The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, David King, and the Online Distributed
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
Vol. 19, No. 545] SATURDAY, MAY 5, 1832 [Price 2d.
* * * * *
ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS, REGENTS'S PARK.
[Illustration: Emu Enclosure]
[Illustration: Pelican Enclosure]
[Illustration: Aviary for Small Birds]
Our strolls to this scene of intellectual amusement, (or "the gardens
with a long name," as Lord Mulgrave's new heroine naively calls them,)
are neither few nor far between. The acquaintance is of some standing,
since _The Mirror_ was the first journal that contained any pictorial
representation of these Gardens, or any connected notice of the
animals. At that time the Society had not published their "List," and
our twopenny guide was common in the hands of visiters. We do not ask
for the thanks of the Council in contributing to their annual receipts,
now usually amounting to L10,000.: we were studying the interest of our
readers, which uniformly brings its own reward. The first of the present
illustrations is the _Emu Enclosure_, in the old Garden. Several broods
of _Emus_ have been reared by the Society at their Farm at Kingston
Hill; and some of the year's birds are usually exhibited here. Next is
the _Pelican Enclosure_, containing a house of mimic rock-work, and a
capacious tank of water, the favourite element of the Pelican. One pair
in mature plumage, and a second pair, supposed to be the young of the
same species, are exhibited. The third Cut is the _Aviary for small and
middle-sized birds_, at the north-eastern corner of the Garden. Here are
kept various British Birds, as the different species of Crows and Song
Birds. The bamboo ornaments of the building are not, therefore, of the
appropriate character that we so much admire elsewhere in the Gardens.
 The _Literary Gazette_ first published the Ground Plan of
the Zoological Gardens, from a lithograph circulated among the
members, towards the close of the year 1827. In seeking to do
ourselves justice, we must not forget others. Our first
Engraving, a _Bird's Eye View of the Gardens_ from an original
sketch, appeared in No. 330, of _The Mirror_, September 6, 1828.
[Illustration: "Happy Jerry"]
The individual with this felicitous _soubriquet_, was a specimen of the
great Mandrill Baboon, in its adult state, the _Papio Maimon_ of
Geoffrey, and the _Cynocephalus Maimon_ of Desmarest. It is a native of
the Gold Coast and Guinea, in Africa, where whole droves of them often
plunder the orchards and vineyards. Their colours are greyish brown,
inclining to olive above; the cheeks are blue and furrowed, and the chin
has a sharp-pointed orange beard; the nose grows red, especially towards
the end, where it becomes of a bright scarlet. Such are, however, only
the colours of the adult animal; the young differs materially, on which
account it has been considered by naturalists as a distinct species.
Jerry is now a member of death's "antic court," but his necrology may be
interesting to the reader. Mr. Cross describes him as "from on board a
slave vessel that had been captured off the Gold Coast, in the year
1815," when he was supposed to be three years old. He was landed at
Bristol, and was there purchased by the proprietor of a travelling
menagerie, who kept him for some years, and taught him the various
accomplishments he after excelled in, as sitting in a chair, smoking,
drinking grog, &c.; probably he required but little tuition in the
latter; since we find a fondness for fermented liquors numbered among
his habits by the biographers of his species. In 1828, Jerry was
purchased by Mr. Cross, and exhibited at the King's Mews, when he
appeared in full vigour, and attracted a large number of daily visitors.
He was fed daily from the table of his owner, and almost made a parlour
guest; taking tea, toast, bread and butter, soup, boiled and roast
meats, vegetables, pastry, &c., with as much _gout_ as any member of a
club in his vicinity. In 1829, his eccentricities reached the royal ear
at Windsor, and George the Fourth, (whose partiality to _exotics_,
animate or inanimate, was well known,) sent an "express command" that
Jerry should attend at the Castle. The invitations of royalty are always
undeclinable, and Jerry obeyed accordingly. The King was much amused
with his visiter, and, says our informant, "his Majesty was delighted at
seeing him eat the state dinner, consisting of venison, &c., which had
been prepared for him." Thus, Jerry was not in the parlous state
described by Touchstone: he was not damned, like the poor shepherd: _he_
had been to court. He had also learnt good and gallant manners. He
recognised many of his frequent visiters, and if any female among them
was laid hold of, in his presence, he would bristle with rage, strike
the bars of his cage with tremendous force, and violently gnash his
teeth at the ungallant offender.
 This reminds us of the attachment of the late Duke of
Norfolk to his dogs. They were admitted to the apartment in
which his Grace dined; and he often selected the fine cuts from
joints at table, and threw the pieces to the curs upon the
polished oak floors of Aruudel Castle.
In the autumn of 1831, Jerry's health began to decline, and he was
accordingly removed from Charing Cross to the suburban salubrity of the
Surrey Zoological Gardens. All was of no avail: though, as a biographer
would say of a nobler animal, every remedy was tried to restore him to
health. Life's fitful fever was well nigh over with him, and in the
month of December last--he died. His body was opened and examined, when
it appeared that his death was through old age; and, although he had
been a free liver, and, as Mr. Cross facetely observes, "was not a
member of a Temperance Society," his internal organization did not seem
to have suffered in the way usually consequent upon hard drinking.
Perhaps a few ascetic advocates of cant and care-wearing abstinence will
think that we ought to conceal this exceptionable fact, lest Jerry's
example should be more frequently followed. Justice demands otherwise;
and as the biographers of old tell us that Alexander the Great died of
hard-drinking, so ought we to record that Happy Jerry's life was not
shortened by the imperial propensity: in this case, the monkey has beat
the man: proverbially, the man beats the monkey. Jerry had, however, his
share of ailment: he had been a martyr to that love-pain, the
tooth-ache; several of his large molar teeth being entirely decayed.
This circumstance accounted for the gloomy appearance he would sometimes
put on, and his covering his head with his hands, and laying it in his
chair. Poor fellow! we could have sympathized with him from our very
hearts--we mean teeth. Jerry's remains have been carefully embalmed, (we
hope in his favourite spirit,) and are now at the Surrey Gardens; where
the arrival of a living congener is daily expected. Meanwhile, will
nobody write the _hic jacet_ of the deceased? or no publisher engage for
his reminiscences? Mr. Cross would probably supply the skeleton--of the
memoir--not of his poor dead Jerry. What tales could he have told of the
slave-stricken people of the Gold Coast, what horrors of the slave-ship
whence he was taken, what a fine graphic picture of his voyage, and his
travels in England, _a la Prince Puckler Muskau_, not forgetting his
visit to Windsor Castle.
Baboons may be rendered docile in confinement; though they almost always
retain the disposition to revenge an injury. At the Cape, they are often
caught when young, and brought up with milk; perhaps Jerry was so
nurtured; and Kolben tells us, that they will become as watchful over
their master's property as the most valuable house-dog is in Europe.
Many of the Hottentots believe they can speak, but that they avoid doing
so lest they should be enslaved, and compelled to work! What a libel
upon human nature is conveyed in this trait of savage credulity. The
bitterest reproofs of man's wickedness are not only to be found in the
varnished lessons of civilization. Here is a touching piece of
simplicity upon which James Montgomery might found a whole poem.
Baboons, in their native countries, are sometimes hunted with dogs, but
their chase is often fatal to the assailants. Mr. Burchell tells us that
several of his dogs were wounded by the bites of baboons, and two or
three dogs were thus bitten asunder. A species of baboon common in
Ceylon, often attains the height of man. It is very fearless; and Bishop
Heber relates that an acquaintance of his having on one occasion shot a
young baboon, the mother came boldly up and wrested the gun out of his
hand without doing him any injury.
* * * * *
By way of pendent, we add the present state of THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY,
from the report just completed.
Gross amount of the income of last year L17,633
Being an increase over the preceding year of 1,857
Receipts of four months of the past year 3,330
Receipts of corresponding months of the present year 3,755
_Receipts of the Society since its formation_
In 1827 L 4,079
Total since its formation L63,053
_Visiters to the Gardens_.
In 1830--224,745 paying 9,773L
_Visiters to the Museum_.
In 1831--11,636 paying 333L
Number of Fellows 2,074
 These items, which are not quite correct, are from the
_Morning Chronicle_ report.
The Society have obtained a grant of nine acres and a half of land, in
the Regent's Park, contiguous to their gardens; and they intend to
devote 1,000_l_. annually to the improvement of the Museum.
* * * * *
THE CURFEW BELL.
(_To the Editor_.)
Observing in your No. 543, some remarks relating to the ancient custom
of ringing the Curfew Bell, and that _Reginald_, your correspondent, had
withheld the name of the village where he heard the Curfew rang, I am
led to suppose that it may not be uninteresting to your readers to be
informed, that at Saint Helen's Church, Abingdon, this custom is still
continued; the bell is rung at eight o'clock every night, and four
o'clock every morning, during the winter months; why it is rung in the
morning I do not know; perhaps some of your readers can inform me. There
are eight bells in Saint Helen's tower, but the fifth or sixth is
generally used as the Curfew, to distinguish it from the death-bell, for
which purpose the tenor is used, and is rung at the same time at night
if a death has happened in the course of the day, and for that night
supersedes the necessity of ringing the Curfew. The Curfew Bell is rung,
and not tolled, as _Reginald_ states: therefore, what he heard, I
suppose to have been the death bell. M.D.
(_From another Correspondent_.)
The custom of tolling the Curfew is still retained in the town of
Sandwich, to which place your correspondent, _Reginald_, no doubt
alludes, as the sea-shore is distant about two miles; hence is
distinctly visible the red glare of the Lighthouse on Ramsgate Pier, as
also the North Foreland. G.C.
* * * * *
COIN OF EDWARD III.
(_For the Mirror_.)
A beautiful gold coin, a noble of the reign of Edward III., was
discovered, some time since, by the workmen employed in excavating the
river Witham, in the city of Lincoln. The coin is in excellent
preservation. The impress represents the half-length figure of Edward in
a ship, holding a sword in the right hand, and in the left a sceptre and
shield, with the inscription "EDWARDUS DEI GRA. REX ANGL., DYS. HYB. ET
AGT." On the shield are the arms of England and France quarterly. On the
reverse, a cross fleury with lionaux, inscribed, "JESVS AUTEM TRANSIENS
PER MEDIUM ILLORUM IBAT." These coins are very scarce, and remarkable as
being the first impressed with the figure of a ship; this is said to
have been done to commemorate the victory obtained by Edward over the
French fleet off Sluys, on Midsummer-day, 1340, and which is supposed to
have suggested to Edward the idea of claiming superiority over every
other maritime power--a dominion which his successors have now
maintained for nearly five hundred years. W.G.C.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
An ancient medal, or coin, ornamented with jewels, was purchased, a few
years since, of one of the descendants of Penderell, to whom it was
presented by Charles II., as a valuable token of his gratitude for
certain protection afforded by him to that prince, when endeavouring to
effect his escape in disguise from England, in the year 1648. It
consists of a gold coin of Ferdinand II., dated 1638, surrounded by a
row of sixteen brilliants enchased in silver, enriched with blue enamel,
and bearing the motto, "_Usque ad aris fidelis_." The reverse is also
enameled, and the jewel is intended to be worn as an ornament to the
* * * * *
PECUNIARY COMPENSATION FOR PERSONAL INJURIES.
(_For the Mirror_.)
The present laws which enable a person to obtain pecuniary compensation
for personal injuries, appear to be founded on very ancient precedent.
Mr. Sharon Turner, in his History of the Anglo-Saxons, gives a statement
of the sums at which our ancestors valued the various parts of their
earthly tenements. He says "Homer is celebrated for discriminating the
wounds of his heroes with anatomical precision. The Saxon legislators
were not less anxious to distinguish between the different wounds to
which the body is liable, and which from their laws, we infer that they
frequently suffered. In their most ancient laws these were the
"The loss of an eye or of a leg, appears to have been considered as the
most aggravated injury that could arise from an assault, and was
therefore punished by the highest fine, or fifty shillings.
"To be made lame, was the next most considerable offence, and the
compensation for it was thirty shillings.
"For a wound which caused deafness, twenty-five shillings.
"To lame the shoulder, divide the chine bone, cut off the thumb, pierce
the diaphragm, or to tear off the hair and fracture the skull, was each
punished by a fine of twenty shillings.
"For cutting off the little finger, eleven shillings.
"For cutting off the great toe, or for tearing off the hair entirely,
"For piercing the nose, nine shillings.
"For cutting off the fore finger, eight shillings.
"For cutting off the gold-finger, for every wound in the thigh, for
wounding the ear, for piercing both cheeks, for cutting either nostril,
for each of the front teeth, for breaking the jaw bone, for breaking an
arm, six shillings.
"For seizing the hair so as to hurt the bone, for the loss of either of
the eye teeth, or the middle finger, four shillings.
"For pulling the hair so that the bone become visible, for piercing the
ear or one cheek, for cutting off the thumb nail, for the first double
tooth, for wounding the nose with the fist, for wounding the elbow, for
breaking a rib, or for wounding the vertebrae, three shillings.
"For every nail (probably of the fingers) and for every tooth beyond the
first double tooth, one shilling.
"For seizing the hair, fifty scoettas.
"For the nail of the great toe, thirty scoettas.
"For every other nail, ten scoettas."
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE POETRY OF ANCIENT DAYS.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Little Jack Horner, sat in a corner,
Eating a Christmas pie,
He pulled out a plum with his finger and thumb,
And said what a good boy am I.
Of all the poems that delight our infancy, there is no one perhaps which
makes a more lasting impression on the memory and the imagination, than
the preceding. The name of its author is lost in the shades of remote
antiquity; and even the century when it first made its appearance, has
eluded the vigilance of antiquarian research. Before entering upon its
poetical merits, we must observe a striking peculiarity in the diction:
there is not a single word in it, but that is of Anglo-Saxon origin, so
that it may be considered as an admirable specimen of pure English, and
as calculated to inspire the infant mind with a distaste for the
numerous exotic terms, which, in the present age, disfigure our
language. It has been well remarked in the review of that ancient poem,
Jack and Jill, that the reader's interest in the hero and heroine is not
divided with subordinate characters. But the poem of Jack Horner
possesses this excellence in a more eminent degree; in the former the
interest, is divided between two, in the latter it is concentrated in
one; and, notwithstanding the ingenuity of the reviewer, it must be
confessed that so little is indicated by the poet, as to the character
of Jack and Jill, that we feel no more interest in their fate, tragical
as it is, than if they were designated by the letters X and Y of
algebraical notoriety; or by the names of those personages, who figure
in legal fictions, John Doe and Richard Roe.
Not so with Jack Horner: the very incident recorded in the first line
lets us into his character; he is evidently a lover of solitude and of
solitary contemplation. He is not, however, a gloomy ascetic; he takes
into his corner a Christmas pie, and, while he leisurely gratifies his
palate, his mind feasts on the higher luxury of an approving conscience.
It has been said that the man who loves solitude must be either an angel
or a demon. Horner had more of the former in his composition; he retired
from the busy haunts of his playmates not to meditate mischief, but to
feast upon the pie, which had probably been given him as a reward for
his good conduct, and indulge in the delightful thoughts to which the
consciousness of deserving it gave rise. But here it may be objected,
why instead of eating his pie in a corner, did he not share it with his
companions? The remark is pertinent, but the circumstance only evinces
the admirable management of the poet; to represent his hero without a
defect would be to outrage nature, and to render imitation hopeless.
Horner, it must be admitted, with all his excellence, was too fond of
good eating; it is in vain to deny it; his deliberately pulling out a
plum with his finger and thumb, shows the epicure, not excited by the
voracity of hunger, but evidently aiming to protract his enjoyment. The
exclamation which follows savours of vanity; but when his youth is
recollected, this will be deemed a venial error, and it must also be
considered that his few faults were probably compensated by a
constellation of excellencies. This poem has been imitated, (I will not
say successfully, for its beautiful simplicity is in fact inimitable,)
by one of the greatest statesmen and classical scholars of the present
century, Mr. Canning; and it is melancholy to reflect that, while a
monument is erecting to the memory of the latter and his name lives in
the mouths of men, all traces of that original poet, whose inspirations
he sought to imitate, are entirely lost. The lines of Mr. Canning are to
be found in his "Loves of the Triangles:"
Thus youthful Homer rolled the roguish eye.
Culled the dark plum from out the Christmas pie,
And cried in self applause, how good a boy am I.
* * * * *
* * * * *
GEORGE THE FIRST.
Previously to the King's arrival in this country, a proclamation had
been issued, offering, in case the Pretender should land in any part of
the British isles, the sum of 100,000_l_. for his apprehension. At the
first masquerade which the King attended in this country, an unknown
lady, in a domino, invited him to drink a glass of wine at one of the
side-tables; he readily assented, and the lady filling a bumper, said,
"Here, mask, the Pretender's health."--Then filling another glass, she
presented it to the King, who received it with a smile, saying, "I
drink, with all my heart, to the health of every unfortunate prince."
The person of the King, says Walpole, is as perfect in my memory as if I
saw him but yesterday: it was that of an elderly man, rather pale, and
exactly like his pictures and coins; not tall, of an aspect rather good
than august, with a dark tie wig, a plain coat, waistcoat and breeches,
of snuff-coloured cloth, with stockings of the same colour, and a blue
riband over all.
He often dined, after shooting, at Sir Robert Walpole's house on
Richmond Hill; where he indulged his partiality for punch to such an
extent, that the Duchess of Kendal enjoined the Germans who usually
accompanied him, to restrain him from drinking too much: but they went
about their task with so little address, that the King took offence, and
silenced them by the coarsest epithets in their mother tongue.
He appears to have entertained a very low opinion of the political
integrity of his courtiers, and the honesty of his household. He laughed
at the complaints made by Sir Robert Walpole against the Hanoverians,
for selling places; and would not believe that the custom was not
sanctioned by his English advisers and attendants. Soon after his first
arrival in this country, a favourite cook, whom he had brought from
Hanover grew melancholy, and wanted to return home. The King having
inquired why he wanted to quit his household, the fellow replied, "I
have long served your Majesty honestly, not suffering any thing to be
embezzled in your kitchen; but here, the dishes no sooner come from your
table, than one steals a fowl, another a pig, a third a joint of meat, a
fourth a pie, and so on, till the whole is gone; and I cannot bear to
see your Majesty so injured!" The King, laughing heartily, said, "My
revenues here enable me to bear these things; and, to reconcile you to
your place, do you steal like the rest, and mind you take enough." The
cook followed this advice, and soon became a very expert thief.
Toland says, in a pamphlet published about the year 1705, I need give no
more particular proof of the King's frugality in laying out the public
money, than that all the expenses of his court, as to eating, drinking,
fire, candles, and the like, are duly paid every Saturday night; the
officers of his army receive their pay every month, and all the civil
list are cleared every half year. He was greatly annoyed by the want of
confidence in his economy, displayed by his British subjects; lamenting
to his private friends that he had left his electorate to become a
begging King; and adding, that he thought it very hard to be constantly
opposed in his application for supplies, which it was his intention to
employ for the benefit of the nation.
The account of the death of George the First was first brought to
Walpole, in a dispatch from Townshend, who had accompanied that monarch
to the continent. The minister instantly repaired to the palace at
Richmond. The new King had then retired to take his usual afternoon nap.
On being informed that his father was dead, he could scarcely be brought
to put faith in the intelligence, until told that the minister was
waiting in the ante-chamber with Lord Townshend's despatch. At length,
he received Walpole, who, kneeling, kissed his hand, and inquired whom
he would please to appoint to draw up the address to the Privy Council.
"Sir Spencer Compton," replied the King, an answer which signified Sir
* * * * *
DEATH OF QUEEN CAROLINE.
When very near her end, she inquired of one of the physicians in
attendance, "How long can this last?" "Your Majesty will soon be eased
of your pains," was the reply. "The sooner the better," said the Queen:
and she then most fervently engaged in extempore prayer. Shortly
afterwards, she twice desired that cold water might be thrown over her,
to support her strength, while her family put up a final petition in her
behalf. "Pray aloud," said she, "that I may hear you." She then faintly
joined them in repeating the Lord's prayer; and, at its conclusion,
calmly laid down, waved her hand, and expired.
* * * * *
GEORGE THE SECOND.
At one period, while the Duke of Newcastle was in power, in the reign of
George II. many serious complaints were made relative to the settlement
of public accounts. The King, at length, became acquainted with the
alleged grievances, and warmly remonstrated with the Duke on his
carelessness and inattention; protested that he was determined, at once
for his own satisfaction and that of his aggrieved people, to look into
the papers himself. "Is your Majesty in earnest?" asked the Duke. The
King replied in the affirmative, and the Duke promised to send him the
accounts. At an early hour on the following morning, the King was
disturbed by an extraordinary noise in the courtyard of his palace, and,
looking out of the window, he perceived a cart or a wagon laden with
books and papers, which, on inquiry he found had been sent by the Duke
of Newcastle. Shortly afterwards the minister himself appeared, and the
King asked him what he meant by sending a wagon-load of stationery to
the palace. "These are the documents relative to the public accounts,"
replied his grace, "which your Majesty insisted on examining; and there
is no other mode of forwarding them except by carts or wagons. I expect
a second load will arrive in a few minutes." "Then, my Lord Duke,"
replied the King, "you may make a bonfire of them for me. I would rather
be a galley-slave than go through the rubbish; so away with it, and
countermand the cart which you say is coming; but pray let me hear no
more complaints on this subject."
On another occasion, he sent, in a fury, for the duke's brother, Mr.
Pelham, and inquired, in a coarse and angry manner, why the civil list
had not been paid. Pelham replied that he had been compelled to use the
money for some public and more important purpose. The King, however,
would not admit of this excuse; and swore, if the arrears were not
instantly paid, he would get another minister. "I am determined," said
he, "not to be the only master in my dominions who does not pay his
servants' wages." One day, it appears that he was actually without a
shilling in his pocket; for it is related that a half idiot labourer
while the King was inspecting the progress of some repairs at
Kensington, having asked his Majesty for something to drink, the King,
although offended, was yet ashamed to refuse the fellow, and put his
hand into the usual receptacle of his cash; but, to his surprise and
confusion, found it empty. "I have no money," said he, angrily. "Nor I
either," quoth the labourer; "and for my part, I can't think what has
become of it all."
Few men were more deeply impressed with the value of money, although he
occasionally startled those about him, by being unexpectedly liberal, as
in the cases of his donation to the university of Cambridge, and his
submitting to the extortion of the Dutch innkeeper. One evening while
passing by a closet in which wood was kept for the use of the
bed-chamber, he dropped some guineas, one of which having rolled under
the door, he said to the page in waiting, "We must get out this guinea:
let us remove the fuel." In a short time, with the attendant's aid, he
found the guinea, which, however, he gave to his fellow-labourer, as a
reward for the exertions of the latter, in helping him to take the wood
out of the closet, observing, "I do not like any thing to be lost, but I
wish every man to receive the value of his work."
Of the hastiness of George the Second's temper, several examples have
been given: but it was never, perhaps, more ludicrously displayed than
in his first interview with Dr. Ward. The King having been afflicted for
some time with a violent pain in his thumb, for which his regular
medical attendants could afford him no relief, he sought the assistance
of Ward, whose famous pills and drops were then in great estimation. The
doctor, being aware of the King's complaint, went to the palace, at the
time commanded, with, it is said, a specific concealed in the hollow of
his hand. On being admitted to his Majesty's presence, he, of course,
proceeded to examine the royal thumb; which he suddenly wrenched with
such violence, that the King called him a cursed rascal, and
condescended to kick his shins. He soon found, however, that the doctor,
had as it were, magically relieved his thumb from pain: and so grateful
did he feel to Ward, whom he now termed his Esculapius, that he
prevailed on him to accept a handsome carriage and horses, and shortly
afterwards, presented his nephew, who subsequently became a general,
with an ensigncy in the guards.--_From the Georgian Era_.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
_A Play, by James Sheridan Knowles_.
It would be rather _mal-apropos_ to write the Beauties of the Hunchback,
but such a term is elliptically applicable to the following passages
from Mr. Knowles's clever and original play:--
Is't fit you waste your choler on a burr?
The nothings of the town; whose sport it is
To break their villain jests on worthy men,
The graver still the fitter! Fie, for shame!
Regard what such would say? So would not I,
No more than heed a cur.
What merit to be dropp'd on fortune's hill?
The honour is to mount it.
* * * Knowledge, industry,
Frugality, and honesty;--the sinews
The surest help the climber to the top,
And keep him there.
A yard of land to labour, than to chance
Be debtor for a rood!
Nine times in ten the town's a hollow thing,
Where what things are is naught to what they show;
Where merit's name laughs merit's self to scorn!
Where friendship and esteem that ought to be
The tenants of men's hearts, lodge in their looks
And tongues alone. Where little virtue, with
A costly keeper, passes for a heap;
A heap for none, that has a homely one!
Where fashion makes the law--your umpire which
You bow to, whether it has brains or not.
Where Folly taketh off his cap and bells,
To clap on Wisdom, which must bear the jest!
Where, to pass current you must seem the thing,
The passive thing, that others think, and not
Your simple, honest, independent self!
Say but a moment, still I say I love you.
Love's not a flower that grows on the dull earth;
Springs by the calendar; must wait for sun--
For rain;--matures by parts,--must take its time
To stem, to leaf, to bud, to blow. It owns
A richer soil, and boasts a quicker seed!
You look for it, and see it not; and lo!
E'en while you look, the peerless flower is up,
Consumate in the birth!
In joining contrasts lieth love's delight.
Complexion, stature, nature, mateth it,
Not with their kinds, but with their opposites.
Hence hands of snow in palms of russet lie;
The form of Hercules affects the sylph's
And breasts that case the lion's fear-proof heart,
Find their lov'd lodge in arms where tremors dwell!
Haply for this, on Afric's swarthy neck,
Hath Europe's priceless pearl been seen to hang,
That makes the orient poor! So with degrees,
Rank passes by the circlet-graced brow
Upon the forehead bare of notelessness,
To print the nuptial kiss!
The life I'd lead!
But fools would fly from it; for O! 'tis sweet!
It finds the heart out, be there one to find;
And corners in't where store of pleasures lodge,
We never dream'd were there! It is to dwell
'Mid smiles that are not neighbours to deceit;
Music whose melody is of the heart
And gifts that are not made for interest,--
Abundantly bestow'd, by nature's cheek,
And voice, and hand! It is to live on life,
And husband it! It is to constant scan
The handiwork of heaven! It is to con
Its mercy, bounty, wisdom, power! It is
To nearer see our God!
A dreadful question is it, when we love,
To ask if love's return'd! I did believe
Fair Julia's heart was mine--I doubt it now.
But once last night she danced with me, her hand
To this gallant and that engaged, as soon
As asked for! Maid that loved would scarce do this!
Nor visit we together as we used,
When first she came to town. She loves me less
Than once she did--or loves me not at all.
Misfortune liketh company: it seldom
Visits its friends alone.
A MAIDEN HEART.
A young woman's heart,
Is not a stone to carve a posey on!
Which knows not what is writ on't--which you may buy,
Exchange or sell,--keep or give away,
It is a richer--yet a poorer thing!
Priceless to him that owns and prizes it;
Worthless when own'd, not priz'd; which makes the man
That covets it, obtains it, and discards it,--
A fool, if not a villain.
A CURATE'S SON.
Better be a yeoman's son!
Was it the rector's son, he might be known,
Because the rector is a rising man,
And may become a bishop. He goes light.
The curate ever hath a loaded back.
He may be called yeoman of the church
That sweating does his work, and drudges on
While lives the hopeful rector at his ease.
* * * * *
CHARACTER OF GEORGE THE FOURTH.
In the third and concluding volume of the _Life and Reign of George
IV_., (a portion of Dr. Lardner's _Cabinet Library_,) we find the
following summary of the earthly career of the late King--shaded with
some admixture of severity, but, altogether, to be commended for the
manliness and unflinching spirit in which it is written. Our
contemporary biography sadly lacks vigorous and plain-speaking summaries
"In the events and achievements which give interest and lustre to his
regency and reign, George IV. had personally no share. He was but
contemporary with them. To the progress of science, of literature, of
legislation, he was a stranger. The jealous limitations of the regal
power,--the independence, enterprise, and social advancement of the
nation, would account and afford excuse for this: but were he absolute
as Louis XIV.,--obeyed and imitated with the same implicit
servility,--the higher purposes of intellectual being were beyond his
range. With the fine arts his relations were more close and personal.
The progress of architecture was sudden and astonishing, during the
epoch which will bear his name. London, before his accession to the
executive power, was a rich, populous, elegantly built capital, but
without a due proportion of prominent structures characterized by
architectural grandeur, beauty, or curiosity. In a few years magnificent
lines and masses of building were begun and completed; but they were
mainly the growth of wealth, vanity, speculation, and peace. Where his
influence was directly felt it proved unfortunate. He lavished millions
in creating vicious models, and fantastic styles of architecture, and
brought into fashion artists without capacity or taste. There was not in
his kingdom a more discerning judge of painting; but he had no
imagination for the higher class of art. He preferred the exquisite and
humorous realities of the Dutch painters to the poetic or historic
schools of Italy; and, though a studious collector, he gave no great
impulse to native talent. In music he had both taste and skill: he
encouraged an art which formed one of his enjoyments; and if his
patronage has brought forth no composer of the first order, the cause
may exist in some circumstances of national inaptitude.
"It is necessary to go back some centuries for an English king to whom
he bears the nearest likeness in _ensemble_ of character. The parallel
at first sight may be thought injurious, but the likeness will upon
consideration be found striking and complete. George IV. had in his
youth the eclat of personal endowment, education, and accomplishment,--
of success in the fashionable exercises and graces of his age,--and of
that reckless prodigality which obtains popular homage and applause in a
prince. Henry VIII. in his youth was one of the most brilliant
personages of Europe. A fine person,--the accomplishments of his time in
literature and the arts,--the display of gorgeous prodigality,--raised
him to a sort of chivalrous rivalry with Francis I. In mental culture he
excelled George IV., who owes much of his reputation for capacity and
acquirement to an imposing manner, and the eagerness to applaud a
prince: stripped of this charm, his ideas and language appeared worse
than common when he put them on paper. Both had the same dominant
ambition to be distinguished and imitated, as the arbiters of fashion in
dress for the costliness, splendour, or novelty of their toilet. Henry
VIII. and George IV. surrounded themselves with the men most
distinguished for wit and talent, with a remarkable coincidence of
motive, as ministering to their vanity or pleasures; but as soon as they
became troublesome or useless, both cast them off with the same careless
indifference. Henry VIII., it is true, sacrificed to his own caprices,
or to court intrigue, the lives of those whom he had chosen for his
social familiarity;--whilst George IV. merely turned off his so called
friends, and thought of them no more. But such is the difference between
barbarism and tyranny on the one side, and civilization and freedom on
the other: that which was death in the former, is but court disgrace in
the latter. George IV. was not cruel--he had even a certain
susceptibility; the spectacle of human suffering revolted him: but
suffering to affect him must have been present to his sense. Was Henry
VIII. gratuitously cruel? That does not appear. He took no pleasure for
itself in shedding blood, and avoided being a witness of it. Had he been
obliged to look on whilst Anne Boleyn and Sir Thomas More were bleeding,
he probably would have spared them. He sacrificed them to his impulses
from mere selfish indifference. With their wives and mistresses Henry
VIII. and George IV. were governed by the same self-indulgent
despotism--the same animal disgusts. Henry VIII. had six wives, and sent
one to the scaffold as the prelude to his marriage with another. George
IV. had only one wife, but she suffered the persecutions of six; and if
she escaped decapitation or divorce, it was from no failure of
inclination or instruments. Henry VIII. was the tyrant of his people,
and George IV. was not: yet is there even here a similitude. Both
surrendered their understandings to their ministers, upon the condition
of subserviency to their personal desires. What George would have been
in the age of Henry it might be ungracious to suppose; but it may be
asserted that Henry, had he been reserved for the close of the
eighteenth century, would have a very different place in opinion and
history as a king and as a man,--such are the beneficent, humanizing
influences of knowledge, civilization, the spirit of religious
tolerance, and laws mutually guarding and guarded by public liberty!"
* * * * *
AN ECLIPSE AT BOOSSA.
(_From Landers' Travels, vol. ii._)
"About ten o'clock at night, when we were sleeping on our mats, we were
suddenly awoke by a great cry of distress from innumerable voices,
attended by a horrid clashing and clattering noise, which the hour of
the night tended to make more terrific. Before we had time to recover
from our surprise, old Pascoe rushed breathless into our hut, and
informed us with a trembling voice that 'the sun was dragging the moon
across the heavens.' Wondering what could be the meaning of so strange
and ridiculous a story, we ran out of the hut half dressed, and we
discovered that the moon was totally eclipsed. A number of people were
gathered together in our yard, in dreadful apprehension that the world
was at an end, and that this was but the 'beginning of sorrows.' We
learnt from them that the Mahomedan priests residing in the city, having
personified the sun and moon, had told the king and the people that the
eclipse was occasioned through the obstinacy and disobedience of the
latter luminary. They said that for a long time previously the moon had
been displeased with the path she had been compelled to take through the
heavens, because it was filled with thorns and briers, and obstructed
with a thousand other difficulties; and therefore that, having watched
for a favourable opportunity, she had this evening deserted her usual
track, and entered into that of the sun. She had not, however, travelled
far up the sky, on the forbidden road, before the circumstance was
discovered by the sun, who immediately hastened to her in his anger, and
punished her dereliction by clothing her in darkness, forcing her back
to her own territories, and forbidding her to shed her light upon the
earth. This story, whimsical as it may seem, was received with implicit
confidence in its truth by the king and queen and most of the people of
Boossa; and the cause of the noises which we had heard, and which were
still continuing with renewed vehemence, was explained to us by the fact
that they were all 'assembled together in the hope of being able to
frighten away the sun to his proper sphere, and leave the moon to
enlighten the world as at other times.' This is much after the manner of
many savage nations.
"While our informant was yet speaking to us, a messenger arrived at our
yard from the king, to tell us the above tale, and with an invitation to
come to see him immediately. Therefore, slipping on the remainder of our
clothes, we followed the man to the residence of his sovereign, from
outside of which the cries proceeded, and here we found the king and his
timid partner sitting on the ground. Their usual good spirits and
cheerful behaviour had forsaken them entirely; both appeared overwhelmed
with apprehension, and trembled at every joint. Like all their subjects,
in the hurry of fear and the suddenness of the alarm, they had come out
of their dwellings half dressed, the head and legs, and the upper part
of their persons, being entirely exposed. We soon succeeded in quelling
their fears, or at least in diminishing, their apprehension. The king
then observed, that neither himself nor the oldest of his subjects
recollected seeing but one eclipse of the moon besides the one he was
gazing at; that it had occurred exactly when the Falatahs began to be
formidable in the country, and that it had forewarned them of all the
wars, disasters, and calamities, which subsequently took place.
"We had seated ourselves opposite to the king and queen, and within two
or three feet of them, where we could readily observe the moon and the
people without inconvenience, and carry on the conversation at the same
time. If the royal couple shuddered, with terror on beholding the
darkened moon, we were scarcely less affected by the savage gestures of
those within a few yards of us and by their repeated cries, so wild, so
loud, and so piercing, that an indescribable sensation of horror stole
over us, and rendered us almost as nervous as those whom we had come to
comfort. The earlier part of the evening had been mild, serene, and
remarkably pleasant; the moon had arisen with uncommon lustre, and being
at the full, her appearance was extremely delightful. It was the
conclusion of the holidays, and many of the people were enjoying the
delicious coolness of a serene night, and resting from the laborious
exertions of the day; but when the moon became gradually obscured, fear
overcame every one. As the eclipse increased, they became more
terrified. All ran in great distress to inform their sovereign of the
circumstance, for there was not a single cloud to cause so deep a
shadow, and they could not comprehend the nature or meaning of an
eclipse. The king was as easily frightened as his people, being equally
simple and ignorant; he would not therefore suffer them to depart.
Numbers sometimes beget courage and confidence, he thought; so he
commanded them to remain near his person, and to do all in their power
to restore the lost glory of the moon.
"In front of the king's house, and almost close to it, are a few
magnificent cotton-trees, round which the soil had been freed from
grass, &c., for the celebration of the games. On this spot were the
terrified people assembled, with every instrument capable of making a
noise which could be procured in the whole town. They had formed
themselves into a large treble circle, and continued running round with
amazing velocity, crying, shouting, and groaning with all their might.
They tossed and flung their heads about, twisted their bodies into all
manner of contortions, jumped into the air, stamped with their feet on
the ground, and flourished their hands above their heads. No scene in
the romance of Robinson Crusoe was so wild and savage as this; and a
large wood fire, with a few men spitted and roasting before it, was
alone wanting to render it complete! Little boys and girls were outside
the ring, running to and fro, clashing empty calabashes against each
other, and crying bitterly; groups of men were blowing on trumpets,
which produced a harsh and discordant sound; some were employed in
beating old drums; others again were blowing on bullock's horns; and in
the short intervals between the rapid succession of all these fiend-like
noises, was heard one more dismal than the rest, proceeding from an iron
tube, accompanied by the clinking of chains. Indeed, everything that
_could_ increase the uproar was put in requisition on this memorable
occasion; nor did it cease till midnight, when the eclipse had passed
away. Never have we witnessed so extraordinary a scene as this. The
diminished light, when the eclipse was complete, was just sufficient to
enable us to distinguish the various groups of people, and contributed
in no small degree to render the scene still more imposing. If an
European, a stranger to Africa, were to be placed on a sudden in the
midst of the terror-struck people, he would imagine himself to be among
a legion of demons, holding a revel over a fallen spirit; so peculiarly
unearthly wild, and horrifying was the appearance of the dancing group,
and the clamour which they made. It was perhaps fortunate for us that we
had an almanac with us, which foretold the eclipse; for although we
neglected to inform the king of this circumstance, we were yet enabled
to tell him and his people the exact time of its disappearance. This
succeeded in some measure in suppressing their fears, for they would
believe anything we might tell them; and perhaps, also, it has procured
for us a lasting reputation 'and a name.' 'Oh,' said the king, 'there
will be sorrow and crying this night from Wowow to Yaoorie. The people
will have no one to comfort or condole with them; they will fancy this
eclipse to be the harbinger of something very dreadful; and they will be
in distress and trouble till the moon shall have regained her
brightness.' It was nearly one o'clock when we left the king and queen,
to return to our hut; everything was then calm and silent, and we lay
down to rest in peace."
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY
Appended to the volume of the _Transactions of the Society of Arts_,
just published, are selections from a series of Illustrations on Pottery
and Porcelain, which were read before the Society by their ingenious
secretary, Mr. Arthur Aikin. We quote a few.
"Raffaello himself is said in his youth to have painted, or at least to
have given designs for painting, in enamel on glazed earthenware. Such
works are commonly known by the name of Raphael china, two interesting
specimens of which, from the collection of R.H. Solly, Esq., are now
before you. From some casual flaws in the back of these plates, it may
be seen that the body of them is red earthenware in one, and grayish
brown in the other, and of rather a coarse quality. Mr. Windus also has
sent a plate, doubtless of Italian manufacture, bearing the date of
1533, thirteen years after the death of Raffaello. He has also sent a
singular specimen of a somewhat similar ware, but with the figures in
high relief, and far inferior to the former as a work of art.
"Mr. Brockedon informs me that, in his journey among the alps last year,
he saw some beautiful specimens of Raphael china, in the possession of
the hostess of an inn at the village of Rauris, in Carinthia. They
consisted of three dishes; the subjects painted on them are, Pan and
Apollo, Jupiter and Semele, and on the largest, Apollo surrounded by
wreaths of nymphs and satyrs, and on the rim are entwined Cupids: this
latter dish is about twenty inches in diameter, and bears an
inscription, in Italian, purporting that it was made at Rome, in 1542,
in the manufactory of Guido di Merlingho Vassaro, a native of Urbino.
The date is twenty-two years after the death of Raphael; but, as the
manufacturer was a fellow-townsman of that celebrated artist, the
inscription, taken in connexion with the anecdote of Vasari already
mentioned, is interesting, as throwing light on the association of the
name of Raffaello with this species of ware."
_Delft or Dutch._
"It is probably from Italy that Holland received this art. The
Venetians, the Genoese, and the Florentines, had very extensive
commercial dealings with the merchants of Antwerp and of other towns in
the Low Countries; it is therefore extremely likely that the potters of
Holland, to whom is due the first fabrication of clay tobacco-pipes of
excellent quality, derived their knowledge of glazed ware from this
source. The town of Delft was the centre of these potteries, in which
were fabricated the tiles known in England by the name of Dutch; and the
delft were employed for table services, and for other domestic purposes.
Considered merely with regard to its material, the Dutch potters seem to
have improved on their Italian original, being probably instigated by a
comparison with the blue and white patterns of Nankin, which was now
largely imported by the Dutch from China and Japan, and which is a
coarse, yellowish, porcelain body, covered by an opaque white glaze. In
the ornamental part, however, the Dutch fell immeasurably short of the
potters of Florence; blue seems to have been the only colour employed by
them; and their favourite patterns appear to have been either copies of
the Chinese, or European and Scripture subjects treated in a truly
Chinese manner and taste.
"It is about two hundred years ago since some Dutch potters came and
established themselves in Lambeth, and by degrees a little colony was
fixed in that village, possessed of about twenty manufactories, in which
was made the glazed pottery and tiles consumed in London and in various
other parts of the kingdom. Here they continued in a flourishing state,
giving employment to many hands in the various departments of their art,
till about fifty or sixty years ago; when the potters of Staffordshire,
by their commercial activity, and by the great improvements introduced
by them in the quality of their ware, in a short time so completely beat
out of the market the Lambeth delft manufacturers, that this ware is now
made only by a single house, and forms the smallest part even of their
"The articles of delft ware, for which there still continues to be an
effective demand, are plain white tiles for dairies and for lining
baths, pomatum pots, and a few jugs, and other similar articles of a
pale blue colour."
(_To be continued._)
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
NON-PROPOSALS, OR DOUBTS RESOLVED.
I wonder when 'twill be our turn
A wedding here to keep!
Sure Thomson's "_flame_" might quicker burn,
His "_love_" seems gone to sleep!
I wonder why he hums and haws
With 'kerchief at his nose:
And then makes one expecting pause,----
Yet still he don't propose.
I wonder whether Bell or Bess,
It is he most admires,
Even Mistress Match'em cannot guess--
It really patience tires.
He hung, last night, o'er Bella's chair,
And things seem'd at a close--
To-day 'twas Bess was all his care,
But yet he don't propose.
He's gone to concert, play, and ball,
So often with them now,
That it must seem to one and all
As binding as a vow.
He certainly _does_ mean to take
One of the girls, and close
The life he leads--the flirting rake--
But yet he don't propose.
I often wonder what he thinks
We ask him here to do--
Coolly he Cockburn's claret drinks,
And wins from me at Loo.
For twenty months he's dangled on,
The foremost of their beaux,
While half-a-dozen else have gone,--
And still he don't propose.
No matter--'tis a comfort, though,
To know he will take _one_,
And even tho' Bess and Bella go,
He still may fix on Fan.
I'll have him in the family,
That's sure--But, why, you look--
"Oh, madam, Mr. Thomson's just
Got married to his cook----"
_Tait's Edinburgh Magazine._
* * * * *
THE WAVERLEY NOVELS.
Perhaps no writer has ever enjoyed in his lifetime so extensive a
popularity as the Author of Waverley. His reputation may be truly said
to be not only British, but European--and even this is too limited a
term. He has had the advantage of writing in a language used in
different hemispheres by highly civilized communities, and widely
diffused over the surface of the globe; and he has written at a period
when communication was facilitated by peace; while to the wonder of his
own countrymen, he has to an unexampled degree established an ascendency
over the tastes of foreign nations. His works have been sought by
foreigners with an avidity equalling, nay, almost exceeding, that with
which they have been received among us. The conflicting literary tastes
of France and Germany, which twenty years ago seemed diametrically
opposed, and hopelessly irreconcilable, have at length united in
admiration of him. In France he has effected a revolution in taste, and
given victory to the "Romantic School." He has had not only readers, but
imitators. Among Frenchmen, the author of "Cinq Mars" may be cited as a
tolerably successful one. Italy, in which what _we_ call "Novels" were
previously unknown, has been roused from its torpor, and has found a
worthy imitator of British talent in the author of the "Promessi Sposi."
Of the Waverley Novels, six editions have been published in Paris. Many
of them have been translated into French, German, Italian, and other
languages. To be read both on the banks of the Ganges and the Ohio; and
to be found, as is mentioned by Dr. Walsh, where perhaps no other
English book had ever come--on the very verge of civilization, on the
borders of Turkey--this is indeed a wide reign and a proud distinction;
but prouder still to be not only read, but to have subjugated, as it
were, and moulded the literary tastes of the civilized world. Voltaire
is the writer who, in his lifetime, has approached nearest to this
extent of popularity. Sovereigns courted and corresponded with him; his
own countrymen were enthusiastic in his praise; and so general was a
knowledge of the French language, that a large majority of the
well-educated throughout Europe, were familiar with his writings. But
much of this popularity was the popularity of partisanship. He served a
cause, and for such service, and not alone as the meed of genius, were
honours lavished upon him. The people of France, by whom he was almost
deified in his latter years, regarded him less as the literary marvel of
their land, than as the man once persecuted by despotism, and the ablest
assailant of those institutions which they were endeavouring to
undermine. But Voltaire, with all his popularity, has left impressed on
literature scarcely any distinguishable traces of his power. He
exhibited no marked originality of style--he founded no school--and as
for his imitators, where are they? To justify the admiration he excited,
one must consider not merely how well, but how much and how variously he
has written. With the exception of Voltaire, and perhaps of Lord Byron,
there is scarcely a writer whose popularity, while he lived, passed
beyond the precincts of his own country. This, until latterly, was
scarcely possible. Till near the middle of the eighteenth century, what
had been long called the "Republic of Letters" existed only in name. It
is not truly applicable but to the present period, when the transmission
of knowledge is rapid and easy, and no work of unquestionable genius can
excite much interest in any country, without the vibration being quickly
felt to the uttermost limits of the civilized world. How little this was
previously the case is evident from the fact, that numerous and
important as were the political relations of England with the continent,
and successfully as we had attended to the cultivation of letters, yet
it is scarcely more than a hundred years since we were first known on
the continent to have what might deserve to be called "a Literature."
Shakspeare, Dryden, and Pope, successively enjoyed in their own country
the highest popularity as writers. Of these, it may reasonably be
doubted whether the name of the first had been ever heard out of it. We
can find no evidence which shows that the second had a wider fame. Pope
was indeed better known; for literature had been made conspicuous
through honours paid to it by the statesmen of Queen Anne; and Pope was
the friend of a peer politically eminent, and was thought, in
conjunction with him, to have written a poem, of which, if the poetry
was disregarded, the opinions were not unacceptable to the
"philosophers" of the continent.
One of the points of view in which the Author of Waverley is first
presented to us is, as a delineator of human character. When we regard
him in this light, we are struck at once by the fertility of his
invention, and the force, novelty, and fidelity of his pictures. He
brings to our minds, not abstract beings, but breathing, acting,
speaking individuals. Then what variety! What originality! What numbers!
What a gallery has he set before us! No writer but Shakspeare ever
equalled him in this respect. Others may have equalled, perhaps
surpassed him, in the elaborate finishing of some single portrait
(witness the immortal Knight and Squire of Cervantes, Fielding's Adams,
and Goldsmith's Vicar); or may have displayed, with greater skill, the
morbid anatomy of human feeling--and our slighter foibles and finer
sensibilities have been more exquisitely touched by female hands--but
none save Shakspeare has ever contributed so largely, so valuably, to
our collection of characters;--of pictures so surprisingly original,
yet, once seen, admitted immediately to be conformable to Nature. Nay,
even his anomalous beings are felt to be generally reconcilable with our
code of probabilities; and, as has been said of the supernatural
creations of Shakspeare, we are impressed with the belief, that if such
beings did exist, they would be as he has represented them.--_Edinburgh
* * * * *
MEN COMPARED WITH BEES.
(_From a continuation of "the Indicator," by Leigh Hunt._)
It has been thought, that of all animated creation, the bees present the
greatest moral likeness to man; not only because they labour and lay up
stores, and live in communities, but because they have a form of
government and a monarchy. Virgil immortalized them after a human
fashion. A writer in the time of Elizabeth, probably out of compliment
to the Virgin Queen, rendered them _dramatis personae_, and gave them a
whole play to themselves. Above all, they have been held up to us, not
only as a likeness, but as "a great moral lesson;" and this, not merely
with regard to the duties of occupation, but the form of their polity. A
monarchical government, it is said, is natural to man, because it is an
instinct of nature: the very bees have it.
It may be worth while to inquire a moment into the value of this
argument; not as affecting the right and title of our Sovereign Lord
King William the Fourth (whom, with the greatest sincerity, we hope God
will preserve!), but for its own sake, as well as for certain little
collateral deductions. And, in the first place, we cannot but remark how
unfairly the animal creation are treated, with reference to the purposes
of moral example. We degrade or exalt them, as it suits the lesson we
desire to inculcate. If we rebuke a drunkard or a sensualist, we think
we can say nothing severer to him than to recommend him not to make "a
beast of himself;" which is very unfair towards the beasts, who are no
drunkards, and behave themselves as nature intended. A horse has no
habit of drinking; he does not get a red face with it. The stag does not
go reeling home to his wives. On the other hand, we are desired to be as
faithful as a dog, as bold as a lion, as tender as a dove; as if the
qualities denoted by these epithets were not to be found among
ourselves. But above all, the bee is the argument. Is not the honey-bee,
we are asked, a wise animal?--We grant it.--"Doth he not improve each
passing hour?"--He is pretty busy, it must be owned--as much occupied at
eleven, twelve, and one o'clock, as if his life depended on it:--Does he
not lay up stores?--He does.--Is he not social? Does he not live in
communities?--There can be no doubt of it.--Well, then, he has a
monarchical government; and does not that clearly show that a monarchy
is the instinct of nature? Does it prove, by an unerring rule, that the
only form of government in request among the obeyers of instinct, is the
only one naturally fitted for man?
In answering the spirit of this question, we shall not stop to inquire
how far it is right as to the letter, or how many different forms of
polity are to be found among other animals, such as the crows, the
beavers, the monkeys; neither shall we examine how far instinct is
superior to reason, nor why the example of man himself is to go for
nothing. We will take for granted, that the bee is the wisest animal of
all, and that it is a judicious thing to consider his manners and
customs, with reference to their adoption by his inferiors, who keep him
in hives. This naturally leads us to inquire, whether we could not frame
all our systems of life after the same fashion. We are busy, like the
bee; we are gregarious, like him; we make provision against a rainy day;
we are fond of flowers and the country; we occasionally sting, like him;
and we make a great noise about what we do. Now, if we resemble the bee
in so many points, and his political instinct is so admirable, let us
reflect what we ought to become in other respects, in order to attain to
the full benefit of his example.
* * * * *
But we have not yet got half through the wonders, which are to modify
human conduct by the example of this wise, industrious, and
monarch-loving people. Marvellous changes must be effected, before we
have any general pretension to resemble them, always excepting in the
aristocratic particular. For instance, the aristocrats of the hive,
however unmasculine in their ordinary mode of life, are the only males.
The working-classes, like the sovereign, are all females! How are we to
manage this? We must convert, by one sudden meta-morphosis, the whole
body of our agricultural and manufacturing population into women! Mrs.
Cobbett must displace her husband, and tell us all about Indian corn.
There must be not a man in Nottingham, except the Duke of Newcastle; and
he trembling lest the Queen should send for him. The tailors, bakers,
carpenters, gardeners, must all be Mrs. Tailors and Mrs. Bakers. The
very name of John Smith must go out. The Directory must be Amazonian.
This commonalty of women must also be, at one and the same time, the
operatives, the soldiers, the virgins, and the legislators of the
country! They must make all we want, fight all our enemies, and even get
up a Queen for us when necessary; for the sovereigns of the hive are
often of singular origin, being manufactured! literally "made to order,"
and that too by dint of their eating! They are fed and stuffed into
royalty! The receipt is, to take any ordinary female bee in its infancy,
put it into a royal cradle or cell, and feed it with a certain kind of
jelly; upon which its shape alters into that of sovereignty, and her
Majesty issues forth, royal by the grace of stomach. This is no fable,
as the reader may see on consulting any good history of bees. In
general, several Queen-bees are made at a time, in case of accidents;
but each, on emerging from her apartment, seeks to destroy the other,
and one only remains living in one hive. The others depart at the head
of colonies, like Dido.
To sum up then the conditions of human society were it to be re-modelled
after the example of the bee, let us conclude with drawing a picture of
the state of our beloved country, so modified. Imprimis, all our working
people would be females, wearing swords, never marrying, and
occasionally making queens. They would grapple with their work in a
prodigious manner, and make a great noise. Secondly, our aristocracy
would be all males, never working, never marrying, (except when sent
for,) always eating or sleeping, and annually having their throats cut.
The bee-massacre takes place in July; when accordingly all our nobility
and gentry would be out of town, with a vengeance! The women would draw
their swords, and hunt and stab them all about the West end, till
Brompton and Bayswater would be choked with slain.
Thirdly, her Majesty the Queen would either succeed to a quiet throne,
or, if manufactured, would have to eat a prodigious quantity of jelly in
her infancy; and so alter growing into proper sovereign condition, would
issue forth, and begin her reign either with killing her royal sisters,
or leading forth a colony to America or New South Wales. She would then
take to husband some noble lord for the space of one calendar hour, and
dismissing him to his dullness, proceed to lie in of 12,000 little royal
highnesses in the course of the eight following weeks, with others too
numerous to mention; all which princely generation with little
exception, would forthwith give up their title, and divide themselves
into lords or working-women as it happened; and so the story would go
round to the end of the chapter, bustling, working, and massacring:--and
here ends the sage example of the Monarchy of the Bees.
We must observe nevertheless, before we conclude, that however ill and
tragical the example of the bees may look for human imitation, we are
not to suppose that the fact is anything like so melancholy to
themselves. Perhaps it is no evil at all, or only so for the moment. The
drones, it is true, seem to have no fancy for being massacred; but we
have no reason to suppose, that they, or any of the rest concerned in
this extraordinary instinct, are aware of the matter beforehand; and the
same is to be said of the combats between the Queen-bees; they appear to
be the result of an irresistible impulse, brought about, by the sudden
pressure of a necessity. Bees appear to be very happy, during far the
greater portion of their existence. A modern writer, of whom it is to be
lamented that a certain want of refinement stopped short his
perceptions, and degraded his philosophy from the finally expedient into
what was fugitively so, has a passage on this point, as agreeable as
what he is speaking of. "A bee among the flowers in spring," says Dr.
Paley, "is one of the cheerfullest objects that can be looked upon. Its
life appears to be all enjoyment, _so busy and so pleased_."--_Abridged
from the New Monthly Magazine_.
* * * * *
* * * * *
_Toast of a Scotch Peer_.--Lord K--, dining at Provost S--'s, and being
the only peer present, one of the company gave a toast, "The Duke of
Buccleugh." So the peerage went round till it came to Lord K--, who said
he would give them a peer, which, although not toasted, was of more use
than the whole. His lordship gave "The Pier of Leith."--_Chambers's
Caroline, Queen of George II. amused herself by reading Butler's
_Analogy of Religion to Human Nature_; a book which Hoadley, Bishop of
Winchester, said always gave him the head-ache, if he only looked into
After George II. had ceased to visit the theatres, Macklin's farce of
_Love A-la-mode_ having been acted with much applause, he sent for the
manuscript, and had it read over to him by a sedate old Hanoverian
gentleman, who being but little acquainted with English, spent eleven
weeks in puzzling out the author's meaning!
_Ships_.--During the early part of the last century, as has been
remarked, almost all the towns of England were on the water (in the
navy.) Of the few persons who have been so highly esteemed as to have
their names given to men of war, are Dr. Franklin and Joan of Arc, who
were thus honoured by the French. In the English navy, the ships the
Royal George have been singularly unfortunate. The Great Harry also was
burnt in the reign of Queen Mary.
_Personal Ornament_.--The city of Kano, the great emporium of the
kingdom of Houssa, in Africa, is celebrated for the art of dyeing cotton
cloth, which is afterwards beaten with wooden mallets until it acquires
a japan gloss. The women dye their hair with indigo, and also their
hands, feet, legs, and eyebrows. Their legs and arms thus painted, look
as if covered with dark blue gloves and boots. Both men and women colour
their teeth a blood-red, which is esteemed a great ornament. T. GILL.
_A "Manager."_--Colley Cibber gives the following spirited description
of a famous theatrical manager in his day; "That he was as sly a tyrant
as ever was at the head of a theatre, for he gave the actors more
liberty, and fewer day's pay than any of his predecessors; he would
laugh with them over a bottle, and trick them in their bargains; he kept
them poor, that they might not be able to rebel; and sometimes merry,
that they might not think of it"
_Newton's Weather Wisdom_.--Sir Isaac Newton was once riding over
Salisbury Plain, when a boy, keeping sheep, called to him--"Sir, you had
better make haste on, or you will get a wet jacket." Newton looking
round and observing neither clouds nor speck on the horizon, jogged on,
taking very little notice of the rustic's information. He had made but a
few miles, when a storm suddenly arising, wetted him to the skin.
Surprised at the circumstance, and determined, if possible, to ascertain
how an ignorant boy had attained a precision and knowledge in the
weather, of which the wisest philosophers would be proud, he rode back,
wet as he was. "My lad," said Newton, "I'll give thee a guinea if thou
wilt tell me how thou canst foretell the weather so truly." "Will ye,
sir? I will then," said the boy, scratching his head, and holding out
his hand for the guinea. "Now, sir," having received the money, and
pointing to his sheep, "when you see that black ram turn his tail
towards the wind, 'tis a sure sign of rain within an hour." "What,"
exclaimed the philosopher, "must I, in order to foretell the weather,
stay here, and watch which way that black ram turns his tail?" "Yes,
sir," replied the boy. Off rode Newton, quite satisfied with his
discovery, but not much inclined to avail himself of it, or to recommend
it to others. W.G.C.
_Primitive Lamp_.--The inhabitants of the Landes, in the south of
France, being cut off from the rest of the world, have it not in their
power, except when once or twice a year they travel to the nearest towns
with their wool, to purchase candles; and as they have no notion how
these can be made, they substitute in their place a lamp fed with the
turpentine extracted from the fir-trees. The whole process is simple and
primitive. To obtain the turpentine, they cut a hole in the tree, and
fasten a dish in it to catch the sap as it oozes through, and as soon as
the dish is filled, they put a wick of cotton into the midst of the
liquor, and burn it as we do a lamp. W.G.C.
_Turning the Back_.--In this and all countries of Europe, to turn the
back upon persons of rank or in authority, is considered highly
improper; a striking instance of which may be seen in the mode in which
messengers from the Lords retreat along the floor of the House of
Commons. In the interior of Africa it is quite otherwise. There the
court assemble round the sovereign invariably with their backs to him.
A gentleman having frequently reproved his servant, an Irish girl, for
boiling eggs too hard, requested her in future, to boil them only three
minutes by the clock. "Sure, sir," replied the girl, "how shall I do
that, for your honour knows the clock is always a quarter of an hour too
_Unhappy Fate of Camoens_.--Camoens the celebrated Portuguese poet, was
shipwrecked at the mouth of the river Meco, on the coast of Camboja, and
lost his whole property; but through the assistance of his black
servant, he saved his life and his poems, which he bore through the
waves in one hand, whilst he swam ashore with the other: his black
servant begged in the streets of Lisbon for the support of his master,
who died in 1579. It is said that his death was accelerated by the
anguish with which he foresaw the ruin impending over his country. In
one of his letters (says his biographer) he uses these remarkable
expressions: "I am ending the course of my life; the world will witness
how I have loved my country. I have returned not only to die in her
bosom, but to die with her." He was buried as obscurely as he had closed
his life, in St. Anne's Church, and the following epitaph was inscribed
over his grave:--
"Here lies Lewis de Camoens,
Prince of the Poets of his time.
He lived poor and miserable, and died
such, Anno Domini, 1579."
_The Philosopher's Stone_.--Sir Kenelm Digby was relating to King James
that he had seen the true Philosopher's Stone, in the possession of a
hermit in Italy; and when the king was very curious to understand what
sort of a stone it was, and Sir Kenelm being much puzzled in describing
it, Sir Francis Bacon, who was present, interposed, and said, "Perhaps
it was a _whetstone_."
N.B. There is an old _proverbial_ expression, in which an excitement to
a lie was called a _whetstone_. P.T.W.
 Precious Salvage.
* * * * *
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