The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction No. 485
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Barbara Tozier and PG Distributed
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 17, No. 485.] SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 1831. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
"_Bon pour la digestion_," said the young Princess Esterhazy, when sent to
bed by her governess without her dinner; we say the same of _coffee_; and
hope the reader will think the same of Mocha, or the place whence the
finest quality is exported.
Mocha, the coffee-drinker need not be told, is a place of some importance
on the borders of the Red Sea, in that part of Arabia termed "Felix," or
"Happy." "The town looks white and cheerful, the houses lofty, and have a
square, solid appearance; the roadstead is almost open, being only
protected by two narrow spits of sand--on one of which is a round castle,
and the other an insignificant fort."
Lord Valentia visited Mocha repeatedly during his examination of the
shores of the Red Sea; and his description is the most full and minute:--
 From whose work the Engraving is copied.
"Its appearance from the sea is, he says, tolerably handsome, as all the
buildings are white-washed, and the minarets of the three mosques rise to
a considerable height. The uniform line of the flat-roofed houses is also
broken by several circular domes of _kobbas_, or chapels. On landing at a
pier, which has been constructed for the convenience of trade, the effect
is improved by the battlements of the walls, and a lofty tower on which
cannon are mounted, which advances before the town, and is meant to
protect the sea gate. The moment, however, that the traveller passes the
gates, these pleasing ideas are put to flight by the filth that abounds in
every street, and more particularly in the open spaces which are left
within the walls, by the gradual decay of the deserted habitations which
once filled them. The principal building in the town is the residence of
the dola, which is large and lofty, having one front to the sea, and
another to a square. Another side of the square, which is the only regular
place in the town, is filled up by the official residence of the _bas
kateb_, or secretary of state, and an extensive serai, built by the
Turkish pacha during the time that Mocha was tributary to the Grand
Seignior. These buildings externally have no pretensions to architectural
elegance, yet are by no means ugly objects, from their turretted tops, and
fantastic ornaments in white stucco. The windows are in general small,
stuck into the wall in an irregular manner, closed with lattices, and
sometimes opening into a wooden, carved-work balcony. In the upper
apartments, there is generally a range of circular windows above the
others, filled with thin strata of a transparent stone, which is found in
veins in a mountain near Sanaa. None of these can be opened, and only a
few of the lower ones, in consequence of which, a thorough air is rare in
their houses; yet the people of rank do not seem oppressed by the heat,
which is frequently almost insupportable to a European.
"The best houses are all facing the sea, and chiefly to the north of the
sea gate. The British factory is a large and lofty building, but has most
of the inconveniences of an Arab house.
"The town of Mocha is surrounded by a wall, which towards the sea is not
above sixteen feet high, though on the land side it may, in some places,
be thirty. In every part it is too thin to resist a cannon-ball, and the
batteries along shore are unable to bear the shock of firing the cannon
that are upon them.
"The climate of Mocha is extremely sultry, owing to its vicinity to the
arid sands of Africa, over which the S.E. wind blows for so long a
continuance, as not to be cooled in its short passage over the sea below
the Straits Babel Mandel.
 From 90 to 95 deg. Fahr in July.
"Mocha, according to some learned natives, was not in existence four
hundred years ago; from which period we know nothing of it, till the
discoveries and conquests of the Portuguese in India opened the Red Sea to
the natives of Europe."
Mrs. Lushington, in her interesting _Journey from Calcutta to Europe_,
says, "the coffee-bean is cultivated in the interior, and is thence
brought to Mocha for exportation. The Arabs themselves use the husks,
which make but an inferior infusion. Every lady who pays a visit, carries
a small bag of coffee with her, which enables her 'to enjoy society
without putting her friends to expense.'"
Mocha coffee is in smaller berries than other kinds, and its flavour is
extremely fine. Hundreds of pages have been written on the origin and
introduction of coffee as a beverage. In the _Coffee-drinker's Manual_,
translated from the French, we find it dated at the middle of the
seventeenth century, and in that quarter of Arabia wherein Mocha is
* * * * *
ORIGIN OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
(_To the Editor._)
As a general reader of your entertaining miscellany, I take the liberty to
correct a mistake in No. 481, relative to the Origin of the House of
Commons, which is indirectly stated to have _originated from the Battle of
Evesham_. It is true that the earliest instance on record of the
assembling in parliament representatives of the people occurred in the
same year with the battle of Evesham; but it had no connexion whatever
with the event of that engagement, since the parliament (to which for the
first time citizens and burgesses were summoned) was assembled through the
influence of the Earl of Leicester, who then held the king under his
control; and the meeting took place in the beginning of the year 1265, the
writs of summons having been issued in November, 1264; while the battle of
Evesham, in which the Earl of Leicester was killed, did not happen till
August 4, 1265, or between five and six months after the conclusion of the
parliament. From that period to the death of Henry III. in 1272, it does
not appear that any election of citizens or burgesses, to attend
parliament, occurred. The next instance of such elections seems to have
happened in the 18th of Edward I.; and the first returns to such writs of
summons extant are dated the 23rd of the same reign, since which, with a
few intermissions, they have been regularly continued.
The correctness of these statements will appear from a reference to the
4th and 5th chapters of Sir W. Betham's recently published work on
"Dignities Feudal and Parliamentary," or to Sir James Mackintosh's History
* * * * *
We admit that the battle of Evesham, literally speaking, was not the
origin of the House of Commons, and wish our correspondent P.T.W. had
furnished us with the name of the "modern writer" who has made the
assertion. At the same time it must be conceded that the fall of Simon de
Montfort, at Evesham, led to the more speedy consummation of the wished
for object. Thus Sir James Mackintosh, History of England, vol. i. p. 236,
"Simon de Montfort, at the very moment of his fall, set the example of an
extensive reformation in the frame of parliament, which, though his
authority was not acknowledged by the punctilious adherents to the letter
and forms of law, was afterwards legally adopted by Edward, and rendered
the parliament of that year the model of the British parliament, and in a
considerable degree affected the constitution of all other representative
assemblies. It may indeed be considered as the practical discovery of
popular representation. The particulars of the war are faintly discerned
at the distance of six or seven centuries. The reformation of parliament,
which first afforded proof from experience that liberty, order, greatness,
power, and wealth, are capable of being blended together in a degree of
harmony which the wisest men had not before believed to be possible, will
be held in everlasting remembrance. He died unconscious of the
imperishable name which he acquired by an act which he probably considered
as of very small importance--the summoning a parliament, of which the
lower house was composed, as it has ever since been formed, of knights of
the shires, and members for cities and boroughs. He thus unknowingly
determined that England was to be a free country; and he was the blind
instrument of disclosing to the world that great institution of
representation which was to introduce into popular governments a
regularity and order far more perfect than had heretofore been purchased
by submission to absolute power, and to draw forth liberty from
confinement in single cities to a fitness for being spread over
territories which, experience does not forbid us to hope, may be as vast
as have ever been grasped by the iron gripe of a despotic conqueror. The
origin of so happy an innovation is one of the most interesting objects of
inquiry which occurs in human affairs; but we have scarcely any positive
information on the subject; for our ancient historians, though they are
not wanting in diligently recording the number and the acts of national
assemblies, describe their composition in a manner too general to be
instructive, and take little note of novelty or peculiarity in the
constitution of that which was called by the Earl of Leicester.
"That assembly met at London, on the 22nd of January, 1265, according to
writs still extant, and the earliest of their kind known to us, directing
'the sheriffs to elect and return two knights for each county, two
citizens for each city, and two burgesses for every burgh in the county.'
If this assembly be supposed to be the same which is vested with the power
of granting supply by the Great Charter of John, the constitution must be
thought to have undergone an extensive, though unrecorded, revolution in
the somewhat inadequate space of only fifty years, which had elapsed since
the capitulation of Runnymede; for in the Great Charter we find the
tenants of the crown in chief alone expressly mentioned as forming with
the prelates and peers the common council for purposes of taxation; and
even they seem to have been required to give their personal attendance,
the important circumstances of election and representation not being
mentioned in the treaty with John;--neither does it contain any
stipulation of sufficient distinctness applicable to cities and boroughs,
for which the charter provides no more than the maintenance of their
"Probably conjecture is all that can now be expected respecting the rise
and progress of these changes. It is, indeed, beyond all doubt, that by
the constitution, even as subsisting under the early Normans, the great
council shared the legislative power with the king, as clearly as the
parliament have since done. But these great councils do not seem to
have contained members of popular choice; and the king, who was supported
by the revenue of his demesnes, and by dues from his military tenants,
does not appear at first to have imposed, by legislative authority,
general taxes to provide for the security and good government of the
community.--These were abstract notions, not prevalent in ages when the
monarch was a lord paramount rather than a supreme magistrate. Many of the
feudal perquisites had been arbitrarily augmented, and oppressively
levied. These the Great Charter, in some cases, reduced to a certain sum;
while it limited the period of military service itself. With respect to
scutages and aids, which were not capable of being reduced to a fixed
rate, the security adopted was, that they should never be legal, unless
they were assented to at least by the majority of those who were to pay
them. Now these were not the people at large, but the military tenants of
the crown, who are accordingly the only persons entitled to be present at
the great council to be holden for taxation. Very early, however,
talliages had been exacted by the crown from those who were not military
tenants; and this imposition daily grew in importance with the relaxation
of the feudal tenures, and the increasing opulence of towns. The attempt
of the barons to include talliage, and even the vague mention of the
privileges of burghs, are decisive symptoms of this silent revolution. But
the generally feudal character of the charter and the main object of its
framers prevailed over that premature, but very honest, effort of the
 "Legis habet vigorem, quicquid de consilio et consensu
magnatum et reipublicae communi sponsione, authoritate regis,
juste fuerit definitum."--_Bracton_.
We recommend the reader to turn to the pages succeeding the above extract,
where the views of the enlightened author and statesman on the origin of
our parliament are set forth in perspicuous and masterly style.
* * * * *
VISIT TO CORFE CASTLE.
(_From a Correspondent._)
This is Corfe Castle! the celebrated structure, the date of which, and the
founder of which, are lost in antiquity:
"It stands to tell
A melancholy tale, to give
An awful warning; soon
Oblivion will steal silently
The remnant of its fame."
The castle is situate on the summit of a vast pyramidical mound, situated
abruptly in an opening of the chalk range extending from Ballard Down to
Worthbarrow in the Isle of Purbeck, county of Dorset. The walls are
extremely thick, (12 feet in some places,) and are about half a mile in
circuit. On the northern side the steepness of the ascent renders it
inaccessible, and on the south is a deep ditch, over which is a bridge of
three arches commanded by a gateway, flanked by two circular massive
towers. The first ward has several towers. Passing onwards in a
considerable ascent, we reached a second bridge guarded by a gate and
towers, and entered the second ward, in which are the ruins of five
towers. Winding round to the right, the explorer enters on the third and
principal ward, which stands on the summit of the hill; here were the
state apartments, store rooms, chapel, &c. built on vaults. The view from
this portion of the ruin is magnificent. A wide expanse of flat country
extending to Lytchett Bay and Poole, lies immediately at your feet. The
gloomy fir trees wave in solemnity, and form in their darkness, a striking
contrast with the dwellings that are scattered over the scene, and appear
like specks of dazzling white; the estuary of Poole Harbour stretches
along the distance like a mirror, and its molten silver-like appearance is
broken here and there by small islands, among which Brownsea is
conspicuous. Here we stood leaning over the northern battlement
contemplating the face of a delightful country, smiling in peace,--from
the stern and rugged fastness of war.
It was a bright summer's day; strong masses of light and shade lay
sleeping on the walls of the ruins, the dungeons were partially lighted by
the rays which broke into their gloom, and it chanced to be a village
"Within the massy prison's mouldering courts,
Fearless and free the ruddy children played,
Weaving gay chaplets for their innocent brows
With the green ivy and the red wall-flower,
That mocks the dungeon's unavailing gloom;
The ponderous chains and gratings of strong iron,
There rusted amid heaps of broken stone
That mingled slowly with their native earth.
There the broad beam of day, which feebly once
Lighted the cheek of lean captivity
With a pale and sickly glare, then freely shone
On the pure smiles of infant playfulness.
No more the shuddering voice of hoarse despair
Pealed through the echoing vaults, but soothing notes
Of joy fingered winds and gladsome birds
And merriment were resonant around."
Such were our feelings as we wandered musing and admiring amid the
stupendous ruins of this once magnificent fabric.
"Now Time his dusky pennons o'er the scene,
Closes in stedfast darkness."
The pomp of its splendour has passed away, and the stern wardour disputing
entrance to the belted knight is now succeeded by a lank cobbler, who
watches for lounging strangers, and acts as "_Cicerone_," blending the
most absurd and ridiculous stories in order to eke another sixpence from
the purse of his auditor, and to add greater importance to himself; but he
had a most amusing method of answering any startling questions as to date,
by significantly observing in the purest Dorset dialect, "Why Lord love
ye, zur, it wur avore the memory of ony maun in the parish!"
Apropos to dates, the earliest mention of Corfe is A.D. 978, when the
Saxon annals narrate the murder of Edward, King of the West Saxons,
committed here by his mother-in-law, Elfrida.
It was in the gloomy dungeons of this castle that King John starved to
death twenty-two prisoners of war, many of whom were among the first
nobility of Poictu, victims to the cruelty of a barbarous sceptered
tyrant! Then again, we thought of the fate of Peter of Pontefract, the
imprudent prophet, who, if he had turned over a page in the book of fate,
should have folded down the leaf instead of incurring the monarch's
vengeance by meddling with state affairs.
It was in this fortress that the unfortunate Edward II. was murdered in
1372, by his cruel keepers, Sir John Maltravers, and Sir Thomas Gurney,
who having removed the dethroned monarch from castle to castle, subjecting
him to every hardship and indignity, hoping that ill-treatment might
shorten his days. At last they determined amidst the profound security
afforded by this impregnable castle, to effect his death in the most
horrible manner, in order to prevent marks of violence being seen on his
corpse, namely, by inserting a horn tube into his body, through which was
conveyed a red-hot iron! Well may the traveller shudder at these ruins as
they beetle over him in frowning ruggedness, for they have been the
murderers' den; and doubtless many a deed of slaughter has been committed
in them, which has never come to light, under tyrannical power, which has
never come to the knowledge of men or blotted the page of history.
The vast masses of the castle ruins which lie scattered about and in the
vale below, form a scene of havoc and devastation, at once magnificent and
impressive. The towers were blasted with gunpowder, and many
"Which do slope
Their heads to their foundations,"
appear as if they were yet staggering from the blast of the mine which
sprung them from their beds; they lean as if ready to tumble down the
steep sides of the hill, and appear as if a child's finger would roll them
headlong. The ruins are in the possession of the family of Bankes.
In a meadow in the vale on the west side, which leads, by the by, to
Orchard Farm, is to be seen a curious earthwork, apparently ancient
British, which, from its structure, might have been a place of druidical
judicature, or for pastimes. This relic has, we believe, escaped the
notice of the intelligent Rev. John Clavell of Kimmeridge; and if the
public are ever to be favoured with the result of his studies and patient
investigations, it will be one of the most extraordinary productions of
There is a small work on Corfe Castle, published by a very intelligent
resident of Wareham; and we are in hopes that the grey and hoary ruins may
call forth the muse of J.F. Pennie, who resides on this wild romantic
district, and whom we met with pleasure in our rambles.
JAMES SILVESTER, SEN.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
KNOWLEDGE FOR THE PEOPLE; OR, THE PLAIN WHY AND BECAUSE.
Part 6.--_Sports and Pastimes._
We quote the following from HUNTING:
Why is it inferred that hunting was practised by the ancient Britons?
Because Dionysius (who lived 50 B.C.) says, that the inhabitants of the
northern part of this island tilled no ground, but lived in great part
upon the food they procured by hunting. Strabo (nearly contemporary) also
says, that the dogs bred in Britain were highly esteemed upon the
continent, on account of their excellent qualities for hunting.
Caesar tells us, that venison constituted a great portion of their food;
and as they had in their possession such dogs as were naturally prone to
the chase, there can be little doubt that they would exercise them for
procuring their favourite diet; besides, they kept large herds of cattle
and flocks of sheep, both of which required protection from the wolves and
other ferocious animals that infested the woods and coverts, and must
frequently have rendered hunting an act of absolute necessity.--_Strutt._
Why is hunting considered more ancient than hawking?
Because, in the earliest ages of the world, hunting was a necessary labour
of self-defence, or the first law of nature, rather than a pastime; while
hawking could never have been adopted from necessity, or in
Why was hunting originally considered a royal and noble sport?
Because, as early as the ninth century, it formed an essential part of the
education of a young nobleman. Alfred the Great was an expert and
successful hunter before he was twelve years of age. Among the tributes
imposed by Athelstan, upon a victory over Constantine, King of Wales, were
"hawks and sharp-scented dogs, fit for hunting of wild beasts." Edward the
Confessor "took the greatest delight to follow a pack of swift hounds in
pursuit of game, and to cheer them with his voice."--_Malmesbury._ Harold,
his successor, rarely travelled without his hawk and hounds. William the
Norman, and his immediate successors, restricted hunting to themselves and
their favourites. King John was particularly attached to field sports, and
even treated the animals worse than his subjects. In the reign of Edward
II. hunting was reduced to a perfect science, and rules established for
its practice; these were afterwards extended by the _master of the game_
belonging to Henry IV., and drawn up for the use of his son, Henry Prince
of Wales, in two tracts, which are extant. Edward III., according to
Froissart, while at war with France, and resident there, had with him
sixty couple of stag-hounds, and as many hare-hounds, and every day hunted
or hawked. Gaston, Earl of Foix, a foreign nobleman, contemporary with
Edward, also kept six hundred dogs in his castle for hunting. James I.
preferred hunting to hawking or shooting; so that it was said of him, "he
divided his time betwixt his standish, his bottle, and his hunting; the
last had his fair weather, the two former his dull and cloudy."
Ladies' hunting-dresses of the 15th century, as figured in Strutt's
Sports, &c., differ but little from the modern riding habit.
Why are greyhounds still petted by ladies?
Because in former times they were considered as valuable presents,
especially among the ladies, with whom they appear to have been peculiar
favourites. In an ancient metrical romance (Sir Eglamore), a princess
tells the knight, that if he was inclined to hunt, she would, as an
especial mark of her favour, give him an excellent greyhound, so swift
that no deer could escape from his pursuit.--_Strutt._
Why were certain forests called royal chases?
Because the privileges of hunting there were confined to the king and his
favourites; and, to render these receptacles for the beasts of the chase
more capacious, or to make new ones, whole villages were depopulated, and
places of divine worship overthrown, not the least regard being paid to
the miseries of the suffering inhabitants, or the cause of
Why were lands first imparked?
Because their owners might still more effectually preserve deer and other
animals for hunting.
A recent French newspaper gave notice of an association for the purpose of
enabling persons of all ranks to enjoy the pleasures of the chase. A park
of great extent is to be taken on lease near Paris; its extent is about
six thousand acres, partly arable, and partly forest ground. The plan is,
to open it to subscribers during six months--viz. from September 1 to
March 1, an ample stock of game being secured in preserves.
Why were parks and inclosures usually attached to priories?
Because they were receptacles of game for the clergy of rank, who at all
times had the privilege of hunting in their own possessions. At the time
of the Reformation, the see of Norwich only was in the possession of no
less than thirteen parks, well stocked with deer and other animals for the
The eagerness of the clergy for hunting is described as irrepressible.
Prohibitions of councils produced little effect. In some instances a
particular monastery obtained a dispensation. Thus, that of St. Denis, in
774, represented to Charlemagne that the flesh of hunted animals was
salutary for sick monks, and that their skins would serve to bind books in
the library. Alexander III., by a letter to the clergy of Berkshire,
dispenses with their keeping the archdeacon in dogs and hawks during his
visitation.--_Rymer._ An archbishop of York, in 1321, carried a train of
two hundred persons, who were maintained at the expense of the abbeys on
his road, and who hunted with a pack of hounds from parish to
parish!--_Whitaker's Hist. of Craven_, quoted in _Hallam's Hist. Middle
Why was hunting formerly a very convenient resource for the wholesomeness,
as well as luxury, of the table?
Because the natural pastures being then unimproved, and few kinds of
fodder for cattle discovered, it was impossible to maintain the summer
stock during the cold season. Hence a portion of it was regularly
slaughtered and salted for winter provision. We may suppose, therefore,
that when no alternative was offered but these salt meats, even the
leanest venison was devoured with relish.--_Hallam's Hist. Middle Ages._
Why were all the great forests pierced by those long rectilinear alleys
which appear in old prints, and are mentioned in old books?
Because the avenues were particularly necessary for those large parties,
resembling our modern _battues_, where the honoured guests being stationed
in fit _standings_, had an opportunity of displaying their skill in venery
by selecting the buck which was in season, and their dexterity at bringing
him down with the cross-bow or long-bow.
Why should a deer-park exhibit but little artificial arrangement in its
Because the stag, by nature one of the freest denizens of the forest, can
only be kept even under comparative restraint, by taking care that all
around him intimates a complete state of forest and wilderness. Thus,
there ought to be a variety of broken ground, of copse-wood, and of
growing timber--of land, and of water. The soil and herbage must be left
in its natural state; the long fern, amongst which the fawns delight to
repose, must not be destroyed.
Why did the common people formerly call the forest "good," and the
Because of the pleasure they took in the scenes themselves, as well as in
the pastimes which they afforded.
Why is a short gallop called a canter?
Because of its abbreviation from Canterbury, the name of the pace used by
the monks in going to that city.
Why was a certain noise called the "hunt's-up?"
Because it was made to rouse a person in a morning; originally a tune
played to wake the sportsmen, and call them together, the purport of which
was, _The hunt is up!_ which was the subject of hunting ballads also.
This expression is common among the older poets. One Gray, it is said,
grew into good estimation with Henry VIII. and the Duke of Somerset, "for
making certaine merry ballades, whereof one chiefly was, _the hunte is up!
the hunte is up!_" Shakspeare has--
Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray,
Hunting thee hence with _hunts-up_ to the day.
_Romeo and Juliet._
Again, in Drayton's _Polyolbion_--
No sooner doth the earth her flow'ry bosom brave,
At such time as the year brings on the pleasant spring,
But _hunts-up_ to the morn the feather'd sylvans sing.
Why is a small hunting horn called a bugle?
Because of its origin from _bugill_, which means a buffalo, or perhaps any
horned cattle. In the Scottish dialect it was _bogle_, or _bowgill_.
_Buffe_, _bugle_, and _buffalo_, are all given by Barrett, as synonimous
for the wild ox.--_Nares' Glossary_.
Why is the stirrup so called?
Because of its origin from _stigh-rope_, from _stigan ascendere_, to
mount; and thus termed by our Saxon ancestors, from a rope being used for
mounting when stirrups began to be used in this island. It is evident,
from various monuments of antiquity, that, at first, horsemen rode without
either saddles or stirrups.
Why are sportsmen said to hunt counter?
Because they hunt the wrong way, and trace the scent backwards. Thus, in
an old-work, _Gentleman's Recreations_: "When the hounds or beagles hunt
it by the heel, we say they hunt counter." To hunt by the heel must be to
go towards the heel instead of the toe of the game--i.e.
* * * * *
WEATHER AT PARIS.
It appears from observations made at the Royal Observatory in Paris, that,
in the year 1830, the number of fine days was 164; of cloudy, 181; of
rainy, 149; of foggy, 228; of frosty, 28; of snowy, 24; of sleety, 8; of
thundery, 13. The wind was northerly 44 times; north-easterly, 23 times;
easterly, 17 times; south-easterly, 23 times; southerly, 74 times;
south-westerly, 69 times; westerly, 71 times; and north-westerly, 47
times.--_New Monthly Magazine._
* * * * *
It appears, from Parliamentary Returns, that _five thousand three hundred
and seventy-nine_ "beer houses" have been opened under the new Act in
England and Wales; while the number of public-houses licensed is
forty-five thousand six hundred and twenty-four. The number of beer-houses
opened in Wales, is one thousand seven hundred and seventy-three, nearly
half the number opened in all England--the number for England is three
thousand six hundred and six.--_Ib._
* * * * *
According to a Parliamentary Return just printed, the gross amount of sums
received on account of savings' banks is, since their establishment in
1817, 20,760,228l. Amount of sums paid, 5,648,338l. The balance therefore
is, 15,111,890l. It also states that the gross amount of interest paid and
credited to savings' banks by the commissioners for the reduction of the
national debt is, 5,141,410l. 8s. 7d.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
According to the Parliamentary Returns, the quantity of soap charged with
the excise duty in great Britain, in the year ending the 5th of January,
1830, was--of hard soap, 103,041,961 lbs.; of soft soap, 9,068,918 lbs. In
the year ending the 5th of January last, the quantity was--of hard,
117,324,320 lbs.; and of soft, 10,209,519 lbs. The number of licenses
granted to soap-makers in the United Kingdom in the former year was 585,
and in the latter 542.--_Ib._
* * * * *
We have the pleasure of resuming these innate illustrations of genius.
Some of the present specimens are copied from the plate appended to the
_Edinburgh Literary Journal_, whence the page in No. 478 of the _Mirror_
was taken. First is
LEIGH HUNT.--Leigh Hunt's writing is a good deal like the man: it is
constrainedly easy, with an affectation of ornament, yet withal a good
hand. The signature is copied from a letter written to a friend in
Edinburgh, in 1820; and as one part of this letter is curious and
interesting, we have pleasure in presenting it to our readers. We are
inclined to believe that there are many good points about Leigh Hunt. We
like the spirit of the following extract from his letter:--
"And this reminds me to tell you, that I am not the author of the book
called the Scottish Fiddle, which I have barely seen. The name alone, if
you had known me, would have convinced you that I could not have been the
author. I had made quite mistakes enough about Sir Walter, not to have to
answer for this too. I took him for a mere courtier and political bigot.
When I read his novels, which I did very lately, at one large glut (with
the exception of the Black Dwarf, which I read before), I found that when
he spoke so charitably of the mistakes of kings and bigots, he spoke out
of an abundance of knowledge, instead of narrowness, and that he could
look with a kind eye also at the mistakes of the people. If I still think
he has too great a leaning to the former, and that his humanity is a
little too much embittered with spleen, I can still see and respect the
vast difference between the spirit which I formerly thought I saw in him,
and the little lurking contempts and misanthropies of a naturally wise and
kind man, whose blood perhaps has been somewhat saddened by the united
force of thinking and sickliness. He wishes us all so well that he is
angry at not finding us better. His works occupy the best part of some
book-shelves always before me, where they continually fill me with
admiration for the author's genius, and with regret for my petty mistakes
about it."--_Edinburgh Literary Journal._
J. SINCLAIR--the signature of the venerable Sir John Sinclair, Bart., who
has written and edited upwards of 25 useful works.
CAROLINE NORTON--the Honourable Mrs. Norton, author of the "Sorrows of
Rosalie," the "Undying One," &c., and grand-daughter of the late Mr.
Thomas Sheridan. This signature is from a superb portrait in a recent
Number of the _New Monthly Magazine_: a lovelier and more intellectual
head and front we never beheld.
B.R. HAYDON--peculiarly characteristic of the writer's style of
painting--large and bold. Whoever has seen his _Napoleon_, just opened for
exhibition, must, we think, acknowledge the above identity. In our next
Number we intend to notice the above triumph of art.
ALARIC A. WATTS--an elegant hand, worthy of the editor of the most elegant
of the Annuals: this, however, is not Mr. Watts's ordinary signature.
J. MONTGOMERY.--This hand is far more redundant in ornament than one would
have expected from so gentle and talented a Quaker; but the Quaker has
been lost in the poet, as an old grey wall is concealed under a luxuriant
mantling of ivy. The autograph now engraved is copied from the signature
attached to the original of his beautiful poem on Night, beginning--"Night
is the time for rest."--_Edinburgh Literary Journ._
CH. MAURICE DE TALLEYRAND--whose life will hereafter be traced throughout
a volume of the history of the last and present century. His age is 77.
This signature is copied from the Frontispiece to the last edition to the
_Court and Camp of Bonaparte_, in the _Family Library_, which is a fine
portrait of Talleyrand, engraved by Finden, from a picture by Girard.
H. MACKENZIE--author of the _Man of Feeling_, &c. He died during the past
year, in Edinburgh.
* * * * *
* * * * *
PANORAMA OF HOBART TOWN.
Mr. R. Burford, the most successful panorama painter of his day, has
lately completed a View of Hobart Town, Van Dieman's Land, and the
surrounding country, which he is now exhibiting in the Strand. It is not,
perhaps, the most striking picture this ingenious artist has produced, yet
it is certainly one of the most interesting. The embellishments of books
of travels, the sketches of tourists, and the extravagant _annual_ prints,
have familiarized the stay-at-home reader with almost every city on the
European continent; but a view in Van Dieman's Land is much more of a
novelty. It is comparatively a _terra incognita_, about which every one
must feel some curiosity, though more rationally expressed than that of a
King of Persia, who asked what sort of a place America was--"underground,
or how?" For the purpose of giving a general idea of a country, a
panoramic painting is well adapted: the size of the objects is at once
natural, there is no straining of eyes to make them out, and the effect of
the whole scene is that of being dropped in the midst of the country, and
its surface at once spread before us.
Of Hobart Town we quote a brief description from Mr. Burford's pamphlet,
or key to the picture:--
"The capital and seat of government of Van Dieman's Land, or Tasmania, is
delightfully situated at the head of Sullivan's Cove, on the south-east
side of the river Derwent, about twelve miles from its mouth. The town is
built on two small hills and the intermediate valley, the whole gently
sloping towards the harbour from the foot of Mount Wellington--a rock
which suddenly rears its snow-clad summit to the height of 4,000 feet.
Through the centre of the town a rapid stream takes its course, giving
motion to several mills, and affording a constant supply of most excellent
water for all domestic purposes, as well as increasing the salubrity and
beauty of the neighbourhood. From the summit of one of these hills, the
present panorama was taken, which, although it does not include the
buildings in the lowest part of the valley, exhibits every object
particularly deserving notice, as well as the broad expanse of the
Derwent, covered with ships, boats, &c. Beyond the town, and on the
opposite side of the river, the eye ranges over a vast extent of country,
richly variegated and diversified by gently rising hills, broad and
verdant slopes, farms, and pasture lands, in the highest state of
cultivation, presenting the most agreeable scenes, replete with the useful
product of a rich soil and fine climate; the whole bounded by lofty
mountains, clothed with rich and almost impervious forests of evergreens,
occasionally intermixed with high and nearly perpendicular rocks, whose
summits are, for a great part of the year, covered with snow;--the whole
forming one of the most agreeable, picturesque, and romantic scenes that
can be conceived.
"Van Dieman's Land is, from north to south, one hundred and sixty miles in
length; and from east to west, one hundred and forty-five miles in width;
being separated from the main land by Bass's Straits, which are nearly one
hundred miles across. The whole island, which is, almost without
exception, of the most fertile and beautiful description, is divided into
two counties--Buckingham and Cornwall--of which Hobart Town and Dalrymple
are the capitals: the distance between them is one hundred and twenty
"Hobart Town contains at present, upwards of one thousand houses, and has
a resident population exceeding seven thousand persons. The town is well
planned, and the streets, which intersect each other at right angles, are
wide, the law compelling persons who build to leave at least sixty feet in
width for carriage and foot ways: they are Macadamized, and are, as well
as the numerous bridges over the stream, kept in excellent condition by
the chain gangs. The houses are generally built at a short distance from
each other, and are partly surrounded with gardens, which, with a very
little attention, not always bestowed, become very ornamented and useful,
producing, not only the many beautiful trees and shrubs of the country,
but every fruit, flower, and vegetable, common in England. The houses are
generally of two, sometimes of three, stories in height, well built of
brick or stone, and covered with shingles of the peppermint tree; some few
are still only weather boarded. The bricks are of a good and durable
quality, and the free-stone of a very beautiful description, but
exceedingly dear. Many buildings are formed of rough hewn stone, stuccoed
with a good white cement, which keeps very clean. Macquarrie-street,
running in a straight line from the Pier, contains many very handsome
public buildings and private houses, being the residences of the principal
settlers, merchants, &c. Rents are in general very high;--a small house of
four rooms and a kitchen, will let for sixty or eighty pounds per annum;
and a large one, adapted for a store, will obtain from two to three
hundred. It cannot be expected at this early period, that the public
buildings should display much architectural ornament; it is sufficient
that they are large, substantially built, and well adapted for the several
purposes for which they were erected.--Besides the church, there is a
Scotch church, a neat stone building, near the barracks; a Wesleyan
meeting, a stuccoed building in Bathurst-street; and a small Catholic
chapel in Patrick-street. There are several excellent academies, and a
seminary for young ladies, where first-rate accomplishments are taught,
and every possible care taken of the health and morals of their pupils, by
Mrs. Midwood and Miss Shartland; there are also day charity schools, on
the Lancastrian system, for the children of convicts, labourers, &c. The
boarding houses and hotels are well conducted and comfortable; at the
latter, every accommodation to be found in one of the best English inns
may be had, but at a truly English price; the low public houses and the
grog shops are of the vilest description. An active and vigilant police
has been recently reorganised, under the superintendence of two officers
from England, whose exertions are already attended with the most
"The climate is most salubrious, the mean temperature being 60 deg.
Fahrenheit; the extremes, 36 deg. 80 deg. The spring usually commences in
September; the summer in December; the autumn in April; and the winter,
seven weeks of which is very severe, in June."
The Panorama is well executed throughout, and in parts, with much delicacy
and finish. The distant country, bays, and points, are for the most part
delightfully painted. Here and there are spots which almost remind us of
--locos loetos, et amoena vireta,
Fortunatorum nemorum, sedesque beatas:
and, without any view to a transportable offence, a man might well wish to
settle himself here "for life."
Mr. Burford's "Descriptions" are perhaps better drawn up than those of
exhibitions in general. In the Keyplate before us, fifty-two points or
objects are denoted, and further illustrated by half-a-dozen pages of
letter-press.--In the town are seen the barracks; the governor's,
commissary's, and judges' residences; hotel, jail, lime-kilns, church,
court-house, bank, hospital, treasury, pier, &c., and Mrs. Midwood's
seminary. Groups of convicts enliven the picture--we had almost said
en_lighten_ it, from recollection of the picking propensities to which
hundreds of them are indebted for their abode here. They are deplorable
specimens of fallen nature--such as may be seen in droves slinking to
their work in the dock-yard at Portsmouth, or elsewhere, and still bearing
the front of humanity in their begrimed features, but harrowing the
spectator with painful recollections of their moral abandonment. One of
the groups is a chain gang at work--breaking stones for the road--or, a
last effort at self-improvement, by mending the ways of others. How
different would these worthies appear in a rabble rout at a London fire,
or in all the sleekness of civilization, as exhibited in the sundry
avocations of picking a pocket, in easing a country gentleman of his
uncrumpled or bright dividend, or studying our ease and comfort by helping
themselves to all our houses contain without the rudeness of disturbing
our slumbers. A neighbouring group of natives, though less sightly than
these fallen sons of civilization, in a moral point of view, would be a
happy contrast, could we but look into the hearts of both parties, and see
what is passing therein.
But we are moralizing, and this may not be the most showy inducement for
the reader to visit Mr. Burford's Panorama, and admire its pictorial
beauties. Let him do so; and before he leaves the place, turn about, and
think for himself, and be assured there is good in every thing.
* * * * *
An exquisite specimen of this branch of art, by the ingenious Mr. R.
Martin, of Holborn, has hitherto escaped our notice. It was forwarded to
us some weeks since, and accidentally mislaid. It is, however, never too
late to be just--by saying that the performance before us, in clearness,
delicacy, and finish, equals, if not exceeds, every specimen yet produced
in this country, or those we have seen on or from the continent. The
Drawing is about the size of two pages of the _Mirror_, and exhibits
specimens of almost every branch of the art. Thus, there are fruit and
flowers--an antique cross--a Gothic tomb--bust and ornamented
pedestal--laurel wreath--the Corinthian capital and Egyptian
architecture--wood scenery--a beautiful landscape--a portrait of Lord
Clarendon--"Portrait of a Lady"--a storm on the sea-coast--anatomical
picture--a crouching tiger--a charter, with the seal affixed, the latter
extremely fine--a country plan, very delicate and clear--suit of ancient
armour, &c. The etchy spirit of these subjects almost equals the finest
work on copper, and its elaborateness proves to how great perfection
English artists have already carried the art of drawing on stone. Compared
with some of their early productions, the present is a marvel of art: it
combines the perspicuity of a pen-and-ink drawing with the freedom and
fine effect of chalk drawing. We hope to hear nothing more of the
_uncertainty_ of lithography.
* * * * *
Is the only consistent species of public love. A patriot may be honest in
one thing, yet a knave in all else;--a philanthropist sees and seizes the
_whole_ of virtue.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
PUNCH AND JUDY.
_By a Modern Pythagorean._
One day last summer I happened to be travelling in the coach between
Lanark and Glasgow. There were only two inside passengers besides myself;
viz. an elderly woman, and a gentleman, apparently about thirty years of
age, who sported a fur cap, a Hessian cloak, and large moustaches. The
former was, I think, about the most unpleasant person to look at I had
ever seen. Her features were singularly harsh and forbidding. She was also
perfectly taciturn, for she never opened her lips, but left me and the
other passenger to keep up the conversation the best way we could. The
young man I found to be a very pleasant and intelligent fellow--quite a
gentleman in his manners; and apparently either an Oxon or a Cantab, for
he talked much and well about the English universities, a subject on which
I also happened to be tolerably conversant. But, agreeable as his
conversation was, it could not prevent me from entertaining an unpleasant
feeling--one almost amounting to dislike and hostility--against the
female; whom I regarded, from the first moment, with singular aversion. We
were not troubled, however, very long with her company, for she left us at
Dalserf, about half way between Lanark and Hamilton.
"It is very curious, sir," said I to the stranger when she had gone, "that
I should feel so strangely annoyed as I have been with that woman. I
absolutely know nothing about her, and cannot lay a single fault to her
charge, but plain looks and taciturnity; and yet I feel as if no
inducement would tempt me to step again into a coach where I knew she was
to be present. And after all, for any thing I know to the contrary, she
may be a very good woman."
"Your feelings, sir," answered he, "are remarkable, but by no means new;
for I have myself been subject to a precisely similar train of emotions,
and from a cause similar to yours. The thing is odd, I allow--what my
friend, Coleridge, would call a psychological curiosity--but, I believe,
every human being has at times felt it more or less. The unlucky woman who
has proved such a source of annoyance to you, has been none whatever to
me. She is plain-looked, to be sure, but it did not strike me that there
was any thing peculiarly unpleasant in her aspect; and as for her silence,
_that_, in my eyes, is no discommendation. So much for the different
trains of emotions experienced by different persons from the same cause.
There is, in truth, my dear sir, no accounting for such metaphysical
phenomena. We must just take them as we find them, and be contented to
know the effect while we remain in ignorance of the cause. Now, to show
that you do not stand alone in such feelings, I shall, with your
permission, relate an event which lately occurred to myself; on which
occasion I was horribly annoyed by a circumstance in itself perfectly
harmless and trivial, and which gave me much more disturbance than the
taciturn lady who has just left us has given to you. My adventure, in
truth, was attended with such extraordinary results, both to myself and
another individual, that it possesses many of the characters of a genuine
romance." Having expressed my desire to hear what he had to relate on such
a subject, he proceeded as follows:--
"The circumstance I allude to happened not long ago, while supping at the
house of a literary friend in Edinburgh. On arriving, about nine in the
evening, I was ushered into his library, where I found him, accompanied by
two other friends; and in the short interval which elapsed before supper
was announced, we amused ourselves looking at his books, and making
comments upon such of them as struck our fancy. Our host was distinguished
for learning; he was a man, in fact, of uncommon abilities, both natural
and acquired; and the two guests who chanced to be with him were, in this
particular, little inferior to himself. Among the other books which we
happened to take up, was _Punch and Judy_, illustrated by the inimitable
pencil of George Cruikshank. While looking at these capital delineations
of the characters in the famous popular opera of the fairs, no particular
emotion, save one of a good deal of pleasure, passed through my mind. I
looked at them as I would do at any other humorous prints; and laying down
the volume, thought no more of it at the time.
"In a few minutes the servant girl made her appearance, to announce that
supper was ready; and laying hold of the landlord's arm, I went along with
him down stairs; his two friends, linked together in the same manner,
following close at our heels. On entering the dining-room, there was
certainly a very neat repast spread out. I cannot at this moment
condescend upon all the viands, but I recollect distinctly of boiled
lobsters, devilled fowls, and fried codlings, staring us in the face.
There was, however, an individual in the room, and in the act of seating
herself at the head of the table, who struck my fancy more forcibly than
even the dishes upon the table. This, as I afterwards learned, was Miss
Snooks, our entertainer's cousin. I was not exactly prepared to encounter
the apparition of a female at our banquet. The landlord was a confirmed
bachelor; and I expected to see nothing but myself, and three other _lords
of the creation_, for the evening. To tell the truth, (which at the risk
of my gallantry must be done,) I was a little disappointed, for I had come
thither expecting to enjoy some private talk with the male part of the
company, and overhaul some bits of scandal not exactly fitted for a lady's
ear. However, there was no help for it. A lady _was_ present, and we had
just to make up our minds to put a bridle upon our tongues, so long as she
pleased to honour us with her company.
"I had scarcely crossed the threshold of the room, than Miss Snooks
curtsied to me, honoured me with a smile, and requested me to place myself
alongside of her. I did so, and had time to contemplate her physiognomy.
The first thing which struck me was the immense size of her nose. It stood
forward _tremendously prominent_; and behind it--in the shade--was her
face. It did not glide gently away from the brow above, and from the
cheeks at each side. On the contrary, it jutted out like a promontory, and
seemed as bold and defined as Cape Wrath or the Ord of Caithness. It
appeared to have sprung out all at once from her face at the touch of some
magician's wand, in the same way as Minerva sprung from the head of
Jupiter. It had a hump on it, too, like a dromedary; for it was a Roman
nose--such as that sported in days of old by Julius Caesar, and, in modern
times, by the Duke of Wellington--only much more magnificent in its
dimensions. I feel some difficulty in describing the rest of Miss Snooks,
so much was I taken up with this godlike feature. She was tall, thin,
wrinkled, fiery-eyed, with a blue silk gown on; and a cap, stiff-starched,
and overgrown with a mountain of frills, and indigo-coloured ribbons. Her
voice was shrill, almost squeaking; and--with reverence be it spoken--she
had a _leetle_ bit of a beard--only a few odd hairs growing from her chin
and upper lip. Her age, I suppose, might be about fifty.
"Now comes the peg 'whereon hangs a tale,' and where my feeling resembled
your own. I felt I was to be miserable for the night--at least so long as
Miss Snooks favoured us with her company; and that she would favour us
with it long enough was evident--for I had a presentiment that she was a
_blue-stocking_, and _they_ always sit late. Her gown was blue, so were
her ribbons, so were her little twinkling eyes, and so was her nose--at
least at the point. But there was no help for it. I made up my mind to the
worst, and allowed her to help me to a bit of fowl. The landlord, and the
two other guests supped on fried codlings. She herself fastened upon a
"Meanwhile supper proceeded, and the clatter of knives and forks bore
testimony that the process of mastication was going on swimmingly. For
some time I enjoyed it as much as the rest of the company, as I was rather
hungry and the fowl excellent; but my enjoyment was of short duration--for
Mr. Hookey, the gentleman who sat opposite to me, on the left hand of Miss
Snooks, asked me a question, and on looking up to answer it I saw--not
him, but the lady's nose. I speak advisedly: there is no exaggeration in
the case. If any part of him was visible, it must have been his body. His
face was utterly hid by the tremendous feature which stood between us like
an 'envious shade,' and intercepted all vision in that direction. To get
out of the influence of this 'baleful planet' I shifted my head aside, and
so did he, and we thus got a sight of each other over its peak. From that
moment, all idea of eating was gone. The nose stood at first _literally_
between my friend and me--and now it stood _metaphorically_ between the
fowl and my stomach.
"Unfortunately, Mr. Hookey, besides being a great talker, was a native of
the same part of the country as myself, and having been absent from thence
several years, was anxious to hear of any event and change that had taken
place since he left it. He accordingly bored me with questions which I
could not but answer. I could not answer them decently without raising my
head--and I could not raise my head without encountering the nose of Miss
"But this was not the worst part of the business. Miss Snooks took it into
her head to put questions to me, and thus confronted me still more with
her _promontory_. There was no way of evading the annoyance, but by
getting to the opposite side of the table--a step which it was impossible
to perform with any regard to decency; and I was thus compelled to 'kiss
the rod,' and put the best face I could upon the matter.
"Supper being removed, wine was introduced; and I had the honour of
pouring out a glass of port to Miss Snooks. She thanked me with an
inclination of her head--or rather of her nose--and drank to my health,
and to that of the rest of the company. While performing the process of
drinking, I could not help gazing upon her, to see how so very remarkable
a person would go to work. The peak of her nose actually dipped down over
the farthest rim of the glass--spanning it as a rainbow spans the Vale of
Glengarry, while the 'limpid ruby' rolled in currents within the embrace
of her delighted lips. The more I gazed upon her, the greater did my
surprise at this extraordinary feature become.
"It is unnecessary to detail at length, the conversation which ensued. It
was tolerably connected, as might be looked for in so small a company,
seldom, branching out into miscellaneous details, and turning chiefly upon
literary matters. But I found it impossible to join in it with any degree
of relish. In vain did my opposite neighbour call up before my imagination
the scenes of my birthplace; in vain did our landlord crack his jokes--for
he was a great humourist--and rally me upon my dulness; in vain did he
allege that I was in love, and good-naturedly fix upon two or three girls
as the objects of my affections. Worthy man! little did he imagine that I
was in love with his cousin's nose.
"In love, yes! I bore the same love towards it, that the squirrel bears to
the rattlesnake--when it gets fascinated by the burning eyeballs, horrid
fangs, and forked tongue of its crawling, slimy, and execrable foe.
Mistake me not, sir, or suppose that I mean to insinuate that Miss Snooks
was a rattlesnake. No; the reasoning is purely analogical; and I only wish
it to be inferred that _that_ nose, humped like a dromedary--prominent as
Cape Wrath--nobler than Caesar's, or the great captain's--had precisely the
same influence on me as the envenomed Python of the American woods has
upon the squirrel. It fascinated me--threw a spell over me--enchanted my
faculties--made me love to gaze upon what I abhorred, and think of nothing
but one feature--one nose, which nevertheless held a more prominent place
in the temple of my imagination, than Atlas, Andes, or Teneriffe, or even
the unscalable ridges of Himalaya, where Indra, the god of the elements,
is said to have placed his throne. Having meditated for some time in this
way, I found that it would never do. There was something inexpressibly
absurd in the mood which my mind was getting into, and I resolved to throw
off the incubus which oppressed me, and be like other people. Full of this
idea, I filled a bumper, and bolted it off--then another--then another. I
was getting on admirably, and rapidly recovering my equanimity, when
chancing to turn my eyes towards Mr. Hookey, he was nowhere to be seen. He
had not gone out; that was impossible; no--he was concealed from me by the
"This event had nearly capsized me, and brought me back into my old way,
when I poured out another glass of wine, and hastily swallowed it, which
in some measure restored the equilibrium of my faculties. I looked again
at Hookey, and saw him distinctly--the shade was gone, for Miss Snooks had
leaned back, in a languishing mood, upon her chair, and taken her nose
along with her. At this moment I fancied I saw her ogling me with both
eyes, and resolved to be upon my guard. I remembered the solemn vows
already made to my dear Cecilia; and on this account determined to stand
out against Miss Snooks and her nose.
"But this was only a temporary relief. Again did she lean forward, and
again was the nose protruded between Hookey and myself. It acted as an
eclipse--it annihilated him--made him a mere nonentity--rendered him
despicable in my eyes. It was impossible to respect any man who lived in
the shade of a nose, who hid his light under such a bushel. Hang the
ninny, he must be a sneaking fellow!
"The wine now began to circulate more freely round the table, and the
tongues of the company to get looser in their heads. Miss Snooks also
commenced talking at a greater stretch than she had hitherto done. I soon
found out that she was a poetess, and had written a couple of novels,
besides two or three tragedies. In fact, her whole conversation was about
books and authors, and she did us the favour of reciting some of her own
compositions. She was also prodigiously sentimental, talked much about
love, and was fond of romantic scenery. I know not how it was, but
although her conversation was far from indifferent, it excited ridiculous
emotions in my mind, rather than any thing else. If she talked of
mountains, I could think of nothing but the hump upon her nose, which was,
in my estimation, a nobler mountain than Helvellyn or Cairngorm. If she
got among promontories, this majestic feature struck me as being sublimer
than any I had ever heard of--not excepting the Cape of Good Hope, first
doubled by Vasco de Gama.--When she conversed about the blue loch and the
cerulean sky, I saw in the tip of her nose a complexion as blue or
cerulean as any of these. It was at once a nose--a mountain--a cape--a
loch--a sky. In short it was every thing. She was armed with it, as the
Paladins of old with their armour. Nay, it possessed the miraculous
property of rendering a human being invisible, of concealing Mr. Hookey
from my eyes; thus rivalling the ring of Gyges, and casting the invisible
coat of Jack the Giant-killer into the shade.
"After conversing with her for some time upon indifferent matters, she
asked me if I was fond of caricatures, and spoke particularly of the
designs of George Cruikshank. Scarcely had she mentioned the name of this
artist, than I was seized with a strange shuddering. In one moment I
called to mind his illustrations of Punch and Judy, at which we had been
looking, before coming down to supper. A clue was now given to the
otherwise unaccountable train of feelings, which had possessed me ever
since I saw Miss Snooks. From the moment when I first set my eyes upon
her, I fancied I had seen her before; but where, when, and upon what
occasion I found it impossible to tell. Her squeaking voice, her blue
twinkling eyes, her huge frilled cap, and above all, her mighty nose, all
seemed familiar to me. They floated within my spirit as a half-forgotten
dream; and without daring to whisper such a thing to myself, I still felt
the impression that all was not new--that the novelty was not so great as
"But Punch and Judy set all to rights. I had seen Miss Snooks in George
Cruikshank, and at once all my perplexing feelings were accounted for.
_She_ was Judy--_she_ was Punch's wife. Yes, Miss Snooks, the old maid,
was the wife of Mr. Punch. There was no denying the fact. The same small
weazel eyes, the same sharp voice and hooked chin, and the same nose--at
once mountain, cape, &c. &c. belonged alike to Judy and Miss Snooks. They
were two persons; the same, yet, different--different, yet the same--the
one residing in the pages of Cruikshank, or chattering and fighting in the
booths of mountebanks at Donnybrook or St. Bartholomew's Fair--the other
seated bolt upright, at the head of her cousin's table, beside a small
_coterie_ of _litterateurs_.
"I know not whether it was the effect of the old port, but, strange to
say, I could not for some time view Miss Snooks in her former capacity,
but simply as Judy. She was magnified in size, it is true, from the pert,
termagant puppet of the fairs, and was an authoress--a writer of tragedies
and novels--in which character, to the best of my knowledge, the spouse of
Punchinello had never made her appearance, but then the similitude between
them, in other respects, was so striking as to constitute identity. Eyes,
chin, voice, nose, were all precisely alike, and stamped them as one and
the same individual.
"But this strange illusion soon wore away, and I again saw Miss Snooks in
her true character. It would perhaps be better if I said that I saw her
nose--for somehow I never could look upon herself save as subordinate to
this feature. It were an insult to so majestic a promontory to suppose it
the mere appendage of a human face. No--the face was an appendage of it,
and kept at a viewless distance behind, while the nose stood forward in
vast relief, intercepting the view of all collateral objects--casting a
noble shadow upon the wall--and impressing an air of inconceivable dignity
upon its fair proprietor.
"The first impression which I experienced on beholding the lady was one of
fear. I have stated how completely she--or, to speak more properly, her
nose--stood between me and Mr. Hookey, and felt appalled in no small
degree at so extraordinary a circumstance. There is something
inexpressibly awful in a _lunar_ eclipse, and a _solar_ one is still more
overpowering, but neither the one nor the other could be compared to the
_nasal_ eclipse effected by Miss Snooks. So much for my first impressions:
now for the second. They were those of boundless admiration, and--."
Most unfortunately, just as the gentleman had got to this part of his
story, the coach stopped at the principal inn of Hamilton, and he there
left it, after bowing politely to me, and wishing me a pleasant ride for
the rest of the journey.--_Fraser's Magazine._
* * * * *
The night-star shines clearly,
The tide's in the bay,
My boat, like the sea-mew,
Takes wing and away.
Though the pellock rolls free
Through the moon-lighted brine,
The silver-finn'd salmon
And herling are mine--
My fair one shall taste them,
May Morley of Larg,
I've said and I've sworn it,
Quoth young Sandy Harg.
He spread his broad net
Where, 'tis said, in the brine,
The mermaidens sport
Mid the merry moonshine:
He drew it and laugh'd,
For he found 'mongst the meshes
A fish and a maiden,
With silken eyelashes--
And she sang with a voice
Like May Morley's of Larg,
"A maid and a salmon
For young Sandy Harg!"
Oh, white were her arms,
And far whiter her neck--
Her long locks in armfuls
Overflow'd all the deck:
One hand on the rudder
She pleasantly laid,
Another on Sandy,
And merrily said--
"Thy halve-net has wrought thee
A gallant day's darg--
Thou'rt monarch of Solway,
My young Sandy Harg."
Oh, loud laugh'd young Sandy,
And swore by the mass,
"I'll never reign king,
But mid gowans and grass:"
Oh, loud laugh'd young Sandy,
And swore, "By thy hand,
My May Morley, I'm thine,
Both by water and land!
'Twere marvel if mer-woman,
Slimy and slarg,
Could rival the true love
Of young Sandy Harg."
She knotted one ringlet.
Syne knotted she twain,
And sang--lo! thick darkness
Dropp'd down on the main--
She knotted three ringlets,
Syne knotted she nine,
A tempest stoop'd sudden
And sharp on the brine,
And away flew the boat--
There's a damsel in Larg
Will wonder what's come of thee
Young Sandy Harg.
"The sky's spitting fire,"
Cried Sandy--"and see!
Green Criffel reels round,
And will choke up the sea;
From their bottles of tempest
The fiends draw the corks,
Wide Solway is barmy,
Like ale when it works;
There sits Satan's daughter,
Who works this dread darg,
To mar my blythe bridal"
Quoth young Sandy Harg.
From his bosom a spell
To work wonders he took,
Thrice kiss'd it and smiled,
Then triumphantly shook
The boat by the rudder,
The maid by the hair,
With wailings and shrieks
She bewilder'd the air;
He flung her far seaward,
Then sailed off to Larg--
There was mirth at the bridal
Of young Sandy Harg.
_New Monthly Magazine._
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
LEGEND CONCERNING THE PRESERVATION OF THE WELSH PEDIGREES PREVIOUS TO THE
(_For the Mirror._)
A figure was seen, standing on a precipice as the waters of the flood were
rising, which waved its hand repeatedly--the waters rose and the figure
disappeared. Noah, looking from the deck, was shortly afterwards hailed by
the same person amidst the roar of the elements, "Quite full!" exclaimed
the patriarch, as the ark lurched deeply. "Full!" exclaimed the voice,
which was now close alongside, "Ah! Morgan Jones, is that you?" "We are
quite full."--"Then take care of this packet; as for myself never mind,
but take care of the packet." The packet was carefully handed aboard, the
eyes of Morgan Jones saw the patriarch receive it into his own hands, when
the huge ark gave a most terrific lurch, and hitting poor Morgan, he sunk
under her counter, was thumped by the keel, and was seen no more; but the
packet was received, and proved to be his pedigree from Adam!
* * * * *
(_From "After Dinner Chat," in the New Monthly Magazine._)
_H._--How completely a fine poetical thought may be destroyed by the
alteration of a single word! I recollect a ludicrous instance of this. I
was quoting to M--d--y, who is rather deaf, a line of Campbell's, as
being, in my opinion, equal to any that ever was produced:
"And Freedom shriek'd--as Kosciusko fell."
"I dare say you are right," replied M--d--y; "but it does not quite please
me: I must think of it." And he repeated--
"And Freedom _squeak'd_--as Kosciusko fell."
_F._--L--ml--y, of the --th Dragoons, was, as you may remember, a
great admirer of the "Hohenlinden" of the same poet, and used frequently
to recite it; but instead of
"Wave, Munich! all thy banners wave!
And charge with all thy _chivalry_,"--
fancying, no doubt, that the poet, from ignorance of military terms, had
committed a blunder, he used invariably to say--
"And charge with all thy _cavalry_."
_K._--I once heard two whimsical blunders made in the course of a
performance of Macbeth, at a poor little country theatre. The Lady
Macbeth--who, not unlikely, had been a laundress--instead of saying merely
"A little water clears us of this deed,"
chose to "make assurance double sure," and said--"A little soap and
water." And, presently after, for
"We have scotch'd the snake, not killed it,"
the Thane, looking with an air of profound mystery at his tender mate,
"We have _cotch_ a snake, and _killed_ it."
* * * * *
PARLIAMENT OF BATTS.
Gurdon, in his _History of Parliament_, says--"This parliament was
summoned in the reign of Henry the Sixth, to meet at Leicester; and orders
were sent to the members that they should not wear swords; so they came to
parliament (like modern butchers) with long staves, from whence the
parliament got the name of _The Parliament of Batts_; and when the
batts were prohibited, the members had recourse to stones and leaden
bullets. This parliament was opened with the Confirmation of Liberties."
* * * * *
"Alfred, with the advice and consent of his _Witas_, in _Witenagemote_,
made his code of law that was common to the whole nation, and enacted that
a _Witenagemote_ should be held twice a year, and oftener if need
were."--See _Gurdon on Parliament_.
* * * * *
ANNUAL OF SCIENCE.
This Day is published, price 5s.
ARCANA of SCIENCE, and ANNUAL REGISTER of the USEFUL ARTS for 1831.
Comprising POPULAR INVENTIONS, IMPROVEMENTS, and DISCOVERIES
Chemical Science Gardening
Botany Domestic Economy
Zoology Useful and Ornamental Art
Geology Geographical Discovery
Abridged from the Transactions of Public Societies and Scientific Journals
of the past year. With several Engravings.
"One of the best and cheapest books of the day."--_Mag. Nat. Hist._
"An annual register of new inventions and improvements in a popular form
like this, cannot fail to be useful."--_Lit. Gaz._
Printed for JOHN LIMBIRD, 143, Strand;--of whom may be had the Volumes for
the three preceding years.
* * * * *
_Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House,)
London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; G.G. BENNIS,
55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris; and by all Newsmen and Booksellers._
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