THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XX, No. 577.] SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1832. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
The first of these archaeological rarities is a pair of Snuffers, found in Dorsetshire sixty-four years since, and engraved in Hutchins's history of that county. They were discovered, says the historian, "in the year 1768, in digging the foundation of a granary, at the foot of a hill adjoining to Corton mansion house (formerly the seat of the respectable family of the Mohuns), in the parish of St. Peter, Portisham. They are of brass, and weigh six ounces: the great difference between these and the modern utensils of the same nature and use is, that these are in shape like a heart fluted, and consequently terminate in a point. They consist of two equal lateral cavities, by the edges of which the snuff is cut off, and received into the cavities, from which it is not got out without particular application and trouble."
"There are two circumstances attending this little utensil which seem to bespeak it of considerable age: the roughness of the workmanship, which is in all respects as crude and course as can be well imagined, and the awkwardness of the form."
So little is known of the comparatively recent introduction of snuffers into this country, that the above illustration will be acceptable to the observer of domestic origins and antiquities. See also Mirror, vol. xi. p. 74.
The KEY, annexed, was the property of Mr. Gough, the eminent topographer, and is supposed to have been used as a passport by some of the family of Stawel, whose arms it bears.
* * * * *
ADDRESSED TO A PARTY OF YOUNG LADIES VISITING THE CATACOMBS AT PARIS.
(From the French of M. Emanuel Dupaty.)
BY E.B. IMPEY, ESQ.
While life is young and pleasure new, Ah! why the shades of Death explore? Better, ere May's sweet prime is o'er, The primrose path of joy pursue: The torch, the lamps' sepulchral fire, Their paleness on your charms impress, And glaring on your loveliness, Death mocks what living eyes desire. Approach! the music of your tread No longer bids the cold heart beat: For ruling Beauty boasts no seat Of empire o'er the senseless dead! Yet, if their lessons profit aught, Ponder, or ere ye speed away, Those feet o'er flowers were form'd to stray, No death-wrought causeway, grimly wrought, Of ghastly bones and mould'ring clay. To gayer thoughts and scenes arise; Nor ever veil those sun-bright eyes From sight of bliss and light of day— Save when in pity to mankind Love's fillet o'er their lids ye bind.
* * * * *
Holland derives its name from the German word Hohl, synonymous with the English term hollow, and denoting a concave, or very hollow, low country.
This country originally formed part of the territory of the Belgae, conquered by the Romans, 47 years before Christ. A sovereignty, founded by Thierry, first Count of Holland, A.D. 868, continued till the year 1417, when it passed, by surrender, to the Duke of Burgundy. In 1534, being oppressed by the Bishop of Utrecht, the people ceded the country to Spain. The Spanish tyranny being insupportable, they revolted, and formed the republic called the United Provinces, by the Union of Utrecht, 1579. When they were expelled the Low Countries by the Duke of Alva, they retired to England; and having equipped a small fleet of forty sail, under the command of Count Lumay, they sailed towards this coast—being called, in derision, "gueux," or beggars of the sea. Upon the duke's complaining to Queen Elizabeth, that they were pirates, she compelled them to leave England; and accordingly they set sail for Enckhuysen; but the wind being unfavourable, they accidentally steered towards the isle of Voorn, attacked the town of Briel, took possession of it, and made it the first asylum of their liberty.
In 1585, a treaty was concluded between the States of Holland and Queen Elizabeth; and Briel was one of the cautionary towns delivered into her hands for securing the fulfilment of their engagements. It was garrisoned by the English during her reign, and part of the next, but restored to the States in 1616.
The office of Stadtholder, or Captain-General of the United Provinces, was made hereditary in the Prince of Orange's family, not excepting females, 1747. A revolt was formed, but prevented by the Prussians, 1787. The country was invaded by the French in 1793, who took possession of it January, 1795, and expelled the Stadtholder: it was erected into a kingdom by the commands of Buonaparte, and the title of king given to his brother Louis, June 5, 1806. Its changes since this period are familiar to the reader of contemporary history.
Lord Chesterfield, in his Letters to his Son, says—"Holland, where you are going, is by far the finest and richest of the Seven United Provinces, which, altogether, form the republic. The other provinces are Guelderland, Zealand, Friesland, Utrecht, Groningen, and Overyssel. These seven provinces form what is called the States-General of the United Provinces: this is a very powerful, and a very considerable republic. I must tell you that a republic is a free state, without any king. You will go first to the Hague, which is the most beautiful village in the world, for it is not a town. Amsterdam, reckoned the capital of the United Provinces, is a very fine, rich city. There are besides in Holland several considerable towns—such as Dort, Haerlem, Leyden, Delft, and Rotterdam. You will observe throughout Holland the greatest cleanliness: the very streets are cleaner than our houses are here. Holland carries on a very great trade, particularly to China, Japan, and all over the East Indies."
* * * * *
THE HAWTHORN WELL.
[The following lines are associated with a singular species of popular superstition which may in some measure, explain the "pale cast of thought" that pervades them. They are written by a native of Northumberland. "The Hawthorn Well," was a Rag Well, and so called from persons formerly leaving rags there for the cure of certain diseases. Bishop Hall, in his Triumphs of Rome, ridicules a superstitious prayer of the Popish Church for the "blessing of clouts in the way of cure of diseases;" and Mr. Brand asks, "Can it have originated thence?" He further observes:—"this absurd custom is not extinct even at this day: I have formerly frequently observed shreds or bits of rag upon the bushes that overhang a well in the road to Benton, a village in the vicinity of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which, from that circumstance, is now or was very lately called The Rag Well. This name is undoubtedly of long standing: probably it has been visited for some disease or other, and these rag-offerings are the relics of the then prevailing popular superstition."—Brand's Popular Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 270.]
"From hill, from dale, each charm is fled; Groves, flocks, and fountains, please no more."
No joy, nor hope, no pleasure, nor its dream, Now cheers my heart. The current of my life Seems settled to a dull, unruffled lake, Deep sunk 'midst gloomy rocks and barren hills; Which tempests only stir and clouds obscure; Unbrightened by the cheerful beam of day, Unbreathed on by the gentle western breeze, Which sweeps o'er pleasant meads and through the woods, Stirring the leaves which seem to dance with joy. No more the beauteous landscape in its pride Of summer loveliness—when every tree Is crowned with foliage, and each blooming flower Speaks by its breath its presence though unseen— For me has charms; although in early days, Ere care and grief had dulled the sense of joy, No eye more raptured gazed upon the scene Of woody dell, green slope, or heath-clad hill; Nor ear with more delight drank in the strains Warbled by cheerful birds from every grove, Or thrilled by larks up-springing to the sky.
From the hill side—where oft in tender youth I strayed, when hope, the sunshine of the mind, Lent to each lovely scene, a double charm And tinged all objects with its golden hues— There gushed a spring, whose waters found their way Into a basin of rude stone below. A thorn, the largest of its kind, still green And flourishing, though old, the well o'erhung; Receiving friendly nurture at its roots From what its branches shaded; and around The love-lorn primrose and wild violet grew, With the faint bubbling of that limpid fount.
Here oft the shepherd came at noon-tide heat And sat him down upon the bank of turf Beneath the thorn, to eat his humble meal And drink the crystal from that cooling spring. Here oft at evening, in that placid hour When first the stars appear, would maidens come To fill their pitchers at the Hawthorn Well, Attended by their swains; and often here Were heard the cheerful song and jocund laugh Which told of heart-born gladness, and awoke The slumbering echoes in the distant wood.
But now the place is changed. The pleasant path, Which wound so gently up the mountain side Is overgrown with bent and russet heath; The thorn is withered to a moss-clad stump, And the fox kennels where the turf-bank rose! The primrose and wild violet now no more Spread their soft fragrance round. The hollow stone Is rent and broken; and the spring is dry!
* * * * *
But yesterday I passed the spot, in thought Enwrapped—unlike the fancies which played round My heart in life's sweet morning, bright and brief: And as I stood and gazed upon the change, Methought a voice low whispered in my ear: "Thy destiny is linked with that low spring; Its course is changed, and so for aye shall be The tenor of thy life; and anxious cares, And fruitless wishes, springing without hope, Shall rankle round thy heart, like those foul weeds Which now grow thick where flow'rets bloomed anew:— Like to that spring, thy fount of joy is dry!"
* * * * *
From the Italian of Scipione Maffei
BY E.B. IMPEY.
Quivi qual foste gia, non qual sarete. Con diletto mirando, in onta agli anni Vostre belle sembianze ancor vedrete.
Scorn not, dear maid, this fond but faithful lay, That pictures, on no perishable page, Thy beauties, rescued from the spoils of age, To live and blossom with thy poet's bay: For when remorseless Time brings on decay, When the loath'd mirror shall no more engage Thy smiles, distorted into grief and rage, Alas! to think that youth must pass away— Then in these lines contented shall thou trace, As in a lovelier glass, thy lasting charms, Not as they shall be, but as now they grace, Fresh in the bud of youth, these circling arms.
 The Marchese Scipione Maffei was a native of Verona, contemporary with Gio. Baptista Felice Zappi, Vincenzio di Filicaja, and other Italian poets, who associated themselves together in an academy, which they entitled Arcadia. The pastoral name conferred upon the Marquess was Orilto Barentatico.
Vide Rime degli Arcadi, Venice, MDCCLXXIX.
* * * * *
LAWS RELATING TO BACHELORS.
(To the Editor.)
At page 53 of the present volume, your Correspondent "E.J.H." in his remarks on "Laws relating to Bachelors," states at the conclusion thereof as follows:—
"In England, bachelors are not left to go forgotten to their solitary graves. There was a tax laid on them by the 7th William III., after the 25th year of their age, which was 12l. 10s. for a duke, and 1s. for a commoner. At present they are taxed by an extra duty upon their servants—for a male, 1l. 5s., for a female, 2s. 6d. above the usual duties leviable upon servants."
Your Correspondent certainly must be in error upon these points, as the additional duty to which bachelors in England are liable under the present Tax Acts, for a male Servant, is only 1l. (the usual duty leviable for such servant being 1l. 4 s.); and there is not, that I am aware of, any law in existence in England taxing any person in respect of female servants.
* * * * *
DEER OF NORTH-AMERICA, AND THE MODE OF HUNTING THEM.
(From Featherstonehaugh's Journal.)
Deer are more abundant than at the first settlement of the country. They increase to a certain extent with the population. The reason of this appears to be, that they find protection in the neighbourhood of man from the beasts of prey that assail them in the wilderness, and from whose attacks their young particularly can with difficulty escape. They suffer most from the wolves, who hunt in packs like hounds, and who seldom give up the chase until a deer is taken. We have often sat, on a moonlight summer night, at the door of a log-cabin in one of our prairies, and heard the wolves in full chase of a deer, yelling very nearly in the same manner as a pack of hounds. Sometimes the cry would be heard at a great distance over the plain: then it would die away, and again be distinguished at a nearer point, and in another direction;—now the full cry would burst upon us from a neighbouring thicket, and we would almost hear the sobs of the exhausted deer;—and again it would be borne away, and lost in the distance. We have passed nearly whole nights in listening to such sounds; and once we saw a deer dash through the yard, and immediately past the door at which we sat, followed by his audacious pursuers, who were but a few yards in his rear.—Immense numbers of deer are killed every year by our hunters, who take them for their hams and skins alone, throwing away the rest of the carcass. Venison hams and hides are important articles of export; the former are purchased from the hunters at 25 cents a pair, the latter at 20 cents a pound. In our villages we purchase for our tables the saddle of venison, with the hams attached, for 37-1/2 cents, which would be something like one cent a pound.—There are several ways of hunting deer, all of which are equally simple. Most frequently the hunter proceeds to the woods on horseback, in the day-time, selecting particularly certain hours, which are thought to be most favourable. It is said, that, during the season when the pastures are green, this animal rises from his lair precisely at the rising of the moon, whether in the day or night; and I suppose the fact to be so, because such is the testimony of experienced hunters. If it be true, it is certainly a curious display of animal instinct. This hour is therefore always kept in view by the hunter, as he rides slowly through the forest, with his rifle on his shoulder, while his keen eye penetrates the surrounding shades. On beholding a deer, the hunter slides from his horse, and, while the deer is observing the latter, creeps upon him, keeping the largest trees between himself and the object of pursuit, until he gets near enough to fire. An expert woodsman seldom fails to hit his game. It is extremely dangerous to approach a wounded deer. Timid and harmless as this animal is at other times, he no sooner finds himself deprived of the power of flight, than he becomes furious, and rushes upon his enemy, making desperate plunges with his sharp horns, and striking and trampling furiously with his forelegs, which, being extremely muscular and armed with sharp hoofs, are capable of inflicting very severe wounds. Aware of this circumstance, the hunter approaches him with caution, and either secures his prey by a second shot, where the first has been but partially successful, or, as is more frequently the case, causes his dog to seize the wounded animal, while he watches his own opportunity to stab him with his hunting-knife. Sometimes where a noble buck is the victim, and the hunter is impatient or inexperienced, terrible conflicts ensue on such occasions. Another mode is to watch at night, in the neighbourhood of the salt-licks. These are spots where the earth is impregnated with saline particles, or where the salt-water oozes through the soil. Deer and other grazing animals frequent such places, and remain for hours licking the earth. The hunter secretes himself here, either in the thick top of a tree, or most generally in a screen erected for the purpose, and artfully concealed, like a mask-battery, with logs or green boughs. This practice is pursued only in the summer, or early in the autumn, in cloudless nights, when the moon shines brilliantly, and objects may be readily discovered. At the rising of the moon, or shortly after, the deer having risen from their beds approach the lick. Such places are generally denuded of timber, but surrounded by it; and as the animal is about to emerge from the shade into the clear moonlight, he stops, looks cautiously around and snuffs the air. Then he advances a few steps, and stops again, smells the ground, or raises his expanded nostrils, as if "he snuffed the approach of danger in every tainted breeze." The hunter sits motionless, and almost breathless, waiting until the animal shall get within rifle-shot, and until its position, in relation to the hunter and the light, shall be favourable, when he fires with an unerring aim. A few deer only can be thus taken in one night, and after a few nights, these timorous animals are driven from the haunts which are thus disturbed. Another method is called driving, and is only practised in those parts of the country where this kind of game is scarce, and where hunting is pursued as an amusement. A large party is made up, and the hunters ride forward with their dogs. The hunting ground is selected, and as it is pretty well known what tracts are usually taken by the deer when started, an individual is placed at each of those passages to intercept the retreating animal. The scene of action being in some measure, surrounded, small parties advance with the dogs in different directions, and the startled deer, in flying, generally fly by some of the persons who are concealed, and who fire at them as they pass.
* * * * *
WOLVES OF NORTH AMERICA.
(From Featherstonehaugh's Journal.)
Wolves are very numerous in every part of the state. There are two kinds: the common or black wolf, and the prairie wolf. The former is a large, fierce animal, and very destructive to sheep, pigs, calves, poultry, and even young colts. They hunt in large packs, and after using every stratagem to circumvent their prey, attack it with remarkable ferocity. Like the Indian, they always endeavour to surprise their victim, and strike the mortal blow without exposing themselves to danger. They seldom attack man except when asleep or wounded. The largest animals, when wounded, entangled, or otherwise disabled, become their prey, but in general they only attack such as are incapable of resistance. They have been known to lie in wait upon the bank of a stream, which the buffaloes were in the habit of crossing, and, when one of those unwieldy animals was so unfortunate as to sink in the mire, spring suddenly upon it and worry it to death, while thus disabled from resistance. Their most common prey is the deer, which they hunt regularly; but all defenceless animals are alike acceptable to their ravenous appetites. When tempted by hunger, they approach the farm-houses in the night, and snatch their prey from under the very eye of the farmer; and when the latter is absent with his dogs, the wolf is sometimes seen by the females lurking about in mid-day, as if aware of the unprotected state of the family. Our heroic females have sometimes shot them under such circumstances. The smell of burning assafoetida has a remarkable effect upon this animal. If a fire be made in the woods, and a portion of this drug thrown into it, so as to saturate the atmosphere with the odour, the wolves, if any are within the reach of the scent, immediately assemble around, howling in the most mournful manner; and such is the remarkable fascination under which they seem to labour, that they will often suffer themselves to be shot down rather than quit the spot. Of the very few instances of their attacking human beings of which we have heard, the following may serve to give some idea of their habits. In very early times, a Negro man was passing in the night in the lower part of Kentucky from one settlement to another. The distance was several miles, and the country over which he travelled entirely unsettled. In the morning, his carcass was found entirely stripped of flesh. Near it lay his axe, covered with blood, and all around, the bushes were beaten down, the ground trodden, and the number of foot-tracks so great, as to show that the unfortunate victim had fought long and manfully. On following his track, it appeared that the wolves had pursued him for a considerable distance; and that he had often turned upon them and driven them back. Several times they had attacked him, and been repelled, as appeared by the blood and tracks. He had killed some of them before the final onset, and in the last conflict had destroyed several; his axe was his only weapon. The prairie wolf is a smaller species, which takes its name from its habits, or residing entirely upon the open plains. Even when hunted with dogs, it will make circuit after circuit round the prairie, carefully avoiding the forest, or only dashing into it occasionally when hard pressed, and then returning to the plain. In size and appearance this animal is midway between the wolf and the fox, and in colour it resembles the latter, being of a very light red. It preys upon poultry, rabbits, young pigs calves, &c. The most friendly relations subsist between this animal and the common wolf, and they constantly hunt in packs together. Nothing is more common than to see a large, black wolf in company with several prairie wolves. I am well satisfied that the latter is the jackall of Asia. Several years ago, an agricultural society, which was established at the seat of government, offered a large premium to the person who should kill the greatest number of wolves in one year. The legislature, at the same time offered a bounty for each wolf-scalp that should be taken. The consequence was, that the expenditure for wolf-scalps became so great, as to render it necessary to repeal the law. These animals, although still numerous, and troublesome to the farmer, are greatly decreased in number, and are no longer dangerous to man. We know of no instances in late years of a human being having been attacked by wolves.
* * * * *
There are now growing on the grounds of Greenfield Lodge, two cedar trees of the immense height of 150 feet; the girth of one is 11 ft. 7 in. and its branches extend 50 feet; the girth of the other is 8 ft. 7 in.—Chester Chronicle.
* * * * *
The skeleton of the whalebone whale which was cast ashore at North Berwick last year, and whose measurement so far exceeds the ordinary dimensions of animated nature as positively to require to be seen before being believed, is now in course of preparation, and we believe will be set up in such a manner as to enable scientific men to examine it with every advantage. The baleen (commonly called whalebone) has been prepared with infinite care and trouble, and will be placed in its original section in the palate. If there be one part more remarkable than another, it is the appearance of the baleen, or whalebone, when occupying its natural position; the prodigious quantity (upwards of two tons), and, at the same time, mechanical beauty connected with every part of the unique mass, rendering it beyond the power of language to describe, or give the slightest idea of it. The skull, or brainbone, was divided vertically, with a view to convenience in moving the head (this portion of the skeleton weighing eight tons). This section displayed the cavity for containing the brain; and thus some knowledge of the sentient and leading organ of an animal, the dimensions of whose instruments of motion fill the mind with astonishment, will at last be obtained. Results, unexpected, we believe, by most anatomists were arrived at. The cavity (a cast of which will be submitted to the anatomical public) was gauged or measured in the manner first invented and recommended by Sir William Hamilton, and under that gentleman's immediate inspection; the weight of the brain, estimated in this way, amounts to 54 lb. imperial weight. The brain of the small whalebone whale, examined by Mr. Hunter (the specimen was only 17 feet long), weighed about 4 lb. 10 oz.; the brain of the elephant weighs between 6 lb. and 7 lb.; the human brain from 3 lb. to 4 lb. The total length of the whale was 80 feet; and although Captain Scoresby mentions one which he heard of which was said to measure somewhat more than 100 feet, it is extremely probable that this measurement had not been taken correctly. The whale examined by Sir Robert Sibbald, nearly a century ago, measured exactly 78 feet; "fourteen men could stand at one time in the mouth; when the tide rose, a small boat full of men entered easily."—Scotsman.
[The total length of the whale found dead on the coast of Belgium, in 1827, and whose skeleton was exhibited in London, during last year, was 95 feet.—See Mirror, vol. xviii. p. 104.]
* * * * *
FALLS OF THE GENESEE.
[Mr. Fergusson, in his Notes made during a visit to the United States and Canada, in 1831, thus refers to the Genesee Falls, engraved in No. 562 of The Mirror, p. 97 of the present volume.]
Rochester is well known to all who take an interest in America, as a remarkable instance of what may be done in the way of transition, and as exhibiting in its streets a perfect sample of the progress from stumps to steeples. It is certainly an interesting place, and presents a busy scene of manufacturing and commercial enterprise. My time being limited, I immediately procured a cicerone, and proceeded to walk over the town, concluding with the banks of the river, where there is a powerful fall upon the Genesee, about 90 feet in height, forming a most romantic scene, and which may be fairly denominated the parent of Rochester, as the mill power which it supplies has brought the whole affair into existence. There are also sulphur springs and baths in the town of some repute.
A splendid aqueduct carries the canal here across the river by ten arches. It is also at present in contemplation to unite the Genesee and Alleghany rivers, by a canal of more than 100 miles in extent, and which would open up a valuable trade with the upper part of the Ohio Valley. I have no doubt that it will be carried into effect, or perhaps a railroad substituted. Close upon the verge of the precipice at the fall, is observed a small islet or green knoll, from whence poor Sam Patch took his final plunge. Sam, it would seem, was no subscriber to the tenets of the Temperance Society, for upon this occasion his perceptions were far from being clear; and having neglected to spring in his usual adroit style, the unlucky wight never again appeared. The interest which this poor creature excited, both here and at Niagara, was astonishing. His very exit (than which nothing could be more natural) was considered somewhat mysterious, as his body was not found; and some time subsequent to the event, a fellow of a waggish disposition happening to be accidentally in that part of the country, and bearing, it is said, a singular resemblance to Patch, was stopped by a Rochester-man on the road, and questioned on the subject. The stranger immediately saw a fair opening for fun, and, after some hesitation, reluctantly confessed that he was actually Sam himself; but that, for particular reasons, his being alive must be kept a profound secret, until a day he named, when he would make a public appearance in Rochester, and that he trusted to the fidelity of the person who had discovered him not to mention the circumstance, meantime, to any living being. As a matter of course, it was speedily confided, in like manner, to the whole population; and on the appointed day, crowds assembled to laugh at the credulity of one another. A poor tradesman of the town had taken wilfully the same fatal leap, only on the day preceding my visit. Many of the poor Indians are lost over the fall, when rum has been in plenty. A squaw was observed upon one occasion, with her canoe absorbed in the current, and she herself utterly insensible to the danger. Warned at last by loud exclamations from the banks, she roused herself, only to behold the frightful chasm before her, when, perceiving all hope of escape to be vain, and every effort fruitless, she coolly finished off the contents of her bottle, and plunged into the abyss.—See Quart. Journ. Agric. No. 18.
* * * * *
SATIN STONE NECKLACES.
These beautiful ornaments of polished fluorspar—first made and brought into fashion, we believe, by the late Mr. Mawe, of the Strand—are even more appreciated by our Gallic neighbours than by ourselves. We have been in society where the attention and admiration of a gallant French gentleman was ludicrously divided between the attractions of a lady's face and her satin-stone necklace. Some years since, the Duchess de Berri, it is said, purchased various ornaments of this description and material, to a considerable amount, which she wore, either upon, or immediately subsequent to, her marriage. On the fatal night of the Duke de Berri's assassination, the Duchess happened (so goes the story) to be wearing one of these identical purchases; and, in consequence, upon the anniversary of her widowhood, and on other occasions when peculiarly depressed in spirits, never fails to put on a satin-stone necklace, as a memento of the hours of her bridal and deprivation. Louis XVIII. purchased, when in England, a large stock of these delicate, white necklaces, which, on returning to France, he disposed off amongst his admiring fair noblesse, by gift or purchase.
* * * * *
DUELLING IN FRANCE.
Different versions of the following anecdotes, respecting Mr. G—— (an English officer), may be abroad, but we give them as detailed to us:—
Mr. G——, a young English militaire of fashion and spirit, not a great while since, had the fortune to fight a couple of duels in Paris, under circumstances rather curious. He was acquainted with a French gentleman, whom nature had endowed with more tongue than with discretion and good principles;—in fact, it came to the ears of Mr. G——, that the loquacious Gaul was a revolutionist in politics, a professed atheist in religion, and (how could it happen otherwise?) a man devoid of the most ordinary principles of honour, probity, and social decencies. He was in the habit of slandering and vituperating, in the most violent manner; and, in the well-thronged cafes and salons of the French capital, not only his bon ami Mr. G——, but everything and everybody English, until our young officer, provoked by his insolence beyond all patience, taking the advice of a friend, challenged him. The Gaul, affecting to be highly irritated, at first protested that "he would never consent to degrade himself by fighting any of the d—d English;" and, with horrid imprecations, parodied Caligula's memorable malice, by wishing that "all the cursed members of that infernal nation were but one body, which he might destroy at a shot!" However, that no imputation might rest on his courage, he consented to meet his adversary—for whom, by the way, he expressed the most thorough contempt—next morning, at the Bois de Boulogne. They met; and this miserable man received the reward of his perfidy and malice, by a ball through his heart!
Some days after this affair, Mr. G—— being grossly insulted by another French gentleman—a notorious duellist, and, if we mistake not, an ally of the deceased—felt himself obliged to notice the affront in a similar manner. Monsieur —— treated the challenge with supreme contempt, begged to assure Mr. G—— that he was a dead man if they met, but professed himself much at his service if he was really bent on quitting this world, and thought the most appropriate spot for so doing would be the Champs d'Elysees. Thither next morning the parties repaired. Mr. G—— found his antagonist already on the ground, and amusing himself by firing at a mark: viz.—his glove, attached to the branch of a tree, which he shot at with such precision as to send his bullet, at every successive trial, through the aperture in the glove made by the first. Monsieur was, in truth, a splendid and formidable marksman. Mr. G——, in preparing for the duel, happening to cast his eyes on his adversary, perceived that he had slily placed his arm in such a position, as must ensure, on the honourable gentleman's fire, the fulfilment of his vaunt to make him "a dead man." No time was to be lost; the young Englishman's life depended upon dispatch; and, instantly firing, he proved himself as good a marksman as Monsieur ——, by sending his ball, with the utmost precision, through the wily manoeuvrer's elbow, from whence it passed into his side; and he dropped down, disabled, if not dead. Thus did British spirit twice humble, in a remarkable manner, French insolence and presumption!
* * * * *
"La-a-dy * *," exclaimed a certain Colonel, in that very original Scotch brogue which a long acquaintance with the world has not tended in any degree to diminish, "alloo me to introduce you to my brother, Carnal M—— ——." "What!" asked the lady, "are you both Colonels?" "Oo—ay—La-a-dy * *, that are we, in troth; but the daff'rence is this, my brother, you see, is Carnal" (Lieutenant-colonel he intended to express), "and I—am fool Carnal!"
* * * * *
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
Were an ancient levy, or tax, of a penny on each house throughout England, paid to the Pope. It was called Peter-pence because collected on the day of St. Peter ad vincula. By the Saxons it was called Rome-feoh—i.e. the fee of Rome; and also Rome-scot, and Rome-pennying, because collected and sent to Rome;—and lastly, it was called Hearth-money, because every dwelling-house was liable to it, provided there were thirty-pence vivae pecuniae belonging to it;—nay, and every religious house, the Abbey of St. Alban's alone excepted.
This Peter-pence was at first given as a pension, or alms, by Ina, king of the West Saxons, in the year 727, being then in pilgrimage at Rome; and the like was done by Offa, king of the Mercians, throughout his dominions, in 794; and afterwards by Ethelwulph, through the whole kingdom, in the year 855.
It was not intended as a tribute to the Pope, but chiefly for the support of the English school, or college, at Rome. The popes, however, shared it with the college, and at length found means, to appropriate it to themselves.
At first it was only an occasional contribution; but it became at last a standing tax, being established by the laws of King Canute, Edward the Confessor, the Conqueror, &c. The bishops, who were charged with the collecting it, employed the rural deans and archdeacons therein.
Edward III. first forbade the payment; but it soon after returned, and continued till the time of Henry VIII., when Polydore Virgil resided here as the Pope's receiver general. It was abolished under that prince, and restored again under Philip and Mary; but it was finally prohibited under Queen Elizabeth.
* * * * *
Ere the bright dawn of the Reformation lighted upon England, the furniture of churches appears, from ancient records, to have been of a splendid description; and vast sums are stated to have been lavished upon the images of saints, &c. Great Saint Mary's Chapel, Cambridge, is in the possession of an inventory of the goods and chattels possessed by that ancient edifice in the 19th year of Henry VII., of which the following is a transcript:—
"Item—A coat of tawney damask, purfled with velvet, appertaining to our Lady.
"Item—A coat for her son, of the same satin, purfled with black velvet, and spangled with gold.
"Item—A relic, called a box of silver with the oil of St. Nicholas.
"Item—Another little box of silver, with a bone of St. Lawrence.
"Item—A shoe of silver for the image of our Lady, and a piece of a penny, weighing in all two ounces in a box.
"Item—An image of our Lady and her Son, of copper and gilt, with a chrystal stone.
"Item—A collar of gold for to hang about our Lady's neck, of nine links in the collar.
"Item—A cap of black velvet, with fine pearl, for our Lady's son.
"Item—Two maces for St. Edmund.
"Item—Three small crowns for St. Katherine.
"Item—A cross and staff for St. Nicholas."
The orthography of this extract has been modernized, but the idiom (if any) has been retained.
* * * * *
This curious relic is traditionally called the Prior's Chair, and belonged to the priory of Southwick, which formerly stood near Portsmouth, in Hampshire. It is made of oak, its several parts being fastened together with small wooden pegs. On the back of the chair, within a square panel, is carved an animal somewhat resembling a buck, which was probably the armorial bearing of the prior; as it was anciently, and is now, the custom to carve or paint on chairs placed in halls or other conspicuous places, the crest or arms of the proprietor. Above the panel are two mitres, and on each side of the arms of the chair is a rose, ornamented with rays issuing from its centre. This ancient specimen of furniture is extremely interesting as a specimen of the mechanical ingenuity of the age in which it was constructed, and as the only vestige of the establishment to which it was annexed. Upon part of the Priory buildings being taken down, a few years since, the Chair with other old furniture found on the premises, was sold by auction, when it was rescued from the hands of a person who was bidding for it as a smoking chair, by a gentleman, who allowed a drawing to be taken of it. Of the Priory of Southwick very scanty information is to be obtained: no mention of it is to be found in the Monasticon: but Sir Robert Atkyns, in his history of Gloucestershire, says that it was founded by Henry I. and dedicated to St. Mary. It was for canons regular of the order of St. Augustine. The last prior surrendered this convent on the 7th of April, 1539: it was valued in the catalogue of religious houses at 257l.
* * * * *
This was found about 20 years since, at the manorhouse of Lake, near Amesbury, in Wiltshire. The handle consists of two figures, a warrior and a female: it was probably the haft of a small knife or dagger, is made of brass, and considering its great antiquity, is in good preservation. The features of the figures are the parts mostly injured by wear; the female holds in the right hand a small bag or purse, the custom of carrying which fell into disuse in the days of Queen Elizabeth. This ancient haft is, however, most likely of an age considerably anterior to the above reign, and from the costume in general, and the simple cross hilt of the sword attached to the warrior's side, it may not unjustly claim a date coeval with the Crusades.
This Bell, as the motto (God save the Queen, 1560,) explains, is of the age of Elizabeth. The handle is of considerably older date, and probably belonged to a mass-bell, as it bears the effigies of a devotee, holding her beads, and a cross. Indeed, the prayer for the Queen, on the Bell, in English, would indicate its subsequent age. This curious relic was a few years since in the possession of the Rev. Mr. Crutwell, a name distinguished in topographical and antiquarian literature.
* * * * *
The manorial rights of Comberton, in the county of Cambridge, were formerly held by the lord, being the keeper of the king's falcons. A record of the year 1374 says, that the manor was held "by the service of carrying a goshawk at coronations."—JUVENIS.
* * * * *
THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
FUNERAL OF SIR WALTER SCOTT.—BY AN EYE-WITNESS.
(Abridged from Tait's Edinburgh Magazine.)
When we arrived at the ford, which gave its fancied name to the poet's dwelling, we found the silver Tweed sparkling merrily along, as if all things were as they were wont to be. The young woods before us, and the towers, and gables, and pinnacles of the mansion, were smiling beneath the mellowing rays of the September sun, as if unconscious that the master-spirit which called them into being had for ever fled from them. The sound of wheels came on the ear at intervals, rushing from different directions, and indicating the frequent arrival of carriages; yet when we, availing ourselves of the open doors, had taken our well-known way through the garden, and passed beneath the Gothic screen that might have vied with the Beautiful Gate of the Temple itself, and on into the courtyard in front of the house, we were surprised to find it deserted and lonely. Before any one came to interrupt us, we had leisure to gaze around, and to wonder at the great growth of the trees and shrub's since we had last beheld them; and as we did so, the venerable shade of him who had last walked there with us, filled our imagination and our eyes—shifted with them as they shifted;—and as it glided around us, it recalled to our full hearts a thousand pleasing and touching recollections. But our dreams were at length abruptly broken, by the appearance of some of our acquaintances, who issued from the house; and the sight of their weeds of woe immediately recalled our thoughts to the garb of grief which we also wore, and to the sad object of our present visit.
Passing through the Gothic hall, we met with no one till we entered the library, where we found a considerable circle of gentlemen already assembled: these were chiefly from the neighbouring districts; but there were a few whom we recognised as having come from Edinburgh, and other places equally distant. Obscured within the shadow of one of the book-cases, we remained ruminating as if we had been absolutely alone, until we were interrupted by a summons to the drawing-room, where certain refreshments were prepared for those who had any inclination to partake of them. But we must confess our natural antipathy to all such mournful feasts; we therefore declined to join in this; and after catching, as well as our position near the door allowed us to do, a few stray sentences of a prayer, which was feelingly offered up by the parish clergyman, we became so oppressed by the heat of the room, that we ventured to steal away to enjoy the air in the porch.
That porch was soon tenanted in our imagination by that venerable ideal image which we had been all this while courting to our side. With it we continued to hold sacred communion—with it we looked, as we had formerly done with the reality, on the effigy of Maida; and the harsh truth that Maida's master was now as cold as Maida itself, went rudely home to our hearts. But footsteps came slowly and heavily treading through the small armoury: they were those of the servants of the deceased, who, with full eyes, and yet fuller hearts, came reverently bearing the body of him whose courteous welcome had made that very porch so cheerful to us. We were the only witnesses of this usually unheeded part of the funeral duties: accident had given to us a privilege which was lost to the crowd within. We instinctively uncovered our heads, and stood subdued by an indescribable feeling of awe as the corpse was carried outwards; and we felt grateful, that it had thus fallen to our lot to behold the departure of these the honoured and precious remains of Sir Walter Scott from the house of Abbotsford, where all his earthly affections had been centered. The coffin was plain and unpretending, covered with black cloth, and having an ordinary plate on it, with this inscription, "Sir Walter Scott, of Abbotsford, Bart., aged 62." "Alas!" said we, as we followed the precious casket across the courtyard—"alas! have these been the limits of so valuable a life?"
Having followed the coffin until we saw it deposited in the hearse, which stood on the outside of the great gate of the courtyard, we felt ourselves unequal to returning into the apartment where the company were assembled; and we continued to loiter about, seeking for points of recollection which might strengthen the chain of association we wished to indulge in. Our attention was attracted, by observing the window of the study open, and we were led to look within, impelled by no idle or blameable curiosity, but rather like a pilgrim approaching the shrine where his warmest adoration has ever been paid. But, alas I the deep tones of the venerable old Principal Baird, whose voice was heard in earnest and impressive prayer, came upon us through an opposite door, from the library beyond; and the affecting allusions which he uttered again brought us back to the afflicting truth, that Sir Walter Scott was gone from us for ever!
The prayer was no sooner ended, than the company began to issue from the house. The carriages had been previously assembled on the haugh below, and were so arranged there, that they drove up in a continued line; and as each passed the great gateway, it took up its owners, and then proceeded. There certainly were not less than seventy gentlemen's carriages of all descriptions, two-wheeled as well as four-wheeled,—besides which there were a number of horsemen. The public road runs along the face of the hill, immediately above the house, in a direction from west to east; and the avenue leading from the gate of the courtyard runs up the hill in a westerly direction, entering the public road so obliquely as to produce a very awkward turn for carriages going eastward towards Melrose. Until we had passed this point some little way we could form no notion of the extent of the procession; but when we were thus enabled to form some judgment of it, we perceived that it had extended itself over about a mile of road.
Ere yet we had left the immediate vicinity of the house, we discovered a mournful group of women-servants weeping behind the hedge on our left, whither they had hurried to take their last look of that hearse which was carrying to the grave a kind and indulgent master, whose like they had no hope ever to look upon again.
The elevation of the road on the hill-side was such as to give us a full view of the valley, and we could observe that the summit of many of the little knolls at a distance, even those beyond the Tweed, were covered with small clusters of rustic gazers, all intent upon a spectacle equally calculated to move persons of every rank and description; and every now and then we found a little knot of spectators assembled by the way-side, whose motionless countenances and unbroken silence sufficiently testified the nature of their feelings.
As we approached the neat little village of Darnick, our attention was forcibly arrested by a very striking token of woe. On the top of an ancient tower—one of those, we believe, which Sir Walter has rendered classical—was placed a flag-staff, from which depended a broad, black banner of crape, or some other light material. There was not a breath of air to stir the film of a gossamer, so that light as the material seemed to be, it hung heavy and motionless—a sad and simple emblem, that eloquently spoke the general village sorrow. This we found more particularly expressed in detail, as we passed through the little place, by the many minuter insignia of mourning which the individual inhabitants had put on the fronts of their houses and shops—by the suspension of business—and by the respectful manner in which the young and the old, and people of both sexes, stood silently and reverently before their respective dwellings, wrapt in that all-absorbing sorrow which told how deeply he that was gone had rooted himself in their affections. When the hearse drew near to his own Melrose, the bell tolled sadly from the steeple of the church; and as we entered the street, we saw that here, as elsewhere, the inhabitants had vied with each other in unaffected and unpretending demonstrations of their individual affliction. In the little market-place we found the whole male population assembled, all decently dressed in deep mourning, drawn up in two lines, and standing with their hats off, silent and motionless. The effect of the procession when crossing the Fly Bridge over the Tweed, and still more when winding around that high and long sweep of the road which is immediately opposite to the promontory of Old Melrose, was extremely striking and picturesque; and the view, looking back from the high ground towards the Eildon hills and Melrose, over the varied vale of the Tweed, till the eye was arrested by the distant mountains, then seen under a rich Claude effect; and the devious course of the river, betrayed by fragments of water that sparkled here and there amid the yellow stubbles and green pastures, was exquisitely beautiful. But nothing gave so much interest to this glorious scene as the far-off woods of Abbotsford, then dimmed by the warm haze, and melting, as it were, from their reality, and so reminding us even yet more forcibly of the fleeting nature of all the things of this perishable world.
Having descended from our elevation, we entered the grounds of Dryburgh. These occupy a comparatively level space, embraced by a bold sweep of the Tweed, where the house of Dryburgh and the picturesque ruins of Dryburgh Abbey, standing about two hundred yards distant from it, are surrounded by groups of noble trees of all sorts, rare as well as common; and among them the cedar is seen to throw out his gigantic limbs with that freedom and vigour which could only be looked for on his native Lebanon. The hearse drew up close to the house of Dryburgh; and the, company, having quitted their carriages, pressed eagerly towards it, Not one word was spoken; but, as if all had been under the influence of some simultaneous instinct, they decently and decorously formed themselves into two lines. The servants of the deceased, resolved that no hireling should lay hands on the coffin of their master, approached the hearse. Amongst these, the figure of the old coachman who had driven Sir Walter for so many years was peculiarly remarkable, reverentially bending to receive the coffin. No sooner did that black casket appear, which contains all that now remains of the most precious of Scotia's jewels, than, with downcast eyes and with countenances expressive of the deepest veneration, every individual present took off his hat. A moment's delay took place, whilst the faithful and attached servants were preparing to bear the body, and whilst the relatives were arranging themselves around it in the following order:—
HEAD. Major Sir WALTER SCOTT, eldest son of the deceased.
CHARLES SCOTT, T J.G. LOCKHART, Esq., second Son. H Son-in-Law. E CHARLES SCOTT, JAMES SCOTT, Esq., of Nesbitt, Cousin. of Nesbitt, Cousin. B WILLIAM SCOTT, Esq., O ROBERT RUTHERFORD, Esq., of Raeburn, Cousin. D W.S., Cousin. Y Colonel RUSSELL, . HUGH SCOTT, Esq., of Ashiesteel, Cousin. of Harden.
FOOT. WILLIAM KEITH, Esq., of Edinburgh.
When all were in their places, the bearers moved slowly forward, preceded by two mutes in long cloaks, carrying poles covered with crape; and no sooner had the coffin passed through the double line formed by the company than the whole broke up, and followed in a thick press. At the head was the Rev. J. Williams, rector of the Edinburgh Academy, dressed in his canonicals as a clergyman of the Church of England; and on his left hand walked Mr. Cadell, the well-known publisher of the Waverley Works. There was a solemnity as well as a simplicity in the whole of this spectacle which we never witnessed on any former occasion. The long-robed mutes—the body, with its devotedly-attached and deeply-afflicted supporters and attendants—the clergyman, whose presence indicated the Christian belief and hopes of those assembled—and the throng of uncovered and reverential mourners stole along beneath the tall and umbrageous trees with a silence equal to that which is believed to accompany those visionary funerals which have their existence only in the superstitions of our country. The ruined Abbey disclosed itself through the trees; and we approached its western extremity, where a considerable portion of vaulted roof still remains to protect the poet's family place of interment, which opens to the sides in lofty Gothic arches, and is defended by a low rail of enclosure. At one extremity of it, a tall, thriving young cypress rears its spiral form. Creeping plants of different kinds, "with ivy never sere," have spread themselves very luxuriantly over every part of the Abbey. Amongst other decorations, we observed a plum-tree, which was, perhaps, at one period, a prisoner, chained to the solid masonry, but which having long since been emancipated, now threw out its wild, pendant branches, laden with purple fruit, ready to drop, as if emblematical of the ripening and decay of human life.
In such a scene as this, then, it was, that the coffin of Sir Walter Scott was set down on trestles placed outside the iron railing; and here that solemn service, beginning with those words so cheering to the souls of Christians, "I am the resurrection and the life," was solemnly read by Mr. Williams. The manly, soldier-like features of the chief mourner, on whom the eyes of sympathy were most naturally turned, betrayed at intervals the powerful efforts which he made to master his emotions, as well as the inefficiency of his exertions to do so. The other relatives who surrounded the bier were deeply moved; and amid the crowd of weeping friends no eye and no heart could be discovered that was not altogether occupied in that sad and impressive ceremonial which was so soon to shut from them for ever him who had been so long the common idol of their admiration, and of their best affections. * * *
It was not until the harsh sound of the hammers of the workmen who were employed to rivet those iron bars covering the grave to secure it from violation, had begun to echo from the vaulted roof, that some of us were called to the full conviction of the fact, that the earth had for ever closed over that form which we were wont to love and reverence; that eye which we had so often seen beaming with benevolence, sparkling with wit, or lighted up with a poet's phrenzy; those lips which we had so often seen monopolizing the attention of all listeners, or heard rolling out, with nervous accentuation, those powerful verses with which his head was continually teeming; and that brow, the perpetual throne of generous expression and liberal intelligence. Overwhelmed by the conviction of the afflicting truth, men moved away without parting salutation, singly, slowly, and silently. Tho day began to stoop down into twilight; and we, too, after giving a last parting survey to the spot where now repose the remains of our Scottish Shakspeare—a spot lovely enough to induce his sainted spirit to haunt and sanctify its shades—hastily tore ourselves away.
 A celebrated stag-hound, which Sir Walter received from Glengarry.
* * * * *
EFFECTS OF FASHIONABLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS UPON SERVANTS AND TRADESMEN.
(Concluded from page 332.)
The operation of the habits of fashionable life upon the class of tradesmen whose custom lies in that direction, is not less injurious. People of fashion are for the most part improvident: but even when they are not so in the long run, it seems to be their pride to be wantonly and perversely disorderly in the conduct of their pecuniary transactions. The result of this to themselves is not here the point in question, although there are few things which in their effects are more certain to pervade the entire moral structure of the mind than habits of order and punctuality, especially in money matters; nor is there anything to which character and honour are more likely to give way than to pecuniary difficulties. But we would speak of the consequences to the tradesmen with whom they deal. In proportion to the delays which the tradesman has had to contend with in procuring payment of the account, is the degree of laxity with which he may expect to be favoured in the examination of the items; especially if he have not omitted the visual means of corrupting the fidelity of the servants. The accuracy of a bill of old date is not in general very easily ascertainable, and it would seem to be but an ungracious return for the accommodation which the creditor has afforded, if the debtor were to institute a very strict inquisition into the minutiae of his claims. These considerations concur with the habitual carelessness and indolence of people of fashion, as inducements to them to lead their tradesmen into temptation.
Again, people of fashion, though (with occasional coarse exceptions) very civil-spoken to their tradesmen, are accustomed to show in their conduct an utter disregard of what amount of trouble, inconvenience, and vexation of spirit they may occasion, either by irregularity in paying their bills, by requiring incessant attendance, or by a thousand fanciful humours, changes of purpose, and fastidious objections. Possibly, indeed, they are very little aware of the amount of it; so inconsiderate are they of everything which is not made to dance before their eyes, or to appeal to their sensibilities through their senses. Their tradesmen, and the workmen whom their tradesmen employ, are compelled, those by the competition they encounter in their business, these by the necessities of their situation in life, to submit to all the hardships and disquietudes which it is possible for fashionable caprice to impose, without showing any sign of disturbance or discontent; and because there is no outcry made, nor any pantomime exhibited, the fashionable customer may possibly conceive that he dispenses nothing but satisfaction among all with whom he deals. He rests assured, moreover, that if he gives more trouble and inconvenience than others he pays for it; the charges of the tradesmen of fashionable people being excessively high. Here, however there is a distinction to be taken. There is no doubt that all the fantastical plagues and preposterous caprices which the spirit of fashion can engender, will be submitted to for money; but he who supposes that the outward submission will be accompanied by no inward feelings of resentment or contempt, either is wholly ignorant of human nature, or grossly abuses his better judgment. Between customer and tradesman the balance is adjusted; between man and man there is an account which money will not settle. It is not indeed to be desired, that any class of men should be possessed With such a spirit of venal servility, as to be really insensible to the folly and oppression which enters into the exactions of fashionable caprice; or that, however compelled to be obsequious in manner, they should altogether lose their perception of what is due to common sense and to common consideration for others—
"And by the body's action teach the mind A most inherent baseness."
If such be the actual result in some instances, then is that consequence still more to be regretted than the other.
Moreover, if the master-tradesmen are willing to sell themselves into this slavery, the consequence, to the much more numerous classes of apprentices and journeymen, remains to be taken into the account. The apprentices, at least, are not paid for the hardships which ensue to them. There is an occurrence mentioned by George Alexander Steevens, of a fashionable frequenter of taverns in his time, who threw the waiter out of the window, and told the landlord to put him into the bill. Had the landlord himself been the party ejected, this might or might not have been a satisfactory proceeding, according to the light in which he might be disposed to regard a contusion or a fracture. But it will hardly be contended that such a proceeding could be satisfactory to the waiter. Yet, we may seriously say, that the fate of the waiter was not more to be deprecated, than that of some descriptions of the apprentices of the trades-people who contend for the custom of the fashionable world.
Many is the milliner's apprentice whom every London season sends to her grave, because the dresses of fine ladies must be completed with a degree of celerity which nothing but night-labour can accomplish. To the question, "When must it be done?" "Immediately;" is the readiest answer; though it is an answer which would perhaps be less inconsiderately and indiscriminately given, if it were known how many young creatures have come to a premature death in consequence of it, and how many hearts have been hardened by the oppression which it necessitates. Nor does the evil stop there. The dressmakers' apprentices in a great city have another alternative; and it is quite as much to escape from the intolerable labours which are imposed upon them in the London season, as from any sexual frailty, that such multitudes of them adopt a vocation which affords some immediate relief, whilst it ensures a doubly fatal termination of their career. The temptations by which these girls are beset might be deemed all-sufficient, without the compulsion by which they are thus as it were, driven out into the streets. Upon them, "the fatal gift of beauty" has been more lavishly bestowed than upon any other class—perhaps not excepting even the aristocracy. They are many of them, probably, the spurious offspring of aristocratical fathers, and inherit beauty for the same reason as the legitimate daughters of aristocrats, because the wealth of these persons enables them to select the most beautiful women either for wives or for concubines. Nor are they wanting in the grace and simplicity of manner which distinguish the aristocracy; whilst constant manual occupation produces in them more vacuity of mind than even that which dissipation causes in their sisters of the superior class. They are thus possessed of exterior attractions, which will at any moment place them in a condition of comparative affluence, and keep them in it so long as those attractions last,—a period beyond which their portion of thought and foresight can scarcely be expected to extend: whilst, on the other hand, they have before them a most bitter and arduous servitude, constant confinement, probably a severe task-mistress (whose mind is harassed and exacerbated by the exigent and thoughtless demands of her employers), and a destruction of health and bloom, which the alternative course of life can scarcely make more certain or more speedy. Goethe was well aware how much light he threw upon the seduction of Margaret, when he made her let fall a hint of discontent at domestic hardships:—
"Our humble household is but small, And I, alas! must look to all. We have no maid, and I may scarce avail To wake so early and to sleep so late; And then my mother is in each detail So accurate."
If people of fashion knew at what cost some of their imaginary wants are gratified, it is possible that they might be disposed to forego the gratification: it is possible, also, that they might not. On the one hand they are not wanting in benevolence to the young and beautiful; the juster charge against them being, that their benevolence extends no farther. On the other hand, unless there be a visual perception of the youth and beauty which is to suffer, or in some way a distinct image of it presented, dissipation will not allow them a moment for the feelings which reflection might suggest:
"Than vanity there's nothing harder hearted; For thoughtless of all sufferings unseen, Of all save those which touch upon the round Of the day's palpable doings, the vain man, And oftener still the volatile woman vain, Is busiest at heart with restless cares, Poor pains and paltry joys, that make within Petty yet turbulent vicissitude."
 Faust: Lord F.L. Gower's translation.
* * * * *
LEGENDS OF THE LIBRARY AT LILIES. BY THE LORD AND LADY THERE.
[These are two volumes of tales and sketches from the pens of Lord and Lady Nugent, whose literary recreations have not unfrequently graced the fair pages of our Annuals. They are ushered in by a few pleasant words "by way of advertisement," describing in four pages the delights of his Lordship's rural retirement at Lilies, in Buckinghamshire; and this portion of the work is so inviting that we quote it.]
If you would place yourself just midway between the three seas which form the boundaries of southern England, you shall find yourself on a small knoll, covered with antique elm, walnut, and sycamore trees, which rises out of a vale famous in all time for the natural fertility of its soil, and the moral virtues of its people. On this knoll, fitly called by our ancestors "the Heart of South Britain," stood, distant about half a mile from each other, two monasteries, known by the flowery appellatives of Lilies and Roses; not unaptly setting forth a promise of all that can recommend itself as fair and sweet unto the gentler senses. These edifices have, for many centuries, been no more; but, on the site of the first mentioned of the two, standeth a small mansion, of Tudor architecture, bearing still its ancient name. Of the monastery little memorial, beyond the name, remains; save only that under a small enclosed space, erewhile its cemetery, now a wilderness of flowers, the bones of the monks repose. Two lines of artificial slope to the westward mark the boundaries of the pleasaunce, where they took their recreation, and cultivated their lentils and fruits; and a range of thickly-walled cellar still retains the same destination and office as when it furnished to those holy men their more generous materials of refection.
What more shall be said of the mansion, or of the domain, full seventy statute acres, which surrounds it?—of the herds and flocks content to thrive in silence on the richness of its fields, and thrive they do in wondrous measure of prosperity? Nothing.—Nor much of that more gamesome troop of idle steeds, though pleasant to their master's eve, who, on its green expanse, frisk and gambol out a sportive colthood, or graze and hobble through a tranquil old age, with the active and laborious honours of a public life past, but not forgotten. Little shall be said of that smooth and narrow pool, scarce visible among the rising shrubs which belt in and shroud the grounds from the incurious wayfarer; or of such carp and tench as, having escaped the treacherous toils of the nightly plunderer, gasp and tumble on its surface, delighting to display their golden pride in the mid-day sun, before the gaze of lawful possession. Nor shall the casual reader be led carelessly and wearily to note the many sweet memorials of private friendship, records of the living and the dead, which, standing forth from amid the lightsome glades and leafy shadows around, make the place sacred to many a strong affection. Romantic the scenery without is not, and for spacious halls and gorgeous canopies the eye may search in vain within. But for the warm cheer of the little oak library,—for the quaint carvings, the tracery of other times, which abound therein,—for the awful note of the blood-hound, baying upon his midnight chain,—and the pleasing melancholy of the hooting owl from his hereditary chamber in the roof,—and for the tunefulness of the cooing wood-quests, and the morning rooks which bustle and caw, and of the high winds that pipe and roar, daily and nightly, through the boughs,—and for the deep glossy verdure of the pastures stretching forth to the brave distant hills which fence the vale,—to those, who in such things take delight, Lilies hath still its charms.
From the fireside of the afore-mentioned little oak library the following legends proceed.
[Few of the pieces fall under the denomination of "Legends," if we except "the Feast of alle Deuiles, an ancient ballad;" "the Costly Dague;" "the Ladye's Counselloure;" and "the Dole of Tichborne;" which are in the quaint olden style. Throughout the other papers there is a pleasant spice of dry humour and knowledge of character, intermixed with a few touches of pathos, and a nice perception of the finest affections: now, with these various characteristics, the legends must prove attractive and amusing. We have only space to quote briefly from one of the most desultory of the papers—an ingenious one, on "Solecisms in Language."]
"Is it your pleasure," now and then asks a dentist, "is it your pleasure to have your tooth out to-day?"
"I do not care a pin," is a very ordinary figure of speech, but of doubtful propriety; for one's indifference, it appears to me, must very much depend on the position of the pin. In the cushion of one's chair, for instance, it is absolutely disagreeable, and what one should care very much about.
The word "poor" is an epithet in very common misuse. It is often brought into play, especially in its plaintive sense, in situations, where, poor thing, it scarcely knows itself, and where there is not the slightest provocation to account for the use of it. It is degraded to the condition of a mere expletive; and, where there is a real good call for it, how often is it thrust upon the wrong person, the one who, were he consulted, would disclaim all compassion.
"Poor Mr. ——, only think of him, poor fellow! How very odd! I believe he was not in joke. He told me a distant connection of his, of another name, whom he never knew till after he heard that the thing happened, who had been transported to New South Wales a matter of sixteen years ago, is to be hanged to-morrow, by way of a secondary punishment, for coming back from transportation."
The audience were profuse in their repetition of the epithet—generous to excess in the free gift of it to Mr. ——. They did not happen to consider it applicable to him who, for an unlawful love of native country, was to undergo a violent and disgraceful death.
This, to be sure, might be attributed to the feeling that so many good regular people have, that it is highly blameable to pity any man who suffers capitally for a breach of the law; that it would be, in some sort, to question the justice of the laws themselves. And the ten or a dozen honest souls that formed the company were probably so good themselves as to be justly scandalized at the notion of holding so much communion with guilt, as to sympathize with it in its sufferings. But I believe, after all, it was rather a flow of idiom than an effort of principle.
Mr. Small, a farmer, well to do in ——shire, fell ill of an acute and dangerous disorder. (By the by, every one was anxious to know if "poor" Mrs. Small's husband was better.) He died,—Mrs. Small was, of course, in decent affliction. But the word of pity was always transferred from the principal sufferer to her, till he was beyond suffering. Then first it was bestowed on the "poor" corpse, which every one came to visit, and flattered as looking "pleasant."
Mrs. Small herself, in the first letter of her widowhood, addressed to an intimate female friend, did not make a more judicious application of the favourite epithet. To this friend it was her habit to write once a quarter. We insert three passages; one extracted from each of these quarterly epistles, which followed in due succession after her sad bereavement:—
"Dear Nelly,—My brother-in-law has given the direction of the funeral to a good economical undertaker, by name Peebles. I have not seen him, and am not like; for he is in too large a way to attend himself, and he sends his man for orders, and to see all done handsome, but cheap.
"Poor Mr. Peebles's man came here last night, and the funeral will be to-morrow. I am in much trouble, as might be expected. My poor new black bonnet is not come home, and keeps me fretting; but poor Peebles's man says I shan't be disappointed, even if he has to go for it himself. Poor Peebles's man! he is up early and down late, to see all right. He was in my room this morning before I was out of bed, that all might be decent, &c. &c. &c. Yours to command, dear Nelly, MARY SMALL."
"Dear Nelly,—It is now three months and better since that poor coffin was put under ground, and I declare I feel quite queer and lonesome without it. But business goes on quite well and brisk. Poor kind Peebles's man! he is off and on; almost always about the house, doing some kind job or other. He is a very decent body; but, I don't know how it is, I'm not to say comfortable. There's a sad noise with my sister's family. You know I never could bear children. My late husband, that's gone, was the only one of the family that could. I am sure I don't know what I could do without poor dear Peebles's man. Yours to command, dear Nelly, MARY SMALL.
"Dear Nelly,—Poor dear kind Peebles's man has never left here; he's my right hand, and he is a very decent body indeed. It is now six good months since that poor funeral took place. I find I am not fit to live alone: I was married this morning to poor Peebles's man. Your sincere friend, dear Nelly, MARY MERRIMATE.
"P.S. Excuse my change of name."
* * * * *
Electioneering.—In 1749, during the great contested election for Westminster, when Lord Trentham and Sir George Vandeput were candidates, Dr. Barrowby greatly interested himself in favour of the latter, who was put up to oppose the Court party. The doctor had for some weeks attended the noted Joe Weatherby, landlord of the Ben Jonson's Head, in Russell-street, who had become emaciated by a nervous fever. During Dr. Barrowby's visits, the patient's wife, not knowing the doctor's political attachment, had frequently expressed her uneasiness that her dear Joey could not get up, and vote for her good friend Lord Trentham. Towards the end of the election, when very uncommon means were used on both sides to obtain the suffrages of the people, the doctor, calling one morning on his patient, to his great astonishment, found him up and almost dressed.—"Hey-dey! what's the cause of this?" exclaimed Barrowby. "Dear Doctor," said poor Joe, in broken accents, "I am going to poll."—"To poll!" replied the doctor, with much warmth, supposing him of the same opinion with his wife, "going to the d—l, you mean!—why, do you know the cold air may kill you. Get to bed, get to bed, man, as fast as you can, or immediate death may ensue!"—"Oh! if that is the case, sir," returned the patient in a feeble voice, "to be sure I must act as you advise me; but I love my country, sir, and thought, while my wife was out, to seize this opportunity to go to Covent-garden church, and vote for Sir G. Vandeput."—"How, Joe! for Sir George?"—"Yes, sir, I wish him heartily well."—"Do you?" said the medical politician. "Hold, nurse! don't pull off his stockings again; let me feel his pulse. Hey! very well—a good, firm stroke—Egad! this will do. You took the pills I ordered last night?"—"Yes, doctor, but they made me very sick."—"Ay, so much the better. How did your master sleep, nurse?"—"O charmingly, sir."—"Did he! Well, if his mind is really uneasy about this election, he must be indulged; diseases of the mind greatly affect those of the body. Come, come, throw a great coat or blanket about him. It is a fine day; but the sooner he goes the better—the sun will be down early. Here, here, lift him up; a ride will do him good; he shall go with me to the hustings in my chariot." The doctor was directly obeyed; and poor Joe Weatherby was conveyed in the carriage to the hustings, where he gave his vote according to his conscience, amidst the acclamations of the people; and two hours after his politico-medical adviser had left him at his own house, Joe departed this life, loaded with the reproaches of his beloved wife, and her friends of the Court party.
* * * * *
A Warning to Critics.—Zoilus, the critic, was called the rhetorical dog: rhetorical, as his style was elegant, and dog, from his practice of snarling.—Vitruvius tells us, that when he visited Alexandria, he recited his writings against the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer to King Ptolemy, which gave the king such offence, that he would take no notice of him; and afterwards, when, urged by indigence, he solicited charity, Ptolemy pulsed him with this contemptuous reflection, that if Homer, who had been dead one thousand years, could by his works give maintenance to many thousand people, a writer so much his superior might surely maintain himself.
* * * * *
Some years since, an eccentric gentleman built himself a villa upon the brow of one of the loftiest of the Surrey hills, to avoid annoyance from the curious; but the odd situation of his residence drew scores of visiters. This reminds us of some lines by Cowley—
I should have then this only fear, Lest men, when they my pleasures see, Should hither throng to live like me, And so make a city here.
* * * * *
Imperial Ignorance.—Alexius Comnenus, Emperor of Constantinople, was an arrant dunce: Fuller says, "he hated a booke more than a monster did a looking-glasse; and when his tutor endeavoured to play him into scholarship, by presenting pleasant authors unto him, he returned, that learning was beneath the greatnesse of a prince, who, if wanting it, might borrow it from his subjects, being better stor'd; for (saith hee) if they will not lend me their braines, I'll take away their heads!"
* * * * *
Party Spirit.—Fuller did not think party madness; for, he says such men as will side with neither party "hope, though the great vessel of the state be wrecked, in a private fly-boat of neutrality, to waft their own private adventure safe to the shore. But who ever saw dancers on ropes so equally poise themselves, that at last they fall not down and break their necks?"
* * * * *
A Court Jester.—Fuller thus describes one: "Of this fellow, his body, downwards, was a fool, his head a knave, who did carefully note, and cunningly vent, by the privileges of his coat, many state-passages, uttering them, in a wary twilight, betwixt sport and earnest."
* * * * *
An Excellent Courtier.—Sir Walter Raleigh speaks of Queen Elizabeth, when sixty years of age, "riding like Alexander, hunting like Diana, walking like Venus, the gentle wind blowing her fair hair about her pure cheeks like a nymph,—sometime sitting in the shade like a goddess, sometime singing like an angell, sometime playing like Orpheus."
* * * * *
A Lock-et.—Mark Scaliot, blacksmith, in the 20th of Queen Elizabeth, made a lock of eleven pieces of iron, steel, and brass, with a pipe key, and golden chain of forty-three links, which were hung round the neck of a flea.—The animal, together with this burthen, weighed only one grain and a half.
* * * * *
Oil.—Both rape-oil and olive-oil were used in ancient cookery, as appears from the provision bought for Archbishop Warham's dinner.
* * * * *
Printed and published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House) London; sold by G.G. BENNIS, 55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris; CHARLES JUGEL, Francfort; and by all Newsmen and Booksellers.
* * * * *