THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XIX, NO. 536.] SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 1832. [PRICE 2d.
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ENTRANCE TO THE BOTANIC GARDEN, MANCHESTER.
Manchester is distinguished among the large towns of the kingdom for its majority of enlightened individuals. "The whole population," it has been pertinently observed by a native, "seems to be imbued with a general thirst for knowledge and improvement." Even amidst the hum of its hundreds of thousand spindles, and its busy haunts of industry, the people have learned to cultivate the pleasures of natural and experimental science, and the delights of literature. The Philosophical Society of Manchester is universally known by its excellent published Memoirs: it has its Royal Institution; its Philological Society, and public libraries; so that incentives to this improvement have grown with its growth. Among these is the Botanical and Horticultural Society, formed in the autumn of 1827, whose primary object was "a Garden for Manchester and its neighbourhood." Previously to its establishment, Manchester had a Floral Society, with six hundred subscribers, which was a gratifying evidence of public taste, as well as encouragement for the Garden design.
We find the promised advantages of the plan thus strikingly illustrated in an Address of the preceding date, "The study of Botany has not been pursued in any part of the country with greater assiduity and success than in the neighbourhood of Manchester. Far from being confined to the higher orders of society, it has found its most disinterested admirers in the lowest walks of life. Though to the skill and perseverance of the cottager we are confessedly indebted for the improved cultivation of many plants and fruits, an extensive acquaintance with the choicest productions of nature, and a philosophical investigation of their properties, are very frequently to be met with in the Lancashire Mechanic. But whilst some knowledge of the principles of Horticulture is almost universal; and the inferior objects of attention are readily procured, it is obvious that the difficulty and expense which attend the possession of plants of rare, and more particularly of foreign growth, form a natural and insurmountable obstruction to the researches of many lovers of the science...." "Whatever regard is due to the rational gratifications of which the most laborious life is not incapable, there is a moral influence attendant on horticultural pursuits, which may be supposed to render every friend of humanity desirous to promote them. The most indifferent observer cannot fail to remark that the cottager who devotes his hours of leisure to the improvement of his garden, is rarely subject to the extreme privations of poverty, and commonly enjoys a character superior to the circumstances of his condition. His taste is a motive to employment, and employment secures him from the temptations to extravagance and the natural consequences of dissipated habits." Further, we learn, one great object of the society is to educate a certain number of young men as gardeners. As "an inviting scene of public recreation," it is observed, "those who are little interested in the cultivation of Botany, and who may regard the employments of Horticulture with disdain, may still be induced to frequent the Botanical garden, for the beauty of the objects, the pleasures of the society, and the animating gaiety of the scene."
 How pleasingly is the substance of these observations embodied in one of our "Snatches from Eugene Aram:"—"It has been observed, and there is a world of homely, ay, of legislative wisdom in the observation, that wherever you see a flower in a cottage garden, or a bird at the window, you may feel sure that the cottagers are better and wiser than their neighbours." Vol. i. p. 4. Yet with what wretched taste is this morality sought to be perverted in an abusive notice of Mr. Bulwer's Eugene Aram, in a Magazine of the past month, by a reference to Clark and Aram's stealing flower-roots from gentlemen's gardens to add to the ornaments of their own. The writer might as well have said that Clark and Aram were fair specimens of the whole human race, or that every gay flower in a cottage garden has been so stolen.
The Manchester Garden, we should think, must, by this time, have an Eden-like appearance. The Committee began fortunately. Mr. Loudon, in one of his valuable Gardening Tours, refers to "a few traits of liberality in the parties connected with it; the noble result, as we think, of the influence of commercial prosperity in liberalizing the mind. Mr. Trafford, the owner of the ground, offered it for whatever price the Committee chose to give for it. The Committee took it at its value to a common farmer, and obtained a lease of the 16 acres (10 Lancashire) for 99 years, renewable for ever at 120l a year." He describes the donations of trees, plants, and books, by surrounding gentlemen, as very liberal. Mr. Loudon does not altogether approve of the plan, and certainly by no means of the manner in which the Garden has been planted, yet he has no doubt it will contribute materially to the spread of improved varieties of culinary vegetables and fruits, and to the education of a superior description of gardeners. He commends the hothouses, which have been executed at Birmingham; especially "the manner in which Mr. Jones has heated the houses by hot water; though a number of the garden committee were at first very much against this mode of heating. Mr. Mowbray (who planned the Garden) informed us that last winter the man could make up the fires for the night at five o'clock, without needing to look at them again till the following morning at eight or nine. The houses were always kept as hot as could be wished, and might have been kept at 100 deg. if thought necessary. A young gardener, who had been accustomed to sit up half the night during winter, to keep up the fires to the smoke flues (elsewhere) was overcome with delight when he came here, and found how easy the task of foreman of the houses was likely to prove to him, as far as concerned the fires and nightwork."
 Gardeners' Magazine, No. XXXIII. August, 1831.
As a means of social improvement, (a feature of public interest, we hope, always to be identified with The Mirror,) we need scarcely add our commendation of the design of the Botanic Garden at Manchester, and similar establishments in other large towns of Britain. What can be a more delightful relaxation to a Lancashire Mechanic than an hour or two in a Garden: what an escape from the pestiferous politics of the times. At Birmingham too, there is a Public Garden, similar to that at Manchester, where we hope the Artisan may enjoy a sight at least of nature's gladdening beauties.
In the suburbs of our great metropolis, matters are not so well managed; though Mr. Loudon, we think, proposes to unite a Botanic with the Zoological Gardens. Folks in London must study botany on their window-sills. The wealthy do not encourage it. Their love of the country is confined to the forced luxuries of kitchen-gardens, conveyed to them in wicker-baskets; and a few hundred exotics hired from a florist, to furnish a mimic conservatory for an evening rout. They shun her gardens and fields; but, as Allan Cunningham pleasantly remarks in his Life of Bonington: "Her loveliness and varieties are not to be learned elsewhere than in her lap. He will know little of birds who studies them stuffed in the museum, and less of the rose and the lily who never saw anything but artificial nose-gays."
 Family Library, No. XXVII.
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TO A SNOWDROP.
(For the Mirror.)
First and fairest of flowery visiter—through the dark winter I have dreamed of thy paleness and thy purity—youngest sister of the lily—likelier, thou art to be loved for thine own sake. Can so delicate a thing spring from an Earthly bed? or art thou, indeed, fallen from the heavens as a Snowdrop? Thus I pluck thee from thy clayey abode, in which, like some of us mortals, thou wouldst find an early grave. I place thee in my bosom, (oh! that it were half so pure as thou), and there shalt thou die. Thou comest like a pure spirit, rising from thy earthly home unsullied and unknown. No longer a child of the dust, thou steppest forth almost too delicately attired at such a season as this. Ye winds of heaven: "breathe on it gently." Ye showers descend on my Snowdrop with the tenderness of dew. Little flower, I love thy look of unpretending innocence: thou art the child of simplicity. Thou art a flower, even though colourless. Wert thou never gay as others? Where are the hues thou once didst wear? Hast thou lent them to the rainbow, or to gay and gaudy flowers, or why so pale? Dost thou fear the winter's wind? Canst thou survive the snow-storm? Tell me: dost thou sleep by starlight, or revel with midnight fairies? My Snowdrop, I pity thee, for thou art a lonely flower. Why camest thou out so early, and wouldst not tarry for thy more cautious spring-time companions? Yet thou knowest not fear, "fair maiden of February." Thou art bold to come out on such a morning, and friendless too. It must be true as they tell me, that thou wert once an icicle, and the breath of some fairy's lips warmed thee into a flower. Indeed thou lookest a frail and fairy thing, and thou wilt not sojourn with us long; therefore it is I make much of thee. Too soon, ah! too soon, will thy graceful form droop and die; yet shall the memory of my Snowdrop be sweet, while memory lasts. I know not that I shall live to see thy drooping head another year. A thousand flowers with a thousand hues will follow after thee, but I will not, I will not forget thee my Snowdrop.
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OUR LADY'S CHAPEL, SOUTHWARK.
It may not plainly appear to some readers that our Engraving of this fine vestige of ancient art, is from a View taken in the year 1818. The Bishop's Chapel, which is there shown, was demolished about twelve months since, at whose bidding we know not; perhaps of the same party who now contend for the destruction of the Lady Chapel.
By the way we referred to the Altar Screen, of which we now find the following memorandum in a History of St. Saviour's Church, published in 1795:
"Anno 1618. 15 Jac. I. "The screen at the entrance to the chapel of the Virgin Mary was this year set up."
In the same work occur the particulars of the repairs of the Lady Chapel in 1624:
"Anno 1624. 21 Jac. I. "The chapel of the Virgin Mary was restored to the parishioners, being let out to bakers for above sixty years before, and 200l. laid out in the repair. Of which we preserve the following extract from Stowe:
"But passing all these, some what now of that part of this church above the chancell, that in former times was called Our Ladies Chappell.
"It is now called the New Chappell; and indeed, though very old, it now may be called a new one, because newly redeemed from such use and imployment, as in respect of that it was built to, divine and religious duties, may very well be branded, with the style of wretched, base, and unworthy, for that, that before this abuse, was (and is now) a faire and beautifull chappell, by those that were then the corporation (which is a body consisting of thirty vestry-men, six of those thirty, churchwardens) was leased and let out, and the house of God made a bake-house.
"Two very faire doores, that from the two side iles of the chancell of this church, and two that thorow the head of the chancell (as at this day they doe againe) went into it, were lath't, daub'd, and dam'd up: the faire pillars were ordinary posts against which they piled billets and bavens: in this place they had their ovens, in that a bolting place, in that their kneading trough, in another (I have heard) a hogs-trough; for the words that were given mee were these, this place have I knowne a hog-stie, in another a store house, to store up their hoorded meal; and in all of it something of this sordid kind and condition. It was first let by the corporation afore named, to one Wyat, after him, to one Peacocke, after him, to one Cleybrooke, and last, to one Wilson, all bakers, and this chappell still imployed in the way of their trade, a bake-house, though some part of this bake-house was some time turned into a starch-house.
"The time of the continuance of it in this kind, from the first letting of it to Wyat, to the restoring of it again to the church, was threescore and some odde yeeres, in the yeere of our Lord God 1624, for in this yeere the ruines and blasted estate, that the old corporation sold it to, were by the corporation of this time, repaired, renewed, well, and very worthily beautified: the charge of it for that yeere, with many things done to it since, arising to two hundred pounds.
"This, as all the former repairs, being the sole cost and charge of the parishioners."
 By M.M. Concanen, jun. and A. Morgan.
A correspondent, E.E. inquires how it happens that the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalen, shown in all old plans of the Church, has likewise disappeared within the present century? This Chapel adjoined the South transept, and was removed during the repairs, under the able superintendence of Mr. Gwilt. It was thus described by Mr. Nightingale in 1818:
"The chapel itself is a very plain erection. It is entered on the south, through a large pair of folding doors, leading down a small flight of steps. The ceiling has nothing peculiar in its character; nor are the four pillars supporting the roof, and the unequal arches leading into the south aisle, in the least calculated to convey any idea of grandeur, or feeling of veneration. These arches have been cut through in a very clumsy manner, so that scarcely any vestige of the ancient church of St. Mary Magdalen now remains. A small doorway and windows, however, are still visible at the east end of this chapel; the west end formerly opened into the south transept; but that also is now walled up, except a part, which leads to the gallery there. There are in different parts niches which once held the holy water, by which the pious devotees of former ages sprinkled their foreheads on their entrance before the altar, I am not aware that any other remains of the old church are now visible in this chapel. Passing through the eastern end of the south aisle, a pair of gates leads into the Virgin Mary's Chapel."
From what we remember of the character of this Chapel, the lovers of architecture have little to lament in its removal. Our Correspondent, E.E., adds—"This, and not the Lady Chapel, it was, (No. 456 of The Mirror,) that contained the gravestone of one Bishop Wickham, who, however, was not the famous builder of Windsor Castle, in the time of Edward III., but died in 1595, the same year in which he was translated from the see of Lincoln to that of Winchester. His gravestone, now lying exposed in the churchyard, marks the south-east corner of the site of the aforesaid Magdalen Chapel."
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SHAVINGS V. COAL AND PEAT.
(To the Editor.)
Without intending to be angry, permit me to inform your well-meaning correspondent, M.L.B. that his observations on the inhabitants of "Auld Reekie," are something like the subject of his communication "Shavings," rather superficial.
Improvidence forms no feature in the Scottish character; but your flying tourist charges "the gude folk o' Embro'" with monstrous extravagance in making bonfires of their carpenters' chips; and proceeds to reflect in the true spirit of civilization how much better it would have been if the builders' chips had been used in lighting household fires, to the obviously great saving of bundle-wood, than to have thus wantonly forced them to waste their gases on the desert air. But your traveller forgot that in countries which abound in wheat, rye is seldom eaten; and that on the same principle, in Scotland, where coal and peat are abundant, the "natives," like the ancient Vestals, never allow their fires to go out, but keep them burning through the whole night. The business of the "gude man" is, immediately before going to bed, to load the fire with coals, and crown the supply with a "canny passack o' turf," which keeps the whole in a state of gentle combustion; when, in the morning a sturdy thrust from the poker, produces an instantaneous blaze. But, unfortunately, should any untoward "o'er-night clishmaclaver" occasion the neglect of this duty, and the fire be left, like envy, to feed upon its own vitals, a remedy is at hand in the shape of a pan "o' live coals" from some more provident neighbour, resident in an upper or lower "flat;" and thus without bundle-wood or "shavings," is the mischief cured.
I hope that this explanation will sufficiently vindicate my Scottish friends from M.L.B.'s aspersion. Scotchmen improvident! never: for workhouses are as scarce among them as bundle-wood, or intelligent travellers. Recollect that I am not in a passion; but this I will say, though the gorge choke me, that M.L.B. strongly reminds me of the French princess, who when she heard of some manufacturers dying in the provinces of starvation, said, "Poor fools! die of starvation—if I were them I would eat bread and cheese first."
The next time M.L.B. visits Scotland, let him ask the first peasant he meets how to keep eggs fresh for years; and he will answer rub a little oil or butter over them, within a day or two after laying, and they will keep any length of time, perfectly fresh. This discovery, which was made in France by the great Reamur, depends for its success upon the oil filling up the pores of the egg-shell, and thereby cutting off the perspiration between the fluids of the egg and the atmosphere, which is a necessary agent in putrefaction. The preservation of eggs in this manner, has long been practised in all "braid Scotland;" but it is not so much as known in our own boasted land of stale eggs and bundle-wood.
In Edinburgh, I mean the Scottish and not the Irish capital, M.L.B. may actually eat new laid eggs a year old! How is it that this great comfort is not practised in the navy? The Scotch have also a hundred other domestic practices for the saving of the hard earned "siller;" and are far from the commission of any such idle waste as M.L.B.'s story exhibits. S.S.
P.S. Tinder-boxes are unknown in Scotland, and I am sure M.L.B. if he wants a business would as readily make his fortune by selling them, as the Yorkshireman who went to the West Indies with a cargo of great coats.
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ON MY FORTY-NINTH BIRTHDAY.
(For the Mirror.)
On the slope of Life's decline, The landmark reached of forty-nine, Thoughtful on this heart of mine Strikes the sound of forty-nine. Greyish hairs with brown combine To note Time's hand—and forty-nine. Sunny hours that used to shine, Shadow o'er at forty-nine. Of youthful sports the joys decline, Symptoms strong of forty-nine. The dance I willingly resign, To lighter heels than forty-nine.
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Yet, why anxiously repine? Pleasures wait on forty-nine.
Social pleasures—joys benign— Still are found at forty-nine. With a friend to go and dine, What better age than forty-nine? Ladies with me sip their wine, Though they know I'm forty-nine. Tea and chat, and wit combine, To enliven musing forty-nine. Let harmony its chords untwine, Music charms at forty nine. O'er wasting care let croakers whine, Care we'll defy at forty-nine. Fifty shall not make me pine— Why lament o'er forty-nine. Joys let's trace of "Auld Lang Syne," Memory's fresh at forty-nine. Then fill a cup of rosy wine, And drink a health to FORTY-NINE.
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SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
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PHILOSOPHY OF LONDON.
The principle of suum cuique is felicitously enforced in that ostentatious but rather heavy piece of architecture, the Regent Quadrant, the pillars of which exhibit from time to time different colours, according to the fancy of the shop-owners to whose premises respectively they happen to belong. Thus, Mr. Figgins chooses to see his side of a pillar painted a pale chocolate, while his neighbour Mrs. Hopkins insists on disguising the other half with a coat of light cream colour, or haply a delicate shade of Dutch pink; so that the identity of material which made it so hard for Transfer, in Zeluco, to distinguish between his metal Venus and Vulcan, is often the only incident that the two moieties have in common.
The few squares that existed in London antecedent to 1770, were rather sheep-walks, paddocks, and kitchen gardens, than any thing else. Grosvenor Square in particular, fenced round with a rude wooden railing, which was interrupted by lumpish brick piers at intervals of every half-dozen yards, partook more of the character of a pond than a parterre; and as for Hanover Square, it had very much the air of a sorry cow-yard, where blackguards were to be seen assembled daily, playing at husselcap up to their ankles in mire. Cavendish Square was then for the first time dignified with a statue, in the modern uniform of the Guards, mounted on a charger, a l'antique, richly gilt and burnished; and Red Lion Square, elegantly so called from the sign of an ale-shop at the corner, presented the anomalous appendages of two ill-constructed watch-houses at either end, with an ungainly, naked obelisk in the centre, which, by the by, was understood to be the site of Oliver Cromwell's re-interment. St. James's Park abounded in apple-trees, which Pepys mentions having laid under contribution by stealth, while Charles and his queen were actually walking within sight of him. The quaint style of this old writer is sometimes not a little entertaining. He mentions having seen Major-General Harrison "hanged, drawn, and quartered at Charing-Cross, he (Harrison) looking as cheerful as any man could in that condition." He also gravely informs us that Sir Henry Vane, when about to be beheaded on Tower Hill, urgently requested the executioner to take off his head so as not to hurt a seton which happened to be uncicatrized in his neck!
We are the contemporaries of a street-building generation, but the grand maxim of the nineteenth century, in their management of masonry, as in almost every thing else, as far as we can discover, appears to lie in that troublesome line of Macbeth's soliloquy, ending with, "'twere well it were done quickly." It is notorious that many of the leases of new dwelling-houses contain a clause against dancing, lest the premises should suffer from a mazurka, tremble at a gallopade, or fall prostrate under the inflictions of "the parson's farewell," or "the wind that shakes the barley." The system of building, or rather "running up" a house first, and afterwards providing it with a false exterior, meant to deceive the eye with the semblance of curved stone, is in itself an absolute abomination. Besides, Greek architecture, so magnificent when on a large scale, becomes perfectly ridiculous when applied to a private street-mansion, or a haberdasher's warehouse. St. Paul's Church, Covent-Garden, is an instance of the unhappy effect produced by a combination of a similar kind; great in all its parts, with its original littleness, it very nearly approximates to the character of a barn. Inigo Jones doubtless desired to erect an edifice of stately Roman aspect, but he was cramped in his design, and, therefore, only aspired to make a first-rate barn; so far unquestionably the great architect has succeeded. Then looking to those details of London architecture, which appear more peculiarly connected with the dignity of the nation, what can we say of it, but that the King of Great Britain is worse lodged than the chief magistrate of Claris or Zug, while the debates of the most powerful assembly in the world are carried on in a building, (or, a return to Westminster Hall,) which will bear no comparison with the Stadthouse at Amsterdam! The city, however, as a whole, presents a combination of magnitude and grandeur, which we should in vain look for elsewhere, although with all its immensity it has not yet realized the quaint prediction of James the First,—that London would shortly be England, and England would be London.
The metropolis presents certain features of peculiar interest just at that unpopular dreamy hour when stars "begin to pale their ineffectual fires," and the drowsy twilight of the doubtful day brightens apace into the fulness of morning, "blushing like an Eastern bride." Then it is that the extremes of society first meet under circumstances well calculated to indicate the moral width between their several conditions. The gilded chariot bowls along from square to square with its delicate patrimonial possessor, bearing him homeward in celerity and silence, worn with lassitude, and heated with wine quaffed at his third rout, after having deserted the oft-seen ballet, or withdrawn in pettish disgust at the utterance of a false harmony in the opera. A cabriolet hurries past him still more rapidly, bearing a fashionable physician, on the fret at having been summoned prematurely from the comforts of a second sleep in a voluptuous chamber, on an experimental visit to
"Raise the weak head, and stay the parting sigh, Or with new life relume the swimming eye."
At the corners of streets of traffic, and more especially
"Where fam'd St. Giles's ancient limits spread,"
the matutinal huckster may be seen administering to costermongers, hackney-coachmen, and "fair women without discretion," a fluid "all hot, all hot," ycleped by the initiated elder wine, which, we should think, might give the partakers a tolerable notion of the fermenting beverage extracted by Tartars from mare's milk not particularly fresh. Hard by we find a decent matron super-intending her tea-table at the lamp-post, and tendering to a remarkably select company little, blue, delft cups of bohea, filled from time to time from a prodigious kettle, that simmers unceasingly on its charcoal tripod, though the refractory cad often protests that the fuel fails before the boiling stage is consummated by an ebullition. Hither approaches perhaps an interesting youth from Magherastaphena, who, ere night-fall, is destined to figure in some police-office as a "juvenile delinquent." The shivering sweep, who has just travelled through half a dozen stacks of chimneys, also quickens every motion of his weary little limbs, when he comes within sight of the destined breakfast, and beholds the reversionary heel of a loaf and roll of butter awaiting his arrival. Another unfailing visiter is the market-gardener, on his way to deposit before the Covent Garden piazza such a pyramid of cabbages as might well have been manured in the soil with Master Jack's justly celebrated bean-stalk. Surely Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. The female portion of such assemblages, for the most part, consists of poor Salopian strawberry-carriers, many of whom have walked already at least four miles, with a troublesome burden, and for a miserable pittance—egg-women, with sundry still-born chickens, goslings, and turkey-pouts—and passing milk-maidens, peripatetic under the yoke of their double pail. Their professional cry is singular and sufficiently unintelligible, although perhaps not so much so as that of the Dublin milk-venders in the days of Swift; it used to run thus,—
"Mugs, jugs, and porringers, Up in the garret and down in the cellar."
They are in general a hale, comely, well-favoured race, notwithstanding the assertion of the author of Trivia to the contrary.
 "On doors the sallow milk maid chalks her gains. Oh! how unlike the milk-maid of the plains!"
The most revolting spectacle to any one of sensibility which usually presents itself about this hour, is the painful progress of the jaded, foundered, and terrified droves of cattle that one necessarily must see not unfrequently struggling on to the appointed slaughter-house, perhaps after three days during which they have been running
"Their course of suffering in the public way."
On such occasions we have often wished ourselves "far from the sight of city, spire, or sound of minster clock." One feels most for the sheep and lambs, when the softened fancy recurs to the streams and hedgerows, and pleasant pastures, from whence the woolly exiles have been ejected; and yet the emotion of pity isnot wholly unaccompanied by admiration at the sagacity of the canine disciplinarians that bay them remorselessly forward, and sternly refuse the stragglers permission to make a reconnoissance on the road. They are highly respectable members of society these same sheep-dogs, and we wish we could say as much for "the curs of low degree," that just at the same hour begin to prowl up and down St. Giles's, and to and fro in it, seeking what they may devour, with the fear of the Alderman of Cripplegate Within before their eyes. The feline kind, however, have reason to think themselves in more danger at the first round of the watering cart, for we have often rescued an unsuspicious tortoise-shell from the felonious designs of a skin-dealer, who was about to lay violent hands on unoffending puss, while she was watching the process of making bread through the crevices of a Scotch grating.
 They say that no town in Europe is without a Scotchman for an inhabitant. This trade in London is generally professed by North Britons, and it is always a cause of alarm to a stranger if he notices the enormous column of black smoke which is emitted from their premises at the dawn, of the morning.
Another animal sui generis, occasionally visible about the same cock-crowing season, is the parliamentary reporter, shuffling to roost, and a more slovenly-looking operative from sunrise to sunset is rarely to be seen. There has probably been a double debate, and between three and five o'clock he has written "a column bould." No one can well mistake him. The features are often Irish, the gait jaunty or resolutely brisk, but neither "buxom, blithe, nor debonnair," complexion wan, expression pensive, and the entire propriety of the toilette disarranged and degagee. The stuff that he has perpetrated is happily no longer present to his memory, and neither placeman's sophistry nor patriot's rant will be likely in any way to interfere with his repose. Intense fatigue, whether intellectual or manual, however, is not the best security for sound slumber at any hour, more particularly in the morning.
Even at this hour the swart Savoyard (filius nullius) issues forth on his diurnal pilgrimage, "remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow," to excruciate on his superannuated hurdy-gurdy that sublime melody, "the hundred and seventh psalm," or the plaintive sweetness of "Isabel," perhaps speculating on a breakfast for himself and Pug, somewhere between Knightsbridge and Old Brentford. Poor fellow! Could he procure a few bones of mutton, how hard would it be for his hungry comprehension to understand the displeasure which similar objects occasioned to Attila on the plains of Champagne!
Then the too frequent preparations for a Newgate execution—but enough of such details; it is the muse of Mr. Crabbe that alone could do them justice. We would say to the great city, in the benedictory spirit of the patriot of Venice,—esto perpetua! Notwithstanding thy manifold "honest knaveries," peace be within thy walls, and plenty pervade thy palaces, that thou mayest ever approve thyself, oh queen of capitals,
"Like Samson's riddle in the sacred song, A springing sweet still flowing from the strong!"
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From the letters of two sportsmen; with recollections of the Ettrick Shepherd.
(For the Mirror.)
After visiting Thoms, the sculptor, "Burns's cottage," "Halloway Kirk," Monument, &c., in Ayrshire, we toddled on over to Dumfries, and had a crack with poor "Rabbie Burns's" widow, not forgetting McDiarmid the author; thence to Moffat, and up that dismal glen, the pass of Moffat, to the grey mare's tail, a waterfall, so called from its resembling the silvery tail of a grey mare; and truly, if the simile were extended into infinitude, which from its sublimity it would admit of, we might compare its waving, silky stream swinging over the broad face of its lofty grey rock, to the tail of the pale horse of Revelation, over the chaos of time. It was a sombre, solemn sort of a day, and the dense clouds hung curtaining down the mountain sides, like our living pall as it were—I scarcely know how—but we felt dismally until we took a dram and got into a perspiration, with tugging up the sinuosities of the cliff's, to the summit of the waterfall. Loch Skein, where we were galvanized, electrified, magnetized, and petrified, all at once, by the quackery, clackery, flappery, quatter, splatter, clatter, scatter, and dash-de-blash, and squash, of a flock of wild ducks, on its reedy, flaggy surface; O, what a scutter was there! Our hearts, too full, leapt into our mouths, but our guns were turned into tons of lead, and ere we could heave them up to our shoulders of clay, the thousand had fled into the eternal grey mist of the mountain, like the dispersion of a confused dream. There we stood like two sumphs, (as Hogg calls those who are ganging a bit aglee in their wits) gaping and staring at each other with a look which said, why did not you shoot? Our dogs too stood as stiff as two pumps, with tails standing out like the handles! Apropos—talking of Hogg, the poet, we called to see him in his half-acre island in Eltrive Lake, and truly we met with that burning hot reception which we had anticipated from Blackwood's Magazine description of him. We had no notes of introduction except the notes which our guns pricked upon the echoes of Ettric Forest, and which James Hogg heard and answered with a view-hallo, for us to "come awa doon the brae an' tak' a dram o'speerits," and so we did, and in true Highland style; he met us at the door and gave us a drain from the bottle, first gulping a glass himself of that double-strong like & fire-eater, without a twink of the eye or a wince of the mouth; and then with a grip o' the daddle, which made the fingers crack, he pulled us into his bonnie wee bit shooting box of a house, with a "Come awa ben ye'll be the better o' a bite o' venison pasty;" so in we went, and were introduced to his bonnie wife and sousy barnes, which latter, Jammie Hogg nursed as though he lov'd 'em frae the uttermost ends o' his sowl.
Campbell has it against Byron, that "the poetic temperament is incompatible with matrimonial felicity." Fudge, fudge, Mr. Campbell, did you ever visit James Hogg?
Well, we sat down to take a snack with James and an extraordinary monkey of his, which he has dressed in the garb of a Highland soldier, and which too, sat down at table, and played his knife and fork like a true epicure. "An extrornry crater is that wee Heelan-man o' mine, gentlemen, he can conduc himsel' as weel's ony Christan man at table, and aft when I'm pennin' a bit rhyme 'thegither, the crater'll lowp up 'ith chair anent me and tak' up a pen, in exac emeetation o' me, and keck into my 'een in his cunnin way, as if he was speering me what to write aboot; he surely maun ha' a feck o' thocht in his heed if are could gar him spak it; but ye ken his horsemanship beats a'. I had a spire-haired collie, a breed atween a Heelan lurcher, a grew, and a wolf, dog, a meety, muckle collie he is for sure—weel, gentlemen, do ye ken, he a' rides on him when we hoont the tod (fox), an' to see him girt a screep o' red flannin on for a saddle, that the neer-do-weel toor fra a beggar-wife's tattered duds ane day; an' then to see him lowp on like a mountebank, and sit skreighin an' chatrin, an' cronkin like a paddock on a clud o'yearth. O, its a lachin teeklesome sicht for sure—an' then hee'l thud, thud, thud his wee bit neive 'ith shouther 'oth collie, an' steek his toes in his side, just for a' the world like a Newmarket jockey, an' then hee'l turn him roon behint-afore an' play treeks, till collie gerns at him; an' then beway o' makin friens again, hee'l streek an' pat him, an' peek the ferlie oot o' his hurdles; an' then when we're a' ready for gannin awa, to be sure what a dirdum an' stramash do they twa keek up; an' then aff they flee like the deevil in a gale o' wind, an' are oot o' sicht before ye can say owr the border an' far awa. But I ha' just been speerin the forester aboot the tod (fox), an' he gars me gang owr the muir to Ettric Forest, an' leuk in a cleuch in a rock there is there, an' I shall find the half-peckit banes o' a joop o' mine that stray'd yestreen. So, gentlemen, if yer fond o' oor kin o' sportin, ye shall hae such a sicht o' rinnin an' ridin as ye ne'er saw heretofore we your twa een."
We readily accepted the invite, and off we set in company with the "Ettric Shepherd" and his monkey, and certainly it was a "teeklesome sicht" to see him mounted on the long, lank, wire-haired, shaggy wolf-dog-grew-lurcher, while he in play was scouring round and round the wild and barren moor; away and away as swift as the wind, over brae and bourn and bog they went, like a red petticoated witch on a besom, flying in the storm.
On our way we fell in with the foresters, who were going a deer-stalking; they had a buck to kill for the duke, so we joined company, and gave that satisfactory shrug of the shoulders, with the expectation of sport, that a spider would feel while sitting in the corner of a hollow nut-shell, and seeing his victim already entangled in his web, while he was whetting his appetite with suspended hope, in dream of anticipated fattenings.
We made the best of our way to the watering-place haunt of the deer. Silence was the word, and we crept on tip-toe and tip-toe, scarce breathing, keeping ever out of the wind's course; for they have an ear of silk, and an eye of light, and a scent so exquisite that they could, if it were possible, hear the tread, see the essence, and scent the breath, of a spirit. This watering haunt was in a lonely glen, which was commanded, within pistol-shot, by a small clump of trees, which were under-grown by brushwood and brambles, and wherein we ambushed ourselves. Ay, there it was, the "gory bed," where "this day a stag must die," just one hundred yards from that said clump. Hush, hush, silence, silence, "Swallow your brith," says Jammie Hogg, hush, "Heck, cack, a," says the monkey, "the deevil tak' the monkey," says Jammie, "whist, whist, hush!"
(To be concluded in our next.)
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THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
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THE GEORGIAN ERA.
(Concluded from page 124.)
"In early life, Sheridan had been generally accounted handsome: he was rather above the middle size, and well proportioned. He excelled in several manly exercises: he was a proficient in horsemanship, and danced with great elegance. His eyes were black, brilliant, and always particularly expressive. Sir Joshua Reynolds, who painted his portrait, is said to have affirmed, that their pupils were larger than those of any human being he had ever met with. They retained their beauty to the last; but the lower parts of his face exhibited, in his latter years, the usual effects of intemperance. His arms were strong, although by no means large; and his hands small and delicate. On a cast of one of them, the following appropriate couplet is stated, by Moore, to have been written:—
Good at a fight, but better at a play; Godlike in giving; but the devil to pay!
"No man of his day possessed so much tact in appropriating and adorning the wit of others. He pillaged his predecessors of their ideas, with as much skill and effrontery as he did his contemporaries of their money. It was his ambition to appear indolent; but he was, in fact, particularly, though not regularly laborious. The most striking parts of his best speeches were written and rewritten, on separate slips of paper, and, in many cases, laid by for years, before they were spoken. He not only elaborately polished his good ideas, but, when they were finished, waited patiently, until an opportunity occurred of uttering them with the best effect. Moore states, that the only time he could have had for the pre-arrangement of his conceptions, must have been during the many hours of the day which he passed in bed; when, frequently, while the world gave him credit for being asleep, he was employed in laying the frame-work of his wit and eloquence for the evening.
"Like that of his great political rival, Pitt, his eloquence required the stimulus of the bottle. Port was his favourite wine; it quickened, he said, the circulation and the fancy together; adding, that he seldom spoke to his satisfaction until after he had taken a couple of bottles. Arthur O'Leary used to remark, that, like a porter, he never was steady unless he had a load on his head.
"He also needed the excitement of wine when engaged in composition. 'If an idea be reluctant,' he would sometimes say, 'a glass of port ripens it, and it bursts forth; if it come freely, a glass of port is a glorious reward for it.' He usually wrote at night, with several candles burning around him.
"The most serious appointments were, to him, matters of no importance. After promising to attend the funeral of his friend Richardson, he arrived at the church after the conclusion of the burial service; which, however, to their mutual disgrace, he prevailed on the clergyman to repeat. But, notwithstanding his liability to the charge of desecration, even in more than one instance, he professed, and it is but charitable to presume that he felt, in his better moments, a deep sense of the worth of piety. He had ever considered, he said, a deliberate disposition to make proselytes in infidelity, as an unaccountable depravity, a brutal outrage, the motive for which he had never been able to trace or conceive.
"Sheridan enjoyed a distinguished reputation for colloquial wit. From among the best of the occasional dicta, &c. attributed to him, the following are selected:—
"An elderly maiden lady, an inmate of a country house, at which Sheridan was passing a few days, expressed an inclination to take a stroll with him, but he excused himself, on account of the badness of the weather. Shortly afterwards, she met him sneaking out alone.
'So, Mr. Sheridan,' said she, 'it has cleared up.' 'Yes, madam,' was the reply; 'it certainly has cleared up enough for one, but not enough for two;' and off he went.
"He jocularly observed, on one occasion, to a creditor, who peremptorily required payment of the interest due on a long-standing debt,' My dear sir, you know it is not my interest to pay the principal; nor is it my principle to pay the interest.'
"One day, the prince of Wales having expatiated on the beauty of Dr. Darwin's opinion, that the reason why the bosom of a beautiful woman possesses such a fascinating effect on man is, because he derived from that source the first pleasurable sensations of his infancy. Sheridan ridiculed the idea very happily. 'Such children, then,' said he, 'as are brought up by hand, must needs be indebted for similar sensations to a very different object; and yet, I believe, no man has ever felt any intense emotions of amatory delight at beholding a pap-spoon.'
"Boaden, the author of several theatrical pieces, having given Drury lane theatre the title of a wilderness, Sheridan, when requested, shortly afterwards, to produce a tragedy, written by Boaden, replied, 'The wise and discreet author calls our house a wilderness:—now, I don't mind allowing the oracle to have his opinion; but it is really too much for him to expect, that I will suffer him to prove his words.'
"Kelly having to perform an Irish character, Johnstone took great pains to instruct him in the brogue, but with so little success, that Sheridan said, on entering the green-room, at the conclusion of the piece, 'Bravo, Kelly! I never heard you speak such good English in all my life!'
"He delighted in practical jokes, and seems to have enjoyed a sheer piece of mischief, with all the gusto of a school-boy. At this kind of sport, Tickell and Sheridan were often play-fellows: and the tricks which they inflicted on each other, were frequently attended with rather unpleasant consequences. One night, he induced Tickell to follow him down a dark passage, on the floor of which he had placed all the plates and dishes he could muster, in such a manner, that while a clear path was left open for his own escape, it would have been a miracle if Tickell did not smash two-thirds of them. The result was as Sheridan had anticipated: Tickell fell among the crockery, which so severely cut him in many places, that Lord John Townshend found him, the next day, in bed, and covered with patches. 'Sheridan has behaved atrociously towards me,' said he, 'and I am resolved to be revenged on him. But,' added he, his admiration at the trick entirely subduing his indignation, 'how amazingly well it was managed!'
"He once took advantage of the singular appetite of Richardson for argument, to evade payment of a heavy coach-fare. Sheridan had occupied a hackney-chariot for several hours, and had not a penny in his pocket to pay the coachman. While in this dilemma, Richardson passed, and he immediately proposed to take the disputant up, as they appeared to be going in the same direction. The offer was accepted, and Sheridan adroitly started a subject on which his companion was usually very vehement and obstinate. The argument was maintained with great warmth on both sides, until at length Sheridan affected to lose his temper, and pulling the check-string, commanded the coachman to let him out instantly, protesting that he would not ride another yard with a man who held such opinions, and supported them in such a manner. So saying, he descended and walked off, leaving Richardson to enjoy his fancied triumph, and to pay the whole fare. Richardson, it is said, in a paroxysm of delight at Sheridan's apparent defeat, put his head out of the window and vociferated his arguments until he was out of sight."
The minor or appendix biographies are not so neatly executed as the more lengthy sketches. It is rather oddly said, "that Alderman Wood shortly before the demise of George the Fourth, obtained leave to bring in a bill for the purpose of preventing the spread of canine madness." Again, as the Alderman is a hop-factor, why observe "he is said to have realized a considerable fortune by his fortunate speculations in hops." This describes him as a mere speculator, and not as an established trader in hops.
The present volume of the Georgian Era is handsomely printed, and is, without exception, the cheapest book of the day, considered either as to its merit or size—quality or quantity: what can transcend nearly 600 pages of such condensed reading as we have proved this work to contain—for half-a-guinea! Were it re-written and printed in the style of a fashionable novel, it would reach round the world, and in that case, it should disappear at Terra del Fuego.
The embellishments of the Georgian Era are not its most successful portion; but a fine head of George I. fronts the title-page. The anecdotes, by the way, will furnish us two or three agreeable pages anon.
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* * * * *
(For the Mirror.)
This distinguished landscape-painter was the son of Mr. Alexander Nasmyth, an artist who is still living and well known in Edinburgh, at which city Patrick was born about the year 1785. His education appears to have been good, and he was early initiated in the art of painting by his father, who constantly represented to him the many great advantages to be derived from the study of nature rather than from the old masters' productions, the greater portion of which have lost their original purity by time and the unskilful management of those persons who term themselves picture restorers. Far from confining himself to the usual method adopted by most young artists of servilely imitating old paintings, young Nasmyth very soon began to copy nature in all her varied freshness and beauty. Scotland contains much of the picturesque, and from this circumstance he seized every opportunity to cultivate his genius for landscape-painting. With incessant application he studied the accidental formation of clouds and the shadows thrown by them on the earth; by which practice he acquired the art of delineating with precision the most pleasing effects. His style appears very agreeable and unaffected; he excelled however, only in rural scenery, in which his skies, distant hills, and the barks of the trees, are truly admirable. His foregrounds are always beautifully diversified, and every blade of grass is true to nature. He is not equal in every respect to Hobbima, yet certainly approximates nearer to that celebrated master than any English artist.
In 1830, Mr. Nasmyth sold his valuable collection of original sketches and drawings for thirty pounds to George Pennell, Esq., who also purchased several of his exquisitely finished pictures, one of which—a View in Lee Wood, near, Bristol—is now in the possession of Lord Northwick. Nasmyth was a constant exhibitor at the Royal Academy, the British Institution, &c., and his performances delighted the uninstructed spectator as well as the connoisseur.
In person, he was of the middle stature, and possessed a manly countenance with an agreeable figure. In conversation he was vivacious and witty, especially when in company with a convivial party. His character, in some respects, was similar to that of George Morland; he was rather too much addicted to convivial pleasures, yet was ever solicitous to mix with the best company, and his polite manners always rendered him an acceptable guest; in this respect he was unlike Morland, who, it is well known, loved to select his companions from the lowest class of society. Although Nasmyth obtained considerable sums for his pictures, he was never sufficiently economical to save money; on the contrary his private affairs were in a very deranged state. He was never married, and during the last ten years of his life resided at Lambeth.
Towards the end of July, 1831, Mr. Nasmyth, accompanied by two of his intimate acquaintances, made an excursion to Norwood for the purpose of sketching. Much rain had fallen the day before, and the air was still chilly; the artist, however, commenced his drawing, and remained stationary for about two hours, when, the sketch being finished, he rejoined the friends whom he had left at an inn. He then complained of being excessively cold, but on taking something warm his usual spirits returned, and the party passed the rest of the day pleasantly. On the following morning, however, Nasmyth felt considerably indisposed, and it appeared evident he had taken a violent cold. Notwithstanding medical assistance, his indisposition daily increased; and on the 18th of August he breathed his last, in the 46th year of his age.
He died in extreme poverty, and a subscription to defray the expenses of the funeral was raised among his friends. Wilson, Stanfield, and Roberts subscribed, and followed the remains of their late talented friend to the grave in St. Mary's churchyard, Lambeth.
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PORTRAIT OF CHRIST.
(To the Editor.)
The document giving an account of Jesus Christ, which is referred to by Veritas, in No. 533 of The Mirror, has been long since known to be a glaring forgery. It is one of many stories invented in the second, third, and fourth centuries, by the early Christians; for a full account of whose forgeries in such matters, you may consult Mosheim, Lardner, Casaubon, and other ecclesiastical writers. The latter says, "It mightily affects me to see how many there were in the earliest times of the church, who considered it as a capital exploit to lend to heavenly truth the help of their own inventions, in order that the new doctrine might be more readily allowed by the wise among the Gentiles. These officious lies, they were wont to say, were devised for a good end. From which source, beyond question, sprung nearly innumerable books, which that and the following ages saw published by those who were far from being bad men, under the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Apostles, and of other Saints."—Lardner, vol. iv. p. 524.
Dr. Mosheim, among his excellent works, has published a dissertation, showing the reasons and causes of these supposed letters and writings respecting Christ, the Apostles, &c., to which I would beg to recommend your correspondent Veritas. JUSTUS.
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NOTES OF A READER.
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DEATH OF JOHN HAMPDEN.
The last days of the patriot Hampden are thus graphically told in the Edinburgh Review of Lord Nugent's recently published "Memorials." We need scarcely observe, by way of introduction, that Hampden fell in the great contest between Charles and his parliament; and that when the appeal was to the sword, Hampden accepted the command of a regiment in the parliamentary army, under the Earl of Essex; the Royal forces being headed by Prince Rupert.
"In the early part of 1643, the shires lying in the neighbourhood of London, which were devoted to the cause of the Parliament, were incessantly annoyed by Rupert and his cavalry. Essex had extended his lines so far, that almost every point was vulnerable. The young prince, who, though not a great general, was an active and enterprising partisan, frequently surprised posts, burned villages, swept away cattle, and was again at Oxford, before a force sufficient to encounter him could be assembled.
"The languid proceedings of Essex were loudly condemned by the troops. All the ardent and daring spirits in the parliamentary party were eager to have Hampden at their head. Had his life been prolonged, there is every reason to believe that the supreme command would have been entrusted to him. But it was decreed that, at this conjuncture, England should lose the only man who united perfect disinterestedness to eminent talents—the only man who, being capable of gaining the victory for her, was incapable of abusing that victory when gained.
"In the evening of the 17th of June, Rupert darted out of Oxford with his cavalry on a predatory expedition. At three in the morning of the following day, he attacked and dispersed a few parliamentary soldiers who were quartered at Postcombe. He then flew to Chinnor, burned the village, killed or took all the troops who were posted there, and prepared to hurry back with his booty and his prisoners to Oxford.
"Hampden had, on the preceding day, strongly represented to Essex the danger to which this part of the line was exposed. As soon as he received intelligence of Rupert's incursion, he sent off a horseman with a message to the General. The cavaliers, he said, could return only by Chiselhampton Bridge. A force ought to be instantly dispatched in that direction, for the purpose of intercepting them. In the meantime, he resolved to set out with all the cavalry that he could muster, for the purpose of impeding the march of the enemy till Essex could take measures for cutting off their retreat. A considerable body of horse and dragoons volunteered to follow him. He was not their commander. He did not even belong to their branch of the service. But 'he was,' says Lord Clarendon, 'second to none but the General himself in the observance and application of all men.' On the field of Chalgrove he came up with Rupert. A fierce skirmish ensued. In the first charge, Hampden was struck in the shoulder by two bullets, which broke the bone, and lodged in his body. The troops of the Parliament lost heart and gave way. Rupert, after pursuing them for a short time, hastened to cross the bridge, and made his retreat unmolested to Oxford.
"Hampden, with his head drooping, and his hands leaning on his horse's neck, moved feebly out of the battle. The mansion which had been inhabited by his father-in-law, and from which in his youth he had carried home his bride, Elizabeth, was in sight. There still remains an affecting tradition, that he looked for a moment towards that beloved house, and made an effort to go thither to die. But the enemy lay in that direction. He turned his horse towards Thame, where he arrived almost fainting with agony. The surgeons dressed his wounds. But there was no hope. The pain which he suffered was most excruciating. But he endured it with admirable firmness and resignation. His first care was for his country. He wrote from his bed several letters to London concerning public affairs, and sent a last pressing message to the head-quarters, recommending that the dispersed forces should be concentrated. When his last public duties were performed, he calmly prepared himself to die. He was attended by a clergyman of the Church of England, with whom he had lived in habits of intimacy, and by the chaplain of the Buckinghamshire Green-coats, Dr. Spurton, whom Baxter describes as a famous and excellent divine.
"A short time before his death, the sacrament was administered to him. He declared that, though he disliked the government of the Church of England, he yet agreed with that Church as to all essential matters of doctrine. His intellect remained unclouded. When all was nearly over, he lay murmuring faint prayers for himself, and for the cause in which he died. 'Lord Jesus,' he exclaimed, in the moment of the last agony, 'receive my soul—O Lord, save my country—O Lord, be merciful to—,' In that broken ejaculation passed away his noble and fearless spirit.
"He was buried in the parish church of Hampden. His soldiers, bareheaded with reversed arms, and muffled drums, and colours, escorted his body to the grave, singing, as they marched, that lofty and melancholy psalm, in which the fragility of human life is contrasted with the immutability of Him, in whose sight a thousand years are but as yesterday when it is passed, and as a watch in the night.
"The news of Hampden's death produced as great a consternation in his party, according to Clarendon, as if their whole army had been cut off. The journals of the time amply prove that the Parliament and all its friends were filled with grief and dismay. Lord Nugent has quoted a remarkable passage from the next Weekly Intelligencer. 'The loss of Colonel Hampden goeth near the heart of every man that loves the good of his king and country, and makes some conceive little content to be at the army now that he is gone. The memory of this deceased colonel is such, that in no age to come but it will more and more be had in honour and esteem;—a man so religious, and of that prudence, judgment, temper, valour, and integrity, that he hath left few his like behind him,'
"He had indeed left none his like behind him. There still remained, indeed, in his party, many acute intellects, many eloquent tongues, many brave and honest hearts. There still remained a rugged and clownish soldier,—half-fanatic, half-buffoon,—whose talents discerned as yet only by one penetrating eye, were equal to all the highest duties of the soldier and the prince. But in Hampden, and in Hampden alone, were united all the qualities which, at such a crisis, were necessary to save the state,—the valour and energy of Cromwell, the discernment and eloquence of Vane, the humanity and moderation of Manchester, the stern integrity of Hale, the ardent public spirit of Sidney. Others might possess the qualities which were necessary to save the popular party in the crisis of danger; he alone had both the power and the inclination to restrain its excesses in the hour of triumph. Others could conquer; he alone could reconcile."
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SNATCHES FROM EUGENE ARAM.
Love.—What a beautiful fabric would be human nature—what a divine guide would be human reason—if Love were indeed the stratum of the one, and the inspiration of the other.
The Pathetic and Sublime.—What a world of reasonings, not immediately obvious, did the sage of old open to our inquiry, when he said that the pathetic was the truest source of the sublime.
Fortune-telling by Gipsies.—Very few men under thirty ever sincerely refuse an offer of this sort. Nobody believes in these predictions, yet every one likes hearing them.
Gardening.—'Tis a winning thing, a garden! It brings us an object every day; and that's what I think a man ought to have if he wishes to lead a happy life.
Knaresbro' Castle.—You would be at some loss to recognise now the truth of old Leland's description of that once stout and gallant bulwark of the north, when "he numbrid 11 or 12 toures in the walles of the Castel, and one very fayre beside in the second area." In that castle, the four knightly murderers of the haughty Becket (the Wolsey of his age) remained for a whole year, defying the weak justice of the times. There, too, the unfortunate Richard the Second,—the Stuart of the Plantagenets—passed some portion of his bitter imprisonment. And there, after the battle of Marston Moor, waved the banner of the loyalists against the soldiers of Lilburn. It was made yet more touchingly memorable at that time, as you may have heard, by an instance of filial piety. The town was straitened for want of provisions; a youth, whose father was in the garrison, was accustomed nightly to get into the deep, dry moat, climb up the glacis, and put provisions through a hole, where the father stood ready to receive them. He was perceived at length; the soldiers fired on him. He was taken prisoner, and sentenced to be hanged in sight of the besieged, in order to strike terror into those who might be similarly disposed to render assistance to the garrison. Fortunately, however, this disgrace was spared the memory of Lilburne and the republican arms. With great difficulty, a certain lady obtained his respite; and after the conquest of the place, and the departure of the troops, the adventurous son was released.... The castle then, once the residence of Pierce Gaveston,—of Hubert III,—and of John of Gaunt, was dismantled and destroyed. It is singular, by the way, that it was twice captured by men of the name of Lilburn, or Lilleburne, once in the reign of Edward II., once as I have related. On looking over historical records, we are surprised to find how often certain great names have been fatal to certain spots; and this reminds me that we boast (at Knaresbro',) the origin of the English Sibyl, the venerable Mother Shipton. The wild rock, at whose foot she is said to have been born, is worthy of the tradition.
Consolation for the Loss of Children.—Better that the light cloud should fade away into Heaven with the morning breath, than travail through the weary day to gather in darkness, and end in storm!
Bells before a Wedding.—The bells were already ringing loud and blithely; and the near vicinity of the church to the house brought that sound, so inexpressibly buoyant and cheering, to the ears of the bride, with a noisy merriment, that seemed like the hearty voice of an old-fashioned friend who seeks, in his greeting, rather cordiality than discretion.
The Murderer's Unction.—Ay, all is safe! He will not again return; the dead sleeps without a witness.—I may lay this working brain upon the bosom that loves me, and not start at night and think that the soft hand around my neck is the hangman's gripe.
Hogarth.—Nothing makes a picture of distress more sad than the portrait of some individual sitting indifferently looking on in the back-ground. This was a secret Hogarth knew well. Mark his death-bed scenes:—Poverty and Vice worked up into Horror—and the physicians in the corner wrangling for the fee!—or the child playing with the coffin—or the nurse filching what fortune, harsh, yet less harsh than humanity, might have left.
Change of Circumstance.—In our estimate of the ills of life, we never sufficiently take into consideration the wonderful elasticity of our moral frame, the unlooked for, the startling facility with which the human mind accommodates itself to all change of circumstance, making an object and even a joy from the hardest and seemingly the least redeemed conditions of fate. The man who watched the spider in his cell, may have taken, at least, as much interest in the watch, as when engaged in the most ardent and ambitious objects of his former life; and he was but a type of his brethren; all in similar circumstances would have found similar occupation.
Eternal Punishment.—So wonderful in equalizing all states and all times in the varying tide of life, are the two rulers yet levellers of mankind, Hope and Custom, that the very idea of an eternal punishment includes that of an utter alteration of the whole mechanism of the soul in its human state, and no effort of an imagination, assisted by past experience, can conceive a state of torture, which custom can never blunt, and from which the chainless and immaterial spirit can never be beguiled into even a momentary escape.
Prison Solitude.—I have been now so condemned to feed upon myself, that I have become surfeited with the diet.—Aram.
Sensibility.—We may triumph over all weaknesses but that of the affections.
Silence of Cities.—The stillness of a city is far more impressive than that of Nature; for the mind instantly compares the present silence with the wonted uproar.
Suspense.—Of all the conditions to which the heart is subject, suspense is the one that most gnaws, and cankers into the frame. One little month of that suspense, when it involves death, we are told, in a very remarkable work lately published by an eye-witness, is sufficient to plough fixed lines and furrows in a convict of five-and-twenty—sufficient to dash the brown hair with grey, and to bleach the grey to white.
 Wakefield on "The Punishment of Death."
Consolation.—Her high and starry nature could comprehend those sublime inspirations of comfort, which lift us from the lowest abyss of this world to the contemplation of all that the yearning visions of mankind have painted in another.
It is a fearful thing to see men weep.
We are seldom sadder without being also wiser men.
What is more appalling than to find the signs of gaiety accompanying the reality of anguish.
Consolation.—If we go at noon day to the bottom of a deep pit, we shall be able to see the stars which on the level ground are invisible. Even so, from the depths of grief—worn, wretched, seared, and dying—the blessed apparitions and tokens of heaven make themselves visible to our eyes.
 The remark is in Aristotle. Buffon quotes it in, I think, the first volume of his great work.
Progress of Crime.—Mankind are not instantly corrupted. Villany is always progressive. We decline from right—not suddenly, but step after step.—Aram's Defence.
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SKETCHES FROM THE TOUR OF A GERMAN PRINCE, VOL. III.
"A very worthy and amiable woman, formerly, they say, married to the King, but at present wholly without influence in that quarter, but no less beloved and respected, d'un excellent ton et sans pretension."
"The Duchess of Clarence honoured the feast with her presence; and all pressed forward to see her, for she is one of those rare princesses whose personal qualities obtain for them much more respect than their rank, and whose unceasing benevolence and highly amiable character, have obtained for her a popularity in England, of which we Germans may well be proud—the more so, since in all probability she is destined to be one day the Queen of that country."
"I had the honour of dining with the Duke of Clarence, where I also met the Princess Augusta, the Duchess of Kent and her daughter, and the Duchess of Gloucester. The Duke makes a most friendly host, and is kind enough to retain a recollection of the different times and places where he has before seen me. He has much of the English national character, in the best sense of the word, and also the English love of domestic arrangement. The daughters of the Duke are d'un beau sang, all extraordinarily handsome, though in different styles of beauty. Among the sons Colonel Fitzclarence is, in many respects, the most distinguished. Rarely, indeed, do we meet with a young officer of such various accomplishments."
The Duchess Of St. A——.
"According to the earliest recollections or her Grace, she found herself a forsaken, starving, frozen child, in an outshed of an English village. She was taken thence by a gipsy-crew, whom she afterwards left for a company of strolling players. In this profession, she obtained some reputation by a pleasing exterior, a constant flow of spirits, and a certain originality—till by degrees she gained several friends, who magnanimously provided for her wants. She long lived in undisturbed connexion with the rich banker C——, who, at length, married her, and, at his death, left her a fortune of 70,000l. a year. By this colossal inheritance, she afterwards became the wife of the Duke of St. A——, the third English Duke in point of rank, and, what is a somewhat singular coincident, the descendant of the well-known actress Nell Gwynn, to whose charms the Duke is indebted for his title, in much the same way (though a hundred years earlier) as his wife is now for hers.
"She is a very good sort of woman, who has no hesitation in speaking of the past—on the contrary, is rather too frequent in her reminiscences. Thus she entertained us the whole evening, with various representations of her former dramatic characters. The drollest part of the affair was, that she had taught her husband, a very young man, thirty years under her own age—to play the lover's part, which he did badly enough. Malicious tongues were naturally very busy, and the more so, as many of the recited passages gave room for the most piquant applications."
"I Dined to-day with Lady F. Her husband was formerly Governor in the Isle of France, and she had there purchased from a negress, the pretended prophesying book of the Empress Josephine, who is said to have read therein her future greatness and fall, before she sailed for France. Lady F. produced it at tea, and invited the company to question fate, according to the prescribed forms. Now, listen to the answers, which are really remarkable enough. Mrs. Rothschild was the first—and she asked if her wishes would be fulfilled. Answer: 'Weary not fate with wishes—one who has obtained so much, may well be satisfied.' Next came Mr. Spring Rice, a celebrated parliamentary speaker, and one of the most zealous champions of the Catholic Question. He asked, whether on the following day when the question was to be brought forward in the upper house, it would pass. I should here remark, that it is well known here that it will not pass—but that in all probability in the next session it will. The laconic answer of the book ran thus:—'You will have no success this time.' They then made a young American lady ask if she should soon be married. 'Not in this part of the world,' was the answer."
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Shakspeare and Garrick.—At the opening dinner of the Garrick Club, the company forgot to drink the Memory of Shakspeare; and the health of our living dramatists was only proposed when the party had dwindled from 200 to 20! Where would be the fame of Garrick but for Shakspeare.
Talent has lately been liberally marked by royal favour. Among the last batch of knights are Mr. Smirke, the architect; Dr. Meyrick, the celebrated antiquarian scholar; and Col. Trench.
"Passing Strange."—The Court Journal, speaking of the deputation of boys from Christ's Hospital at the Drawing-room, says, "The number of boys appointed to attend on this occasion is 40; but, owing to the indisposition of one of them, there were no more than 39 present."
Millinery Authorship.—"We must acknowledge our prejudice in favour of an opportunity for the display of that most courtly of all materials, the train of Genoa velvet; where (as Lord Francis Levison expresses it)
Finger-deep the rich embroidery stiffens. Court Journal.
In a puff precipitate of a play, we are told that M—— "is pleased with his character."
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Two cats were placed within a cage, And resolving to quarrel, got into a rage, They fought so clean, and fought so clever, The devil a bit was left of either.
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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.
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