The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction
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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XVII. No. 473.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 1831. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
[Illustration: THE STRAND, FROM ARUNDEL HOUSE, ANNO 1700.]
[Illustration: STRAND CROSS, COVENT GARDEN, &c. ANNO 1547.]
THE STRAND, ANCIENT AND MODERN.
(_Inscription copied from the original of the annexed Engraving_.)
In its ancient state, anno 1547.
With the Strand Cross, Convent Garden, &c.
With the Procession of Edward VI.
And its Neighbourhood, anno 1700.
Looking from Arundel House, northwards,
With the Maypole and Garland.
We have often, in our antiquarian notices of the Metropolis, touched upon
the olden topography of COVENT GARDEN and THE STRAND, and illustrated our
pages with some portion of its history. Thus, in vol. xii. p. 40, the
"regular subscriber" will find, an Engraving, and descriptive notes of Old
Covent Garden: in vol. xiii. p. 122, he will find a second notice of the
same spot; and in the same volume, p. 241, is a whole-page Engraving of
the original Somerset House, with ample details of its foundation, the
neighbouring district, &c. The reader should turn to these pages, and
re-read them in connexion with the few particulars we have now to add.
To aid the first Engraving, with the Strand Cross and _Covent Garden_, we
may quote that--
"Most of the ground occupied by the above parish was, in ancient times
(anno 1222), an extensive garden, belonging to the Abbot and Convent of
Westminster, and thence called the _Convent_ Garden, from which the
present appellation is an evident corruption. This estate, with other
contiguous lands of the Abbots, which were originally named the _Elms_,
and afterwards _Seven Acres_, and _Long Acre_, having reverted to the town
at the Dissolution, was given by Edward the Sixth to his ill-fated uncle,
the Duke of Somerset; after whose attainder, as appears from the original
_Minutes_ of the Privy Council, there was a patent granted in March, 1552,
to John Russell, Earl of Bedford, and Lord Privy Seal, _per Bill. Dom.
Regis_ 'of the gift of the Covent, or Convent Garden, lying in the parish
of St. Martin in the Fields, near Charing Cross, with seven acres, called
_Long Acre_, of the yearly value of 6_l_. 6_s_. 8_d_., parcel of
the possessions of the late Duke of Somerset, to have to him and his heirs,
reserving a tenure to the King's Majesty in _socage_, and not in _capite_.'
Shortly after, the Earl of Bedford erected a mansion, principally of wood,
for his town residence, near the bottom of what is now Southampton
Street; and that building, which obtained the name of _Bedford House_,
remained till the year 1704: it was inclosed by a brick wall, and had a
large garden extending northward, nearly to the site of the present
The Engraving scarcely requires further explanation. The Royal Procession
to the Convent in the distance, with the young King, Edward VI. beneath a
canopy, has a picturesque, if not imposing effect. By the way, a
Correspondent, who appears to delight in the quaint sublime, tells us that
in digging the foundation of the Market just erected in Covent Garden, a
quantity of human bones were dug from a rich black mould, at the depth of
five feet from the surface, opposite James-street. "The Irish labourers
threw them forth, and the sun again gleamed upon the probable particles of
holy nuns, till the heavy feet of costermongers, &c. scattered them, and
carried the crumbling relics sticking to their muddy heels, throughout the
town. This northern portion of the market might probably have been the
A general descriptive outline of the Strand will assist the second view.
Malcolm tells us that "the Strand _once_ consisted of palaces for the
Monarch, Archbishop, Bishops, a Royal Hospital, and mansions of the
nobility. Yet a complaint occurs in the rolls of parliament of the high
road between the Temple and the village of Charing being so deep and miry
as to be almost impassable." Mr. Brayley, in his interesting _Londiniana_,
gives the following:--
"In ancient times the STRAND was an open space, extending from _Temple
Bar_ to the village of _Charing_, sloping down to the river, and
intersected by several streams from the neighbouring high grounds, which
in this direction emptied themselves into the Thames. In after ages, when
the residence of the court at Westminster had become more frequent, and
the Parliament was held there, the Strand, being the road thence from the
City, became the site of several magnificent mansions belonging to the
nobility and clergy, most of which were situated on the south side, and
had large gardens extending to the water's edge.
"The first of these mansions from Temple Bar, was _Exeter House_, an inn
belonging to the Bishops of Exeter, afterwards called _Paget House_, and
_Leicester House_, and finally _Essex House_, from being the residence of
the favourite of Queen Elizabeth; under the latter appellation it has
given name to the street, now built upon the spot where it formerly stood.
Between that mansion and the present _Milford Lane_, was a Chapel,
dedicated to the Holy Ghost, called _St. Spirit_, 'vpon what occasion
founded,' says Stow, 'I have not read.' To the west of this chapel was
an Inn, belonging to the Bishop of Bath, called _Hampton Place_, and
afterwards _Arundel House_, standing on the site of the present Arundel
Street.--Further to the westward was an Inn of Chancery, called _Chester's
Inn_, and _Strand Inn_, near which the Bishop of _Landaff_ had also an
_Inn_. At a short distance from the latter place was the _Strand Bridge_;
'and vnder it,' says Stow, 'a lane or way down to the landing-place on the
bank of the Thames,' the site of which is still marked by Strand Lane.
Not far from the bridge stood the Bishops of _Chester's Inn_ ('commonly
called _Lichfield_ and _Couentrie_.'), and adjoining it the Bishop of
_Worcester's Inn_, both of which were pulled down by the Protector
Somerset, in 1549, when he erected _Somerset House_. Opposite the
Bishop of Worcester's Inn formerly stood a stone cross, at which, says
Stow, 'the justices itinerants sate without London.' Near this spot
afterwards was erected the _May Pole_, which was removed in 1713. The
next mansion was the _Palace_ of the _Savoy_, adjoining to the walls of
which were the gardens of the Bishop _Carlisle's Inn_, afterwards called
_Worcester House_, now the site of Beaufort Buildings. The next in
succession was _Salisbury House_, which has given name to Salisbury and
Cecil Streets. Proceeding onwards, and passing over _Ivy Bridge_, the
magnificent structure of _Durham House_ presented itself, which at one
period was a royal palace. Nearly adjoining was an _Inn_ belonging to the
Bishops of _Norwich_, afterwards called _York House_, from becoming the
residence of the Archbishops of York, when their former mansion at
Whitehall was converted into a royal palace by Henry the Eighth. York
Stairs, at the bottom of Buckingham Street, still marks the water-gate of
the estate, which subsequently became the property of George Villiers,
Duke of Buckingham, whose names and titles are perpetuated in the various
streets, &c. built upon it. The last mansion near the village of Charing,
and now the only remaining one, was called _Northampton House_, afterwards
_Suffolk House_, and now _Northumberland House_, from being the residence
of the Dukes of Northumberland.
"On the north side, the Strand presented but few houses of note.
_Wimbledon House_, on the spot lately occupied by D'Oyley's Warehouse,
which had been erected by Sir Edward Cecil, was burnt down in 1628. At a
little distance, westward, was _Burghley House_, afterwards _Exeter House_,
and now partly occupied by Exeter 'Change; on the other part, and its
attached ground, were erected the several streets and alleys receiving
names from the Cecil family."
 That street was so called in compliment to the celebrated
Lady Rachel, daughter of Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of
_Southampton_, and consort of William Lord Russell. Several
other places in this parish were also denominated from either
the names or titles of the Russell family--as _Russell_
Street, _Bedford_ Street and Bury, _Tavistock_ Street,
_Chandos_ Street, &c. _King_ and _Henrietta_ Streets were so
named in honour of Charles I. and his Queen; and _James_ and
_York_ Streets, of the Duke of York, afterwards James II.
 Stow's "Survey," p. 829, edit. 1618.
 Ibid. p. 130.
 The church of St. Mary le Strand was first termed St. Mary le
Strand Cross; but, as the Protector Somerset, in the reign of
Edward VI. deprived the inhabitants of it, in order to afford
a site for his intended palace (Somerset House), our
historians have barely mentioned it, some of whom suppose it
to have been alluded to in the decretal sentence of Stephen,
Archbishop of Canterbury, 1222, already mentioned under the
name of the _Innocents_. The parishioners, thus deprived of
their place of worship, were compelled to find admittance at
the neighbouring churches, till the commissioners for
erecting fifty new ones determined this parish should contain
one of the number.--_Malcolm_.
 Stow's "Survey," p. 130, edit. 1618.
 The old May-pole often mentioned as in a state of decay in
various publications, which stood almost on the site of the
present church, was removed in 1713, and a new one erected
July 4, opposite Somerset House, which had two gilt balls and
a vane on the summit, decorated on rejoicing days with flags
and garlands.--When the second May-pole was taken down, in
May, 1718, Sir Isaac Newton procured it from the inhabitants,
and afterwards sent it to the Rev. Mr. Pound, rector of
Wanstead, Essex, who obtained permission from Lord Castlemain
to erect it in Wanstead Park, for the support of the then
largest telescope in Europe, made by Monsieur Hugon, and
presented by him to the Royal Society, of which he was a
member. This enormous instrument, 125 feet in length, had not
long remained in the park, when the following limping verses
were affixed to the May-pole:
"Once I adorn'd the Strand,
But now have found
My way to pound,
In Baron Newton's land;
Where my aspiring head aloft is rear'd,
T' observe the motions of the ethereal herd.
"Here sometimes rais'd a machine by my side,
Through which is seen the sparkling milky tide:
Here oft I'm scented with a balmy dew,
A pleasing blessing which the Strand ne'er knew.
"There stood I only to receive abuse,
But here converted to a nobler use;
So that with me all passengers will say,
I'm better far than when the Pole of May."
* * * * *
THE LAST WISH.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Edward Rose, who died at Barnes, bequeathed an annual amount of 20_l_. to
the parish, on condition that rose-trees should be planted round his tomb.
_Vide Crofton Croker._
Ay! o'er them shall the soft wind blow,
And kiss their lips of bloom--
The fair, the bright in sunset's glow;
--Plant roses on my tomb.
The cypress is a mournful tree,
And bodes an early doom;
But lovely eyes shall weep o'er me;
--Plant roses o'er my tomb.
When feverish dreams assail with dread
The bosom's haunted gloom,
Oh, why should we lament the dead?
--Plant roses on my tomb.
The birds shall sing, amid their leaves,
To skies of richest bloom;
But cypress-shade the spirit grieves;--
--Plant roses on my tomb.
I loved them when a careless child,
And bless'd their deep perfume,
When lute and song my dreams beguiled;
--Plant roses on my tomb.
The fragrance touch'd with golden light,
And beautified with bloom;--
Oh, plant them in the sunset bright,
To consecrate my tomb.
 Our correspondent assures us that the above lines were
written many months before "The Tribute of Roses" appeared in
the _Literary Gazette_.--See _Mirror_, vol. xvi. page 176.
* * * * *
(_To the Editor_.)
In illustration of your correspondent P.T.W.'s article, entitled "Halcyon
Days," in No. 471, I beg to furnish you with the following, from a
There is a bird, a little bird, of plumage bright and gay,
Free as the tenants of the sea, free as its finny prey;
In wintry storms she lays her eggs, the briny sands among,
And twice seven days sweet calms succeed where billows roared along.
These are the sailor's _Halcyon Days_, when pleasure's on the main;
The young ones hatched, the storm appears, and Boreas rules again.
* * * * *
ORIGIN OF THE ENGLISH TITLE
"DUKE OF CLARENCE."
(_To the Editor_.)
In No. 437 of the _Mirror_, is an account of "Clarence and its Royal Dukes,
" which seems to imply that the title is derived from a town in Suffolk;
but according to a recent traveller, the origin is of much older date,
having descended by marriage, from the Latin conquerors of Greece. He thus
describes the ancient town of Clarentza:--"One of the most prominent
objects was Castel Tornese, an old Venetian fort, now a ruin, but in
former days affording protection to the town of Chiarenza, or Clarentza,
which, by a strange decree of fortune, has given the title of Clarence to
our Royal Family. It would appear that at the time when the Latin
conquerors of Constantinople divided the Western Empire amongst their
leading chieftains, Clarentza, with the district around it, and which
comprised almost all of ancient Elis, was formed into a Duchy, and fell to
the lot of one of the victorious nobles, who transmitted the title and
dukedom to his descendants, until the male line failed, and the heiress of
Clarence married into the Hainault family. By this union, Phillippa, the
consort of Edward III. became the representative of the Dukes of Clarence;
and on this account was Prince Lionel invested with the title, which has
since remained in our Royal Family. It is certainly singular that a
wretched village in Greece should have bestowed its name upon the British
monarch." According to the above account, Clarentia, I should suppose, is
a corruption of Clarentza, and, perhaps, took its name in honour of the
son of the warlike Edward; but, as to a "wretched village in Greece,"
bestowing its name upon the British monarch, the writer must be aware,
according to his own account, that in ancient times Clarentza was no more
a poor village, than Clare is what it was, when the wassail bowl cheered
the baronial hall of its now mouldering castle.
* * * * *
YES, WE SHALL MEET AGAIN.
(_For the Mirror_.)
"The grave is the ordeal of true affection."
Yes, we shall meet again,
When this world's strife is over;
And where comes not care or pain,
A brighter land discover.
I will not think, in lasting night,
Earth's love and friendship dies;--
It lives again, serenely bright,
In worlds beyond the skies.
I will not think the grave hath power
To dim this heart's undying love;--
Oh! may I still, in death's dark hour,
Its lasting fondness prove.
Immortal sure some feelings are;--
Oh! not of earth the pure devotion,
Which lives in one fond earthly care,
And that--pure Friendship's soft emotion.
For brightest this wild world appears
When far each selfish care is driven;
Soft Pity! dry not yet thy tears--
They make dark earth resemble heaven.
For other's weal, for other's woe,
Let me have smiles and tears to give;
And all my busy care bestow,
In some fond trusting heart to live.
And let a voice be murmuring near,
When other sounds are faint and low.
And whisper softly in my ear.
When Death's chill dews are on my ear--
"Yes, we shall meet again,
When this world's strife is over;
And, where comes not care or pain,
A better land discover."
* * * * *
WHO WAS KATERFELTO?
(_To the Editor_.)
Perhaps some of your curious readers would oblige me with a little
information concerning the personage mentioned in these lines of Cowper:--
"And Katerfelto, with his hair on end,
At his own wonders wondering for his bread,"
All that _I_ could discover about him, I found accidentally in a pamphlet
on Quackery, published in 1805, at Kingston-upon-Hull. In a note to that
little work, I am informed that _Dr_. Katerfelto _practised_ on the people
of London in the influenza of 1782; that he added to his _nostrum_ the
fascinations of hocus pocus; and that among other philosophical apparatus,
he employed the services of some extraordinary _black cats_, with which he
astonished the ignorant, and confounded the vulgar. But he was not, it
seems, so successful in his practice when out of London: not long before
his death, he was committed by the Mayor of Shrewsbury to the common House
of Correction in that town, as a vagrant and impostor. When or how he died
does not appear.
Cowper, when he mentions the name of Katerfelto, in the _Task_, in
alluding to the advertisements of the London newspapers--and probably
wrote the passage in the year 1782. The _Task_ was published complete in
Whoever has easy access to the newspapers of 1782 or thereabout (as I, at
this moment have not) will most probably discover some amusing particulars
about this _Doctor_, that may attract your readers, few of whom will be
more gratified than
* * * * *
(_To the Editor_.)
In page 429, vol. xvi. of your amusing Miscellany, the Cheroot is called a
China Cigar. The writer, if he had given himself the trouble to inquire of
any person who had ever been in that country, would have ascertained that
there is no such thing as a Cheroot manufactured in China; and what are
called Cigars there are nothing more than a small quantity of very fine
cut yellowish tobacco, wrapped up in white paper, and about two inches or
rather more in length. These, the Chinese sometimes smoke, but generally
prefer a shallow cupped pipe of composition metal, of which copper is the
principal part; to which a long whanghee or small black bamboo is attached,
as a stem or stalk, sometimes more than a yard in length, and tipped with
an ivory tube or mouthpiece. They generally carry a piece of joss-stick or
slow-match with them, and a flint, steel, and punk; and when they are
inclined to smoke, they strike fire on apiece of punk, and light the
joss-stick, which will continue burning a long while. As their tobacco is
very fine and dry, the pipeful seldom takes more than one or two whiffs to
consume it, and they emit the smoke through their nostrils in large
volumes. In this manner they will smoke more than a dozen pipesfull in a
short time. Cigars are generally imported into China by the Americans, or
sent from Manilla; and Cheroots by the English and other trading vessels
from Bengal or from Madras.
In India, the lower orders use a hookah or hubble bubble, which is made of
a cocoa-nut shell well cleaned out, having a hole through the soft eye of
the shell, and another on the opposite side, a little lower down, the
first of which is used for the chauffoir, and the other to suck or draw
the smoke from. The shell is nearly filled with water, and a composition
of tobacco, sugar, and sometimes a little opium, is put into the chauffoir,
in shape of a ball, about the size of a marble, which they call joggery. A
live coal is then put on the ball in the chauffoir, and the hubble-bubble
is handed from one to another, with the best relish imaginable. Sometimes
a dozen natives, get squatting on their hams, in a group, and pass this
delicate article of luxury from one to another, each taking two or three
good pulls at it as it goes round, and chattering three or four at a time,
like so many apes. They likewise emit the smoke through their nostrils
like the Chinese. The women are in the habit of enjoying the hubble-bubble,
in groups, in a similar manner.
The best Cheroots are manufactured at Chiusmab, near Calcutta, where
likewise a great quantity are made up; they vary in length from four to
eight or nine inches. A great quantity are likewise manufactured at
Masulapatam, but they are considered as much inferior to those of Bengal.
At Masulapatam there is a very extensive manufactory of a black clammy
snuff, which is sent all over Hindostan.
* * * * *
STORY OF A BOY.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Some years back a small party of children were amusing themselves upon the
beach, near the town of Conway, in North Wales. One of them a fine boy of
three years old being much fatigued, left his juvenile companions, and
unperceived by them, got into a boat not far from the spot, and fell
asleep. The tide soon afterwards coming in, floated the boat, and carried
it up the river; and upon the return of tide it fell back, and
subsequently the boat and infant were carried out into the channel,
between Puffin Isle, near the Anglesea Coast and the Lancashire Shore, or
I should say, in the Irish Channel. A trading vessel, in the grey of the
morning, perceiving a small boat so far from any land, bore down, and the
crew to their great surprise, found only the poor child in it, nearly
heart broken at its unfortunate situation, and totally unable to give any
regular account of itself. The master of the vessel felt every wish and
anxiety to restore the poor child to its parents, but not being able to
glean from it who they were, and having no children of his own, he made up
his mind to adopt the boy, congratulating himself that Providence had in
this singular manner thought proper to send him an heir to his property,
and a delight as he fondly hoped in his declining years. Accordingly after
his return back from Liverpool, where he was then bound, to his residence
in the North of Ireland, he introduced his little charge to his wife, who
had never borne him any family; related the very singular manner he had
found him, and they mutually agreed to take him under their protection
until they could find out his parents, and if they were unsuccessful, to
bring him up as their own child.
Sometime afterwards the mother of the boy came to be made acquainted with
what had happened to him, and she caused a letter to be sent to his foster
father, wishing her child to be given up to her; her application was
attended to, expressing much pleasure at being able to restore the boy to
her, but stated that he was doing well, and in good hands, they were
reluctant to part with him; and to induce his mother to suffer him to
remain where he was, she was informed that his protector had made his will,
and upon his demise, had left the whole of his property to the child. All
this had no weight, she demanded her son, and the little fellow was
afterwards given up, with many tears and regrets by his foster parents, to
his mother, at Liverpool. It would be well could the narrative break off
here in the manner it could be wished. But soon afterwards, upon the
return of the boy with his mother to their home, playing with some
children in the neighbourhood of Oakland Carding Manufactory, near
Llanurst, he unfortunately fell into a small sheet of water and was
drowned before any assistance could be rendered him.
* * * * *
ANECDOTES OF A TAME HAWK.
(_By a Correspondent of the Magazine of Natural History_.)
About three years since a young sparrowhawk was purchased and brought up
by my brother. This was rather hazardous, as he, at the same time, had a
large stock of fancy pigeons, which, in consequence of their rarity and
value, he greatly prized. It seems, however, that kindness and care had
softened the nature of the hawk, or the regularity with which he was fed,
rendered the usual habits of his family unnecessary to his happiness; for,
as he increased in age and size, his familiarity increased also, leading
him to form an intimate acquaintance with a set of friends who have been
seldom seen in such society. Whenever the pigeons came to feed, which they
did often-times from the hand of their almoner, the hawk used also to
accompany them. At first the pigeons were shy, of course; but, by degrees,
they got over their fears, and ate as confidently as if the ancient
enemies of their race had sent no representative to their banquet. It was
curious to observe the playfulness of the hawk, and his perfect good
nature during the entertainment; for he received his morsel of meat
without that ferocity with which birds of prey usually take their food,
and merely uttered a cry of lamentation when the carver disappeared. He
would then attend the pigeons in their flight round and round the house
and gardens, and perch with them on the chimney-top, or roof of the
mansion; and this voyage he never failed to make early in the morning,
when the pigeons always took their exercise. At night he retired with them
to the dovecote: and though for some days he was the sole occupant of the
place, the pigeons not having relished this intrusion at first, he was
afterwards merely a guest there; for he never disturbed his hospitable
friends, even when their young ones, unfledged and helpless as they were,
offered a strong temptation to his appetite. He seemed unhappy at any
separation from the pigeons, and invariably returned to the dovehouse,
after a few days purposed confinement in another abode, during which
imprisonment he would utter most melancholy cries for deliverance; but
these were changed to cries of joy on the arrival of any person with whom
he was familiar. All the household were on terms of acquaintance with him;
and there never was a bird who seemed to have won such general admiration.
He was as playful as a kitten, and, literally, as loving as a dove.
But that his nature was not altogether altered, and that notwithstanding
his education, which, as Ovid says,
"Emolit mores, nec sinit esse feros,"
he was still a hawk in spirit, was proved on an occasion of almost equal
interest. A neighbour had sent us a very fine specimen of the smaller
horned owl (Strix brachyotus,) which he had winged when flying in the
midst of a covey of partridges; and after having tended the wounded limb,
and endeavoured to make a cure, we thought of soothing the prisoner's
captivity by a larger degree of freedom than he had in the hen-coop which
he inhabited. No sooner, however, had our former acquaintance, the hawk,
got sight of him, than he fell upon the poor owl most unmercifully; and
from that instant, whenever they came in contact, a series of combats
commenced, which equalled in skill and courage any of those which have so
much distinguished that great hero [?], who to the boldness and clearness
of vision of the hawk unites the wisdom of the bird of Athens. The defence
of the poor little owl was admirably conducted: he would throw himself
upon his back, and await the attack of his enemy with patience and
preparation; and, by dint of biting and scratching, would frequently win a
positive, as he often did a negative, victory. Acquaintanceship did not
seem, in this case, likely to ripen into friendship; and when his wing had
gained strength, taking advantage of a favourable opportunity, the owl
decamped, leaving the hawk in possession of his territory.
The fate of the successful combatant was, however, soon to be accomplished;
for he was shortly after found drowned in a butt of water, from which he
had once or twice been extricated before, having summoned a deliverer to
his assistance by cries that told he was in distress. There was great
lamentation when he died, throughout the family; and it was observed by
more than one person, that that portion of the dovecote in which he was
wont to pass the night was for some time unoccupied by the pigeons with
whom he had lived so peaceably, even during his wars with the unfortunate
 "Softens the manners, nor permits to be cruel."
* * * * *
NIGHT IN A TURKISH CEMETERY.
The scenery round Aleppo is varied and beautiful, and contains some of the
richest objects, peculiar to a land of eastern romance. When the sunset
extends its purple flush around the hills, and the city is gladdened by
the sound of silver bells, announcing the return of some Turkish caravan,
a landscape of more extraordinary magnificence never entranced the
imagination of the traveller! At the brow of the sunny hill, on which the
peaks of Aleppo glance in the stainless azure of heaven, are suspended
bowers of rose and cypress trees, through whose fragrant solitudes the
streamlet murmurs its liquid song; and the picturesque situation of the
scattered vales is so admirably calculated to inspire the musings of a
contemplative mind, that Fancy might there embody her dreams and
phantasies without the fear of receiving intrusion from the world. The
scenes are decidedly distinguished by such attractive beauty, that I am
disposed to think with the poet--
Methinks amid such scenes as this,
Must _they_ have dwelt--the bards of old,
Whose numbers, of Arcadian bliss,
And Tempe's beauteous vale, have told.
Many an exquisite story has been embalmed in the spirit of song, or
invested with the pleasing garb of tradition, while the lighter incidents
of life have faded into oblivion without a tongue to record them. One of
these, selected from the many which my heart has kept sacred among the dim
recollections of the past, sustains the interest of my present sketch; and
a more amusing recital I have never _yet_ transmitted to the pages of _The
It was a night of deep and tranquil loveliness--a night that seldom fails
to soften the excitement produced by the feverish pursuits of day. The
vivid glow of an eastern sunset quivered on the mountains, and the clouds
that displayed their crystal forms in its western glory, seemed coloured
with a tint of the richest crimson. In the azure vault above, emblazoned in
the spirit of Byron's splendid, intellectual coruscation, with--
Hues that have words and speak to ye of heaven,
thousands of silver orbs sparkled and gleamed like fairy lamps of fire;
and the bowers, in which the "Sultana of the Nightingale" inspired a song
from her minstrel lover, assumed the dream-like repose which pervaded the
surrounding scenes, and extended its influence to the city of Aleppo.
At this silent hour I wandered among the tombs that lay within the
cemetery at some distance from the city: they were arranged with the most
pleasing care, and the statuary exhibited on many of them formed an
ornamental grace to their sepulchral beauty. Some were wholly shrouded in
cypress, while others shone in the moonlight beneath a wreath of
consecrated roses, designed to embalm the mementos of mouldering marble.
Here a sister's affection might be traced--one who had lived long enough
to lay her sacred offering upon the tomb, and bedew it with the tears of
grief. Notwithstanding its solemn associations, it was withal a place
adapted to the most exquisite feelings, and a sanctuary where the heart
might forget its worldly aspirations. But the Turks, in selecting their
cemeteries, far transcend the boasted intellectual superiority of
Europeans; and the one which lay beneath the walls of Aleppo, was, in
every point of view, eminently calculated to confirm me in such an opinion.
Its cypress trees,
The only constant mourners o'er the dead,
when the hearts that deplored the destiny of their friends had mingled
with them in the dust, appeared perfectly congenial with the natural
solemnity of the place; and the vortex of succeeding events has not yet
swept away the charm they impressed upon my memory.
As I stood in a state of silent abstraction, beside a tomb distinguished
from the others by a sculptured turban, the sound of a lute excited my
attention, and instantly averting my head from the object placed before it,
I perceived the tall shadowy figure of a man, partially concealed among
the cypress trees.--This nocturnal wanderer, my only companion in the
"City of the Dead," dispelled my gloomy reflections at once, and inspired
some vivid ideas relative to his appearance in such a place. Wishing to
attain some means of elucidating the mystery, I concealed my person behind
a tomb attached to that portion of the cemetery, well adapted to shield me
from observation, and by the adoption of this judicious expedient, I
succeeded in the accomplishment of my design; but after the "unearthly
phantom" had riveted my gaze for a few minutes, he sank into a sepulchre,
and left me to a series of vague and unprofitable conjectures. In a short
time, however, I observed him quietly proceeding amid the mingled ranks of
rose-bowers and tombs, and as he agitated the silent leaves, he
accompanied the music of his lute with one of the sweetest melodies which
Nature has assigned to a human voice. His manner was decidedly captivating,
and his fine manly features produced in my mind a favourable impression of
his urbanity. I advanced therefore from the place of concealment, and
explaining the object of my intrusion, expressed my sincere regret at
being obliged to witness the singular transaction in which he had been
engaged. He paused awhile, but at length replied in a strain of such
agreeable language, that if I had entertained any doubt of his cheerful
disposition, his frank and persuasive humour would have finally removed it.
"How the devil came you here?" ejaculated the stranger, putting aside the
lute, which hung suspended from his neck by a diamond chain. "You are
deeply in love with the dead, cavalier, to select such a place as this for
the haunt of your meditative dreams."
"Your Turkish cemeteries," I replied, "possess an indisputable superiority
over the sepulchral gardens of Europe. To wander through these bowers of
rose and cypress trees at this beautiful hour of night, enchants the heart
with imaginings that soar above our earthly sphere. But were you inspired
by the same lofty feelings when I first saw you?"
"Not I, cavalier; I came to these charnel vaults to exchange a kiss or two
on the lovely lips of the Pacha's daughter, though, the plague to my
whiskers! if the gloomy Mahometans were in possession of my secret, I
should be impaled before sunrise, and my blue-eyed Sultana would doubtless
expiate the crime of "lighting up her heart" at the shrine of affection,
by being closed in a sack and thrown into the lake. But, I felt persuaded,
there was something _English_, in the tones of your voice. Did you forsake
Old Albion for the sultry, pestilential deserts of these infernal realms?"
"Not absolutely; my travels would have terminated at Constantinople--at
the Gem of Turkish Cities--if the Sultan had not commanded me to convey a
message to the Pacha of Aleppo, relative to the punishment of some
"Oh! oh! then you will remain here. But the time of my departure is
rapidly approaching, for when the beams of to-morrow's sun again illumine
the earth, I shall make my best bow to Aleppo--to its angelic Peris, and
retire with my beautiful Sultana--the charm and grace of this eastern
fairy land! But _diable!_ you love a story, and I will tell you of every
circumstance combined with my singular adventure for a wife. Sit down,
cavalier, and lend an ear to my romance."
I complied; and the associate of my solitude amused me by exhibiting his
"It was sunset, and the starry loveliness of the skies had not assumed the
splendour which now deepens around them with a tinge of purple, when I
left the Turkish Divan, and, after dismissing my companions, proceeded _ad
libitum_ along the streets of Aleppo. You may feel surprise at my temerity,
but, remember, that a person delegated by the Porte is as secure in the
public walks as if he were honoured with the chains and straw of a dungeon
in the Pacha's palace. But, as I pursued my path with sauntering steps, I
heard the sound of a lute, accompanied by one of the sweetest voices that
ever beguiled a Peri, and turning to ascertain the cause of the music, I
caught a glimpse of the loveliest woman in Aleppo; but I forgot, in the
fervour of the moment, that my feet were treading on hallowed and
forbidden ground--the gardens and seraglio of the Pacha!--and if my
beautiful visitant had not expressed her assurance of unalterable
protection, I should have resigned the rose of my story--the loadstar of
my life. But why should I extend my recital. I succeeded in captivating
the affection of a Pacha's daughter, and, to brighten my future hopes, she
revealed her elevated rank to me;--yes, I obtained a triumph which far
transcends the energetic deeds of the warrior, and immortalized my
adventure with vows of eternal constancy! Since that period, we have
selected this cemetery as a place more exclusively designed for the
effectual development of our concerted escape, and I have at length
adopted the determination of depriving the Divan of its brightest gem.
To-morrow we shall quit this enchanted land, and pursue our course to the
Island of the West. But hark! I hear the sound of my Peri's lute among the
cypress trees--she is waiting to embrace me. Farewell! and if she is not
my bride ere another sunset, I will consent to have my body suspended,
like the coffin of Mahomet, between earth and sky."
 Bernard Barton.
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE UNDER DIFFICULTIES.
(_Library of Entertaining Knowledge_, vol. viii.)
The concluding portion of this volume has lately appeared, and is entitled
to equal commendation with its predecessors. Among the most important of
the anecdotical lives are, Roger Bacon, Herschel, Watt, and
Arkwright--names nearly and dearly allied with the triumphs of science in
this country. In Arkwright's Memoir are some important as well as
interesting particulars of the Cotton Manufacture in England. Our
quotation is, however, from another portion of the volume, illustrating,
as we conceive it does, a species of character which can scarcely be
estimated in too amiable a light.
The wonderful Robert Walker, as he is still called in the district of the
country where he resided, was curate of Seathwaite in Cumberland during
the greater part of last century. The fullest account that has appeared of
Mr. Walker is that given, in the notes to his series of sonnets entitled
"The River Duddon," by Mr. Wordsworth, in whose poem of the Excursion the
worthy clergyman is also noticed with the commendations due to his
singular virtues. From this memoir it appears that Walker was born in the
parish of Seathwaite in 1709; that being of delicate constitution, it was
determined by his parents, whose youngest child he was, to breed him a
scholar; and that accordingly he was taught the elements of reading,
writing, and arithmetic by the clergyman of the parish, who also
officiated as schoolmaster. He afterwards contrived to acquire a knowledge
of the classics; and, becoming in this manner qualified for taking holy
orders, was ordained, and appointed to the curacy of his native parish,
which was at this time (about the year 1735) of the value of five pounds
per annum. On obtaining possession of this living Walker married, his wife
bringing him what he calls himself, in one of his letters, "a fortune" of
forty pounds. We must refer to Mr. Wordsworth's pages, and the documents
which will be found printed there, for a detail of all that the industry
and economy of the curate and his wife contrived to accomplish upon these
scanty resources. Suffice it to say, that about twenty years after
Walker's entrance upon his living we find its value, according to his own
statement, increased only to the amount in all of seventeen pounds ten
shillings. At a subsequent period it received a further augmentation, to
what amount is not stated; but it was not considerable. Before this Mr.
Walker had declined to accept the adjoining curacy of Ulpha, to be held,
as proposed by the bishop, in conjunction with that of Seathwaite,
considering, as he says himself, that the annexation "would be apt to
cause a general discontent among the inhabitants of both places, by either
thinking themselves slighted, being only served alternately, or neglected
in the duty, or attributing it to covetousness in me; all which occasions
of murmuring I would willingly avoid." Yet at this time he had a family of
eight or nine children. One of his sons he afterwards maintained at the
college of Dublin till he was ready for taking holy orders. He was, like
his predecessors in the same cure, schoolmaster as well as clergyman of
his parish; but "he made no charge," says his biographer, "for teaching
school; such as could afford to pay gave him what they pleased." His
hospitality to his parishoners every Sunday was literally without
limitation; he kept a plentiful table for all who chose to come.
Economical as he was, no act of his life was chargeable with any thing in
the least degree savouring of avarice; on the contrary, many parts of his
conduct displayed what in any station would have been deemed extraordinary
disinterestedness and generosity. Finally, at his death, in 1802, he
actually left behind him no less a sum than two thousand pounds.
There is in all this, as Mr. Wordsworth remarks, something so
extraordinary, as to make some explanatory details necessary. These we
shall give in his own words. "And to begin," says he, "with his industry;
eight hours in each day, during five days in the week, and half of
Saturday, except when the labours of husbandry were urgent, he was
occupied in teaching. His seat was within the rails of the altar; the
communion table was his desk; and, like Shenstone's schoolmistress, the
master employed himself at the spinning-wheel, while the children were
repeating their lessons by his side. Every evening, after school hours, if
not more profitably engaged, he continued the same kind of labour,
exchanging, for the benefit of exercise, the small wheel, at which he had
sate, for the large one on which wool is spun, the spinner stepping to and
fro. Thus was the wheel constantly in readiness to prevent the waste of a
moment's time. Nor was his industry with the pen, when occasion called for
it, less eager. Entrusted with extensive management of public and private
affairs, he acted in his rustic neighbourhood as scrivener, writing out
petitions, deeds of conveyance, wills, covenants, &c., with pecuniary gain
to himself, and to the great benefit of his employers. These labours, at
all times considerable, at one period of the year, viz., between Christmas
and Candlemas, when money transactions are settled in this part of the
country, were often so intense, that he passed great part of the night,
and sometimes whole nights, at his desk. His garden, also, was tilled by
his own hand; he had a right of pasturage upon the mountains for a few
sheep and a couple of cows, which required his attendance; with this
pastoral occupation he joined the labours of husbandry upon a small scale,
renting two or three acres in addition to his own, less than one acre of
glebe; and the humblest drudgery which the cultivation of these fields
required was performed by himself. He also assisted his neighbours in
haymaking and shearing their flocks, and in the performance of this latter
service he was eminently dexterous. They, in their turn, complimented him
with the present of a haycock, or a fleece; less as a recompense for this
particular service than as a general acknowledgment. The Sabbath was in a
strict sense kept holy; the Sunday evenings being devoted to reading the
scripture and family prayer. The principal festivals appointed by the
church were also duly observed; but through every other day in the week,
through every week in the year, he was incessantly occupied in works of
hand or mind; not allowing a moment for recreation, except upon a Sunday
afternoon, when he indulged himself with a newspaper, or sometimes with a
magazine. The frugality and temperance established in his house were as
admirable as the industry. Nothing to which the name of luxury could be
given was there known; in the latter part of his life, indeed, when tea
had been brought into almost general use, it was provided for visiters,
and for such of his own family as returned occasionally to his roof, and
had been accustomed to this refreshment elsewhere; but neither he nor his
wife ever partook of it. The raiment worn by his family was comely and
decent, but as simple as their diet; the homespun materials were made up
into apparel by their own hands. At the time of the decease of this
thrifty pair, their cottage contained a large store of webs of woollen and
linen cloth, woven from thread of their own spinning. And it is remarkable
that the pew in the chapel in which the family used to sit, remained a few
years ago neatly lined with woollen cloth, spun by the pastor's own hands.
It is the only pew in the chapel so distinguished; and I know of no other
instance of his conformity to the delicate accommodations of modern times.
The fuel of the house, like that of their neighbours, consisted of peat,
procured from the mosses by their own labour. The lights by which, in the
winter evenings, their work was performed, were of their own manufacture,
such as still continue to be used in these cottages; they are made of the
pith of rushes dipped in fat. _White_ candles, as tallow candles are here
called, were reserved to honour the Christmas festivals, and were perhaps
produced upon no other occasions. Once a month, during the proper season,
a sheep was drawn from their small mountain flock, and killed for the use
of the family; and a cow towards the close of the year, was salted and
dried, for winter provision; the hide was tanned to furnish them with
shoes. By these various resources this venerable clergyman reared a
numerous family; not only preserving them, as he affectingly says, "from
wanting the necessaries of life," but affording them an unstinted
education, and the means of raising themselves in society."
* * * * *
SACRIFICE OF A MORISCOE GIRL.
It would be unreasonable to expect analyses of Novel stories in a
periodical sheet like our Miscellany. We rarely attempt the task of giving
them; but prefer giving occasionally a running notice of a meritorious
work of this class, and then leave the reader to indulge his taste at the
nearest library, upon the strength of our recommendation. To let him into
_the plot_ or thread of the story would be ill-judged: for one of the
greatest delights of reading, of all ages, is to expect, hope, and despair,
by turns, and thus become identified with the feelings and actions of all
parties concerned in the narrative. Every lover of novel, tale, and
romance must recollect the pleasure of reading Mr. Grattan's Highways and
Byways, and how beautifully the scenes and incidents were grouped in those
little series of _tales by the roadside_. The charming interest of one of
them is worth a whole volume of lumbering history of a revolution or royal
line. Mr. Grattan, too, has taken all the Low Countries to himself, and
the literature of their life belongs to him. The other day he published a
history of the Netherlands (noticed in the last volume of the _Mirror_,
page 257); and here we have him again, with _The Heiress of Bruges_, a
tale of the year 1600.
The main story needs not be told; but a scene may be easily detached, to
show what spirit-stirring scenes may be expected throughout the work. It
needs only be premised that Beatrice, in our extract, is the co-heroine of
the _Heiress of Bruges_, and is sacrificed by the Inquisition in
A law of the Emperor Charles V., passed half a century before, had decreed
the frightful punishment of living burial against female heretics, and
many executions of the kind had varied by their bloodless atrocity the
horrid butcheries committed all through the Low Countries during the
tyranny of Alva. After that period such sacrifices had been less frequent;
but as late as three years before the date of our story, an instance of
this barbarity had publicly taken place in Brussels, by the orders of
Albert, who at that time held the highest dignity of the Christian
priesthood, next to that of its supreme head. A poor servant girl, named
Anne Vanderhove, arrested on a charge of heresy, refused, in all the pride
of martyrdom, to renounce her faith. She was condemned to the grave--not
to the common occupancy of that cold refuge of the lifeless body, but to
all the horrors of living contact and hopeless struggles with the
suffocating clay. She suffered her punishment, in the midst of a crowd of
curious fanatics; but such was the disgust inspired by the spectacle, that
it was thought impolitic to hazard in the face of day another exhibition
of the kind. Beatrice's judges, therefore, after a summary hearing,
decreed that she too should be buried alive--but at night. She heard her
sentence, in just sufficient exercise of reason to comprehend and shudder
at it. But her mind, wandering and unsettled, had not force enough to
dwell on the contemplation of what awaited her, and unconscious of her
approaching fate gave her the semblance of indifference.
But Beatrice, with all her pride, and almost unfeminine force of character,
was not proof against a fate so horrible. As the hour drew nigh when she
was to be led forth to execution, the blood in her throbbing veins seemed
suddenly frozen, like the hot streams of lava checked in its molten flow.
Her blanched cheeks and starting eyeballs told that her fever was quenched,
and her insensibility awakened to a full sense of her terror.
In darkness and silence the sad procession moved from the prison's most
private door, on the night fixed for the execution, the third after the
hapless girl's arrival in Brussels. The persons employed were few; no
sympathizing crowd attended to strain the victim's pride and courage, and
make her for very shame's sake brave the terrific scene. Lone and desolate,
she was led along by two brutal men, with taunt and execration; they,
dressed in the dark habits of their office: she, bare-footed, and clothed
in the yellow garment called a _san benito_, her beautiful jet locks cut
close, and her disfigured head and pallid face surmounted by the conical
cap in which the inquisition decked its victims for sacrifice. Four masked
men walked first in the procession, two carrying spades, and two bearing
the insignia of the Holy Office. Next followed the secretary, with a book
and materials for writing, ready to record the particulars of the
execution. Then came Beatrice, dragged onwards by her supporters, and
urged towards the closing scene by the odious voice of Dom Lupo, pouring a
strain of pious blasphemies into her reluctant ears. He stepped close in
her tract, and leant his head forward, determined that she should not have
a moment's respite till the damp earth closed those ears for ever. A dozen
armed men brought up the march; and no suspicion of the inquisitor's
proceeding aroused the citizens, in the narrow and unlit streets through
which it moved.
In less than half an hour, Beatrice's bruised and lacerated feet, felt a
sudden relief that spread up refreshingly through her whole frame, on
pressing a grass plot, moistened by the night dew. At the same moment, a
gleam from a lantern opened by one of the men close to her, showed that
she stood on the brink of a newly-dug grave. She started back at the
appalling sight--and was upheld from falling by her attendants, on whose
faces she saw a malignant grin; while the tones of Dom Lupo's voice seemed
to hiss in her ears, like the serpent triumph of a fiend.
"Erring daughter of the only true and most merciful church," gloomed he,
"unrepented sinner, on the verge of death--ere the grave close over thy
living agony--ere the arm of Almighty wrath shove thee into the pit of
hell, and eternal flames enfold thee--listen to the last offer of the
mother thou hast outraged, of the faith thou hast defiled. Recant thy
errors--renounce thy false Gods--confess thy crimes--and return into the
blessed bosom of the church!"
Beatrice, rousing the whole force of her latent energy, pushed the
inquisitor from her, with a look of scorn, burst from her keepers' arms,
and sprang into the open grave.
"Lost and condemned for ever and ever--let the earth lie heavy on her
head!" exclaimed the furious priest, stamping his foot with rage, and
motioning to the familiars, who instantly commenced to shovel the earth
into the grave. Not a sound was heard but the soft rustling of the leaves
overhead, for this scene took place in the open ground above the Sablon,
formerly mentioned as the scene of some earlier executions; and Beatrice's
grave was dug at the very foot of the tree, where the Jews, in 1370, had
expiated their imputed sacrilege.
Not a murmur, not a movement betrayed an instant's shrinking from her fate,
as the cold heap of clay covered Beatrice to the very neck. Her face was
still above ground, and the infuriated bigot, whose word was to save her
or stifle her voice for ever, once more approached. He knelt beside her
thrust his crucifix close to her still straining eyes, and in accents that
faltered from rage, he cried out--
"Dost thou still dare refuse? Death is on thy lips--hell gapes for
thee!--Wretched woman, say but one word--kiss the blessed relic, and thou
"There is but one God, and Mahomet is his prophet!" said Beatrice, in
hollow and broken accents.
"It is done! Cover her quick! Let her perish in eternal fire!" cried the
The executioners heaped the earth still higher--the head was covered
in--and only then a smothered scream burst upwards, while the struggles of
natural agony shook the mound to and fro.--Still the legal and consecrated
murderers went on, with trembling hands and quaking hearts; but as they
hastily closed their work, a deep and heavy groan came upon the air from a
not distant part of the waste ground; and the group looking round in
guilty terror, saw a man close wrapped in a cloak, but struggling with
another, of aged and decrepit stature, as if he would break from his hold,
and rush upon their unholy labours. A weapon gleamed in his hand; and the
whole group of guilt, inquisitor, familiars and guards, struck with panic,
and imagining rescue and revenge from a hundred indignant arms, hastily
fled from the scene with loud cries for help.
In a moment the grave was torn open, and Beatrice, still panting in the
struggle between life and death, snatched from its re-opened jaws, and
about to be borne off in the close-locked arms of her brother, when the
insatiate inquisitor, his ardent vengeance overcoming his fears, turned
from his flight to give one assuring glance upon his victim's grave. By
the light of the lantern which streamed on the ground, he saw that,
instead of the indignant crowd his apprehensions had imagined, only two
men were on the spot, one of them old and diminutive, and the other
encumbered with the exhumed body. In the glow of fanatic fury, he forgot
all personal fears, and while his dastard creatures held on their
terrified course, he sprang back alone to the burial-ground, and seizing
the old man with one hand, he stretched forth the other to grasp from the
Moriscoe's hold his still insensible burthen.
"Sacrilegious villains!" cried he, "give up your impious purpose, and
resign the body of the recreant lost one. Let it rot in its earthy prison,
till the last trumpet rouse it in resurged life to burn in eternal fire."
A deep and silent plunge of the Moriscoe's poignard struck the blaspheming
bigot in the throat; another blow pierced his heart, as he fell into the
imperfectly hollowed grave; and while he lay there, several strokes were
dealt on him by the feeble hands of the old man with one of the spades,
which he tremblingly seized. And then, in the instinct of terror at the
deed, he shovelled the loose earth over the bleeding carcass, while the
Moriscoe's pale profile looked stern and rigid in the expiring light. The
work was soon complete; and the mound of earth thus hastily thrown up
(soon covered with as rank weeds as ever sprang from a polluted soil) were
long marked by shuddering superstition as "the grave of the Mahommedan
girl." The fate of the inquisitor was quite unsuspected; and he might have
been still believed to have disappeared supernaturally, or perished by
some less awful visitation, had not unerring records thrown light on his
The tottering steps of the old man quickly led the way across the thickly
planted site of the little Sablon, and by many a winding lane and alley
towards the hill of Caudenburgh, till the Moriscoe, with his beloved
burthen, found a safe refuge in the old man's dwelling, in the narrow
street on the side of the hill, not a hundred yards below the house of the
Marquess of Assembourg.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
MUSICAL LITERATURE IN NORTH AMERICA.
We have just received two numbers of a New York periodical, entitled the
"Euterpeiad, a Musical Review and Tablet of the Fine Arts," published
every fortnight, or, as our transatlantic fellow-labourers express it,
"semi-monthly," and feel flattered at finding our opinions quoted, our
columns referred to with acknowledgment, and, still more, our custom of
giving good and _cheap_ music, followed, though on a smaller scale, by
this critic of the new world. One of the two numbers before us contains
Paisiello's delightful serenade from the Barber of Seville, as arranged by
Bishop for two voices; and the other, a movement from Rossini's overture
to William Tell; both very creditable, as well to the selector's taste as
to the progress of American musical typography. The "Euterpeiad" is not
confined to music, but embraces the whole circle of the fine arts,
theatrical criticism, and even original tales. We are concerned, however,
only with the musical part, and, as a specimen of the manner in which it
is probable that department will be conducted, give the following extract
from the editor's address:
"In regard to music, since the appearance of Weber, an almost new era has
commenced. In the works of this celebrated composer, the proverb has been
realized--the German Professor has given to his notes the power of
language: emotions are almost imbibed from the sounds as from a visible
transaction, or a well-told description. If the country which presents the
highest or most generally approved attainments in singing, be demanded,
perhaps the correct answer would be Italy. The contest afterwards for the
highest eminence would lie between England, Germany, and France. The
Scottish, Irish, and Welsh compositions, and English ballad music, must of
course come under the aggregation of the English school, and availing
itself of this union, and taking into view the circumstance of having for
a considerable period steadily adopted, and engrafted upon its own stock,
the beauty and excellence in the science manifested by the Germans and
Italians, the claims of this school become formidable. And it is this
which, through the medium of the same tongue, extends an immediate and
irresistible influence over the United States.
"As this school is so interesting to the American public, we shall go into
some particulars respecting it. To avoid tediousness, the eminent
compositions of the English school may be reduced to two classes--lyrical
and sacred; or, as some would divide it, into three, adding madrigalists.
We can go back for the second class, as far as the time of Henry VIII. who
was himself no mean composer in church music. Purcell, the well-known
composer of the music for the Tempest, has stood the ordeal of nearly
three centuries. He was also the author of the music of the Indian Queen,
Arthur and Emmeline, and a variety of other pieces. It may be observed
that these names are not clustering, but solitary, appearing at long
intervals. Locke, the producer of the music in the incantation scene in
Macbeth, as now sung and played, was the contemporary of Purcell. Dr. Arne
next appears, the famous composer of Artaxerxes. Bishop, who has
identified himself with almost every thing valuable in modern composition,
is well known, as are also his works. It would be impossible to omit the
name of Handel, the great _thorough bass_ of musical composition, to whom
Mozart confessed that every subsequent composer had been signally indebted.
He is, by adoption and patronage, the property of the English school. It
may not be unacceptable to add, that he composed, besides his other
numerous works, one hundred and fifty-eight pieces, of which thirteen were
Italian operas, many of which were successful. The famous contest
between Handel and Buononcini in Italian composition was decided in favour
of the former by public acclamation. Those who are sceptical on the score
of his composing in Italian, are referred to the well-known air, 'Lord,
remember David,' which is to be found in the opera of Sosarmes, commencing
with the words, 'Rendi il sereno.'"
The list of operas recently performed in New York might put our patent
theatres a little to the blush, at least on the score of variety. Rokeby;
the Tempest; John of Paris; the Barber of Seville; the Caliph of Bagdad,
performed, and the Freischuetz in preparation, at _one theatre_. The
principal female singers are all English--Mrs. Austin, Mrs. Knight
(formerly Miss Povey), and Madame Feron. The American editor's remarks on
the two last named ladies, and on ballad singing in general, are so much
in accordance with our own opinions, except the praise he bestows on
Madame Feron's execution, that we cannot resist the temptation of
"Mrs. Knight's worst ballads, aided by a drum beaten by Mr. Knight, seem
to please the audience better than Mad. Feron's bravuras; indeed, we think
the manager would gain more by the adoption of Mrs. K. than Madame F. We
have remarked a listlessness on the part of Madame F., doubtlessly in
consequence of feeling that her best efforts are not appreciated by the
audience. We are not an ardent admirer of that lady's style: she has
evidently studied to surmount difficulties, without sufficiently paying
attention to the groundwork of singing; she fills you with admiration at
the execution of a tremendous passage, and then disappoints you by singing
a few sustained notes in a tremulous, uncertain manner. In making the
above observations on ballads, let us not be supposed to throw discredit
upon that style of composition. 'Robin Gray,' 'Oh no we never mention her,'
'The Soldier's Tear,' and such compositions, are a description of ballads,
of which, with the Irish, Scotch, and Welsh melodies, we are proud; but if
we admit that the drum and fife compositions of Mr. Lee and others, such
as 'Bonnets of blue,' 'Blue bonnets,' 'Charley's over the water,' and
'Over the water to Charley,' are other than trash, fit only to amuse the
gentlemen and ladies of colour in the gallery, we should be unworthy to be
editor of the 'Euterpeiad.'"
 There are thirty-two Italian operas by Handel, in MS. in his
Majesty's collection, and he composed eleven others--making
forty-three in all.--( _Editor of Harmonicon_.)
 How many more might the American writer have added to this
solitary one, had his list of Handel's Italian songs been at
hand. This great German composer was nearly as well
acquainted with the Italian language as with his own, and
often not only wrote letters in it, but employed it in many
of his private memorandums.--(_Ib_.)
* * * * *
HENRY MACKENZIE, ESQ.
We regret to announce the death of this eminent literary character, and
venerable citizen, so well known as the author of _The Man of Feeling_,
and many other productions. Mr. Mackenzie had been confined almost to his
room for a considerable time past by the general decay attending old age,
and expired, we understand, on the evening of Friday the 14th. There will
no doubt in time come from his friends a biographical account of so
distinguished and excellent a man; and although it might not be proper to
enter into detail at present, we cannot but with feelings of regret notice
the departure of almost the last of that eminent class of literary men,
who, above fifty years ago, cast such a lustre on our city. They were
succeeded, indeed, by a more stern, and probably more philosophical class
of writers, as displayed in the papers of the _Edinburgh Review_, and
similar productions; but in that delicate perception of human character
and human manners, so correctly, so elegantly, and often so humourously
delineated in the numbers of the _Mirror_ and _Lounger_, where Mr.
Mackenzie was the chief contributor, as well as in his other works, and in
his general views of the great principles of moral conduct, there have
been few authors more distinguished. The elegant society in Edinburgh,
well known in former days by the name of the "Mirror Club," consisted,
besides Mr. Mackenzie, of several gentlemen who were afterwards Judges in
the Court of Session--viz. Lord Bannatyne, Lord Cullen, Lord Abercrombie,
Lord Craig, and also Mr. George Home and Mr. George Ogilvie. The first,
now Sir William Bannatyne, a venerable and most accomplished gentleman of
the old school, is the only survivor. Mr. Mackenzie was in his 86th year,
having been born in 1745. His eldest son is Lord Mackenzie, at present an
eminent Judge in the Courts of Session and Justiciary.
--_Edinburgh Evening Courant._
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
Pope Leo X. was particularly fond of Querno, a poet, the author of "The
Alexiad," and who, at an entertainment given by some young men of rank,
had been dignified with the appellation of "The Arch Poet." Leo used
occasionally to send him some dishes from his table; and he was expected
to pay for each dish with a Latin distich. One day, as he was attending
Leo at dinner, and was ill of the gout, he made this line:
_Archi-poeta facit versus pro mille poetis:_
What pains for others the arch poet takes,
He for a thousand poets verses makes.
As Querno hesitated for the next line, the good-humoured Pontiff replied--
_Et pro mille aliis Archi-poeta bibit:_
If for a thousand he's obliged to think,
He chooses for as many more to drink.
Querno, willing to make up for his former deficiency, exclaimed--
_Porrige, quod facient mihi carmina docta Falernum:_
To aid my genius, and my wit refine,
Most Holy Pontiff, pour Falernian wine.
The Pope immediately replied--
_Hoc vinum enervat debilitatque pedes:_
I shall supply that wine with sparing hand,
Which from the feet takes off the power to stand.
* * * * *
The mind that never doubts shall learn nothing; the mind that ever doubts
shall never profit by learning. Our doubts only stir us up to seek truth;
our resolution settles us in the truth we have found. There were no
pleasure in resolution, if we had not been formerly troubled with doubts;
there were nothing but discomfort and disquietness in doubts, if it were
not for the hope of resolution. It is not good to let doubts dwell too
long upon the heart; there may be good use of them as passengers, but
dangerous as inmates.
* * * * *
CURIOUS ANECDOTE OF A PICTURE.
In Windsor Castle is the celebrated painting representing "_The Interview
of Henry the Eighth with Francis the First_," between Guisnes and Ardres,
near Calais, in the year 1520, on an open plain, since denominated _Le
Champ de Drap d'or_. "After the execution of Charles the First," says
Britton, "the parliament appointed commissioners to dispose of his effects,
and an agent from France began a treaty with them for this painting.
Philip, Earl of Pembroke, an eminent admirer of the arts, who considered
the picture as a valuable appendage to an English palace, resolved, if
possible, to prevent the bargain being concluded, and went privately to
the royal apartments, cut out the head of King Henry from the canvass,
placed it in his pocket-book, and retired unnoticed. The agent, finding
the picture so materially mutilated, declined to purchase; and it remained
in its station till Cromwell, having obtained the supreme command,
prevented any further disposal of the collection. On the Restoration, the
then Earl of Pembroke delivered the dissevered fragment to Charles the
Second, who ordered it to be reinserted in its place. By looking sideways
at the picture in a proper light, the reparation becomes visible."
* * * * *
It is reported of the Emperor Claudius, that he retained in memory all
Homer, Sallust, Demosthenes, Avicen, and Aristotle's Metaphysics.
Tully and Seneca never heard any thing material but it was imprinted in
Scaliger said he learned Homer in twelve days, and all the Greek poets in
Seneca, the philosopher, could repeat two thousand names in the exact
order in which they were rehearsed to him.
Themistocles, when he was promised to be taught the art of memory, said,
"I had rather be taught the art of forgetfulness, for I remember those
things I would not, and I cannot forget those things I would."
* * * * *
In the midst of the distresses with which France was harassed in the reign
of Charles VII., and whilst the English were in possession of Paris,
Charles amused himself and his mistresses with balls and entertainments.
The brave La Hire, coming to Charles one day, to talk to him on some
business of importance, whilst the luxurious prince was occupied in
arranging one of his parties of pleasure, was interrupted by the monarch,
who asked him what he thought of his arrangement. "I think, sire," said he,
"that it is impossible for any one to lose his kingdom more pleasantly
than your majesty."
* * * * *
A Lincolnshire farmer on being told that the low countries had risen, said
he "was glad to hear it, for they would not be so often injured by floods."
* * * * *
Despatch is the order of things, and I think the following cannot be
out-done by all the barberizing annals of ancient or modern times, not
even by the Patent Steam Shaving Machine, talked so much of a few years
ago:--There are opposite each other, in George-street, St. Giles's, two
barbers' shops, whose weekly customers average 3,000, and in one of them
is a man who has frequently, on a Sunday, mown the chins of the almost
incredible number, 500, the majority of these being Irish labourers, with
beards of a week's growth. In the other, a woman takes no inconsiderable
share in the arduous but impolite performance--pulling men by the nose.
* * * * *
In the Jamaica House of Assembly, a motion being made for leave to bring
in a bill to prevent the frauds of Wharfingers, Mr. Paul Phipps, member
for St. Andrew, rose and said, "Mr. Speaker, I second the motion; the
Wharfingers are, to a man, a set of rogues; I know it well; _I was one
myself for ten years_."
* * * * *
A little better taste (were it a very little) in the affair of life itself,
would mend the manners and secure the happiness of some of our noble
countrymen, who come with high advantage and a worthy character into the
* * * * *
With the present Number, 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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