retained his dislike to the yard of the Crown Inn. I accordingly rode up the street until I came opposite to the inn-yard of the Crown. I faced about," said the sergeant, "seated myself firmly in my stirrups," at the same time exhibiting the attitude in which the feat was to be performed. "Expecting a plunge from my horse, I stuck my spurs into his sides, and pushed him forward into the yard; but what was my surprise to find him enter the yard as quietly as a cow that had just gone in before him. But I was not long in doubt as to what appeared to be the cause of this change in his antipathies, by the landlord's coming up to him and tapping him on the shoulder: 'Ha, Jack!' says he, 'I'm glad to see you again; I thought I had lost you.' 'What do you mean, Mr. Landlord?' 'Sir,' says he, this horse was stolen from me about six months ago; and I have never seen him since.' I did not much relish this piece of information," rejoined the sergeant, "but I could not help laughing at the conceit of the horse-dealer, to prevent me from going to a place where his theft of the horse would be discovered: I wished I had attended to his caution, as the sale to me was not regular, and I was left to make the best terms I could with the landlord." What they were he kept to himself.
Fielding was a contemporary member of the home-circuit, with Sergeant Bond and myself. In the performance of the duties of conviviality, over which the learned sergeant, as head of the circuit, presided, he found in Fielding a powerful auxiliary. He was the son of the author of Tom Jones, and inherited to a great degree the wit and talents of his father.
As a companion, Fielding was invariably pleasant and inimitably entertaining. His conversation abounded with anecdotes, of which he had an inexhaustible fund: his great stock was of Irish stories which he gave with great truth and humour.
I have repeatedly heard him say, that the lowest class of the Irish had more native humour than any other body of people in the same rank in life. He would then relate, in proof of it, the event of a bet which was made on the subject at one of the club-houses in St. James's Street, which then was crowded with English and Irish chairmen, and which was to be decided by the reply of one of each country to the same question. It was, "If you were put naked on the top of St. Paul's, what would you be like?" The English chairman was first called in, and the question being put to him, he ran sulky, and refused to give any direct answer, saying they were making fun of him. Pat was then introduced, and the question being propounded to him: "What should I be like?" says he; "why, like to get could, to be sure, your honours." "This," says he, "they call mother wit; and the most illiterate have a quickness in parrying the effect of a question by an evasive answer. I recollect hearing Sir John Fielding giving an instance of this, in the case of an Irish fellow who was brought before him when sitting as a magistrate at Bow Street. He was desired to give some account of himself, and where he came from. Wishing to pass for an Englishman, he said he came from Chester. This he pronounced with a very rich brogue, which caught the ears of Sir John. 'Why, were you ever in Chester?' says he. 'To be sure, I was,' said Pat; 'wasn't I born there?' 'How dare you,' said Sir John Fielding, 'with that brogue, which shows that you are an Irishman, pretend to have been born in Chester.' 'I didn't say I was born there,' says he; 'I only asked your honour whether I was or not.'"
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[We quote the following account of Nutria from the Dictionary of Commerce, by Mr. Macculloch, who believes it to be the first description that has appeared in any English work, and acknowledges it from the pen of J. Broderip, Esq., F.R.S., &c.]
Nutria, or Neutria, the commercial name for the skins of Myopotamus Bonariensis (Commerson,) the Coypou of Molina, and the Quoiya of D'Azara. In France, the skins were, and perhaps still are, sold under the name of racoonda; but in England they are imported as nutria skins—deriving their appellation, most probably, from some supposed similarity of the animal which produces them, in appearance and habits, to the otter, the Spanish name for which is nutria. Indeed, Molina speaks of the coypou as a species of water rat, of the size and colour of the otter.
Nutria fur is largely used in the hat manufacture; and has become, within the last fifteen or twenty years, an article of very considerable commercial importance. From 600,000 to 800,000 skins, principally from the Rio de la Plata, are now annually imported into Great Britain. It is also very extensively used on the continent. Geoffroy mentions, that in certain years, a single French furrier (M. Bechem,) has received from 15,000 to 20,000 skins.
The coypou or quoiya is a native of South America, very common in the provinces of Chili, Buenos Ayres, and Tucuman, but more rare in Paraguay. In size it is less than the beaver, which it resembles in many points. The head is large and depressed, the ears small and rounded, the neck stout and short, the muzzle sharper than that of the beaver, and the whiskers very long and stiff. There are, as in the beaver, two incisor teeth, and eight molar, above and below—twenty teeth in all. The limbs are short. The fore feet have each five fingers not webbed, the thumb being very small: the hind feet have the same number of toes; the great toe and three next toes being joined by a web which extends to their ends, and the little toe being free, but edged with a membrane on its inner side. The nails are compressed, long, crooked, and sharp. The tail, unlike that of the beaver, is long, round, and hairy; but the hairs are not numerous, and permit the scaly texture of the skin in this part to be seen. The back is of a brownish red, which becomes redder on the flanks: the belly is of a dirty red. The edges of the lips and extremity of the muzzle are white.
Like the beaver, the coypou is furnished with two kinds of fur; viz. the long ruddy hair which gives the tone of colour, and the brownish ash-coloured fur at its base, which, like the down of the beaver, is of such importance in hat-making, and the cause of the animal's commercial value.
The habits of the coypou are much like those of most of the other aquatic rodent animals. Its principal food, in a state of nature, is vegetable. It affects the neighbourhood of water, swims perfectly well, and burrows in the ground. The female brings forth from five to seven; and the young always accompany her.
The coypou is easily domesticated, and its manners in captivity are very mild.
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NOTES OF A READER.
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RECORDS IN THE TOWER OF LONDON.
(From the Edinburgh Review, just published.)
[These stores are of invaluable interest, particularly with reference to the earlier and most obscure portions of our history.]
An immense collection of royal letters and state papers, miscellaneous rolls relating to the revenue, expenditure, debts and accounts of the Crown, New Year's gifts, the royal household, mint, foreign bills of exchange, military and naval affairs, instruments relating to treaties, truces, and infractions of peace, chiefly between England and France; mercantile matters, foreign possessions of the Crown, proceedings in the Admiralty, military and other courts of the great officers of the Crown, pardons, protections, petitions, subsidy rolls, Scotch homage rolls, pardon rolls, privy seals, signet bills, writs of various descriptions from Edward I. to Edward IV., exist there, without calendar or index; and in such masses as to defy the patience of any inquirer, however ardent. It need not be said that in such a variety of documents their value must vary considerably, or that many of them are of little use; but each of them is at least worthy of being examined; and there are few of them which, if properly scrutinized by apt labourers, would not at least contribute to the elucidation or ratification of some branch of history. Some of them would render still more important services; and, by pointing out the daily habits and most familiar occurrences of the lives of our kings and other eminent personages who figure in our history, lead us to a much more accurate estimate of their genius than any that has hitherto been formed. With this view, the close rolls are amongst the most minute and interesting of those documents which remain unexplored. The character of King John has had but scanty justice done to it; and perhaps those who have formed their notions of that monarch from the ordinary accounts of him, will be surprised to find him writing to the Abbot of Reading to acknowledge the receipt of "six volumes of books, containing the whole of the Old Testament, Master Hugh de St. Victor's treatise on the Sacraments, the Sentences of Peter Lombard, the Epistles of St. Augustine on the City of God, and on the 3rd part of the Psalter, Valerian de Moribus, Origen's treatise on the Old Testament, and Candidus Arianus to Marius;"—and that on another occasion shortly afterwards he acknowledges the receipt of "his copy of Pliny," which had been in the custody of the same Abbot. Still less does it consist with the commonly adopted notions of his selfish tyranny, that he should address Bryan de Insula in terms like the following: "Know that we are quite willing that our chief barons, concerning whom you wrote to us, may hunt while passing through your bailiwick, provided that you know who they are and what they take; for we do not keep our forests, nor our beasts, for our own use only, but for the use also of our faithful subjects. See, however, that they are well guarded on account of robbers, for the beasts are more frightened by robbers than by the aforesaid barons." Of the reign of Henry III. the particulars are still more minute. Notwithstanding its connexion with superstitions which exist no longer, we may sympathize with the pious charity that suggested that monarch's order "for feeding as many poor persons as can enter the greater and lesser hall at Westminster on Friday next after the octaves of St. Matthew, being the anniversary of Eleanor, the King's sister, formerly Queen of Scotland, for the good of the said Eleanor's soul." His taste for the fine arts, and his encouragement of its professors, are frequently to be traced in the entries upon these rolls. In one of them he gives directions for having the great chamber at Westminster painted with a good green colour after the fashion of a curtain; and in the great gable of the same chamber near the door this device to be painted,—"Ke ne dune ke ne tine, ne prent ke desire;" and another runs thus,—"The King, in presence of Master William the painter, a monk of Westminster, lately at Winchester, contrived and gave orders for a certain picture to be made at Westminster in the wardrobe where he was accustomed to wash his face, representing the King who was rescued by his dogs from the seditions which were plotted against that King by his subjects, respecting which same picture the King addressed other letters to you Edward of Westminster. And the King commands Philip Lavel his treasurer, and the aforesaid Edward of Westminster, to cause the same Master William to have his costs and charges for painting the aforesaid picture without delay; and when he shall know the cost, he will give them a writ of liberate therefor." For the illustration of the elder historians, and as a means of ascertaining how far narrations of events which appear doubtful or improbable, are correct, these and other buried documents possess great value. That blackest charge against the memory of King John, by which he is implicated in the murder of his nephew Prince Arthur, has been brought forward in forms so various, that common charity has induced many men to withhold their credence from an accusation which rests on vague and uncertain traditions. It is said, however, that Arthur's death, by whatever means it was brought about, took place at Rouen; it has been ascertained very lately for the first time, by inspection of the attestations of records, that John was at that place on that day; a circumstance not in itself enough to lead men to a very violent suspicion of his guilt, if the manner of the Prince's death had not been sudden and mysterious; but which, bringing the charge at least somewhat nearer, may probably lead to further discoveries. Of less importance, but yet not without interest,—if it be interesting to know accurately the early manners of a people, and to trace their progress from periods when those lights of science which are now beaming in full radiance over the land, had just begun to glimmer above the horizon,—is the following instance. Matthew Paris relates, that in 1255, an elephant was sent by the King of France to Henry III., and that it being the first animal of that species that had been seen in England, the people flocked in great numbers to behold it. Upon the close rolls is entered a writ tested at Westminster the 3rd of February, 39, H. III. (1255,) directing the sheriff of Kent to "go in person to Dover, together with John Gouch, the King's servant, to arrange in what manner the King's elephant, which was at Whitsand, may best and most conveniently be brought over to these parts, and to find for the same John a ship and other things necessary to convey it; and if, by the advice of the mariners and others, it could be brought to London by water," directing it to be so brought. That the stranger arrived safely, is evident from a similar writ, dated the 23rd of the same month, commanding the Sheriffs of London to "cause to be built at the Tower of London, a house forty feet in length and twenty in breadth, for the King's elephant." Economy however, it seems, was not neglected by the monarch in his menus plaisirs; for the Sheriffs are expressly charged to see that the house be so strongly constructed that, whenever there should be need, it might be adapted to and used for other purposes; and the costs are to be ascertained "by the view and testimony of honest men."
 The shortest and most convenient passage from France to England appears to have been from Whitsand to Dover. The tenure of certain lands in Coperland near Dover, was the service of holding the King's Head between Dover and Whitsand whenever he crossed there.
* * * * *
ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS, REGENT'S PARK.
(Continued from page 201.)
Returning from the Elephant's Stable and Enclosure, we pass the shed and enclosure for Ostriches. Here are fine specimens of the African Ostrich, distinguished by their black plumage, and sent from Tripoli, by Hanmer Warrington, Esq., and a fine female bird from the collection of the late Marchioness of Londonderry. The general colour of the feathers of the female is ashy-brown, tipped with white; and the exquisitely white plumes so much prized are obtained from beneath the wings and tail of both sexes.
 Some curious facts in the economy of the Ostrich will be found at page 262 of the present volume.
Retracing our steps to the Southern Garden we find several buildings unnoticed; as a large Aviary, appropriated to various birds, but usually to those of rare description.
The slope or valley in the garden, between the terrace and the Park road, is partly occupied by a Pond and Fountain, where are Swans and other swimming birds. In the distance of the cut is seen the principal aviary, where are some of the finest birds in the garden, as varieties of Cranes, Storks, Herons, Spoonbills, Curassows, and the revered bird of the ancients—the splendid scarlet Ibis.
As you return by the main path to the terrace, opposite the Llama House is a large octagon summer cage for Maccaws where red and yellow, blue and yellow, and red and blue species, are usually kept; with cockatoos. In winter they are removed to some of the warmer repositories.
* * * * *
It gives us great pleasure to hear that the Commissioners of Woods and Forests have in consequence of an application made to them by the Zoological Society, granted an extensive piece of land, on the northern verge of Regent's Park, to be added to the Gardens. It will be speedily laid out in walks and shrubberies, and in habitations for the numerous animals for which the society have at present little room, and has, in fact, caused the application for the grant. It is also in contemplation to erect a superb Museum on part of it, and to remove the Society's present one from Bruton-street.
* * * * *
Nassau is rich in mineral waters, and richer in generous wines—its Johannesberger, Hockheimer, Rudesheimer, Markbrenner, Asmanshaeuser, Steinberger, Shiersteiner, &c. are the most noble juice of the grape. The Steinberger, in the mark of Hottenheim, belongs to the Court exclusively. In 1811 the cask (Stueckfass,) containing 7-1/2 sums, equal to 600 measures, or 1,200 bottles, was sold for 6,000 florins, and at Wisbaden a common green bottle-full sells at a ducat, or 9s. 6d. sterling. From Mentz to Coblentz the German Bacchus has pitched his throne on the territory and soil of Nassau.
Letter from Germany, in the Morning Herald.
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* * * * *
The first-born of the Annuals, comes to woo us with the kindred charms of poetry and playful humour—romance and real life—full of kindly feelings, sighs and tears, such as Niobe shed, and smiles that with their witchery light up the finest affections to cherish drooping nature, and guide our footsteps along this world of weal and woe. To be more explicit, the character of the present volume is well told by Mr. Haynes Bayly in its second page:—
a gift that friend to friend At parting will deliver; And love with his own name will blend The dear name of the giver. So pure, so blameless is this book, That wise and wary sages Will lead young Innocence to look Upon its tasteful pages.
We can only particularize a few of the most striking papers. Among the metrical gems is Conradin, a fine battle-piece, by Mr. Charles Swain; an Every-day Tale, by Montgomery—one of "the short and simple annals of the poor," written in behalf of a Society for relieving distressed females in the first month of their widowhood, to save their little households from being broken up before they can provide means for their future maintenance: and Far-off Visions, by Mary Howitt. The prose gem of the volume, to our taste, is
Giulietta, a Tale of the Fourteenth Century, by L.E.L.,
which we abridge. The scene lies at Genoa, where Giulietta Aldobrandini, being at the point of death, commits her three daughters to the care of their uncle the Cardinal Aldobrandini. The Countess dies, and the three girls, Constanza, Bianca, and Giulietta, having sprung up into graceful womanhood, arrive at the Cardinal's palace.]
It was early in a spring evening when the Aldobrandini arrived at their uncle's dwelling. It was an old and heavy-looking building. Constanza and Bianca, as the massy gate swung behind them, on their arrival in the dark, arched court, simply remarked that they were afraid it would be very dull: but Giulietta's imagination was powerfully impressed; a vague terror filled her mind, which the gloom of the huge and still chambers through which they were ushered did not tend to decrease. At length, they paused in a large vaulted room, while the aged domestic went on, to announce them to the cardinal. Giulietta glanced around: the purple hangings were nearly black with age, so was the furniture, while the narrow windows admitted shadows rather than light. Some portraits hung on the walls, all dignitaries of the church; but the colour of their scarlet robes had faded with time, and each wan and harsh face seemed to turn frowning on the youthful strangers. A door opened, and they were ushered into the presence of their uncle. He was standing by a table, on which was a crucifix and an open breviary, while a volume of the life of St. Chrysostom lay open on the floor. A window of stained glass was half screened by a heavy curtain, and the dark panels of carved oak added to the gloom of the oratory. The sisters knelt before him, while gravely and calmly he pronounced over them a welcome and a blessing. Constanza and Bianca received them gracefully and meekly, but Giulietta's heart was too full; she thought how different would have been the meeting had they been but kneeling before parents instead of the stern prelate. She bowed her head upon the breviary; and her dark hair fell over her face while she gave way to a passionate burst of tears. Next to indulging in the outward expression of feeling himself, the cardinal held it wrong to encourage it in another. Gently, but coldly, he raised the weeping Giulietta; and, with kind but measured assurances of his regard and protection, he dismissed the sisters to their apartment. Could Giulietta have known the many anxious thoughts that followed her, how little would she have doubted her uncle's affection!
* * * * *
The light of a few dim stars shed a variable gleam amid the thick boughs of a laurel grove, too faint to mark the objects distinctly, but enough to guide the steps of one who knew the place. The air was soft and warm, while its sweetness told of the near growth of roses; but a sweeter breath than even the rose was upon the air, the low and musical whisper of youth and of love. Gradually, two graceful forms became outlined on the dark air—the one a noble-looking cavalier, the other Giulietta. Yet the brow of the cavalier was a gloomy one to turn on so fair a listener in so sweet a night; and his tone was even more sad than tender.
"I see no hope but in yourself. Do you think my father will give up his life's hatred to the name of Aldobrandini, because his son loves one of its daughters, and wears a sad brow for a forbidden bride? or, think you, that yonder stern cardinal will give up the plans and power of many years, and yield to a haughty and hereditary foe, for the sake of tears even in thy eyes, Giulietta?"
"I know not what I hope," replied the maiden, in a mournful, but firm voice; "but this I know, I will not fly in disobedience and in secrecy from a home which has been even as my own."
"And what," exclaimed the cavalier, "can you find to love in your severe and repelling uncle?"
"Not severe, not repelling, to me. I once thought him so; but it was only to feel the more the kindness which changed his very nature towards us. My uncle resembles the impression produced on me by his palace: when I first entered, the stillness, the time-worn hangings, the huge, dark rooms, chilled my very heart. We went from these old gloomy apartments to those destined for us, so light, so cheerful, where every care had been bestowed, every luxury lavished; and I said within myself, 'My uncle must love us, or he would never be thus anxious for our pleasure.'"
A few moments more and their brief conference was over. But they parted to meet again; and at length Giulietta fled to be the bride of Lorenzo da Carrara. But she fled with a sad heart and tearful eyes; and when, after her marriage, every prayer for pardon was rejected by the cardinal, Giulietta wept as if such sorrow had not been foreseen. Her uncle felt her flight most bitterly. He had watched his favourite niece, if not with tenderness of look and tone, yet with deep tenderness of heart. When her elder sisters married and left his roof, he missed them not: but now it was a sweet music that had suddenly ceased, a soft light that had vanished. The only flower that, during his severe existence, he had permitted himself to cherish, had passed away even from the hand that sheltered it. It was an illusion fresh from his youth: his love for the mother had revived in a gentler and holier form for her child, and now that, too, must perish. He felt as if punished for a weakness; and all Giulietta's supplications were rejected: for pride made his anger seem principle. "I have been once deceived," said he; "it will be my own fault if I am deceived again."
Yet how tenderly was his kindness remembered, how bitterly was his indignation deplored, by the youthful Countess da Carrara!—for such she now was—Lorenzo's father having died suddenly, soon after their union. The period of mourning was a relief; for bridal pomp and gaiety would have seemed too like a mockery, while thus unforgiven and unblessed by one who had been as a father in his care. At her earnest wish they fixed their first residence in the marine villa where her mother died.
"And shall you not be sad, my Giulietta?" asked her husband. "Methinks the memory of the dead is but a mournful welcome to our home."
"Tender, not mournful," said she. "I do believe that even now my mother watches over her child, and every prayer she once breathed, every precept she once taught, will come more freshly home to my heart, when each place recalls some word or some look there heard and there watched. It is for your sake, Lorenzo, I would be like my mother."
They went to that fair villa by the sea; and pleasantly did many a morn pass in the large hall, on whose frescoed walls was painted the story of Oenone, she whom the Trojan prince left, only to return and die at her feet. On the balustrade were placed sweet-scented shrubs, and marble vases filled with gathered flowers; and, in the midst, a fountain, whose spars and coral seemed the spoil of some sea-nymph's grotto, fell down in a sparkling shower, and echoed the music of Giulietta's lute. Pleasant, too, was it in an evening to walk the broad terrace which overlooked the ocean, and watch the silver moonlight reflected on the sea, till air and water were but as one bright element.
And soon had Carrara reason to rejoice that he had yielded to his wife's wish; for, ere they had been married three months, the plague broke out in Genoa, with such virulence, as if, indeed, a demon had been unchained upon earth. "The spirit of your mother, my sweet wife, has indeed been our guardian angel," said the count, as he watched a fresh sea-breeze lift up the long dark curls, and call the crimson into Giulietta's cheek. Still, though safe themselves—for, though the distance from Genoa was but short, their secluded situation and the sea-air precluded all fear of infection—still an atmosphere of terror and woe was around them, and their thoughts were carried out of their own sweet home by dim and half-told tales of the dangers around them. And among other things, Giulietta heard of her uncle's heroic conduct; others fled from the devoted city—but he fled not; others shut themselves up in their lonely palaces—he went forth amid the dead and dying; his voice gave consolation to the sick man, and his prayer called on Heaven for mercy to the departed soul. Giulietta heard, and in the silence of her chamber wept; and, when her tears were done, knelt, and gave thanks to God for her uncle.
For the first time hope arose within her, and she said to herself—"He who walks now even as an angel among his fellow-men cannot but forgive the errors and the weakness of earth." She went to meet her husband with a lightened heart; but, as she met him on the terrace, she saw that his brow was clouded, and his first words told her that important business would oblige him to go for a week to an ancient castle on the verge of the state, as his neighbours were disposed to question his boundary rights. It was but a day's, a summer day's, journey, through a healthy district; and yet how sorrowful was the parting! Alas! how soon the presence of beloved ones becomes a habit and a necessity! but a few weeks with them at our side, and we marvel how ever life was endured without them. The young countess touched her lute—it had no music; she gathered flowers—they had no sweetness; she turned to the fairy page of Ariosto—but she took no interest in his knights or dames; and at length the day was spent ere she had finished pacing the hall, and imagining all the possible and impossible dangers that could befal Carrara.
She was walking languidly on the terrace early the following morning, when a hum of voices caught her ear; one name rivetted her attention: a horrible conviction rushed upon her mind. She called a page, who at first equivocated; but the truth was at last owned. The cardinal was stricken with the plague. She signed to the page to leave her, and sank for a moment against one of the columns. It was but for a moment. She withdrew her hands from her face: it was pale, but tearless; and she left the terrace for her chamber with a slow but firm step. Two hours afterwards, the countess was sought by her attendants, but in vain; a letter was found addressed to their master, and fastened by one long, shining curl of raven darkness, which all knew to be hers.
Leaving the household to the dismay and confusion which such a departure occasioned, we will follow the steps of the countess, who was now on the road to Genoa. She had waited but to resume the black serge dress, which, as a novice of St. Caterina's, she had worn, and in which she knew she might pass for one of the sisters who had vowed attendance on the sick; and, during the hour of the siesta, made her escape unobserved. Giulietta had been from infancy accustomed to long rambles by the sea-shore, or through the deep pine-forests; but now, though her purpose gave her strength, she felt sadly weary; when, on the almost deserted road, she overtook a man who was driving a small cart laden with fruit and vegetables. She accosted him; and the offer of a few piastres at once procured a conveyance to Genoa, for thither was her companion bound.
"The plague," said he, "makes everything so scarce, that my garden has brought me a little fortune; it is an ill wind that blows nobody good."
"And are you not afraid of the infection?" asked the seeming Sister of Charity.
"Nothing hazard nothing win. A good lining of ducats is the best remedy for the plague," returned the gardener.
"Holy Madonna," thought Giulietta, "shall I not encounter for gratitude and dear love the peril which this man risks for a few ducats?"
The quarter where stood her uncle's palace was at the entrance of the city, and to reach it they had to traverse the principal street. How changed since last the countess passed that way! Then it was crowded with gay equipages and gayer company. She remembered the six white mules with their golden trappings, which drew the emblazoned coach of her uncle along; and how she leant back upon its purple velvet cushions, scarcely daring to glance amid the crowd of white-plumed cavaliers who reined in the curvettings of their brave steeds, lest she should meet Lorenzo da Carrara's eye, and betray their whole secret in a blush. Now not one living creature walked the street, and the sound of their light cart was like thunder. She was roused from her reverie by observing that her companion was taking an opposite direction to that of the palace; and requested to alight, mentioning her destination.
"To the archbishop's! Why, you will not find one living creature there. The good cardinal would have all the sick he could find brought to his palace, but they fell off like dried leaves; and when he was struck with the plague himself none ventured to approach it; for we all agree that the air there must be more deadly than elsewhere, since it has not even spared his eminence. So, if it is there you are bound, Madonna, we part company; but it is just tempting Providence."
Giulietta's only answer was to offer the gardener a small sum for her conveyance; but to her surprise he refused it. "No, no, you are going on a holier errand than I; keep your money; you will want it all if you stay in this city, every thing is so dear."
A sudden thought struck Giulietta. "I do not ask you," said she, "to venture to a spot which seems marked for destruction; but if I meet you here to-morrow will you bring with you a small supply of provisions and fruit? I can afford to pay for them."
"I will come, be sure," replied the man; "and the saints keep you, maiden, for your errand is a perilous one." He watched her progress till she disappeared round a corner in the street. "I wish," muttered he, "I had gone with her to the palace; at all events, I will be here to-morrow; she is, for all her black veil and pale face, so like my little Minetta. Ay, ay, if this plague lasts, I shall be able to tell down her dowry in gold;" and the gardener pursued his way.
When Giulietta arrived at her uncle's palace, she paused for a moment, not in fear but in awe, the stillness was so profound; not one familiar sound broke upon her ear. The doors were all open, and she entered the hall; pallets were ranged on each side, and on one or two of the small tables stood cups and phials; but not a trace appeared of an habitant. On she passed through the gloomy rooms; everything was in disorder and out of place: it was indeed as if a multitude had there suddenly taken up their abode and as suddenly departed. But Giulietta hurried on to her uncle's sleeping apartment; it was vacant. Her heart for the first time sank within her, and she leant against the wainscot, sick and faint. "I have yet a hope," exclaimed she, and even as she spoke she turned to seek the oratory. She was right. The crucifix stood, and the breviary was open on the small table, even as they were the first time she entered that room: and on a rude mattrass beside it lay her uncle. She sank on her knees, for he lay motionless; but, thanks to the holy Virgin, not breathless; no, as she bent over him, and her lips touched his, she could perceive the breath, the precious breath, of life: his hand too! it burnt in hers, but she could feel the pulse distinctly.
Giulietta rose, and threw herself before the crucifix. A violent burst of tears, the first she had shed, relieved her; and then calmly she prayed aloud for strength to go through the task which she had undertaken. The room was hot and oppressive; but she opened the window, and the sweet air came in, fresh and reviving from the garden below. She bathed her uncle's temples with aromatic waters, and poured into his mouth a few drops of medicine. He opened his eyes, and turned faintly on his pallet, but sank back, as though exhausted. Again he stretched out his hand, as if in search for something, which failing to find he moaned heavily. Giulietta perceived at once that parching thirst was consuming him. From the balcony a flight of steps led to the garden; she flew down them to the fountain, whose pure, cold water made the shadow of the surrounding acacias musical as ever. She returned with a full pitcher; and the eagerness with which the patient drank told how much that draught had been desired. The cardinal raised his head, but was quite unconscious; and all that long and fearful night had Giulietta to listen to the melancholy complainings of delirium.
The next day, she went to meet the gardener, who had waited, though, as he owned, in hopelessness of her coming. How forcibly the sense of the city's desolation rose before Giulietta, when she remembered that her ignorance of the hour proceeded from there being no one now to wind up the church-clocks! Again she returned to the unconscious sufferer; but little needs it to dwell on the anxiety or the exertion in which the next three days were passed. On the early morning of the last, as she watched over her uncle's pillow, she perceived that there was a slight moisture on his skin, and that his sleep was sound and untroubled. His slumbers were long and refreshing; and when he awoke it was with perfect consciousness. Dreading the effect of agitation, Giulietta drew her veil over her face, and to his inquiry of "was any one there?" she answered in a low and feigned voice.
"I am faint and want food; but who, daughter, are you, who thus venture into the chamber of sickness and death?"
"A stranger; but one whose vow is atonement."
"Giulietta!" exclaimed the cardinal, and the next moment she was at his side; and both wept the sweetest tears ever shed by affection and forgiveness. Eagerly she prepared for him a small portion of food, and then, exerting the authority of a nurse, forbade all further discourse, and, soon exhausted, he slept again.
The cool shadows of the coming evening fell on the casement, when Giulietta first ventured to propose that she should send a letter by the gardener to Lorenzo, and desire that a litter might be sent to convey her uncle to their villa.
"My sweet child, do with me as you will," said the cardinal; "take me even to the house of a Carrara."
"And nowhere could you be so welcome," said a stranger entering, and Giulietta, springing from her knees, found herself in the arms of her husband. "I knew, Giulietta, I should find you here, though your letter told me but of prayer and pilgrimage."
And what now remains to be told? The cardinal accompanied them to the villa, where his recovery was rapid and complete: and the deep love which he witnessed in that youthful pair made him truly feel how great had been Giulietta's devotion to himself. The plague had done its worst in Genoa; and men were enabled to return to their habits, their occupations, and their duties, things ever inseparably connected. The cardinal from that hour treated Lorenzo da Carrara as a son; and their family union was happy as self-sacrifice and enduring affection could make it. In the picture-gallery, there is still preserved a portrait of the countess in her novice's garb; her cheek pale, her graceful form hidden by the black serge robe, and her beautiful hair put out of sight; and the count, her husband, used to say that "she never looked more lovely."
* * * * *
THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
ELEGY FOR THE KING OF THE GIPSIES, CHARLES LEE,
Who died in a tent near Lewes, August 16, 1832, aged 74. He was buried in St. Ann's Churchyard, in presence of a thousand spectators.
Hurrah!—hurrah!—pile up the mould: The Sun will gild its sod:— The Sun,—for threescore years and ten The Gipsy's idol God!— O'er field and fen,—by waste and wild, He watch'd its glories rise, To worship at that gorgeous shrine The spirit of the skies.
No brick-built dwelling caged him in; No lordly roof of stone;— High o'er his couch the vault of Heaven In star-bright splendour shone! The rustling leaves still murmur'd there; The rambling woodbine flower Its twilight breath, exhal'd to cheer The outcast's desert bower!
To him the forest's pathless depths Their mossiest caves reveal'd; To him, fair Nature's hand bequeath'd Her fruits of flood and field;— The flower,—the root,—the beast,—the bird,— All living things, design'd To feed the craving, or delight The gaze of human kind!
The pencill'd wood-flower, fair and frail,— The squirrel's cunning nest,— The granite throne, with lichens wild, In broidered vesture drest;— Sweet violets bedded in their leaves, The first soft pledge of Spring;— Such were the gifts by Heaven's own hand Shed on the Gipsy King!—
The snow-drop glistening in the wood, The crowsfoot on the lea, Their gold and silver coin pour'd forth To store his treasury; The springy moss, by fairies spread, His velvet footcloth made; His canopy shot up amid The lime-tree's emerald shade.
Buck,—pheasant,—hare,—some lordly park Still yielded to his feast; And firing for his winter warmth, And forage for his beast. Happier than herald-blazoned Kings, The monarch of the moor;— He levied taxes from the rich,— They wring them from the poor!
With glow-worm lamp, and incense cull'd Fresh from the bean-fields breath; And matin lark,—and vesper thrush, And honey-hoarded heath;— A throne beneath the forest-boughs, Fann'd by the wild bird's wing; Of all the potentates on earth, Hail to the GIPSY KING!
Tait's Edinburgh Magazine.
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AMERICAN PRISON DISCIPLINE.
(By the clever Schoolmaster in Newgate—See Fraser's Magazine.)
It appears, from the testimony of Captain Basil Hall, R.N. that perfect as he describes the American prison discipline to be, yet "there is a gradually increasing culprit population growing up in America, of which the legislation cannot rid the country. These men, who may almost be called the penitentiary population, run the round just as I have observed with respect to the Bridewell at Edinburgh; the same men come and go, round and round again." Well, then, nothing is accomplished in the way of reform, even under this lauded plan, which aims at the twofold object of efficient punishment and reformation, by enforcing reflection. Their error, and consequent failure in producing the good they expected, I conceive arises from their having neglected to adopt any plan for the improvement of the prisoners when they have separated them. They work, it seems, every day for years in silence, without intermission, except the time allowed for meals, which are always taken in solitude. The Bible is the only book allowed them—no paper nor pens: and this is called giving them habits of industry. I should say nothing can be more calculated to disgust them with every description of work all the rest of their days. If you can beget habits of industry, with a proportionate improvement of the mind, and an increased sense of the moral duties, which will bring right notions of meum and tuum, then habits of industry are of the utmost importance to the prisoner; as through these habits only can he obtain his bread, when brought to that state of mind which makes him prefer honesty to roguery. This can only be brought about by reflection, it is true; but I am afraid the term reflection, as here applied, is used in a very abstract sense. If it is meant the culprit should reflect on his having done wrong, I answer this he always does, under any punishment, however slight: he cannot but be aware of the cause which places him under coercion, and regret it. This kind of reflection only makes him more sorry for having been detected in his crime, than for having committed it. To reflect with advantage in solitude, there must be some materials stored in the mind; or books must be read to furnish these materials: if these be supplied, however unwilling a being may be to reflect, no mind will be long able to resist the temptation of mental employment, if in continual solitude. But if a mind, totally void of sources of reflection, be shut up in a cell for years, or even for months, what can be expected but that every day will stultify its powers, and at last render it callous and unimpressable; or in the end imbecile, and so weak as to be irresponsible for its own acts! The Americans do, it seems, in their solitary penitentiaries, teach those to read who cannot under twenty-five years of age; and then they leave them.
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THE STATIONERS' COMPANY.
It appears, from the most authentic records, that the company of stationers, or text-writers, who wrote and sold all sorts of books, formerly in use—namely, the A.B.C., with the Paternoster, Ave, Creed, Grace, &c. to large portions of the Bible, and even to the whole Bible itself, dwelt in and about Paternoster Row. Hence we have in that neighbourhood, Creed Lane, Amen Corner, Ave Maria Lane, &c., all which places are named after some scriptural allusion. Here dwelt also turners of beads, who were called Paternoster-makers, as we read in a record of one Robert Nikke, "Paternoster-maker and Citizen," in the reign of Henry IV. The company of stationers is of great antiquity. By the authority of the lord mayor and court of aldermen, they formed into a guild, or fraternity, in the year 1403, and had their ordinances made for the good government of their fellowship. Thus constituted, they regularly assembled, under the government of a master and two wardens. Their first hall was in Milk-street.
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"Princes have but their titles for their glories, An outward honour for an inward toil; And, for unfelt imaginations, They often feel a world of restless cares; So that, between their titles and low name, There's nothing differs but the outward fame."
The Romans gave the titles of Africanus, Asiaticus, Macedonicus, Numidicus, Parthicus, &c., in memory of the victories obtained over the people of those countries. The Emperor of China, among his titles, takes that of Tiensu, son of Heaven. The Orientals are extremely fond of titles: the simple Governor of Schiraz, for instance, after a pompous enumeration of qualities, lordships, &c., adds the titles of Flower of Courtesy, Nutmeg of Consolation, and Rose of Delight.
The King of Spain, after the old Roman manner, has a whole page of titles, to express the several kingdoms and signories of which he is master. Henry IV. of England had the title of "Grace" conferred on him; Henry VI. that of "Excellent Grace;" Edward IV. that of "High and Mighty Prince;" Henry VII. "Highness;" Henry VIII. "Majesty," (and was the first and last that was styled, "Dread Sovereign;") and James I. that of "Sacred," or, "Most Excellent Majesty."
That of "Majesty" was first given to Louis XI. of France; before, it was the title only of emperors. The Kings of Arragon, Castile, and Portugal, had the title only of "Highness;" those of England, "Your Grace;" those of France, "Your Despotism."
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Hood's Comic Annual for 1833.—Mr. Hood's announcement of his forthcoming volume is in the very vein of the work itself. He writes to his publisher:—"The report of my death, I can assure you is premature, but I am equally obliged to you for your tribute of putting up shutters and wearing a crape hatband. I suspect your friend and informant, Mr. Livingstone—(it should be Gravestone)—drew his inference from a dark passage in Miss Sheridan's Preface which states that, 'of the three Comic Annuals which started at the same time, the Comic Offering alone remains.' The two defuncts therein referred to are the 'Falstaff' and 'The Humorist,' which I understand have put an end to themselves.
"If you should still entertain any doubts, you will shortly have ten thousand impressions to the contrary; for I intend to contradict my demys by fresh octavos. The Comic Annual for 1833, with its usual complement of plates—mind, not coffin-plates—to appear as heretofore, in November, will give the lie, I trust, not merely to my departure, but even to anything like a serious illness: and a novel, about the same time, will help to prove that I am not in a state of de-composition.
"I should have relieved your joint anxieties some days earlier, but till I met Mr. Livingstone, at Bury, I was really not alive to my death."
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Cartoons at Hampton Court.—I mentioned in my last, that I had formed an acquaintance with Holloway, who has been sometime occupied in copying in black chalks the Cartoons of Raphael in this palace. It will be a magnificent work, and admirably executed, for he finishes them as highly as a miniature; his chalk-pencils are of a superior quality, and he cuts them to the finest point: but he says they will only serve to work with on vellum, or on fine skin. He is an eccentric genius, deeply read in Scripture history, which he expounds in the most methodistical tone; but it is very delightful and instructive to listen to his observations on the beauties and merits of these masterpieces of Raphael. A Madame Bouiller, an interesting French emigrant is also occupied on the same subjects. She is patronized by West, who has given her permission to study here; and says that he never saw such masterly artist touches of the crayon as hers. Her style is large heads, after the size and manner of the French; therefore the figures in the Cartoons are particularly adapted for her pencil.
 From the Private Correspondence of a Woman of Fashion.
I found poor Holloway this morning foaming with rage in the Cartoon Gallery. Some person has written against the Cartoons, denominating them "washed daubs." No doubt it is either the pen of envy and malignity, or of ignorance: n'importe, it has wounded the feelings of a superior artist and a good man, who worships with religious enthusiasm those works of Raphael, and who has spent so many years in perfecting his engravings of them. It was a grotesque scene to behold Madame Bouiller pacing after Holloway up and down the gallery, with all the grimaces and vivacity of a Frenchwoman, and re-echoing his furious lamentations.
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Edinburgh (by Mr. Cobbett).—I thought that Bristol, taking in its heights and Clifton, and its rocks and its river, was the finest city in the world; but Edinburgh, with its castle, its hills, its pretty little sea-port, conveniently detached from it, its vale of rich land lying all around, its lofty hills in the back ground, its views across the Frith;—I think little of its streets and rows of fine houses, though all built of stone, and though everything in London and Bath is beggary to these; I think nothing of Holyrood House; but I think a great deal of the fine and well-ordered streets of shops—of the regularity which you perceive everywhere in the management of business; and I think still more of the absence of all that foppishness, and that affectation of carelessness, and that insolent assumption of superiority, that you see in almost all the young men that you meet with in the fashionable parts of the great towns in England. I was not disappointed; for I expected to find Edinburgh the finest city in the kingdom. Conversations at Newcastle, and with many Scotch gentlemen for years past, had prepared me for this; but still the reality has greatly surpassed every idea that I had formed about it. The people, however, still exceed the place: here all is civility; you do not meet with rudeness, or even with the want of a disposition to oblige, even in persons in the lowest state of life. A friend took me round the environs of the city; he had a turnpike ticket, received at the first gate, which cleared five or six gates. It was sufficient for him to tell the future gatekeepers that he had it. When I saw that, I said to myself, "Nota bene: Gate-keepers take people's word in Scotland—a thing that I have not seen before since I left Long Island."
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King John—died at Swinshead Abbey, in Lincolnshire; his body was interred at Worcester; his bowels in Croxton Abbey Church, in Leicestershire, the abbot being his physician; and his heart at Croxden, in Staffordshire. Perhaps the most precious portion of his relics would be the hand that signed Magna Charta. (See page 279.)
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The River Dove.—The fertility of the land on the upper parts of this river has always been proverbial: "as rich as Dove" being applied to any spot highly forced. The land has a perpetual verdure, and the spring-floods of the river are very gratifying to the land-occupiers, who have this proverb—
In April, Dove's flood Is worth a king's good.
It is also said of Dove's banks in spring, that a stick laid down there over-night shall not be found next morning for grass.
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St. Hellen's Well, near Rushton Spencer, in Staffordshire, is remarkable in superstitious history, for some singular qualities. It sometimes becomes suddenly dry, after a constant discharge of water for eight or ten years. This happens as well in wet as in dry seasons, and always at the beginning of May, when the springs are commonly esteemed highest; and so it usually continues till Martinmas, November 12, following. The people formerly imagined, that when this happened there would soon follow some stupendous calamity of famine, war, or some other national disaster, or change. It is said that it grew dry before the civil war, and again before the beheading of Charles I.; against the great scarcity of corn in 1670; and in 1679, when the miscalled Popish plot was discovered; but we do not hear that St. Hellen's Well withheld its supplies previous to, or upon, the breaking out of the last calamitous war.
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Prodigious Elm.—At Field, adjoining Rushton Spencer, grew a prodigious witch elm, which was felled in 1680. Two able workmen were five days in stocking or felling it. It was 120 feet in length; at the butt-end it was seven yards in circumference; its girth was 25-1/2 feet in the middle. Fourteen loads of firewood, as much as six oxen could draw, broke off in the fall; there were 47 loads more fire-wood cut from the top; they were compelled to fasten two saws together, and put three men to each end, to cut the body of it asunder. Out of this tree were cut 80 pairs of naves for carriage-wheels, and 8,000 feet of sawn timber in boards and planks, at six score per cent.—which, for the sawing only, as the price of labour then was, came to the sum of 12l.
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Newcastle-under-Line.—The right of election in this borough has been several times the subject of parliamentary investigation. At the last inquiry, the greater part of the borough appeared to be the property of the Marquess of Stafford; and it was found customary for the burgesses to live ten, fifteen, and even twenty years in the houses, without payment of rent!
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Monument to a Faithful Servant.—In the church of King's Swinford, Staffordshire, is a plain stone, erected by Joseph Scott, Esq., and his wife, in memory of Elizabeth Harrison, who had been thirty years in their service, and had conducted herself with such integrity, and anxiety for her master's interest, as drew from him the following epitaph:
While flattering praises from oblivion save, The rich, and splendour decorates the grave, Let this plain stone, O Harrison, proclaim Thy humble fortune and thy honest fame. In work unwearied, labour knew no end— In all things faithful, everywhere a friend; Herself forgot, she toiled with generous zeal, And knew no interest but her master's weal. 'Midst the rude storms that shook his ev'ning day, No wealth could bribe her, and no power dismay; Her patrons' love she dwelt on e'en in death, And dying, blest them with her latest breath.
She departed this life June 19, 1797. Aged 50 years.
Farewell, thou best of servants—may the tear That sorrow trickled o'er thy parting bier, Prove to thy happy shade our fond regard, And all thy virtues find their full reward.
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*** Mr. Warwick, on the Ostrich, in our next.
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