THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XII, NO. 336.] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1828. [PRICE 2d.
Richmond has comparatively but few antiquarian or poetical visiters, notwithstanding all its associations with the ancient splendour of the English court, and the hallowed names of Pope and Thomson. Maurice sings,
To thy sequester'd bow'rs and wooded height, That ever yield my soul renew'd delight, Richmond, I fly! with all thy beauties fir'd, By raptur'd poets sung, by kings admir'd!
but ninety-nine out of a hundred who visit Richmond, thank the gods they are not poetical, fly off to the Star and Garter hill, and content themselves with the inspirations of its well-stored cellars. All this corresponds with the turtle-feasting celebrity of the modern Sheen; but it ill accords with the antiquarian importance and resplendent scenery of this delightful country.
Our engraving is from a very old drawing, representing the palace at Richmond, as built by Henry VII. The manor-house at Sheen, a little east of the bridge, and close by the river side, became a royal palace in the time of Edward I., for he and his successor resided here. Edward III. died here in 1377. Queen Anne, the consort of his successor, died here in 1394. Deeply affected at her death, he, according to Holinshed, "caused it to be thrown down and defaced; whereas the former kings of this land, being wearie of the citie, used customarily thither to resort as to a place of pleasure, and serving highly to their recreation." Henry V., however, restored the palace to its former magnificence; and Henry VII. held, in 1492, a grand tournament here. In 1499, it was almost consumed by fire, when Henry rebuilt the palace, and gave it the name of RICHMOND. Cardinal Wolsey frequently resided here; and Hall, in his Chronicles, says, that "when the common people, and especially such as had been servants of Henry VII., saw the cardinal keep house in the manor royal at Richmond, which that monarch so highly esteemed, it was a marvel to hear how they grudged, saying, 'so a butcher's dogge doth lie in the manor of Richmond!'"
Queen Elizabeth was prisoner at Richmond during the reign of her sister Mary; after she came to the throne, the palace was her favourite residence; and here she died in 1608. Charles I. formed a large collection of pictures here; and Charles II. was educated at Richmond. On the restoration, the palace was in a very dismantled state, and having, during the commonwealth, been plundered and defaced, it never recovered its pristine splendour.
The survey taken by order of parliament in 1649, affords a minute description of the palace. The great hall was one hundred feet in length, and forty in breadth, having a screen at the lower end, over which was "fayr foot space in the higher end thereof, the pavement of square tile, well lighted and seated; at the north end having a turret, or clock-case, covered with lead, which is a special ornament to this building." The prince's lodgings are described as a "freestone building, three stories high, with fourteen turrets covered with lead," being "a very graceful ornament to the whole house, and perspicuous to the county round about." A round tower is mentioned, called the "Canted Tower," with a staircase of one hundred and twenty-four steps. The chapel was ninety-six feet long and forty broad, with cathedral-seats and pews. Adjoining the prince's garden was an open gallery, two hundred feet long, over which was a close gallery of similar length. Here was also a royal library. Three pipes supplied the palace with water, one from the white conduit in the new park, another from the conduit in the town fields, and the third from a conduit near the alms-houses in Richmond. In 1650, it was sold for 10,000l. to private persons.
All the accounts which have come down to us describe the furniture and decorations of the ANCIENT PALACE as very superb, exhibiting in gorgeous tapestry the deeds of kings and of heroes who had signalized themselves by their conquests throughout France in behalf of their country.
The site of Richmond Palace is now occupied by noble mansions; but AN OLD ARCHWAY, seen from the Green, still remains as a melancholy memorial of its regal splendour.
 Mrs. A.T. Thomson, in her Memoirs of the Court of Henry the Eighth, says, "On the night of the Epiphany (1510), a pageant was introduced into the hall at Richmond, representing a hill studded with gold and precious stones, and having on its summit a tree of gold, from which hung roses and pomegranates. From the declivity of the hill descended a lady richly attired, who, with the gentlemen, or, as they were then called, children of honour, danced a morris before the king. On another occasion, in the presence of the court, an artificial forest was drawn in by a lion and an antelope, the hides of which were richly embroidered with golden ornaments; the animals were harnessed with chains of gold, and on each sat a fair damsel in gay apparel. In the midst of the forest, which was thus introduced, appeared a gilded tower, at the end of which stood a youth, holding in his hands a garland of roses, as the prize of valour in a tournament which succeeded the pageant!"
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EPITOME OF COMETS.
(For the Mirror.)
"Hast thou ne'er seen the Comet's flaming flight?"
Comets, according to Sir Isaac Newton, are compact, solid, fixed, and durable bodies: in one word, a kind of planets, which move in very oblique orbits, every way, with the greatest freedom, persevering in their motions even against the course and direction of the planets; and their tail is a very thin, slender vapour, emitted by the head, or nucleus of the comet, ignited or heated by the sun.
There are bearded, tailed, and hairy comets; thus, when the comet is eastward of the sun, and moves from it, it is said to be bearded, because the light precedes it in the manner of a beard. When the comet is westward of the sun, and sets after it, it is said to be tailed, because the train follows it in the manner of a tail. Lastly, when the comet and the sun are diametrically opposite (the earth being between them) the train is hid behind the body of the comet, excepting a little that appears around it in the form of a border of hair, or coma, it is called hairy, and whence the name of comet is derived.
For the conservation of the water and moisture of the planets, comets (says Sir Isaac Newton) seem absolutely requisite; from whose condensed vapours and exhalations all that moisture which is spent on vegetations and putrefactions, and turned into dry earth, may be resupplied and recruited; for all vegetables increase wholly from fluids, and turn by putrefaction into earth. Hence the quantity of dry earth must continually increase, and the moisture of the globe decrease, and at last be quite evaporated, if it have not a continual supply. And I suspect (adds Sir Isaac) that the spirit which makes the finest, subtilest, and best part of our air, and which is absolutely requisite for the life and being of all things, comes principally from the comets.
Another use which he conjectures comets may be designed to serve, is that of recruiting the sun with fresh fuel, and repairing the consumption of his light by the streams continually sent forth in every direction from that luminary—
"From his huge vapouring train perhaps to shake Reviving moisture on the numerous orbs, Thro' which his long ellipsis winds; perhaps To lend new fuel to declining suns, To light up worlds, and feed th' ethereal fire."
Newton has computed that the sun's heat in the comet of 1680, was, to his heat with us at Midsummer, as twenty-eight thousand to one; and that the heat of the body of the comet was near two thousand times as great as that of red-hot iron. The same great author also calculates, that a globe of red-hot iron, of the dimensions of our earth, would scarce be cool in fifty thousand years. If then the comet be supposed to cool a hundred times as fast as red-hot iron, yet, since its heat was two thousand times greater, supposing it of the bigness of the earth, it would not be cool in a million of years.
An elegant writer in the Guardian, says, "I cannot forbear reflecting on the insignificance of human art, when set in comparison with the designs of Providence. In pursuit of this thought, I considered a comet, or in the language of the vulgar, a blazing star, as a sky-rocket discharged by a hand that is Almighty. Many of my readers saw that in the year 1680, and if they were not mathematicians, will be amazed to hear, that it travelled with a much greater degree of swiftness than a cannon ball, and drew after it a tail of fire that was fourscore millions of miles in length. What an amazing thought is it to consider this stupendous body traversing the immensity of the creation with such a rapidity; and at the same time wheeling about in that line which the Almighty had prescribed for it! That it should move in such inconceivable fury and combustion, and at the same time with such an exact regularity! How spacious must the universe be, that gives such bodies as these their full play, without suffering the least disorder or confusion by it. What a glorious show are those beings entertained with, that can look into this great theatre of nature, and see myriads of such tremendous objects wandering through those immeasurable depths of ether, and running their appointed courses! Our eyes may hereafter be strong enough to command the magnificent prospect, and our understandings able to find out the several uses of these great parts of the universe. In the meantime, they are very proper objects for our imagination to contemplate, that we may form more extensive notions of infinite wisdom and power, and learn to think humbly of ourselves, and of all the little works of human invention." Seneca saw three comets, and says, "I am not of the common opinion, nor do I take a comet to be a sudden fire; but esteem it among the eternal works of nature."
 The Comet which appeared in 1759, and which (says Lambert) returned the quickest of any that we have an account of, had a winter of seventy years. Its heat surpassed imagination.
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BY LEIGH CLIFFE, AUTHOR OF "PARGA," "THE KNIGHTS OF RITZBERG," &c.
(For the Mirror.)
TO THE SUN.
Hail to thee, fountain of eternal light, Streaming with dewy radiance in the sky! Rising like some huge giant from the night, While the dark shadows from thy presence fly. Enshrin'd in mantle of a varied dye, Thou hast been chambering in the topmost clouds, List'ning to peeping, glist'ning stars on high, Pillow'd upon their thin, aerial shrouds; But when the breeze of dawn refreshfully Swept the rude waters of the ocean flood, And the dark pines breath'd from each leaf a sigh, To wake the sylvan genius of the wood, Thou burst in glory on our dazzled sight, In thy resplendent charms, a flood of golden light!
TO THE MOON.
Spirit of heaven! shadow-mantled queen, In mildest beauty peering in the sky, Radiant with light! 'Tis sweet to see thee lean, As if to listen, from cloud-worlds on high, Whilst murmuring nightingales voluptuously Breathe their soft melody, and dew-drops lie Upon the myrtle blooms and oaken leaves, And the winds sleep in sullen peacefulness! Oh! it is then that gentle Fancy weaves The vivid visions of the soul, which bless The poet's mind, and with sweet phantasies, Like grateful odours shed refreshfully From angels' wings of glistening beauty, tries To waken pleasure, and to stifle sighs!
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EMBLEM OF WALES.
(For the Mirror.)
It is supposed by some of the Welsh, and in some notes to a poem the author (Mr. P. Lewellyn) says he has been confidently assured, that the leek, as is generally supposed to be, is not the original emblem of Wales, but the sive, or chive, which is common to almost every peasant's garden. It partakes of the smell and taste of the onion and leek, but is not so noxious, and is much handsomer than the latter. It grows in a wild state on the banks of the Wye, infinitely larger than when planted in gardens. According to the above-mentioned author, the manner in which it became the national emblem of Cambria was as follows:—As a prince of Wales was returning victorious from battle, he wished to have some leaf or flower to commemorate the event; but it being winter, no plant or shrub was seen until they came to the Wye, when they beheld the sive, which the prince commanded to be worn as a memorial of the victory.
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HISTORY OF FAIRS.
(For the Mirror.)
Fairs, among the old Romans, were holidays, on which there was an intermission of labour and pleadings. Among the Christians, upon any extraordinary solemnity, particularly the anniversary dedication of a church, tradesmen were wont to bring and sell their wares even in the churchyards, which continued especially upon the festivals of the dedication. This custom was kept up till the reign of Henry VI. Thus we find a great many fairs kept at these festivals of dedications, as at Westminster on St. Peter's day, at London on St. Bartholomew's, Durham on St. Cuthbert's day. But the great numbers of people being often the occasion of riots and disturbances, the privilege of holding a fair was granted by royal charter. At first they were only allowed in towns and places of strength, or where there was some bishop or governor of condition to keep them in order. In process of time there were several circumstances of favour added, people having the protection of a holiday, and being allowed freedom from arrests, upon the score of any difference not arising upon the spot. They had likewise a jurisdiction allowed them to do justice to those that came thither; and therefore the most inconsiderable fair with us has, or had, a court belonging to it, which takes cognizance of all manner of causes and disorders growing and committed upon the place, called pye powder, or pedes pulverizati. Some fairs are free, others charged with tolls and impositions. At free fairs, traders, whether natives or foreigners, are allowed to enter the kingdom, and are under the royal protection in coming and returning. They and their agents, with their goods, also their persons and goods, are exempt from all duties and impositions, tolls and servitudes; and such merchants going to or coming from the fair cannot be arrested, or their goods stopped. The prince only has the power to establish fairs of any kind. These fairs make a considerable article in the commerce of Europe, especially those of the Mediterranean, or inland parts, as Germany. The most famous are those of Frankfort and Leipsic; the fairs of Novi, in the Milanese; that of Riga, Arch-angel of St. Germain, at Paris; of Lyons; of Guibray, in Normandy; and of Beauclaire, in Languedoc: those of Porto-Bello, Vera Cruz, and the Havannah, are the most considerable in America.
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(For the Mirror.)
A rare and beautiful relic of the olden time was lately presented to the museum of the Northern Institution, by William Mackintosh, Esq. of Milbank—an ancient virginal, which was in use among our ancestors prior to the invention of the spinnet and harpsichord. Mary, Queen of Scots, who delighted in music, in her moments of "joyeusitie" as John Knox phrases it, used to play finely on the virginal; and her more fortunate rival, Queen Elizabeth, was so exquisite a performer on the same instrument, that Melville says, on hearing her once play in her chamber, he was irresistibly drawn into the room. The virginal now deposited in the museum formerly belonged to a noble family in Inverness, and is considered to be the only one remaining in Scotland. It is made of oak, inlaid with cedar, and richly ornamented with gold. The cover and sides are beautifully painted with figures of birds, flowers, and leaves, the colours of which are still comparatively fresh and undecayed. On one part of the lid is a grand procession of warriors, whom a bevy of fair dames are propitiating by presents or offerings of wine and fruits. Altogether, the virginal may be regarded as a fine specimen of art, and is doubly interesting as a memorial of times long gone by.
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(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
Your correspondent, a Constant Reader, in No. 330 of the MIRROR, is informed that the identical telescope which he mentions is now in the possession of Mr. J. Davies, optician, 101, High-street, Mary-le-bone, where it may be seen in a finished and perfect state. It is reckoned the best and most complete of its size in Europe.
It was ordered to be made for his late majesty George III. as a challenge against the late Dr. Herschel's; but was prevented from being completed till some time after. The metals, 9-1/4 inches in diameter, having a diagonal eye-piece, four eye tubes of different magnifying powers, and three small specula of various radii, were made by Mr. Watson.
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ANCIENT ROMAN FESTIVALS.
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(For the Mirror.)
The Augustalia was a festival at Rome, in commemoration of the day on which Augustus returned to Rome, after he had established peace over the different parts of the empire. It was first established in the year of Rome 735.
The Fontinalia, or Fontanalia, was a religious feast, held among the Romans in honour of the deities who presided over fountains or springs. Varro observes, that it was the custom to visit the wells on those days, and to cast crowns into fountains. This festival was observed on the 13th of October.
The Armilustrum was a feast held on the 19th of October, wherein they sacrificed, armed at all points, and with the sound of trumpets. The sacrifice was intended for the expiation of the armies, and the prosperity of the arms of the people of Rome. This feast may be considered as a kind of benediction of arms. It was first observed among the Athenians.
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THE ANECDOTE GALLERY.
LORD BYRON AT MISSOLONGHI.
[The Foreign Quarterly Review gives the following sketch as a "pendant to Mr. Pouqueville's picture of the poet, given in a preceding page," and requoted by us in the last No. of the MIRROR. It is from a History of Greece, by Rizo, a Wallachian sentimentalist of the first order, and in enthusiasm and exuberance of style, it will perhaps compare with any previous sketches of the late Lord Byron: but the romantic interest which Rizo has thrown about these "more last words" will doubtless render them acceptable to our readers.]
For several years a man, a poet, excited the admiration of civilized people. His sublime genius towered above the atmosphere, and penetrated, with a searching look, even into the deepest abysses of the human heart. Envy, which could not reach the poet, attacked the man, and wounded him cruelly; but, too great to defend, and too generous to revenge himself, he only sought for elevated impressions, and "vivoit de grand sensations," (which we cannot translate), capable of the most noble devotedness, and, persuaded that excellence is comprised in justice, he embraced the cause of the Greeks. Still young, Byron had traversed Greece, properly so called, and described the moral picture of its inhabitants. He quitted these countries, pitying in his verses the misery of the Greeks, blaming their lethargy, and despising their stupid submission; so difficult is it to know a nation by a rapid glance. What was the astonishment of the poet, when some years later he saw these people, whom he had thought unworthy to bear the name of Greeks, rise up with simultaneous eagerness, and declare, in the face of the world, that "they would again become a nation." Byron hesitated at first; ancient prepossessions made him attribute this rupture to a partial convulsion, the ultimate effort of a being ready to breathe the last sigh. Soon new prodigies, brilliant exploits, and heroic constancy, which sustained itself in spite of every opposition, proved to him that he had ill-judged this people, and excited him to repair his error by the sacrifice of his fortune and life; he wished to concur in the work of regeneration. From the shores of the beautiful Etruria he set sail for Greece, in the month of August, 1823. He visited at first the seven Ionian Isles, where he sojourned some time, busied in concluding the first Greek loan. The death of Marco Botzaris redoubled the enthusiasm of Byron, and perhaps determined him to prefer the town of Missolonghi, which already showed for its glory the tombs of Normann, Kyriakoulis, and Botzaris. Alas! that town was destined, four months later, to reckon another mausoleum!
Towards the month of November a Hydriote brig of war, commanded by the nephew of the brave Criezy, sailed to Cephalonia to take him on board, and bring him to Missolonghi; but the Septinsular government, not permitting ships bearing a Greek flag to come into its harbours, Byron was obliged to pass to Zante in a small vessel, and to join the Greek brig afterwards, which was waiting for him near Zante. Hardly was Byron on board when he kissed the mainmast, calling it "sacred wood." The ship's crew astonished at this whimsical behaviour, regarded him in silence; suddenly Byron turned towards the captain and the sailors, whom he embraced with tears, and said to them, "It is by this wood that you will consolidate your independence." At these words the sailors, moved with enthusiasm, regarded him with admiration. Byron soon reached Missolonghi: the members of the Administrative Council received him at the head of two thousand soldiers drawn up in order. The artillery of the place, and the discharge of musquetry announced the happy arrival of this great man. All the inhabitants ran to the shore, and welcomed him with acclamations. As soon as he had entered the town, he went to the hotel of the Administrative Council, where he was complimented by Porphyrios, Archbishop of Arta, Lepanto and Etolia, accompanied by all his clergy. The first words of Byron were, "Where is the brother of the modern Leonidas?" Constantine Botzaris, a young man, tall and well made, immediately stepped forward, and Byron thus accosted him:—"Happy mortal! Thou art the brother of a hero, whose name will never be effaced in the lapse of ages!" Then perceiving a great crowd assembled under the windows of the hotel, he advanced towards the casement, and said, "Hellenes! you see amongst you an Englishman who has never ceased to study Greece in her antiquity, and to think of her in her modern state; an Englishman who has always invoked by his vows that liberty, for which you are now making so many heroic efforts. I am grateful for the sentiments which you testify towards me; in a short time you will see me in the middle of your phalanxes, to conquer or perish with you." A month afterwards the government sent him a deputation, charged to offer him a sword and the patent of Greek citizenship; at the same time the town of Missolonghi inscribed him in its archives. For this public act they prepared a solemn ceremony for him; they fixed beforehand the day—they invited there by circular letters the inhabitants of the neighbouring districts—and more than twenty thousand persons arrived at Missolonghi. Byron in a Greek costume, preceded and followed by all the military, who loved him, proceeded to the church, where the Archbishop Porphyrios and the bishop of Rogon, Joseph, that martyr of religion and his country, received him in the vestibule of the church, clothed in their sacerdotal habits; and, after having celebrated mass, they offered him the sword and the patent of citizenship. Byron demanded that the sword should be first dedicated on the tomb of Marco Botzaris; and immediately the whole retinue, and an immense crowd, went out of the church to the tomb of that warrior, which had been ornamented with beautiful marble at the expense of the poet.
The archbishop placed the sword upon this tomb, and then Byron, to inspire the Greeks with enthusiasm, advanced with a religious silence, and stopping all on a sudden, he pronounced this discourse in the Greek tongue:—"What man reposes buried under this stone? What hollow voice issues from this tomb? What is this sepulchre, from whence will spring the happiness of Greece? But what am I saying? Is it not the tomb of Marco Botzaris, who has been dead some months, and who, with a handful of brave men, precipitated himself upon the numerous ranks of the most formidable enemies of Greece? How dare I approach the sacred place where he reposes—I, who neither possess his heroism nor his virtues? However, in touching this tomb, I hope that its emanations will always inflame my heart with patriotism." So saying, and advancing towards the sepulchre, he kissed it while shedding tears. Every spectator exclaimed, "Lord Byron for ever!" "I see," added his lordship, "the sword and the letter of citizenship, which the government offers me; from this day I am the fellow-citizen of this hero, and of all the brave people who surround me. Hellenes! I hope to live with you, to fight the enemy with you, and to die with you if it be necessary." Byron, superior to vulgar prejudice, saw in the manners of the pallikares an ingenuous simplicity, a manly frankness and rustic procedure, but full of honour; he observed in the people a docility and constancy capable of the greatest efforts, when it shall be conducted by skilful and virtuous men; he observed amongst the Greek women natural gaiety, unstudied gentleness, and religious resignation to misfortunes.
Byron did not pretend to bend a whole people to his tastes and European habits. He came not to censure with a stern look their costumes, their dances, and their music; on the contrary, he entered into their national dances, he learned their warlike songs, he dressed himself like them, he spoke their language; in a word, he soon became a true Roumeliote. Consequently, he was adored by all Western Greece; every captain acknowledged him with pleasure as his chief; the proud Souliots gloried in being under his immediate command. The funds of the first loan being addressed to him, and submitted to his inspection, gave him influence, not only over continental Greece, but even over the Peloponnesus; so that he was in a situation, if not sufficient to stifle discord, at least to keep it within bounds. Not having yet fathomed the character of all the chief people, as well civil as military, he was sometimes deceived in the beginning of his sojourn, which a little hurt his popularity; but being completely above trifling passions, being able to strengthen by his union with it the party which appeared to him the most patriotic, he might without any doubt, with time and experience, have played a part the most magnificent and salutary to Greece. At first he had constructed, at his own expense, a fort in the little isle of Xeclamisma, the capture of which would have given great facilities to the enemies to attack by sea Missolonghi or Anatoliko. Missolonghi gave to this important fort the name of "Fort Byron." This nobleman conceived afterwards, studied and prepared an expedition against the strong place of Lepanto, the capture of which would have produced consequences singularly favourable. Once in possession of the means of regularly paying the soldiers, he would have been able to form a choice body, and take the town, which did not present any difficulty of attack, either on account of the few troops shut up there, or the weakness of its fortifications. Byron only waited the arrival of the loan, to begin his march.
Thus he led an agreeable life in the midst of a nation which he aimed at saving. Enchanted with the bravery of the Souliots, and their manners, which recalled to him the simplicity of Homeric times, he assisted at their banquets, extended upon the turf; he learnt their pyrrhic dance, and he sang in unison the airs of Riga, harmonizing his steps to the sound of their national mandolin. Alas! he carried too far his benevolent condescension. Towards the beginning of April he went to hunt in the marshes of Missolonghi. He entered on foot in the shallows; he came out quite wet, and, following the example of the pallikares accustomed to the malaria, he would not change his clothes, and persisted in having them dried upon his body. Attacked with an inflammation upon the lungs, he refused to let himself be bled, notwithstanding the intreaties of his physician, of Maurocordato and all his friends. His malady quickly grew worse; on the fourth day Byron became delirious; by means of bleeding he recovered from his drowsiness, but without being able to speak; then, feeling his end approaching, he gave his attendants to understand that he wished to take leave of the captains and all the Souliots. As each approached, Byron made a sign to them to kiss him. At last he expired in the arms of Maurocordato, whilst pronouncing the names of his daughter and of Greece. His death was fatal to the nation, which it plunged in mourning and tears.
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MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.
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CEREMONIES RELATING TO THE HAIR.
(For the Mirror.)
Among the ancient Greeks, all dead persons were thought to be under the jurisdiction of the infernal deities, and therefore no man (says Potter) could resign his life, till some of his hairs were cut to consecrate to them. During the ceremony of laying out, clothing the dead, and sometimes the interment itself, the hair of the deceased person was hung upon the door, to signify the family was in mourning. It was sometimes laid upon the dead body, sometimes cast into the funeral pile, and sometimes placed upon the grave. Electra in Sophocles says, that Agamemnon had commanded her and Chrysothemis to pay him this honour:—
"With drink-off'rings and locks of hair we must, According to his will, his tomb adorn."
Candace in Ovid bewails her calamity, in that she was not permitted to adorn her lover's tomb with her locks.
At Patroclus's funeral, the Grecians, to show their affection and respect to him, covered his body with their hair; Achilles cast it into the funeral pile. The custom of nourishing the hair on religious accounts seems to have prevailed in most nations. Osiris, the Egyptian, consecrated his hair to the gods, as we learn from Diodorus; and in Arian's account of India, it appears it was a custom there to preserve their hair for some god, which they first learnt (as that author reports) from Bacchus.
The Greeks and Romans wore false hair. It was esteemed a peculiar honour among the ancient Gauls to have long hair. For this reason Julius Caesar, upon subduing the Gauls, made them cut off their hair, as a token of submission. In the royal family of France, it was a long time the peculiar mark and privilege of kings and princes of the blood to wear long hair, artfully dressed and curled; every body else being obliged to be polled, or cut round, in sign of inferiority and obedience. In the eighth century, it was the custom of people of quality to have their children's hair cut the first time by persons they had a particular honour and esteem for, who, in virtue of this ceremony, were reputed a sort of spiritual parents or godfathers to them. In the year 1096, there was a canon, importing, that such as wore long hair should be excluded coming into church when living, and not be prayed for when dead. Charlemagne wore his hair very short, his son shorter; Charles the Bald had none at all. Under Hugh Capet it began to appear again; this the ecclesiastics were displeased with, and excommunicated all who let their hair grow. Peter Lombard expostulated the matter so warmly with Charles the Young, that he cut off his own hair; and his successors, for some generations, wore it very short. A professor of Utrecht, in 1650, wrote expressly on the question, Whether it be lawful for men to wear long hair? and concluded for the negative. Another divine, named Reeves, who had written for the affirmative, replied to him. In New England a declaration was inscribed in the register of the colony against the practice of wearing long hair, which was principally levelled at the Quakers, with unjust severity.
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Pagoda in Kew Gardens.
In one of the wildernesses of Kew Gardens stands the Great Pagoda, erected in the year 1762, from a design in imitation of the Chinese Taa. The base is a regular octagon, 49 feet in diameter; and the superstructure is likewise a regular octagon on its plan, and in its elevation composed of 10 prisms, which form the 10 different stories of the building. The lowest of these is 26 feet in diameter, exclusive of the portico which surrounds it, and 18 feet high; the second is 25 feet in diameter, and 17 feet high; and all the rest diminish in diameter and height, in the same arithmetical proportion, to the ninth story, which is 18 feet in diameter and 10 feet high. The tenth story is 17 feet in diameter, and, with the covering, 20 feet high, and the finishing on the top is 17 feet high; so that the whole structure, from the base to the top of the fleuron, is 163 feet. Each story finishes with a projecting roof, after the Chinese manner, covered with plates of varnished iron of different colours, and round each of them is a gallery enclosed with a rail. All the angles of the roof are adorned with large dragons, eighty in number, covered with a kind of thin glass of various colours, which produces a most dazzling reflection; and the whole ornament at the top is double gilt. The walls of the building are composed of very hard bricks; the outside of well-coloured and well-matched greystocks, (bricks,) neatly laid. The staircase is in the centre of the building. The prospect opens as you advance in height; and from the top you command a very extensive view on all sides, and, in some directions, upwards of forty miles distant, over a rich and variegated country.
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MR. HAYDON'S PICTURE OF "CHAIRING THE MEMBERS."
In our last volume we were induced to appropriate nearly six of our columns to a description of Mr. Haydon's Picture of the Mock Election in the King's Bench Prison—or rather the first of a series of pictures to illustrate the Election, the subject of the present notice being the Second, or the Chairing of the Members, which was intended for the concluding scene of the burlesque. It will, therefore, be unnecessary for us here to give any additional explanation of the real life of these paintings, except so far as may be necessary to the explanation of the present picture.
The "Chairing" was acted on a water butt one evening, but was to have been again performed in more magnificent costume the next day; just, however, as all the actors in this eccentric masquerade, High Sheriff, Lord Mayor, Head Constable, Assessor, Poll Clerks, and Members, were ready dressed, and preparing to start, the marshal interfered, stopped the procession, and, after some parley, was advised to send for the guards.
"About the middle of a sunny day," says Mr. Haydon, "when all was quiet, save the occasional cracking of a racket ball, while some were reading, some smoking, some lounging, some talking, some occupied with their own sorrows, and some with the sorrows of their friends, in rushed six fine grenadiers with a noble fellow of a sergeant at their head, with bayonets fixed, and several rounds of ball in their cartouches, expecting to meet (by their looks) with the most desperate resistance."
"The materials thus afforded me by the entrance of the guards, I have combined in one moment;" or "I have combined in one moment what happened at different moments; the characters and soldiers are all portraits. I have only used the poets and painters' license, to make out the second part of the story, a part that happens in all elections, viz. the chairing of the successful candidates."
"In the corner of the picture, on the left of the spectator, are three of the guards, drawn up across the door, standing at ease, with all the self-command of soldiers in such situations, hardly suppressing a laugh at the ridiculous attempts made to oppose them; in front of the guards, is the commander of the enemy's forces; viz.—a little boy with a tin sword, on regular guard position, ready to receive and oppose them, with a banner of 'Freedom of Election,' hanging on his sabre; behind him stands the Lord High Sheriff, affecting to charge the soldiers with his mopstick and pottle. He is dressed in a magnificent suit of decayed splendour, with an old court sword, loose silk stockings, white shoes, and unbuckled knee-bands; his shoulders are adorned with white bows, and curtain rings for a chain, hung by a blue ribbon from his neck. Next to him, adorned with a blanket, is a character of voluptuous gaiety, helmeted by a saucepan, holding up the cover for a shield, and a bottle for a weapon. Then comes the Fool, making grimaces with his painted cheeks, and bending his fists at the military; while the Lord Mayor with his white wand, is placing his hand on his heart with mock gravity and wounded indignation at this violation of Magna Charta and civil rights. Behind him are different characters, with a porter pot for a standard, and a watchman's rattle; while in the extreme distance, behind the rattle, and under the wall, is a ragged Orator addressing the burgesses on this violation of the privileges of Election.
"Right over the figure with a saucepan, is a Turnkey, holding up a key and pulling down the celebrated Meredith; who, quite serious, and believing he will really sit in the House, is endeavouring to strike the turnkey with a champagne glass. The gallant member is on the shoulders of two men, who are peeping out and quizzing.
"Close to Meredith is his fellow Member, dressed in a Spanish hat and feather, addressing the Sergeant opposite him, with an arch look, on the illegality of his entrance at elections, while a turnkey has taken hold of the member's robe, and is pulling him off the water butt with violence.
"The sergeant, a fine soldier, one of the heroes of Waterloo, is smiling and amused, while a grenadier, one of the other three under arms, is looking at his sergeant for orders.
"In the corner, directly under the sergeant, is a dissipated young man, addicted to hunting and sports, without adequate means for the enjoyment, attended by his distressed family. He, half intoxicated, has just drawn a cork, and is addressing the bottle, his only comfort, while his daughter is delicately putting it aside and looking with entreaty at her father.
"The harassed wife is putting back the daughter, unwilling to deprive the man she loves, of what, though a baneful consolation, is still one; while the little, shoeless boy with his hoop, is regarding his father with that strange wonder, with which children look at the unaccountable alteration in features and expression, that takes place under the effects of intoxication.
"Three pawnbroker's duplicates, one for the child's shoes, 1s. 6d., one for the wedding ring, 5s., and one for the wife's necklace, 7l., lie at the feet of the father, with the Sporting Magazine; for drunkards generally part with the ornaments or even necessaries of their wives and children before they trespass on their own.
"At the opposite corner lies curled up the Head Constable, hid away under his bed-curtain, which he had for a robe, and slyly looking, as if he hoped nobody would betray him. By his side is placed a table, with the relics of a luxurious enjoyment, while a washing tub as a wine cooler, contains, under the table, Hock, Champagne, Burgundy, and a Pine.
"Directly over the sergeant, on the wall, are written, 'The Majesti of the Peepel for ever—huzza!'—'No military at Elections!' and 'No Marshal!'—on the standards to the left, are 'Confusion to Credit, and no fraudulent Creditors.' In the window are a party with a lady smoking a hookah; on the ledge of the window, "Success to the detaining Creditor!" —At the opposite window is a portrait of the Painter, looking down on the extraordinary scene with great interest—underneath him is, 'Sperat infestis.'
"On a board under the lady smoking, is written the order of the Lord Mayor, enjoining Peace, as follows:—
"Banco Regis, Court House, July 16, In the Sixth year of the Reign of GEORGE IV.
"That the Special Constables and Headboroughs of this ancient Bailwick do take into custody all Persons found in any way committing a breach of the Peace, during the Procession of Chairing the Members returned to represent this Borough.
"SIR ROBERT BIRCH, (Collegian) Lord Mayor.
"'A New Way to pay Old Debts,'—is written over the first turnkey; and below it, 'N.B. A very old way, discovered 3394 years B.C.;' and in the extreme distance, over a shop, is—'Dealer in every thing genuine.'
"While the man beating the long drum, at the opposite end, another the cymbals, and the third blowing a trumpet, with the windows all crowded with spectators, complete the composition, with the exception of the melancholy victim behind the High Sheriff.
"I recommend the contemplation of this miserable creature, once a gentleman, to all advocates of imprisonment for debt. First rendered reckless by imprisonment—then hopeless—then sottish—and, last of all, from utter despair of freedom, insane! Round his withered temples is a blue ribbon, with 'Dulce est pro Patria mori,' (it is sweet to die for one's country); for he is baring his breast to rush on the bayonets of the guards, a willing sacrifice, as he believes, poor fellow, for a great public principle. In his pocket he has three pamphlets, 'On Water Drinking, or The Blessings of Imprisonment for Debt,'—and Adam Smith's 'Moral Essays.'—Ruffles hang from his wrists, the relics of former days, rags cover his feeble legs, one foot is naked, and his appearance is that of a decaying being, mind and body."
Such is Mr. Haydon's "Explanation" of his own Picture; and it only remains for us to give the reader some idea of its most prominent beauties. As a whole, it is very superior to the "Election," highly as we were disposed to rate the merits of that performance. The style is masterly throughout, and every shade of the colouring has all the depth and richness which characterize works of real genius. There is a spirit in every touch which differs as much from the softened and soulless compositions of certain modern artists, as does the florid architecture of the ancients from the starved proportions of these days, or the rich and graceful style of the Essayists from the fabrications of little, self-conceited biographers. In short, the whole scene is dashed off in the first style of art; the subject and humour are all over English—true to nature, and so forcible as to seize on the attention of the most listless beholder.
We must notice a few of the details. The three guards are foremost in the picture, and in merit; the struggle in their countenances between discipline and a sense of the ludicrous scene before them is admirably represented; as well as the little urchin with his tin sword. The centre figure of the High Sheriff, with his tattered and faded finery of office, is equally clever; but the skill with which the artist has contrived to express his forced mirth, and mopstick bravado, is still more forcible. The troubled countenance of the Lord Mayor is an excellent portrait of the indignation of little authority when perturbed by men of greater place. The faces of the turnkey and the sergeant are likewise admirable; and that of the soldier looking towards the latter for orders, is like an excellent piece of byplay in the farce. The drunken patriot, behind the High Sheriff, is well entitled to the attention which the artist, in his explanation, suggests; but the spectator must not dwell too long on this sorrowful wreck of fallen nature. The group in the foreground of the right hand corner, is an episode which must not be omitted, for it corresponds with the fine portrait in the same situation in the "Election" picture. The reckless dissipation of the fine, young fox-hunter, the half intoxicated chuckle with which he holds the bottle, the grief of his daughter and wife, and the little shoeless boy with his hoop, are finely contrasted with the rich humour and extravagant burlesque of all around them. The slyness of the Head Constable, in the left hand corner, half smothered in his mock robes, is expressively told; and the painter is a capital likeness.
From the success of Mr. Haydon in the particular line of art requisite for scenes of real humour, it is not unlikely that his execution of the first picture, the "Election" may prove one of the most fortunate events in his professional career, and turn out to be one of the "sweet uses of adversity," by eliciting talent which he probably did not believe himself to possess. Much as we admire this style of art, we can but deplore that purchasers cannot be found for such pictures as his Entry into Jerusalem, and Judgment of Solomon, both which, with two others, are exhibited in the room with the Chairing of the Members. Out of the scores of new churches which are yearly completed, surely some altar-pieces might be introduced with propriety; and when we consider the peculiar influence which such scenes as those chosen by Mr. Haydon are known to possess over the human heart, we do not think their entire exclusion from modern churches contributes to their devotional character.
Such pictures are intended for better purposes than mere seclusion in large galleries and mansions, of which there are but comparatively few in England; and it is always with regret that we see these noble efforts of art in such profitless situations. Occasionally a nobleman, or parochial taste, introduces a valuable painted window, and sometimes an altarpiece into a church; but we wish the practice were more general.
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ENGLAND IN THE DAYS OF GOOD "QUEEN BESS."
The misery and mendicity which prevailed in this country before the provisions of the poor laws in the time of Elizabeth became duly enforced, might be proved by the following extract from a curious old pamphlet, which describes, in very forcible language, the poverty and idleness which prevailed in one of the fairest and most fertile districts of the kingdom, viz.—
The Golden Vale in Herefordshire, (being ye pride of al that country,) being the richest yet (for want of employment) the plentifullest place of poore in the kingdom—yielding two or three hundred folde; the number so increasing (idleness having gotten the upper hand;) if trades bee not raised—beggery will carry such reputation in my quarter of the country, as if it had the whole to halves.
There bee, says this author, within a mile and a halfe from my house every waye, five hundred poore habitations; whose greatest meanes consist in spinning flaxe, hemp, and hurdes. They dispose the seasons of the yeare in this manner; I will begin with May, June, and July, (three of the merriest months for beggers,) which yield the best increase for their purpose, to raise multitudes: whey, curdes, butter-milk, and such belly provision, abounding in the neighbourhood, serves their turne. As wountes or moles hunt after wormes, the ground being dewable, so these idelers live intolerablie by other meanes, and neglect their painfull labours by oppressing the neighbourhood. August, September, and October, with that permission which the Lord hath allowed the poorer sorte to gather the eares of corne, they do much harme. I have seen three hundred leazers or gleaners in one gentleman's corn-field at once; his servants gathering and stouking the bound sheaves, the sheaves lying on the ground like dead carcases in an overthrown battell, they following the spoyle, not like souldiers (which scorne to rifle) but like theeves desirous to steale; so this army holdes pillaging, wheate, rye, barly, pease, and oates; oates, a graine which never grew in Canaan, nor AEgypt, and altogether out of the allowance of leazing.
Under colour of the last graine, oates, it being the latest harvest, they doe (without mercy in hotte bloud) steale, robbe orchards, gardens, hop-yards, and crab trees; so what with leazing and stealing, they doe poorly maintaine themselves November, December, and almost all January, with some healpes from the neighbourhood.
The last three moneths, February, March, and Aprill, little labour serves their turne, they hope by the heat of the sunne, (seasoning themselves, like snakes, under headges,) to recover the month of May with much poverty, long fasting, and little praying; and so make an end of their yeares travel in the Easter holy days.
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In the earlier periods of their history, both in England and Scotland, beggars were generally of such a description as to entitle them to the epithet of sturdy; accordingly they appear to have been regarded often as impostors and always as nuisances and pests. "Sornares," so violently denounced in those acts, were what are here called "masterful beggars," who, when they could not obtain what they asked for by fair means, seldom hesitated to take it by violence. The term is said to be Gaelic, and to import a soldier. The life of such a beggar is well described in the "Belman of London," printed in 1608—"The life of a beggar is the life of a souldier. He suffers hunger and cold in winter, and heate and thirste in summer; he goes lowsie, he goes lame; he is not regarded; he is not rewarded; here only shines his glorie. The whole kingdome is but his walk; a whole cittie is but his parish. In every man's kitchen is his meate dressed; in every man's sellar lyes his beere; and the best men's purses keepe a penny for him to spend."
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CURIOUS MANORIAL CUSTOM.
At King's Hill, about half a mile north-east of Rocford Church, Essex, is held what is called the Lawless Court, a whimsical custom, the origin of which is not known. On the Wednesday morning next after Michaelmas day, the tenants are bound to attend upon the first cock-crowing, and to kneel and do their homage, without any kind of light, but such as heaven will afford. The steward of the court calls all such as are bound to appear, with as low a voice as possible, giving no notice when he goes to execute his office; however, he that does not give an answer is deeply amerced. They are all to whisper to each other, nor have they any pen and ink, but supply that deficiency with a coal; and he that owes suit and service, and appears not, forfeits to the lord of the manor double his rent every hour he is absent.
A tenant, some years ago, forfeited his land for non attendance, but was restored to it, the lord taking only a fine.
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SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS
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THE PET DOG.
Dogs, when they are sure of having their own way, have sometimes ways as odd as those of the unfurred, unfeathered animals, who walk on two legs, and talk, and are called rational. My beautiful, white greyhound, Mayflower, for instance, is as whimsical as the finest lady in the land. Amongst her other fancies, she has taken a violent affection for a most hideous stray dog, who made his appearance here about six months ago, and contrived to pick up a living in the village, one can hardly tell how. Now appealing to the charity of old Rachael Strong, the laundress—a dog-lover by profession; now winning a meal from the light-footed and open-hearted lasses at the Rose; now standing on his hind-legs to extort, by sheer beggary, a scanty morsel from some pair of "drowthy cronies," or solitary drover, discussing his dinner or supper on the alehouse-bench; now catching a mouthful, flung to him in pure contempt by some scornful gentleman of the shoulder-knot, mounted on his throne, the coach-box, whose notice he had attracted by dint of ugliness; now sharing the commons of Master Keep the shoemaker's pigs; now succeeding to the reversion of the well-gnawed bone of Master Brow the shopkeeper's fierce house-dog; now filching the skim-milk of Dame Wheeler's cat:—spit at by the cat; worried by the mastiff; chased by the pigs; screamed at by the dame; stormed at by the shoemaker; flogged by the shopkeeper; teased by all the children, and scouted by all the animals of the parish;—but yet living through his griefs, and bearing them patiently, "for sufferance is the badge of all his tribe;"—and even seeming to find, in an occasional full meal, or a gleam of sunshine, or a whisp of dry straw, on which to repose his sorry carcass, some comfort in his disconsolate condition.
In this plight was he found by May, the most high-blooded and aristocratic of greyhounds; and from this plight did May rescue him;— invited him into her territory, the stable; resisted all attempts to turn him out; reinstated him there, in spite of maid, and boy, and mistress, and master; wore out every body's opposition, by the activity of her protection, and the pertinacity of her self-will; made him sharer of her bed and her mess; and, finally, established him as one of the family as firmly as herself.
Dash—for he has even won himself a name amongst us, before he was anonymous—Dash is a sort of a kind of a spaniel; at least there is in his mongrel composition some sign of that beautiful race. Besides his ugliness, which is of the worst sort—that is to say, the shabbiest—he has a limp on one leg that gives a peculiarly one-sided awkwardness to his gait; but, independently of his great merit in being May's pet, he has other merits which serve to account for that phenomenon—being, beyond all comparison the most faithful, attached, and affectionate animal that I have ever known; and that is saying much. He seems to think it necessary to atone for his ugliness by extra good conduct, and does so dance on his lame leg, and so wag his scrubby tail, that it does any one, who has a taste for happiness, good to look at him—so that he may now be said to stand on his own footing. We are all rather ashamed of him when strangers come in the way, and think it necessary to explain that he is May's pet; but amongst ourselves, and those who are used to his appearance, he has reached the point of favouritism in his own person. I have, in common with wiser women, the feminine weakness of loving whatever loves me—and, therefore, like Dash. His master has found out that Dash is a capital finder, and, in spite of his lameness, will hunt a field, or beat a cover with any spaniel in England—and, therefore, he likes Dash. The boy has fought a battle, in defence of his beauty, with another boy, bigger than himself, and beat his opponent most handsomely— and, therefore, he likes Dash; and the maids like him, or pretend to like him, because we do—as is the fashion of that pliant and imitative class. And now Dash and May follow us every where, and are going with us now to the Shaw, or rather to the cottage by the Shaw, to bespeak milk and butter of our little dairy-woman, Hannah Bint—a housewifely occupation, to which we owe some of our pleasantest rambles—Miss Mitford.—Month. Mag.
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FROM THE ROMAIC.
When we were last, my gentle Maid, In love's embraces twining, 'Twas Night, who saw, and then betray'd! "Who saw?" Yon Moon was shining. A gossip Star shot down, and he First told our secret to the Sea.
The Sea, who never secret kept, The peevish, blustering railer! Told it the Oar, as on he swept; The Oar informed the Sailor. The Sailor whisper'd it to his fair, And she—she told it every where!
New Monthly Magazine.
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NOTES OF A READER.
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The problem of the generation of eels is one of the most abstruse and curious in natural history; but we have been much pleased, and not a little enlightened, by some observations on the subject in Sir Humphrey Davy's delightful little volume, Salmonia, of which the following is the substance:—
Although the generation of eels occupied the attention of Aristotle, and has been taken up by the most distinguished naturalists since his time, it is still unsolved. Lacepede, the French naturalist, asserts, in the most unqualified way, that they are viviparous; but we do not remember any facts brought forward on the subject. Sir Humphrey then goes on to say—This is certain, that there are two migrations of eels—one up and one down rivers, one from and the other to the sea; the first in spring and summer, the second in autumn or early winter. The first of very small eels, which are sometimes not more than two or two and a half inches long; the second of large eels, which sometimes are three or four feet long, and which weigh from 10 to 15, or even 20 lbs. There is great reason to believe that all eels found in fresh water are the results of the first migration; they appear in millions in April and May, and sometimes continue to rise as late even as July and the beginning of August. I remember this was the case in Ireland in 1823. It had been a cold, backward summer; and when I was at Ballyshannon, about the end of July, the mouth of the river, which had been in flood all this month, under the fall, was blackened by millions of little eels, about as long as the finger, which were constantly urging their way up the moist rocks by the side of the fall. Thousands died, but their bodies remaining moist, served as the ladder for others to make their way; and I saw some ascending even perpendicular stones, making their road through wet moss, or adhering to some eels that had died in the attempt. Such is the energy of these little animals, that they continue to find their way, in immense numbers, to Loch Erne. The same thing happens at the fall of the Bann, and Loch Neagh is thus peopled by them; even the mighty Fall of Shaffausen does not prevent them from making their way to the Lake of Constance, where I have seen many very large eels. There are eels in the Lake of Neufchatel, which communicates by a stream with the Rhine; but there are none in the Lake of Geneva, because the Rhone makes a subterraneous fall below Geneva; and though small eels can pass by moss or mount rocks, they cannot penetrate limestone rocks, or move against a rapid descending current of water, passing, as it were, through a pipe. Again: no eels mount the Danube from the Black Sea; and there are none found in the great extent of lakes, swamps, and rivers communicating with the Danube—though some of these lakes and morasses are wonderfully fitted for them, and though they are found abundantly in the same countries, in lakes and rivers connected with the ocean and the Mediterranean. Yet, when brought into confined water in the Danube, they fatten and thrive there. As to the instinct which leads young eels to seek fresh water, it is difficult to reason; probably they prefer warmth, and, swimming at the surface in the early summer, find the lighter water warmer, and likewise containing more insects, and so pursue the courses of fresh water, as the waters from the land, at this season, become warmer than those from the sea. Mr. J. Couch, in the Linnaean Transactions, says the little eels, according to his observation, are produced within reach of the tide, and climb round falls to reach fresh water from the sea. I have sometimes seen them in spring, swimming in immense shoals in the Atlantic, in Mount Bay, making their way to the mouths of small brooks and rivers. When the cold water from the autumnal flood begins to swell the rivers, this fish tries to return to the sea; but numbers of the smaller ones hide themselves during the winter in the mud, and many of them form, as it were, masses together. Various authors have recorded the migration of eels in a singular way; such as Dr. Plot, who, in his History of Staffordshire, says they pass in the night across meadows from one pond to another; and Mr. Arderon, in the Philosophical Transactions, gives a distinct account of small eels rising up the flood-gates and posts of the water-works of the city of Norwich; and they made their way to the water above, though the boards were smooth planed, and five or six feet perpendicular. He says, when they first rose out of the water upon the dry board, they rested a little—which seemed to be till their slime was thrown out, and sufficiently glutinous—and then they rose up the perpendicular ascent with the same facility as if they had been moving on a plane surface.—There can, I think, be no doubt that they are assisted by their small scales, which, placed like those of serpents, must facilitate their progressive motion; these scales have been microscopically observed by Lewenhoeck. Eels migrate from the salt water of different sizes, but I believe never when they are above a foot long—and the great mass of them are only from two and a half to four inches. They feed, grow, and fatten in fresh water. In small rivers they seldom become very large; but in large, deep lakes they become as thick as a man's arm, or even leg; and all those of a considerable size attempt to return to the sea in October or November, probably when they experience the cold of the first autumnal rains. Those that are not of the largest size, as I said before, pass the winter in the deepest parts of the mud of rivers and lakes, and do not seem to eat much, and remain, I believe, almost torpid. Their increase is not certainly known in any given time, but must depend upon the quantity of their food; but it is probable they do not become of the largest size from the smallest in one or even two seasons; but this, as well as many other particulars, can only be ascertained by new observations and experiments. Block states, that they grow slowly, and mentions that some had been kept in the same pond for fifteen years. As very large eels, after having migrated, never return to the river again, they must (for it cannot be supposed that they all die immediately in the sea) remain in salt water; and there is great probability that they are then confounded with the conger, which is found from a few ounces to one hundred pounds in weight.
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At Munich, every child found begging is taken to a charitable establishment; the moment he enters his portrait is given to him, representing him in his rags, and he promises by oath to keep it all his life.
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[This is one of the gems of the quarto volume of poetry recently published by the author of the "Omnipresence of the Deity;" but in our next we intend stringing together a few of the resplendent beauties which illumine almost every page.]
On yonder mead, that like a windless lake Shines in the glow of heaven, a cherub boy Is bounding, playful as a breeze new-born, Light as the beam that dances by his side. Phantom of beauty! with his trepid locks Gleaming like water-wreaths,—a flower of life, To whom the fairy world is fresh, the sky A glory, and the earth one huge delight! Joy shaped his brow, and Pleasure rolls his eye, While Innocence, from out the budding lip Darts her young smiles along his rounded cheek. Grief hath not dimm'd the brightness of his form, Love and Affection o'er him spread their wings, And Nature, like a nurse, attends him with Her sweetest looks. The humming bee will bound From out the flower, nor sting his baby hand; The birds sing to him from the sunny tree; And suppliantly the fierce-eyed mastiff fawn Beneath his feet, to court the playful touch.
To rise all rosy from the arms of sleep, And, like the sky-bird, hail the bright-cheek'd morn With gleeful song, then o'er the bladed mead To chase the blue-wing'd butterfly, or play With curly streams; or, led by watchful Love, To hear the chorus of the trooping waves, When the young breezes laugh them into life! Or listen to the mimic ocean roar Within the womb of spiry sea-shell wove,— From sight and sound to catch intense delight, And infant gladness from each happy face,— These are the guileless duties of the day: And when at length reposeful Evening comes, Joy-worn he nestles in the welcome couch, With kisses warm upon his cheek, to dream Of heaven, till morning wakes him to the world.
The scene hath changed into a curtain'd room, Where mournful glimmers of the mellow sun Lie dreaming on the walls! Dim-eyed and sad, And dumb with agony, two parents bend O'er a pale image, in the coffin laid,— Their infant once, the laughing, leaping boy, The paragon and nursling of their souls! Death touch'd him, and the life-glow fled away, Swift as a gay hour's fancy; fresh and cold As winter's shadow, with his eye-lids seal'd, Like violet-lips at eve, he lies enrobed An offering to the grave! but, pure as when It wing'd from heaven, his spirit hath return'd, To lisp his hallelujahs with the choirs Of sinless babes, imparadised above.
Death, a Poem, by R. Montgomery.
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THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY.
What a fashionable place Soon the Regent's Park will grow! Not alone the human race To survey its beauties go; Birds and beasts of every hue, In order and sobriety, Come, invited by the Zo- Ological Society.
Notes of invitation go To the west and to the east. Begging of the Hippopo- Tamus here to come and feast: Sheep and panthers here we view, Monstrous contrariety! All united by the Zo- Ological Society.
Monkeys leave their native seat, Monkeys green and monkeys blue, Other monkeys here to meet, And kindly ask, "Pray how d'ye do?" From New Holland the emu, With his better moiety, Has paid a visit to the Zo- Ological Society.
Here we see the lazy tor- Toise creeping with his shell, And the drowsy, drowsy dor- Mouse dreaming in his cell; Here from all parts of the U- Niverse we meet variety, Lodged and boarded by the Zo- Ological Society.
Bears at pleasure lounge and roll, Leading lives devoid of pain, Half day climbing up a poll, Half day climbing down again; Their minds tormented by no su- Perfluous anxiety, While on good terms with the Zo- Ological Society.
Would a mammoth could be found And made across the sea to swim! But now, alas! upon the ground The bones alone are left of him: I fear a hungry mammoth too, (So monstrous and unquiet he.) By hunger urged might eat the Zo- Ological Society!
The Christmas Box.
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One great protection against all creeping things is, to stir the ground very frequently along the foot of the wall. That is their great place of resort; and frequent stirring and making the ground very fine, disturbs the peace of their numerous families, gives them trouble, makes them uneasy, and finally harasses them to death.
Cobbett's English Gardener.
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SIR W. TEMPLE'S GARDEN.
It was formerly the fashion to have a sort of canal, with broad grass walks on the sides, and with the water coming up to within a few inches of the closely shaven grass; and certainly few things were more beautiful than these. Sir William Temple had one of his own constructing in his gardens at Moor Park. On the outsides of the grass-walks were borders of beautiful flowers. I have stood for hours to look at this canal, which the good-natured manners of those days had led the proprietor to make an opening in the outer wall in order that his neighbours might enjoy the sight as well as himself; I have stood for hours, when a little boy, looking at this object; I have travelled far since, and have seen a great deal; but I have never seen any thing of the gardening kind so beautiful in the whole course of my life—Ibid.
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In glasses filled with water, bulbous roots, such as the hyacinth, narcissus, and jonquil, are blown. The time to put them in is from September to November, and the earliest ones will begin blowing about Christmas. The glasses should be blue, as that colour best suits the roots; put water enough in to cover the bulb one-third of the way up, less rather than more; let the water be soft, change it once a week, and put in a pinch of salt every time you change it. Keep the glasses in a place moderately warm, and near to the light. A parlour window is a very common place for them, but is often too warm, and brings on the plants too early, and causes them to be weakly.—Ibid.
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We cannot refrain from stating our belief, and this on the authority of intelligent physicians, as well as from personal observation, that much mischief is done by committing invalids to long and precarious journeys, for the sake of doubtful benefits. We have ourselves seen consumptive patients hurried along, through all the discomforts of bad roads, bad inns, and indifferent diet, to places, where certain partial advantages of climate poorly compensated for the loss of the many benefits which home and domestic care can best afford. We have seen such invalids lodged in cold, half-furnished houses, and shivering under blasts of wind from the Alps or Apennines, who might more happily have been sheltered in the vales of Somerset or Devon. On this topic, however, we refrain from saying more—further than to state our belief, that much misapprehension generally prevails, as to the comparative healthiness of England, and other parts of Europe. Certain phrases respecting climate have obtained fashionable currency amongst us, which greatly mislead the judgment as to facts. The accurate statistical tables, now extended to the greater part of Europe, furnish more secure grounds of opinion; and from these we derive the knowledge, that there is no one country in Europe where the average proportion of mortality is so small as in England. Some few details on this subject we subjoin,—tempted to do so by the common errors prevailing in relation to it.
The proportion of deaths to the population is nearly one-third less in England than in France. Comparing the two capitals, the average mortality of London is about one-fifth less than that of Paris. What may appear a more singular statement, the proportion of deaths in London, a vast and luxurious metropolis, differs only by a small fraction from that of the whole of France; and is considerably less than the average of those Mediterranean shores which are especially frequented by invalids for the sake of health. In Italy, the proportion of deaths is a full third greater than in England; and even in Switzerland and Sweden, though the difference be less, it is still in favour of our own country.—Q. Rev.
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The paper so highly esteemed, entitled, The Courier de l'Europe, originated in the following circumstances:—
"Monsieur Guerrier de Berance was a native of Auvergne, whose fortune in the origin was very low, but who by his intrigues succeeded in gaining the place of Procureur General of the Custom-house. He married two wives; the name of the last was Millochin, who was both young and handsome. She soon began to find out that her husband was very disagreeable; and what caused her more particularly to remark his faults was her contrasting him with M. Cevres de la Tour, with whom she fell most desperately in love. This passion became so violent, that Madame Guerrier fled into England with her lover, who, in his turn, left his wife behind him in Paris. The finances of these two lovers growing rather low, M. Sevres de la Tour, who was a man of talent, thought, as a plan to enrich himself, to turn editor to a newspaper, and for this purpose started the Courier de l'Europe, which succeeded beyond his most sanguine hopes. Disgust, which commonly follows these sort of unions, caused Madame Guerrier to be deserted by her lover, and she was obliged to turn a teacher of languages for her subsistence.—The Album of Love.
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"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles."
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REPLY TO THE DIRGE ON MISS ELLEN GEE, OF KEW.
(See Mirror, page 223.)
Forgive, ye beauteous maids of Q, The much relenting B, Who vows he never will sting U, While sipping of your T.
One nymph I wounded in the I, The charming L N G, The fates impell'd, I know not Y, The luckless busy B.
And oh recall the sentence U Pass'd on your humble B, Let me remain at happy Q, Send me not o'er the C.
And I will mourn upon A U, The death of L N G, And all the charming maids of Q Will pity the poor B.
I will hum soft her L E G, The reason some ask Y, Because the maiden could not C, By me she lost her I.
To soothe ye damsels I'll S A, Far sooner would I B Myself in funeral R A, Than wound one fair at T.
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THE BITER BIT.
In the reign of Charles II. a physician to the court was walking with the king in the gallery of Windsor Castle, when they saw a man repairing a clock fixed there. The physician knowing the king's relish for a joke, accosted the man with, "My good friend, you are continually doctoring that clock, and yet it never goes well. Now if I were to treat my patients in such a way, I should lose all my credit. What can the reason be that you mistake so egregiously?" The man dryly replied, "The reason why you and I, Sir, are not upon a par is plain enough—the sun discovers all my blunders, but the earth covers yours."
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On a tablet in the outside wall of the old church, at Taunton, in Somersetshire, is the following on "James Waters, late of London, aged 49."
Death traversing the western road, And asking where true merit lay, Made in this town a short abode, Then took this worthy man away.
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Grass of levity, Span in brevity, Flower's felicity, Fire of misery, Wind's stability Is mortality.
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NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHER.
Purchasers of the MIRROR, who may wish to complete their volumes, are informed that the whole of the numbers are now in print, and can be procured by giving an order to any Bookseller or Newsvender.
Complete sets Vol I. to XI. in boards, price L3. 19s. 6d half bound, L3. 17s.
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LIMBIRD'S EDITION OF THE
Following Novels are already Published:
s.d. Mackenzie's Man of Feeling .............. 0...6 Paul and Virginia ....................... 0...6 The Castle of Otranto ................... 0...6 Almoran and Hamet ....................... 0...6 Elizabeth, or the Exiles of Siberia ..... 0...6 The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne ...... 0...6 Rasselas ................................ 0...8 The Old English Baron ................... 0...8 Nature and Art .......................... 0...8 Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield .......... 0..10 Sicilian Romance ........................ 1...0 The Man of the World .................... 1...0 A Simple Story .......................... 1...4 Joseph Andrews .......................... 1...6 Humphry Clinker ..........................1...8 The Romance of the Forest ............... 1...8 The Italian ............................. 2...0 Zeluco, by Dr. Moore .................... 2...0 Edward, by Dr. Moore .................... 2...6 Roderick Random ......................... 2...6 The Mysteries of Udolpho ................ 3...6