The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction

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VOL. XVII, NO. 478.] SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1831. [PRICE 2d.

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It is long since our pages were illustrated with such characteristic
lineaments as those on the opposite page. The reader will, however,
perceive that we have not entirely forgotten the quaint motto from
Shenstone, in our earlier volumes--

"I want to see Mrs. Jago's handwriting, that I may judge of her temper."

Still the annexed Autographs have not been drawn from our own portfolio:
they come "frae North," being selected from an engraved Plate of
forty-three signatures, published with No. 28 of the _Edinburgh
Literary Journal_, and prefixed to a pleasing chapter on "the
connexion between character and handwriting"--from which we select only
a few anecdotical traits.

ANNE GRANT: "We have given Mrs. Grant of Laggan's _present_ hand,
in which may be discovered a little of the instability of advancing
life; but there is a well-rounded breadth and distinctness in the
formation of the letters, which seems to carry along with it evidence of
the clear and judicious mind of the talented authoress of 'Letters from
the Mountains.'"

D. STEWART:--"General Stewart of Garth, a free, bold, military hand;
his signature is taken from a letter complimenting in high terms Mr.
Chambers's History of the Rebellion of 1745."

ALLAN CUNNINGHAM:--an easy flow of tasteful handwriting. "Allan
Cunningham," observes the reviewer, "has raised himself like Hogg;
but, instead of the plough, he has handled the chisel; and there is
in his constitution an inherent love of the fine arts, which brings
his thoughts into more grateful channels. We are well aware that there
is a warmth and breadth of character about Cunningham which mark 'the
large-soul'd Scot;' but looking forward to his forthcoming Lives of the
British Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, we do not conceive this
to be in the least inconsistent with the easy flow of his tasteful

F. HEMANS: "the very hand--fair, small, and beautifully feminine--in
which should be embodied her gentle breathings of household love, her
songs of the domestic affections, and all her lays of silvery sweetness
and soft-breathing tenderness."

F. LEVESON GOWER, the distinguished translator of Goethe's Faust.

H. BROUGHAM: "a good deal like his own style of oratory--impressive and
energetic, but not very polished." We question the last; but, be this as
it may, polish is only desirable so long as it does not impair truth and
utility. Plain-speaking has been the best rule of conduct for public men
in all ages.

BASIL HALL: the observant traveller and very ingenious writer.

JOHN WILSON (the reputed editor of _Blackwood's Magazine_); and
beneath, F. JEFFREY (late editor of the _Edinburgh Review_), who
took his seat in Parliament not many days since.--"These are two names
which stand at the head of the periodical literature of Scotland. The
periodical writer must have a ready command of his pen and a versatile
genius; he must be able to pass quickly from one subject to another; and
instead of devoting himself to one continuous train of thought, he must
have a mind whose quick perception and comprehensive grasp enable him
to grapple with a thousand. See how this applies to the handwriting of
Jeffrey and of Wilson. The style of both signatures implies a quick and
careless motion of the hand, as if the writer was working against time,
and was much more anxious to get his ideas sent to the printer, than to
cover his paper with elegant penmanship. There is an evident similarity
in the fashion of the two hands--only Mr. Jeffrey, being much inferior
to the Professor in point of physical size and strength, naturally
enough delights in a pen with a finer point, and writes therefore a
lighter and more scratchy hand than the author of 'Lights and Shadows.'
It will add to the interest of Mr. Jeffrey's autograph to know that,
as his hand is not at all altered, we have preferred, as a matter of
curiosity, to engrave a signature of his which is twenty-three years
old, being taken from a letter bearing date 1806."

W. WORDSWORTH: "a good hand, more worthy of the author of the best
parts of 'The Excursion,' than of the puerilities of many of the Lyrical

DUGALD STEWART: "a hand worthy of a moral philosopher--large, distinct,
and dignified."

W. JERDAN: Editor of the _Literary Gazette_; free and facile as
his vein of criticism, and one of the finest signatures in the page.

J. BAILLIE: "it will be perceived that it has less of the delicate
feebleness of a lady's writing than any of the others. It would have
been sadly against our theory had the most powerful dramatic authoress
which this country has produced, written like a boarding-school girl
recently in her teens. This is decidedly not the case. There is something
masculine and nervous in Miss Baillie's signature; it is quite a hand in
which 'De Montfort' might be written."

PERCY B. SHELLEY: Free as its author's wild and beautiful poetry; but
it is not the hand of a very clear or accurate thinker.

THOMAS CHALMERS: "We know of few more striking examples of character
infusing itself into hand writing, than that presented by the autograph
of Dr. Chalmers. No one who has ever heard him preach, can fail to
observe, that the heavy and impressive manner in which he forms his
letters is precisely similar to the straining and energetic style in
which he fires off his words. There is something painfully earnest
and laborious in his delivery, and a similar sensation of laborious
earnestness is produced by looking at his hard pressed, though manly
and distinct, signature. It is in a small space, an epitome of one of
his sermons."

A. ALISON; the author of "Essays on Taste," and other works of sound

WASHINGTON IRVING; the graceful author of the "Sketch Book," free as a
crayon drawing, with all its exquisite light and shade.

JANE PORTER: a fully more masculine though less tasteful hand than
Washington Irving, with whom she happens to be in juxtaposition; and
the fair authoress of "Thaddeus of Warsaw," and "the Scottish Chiefs"
certainly appears to have as masculine a mind as the elegant but perhaps
somewhat effeminate writer of "the Sketch Book."

W. TENNANT: "full of originality, and in this resembles his own 'Anster
Fair.' The notion may be a fanciful one, but there seems to be a sort
of quiet humour in the writing, which makes its resemblance to 'Anster
Fair' still more complete. The principle upon which the letters are
formed is that of making all the hair strokes heavy, and all the heavy
strokes light."

* * * * *


(_To the Editor._)

The following account of the origin and antiquity of Halcyon Days will,
I feel convinced, prove a valuable addition to that given by your
intelligent correspondent P.T.W., in No. 471 of _The Mirror_:--

Halcyon Days, in antiquity, implied seven days before, and as many
after, the winter solstice--because the halcyon laid her eggs at this
time of the year, and the weather during her incubation being, as
your correspondent observes, usually calm. The phrase was afterwards
employed to express any season of transient prosperity, or of brief
tranquillity--the _septem placidae dies_ of human life:

The winter solstice just elapsed; and now
Silent the season, sad alcyone
Builds near the sleeping wave her tranquil nest.


When great Augustus made war's tempest cease,
His halcyon days brought forth the arts of peace.


The halcyon built her nest on the rocks adjacent to the brink of the
ocean, or, as some maintain, on the surface of the sea itself:

Alcyone compress'd
Seven days sits brooding on her wat'ry nest,
A wintry queen; her sire at length is kind,
Calms every storm, and hushes every wind.

_Ovid, by Dryden._

It is also said, that during the period of her incubation, she herself
had absolute sway over the seas and the winds:

May halcyons smooth the waves, and calm the seas,
And the rough south-east sink into a breeze;
Halcyons of all the birds that haunt the main,
Most lov'd and honour'd by the Nereid train.

_Theocritus, by Fawkes._

Alcyone, or Halcyone, we are informed, was the daughter of Aeolus (king
of storms and winds), and married to Ceyx, who was drowned in going to
consult an oracle. The gods, it is said, apprized Alcyone, in a dream,
of her husband's fate; and when she discovered, on the morrow, his body
washed on shore, she precipitated herself into the watery element, and
was, with her husband, metamorphosed into birds of a similar name, who,
as before observed, keep the waters serene, while they build and sit on
their nests.



* * * * *


(_To the Editor._)

In a late number, you gave among the "County Collections," with which a
correspondent had furnished you, the old Cornish proverb--

"Hinckston Down well wrought,
Is worth London dearly bought."

Possibly your correspondent was not aware that the true reading of this
proverb is the following:--

"Hinckston Down well wrought,
Is worth a monarch's ransom dearly bought."

The lines are thus quoted by Mr. Barrington, in his elaborate work on
the middle ages, and refer to the prevailing belief, that Hinckston Down
is a mass of copper, and in value, therefore, an equivalent for the price
set on the head of a captive sovereign. Perhaps, as some elucidation of
so intricate a subject as that of the ransoming prisoners during the
middle ages, the following remarks may not be deemed altogether unworthy
of insertion in your pages.

Originally, the supposed right of condemning captives to death rendered
the reducing of them to perpetual slavery an act of mercy on the part
of the conqueror, which practice was not entirely exploded even in
the fourteenth century, when Louis Hutin in a letter to Edward II. his
vassal and ally, desired him to arrest his enemies, the Flemings, and
make them slaves and serfs. (_Mettre par deveres vous, si comme
forfain a vous Sers et Esclaves a tous jours._) _Rymer._ Booty,
however, being equally with vengeance the cause of war, men were not
unwilling to accept of advantages more convenient and useful than the
services of a prisoner; whose maintenance might be perhaps a burden to
them, and to whose death they were indifferent. For this reason even the
most sanguinary nations condescended at last to accept of ransom for
their captives; and during the period between the eleventh and fifteenth
centuries, fixed and general rules appear to have been established for
the regulating such transactions. The principal of these seem to have
been, the right of the captor to the persons of his prisoners, though in
some cases the king claimed the prerogative of either restoring them to
liberty, or of retaining them himself, at a price much inferior to what
their original possessor had expected. On a similar principle, Henry IV.
forbade the Percies to ransom their prisoners taken at Holmdown. In this
case the captives consisted of the chief Scottish nobility, and the king
in retaining them, had probably views of policy, which looked to objects
far beyond the mere advantage of their ransom. It is mentioned by a
French antiquary that the King of France had the privilege of purchasing
any prisoner from his conqueror, on the payment of 10,000 livres; and
as a confirmation of this, the money paid to Denis de Morbec for his
captive John, King of France, by Edward III. amounted to this exact
sum. The English monarch afterwards extorted the enormous ransom of
three millions of gold crowns, amounting, as it has been calculated,
to L1,500,000. of our present money, from his royal captive. The
French author censures Edward somewhat unjustly for his share in
this transaction; here as in the case of the Percies, state reasons
interfered with private advantages. John yielded up to his conquerors
not only the abovementioned sum, but whole towns and provinces became
the property of the English nation; to these De Morbec could have no
right. It was, however, notwithstanding the frequent mention in history
of ransoms, still in the power of the persons in possession of a
prisoner to refuse any advantage, however great, which his liberty might
offer them, if dictated by motives of policy, dependant principally on
his personal importance. Entius, King of Sardinia, son of Frederic II.
was esteemed of such consequence to his father's affairs, that the
Bolognese, to whom he became a prisoner in 1248, would accept of no
price for his manumission; and he died in captivity, after a confinement
of twenty-four years. Such was the conduct of Charles V. of France
towards the Captal de Buche, for whose liberty he refused all the offers
made to him by Edward III.

On this principle the Duke of Orleans and Comte d'Eu, were ordered by
the dying injunctions of Henry V. to be retained in prison until his
son should be capable of governing; nor was it until after a lapse of
seventeen years, that permission was given to these noblemen to purchase
their freedom.

If no state reason interfered, the conqueror made what profit he
could of his prisoners. Froissart, in speaking of Poictiers, adds,
that the English became very rich, in consequence of that battle,
as well by ransoms as by plunder, and M. St. Palaye, in his "Mem. sur
la Chevalrie," mentions that the ransom of prisoners was the principal
means by which the knights of olden time supported the magnificence for
which they were so remarkable. In the next century, the articles of war
drawn up by Henry V. previous to his invasion of France, contain the
condition, "that be it at the battle or other deeds of arms, where the
prisoners are taken, he that may first have his _Faye_ shall have
him for a prisoner, and need not abide by him;" by Faye, probably the
promise given by the vanquished to his captor to remain his prisoner, is
understood; as the expression _donner sa foi_, occurs in various
French historians. The value of a ransom is sometimes estimated at one
year's income of a man's estate, and this opinion is supported by the
custom of allowing a year's liberty to captives to procure the sum
agreed upon. By the feudal law, every tenant or vassal was bound to
assist his lord in captivity, by a contribution proportionate to the land
he held. As, however, the amount received for prisoners is very various,
personal importance had no doubt great weight in the determination of a
captive's value. Bertrand du Guescelin who had no property, valued his
own ransom at 100,000 livres; and Froissart, at the same period mentions
the ransom of a King of Majorca, of the house of Arragon, as being
exactly that sum.

(_To be continued._)

* * * * *



(_For the Mirror._)

What is the German's Fatherland?
On Prussia's coast, on Suabia's strand?
Where blooms the vine on Rhenish shores?
Where through the Belt the Baltic pours?
Oh no, oh no!
His Fatherland's not bounded so.

What is the German's Fatherland?
Bavaria's or Westphalia's strand?
Where o'er his sand the Oder glides?
Where Danube rolls his foaming tides?
Oh no, oh no!
His Fatherland's not bounded so.

What is the German's Fatherland?
Tell me at length that mighty land.
The Swilzer's hills, or Tyrolese?
Well do that land and people please,
Oh no, oh no!
His Fatherland's not bounded so.

What is the German's Fatherland?
Tell me at length the mighty land.
In noble Austria's realm it lies,
With honours rich and victories?
Oh no, oh no!
His Fatherland's not bounded so.

What is the German's Fatherland?
Tell me at length that mighty land,
Is it what Gallic fraud of yore,
From Kasier[2] and the empire tore?
Oh no, oh no!
His Fatherland's not bounded so.

What is the German's Fatherland?
Tell me at length that mighty land,
'Tis there where German accents raise,
To God in heaven their songs of praise.
That shall it be
That German is the home for thee.

This is the German's Fatherland,
Where vows are sworn by press of hand,
Where truth in every forehead shines,
Where charity the heart inclines.
This shall it be,
This German is the home for thee.

This is the German's Fatherland,
Which Gallic vices dares withstand,
As enemies the wicked names,
Admits the good to friendship's claims.
This shall it be,
This German is the home for thee.

God! this for Fatherland we own,
Look down on us from heaven's high throne,
And give us ancient German spirit,
Its truth and valour to inherit.
This shall it be,
The whole united Germany.


Of the author of this song some account was given in a preceding number
of the _Mirror_. It was written on the same occasion as the _Patriot's
Call_, when Napoleon invaded Germany, and was intended to
tranquillize all petty feelings of jealousy between the separate German
states. The translator believes that Messrs. Treuttel and Wuertz
published this song in an English dress some few years since; he has,
however, never seen a copy of that work.

[1] We suspect this to be the burthen of a beautiful Quintett which
we heard sung _thrice_ the other evening at Covent Garden
Theatre, in Mr. Planche's pleasing "Romance of a Day."--ED.

[2] Emperor of Austria.

* * * * *


* * * * *


(_From the "Quarterly" Review, of "A Year in Spain." Unpublished._)

The author takes his seat about two in the morning in the cabriolet
or front part of a diligence from Tarragona, and gives many amusing
particulars concerning his fellow travellers, who, one after another,
all surrender themselves to slumber. Thus powerfully invited by the
examples of those near him, the lieutenant catches the drowsy infection,
and having nestled snugly into his corner, soon loses entirely the
realities of existence "in that mysterious state which Providence has
provided as a cure for every ill." In short, he is indulged with a
dream, which transports him into the midst of his own family circle
beyond the Atlantic; but from this comfortable and sentimental nap he is
soon aroused by the sudden stopping of the diligence, and a loud clamour
all about him.

There were voices without, speaking in accents of violence, and whose
idiom was not of my country. I roused myself, rubbed my eyes, and
directed them out of the windows. By the light of a lantern that blazed
from the top of the diligence, I could discover that this part of the
road was skirted by olive-trees, and that the mules, having come in
contact with some obstacle to their progress, had been thrown into
confusion, and stood huddled together, as if afraid to move, gazing upon
each other, with pricked ears and frightened aspect. A single glance to
the right-hand gave a clue to the mystery. Just beside the fore-wheel of
the diligence stood a man, dressed in that wild garb of Valencia which
I had seen for the first time in Amposta: his red cap, which flaunted
far down his back, was in front drawn closely over his forehead;
and his striped manta, instead of being rolled round him, hung
unembarrassed from one shoulder. Whilst his left leg was thrown forward
in preparation, a musket was levelled in his hands, along the barrel of
which his eye glared fiercely upon the visage of the conductor. On the
other side the scene was somewhat different. Pepe (the postilion) being
awake when the interruption took place, was at once sensible of its
nature. He had abandoned the reins, and jumped from his seat to the
road-side, intending to escape among the trees. Unhappy youth, that
he should not have accomplished his purpose! He was met by the muzzle
of a musket when he had scarce touched the ground, and a third ruffian
appearing at the same moment from the treacherous concealment of the
very trees towards which he was flying, he was effectually taken, and
brought round into the road, where he was made to stretch himself upon
his face, as had already been done with the conductor.

I could now distinctly hear one of these robbers--for such they
were--inquire in Spanish of the mayoral as to the number of passengers:
if any were armed; whether there was any money in the diligence; and
then, as a conclusion to the interrogatory, demanding _La bolsa!_ in
a more angry tone. The poor fellow meekly obeyed: he raised himself
high enough to draw a large leathern purse from an inner pocket,
and stretching his hand upward to deliver it, said, _Toma usted,
caballero, pero no me quita usted la vida!_ "Take it, cavalier; but
do not take away my life!" The robber, however, was pitiless. Bringing
a stone from a large heap, collected for the repair of the road, he
fell to beating the mayoral upon the head with it. The unhappy man sent
forth the most piteous cries for _misericordia_ and _piedad_.
He might as well have asked pity of that stone that smote him, as of the
wretch who wielded it. In his agony he invoked _Jesu Christo, Santiago
Apostol y Martir, La Virgin del Pilar_, and all those sacred names
held in awful reverence by the people, and the most likely to arrest the
rage of his assassin. All in vain: the murderer redoubled his blows,
until, growing furious in the task, he laid his musket beside him, and
worked with both hands upon his victim. The cries for pity which blows
at first excited, blows at length quelled. They had gradually increased
with the suffering to the most terrible shrieks; then declined into low
and inarticulate moans; until a deep-drawn and agonized gasp for breath,
and an occasional convulsion, alone remained to show that the vital
principle had not yet departed.

It fared even worse with Pepe, though, instead of the cries for pity,
which had availed the mayoral so little, he uttered nothing but low
moans, that died away in the dust beneath him. One might have thought
that the extreme youth of the lad would have ensured him compassion; but
no such thing. The robbers were doubtless of Amposta; and, being known
to him, dreaded discovery. When both the victims had been rendered
insensible, there was a short pause, and a consultation in a low tone
between the ruffians, who then proceeded to execute their plans. The
first went round to the left side of the diligence, and, having unhooked
the iron shoe and placed it under the wheel, as an additional security
against escape, opened the door of the interior, and mounted on the
steps. I could hear him distinctly utter a terrible threat in Spanish,
and demand an ounce of gold from each of the passengers. This was
answered by an expostulation from the Valencian shopkeeper, who said
that they had not so much money, but what they had would be given
willingly. There was then a jingling of purses, some pieces dropping on
the floor in the hurry and agitation of the moment. Having remained
a short time at the door of the interior, he did not come to the
cabriolet, but passed at once to the rotunda. Here he used greater
caution, doubtless from having seen the evening before, at Amposta,
that it contained no women, but six young students, who were all stout
fellows. They were made to come down, one by one, from their strong
hold, deliver their money and watches, and then lie flat upon their
faces in the road.

Meanwhile the second robber, after consulting with his companion,
returned to the spot where the zagal Pepe lay rolling from side to side.
As he went towards him, he drew a knife from the folds of his sash, and
having opened it, placed one of his naked legs on either side of his
victim. Pushing aside the jacket of the youth, he bent forward and dealt
him repeated blows in every part of the body. The young priest, my
companion, shrunk back shuddering into his corner, and hid his face
within his trembling fingers; but my own eyes seemed spell-bound, for
I could not withdraw them from the cruel spectacle, and my ears were
more sensible than ever. Though the windows at the front and sides were
still closed, I could distinctly hear each stroke of the murderous
knife, as it entered its victim. It was not a blunt sound as of
a weapon that meets with positive resistance, but a hissing noise, as
if the household implement, made to part the bread of peace, performed
unwillingly its task of treachery. This moment was the unhappiest of my
life; and it struck me at the time, that if any situation could be more
worthy of pity, than to die the dog's death of poor Pepe, it was to be
compelled to witness his fate, without the power to aid him.

Having completed the deed to his satisfaction, this cold-blooded
murderer came to the door of the cabriolet, and endeavoured to open it.
He shook it violently, calling to us to assist him; but it had chanced
hitherto, that we had always got out on the other side, and the young
priest, who had never before been in a diligence, thought, from the
circumstance, that there was but one door, and therefore answered the
fellow that he must go to the other side. On the first arrival of these
unwelcome visitors, I had taken a valuable watch which I wore from my
waistcoat pocket, and slipped it into my boot; but when they fell to
beating in the heads of our guides, I bethought me that the few dollars
I carried in my purse might not satisfy them, and replaced it again in
readiness to be delivered at the shortest notice. These precautions
were, however, unnecessary. The third ruffian, who had continued to
make the circuit of the diligence with his musket in his hand, paused
a moment in the road a-head of us, and having placed his head to the
ground, as if to listen, presently came and spoke in an under tone to
his companions. They stood for a moment over the mayoral, and struck his
head with the butts of their muskets, whilst the fellow who had before
used the knife returned to make a few farewell thrusts, and in another
moment they had all disappeared from around us.

In consequence of the darkness, which was only partially dispelled in
front of the diligence by the lantern, which had enabled me to see what
occurred so immediately before me, we were not at once sensible of the
departure of the robbers, but continued near half an hour after their
disappearance in the same situation in which they left us. The short
breathings and the chattering of teeth, lately so audible from within
the interior, gradually subsided, and were succeeded by whispers of the
females, and soon after by words pronounced in a louder tone; whilst our
mangled guides, by groans and writhings, gave evidence of returning

Our first care, when thus left to ourselves, was to see if anything
could be done for our unfortunate guides. We found them rolling over in
the dust, and moaning inarticulately, excepting that the conductor would
occasionally murmur forth some of those sainted names whose aid he had
vainly invoked in the moment of tribulation. Having taken down the light
from the top of the coach, we found them so much disfigured with bruises
and with blood, that recognition would have been impossible. The finery
of poor Pepe, his silver buttons and his sash of silk, were scarcely
less disfigured than his features. There happened to be in our party a
student of medicine, who now took the lead in the Samaritan office of
binding, with pieces of linen and pocket handkerchiefs, the wounds of
these unhappy men.

The wounded men were at length placed in a cart, and sent back slowly
to Amposta, the mayoral showing some signs of returning sensibility,
but the unfortunate Pepe evidently in his last agony. The diligence
proceeded on its route, and stopped to breakfast at Vinaroz.

The kitchen of the posada at Vinaroz offered a scene of unusual
confusion. The hostess was no other than the mother of Pepe, a very
decent-looking Catalan woman, who, I understood, had been sent there the
year before by the Diligence Company, which is concerned in all the inns
at which their coaches stop throughout the line. She had already been
told of the probable fate of her son, and was preparing to set off for
Amposta in the deepest affliction; and yet her sorrow, though evidently
real, was singularly combined with her habitual household cares. The
unusual demand for breakfast by fourteen hungry passengers had created
some little confusion, and the poor woman, instead of leaving these
matters to take care of themselves, felt the force of habit, and was
issuing a variety of orders to her assistant; nor was she unmindful
of her appearance, but had already changed her frock and stockings,
and thrown on her mantilla, preparatory to departure. It was indeed a
singular and piteous sight to see the poor perplexed woman changing some
fish that were frying, lest they should be burnt on one side, adjusting
and repinning her mantilla, and sobbing and crying all the while. When
the man came, however, to say that the mule was in readiness, every
thing was forgotten but the feelings of the mother, and she hurried
off in deep and unsuppressed affliction.

We may as well add here the catastrophe of this tragical tale. From
information received by the Lieutenant, after his arrival in Madrid, it
appears that poor Pepe breathed his last about eight hours after the
attack, and long before his widowed mother could arrive to close the
eyes of her child. The mayoral lingered for about a week, and then
shared the fate of Pepe. The three robbers were detected and taken into
custody; two of them were townsmen, and all three acquaintances of Pepe,
whom they had doubtless murdered to prevent discovery. We ourselves
passed over the scene of the robbery between two and three years after
the event: there were two crosses to mark the bloody spot. The mayoral
and the zagal of our diligence, the successors of those who had been
murdered, pointed to the crosses with the _sang froid_ with which
Spaniards, from long habitude, contemplate mementos of the kind. The
mayoral showed the very place where his predecessor had been beaten to
death. On our expressing horror at the detail he readily concurred,
though he appeared more indignant at the manner in which the crime had
been committed than at the crime itself. "It is the ugliest thing (_lo
mas feo_) that has been done in this neighbourhood for a long time
past. Look you, sir, to shoot a man with a blunderbuss, or to stab him
with a knife, is quite another kind of business; but to beat his brains
out with a stone is to treat him, not like a Christian, but a dog!" It
was evident that a frequent occurrence of such scenes had rendered the
mayoral a critic in the art of murder.

* * * * *


Wit is the mind's chief judge, which doth control.
Of Fancy's court the judgments false and vain,
Will holds the royal sceptre in the soul,
And on the passions of the heart doth reign.


* * * * *


* * * * *


Again receive me!--Let me greet
Thy "breezy hills, and soft retiring dales"--
Thy hoary ruins, monuments of old--
Thy headlands dark, and rocks stupendous,
That battle with the elements, and fiercely,
Bound old Ocean's empire.

_History of the District of Gower, &c._

The peninsula which forms the western extremity of the county of
Glamorgan is called Gower, derived from the Welsh _Gwyr_. The
circumference of the district is about fifty miles: a slight reference
to the map will explain its peculiar form better than any description we
could give. The northern boundary extended east from the river Nedd, or
Neath (of course including Swansea) to the Loughor, which runs into the
large estuary, called the Burry River, and forms its western boundary,
dividing the counties of Glamorgan and Carmarthen.

The history of Gower is interesting. It may not be out of place,
however, to preface it with an outline of the history of Glamorgan.
This county was conquered by the Romans, who had numerous stations in
different parts, and also in the district of Gower, the traces of which
still exist. Glamorgan is originally supposed to have extended from the
river Tawy to Gloucester Bridge, including, besides the present county,
the whole of Monmouthshire, and portions of the counties of Brecon,
Hereford, and Gloucester. The Welsh princes of Glamorgan commenced
paying tribute to the English in the reign of Edgar,--which was
the cause of endless aggressions and disputes between them and the
independent princes of North Wales, who claimed this right. The county
was made a conquest about the end of the eleventh century, by Sir Robert
Fitzhamon (a relation of Henry I.) whose aid had been first called in by
one of the petty princes of Glamorgan, in some of the intestine feuds
which agitated South Wales. Fitzhamon, after entirely defeating the
Welsh, kept Cardiff Castle and the surrounding district in his own
possession, and divided the rest of the county amongst twelve Norman
knights, his principal followers--between whom and the inhabitants of
the hills there long existed a sort of Guerilla warfare. The Normans
were almost obliged to confine themselves to their castles in
consequence; and the Welsh joined Owen Glendower, when he invaded
Glamorgan, for which they afterwards suffered heavily. It was not till
the reign of Henry VIII. that Wales became tranquillized.

The population of the county of Glamorgan, in 1821, comprised 101,727

To return to Gower. The first English or Norman conqueror of this
lordship was Henry de Newburgh, Earl of Warwick, who, in the reign
of Henry I. (1099), progressively defeated and drove out the sons of
Caradoc ap Jestyn, the Welsh possessors of Gower; and to secure his
conquest, built the castles of Swansea, Loughor, Llanridian, Penrice,
&c. He is represented, like most of the feudal barons, as ruling with
an iron hand. A few years after this conquest (1108), the peninsula
was settled by a colony of Flemings, who had been obliged to emigrate,
in consequence of a disastrous encroachment of the sea in the Low
Countries. They first landed on the southern coast of England; but, on
account of their lawless conduct, Henry I. drove them into South Wales;
and they principally fixed themselves in Gower, where they became
peaceable subjects; though a great number settled in the peninsula of
Castle Martin, in Pembrokeshire, which bears a striking similarity in
its natural features to Gower. Afterwards they mixed with the English,
preserving their native manners and industry, and involved in disputes
with the Welsh resembling the ancient Border warfare in the North. To
this day the inhabitants of Gower are distinct from the Welsh, and all
speak the English language. We were informed, and it is a remarkable
fact, that in the south-western portion of Gower, some of the
descendants of the original colonists exist, who do not understand
the Welsh language, rarely intermarry with them, and are otherwise
distinguished by their dress and peculiar dialect. These people, who
have thus successively, for more than seven centuries, preserved almost
unmingled the manners of their progenitors, manufacture lace of the
same fabric as that of Flanders. In the reign of Henry II. Thomas de
Newburgh, son of Henry Earl of Warwick, the conqueror of Gower, parted
with the lordship to the crown. King John, in the fourth year of his
reign, granted the "whole land of Gower" to one of his favourites,
William de Braose, created Lord of Gower, "to be held by the service
of one knight's fee" and it continued in his family till the reign
of Edward II. It afterwards passed, by marriage, to Sir Charles
Somerset, an ancestor of the Duke of Beaufort, who now is hereditary
lord paramount of the liberty of seignory of Gower, and possesses
considerable property therein. Gower had distinct privileges, and was
separate from Glamorgan till the reign of Henry VIII., when, by act of
parliament, it was annexed to that county.

Gower is rich in memorials of the olden times, as will appear by the
sequel to the present paper--those strongholds of ancient despotism,
which, by their very ruin, tell of the nothingness of man's power and
ambition. We append the following observations of Mr. Britton, who has
done more to make the study of antiquities popular, it has been truly
observed, than all other antiquaries, past and present, put together.
They do honour to his head and heart. After stating that "the subject is
replete with amusement on all occasions, and intense interest on many,"
the author goes on: "I will venture to entreat my countrymen, whenever
and wherever they have power, to protect the remaining antiquities from
further demolition or defacement. Every castle, abbey, cathedral, fine
church, and old mansion, is a monument and memento of a former age, and
of former persons;--they are so many indexes to memorable events, to
heroes, statesmen, patriots, and philosophers. Architectural antiquities
are objects and evidences of incalculable value and interest; whilst
standing--however mutilated--they are indications of the vicissitudes
and fluctuations of civilized society;--they show man in his domestic
economy, and in his historical relations. The person, therefore, who
protects one fine work of antiquity, is entitled to the applause of
his contemporaries, and of posterity;--he who destroys, or heedlessly
neglects it, deserves the reprobation of the civilized world. As Dr.
Stukely indignantly hung, in graphic effigy, the man who wantonly broke
up the vast and wondrous Celtic Temple of Abury, so every other similar
delinquent should be condemned to the literary gibbet. The miserable
fanatic who fired York Cathedral is properly incarcerated for life, and
thus prevented from doing further public mischief; but there are other
fanatics still roaming at large, and permitted to commit devastations on
cathedrals and other churches--on castles, old mansions, &c." "Such men,
should not be trusted."


* * * * *


* * * * *


This is a local custom, very faithfully kept in many parts of the
two northern counties. Early in the morning of the first of January,
the _Fax-populi_ assemble together, carrying _stangs_ and baskets.
Any inhabitant, stranger, or whoever joins not this ruffian tribe in
sacrificing to their favourite Saint Day, if unfortunate enough to be
met by any of the band, is immediately mounted across the stang (if a
woman, she is basketed), and carried, shoulder high, to the nearest
public-house, where the payment of sixpence immediately liberates the
prisoner. No respect is paid to any person; the cobbler on that day
thinks himself equal to the parson, who generally gets mounted like
the rest of his flock; whilst one of his porters _boasts and prides
himself_ in having but just before got the _'Squire_ across the pole.
None, though ever so industriously inclined, are permitted to follow
their respective avocations on that day.


* * * * *


At Northwich, in the county of Cheshire, a whimsical privilege is
ascribed, by the charter of that church, to the senior scholar of the
Grammar-school: namely--that he is to receive marriage fees to the same
amount as the clerk; or, in lieu thereof, the bride's garters.


* * * * *


Blackmoor Forest, at the spring of the Froome, was once called the
Forest of White Hart, and at that time the seat of royalty, and greatly
preferred by our kings, on account of the deer with which it abounded.
King Henry III., with a mighty train of hunters, having one day entered
on the chase in this neighbourhood, roused a milk-white hart. The
creature afforded his Majesty so much sport, that at the pulling down,
it was the royal pleasure to save the beast, and place round his neck a
collar of brass, on which was engraved,

"I am a royal hart, let no one harm me."

But the king and his retinue having run over and spoiled the lands of a
gentleman of the county, named _Thomas de la Linde_, and refusing, upon
remonstrance, to make good the injury, _De la Linde_ imprudently
resolved to spite King Henry; when, joining with others, he hunted the
white hart, and having run it down, foolishly took the life of the
king's favourite; and making merry over its haunches, was heard in his
cups to utter many disrespectful speeches towards his sovereign, which
were conveyed to Henry, who presently convinced _De la Linde_ of his
presumption, and so highly resented the indignity, that he made every one
concerned in the death of the noble animal pay into his exchequer an
annual fine, called "White Hart Silver," which was not remitted during
the reign of that monarch. This is also the origin of the White Hart
for a sign at the different inns and houses of entertainment throughout


* * * * *


One of the most strange customs which time has handed down to us,
prevails at St. Briavel's, in Gloucestershire. On Whit Sunday, several
baskets full of bread and cheese, cut into small squares of about an
inch each, are brought into the church; and immediately after divine
service is ended, the churchwardens, or some other persons, take them
into the galleries, from whence their contents are thrown amongst the
congregation, who have a grand scramble for it in the body of the
church, which occasions as great a tumult and uproar as the amusement of
a village wake, the inhabitants being always extremely anxious in their
attendance at worship on this day.

This custom is held for the purpose of preserving to the poor of St.
Briavel's and Hewelfield, the right of cutting and carrying away wood
from three thousand acres of coppice land, in Hudknolls and the Meends;
and for which every housekeeper is assessed twopence, to buy the bread
and cheese given away.


* * * * *


(_From a Correspondent._)

This is performed with great ceremony and mystery, on Christmas Eve,
by the elders of the family, without the knowledge of the younger
members. They deck a large evergreen with presents of various kinds:
to toys, bonbons, and such trifles, are added things of more value and
use--working materials for the girls, knives, &c. for the boys, and
books of amusement and instruction for both. Little tapers are attached
to the branches of the shrub; and at break of day the children are
roused from their slumber, and when all are ready (for no one is allowed
to enter singly) they are admitted into the room, where the illuminated
tree greets their eyes. Great is the anxiety of the young party to see
who has been provided for, since the idea they are taught to entertain
is, that these tempting objects are bestowed by an invisible agent, as
a reward for good children, and that the naughty and ill-conducted will
find no share allotted to them.

Hebel, in one of his pretty, simple poems, describes a mother sitting by
her sleeping child, as she prepares its morning surprise. She enumerates
the various gifts she hangs on the tree, pausing in her pleasing task as
a moral reflection is suggested by any of the objects she has collected,
and concluding by a prayer for the future welfare of her darling.
Would not the Christmas-tree be a pleasant addition to our juvenile
amusements? The Twelfth-night King and Queen might plant such a one
in their royal domain, and graciously conclude their merry reign by
distributing amongst those who have served them as liege subjects for
the evening, the motley _fruits_ that grace it. Each should be
previously marked to correspond with the character to be drawn, which
would secure a token of their majesties' favour for each individual of
the sportive train.

* * * * *


* * * * *


Has distanced the majesty of British justice in the persons of the
coroner, the bailiffs, and the Bow-street magistrates, after all. We
knew that he would do so; but in this we take no possible credit to
ourselves, for every one knew that he would do so. Public opinion is,
we must confess, still divided as to the place of his retreat, some
pronouncing it America, where his purpose is, to set up a bank with
Rowland Stephenson; others, New South Wales, by a natural and pleasant
anticipation; and others, Paris, which of late years has superseded
Philadelphia, and even New York, as the general receptacle of "the
unfortunate brave," the asylum of those men of genius, who have too much
talent to live in England, the favoured spot of regeneration for those
brilliant speculators whose conceptions equally outrun their credit and
their age. However, the majority are clearly for Paris; and the objects
of the visit are said to be political, and not personal. The friends of
the ex-ministers, it is understood, have succeeded in engaging him;
and he is about to put in operation a very extensive system of
_counter-irritation_ among the _canaille_ of the French capital.
Should his exertions be attended with success, he will, on his return,
be retained by the Home-office, and despatched into the disturbed
districts to _counter-irritate_ the erring disciples of "Swing."

On the whole, we are convinced that St. John Long will be seriously
missed at the West-end. His house was a pleasant lounge; his chocolate
was unimpeachable, whatever his honesty might be; no one could ever
question the strength of his coffee, whatever might be surmised of his
science; and the sandwiches which promenaded the rooms regularly every
half-hour, were a triumphant answer to all the aspersions that his
patients lived upon air. We have no doubt that it was a much pleasanter
place than the bazaars, to which such hosts of old peeresses order their
carriages every day at one, with such matchless punctuality, to buy
sixpence-worth of ribbon, and kill three hours. To this, St. John Long's
promenade was a paradise. The comfortable manner in which all the
comforts of the old ladies were provided for; the pleasantries arising
from the nature of the scene between the various _rubbed_: the
files of young women, with their mouths fixed to gas-pipes, and imbibing
all sorts of vapours; and, never to be forgotten in the catalogue of
attractions, the men of all ages who came to learn the art of being
cured of all calamities, that of the purse inclusive. Then, too, St.
John's own judicious generosity; the presents of invaluable snuff, of
first-growth Champagne, of Mocha coffee to one, and of gunpowder tea to
another, showed a knowledge of women and human nature, that must, but
for the malice of justice, inevitably have led to fortune. What will now
become of the countess, who led her daughters to this palace of Hygeia
as regularly as the day came; and with a spirit worthy of the great
cause, declared that, if she had twenty daughters, she would take every
one of them every day to the same place, for the same rubbing? What
will become of the heavy hours of him who declared St. John's gas a
qualification for the Cabinet, and that a sick minister applying to this
dispenser of all virtue, would be on his legs in the House, and making
a victorious speech within the twenty-four hours? What will become of
the battalion of beauties who, at every puff of the gas-pipe, ran to
their mirrors, and received the congratulations of the surrounding
dandies, or the revived carnation of their cheeks? "Othello's
occupation's o'er." But a St. John Long, of some kind or other, is
so essential to the West-end world, that a successor must be rapidly
erected in his room. Every age has its St. John Long, formed by the
mere necessities of the opulent and idle. A new Perkins, with a packet
of metallic tractors on a new scale would be extremely acceptable in
any handsome street in the neighbourhood of Grosvenor-square. Animal
magnetism would thrive prodigiously between this and the dust-months,
when London is left to the guardsmen and the cab-drivers; and when, as
Lady Jersey says, nobody who is anybody is to be seen in the streets
from morning till night, that is, from three till six. But the true
man of success would be Dr. Graham, of famous memory; the heir of his
talents would make a fortune in any season of the year; and now that
St. John Long has vacated the throne, nothing could be more favourable
for his ambition, than to take advantage of the interregnum, and make
himself monarch of charlatanry without loss of time.--From "Notes of
the Month," by far the most piquant portion of the _Monthly Mag_.

* * * * *


"I desire, as I look on these, the ornaments and children of Earth, to
know whether, indeed, such things I shall see no more!--whether they
have no likeness, no archetype in the world in which my future home is
to be cast? or whether they _have_ their images above, only wrought
in a more wondrous and delightful mould."--_Conversations with an
Ambitious Student in Ill Health_.

Bear them not from grassy dells,
Where wild bees have honey-cells;
Not from where sweet water-sounds
Thrill the green wood to its bounds;
Not to waste their scented breath
On the silent room of Death!

Kindred to the breeze they are,
And the glow-worm's emerald star,
And the bird, whose song is free,
And the many-whispering tree;
Oh! too deep a love, and vain,
They would win to Earth again!

Spread them not before the eyes,
Closing fast on summer skies!
Woo then not the spirit back,
From its lone and viewless track,
With the bright things which have birth
Wide o'er all the coloured Earth!

With the violet's breath would rise
Thoughts too sad for her who dies;
From the lily's pearl-cup shed,
Dreams too sweet would haunt her bed;
Dreams of youth--of spring-time eves--
Music--beauty--all she leaves!

Hush! 'tis _thou_ that dreaming art,
Calmer is _her_ gentle heart.
Yes! o'er fountain, vale, and grove,
Leaf and flower, hath gush'd her love;
But that passion, deep and true,
Knows not of a last adieu.

Types of lovelier forms than these,
In her fragile mould she sees;
Shadows of yet richer things,
Borne beside immortal springs,
Into fuller glory wrought,
Kindled by surpassing thought!

Therefore, in the lily's leaf,
She can read no word of grief;
O'er the woodbine she can dwell,
Murmuring not--Farewell! farewell!
And her dim, yet speaking eye,
Greets the violet solemnly.

Therefore, once, and yet again,
Strew them o'er her bed of pain;
From her chamber take the gloom,
With a light and flush of bloom:
So should one depart, who goes
Where no Death can touch the Rose!

_New Monthly Magazine._

* * * * *


Oh! ask me not to sing to-night,

Oh! ask me not to sing to-night
Dejection chills my feeble powers,
I own thy halls of glittering light
Are festive as in former hours.
But when I last amid them moved,
I sung for friends beloved and dear,
Their smiles inspired, their lips approved,
Now all is changed--they are not here.

I gaze around--I view a throng,
The radiant slaves of pride and art.
Oh! can _they_ prize my simple song,
The soft low breathings of the, heart?
Take back the lute, its tuneful string
Is moisten'd by a sorrowing tear,
To-night, I may not, cannot sing
The friends that love me are not here!


* * * * *


The following smart account of the late Madame de Genlis, is translated
from that very piquant French paper the Figaro of the 4th January:--

She nearly died the day she came into the world; a mere chance saved
her; and the noble lady lived eighty-five years. What a misfortune, not
only for the Ducrest and the Genlis, if the clumsy Bailiff who sat down
in the arm-chair where the infant prodigy had been left by the careless
nurse, had crushed under the ample and heavy developement of his various
femoral muscles, the hope of French literature! The concussion would
have despoiled us of a hundred volumes, and Heaven can witness what
volumes! History in romances; morality in proverbs; and religion in
comedies. This is what the world of letters would have lost,--society
would have lost a very different thing.

Such a nose as never was possessed before; a nose modelled by Love
himself, and celebrated by ten court poets, and which the censer of
praise was as unable to improve as a certain tumble which its owner had
in infancy. Hands the most beautiful that could be, and which Madame de
Genlis put up for exhibition during twenty years, upon the strings of
a harp, now passed into a proverb. A form without fault, and which made
the delight of the Palais Royal parties in the open air. A foot, alike
triumphant at the Court and at the _Porcherons_. Eyes capable of
making an impression upon the running footman of M. de Brancas, and of
an innumerable crowd of dukes, lawyers, officers, and men of letters.
A genius!--oh! for her genius, if she had not been encumbered with
so much modesty, Madame de Genlis would have shone by it alone in the
_first_ rank; through feminine modesty she remained in the second.

Philosophy may breathe again. The author of "The Evenings at the Castle"
was the Attila of philosophers;--she crushed Voltaire, considering him
as a _mauvais sujet_; pursued Diderot and d'Alembert; breasted
Rousseau; refuted the Encyclopaedia; and was always of the party in
favour of the Altar and the Throne, excepting only the clay when the
revolution of 1789 commenced.

Foul-mouthed people allege Madame de Genlis to have been a great
coquette, which, is a calumny. She was virtue itself. No doubt she was
the object of rude assaults; public declarations, scenes of despair,
disguises, eulogies in verse, madrigals in prose--all were employed to
seduce her affections; but she resisted always. To revenge her cruelty,
they attacked her morals, and epigrams rained on her. She replied by
her Memoirs--rather diffuse confessions, which Lavocat (the publisher)
contrived to dilute further--but edifying, and which have demonstrated
that if Mad. de Genlis was not canonized in her life-time, it was
because there is no longer any religion to speak of, or that she
neglected to cultivate interest with the Pope.

One poet had the audacity to put up Madame de Genlis' honour at the
Exchange for a dollar; the ladies of the Directory exclaimed against
this; the Countess herself said nothing: she despised the exaggeration
which nobody could credit. In truth, Madame de Genlis was quite as good
as the particular Queen, whose modesty was only to fall before the
millions of a Cardinal-Duke.

Mirabeau boasted, in one of his letters, that he had communicated
his own tenderness to the charming tigress; but Mirubeau was a vain,
good-for-nothing coxcomb, and the boudoir on four wheels which he
presented as the theatre of his triumph, was a horrible invention. The
proof is, that Madame de Genlis says nothing whatever about it in her
Memoirs. Posterity should be just towards the illustrious Countess, and
accept, as sincere, her revelations. Let us, then, consider her as the
most virtuous of women; as the least arrogant; the most sensible; the
most learned; for all, in fine, that she desired to appear; for Madame
de Genlis never said what was untrue; she solemnly declares so.

Madame de Genlis had a talent that was very dear to her, but the title
of a good housewife was that she coveted above all the rest. I can never
forget the following circumstance, exemplifying the _naif_ vanity
of the pretension to be without pretension, which the noble lady
sometimes assumed. I was anxious to see this celebrated person, and
wrote to ask the favour of a brief interview. She appointed the
following day. At twelve o'clock I presented myself;--Madame de Genlis
was writing; she laid down her pen, and obligingly offered me a seat,
then said--"Allow me, sir, to finish my _pot an feu_; above being a
woman of letters, I value myself as a good housewife." And the Countess
scraped the carrots and the leeks, tied them up, put them into the
soup-kettle, skimmed the meat, and neither forgot cloves nor fried
onions. Then taking off her kitchen apron, came with very good grace to
offer herself to my curiosity We talked upon art and literature; and
I must say that she did not speak of her harp more than twice, of her
talent for acting more than once, or of her facility of writing--very
much more than six times.

Madame de Genlis died almost suddenly, and was employing herself as
usual, when death struck her. She leaves two works, which will, no
doubt, be published as soon as a bookseller is found to put them
together, and idlers seem disposed to read them. The King offered her
rooms in the Tuileries, and she had replied to his gracious proposal
the evening before she died.

Louis Philip never forgot his preceptor--Madame de Genlis is said to
have had some desire to be forgotten by her pupil.--_New Monthly

* * * * *


* * * * *


(_From a Correspondent._)

This attractive Exhibition opened for the season on Monday, the 31st
ult., and contains five hundred and fifty-two works of art. The display
of pictures is certainly very splendid; and, as no portraits are
admitted, the respective artists have employed their talents in
representing pleasing and interesting subjects, some of which contain
high poetical feeling--while others possess the power of raising our
risibility by their novelty and genuine humour--a valuable quality in
painting, to attain which, the artist treads an extremely difficult
path. We must now select a few of the most sparkling gems of the

No. 1. Lavinia, from Thomson's Seasons, painted by Sir Martin Archer
Shee, is a chaste production. Lavinia is portrayed as a perfect rustic

3. A subject from. "The Lost Pleiad" of Miss L.E.L. is beautifully
embodied by Henry Howard, R.A.

12. Part of the Corn-market at Caen, formerly the Church of St. Sauveur;
painted by Roberts, in his peculiar and fascinating style.

36. The Auld Friends--

"Then here's a fig for snarling time,
Wi' features long and grim,
Come prime the cup, my gude auld friend,
And pledge me brim to brim."

Painted carefully by J.P. Knight, son of the late comedian.

59. Titania, Puck, and Bottom; by Mr. Partridge. This is a commanding
work, and extremely rich in the colouring. The Queen of the Fairies is
represented reposing on a grassy bed, and near her is seated the
formidable Bottom, in his ludicrous metamorphosis: he is placed in such
a situation, that her majesty must see him before any other object when
she _awakes_. At a little distance Puck is displayed laughing at the
trick he has played on the queen, and seems to anticipate with delight
the amusement that is to ensue.

95. Falstaff's Assignation with Mrs. Ford--from the Merry Wives of
Windsor--is remarkably delicate in the execution, possesses good
colouring, and is altogether creditable to the painter, Mr. Clint.

153. Interior of the Painted Hall. Greenwich Hospital; by John S.
Davis. This is an admirable specimen of rising genius, as it contains
much knowledge of perspective, and great correctness in the distribution
of light and shade.--Some portraits, and a statue of Nelson, are
judiciously introduced.

229. Teniers Painting the Temptation of St. Anthony; executed by
Mr. Fraser, in a masterly manner.

447. Mount St. Michael; a magnificent production by Stanfield. The water
is inimitable, possessing that beautiful greenish transparency so
peculiar to the sea.

462. The Interior of Mr. Pinney's Gallery, Pall Mall; by Mr.
Novice.--This is doubtless an arduous undertaking; the artist has
evinced much skill in the arrangement of the various objects of
the piece, and the effect is forcible and good. There is another
representation of a picture-gallery in the exhibition No. 345, but
we think it wants effect.

We are sorry that we can _only allude_ to the names of several
other excellent artists. They must not infer, however, that we fail
to appreciate their merits; on the contrary, we would most gladly
appropriate our time to the extension of this notice, were we permitted
sufficient space, for to do ample justice would occupy several pages.
Madame Comolera, Miss E. Drummond, and Miss Hague, deserve attention;
as do Messrs. Clater, Fradelle, Hart, Edmondstone, Chisholme, Deane,
Wilson, Brough, Stanley, Reinagle, and Webster.

_Feb._ 1, 1831.


* * * * *


* * * * *


(_From the Life and Reign of George IV._)

A well-known individual, some time deceased, who was admitted to the
prince's familiarity upon his first entrance into life, and for several
years after, described or rather dramatized with much humour a scene
which he professed to have had from the prince himself. So much depends
upon tone and manner, that the spirit of these pleasantries evaporates
on paper. The story was in substance as follows:--A new suit, destined
for a ball that night at Cumberland-house, was brought home to the
prince, but ordered back by him for the purpose of undergoing immediate
alterations. He gave directions that the tailor's return with it should
be instantly made known to him. The prince happened to pass the early
part of the evening with the king and queen at Buckingham-house. Whilst
he was seated in the royal group, a German page entered, and pronounced
in a tone meant for his particular ear, but loud enough to be heard by
every one present, "Please your royal highness, _she_ is come."
There was a moment's awful pause. "Who is come?" said his royal
highness, in a tone between surprise, embarrassment, and anger. "Sir,
_she_ is come," repeated the page, with his bad English and German
phlegm. "Eh! what, what! who is come?" exclaimed the king. "_She_,
your majesty," reiterated the unmoved German. "She is come!" cried the
queen, bursting with wrath, and supposing that the visiter was one of
the house of Luttrell, who already sought an undue influence over the
prince. All was for a moment inexplicable confusion. The queen summoned
another page, and asked him with fury in her looks, "_Who_ is
_she_ that dares inquire for the Prince of Wales?" "Please your
majesty," said the second oracle, "it is _Shea_, his royal
highness's tailor."--_Dr. Lardner's Cabinet Library_, vol. ii.

* * * * *


He had now formed an attachment of no common kind to a lady, whose name
at this period came frequently before the public associated with his. A
veil of ambiguity or mystery covered, and still covers, the relations of
the Prince of Wales with Mrs. Fitzherbert. She received all the respect
and exercised all the influence which could belong to rank, character,
accomplishments, and manners, in the highest class of society in this
country daring her intimacy with the prince, and after their separation;
and she is still living, surrounded, in her advanced years, with all the
consideration which could do honour to the decline of a life the most
estimable. Mrs. Fitzherbert was first married at sixteen, and had still
all the graces of beauty and youth on the death of Colonel Fitzherbert.
She was brought up abroad, with every advantage of a costly and
consummate education. Her beauty had that soft and touching character,
the result of fair complexion and blue eyes which distinguishes
Englishwomen abroad, and obtained her the appellation of the angelic
English _blonde_. The cousin of Lord Sefton, and related to other
distinguished families, she lived in a sphere of society in London which
necessarily made her acquainted with the Prince of Wales. He became
enamoured, declared his passion, and was the cause of her retiring
to the continent to avoid his importunities. Having remained abroad
about three years, she returned to England in 1784. The prince on her
return declared the continuance and repeated the sincerity of his
attachment, with, it would appear, more success. Their intimacy for some
time was known only to the initiated in high life; they moved and met
in the same society, apparently on terms rather of formal than familiar
acquaintance. The secret was divulged shortly before the prince's
quarrel with the king, and base advantage was taken of it to wound the
private feelings of the prince where manly feelings are the most
vulnerable. She was of a Catholic family, herself a Catholic; and this
was easily turned against the Prince of Wales, at a period of religious
bigotry, and political alarm, especially in the mind of George

* * * * *


The Stadtholder, who had recently fled from Holland, was also the
prince's guest, and afforded amusement by the whimsical incongruity
with which he chose his occasions for going to sleep. The princess
commanded a play for his entertainment: in spite of her vivacity
and utmost efforts, he slept and snored in the box beside her, and was
roused with some difficulty when the curtain fell. A ball having been
given in compliment to him at the Castle-tavern, he fell asleep whilst
eating his supper, and snored so loud as to disturb the harmony of the
orchestra and the decorum of the assembly. His Dutch highness was also
entertained, if the term in this instance be admissible, with a grand
masquerade, and was perplexed by the difficulty of resolving in what
dress or character he should attend it. The Prince of Wales said he
might go as _an old woman_.--_Ibid_.

* * * * *


It was well known to be the habit of Geo. III. to write in various
folios, for an hour after he rose in the morning. This practice was
not obviously consistent with his want of facility and taste in any
sort of composition; but his manuscripts were only registers of names,
with notes annexed of the services, the offences, and the characters,
as he judged them, of the respective persons. "In addition," says a
publication of 1779 "_to the numerous private registers always kept by
the king_, and written with his own hand, he has lately kept another,
of all those Americans who have either left the country voluntarily
rather than submit to the rebels, and also of such as have been driven
out by force; with an account of their losses and services." It is
somewhat cruel to lay bare "the bosomed secrets" of any man, even after
the grave has closed upon his passions and weaknesses; but if these
registers of George III. still exist, and should ever come to light,
they will be as curious private memoirs as have ever appeared: they
doubtless promoted the remembrance and compensation of losses and
services; but they also produced his petty long-cherished resentments,
less hurtful to their objects than injurious to his own character and
torturing to his breast.--_Ibid_.

* * * * *


A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.

* * * * *


_An Ode written April 15, 1786._

St. Paul's deep bell, from stately tower,
Had sounded once and twice the hour--
Blue burnt the midnight taper;
Hags their dark spells o'er cauldrons hewed,
While Sons of Ink their work pursued,
Printing "the Morning Paper."

Say, Herald, Chronicle, or Post,
Which then beheld great Johnson's ghost,
Grim, horrible, and squalid?
Compositors their letters dropt,
Pressmen their printing engines stopt,
And devils all grew pallid.

Enough! the spectre cried, Enough!
No more of your fugacious stuff,
Trite anecdotes and stories!
Rude martyrs of Sam. Johnson's name,
You rob him of his honest fame,
And tarnish all his glories.

First in the fertile tribe is seen
_Tom Tyres_, in the Magazine,
That teazer of Apollo!
With goose-quill he, like desperate knife,
Slices, as Vauxhall beef, my life,
And calls the town to swallow.

The cry once up, the dogs of news,
Who hunt for paragraphs the stews,
Yelp out "_Johnsoniana!_"
Their nauseous praise but moves my bile,
Like tartar, carduus, camomile,
Or ipecacuanha.

Next Boswell comes, for 'twas my lot
To find at last _one_ honest _Scot_
With constitutional veracity;
Yet garrulous he tells too much,
On fancied failings prone to touch
With sedulous loquacity.

At length, Job's patience it would try,
_Brewed_ on my lees comes "_Thrale's Entrie,"_
Straining to draw my picture;
For _she_ a common-place book kept,
"_Johnson at Streatluim dined and slept,_"
And who shall contradict her?

Thrale lost midst fiddles and sopranos,
With them plays fortes and pianos,
Adagio and allegro.
I loved Thrale's widow and Thrale's wife
But now, believe--to write my life!
I'd rather trust my negro.

I gave the public works of merit,
Written with vigour, fraught with spirit,
Applause crowned all my labours;
But thy delusive pages speak
My palsied powers, exhausted, weak,
The scoff of friends and neighbours.

They speak me insolent and rude,
Light, trivial, puerile, and crude,
The child of pride and vanity.
Poor Tuscan-like improvisation
Is but of English sense castration,
And infantine inanity.

Such idle rhymes, like Sybil's leaves,
_Kindly_ the scattering winds receive--
The gatherer proves a scorner.
But hold! I see the coming day!
The spectre said--and stalked away,
To sleep in Poet's Corner.

* * * * *


Doctor Perne happening to call a clergyman a fool, who was not totally
undeserving of the title, but who resented the indignity so highly, that
he threatened to complain to his diocesan, the Bishop of Ely, "Do so,"
says the Doctor, "and he will confirm you."


* * * * *


In 1603, one John Lepton, of Reprich, Esq., in the county of York,
undertook to ride five several times betwixt London and York in six
days, to be taken in one week, between Monday morning and Saturday
night: he began his journey on Monday morning, and finished it on the
Friday after, to the great admiration of all.--_Old History._


* * * * *

_Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset
House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic;
G.G. BENNIS, 55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris; and by all Newsmen
and Booksellers._

* * * * *


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