THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 10, NO. 270.] SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 1827. [PRICE 2d.
From a small inconsiderable hamlet, Liverpool, within a century and a half, has been singularly advanced in national importance. In Leland's time it had only a chapel, its parish church being at Walton, a distance of four miles from the town.
In the year 1571 the inhabitants of Liverpool sent a memorial to Queen Elizabeth, praying relief from a subsidy which they thought themselves unable to bear, wherein they styled themselves "her majesty's poor decayed town of Liverpool." Some time towards the close of this reign, Henry, Earl of Derby, in his way to the Isle of Man, staid at his house at Liverpool called the Tower; at which the corporation erected a handsome hall or seat for him in the church, where he honoured them several times with his presence.
Liverpool, from this time till the end of the next century, made but a slow progress either in the extent of its trade or in the number of its inhabitants; nor is there any remarkable occurrence recorded of it, except the siege of it by Prince Rupert, in the civil wars in 1644; some traces of which were discovered, when the foundation of the Liverpool Infirmary was sunk, particularly the marks of the trenches thrown up by the prince, and some cartouches, &c. left behind by the besiegers.
About the year 1698 an act of parliament was obtained, empowering the inhabitants to build a new church. From that time may be traced the rapid progress of population and commerce, until Liverpool has now become second only to the metropolis of Great Britain.
In 1760 the inhabitants of Liverpool were computed at 25,787; in 1811, at 94,376; and in 1821, at 118,972!
Far as the eye can trace the prospect round The splendid tracts of opulence are found; Yet scarce a hundred annual rounds have run. Since first the fabric of this power begun; His noble stream, inglorious, Mersey roll'd, Nor felt his waves by lab'ring art controll'd: Along his side a few small cots were spread, His finny brood their humble tenants fed; At op'ning dawn with fraudful nets supply'd The padding skiff would brave his specious tide, Ply round the shores, nor tempt the dangerous main, But seek ere night the friendly port again.
The public buildings in Liverpool are not numerous, but they are worthy of attention. The Town-Hall, which is the subject of our present embellishment, is in a striking style of architecture. The first stone of this structure was laid in 1749, and the hall was opened in 1754. It is an elegant stone building, having two fronts; one towards Castle-street, the other towards the area formed by the New Exchange Buildings. Each front consists of an elegant range of Corinthian columns, supporting a pediment, and are themselves supported by a rustic base. Between the capitals are heads, and emblems of commerce in basso-relievo; and on the pediment of the grand front is a noble piece of sculpture representing Commerce committing her treasures to the race of Neptune. The ground floor of this building was originally intended as an Exchange for the accommodation of the merchants, with insurance offices adjoining; but was never used for that purpose, the merchants prefering to meet in the open street opposite the building. Since its erection a considerable addition was made to it on the north side, and some progress towards extending and improving the rooms and offices within the building, when the fire in 1795 destroyed the whole of the interior. After this destructive accident the corporation determined to rebuild the interior upon a new and extended plan, and to appropriate the whole of the building to the purposes of judicial and other offices for the police of the town, a mansion for the mayor, a suit of public assembly rooms, and for offices for the general corporation business. All the offices, rooms, and passages, on the basement and ground stories, are now arched with brick, as a security against any future fire.
The Exchange Buildings form three sides of a quadrangle, 194 feet by 180 in the clear space, with arcades or piazzas in front, and the whole is in a style of architecture corresponding with the north front of the Town-Hall and Old Exchange, which forms the fourth side of the square at the head of Castle-street. The east side of these buildings on the ground floor, contains a coffee-room, 94 feet by 52, with appropriate rooms and offices for the keeper, &c.; on the second story over the coffee-room, is a room for the under-writers, upon the principle of Lloyd's in London, 72 feet by 36: a second room, 69 feet by 29, with several other rooms attached to them. The north and west sides of these buildings are brokers' and merchants' offices, and counting houses. In the centre of the area is erected an elegant group of statues in commemoration of the heroic and immortal Nelson.
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THE HOP HARVEST.
The southern counties of England, particularly Surrey and Kent, now yield their valuable produce of hops in this month. The common hop, humulus lupulus, is propagated either by nursery plants or by cuttings. These are set in hills, formed by digging holes in the spring, which are filled with fine mould, and the number of which varies from 800 to 1,000, or 1,200 per acre. One, two, or three plants are put in each hill; but, if hops are designed to be raised from cuttings, four or five of these, from three to four inches in length, are planted and covered one inch deep with fine mould.
At the end of the first year it becomes necessary to put poles into the hills, round which the bines reared from plants are wound; at the expiration of the second year, full-sized poles, from 15 to 20 feet, are set, (though the hop-bines will run to the height of 50 feet,) in the proportion of two poles to each hill, and a similar number of hop-plants are fastened loosely round each pole, by means of withered rushes. Hops begin to flower about the latter end of June or the beginning of July. The poles are now entirely covered with verdure, and the pendent flowers appear in clusters and light festoons. The hops, which are the scaly seed-vessels of the female plants, are, when the seed is formed, (generally about the end of August,) picked off by women and children; for this purpose the poles are taken up with the plants clinging to them. The seeds are then dried over a charcoal fire, exposed to the air for a few days, and packed in sacks and sent to market.
The culture of hops, though profitable when it succeeds, is very precarious: as soon as the plant appears above ground, it is attacked by an insect somewhat similar to the turnip-fly, which devours the young heads. Hop-gardens, situated on chalky soils, are peculiarly subject to its depredations. In the months of June and July, the hops are liable to be blown by a species of aphis, or fly. This insect, however, does not endanger the growth of the plant, unless it be in a weak state, in consequence of the depredations committed on its root by the larvae of the ottermoth, phalaena humuli.
The hop is a most valuable plant: in its wild state it is relished by cows, horses, goats, sheep, and swine. When cultivated, its young tops are eaten, early in the spring, as substitutes for asparagus, being wholesome and aperient. Its principal use, however, is in brewing malt liquors, communicating that fine bitter flavour to our beer, and making it keep for a longer time than it otherwise would do. Hops also serve some important purposes in medicine.
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LINES TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE RIGHT HON. GEORGE CANNING.
Why does Britannia bend with pensive mien, And throbbing bosom o'er that sable bier, To which yon melancholy group is seen In mute affliction slowly drawing near, Whilst weeping genius, pointing to the sky, In silent anguish heaves a plaintive sigh?
She seems to take a lingering last farewell, As down her cheek the pearly teardrops flow, Of some lamented spirit she lov'd well, By Fate's inexorable shaft laid low; And thus half broken-hearted to complain "When shall we look upon thy like again!"
Poor drooping maid—she mourns the doom of one, Whom at a time like this she ill can spare,— Her talented and patriotic son, Whom art could not deceive, nor vice ensnare, To truth and sacred liberty allied, His country's hope, her honour and her pride!
Yes—he is gone, whose energetic mind Upheld the pillars of a mighty state; Whose wisdom, worth, and eloquence, combin'd, Earn'd the just tribute of the good and great, Ensur'd a deathless wreath for coming days— The poor man's blessing, and the rich one's praise!
Relentless Death!—could no one else suffice? No less invaluable prize be found? But must he fall a noble sacrifice And early victim to thy fatal wound! Thou stern and merciless destroyer, say, Why didst thou blight his brief but glorious day?
It is not Albion only who deplores.— All sympathising Europe wails his doom; And bright-eyed Freedom hastes from Western shores To drop a grateful tear upon his tomb; And fondly hovering round his slumbering shade Guards the lorn spot where her best friend is laid.
Now, stay my muse—for worthier hands than thine Will twine the laurel round his hallow'd bust; And raise in happier and more polish'd line A splendid trophy to his sacred dust; When thy untaught and unpretending lay Shall be forgotten and have pass'd away.
Yet, ere thy chords are mute, oh, once again My trembling lyre let me touch thy string! And in a humble, but a heartfelt strain Of him, the much-lov'd child of Genius sing; And place this simple, unaffected verse, With moisten'd eye upon his plumed hearse:—
"If all that virtue, all that fame holds dear, Deserve a tribute—stop and pay it here!"
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THE SKETCH BOOK.
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BEHIND THE SCENES; OR, A BREAKFAST IN NEWGATE.
Returning from the country, I found myself in the Old Bailey, shortly after seven in the morning. I had some difficulty in making my way through the crowd there assembled, which I instantly perceived, from the platform erected in front of Newgate, had been brought together to witness one of those mournful exhibitions which the administration of criminal justice so frequently furnishes in this immense metropolis.
My first impulse was to retreat with all possible expedition, but the impediments opposed to my doing so compelled a pause; and it then struck me, that however reluctant to witness suffering, there was much in the scene before me on which a reflecting mind might dwell with interest, if not with advantage.
The decent gravity of some of the crowd formed a strong contrast to the jocund vivacity of the majority; and this again with the important swagger of the constables, who seemed fully to appreciate the consequence which the modicum of authority dealt out to persons of their standing in society cannot fail to impart. Then the anxiety to complete their task, which the workmen who were still employed in preparing the scaffold evinced, gave another feature perfectly distinct from what had before caught my attention, while the eagerness of the inhabitant housekeepers to let "excellent places for seeing," and of certain ambulatory pastrycooks to accommodate the rapidly increasing multitude with such delicacies as they had for sale, added to the variety, though not to the solemnity of the scene.
Some undertaker's men were carrying coffins across the road to the prison, for the reception of the sufferers after execution. They were much pushed about, and this caused great mirth. I turned from the general display of levity with disgust. "On no account," I mentally exclaimed, "will I remain mixed up with such a herd of heartless beings. But who am I," I retorted on myself in the next moment, "that I should thus condemn my fellows, and 'bite the chain of nature?'"—for what I saw was nature after all. A mob, save when depressed by a sense of peril, can never long refrain from some indications of merriment, however awful the subject of their meeting. The unfortunate Hackman, in one of his letters to Miss Ray, described himself to have been shocked by a spectacle of this sort. On the morning of the day on which Dr. Dodd suffered, Hackman was at Tyburn. While the multitude were expecting the approach of the culprit, an unfortunate pig ran among them; and the writer remarks, with indignation, that the brutal populace diverted themselves with the animal's distress, as if they had come there to see "a sow baited," instead of attending to behold a fellow creature sacrificed to justice.
But the pressure of the accumulating thousands was too much for me, and I asked a female, who, with an infant in her arms, stood full in my way, to let me pass. I was retiring, when the carriage of one of the sheriffs drove up to the Sessions-house, and out stepped my friend Sir Thomas ——, who, in the performance of his duty, came to superintend the last arrangements within the prison, and to give the governor a receipt for the bodies of the unfortunates who were to die.
I was instantly recognised, and the sheriff kindly complimented me with the offer of an introduction to the interior. Such politenesss was not to be withstood, and I signified my assent with a bow.
We passed up a staircase and into a well furnished and carpeted apartment. Here I was introduced to the under-sheriff, who, attended by half a dozen gentlemen, brought in, like myself, as a matter of favour, was about descending to the room in which the culprits are pinioned. Sir Thomas, who had bestowed much humane attention on the prisoners, inquired, with real solicitude, how they had passed the night. His colleague, who had just had his person embellished with the insignia of office, replied, in a lively tone. "O, very well, I understand." He added, with infinite coolness and intelligence—"But you cannot expect men to sleep so well the night before they are hanged as they are likely to do afterwards!"
He looked round in all our faces, as if to collect our suffrages in favour of this pleasantry. His high rank and importance there, prevented any word or sign of displeasure. Most of us lifted our upper lip so as just to show our teeth, thereby intimating that we knew he had said a very good thing, at which, but for the painful business then in progress, we should be ready to die with laughing.
We now followed the sheriffs through the Sessions-house, and thence, by a covered passage on the eastern side of the yard of that building, to the prison. I shuddered at beholding the numerous precautions which experience and ingenuity had suggested to cut off hope and prevent escape, Spikes and pallisades above, and doors of massy iron below, appeared in long and terrible array against the wretch, who, having eluded the vigilance of the officers of the gaol, should attempt, by flight, to save his life. At one of the iron doors, we were severally inspected with as much suspicious care as if we had been seeking to get out, instead of pressing forward to be let in.
At length we reached a gloomy apartment, which, I believe, is called the press-room. Here I found rather a fuller attendance than I had expected; some eight or ten persons having been admitted by another entrance. These had formed in two lines, and their eyes were incessantly turned towards the door. I fancied, when I made my appearance, that they regarded me with peculiar attention, as if for a moment they had mistaken me for a more distinguished character than I really was. If I were right in this, they certainly were soon undeceived. Mingling with them, I looked about me, as I saw them look about. Silence generally prevailed. A few whispers were exchanged; and now and then such sentences as, "The time grows short"— "They will soon be here"—"What must their feelings be at this moment?" were murmured along the ranks.
That amelioration of the culprit's destiny, which, by relieving him from the galling fetters heretofore deemed necessary for the safe detention of his person, now leaves his mind more perfect leisure for communication with his Creator, had not then taken place. The approach of the prisoners was signified first by a whisper, and then by the clanking of the irons attached to the limbs of one of them. It was a dreary morning; and the sombre aspect of the apartment well accorded with the dismal preparations of which it was to be the theatre. A block with a small anvil was placed near the entrance, by which a miserably attired individual was stationed with a candle, for the purpose of lighting the workman who attended to remove the irons. The flame of the candle was too small to afford a general illumination of the room; but its limited power gave to the eye a more distinct view of a little circle round the anvil, in which the main objects were the smith, with his hammer already grasped; his assistant, and two or three officers, were, in the absence of the more important objects of curiosity, eagerly gazed on by some of the party, and by me for one, as appendages of the picture not unworthy of notice.
The sound of the fetters was now close at hand, and the voice of the minister who attended the wearer of them, could be heard. In the next moment two or three persons entered, and these were followed by the ordinary and one of the malefactors. The latter looked right and left, as if he had calculated on recognising there some friend or relative. A ghastly paleness sat on his cheek, and there was an air of disorder in the upper part of his face, which his wild but sunken eye, and negligently combed locks joined to furnish. The unhappy youth, for he was not more than twenty, advanced with a steady step to where the smith expected him. He was resigned and tractable. When about to place his foot on the block, he untied a band, which had passed round his body to sustain the weight of his irons; and as he disengaged it, he let it carelessly fall, with an expression in his countenance which told, so I fancied, that, in this moment, reflecting he should never want it again, the immediate cause and consequence of the miserable relief flashed full on his imagination, with all their concomitant horrors. But with calmness he attended to the workman, who directed him how to stand. He manifested great presence of mind, and, I thought, seemed to gaze with something of curiosity on the operation, which he contributed all in his power to facilitate. The heavy blows echoed through the room, and rudely broke in on the low murmurs and whispers which had for some little time been the only sounds heard there. A singularly irrational feeling came over me. I could have reproved the striker for indecorously breaking silence, and even have questioned his humanity for being capable of such vigorous exertion at a moment when, as it struck me, everything ought to have presented the coldness and motionless stillness of the grave.
The rivet was knocked out, the fetters fell to the floor, and the prisoner was passed from the anvil to the further extremity of the room. A second entered. This was a middle-aged man. Reflection seemed with him to have well performed its duty. Calm and undismayed, he advanced to the anvil, apparently unconscious of the presence of a single spectator, and wholly occupied with meditations on eternity. Having already witnessed that part of the preparatory ceremony which he was then to undergo, I withdrew from the circle to observe the other sufferer. He had now been joined by the ordinary, and was standing near a table, on which several ropes were lying. He was directed to place his hands together, and he was then pinioned. Here, again, I felt a disposition to criticise the conduct of the officers, like that which I had previously experienced while witnessing the labours of the smith. The adroitness and merciful despatch which I noticed, I could hardly help regarding as meriting censure for the insensibility which they marked. Those who have to perform a severe duty cannot often properly fulfil their task, and at the same time conciliate the admiration of the pitying spectator. Lest what I have said should be misunderstood, it is right distinctly to say, no want of consideration for the feelings of the criminals was evinced. The officers who pinioned them, when their work was done, shook each by the hand with an appearance of sincere commiseration. The matter-of-course way in which they acquitted themselves offended me, but I had no right to expect that in performing what to them were but common-place labours, they should study my fastidious notions of fitness and effect. But a still greater contrast to the awful character of the preparations presented itself. When I drew near the table on which the ropes lay, and by which the miserable being who had most engrossed my attention then stood, I perceived on that very table the materials for gambling. Lines, passing across it, had been indented to prepare it for a game, I believe the same as that which king Henry VIII. took some trouble to put down, under the name of "Shove-groat." The strange variety thus placed before me—the mingling symbols of dissipation and misery, of pastime and of death, caused my mind, already sufficiently excited, to experience a sudden emotion which I know not how to convey to another.
The third criminal entered. This was a young man of prepossessing exterior, who had recently moved in a higher sphere than either of his companions in suffering. His cheek was flushed when he entered, and he staggered forward, writhing in agony, and scarcely able to sustain himself. He looked at those who surrounded him as if he feared to discover some who had known him in the day of his pride. It was necessary to support him while his irons were being removed. He was attended by a benevolent person who commonly assists criminals in their last moments, and who, though no ecclesiastic by profession, seemed equal to the duty of imparting religious consolation. His voice now contributed to soothe his unhappy charge, and in a few moments all that was necessary there to be done had been performed. The hands of the culprits were secured, and the halters by which they were to perish were thrown round their shoulders.
The fortitude of the young man first brought in had, till this moment, enabled him, though not unmoved, to look with calmness on the appalling scene. But now when he saw that but one more ceremony intervened between him and the grave, his resolution suddenly failed him. He burst into tears, and a wild shriek of "O my mother—my poor mother," embodied in speech a portion of the agony which raged in his bosom. He was conducted to a bench, on which his fellows had just been seated. A glass of water was handed to him, with which he moistened his fevered lips, and the voice of devotion again claimed attention, and commanded silence.
In that moment few, if any, of the spectators remembered the crimes of those they looked upon. Every mind was solely occupied with the terrible punishment about to be inflicted.
But distressing as the scene was, before it closed I was sufficiently myself to recognise, with satisfaction, the majestic march of justice—the resolute, but humane administration of the law. It was sad to behold the ghastly pictures of despair then breathing, but destined so speedily to cease to breathe. Such scenes are rendered familiar to us in romance, but to gaze on the reality, and to feel that, pity as we may, no joyful denouement can be furnished to avert the contemplated sacrifice, occasions for the time excruciating sorrow. But while I felt this, and was persuaded that each of all who were with me (however idle the curiosity which brought him there) would have been glad for himself to have given them life and freedom, I admired the serene determination which still urged on the proceedings, and the sorrowful concurrence which attended them. It was the triumph of civilization, to behold every effort made to soothe calamity, without any abandonment of the forfeit justly claimed on behalf of society.
The sheriffs inquired if the unfortunates had any thing to impart, or any request to make. Answered in the negative—they added their voices to those of their religious assistants, to assure them of their hopes—that they would find that mercy in another world, which the laws and the interests of their fellow creatures denied them in this.
This language, however suited to the occasion, had been so often addressed to them, that the sufferers received it almost as a matter of course, and made little or no reply, but looking up to heaven, they at least seemed to feel that thither alone could their thoughts be advantageously directed.
They continued sitting on the bench or form to which they had been led. From time to time the sheriffs referred to their watches. The under sheriff, who had been doing the same, now exhibited his timepiece to his superior. It wanted five minutes to eight. Sir Thomas, by a slight inclination of the head, intimated that he comprehended what was intended to be conveyed.
"Had we not better move?" he inquired, addressing himself, in a tone but little above a whisper, to the ordinary.
"I think we had:" the functionary just mentioned rejoined—"the last time you know, we were rather late."
The under sheriff waved his hand for the spectators to stand aside. His gesture was promptly attended to. The sheriffs', holding their wands in their hands, then presented themselves as ready to march in procession. Immediately after them the minister appeared, with his open book; the culprits were next brought forward, and placed immediately behind him. The spectators, who had given way on the sides, prepared to bring up the rear, were admonished by the under sheriff not to press on the sufferers; and strange as it may seem, the intrusive curiosity of some of the party, impressed upon me a belief that this hint was not altogether unnecessary.
(To be concluded in our next.)
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THE PRESENT STATE OF DUTCH PAINTERS.
(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
SIR,—The Dutch painters of the present day differ very materially from the English, not only in their method of manufacturing pictures, but also in their personal appearance. The following is an extract from the private journal of a friend, who has recently been in Holland.
Yours, &c. G.W.N.
"You would be rather surprised on first entering a painting-room here. Your eye is struck with the appearance of a dozen slovenly attired fellows, who are variously engaged, some in beginning pictures, some in finishing, &c. The window, which is remarkably large, and situated so as to command a good prospect from without, admits light sufficient to illuminate the room, or rather shop, which shop is at least fifteen feet long. Casting your eye up towards the ceiling, which is equally lofty with the length of the apartment, you are somewhat at a loss to account for a vast quantity of beams, cordage, pullies, and canvasses, all appearing to have their several uses, and all kept in regular order by a man for that purpose. The canvasses, in truth, are no other than finished pictures, which have been drawn up by the pullies to the beams, for the purposes of drying, &c. The Dutch do not, as the English do, paint one picture on one cloth; no, they have a much more expeditious method. A large piece of canvass is procured, on which the artist commences his labour, and, in a progressive manner, begins and finishes sometimes a dozen pictures at once. In a kind of boudoir, an attendant is employed continually in grinding colours, &c. For my own part, I own I was much amused with the great variety which this curious coup d'oeil presented; but I could not remain long, for the painters, even while they were at work, smoked continually. The Dutch, it should be observed, carry on a considerable traffic in pictures with the Chinese and other eastern nations."
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CLOUGH NA CUDDY.
A Killarney Legend.
BY T. CROFTON CROKER, ESQ.
Above all the islands in the Lakes of Killarney, give me Innisfallen— "sweet Innisfallen," as the melodious Moore calls it. It is in truth a fairy isle, although I have no fairy story to tell you about it; and if I had, these are such unbelieving times, and people of late have grown so sceptical, that they only smile at my stories and doubt them.
However, none will doubt that a monastery once stood upon Innisfallen island, for its ruins may still be seen; neither, that within its walls dwelt certain pious and learned persons called monks. A very pleasant set of fellows they were, I make not the smallest doubt; and I am sure of this, that they had a very pleasant spot to enjoy themselves in after dinner—the proper time, believe me, and I am no bad judge of such matters, for the enjoyment of a fine prospect.
Out of all the monks you could not pick a better fellow nor a merrier soul than Father Cuddy; he sang a good song, he told a good story, and had a jolly, comfortable-looking paunch of his own, that was a credit to any refectory table. He was distinguished above all the rest by the name of "the fat father." Now there are many that will take huff at a name; but Father Cuddy had no nonsense of that kind about him; he laughed at it, and well able he was to laugh, for his mouth nearly reached from one ear to the other—his might, in truth, be called an open countenance. As his paunch was no disgrace to his food, neither was his nose to his drink. 'Tis a question to me if there were not more carbuncles upon it than ever were seen at the bottom of the lake, which is said to be full of them. His eyes had a right merry twinkle in them, like moonshine dancing on the water; and his cheeks had the roundness and crimson glow of ripe arbutus berries.
He eat, and drank, and prayed, and slept—what then? He eat, and drank, and prayed, and slept again!
Such was the tenor of his simple life; but when he prayed, a certain drowsiness would come upon him, which it must be confessed never occurred when a well filled "black jack" stood before him. Hence his prayers were short, and his draughts were long. The world loved him, and he saw no reason why he should not in return love its venison and its usquebaugh. But, as times went, he must have been a pious man, or else what befel him never would have happened.
Spiritual affairs—for it was respecting the importation of a tun of wine into the island monastery—demanded the presence of one of the brotherhood of Innisfallen at the abbey of Trelagh, now called Muckruss. The superintendence of this important matter was committed to Father Cuddy, who felt too deeply interested in the future welfare of any community of which he was a member to neglect or delay such mission. With the morning's light he was seen guiding his shallop across the crimson waters of the lake towards the peninsula of Muckruss, and having moored his little bark in safety beneath the shelter of a wave-worn rock, he advanced with becoming dignity towards the abbey.
The stillness of the bright and balmy hour was broken by the heavy footsteps of the zealous father: at the sound the startled deer, shaking the dew from their sides, sprang up from their lair, and as they bounded off, "Hah," exclaimed Cuddy, "what a noble haunch goes there!—how delicious it would look smoking upon a goodly platter."
As he proceeded, the mountain bee hummed his tune of gladness around the holy man, save when buried in the foxglove bell, or revelling upon a fragrant bunch of thyme; and even then the little voice murmured out happiness in low and broken tones of voluptuous delight. Father Cuddy derived no small comfort from the sound, for it presaged a good metheglin season; and metheglin he considered, if well manufactured, to be no bad liquor, particularly when there was no stint or usquebaugh in the brewing.
Arrived within the abbey garth, he was received with due respect by the brethren of Irelagh, and arrangements for the embarkation of the wine were completed to his entire satisfaction.—"Welcome, Father Cuddy!" said the prior, "grace be on you."
"Grace before meat then," said Cuddy, "for a long walk always makes me hungry, and I am certain I have not walked less than half-a-mile this morning, to say nothing of crossing the water."
A pasty of choice flavour felt the truth of this assertion as regarded Father Cuddy's appetite. After such consoling repast, it would have been a reflection on monastic hospitality to have departed without partaking of the grace-cup; moreover, Father Cuddy had a particular respect for the antiquity of that custom. He liked the taste of the grace-cup well; he tried another,—it was no less excellent; and when he had swallowed the third he found his heart expand, and put forth its fibres, as willing to embrace all mankind! Surely then there is Christian love and charity in wine!
I said he sung a good song. Now though psalms are good songs, and in accordance with his vocation, I did not mean to imply that he was a mere psalm-singer. It was well known to the brethren, that wherever Father Cuddy was, mirth and melody were with him. Mirth in his eye, and melody on his tongue; and these, from experience, are equally well known to be thirsty commodities; but he took good care never to let them run dry. To please the brotherhood, whose excellent wine pleased him, he sung, and as "in vino veritas," his song will well become this veritable history.
"O, 'tis eggs are a treat When so while and so sweet From under the manger they're taken; And by fair Margery, Och! 'tis she's full of glee, They are fried with fat rashers of bacon.
"Just like daisies all spread O'er a broad sunny mead In the sun-beams so beauteously shining, Are fried eggs, well displayed On a dish, when we've laid The cloth, and are thinking of dining."
Such was his song. Father Cuddy smacked his lips at the recollection of Margery's delicious fried eggs, which always imparted a peculiar relish to his liquor. The very idea provoked Cuddy to raise the cup to his mouth, and, with one hearty pull thereat, he finished its contents.
This is, and ever was, a censorious world, often construing what is only a fair allowance into excess; but I scorn to reckon up any man's drink like an unrelenting host; therefore, I cannot tell how many brimming draughts of wine, bedecked with the venerable Bead, Father Cuddy emptied into his "soul-case," so he figuratively termed the body.
His respect for the goodly company of the monks of Irelagh detained him until adjournment to vespers, when he set forward on his return to Innisfallen. Whether his mind was occupied in philosophic contemplation or wrapped in pious musings, I cannot declare; but the honest father wandered on in a different direction from that in which his shallop lay. Far be it from me to insinuate that the good liquor, which he had so commended, had caused him to forget his road, or that his track was irregular and unsteady. Oh, no!—he carried his drink bravely, as became a decent man and a good Christian; yet, somehow, he thought he could distinguish two moons. "Bless my eyes," said Father Cuddy, "everything is changing now-a-days!—the very stars are not in the same places they used to be; I think Camceachta (the plough) is driving on at a rate I never saw it before to-night; but I suppose the driver is drunk, for there are blackguards everywhere."
Cuddy had scarcely uttered these words when he saw, or fancied he saw, the form of a young woman, who, holding up a bottle, beckoned him towards her. The night was extremely beautiful, and the white dress of the girl floated gracefully in the moonlight, as with gay step she tripped on before the worthy father, archly looking back upon him over her shoulder. "Ah, Margery—merry Margery!" cried Cuddy, "you tempting little rogue—'Et a Margery bella—Quae festiva puella.' I see you—I see you and the bottle!—let me but catch you, Margery bella." And on he followed, panting and smiling, after this alluring apparition.
At length his feet grew weary, and his breath failed, which obliged him to give up the chase; yet such was his piety, that unwilling to rest in any attitude but that of prayer, down dropt Father Cuddy on his knees. Sleep as usual stole upon his devotions, and the morning was far advanced when he awoke from dreams, in which tables groaned beneath their load of viands, and wine poured itself free and sparkling as the mountain spring.
Rubbing his eyes, he looked about him, and the more he looked the more he wondered, at the alterations which appeared in the face of the country. "Bless my soul and body," said the good father, "I saw the stars changing last night, but here is a change!" Doubting his senses he looked again. The hills bore the same majestic outline as on the preceding day, and the lake spread itself beneath his view in the same tranquil beauty, and was studded with the same number of islands; but every smaller feature in the landscape was strangely altered;—what had been naked rocks, were now clothed with holly and arbutus. Whole woods had disappeared, and waste places had become cultivated fields; and to complete the work of enchantment the very season itself seemed changed. In the rosy dawn of a summer's morning he had left the monastery of Innisfallen, and he now felt in every sight and sound the dreariness of winter; the hard ground was covered with withered leaves; icicles depended from leafless branches; he heard the sweet low note of the robin, who familiarly approached him; and he felt his fingers numbed by the nipping frost. Father Cuddy found it rather difficult to account for such sudden transformations, and to convince himself it was not the illusion of a dream, he was about to arise, when, lo! he discovered that both his knees were buried at least six inches in the solid stone; for notwithstanding all these changes, he had never altered his devout position.
Cuddy was now wide awake, and felt, when he got up, his joints sadly cramped, which it was only natural they should be, considering the hard texture of the stone, and the depth his knees had sunk into it. The great difficulty was, to explain how, in one night, summer had become winter— whole woods had been cut down, and well-grown trees had sprouted up. The miracle, nothing else could he conclude it to be, urged him to hasten his return to Innisfallen, where he might learn some explanation of these marvellous events.
Seeing a boat moored within reach of the shore, he delayed not, in the midst of such wonders, to seek his own bark, but, seizing the oars, pulled stoutly towards the island; and here new wonders awaited him.
Father Cuddy waddled, as fast as cramped limbs could carry his rotund corporation, to the gate of the monastery, where he loudly demanded admittance.
"Holloa! whence come you, master monk, and what's your business?" demanded a stranger who occupied the porter's place.
"Business—my business!" repeated the confounded Cuddy, "why do you not know me? Has the wine arrived safely?"
"Hence, fellow," said the porter's representative in a surly tone, "nor think to impose on me with your monkish tales."
"Fellow!" exclaimed the father, "mercy upon us that I should be so spoken to at the gate of my own house! Scoundrel!" cried Cuddy, raising his voice, "do you not see my garb—my holy garb?—"
"Aye, fellow," replied he of the keys, "the garb of laziness and filthy debauchery, which has been expelled from out these walls. Know you not, idle knave, of the suppression of this nest of superstition, and that the abbey lands and possessions were granted in August last to Master Robert Collan, by our Lady Elizabeth, sovereign queen of England, and paragon of all beauty, whom God preserve!"
"Queen of England," said Cuddy; "there never was a sovereign queen of England; this is but a piece with the rest. I saw how it was going with the stars last night—the world's turned upside down. But surely this is Innisfallen island, and I am the Father Cuddy who yesterday morning went over to the abbey of Irelagh respecting the tun of wine. Do you know me now?"
"Know you! how should I know you?" said the keeper of the abbey; "yet true it is, that I have heard my grandmother, whose mother remembered the man, often speak of the fat Father Cuddy of Innisfallen, who made a profane and godless ballad in praise of fried eggs, of which he and his vile crew knew more than they did of the word of God, and who, being drunk, it was said, tumbled into the lake one night and was drowned; but that must have been a hundred, aye, more than a hundred years since."
"'Twas I who composed that song, in praise of Margery's fried eggs, which is no profane and godless ballad. No other Father Cuddy than myself ever belonged to Innisfallen," earnestly exclaimed the holy man. "A hundred years! What was your great grandmother's name?"
"She was a Mahony of Dunlow, Margaret ni Mahony; and my grandmother—."
"What, merry Margery of Dunlow your great grandmother!" shouted Cuddy; "St. Brandon help me! the wicked wench, with that tempting bottle—why 'twas only last night—a hundred years—your great grandmother said you? Mercy on us, there has been a strange torpor over me. I must have slept all this time!"
That Father Cuddy had done so, I think is sufficiently proved by the changes which occurred during his nap. A reformation, and a serious one it was for him, had taken place. Eggs fried by the pretty Margery were no longer to be had in Innisfallen, and, with heart as heavy as his footsteps, the worthy man directed his course towards Dingle, where he embarked in a vessel on the point of sailing for Malaga. The rich wine of that place had of old impressed him with a high respect for its monastic establishments, in one of which he quietly wore out the remnant of his days.
The stone impressed with the mark of Father Cuddy's knees may be seen to this day. Should any incredulous persons doubt my story, I request them to go to Killarney, where Clough na Cuddy—so is the stone called—remains in Lord Kenmare's park, an indisputable evidence of the fact; and Spillane, the bugle man, will be able to point it out to them, as he did to me— Literary Souvenir.
* * * * *
MY COMMON-PLACE BOOK.
* * * * *
CEREMONY OF A GIRL TAKING THE VEIL.
The convent of the Esperanza enclosed within its gloomy walls one of the fairest forms that nature ever moulded. Her name was Claudia; she had just completed her sixteenth year, and now shone forth in all the bloom of health and beauty. Her full black eyes, and her long dark hair, which, partly concealed by her religious dress of a pensioner, escaped in flowing ringlets over her snowy shoulders, embellishing a countenance whence beamed such harmony of features and enchanting delicacy of expression, as indicated the purity and peace that reigned within. The Esperanza soon became my favourite spot, and I felt convinced nature never formed this angel to be immured within the walls of a convent; nor would she have been destined to pass the remainder of her life in its obscure recesses, but for the unnatural avarice of her parents—a custom still too prevalent, to secure the wealth of a family to one branch.
During my stay in this town, I had an opportunity of witnessing the ceremony of a girl taking the habit of a nun. After mass, the grate of the chapel of the Esperanza was thrown open, and there appeared all the holy sisters dressed in black. The girl alone who was about to take the habit was in white; and, in front of all the others, knelt down before a table, on which was placed the cross. The abbate, from the outside, now addressed her in a long extempore charge, in which he pointed out the duties of the situation she was about to enter, and forcibly set forth the advantages of it; while he painted, in the strongest and most seducing colours, the superior happiness of renouncing the profane world, and of passing her time in a quiet and religious way, alone devoted to the service of her Maker. She was not more than twenty years of age, and, during the whole ceremony, her countenance, which was pleasing, bore the evident marks of inward satisfaction and holy veneration. The nuns, who before had been standing round the chapel, each holding a burning taper, now tenderly embraced their intended sister, and placed the crown of virginity upon her temples, when an anathema, was with great solemnity, pronounced against all who should attempt to make her break her vows. The impressive ceremony which thus excludes youth and beauty in a cloister, closes with the solemn notes of the organ, accompanied by the harmonious voices of the nuns as they conduct their new sister to her lonely cell.
This awful solemnity wears a supernatural grandeur. The gloom of the chapel is faintly relieved by the tapers of the sisters; the vaulted roof is just discernible in a pale blue light, rendered terrific by the splendour of the altar blazing with a hundred illuminated torches; while the lofty peals of the deep-toned organ, swell round the echoing cloisters with "Il cantar che nell' anima si sente;" and the "rapt senses are confounded in idolatrous wonder."
* * * * *
THE LATIN AND GREEK LANGUAGES.
It is supposed by many that the only object in learning the Latin and Greek languages is, that the learner may be able to translate them, and to understand the authors who have written in those languages, with as much facility as he can understand those who write in his own. If this were really the only object, then every plan for expediting the acquisition would be received with grateful approbation. Yet if this were the sole object, how superfluous to the greater number of learners the labour of the acquisition, for there is not a single idea expressed by the ancients and yet to be found, which has not been translated in our own language. The end of learning these languages then must be something beyond, and if this farther object be not considered, the education must be defective.
* * * * *
TO THE MOON, IN VIEW OF THE SEA.
There is a blush upon thy face to-night Which sheds around a luxury of light! Wherefore, oh, Moon, art thou so brightly fair! Would'st thou some new Endymion ensnare? Each sparkling wave, as it receives thy rays, Seems quivering and thrilling at thy gaze; And gently murmurs, whilst the God below Feels through his frame the universal glow, And heaves his breast majestical for thee! Cease, cease, to look on us so lovingly, but in thy silv'ry veil still half conceal Thy modest loveliness, nor more reveal; For oh! fair queen, no mortal now can soar, Or, love, as thy fond shepherd did of yore!
* * * * *
THE KING'S FEET-BEARER.
During the ancient days of Welsh royalty, among the twenty-four ranks of servants that attended at court, was one called "the king's feet-bearer." This was a young gentleman, whose duty it was to sit upon the floor with his back towards the fire, and hold the king's feet in his bosom all the time he sat at table, to keep them warm and comfortable. A piece of state and of luxury unknown in modern times.
* * * * *
Within the last century it has been fashionable in England to give the name of Montpellier to many places, new streets, rows of houses, terraces, and gardens, where the situation has been supposed to have been at all favourable; indeed, there seems to be something attractive in the very sound of the word Montpellier; but the original city has much fallen off, and is not so much frequented now, but on account of its former fame, and the assemblage of the States of Languedoc during the winter, when the noble families still maintain their old exemplary hospitality. Joseph Scaliger is known to have asserted, that if he had his choice where to end his days, of all cities in the world he should prefer Montpellier; but since that time physicians have agreed that there has been a remarkable change of climate; and from my own observation I must declare, that I knew several consumptive patients who seemed to have recovered at Marseilles, and almost all relapsed again after they had remained for some time at Montpellier.
Cradock's Literary Memoirs.
* * * * *
ANECDOTES AND RECOLLECTIONS.
Notings, selections, Anecdote and joke: Our recollections; With gravities for graver folk.
* * * * *
Pignotte places the temple of this deity in the moon; and it may therefore be presumed that it was the walls of this edifice that Professor Grinthausen, of Munich, lately mistook for an immense fortress. The error of the German astronomer would seem to corroborate the hypothesis of the Italian poet, who doubtless did not assign that local habitation to the goddess of fashion without mature reflection. Indeed, it cannot be denied that that planet possesses some mysterious influence over female fashions, analogous to that which it has over the tides; hence the cause, for we really know of none better, of monthly fashions. Let not however any malicious wit suppose that the moon has anything whatever to do with monthly periodicals!
* * * * *
HOW TO CHOOSE A RELIGION.
Karamsin, in his history of Russia, relates that when the inhabitants of Livonia were first converted from Paganism to Christianity, they hesitated whether they should adopt the faith of the Russian or German church; at length in their extreme perplexity, they determined to decide their doubts in a most summary manner by casting lots, when chance prevailed in favour of the latter. There are many cases in which this example might be followed very advantageously, thereby saving a great deal of time and vexation to the parties; for instance, it might be very beneficially introduced into the court of chancery, for then let the decision fall out as it might, the suitors would resign themselves to it as the decree of fate, as they must do even in the end after waiting half their lives. If the adage of Bis dat qui cito dat, be true, it is no less certain that he who denies at once, at length gives us something, for he gives us time.
* * * * *
There is an amusing anecdote related of a country curate, who having published a volume of sermons, in which he more particularly pointed out the dangers of a lax morality, and the want of strict religious principles among the higher classes of society, wrote a few weeks afterwards to a friend in town, inquiring in his extreme simplicity, "whether he did not observe any signs of reformation in the fashionable world?" the answer that he obtained may easily be divined. The good man had entirely forgotten that those who most needed his exhortations, were precisely those who would not read them; or who, if they read, would be the last to attend to them. If books could reform the world, it had been reformed long ago; but no disparagement either to good books—something else is necessary.
* * * * *
AN AMBIGUOUS COMPLIMENT.
An author having shown a portion of a manuscript, which he was preparing for the press, to a friend, the latter suggested some improvements, and pointed out some errors; but instead of receiving his suggestions, the irritable man of letters plainly showed that he did not intend to adopt them. A short time after, he submitted the remainder of his work to the same judge, who having perused it, exclaimed, it could not possibly be better. "Indeed, you really think so?" "Yes," returned the other, "I really do; for how can it possibly be better when you are resolved to adopt no improvements?"
* * * * *
During the war in the Peninsula, two British soldiers were regaling themselves after a long fast, on a crust of mouldy bread. "This is but sorry fare, Tom," observed one of them, "especially after the hardships and dangers we have suffered." "What do you mean by sorry fare," exclaimed his comrade, with philosophical composure, at the same time holding up a piece of the mouldy bread; "this is what the good people in England, who sit down to a comfortable hot dinner every day, call military glory!"
* * * * *
That solid preacher and able annotator, Philip Limborch, quotes in his History of the Inquisition, a writer of the name of Julius Clarus, who, it would appear formed a very forcible idea of the powers of imagination, since he allows them four parts in five of the torments decreed by that satanic tribunal. "Know," Limborch represents Clarus saying, "that there are five degrees of torture, videlicit, first, the torture of being threatened to be tortured; secondly, the torture of being conveyed to the place of torture; thirdly, the torture of being, and bound for torture; fourthly, the torture of being hoisted on the torturing rack; and fifthly, and lastly, the torture of squassation."
* * * * *
Bourganville, when trading to Otaheite, was accustomed to leave there two of some kind of European domestic animals. In his last voyage he had on board a Capuchin and a Franciscan, who differ from each other in the single circumstance of one having the beard shaved and the other wearing it long on the chin. The natives who had successively admired the various animals as they were disembarked, whether bulls and cows, hogs and sows, or he and she goats, shouted with joy at the appearance of the Capuchin, "What a noble animal! what a pity there is not a pair!" scarcely was the wish expressed, when the shaven Franciscan made his appearance, "Huzza, huzza!" exclaimed the savages, "we've got the male and the female."
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
The evening of Thursday, the 15th of February, 1827, was one of the most delightful I ever remember to have spent. I was alone; my heart beat lightly; my pulse was quickened by the exercise of the morning; my blood flowed freely through my veins, as meeting with no checks or impediments to its current, and my spirits were elated by a multitude of happy remembrances and of brilliant hopes. My apartments looked delightfully comfortable, and what signified to me the inclemency of the weather without. The rain was pattering upon the sky-light of the staircase; the sharp east wind was moaning angrily in the chimney; but as my eye glanced from the cheerful blaze of the fire to the ample folds of my closed window-curtains—as the hearth-rug yielded to the pressure of my foot, while, beating time to my own music, I sung, in rather a louder tone than usual, my favourite air of "Judy O'Flannegan;"—the whistling of the wind, and the pattering of the rain, only served to enhance in my estimation the comforts of my home, and inspire a livelier sense of the good fortune which had delivered me from any evening engagements. It may be questioned, whether there are any hours in this life, of such unmixed enjoyment as the few, the very few, which a young bachelor is allowed to rescue from the pressing invitations of those dear friends, who want another talking man at their dinner tables, or from those many and wilily-devised entanglements which are woven round him by the hands of inevitable mothers, and preserve entirely to himself.—Talk of the pleasure of repose! What repose can possibly be so sweet, as that which is enjoyed on a disengaged day during the laborious dissipations of a London life?—Talk of the delights of solitude! Spirit of Zimmerman!—What solitude is the imagination capable of conceiving so entirely delightful, as that which a young unmarried man possesses in his quiet lodging, with his easy chair and his dressing-gown, his beef-steak, and his whisky and water, his nap over an old poem or a new novel, and the intervening despatch of a world of little neglected matters, which, from time to time, occur to recollection between the break of the stanzas or the incidents of the story?
Such were the reflections that hastily passed along my mind, on the afternoon of Thursday, the 15th of February, 1827, as I sat with a volume of the Tor Hill in my hand, in the back drawing-room of my lodging in Conduit-street. It was about ten o'clock in the afternoon. My dinner was just removed. It had left me with that gay complacency of disposition, and irrepressible propensity of elocution, which result from a satisfied appetite, and an undisturbed digestion. My sense of contentment became more vigorous and confirmed, as I cast my eye around my apartment, and contemplated my well-filled book-case, and the many articles of convenience with which I had contrived to accommodate my nest; till, at length, the emotions of satisfaction became too strong to be restrained within the bonds of silence, and announced themselves in the following soliloquy:—
"What capital coals these are!—There's nothing in the world so cheering— so enlivening—as a good, hot, blazing, sea-coal fire."—I broke a large lump into fragments with the poker, as I spoke—"It's all mighty fine," I continued, "for us travellers to harangue the ignorant on the beauty of foreign cities, on their buildings without dust, and their skies without a cloud; but, for my own part, I like to see a dark, thick, heavy atmosphere, hanging over a town. It forewarns the traveller of his approach to the habitations, the business, and the comforts of his civilized fellow-creatures. It gives an air of grandeur, and importance, and mystery, to the scenes: it conciliates our respect. We know that there must be some fire where there is so much smother.—While, in those bright, shining, smokeless cities, whenever the sun shines upon them, one's eyes are put out by the glare of their white walls; and when it does not shine!—why, in the winter, there's no resource left for a man but hopeless and shivering resignation, with their wide, windy chimneys, and their damp, crackling, hissing, sputtering, tantalizing fagots."—I confirmed my argument in favour of our metropolitan obscurity by another stroke of the poker against the largest fragment of the broken coal; and then, letting fall my weapon, and turning my back to the fire, I exclaimed, "Certainly—there's no kind of furniture like books:—nothing else can afford one an equal air of comfort and habitability.—Such a resource too!—A man never feels alone in a library.—He lives surrounded by companions, who stand ever obedient to his call, coinciding with every caprice of temper, and harmonising with every turn and disposition of the mind.—Yes: I love my book:—they are my friends—my counsellors—my companions.—Yes; I have a real personal attachment, a very tender regard, for my books."
I thrust my hands into the pockets of my dressing-gown, which, by the by, is far the handsomest piece of old brocade I have ever seen,—-a large running pattern of gold hollyhocks, with silver stalks and leaves, upon a rich, deep, Pompadour-coloured ground,—and, walking slowly backwards and forwards in my room, I continued,—"There never was, there never can have been, so happy a fellow as myself! What on earth have I to wish for more? Maria adores me—I adore Maria. To be sure, she's detained at Brighton; but I hear from her regularly every morning by the post, and we are to be united for life in a fortnight. Who was ever so blest in his love? Then again John Fraser—my old schoolfellow! I don't believe there's anything in the world he would not do for me. I'm sure there's no living thing that he loves so much as myself, except, perhaps, his old uncle Simon, and his black mare."
I had by this time returned to the fireplace, and, reseating myself, began to apostrophize my magnificent black Newfoundland, who, having partaken of my dinner, was following the advice and example of Abernethy, and sleeping on the rug, as it digested.—"And you, too, my old Neptune, aren't you the best and handsomest dog in the universe?"
Neptune finding himself addressed, awoke leisurely from his slumbers, and fixed his eyes on mine with an affirmative expression.
"Ay, to be sure you are; and a capital swimmer too!"
Neptune raised his head from the rug, and beat the ground with his tail, first to the right hand, and then to the left.
"And is he not a fine faithful fellow? And does he not love his master?"
Neptune rubbed his head against my hand, and concluded the conversation, by again sinking into repose.
"That dog's a philosopher," I said; "He never says a word more than is necessary:—then, again, not only blest in love and friendship, and my dog; but what luck it was to sell, and in these times too, that old, lumbering house of my father's, with its bleak, bare, hilly acres of chalk and stone, fat eighty thousand pounds, and to have the money paid down, on the very day the bargain was concluded. By the by, though, I had forgot:—I may as well write to Messrs. Drax and Drayton about that money, and order them to pay it immediately to Coutts's,—mighty honest people and all that: but faith, no solicitors should be trusted or tempted too far. It's a foolish way, at any time, to leave money in other people's hands—in anybody's hands—and I'll write about it at once."
As I said, so I did. I wrote my commands Messrs. Drax and Drayton, to pay my eighty thousand pounds into Coutts's; and after desiring that my note might be forwarded to them, the first thing in the morning, I took my candle, and accompanied by Neptune, who always keeps watch by night at my chamber door, proceeded to bed, as the watchman was calling "past twelve o'clock," beneath my window.
* * * * *
TO THE LADY BIRD.
"Lady Bird! Lady Bird! fly away home"— The field-mouse is gone to her nest, The daisies have shut up their sleepy red eyes, And the bees and the birds are at rest.
Lady Bird! Lady Bird! fly away home— The glow-worm is lighting her lamp, The dew's tailing fast, and your fine speckled wings Will flag with the close-clinging damp.
Lady Bird! Lady Bird! fly away home— Good luck if you reach it at last: The owl's come abroad, and the bat's on the roam, Sharp set from their Ramazan fast.
Lady Bird! Lady Bird! fly away home— The fairy bells tinkle afar, Make haste, or they'll catch ye, and harness ye fast With a cobweb, to Oberon's car.
Lady Bird! Lady Bird! fly away home— But, as all serious people do, first Clear your conscience, and settle your worldly affairs, And so be prepared for the worst.
Lady Bird! Lady Bird! make a short shrift— Here's a hair-shirted Palmer hard by; And here's Lawyer Earwig to draw up your will, And we'll witness it, Death-Moth and I.
Lady Bird! Lady Bird! don't make a fuss— You've mighty small matters to give; Your coral and jet, and ... there, there—you can tack A codicil on, if you live.
Lady Bird! Lady Bird! fly away now To your house in the old willow-tree, Where your children, so dear, have invited the ant. And a few cozy neighbours, to tea.
Lady Bird! Lady Bird! fly away home, And if not gobbled up by the way, Nor yoked by the fairies to Oberon's car, You're in luck—and that's all I've to say.
* * * * *
"THE OLD MANOR HOUSE."
The following circumstances respecting the foundation upon which Charlotte Smith built her popular novel, "The Old Manor House," may probably prove interesting to the public. Near Woodcot, where Mrs. Smith resided at the time she commenced her novel, was a very old house and domain called Brookwood, in which resided some Misses Venables, elderly maiden ladies, whom our authoress visited; and her acquaintance with them and their abode, gave her the idea of her romance. They kept an old housekeeper,— one whom we may presume was quite in keeping with the house,—whose niece or daughter was per favour allowed to reside with her at Brookwood— this girl, I need scarcely say, was the Monimia of the novel, nor was her Orlando a feigned character, although a highly-ornamented one; in truth, alas! for the shadowy beauty of romance, alas! for the spell of gorgeous poesy, he was not more made for a hero than was Dulcinea del Toboso for a heroine, being the young butcher of the village!! "Often and often," said the intelligent friend who favoured me with the account, "has he supplied our family with meat when we resided at Brookwood, and the beautiful Monimia, his wife, is only slightly disfigured by an interesting squint." The same friend who had frequently rambled over the house, part of which is now pulled down, spoke of it thus: "It was what I term an ancient Vandyked building, in toto an old manor-house; the exterior had a castellated appearance, nor had the interior much less, with its dim vasty apartments, sliding panels for the secretion of treasure, and secret passages; in one of the chambers is a closet, wherein part of the boarding of the floor is made to slide, and when moved, reveals a kind of vault, the descent down which is by a long narrow flight of steps; use is made of this, I think, in 'The Old Manor House,' but some friends of mine who went down discovered nothing but a gloomy kind of den, not capable of containing more than six persons standing, and nearly filled with oyster-shells. Do you recollect," continued my friend, "in which of Charlotte Smith's novels it is that she describes an eccentric old gentleman manuring his ground with wigs? because the fact is, it really was done by such a one at Brookwood."—New London Literary Gazette.
* * * * *
THE DELICACY OF THE MARIKINA.
The marikina is a pretty little animal which has often been brought into Europe. Its elegant form, graceful and easy motions, beautiful fur, intelligent physiognomy, soft voice, and affectionate disposition, have always constituted it an object of attraction.
The marikina, or silken monkey, can be preserved in European climates only by the utmost care in guarding it from the operation of atmospheric temperature. The cold and humidity of our winters are fatally injurious to its health. Neatness and cleanliness to a fastidious degree are constitutional traits of the marikina, and the greatest possible attention must be paid to it in this way, in a state of captivity. The slightest degree of dirt annoys them beyond measure, they lose their gaiety, and die of melancholy and disgust. They are animals of the most excessive delicacy, and it is not easy to procure them suitable nourishment. They cannot accustom themselves to live alone, and solitude is pernicious to them in an exact proportion to the degree of tenderness and care with which they have been habitually treated. The most certain means of preserving their existence, is to unite them to other individuals of their own species, and more especially to those of an opposite sex. They will soon accustom themselves to live on milk, biscuit, &c. but mild and ripe fruit is most agreeable to their taste, which to a certain degree is also insectivorous.—London Magazine.
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
* * * * *
A SONG FOR MUSIC.
BY T. HOOD, ESQ.
A lake and a fairy boat To sail in the moonlight clear, And merrily we would float From the dragons that watch us here!
Thy gown should be snow-white silk, And strings of orient pearls, Like gossamers dipp'd in milk, Should twine with thy raven curls.
Red rubies should deck thy hands, And diamonds should be thy dower— But fairies have broke their wands, And wishing has lost its power!
The Plea of the Midsummer Fairies and other Poems.
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THE ARRIVAL OF A TRANSPORT.
Numbers of boats soon surround the ship, filled with people anxious to hear news, and traffickers with fruit and other refreshments, besides watermen to land passengers; a regular establishment of the latter description has long existed here, many of whose members formerly plied that vocation on the Thames, and among whom were a few years back numbered that famous personage once known by all from Westminster stairs to Greenwich, by the shouts which assailed him as he rowed along, of "Overboard he vent, overboard he vent!" King Boongarre, too, with a boat-load of his dingy retainers, may possibly honour you with a visit, bedizened in his varnished cocked-hat of "formal cut," his gold-laced blue coat (flanked on the shoulders by a pair of massy epaulettes) buttoned closely up, to evade the extravagance of including a shirt in the catalogue of his wardrobe; and his bare and broad platter feet, of dull cinder hue, spreading out like a pair of sprawling toads, upon the deck before you. First, he makes one solemn measured stride from the gangway; then turning round to the quarter-deck, lifts up his beaver with the right hand a full foot from his head, (with all the grace and ease of a court exquisite,) and carrying it slowly and solemnly forwards to a a full arm's-length, lowers it in a gentle and most dignified manner down to the very deck, following up this motion by an inflection of the body almost equally profound. Advancing slowly in this way, his hat gracefully poised in his hand, and his phiz wreathed with many a fantastic smile, he bids massa welcome to his country. On finding he has fairly grinned himself into your good graces, he formally prepares to take leave, endeavouring at the same time to take likewise what you are probably less willing to part withal—namely, a portion of your cash. Let it not be supposed, however, that his majesty condescends to thieve; he only solicits the loan of a dump, on pretence of treating his sick gin [wife] to a cup of tea, but in reality with a view of treating himself to a porringer of "Cooper's best," to which his majesty is most royally devoted. You land at the government wharf on the right, where carts and porters are generally on the look-out for jobs; and on passing about fifty yards along the avenue, you enter George-street, which stretches on both hands, and up which, towards the left, you now turn, to reach the heart of the town.
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Although all you see are English faces, and you hear no other language but English spoken, yet you soon become aware that you are in a country very different from England, by the number of parrots and other birds of strange notes and plumage which you observe hanging at so many doors, and cagesful of which you will soon see exposed for sale as you proceed. The government gangs of convicts, also, marching backwards and forwards from their work in single military file, and the solitary ones straggling here and there, with their white woollen Paramatta frocks and trousers, or gray or yellow jackets with duck overalls, (the different styles of dress denoting the oldness or newness of their arrival,) all bedaubed over with broad arrows, P.B.'s, C.B.'s, and various numerals in black, white, and red, with perhaps the jail-gang straddling sulkily by in their jingling leg-chains,—tell a tale too plain to be misunderstood. At the corners of streets, and before many of the doors, fruit-stalls are to be seen, teeming, in their proper seasons, with oranges, lemons, limes, figs, grapes, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, apples, pears, &c. at very moderate prices.—Two Years in New South Wales.
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The nightingale's sad note in gloom is ringing, As wails the bride above her lover's grave; Like Grief above the tomb her tresses wringing, So gleams the star of evening o'er the wave.
A melancholy haze hangs o'er the ocean; The rocky cliffs reflect a sallow light— Such as through cloister'd halls of dim devotion, The moon-beams pour upon the cloudy night.
Ye rocky heights—ye violet-meads appearing Once fairer to my gaze than poet's dream— Now all your golden light to gloom is veering, And every floweret laves in Lethe's stream.
Hills, valleys, meads, no changes ye are mourning; 'Tis to the hopeless every star appears Like lamps in dark sepulchral vistas burning— And every dew-tipp'd flower is gemm'd with tears!
Stray Leaves; or, Translations from the German Poets.
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"I am but a Gatherer and disposer of other men's stuff."—Wotton.
The projector of one of the new canals, accompanied by two or three friends, was superintending the operations of the workmen, and frequently lamented the loss which the speculation was likely to occasion to him. He was mounted on horseback at the time, when the animal, suddenly becoming unruly, plunged, and threw his rider into the water. Being quickly rescued from his disagreeable situation, and safely landed on the bank, one of his companions begged to congratulate him on the happy change that had taken place in his fortune, "for have I not often told you (said the wit) that the canal would one day fill your pockets?"
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A cube of gold, of little more than five inches on each side, contains the value of 10,000l. sterling.
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"There is a rich rector in Worcestershire," said one of the colonel's guests, "whose name I cannot now recollect, but who has not preached for the last twelve months, as he every Sunday requests one of the neighbouring clergy to officiate for him."—"Oh!" replied Colonel Landleg, "though you cannot recollect his name, I can; it is England—England expects every man to do his duty."
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The church-bells at Lima are very musical, the brass of which they are composed having a considerable quantity of silver mixed with it; but they are rung in the most discordant manner. Instead of being pulled in chimes, as in England, thongs of leather are fixed to the clappers, and at the appointed times boys ascend the belfry, and swing the tongues of all the bells at once, from one side to another, producing the most barbarous combination of sounds imaginable. A friar who had been in England observed, that the English had very good bells if they knew but how to ring.
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A laborious special pleader, being constantly annoyed by the mewing of his favourite cat, at length resolved to get rid of it. He accordingly told his clerk to take and place it where it might remain in safety, but still where it could never get out. The clerk instantly walked off with poor puss in his lawyer's bag. On his return, being asked by his employer whether the noisy animal had been so disposed of that it could not come back to interrupt him, the cat carrier duly answered, "Certainly, I have put him where he cannot get out—in the Court of Chancery."—Reynolds' Life.