THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XII, NO. 341.] SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1828. [PRICE 2d.
TEMPLE AT ABURY.
Sermons in stones And good in every thing.—SHAKSPEARE.
What means the mysterious circle of stocks and stones on the other side? Such will be the question of many a lover of fun, novel, fiction, and romance; and though we cannot settle their origin with the quickness or the humour of Munden's Cockletop, we will try to let our inquirer into the secret with the smallest show of mysticism possible.
Our engraving represents the Temple of Abury, the most extensive of all the ruins in Wiltshire, attributed to the Druids. Such was its original state, before the Vandalism of modern times destroyed and levelled much of its monumental grandeur. It consisted of a grand circle, containing two minor circles. The outer circle contained upwards of 28 acres, and was surrounded by a ditch. There was a circle within each of the two circles, contained within the circumvallation; and according to Dr. Stukely, the antiquarian, the original was thus composed:—
Outward circle, within the vallum 100 stones Northern Temple, outward circle 30 — Ditto, inward circle 12 — Cove, or cell 3 — Southern Temple, outward circle 30 — Ditto, inward circle 12 — Central Obelisk 1 — Ring Stone 1 —
The Temple occupied a spot to which there is a gradual and imperceptible ascent on all sides, and was approached by two avenues of two hundred stones each. Its general form was that of a snake, in by gone ages, the symbol of eternity and omniscience. "To make the form still more elegant and picture-like, the head of the snake is carried up the southern promontory of Hackpen Hill—and the very name of the hill is derived from this circumstance."
 Dr. Stukely, who says, that acan in the Chaldee signifies a serpent, and hac is no other than a snake. In Yorkshire they still call snakes hags; and in the British language pen denotes a head.
The whole figure thus represented the circle, snake, and wings. By this the founders meant to picture out the nature of the Divinity; the circle meant the supreme fountain of all being, the Father; the serpent, that divine emanation from him, which was called the Son; the wings imported that other divine emanation from them, which was called the Spirit, the Anima Mundi. That the Temple was of a religious, and not of a warlike nature, is proved by its ditch being withinside the agger of earth, contrary to the mode adopted in works of defence.
Of the devastation and decay of Abury, the following data will afford some idea:
The grand total of stones, included in the temples and avenues, was 650; in the original temples, 188.
In Aubrey's time, A.D. 1663 73 stones In Dr. Stukeley's time, A.D. 1722 29 — In 1815 17 —
Of very late years, says Sir Richard Colt Hoare, I do not imagine the dilapidations of the temple have been very great.
It should, however, be mentioned, that the tracing of the snake form is due to Dr. Stukeley; for his predecessor Aubrey mentions the avenue as "a solemn walk leading to a monument upon the top of the hill, without any allusion to the supposed design or its connexion with the Grand Temple at Abury."
It is a matter of greater speculation than we can here enter into, as to the date and founders of Abury; and their history is as dislocated as are the masses of its ruins. Antiquarians agree on the purpose for which it was founded, viz. for the performance of the religious ceremonies of the Druids. Sir R. Colt Hoare illustrates this point by supposing the flat ledge projecting from the vallum, to have been intended for the accommodation of sitting, to the spectators who resorted hither to the public festivals; and adds he, what a grand and imposing spectacle must so extensive and elevated an amphitheatre have presented, the vallum and its declivities lined with spectators, whilst the hallowed area was preserved for the officiating Druids, and perhaps the higher order of the people!
Gentle Reader! be ye lordling or lowlier born, once more turn back to the engraving. We have a subject of yesterday rife and ready for you, on the next page; but turn to the engraving. Look again at those circles, and the fantastic forms that compose them, and think of the infatuated thousands that were wont to assemble round them, and of the idolized sons of power that once stood within their hallowed area. Think of those days of sacrifice and superstition—those orgies of ignorance and barbarism—and contrast them with the happy, happy age of religious liberty in which it is your boast and blessing to live—and then you may read "sermons in stones," to the masterminds of your own time. To us, the stones of Abury are part of the poetry of savage life, and of more interest than all the plaster toys of these days. But they may not be so with you and "FINIS." We were once compensated for missing Fonthill and its finery, by witnessing day-break from Salisbury Plain, and associating its glories with the time-worn relics of STONEHENGE!
The engraving and data are from Mr. Higgins's Celtic Druids, for the loan of which and a portion of this article, we thank our friend "JAMES SILVESTER," whose valuable note on "Circular Temples" must stand over for our next.
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We had penciled for our Supplement the following beautiful lines from Mr. Watts's "Literary Souvenir," but they will be more in place here. Silbury is an immense mound adjoining the road to Devizes, and opposite Abury; Sir R.C. Hoare thinks it part of Abury; but H. and many others think it the sepulchre of a King or Arch-Druid.
Grave of Cunedha, were it vain to call For one wild lay of all that buried lie Beneath thy giant mound? From Tara's hall Faint warblings yet are heard, faint echoes die Among the Hebrides: the ghost that sung In Ossian's ear, yet wails in feeble cry On Morvern: but the harmonies that rung Around the grove and cromlech, never more Shall visit earth: for ages have unstrung The Druid's harp, and shrouded all his lore, Where under the world's ruin sleep in gloom The secrets of the flood,—the letter'd store, Which Seth's memorial pillars from the doom Preserved not, when the sleep was Nature's tomb.
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(For the Mirror.)
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"The way to be an excellent painter is to be an excellent man—and these united, make a character that would shine even in a better world than this."—JONATHAN RICHARDSON.
The sister arts of Painting and Engraving have been making great progress in England for some time past, and we are disposed to think this a subject of congratulation and importance to all classes of the community.
The literature of the Fine Arts is likewise becoming more and more popular every day. They form a prominent feature in every new literary project, and not unfrequently literature, to use a hackneyed phrase, is made their vehicle—like the namby-pamby of an English opera for the strains of Rossini or Weber. The public are contented with excellence in one department and mediocrity in the other; they cannot be constantly admiring—that is out of the question—and it is probably on this account that much of what appears below par is tolerated and even encouraged.
We will not go the length of assenting to the proposal of converting Sir Joshua Reynolds's Lectures into Sermons, by the mere alteration of the terms of art into scriptural phraseology; but we venture to assert that much national good is likely to result from these advances of art, and its constant introduction into all our amusements. That it promotes the growth of virtue is too old an axiom to be refuted:
——Ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros.
"The Italians commonly call a taste for the fine arts, or skill in them, by the name of Virtue. They term the productions of artists objects of virtue; and a person who has a taste for such things is denominated a virtuoso, that is, a virtuous man." Such is the language of the Edinburgh Review, in commencing an article on a recently-published translation of Lanzi's History of Painting in Italy, in six octavo volumes—and what a delightful relief is this from the party declamations which usually occupy so large a portion of that "critical journal." But this is not singular, for it is now no uncommon thing to see a large letter column of a newspaper, and a similar proportion of a printed sheet published at twopence, alike occupied by "the Fine Arts."
Patronage, royal and noble, has already achieved much for painting, and even the reported project for a National Gallery does much to foster the art. It keeps the study afloat and uppermost in the public mind; and the immense increase of exhibitions, not only in London, but in provincial towns, serves to prove that patronage now consists in something more substantial than tutelar notice, and unpaid promises. Artists need no longer journey to the metropolis to find sale for their works, for their genius is nourished on its native soil by the liberality and good taste which abound in the neighbourhood of every important town in the empire. It may be as well to keep up the hue and cry about the folly of portrait-painting, if it be only to keep down the vanity of wealth; but the munificent rewards which painters receive for this branch of their art will enable them to devote a greater portion of their leisure to higher studies. Their taste will not thus be impugned; for Cooke, the actor, is known to have entertained the meanest opinion of his own performance of Richard the Third, as an historical portrait, notwithstanding it was the corner-stone of his fame. We do not invite the comparison; but Mr. Hayden began with history—his want of patronage is well known; he then tried portraits—but his want of success was reserved for the style of his Mock Election pictures, and, in all probability, they will turn out the philosopher's stone for his future life.
But it is to the splendid union of Painting, Engraving, and Literature that much of these beneficial effects may be traced. In every branch of the fine arts and literature, what a powerful influence will this triple advancement produce. Only compare the topographical works of Mr. Britton with those of his predecessors—his highly-finished line engravings, excellent antiquarian pieces on wood, and erudite descriptions, with the wretched prints and the quaintnesses of old topographers—or even with the lumber of some of our county histories. With this improvement, and that of map-work, painting has comparatively but little to do; and yet how evident is the progress of the literature of these works.
It would be easy to adduce hundreds of instances of the recent union of painting and engraving. About five years ago, a plan was started for illustrating the Bible from pictures of the old masters. Upwards of two hundred of them were transferred to wood-blocks; but the scheme did not repay the ingenious originator—partly from their small size, uncertainty of effect to be produced on wood, and partly from the very cheap rate at which the engravings were sold—the whole series being purchaseable for three or four shillings. But a similar design is now in progress on metal, being the idea of La Musee in little. It consists of beautiful outline copies of the great masters, published at so cheap a rate as to be within the reach of a school-boy. Within the present year, also, two series of Views in Great Britain, one of Views in London, and another of Paris, have been publishing at the rate of threepence for each view; and when we see among their artists the names of Westall, Pugin, and Pye, we have a sufficient voucher for their excellence.
A passing notice of a few of the more splendid works of art, (for the above are among the cheap and popular projects of the day,) and we must conclude.
 The only place in which they do not progress mutually is the theatre. Look at the scenery of our patent theatres, and compare it with the vulgar daubs even of John Kemble's time. Some of the scenes by Stanfield, Roberts, Grieve, and Pugh, are "perfect pictures." Yet the language of the stage is at a stand, and insipid comedy, dull tragedy, and stupid farce are more abundant than before the "march of mind".
 While on the subject of wood-engraving, perhaps we may he allowed to mention our own humble plan of illustrating a sheet of letter-press for twopence. Of course, perfection in the engraving department would have ruined all parties concerned; for each of our subjects (as the miniature painters tell you of their works) might be worked up to "any price". It is now six years since the MIRROR was commenced, and as we are not speaking of ourselves, individually, we hope we may refer to the progressive improvement of the graphic department without any charge of vanity.
It would be tedious to enumerate even a small portion of the fine pictures which have been engraved during the last two years; the mention of two or three will answer our purpose. Every printseller's window will attest the fact. Only let the reader step into Mr. Colnaghi's parlours, in Cockspur-street, and we might say the spacious print gallery in Pall Mall. There let him turn over a few of the host of fine portraits which have been transferred from the canvass to the copper—the excellent series of royal portraits—and of men whose names will shine in the history of their country, when their portraits shall be gathered into the portfolios of a few collectors. Among portraits, we ought, however, to recollect Mr. Lodge's invaluable collection of historical characters, the originals of which were exhibited a few months since, previous to their republication in a more economical form. The Temple of Jupiter, published a few months since, is perhaps one of the proudest triumphs of the year. Martin's Deluge, too, has lately appeared, and we look forward to the publication of his last splendid picture, the Fall of Nineveh, with high hopes.
In the SUPPLEMENTARY NUMBER (published with the present) we have noticed in detail a few of the many superb engravings which embellish the Christmas presents for the ensuing year, as well as their literary talent, by a string of extracts like
"Orient pearls at random strung."
The success of these elegant works has benefited our artists to the sum of twelve thousand pounds, in their preparation for 1829. A fortnight since we mentioned the cost of the plates of the Literary Souvenir to be 100l. and upwards for each subject. Another work, still more splendid, (being nearly double the price,) is under the direction of Mr. Charles Heath, whose masterly hand is visible in some of the finest engraving ever submitted to the world—equalled only by a rival in its first year—one of the best proofs of the patronage these works enjoy. It would be invidious to particularize—but we must mention the transference of two of Martin's designs—Marcus Curtius (in the Forget Me Not) and Christ Tempted on the Mount—as two of the most surprising efforts of genius we have ever witnessed. Our readers need not be told that all the engravings are on steel; and were it not for the adoption of this lasting metal, the
 The engraving is from Prout's exquisite picture of the magnificent city of Vicenza—for which we recollect our obligation to the "Forget Me Not."
cost of half the engravings would exceed that of the whole work: all we hope is, that the public patronage may be as lasting as the metal; then it will be no idle vaunt to call this the march, or even race, of genius. In conclusion, we recommend all our lady friends (who have not done so) to place on their drawing-room table a Print Album, or Scrap Book, to be supported "by voluntary contributions." They may then form a pretty correct estimate of the taste of their visiters; and if taste in the fine arts be a test of virtue and integrity, they may even settle the claims of any two rival aspirants by this fair and unerring method, which should admit of no appeal.
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ANECDOTES OF CHRISTINA, THE YOUNG QUEEN OF SWEDEN.
(For The Mirror.)
Christina was the only child of the great Gustavus Adolphus, who succeeded to the throne of her father in 1632, when she was but five years of age. The young queen, at an early age, discovered but little taste for the society and occupations of her sex. When young, she was capable of reading the Greek historians. At the age of eighteen she assumed the reins of government. Several princes of Europe aspired to her hand; but she rejected them all. To prevent a renewal of applications on this subject, she solemnly appointed Gustavus her successor, but without the smallest participation in the rights of the crown during her own life. During her minority, Sweden enjoyed internal repose, but was involved in a long war with the German empire. She was crowned with great splendour in the year 1650. From this time she entertained a philosophical contempt for pomp and parade, and a kind of disgust for the affairs of state. She invited to her court men of the first reputation in various studies. She was a great collector of books, manuscripts, medals, paintings, &c. In 1654, when she was only in her 28th year, Christina abdicated the crown, in order that she might live a life of freedom. With her crown, she renounced the Lutheran and embraced the Catholic religion. In quitting the scene of her regal power, she proceeded to Rome, where she intended to fix her abode. Some disgust which she received at Rome, induced her, in the space of two years, to determine to visit France. Here she was treated with respect by Louis XIV., but the ladies were shocked with her masculine appearance and demeanour, and the unguarded freedom of her conversation. Apartments were assigned her at Fontainbleau, where she committed an action, which has indelibly stained her memory, and for which, in other countries, (says her biographer,) she would have paid the forfeit of her own life. This was the murder of an Italian, Monaldeschi, her master of the horse, who had betrayed some secret intrusted to him. He was summoned into a gallery in the palace; letters were then shown to him, at the sight of which he turned pale, and entreated for mercy; but he was instantly stabbed by two of her own domestics in an apartment adjoining that in which she herself was. The French court was justly offended at this atrocious deed; yet it met with vindicators, among whom was Leibnitz, whose name was disgraced by the cause which he attempted to justify. Christina was sensible that she was now regarded with horror in France, and would gladly have visited England, but she received no encouragement for that purpose from Cromwell. She returned to Rome, and resumed her amusements in the arts and sciences. In 1660, on the death of Charles Gustavus, she took a journey to Sweden to recover her crown; but her ancient subjects rejected her claims, and submitted to a second renunciation of the throne; after which she returned to Rome. Some differences with the pope made her resolve, in 1662, once more to return to Sweden; but the conditions annexed by the senate to her residence there were now so mortifying, that she proceeded no farther than Hamburgh. She went back to Rome, and cultivated a correspondence with the learned men there, and in other parts of Europe, and died in 1689, leaving behind her many letters, a "Collection of Miscellaneous Thoughts or Maxims," and "Reflections on the Life and Actions of Alexander the Great."
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METHOD OF ASCERTAINING THE STATE OF THE LUNGS.
(For The Mirror.)
Persons desirous of ascertaining the true state of their lungs, are directed to draw in as much breath as they conveniently can; they are then to count as far as they are able, in a slow and audible voice, without drawing in more breath. The number of seconds they can continue counting must be carefully observed; in a consumption, the time does not exceed ten, and is frequently less than six seconds; in pleurisy and pneumonia, it ranges from nine to four seconds. When the lungs are in a sound condition, the time will range as high as from twenty to thirty-five seconds.
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A SECOND CHAPTER OF BULLS.
(For The Mirror.)
I saw a picture not long since, in Edinburgh, copied from an engraving in Boydell's Shakspeare; subject,—"Lear (and suite) in the storm," but coloured according to the imagination and taste of the artist; its name ought assuredly to have been Redcap and the blue-devils, for the venerable and lamented monarch had fine streaming locks of the real carrot hue, whilst his very hideous companions showed blue faces, and blue armour; and with their strangely contorted bodies seemed meet representatives of some of the infernal court.—In a highly adorned prayer book, published in the reign of William III., the engravings of which are from silver-plates, one print illustrates our Lord's simile of the mote and beam, by a couple of men aiming at each other's visual organs, ineffectually enough, one having a great log of wood growing from his eye, and the other being blind in one eye from a cataract; at least, though I think I do not err in saying, a moat and castle, in it—I have seen an old edition of Jeremy Taylor's "Life and Death of Christ," illustrated with many remarkably good engravings. Of one of these the subject is, the Impotent Man at the Pool of Bethesda; the fore ground is occupied by our Saviour, the cripple, and other invalids; and in the distance appears a small pond palisaded by slender pilasters; over it hovers an angel, who, with a long pole, is, to the marvel of the beholders, dexterously "troubling the waters." In the same volume, some of the figures are clad in the garb of the time when drawn, and St. Jude is reading the New Testament in a pair of spectacles!—In Holyrood House, and in one of the rooms added in the days of Charles II., is a panel-painting of "the Infant Hercules strangling the serpents;" and leaping up in front of the cradle, appears one of those pretty and rare spaniels called King Charles's breed. In the same palace, and in one of the chambers, once occupied by the unfortunate Mary, is a very old painting, intended, as the guide assures visitors, to represent St. Peter's vision of the great sheet; it may be, but if so, one archangel in military sandals, holding in his hands a small towel, represents (by a figure in painting I presume,) St. Peter, the sheet, and its innumerable living contents. He must have taken a hint, from the artist who painted for the passage through the Red Sea nothing but ocean, assuring his employer, that the Israelites could not be seen, because they were all gone over, and the Egyptians were every one drowned!—"I once saw," writes a friend, "a full length portrait of Wordsworth, in a modern painting of 'Christ riding into Jerusalem;' it was amongst a group of Jews, and next to a likeness of Voltaire. I believe the painter intended to contrast the countenances of the Christian and infidel poets, and thus pay a handsome compliment to the former; but the taste that placed the ancients and moderns together, remind me of a fine old painting of the Flemish school; a 'David with Goliah's head,' in the fore-ground of which were a number of fat Dutchmen, dressed in blue coats and leather breeches, with pipes in their mouths."—"Raphael," says a little French work on painting, in my possession, speaking of unity of time, "A peche contre cette regle, dans son tableau d'Heliodore, ou il fait intervenir le Pape Jules 2 dans le Temple de Jerusalem porte sur les epaules, des Gonfalonniers." The same work notices a breach of the unity of design in Paul Veronese, "qui dans la partie droite d'un de ses tableaux, a represente Jesus Christ benissant l'eau, dont il va etre baptise par St. Jean Baptiste; et dans la partie gauche notre Seigneur tente par le diable."—Upon the celebrated "Transfiguration" of Raphael, I heard an artist remark, "undoubtedly it is the first picture in the world, yet the painter has erred in these respects:—the upper portion of the picture is occupied by the subject, but the lower and fore-ground by the Healing of the Demoniac. Now that event did not happen until after the transfiguration, and we infringe upon our Saviour's ubiquity by supposing it to occur (contrary to the sacred story) at the same time. He may, indeed, as God be omnipresent, but as man, the New Testament no where asserts that the Incarnate Presence was in different places at the same moment." Instances of erroneous judgment are frequent in those who illustrate holy writ. Some have attempted to embody Him, "whom no man hath seen at any time." Some have filled their skies with beings as little aerial as possible, or apotheoses of the Virgin and sundry saints. Angels, as some represent them, even in whole lengths, are by anatomists regarded as monsters; but what then are the chubby winged heads without bodies, with which some artists etherealize their works. Some err by mingling on the same canvass the sacred and profane; scripture characters and the non-descripts of heathen mythology. Nor is poetry free from the latter error, as is exemplified in the major and minor epics, &c., of many Christian poets. The drawings of the monks, splendid in colouring and beautiful in finish, are mostly ludicrous in design, from glaring anachronisms, erroneous perspective, &c. I saw a print in Montfaucon, where fish were gamboling like porpusses on the surface of the sea, and one or two were visible through the paddles of a boat. In the same volume was a print of the apotheosis of St. Louis, from an illumination. The holy prince was represented dying in the fore-ground, but over head were a couple of angels flying away with his soul, (under the figure of a wretched infant, skinny and naked, save the glory that covered his head,) in a kind of sheet, or rather sack.
But to detail all the absurdities and indecencies of these revered artists, whether limners, or carvers in wood, were endless. Their anachronisms, however, have been of considerable service to the antiquary. Sculpture has its monstrosities, architecture its incongruities, though not so palpable as those of painting, because the art is less generally understood by the common observer, or rather pictorial errors are in general easily detected by the eye alone, and sometimes by the most commonly informed mind; but architectural defects are only recognisable by those who have studied the principles of this fine art. Poetry, I am sorry to say, is not exempt from bulls and blunders, of various kinds and degrees of enormity; many of which have been, from time to time, exposed in a very amusing manner. I shall therefore, in conclusion, crave the liberty of producing one which has lately come under my own cognizance. A modern poet, whose compositions are fraught with beauty and genius, sings:—
"Then swooped the winds, that hurl the giant oak From Snowdon's altitude."
And another, in stanzas of extreme strength and eloquent description, describes a storm at night "among the mountains of Snowdon," with these expressions:—
——"The bird of night Screams from her straw-built nest, as from the womb Of infant death, and wheels her drowsy flight Amid the pine-clad rocks, with wonder and afright."
——"The night-breeze dies Faint, on the mountain-ash leaves that surround Snowdon's dark peaks."
Now, a painful pilgrimage of eleven hours, up Snowdon and back again, enables me to declare that had oaks, pines, and service-trees adorned that appalling and volcanic chaos, five or six years since, some storm sufficient to have shattered the universe, must have swept them all away, ere I looked upon that dreary assemblage of rocks which seems like the ruins of a world. I ascended from the Capel Cerig side of the mountain, and therefore venture not to say what may be the aspect of the Llanberries; but the only verdure I beheld, was that of short, brown heathy grass, a few stunted furze-bushes, and patches of that vividly green moss, which is spongy and full of water. The only living inhabitants of these wilds were a few ruffian-like miners, two or three black slugs, and a scanty flock of straggling half-starved mountain sheep, with their brown, ropy coats. The guide told me, that even eagles, had for three centuries abandoned the desolate crags of Snowdon; and as for its being a haunt for owls, neither bird nor mouse could reside there to supply such with subsistence. Snowdon appeared to me too swampy to be drained for cultivation in many parts, and in most others its marble, granite and shingles, forbade the idea of spontaneous vegetation. I am sorry for the poets, having a sincere regard for the fraternity, but Snowdon is not adorned with pines, firs, larches, and service-trees, like parts of the Alps; it is not wooded like the romantic Pyrenees, nor luxuriantly fertile in fruits, flowers, and grain, like the terrible, but sylvan Etna.
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DRUMMOND OF HAWTHORNDEN.
["A Lover of Old English Poetry," has, in the last London Magazine, a short paper on DRUMMOND of HAWTHORNDEN, a name dear to every poetical mind, and every lover of early song. His intention, he says, is "rather to excite than satiate" the taste of his readers for the poetry of Drummond,—an object in which we cordially agree, and would contribute our offering, had not the task, in the present instance, been already so ably performed. We cannot, therefore, do better than introduce to our readers a few of his judicious selections. They are exquisite specimens of the evergreen freshness of old poetry, and by their contrast with contemporary effusions will contribute to the mosaic of our sheet. By the way, we hear of a sprinkling of the antique world of letters in some of the "Annuals"—an introduction which reflects high credit on the taste of the editors, and serves to prove that sicklied sentimentalities, like all other sweets, when enjoyed to excess, will cloy the fancy, but not so as entirely to unfit the mind for a higher species of intellectual enjoyment. We would have old and new alternate in the literary wreath, lest, by losing the comparison, the "bright lights" of other times should be treated with irreverence and neglect.]
FROM THE "HYMN ON THE FAIREST FAIR."
I feel my bosom glow with wonted fires: Raised from the vulgar press, my mind aspires, Wing'd with high thoughts, unto His praise to climb From deep Eternity who call'd forth time:— That ESSENCE, which, not mov'd, makes each thing move,— Uncreate beauty—all-creating love... Ineffable, all-powerful GOD, all free,— Thou only liv'st, and all things live by thee... Perfection's sum—prime cause of every cause, Midst and beginning, where all good doth pause... Incomprehensible, by reachless height; And unperceived, by excessive light. O King! whose greatness none can comprehend, Whose boundless goodness does to all extend,— Light of all beauty, ocean without ground, That standing, flowest—giving, dost abound... Great Architect—Lord of this universe,— That sight is blinded would thy greatness pierce.
Then follows this noble simile, nobly sustained, and with a flow and harmony of verse not common in the poets of his period:—
Ah! as a pilgrim who the Alps doth pass, Or Atlas' temples crown'd with winter glass,— The airy Caucasus, the Apennine, Pyrenees' cliffs, where sun doth never shine;— When he some craggy hills hath overwent, Begins to think on rest, his journey spent, Till mounting some tall mountain he do find More heights before him than he left behind,— With halting pace so while I would me raise To the unbounded limits of Thy praise, Some part of way I thought to have o'errun; But now I see how scarce I have begun— With wonders new my spirits range possest, And, wandering wayless, in a maze them rest.
Oh! that the cause which doth consume our joy Would the remembrance of it too destroy!
Woods cut again do grow: Bud doth the rose and daisy, winter done, But we, once dead, do no more see the sun! What fair is wrought Falls in the prime, and passeth like a thought.
Sweet Spring, thou com'st with all thy goodly train,— Thy head with flame, thy mantle bright with flowers: The zephyrs curl the green locks of the plain,— The clouds for joy in pearls weep down their showers;— Sweet Spring, thou com'st—but ah! my pleasant hours, And happy days, with thee come not again! The sad memorials only of my pain Do with thee come, which turn my sweets to sours. Thou art the same which still thou wert before, Delicious, lusty, amiable, fair, But she whose breath embalmed thy wholesome air Is gone—nor gold, nor gems can her restore, Neglected virtue—seasons, go and come, When thine, forgot, lie closed in a tomb.
Sweet bird, that sing'st away the early hours, Of winters past, or coming, void of care, Well pleased with delights which present are,— Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flowers, To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leavy bowers Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare, And what dear gifts on thee he did not spare,— A stain to human sense in sin that lowers. What soul can be so sick, which by thy songs (Attir'd in sweetness) sweetly is not driven Quite to forget earth's turmoils, spites, and wrongs, And lift a reverend eye and thought to heaven? Sweet artless songster, thou my mind dost raise To airs of spheres—yes, and to angels lays!
Now while the Night her sable veil hath spread, And silently her resty coach doth roll, Rousing with her, from Thetis' azure bed, Those starry nymphs which dance about the pole; While Cynthia, in purest cypress clad. The Latmian shepherd in a trance descries, And, looking pale from height of all the skies, She dyes her beauties in a blushing red; While Sleep, in triumph, closed hath all eyes, And birds and beasts a silence sweet do keep, And Proteus' monstrous people in the deep,— The winds and waves, hush'd up, to rest entice,— I wake, I turn, I weep, oppress'd with pain, Perplex'd in the meanders of my brain.
Sleep, Silence' child, sweet father of soft rest, Prince, whose approach peace to all mortals brings, Indifferent host to shepherds and to kings, Sole comforter of minds which are oppress'd— Lo! by thy charming rod, all breathing things Lie slumb'ring, with forgetfulness possess'd, And yet o'er me to spread thy drowsy wings Thou spar'st, alas! who cannot be thy guest. Since I am thine, O come,—but with that face To inward light, which thou art wont to shew— With feigned solace ease a true-felt woe; Or if, deaf god, thou do deny that grace, Come as thou wilt, and what thou wilt bequeath I long to kiss the image of my death!
* * * * *
Hark, happy lovers, hark! This first and last of joys, This sweetener of annoys, This nectar of the gods, You call a kiss, is with itself at odds: And half so sweet is not, In equal measure got At light of sun as it is in the dark: Hark, happy lovers, hark!
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER
* * * * *
INDIAN FEAST OF SOULS.
Every three or four years, by a general agreement, the Indians disinter the bodies of such as have died within that time; finding the soft parts mouldered away, they carefully clean the bones, and each family wrap up the remains of their departed friends in new fur. They are then laid together in one mound or barrow, and the ceremony concludes with a feast, with dances, songs, speeches, games, and mock combats.
* * * * *
We think it next to impossible for a candid unbeliever to read the Evidences of Paley, in their proper order, unshaken. His Natural Theology will open the heart, that it may understand, or at least receive the Scriptures, if any thing can. It is philosophy in its highest and noblest sense; scientific, without the jargon of science; profound, but so clear that its depth is disguised. There is nothing of the "budge Doctor" here; speculations which will convince, if aught will, that "in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," are made familiar as household words. They are brought home to the experience of every man, the most ordinary observer on the facts of nature with which he is daily conversant. A thicker clothing, for instance, is provided in winter for that tribe of animals which are covered with fur. Now, in these days, such an assertion would be backed by an appeal to some learned Rabbi of a Zoological Society, who had written a deep pamphlet, upon what he would probably call the Theory of Hair. But to whom does Paley refer us? To any dealer in rabbit skins. The curious contrivance in the bones of birds, to unite strength with lightness, is noticed. The bore is larger, in proportion to the weight of the bone, than in other animals; it is empty; the substance of the bone itself is of a closer texture. For these facts, any "operative" would quote Sir Everard Home, or Professor Cuvier, by way of giving a sort of philosophical eclat to the affair, and throwing a little learned dust in the eyes of the public. Paley, however, advises you to make your own observations when you happen to be engaged in the scientific operation of picking the leg or wing of a chicken. The very singular correspondence between the two sides of any animal, the right hand answering to the left, and so on, is touched upon, as a proof of a contriving Creator, and a very striking one it is. Well! we have a long and abstruse problem in chances worked out to show that it was so many millions, and so many odd thousands to one, that accident could not have produced the phenomenon; not a bit of it. Paley, who was probably scratching his head at the moment, offers no other confirmation of his assertion, than that it is the most difficult thing in the world to get a wig made even, seldom as it is that the face is made awry. The circulation of the blood, and the provision for its getting from the heart to the extremities, and back again, affords a singular demonstration of the Maker of the body being an admirable Master both of mechanics and hydrostatics. But what is the language in which Paley talks of this process?—technical?—that mystical nomenclature of Diaforius, which frightens country patients out of their wits, thinking, as they very naturally do, that a disease must be very horrid which involves such very horrid names? Hear our anatomist from Giggleswick.
"The aorta of a whale is larger in the bore than the main-pipe of the water-works at London Bridge; and the roaring in the passage through that pipe is inferior, in impetus and velocity, to the blood gushing from the whale's heart."
He cares not whence he fetches his illustrations, provided they are to the purpose. The laminae of the feathers of birds are kept together by teeth that hook into one another, "as a latch enters into the catch, and fastens a door." The eyes of the mole are protected by being very small, and buried deep in a cushion of skin, so that the apertures leading to them are like pin-holes in a piece of velvet, scarcely pervious to loose particles of earth. The snail without wings, feet, or thread, adheres to a stalk by a provision of sticking-plaster. The lobster, as he grows, is furnished with a way of uncasing himself of his buckler, and drawing his legs out of his boots when they become too small for him.
In this unambitious manner does Paley prosecute his high theme, drawing, as it were, philosophy from the clouds. But it is not merely the fund of entertaining knowledge which the Natural Theology contains, or the admirable address displayed in the adaption of it, which fits it for working conviction; the "sunshine of the breast," the cheerful spirit with which its benevolent author goes on his way ([Greek: kudei gaion],) this it is that carries the coldest reader captive, and constrains him to confess within himself, and even in spite of himself, "it is good for me to be here."
...We mourn over the leaves of our peaches and plum-trees, as they wither under a blight. What does Paley see in this? A legion of animated beings (for such is a blight) claiming their portion of the bounty of Nature, and made happy by our comparatively trifling privation, We are tortured by bodily pain,—Paley himself was so, even at the moment that he was thus nobly vindicating God's wisdom and ways. What of that? Pain is not the object of contrivance—no anatomist ever dreamt of explaining any organ of the body on the principle of the thumb screw; it is itself productive of good; it is seldom both violent, and long continued; and then its pauses and intermissions become positive pleasures. "It has the power of shedding a satisfaction over intervals of ease, which I believe," says this true philosopher, "few enjoyments exceed." The returns of an hospital in his neighbourhood lie before him. Does he conjure up the images of Milton's lazar-house, and sicken at the spectacle of human suffering? No—he finds the admitted 6,420—the dead, 234—the cured, 5,476; his eye settles upon the last, and he is content.
There is nothing in the world which has not more handles than one; and it is of the greatest consequence to get a habit of taking hold by the best. The bells speak as we make them; "how many a tale their music tells!" Hogarth's industrious apprentice might hear in them that he should be "Lord Mayor of London"—the idle apprentice that he should be hanged at Tyburn. The landscape looks as we see it; if we go to meet a friend, every distant object assumes his shape—
"In great and small, and round and square, 'Tis Johnny, Johnny, every where."
Crabbe's lover passed over the very same heath to his mistress and from her; yet as he went, all was beauty—as he returned all was blank. The world does not more surely provide different kinds of food for different animals, than it furnishes doubts to the sceptic and hopes to the believer, as he takes it. The one, in an honest and good heart, pours out the box of ointment on a Saviour's head—the other, in the pride of his philosophy, only searches into it for a dead fly.—Q. Rev.
* * * * *
"ALL FOR THE BEST."
When Bernard Gilpin was summoned up to London to give an account of himself and his creed before Bonner, he chanced to break his leg on the way; and, on some persons retorting upon him a favourite saying of his own, "that nothing happens to us but what is intended for our good," and asking him whether it was for his good that he had broken his leg, he answered, "that he made no question but it was." And so it turned out, for before he was able to travel again, Queen Mary died, and he was set at liberty.
* * * * *
Men keep their word simply because it is right to do so. They feel it is right, and ask no further questions. Conscience carries along with it its own authority—its own credentials. The depraved appetites may rebel against it, but they are aware that it is rebellion.—Q. Rev.
* * * * *
M. Pacho, the African traveller, lately arrived at Marmorica, when the rains had commenced, and the ground was preparing for the seed, and was admitted to all the rites of Arab hospitality. Invited to a great feast, he was regaled with the usual dainty of a sheep roasted whole, and eaten with the fingers; while girls, dressed as Caryatides, presented a large vase of milk, which was passed round to the company. All that was expected in return was to cover bits of paper with writing, and thus convert them into amulets; for, in his capacity of sorcerer, the Christian is supposed to possess supernatural powers.—Edinburgh Rev.
* * * * *
IMPROMPTU ON WASTE.
By the late Edward Knight, Esq. of Drury-Lane Theatre.
Oh! waste thou not the smallest thing Created by Divinity; For grains of sand the mountains make, And atomics infinity. Waste thou not, then, the smallest time— 'Tis imbecile infirmity; For well thou know'st, if aught thou know'st, That seconds form eternity.
Forget Me Not—1829.
* * * * *
G.A. Steevens says an election is "madman's holiday;" but in the last Quarterly Review we find the following ludicrous supplemental illustration.
Let a stranger be introduced, for the first time, to an election, let him be shown a multitude of men reeling about the streets of a borough-town, fighting within an inch of their lives, smashing windows at the Black Bear, or where
"High in the street, o'erlooking all the place, The Rampant Lion shows his kingly face;"
and yelling like those animals in Exeter 'Change at supper time; and then let him be told that these worthies are choosing the senate of England—persons to make the laws that are to bind them and their children, property, limb, and life, and he would certainly think the process unpropitious. Yet, in spite of it all, a number of individuals are thus collected, who transact the business of the nation, and represent its various interests tolerably well. The machinery is hideous but it produces not a bad article.
* * * * *
In Spain, there are few or no schools in the villages and small towns, that would have the effect of releasing the minds of the natives from monkish tyranny, which at present influences their principles, and biasses their choice, with regard to political, and indeed almost all other pursuits. Nor is any attention paid to trade. The peasantry simply exist, like cattle, without any other signs of exertion, than such as the necessity of food requires. They have no idea of rising in the world; and where there is no interest there is no activity.
It appears, that in the North of Spain, so little encouragement is given to the arts, that even physicians are not able to obtain support; that prints are unsaleable, and no new publications appear but newspapers; that the tradesmen neglect their persons, very seldom shaving, and having frequently a cigar in their mouths; that the breath of the ladies smells of garlick; that the gentlemen smoke cigars in bed; that there is hardly a single manufactory in the kingdom belonging to a native in a flourishing state; that, from recent political events, the flocks have been neglected, and the wool deteriorated; that cleanliness is neglected, and rats and mice unmolested; that the porters of the most respectable houses are cobblers, who work at their trades at their doors; that women are employed in loading and unloading ships; and that they, as well as the servants in houses, carry every thing on their heads, even lighted candles, without the least fear of their being extinguished; that oxen are tied to carts by their horns; that in the inns, generally, no one can read or write but the landlords; that the constitutional soldiers, for their fare, generally took a leathern bag, (barracho,) and got it filled with red wine as sour as vinegar; not appearing to wish for meat, bread and cheese, with boiled soup, onions, and garlick, forming the substance of their frugal repasts; that no memorial is erected on the spot where the battle of Vittoria was fought in 1813; and that, in fact, there is no national feeling in the country.
* * * * *
THE EQUIVOCAL GENTLEMAN
Must always keep his dignity, for his dignity will not keep him. We have no objection to meet him at a dress party, or at the quarter sessions, nor to read his articles in the Edinburgh, the Quarterly, or the British Critic; but we request not his contributions for Maga, nor will Mr. North send him a general invitation to the Noctes.—Blackwood's Mag.
* * * * *
The lowest temperature witnessed by Capt. Franklin in North America was on the 7th of February, of the second winter passed on the shores of Bear Lake. At eight in the morning, the mercury in the thermometer descended to 58 deg. below zero; it had stood at -57.5 deg., and -57.3 deg. in the course of that and the preceding day; between the 5th and the 8th, its general state was from -48 deg. to -52 deg., though it occasionally rose to -43 deg.. At the temperature of -52.2 deg., Mr. Kendall froze some mercury in the mould of a pistol-bullet, and fired it against a door at the distance of six paces. A small portion of the mercury penetrated to the depth of one-eighth of an inch, but the remainder only just lodged in the wood. The extreme height of the mercury in the tube was from 71 deg. at noon to 73 deg. at three o'clock.—Quarterly Rev.
* * * * *
Of all the species of wit, punning was one which Dr. Parr disliked, and in which he seldom indulged; and yet some instances of it have been related. Reaching a book from a high shelf in his library, two other books came tumbling down; of which one, a critical work of Lambert Bos, fell upon the other, which was a volume of Hume. "See!" said he, "what has happened—procumbit humi bos." On another occasion, sitting in his room, suffering under the effects of a slight cold, when too strong a current was let in upon him, he cried out, "Stop, stop, that is too much. I am at present only par levibus ventis." At another time, a gentleman having asked him to subscribe to Dr. Busby's translation of Lucretius, he declined to do so, saying it would cost too much money; it would indeed be "Lucretius carus."—Field's Memoirs.
* * * * *
Houbraken, as the late Lord Orford justly observes, "was ignorant of our history, uninquisitive into the authenticity of the drawings which were transmitted to him, and engraved whatever was sent;" adducing two instances, namely, Carr, Earl of Somerset, and Secretary Thurloe, as not only spurious, but not having the least resemblance to the persons they pretend to represent. An anonymous but evidently well informed writer (in the Gentleman's Magazine) further states, that "Thurloe's, and about thirty of the others, are copied from heads painted for no one knows whom."—Lodge's Illustrated Biography.
* * * * *
Every reader of taste knows that "glance from earth to heaven" which pervades the Georgics throughout, and that poetical almanack which the poet has made use of for pointing out the various seasons for the different operations of husbandry. Will it be believed that his Spanish translator has actually taken the trouble to convert these indications into days of the month, and inserted the result of his labours in the text?
* * * * *
The light that beams from woman's eye. And sparkles through her tear, Responds to that impassion'd sigh Which love delights to hear. 'Tis the sweet language of the soul, On which a voice is hung, More eloquent than ever stole From saint's or poet's tongue.
Forget Me Not—1829.
* * * * *
"NIMIUM NE CREDE COLORI."
Jack Taylor once said to a water-drinking person, with a purple face, "better things might prima facie be expected."
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
Of Mr. Abernethy's independence and strict veneration of what is right, we have many examples. Among others, the following is characteristic:—A certain noble personage, now enjoying a situation of great responsibility in the Sister Kingdom, had been waiting for a long time in the surgeon's anteroom, when, seeing those who had arrived before him, successively called in, he became somewhat impatient, and sent his card in. No notice was taken of the hint; he sent another card—another—another—and another; still no answer. At length he gained admission in his turn; and, full of nobility and choler, he asked, rather aristocratically, why he had been kept waiting so long?—"Wh—ew!" responded the professor; "because you didn't come sooner, to be sure. And now, if your lordship will sit down, I will hear what you have to say."
One thing Mr. Abernethy cannot abide, that is, any interruption to his discourse. This it is, in fact, which so often irritates him, so often causes him to snarl.—"People come here," he has often said to us, "to consult me, and they will torture me with their long and foolish fiddle-de-dee stories; so we quarrel, and then they blackguard me all about this large town; but I can't help that."
That Abernethy is odd all the world knows, but his oddity is far more amusing than repulsive, far more playful than bearish. Yates's picture of him last year was not bad; neither was it good—it wanted the raciness of the original. Let the reader imagine a smug, elderly, sleek, and venerable-looking man, approaching seventy years of age, rather (as novel-writers say) below than above the middle height, somewhat inclined to corpulency, and upright in his carriage withal; with his hair most primly powdered, and nicely curled round his brow and temples: let them imagine such a person habited in sober black, with his feet thrust carelessly into a pair of unlaced half-boots, and his hands into the pockets of his "peculiars," and they have the "glorious John" of the profession before their eyes. The following colloquy, which occurred not many days since, between him and a friend of ours, is so characteristic of the professor, that we cannot resist its insertion:—
Having entered the room, our friend "opened the proceedings." "I wish you to ascertain what is the matter with my eye, sir. It is very painful, and I am afraid there is some great mischief going on."—"Which I can't see," said Abernethy, placing the patient before the window, and looking closely at the eye.—"But—" interposed our friend.—"Which I can't see," again said, or rather sung the professor. "Perhaps not, sir, but—"—"Now don't bother!" ejaculated the other; "but sit down, and I'll tell you all about it." Our friend sat down accordingly, while Abernethy, standing with his back against the table, thus began: "I take it for granted that, in consulting me, you wish to know what I should do for myself, were I in a predicament similar to yourself. Now, I have no reason to suppose that you are in any particular predicament; and the terrible mischief which you apprehend, depends, I take it, altogether upon the stomach. Mind,—at present I have no reason to believe that there is any thing else the matter with you." (Here my friend was about to disclose sundry dreadful maladies with which he believed himself afflicted, but he was interrupted with "Diddle-dum, diddle-dum, diddle-dum dee!" uttered in the same smooth tone as the previous part of the address—and he was silent.)—"Now, your stomach being out of order, it is my duty to explain to you how to put it to rights again; and, in my whimsical way, I shall give you an illustration of my position; for I like to tell people something that they will remember. The kitchen, that is, your stomach, being out of order, the garret (pointing to the head) cannot be right, and egad! every room in the house becomes affected. Repair the injury in the kitchen,—remedy the evil there,—(now don't bother,) and all will be right. This you must do by diet. If you put improper food into your stomach, by Gad you play the very devil with it, and with the whole machine besides. Vegetable matter ferments, and becomes gaseous; while animal substances are changed into a putrid, abominable, and acrid stimulus. (Don't bother again!) You are going to ask, 'What has all this to do with my eye?' I will tell you. Anatomy teaches us, that the skin is a continuation of the membrane which lines the stomach; and your own observation will inform you, that the delicate linings of the mouth, throat, nose, and eyes, are nothing more. Now some people acquire preposterous noses, others blotches on the face and different parts of the body, others inflammation of the eyes—all arising from irritation of the stomach. People laugh at me for talking so much about the stomach. I sometimes tell this story to forty different people of a morning, and some won't listen to me; so we quarrel, and they go and abuse me all over the town. I can't help it—they came to me for my advice, and I give it them, if they will take it. I can't do any more. Well, sir, as to the question of diet. I must refer you to my book. (Here the professor smiled, and continued smiling as he proceeded.) There are only about a dozen pages—and you will find, beginning at page 73, all that it is necessary for you to know. I am christened 'Doctor My-Book,' and satirized under that name all over England; but who would sit and listen to a long lecture of twelve pages, or remember one-half of it when it was done? So I have reduced my directions into writing, and there they are for any body to follow, if they please.
"Having settled the question of diet, we now come to medicine. It is, or ought to be, the province of a medical man to soothe and assist Nature, not to force her. Now, the only medicine I should advise you to take, is a dose of a slight aperient medicine every morning the first thing. I won't stipulate for the dose, as that must be regulated by circumstances, but you must take some; for without it, by Gad; your stomach will never be right. People go to Harrowgate, and Buxton, and Bath, and the devil knows where, to drink the waters, and they return full of admiration at their surpassing efficacy. Now these waters contain next to nothing of purgative medicine; but they are taken readily, regularly, and in such quantities, as to produce the desired effect. You must persevere in this plan, sir, until you experience relief, which you certainly will do. I am often asked—'Well, but Mr. Abernethy, why don't you practise what you preach?' I answer, by reminding the inquirer of the parson and the signpost: both point the way, but neither follow its course."—And thus ended a colloquy, wherein is mingled much good sense, useful advice, and whimsicality.—New Monthly Magazine.
* * * * *
Whether from India's burning plains, Or wild Bohemia's domains Your steps were first directed:— Or whether ye be Egypt's sons, Whose stream, like Nile's for ever runs With sources undetected,—
Arab's of Europe! Gipsy race! Your Eastern manners, garb, and face Appear a strange chimera; None, none but you can now be styled Romantic, picturesque, and wild, In this prosaic era.
Ye sole freebooters of the wood Since Adam Bell and Robin Hood— Kept every where asunder From other tribes—King, Church, and State Spurning, and only dedicate To freedom, sloth, and plunder. Your forest-camp—the forms one sees Banditti like amid the trees, The ragged donkies grazing, The Sibyl's eye prophetic, bright With flashes of the fitful light, Beneath the caldron blazing,—
O'er my young mind strange terrors threw: Thy history gave me Moore Carew! A more exalted notion Of Gipsy life, nor can I yet Gaze on your tents, and quite forget My former deep emotion.
For "auld lang syne" I'll not maltreat Yon pseudo-Tinker, though the Cheat, Ay sly as thievish Reynard, Instead of mending kettles, prowls To make foul havock of my fowls, And decimate my hen-yard.
Come thou, too, black-eyed lass, and try That potent skill in palmistry. Which sixpences can wheedle; Mine is a friendly cottage—here No snarling mastiff need you fear, No Constable or Beadle.
'Tis yours, I know, to draw at will Upon Futurity a bill, And Plutus to importune:— Discount the bill—take half yourself Give me the balance of the pelf. And both may laugh at fortune.
* * * * *
The Rev. George Harvest, of Trinity College, Cambridge, having been private tutor to the Duke of Richmond, was invited to dine with the old duchess, and to accompany her party to the play. He used to travel with a night-cap in his pocket, and having occasion for a handkerchief at the theatre, made use of his cap for that purpose. In one of his reveries, however, it fell from the side-box, where he was sitting, into the pit, where a wag, who picked it up, hoisted it upon the end of a stick, that it might be claimed by its rightful proprietor. Judge of the consternation of a large party of ladies of rank and fashion, when George Harvest rose in the midst of them, and claimed the night-cap (which was somewhat greasy from use) by the initials G.H., which were legibly marked on it. The cap was restored to him amidst shouts of laughter, that ran through the pit to the great discomfiture of the duchess and the rest of the party.—Ibid.
* * * * *
* * * * *
(From the Treatise on Electricity—in the Library of Useful Knowledge.)
The colours produced by the electric explosion of metals have been applied to impress letters or ornamental devices on silk and on paper. For this purpose Mr. Singer directs that the outline of the required figure should be first traced on thick drawing paper, and afterwards cut out in the manner of stencil plates. The drawing paper is then placed on the silk or paper intended to be marked; a leaf of gold is laid upon it, and a card over that; the whole is then placed in a press or under a weight, and a charge from a battery sent through the gold leaf. The stain is confined by the interposition of the drawing paper to the limit of the design, and in this way a profile, a flower, or any other outline figure may be very neatly impressed.
Most combustible bodies are capable of being inflamed by electricity, but more especially if it be made to strike against them in the form of a spark or shock obtained by an interrupted circuit, as by the interposition of a stratum of air. In this way may alcohol, ether, camphor, powdered resin, phosphorus, or gunpowder be set fire to. The inflammation of oil of turpentine will be promoted by strewing upon it fine particles of brass filings. If the spirit of wine be not highly rectified, it will generally be necessary previously to warm it, and the same precaution must be taken with other fluids, as oil and pitch; but it is not required with ether, which usually inflames very readily. But on the other hand, it is to be remarked that the temperature of the body which communicates the spark appears to have no sensible influence on the heat produced by it. Thus the sparks taken from a piece of ice are as capable of inflaming bodies as those from a piece of red-hot iron. Nor is the heating power of electricity in the smallest degree diminished by its being conducted through any number of freezing mixtures which are rapidly absorbing heat from surrounding bodies.
* * * * *
A new invention for heating rooms has met with much encouragement in Paris. A piece of quick-lime dipped into water, and shut hermetically into a box constructed for the purpose, is said to give almost a purgatory-heat, and prevent the necessity of fire during winter.—Lit. Gaz.
* * * * *
AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS
* * * * *
TO RENDER MEN HONEST, RESPECTABLE, AND HAPPY.
By Sir Richard Phillips.
All members of the human family should remember, that the human race is, as to time and nature, but as one totality; for, since every man and woman had two parents, each parent two parents, and so on in geometrical progression, hence every individual, high or low, must necessarily be descended from every individual of the whole population as it existed but a few hundred years before, whether they were high or low, virtuous or abandoned; while every procreative individual of the existing race must be the actual progenitor of the entire race which may exist at the same distance of future time. What motives for charity, for forbearing from injuries, for benevolence, for universal love.
* * * * *
The bed of sickness, with its increased sensibility of nerves, is a delicate test of man's conscience, and of self-approbation or reprobation. Requiring sympathy himself, he now sympathizes with others; and, unable to direct his thoughts to external things, they are forced upon himself. Great is then his solace, and efficacious his medicines, if he has no other reflections than such as are supplied by his justice, liberality, and benevolence; but accumulated will be his sufferings, and dangerous the result, if crimes and misdeeds force themselves at such a time on his mind; while in any delirium of fever he will rave on those subjects, and, without vision, will often perceive, by the mere excitement of his brain, the spectres of the injured making grimaces before him.
* * * * *
If you are rich, and want to enjoy the exalted luxury of relieving distress, go to the Bankrupt Court, to the Court for Insolvent Debtors, to the gaols, the work-houses, and the hospitals. If you are rich and childless, and want heirs, look to the same assemblages of misfortune; for all are not culpable who appear in the Bankrupt and Insolvent Lists; nor all criminal who are found in gaols; nor all improvident who are inmates of work-houses and hospitals. On the contrary, in these situations, an alloy of vice is mixed with virtue enough to afford materials for as deep tragedies as ever poet fancied or stage exhibited; and visiters of relief would act the part of angels descending from Heaven among men, whose chief affliction is the neglect of unthinking affluence.
* * * * *
Marriage is a circumstance of life, which, in its actual course, involves the feelings and fortunes of human beings more than any other event of their lives. It is a connexion generally formed by inexperience, under the blindness and caprice of passion; and, though these conditions cannot be avoided, as forming the bases of the connexion, yet it is so important, that a man is never ruined who has an interesting, faithful, and virtuous wife; while he is lost to comfort, fortune, and even to hope, who has united himself to a vicious and unprincipled one. The fate of woman is still more intimately blended with that of her husband; for, being in the eyes of the law and the world but second to him, she is the victim of his follies and vices at home, and of his ill success and degradation abroad. Rules are useless, where passions, founded on trifling associations and accidents, govern; but much mischief often results from fathers expecting young men to be in the social position of old ones, and from present fortune being preferred to virtues; for industry and talent, stimulated by affection, and fostered by family interests, soon create competency and fortune; while a connexion founded on mere wealth, which is often speedily wasted by dissipation, habits of extravagance, and the chances of life, necessarily ends in disappointment, disgust, and misery.
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Wretched is the man who has no employment but to watch his own digestions; and who, on waking in the morning, has no useful occupation of the day presented to his mind. To such a one respiration is a toil, and existence a continued disease. Self-oblivion is his only resource, indulgence in alcohol in various disguises his remedy, and death or superstition his only comfort and hope. For what was he born, and why does he live? are questions which he constantly asks himself; and his greatest enigmas are the smiling faces of habitual industry, stimulated by the wants of the day, or fears for the future. If he is excited to exertion, it is commonly to indulge some vicious propensity, or display his scorn of those pursuits which render others happier than himself. If he seek to relieve his inanity in books, his literature ascends no higher than the romances, the newspapers, or the scandal, of the day; and all the nobler pursuits of mind, as well as body, are utterly lost in regard to him. His passage through life is like that of a bird through the air, and his final cause appears merely to be that of sustaining the worms in his costly tomb.
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The decline of life, and the retrospections of old age, furnish unequivocal tests of worthiness and unworthiness. Happy is the man, who, after a well-spent life, can contemplate the rapid approach of his last year with the consciousness that, if he were born again, he could not, under all the circumstances of his worldly position, have done better, and who has inflicted no injuries for which it is too late to atone. Wretched, on the contrary, is he, who is obliged to look back on a youth of idleness and profligacy, on a manhood of selfishness and sensuality, and on a career of hypocrisy, of insensibility, of concealed crime, and of injustice above the reach of law. Visit both during the decay of their systems, observe their feelings and tempers, view the followers at their funerals, count the tears on their graves; and, after such a comparison, in good time make your own choice.
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Constant change is the feature of society. The world is like a magic lantern, or the shifting scenes in a pantomime. TEN YEARS convert the population of schools into men and women, the young into fathers and matrons, make and mar fortunes, and bury the last generation but one. TWENTY YEARS convert infants into lovers, and fathers and mothers, render youth the operative generation, decide men's fortunes and distinctions, convert active men into crawling drivellers, and bury all the preceding generation. THIRTY YEARS raise an active generation from nonentity, change fascinating beauties into merely bearable old women, convert lovers into grandfathers and grandmothers, and bury the active generation, or reduce them to decrepitude and imbecility. FORTY YEARS, alas! change the face of all society; infants are growing old, the bloom of youth and beauty has passed away, two active generations have been swept from the stage of life, names so cherished are forgotten, and unsuspected candidates for fame have started from the exhaustless womb of nature. FIFTY YEARS! why should any desire to retain their affections from maturity for fifty years? It is to behold a world which they do not know, and to which they are unknown; it is to live to weep for the generations passed away, for lovers, for parents, for children, for friends, in the grave; it is to see every thing turned upside down by the fickle hand of fortune, and the absolute despotism of time; it is, in a word, to behold the vanity of human life in all its varieties of display!
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A snapper up of unconsidered trifles. SHAKSPEARE.
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Commentators have puzzled themselves to find out Falstaff's sherries sack: there can be no doubt but that it was dry sherry, and the French word sec dry, corrupted into sack. In a poem printed in 1619, sack and sherry are noted throughout as synonymous, every stanza of twelve ending—
Give me sack, old sack, boys, To make the muses merry, The life of mirth, and the joy of the earth, Is a cup of old sherry.
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By a Student of the University of Dublin. Cum ita semper me amares, How to reward you all my care is, Consilium tibi do imprimis For I believe that short my time is; Amice Admodum amande, Pray thee leave off thy drinking brandy, Video qua sorte jaceo hic, 'Tis all for that, O sick! O sick! Mors mea, vexat matrem piam, No dog was e'er so sick as I am. Secundo mi amice bone, My breeches take, but there's no money, Et vestes etiam tibi dentur, If such old things to wear you'll venture; Pediculos si potes pellas, But they are sometimes prince's fellows; Accipe libros etiam musam, If I had lived I ne'er had used them, Spero quod his contentus eris, For I've a friend almost as dear is, Vale ne plus tibi detur. But send her up, Jack, if you meet her.
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OLD ST. PAUL'S.
In the old cathedral of St. Paul, walks were laid out for merchants, as in the Royal Exchange. Thus, "the south alley for usurye, and poperye; the north for simony and the horse fair; in the middest for all kinds of bargains, meetings, brawlings, murthers, conspiracies; and the font for ordinary paiements of money, are so well knowne to all menne as the beggar knows his dishe."
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THE LINCOLNSHIRE EEL,
A bit of Munchausen.
In the year 1702, there was a universal complaint among the feeders of cattle in the fens, that they frequently lost a horse, an ox, or a cow, and could not discover by what means; when watching more narrowly, they observed a horse, and presently after a cow, go to the river to drink, and suddenly disappear. On going to the river-side they saw an eel, the body of which was as large as an elephant. They could not doubt but this was the thief who had so often robbed them of their cattle, and they very reasonably concluded if they could catch the eel, their cattle would henceforth drink in safety. A council being called among the farmers, they determined upon the following expedient:—They sent to London and purchased a cable and anchor, by way of fishing-line and hook, and roasted a young bullock, with which they baited the hook, and fastened the end of the cable round a barn, which stood about a hundred feet from the river, and then waited to see what the morning would produce. At break of day they repaired to the riverside, when, to their great astonishment, they found that the eel had been there and swallowed the bait, but in endeavouring to disengage himself, had pulled the barn after him into the river, and having broken the cable, made his escape.
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With the present is published a SUPPLEMENTARY NUMBER, containing the SPIRIT of "the ANNUALS" for 1829—with Critical Notices of their Engravings and Literary Contents, copious Selections, and Unique Extracts, and a FINE ENGRAVING from a splendid subject; in one of the most popular of these elegant works.
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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 6 Edward, by Dr. Moore 2 0 Roderick Random 2 6 The Mysteries of Udolpho 3 6