The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction
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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XIX. NO. 539.] SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 1832. [PRICE 2_d_.
* * * * *
[Illustration: WINDSOR CASTLE, (N.E.)]
WINDSOR CASTLE, (N.E.)
Our sketchy tour of Windsor Castle has hitherto been told in visits far
between, perhaps, if not few, for the interesting character of the whole
The present Cut includes the North-east view, a picturesque if not
important point. The reader will remember, if he has not enjoyed, the
splendid terrace on the north; this is now continued on the eastern side.
The fine tower at the eastern end of the north terrace, (at the angle,) is
_Brunswick Tower_, with a projecting bastion in its front containing the
apparatus for heating the orangery, with rooms for the attendants; it is
octagon shaped, and has a most commanding appearance, the height being 120
feet above the level of the terrace.
A staircase turret communicates with the apartments, the principal one
being appropriated as a private dining-room by the late King, while the
larger apartments on the east front were reserved for splendid
entertainments. In a central position between the state dining-room and
St. George's Hall is a music saloon, in which is placed a fine-toned organ.
A communication has been effected between Brunswick Tower and the state
apartments by a corridor terminating at the King's Guard Chamber, where a
new tower, named after George the Third, has been erected: the principal
window is extremely large, and divided by Gothic tracery into several
compartments, producing a noble and cathedral-like appearance.
Beneath the Castle, in the Engraving, are seen the wooded slopes of the
Little Park, the "green retreats" of Pope, where
----Waving groves a checker'd scene display
And part admit, and part exclude the day.
*** The friendly suggestion of our Correspondent, G.C. (Windsor Castle)
shall be considered.
 For Views of Windsor Castle, with the late renovations, see the
following Numbers of the _Mirror_:
No. 292, George the Fourth's Gateway, South and East Sides.
No. 437, Bedchamber in which George IV. died.
No. 444, Private Dining Room.
No. 486, George IV. Gateway, from the interior of the Quadrangle.
No. 488, St. George's Chapel.
* * * * *
THE MARCH OF MIND.
(_To the Editor_.)
It is generally supposed that the extensive search after, and diffusion of,
knowledge, is in a great measure peculiar to these present times. It seems
therefore to me a very curious thing to find a learned man and an
accomplished courtier protesting against book-learning as an evil, so far
back as the year 1646, and a curious thing he himself appears to have
thought it, introducing his opinion as a "paradox" until he explains. In
this explanation we find the same opinion that is now strenuously insisted
on by Mr. Cobbett, namely, that a man who properly understands his own
business or employment, though he have nothing of literature, is by no
means to be accounted ignorant.
The letters of James Howell, Esq. are well known as fluent examples of the
best style of writing of his day, and as repositories of many curious
facts and intelligent remarks. The following letter appears to be
addressed to Lord Dorchester--
"My Lord,--The subject of this letter may, peradventure, seem a paradox to
some, but not, I know, to your Lordship, when you are pleased to weigh
well the reasons. Learning is a thing that hath been much cried up, and
coveted in all ages, especially in this last century of years, by people
of all sorts, though never so mean and mechanical; every man strains his
fortune to keep his children at school; the cobbler will clout it till
midnight, the porter will carry burdens till his bones crack again, the
ploughman will pinch both back and belly to give his son _learning_, and I
find that this ambition reigns no where so much as in this island. But,
under favour, this word, _learning_, is taken in a narrower sense among us
than among other nations: we seem to restrain it only to the _book_,
whereas, indeed, any artisan whatsoever (if he knew the secret and mystery
of his trade) may be called a learned man: a good mason; a good shoemaker,
that can manage St. Crispin's lance handsomely; a skilful yeoman; a good
ship-wright, &c. may be all called learned men, and indeed the usefullest
sort of learned men.
"The extravagant humour of our country is not to be altogether
commended--that all men should aspire to book-learning; there is not a
simpler animal, and a more superfluous member of a state than a mere
scholar, a self-pleasing student. Archimedes, though an excellent
engineer, when Syracuse was lost, was found in his study, intoxicated with
speculations; and another great, learned philosopher, like a fool or
frantic, when being in a bath, he leaped out naked among the people, and
cried, 'I have found it, I have found it,' having hit then upon an
extraordinary conclusion in geometry. There is a famous tale of Thomas
Aquinas, the angelical doctor, and of Bonadventure, the seraphical doctor,
of whom Alexander Hales, our countryman, reports, that these great clerks
were invited to dinner by the French King, on purpose to observe their
humours, and being brought to the room where the table was laid, the first
fell to eating of bread as hard as he could drive, at last, breaking out
of a brown study, he cried out '_Conclusum est contra Manichaeos;_' the
other fell a gazing upon the Queen, and the King asking him how he liked
her, he answered, 'Oh, sir, if an earthly Queen be so beautiful, what
shall we think of the Queen of Heaven?' The latter was the better courtier
of the two.
"My Lord, I know none in this age more capable to sit in the chair, and
censure what is true learning, and what _not_, than yourself; therefore,
in speaking of this subject to your Lordship, I fear to have committed the
same error as Phormio did, in discoursing of war before Hannibal.
"My Lord, your most humble, &c.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
There is an illuminated Psalter preserved amongst the MSS. in the British
Museum, 2. A. 16., written by John Mallard, Chaplain to Henry VIII.,
wherein are several notes in that king's hand writing, some in pencil
prefixed to Psalm liii. ("_Dixit incipiens_.") According to a very ancient
custom are the figures of King David and a fool, in this instance
evidently the portraits of Henry and his jester, Will Somers.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
The earliest poetical Valentines remaining, are those preserved in the
works of Charles Duke of Orleans, father to Louis XII. of France. He was
taken prisoner at the battle of Agincourt, and remained in England
twenty-five years, and called his mistress his _Valentine_. In the royal
library of MSS. now in the British Museum, there is a magnificent volume
containing his writings whilst in England; it belonged to Henry VIII. for
whom it was copied from older MSS. It is illuminated: one painting
represents the duke in the White Tower, at a writing table. This MSS. also
contain some of the compositions of Eloisa.
* * * * *
SUPERSTITIONS, FABLES, &C. RELATIVE TO ANIMALS.
(_Continued from page_ 171.)
The fore-foot of a _Hare_ worn constantly in the pocket, is esteemed by
certain worthy old dames as a sure preventive of rheumatic disorders.
The _Lynx_ was believed by the ancients, from the acuteness of its sight,
to have the power of seeing through stone walls; and amongst other
absurdities then gravely maintained were these: that the _Elephant_ had no
joints, and being unable to lie down, was obliged to sleep leaning against
a tree; that _Deer_ lived several hundred years; that the _Badger_ had the
legs of one side shorter than those of the other; that the _Chameleon_
lived entirely on air, and the _Salamander_ in fire; whilst the sphynx,
satyr, unicorn, centaur, hypogriff, hydra, dragon, griffin, cockatrice, &c.
&c. &c. were either the creations of fancy, or fabled accounts of
creatures of whose real form, origin, nature, and qualities, but the most
imperfect knowledge was afloat.
The flesh of the _Rhinoceros_, and almost every part of its body, is
reckoned by the ignorant natives of countries where it is found, an
antidote against poison.
That the _Jackal_ is the "Lion's Provider," entirely, is an erroneous idea;
but it is true that the terrific cry of this animal when in chase, rouses
the lion, whose ear is dull, and enables him to join in the pursuit of
prey. Many stories are told respecting the generosity of the _Lion_, and
it was once confidently believed that no stress of hunger would induce him
to devour a virgin, though his imperial appetite might satiate itself on
men and matrons. The title of King of the Beasts, given at a period when
strength and ferocity were deemed the prime qualities of man--is now more
justly considered to belong to the mild, majestic, and almost rational
elephant. The _White Elephant_ is a sacred animal with the Siamese, and
the cow with the Bramins and Hindoos.
The _Bear_ was believed never to devour a man whom it found dead; and it
was imagined to lick its cubs into proper shape: hence the expression
"unlicked cub," applied to a raw, awkward, unpolished youth. The saliva of
the _Lama_, which when angry it ejects, has been erroneously supposed to
possess a corrosive quality.
The hoof of the _Moose-deer_ was formerly in great repute for curing
epilepsies, but has now justly fallen into neglect. The Laplander,
commencing his journey, whispers into the ear of his _Rein-deer_,
believing these animals understand and will obey his oral directions. The
_Elk_ is accounted by the Indians an animal of good omen, and often to
dream of him indicates a long life. They imagine also the existence of a
gigantic elk, which walks without difficulty in eight feet of snow, has an
arm growing from its shoulder which it uses as we do, is invulnerable to
all weapons, is king of the elks and attended by a numerous herd of
courtiers. The fur of the _Glutton_ is so valued by the Kamschatdales that
they say celestial beings are clad in no other.
It was long a popular error that the _Porcupine_, when irritated,
discharged its quills at its adversary; that these quills were poisonous,
and rendered wounds inflicted by them difficult to cure: a better
acquaintance with the natural history of this harmless animal has now
exploded these fables. Our British porcupine, the innocuous _Hedgehog_,
has long been the object of unceasing persecution, from the popular belief
that it bites and sucks the udders of cows, an absurdity sufficiently
contradicted by the smallness of its mouth. In like manner, the
_Goat-sucker_ is a persecuted bird, since, as its name implies, it has been
thought to suck the teats of goats and other animals; whereas the form of
its bill entirely precludes such an act, and it is an inoffensive bird,
living upon insects. The superstition has probably originated from its
being often found in warm climates under cattle, capturing the insects
that torment them. It is supposed, in some places, that the _Shrew-mouse_
is of so baneful and deleterious a nature that whenever it creeps over a
beast, cow, sheep, or horse (in particular), the animal is afflicted with
cruel anguish, and threatened with a loss of the use of its limb.
A shrew-ash was the remedy for this misfortune, viz. an ash whose twigs or
branches gently applied to the affected members relieved the pain: our
provident forefathers, anticipating such an accident to their cattle,
always kept a shrew-ash at hand, which, once medicated, retained its
virtue for ever: it was thus prepared: into the body of an ash a deep hole
was bored with an auger, and a poor devoted shrew-mouse being thrust into
it, the orifice was plugged up, probably with quaint incantations now
The _Toad_, owing to its hideous, disgusting appearance, has been the
subject of many superstitions: it is commonly thought to spit venom,
whilst, as yet, the question is unsettled, whether or not it be poisonous
in any respect; some affirm that a viscous humour of poisonous quality
exudes from the skin, like perspiration; whilst others pretend that
cancers may be cured by the application of living toads to them; and a man
has been known to swallow one of these abominations for a wager, taking
care, however, to follow this horrid meal by an immediate and copious
draught of oil. But the very glance of the toad has been supposed fatal;
of its entrails fancied poisonous potions have been concocted; and for
magical purposes it was believed extremely efficacious; a precious stone
was asserted to be found in its head, invaluable in medicine and magic. In
Carthagena and Portobello (America) these creatures swarm to such a degree
in wet weather that many of the inhabitants believe every drop of rain to
be converted into a toad. It is said of the Pipa, or Surinam toad, a
hideous, but probably harmless, animal, that very malignant effects are
experienced from it when calcined.
The _Crocodile_ is feigned to weep and groan like a human being in pain
and distress, in order to excite the sympathy of man, and thus allure him
into his tremendous jaws.
The _Lizard_, though now declared by naturalists to be perfectly harmless,
was long considered poisonous by the ignorant; and in Sweden and
Kamschatka, the green lizard is the subject of strange superstitions, and
regarded with horror. Newts, efts, swifts, snakes, and blind-worms are,
in popular credence, all venomous; and that the _Ear-wig_ most justly
derives its name from entering people's ears, and either causing deafness,
or, by penetrating to the brain, death itself, is with many considered an
indisputable fact. The Irish have a large beetle of which strange tales
are believed; they term it the _Coffin-cutter_, and it has some connexion
with the grave and purgatory, not now, unfortunately, to be recalled to
It is, in Germany, a popular belief, that the _Stag-beetle_ (perhaps the
same insect) carries burning coals into houses by means of its jaws, and
that it has thus occasioned many dreadful fires. (How convenient would
_Swing_ find such a superstition in England!) The _Death-watch_
superstition is too well known to need particular notice in this paper. It
is singular that the _House-cricket_ should by some persons be considered
an unlucky, by others a lucky, inmate of the mansion: those who hold the
latter opinion consider its destruction the means of bringing misfortune
on their habitations. "In Dumfries-shire," says Sir William Jardine, "it
is a common superstition that if crickets forsake a house which they have
long inhabited, some evil will befal the family; generally the death of
some member is portended. In like manner the presence or return of this
cheerful little insect is lucky, and portends some good to the family."
(_To be continued_.)
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
DOMESTIC LIFE IN AMERICA.
The following sketch of what the Americans feel on this point, from Mrs.
Trollope's _Domestic Manners of the Americans_, is clever and amusing:--
"The greatest difficulty in organizing a family establishment in Ohio is
getting servants, or, as it is there called, 'getting help,' for it is
more than petty treason to the republic to call a free citizen a _servant_.
The whole class of young women, whose bread depends upon their labour, are
taught to believe that the most abject poverty is preferable to domestic
service. Hundreds of half-naked girls work in the paper-mills, or in any
other manufactory, for less than half the wages they would receive in
service: but they think their equality is compromised by the latter, and
nothing but the wish to obtain some particular article of finery will ever
induce them to submit to it. A kind friend, however, exerted herself so
effectually for me, that a tall stately lass soon presented herself,
saying, 'I be come to help you.' The intelligence was very agreeable, and
I welcomed her in the most gracious manner possible, and asked what I
should give her by the year. 'Oh Gimini!' exclaimed the damsel, with a
loud laugh, 'you be a downright Englisher, sure enough. I should like to
see a young lady engage by the year in America! I hope I shall get a
husband before many months, or I expect I shall be an outright old maid,
for I be most seventeen already; besides, mayhap I may want to go to
school. You must just give me a dollar and a half a week; and mother's
slave, Phillis, must come over once a week, I expect, from t'other side
the water, to help me clean.' I agreed to the bargain, of course, with all
dutiful submission; and seeing she was preparing to set to work in a
yellow dress parseme with red roses, I gently hinted, that I thought it
was a pity to spoil so fine a gown, and that she had better change it.
''Tis just my best and worst,' she answered, 'for I've got no other.' And
in truth I found that this young lady had left the paternal mansion with
no more clothes of any kind than what she had on. I immediately gave her
money to purchase what was necessary for cleanliness and decency, and set
to work with my daughters to make her a gown. She grinned applause when
our labour was completed, but never uttered the slightest expression of
gratitude for that or for anything else we could do for her. She was
constantly asking us to lend her different articles of dress, and when we
declined it, she said, 'Well, I never seed such grumpy folks as you be;
there is several young ladies of my acquaintance what goes to live out now
and then with the old women about the town, and they and their gurls
always lends them what they asks for; I guess, you Inglish thinks we
should poison your things, just as bad as if we was negurs.' And here I
beg to assure the reader, that whenever I give conversations, they were
not made _a loisir_, but were written down immediately after they occurred,
with all the verbal fidelity my memory permitted."
"This young lady left me at the end of two months, because I refused to
lend her money enough to buy a silk dress to go to a ball, saying, 'Then
it is not worth my while to stay any longer.' I cannot imagine it possible
that such a state of things can be desirable or beneficial to any of the
parties concerned. I might occupy a hundred pages on the subject, and yet
fail to give an adequate idea of the sore, angry, ever-wakeful pride that
seemed to torment these poor wretches. In many of them it was so excessive,
that all feeling of displeasure, or even of ridicule, was lost in pity.
One of these was a pretty girl, whose natural disposition must have been
gentle and kind; but her good feelings were soured, and her gentleness
turned into morbid sensitiveness, by having heard a thousand and a
thousand times that she was as good as any other lady, that all men were
equal, and women too, and that it was a sin and a shame for a free-born
American to be treated like a servant. When she found she was to dine in
the kitchen, she turned up her pretty lip, and said, 'I guess that's
'cause you don't think I'm good enough to eat with you. You'll find that
won't do here.' I found afterwards that she rarely ate any dinner at all,
and generally passed the time in tears. I did everything in my power to
conciliate and make her happy, but I am sure she hated me. I gave her very
high wages, and she stayed till she had obtained several expensive
articles of dress, and then, _un beau matin_, she came to me full dressed,
and said, 'I must go.' 'When shall you return, Charlotte?' 'I expect you
will see no more of me.' And so we parted. Her sister was also living with
me, but her wardrobe was not yet completed, and she remained some weeks
longer till it was."
"Such being the difficulties respecting domestic arrangements," adds our
author, "it is obvious, that the ladies who are brought up amongst them
cannot have leisure for any developement of the mind: it is, in fact, out
of the question; and, remembering this, it is more surprising that some
among them should be very pleasing, than that none should be highly
instructed. But, whatever may be the talents of the persons who meet
together in society, the very shape, form, and arrangement of the meeting
is sufficient to paralyze conversation. The women invariably herd together
at one part of the room, and the men at the other; but, in justice to
Cincinnati, I must acknowledge that this arrangement is by no means
peculiar to that city, or to the western side of the Alleghanies.
Sometimes a small attempt at music produces a partial reunion; a few of
the most daring youths animated by the consciousness of curled hair and
smart waistcoats, approach the piano-forte, and begin to mutter a little
to the half-grown pretty things, who are comparing with one another 'how
many quarters' music they have had.' Where the mansion is of sufficient
dignity to have two drawing-rooms, the piano, the little ladies, and the
slender gentlemen are left to themselves; and on such occasions the sound
of laughter is often heard to issue from among them. But the fate of the
more dignified personages, who are left in the other room, is extremely
dismal. The gentlemen spit, talk of elections and the price of produce,
and spit again. The ladies look at each other's dresses till they know
every pin by heart; talk of Parson Somebody's last sermon on the day of
judgment, or Dr. T'otherbody's new pills for dyspepsia, till the 'tea' is
announced, when they all console themselves together for whatever they may
have suffered in keeping awake, by taking more tea, coffee, hot cake and
custard, hoe cake, johny cake, waffle cake, and dodger cake, pickled
peaches, and preserved cucumbers, ham, turkey, hung beef, apple sauce, and
pickled oysters, than ever were prepared in any other country of the known
world. After this massive meal is over, they return to the drawing-room,
and it always appeared to me that they remained together as long as they
could bear it, and then they rise _en masse_--cloak, bonnet, shawl, and
_Conversation of an American Woman._
"'Well now, so you be from the old country? Ay--you'll see sights here I
guess.' 'I hope I shall see many.' 'That's a fact.--Why they do say,
that if a poor body contrives to be smart enough to scrape together a few
dollars, that your King George always comes down upon 'em, and takes it
all away. Don't he?' 'I do not remember hearing of such a transaction.' 'I
guess they be pretty close about it.' 'Your papers ben't like ourn, I
reckon? Now we says and prints just what we likes.' 'You spend a good deal
of time in reading the newspapers.' 'And I'd like you to tell me how we
can spend it better. How should freemen spend their time, but looking
after their government, and watching that them fellers as we gives offices
to, doos their duty, and gives themselves no airs?' 'But I sometimes think,
sir, that your fences might be in more thorough repair, and your roads in
better order, if less time was spent in politics.' 'The Lord! to see how
little you knows of a free country? Why, what's the smoothness of a road
put against the freedom of a free-born American? And what does a broken
zig-zag signify, comparable to knowing that the men what we have been
pleased to send up to Congress, speaks handsome and straight, as we
chooses they should?' 'It is from a sense of duty, then, that you all go
to the liquor store to read the papers?' 'To be sure it is, and he'd be no
true-born American as didn't. I don't say that the father of a family
should always be after liquor, but I do say that I'd rather have my son
drunk three times in a week, than not to look after the affairs of his
"Immense droves of hogs were continually arriving from the country by the
road that led to most of our favourite walks; they were often fed and
lodged in the prettiest valleys, and worse still, were slaughtered beside
the prettiest streams. Another evil threatened us from the same quarter,
that was yet heavier. Our cottage had an ample piazza, (a luxury almost
universal in the country houses of America,) which, shaded by a group of
acacias, made a delightful sitting-room; from this favourite spot we one
day perceived symptoms of building in a field close to it; with much
anxiety we hastened to the spot, and asked what building was to be erected
there. ''Tis to be a slaughter-house for hogs,' was the dreadful reply.
As there were several gentlemen's houses in the neighbourhood, I asked if
such an erection might not be indicted as a nuisance. 'A what?' 'A
nuisance,' I repeated, and explained what I meant. 'No, no,' was the reply,
'that may do very well for your tyrannical country, where a rich man's
nose is more thought of than a poor man's mouth; but hogs be profitable
produce here, and we be too free for such a law as that, I guess.'"
* * * * *
THE BELL ROCK LIGHT HOUSE.
On the 9th ult., about 10 P.M., a large herring-gull struck one of the
south-eastern mullions of the Bell Rock Light House with such force, that
two of the polished plates of glass, measuring about two feet square, and
a quarter of an inch in thickness, were shivered to pieces and scattered
over the floor in a thousand atoms, to the great alarm of the keeper on
watch, and the other two inmates of the house, who rushed instantly to the
light room. It fortunately happened, that although one of the red-shaded
sides of the reflector-frame was passing in its revolution at the moment,
the pieces of broken glass were so minute, that no injury was done to the
red glass. The gull was found to measure five feet between the tips of the
wings. In his gullet was found a large herring, and in its throat a piece
of plate-glass, of about one inch in length.--(From No. I. of the
_Nautical Magazine_, a work of clever execution, great promise, and
* * * * *
It appears that the bill for the abolition of imprisonment for debt in
America "works well," as applied to New York; and the system is
consequently to be put in general force all over the Union--a fact, which,
as a poet like Mr. Watts would say, adds another leaf to America's laurel.
But the paper which announced this gratifying intelligence, relates in a
paragraph nearly subjoined to it, a circumstance in natural history that
seems to have some connexion with the affairs between debtor and creditor
in the United States. It informs us, that up to the present period of
scientific investigation, "_no chalk_ has been discovered in North
America." Now this is really a valuable bit of discovery; and we heartily
wish that the Geological Society, instead of wasting their resources on
anniversary-dinners, as they have lately been doing, would at once set
about establishing the proof of a similar absence of that article in this
country. Surely, our brethren on the other side of the Atlantic, will not
fail to take the hint which nature herself has so benificently thrown out
to them; and instead of abolishing the power of getting into prison, put
an end at once to the power of getting into debt. The scarcity of chalk
ought certainly to be numbered among the natural blessings of America. Had
the soil on that side of the ocean been as chalky as this, America might
have been visited by a comet, like Pitt, with a golden train of eight
hundred millions.--_Monthly Magazine_.
* * * * *
(_From the Angler's Museum, quoted in the Magazine of Natural History_.)
Every one who is acquainted with the habits of fish is sensible of the
extreme acuteness of their vision, and well knows how easily they are
scared by shadows in motion, or even at rest, projected from the bank; and
often has the angler to regret the suspension of a successful fly-fishing
by the accidental passage of a person along the opposite bank of the
stream: yet, by noting the apparently trivial habits of one of nature's
anglers, not only is our difficulty obviated, but our success insured. The
heron, guided by a wonderful instinct, preys chiefly in the absence of the
sun; fishing in the dusk of the morning and evening, on cloudy days and
moonlight nights. But should the river become flooded to discoloration,
then does the "long-necked felon" fish indiscriminately in sun and shade;
and in a recorded instance of his fishing on a bright day, it is related
of him, that, like a skilful angler, he occupied the shore opposite the
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
It may not be generally known that the tadpole acts the same part with
fish that ants do with birds; and that through the agency of this little
reptile, perfect skeletons, even of the smallest fishes may be obtained.
To produce this, it is but necessary to suspend the fish by threads
attached to the head and tail in an horizontal position, in a jar of water,
such as is found in a pond, and change it often, till the tadpoles have
finished their work. Two or three tadpoles will perfectly dissect a fish
in twenty-four hours.
* * * * *
THREE ENTHUSIASTIC NATURALISTS.
The first is a learned entomologist, who, hearing one evening at the
Linnean Society that a yellow Scarabaeus, otherwise beetle, of a very rare
kind was to be captured on the sands at Swansea, immediately took his seat
in the mail for that place, and brought back in triumph the object of his
desire. The second is Mr. David Douglas, who spent two years among the
wild Indians of the Rocky Mountains, was reduced to such extremities as
occasionally to sup upon the flaps of his saddle; and once, not having
this resource, was obliged to eat up all the seeds he had collected the
previous forty days in order to appease the cravings of nature. Not
appalled by these sufferings, he has returned again to endure similar
hardships, and all for a few simples. The third example is Mr. Drummond,
the assistant botanist to Franklin in his last hyperborean journey. In the
midst of snow, with the thermometer 15 deg. below zero, without a tent,
sheltered from the inclemency of the weather only by a hut built of the
branches of trees, and depending for subsistence from day to day on a
solitary Indian hunter, "I obtained," says this amiable and enthusiastic
botanist, "a few mosses; and, on Christmas day,"--mark, gentle reader, the
day, of all others, as if it were a reward for his devotion,--"I had the
pleasure of finding a very minute Gymnostomum, hitherto undescribed. I
remained alone for the rest of the winter, except when my man occasionally
visited me with meat; and I found the time hang very heavy, as I had no
books, and nothing could be done in the way of collecting specimens of
_Magazine of Natural History_
* * * * *
[Illustration: BURIAL PLACE IN TONGATABU.]
This is another of Mr. Bennett's sketches made during his recent visit to
several of the Polynesian Islands. It represents the burial-place of the
Chiefs of Tongatabu: over this "earthly prison of their bones," we may say
with Titus Andronicus:
In pence and honour rest you here my sons:
(The) readiest champions, repose you here,
Secure from worldly chances and mishaps:
Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
Here grow no damned grudges: here are no storms,
No noise, but silence and eternal sleep.
Mr. Bennett thus describes the spot, with some interesting circumstances:
"July 29th. I visited this morning a beautiful spot named Maofanga, at a
short distance from our anchorage; here was the burial-place of the chiefs.
The tranquillity of this secluded spot, and the drooping trees of the
casuarina equisetifolia, added to the mournful solemnity of the place.
Off this place, the Astrolabe French discovery ship lay when, some time
before, she fired on the natives. The circumstances respecting this affair,
as communicated to me, if correct, do not reflect much credit on the
commander of the vessel. They are as follow: During a gale the Astrolabe
drove on the reef, but was afterwards got off by the exertion of the
natives; some of the men deserting from the ship, the chiefs were accused
of enticing them away, and on the men not being given up the ship fired on
the village; the natives barricaded themselves on the beach by throwing up
sand heaps, and afterwards retired into the woods. The natives pointed out
the effects of the shot; on the trees, a large branch of a casuarina tree
in the sacred enclosure was shot off, several coco-nut trees were cut in
two, and the marks of several spent shots still remain on the trees: three
natives were killed in this attack. A great number of the flying-fox, or
vampire bat, hung from the casuarina trees in this enclosure, but the
natives interposed to prevent our firing at them, the place being tabued.
Mr. Turner had been witness to the interment here, not long previously, of
the wife of a chief, and allied to the royal family. The body, enveloped
in mats, was placed in a vault, in which some of her relations had been
before interred, and being covered up, several natives advanced with
baskets of sand, &c. and strewed it over the vault; others then approached
and cut themselves on the head with hatchets, wailing and showing other
demonstrations of grief. Small houses are erected over the vaults. All the
burial-places are either fenced round or surrounded by a low wall of coral
stones, and have a very clean, neat, and regular appearance.
"I observed that nearly the whole of the natives whom I had seen, were
deficient in the joints of the little finger of the left hand, and some of
both; some of the first joint only, others two, and many the whole of both
fingers. On inquiry, I found that a joint is chopped off on any occasion
of the illness or death of a relation or chief, as a propitiatory offering
to the Spirit. There is a curious analogy between this custom and one
related by Mr. Burchell as existing among the Bushmen tribe in Southern
Africa, and performed for similar superstitious reasons to express grief
for the loss of relations.
"Near this place was the Hufanga, or place of refuge, in which a person in
danger of being put to death is in safety as long as he remains there; on
looking in the enclosure, it was only a place gravelled over, in which was
a small house and some trees planted."
 United Service Journal, Jan. 1832.
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF _NEW WORKS_.
FRANCIS THE FIRST.
_An Historical Drama. By Frances Ann Kemble_.
This extraordinary production has awakened an interest in the dramatic and
literary world, scarcely equalled in our times. We know of its fortune
upon the stage by report only; but, from our acquaintance with the
requisites of the acting drama, we should conceive its permanence will be
more problematical in the theatre than in the closet; and considering the
conditions upon which dramatic fame is now attainable, we think the clever
authoress will not have reason to regret these inequalities of success.
That Miss Kemble's tragedy possesses points to be made, and passages that
will _tell_ on the stage, cannot be denied; but its interest for
representation requires to be concentrated; it "wants a hero, an uncommon
thing." It is well observed in the _Quarterly Review_, (by the way, the
only notice yet taken of the tragedy, that merits attention,) that "the
piece is crowded with characters of the greatest variety, all of
considerable importance in the piece, engaged in the most striking
situations, and contributing essentially to the main design. Instead of
that simple unity of interest, from which modern tragic writers have
rarely ventured to depart, it takes the wider range of that historic unity,
which is the characteristic of our elder drama; moulds together, and
connects by some common agent employed in both, incidents which have no
necessary connexion; and--what in the present tragedy strikes us as on
many accounts especially noticeable--unites by a fine though less
perceptible moral link, remote but highly tragic events with the immediate,
if we may so speak, the domestic interests of the play." This language is
finely characteristic of the drama. Again, the interest has "so much
Shakspearianism in the conception as to afford a remarkable indication of
the noble school in which the young authoress has studied, and the high
models which, with courage, in the present day, fairly to be called
originality, she has dared to set before her. In fact, Francis the First
is cast entirely in the mould of one of Shakspeare's historical tragedies."
The drama too was written without any view to its representation, as the
_Quarterly_ reviewer has been "informed by persons who long ago perused
the manuscript, several years before Miss Kemble appeared upon the stage,
and at a time when she little anticipated the probability that she herself
might be called upon to impersonate the conceptions of her own imagination.
We believe that we are quite safe when we state that the drama, in its
present form, was written when the authoress was not more than seventeen."
Yet it should be added that the above statement is not made by way of
extenuation; for, to say the truth, it needs no such adventitious aid.
A mere outline of the story will convince the reader that, as the Reviewer
states, "the tragedy is alive from the beginning to the end;" and our
extracts will we trust show the language to be bold and vigorous; the
imagery sweetly poetical; and the workings of the passions which actuate
the personages to be evidently of high promise if not of masterly spirit.
The tragedy opens with the recall of the Constable De Bourbon from Italy,
through the supposed political intrigue, but really, the secret love, of
the mother of Francis, Louisa of Savoy, Duchess of Angouleme, whom Miss
Kemble calls the Queen Mother. In the second scene the Queen Mother
communicates to Gonzales, a monk in disguise, but in, reality an emissary
of the Court of Spain, her secret passion for De Bourbon, and her design
in his recall.
Francis is introduced at a tourney, where he not only triumphs in the
jousts, but over the heart of the beautiful Francoise de Foix.
Bourbon returns, and the second act opens with his interview with Renee,
(or Margaret,) the daughter of the Queen Mother, and sister of Francis I.,
for whom he really entertains an affection. In the second scene the Queen
Mother declares her passion to Bourbon, who, at first supposes he is to be
tempted by Margaret's hand, but finding the Queen herself to be the lure,
he indignantly rejects her. The character of Bourbon in this scene is
admirably brought out. The artifice of the Queen--the scorn of
Bourbon--and the Queen's meditated vengeance are powerfully wrought:
I would have you know,
De Bourbon storms, and does not steal his honours
And though your highness thinks I am ambitious,
(And rightly thinks) I am not _so_ ambitious
Ever to beg rewards that I can win,--
No man shall call me debtor to his tongue.
'Tis proudly spoken; nobly too--but what--
What if a woman's hand were to bestow
Upon the Duke de Bourbon such high honours,
To raise him to such state, that grasping man,
E'en in his wildest thoughts of mad ambition,
Ne'er dreamt of a more glorious pinnacle?
I'd kiss the lady's hand, an she were fair.
But if this world fill'd up the universe,--
If it could gather all the light that lives
In ev'ry other star or sun, or world;
If kings could be my subjects, and that I
Could call such pow'r and such a world my own,
I would not take it from a woman's hand.
Fame is my mistress, madam, and my sword
The only friend I ever wooed her with.
I hate all honours smelling of the distaff,
And, by this light, would as lief wear a spindle
Hung round my neck, as thank a lady's hand
For any favour greater than a kiss.--
And how, if such a woman loved you,--how
If, while she crown'd your proud ambition, she
Could crown her own ungovernable passion,
And felt that all this earth possess'd, and she
Could give, were all too little for your love?
Oh good, my lord! there may be such a woman.
Amazement! can it be, sweet Margaret--
That she has read our love?--impossible!--and yet--
That lip ne'er wore so sweet a smile!--it is.
That look _is_ pardon and acceptance! (_aloud_)--
speak. (_He falls at the Queen's feet._)
Madam, in pity speak but one word more,--
Who is that woman?
QUEEN (_throwing off her veil._)
I am that woman!
BOURBON (_starting up._)
You, by the holy mass! I scorn your proffers;
Is there no crimson blush to tell of fame
And shrinking womanhood! Oh shame! shame! shame!
(_The Queen remains clasping her hands to her temples, while _De Bourbon_
walks hastily up and down; after a long pause the _Queen_ speaks._)
(_The _Queen_ summons her Confessor._)
Sir, we have business with this holy father;
You may retire.
Are we obeyed?
Oh Margaret!--for thee! for thy dear sake!
[_Rushes out. The _Queen_ sinks into a chair._]
Refus'd and scorn'd! Infamy!--the word chokes me!
How now! why stand'st thou gazing at me thus?
I wait your highness' pleasure.--(_Aside_) So all is well--
A crown hath fail'd to tempt him--as I see
In yonder lady's eyes.
Oh sweet revenge!
Thou art my only hope, my only dower,
And I will make thee worthy of a Queen.
Proud noble, I will weave thee such a web,--
I will so spoil and trample on thy pride,
That thou shalt wish the woman's distaff were
Ten thousand lances rather than itself.
Ha! waiting still, sir Priest! Well as them seest
Our venture hath been somewhat baulk'd,--'tis not
Each arrow readies swift and true the aim,--
Love having failed, we'll try the best expedient,
That offers next,--what sayst thou to revenge?
'Tis not so soft, but then 'tis very sure;
Say, shall we wring this haughty soul a little?
Tame this proud spirit, curb this untrain'd charger?
We will not weigh too heavily, nor grind
Too hard, but, having bow'd him to the earth,
Leave the pursuit to others--carrion birds,
Who stoop, but not until the falcon's gorg'd
Upon the prey he leaves to their base talons.
It rests but with your grace to point the means.
Where be the plans of those possessions
Of Bourbon's house?--see that thou find them straight:
His mother was my kinswoman, and I
Could aptly once trace characters like those
She used to write--enough--Guienne--Auvergne
And all Provence that lies beneath his claim,--
That claim disprov'd, of right belong to me.--
The path is clear, do thou fetch me those parchments.
Not dearer to my heart will be the day
When first the crown of France deck'd my son's forehead,
Than that when I can compass thy perdition,--
When I can strip the halo of thy fame
From off thy brow, seize on the wide domains,
That make thy hatred house akin to empire,
And give thy name to deathless infamy. [_Exit_.
The King holds a Council to appoint a successor to the Constable in Italy.
This scene is of stirring interest. The Queen goads the high-minded
Bourbon nigh unto madness, and at length breaks out into open insult.
Lautrec the brother of Francoise, and despised by Bourbon, is named the
governor. In the ceremony Francis addresses Lautrec:--
With our own royal hand we'll buckle on
The sword, that in thy grasp must be the bulwark
And lode-star of our host. Approach.
Your pardon, sir; but it hath ever been
The pride and privilege of woman's hand
To arm the valour that she loves so well:
We would not, for your crown's best jewel, bate
One jot of our accustom'd state to-day:
Count Lautrec, we will arm thee, at our feet:
Take thou the brand which wins thy country's wars,--
Thy monarch's trust, and thy fair lady's favour.
Why, how now!--how is this!--my lord of Bourbon!
If we mistake not, 'tis the sword of office
Which graces still your baldrick;--with your leave,
We'll borrow it of you.
BOURBON (_starting up_.)
Ay, madam, 'tis the sword
You buckled on with your own hand, the day
You sent me forth to conquer in your cause;
And there it is;--(_breaks the sword_)--take it--and with it all
Th' allegiance that I owe to France; ay take it;
And with it, take the hope I breathe o'er it:
That so, before Colonna's host, your arms
Lie crush'd and sullied with dishonour's stain;
So, reft in sunder by contending factions,
Be your Italian provinces; so torn
By discord and dissension this vast empire;
So broken and disjoin'd your subjects' loves;
So fallen your son's ambition, and your pride.
What ho--a guard within there--Charles of Bourbon,
I do arrest thee, traitor to the crown.
Away with yonder wide-mouth'd thunderer;
We'll try if gyves and straight confinement cannot
Check this high eloquence, and cool the brain
Which harbours such unmannerd hopes.
[Bourbon _is forced out_.
Dream ye, my lords, that thus with open ears,
And gaping mouths and eyes, ye sit and drink
This curbless torrent of rebellious madness.
And you, sir, are you slumbering on your throne;
Or has all majesty fled from the earth,
That women must start up, and in your council
Speak, think, and act for ye; and, lest your vassals,
The very dirt beneath your feet, rise up
And cast ye off, must women, too, defend ye?
For shame, my lords, all, all of ye, for shame,--
Off, off with sword and sceptre, for there is
No loyalty in subjects; and in kings,
No king-like terror to enforce their rights.
Meanwhile Lautrec proposes to his sister Francoise, the hand of his friend,
the gallant Laval; whilst the fair maiden is importuned by Francis, who
endeavours to make the poet Clement Marot the bearer of his intrigue. In a
scene between Francis and the poet, the licentious impatience of the King,
and the unsullied honour of Clement are finely contrasted.
I would I'd borne the scroll myself, thy words
Image her forth so fair.
Do they, indeed?
Then sorrow seize my tongue, for, look you, sir,
I will not speak of your own fame or honour,
Nor of your word to me: king's words, I find,
Are drafts on our credulity, not pledges
Of their own truth. You have been often pleas'd
To shower your royal favours on my head;
And fruitful honours from your kindly will
Have rais'd me far beyond my fondest hopes;
But had I known such service was to be
The nearest way my gratitude might take
To solve the debt, I'd e'en have given back
All that I hold of you: and, now, not e'en
Your crown and kingdom could requite to me
The cutting sense of shame that I endur'd
When on me fell the sad reproachful glance
Which told me how I stood in the esteem
Of yonder lady. Let me tell you, sir,
You've borrow'd for a moment what whole years
Cannot bestow--an honourable name.
Now fare you well; I've sorrow at my heart,
To think your majesty hath reckon'd thus
Upon my nature. I was poor before,
Therefore I can be poor again without
Regret, so I lose not mine own esteem.
* * * * *
Oh, ye are precious wooers, all of ye.
I marvel how ye ever ope your lips
Unto, or look upon that fearful thing,
A lovely woman.
And I marvel, sir,
At those who do not feel the majesty,--
By heaven, I'd almost said the holiness,--
That circles round a fair and virtuous woman:
There is a gentle purity that breathes
In such a one, mingled with chaste respect,
And modest pride of her own excellence,--
A shrinking nature, that is so adverse
To aught unseemly, that I could as soon
Forget the sacred love I owe to heav'n,
As dare, with impure thoughts, to taint the air
Inhal'd by such a being: than whom, my liege,
Heaven cannot look on anything more holy,
Or earth be proud of anything more fair. [_Exit_.
Gonzales, the monk, is despatched by the Queen to Bourbon in prison. At
the door he meets Margaret, who had bribed her way to her lover, and was
returning after ineffectual attempts to soothe him into submission,
shame-struck at the exposure of her mother's guilt. The Queen intrusts
Gonzales with a signet ring as the means of liberating him and conducting
him to the royal chamber. Bourbon is immovable; and in revenge upon the
Court, he falls in with a private scheme of Gonzales, which is to accept
of his liberty, and set off to the Court of Spain. The undisguising of the
treacherous monk is in these powerful lines:
That day is come, ay, and that very hour:
Now shout your war-cry; now unsheath your sword;
I'll join the din, and make these tottering walls
Tremble and nod to hear our fierce defiance.
Nay, never start, and look upon my cowl--
You love not priests, De Bourbon, more than I.
Off, vile denial of my manhood's pride;
Off, off to hell! where thou wast first invented,
Now once again I stand and breathe a knight.
Nay, stay not gazing thus: it is Garcia,
Whose name hath reach'd thee long ere now, I trow;
Whom thou hast met in deadly fight full oft,
When France and Spain join'd in the battle field.
Beyond the Pyrenean boundary
That guards thy land, are forty thousand men:
Their unfurl'd pennons flout fair France's sun,
And wanton in the breezes of her sky:
Impatient halt they there; their foaming steeds,
Pawing the huge and rock-built barrier,
That bars their further course--they wait for thee:
For thee whom France hath injur'd and cast off;
For thee, whose blood it pays with shameful chains,
More shameful death; for thee, whom Charles of Spain
Summons to head his host, and lead them on
To conquest and to glory.
The interest now reverts to the fate of Francoise, and Bourbon is lost
sight of; a transition which, both in acting and reading, endangers the
drama. News arrives of the flight of Lautrec from his government; of
his arrest, his imprisonment, and capital condemnation. He enjoins his
sister to intercede in his behalf with Francis; she complies, but it is at
the expense of her honour; broken-hearted, she sinks beneath her shame at
the crime into which she has been betrayed, and returns home. Francis
pursues her, and the Queen, now aware of his passion for her, dispatches
the monk Gonzales on a secret mission to poison Francoise, who, she fears,
may supplant her in her ascendancy over the King. A fine passage occurs in
the scene wherein the Queen proposes her scheme to Gonzales.
Didst ever look upon the dead?
Full oft; and in each calm or frightful guise
Death comes in,--on the bloody battle-field;
When with each gush of black and curdling life
A curse was uttered,--when the pray'rs I've pour'd,
Have been all drown'd with din of clashing arms--
And shrieks and shouts, and loud artillery,
That shook the slipp'ry earth, all drunk with gore--
I've seen it, swoll'n with subtle poison, black
And staring with concentrate agony--
When ev'ry vein hath started from its bed,
And wreath'd like knotted snakes, around the brows
That, frantic, dash'd themselves in tortures down
Upon the earth. I've seen life float away
On the faint sound of a far tolling bell--
Leaving its late warm tenement as fair,
As though 'twere th' incorruptible that lay
Before me--and all earthly taint had vanish'd
With the departed spirit.
Laval returns from Italy to claim his bride. In the earlier part of the
play, a hint is given of Gonzales' rancorous hate of Laval, the
undercurrent of which is now revealed. Gonzales, beneath the seal of
confession, obtains the secret of the crime of Francoise. In her presence,
as the betrothed Laval rushes to embrace his bride, he taunts him with her
guilt. The wretched Francoise, in vain conjured to assert her innocence,
stabs herself. The King had been followed thither by the Queen; both now
appear. Gonzales riots revenge in one of the most vigorous portions of the
Look on thy bride! look on that faded thing,
That e'en the tears thy manhood showers go fast,
And bravely, cannot wake to life again!
I call all nature to bear witness here--
As fair a flower once grew within my home,
As young, as lovely, and as dearly lov'd--
I had a sister once, a gentle maid--
The only daughter of my father's house,
Round whom our ruder loves did all entwine,
As round the dearest treasure that we own'd.
She was the centre of our souls' affections--
She was the bud, that underneath our strong
And sheltering arms, spread over her, did blow.
So grew this fair, fair girl, till envious fate
Brought on the hour when she was withered.
Thy father, sir--now mark--for 'tis the point
And moral of my tale--thy father, then,
Was, by my sire, in war ta'en prisoner--
Wounded almost to death, he brought him home,
Shelter'd him,--cherish'd him,--and, with a care,
Most like a brother's, watch'd his bed of sickness,
Till ruddy health, once more through all his veins
Sent life's warm stream in strong returning tide.
How think ye he repaid my father's love?
From her dear home he lur'd my sister forth,
And, having robb'd her of her treasur'd honour,
Cast her away, defil'd,--despoil'd--forsaken--
The daughter of a high and ancient line--
The child of so much love--she died--she died--
Upon the threshold of that home, from which
My father spurn'd her--over whose pale corse
I swore to hunt, through life, her ravisher--
Nor ever from by bloodhound track desist,
Till line and deep atonement had been made--
Honour for honour given--blood for blood.
"The Queen orders Gonzales to death; but the monk accuses her of the
intended murder of Francoise, and produces her written order to that
effect. The King can no longer be blind to his mother's crimes; she is
disgraced, degraded, and condemned to pass the rest of her days in a
Here the fourth act, and the acting play closes. In the fifth De Bourbon
reappears. Lautrec proposes to join him, and assassinate the King, in
revenge for the ruin of Francoise. The memorable battle of Pavia ensues,
and terminates with the death of the King and the triumph of Bourbon.
Triboulet, the jester of the Court of Francis, is introduced with some
pleasantry, by way of relief to the darker deeds.
We cannot conclude this imperfect sketch better than by the following
judicious observations from the _Quarterly Review_: "How high Miss Kemble's
young aspirings have been--what conceptions she has formed to herself of
the dignity of tragic poetry--may be discovered from this most remarkable
work; at this height she must maintain herself, or soar a still bolder
flight. The turmoil, the hurry, the business, the toil, even the celebrity
of a theatric life must yield her up at times to that repose, that
undistracted retirement within her own mind, which, however brief,
is essential to the perfection of the noblest work of the
imagination--genuine tragedy. Amidst her highest successes on the stage,
she must remember that the world regards her as one to whom a still higher
part is fallen. She must not be content with the fame of the most
extraordinary work which has ever been produced by a female at her age,
(for as such we scruple not to describe her Francis the First,)--with
having sprung at once to the foremost rank, not only of living actors but
of modern dramatists;--she must consider that she has given us a pledge
and earnest for a long and brightening course of distinction, in the
devotion of all but unrivalled talents in two distinct, though congenial,
capacities, to the revival of the waning glories of the English theatre."
 This disadvantage is greater on the stage, since the audience neither
see nor hear more of Bourbon, and only four acts of the piece are
performed. In the closet it will not be so obvious, as Bourbon
returns in the fifth act.
 This is an entire variation from history.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
OLD ENGLISH MUSIC.
It was in the course of the sixteenth century that the psalmody of England,
and the other Protestant countries, was brought to the state in which it
now remains, and in which it is desirable that it should continue to
remain. For this psalmody we are indebted to the Reformers of Germany,
especially Luther, who was himself an enthusiastic lover of music, and is
believed to have composed some of the finest tunes, particularly the
Hundredth Psalm, and the hymn on the Last Judgment, which Braham sings
with such tremendous power at our great performances of sacred music. Our
psalm-tunes, consisting of prolonged and simple sounds, are admirably
adapted for being sung by great congregations; and as the effect of this
kind of music is much increased by its venerable antiquity, it would be
very unfortunate should it yield to the influence of innovation: for this
reason, it is much to be desired that organists and directors of choirs
should confine themselves to the established old tunes, instead of
displacing them by modern compositions.
Towards the end of the sixteenth, and beginning of the seventeenth,
century, shone that constellation of English musicians, whose inimitable
madrigals are still, and long will be, the delight of every lover of vocal
harmony. It is to Italy, however, that we are indebted for this species of
composition. The madrigal is a piece of vocal music adapted to words of an
amorous or cheerful cast, composed for four, five, or six voices, and
intended for performance in convivial parties or private musical societies.
It is full of ingenious and elaborate contrivances; but, in the happier
specimens, contains likewise agreeable and expressive melody. At the
period of which we now speak, vocal harmony was so generally cultivated,
that, in social parties, the madrigal books were generally laid on the
table, and every one was expected to take the part allotted to him. Any
person who made the avowal of not being able to sing a part at sight was
looked upon as unacquainted with the usages of good society--like a
gentleman who now-a-days says he cannot play a game at whist, or a lady
that she cannot join in a quadrille or a mazurka. The Italian madrigals of
Luca Marenzio and others are still in request: and among the English
madrigalists we may mention Wilbye, author of "Flora gave me fairest
flowers;" Morley, whose "Now is the month of Maying" is so modern in its
air, that it is introduced as the finale of one of our most popular operas,
the Duenna; and Michael Este, the composer of the beautiful trio, "How
merrily we live that Shepherds be." This music retains all its original
freshness, and has been listened to, age after age, with unabated pleasure.
The glee, which is a simpler and less elaborate form of the madrigal,--and
that amusing _jeu d'esprit_ so well known by the name of Catch, made their
appearance about the end of the sixteenth century. The first collection of
catches that made its appearance in England is dated in
* * * * *
BENEDICTION ON CHILDREN.
_By Thomas Campbell, Esq_.
Imps, that hold your daily revels
Round the windows of my bower
Would that Hell's ten thousand devils
Had you in their clutch this hour!
Screaming, yelling, little nasties,
Would that Ogres down their maw
Had you cramm'd in Christmas pasties,
That would make ye hold your jaw.
Saucy imps, stew'd down to jelly,
Ye would make a sauce most rare;
Or with pudding in each belly,
Rival roasted pig or hare.
Sweeter than the fish of these is,
Would be yours, young human _bores_;
All with apples at your noses,
Would I saw you dish'd by scores!
Herod slaughter'd harmless sucklings,
Not with tongues like yours to vex;
Were he here, ye Devil's ducklings,
I would bid him wring your necks.
* * * * *
DRAMATIC CHARACTER OF THE CATHOLIC RELIGION.
The religion of the south of Europe is still essentially dramatic; and it
may be questioned how far this adaptation to the genius of the people has
tended to perpetuate the influence, not only of the Roman Catholic, but
also of the Greek church. Even in the pulpit, not merely does the earnest
preacher, by vehement gesticulation, by the utmost variety of pause and
intonation, _act_, as far as possible, the scenes which he describes; but
the crucifix, if the expression may be permitted, plays the principal part;
the Saviour is held forth to the multitude in the living and visible
emblem of his sufferings. The ceremonies of the Holy Week in Rome are a
most solemn, and to most minds, affecting religious drama. The oratorios,
as with us, are in general on scriptural subjects; and operas on themes of
equal sanctity are listened to without the least feeling of profanation.
Nor are the more audacious exhibitions of the dark ages by any means
exploded. Every traveller on the continent who has much curiosity, must
have witnessed, whether with devout indignation or mere astonishment, the
strange manner in which scriptural subjects are still represented by
marionnettes, by tableax parlans, or even performed by regular actors. In
the unphilosophized parts of modern Europe, these scenes are witnessed by
the populace, not merely with respect, but with profound interest; and if
they tend to perpetuate superstition, must be acknowledged likewise to
keep alive religious sentiment. But if this be the case in the nineteenth
century, how powerfully must such exhibitions have operated on the general
mind in the dark ages! The alternative lay between total ignorance and
this mode of communicating the truth. For the general mass of the clergy
were then as ignorant as the laity; and as the wild work, which in these
sacred dramas is sometimes made of the scripture history, may be supposed
to have embodied the knowledge of a whole fraternity, we may not unfairly
conjecture the kind of instruction to be obtained from each individual.
The state of language in Europe must have greatly contributed to the
adoption of public instruction, by means of dramatic representation. The
services of the church were in Latin, now become a dead language. This
_originated_, perhaps, rather in sincere reverence, and the dread of
profaning the sacred mysteries by transferring them into the vulgar tongue,
than in any systematic design of keeping the people in the dark; for, from
the gradual extinction of the Latin, as the vernacular idiom, and the
gradual growth of the modern languages, there was no marked period in
which the change might appear to be called for, until the question became
involved with weightier matters of controversy. The confusion of tongues,
almost throughout Europe, before the great predominant languages were
formed out of the conflicting dialects, must greatly have impeded the
preaching the Gospel, for which, in other respects, only a very small part
of the clergy were qualified. Though, in these times, most extraordinary
effects are attributed to the eloquence of certain preachers, for instance,
Fra. Giovanni di Vicenza, yet many of the itinerant friars, the first, we
believe, who addressed the people with great activity in the vulgar tongue,
must have been much circumscribed by the limits of their own patois.
But the spectacle of the dramatic exhibitions everywhere spoke a common
language; and the dialogue, which, in parts of the Chester mysteries, is a
kind of Anglicized French, and which, even if translated into the native
tongue, was constantly interspersed with Latin, and therefore, but darkly
and imperfectly understood, was greatly assisted by the perpetual
interpretation which was presented before the eyes. The vulgar were thus
imperceptibly wrought up to profound feelings of reverence for the purity
of the Virgin; the unexampled sufferings of the Redeemer; the miraculous
powers of the apostles, and the constancy of the martyrs; we must add,
(for after all it was a strange Christianity, though in every respect the
Christianity of the age,) with the most savage detestation at the cruelty
of Herod or Pilate, and the treachery of Judas; and the most revolting
horror, at the hideous appearance, and blasphemous language of the Prince
of Darkness, who almost always played a principal part in these scriptural
 It is related in the life of St. Bernard, that his pale and emaciated
appearance, and the animation and the fire, which seemed to kindle his
whole being as he spoke, made so deep an impression on those who could
only see him and hear his voice, that Germans, who understand not a
word of his language, were often moved to tears.--_Neander, Der
Heilige Bernard_, p. 49.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
The line of the proposed plan for this useful and excellent undertaking
has been forwarded to us. We know not whether the projectors are aware
that a straight line is no longer necessary, but that the sharpest turns
may now be made on rail-roads by an American invention, lately carried
into effect in the United States with singular success.--The line of
railway will be 112-1/2 miles. Birmingham being between 3 and 400 feet
higher than London, and the intervening ground much broken, the railway
could not be laid down without an inclination in its planes; the rise,
however, will in no case exceed 1 in 330. The highest point of the line is
on the summit of an inclined plane 15 miles long, rising 13-1/3 feet in
each mile, and is 315 feet above the level at Maiden Lane, London; from
which it is distant 31 miles. The termination at Birmingham is 256 feet
higher than the commencement at London. It is intended that there should
be 10 tunnels--one at Primrose Hill half a mile long, one near Watford a
mile long, and one near Kilsby, 78 miles from London, a mile and a quarter
long. The others are each less than a quarter of a mile in length, with
the exception of one, which is a third of a mile long. They will all be 25
feet in height, well lighted, and ought rather to be called galleries than
tunnels. The strata through which the railway is carried, appear generally
to follow in this order from London:
London clay and plastic clay 15-1/2
Chalk and chalk flints 18-1/2
Chalk, marl, weald clay, iron sand,
and Oxford clay or clunch clay 20
Great and inferior oolite limestones,
and sandy beds 18
Lias marls, lias limestone or water
lime and shale beds 16
Red marl and new red sandstone 24-1/2
The railway will be composed of two lines of rails with a space between
them of six feet, but at particular points two additional lines will be
required as turns-out to facilitate the passage of the locomotive engines
and carriages. If we assume the average rate of travelling on the railway
to be 20 miles an hour, (which is about the mark,) that 1,200 persons pass
along it in a day, and 120 are conveyed in each train of carriages, then
only ten trains of carriages would be required for all the passengers;
each train would separately take a minute and a half, and the ten trains
not more than fifteen minutes in passing over half a mile of ground. Allow
twice this time for the passage of cattle and merchandise, and it is
manifest that the traffic on railways can never be a source of annoyance
to persons residing near them. All who have travelled in carriages drawn
by locomotive steam-engines on the Liverpool and Manchester railway can
vouch for the safety and comfort, as well as the expedition, of this mode
of conveyance; but the strongest evidence of public opinion on this
subject is the fact, that twice as many persons go by the railway, as were
formerly carried in coaches running on the roads between the two
places--and yet, although the expense of travelling is reduced one-half,
and the works of the railway cost more than 800,000_l_., the proprietors
are in the receipt of a dividend of 9_l_. for a year on their 100_l_.
shares! Enough has been ascertained of the traffic in the districts
through which the London and Birmingham Railway will pass, to remove all
doubt as to an ample return for the necessary outlay.--_Metropolitan_.
* * * * *
_A Dancing Archbishop_.--Dr. King, Archbishop of Dublin, having invited
several persons of distinction to dine with him, had, amongst a great
variety of dishes, a fine leg of mutton and caper sauce; but the doctor,
who was not fond of butter, and remarkable for preferring a trencher to a
plate, had some of the abovementioned pickle introduced dry for his use;
which, as he was mincing, he called aloud to the company to observe him;
"I here present you, my lords and gentlemen," said he, "with a sight that
may henceforward serve you to talk of as something curious, namely, that
you saw an Archbishop of Dublin, at fourscore and seven years of age, cut
capers upon a trencher."
* * * * *
_Singular Parish_.--In the parish of East Twyford, near Harrow, in the
county of Middlesex, there is only one house, and the farmer who occupies
it is perpetual churchwarden of a church which has no incumbent, and in
which no duty is performed. The parish has been in this state ever since
the time of Queen Elizabeth.
* * * * *
_Scandal_.--It is as well not to trust to one's gratitude _after_ dinner.
I have heard many a host libelled by his guests, with his Burgundy yet
reeking on their rascally lips.--_Lord Byron_.
* * * * *
A lady with a well plumed head dress, being in deep conversation with a
naval officer, one of the company said, "it was strange to see so fine a
woman _tar'd_ and feathered."
* * * * *
_A Scolding Wife_.--Dr. Casin having heard the famous Thomas Fuller repeat
some verses on a scolding wife, was so delighted with them, as to request
a copy. "There is no necessity for that," said Fuller, "as you have got
* * * * *
_Bouts Rimes_ are words or syllables which rhyme, arranged in a particular
order, and are given to a poet with a subject, on which he must write
verses ending in the same rhymes, disposed in the same order. Menage gives
the following account of the origin of this ridiculous conceit. Dulot, (a
poet of the 17th century,) was one day complaining in a large company,
that 300 sonnets had been stolen from him. One of the company expressing
his astonishment at the number, "Oh," said he, "they are blank sonnets, or
rhymes (_bouts rimes_) of all the sonnets I may have occasion to write."
This ludicrous story produced such an effect, that it became a fashionable
amusement to compose blank sonnets, and in 1648, a quarto volume of _bouts
rimes_ was published.
* * * * *
_Poisoned Arrows_ used in Guiana are not shot from a bow, but blown
through a tube. They are made of the hard substance of the cokarito tree,
and are about a foot long, and the size of a knitting-needle. One end is
sharply pointed, and dipped in the poison of worraia, the other is
adjusted to the cavity of the reed, from which it is to be blown by a roll
of cotton. The reed is several feet in length. A single breath carries the
arrow 30 or 40 yards.
* * * * *
_Sterling Applause_.--Lord Bolingbroke was so pleased with Barton Booth's
performance of _Cato_, at Drury Lane Theatre, in 1712, that he presented
the actor with fifty guineas from the stage-box--an example which was
immediately followed by Bolingbroke's political opponents.
* * * * *
_Claret_ has been accused of producing the gout, but without reason.
Persons who drench themselves with Madeira, Port, &c. and indulge in an
occasional debauch of Claret, may indeed be visited in that way; because a
transition from the strong brandied wines to the lighter, is always
followed by a derangement of the digestive organs.
* * * * *
_Quarantine in America_.--Dr. Richard Bayley is the person to whom New
York is chiefly indebted for its quarantine laws. His death was, however,
by contagion. In August, 1801, Doctor Bayley, in the discharge of his duty
as health physician, enjoined the passengers and crew of an Irish emigrant
ship, afflicted with the ship fever, to go on shore to the rooms and tents
appointed for them, leaving their luggage behind. The next morning, on
going to the hospital, he found that both crew and passengers, well, sick,
and dying, were huddled together in one apartment, where they had passed
the night. He inconsiderately entered this room before it had been
properly ventilated, but remained scarcely a moment, being obliged to
retire by a deadly sickness at the stomach, and violent pain in the head,
with which he was suddenly seized. He returned home, retired to bed, and
in the afternoon of the seventh day following, he expired.
* * * * *
_Shaving_ is said to have come into use during the reigns of Louis XIII.
and XIV. of France, both of whom ascended the throne without a beard.
Courtiers and citizens then began to shave, in order to look like the king,
and, as France soon took the lead in all matters of fashion on the
continent, shaving became general. It is at best a tedious operation.
Seume, a German author, says, in his journal, "To-day I threw my powder
apparatus out of the window, when will come the blessed day that I shall
send the shaving apparatus after it."
* * * * *
_Book Morality_.--Dr. Beddoes wrote a history of Isaac Jenkins, which was
intended to impress useful moral lessons on the labouring classes in an
attractive manner. Above 40,000 copies of this work were sold in a short
* * * * *
_The Bedford Missal_ throws even the costly scrap-books of these times
into the shade. It was made for the celebrated John, Duke of Bedford, (one
of the younger sons of Henry IV.) and contains 59 large, and more than
1,000 small miniature paintings.
* * * * *
_The Bedford Level_ was drained at an expense of L400,000. by the noble
family of Russell, Earls and Dukes of Bedford, and others; by which means
100,000 acres of good land have been brought into use.
* * * * *
With many Engravings, price 5s.
ARCANA OF SCIENCE
And Annual Register of the Useful Arts for 1832. Abridged from the
Transactions of Public Societies, and Scientific Journals, British and
Foreign, for the past year. This volume will contain all the Important
Facts in the year 1831--in the Mechanic Arts, Chemical Science, Zoology,
Botany, Mineralogy, Geology, Meteorology, Rural Economy, Gardening,
Domestic Economy, Useful and Elegant Arts, Miscellaneous Scientific
"It is with great pleasure that we find the success of the former volumes
of this valuable record of whatever is new in science or interesting in
art, such as to encourage its publisher to make fresh exertions for public
favour, in the compilation of the year passed. Such a work is exceedingly
valuable, and may be considered in the light of a Cyclopaedia, to which
the most eminent of their time for talent and attainments are constantly
contributing."--_New Monthly Magazine. March_, 1832.
"As heretofore, a very useful record of the improvements and novelties of
the year."--_Literary Gazette_.
"The Arcana of Science and Art contains a vast deal of information of an
Printed for JOHN LIMBIRD, 143, Strand; of whom may be had volumes (upon
the same plan) for 1828, price 4s. 6d, 1829--30--31, price 5s. each.
* * * * *
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London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; C.G. BENNIS,
55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris; and by all Newsmen and Booksellers._
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