LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
No. 325.] SATURDAY, AUGUST 2, 1828. [Price 2d.
ALL-SOULS' CHURCH, LANGHAM-PLACE.
Vol. XII. F
"Whoever walks through London streets," Said Momus to the son of Saturn, "Each day new edifices meets, Of queer proportion, queerer pattern: If thou, O cloud-compelling god, Wilt aid me with thy special grace, I, too, will wield my motley hod, And build a church in Langham-place."
"Agreed," the Thunderer cries; "go plant Thine edifice, I care not how ill; Take notice, earth. I hereby grant Carte blanche of mortar, stone, and trowel. Go Hermes, Hercules, and Mars, Fraught with these bills on Henry Hase, Drop with yon jester from the stars, And build a church in Langham-place."
London Lyrics-New Monthly Mag.
Among all our specimens of contemporary church-building, none has excited more animadversion than All-Souls', Langham-place, erected in 1822-1825, from the designs of Mr. Nash. Its general effect is extraordinary and objectionable; but, unfortunately for what merit it really possesses, many of its assailants have so far disregarded the just principles of taste and criticism, as to go laboriously out of their way to be profanely witty on its defects. Song and satire, raillery and ridicule, pun and pasquinade, and even the coarseness of caricature, have thus been let off at this specimen of NASH-ional architecture; whilst their authors have wittingly kept out any redeeming graces which could be found in its architectural details.
The principal features of the exterior were suggested by its situation, it being placed on an angular plot of ground, between Langham-place and Regent-street. To afford an advantageous view from either point, the tower, which is circular, is nearly detached from the body of the church, and is surrounded by columns of the modern Ionic order, supporting an entablature, crowned by a balustrade, which is continued along the sides of the church. Above the portico is a Corinthian peristyle, the base of which is also that of a fluted cone, which forms the spire, and is terminated in an acute point. The steeple is complete in itself, and adapted to its situation, having the same appearance which ever way it is viewed. This portion of the edifice has, however, been more stigmatized than any other, although it has been pronounced by persons of taste and accredited judgment to be the best steeple recently erected. To our eye, the church itself, apart from the tower, (for such it almost is) is perhaps, one of the most miserable structures in the metropolis,—in its starved proportions more resembling a manufactory, or warehouse, than the impressive character of a church exterior; an effect to which the Londoner is not an entire stranger. Here, too, we are inclined to ascribe much of the ridicule, which the whole church has received, to its puny proportions and scantiness of decoration, which are far from being assisted by any stupendousness in their details, the first impression of which might probably have fixed the attention of the spectator. Indeed, the whole style of the tower and steeple appears peculiarly illadapted for so small a scale as has here been attempted.
As we love "a jest's prosperity," we recommend such of our readers as are partial to innocent pasquinade, to turn to the "Lyric," in a recent volume of the New Monthly Magazine, commencing as above. It is too long for entire insertion here, but its raciness will doubtless gratify those who may be induced to refer to it.
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(For the Mirror.)
Like a low-hung cloud, it rains so fast, That all at once it falls.—DRYDEN.
There are two English proverbs relative to rain; the first is, "It rains by Planets." "This the country people (says Ray) use when it rains in one place and not in another; meaning that the showers are governed by planets, which being erratic in their own motions, cause such uncertain wandering of clouds and falls of rain. Or it rains by planets—that is, the falls of showers are as uncertain, as the motions of the planets are imagined to be." The second—"It never rains but it pours:" which appears to be the case at present. In the year 553 it rained violently in Scotland for five months; in 918 there was a continual rain in that country for five months; a violent one in London 1222; again 1233, so violent that the harvest did not begin till Michaelmas; 1338, from Midsummer to Christmas, so that there was not one day or night dry together; in Wales, which destroyed 10,000 sheep, September 19th 1752; in Languedoc, which destroyed the village of Bar le Due, April 26th, 1776; and in the Island of Cuba, on the 21st of June, 1791, 3,000 persons and 11,700 cattle of various kinds perished by the torrents occasioned by the rains.
P. T. W.
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(For the Mirror.)
The first dissection on record, is one in which Democritus of Obdera, was engaged, in order to ascertain the sources and course of the bile.—It was the custom among the Egyptians, to carry about at their feasts a skeleton, least their guests, in the midst of feasting and merriment, should forget the frail tenure of life and its enjoyments.
The most ancient eclipse upon record, was observed by the Chaldeans 721 years before the Christian era, and recorded by Ptolemy. The observation was made at Babylon the 19th of March.—In ancient days, for want of parchment to draw deeds upon, great estates were frequently conveyed from one family to another only by the ceremony of a turf and a stone, delivered before witnesses, and without any written agreement.—It is singular, that by the Doomsday Book, as quoted by Camden, there appears to have been in Lincoln, when that survey was taken, no less than 1070 "inns for entertainment."—Henry I., about the year 1125, caused to be made a standard yard, from the length of his own arm, in order to prevent frauds in the measurement of cloth. This standard is supposed to have been deposited, with other measures, &c. in Winchester; he likewise (it is said) ordered halfpence and farthings to be made round, which before his time were square.—The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge were first called "studia," or "studies."—Edward the Confessor received yearly, from the manor of Barton, near Gloucester, 3,000 loaves of bread for the maintenance of his dogs—In the reign of Edward III., only three taverns might sell sweet wines in London; one in Cheape, one in Wallbrook, and the other in Lombard Street.—Lord Lyttleton, in his Life of Henry II., vol. i. p. 50, says, "Most of our ancient historians give him the character of a very religious prince, but his religion was, after the fashion of those times, belief without examination, and devotion without piety. It was a religion that at the same time allowed him to pillage kingdoms, that threw him on his knees before a relic or a cross, but suffered him unrestrained to trample upon the liberties and rights of mankind;" again, "his government was harsh and despotic, violating even the principles of that institution which he himself had established. Yet so far he performed the duty of a sovereign that he took care to maintain a good police in his realm; which, in the tumultuous state of his government, was a great and difficult work." How well he performed it, we may learn even from the testimony of a contemporary Saxon historian, who says, "during his reign a man might have travelled in perfect security all over the kingdom, with his bosom full of gold; nor durst any kill another in revenge of the greatest offences, nor offer violence to the chastity of a woman. But it was a poor compensation that the highways were safe, when the courts of justice were dens of thieves, and when almost every man in authority, or in office, used his power to oppress and pillage the people."—Towards the close of the life of Henry IV., he kept the regal diadem always in his sight by day, and at night it shared his pillow. Once the Prince of Wales, whom Henry always suspected more than he loved, seeing his father in a most violent paroxysm of disease, removed the crown from his bed. The king on his recovery missed it, sent for his son, and taxed him with his impatience and want of duty, but the prince defended his conduct with such rational modesty, that Henry, convinced of his innocence, embraced and blessed him. "Alas!" said Henry to his son, "you know too well how I gained this crown. How will you defend this ill-gotten possession?" "With my sword," said the prince, "as my father has done."
Henry V. was, perhaps, the first English monarch who had ships of his own. Two of these, which sailed against Harfleur, were called "The King's Chamber," and "The King's Hall." They had purple sails, and were large and beautiful.
Party rage ran so high in 1403, that an act of parliament was found necessary to declare, "Pulling out of eyes and cutting out of tongues to be felony."—Dr. Rush, of Philadelphia, in his "Inquiry into the effects of spirituous liquors on the human body, and their influence on the happiness of society;" says, "Among the inhabitants of cities, spirits produce debts, disgrace, and bankruptcy. Among farmers, they produce idleness with its usual consequence, such as houses without windows, barns without roofs, gardens without enclosures, fields without fences, hogs without yokes, sheep without wool, meagre cattle, feeble horses, and half clad, dirty children, without principles, morals, or manners."
P. T. W.
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Shower of Sugar Plums—Charles XI., attended by his court, had been hunting in the neighbourhood of Carcassone. After the stag had been taken, a gentleman of the neighbourhood invited the king to a splendid dinner which he had prepared for him. At the conclusion of the banquet the ceiling of the hall suddenly opened, a thick cloud, descended and burst over their heads like a thunder storm, pouring forth a shower of sugar-plums instead of hail, which was succeeded by a gentle rain of rose-water.
The Coin Guinea—In the reign of king Charles II., when Sir Robert Holmes, of the Isle of Wight, brought gold-dust from the coast of Guinea, a guinea first received its name from that country.
A Motto.—A constant frequenter of city feasts, having grown enormously fat, it was proposed to write on his back, "Widened at the expense of the corporation of London."
Sedan-chairs and Hackney-coaches.—Sir S. Duncombe, predecessor to Duncombe Lord Feversham, and gentleman pensioner to King James and Charles I., introduced sedan-chairs into this country, anno 1634, when he procured a patent that vested in him and his heirs the sole right of carrying persons up and down in them for a certain sum. Sir Saunders had been a great traveller, and saw these chairs at Sedan, where they were first invented. It is remarkable that Capt. Bailey introduced the use of hackney-coaches in this year; a tolerable ride might then be obtained, in either of these vehicles for four pence.
Heroism—Seward, "the brave Earl of Northumberland," feeling in his sickness that he drew near his end, quitted his bed and put on his armour, saying, "That it became not a man to die like a beast," on which he died standing; an act as singular as it was heroic.
Epigram on Epigrams. What is an epigram? a dwarfish whole, Its body brevity, and wit its soul.
W. H. H.
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"THE MOUSE TOWER"
A GERMAN LEGEND.
(For the Mirror.)
The bishop of Mentz was a wealthy prince, Wealthy and proud was he; He had all that was worth a wish on earth— But he had not charitie!
He would stretch put his empty hands to bless, Or lift them both to pray; But alack! to lighten man's distress, They moved no other way.
A famine came! but his heart was still As hard as his pride was high; And the starving poor but throng'd his door To curse him and to die.
At length from the crowd rose a clamour so loud, That a cruel plot laid he; He open'd one of his granaries wide, And bade them enter free.
In they rush'd—the maid and the sire. And the child that could barely run— Then he clos'd the barn, and set it on fire. And burnt them every one!
And loud he laugh'd at each terrible shriek, And cried to his archer-train, "The merry mice!—how shrill they squeak!— They are fond of the bishop's grain!"
But mark, what an awful judgment soon, On the cruel bishop fell; With so many mice his palace swarm'd, That in it he could not dwell.
They gnaw'd the arras above and beneath, They eat each savoury dish up; And shortly their sacrilegious teeth Began to nibble the bishop!
He flew to his castle of Ehrenfels, By the side of the Rhine so fair; But they found the road to his new abode, And came in legions there.
He built him, in haste, a tower tall In the tide, for his better assurance; But they swam the river, and scal'd the wall, And worried him past endurance.
One morning his skeleton there was seen, By a load of flesh the lighter; They had picked his bones uncommonly clean, And eaten his very mitre!
Such was the end of the bishop of Mentz, And oft at the midnight hour, He comes in the shape of a fog so dense, And sits on his old "Mouse-Tower."
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(For the Mirror.)
The circumstance of Montgomery's recent suicide in Newgate, has led me to send you the following remarks upon the nature and properties of that most violent poison, Prussic acid, with which the unfortunate man terminated his existence.
Were we to consider the constituent parts and properties of the most common things we are in the habit of daily using, and their poisonous and destructive natures, we should recoil at the deadly potion, and shrink from the loathsome draught we are about to take. That which we consider the most delicious and exhilarating portion of our common beverage, porter, contains carbonic acid gas, commonly known by the "spirit," and which the poor miners dread with the utmost horror, like the Arabian does the destructive blast of the simoon. Oxalic acid, so much the fear of those accustomed to the medicine—Epsom salts, is made from that useful article, sugar, by uniting with it a smaller portion, more than it has naturally, of oxygen gas. The air we breathe contains a most deadly poison, called by chemists azotic gas, which, by its being mixed with what is called vital air, (oxygen gas,) becomes necessary to our existence, as much as the one (vital air or oxygen gas) would be prejudicial without the other; and Prussic acid, the most violent of all poisons, is contained in the common bitter-almond. But these most destructive substances are always found combined with others, which render them often perfectly harmless, and can be separated only by the skill of the chemist.
The Prussic acid (by some called hydrocyanic acid) is a liquid, extracted from vegetables, and contains one part of cyanogen and one part of hydrogen. It is extracted from the bitter-almond, (as has been stated,) peach-blossom, and the leaves of the laurocerasus. It may also be obtained from animal substances, although a vegetable acid. If lime be added to water, distilled from these substances, a Prussiate of lime is formed; when, if an acid solution of iron be added to this mixture, common Prussian blue (or Prussiate of iron) is precipitated. The acid may be obtained from Prussiate of potash, by making a strong solution of this salt, and then adding as much tartaric acid as will precipitate the potash, when the acid will be left in solution, which must be decanted and distilled.
Its properties are a pungent odour, very much resembling that of bitter-almonds, with a hot but sweetish taste, and extremely volatile. It contains azote, with which no other vegetable acid is combined; it is largely used in the manufacture of Prussian blue. It is the most violent of all poisons, and destroys animals by being applied to the skin only. It is stated by an able chemist, that a single drop applied to the tongue of a mastiff dog caused death so instantaneously, that it appeared to have been destroyed by lightning. One drop to the human frame destroys life in two minutes.
But when chemically combined with other substances, its power is in a great measure neutralized, and it becomes a valuable article, both to the chemist as a test, and to the physician as a medicine. The Prussiate of potash and iron will enable the chemist to discover nearly the whole of the metals when in solution, by the colours its combination produces. Dr. Zollekoffer says, that in intermittent fevers the Prussiate of iron is in its effects superior to Cinchona bark, and says it never disagrees with the stomach, or creates nausea even in the most irritable state, while bark is not unfrequently rejected; a patient will recover from the influence of intermitting and remitting fevers, in the generality of cases, in much less time than is usual in those cases in which bark is employed. S.S.T.
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THE ANECDOTE GALLERY.
(Continued from page 64.)
A certain Hungarian traveller, a man of consequence in his country, but not particularly wise, had fruitlessly tried to be introduced, without finding any one at Geneva, willing to undertake the task, as they were all afraid Voltaire would be rude to him. A young man, who heard of this, engaged to procure the stranger an interview with Voltaire; and on the day appointed, contrived to have him conveyed out of town to a good-looking residence, where well-dressed servants received him at the door, and ushered him up stairs in due form. Here then at last he found himself, as he thought, tete-a-tete with Voltaire. The malade de Ferney, personated by our young friend, was lying down on a sofa, wrapped up in a damask robe-de-chambre, a night-cap of black velvet, with gold lace, on his head, or rather on the top of an immense periwig, a la Louis XIV., in the midst of which his little, sallow and deeply-wrinkled visage seemed buried; a table was near him, covered with papers, and the curtains being drawn, made the room rather dark. The philosopher apologized in a hollow voice, interrupted by occasional fits of coughing; he was ill bien malade, could not get up, begged the stranger to be seated, asked questions about the countries he had visited, made him tell his adventures, those of gallantry particularly, and was himself most facetious, and most profanely witty. The Hungarian delighted, and far more at ease than he had imagined possible, casting a glance on the papers, ventured to inquire what new work? "Ah, nothing!"—le faible Enfant de ma Vieillesse—a tragedy. "May I ask the subject?" "The subject is wholly Genevan," replied Voltaire, "the name, Empro-Giro, and the dramatis personae Carin-Caro, Dupins-Simon, and Carcail Briffon, &c." He then began to repeat, with great animation, a number of passages, to which his visitor listened in perfect raptures, but drew, meanwhile, a snuff-box from his pocket, and began to look attentively on him and on a picture on the lid; thus confronted with a portrait of Voltaire, and compared face to face, was a trial for which our mimic was not prepared, and his courage nearly forsook him, yet he kept up appearances, only coughing more, and ranting on the high-sounding lines of his Empro-Giro. The Hungarian, not undeceived by this close examination, replaced the snuff-box in his pocket, declaring it to be the best likeness he had ever seen. He rose at last, thanked his friend Voltaire, kissed his hand respectfully, and went away, distributing to the servants he met on the stairs liberal tokens of his satisfaction. These servants were the intimate friends and companions of the chief actor, and one of them, his brother, unwilling to carry the joke to the length of pocketing the money of their dupe, they contrived to give him a dinner at a tavern, where he was made to tell the story of his visit to Voltaire, and express his admiration of the great man. The latter heard of this, was much amused, and desired to see his double, told him he would make a bargain with him—half his fame for half the tiresome visitors it procured him.
The poet lived like a prince, but kept his accounts like a citizen; knowing to a sous where his money went: a good deal of it was bestowed charitably, for he was munificent, and certainly much loved in his neighbourhood. One night, when Tancrede was acting, and the court of the chateau was full of carriages and servants, there arrived, as ill luck would have it, a cask of the best chambertin that ever came from Burgundy; his own people could not attend to it, and the cask remained at his cellar door; the servants contrived to get at it, and while their masters and mistresses were shedding tears at the tragedy, they sipped the poet's wine. There was generally a supper after the play, where more than once two hundred people sat down, and Voltaire had something to say to every one of his guests. As the gates of the town are shut at night, many of them usually remained in the chateau, poorly accommodated with beds. One night as M. de B——, was groping in the dark, for a place where he might lie down to sleep, he accidently put his finger into the mouth of M. de Florian, who bit it.
Voltaire kept company only with the aristocracy of Geneva; neither his liberality nor his wit secured him the good-will of the patriots placed out of the sphere of his influence; they only saw him a sham philosopher, without principles and solidity; a courtier, the slave of rank and fashion; the corrupter of their country, of which he made a jest. Quand je secoue ma perruque, he used to say, je poudre toute la republique!
Whatever might be Voltaire's antipathy to the visits of strangers at his chateau, he seems to have met with an equal specimen of that temper from an Englishman. When in London, he waited upon Congreve, the poet, and passed him some compliments as to the reputation and merit of his works. Congreve thanked him; but at the same, time told Voltaire he did not choose to be considered as an author, but only as a private gentleman, and in that light expected to be visited. Voltaire answered, that if he had never been any thing but a private gentleman, in all probability he had never been troubled with that visit. He also observes, in his own account of this affair, he was not a little disgusted with so unseasonable a piece of vanity.
The memory of Voltaire and Rousseau is still cherished by the French people with great fondness; their busts or figures in bronze or plaster are frequently met with, and remind one of Penates, or household gods.
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(For the Mirror.)
—Why should the envious world Throw all their scandalous malice upon me? 'Cause I am poor, deform'd, and ignorant; And like a bow, buckled and bent together, By some more strong in mischiefs than myself: Must I for that be made a common sink For all the filth and rubbish of men's tongues, To fall and run into? some call me witch; And, being ignorant of myself, they go About to teach me how to be one; urging That my bad tongue (by their bad usage made so) Forespeaks their cattle, doth bewitch their corn, Themselves, their servants, and their babes at nurse; This they enforce upon me; and in part Make me to credit it. Witch of Edmonton.
The belief in witchcraft may be considered as forming a prominent and important feature in the history of the human mind. It is certainly one link of the degrading chain of superstitions which have long enslaved mankind, but which are now quivering to their fall. The desire for power to pry into hidden things, and more especially events to come, is inherent in the human race, and has always been considered as of no ordinary importance, and rendered the supposed possessors objects of reverence and fear. The belief in astrology, or the power to read in the stars the knowledge of futurity, from time immemorial has been considered as the most difficult of attainment, and important in its results. And by the aid of a little supernatural machinery, both magicians and astrologers exercised the most unlimited influence over the understandings of their adherents. An astrologer, only two or three centuries since, was a regular appendage to the establishments of princes and nobles. Sir Walter Scott has drawn an interesting portrait of one in Kenilworth; and the eagerness with which the Earl of Leicester listened to his doctrines and predictions, affords a good specimen of the manners of those times. The movements of the heavenly bodies, (imperfectly as they were then understood,) seemed to afford the most plausible vehicle for these "oracles of human destiny;" and even now, while we are tracing these lines, the red and glaring appearance of the planet Mars, shining so beautifully in the south-east, is considered by the many as a forerunner and sign of long wars and much bloodshed:
These dreams and terrors magical, These miracles and witches, Night walking sprites, et cetera, Esteem them not two rushes.
Mankind are universally prone to the belief in omens, and the casual occurrence of certain contingent circumstances soon creates the easiest of theories. Should a bird of good omen, in ancient times, perch on the standard, or hover about an army, the omen was of good import, and favourable to conquest. Should a raven or crow accidentally fly over the field of action, the spirits of the combatants would be proportionably depressed. Should a planet be shining in its brilliancy at the birth of any one whose fortunes rose to pre-eminence, it was always thought to exert an influence over his future destiny. Such was the origin of many of our later superstitions, which "grew with their growth, and strengthened with their strength," till the more extensive introduction of the art of printing partly dissipated the illusion. It has been remarked, therefore, that the existence of the parent stock of the subject more immediately under our consideration, witchcraft, may be traced to a very remote period indeed. It is, however, needless to enter into any remarks on those witches mentioned in the Scriptures. The earliest dabbler of the genus, as a contemporary writer observes, is said to be Zoroaster, thought to be the king of the Bactrians, who flourished about 3,800 years ago, or A.M. 2000. He is supposed to have been well versed in the arts of divination and astrology, and was the origin of the Persian magi. "At his birth," remarks an old writer, "he laughed; and his head did so beat, that it struck back the midwife's hand—a good sign of abundance of spirits, which are the best instruments of a ready wit." The magi in Persia, the Brahmins in India, the Chaldae in Assyria, the magicians of Arabia, the priesthood of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and the Druids of Britain, were all members of a class which comprised astrology, omens, divination, conjuration, portents, chiromancy, and sorcery; and all united in the pursuit of enslaving mankind for the purposes of gain and power, with artfully devised schemes, and a skilful series of impostures; and we can easily imagine the influence they must have exercised over the minds of their proselytes, when we bear in mind the effect produced by similar contrivances in later days. The enchantress Theoris of Athens seems to have been the first witch that had recourse to charms. Demosthenes uses the terms both of witchery and imposture in speaking of her. This witch was put to death by the Athenians—an accomplice having displayed to them the charms, &c., by which she wrought her miracles. Our Saviour's words, that faith can remove mountains, are applicable particularly to the supposed powers of witchcraft; and the influence of charms and amulets in averting disease is well known. We have alluded, in our first paper, to the trial of Rose Cullender and Amy Duny, at Norwich, for witchcraft; and we now give the speech of Sir Thomas Browne, the celebrated physician of that period, (1664,) to whom, in consequence of defect in the proof, the case was referred, which was the cause of their conviction. Sir Thomas Browne offered it as his opinion, "that the devil, in such cases, did work upon the bodies of men and women, upon a natural foundation, (that is) to stir up and excite such humours superabounding in their bodies to a great excess, whereby he did, in an extraordinary manner, afflict them with such distempers as their bodies were most subject to, as particularly appeared in the children of Dorothy Dunent, (one of the indictments against the prisoners being for their bewitchment;) for he conceived that these swooning fits were natural, and nothing else but that they call the mother, but only heightened to a great excess by the subtilty of the devil co-operating with the malice of these, which we term witches, at whose instance he doth the villanies."
The ceremony of initiation to the dreadful vocation and great powers of witchcraft was attended with considerable form and mystery:—
——They call me hag and witch. What is the name? When, and by what art learned? With what spell, what charm or invocation, May the thing call'd familiar be purchas'd?
The older and more ugly the performer in these appalling ceremonies, the better. Some witches seem to have had the devil quite at their beck; but his visits to most of them appear to have been "few and far between." The convention (remarks John Gaule, an old writer) for such a solemn initiation being proclaimed (by some herald imp) to some others of the confederation, on some great holy or Lord's day, they meet in some church, either before the consecrated bell hath tolled, or else very late, after all the services are past and over. "The party, in some vesture for that purpose, is presented by some confederate or familiar to the prince of devills, sitting now in a throne of infernall majesty, appearing in the form of a man, only labouring to hide his cloven foot. To whom, after bowing and homage done, a petition is presented to be received into his association and protection; and first, if the witch be outwardly Christian, baptism must be renounced, and the party must be re-baptised in the devill's name, and a new name is also imposed by him, and here must be godfathers too ... But above all he is very busie with his long nails, in scraping and scratching those places of the forehead where the signe of the crosse was made, or where the chrisme was laid. Instead of both which, he impresses or inures the mark of the beast (the devill's flesh brand) upon one or other part of the body. Further, the witch (for her part) vows, either by word of mouth, or peradventure by writing, (and that in her owne bloode,) to give both body and soul to the devill, to deny and defy God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; but especially the blessed Virgin, convitiating her with one infamous nickname or other; to abhor the word and sacraments, but especially to spit at the saying of masse; to spurn at the crosse, and tread saints' images under feet; and as much as possibly they may, to profane all saints' reliques, holy water, consecrated salt, wax, &c.; to be sure to fast on Sundays, and eat flesh on Fridays; not to confess their sins, whatsoever they do, especially to a priest; to separate from the Catholic church, and despise his vicar's primacy; to attend the devill's nocturnal conventicles, sabbaths, and sacrifices; to take him for their god, worship, invoke, and obey him; to devote their children to him, and to labour all that they may to bring others into the same confederacy. Then the devill, for his part, promises to be always present with them, to serve them at their beck; that they shall have their wills upon any body; that they shall have what riches, honours, and pleasures they can imagine; and if any be so wary as to think of their future being, he tells them they shall be princes ruling in the aire, or shall be but turned into impes at worst. Then he preaches to them to be mindful of their covenant, and not to fail to revenge themselves upon their enemies, Then, he commends to them (for this purpose) an imp, or familiar in the shape of a cat, &c. After this they shake hands, embrace in arms, dance, feast, and banquet, according as the devill hath provided in imitation of the supper. Nay, ofttimes he marries them ere they part, either to himselfe, or to their familiar, or to one another, and that by the Book of Common Prayer, as a pretender to witch-finding told me, in the presence of many." After this they part, and a general meeting is held thrice a year, on some holy day; they are "conveyed to it as swift as the winds from the remotest parts of the earth, where they that have done the most execrable mischiefe, and can brag of it, make most merry with the devill;" while the "indiligent" are jeered and derided by the devil and the others. Non-attendance was severely punished by the culprits being beaten on the soles of the feet, whipped with iron rods, "pinched and sucked by their familiars till their heart's blood come—till they repent them of their sloth, &c."
Many regulations were, however, to be observed after the above initiatory ceremony, which we have given at length in consequence of its singularity. There existed a community or commonwealth, of "fallen angels" or spirits, with the various titles of kings, dukes, &c., prelates and knights, of which the head was Baal, "who, when he was conjured up, appeared with three heads, one like a man, one like a toad, and one like a cat." The title of king conferred no extra power; indeed, Agares, "the first duke, came in the likeness of a faire old man, riding upon a crocodile, and carrying a hawk on his fist"—Marbas, who appeared in the form of a "mightie lion"—Amon, "a great and mightie marques, who came abroad in the likeness of a wolf, having a serpent's taile, and breathing out and spitting flames of fire," and was one of the "best and kindest of devills," with sixty-five more of these master-spirits, enumerated in Scot, "appeared to be entirely and exclusively appropriated to the service of witches," were alike possessed of nearly similar power, and had many hundreds of legions of devils (each legion 6,666 in number) at their command.
There were stated times for each rank of devils to be called on, for they aught not to be invoked "rashly or at all seasons;" and the following extracts from Reginald Scot are fully explanatory of the formalities to be observed on these occasions:—
"The houres wherein the principal devills may be raised.—A king may be raised from the third houre till noone, and from the ninth hour till evening. Dukes may be raised from the first hour till noon, and clear weather is to be observed. Marquesses may be raised from the ninth hour till compline, and from compline till the end of day. Countes, or earles, may be raised at any hour of the day, so it be in the woodes or fieldes, where men resort not. Prelates likewise may be raised at any houre of the day. A president may not be raised at any hour of the day, except the king, whom he obeyeth, be invocated; nor at the shutting in of the evening. Knights from day-dawning till sun-rising, or from even-song till sun-set.
"The forme of adjuring and citing the spirits aforesaid to appeare.—When you will have any spirit, you must knowe his name and office; you must also fast and be cleane from all pollution three or foure days before; so will the spirit be more obedient unto you. Then make a circle, and call up the spirit with great intention, rehearse in your owne name, and your companion's, (for one must alwaies be with you,) this prayer following; and so no spirit shall annoy you, and your purpose shall take effect. And note how thw prayer agreeth with popish charmes and conjurations."
The prayer alluded to (see Scot's Discovery, b. 15, c. 2) is of the most diabolical and blasphemous nature. A contemporary writer observes, that there is not the least doubt but that the witches of the olden time observed all the formalities of these ridiculous and disgusting ceremonies to the very letter. In later times, however, though the formalities were quite simple, yet the hag of the sixteenth century exercised her vocation with all its ancient potency.
The broomstick has been the theme of many a story connected with this subject:—
As men in sleep, though motionless they lie, Fledged by a dream, believe they mount and fly; So witches some enchanted wand bestride And think they through the airy regions ride.
But the reason of its possessing such extensive powers of locomotion, or rather aerostation, is not generally understood. The witches either steal or dig dead children out of their graves, which are then seethed in a cauldron, and the ointment and liquid so produced, enables them, "observing certain ceremonies, to immediately become a master, or rather a mistresse, in the practise or faculty" of flying in the air:—
High in, air, amid the rising storm ——wrapt in midnight Her doubtful form appears and fades! Her spirits are abroad! they do her bidding! Hark to that shriek!
In addition to the above, they possessed another very useful faculty, for the transfer of the patent of which, I doubt not scores of adventurers would have given a tolerable consideration. It is briefly that of "sailing in an egg-shell, a cockle, or a muscle-shell, through and under the tempestuous seas."
From the length to which this article has extended, I must reserve an account of witch-finders, charms, dreams, and confessions, &c. for the next and concluding paper. VYVYAN.
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Spirit of Discovery.
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Paper from Straw.
At a recent meeting of the Royal Institution, there were exhibited some specimens of paper manufactured from straw, by a new process.
From the observation of travellers, that the manufacture of Damascus blades was carried on only during the time when the north winds occurred, M. Anozoff made experiments on the hardening of steel instruments, by putting them, when heated, into a powerful current of air, instead of quenching them in water. From the experiments already made, he expects ultimate success. He finds that, for very sharp-edged instruments, this method is much better than the ordinary one; that the colder the air and the more rapid its stream, the greater is the effect. The effect varies with the thickness of the mass to be hardened. The method succeeds well with case-hardened goods.— From the French.
Detection of Blood.
A controversy has recently taken place in Paris, relative to the efficacy of certain chemical means of ascertaining whether dried spots or stains of matter suspected to be blood, are or were blood, or not. M. Orfila gives various chemical characters of blood under such circumstances, which he thinks sufficient to enable an accurate discrimination. This opinion is opposed by M. Raspail, who states, that all the indications supposed to belong to true blood, may be obtained from, linen rags, dipped, not into blood, but into a mixture of white of egg and infusion of madder, and that, therefore, the indications are injurious rather than useful.
Cedars of Lebanon.
Mr. Wolff, the missionary, counted on Mount Lebanus, thirteen large and ancient cedars, besides the numerous small ones, in the whole 387 trees. The largest of these trees was about 15 feet high, not one-third of the height of hundreds of English cedars; for instance, those at Whitton, Pain's Hill, Caenwood, and Juniper Hall, near Dorking.
In the Medical Repository, a case is quoted, where some leeches, which had been employed first on a syphylitic patient and afterwards on an infant, communicated the disease to the latter.
There is a fly which exteriorly much resembles the house-fly, and which is often very troublesome about this time; this is called the stinging fly, one of the greatest plagues to cattle, as well as to persons wearing thin stockings.
The height of Mont Blanc and of the Lake of Geneva has lately been carefully ascertained by M. Roger, an officer of engineers in the service of the Swiss Confederation. The summit of the mountain appears to be 4,435 metres, or 14,542 English feet above the Lake of Geneva, and the surface of the Lake 367 metres, or 1,233 English feet above the sea. The mountain is, therefore, 15,775 feet above the level of the sea.
The golden-crested wren may be taken by striking the bough upon which it is sitting, sharply, with a stone or stick. The timid bird immediately drops to the ground, and generally dead. As their skins are tender, those who want them for stuffing will find this preferable to using the gun.—Mag. Nat. Hist.
Shower of Herrings in Ross-shire.
In April last, as Major Forbes, of Fodderty, in Strathpfeffer, was traversing a field on his farm, he found a considerable portion of the ground covered with herring fry, of from three to four inches in length. The fish were fresh and entire, and had no appearance of being dropped by birds—a medium by which they must have been bruised and mutilated. The only rational conjecture that can be formed of the circumstance is, that the fish were transported thither in a water-spout—a phenomenon that has before occurred in the same county. The Firth of Dengwall lies at a distance of three miles from the place in question; but no obstruction occurs between the field and the sea, the whole is a level strath or plain, and water spouts have been known to travel even farther than this.—Inverness Courier.
The Duke of Buckingham has, at his seat at Avington, a team of Spanish asses, resembling the zebra in appearance, which are extremely tractable, and take more freely to the collar than any of our native species.
An ingenious invention of this description was recently exhibited at the Royal Institution. A pencil and a small bead are so connected together by means of a thread passing over pullies, that if a person, looking through an eye-piece, will hold the pencil upon a sheet of paper, and then, watching the bead, will move his hand, so that the bead shall trace the lines of any object that is selected or looked at, he will find that, whilst he has been doing this, he has also made a drawing of the subject upon the paper; for the pencil and the bead describe exactly the same lines, though upon different planes. Thus, a drawing is made, without even looking at the paper, but solely at the object.
In a recent number we quoted from Loudon's Gardener's Magazine, that "white cats with blue eyes are always deaf," of which extraordinary fact there is the following confirmation in the Magazine of Natural History, No. 2, likewise conducted by Mr. Loudon:—"Some years ago a white cat of the Persian kind (probably not a thorough-bred one) procured from Lord Dudley's at Hindley, was kept in my family as a favourite. The animal was a female, quite white, and perfectly deaf. She produced, at various times, many litters of kittens, of which, generally, some were quite white, others more or less mottled, tabby, &c. But the extraordinary circumstance is, that of the offspring produced at one and the same birth, such as, like the mother, were entirely white, were, like her, invariably deaf; while those that had the least speck of colour on their fur, as invariably possessed the usual faculty of hearing—" W. T. Bree, Allersley Rectory, near Coventry.
A French journal announces a discovery of the method of making Ultramarine, by which means the public are supplied with the article at one guinea per ounce, the colour having hitherto been sold from two guineas to two pounds ten shillings per ounce.
Indication of Storms.
Professor Scott, of Sandhurst College, observed in Shetland, that drinking-glasses placed in an inverted position upon a shelf in a cupboard, on the ground floor of Belmont House, occasionally emitted sounds as if they were tapped with a knife, or raised up a little, and then let fall on the shelf. These sounds preceded wind, and when they occurred, boats and vessels were immediately secured. The strength of the sound is said to be proportional to the tempest that follows.—Brewster's Jour.
To preserve Wine in draught.
M. Imery, of Toulouse, gives the following simple means of preserving wine in draught for a considerable time; it is sufficient to pour into the cask a flask of fine olive oil. The wine may thus continue in draught for more than a year. The oil spread in a thin layer upon the surface of the wine, hinders the evaporation of its alcoholic part, and prevents it from combining with the atmospheric air, which would not only turn the wine sour, but change its constituent parts.
Union of the Atlantic and Pacific.
A letter from Amsterdam states, that the project of cutting a canal, to unite the Gulf of Mexico with the Pacific Ocean, is about to be revived.
An eruption took place on the morning of last March 22nd. An eye-witness writes "the cone of the mountain puts you in mind of an immense piece of artillery, firing red-hot stones, and ashes, and smoke into the atmosphere; or, of a huge animal in pain, groaning;, crying, and vomiting; or, like an immense whale in the arctic circle, blowing after it has been struck with several harpoons."
Bees in Mourning.
A correspondent in Loudon's Magazine of Natural History, states that in the neighbourhood of Coventry, there is a superstitious belief, that in the event of the death of any of the family, it is necessary to inform the bees of the circumstance, otherwise they will desert the hive, and seek out other quarters.
There exists in Livonia, a very rare insect, which is not met with in more northern countries, and whose existence was for a long time considered doubtful, called the Furia Infernalis. It is so small that it is very difficult to distinguish it by the naked eye; and its sting produces a swelling, which, unless a proper remedy be applied, proves mortal.
During the hay harvest, other insects named Meggar, occasion great injury both to men and beasts. They are of the size of a grain of sand. At sunset they appear in great numbers, descend in a perpendicular line, pierce the strongest linen, and cause an itching, and pustules, which if scratched, become dangerous. Cattle, which breathe these insects, are attacked with swellings in the throat, which destroy them, unless promptly relieved.
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SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS
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MEN AND MONKEYS.
Monkeys are certainly, there is no denying it, very like men; and, what is worse, men are still more like monkeys. Many worthy people, who have a high respect for what they choose to call the Dignity of Human Nature, are much distressed by this similitude, approaching in many cases to absolute identity; and some of them have written books of considerable erudition and ingenuity, to prove that a man is not a monkey; nay, not so much as even an ape; but truth compels us to confess, that their speculations have been far from carrying conviction to our minds. All such inquirers, from Aristotle to Smellie, principally insist on two great leading distinctions—speech and reason. But it is obvious to the meanest capacity, that monkeys have both speech and reason. They have a language of their own, which, though not so capacious as the Greek, is much more so than the Hottentottish; and as for reason, no man of a truly philosophical genius ever saw a monkey crack a nut, without perceiving that the creature possesses that endowment, or faculty, in no small perfection. Their speech, indeed, is said not to be articulate; but it is audibly more so than the Gaelic. The words unquestionably do run into each other, in a way that, to our ears, renders it rather unintelligible; but it is contrary to all the rules of sound philosophizing, to confuse the obtuseness of our own senses with the want of any faculty in others; and they have just as good a right to maintain, and to complain of, our inarticulate mode of speaking, as we have of theirs—indeed much more—for monkeys speak the same, or nearly the same, language all over the habitable globe, whereas men, ever since the Tower of Babel, have kept chattering, muttering, humming, and hawing, in divers ways and sundry manners, so that one nation is unable to comprehend what another would be at, and the earth groans in vain with vocabularies and dictionaries. That monkeys and men are one and the same animal, we shall not take upon ourselves absolutely to assert, for the truth is, we, for one or two, know nothing whatever about the matter; all we mean to say is, that nobody has yet proved that they are not, and farther, that whatever may be the case with men, monkeys have reason and speech.
The monkey has not had justice done him, we repeat and insist upon it; for what right have you to judge of a whole people, from a few isolated individuals,—and from a few isolated individuals, too, running up poles with a chain round their waist, twenty times the length of their own tail, or grinning in ones or twos through the bars of a cage in a menagerie? His eyes are red with perpetual weeping—and his smile is sardonic in captivity. His fur is mouldy and mangy, and he is manifestly ashamed of his tail, prehensile no more—and of his paws, "very hands, as you may say," miserable matches to his miserable feet. To know him as he is, you must go to Senegal; or if that be too far off for a trip during the summer vacation, to the Rock of Gebir, now called Gibraltar, and see him at his gambols among the cliffs. Sailor nor slater would have a chance with him there, standing on his head on a ledge of six inches, five hundred feet above the level of the sea, without ever so much as once tumbling down; or hanging at the same height from a bush by the tail, to dry, or air, or sun himself, as if he were flower or fruit. There he is, a monkey indeed; but you catch him young, clap a pair of breeches on him, and an old red jacket, and oblige him to dance a saraband on the stones of a street, or perch upon the shoulder of Bruin, equally out of his natural element, which is a cave among the woods. Here he is but the ape of a monkey. Now if we were to catch you young, good subscriber or contributor, yourself, and put you into a cage to crack nuts and pull ugly faces, although you might, from continued practice, do both to perfection, at a shilling a-head for grown-up ladies and gentlemen, and sixpence for children and servants, and even at a lower rate after the collection had been some weeks in town, would you not think it exceedingly hard to be judged of in that one of your predicaments, not only individually, but nationally—that is, not only as Ben Hoppus, your own name, but as John Bull, the name of the people of which you are an incarcerated specimen? You would keep incessantly crying out against this with angry vociferation, as a most unwarrantable and unjust Test and Corporation Act. And, no doubt, were an Ourang-outang to see you in such a situation, he would not only form a most mean opinion of you as an individual, but go away with a most false impression of the whole human race. Blackwood's Magazine.
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SONNET WRITTEN IN THE SPRING.
How heavenly o'er my frame steals the life-breath Of beautiful Spring! who with her amorous gales Kissing the violets, each stray sweet exhales Of May-thorn, and the wild flower on the heath. I love thee, virgin daughter of the year! Yet, ah! not cups,—dyed like the dawn, impart Their elves' dew-nectar to a fainting heart!— Ye birds! whose liquid warblings far and near Make music to the green turf-board of swains; To me, your light lays tell of April joy,— Of pleasures—idle, as a long-loved toy; And while my heart in unison complains, Tears like of balm-tree flow in trickling wave, And white forms strew with flowers a maid's untimely grave! New Monthly Mag.
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THE KING OF ARRAGON'S LAMENT FOR HIS BROTHER.
"If I could see him, it were well with me!" Coleridge's Wallenstein.
There were lights and sounds of revelling in the vanquished city's halls, As by night the feast of victory was held within its walls; And the conquerors filled the wine-cup high, after years of bright blood shed: But their Lord, the King of Arragon, 'midst the triumph, wailed the dead.
He looked down from the fortress won, on the tents and towers below, The moon-lit sea, the torch-lit streets—and a gloom came o'er his brow: The voice of thousands floated up, with the horn and cymbals' tone; But his heart, 'midst that proud music, felt more utterly alone. And he cried, "Thou art mine, fair city! thou city of the sea! But, oh! what portion of delight is mine at last in thee? —I am lonely 'midst thy palaces, while the glad waves past them roll, And the soft breath of thine orange-bowers is mournful to my soul.
"My brother! oh! my brother! thou art gone, the true and brave, And the haughty joy of victory hath died upon thy grave: There are many round my throne to stand, and to march where I lead on; There was one to love me in the world—my brother! thou art gone!
"In the desert, in the battle, in the ocean-tempest's wrath, We stood together, side by side; one hope was our's—one path: Thou hast wrapt me in thy soldier's cloak, thou hast fenced me with thy breast; Thou hast watched beside my couch of pain—oh! bravest heart, and best!
"I see the festive lights around—o'er a dull sad world they shine; I hear the voice of victory—my Pedro where is thine? The only voice in whose kind tone my spirit found reply— Oh! brother! I have bought too dear this hollow pageantry!
"I have hosts, and gallant fleets, to spread my glory and my sway, And chiefs to lead them fearlessly—my friend hath passed away! For the kindly look, the word of cheer, my heart may thirst in vain, And the face that was as light to mine—it cannot come again!
"I have made thy blood, thy faithful blood, the offering for a crown; With love, which earth bestows not twice, I have purchased cold renown: How often will my weary heart 'midst the sounds of triumph die, When I think of thee, my brother! thou flower of chivalry!
"I am lonely—I am lonely! this rest is ev'n as death! Let me hear again the ringing spears, and the battle-trumpet's breath; Let me see the fiery charger's foam, and the royal banner wave— But where art thou, my brother?—where?—in thy low and early grave!"
And louder swelled the songs of joy through that victorious night, And faster flowed the red wine forth, by the stars and torches light; But low and deep, amidst the mirth, was heard the conqueror's moan— "My brother! oh! my brother! best and bravest! thou art gone!"
Mrs. Hemans.—Monthly Magazine.
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A SUMMER TOUR.
If called upon to propose any summer's journey for a young English traveller, (and it is a call often made with reference to continental tours,) we might reasonably suggest the coasts of Great Britain, as affording every kind of various interest, which can by possibility be desired. Such a scheme would include the ports and vast commercial establishments of Liverpool, Bristol, Greenock, Leith, Newcastle, and Hull; the great naval stations of Plymouth, Portsmouth, Chatham, and Milford; the magnificent estuaries of the Clyde and Forth, and of the Bristol Channel, not surpassed by any in Europe; the wild and romantic coasts of the Hebrides and Western Highlands; the bold shore of North Wales; the Menai, Conway, and Sunderland bridges; the gigantic works of the Caledonian Canal and Plymouth Breakwater; and numerous other objects, which it is beyond our purpose and power to enumerate. It cannot be surely too much to advise, that Englishmen, who have only slightly and partially seen these things, should subtract something from the length or frequency of their continental journeys, and give the time so gained to a survey of their own country's wonders of nature and art.
To the agriculturist, and to the lover of rural scenery, England offers much that is remarkable. The rich alluvial plains of continents may throw out a more profuse exuberance and succession of crops; but we doubt whether agriculture, as an art, has anywhere (except in Flanders and Tuscany alone) reached the same perfection as in the less fertile soils of the Lothians, Northumberland, and Norfolk. Still more peculiar is the rural scenery of England, in the various and beautiful landscape it affords—in the undulating surface—the greenness of the enclosures—the hamlets and country churches—and the farm houses and cottages dispersed over the face of the country, instead of being congregated into villages, as in France and Italy. We might select Devonshire, Somersetshire, Herefordshire, and others of the midland counties, as pre-eminent in this character of beauty, which, however, is too familiar to our daily observation to make it needful to expatiate upon it.
Nor will our limits allow us to dwell upon that bolder form of natural scenery which we possess in the Highlands of Scotland, in Wales, Cumberland, and Derbyshire, and which entitles us to speak of this island as rich in landscape of the higher class. In the scale of objects, it is true that no comparison can exist between the mountain scenery of Britain, and that of many parts of the continent of Europe. But it must be remembered, that magnitude is not essential to beauty; and that even sublimity is not always to be measured by yards and feet. A mountain may be loftier, or a lake longer and wider, without any gain to that picturesque effect, which mainly depends on form, combination, and colouring. Still we do not mean to claim in these points any sort of equality with the Alps, Apennines, or Pyrenees; or to do more than assert that, with the exception of these, the more magnificent memorials of nature's workings on the globe, our own country possesses as large a proportion of fine scenery as any part of the continent of Europe.—Q. Rev.
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Notes of a Reader
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Perhaps few persons are aware how often they imitate this great historian. Thus, says the Edinburgh Review, "Children and servants are remarkably Herodotean in their style of narration. They tell every thing dramatically. Their says hes and says shes are proverbial. Every person who has had to settle their disputes knows that, even when they have no intention to deceive, their reports of conversation always require to be carefully sifted. If an educated man were giving an account of the late change of administration, he would say, 'Lord Goderich resigned; and the king, in consequence, sent for the Duke of Wellington.' A porter tells the story as if he had been behind the curtains of the royal bed at Windsor: 'So Lord Goderich says, 'I cannot manage this business; I must go out.' So the king, says he, 'Well, then, I must send for the Duke of Wellington—that's all.' This is in the very manner of the father of history."
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SPLENDOUR OF THE CHURCH OF ROME.
"In the days of her power and importance, the church of Rome numbered amongst her vassals and servants the most renowned spirits of the earth. She called them from obscurity to fame, and to all who laboured to spread and sustain her influence, she became a benefactress. Her wealth was immense, for she drew her revenue from the fear or superstition of man, and her spirit was as magnificent as her power. The cathedrals which she every where reared are yet the wonders of Europe for their beauty and extent; and in her golden days, the priests who held rule within them were, in wealth and strength, little less than princes. For a time her treasure was wisely and munificently expended; and the works she wrought, and the good deeds she performed, are her honour and our shame. She spread a table to the hungry; she gave lodgings to the houseless; welcomed the wanderer; and rich and poor, and learned and illiterate, alike received shelter and hospitality. Under her roof the scholar completed his education; the historian sought and found the materials for his history; the minstrel chanted lays of mingled piety and love for his loaf and raiment; the sculptor carved in wood, or cast in silver, some popular saint; and the painter gave the immortality of his colours to some new legend or miracle."—All who have visited the cathedrals and churches of the continent, or who have studied their history at home, must acknowledge the truth and force of these excellent observations. They are copied from an ably-written article on the History of Italian Painting, in the second number of the Foreign Review.
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Frederick the Great, in a letter to Voltaire, says, "I look on men as a herd of deer in a great man's park, whose only business is to people the enclosures."—This is one of the great men of history.
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A few years after the discovery, potatoes were carried to Spain at first as sweetmeats and delicacies. Oviedo says that "they were a dainty dish to set before the king," Labat describes potatoes a hundred years ago, as cultivated in Western Africa, and says of them, "Il y en a en Irlande, et en Angleterre," and that he had seen very good ones at Rochelle.
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Represents nature, or poetic nature at the most, and, therefore, addresses itself as much as poetry does to the feeling and imagination of man. Though it deals in nature exalted by genius, embellished by art and purified by taste, still it is nature, still it makes its appeal to the men of this world, and by them it is applauded or condemned. It works for men, and not for gods; therefore every man, as far as his taste is natural and sound, is a judge of its productions.—For. Rev.
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Such of our readers as are not addicted to epicurism may have been somewhat puzzled at the display of "Fine Fresh Laver" in the Italian warehouses and provision shops of the metropolis. The truth is, laver is a kind of reddish sea-weed, forming a jelly when boiled, which is eaten by some of the poor people in Angus with bread instead of butter; but which the rich have elevated into one of the greatest dainties of their tables. In Scotland, laver is called slake; and Dr. Clarke mentions that it is used with the fulmar to make a kind of broth, which constitutes the first and principal meal of the inhabitants. It is curious to know that what is eaten at a duchess's table in Piccadilly as a first-rate luxury, is used by the poor people of Scotland twice or thrice a day. It is an expensive dish; but knowledge of this fact may perhaps abate its cost.
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Ferdinand I. of Naples prided himself upon the variety and excellence of the fruit produced in his royal gardens, one of which was called Paradise. Duke Hercules, of Ferrara, had a garden celebrated for its fruits in one of the islands of the Po. The Duke of Milan, Ludovico, carried this kind of luxury so far, that he had a travelling fruit-garden; and the trees were brought to his table, or into his chamber, that he might with his own hands gather the living fruit.
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Even among the rudest and poorest of the inhabitants of Scotland, and at a period when their daily meal must have been always scanty, and frequently precarious, one luxury seems to have established itself, which has unaccountably found its way into every part of the world. We mean tobacco. The inhabitants of Scotland, and especially of the Highlands, are notorious for their fondness for snuff; and many were the contrivances by which they formerly reduced the tobacco into powder. Dr. Jamieson, the etymologist, defines a mill to be the vulgar name for a snuff-box, one especially of a cylindrical form, or resembling an inverted cone. "No other name," says he, "was formerly in use. The reason assigned for this designation is, that when tobacco was introduced into this country, those who wished to have snuff were wont to toast the leaves before the fire, and then bruise them with a bit of wood in the box; which was therefore called a mill, from the snuff being ground in it." This, however, is said to be not quite correct; the old snuff-machine being like a nutmeg-grater, which made snuff as often as a pinch was required.
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Estimating the population of London and its environs at 1,200,000, its proportion of paupers would amount to 100,000!
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Roast meat was formerly seldom seen among farmers in Scotland; and is even now rare, compared with its use among the same class in England. Less than half a century ago, a mart was regularly bought or fattened by the most respectable farmers, and even by many citizens. This was a cow or ox killed and salted at Martinmas for winter provision; a custom which, though not uncommon in England, perhaps, one hundred years ago, has certainly not been followed, except in remote and sequestered districts, or by very old-fashioned farmers within that period.
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Falstaff's "Buck-Basket" has puzzled the commentators; but Dr. Jamieson thus explains it:—Bouk is the Scotch word for a lye used to steep foul linen in, before it is washed in water; the buckbasket, therefore, is the basket employed to carry clothes, after they have been bouked, to the washing-place.
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PLEASURES OF EGYPT.
Sweet are the songs of Egypt on paper. Who is not ravished with gums, balms, dates, figs, pomegranates, circassia, and sycamores, without recollecting that amidst these are dust, hot and fainting winds, bugs, mosquitos, spiders, flies, leprosy, fevers, and almost universal blindness.—Ledyard's Travels.—The same writer also says the people are poorly clad, the youths naked, and that they rank infinitely below any savages he ever saw.
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There cannot be a more ill-boding sign to a nation, than when the people, to avoid hardships at home, are forced by heaps to forsake their native country.—Milton.
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As the devil is a deceiver, and hath the knowledge of the virtue of herbs, so he did show the virtue of this herb, that by the means thereof they might see their imaginations and visions that he hath represented unto them.
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From official documents it appears that long previous to 1690, there had been a distillery of aqua vitae, or whisky, on the lands of Farintosh, belonging to Mr. Forbes, of Culloden.
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If there be a sudden accession of fortune, the earliest use of it is in passing over to the continent; if misfortunes occur, the first suggestion is that of seeking solace in another land. The assumption of the toga virilis by our youth, may be practically translated, the putting on of the travelling cloak. Marriage, instead of being the means of more extended family union, is the plea for immediate separation; and the newly-married pair drive from the church to the packet-boat. If the elders of a family are snatched away by death, the first idea which occurs to their successors, is that of distant removal from home. Sorrows are not endured, but fled from; and misfortune becomes the signal for dispersion to those who survive it.—Q. Rev.
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Christoval Acosta, speaking of the pine-apple, says that "no medicinal virtues have been discovered in it, and it is good for nothing but to eat."
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Joshuah Silvester questioned whether the devil had done more harm in latter ages by means of fire and smoke, through the invention of guns, or of tobacco-pipes; and he conjectured that Satan introduced the fashion, as a preparatory course of smoking for those who were to be matriculated in his own college:
As roguing Gipsies tan their little elves, To make them tann'd and ugly, like themselves.
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Must be kept as a garden, with frequent digging, weeding, turning, &c., for that which was in one age convenient, and, perhaps, necessary, becomes in another prejudicial.—Roger North.
"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles." SHAKSPEARE
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THE WIFE'S COMPLAINT.
Havard, the actor, (better known from the urbanity of his manners, by the familiar name of Billy Havard) had the misfortune to be married to a most notorious shrew and drunkard. One day dining at Garrick's, he was complaining of a violent pain in his side. Mrs. Garrick offered to prescribe for him. "No, no," said her husband; "that will not do, my dear; Billy has mistaken his disorder; his great complaint lies in his rib."
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HOW TO SECURE A COACH.
A facetious friend of Dr. Kitchiner's, on a very wet night, after several messengers, whom he had despatched for a coach, had returned without obtaining one; at last, at "past one o'clock, and a rainy morning," the wag walked himself to the next coach-stand, and politely advised the waterman to mend his inside lining with a pint of beer, and go home to bed; for said he, "there will be nothing for you to do to night, I'll lay you a shilling that there's not a coach out." "Why, will you, your honour? then done," cried Mr. Waterman; "but are you really serious, 'cause, if so be as you be, I must make haste and go and get one." Being assured he would certainly touch the twelvepenny if he did, he trotted off on his "nag a ten toes," and in ten minutes returned with a leathern conveyance.
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Epicure Quin used to say, it was "not safe to sit down to a Turtle Feast at one of the City Halls, without a basket-hilted knife and fork."—Another of his quips was, "Of all the banns of marriage I ever heard, none gave me half such pleasure as the union of ANN-CHOVY with good JOHN-DORY."
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Is thought highly restorative by the French. It is considered peculiarly grateful, and gently stimulating to the stomach, after hard drinking or night-watching, and holds among soups the place that champagne, soda-water, or ginger-beer, does among liquors.
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Lobsters and crabs are in season from March till October; so that they supply the place of oysters, which come in about the time lobsters go out of season. Lobsters are held in great esteem by gastrologers for the firmness, purity, and flavour of their flesh. When they find refuge in the rocky fastnesses of the deep from the rapacity of sharks and fishermen, they sometimes attain an immense size, and have been found from eighteen inches to upwards of two feet in length. Apicius, who ought to be the patron saint of epicures, made a voyage to the coast of Africa on hearing that lobsters of an unusually large size were to be found there, and, after encountering much distress at sea, met with a disappointment. Very large lobsters are at present found on the coasts of Orkney. Some naturalists affirm (Olaus Magnus and Gesner,) that in the Indian seas, and on the wild shores of Norway, lobsters have been found twelve feet in length, and six in breadth, which seize mariners in their terrible embrace, and, dragging them into their caverns, devour them. However this may be, the lobsters and crabs for being devoured are best when of the middle size, and when found on reefs or very rocky shores.
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THE INVISIBLE HAIR.
A monk was showing the relics of his convent before a numerous assembly; the most rare, in his opinion, was a hair of the Holy Virgin, which he appeared to show to the people present, opening his hands as if he were drawing it through them. A peasant approached with great curiosity, and exclaimed, "but, reverend father, I see nothing." "Egad, I believe it" replied the monk, "for I have shown the hair for twenty years, and have not yet beheld it myself."
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A servant travelling, was bothered by a super-curious person, who, after several indirect attempts to discover whence he came, or whither he was going, at last popt the question plainly, "Are your family before?"—"No."—"Oh! you left them behind, I suppose?"—"No" "No?"—"No, they are on one side!"
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TO GROW A SHOULDER OR LEG OF MUTTON.
This art is well known to the London bakers. Have a very small leg or shoulder; change it upon a customer for one a little larger, and that upon another for one better still, till by the dinner hour you have a heavy, excellent joint in lieu of your original small one.
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Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic, and by all Newsmen and Booksellers. FOOTNOTES:
[Footnote 1: The grief of Ferdinand, King of Arragon, for the loss of his brother, Don Pedro, who was killed during the siege of Naples, is affectingly described by the historian Mariana. It is also the subject of one of the old Spanish ballads, in Lockhart's beautiful collection.]