THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XIII, NO. 376.] SATURDAY, JUNE 20, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
EXETER 'CHANGE, STRAND.
Who has not heard of Exeter 'Change? celebrated all over England for its menagerie and merchandize—wild beasts and cutlery—kangaroos and fleecy hosiery—elephants and minikin pins—a strange assemblage of nature and art—and savage and polished life.
At page 69 of the present volume we have given a brief sketch of the "Ancient Site of the Exeter 'Change," &c.; showing how the magnificent house of Burleigh, where Queen Elizabeth deigned to visit her favourite treasurer—at length became a receptable for uncourtly beasts, birds, and reptiles, whilst the lower part became a little nation of shopkeepers, among whom shine conspicuous the parsimony and good fortune of Mr. Clarke, the cutler, who amassed here a princely fortune. But the march of improvement having condemned the whole of the building, "Exeter 'Change is removed to Charing Cross." Mr. Cross's occupation's gone, and the wild beasts have progressed nearer the Court by removing to the King's Mews.
Surely such a place is worthy of preservation in a graphic sketch for THE MIRROR. Perhaps its wonders were once the goal of our wishes—to receive a long bill from the jolly yeoman at the door, to see the living wonders of the upper story, and be treated with a pocket knife or whistle-whip from the counters of the lower apartments, have probably at one period or other been grand treats. Yes, gentle reader, and two doors east of this world of wonders appeared the early numbers of the present Miscellany.
Among the improvement projects, we hear that a building for the meetings of public societies is to occupy the above site.
* * * * *
RECENT BALLOON ASCENT.
(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
June 10, 1829.
Sir,—With your permission, I will attempt to describe the magnificent scene I witnessed on my ascent with Mr. G. Green, in his balloon, on Wednesday, June 10th, 1829; but I really want the power of language to depict its grandeur; for no poetic taste, or pencil of man, can unfold the splendid scene we enjoyed while traversing the ethereal regions.
Having implicit confidence in the skill of Mr. Green I ascended with him from the Jamaica, Tea-gardens, Rotherhithe, amidst the acclamations of the multitude, whose forms and voices soon passed away; the busy hum of men (with us) ceased in a few seconds, and a solemn stillness reigned over the metropolis. The serenity of the evening threw a degree of solemnity over the scene, which had the effect of enchantment. We never lost sight of the earth, for our voyage was perfectly cloudless. The fields and buildings were all in miniature proportions, though most exquisitely depicted; and as Greenwich Hospital, the Tower of London, St. Paul's, &c. apparently receded from our view, the country succeeded, resembling one continued garden. The fields of wheat, &c. were beautifully defined, and the clearness of the atmosphere threw a sort of varnish (if I may use the term) over the whole face of nature. We had the Thames in view the whole of the time, which appeared like a rivulet of silver; but below Kingston Bridge, about half an hour after our ascent, the setting sun gilded its surface with magnificent effect. The boats appeared like little pieces of cork. The Penitentiary, at Millbank, had the resemblance of a twelfth cake cut into quarters; St. Paul's and the Tower of London could be distinctly seen, the light falling happily upon their proportions. Old and New London Bridges, were like two feeble efforts of the works of man; and here we saw the triumph of nature over art, and the littleness of the great works of man. At one time, on nearing Battersea Bridge, we observed a small, black streak ascending from the surface of the Thames, which we concluded to be the smoke from a Richmond steam packet. At that time the course of the balloon was south-east, although the smoke above alluded to was driven towards the west. The air being so serene we felt no motion in the car, and we could only know we were quietly moving, from seeing the grappling irons (which hung from the car) pass over the earth rapidly from field to field; whilst the scene seemed to recede from our view like a moving panorama. At our greatest altitude a solemn stillness prevailed, and I cannot describe its awful grandeur and my excitement. We then let loose a pigeon, and having a favourable country below, we prepared to descend, and Mr. Green hailed some men with the cry of "we are coming down." I saw them run (though very small,) and we fell in a field of wheat, near Kingston, with scarcely any rebound; in fact a child might have alighted with safety.
Thus, Mr. Editor, ended this short and rapid, but splendid voyage. On our alighting, Mr. Green wrote on a piece of paper our safe arrival, which he tied to the neck of a pigeon, and sent him off.
Our greatest altitude did not exceed one mile and a quarter, in consequence, as Mr. Green informed me, of the density of the atmosphere, which would, at a greater elevation, have dimmed the splendour of the scene beneath us.
[We thank our ingenious Correspondent for the previous description of his recent aerial voyage, as we are fully aware of the difficulty of describing such a magnificent scene as he must have witnessed in his ascent. During the whole voyage, he experienced nothing but sensations of delight; the atmosphere being only disturbed by very light wind, just sufficient to waft the aeronauts without any laborious management, and the time—evening—being beautifully serene. We thought ourselves richly rewarded by the view of the Colosseum Panorama, but what must have been their sensations at a distance of 6,600 feet high, when with the huge machine they appeared little more than a speck. The varnish, or glare, which our Correspondent describes, was that charming effect which we are wont to admire here, on earth, in evening scenes, especially when they are lit up by the splendour of the setting sun; but which must be doubly enchanting when viewed from so great an altitude. He likewise tells us that the landscape appeared to recede like a moving panorama, whilst the balloon seemed to be stationary; so that the scenic attempt at Covent Garden Theatre, a few years since, to illustrate a balloon ascent, by moving scenery, was in accordance with the real effect, though, we think, the theatrical attempt was not so appreciated at the time it was made. In conclusion, we congratulate our friend upon his splendid recreation, for such his ascent must have been.]
* * * * *
(For the Mirror.)
What is pity? 'Tis virtue's essence,—'tis benevolence Itself;—'tis mercy, justice, charity; It is the rarest boon that man doth give to man; It is the first perfection of our nature; It is the brightest attribute of heav'n: Without it man should rank beneath the brute; And with it—he is little lower than angel. The generous mite of penury is pity; Nay, ev'n a look.— Not so the heartless pittance of the affluent, That is hypocrisy. If you pity, Your heart is liberal to forgive, Your memory to forget— Your purse is open, and your hands are free To help the penniless.
* * * * *
(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
Sir,—From a note which I have just seen at the foot of the interesting account of the escape of Charles the Second, in vol. v. of the MIRROR, the reader is led to conclude, that the pension granted to Richard Pendril, expired at his death. No such thing. Old Dr. Pendril lived, practised, and died at Alfriston, a little town in the east of Sussex, some forty or fifty years since. His son, John Pendril, died at Eastbourn, four or five years ago. His son, Mr. John Pendril, kept a public house at Lewes, a few years since, to which he added the appropriate sign of the "Royal Oak." All these in succession enjoyed the pension of —— marks, granted by Charles the Second, together with something of a sporting character called "free warren." The last Mr. John Pendril was lately living at or near Brighton.
* * * * *
EATING "MUTTON COLD."
(For the Mirror.)
Be good enough to insert the solution of Hen. B.'s difficulty in your last MIRROR, which I send at foot, and thereby oblige a constant
SUBSCRIBER AND FRIEND.
The solution, or attempt at solution, of Hen. B.'s difficulty as to what Goldsmith means in his poem "Retaliation" when he concludes his ironical eulogium on Edmund Burke, thus:—
"In short 'twas his fate, unemployed, or in place, sir, To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor."
By being "unemployed" it is presumed that he was not engaged in the ordinary avocations of life, or in other words was not engaged in those legitimate avocations which have for their object the procuring the means of subsistence for the masticator; but if it is meant to have a name of extensive meaning, the solution is unanswerable.
Assuming the former to be Goldsmith's meaning, the answer to be given to the solution might be that eating mutton cold, is eating cold mutton in its cold state, cooked or uncooked; but if the more general meaning is insisted upon, I cannot see how the masticator is unemployed, as his jaws which form a most material part of himself—are set in full motion by the operation of eating—hence full employment is given them—and as much to the "he" who is the owner of such jaws.
* * * * *
* * * * *
EXHIBITION OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY.
(Continued from page 338.)
91. Portrait of the late Earl of Kellie, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Fife.—D. Wilkie.—A noble portrait, painted for the County Hall, Cupar.
92. Night.—H. Howard—An exquisite scene from Milton:—
"——————now glowed the firmament With living sapphires: Hesperus that led The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon, Rising in clouded majesty, at length Apparent queen unveiled her peerless light, And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw."
102. Portrait of the Duchess of Richmond.—Sir T. Lawrence.
110. Cardinals, Priests, and Roman Citizens washing the Pilgrims' Feet.—D. Wilkie.—This ceremony takes place during the holy week, in the Convent of Santa Trinita dei Pelligrini; and Mr. Wilkie has infused a devotional character into this picture which is highly characteristic of Catholic solemnity.
127. Portrait of Jeremy Bentham—H.W. Pickersgill.—An admirable likeness of the veteran-patriot and political economist.
128. The Defence of Saragossa.—D. Wilkie.—The subject is so well explained in the Catalogue, that we quote it:—
"The heroine Augustina is here represented on the battery, in front of the convent of Santa Engratia, where her husband being slain, she found her way to the station he had occupied, stept over his body, took his place at the gun, and declared she would herself avenge his death.
"The principal person engaged in placing the gun is Don Joseph Palafox, who commanded the garrison during the memorable siege, but who is here represented in the habit of a volunteer. In front of him is the Reverend Father Consolacion, an Augustin Friar, who served with great ability as an engineer, and who, with the crucifix in his hand, is directing at what object the cannon is to be pointed. On the left side of the picture is seen Basilico Boggiero, a priest, who was tutor to Palafox, celebrated for his share in the defence, and for his cruel fate when he fell into the hands of the enemy. He is writing a despatch to be sent by a carrier pigeon, to inform their distant friends of the unsubdued energies of the place."
In this part of the room are half a dozen excellent portraits, all by different artists.
149. The Soldier's Wife—W.F. Witherington.—This picture is from an anecdote of the late Duke of York. His Royal Highness, as he returned one day from a walk, observed a poor woman in tears, sent away from his house. On asking the servant who she was, he answered, "A beggar, some soldier's wife." "A soldier's wife!" returned his Royal Highness; "give her immediate relief: what is your mistress but a soldier's wife?"—An interesting picture, although we do not think the likeness of the benevolent Duke is very striking. However, the incident must have occurred a few years previous to his decease.
157. Lord Byron's Dream.—C.L. Eastlake.—A rich oriental landscape, and a most delightful scene of desert stillness.
172. Portrait of Robert Southey, Esq.—Sir T. Lawrence—We hope the president's portrait will please the laureate, for he has been rather tenacious about his "likenesses" which have been engraved. The present is, perhaps, one of the most intellectual portraits in the room, but is too energetic even for the impassioned poet.
181. Queen Margaret of Anjou, being defeated at the battle of Hexham, flies with the young prince into a forest, where she meets with robbers, to whose protection she confides her son.—H. P. Briggs.—This subject is by no means new in art, but is here cleverly treated, and the whole is very effective.
214. Othello and Desdemona.—R. Evans.—Why is Othello in armour? Let Mr. Planche, in his Costumes, look to this.
216. Portrait of Miss Phillips, of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, as Juliet.—H. E. Dawe.—This picture is entirely devoid of flattery; and is by no means a good likeness of the interesting original.
224. Roman Princess, with her Attendant, washing the female pilgrim's feet.—D. Wilkie—An affecting picture of a truly devotional incident.
246. Camilla introduced to Gil Blas at the Inn.—G. S. Newton.—This picture is considered to be Mr. Newton's chef d'oeuvre. The landlord is entering the chamber with a flambeau in his hand lighting in a lady, more beautiful than young, and very richly dressed; she is supported by an old squire, and a little Moorish page carries her train. The lankiness of Camilla is somewhat objectionable, but the head is exquisitely animated. The sentimentality of Gil Blas too, is excellent.
293. The Confessional—Pilgrims confessing in the Basilica of St. Peter's.—D. Wilkie.—An interesting picture, though not equal to others by the same artist, in the present exhibition.
322. Hadleigh Castle. The mouth of the Thames—morning after a stormy night—J. Constable—The picturesque beauty of this scene is spoiled by the spotty "manner of the artist."
352. Coronation of the Remains of Ines de Castro.—G. St. Evie.—An attractive picture of one of the most extraordinary scenes in history. The remains of Dona Ines de Castro taken out of her tomb six years after the interment, when she was proclaimed queen of Portugal. This is an illustration of Mrs. Hemans's beautiful lines which we quoted in a recent number of the MIRROR.
455. Portrait of Mrs. Locke, sen.—Sir T. Lawrence.—A Reubens-like portrait of a benevolent lady, and which we take to be an excellent likeness.
592. Portrait of John Parker, Esq. on his favourite horse Coroner, with the Worcestershire fox hounds.—T. Woodward.—We can relate a curious circumstance connected with this picture. While in the room, a country gentleman and his lady inquired of us the subject—we turned to the number in the Catalogue, and gave him the desired information. "Ah," said he, "I was sure it was Parker, and told my wife the same, although I was not previously aware of his portrait being in the Exhibition." We should think the resemblance must be very striking.
The Antique Academy is almost covered with portraits, and the miniatures hang in cluster-like abundance—so that what with bright eyes and luxuriant tresses, this is not the least attractive of the rooms.
In the Library are several fine architectural drawings; among which is a view of Chatsworth, by Sir J. Wyatville, including, as we suppose, all the magnificent additions and improvements, now in progress there. Mr. Soane's Designs for entrances to the Parks and the western part of London, (which we alluded to in our No. 360,) are likewise here.
In the Model Academy, Messrs. Chantrey and Westmacott have some fine groups, and Behnes three fine busts—the Duke of Cumberland, Princess Victoria, and Lady Eliz. Gower.
It would be easy to extend this notice through the present and next number, but as other matters press, and as all the town go to Somerset House, we hope this notice will be sufficient; for it is not in our power to enumerate half the fine pictures in the Exhibition, much as we rejoice at this flourishing prospect of British art.
* * * * *
MULREADY'S "WOLF AND LAMB."
In a preceding number we stated that the copyright of this picture had been purchased for 1,000 guineas, and appropriated to the Artists' Fund, which a correspondent, and "a member of the Fund," informs us is not the fact. He assures us that the original picture was purchased some years since by his Majesty, who granted the loan of it to the society, at whose expense it was engraved; the sale of the prints producing 1,000l. to the Fund. Mr. Mulready has the merit of painting the picture and procuring the loan of it; but our version of the affair would make it appear otherwise. We copied our notice from the newspapers, where it was stated, as from the Lord Chancellor, at the Fund Dinner, that Mr. Mulready had relinquished his copyright to the picture for the benefit of the Fund, which had thus produced 1,000l.; but we thank our correspondent for his correction.
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
* * * * *
FIVE NIGHTS OF ST. ALBAN'S.
This is a work of pure fiction, and is one of the most splendidly imaginative books we have met with for a long time. It is attributed to the author of the "First and Last" sketches in Blackwood's Magazine, some of which have already been transferred to our pages. No further recommendation can be requisite; but to give the reader some idea of the vivid style in which the work is written, we detach two episodal extracts.
THE IDIOT GIRL.
When Peverell reached his own house, his man Francis met him with a strangely mysterious look and manner.
"Here is one within," said he, "that will not, by any dint of persuasion, go; though I have been two good hours trying my skill to that end."
"Who is it?" inquired Peverell.
"That, neither, can I discover," quoth Francis. "She knocked at the door—it might be something after eleven, perhaps near upon twelve—and when I opened it, she whips into the hall without saying a word, walks into every room in the house—I following her, as a beadle follows a rogue, till he sees him beyond the parish bounds—and at last takes possession of your low chair, and, without so much as 'by your leave,' begins to wring her hands, and cry 'Lord! Lord!'—What do you want, good woman?" said I. But I might as well have addressed myself to the walls, for 'Lord! Lord!' was all her moan."
Peverell hastened into the room, and there he saw poor Madge—her face buried in her hands, rocking to and fro, weeping most piteously, and as Francis had described, ever and anon calling upon the Lord, but in a tone of such utter wretchedness, that it pierced his very heart.
He spoke to her. She started up at the sound of his voice, looked at him, and then mournfully exclaimed, while she pointed to the ground—"They have buried her!"
"Then be comforted," said Peverell, in a kind and soothing voice; "your hardest trial is past."
"What a churl he was!" continued Madge, not heeding the words of Peverell; "I only asked him to keep the grave open till to-morrow, and he denied me! Only till to-morrow—for then, said I, the cold earth can cover us both. But he denied me! So I fell upon my knees, beside my Marian's grave, and prayed that he might never lose a child, to know that blessedness of sorrow which lies in the thought of soon sleeping with those we have loved and lost! It was very wrong in me, I know, to wish to call down such affliction on him—but he denied me—and I had to hear the rattling dust fall upon her coffin—ay, and to see that dark, deep grave filled up; as if a mother might not have her own child!"
"Poor afflicted creature!" exclaimed Peverell, in a half whisper to himself.
"Yes!" said Madge, drying her tears with her hands. "Yes! I have walked with grief, for my companion in this world, through many a sad and weary hour. But I shook hands with her, and we parted, at the grave of Marian. I buried all my troubles there. What is the hour?"
"Hard upon two," replied Peverell.
"Then I must be busy," replied Madge, in a wild, hurried manner, and smiling at Peverell, with a look of much importance, as if what she had to do were some profound secret. "You'll not betray me, if I tell you?" she continued, taking his hand—"Feel!" and she placed it on her heart. "One, two; one, two; one, two—and so it goes on; it cannot beat beyond two! Oh, God! in what pain it is before it breaks!"
She now returned to the chair from which she had risen, at the sound of Peverell's voice. He approached nearer; and (with a view rather to draw her gently from her own thoughts, than from any desire that she should leave his house,) he asked her "if she would go home?"
"Yes," she replied; "bear with me yet a little while, and I'll go. It is near the time I promised Marian, when last I kissed her wintry cheek, as she lay shrouded in her coffin; and I may not fail. Lord! Lord! what a troubled and worthless world this seems to me now! A week ago, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the green earth, and all that was upon it, were dear to mine eyes; and I should have wept to look my last at them! But now, I behold nothing it contains, save my Marian's grave! You will see me laid in it, for pity's sake—won't you?"
"Ay," said Peverell, "but that will be when I am gray, and thinking of my own: so, cheer up. He that shall toll the bell for thee, now sleeps in his cradle, I'll warrant."
She beckoned Peverell to her, and taking his hand, she again placed it on her heart. A sad, melancholy smile played for a moment across her pale wrinkled face, and her glazed eyes kindled into a fleeting expressing of frightful gladness, as she feebly exclaimed, "Do you feel? One!—one!—one! —and hardly that—I breathe only from here," she continued, pointing to her throat. "Feel!—feel!—one!—one!—another!—how I gasp—see!—see—"
She ceased to speak; the hand which retained Peverell's relaxed its hold—her head dropped—one long-drawn sigh was heaved—and poor Madge resigned a being touched with sympathies and feelings not often found in natures of nobler quality, in the world's catalogue of nobility. If, among the thousand doors which death holds open for mortal man to pass through, ere he puts on immortality, there be one, the rarest of them all, for broken hearts, this hapless creature found it. A self accusing spirit bowed her to the earth, with the sharpest of all griefs—a mother's anguish for an only child—lost to her, as gamesters lose fortunes—thrown away by her own hand.
* * * * *
FITZMAURICE THE MAGICIAN.
"I have lived three hundred years! In that time—in all that time, I have never seen the glorious sun descend, but followed still its rolling course through the regions of illimitable space. I have shivered on the frozen mountains of the icy north, and fainted beneath the sultry skies of the blazing east: the swift winds have been my viewless chariot, and on their careering wings I have been hurried from clime to clime. But, nor light, nor air, nor heat, nor cold, have been to me as to the rest of my species; for I was doomed to find in their extremes a perpetual torment. I howled, under the sharp, pinching pangs of the icy north; I panted with agony, in the scorching fervour of the blazing east; and when mine eyes have ached, with vain efforts, to pierce the darkness of the earth's centre, they have been suddenly blasted with excessive and intolerable delight.
"All the currents of human affection—all that makes the past delightful, the present lovely, and the future coveted, were dried up within me. My heart was like the sands of the desert, parched and barren. No living stream of hope, of gladness, or of desire, quickened it with human sympathies. It was a bleak and withered region, the fit abode of ever-during sorrow and comfortless despair. I was as a blighted tree, that perishes not at the root, but is withered in all its branches. Tears, I had none. One gracious drop, falling from my seared orbs, would have been the blessed channel of pent-up griefs that seemed to crush my almost frenzied brain. Sighs, I breathed not. They would have heaved from my bursting heart some of that misery, which loaded it to anguish. Sleep never came. I was denied the common luxury of the common wretched, to lose, in its sweet oblivion, its brief forgetfulness, the sense of what I was. Death, natural death, closed his many doors against me. All that lived, except myself—the persecuted, the weary, and the heavily laden of man's race—could find a grave! I, alone, looked upon the earth, and felt that it had no resting place for me! God! God! what a forlorn and miserable creature is man, when, in his affliction, he cannot say to the worm, I shall be yours! I might have cast away, indeed, the YENARKON—the Giver of Life—the elixir of the Sibyl—but that would have been to subject myself to a power of darkness, in whose fell wrath I should have suffered the casting away of mine eternal soul!
"Thus the stream of time rolled on, burying beneath its dark waves, our little span of present, in the huge ocean of a perpetual past, and devouring, as the food of both, our swift decaying future. But I floated on its surface, and beheld whole generations flourish and fade away, while age and silver hairs, growing infirmities, and the closing sigh that ends them all, mocked me with a horrible exemption. I remained, and might have remained, for ages yet to come, the fixed and unaltered image of what I was, when in Mauritania I encountered the potent Amaimon, the damned magician of the den, but for that—woman's faith, and man's fidelity—which have made me what I AM!
"This was my destiny. Now mark, how I became enthralled to it; and how it befell, that at last I shook it off, and found redemption.
"In my middle manhood, when scarcely forty summers had glowed within my veins, I left my native Italy, and journeyed to the Holy Land, upon the strict vow of a self-imposed penance. It was for no sin committed in my days of youth, but for the satisfaction of an ardent piety, and the growing spirit of a long enkindled devotion. I had patrimonial wealth in Apulia; I had kindred; I had friends. I renounced them all, to dedicate myself, thenceforth, to the service of THE CROSS. My purpose was blessed, by a virtuous mother's prayers, that I might approve myself a worthy soldier of Christ; and it was sanctified by a holy priest at the altar.
"Even now, the recollection is strong within me, of the feelings with which, as the rising sun illumined the tops of the surrounding hills, I approached the once glorious, and still sacred, city of Jerusalem—that chosen seat of the Godhead—that Queen among the nations. Eclipsed, though it was, and its majestic head trodden into the dust, by the foot of the infidel, my gladdened eyes dwelt upon what was imperishable, and my wrapt imagination pictured what was destroyed. The valleys of Jehosaphat and Gehinnon, Mount Calvary, Mount Zion, and Mount Acre, stretched before me. The palace of King Herod, with its sumptuous halls of marble and of gold—the gorgeous Temple of Solomon—the lofty towers of Phaseolus and Mariamne—the palace of the Maccabees—the Hippodrome—the houses of many of the prophets—grew into existence again, beneath the creative force of fancy. I stood and wept. I knelt, and kissed the consecrated earth which once a Saviour trod."
* * * * *
"THE HUNTED STAG: A SKETCH.
What sounds are on the mountain blast? Like bullet from the arbalast, Was it the hunted quarry past Right up Ben-ledi's side?— So near, so rapidly he dash'd, Yon lichen'd bough has scarcely plash'd Into the torrent's tide. Ay!—The good hound may bay beneath, The hunter wind his horn; He dared ye through the flooded Teith As a warrior in his scorn! Dash the red rowel in the steed, Spur, laggards, while ye may! St. Hubert's shaft to a stripling reed, He dies no death to-day!
'Forward!'—Nay, waste not idle breath, Gallants, ye win no green-wood wreath; His antlers dance above the heath, Like chieftain's plumed helm; Right onward for the western peak, Where breaks the sky in one white streak, See, Isabel, in bold relief, To Fancy's eye, Glenartney's chief, Guarding his ancient realm. So motionless, so noiseless there, His foot on rock, his head in air, Like sculptor's breathing stone! Then, snorting from the rapid race, Snuffs the free air a moment's space, Glares grimly on the baffled chase, And seeks the covert loan."
"THE COMPLAINT OF THE VIOLETS.
By the silent foot of the shadowy hill We slept in our green retreats, And the April showers were wont to fill Our hearts with sweets; And though we lay in a lowly bower, Yet all things loved us well, And the waking bee left its fairest flower With us to dwell. But the warm May came in his pride to woo The wealth of our virgin store, And our hearts just felt his breath, and knew Their sweets no more! And the summer reigns on the quiet spot Where we dwell—and its suns and showers Bring balm to our sisters' hearts, but not— Oh! not to ours! We live—we bloom—but for ever o'er Is the charm of the earth and sky: To our life, ye heavens, that balm restore, Or bid us die!"
"THE FOUNTAIN: A BALLAD.
Why startest thou back from that fount of sweet water? The roses are drooping while waiting for thee; 'Ladye, 'tis dark with the red hue of slaughter, There is blood on that fountain—oh! whose may it be?' Uprose the ladye at once from her dreaming, Dreams born of sighs from the violets round, The jasmine bough caught in her bright tresses, seeming In pity to keep the fair prisoner it bound. Tear-like the white leaves fell round her, as, breaking The branch in her haste, to the fountain she flew, The wave and the flowers o'er its mirror were reeking, Pale as the marble around it she grew. She followed its track to the grove of the willow, To the bower of the twilight it led her at last, There lay the bosom so often her pillow, But the dagger was in it, its beating was past. Round the neck of the youth a light chain was entwining, The dagger had cleft it, she joined it again. One dark curl of his, one of her's like gold shining, 'They hoped this would part us, they hoped it in vain. Race of dark hatred, the stern unforgiving. Whose hearts are as cold as the steel which they wear. By the blood of the dead, the despair of the living, Oh, house of my kinsman, my curse be your share!' She bowed her fair face on the sleeper before her, Night came and shed its cold tears on her brow; Crimson the blush of the morning past o'er her, But the cheek of the maiden returned not its glow. Pale on the earth are the wild flowers weeping, The cypress their column, the night-wind their hymn, These mark the grave where those lovers are sleeping Lovely—the lovely are mourning for them."
* * * * *
* * * * *
(For the Mirror.)
Country society has but little relief; and in proportion to intellectual refinement, this monotony appears to increase. We have always been favourable to Book Clubs in country towns, and about ten years since, established one in the anti-social town of ——. The plan worked well; its economy was admired, and extensively adopted all over England, but we heard little of its contributing to the social enjoyments of the people. Twenty families reading the same books, and these passed from house to house, among the respectability of the town, might have brought about a kind of consanguinity of opinion, and led to frequent interchange of civilities, meetings of the members at each others' houses, or at least a sort of how-d'ye-do acquaintance. The case was otherwise. The attorney and the doctor joined our society that their families of ten or twelve sons and daughters might keep under the sixpences and shillings of the circulating library; but they soon became jealous of new books, although they often returned them uncut and unread; and so far from knitting the bonds of acquaintance, we at last thought our plan served to estrange the members, by affording the little aristocracy frequent opportunities for venting their splenetic pride; the books were like disjunctive conjunctions, and when we left the place, the "society" did not promise to live another year.
We could entertain ourselves, at least, with sketches of a few of the members of this disjointed body; but we must be content with one, and that shall be the bookseller of the town.
Imagine a man of middle height, rather inclined to obesity, and just turned of fifty-eight. He had a broad, low forehead, sunken eyes, an aquiline nose, a heavy, hanging lip, and a chin which buried its projections in ample and unclassical folds of neckerchief. He was bald, except a tuft on the occiput, or hinder part of his head, and on dress occasions he wore powder. He was a widower, his wife having been dead about ten years, leaving him two daughters, the amiability of whose dispositions was a painful contrast to the uneven temper of their father. He kept a good table, and had the best cellar of grape wine in the town, but entertained little company. His guests were usually the valets or butlers of the gentry in the neighbourhood; but the housekeepers were never invited by his daughters, a point of propriety in male and female acquaintanceship which amused us not a little. His business was of a most multifarious description, and besides the trades of bookseller, stationer, and druggist, he had a printing-office, and was, moreover, a self-taught printer, He was post-master and stamp sub-distributor, receiver of bail, and agent for insurances—little official appointments which would have made him mayor in a corporate town. Of late years, he seldom meddled with these matters of business; but tired of their common track, he struck out a course of life, which was neither public nor private, but made him a sort of oracle in the town, whose opinions were freely printed and gratuitously circulated, whilst the author was seldom seen except at vestry-meetings. In this way he acted as secretary to a benevolent society established by the gentry, and such was his enthusiasm that he gave his services and L200. worth of printing during the first year; and the Committee in return presented him with a handsome piece of plate with a complimentary inscription, which he had the modesty to keep locked up, and never to display even to his visiters. This proved him to be a benevolent man, and he would have been ten times more useful had not his charitable disposition been over tinged with oddity and caprice. His contact with the poor of the parish soon made him overseer, although his religious observances would not qualify him for churchwarden; for he only went to church at funerals, to which he was frequently invited, his staid appearance, and a certain air of gentility of which he was master, being in such cases no mean recommendation. Overseer and select vestryman, he printed the parish accounts, for the most part gratuitously, although the poor and even the better portion of the towns-people never gave him full credit for this generosity, conceiving that he was repaid by some secret services or funds. The oddity of his pursuits was only exceeded by their variety. In politics he was a disciple of Cobbett, and year after year, foretold a revolution, an alarm which he communicated to every one of his household. He took extreme interest in all new mechanical projects, but seldom indulged in the practical part of them. In wine-making he was once a very experimentalist, and studied every line of Macculloch and unripe fruit; next, he turned over every inch of his garden, analyzed the soil a la Davy, and salted all his growing crops. His cogitative habits led him to take long walks in the country, and he soon flew from horticultural chemistry to real farming; and about the same time took to road making and macadamization, and became a surveyor of the highways. But the trustees wanting to macadamize the miserably pitched street of the town, he bethought him of dust in summer and mud in winter, and drew up a long memorial to the lords of the soil, remonstrating with them on their impolitic conduct; but all in vain. It is curious, however, to reflect that what the people of a country town about ten years ago thought a curse to their roads should now be adopted in many of the principal London Streets. The last we heard of our bookseller's hobbies, was that he had bought the lease of a house for the sake of the large garden attached to it, and here, like Evelyn in his Elysium Britannicum, he passes his days in the primitive occupation of gardening.
Our bookseller is a self-educated man, and in some pamphlets on the charitable institution to which we have alluded, are many of the errors of style peculiar to self-educated writers. Among his acquaintance we remember an attorney who practised in London, but had a small house in the town. He had been editor and proprietor of four or five morning and evening newspapers, and furnished our bookseller with all the news off 'Change and about town. This friend and the journals were his oracles, and their influence he digested in morsels of political economy, so introduced into his pamphlets as not to offend the landed gentry of the neighbourhood. To them, it should be mentioned, he was a most useful personage, and his aid and auspices, were almost necessary to the success of any project for the interest of the town. The trades-people looked up to him; they would agree if Mr. —— did, or they would wait his opinion.
We have heard that he has been a gallant in his time; and more than once he has told little stories of dances and harvest homes, and merry meetings at the wealthy farmers' in the neighbourhood, of the moonlight walk home, and of his companions counting their won guineas on their return from an evening party—all of which throw into shade the social amusements of our artificial times. We have said that he kept a good table; for presents of game poured in from the gentlemen's bailiffs in the neighbourhood, fish from town to be repaid by summer visits, and if the fishmonger of the place was overstocked, the first person he sent to was our bookseller. Again, he would take a post-chaise, or the White Hart barouche, for a party of pleasure, when his neighbours would have been happy with a gig. He did not join, or allow his daughters to mix with them at the tradesman's ball, but they staid moping at home, because there was none between the gentry and trade. Yet the professional and little-fortune people cried —— trade, and thus our bookseller belonged to neither class. The people of the place know not whether he is rich; he has been "making money" all his life-time say they, but he has "lived away." It is, however, to be regretted that they cannot settle the point, since they determine to a pound the income of every gentleman and lady in the neighbourhood, and, doff their hats according to the total.
To sum up his character, he is just and sometimes generous; hospitable but not unostentatious; dictatorial and circumlocutory to excess in his conversation, and of an inquisitive turn of mind, and considering his resources, he is well informed and even clever in matters of the world; in short, he is a perfect pattern of the gentleman tradesmen of the present day.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
A pamphlet of Twenty-four Letters from Labourers in America to their Friends in England, has lately reached our hands. These letters have been addressed by emigrants to their relatives in the eastern part of Sussex, and have been printed literatim. We are aware of the strong prejudice which exists against the practice of parishes sending off annually, a part of their surplus population to America; but some of the statements in these letters will stagger the Noes. We quote a few from letters written during the past year:
Brooklyn, Jan. 14, 1828.
John is at work as carpenter, for the winter; his Boss gives him 5s. a day, our money, which is little more than 2s. 6d, English money. They tell us that winter is a dead time in America; but we have found it as well and better than we expected. We can get good flour for 11d. English money; good beef for 2d. or 3d do, and mutton the same price; pork about 4d.; sugar, very good, 5d.; butter and cheese is not much cheaper than in England; clothing is rather dear, especially woollen; worsted stockings are dear.
New Hereford, June 30, 1828.
Dear Father and Mother,
I now take the opportunity of writing to you since our long journey. But I am very sorry to tell you, that we had the misfortune to lose both our little boys; Edward died 29th April, and William 5th May; the younger died with bowel complaint; the other with the rash-fever and sore throat. We were very much hurt to have them buried in a watery grave; we mourned their loss; night and day they were not out of our minds. We had a minister on board, who prayed with us twice a day; he was a great comfort to us, on the account of losing our poor little children. He said, The Lord gave, and taketh away; and blessed be the name of the Lord. We should make ourselves contented if we had our poor little children here with us: we kept our children 24 hours. There were six children and one woman died in the vessel. Master Bran lost his wife. Mrs. Coshman, from Bodiam, lost her two only children. My sister Mary and her two children are living at Olbourn, about 80 miles from us. Little Caroline and father is living with us; and our three brothers are living within a mile of us. Brother James was very ill coming over, with the same complaint that William had. We were very sick for three weeks, coming over: John was very hearty, and so was father. We were afraid we should loose little Caroline; but the children and we are hearty at this time. Sarah and Caroline are often speaking of going to see their grandmother. Mary's children were all well, except little John; he was bad with a great cold. I have got a house and employ. I have 4s. a day and my board; and in harvest and haying I am to have 6s. or 7s. a day and my board. We get wheat for 7s. per bushel, of our money; that is about 3s. 7d. of your money; meat is about 3d. per pound; butter from 5d. to 6d.; sugar about the same as in England; shoes and clothes about the same as it is with you; tea is from 2s. 6d. 3s. 6d. of your money; tobacco is about 9d. per pound, of your money; good whisky about 1s. 1d. per gallon; that is 2s. of your money.
Hudson State, New York, July 6, 1828.
I must tell you a little what friends we met with when we landed in to Hudson; such friends as we never found in England; but it was chiefly from that people that love and fear God. We had so much meat brought us, that we could not eat while it was good; a whole quarter of a calf at once; so we had two or three quarters in a little time, and seven stone of beef. One old gentleman came and brought us a wagon load of wood, and two chucks of bacon; some sent flour, some bread, some cheese, some soap, some candles, some chairs, some bedsteads. One class-leader sent us 3s. worth of tin ware and many other things. The flowers are much here as yours; provision is not very cheap; flour is 1s. 7d. a gallon of this money, about 10d. of yours; butter is 1s., your money 6d.; meat from 2d. to 6d., yours 1d. to 3d.; sugar 10d. to 1s. yours 5d. and 6d. Tell father I wish I could send him nine or ten pound of tobacco; for it is 1s. a pound; I chaws rarely.
Constantia, Dec. 2, 1828.
I now write for the third time since I left old England. I wrote a letter, dated October 8th; and finding that it would have four weeks to lay, I was afraid you would not have it; and as I told you I would write the truth, if I was forced to beg my bread from door to door, so I now proceed. Dear children, I write to let you know that we are all in good health, excepting your mother; and she is now just put to bed of another son, and she is as well as can be expected. And now as it respects what I have got in America: I have got 12-1/2 acres of land, about half improved, and the rest in the state of nature, and two cows of my own. We can buy good land for 18s. per acre; but buying of land is not one quarter part, for the land is as full of trees as your woods are of stubs; and they are from four to ten rods long, and from one to five feet through them. You may buy land here from 18s. to 9l. in English money; and it will bring from 20 to 40 bushels of wheat per acre, and corn from 20 to 50 bushels per acre, and rye from 20 to 40 ditto. You may buy beef for 1-3/4d. per pound; and mutton the same; Irish butter 7d. per pound; cheese 3d.; tea 4s. 6d.; sugar 7d. per pound; candles 7d.; soap 7d.; and wheat 4s. 6d. per bushel; corn and rye 2s. per bushel. And I get 2s. 4d. a day and my board; and have as much meat to eat, three times a day, as I like to eat. But clothing is dear; shoes 8s.; half boots 16s.; calico from 8d. to 1s. 4d.; stockings 2s. 9d. to 3s. 6d.; flannel 4s. per yard; superfine cloth from 4s. 6d. to 1l.; now all this is counted in English money. We get 4s. per day in summer, and our board; and if you count the difference of the money, you will soon find it out; 8s. in our money is 4s. 6d. in your money.
The reader will perhaps think we give only the "milk and honey" of these letters, but they bear the stamp of authenticity.
* * * * *
Every body knows the delightful romance of Kenilworth,—a tragedy, of which the dramatis personae are the parties themselves, called up from their graves by the novelist magician. Students who attend St. Mary's Church, Oxford, still look out for the flat stone which covers the dust and bones of poor Amy, and could any sculptured effigies supply the place of the whole historical picture, then imagined in the mind's eye? More than once attracted by the old ballad, we have, when undergraduates, walked to the "lonely towers of Cumnor Hall," fancied that we saw her struggle, and heard her screams, when she was thrown over the staircase (the traditional mode of her assassination,) and wondered how any man could have the heart to murder a simple lovesick pretty girl. Even now, in sorrow and in sadness, we read this account:—
The unfortunate Amye Duddley (for so she subscribes herself in the Harleian Manuscript, 4712,) the first wife of Lord Robert Dudley, Queen Elizabeth's favourite, and after Amy's death Earl of Leicester, was daughter of Sir John Robsart. Her marriage took place June 4, 1550, the day following that on which her lord's eldest brother had been united to a daughter of the Duke of Somerset, and the event is thus recorded by King Edward in his Diary: "4. S. Robert dudeley, third sonne to th' erle of warwic, married S. John Robsartes daughter; after wich mariage ther were certain gentlemen that did strive who shuld first take away a gose's heade wich was hanged alive on tow crose postes." Soon after the accession of Elizabeth, when Dudley's ambitious views of a royal alliance had opened upon him, his countess mysteriously died at the retired mansion of Cumnor near Abingdon, Sept. 8, 1560; and, although the mode of her death is imperfectly ascertained (her body was thrown down stairs, as a blind,) there appears far greater foundation for supposing the earl guilty of her murder, than usually belongs to such rumours, all her other attendants being absent at Abingdon fair, except Sir Richard Verney and his man. The circumstances, distorted by gross anachronisms, have been weaved into the delightful romance of "Kenilworth."
Of the goose and posts, we can suggest no better explanation than that the goose was intended for poor Amy, and the cross posts for the Protector Somerset, and his rival Dudley Duke of Northumberland, both of whom were bred to the devil's trade, ambition. Others may be possessed of more successful elucidation. At all events, it is plain that the people had a very suspicious opinion of Leicester, amounting to this, that he was a great rascal, who played a deep game, and stuck at nothing which he could do without danger to himself.—Gentleman's Magazine.
[ 1] We believe, in Evans's collection.
[ 2] It is only three miles from Oxford, and six or seven from Abingdon.
[ 3] His general mode of murder was by poison; and it is said, that he so perished himself.
* * * * *
It appears that, on an average of the fifteen years previous to the revolution, about twenty-two millions of dollars were exported, and that there was an accumulation of about two millions. Since the revolution, the exports have averaged 13,587,052 dollars, while the produce has decreased to eleven millions. This change was the natural consequence of the revolution. The favourable accounts of Humboldt excited a spirit of speculation that was wholly regardless of passing events; and the Act of Congress, facilitating the co-operation of foreigners with the natives, produced a mania which has been destructive to numberless individuals, who trusted too much to names. Seven English companies, with a capital of at least three millions, were established, and these were followed by two American, and one German, companies. Such was the rage for mining on the Royal Exchange, that for a time it was only necessary for any one to appear with contracts made with Mexican mine owners to establish a company. Many who were so ignorant as not even to know the difference between a shaft and a level, commenced speculators, not for the purpose of fairly earning a reward for doing some service to those to whom they offered their mines, but to fill their own purses without reference to consequences. Such a system of unprincipled conduct could not last; almost all the minor performers have been driven from the stage, and the respectable associations alone maintain their footing, though the want of returns for the immense sums invested has tended to produce a general want of confidence.
Since these enterprises have been undertaken, an immense and fruitless expenditure has been incurred by sending out machinery, which could be of no earthly use—by despising the native processes, and substituting others that have been found wholly inapplicable—and by introducing British labourers, who when abroad reverse all the good qualities for which they are valuable at home. A reform in this system we believe to have been generally adopted, and we are sure that a reduction of expense, a management purely European, and native labour, with only such modifications in working, smelting, or amalgamating, as experience will prove to be advantageous, will, in a moderate time, return the capital already expended, with a commensurate advantage. But these things can only take place provided the public tranquillity be maintained, and the government keep their engagements with foreigners inviolate. The insecurity arising from the domestic feuds now disturbing this fine country, must, if it continues, finally annihilate its best resources.—Foreign Quarterly Review.
* * * * *
Of the abhorrence with which the Dutch regard the French tongue, the following lines of Bilderdyk are an amusing example:—
Begone, thou bastard-tongue! so base—so broken— By human jackals and hyaenas spoken; Formed for a race of infidels, and fit To laugh at truth—and scepticize in wit; What stammering, snivelling sounds, which scarcely dare, Bravely through nasal channels meet the ear— Yet helped by apes' grimaces—and the devil, Have ruled the world, and ruled the world for evil!
* * * * *
One of the pamphlets of the age of the Commonwealth is said, in the title-page, to be
Printed in the year That sea-coal was exceeding dear.
The remembrance of this inconvenience, which the Londoners had suffered during the stoppage of their supply from Newcastle, made "the committees of both kingdoms conclude and agree among themselves, that some of the most notorious delinquents and malignants, late coal-owners in the town of Newcastle, be wholly excluded from intermeddling with any shares or parts of colleries;" "but as the parliament might find a difficulty in driving on the trade, they did not conceive it for their service to put out all the said malignants at once, but were rather constrained, for the present, to make use of those delinquents in working their own collieries as tenants and servants." The more stubborn and wealthy, therefore, were selected for example; and the others had this favour shown them.
* * * * *
LADY-POETS OF ENGLAND.
The following is a Frenchman's expression of homage to our modern female poets, in which we excel all the world:—
It is remarkable, that in the latter years of the eighteenth century, and also during the whole course of our revolution, there appeared in England a whole school, as it were, of female authors, whose pure and graceful productions are disfigured by no exaggerations, nor are they of that sombre character which distinguishes the modern literature of their country. Of the lady-authors of England, the most celebrated is Lady Wortley Montagu, the contemporary of Pope, who has left poems, but more especially letters, highly remarkable for their talent and philosophy. It is impossible to give here the names of the authoresses who appeared all on a sudden about half a century after Lady Wortley Montagu. One of the earliest of them was a lady of the same name, Mrs. E. Montagu, the author of the Essays on Shakspeare, and Mrs. Anna Laetitia Barbauld, who wrote numerous poems and admirable hymns for children. There is great beauty in the Epistle of Mrs. Barbauld to Wilberforce, on the subject of the Abolition of the Slave Trade (1781.) Mrs. Hannah More has also written several works of religious fiction, and above all, some charming poems; Florio (1786,) and the Blue Stocking, or Conversation. The Blue Stocking is a burlesque name given to a lady's coterie, in which several females attempted to start a sort of bureau d'esprit under the direction of Mesdames Robinson and Piozzi, a coterie innocent enough, but which excited the wrath of Mr. Gifford, the Editor of the Quarterly Review, who fulminated against it several satires in excessively bad taste, and written in a tone of disgusting pedantry. The verses of Mr. Gifford are infinitely more ridiculous than those he pretends to correct. Amongst the English ladies who have written romance, Miss Edgeworth, Mrs. Inchbald, and Lady Morgan, are worthy of especial note. Several ladies, without having written works of great importance, have still produced poetical pieces of graceful beauty; in this number it is but justice to distinguish Mrs. Opie. And lastly, in order to finish this hasty catalogue, we may remark that there have appeared in England, in our days, several ladies of a high order of literary, poetical, and at the same time, philosophical talent. Lady Morgan herself has contrived to mix up history and romance in her writings, with great ability; but among the ladies, who inscribed their fame on monuments more durable than romantic stories, we must select for honourable mention the names of Joanna Baillie, Aikin, Benger, and Helen Maria Williams. Miss Baillie, sister of the celebrated Dr. Baillie, the physician, is a woman of the highest talent. It is not your pretty nothings, your elegant trifles, which occupy her genius; on the contrary, she has attempted in a series of dramatic pieces, to paint the most energetic passion of the human heart; and her pieces, written in the most elevated and Shakspearian tone, will always be regarded as the work of a superior mind. John Kemble, in the part of Montfort, reached the sublime of agony. In the writings of Miss Baillie there is a combination of the solemn and the poetical, which is rarely observed in women. Miss Aikin has written some charming poems, far more beautiful than any I have met with in the writings of Miss Landon and Miss Mitford. The Mouse's Petition, by Miss Aikin, is a chef-d'oeuvre. Miss Benger has published some historical works of great interest, which place her in the same line with Miss Aikin. Lastly, there is Helen Maria Williams, whose muse, half English, half French, has published poems, sonnets, and other pieces of verse, besides several political and historical works. This superior woman, at the same time that she gave birth, under the influence of sensibility and fancy, to works of inspiration, portrayed the details of the events of the French revolution, in the centre of which she threw herself, in 1792, from pure enthusiasm for liberty.—Foreign Quarterly Review.
* * * * *
"No commentator," says Judge Hall, in his Letters from the West, "has taken any notice of Linch's Law, which was once the lex loci of the frontiers. Its operation was as follows:—When a horse thief, a counterfeiter, or any other desperate vagabond, infested a neighbourhood, evading justice by cunning, or by a strong arm, or by the number of his confederates, the citizens formed themselves into a "regulating company," a kind of holy brotherhood, whose duty was to purge the community of its unruly members. Mounted, armed, and commanded by a leader, they proceeded to arrest such notorious offenders as were deemed fit subjects of exemplary justice; their operations were generally carried on in the night. Squire Birch, who was personated by one of the party, established his tribunal under a tree in the woods, and the culprit was brought before him, tried, and generally convicted; he was then tied to a tree, lashed without mercy, and ordered to leave the country within a given time, under pain of a second visitation. It seldom happened that more than one or two were thus punished; their confederates took the hint and fled, or were admonished to quit the neighbourhood."
* * * * *
The following odd story is related respecting a monument in a chapel, adjoining Stene, a fine family seat in the north:—The sculptor, in that vile taste which seems to have originated in an unhappy design of making every thing connected with the grave revolting to our feelings, had ornamented this monument with "a very ghastly, grinning alabaster skull;" and the bishop one day expressed a wish to his domestic chaplain, Dr. Grey, that it had not been placed there. Grey, upon this, sent to Banbury for the sculptor, and consulted with him whether it was not possible to convert it into a soothing, instead of a painful object. After some consideration, the artist declared that the only thing into which he could possibly convert it was—a bunch of grapes! and accordingly, at this day, a bunch of grapes may be seen upon the monument; for the chapel, which for a time had been abandoned to the rooks and daws who built their nests among the monuments, has been repaired, and is now united to the rectory of Hinton.
* * * * *
It is easier to induce people to follow than to set an example—however good it may be both for themselves and others, most men have a silly squeamishness about proposing an adjournment from the dinner table. The host, fearing that his guest may take it for a token that he loves his wine better than his friends, is obliged to feign an unwillingness to leave the bottle, and, as Sponge says—"In good truth, 'tis impossible, nay, I say it is impudent, to contradict any gentleman at his own table; the president is always the wisest man in the party."
"Be of our patron's mind, whate'er he says; Sleep very much, think little, and talk less; Mind neither good nor bad, nor right nor wrong, But eat your pudding, fool, and hold your tongue."
Therefore his friends, unless a special commission be given to them for that purpose, feel unwilling to break the gay circle of conviviality, and are individually shy of asking for what almost every one wishes.—Kitchiner.
* * * * *
Though much has been done, the orthography of the Dutch language can hardly be considered as positively fixed. A witty writer and one who has biographized the Dutch poets with some severity, but much talent, says—
Spell—"Wereld "—so sets up Siegenbeek, and then Comes Bilderdyk, and flings it down again. He will have "Wareld"—'Tis a pretty quarrel Shall I determine who shall wear the laurel: Not I!—I like them both—and so I'll say "Waereld"—and each shall have his own dear way.
* * * * *
THE MEXICAN NAVY
Is in a most deplorable state. The difficulty of reducing the Castle of San Juan de Ulloa led to the collection of some gun-boats, a couple of sloops of war, and two or three armed schooners. This number has since received the addition of a line of battle ship, two frigates, and some other vessels of war. Some English and American officers were engaged, but we believe that all the former have left the service, and that very few of the latter remain. Commodore Porter, of vain-glorious memory, (who once wrote a book of Voyages,) was, and may be still, the marine commandant, and distinguished himself by threatening to blockade Cuba, and by being obliged to skulk at Key West, to avoid destruction by the gallant Laborde. The Mexicans require no navy, and cannot maintain one; the sooner, therefore, they restrict it to a very few revenue cutters the better. The nature of the country and the destructive climate of the coast, diminish greatly the necessity for keeping up a military establishment for external defence. Foreign invasion can do little; more is to be dreaded from internal dissensions.—Foreign Quarterly Review.
* * * * *
A prudent host, who is not in the humour to submit to an attack from "staunch topers," "who love to keep it up" as bons vivants, whose favourite song is ever "Fly not yet," will engage some sober friends to fight on his side, and at a certain hour to vote for "no more wine," and bravely demand "tea," and will select his company with as much care as a chemist composes a neutral salt, judiciously providing quite as large a proportion of alkali (tea men) as he has of acid (wine men.) To adjust the balance of power at the court of Bacchus, occasionally requires as much address as sagacious politicians say is sometimes requisite to direct the affairs of other courts.
To make the summons of the tea table serve as an effective ejectment to the dinner table, let it be announced as a special invitation from the lady of the house. It may be, for example, "Mrs. Souchong requests the pleasure of your company to the drawing-room." This is an irresistible mandamus.
"Though Bacchus may boast of his care-killing bowl, And Folly in thought drowning revels delight, Such worship soon loses its charms for the soul, When softer devotions our senses invite."
* * * * *
It has been long observed that the infusion of tea made in silver, or polished metal tea-pots, is stronger than that which is produced in black, or other kinds of earthenware pots. This is explained on the principle, that polished surfaces retain heat much better than dark, rough surfaces, and that, consequently, the caloric being confined in the former case, must act more powerfully than in the latter.
It is further certain, that the silver or metal pot, when filled a second time, produces worse tea than the earthenware vessel; and that it is advisable to use the earthenware pot, unless a silver or metal one can be procured sufficiently large to contain at once all that may be required. These facts are readily explained by considering, that the action of heat retained by the silver vessel so far exhausts the herb as to leave very little soluble substance for a second infusion; whereas the reduced temperature of the water in the earthenware pot, by extracting only a small proportion at first, leaves some soluble matter for the action of a subsequent infusion.
The reason for pouring boiling water into the tea-pot before the infusion of the tea is made, is, that the vessel being previously warm, may abstract less heat from the mixture, and thus admit a more powerful action. Neither is it difficult to explain the fact why the infusion of tea is stronger if only a small quantity of boiling water be first used, and more be added some time afterwards; for if we consider that only the water immediately in contact with the herb can act upon it, and that it cools very rapidly, especially in earthenware vessels, it is clear that the effect will be greater where the heat is kept up by additions of boiling water, than where the vessel is filled at once, and the fluid suffered gradually to cool.
When the infusion has once been completed, it is found that any further addition of the herb only affords a very small increase in the strength, the water having cooled much below the boiling point, and consequently, acting very slightly.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE HUMAN EAR.
The ear consists of three principal divisions, viz. the external, intermediate, and internal ear. The different parts of the first division, or external ear, are described by anatomists under the name of the helix, antihelix, tragus, antitragus, the lobe, cavitas innominata, the scapha, and the concha. In the middle of the external ear is the meatus, or passage, which varies in length in different individuals. The external or outward ear is designed by nature to stand prominent, and to bear its proportion in the symmetry of the head, but in Europe it is greatly flattened by the pressure of the dress; it consists chiefly of elastic cartilage, formed with different hollows, or sinuosities, all leading into each other, and finally terminating in the concha, or immediate opening into the tube of the ear. This form is admirably adapted for the reception of sound, for collecting and retaining it, so that it may not pass off, or be sent too rapidly to the seat of the impression. There have been a few instances of men who had the power of moving the external ear in a similar manner to that of animals; but these instances are very rare, and rather deviations from the general structure; nor did it appear in these instances that such individuals heard more acutely: a proof that such a structure would be of no advantage to the human subject. With respect to the external ear in man, whether it is completely removed either by accident or design, deafness ensues, although its partial removal is not attended with this inconvenience: the external ear, therefore, or something in its form to collect sound, is a necessary part of the organ.
The next division is the intermediate ear; it consists of the tympanum, mastoid cells, and Eustachian tube. The tympanum contains four small delicate bones, viz. the malleus, the incus, the stapes, and the os orbiculare, joined to the incus. The intermediate ear displays an irregular cavity, having a membrane, called the membrana tympani, stretched across its extremity; and this cavity has a communication with the external air, through the Eustachian tube, which leads into the fauces, or throat. The membrane of the tympanum is intended to carry the vibrations of the atmosphere, collected by the outward ear, to the chain of bones which form the peculiar mechanism of the tympanum. Besides the effect of the hard and bony parts of the ear in increasing the power of sound, the tension of the different membranes is also a requisite: thus various muscles are so situated as to put the membrane on the stretch, that the sound, striking upon it, may, from its tension, similar to that of the parchment of a drum-head, have full influence upon the sense. In respect to its tension, the membrane of the tympanum may be also compared, not unaptly, to the string of a violin, or musical instrument, even more properly than to a drum; as the state of tension and relaxation in such chords produces a variety of sound in the instrument, so, in the same manner, circumstances, which affect the tension and relaxation of the tympanum, vary most perceptibly its powers of action, and the customary agency of the organ. Its four bones act mechanically, in consequence of the power of the local muscles: they strike like the key of an instrument, and produce a percussion on the nerves of the tympanum. Not only may the membrane of the tympanum be partially destroyed, and hearing be preserved, but the small bones of the tympanum have been in certain cases lost, or have come away, from ulceration, and through a constitutional or other cause; but in such cases it appears that the stapes was, in most instances, left, and thus the openings of the fenestra ovata and fenestra rotunda were preserved, which prevented the escape of sound from the labyrinth and internal parts. With respect to the Eustachian tube, its aperture into the throat seems indispensable to hearing; and whenever closed, from malconfirmation or disease, deafness is the certain consequence.
The third division of the organ is the internal ear, which is called the labyrinth; it is divided into the vestibule, three semicircular canals, and the cochlea: the whole are incased within the petrous portion of the temporal bone. The internal ear may be considered as the actual seat of the organ; it consists of a nervous expansion of high sensibility, the sentient extremities of which spread in every direction, and in the most minute manner; inosculating with each other, and forming plexus, by which the auricular sense is increased. Here, also, sound is collected and retained by the mastoid cells and cochlea. To this apparatus is added the presence of a fluid, contained in sacs and membranes; as this fluid is in large quantities in some animals, there is no doubt it is intended as an additional means for enforcing the impression: the known influence of water, as a powerful medium or conductor of sound, strengthens this idea. The internal ear of man, therefore, has all the known varieties of apparatus, which are only partially present in other classes of the creation; and its perfection is best judged of, by considering the variety or form of the internal ear of other animals. The internal ear of some animals consists of little more than a sac of fluid, on which is expanded a small nervous pulp; according to the situation of this, whether the creature lives in water, or is partially exposed to the air, it has an external opening with the ear, or otherwise.—Lecture delivered at the Royal Institution, May 30, 1828—by J.H. Curtis, Esq.
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles. SHAKSPEARE.
* * * * *
Of Nathaniel Lloyd, Esq. Twickenham, Middlesex.
What I am going to bequeath, When this frail part submits to death; But still I hope the spark divine, With its congenial stars shall shine. My good executors, fulfil } I pray ye, fairly my goodwill } With first and second codicil, } And first, I give to dear Lord Hinton, At Twyford School, now not at Winton, One hundred guineas for a ring, Or some such memorandum thing, And truly much I should have blundered, Had I not given another hundred To Vere, Earl Powlett's second son, Who dearly loves a little fun. Unto my nephew, Robert Langdon, Of whom none says he e'er has wrong done, Though civil law he loves to hash, I give two hundred pounds in cash. One hundred pounds to my niece, Tuder, (With loving eyes one Brandon view'd her,) And to her children just among 'em, In equal shares I freely give them. To Charlotte Watson and Mary Lee, If they with Lady Poulett be, Because they round the year did dwell In Twickenham house, and served full well, When Lord and Lady both did stray Over the hills and far away, The first ten pounds, the other twenty, And girls, I hope, that will content ye. In seventeen hundred and sixty-nine, This with my hand I write and sign, The sixteenth day of fair October, In merry mood, but sound and sober, Past my three-score and fifteenth year, With spirits gay, and conscience clear, Joyous and frolicsome, though old, And like this day, serene but cold, To friends well wishing, and to friends most kind, In perfect charity with all mankind.
* * * * *
An Irish gentleman being accustomed to take a walk early every morning, was met by an acquaintance, about ten o'clock, who asking him if he had been taking his morning's walk, was answered in the negative, but, added the honest Hibernian, "I intend to take it in the afternoon."
* * * * *
A French writer having lampooned a nobleman, was caned by him for his licentious wit; when, applying to the Duke of Orleans, then Regent, and begging him to do him justice, the duke replied, with a smile, "Sir, it has been done already."
* * * * *
LIMBIRD'S EDITION OF THE Following Novels is already Published:
s. d. Mackenzie's Man of Feeling 0 6 Paul and Virginia 0 6 The Castle of Otranto 0 6 Almoran and Hamet 0 6 Elizabeth, or the Exiles of Siberia 0 6 The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne 0 6 Rasselas 0 8 The Old English Baron 0 8 Nature and Art 0 8 Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield 0 10 Sicilian Romance 1 0 The Man of the World 1 0 A Simple Story 1 4 Joseph Andrews 1 6 Humphry Clinker 1 8 The Romance of the Forest 1 8 The Italian 2 0 Zeluco, by Dr. Moore 2 6 Edward, by Dr. Moore 2 6 Roderick Random 2 6 The Mysteries of Udolpho 3 6 Peregrine Pickle 4 6