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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 20. No. 568 - 29 Sept 1832
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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

Vol. 20, No. 568.] SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1832. [PRICE 2d.



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Little need be said, by way of explanation, for the addition of the present subject to our collection of the birthplaces of eminent men. It is something to know that John Scott was born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in the principal dwelling represented in the above Engraving, in the year 1751; that he received the rudiments of his education at the free grammar-school of the town; that he grew up "a man of safe discretion;" that he enjoyed the highest legal honours which his sovereign could bestow for a quarter of a century; and that he still lives, a venerable octogenarian, in the enjoyment of "glory from his conscience, and honour from men." The biography of so distinguished an individual must have innumerable good tendencies: it at once inculcates the wholesome truth that "every man is the architect of his own fortune;" and it presents us, moreover, with the encouraging picture of a well-regulated life, and its healthful energies so employed in the discharge of important duties as to entitle the subject to high rank among the worthies of his country.

John Scott, Lord Eldon, is the third son of William Scott, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. "His father was by trade what in the language of the place is called a 'fitter,' or agent for the sale and shipment of coals. He had by industry and habits of close saving accumulated rather considerable means from small beginnings. Beyond this he was a man of great shrewdness and knowledge of the world," and quickly perceiving the talents of the two younger boys, William (now Lord Stowell,) and John, he wisely gave them an education in accordance with their mental endowments. "It is said that the singular variety in the talent of these two remarkable youths was manifested at a very early age. When asked to 'give an account of the sermon,' which was a constant Sabbath custom of their father, William, the eldest, gave at once a condensed and lucid digest of the general argument. John, on the other hand, would go into all the minutiae, but failed in producing the lucid, general view embodied in half the number of words by his brother."[1] The two boys received their early education at the free grammar-school of Newcastle.[2] William was from the beginning destined for the study of the law. John was at first intended for the church, and was, accordingly, sent to Oxford: early marriage was, however, the fortunate means of changing his destination, and he began the world in the same profession with his brother. In 1757, John was entered as a student at the Middle Temple, and was called to the bar at the usual period. He at this time possessed an extensive stock of legal information, having been an indefatigable reader, and spent the two last years of his preliminary studies in the office of a special pleader. At his outset he made no progress, his powers being palsied by an oppressive diffidence. He therefore devoted his talents entirely to being a draftsman in Chancery. His employment was laborious, and not lucrative, while it materially injured his health. In a fit of despondency he resolved to retire into humble practice in his native county; and he had actually given up his chambers and taken leave of his friends in the metropolis, when he was not only diverted from his purpose by an eminent solicitor, but was even prevailed upon to make one more trial at the bar. His first success was the undoubted fruit of his extraordinary abilities, and is said to have originated in the sudden illness of a leading counsel the night before the trial of a complicated civil cause. It could not be put off, and the client of the lost leader was in despair, when Scott courageously took the brief, made himself in one night master of its voluminous intricacies, and triumphed. From this time he gained confidence, and his forensic reputation soon became established. He was much aided by the encouragement which he received from Lord Thurlow, who praised his abilities, and is said to have offered him a mastership in Chancery, which Mr. Scott declined.

[1] Tait's Edinburgh Magazine for the present month.

[2] At this school also were educated Vice-Admiral Lord Collingwood; Sir Robert Chambers; William Elstob, an antiquary and divine; the poet, Akenside; the Rev. George Hall, Bishop of Dromore; and the Rev. John Brand, author of a history of Newcastle, and secretary to the Society of Antiquaries; all of whom were born at Newcastle.

In 1783; Mr. Scott obtained a silk gown; and, through Lord Weymouth's interest, he was introduced into parliament for the borough of Weobly. It is stated that on the latter occasion, he stipulated for the liberty of voting as he pleased. He took a decided part with the Pitt administration; and in 1788, he was appointed solicitor-general, and knighted; in 1793, he rose to be attorney-general, and in the following year he conducted the trial of Hardy, Tooke, and Thelwall, for treason. Erskine was opposed to him; and the prosecution failed, though the speech of the attorney-general occupied nine hours in the delivery.

In 1799, Sir John Scott was appointed to the chief justiceship of the Common Pleas, on the resignation of Chief Justice Eyre; and in the same year he was raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Eldon. In 1801, he was made Lord Chancellor, which high office he retained till the year 1827, with the exception of the short period during which the Whigs were in office, in 1806. His lordship was raised to the dignity of an earl at the coronation of George IV. in 1821.

The high character of the Earl of Eldon as Chancellor is thus lucidly drawn by Sir Egerton Brydges: "Of all who, in the long lapse of ages, have filled the sacred seat on which he now (1823) sits, none ever had purer hands, none ever had a conscientious desire of equity more ardent and more incessant than Lord Eldon. The amazing expanse of his views, the inexpressible niceness of his discrimination, his unrelaxing anxiety to do justice in every individual case, the kindness of his heart, and the ductility of his ideas, all ensure that attention to every suitor which must necessarily obtain the unbounded admiration and attachment of the virtuous and the wise. Lord Eldon's eloquence," continues Sir Egerton, "is rather adapted to cultivated and thinking minds than to a popular audience. It generally addresses the understanding rather than the fancy. It frequently wants fluency, but occasionally is tinged with a high degree of moral pathos."

We could illustrate the conscientious character alluded to by the above writer, with anecdotes of the chancellorship of Lord Eldon. As the following have, we believe, but once appeared in print, they may not, be familiar to the reader. Sir Richard Phillips relates:[3] "In conversation with Mr. Butterman, (at Dronfield), I heard two anecdotes of Lord Eldon, which, as an example to Lord Chancellors, and to public spirited parishioners, I consider it my duty to introduce. The incumbent, some years ago, thought proper to propose an exchange with an incompetent clergyman; when Mr. B., as a friend to the church, and some of his respectable neighbours took alarm at the negotiation, and in the commencement he penned a letter to the Chancellor. The other parties calculated on the arrangement, but, on applying to the Chancellor he could consent to no exchange, but that if the parties were tired of their positions, they might respectively resign, and there were plenty of candidates. The determination was final, and the scheme of exchange was abandoned. In another instance, a master had been regularly appointed to the grammar school at Dronfield, on liberal principles of education, but, within a few years, some prejudice was excited against him, and the churchwardens for the time thought proper to stop his salary. On this occasion, Mr. B. and some friends combined in an application to Lord Eldon, and his lordship instantly directed the churchwardens to render an account of the trust within a few days. They claimed time, and were allowed a month, when, without other form, he directed the salary to be paid to the appointed master, with all expenses."

[3] In his Personal Tour through the United Kingdom, Part iii.

Newcastle contains memorials of Lord Eldon which indicate that the inhabitants are proud of their distinguished fellow-freeman. A spacious range of elegant buildings is called Eldon Square: and in the Guildhall is a portrait of his lordship, opposite that of his brother, Lord Stowell.

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THE WEARIED SOLDIER.

"When silent time, wi' lightly foot, Had trod o'er thirty years, I sought again, my native land, Wi' many hopes and fears." MRS. HAMILTON.

He came to the village, when the sun In the "golden west" was bright, When sounds were dying one by one, And the vesper star was shining down, With a soft and silvery light.

A war-worn wanderer was he, And absent many a year From the cottage-home he fain would see, From that resting-place where he would be, The spot to memory dear.

It rose at last upon his view, (Old times were thronging round him,) The lattice where the jasmine grew, The meadow where he brush'd the dew When youth's bright hopes were round him.

But faces new, and sadly strange, Were in that cottage now; Cold eyes, that o'er his features range, For time had wrought a weary change Upon the soldier's brow.

And some there were—the lov'd—the dead— Whom he no more could see, From this cold changing world were fled, And they had found a quiet bed Beneath the old yew tree.

And thither too—the wanderer hied, Night-dews were falling fast, This is my "welcome home" he cried, And the chill breezes low replied In murmurs as they pass'd.

They whispering said, or seem'd to say, No lasting joys to earth are given, No longer near these ashes stray, Go, mourner! hence, away! away! Thy lost ones are in heaven.

Kirton, Lindsey. ANNE R.

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RELIGIOUS FASTINGS.

From the remotest ages of antiquity most nations have practised fasting to keep the wrath of God from falling upon them for their sins. Some celebrated authors even affirm that fasting was originated by Adam after he had eaten of the forbidden fruit; but this obviously is carrying their arguments, in favour of fasting, too far, though it is as certain that the Jewish churches practised it from their first formation. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and the Assyrians held the "solemn fast" in high favour. The Egyptians, according to Herodotus, before they offered in sacrifice the cow to Isis, to purify themselves from impurities, fasted and prayed. This custom he also ascribes to the Cyrenian women. Porphyry relates that the fasts of the Egyptians were sometimes continued for six weeks, and that the shortest ordained by their priests was seven days, during which they abstained from nearly all kinds of food. These rites they communicated to the Greeks, who observed these fasts more strictly, and with more outward show and solemnity. The Athenians likewise observed stated fasts, two of which were named "the Elusinian and Thesmoporian fasts;" the observation of these fasts was extremely rigid, especially amongst women, who, in mournful dresses, spent one whole day sitting on the ground (their sign of grief,) without taking the least food. The islanders of Crete, before sacrificing to Jupiter, had to abstain from food. A celebrated ancient author informs us, that those who wished to be initiated into the secrets of Cybele, fasted ten days before their initiation; and that, in short, the priests who gave the oracles, and those who came to consult them, had to perform this duty.

Amongst other Heathen nations, before they prepared for any important enterprise, the whole expedition fasted. The Lacedemonians having agreed to aid an ally, ordained a fast throughout their nation, and without even excepting their domestic animals. The Romans having besieged the city of Tarentum, and the city being hard pressed, the citizens demanded succour of their friends, the inhabitants of Rhegium; who, preparatory to granting assistance to the besieged, commanded that a fast should be held throughout their territories. Their aid having proved successful, the government of Tarentum to commemorate this important event, ordained a perpetual fast on the day of their deliverance.

Philosophers and certain religious people have for ages reckoned fasting as a service which led to important results, and a duty which could not be dispensed with without causing the wrath of God to fall upon the heads of the nation. At Rome it was practised even by the emperors. Amongst the most remarkable for keeping this institution were Numa Pompilius, Julius Caesar, Vespasian, &c. Julian, the apostate, was so exact in the performance of this ordinance, that the fasting of the philosophers and of the priests themselves, was as nothing compared with his abstinence. Pythagoras fasted sometimes as long as forty days; his disciples followed the example of their master; and after his death they kept a continual fast, in which they denounced the inhabitants of the deep as well as the creatures of the meadow. The eastern Brahmins are remarkable for their fasting; but as the people believe they regale themselves with the good things of this life, in secret, their example gains not many followers. That nation which reckons itself infinitely superior to us "poor barbarians," the Chinese, also observe stated seasons of fasting and prayer. The Mahomedans likewise strictly observe fasting and prayer, and the exactness with which the dervishes perform them, and the lengths of time of their fasts are very remarkable.

The Israelites were commanded by Jehovah himself to fast on the appearance of any plague, famine, war, &c.; and though they sadly neglected the commands of God in other particulars, yet they obeyed this command with great devotedness. The abstinence of the ancient Jews generally lasted from twenty-six to twenty-seven hours. On these days they wore sackcloth, laid themselves in ashes, and sprinkled them on their heads, in token of their great grief and penitence. Some spent the whole night in the synagogue; occasionally using with great effect a scourge as a penance for their sins, or as a stimulant to devout behaviour. We think it is not improbable that it is from the Jews that the Roman Catholics derived their scourging penance system.

In "happy smiling England," fasting was, and is, practised by the Catholics every Friday; it was also practised by the fathers of the church, and the primitive Protestants, at stated seasons. The custom is still observed amongst the methodists, who follow the example of their great leader, Wesley. The rust of time has, however, worn away the veneration for this "good old system," and it is totally disused by the general body of Protestants, except on great national occasions.

E.J.H.

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MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.

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SHERIFFS OF LONDON.

[The subsequent paper extracted from Mr. Brayley's laboriously-compiled Londiniana possesses more than a passing interest. Its neatness and perspicuity as a Journal will doubtless be appreciated by the reader.]

The following particulars relating to the office of Sheriff, are derived from a manuscript copy of the Journal of Richard Hoare, Esq. during the year of his Shrievalty, in 1740-41, in his own hand-writing, which is now in the possession of his grandson, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart., of Stourhead, in Wiltshire. The above year became memorable in the city annals, from their having been three Lord Mayors during its progress, viz. Sir John Salter, knight; Humphry Parsons, Esq., and Daniel Lambert, Esq.

Mr. Hoare, who was a banker, in Fleet Street, and principal of the respectable house which, instituted by one of his predecessors, still bears the family name, was elected alderman of the Ward of Farringdon Without, on St. George's day, 1740, in the place of Sir Francis Child, who died on the preceding Sunday, April the 20th. This honour was conferred upon him, whilst he was at Bath, and quite unexpectedly; and equally so, was his election to the Sheriffdom, conjointly with Mr. Alderman Marshall, on the midsummer-day following. Shortly afterwards they gave bonds under the penalty of 1,000l. to undertake and enter upon the office on the ensuing Michaelmas eve; and "thereupon, became each entitled to 100l. out of the forfeitures of those, who had this year been nominated to be sheriff's by my Lord Mayor, but had paid their fines to be excused."

In the intermediate time they prepared for the due execution of their duties, chose their under-sheriff's, &c.; and, "as it is customary for each sheriff to preside over the two Counters separately, my brother Marshall chose that in the Poultry, and the care of Wood-street Counter was under my direction, and we agreed, at our joint expense, to give the usual livery gowns to the officers of both, although they are greater in number at the Poultry than in mine; in recompense for which, it was settled that we should equally share in the sale of the places upon any vacancy."

On Sunday, the 28th of September, the sheriffs elect met at ten o'clock in the morning, at Drapers' Hall, "and there entertained several of the Court of Aldermen, and sixteen of the Court of Assistance of each of the Companies, viz: the Goldsmiths and the Drapers, with the usual breakfast of roast beef, burnt wine," &c. He continues,—

"Upon notice sent to us, that the Lord Mayor, with George Heathcote, and Sir John Lequesne, aldermen and sheriffs for the last year were attending at the council chamber, Guildhall, we all repaired thither; the gentlemen of the Court of Assistance walking two by two, the senior sheriff's company on the right hand, the aldermen following in their coaches; in which, we, though sheriffs-elect, took our rank as aldermen. Upon coming up to the area of Guildhall, the two companies made a lane for the aldermen to pass through, and after having waited on my Lord Mayor to Guildhall Chapel, to hear divine service, we returned back to the court of the hustings, which being opened by the common cryer, we were summoned to come forth and take the oath of office; which we accordingly did, together with the oaths of allegiance and abjuration; and the same was also administered to Mr. Tims, (clerk to St. Bartholomews,) as under-sheriff, he kneeling all the while.

"When this was over, the gold chains were taken off from the former sheriffs, and put on us; and then the court being dissolved, the Lord Mayor went home, attended by the former sheriffs, and we returned back to Drapers' Hall to our dinner, provided for the Court of Aldermen and Courts of Assistance, at which the senior alderman took the chair as president, and the rest of the aldermen and gentlemen of Guildhall took their places at the upper table, whilst we, the sheriffs, sat at the head of the second table, with the gentlemen of the Courts of Assistance of our two companies. When dinner was over, and the healths of the royal family were drunk, the cryer proclaimed the health and prosperity to the two sheriffs' companies in the following manner; that is to say, 'Prosperity to the worshipful Company of Drapers, and prosperity to the worshipful Company of Goldsmiths: to the Goldsmiths and Drapers, and Drapers and Goldsmiths, prosperity to both:' and this is so usually done, naming each company first alternately, to prevent any dispute concerning preference or priority.

"After dinner, we all retired to one table in the inner room, at which we, though sheriffs, were placed underneath all the aldermen; for whatever rank an alderman may be in point of seniority, yet during the year he serves as sheriff, he is to give place, and follow the rest of his brethren, both at the court, and all processions and entertainments. About six o'clock, the late sheriffs, having left the Lord Mayor at his house, attended us to Guildhall, where we were met by our own and the former under-sheriffs, together with the secondaries and keepers of the prisons; and the names of the respective prisoners in each gaol being read over, the keepers acknowledged them one by one, to be in their custody; and then tendered us the keys, which we delivered back to them again, and after having executed the indentures, whereby we covenanted and undertook the charge of our office, we were invited according to custom, to an adjoining tavern; and there partook of an entertainment of sack and walnuts, provided by the aforesaid keepers of the prisons.

"Monday, September 29th. This being Michaelmas-day, my brother sheriff and I set out for the first time in our new equipages and scarlet gowns, attended by our beadles, and the several officers of our Counters, and waited on the Lord Mayor, at Merchant Taylors' Hall, at which he kept his mayoralty, and proceeded with him from thence, as is customary, to Guildhall, where the livery-men of the city were summoned to attend at the Court of Hustings for the election of a new lord mayor for the year ensuing. The recorder made a speech to the livery-men, 'apprising them of the custom and manner of choosing a lord mayor; which, he observed, was for the Common Hall to nominate two of the aldermen who had served sheriffs, to the Court of Aldermen, who had then a right to elect either of them into that great office, and which ever that the court so fixed on, the Common Hall was bound to accept.' When he had ended, the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen retired into the Council Chamber, and left us to preside at the election, attended by the Common Sergeant and other officers. The method of voting is, by each alderman going up to the recorder and town clerk, who sit at a separate part of the room, and telling the person he would choose, a scratch is made under each respective name."

On the day following, the two sheriffs again went to Guildhall, with the same company as on the preceding day, and waiting on the Lord Mayor in the Council Chamber, requested that his lordship and the recorder would present them at his Majesty's Court of Exchequer. Each sheriff then paid the usual fees, viz. 6l. 13s. 4d. to the Lord Mayor, and 3l. 6s. 8d. to the recorder; after which, they proceeded to the Three Cranes' Stairs, in Upper Thames Street, "the Lord Mayor first; we, the sheriffs, next; the recorder and aldermen following in coaches, the companies walking before us.

"From thence we went to Westminster in the city barge, taking place of all the aldermen: and our two companies attended in the Goldsmiths' barge, as before agreed on, adorned with half the colours, and rowed with half the watermen belonging to the Drapers' company. On landing, the companies went first, the Lord Mayor next, then the recorder with a sheriff on each side, and last the aldermen. On our approaching the bar of the Exchequer [in Westminster Hall,] the recorder, in a speech, presented us to the Court, one of the Barons being seated there for that purpose, signifying the choice the citizens had made, and that, in pursuance of our charter, we were presented to his Majesty's justices for his royal approbation; and the Baron accordingly approving the choice, he, and the Clerks of the Exchequer, were invited to our dinner; then the late sheriffs were sworn to their accounts, and made their proffers; and the senior alderman present cut one twig in two, and bent another, and the officers of the court counted six horse-shoes and hob-nails.

"This formality, it is said, is passed through each year, by way of suit and service for the citizens holding some tenements in St. Clement's Danes, as also some other lands; but where they are situated no one knows, nor doth the city receive any rents or profits thereby.

"This done, we returned in the same order to the Three Cranes, and from thence, in our coaches, to dinner at Drapers' Hall; where my Lord Mayor, aldermen, gentlemen of Guildhall, and guests invited, dined at one table, and we, the sheriff's, at the head of another, with the Court of Assistance of each of our companies: and the Clerks of the Exchequer by themselves at another table. After dinner, the Lord Mayor, aldermen, &c. returned into a separate room, where we sat with them at the head of the table, one on each side of the Lord Mayor; our two companies were in another room, and the greatest part of the Clerks of the Exchequer remained in the hall."

On the 7th of October they "settled a point," with the keeper of Newgate in regard to the transportation of felons. That was, that the keeper should deliver them to the merchant, "who contracts to carry them over," at the door of Newgate, and there discharge himself of any further custody; but leaving him and his officers the privilege of protecting them down to the water side, according to any private agreement between him and the merchant; it being fully understood that the sheriffs should not be responsible for their charge "from the time of their first delivery."

(TO BE CONCLUDED IN OUR NEXT.)

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SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.

STEAM CARRIAGES ON COMMON ROADS.

(From Mr. Alexander Gordon's Treatise on Elemental Locomotion. Concluded from page 185.)

We do not advocate any thing so preposterous as the change of the whole animate power of Great Britain into inanimate, though in this the political economist can see the solution of all our Malthusian difficulties to an indefinite extent and duration. What we urge is merely the partial adoption of the thing to such an extent as will relax the present pressure, and restore us to a wholesome state of national prosperity. This will occasion no dangerous experiment, and will be gradually followed up by a progressive conversion, by which all the conflicting interests of society will be neutralized, and the aggregate wealth, and prosperity, and happiness of the empire be equalized.

If then elemental locomotion can he made to substitute the expensive, unproductive system of animate labour now in use, it will indubitably be for the vital interest of all classes of society that the substitution should be realized speedily and extensively. That steam can be so applied has been satisfactorily proved. The report of the Committee of the House of Commons establishes this. But the evidence of several of the enlightened and practical witnesses who were examined before that committee bears with too much emphasis upon the detail of the commercial and economic advantages of the project we have just been attempting to enumerate and advocate, for us not to avail ourselves of it even at this early stage of our work. It being quite decisive in support of the grand conclusion to which the said committee came after three months of patient and thorough investigation of the subject, viz. "That the substitution of inanimate for animate power is one of the most important improvements in the means of internal communication ever introduced."

[Then follow extracts from the evidence of Messrs. Torrens, John Farey, Davies Gilbert, and Goldsworthy Garney.]

In viewing the moral advantages which must result from steam-carriages, we find them of no less importance. There are but few so constitutionally indifferent to acceleration in travelling as the Hollander, who delighted in the "old, solemn, straight-forward, regular Dutch canal speed—three miles an hour for expresses, and two for joy or trot journeys." Acceleration in the speed of travelling, if unaccompanied by danger, is eagerly sought after, because the period of discomfort is lessened. But steam-carriages will not only lessen the discomfort by shortening its duration; they can be so equipped that positive comfort, nay, luxury, may be enjoyed. A steam-engine is perfectly under control, and consequently much more safe than horses. The life of the traveller cannot be jeoparded by the breaking of a rein, horses being frightened, running off, &c. &c.; the steamer, it will be seen, the honourable Committee report to the House "is perfectly safe for passengers."

The actual casualties of stage-coaches, however, we may observe, bear no proportion to the loss of lives from consumption and other diseases occasioned by cold and wet, from exposure on the top of coaches.[4]

[4] It appears from the newspapers that on the night of the 25th of February, 1812, three outside passengers were found dead on the roof of the Bath coach, from the inclemency of the weather.

Let us consider also how far humanity is outraged by the present system of quick travelling. The short average life of stage-coach horses (three years only!) shows how dreadfully over-wrought and out-wrought they are by the great speed now in practice. Driven for eight or ten miles, with an oppressive weight, they tremble in every nerve. With nostrils distended, and sides moving in breathless agony, they can scarce, when unyoked, crawl to the stable. 'Tis true they are well fed; the interest of their owners secures that. They are over-well fed, in order that a supernatural energy may be exerted. The morrow comes when their galled withers are again to be wrung by the ill-cushioned collars, and the lumbering of the wheels. But we do not witness all the misery of the noble and the generous steed. When the shades of night impend, the reproaches of the feeling, or the expostulations of the timid traveller no longer protect him from the lash; and the dread of Mr. Martin's act ceases to effect for a time its beneficent purpose; when the stiffened joints—the cracked hoofs—the greasy legs—and stumbling gait of the worn-out animal are all put into agonized motion by belabouring him upon the raw! The expression is Hibernian, but the brutality is our own. A few ill-gained pounds reconcile the enormity to the owner—and the cheapness and expedition of the conveyance give it public sanction: but humanity is outraged by the same: human sympathies are seared; and the noble precept, that "the merciful man is merciful to his beast," is trampled under foot.

Thus then, by substituting elementary for physical power, we have comfort for comparative inconvenience—the inside of an elegant apartment, where books, amusement, or general conversation may occupy agreeably the time—for the outside of a hard, unsafe stage conveyance, and exposure to all changes or varieties of atmosphere. Nay, we see no reason to prevent such improvement in steam-carriages as shall fit them up like steam-boats, the campaigning carriage of Napoleon, or the travelling long coach of the present Duke of Orleans, with beds, and a furnished table. We have besides safety for danger—accelerated speed without inhumanity—gain of time—of accommodation—of money—and over and above all, as a non-consumer of food, we have by the substitution what will remove the host of Malthusian ills to a period of almost indefinite duration.

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OLD POETS.

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EYES AND TEARS.

How wisely Nature did decree With the same eyes to weep and see! That, having view'd the object vain, They might be ready to complain. And, since the self-deluding sight, In a false angle takes each height, These tears which better measure all. Like wat'ry lines and plummets fall. Two tears, with sorrow long did weigh, Within the scales of either eye, And then paid out in equal poise, Are the true price of all my joys. What in the world most fair appears, Yea, even laughter, turns to tears: And all the jewels which we prize, Melt in these pendents of the eyes. I have through every garden been, Amongst the red, the white, the green; And yet from all those flow'rs I saw, No honey, but these tears could draw. So the all-seeing sun each day, Distils the world with chemic ray; But finds the essence only showers, Which straight in pity back he pours. Yet happy they whom grief doth bless, That weep the more, and see the less; And, to preserve their sight more true, Bathe still their eyes in their own dew. So Magdalen, in tears more wise Dissolv'd those captivating eyes, Whose liquid chains could flowing meet, To fetter her Redeemer's feet. Not full sails hasting loaden home, Nor the chaste lady's pregnant womb, Nor Cynthia teeming shows so fair, As two eyes, swoln with weeping, are The sparkling glance that shoots desire, Drench'd in these waves, does lose its fire. Yea, oft the Thunderer pity takes, And here the hissing lightning slakes. The incense was to heaven dear, Not as a perfume, but a tear! And stars show lovely in the night, But as they seem the tears of light. Ope, then, mine eyes, your double sluice, And practise so your noblest use; For others too can see, or sleep, But only human eyes can weep. Now, like two clouds dissolving, drop, And at each tear in distance stop: Now, like two fountains, trickle down: Now like two floods o'er-run and drown: Thus lot your streams o'erflow your springs, Till eyes and tears be the same things; And each the other's difference bears; These weeping eyes, those seeing tears.

MARVELL.

(From a neatly-printed Life of the Poet, by John Dove.)

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A DROP OF DEW.

See, how the orient dew Shed from the bosom of the morn, Into the blowing roses, Yet careless of its mansion new, For the clear region where 'twas born Round in itself incloses: And in its little globe's extent, Frames, as it can, its native element. How it the purple flow'r does slight, Scarce touching where it lies; But gazing back upon the skies, Shines with a mournful light, Like its own tear, Because so long divided from the sphere. Restless it rolls, and unsecure, Trembling, lest it grows impure; Till the warm sun pities its pain, And to the skies exhales it back again. So the soul, that drop, that ray, Of the clear fountain of eternal day, Could it within the human flow'r be seen, Rememb'ring still its former height, Shuns the sweet leaves, and blossoms green; And, recollecting its own light, Does, in its pure and circling thoughts, express The greater heaven in an heaven less, In how coy a figure wound, Every way it turns away: So the world excluding round, Yet receiving in the day. Dark beneath, but bright above; Here disdaining, there in love, How loose and easy hence to go; How girt and ready to ascend: Moving but on a point below, It all about does upward bend. Such did the Manna's sacred dew distil, White and entire, although congeal'd and chill; Congeal'd on earth; but does, dissolving run Into the glories of th' almighty sun.

IBID.

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NOTES OF A READER.

* * * * *

ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS, REGENT'S PARK.

We recommend such of our London friends and visiters from the country as have not lately passed an hour or two in the Zoological Gardens, to do so without further delay. The present season is warm and genial, and the rejoicing rays of the morning and noontide sun enliven the tenants of this mimic world in a garden. As evening approaches the air becomes chill and misty, though

The weary sun hath made a golden set, And, by the bright track of his fiery ear, Gives token of a goodly day to-morrow:

the several animals indicate their sense of the atmospheric changes by their decreased activity, reminding us of the comparative torpidity in which the majority of them will pass the coming winter.

The present Cuts represent a few of the recent improvements in the Zoological Gardens, as, the addition of the clock-house and weathercock[5] to the Llama House.

[5] By the way, a natural weathercock instead of the gilded vane, as defined by Brown, would have been a rara avis: "A kingfisher hanged by the bill, converting the breast to that point of the horizon whence the wind doth blow, is a very strange introducing of natural weathercocks."



Opposite is the sloping gravel walk leading from the Terrace; and a large cage for Parrots, Parrakeets, Macaws, and Cockatoos, whose brilliant colours are here seen to advantage in the resplendent beams of a September sun. In the distance are the Bear Pole and Shed for Goats.



The next Cut includes the House and Enclosure for Armadillos, who are, in sunny weather, located here with a "select few" rabbits. The innocent gambols and restless run of the Armadillo over the turf are here seen to advantage. This house as the distance of the Cut shows, is not far from the Llama House and circular Aviary.

Thus far in the Southern Garden, whence we reach the Northern by the Tunnel beneath the Park-road, as figured in The Mirror, No. 535, opposite to the end of the tunnel is a large squirrel-cage, and at the extremity of the walk to the right is a spacious building, called the Repository "the inhabitants of which are continually being changed as variations in the weather, or any other cause may render convenient." We last saw there the noble Lions from the Tower, together with the Hyaena, Jackal, Ichneumons, Coatimondis, besides an assemblage of splendid tropical birds. The exterior of the building, especially the ornamented gable and doorways, is picturesque.



Repassing the Squirrel Cage, the visiter must next proceed along the straight gravelled walk, which leads towards the western extremity of the North Garden. Here is a range of buildings, among which is the Stable and enclosed Yard for Deer; Among which are specimens of the Wapiti, remarkable for its size and the amplitude of its branching horns when full grown. Next is the Stable and Enclosure for Elephants, opposite the capacious Bath already represented in The Mirror, No. 560.

In a fortnight we may probably resume our graphic visit to this most interesting resort.

* * * * *

THE VOICE OF HUMANITY.

"The Association for promoting Rational Humanity towards the Animal Creation" exists—though, in one sense, as a blot upon the character of the age. They publish the above Journal quarterly, assembling acts of atrocity which make the blood curdle in our veins, and remind us that "all are not men that wear the human form." The funds of the society are not in a prosperous condition; the sand of their philanthropy is well nigh run out, and fresh appeals are to be made. Let us glance at the contents of, the Voice before us. The subject "Abattoirs contrasted with Slaughter-houses and Smithfield-market," is continued—a plan which we illustrated in The Mirror about five years since. True enough the Society write, but the people do not consider; they are so wedded to old prejudices and habits, and the mammon of money, that pestilential slaughter-houses are tolerated in the midst of a "city of the plague," notwithstanding a law exists for its prevention. Four hospitals are building in the metropolis—and markets are increasing for the sale of the necessaries and luxuries of life; the Haymarket has been removed from a fashionable quarter to the suburbs, that loaded carts may not obstruct carriages in their road to St. James's, the Houses of Parliament, and the Opera—yet, not a single, Abattoir—for the health of the people—exists near the metropolis. The King and the Court patronize and plan horse-racing, throwing the lasso, and, if recent report be true, hawking; the Parliament legislate, a bill is "ordered to be printed"—yet, the inconsistency and tardiness of these proceedings compel us to ask, where is the truth of the motto—Salus populi suprema lex. Convictions before magistrates for acts of cruelty are not uncommon; yet, it is in this, as in many other laws, the poor are caught, while the rich break through the meshes of the net. In the work before us are recorded Mr. Osbaldeston's matches, including "the cold-blooded cruelty towards the generous and heart-broken Rattler, in riding him thirty-four miles in the space of 2 hours, 18 min., and 56 sec." Next are four police cases of cruelties towards horses, bullocks, and cats, the persons convicted being "of low estate." Yet there follows the fact of a respectable woman boiling a cat to death! and next is this quotation from the Gentleman's Magazine for April, 1789:—

"Died, April 4, at Tottenham, John Ardesoif, Esq.; a young man of large fortune, and in the splendour of his carriages and horses rivalled by few country gentlemen. His table was that of hospitality, where it may be said he sacrificed too much to conviviality. Mr. Ardesoif was fond of cock-fighting, and he had a favourite cock upon which he had won many profitable matches. The last bet he made upon this cock he lost; which so enraged him, that he had the bird tied to a spit, and roasted alive before a large fire. The screams of the miserable animal were so affecting, that some gentlemen who were present attempted to interfere, which so exasperated Mr. Ardesoif, that he seized the poker; and, with the most furious vehemence, declared that he would kill the first man who interfered; but, in the midst of his passionate assertions, he fell down dead upon the spot!"

If we be asked whether it be proper to regard all such dispensations as judicial inflictions, we reply in the words of Cowper above:

"'Tis not for us, with rash surmise, To point the judgments of the skies, But judgments plain as this, That, sent for man's instruction, bring A written label on their wing, 'Tis hard to read amiss."

[A contribution full of touching simplicity follows:]

THE WORM.

Turn, turn, thy hasty foot aside Nor crush that helpless worm; The frame thy wayward looks deride, Required a God to form.

The common Lord of all that move, From whom thy being flowed, A portion of his boundless love On that poor worm bestowed.

The sun, the moon, the stars, he made To all his creatures free; And spread o'er earth the grassy blade For worms as well as thee.

Let them enjoy their little day, Their lowly hiss receive; Oh! do not lightly take away The life thou canst not give.

Here we may remark, that much wanton cruelty has been abolished by the extended education of the people. Brutal sports among boys are much less indulged than formerly, and the worrying of domestic animals almost invariably denotes a bad boy, in the worst sense of the phrase, likely to make a bad man; "so true to nature is the admirable aphorism of Wordsworth:—

The boy's the father of the man."

But we do not so much complain of boyish as of adult cruelties; though, according to the above showing, such atrocities will be less rare in the next than in the present generation. To conclude, we hope that the present notice may awaken the sympathy of the reader towards the laudable objects of the Society, under whose guidance the Voice of Humanity is published. It is a difficult matter to point out "the uneducated," and writers of all grades are eternally babbling of our high state of civilization and refinement, yet, we repeat, the necessity of this association is an anomaly which amounts to a national disgrace.

* * * * *



THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.

VISIT TO THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT ETNA.

BY LIEUTENANT G.H.P. WHITE, ROYAL NAVY.

On the evening of the 13th of July, 1830, I set off from Catania with a party of my messmates, to ascend Mount Etna, taking the necessary guides, and two sumpter mules to carry the provisions, &c., as nothing in that way can be procured after leaving Nicolosi, which is a small village about twelve miles from Catania. Etna is divided by the Sicilians into three several regions. The first is called Pie de Montagna, the second Nemerosa, and the third Discoperta. The ascent, though very gradual, commences immediately on leaving the city of Catania, over a tolerably constructed road; the country around is formed on an ancient volcanic soil; probably the third eruption mentioned by Thucydides, which happened in the sixth year of the Peloponnesian war, and the second of the eighty-eighth Olympiad. Traversing the lands of Battianti, and St. Giovanni della Punta, the road is constantly over the lava, and the country on either side is delicious. Trecastagne, nine miles from Catania, is seated on the acclivity of a high volcanic mountain. The scene here is beautiful and picturesque. Near the principal church the view is most extensive. Towards the east the mountains of Calabria, the sea stretching from Taormina to Catania, bathing the sides of Etna, covered with vineyards, woods and villages: northward rises the mountain itself, surrounded by its progeny of pigmy mountains; these have been thrown up in various forms, composed principally of cinders, and covered with rich vegetation. The freshness of the air, the beauty and picturesque situations of the houses surrounded by lofty and fine trees, the over-teeming fertility of the soil, and the laughing fields, where golden Ceres still lingers, unwilling to quit her favourite abode, intersected by courses of lava, as yet unproductive, make this view one of the most beautiful and interesting that can be imagined. These mighty streams of once liquid fire, extending in many places ten miles in length, by two or three in breadth, fill the mind with horror and astonishment: that such wondrous masses, consisting of earths, stones, and minerals, fused and mixed, could be driven forth in one wild current from the mountain, makes us pause, and confounds any attempt to reason on the phenomena.—And, although the lava for many centuries lays waste the superincumbent land, yet, after a certain, but very long period, it is brought by human industry into such a state as to become the richest soil for cultivation: but when we reflect on the necessity of some ages to effect this wished-for state of decomposition, we bewilder the mind without arriving at any certain conclusion. When this process is duly effected, the cactus opuntia, or prickly pear, is planted, which hastens the desired event, and has the power to break up the lava, and render it fit for productive purposes. Five miles from Trecastagne is Nicolosi, a small village which has often suffered from the fire-vomiting mountain. Here we supped, and baited the mules for two hours. Nicolosi, according to Signor Gemmellero, a Sicilian physician, long resident at Catania, is two thousand one hundred and twenty-eight feet above the level of the sea, and its mean temperature 64 deg. Fahr.

From hence, to an almost interminable extent, there is a most superb view of the surrounding country; nothing can be more varied, grand, and sublime; every spot spared by the all-devastating lavas, is highly cultivated; the vines and other productive fruit-trees are seen laden with the most delicious fruits; the groves of olives, the towns and villages, in almost endless aerial perspective, all terminated by the distant and deep-blue sea, form a scene the most enchanting that can be conceived. We remounted about ten o'clock, P.M., our trusty mules, and pursued or journey. The evening was deliciously serene, the stars shone with extraordinary brilliancy, and the sky appeared intensely blue, while the galaxy, or milky way, beamed like a splendid stream of light across the azure expanse.

The cool breezes now wafted from the upper regions of the mountain were very refreshing, and exhilarated our spirits in an extraordinary degree. Passed Monte Rosso, which is about 600 feet above the level of the surrounding plain, and is said to have been thrown up during the great eruption of the year 1669, and from which issued that horrible stream of burning lava, which, after destroying the country for the length of fourteen miles, ran into the sea at Catania.

About six miles higher up commences the Nemerosa region, which, like a beautiful green girdle, encircles the mountain; it abounds with ancient hillocks, and lava of different periods, and is almost covered with frowning woods of oak, holm, beech and pines, on the more elevated points.

After enjoying for some time this stupendous and enchanting treat, we kept torturing and progressing, lost in pleasing reveries caused by the fairy scene.

Halted at the upper boundary of the forest region, to refresh our mules, and exchange our light clothing for garments of a warmer texture, as the wind now blew cool and somewhat chilly; for the temperature of this spot was about 50 deg., while that of Catania, which we had only left a few hours ago, was about 84 deg. Fahr.

The road, on leaving our resting-place, became tedious and cheerless; hardly any vegetation was discoverable, and still wilder regions appeared above us. The path now lay over masses of rough lava; so much so, that at times it became necessary to dismount and actually drag our jaded animals over the rugged precipices which obstructed our progress: the intricacy of the path required us to follow one another very closely, that we might not lose the track, which became so tortuous in its course, as would puzzle any one but a muleteer accustomed to the road to find the clue of this volcanic labyrinth in the darkness of night.

After much anxious travelling over wastes of cinders and black sand, we seemed to be approaching near the wished-for summit; when, about two o'clock, A.M., the moon, now shorn of her beams, queen like, arose behind the bifurcated summit of Etna; her cheering light was very grateful to us in this wild spot. The awful cone of the mountain pillowed against the heavens, and emitting clouds of silvery white smoke from its burning crater, had a grand effect at this solemn hour of the night.

At three o'clock, arrived at the Casa Inglese, a rude hut built by the English troops when stationed in Sicily, during the late war. Here it became again necessary to halt a little to put on some extra clothing. As soon as this was accomplished, the signal for the ascent was made by the guides giving each person of the party a long staff, to assist him in clambering the steeps, as the mules could not proceed any further, owing to the nature and fatigue of the ascent. The first portion of the road lay over large broken masses of lava, most wearisome to scramble over. On approaching nearer the apex, the path was over cinders, fine black sand, and scoria. In wading through this compound the ascent became so difficult and fatiguing, that we were all under the necessity of reposing every twenty or thirty yards, tormented by the sulphureous vapour, which rendered respiration painful, and was even less supportable than the abruptness of the mountain path!

At length, after somewhat more than an hour's walk, the most harassing that can be imagined, we arrived at the top just as the day began to dawn. To paint the feelings at this dizzy height, requires the pen of poetic inspiration; or to describe the scene presented to mortal gaze, when thus looking down with fearful eye on the almost boundless prospect beneath! The blue expanded ocean, fields, woods, cities, rivers, mountains, and all the wonted charms of the terrestrial world, had a magic effect, when viewed by the help of the nascent light; while hard by yawned that dreadful crater of centuries untold, evolving thick sulphureous clouds of white smoke, which rolling down the mountain's side in terrific grandeur, at length formed one vast column for many miles in extent across the sky. Anon the mountain growled awfully in its inmost recesses, and the earth was slightly convulsed! We now attempted to descend a short distance within the crater; the guides, timid of its horrors, did not relish the undertaking, but were induced at length, and conducted the party behind some heaps of lava, from whence was a grand view of this awful cavern. The noise within the gulf resembled loud continuous thunderings, and after each successive explosion, there issued columns of white, and sometimes of black smoke.

The crater presents the appearance of an inverted cone, the interior part of which is covered with crystallizations of salts and sulphur, of various brilliant hues—red appeared to predominate, or rather a deep orange colour. Writers vary much in their accounts as to the circumference of the crater. Captain Smyth, R.N., who had an opportunity to ascertain it correctly, describes it as an oval, stretching from E. and by N. to W., and by S. with a conjugate diameter of four hundred and ninety-three yards; the transverse he was prevented from ascertaining by a dense cloud that arose before his operations were completed. It was soon requisite for us to retire from this spot, as the smoke began to increase, and our guides said that some adventurous travellers had lost their lives by approaching too near, and were either blown into the abyss below by the violence of the wind, which is generally very strong at this elevation, or suffocated by a sudden burst of the sulphureous vapour.

The Regione Deserta, or desolate region of Etna, first attracts the eye, marked in winter by a circle of ice and snow, but now (July) by cinders and black sand. In the midst the great crater rears its burning head, and the regions of intense heat and extreme cold shake hands together. The eye soon becomes satiated with its wildness, and turns with delight on the Sylvana region, which, with its magnificent zone of forest trees, embraces the mountain completely round: in many parts of this delightful tract are seen hills, now covered with the most luxuriant vegetation, that have been formed by different eruptions of Etna. This girdle is succeeded by another still richer, called the Regione Culta, abundant in every fruit or grain that man can desire: the small rivers Semetus and Alcantara intersect these fertile fields; beyond this the whole of Sicily, with its cities, towns, and villages, its corn-fields and vineyards in almost endless perspective, charm and delight the senses.

The summit of the mountain is composed of scoria, and crystallizations of sulphur, with here and there heaps of lava; wherever a stick is thrust in, the opening immediately emits a volume of white smoke, and if the hand be applied to the aperture, it is soon withdrawn on account of the great heat. The mean temperature of the summit, during the months of July and August, is 37 deg. Fahr. After having remained about an hour, descended to the Casa Inglese. After an hour's repose, proceeded downwards, visited the Philosopher's Tower, as it is called, which tradition says was constructed by Empedocles while he was studying the various phenomena of Etna.

About a mile or two from this spot, there is a grand view of the Val di Bove. The foreground consists of lava, forming the face of an enormous precipice, at the bottom of which is seen a lovely valley, gradually sloping down towards the coast, embracing the three several regions of the mountain, to which the purple wave of the Mediterranean forms a noble boundary: nothing can be more varied, rich, and beautiful than this scene, as it comprises every object necessary to form a perfect landscape.

It was interesting to notice the gradual increase of vegetation during the descent. The Senecio Christhenifolius grows at the elevation of 8,830 feet, the Juniperus Communis commences at 6,800. Then follow the Pinus Sylv., Betula Alba, Quercus Robur, and the Fagus Sylvaticus. The olive is seen at the altitude of 3,000 feet, and the vines flourish as high as 5,000 feet.—United Service Journal.

[In a clever paper on the geographical position and history of Active Volcanoes, contributed by W.M. Higgins, Esq. F.G.S. and J.W. Draper, Esq. to the Magazine of Natural History, is the following outline of Etna.]

Etna is entirely composed of volcanic rocks, and rises in imposing grandeur to the height of 10,000 ft. above the level of the sea. It is about 180 miles in circumferences, and is surrounded on every hand by apparently small volcanic cones, though of no inconsiderable size, which tend in a great degree to increase the apparent dimensions of the central mountain. Some of these cones are covered with vegetation, but others are arid and bare. From this variety in the progress of vegetation, some persons have endeavoured to calculate the relative ages of the cones; but these opinions are exceedingly vague, as it requires a longer period to form a soil on some lavas than on others. The earliest historical notice we have of this mountain is by Thucydides, who states that there were three eruptions previous to the Peloponnesian war (431 B.C.), to one of which Pindar alludes in his first Pythian Ode. In the year 396 B.C. the volcano was again active; and according to Diodorus Siculus, the Carthaginian army was stopped in its march against Syracuse by the flowing lava. But let it suffice to say, that ten eruptions previous to, and forty-eight subsequent to, the Christian era, have been recorded; some when the mountain was in the phase of moderate activity, and others when in the phase of prolonged intermittence.

* * * * *

THE SECRET LOVER.

FROM THE PERSIAN OF JAUMI.

Lives there the soulless youth, whose eye That ruby tinted lip could see, Nor long for thee to live or die? How unlike me!

Or see that cheek's pomegranate glow; Yet think of anything but thee, Cold as that bosom heaving snow? How unlike me!

Or see thee o'er the golden wire Bend with such lovely witchery, Nor feel each tone like living fire? How unlike me!

Or see thee in the evening dance Float, like the foam upon the sea, Nor drink sweet poison from thy glance? How unlike me!

Or hear thy hymn, at moonlight rise, Soft as the humming of the bee, Nor think he sits in Paradise? How unlike me!

Or see thee in thy simplest hour, Sweet as the rose upon the tree, Nor long to plant thee in his bower? How unlike me!

But lives there one who vainly tries To look the freest of the free, And hide the wound by which he dies? Ah! how like me!

BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE.

* * * * *



RETROSPECTIVE GLEANINGS.

ROBIN HOOD.

(Concluded from page 182.)

With respect to the personal character of Robin Hood, it is generally agreed that he was active, brave, prudent, patient, possessed of uncommon bodily strength, and considerable military skill; just, generous, and beloved by his followers. As proofs of his singular popularity, his story and exploits have been made the subject of various dramatic exhibitions, as well of innumerable poems, lyrics, songs, and ballads; he has given rise to divers proverbs, and to swear by him was a common practice. Some writers say his songs have been preferred on solemn occasions, not only to the Psalms of David, but to the New Testament, and his service to the word of God. We have the opinion of Bishop Latimer on this head:—"I came," says the bishop (in his sixth sermon before King Edward VI.) "to a place, riding on a journey homeward from London, and I sent word over night into the town, that I would preach there in the morning, because it was a holyday, and methought it was a holydayes worke; the churche stode in my way, and I toke my horse and my companye and went thither. I thought I should have found a great companye in the churche, and when I came there, the churche dore was faste locked; I tarried halfe an houre and more, and at last the keye was founde, and one of the parishe commes to me, and sayes, 'Syr, thys ys a busye day with us, we cannot heare you; it is Robyn Hoode's day; the parishe is gone abroad to gather for Robyn Hoode.' I pray you let them not, I was fayne there to geve place to Robyn Hoode. I thought my rochet should have been regarded thoughe I were not; but it woulde not serve, it was fayne to give place to Robyn Hoode's men. It is no laughyng matter, my friendes, it is a wepynge matter, a heavy matter under a pretence for gatherynge for Robyn Hoode, a traytoure and a thefe, to put out a preacher, to have his office lesse esteemed, to prefer Robyn Hoode before the mynystration of God's word, and all thys hath come of unpreachynge prelates. Thys realme hath been il provided, for that it hath had suche corrupte judgementes in it, to prefer Robyn Hode to Godde's worde. Yf the bysshoppes had bene preachers, there sholde never have bene any such thynge," &c.

Robin Hood was believed to possess supernatural powers. In the parish of Halifax is an immense stone or rock, supposed to be a Druidical monument, there called Robin Hood's penny-stone, which he is said to have used to pitch with at a mark, for his amusement. There was likewise another of these stones of several tons weight, which the country people would say he threw off an adjoining hill with a spade, as he was digging. At Bitchover, where it was said he lived, among several groups of rocks, were some stones called Robin Hood's Stride, being two of the highest and most remarkable. He obtained also the distinction of sainthood, in having a festival allotted to him, and solemn games instituted in honour of his memory; a short account of which will be found in The Mirror, No. 544, p. 259. These games were celebrated till the latter end of the sixteenth century, not by the populace only, but by kings and princes, and grave magistrates, in Scotland and in England; being considered in the former country of the highest political importance, and essential to the civil and religious liberties of the people; the efforts of government to suppress them frequently producing tumult and insurrection.

In Ray's Itineraries, 1760, we are told that Robin Hood's bow, one of his arrows, his chair, his cap, and one of his slippers, were preserved till within the above century. In Brome's Travels, is the following notice of his relics: "having pleased ourselves with the antiquities of Nottingham, we took horse and went to visit the well, and ancient chair, of Robin Hood, which is not far from hence, within the Forest of Sherwood. Being placed in the chair, we had a cap which they say was his, very formally put upon our heads, and having performed the usual ceremonies befitting so great a solemnity, we received the freedom of the chair, and were incorporated into the society of that renowned brotherhood." In Hutton's Journey from Birmingham to London, 1785, he states, "I was much pleased with a slipper, belonging to the famous Robin Hood, shown me, fifty years ago, at St. Ann's Well, near Nottingham, a place upon the borders of Sherwood Forest, to which he resorted." Over a spring called Robin Hood's Well, four miles north of Doncaster, is a handsome stone arch, erected by Lord Carlisle, where passengers from the coach used to drink of the fair water, and give alms to two people who attended.

Thus, not only did those places retain his name which afforded him security or amusement, but even the well at which he quenched his thirst. There is also Robin Hood's Bay, on the coast of Yorkshire. It is mentioned by Leland as "a fischer tounlet of 20 bootes caulled Robyn Huddes Bay, a dok or bosom of a mile yn length:" in this bay he often went fishing in the summer season, and not far from this he had butts or marks set up, where he used to exercise his men in shooting with the long bow.

After Robin's death, his company dispersed, and are supposed to have been distinguished from the name of their gallant leader, by the title of Roberdsmen. It may not be uninteresting to subjoin a short account of the last days of Robin's friend and favourite, Little John. The honour of his death and burial is contended by rival nations, first by England. At the village of Hathersage, about six miles from Castleton, in Derbyshire, is Little John's grave. Tradition states, some curious person caused it to be opened, when there were found several bones of uncommon size, which he preserved; but meeting afterwards with many unlucky accidents, he carefully replaced them, partly at the intercession of the sexton who had taken them up for him, and who had in like manner been visited with misfortunes, but upon restoring the bones all these troubles ceased. Secondly, by Scotland. In Murray-land, according to the historian, Hector Boece, is "the Kirke of Pette, quhare the banis of Lytill Johne remainis in grete admiratioun of pepill. He hes bene fourtene feet of hycht with square membris effering thairto VI zeris," continues he, "afore the cumyng of this werk to lycht we saw his hanche-bane, als mekill as the hail bane of ane man, lor we schot our arme in the mouth thairof. Be quhilk apperis how strang and square pepill grew in our regioun afore they were effeminat with lust and intemperance of mouth." Thirdly, by Ireland. "There stood," as Stanihurst relates, "in Ostmantowne greene an hillocke, named Little John his shot. The occasion," he says, proceeded of this—"In the yeere one thousand one hundred foure score and nine, there ranged three robbers and outlaws in England, among which Robert Hood and Little John weere cheefeteins, of all theeves doubtlesse the most courteous. Robert Hood being betrayed at a nunrie in Scotland, called Bricklies, the remnant of the crue was scattered, and everie man forced to shift for himselfe; whereupon Little John was faine to flee the realme by sailing to Ireland, where he sojornied for a few daies at Dublin. The citizens beeing doone to understand the wandering outcast to be an excellent archer, requested him hartilie to trie how far he could shoote at random; who yeelding to their behest, stood on the bridge of Dublin, and shot to that mole hill, leaving behind him a monument, rather by his posteritie to be woondered, than possiblie by anie man living to be counterscored. But as the repaire of so notorious a champion to anie countrie would soone be published, so his abode could not be long concealed, and therefore to eschew the danger of laws, he fled into Scotland, where he died at a town or village called Moravie." But, Mr. Walker, after observing, that "poor Little John's great practical skill in archery could not save him from an ignominious fall," says "it appeared from some records in the Southwell family, that he was publicly executed for robbery on Arbor-hill, Dublin."

A bow, said to have belonged to Little John, with the name of Nayler upon it, is now in the possession of a gentleman in the West Riding of Yorkshire.[6] SWAINE.

[6] Sir George Armitage, of Kirklees Hall.—See Mirror, vol. xix. p. 322.

* * * * *



NEW BOOKS.

* * * * *

ELEMENTS OF CHEMISTRY.

[This is one of the Naturo-Philosophical volumes of the Cabinet Cyclopaedia, and is therefore to be viewed as a portion of that series rather than as a substantive work. Its preparation has been entrusted to Mr. M. Donovan, Professor of Chemistry to the Company of Apothecaries in Ireland; so that it comes to us with some share of recommendatory experience on the part of the editor. It would, however, be difficult to point out the advantages of Mr. Donovan's volume over others of the same description. Neither will such distinction be looked for but in a scientific journal. The arrangement is clear and satisfactory; the manner plain and illustrative; and the matter in accordance with the science of the present day; though in a few cases the nomenclature is somewhat overloaded with hard names, and presumes more previous acquaintance with the subject than is consistent. We subjoin a few extracts of popular interest.]

Caloric, or the matter of Heat.

Heat is admitted by the philosophers of the present day to be the principle concerned in repulsion; and heat and cold are known to produce expansion and contraction in all bodies. Heat is, therefore, the antagonist of cohesion. Chemists have thought it necessary to make a distinction between the senses in which the word heat may be taken. In its usual acceptation, it merely means the effect excited on the organs of sensation by a hot body. But as this must be produced by a power in the hot body independent of sensation, that power is what chemists understand by the word heat: and to distinguish between the effect and its cause, the term caloric has been substituted. The introduction of this term appears altogether unnecessary, when the sense in which the word heat should be understood is explained. Caloric means the cause of the sensation heat: and there seems no reason to fear that the perception of heat by the organs of sensation can ever be misunderstood to be the agent in chemical phenomena.

Omniscience displayed in the constitution of the Atmosphere.

In the constitution of the atmosphere we have ample scope to admire the design and execution of a structure calculated, with such wondrous precision, to fulfil its purposes. Were the atmosphere to consist wholly of oxygen; and the different kinds of objects which compose, and are found upon, the globe, to remain what they are; the world would run through its stages of decay, renovation, and final destruction, in a rapid cycle. Combustion, once excited, would proceed with ungovernable violence; the globe, during its short existence, would be in a continual conflagration, until its ashes would be its only remains: animals would live with hundred-fold intensity, and terminate their mortal career in a few hours. On the other hand, were the atmosphere wholly composed of azote, life could never have existed, whether animal or vegetable, and the objects of the Creator in forming this world would not be fulfilled. But the atmosphere is a wholesome mixture of these two formidable elements, each neutralizing the other's baneful influence. The life of animals quietly runs through its allotted space; and the current of nature flows within prescribed limits, manageably and moderately.

Tartaric Acid.

Every one knows, that when a large quantity of the juice of grapes is left to spontaneous fermentation, the result is wine. When wine has been kept some time to depurate in wooden vessels, it deposits, on the side of the vessel, a hard crust of dark coloured matter, the taste of which is sour. This matter is impure; but, when purified by various crystallizations, it becomes perfectly white and crystalline; and then it is known in commerce by the name of cream of tartar. The etymology of the singular name, tartar, is uncertain: it is derived from tartaros, as some say, because it occasions pains equal to those endured in the infernal regions; and, as others say, merely because this substance deposits itself in the inferior parts of the cask. Tartaric acid may be obtained from cream of tartar by a process analogous to that given for obtaining citric acid. It has an exceedingly acid taste: it dissolves readily in water, and is soluble in alcohol. Its crystals are of a very irregular shape. In 100 parts, by weight, there are 12 of water; the remaining 88 parts are the pure anhydrous acid, composed of 32-39 parts of carbon, 52-97 of oxygen, and 2-64 of hydrogen. This acid exists abundantly in other fruits, but especially in the tamarind; in the grape it exists along with citric, malic, and an acid called vinic, which resembles tartaric acid in many respects, but differs from it in others, and concerning the nature of which almost nothing is known: these four constitute the agreeable tartness of the juice of that fruit.

Oxalic Acid.

The plant called sorrel is valued for its acidulous taste. This acidity is owing to the presence of a peculiar acid, which may be separated from the juice, and from the potash with which it is combined, by a process analagous to that described for the preparation of citric acid. It has obtained the name of oxalic acid, from the generic name of the plant, oxalis acetosella. This acid forms readily into regular crystals, of which one half the weight is water, the other half being pure acid. It is a remarkable circumstance in its constitution, that it contains no hydrogen, and that it consists merely of carbon and oxygen—there being twice as much oxygen as there is carbon. So that it differs from carbonic acid merely in the relative quantities of its ingredients. Oxalic acid can be prepared by an artificial process, with great ease, from sugar, and six times its weight of nitric acid,—the former affording the carbon necessary to its formation, and the latter the oxygen. It is only necessary to heat the nitric acid on the sugar; the sugar dissolves, and there is a violent effervescence, which must be moderated by immersion in cold water: when the mixture cools, crystals of oxalic acid form in abundance, which may be purified by a second crystallization.

Oxalic acid is an active poison; many persons have fallen victims to its virulence, by having swallowed it in mistake for Epsom salt, which it resembles in appearance. In all probability, this would not prove to be the only vegetable acid capable of acting as a poison. Chalk finely powdered, and diffused in water, is the proper antidote to the poison of oxalic acid.

[The chapter on Combustion contains some new facts; and that on the Atomic Theory is more attractive than might have been expected.]

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THE GATHERER

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The Plain Truth.—Sir John Trevor, cousin to Lord Chancellor Jefferies, was an able man, but as corrupt as he was able. He was twice Speaker of the House of Commons, and officially had the mortification to put the question to the house, "whether himself ought to be expelled for bribery." The answer was "Yes."

Freaks of Royalty.—James I. in a capricious mood, threatened the Lord Mayor with removing the seat of royalty, the meetings of parliament, &c. from the capital. "Your Majesty at least," replied the Mayor, "will be graciously pleased to leave us the River Thames."

The Original Strand.—In the reign of Edward III. the Strand was an open highway. A solitary house occasionally occurred; but in 1353, the ruggedness of the highway was such, that Edward appointed a tax on wool, leather, &c. for its improvement.

On the laying the first stone of the church of St. Martin's in the Fields, the king (George I.) gave one hundred guineas to be distributed among the workmen.

A swampy Kingdom.—In the reign of Charles II. at the east end of St. James's Park, there was a swampy retreat for the ducks, thence denominated Duck Island, which, by Charles was erected into a government, and a salary annexed to the office, in favour of the celebrated French writer, M. de St. Evremond, who was the first and last governor.

The gold embroidery of the chair of state in Carlton Palace is stated to have cost 500l.

The horse rode by the Champion in the coronation of George the Third was the same that bore George the Second at the memorable battle of Dettingen.

Political Criticism.—The following proof of political prejudice may not be known:—"John Milton was one whose natural parts might deservedly give him a place amongst the principal of our English poets, having written two heroic poems and a tragedy, viz:—Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes; but his fame is gone out like a candle in a snuff; and his memory will always stink, which might have ever lived in honourable repute, had he not been a notorious traitor, and most impiously and villanously belied that blessed martyr, King Charles I."—Lives of the most famous English Poets, &c. 1687, by Wm. Winstanley.

A Pastor.—The Rev. Andrew Marvell, A.M. father of the patriot, was born at Mildred, in Cambridgeshire, in 1586. He was a student of Emanuel College in that University, where he took his degree of Master of Arts in 1608. Afterwards he was elected master of the grammar school at Hull, and in 1624, lecturer of Trinity Church in that town. "He was a most excellent preacher," says Fuller, "who, like a good husband, never broached what he had new-brewed, but preached what he had studied some competent time before: insomuch that he was wont to say that he would cross the common proverb, which called 'Saturday the working day, and Monday the holiday, of preachers.'"

Dryden's Mc Flecnoe.—W. Newcastle has the following excellent lines in reference to Dryden's poem:—

"Flecnoe, thy characters are so full of wit And fancy, as each word is throng'd with it. Each line's a volume, and who reads would swear Whole libraries were in each character. Nor arrows in a quiver stuck, nor yet Lights in the starry skies are thicker set, Nor quills upon the armed porcupine, Than wit and fancy in this work of thine."

SIR WALTER SCOTT.

The long-expected death of this good and great man took place at Abbotsford on Friday, September 21. Our seventh volume contains a Portrait and Memoir of his life to the year 1826; and it is our intention to prepare for our ensuing number, a brief memoir continued to his last days, with a wood-cut portrait from the latest painting. About twelve months since, Sir Walter wrote, with almost prophetic pen, the following passage in the introduction to his last published work: "The gentle reader is acquainted, that these are, in all probability, the last tales which it will be the lot of the author to submit to the public." The sequel has not been so far realized, though the accordance of the closing line with the last hours of the deceased bears a consoling balm: "He is now on the eve of visiting foreign parts; a ship of war is commissioned by its royal master to carry the Author of Waverley to climates in which he may possibly obtain such a restoration of health as may serve him to spin his thread to an end in his own country."

Eating Goose on Michaelmas Day.—Although this custom can be traced through upwards of three centuries, its origin has not been decided by antiquaries. The commonly received belief is that a goose forming part of the royal dinner when the news was brought to Queen Elizabeth of the defeat of the Spanish Armada, her chivalrous majesty commanded that the dish (a goose) then before her, might be served up on every 29th of September, to commemorate the above glorious event. Mr. Douce, the learned antiquarian illustrator, saw the above reason "somewhere" (such is his expression); but Mr. Brand thinks this rather to be a stronger proof that the custom prevailed at court in Queen Elizabeth's time. Its origin, however, is referable to the previous century: since, bringing a goose "fit for the lord's dinner," on this day appears to have been customary even in the time of Edward IV.; and, that it was common before the Armada victory, is shown the following passage in Gascoigne, who died in 1577, or eleven years before the above event:—

"And when the tenauntes come to pay their quarter's rent, They bring some fowle at Midsummer, a dish of fish at Lent; At Christmasse a capon, at Michaelmas a goose, And somewhat else at New Yere's-tide, for feare their leave flies loose."

The reason given by Blount, in his Tenures, is considered far from satisfactory. Beckwith, his editor, says, "Probably no other reason can be given for this custom, but that Michaelmas Day was a great festival, and geese at that time were most plentiful." The origin of the saying that "if you eat goose on Michaelmas Day, you will never want money all the year round," is explained, in the British Apollo, as follows:—

The custom came up from the tenants presenting Their landlords with geese to incline their relenting On following payments.

Again:—

For doubtless 'twas at first design'd To make the people seasons mind, That so they might apply their care To all those things which needful were; And by a good industrious hand, Know when and how t' improve their land.

Ellis, in his notes to Brand, says, "the practice of eating goose on Michaelmas Day does not appear to prevail in any part of France. Upon St. Martin's Day, they eat turkey at Paris. They likewise eat geese upon St. Martin's Day, Twelfth Day, and Shrove Tuesday, at Paris." In Denmark, where the harvest is later than here, every family has a roasted goose for supper on St. Martin's Eve. PHILO.

The reason why Pennsylvania was settled.

"Penn refused to pull his hat off Before the king, and therefore set off, Another country to light pat on, Where he might worship with his hat on." H.H.

"Mollissima tempora fandi."

A translation of the above is requested, in one line, which shall rhyme with the original. H.H.

Motto for a Cigar Smoker.

"Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem cogita." H.H.

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St. Cross, Winchester, received some weeks since, shall appear next week.

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THE LATE SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART. No. 203, price Twopence, of THE MIRROR, Contains a STEEL-PLATE PORTRAIT and MEMOIR of the late SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART.

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

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THE END

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