THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL XII, NO. 334.] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1828. [PRICE 2d.
UNITED SERVICE CLUB-HOUSE
Modern club-houses are, for the most part, splendid specimens of the style which luxury and good-living have attained in this country. Such are their internal recommendations; but to the public they are interesting for the architectural embellishment which they add to the streets of the metropolis. If we reason on Bishop Berkeley's theory—that all the mansions, equipages, &c. we see abroad, are intended for our gratification—we must soon forget the turtle, venison, and claret that are stored in the larders and cellars of club-houses, whilst our admiration is awakened at the taste which is lavished on their exteriors.
The "United Service" Club-House is, as its name implies, intended for the Officers of the Army and Navy, who, in these pacific times, may here enjoy otium cum dignitate, and fill up the intervals of refection, in reading the "history of the war," from the noble quarto to the last dispatches received at the Foreign Office.
The above Club-House, which occupies an angle of Charles-street and Regent-street, is, however, but a meagre specimen of the abilities of the architect, Mr. Smirke. It has none of the characteristic decorations of either service, if we except the bas-relief on the entrance-front in Charles street, which represents Britannia distributing laurels to her brave sons by land and sea. The architecture of the whole is cold and unfeeling, and even the columns supporting the porticoes are of a very rigid order—when we consider that the clubhouse is not an official establishment, but one intended for luxurious accommodation, and that it would have admitted of much more florid embellishment. At the same time, although we quarrel with the frigidity of the exterior, we do not question the warmth of its kitchens, or the potency of its cellars; neither do we affect any knowledge of the latter—nay, not even enough to weave into a "fashionable" novel.
A new mansion is building for the United Service Club, on the site of Carlton House, under the superintendance of Mr. Nash, and which, with another new clubhouse for the Athaenaeum, will form an entrance to the new square opposite Waterloo-Place. The taste of the sword and pen does not, however, agree, and their buildings are dissimilar. In the United Service Club are two rooms of 150 feet by 50, the floors of which are constructed of cast-iron girders. At the back of these club-houses will be a large ornamental garden.
* * * * *
(For the Mirror.)
The primitive Christians censured a practice prevalent among the Romans, of decorating a corpse, previous to interment or combustion, with garlands and flowers. Their reprehension extended also to a periodical custom of placing the "first-fruits of Flora" on their graves and tombs. Thus Anchises, in Dryden's Virgil,Aeneid, book 6, says,
"Full canisters of fragrant lilies bring, Mix'd with the purple roses of the spring; Let me with funeral flowers his body strew— This gift, which parents to their children owe, This unavailing gift I may bestow."
Notwithstanding the anathemas of the church, these simple, interesting, and harmless (if not laudable) practices still remain. The early customs and features of all nations approximate; and whether the following traits, which a friend has kindly obliged me with, are relics of Roman introduction, or national, I leave the antiquary to decide.
On Palm Sunday, in several villages in South Wales, a custom prevails of cleaning the grave-stones of departed friends and acquaintances, and ornamenting them with flowers, &c. On the Saturday preceding, a troop of servant girls go to the churchyard with pails and brushes, to renovate the various mementos of affection, clean the letters, and take away the weeds. The next morning their young mistresses attend, with the gracefulness of innocence in their countenances, and the roses of health and beauty blooming on their cheeks. According to their fancy, and according to the state of the season, they place on the stones snow-drops, crocuses, lilies of the valley, and roses.
A sacrifice such as this, so pure, so innocent, so expressive, is surely acceptable to the great God of nature.
To our Correspondent's communication, which is worthy of record, from its originality, we could add many well-authenticated accounts of the rite of decorating graves, &c. There is in our drawer an interesting paper on the subject; but we give Quaesitor the priority.
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THE SPIDER'S WEB.
(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
To the curious among the perusers of the Mirror, it may not be uninteresting to know that a beautiful impression may be taken on paper of the reticulated web of the field-spider, by sprinkling it finely with any dark-coloured liquid, and placing the paper intended for the impression behind the web, and drawing it gently towards you. I do not know of what ingredients bookbinders' blue-sprinkle is made, but it seems to absorb the gelatinous matter of which the web is composed. The idea that an impression might be produced in this manner, was suggested to me by observing the dew on the web in the morning.
Our ingenious Correspondent has, on the fly-leaf of his letter, furnished us with the impression of a web, as a proof of the practicability of the above.
* * * * *
(For the Mirror.)
Who hath not inhaled with ecstasy the delicious, the heavenly odour of "the Atar Gul, more precious than gold?" Who hath not in fancy wandered, as he inspired it, to the terrestrial paradise from whence it is procured? And who that knew not how so volatile an essence was collected, hath not marvelled, over the enjoyment of Otto of Roses? Persia, Turkey, and Egypt, are the principal countries in which it is manufactured, and the Atar of Persia is generally allowed to be the most superior, and the most difficult to be obtained genuine. The rose of Cashmire is proverbial throughout the east for its brilliancy and fragrance; and "the Roses of the Jinan Nile, or Garden of the Nile, (attached to the Emperor of Morocco's palace) are unequalled; mattresses are made of their leaves for the men of rank to recline upon." I transcribe from a published account in my possession, the method of obtaining Atar Gul in the east (for I have heard that some English chemists have endeavoured to procure it from English roses.) merely begging to observe that it exactly corresponds with that given to me by a gentleman who had witnessed the process in Egypt.
"Otto of Roses.—The usual method of making it is, to gather the roses with their calyces, and put them into a still with nearly double their weight of pure spring water; which, when sufficiently distilled, will be highly scented with roses; this is then poured into shallow vessels and exposed to the nocturnal air. Next morning, the Atar, or essential oil of the flowers is found swimming in small congealed particles on the surface of the water; it is carefully collected and preserved in small glass bottles." A hundred pounds of the flowers scarcely afford in India two drachms of essential oil. "Cent livres de petales de Roses," says a French chemist, "N'en fournissent par la distillation que quatre drachmes." Tachenius from the same quantity obtained half an ounce, and Hoffman a much larger proportion. The trials of other chemists have been attended with various results. It is most difficult to procure the genuine Otto of Roses, since even in the countries where it is made, the distillers are tempted to put sandal wood, scented grasses, and other oily plants into the still with the roses, which alter their perfume, and debase the value of the Atar; colour is no test of genuineness; green, amber, and light red or pink. The hues of the real otto, are also those of the adulterated; the presence of the sandal wood may be detected by the simple sense of smelling; but in order to discover the union of a grosser oil with the essential, drop a very little otto on a piece of clean writing paper, and hold it to the fire; if the article is genuine, it will evaporate without leaving a mark on the paper, so ethereal is the essential oil of roses! if otherwise, a grease-spot will declare the imposition. I need scarcely expatiate upon the delicate and long-continuing fragrance which this luxuriant perfume imparts to all things with which it comes in contact; it is peculiarly calculated for the drawer, writing-desk, &c. since its aroma is totally unmingled with that most disagreeable effluvium, which is ever proceeding from alcohol. Lavender-water, esprit de rose &c. &c. are quite disgusting shut up in box or drawer, but the Atar Gul, is as delightful there as in the most open and airy space. Some persons there are, however, who have an antipathy to it, and others will, as they inhale its delicious odour, fancy with myself, what may be.
THE SONG OF THE ATAR GUL!
I'm come! I'm come! for you've charm'd me here Soul of the Rose, from divine Cashmire I'm come,—all orient, odorous, rare, An Eden-breath in your boreal air;
I'm come. I'm come! like a seraph's sigh Breath'd to ethereal minstrelsy, And well ye'll deem what a sigh must be From the tearless heirs of eternity!
I've fled my bright frame from Tirnagh's stream, And, wand'ring here, am sweet as the dream Of passion, which stirs the Peri's breast, Whom her dear one's winglets fan to rest; I've dwelt i' the rose-cup, and drunk the tone— Of my lover the Bulbul, all low and lone; And the maid's soul-song, who forth hath crept, When pale stars peer'd, and night flow'rs wept.
But oh! from the songs of Cashmire's vale, The rose, the lute, and the nightingale, From flow'rs, whose odours were too divine; From gems of beauty whose souls were mine; From floating eyes, that could wound, yet bless, In their warm, dark, deep, voluptuousness; I'm come, in young iv'ry breasts to lie, Betray'd like Love, by my luscious sigh!
I'm come, and my holy, rich, perfume Makes faint your roses of palest bloom; Soul, as I am, of an orient gem, My aroma's too divine for them; I'm come! but mine odorous, elfin wing Rises from earth, and that one fair thing First Love's first sigh, which ye know to be, More exquisite, and more brief than me!
 Having, not long since, purchased a bottle of Persian Otto, warranted genuine, (as is all) I laid it carefully by, wrapped thickly round with cotton wool; the Atar which was certainly excellent, was in a curious bottle of rough misshapen workmanship, but ornamented with sundry circles, and lozenges, of various coloured glass. I was inclined to regard this bottle as a more genuine specimen of oriental art, than one of those, which, enamelled, with gold, stands forth in its way an elegant of the first water, and I hoped to have kept it long. On visiting my Otto shortly afterwards, I found that not only had it all evaporated, but destroyed its receptacle. Its strength (I conclude) had dissolved the cement of the aforesaid coloured bits of glass, and left me only an empty and plain bottle, the ugliest of the ugly. I mention this circumstance as a caution to amateurs in Atar Gul.
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SHOOTING AT THE POPINJAY.
(For the Mirror.)
The Popinjay or Popingo (signifying painted bird) is a very favourite and popular diversion in Denmark, and of which it may be interesting to give some account. A society is constituted of various members, called the "King's Shooting Club," who have a code of laws and regulations drawn up for their observance; and are under the direction of nine managers. The entrance-money is 60 dollars. Members are admitted by ballot, and on election receive a diploma on parchment, with the seal of the society.
The meetings are held in a large building in the environs, and members are decorated with an order or badge of distinction, which is the figure of a gilded bird with outstretched wings, perching on a branch of laurel. This is worn on the left breast, and attached to a button-hole of the waistcoat by a green silk riband. On the breast are marked the letters "D.C." meaning "Danish Company." On one side of the branch is the date 1542, and on the other 1739. In the month of August, when the amusement commences, the members meet in their hall, and proceed in formal procession to an adjoining field on the western side of the city; where arrangements are previously made for the numerous spectators. The bird to be shot at is about the size of a parrot, gilded, and placed on the top of a high pole. On their way to the field they are attended by a band of music, which precedes the members as they march with their pieces over their shoulders.
According to a law of the institution, the competitors fire at this mark with large rifle pieces charged with balls, and rested on triangular stands. Whoever is so fortunate as to strike the wing of the Popingo first, is entitled to a prize. This is sometimes a pair of handsome candlesticks, or a silver tea-pot and spoons. Whoever hits the tail is entitled to another prize not inferior to the last; but he who wounds the body of the bird is complimented with the principal one which weighs at least 65 ounces of silver, and is honoured with the title of the "BIRD KING." These prizes are surmounted with the royal cipher and crown. His Danish majesty opens this ceremony in person, and is entitled to the first shot, and the queen to the second, then they are followed by the other branches of the royal family in succession. The firing continues until the bird falls. In returning to the hall, the "Bird King," accompanied by the procession, first enters the room, and is placed at the head of the table laid out for an entertainment, even in the presence of his majesty. On this occasion he is understood to be invested with peculiar privileges, such as proposing toasts, directing the order of the feast, &c. and his own health is first given by the judges. The members pay 100 dollars each. The festival is honoured by the presence of the royal family, and no person excepting the members, the foreign ministers, and other distinguished persons, who are specially invited, can be admitted.
The practice of shooting at the Popingo or Popinjay, however, is not peculiar to Denmark. In Scotland a nearly similar amusement is observed, where the head marksman receives the title of "Captain." In a future paper, perhaps, I may notice the subject again, as it may prove interesting.
 I imagine this to mean the time of the introduction of the sport, and the year when the company was instituted.
* * * * *
(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
In No. 331 of the MIRROR, I observed an article on Trout-fishing in Westmoreland. The writer states, that the largest trout ever caught in that county weighed four pounds and a half. This circumstance induces me to send you the annexed account respecting trout in Kent.
The county of Kent affords a vast number of trout-streams, which are nowhere surpassed in England; and fish of extraordinary size and beauty have frequently been caught in them. Some years ago, at Farningham, (a village through which a noble trout-stream takes its course), stood a flour-mill, the proprietor of which informed my father, that he had often observed an enormous trout in the stream, near the mill-head, and that he would endeavour to catch it, in order to ascertain its real dimensions, as he was very desirous to have a picture done from it. My father having consented to undertake the picture, the proprietor caused the trout, though with much difficulty, to be caught in a stub-net. It appeared of a most beautiful colour, and was finely variegated with spots; but it possessed such exceeding strength, that the assistance of two men was necessary to hold it down on a table while the measurement was made. It proved to be twenty-six inches in length, and weighed nine pounds. The proprietor returned it to the water unhurt, for he would by no means suffer it to be killed, but caused food from time to time to be thrown into the stream. This food chiefly consisted of meal and flour, made into small balls, which allured the trout to remain near the mill-head. When the particulars concerning this remarkable fish were circulated, many persons came from different parts of Kent, and even from London, to obtain a sight of it.
Numerous individuals now living at Farningham can attest the truth of this account; and, probably, the painting may still be seen at that place. September 20, 1828.
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INSCRIPTION FOR A BROOK
(For the Mirror.)
SUR UN RUISSEAU.
Coule gentil ruisseau, sous cet epais fouillage: Ton bruit charme les sens—il attendrit le coeur. Coule gentil ruisseau, car ton cours est l'image D'un beau jour ecoule dans le sein du bonheur.
J. J. ROUSSEAU.
IMITATED FROM THE ABOVE.
Flow, gentle stream, thy course pursue Beneath the shade of waving bowers, Where sunbeams lightly glancing through, The dew-drops kiss from off the flowers.
Thy murmurs charm the list'ning ear, And soothe the senses to repose— No wayward passion rages here, The heart no throbbing tumult knows.
Thy waters, as they glide along, Reflect but images of peace, Emblem of days, too swiftly flown, Pass'd in the midst of happiness.
Flow on, fair stream, thy course pursue Beneath the shade of waving bowers, Where sunbeams lightly glancing through, Kiss the bright dew from off the flowers.
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(Continued from page 165.)
It is almost impossible to lay down any rule which would define the variations of national manners as having any reference to climate. We frequently find that the passage of a river, or a chain of mountains, dividing countries of the same natural features, brings us among an entirely new people, and presents us with a fresh scene in the melodrama of life. The inhabitants of Languedoc and Gascony, and the southern parts of France, are the gayest and most lively of the subjects of Charles X.; but the moment we have crossed the Pyrenees, we are among one of the gravest nations in the world, the Spaniards. Again, contrast the solemnity and deep sense of honour of the Turks, with the vivacity and, we regret to add, the deceit and bad faith of the unfortunate modern Greeks. The virtuous spirit will, we trust, revive in the Morea with the return of civilization and freedom; for, as no one will attribute the degradation of the modern Greeks from the high moral cultivation of their ancestors, to any alteration in the climate of their country, so let us never despair of the return of virtue, of poetry, of the arts and sciences, whilst Parnassus and Helicon still enjoy the same glorious sun, and whilst the Isles are still gilded by eternal summer. We want no proofs that patriotism still lives in Greece, and with that feeling will ever be associated the powers that are able to invigorate a nation.
Although a mountainous country like Greece, situated in the loveliest climate in the world, must of course have some effect on the spirit of the people, yet the degree of it seems extremely uncertain. The Swiss seem in a great measure to have lost their renown for patriotism, by their slavish submissions to foreign yokes during the late war, and by the apathy with which they allow their rights to be trampled on at this day by a tyrannical aristocracy at home. There is now a proverb of "Point d'argent, point de Suisse!"—a melancholy reflection for a land where Tell drew his unerring shaft in the cause of freedom—where, so late as 1798, a patriot of the canton of Schwyz concluded an address with these words:—"The dew of the mountain may still moisten its verdure—the sweets of the valley may still shed their fragrance around you—the purple grape may still mingle with the green vine—the note of the maiden may still sound sweetly to the ear of her lover—the soft cry of the infant charm the feelings of the father—the confiding wife may yet gladden the home of her husband—but the heart of man will be rotten—the spirit of your ancestors extinguished—Switzerland no more, if you submit to the French. If you love your country, and value your honour, be men, and resist. If not, prove cowards, and obey."
Patriotism, however, does not confine itself to mountains, as witness the history of the ancient and modern republics of Italy; of the resistance of Holland and Belgium to their oppressors; of the English and French revolutions. It is unnecessary to look across the Atlantic, to prove the existence of the pure plant in its most healthy and vigorous growth. The new world is dedicated to the cause of liberty, and from that good seed is now springing forth fruit an hundred fold; the progress of civilization, of knowledge, of virtue, and happiness in the United States, is, by every recent traveller there, proved to be immense. The example of her own children is becoming an additional security for right principles to the mother country; and long may it so continue:
Yes! in that generous cause, for ever strong, The patriot's virtue and the poet's song, Still as the tide of ages rolls away, Shall charm the world, unconscious of decay!
We cannot even contend that the sun has the effect of inflaming the imaginations of men, and infusing into them either vivacity or a poetic spirit. The French, Greeks, Egyptians, and Persians are all remarkable for gaiety; while the Spaniards, Turks, and Chinese, the latitudes of whose countries vary but little, are noted for a grave and serious deportment. The land that has given birth to Shakspeare and Milton has no reason to complain of the want of warmth of imagination. Klopstock and Goethe,—the latter now allowed to be first of the living poets,—are instances of the wide range of the spirit of poetry. Shall we, who have seen Byron writing, as it were, in the midst of us, yield assent to calling Greece and Italy the countries of imagination, par excellence, because they have produced Homer and Dante? Assuredly not. We cannot even admit, as a general proposition, that the languages of the south are always the smoothest and most melodious, and the northern ones harsh, and not adapted for music. The liquid, smooth, and effeminate language of modern Italy is totally different from the strong, energetic, and harsh Latin used by the ancient Romans. The Arabic will be immediately admitted, by any who has heard a page of it read, to be extremely uncouth and disagreeable. The Russian, on the contrary, is soft and musical. And to recur to a more familiar instance, we shall find the Welsh tongue, on examination, to be in fact very poetic, and peculiarly capable of giving force and expression—whether of grandeur, of terror, or of melody—to the idea the words are intended to convey. Let the reader who understands the Welsh pronunciation, judge whether the following distich is not an echo to, and as it were a picture of, the sense of the majestic sound of thunder:—
"Tan a dwr y'n ymwriaw, Yw'r taranau dreigiau draw."
The roaring thunder, dreadful in its ire, Is water warring with aerial fire.
The next specimen will show the capability of the Welsh to express soft and melodious sounds:—
"Mae mil o leisian meluson, Mai mel o hyd ym mola hon."
The mellifluence of these lines, written on a harp, is totally lost in the translation:—
Within the concave of its womb is found The magic scale of soul-enchanting sound.
The best illustration of the comparative degree of mental excellence between the southern and northern nations, is, perhaps, that of Bishop Berkeley, who compares the southern wits to cucumbers, which are commonly all good of their kind, but at best an insipid fruit; while the northern geniuses are like melons, of which not one in fifty is good; but when it is so, it has an excellent relish. Now it is not probable that the same climate which is favourable to the study of the sciences and to the reasoning powers, would prevent their being pushed to the utmost extent; and the solution of this difference may, perhaps, depend on the question, whether a general diffusion of learning among a people is a state of things usually accompanied by a remarkable perfection in particular persons. A man of ordinary acquirements in the present day might have passed for a prodigy in the thirteenth century; and the novelty and distinction attaching to one who rises above the rest, is, of course, more difficult to attain in an age where knowledge is possessed universally. Inasmuch, therefore, as the liberal arts have been imported to us from the south, and their progress is as yet not so extensive in cold countries, the stimulus to their cultivation in the latter is so much the greater; which is one way of accounting for the giants in science that have appeared in the north, It is moreover remarkable, that the northern nations have a stronger apprehension of abstract propositions, and a greater fondness for generalizing, than seems to be the case in the south. The difference between a Frenchman and a German is observable in this particular, by any one who attends to their manner of telling stories. The former, in giving you an account of his being robbed by a servant to whom he had been particularly kind, first tells you the facts, and concludes with a reflection, "Voila que le monde est ingrat!" The German, on the other hand, in order to prove to you the general proposition of the unthankfulness of men to their benefactors, gives you the instance that has recently happened. To the one, the fact is interesting, because it proves the proposition; to the other, the proposition is a conclusion, which he hastily draws from an individual occurrence that has suggested it.
The climate does not appear to affect even the bodies of men to any great degree. We cannot pronounce that it is the sun which makes the African black, when we see the same heat pouring down on the copper-coloured American, in the same degree of latitude, though in another longitude. The inhabitants of Terra del Fuego are of a very dark hue, approaching to black; and yet that island experiences as severe cold as any part of the earth, as Sir Joseph Banks and Dr. Solander have testified. The complexion and appearance of the Jews, and other emigratory races, is the same in all parts of the world. And a stronger proof cannot be given, than the marked distinction which still exists among the three great families that divide Europe. These three have been for the last 2,500 years, and still are, the Celts, the Teutonic race, and the Slavonic race.
The Celts have black hair and eyes, and a white skin, verging to brown. They chiefly inhabit the west of Europe, viz. the south of France, (called by M. Dupin, France obscure,) Spain, Portugal, and the greatest part of Italy. To them also belong the ancient Britons, the Welsh, Bretons, Irish, Highland Scotch, and the Manks, or people of the Isle of Man. The great German race, with blue eyes, yellow or reddish hair, and a fair and red skin, occupies the middle of Europe. It includes the Swedes, Norwegians, Icelanders, Danes, ancient and modern Germans, Saxons and English, Caledonians and Lowland Scotch, the Belgians, the Vandals, and the Goths.
The east of Europe contains the Sarmatian and Slavonic tribes, with dark hair and eyes, darker skin than the Germans, and larger limbs than the Celts. This race includes the Russians, Poles, Croats, Slavons, Bohemians, Bulgarians, Cossacks, and other tribes using the Slavonic language.
We trust we shall not give offence to such of our readers as wear the Celtic appearance, if we assume, as undisputed, the general superiority of the Teutonic to the Celtic or Slavonic races in mental acquirements. We believe that the German race are pre-eminent for their sense of order, of law, and of social institutions; and whether they derive these advantages from the east, whence their origin has now been satisfactorily traced, or however they have attained them, we have only to reflect on the civilization introduced by the Saxons into England—on the actual state of the ancient Britons at present inhabiting Wales and the Highlands—and on the terrible disorder and barbarism that reigns in Ireland—to be thankful that the pure Celtic blood has not been allowed to remain unmixed in these islands.
What, then, it will be asked, is the result of these speculations? Are we to conclude that the races of men are essentially different, or that the variations are attributable to the various degrees of moral cultivation that each nation has received? And our answer is, that we are inclined to believe the capacities for improvement of races, as of individuals, to have been differently bestowed by nature; but that none are actually incapable of culture. There is no land, however sterile, that the art of man may not make to produce fruit; but the difficulty and expense of tillage must be in proportion to the intrinsic richness or poverty of the soil. We fear that the soil of the Negroes, of the American Indians, and of the Esquimaux, must be laboured at early and late, before it brings forth even an average crop. But we do not despair even here. Still less could we for a moment depreciate the labours of those who are carrying education to the utmost bounds of the earth. The more degraded and stupid the condition of any set of people may be, the more meritorious and thankworthy are those efforts that are made to advance them one point nearer to the heavens—one step above the beasts that perish. The advancement of Hayti, though much overrated, is nevertheless considerable; and we trust that national independence will co-operate there also with the progress of learning, for the increase of happiness and prosperity. A free government, high public spirit, and an eager desire for wisdom, are permanent securities for the welfare of the state, and the happiness of the citizens; and though we cannot control nature, let us endeavour by art to supply what is wanting, where her bounty has been limited; "let us," in the words of Lord Bacon, "labour to restore and enlarge the power and dominion of the whole race of man over the universe of things!"
 The idea of the ancient Egyptians, as mentioned by Herodotus, having been of the same family as the Negroes, is now completely refuted by the inquiries of Cuvier and other naturalists. The examinations of mummies have been highly useful in setting this question at rest.
* * * * *
(For the Mirror.)
The remorseless tragedy on which this ballad is founded, took place upwards of a century ago. In the retired village of Romanby, near Northallerton, Yorkshire, there resided a desperate band of coiners, whose respectability and cunning concealment precluded all possibility of suspicion as to their proceedings. The victim of their revenge was Mary Ward, the servant of one of those ruffians. Having obtained an accidental view of some secret apartments appropriated to their treasonable practices, she unguardedly communicated her knowledge to an acquaintance; which reaching her master's ears, he determined to destroy her. The most plausible story, time, and means were selected for this purpose. On a Sunday evening, after sunset, an unknown personage on horseback arrived at her master's mansion, half equipped, to give colour to his alleged haste, and slated that he was dispatched for Mary, as her mother was dying. She lingered to ask her master's permission; but he feigned sleep, and she departed without his leave. On the table of her room was her Bible, opened at those remarkable words in Job, "They shall seek me in the morning, and shall not find me; and where I am, they shall not come." Her home was at the distance of eight miles from Romanby; and Morton bridge, hard by the heath where she was murdered, is the traditionary scene of her nocturnal revisitings. The author has seen the tree said to have been distorted by her in endeavouring to climb the fence; and has visited the village and bridge, from which his descriptions are accurately taken. The impression of her re-appearance is only poetically assumed, for there is too much of what Coleridge would term "the divinity of nature" around Morton Bridge, to warrant its association with supernatural mysteries.
Oh! sights are seen, and sounds are heard, On Morton Bridge, at night, When to the woods the cheerful birds Have ta'en their silent flight.
When through the mantle of the sky No cheering moonbeams delve, And the far village clock hath told The midnight hour of twelve.
Then o'er the lonely path is heard The sigh of sable trees, With deadly moan of suff'ring strife Borne on the solemn breeze—
For Mary's spirit wanders there, In snowy robe array'd, To tell each trembling villager Where sleeps the murder'd maid.
It was a Sabbath's eve of love, When nature seem'd more holy; And nought in life was dull, but she Whose look was melancholy.
She lean'd her tear-stain'd cheek of health Upon her lily arm, Poor, hapless girl! she could not tell What caus'd her wild alarm.
Around the roses of her face Her flaxen ringlets fell; No lovelier bosom than her own Could guiltless sorrow swell!
The holy book before her lay, That boon to mortals given, To teach the way from weeping earth To ever-glorious heaven;
And Mary read prophetic words, That whisper'd of her doom— "Oh! they will search for me, but where I am, they cannot come!"
The tears forsook her gentle eyes, And wet the sacred lore; And such a terror shook her frame, She ne'er had known before.
She ceas'd to weep, but deeper gloom Her tearless musing brought; And darker wan'd the evening hour, And darker Mary's thought.
The sun, he set behind the hills, And threw his fading fire On mountain rock and village home, And lit the distant spire.
(Sweet fane of truth and mercy! where The tombs of other years Discourse of virtuous life and hope, And tell of by-gone tears!)
It was a night of nature's calm, For earth and sky were still; And childhood's revelry was o'er, Upon the daisied hill.
The ale-house, with its gilded sign, Hung on the beechen bough, Was mute within, and tranquilly The hamlet stream did flow.
The room where sat this grieving girl Was one of ancient years; Its antique state was well display'd To conjure up her fears;
With massy walls of sable oak, And roof of quaint design, And lattic'd window, darkly hid By rose and eglantine.
The summer moon now sweetly shone All softly and serene; She clos'd the casement tremblingly Upon the beauteous scene.
Above that carved mantle hung, Clad in the garb of gloom, A painting of rich feudal state,— An old baronial room.
The Norman windows scarcely cast A light upon the wall, Where shone the shields of warrior knights Within the lonely hall.
And, pendent from each rusty nail, Helmet and steely dress, With bright and gilded morion, To grace that dim recess.
Then Mary thought upon each tale Of terrible romance:— The lady in the lonely tower— The murd'rer's deadly glance—
And moon-lit groves in pathless woods, Where shadows nightly sped; Her fancy could not leave the realms Of darkness and the dead.
There stood a messenger without, Beside her master's gate, Who, till his thirsty horse had drunk, Would hardly deign to wait.
The mansion rung with Mary's name, For dreadful news he bore— A dying mother wish'd to look Upon her child once more.
The words were, "Haste, ere life be gone;" Then was she quickly plac'd Behind him on the hurrying steed, Which soon the woods retrac'd.
Now they have pass'd o'er Morton Bridge, While smil'd the moon above Upon the ruffian and his prey— The hawk and harmless dove.
The towering elms divide their tops; And now a dismal heath Proclaims her "final doom" is near The awful hour of death!
The villain check'd his weary horse, And spoke of trust betray'd; And Mary's heart grew sick with fright, As, answering, thus she said—
"Oh! kill me not until I see My mother's face again! Ride on, in mercy, horseman, ride, And let us reach the lane!
"There slay me by my mother's door, And I will pray for thee— For she shall find her daughter's corse"— "No, girl, it cannot be.
"This heath thou shalt not cross, for soon Its earth will hide thy form; That babbling tongue of thine shall make A morsel for the worm!"
She leap'd upon the ling-clad heath, And, nerv'd with phrensied fear, Pursued her slippery way across, Until the wood was near.
But nearer still two fiends appear'd, Like hunters of the fawn, Who cast their cumb'ring cloaks away, Beside that forest lone;
And bounded swifter than the maid, Who nearly 'scap'd their wrath, For well she knew that woody glade, And every hoary path,
Obscur'd by oak and hazel bush, Where milk-maid's merry song Had often charm'd her lover's ear, Who blest her silv'ry tongue.
But Mary miss'd the woodland stile— The hedge-row was not high; She gain'd its prickly top, and now Her murderers were nigh.
A slender tree her fingers caught— It bent beneath her weight; 'Twas false as love and Mary's fate! Deceiving as the night!
She fell—and villagers relate No more of Mary's hour, But how she rose with deadly might, And, with a maniac's power,
Fought with her murd'rers till they broke Her slender arm in twain: That none could e'er discover where The maiden's corse was lain.
When wand'ring by that noiseless wood, Forsaken by the bee, Each rev'rend chronicler displays The bent and treach'rous tree.
Pointing the barkless spot to view, Which Mary's hand embrac'd, They shake their hoary locks, and say, "It ne'er can be effac'd!"
* * H.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
The tanner steeps the skin at first in a weak infusion of bark, until it has acquired a nutmeg brown colour, and then he gradually increases the strength of the steeping liquors, and after a time he draws the skin out, and finds that it is converted into leather. A thick piece of hide requires ten, twelve, or fourteen months, to be converted into good leather; and when you consider the length of time consumed in the process, and the great capital necessarily employed, you cannot feel surprised that various plans should have been proposed to lessen both. It was proposed to tan with warm instead of cold liquors; and although the tan appeared to promote the skins in a shorter time, the quality of the leather was so much injured, that it was soon given up. Then it was tried to force the tan through the pores of the skin, by employing great pressure; but this was not found to answer. But you may ask why the tanner does not put the skins at once into a strong liquor? The reason is, that the exterior surface of the skin would soon become tanned, and the central part would remain untanned, which, in a short time, would begin to rot and decay, and the leather so treated would soon fall to pieces. The tanner, therefore, judges of the perfection of the tanning by cutting through the leather; and if he finds it of an uniform brown colour, without any white streak in the centre, he considers that the process has been successfully conducted. It would require much time to describe all the operations of the tan-yard, but many of them are interesting, as regards the chemical agents employed. I might have mentioned to you, that the mode of preparing the skin for tanning, is first to soak it in lime-water, by which the hair is easily detached; but the cuticle and under part of the skin, the cellular substance, are scraped off after it has been soaked in the lime water. A great variety of substances have been used for tanning, as the acorn-cup of the oriental bark; catechu and sumach have been also used; but the oak bark is most generally used, as furnishing a large quantity of astringent matter. It is not the business of the chemist to describe the different kinds of leather, but I may just mention, that the upper leather of shoes is called curried leather; the leather having been tanned, is rubbed over with oil before it is dried, and it is then very flexible, pliable, and durable; but if you take a piece of dry leather, and try to rub it over with oil or grease, you cannot make it enter the pores of the leather; the black colour is produced by rubbing it over with a solution of green vitriol, the sulphate of iron. Russian leather is tanned in an infusion of birch bark, and is said to be afterwards mixed with a quantity of birch tar, to give it that odour for which it is peculiar, which renders it valuable for book-binding, on account of preventing it from being attacked by insects. Tawed leather, used for gloves, is made by impregnating the skin with a liquor containing alum and salt, and afterwards washed in a mixture of yolks of eggs and water; the saline and animal matters combine, and give it that peculiar softness, and such leather is afterwards coloured as may be required; having been rolled over wooden rollers, in which are grooves, it is called Morocco leather. These are the principal varieties of leather employed in this country.—Brande's Lectures—Lancet.
An indefatigable naturalist has undertaken the very difficult task of arranging the family of acarides, or mites; he divides them into sixty-nine genera, the greater part of them new!
Electro-Attraction of Leaves.
The results of a French experimentalist have lately led him to conclude that the leaves, hairs, and thorns of plants tend to maintain in them the requisite proportion of electricity; and, by drawing off from the atmosphere what is superabundant, they also act in some measure as thunder-rods.
The skeleton of a whale, 95 feet long by 18 feet high, has lately been deposited in the Cabinet of Natural History at Ghent. In the opinion of many naturalists, among whom is M. Cuvier, this fish could not have been less than 900 or 1,000 years old!
Fly in Wheat.
In North America, much damage is done to crops of wheat by the Hessian fly. The female deposits from one to eight or more eggs upon a single plant of wheat, between the vagina or sheath of the inner leaf and the culm nearest the roots; in which situation, with its head towards the root or first joint, the young larva pass the winter. They eat the stem, which thus becomes weak, and breaks; but are checked by another insect, called the destructor, otherwise whole crops of wheat would be annihilated.
A correspondent of London's Magazine of Natural History says, that he lately amused himself for more than an hour in observing the proceedings of a little spider, whose bag of eggs had been removed and restored!
Light of the Sea.
Its appearance previous to a storm is a very old observation among sailors. It is, however without foundation, as it is to be seen, more or less, all the year round in the Carribean sea, where there are no storms but in the hurricane months. In the hand it has a kind of mucous feel.—Mag. Nat. Hist.
A specimen of the least woodpecker was lately shot near Newcastle; and another has since been heard and seen near Coventry. Its noise resembles that made by the boring of a large auger through the hardest wood; whence the country people sometimes call the bird "the pump-borer."—Ibid.
The Tea Shrub
Has been naturalized in Java with complete success; so that, sooner or later, the Chinese monopoly will come to an end.
From the earliest times, there are to be found in authors, notices of the singular geological phenomena of floating islands. Pliny tells us of the floating islands of the Lago de Bassanello, near Rome; in Loch Lomond, in Scotland, there is or was a floating island; and in the Lake of Derwent Water, in Cumberland, such islands appear and disappear at indefinite periods. Mr. A. Pettingal, jun. has recently described a floating island, about a mile southwards of Newbury port, 140 poles in length, and 120 in breadth. It is covered with trees; and in summer, when dry weather is long continued, it descends to the bottom of the lake.—American, Journal of Science.
An immense Medusa.
A species of sea-serpent, was thrown on shore near Bombay, in 1819. It was about 40 feet long, and must have weighed many tons. A violent gale of wind threw it high above the reach of ordinary tides; in which situation it took nine months to rot; during which process travellers were obliged to change the direction of the road for nearly a quarter of a mile, to avoid the offensive effluvia. It rotted so completely, that not a vestige of bone remained.—(C. Telfair, Esq. to R. Barclay, Esq. of Bury Hill.)
Captain Gerard, in exploring these mountains, with a view to measurement, had ascended to the height of 19,600 feet, being 400 feet higher than Humboldt had ascended on the Andes. The latter part of Captain Gerard's ascent, for about two miles, was on an inclined plane of 42 deg., a nearer approach to the perpendicular than Humboldt conceived it possible to climb for any distance together.—Heber's India.
The head of a Hippopotamus has recently been brought to England, with all the flesh about it, in a high state of preservation. This amphibious animal was harpooned while in combat with a crocodile, in a lake in the interior of Africa. The head measures near four feet long, and eight feet in circumference; the jaws open two feet wide, and the cutting-teeth of which it has four in each jaw, are above a foot long, and four inches in circumference. Its ears are not bigger than a terrier's, and are much about the same shape. This formidable and terrific creature, when full-grown, measures about 17 feet long from the extremity of the snout to the insertion of the tail, above 16 feet in circumference round the body, and stands above 7 feet high. It runs with astonishing swiftness for its great bulk, at the bottom of lakes and rivers, but not with as much ease on land. When excited, it puts forth its full strength, which is prodigious. "I have seen," says a mariner, as we find it in Dampier, "one of these animals open its jaws, and seizing a boat between its teeth, at once bite and sink it to the bottom. I have seen it on another occasion place itself under one of our boats, and rising under it, overset it, with six men who were in it, but who, however, happily received no other injury." At one time it was not uncommon in the Nile, but now it is no where to be found in that river, except above the cataracts.
* * * * *
A CHAPTER OF BULLS.
I confess it is what the English call a bull, in the expression, though the sense be manifest enough.—POPE.
We are friends to the exposition of the weak sides of great men, inasmuch as it reads them a valuable lesson on their own infallibility, and tends to lower the molehills of conceit that are raised in the world as stumbling-blocks along every road of petty ambition. It would, however, be but a sorry toil for the most cynical critic to illustrate these vagaries otherwise than so many slips and trippings of the tongue and pen, to which all men are liable in their unguarded moments—from Homer to Anacreon Moore, or Demosthenes to Mr. Brougham. Our course is rather that of a good-humoured expose, the worst effect of which will be to raise a laugh at the expense of poor humanity, or a merited smile at our own dulness and mistaken sense of the ridiculous.
First, of the ancient Poets, who make departed spirits know things past and to come, yet ignorant of things present. Agamemnon foretels what should happen to Ulysses, yet ignorantly inquires what is become of his own son. The ghosts are afraid of swords in Homer, yet Sibylla tells Aeneas in Virgil, that the then habit of spirits was beyond the force of weapons. The spirits put off their malice with their bodies; and Caesar and Pompey accord in Latin hell; yet Ajax in Homer, endures not a conference with Ulysses.
In Painting alone we have a rich harvest. Burgoyne in his travels, notices a painting in Spain, where Abraham is preparing to shoot Isaac with a pistol!
There is a painting at Windsor, of Antonio Verrio, in which, he has introduced himself, Sir Godfrey Kneller, and Bap. May, surveyor of the works, in long periwigs, as spectators of Christ healing the sick.
In the Luxembourg is a picture of Reubens, in which are the queen-mother in council, with two cardinals, and Mercury!
There may be, also, a sort of anachronism of the limbs, as in the case of the painter of Toledo, who painted the story of the three wise men of the east coming to worship, and bringing their presents to our Lord, upon his birth, at Bethlehem, whence he presents them as three Arabian, or Indian kings; two of them are white, and one of them black; but, unhappily, when he drew the latter part of them kneeling, which, to be sure, was done after their faces, their legs being necessarily a little intermixed, he made three black feet for the negro king, and but three white feet for the two white kings; and yet never discovered the mistake till the piece was presented to the king, and hung up in the great church.
There was, also, in the Houghton Hall collection, Velvet Brughel's Adoration of the Magi, in which were a multitude of figures, all finished with the greatest Dutch exactness; in fact, the ideas are rather a little too Dutch, for the Ethiopian king is dressed in a surplice, with boots and spurs, and brings, for a present, a gold model of a modern ship.
The monks of a certain monastery at Messina, exhibited, with great triumph, a letter written by the Virgin Mary with her own hand. Unluckily for them, this was not, as it easily might have been, written on the ancient papyrus, but on paper made of rags. On some occasion, a visiter, to whom this was shown, observed, with affected solemnity, that the letter involved also a miracle, for the paper on which it was written was not in existence till several hundred years after the mother of our Lord had ascended into heaven.
In the church of St. Zacharia, at Venice, is the picture of a Virgin and Child, whom an angel is entertaining with an air upon the violin. Jean Belin was the artist, in 1500. So, also, in the college library of Aberdeen, to a very neat Dutch missal, are appended elegant paintings on the margin, of the angels appearing to the shepherds, with one of the men playing on the bagpipes.
There is a picture in a church at Bruges that puts not only all chronology, but all else, out of countenance. It is the marriage of Jesus Christ with Saint Catherine of Sienna. But who marries them? St. Dominic, the patron of the church. Who joins their hands? Why, the Virgin Mary. And to crown the anachronism, King David plays the harp at the wedding!
Albert Durer represented an angel in a flounced petticoat, driving Adam and Eve from Paradise.
Lewis Cigoli painted a picture of the Circumcision of the Holy Child, Jesus, and drew the high priest, Simeon, with spectacles on his nose; upon a supposition, probably, that, in respect of his great age, that aid would be necessary. Spectacles, however, were not known for fourteen centuries afterwards.
In a picture painted by F. Chello della Puera, the Virgin Mary is placed on a velvet sofa, playing with a cat and a paroquet, and about to help herself to coffee from an engraved coffee-pot.
In another, painted by Peter of Cortona, representing the reconciliation of Jacob and Laban, (now in the French Museum), the painter has represented a steeple or belfry rising over the trees. A belfry in the mountains of Mesopotamia, in the time of Jacob!
N. Poussin's celebrated picture, at the same place, of Rebecca at the Well, has the whole back-ground decorated with Grecian architecture.
Paul Veronese placed Benedictine fathers and Swiss soldiers among his paintings from the Old Testament.
A painter, intending to describe the miracle of the fishes listening to the preaching of St. Anthony of Padua, painted the lobsters, who were stretching out of the water, red! probably having never seen them in their natural state. Being asked how he could justify this anachronism, he extricated himself by observing, that the whole affair was a miracle, and that thus the miracle was made still greater.
In the Notices des MSS. du Roi VI. 120, in the illuminations of a manuscript Bible at Paris, under the Psalms, are two persons playing at cards; and under Job and the Prophets are coats of arms and a windmill.
Poussin, in his picture of the Deluge has painted boats, not then invented. St. Jerome, in another place, with a clock by his side; a thing unknown in that saint's days.—Nous revenons.
* * * * *
* * * * *
(The favourite Retreat of his Majesty.)
Virginia Water was planted, and the lake executed, under the direction of Paul Sandby, at a time when this part of Windsor Forest was the favourite residence of Duke William of Cumberland. The artificial water is the largest in the kingdom, with the single exception of Blenheim; the cascade is, perhaps, the most striking imitation we have of the great works of nature; and the grounds are arranged in the grandest style of landscape-gardening. The neighbouring scenery is bold and rugged, being the commencement of Bagshot Heath; and the variety of surface agreeably relieves the eye, after the monotony of the first twenty miles from town, which fatigues the traveller either upon the Bath or Western roads. At the time when the public were allowed to visit Virginia Water, the best point of entrance was at the gate at Bishopsgate; near which very pretty village, or rather green, the Royal Lodge is at present situated. Shelley, who had a true eye for the picturesque, resided for some time at this place; and it would have been difficult for a poet to have found, in any of the highly cultivated counties of England, a spot so full of the most exquisite variety of hill and dale, of wood and water,—so fitted to call forth and cherish the feelings upon which poetry must depend for its peculiar nurture.
Bishopsgate is situated about a mile to the right of the western road from London, after you ascend the hill beyond Egham. To the left, St. Anne's Hill, the favoured residence of Charles Fox, is a charming object; and upon the ridge which the traveller ascends, is the spot which has given a name to Denham's celebrated poem. "Cooper's Hill" is not shut out from the contemplative searchers after the beauties of nature; and, however the prospect here may be exceeded by scenes of wider extent, or more striking grandeur, certainly the locale of the earliest, and perhaps the best, descriptive poem of our language, is calculated to produce the warmest feelings of admiration, both for its actual beauty and its unrivalled associations. From an elevation of several hundred feet, you look down upon a narrow fertile valley, through which the Thames winds with surpassing loveliness. Who does not recollect the charming lines with which Denham describes the "silver river:"—
"Oh! could I flow thee, and make thy stream My great example, as it is my theme; Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not dull; Strong without rage; without o'erflowing full."
Immediately at your feet is the plain of Runnemede, where the great battle between John and the Barons was fought; and in the centre of the river is the little fishing island, where Magna Charta was signed. At the extremity of the valley is Windsor Castle, rising up in all the pomp of its massive towers. We recollect the scene as Windsor was. Whatever Mr. Wyattville may have done for its internal improvement, and for its adaptation to the purposes of a modern residence without sacrificing all its character of antiquity, we fear that he has destroyed its picturesque effect in the distant landscape. Its old characteristic feature was that of a series of turrets rising above the general elevation. By raising the intermediate roofs, without giving a proportionate height to the towers, the whole line has become square and unbroken. This was, perhaps, an unavoidable fault; but it is a fault.
From Cooper's Hill, the entrance to Virginia Water is a walk of a quarter of an hour. We were accustomed to wander down a long and close plantation of pines, where the rabbit ran across with scarcely a fear of man. A more wild and open country succeeded; and we then followed the path, through many a "bosky bourn," till we arrived at a rustic bridge, which crossed the lake at a narrow neck, where the little stream was gradually lost amongst the underwood. A scene of almost unrivalled beauty here burst upon the view. For nearly a mile, a verdant walk led along, amidst the choicest evergreens, by the side of a magnificent breadth of water. The opposite shore was rich with the heather-bloom; and plantations of the most graceful trees—the larch, the ash, and the weeping birch ("the lady of the woods"), broke the line of the wide lake, and carried the imagination on, in the belief that some mighty river lay beyond that screening wood. The cascade was at length reached. Cascades are much upon the same plan, whether natural or artificial; the scale alone makes the difference. This cascade is sufficiently large not to look like a plaything; and if it were met with in Westmoreland or Wales, tourists would dilate much upon its beauties. At this point the water may be easily forded; and after a walk of the most delicious seclusion, we used to reach a bold arch, over which the public road was carried. Here have been erected some of the antique columns, that, a few years ago, were in the court-yard of the British Museum.
From this arch a variety of walks, of the most delightful retirement, present themselves. They are principally bounded with various trees of the pine tribe, intermingled with laurel and acacia. The road gradually ascends to a considerable elevation, where there is a handsome building, called the Belvidere. The road from this spot is very charming. We descend from this height, through a wild path, by the side of trees of much more ancient growth than the mass around; and, crossing the high road, again reach the lake, at a point where its dimensions are ample and magnificent. About this part a splendid fishing-temple has lately been erected. Of its taste we can say nothing.
The common road from Blacknest (the name of this district of Windsor Forest) to the Royal Lodge is strikingly beautiful. Virginia Water is crossed by a very elegant bridge, built by Sandby; on one side of it the view terminates in a toy of the last age—a Chinese temple; on the other it ranges over a broad expanse of water. The road sometimes reminds one of the wildness of mountain scenery, and at another turn displays all the fertility of a peaceful agricultural district. We at length pass the secluded domain of the Royal Lodge; and when we reach the edge of the hill, we look upon a vista of the most magnificent elms, and over an expanse of the most striking forest scenery, with the splendid Castle terminating the prospect—a monument of past glories, which those who have a feeling for their country's honour may well uphold and cherish.— London Magazine.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
The principal article of our commerce with China, namely, tea, is, perhaps, more singular in its history than any other article of commerce in the known world. A simple and unsophisticated shrub, in little more than half a century, has become an article of such general consumption, that it seems to form one of the prime articles of existence among the great bulk of mankind. It is the peculiar growth of a country, of which it forms almost the only link of connexion with the rest of the world. It forms the source of the largest commercial revenue to the British Government of any other commodity whatever, and of the largest commercial profits to the individuals concerned in its importation. Withal, it is the simplest, the most harmless thing that ever was offered to the gratification of man,—having, it is believed and argued by many, a moral influence wherever it is diffused. It is the rallying point of our earliest associations; it has ever given an additional charm to our firesides; and tends, perhaps, more than any one thing, to confirm the pre-existing domestic habits of the British public. Its exhilarating qualities are eagerly sought after as a restorative and solace from the effects of fatigue or dissipation; the healthy and the sick, the young and the old, all equally resort to the use of it, as yielding all the salutary influence of strong liquors, without their baneful and pernicious effects. Yet this shrub, so simple and so useful, is delivered to the community of this country, so surcharged with duties and profits beyond its original cost, that, did it contain all the mischievous qualities that are opposed to its real virtues, it could not be more strictly guarded from general use.
For the whole of our imports, including factory expenses and commission, the original cost in China amounts to the sum of two millions sterling. This is wonderfully increased before the British public can have any access to the article of consumption; thus:—
1. The value of the Company's importations from China into Great Britain, as established by their own statements, is L2,000,000
2. On this they charge 100 per cent, for their own especial benefit 2,000,000
3. And the Government duty, as by law established, is equal to the original cost, and the profits charged by the company; both forming the sale price 4,000,000 ————— L8,000,000 Oriental Herald.
* * * * *
DEATH OF YOUNG PARK.
It is quite inconceivable with what increased zeal new candidates for African discovery come forward the moment that the death of any fresh victim to this pestilential country is announced. To the list of those who have already fallen, may be added young Park, the son of the late enterprising Mungo Park, and a midshipman of his majesty's ship Sybille. He went out in this ship with a full determination to proceed on foot, and alone, from the coast to the spot where his father perished, in the hope of hearing some authentic and more detailed account of the catastrophe than had yet been received. With leave of the commodore, he set out from Accra, and proceeded as far as Yansong, the chief town of Acquimbo, distant from the coast about one hundred and forty miles. Here the natives were celebrating the Yam feast, a sort of religious ceremony, to witness which Park got up into a Fetish tree, which is regarded by the natives with fear and dread. Here he remained a great part of the day, exposed to the sun, and was observed to drink a great quantity of palm wine. In dropping down from one of the lower branches, he fell on the ground, and said, that he felt a severe shock in his head. He was that evening seized with a fever, and died in three days, on the 31st October, 1827. As soon as the king, Akitto, heard of his death, he ordered all his baggage to be brought to his house, and instantly despatched a messenger to Accra, first making him swear "by the head of his father," that he would not sleep till he had delivered the message; it was to inform the resident of the event, and that all the property of the deceased would be forthwith sent down to Accra. This was accordingly done, and it did not appear on examination, that a single article was missing; even an old hat, without a crown, was not omitted. There was an idle report of Park being poisoned, for which there appears not the slightest foundation.—Q. Rev.
* * * * *
TO THE MEMORY OF MISS ELLEN GEE, OF KEW,
Who died in consequence of being stung in the eye.
Peerless, yet hapless maid of Q! Accomplish'd LN G! Never again shall I and U Together sip our T.
For, ah! the Fates, I know not Y, Sent midst the flowers a B, Which ven'mous stung her in the I, So that she could not C.
LN exclaim'd, "Vile, spiteful B! If ever I catch U On jess'mine, rosebud, or sweet P, I'll change your stinging Q.
"I'll send you, like a lamb or U, Across the Atlantic C, From our delightful village Q, To distant OYE.
"A stream runs from my wounded I, Salt as the briny C, As rapid as the X or Y, The OIO, or D.
"Then fare thee ill, insensate B! Who stung, nor yet knew Y; Since not for wealthy Durham's C Would I have lost my I."
They bear with tears fair LN G In funeral RA, A clay-cold corse now doom'd to B, Whilst I mourn her DK.
Ye nymphs of Q, then shun each B, List to the reason Y! For should a B C U at T, He'll surely sting your I.
Now in a grave, L deep in Q, She's cold as cold can B; Whilst robins sing upon A U, Her dirge and LEG.
New Monthly Magazine.
* * * * *
LINES SENT WITH A GOOSE.
"When this you see, Remember me," Was long a phrase in use, And so I send To you, dear friend, My proxy. "What?" A goose!
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
At a late meeting of a certain corporation in Dorsetshire, for the nomination of a person to fill the office of Mayor, a sufficient number of the burgesses not being in attendance, it was intimated that an application would be made for a Mandamus, when one of "the worthy electors," being un-"learned in the law," innocently remarked, "I hope he will come, and then he'll put un all right and make un elect one."
Sept. 25, 1828.
This is not a Joe Miller joke, but one of actual and recent occurrence; although there is a similar story fathered on a sapient civic authority.
* * * * *
SELLING A WOMAN.
The value that was set upon the bond-servants in the West Indies, is curiously exemplified in the following anecdote:—
There was a planter in Barbadoes that came to his neighbour, and said to him, "Neighbour, I hear you have lately brought good store of servants out of the last ship that came from England; and I hear withal that you want provisions. I have great want of a woman servant, and would be glad to make an exchange. If you will let me have some of your woman's flesh, you shall have some of my hog's flesh." So the price was set, a groat a-pound for the hog's flesh, and sixpence for the woman's. The scales were set up, and the planter had a maid that was extremely fat, lazy, and good for nothing; her name was Honour. The man brought a great fat sow, and put it in one scale, and Honour was put in the other. But when he saw how much the maid outweighed his sow, he broke off the bargain and would not go on.
* * * * *
Such is the passion for smoking at Hamburgh, that children about ten years of age may be seen with pipes in their mouths, whiffing with great gravity and composure.
* * * * *
The turnpike-roads of England are above twenty thousand miles in length, and upwards of a million sterling is annually expended in their repair and maintenance.
* * * * *
John Bulwer, M.D. was author of many books, the most curious of which were his "Anthropo Metamorphoses," and "Pathomyotomia." We might conclude he was of Irish extraction; St. Patrick, the old song says, "ne'er shut his eyes to complaints," and Bulwer in his "Instructions to the Deaf and Dumb," tells us they are intended "to bring those who are so born to hear the sound of words with their eyes!"—Wadd's Memoirs.
* * * * *
Philosophy is a very pleasant thing, and has various uses; one is, that it makes us laugh; and certainly there are no speculations in philosophy, that excite the risible faculties, more than some of the serious stories related by fanciful philosophers.—One man cannot think with the left side of his head; another, with the sanity of the right side judges the insanity of the left side of his head. Zimmerman, a very grave man, used to draw conclusions as to a man's temperament, from his nose!—not from the size or form of it, but the peculiar sensibility of the organ; while some have thought, that the temperature of the atmosphere might be accurately ascertained by the state of its tip! and Cardan considered acuteness of the organ a sure proof of genius!—Ibid.
* * * * *
WILSON THE PAINTER.
The late Mr. Christie, the auctioneer, while selling a collection of pictures, having arrived at a chef-d'oeuvre of Wilson's, was expatiating with his usual eloquence on its merits, quite unaware that Wilson himself had just before entered the room. "This gentlemen, is one of Mr. Wilson's Italian pictures; he cannot paint anything like it now." "That's a lie!" exclaimed the irritated artist, to Mr. Christie's no small discomposure, and to the great amusement of the company; "he can paint infinitely better."
* * * * *
A few years since, a vain old country surgeon obtained a diploma to practice, and called on Dr. H——, of Bath, with the important intelligence. At dinner, the doctor asked his new brother, if the form of diplomas ran now in the same style as at the early commencement of those honours? "Pray Sir, what might that form be?" says the surgeon, "I'll give it to you," replied our Galen, when stepping to his daughter's harpsichord, he sung the following prophecy of the Witches to Macbeth:
He must, he must, He shall, he shall Spill much more blood And become worse, To make his title good.
"That, sir, was the true ancient mode of conferring a Scotch degree on Dr. Macbeth."
* * * * *
Three faces wears the doctor; when first sought An angel's—and a god's the cure half wrought; But when, that cure complete, he seeks his fee, The devil looks then less terrible than he.
This epigram is illustrated by the following conversation, which passed between Bouvart and a French marquis, whom he had attended during a long and severe indisposition. As he entered the chamber on a certain occasion, he was thus addressed by his patient: "Good day to you, Mr. Bouvart; I feel quite in spirits, and think my fever has left me."—"I am sure of it, " replied the doctor; "the very first expression you used convinces me of it."—"Pray explain yourself."—"Nothing more easy; in the first days of your illness, when your life was in danger, I was your dearest friend; as you began to get better, I was your good Bouvart; and now I am Mr. Bouvart; depend upon it you are quite recovered."
* * * * *
A Dutch ambassador, entertaining the king of Siam with an account of Holland, after which his majesty was very inquisitive, amongst other things told him, that water in his country would sometimes get so hard, that men walked upon it; and that it would bear an elephant with the utmost ease. To which the king replied, "Hitherto I have believed the strange things you have told me, because I looked upon you as a sober, fair man; but now I am sure you lie."
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