THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
No. 354.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
THE COLOSSEUM, IN THE REGENT'S PARK.
In a recent Number of the MIRROR we offered ourselves as the reader's cicerone throughout the interior of this stupendous building, the exterior of which is represented in the annexed engraving; and the architectural pretensions of which will, we trust, be found of equal interest to the interior.
The Colosseum is what is termed a polygon of sixteen sides, 130 feet in diameter. Each angle is strengthened by a double square pilaster of the Doric order, which supports an entablature, continued round the whole edifice. Above the cornice is a blocking course, surmounted by an attic, with an appropriate cornice and sub-blocking, to add to the height of the building. The whole is crowned with a majestic cupola, supported by three receding scamilli, or steps, and finished with an immense open circle. The upper part of the cupola is glazed, and protected with fine wire-work, and the lower part is covered with sheet copper; which distinctions are shown in the engraving.
When the spectator's surprise and admiration at the vastness of the building have somewhat subsided, his attention will be drawn to the fine and harmonious proportions of the portico, considered by architects as one of the best specimens of Graeco-Doric in the metropolis. This portion of the building is copied from the portico of the Pantheon at Rome, "which, in the harmony of its proportions, and the exquisite beauty of its columns, surpasses every temple on the earth." Altogether, the grandeur and effect of this vast structure should be seen to be duly appreciated.
The adjoining lodges are in exceedingly good taste; and the plantations laid out by Mr. Hornor, are equally pleasing, whilst their verdure relieves the massiveness of the building; and in the engraving, the artist has caught a glimpse of the lattice-work which encloses the gardens and conservatories attached to the splendid suite of rooms. The front is enclosed by handsome iron rails, tastefully painted in imitation of bronze. We ought also to mention, that the means by which the portico is made to resemble immense blocks of stone, is peculiarly successful.
The architect of this extraordinary building is Mr. Decimus Burton, aided by his ingenious employer, Mr. Hornor, of whose taste and talents we have already spoken in terms of high commendation. Its original name, or, we should say, its popular name, was the Coliseum, evidently a misnomer, from its distant resemblance to that gigantic work of antiquity. The present and more appropriate name is the COLOSSEUM, in allusion to its colossal dimensions; for it would not show much discernment to erect a building like the Pantheon, and call it the Coliseum. The term Diorama has, likewise, been strangely corrupted since its successful adoption in the Regent's Park—it being now almost indefinitely applied to any number or description of paintings.
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SNEEZING AMONG THE ANCIENTS.
(For the Mirror.)
Among the Greeks, sneezing was reckoned a good omen. The practice of saluting the person who sneezed, existed in Africa, among nations unknown to the Greeks and Romans. Brown, in his "Vulgar Errors," says, "We read in Godignus, that, upon a sneeze of the emperor of Monumotata, there passed acclamations successively through the city." The author of the "Conquest of Peru" assures us, that the cacique of Guachoia having sneezed in the presence of the Spaniards, the Indians of his train fell prostrate before him, stretched forth their hands, and displayed to him the accustomed marks of respect, while they invoked the sun to enlighten him, to defend him, and to be his constant guard. The Romans saluted each other on sneezing. Plutarch tells us, the genius of Socrates informed him by sneezing, when it was necessary to perform any action. The young Parthenis, hurried on by her passions, resolved to write to Sarpedon an avowal of her love: she sneezes in the most tender and impassioned part of her letter. This is sufficient for her; this incident supplies the place of an answer, and persuades her that Sarpedon is her lover. In the Odyssey, we are informed that Penelope, harassed by the vexatious courtship of her suitors, begins to curse them all, and to pour forth vows for the return of Ulysses. Her son Telemachus interrupts her by a loud sneeze. She instantly exults with joy, and regards this sign as an assurance of the approaching return of her husband. Xenophon was haranguing his troops; when a soldier sneezed in the moment he was exhorting them to embrace a dangerous but necessary resolution. The whole army, moved by this presage, determined to pursue the project of their general; and Xenophon orders sacrifices to Jupiter, the preserver. This religious reverence for sneezing, so ancient and so universal even in the time of Homer, always excited the curiosity of the Greek philosophers and the rabbins. These last spread a tradition, that, after the creation of the world, God made a law to this purport, that every man should sneeze but once in his life, and that at the same instant he should render up his soul into the hands of his Creator, without any preceding indisposition. Jacob obtained an exemption from the common law, and the favour of being informed of his last hour. He sneezed, and did not die; and this sign of death was changed into a sign of life. Notice of this was sent to all the princes of the earth; and they ordained, that in future sneezing should be accompanied with forms of blessings, and vows for the persons who sneezed. Thus the custom of blessing persons who sneeze is of higher antiquity than some authors suppose, for several writers affirm that it commenced in the year 750, under Pope Gregory the Great, when a pestilence occurred in which those who sneezed died; whence the pontiff appointed a form of prayer, and a wish to be said to persons sneezing, for averting this fatality from them. Some say Prometheus was the first that wished well to sneezers. For further information on this ticklish subject, I refer the reader to Brand's "Observations on Popular Antiquities." P. T. W.
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(Written on a stone, part of the ruins of Chertsey Abbey, Surrey.)
(For the Mirror.)
From gayer scenes, where pleasure's mad career Infects the milder avenues of thought, Where secret Envy swells the note of Fear, And Hope is in its own illusion caught.
Where, in Ambition's thorny path of power, Contending votaries bow to toils of state, I turn, regardless of the passing hour, To trace the havoc of avenging fate.
Ne'er may the wanton love of active life Control the sage's precepts of repose, Ne'er may the murmurs of tumultuous strife Wreck the tranquillity of private woes.
Here, on the crumbling relics of a stone, O'er which the pride of masonry has smiled, Here am I wont to ruminate alone. And pause, in Fancy's airy robe beguil'd.
Disparting time the towers of ages bends, Forms and indignant sinks the proudest plan, O'er the neglected path the weed extends, Nor heeds the wandering steps of thoughtful man.
Here expiation, murder has appeased, Treason and homicide have been forgiven, Pious credulity her votaries eased, Nor blamed th' indulgent majesty of heaven.
Some erring matron has her crimes disclosed, Some father conscious of awak'ning fate, Safe from revenge, hath innocence reposed, Unseen and undisturbed at others' hate.
Some sorrowing virgin her complainings poured With pious hope has many a pang relieved; Here the faint pilgrim to his rest restored, The scanty boon of luxury has received.
Sated with conquest from the noise of arms, The aged warrior with his fame retired, Careless of thirsty spoil,—of war's alarms— Nor with imperial emulation fired.
Where once her orisons devotion paid By fear, or hope, or reverence inspired, The sad solicitude of youth allay'd, And age in resignation calm attired.
The houseless cottager from wind severe, His humble habitation oft has made; Once gloomy penitence sat silent there, And midnight tapers gleam'd along the shade.
The lonely shepherd here has oft retired, To count his flock and tune his rustic lay, Where loud Hosannas distant ears inspired, And saintly vespers closed the solemn day.
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(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
The world being supplied with books by machinery is almost, literally, a fact. Type-founding and stereotyping are, of course, mechanical processes; and lately, Dr. Church, of Boston, invented a plan for composing (setting the types) by machinery; the sheets are printed by steam; the paper is made by machinery; and pressed and beaten for binding by a machine of very recent date. Little more remains to be done than to write by machinery; and, to judge by many recent productions, a spinning-jenny would be the best engine for this purpose.
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(For the Mirror.)
In a matter-of-fact age like the present, methinks it behoves every man to apply the improvements of scientific research as much as possible to the ordinary concerns of life. Science and society may thus be called at par, and philosophical theory will hence enlighten the practical tradesman.
To demonstrate the truth of the above remarks, I mean, with the editor's leave, to prove the necessity of keeping a friend in one's pocket, upon the principles of gravitation, according to Sir Isaac Newton's "Principia."
The learned doctor has mathematically proved that all bodies gravitate or incline to the centre. It is on this principle only that we can account for our being fixed to the earth; that we are surrounded by the atmosphere; and that we are constantly attended by, and seem constantly to attend, the planets around us.
Should any farther demonstration be necessary than the incomparable Sir Isaac has himself furnished us with, let any sceptic who doubts that the earth attracts all smaller bodies towards its centre, only take a hop from the Monument or St. Paul's, and he will soon find the power of gravitation, and die by the truth of the experiment.
But what, methinks, exclaims the reader, has all this to do with the proposition in hand, viz. the necessity of keeping a friend in one's pocket? Why, I'll tell you—from a due consideration of this very principle, you will soon see the use of a man's keeping his money in his pocket. It is this alone (the pocket) which nowadays constitutes the centre of friendship; there alone, therefore, must this most valuable, most faithful of all friends (money) be deposited. Now if this friend be of magnitude, he will soon collect many more around you, who, true as the needle to the pole, will point to you from every quarter—friends who will smile in your prosperity, bask in the sunshine of your glory, dance while you pay the piper, and to the very ground will be "votre tres humble serviteur, monsieur." But if by sickness, misfortune, generosity, or the like, this friend be removed from your pocket, the centre is destroyed, the equilibrium is lost, away fly your friends, and, like pelicans, turn their beaks at your breast whenever you approach. "It is your own fault, fellow; you might have done well if you would; but you are an ass, and could not keep a friend when you had him; and so you may die in a ditch, and go to the devil, my dear."
The man of affluence, who lavishes away his substance, may aptly enough be likened to a porpoise sporting in the ocean—the smaller fry play around him, admire his dexterity, fan his follies, glory in his gambols; but let him once be enmeshed in the net of misfortune, and they who foremost fawned under his fins, will first fall foul of him.
Now, to illustrate the subject further, let us consider the advantages arising from this practical use of gravitation, and the losses attendant upon the neglect thereof. First, then, he who has secured this friend in his pocket, may go when he pleases, and where he pleases, and how he pleases, either on foot or on horseback, by barouche or by boat, and he shall be respected and esteemed, and called sir, and made welcome in every season and in every place, and no one shall presume to say unto him, Why doest thou these things?
But a man that hath not this friend in his pocket, may not go when, where, and how he pleases, but when, where, and how he is directed by others. Moreover he shall travel on foot, and perchance without shoes, and not have the benefit of a horse, barouche, or boat; and moreover he shall be called sirrah, and not sir; neither shall he be esteemed nor respected, nor made welcome; and they shall say unto him, "Don't be troublesome, fellow; get out of the way, for thou hast no business here!"
The rich man shall be clothed in scarlet, and get whatsoever his heart desires; and the people shall give him the wall, and bow before him to the ground. But the poor man shall be clad in rags, and walk in the dirt, regarded by no man; nor shall he even purchase to himself a name, though the composition thereof consist only of air!
This is the state of modern times—such our modern friendship; and since, gentle reader, it is so, who, possessing one grain of common sense, would not duly attend to the theory of gravitation, by taking care of a friend while he has him, especially if he be so portable as to be placed in one's pocket.
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THE DREAM OF POESY.—A FRAGMENT.
BY LEIGH CLIFFE,
Author of "Parga," "Knights of Ritzberg," &c.
(For the Mirror.)
I had a vision fair and bright, And when I waken'd I was griev'd To own 'twas but a dream of night, And sigh'd to find my hopes deceivd. But then o'er my fancy crept, Those who hail'd me while I slept. There were those; of olden time, Milton, wond'rous, wild, sublime— Chaucer, of the many tales; Spenser, soft as summer gales, With a mild and gracious mien Leading on his "Faery Queene." Shakspeare, child of fancy, stood Smiling in a mirthful mood, As tho' he that moment spied The fairy folk by Bottom's side, Or beheld by Herne's old oak, Falstaff with his antler yoke. Dryden, laurel-crown'd and hoary, Proudly stood in all his glory; Pope, as if his claims to speak Rested on the ancient Greek; And that prince of merry-men, Laughing, quaffing, "rare old Ben," Whose quaint conceits, so gay, so wild, Have oft my heart from woe beguil'd, Shone like a meteor 'midst the throng, The envy of each son of song. There too were those of later years, Who've moved the mind to mirth or tears: Byron, with his radiant ray— Scott, with many a magic lay— The gay and gorgeous minstrel, Moore, Rich in the charms of Eastern lore— Campbell, like a brilliant star, Shed the beams of "Hope" afar— Rogers, with a smiling eye Told the joys of "Memory," Southey, with his language quaint, Describing daemon, sinner, saint— Wordsworth, of the simpler strain, Clare, the young unletter'd swain— Wiffen, who in fairy bowers, Culls blossoms in "Aonian hours," Shone like a star in dusky skies, When first the evening shades arise. Barton, the gentle bard, was there, And Hemans, tender as she's fair— And Croly, whose bright genius beams Ever on virtue's fairest themes; With Burns, the muse's darling child— And Luttrell, laughing, sportive, wild, As when be penn'd for Julia's eye, His sweet "Advice" for what? for why? And Crabbe, who misery portrays, With crowds of others, crown'd with bays, Who shed around their bright'ning beams, And cheer'd a humbler poet's dreams.
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ANCIENT SITE OF THE EXETER 'CHANGE, &c.
(For the Mirror.)
Here was formerly the parsonage-house for the parish of St. Clement Danes, with a garden and close for the parson's horse, till Sir Thomas Palmer, knight, in the reign of Edward VI., came into the possession of the living, and began to build a house; but upon his attainder for high treason, in the first year of Queen Mary, it reverted to the crown. This house remained in the crown till Queen Elizabeth granted it to Sir William Cecil, lord treasurer, who augmented and rebuilt it, when it was called Cecil House, and Burleigh House. It was said to have been a noble pile, and adorned with four square turrets. It was afterwards called Exeter House, from the title of his son and successor. Lord Burleigh died here in 1598. It fronted the Strand, and its gardens extended from the west side of the garden-wall of Wimbledon House to the Green-lane, which is now Southampton-street. Lord Burleigh was in this house honoured by a visit from Queen Elizabeth, who, knowing him to be subject to the gout, would always make him to sit in her presence, which, it is probable, (says Nightingale,) the lord treasurer considered a gteal indulgence from so haughty a lady, inasmuch as he one day apologized for the badness of his legs. To which the queen replied, "My lord, we make use of you not for the badness of your legs, but for the goodness of your head." When she came to Burleigh House, it is probable she had that kind of pyramidial head-dress then in fashion, built of wire, lace, ribands, and jewels, which shot up to a great height; for when the principal domestic ushered her in, as she passed the threshold he desired her majesty to stoop. To which she replied, "For your master's sake I will stoop, but not for the king of Spain." After the fire of London, this house was occupied by the doctors of civil law, &c. till 1672; and here the various courts of arches, admiralty, &c. were kept. Being deserted by the family, the lower part was converted into shops of various descriptions; the upper part, like Babylon of old, is a nest of wild beasts, birds, and reptiles. The present "march of intellect" will march away these bipeds and quadrupeds, and no doubt the noble Marquess of Exeter "would much rather have their room than their company."
P. T. W.
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MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.
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A DAY AT FONTAINBLEAU.—THE ROYAL HUNT.
Having learned that the King and the Dauphin, with the Duc de Grammont, and the rest of the royal suite, were about to proceed to Fontainbleau, in order to enjoy the diversion of hunting, I resolved to be there to meet them, to see with my own eyes a royal personage of whom I had heard so much. Accordingly I ordered post horses, and arrived in the town about six hours after his Most Christian Majesty.
After breakfasting on a cold partridge and some excellent coffee, I set out at eight o'clock for the forest. Even at that hour—a late one in France, when compared with England—the roads were by no means thronged, and I could very plainly perceive that the major part of the equestrians were attached to the court, and that the pedestrians were either such as had been in the enjoyment of some of the good things of this life under the present family, or such as were in expectancy of them. There was a third class, altogether composed of the mob, who, partly incited by the desire of plunder, the love of idleness, or an indistinct hope of obtaining the entrails of the deer, flocked in great numbers to witness the feats of the royal party. Among this latter class, old men, old women, and very young boys predominated.
The forest of Fontainbleau is in itself beautiful in the extreme. The various alleys formed by the manner in which the oak trees are planted, create an imposing and majestic coup d'oeil, which is only bounded almost by the horizon. At the bottom and in the middle of these alleys were placed mounted gendarmes to restrain the intrusion of the populace, and to prevent them from coming—such is French curiosity—within shot of the hunters. At the end of one of these alleys, to my left, the great body of the crowd was stationed, and at the top of it was an enclosed space, somewhat like a stand on a race course, on which the royal party took their station, while the carriages and servants remained quietly behind. Across this stand, and within the enclosed space, were the roe-buck, fawns, and young wild boar goaded, while the King, the Dauphin, the Duc de Grammont, and the rest of the royal party, had their shots in succession, or, as it is technically termed, their "coup." Ten men were busy charging for the King, while as many were engaged for the Dauphin. Ammunition and cartridges were borne by four attendants, who, as well as the chargers, were all in the livery of the King's huntsmen. As shot after shot passed in quick succession, the sounds fell chiefly on the ears of those among the crowd—and they were the fewer number—who had hearts within them, and to British feeling each reverberation brought a mingled sensation. In England, and in most other nations, whether civilized or savage, when an animal is hunted, some chance at least of escape is given. The reader will bear in mind that the enclosed space around the stand was surrounded by a kind of chevaux de frize, six feet in height, so that the animal had not the least chance of escape, and the work of destruction of course went rapidly on.
Within 300 yards of the stand were placed a number of light carts, whose drivers vociferated loudly at the sound of each shot. These carts were placed for the purpose of carrying away the dead carcasses, as they accumulated in quick succession within the enclosure. In the short interval of four hours I saw twenty-three of these carts filled with the produce of the slaughter, which, amidst deafening yells, was conveyed to the end of one of the alleys, where the bodies were deposited in order as they had been killed. In the first row those killed by the king himself were ranged; and he numbered forty-six roe-bucks, and one marcassin (young wild boar;) the spoil of the dauphin was thirty-eight roe-bucks, being eight less than his royal father, while the rest of the company destroyed among them fifty-four, making a grand total of 138 roes, and one wild boar.
While the carcasses thus remained strewn on the ground, the work of disembowelling quickly proceeded. It was the business of one man to range the game in the order I have mentioned—another ripped open the body with a sharp knife, while a third party, to the amount of a dozen, were engaged in the disembowelling.
The day, which hitherto was bright and glorious, now began to close into evening. The air became keener, and I felt a disposition to leave the forest and return to Fontainbleau. But, though I had heard the king, I had not yet seen him, and my party being anxious to come in contact with royalty, I consented to remain. Presently the crowd began to rush towards the enclosed space, but the gendarmes, ever active, kept them at bay. The multitude, however, despite opposition, ranged themselves into two lines; and, in a few minutes, the signal ran that the king was coming.
His majesty was on foot—he was surrounded by the officers of his household, dressed in a plain, dark-green frock, with a star on his breast. On his head was a small, round, gray hat, full of days, or mayhap years, and of services. His breeches were of the homeliest thickset; and he also wore a pair of large leather gaiters—such as are very common among farmers and peasants in Kent and Sussex. Though the conformation of his figure was not powerful, yet it was muscular and wiry, and he appeared in perfect health.
It was now past five o'clock, and the umbrage of the forest added a deeper tint to the shadows of evening. The air was piercingly cold, and his majesty had been engaged in the sport from six in the morning, without intermission. Untired, however, in the work, the king determined to continue the sport, and accordingly, with his suite, he returned to the enclosed space. In the enclosure his majesty did not long remain. Three separate bevies of deer were let loose—again I heard the fearful shots, and the number was soon filled up. The king again came among the crowd; and, after having given directions about the game, entered his carriage with a hasty step, and at a rapid pace drove off for Fontainbleau.
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THE CONTEMPORARY TRAVELLER.
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Lake Erie has few of the fascinations of scenery to boast of, apart from the large mass of waters it exhibits—in tranquillity, or in motion, sometimes most vehement. It is only at its west end that it is adorned by islands. The Morasses, earthy scaurs, or gentle uplands of its coasts, are only remarkable for their large walnut and buttonwood trees, which, in a dense umbrageous belt, shut out all view of the interior from the traveller on the lake, except at the partial clearances. Neither is the vicinity of this lake agreeable as a residence, in the western half, at least in the summer. The heat then, although not thermometrically extreme, is peculiarly oppressive, relaxing, and long continued. The steaming swamps, which are almost universal, are full of putrifying substances, occasioning the bilious remittents there so prevalent. The water in common use is heated, and ill-tasted. Moskitoes, sand, and black flies abound, and, extending their attacks to the domestic animals, aided by a fly nearly an inch long, almost drive them distracted. There are circumstances also, in social life, which render this region a disagreeable residence, but which are gradually disappearing. Its extreme fertility, the moderate sum of its annual heat, and its facilities of communication with other countries, will, in progress of time, render it the seat of a dense population, and a principal granary of the western continent. Wheat, maize, and tobacco, are cultivated with equal success. The returns of the agriculturist are large, secure, and of excellent quality. The last-named article has been grown in considerable quantity about the river Detroit, near the head of the lake, and favoured, in a small remission of duty, by the British government, is sent to England, after having undergone an inland carriage, to Quebec, of 814 miles. Salt springs exist in almost every township, accompanied, in one or two cases, by large beds of gypsum. Bog iron ore is common on the north-east side of the lake, and is worked. The water communications of these countries are astonishingly easy. Canoes can go from Quebec to Rocky Mountains, to the Arctic Circle, or to the Mexican Gulf, without a portage longer than four miles; and the traveller shall arrive at his journey's end as fresh and as safely as from an English tour of pleasure. It is common for the Erie steam-boat to take goods and passengers from Buffaloe, to Green Bay and Chicago, in Lake Michigan, a distance of nearly 900 miles, touching, at the same time, at many intermediate ports. In about three years, in addition to the canal connecting Lake Erie with tide-water in the Hudson, another will be excavated across the southern dividing ridge, to communicate with the Ohio. Near its place of junction with this river, a canal from the Atlantic, across the Alleghanies, will enter the Ohio. Lake Erie will then also have a steady line of water transport to Baltimore, on the Chesapeake, and New Orleans, on the Mississippi. The surveys, preparatory to these projects, have been in execution for two years; there is no doubt of their practicability.
We cannot even hazard a conjecture as to the number of inhabitants around Lake Erie. They are numerous, and daily augmenting; but with incomparably greater rapidity on the south side of the lake, distributed between the States of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Ohio, which occupies the largest portion, in 1800, had 45,000 inhabitants; in 1810, 250,760, and, in 1820, 581,434. At present, it cannot have less than 750,000 inhabitants, and there is ample room for more. There are few or no Indians on the north borders of the lake. The Mohawks are placed high up the river Ouse, and the Hurons, from four to ten miles up the river Detroit.
The winds are generally either up or down the lake, and in summer they are in the former direction for two-thirds of the time. In the middle of this season they are commonly mild, but occasionally in perfect tornadoes, accompanied with tremendous lightning and heavy rain. The gales begin in October, and are both violent and dangerous. Many lives are lost annually. The winters are mild and short. The inhabitants do not reckon on the ground being covered by snow more than three or four months. They turn their cattle into the woods in March and April, but the lake remains full of floating ice until May. On the 12th of May, 1821, the steam-boat could not proceed on account of the ice. From an adjacent eminence, the lake was seen to be covered with it in one compact mass, as far as the eye could range. As might be expected, remittent and intermittent fevers are very prevalent in the autumn. The febrile action rises high, and there is usually a topical affection conjoined; to this the stimulating diet and frequent use of spirituous liquors, and exposure to heat, mainly conduce.
Brande's Quarterly Journal.
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SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
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Hydrophobia in Foxes.
Foxes become mad occasionally, and there have been examples of dogs, which having been bitten by mad foxes, have not caught the disease. In these cases it has been proved that the stomachs of the foxes were filled with wood, earth, stones, leaves, hair, and other substances improper for nourishment. On the contrary, when the madness has been communicated, the stomach and intestines have been found completely empty. From this difference, it is concluded that hunger is the cause of madness in foxes; and this agrees with the results which occurred during and after the rigorous winter of 1826-7, when these animals, with many others, suffered from want of nourishment.—From the French.
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Slates have recently been employed in France for hastening the ripening of fruits. The effect was first observed on a slate roof; since which the slates have been placed beneath the fruit on walls.
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Hatching Eggs by Hot Mineral Waters.
This curious process has lately been practised with great success in the south of France. It consists in putting the eggs into a small basket, suspending the latter in a stove heated by the hot mineral water, and turning the eggs every day. The first trial was attended with success, and no failure was experienced in four repetitions of it.
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The height of Lake Erie above the Atlantic Ocean, has been ascertained to be 565 feet. The barrier which contains it is so low, that, were it only to rise six feet, it would inundate, on its northern and western borders, seven millions of acres, now partly occupied by towns, villages, and farms; and it is estimated that a further rise of six or eight feet would precipitate a vast flood of waters over the state of Illinois, from the south end of Michigan; the great Canadian Lakes then discharging also into the Mexican Gulf.—Brande's Journal.
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Has done more for our music than musicians may be willing to allow; but it is no more than justice to a despised bird to say, that from it we have derived the minor scale, whose origin has puzzled so many; the cuckoo's couplet being the minor third sung downwards.—Mag. Nat. Hist.
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In the Museum of Natural History at Strasburg, is shown the trunk of a silver fir-tree, from the forest of Hochwald, at Barr, in Alsatia. The tree was 150 feet high, with a trunk perfectly straight and free from branches to the height of 50 feet, after which it was forked with the one shoot 100 feet long, and the other somewhat shorter. The diameter of the trunk at the surface of the ground was 8 feet; estimated age 350 years.—Ibid.
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The Weather by Frogs.
The editor of the Magazine of Natural History, in his Notes during a recent tour on the continent, says, "at Schwetzingen, in the post-house, we witnessed, for the first time, what we have since seen frequently, an amusing application of zoological knowledge, for the purpose of prognosticating the weather. Two frogs, of the species **Rana arborea, are kept in a crystal jar, about 18 inches high, and 6 inches in diameter, with a depth of three or four inches of water at the bottom, and a small ladder reaching to the top of the jar. On the approach of dry weather, the frogs mount the ladder; but, when moisture is expected, they descend into the water. These animals are of a bright green, and in their wild state here, climb the trees in search of insects, and make a peculiar singing noise before rain. In the jar they get no other food than now and then a fly; one of which, we were assured, would serve a frog for a week, though it will eat from six to twelve in a day if it can get them. In catching the flies put alive into the jar the frogs display great adroitness."
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The remarkable fact, that no vestiges of human remains have been discovered with those of the more ancient inhabitants of the globe, is at present fully confirmed; nor have any fossil bones of monkeys hitherto been found. Mr. Bakewell, however, observes, that the vast diluvial beds of gravel and clay, and the upper strata in Asia, have not yet been scientifically explored; and both sacred and profane writers agree in regarding the temperate regions of that continent as the cradle of the human race.—Bakewell's Geology.
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Food of Bees.
The American black willow and the red maple, are the first trees that are visited by bees. They are fond of the crocus, which is the earliest of our bulbous roots. The stercorary and piggery are next resorted to by these insects, and the extract absorbed from them must be used as a tonic. Blossoms of all kinds, excepting those of the red clover and of the honeysuckle, are excellent food; and the bees especially profit by the increased attention bestowed at present on the cultivation of the peach-tree in some parts of America. They not only drink the nectar and abstract the pollen of the flower, but they appropriate the peach itself. We have seen twenty or thirty bees devour a peach in half an hour; that is, they carried the juices of it to their cells. The humming-bird alone can reach the bottom of the nectary of the honeysuckle; but even here the instinct of the bee is seen. The small birds, such as the wren, make an incision on the outside, near the bottom of the flower, and extract a part of the juices. The bee takes advantage of this opening, and avails itself of what is left. The scent of bees is so acute, that every flower which has a powerful odour can be discovered by them at a great distance. Strawberry blossoms, mignonette, wild and garden thyme, herbs of all kinds, apple, plum, cherry, and above all, raspberry blossoms and white clover, are delicious food for them, and a thriving orchard and apiary fitly go together.
North American Review.
* * * * *
Those who have paid attention to the singing of birds, know well that their voice, energy, and expression differ as widely as in man; and agreeably to this remark, Mr. Wilson (the celebrated ornithologist) says he was so familiar with the notes of an individual wood thrush, that he could recognise him from all his fellows the moment he entered the woods.
Mag. Nat. Hist.
* * * * *
Some gigantic bones have been exhibited at New Orleans, but the place where they were found is not mentioned in the communication. They consist of one of the bones of the cranium, fifteen or twenty vertebras, two entire ribs, and part of a third, one thigh bone, two bones of the leg, &c. The cranial bone was upwards of twenty feet in its greatest length, about four in extreme width, and it weighed 1,200 lbs. The ribs measured nine feet along the curve, and about three inches in thickness. It had been conjectured that the animal to which these bones belonged was amphibious, and perhaps of the crocodile family. It was also supposed that the animal when alive, must have measured twenty-five feet round the body, and about 130 feet in length.
Trans. **Geoloy. Soc.
* * * * *
The Cochineal Insect.
Our readers are doubtless aware that cochineal, so extensively used in this country for dying, is a beautiful insect abundantly found in various parts of Mexico and Peru. Some of these insects have lately been sent over to Old Spain, and are doing remarkably well on the prickly pear of that country; indeed, they are said to rival even those of Mexico in the quality and brilliancy of their dye.
Their naturalization may doubtless be extended along the shores of the Mediterranean, Sicily, and the different states of Greece. The prickly pear is indigenous in those places, and by little cultivation will afford sufficient nourishment for the cochineal insects. We are also assured, (says an intelligent correspondent of The Times,) that these precious insects were introduced last year on the island of Malta, by Dr. Gorman, on account of the government, and that they are likely to do well on that island.
Dr. Gorman discovered a few weeks since, in the botanic garden at Cambridge, the grona sylvestris, or wild species of cochineal, living among the leaves of the coffee-plants, the acacia, &c. This is the kermes, or gronilla of Spain, about which so much has been said in endeavouring to identify it with the grona fina. At all events, this is the same species as the gronilla found on the hairs of the green oaks in Andalusia; and in some years large and valuable crops of the gronilla are gathered in that part of Spain by the peasantry, and sold to the Moors to dye their scarlet.
The gardener at Cambridge could not inform Dr. Gorman how long the insects had been there, or from whence they came, but they went there by the appellation of "amelca bug." The gardener found these insects very destructive to plants upon which they fostered, and although he tried every means short of injuring the plants to remove them, he found it impossible, as they adhere to the leaves and parts of the stem with such tenacity, and are so prolific, that the young ones are often found spreading themselves over the neighbouring plants. On this account, it would be worth while to attempt the cultivation of the prickly pear in the open air in this country, and place the insects upon them, for in all probability the insects would, by good management, do well.
 It is computed that there have been imported into Europe no less a quantity than 880,000 lbs. weight of cochineal in one year!
* * * * *
The remains of a sea turtle have lately been discovered, and are now in the possession of Mr. Deck, of Cambridge. It is imbedded in a mass of septaria, weighing upwards of 150 pounds, with two fine specimens of fossil wood; and was obtained in digging for cement stone, about five miles from Harwich, in three fathoms water, where, as a mass of stone, it had been used for some time as a stepping block.—Bakewell's Geology.
* * * * *
The following are the writers whose opinions have obtained the greatest celebrity, as advocates for particular systems accounting for the formation and subsequent alteration of the earth:—
Mr. Whitehurst taught that the concentric arrangement of the crust of the globe was destroyed by the expansive force of subterranean fire.
Burnet's theory supposes this crust to have been broken for the production of the deluge.
Leibnitz and Buffon believed the earth to have been liquefied by fire; in fact, that it is an extinguished sun or vitrified globe, whose surface has been operated upon by a deluge. The latter assumes that the earth was 75,000 years in cooling to its present temperature, and that, in 98,000 years more, productive nature must be finally extinguished.
Woodward considered there was a temporary dissolution of the elements of the globe, during which period the extraneous fossils became incorporated with the general mass.
De Luc, Dolomieu, and, finally Baron Cuvier, unite in the opinion, that the phenomena exhibited by the earth, particularly the alternate deposits of terrestrial and marine productions, can only be satisfactorily accounted for by a series of revolutions similar to the deluge.
Among the singular views entertained by men of genius, in the infancy of the science, are those of Whiston, "who fancied that the earth was created from the atmosphere of one comet, and deluged by the tail of another;" and that, for their sins, the antediluvian population were drowned; "except the fishes, whose passions were less violent."
A French geologist conceived that the sea covered the earth for a vast period; that all animals were originally inhabitants of the water; that their habits gradually changed on the retiring of the waves, and "that man himself began his career as a fish!"—Mag. Nat. Hist.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
THE CLIFFORDS OF CRAVEN.
There is no district in England which abounds in more beautiful and romantic scenery than the remote and rarely visited district of Craven, in Yorkshire. Its long ridge of low and irregular hills, terminating at last in the enormous masses of Pennygent and Ingleborough,—its deep and secluded valleys, containing within their hoary ramparts of gray limestone fertile fields and pleasant pasturages,—its wide-spreading moors, covered with the different species of moss and ling, and fern and bent-grass, which variegate the brown livery of the heath, and break its sombre uniformity,—its crystal streams of unwearied rapidity, now winding a silent course "in infant pride" through the willows and sedges which fringe their banks, and now bounding with impetuous rage over the broken ledges of rock, which seek in vain to impede their progress from the mountains,—its indigenous woods of yew, and beech, and ash, and alder, which have waved in the winds of centuries, and which still flourish in green old age on the sides and summits of the smaller declivities,—its projecting crags, which fling additional gloom over the melancholy tarns that repose in dismal grandeur at their feet,—its hamlets, and towns, and ivy-mantled churches, which remind the visiter of their antiquity by the rudeness, and convince him of their durability by the massiveness of their construction,—these are all features in the landscape which require to be seen only once, to be impressed upon the recollection for ever. But it is not merely for the lovers of the wild, and beautiful, and picturesque, that the localities of Craven possess a powerful charm. The antiquarian, the novelist, and the poet, may all find rich store of employment in the traditions which are handed down from father to son respecting the ancient lords and inhabitants of the district. It is indeed the region of romance, and I have often felt surprise, that the interesting materials with which it abounds have so seldom been incorporated into the works of fiction which are now issuing with such thoughtless haste from the press of the metropolis. In Dr. Whitaker's History of Craven—which in spite of his extravagant prejudices in favour of gentle blood, and in derogation of commercial opulence, is still an excellent model for all future writers of local history—there is a ground-work laid for at least a dozen ordinary novels. To say nothing of the legendary tales, which the peasantry relate of the minor families of the district, of the Bracewells, the Tempests, the Lysters, the Romilies, and the Nortons,—whose White Doe, however, has been immortalized by the poetry of Wordsworth,—can any thing be more pregnant with romantic adventure than the fortunes of the successive chieftains of the lordly line of Clifford? Their first introduction to the North, owing to a love-match made by a poor knight of Herefordshire with the wealthy heiress of the Viponts and the Vesys! Their rising greatness, to the merited disgrace and death of Piers de Gavestone and his profligate minions! and their final exaltation to the highest honours of the British peerage, which they have now enjoyed for five hundred years, to the strong hand and unblenching heart with which they have always welcomed the assaults of their most powerful enemies! Of the first ten lords of Skipton castle, four died in the field and one upon the scaffold! The "black-faced Clifford," who sullied the glory which he acquired by his gallantry at the battle of Sandal, by murdering his youthful prisoner the Earl of Rutland, in cold blood, at the termination of it, has gained a passport to an odious immortality from the soaring genius of the bard of Avon. But his real fate is far more striking, both in a moral and in a poetical point of view, than that assigned to him by our great dramatist. On the evening before the battle of Towton Field, and after the termination of the skirmish which preceded it, an unknown archer shot him in the throat, as he was putting off his gorget, and so avenged the wretched victims, whose blood he had shed like water upon Wakefield Bridge. The vengeance of the Yorkists was not, however, satiated by the death of the Butcher, as Leland informs us that they called him:—for they attainted him, in the first year of the reign of Edward the Fourth, and granted his estates, a few years afterwards, to the Duke of Gloucester, who retained them in his iron grasp till he lost them with his crown and life at the battle of Bosworth. The history of his son is a romance ready made. His relations, fearing lest the partisans of the house of York should avenge the death of the young Earl of Rutland on the young Lord Clifford, then a mere infant, concealed him for the next twenty-five years of his life in the Fells of Cumberland, where he grew up as hardy as the heath on which he vegetated, and as ignorant as the rude herds which bounded over it. One of the first acts of Henry the Seventh, after his accession to the throne, was to reverse the attainder which had been passed against his father; and immediately afterwards the young lord emerged from the hiding place, where he had been brought up in ignorance of his rank, and with the manners and education of a mere shepherd. Finding himself more illiterate than was usual even in an illiterate age, he retired to a tower, which he built in the beautiful forest of Barden, and there, under the direction of the monks of Bolton Abbey, gave himself up to the forbidden studies of alchemy and astrology. His son, who was the first Earl of Cumberland, embittered the conclusion of his life, by embarking in a series of adventures, which, in spite of their profligacy, or rather in consequence of it, possess a very strong romantic interest. Finding that his father was either unwilling or unable to furnish him with funds to maintain his inordinate riot and luxury, he became the leader of a band of outlaws, and, by their agency, levied aids and benevolences upon the different travellers on the king's highway. A letter of the old lord, his father, which, by the by, is not the letter of an illiterate man, is still extant, in which he complains in very moving terms of his son's degeneracy and misconduct. The young scapegrace, wishing to make his father know from experience the inconvenience of being scantily supplied with money, enjoined his tenantry in Craven not to pay their rents, and beat one of them, Henry Popely, who ventured to disobey him, so severely with his own hand, that he lay for a long time in peril of death. He spoiled his father's houses, &c. "feloniously took away his proper goods," as the old lord quaintly observes, "apparelling himself and his horse, all the time, in cloth of gold and goldsmith's work, more like a duke than a poor baron's son." He likewise took a particular aversion to the religious orders, "shamefully beating their tenants and servants, in such wise as some whole towns were fain to keep the churches both night and day, and durst not come at their own houses."—Whilst engaged in these ignoble practices, less dissonant, however, to the manners of his age than to those of our's, he wooed, and won, and married, a daughter of the Percy of Northumberland; and it is conjectured, upon very plausible grounds, that his courtship and marriage with a lady of the highest rank under such disadvantages on his part, gave rise to the beautiful old ballad of the Nutbrown Maid. The lady, becoming very unexpectedly the heiress of her family, added to the inheritance of the Cliffords the extensive fee which the Percies held in Yorkshire; and by that transfer of property, and by the grant of Bolton Abbey, which he obtained from Henry the Eighth, on the dissolution of the monasteries, her husband became possessor of nearly all the district which stretches between the castles of Skipton on the south, and of Brougham, or as the Cliffords, to whom it belonged, always wrote it, Bromeham, on the north. The second Earl of Cumberland, who was as fond of alchemy and astrology as his grandfather, was succeeded by his son George, who distinguished himself abroad by the daring intrepidity with which he conducted several buccaneering expeditions in the West Indies against the Spaniards, and at home, by the very extensive scale on which he propagated his own and his Maker's image in the dales of Craven. Among the numerous children of whom he was the father, the most celebrated was the Countess of Pembroke and Montgomery, whose long life of virtuous exertion renders her well qualified to figure as the heroine of a tale of chivalry. The anecdotes which are told of this high-spirited lady in the three counties of York, Westmoreland, and Cumberland, are almost innumerable, and relate to circumstances in her life, which, though some are impossible, and others improbable, are still all full of heroic interest and adventure. Her defence of Bromeham Castle against the intrusion of her uncle of Cumberland,—her riding cross-legged to meet the judges of assize, when she acted in person at Appleby as High Sheriff by inheritance of the county of Westmoreland,—her hairbreadth escapes and dangers during the great rebellion, are characteristics of the woman, so striking in themselves, that they would require little adventitious ornament from the writer, who should take them as incidents for poem or romance. Her courage and liberality in public life were only to be equalled by her order, economy, and devotion in private. "She was," says Dr. Whitaker, "the oldest and most independent courtier in the kingdom," at the time of her death.—"She had known and admired queen Elizabeth;— she had refused what she deemed an iniquitous award of king James," though urged to submit to it by her first husband, the Earl of Dorset;— "She rebuilt her dismantled castles in defiance of Cromwell, and repelled with disdain the interposition of a profligate minister under Charles the Second." A woman of such dauntless spirit and conduct would be a fitting subject, even for the pencil of the mighty magician of Abbotsford. A journal of her life in her own hand-writing is still in existence at Appleby Castle. I have heard, that it descends to the minutest details about her habits and feelings, and that it is that cause alone, which prevents its publication.
* * * * *
A VILLAGE FUNERAL IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY.
The sun was careering brightly in the heavens, and all nature was rejoicing in its unclouded glory, as the funeral procession of Helen Hartlington, and Antony Clifford, wound its toilsome and melancholy way to Bolton Abbey. The sportive Deer were bounding lightly over the hills, and the glad birds were warbling melodiously in the thickets, as if none but the living were moving amongst them; and but for the wild dirge, which mingled with the whispers of the wind, and but for the deep-toned knell which ever and anon rose slowly and mournfully above it, the lone traveller would never have conjectured that Death was conveying its victims through those smiling scenes. As the procession approached the portals of the Abbey, it was met, as was then customary, by the young men and maidens of the surrounding villages, in their best array, who hung upon the hearse chaplets of fragrant flowers, and strewed its path with rosemary, pansies, and rue. At the same moment the solemn chant of the Miserere thrilled upon the soul, and was succeeded, as it gradually melted into silence, by the still more affecting strains of the parting requiem for the dead—Ibid.
* * * * *
NOTES FROM THE QUARTERLY REVIEW—(JUST PUBLISHED.)
An old acquaintance of ours, as remarkable for the grotesque queerness of his physiognomy, as for the kindness and gentleness of his disposition, was asked by a friend, where he had been? He replied, he had been seeing the lion, which was at that time an object of curiosity—(we are not sure whether it was Nero or Cato.) "And what," rejoined the querist, "did the lion think of you?" The jest passed as a good one; and yet under it lies something that is serious and true.
* * * * *
The possibility of a great change being introduced by very slight beginnings may be illustrated by the tale which Lockman tells of a vizier who, having offended his master, was condemned to perpetual captivity in a lofty tower. At night his wife came to weep below his window. "Cease your grief," said the sage; "go home for the present, and return hither when you have procured a live black-beetle, together with a little ghee, (or buffalo's butter.) three clews, one of the finest silk, another of stout packthread, and another of whip-cord; finally, a stout coil of rope."— When she again came to the foot of the tower, provided according to her husband's commands, he directed her to touch the head of the insect with a little of the ghee, to tie one end of the silk thread around him, and to place the reptile on the wall of the tower. Seduced by the smell of the butter, which he conceived to be in store somewhere above him, the beetle continued to ascend till he reached the top, and thus put the vizier in possession of the end of the silk thread, who drew up the packthread by means of the silk, the small cord by means of the packthread, and, by means of the cord, a stout rope capable of sustaining his own weight,—and so at last escaped from the place of his duresse.
* * * * *
A munificent lady in Yorkshire has recently offered to subscribe 50,000l. towards the endowment of an university in that county, and a noble earl has professed his willingness to give a similar benefaction. These princely examples will no doubt be followed ere long, and the scheme completed—though we have some doubts whether the site of the new university for the north would be best selected in Yorkshire.
* * * * *
Greater changes have taken place in no single age than are at this time in progress; and the revolutions in which empires, kingdoms, or republics are made and unmade, and political constitutions rise and burst like bubbles upon a standing pool, when its stagnant waters are disturbed by a thunder-shower, are not the most momentous of those changes, neither are they those which most nearly concern us. The effects of the discovery of printing could never be felt in their full extent by any nation, till education, and the diffusion also of a certain kind of knowledge, had become so general, that newspapers should be accessible to every body, and the very lowest of the people should have opportunity to read them, or to hear them read. The maxim that it is politic to keep the people in ignorance, will not be maintained in any country where the rulers are conscious of upright intentions, and confident likewise in the intrinsic worth of the institutions which it is their duty to uphold, knowing those institutions to be founded on the rock of righteous principles. They know, also, that the best means of preserving them from danger is so to promote the increase of general information, as to make the people perceive how intimately their own well-being depends upon the stability of the state, thus making them wise to obedience.
* * * * *
The heart and mind can as little lie barren as the earth whereon we move and have our being, and which, if it produce not herbs and fruit meet for the use of man, will be overrun with weeds and thorns. Muley Ismael, a personage of tyrannical celebrity in his day, always employed his troops in some active and useful work, when they were not engaged in war, "to keep them," he said, "from being devoured by the worm of indolence." In the same spirit one of our Elizabethan poets delivered his wholesome advice:—
"Eschew the idle vein Flee, flee from doing nought! For never was there idle brain But bred an idle thought."
* * * * *
Little did king Solomon apprehend, when his unfortunate saying concerning the rod fell from his lips, that it would occasion more havoc among birch-trees than was made among the cedars for the building of his temple, and his house of the forest of Lebanon! Many is the phlebotomist who, with this text in his mouth, has taken the rod in hand, when he himself, for ill teaching, or ill temper, or both, has deserved it far more than the poor boy who, whether slow of comprehension, or stupified by terror, has stood untrussed and trembling before him.
* * * * *
THE SKETCH BOOK.
* * * * *
THE VISION OF VALDEMARO.
Translated from the Spanish.
It was night; and by degrees, that sweet forgetfulness which suspends our faculties insensibly began to steal over me, and I fell asleep. In an instant my soul was transported to an unknown region. I found myself in the centre of a spacious plain, surrounded by groves of mournful cypresses. The whole enclosure was full of superb mausoleums, some assuming the shape of pyramids, whose lofty summits almost touched the clouds; and others the forms of altars, whose magnificence presented the most imposing spectacle. On all were engraved the epitaphs and sculptured insignia of the heroes who had been interred there. In various places I discovered coffins lying on the ground covered with sable palls, and bodies extended on the bare earth, meanly enveloped in miserable garbs.
I wandered, filled with terror, through this dismal region. By the light of the moon, which shone in the midst of an unclouded sky, I attentively regarded these proud monuments, and curiosity impelled me to read the pompous epitaphs inscribed on them. "How remarkable a difference!" I observed to myself; "when ordinary men, incapable of eclipsing their fellow mortals, lie forgotten in dust and corruption, those great men who have excited astonishment and admiration throughout the world, even after the lapse of many ages, still breathe in splendid marble! Happy are they who have had the glory of performing brilliant achievements! Even though inexorable fate refuse to spare them, their ashes afterwards revive, and under the very stroke of death, they rise triumphantly to a glorious immortality!"
I was indulging in these reflections, when, on a sudden, a hoarse and fearful blast of wind affrighted me. The earth rocked under my feet, the mausoleum waved to and fro with violence, the cypresses were torn up with tremendous fury, and, from time to time, I heard a sound as of fleshless bones clashing together. In a moment, the heavens were covered with black clouds, and the moon withdrew her splendour. The horror inspired by the darkness of the night, and the dead silence which reigned amidst the tombs, caused my hair to stand on end, and stiffened my limbs until I had scarcely power to move them.
In this dreadful situation, I saw an old man approaching me. His head was bald—his beard white—in his right hand he carried a crooked scythe, and in his left an hour-glass—whilst two immense flapping wings nearly concealed his body. "Thou," said he to me in a terrible voice, "who art still dazzled by the dignities and honours which mankind pursue with such reckless eagerness, see whether you perceive any difference between the dust of the monarch and that of the most wretched slave!" He spoke, and striking the ground a tremendous blow with his scythe, all these proud monuments fell headlong to the earth, and in an instant were reduced to dust. My terror was then redoubled, and my strength almost failed me. I could only perceive that there was no distinction. All was dust, corruption, and ashes. "Go," said he, "seek another road to the temple of immortality! Behold the termination of those titles of grandeur which men so ardently desire! They vainly imagine that, after death, they shall survive in history, or in marbles, which shall leap emulously from their quarries to form such monuments of pride as you have just beheld; but they are miserably deceived; their existence ends at the instant they expire, and their fame, however deeply engraven on brass and marble, cannot have a longer duration than that of a brief moment when compared with eternity! I myself, TIME, consume and utterly annihilate all those structures which have vanity for their base; the works which are founded on virtue are not subject to my jurisdiction. They pass to the boundless regions of another world, and receive the reward of immortality!" With these words he disappeared.
I awoke with a deadly dullness, and found that my sleep had been productive of instruction. Thenceforth I regarded, in a very different point of view, the pompous titles which before had dazzled me, and, by the aid of a little reflection, I soon became thoroughly sensible of their vanity.
* * * * *
* * * * *
ORIGIN OF ISABELLA COLOUR.
The Archduke Albert married the infanta Isabella, daughter of Philip II. king of Spain, with whom he had the Low Countries in dowry. In the year 1602, he laid siege to Ostend, then in possession of the heretics; and his pious princess, who attended him on the expedition, made a vow, that, till the city was taken, she would not change her clothes. Contrary to expectation, it was three years before the place was reduced; in which time her highness' linen had acquired a hue, which, from the superstition of the princess and the times, was much admired, and adopted by the court fashionables under the name of "Isabella colour." It is a yellow or soiled buff, better imagined than described.
* * * * *
FAMINE IN ENGLAND.
A severe dearth began in May, 1315, and proceeded to the utmost extremity, until after the harvest of 1316. In July, 1316, the quarter of wheat rose to 30s., (equal to 22l. 10s.;) and in August reached to the enormous price of 40s. or 30l. the quarter. A loaf of coarse bread, which was scarcely able to support a man for a single day, sold for 4d., equal in value to 5s. now. Wheat rose in Scotland at one time to the enormous sum of 100s. the quarter, equal to 75l. of the present currency. This dearth continued, but with mitigated severity, until after the harvest of 1317; but great abundance returned in 1318. This famine occasioned a prodigious mortality among the people, owing to the want of proper food, and employment of unwholesome substitutes. The rains set in so early in 1315, and continued so violently, that most of the seed of that year perished in the ground; the meadows were so inundated, that the hay crop of that year was utterly destroyed.
* * * * *
Puffing is by no means a modern art, although so extravagantly practised in the present day. Of its success two hundred years since, E.S.N. of Rochester, has sent us the following specimens:—
At the end of an old medical book which I have in my possession, are the following, among other advertisements:—"The new Plannet no Plannet, or the Earth no Wandring Star. Here, out of the principles of divinity, philosophy, &c. the earth's immobility is asserted, and Copernicus, his opinion, as erroneous, &c. fully refuted, by Alexander Ross, in quarto."
"A Recantation of an Ill-led Life, or a discovery of the highway law, as also many cautelous admonitions, and ful instructions how to know, shun, and apprehende a thiefe, most necessary for all honest travellers to peruse, observe, and practice; written by John Clavel, gent."
* * * * *
Our constant changes of habit were the subject of ridicule at home and abroad, even at an early period. Witness the ancient limner's jest in 1570, who, being employed to decorate the gallery of the Lord Admiral Lincoln with representations of the costumes of the different nations of Europe, when he came to the English, drew a naked man, with cloth of various colours lying by him, and a pair of shears held in his hand, as in rueful suspense and hesitation; or the earlier conceit, to the same effect, of "Andrew Borde of Physicke Doctor," alias "Andreas Perforatus," who, to the first chapter of his "Boke of the Instruction of Knowledge," (1542,) prefixed a naked figure, with these lines:—
"I am an Englishman, and naked I stande here, Musing in minde what rayment I shal weare: For nowe I wil weare this, and now I will weare that— And now I will weare I cannot telle whatt."
* * * * *
"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles."
* * * * *
CONNING (quasi Cunning.)
A convict, during the voyage to New South Wales, slipped overboard, and was drowned—What was his crime?—Felo de se (fell o'er the sea.)
* * * * *
THE CHANGES OF TIME.
I dreamt, in Fancy's joyous day, That every passing month was May; But Reason told me to remember, And now, alas! they're all December!
* * * * *
The only memorial of the death of Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, remaining at Kirkby Moorside (where he died in obscurity and distress,) is an entry in an old register of burials, which runs thus: "1687, April 17th, Gorges Villus, Lord dook of bookingham."—Ellis Correspondence.
* * * * *
Had we not lov'd so dearly, Had we not lov'd sincerely, Had vows been never plighted, Our hopes had ne'er been blighted, Dearest.
Had we met in younger days, Had we fled each other's gaze, Oh had we never spoken, Our hearts had ne'er been broken, Dearest.
Had you not look'd so kindly, Had I not lov'd so blindly, No pain 'twould be to sever, As now we may for ever, Dearest.
If yet you love sincerely, The one who loves you dearly, Then let the sigh betoken, Love for a heart you've broken, Dearest.
* * * * *
THE TRAGEDY OF DOUGLAS.
It may not be generally known, that the first rehearsal of this tragedy took place in the lodgings in the Canongate, occupied by Mrs. Sarah Ward, one of Digges' company; and that it was rehearsed by, and in presence of, the most distinguished literary characters Scotland ever could boast of. The following was the cast of the piece on that occasion:—
Dramatis Personae. Lord Randolph, Dr. Robertson, Principal, Edinburgh. Glenalvon, David Hume, Historian. Old Norval, Dr. Carlyle, Minister of Musselburgh. Douglas, John Home, the Author. Lady Randolph, Dr. Fergusson, Professor. Anna (the maid), Dr. Blair, Minister, High Church.
The audience that day, besides Mr. Digges and Mrs. Sarah Ward, were the Right Hon. Pat. Lord Elibank, Lord Milton, Lord Kames, Lord Monboddo, (the two last were then only lawyers,) the Rev. John Steele, and William Home, ministers. The company (all but Mrs. Ward) dined afterwards at the Griskin Club, in the Abbey. The above is a signal proof of the strong passion for the drama which then obtained among the literati of this capital, since then, unfortunately, much abated. The rehearsal must have been conducted with very great secrecy; for what would the Kirk, which took such deep offence at the composition of the piece by one of its ministers, have said to the fact, of no less than four of these being engaged in rehearsing it, and two others attending the exhibition? The circumstance of the gentle Anna having been personated by "Dr. Blair, minister of the High Church," is a very droll one.—Edinburgh Evening Post.
* * * * *
THE CUMBERLAND LANDLORD.
(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
During a recent excursion in Cumberland, I copied the following epitaph from the album kept at the inn at Pooley Bridge, the landlord of which is well known, as being quite an original:—W.W.
Will Russell was a landlord bold, A noble wight was he, Right fond of quips and merry cracks, And ev'ry kind of glee.
Full five-and-twenty years agone He came to Pooley Height, And there he kept the Rising Sun, And drunk was ev'ry night.
No lord, nor squire, nor serving man, In all the country round, But lov'd to call in at the Sun, Wherever he was bound,
To hold a crack with noble Will, And take a cheerful cup Of brandy, or of Penrith ale, Or pop, right bouncing up.
But now poor Will lies sleeping here, Without his hat or stick, Nor longer rules the Rising Sun, As he did well when wick.
Will's honest heart could ne'er refuse To drink with ev'ry brother; Then let us not his name abuse— We'll ne'er see sic another.
But let us hope the gods above, Right mindful of his merits, Have given him a gentle shove Into the land of spirits.
'Tis then his talents will expand, And make a noble figure. In tossing off a brimming glass, To make his belly bigger.
Adieu, brave landlord, may thy portly ghost Be ever ready at its heavenly post; And may thy proud posterity e'er be Landlords at Pooley to eternity.
 Wick in Cumberland is used for alive.
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Before a watch is ready for the pocket, the component parts thereof must have passed through the hands of not less than an hundred and fifty different workmen. The fifteen principal branches are: 1. the movement maker; who divides it into various branches, viz. pillar maker, stop stud maker, frame mounter, screw maker, cock and potence maker, verge maker, pinion maker, balance wheel maker, wheel cutter, fusee maker, and other small branches; 2. dial maker, who employs a capper maker, an enameller, painter, &c. 3. case maker, who makes the case to the frame, employs box maker, and outside case maker, joint finisher. 4. pendant maker; (both case and pendant go to the Goldsmith's Hall to be marked.) 5. secret springer, and spring liner; the spring and liner are divided into other branches; viz. the spring maker, button maker, &c. 6. cap maker; who employs springer, &c. 7. jeweller, which comprises the diamond cutting, setting, making ruby holes, &c. 8. motion maker, and other branches, viz. slide maker, edge maker, and bolt maker. 9. spring maker, (i.e. main spring.) consisting of wire drawer, &c. hammerer, polisher, and temperer. 10. chain maker; this comprises several branches, wire drawer, link maker and rivetter, hook maker, &c. 11. engraver, who also employs a piercer and name cutter. 12. finisher, who employs a wheel and fusee cutter, and other workers in smaller branches. 13. gilder is divided into two, viz. gilder and brusher. 14. glass and hands, the glass employs two, viz. blower and maker; hand maker employs die sinker, finisher, &c. 15. fitter in, who overlooks the whole, fits hands on, &c. The above 15 branches are subdivided again and again.
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This day is published, price 5s. with a Frontispiece, and thirty other Engravings, the
ARCANA OF SCIENCE, AND ANNUAL REGISTER OF THE USEFUL ARTS, FOR 1829.
The MECHANICAL department contains ONE HUNDRED New Inventions and Discoveries, with 14 Engravings.
CHEMICAL, SEVENTY articles, with 2 Engravings.
NATURAL HISTORY, 135 New Facts and Discoveries, with 7 Engravings.
ASTRONOMICAL and METEOROLOGICAL PHENOMENA—35 articles—6 Engravings.
AGRICULTURE, GARDENING, and RURAL ECONOMY, 100 Articles.
DOMESTIC ECONOMY 50 Articles.
USEFUL ARTS, 50 Articles.
MISCELLANEOUS REGISTER, &c.
"We hope the editor will publish a similar volume annually."—Gardener's Magazine.