THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XVII, No. 489.] SATURDAY, MAY 14, 1831. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
ST. GEORGE'S HOSPITAL.
All who enjoy the luxury of doing good (and who does not, in some way or other?) will be happy to learn that the above is the elevation of the new St. George's Hospital, at Hyde Park Corner. It is already a splendid monument of British benevolence; but is only a portion of the original plan, which is to complete another front towards Hyde Park; this will extend even further than the old hospital.
St. George's Hospital, we learn from a printed "Account," "was set on foot soon after Michaelmas, 1733, by some gentlemen who were before concerned in a charity of the like kind, in the lower part of Westminster. They judged this house convenient for their purpose, on account of its air, situation, and nearness to town; procured a lease of it, and opened a subscription for carrying on the charity here. The subscriptions increased so fast, that on the nineteenth of October they were formed into a regular society, and actually began to receive patients on the first of January following." The Establishment was, therefore, prosperous at its commencement, and the same good fortune has subsequently attended its progress. It is supported by Voluntary Contributions. The resources are considerable in property, and have been greatly enriched by legacies. Indeed, the legacies which fell to the Hospital during last year, exceeded 11,000l.
The building of the new Hospital, in the Engraving, was first proposed at a meeting held in the year 1827, at which the open-hearted Duke of York was chairman; and at a subsequent meeting, the Archbishop of Canterbury presided. A "Building Fund" was raised, to which the late King munificently contributed L1,000. This Fund is entirely separate from the General Funds of the Hospital: "the sums already subscribed" says the Report of 1830, "have been expended in erecting a part of the building which is now occupied by 140 patients, and the public are earnestly requested to keep in view the importance of continuing their benevolent contributions, until the great object of re-building the entire Hospital has been effected." It is well known that the closeness of the wards in the old building has long been a subject of the deepest regret to the physicians and surgeons, who have observed its effect in preventing or retarding the cure of their patients; and this evil must, in some degree, be increased by the new building partially obstructing the ventilation of the old.
From the Report of 1829, we also learn that the subscriptions were L3,439. the Dividends L3,798. and the Legacies L1,781. and the expenses of the year L9,731. including L709. for bedding, &c. for the new building.
The new building is from the designs of W. Wilkins, Esq. R.A. architect of the London University, &c. The Engraving represents the grand front which faces the Green Park, and consists of a centre and two wings, in all 200 feet in length. Part of the north wing, which we have referred to as facing Hyde Park, or stretching towards Knightsbridge, is also erected. The south wing is finished, and occupied by patients, as is also the south end of the east front. The theatre for lectures on surgery and medicine will accommodate 150 students. Immediately adjoining it is the museum of anatomical preparations. The entire edifice is faced with compost, coloured and checkered in imitation of stone. The hospital, when complete, will contain 29 wards, and 460 beds. The contracts for building the whole amount to about L41,000.
The grand front, seen from the Green Park, has a handsome appearance, and the architecture is simply elegant. Viewed in association with the costly arch entrance to the Gardens of Buckingham Palace, and the classic screen and gates to Hyde Park—the New Hospital gives rise to a grateful recollection of national benevolence as well as cultivation of fine art—of soothing life's ills as well as embellishing its enjoyments—in short, of nurturing the first and best feelings of our nature as well as encouraging taste and talent. May England never halt in raising such monuments of her real greatness!
* * * * *
(For the Mirror.)
I've stood to gaze on the sunset hill, When the winds were hush'd and the waves were still; As the sun sank slowly down the west, I thought of the good man dropping to rest, When his race is run—he yields his breath, And softly sinks in the slumber of death.
When I gazed on the gorgeous western sky, I thought of those blissful bowers on high, Whose brightness—blessedness serene, Ear hath not heard—eye hath not seen.
When I saw the golden glories die, I thought on life's uncertainty, And as night came on in her ebon gloom, Oh! I thought of the dark and the dreamless tomb, How soon man's fairest prospects flee, The curtain drops—"And where is he?"
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE GOLDEN BODKIN.
An Illustration of Sayings and Doings.
(For the Mirror.)
It was the vesper-hour when the lovely Lady Victorine entered the church of St. Genevieve with her liege lord the Marquess de Montespan, and proceeding slowly down a side aisle of that magnificent fane, prostrated herself upon the steps of an altar of black marble, upon which burned in silver cassolettes, two small glimmering fires, sparingly fed with frankincense, and serving rather to render visible, than to illumine the gloom of the niche in which the altar stood; whilst the tapers which twinkled like glow-worms here and there in the body of the spacious temple, indicated the presence of worshippers, who, in the uncertain and vasty darkness, were scarcely beheld. The Marquess de Montespan kneeled beside his fair lady, and a couple of domestics at a respectful distance from the noble pair, whilst the solemn pealing of the organ intermingled with the low murmurings of human voices, and the sweet, full-toned responses of the choir, aided and attested the devotion of those who now attended vespers in the church of St. Genevieve. The sacred service was nearly concluded, when the attention of the congregation was painfully diverted from the solemn duty in which they were engaged, by thrilling shrieks proceeding from one of the side aisles, and an uncommon stir and tumult about the dark oratory of the Montespans, to which, therefore, a crowd was presently attracted. Alas! for the brevity and vanity of human life! The marquess, who had but so short a time since entered the church in manly prime, health, and strength, and in the full flush of happiness and hope, now suddenly, ay, even as he knelt beside his beautiful wife, and even as their spirits mingled in the same acts of devotion, the marquess now, struck by the angel of death, laid cold, senseless, and motionless, in the arms of his servants, who were vainly endeavouring to recall that vital spark which was totally extinct. Victorine, the young and lovely marchioness, thus suddenly and awfully reduced to widowhood, had fallen into such violent hysterics, as to render the task of supporting her almost dangerous to a noble youth who had voluntarily undertaken it. The consternation of the spectators at this tragical spectacle may be well imagined; but some two or three of them had, nevertheless, presence of mind sufficient to fetch a physician, and after medical aid had somewhat restored to composure the unhappy Victorine, she, with her deceased husband, upon whom, alas, all efforts of art had been bestowed in vain, was carefully conveyed to the Hotel de Montespan. Upon the breast of the Comte de Villeroi had the head of the afflicted marchioness rested, in the eventful hour of her sad bereavement, and in less than six months did he supply to her the place of her departed lord. This event occurred, it was then deemed, prematurely, and the precise and censorious blamed the indelicate haste with which Victorine had exchanged her weeds for bridal attire; but the kind-hearted observed, "Poor young creature, all Paris knows that Villeroi was the elected of her heart, long ere she was forced into a marriage with Montespan; no wonder therefore is it, that the first act of her recovered liberty should be, that of throwing herself into his arms;" so, "all Paris," after this appeal to its knowledge of private history, and best sympathies, could do no less than take the charitable side of the question, and Madame la Comtesse de Villeroi was allowed, unmolested by the voice of public censure, to reign awhile as bride and belle in the high circles which her beauty and agreeable qualities so well fitted her to adorn. Ere long, however, it was surmised that Victorine found herself not quite so happy in her union with the object of her first affection as she had anticipated she should be; she was pale, spiritless, and absent; sometimes started when addressed, as if only accustomed to the accents of authority unmingled with kindness; her cheeks were hollow, her eyes sunken and ray-less, and her smile was the very mockery of mirth; evidently she was not happy, and the apparently affectionate attentions lavished upon her by the comte, tended not to diminish suspicions that he was not altogether so amiable at home, as he took pains to appear in society. However, balls and fetes followed the union of the young couple very gaily for some months, and everybody said that the Comtesse de Villeroi, rich, beautiful, and beloved, ought to be the happiest creature in existence.
Something more than a year after the demise of the Marquess de Montespan, Paris was thrown into considerable consternation by a report originating with some of the petty officers of the sacred establishment, that the church of St. Genevieve was haunted; old Albert Morel, the sexton, protesting upon the faith of a good Catholic, that he had heard, when occasionally in the church, alone, a strange rattling noise proceed from the vaults beneath it. "What this could be," he remarked, "was past comprehension, unless it were ghosts playing at skittles with their own dead bones." Some people laughed at this idea, and some sapiently shaking their heads, declared with ominous looks, that Morel was no fool, but knew what he knew, whilst every one agreed that some foundation, at least there must be, for the fearful tale. At length, in the church of St. Genevieve, it became necessary for the interment of some individual of rank, to open the very vault from whence seemed chiefly or entirely to proceed the strange and alarming sounds, and this happened to be that, in which were deposited the mortal remains of the Marquess de Montespan; from his coffin, (a mere wooden shell,) it was now ascertained that the rattling proceeded, and as upon inspection, a hole was observed to have been drilled in the wood, as if by the teeth of some animal, it was judged expedient to open and examine it further. The remains of the marquess were discovered in a state of dry decomposition, with his head as completely severed from his body as if by the stroke of the axe; but, horror of horrors! that head, that skeleton skull, moved, as those who opened the coffin stood to gaze on its revolting contents, and rolled to and fro by itself! Dismay seized the spectators, who were about to rush in disorder from the spot, when one more courageous than the rest, laying hold of the skull, shook it violently for some moments, when, from one of the eye-sockets dangled the tail of a rat! The cause of the strange sounds heard by Morel and others, connected with the church of St. Genevieve, was now obvious; the voracious animal had entered when lean and small, into the head of the deceased marquess, by the eye, but after revelling upon the brain of the unfortunate defunct for some time, had increased to a size which rendered its exit by the same passage impossible, and its efforts at extrication from horrible thraldom, caused the rattling of the disjoined head in the coffin. It was proposed to saw asunder the skull, in order to free the creature, and the advice of Albert Morel, that the operation should be performed by one of the medical fraternity, who might be glad to witness the fact of a rat being imprisoned in a human head, was cheerfully taken. Some, however, objected to its being done, without application for leave having been first made to the Comtesse de Villeroi, as one to whom the proprietorship of her deceased husband's remains naturally and solely appertained, and who might feel it as a cruel insult towards herself, and a sacrilegious violation of the grave of her first lord, the consigning without her knowledge and permission, any part of his body to the hands of a surgeon. "Tush!" quoth old Morel, "all nonsense that! for if one may believe what has long been town-talk, 'tis little that madame will care for her dead husband now she has a living one who pleases her better than ever he could do, poor man!" The sexton's arguments were conclusive, and it was agreed at last, that the skull should be carried to Monsieur Nicolais, the celebrated surgeon, who had unavailingly attempted by bleeding, to recover the late marquess from the apoplexy which carried him off.
A large and brilliant party had assembled at the chateau de Vermont, the residence of the gay and opulent Comte de Villeroi and his lady, to celebrate the christening of their first born, when in the midst of a splendid banquet, an alarm was given that the house was surrounded by police and gens d'armes, who required in the king's name a surrender of the persons of the Comte and Comtesse de Villeroi, they standing attainted of foul and treasonable murder! The confusion and dismay which seized all parties upon this terrible catastrophe, it is impossible to describe; but it suffices to state, that the Comte de Villeroi was impeached for, and fully committed for trial on the charge of having feloniously aided and abetted Victorine de Villeroi, (late Montespan,) in wilfully and maliciously causing the death of her late liege husband, Herbert de Montespan, by thrusting a long pin, or bodkin of gold into his right ear, well knowing that the same entering into his brain, would cause his instantaneous dissolution. Master Nicolais, it appeared, in sawing open the skull of the deceased with anatomical science and precision, had found a pin or Golden Bodkin like that described in the indictment, and like what were at this period much used by ladies in fastening up their hair, bearing the initials, V.M. which he perceived had been violently thrust through the orifice of the ear, into the brain of the unfortunate victim. This inference as to the fiendish murderer was inevitable, and just; and the horror-struck practitioner scrupled not to incite the relations of the late marquess to summon witnesses, and lay a criminal information against Victorine de Villeroi as principal in, and Armand de Villeroi as accessary to, this abominable transaction. Upon trial, the innocence of the Comte, as to the slightest knowledge of his wife's secret and heinous crime, was so apparent that it ensured him an honourable acquittal; but the guilt of that wretched woman being established beyond all doubt by the evidence of the goldsmith who had made for her, and engraved her initials upon, the Golden Bodkin, of the domestics who had seen her when their master fell asleep during the vespers at St. Genevieve, put her hand beneath his head as if with the intent of waking, and raising him up, and subsequently by her own confession, her guilt was thus incontrovertibly established. She suffered those extreme penalties of the law which the heinous nature of her crime demanded, and fully justified.
This historiette, in the leading incidents of which, every Frenchman at all acquainted with the Causes Celebres of his country, will detect matters of fact, we have "made a prief of in our notebook," as one of those interesting cases, (not less remarkable because of rather frequent occurrence) which incontestably prove, that under the just government of the Omniscient, who hath willed that "Whosoever sheddeth the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed."—Murder will out!
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
* * * * *
Dr. Lardner has commenced a "Library," as a kind of succedaneum to his valuable "Cyclopaedia." Both are styled Cabinet, and the first may be considered an amplification of the second. Two of the Cabinet Library volumes contain a Retrospect of Public Affairs for 1831—not a chronology of shreds and patches, but a well-digested review of the great events of the year—and important indeed they are. The work is the quintessence of an "Annual Register:" it is not so porous and pursy as the last mentioned book, but is a pleasant volume to put in one's pocket and read inside a coach, if the passengers will allow you to do so; and it seems to be a good book for newspaper readers, to arrange their head-pieces, for they are usually crammed with all kinds of recollections, and have but few right-set views. We do not content ourselves with saying the Retrospect is well written, but quote a proof of equal length and interest—for it relates to a country whose fate is anxiously watched by all Europe, nay, by all the world. It is from the author's Chapter on the State of Poland. After some pages on the oppressed Poles, the writer proceeds:—
"Thus the army, both in its numbers and management, was entirely at the mercy and under the direction of Muscovite despotism; the resources of the state were employed, without the legal control of the diet, to strengthen Russian tyranny, the press was enslaved, that no remonstrance might be made against Russian oppression; the citizens were arrested, imprisoned, and punished by a Russian military chieftain, without being brought to trial before the proper native tribunals; the legislative chambers were deprived of their just prerogatives; the national customs, habits, and feelings were hourly insulted; the citizens were beset with an infamous police, an deprived even of the melancholy consolation of complaint; thus, in short, every Polish right was violated—every article of the charter broken—and the whole efforts of an imperial savage, at the head of a strong military force, directed to efface from the countrymen of the Sobieskis and Kosciuszkos all the remains of the Polish character.
"This, it must be allowed, is a picture of tyranny and misgovernment sufficiently appalling to justify the resistance of any people, but more especially that of a people which had long been accustomed to even a licentious freedom, which was proud of its national honour and ancient renown; which entertained such a veneration for its laws and usages as to preserve for two centuries the liberum veto and the rights of elective monarchy, the source of all its calamities; and which had the positive stipulations of its sovereign for the preservation of its national rights. But, like most general pictures, its impression may be diminished by its generality. We shall therefore make no apology for introducing, on the authority of an Englishman who had been twelve years in Poland, a few facts to give the character of precision and truth to the outline. In the fortress of Zamosc twelve state prisoners were found, some of whom had been incarcerated for six years without having undergone a trial, and whose names were only known to the commander of the castle. In the dungeons of Marienanski, in Warsaw, was found a victim of the Russian police, who had been kept in solitary confinement for ten years, and whose fate was entirely unknown to his friends and relatives. Respectable inhabitants of Warsaw were often taken and flogged before the grand duke without the formality of a trial, or the specification of a charge. Some were even, in the same unlawful manner, made to break stones or wheel barrows on the streets or highways like galley slaves. Persons of rank were frequently taken from their homes, immured in prison, and dismissed after several weeks' incarceration without knowing what alleged offence had provoked such a wanton exercise of power contrary to the charter and the privileges of Poland; state offenders were carried out of the country to Russian prisons and attempts were made to give them a journey to Siberia, which were only prevented by the threat of suicide on the part of the victims. The resources of the kingdom were squandered entirely for Russian objects; and the people were oppressed to maintain a Polish and a Russian army. Peculation and pillage was the order of the day. The president of the town of Warsaw, with a salary of between 500l. and 600l. contrived to amass a fortune of 100,000l. in fifteen years, besides living in splendour and squandering twice his legal income. The same unprincipled peculation was practised by other municipal or state officers. The Russian generals were in league with the magistrates and billet-master, to divide the booty received from the inhabitants as the price of exemption from the oppressive quartering of troops on their houses. Spies were employed by the police to watch every man of the least consequence in society, and the nobility were often driven to the country to avoid such dangerous intruders. In several instances members of the diet were banished to their estates, and made to pay the troops that guarded them, for having ventured in the assembly, whose discussions ought to have been free, to express a suspicion of the government, or to hint an opinion contrary to the taste of the grand duke.
"The following statement of facts on this head, to which we have seen no allusion made in the public prints, but the authenticity of which may be relied on, will give a better idea of the system of Russian government in Poland than any general description could convey. We have received it from the quarter to which we have above alluded:—
"According to the laws of Poland, a commission, chosen by the citizens, has the right of examining and auditing the accounts of the town. From the tyrannical system adopted by the officers who were continually about the person of the grand duke, they dared not perform their duty from fear of his displeasure, and probably, at the instigation of the miscreants around him, being consigned to a prison; remonstrances were, however, generally made at the half-yearly meeting of the commission; though, up to the period immediately before the revolution, nothing was done to check the evil. In the month of September a circumstance occurred, not important in itself, but of great weight in the future course of events. Janiszewski, a cidevant officer in the army, had sent several petitions to the president of the town, which were treated with neglect and insult. He and the president met in the street, when the latter again insulted him. This was immediately resented by the former, who inflicted severe corporal chastisement on the latter. The grand duke refused to interfere in the affair. A trial ensued, in which some abuses of the president were exposed, and Janiszewski sentenced only to forty days' imprisonment. This affair, and this decision, created a strong sensation at the time; and emboldened the commission appointed to investigate the affairs of the town-house to insist on their rights. The commission, being at length roused by the numerous abuses that were pressed on their attention, obtained an order from the minister of the interior to proceed in the execution of their duties. They immediately formed themselves into branch committees, each two taking cognizance of a department. The task of investigating the abuses in the quartering of the officers devolved on two citizens, called Schuch and Czarnecki. They found, on inquiry, that the owners of large houses were induced to compromise with the billetmaster for a sum in cash equal to one-fourth, and in some instances to one half of the amount of rent, in lieu of having a general or any number of inferior officers quartered on them. In Warsaw many of the houses contain from fifty to a hundred families; consequently, the billet-compensation money was a grievous tax. The mass of extortions were found to exceed in reality any previous estimate. A new scene now opened to view. Those gentlemen received evidence that the Russian generals were participators in the pillage of the town, and in league with the president and billet-master. Feeling that they should be detected in proceedings so disgraceful, they consulted a lawyer (Wolinski,) to know if the researches of the committee could not be legally prevented. His opinion was given in the negative; but, in order to divert the public mind from the investigation, he advised Czarnecki to provoke one of the commission to strike him, when he should be able to prosecute him for attacking an employe and by that means get rid of the investigation. Czarnecki used the most insulting language to Mr. Schuch, and in a fit of desperation seized hold of his arm, with the intention of putting him out of the room by force. The committee-man being on his guard, the manoeuvre failed. Czarnecki, seeing himself foiled, his iniquity discovered, and his ill-gotten wealth likely to be confiscated, committed suicide, and thus left the president and generals to fight their own battles. The artillery of Messrs. Schuch and Czarnecki was now directed against the whole of the Russian and two Polish generals, the notorious and unprincipled Raznieki, the head of the secret police of the kingdom, and Kossecki. Means had in vain been tried to bribe Messrs. Schuch and Czarnecki through the commissary of the circle, that the investigations should cease, or that the generals should not appear to be implicated in the affair. It was ascertained by the investigation that General Lewicki, Russian commander of the town, independently of the lodgings he occupied, received payment for more than a hundred lodgings; that General Gendre received payment of 212l. 10s.; that Philippeus, cashier to the grand duke, received from the same fund 225l. annually, which was sweetened by a prompt payment of 2,500l., being ten years in advance; and that the coachmen and lackeys of the grand duke and generals received money from the same fund, instead of wages from their masters. As the inflexibility and integrity of those gentlemen were proof against all bribes, the generals foresaw the impending storm which threatened to break and overwhelm them. In this critical situation, they conceived one of the most atrocious plots on record. Its object was to create a disturbance, by which the town-house should be set on fire, and the documents which implicated them in the pillage should be consumed. They agreed to produce this by arming a number of students; and their agent was an officer in the army, known to belong to the secret societies. The sum of 200 ducats in gold was paid him as a reward for anticipated services, and 200 stand of arms was provided him. For such a project this man seemed a fit agent. He took lodgings in the house where the students met to hold their deliberations, opened to them his revolutionary views, and represented himself as one qualified to rescue their common country from the grasp of despotism. He so far ingratiated himself into their confidence as to obtain some knowledge of the general plan for the freedom of Poland. Circumstances, however, created distrust of this new and overzealous auxiliary; and the students refused to act with him, or to receive the muskets the generals had provided for distribution. Communication having now ceased between Petrikowski and the students, he took lodgings in the next room to that in which they met to hold their deliberations; what he overheard was communicated to the generals; and ten students were in consequence denounced, arrested, and severely flogged (by an arbitrary order of the grand duke,) to make them divulge their associates. Though writhing under the whip of the executioner, not a word escaped their lips to inculpate their friends, or impart a knowledge of the schemes that had so long engrossed their thoughts. The severity of the punishment may be conceived by the fact, that one of the number died soon after its infliction. The students were kept in solitary confinement, and their punishment remained uncertain; universal sympathy was felt for their sufferings by their comrades, coupled with an ardent desire to relieve them; but by this time danger threatened to implicate a great part of their body, and it was ascertained that an order to arrest a great number was to take place on the 30th November. On the 27th November, an order arrived in Warsaw from the emperor, to send to Riga with all possible despatch 42,000,000 of florins, equal to 1,050,000l. sterling, of which 2,000,000 were to be furnished from the treasury of the minister of war, 28,000,000 from the government treasury, and 12,000,000 from the bank. These two circumstances concurring, created great activity in all persons connected with the overthrow of despotism and the freedom of their country; and it was determined only on the memorable morning of the 29th to commence their patriotic work in the evening."
The Editor's Conclusion, or Summary of the Year is likewise worthy of extract:
"The curtain of the year 1830 dropped on Europe in a state of ferment and agitation, of which it was impossible to check the progress or to foretell the result. The masses of the population had been stirred up from the bottom by the concussion of the French and Belgic revolutions, and could not be expected for a long time to subside into order, or resume a determinate arrangement according to their weight and affinities. The partition wall of privilege, rank, or subordination, interposed between different classes of the European community, had in some cases been forcibly broken down, and in others had been more silently undermined. Antiquity, custom, usage, or legitimacy, which formerly became a shelter to abuses, could not now protect justice and right from threatened innovation. Everywhere power was challenged on its rounds, and compelled to give the popular watchword before it could be allowed to pass. Whether it was a nation that demanded its independence from a foreign power, as in Belgium and Poland; or a people that cashiered their dynasty, as in France and Saxony; or a parliament that changed its administration for a more popular party, as in England; or republics that liberalized their institutions, as in Switzerland,—all was movement and change. The breath of revolution sometimes blew from the suburbs of a capital, as in France; sometimes from the cottages of the peasant, as in the Swiss mountains; but it was every where powerful. No institution was held venerable, no authority sacred, that stood in the way of the popular will. The people had every where got a purchase against their rulers, and had fixed their engines for a further pull. The power of domestic military protection had diminished, in proportion as rulers required its aid; while, at the same time, all Europe seemed arming for a general trial of strength, or a recommencement of conquest. Every kind of reform was the order of the day; financial reform, legal reform, ecclesiastical reform, and parliamentary reform. The year that has just commenced must resolve the character of many of those vague tendencies to change, to war, and confusion, which alarmed some and inspired hope into others at the close of 1830."
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
THE DRAMATIC ANNUAL.
Mr Frederick Reynolds, the veteran dramatist, has, by the aid of Mr. W.H. Brooke, produced an amusing and elegant volume of a Playwright's Adventures, under the above title, Mr. Brooke's contributions are a plentiful sprinkling of Cuts, full of point and humour, and dovetailed by the Editor with no lack of ingenuity. The Narrative itself purports to be a series of adventures, or a volume of accidents to a young playwright in quest of dramatic fortune, with a due admixture of love and murder, and "a happy union."—These are relieved by pungent attempts at repartee and harmless raillery, so as to make the dialogue portion glide off pleasantly enough. Instead of quoting an entire chapter from the volume, we are enabled to transfer to our pages a few of its epigrammatic illustrations. First, is what Mr. Reynold calls l'auteur siffle, but this, for the sake of comprehensiveness, we style the damned author.
* * * * *
Mr. Reynolds seems to hold with Swift, that the merriest faces are in mourning coaches, for his hero at a funeral introduces one of the best cuts. Thus—
On Vivid's return home, his gratification was soon diminished by the recollections of "existing circumstances," and these caused him to sink into a gloomy and desponding state; when Sam Alltact, rather malapropos, entered with a black-edged card, inviting his master to the funeral of a deceased acquaintance, an eminent young artist, named Gilmaurs, who, never having been an R.A., but simply an engraver of extraordinary genius, was not to be buried under the dome of St. Paul's, but in a village churchyard.
Vivid could not help remarking to a brother mourner, that, in his opinion, the profession of a painter was as much overrated as that of an engraver was underrated: "for," he added, "what real and unprejudiced connoisseur, while contemplating Woollett's Roman Edifices from Claude, and Sir Robert Strange's Titian's Mistress from Titian, with many others, would not acknowledge, that the copy in many instances so rivalled, if not surpassed, the original, that it became a decided question, which artist ought to carry off the palm?"
"Or, at any rate," cried an odd accordant theatrical companion, "the connoisseur might say, with Shakspeare—
'Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?'"
"There is no doubt, that in any school of painting," continued our hero, "such men as Reynolds, West, and Lawrence, cannot be too much upheld whilst living or lauded and regretted when dead. There is likewise Wilkie—another Hogarth——"
"I beg your pardon," rejoined the theatrical gentleman; "but till I can forget the blunderbuss fired from the upsetting coach, the cobweb over the poor's-box, and the gay parson and undertaker at the harlot's funeral, I cannot allow of the comparison. Besides, I admire Hogarth for another reason: did he consider an engraver's to be an infradig. profession? No, for he was the engraver of his own works."
"True," replied Vivid; "and other painters have been engravers. But to the point: look at the variety of the exquisite engravings in the Annuals; and having compared them with the large, coarse, mindless pictures in—what may be called another annual—the Exhibition of the Royal Academy, then say, whether you do not prefer the distinct delicate touches of a well-directed burin, to the broad, trowel-like splashings of an ill-directed painting-brush?"
"I do; and whilst I bow down to the excellence of such a portrait as that of Charles the First, by Vandyke, or that of Robin Goodfellow, by Sir Joshua, cum multis aliis by painters of the same pre-eminent description—ay, and also whilst I greatly admire numerous pictures still annually exhibited by highly talented living artists, I ask, if I am not to speak my mind relative to that class of painting, which might pass muster outside the inns at Dartford, or Hounslow, or ——. However, 'the lion preys not upon carcasses,' and, therefore, I will leave these canvass-spoilers to the judgment of those, who will show them in their proper light—viz. the hanging-committee."
The funeral being concluded, they return to town, Vivid agreeing with his odd companion in leaving the canvass-spoilers to the hanging committee.
Is it not to be hoped that a day may come when a thorough revision and amelioration of our equity laws will be deemed a matter of as great national importance as that chief occupier of the time of our grand rural Capulets and Montagues, the revision and amelioration of the game laws.
* * * * *
TRIAL BY BATTLE.
"Ay, leave lawyers to wrangle amongst each other—a practice which of late years has become so much a legal fashion, that some of our Westminster Hall heroes, forgetting their clients' quarrels in their own, suddenly convert themselves into a new plaintiff and defendant, and brawl forth such home coarse vituperations——"
"True;—formerly they used to brow-beat witnesses, now they brow-beat one another, and so defyingly, that ere long, who knows but the four courts may resemble, as punsters would say, the five courts?"
* * * * *
KICKING THE WORLD.
Every one has heard of kicking the world before them, though, comparatively, so few succeed in the task. The wights in the cut are in an enviable condition.
* * * * *
A sketch of one of those inveterate story tellers which are the standing dishes of a table d'hote, introduces one of the best of the cuts, Mr. Blase Bronzely, loquitur:
"Well, gentlemen, as I was saying, when I saw at Stratford-upon-Avon the Shakspearean procession pass in the street, it rained so violently that Caliban and Hamlet's Ghost carried umbrellas, whilst Ophelia——"
"Obvious, my dear Blase; or, as a late premier used to say, 'It can't be missed,' 'Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia:' and, besides, your wet ghost is a mere crib from yourself; for whenever you go hunting in cloudy weather, don't you regularly ride with a smart silver parasol over your dear little head?"
* * * * *
Soon growing tired of lounging in the library, loitering on the pier, and of all the rest of the usual dull sea-side routine, he literally knew so little what to do with himself, that, to kill an hour or two before dinner, he would frequently be seen seated on a tombstone in the churchyard, yawning; staring at the church clock, and comparing it with his own watch;—in short, in some degree resembling
"Patience on a monument."
* * * * *
The reader will conclude by these specimens that fun and frolic are the characteristics of the Dramatic Annual; and we have given him a spice of its best humour. These Cuts, by the way, are in a style which all illustrators would do well to cultivate. We have seen much labour expended on illustrations of works of humour, such as fine etchy work, and points wrought up with extreme delicacy. The effect, however, is any but humorous: you think of painstaking and trouble, whereas a few lines vividly dashed off, by their unstudied style, will ensure a laugh, where more elaborate productions only remind us of effort. Hood's pen-and-ink cuts are excellent in their way—as bits of fun, but not of art. Now, Brooke's designs are both works of fun and art.
* * * * *
THE FAMILY CABINET ATLAS
Is completed with the Twelfth Part, in the same style of excellence as it was commenced. In this portion are two plates, exhibiting a comparative view of Inland Seas and Principal Lakes of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres—which alone are worth the price of the Part. Altogether, the uniformity and elegance of this work reflect high credit on the taste and talent of every one concerned in its production; and it really deserves a place on every writing-table not already provided with an Atlas. For constant reference, too, it is well calculated, by its convenient size, and is preferable to the cumbrous folio, as well as the varnished, rustling, roller map.
* * * * *
THE KING'S SECRET.
Hundreds of persons have probably been disappointed by this work—an historical novel, of the time of Edward the Third, by Mr. Power, of Covent Garden Theatre. Scandal-loving people are so fond of concatenation, or stringing circumstances, causes, and effects together, that in the present case they made up their minds to some secret of our times: some boudoir story of Windsor or St. James's, which might show how royalty loves. On the contrary, "the secret" does not come out;—the reader is only tickled, his curiosity excited, and the tale, like an ill-going clock, is wound up without striking.
We attempt something like an outline of the plot, although it is just to induce Our reader to turn to the work itself, for we foretel he will be pleased with its details. Artevelde, a beer brewster of Ghent, intrigues with Edward to transfer the coronet of Flanders from Count Lewis to the young Prince of Wales. The scheme fails, and Artevelde perishes in an affray with the citizens In his negotiations he had employed his daughter, and dispatched her on one occasion, in a private yacht, to the Thames, to confer with the King. In her passage she is observed and recognised by the follower of a Flemish noble, who has a direct interest in defeating Artevelde's scheme for the marriage and settlement of his daughter, who, before she reaches the King, is seized by this noble and his agents, but is rescued by a brave young citizen. Here the love begins. This young citizen is the nephew of a wealthy old goldsmith, but he abominates the traffic and filthy lucre of his uncle's profession—for, it should be added, the goldsmiths were the money-jobbers of those days—and aspires to become a soldier of fortune. London was a fitting place for such ambition, for those were chivalrous times. Artevelde's daughter entrusts the youth with the commission, and dispatches him to the King: he acquits himself with courtly discretion, and, having displayed some prowess in a passage of arms, soon obtains an appointment in the royal service. Edward's interview with the lady determines him to start instantly for Flanders, and the young citizen (Borgia) accompanies him. They fall into the hands of the same Flemish noble who had attacked the heroine; but they are rescued, and land at the Flemish coast.—The scheme fails, as we have said: after Artevelde's death, his daughter becomes the King's ward. The interests of the parties now become too complicated for us to follow: we may, however, state that "the King's Secret" is the parentage of Borgia; it was asserted that he was "the very child reported to have been born during the period of Queen Isabella's romantic love passages with Roger Mortimer, at the court of Hainault."—"Be content, therefore, with that you and til here already are possessed of, since what remains is, and must continue, 'The King's Secret.'"
The heroine is the gemmy character of the story; but, in that of the King so much license has been used as almost to defy its identification with history. Scenes, situations, and sketches, of uncommon interest, abound throughout the work; the manners and customs of the times, and the details of costume and pageant glitter are worked up with great labour—perhaps with more than is looked for or will be appreciated in a novel. Still, they are creditable to the taste and research of the author. Occasionally, there are scenes of bold and stirring interest, just such as might be expected from an actor of Mr. Power's vivid stamp. The storm sketches towards the close of the second volume are even infinitely better than any of John Kemble's shilling waves or Mr. Farley's last scenes. In other portions of the work, bits of antiquarianism are so stuck on the pages as to perplex, rather than aid the descriptions, by their technicality. Here and there too the tinsel is unsparingly sprinkled.
Nevertheless, there is a vividness—a freshness—and altogether a superior interest, in all the details which must render "The King's Secret" a favourite work with the fiction-and-fact-reading public. The scenes are so complicated in their interest, that it is scarcely possible to detach an extract.
In the early part of the first volume occurs a passage relative to the resistance of the people of Ghent to the oppression of their rulers, which smacks strongly of the enthusiasm of liberty.
"Whilst impelled on the one hand by the strong desire to regulate the arbitrary and oppressive exactions, which cramped their energies and held them for ever at the mercy of their despot's caprice, and restrained on the other hand by their habitual reverence for their feudal princes. Artevelde stepped forth, and in their startled ears pronounced the word "Resist!" His eloquence was well seconded by the grasping severity of a needy and extravagant court, until gradually combining their wrath and intelligence with the energies of the populace jealous of their rights, the merchants and citizens of the cities of Flanders rose upon the bears and butterflies who infested and robbed them, and, thrusting them forth, set modern Europe the first fearful example of a people's strength, and the rottenness of the wooden gods for whom they laboured. Whilst princes, on their parts, learned a lesson they have not since forgotten or ever ceased to practise, and combining their hosts of slaves, lashed them onward to scare this stranger, Freedom, from the earth, even as in our times of intelligence they have done, and will do; and the brainless slaves, so lashed, shouted and went forward to the murderous work which rivetted their own fetters, even as in our time they have done, and will again do in times to come."
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
BY THOMAS HAYNES BAYLY.
They tell me twenty years are past Since I have look'd upon thee last, And thought thee fairest of the fair, With thy sylph-like form and light-brown hair! I can remember every word That from those smiling lips I heard: Oh! how little it appears Like the lapse of twenty years.
Thou art changed! in thee I find Beauty of another kind; Those rich curls lie on thy brow In a darker cluster now; And the sylph hath given place To the matron's form of grace.— Yet how little it appears Like the lapse of twenty years.
Still thy cheek is round and fair; 'Mid thy curls not one grey hair; Not one lurking sorrow lies In the lustre of those eyes: Thou hast felt, since last we met, No affliction, no regret! Wonderful! to shed no tears In the lapse of twenty years.
But what means that changing brow? Tears are in those dark eyes now! Have my rush, incautious words Waken'd Feeling's slumbering chords? Wherefore dost thou bid me look At you dark-bound journal book?— There the register appears Of the lapse of twenty years.
Thou hast been a happy bride, Kneeling by a lover's side; And unclouded was thy life, As his loved and loving wife;— Thou hast worn the garb of gloom, Kneeling by that husband's tomb;— Thou hast wept a widow's tears In the lapse of twenty years.
Oh! I see my error now, To suppose, in cheek and brow, Strangers may presume to find Treasured secrets of the mind: There fond Memory still will keep Her vigil, when she seems to sleep; Though composure re-appears In the lapse of twenty years.
Where's the hope that can abate The grief of hearts thus desolate That can Youth's keenest pangs assuage, And mitigate the gloom of Age? Religion bids the tempest cease, And, leads her to a port of peace; And on, the lonely pilot steers Through the lapse of future years.
New Monthly Magazine.
* * * * *
MEMOIRS OF THE MACAW OF A LADY OF QUALITY.
By Lady Morgan.
(Continued from page 318).
Meantime Father Flynn, with a Jesuit's adroitness, was endeavouring to gain his object, as I afterwards learned; but on alluding to his works and celebrity, he discovered that the ambassador had never so much as heard of him, though he had heard wonders of his parrot, which he requested might be sent for. I was immediately ushered into the cabinet, as the superior went out, and I never saw my dear master more. Perhaps he could "bear no rival near the throne;" perhaps, in his preoccupation, he forgot to reclaim me. Be that as it may, he sailed that night, in a Portuguese merchantman, for Lisbon; and I became the property of the representative of his British Majesty. After the first few days of favouritism, I sensibly lost ground with his excellency; for he was too deeply occupied, and had too many resources of his own, to find his amusement in my society. During the few days I sat at his table, I entertained his diplomatic guests with cracking nuts, extracting the kernels, peeling oranges, talking broad Scotch and Parisian French, chanting the "Gloria," dancing "Gai Coco," and, in fact, exhibiting all my accomplishments. I was, however, soon sent to the secretary's office to be taught a new jargon, and to be subjected to tricks from the underlings of the embassy.
Here I picked up but little, for there was but little to pick up. I learned, however, to call for "Red tape and sealing-wax"—to cry "What a bore!" "Did you ever see such a quiz?"—to call "Lord Charles," "Mr. Henry," and pronounce "good for nothing"—a remark applied by the young men to the pens, which they flung away by hundreds, and which the servants picked up and sold, with other perquisites of office incidental to their calling. Whenever I applied these acquisitions with effect, it was always attributed to chance; but I was so tormented and persecuted by Lord Charles and Mr. Henry, who being unpaid attaches, had nothing to do, and helped each other to do it, that I took every opportunity to annoy them. One day, when the ante-room was filled with young officers of the British frigate, one of the boobies, pointing to Lord Charles, called to me, "Poll, who is that?" I answered, "Red tape and sealing-wax;" and raised a general shout at the expense of the little diplomatic pedant. An Irish midshipman present, a Mr. O'Gallagher, pointing to Mr. Henry, asked me, "Who is that, Poll?" "Good for nothing," I replied; and Mr. Henry flew at me in a rage, swore I had been taught to insult him, and that he would wring my neck off. This he would have done but for the protection of the chaplain, to whose breast I flew, and who carried me away to his own room. In a few days I was consigned to Mr. O'Gallagher, the midshipman, as a present to the chaplain's patroness, a lady of high rank and celebrated sanctity in Ireland, near to whose Propaganda the family of O'Gallagher resided. I was the bearer of a letter of introduction, in which my pious education and saintly acquirements were set forth, my knowledge of the Creed exposed, and myself recommended as a means of aiding her ladyship's proselyting vocation, as animals of less intelligence had done before. I embarked therefore on board the British frigate—an honour which had been refused my old master, and was treated with great care and attention during the voyage. On arriving in a British port, my young protector got leave of absence, and took a passage in a vessel bound for Dublin. On the morning of our coming to anchor, my cage was put on shore on the quay, while O'Gallagher returned to look after his luggage. Thus left to myself, I soon attracted the attention of a wretched, squalid-looking animal, something between a scare-crow and a long-armed gibbon. His melancholy visage dilated into a broad grin the moment he saw me; and coming up, and making me a bow, he said, "Ah! thin, Poll, agrah, you're welcome to ould Ireland. Would you take a taste of potato, just to cure your say-sickness?" and he put a cold potato into my cage, which he had been gnawing with avidity himself. The potato was among the first articles of my food in my native paradise, and the recollection of it awakened associations which softened me towards the poor, hospitable creature who presented it. Still I hesitated, till he said, "Take it, Miss, and a thousand welcomes,—take it, agrah, from poor Pat." I took it with infinite delight; and holding it in my claws, and peeling it with my beak, began to mutter "Poor Pat! poor Pat!" "Oh, musha, musha! oh, by the powers!" He cried, "but that's a great bird, any how—just like a Christian—look here, boys." A crowd now gathered round my cage, and several exclamations, which recalled my old friends of the Propaganda, caught my attention. "Oh! queen of glory!" cried one; "Holy Moses!" exclaimed another; "Blessed rosary!" said a third. I turned my head from side to side, listening; and excited by the excitement I caused, I recited several scraps of litanies in good Latinity,—There was first an universal silence, then an universal shout, and a general cry of "A miracle! a miracle!" "Go to Father Murphy," said one; "Off with ye, ye sowl, to the Counsellor," said a second; "Bring the baccah to him," cried an old woman; "Mrs. Carey, where is your blind son?" said a young one. Could faith have sufficed, I should indeed have worked miracles. In the midst of my triumphs, Mr. O'Gallagher returned, carried me off, put me in a carriage, and drove away, followed by the shouting multitude.—That night we put up at an hotel in Sackville-street, and the next morning the street re-echoed with cries of "Here is a full account of the miraculous parrot just arrived in the city of Dublin, with a list of his wonderful cures, for the small charge of one halfpenny." Shortly after we set off by the Ballydangan heavy fly, for Sourcraut Hall. I was placed on the top of the coach, to the delight of the outside passengers; where I soon made an acquaintance with the customary oratory of guards and coachmen, which produced much laughter. I rapidly added to my vocabulary many curious phrases, among which the most distinct were—"Aisy, now, aisy," "Get along out of that," "All's right," &c. &c. &c. with nearly a verse of "The night before Larry was stretched," tune and all, and the air of "Polly put the kettle on," which the guard was practising on his bugle, to relieve the tedium of the journey. Like all nervous animals, I am extremely susceptible to external impressions; and the fresh air, movement, and company, had all their usual exhilarating effects on my spirits. Our lady of Sourcraut Hall, Lady C——, received myself and my protector with a ceremonious and freezing politeness; asked a few questions concerning my treatment, gentleness, and docility; and desiring my kind companion to put me on the back of a chair, she bowed him out of the room. When he was gone, the lady turned to a gloomy-looking man, who sat reading at a table, and who looked so like one of the Portuguese brothers of the Propaganda, that I took him for a frate—"What a poor benighted creature that young man seems to be!" she said. The grave gentleman, who I afterwards found was known in the neighbourhood by the title of her ladyship's "moral agent," replied, "What, madam, would you have of an O'Gallagher—a family of the blackest Papists in the county?" My lady shook her head, and threw up her devout eyes.—Dinner was now announced, and the moral agent giving his hand to the lady, I was left to sleep away the fatigue of my journey.
I awoke very hungry, and consequently disposed to be very talkative, but was silenced by finding myself surrounded by a crowd of persons of both sexes, who were eagerly gazing on me. A certain prostrate look of sly, shy humility, lengthened their pale faces, to the exclusion of all intellectual expression. They formed a sort of religious meeting, called a tea-and-tract party; but the open door discovered preparations for a more substantial conclusion to the obbligato prayers and lectures of the evening. My new mistress was evidently descanting on my merits, and read that paragraph from the chaplain's letter which described my early associations, my knowledge of the Creed, and announced me as a source of edification to her servants. Two or three words of this harangue operating on my memory, I put forth my profession of faith with a clearness of articulation and fidelity really wonderful for a bird. What exclamations! what turning-up of eyes! I was stifled with caresses, intoxicated with praises, and crammed with sweetmeats. The moral agent grew pale with jealousy, when Doctor Direful was announced. He rushed into the room like a whirlwind, but stood aghast at beholding the devout crowd that encircled me. Instead of the usual apophthegms, and serious discourse, he heard nothing but "Pretty Poll," "Scratch a poll," "What a dear bird," &c. The malicious moral agent chuckled, and explained that the bird had, for the moment, usurped the attention which should exclusively belong to his reverence, who had taken the pains to come so far to enlighten the dark inmates of Sourcraut Hall. Dr. Direful stood rolling his fierce eye (he had but one) on the abashed assembly; and, pushing me off my perch, drove me with his handkerchief into the dense crowd which filled the bottom of the room, and consisted of all the servants of the house, with some recently converted Papists from among the Sourcraut tenantry. All drew back in horror, to let one so anathematised pass without contact. I coiled myself up near a droll-looking little postilion, who, while turning up the whites of his eyes, was coaxing me to him with a fragment of plumb-cake, which he had stolen from the banquet-table. Dr. Direful returned to the centre of the room, and mounted a desk to commence his lecture. The auditory crowded and cowered timidly round him, while he, looking down on them with a wrathful and contemptuous glance, was about to pour forth the pious venom which hung upon his lips, when a sharp cry of "Get along out of that" struck him dumb. Inquiry was useless, for all were ready to swear that they had not uttered a word. Dr. Direful called them "blasphemous liars," and proceeded one and all to empty the vials of his wrath through the words of a text of awful denunciation, which I dare not here repeat; but his words were again arrested by the exclamation of, "Aisy now, aisy—what a devil of a hurry you are in!" uttered in quick succession.—He jumped down from his altitude; and, in reply to his renewed inquiries, a serious coachman offered up to the vengeance of this Moloch of methodism the mischievous postilion, who had that morning detected the not always sober son of the whip in other devotions than those to which he professed exclusive addiction. When I saw the rage of all parties, I thought of the roasted Indians of the Brazils, and shuddered for the poor lad. After a short, but inquisitorial examination, in which he in vain endeavoured to throw the blame on me, he was stripped of his gaudy dress, and in spite of his well-founded protestations of innocence, turned almost naked from the house. When peace was restored, a hymn was sung as an exorcism of the evil spirit that had gotten among the assembly; when, being determined to exculpate the poor postilion, I joined with all my force in the chorus, with my Catholic "Gloria in excelsis," which I abruptly changed into "Polly put the kettle on." Thus taken in the fact, I was, without ceremony, denounced as an emissary from Clongowes, brought to Sourcraut Hall by the Papist O'Gallagher, with a forged letter, to disturb the community. I was immediately cross-examined by a religious attorney, as if I had been a white-boy or a ribbon-man. "Come forward," he said, "you bird of satan!—speak out, and answer for yourself, for its yourself can do it, you egg of the devil! What brought you here?" I answered, "It was all for my sweet sowl's sake, jewel!"—and the answer decided my fate, without more to do. And now loaded with all the reproaches that the odium theologicum could suggest, I was cuffed, hunted, and finally driven out of the gates by the serious coachman, to perish on the highway. On recovering from my fright, I found myself at the edge of a dry ditch, where the poor shivering postilion sat lamenting his martyrdom. I went up to him, cowering and chattering; and at the sight of me the tears dried on his dirty cheeks—his sobs changed to a laugh of delight; and when I hopped on his wrist, and cried "Poor Pat," all his sufferings were forgotten. While thus occupied, a little carriage, drawn by a superb horse, with the reins thrown loose on his beautiful neck, ascended the hill. At the sight I screamed out "Get along out of that!" which so frightened the high-blooded creature that he started, and flung the two persons in the carriage fairly into the middle of the road. One of them, in a military dress, sprung at once on his feet, and laying the whip across the naked shoulders of the postilion, exclaimed, "I'll teach you, you little villain, to break people's necks." "Oh! murther! murther!" cried the poor boy, "shure, it was not me, plase your honour, only the parrot, Captain." "What parrot, you lying rascal?" "There, Captain, Sir, look forenenst you." The captain did look up, and saw me perched on the branch of a scrubby hawthorn-tree. Surprised and amused, he exclaimed, "By Jove! how odd! What a magnificent bird! Why Poll, what the deuce brought you here?" "Eh, sirs," I replied at random, "it was aw' for the love of the siller." The captain, and his little groom Midge, who had picked himself up on the other side of the cabriolet, shrieked with laughing. "I say, my boy," said the captain, "is that macaw your's?" "It is," said the little liar. "Would you take a guinea for it?" asked the captain. "Troth, would I; two," said the postilion. "Done," said the captain; and pulling out his purse, and giving the two guineas, I suffered myself to be caught and placed in the cabriolet. The young officer sprang in after me, and, taking the reins, pursued his journey. We slept that night at a miserable inn in a miserable town. The next morning we arrived at my old hotel in Sackville-street, and shortly after sailed for England.
The Honourable George Fitz-Forward, my new master, was a younger brother of small means and large pretensions. He had been quartered at Kil-mac-squabble with a detachment, where he had passed the winter in still-hunting, quelling ructions, shooting grouse and rebels, spitting over the bridge, and smoking cigars; and having obtained leave of absence, pour se d'ecrasser, was on his way to London for the ensuing season. We travelled in the cab by easy stages, and halted only at great houses on the road, beginning with Plas Newyd, and ending at Sion House. My master's rank, and my talents, were as good as board wages to us; and as the summer was not yet sufficiently advanced for the London winter, we found every body at home, and had an amazingly pleasant time. My master was enchanted with his acquisition. I made the frais of every society; and my repartees and bonmots furnished the Lord Johns and Lady Louisas with subjects for whole reams of pink and blue note-paper. My master frequently said, "That bird is wonderful! he is a great catch!"—and my fame had spread over the whole west end of the town a full week before our arrival in London.
The Metropolitan, No. I.
* * * * *
My good Aunt Bridget, spite of age, Versed in Valerian, Dock, and Sage, Well knew the Virtues of herbs; But Proverbs gain'd her chief applause, "Child," she exclaimed, "respect old saws, And pin your faith on Proverbs."
Thus taught, I dubb'd my lot secure; And, playing long-rope, "slow and sure," Conceived my movement clever; When lo! an urchin by my side Push'd me head foremost in, and cried— "Keep Moving," "Now or Never,"
At Melton, next, I join'd the hunt, Of bogs and bushes bore the brunt, Nor once my courser held in; But when I saw a yawning steep, I thought of "Look before you leap," And curb'd my eager gelding.
While doubtful thus I rein'd my roan, Willing to save a fractured bone, Yet fearful of exposure, A sportsman thus my spirit stirr'd— "Delays are dangerous;"—I spurr'd My steed, and leap'd th' enclosure.
I ogled Jane, who heard me say That "Rome was not built in a day," When lo: Sir Fleet O'Grady Put this, my saw, to sea again, And proved, by running off with Jane, "Faint heart ne'er won fair Lady."
Aware "New Brooms sweep clean," I took An untaught tyro for a cook, (The tale I tell a fact is) She spoilt my soup; but, when I chid, She thus once more my work undid, "Perfection comes from Practice."
Thus, out of every adage hit, And, finding that ancestral wit As changeful as the clime is: From Proverbs, turning on my heel, I now cull Wisdom from my seal, Who's motto's "Ne quid nimis."
New Monthly Magazine.
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles. SHAKSPEARE.
* * * * *
In a few months a new ship will be launched, called the Reform. Admiral, William the Fourth—Chief Mate, Grey—Pilot, Brougham—Purser, Russell—Crew, the people of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Bound to Palace Yard, Westminster; freight uncommonly cheap, with good stowage.
N.B. For further particulars inquire of Bob Oldborough, at the sign of the Tumble down Dick, Borough, Southwark.
* * * * *
Gold coins (ix James I.) were raised by proclamation, 2s. in every 20s.
Groat.—In the Saxon time, we had no silver money bigger than a penny, nor after the conquest, till Edward III. who about the year 1351, coined grosses (i.e. groats, or great pieces) which went for 4d. a-piece; and so the matter stood till the reign of Henry VII. who in 1504 first coined shillings.
* * * * *
TWO THOUSAND POUNDS REFUSED BY A BURGESS FOR HIS VOTE.
Oldfield, in his History of Boroughs, says, "On the death of the late Lord Holmes, a very powerful attempt was made by Sir William Oglander and some other neighbouring gentlemen, to deprive his lordship's nephew and successor, the Rev. Mr. Troughear Holmes, of his influence over the Corporation of Newport, Isle of Wight. The number of that body was at that time twenty-three, there being one vacancy amongst the aldermen, occasioned by the recent death of Lord Holmes. Eleven of them continued firm to the interest of the nephew, and the same number was equally eager to transfer that interest to Sir William Oglander and the Worsley family. A Mr. Taylor of this town, one of the burgesses, withheld his declaration, and as his vote would decide the balance of future influence, it was imagined that he only suspended it for the purpose of private advantage. Agreeably to that idea, he was eagerly sought by the agents of each party. The first who applied is said to have made him an offer of 2.000l. Mr. Taylor had actually made up his mind to have voted with his party, but the moment his integrity and independence were attacked, he reversed his determination, and resolved to give his suffrage on the opposite side. That party, however, like their opponents, being ignorant of the favour designed them, and of the accident to which they owed it, assailed him with a more advantageous offer. He informed them that he had but just formed the resolution, in consequence of a similar insult from their adversaries, of giving them his support, but since he had discovered that they were both aiming at power by the same means, he was determined to vote for neither of them; and to put himself out of the power of further temptation, he resolved to resign his gown as a burgess of the corporation; which he accordingly did the next day."
* * * * *
Limington, one mile east from Ilchester, in Somersetshire, is noted on account of a school having been kept there by the great Cardinal Wolsey in the early part of his life, who whilst in this situation was, for a misdemeanour, put into the stocks by Sir Amias Pawlett. This indignity was never forgiven by the haughty prelate, who, when in power, made Sir Amias feel the weight of his resentment, by making him dance attendance at the court for many years, whilst soliciting a favour.
* * * * *
On an unsuccessful Oculist, who became a Tallow Chandler.
So many of the human kind, Under his hands became stone blind, That for such failings to atone, At length he let the trade alone; And ever after in despite Of darkness, liv'd by giving, light; But Death who has exciseman's power To enter houses every hour, Thinking his light grew rather sallow, Snuffed out his wick, and seized his tallow.
* * * * *
We are again compelled to remind our Correspondents that by the multiplicity of their well-intended communications, we are unable to answer them individually otherwise than by the insertion of their papers. We receive upwards of 150 letters during the month, and were we to promise replies to all of them, our Editorial duties would he heavy indeed, especially as the correspondence is but one of the many features of the Mirror.
* * * * *
Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic, G.G. BENNIS, 55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris; and by all Newsmen and Booksellers.
* * * * *