The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 472
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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XVII. No. 472.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 22, 1831. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
[Illustration: CHRIST CHURCH, DONCASTER.]
CHRIST CHURCH, DONCASTER.
(_From the Gentleman's Magazine_.)
The town of Doncaster has been long celebrated for its beauty and
cleanliness, for its striking approach from the south, its magnificent
Grand Stand, and celebrated Race Course, its public buildings, its
venerable Gothic Church, and stately tower; and latterly, by the erection
of a beautiful Gothic Church, with an elegant spire, giving an additional
feature to the town from every approach.
This new Church was founded and endowed by a benevolent individual of the
name of Jarrett, whose ancestors had for a number of years been connected
with the town of Doncaster. A monument in the old church states that a
brother of the founder was an alderman of this borough. John Jarrett, Esq.
the founder of Christ Church, was in early life a manufacturer at Bradford;
subsequently, during the war, he became a partner in the extensive
ironworks carried on at Low Moor, near Bradford, under the firm of Jarrett,
Danson, and Hardy, where he acquired a very large fortune. Retiring from
business some years ago, he returned to his native town, to enjoy the
fruits of his honest industry; and during a period of several years, he,
by acts of kindness and benevolence, acquired the respect and esteem of
his fellow-townsmen. It pleased the Great Disposer of events to terminate
his life before the completion of this his last pious work. The first
stone of the church was laid on the 9th of October, 1827; and the founder
died on the 15th of January, 1828, at the age of eighty-three. The sums he
gave were, 10,000_l_. for the building, and 3,000_l_. for the endowment.
The site of the church, at the point where the Thorne road branches from
the great North road, is particularly fine and open, occupying about two
and a half acres of ground, surrounded by wide and spacious public roads.
The style of architecture adopted is that which prevailed in the
fourteenth century. The stone used is from the celebrated quarries of
The plan of the church comprises a tower, nave, two side-aisles, and a
chancel; the latter, together with two vestries, forms a semi-octagonal
projection, which gives the east end a multangular and unusual appearance.
There are six windows to each aisle, and a seventh at the north-east and
south-east vestries. Each of these is divided horizontally by two
cross-mullions, and thereby formed into twelve lights; the centre three
are square quartrefoils; and the tracery at the head forms three other
quartrefoils. The east window is of six principal lights, and the upper
part spread out in tracery.
The principal entrance is through a spacious octangular porch, the whole
size of the tower, which is groined in imitation of stone. The entrance to
the galleries and side-aisles is by the doors on the north and south sides
of the church.
The size of the church from the tower to the chancel, in the interior, is
ninety-four feet long, and fifty-two wide, with galleries at the south and
north sides and west end. The accommodation is for one thousand persons,
of which three hundred seats are free and unappropriated. The ceiling
above the nave is divided into square compartments, by bold ornamented
beams, with bosses at the intersection, which are painted in imitation of
oak. The side-aisles are groined in imitation of stone, having bosses at
the intersection of the ribs, with corbels for the ribs to rise from.
The pulpit, reading, and clerk's desks accord in style with the building,
and are placed in the centre of the middle aisle, which is ten feet wide.
A handsome stone font is placed in front of the west entrance.
We cannot conclude this account without expressing our admiration of this
beautiful specimen of modern architecture, which, although not free from
defects, possesses architectural merit in a very high degree. The uniform
correctness of style in the detail, the beautiful and finely-proportioned
spire, the chaste and elegant tracery of the windows, the light ornamental
buttresses and pinnacles, all combine to give a character to the building
pleasing and satisfactory, and reflect great credit on the architects,
Messrs. Woodhead and Hurst, of Doncaster.
The building was consecrated by his Grace the Archbishop of York, on the
10th of September, 1829; and the church opened for divine service on the
1st of November following.
The Rev. Henry Branson is appointed the first minister to this church; and
the friends of the establishment will hear with satisfaction that, since
the opening, the number of worshippers has increased by those who formerly
attended the dissenting meeting-houses in the town and neighbourhood.
A subscription has been raised for an organ, which is now building by Gray,
* * * * *
MAGNA CHARTA ISLAND.
(_To the Editor_.)
An early and constant subscriber to the _Mirror_ is very much pleased with
the view of _Magna Charta Island_, in No. 467; but there is something more
attached to this spot than the Editor seems aware of.
About half a mile from _Magna Charta Island_, on the right bank of the
river, in the parish of Wyrardisbury, is a farm house, for many years past
in the occupation of a family of the name of "Groome," as tenants to the
late Alderman Gill, holding an estate in the aforesaid parish. This farm
house was a residence of _King John, whose arms_ are beautifully, painted,
or emblazoned, on stained glass in the windows of the house.
In the kitchen of this farm-house is, or has been, a table of antique
manufacture, upon which the identical _Magna Charta_ was signed, and upon
which the writer hereof has written and sealed many a letter, and partaken
of many a glass of home-brewed ale, and bread and cheese equally
homely--that is, _genuine_. This table is considered as an _heir loom_ in
the family of Mr. Gill, and if removed at all, has been removed to the
It is an erroneous idea that _Magna Charta_ was signed on Runnymede: it
was signed on _Magna Charta Island_, which goes a great way to prove the
identity of the table. If reference is made to the signing of treaties
generally, as well in ancient as in modern times, it will appear that they
have been signed at a distance from the scene of action; each party
(particularly in feudal times) being attended by an equal number of
adherents, to prevent surprise or stratagem.
The writer hereof has caught many a trout and perch off the banks opposite
to the island, and has passed many a contemplative hour on the events of
former ages, which have rendered the spot particularly interesting.
_Gray's Walk, Lambeth._
*** If the writer is not mistaken, _Magna Charta Island_ is an appurtenant
to the manor of Wyrardisbury, and adjoins an estate called _Ankerwicke_,
upon the grounds of which are the remains of an ancient monastery, or
* * * *
THE WATER KING'S BRIDE.
FROM THE GERMAN OF SCHILLER.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Light o'er the water the sun's ray glanc'd,
While the youths and maidens of Tubingen danc'd.
A stranger youth of noble mien,
Proffered his hand to the village queen.
"Youth, say why is thine hand so white?
The water knows not the daybeams light;
Youth, oh why is so cold thine arm,
Can it in Neckar's flood be warm?"
He led her away from the lime-tree's shade;
"Return my daughter," her mother said.
He led her on to the stream so clear,
"Oh youth let me go, for I tremble with fear."
He danc'd till they reach'd the Neckar's bank,
One shriek, one plunge, in the wave they sank.
"Farewell, farewell, to thee, Tubingen's pride,
Maiden, thou art the Water King's Bride."
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
The following curious compliment to the fair sex is extracted from an old
play, entitled "Cupid's Whirligig:"--
"Who would abuse your sex that knows it? O Woman! were we not born of
you?--should we not then honour you? Nursed by you, and not regard you?
Made for you, and not seek you! And since we were made before you, should
we not live and admire you as the last and most perfect work of Nature?
_Man was made when Nature was but an apprentice_; but _Woman when she was
a skilful mistress of her art_. By your love we live in double breath,
even in our offspring after death. Are not all vices masculine, and
virtues feminine? Are not the muses the loves of the learned? Do not all
noble spirits follow the graces because they are women? There is but one
phoenix, and she is a female. Was not the princess and foundress of good
arts, Minerva, born of the brain of highest Jove, a woman? Has not woman
the face of love, the tongue of persuasion, and the body of delight? O
divine, perfectioned woman! If to be of thy sex is so excellent, what is
it then to be a woman enriched by nature, made excellent by education,
noble by birth, chaste by virtue, adorned by beauty!--a fair woman, which
is the ornament of heaven, the grace of earth, the joy of life, and the
delight of all sense, even the very _summum bonum_ of man's existence."
Burns must have had somewhat of the same idea as that which I have
underlined, when he wrote--
"Her 'prentice han' she tried on man,
And then she made the lasses O!"
* * * * *
THE VICTORY OF THE CID.
(_For the Mirror_.)
The subject of the following lines is mentioned in the traditional
histories of Spain: that on one occasion, to insure victory in a nocturnal
attack on the Moslem camp, the body of the Cid was taken from the tomb,
and carried in complete armour to the field of battle.
Not a voice was heard at our hour of need,
When we plac'd the corse on his barbed steed,
Save one, that the blessing gave.
Not a light beam'd on the charnel porch
Save the glare which flash'd from the warrior's torch,
O'er the death-pale face of the brave.
We press'd the helm on his ghastly head,
We bound a sword to the hand of the dead,
When the Cid went forth to fight.
Oh where was Castile's battle cry,
The shout of St. James and victory,
And the Christians stalwart might?
The winds swept by with mournful blast,
And sigh'd through the plumes of the dead as he past,
Through troublous skies the clouds flitted fast,
And the moon her pale beam faintly cast,
Where the red cross banner stream'd,
But each breeze bore the shouts of the Moslem throng,
Each sigh was echoed by Paynim song;
Where the silvery crescent beam'd.
Undrawn was the rein, and his own good sword
Ungrasp'd by the nerveless hand of its lord;
His steed pac'd on with solemn tread,
'Neath the listless weight of the mighty deed.
But each warrior's heart beat high,
As he mark'd the beacon's wavering flash,
And heard the Moorish cymbal clash,
For he knew that the Cid was nigh.
We bore him back to his silent bed,
When his plumes with Paynim blood were red,
And the mass was sung, and the prayer was said
For the conqueror from the grave.
We wrapp'd him again in his funeral vest,
We placed his sword on the clay cold breast,
And o'er the place of the hero's rest,
Bade Castile's banner wave.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
THE AEOLOPHON, A NEWLY-INVENTED INSTRUMENT.
When Lord Stanhope first launched his model-boat on the Serpentine, no one
expected to see the time when steam and paddles should suffice to carry "a
tall ship" across the broad Atlantic. As little did we, when we were first
amused by that very pretty musical toy, the German Eolina, anticipate,
that within three years we should hear such an instrument as the one we
are about to describe. In shape, size, and compass, the AEOLOPHON is the
counterpart of a babinet piano-forte, having six octaves of keys extending
from FF to F; and its sounds are produced by a series of metallic springs,
set in vibration by the action of the air produced from a bellows. It has
three pedals--one for filling the wind-chest, and the others regulating
the swell. The tone of this instrument, particularly in the middle and
lower parts of its compass, is among the most beautiful we have ever heard,
and much superior, both in body and quality, to that of any chamber organ
of equal size; added to which, the Aeolophon has the inestimable advantage
of never varying its pitch, or getting out of tune.
From the nature of this instrument, it will be readily conceived that its
best effects are displayed in slow movements, and the sustaining and
swelling long notes; but, to our surprise as well as pleasure, we found
that a running passage, even of semitones, could be executed upon it, if
not with all the distinctness of a Drouet or a Nicholson, with as much
clearness as on any organ. As an accompaniment to the piano-forte, it will
be found an admirable substitute for the flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon,
or even violoncello; but perhaps its widest range of usefulness will be
discovered in small orchestras, where the set of wind instruments is
incomplete--the effects of any, or even all of which, may be supplied by
one or two performers on the Aeolophon reading from the score, or even
from separate parts.
It is now about a year since that a patent was obtained for the springs,
and this peculiar mode of applying them, by Messrs. Day and Co.;
immediately upon hearing the effect of which, Mr. Chappell, of Bond-street,
entered into an engagement with the patentees for the agency of their
patent, and the manufacture of instruments under it.
On the 27th of November last Mr. Chappell was honoured with a command to
exhibit the powers of this new instrument before their Majesties, his
Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, and a small circle of nobility, at St.
James's Palace; when it gave so much satisfaction, that some of the pieces
played upon it were repeated by command, and the whole performance lasted
from nine o'clock till past eleven, when the royal party retired.
(We quote the preceding from _The Harmonicon_, a Journal of Music and
Musical Literature, of high promise. Its recommendation of _The Aeolophon_
may be allowed to rest upon the character of the Journal for critical
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
Returning (said my friend Mrs. S.) once upon a time, some fifty miles from
a country visit, a few difficulties regarding my conveyance to town were
at length decided by my taking a seat in the ---- Telegraph. A
respectable-looking, middle-aged woman, in widow's mourning, was, I found,
to be my companion for the whole way, whose urbanity and loquacity,
combined, soon afforded me the important information that she was
travelling over England, in order to take the advice of several of the
faculty touching the case of "a poor cripple--a _gentleman_--a relation of
hers." A _gentleman_! But scarcely had I taken another survey of the
honest dame, in order to assure myself that she at least was not a member
of the aristocracy of Great Britain, and thereby to instruct my judgment
as to the actual rank of him whom she designated by so proud a title, when
I was favoured with a long history of "the _lady_ who lost her shawl,
which _I_ found--and she has _visited_ me ever since." A _lady_!--and a
lady, good, agreeable, and condescending, no doubt; but--the query
occurred to my mind involuntarily--what kind of _lady_ must she be who
would "come oft'n to take a cup o' tea, or a sup o' sommat better, wi' me,
in my poor little place?"
I confess, this voluntary information, not less than the tone and language
in which it was delivered, prejudiced me so little in favour of my
companion, that I took up pencil and paper, and was shortly wrapped in the
most agreeable reverie. Briefly, I was in the exquisite _Land of Faerie_:
I beheld the beautiful little people; their tiny feet twinkled in the
dance; their small arms waved lightly and gently; and their perfect forms
were miniature models of all loveliness and grace;--the rosy blush of
affection tinted the delicate cheeks of the fair; their eyes gleamed, like
the minute gems which cluster around the ice-plant;--and lo! a pair, as
far different from these as is darkness from light, now peered into my
face, and a voice, very unlike the blissful tones of the gay music of
Faery Land, exclaimed,
"Um 'fear'd you ar'n't well, mum, hey?"
"Thank you, I am perfectly well."
"Are you indeed? why you set up your eyes, and looked as pale and _peekin_
like, as if you'd seen a _sperrit_."
"Did I? perhaps I was thinking; and naturally I am very pale."
"Oh well--um glad 'tis no _wuss_; but setting there as you do, with your
back to the _osses_, 'tis the most foolishest thing in the _wuld_, for a
sickly-like-looking cretur, as I may say yourself, to think on--_du_ come
o' this side."
I declined the good woman's proposition, alleging that riding backwards I
always found the best preventive of illness from the motion of the vehicle.
"Now really," I exclaimed she, almost aghast with astonishment, "that is
curous! But um fear'd you're faint, though you won't tell me so. Here,"
handing to me a large basket, well stored, I perceived, with provender,
"take a _happle_, or a bun, or a sand_wage_, or a bit o' gingerbread--and
a fine thing too it is for the stomach--or a pear, or a puff, or a
_chiscake_;--_I_ always take a cup of chocolate, and a slice of rich
plum-cake, every morning after breakfast: 'tis peticklar wholesome, a
_gentleman_ of my acquaintance says; and this I know, I should be dead in
no time if I didn't--so _du_ take something."
I could not be so ill-natured as to reject all the offers made me by this
benevolent, but uncouth _gentlewoman_, so accepted a sandwich, and thereby
giving her, as it were, a signal to commence operations. To work she
applied herself upon the contents of her wicker store-room, with such
hearty good-will, that I imagined myself secured from her volubility for
at least one hour. Alas! alas! her tongue and her teeth were, I verily
believe, running a race; and when the good dame discovered that to her
queries and remarks I deigned not a reply, she "just was _so_ glad there
was somebody in the coach to talk to, for 'twas the most _moanfullest_
thing in the wuld to go journeying on and on, for long, long miles,
without ever 'earing a body speak." I would not appear to understand my
persevering friend's insinuation, and was quickly lost in the charming
description of wild, woodland scenery, afforded by one of Sir Walter's
novels: here a slight bridge hung, as in air, between gigantic rocks, and
over a foaming cataract; there, a light column of bluish, curling smoke
told of the shepherd's shieling, situated, bosomed in trees, amid some
solitary pass of the mountains; here, the dark, melancholy pine reared its
mournful head, companioned by the sable fir, the larch, the service-tree,
and the wild cherry; there, the silvery willow laved its drooping branches
in the stormy flood; whilst, with the white foam of the joyous exulting
waters, all trees of beauty, majesty, and grace, rising from a
richly-verdant turfing, formed a delightful contrast. I heard the cry of
the soaring eaglet, as he rose from his eyry in the rock; wild, but
pleasant music was in the cool, strong wind, which flowed now roughly
around, and lashed me, like the sweeping sea-wave.
"Hey? Um 'fear'd you're a trifle ard of 'earing, arn't you? Why then put a
roasted _ingin_ when you go to bed into your _earn_, and I'll warrant
'twill cure you if you do 't _reglar_."
"O dear, no ma'am," I replied; "indeed I'm not _deaf_," with a peculiar
emphasis on this last word.
"_No_? Well, I do declare then, I've been haxing you to admire this fine
country for _this_ ten minutes;--only look! 'tis a vast deal more bootiful
than the road I travelled t'other day!"
So, to please the honest woman, I looked at her "fine country," and beheld
on my side the road (for we were sitting at cross corners) a stunted
hedge-row, inclosing a field or two of stubble; and on hers, a sear,
dismal heath, whereupon were marshalled, in irregular array, a few
miserable, brown furze bushes; amongst which, a meagre, shaggy ass, more
miserable still, with his hind legs logged and chained, was endeavouring
to pick up a scanty subsistence. What the road of the other day could have
been, it surpassed even my capacity, with this specimen of "the bootiful"
before me, to surmise; but my companion was evidently one of those
enviable individuals, whose ignorance is indeed their happiness, or whose
imagination supplies the deficiencies of bare reality.
Shortly afterwards we took up another passenger--a "_lady_" also--whose
figure was youthful, and whose face, perhaps, was not otherwise; but as
she was weeping bitterly, her features were concealed by a white cambric
_mouchoir_ from my curious gaze. Poor creature! Had she parted from a
lover?--a parent?--a child? Was she a reduced lady, quitting, for the
first time and the last, her paternal home, to seek, by the exertion of
her talents, or the labour of her hands, a precarious subsistence in the
cold, wide world? Had she hurried from the bed of death? or, did she
merely indulge in the soft sentimental sorrow, induced by Colburn's, or
Longman's, or Newman's last novel? Alas! the fair mourner informed us not.
I felt delicate on the point of intruding upon private sorrows, and so, I
presume, did my loquacious friend for she was actually _silent_;--albeit,
I perceived that the good woman was embarrassed as to the line of conduct
she ought to adopt towards the afflicted stranger. To make acquaintance
with, and comfort her, was the prompting of her benevolent heart; so she
put a blue glass bottle of smelling-salts into the mournful lady's hand,
which was immediately returned with a dignified, repellant bow. The basket
of provisions was next offered; but this the weeping fair one, it was
clear, did not _see_; and my honest widow, not a little disconcerted, made
yet another attempt to console one who evidently "_would_ not be
comforted," by a full, particular, and authentic relation of certain woful
passages in her own monotonous life. All, however, would not do--Niobe
still wept; and the widow and I felt ourselves in a very awkward,
After awhile, however, we took up another passenger--a "_lady_" again--and,
Heaven bless the woman! one even more voluble than my first companion, and
decidedly more candid, since she had not been seated five minutes in the
vehicle, ere she unblushingly announced herself--a _baker's wife_! Good
Heavens! and in these march-of-intellect and refinement days, too! Well
might Niobe wake with a start from her trance of woe, and, glancing
sovereign contempt upon the new, unconscious passenger, discover to me a
countenance as plain, withered, and fraught with the impress of evil
passions, as that of the _Lady in the Sacque_, in Sir Walter's tale of the
Tapestried Chamber. I never beheld so fretful and malignant-looking a
being!--and the contrast which her visage afforded to that of my
kind-hearted widow, which beamed with satisfaction and good-humour, was
quite remarkable. This "lady," indeed, now appeared to have regained her
native element, and not to be out-done in frankness by Mistress Baker,
first avowed herself the widow of a chandler, but lately retired from
business; and subsequently I gathered from her discourse that the
_gentleman_ her relation was, until his infirmity deprived him of the
situation--_groom_, in a REAL gentleman's family (the distinction I
particularly admired); and that the _lady_, her condescending friend, was
a grocer's daughter! Niobe, at this precise point of the conversation,
bestowed a ghastly grin upon the new allies, and producing from her
reticule a well-soiled and much be-thumbed volume (whether of plays, or a
novel, I could not discern), commenced perusing it with an avidity
apparently unchecked by its disgusting odour, the which powerfully
assailed me. I, too, was allowed by my loquacious widow, now that she had
fallen in with a bird of her own feather, to read in peace for the space
of some three or four miles; but at length my attention was aroused from
my book by the loud voice of Mrs. Baker, who was promulgating to Dame
Chandler the mysterious manner in which she fattened her dogs, by giving
them, twice or thrice a day, a quartern loaf, crumbed, and sopped in
melted fat, or dripping, which saved meat, since the animals liked that
food far better. But at this instant the Telegraph stopped; and the
coachman demanding his fare, since she had reached the place at which she
had desired to be set down, a violent altercation ensued between them
respecting sixpence; and finally the _lady_ just stepped out of the
vehicle in time to save herself from the indignity of being pulled from it
by its infuriated driver.
"A fine _sturren_ (stirring), business-like woman!" exclaimed the widow,
as we again proceeded; "likelies to turn a penny whiles other folks lay a
bed snoring; but mortal wasteful um sure, for one that talks about saving!
Meat indeed she may save; but lauk now, only _consate_ the _grase_ she
gives 'em confounded brutes, and the _taller trade_ so low!"
"And only think," added I, "of the numbers of poor creatures who are
starving, whilst she bestows quartern loaves of fine white bread upon her
"An' has for saving _meat_," cried Niobe (then did she speak for the first
time), "sure am I, my fath--that's to say, the butchers, wouldn't thank
her for her pains."
Here was a discovery! but a greater was at hand; for when the Telegraph
arrived at its destination--the White Horse, Fetter-lane--a livery-servant
met this sentimental, and inordinately proud, and ill-humoured _lady_; and
after delivering a message from her "_new misses_," called a hackney-coach
to convey her to her "new place."
My honest widow hurried to the bar, in order to obtain some _stomachic_
which should enable her to endure the further fatigue of reaching her own
abode; and Mr. S. (a _real_ gentleman I hope) meeting me, I amused him
uncommonly with this description of my fellow-travellers, as we returned
to our happy home in ---- Square.--M.L.B.
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
MECHANICAL POWER OF COALS.
The Menai Bridge, one of the most stupendous works of art that has been
raised by man in modern ages, consists of a mass of iron, not less than
four millions of pounds in weight, suspended at a medium height of about
120 feet above the sea. The consumption of seven hanhels of coal would
suffice to raise it to the place where it hangs.
The great pyramid of Egypt is composed of granite. It is 700 feet in the
side of its base, and 500 in perpendicular height, and stands on eleven
acres of ground. Its weight is, therefore, 12,760 millions of pounds, at a
medium height of 125 feet; consequently it would be raised by the effort
of about 630 chaldrons of coal, a quantity consumed in some founderies in
The annual consumption of coal in London is estimated at 1,500,000
chaldrons. The effort of this quantity would suffice to raise a cubical
block of marble, 2,200 feet in the side, through a space equal to its own
height, or to pile one such mountain upon another. The Monte Nuovo, near
Pozzuoli, (which was erupted in a single night by volcanic fire,) might
have been raised by such an effort from a depth of 40,000 feet, or about
eight miles.--_Cabinet Cyclopaedia_, vol. xiv.
* * * * *
WONDROUS EFFECTS OF CHEMISTRY.
Not to mention the impulse which its progress has given to a host of other
sciences, what strange and unexpected results has it not brought to light
in its application to some of the most common objects! Who, for instance,
would have conceived that linen rags were capable of producing _more than
their own weight of sugar_, by the simple agency of one of the cheapest
and most abundant acids?--that dry bones could be a magazine of nutriment,
capable of preservation for years, and ready to yield up their sustenance
in the form best adapted to the support of life, on the application of
that powerful agent, steam, which enters so largely into all our processes,
or of an acid at once cheap and durable?--that sawdust itself is
susceptible of conversion into a substance bearing no remote analogy to
bread; and though certainly less palatable than that of flour, yet noway
disagreeable, and both wholesome and digestible as well as highly
* * * * *
FIRST ENGLISH COLONY IN AMERICA.
The first attempt of the English to effect any settlement in America, was
made by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who, in the month of June, 1578, obtained a
patent from Queen Elizabeth, authorizing him to plant a colony in that
country. Gilbert's project failed; but it was afterwards resumed by his
half-brother, the celebrated Sir Walter Raleigh, who, in 1584, obtained a
patent similar to that which had been granted to Gilbert, and next year
planted a colony at the mouth of the Roanoke, naming the country
_Virginia_ in honour of his royal mistress. But all these settlers, as
well as others who crossed the Atlantic during the next twenty years,
either perished by famine and disease, or by the hands of the Indians, or
returned to England.--_Cabinet Cyclopaedia_, vol. xiii.; _being_ vol. i.
_of the History of the Western World--United States of America_.
* * * * *
TRADITIONS OF THE INDIANS.
According to the unambitious belief of the Osages, a people living on the
banks of one of the lower tributaries of the Missouri, they are sprung
from a snail and a beaver. The Mandans believe their ancestors once lived
in a large village under ground, near a subterranean lake; that by means
of a vine tree, which extended its roots to their cheerless habitation,
they got a glimpse of the light; that informed by some adventurers, who
had visited the upper world, of the numerous buffaloes pasturing on the
plains, and of the trees loaded with delicious fruits, the whole nation,
with one consent, began to ascend the roots of the vine; but that, when
about the half of them had reached the surface, a corpulent woman climbing
up, broke the roots by her weight; that the earth immediately closed, and
concealed for ever from those below the cheering beams of the sun. From a
people who entertain such fanciful notions of their origin, no valuable
information concerning their early history can be expected.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
POLITE SLAUGHTERING OF AN ENEMY.
At times, an Indian warrior, when about to kill and scalp a prostrate
enemy, addresses him in such terms as the following:--
"My name is Cashegra: I am a famous warrior, and am going to kill you. When
you reach the land of spirits, you will see the ghost of my father: tell
him it was Cashegra sent you there." The uplifted tomahawk then descends
upon his victim.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
A SCENE ON THE "COSTA FIRME."
I was awakened by the low growling, and short bark of the dog. The night
was far spent; the tiny sparks of the fire-flies that were glancing in the
doorway, began to grow pale; the chirping of the crickets and lizards, and
the _snore_ of the tree-toad waxed fainter, and the wild cry of the
tiger-cat was no longer heard. The _terral_, or land-wind, which is
usually strongest towards morning, moaned loudly on the hillside, and came
rushing past with a melancholy _sough_, through the brushwood that
surrounded the hut, shaking off the heavy dew from the palm and cocoa nut
trees, like large drops of rain.
The hollow tap of the woodpecker; the clear flute note of the _Pavo del
monte_; the discordant shriek of the macaw; the shrill _chirr_ of the wild
Guinea fowl; and the chattering of the paroquets began to be heard from
the wood. The ill-omened _gallinaso_ was sailing and circling round the
hut, and the tall flamingo was stalking on the shallows of the lagoon, the
haunt of the disgusting alligator, that lay beneath, divided from the sea
by a narrow mud bank, where a group of pelicans, perched on the wreck of
one of our boats, were pluming themselves before taking wing. In the east,
the deep blue of the firmament, from which the lesser stars were fast
fading, all but the "Eye of Morn," was warming into magnificent purple,
and the amber rays of the yet unrisen sun were shooting up, streamer-like,
with intervals between, through the parting clouds, as they broke away
with a passing shower, that fell like a veil of silver gauze between us
and the first primrose-coloured streaks of a tropical dawn.
"That's a musket shot," said the lieutenant. The Indian crept on his belly
to the door, dropped his chin on the ground, and placed his open palms
behind his ears. The distant wail of a bugle was heard, then three or four
dropping shots again, in rapid succession. Mr. Splinter stooped to go
forth, but the Indian caught him by the leg, uttering the single word
On the instant a young Indian woman, with a shrieking infant in her arms,
rushed to the door. There was a blue gunshot wound in her neck, from which
two or three large black clotting gouts of blood were trickling. Her long
black hair was streaming in coarse braids, and her features were pinched
and sharpened, as if in the agony of death. She glanced wildly behind, and
gasped out, "_Escapa, Oreeyue, escapa, para mi soi, muerto ya_." Another
shot, and the miserable creature convulsively clasped her child, whose
small shrill cry I often fancy I hear to this hour, blending with its
mother's death-shriek, and, falling backwards, rolled over the brow of the
hill out of sight. The ball had pierced the heart of the parent through
the body of her offspring. By this time a party of Spanish soldiers had
surrounded the hut, one of whom kneeling before the low door, pointed his
musket into it. The Indian, who had seen his wife and child thus cruelly
shot down before his face, now fired his rifle, and the man fell dead.
"_Sigi mi Querida Bondia--maldito_." Then springing to his feet, and
stretching himself to his full height, with his arms extended towards
heaven, while a strong shiver shook him like an ague fit, he yelled forth
the last words he ever uttered, "_Venga la suerte, ya soi listo_," and
resumed his squatting position on the ground. Half-a-dozen musket balls
were now fired at random through the wattles, while the lieutenant, who
spoke Spanish well, sung out lustily, that we were English officers who
had been shipwrecked. "_Mentira_," growled the officer of the party,
"_Piratas son ustedes_." "Pirates leagued with Indian bravoes; fire the
hut, soldiers, and burn the scoundrels!" There was no time to be lost; Mr.
Splinter made a vigorous attempt to get out, in which I seconded him, with
all the strength that remained to me, but they beat us back again with the
buts of their muskets.
"Where are your commissions, your uniforms, if you be British officers?"
We had neither, and our fate appeared inevitable.
The doorway was filled with brushwood, fire was set to the hut, and we
heard the crackling of the palm thatch, while thick stifling wreaths of
white smoke burst in upon us through the roof.
"Lend a-hand, Tom, now or never, and kick up the dark man there," but he
sat still as a statue. We laid our shoulders to the end wall, and heaved
at it with all our might; when we were nearly at the last gasp it gave way,
and we rushed headlong into the middle of the party, followed by Sneezer
with his shaggy coat, that was full of clots of tar blazing like a torch.
He unceremoniously seized "_par le queue_," the soldier who had throttled
me, setting fire to the skirts of his coat, and blowing up his cartouch
box. I believe under Providence, that the ludicrousness of this attack
saved us from being bayonetted on the spot. It gave time for Mr. Splinter
to recover his breath, when being a powerful man, he shook off the two
soldiers who had seized him, and dashed into the burning hut again. I
thought he was mad, especially when I saw him return with his clothes and
hair on fire, dragging out the body of the captain. He unfolded the sail
it was wrapped in, and pointing to the remains of the naval uniform in
which the mutilated and putrifying corpse was dressed, he said sternly to
the officer, "We are in your power, and you may murder us if you will; but
_that_ was my captain four days ago, and you see, _he_ at least was a
British officer--satisfy yourself." The person he addressed, a handsome
young Spaniard, with a clear olive complexion, oval face, small brown
mustachios, and large black eyes, shuddered at the horrible spectacle, but
did as he was requested.
When he saw the crown and anchor, and his majesty's cipher on the
appointments of the dead officer, he became convinced of our quality, and
changed his tone--"_Es verdat, son de la marina Englesa_;" "But gentlemen,
were there not three persons in the hut?" There were indeed--the flames
had consumed the dry roof and walls with incredible rapidity, and by this
time they had fallen in, but Oreeque was no where to be seen. I thought I
saw something move in the midst of the fire, but it might have been fancy.
Again the white ashes heaved, and a half-consumed hand and arm were thrust
through the mouldering mass, then a human head, with the scalp burnt from
the skull, and the flesh from the chaps and cheek-bones; the trunk next
appeared, the bleeding ribs laid bare, and the miserable Indian, with his
limbs like scorched rafters, stood upright before us, like a demon in the
midst of the fire. He made no attempt to escape, but reeling to and fro
like a drunken man, fell headlong, raising clouds of smoke and a shower of
sparks in his fall. Alas! poor Oreeque, the newly risen sun was now
shining on your ashes, and on the dead bodies of the ill-starred Bondia
and her child, whose bones, ere his setting, the birds of the air, and
beasts of the forest, will leave as white and fleshless as your own. The
officer, who belonged to the army investing Carthagena, now treated us
with great civility; he heard our story, and desired his men to assist us
in burying the remains of our late commander.
We remained all day on the same part of the coast, but towards evening the
party fell back on the outpost to which they belonged--after travelling an
hour or so we emerged from a dry river course, in which the night had
over-taken us, and came suddenly on a small plateau, where the post was
established on the promontory of "_Punto Canoa_." There may be braver
soldiers at a charge, but none more picturesque in a _bivouac_ than the
Spanish. A gigantic wild cotton-tree, to which our largest English oaks
were but as dwarfs, rose on one side, and overshadowed the whole level
The bright beams of the full moon glanced among the topmost leaves, and
tipped the higher branches with silver, contrasting strangely with the
scene below, where a large watch-fire cast a strong red glare on the
surrounding objects, throwing up dense volumes of smoke, which eddied in
dun wreaths amongst the foliage, and hung in the still night air like a
canopy, leaving the space beneath comparatively clear.
A temporary guard-house, with a rude verandah of bamboos and palm leaves,
had been built between two of the immense spurs of the mighty tree, that
shot out many yards from the parent stem like wooden buttresses, whilst
overhead there was a sort of stage made of planks laid across the lower
boughs, supporting a quantity of provisions covered with tarpaulins. The
sentries in the back ground with their glancing arms, were seen pacing on
their watch; some of the guard were asleep on wooden benches, and on the
platform amongst the branches, where a little baboon-looking old man, in
the dress of a drummer, had perched himself, and sat playing a Biscayan
air on a sort of bagpipe; others were gathered round the fire cooking
their food, or cleaning their arms.
It shone brightly on the long line of Spanish transports that were moored
below, _stem on_ to the beach, and on the white sails of the armed craft
that were still hovering under weigh in the offing, which, as the night
wore on, stole in, one after another, like phantoms of the ocean, and
letting go their anchors with a splash, and a hollow rattle of the cable,
remained still and silent as the rest.
Farther off, it fell in a crimson stream on the surface of the sheltered
bay, struggling with the light of the gentle moon, and tinging with blood
the small waves that twinkled in her silver wake, across which a guard
boat would now and then glide, like a fairy thing, the arms of the men
flashing back the red light.
Beyond the influence of the hot smoky glare, the glorious planet reassumed
her sway in the midst of her attendant stars, and the relieved eye
wandered forth into the lovely night, where the noiseless sheet lightning
way glancing, and ever and anon lighting up for an instant some fantastic
shape in the fleecy clouds, like prodigies forerunning the destruction of
the stronghold over which they impended; while beneath, the lofty ridge of
the convent-crowned Popa, the citadel of San Felipe bristling with cannon,
the white batteries and many towers of the fated city of Carthagena, and
the Spanish blockading squadron at anchor before it, slept in the
We were civilly received by the captain, who apologized for the discomfort
under which we must pass the night. He gave us the best he had, and that
was bad enough, both of food and wine, before showing us into the hut,
where we found a rough deal coffin lying on the very bench that was to be
our bed. This he ordered away with all the coolness in the world. "It was
_only_ one of his people who had died that morning of _vomito_, or yellow
fever." "Comfortable country this," quoth Splinter, "and a pleasant
morning we have had of it, Tom!"
* * * * *
Green be the turf o'er thy head,
Light lie the earth on thy breast,
Peaceful and calm be thy sleep,
Till thou'rt called to rejoice with the blest.
Though we weep, yet we joy at thy lot,
Though we mourn thee, we yet can resign,
Though we sorrow, 'tis not without hope,
Though we lose thee, forbear to repine.
From the cares and the pains of this world
Thy beatified spirit is free,
'Twould be selfish in us to deplore,
For we know that thy God is with thee.
_Royal Lady's Magazine._ No. 1.
* * * * *
THE REBELLION IN STOCK POGIS.
_Answer to Mrs. Jones's Letter in Hood's Comic Annual_.
Padinton third Janeary 1831.
Dr. Mrs. Jones,--I take Pin in hand to Scratch you a few Remarks in return
for your kind Pestle: it however gav me a sevear Blow to hear of my deer
frends Roofall Sitawayshun: keep up your Spirits, do my deer Frend, I dout
not in your next I shall hear you have taken to your Old Rum again down
stairs and find the Windy-Pains in a Hole condishun--Yet what can you
Relie on when the Country Gernals is filled with sheets of Flams of Steaks
and Bairns burnt to their foundhayshones. But let you and me Mrs. J. hop
that these evil Doors may be sicured. I have a bit of Noose for you--Swing
is taken and Lockt up--let us hop then that Steps may be taken for
capshining his Canfeedrats--You enquier what our King and Manystirs think
of Stuck Puggys I beleeve they think your Magasstearall Funkshunareas mite
have shone more Hacktivity and Incision again armed Poplars and
Incieders--but its all owing to the March of Intellx--instid of mindin
there work they are always runnin to heer some Seedishus Ourang or other
on the Harrastocrazy--they now call themselves the Industerious Classis,
formally they was called The Lore Ordurs. My Servint gal atends Love
Feasts and Missinarea Meetins and has the impidence to tell me she has a
Soal as valleyable as my own and actally askt if her minnyster mite be
aloud to come and prepair me for Heavn; but I told the uzzy to prepair
herself for another place and gav her a munths warnin to soot herself--but
about the parleymeant--Hurl Grey the Primer has a load on his sholders
wich I hop he will be able to discharg an all go off quiet: He has pledgd
himself for to the caws for Riform an says hell Redrench evry Place where
he has Grounds: and they all talk about Pooling Mesurs; but the Wetterun
Bishop Sincurers and Cloaths borrowers show pourfull Oppisishun and
perplix and embrace all his Plans--Pettyshuns come in from all Parts for
Necromancypassion, wich I take to be some new plan for washin the
Blackamer wite--also for the vote by Ballad which Mr. Hum supports and
likewis Mr. Oconl the Hireish mimber wich wants the Onion to be repeeled
and caws all Hireland Watery eyes; but I hop sich Cryses will niver
arrive----I supose youve herd Hunt is returnd for Prestun wherby Im sorry
to heer of a incindery sittin in the ows, for he not only first burnt the
Corn but sold it after to the pure Peeple--but is Blackin his good--Our
new lord Canceller Brewem gives us Hops that he will put a end to all the
Old Suits without making any New Breeches wich wrong incisions wold show
Shear hignoranc--but hes no Goos!--Mr. Grant wants to Mancypate the Jews--
Porkreetchers! my next Nabor Levy says they are a Pursycutish Race thogh
they hav Numbers of Genesis among them fit for Trusts on Securitys; but
let who will be in or out somethin must be done. Winters com and the ole
Country wants instand Releafing thoug I hop no Treesunable acts will be
manny fisted be the Peeple--Nobody now cant sell nothing Goods hangs on
hand and Malefactors are dropping in every line--Soverins is scars and
Peeples ready to tear each other to peeces for um--We want some
change----In the Naborhood of Manshister thirty thousn Wafers are in a
state of Risibility which is no laughin matter, havin struck for more Wags
tho' they get therty shillins a Weak and are always in Labor!--this
abolition of feelin shold be checkt, for if it is to go on it will most
likly continew----As you observe, the Rag for Chang is grate--as they say
The Scullmasters Abroad and the Scull all in confushon--Old Head devices
done away with and Hairy Cassles supplyin the place--Aspics on the
Continence seem very embracing--tho the Trials in France is over the
People are in Truble--I hope the Rising in the Low Kantrys is over--The
Poles seem to be makin head again the Rushons in great Armd Bodis--bent on
Deth or imprisonment to get Liberty--In short all Eurups in Harms; but
nothins so Barberus as Civil comoshins Hopin all is over with You, and
restin asshurd Stuck Puggys is not likely to rise again, I conclude
remaining Your sincer Frend and well wisher A HUMPHRIES.
 From the _Literary Gazette_. See Notice of the _Comic
Annual_--_Mirror_, No. 467.
* * * * *
SOME PASSAGES FROM THE DIARY OF THE LATE MR. ST. JOHN LONG.
"Aye--there's the _rub_."--HAMLET.
"'Tis all one!" said I, laying down the newspaper on the breakfast table,
after reading an erroneous representation of myself and the Marquess of
Sligo:--"I am resolved to remove this stain from my character, and, if
_hard-rubbing_ can do it, I may hope to succeed." I had scarcely
pronounced these words, when my servant entered the room to inform me that
a person had arrived in breathless haste, imploring my assistance for a
gentleman in a dying condition. Heedful, as I ever am to attend to the
sufferings of others--a pursuit in which I have found ample fee-licity--I
drew on my boots and followed the applicant to the house of the suffering
gentleman. This was situated in a picturesque part of the metropolis, and,
on knocking, the door was opened to me by a man who might be six and forty
years of age--there, or thereabout. Guessing the purport of my visit, he
said nothing, but led me up to his master's room, when a spectacle of the
most appalling character met my eyes. A gentleman in the prime of life,
lay extended on a bed--his hair dishevelled, his dress disordered, and his
complexion a midway hue between the tints of chalk and Cheshire cheese.
His tongue hung out of his mouth, loaded with evidence of internal strife.
I naturally believed that the present was a confirmed case of _phthisis
pulmonalis_, and I accordingly had recourse to my well known, and,
with-few-exceptions-always-successful remedy of inhaling. In this instance,
however, it did not answer my expectations. Instead of benefitting the
_trachea_, it produced a sympathetic affection of the stomach and
diaphragm, and the _oesophagus_ formed the medium of communication between
the patient and myself. Having taken a pinch of snuff, I was about to give
my other infallible remedy a fair trial, when the patient opened his eyes.
But, gracious heaven! what eyes! The visual orb was swoln, blood-shot,
troubled and intolerably dull. At the same moment, some incoherent
expressions fell from the unfortunate gentleman. After a reference to the
kidneys, he seemed to wish for something to be found in the _coal-hole_,
or the _cider-cellar_; but the search of the servant below stairs was
unavailing. I now began to apprehend delirium. To be sure of the state of
his mind, I inquired if there were any clergyman whom he would wish to see:
He exclaimed, "O venerable old Offley!" But when I expressed to the
servants a wish that this reverend gentleman might be sent for, they
assured me that they had never heard of him! The patient then muttered
some inarticulate sounds, and turned on his side. This position being
favourable for my original operation of rubbing, I slit up the back of his
coat, waistcoat, and all other vestmental impediments, and smartly applied
a solution of _tartarised antimony_ along the course of the spine. The
effect was instantaneous on the alimentary canal, and a griping in the
transverse arch of the _colon_ well nigh put a full stop to the patient's
sufferings. The _ductus communis choledochus_ again deluged the stomach,
and with the customary consequences. The scene now, became almost
insupportable. An aged nurse, who had, from the infancy of the patient,
been his domestic, declared that she could hold out no longer. Poor
creature! the tear of affection glistened in her eye; while her convulsed
features betrayed uncontrollable sensations. It was a struggle between the
heart and the stomach: the heart, remained true, but the stomach turned.
At this the patient commenced cursing, swearing, and blaspheming, in a way
which will be found fully detailed with all due dashes --! --! --! &c. &c.
in the last number of a Northern magazine. "Zounds!" cried he, starting up
on his _seant_--"Who are you? who sent for you? May the fiends catch you
and cleave to you for ever! Give us the hips! a small glass of brandy! ha!
ha! ha! O my back! D--n all doctors! Here am I stung and tortured with
_gastritis, hepatitis, splenitis, nephritis, epistaxis, odontalgia,
cardialgia, diarhoea,_ and a whole legion of devils with Latin names! D--n
all doctors again, say I!" And with this exclamation, he hurled a curious
crown of crockery at my head, which fitted on so tightly, that only by
breaking it, could I disengage myself from the delfic diadem. I hastily
ran down stairs, and, meeting the man of six and forty in the passage, I
inquired of him very minutely concerning the state of his master. He
answered all my questions with perfect candour, and not without a certain
archness of look and manner rather unusual among men of six and forty in
his rank of life. From all I elicited, and also from certain corroborative
proofs, which I do not think it necessary now to specify, I have no
hesitation in declaring, for the information of the profession to which I
do not belong, and of the public generally, that in this case my abstruse
remedies had not a fair trial, inasmuch as the patient's state was
vulgarly simple. He had been _drunk_ the night before!
J. ST. J.L.
* * * * *
HISTORY OF THE PENNY.
(_For the Mirror_.)
"She sighs and shakes her empty shoes in vain,
No _silver-penny_ to reward her pain."
According to Camden and Spelman, the ancient English penny was the
first silver coin struck in England, and the only one current among our
In the time of Ethelred, it was equal in weight to our threepence. Till
the time of King Edward I. the penny was struck with a cross, so deeply
indented in it, that it might be easily broken, and parted on occasion
into two parts, thence called _half-pennies_; or into four, thence called
_fourthings_, or _farthings_; but that prince coined it without indenture,
in lieu of which he struck round halfpence and farthings. He also reduced
the weight of the penny to a standard, ordering that it should weigh
thirty-two grains of wheat taken out of the middle of the ear. This penny
was called the penny sterling. Twenty of these pence were to weigh an
ounce; whence the penny became a weight, as well as a coin. By subsequent
acts it has been further reduced. In ancient statutes, the penny was used
for all silver money; hence the _ward-penny_, the _avert-penny_, the
The _ward-penny_ was formerly a customary due paid to the sheriff, or
other officer, for maintaining _watch_ and _ward_. It was payable at the
feast of St. Martin; and is still paid within the manor of Sutton Colfield,
in Warwickshire, and that with some very singular ceremonies.
The _aver-penny_, or _average-penny_, was contributed towards the king's
averages, or money given to be freed thereof.
The _rete-penny_ was an ancient customary due of one penny for every
person to the parish priest.
The _schar-penny_ was a compensation paid by tenants who neglected to pen
up their cattle at night in the pounds or yard of their lord, for the
benefit of their dung, or _scearn_, as the Saxons called it.
_Peter-pence_ were an ancient tax of a penny on each house throughout
England, paid to the Pope. It was called _Peter-pence_ because collected
on the day of _St. Peter ad vincula_. By the Saxons it was called
_Rome-feoh_--i.e. the fee of Rome; and also _Rome-scot_, and
_Rome-pennying_, because collected and sent to Rome. And lastly, it was
called _hearth-money_, because every dwelling-house was liable to it,
provided there were thirty pence _vivae pecuniae_ belonging to it--nay,
every religious house, the Abbey of St. Alban's alone excepted. It was
finally prohibited under Queen Elizabeth.
"The money of England (says Chamberlayne) was abused and falsified for a
long time; till Queen Elizabeth, in the year 1560, to her great praise,
called in all such money; since which time, no base money hath been coined
in the Mint of England, but only of pure gold and silver, called _sterling
money_; only of latter time, in relation to the necessity of the poor, and
exchange of great money, a small piece of copper, called a farthing, or
fourth part of a penny, hath been permitted to be coined; and so likewise
an halfpenny of two farthings."
Penny pieces of copper were first issued in England June 26, 1797.
N.B. This is a _penny article_, but it is hoped the reader will not object
to pay _twopence_ for it.
 Derived from _pecunia_.
* * * * *
ORIGIN OF BAIL.
(_For the Mirror_.)
"Worry'd with debts, and past all hopes of _bail_,
The unpity'd wretch lies rotting in a jail."
The system of _giving securities_, or _bail_, to answer an accusation, is
a custom (says Brewer) which appears to have been coeval with the Saxon
nation. This system was, indeed, subsequently carried by the Saxons to a
burthensome and degrading height--not being confined to those who were
accused of crime, but extending to the whole community, who thus gave
surety to answer anticipated criminality. This object was effected by the
division of England into counties, hundreds, and tithings, and by the
direction that every man should belong to some tithing or hundred; which
divisions were pledged to the preservation of the public peace, and were
answerable for the conduct of their inhabitants.
The system of placing all the people under _borh_, or bail, the origin of
which was attributed to Alfred, is first clearly enforced in the laws of
* * * * *
ANCIENT DIVISIONS OF THE DAY.
(_For the Mirror_.)
"See the minutes how they run:
How many makes the hour full compleat,
How many hours bring about the day,
How many days will finish up the year,
How many years a mortal man may live."
The Chaldaeans, Syrians, Persians, and Indians began the day at sun-rise,
and divided both the day and night into four parts. This division of the
day into quarters was in use long before the invention of hours.
The Chinese, who begin their day at midnight, and reckon to the midnight
following, divide this interval into twelve hours, each equal to two of
ours, and distinguished by a name and particular figure.
In Egypt the day was divided into unequal hours. The clock invented by
Ctesibius, of Alexandria, 136 years B.C. was so contrived as to lengthen
or shorten the hours.
The Greeks divided the natural day into twelve hours--a practice derived
from the Babylonians.
The Romans called the time between the rising and setting sun, the natural
day; and the time in the twenty-four hours, the civil day. They began and
ended their civil day at midnight, and derived this practice from their
ancient jurisprudence and rites of religion, established long before they
had any idea of the division into hours. The first sun-dial seen at Rome
was brought from Catania, in Sicily, in the first punic war, as part of
the spoils of that city; and after this period, they divided the day into
twenty-four hours. An officer, called _accendus_, used to proclaim the
hours; and at the bench of justice (says Kennett) gave notice every three
hours what it was o'clock.
Throughout the Turkish empire, time is reckoned by certain portions of the
natural day, resembling the vigils of the ancient Jews and Romans. Public
clocks not being in use, these divisions of time are proclaimed from the
* * * * *
TRAVELLING NOTES IN SOUTH WALES.
_Voyage up the Bristol Channel_.--Two steam-packets ply twice every week
throughout the year between Bristol and Swansea. The opposition has been
so great this season, that the cabin fare is only 5_s_. and the steerage
2_s_. 6_d_. for a distance of seventy-five miles. The voyage down is
performed in fine weather in about six hours; while, in consequence
of the tide being adverse, it requires from nine to ten hours to make the
voyage up the Channel. We hardly know any voyage so pleasant of the same
length, for the scenery along the shores of the Severn sea, as it is well
known, is singularly romantic and beautiful. We will give a rapid
description of the voyage to Bristol:--Let us suppose ourselves darting
between Swansea pier-heads, in the well-known _Palmerston_ steamer, with
her opponent, the _Bristol_, in her wake. After crossing Swansea Bay, you
pass Porthcawl, about fifteen miles from Swansea, where a harbour has been
formed, at a great expense, by an extensive new coal company, whose works
lie fourteen miles distant. This coast is exposed to all the fury of the
Atlantic, the surf against the cliffs appearing very distinct at Swansea;
and the task of forming the Breakwater must have been a difficult one. The
steamers now keep close along shore, in a channel inside the Nass
Sands--an extensive and dangerous bank to seaward. The contrast between
the immense and tumultuous masses of breakers over these sands,
particularly if the wind is fresh, and the calmness of the narrow channel
you are securely traversing, is very impressive. These sands, and another
large shoal called the Skerweathers, nearer Swansea, have been fatal to
many vessels. In rough weather, however, the steamers go outside, which
lengthens the passage considerably. A large West Indiaman, with a cargo of
rum, &c., was lost a few years ago on a rock near Porthcawl, called the
Tusca, which disappears at high-water; and a dreadful scene of riot
occurred amongst the peasantry along shore in consequence. The coast near
Porthcawl appears at Swansea to be the eastern extremity of the bay; but
the bluff point called the Nass, about eight miles farther, is so in
reality. The coast onwards past the Nass point is almost perpendicular,
the limestone lying in horizontal strata, so as to closely resemble a very
lofty wall. There are several breaks or openings of extreme natural beauty
as you proceed, which have a double effect on the mind when contrasted
with the stern scenery of this wild coast. St. Donat's Castle, the
residence of Mr. T.D.T. Drake, an extensive and antique structure in fine
preservation, with its venerable towers partly embosomed in wood, is
extremely beautiful. The park, studded with deer, shelves gradually down
to the shore; a lofty watch-tower on the heights, and the hanging terraces,
must command a splendid view. St. Donat's Castle is said to have been
built nearly a thousand years ago, and was very strongly fortified: as
many Roman coins have been found here, there has probably been a Roman
station near. An extensive cave, accessible only at low water, near here,
is said to have been the retreat of St. Donat.--The steamers still keep
close along shore, and pass Aberthaw, celebrated for its limestone, till
you near the Flat and Steep Holmes, two conspicuous islands in the middle
of the Channel, about three miles distant from each other. From a lofty
light-house on the Flat Holme, a magnificent view may be obtained on a
clear day of the Channel, with Lundy Island rearing its head above the
How proudly the majestic Severn rides
On the sea--how gloriously in light
The Flat Holme, which is nearly ten miles from Cardiff harbour, forms the
boundary of the port of Bristol; and every seven years the mayor and
corporation of that city visit it, and go through some ceremonies
prescribed by ancient custom. There are some remarkable and interesting
rocks on the Flat Holme: its only inhabitants are a man and his wife, the
attendants at the light-house. This man is created sole lord of the island
by the corporation of Bristol, and has the exclusive right of fishing
round its shores. The Steep Holme is a lofty and barren rock, tenanted
alone by the cormorant and the sea-mew: it is smaller than the Flat Holme.
The following lines are so beautifully descriptive of this lonely and
desolate spot, that we cannot resist transcribing them:
"The sea-bird claims that solitary spot,
And around, loud screaming, wheels
In undisturbed possession: other sounds,
Save those of shrieking winds and battling cliffs.
Are seldom heard in that deserted isle.
The spirit of desolation seems to dwell
Within it; and although the sun is high,
And Nature is at holy peace, it has
An aspect wild and dreary.
But in the wint'ry storm, when all that sea--
The terrible Atlantic--breasts its rocks
In thund'ring conflict, the unearthly howl
Might almost wake the dead."
But to proceed with our voyage:--Almost opposite the Holmes there is an
extensive view on your right of Bridgewater Bay, receding inland; and on
the left, Pennarth Roads, with the forest of shipping and town of Cardiff
elevated in the distance, present themselves. On this side the Channel
there is nothing more to mention--the thriving and very extensive port of
Newport on the Uske, in Monmouthshire, about twelve miles above Cardiff,
not being visible. This town has risen almost entirely within the present
century. It owes its prosperity partly to the excellent quality and
hardness of its coal, which is almost equal to that of Newcastle, and
partly to an unjust and exclusive act of parliament, which enacts that all
coals shipped eastward of the Holmes shall be free of duty, to the great
injury of Cardiff, Swansea, and other ports to the westward. The annual
shipments to the port of Bridgewater alone, in consequence, are 100,000
tons. You now stretch nearer the Somersetshire coast; and after passing
that beautiful and much-frequented little watering-place,
Weston-supra-mare, clustering on the side of a romantic declivity along
shore, the flood-tide reaches you on arriving in the far-famed King-Road
at the mouth of the Avon, which, in addition to the natural beauty of the
surrounding scenery, generally presents an animating scene of shipping and
steamers, lying off till there is sufficient tide up the river. But we
have progressed gently amidst a crowd of small craft past Pill, a fishing
village at its mouth; and after being entranced for five miles with the
magnificent and varied scenery of that lovely river, the classic and
palatial buildings of Clifton, cresting the pinnacle of the rocks, come in
sight as you near Cumberland Basin, and form a fit termination to such a
scene. But we must recur to this subject.
* * * * *
"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles."
SIR HUMPHRY DAVY.
We all know that Sir Humphry Davy was the creator of
electro-chemistry--that he was the inventer of the safety-lamp; but few
are aware that he was also a poet, and that the chemist wrote the prologue
to the _Honey Moon_. We knew that he was skilful in angling, for he was
the author of _Salmonia_; but we did not know that he was the original
Green Man, and went a-fishing in a green dress, with a broad-brimmed green
hat stuck with artificial flies, and being, in short, all green, down to
his boots of Indian rubber. He was also an epicure of the drollest kind,
for he was curious in tasting every thing that had never been tasted
before, and interfered himself in the composition of dishes intended for
his table, thereby encountering the wrath of strange cooks, and running
serious risks in inn-kitchens. We have long heard his name coupled with
aristocratic parties, but we see how he contrived to reconcile the calls
of the laboratory and the invitations of great people. He worked to the
last moment; and, when he was too late for dinner, covered his dirty shirt
with a clean one, there being no time for changing it. He has been known
to wear five _strata_ of shirts at a time, and to have greatly surprised
his friends by his rapid transitions from a state of corpulency to that of
considerable leanness. This was when, at some moment of leisure, he
contrived to find time to despoil himself of his _exuvia_. All Sir
Humphry's experience in high circles (and in the plenitude of his fame he
commanded any rank) never gave him ease of manner: he lacked the original
familiarity with polished society, and his best efforts at pleasing were
marred with a disagreeable bearing, which might sometimes be called
pertness, sometimes superciliousness.--As in his dress he oscillated
between a dandy and a sloven, so in his manners he vibrated from
familiarity to hauteur. In all personal matters he missed the golden
* * * * *
The young Princess Esterhazy was a great favourite of George IV. At a ball
given in honour of his Majesty's birth-day, the young ladies were each
expected to kneel, and present him with a nosegay; but the princess
declared, that as she was of royal blood, she would prefer death to such
degradation. The King received her graciously, notwithstanding her
obstinacy; but her governess sent the child to bed immediately after
dinner. "_Bon pour la digestion_," exclaimed the princess; which so
enraged the governess, that she took her out of bed and whipped her
soundly. "_Bon pour la circulation_," said the princess; and the next day
the governess resigned.--_Atlas._
* * * * *
At St. Augustine's Sessions, in an appeal case, a witness was asked by Sir
Edward Knatchbull, to relate what took place between him and his master,
which he did as follows:--"I told him he was a liar." Chairman--"Very
improper language." Witness--"Can't help that, I am come here to speak the
truth, and you have got it."--_Kent and Essex Mer_.
* * * * *
THE DEAD HAND.
It is an opinion very prevalent among the "finest pisantry in the world,"
that a lighted candle placed in a dead man's hand will not be seen by any
but those by whom it is used; and also that, if a candle in a dead hand be
introduced into a house, it will prevent those who may be asleep from
awaking! Under the influence of this superstition, a party, a few nights
since _armed with a dead man's hand_ and lighted candle, attacked the
house of Mrs. Leonard (the mother of the priest), in the town of Oldcastle,
county of Meath; but, unfortunately for the credit of the creed, the
inmates were alarmed, and the robbers fled, leaving the hand behind them.
* * * * *
"Upon his arrival at Perthshire, his Majesty is to be received by a band
of two hundred men, _entirely of the Mac clan_, arrayed in the ancient
In Scotia our king's to be blessed with a treat,
A _balle_ting one if the Scotch have their nacks,
For the papers put forth he's at Perthshire to meet,
Dressed in tartan and bonnet, _a band of all "Macs."_ (Almacks.)
Which wert thou, cruel Bishop Bonner,
A savage _wit_, or senseless _noddy_,
When to extinguish Ridley's faith,
Thou _mad'st a bonfire_ of his body?
Disdain'd by the Helen he fondly had wooed,
A love-stricken swain in a region _campestris_,
Thus "clerkly" gave vent to his sorrowful mood,
_Ah! vota si mea valissent cum Vestris!_
Ah me! what _foggy thoughts_ environ
The man that reads Gait's "Life of Byron."
"What pens doth Galt in general use?"
To Farthing thus said Simon Shark;
"Mostly the _Nocto-Polygraph_,
Or pen that writes Sir--_in the dark_."
 Vide Certamen Ajacis et Ulyssis. _Ovid's Met._
* * * * *
Perhaps it is not generally known, and certainly not generally attended to,
that an act of parliament was made in the reign of Edward III. prohibiting
any one from being served, at dinner or supper, with more than two courses;
except upon some great holidays there specified, in which he may be served
with three. This act has never been repealed.
* * * * *
(_To the Editor_.)
Connected with Leeds, Kent, mentioned in No. 461 of _The Mirror_, I beg
leave to inform you, that in the village churchyard, near the castle, is a
rather singular inscription upon a grave-stone, which was put up by the
deceased during his life time; and when I first saw it, had blanks, for
inserting his age and the time of his death. These blanks have long since
been filled up, and the whole now reads as follows:--
"In memory of James Barham, of this parish, who departed this life Jan. 14,
1818, aged 93 years; and who, from the year 1774 to the year 1804, rung,
in Kent and elsewhere, 112 peals, not less than 5,040 changes in each peal,
and called bobs, &c. for most of the peals; and April 7th and 8th, 1761,
assisted in ringing 40,320 bob-majors, on Leeds-bells, in 27 hours."
* * * * *
As Le Commandeur De Sillery, who was ambassador from France to the Pope,
was one day walking with the Venetian ambassador, in the square before the
beautiful church of the Gesu, at Rome (where it seems there is always air,
even in the hottest day of summer), he said to him, "What an odd thing it
is that there should be always something of a breeze here? Can your
excellency account for it?" "Perfectly well," replied the Venetian, "upon
a tradition that has been long current in this city. The devil and the
wind were one day walking together in the streets of Rome, when, coming to
the Jesuits' College in this place, the devil said to the wind, 'Pray be
so good as to stay here a minute or two, I have a word to say to these
good fathers within.' The devil, as the story goes, never returned to his
companion, who has been ever since waiting for him at the door."
* * * * *
On Saturday next, a SUPPLEMENT of
MOORE'S LIFE OF LORD BYRON,
* * * * *
_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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