THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XIV, NO. 392.] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
The Duke's Theatre, Dorset Gardens.
The above theatre was erected in the year 1671, about a century after the regular establishment of theatres in England. It rose in what may be called the brazen age of the Drama, when the prosecutions of the Puritans had just ceased, and legitimacy and licentiousness danced into the theatre hand in hand. At the Restoration, the few players who had not fallen in the wars or died of poverty, assembled under the banner of Sir William Davenant, at the Red Bull Theatre. Rhodes, a bookseller, at the same time, fitted up the Cockpit in Drury Lane, where he formed a company of entirely new performers. This was in 1659, when Rhodes's two apprentices, Betterton and Kynaston, were the stars. These companies afterwards united, and were called the Duke's Company. About the same time, Killigrew, that eternal caterer for good things, collected together a few of the old actors who were honoured with the title of the "King's Company," or "His Majesty's Servants," which distinction is preserved by the Drury Lane Company, to the present day, and is inherited from Killigrew, who built and opened the first theatre in Drury Lane, in 1663. In 1662, Sir William Davenant obtained a patent for building "the Duke's Theatre," in Little Lincoln's Inn Fields, which he opened with the play of "the Siege of Rhodes," written by himself. The above company performed here till 1671, when another "Duke's Theatre." was built in Dorset Gardens, by Sir Christopher Wren, in a similar style of architecture to that in Lincoln's Inn Fields. The company removed thither, November 9, in the same year, and continued performing till the union of the Duke and the King's Companies, in 1682; and performances were continued occasionally here until 1697. The building was demolished about April, 1709, and the site is now occupied by the works of a Gas Light Company.
 At the end of Dorset-street, now communicating with Fleet-street, through Salisbury-square and Salisbury-court.
The Duke's Theatre, as the engraving shows, had a handsome front towards the river, with a landing-place for visiters by water, a fashion which prevailed in the early age of the Drama, if we may credit the assertion of Taylor, the water poet, that about the year 1596, the number of watermen maintained by conveying persons to the theatres on the banks of the Thames, was not less than 40,000, showing a love of the drama at that early period which is very extraordinary. All we have left of this aquatic rage is a solitary boat now and then skimming and scraping to Vauxhall Gardens.
 The Globe, the Rose, and the Swan, were on Baukside; besides which there were, either then or after, six other theatres on the Middlesex bank of the Thames.
The upper part of the front will be admired for its characteristic taste; as the figures of Comedy and Tragedy surmounting the balustrade, the emblematic flame, and the wreathed arms of the founder.
Operas were first introduced on the English stage, at Dorset Gardens, in 1673, with "expensive scenery;" and in Lord Orrery's play of Henry V., performed here in the year previous, the actors, Harris, Betterton, and Smith, wore the coronation suits of the Duke of York, King Charles, and Lord Oxford.
The names of Betterton and Kynaston bespeak the importance of the Duke's Theatre. Cibber calls Betterton "an actor, as Shakspeare was an author, both without competitors;" in his performance of Hamlet, he profited by the instructions of Sir William Davenant, who embodied his recollections of Joseph Taylor, instructed by SHAKSPEARE to play the character! What a delightful association—to see Hamlet represented in the true vein in which the sublime author conceived it! Kynaston's celebrity was of a more equivocal description. He played Juliet to Betterton's Romeo, and was the Siddons of his day; for women did not generally appear on the stage till after the Restoration. The anecdote of Charles II. waiting at the theatre for the stage queen to be shaved is well known.
Pepys speaks of Harris, in his interesting Diary as "growing very proud, and demanding 20l. for himself extraordinary more than Betterton, or any body else, upon every new play, and 10l. upon every revive; which, with other things, Sir William Davenant would not give him, and so he swore he would never act there more, in expectation of his being received in the other house;" (this was in 1663, at the Duke's Theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields.) "He tells me that the fellow grew very proud of late, the King and every body else crying him up so high," &c. Poor Sir William, he must have been as much worried and vexed as Mr. Ebers with the Operatics, or any Covent Garden manager, in our time; whose days and nights are not very serene, although passed among the stars,
In one of Pepys's notices of Hart, he tells us "It pleased us mightily to see the natural affection of a poor woman, the mother of one of the children brought upon the stage; the child crying, she, by force, got upon the stage, and took up her child, and carried it away off the stage from Hart." This pleasant playgoer likewise says, in 1667-8, "when I began first to be able to bestow a play on myself, I do not remember that I saw so many by half of the ordinary prentices and mean people in the pit at 2s. 6d. a-piece as now; I going for several years no higher than the 12d. and then the 18d. places, though I strained hard to go in then when I did; so much the vanity and prodigality of the age is to be observed in this particular."
It may be at this moment interesting to mention that the first Covent Garden Theatre was opened under the patent granted to Sir William Davenant for the Dorset Gardens and Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatres. We must also acknowledge our obligation for the preceding notes to the Companion to the Theatres, a pretty little work which we noticed en passant when published, and which we now seasonably recommend to the notice of our readers.
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(For the Mirror.)
Season of sighs perfumed, and maiden flowers, Young Beauty's birthday, cradled in delight And kept by muses in the blushing bowers Where snow-drops spring most delicately white! Oh it is luxury to minds that feel Now to prove truants to the giddy world, Calmly to watch the dewy tints that steal O'er opening roses—'till in smiles unfurled Their fresh-made petals silently unfold. Or mark the springing grass—or gaze upon Primeval morning till the hues of gold Blaze forth and centre in the glorious sun! Whose gentler beams exhale the tears of night, And bid each grateful tongue deep melodies indite.
Now is thy fragrant garland made complete, Maturing year! but as its many dyes Mingle in rainbow hues divinely sweet, They fade and fleet in unobserved sighs! Yet now all fresh and fair, how dear thou art, Just born to breathe and perish! touched by heaven, From lifeless Winter to a beating heart, From scathing blasts to Summer's balmy even! Methinks some angel from the bowers of bliss, In May descended, scattering blossoms round, Embraced each opening flower, bestowed a kiss, And woke the notes of harmony profound; But ere July had waned, alas, she fled, Took back to heaven the flowers, and left the falling leaves instead.
Field flowers and breathing minstrelsy, farewell! The rose is colourless and withering fast, Sweet Philomel her song forgets to swell, And Summer's rich variety is past! The sear leaves wander, and the hoar of age Gathers her trophy for the dying year, And following in her noiseless pilgrimage, Waters her couch with many a pearly tear. Yet there is one unchanging friend who stays To cheer the passage into Winter's gloom— The redbreast chants his solitary lays, A simple requiem over Nature's tomb, So, when the Spring of life shall end with me, God of my Fathers! may I find a changeless Friend in thee!
The trees are leafless, and the hollow blast Sings a shrill anthem to the bitter gloom, The lately smiling pastures are a waste, While beauty generates in Nature's womb; The frowning clouds are charged with fleecy snow, And storm and tempest bear a rival sway; Soft gurgling rivulets have ceased to flow, And beauty's garlands wither in decay: Yet look but heavenward! beautiful and young In life and lustre see the stars of night Untouch'd by time through ages roll along, And clear as when at first they burst to light. And then look from the stars where heaven appears Clad in the fertile Spring of everlasting years!
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EXERCISE, AIR, AND SLEEP.
(Abridged from Mr. Richards's "Treatise on Nervous Disorders.")
The generality of people are well aware of the vast importance of exercise; but few are acquainted with its modus operandi, and few avail themselves so fully as they might of its extensive benefits. The function of respiration, which endues the blood with its vivifying principle, is very much influenced by exercise; for our Omniscient Creator has given to our lungs the same faculty of imbibing nutriment from various kinds of air, as He has given to the stomach the power of extracting nourishment from different kinds of aliment; and as the healthy functions of the stomach depend upon the due performance of certain chemical and mechanical actions, so do the functions of the lungs depend upon the due performance of proper exercise.
Man being an animal destined for an active and useful life, Providence has ordained that sloth shall bring with it its own punishment. He who passes nearly the whole of his life in the open air, inhaling a salubrious atmosphere, enjoys health and vigour of body with tranquillity of mind, and dies at the utmost limit allotted to mortality. He, on the contrary, who leads an indolent or sedentary life, combining with it excessive mental exertion, is a martyr to a train of nervous symptoms, which are extremely annoying. Man was not created for a sedentary or slothful life; but all his organs and attributes are calculated for an existence of activity and industry. If therefore we would insure health and comfort, we must make exercise—to use Dr. Cheyne's expression—a part of our religion. But this exercise should be in the open air, and in such places as are most free from smoke, or any noxious exhalations; where, in fact, the air circulates freely, purely, and abundantly. I am continually told by persons that they take a great deal of exercise, being constantly on their feet from morning till night; but, upon inquiry, it happens, that this exercise is not in the open air, but in a crowded apartment, perhaps, as in a public office, a manufactory, or at a dress maker's, where twenty or thirty young girls are crammed together from nine o'clock in the morning till nine at night, or, what is nearly as pernicious, in a house but thinly inhabited. Exercise this cannot be called; it is the worst species of labour, entailing upon its victims numerous evils. Good air is as essential as wholesome food; for the air, by coming into immediate contact with the blood, enters at once into the constitution. If therefore the air be bad, every part of the body, whether near the heart or far from it, must participate in the evil which is produced.
It is on this account that exercise in the open air is so materially beneficial to digestion. If the blood be not properly prepared by the action of good air, how can the arteries of the stomach secrete good gastric juice? Then, we have a mechanical effect besides. By exercise the circulation of the blood is rendered more energetic and regular. Every artery, muscle, and gland is excited into action, and the work of existence goes on with spirit. The muscles press the blood-vessels, and squeeze the glands, so that none of them can be idle; so that, in short, every organ thus influenced must be in action. The consequence of all this is, that every function is well performed. The stomach digests readily, the liver pours out its bile freely, the bowels act regularly, and much superfluous heat is thrown out by perspiration. These are all very important operations, and in proportion to the perfection with which they are performed will be the health and comfort of the individual.
There is another process accomplished by exercise, which more immediately concerns the nervous system. "Many people," says Mr. Abernethy, "who are extremely irritable and hypochondriacal, and are constantly obliged to take medicines to regulate their bowels while they live an inactive life, no longer suffer from nervous irritation, or require aperient medicines when they use exercise to a degree that would be excessive in ordinary constitutions." This leads us to infer that the superfluous energy of the nerves is exhausted by the exercise of the body, and that as the abstraction of blood mitigates inflammations, in like manner does the abstraction of nervous irritability restore tranquillity to the system. This of course applies only to a state of high nervous irritation; but exercise is equally beneficial when the constitution is much weakened, by producing throughout the whole frame that energetic action which has been already explained.
A debilitated frame ought never to take so much exercise as to cause fatigue, neither ought exercise to be taken immediately before nor immediately after a full meal. Mr. Abernethy's prescription is a very good one—to rise early and use active exercise in the open air, till a slight degree of fatigue be felt; then to rest one hour, and breakfast. After this rest three hours, "in order that the energies of the constitution may be concentrated in the work of digestion;" then take active exercise again for two hours, rest one, and then dine. After dinner rest for three hours; and afterwards, in summer, take a gentle stroll, which, with an hour's rest before supper, will constitute the plan of exercise for the day. In wet or inclement weather, the exercise may be taken in the house, the windows being opened, "by walking actively backwards and forwards, as sailors do on ship-board."
We now come to the consideration of air. Pure air is as necessary to existence as good and wholesome food; perhaps more so; for our food has to undergo a very elaborate change before it is introduced into the mass of circulating blood, while the air is received at once into the lungs, and comes into immediate contact with the blood in that important organ. The effect of the air upon the blood is this: by thrusting out as it were, all the noxious properties which it has collected in its passage through the body, it endues it with the peculiar property of vitality, that is, it enables it to build up, repair, and excite the different functions and organs of the body. If therefore this air, which we inhale every instant, be not pure, the whole mass of blood is very soon contaminated, and the frame, in some part or other speedily experiences the bad effects. This will explain to us the almost miraculous benefits which are obtained by change of air, as well as the decided advantages of a free and copious ventilation. The prejudices against a free circulation of air, especially in the sick chamber, are productive of great evil. The rule as regards this is plain and simple: admit as much fresh air as you can; provided it does not blow in upon you in a stream, and provided you are not in a state of profuse perspiration at the time; for in accordance with the Spanish proverb—
"If the wind blows on you through a hole Make your will, and take care of your soul."
but if the whole of the body be exposed at once to a cold atmosphere, no bad consequences need be anticipated.
A great deal has been said about the necessary quantity of sleep; that is, how long one ought to indulge in sleeping. This question, like many others, cannot be reduced to mathematical precision; for much must depend upon habit, constitution, and the nature and duration of our occupations. A person in good health, whose mental and physical occupations are not particularly laborious, will find seven or eight hours' sleep quite sufficient to refresh his frame. Those whose constitutions are debilitated, or whose occupations are studious or laborious, require rather more; but the best rule in all eases is to sleep till you are refreshed, and then get up. If you feel inclined for a snug nap after dinner, indulge in it; but do not let it exceed half an hour; if you do, you will be dull and uncomfortable afterwards, instead of brisk and lively.
In sleeping, as in eating and drinking, we must consult our habits and feelings, which are excellent monitors. What says the poet?—
"Preach not to me your musty rules, Ye drones, that mused in idle cell, The heart is wiser than the schools, The senses always reason well."
One particular recommendation I would propose in concluding this subject, from the observance of which much benefit has been derived—it is to sleep in a room as large and as airy as possible, and in a bed but little encumbered with curtains. The lungs must respire during sleep, as well as at any other time; and it is of great consequence that the air should be as pure as possible. In summer curtains should not be used at all, and in winter we should do well without them. In summer every wise man, who can afford it, will sleep out of town—at any of the villages which are removed sufficiently from the smoke and impurities of this overgrown metropolis.
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AN INCIDENT AT FONDI.
"Away—three cheers—on we go."
The morning was delightful; neither Corregio, nor Claude, with all their magic of conception could have made it lovelier. The heaven expanded like an azure sea—and the dimpling clouds of gold were its Elysian isles—not unlike the splendid images we are apt to admire in the poems of Petrarch and Alamanni. The music of the birds kept time to the sound of the postilions' whips—the streams sung a fairy legend, and the merry woods, touched with the brilliant glow of an Italian sun, breathed into the air a delicious sonata. Such a morning as this was formed for something memorable! The Grand Diavolo and his bravest ruffians awaited the travellers' approach.
The carriage had pursued the direction of the path at a speed unequalled in the annals of the postilions; but the termination of the dell did not appear. Huge impending cliffs with their crown of trees imparted a shadowy depth to the solitude, which the travellers did not seem to relish.
"How cursed inconvenient is this dell with its frightful woods," said the baronet to his smiling daughter, "one might as well be sequestered in Dante's Inferno. Look at those awful rocks—my mind misgives me as I view them. Sure there are no brigands concealed hereabout!"
"Hope not, Pa'," replied the graceful Rosalia; but the last word had scarcely died on her lips, ere a discharge of shot was heard. The baronet opened his carriage door, and leaped on the ground.
"Hollo! John, Tom, pistols here, my lads, a pretty rencontre this! Stand by Rosalia, my own self and purse I don't value a grout, but stand the brunt, lads; here they come—oh, that I had met them at Waterloo!"
This attack perplexed the thoughts of the poor baronet. He regarded it as a romance in which he was to become the hero. But his present situation did not allow him the fascination of a dream. The brigands advanced from their concealment, and their chief, who seemed a most pleasant and polite scoundrel, commanded his men to inspect the luggage of the travellers.
"Humph! and is that all?" growled the baronet.
"I want a thousand crowns," said the chief, in a gentle tone, "you may then proceed."
"Humph! and won't five hundred do?"
"I insist!" returned the brigand, placing his hand on his sword!
This menace was enough. It produced an awful consternation in the countenance of the Englishman. He, dear man, felt his heart quake within him, as he paid the brigand his enormous demand. But a second trial was reserved for him—he turned to his carriage—his daughter was not there! where could she be? He heard a laugh, and on raising his head, saw the identical object of his care! She waved her delicate white handkerchief from the steeps above, while an Italian officer stood beside her laughing with all his might. The suspicions of the father were realized. He was the tall intriguing scamp who had charmed the eyes of Rosalia at the inn!
Away ran the sire, but the guilty pair seemed to fly with the wings of love attached to their heels; up the steep he clambered, scaring all the birds from their solitudes; still the lovers kept on before; they passed the bridge of Laino; the infuriated sire pursued; spire, tree, castle, church, stream; and in short the most beautiful features of the landscape appeared in the chase, but the fugitives did not stop to survey them. Away they pressed down the sunny slope, through the glen, along the margin of the Casparanna, swifter to the eye of the agonized parent than Jehu's chariot-wheels. Now they flag—they sit down amid the ruins of yonder old chapel—he will reach them now; alas! how vain are the calculations of man! In leaping across the Cathanna Mare, he received a shot in his arm; the cursed Italian had fired at him, and he fell, like a wounded bird into the stream!
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"Dear pa', how you kick one!" exclaimed the beauteous little daughter of the Englishman; "surely you have had a troublesome dream." "Dream! let me see," said the baronet, rubbing his eyes; "then I'm not drowned, and we are again at Albano, are we, and this is our merry host, and thank God, Rosalia, you are safe, and I must kiss you, my sweet girl." This was a pleasant scene!
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IN IMITATION OF THE OLDEN POETS.
(For the Mirror.)
Time is a taper waning fast! Use it, man, well whilst it doth last: Lest burning downwards it consume away, Before thou hast commenced the labour of the day.
Time is a pardon of a goodly soil! Plenty shall crown thine honest toil: But if uncultivated, rankest weeds Shall choke the efforts of the rising seeds.
Time is a leasehold of uncertain date! Granted to thee by everlasting fate. Neglect not thou, ere thy short term expire, To save thy soul from ever-burning fire.
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(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
The following Sepulchral Enigma against Pride, is engraved on a stone, in the Cathedral Church of Hamburgh:
"O, Mors, cur, Deus, negat, vitam, be, se, bis, nos, his, nam."
Ordine daprimam mediae? mediamqz sequenti, Debita sic nosces fala, superbe, tibi. Quid mortalis homo jactas tot quidve superbis? Cras forsan fies, pulvis et umbra levis, Quid tibi opes prosunt? Quid nuuc tibi magna potesias? Quidve honor? Ant praestans quid tibi forma? Nihil. Vide Variorum in Europa itinerum deliciae, &c. Nathane Chitreo, Editio Secunda, 1599.
The above inscription and Canon are from a very scarce book, me penes; if they are deemed worthy of a place in your entertaining miscellany, and no solution or English version should be offered to your notice for insertion, I will avail myself of your permission to send one for your approval.
Your's, &c. [Greek: S.]
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THE VINE—A FRAGMENT.
(For the Mirror.)
See o'er the wall, the white-leav'd cluster-vine Shoots its redundant tendrils; and doth seem, Like the untam'd enthusiast's glowing heart, Ready to clasp, with an abundant love, All nature in its arms!
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"I don't hate the world, but I laugh at it; for none but fools can be in earnest about a trifle."
So says Gay of the world, in one of his letters to Swift, and we have adapted the quotation to our idea of liberty. True it is that Addison apostrophizes liberty as a
Goddess, heavenly bright!
but we hope our laughter will not be considered as indecorous or profane. Our great essayist has exalted her into a Deity, and invested her with a mythological charm, which makes us doubt her existence; so that to laugh at her can be no more irreverend than to sneer at the belief in apparitions, a joke which is very generally enjoyed in these good days of spick-and-span philosophy. Whether Liberty ever existed or not, is to us a matter of little import, since it is certain that she belongs to the grand hoax which is the whole scheme of life. The extension of liberty into concerns of every-day life is therefore reasonable enough, and to prove that we are happy in possessing this ideal blessing, seems to have been the aim of all who have written on the subject. One, however, if we remember right, sets the matter in a grave light, when he says to man—
Since thy original lapse, true liberty Is lost.
He who loves to scatter crumbs of comfort in these starving times, will not despair at this sublime truth, but will seek to cherish the love of liberty, or the consolation for the loss of it wherever he goes.
The reader need not be told that we are friends to the spread of liberty: indeed, we think she may "triumph over time, clip his wings, pare his nails, file his teeth, turn back his hour-glass, blunt his scythe, and draw the hobnails out of his shoes;" but to show how this may be done, we must run over a few varieties of liberty for the benefit of such as do not enjoy the inestimable blessings of being free and easy: we quote these words, vulgar as they are; for, of all words in our vernacular tongue, to express comfort and security from ill, commend us to the expletive of free and easy. We had rather not meddle with civil or religious liberty: they are as combustible as the Cotopaxi, or the new governments, of South America; and our attempts at reformation do not extend beyond paper and print, which the unamused reader may burn or not, as he pleases without searing his own conscience or exciting our revenge. To be sure, a few of our examples may border on civil liberty; but we shall not seek to find parallels for the Ptolemaian cages, or the Tower of Famine, in our times; neither shall we feast upon the horrors of the French Revolution, nor the last polite reception of the Russians by headless Turks; notwithstanding all these examples would bear us out in our idea of the love of liberty, and the evils of the loss of it.
Kings often want liberty, even amidst the multitude of their luxuries. They are not unfrequently the veriest slaves at court, and liege and loyal as we are, we seldom hear of a king eating, drinking, and sleeping as other people do, without envying him so happy an interval from the cares of state, and the painted pomp of palaces. This it is that makes the domestic habits of kings so interesting to every one; and many a time have we crossed field after field to catch a glimpse of royalty, in a plain green chariot on the Brighton road, when we would not have put our heads out of window to see a procession to the House of Lords. Some kings have even gone so far in their love of plain life as to drop the king, which is a very pleasant sort of unkingship. Frederick the Great, at one of his literary entertainments adopted this plan to promote free conversation, when he reminded the circle that there was no monarch present, and that every one might think aloud. The conversation soon turned upon the faults of different governments and rulers, and general censures were passing from mouth to mouth pretty freely, when Frederick suddenly stayed the topic, by saying, "Peace, peace, gentlemen, have a care, the king is coming; it may be as well if he does not hear you, lest he should be obliged to be still worse than you." Our Second Charles was very fond of liberty, and of dropping the king, or as some writers say, he never took the office up: this was for another purpose, in times when
License they mean when they cry liberty.
Voluntarily parting with one's liberty is, however, very different to having it taken from us, as in the anecdote of the citizen who never having been out of his native place during his lifetime, was, for some offence, sentenced to stay within the walls a whole year; when he died of grief not long afterwards.
State imprisonment is like a set of silken fetters for kings and other great people. Thus, almost all our palaces have been used as prisons, according to the caprice of the monarch, or the violence of the uppermost faction. Shakspeare, in his historical plays, gives us many pictures of royal and noble suffering from the loss of liberty. One of the latter, with a beautiful antidote, is the address of Gaunt to Bolingbroke, after his banishment by Richard II.:—
All places that the eye of heaven visits, Are to a wise man ports, and happy havens: Teach thy necessity to reason thus: There is no virtue like necessity. Think not, the king did banish thee; But thou the king: woe doth heavier sit, Where it perceives it is but faintly borne. Go, say—I sent thee forth to purchase honour, And not—the king exiled thee: or suppose, Devouring pestilence hangs in our air, And thou art flying to a fresher clime. Look, what thy soul holds dear, imagine it To lie that way thou go'st, not whence thou comest: Suppose the singing birds musicians; The grass whereon thou tread'st, the presence strew'd; The flowers, fair ladies; and thy steps, no more Than a delightful measure, or a dance; For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite The man that mocks at it, and sets it light.
Even Napoleon, whose wounds were almost green at his death, sought to chase away the recollections of his ill-starred splendour, by rides and walks in the island, and conversation with his suite in his garden; and Louis XVIII. after his restoration to the throne of France, passed few such happy days as his exile at Hartwell, which though only a pleasant seat enough, had more comfort than the gilded saloons of Versailles, or the hurly-burly of the Tuilleries, with treason hatching in the street beneath the windows, and revolution stinking in the very nostrils of the court. Shakspeare might well call a crown a
Polished perturbation! golden care!
O majesty! When thou dost pinch thy bearer, thou dost sit Like a rich armour worn in heat of day, That scalds with safety.
Goldsmith has somewhat sarcastically lamented that the appetites of the rich do not increase with their wealth; in like manner, it would be a grievous thing could liberty be monopolized or scraped into heaps like wealth; a petty tyrant may persecute and imprison thousands, but he cannot thereby add one hour or inch to his own liberty.
Another and a very common loss of liberty is by pleasure and the love of fame, especially by the slaves of fashion and the lovers of great place;
Whose lives are others' not their own.
Pleasure for the most part, consists in fits of anticipation; since, the extra liberty or license of a debauch must be repaid by the iron fetters of headache, and the heavy hand of ennui on the following day: even the purblind puppy of fashion will tell you, if you make free with your constitution, you must suffer for it; and this by a species of slavery. To dance attendance upon a great man for a small appointment, and to boo your way through the world, belongs to the worst of servitude. Congreve compares a levee at a great man's to a list of duns; and Shenstone still more ill-naturedly says, "a courtier's dependant is a beggar's dog."
Making free, or taking liberties with your fortune, brings about the slavery, if not the sin, of poverty; and to take a liberty with the wealth of another is about as sure a road to slavery as picking pockets is to house-breaking. Debt is another of those odious badges which mark a man as a slave, and let him but go on to recovery, that like a snake in the sunshine, he may be the more effectually scotched and secured. Gay says to Swift, "I hate to be in debt; for I can't bear to pawn five pounds worth of my liberty to a tailor or a butcher. I grant you, this is not having the true spirit of modern nobility; but it is hard to cure the prejudice of education;" and every man will own that a greater slave-master is not to be found at Cape Coast than the law's follower, who says, "I 'rest you;" and then "brings you to all manner of unrest." One of these fellows is even greater than the sultan of an African tribe in till his glory; though he neither bears the insignia of rank nor power—none of the little finery which wins allegiance and honour—yet he constrains you "by virtue," and brings about a compromise and temporary cessation of your liberty.
Taking liberties with the pockets or tables of one's relations and friends, is at best, but a dangerous experiment. It cannot last long before they beg to be excused the liberty, &c., and like the countryman with the golden goose, you get a cold, fireless parlour, or a colder hall reception for your importunity; and, perchance, the silver ore being all gone, you must put up with the French plate. One of the most equivocal, if not dangerous, forms of correspondence is that beginning with "I take the liberty;" for it either portends some well tried "sufferer" as Lord Foppington calls him; a pressing call from a fundless charity; or at best but a note from an advertising tailor to tell you that for several years past you have been paying 50 per cent. too high a price for your clothes; but, like most good news, this comes upon crutches, and the loss is past redemption.
What is called the liberty of the subject we must leave for a dull barrister to explain: in the meantime, if any reader be impatient for the definition, a night's billeting in Covent Garden watchhouse will initiate him into its blessings; he is not so dull as to require to be told how to get there. The liberty of the press is another ticklish subject to handle— like a hedgehog—all points; but we may be allowed to quote, as one of the most harmless specimens of the liberty of the press—the production of THE MIRROR, as we always acknowledge the liberty by reference to the sources whence our borrowed wealth is taken. This is giving credit in one way, and taking credit for our own honesty.
Liberty-boys and brawlers would be new acquaintance for us. We are not old enough to remember "Wilkes and 45;" the cap of liberty is now seldom introduced into our national arms, and this and all such emblems are fast fading away. People who used to spout forth Cowper's line and a half on liberty, have given up the profession, and all men are at liberty to think as they please. Still ours is neither the golden nor the silver age of liberty: it is more like paper and platina liberty, things which have the weight and semblance without their value.
The only odd rencontre we ever had with a liberty advocate was with L'Abbe Gregoire, one of the cabinet advisers of Napoleon, and to judge by his writings, a benevolent man. On visiting him at Paris, we put into our pocket a little work of our leisure, containing upwards of 6,000 quotations on almost every subject. The Abbe, who understands English well, was delighted with the variety, and on calling again in a few days, we found the venerable patriot had been searching for all the passages on liberty, which he had distinguished by registers: what an evidence is this of his ruling passion. At the time we did not recollect that to M. Gregoire is attributed the republican sentiment "the reign of Kings is the martyrology of nations:" his conversation proved him an enthusiast, but we think this liberty rather too strong.
* * * * *
'Twas lordly hate that rul'd Indomitable. 'Twas a thirst that naught But blood of him who broke this aching heart Could quench.'—therefore I struck——.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE FLYING DRAGON.
This beautiful species of the lizard tribe was one of the wonders of our ancestors, who believed it to be a fierce animal with wings, and whose bite was mortal; whereas, it is perfectly harmless, and differs from other lizards merely in its being furnished with an expanding membrane or web, strengthened by a few radii, or small bones. It is about twelve inches in length, and is found in the East Indies and Africa (Blumenbach), where it flies through short distances, from tree to tree, and subsists on flies, ants, and other insects. It is covered with very small scales, and is generally of ash-colour, varied and clouded on the back, &c. with brown, black, and white. The head is of a very singular form, and furnished with a triple pouch, under and on each side the throat.
Barbarous nations have many fabulous stories of this little animal. They say, for instance, that, although it usually lives in the water, it often bounds up from the surface, and alights on the branch of some adjacent tree, where it makes a noise resembling the laughter of a man.
The curious reader who is anxious to see a specimen of the Flying Dragon, will be gratified with a young one, preserved in a case with two Cameleons, and exposed for sale in the window of a dealer in articles of vertu, in St. Martin's Court, Leicester Square.
COCHINEAL TRANSPLANTED TO JAVA.
The success with which the cultivation of the nopal and the breeding of the insect which produces cochineal has been practised at Cadiz, and thence at Malta, is well known. A French apothecary is said to have made the experiment in Corsica, but on a very confined scale; and the King of the Netherlands, on information that the Isle of Java was well adapted for the cultivation of this important article of merchandize, determined on attempting the transplantation into that colony. As the exportation of the trees and of the insect is prohibited by the laws of Spain, some management was requisite to acquire the means of forming this new establishment. The following were those resorted to:—His Majesty sent to Cadiz, and there maintained, for nearly two years, one of his subjects, a very intelligent person, who introduced himself, and by degrees got initiated into the Garden of Acclimation of the Economic Society, where the breeding of this important insect is carried on. He so well, fulfilled his commission (for which the instructions, it is said, were drawn up by his royal master himself), that he succeeded in procuring about one thousand nopals, all young and vigorous, besides a considerable number of insects; and, moreover, carried on his plans so ably, as to persuade the principal gardener of the Garden of Acclimation to enter for six years into the service of the King of the Netherlands, and to go to Batavia. Between eight and ten thousand Spanish dollars are said to have been the lure held out to him to desert his post. In the service of the Society he gained three shillings a day, paid in Spanish fashion, that is, half, at least, in arrear. A vessel of war was sent to bring away the precious cargo, which, being furtively and safely shipped, the gardener and the insects were on their voyage to Batavia before the least suspicion of what was going on was entertained by the Society.—From the French.
A French journal says, in the woods of Brazil is frequently found hanging from the branches the nest of a species of bee, formed of clay, and about two feet in diameter. It is more probable that these nests belong to some species of wasp, many of which construct hanging nests. One sort of these is very common in the northern parts of Britain, though it is not often found south of Yorkshire.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
ASSASSINATION OF MAJOR LAING.
The Literary Gazette of Saturday last contains the following very interesting intelligence respecting the assassination of Major Laing, and the existence of his Journal;—"In giving this tragical and disgraceful story to the British public, (says the Editor), we may notice that the individual who figures so suspiciously in it, viz. Hassouna d'Ghies, must be well remembered a few years ago in London society. We were acquainted with him during his residence here, and often met him, both at public entertainments and at private parties, where his Turkish dress made him conspicuous. He was an intelligent man, and addicted to literary pursuits; in manners more polished than almost any of his countrymen whom we ever knew, and apparently of a gentler disposition than the accusation of having instigated this infamous murder would fix upon him."
The account then proceeds with the following translation from a Marseilles Journal:—
It was about three years ago, that Major Laing, son-in-law of Colonel Hammer Warrington, consul-general of England in Tripoli, quitted that city, where he left his young wife, and penetrated into the mysterious continent of Africa, the grave of so many illustrious travellers. After having crossed the chain of Mount Atlas, the country of Fezzan, the desert of Lempta, the Sahara, and the kingdom of Ahades, he arrived at the city of Timbuctoo, the discovery of which has been so long desired by the learned world. Major Laing, by entering Timbuctoo, had gained the reward of 3,000l. sterling, which a learned and generous society in London had promised to the intrepid adventurer who should first visit the great African city, situated between the Nile of the Negroes and the river Gambaron. But Major Laing attached much less value to the gaining of the reward than to the fame acquired after so many fatigues and dangers. He had collected on his journey valuable information in all branches of science: having fixed his abode at Timbuctoo, he had composed the journal of his travels, and was preparing to return to Tripoli, when he was attacked by Africans, who undoubtedly were watching for him in the desert. Laing, who had but a weak escort, defended himself with heroic courage: he had at heart the preservation of his labours and his glory. But in this engagement he lost his right hand, which was struck off by the blow of a yatagan. It is impossible to help being moved with pity at the idea of the unfortunate traveller, stretched upon the sand, writing painfully with his left hand to his young wife, the mournful account of the combat. Nothing can be so affecting as this letter, written in stiff characters, by unsteady fingers, and all soiled with dust and blood. This misfortune was only the prelude to one far greater. Not long afterwards, some people of Ghadames, who had formed part of the Major's escort, arrived at Tripoli, and informed Colonel Warrington that his relation had been assassinated in the desert. Colonel Warrington could not confine himself to giving barren tears to the memory of his son-in-law. The interest of his glory, the honour of England, the affection of a father—all made it his duty to seek after the authors of the murder, and endeavour to discover what had become of the papers of the victim. An uncertain report was soon spread that the papers of Major Laing had been brought to Tripoli by people of Ghadames; and that a Turk, named Hassouna Dghies, had mysteriously received them. This is the same Dghies whom we have seen at Marseilles, displaying so much luxury and folly, offering to the ladies his perfumes and his shawls— a sort of travelling Usbeck, without his philosophy and his wit. From Marseilles he went to London, overwhelmed with debts, projecting new ones, and always accompanied by women and creditors. Colonel Warrington was long engaged in persevering researches, and at length succeeded in finding a clue to this horrible mystery. The Pasha, at his request, ordered the people who had made part of the Major's escort to be brought from Ghadames. The truth was at length on the point of being known; but this truth was too formidable to Hassouna Dghies for him to dare to await it, and he therefore took refuge in the abode of Mr. Coxe, the consul of the United States. The Pasha sent word to Mr. Coxe, that he recognised the inviolability of the asylum granted to Hassouna; but that the evidence of the latter being necessary in the prosecution of the proceedings relative to the assassination of Major Laing, he begged him not to favour his flight. Colonel Warrington wrote to his colleague to the same effect. However, Hassouna Dghies left Tripoli on the 9th of August, in the night, in the disguise, it is said, of an American officer, and took refuge on board the United States corvette Fairfield, Captain Parker, which was then at anchor in the roads of Tripoli. Doubtless, Captain Parker was deceived with respect to Hassouna, otherwise the noble flag of the United States would not have covered with its protection a man accused of being an accomplice in an assassination.
It is fully believed that this escape was ardently solicited by a French agent. It is even said, that the proposal was first made to the captain of one of our (French) ships, but that he nobly replied, that one of the king's officers could not favour a suspicious flight—that he would not receive Hassouna on board his ship, except by virtue of a written order, and, at all events in open day, and without disguise.
The Fairfield weighed anchor on the 10th of August, in the morning.
The Pasha, enraged at this escape of Hassouna, summoned to his palace Mohamed Dghies, brother of the fugitive, and there, in the presence of his principal officers, commanded him, with a stern voice, to declare the truth. Mohamed fell at his master's feet, and declared upon oath, and in writing, that his brother Hassouna had had Major Laing's papers in his possession, but that he had delivered them up to a person, for a deduction of forty per cent. on the debts which he had contracted in France, and the recovery of which this person was endeavouring to obtain by legal proceedings.
The declaration of Mohamed extends to three pages, containing valuable and very numerous details respecting the delivery of the papers of the unfortunate Major, and all the circumstances of this strange transaction.
* * * * *
The shape and size of the Major's papers are indicated with the most minute exactness; it is stated that these papers were taken from him near Timbuctoo, and subsequently delivered to the person abovementioned entire, and without breaking the seals of red wax—a circumstance which would demonstrate the participation of Hassouna in the assassination; for how can it be supposed otherwise, that the wretches who murdered the Major would have brought these packages to such a distance without having been tempted by cupidity, or even the curiosity so natural to savages, to break open their frail covers?
Mohamed, however, after he had left the palace, fearing that the Pasha in his anger would make him answerable for his brother's crime, according to the usual mode of doing justice at Tripoli, hastened to seek refuge in the house of the person of whom we have spoken, and to implore his protection. Soon afterwards the consul-general of the Netherlands, accompanied by his colleagues the consuls-general of Sweden, Denmark, and Sardinia, proceeded to the residence of the person pointed out as the receiver, and in the name of Colonel Warrington, and by virtue of the declaration of Mohamed, called upon him instantly to restore Major Laing's papers. He answered haughtily, that this declaration was only a tissue of calumnies; and Mohamed, on his side, trusting, doubtless, in a pretended inviolability, yielding, perhaps, to fallacious promises, retracted his declaration, completely disowned it, and even went so far as to deny his own hand-writing.
This recantation deceived nobody; the Pasha, in a transport of rage, sent to Mohamed his own son, Sidi Ali; this time influence was of no avail. Mohamed, threatened with being seized by the chiaoux, retracted his retractation; and in a new declaration, in the presence of all the consuls, confirmed that which he made in the morning before the Pasha and his officers.
One consolatory fact results from these afflicting details: the papers of Major Laing exist, and the learned world will rejoice at the intelligence; but in the name of humanity, in the name of science, in the name of the national honour—compromised, perhaps, by disgraceful or criminal bargains—it must be hoped that justice may fall upon the guilty, whoever he may be.
* * * * *
A COFFEE-ROOM CHARACTER.
It was about the year 1805 that we were first ushered into the dining-house called the Cheshire Cheese, in Wine-office-court. It is known that Johnson once lodged in this court, and bought an enormous cudgel while there, to resist a threatened attack from Macpherson, the author, or editor, of Ossian's Poems. At the time we first knew the place (for its visiters and keepers are long since changed for the third or fourth time,) many came there who remembered Johnson and Goldsmith spending their evenings in the coffee-room; old half-pay officers, staid tradesmen of the neighbourhood, and the like, formed the principal portion of the company.
Few in this vast city know the alley in Fleet-street which leads to the sawdusted floor and shining tables; those tables of mahogany, parted by green-curtained seats, and bound with copper rims to turn the edge of the knife which might perchance assail them during a warm debate; John Bull having a propensity to commit such mutilations in the "torrent, tempest, and whirlwind" of argument. Thousands have never seen the homely clock that ticks over the chimney, nor the capacious, hospitable-looking fire-place under, both as they stood half a century ago, when Fleet-street was the emporium of literary talent, and every coffee-house was distinguished by some character of note who was regarded as the oracle of the company.
 We may add that still fewer have seen the characteristic whole-length portrait of "Harry," the waiter, which has been placed over the fireplace, by subscription among the frequenters of the room. Wageman is the painter, and nothing can describe the bonhommie of Harry, who has just drawn the cork of a pint of port, exulting in all the vainglory of crust and bees' wing.—ED. MIRROR.
Among these was old Colonel L——e, in person short and thick-set. He often sacrificed copiously to the jolly god, in his box behind the door; he was a great smoker, and had numbered between seventy and eighty years. Early in the evening he was punctually at his post; he called, for his pipe and his "go of rack," according to his diurnal custom; and surveying first the persons at his own table, and then those in other parts of the room, he commonly sat a few minutes in silence, as if waiting the stimulating effect of the tobacco to wind up his conversational powers, or perhaps he was bringing out defined images from the dim reminiscences which floated in his sensorium. If a stranger were near, he commonly addressed him with an old soldier's freedom, on some familiar topic which little needed the formalities of a set introduction; but soon changed the subject, and commenced fighting "his battles o'er again." He talked much of Minden, and the campaigns of 1758 and 59. He boasted of having carried the colours of the 20th regiment, that bore the brunt of the day there, and mainly contributed to obtain a "glorious victory," as Southey, in his days of uncourtliness, called that of Blenheim. But though thus fond of showing "how fields were won," he was equally delighted with recounting his acquaintance with more peaceful subjects. He had known Johnson and Goldsmith, together with the list of worthies who honoured Fleet-street by making it their abode between thirty and forty years before, and were at that time visitants of the house. "At this very table," said he, speaking of that which is situated on the right-hand behind the door, "Johnson used always to sit when he came here, and Goldsmith also. I knew them well. Johnson overawed us all, and every one became silent when he spoke." The colonel observed of Goldsmith, "That no one would have thought much of him from his company, though he had a great name in the world."
The colonel also knew something of Churchill, described him as by no means prepossessing in person, and one of the last who could have been supposed capable of writing as he wrote. The colonel, in his old age, imagined he too had a taste for poetry, and boasted of Goldsmith's having asserted (perhaps jokingly) that he possessed a talent for writing verse. This idea working in his mind for years, had induced him to print, in his old age, what he called, to the best of my recollection, "A Continuation of the Deserted Village." He always brought a copy with him of an evening, and was fond of referring to it, and passing it round for the company to look at—a weakness pardonable in a garrulous old man. On revisiting the house, for old acquaintance sake, after an absence of some years from London, I missed him from his accustomed place, which I observed to be occupied by a stranger. On inquiry, I found that he was departed to where human vanity and human wisdom are upon a level, and where man is alike deaf to the voice of literary and military ambition.—New Monthly Magazine.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
THE ANNUALS FOR 1830.
We feel it a duty to the proprietors of these elegant works, as well as to our readers, to give the following annonces of the several volumes for 1830:—
The Keepsake is very forward. Among the contributors are Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, and the author of "Anastasius." Sir Walter's contribution is a dramatic romance, in imitation of the German; and Lord Byron's are ten letters written by him between 1821, and the time of his lordship's death.
The Forget-Me-Not will contain a very gem—being the first known attempt at poetry, by Lord Byron, copied from the autograph of the noble poet, and certified by the lady to whom it was addressed—the object of his lordship's first, if not his only real attachment.
Mr. Ackermann has likewise announced a Juvenile Forget-Me-Not, so as to remember all growths.
The Literary Souvenir is in a state of great forwardness. Among the contributors are the authors of "Kuzzil-bash;" "Constantinople in 1828;" "The Sorrows of Rosalie;" and "Rouge et Noir." The pencils of Sir Thomas Lawrence, Howard, Collins, Chalon, Harlowe, and Martin, have furnished subjects for the illustrations.
The Amulet, among its illustrations will contain an engraving from Mulready's picture of an English Cottage; another from Wilkie's "Dorty Bairn;" and another from a drawing by Martin, engraved by Le Keux, for which he is said to have received one hundred and eighty guineas. Mr. Hall, the editor, has likewise been equally fortunate in an accession of literary talent.
The Juvenile Forget-Me-Not, under the superintendence of Mrs. S.C. Hall, also promises unusual attractions, both in picture and print.
The Juvenile Keepsake, edited by Mr. T. Roscoe, is said to be completed.
Another Juvenile Annual, to be called the Zoological Keepsake, is announced, with a host of cuts to enliven the "birds, beasts, and fishes" of the smaller growth.
The Gem will re-appear as the Annual Gem, with thirteen embellishments, superintended by A. Cooper, R. A.
The Bijou promises well. The embellishments are of the first order, from pictures by Sir Thomas Lawrence, Stothard, Wilkie, and the lamented Bonington. Among the gems are a splendid portrait of the King, from the president's picture, in the possession of Sir William Knighton, Bart.; and a portrait of the beautiful Mrs. Arbuthnot.
The Winter's Wreath will bloom with more than its accustomed beauty. Among the contributors we notice, for the first time, the author of "Rank and Talent."
Religious Annuals are on the increase. One of the novelties of this class is "Emmanuel," to be edited by the author of "Clouds and Sunshine," of the excellence of which we have many grateful recollections. The Iris, to be edited by the Rev. Thomas Dale, is another novelty in this way.
The Musical Bijou has among its composers, Rossini, Bishop, Kalk-brenner, Rodwell, J. Barnet, and others. The lyrists and prose writers are Sir Walter Scott, T.H. Bayley, the Ettrick Shepherd, Messrs. Planche, Richard Ryan, &c.
One of the most splendid designs of the season is a "Landscape Annual, or the Tourist in Italy and Switzerland," from drawings by Prout; the literary department by T. Roscoe, Esq. and to contain the most attractive views which occur to the traveller on his route from Geneva to Rome. Some of the plates are described as extremely brilliant.
Two Transatlantic Annuals, the Atlantic Souvenir, published at Philadelphia, and the Token, published at Boston—may be expected in London.
The foregoing are all the announcements we have been able to collect. We miss two or three established favourites; but we hope to make their promises the subject of a future paragraph.
* * * * *
In England the goose is sacred to St. Michael; in Scotland, where dainties were not going every day,
"'Twas Christmas sent its savoury goose."
The Michaelmas goose is said to owe its origin to Queen Elizabeth's dining on one at the table of an English baronet on that day when she received tidings of the dispersion of the Spanish Armada, in commemoration of which she ordered the goose to make its appearance every Michaelmas. In some places, particularly Caithness, geese are cured and smoked, and are highly relishing. Smoked Solan geese are well known as contributing to the abundance of a Scottish breakfast, though too rank and fishy-flavoured for unpractised palates. The goose has made some figure in English history. The churlishness of the brave Richard Coeur de Lion, a sovereign distinguished for an insatiable appetite and vigorous digestion, in an affair of roast goose, was the true cause of his captivity in Germany. The king, disguised as a palmer, was returning to his own dominions, attended by Sir Fulk Doyley and Sir Thomas de Multon, "brothers in arms," and wearing the same privileged garb. They arrived in Almain, (Germany,) at the town of Carpentras, where,
"A goose they dight to their dinner. In a tavern where they were. King Richard the fire bet, Thomas to him the spit set; Fouk Doyley tempered the wood; Dear a-bought they that good;"
for in came a Minstralle, or she-Minstrel, with offer of specimens of her art in return for a leg of the goose and a cup of the wine. Richard, who loved "rich meats," and cared little at this time for their usual accompaniment, "minstrelsy,"—
"—bade that she would go; That turned him to mickle woe. The Minstralle took in mind, And said, ye are men unkind: And if I may ye shall for-think Ye gave me neither meat nor drink!"
The lady, who was English, recognised the king, and denounced him to the king of Germany, who ordered the pilgrims into his presence, insulted Richard, "said him shame," called him taylard, probably for his affection for goose, and finally ordered him to a dungeon. But Richard, a true knightly eater, who, besides roast goose, liked to indulge in
"Bread and wine, Piment and clarry good and fine; Cranes and swans, and venison; Partridges, plovers, and heron,—
was neither dainty nor over-nice. At a pinch he could eat any thing, which on sundry emergencies stood him in great stead. Wax and nuts, and tallow and grease mixed, carried him through one campaign, when the enemy thought to have starved out the English army and its cormorant commander. The courage and strength of Richard were always redoubled after dinner. It was then his greatest feats were performed.—Romance of Coeur de Lion.
The livers of geese and poultry are esteemed a great delicacy by some gourmands; and on the continent great pains are taken to procure fat overgrown livers. The methods employed to produce this diseased state of the animals are as disgusting to rational taste as revolting to humanity. The geese are crammed with fat food, deprived of drink, kept in an intolerably hot atmosphere, and fastened by the feet (we have heard of nailing) to the shelves of the fattening cribs. The celebrated Strasburg pies, which are esteemed so great a delicacy that they are often sent as presents to distant places, are enriched with these diseased livers. It is a mistake that these pies are wholly made of this artificial animal substance.
* * * * *
Colonel Rottiers, a recent traveller in Turkey, holds out the following temptation to European enterprise:—
The terrestrial paradise, which is supposed to be situated in Armenia, appeared to M. Rottiers to stretch along the shores of the Black Sea. The green banks, sloping into the water, are sometimes decked with box-trees of uncommon size, sometimes clothed with natural orchards, in which the cherries, pears, pomegranates, and other fruits, growing in their indigenous soil, possess a flavour indescribably exquisite. The bold eminences are crowned with superb forests or majestic ruins, which alternately rule the scenes of this devoted country, from the water's edge to the summit of the mountains. The moral and political condition of the country contrasts forcibly with the flourishing aspect of nature. At Sinope there is no commerce, and the Greeks having, in consequence, deserted the place, the population is at present below 5,000. This city, once the capital of the great Mithridates, enjoys natural advantages, which, but for the barbarism of the Turkish government, would soon raise it into commercial eminence. It has a deep and capacious harbour—the finest timber in the world grows in its vicinity—and the district of the interior, with which it immediately communicates, is one of the most productive and industrious in Asiatic Turkey. Amasia, the ancient capital of Cappadocia, Tokat, and Costambol, are rich and populous towns. Near the last is held an annual fair, commencing fifteen days before the feast of Ramadan, and which is said to be attended by at least fifty thousand merchants, from all parts of the east. From the nature of the country in which it is situated, M. Rottiers is disposed to believe that Sinope holds out peculiarly strong inducements to European enterprise. He also had an opportunity of observing, that its defences were gone totally to ruin, and significantly remarks, that it could not possibly withstand a coup de main. Amastra, a great and wealthy city while possessed by the Genoese in the middle ages, is now a wretched village, occupied by a few Turkish families, whose whole industry consists in making a few toys and articles of wooden ware. It stands on a peninsula, which appears to have been formerly an island, and the Isthmus uniting it to the mainland is wholly composed, according to the account of Mr. Eton, who surveyed part of this coast, of fragments of columns and marble friezes.
* * * * *
The chief production of Georgia is wine, which is of excellent quality, and so abundant in the countries situated between the Caspian and the Black Seas, that it would soon become a most important object of exportation, if the people could be induced to improve their methods of making and preserving it. At present the grapes are gathered and pressed without any care, and the process of fermentation is so unskilfully managed, that the wine rarely keeps till the following vintage. The skins of animals are the vessels in which it is kept. The hair is turned inwards, and the interior of the bag is thickly besmeared with asphaltum or mineral tar, which renders the vessel indeed perfectly sound, but imparts an abominable flavour to the wine, and even adds to its acescence. The Georgians have not yet learned to keep their wine in casks, without which it is vain to look for any improvements in its manufacture. Yet the mountains abound in the requisite materials, and only a few coopers are requisite to make the commencement. The consumption of wine in Georgia, and above all at Tiflis, is prodigiously great. From the prince to the peasant the ordinary ration of a Georgian, if we may believe M. Gamba, is one tonque, (equal to five bottles and a half of Bordeaux) per day. A tonque of the best wine, such as is drunk by persons of rank, costs about twenty sous; the inferior wines are sold for less than a sous per bottle.—Foreign Quar. Rev.
* * * * *
The court historiographer of the Burmese, has recorded in the national chronicle his account of the war with the English to the following purport: —"In the years 1186 and 87, the Kula-pyu, or white strangers of the west, fastened a quarrel upon the Lord of the Golden Palace. They landed at Rangoon, took that place and Prome, and were permitted to advance as far as Yandabo; for the king, from motives of piety and regard to life, made no effort whatever to oppose them. The strangers had spent vast sums of money in their enterprise; and by the time they reached Yandabo, their resources were exhausted, and they were in great distress. They petitioned the king, who, in his clemency and generosity, sent them large sums of money to pay their expenses back, and ordered them out of the country."— Crawfurd's Embassy to Ava.
To quote a vulgar proverb, this is making the best of a bad job.
* * * * *
How far a man's clothes are or are not a part of himself, is more than I would take on myself to decide, without farther inquiry; though I lean altogether to the affirmative. The inhabitants of the South Sea Islands were astonished and alarmed when they, first saw the Europeans strip. Yet they would have been much more so, could they have entered into the notions prevalent in the civilized world on the subject of a wardrobe; could they have understood how much virtue lies inherent in a superfine broad cloth, how much respectability in a gilt button, how much sense in the tie of a cravat, how much amiability in the cut of a sleeve, how much merit of every sort in a Stultz and a Hoby. There are who pretend, and that with some plausibilty, that these things are but typical; that taste in dress is but the outward and visible sign of the frequentation of good company; and that propriety of exterior is but evidence of a general sense of the fitness of things. Yet if this were really the case, if there were nothing intrinsic in the relation of the clothes to the wearer, how could a good coat at once render a pickpocket respectable; or a clean shirt pass current, as it does, with police magistrates for a clean conscience. In England, a handsome toggery is a better defensive armour, than "helm and hauberk's twisted mail." While the seams are perfect, and the elbows do not appear through the cloth, the law cannot penetrate it. A gentleman, (that is to say, a man who can pay his tailor's bill,) is above suspicion; and benefit of clergy is nothing to the privilege and virtue of a handsome exterior. That the skin is nearer than the shirt, is a most false and mistaken idea. The smoothest skin in Christendom would not weigh with a jury like a cambric ruffle; and moreover, there is not a poor devil in town striving to keep up appearances in spite of fortune, who would not far rather tear his flesh than his unmentionables; which can only arise from their being so much more important a part of himself.—New Monthly Magazine.
* * * * *
The French have a kind of irritable jealousy towards the English, which makes them forget their general politeness. Give them but a civil word, make the least advance, and they receive you with open arms; but show them that cold reserve with which an Englishman generally treats all strangers, and every Frenchman's hand is on his sword.—New Monthly Magazine.
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles. SHAKSPEARE.
* * * * *
When this notorious felon was under sentence of death, the Right Hon. Charles Wolfran Cornwall, then Speaker of the House of Commons, was strongly solicited to apply to his majesty for a pardon, as he was related to him. "No," said Mr. Cornwall, "I should deserve public censure if I attempted to contribute to the prolongation of the life of a man who has so frequently been a nuisance to society, and has given so many proofs that kindness to him would be cruelty to others. Were my own son to offend one-tenth part so often as he has done, I should think it my duty rather to solicit his punishment than his pardon."
* * * * *
On S—— E——, an intelligent and amiable boy, who was unfortunately drowned while bathing.
Though gentle as a dove, his soul sublime, For heav'n impatient, would not wait for time; Ere youth had bloom'd his virtues ripe were seen, A man in intellect! a child in mien! A hallow'd wave from mercy's fount was pour'd, And, wash'd from clay, to bliss his spirit soar'd.
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A HOLY HERMIT.
A hermit, named Parnhe, being upon the road to meet his bishop who had sent for him, met a lady most magnificently dressed, whose incomparable beauty drew the eyes of every body on her. The saint having looked at her, and being himself struck with astonishment, immediately burst into tears. Those who were with him wondering to see him weep, demanded the cause of his grief. "I have two reasons," replied he, "for my tears; I weep to think how fatal an impression that woman makes on all who behold her; and I am touched with sorrow when I reflect that I, for my salvation, and to please God, have never taken one-tenth part of the pains which this woman has taken to please men alone."
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At a country village in Yorkshire, was an old established cobbler, who cracked his joke, loved his pipe and lived happy. In short, he was a sober and industrious man. His quiet, however, was disturbed by an unexpected opposition in his trade, at the same village, and to add to his misfortune, the new comer established himself directly opposite to the old cobbler's stall, and at the same time to show his learning and probity, painted in large letters over his door, "Mens conscia recti." To conceive the meaning of this, the poor cobbler laboured night and day, but unsuccessfully; he at last determined that this "consciarecti" was a new sort of shoe made for men's use; he therefore painted over his door, "Men's and Women's consciarecti," where it remains still.
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A schoolboy reading Cassar's "Commentaries" came to translate the following passage thus: "Caesar venit in Gallia summa diligentia." "Caesar came into Gaul on the top of the Diligence."
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A wag, who "will be the death of us," says he bought a cake the other evening:—"It is thundering weight," observed the baker: "I hope it will not lighten before I get it home," was the equivocal reply.
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On hearing a Watchman cry the hour on Tuesday morning, September 29, the last of his duty.
"Farewell! mine occupation's gone," He sung in "half-past five;" Here ends his call, his beat is done, How then can he survive.
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