The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 335
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Barbara Tozier and PG Distributed
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 12, No. 335.] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1828. [PRICE 2d.
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Lavenham, or _Lanham_, a small town north of Sudbury, was once eminent for
its manufactures, when there were eight or nine cloth-halls in the place,
inhabited by rich clothiers. The De Veres, Earls of Oxford, whose names
are blazoned in our history, held the manor from the reign of Henry I.
till that of Elizabeth, and one of the noble family obtained a charter
from Edward III. authorizing his tenants at this place to pass toll-free
throughout all England, which grant was confirmed by Elizabeth. But the
manufacturing celebrity of Lavenham has dwindled to spinning woollen yarn,
and making calimancoes and hempen cloth; the opulent clothiers have
shuffled off their mortal coil, and proved that "the web of our life is of
a mingled yarn, good and ill together."
The church of Lavenham is, however, a venerable wreck of antiquity, and is
accounted the most beautiful fabric of the kind in Suffolk. It is chiefly
built of freestone, the rest being of curious flintwork; its total length
is 150 feet, and its breadth 68. From concurrent antiquarian authorities
we learn that the church was built by the De Veres, in conjunction with
the Springs, wealthy clothiers at Lavenham. This is attested by the
different quarterings of their respective arms on the building. The porch
is an elegant piece of architecture, very highly enriched with the
shields, garters, &c. of many of the most noble families in the kingdom,
among which are the letters I.O., probably intended for the initials of
John, the 14th Earl of Oxford, who married the daughter of Thomas Howard,
Duke of Norfolk. He is conjectured to have erected this porch.
In the interior, the roof is admirably carved, and the pews belonging to
the Earls of Oxford and the Springs, though now much decayed, were
highly-finished pieces of Gothic work in wood. Some of the windows are
still embellished with painted glass, representing the arms of the De
Veres and others. Here also is a costly monument of alabaster and gold,
erected to the memory of the Rev. Henry Copinger, rector of Lavenham,
with alto-relievo figures of the reverend divine and his wife.
 Dr. Fuller relates the following anecdote of this
divine:--Dr. Reynolds, who held the living of Lavenham, having
gone over to the Church of Rome, the Earl of Oxford, the
patron, presented Mr. Copinger, but on condition that he
should pay no tithes for his park, which comprehended almost
half the land in the parish. Mr. Copinger told his lordship,
that he would rather return the presentation, than by such a
sinful gratitude betray the rights of the church. This answer
so affected the earl, that he replied, "I scorn that my estate
should swell with church goods." His heir, however, contested
the rector's right to the tithes, and it cost Mr. Copinger
L1,600. to recover that right, and leave the quiet possession
of it to his successors.
In the north aisle is a small mural monument, upon which are represented a
man and woman, engraved on brass, kneeling before a table, and three sons
and daughters behind them. From the mouth of the man proceeds a label, on
which are these words:--In manus tuas dne commendo spiritum meum.
Underneath is this inscription, which, like that of the label, is in the
old English character:--
Contynuall prayse these lynes in brasse,
Of Allaine Dister here,
A clothier, vertuous while he was
In Lavenham many a yeare.
For as in lyefe he loved best
The poore to clothe and feede,
So with the rich and all the rest
He neighbourlie agreed;
And did appoynte before he dyed,
A special yearlie rent,
Which should be every Whitsontide
Among the poorest spent.
_Et obiit Anno Dni_ 1534.
Although this benefaction is written in _brass_, the good man's
successors have found enough of the same metal to pervert it; for it is
now lost, and no person can give any account of it. It needs not brass to
outlive honesty; a mere breath will often destroy her. There are, however,
several substantial charities belonging to Lavenham, the disposal of which
has fallen into better hands.
In the churchyard is a very old gravestone, which formerly had a Saxon
inscription. Kirby, in his account of the monasteries of Suffolk, says
that here, on the tomb of one John Wiles, a bachelor, who died in 1694, is
this odd jingling epitaph:--
_Quod fuit esse quod est, quod non fuit esse quod esse_
_Esse quod est non esse, quod est non erit esse._
But as the point and oddity may not be directly evident to all, perhaps
some of our readers will furnish us with a pithy translation for our next.
_F.R._ of Lavenham, to whom we are indebted for the drawing of
Lavenham Church, informs us that this fine building will shortly undergo a
* * * * *
FIRE TOWERS AND BELFRIES.
(_To the Editor of the Mirror._)
In No. 333 of the MIRROR, there is an article on the ancient _round
towers_ in Scotland and Ireland, in which it is stated that the said
towers "have puzzled all antiquarians," that they are now generally called
_fire towers_ and that "_they certainly were not belfries_."
I have often thought that antiquarians, and particularly our modern Irish
antiquarians, have affected to be puzzled about what, to the rest of
mankind, must appear to be evident enough; and this for the purpose of
making a parade of their learning, and of astonishing the common reader by
the ingenuity of their speculations.
I think I shall be able to show, that a motive of this kind must have
operated in the case of these _round towers_, otherwise "all the
antiquarians" could not have been so sadly puzzled about what to the rest
of the world appears a very plain matter.
The fact is, that when St. Patrick planted the Christian faith in Ireland,
in the middle of the fifth century, (he died A.D. 492,) the practice of
hanging bells in church steeples had not begun; and we know from history,
that they were first used to summon the people to worship in A.D. 551, by
a bishop of Campania; the churches, therefore, that were erected by St.
Patrick, (and he built many,) were originally without belfries; and when
the use of bells became common, it was judged more expedient to erect _a
belfry detached from the church_, than by sticking it up against the
side or end walls, to mar the proportions of the original building.
This is the account of the matter given by the old Irish historians, not
one of whom appears to have been aware what "puzzlers" these _round
towers_ were to become in after ages; and in a life of St. Kevin, of
Glendaloch, (co. Wicklow,) who died A.D. 628, we are told that "the holy
bishop did," a short time before his death, "erect a _bell-house_
(cloig-theach) contiguous to the church _formerly_ erected by him, in
which he placed _a bell_, to the glory of God, and for the good of
his own soul."
I am not unaware, in giving you the above quotation, that "all the
antiquarians," and particularly those of Scotland, have long since
decided, that in every matter connected with the ancient history of
Ireland, her native historians (many of whom were eye-witnesses of the
facts they relate) are on no account to be credited; and that the safest
way of dealing with those chroniclers is, in every thing, to take for
granted exactly the reverse of what they may at any time assert. In
deference, therefore, to such high authorities, I shall waive any
advantage which I might claim on account of a quotation from the works of
a _native historian_, and proceed to show, from the reasonableness of
the thing itself, that those towers which you state "were certainly never
belfries," were in fact belfries, and were never any thing else.
_First_.--They are all situated within a few yards of _some ancient
church_, and which church is invariably _without a steeple_.
_Secondly_.--It is impossible to conceive, from their slender shape,
their great height, and their contiguity to the church, for what other
purpose they could have been intended, having, to a spectator inside, who
looks up to the top, exactly the appearance of an enormous gun-barrel.
_Thirdly_.--That in all of them now entire, the holes, for the
purpose of receiving the beam to support the bell, remain; and that in one
at least, that upon Tory Island, co. Donegal, the beam itself may be seen
at this day.
_Fourthly_, and which appears to me _more conclusive than all the
rest_, that these towers, in every part of Ireland, are, to this day,
called in Irish by the name of _clogach_, (cloig-theach,) that is,
_bell-house_, and that they are never called (in Irish at least) by
any other name whatever.
P.S. We have heard a good deal of late of a chimney or high tower erected
at Bow, by the East London Water Company, on account of its having been
erected _without any outside scaffolding_. It is remarkable, that the
traditions of all the people in the neighbourhood of the _round
towers_ in Ireland, agree in stating that they were built _in the
* * * * *
BELLE SAVAGE INN.
(_To the Editor of the Mirror._)
Observing in the daily papers an extract from the MIRROR respecting the
Belle Savage Inn, I copy you an advertisement out of the _London
Gazette_ for February, 1676, respecting that place, which appears to
have been called "_ancient_" so long back as that period.
"An antient inn, called the _Bell Savage Inn_, situate on _Ludgate
Hill, London_, consisting of about 40 rooms, with good cellarage,
stabling for 100 horses, and other good accommodations, is to be lett at a
yearly rent, or the lease sold, with or without the goods in the house.
Enquire at the said inn, or of _Mr. Francis Griffith_, a scrivener,
in _Newgate-street_, near _Newgate_, and you may be fully
* * * * *
THE FLOWER AND THE OAK.
IMITATED FROM THE ITALIAN.
(_For the Mirror._)
A flower beheld a lofty oak,
And thus in mournful accents spoke;
"The verdure of that tree will last,
Till Autumn's loveliest days are past,
Whilst I with brightest colours crown'd,
Shall soon lie withering on the ground."
The lofty oak this answer made:
"The fairest flowers the soonest fade."
* * * * *
Cries Phillis to her shepherd swain,
"Why is Love painted without eyes?"
The youth from flattery can't refrain,
And to the fair one quick replies:
"Those lovely eyes which now are thine,
In young Love's face were wont to shine."
* * * * *
(_To the Editor of the Mirror._)
In No. 328 you have given an account of a cromleh in Anglesea. Perhaps it
may not be amiss to inform you that the word _cromlech_, or
_cromleh_, is derived from the Welsh words _crom_, feminine of
_crwm_, crooked, and _lech_, a flat stone. There are some
cromlehs in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, which are supposed to have
been altars for sacrifices before the Christian era.
* * * * *
THE ALPINE HORN.
(_For the Mirror._)
The Alpine Horn is an instrument made of the bark of the cherry-tree, and
like a speaking-trumpet, is used to convey sounds to a great distance.
When the last rays of the sun gild the summit of the Alps, the shepherd
who inhabits the highest peak of those mountains, takes his horn, and
cries with a loud voice, "Praised be the Lord." As soon as the
neighbouring shepherds hear him they leave their huts and repeat these
words. The sounds are prolonged many minutes, while the echoes of the
mountains, and grottoes of the rocks, repeat the name of God. Imagination
cannot picture any thing more solemn, or sublime, than this scene. During
the silence that succeeds, the shepherds bend their knees, and pray in the
open air, and then retire to their huts to rest. The sun-light gilding the
tops of those stupendous mountains, upon which the blue vault of heaven
seems to rest, the magnificent scenery around, and the voices of the
shepherds sounding from rock to rock the praise of the Almighty, must fill
the mind of every traveller with enthusiasm and awe.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY
* * * * *
Mr. Corbett has just published a useful little volume, entitled the
_English Gardener_, which is, perhaps, one of the most practical
books ever printed. At present we must confine our extracts to a few
useful passages; but we purpose a more extended notice of this very
_Laying out Gardens._
In the work of laying-out, great care ought to be taken with regard to
straightness and distances, and particularly as to the squareness of every
part. To make lines perpendicular, and perfectly so, is, indeed, no
difficult matter when one knows how to do it; but one must know how to do
it, before one can do it at all. If the _gardener_ understand this
much of geometry, he will do it without any difficulty; but if he only
pretend to understand the matter, and begin to walk backward and forward,
stretching out lines and cocking his eye, make no bones with him; send for
a bricklayer, and see the stumps driven into the ground yourself. The four
outside lines being laid down with perfect truth, it must be a bungling
fellow indeed that cannot do the rest; but if they be only a little
_askew_, you have a botch in your eye for the rest of your life, and
a botch of your own making too. Gardeners seldom want for confidence in
their own abilities; but this affair of raising perpendiculars upon a
given line is a thing settled in a moment: you have nothing to do but to
say to the gardener, "Come, let us see how you do it." He has but one way
in which he can do it; and, if he do not immediately begin to work in that
way, pack him off to get a bricklayer, even a botch in which trade will
perform the work to the truth of a hair.
I incline to the opinion, that we should try seeds as our ancestors tried
witches; not by fire, but by water; and that, following up their practice,
we should reprobate and destroy all that do not _readily_ sink.
It is a received opinion, a thing taken for granted, an axiom in
horticulture, that _melon_ seed is the _better_ for being
_old_. Mr. Marshall says, that it ought to be "_about four years
old_, though some prefer it _much older_." And he afterwards
observes, that "if new seed only _can be had_, it should be carried a
week or two in the breeches-pocket, to dry away some of the more watery
particles!" If _age_ be a recommendation in rules as well as in
melon-seed, this rule has it; for English authors published it, and French
authors _laughed at it_, more than a _century past!_
Those who can afford to have melons raised in their gardens, can afford to
keep a _conjuror_ to raise them; and a conjuror will hardly
condescend to follow _common sense_ in his practice. This would be
lowering the profession in the eyes of the vulgar, and, which would be
very dangerous, in the eyes of his employer. However, a great deal of this
_stuff_ is traditionary; and how are we to find the conscience to
blame a gardener for errors inculcated by gentlemen of erudition!
I do hope that it is unnecessary for me to say, that sowing according to
the _moon_ is wholly absurd and ridiculous; and that it arose solely
out of the circumstance, that our forefathers, who could not read, had
neither almanack nor calendar to guide them, and who counted by moons and
festivals, instead of by months, and days of months.
It is, most likely, owing to negligence that we hardly ever see such a
thing as real Brussels sprouts in England; and it is said that it is
pretty nearly the same in France, the proper care being taken nowhere,
apparently, but in the neighbourhood of Brussels.
After horse-radish has borne seed once or twice, its root becomes hard,
brown on the outside, not juicy when it is scraped, and eats more like
little chips than like a garden vegetable; so that, at taverns and
eating-houses, there frequently seems to be a rivalship on the point of
toughness between the horse-radish and the beef-steak; and it would be
well if this inconvenient rivalship never discovered itself any where
I once ate about three spoonsful at table at Mr. Timothy Brown's, at
Peckham, which had been cooked, I suppose, in the usual way; but I had not
long eaten them before my whole body, face, hands, and all, was covered
with red spots or pimples, and to such a degree, and coming on so fast,
that the doctor who attended the family was sent for. He thought nothing
of it, gave me a little draught of some sort, and the pimples went away;
but I attributed it then to the mushrooms. The next year, I had mushrooms
in my own garden at Botley, and I determined to try the experiment whether
they would have the same effect again; but, not liking to run any risk, I
took only a teaspoonful, or, rather, a French coffee-spoonful, which is
larger than a common teaspoon. They had just the same effect, both as to
sensation and outward appearance! From that day to this, I have never
touched mushrooms, for I conclude that there must be something poisonous
in that which will so quickly produce the effects that I have described,
and on a healthy and hale body like mine; and, therefore, I do not advise
any one to cultivate these things.
The late king, George the Third, reigned so long, that his birthday formed
a sort of season with gardeners; and, ever since I became a man, I can
recollect that it was always deemed rather a sign of bad gardening if
there were not green peas in the garden fit to gather on the fourth of
June. It is curious that green peas are to be had as early in Long Island,
and in the seaboard part of the state of New Jersey, as in England, though
not sowed there, observe, until very late in April, while ours, to be very
early, must be sowed in the month of December or January. It is still more
curious, that, such is the effect of habit and tradition, that, even when
I was last in America (1819), people talked just as familiarly as in
England about having green peas on the _king's birth-day_, and were
just as ambitious for accomplishing the object; and I remember a gentleman
who had been a republican officer during the revolutionary war, who told
me that he always got in his garden green peas fit to eat on old _Uncle
Mr. Platt had a curious mode of making strong cider in America. In the
month of January or February, he placed a number of hogsheads of cider
upon stands out of doors. The frost turned to ice the upper part of the
contents of the hogshead, and a tap drew off from the bottom the part
which was not frozen. This was the spirituous part, and was as strong as
the very strongest of beer that can be made. The frost had no power over
this part; but the lighter part which was at the top it froze into ice.
This, when thawed, was weak cider. This method of getting strong cider
would not do in a country like this, where the frosts are never
When there is frost, all that you have to do, is to keep the apples in a
state of total darkness until some days after a complete thaw has come. In
America they are frequently frozen as hard as stones; if they thaw in the
_light_, they rot; but if they thaw in darkness, they not only do not
rot, but lose very little of their original flavour. This may be new to
the English reader; but he may depend upon it that the statement is
_To Keep Chestnuts._
To preserve chestnuts, so as to have them to sow in the spring, or to eat
through the winter, you must make them perfectly dry after they come out
of their green husk; then put them into a box or a barrel mixed with, and
covered over by, fine and dry sand, three gallons of sand to one gallon of
chestnuts. If there be maggots in any of the chestnuts, they will come out
of the chestnuts and work up through the sand to get to the air; and thus
you have your chestnuts sweet and sound and fresh.
The _Magnum Bonums_ are fit for nothing but tarts and sweetmeats.
_Magnum_ is right enough; but as to _bonum_, the word has seldom
been so completely misapplied.
That which we call currant wine, is neither more nor less than
red-looking, weak rum, the strength coming from the sugar; and gooseberry
wine is a thing of the same character, and, if the fruit were of no other
use than this, one might wish them to be extirpated. People deceive
themselves. The thing is called _wine_, but it is _rum_; that is
to say, an extract from sugar.
The wild pigeons in America live, for about a month, entirely upon the
buds of the sugar-maple, and are killed by hundreds of thousands, by
persons who erect bough-houses, and remain in a maple wood with guns and
powder and shot for that purpose. If we open the craw of one of these
little birds, we find in it green stuff of various descriptions, and,
generally, more or less of grass, and, therefore, it is a little too much
to believe, that, in taking away our buds, they merely relieve us from the
insects that would, in time, eat us up. Birds are exceedingly cunning in
their generation; but, luckily for us gardeners, they do not know how to
distinguish between the report of a gun loaded with powder and shot, and
one that is only loaded with powder. Very frequent firing with powder will
alarm them so that they will quit the spot, or, at least, be so timid as
to become comparatively little mischievous.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
THE DANDY TRAVELLER.
There is a class of travelling oddities--the dandy _voyageurs_ of
Britain, who, teeming with the proud consciousness of their excellence in
comparison with the rest of human kind, swoln with self-sufficiency, float
like empty bubbles on the water's surface, and who seem as if they would
break and be dissolved by contact with a vulgar touch. They contrive to
swim by means of their air-blown vanity until they come into concussion
with some material object, and are at once reduced to their proper level,
and for ever annihilated. Their country is London; their domicile
Regent-street; thence they would never travel, had they their wills,--not
but they would like to see Paris, and move at Longschamps, or admire its
beauties in an equipage _a D'Aumont_; but the horrors attendant upon
such an enterprise are too formidable gratuitously to be encountered. It
is only when a dip at the Fishmonger's has been rather too often tried, or
Stultz's _billets-doux_ have been repeated with increasing ardour on
the part of the Tailor-lover until he delegates the maintenance of his
_baronial_ purse to some dandy-detesting attorney, that they feel it
expedient to brave the dangers of sea and land, and, unscrewing their
brass spurs, folding up their mustachios in a _port-feuille_, they
hasten them from life and love, and London, and set them down at
Meurice's, the creatures of another element; not less new to all things
around them, than all things there are new to them. It was not long since
I met one at the _table-d'hote_ of Mr. Money, the hospitable but
expensive owner of Les Trois Couronnes, at Vevay, in Switzerland. A large
party had assembled, composed of almost every European nation; and we had
just commenced our dinner, when we were intruded upon by an Exquisite--a
creature something between the human species and a man-milliner--a seven
months' child of fashion--one who had been left an orphan by manliness and
taste, and no longer remembered his lost parents. Never can I forget the
stare of Baron Pougens, (a Swiss by birth, but a Russian noble) as this
specimen of elegance, with mincing step and gait, moved onward, something
like a new member tripping it to the table to take his oaths. How he had
got so far from Grange's, I really cannot say; but he had the policy of
assurance in his favour; and in his own idea, at the least, was what I
heard a poor devil of a candle-snuffer once denominate George Frederic
Cooke, the tragedian,--"a rare specimen of exalted humanity;" and the
actor was certainly in a rare spirit of exaltation at the moment. His
delicate frame was enveloped by a dandy harness, so admirably ordered and
adjusted, that he moved in fear of involving his Stultz in the danger of a
plait; his kid-clad fingers scarcely supported the weight of his
yellow-lined Leghorn; all that was man about him, was in his spurs and
mustachios; and, even with them, he seemed there a moth exposed to an
Alpine blast,--some mamma's darling, injudiciously and cruelly abandoned
to the risk of cold, in a land where Savory and Moore were yet unheard of,
"Beppo in London" wholly unknown, Hoby unesteemed, Gunter misprized, and
where George Brummell had never, never trod. After having bestowed a wild
inexpressive stare at the cannibals assembled, male and
female,--depositing his Vyse, running his digits through his perfumed
hair, raising his shirt-collar so as to form an angle of forty-five with
his purple _Gros de Naples_ cravat, and applying his gold-turned
snuff-box to his nose, Money (who has lived long in England, and speaks
its language well) ventured to address him, by demanding if he should
place a cover for him. "Sar!--your--appellation--if--you please?" the
drawling and affected response of the fop. "Money, Sir." "the sign of the
place--the thing--the _auberge_?" "The Three Crowns, Sir." "Money of
the country, I presume!--Good--stop--put that down--Mem:" and he took his
tablets from his pocket. "Money--Three Crowns--Capital that--will do for
Dibdin,--if not, give it Theodore Hook. And the name of your--your town,
my man?" "Vevay, Sir!" "And that liquid concern I see from the
wind_ar_?" "The Lake, Sir--the Lake of Geneva." "Good gracious!
_all_ Geneva?" "Otherwise termed the Leman, Sir." "Lemon! ha! a sort
of gin-punch, I presume--acidulated blue-ruin--Vastly vulgar, by
Petersham--only fit for the Cider-cellar, Three Crowns--And
that--that--white thing there on the other side of the punch-bowl, Money?"
"That is Gin-goulph, Sir." "Gin-gulp! appropriate certainly, but
de-ci-ded-ly--low." "Will you please, Sir, to dine? dinner is on the
table." "Din_nar_! Crockford, be good to us!--Why--why--it is
scarcely more than noon, Crowns.--What would Lady Diana say?--But true! I
rose at eight--so, I think, I will patronize you, my good
fell_ar_--Long journey that from _Low_san--queer name for a
place so high;--Vastly bad country this of yours, Crowns.--What are all
those stunted poles, like _cerceau_ sticks, placed in the ground?
What do you cultivate, Crowns?" "The vine, Sir." "Wine! wine! dear me!
never knew wine grew before. In England it is a manufactory. One
moment--pardon--Mem:--Wine grows in--in--" "The Canton de Vaud, Sir." "In
the Canton de Vo,--Tell that to Carbonel and Charles Wright when I go
back. Is it Port, pray?" "No, Sir, a thin white wine." "Thin--white
--wine--runs up sticks in said Vo." "Will you permit me to help you, Sir?"
demanded Money, rather impatiently. "What have you, may I ask?"
"_Bouilli_, Sir." "Bull, what? have you no other beef?--Mem: people
living near punch-bowl eat bull beef," "There is a very nice
_culotte_, Sir, if you prefer it." "_Cu_--what, Three Crowns?
_Culotte_!--why, in France, that is--is--inexpressibles--Mem: eat
inexpressibles roasted--Breaches of taste, by Reay--the savages!--that
will do for the Bedford--mention it to Joy--the brutes!--Neither bull nor
breeches, thank you inexpressibly, Money." "A _Blanquette de Veau_,
then, if you like, Sir." "Blanket de Vo! a cover to lay, indeed, Crowns.
Mem: inhabitants of Gin stew blankets of the country, and then eat
them--the Alsatians!" "Poultry, Sir, if you desire it." "Ah! some hopes
there, Money--What is that you hold?" "A _Poularde_, Sir." "Obliged,
Crowns--no Pull-hard thank you, devilish tough I doubt--Mem: fowl called
Pull-hard at Gin--Try again, my man." "A _Dindon_ and _dans son
jus_, Sir." "Ding dong and a dancing Jew!--sort of stewed Rothschild, I
suppose--Well! if I don't mean exactly to starve, I fear I must even
venture on the Jew.--Not bad, by Long--Mem: Dancing Jews in sauce
capital--mention that to young G----, of the Tenth." The business of
mastication arrested for a moment the sapient remarks of the
_Impayable_, until our notice was again attracted by his leaping from
his chair, and cutting divers capers around the room, which, if they did
honour to his agility, harmonized but ill with the precisian starchness of
his habiliments, the order whereof was grievously _derange_ by his
antics.--"Water! water! Crowns.--I have emptied the vinegar cruet by
mistake--Oh Lud! can scarcely breathe--Water! Crowns, water! in mercy."
"It was the Vin du Pays, I assure you, Sir,--nothing else upon my word."
"Water! water! oh--here--here I have it." "No, Sir; I beg--that is _Eau
de Cerises--Kirschen-wasser_--Cherry water."--"Any--any water will
do,"--and, ere Money could arrest his hand, the water-sembling but fiery
fluid, the ardent spirit of the cherry, had been swallowed at a draught.
He gaped and gasped for breath--he groaned and writhed in torment--and,
borne out in the arms of Crowns and his men, the spirit-stirring Dandy was
removed to bed, whence he arose to return, without delay, to London by the
shortest possible road, even with the fear of another _fieri facias_
before his eyes, to descant on vinous acidities, Gin Lakes, and the
liver-consuming Spa of Vo.--_New Monthly Mag._
* * * * *
ENCOMIUM MORIAE, OR THE PRAISE OF FOLLY.
If from our purse all coin we spurn
But gold, we may from mart return.
Nor purchase what we're seeking;
And if in parties we must talk
Nothing but sterling wit, we balk
All interchange of speaking.
Small talk is like small change; it flows
A thousand different ways, and throws
Thoughts into circulation,
Of trivial value each, but which
Combin'd, make social converse rich
In cheerful animation.
As bows unbent recruit their force.
Our minds by frivolous discourse
We strengthen and embellish,
"Let us be wise," said Plato once,
When talking nonsense--"yonder dunce
For folly has no relish."
The solemn bore, who holds that speech
Was given us to prose and preach,
And not for lighter usance,
Straight should be sent to Coventry;
Or _omnium concensu_, be
Indicted as a nuisance.
Though dull the joke, 'tis wise to laugh,
Parch'd be the tongue that cannot quaff
Save from a golden chalice;
Let jesters seek no other plea,
Than that their merriment be free
From bitterness and malice.
Silence at once the ribald clown.
And check with an indignant frown
The scurrilous backbiter;
But speed good-humour as it runs,
Be even tolerant of puns,
And every mirth-exciter.
The wag who even fails may claim
Indulgence for his cheerful aim;
We should applaud, not hiss him;
This is a pardon which we grant,
(The Latin gives the rhime I want,)
"Et petimus vicissim."
* * * * *
Your love is like the gnats, John,
That hum at close of day:
That sting, and leave a scar behind,
Then sing and fly away.
* * * * *
The Portuguese mills have a very extraordinary appearance, owing chiefly
to the shape of their arms or sails, _the construction of which differs
from that of all other mills in Europe_.
Villanova de Milfontes is a little town, situated at the mouth of a little
river which flows from the _Sierra de Monchique_. Formerly there was
a port here, formed by a little bay, and defended by a castle, which might
have been of some importance at a period when the Moors made such frequent
incursions upon the coasts of the kingdom of the Algarves; at present a
dangerous bar and banks of quicksands hinder any vessels larger than small
fishing-boats from entering the port.
Fig trees from 20 to 30 feet high overshadow the moat of the castle, and
aloes plants as luxuriant as those of Andalusia, shoot up their stems
crowned with flowers along the shores of the bay, and by the sides of the
roads, whose windings are lost amongst the gardens that surround
* * * * *
We have seen Mr. HAYDON'S PICTURE of the _Chairing of the Members_;
but must defer our description till the next number of the MIRROR. In the
meantime we recommend our readers to visit the exhibition, so that they
may compare notes with us. "The Chairing" is even superior to the
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
STORY OF RIENZI.
(_The original of Miss Mitford's New Tragedy._)
In the year 1437, an obscure man, Nicola di Rienzi, conceived the project
of restoring Rome, then in degradation and wretchedness, not only to good
order, but even to her ancient greatness. He had received an education
beyond his birth, and nourished his mind with the study of the best
writers. After many harangues to the people, which the nobility, blinded
by their self-confidence, did not attempt to repress, Rienzi suddenly
excited an insurrection, and obtained complete success. He was placed at
the head of a new government, with the title of Tribune, and with almost
unlimited power. The first effects of this revolution were wonderful. All
the nobles submitted, though with great reluctance; the roads were cleared
of robbers; tranquillity was restored at home; some severe examples of
justice intimidated offenders; and the tribune was regarded by all the
people as the destined restorer of Rome and Italy. Most of the Italian
republics, and some of the princes, sent embassadors, and seemed to
recognise pretensions which were tolerably ostentatious. The King of
Hungary and Queen of Naples submitted their quarrel to the arbitration of
Rienzi, who did not, however, undertake to decide it. But this sudden
exaltation intoxicated his understanding, and exhibited feelings entirely
incompatible with his elevated condition. If Rienzi had lived in our own
age, his talents, which were really great, would have found their proper
orbit, for his character was one not unusual among literary politicians; a
combination of knowledge, eloquence, and enthusiasm for ideal excellence,
with vanity, inexperience of mankind, unsteadiness, and physical timidity.
As these latter qualities became conspicuous, they eclipsed his virtues,
and caused his benefits to be forgotten: he was compelled to abdicate his
government, and retire into exile. After several years, some of which he
passed in the prison of Avignon, Rienzi was brought back to Rome, with the
title of senator, and under the command of the legate. It was supposed
that the Romans, who had returned to their habits of insubordination,
would gladly submit to their favourite tribune. And this proved the case
for a few months; but after that time they ceased altogether to respect a
man who so little respected himself in accepting a station where he could
no longer be free, and Rienzi was killed in a sedition.
"The doors of the capitol," says Gibbon, "were destroyed with axes and
with fire; and while the senator attempted to escape in a plebeian garb,
he was dragged to the platform of his palace, the fatal scene of his
judgments and executions;" and after enduring the protracted tortures of
suspense and insult, he was pierced with a thousand daggers, amidst the
execrations of the people.
At Rome is still shown a curious old brick dwelling, distinguished by the
appellation of "The House of Pilate," but known to be the house of Rienzi.
It is exactly such as would please the known taste of the Roman tribune,
being composed of heterogeneous scraps of ancient marble, patched up with
barbarous brick pilasters of his own age; affording an apt exemplification
of his own character, in which piecemeal fragments of Roman virtue, and
attachment to feudal state--abstract love of liberty, and practice of
tyranny--formed as incongruous a compound.
* * * * *
A pamphlet, entitled, _A Call upon the People of Great Britain and
Ireland_, has lately reached us; but as its contents are purely
political, we must content ourselves with a few historical data. Thus, of
the 127 years from the Revolution to 1815, 65 have passed in war, during
which "high trials of right," 2,023-1/2 millions have been expended in
_seven wars_. Of these we give a synopsis:
War of the Revolution, 1688-1697 9 36
War of Spanish Succession, 1702-1713 11 62-1/2
Spanish War, 1739-1748 9 54
Seven Years' War, 1756-1763 7 112
American War, 1775-1783 8 136
War of the French Revolution,
1793-1802 9 464
War against Napoleon, 1803-1815 12 1159
Of this expenditure we borrowed 834-1/2 millions, and raised by taxes
1,189 millions. During the 127 years, the annual poor-rates rose from 3/4
of a million to 5-1/2 millions, and the price of wheat from 44s. to 92s.
8d. per quarter.
But it is time to clear _the table_, for it "strikes us more dead
than a great reckoning in a little room."
* * * * *
CHAIN OF BEING.
Our thanks are due to Mr. Dillon for a copy of the second edition of his
_Popular Premises Examined_, which we have read with considerable
interest. The "opinions" are as popularly examined as is consistent with
philosophical inquiry; but they are still not just calculated for the
majority of the readers of the MIRROR. We, nevertheless, make one short
extract, which will be acceptable to every well-regulated mind; and
characteristic of the tone of good-feeling throughout Mr. Dillon's
important little treatise.
"The spheres which we behold may each have their variety of intelligent
'being,' as links in nature's beautiful chain, connecting the smallest
insect with the incomprehensible and immutable God. The beautiful variety
we see in his works portrays His will, and we are justified in following
this variety up to His throne. His attributes of love and joy beam forth
from the heavens, and are reflected from every species of sensitive being.
All have different capacities for enjoyment, all have pleasure and
delight, from the lark warbling above her nest, to man walking in the
resplendent gardens of heaven, and enjoying, under the smiling approbation
of Providence, the flowers and fruits that surround him."
* * * * *
No man without the support and encouragement of friends, and having proper
opportunities thrown in his way, is able to rise at once from obscurity,
by the force of his own unassisted genius.--_Pliny's Letters_.
* * * * *
Constitute a sort of nobility of the Jews, and it is the first object of
each parent that his sons shall, if possible, attain it. When, therefore,
a boy displays a peculiarly acute mind and studious habits, he is placed
before the twelve folio volumes of the Talmud, and its legion of
commentaries and epitomes, which he is made to pore over with an
intenseness which engrosses his faculties entirely, and often leaves him
in mind, and occasionally in body, fit for nothing else; and so vigilant
and jealous a discipline is exercised so to fence him round as to secure
his being exclusively Talmudical, and destitute of every other learning
and knowledge whatever, that one individual has lately met with three
young men, educated as rabbis, who were born and lived to manhood in the
middle of Poland, and yet knew not one word of its language. To speak
Polish on the Sabbath is to profane it--so say the orthodox Polish Jews.
If at the age of fourteen or fifteen years, or still earlier, (for the Jew
ceases to be a minor when thirteen years old,) this Talmudical student
realizes the hopes of his childhood, he becomes an object of research
among the wealthy Jews, who are anxious that their daughters shall attain
the honour of becoming the brides of these embryo santons; and often, when
he is thus young, and his bride still younger, the marriage is completed.
* * * * *
Jacob de Castro was one of the first members of the Corporation of
Surgeons, after their separation from the barbers in the year 1745. On
which occasion Bonnel Thornton suggested "_Tollite Barberum_" for
The barber-surgeons had a by-law, by which they levied ten pounds on any
person who should dissect a body out of their hall without leave. The
separation did away this and other impediments to the improvement of
surgery in England, which previously had been chiefly cultivated in
France. The barber-surgeon in those days was known by his pole, the reason
of which is sought for by a querist in "The British Apollo," fol. Lond.
1708, No. 3:--
"I'de know why he that selleth ale
Hangs out a chequer'd part per pale;
And why a barber at port-hole
Puts forth a party-colour'd pole?"
"In ancient Rome, when men lov'd fighting,
And wounds and scars took much delight in,
Man-menders then had noble pay,
Which we call _surgeons_ to this day.
'Twas order'd that a huge long pole,
With basen deck'd, should grace the hole.
To guide the wounded, who unlopt
Could walk, on stumps the others hopt;
But, when they ended all their wars,
And men grew out of love with scars,
Their trade decaying, to keep swimming,
They join'd the other trade of trimming;
And to their poles, to publish either,
Thus twisted both their trades together."
From Brand's "History of Newcastle," we find that there was a branch of
the fraternity in that place; as at a meeting, 1742, of the
barber-chirurgeons, it was ordered, that they should not shave on a
Sunday, and "that no brother shave John Robinson, till he pay what he owes
to Robert Shafto." Speaking of the "grosse ignorance of the barbers," a
facetious author says, "This puts me in minde of a barber who, after he
had cupped me, (as the physitian had prescribed,) to turn a catarrhe,
asked me if I would be _sacrificed_. _Scarified_? said I; did
the physitian tell you any such thing? No, (quoth he,) but I have
sacrificed many, who have been the better for it. Then musing a little
with myselfe, I told him, Surely, sir, you mistake yourself--you meane
_scarified_. O, sir, by your favour, (quoth he,) I have ever heard it
called sacrificing; and as for scarifying, I never heard of it before. In
a word, I could by no means perswade him but that it was the barber's
office to _sacrifice_ men. Since which time I never saw any man in a
barber's hands, but that _sacrificing_ barber came to my
* * * * *
Sir Theodore Mayerne may be considered one of the earliest reformers of
the practice of physic. He left some papers written in elegant Latin, in
the Ashmolean Collection, which contain many curious particulars relative
to the first invention of several medicines, and the state of physic at
that period. Petitot, the celebrated enameller, owed his success in
colouring to some chemical secrets communicated to him by Sir Theodore.
He was a voluminous writer, and, among others, wrote a book of receipts in
cookery. Many were the good and savoury things invented by Sir Theodore;
his maxims, and those of Sir John Hill, under the cloak of _Mrs_.
Glasse, might have directed our stew-pans to this hour, but for the more
scientific instructions of the renowned Mrs. Rundall, or of the still more
scientific Dr. Kitchiner, who has verified the old adage, that the
"_Kitchen is the handmaid to Physic_;" and if it be true that we are
to regard a "good cook as in the nature of a good physician," then is Dr.
Kitchiner the best physician that ever condescended to treat "_de re
Sir Theodore may, in a degree, be said to have fallen a victim to _bad
cookery_; for he is reported to have died of the effects of bad wine,
which he drank at a tavern in the Strand. He foretold it would be fatal,
and died, as it were, out of compliment to his own prediction.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR, AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
* * * * *
THE COFFEE-DRINKER'S MANUAL.
We would say of coffee-making in England, as Hamlet did of acting, "Oh,
reform it altogether." Accordingly, the publication of a pleasant trifle,
under the above name, is not ill-timed. Like all our modern farces, it is
from the French, and as the translator informs us, the editor of the
original is "of the _Cafe de Foi_, at Paris."
It opens with the _History of Coffee_, from its discovery by a monk
in the 17th century, to the establishment of _cafes_ in Paris, of
which we have a brief notice, with additions by the translator.
Next is "the French method of making coffee, with the roasting, grinding,
and infusion processes"; and an interesting chapter on "coffee in the
East." Under the "medicinal effects" we have the following, which is full
of the _gaiete de coeur_ of French writing:--
_Influence of Coffee upon the Spirits_. If coffee had been known
among the Greeks and Romans, Homer would have taken his lyre to celebrate
its virtues; Horace and Juvenal would have immortalized it in their
verses; Diogenes would not have concealed his ill-humour in a tub, but
would have drunk of this divine liquid, and have directly found the honest
man he sought for; it would have made Heraclitus merry; and with what odes
would it have inspired the muse of Anacreon!
In short, who can enumerate the wonderful effects of coffee!
Seest thou that morose figure, that pale complexion, those deadened eyes,
and faded lips? It is a lamentable fit of spleen. The whole faculty have
been sent for, but their art is unavailing. She is given over. Happily one
of her friends counsels her against despair, prescribes a few cups of
Moka, and the dying patient, being restored to health, concludes with
anathematizing the faculty, who would thus have sacrificed her life.
The complexion of this young girl was, as the poets would say, of lilies
and roses; never was there a form more celestial, or one more gifted with
life and vigour.
Arrived at this stage, so fatal to the existence of females, the young
girl sickened, lost her colour, and those cheeks, but yesterday so
brilliant, were dull and heavy. "Travelling," said one; "a husband," said
another; "coffee, coffee," replied a doctor. Coffee flowed in abundance,
and then the drooping flower revived, and flourished again.
O! all ye who have essayed at rhyme, say if you have not often derived
your happiest thoughts from this inspiring beverage. Delille has some
beautiful lines, and Berchoux, in his poem of _Gastronomie_, has a
pompous eulogium on its virtues.
Coffee occupies a grand place in the life and pursuits of the
_gastronomer_. Oft-times on leaving table his head aches and becomes
heavy; he rises with pain; the savoury smells of viands, the flame of
wax-lights, and the imperceptible gases which escape from innumerable
wines and liqueurs, have produced around him a kind of mist or shade,
equal to what the poet calls darkness visible. Coffee is quickly brought;
our _gastronomer_ inhales the aroma, sips drop by drop this ambrosian
beverage, and his head already lightened, he walks with his accustomed
vigour. What gaiety smiles in his countenance! the liveliest sallies of
wit flow unnumbered from his lips; he is another being--a new man; but
coffee alone has produced this regeneration. The late Doctor Gastaldi, who
was an excellent table companion, used to say that he should have died ten
times of indigestion if he had not accustomed himself to take coffee after
Would you then sleep tranquilly after your meal, and never fear those
dreams which are so fatal to _gourmands_, quaff your coffee; it will
fall like dew upon your lips, and sweetly temper with all those juices
which oppress your exhausted stomach. If you can, drink your coffee
without sugar, for then it preserves its natural flavour, and is much more
efficacious than when mixed with other ingredients. Laugh at the doctors
who tell you that hot coffee irritates the stomach and injures the nerves;
tell them that Voltaire, Fontenelle, Stacey, and Fourcroy, who were great
coffee-drinkers, lived to a good old age.
The _brochure_, for such it is, is wound up with "the natural history
of coffee," and an appendix of "English receipts," &c.
* * * * *
PERILS OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE IN SOUTH AMERICA.
A work of extraordinary and soul-stirring interest has lately appeared on
the Revolutions of South America. It is entitled "Memoirs of General
Miller, in the Service of the Republic of Peru," and is compiled from
private letters, journals, and recollections, by the brother of the
general. From this portion of the work we gather that William Miller, the
companion in arms of San Martin and Bolivar, was born in Kent, in 1795. He
served with the British army in Spain and America, from 1811 till the
peace of 1815. In 1816 and 1817, he devoted some attention to mercantile
affairs; but being of an ardent spirit he finally resolved to engage as a
candidate for military honour in the struggle in South America. Colombia
was overrun with adventurers; and Miller directed his course to the river
La Plata. He left England in August, 1817, when he was under twenty-two
years of age, and landed at Buenos Ayres in the September following. In a
month after, he received a captain's commission in the army of the Andes.
In the beginning of 1818, captain Miller set out for the army of San
Martin, and crossed the Andes by the pass of Uspallata. He soon joined his
companions in arms. His first military enterprise was unsuccessful, but a
notice of it will give our readers a faint idea of the perils of a
campaign in the mountainous regions of South America. Miller, it appears,
was on his march towards the capital of Chile; the artillery consisted of
ten six-pounders, to this branch of the service his attention was, of
course, devoted. The incident occurred in crossing the Maypo, a torrent
which rushes from a gorge of the Andes.
The only bridge over it is made of what may be called hide cables. It is
about two hundred and fifty feet long, and just wide enough to admit a
carriage. It is upon the principle of suspension, and constructed where
the banks of the river are so bold as to furnish natural piers. The figure
of the bridge is nearly that of an inverted arch. Formed of elastic
materials, it rocks a good deal when passengers go over it. The infantry,
however, passed upon the present occasion without the smallest difficulty.
The cavalry also passed without any accident by going a few at a time, and
each man leading his horse. When the artillery came up, doubts were
entertained of the possibility of getting it over. The general had placed
himself on an eminence, to see his army file to the opposite side of the
river. A consultation was held upon the practicability of passing the
guns. Captain Miller volunteered to conduct the first gun. The limber was
taken off, and drag ropes were fastened to the washers, to prevent the gun
from descending too rapidly. The trail, carried foremost, was held up by
two gunners, but, notwithstanding every precaution, the bridge swung from
side to side, and the carriage acquired so much velocity, that the gunners
who held up the trail, assisted by captain Miller, lost their equilibrium,
and the gun upset. The carriage, becoming entangled in the thong
balustrade, was prevented from falling into the river, but the platform of
the bridge acquired an inclination almost perpendicular, and all upon it
were obliged to cling to whatever they could catch hold of to save
themselves from being precipitated into the torrent, which rolled and
foamed sixty feet below. For some little time none dared go to the relief
of the party thus suspended, because it was supposed that the bridge would
snap asunder, and it was expected that in a few moments all would drop
into the abyss beneath. As nothing material gave way, the alarm on shore
subsided, and two or three men ventured on the bridge to give assistance.
The gun was dismounted with great difficulty, the carriage dismantled, and
conveyed piecemeal to the opposite shore. The rest of the artillery then
made a detour, and crossed at a ford four or five leagues lower down the
Miller soon became advanced to the rank of brevet-major: in November,
1818, he joined Lord Cochrane, who took the command of the naval forces of
Chile, and was accompanied by major Miller, as commander of the marines,
in nearly all his expeditions. Lord Cochrane failing in his first attack
on Callao, resolved to fit out fire-ships, and a laboratory was
accordingly formed under the superintendance of major Miller. Here our
gallant adventurer was nearly destroyed by an accidental explosion; and in
an attack shortly afterwards at Pisco, he was desperately wounded, so that
his life was for seventeen days despaired of.
In the capture of Valdivia, one of the bravest exploits of modern warfare,
Miller acted a distinguished part, and narrowly escaped destruction, a
ball passing through his hat, and grazing the crown of his head. The
narrative of this glorious scene is unfortunately too long for
transference to our columns, and the omission of any of the details would
interfere with its glowing interest.
Miller was again wounded in an unsuccessful attempt, under Lord Cochrane,
to capture the Island of Chiloe. In June, 1820, he was made
lieutenant-colonel of the eighth battalion of Buenos Ayres, and in the
August following, he embarked for Valparaiso, with his battalion, forming
a part of the liberating army of Peru. They made the passage to Pisco, a
distance of 1,500 miles, in fifteen days; and from this point commenced
that series of sanguinary conflicts which terminated, in five years, in
the complete liberation of the country of the Incas. During the land
operations was Lord Cochrane's triumphant capture of the Spanish frigate,
the Esmeralda, in the fort of Callao, which is briefly but vividly told.
Early in 1821, lieutenant-colonel Miller abandoned Pasco, and re-embarked
for the fort of Arica; and after a hair-breadth escape, landed ten leagues
north of that point. The colonel now advanced with his little army of 400
men into the country, where he routed the royalist troops, and in a
fortnight killed or captured more than 600 Spaniards. In 1822, he was
promoted to the rank of colonel, and the civil and military government of
an extensive district in Peru; in which year also he was engaged in
several important battles. In the beginning of 1823, with only a company
of _cacadores_, he harassed the royalists for several months; and so
alarmed the enemy by the rapidity of his movements, that he often passed
the hostile division, of a thousand men, without their daring to attack
him. Of the country in which these operations were carried on, the general
gives a frightful picture.
In 1823, colonel Miller, was promoted to the rank of general of brigade,
and in the same year he became chief of the staff of the Peruvian army. In
1824, he was introduced to _Bolivar_. On the 13th of June he crossed
the Andes to take the command of 1,500 montoneros (a body of men very
similar to the Guerillas of Spain,) who occupied the country round Pasco.
The difficulties of this service, and the perils of a campaign in the
Andes, may be well inferred from the following passages:--
It often occurred during the campaign of 1824, that the cavalry being in
the rear, were, by a succession of various obstructions, prevented from
accomplishing the day's march before nightfall. It then became necessary
for every man to dismount, and to lead the two animals in his charge, to
avoid going astray, or tumbling headlong down the most frightful
precipices. But the utmost precaution did not always prevent the corps
from losing their way. Sometimes men, at the head of a battalion, would
continue to follow the windings of a deafening torrent, instead of turning
abruptly to the right or left, up some rocky acclivity, over which lay
their proper course; whilst others who chanced to be right, would pursue
the proper track. The line was so drawn out, that there were unavoidably
many intervals, and it was easy for such mistakes to occur, although
trumpeters were placed at regular distances expressly to prevent
separation. One party was frequently heard hallowing from an apparently
fathomless ravine, to their comrades passing over some high projecting
summit, to know if they were going right. These would answer with their
trumpets; but it often occurred that both parties had lost their road. The
frequent sound of trumpets along the broken line--the shouting of officers
to their men at a distance--the neighing of horses, and the braying of
mules, both men and animals being alike anxious to reach a place of rest,
produced a strange and fearful concert, echoed, in the darkness of the
night, from the horrid solitude of the Andes. After many fruitless
attempts to discover the proper route, a halt until daybreak was usually
the last resource. The sufferings of the men and animals on those
occasions were extreme. The thermometer was generally below the freezing
point, amidst which they were sometimes overtaken by terrific snow-storms.
These difficulties and hardships were not so severely felt by the
infantry, for, unincumbered with the charge of horses, it was an easy
matter for them to turn back, whereas it was often impossible for the
cavalry to do so, the path on the mountain-side being generally too narrow
to admit of horses turning round. It happened more than once, that the
squadron in front, having ascertained that it had taken a wrong direction,
was nevertheless compelled to advance until it reached some open spot,
where the men were enabled to assemble, and wait for the hindmost of their
comrades, and then retrace their steps. After having pursued this plan,
the troops have met another squadron following the same track; and, under
such circumstances, it has required hours for either to effect a
countermarch. In this complicated operation many an animal was hurled down
the precipice and dashed to pieces, nor did their riders always escape a
In the mountainous regions of the interior, nature presents difficulties
which, though of a different description, are equally as appalling as
those experienced on the coast. The sheds erected at _pascanas_ (or
halting places) in the vast unpeopled tracts of the bleak mountain
districts, and on the table lands, were inadequate to afford shelter to
more than a small number, so that the greater part of the troops were
obliged to bivouac sometimes in places where the thermometer falls
_every night_ considerably below the freezing point, and this
_throughout the year_; whereas it often rises at noon, in the same
place, to 90 degrees. It may be readily imagined what must have been the
sufferings of men, born in, or accustomed to, the sultry temperature of
Truxillo, Guayaquil, Panama, or Cartagena. The difficulty of respiration,
called in some places _la puna_, and in others _el siroche_,
experienced in those parts of the Andes which most abound in metals, was
so great at times, that, whilst on the march, whole battalions would sink
down, as if by magic, and it would have been inflicting death to have
attempted to oblige them to proceed until they had rested and recovered
themselves. In many cases life was solely preserved by opening the
temporal artery. This sudden difficulty of respiration is supposed to be
caused by occasional exhalations of metalliferous vapour, which, being
inhaled into the lungs, causes a strong feeling of suffocation.
During certain months of the year, tremendous hail-storms occur. They have
fallen with such violence that the army has been obliged to halt, and the
men being compelled to hold up their knapsacks to protect their faces,
have had their hands so severely bruised and cut by large hail-stones as
to bleed copiously.
Thunder-storms are also particularly severe in the elevated regions. The
electric fluid is seen to fall around, in a manner unknown in other parts
of the world, and frequently causes loss of life. Such storms have often
burst at some distance below their feet, as the army climbed the lofty
ridges of the Andes.
The distressing fatigues of the most difficult marches in Europe cannot
perhaps be compared to those which the patriot soldiers underwent in the
campaign of 1824. From Caxamarca (memorable for the seizure and death of
Atuhualpa) to Cuzco, the whole line of the road (with the exception of the
plain between Pasco and the vicinity of Tarma, twenty leagues in extent,
and the valley of Xauxa) presents a continuation of rugged and fatiguing
ascents and declivities. That these difficulties do not diminish between
Cuzco and Potosi may be inferred from the following fact:--
When general Cordova's division marched from Cuzco to Puno, it halted at
Santa Rosa. During the night there was a heavy fall of snow. They
continued their march the next morning. The effects of the rays of the sun
reflected from the snow upon the eyes, produces a disease, which the
Peruvians call _surumpi_. It occasions blindness, accompanied by
excruciating pains. A pimple forms in the eye-ball, and causes an itching,
pricking pain, as though needles were continually piercing it. The
temporary loss of sight is occasioned by the impossibility of opening the
eye-lids for a single moment, the smallest ray of light being absolutely
insupportable. The only relief is a poultice of snow, but as that melts
away the tortures return. With the exception of twenty men and the guides,
who knew how to guard against the calamity, the whole division were struck
blind three leagues distant from the nearest human habitation. The guides
galloped on to a village in advance, and brought out a hundred Indians to
assist in leading the men. Many of the sufferers, maddened by pain, had
strayed away from the column, and perished before the return of the
guides, who, together with the Indians, took charge of long files of the
poor sightless soldiers, clinging to each other with agonized and
desperate grasp. During their dreary march by a rugged mountain path,
several fell down precipices, and were never heard of more. General Miller
suffered only fifteen hours from the _surumpi_, but the complaint
usually continues two days. Out of three thousand men, General Cordova
lost above a hundred. The regiment most affected was the _voltigeros_
(formerly Numancia), which had marched by land from Caracas, a distance of
upwards of two thousand leagues.
General Miller's share in the triumph of Junin was witnessed by Bolivar,
in August, 1824; and at the victory of Ayacucho, which terminated the war
in Peru, general Miller was foremost in the thickest of the fight.
We are now drawing near to the close of our outline of the general's
brilliant career. At the conclusion of the war in 1825, he was appointed
prefect of the department of Potosi, with a population of 300,000 souls.
He was going on prosperously in his labours of peace, in improving the
condition of the natives, who had for three centuries been writhing under
the most infamous oppression, when his health required that he should
visit Europe. In October, 1825, he resigned his honourable office, and
obtained leave of absence to return to his native country, bringing with
him an unsolicited testimonial from Bolivar, of his heroism in the
campaign of 1824. General Miller is now in England, and in circles where
his merit is known, he is received with the highest respect.
In our hasty sketch, we have glanced at only a few of the difficulties
with which General Miller was beset in his several enterprises in the
cause of South American independence. His career, though extending but to
seven years, is one of unparalleled interest, as well to the general
reader, as to the more calculating observer of the rise and progress of
infant liberty. His exploits have none of the daring or bravado of mere
adventures, but they are examples of sterling courage which have few
parallels in the annals of modern warfare. On his quitting Potosi for
England, it is mentioned that he was overwhelmed with testimonials of
popular affection. _We_ live in too advanced a state of refinement to
appreciate the ecstasy which his labours in the great and glorious cause
must have inspired among the native population of the scene of these
exploits; but as a fellow-countryman, we have reason to be proud of his
name, and of the high rank it will hereafter occupy in the records of
human character. He has laid the foundation of the happiness of thousands,
and sincerely do we wish that he may yet live many years to witness the
successful progress of the cause to which he has so gloriously
We recommend such of our readers as take interest in genuine records of
glowing patriotism, to turn to general Miller's "Memoirs"--for such
volumes of exhaustless variety and importance are seldom met with in these
days of flimsy literature.
* * * * *
THE ANECDOTE GALLERY.
* * * * *
LORD BYRON'S INTERVIEW WITH A MONK.
[For the following graphic sketch, acknowledgment is due to the
last No. (5) of the _Foreign Quarterly Review_, where it is
stated to be copied from Pouqueville's Travels in Greece. There is
too much romance in it for out sober belief, and for the credit of
Pouqueville--who by his statements has misled thousands--we ought
to state that he gives it as the production of another pen.
However, a marvellous story never loses by travelling; but--
Vires acquirit eundo.
Of course, it is easy enough for any enthusiast to put such words
as the following into the mouth of a man who has been reviled and
attacked by thousands; but we hope, for the credit of the reading
world, that such stories as the following, seldom find implicit
credence. There may, however, be some foundation for the following
_romaunt_, and probably the incident, however slight, was too
tempting to be sent forth to the world unadorned. If Lord Byron
ever uttered such words as are here attributed to him--"_I am
still an Atheist_"--it must have been in a fit of the most
malignant obstinacy that ever distorted and disgraced the human
mind--or perhaps in that spirit of malicious banter with which he
was accustomed to torment his best and nearest friends. That such
was his _genuine sentiment_, we can never bring ourselves to
believe; and whatever standing is possessed by us in the world,
should willingly be staked upon this point. As a romance of the
pen, and not as a pure narrative of facts, we trust the following
will be received; for, as such alone is it presented to our
Lord Byron during his stay at Athens, lodged at the Capuchin Convent. The
Reverend Father Paul had found favour in the sight of this surprising
genius;--his age, his profession, his gentleness, had gained him the
affection of that nobleman in such a manner, that he devoted himself to
him with all the caprice of his character. Wearied with everything,
_oppressed by his familiar demon_, Byron came one day to find Father
Paul, and request his hospitality.
The monk on seeing him reminded him of the words of the last conversation
they had had together--"_You cannot convince me, I am still an
Atheist_." Instead of replying, Byron requested the Father to permit
him to inhabit a cell, and relieve him from the ennui which poisoned his
life. "While uttering these words," said Father Paul, "he pressed my
hands, and called me his father; the locks of his hair, dripping with
perspiration, covered his forehead; his face was pale, his lips trembled:
dared I to ask him the cause of his melancholy?"--"My father, all
_your_ days are like each other; as for _me_, I shall always be
a traveller."--"Have you no country? If the feeling of absence causes your
sorrow, depart; my prayers and good wishes will accompany you to
England."--"Speak not to me of England; I would rather be dragged in
chains on the sands of Libya, than revisit places imprinted with the curse
which I have given them. The injustice of men has made England odious to
me; it has separated us for ever; after the death of man, however, if it
be true that the soul survives, I should be delighted to inhabit it, as a
pure spirit. This mystery is only known to God."--"Well, if you have
renounced your country, take care to give your mind occupation, without
too great exertion of your fancy. Is it the fault of the Creator if men
are misled by false doctrines? God never predestined their perfect
knowledge. Think you that peace of mind, and health of body can be the lot
of him, whose life is perpetually in contradiction to that of other men?
His reason is perverted who doubts the infinite power of God, and the man
inscribed on the list of Atheists must be necessarily unhappy."--"Atheist!
Atheist! This is then the end of your consolation to me! It is thus that
you call your son! Minister of that God who reads the hearts of men,
learn, my reverend father, that it is beyond your power to discover an
Atheist, even if his own mouth made you the hypocritical confession. An
Atheist it is impossible to find--to admit his existence is to outrage the
Sovereign of the World, who, in perfecting his noblest work, did not
forget to engrave there the name of its immortal Author. Passions may
arouse doubts; but when the Atheist questions himself, the evidence of a
God confounds his incredulity, and the truth of the sentiment which fills
his thoughts absolves him of the crime of Atheism. It is easy for you, my
father, never to murmur against the Author of your being; you, who, in the
gentle quiet of a life exempt from storms; have acquired the conviction
that the sun of your old age will illumine the same scenes as did that of
your youth. As for me--thrown on the earth like a disinherited child, born
to feel happiness, and never finding it--I wander from climate to climate,
with the sentiment of my everlasting misery. Since reason has unfolded to
me the feeling of my wretchedness, nothing has yet tempered the bitterness
of my distress. Fed with the hate of men--betrayed by those whose kindness
I compared to that of angels--attacked by an incurable disease, which has
swept away my ancestors--tell me, man of truth, if murmurs excited by
despair can characterize an Atheist, and bring upon him the anger of
Heaven. Oh! unhappy Byron!! if after so many mortal trials thy last hope
of salvation is taken from thee--well!!"--Here the voice of my lord
His gloomy silence lasted nearly a quarter of an hour. All on a sudden he
rose from his chair with eagerness, and walked round the room, stopping
before the holy pictures which adorned it. A moment after he came to me,
and said, "Do you remember that you promised a month ago to give me
certain things which you possess?"--"I possess very little, and that
little has nothing which can tempt you: however, speak!"--"I remember the
words of your answer, and you can no longer refuse me anything." Then he
advanced towards a corner of my room, and taking down a beautiful crucifix
which I had brought from Rome, he placed it in my hands. I offered it to
Byron, saying, "_This is the consoler of the unhappy_." He seized it
with transport, and kissing it several times, he added, with eyes bathed
in tears, "My hands shall not long profane it, and my mother will soon be
the guardian of your precious relic!"
* * * * *
To griefs congenial prone,
More wounds than nature gave he knew,
While misery's form his fancy drew
In dark ideal hues, and horrors not its own.
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
ON LORD GROSVENOR'S ANNUAL INCOME.
Our journals, which tell us of ev'ry one's matters,
From the king on the throne, to the pauper in tatters;
Say his lordship possesses, if rightly I scan 'em,
Two hundred and seventy-two thousands per annum.
On this statement I've latterly ventur'd to ponder,
And deduc'd calculations, with diff'rence as under:
I suppos'd was his income five thousand a week,
(Of the surplus remaining I shall not now speak)
By close computation I found it came near
To seven hundred and twenty, for each day's arrear.
Intent on the subject reducing it lower
I found thirty pounds was the draught for each hour.
Pursuing my theme, for amusement was in it,
There were ten shillings sterling for each fleeting minute,
And for ev'ry pulsation of time, called a second,
"According to Cocker," two-pence must be reckon'd.
 There remains the sum of L12,000 which I
have not treated on in order to avoid fractional
* * * * *
In the churchyard of Carisbrook is the following epitaph on a loving
Of life he had the better slice,
They lived at once, and died at twice.
* * * * *
Frost is the greatest artist in our clime;
He paints in nature, and describes in rime.
* * * * *
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* * * * *
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