The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction
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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
Vol. 20, No. 568.] SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1832. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
[Illustration: BIRTHPLACE OF THE EARL OF ELDON.]
Little need be said, by way of explanation, for the addition of the
present subject to our collection of the birthplaces of eminent
men. It is something to know that John Scott was born at
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in the principal dwelling represented in the
above Engraving, in the year 1751; that he received the rudiments of
his education at the free grammar-school of the town; that he grew up
"a man of safe discretion;" that he enjoyed the highest legal honours
which his sovereign could bestow for a quarter of a century; and that
he still lives, a venerable octogenarian, in the enjoyment of "glory
from his conscience, and honour from men." The biography of so
distinguished an individual must have innumerable good tendencies:
it at once inculcates the wholesome truth that "every man is the
architect of his own fortune;" and it presents us, moreover, with
the encouraging picture of a well-regulated life, and its healthful
energies so employed in the discharge of important duties as to
entitle the subject to high rank among the worthies of his country.
John Scott, Lord Eldon, is the third son of William Scott, of
Newcastle-upon-Tyne. "His father was by trade what in the language of
the place is called a 'fitter,' or agent for the sale and shipment
of coals. He had by industry and habits of close saving accumulated
rather considerable means from small beginnings. Beyond this he was
a man of great shrewdness and knowledge of the world," and quickly
perceiving the talents of the two younger boys, William (now Lord
Stowell,) and John, he wisely gave them an education in accordance
with their mental endowments. "It is said that the singular variety
in the talent of these two remarkable youths was manifested at a very
early age. When asked to 'give an account of the sermon,' which was a
constant Sabbath custom of their father, William, the eldest, gave at
once a condensed and lucid digest of the general argument. John,
on the other hand, would go into all the minutiae, but failed in
producing the lucid, general view embodied in half the number of words
by his brother." The two boys received their early education at the
free grammar-school of Newcastle. William was from the beginning
destined for the study of the law. John was at first intended for
the church, and was, accordingly, sent to Oxford: early marriage was,
however, the fortunate means of changing his destination, and he began
the world in the same profession with his brother. In 1757, John was
entered as a student at the Middle Temple, and was called to the bar
at the usual period. He at this time possessed an extensive stock of
legal information, having been an indefatigable reader, and spent the
two last years of his preliminary studies in the office of a special
pleader. At his outset he made no progress, his powers being palsied
by an oppressive diffidence. He therefore devoted his talents entirely
to being a draftsman in Chancery. His employment was laborious, and
not lucrative, while it materially injured his health. In a fit of
despondency he resolved to retire into humble practice in his native
county; and he had actually given up his chambers and taken leave of
his friends in the metropolis, when he was not only diverted from his
purpose by an eminent solicitor, but was even prevailed upon to make
one more trial at the bar. His first success was the undoubted fruit
of his extraordinary abilities, and is said to have originated in the
sudden illness of a leading counsel the night before the trial of a
complicated civil cause. It could not be put off, and the client
of the lost leader was in despair, when Scott courageously took the
brief, made himself in one night master of its voluminous intricacies,
and triumphed. From this time he gained confidence, and his forensic
reputation soon became established. He was much aided by the
encouragement which he received from Lord Thurlow, who praised his
abilities, and is said to have offered him a mastership in Chancery,
which Mr. Scott declined.
 Tait's Edinburgh Magazine for the present month.
 At this school also were educated Vice-Admiral Lord
Collingwood; Sir Robert Chambers; William Elstob, an antiquary
and divine; the poet, Akenside; the Rev. George Hall, Bishop
of Dromore; and the Rev. John Brand, author of a history of
Newcastle, and secretary to the Society of Antiquaries; all of
whom were born at Newcastle.
In 1783; Mr. Scott obtained a silk gown; and, through Lord Weymouth's
interest, he was introduced into parliament for the borough of Weobly.
It is stated that on the latter occasion, he stipulated for the
liberty of voting as he pleased. He took a decided part with the Pitt
administration; and in 1788, he was appointed solicitor-general,
and knighted; in 1793, he rose to be attorney-general, and in the
following year he conducted the trial of Hardy, Tooke, and Thelwall,
for treason. Erskine was opposed to him; and the prosecution failed,
though the speech of the attorney-general occupied nine hours in the
In 1799, Sir John Scott was appointed to the chief justiceship of the
Common Pleas, on the resignation of Chief Justice Eyre; and in the
same year he was raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Eldon. In
1801, he was made Lord Chancellor, which high office he retained till
the year 1827, with the exception of the short period during which the
Whigs were in office, in 1806. His lordship was raised to the dignity
of an earl at the coronation of George IV. in 1821.
The high character of the Earl of Eldon as Chancellor is thus lucidly
drawn by Sir Egerton Brydges: "Of all who, in the long lapse of ages,
have filled the sacred seat on which he now (1823) sits, none ever
had purer hands, none ever had a conscientious desire of equity more
ardent and more incessant than Lord Eldon. The amazing expanse of
his views, the inexpressible niceness of his discrimination, his
unrelaxing anxiety to do justice in every individual case, the
kindness of his heart, and the ductility of his ideas, all ensure that
attention to every suitor which must necessarily obtain the unbounded
admiration and attachment of the virtuous and the wise. Lord Eldon's
eloquence," continues Sir Egerton, "is rather adapted to cultivated
and thinking minds than to a popular audience. It generally addresses
the understanding rather than the fancy. It frequently wants fluency,
but occasionally is tinged with a high degree of moral pathos."
We could illustrate the conscientious character alluded to by the
above writer, with anecdotes of the chancellorship of Lord Eldon. As
the following have, we believe, but once appeared in print, they may
not, be familiar to the reader. Sir Richard Phillips relates: "In
conversation with Mr. Butterman, (at Dronfield), I heard two anecdotes
of Lord Eldon, which, as an example to Lord Chancellors, and to
public spirited parishioners, I consider it my duty to introduce. The
incumbent, some years ago, thought proper to propose an exchange with
an incompetent clergyman; when Mr. B., as a friend to the church, and
some of his respectable neighbours took alarm at the negotiation, and
in the commencement he penned a letter to the Chancellor. The other
parties calculated on the arrangement, but, on applying to the
Chancellor he could consent to no exchange, but that if the parties
were tired of their positions, they might respectively resign, and
there were plenty of candidates. The determination was final, and the
scheme of exchange was abandoned. In another instance, a master
had been regularly appointed to the grammar school at Dronfield,
on liberal principles of education, but, within a few years, some
prejudice was excited against him, and the churchwardens for the time
thought proper to stop his salary. On this occasion, Mr. B. and some
friends combined in an application to Lord Eldon, and his lordship
instantly directed the churchwardens to render an account of the trust
within a few days. They claimed time, and were allowed a month, when,
without other form, he directed the salary to be paid to the appointed
master, with all expenses."
 In his Personal Tour through the United Kingdom, Part iii.
Newcastle contains memorials of Lord Eldon which indicate that
the inhabitants are proud of their distinguished fellow-freeman. A
spacious range of elegant buildings is called Eldon Square: and in the
Guildhall is a portrait of his lordship, opposite that of his brother,
* * * * *
THE WEARIED SOLDIER.
"When silent time, wi' lightly foot,
Had trod o'er thirty years,
I sought again, my native land,
Wi' many hopes and fears."
He came to the village, when the sun
In the "golden west" was bright,
When sounds were dying one by one,
And the vesper star was shining down,
With a soft and silvery light.
A war-worn wanderer was he,
And absent many a year
From the cottage-home he fain would see,
From that resting-place where he would be,
The spot to memory dear.
It rose at last upon his view,
(Old times were thronging round him,)
The lattice where the jasmine grew,
The meadow where he brush'd the dew
When youth's bright hopes were round him.
But faces new, and sadly strange,
Were in that cottage now;
Cold eyes, that o'er his features range,
For time had wrought a weary change
Upon the soldier's brow.
And some there were--the lov'd--the dead--
Whom he no more could see,
From this cold changing world were fled,
And they had found a quiet bed
Beneath the old yew tree.
And thither too--the wanderer hied,
Night-dews were falling fast,
This is my "welcome home" he cried,
And the chill breezes low replied
In murmurs as they pass'd.
They whispering said, or seem'd to say,
No lasting joys to earth are given,
No longer near these ashes stray,
Go, mourner! hence, away! away!
Thy lost ones are in heaven.
_Kirton, Lindsey._ ANNE R.
* * * * *
From the remotest ages of antiquity most nations have practised
fasting to keep the wrath of God from falling upon them for their
sins. Some celebrated authors even affirm that fasting was originated
by Adam after he had eaten of the forbidden fruit; but this obviously
is carrying their arguments, in favour of fasting, too far, though it
is as certain that the Jewish churches practised it from their first
formation. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and the Assyrians held the
"solemn fast" in high favour. The Egyptians, according to Herodotus,
before they offered in sacrifice the cow to Isis, to purify themselves
from impurities, fasted and prayed. This custom he also ascribes to
the Cyrenian women. Porphyry relates that the fasts of the Egyptians
were sometimes continued for six weeks, and that the shortest ordained
by their priests was seven days, during which they abstained from
nearly all kinds of food. These rites they communicated to the Greeks,
who observed these fasts more strictly, and with more outward show and
solemnity. The Athenians likewise observed stated fasts, two of which
were named "the Elusinian and Thesmoporian fasts;" the observation
of these fasts was extremely rigid, especially amongst women, who,
in mournful dresses, spent one whole day sitting on the ground (their
sign of grief,) without taking the least food. The islanders of Crete,
before sacrificing to Jupiter, had to abstain from food. A celebrated
ancient author informs us, that those who wished to be initiated into
the secrets of Cybele, fasted ten days before their initiation; and
that, in short, the priests who gave the oracles, and those who came
to consult them, had to perform this duty.
Amongst other Heathen nations, before they prepared for any important
enterprise, the whole expedition fasted. The Lacedemonians having
agreed to aid an ally, ordained a fast throughout their nation, and
without _even_ excepting their _domestic animals_. The Romans having
besieged the city of Tarentum, and the city being hard pressed,
the citizens demanded succour of their friends, the inhabitants of
Rhegium; who, preparatory to granting assistance to the besieged,
commanded that a fast should be held throughout their territories.
Their aid having proved successful, the government of Tarentum to
commemorate this important event, ordained a perpetual fast on the day
of their deliverance.
Philosophers and certain religious people have for ages reckoned
fasting as a service which led to important results, and a duty which
could not be dispensed with without causing the wrath of God to fall
upon the heads of the nation. At Rome it was practised even by the
emperors. Amongst the most remarkable for keeping this institution
were Numa Pompilius, Julius Caesar, Vespasian, &c. Julian, the
apostate, was so exact in the performance of this ordinance, that
the fasting of the philosophers and of the priests themselves, was as
nothing compared with his abstinence. Pythagoras fasted sometimes
as long as forty days; his disciples followed the example of their
master; and after his death they kept a continual fast, in which they
denounced the inhabitants of the deep as well as the creatures of the
meadow. The eastern Brahmins are remarkable for their fasting; but as
the people believe they regale themselves with the good things of this
life, in secret, their example gains not many followers. That nation
which reckons itself infinitely superior to _us_ "poor barbarians,"
the Chinese, also observe stated seasons of fasting and prayer. The
Mahomedans likewise strictly observe fasting and prayer, and the
exactness with which the dervishes perform them, and the lengths of
time of their fasts are very remarkable.
The Israelites were commanded by Jehovah himself to fast on the
appearance of any plague, famine, war, &c.; and though they sadly
neglected the commands of God in other particulars, yet they obeyed
this command with great devotedness. The abstinence of the ancient
Jews generally lasted from twenty-six to twenty-seven hours. On these
days they wore sackcloth, laid themselves in ashes, and sprinkled
them on their heads, in token of their great grief and penitence. Some
spent the whole night in the synagogue; occasionally using with great
effect a scourge as a penance for their sins, or as a stimulant to
devout behaviour. We think it is not improbable that it is from the
Jews that the Roman Catholics derived their scourging penance system.
In "happy smiling England," fasting was, and is, practised by the
Catholics every Friday; it was also practised by the fathers of the
church, and the primitive Protestants, at stated seasons. The custom
is still observed amongst the methodists, who follow the example of
their great leader, Wesley. The rust of time has, however, worn away
the veneration for this "good _old_ system," and it is totally
disused by the general body of Protestants, except on great national
* * * * *
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
* * * * *
SHERIFFS OF LONDON.
[The subsequent paper extracted from Mr. Brayley's
laboriously-compiled _Londiniana_ possesses more than a
passing interest. Its neatness and perspicuity as a Journal
will doubtless be appreciated by the reader.]
The following particulars relating to the office of Sheriff, are
derived from a manuscript copy of the _Journal_ of Richard Hoare,
Esq. during the year of his Shrievalty, in 1740-41, in his own
hand-writing, which is now in the possession of his grandson, Sir
Richard Colt Hoare, Bart., of Stourhead, in Wiltshire. The above year
became memorable in the city annals, from their having been _three_
Lord Mayors during its progress, viz. Sir John Salter, knight; Humphry
Parsons, Esq., and Daniel Lambert, Esq.
Mr. Hoare, who was a banker, in Fleet Street, and principal of the
respectable house which, instituted by one of his predecessors, still
bears the family name, was elected alderman of the Ward of Farringdon
Without, on St. George's day, 1740, in the place of Sir Francis Child,
who died on the preceding Sunday, April the 20th. This honour was
conferred upon him, whilst he was at Bath, and quite unexpectedly; and
equally so, was his election to the Sheriffdom, conjointly with Mr.
Alderman Marshall, on the midsummer-day following. Shortly afterwards
they gave bonds under the penalty of 1,000_l_. to undertake and enter
upon the office on the ensuing Michaelmas eve; and "thereupon, became
each entitled to 100_l_. out of the forfeitures of those, who had this
year been nominated to be sheriff's by my Lord Mayor, but had paid
their fines to be excused."
In the intermediate time they prepared for the due execution of their
duties, chose their under-sheriff's, &c.; and, "as it is customary for
each sheriff to preside over the two Counters separately, my brother
Marshall chose that in the Poultry, and the care of Wood-street
Counter was under my direction, and we agreed, at our joint expense,
to give the usual livery gowns to the officers of both, although they
are greater in number at the Poultry than in mine; in recompense for
which, it was settled that we should equally share in the sale of the
places upon any vacancy."
On Sunday, the 28th of September, the sheriffs elect met at ten
o'clock in the morning, at Drapers' Hall, "and there entertained
several of the Court of Aldermen, and sixteen of the Court of
Assistance of each of the Companies, viz: the Goldsmiths and the
Drapers, with the usual breakfast of roast beef, burnt wine," &c. He
"Upon notice sent to us, that the Lord Mayor, with George Heathcote,
and Sir John Lequesne, aldermen and sheriffs for the last year were
attending at the council chamber, Guildhall, we all repaired thither;
the gentlemen of the Court of Assistance walking two by two, the
senior sheriff's company on the right hand, the aldermen following in
their coaches; in which, we, though sheriffs-elect, took our rank as
aldermen. Upon coming up to the area of Guildhall, the two companies
made a lane for the aldermen to pass through, and after having waited
on my Lord Mayor to Guildhall Chapel, to hear divine service, we
returned back to the court of the hustings, which being opened by
the common cryer, we were summoned to come forth and take the oath
of office; which we accordingly did, together with the oaths of
allegiance and abjuration; and the same was also administered to Mr.
Tims, (clerk to St. Bartholomews,) as under-sheriff, he kneeling all
"When this was over, the gold chains were taken off from the former
sheriffs, and put on us; and then the court being dissolved, the Lord
Mayor went home, attended by the former sheriffs, and we returned back
to Drapers' Hall to our dinner, provided for the Court of Aldermen and
Courts of Assistance, at which the senior alderman took the chair as
president, and the rest of the aldermen and gentlemen of Guildhall
took their places at the upper table, whilst we, the sheriffs, sat
at the head of the second table, with the gentlemen of the Courts of
Assistance of our two companies. When dinner was over, and the healths
of the royal family were drunk, the cryer proclaimed the health and
prosperity to the two sheriffs' companies in the following manner;
that is to say, 'Prosperity to the worshipful Company of Drapers, and
prosperity to the worshipful Company of Goldsmiths: to the Goldsmiths
and Drapers, and Drapers and Goldsmiths, prosperity to both:' and this
is so usually done, naming each company first alternately, to prevent
any dispute concerning preference or priority.
"After dinner, we all retired to one table in the inner room, at which
we, though sheriffs, were placed underneath all the aldermen; for
whatever rank an alderman may be in point of seniority, yet during the
year he serves as sheriff, he is to give place, and follow the rest
of his brethren, both at the court, and all processions and
entertainments. About six o'clock, the late sheriffs, having left the
Lord Mayor at his house, attended us to Guildhall, where we were
met by our own and the former under-sheriffs, together with the
secondaries and keepers of the prisons; and the names of the
respective prisoners in each gaol being read over, the keepers
acknowledged them one by one, to be in their custody; and then
tendered us the keys, which we delivered back to them again, and after
having executed the indentures, whereby we covenanted and undertook
the charge of our office, we were invited according to custom, to an
adjoining tavern; and there partook of an entertainment of sack and
walnuts, provided by the aforesaid keepers of the prisons.
"Monday, September 29th. This being Michaelmas-day, my brother sheriff
and I set out for the first time in our new equipages and scarlet
gowns, attended by our beadles, and the several officers of our
Counters, and waited on the Lord Mayor, at Merchant Taylors' Hall, at
which he kept his mayoralty, and proceeded with him from thence, as
is customary, to Guildhall, where the livery-men of the city were
summoned to attend at the Court of Hustings for the election of a new
lord mayor for the year ensuing. The recorder made a speech to the
livery-men, 'apprising them of the custom and manner of choosing a
lord mayor; which, he observed, was for the Common Hall to nominate
two of the aldermen who had served sheriffs, to the Court of Aldermen,
who had then a right to elect either of them into that great office,
and which ever that the court so fixed on, the Common Hall was bound
to accept.' When he had ended, the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen
retired into the Council Chamber, and left us to preside at the
election, attended by the Common Sergeant and other officers. The
method of voting is, by each alderman going up to the recorder and
town clerk, who sit at a separate part of the room, and telling the
person he would choose, a scratch is made under each respective name."
On the day following, the two sheriffs again went to Guildhall, with
the same company as on the preceding day, and waiting on the Lord
Mayor in the Council Chamber, requested that his lordship and the
recorder would present them at his Majesty's Court of Exchequer. Each
sheriff then paid the usual fees, viz. _6l. 13s. 4d._ to the Lord
Mayor, and _3l. 6s. 8d._ to the recorder; after which, they proceeded
to the Three Cranes' Stairs, in Upper Thames Street, "the Lord Mayor
first; we, the sheriffs, next; the recorder and aldermen following in
coaches, the companies walking before us.
"From thence we went to Westminster in the city barge, taking place
of all the aldermen: and our two companies attended in the Goldsmiths'
barge, as before agreed on, adorned with half the colours, and rowed
with half the watermen belonging to the Drapers' company. On landing,
the companies went first, the Lord Mayor next, then the recorder with
a sheriff on each side, and last the aldermen. On our approaching the
bar of the Exchequer [in Westminster Hall,] the recorder, in a speech,
presented us to the Court, one of the Barons being seated there for
that purpose, signifying the choice the citizens had made, and that,
in pursuance of our charter, we were presented to his Majesty's
justices for his royal approbation; and the Baron accordingly
approving the choice, he, and the Clerks of the Exchequer, were
invited to our dinner; then the late sheriffs were sworn to their
accounts, and made their proffers; and the senior alderman present
cut one twig in two, and bent another, and the officers of the court
counted six horse-shoes and hob-nails.
"This formality, it is said, is passed through each year, by way
of suit and service for the citizens holding some tenements in St.
Clement's Danes, as also some other lands; but where they are situated
no one knows, nor doth the city receive any rents or profits thereby.
"This done, we returned in the same order to the Three Cranes, and
from thence, in our coaches, to dinner at Drapers' Hall; where my Lord
Mayor, aldermen, gentlemen of Guildhall, and guests invited, dined
at one table, and we, the sheriff's, at the head of another, with the
Court of Assistance of each of our companies: and the Clerks of the
Exchequer by themselves at another table. After dinner, the Lord
Mayor, aldermen, &c. returned into a separate room, where we sat with
them at the head of the table, one on each side of the Lord Mayor;
our two companies were in another room, and the greatest part of the
Clerks of the Exchequer remained in the hall."
On the 7th of October they "settled a point," with the keeper of
Newgate in regard to the transportation of _felons_. That was, that
the keeper should deliver them to the merchant, "who contracts to
carry them over," at the door of Newgate, and there discharge himself
of any further custody; but leaving him and his officers the privilege
of protecting them down to the water side, according to any private
agreement between him and the merchant; it being fully understood that
the sheriffs should not be responsible for their charge "from the time
of their first delivery."
(_TO BE CONCLUDED IN OUR NEXT._)
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
STEAM CARRIAGES ON COMMON ROADS.
(_From Mr. Alexander Gordon's Treatise on Elemental
Locomotion. Concluded from page 185._)
We do not advocate any thing so preposterous as the change of the
whole animate power of Great Britain into inanimate, though in this
the political economist can see the solution of all our Malthusian
difficulties to an indefinite extent and duration. What we urge is
merely the partial adoption of the thing to such an extent as will
relax the present pressure, and restore us to a wholesome state of
national prosperity. This will occasion no dangerous experiment, and
will be gradually followed up by a progressive conversion, by which
all the conflicting interests of society will be neutralized, and
the aggregate wealth, and prosperity, and happiness of the empire be
If then _elemental locomotion_ can he made to substitute the
expensive, unproductive system of animate labour now in use, it will
indubitably be for the vital interest of all classes of society that
the substitution should be realized speedily and extensively. That
steam can be so applied has been _satisfactorily proved_. The report
of the Committee of the House of Commons establishes this. But the
evidence of several of the enlightened and practical witnesses who
were examined before that committee bears with too much emphasis upon
the detail of the commercial and economic advantages of the project
we have just been attempting to enumerate and advocate, for us not to
avail ourselves of it even at this early stage of our work. It being
quite decisive in support of the grand conclusion to which the
said committee came after three months of patient and thorough
investigation of the subject, viz. "_That the substitution of
inanimate for animate power is one of the most important improvements
in the means of internal communication ever introduced._"
[Then follow extracts from the evidence of Messrs. Torrens,
John Farey, Davies Gilbert, and Goldsworthy Garney.]
In viewing the moral advantages which must result from
steam-carriages, we find them of no less importance. There are but few
so constitutionally indifferent to acceleration in travelling as
the Hollander, who delighted in the "old, solemn, straight-forward,
regular Dutch canal speed--three miles an hour for expresses, and two
for joy or trot journeys." Acceleration in the speed of travelling, if
unaccompanied by danger, is eagerly sought after, because the period
of discomfort is lessened. But steam-carriages will not only lessen
the discomfort by shortening its duration; they can be so equipped
that positive comfort, nay, luxury, may be enjoyed. A steam-engine is
perfectly under control, and consequently much more safe than horses.
The life of the traveller cannot be jeoparded by the breaking of a
rein, horses being frightened, running off, &c. &c.; the steamer,
it will be seen, the honourable Committee report to the House "is
perfectly safe for passengers."
The actual casualties of stage-coaches, however, we may observe, bear
no proportion to the loss of lives from consumption and other diseases
occasioned by cold and wet, from exposure on the top of coaches.
 It appears from the newspapers that on the night of the
25th of February, 1812, three outside passengers were found
dead on the roof of the Bath coach, from the inclemency of the
Let us consider also how far humanity is outraged by the present
system of quick travelling. The short average life of stage-coach
horses (three years only!) shows how dreadfully over-wrought and
_out-wrought_ they are by the great speed now in practice. Driven for
eight or ten miles, with an oppressive weight, they tremble in every
nerve. With nostrils distended, and sides moving in breathless agony,
they can scarce, when unyoked, crawl to the stable. 'Tis true they
are well fed; the interest of their owners secures that. They are
over-well fed, in order that a supernatural energy may be exerted. The
morrow comes when their galled withers are again to be wrung by the
ill-cushioned collars, and the lumbering of the wheels. But we do not
witness all the misery of the noble and the generous steed. When
the shades of night impend, the reproaches of the feeling, or the
expostulations of the timid traveller no longer protect him from the
lash; and the dread of Mr. Martin's act ceases to effect for a
time its beneficent purpose; when the stiffened joints--the cracked
hoofs--the greasy legs--and stumbling gait of the worn-out animal are
all put into agonized motion by belabouring _him upon the raw_!
The expression is Hibernian, but the brutality is our own. A few
ill-gained pounds reconcile the enormity to the owner--and the
cheapness and expedition of the conveyance give it public sanction:
but humanity is outraged by the same: human sympathies are seared; and
the noble precept, that "the merciful man is merciful to his beast,"
is trampled under foot.
Thus then, by substituting elementary for physical power, we have
comfort for comparative inconvenience--the inside of an elegant
apartment, where books, amusement, or general conversation may
occupy agreeably the time--for the outside of a hard, unsafe stage
conveyance, and exposure to all changes or varieties of atmosphere.
Nay, we see no reason to prevent such improvement in steam-carriages
as shall fit them up like steam-boats, the campaigning carriage of
Napoleon, or the travelling long coach of the present Duke of
Orleans, with beds, and a furnished table. We have besides safety
for danger--accelerated speed without inhumanity--gain of time--of
accommodation--of money--and over and above all, as a non-consumer
of food, we have by the substitution what will remove the host of
Malthusian ills to a period of almost indefinite duration.
* * * * *
* * * * *
EYES AND TEARS.
How wisely Nature did decree
With the same eyes to weep and see!
That, having view'd the object vain,
They might be ready to complain.
And, since the self-deluding sight,
In a false angle takes each height,
These tears which better measure all.
Like wat'ry lines and plummets fall.
Two tears, with sorrow long did weigh,
Within the scales of either eye,
And then paid out in equal poise,
Are the true price of all my joys.
What in the world most fair appears,
Yea, even laughter, turns to tears:
And all the jewels which we prize,
Melt in these pendents of the eyes.
I have through every garden been,
Amongst the red, the white, the green;
And yet from all those flow'rs I saw,
No honey, but these tears could draw.
So the all-seeing sun each day,
Distils the world with chemic ray;
But finds the essence only showers,
Which straight in pity back he pours.
Yet happy they whom grief doth bless,
That weep the more, and see the less;
And, to preserve their sight more true,
Bathe still their eyes in their own dew.
So Magdalen, in tears more wise
Dissolv'd those captivating eyes,
Whose liquid chains could flowing meet,
To fetter her Redeemer's feet.
Not full sails hasting loaden home,
Nor the chaste lady's pregnant womb,
Nor Cynthia teeming shows so fair,
As two eyes, swoln with weeping, are
The sparkling glance that shoots desire,
Drench'd in these waves, does lose its fire.
Yea, oft the Thunderer pity takes,
And here the hissing lightning slakes.
The incense was to heaven dear,
Not as a perfume, but a tear!
And stars show lovely in the night,
But as they seem the tears of light.
Ope, then, mine eyes, your double sluice,
And practise so your noblest use;
For others too can see, or sleep,
But only human eyes can weep.
Now, like two clouds dissolving, drop,
And at each tear in distance stop:
Now, like two fountains, trickle down:
Now like two floods o'er-run and drown:
Thus lot your streams o'erflow your springs,
Till eyes and tears be the same things;
And each the other's difference bears;
These weeping eyes, those seeing tears.
(_From a neatly-printed Life of the Poet, by John Dove._)
* * * * *
A DROP OF DEW.
See, how the orient dew
Shed from the bosom of the morn,
Into the blowing roses,
Yet careless of its mansion new,
For the clear region where 'twas born
Round in itself incloses:
And in its little globe's extent,
Frames, as it can, its native element.
How it the purple flow'r does slight,
Scarce touching where it lies;
But gazing back upon the skies,
Shines with a mournful light,
Like its own tear,
Because so long divided from the sphere.
Restless it rolls, and unsecure,
Trembling, lest it grows impure;
Till the warm sun pities its pain,
And to the skies exhales it back again.
So the _soul_, that drop, that ray,
Of the clear fountain of eternal day,
Could it within the human flow'r be seen,
Rememb'ring still its former height,
Shuns the sweet leaves, and blossoms green;
And, recollecting its own light,
Does, in its pure and circling thoughts, express
The greater heaven in an heaven less,
In how coy a figure wound,
Every way it turns away:
So the world excluding round,
Yet receiving in the day.
Dark beneath, but bright above;
Here disdaining, there in love,
How loose and easy hence to go;
How girt and ready to ascend:
Moving but on a point below,
It all about does upward bend.
Such did the Manna's sacred dew distil,
White and entire, although congeal'd and chill;
Congeal'd on earth; but does, dissolving run
Into the glories of th' almighty sun.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS, REGENT'S PARK.
We recommend such of our London friends and visiters from the country
as have not lately passed an hour or two in the Zoological Gardens,
to do so without further delay. The present season is warm and genial,
and the rejoicing rays of the morning and noontide sun enliven the
tenants of this mimic world in a garden. As evening approaches the air
becomes chill and misty, though
The weary sun hath made a golden set,
And, by the bright track of his fiery ear,
Gives token of a goodly day to-morrow:
the several animals indicate their sense of the atmospheric changes by
their decreased activity, reminding us of the comparative torpidity in
which the majority of them will pass the coming winter.
The present Cuts represent a few of the recent improvements in
the Zoological Gardens, as, the addition of the clock-house and
weathercock to the Llama House.
 By the way, a natural weathercock instead of the gilded
vane, as defined by Brown, would have been a _rara avis_: "A
kingfisher hanged by the bill, converting the breast to that
point of the horizon whence the wind doth blow, is a very
strange introducing of natural weathercocks."
[Illustration: (_Llama House._)]
Opposite is the sloping gravel walk leading from the Terrace; and
a large cage for Parrots, Parrakeets, Macaws, and Cockatoos, whose
brilliant colours are here seen to advantage in the resplendent beams
of a September sun. In the distance are the Bear Pole and Shed for
The next Cut includes the House and Enclosure for Armadillos, who
are, in sunny weather, located here with a "select few" rabbits. The
innocent gambols and restless run of the Armadillo over the turf are
here seen to advantage. This house as the distance of the Cut shows,
is not far from the Llama House and circular Aviary.
Thus far in the Southern Garden, whence we reach the Northern by the
Tunnel beneath the Park-road, as figured in _The Mirror_, No. 535,
opposite to the end of the tunnel is a large squirrel-cage, and at the
extremity of the walk to the right is a spacious building, called the
Repository "the inhabitants of which are continually being changed as
variations in the weather, or any other cause may render convenient."
We last saw there the noble Lions from the Tower, together with the
Hyaena, Jackal, Ichneumons, Coatimondis, besides an assemblage of
splendid tropical birds. The exterior of the building, especially the
ornamented gable and doorways, is picturesque.
[Illustration: (_The Repository._)]
Repassing the Squirrel Cage, the visiter must next proceed along the
straight gravelled walk, which leads towards the western extremity
of the North Garden. Here is a range of buildings, among which is the
Stable and enclosed Yard for Deer; Among which are specimens of the
Wapiti, remarkable for its size and the amplitude of its branching
horns when full grown. Next is the Stable and Enclosure for Elephants,
opposite the capacious Bath already represented in _The Mirror_, No.
In a fortnight we may probably resume our graphic visit to this most
* * * * *
THE VOICE OF HUMANITY.
"The Association for promoting Rational Humanity towards the Animal
Creation" exists--though, in one sense, as a blot upon the character
of the age. They publish the above Journal quarterly, assembling acts
of atrocity which make the blood curdle in our veins, and remind us
that "all are not men that wear the human form." The funds of
the society are not in a prosperous condition; the sand of their
philanthropy is well nigh run out, and fresh appeals are to be made.
Let us glance at the contents of, the _Voice_ before us. The subject
"Abattoirs contrasted with Slaughter-houses and Smithfield-market,"
is continued--a plan which we illustrated in _The Mirror_ about five
years since. True enough the Society write, but the people do not
consider; they are so wedded to old prejudices and habits, and the
mammon of money, that pestilential slaughter-houses are tolerated in
the midst of a "city of the plague," notwithstanding a law exists for
its prevention. Four hospitals are building in the metropolis--and
markets are increasing for the sale of the necessaries and luxuries of
life; the _Haymarket_ has been removed from a fashionable quarter to
the suburbs, that loaded carts may not obstruct carriages in their
road to St. James's, the Houses of Parliament, and the Opera--yet, not
a single, _Abattoir_--for the health of the people--exists near the
metropolis. The King and the Court patronize and plan horse-racing,
throwing the lasso, and, if recent report be true, hawking; the
Parliament legislate, a bill is "ordered to be printed"--yet, the
inconsistency and tardiness of these proceedings compel us to
ask, where is the truth of the motto--_Salus populi suprema lex_.
Convictions before magistrates for acts of cruelty are not uncommon;
yet, it is in this, as in many other laws, the poor are caught, while
the rich break through the meshes of the net. In the work before us
are recorded Mr. Osbaldeston's matches, including "the cold-blooded
cruelty towards the generous and heart-broken _Rattler_, in riding him
thirty-four miles in the space of 2 hours, 18 min., and 56 sec." Next
are four police cases of cruelties towards horses, bullocks, and cats,
the persons convicted being "of low estate." Yet there follows the
fact of _a respectable woman_ boiling a cat to death! and next is this
quotation from the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for April, 1789:--
"Died, April 4, at Tottenham, John Ardesoif, Esq.; a young man of
large fortune, and in the splendour of his carriages and horses
rivalled by few country gentlemen. His table was that of hospitality,
where it may be said he sacrificed too much to conviviality. Mr.
Ardesoif was fond of cock-fighting, and he had a favourite cock upon
which he had won many profitable matches. The last bet he made upon
this cock he lost; which so enraged him, that he had the bird tied
to a spit, and roasted alive before a large fire. The screams of
the miserable animal were so affecting, that some gentlemen who were
present attempted to interfere, which so exasperated Mr. Ardesoif,
that he seized the poker; and, with the most furious vehemence,
declared that he would kill the first man who interfered; but, in the
midst of his passionate assertions, he fell down dead upon the spot!"
If we be asked whether it be proper to regard _all_ such dispensations
as judicial inflictions, we reply in the words of Cowper above:
"'Tis not for us, with rash surmise,
To point the judgments of the skies,
But judgments _plain as this_,
That, sent for man's instruction, bring
A written label on their wing,
'Tis hard to read amiss."
[A contribution full of touching simplicity follows:]
Turn, turn, thy hasty foot aside
Nor crush that helpless worm;
The frame thy wayward looks deride,
Required a God to form.
The common Lord of all that move,
From whom thy being flowed,
A portion of his boundless love
On that poor worm bestowed.
The sun, the moon, the stars, he made
To all his creatures free;
And spread o'er earth the grassy blade
For worms as well as thee.
Let them enjoy their little day,
Their lowly hiss receive;
Oh! do not lightly take away
The life thou canst not give.
Here we may remark, that much wanton cruelty has been abolished by the
extended education of the people. Brutal sports among boys are much
less indulged than formerly, and the worrying of domestic animals
almost invariably denotes a _bad boy_, in the worst sense of the
phrase, likely to make a bad man; "so true to nature is the admirable
aphorism of Wordsworth:--
The boy's the father of the man."
But we do not so much complain of boyish as of adult cruelties;
though, according to the above showing, such atrocities will be less
rare in the next than in the present generation. To conclude, we hope
that the present notice may awaken the sympathy of the reader towards
the laudable objects of the _Society_, under whose guidance the _Voice
of Humanity_ is published. It is a difficult matter to point out "the
uneducated," and writers of all grades are eternally babbling of
our high state of civilization and refinement, yet, we repeat,
the necessity of this association is an anomaly which amounts to a
* * * * *
THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
VISIT TO THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT ETNA.
_BY LIEUTENANT G.H.P. WHITE, ROYAL NAVY._
On the evening of the 13th of July, 1830, I set off from Catania with
a party of my messmates, to ascend Mount Etna, taking the necessary
guides, and two sumpter mules to carry the provisions, &c., as nothing
in that way can be procured after leaving Nicolosi, which is a small
village about twelve miles from Catania. Etna is divided by the
Sicilians into three several regions. The first is called Pie de
Montagna, the second Nemerosa, and the third Discoperta. The ascent,
though very gradual, commences immediately on leaving the city of
Catania, over a tolerably constructed road; the country around is
formed on an ancient volcanic soil; probably the third eruption
mentioned by Thucydides, which happened in the sixth year of the
Peloponnesian war, and the second of the eighty-eighth Olympiad.
Traversing the lands of Battianti, and St. Giovanni della Punta, the
road is constantly over the lava, and the country on either side is
delicious. Trecastagne, nine miles from Catania, is seated on the
acclivity of a high volcanic mountain. The scene here is beautiful
and picturesque. Near the principal church the view is most extensive.
Towards the east the mountains of Calabria, the sea stretching
from Taormina to Catania, bathing the sides of Etna, covered with
vineyards, woods and villages: northward rises the mountain itself,
surrounded by its progeny of pigmy mountains; these have been thrown
up in various forms, composed principally of cinders, and covered with
rich vegetation. The freshness of the air, the beauty and picturesque
situations of the houses surrounded by lofty and fine trees, the
over-teeming fertility of the soil, and the laughing fields, where
golden Ceres still lingers, unwilling to quit her favourite abode,
intersected by courses of lava, as yet unproductive, make this view
one of the most beautiful and interesting that can be imagined. These
mighty streams of once liquid fire, extending in many places ten miles
in length, by two or three in breadth, fill the mind with horror and
astonishment: that such wondrous masses, consisting of earths, stones,
and minerals, fused and mixed, could be driven forth in one wild
current from the mountain, makes us pause, and confounds any attempt
to reason on the phenomena.--And, although the lava for many centuries
lays waste the superincumbent land, yet, after a certain, but very
long period, it is brought by human industry into such a state as to
become the richest soil for cultivation: but when we reflect on
the necessity of some ages to effect this wished-for state of
decomposition, we bewilder the mind without arriving at any certain
conclusion. When this process is duly effected, the cactus opuntia, or
prickly pear, is planted, which hastens the desired event, and has the
power to break up the lava, and render it fit for productive purposes.
Five miles from Trecastagne is Nicolosi, a small village which has
often suffered from the fire-vomiting mountain. Here we supped,
and baited the mules for two hours. Nicolosi, according to Signor
Gemmellero, a Sicilian physician, long resident at Catania, is two
thousand one hundred and twenty-eight feet above the level of the sea,
and its mean temperature 64 deg. Fahr.
From hence, to an almost interminable extent, there is a most superb
view of the surrounding country; nothing can be more varied, grand,
and sublime; every spot spared by the all-devastating lavas, is highly
cultivated; the vines and other productive fruit-trees are seen laden
with the most delicious fruits; the groves of olives, the towns and
villages, in almost endless aerial perspective, all terminated by the
distant and deep-blue sea, form a scene the most enchanting that can
be conceived. We remounted about ten o'clock, P.M., our trusty mules,
and pursued or journey. The evening was deliciously serene, the stars
shone with extraordinary brilliancy, and the sky appeared intensely
blue, while the galaxy, or milky way, beamed like a splendid stream of
light across the azure expanse.
The cool breezes now wafted from the upper regions of the mountain
were very refreshing, and exhilarated our spirits in an extraordinary
degree. Passed Monte Rosso, which is about 600 feet above the level of
the surrounding plain, and is said to have been thrown up during the
great eruption of the year 1669, and from which issued that horrible
stream of burning lava, which, after destroying the country for the
length of fourteen miles, ran into the sea at Catania.
About six miles higher up commences the Nemerosa region, which, like
a beautiful green girdle, encircles the mountain; it abounds with
ancient hillocks, and lava of different periods, and is almost
covered with frowning woods of oak, holm, beech and pines, on the more
After enjoying for some time this stupendous and enchanting treat, we
kept torturing and progressing, lost in pleasing reveries caused by
the fairy scene.
Halted at the upper boundary of the forest region, to refresh our
mules, and exchange our light clothing for garments of a warmer
texture, as the wind now blew cool and somewhat chilly; for the
temperature of this spot was about 50 deg., while that of Catania, which
we had only left a few hours ago, was about 84 deg. Fahr.
The road, on leaving our resting-place, became tedious and cheerless;
hardly any vegetation was discoverable, and still wilder regions
appeared above us. The path now lay over masses of rough lava; so much
so, that at times it became necessary to dismount and actually drag
our jaded animals over the rugged precipices which obstructed our
progress: the intricacy of the path required us to follow one another
very closely, that we might not lose the track, which became so
tortuous in its course, as would puzzle any one but a muleteer
accustomed to the road to find the clue of this volcanic labyrinth in
the darkness of night.
After much anxious travelling over wastes of cinders and black sand,
we seemed to be approaching near the wished-for summit; when, about
two o'clock, A.M., the moon, now shorn of her beams, queen like, arose
behind the bifurcated summit of Etna; her cheering light was very
grateful to us in this wild spot. The awful cone of the mountain
pillowed against the heavens, and emitting clouds of silvery white
smoke from its burning crater, had a grand effect at this solemn hour
of the night.
At three o'clock, arrived at the Casa Inglese, a rude hut built by the
English troops when stationed in Sicily, during the late war. Here it
became again necessary to halt a little to put on some extra clothing.
As soon as this was accomplished, the signal for the ascent was made
by the guides giving each person of the party a long staff, to assist
him in clambering the steeps, as the mules could not proceed any
further, owing to the nature and fatigue of the ascent. The first
portion of the road lay over large broken masses of lava, most
wearisome to scramble over. On approaching nearer the apex, the path
was over cinders, fine black sand, and scoria. In wading through this
compound the ascent became so difficult and fatiguing, that we were
all under the necessity of reposing every twenty or thirty yards,
tormented by the sulphureous vapour, which rendered respiration
painful, and was even less supportable than the abruptness of the
At length, after somewhat more than an hour's walk, the most harassing
that can be imagined, we arrived at the top just as the day began to
dawn. To paint the feelings at this dizzy height, requires the pen of
poetic inspiration; or to describe the scene presented to mortal
gaze, when thus looking down with fearful eye on the almost boundless
prospect beneath! The blue expanded ocean, fields, woods, cities,
rivers, mountains, and all the wonted charms of the terrestrial world,
had a magic effect, when viewed by the help of the nascent light;
while hard by yawned that dreadful crater of centuries untold,
evolving thick sulphureous clouds of white smoke, which rolling down
the mountain's side in terrific grandeur, at length formed one vast
column for many miles in extent across the sky. Anon the mountain
growled awfully in its inmost recesses, and the earth was slightly
convulsed! We now attempted to descend a short distance within
the crater; the guides, timid of its horrors, did not relish the
undertaking, but were induced at length, and conducted the party
behind some heaps of lava, from whence was a grand view of this
awful cavern. The noise within the gulf resembled loud continuous
thunderings, and after each successive explosion, there issued columns
of white, and sometimes of black smoke.
The crater presents the appearance of an inverted cone, the interior
part of which is covered with crystallizations of salts and sulphur,
of various brilliant hues--red appeared to predominate, or rather
a deep orange colour. Writers vary much in their accounts as to
the circumference of the crater. Captain Smyth, R.N., who had an
opportunity to ascertain it correctly, describes it as an oval,
stretching from E. and by N. to W., and by S. with a conjugate
diameter of four hundred and ninety-three yards; the transverse he
was prevented from ascertaining by a dense cloud that arose before his
operations were completed. It was soon requisite for us to retire from
this spot, as the smoke began to increase, and our guides said that
some adventurous travellers had lost their lives by approaching too
near, and were either blown into the abyss below by the violence
of the wind, which is generally very strong at this elevation, or
suffocated by a sudden burst of the sulphureous vapour.
The Regione Deserta, or desolate region of Etna, first attracts the
eye, marked in winter by a circle of ice and snow, but now (July)
by cinders and black sand. In the midst the great crater rears its
burning head, and the regions of intense heat and extreme cold shake
hands together. The eye soon becomes satiated with its wildness, and
turns with delight on the Sylvana region, which, with its magnificent
zone of forest trees, embraces the mountain completely round: in many
parts of this delightful tract are seen hills, now covered with
the most luxuriant vegetation, that have been formed by different
eruptions of Etna. This girdle is succeeded by another still richer,
called the Regione Culta, abundant in every fruit or grain that man
can desire: the small rivers Semetus and Alcantara intersect these
fertile fields; beyond this the whole of Sicily, with its cities,
towns, and villages, its corn-fields and vineyards in almost endless
perspective, charm and delight the senses.
The summit of the mountain is composed of scoria, and crystallizations
of sulphur, with here and there heaps of lava; wherever a stick is
thrust in, the opening immediately emits a volume of white smoke,
and if the hand be applied to the aperture, it is soon withdrawn on
account of the great heat. The mean temperature of the summit, during
the months of July and August, is 37 deg. Fahr. After having remained
about an hour, descended to the Casa Inglese. After an hour's repose,
proceeded downwards, visited the Philosopher's Tower, as it is called,
which tradition says was constructed by Empedocles while he was
studying the various phenomena of Etna.
About a mile or two from this spot, there is a grand view of the
Val di Bove. The foreground consists of lava, forming the face of an
enormous precipice, at the bottom of which is seen a lovely valley,
gradually sloping down towards the coast, embracing the three several
regions of the mountain, to which the purple wave of the Mediterranean
forms a noble boundary: nothing can be more varied, rich, and
beautiful than this scene, as it comprises every object necessary to
form a perfect landscape.
It was interesting to notice the gradual increase of vegetation during
the descent. The Senecio Christhenifolius grows at the elevation of
8,830 feet, the Juniperus Communis commences at 6,800. Then follow the
Pinus Sylv., Betula Alba, Quercus Robur, and the Fagus Sylvaticus. The
olive is seen at the altitude of 3,000 feet, and the vines flourish as
high as 5,000 feet.--_United Service Journal._
[In a clever paper on the geographical position and history of
Active Volcanoes, contributed by W.M. Higgins, Esq. F.G.S. and
J.W. Draper, Esq. to the _Magazine of Natural History_, is the
following outline of Etna.]
Etna is entirely composed of volcanic rocks, and rises in imposing
grandeur to the height of 10,000 ft. above the level of the sea. It is
about 180 miles in circumferences, and is surrounded on every hand
by apparently small volcanic cones, though of no inconsiderable size,
which tend in a great degree to increase the apparent dimensions of
the central mountain. Some of these cones are covered with vegetation,
but others are arid and bare. From this variety in the progress of
vegetation, some persons have endeavoured to calculate the relative
ages of the cones; but these opinions are exceedingly vague, as it
requires a longer period to form a soil on some lavas than on
others. The earliest historical notice we have of this mountain is by
Thucydides, who states that there were three eruptions previous to the
Peloponnesian war (431 B.C.), to one of which Pindar alludes in his
first Pythian Ode. In the year 396 B.C. the volcano was again active;
and according to Diodorus Siculus, the Carthaginian army was stopped
in its march against Syracuse by the flowing lava. But let it suffice
to say, that ten eruptions previous to, and forty-eight subsequent to,
the Christian era, have been recorded; some when the mountain was
in the phase of moderate activity, and others when in the phase of
* * * * *
THE SECRET LOVER.
FROM THE PERSIAN OF JAUMI.
Lives there the soulless youth, whose eye
That ruby tinted lip could see,
Nor long for thee to live or die?
How unlike me!
Or see that cheek's pomegranate glow;
Yet think of anything but thee,
Cold as that bosom heaving snow?
How unlike me!
Or see thee o'er the golden wire
Bend with such lovely witchery,
Nor feel each tone like living fire?
How unlike me!
Or see thee in the evening dance
Float, like the foam upon the sea,
Nor drink sweet poison from thy glance?
How unlike me!
Or hear thy hymn, at moonlight rise,
Soft as the humming of the bee,
Nor think he sits in Paradise?
How unlike me!
Or see thee in thy simplest hour,
Sweet as the rose upon the tree,
Nor long to plant thee in his bower?
How unlike me!
But lives there one who vainly tries
To look the freest of the free,
And hide the wound by which he dies?
Ah! how like me!
* * * * *
(_Concluded from page 182_.)
With respect to the personal character of Robin Hood, it is generally
agreed that he was active, brave, prudent, patient, possessed of
uncommon bodily strength, and considerable military skill; just,
generous, and beloved by his followers. As proofs of his singular
popularity, his story and exploits have been made the subject of
various dramatic exhibitions, as well of innumerable poems, lyrics,
songs, and ballads; he has given rise to divers proverbs, and to swear
by him was a common practice. Some writers say his songs have been
preferred on solemn occasions, not only to the Psalms of David, but
to the New Testament, and his service to the word of God. We have the
opinion of Bishop Latimer on this head:--"I came," says the bishop
(in his sixth sermon before King Edward VI.) "to a place, riding on
a journey homeward from London, and I sent word over night into the
town, that I would preach there in the morning, because it was a
holyday, and methought it was a holydayes worke; the churche stode
in my way, and I toke my horse and my companye and went thither. I
thought I should have found a great companye in the churche, and when
I came there, the churche dore was faste locked; I tarried halfe
an houre and more, and at last the keye was founde, and one of the
parishe commes to me, and sayes, 'Syr, thys ys a busye day with us, we
cannot heare you; it is Robyn Hoode's day; the parishe is gone abroad
to gather for Robyn Hoode.' I pray you let them not, I was fayne there
to geve place to Robyn Hoode. I thought my rochet should have been
regarded thoughe I were not; but it woulde not serve, it was fayne
to give place to Robyn Hoode's men. It is no laughyng matter, my
friendes, it is a wepynge matter, a heavy matter under a pretence
for gatherynge for Robyn Hoode, a traytoure and a thefe, to put out
a preacher, to have his office lesse esteemed, to prefer Robyn Hoode
before the mynystration of God's word, and all thys hath come of
unpreachynge prelates. Thys realme hath been il provided, for that
it hath had suche corrupte judgementes in it, to prefer Robyn Hode
to Godde's worde. Yf the bysshoppes had bene preachers, there sholde
never have bene any such thynge," &c.
Robin Hood was believed to possess supernatural powers. In the parish
of Halifax is an immense stone or rock, supposed to be a Druidical
monument, there called Robin Hood's penny-stone, which he is said
to have used to pitch with at a mark, for his amusement. There was
likewise another of these stones of several tons weight, which the
country people would say he threw off an adjoining hill with a spade,
as he was digging. At Bitchover, where it was said he lived, among
several groups of rocks, were some stones called Robin Hood's Stride,
being two of the highest and most remarkable. He obtained also the
distinction of sainthood, in having a festival allotted to him, and
solemn games instituted in honour of his memory; a short account of
which will be found in _The Mirror_, No. 544, p. 259. These games were
celebrated till the latter end of the sixteenth century, not by the
populace only, but by kings and princes, and grave magistrates, in
Scotland and in England; being considered in the former country of the
highest political importance, and essential to the civil and religious
liberties of the people; the efforts of government to suppress them
frequently producing tumult and insurrection.
In Ray's Itineraries, 1760, we are told that Robin Hood's bow, one
of his arrows, his chair, his cap, and one of his slippers, were
preserved till within the above century. In Brome's Travels, is the
following notice of his relics: "having pleased ourselves with the
antiquities of Nottingham, we took horse and went to visit the well,
and ancient chair, of Robin Hood, which is not far from hence, within
the Forest of Sherwood. Being placed in the chair, we had a cap
which they say was his, very formally put upon our heads, and having
performed the usual ceremonies befitting so great a solemnity, we
received the freedom of the chair, and were incorporated into the
society of that renowned brotherhood." In Hutton's Journey from
Birmingham to London, 1785, he states, "I was much pleased with a
slipper, belonging to the famous Robin Hood, shown me, fifty years
ago, at St. Ann's Well, near Nottingham, a place upon the borders of
Sherwood Forest, to which he resorted." Over a spring called Robin
Hood's Well, four miles north of Doncaster, is a handsome stone arch,
erected by Lord Carlisle, where passengers from the coach used to
drink of the fair water, and give alms to two people who attended.
Thus, not only did those places retain his name which afforded him
security or amusement, but even the well at which he quenched his
thirst. There is also Robin Hood's Bay, on the coast of Yorkshire.
It is mentioned by Leland as "a fischer tounlet of 20 bootes caulled
Robyn Huddes Bay, a dok or bosom of a mile yn length:" in this bay he
often went fishing in the summer season, and not far from this he had
butts or marks set up, where he used to exercise his men in shooting
with the long bow.
After Robin's death, his company dispersed, and are supposed to have
been distinguished from the name of their gallant leader, by the title
of Roberdsmen. It may not be uninteresting to subjoin a short account
of the last days of Robin's friend and favourite, Little John. The
honour of his death and burial is contended by rival nations, first by
England. At the village of Hathersage, about six miles from Castleton,
in Derbyshire, is Little John's grave. Tradition states, some curious
person caused it to be opened, when there were found several bones of
uncommon size, which he preserved; but meeting afterwards with
many unlucky accidents, he carefully replaced them, partly at the
intercession of the sexton who had taken them up for him, and who had
in like manner been visited with misfortunes, but upon restoring
the bones all these troubles ceased. Secondly, by Scotland. In
Murray-land, according to the historian, Hector Boece, is "the
Kirke of Pette, quhare the banis of Lytill Johne remainis in grete
admiratioun of pepill. He hes bene fourtene feet of hycht with square
membris effering thairto VI zeris," continues he, "afore the cumyng of
this werk to lycht we saw his hanche-bane, als mekill as the hail
bane of ane man, lor we schot our arme in the mouth thairof. Be quhilk
apperis how strang and square pepill grew in our regioun afore they
were effeminat with lust and intemperance of mouth." Thirdly, by
Ireland. "There stood," as Stanihurst relates, "in Ostmantowne greene
an hillocke, named Little John his shot. The occasion," he says,
proceeded of this--"In the yeere one thousand one hundred foure score
and nine, there ranged three robbers and outlaws in England, among
which Robert Hood and Little John weere cheefeteins, of all theeves
doubtlesse the most courteous. Robert Hood being betrayed at a nunrie
in Scotland, called Bricklies, the remnant of the crue was scattered,
and everie man forced to shift for himselfe; whereupon Little John was
faine to flee the realme by sailing to Ireland, where he sojornied
for a few daies at Dublin. The citizens beeing doone to understand the
wandering outcast to be an excellent archer, requested him hartilie to
trie how far he could shoote at random; who yeelding to their behest,
stood on the bridge of Dublin, and shot to that mole hill, leaving
behind him a monument, rather by his posteritie to be woondered, than
possiblie by anie man living to be counterscored. But as the repaire
of so notorious a champion to anie countrie would soone be published,
so his abode could not be long concealed, and therefore to eschew
the danger of laws, he fled into Scotland, where he died at a town or
village called Moravie." But, Mr. Walker, after observing, that "poor
Little John's great practical skill in archery could not save him
from an ignominious fall," says "it appeared from some records in
the Southwell family, that he was publicly executed for robbery on
A bow, said to have belonged to Little John, with the name of Nayler
upon it, is now in the possession of a gentleman in the West Riding of
 Sir George Armitage, of Kirklees Hall.--See _Mirror_, vol.
xix. p. 322.
* * * * *
* * * * *
ELEMENTS OF CHEMISTRY.
[This is one of the _Naturo-Philosophical_ volumes of the
_Cabinet Cyclopaedia_, and is therefore to be viewed as a
portion of that series rather than as a substantive work. Its
preparation has been entrusted to Mr. M. Donovan, Professor of
Chemistry to the Company of Apothecaries in Ireland; so that
it comes to us with some share of recommendatory experience
on the part of the editor. It would, however, be difficult to
point out the advantages of Mr. Donovan's volume over others
of the same description. Neither will such distinction be
looked for but in a scientific journal. The arrangement is
clear and satisfactory; the manner plain and illustrative; and
the matter in accordance with the science of the present day;
though in a few cases the nomenclature is somewhat overloaded
with hard names, and presumes more previous acquaintance with
the subject than is consistent. We subjoin a few extracts of
_Caloric, or the matter of Heat._
Heat is admitted by the philosophers of the present day to be the
principle concerned in repulsion; and heat and cold are known to
produce expansion and contraction in all bodies. Heat is, therefore,
the antagonist of cohesion. Chemists have thought it necessary to make
a distinction between the senses in which the word heat may be taken.
In its usual acceptation, it merely means the effect excited on the
organs of sensation by a hot body. But as this must be produced by
a power in the hot body independent of sensation, that power is what
chemists understand by the word _heat_: and to distinguish between
the effect and its cause, the term _caloric_ has been substituted.
The introduction of this term appears altogether unnecessary, when
the sense in which the word _heat_ should be understood is explained.
Caloric means the _cause_ of the _sensation_ heat: and there seems no
reason to fear that the perception of heat by the organs of sensation
can ever be misunderstood to be the agent in chemical phenomena.
_Omniscience displayed in the constitution of the Atmosphere._
In the constitution of the atmosphere we have ample scope to admire
the design and execution of a structure calculated, with such wondrous
precision, to fulfil its purposes. Were the atmosphere to consist
wholly of oxygen; and the different kinds of objects which compose,
and are found upon, the globe, to remain what they are; the world
would run through its stages of decay, renovation, and final
destruction, in a rapid cycle. Combustion, once excited, would proceed
with ungovernable violence; the globe, during its short existence,
would be in a continual conflagration, until its ashes would be its
only remains: animals would live with hundred-fold intensity, and
terminate their mortal career in a few hours. On the other hand,
were the atmosphere wholly composed of azote, life could never have
existed, whether animal or vegetable, and the objects of the Creator
in forming this world would not be fulfilled. But the atmosphere is a
wholesome mixture of these two formidable elements, each neutralizing
the other's baneful influence. The life of animals quietly runs
through its allotted space; and the current of nature flows within
prescribed limits, manageably and moderately.
Every one knows, that when a large quantity of the juice of grapes is
left to spontaneous fermentation, the result is wine. When wine has
been kept some time to depurate in wooden vessels, it deposits, on the
side of the vessel, a hard crust of dark coloured matter, the taste
of which is sour. This matter is impure; but, when purified by various
crystallizations, it becomes perfectly white and crystalline; and
then it is known in commerce by the name of _cream of tartar_. The
etymology of the singular name, tartar, is uncertain: it is derived
from _tartaros_, as some say, because it occasions pains equal to
those endured in the infernal regions; and, as others say, merely
because this substance deposits itself in the inferior parts of the
cask. Tartaric acid may be obtained from cream of tartar by a
process analogous to that given for obtaining citric acid. It has an
exceedingly acid taste: it dissolves readily in water, and is soluble
in alcohol. Its crystals are of a very irregular shape. In 100 parts,
by weight, there are 12 of water; the remaining 88 parts are the pure
anhydrous acid, composed of 32-39 parts of carbon, 52-97 of oxygen,
and 2-64 of hydrogen. This acid exists abundantly in other fruits, but
especially in the tamarind; in the grape it exists along with citric,
malic, and an acid called _vinic_, which resembles tartaric acid
in many respects, but differs from it in others, and concerning the
nature of which almost nothing is known: these four constitute the
agreeable tartness of the juice of that fruit.
The plant called sorrel is valued for its acidulous taste. This
acidity is owing to the presence of a peculiar acid, which may
be separated from the juice, and from the potash with which it is
combined, by a process analagous to that described for the preparation
of citric acid. It has obtained the name of _oxalic acid_, from
the generic name of the plant, _oxalis acetosella_. This acid forms
readily into regular crystals, of which one half the weight is water,
the other half being pure acid. It is a remarkable circumstance in
its constitution, that it contains no hydrogen, and that it consists
merely of carbon and oxygen--there being twice as much oxygen as
there is carbon. So that it differs from carbonic acid merely in the
relative quantities of its ingredients. Oxalic acid can be prepared by
an artificial process, with great ease, from sugar, and six times its
weight of nitric acid,--the former affording the carbon necessary to
its formation, and the latter the oxygen. It is only necessary to
heat the nitric acid on the sugar; the sugar dissolves, and there is
a violent effervescence, which must be moderated by immersion in
cold water: when the mixture cools, crystals of oxalic acid form in
abundance, which may be purified by a second crystallization.
Oxalic acid is an active poison; many persons have fallen victims to
its virulence, by having swallowed it in mistake for Epsom salt, which
it resembles in appearance. In all probability, this would not prove
to be the only vegetable acid capable of acting as a poison. Chalk
finely powdered, and diffused in water, is the proper antidote to the
poison of oxalic acid.
[The chapter on Combustion contains some new facts; and that
on the Atomic Theory is more attractive than might have been
* * * * *
* * * * *
_The Plain Truth._--Sir John Trevor, cousin to Lord Chancellor
Jefferies, was an able man, but as corrupt as he was able. He
was twice Speaker of the House of Commons, and officially had the
mortification to put the question to the house, "whether himself ought
to be expelled for bribery." The answer was "Yes."
_Freaks of Royalty._--James I. in a capricious mood, threatened
the Lord Mayor with removing the seat of royalty, the meetings of
parliament, &c. from the capital. "Your Majesty at least," replied the
Mayor, "will be graciously pleased to leave us the River Thames."
_The Original Strand._--In the reign of Edward III. the Strand was an
open highway. A solitary house occasionally occurred; but in 1353,
the ruggedness of the highway was such, that Edward appointed a tax on
wool, leather, &c. for its improvement.
On the laying the first stone of the church of St. Martin's in
the Fields, the king (George I.) gave one hundred guineas to be
distributed among the workmen.
_A swampy Kingdom._--In the reign of Charles II. at the east end of
St. James's Park, there was a swampy retreat for the ducks, thence
denominated Duck Island, which, by Charles was erected into a
government, and a salary annexed to the office, in favour of the
celebrated French writer, M. de St. Evremond, who was the first and
The gold embroidery of the chair of state in Carlton Palace is stated
to have cost 500_l_.
The horse rode by the Champion in the coronation of George the Third
was the same that bore George the Second at the memorable battle of
_Political Criticism._--The following proof of political prejudice
may not be known:--"John Milton was one whose natural parts might
deservedly give him a place amongst the principal of our English
poets, having written two heroic poems and a tragedy, viz:--Paradise
Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes; _but his fame is gone
out like a candle in a snuff_; and his memory will always stink,
which might have ever lived in honourable repute, had he not been
a notorious traitor, and most impiously and villanously belied that
blessed martyr, King Charles I."--_Lives of the most famous English
Poets, &c. 1687, by Wm. Winstanley._
_A Pastor._--The Rev. Andrew Marvell, A.M. father of the patriot,
was born at Mildred, in Cambridgeshire, in 1586. He was a student of
Emanuel College in that University, where he took his degree of Master
of Arts in 1608. Afterwards he was elected master of the grammar
school at Hull, and in 1624, lecturer of Trinity Church in that town.
"He was a most excellent preacher," says Fuller, "who, like a good
husband, never broached what he had new-brewed, but preached what he
had studied some competent time before: insomuch that he was wont to
say that he would cross the common proverb, which called 'Saturday the
working day, and Monday the holiday, of preachers.'"
_Dryden's Mc Flecnoe_.--W. Newcastle has the following excellent lines
in reference to Dryden's poem:--
"_Flecnoe_, thy characters are so full of wit
And fancy, as each word is throng'd with it.
Each line's a _volume_, and who reads would swear
_Whole libraries_ were in each character.
Nor arrows in a quiver stuck, nor yet
Lights in the starry skies are thicker set,
Nor quills upon the armed porcupine,
Than _wit and fancy_ in this work of thine."
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
The long-expected death of this good and great man took place at
Abbotsford on Friday, September 21. Our seventh volume contains
a Portrait and Memoir of his life to the year 1826; and it is our
intention to prepare for our ensuing number, a brief memoir continued
to his last days, with a wood-cut portrait from the latest painting.
About twelve months since, Sir Walter wrote, with almost prophetic
pen, the following passage in the introduction to his last published
work: "The gentle reader is acquainted, that these are, in all
probability, the last tales which it will be the lot of the author to
submit to the public." The sequel has not been so far realized, though
the accordance of the closing line with the last hours of the deceased
bears a consoling balm: "He is now on the eve of visiting foreign
parts; a ship of war is commissioned by its royal master to carry the
Author of Waverley to climates in which he may possibly obtain such a
restoration of health as may serve him to spin his thread to an end in
his own country."
_Eating Goose on Michaelmas Day_.--Although this custom can be traced
through upwards of three centuries, its origin has not been decided by
antiquaries. The commonly received belief is that a goose forming part
of the royal dinner when the news was brought to Queen Elizabeth of
the defeat of the Spanish Armada, her chivalrous majesty commanded
that the dish (a goose) then before her, might be served up on every
29th of September, to commemorate the above glorious event. Mr. Douce,
the learned antiquarian illustrator, saw the above reason "somewhere"
(such is his expression); but Mr. Brand thinks this rather to be a
stronger proof that the custom prevailed at court in Queen Elizabeth's
time. Its origin, however, is referable to the previous century:
since, bringing a goose "fit for the lord's dinner," on this day
appears to have been customary even in the time of Edward IV.; and,
that it was common before the Armada victory, is shown the following
passage in Gascoigne, who died in 1577, or eleven years before the
"And when the tenauntes come to pay their quarter's rent,
They bring some fowle at Midsummer, a dish of fish at Lent;
At Christmasse a capon, _at Michaelmas a goose_,
And somewhat else at New Yere's-tide, _for feare their leave flies
The reason given by Blount, in his _Tenures_, is considered far from
satisfactory. Beckwith, his editor, says, "Probably no other reason
can be given for this custom, but that Michaelmas Day was a great
festival, and geese at that time were most plentiful." The origin of
the saying that "if you eat goose on Michaelmas Day, you will never
want money all the year round," is explained, in the _British Apollo_,
The custom came up from the tenants presenting
Their landlords with geese to incline their relenting
On following payments.
For doubtless 'twas at first design'd
To make the people seasons mind,
That so they might apply their care
To all those things which needful were;
And by a good industrious hand,
Know when and how t' improve their land.
Ellis, in his notes to Brand, says, "the practice of eating goose on
Michaelmas Day does not appear to prevail in any part of France. Upon
St. Martin's Day, they eat turkey at Paris. They likewise eat geese
upon St. Martin's Day, Twelfth Day, and Shrove Tuesday, at Paris."
In Denmark, where the harvest is later than here, every family has a
roasted goose for supper on St. Martin's Eve. PHILO.
_The reason why Pennsylvania was settled._
"Penn refused to pull his hat off
Before the king, and therefore set off,
Another country to light pat on,
Where he might worship with his hat on." H.H.
"Mollissima tempora fandi."
A translation of the above is requested, in one line, which shall
rhyme with the original. H.H.
_Motto for a Cigar Smoker._
"Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem cogita." H.H.
* * * * *
St. Cross, Winchester, received some weeks since, shall appear next
* * * * *
THE LATE SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART.
No. 203, price Twopence, of
Contains a STEEL-PLATE PORTRAIT and MEMOIR
of the late
SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART.
* * * * *
_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
* * * * *
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