THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XX. No. 557.] SATURDAY, JULY 14, 1832. [Price 2d.
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The above cottage stands in the village of Cherryburn, near Ovingham, on the banks of the Tyne, about twelve miles west of Newcastle.
In this humble dwelling, hitherto of "unlettered fame," was born, August 12, 1753, THOMAS BEWICK, the celebrated artist and engraver on wood; or more strictly speaking, the reviver of this branch of art. His whole life was one of untiring industry and ardent attachment to the object of his study—the only sure passport to success—which it is truly delightful to contemplate: from the first dawnings of his early genius to the enthusiasm that led him to examine proofs of wood-engravings on the morning of his death. His life is exemplary, inasmuch as it illustrates the homely maxim, that every man is the architect of his own fortune. Apart from this consideration, the memory of Bewick should be cherished by all our readers; since he re-invented the ingenious means by which we are enabled to embellish unsparingly each of our weekly sheets.
Of Bewick's genius, and personal habits, many interesting particulars have been preserved. From his earliest years he delighted, above all things, in observing the habits of animals; and it was his fondness for this study that gave rise, while he was yet a boy, to his first attempts in drawing. Long before he had received instruction in that art, he used to delineate his favourites of the lower creation with great accuracy and spirit. His introduction to the regular study of his future profession was purely accidental. He was in the habit of exercising his genius by covering the walls and doors of the houses in his native village with his sketches in chalk. Some of these performances one day chanced to attract the attention of a Mr. Beilby, a copper-plate engraver of Newcastle, as he was passing through Cherryburn; and he was so much struck with the talent they displayed that he sought out the young artist, and obtained his father's consent to take him with him to be his apprentice. This was in the year 1767. In the following year Bewick executed his first wood-cut for Dr. Button's Treatise on Navigation, the diagrams for which work were, at the suggestion of Mr. Beilby, engraved on wood, and printed with the letter-press, instead of being on copper and stitched in with the sheets. Bewick executed the whole of the cuts for Dr. Button's work with so much accuracy, and a finish so greatly beyond what had usually been attained in that species of work, that Mr. Beilby advised him to give his chief attention henceforward to wood-engraving, and make it his profession. He did so during the remainder of his apprenticeship, at the expiration of which he repaired to London, and obtained employment in his trade. He soon returned to the country, and in 1777 he entered into partnership with his former master, Mr. Beilby. Bewick with his taste for rural scenery and enjoyments and the observation of nature, doubtless found little to interest him in London; nor even after he had obtained his highest celebrity, did he ever again think of establishing himself in the metropolis. He spent the remainder of his life in his native district.
At the time of Bewick's first entering into active life, the art of wood-engraving had fallen into the lowest repute. Few of its specimens were superior to the pictures on street ballads of the present day. To explain Bewick's improvements would occupy too much of our space, but, we may observe, generally that the engravings of the above period were mere patches of black and white, till Bewick introduced those beautiful reliefs, or varieties of light and shade which principally form the pictorial effect of an engraving. By this means he raised wood-engraving from a state of contempt to the rank of one of the fine arts.
The first specimen of his talents by which Bewick made himself publicly known was a cut of an old hound, for which, in 1755, he received a premium from the Society of Arts. The block had been cut for an edition of Gay's fables; the complete work appeared in 1779; and immediately attracted general attention by the striking superiority of its embellishments, which were all from wood-cuts executed by Bewick and his younger brother John, who, when Beilby and he entered into partnership, had become their apprentice. From this time the reputation of the artist went on increasing steadily, and he produced a succession of works which very soon gave altogether a new character to his art itself.
Bewick's principal work, or that which established his fame, was his History of Quadrupeds, which appeared in 1790. He had been employed many years in preparing this publication, all the cuts in which were not only engraved by himself or his brother, but were all copied from his own drawings. He had cultivated his early talent for the delineation of animals with unwearied industry: he had not the advantages of academical studies, which education in the metropolis might have afforded him, but he drew from life, taking sketches of all the striking specimens that came under his notice, and visiting whatever menageries of exotic animals were brought to Newcastle. Thus he studied assiduously from nature, and to this course may be attributed the excellence of the cuts in the History of Quadrupeds. Many of the vignettes also, with which this publication was adorned, had uncommon merit as original sketches; for Bewick did not confine his pencil to the mere delineation of animals. His vignettes have been said to partake of his determinate propensity to morality, tenderness, and humour; each telling articulately its own tale. and bearing in every line a lesson.
A catalogue of Bewick's various works will not be expected in this brief sketch. He did not confine himself to animal engraving; for in the years 1795 and 1796, were published by Mr. Bulmer, of Newcastle, the Traveller and the Deserted Village, by Goldsmith; Parnell's Hermit; and Somerville's Clara; with cuts by Bewick. In 1797, appeared the first volume of his History of British Birds: in 1818, he completed his first volume of Fables of Aesop and others. In 1820, Mr. Charnley, of Newcastle, published a volume of Fables, as a vehicle for the impressions of the earlier blocks, both of head-pieces and vignettes, engraved by Bewick when very young, all previous to the year 1785, and for various publications. This collection amounted to upwards of twelve hundred. This volume contains an impression of the celebrated Old Hound, and five portraits, on wood, copies at different periods of Bewick's portrait; that facing the title, from a painting of James Ramsay, is considered the nearest likeness.
It may now be interesting to note a few traits of the genius and personal habits of Bewick, as they have been sketched by his friend, Mr. Dovaston. This gentleman observes:
"It has been said that Linnaeus did more in a given time than ever did any one man. If the surprising number of blocks of every description, for his own and others' works, cut by Bewick, be considered, though perhaps he may not rival our beloved naturalist, he may be counted among the indefatigably industrious. And amid all this he found ample time for reading and conviviality. I have seen him picking, chipping, and finishing a block, talking, whistling, and sometimes singing, while his friends have been drinking wine at his profusely hospitable table. At nights, after a hard day's work, he generally relieved his powerful mind in the bosom of his very amiable family."
"It has been supposed by many, and publicly asserted by a few, that Bewick never wrote his own works, but was wholly and solely employed on the designs; to this I have his positive contradiction, which would be enough; but that in addition to his own Memoir, which I have read in his own MS., I have seen him compose, extract, and translate passages for each bird he has engraved while I was in his house. If his works have any great defect, 'tis the defect of omission; every one laments he has given so little of the history of each bird. I have often offered him to rewrite the whole of the birds wherewith from early and lasting habits I was well acquainted, their characters and manners, interspersed with anecdotes and poetry, particularly from good old Chaucer, the bard of birds, and passages of every bearing brought together, flinging over the whole what may be called the poetic bloom of nature, in which none have so sweetly succeeded as honest White of Selborne. But this he always resolutely refused; alleging that his descriptions, whether original, copied, or compared, were unimpeachably accurate; and that was enough. And not only did he write his own language, but I often thought his talent in that department not surpassed even by the other effusions of his genius; witness his unparalleled Preface to his Fables, and his other Introductions. He said, even to the last, he felt no deficiency of his imaginative powers, in throwing-off subjects for his tail-pieces (as I named them), which were always his favourite exercise; the bird or figure he did as a task, but was relieved by working the scenery and back-ground; and after each figure he flew to the tail-piece with avidity, for in the inventive faculty his imagination revelled."
Mr. Dovaston visited Bewick, at Buxton, in 1827. Here he relates
"There were three windows in the front room, the ledges and shutters whereof he had pencilled all over with funny characters, as he saw them pass to and fro, visiting the well. These people were the source of great amusement: the probable histories of whom, and how they came by their ailings, he would humorously narrate, and sketch their figures and features in one instant of time. I have seen him draw a striking likeness on his thumb-nail in one moment; wipe it off with his tongue, and instantly draw another. We dined occasionally at the public table; and one day, over the wine, a dispute arose between two gentlemen about a bird; but was soon terminated by the one affirming he had compared it with the figure and description of Bewick, to which the other replied that Bewick was next to Nature. Here the old gentleman seized me by the thigh with his very hand-vice of a grasp; and I contrived to keep up the shuttlecock of conversation playfully to his highest satisfaction, though they who praised him so ardently, little imagined whose ears imbibed all their honest incense."
Bewick's observations on the Dove would alone prove him to have been a close observer of nature:
"He said, of all birds he thought the dove tribe most beautiful. Their outline presents every possible variety of the line of beauty; their colours are brilliant and varied; their notes amorous and soothing; their manners gentle and affectionate; their flight both rapid and graceful; and, in all times and nations, they have been emblems of peace, love, and fidelity. They have moreover, many qualities and habits exclusively peculiar to their tribe; they drink differently (by immersion), and have no gall." The "peace, fidelity, and love" of the Dove have, however, been much questioned by naturalists.
Every one will admire the simplicity of mind and heart in the following opinions of Bewick, in his chat with Mr. Dovaston. Paradise, he said, was of every man's own making; all evil caused by the abuse of free-will; happiness equally distributed, and in every one's reach. "Oh!" said he, "this is a bonny world as God made it; but man makes a packhorse of Providence." He held that innumerable things might be converted to our use that we ignorantly neglect, and quoted with great ardour, the whole of Friar Lawrence's speech in Romeo and Juliet to that effect. Again, Mr. Dovaston says, "Every body loved Bewick; all animals love him; and frequently of mornings I found him in the inn-yard, among the dogs, ducks, or pigs, throwing them pieces of biscuit, and talking to them, or to the boors, beside them, waiters, chay-boys, or boots." "Frequently," observes Mr. D., "as I walked with him along the streets of Newcastle, it was gratifying to witness how much and how generally his character and talents were respected." Of all esteem there is none more gratifying than that shown to a good man in his native place.
Bewick's powers of whistling appear to have been extraordinary. "His ear," says the agreeable reminiscent already quoted, "(as a musical feeling is called) was so delicately acute, and his inflexorical powers so nice and rapid, that he could run in any direction or modulation, the diatomic or chromatic scale, and even split the quarter-notes of the enharmonic; neither of which, however, did he understand scientifically, though so consummately elegant his execution: and his musical memory was so tenacious that he could whistle through the melodies of whole overtures; and these, he said, he could obtain having once heard from the orchestra of a playhouse, or a holiday band, in both of which he took extreme delight." Bewick's contempt for luxury was remarkable. He generally slept, even in the depth of winter, with the windows of his chamber open, though in consequence he sometimes, on awakening, found the snow lying on his bed-clothes. For money, which men in general prize so highly, Bewick had all the indifference of a philosopher.
But we must let Mr. Dovaston tell Bewick's last labours, and the close of his well-spent life:
"Having exhausted the quadrupeds and British birds as vehicles to his art, instruction, and amusements, he, late in life, took up a fervent resolution to engrave all the British Fishes, and write their histories. To this his mind was well trained, having been ever a lover of the fountains and rills, the still pools and broad waters, the majestic rivers and the mighty ocean. Here he felt the seeds of his talent stirring all a-life, where he should have to display the beauties of the finny tribe, and treat of the wonders of the great deep. When I was last in Northumberland, they showed me thirty fishes he had cut by way of trial, with the spirit and execution whereof himself was well satisfied, and his judicious friends enraptured; together with more than a hundred tail-pieces, conceived and cut, 'ay, every inch,' with all his usual imaginative appropriation and power. His art here got entirely into a new element; for, as he was forced to show the fishes out of water, he was deprived of his favourite excellence, motion; yet such motion as a fish new-landed has, he has given with elasticity and life: brilliance to the scaly, and lubricity to the smooth; so as to remind the naturalist of excellent old Chaucer's touches of nature, where
"They swommin full of smale fishes lighte, With finnis rede, and scalis silver brighte."
A single impression of his John Doree sold lately in London for ten guineas. And when they do come out, though every admirer will lament he was, long ere completion, called to his blessed account, their sorrow will be softened at beholding with what effect and spirit his animated graver has been caught up by his son."
In the summer of 1828, Bewick visited London about his works. "He was," says Mr. Dovaston, "very honourably received by many learned societies and individuals, of whom, and of whose collections, he wrote in raptures. On his return, the London and provincial papers had many paragraphs respecting this visit, his reception, and his life; to amend the errors of which statements, I must have been writing one at the very hour of his death; for I had not time to stop its insertion in one of the Shrewsbury papers, when I received a short, but most affectionate and affecting letter from his son, informing me, 'as his father's most valued friend,' that he expired, in full possession of his fine and powerful mental faculties, in quiet and cheerful resignation, on the 8th of November, 1828, in the 76th year of his age. On the morning of his death he had the satisfaction of seeing the first proof-impression of a series of large wood-engravings he had undertaken, in a superior style, for the walls of farm-houses, inns, and cottages, with a view to abate cruelty, mitigate pain, and imbue the mind and heart with tenderness and humanity; and this he called his last legacy to suffering and insulted Nature."
 The Mirror, it will be remembered, was the first work of its class that presented this economical attraction to the public: the Engravings throughout the Series number upwards of Eight Hundred.
 In the Museum at Newcastle, are many of the identical specimens from which Bewick drew his figures for the wood-cuts of his zoological works.
 See a paper on "the Life, Genius, and Personal Habits of Bewick," in the Magazine of Natural History, vol. iii.; by his friend, John F. Dovaston, Esq., A.M., of Westonfelton, near Shrewsbury. There is a vein of generous enthusiasm—a glow of friendship—a halo of the finest feelings of our nature—throughout and around this memoir, which has the sincerity and singleness of heart of—A FRIEND.
 In Mr. Dovaston's paper is a misprint, which it may be as well to notice here. It is stated that Bewick cut the Old Exchange, at Newcastle, (the vignette of the above volume) in 1719.
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MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
Mr. Rhodes, in his interesting Excursions in Derbyshire, notices the following rite at the village of Hathersage: "In this church we observed the traces of a custom that once generally prevailed in various parts of the kingdom, but is now almost totally disused; when unmarried women died, they were usually attended to the grave by the companions of their early years, who, in performing the last sad offices of friendship, accompanied the bier of the deceased with garlands tastefully composed of wreaths of flowers and every emblem of youth, purity, and loveliness, that imagination could suggest. When the body was interred, the garlands were borne into the church, and hung up in a conspicuous station, in memory of the departed. In Hathersage Church there were several of these memorials of early dissolution, but only one of a recent date: the others were covered with dust, and the hand of time had destroyed their freshness."
In Mr. Tymms's Family Topographer, vol. ii. we read—"In Stockton Church, Wilts, is a piece of iron frame-work, with some remains of faded ribbon depending from it. It is the last remain of the custom of carrying a garland decorated with ribbons before the corpse of a young unmarried woman, and afterwards suspending it in the church. This instance occurred about thirty years ago."
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THE DRUIDS AND THEIR TIMES.
Translated from the Notes to Oberon, Uber das romantische Epos. By C.M. Wieland.
The people were, during this period, in a state of the most abject vassalage; two classes alone possessing all rank and dignity, and for the most part all the riches of the country. These were the Druids and the warriors. The former composed an order consisting of three classes, Druids, Prophets, and Bards; all of whom were subject to the power of the Arch-Druid. To this order appertained the knowledge of all the sciences which were then understood. The Druids were the expounders of religious mysteries, the framers of laws, the pronouncers of judgments, and the arbitrators of rewards or punishments. The immunity which they enjoyed from war, allured many young men to enrol themselves in this order. Their education was a poetical one, for it was necessary to learn by rote several thousand verses, in which all the knowledge then extant was contained.
Kings were the servants of the Druids; and could not, without their sanction, declare war or conclude peace; nor even assemble a council. In reality, the Druids possessed the kingly power, and those who bore the name of royalty, were the mere agents who executed their commands. The first had all the authority; the latter only the odium, which attached itself to the office of the sovereign. In matters of little importance, they yielded to the monarch a trifling pre-eminence. He was permitted to wear seven different colours in his cloak, while they were modestly content with six. But even in things of imaginary importance, the Druids took care, that while they conceded but little to their king, no one should be nearly equal to them in dignity. Persons of the highest rank were only allowed to wear four colours, and the inferior grades proportionally fewer. The Druids wore long garments reaching to their heels; all others had them so short that they scarcely covered the knees. Their hair was kept short, the rest of the nation wore theirs long; while they suffered their beard to grow, others were obliged to submit their chins to the knife. They carried in their hand a white staff, called "Slatan drui eachd," or magic wand, and hung around their necks an amulet in the form of an egg, set in gold. The object of these distinctions appears to have been, that no one might fail to recognise a Druid at the first glance, and pay him the respect which his office was supposed to demand.
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RECOLLECTIONS OF A WANDERER.
...."It is past eleven," answered Lieutenant ——, as he descended the companion way, after giving some orders on deck; "a regular gale this, by Jupiter; but we are spinning away ten knots, off and on."
I stirred the fire in the cabouse, which threw a flickering light around the cabin,—now revealing the half-concealed face of a sick or sleeping passenger in the larboard tier of berths, then sinking as suddenly into gloom. The Lieutenant, Major F——, and myself, barring the boy, were the only souls astir aft below hatches. We were soon engaged in the agreeable discussion of grog and small talk. Nothing interrupted our conversation. The heavy lashing and rush of the weltering sea on the quarters—the groaning and straining of the vessel—the regular strokes of the engines which boomed indistinctly yet surely on the ear, were alike unattended to. Impelled by that mighty power, we almost bid defiance to wind and weather. As the glass circulated, the Lieutenant amused us in his own dry way with some early recollections of service; and knowing that the Major had been quartered in the Emerald Isle in "Ninety-eight," I pressed him to give us some memento of that eventful period. "Come F——, spin us a yarn, as our topmen used to say round the galley-fire, during the night-watch," added the Lieutenant.
"Now you mention ninety-eight," he replied, "I remember a 'beautiful bit of a story,' as Pat would say, which occurred that autumn; its hero was a brother officer, a particular friend of mine—it may serve to keep you awake."
Here it is:
Lieutenant Smyth had entered the army only a few months, when his regiment was suddenly ordered to march from very pleasant quarters in Devonshire to the north-west of Ireland. The change at any time would have been unpleasant, but the service they were entering upon was particularly irksome and jarring to the feelings. Grumbling, in a military man, is, however, downright folly, and they soon made themselves tolerably at home in their new quarters. It is needless to dwell upon the disturbed and distracted state of the country, or on the military movements of the time. After the regiment had been quartered at the town of —— for some months, Smyth obtained a week's leave of absence from the commanding officer, having received a pressing invitation to visit a gentleman's family, to whom he had letters of introduction, and who resided more than twenty miles from ——. This town bordered on a very wild, hilly moorland track of country, then, and perhaps now, the refuge of numerous bands of smugglers, and then also a hiding-place for a number of unfortunate people with arms in their hands. The road—if such it could be called—to his friend's house ran principally along the borders of this territory, though it sometimes diverged into it for several miles. However, matters had been tolerably quiet in the immediate district about —— for some time, and he resolved to go, especially as there was capital sporting at L——. It is unimportant to enter into a narration of all his sporting feats—how many birds he bagged, or how many salmon he caught, or ought to have caught, had it not been for some "untoward" occurrence, specifying the exact weight of the missing fish to an ounce—as fishermen generally do. On the fourth afternoon after his arrival, a letter was put into his hands, (just as the cloth was drawn, and the party were going to discuss the superlative merits of some genuine poteen,) which the servant said had been brought by a man, who waited in the hall. It was from Colonel ——, and briefly stated that peremptory orders had just been received from head-quarters, that all officers absent on leave should instantly return to duty. This was a disagreeable piece of intelligence, particularly at that hour, but necessitas non habet legem, as Dr. Birch used to tell our hero at school—the orders were imperative. Long and loud were the laments and remonstrances of the party, we are assured. After ordering Dart to be saddled, the Lieutenant stepped into the hall to have a moment's survey of the bearer of the letter, who the Colonel informed him in a postscript was a man well acquainted with the country, and would safely guide him back to ——. He found a tall, lumbering sort of fellow, one of the "finest pisantry in the world," whose appearance was not much in his favour. He started on seeing Smyth, who fancied that he discovered something deeper in the glance of his eye than his bogtrotting bearing first betokened. But it was only transitory; the fellow had a straight-forward story to tell, and of course Colonel —— would send a trustworthy messenger. Dart was soon ready at the door, and away they marched on their journey to ——. Five and twenty miles across a country—and such a country on an autumn night, was not a very cheering prospect. The guide did not belie his active appearance, but though Smyth repeatedly endeavoured to keep up a conversation, he seemed to shrink from inquiry, and went doggedly on his way, returning at last merely monosyllabic replies when addressed.
It was an autumnal evening;—the sky looked wild and stormy, though the air was densely still, and save when a momentary breeze swept by, as the night was setting in, a general hush prevailed. A general character of intense loneliness pervaded the district they were traversing. Now and then a mountain stream would flash along the bosom of a valley and relieve the mind of the traveller; but rocks and mountains, heaths and dreary wilds succeeded with unwearying sameness. Time was creeping on. After passing over this wild, irregular district they at last entered into a dark valley, which seemed of some extent. The Lieutenant thought that he had been certainly led a very different route to his friend's house, from that which his guide was now leading him, and as the gloom was increasing, he seriously expostulated with the man on the subject. He replied that five miles were saved by cutting across the moors, on which they would enter after clearing the valley. A shade of suspicion now crossed over the Lieutenant's mind. There was something remarkable in the man's silence, and he resolved when they entered on the moors to put spurs to his horse and leave the rest to fate. The road which had been on the ascent for some time, now became exceedingly bad, and indeed almost impassable. Large masses of rock were scattered over the path, and deep hollow chasms, the effect of the violent storms which descend in these wilds, were continually endangering both horse and man. At length they began to descend. The moors lay at the foot of the hill. On this side, however, the road became worse and worse, and the night darker, so that although Dart had hitherto avoided danger with the remarkable sagacity which horses possess in such cases, his rider was obliged to descend, and lead the way himself. The Lieutenant had not gone far before he was suddenly felled to the ground by a blow aimed from behind. The violence of the shock fell principally on his shoulders, though there was no doubt his assailant had intended it for his head. He was a powerful and active young man, and a desperate struggle commenced between them. They continued for several minutes in this death-wrestle, during which time they had imperceptibly drawn close to the edge of tremendous precipice which bounded the road. Smyth already heard just below them the wild screaming of some ravens, who had been disturbed by the encounter; when he made a desperate effort on the very brink of the precipice—tore from his assailant's murderous grasp—and in another instant there was a void before him; a wild shriek of despair arose in the night blast, as the wretch bounded from crag to crag—and then there was a death-like stillness.
Smyth paused not to reflect. Dart was no where visible. He, therefore, descended as fast as possible, and after one or two falls occasioned by his impatience and the darkness of the night, at last entered on what appeared to be a vast moor. In a short time the moon rose. Two immense parallel masses of dense clouds stretched across the entire horizon; the upper limb of the planet, of a deep crimson, was alone visible betwixt them, and shed a sombre light over the waste. He thought he had seldom seen any thing so impressive; combined with the low moaning of the night-breeze, which rose and sank at intervals, with a wild and wailing murmur. The light was so indistinct that he could discover nothing of his horse, and in the lawless state of the country no time was to be lost in getting to a place of safety. But, the direction?
After wandering on for several miles, he at last struck on a path, and following it a short way, his attention was attracted to a glow of light, which rose just before him, on what appeared to be the surface of the moor. He cautiously advanced several steps, and perceived that the light rose near the edge of a declivity, and the noise of human voices was now distinctly apparent. Little doubt could exist that it was a haunt either of smugglers or insurgents, with the description of some of which the situation accurately corresponded. It would have been more prudent to have instantly retreated; but the organ of inquisitiveness was, we presume, very fully developed in Smyth; he stepped forward a little to have a better survey of the locale, when the ground or rather turf roof of a sort of outhouse, suddenly gave way under him, and he gently descended among some hay, with which the place was nearly filled. It may be supposed his curiosity received a sudden check by this adventure. An imperfectly constructed partition divided him from the party whose voices he had heard aloft. You might have heard his heart beat for two or three minutes, as it was very probable that the noise of his fall would have disturbed the inmates—but the conversation went on in the same monotonous tone.
"Och, Brine Morrice, avic, sure an that thief o' the worl', Will Guire, hasn't been after letten' the soger-officer com' over him?"
"Bad luck to him, Misthress Burke, agra, in troth I was jist awond'ring what keeps Tom Daly and the b'ys out—and them were to have had the red-coat these three hours agone!"
"Hisht jewel, I heard a noise—och, musha, its the b'ys sure enough—and the —— Saxon with 'em, I'll be bail!"
At this moment several men arrived in front of the edifice, and, to the horror of Smyth proceeded first to the outhouse: the door was banged open, and after muttering something, a heavy substance was thrown in and the door again pulled to. Presently they entered the kitchen, and Smyth's heart beat high when his own name was mentioned. In the confusion of voices, he could not make out much of their brogue, but it appeared that the messenger sent by Colonel —— had been waylaid, and the fellow that attempted his life was sent in his stead: this party had arranged to meet him at a certain place, on his return, but after waiting three hours, apprehending treachery, they came away. He could make out little else, except a volley of outlandish oaths at their unsuccessful trip. It appeared evident from this that the temptation of plunder had induced the guide to make the attack beforehand.
Every moment, however, that Smyth lingered in this den lessened his chance of escape. Immediately above him hung a piece of rope, and after a violent effort, he succeeded in getting his head once more into the fresh air; but just as he clambered out upon the turf, the noise aroused the dogs in the kitchen, and their furious barking, accompanied by a great stir amongst the men, gave wings to Smyth's feet, and he plunged forward at random again into the waste. At that moment the moon fell full upon his path, though dense masses of clouds were sailing across the sky. He soon found they had struck on his track, and already the yelling of dogs and men boomed distinctly on his ears. By that instinct with which men are often gifted in such cases, the footsteps of his pursuers already trod, as it were, upon his heart. The voices of the bloodhounds which were considerably in advance of the men, had an awful effect in the stillness of the night. His strength now began to give way—his heart beat thicker—he almost grew desperate, and more than once resolved to make a stand, and sell his life dearly. From the rapidity of the chase, a considerable distance had been traversed, and the sky which had long been threatening, now began to exhibit warnings of a storm. The moon was obscured by a vast gathering of clouds, and the deep stillness which had prevailed in the earlier part of the evening was succeeded by violent gusts of wind and large pattering drops. It was a dreary moment. The dogs were fast drawing on their victim, and nothing but despair and death stared him in the face. The ground now began to get irregular and varied, and a hope arose in his heart that he was getting on the verge of the moors. Still he was entirely ignorant as to the direction. The clouds then burst with a violence which their threatening aspect had long foretold, and in an instant Smyth was drenched to the skin; the ground became slippery, and the footing was precarious. Still he burst wildly onwards; he fancied he heard the noise of running water—he redoubled his now slackening speed, and in another instant came to the banks of what appeared a small river. He dashed into the rapid stream, and instead of crossing ran up the opposite side in the shallow part, knowing that the dogs would thus be thrown off the scent. He had not advanced far before they arrived at the brink he had left, and by their increased yelling, showed that they were at fault. He sustained many a severe and dangerous fall amongst the slippery stones in the river; but hope had sprung up in his heart, and it was not without a fervent prayer that he heard the shouts and yells of his pursuers wax fainter and fainter. In about half an hour he reached a small lake or tarn, as it is called in the north, which appeared to be the source of the stream. Here he had breathing time; but he was chilled with wet, and altogether in a dismal condition. He more than once thought he heard the voices of men and dogs in the blast; but their search was in vain, for about daybreak he reached a place of safety more dead than alive.
Here the loud snoring of Lieutenant ——, put an end to the narration.
* * * * *
STUPENDOUS BRIDGE IN SPAIN.
Bridges are amongst the noblest, if not the most ancient, triumphs of human art. Many of the specimens of former ages are admired for their massive solidity, as well as for the beauty of their architectural decoration. The present bridge, a fabric of the last century, has neither of these attractions, though it is constructed upon the best principle of modern bridge-building—that of having one single arch. Peronnet and De Chezi, two celebrated engineers, who are regarded as the founders of a new school of bridge architecture in France, made it their study to render the piers as light, and the arches as extended and lofty as possible; and the above bridge is a handsome structure of this class. It has been objected that the modern French bridges have not that character of strength and solidity which the ancient bridges possessed, and that in the latter, the eye is generally less astonished, but the mind more satisfied, than in the former. To these objections the Spanish bridge is by no means liable, as we shall proceed to show from its details.
The present bridge extends across the river, Guadiaro, in the South of Spain, and connects the romantic city of Ronda with its suburbs. The situation of the city, encircled by Guadiaro, is described by Mr. Jacob, as follows:—
"It is placed on a rock, with cliffs, either perpendicular and abrupt towards the river, or with broken craggs, whose jutting prominences, having a little soil, have been planted with orange and fig trees. A fissure in this rock, of great depth, surrounds the city on three sides, and at the bottom of the fissure the river rushes along with impetuous rapidity. Two bridges are constructed over the fissure; the first is a single arch, resting on the rocks on the two sides, the height of which from the water is one hundred and twenty feet. The river descends from this to the second bridge, whilst the rocks on each side as rapidly increase in height; so that from this second bridge to the water, there is the astonishing height of two hundred and eighty feet. The highest tower in Spain, the Giralda, in Seville, or the Monument, near London Bridge, if they were placed on the water, might stand under this stupendous arch, without their tops reaching to it."
"The mode of constructing this bridge is no less surprising than the situation in which it is placed, and its extraordinary elevation; it is a single arch of one hundred and ten feet in diameter; it is supported by solid pillars of masonry, built from the bottom of the river, about fifteen feet in thickness, which are fixed into the solid rock on both sides, and on which the ends of the arch rest; other pillars are built to support these principal ones, which are connected with them by other small arches. But as it is difficult to describe such an edifice, I must refer to the sketch I have made of it." (See the Cut.)
"A bridge was built on this spot in 1735, but the key-stone not having been properly secured, it fell down in 1741, by which fifty persons were killed. The present bridge was finished in 1774, by Don Joseph Martin Aldeheula, a celebrated architect of Malaga; and appears so well constructed as to bid defiance almost to time itself."
"It is impossible to convey an adequate idea of it: from below it appears suspended in the air; and when upon the bridge, the river beneath appears no longer a mighty torrent, but resembles a rippling brook. When standing on the bridge, the optical delusion is very singular: the torrent of water appears to run up a hill towards the bridge, and the same phenomenon takes place when viewed in either direction."
"One of the streets of the city is built almost close to the edge of the precipice, and stairs are hewn out of the solid rock, which lead to nooks in the lower precipices, in which, though there is very little soil, gardens have been formed, where fig and orange trees grow with considerable luxuriance, and greatly contribute to the beauty of the scenery. From the situation of Ronda on the top of a rock, water is scarce, and stairs are constructed down to the river, by which means the inhabitants are supplied. We descended by one flight of three hundred and fifty steps, and at the bottom found a fine spring, in a large cave, which, after turning a mill at its source, contributes to increase the waters of the Guadiaro. From this spot, our view of the lofty bridge was most striking and impressive, and the houses and churches of the city, impending over our heads on both banks, had a most sublime effect. Beyond the bridge, the river takes a turn to the right, and passes under the Alameyda, from which, the precipice of five hundred feet is very bold and abrupt, though interspersed with jutting prominences, covered with shrubs and trees".
 Travels in the South of Spain. By William Jacob, Esq., M.P., F.R.S. 4to., 1811.
* * * * *
STATUE OF MR. CANNING.
This colossal bronze statue to the memory of George Canning, has lately been placed in Old Palace Yard, Westminster; the cost being defrayed by public subscription. The artist is Mr. Westmacott. The figure is to be admired for its simplicity, though, altogether, it has more stateliness than natural ease. The likeness is strikingly accurate, and bears all the intellectual grandeur of the orator. Some objection may be taken to the disposal of the robes, and the arrangement of the toga is in somewhat too theatrical a style. We should, at the same time recollect, that the representation of a British senator in the costume of a Roman is almost equally objectionable. It would surely be more consistent that statues should be in the costume of the period and of the country in which the person lived. We know this will be opposed on the score of classic taste, which, in this instance, it seems difficult to reconcile with common sense.
The statue is placed on a granite pedestal, and stands within a railed enclosure, planted with trees and shrubs, and adjoining the footway of Palace Yard. The bronze appears to have been tinted with the view of obtaining the green rust which is so desirable on statues. The effect is not, however, so good as could be wished: the green colour being too light, and at some distance not sufficiently perceptible from the foliage of the trees which rise around the figure.
The situation of the statue has been judiciously chosen, being but a short distance from the senate wherein Canning built up his earthly fame. The association is unavoidable; and scores of patriotic men who pass by this national tribute to splendid talent may feel its inspiring influence. Still, rather than speculate upon Mr. Canning's political career, we quote Lord Byron's manly eulogium on the illustrious dead: "Canning," said Byron, in his usual energetic manner, "is a genius, almost an universal one, an orator, a wit, a poet, and a statesman." Again,
Yet something may remain, perchance, to chime With reason, and what's stranger still, with rhyme; Even this thy genius, CANNING! may permit, Who, bred a statesman, still was born a wit, And never, even in that dull house, could'st tame To unleaven'd prose thine own poetic flame; Our last, our best, our only Orator, Ev'n I can praise thee.
It may be interesting to observe that the colour so much admired on bronze statues is fine dark green from the oxide formed upon the metal, which, being placed without doors, is more liable to be corroded by water holding in solution the principles of the atmosphere; "and the rust and corrosion, which are made poetically, qualities of time, depend upon the oxydating powers of water, which, by supplying oxygen in a dissolved or condensed state enable the metal to form new combinations."—Sir H. Davy.
* * * * *
THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
RHYMING RUMINATIONS ON OLD LONDON BRIDGE.
Oh! ancient London Bridge, And art thou done for? To walk across thee were a privilege That some unborn enthusiasts would run for. I have crossed o'er thee many and many a time, And hold my head the higher for having done it; Considering it a prime And rare adventure—worthy of a sonnet Or little flight in rhyme, A monody, an elegy, or ode, Or whatsoever name may be bestowed On this wild rhapsody of lawless chime— When I have done it.
How many busy hands, and heads, and hearts— What quantities of great and little people As thick as shot; Some of considerable pride and parts, And high in their own eyes as any steeple, Though now forgot! How many dogs, and sheep, and pigs, and cattle, How many trays of hot-cross buns and tarts, How many soldiers ready armed for battle, How many cabs, and coaches, drags, and carts, Bearing the produce of a thousand marts, How many monarchs poor, and beggars proud, Bishops too humble to be contumacious; How many a patriot—many a watchman loud— Lawyers too honest, ay, and thieves too gracious: In short, how great a number Of busy men— As well as thousand loads of human lumber Have past, old fabric, o'er thee! How can I then But heartily deplore thee!
Milton himself thy path has walked along, That noble, bold, and glorious politician, That mighty prince of everlasting song! That bard of heaven, earth, chaos, and perdition! Poor hapless Spenser, too, that sweet musician Of faery land, Has crossed thee, mourning o'er his sad condition, And leaning upon sorrow's outstretched hand. Oft, haply, has great Newton o'er thee stalked So much entranced, He knew not haply if he ran or walked, Hopped, waddled, leaped, or danced.
Along thee, too, Johnson has sideways staggered, With the old wolf inside of him unfed; And Savage roamed, with visage lean and haggard, Longing for bread. And next in note, Dear worthy Goldsmith with his gaudy coat, Unheeded by the undiscerning folks; There Garrick too has sped, And, light of heart, he cracked his playful jokes— Yet though he walked, on Foote he cracked them not; And Steele, and Fielding, Butler, Swift, and Pope— Who filled the world with laughter, joy, and hope; And thousands, that throw sunshine on our lot, And, though they die, can never be forgot.
These comets of their day Have passed away, Their dust is now to kindred dust consigned; Down at death's knees e'en they were forced to bow, Yet each has left an honour'd name behind— And so, old bridge, hast thou; Thou hast outlasted many a generation; And well nigh to the last looked well and hearty; Thou hast seen much of civil perturbation, And hast supported many a different party. Yet think not I deride: Many great characters of modern days, (The worthy vicars of convenient Brays) Have thought it no disgrace to change their side. And yet now many a luckless boat, How many a thoughtless, many a jovial crew, How many a young apprentice of no note; How many a maiden fair and lover true— Have passed down thy Charybdis of a throat, And gone, Oh! dreadful Davy Jones, to you! The coroner for Southwark, or the City, Calling a jury with due form and fuss, To find a verdict, amidst signs of pity, In phrase poetic—thus:— "Found Drown'd!"
* * * * *
TRUE STORIES OF MAGIC IN THE EAST.
By Charles Macfarlane, Esq.
When that enterprising, intelligent, and inquisitive traveller, Mr. R—— was travelling in Egypt some few years ago, his curiosity was excited by the extraordinary stories current about magic and magicians, and by degrees, despite of a proper Christian education, he became enamoured of the secret sciences. He even made some advances in them, under proper masters, and would have made more, had he not met an Italian who was supposed to be a proficient in the learning of Egypt. But this worthy bade him look at his worn body, his haggard, harrowed countenance, and awfully warned him, as he valued quiet days, and slumbering nights, to shun the dangerous pursuits in which he had engaged. Mr. R—— took his advice, and thought little more of the matter, until some time after when he was staying with his friend Mr. S—— at the —— consulate at Alexandria. Mr. S—— almost as intelligent a gentleman as Mr. R——, had lost some silver spoons, and it was determined perhaps to frighten the servants of the house into confession, or perhaps, (and what is just as likely,) for a frolic and the indulgence of Mr. R——'s well known curiosity, to summon a conjuror, or wise man. There happened to be a famous magician, lately arrived from distant parts of Africa, then at hand, and he came at their call. This man asked for nothing but an innocent boy under ten years of age, a virgin, or a woman quick with child. The first of the three was the easiest to be procured, and a boy was brought in from a neighbouring house, who knew nothing at all of the robbery; in case his age should not be guarantee sufficient, a sort of charm was wrought, which proved to the professor's satisfaction that he was free from sin. The magician then recited divers incantations, drew a circle on the floor, and placed the boy, who was rather frightened, in the middle of the circle. Other incantations were then muttered. The next thing the magician did, was to pour a dark liquid, like ink, into the hollow of the boy's hand; he then burned something which produced a smoke like incense, but bluer and thicker, and then he desired the boy to look into the palm of his hand, and to tell him what he saw. The boy did as he was bid, but said he saw nothing. The magician bade him look again; this second time the boy started back in terror, and said he saw in the palm of his hand a man with a bundle. "Look again," said the magician, "and tell me what there is in the bundle."
"I cannot see," said the boy, renewing the investigation, "but stop," he added after a moment, "there's a hole in the handkerchief, and I see the ends of some silver spoons peeping out!"
"Look again—look again, and tell me what you see."
"He is running away between my fingers!" replied the boy.
"Before he goes describe his dress, person, and countenance."
The boy looked again into his hand.
"Ay, tell us how he is dressed," cried Mr. S——, who had become more than half serious, and anxious to know who had purloined his spoons.
The boy turned his head immediately and said,
"He is gone!"
"To be sure he is," said the necromancer angrily, "the Christian gentleman has destroyed the spell; tell us how he was dressed?"
"The man with a bundle had on a Frank coat and a Frank hat," said the boy unhesitatingly—and here his revelations ended.
Though much mollified at the interruption of which he had been the cause, Mr. S—— had the satisfaction to learn that his plate had not been stolen by an unbelieving Egyptian or Arab, but by a Christian and a Frank, and, with his friend Mr. R—— to enjoy the conviction, that in the singular scene they had witnessed there could be no collusion, as the innocent boy (they were certain) had never seen the necromancer until summoned to the —— consulate to make a looking-glass of his hand.
Some recent French publication has trumped up a story about Bonaparte and the magicians, when that extraordinary man was in Egypt, and separated from the fair Josephine, who was then, though his wife, supposed to be the object of his amorous affections; and they make the conqueror—the victor of the battle of the Pyramids, turn pale, and then yellow with jealousy, at the revelations which were made to him by the wise men of Egypt. But besides the characters of Napoleon and of Josephine, I have other grounds (not necessary to explain here) for believing that the whole of this incident, is but a parody of the following well known story.
An honest Neapolitan trader who happened to be for some months on the coast of Africa, about Tunis, and in Egypt, became all at once anxious to know something of the proceedings of a buxom wife he had left behind him at the town of the Torre del Greco, not far from the city of Naples, and was persuaded one night to consult the magicians.
An innocent boy was procured, as usual, who, when the charm began to work, said he saw a woman in a blue jacket that had a great deal of gold lace upon it, in a bright yellow robe of very ample dimensions, with a necklace of coral round her neck, immense earrings to her ears, and a long silver thing, shaped like an arrow, thrust through her hair which was much bundled on the top of her head. In short he described most accurately the gala dress of the Neapolitan's cara sposa, and afterwards her features to the very turn of her nose. She was then kneeling by the side of a box, in which was seated a man in black, fast asleep. The Neapolitan knew this must be the confessional.
When told to look again, the scene was changed to a very large and curious house, such as the seer had never seen, all crowded with people, and dazzling to the eye from an immensity of gilding and wax-lights. This the Neapolitan knew must mean the theatre of San Carlo, the paradise of his countrymen, but he never could fancy his wife should be there in his absence. She was though, for presently the boy said, "And there I see the woman in the blue jacket, with a man in a red coat whispering into her ear." "The devil!" muttered the Neapolitan to himself.
"Look again! and tell me what you see now," said the magician.
"I can hardly see at all," replied the boy, looking into the palm of his hand very closely, "it is so dark; but now I see a long street, and a large building with iron gratings, and more than a dozen skulls stuck at one corner of it, and a little farther on I see a large wide gate, and beyond it a long road; and now I see the woman in the blue, and the man in the red jacket, turning down the second street to the left of the road, and now there is an old woman opening * * *"
"I will hear no more!" bawled the Neapolitan, who had heard but too correctly described the approach to the "stews" of Naples: and he struck the boy's hand with such violence against his face that it flattened his nose.
The charm was thus dissolved; but the correctness of the magician's revelation was tolerably well corroborated, when some time after the Neapolitan suddenly appeared at his home at the Torre del Greco, and learned that his wife had disappeared with a corporal of the guards.
(To be concluded in our next.)
* * * * *
ECONOMY OF MACHINERY AND MANUFACTURES.
The volume lately published by Mr. Babbage, with the above title, is, without exception, one of the most practical works ever produced in this or any other country. To our minds, it is beyond all price, and, as illustrating the arts of life and society, it is, to use a very homely phrase, worth its weight in gold. The proposition may be a whimsical one, but we doubt whether a mass of gold, of the same dimensions as Mr. Babbage's volume, could be made to diffuse more happiness and real enjoyment than the right understanding and application of the principles illustrated in its pages. Theory and practice, proposition and proof, go hand in hand through every chapter; and all this has been done in such concise language, and with such avoidance of technical terms as to be intelligible to readers of any grade. The author is a professor of mathematics at Cambridge, but his honours are not vaunted in fine unintelligibilities: he writes of common things in a common way, and not, like Hudibras, who told the clock by algebra, or, like the lady in Dr. Young's Satires, who drank tea by stratagem. Would that all professors had written in the same vein. Then, learning would not have been so mixed up with the mysticism of the cell and the cloister, nor the evils of ignorance have so long retarded the happiness of mankind: for, "learning," observes one of the greatest moralists of his day, "once made popular is no longer learning; it has the appearance of something which we have bestowed upon ourselves, as the dew appears to rise from the field which it refreshes."
The origin of Mr. Babbage's work will best explain its practical worth. He considers it as one of the consequences that have resulted from the Calculating Machine, the construction of which he has been long superintending. Having been induced during the last ten years to visit a considerable number of workshops and factories, both in England and on the Continent, for the purpose of endeavouring to make himself acquainted with the various resources of mechanical art, he was insensibly led to apply to them those principles of generalization to which his other pursuits had naturally given rise. It should be observed, that he has not attempted to offer a complete enumeration of all the mechanical principles which regulate the application of machinery to arts and manufactures, but he has endeavoured to present to the reader those which struck him as the most important, either for understanding the action of machines, or of enabling the memory to classify and arrange the facts connected with their employment. Or, a still more lucid explanation of the object of the volume is—"to point out the effects and the advantages which arise from the use of tools and machines;—to endeavour to classify their modes of action;—and to trace both the causes and the consequences of applying machinery to supersede the skill and power of the human arm."
To dwell upon the interest of these inquiries in a manufacturing country like our own, would be a waste of time; as it would be to question their full appreciation by the, par excellence, useful classes. Yet, a lamentable indifference to manufacturing processes pervades wealthier persons. Mr. Babbage observes, "those who possess rank in a manufacturing country can scarcely be excused if they are entirely ignorant of principles whose developement has produced its greatness. The possessors of wealth can scarcely be indifferent to processes which nearly or remotely have been the fertile source of their possessions. Those who enjoy leisure can scarcely find a more interesting and instructive pursuit than the examination of the workshops of their own country, which contain within them a rich mine of knowledge, too generally neglected by the wealthier classes." This complaint is we fear but too well grounded; and it is to such indifference, not to say ignorance, that we must attribute the perversion of wealth from the encouragement of art and science to objects less worthy of patronage. Unhappily for all states of mankind, enjoyment too often drives from the mind of the possessor, the bare remembrance of the means of acquisition: luxury forgets the innumerable ingenuities that minister to its cravings, and wealth, once obtained, unfits the mind for future self-exertion or sympathy for others. Many an upstart voluptuary surveys the elegancies of his well-furnished mansion in comparative ignorance of the means employed for their perfection; and, as regards his stock of knowledge conducive to happiness, he is in a more "parlous state" than the poor shepherd who had not been at court. How many of the prodigals that cross in the steam-boat from Dover to Calais are acquainted with the first principles of the mighty power by which they are impelled, or have any feeling beyond vulgar wonder at its advantages! Again, what account can such persons furnish of the curious processes employed in workshops, which they have witnessed—as the manufacture of a musket at Birmingham, a razor at Sheffield, a piece of cotton at Manchester, a pair of stockings at Nottingham, a tea-cup at Worcester, a piece of ribbon at Coventry, an anchor or a ship at Portsmouth, &c. Yet these labours involve triumphs of ingenuity which once witnessed ought never to pass from the memory.
We intend to devote a future page or two to exemplars from Mr. Babbage's volume; but, as our extracts can be but solitary specimens we recommend the reader who wishes fully to appreciate its worth to purchase the work.
* * * * *
STATISTICAL SKETCHES OF UPPER CANADA.
This eighteenpenny pamphlet—"for the use of emigrants, by a Backwoodsman," is one of the pleasantest and most sensible little books of the day. It is worth all the "great big books" upon the same subject, and, strange to say, has scarcely a spice of the leaven of party wickedness in its pages. The information is in a facete but earnest vein, and we cheerfully miss in its tone the dull preachment, the cold calculation, and matter-of-fact obstinacy of a work professing to be statistical. After a just censure upon the swarm of books on emigration, and their insufficiencies, (from which we are glad to perceive Mr. Gourlay's "really valuable and statistical account" is exempt,) the writer observes:
"My endeavour in these pages shall be to give such information to emigrants, that they may not be disappointed on their arrival in Canada;—that they may know how to proceed and where to go, and not as too often happens, waste their time and their money in the great towns, making fruitless inquiries of people just as ignorant of the nature and capabilities of the country as themselves with this difference, that they are aware of their ignorance, whereas their advisers think they know something about the matter, and thereby often unintentionally mislead and deceive them. In looking over this my introduction, I find I have been most abominably egotistical;—so much so indeed, that my printer, were I to continue through the work in this strain, might have the same excuse that poor John Ballantine had for his delay in printing a learned work by the Earl of B——, viz. that he had not a sufficient number of capital I-s in his printing-office. But if the reader will overlook this fault for once, I shall try to avoid it in future."
The first chapter opens with the cause of the present distress: then comes the remedy, and a reply to the question, Who are to go to Canada?—
"In the first place, all who cannot comfortably support themselves by their labour at home; because let a man be ever so poor in this country, his wages as a labourer will more than support his family,—and if he be prudent and sober, he may in a short time save money enough to purchase for himself a farm,—and if he has a family, so much the better, as children are the best stock a farmer can possess, the labour of a child seven years old being considered worth his maintenance and education, and the wages of a boy of twelve or fourteen years of age being higher than those of a stout and skilful ploughman in most parts of Great Britain, generally from three to four dollars a month, with bed, board, and washing besides. At home they talk of 'a poor man with a large family;' but such a phrase in Canada would be a contradiction of terms; for a man here who has a large family must, under ordinary circumstances, soon cease to be a poor man. Mechanics and artizans of almost all descriptions,—millwrights, blacksmiths, carpenters, masons, bricklayers, tailors, shoemakers, tanners, millers, and all the ordinary trades that are required in an agricultural and partially ship-owning and commercial country, will do well to come to Canada.
"Of these trades, the blacksmith, tailor, shoemaker, and tanner, are the best. If there were in nature (which is doubtful) such a being as a sober blacksmith, he might make a fortune. One exception there is, however, in the case of mechanics. First-rate London workmen will not receive such high wages either positively or relatively, as they would at home,—for this reason, that there are few on this continent who either require or can afford work of the very first order, and those that do, send to London for it."
The services of a family in managing a business are thus illustrated:
"If a man has not sons capable of looking after the different branches, he must entrust the care of them to clerks and servants. But these are not to be had ready-made:—he must, therefore, take a set of unlicked cubs and teach them their business; and when that is fairly done, it is ten to one but, having become acquainted with his business and his customers, they find means to set up an opposition, and take effectually the wind out of their former patrons sails. Where, however, a man has a large family of sons, he can wield a large capital in business, and to very good purpose too."
A man of fortune ought not to come to Canada. It is emphatically "the poor man's country;" but it would be difficult to make it the country of the rich. It is a good country for the poor man to acquire a living in, or for a man of small fortune to economize and provide for his family.
Infant emigration, or the sending out of parish children, of from 6 to 12 years of age with a qualified superintendant, is a favourite idea of the writer. He objects to bringing out adult parish paupers from the chance of getting only the drunken, the vicious, and the idle as emigrants, though "there is one security, however, that we must always have against such a contingency, namely, that the rapscallionly part of the community, knowing that, if they remain in England, the parish must maintain them, and that if they go to Canada they must work for their living, may not be easily induced to quit their present advantageous position."
Chapter II. details preparations for emigration. Carrying heavy lumbering wooden furniture to the woods of Upper Canada is as "coals to Newcastle." The black walnut makes handsomer furniture than mahogany, and does not so easily stain, a property which saves much scrubbing and not a little scolding in families. In clothes, boots and shoes are most useful, for Canadian leather resembles hide, and one pair of English shoes will easily last out three American. In Canada, a sovereign generally fetches 23s. or 24s. currency, that is 5s. to the dollar;—1s. sterling, passes for 1s. 2d. currency, so that either description of bullion gives a good remittance: "one great objection, however, to bringing out money, is the liability there is of losing, or being robbed of it." Live stock is much wanted: "dogs would be very valuable if trained to bring home the cattle, which often stray into the woods; with careless settlers, indeed, one half of the day is often spent in hunting up, and driving home the oxen." The water of the St. Lawrence is, it appears, more deleterious than our Thames: "when you arrive in the St. Lawrence, having been on shortish allowance of water, you will be for swallowing the river water by the bucket full. Now, if you have any bowels of compassion for your intestinal canal, you will abstain from so doing;—for to people not accustomed to it, the lime that forms a considerable constituent part of the water of this country, acts pretty much in the same manner as would a solution of Glauber's salts, and often generates dysentery and diarrhoea; and though I have an unbounded veneration for the principles of the Temperance societies, I would, with all deference, recommend, that the pure fluid be drank in very small quantities at first, and even these tempered with the most impalpable infusion possible of Jamaica or Cognac."
Chapter III.—What is to be done on landing at Quebec? If you are a rich man, see sights; if you have not money to throw away, do not stay one hour in Quebec, or in any other town, longer than you can possibly avoid, "but get your luggage on board the Montreal steam-boat, and be off if possible in ten minutes after anchor has been let go;—for by daudling about Quebec, Montreal, Kingston, and York, you will spend more money and lose more time, than, if properly employed, might have lodged and fed yourself and family during the first and worst year of your residence in the new world." In the choice of land, the writer recommends the Huron tract:—"It has been objected by some, that this tract of country is out of the world; but no place can be considered in that light, to which a steam-boat can come; and on this continent, if you find a tract of good land, and open it for sale, the world will very soon come to you. Sixteen years ago, the town of Rochester consisted of a tavern and a blacksmith's shop—it is now a town containing upwards of 16,000 inhabitants. The first time the Huron tract was ever trod by the foot of a white man was in the summer of 1827; next summer a road was commenced, and that winter and in the ensuing spring of 1829, a few individuals made a lodgment: now it contains upwards of 600 inhabitants, with taverns, shops, stores, grist and saw-mills, and every kind of convenience that a new settler can require; and if the tide of emigration continues to set in as strongly as it has done, in ten years from this date it may be as thickly settled as any part of America."
Chapter IV.—Climate of Upper Canada is clever, and of popular interest.
Chapter V. is devoted to Field Sports in Canada, and explains the choice of dogs and guns, and the varieties of game. It notices the remarkable fact—that, notwithstanding 15,000 English agricultural labourers have arrived in Canada within the last three years, they no more think of shooting than if they were cockneys, and York, on the banks of a lake, and surrounded by a forest, is positively without anything like a regular supply of fish or game; yet it may be supposed that every twentieth of these men, when at home, was a poacher, or had in his days infringed on the game laws: "would a total repeal of the game laws produce anything of a similar effect at home?"
Chapter V. relates to Travelling and Communications, with a few cookery receipts of a London tavern, as frying beef-steak in butter; boiling green peas till they burst, and serving them in a wash-hand basin; pickling cucumbers, the size of a man's foot, with whiskey, and giving them a "bilious, Calcutta-looking complexion, and slobbery, slimy consistence: but," says the writer, "how poultry is dressed, so as to deprive it of all taste and flavour, and give it much the appearance of an Egyptian mummy, I am not sufficiently skilled in Transatlantic cookery to determine; unless it be, by first boiling it to rags and then baking it to a chip in an oven."
Chapter VI. relates to the Soil; in which are the following particulars of Long Point:
"This country owes its settlement solely to the persevering industry of my worthy and excellent friend, Colonel Talbot. Forty years ago, while exploring the about-to-be province, on the staff of its governor, General Simcoe, he was struck with the beauty and fertility of this tract; and afterwards observing that, from the improvident grants of the colonial government to friends and favourites, this fertile country, if left in their hands, would continue for ages a howling wilderness, he procured from the authorities at home an exclusive power of settling it. For this purpose he set himself down in the very midst of the territory, without another human habitation within fifty miles of him, and commenced his arduous undertaking by cutting out roads, amidst much head-shaking from the sage, and sneering from the ignorant. He however never was a man who held as a part of his creed the wise aphorism, so often quoted in the present day, 'Vox populi vox Dei;' but held steadily on in the teeth of opposition, vexation, and disappointment, until after about fifteen years of unremitting labour and privation, it became so notorious in the province, that even the executive government at York became aware that there was such a place in existence as the Talbot settlement, where roads were cut, and farms in progress:—and hereupon they rejoiced,—for it held out to them just what they had long felt the want of,—a well-settled, opened, and cultivated country, wherein to obtain estates for themselves, their children, born and unborn, and their whole kith, kin, and allies. When this idea, so creditable to the paternal feelings of these worthy gentlemen was intimated to the Colonel, he could not be brought to see the fitness of things in an arrangement which would confer on the next generation, or the next again, the fruits of the labour of the present; and accordingly, though his answer to the proposal was not couched in terms quite so diplomatic as might have been wished, it was brief, soldier-like, and not easily capable of misconstruction;—it was in these words, 'I'll be —— if you get one foot of land here;' and thereupon the parties joined issue. On this, war was declared against him by his Excellency in Council, and every means were used to annoy him here, and misrepresent his proceedings at home; but he stood firm, and by an occasional visit to the Colonial Office in England, he opened the eyes of ministers to the proceedings of both parties, and for awhile averted the danger. At length, some five years ago, finding the enemy was getting too strong for him, he repaired once more to England, and returned in triumph with an order from the Colonial Office, that nobody was in any way to interfere with his proceedings; and he has now the pleasure of contemplating some hundreds of miles of the best roads in the province, closely settled on each side by the most prosperous farmers within its bounds, who owe all they possess to his judgment, enthusiasm, and perseverance, and who are grateful to him in proportion to the benefits he has bestowed upon them, though in many instances much against their will at the time. I spent a fortnight with him some eighteen months ago; and certainly one of his levees with his settlers would, if as well reported, be quite as amusing as one of those Mornings at Bow Street—that about the time I left London were styled, by some wag, the leading articles of the Morning Herald."
Chapter VII. describes the operation of the Lumber Trade, which has been carried on as follows:
"A person, possessed of little or no capital and inflated with the spirit of speculation, hires a number of hands, and purchases a quantity of provisions (on credit), and betakes himself to the woods. His terms with his men are to feed them, supply them with what necessaries they may require, and pay them when he sells his raft."
Chapter VIII. enumerates the Religious Sects, and Chapter IX. consists of Odds and Ends. From the latter we quote:
"Very erroneous notions are current in England with regard to the taxation of the United States. The truth is, that though America is lightly taxed in comparison with England, it is by no means to be considered so when compared to most of the continental nations. The account usually rendered of American taxation is fallacious. It is stated, that something under six millions sterling, or about 10s. per head on an average, pays the whole army, navy, civil list, and interest of debt of the United States, while we require fifty millions, or nearly 2l. 10s. each, for the same purpose. But the fact is, that that sum is only about half what the Americans pay in reality; for each individual state has its own civil list, and all the machinery of a government to support; and insignificant as the expenses of that government appear in detail, yet the aggregate is of very serious importance. For instance, there are five times as many judges in the state of New York alone as in Great Britain and Ireland; and though each individual of these were to receive no more than we would pay a macer of the court, yet when there comes to be two or three hundred of them, it becomes a serious matter; nor does it make any difference, in fact whether they are paid out of the exchequer of the state, or by the fees of the suitors in their courts; they are equally paid by a tax on the people in either case. Although the necessaries of life are cheap in America, and equally cheap in Canada, the luxuries of life are higher by several hundred per cent in the one country than the other. Thus, wine in the United States is so highly taxed, that in a tavern at New York you pay more for a bottle of Madeira than in one at London, viz. five dollars,—and fifteen shillings for port."
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(From the fourth edition of the work of that title.)
The southern wits are like cucumbers, which are commonly all good in their kind; but at best are an insipid fruit: while the northern geniuses are like melons, of which not one in fifty is good; but when it is so, it is an exquisite relish.—Berkeley.
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There is some help for all the defects of fortune; for if a man cannot attain to the length of his wishes, he may have his remedy by cutting of them shorter.—Cowley.
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Fear sometimes adds wings to the heels, and sometimes nails them to the ground, and fetters them from moving.—Montaigne.
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When I reflect, as I frequently do, upon the felicity I have enjoyed, I sometimes say to myself, that, were the offer made true, I would engage to run again, from beginning to end, the same career of life. All I would ask, should be the privilege of an author, to correct in a second edition, certain errors of the first.—Franklin's Life.
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I do not call him a poet that writes for his own diversion, any more than that gentleman a fiddler who amuses himself with a violin.—Swift.
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Pleasure of meat, drink, clothes, &c., are forbidden those that know not how to use them; just as nurses cry pah! when they see a knife in a child's hand; they will never say any thing to a man.—Selden.
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There be that can pack the cards, and yet cannot play well: so there are some that are good in canvasses and factions, that are otherwise weak men.—Lord Bacon.
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A poet hurts himself by writing prose; as a race-horse hurts his motions by condescending to draw in a team.—Shenstone.
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I cannot imagine why we should be at the expense to furnish wit for succeeding ages, when the former have made no sort of provision for ours.—Swift.
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Reserve is no more essentially connected with understanding, than a church organ with devotion, or wine with good nature.—Shenstone.
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Those beings only are fit for solitude, who like nobody, are like nobody, and are liked by nobody.—Zimmerman.
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Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders generally discover every body's face but their own;—which is the chief reason for that kind of reception it meets in the world, and that so very few are offended with it.—Swift.
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Fools are very often united in the strictest intimacies, as the lighter kinds of woods are the most closely glued together.—Shenstone.
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Old sciences are unravelled like old stockings, by beginning at the foot.—Swift.
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If parliament were to consider the sporting with reputation of as much importance as sporting on manors, and pass an act for the preservation of fame, there are many would thank them for the bill.—Sheridan.
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It is with wits as with razors, which are never so apt to cut those they are employed on, as when they have lost their edge.—Swift.
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Exile is no evil: mathematicians tell us that the whole earth is but a point compared to the heavens. To change one's country then is little more than to remove from one street to another. Man is not a plant, rooted to a certain spot of earth: all soils and all climates are suited to him alike.—Plutarch.
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Early Rising.—The celebrated John Wesley, who became by habit an early riser, says, "That the difference between rising at five and seven in the morning, for the space of forty years, supposing a man to go to bed every night at the same hour, is equivalent to an addition of ten years to his life."
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Coronation Expenses of their present Majesties, William and Adelaide.
L. s. d. In the several departments of their Majesties household .......22,234 10 3
By the Officers of Arms, for the King's Heralds and Pursuviants ......................1,478 3 9
In the Office of Works, for fitting up the Abbey, &c. .......12,085 14 5
In the Mint, for Coronation Medals ...........................4,326 4 6
The amount expended for Fireworks, and for keeping open the Public Theatres on the night of the Coronation .......................3,034 8 7
———————— Total .........L43,159 11 6 ————————
The Coronation of his late Majesty, George the Fourth, amounted to more than L268,000.
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Narrow Escape.—Andrea Boscoli, the Italian painter, studied after nature; and in his travels he drew sketches of any particular objects that struck him. While pursuing this practice at Loretto, with regard to the fortifications of the city, he was seized by the officers of justice, and condemned to be hanged; but he happily escaped, within a few hours of execution, by the interposition of Signor Bandini, who explained to the chief magistrate his innocent intention. P.T.W.
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Women alias Angels.—Acidalius, the eminent grammarian and critic, whom Baillet reckons among his Enfans celebres, printed a small tract in 1595, intitled Mulieres non esse homines, or that "Women were not of the human species," which was falsely ascribed to him. He only accidently found the manuscript and printed it. It is said, that in order to appease the wrath of some ladies, who reproached him as the author, he declared his opinion, that the author was a judicious person, the ladies being certainly more of the species of angels than of men. P.T.W.
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COMPLETION of VOL. XIX. of THE MIRROR.
Now publishing, price Twopence, A SUPPLEMENT, WITH A STEEL-PLATE PORTRAIT OF THE RIGHT HON. EARL GREY, A Memoir of his Lordship, and Title-page, Preface, and Index to Vol. XIX.
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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.