The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, David Garcia and the Online Distributed
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XVII, NO. 477.] SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1831. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
[Illustration: MOUNT ST. MICHAEL, NORMANDY.]
MOUNT ST. MICHAEL, NORMANDY.
The interest attached to this extraordinary place is of so popular
a character as fully to justify its introduction to our pages. It is
situate at the southern extremity of the ancient province of Normandy,
a district of considerable importance in the early histories of France
and England. The "Mount" is likewise one of the most stupendous of
Nature's _curiosities_, it being _one mass of granite_, and
referred to by geologists as a fine specimen of that primary or
primitive rock; or, to speak untechnically, of that rock "which is most
widely spread over the globe in the lowest relative situation," and
which contains no remains of a former world. St. Michael's therefore
stands pre-eminently in the sublime philosophy of Nature. It figures
also in the page of man's history: its early celebrity is recognised in
the chronicles of olden France and England; and it promises note in the
history of our own times; since to this monastic spot will the political
balance of France, in all probability, exile the person of the ambitious
Polignac, ex-minister of France. The reader will perhaps suspect the
political concatenation of Lulworth Castle, the Hotel de Ville, and the
Palais Royal in our last volume; and the Prison of Vincennes and Mount
St. Michael in the present. Instead of catching "the manners living as
they _rise_," we appear to be looking out for crowns and ministers
headlong as they _fall_.
St. Michael's is in that portion of Normandy which is not often visited
by English tourists. One of its recent visitors was Mrs. Charles
Stothard, wife of the distinguished artist, who, in 1820, published
a narrative of her journey in, the autumn of 1818. Mrs. Stothard's
description of the "Mount" is dated from Avranches, a coast town of some
consequence, not far from Caen. Speaking of the delightfully situated
town of Avranches, the fair correspondent says,
"Beyond, in the midst of the sea, arises 400 feet above the surface of
the water, the majestic rock of Mount St. Michael, and near it another,
but smaller rock, called the Tombalaine. In the distant and blue horizon
appears the long and extending land of Britanny, mingling with the
surrounding atmosphere, from which it is alone distinguished by
a faint and uncertain line, that, like the prospect of our future
years, impresses the mind with a deeper interest from its distant and
impenetrable form. Mount St. Michael is a league in circumference; in
some parts of the rock is perpendicular; it is flooded entirely at high
water, but when the tide is out, the rock may be approached by the
sands; some danger, however, attends the passage to those who are not
perfectly well acquainted with the track, as many quicksands intercept,
where travellers have frequently been lost.
"There is a small town on Mount St. Michael. The castle, which stands at
the top, is accessible by steps cut in the solid rock. In the year 708,
St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, here first created the chapel dedicated
to St. Michael; in 966, Richard the first Duke of Normandy, established
a convent of monks of the order of St. Benoit, and in 1024, Richard
the second Duke of Normandy, built the church, which still exists. The
provisions that supply the fortress, are sent up in a basket drawn by a
machine. Tradition says, that there was in this castle an obligatory, or
concealed trap-door, where, in feudal times, persons were taken, whom
the state directed should be secretly put out of the way. Under pretext,
of showing them the castle, they were conducted into a remote chamber,
there they soon met their destined fate, for chancing to step upon the
concealed door, they were precipitated into the abyss, many hundred feet
below. They still exhibit at this fortress the sword and shield of St.
Michael, and some cannon left by the English, when they made a fruitless
attempt to take possession of the rock. Here it was that in former
times, the Kings of France and the Dukes of Britanny made frequent
pilgrimages, and performed penance at the shrine of St. Michael."
The lofty situation of the church appears to be peculiar to the churches
dedicated to St. Michael. In many parts of the world they are built on
very lofty eminences, in allusion, it is said, to St. Michael's having
been the highest of the heavenly host. St. Michael's, in Cornwall, is
another confirmation of this remark.
We have the pleasure of acknowledging the original of our Engraving
from an elegant Print Scrap Book, now in course of publication by Mr.
H. Dawe. It consists of well executed mezzotinto prints which are worthy
of the album of any fair subscriber.
 Primary rocks are supposed by geologists to constitute the
foundation on which rocks of all the other classes are laid;
and if we take an enlarged view of the structure of the globe,
we may admit this to be the fact,--but the admission requires
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror._)
Hush'd are the groans of death, heart-piercing sound,
That mournful rose in peals on peals around;
Child after child by heav'nly darts expires,
And frequent corses feed the gloomy pyres.
Aghast she stands!--now here in wild amaze--
Now there the mother casts her madd'ning gaze:
In fixedness of grief, in dumb despair,
Her looks, her mien, her inmost soul declare:
Her looks, her mien, her deep-sunk anguish show
With all the silent eloquence of woe.
See! from her cheek the rosy lustre flies;
How dim the beams that sparkled in her eyes.
No more so softly heaves the throbbing breast;
The purple currents in their channels rest;--
No more the Zephyr's balmy breath can wave
The graceful locks which laughing Hebe gave;--
And fade those lips where fresh vermilion shone,
Cold as the clay, or monumental stone;--
O'er all her limbs an icy numbness spreads,
And marble death eternal quiet sheds.
Great sculptor hail! whom Nature's self design'd
To trace the labyrinths of the human mind--
To read the heart, and give with strong control,
To stone the silent workings of the soul:
Thine all-creative hand, thy matchless skill
Could what unbounded genius plann'd, fulfil.
Hence sprang that grief-wrung form--the languid eye--
The bloodless lip, and look of agony--
That face, where mute contending passions play--
That life of pain, of anguish, and dismay.
To sink she seems beneath the afflictive weight
Of gloomy cares portentous of her fate;--
Yet on her brow still soft Affection beams,
Tho' Desperation prompts her sombre dreams.
Parental feelings thrill her tortur'd breast,
And all the frantic mother stands confest--
A very Niobe--sad, hapless name!
In figure, features, and in all the same:
The same in all as Vengeance fierce pursued
Far to a wild and cheerless solitude.
For Salmo's bard has sung (by Heaven's decrees)
In awful pomp she mounted on the breeze--
Borne by the buoyant wind--a ghostly form--
She sail'd along the region of the storm.
So oft 'tis said in Lapland's chill domain,
Where dreary winter holds a lengthen'd reign,
What time the Runic drum and magic spell
Evoke the rapt soul from its fragile cell,
Attendant spirits, won by charms and prayer,
In gliding motion float upon the air.
* * * * *
(_To the Editor._)
In looking over the last volume (16) of your interesting miscellany,
I was much amused with a humorous legend at page 108, called the Rat's
Tower, and according to your reference, having turned to page 68, of
vol. xii. was equally entertained with the same laughable and well told
story versified. This humorous production is extracted from a work
entitled, if I mistake not, "The Rhinish Keepsake," containing many
of the most wonderful and spirit-stirring legends connected with old
chateaux, &c. on the banks of that majestic river, the Rhine. Amongst
other pretty and choice _morceaux_, is a poem under the name of
"_L'Envoy_," which may probably interest yourself and the readers
of the _Mirror_. In perusing the enclosed, you will observe the
infancy, manhood, and old age of "Father Rhine," as he is called, are
all brought in succession before our eyes, which happy and ingenious
idea is taken from a highly descriptive French publication, and perhaps
having named the work, you will pardon my having extracted that portion
which refers more particularly to the subject before us. The author
says, "Dans son enfance le Rhin joue entre les fleurs des Alpes de
la Suisse, il se berce dans le lac de Constance, il en sort avec des
forces nouvelles, il devient un adolescent bouillant, fait une chute
a Schaffhouse, s'avance vers l'age mur, se plait a remplir sa coupe
de vin, court chercher les dangers et les affronte contre les ecueils
et les rochers: puis parvenu a un age plus avancee il abandonne les
illusions, les sites romanesques, et cherche l'utile. Dans sa caducite
il desserit et disparait enfin on ne sait trop comment!"
Cologne! Cologne! Thy walls are won,
Farewell my bark--be hush'd my song;
My voyage is o'er--my task is done--
Too pleasant both to last me long.
Adieu, thou noble Rhine, adieu,
Thy scenes for ever rich and new,
Thy cheerful towns, thy Gothic piles,
Thy rude ravines, thy verdant isles;
Thy golden hills with garlands bound,
Thy giant crags with castles crown'd!
I have seen thee by morning's early light,
I have seen thee by evening gray;
With the crimson blush of sun-set bright,
And lit by the moon's pale ray;
Shrouded in mist and darken'd by storm,
With the countless tints of autumn warm:
In ev'ry hue that can o'er thee fall;
And lovely, lovely thou art in all.
The Rhine!--That little word will be
For aye a spell of power to me,
And conjure up, in care's despite,
A thousand visions of delight.
The Rhine! O where beneath the sun
Doth that fair river's rival run?
Where dawns the day upon a stream,
Can in such changeful beauty shine,
Outstripping Fancy's wildest dream,
Like yon green, glancing, glorious Rhine.
Born where blooms the Alpine rose,
Cradled in the Boden--see,
Forth the infant river flows,
Leaping on in childish glee.
Coming to a riper age,
He crowns his rocky cup with wine,
And makes a gallant pilgrimage
To many a ruin'd tower and shrine.
Strong and swift, and wild and brave,
On he speeds with crested wave;
And spurning aught like check or stay,
Fights and foams along his way,
O'er crag and shoal, until his flood
Boils like manhood's hasty blood!
Older, broader, deeper grown,
All romantic follies flown,
Now the laden Beurtschiff sails
Slowly o'er his sober tide,
Which wanders on through fertile vales,
And looks like Peace by Plenty's side.
Joy and strife, and labour past,
In his grave he sinks at last!
Not the common river's tomb--
Not the ocean's mighty womb;
Into earth he melts away,
Like that very thing of clay,
Man, whose brief and checker'd course
He hath copied from his source.
Farewell thou "Father Rhine," as they
Who dwell beside thee fondly say,
May thy delicious valley long
Echo the sweet and grateful song.
Which ever round the goblet rose--
And well thy minstrel's lay may close.
 The Lake of Constance.
 The Rhine loses itself in the sands of Holland before its waters
can mingle with the sea.
* * * * *
(_To the Editor._)
In reply to the question of your correspondent--"Who was Katerfelto?" I
am enabled to offer the few brief particulars which follow. With regard
to his birth, parentage, and education, I am, however, not qualified to
convey any information. I know not "to whom he was related, or by whom
forgot." I became acquainted with him about the year 1790 or 1791, when
he visited the City of Durham, accompanied by his wife and daughter. He
then appeared to be about sixty years of age. His travelling equipage
consisted of an old rumbling coach, a pair of sorry hacks, and two black
servants. They wore green liveries with red collars, but the colours
were sadly faded by long use.
Having taken suitable apartments, the black servants were sent round the
town, blowing trumpets and delivering bills, announcing their master's
astonishing performances, which in the day time consisted in displaying
the wonders of the microscope, &c. and in the evening in exhibiting
electrical experiments, in the course of which he introduced his two
celebrated black cats, generally denominated the Doctor's Devils--for,
be it understood, that our hero went under the dignified style and
title of _Doctor_ Katerfelto. Tricks of legerdemain concluded the
The first night of the Doctor's performance was extremely wet, and the
writer of this, who was then quite a boy, composed his whole audience.
The Doctor's spouse invited me behind the curtains to the fire, on one
side of which sat the great conjuror himself, his person being enveloped
in an old green, greasy roquelaire, and his head decorated with a black
velvet cap. On the other side of the fire-place sat Mrs. Katerfelto and
daughter, in a corresponding style of dress--that is to say, equally
ancient and uncleanly. The family appeared, indeed, to be in distressed
circumstances. The Doctor told me the following odd anecdote:--Some time
before he had sent up from a town in Yorkshire a fire-balloon, for the
amusement of the country people, and at which they were not a little
astonished; but in a few days afterwards the Doctor was himself more
astonished on being arrested for having set fire to a hay rick! The
balloon, it appeared, had in its descent fallen upon a rick, which it
consumed, and the owner, having ascertained by whom the combustible
material had been dispatched, arrested the doctor for the damage. As the
Doctor was unable to pay the amount, he was obliged to go to prison,
thus proving that it is sometimes easier to raise the devil than to
"raise the wind." Having been admitted behind the scenes, I had an
opportunity of seeing the conjuror's apparatus, but the performance
was postponed to another evening.
On the next night of the Doctor's appearance he had a tolerably
respectable auditory, and the following incidents may amuse your
readers, as they occasioned much laughter at the moment. Among the
company was the Rev. Mr. P., a minor canon. The conjuror, in the course
of his tricks, desired a card to be drawn from the pack, by one of the
company, which was done, the card examined and returned into the pack,
in the presence of the audience; but on the company being requested to
take the card again from the pack, it could not be found. The Doctor
said it must have been taken out by some one present, and civilly begged
the reverend gentleman to search his pockets. Indignant at such an
insinuation, the inflamed divine for some time refused to comply, but at
length being persuaded, he drew forth the identical card, much to his
own surprise and the amusement of the spectators. A similar trick was
also played with some money, which unaccountably found its way into the
reverend gentleman's pocket, a circumstance which put him out of all
patience; and he proceeded most sternly to lecture the astounded Doctor
for having practised his levity on a gentleman of his cloth, upon which,
and threatening the poor conjuror with vengeance, he strode out of the
room. Katerfelto declared that, although he was a conjuror, he did not
know the gentleman was a divine.
Katerfelto left Durham soon afterwards, and I have heard died at
* * * * *
(_To the Editor._)
A correspondent having expressed a wish to obtain some knowledge of
Dr. Katerfelto, of juggling memory, perhaps the following may be
acceptable: Between thirty and forty years ago he travelled through the
principal towns of the northern counties with a caravan filled with
philosophical apparatus, giving lectures where a sufficient audience
could be collected. He appeared to be about five feet ten, rather thin,
and towards fifty. He was dressed in a black gown and square cap; his
apparatus was in excellent order, and very well managed, he conducted
every experiment with great certainty, never failing; and though much
knowledge might be gained from his lecture, people seemed more inclined
to laugh than to learn; perhaps from his peculiar manner, and partly
from his introducing something ludicrous, as on exhibiting the powers of
a magnet, by lifting a large box, he observed it was not empty, and on
opening the lid, five or six black cats put up their heads, which he
instantly put down, saying, "it is not your hour yet." Also when about
to prove the truth of what he advanced, by experiment, he had a strange
way of calling your attention by saying, "But then look _here_,"
raising his voice loud at the word "here." The lecture was succeeded
by a display of legerdemain, in which I thought him very superior
It was said then, that he had originally been a soldier in the Prussian
service, and had procured his discharge.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
Far better would it be if, in the few cases for which death ought to be
inflicted, the execution were to take place within the walls of the
prison, none being present except the proper officers, the clergyman,
and those persons whom the sufferer might desire to have with him at his
departure. The effect might possibly be impressive to some good end,
which most certainly it is not now, if there were no other announcement
than that of tolling a bell, when all was over, and hoisting a black
flag, where it might be seen far and wide; and if the body of a murderer
were carried under a pall, with some appropriate solemnity, to the place
of dissection. Executions ought never to be made a spectacle for the
multitude, who, if they can bear the sight, always regard it as a
pastime; nor for the curiosity of those who shudder while they gratify
it. Indeed, there are few circumstances in which it is not expedient
that a veil should be drawn over the crimes and sufferings of our
fellow-creatures; and it is greatly to be wished, that in all cases of
turpitude and atrocity, no further publicity were given to the offence
than is necessary for the ends of justice. For no one who is conversant
with criminal courts, or has obtained any insight into the human mind,
can entertain a doubt that such examples are infectious.--_Qry.
(There is so much sterling sense and knowledge of life displayed in
these "Notes" from the last published _Quarterly Review_, that we
continue their selection without apology to the reader.)
* * * * *
Little more than fifty years have elapsed since a girl, just turned
fourteen, was condemned to be burnt alive, having been found guilty of
treason as an accomplice with her master in coining, because, at his
command, she had concealed some whitewashed counters behind her stays.
The master was hanged. The fagots were placed in readiness for her
execution; and it was averred, in the House of Commons, by Sir William
Meredith, at the time, that "the girl would have been burnt alive, on
the same day, had it not been for the humane, but casual interference of
Lord Weymouth." Mere accident saved the nation from this crime and this
national disgrace; but so torpid was public feeling in those days, that
the law remained unaltered till the year 1790; till which time the
sheriff who did not execute a sentence of this kind was liable to
prosecution; though, it may well be believed, no sheriff was then
inhuman enough to adhere to the letter of such a law.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
As at present conducted, are said to do more harm than good. But though
this should be admitted, it would still be true that they have even now
their good as well as their evil; that there have been times when the
good greatly preponderated; that they have contributed in no slight
degree to civilization and refinement; and that in calling forth
Shakspeare's genius, which, by no other means, and in no other way,
could have been called forth with equal effect, they have done more good
than outweighs all the evil that they ever have done, or can do. Public
spectacles have been regarded in this light by the wisest legislators;
nor is it only human authority which has given them its sanction; they
made an essential part of the Jewish law; there is nothing opposed to
them in the spirit of Christianity; and if they are at any time
perverted to the gratification of evil passions, or the depravation
of manners, the fault is in that public opinion which calls for
and encourages such gratification, and in those governments which,
neglecting their paramount duty, tolerate such perversion.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
LAW AND LAWYERS.
It is related by Laud, in his Diary, that when he was standing one day,
during dinner, near his unfortunate master, then Prince Charles, the
prince, who was in cheerful spirits, talking of many things as occasion
offered, said, that if necessity compelled him to choose any particular
profession of life, he could not be a lawyer; "for," said he, "I can
neither defend a bad cause, nor yield in a good one." "_Sic in
majoribus succedas, in aeternum faustus!_" was the aspiration which
his faithful servant and fellow victim breathed, when he recorded this
trait of Christian character in private notes, which, beyond all doubt,
were never intended to be seen by any eyes but his own. Even then, the
practice had become so much an exercitation of subtlety, on the part of
its professors, to the utter disregard of its original end and object,
that, as Donne strongly expressed himself, the name of "law" had been
"strumpeted." It has been asked, if this be the fault of the men or of
the institutions--of the lawyers or of the law? and maintained that
the original fault is in the law: a conclusion more charitable than
satisfactory; for, by whom has the law been made what it is, but by
By the Roman laws, every advocate was required to swear that he would
not undertake a cause which he knew to be unjust, and that he would
abandon a defence which he should discover to be supported by falsehood
or iniquity. This is continued in Holland at this day; and if an
advocate brings forward a cause there, which appears to the court
plainly iniquitous, he is condemned in the costs of the suit: the
example will, of course, be very rare; more than one, however, has
occurred within the memory of persons who are now living. The possible
inconvenience that a cause just in itself might not be able to find a
defender, because of some strong and general prejudice concerning it, is
obviated in that country by an easy provision: a party who can find no
advocate, and is nevertheless persuaded of the validity of his cause,
may apply to the court, which has, in such cases, the discretionary
power of authorizing or appointing one.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
RICH AND POOR.
The most rational, the wisest, the best portion of mankind, belong
to that class who possess "neither poverty nor riches." Let the reader
look around him; let him observe who are the persons that contribute
most to the moral and physical melioration of mankind; who they are
that practically and personally support our unnumbered institutions
of benevolence; who they are that exhibit the worthiest examples of
intellectual exertion; who they are to whom he would himself apply if
he needed to avail himself of a manly and discriminating judgment. That
they are the poor is not to be expected; we appeal to himself, whether
they are the rich?--_Dymond's Principles of Morality._
* * * * *
A day of rest it is by the laws of the land, and ought to be by the
laws of God--let us be thankful when we thus find them in agreement;
but a day wholly dedicated to devotion it was not intended to be by
either, nor in the nature of things can it possibly be so. The greater
part of it must be spent in the quiet enjoyment of domestic life, or in
out-of-door recreation, or in idleness. In the former and better manner
it is passed by the majority of the middle classes; it is the day on
which friends and relations meet, whom business keeps apart during six
days of the week; and the stoppage of stage-coaches within twenty miles
of London on the Sunday would take away more moral and wholesome
enjoyment than any act of the legislature can produce. But supposing
public worship were duly attended by all persons, as, according to what
has now become a fiction of the law, it is designed to be, how are the
remaining portions of the day to be disposed of by those who have no
domestic circle to which they can repair--no opportunities for that
refreshment both of body and mind, which the Sabbath, when wisely and
properly observed, affords? Or who, if belonging to or placed in
religious families, are not yet at years of such discretion as suffices
to repress their natural activity and the instinctive desire of
recreation? Rigorous gamelaws do not more certainly encourage poaching,
than the puritanical observance of the Sabbath leads to
* * * * *
This extraordinary man, before he produced any of the pieces on which
his fame is built, had educated himself abundantly; and when he died,
at the age of thirty-seven, knew more of books, as well as of men, than
fifty out of a hundred in any of the learned professions in any country
of the world are ever likely to do.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD.
When the Ettrick Shepherd was first heard of, he had indeed but just
learned to write, by copying the letters of a printed ballad, as he
lay watching his flock on the mountains; but thirty years or more have
passed since then, and his acquirements are now such, that the Royal
Society of Literature, in patronizing him, might be justly said to
honour a laborious and successful student, as well as a masculine and
fertile genius. We may take the liberty of adding, in this place, what
perhaps may not be known to the excellent managers of that excellent
institution, that a more worthy, modest, sober, and loyal man does not
exist in his majesty's dominions than this distinguished poet, whom some
of his waggish friends have taken up the absurd fancy of exhibiting in
print as a sort of boozing buffoon; and who is now, instead of revelling
in the license of tavern-suppers and party politics, bearing up, as he
may, against severe and unmerited misfortunes, in as dreary a solitude
as ever nursed the melancholy of a poetical temperament.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
MR. ALLAN CUNNINGHAM
Needs no testimony either to his intellectual accomplishments or his
moral worth; nor, thanks to his own virtuous diligence, does he need
any patronage. He has been fortunate enough to secure a respectable
establishment in the _studio_ of a great artist, who is not less
good than great, and would thus be sufficiently in the eye of the world,
even were his literary talents less industriously exercised than they
have hitherto been. His recent Lives of the British Painters and
Sculptors form one of the most agreeable books in the language; and it
will always remain one of the most remarkable and delightful facts in
the history of letters, that such a work--one conveying so much valuable
knowledge in a style so unaffectedly attractive--so imbued throughout,
not only with lively sensibility, amiable feelings, honesty and candour,
but mature and liberal taste, was produced by a man who, some twenty
years before, earned his daily bread as a common stone-mason in the
wilds of Nithsdale. Examples like these will plead the cause of
struggling genius, wherever it may be found, more powerfully than
all the arguments in the world.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
Is the only crime into which an upright man, wanting in moral
firmness, can be impelled by the law of honour. Surely there could be
no difficulty in putting an end to this absurd and abominable practice
by wholesome laws. Appoint six months' imprisonment for the offence
of sending a challenge, or of accepting it; two years if the parties
meet; and if one falls, transport the other for life. Appoint the same
punishment in all cases for the seconds; and from the day in which such
a law should be enacted, not a pair of duelling pistols would ever again
be manufactured in this country, even for the Dublin market.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
The pecuniary wealth, the valuables and pictures of Mazarin, were
immense. He was fond of hoarding,--a passion that seized him when he
first found himself banished and destitute. His love of pictures was as
strong as his love of power--stronger, since it survived. A fatal malady
had seized on the cardinal, whilst engaged in the conferences of the
treaty, and worn by mental fatigue. He brought it home with him to the
Louvre. He consulted Guenaud, the great physician, who told him that he
had two months to live. Some days after receiving this dread mandate,
Brienne perceived the cardinal in night-cap and dressing gown tottering
along his gallery, pointing to his pictures, and exclaiming, "Must I
quit all these?" He saw Brienne, and seized him: "Look," exclaimed he,
"look at that Correggio! this Venus of Titian! that incomparable Deluge
of Caracci! Ah! my friend, I must quit all these. Farewell, dear
pictures, that I loved so dearly, and that cost me so much!" His friend
surprised him slumbering in his chair at another time, and murmuring,
"Gueriaud has said it! Guenaud has said it!" A few days before his
death, he caused himself to be dressed, shaved, rouged and painted,
"so that he never looked so fresh and vermilion," in his life. In this
state he was carried in his chair to the promenade, where the envious
courtiers cruelly rallied, and paid him ironical compliments on his
appearance. Cards were the amusement of his death-bed, his hand being
held by others; and they were only interrupted by the visit of the Papal
Nuncio, who came to give the cardinal that plenary indulgence to which
the prelates of the sacred college are officially entitled. Mazarin
expired on the 9th of March, 1661.
_Lardner's Cyclopaedia_, vol. xv.
* * * * *
"GOD SAVE THE KING" IN ITALY.
On the 26th of December last, the King and Queen of Sardinia went
in state to the _Carlo Felice_ Theatre at Genoa, and presented to
the public, says an Italian correspondent, his niece, the betrothed
bride of the heir-apparent of the house of Austria. At seven the court
arrived, the curtain rose, and displayed the whole _corps dramatique_,
who sang _Dio Salve il Re;_ or an Italian version of the words and
music of our "God save the King," in which Madame Caradori took the
principal part. Thus our national anthem is getting naturalized in
Italy, the parent of song, and once the manufacturer of it for all
Europe. It is already adopted in Russia, I am told, and is well known
in France, though not likely to supplant the fine national air, "_Vive
Henri Quatre_."--_Harmonicon, Feb._ 1.
* * * * *
ILLUSTRATIONS OF SHAKSPEARE.
[Illustration: FLINT CASTLE.]
This Castle is, or rather was, situated on an insulated rock, in
a marsh on the river Dee, which still, at high tides, washes its walls.
It is a site of considerable historical interest, being the place where
the unhappy King Richard II was delivered into the hands of his rival,
Bolingbroke. The unfortunate monarch, it appears, finding himself
deserted, had withdrawn to North Wales, with a design to escape to
France. He was, however, decoyed to agree to a conference with
Bolingbroke, and on the road was seized by an armed force, conveyed to
Flint Castle, and thence led by his successful rival to the metropolis.
Shakspeare has perpetuated Flint Castle by its frequent mention in his
"Life and Death of King Richard the Second." He has indeed invested it
with high poetical interest. Thus, in Scene 2 of Act iii. where occurs
that touching lament of unkingship--
----Of comfort, no man speak:
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs, &c.
Again, where the moody monarch says--
----What comfort have we now?
By heaven! I'll hate him everlastingly,
That bids me be of comfort any more.
Go, to _Flint Castle_, there I'll pine away;
A king, woe's slave, shall kingly woe obey.
Then, the investiture of the Castle--"Scene 3.--_Wales--Before Flint
Castle;" "Enter, with drums and colours_, BOLINGBROKE _and Forces."
"A parle sounded, and answered.--Flourish.--Enter on the walls_
KING RICHARD, &c." Shakspeare makes the capture _in the castle_.
Thus, Northumberland (from Bolingbroke before the castle) parleys
with the King--
My lord, in the base court he doth attend
To speak with you, may't please you to come down?
Down, down I come; like glistering Phaeton,
Wanting the management of unruly jades.
(_North retires to Boling._)
In the base court? Base court, where kings grow base,
To come at traitors' calls, and do them grace.
In the base court? Come Down? Down Court, Down King!
For night-owls shriek where mounting larks should sing.
(_Exeunt from above._)
Richard has been described as a prince of surpassing beauty; but
his mental powers did not correspond with his personal form, and his
character was both weak and treacherous. He, however, had some redeeming
points. His ordering some trees to be cut down at Sheen, because they
too forcibly reminded him of his deceased wife Anne, in whose company
he used to walk under them, affords a favourable testimony of his
susceptibility of the social affections. Of this sensitiveness, there
is also an interesting trait recorded by Froissart. From Flint Castle,
Richard was conveyed to London, and immured within the Tower cells.
While he was here one day conversing with Bolingbroke, his favourite
greyhound, Math, having been loosed by his keeper, instead of running
to the King, as usual, fawned upon the Duke. The latter inquiring the
cause of this unusual circumstance, was answered--"This greyhound
fondles and pays his court to you this day as King of England, which
you will surely be, and I shall be deposed."
To return to Flint Castle. After the civil wars under Charles I. it was
ordered to be dismantled; but, among other rights, it was restored to
Sir Roger Mostyn, after the Restoration, in whose family it is still
vested, though the mayor of the borough acts as its constable.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
WEBER AND DER FREISCHUTZ.
In 1821, the newly-erected Royal Opera at Berlin was opened with "Der
Freyschuetz." The effect produced by the first representation of this
romantic opera, which we shall never cease to regard as one of the
proudest achievements of genius, was almost unprecedented. It was
received with general acclamations, and raised his name at once to the
first eminence in operatic composition. In January it was played in
Dresden, in February at Vienna, and everywhere with the same
success.--Weber alone seemed calm and undisturbed amid the general
enthusiasm. He pursued his studies quietly, and was already deeply
engaged in the composition of a comic opera, "The Three Pintos," never
completed, and had accepted a commission for another of a romantic cast
for the Vienna stage. The text was at first to have been furnished by
Rellstab, but was ultimately written by Madame de Chezy, and written in
so imperfect and impracticable a style, that, with all Rellstab's
alterations never had a musician more to contend with than poor Weber
had to do with this old French story. As it is, however, he has caught
the spirit of the tale.
"Dance and Provencal song, and vintage mirth"
breathe in his melodies; and although a perplexed plot and want of
interest in the scene greatly impaired its theatrical effect, the
approbation with which it was notwithstanding received by all judges
of music on its first representation in Vienna (10th Oct. 1823)
sufficiently attested the triumph of the composer over his difficulties.
He was repeatedly called for and received with the loudest acclamations.
From Vienna, where he was conducting his Euryanthe, he was summoned to
Prague, to superintend the fiftieth representation of his "Freyschuetz."
His tour resembled a triumphal procession; for, on his return to
Dresden, he was greeted with a formal public reception in the theatre.
But while increasing in celebrity, and rising still higher, if that
were possible, in the estimation of the public, his health was rapidly
waning, amidst his anxious and multiplied duties. "Would to God," says
he in a letter written shortly afterwards--"Would to God that I were a
tailor, for then I should have a Sunday's holiday!" Meantime a cough,
the herald of consumption, tormented him, and "the slow minings of the
hectic fire" within began to manifest themselves more visibly in days
and nights of feverish excitement. It was in the midst of this that he
accepted the task of composing an opera for Covent Garden Theatre. His
fame, which had gradually made its way through the North of Germany
(where his Freyschuetz was played in 1823) to England, induced the
managers to offer him liberal terms for an opera on the subject of
Oberon, the well-known fairy tale on which Wieland has reared his
fantastic, but beautiful and touching comic Epos. He received the first
act of Planche's manuscript in December, 1824, and forthwith began his
labours, though he seems to have thought that the worthy managers,
in the short time they were disposed to allow him, were expecting
impossibilities, particularly as the first step towards its composition,
on Weber's part, was the study of the English language itself, the right
understanding of which, Weber justly considered as preliminary to any
attempt to marry Mr. Planche's ephemeral verses to his own immortal
music. These exertions increased his weakness so much, that he found
it necessary to resort to a watering-place in the summer of 1825. In
December he returned to Berlin, to bring out his Euryanthe there in
person. It was received, as might have been anticipated, with great
applause, though less enthusiastically than the Freyschuetz, the wild
and characteristic music of which, came home with more intensity to the
national mind. After being present at two representations, he returned
to his labours at Oberon.
The work, finally, having been completed, Weber determined himself to
be present at the representation of this his last production. He hoped,
by his visit to London, to realize something for his wife and family;
for hitherto, on the whole, poverty had been his companion. Want had,
indeed, by unceasing exertion, been kept aloof, but still hovering
near him, and threatening with the decline of his health, and his
consequent inability to discharge his duties, a nearer and a nearer
approach. Already he felt the conviction that his death was not far off,
and that his wife and children would soon be deprived of that support
which his efforts had hitherto afforded them. His intention was to
return from London by Paris, where he expected to form a definitive
arrangement relative to an opera which the Parisians had long requested
On the 2nd of March he left Paris for England, which he reached on
the 4th amidst a heavy shower of rain--a gloomy opening to his visit.
The first incident, however, that happened after his arrival, showed
how highly his character and talents were appreciated. Instead of
requiring to present himself as an alien at the Passport Office, he was
immediately waited upon by the officer with the necessary papers, and
requested to think of nothing but his own health, as everything would
be managed for him. On the 6th he writes to his wife from London:
"God be thanked! here I sit, well and hearty, already quite at home,
and perfectly happy in the receipt of your dear letter, which assures
me that you and the children are well; what more or what better could
I wish for? After sleeping well and paying well at Dover, we set out
yesterday morning in the Express coach, a noble carriage, drawn by four
English horses, such as no prince need be ashamed of. With four persons
within, four in front, and four behind, we dashed on with the rapidity
of lightning, through this inexpressibly beautiful country: meadows of
the loveliest green, gardens blooming with flowers, and every building
displaying a neatness and elegance which form a striking contrast to
the dirt of France. The majestic river, covered with ships of all sizes
(among others, the largest ship of the line, of 148 guns), the graceful
country houses, altogether made the journey perfectly unique."
He took up his residence with Sir George Smart, where everything that
could add to his comfort, or soothe his illness, had been provided by
anticipation. He found his table covered with cards from visiters who
had called before his arrival, and a splendid pianoforte in his room
from one of the first makers, with a request that he would make use
of it during his stay.
"The whole day," he writes to his wife, "is mine till five--then dinner,
the theatre, or society. My solitude in England is not painful to me.
The English way of living suits mine exactly; and my little stock of
English, in which I make tolerable progress, is of incalculable use
"Give yourself no uneasiness about the opera (Oberon), I shall have
leisure and repose here, for they respect my time. Besides, the Oberon
is not fixed for Easter Monday, but some time later; I shall tell you
afterwards when. The people are really too kind to me. No king ever
had more done for him out of love; I may almost say they carry me in
their arms. I take great care of myself, and you may be quite at ease
on my account. My cough is really a very odd one; for eight days it
disappeared entirely; then, upon the 3rd (of March) a vile spasmodic
attack returned before I reached Calais. Since that time it is quiet
again. I cannot, with all the consideration I have given it, understand
it at all. I sometimes deny myself every indulgence, and yet it comes.
I eat and drink every thing, and it does not come. But be it as God will.
"At seven o'clock in the evening we went to Covent Garden, where Rob
Roy, an opera after Sir Walter Scott's novel, was played. The house
is handsomely decorated, and not too large. When I came forward to the
front of the stage-box, that I might have a better look of it, some one
called out, Weber! Weber is here!--and although I drew back immediately,
there followed a clamour of applause which I thought would never have
ended. Then the overture to the Freyschuetz was called for, and every
time I showed myself the storm broke loose again. Fortunately, soon
after the overture, Rob Roy began, and gradually things became
quiet.--Could a man wish for more enthusiasm, or more love? I must
confess that I was completely overpowered by it, though I am of a calm
nature, and somewhat accustomed to such scenes. I know not what I would
have given to have had you by my side, that you might have seen me in
my foreign garb of honour. And now, my dear love, I can assure you that
you may be quite at ease, both as to the singers and the orchestra.
Miss Paton is a singer of the first rank, and will play Reiza divinely;
Braham not less so, though in a totally different style. There are also
several good tenors; and I really cannot see why the English singing
should be so much abused. The singers have a perfectly good Italian
education, fine voices, and expression. The orchestra is not remarkable,
but still very good, and the choruses particularly so. In short, I feel
quite at ease as to the fate of Oberon."
The final production of the drama, however, was attended with more
difficulty than he had anticipated. He had the usual prejudices to
overcome, particular singers to conciliate, alterations to make, and
repeated rehearsals to superintend, before he could inspire the
performers with the proper spirit of the piece.
"Braham," says he, "in another of his confidential letters to his wife,"
(29th March, 1826) "begs for a grand scena instead of his first air,
which, in fact, was not written for him, and is rather high. The thought
of it was at first quite horrible; I could not hear of it. At last
I promised, when the opera was completed, if I had time enough, it should
be done; and now this grand scena, a confounded battle piece and what
not, is lying before me, and I am about to set to work, yet with the
greatest reluctance. What can I do? Braham knows his public, and is
idolized by them. But for Germany I shall keep the opera as it is.
I hate the air I am going to compose (to-day I hope) by anticipation.
Adieu, and now for the battle. * * * * So, the battle is over, that is
to say, half the scene. To-morrow shall the Turks roar, the French shout
for joy, the warriors cry out victory!"
The battle was, indeed, nearly over with Weber. The tired forces of
life, though they bore up gallantly against the enemy, had long been
wavering at their post, and now in fact only one brilliant movement
remained to be executed before they finally retreated from the field
of existence. This was the representation of Oberon, which for a time
rewarded him for all his toils and vexations. He records his triumph
with a mixture of humility, gratitude, affection, and piety.
"12th April, 1826.
"My best beloved Caroline! Through God's grace and assistance, I have
this evening met with the most complete success. The brilliancy and
affecting nature of the triumph is indescribable. God alone be thanked
for it! When I entered the orchestra, the whole of the house, which was
filled to overflowing, rose up, and I was saluted with huzzas, waving
of hats and handkerchiefs, which I thought would never have done. They
insisted on encoring the overture. Every air was interrupted twice or
thrice by bursts of applause. * * * So much for this night, dear life.
From your heartily tired husband, who, however, could not sleep in
peace until he had communicated to you this new blessing of heaven.
But his joy was interrupted by the gradual decline of his health.
The climate of London brought back all those symptoms which his
travelling had for a time alleviated or dissipated. After directing
twelve performances of his Oberon in crowded houses, he felt himself
completely exhausted and dispirited.--His melancholy was not abated
by the ill success of his concert, which, from causes which we cannot
pretend to explain, was no benefit to the poor invalid. His next
letters are in a desponding tone.
"17th April, 1826.
"To-day is enough to be the death of any one. A thick, dark,
yellow fog overhangs the sky, so that one can hardly see in the
house without candles. The sun stands powerless, like a ruddy point,
in the clouds. No: there is no living in this climate. The longing
I feel for Hosterwitz, and the clear air, is indescribable. But
patience,--patience,--one day rolls on after another; two months are
already over. I have formed an acquaintance with Dr. Kind, a nephew of
our own Kind. He is determined to make me well. God help me, that will
never happen to me in this life. I have lost all hope in physicians and
their art. Repose is my best doctor, and henceforth it shall be my sole
object to obtain it. * * * * *
"To-morrow is the first representation of my (so called) rival's
opera, 'Aladdin.' I am very curious to see it. Bishop is a man of
talent, though of no peculiar invention. I wish him every success.
There is room enough for all of us in the world."
"Dearest Lina, excuse the shortness and hurry of this. I have so
many things on hand, writing is painful to me--my hands tremble so.
Already too impatience begins to awaken in me. You will not receive
many more letters from me. Address your answer not to London, but to
Frankfort--_poste restante_. You are surprised? Yes, I don't go
by Paris. What should I do there--I cannot move--I cannot speak---all
business I must give up for years. Then better, better, the straight way
to my home--by Calais, Brussels, Cologne, and Coblentz, up the Rhine
to Frankfort--a delightful journey. Though I must travel slowly, rest
sometimes half a day, I think in a fortnight, by the end of June,
I shall be in your arms.
"If God will, we shall leave this on 12th June, if heaven will vouchsafe
me a little strength. Well, all will go better if we are once on the
way--once out of this wretched climate. I embrace you from my heart,
my dear ones--ever your loving father Charles."
This letter, the last but one he ever wrote, shows the rapid decline of
his strength, though he endeavours to keep up the spirits of his family
by a gleam of cheerfulness. His longing for home now began to increase
till it became a pang. On the 6th of June he was to be present at the
Freyschuetz, which was to be performed for his benefit, and then to leave
London for ever. His last letter, the thirty-third he had written from
England, was dated the second of June. Even here, though he could
scarcely guide the pen, anxious to keep up the drooping spirits of his
wife, he endeavours to speak cheerfully, and to inspire a hope of his
"As this letter will need no answer, it will be short enough. Need no
answer! Think of that! Furstenau has given up the idea of his concert,
so perhaps we shall be with you in two days sooner--huzza! God bless you
all and keep you well! O were I only among you! I kiss you in thought,
dear mother. Love me also, and think always of your Charles, who loves
you above all."
On Friday the 3rd of June, he felt so ill, that the idea of his
attending at the representation of "Der Freyschuetz" was abandoned, and
he was obliged to keep his room. On Sunday evening, the 5th, he was left
at eleven o'clock in good spirits, and at seven next morning was found
dead upon his pillow, his head resting upon his hand, as though he
had passed from life without a struggle. The peaceful slumber of the
preceding evening seemed to have gradually deepened into the sleep
He was interred on the 21st, with the accustomed solemnities of the
Catholic Church, in the chapel at Moorfields, the Requiem of Mozart
being introduced into the service. In person, Weber is described
as having been of the middle height, extremely thin, and of dark
complexion. His countenance was strikingly intelligent, his face long
and pale, his forehead remarkably high, his features prominent, his
eyes dark and full. His usual look was one of calm placid thought, an
expression which was increased in some degree by spectacles, which he
wore on account of his shortness of sight. The force and acuteness of
his mind were indicated in the occasional brilliancy of the expression
of his countenance; the habitual patience and mildness of his
disposition, in its permanent look of placidity and repose.--_From an
interesting paper in No. XIII. of the Foreign Quarterly Review._
* * * * *
The moon was a-waning,
The tempest was over;
Fair was the maiden,
And fond was the lover;
But the snow was so deep,
That his heart it grew weary,
And he sunk down to sleep,
In the moorland so dreary.
Soft was the bed
She had made for her lover,
White were the sheets
And embroider'd the cover;
But his sheets are more white,
And his canopy grander,
And sounder he sleeps
Where the hill foxes wander.
Alas, pretty maiden,
What sorrows attend you!
I see you sit shivering,
With lights at your window;
But long may you wait
Ere your arms shall enclose him,
For still, still he lies,
With a wreath on his bosom.
How painful the task
The sad tidings to tell you!--
An orphan you were,
Ere this misery befell you;
And far in yon wild,
Where the dead-tapers hover,
So cold, cold and wan,
Lies the corpse of your lover.
_The Ettrick Shepherd._
* * * * *
MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.
* * * * *
PREPARATIONS OF MILK, PARTICULARLY OF MARES' MILK, USED BY THE KALMUCK
The ordinary drink of the Kalmucks, and which forms an essential part
of their food, consists of various preparations of the milk supplied by
their cattle. The mares yield milk as well as the cows; and, for several
reasons, they prefer the former. When fresh, this milk has a taste of
onions, which is very repulsive; but, in proportion as it sours, if the
operation is performed with cleanliness, it becomes more liquid than the
other, acquires an agreeable vinous taste, and neither forms cream nor
coagulates. In this state, it furnishes a wholesome and refreshing
drink, and which, when in sufficient quantity, froths in a remarkable
degree. The cow's milk, on the contrary, both on account of the cheesy
matter which it contains and its disagreeable taste, becomes unpleasant
to drink when it sours; and, in persons not accustomed to it, induces
colics and diarrhoeas, although the Kalmucks themselves experience no
inconvenience from it, unless they have neglected to boil it. This they
do, in the first place, and never use it until it has undergone this
operation, without which they would be exposed to the inconveniences
with which sour milk affects Europeans. In like manner, the Kalmucks
do not relish water that has not been boiled. Poor persons, to prevent
their being reduced to the necessity of drinking it pure, mix it with
their milk, in the proportion of a third part or half, in order to make
the most of the latter as a drink.
The milk is therefore heated as soon as it is withdrawn from the animal;
and, when warm, it is poured into a large skin bottle, with which the
poorest hut is furnished, and in which there is always a remnant of sour
milk sufficient to sour the new milk, after it has been stirred with a
stick kept for the purpose. Those bottles are never washed or cleaned:
they are therefore always incrusted with cheese and dirt, and the smell
admitted by them is sufficient to show what they contain. But it is
precisely in this that the secret for making the milk undergo the vinous
fermentation consists. If it be intended to sour milk in empty or new
bottles, all that is necessary is to put into them the least drop of the
milk-brandy to be presently described, or a little of the curdled milk
that is found in the stomach of young lambs.
All the preparations of milk are comprehended under the name of Tchigan.
The drinks prepared from pure mare's milk (the Koumys of the Tartars),
are named Gunna Tchigan, or Horse Tchigan; those into which mares' milk
and cow's milk enter are called Besrek;--sour cows' milk is named Airek;
and all kinds of fresh milk, Ussoun.
In summer, and in general whenever their flocks yield them much milk,
the Kalmucks do not fail to inebriate themselves with the strong drink
which they derive from it. Mares' milk affords most spirit, and the milk
of the cow affords much less, especially in winter, when the fodder is
dry. Sheep's milk is never employed, as it does not contain spirit.
The milk intended for distillation is only allowed to remain twenty-four
hours, in summer, in the skin-bottles to sour; but in winter, and in
cold weather, it may be left two or three days to be rendered fit for
distillation. The cream is not taken off; on the contrary, the milk is
agitated very strongly, from time to time, with the stick, and the
butter which forms of itself on the milk, or even on the common Tchigan,
is removed and employed for other uses.
Notwithstanding the numerous testimonies on the subject, and the daily
experience, not of the nomadic tribes alone, but also of all the
Russians, many people in Europe cannot conceive how a spirituous and
inebriating liquor could be obtained from milk. But it cannot be
supposed that those travellers who have repeatedly seen these tribes
distil their brandy from milk, without adding the least vegetable matter
to the original liquid, and then, in their unbridled passion for
debauch, drink until they stagger and fall, have said so merely to
impose upon the public. Nor can it be objected that the weakness of
their head renders them liable to be easily inebriated by the vapours of
the milk, for the Kalmucks can take very large quantities of grain
brandy without losing the use of their legs; and there are Russians,
who, although professedly great drinkers, are sooner inebriated than the
Kalmucks by milk-brandy, and often even by the sour milk of mares, and
yet are extremely fond of this kind of drink. I am aware that strangers
have in vain tried to make milk-brandy. I shall even confess that I had
a trial made under my own eyes, at Selenginsk, by Kalmucks, and was so
unsuccessful, that I only obtained a watery fluid which had the smell of
sour milk; but the reason of this was, that two clean vessels had been
used. On the contrary, whenever I allowed these people to use their own
vessels, abundant alcoholic vapours were procured. It is, therefore, an
important point to determine, by means of vessels impregnated by long
use with a strong smell, and the remains of sour milk, that sudden
souring which developes a spirituous principle. This fermentation of a
rare species, and entirely _sui generis_, can only be brought to
the desired perfection by frequent repetition of the process, just as,
according to Russel, the thick milk (_leban_), which the Arabs
habitually use for making cheese, can only be obtained by producing the
coagulation of the fresh milk by means of a milk previously curdled, or,
in other words, by the cohobation many times repeated of curdled milk.
After describing the process of distillation, Pallas remarks, if
the brandy is made from cows' milk, what is obtained is equal to the
thirtieth, or at most to the twenty-fifth part of the mass; but when
from mares' milk, it equals the fifteenth part. The new fluid is pale
and watery, and does not inflame; but it keeps without spoiling, in
glass bottles, like weak corn-brandy. The rich Kalmucks render it
stronger by several distillations, and they have names for the products
of each rectification. The _arki_ is named _dang_ after its first
rectification; _arza_, after the second; _khortsa_, after the third.
They seldom go farther, although the rectifications are sometimes pushed to
six. The names given to the two last are _chingsta_ and _dingsta_. The
Kalmucks are generally, however, content with the products of the first
The receiver has scarcely been filled, when they pour the brandy warm
from it into a large wooden vessel with a spout, from which they fill
leather bottles, or gourds.
It is customary for the host, with whom the company is then, to pour
brandy into a vessel, and afterwards to throw part of it into the fire,
and part towards the hole by which the smoke issues to render the
spirits of the air or his tutelary angel propitious. Lastly, the warm
brandy circulates among the company, composed of kinsfolk and friends,
in large cups, which often do not hold less than a bottle. If a little
is left, it is heated again before it is drunk. This milk-brandy, on
account of the aqueous parts which it contains, does not inebriate so
easily when a small quantity is taken, as brandy made from grain; but
it is found, by the example of the Russians and all the tribes of the
Steppes, that the drunkenness which it causes continues longer, and
entirely destroys the appetite. On the other hand, it does not produce
violent head-aches, like corn-brandy.
The rich Kalmucks and Mongols are in the habit, when they pass the
winter near towns, of distilling with or without milk brandy from
leavened bread. The product, it is said, is stronger, and has a keener
taste than milk-brandy. The residuum of the distillation of milk-brandy,
which is sharp, and has a smell like wine lees, is applied to various
uses. Sometimes it is mixed with fresh milk, and immediately eaten;
sometimes it is applied for preparing sheep and lamb skins; sometimes
the women boil it, either by itself, or, if it is too sharp, with a
mixture of sweet milk, until it thickens, and then pour the cheesy
substance into bags, which, when thoroughly dried, they throw into
heaps. They also, like the Tartar tribes, frequently form it into round
cakes, which they dry in the sun, and keep principally for journeys and
for winter use. The residuum of distillation is called _bosson_,
and by the Mongols _tsakha_.--The cheese formed in heaps is named
_chourmyk_, that in cakes, _thorossoun_.
They make another kind of cheese also, chiefly of sheep's and goats'
milk. The fresh milk is put into a kettle with a like sour milk
(_ederecksen ussun_), or some remnant of brandy (_bossah_).
They are well mixed, and then left for some time to sour. Fire is
then put under the kettle, and the mixture is stirred while it boils
briskly, that the cheesy parts may be converted into a kind of froth
(_koosoun_). When all the aqueous parts of the milk are expelled by
boiling, it little butter is added. The whole is again stirred, and left
upon the fire until the froth begins to dry and turn brown. It is then
ready, and if properly prepared, has an agreeable taste.
The Kalmucks make their butter in the following manner: A sufficient
quantity of cows' or sheep's milk is put into a kettle, and boiled
for some time, after which there is added a little sour milk cream
(_areyn_). It is then withdrawn, and allowed to stand until it
sours, which does not require a whole day. This milk is then beaten with
a kind of butterstick, and poured into an earthen pot or other vessel,
when the decomposed butter comes to the surface, and is placed in
vessels, skins, or dried stomachs, in which it is kept. If the milk
still seems to contain fat, it is again treated in the same manner.
This milk is called _toussoun_ by the Kalmucks, and _oeroemae_ by
the Tartars.--_Jameson's Journal._
 Russel's Aleppo, p. 54.
* * * * *
In Congresbury parish, and the contiguous one of Puxton, were two large
pieces of common land, called East and West Dale Moors, (from the Saxon
_Dob_, share or portion) which were occupied till within these few
years in the following remarkable manner:--The land was divided into
single acres, each bearing a peculiar mark cut in the turf, such as a
horn, an ox, a horse, a cross, an oven, &c. On the Saturday before Old
Midsummer Day, the several proprietors of contiguous estates or their
tenants, assembled on these commons, with a number of apples marked
with similar figures, which were distributed by a boy to each of the
commoners from a bag; at the close of the distribution, each person
repaired to allotment with the figure corresponding with the one upon
his apple, and took possession of that piece of land for the ensuing
year. Four acres were reserved to pay the expenses of an entertainment
at the house of the Overseer of the Dale Moors, when the evening was
spent in festivity.
_Rutter's Division of Somerset._
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
SLEEPING IN CHURCH.
_From a Sermon by Swift._
(It may be somewhat derogatory to the genius of so great a writer
as SWIFT, to allow this extract to occupy its present place in our
arrangement--usually allotted to minor pieces. Our "Notes" are, for
the most part, from new books, and a similar object is explained in our
"Selector." We could hardly place "Sleeping in Church" under "Manners
and Customs," and sleep altogether is rather prospective, (in dreaming,)
than "Retrospective."--Yet reader, here it is--a still subject--but
fresh, vigorous, and written for all time.)
There is one moral disadvantage to which all preaching is subject; that
those who, by the wickedness of their lives, stand in greatest need,
have usually the smallest share; for either they are absent upon the
account of idleness, or spleen, or hatred to religion, or in order to
doze away the intemperance of the week; or, if they do come, they are
sure to employ their minds rather any other way, than regarding or
attending to the business of the place.
There is no excuse so trivial, that will not pass upon some men's
consciences to excuse their attendance at the public worship of God.
Some are so unfortunate as to be always indisposed on the Lord's day,
and think nothing so unwholesome as the air of a church. Others have
their affairs so oddly contrived, as to be always unluckily prevented by
business. With some it is a great mark of wit, and deep understanding,
to stay at home on _Sundays_. Others again discover strange fits
of laziness, that seize them, particularly on that day, and confine
them to their beds. Others are absent out of mere contempt of religion.
And, lastly, there are not a few who look upon it as a day of rest, and
therefore claim the privilege of their castle, to keep the Sabbath by
eating, drinking, and sleeping, after the toil and labour of the week.
Now in all this the worst circumstance is, that these persons are such
whose companies are most required, and who stand most in need of a
But of all misbehaviour, none is comparable to that of those who come
here to sleep; opium is not so stupifying to many persons as an
afternoon sermon. Perpetual custom hath so brought it about, that the
words, of whatever preacher, become only a sort of uniform sound at
a distance, than which nothing is more effectual to lull the senses.
For, that it is the very sound of the sermon which bindeth up their
faculties, is manifest from hence, because they all awake so very
regularly as soon as it ceaseth, and with much devotion receive the
blessing, dozed and besotted with indecencies I am ashamed to repeat.
One cause of this neglect is, a heart set upon worldly things. Men
whose minds are much enslaved to earthly affairs all the week, cannot
disengage or break the chain of their thoughts so suddenly, as to apply
to a discourse that is wholly foreign to what they have most at heart.
Tell an usurer of charity, and mercy, and restitution, you talk to the
deaf; his heart and soul, with all his senses, are got among his bags,
or he is gravely asleep, and dreaming of a mortgage. Tell a man of
business, that the cares of the world choke the good seed; that we must
not encumber ourselves with much serving; that the salvation of his
soul is the one thing necessary. You see, indeed, the shape of a man
before you, but his faculties are all gone off among clients and papers,
thinking how to defend a bad cause, or find flaws in a good one; or, he
weareth out the time in drowsy nods.
There are many who place abundance of merit in going to church, although
it be with no other prospect but that of being well entertained, wherein
if they happen to fail, they return wholly disappointed. Hence it is
become an impertinent vein among people of all sorts to hunt after what
they call a good sermon, as if it were a matter of pastime and diversion.
This indecent sloth is very much owing to that luxury and excess men
usually practise upon this day, by which half the service thereof is
turned to sin; men dividing the time between God and their bellies,
when, after a gluttonous meal, their senses dozed and stupified, they
retire to God's house to sleep out the afternoon. Surely, brethren,
these things ought not so to be.
* * * * *
A CONVINCING PROOF.
Miss D. had the misfortune to become what the language of our neighbours
delicately expresses by the compound word _fille-mere_, and wished to
bestow, or rather to force, the honours of paternity on the prince. The
subject of dispute having been brought into his presence, he glanced at
the child's raven air, and coolly observed, "to convince me that this girl
is mine, you must prove that black is white."--_Cabinet Library--Life
and Reign of George IV._
* * * * *
A facetious fellow, after reading the Report of the Astronomical Society
for the past year, (which is very favourable) observed, "Well! Astronomy
is looking up."
* * * * *
The following shows the derivation of pennant at the head of the
mainmast of a man of war:--
When Van Trump was sweeping the seas with his men of war, by way of a
boast he put a _broom_ at the head of his mast, for which, when
Elizabeth had notice, she desired all her men of war to mount a _long
strip of linen_ at the head of their masts, as much as to say she
would _flog_ them soundly if they dared to molest her.
GEO. ST. CLAIR.
* * * * *
Are sold at the corners of every street in Florence, in seven different
forms: raw, cooked, and hot, both roasted and boiled; dried by heat,
(the skins being taken off,) in which state they have a much sweeter and
superior flavour; and made into bread, a sort of stiff pudding; and into
thin cakes like pancakes. This valuable fruit constitutes a
considerable portion of the food of the lower classes, who must daily
consume in Florence some tons.
 In the confectioner's shops at Paris, they are sold peeled,
baked, and iced with sugar. We can answer for their being very
* * * * *
Lord Hudson, in Queen Elizabeth's time, said, "To have courage to
observe an affront, is to be even with an adversary. To have the
patience to forgive it, is to be above him."
* * * * *
DEATH AMONGST LIONS.
It is remarkable that in 1438, all the lions in the Tower of London
* * * * *
ANTIQUITY OF PORTERS.
Saccarii, among the Romans were a company or fraternity of porters,
who had the sole privilege to carry all goods from the harbour to the
warehouses, none being allowed to employ their own slaves, and much less
those of others, for that purpose.
The modern _Saccarii_, alias tackle porters and ticket porters, are
well known to Londoners, and have been thus poetized by Gay:
"If drawn by business to a street unknown,
Let the _sworn porter_ point thee through the town."
These _portly gentry_ have been compared to kings. Howel says, "It is
with _kings_ sometimes as with _porters_, whose packs may jostle
one against the other, yet remain good friends still."
N.B. This is a _knotty_ subject.
* * * * *
STANZAS ON MADAME VESTRIS HAVING ESTABLISHED A THEATRE OF HER OWN.
_Written by Sir Lumley Skeffington._
Now Vestris, the tenth of the Muses,
To Mirth rears a fanciful dome,
We mark, while delight she infuses,
The Graces find beauty at home.
In her eye such vivacity glitters,
To her voice such perfections belong,
That care and the life it embitters,
Find balm in the sweets of her song.
When monarchs o'er valleys are ranging,
A court is transferr'd to the green;
And flowers, transplanted, are changing
Not fragrance, but merely the scene.
'Tis circumstance dignifies places;
A desert is charming with spring!
And pleasure finds twenty new graces,
Wherever the Vestris may sing!
* * * * *
(_To the Editor._)
Being in Sussex a short time since, I observed at a public-house
adjoining the Duke of Richmond's, at Goodwood, the figure head of the
Centurion, the ship in which Lord Anson sailed round the world. On the
pedestal that supported it against the house, are the following lines:--
Stay traveller awhile and view
One who has travelled more than you,
Quite round the world, through each degree,
Anson and I have ploughed the sea,
Torrid and frigid zones have past,
And safe at home arrived at last.
There follow two other lines, which are almost unintelligible.
* * * * *
_Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset
House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic;
and by all Newsmen and Booksellers._
* * * * *
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