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. 551.] SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 1832. [PRICE 2.d.
* * * * *
[Illustration: MONKEY ISLAND.]
This picturesque spot is situate in the middle of the river Thames, near
Cliefden, Bucks, and about three-quarters of a mile from the village
of Bray. It was purchased and decorated for the enjoyment of fishing
parties by the third Duke of Marlborough. Upon its fine sward he erected
a small rustic building called Monkey Hall, from the embellishments of
the interior being in part fancifully painted with a number of monkeys
dressed in human apparel, and imitating human actions. Some are
represented diverting themselves with fishing, others with hunting, &c.
One is drawn gravely sitting in a boat, smoking, while a female
"waterman" is labouring at the oar, rowing him across a river. The
ceiling and cornices are ornamented with aquatic plants and flowers. In
another building, raised at the expense of the Duke, on this island, and
named the Temple, is an elegant saloon, painted with green and gold, and
enriched with figures in stucco-work superbly gilt, representing
mermaids, sea-lions, fish, shells, and other objects. The place
altogether might be called _Marlborough's Folly_.
 For a View and Description of Cliefden, see _Mirror_, vol.
xv. p. 97.
 For a View of Bray Church, see _Mirror_, vol. xvii. p 209.
The perfection of the monkey embellishments would delight the admirers
of Mr. Landseer's famed _Monkeyana_.
Monkey Island has had several owners since the Duke of Marlborough
disposed of it: the lease of the place at L25_l._ a-year was, in 1787,
purchased for 240 guineas, by Henry Townley Ward, Esq. who bequeathed it
to P.C. Bruce, Esq., of Taplow. Its vicinity to "Cliefden's hanging
woods" and picturesque home scenery must render it a delightful retreat.
Its establishment is stated to have cost the Duke of Marlborough ten
* * * * *
_From the French of Beranger_.
LE ROI D'YVETOT.
(_For the Mirror_.)
There once was a King, as they say,
Though history says naught about it,
Who slept sound by night and by day,
And for glory--who just did without it;
A night cap his diadem was,
Which his maid used to air at the fire,
And then put it on him, (that's poz:)
Such was his Coronation attire.
"Lack-a-day, well-a-day!" then let us sing,
And mourn for the loss of this good little King.
In a cottage his banquets were given,
He lived upon four meals a-day, sir,
On which diet he seems to have thriven:
And an ass was his charger they say, sir,
A dog was his life-guard, we're told,
And many a peregrination
Thus attended, he must have been bold,
He made step and step through the nation.
"Lack-a-day, well-a-day!" then let us sing,
And mourn for the loss of this good little King.
His taste, for a monarch, was queer,
But his motto was "live and let live, sir,"
He was thirsty, and fond of good beer,
Which his subjects were happy to give, sir;
He levied his taxes himself,
A quart or a pint for his dinner,
No exciseman went snacks in the pelf,
No clerks had this jolly old sinner.
"Lack-a-day, well-a-day!" then let us sing,
And mourn for the loss of this good little King.
* * * * *
Except just by way of a lark,
His militia he never would call out,
He then made them shoot at a mark
Till they had shot all their powder and ball out.
"Lack-a-day, well-a-day!" then let us sing,
And mourn for the loss of this good little King.
To his neighbours he always was kind,
He never extended his boundaries,
For disputes and contentions, I find,
He never saw any just ground arise:
Pleasure's code being his statute law
He ne'er caused a tear to be shed, sir,
Though I swear not a dry eye I saw,
When his subjects first heard he was dead, sir.
"Lack-a-day, well-a-day!" well might they sing,
When they mourned the sad loss of their good little King.
His portrait you must have observed,
In remarkably good preservation,
For his eminent virtues deserved
You'll allow, a conspicuous station:
"The King's Head" still continues his name,
Where full often the people on holidays
As they tipple, still talk of his name,
In lamenting the end of his jolly days.
"Lack a-day, well-a-day!" thus do they sing.
And mourn for the loss of their good little King.
* * * * *
TO A LADY WHO SAID SHE WAS THE SAME AGE AS HIMSELF.
FROM THE FRENCH OF BERANGER.
(_For the Mirror._)
Our ages are the same, you say,
But know that love believes it not;
The Fates, a wager I would lay,
Our tangled threads shared out by lot;
What part to each they did assign
The world, fair dame, can plainly see;
The Spring and Summer days were thine,
Autumn and Winter came to me. H.
* * * * *
ENGLISH BALLAD SINGING.
(_For the Mirror._)
The minstrels were once a great and flourishing body in England; but
their dignity being interwoven with the illusory splendour of feudal
institutions, declined on the advance of moral cultivation: they became
in time vulgar mountebanks and jugglers, and in the reign of Elizabeth
were _suppressed_ as rogues and vagabonds. Banished from the highways
they betook themselves to alehouses--followed the trade of pipers and
fiddlers--and minstrelsy was no longer known in England.
The suppression of "the order" of minstrels, gave rise to that of the
Ballad-singers, who relied upon the quality of their voices for success.
The subjects of many of the songs handed down by the minstrels were
still held in honour by the ballad-singers. The feats of "Elym of the
Clough," "Randle of Chester," and "Sir Topaz," which had faded under
the kind keeping of the minstrels, were now refreshed and brought more
boldly in the new version before the sense. Robin Hood and Friar Tuck
had their honours enlarged by the new dynasty; more maidens and heroes
were inspired by their misfortunes. Drayton's allusions to the
propagation of Robin's fame may give an idea of the diffusion of the
"In this our spacious isle I think there is not one,
But he hath heard some talk of him and Little John;
But to the end of time the tales shall ne'er be done,
Of Scarlock, George-a-Green and Much the Miller's son."
The new race started in the field with the full tide of popularity; they
had the glory of being opposed to and triumphing over the votaries of
the muses. The poets of the first class confessed their uneasiness at
the success of the innovators. Of this fact we have abundant instances
in Spencer's "Tears of the Muses," and the mighty Shakspeare would bring
the calling into contempt.
The ballad-singers did not enjoy _empty popularity_, as may be
understood from the number of candidates who yearly sought refuge in
their camp. One of the most popular singers of this early time was a
boy, distinguished from the nature of his voice "Outroaring Dick," as
honestly bestowed as any hero of "jaw-breaking" memory in Greek or Latin
history. His earnings, according to Mr. Warton, averaged ten shillings a
day; he was a well-known character in Essex, and was not missed for many
a day from Braintree fair; and in the decline of life spent his days
like an amateur. But Cheetre, for such was his real name, was haunted
amidst his glory by a rival. Will Wimbars had a voice of as much
flexibility as Dick. Dick was the most popular, for he sang every thing
he could, but Will had a select list he never departed from. The former
was sought as a companion; the latter pleased best in the public
exercise of his talents.
The most universally esteemed singer of his age was Mat. Nash, who had a
vehement style; his "Hunts-up," a song which obtained him "much favor,"
was one of his most celebrated efforts. However, it happened that the
great Secretary Cecil was so captivated with his singing, that he soon
enabled him to retire from his profession.
The accident that led to this fortunate reconnoitre is not impertinent
to our subject: in a time of dearth, which was severely felt in the
city, the famous ballad-maker Delone composed a song reflecting on her
Majesty. The ballad-maker and singer were both committed to the compter,
but the poet defied government even while in the lion's den. In a letter
to the Lord Mayor, he avowed the ballad, and justified it. Nash, in the
meantime, in an interview with the Secretary, established his innocence,
and laid the foundation of his future prosperity.
The Gipsies furnished a number of singers about this time. The laws and
_prejudices_ of society concurred in denouncing this race; but,
nevertheless, the best received ballad-singers of their time were of
this bronzed tribe.
In the reigns of James the First and his successor, the taste of the
people for nature and simplicity kept up the profession of
ballad-singing. We are to look upon ballad-singers from this time as a
corporation. Custom had established yearly festivals for them in the
_classic regions_ of St. Giles's, which were frequented by the wits of
the day--Swift, Gay, Bolingbroke, Steele, &c. From these high followers
of the muses, yearly contingents of ballads were expected. Swift
contracted for the humourous songs: Gay who had, as Goldsmith says, "a
happy strain of ballad-thinking," was set down for the pathetic ones;
and those of a miscellaneous character were divided amongst a number of
amateur bards. No importunities, even of his friends, could induce Pope
to attend any of these assemblies. He was prevailed on to write an
epitaph for a young creature whom he had seen, and who was known by the
name of Clarinda: favoured by the great, if she had not been attached to
the life of a ballad-singer, she might, with her accomplishments, have
risen to distinction and fortune.
Gay and Swift had naturally a relish for low society, and were hailed by
the fraternity as the most precious sources of profit. Amongst other
songs which Swift sent into the world through the medium of
ballad-singers, was a severe satire upon the Duke of Marlborough,
beginning "Our Johnny is come from the wars:" it drew much attention,
and excited the strongest resentment against the author in the breast of
the Duchess, who remained implacable until the publication of Gulliver,
when she offered her friendship to Swift, through his friend Gay.
There was a young creature among the ballad-singers known to the world
by no other title than Clara, who drew much attention at this time by
the sweetness and pathos of her tones. She was the original singer of
"Black-eyed Susan," and one or two songs which were afterwards
introduced into the "Beggar's Opera;" but her recommendation to
particular notice was the circumstance of her being for many years the
object of Bolingbroke's enthusiastic affection. The poor girl strayed
for some time, during which his Lordship had not seen her: it was after
this interval, that, meeting her, he addressed to her the tender lines,
"Dear, thoughtless Clara, to my verse attend,
Believe for once the lover and the friend,"
And concluding thus:
"To virtue thus, and to thyself restored,
By all admired, by one alone adored:
Be to thy Harry ever kind and true,
And live for him who more than died for you."
A series of calamities totally ruined her vocal powers, and she
afterwards subsisted by the sale of oranges at the Court of Requests.
The profession did not continue to maintain its rank. The disappointed
author in "Roderick Random," who set about writing for ballad-singers,
was introduced into one of their assemblies, and his testimony
establishes their degeneracy.
In fact, the history of ballad-singing, during the remainder of last
century, affords but an unsatisfactory subject of reflection to lovers
of song; whether they have regenerated in the present age, we leave the
reader to judge.
* * * * *
LOVE AT COURT AND LOVE IN THE COUNTRY.
Loving 'mongst the aristocracy
Is reckon'd positive hypocrisy;
The noble votaries of fashion
Are ignorant of the tender passion.
A shepherd, if his nymph doth alter,
Killeth woe by means of halter:
But in high life, if ladies prove
Indifferent to an ardent love,
What does the enamour'd title do,
But set about and alter too.
_Translated from the French of Madame Deshoulieres._
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
CORRUPT STATE OF THE WESTERN CHURCH IN THE ELEVENTH CENTURY.
From the following facts an inference may be drawn of the tendency of
the Western church to a system of externals, applying itself solely to
continual discipline and fasting, instead of the improvement of the
heart. For the perusal of the sacred writings and spiritual lessons of
the ancient fathers of the church, was substituted that of legends and
decretals, and the Book of Canons, by which the whole Western church was
governed. Images and relics of the saints acquired an excessive
adoration; and continual discoveries were being made of the bodies of
miracle-working saints. Impostors were to be found, appearing every day
under new names and with fresh miracles, imposing on the credulity of
the public, and amassing wealth by defrauding the pious multitude. Some
of these impostors, too insolent in their practices, were discovered and
punished, whilst others derived from them their whole fortune and
subsistence. It went to such a pass, that an arm of St. Augustine was
found and sold to William, Duke of Aquitaine, for 100 talents. The head
of St. John the Baptist was dug up, and attracted an immense multitude
of spectators, amongst whom was Robert, King of France.
 "One head of St. John the Baptist (for there are many, and
John was at last [Greek: ekaton ta kephalas],) was found at the
monastery of St. John of Angeli, at Saintange."--_Jortin's
Remarks on Eccles. Hist._ ann. 1010.
The principal supporters of this religious mania were the Crusaders;
that is to say, those persons who went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
These persons, on their return to their own country, finding all their
substance exhausted, exerted their utmost cunning to regain it;
pretending that they had found some relics of the ancient martyrs or
apostles, or some object relative to the life or death of our Saviour.
By these means an immense number of persons, excited by religious
curiosity, repaired to the places where these objects were exposed, and
the churches and the provinces of which became enriched by them. With
the same motive, in the year 1008, a portion of the rod of Moses was
discovered in France, which attracted a vast number of visiters, both
from that country and Italy. In 1014, some monks, on their return from a
pilgrimage to Jerusalem, brought with them a part of the napkin with
which our Saviour wiped the feet of the apostles at the Last Supper;
and, in order to prove its authenticity, they passed it uninjured
through the flames. This kind of miracles, which were in such favour
with the ignorant multitude in those days, produces no effect, since
chemical science has enabled us to penetrate into the hidden secrets of
nature; and if history is diligently examined, we shall perceive that
the human mind was occupied in the discovery of that science at this
period. The alchemists perhaps, although persecuted as the followers of
the devil, were not altogether extinct, and still read some books which
laid open the discoveries of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The
commercial cities of Italy, in communication with the East, acquired
extraordinary knowledge, of which they availed themselves
disadvantageously to the morality and piety of the Christian church.
About this time, too (the year 1000), the epoch at which, according to
prediction, the world was to be at an end, men began to make fresh
researches, and to build new churches, to repair the old ones, and to
invent novelties. The prophecy of Daniel, which says, "Tempus, tempora,
dimidium temporis," proving by experience to be inapplicable to the
interpretation which the monks and ecclesiastics had generally given it,
produced a new energy in the human mind: and if at first, the wealth of
the churches were aggrandized by profuse largesses, we shall hereafter
see them struggling to preserve it. A disposition also to study was now
induced: and a certain Guido, a monk of Pomposa, being called to Rome as
a music-master, whilst very young, invented the scale or gamut of C
notes, which was then esteemed miraculous. Happily for him the matter
took this turn; for otherwise he would have suffered death. The
religious superstition was so strong, that any unusual effects of human
nature were attributed to diabolical operations; and, in such instances,
the reputed authors were either beheaded or burnt. Such was the fate of
an unhappy wretch who had discovered the secret of making glass
malleable. This sublime genius made a goblet of this glass; and, being
conducted into the presence of Henry, in 1022, he threw it on the
ground, when, instead of breaking, it bent, and suddenly resumed its
original shape. The ignorant emperor, believing him to be possessed with
the devil, ordered him to be beheaded.--_Life of Gregory VII. By Sir
Roger Greisley, Bart._
 Erycius Puteanus (Vander Putten,) added the seventh note to
complete the octave, in the sixteenth century.
* * * * *
During the coronation of Conrad II., Emperor of Germany, in 1204, a
dispute arose between a Roman and a German for a vile ox's hide. It
began with blows, proceeded with stones, and ended by an appeal to arms;
and, after a stout resistance on the part of the Roman people against
the German army, the former were obliged to fly, and were almost totally
massacred. The remainder, although humbled, and in a wretched condition,
were constrained the next day to pass barefooted before the
emperor,--the freemen with their swords unsheathed, the slaves with a
knot round their necks,--declaring themselves ready to obey him, and
asking pardon. What a beautiful contrast between the guardians and
defenders of the Roman people in their frocks and mitres, with these
brave men in their helmets and togas! Such was the triumph over a nation
overcome more by its prejudices than by force, and under such solemn
* * * * *
AN INDIAN TALE, AND OTHER POEMS.
This is a pleasant little volume by our indefatigable correspondent,
_Benjamin Gough_. The _tale_ is founded on an Indian story, by the
author of the _Kuzzilbash_, which appeared in the fifth number of the
_Metropolitan Magazine_; and to it are appended several minor pieces.
The main poem will be read with interest. There are in it touches of
fine feeling, which would not discredit hands of much higher
pretensions. Take this specimen:
There is a time when naught on earth
Can re-awake the chords of mirth,
When joy with all its cherub wiles
Is powerless in creating smiles;
The sun of happiness is set,
And naught remains but deep regret,
And inward pangs and throbs severe,
And disappointment's bitter tear!
The magic charm that swayed the sense
With strong resistless influence
Is broken, and its votary left,
Of the soul's talisman bereft!
In vain the tones of music steal
Upon the ear in soft appeal,
Or friendship with its soothing voice
Bids the hushed tongue again rejoice,
So overwhelming is the grief--
Death only brings a late relief!
And one of the minor pieces:
A RHAPSODY ON NATURE.
Where's the mastery of mind,
Trammelless and unconfined,
Probing Nature's boundless scheme,
Gauging the stupendous theme?
She, that paints horizons bright,
Belting heaven and earth with light!
Beams upon cherubic gaze--
Kindles the volcanic blaze!
Makes Euroclydon her zone--
Sits upon her thunder throne!
Who her eulogy shall dare,
Whose brow is wreathed with lightning glare?
She, who treads the surgy sea
In her stayless majesty,
Curbs each wild (erratic) wave.
When Atlantic tempests rave!
Speaks--the maddened storms increase--
Speaks again--and all is peace.
'Tis her breath's propitious gale
Swells the weather-beaten sail,
Wafts the crew from Britain o'er,
Unto India's spicy shore.
'Tis her bounty fills the earth
With the joys of wine and mirth,
Scatters through her broad domain
All the blessings of her reign;
Seasons roll at her command,
Plenty droppeth from her hand;
Earth and sea and spangled sky
Own her glorious sovereignty,
Walking with a stride immense,
In her tall magnificence,
Mountain heights, where wonders crowd,
Pinnacled in solemn cloud.
Andes, or the snowy scalps
Of the giant towering Alps!
Hills prolific, valley deeps,
Where the muse of silence sleeps;
Frowning cliff, and beetling rock,
Shivered by the deluge shock,
When the world was drowned--and now
Tottering before Ruin's plough.
Forests green, and rivers wide--
Every flow and ebb of tide.
Rivulets, whose crystal veins
Ripple along flowery plains,
Leaping torrents rushing hoarse,
Mimicking the ocean's force,
Leafage in its summer pride--
Flowers to Paradise allied.
Fruit inviting, luscious, such
As seems to paralyze the touch,
As ambrosial nectar sweet,
Ripe and fit for Gods to eat.
Nature's power is seen in all--
Winter's Crown, or Spring-birds' call--
Summer's eloquent perfume,
Autumn's yellow-tinted bloom--
Every chiselled sand grain tells
Nature's might; the petal cells,
Whence the bee her honey draws,
Glorify Creation's laws;
Things minute, or vast expanse
That tires the astronomic glance.
Ocean swathed with azure blue,
Or the gems of morning dew.
_Past_--with all its mighty deeds,
Nature claims its choicest meeds;
_Present_--with portentous calm,
Nature claims its chiefest palm;
_Future_--ah! she trembles _there_,
Nature quivers in despair.
When the master of the scene,
From the cloud-work of serene
Asks her long deputed power--
Takes her sceptre--bids her cower--
Strips her of her ancient robe,
She, who once bestrode the globe--
Flings around his flaming path
Crescents of destructive wrath;
Tramples earth, and rolls in fire
Forth the thunders of his ire.
Nature sinks, no more to rise
While JEHOVAH fills the skies
With his glory high, sublime--
Death is dead, and perished time!
What a scene! when naught shall be
But Chaos and Eternity!
We are happy to find in Mr. Gough's List of Subscribers to his work, a
host of royal and noble patrons, the ministers of the country, the Earl
of Eldon, the Lord and Lady Mayoress, and a few of the Court of
Aldermen--patronage, court and city--combining to encourage Mr. Gough's
* * * * *
CAPTAIN MUNDY'S VISIT TO THE TOMB OF NAPOLEON, AT ST. HELENA.
Having passed two hours on the spot where Napoleon lived and died, we
rode onwards to the vale which contains his bones: it is about half a
mile from Longwood, and within a few hundred yards of the cottage of
Madame Bertrand, to whom he indicated the spot in which he desired to
rest, should the English not allow his remains to lie on the banks of
the Seine. Soon after leaving Bertrand's house, we caught sight of the
tomb, at the bottom of the ravine called Slane's valley, and, descending
a zig-zag path, we quickly reached the spot. About half an acre round
the grave is railed in. At the gate we were received by an old corporal
of the St. Helena corps, who has the care of the place. The tomb itself
consists of a square stone, about ten feet by seven, surrounded with a
plain iron-railing. Four or five weeping-willows, their stems leaning
towards the grave, hang their pensile branches over it.
Who could contemplate without interest the little spot of earth which
covers all that remains of mortal of the man who made Europe tremble!
who carried his victorious arms from the Nile to the Elbe, from Moscow
to the Pillars of Hercules; who bore his eagles triumphantly through
Vienna, Rome, Berlin, Madrid! Beneath our feet lay he, who "du monde
entre ses mains a vu les destinees"--
"The desolator desolate, the victor overthrown!"
"They that see thee," saith the inspired prophet, "they that see thee
shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the
man that made the earth to tremble, and did shake kingdoms; that made
the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened
not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all
of them, lie in glory every one in his own house. Thou shalt not be
joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and
slain thy people; the seed of evil-doers shall never be renowned."
 Isaiah, xiv. 16, 17, 18, 20.
The willows are decaying fast, and one of them rests upon the sharp
spears of the railing, which are buried in its trunk--as though it were
comitting suicide for very grief! The foliage of the rest is thinned and
disfigured by the frequent and almost excusable depredations of
visiters. Fresh cuttings have however, been planted by the Governor, who
intends, moreover, to set cypresses round the outer fence. Madame
Bertrand's immortelles have proved, alas! mortal.
The fine, tall, old corporal, who came out from England with the
ex-emperor, was full of his praises: "I saw the General often," said the
old fellow; "he had an eye in his head like an eagle!" He described the
visit of the French pilgrims to this spot--their Kibla--as most
affecting. Some are extravagant beyond measure in their grief, falling
on their faces round the railing (which they never enter, as foreigners
do), praying, weeping, and even tearing their hair. Whilst we were
there, my friend of yesterday came towards the spot; but when he saw our
large, and, I fear me, rather unimpressed party, he turned upwards, and
disappeared. After inscribing our names in a book--into which also
appropriate poetry, as well as ribald nonsense finds its way--we drank
to Napoleon's immortal memory in his own favourite spring, and mounting
our steeds spurred towards Plantation House.
On the road, we passed within view of "the Briars," where the chief
resided during the building of Longwood; and where he,
"Whose game was kingdoms, and whose stakes were thrones!
His table earth, his dice were human bones!"
played at whist with the owner, Mr. Balcombe, for _sugar-plums!_
* * * * *
* * * * *
(_From the New Monthly Magazine._)
Daniel De Foe said there was only this difference between the fates of
Charles the First, and his son James the Second; that the former's was a
wet martyrdom and the other's a dry one. When Sir Richard Steele was
made a Member of the Commons it was expected from his ingenious writings
that he would have been an admirable orator, but it not proving so, De
Foe said "He had better have continued the _Spectator_ than the
The local designation of the following anecdote confirms its
authenticity, which however required no other indication than the
characteristic humour of Addison in his odd conception of old Montaigne.
When Mr. Addison lodged in Kensington Square, he read over some of
"Montaigne's Essays," and finding little or no information in the
chapters of what their titles promised, he closed the book more confused
"What think you of this famous French author?" said a gentleman present.
"Think!" said he, smiling. "Why that a pair of manacles, or a stone
doublet would probably have been of some service to that author's
"Would you imprison a man for singularity in writing?"
"Why let me tell you," replied Addison, "if he had been a horse he would
have been pounded for straying, and why he ought to be more favoured
because he is a man, I cannot understand."
A medical confession, frankly delivered by that eminent physician and
wit, Sir Samuel Garth, has been fortunately preserved; perhaps the truth
it reveals is as conspicuous as its humour.
Dr. Garth (so he is called in the manuscript) who was one of the Kit-Kat
Club, coming there one night, declared he must soon begone, having many
patients to attend; but some good wine being produced he forgot them.
When Sir Richard Steele reminded him of his appointments, Garth
immediately pulled out his list, which amounted to fifteen--and said,
"It's no great matter whether I see them to-night or not, for nine of
them have such bad constitutions, that all the physicians in the world
can't save them, and the other six have so good constitutions that all
the physicians in the world can't kill them."
Sir Godfrey Kneller latterly painted more for profit than for praise,
and is said to have used some whimsical preparations in his colours
which made them work fair and smoothly off, but not endure. A friend
noticing it to him said, "What do you think posterity will say, Sir
Godfrey Kneller, when they see these pictures some years hence?"
"Say!" replied the artist: "Why they'll say Sir Godfrey Kneller never
An extraordinary prosecution for a singular libel occurred under the
administration of the Duke of Buckingham. Some fiddlers at Staines were
indicted for singing scandalous songs of the Duke. The songs also did
not fail to libel both James and Charles. The Bench were puzzled how to
proceed. The offensive passages they would not permit to be openly read
in court, lest the scandals should spread. It was a difficult point to
turn. They were anxious that the people should see that they did not
condemn these songs without due examination. They hit upon this
expedient. Copies of the songs were furnished to every Lord and Judge
present; and the Attorney-General in his charge, when touching on the
offending passages, did not, as usual, read them out, but noticed them
by only repeating the first and the final lines, and when he had closed
they were handed to the fiddlers at the bar, interrogating them whether
these were not the songs which they had sung of the Duke? To this they
confessed, and were condemned in a heavy fine of 500_l._ and to be
pilloried and whipped.
This novel and covert mode of trial excited great discontent among the
friends of civil freedom. It was asserted, that all trials should be
open, and that a court of justice was always a public place, where the
judges publicly delivered the reasons and the grounds of their judgment.
The mode now resorted to, was turning a court of judgment into a private
chamber, and excluding the hearers from understanding the reasons of
every judge's opinion, and the court themselves from hearing each
other's. It was farther alleged, that in the present case, the Lords
could not be sure that the copies showed to the prisoners were the same
as that which each had before him, or that every Lord had looked into
the same paper which was showed to the fiddlers, so that they might be
condemned for that in which they stood not implicated.--I suppose this
singular case of the _Fiddlers of Staines_, to be unique, and never to
have been perpetuated in any of our law books.
* * * * *
CHAPEL OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, AT HAMPTON WICK.
[Illustration: CHAPEL OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, AT HAMPTON WICK.]
Hampton Wick is a cheerful little village in Middlesex, at the foot of
Kingston Bridge. This Chapel occupies a prominent position on a road
lately formed through the village, having its western front towards
Bushy Park and the road leading to Hampton Court. The character of the
building is the modern Gothic, forming an agreeable elevation, without
any display of ornament. The building is faced with Suffolk brick and
Bath stone. The interior dimensions are sixty-five feet by forty-three
feet, with galleries on three sides, and a handsome recessed window over
the altar-piece at the east end. The principal timbers of the roof are
formed into Gothic perforated compartments, which give an addition of
height to the Chapel, and an airy, decorative ceiling, at a small
expense. The Chapel is calculated to contain eight hundred sittings, of
which four hundred are free and unappropriated; and great benefit is
anticipated from its erection in this populous neighbourhood, the parish
church being at the distance of two miles and a half from the hamlet.
The architect was Mr. Lapidge, who built Kingston Bridge, in the
immediate vicinity. Mr. Lapidge generously gave the site, and inclosed
one side of the ground at his own expense. The building was defrayed by
a parliamentary grant from His Majesty's Church Commissioners, on an
understanding with the parishioners, that the Church at Hampton should,
at the same time, be enlarged by the parish. The cost of the Chapel and
the inclosure of the site was about L4,500.
The first stone was laid on the 7th of October, 1829, and the building
was finished previous to the 8th of November, 1830. The Hamlet of
Hampton Wick has been since made a District for Ecclesiastical purposes,
whereby the Chapel has become the Church of that District.
* * * * *
* * * * *
In our last volume we noticed the announcement of a volume of
_Descriptive Sketches of Tunbridge Wells_, by Mr. Britton: and here it
is, with prints and plans, and a deep roseate binding--one of the most
elegant volumes of the season, and yet purchasable for a crown. We did
not expect a dull, unsatisfactory guidebook--a mere finger-post
folio--nor has the author produced such a commonplace volume. Hence
these "Sketches" have much of the neatness and polish, the patient
investigation and research of an author who has delighted in attachment
to his subject. The work contains a few of the scenes and objects of the
road from London to the Wells in outline; a panoramic sketch of the
Wells; the olden characteristics; and the modern improvements, including
the Calverley Park estate; the _natural history_ of the district,
including the air, water, and diseases for which the water is
recommended by Dr. Yeats; and the geological features of the country,
from the able pen of Mr. Gideon Mantell, of Lewes; lastly, brief notice
of seats, scenes, and antiquities in the environs of the Wells.
Of Tunbridge Wells, as an olden and modern resort, we have very recently
spoken, and we are happy to perceive that the association of the
place with the literary characters of the last century, as pleasantly
recorded by Samuel Richardson, has been turned to interesting account in
the pages before us. Cumberland, the dramatist, _we_ omitted to mention,
not only resided for some years, but wrote many of his works, at
Tunbridge Wells: and here he recognised the sterling talent of Dowton,
the comedian, who, through Cumberland, was first introduced to the
London stage. "One of the houses at Mount Ephraim, (at the Wells,)
adjoining the Tunbridge Ware manufactory, formerly belonged to the
infamous judge Jeffries;" and an adjoining house was built by Sir Edmund
King, physician to Charles II., and his frequent residence here probably
attracted the court. The antiquities of the environs are very
attractive. On a lofty knoll are the remains of an ancient encampment,
called Saxon-bury Castle, from its name, ascribed to the Saxons; a
neighbouring spot bears the name of Dane's Gate, and is supposed to be
part of an old trackway or military road. "On Edridge Green continued,
for many years, a curious mortar or large gun, said to have been the
first made in England. The tradition is that it was cast at Buxted
furnace about twelve miles north of Lewes. It is preserved in the
British Museum; and some account of it, with a print, is given in the
_Archaeologia_, vol. x. p. 472." Next is the estate of Edridge, among
the lords of which were Godwin, Earl of Kent and the Earl of Montaigne
and Cornwall: Mayfield, was possessed by the see of Canterbury before
the Norman conquest, and at its palace Sir Thomas Gresham lived in
sumptuous style, and probably entertained Queen Elizabeth in one of her
progresses; among the curiosities here the anvil, hammer, and tongs,
which are traditionally said to have belonged to the noted St. Dunstan,
"and, who is also said to have used the last instrument most
ungallantly, and even brutishly, in twinging the nose of Old Nick, who
tempted the immaculate prelate in the form of a fine lady;" Bayham, or
Bageham Abbey, about 6 miles south-east of the Wells, was a monastery of
great extent in 1200, but is now so dilapidated and overgrown as
scarcely to enable the antiquary to trace its architectural features:
here too is an immense pollard ash-tree, which Gough describes, in his
additions to Camden's _Britannia_, as being "several yards in girth, as
old, if not older, than the abbey, and supposed to be the largest
extant." Mr. Britton likewise noticed here a curious instance of ivy,
which has not only covered nearly the whole surface of the (abbey)
building, but has insinuated its treacherous branches into the joints
and crevices of the masonry. "The wood," says our observant author, "has
grown to a great size, and displaced columns, mouldings, mullions, &c.
and thus overturned and destroyed the very objects it was intended to
adorn." What a picture is this of the wild luxuriance of nature
devastating the trim and chiselled glories of art! Next is Scotney
Castle, the ancient part of which is said to have been a fortress in the
reign of Richard II.; the moat still remains. The author hints that the
tour may be advantageously extended to Bodiam Castle; Winchelsea, near
which is Camber, one of the fortresses built by Henry VIII. to guard the
south coast; Battle Abbey, founded by William the Norman, and calling up
in review the battle of Hastings, and the Bayeaux tapestry; the Roman
fort of Pevensey; and Hurstmonceaux Castle built by Roger Fiennes,
treasurer to King Henry VI. Returning to the Wells, and in the more
immediate vicinity, are Somer Hill, whose chase, manor, and
appurtenances were conveyed by Queen Elizabeth to her favourite Dudley,
Earl of Leicester, and subsequently to the widow of the magnanimous but
ill-fated Earl of Essex; also, Great Bounds, of the age of Elizabeth,
and conveyed to her relative Henry Cary, Lord Hunsden. Come we then to
Tunbridge Castle, built by De Tonbridge, a kinsman of the Conqueror, who
came with the invaders to share the spoil of their victory: "here, it is
said, he congregated his retainers and vassals. These were all called
into active service soon after the death of William I.," for De
Tonbridge, (or Earl Clare, as he had been created,) espoused the cause
of Robert Curtoise, in opposition to William Rufus, who had seized the
crown. The castle is described by Mr. Britton with interesting and not
dry-as-dust minuteness, although only some dilapidated and almost
undefinable fragments remain. Tunbridge Priory and the Free Grammar
School are next mentioned, the latter in connexion with Dr. Vicesimus
Knox, who was master of the school for some years.
 See _Mirror_, vol. xiv. p. 66, and vol. xviii. p. 225.
Let us hope that the frequenters of the Wells will not, in their grave
moments, forget the olden glory of _Penshurst_, about six miles N.W. of
the gay resort,--Penshurst, as Mr. Britton terms it, "the memorable, the
once splendid, but now sadly dilapidated mansion of the Sydneys," or as
Charlotte Smith sung with touching simplicity, in 1788:
Upon this spot,
Ye towers sublime, deserted now and drear,
Ye woods deep sighing to the hollow blast!
The musing wand'rer loves to linger near,
While History points to all your glories past.
Yet, how can we enumerate the ancient fame of Penshurst in this brief
memoir; from Sir John de Poulteney, who first embattled the mansion in
the reign of Edward II:, to Sir John Shelley Sydney, the present
proprietor of the estate; or how can we here describe the mansion,
wherein that pains-taking investigator, Mr. Carter, in 1805, recognised
the architectural characteristics of the reigns of Henry II., Richard
III., Henry VIII., Elizabeth, James I. and George I. and III. But we
must observe, "it is presumed, that whilst residing here, Henry VIII.
became acquainted with Anne Boleyn, then living with her father at Hever
Castle, in this neighbourhood." Among the more glorious events of the
place, is the birth of the amiable Sir Philip Sydney here, Nov. 29,
1554, as Spencer dignified him, "the president of nobleness and
chivalrie;" the celebrated _Algernon_; and his daughter, the Saccharissa
of Waller. In this romantic retreat, Sydney probably framed his
_Arcadia_; here he may have sung
O sweet woods, the delight of solitariness!
O how much do I like your solitariness.
Enough of the baronial hall at Penshurst has been spared to show the
lantern for ventilation in the roof, "the original fire-hearth beneath
it, with a large and-iron for sustaining the blazing log;" though of the
place generally, Mr. Britton observes, "A house that has been so long
deserted by its masters must exhibit various evidences of ruin and
decay. Not only walls, roofs, and timbers, but the interior furniture
and ornaments are assailed by moth, rust, and other destructive
operations." Alas! the fittest scene of Burke's lament for chivalry
would have been the hall of Penshurst. Yet, _a_ Sir Philip Sydney
exists, and has lately been honoured with some distinction, as Churchill
would say, "flowing from the crown." In the park at Penshurst, is,
however, one of Nature's memorials of one of her proudest sons--"a fine
old oak tree, said to have been planted at Sir Philip Sydney's birth:"
and in Penshurst churchyard, on the south side of the mansion, several
of the Sydneys lie sleeping. _Requiescant in pace._
Hever Castle, built in the reign of Edward III., already mentioned as
the residence of the Boleyns, is about four miles north-west of
We have left ourselves but space to mention in the vicinity of the
Wells, Buckhurst and Knole, magnificent seats of the Sackvilles, Earls
of Dorset, whose splendid details have already filled volumes. Lastly,
we promise the Wells visiter some gratification, by extending his tour
to Brambletye House, memorialized in Horace Smith's entertaining novel.
These few traits may serve to show the picturesqueness of the environs
of the Wells, and consequently of Mr. Britton's volume; and we leave the
reader with their grateful impression on his memory.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
TO CAROLINE, VISCOUNTESS VALLETORT.
WRITTEN AT LACOCK ABBEY, JANUARY, 1832.
_By Thomas Moore, Esq._
When I would sing thy beauty's light,
Such various forms, and all so bright,
I've seen thee, from thy childhood, wear,
I know not which to call most fair,
Nor 'mong the countless charms that spring
For ever round thee, _which_ to sing.
When I would paint thee, as thou _art_,
Then all thou _wert_ comes o'er my heart,--
The graceful child, in beauty's dawn,
Within the nursery's shade withdrawn,
Or peeping out,--like a young moon
Upon a world 'twill brighten soon.
Then next, in girlhood's blushing hour,
As from thy own loved Abbey-tower
I've seen thee look, all radiant, down,
With smiles that to the hoary frown
Of centuries round thee lent a ray,
Chacing ev'n Age's gloom away;--
Or, in the world's resplendent throng,
As I have mark'd thee glide along,
Among the crowds of fair and great
A spirit, pure and separate,
To which even Admiration's eye
Was fearful to approach too nigh;--
A creature, circled by a spell
Within which nothing wrong could dwell,
And fresh and clear as from the source,
Holding through life her limpid course,
Like Arethusa through the sea,
Stealing in fountain purity.
Now, too, another change of light!
As noble bride, still meekly bright,
Thou bring'st thy Lord a dower above
All earthly price, pure woman's love;
And show'st what lustre Rank receives,
When with his proud Corinthian leaves
Her rose, too, high-bred Beauty weaves.
Wonder not if, where all's so fair,
To choose were more than bard can dare;
Wonder not if, while every scene
I've watch'd thee through so bright hath been,
Th' enamour'd Muse should, in her quest
Of beauty, know not where to rest,
But, dazzled, at thy feet thus fall,
Hailing thee beautiful in all!
* * * * *
PROGRESS OF CRIME.
(From a paper in _Fraser's Magazine_, entitled the _Schoolmaster in
Newgate_--evidently from the hand of a shrewd observer, and the result
of considerable experience and laborious investigation.)
By a reference to the Old Bailey session calendar, it will be seen that
about 3,000 prisoners are annually committed to Newgate, making little
short of 400 each session, of which there are eight in a year. Out of
the gross number, about 350 are discharged by proclamation. Of these
nothing can be said, as they must be considered innocent of the crimes
with which they were charged, there not being _prima facie_ evidence to
send them on their trials. There remain 2,550 who are tried, with the
progressive increase of 4-7ths annually. Some persons have supposed this
accumulation of offenders bears a regular proportion to the progress of
population. As well may they assert that the demand for thieves in
society regulates the supply, as in other markets of merchandise. The
cause is in the maladministration of the laws--the sending out so many
old offenders every session to teach and draw in the more juvenile and
less experienced hands--with the uncertainty of punishment, by the
inequality of sentences for crimes of a like nature--to which may be
added the many instances of mistaken, or rather _mis-directed_ leniency,
compared with others of enormous severity for trifling offences; all
which tend to induce the London thieves to entertain a contempt for that
tribunal. An opinion prevails throughout the whole body, that justice is
not done there. I do not mean to say they complain of the sentences
being too severe generally; that would be natural enough on their parts,
and not worth notice. They believe everything done at that court a
matter of chance; that _in the same day, and for a like crime_, one man
will be sentenced to _transportation for life_, while another may be let
off for a _month's imprisonment_, and yet both equally bad characters.
It only needs that punishment should be sure to follow the conviction
for crime, and that the judgments should be uniform and settled, to
strike terror into the whole body of London criminals. Out of the 2,550
annually tried, nearly one-fourth are acquitted, leaving little short of
2,000 for sentence in each year. Of these the average transported are
800; deduct 200 for cases of an incidental nature, i.e. crimes not
committed by regular offenders, and there remain 1,000 professed thieves
who are again turned loose in a short period on the town, all of whom
appear in due course again at the court of the Old Bailey, or at some
other, many times in the revolution of one year. Here lies the mischief.
An old thief will be sure to enlist others to perpetuate the race. There
is no disguising the fact: the whole blame is with the court whose duty
it is to take cognizance of these characters. Whilst the present system
is pursued, of allowing so many old offenders to escape with trifling
punishments, the evils will be increased, and the business of the court
go on augmenting, by its own errors. The thief is now encouraged to
speculate on his chances--in his own phraseology, "his good luck." Every
escape makes him more reckless. I knew one man who was allowed a course
of seventeen imprisonments and other punishments before his career was
stopped by transportation; a sentence which does, however, sooner or
later overtake them, and which would be better both for themselves and
the country were it passed the first time they were in the hands of the
court as known thieves. Observing only a certain, and nearly an equal,
number transported each session, they have imbibed a notion, that the
recorder cannot exceed it, and that he selects those to whom he takes a
dislike at the bar, not for the magnitude of their offence, but from
caprice or chance. It is under this impression they are afraid of
speaking when in court, lest they should give offence, and excite
petulance in the judge, which would, in their opinion, inevitably
include them in the devoted batch of transports, of which their horror
is inconceivable; 1st, because many have already undergone the
punishment; and 2dly, all who have not are fully aware of the privations
to which it subjects them. Their anxious inquiry regarding every
particular relating to the treatment, is a strong manifestation of their
uneasiness on this subject. Yet Mr. Wontner and Mr. Wakefield (says the
_Quarterly_ reviewer) think neither transportation nor the hulks have
any terrors for them. How they come to this opinion, I cannot imagine.
If they draw their inference from the noise and apparent mirth of the
prisoners when they leave Newgate for the hulks, I think their premises
The transports are taken from Newgate in parties of twenty-five, which
is called a draft. When the turnkeys lock up the wards of the prison at
the close of the day, they call over the names of the convicts under
orders for removal, at the same time informing them at what hour of the
night or morning they will be called for, and to what place and ship
they are destined. This notice, which frequently is not more than three
or four hours, is all that is given them; a regulation rendered
necessary to obviate the bustle and confusion heretofore experienced, by
their friends and relatives thronging the gates of the prison,
accompanied by valedictory exclamations at the departure of the van in
which they are conveyed. Before this order arrives, most of them have
endured many months' confinement, and having exhausted the liberality,
or funds--perhaps both--of their friends, have been constrained to
subsist on the goal allowance. This, together with the sameness of a
prison life, brings on a weariness of mind, which renders any change
agreeable to their now broken spirits; the prospect of a removal
occasions a temporary excitement, which, to those unaccustomed to reason
on the matter, may appear like gaiety, and carelessness of the future.
The noise and apparent recklessness, however, on these occasions, are
produced more by those prisoners who are to remain behind, availing
themselves of the opportunity to beguile a few hours of tedious
existence by a noisy and forced merriment, which they know the officers
on duty will impute to the men under orders for the ship. This is
confirmed by the inmates of the place being, on all other nights of the
year, peaceable after they have been locked up in their respective
wards. Those who suppose there is any real mirth or indifference among
them at any time, have taken but a superficial view of these wretched
men. Heaviness and sickness of heart are always with them; they will at
times make an effort to feel at ease, but all their hilarity is
fictitious and assumed--they have the common feelings of our nature, and
of which they can never divest themselves. Those who possess an unusual
buoyancy of spirits, and gloss over their feelings with their
companions, I have ever observed on the whole, to feel the most internal
agony. I have seen upwards of two thousand under this sentence, and
never conversed with one who did not appear to consider the punishment,
if it exceeded seven years, _equal to death_. May, the accomplice of
Bishop and Williams, told me, the day after his respite, if they meant
to transport him, he did not thank them for his life. The following is
another striking instance of the view they have of this punishment. A
man named Shaw, who suffered for housebreaking about two years since,
awoke during the night previous to his execution, and said, "Lee!"
(speaking to the man in the cell with him) "I have often said I would be
rather hanged than transported; but now it comes so close as this, I
begin to think otherwise." Shortly afterwards he turned round to the
same man and said, "I was wrong in what I said just now; I am still of
my former opinion: hanging is the best of the two;" and he remained in
the same mind all the night. The first question an untried prisoner asks
of those to whom he is about to entrust his defence is, "Do you think I
shall be transported? Save me from that, and I don't mind any thing
else." One thing, however, is clear: no punishment hitherto has lessened
the number of offenders; nor will any ever be efficient, until the
penalties awarded by the law unerringly follow conviction, especially
with the common robbers.
Turn over the pages of the Old Bailey session papers for years past, and
you cannot but be struck with the anomalies which are there apparent,
with respect to crimes and the sentences which have followed. The
impression a perusal of these papers made on my mind, was as if all the
business had been done by lottery; and my observation during twenty-two
sessions on the occurring cases has tended to convince me, that a
distribution of justice from that wheel of chance could not present a
more incongruous and confused record of convictions and punishments. In
no case (always excepting the capitals) can any person, however acute
and experienced, form the slightest opinion of what the judgment of the
court will be. Of this the London thieves are fully aware. I never could
succeed in persuading one before his trial, that he was deprived of all
chance of escape. They will answer, "Look what a court it is! how many
worse than me _do_ scramble through; and who knows but I may be lucky."
What men know they must endure, they fear; what they think they can
escape, they despise: their calculation of three-fourths escaping is
very near the truth. Hope, the spring of action, induces each to say to
himself, "Why may I not be the lucky one?" THE CHANCE THUS GIVEN OF
ACQUITTAL IS THE MAIN CAUSE OF CRIME. I do not mean to say three-fourths
come off free; they are subjected to some kind of punishment (excepting
a few cases of judgment respited); the others feel, no doubt, what they
undergo, but it is only as a soldier in the fight considers a
scratch--otherwise coming off with a whole skin, being ready for action
again. Another evil arises out of this irregularity of judgments. All
punishments are rendered severe and useful in proportion as the offender
feels he deserves it, and is conscious of having only his _quantum
meritus._. This the convict can now never feel, seeing his companion in
crime let off for a few months' imprisonment, he (his companion) having
been guilty of an offence equal to his own, and for which he (the
convict) is transported for life. Those connected with the court, in the
conversations I have had with them, say, "circumstances of character
occasion the apparent anomalies;" being unable, or perhaps unwilling, to
give a better. That a good character does not avail the prisoner, or
direct the court in its judgments, may be seen by a mere inspection of
the printed trials, and is better known to all who have watched the
proceedings of this court for any time. Hundreds of cases might be cited
to illustrate this fact. I remember the case of two butchers, whose
briefs I wrote, which occurred last year. One was an old, the other a
young man, both having been in the employ of the prosecutor. They were
charged with stealing a breast of mutton from their master: both were
found guilty. The old man had persons to speak as to his character for
honesty for forty years last past (his former masters); the young one
had not a solitary witness to say a word for him. The former was
sentenced to fourteen years' transportation; the latter to six months in
the house of correction. When the prosecutor heard of the circumstance,
he got up a petition to the secretary of state for a remission of the
sentence, in which he stated that on the trial he himself had given the
old man a good character, and not the other. Instances of this kind
occur out of number to confirm the rogues in their preconceived notions
of the uncertainty of punishment, and that "the greatest crimes come off
the best." This is an aphorism among the thieves. I have seen some of
them, after being sentenced by the court, dance for hours, calling out
continuously, "Did I not tell you all, the biggest rogues get off the
best?" The scene in the several yards of Newgate on the sentence-days,
after the judgments have been passed, defies any description on paper.
Some will be seen jumping and skipping about for hours, frenzied with
joy at the very unexpectedly mild sentence passed on them; others are
cursing and swearing, calling down imprecations on the head of the
recorder, for having, as they say, so unfairly measured out justice; all
agreeing there is no proportion in the punishments to the crimes. It may
be said, it is of little import what these men think, so they are
punished. But is it of no importance under what impression the others
are discharged? If the discharged feel (as assuredly they do) that
punishment is a matter of chance, they return to their habits as the
hazard-player goes again to the dice, in hopes of coming off a winner,
and reimbursing himself for former losses. There is another evil comes
out of these unequal sentences. The discontent it produces on the minds
of those who fall under the more heavy judgments, which militates
against their reformation: instead of reflecting on their situation as
brought on by themselves, they take refuge in complaint and invective,
declaring they are "sacrificed"--in their own language, "murdered men."
I have often said, "Why complain? You knew the consequence of
detection." "Yes," would be the reply; "but look at the case of Tom ----
and Bill ----. Not that I am sorry they have got off; but is it not a
shame to give me a _lifer_, and they only a month each?" Such answers
are always given when any attempt is made to reconcile them to their
fate. They carry this feeling with them to the hulks, where they amuse
each other with all the tales of hardship within their knowledge;
meditating revenge, by which they mean becoming more desperate in crime,
and making reprisals on the public, when they shall be again at large.
They become imbued with a notion the judge has more to answer for than
themselves. Opinions of this nature are very common among them, and
prevent the discipline to which they are submitted having its proper
effect. Minds in the state of theirs seize on any supposed injury to
brood over and stifle their own reproaches. Of this _dernier ressort_
they would be deprived, if equal sentences were passed on all for like
offences. They are now all ill-used men, by comparison with others who
have been more fortunate. The present system holds out so many chances
for the offender to escape, that it acts as an inducement to continue
his practices, and to all loose characters, not yet accomplished in the
art of plunder, to become so. Again, by the discharge of so many known
thieves every sessions, so many masters are sent into the town to draw
in and teach others, by which a regular supply is brought up to fill the
ranks of those who fall in the conflict.
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF _NEW WORKS._
* * * * *
A little volume has just appeared, with the title of _The Truth of
Revelation demonstrated by an appeal to existing monuments, sculptures,
gems, coins, and medals_. The author is stated to be "a Fellow of
several learned Societies," and has dedicated his work to Dr. Chalmers,
who approved of its original plan. We confess this to be too extensive
for us to explain in a few lines, although we do not hesitate to say,
that a more amusing book upon abstruse subjects has scarcely ever met
our attention. It is literally filled with facts and closely-packed
inquiries, and these are so attractively arranged as to amuse a listless
_The Ark of Noah and Mount Ararat._
"It has been supposed that the ark rested on Mount Ararat in Armenia:
Josephus countenances this view of it, and it is interesting to observe,
that the name of the Armenian city where it has been supposed the ark at
last grounded, signifies the _Place of Descent_, from the Greek [Greek:
aporataeeion]:--others have, however, urged that it rested upon Mount
Caucasus, near Apamea, in Phrygia, from the circumstance that in Genesis
xi. 2, the sons of the patriarch are represented as journeying westward
from the place of descent, and Mount Ararat in Armenia being _west_ of
this country. The language of the sacred writer does not particularly
define the question. Mount Ararat, according to Morier, is at once awful
in its elevation, and beautiful in its form. Sir Robert Ker Porter
describes this celebrated mountain as divided, by a chasm of about seven
miles wide, into two distinct peaks, called The Great and The Little
Ararat, and is of opinion that the ark finally rested in this chasm.
This pleasing and elegant writer gives a beautiful description of
Ararat. 'I beheld Ararat in all its amplitude of grandeur. From the spot
on which I stood, it appeared as if the hugest mountains of the world
had been piled upon each other, to form this one sublime immensity of
earth, and rock, and snow. The icy peaks of its double heads rose
majestically into the clear and cloudless heavens; the sun blazed bright
upon them, and the reflection sent forth a dazzling radiance equal to
other suns. This point of the view united the utmost grandeur of plain
and height, but the feelings I experienced while looking on the mountain
are hardly to be described. My eye, not able to rest for any length of
time on the blinding glory of its summits, wandered down the apparently
interminable sides, till I could no longer trace their vast lines in the
mists of the horizon; when an inexpressible impulse immediately carrying
my eye upwards again, refixed my gaze on the awful glare of Ararat; and
this bewildered sensibility of sight, being answered by a similar
feeling in the mind, for some moments I was lost in a strange suspension
of the powers of thought.'"
"Nothing seems to be better substantiated and established than the
circumfusion of the waters of the deluge. The language of the Sacred
Volume is clear and decisive on this point. 'The waters prevailed
exceedingly on the earth; and all the high hills that were under the
whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters
prevail, and the mountains were covered.' The attestations to this fact,
in organic remains, are universal, and completely conclusive. In Italy
entire skeletons of whales have been found at an elevation of not less
than one thousand two hundred feet above the level of the Mediterranean.
In a letter of the 5th May, 1830, to the Asiatic Society of Calcutta, M.
Gerard states, that he had collected shells among the snowy mountains of
the frontiers of Thibet: some of them were obtained on the crest of a
pass, seventeen thousand feet above the level of the sea. Here were also
found fragments of rock, bearing impressions of shells, detached from
the contiguous peak rising far above the elevated level: generally,
however, it would appear, that the rocks from whence these shells were
collected, rise to an altitude of about sixteen thousand feet; one cliff
was no less than a mile in perpendicular height above the nearest level.
M. Gerard continues, 'Just before crossing the boundary of Sudak into
Bassalier, I was exceedingly gratified by the discovery of a bed of
fossil oysters clinging to the rock as if they had been alive.' No doubt
many of the rocks are in more sublime relief now, than they were in the
antediluvian world. The subsidence of the land and lower levels, and the
action of submarine currents would scoop out deep valleys; and no doubt,
much that is now 'dry land,' once formed the bed of the ocean. Alpine
structures have emerged from the deep, and volcanoes have heaped up
elevations on mountains already lofty and sublime; as Cotopaxi,
Antisana, and Tunguragua, amid the range of the Cordilleras of the
Andes. The Geological Society has a series of ammonites from India.
These fossils are objects of adoration to the Hindoos: they fall on the
S.W. side of the Himala mountains from an altitude which exceeds that of
perpetual congelation: they are picked up by the natives, and
religiously preserved, being concealed as much as possible from the
scrutiny of Europeans. Mont Perdu, among the Appennines, which rise to
an altitude of eleven thousand feet above the sea's level, encloses an
innumerable multitude of testacea: and Humboldt found sea-shells among
the Andes, fourteen thousand feet above the level of the ocean. At
Touraine, on the Continent, is a bed of shells which extends nearly
twenty-seven miles, having a depth of twenty feet. Mount Bolca contains
upwards of one hundred species of fish from the four quarters of the
earth, and collected together in one immense assemblage."
(_To be continued._)
* * * * *
* * * * *
NOTES UPON NOTES.
We abridge the following from a few Horticultural Notes on a Journey
from Rome to Naples, in March last, contributed to that excellent work,
the _Gardeners' Magazine_, by W. Spence, Esq. F.L.S.
_Italian Inn._--Mr. Spence says, "Our rooms at the inn at Capua, where
we slept, opened on a terraced garden, with orange trees, vines trained
on arched trellises, marble fountains, &c., which, for ten shillings
expense, might have been made very gay and attractive; but all was
forlornness and disorder, the beds untrimmed, and the walks littered
with dirt. Two magnificent plants of Opuntia vulgaris, which flanked one
of the windows, the waiter said, were planted there '_per pompa_' (for
pomp's sake); a motive, unfortunately, so often the leading one in
Italy, without any regard to the humbler ones of neatness and order."
_Pontine Marshes._--Mr. Spence observes "the desolate aspect attributed
to these twenty-four miles of the road between Rome and Naples is one of
the many exaggerations which prevail with regard to Italy." He describes
the surface as dead-flat, with occasional portions covered with reeds,
or overflowed with water, giving the whole a fenny character, yet, as
happily, there are no pollard willows, and the road runs the whole way
between two rows of tall elm trees, the general effect to the eye is not
offensive, and far less repulsive than some parts of Holland or
_Italian Landscapes._--The absence of fine full-grown trees is the great
defect of landscape scenes in Italy, where you sometimes travel a
hundred miles (as in Lombardy) without setting eyes on a tree that has
not been pollarded or lopped.
_Palming._--In the north of Italy palm-trees are cultivated, to sell
their leaves to the Romish churches for Palm-Sunday.
_Italian Climate._--The true Italian climate is confined to a very small
portion of Italy, namely, to some favoured spots on the western coast.
Here the approximation of the Apennines to the sea, at once keeps off
the north and east winds, and reflecting the sun's rays, affords the
temperature which the orange, lemon, &c. require. The moment you recede
from the coast, especially if a very trifling elevation of ground takes
place, farewell to oranges and lemons at least in any perfection.
_Sweet Lemon._--At Naples a curious variety of lemon is exposed in the
streets for sale, having externally the exact colour and shape of an
orange, except that at the stalk end is a depression, and on this a
prominence, as in the lemon, but within having the pale pulp of the
lemon, and sweet juice.
_Economy._--In the square of the town of Caserta, Mr. Spence saw exposed
for sale bundles of green lupine plants pulled up by the roots, and of
the roots of couch grass, which we burn, but which the Italians more
wisely give as a saccharine and grateful food to horses.
_Campagna Felice_ is the title given to the extensive tract of land
which lies between the mountains to the north-east of Caserta and
Naples, and the Mediterranean. The whole is cultivated like a garden:
rows of lopped elms or poplars intersect the fields, at the distance of
40 or 50 feet between each row, to which vines are trained: and the
intermediate space is occupied by luxuriant wheat; lupines, pulled green
for fodder; garden-beans; or ground prepared for ploughing by two oxen,
without a driver, for Indian corn, &c. This is one of the grand
advantages of the climate of Italy, that, while in northern Europe vast
tracts of land are devoted to the exclusive growth of barley for beer,
the Italians obtain a far better beverage from the very same land that
supplies their bread corn, and without materially interfering with its
produce: for both the vines and the trees that support them are planted
so deep as to consume only the manure, which, in any case, would be
washed away; and their slight shade is rather beneficial than injurious
to the crops below.
_Fruit at Naples._--Mr. Spence saw in March grapes of several varieties,
kept through the winter, not much shrivelled, and quite free from
mouldiness. Oranges in glorious profusion (chiefly from Sorrento,
fifteen miles distant,) and so cheap as to allow the poorest of the poor
to enjoy (what Dr. Johnson complained he had never had of peaches but
once) their fill of them, and that daily. The middle-sized ones (which
are the best) sell at four for a grano, which is at the rate of ten for
a penny English; and the poor get twice as many of those beginning to
* * * * *
_Ancient Starvation._--Hume tells us "The Monks and Prior of St. Swithin
threw themselves, one day, prostrate on the ground, and in the mire,
before Henry II., complaining, with many tears and much doleful
lamentation, that the Bishop of Winchester, who was also their Abbot,
had cut off three dishes from their tables. 'How many has he left you?'
said the king, '_Ten only_' replied the disconsolate monks. 'I, myself,'
exclaimed the king, 'never have more than three, and I enjoin your
bishop to reduce you to the same number.'" P.T.W.
_Ice Water._--The Chinese rise at day-break, after a hard frost to
gather ice, which they melt, and carefully bottle up as a remedy for
fever in the hot months.
A French marquess having received several blows over his shoulders with
a stick, which he never thought of resenting, a friend asked him how he
could reconcile it with his honour, to suffer them to pass without
notice. "Poh," said the marquess, "I never trouble myself with anything
that passes behind my back."
_Epitaph in Wycombe Churchyard_, 1688.
Here lies one whose rest
Gives me a restless life,
Because I've lost a good
And virtuous wyfe.
_General Generalissimo._--Bayle tells us of a General of the Jesuits at
Rome, once exulting of his greatness and his order--who thus expressed
himself to a friend:--"I will tell you, in this very chamber, I govern
Rome--what am I talking about? Rome! I govern all Italy--what do I say?
Italy! I govern Europe itself; and not Europe alone, but the whole
_Classic Felony._--Sir John Hayward, was imprisoned by order of Queen
Elizabeth, on account of some things advanced in his _Life and Reign of
Henry IV_. She applied to Bacon to see if he could discover any passages
that were treasonable, but his reply was, that "for treason he found
none, but for felony, very many," which he explained by saying, that the
author had stolen many sentences from Tacitus, and translated them into
_A Likeness._--One of our old travellers on the continent, tells the
following anecdote of a capuchin preacher: The friar observed, that
whenever he held forth to his congregation, a certain man never failed
to burst into tears, and continue weeping during the sermon. Supposing
he had touched the man's soul by the eloquence of his oratory, the
friar, with much self-satisfaction, one day ventured to inquire why he
wept. "Ah, father!" said the peasant, "I never see you but I think of a
venerable goat, which I lost at Easter! We were bred up together in the
same family; he was the very picture of your reverence; one would swear
you were brothers. Poor Baudoim! He died of a fall--God rest his soul! I
would willingly pay for a couple of masses to pray him out of
The Peerage.--The following is the number in each grade of the English
peerage:--Dukes, 25; Marquesses, 34; Earls, 142; Viscounts, 22; Barons,
125; Countess, 1; Viscountess, 1; and Baronesses, 4.
* * * * *
*** In the article "Premiers," page 320, of the present volume, for Mr.
Fox 7, read 9. W.G.C.
* * * * *
_Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset
House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; G.G.
BENNIS, 55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris; and by all Newsmen and
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