The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 494.
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Victoria Woosley and PG Distributed
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
No. 494.] SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 1831. [Price 2d.
EXETER HALL, STRAND.
We rejoice to see the site of Burleigh House partly occupied by the
above Building. Its object is to afford accommodation for the meetings
of Philanthropic Societies--so that whatever may be the olden
celebrity of the spot, it is reasonable to expect that its present
appropriation will be associated with the most grateful recollections.
This building is, perhaps, the most perfect erection of its kind in
England. The approach from the Strand is remarkably modest: it is by a
very narrow, though very chaste, door-way, situated between two
Corinthian columns and pilasters. Within the door is a hall, with two
flights of steps, which afterwards unite, and lead up to the entrance
of the great hall itself; the hall below leads into a broad passage,
which extends to the farther extremity of the building, opening right
and left into various offices. On entering the door of the great hall,
a vast and splendid room is presented to view, with scarcely a single
interruption to the eye throughout its whole extent, capable of
containing, with comfort, more than 3,000 persons. The floor is
covered with substantial oak seats, equal to the accommodation of
2,500 persons. The greater portion of these are situated on a gentle
rise, to permit a perfect view of the platform on which the
proceedings take place. The platform is raised about six feet from the
floor, and extends the whole breadth of the room, curving inwards, the
extremities bending towards the audience: it contains seats for nearly
300 individuals. Behind this gallery again, are very capacious
recesses, which will hold from three to four hundred persons. The
lower part of the walls of the room is quite plain, the architect,
probably, regarding the audience as a sufficient ornament in that
quarter, though the rising of the seats would obscure carved-work if
it were there. The windows are at a considerable height from the
ground, and are of dimmed glass, with a chaste and classical border.
The ceiling, which is at a noble height, is beautifully laid out in
squares, with borderings and rosettes. An oblong opening occurs in the
centre, with massive beams stretching across, presenting to view an
erection in the roof, a form of construction, probably, necessary to
so immense a mass of roofing, and serving also for the purposes of
ventilation, as it contains windows at each end. There are four
pillars near the end of the hall, rising to the ceiling, the capitals
of which, as also those of some pilasters at the upper extremity of
the hall, are exquisitely carved in straw-coloured marble. Behind the
platform are numerous and convenient committee-rooms. The word
"Philadelpheion," which may be rendered "loving brothers," is carved
in Greek capitals over the entrance in the Strand.
Exeter Hall has been erected by subscription, by a public company
established for the purpose.
 Ballot Newspaper.
* * * * *
WILLS OF SHAKSPEARE, MILTON AND BUONAPARTE.
(_To the Editor._)
The last wills and testaments of the three greatest men of modern ages
are tied up in one sheet of foolscap, and may be seen together at
Doctors Commons. In the will of the "Bard of Avon" is an
interlineation in his own handwriting--"I give unto my wife my brown
best bed, with the furniture." It is proved by William Byrde, 22nd
The will of the Minstrel of Paradise is a nuncupative one taken by his
daughter, the great poet being blind.
The will of Napoleon, to whom future ages, in spite of legitimacy,
will confirm the epithet "le grand," is signed in a bold style of
handwriting; the codicil, on the contrary, written shortly before his
death, exhibits the then weak state of his body.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror._)
The earth displayed its robe of gorgeous hues,
And o'er the tufted violets softly stole
The downy pinions of the fragrant wind,
Which tuned the brook with music; there were clouds
O'er the blue heaven dispersed in various shapes,
And touch'd with most impassive light, whereon
The heart might dwell and dream of future bliss;
And as the sound of distant bells awaked
The echoes of the woods, they raised the thoughts
To worlds more bright and beautiful than ours!
The spring has waved her sunny wing
Upon the verdant earth,
And winds from distant, places bring
The festal tones of mirth;
The sky appears an azure field,
With clouds emblazoned like a shield.
A golden light has touched the woods,
And o'er the silent dell
A languid breathless quiet broods,
Scarce broken by the swell
Of streams that whisper through the air,
As if they were awaked to pray'r.
Survey the lovely scene around,
The river beams in gold,
Its rippling waves with song resound,
And rainbow light unfold,
And as the flow'rs unclose their eyes,
Their hue seems coloured by the skies.
The mould'ring church on yonder slope,
Perchance by heaven designed
To consecrate the heart with hope,
In ivy-wreaths is shrined:
Its rural tombs are green with age,
And types of earthly pilgrimage.
On this delightful vernal day,
In scenes so rich and fair,
The spirit feels a hallow'd ray
Kindling its essence there;
And Fancy haunts the mourner's urn,
"With thoughts that breathe, and words that burn."
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror._)
All power of fancy over reason is a degree of
In a former number I gave some observations on apparitions, and I
shall here continue my remarks.
The argument that was used by Dr. Johnson was founded on premises
that are as inadmissible as his conclusion, viz. that the popular
opinion in favour of the reality of apparitions could only obtain
universal credence by its truth. This is very plausible, but destitute
of foundation. Does the learned doctor mean to deny the universality
of errors? does he mean to call the whole body of the learned and
enlightened cavillers? and that because they are not willing to
consent to his monstrous opinion? To reverse the argument, does he
mean to deny the truth of the Scriptures, or is he bold enough to
assert that they have received universal credence? So much for the
arguments wielded by Dr. Johnson, who has not been unaptly termed the
Colossus of Literature. The idea that departed spirits revisited the
earth, probably took its rise from the opinion of the immortality of
the soul, which was very general in both ancient and modern times.
This supposition is most consonant with probability. It is always to
be remarked that this species of superstition is most prevalent in
those countries where learning and reason have made but little
progress. The demons [Greek: Daimones] and genii of former times were
exactly the same as the ghosts of this; the same attributes, the same
power, and the same malice were observed of one, as are now attributed
to the other. By the Chaldeans these demons were divided into two
kinds, good and bad. But as it is foreign to my purpose to enter into
an investigation of the opinions of the ancients on this subject, I
shall content myself with referring the curious reader to Stanley's
_History of Philosophy_, a deservedly popular work.
 It must not be supposed that the opinion on the
immortality of the soul was confined either to Christians or
Jews; according to Herodotus, (lib. 2) the Massagetae believed
in the immortality of the soul; the most eminent of the
ancient philosophers invariably advocated that doctrine, one
of the most important in the Christian's Creed.
I shall here recount one of the most extraordinary tales relating to
this subject that I ever heard; I believe the solution is evident, and
I am not aware that it has appeared before; but if it has, some of the
readers of the Mirror may not have seen it.
A surgeon of Edinburgh was confined to his bed by some illness, and at
"the dewy hour of eve," when the room was lighted by nothing but the
glimmering and flickering light of a wood fire, he perceived _a female
sitting at the foot of the bed clothed in white_! Imagining that it
was some defect in his sight, he gazed more intensely at it, still it
was there. He then raised his hand before his eyes and he did not
perceive it; on withdrawing it the apparition was there. Closing his
eyes he went through a mathematical calculation to convince himself he
was in his right senses; upon reopening them he still perceived her
there. The fire then went out and he saw no more. I confess I see no
difficulty in accounting for this, by supposing the gentleman was
afflicted with that horrid disease of which Sir Walter Scott gives
many cases in his _Demonology and Witchcraft._ Although I have no
warrant for asserting spirits do not return, yet I must say, all the
tales I have ever heard do not necessarily require any such
interpretation on them. It may be true, and so may everything which we
have no evidence against or for. If my opinion on the subject was to
be shaken by anything, it would be with the following story, which was
given to me by one whose veracity I have no reason to doubt.
There is, or rather was, a very ancient castle in Lancashire, near
Liverpool, called Castle de Bergh, which belongs to a noble family of
that name. Many years ago the possessor of the castle, Mr. de Burgh,
died, and the castle was then let out to various of the tenantry,
among whom was a carpenter. Two years after the death of Mr. de Burgh,
as this carpenter was employed in his workshop, about a quarter of a
mile from the castle, melting glue, it being evening, and only four of
his men with him, he perceived a gentleman in mourning passing the
lathe where the men were at work. He was immediately seized with a
violent trembling and weakness, his hair stood on end, and a clammy
sweat spread over his forehead. The lights were put out, he knew not
how, and at last, in fear and terror, he was obliged to return home.
On his arrival at the castle, as he was passing up the stairs, he
heard a footstep behind, and on turning round he perceived the same
apparition. He hastily entered his room, and bolted, locked, and
barred the door, but to his horror and surprise this offered no
impediment to his ghostly visiter, for the door sprang open at his
touch, and he entered the room! The apparition was seen by various
others, all of whom asserted it bore the strongest resemblance to
their deceased master! One gentleman spoke to him, and the spirit told
him "that he was not happy."
_Foley Place._ AN ANTIQUARY.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror._)
Upon the silent grassy bed,
Shall maiden's tears at eve be shed,
And friendship's self shall often there
Heave the sigh, and breathe the pray'r.
Young flowers of spring around shall bloom,
And summer's roses deck thy tomb.
The primrose ope its modest breast
Where thy lamented ashes rest,
And cypress branches lowly bend
Where thy lov'd form with clay shall blend.
The silver willow darkly wave
Above thy unforgotten grave,
And woodbine leaves will fondly creep,
Where * * lies in holy sleep.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror._)
Lord Coke, in his fourth institute, defines certain qualities
essentially requisite to constitute a good member of parliament; and
he refers to a parliament roll, 3 Henry VI., which affirms that a
parliament man should have three properties ascribed to the
elephant--1. That he hath no gall; 2. That he is inflexible, and
cannot bow; 3. That he is of a most ripe and perfect memory.--1. To be
without malice, rancour, heat, and envy;--in elephante melancholia
transit in nutrimentum corporis: every gallish inclination, if any
were, should tend to the good of the whole body--the commonwealth. 2.
That he be constant, inflexible, and not be bowed, or turned from the
right, either from fear, reward, or favour; not in judgment respect
any person. 3. That in remembering perils past, dangers to come may be
To these, addition is made by Lord Coke of two other properties of
elephants: the one, that though they be maximae virtutis et maximi
intellectus, of great strength and understanding, _tamen gregatim
semper incedunt_, yet they are sociable, and go in companies; for
_animalia gregalia non sunt nociva, sed animalia solivaga sunt
nociva_: sociable creatures that go in flocks or herds are not
hurtful--as deer, sheep, &c.; but beasts that walk solely or
singularly, as bears, foxes, &c., are dangerous and hurtful. The other
property is, that the elephant is philanthropos, homini erranti viam
ostendit. And, in the opinion of Coke, these properties ought every
parliament man to have.
Neither the ancient nor modern election statutes mention, or imply,
the existence of a "candidate." The old laws direct that the
representative shall be freely and indifferently chosen by the
electors. The choice was of their own motion, and the person elected
was passive. Even at the present day, the law does not contemplate his
asking for votes, and therefore does not allow, after the issuing of
the writ, sufficient time for a regular canvass. The term "candidate"
had its derivation from the person being _candidatus,_ clothed in
white, as symbolical of the wearer's purity.
James I. issued a proclamation, in which the voters for members of
parliament are directed "not to choose curious and wrangling lawyers,
who seek reputation by stirring needless questions."
At the Sussex election, in 1807, an elector, named Morton, voted in
right of his patrimonial land at Rusper, which had been in possession
of his ancestors 750 years.
* * * * *
TO AN EOLIN HARP, HEARD AT EVENING.
(_For the Mirror._)
Soft breathings of aerial melody,
Ye seem like love-songs from the elfin land,
Or soundings from that heaven-commissioned band,
Ushering the good man to the bliss on high.
Now swells the chorus full, anon ye die
Away upon the breeze, so soft and bland
Melting on evening's ear. Sure Love's own hand
In kindest mood hath wrought this minstrelsy.
How to the lorn heart does its influence creep,
As the wild winds sweep o'er the fairy strings,
Bringing again departed, perish'd things,
O'er which we feel it luxury to weep.
Sing on ye zephyr-sprites, your vespers cheer
The heart, whose off'ring is a holy tear.
* * * * *
HINTS FOR SELF-ADVANCEMENT; OR, HOW TO MAKE ONE'S WAY IN THE WORLD.
(_For the Mirror._)
When you visit married people, pay particular attention to their
children: the more noisy, troublesome, and disagreeable they are, the
more is it incumbent upon you to praise them. Should the baby
entertain you with a passionate squall for an hour or two, vow that it
is "a charming child"--"a sweet pet"--"a dear, pretty, little
creature," &c. &c. Call red hair auburn, and "a sweet, uncommon
colour;" a squint, or cross-eye, think "an agreeable expression;"
maintain that an ugly child is extremely handsome, and the image
either of one or other of its parents, or of its handsomest,
wealthiest, or most aristocratic relations. Discover which of a
family is mamma's, and which papa's favourite, and pay your court
accordingly; for it is better to lavish, in this case, your attentions
and encomiums upon one or two, than upon all.
When requiring an introduction to any great people, scruple not to
avail yourself of the services of the little; but when mounted as high
as you please, by all means kick down your ladders, cast away your
stepping stones--since they might, instead of being of any further
assistance, only prove incumbrances to you.
Take every opportunity of joining in conversation with those to whom
you desire to recommend yourself. Should you feel at a loss for topics
of discourse, mention servants, and tradesmen, upon whom fail not to
bestow most hearty abuse;--vow that they are an unprincipled set of
knaves, scoundrels, and thieves. Hence you will be thought to have
"much to say for yourself;" and should you be enabled to narrate any
grievous losses sustained from these members of society, you will
obtain credit for having "something to lose" at any rate, and find it
of incalculable value.
When you direct a letter to a knight bachelor--though it is indeed
customary and well-bred to omit altogether the Knt.--yet it will never
be taken amiss should you venture to address him as a Knight of the
Garter, Bath, &c. &c., or even as a Baronet. Undoubtedly it is as
vulgar to misapprehend and confound titles, as it is to mispronounce
and misspell names; nevertheless rest assured, that flattered vanity
will go far to pardon vulgarity.
If a gentleman, pay infinite attention to the single ladies of a
family--compliment, flirt, converse with, and ask them to dance. This
conduct will obtain for you, on account of the fair creatures,
marvellous good report, numerous invitations; and if you have
sufficient tact to steer clear of committing yourself for more than a
few flattering and general attentions, you may be considered one of
the happiest of those who live--by their wits, and upon their friends.
Should your "dancing days be over," which is scarcely probable,
considering how greatly it is now the fashion for "potent, grave, and
reverend signors," and signoras also, to join the gay quadrille, &c.
(and here we may as well note, that in genteel society, dowager
honourables and old ladies may dance, whilst young, plain misses may
not)--there are sundry modes of rendering yourself agreeable, which
your own taste and talents, it is to be presumed, will naturally
suggest: chess, whist, ecarte, quadrille, &c. &c., not to mention a
little practical knowledge of music, are acquirements which cause an
individual to be considered "very agreeable"--because very useful; and
rely upon it, as the world goes, utility in nine cases out of ten is,
with society, a consideration. Hence, no creature is so universally
voted disagreeable as one from whom no kind of service can be exacted;
and whilst roues, gamesters, and tipplers, duelists, pugilists, and
blacklegs, are tolerated in society, stupid men are overlooked, or
thrust out of it with contempt.
Dress in the extreme of fashion: you can neither gain nor maintain
your ground without so doing; and as you have an end to answer, which
your tailors or milliners have not, of course you will not suffer the
unfashionable dictates of conscience, respecting their bills, to
interfere with your proceedings.
Answer an invitation as soon as it is received; many individuals defer
so doing for some days, which certainly shows fashionable ease and
nonchalance, besides allowing time for the arrival of another and
preferable one; but, by those who are absolutely bent upon advancing
themselves in society, this practice is to be eschewed, since by
perplexing, it so annoys the donor of a fete, that the chances are
greatly against your ever again being asked.
Never omit, the day after a party, to send or leave your card, as an
acknowledgment for the civility you have received. This ceremony,
indeed, it is to your interest frequently to repeat at the doors of
your friends, since it will ensure your never being forgotten by them.
Never go to an evening party until you are pretty certain that
everybody else is coming away. Your consequence will by this conduct
be enhanced;--you may protest that you have already appeared at two or
three balls, &c. When, if a student or fashionable novel-writer, your
time may have been more rationally employed at home, you go too late
to dance much, if the exercise, or rather the partners, be
disagreeable to you; you ensure being seen, which is something,--for,
alas! how many worthy aspirants to fashion, fortune, and fame, if of
no actual importance, are fated to pass unnoticed in a crowd! and the
opportunity is besides afforded you of paying almost undivided
attention to your host, hostess, and family, which must materially
advance your interests. Neither be in too great haste to quit the
houses of those to whom you desire to recommend yourself. Parties,
even the worst, cost both money and trouble; and whilst the givers of
them feel it no compliment to be run away from, as if a pestilence
raged in their habitations, it is positively insulting to inform them
that another soiree, from which you hope better things, awaits your
If a lady, "set up for a beauty:" rely upon it, no persons will "cry
you up" as such unless you give them the note. Should you be extremely
plain, no matter; friz your hair until it stands out one English ell
from your face, and mount it, in bows, braids, &c., three yards at
least from the crown of your head; drawl, or lisp in your speech;
bring out words and phrases from every living tongue with which you
may happen to be slightly acquainted; boast of "the continent;" mince
your gait; wriggle forward upon your toes when you walk; and swim and
dip, whenever led into the atrocity of committing a _quad_-rille. In
brief, give yourself unimaginable airs; then protest that your
manners, as well as your costume, are of the newest Parisian mode--and
it is ten to one but that affectation will be accepted in lieu of, or
mistaken for, beauty.
Never forget, that as it is sometimes very prudent to be deaf and dumb
in society, so is it extremely convenient upon occasions to be blind.
The cuts, direct and oblique--the looks at, and the looks over--the
distant, formal bow, and the adroit turn upon the heel (should you
perceive the party, intended to be cut for the time being at least,
advancing with dire intent of obliging a recognition), may be,
especially upon old and provincial friends, practised _ad libitum_,
without the slightest danger of your character for etiquette,
politeness, suavity, and general pleasantness, being impeached. Indeed
it is not incompatible with the highest breeding, to allow your
slighted and amazed acquaintance to hear you quizzing, and see you
laughing at, him heartily, should it be your interest so to do; and
then next day, to walk boldly up to him, protest he is the best fellow
in the world; and should he be so senseless as to venture an allusion
to your "late conduct," to vow, with the extremest audacity, that he
happens to be under some evident and deplorable mistake, &c. &c. In
short, should you really find yourself in a scrape, to back out of it
as well as you are able.
When at a ball, it may sometimes be to your advantage (though
fashionable insolence should not be carried too far) to act in the
1. Ask a lady if she is engaged to dance. Should she answer "No,"
whilst her eyes say "Yes, if you will be my partner," then, instead of
offering yourself for that purpose, protest that "dancing is a mighty
bore, which no gentleman would endure, could he possibly help it," and
2. Having elicited from a lady that she is not engaged for the ensuing
dance, exclaim, with a smile of triumph, "I am! and must go and find
3. When conversing with one young lady, whom you do not design to
compliment by leading out for waltz, quadrille, or galoppe, mazurka,
or Russian cotillon, &c., take particular care, in her hearing, to
engage yourself to another. This is equally kind and polite.
4. Upon the conclusion of a dance, either leave your partner standing
in the middle of the room--which I have beheld performed with
admirable effect---or, hastily leading her to a seat, quit her
instantly: which proceeding says, in plain English, "Lady, I would not
stay another moment with you for anything that could be offered me,
lest the world should choose to fancy we are engaged."
Respecting giving and lending, which are sometimes necessary worldly
duties, your guide must be this brief, but infallible rule--"Venture a
small fish to catch a large one." Those antiquated beings, indeed,
whom the polite style "horrid bores," but whose generic appellation is
Christians, are accustomed to "lend and give, not hoping to receive;"
yet this maxim cannot of course be supposed to influence the conduct
of those who desire to advance themselves in the world, because they
are bound to bear in mind, that they cannot admit of any principle of
action which tends, in the slightest degree, to militate against their
interest.--_Et caetera desunt._
* * * * *
THE WHITE-HEADED, OR BALD EAGLE.
(_Concluded from page 389._)
The intrepidity of character, before mentioned, may be farther
illustrated by the following fact, which occurred a few years ago,
near Great Egg Harbour, New Jersey. A woman, who happened to be
weeding in the garden, had set her child down near, to amuse itself
while she was at work; when a sudden and extraordinary rushing sound,
and a scream from her child, alarmed her, and starting up, she beheld
the infant thrown down, and dragged some few feet, and a large bald
eagle bearing off a fragment of its frock, which being the only part
seized, and giving way, providentially saved the life of the infant.
The appetite of the bald eagle, though habituated to long fasting, is
of the most voracious and often the most indelicate kind. Fish, when
he can obtain them, are preferred to all other fare. Young lambs and
pigs are dainty morsels, and made free with on all favourable
occasions. Ducks, geese, gulls, and other sea fowl, are also seized
with avidity. The most putrid carrion, when nothing better can be had,
is acceptable; and the collected groups of gormandizing vultures, on
the approach of this dignified personage, instantly disperse, and make
way for their master, waiting his departure in sullen silence, and at
a respectful distance, on the adjacent trees.
In one of those partial migrations of tree squirrels that sometimes
take place in our western forests, many thousands of them were
destroyed in attempting to cross the Ohio; and at a certain place, not
far from Wheeling, a prodigious number of their dead bodies were
floated to the shore by an eddy. Here the vultures assembled in great
force, and had regailed themselves for some time, when a bald eagle
made his appearance, and took sole possession of the premises, keeping
the whole vultures at their proper distance for several days. He has
also been seen navigating the same river on a floating carrion, though
scarcely raised above the surface of the water, and tugging at the
carcass, regardless of snags, sawyers, planters, or shallows. He
sometimes carries his tyranny to great extremes against the vultures.
In hard times, when food happens to be scarce, should he accidentally
meet with one of these who has its craw crammed with carrion, he
attacks it fiercely in the air; the cowardly vulture instantly
disgorges, and the delicious contents are snatched up by the eagle
before they reach the ground.
The nest of this species is generally fixed on a very large and lofty
tree, often in a swamp or morass, and difficult to be ascended. On
some noted tree of this description, often a pine or cypress, the bald
eagle builds, year after year, for a long series of years. When both
male and female have been shot from the nest, another pair has soon
after taken possession. The nest is large, being added to and repaired
every season, until it becomes a black prominent mass, observable at
a considerable distance. It is formed of large sticks, sods, earthy
rubbish, hay, moss, &c. Many have stated to me that the female lays
first a single egg, and that, after having sat on it for some time,
she lays another; when the first is hatched, the warmth of that, it is
pretended, hatches the other. Whether this be correct or not, I cannot
determine; but a very respectable gentleman of Virginia assured me,
that he saw a large tree cut down, containing the nest of a bald
eagle, in which were two young, one of which appeared nearly three
times as large as the other. As a proof of their attachment to their
young, a person near Norfolk informed me, that, in clearing a piece of
wood on his place, they met with a large dead pine tree, on which was
a bald eagle's nest and young. The tree being on fire more than half
way up, and the flames rapidly ascending, the parent eagle darted
around and among the flames, until her plumage was so much injured
that it was with difficulty she could make her escape, and even then,
she several times attempted to return to relieve her offspring.
The flight of the bald eagle, when taken into consideration with the
ardour and energy of his character, is noble and interesting.
Sometimes the human eye can just discern him, like a minute speck,
moving in slow curvatures along the face of the heavens, as if
reconnoitering the earth at that immense distance. Sometimes he glides
along in a direct horizontal line, at a vast height, with expanded and
unmoving wings, till he gradually disappears in the distant blue
ether. Seen gliding in easy circles over the high shores and
mountainous cliffs that tower above the Hudson and Susquehanna, he
attracts the eye of the intelligent voyager, and adds great interest
to the scenery. At the great Cataract of Niagara, already mentioned,
there rises from the gulf into which the Falls of the Horse-Shoe
descend, a stupendous column of smoke, or spray, reaching to the
heavens, and moving off in large black clouds, according to the
direction of the wind, forming a very striking and majestic
appearance. The eagles are here seen sailing about, sometimes losing
themselves in this thick column, and again reappearing in another
place, with such ease and elegance of motion, as renders the whole
High o'er the watery uproar, silent seen,
Sailing sedate in majesty serene,
Now midst the pillar'd spray sublimely lost,
And now, emerging, down the Rapids tost,
Glides the bald eagle, gazing, calm and slow,
O'er all the horrors of the scene below;
Intent alone to sate himself with blood,
From the torn victims of the raging flood.
The white-headed eagle is three feet long, and seven feet in extent;
the bill is of a rich yellow; cere the same, slightly tinged with
green; mouth flesh-coloured; tip of the tongue, bluish black; the
head, chief part of the neck, vent, tail coverts, and tail, are white
in the perfect, or old birds of both sexes, in those under three years
of age these parts are of a gray brown; the rest of the plumage is
deep, dark brown, each feather tipt with pale brown, lightest on the
shoulder of the wing, and darkest towards its extremities. The
conformation of the wing is admirably adapted for the support of so
large a bird; it measures two feet in breadth on the greater quills,
and sixteen inches on the lesser; the longest primaries are twenty
inches in length, and upwards of one inch in circumference where they
enter the skin; the broadest secondaries are three inches in breadth
across the vane; the scapulars are very large and broad, spreading
from the back to the wing, to prevent the air from passing through;
another range of broad flat feathers, from three to ten inches in
length, also extend from the lower part of the breast to the wing
below, for the same purpose; between these lies a deep triangular
cavity; the thighs are remarkably thick, strong, and muscular, covered
with long feathers pointing backwards, usually called the femoral
feathers; the legs, which are covered half way below the knee, before,
with dark brown downy feathers, are of a rich yellow, the colour of
ripe Indian corn; feet the same; claws blue black, very large and
strong, particularly the inner one, which is considerably the largest;
soles, very rough and warty; the eye is sunk, under a bony, or
cartilaginous projection, of a pale yellow colour, and is turned
considerably forwards, not standing parallel with the cheeks, the iris
is of a bright straw colour, pupil black.
The male is generally two or three inches shorter than the female; the
white on the head, neck, and tail being more tinged with yellowish,
and its whole appearance less formidable; the brown plumage is also
lighter, and the bird itself less daring than the female, a
circumstance common to almost all birds of prey.
The eagle is said to live to a great age--sixty, eighty, and, as some
assert, one hundred years. This circumstance is remarkable, when we
consider the seeming intemperate habits of the bird. Sometimes
fasting, through necessity, for several days, and at other times
gorging itself with animal food till its craw swells out the plumage
of that part, forming a large protuberance on the breast. This,
however, is its natural food, and for these habits its whole
organization is particularly adapted. It has not, like men, invented
rich wines, ardent spirits, and a thousand artificial poisons, in the
form of soups, sauces, and sweetmeats. Its food is simple, it indulges
freely, uses great exercise, breathes the purest air, is healthy,
vigorous, and long lived. The lords of the creation themselves might
derive some useful hints from these facts, were they not already, in
general, too wise, or too proud, to learn from their _inferiors,_ the
fowls of the air and beasts of the field.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
THE LATE MRS. SIDDONS.
The subsequent account of Mrs. Siddons, nearly fifty years since, will
perhaps give the reader a better outline of that "Queen of Tragedy"
than any that has since appeared. We ought to mention that it is
quoted from Mr. Boaden's _Memoirs_, and was written on the appearance
of Mrs. Siddons in the character of Isabella, for the first time in
London, October 10, 1782. Mr. Boaden thus introduces the quotation, in
vol. i. of his work:--
As the person of our great actress has undergone some change, and her
features by time became stronger, I should find it difficult now to
describe her accurately by memory, as she stood before the audience on
the night of the 10th of October. I am relieved from this difficulty
by an account of her written at the time. I shall change only a few of
the expressions then used, more from a feeling as to composition than
alteration as to sentiment.
There never, perhaps, was a better stage-figure than that of Mrs.
Siddons. Her height is above the middle size, but not at all inclined
to the _em-bon-point_. There is, notwithstanding, nothing sharp or
angular in the frame; there is sufficient muscle to bestow a roundness
upon the limbs, and her attitudes are, therefore, distinguished
equally by energy and grace. The symmetry of her person is exact and
captivating. Her face is peculiarly happy, the features being finely
formed, though strong, and never for an instant seeming overcharged,
like the Italian faces, nor coarse and unfeminine under whatever
impulse; on the contrary, it is so thoroughly harmonized when
quiescent, and so expressive when impassioned, that most people think
her more beautiful than she is; so great, too, is the flexibility of
her countenance, that the rapid transitions of passion are given with
a variety and effect that never tire upon the eye. Her voice is
naturally plaintive, and a tender melancholy in her level speaking
denotes a being devoted to tragedy; yet this seemingly settled quality
of voice becomes at will sonorous or piercing, overwhelms with rage,
or in its wild shriek absolutely harrows up the soul. Her sorrow, too,
is never childish--her lamentation has a dignity which belongs, I
think, to no other woman: it claims your respect along with your
tears. Her eye is brilliant and varying like the diamond; it is
singularly well placed; "it _pries_," in Shakspeare's language,
"through the portal of the head," and has every aid from brows
flexible beyond all female parallel, contracting to disdain, or
dilating with the emotions of sympathy, or pity, or anguish. Her
memory is tenacious and exact--her articulation clear and
distinct--her pronunciation systematic and refined.
Nor has Nature been partially bountiful: she has endowed her with a
quickness of conception, and a strength of understanding equal to the
proper use of such extraordinary gifts. So entirely is she mistress of
herself, so collected, and so determined in gestures, tone, and
manner, that she seldom errs, like other actors, because she doubts
her powers or comprehension. She studies her author attentively,
conceives justly, and describes with a firm consciousness of
propriety. She is sparing in her action, because English nature does
not act much; but it is always proper, picturesque, graceful, and
dignified: it arises immediately from the sentiments and feeling, and
is not seen to prepare itself before it begins. No studied trick or
start can be predicted;--no forced tremulation of the figure, where
the vacancy of the eye declares the absence of passion, can be
seen;--no laborious strainings at false climax, in which the tired
voice reiterates one high tone beyond which it cannot reach, is ever
heard;--no artificial heaving of the breasts, so disgusting when the
affectation is perceptible;--none of those arts by which the actress
is seen, and not the character, can be found in Mrs. Siddons. So
natural are her gradations and transitions, so classical and correct
her speech and deportment, and so intensely interesting her voice,
form, and features, that there is no conveying an idea of the pleasure
she communicates by words. She must be seen to be known. What is still
more delightful, she is an original: she copies no one living or dead,
but acts from nature and herself.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
THE TWO MUNCHAUSENS.
_By a veteran._
In the late ---- Regiment of Light Dragoons, were two worthy persons,
who were denominated the regimental liars: a distinction to which,
giving every man his due, they were eminently entitled. The great and
fundamental requisites for accomplished lying, I conceive to be a good
memory, a fertile fancy, a ready wit, fluency of speech, and a brazen
countenance, so that you shall tell a man a most bare-faced falsehood,
and afterwards adduce such connected proofs as especially characterize
actual facts. The following dialogue is a specimen of the talents of
the aforementioned mendacious personages.
C.--"See a man walk after he was shot dead! so have I, a whole day's
B.--"Come, come, that's stealing a march on our senses. No, no, it
won't do: that's a naked one; do pray turn them out with some kind of
probability covering over them."
C.--"What, doubt my veracity;"
B.--"Not for the world; that would be illiberal and unkind, and by the
way, now I think on it, I believe the possibility of a man travelling
without his _cranium,_ for at the battle of Laswaree, during that
desperate contest for British India, I saw a sergeant of the
seventy-sixth shot dead; yet the fellow pursued his antagonist some
hundred yards afterwards, threatening vengeance on the miscreant for
having robbed the service of one of its best men. Finding himself weak
from loss of blood, he deliberately unscrewed his head, threw it
violently at the foe, and took him on the spine; down he tumbled; the
veteran jumped upon him; fearful was the struggle; chest to chest,
fist to fist; at last they joined in the death grapple, and dreadful
indeed was their dying hug."
C.--"My dear friend, I was an eye witness of the whole transaction.
You have however forgotten the best part of the story. After the
sergeant had well pummelled his enemy, he picked up his head again,
and thrust into a neighbouring great gun: from the want of his
_peepers_ he made a random shot, and killed the horse on which Lord
Lake was riding--his Lordship saluted the sod."
B.--"I recollect it perfectly; for the nose of the said sergeant
(recognised by sundry carbuncles) was so hard, that the following day
it was extracted from the abdomen of the unfortunate animal."
C.--"You make a mistake about the nose; it was discovered lodged in a
loaf in a corporal's knapsack; the man could swear to it, for it was
perforated by three balls, and otherwise curiously marked. Report said
that a shell had once blown it completely off, and that it was
stitched on again by a shoe-maker, who, ever after, went by the name
of the _nosy_ cobbler."
B.--"Nothing impossible. It reminds me of a story somewhat as strange:
During the battle of Delhi there was a quarter-master in the regiment,
a queer fellow, who was never at a loss; (he is now in the corps, and
can vouch for my statement) he was charging at the head of his
squadron, when he caught a cannon shot in his hands: instantly
dismounting, he chucked the ball into a field-piece, but, for want of
a ramrod, he drove it home with his head. One of the enemy, seeing him
thus zealously occupied, fired off the gun; strange to tell he was not
killed! From constant exposure to the sun, in search of toddy, and
from the free use of cocoa-nut oil, his head had become proof against
shot. The distance from the place whence he was projected, to that
where he was picked up, measured three miles, two furlongs, three
yards, and eleven inches. A hard-headed fellow, Sir.--In his career he
upset his colonel and a brace of captains."
C.--"He did; and where the colonel was capsized, he made such a hole
by his enormous weight, that the sovereign of Delhi ordered a large
well to be dug on the spot, in memory of the event."
B.--"I remember the well--twelve feet, three inches and a half, was
the exact depth of the excavation occasioned by the fall."
C.--"There you are wrong; only eleven feet, three inches--"
B.--"No, believe me, I am right; twelve feet, and three inches to a
C.--"Never mind: a little, this way or that, is of no consequence.
The most extraordinary thing was, that the gallant colonel only
sprained his right arm."
B.--"By no means extraordinary. You remember the great gun of Agra, in
which a regiment of cavalry used to drill."
C--"I do. The one that fired the stone ball to the wall of Futtipoore
B.--"The same. Well, when that gun was fired, a thing that never
occurred but once, the head of the rash man who fired it was
afterwards found in the Old Woman's Tank, eleven miles from the spot,
without so much as a blemish, except a slight singing of the right
C.--"Ah! I can never forget the time; I had just landed in Calcutta
when we heard the report. Some of the wadding went as far as
Here the trumpet, sounding for morning drill, put a stop to the
* * * * *
THE MISER'S GRAVE.
BY THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD.
Here's a lesson for the earth-born worm,
So deep engraven on the meagre platen
Of human frailty, so debased in hue,
That he who dares peruse it needs but blush
For his own nature. The poor shrivell'd wretch,
For whose lean carcass yawns this hideous pit,
Had naught that he desired in earth or heaven--
No God, no Saviour, but that sordid pelf,
O'er which he starved and gloated. I have seen him
On the exchange, or in the market-place
When money was in plenteous circulation,
Gaze after it with such Satanic looks
Of eagerness, that I have wonder'd oft
How he from theft and murder could refrain.
'Twas cowardice alone withheld his hands,
For they would grasp and grapple at the air,
When his grey eye had fixed on heaps of gold,
While his clench'd teeth, and grinning, yearning face,
Were dreadful to behold. The merchants oft
Would mark his eye, then start and look again,
As at the eye of basilisk or snake.
His eye of greyish green ne'er shed one ray
Of kind benignity or holy light
On aught beneath the sun. Childhood, youth, beauty,
To it had all one hue. Its rays reverted
Right inward, back upon the greedy heart
On which the gnawing worm of avarice
Preyed without ceasing, straining every sense
To that excruciable and yearning core.
Some thirteen days agone, he comes to me,
And after many sore and mean remarks
On men's rapacity and sordid greed,
He says, "Gabriel, thou art an honest man,
As the world goes. How much, then, will you charge
And make a grave for me, fifteen feet deep?"--
"We'll talk of that when you require it, sir."
"No, no. I want it made, and paid for too;
I'll have it settled, else I know there will
Be some unconscionable overcharge
On my poor friends--a ruinous overcharge."--
"But, sir, were it made now, it would fill up
Each winter to the brim, and be to make
Twenty or thirty times, if you live long." "There!
there it is! Nothing but imposition!
Even Time must rear his stern, unyielding front,
And holding out his shrivelled skeleton hand,
Demands my money. Naught but money! money!
Were I coin'd into money I could not
Half satisfy that craving greed of money.
Well, how much do you charge? I'll pay you now,
And take a bond from you that it be made
When it is needed. Come, calculate with reason--
Work's very cheap; and two good men will make
That grave at two days' work: and I can have
Men at a shilling each--_without_ the meat--
That's a great matter! Let them but to meat,
'Tis utter ruin. I'll give none their meat--
That I'll beware of. Men now-a-days are cheap,
Cheap, dogcheap, and beggarly fond of work.
One shilling each a-day, _without_ the meat.
Mind that, and ask in reason; for I wish
To have that matter settled to my mind."--
"Sir, there's no man alive will do't so cheap
As I shall do it for the ready cash,"
Says I, to put him from it with a joke.
"I'll charge you, then, one-fourth part of a farthing
For every cubic foot of work I do,
Doubling the charge each foot that I descend."
"Doubling as you descend! Why, that of course.
A quarter of a farthing each square foot--
No meat, remember! Not an inch of meat,
Nor drink, nor dram. You're not to trust to these.
Wilt stand that bargain, Gabriel?"--"I accept."
He struck it, quite o'erjoy'd. We sought the clerk,
Sign'd--seal'd. He drew his purse. The clerk went on
Figuring and figuring. "What a fuss you make!
'Tis plain," said he, "the sum is eighteen-pence"--
"'Tis somewhat more, sir," said the civil clerk--
And held out the account. "Two hundred round,
And gallant payment over." The Miser's face
Assumed the cast of death's worst lineaments.
His skinny jaws fell down upon his breast;
He tried to speak, but his dried tongue refused
Its utterance, and cluck'd upon the gum.
His heart-pipes whistled with a crannell'd sound;
His knell-knees plaited, and his every bone
Seem'd out of joint. He raved--he cursed--he wept--
But payment he refused. I have my bond,
Not yet a fortnight old, and shall be paid.
It broke the Miser's heart. He ate no more,
Nor drank, nor spake, but groan'd until he died;
This grave kill'd him, and now yearns for his bones.
But worse than all. 'Tis twenty years and more
Since he brought home his coffin. On that chest
His eye turn'd ever and anon. It minded him,
He said, of death. And as be sat by night
Beside his beamless hearth, with blanket round
His shivering frame, if burst of winter wind
Made the door jangle, or the chimney moan,
Or crannied window whistle, he would start,
And turn his meagre looks upon that chest;
Then sit upon't, and watch till break of day.
Old wives thought him religious--a good man!
A great repentant sinner, who would leave
His countless riches to sustain the poor.
But mark the issue. Yesterday, at noon,
Two men could scarcely move that ponderous chest
To the bedside to lay the body in.
They broke it sundry, and they found it framed
With double bottom! All his worshipp'd gold
Hoarded between the boards! O such a worm
Sure never writhed beneath the dunghill's base!
Fifteen feet under ground! and all his store
Snug in beneath him. Such a heaven was his.
Now, honest Teddy, think of such a wretch,
And learn to shun his vices, one and all.
Though richer than a Jew, he was more poor
Than is the meanest beggar. At the cost
Of other men a glutton. At his own,
A starveling. A mere scrub. And such a coward,
A cozener and liar--but a coward,
And would have been a thief--But was a coward.
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF _NEW WORKS._
PARIS AND ITS HISTORICAL SCENES.
(_Library of Entertaining Knowledge, Part 18._)
We have little inclination to quote more than a few passages from the
General View of Paris in this Number; the topographical portion of
which, (as far as a four months residence there will serve our
judgment) is eminently characteristic.
The Archbishop of Narbonne, writing in the reign of Francis I., (about
1520,) calls Paris even then a world rather than a city; yet at
that period its population was probably not much more than the fifth
part of what it now is; nor did the quantity of ground it covered bear
even the same proportion to the immense space over which it has now
extended. But in both convenience and elegance, Paris has made still
more extraordinary advances since the time of Francis than even in
population and extent. It was then, compared to what it now is, but a
gloomy and incommodious fortress, without even the security which
encompassing fortifications might be supposed to yield. Lighted only
by candles placed here and there by the inhabitants themselves in
their windows, it was so infested by thieves and assassins that hardly
any person ventured out after dark, and the approach of night was the
source of constant terror even to those who remained in their houses.
The streets thus imperfectly lighted, were worse paved; and most of
them were as dirty and narrow as those still to be seen in the more
ancient part of the city. The supply of water was so inadequate that
the severest miseries were sometimes suffered from the absolute want
of that necessary of life, and the greatest inconveniences at all
times from its scarcity. Finally, the public edifices were without
splendour, and even the best of the private houses unprovided with
many of what are now accounted the most indispensable accommodations.
Instead of all this, we behold Paris now one of the very central seats
of civilization; and although still deficient in many of the
accommodations which supply to the necessities of the many instead of
the luxuries of the few, in possession of the greater portion of the
most important provisions which ingenuity has found out, whether for
the comfort or the embellishment of existence. What a contrast between
the French capital of 1831, and that Lutetia of the ancient Parisii,
which Caesar found nearly nineteen hundred years ago occupying the
little island, around which has since extended itself so wide a circle
of wealth, industry, intelligence, and the works which these create!
 Felibien, Histoire de Paris, tome i.
Paris, stands, like London, on both banks of a river, and is thus cut
into two great divisions, one to the north, and the other to the
south, of the water. The Seine, however, is not nearly so broad as the
Thames; and the northern and southern halves of Paris are not,
therefore, by any means so much separated from each other, either
locally, politically, or socially, as are the corresponding portions
of the English metropolis. They form, in all respects one city.
The Seine flows in a direction nearly opposite to that of the Thames,
namely, from south-east to north-west. It preserves almost a perfectly
straight course in passing through Paris, except that it bends
considerably to the south immediately before leaving the town. The
river, as it flows through the heart of the city, is interrupted by
three small islands lying in succession, the two most westerly of
which, the Ile de la Cite (otherwise called the Ile du Palais) and the
Ile St. Louis, or de Notre Dame, are covered with streets and houses.
The third, called the Ile Louvier, is used only as a depot for
fire-wood. The parts of the town on the opposite sides of the river
are connected with each other, and with these islands, by nineteen
bridges, thirteen of which are constructed of stone, and two of stone
and iron: of the others two are chain-bridges, one is built of wood,
and two of wood and iron. Several of these structures, especially the
Pont des Arts, the Pont Louis XVI., and the Pont de Jena, or de
l'Ecole Militaire, all of which are to the west of the Ile du Palais,
are distinguished by their majesty or elegance, and add much beauty
and picturesque effect to the vista of the river. Excepting at one
place where the two branches enclosing the Ile du Palais unite,
immediately to the west of that island, the breadth of the Seine at
Paris is no where greater than about 550 English feet, and at some
points it is not more than half that distance from the one bank to
the other. The bridges, therefore, by which the Seine is traversed,
are not to be compared in point of magnitude with those of the Thames
at London. Even the Pont Neuf, which connects the Ile du Palais with
both the northern and the southern divisions of the city, and
comprehends in fact two bridges, with an intermediate street, is
shorter taken altogether, than Waterloo bridge by more than 200 feet;
and the Pont Louis XVI., which next to the Pont Neuf is the longest of
the Parisian stone bridges, measures only about 485 feet between the
abutments, while Westminster Bridge measures 1223, and Waterloo Bridge
1242 feet. It is in the _number_ of its bridges alone, therefore, that
the Seine is superior to the Thames.
The most remarkable feature in the general appearance of Paris, is the
inner inclosure formed by the celebrated road called the _Boulevards._
On the north side of the river, the Boulevards follow a line nearly
midway, on an average, between the river and the wall. The space which
they comprehend, therefore, is but a small portion of that included
within the outer boundary of the city. The length of this part of the
road is about 5,200 English yards, or somewhat under three miles. That
on the south side of the river is of far greater extent, approaching,
as it does, throughout its whole sweep, very much closer to the wall,
and in some parts entirely coinciding with it. It measures about
16,000 yards, or above nine miles in length. Each of these lines,
although in reality forming an uninterrupted road from its
commencement to its termination, is divided into a succession of
parts, each having its particular name. The northern Boulevards are
twelve in number, the southern seven. We have nothing in England like
the Parisian Boulevards. They may be generally described as a road or
street, of great breadth, along each side of which are planted double
rows of elms. But these shady avenues do not present merely a picture
of rural beauty. Rising as they do in the heart of a great city, they
partake also of its artificial elegance and splendour, and are
associated with all the luxuries of architectural decoration.
Considered merely as a range of streets, the Boulevards are hardly
rivalled by any other part of Paris. Those to the north of the river
are lined on both sides throughout their whole extent, by buildings
more uniformly handsome than are those of almost any other street in
the city, and by many which may be even described as magnificent. Some
of these are private residences; others are shops, cafes, public
hotels, and theatres. The crowds by whom so many parts of these
Boulevards are frequented chiefly give to the scene its singular
liveliness and brilliancy. The southern Boulevards, though equally
beautiful, are far from being so much the habitual resort of the
citizens; but the walks on this very account, have a charm for some
moods of mind which the others want. Another road, planted in a
similar manner, has more recently been carried round the outside of
the present walls of the city. It is distinguished from the inner
Boulevards by the name of the _Boulevards Exterieurs._
To a person accustomed to the appearance of the streets of London, or
indeed of any other English town, those of the interior of Paris will
present considerable novelty of aspect. The extreme narrowness, in the
first place, of those in the more ancient parts of the city, and the
great height of the houses, with their windows in many cases fortified
by bars of iron, would alone give them an air of gloom and precaution,
almost sufficient to impress the Englishman who walks through them
with the feeling that he has been transported, not only into another
country, but into another age. Even where these indications of the
more ancient evils of Paris are not visible, the general aspect of the
town shows that it has not grown with the growth of a free people,
amongst whom the inequalities of rank have been softened down by
respect to the comforts of all classes. Under the ancient regime,
which was in full activity half a century ago, there were only two
classes in Paris, the _noblesse_, and the _bourgeoisie_; and the
latter, being driven into the gutters by the carriage-wheels of their
arrogant masters, went by the general name of the _canaille._ Few of
the streets even now have any side pavement for foot passengers--that
invaluable accommodation which gives such perfect security to the
pedestrian even in our most crowded and tumultuous thoroughfare. The
causeway itself, on which walkers and drivers are thus mingled
together in confusion, is often most uneven and rugged. The stones of
which it is formed, about ten inches square, present each a convex
surface, usually wet and slippery, so that under the most favourable
circumstances, walking in the streets of Paris is anything but an
agreeable exercise. Still farther to abridge the level space, the
street is made to incline from both sides towards the centre, in order
to form there a sort of ditch, in which flows a black and fetid
stream. From the want of a proper system of drains, this receptacle of
filth is generally sufficiently replenished even in the driest
weather, to keep the whole street wet and dirty. Carriages, having
usually one wheel in the midst of the kennel, dash about the offensive
puddle in all directions. But the principle of a clear middle way,
such as our English streets possess, is neglected in all the
arrangements connected with those of Paris. Even the lights, instead
of being fixed on posts, as ours are, at the sides, are suspended in
the middle on ropes swung across, and having their opposite ends
fastened to the walls of the houses. It was these ropes which the mob,
in the Revolution of 1789, were wont to make use of as halters for
their victims; whence their famous cry of _a la lanterne_, as they
dragged them along to execution.
The aspect of Paris by night, except in a few of the principal streets
where gas has been very partially introduced, is singularly gloomy.
The darkness is occasionally relieved by the brilliancy of a cafe; but
in the more quiet parts of the town, particularly in the fashionable
quarter of the Faubourg St. Germain, it is almost impossible for the
pedestrian to direct his steps aright. It is quite evident that the
arrangements of this capital have not been made for a walking people.
This evil, however, is fast disappearing. Numerous _passages_ have
been constructed, within the last ten years, which are paved with flat
stones, and brilliantly lighted; and the active and pleasure-seeking
population of Paris crowd to these attractive and convenient places,
to the Boulevards, or to the Palais-Royal, and leave the narrow and
dirty streets principally to the few who keep their own carriages, or
to the many who hire public conveyances. These are of various kinds;
and such was the growing importance of the middle classes, that
_fiacres_ (so called after the sign of St Fiacre, at the house where
they were first established) were in use a century and a half ago.
The remainder of the Part is occupied with a sketch of the Revolution
* * * * *
REFORM OF EARLY PARLIAMENTS.
Though no language can adequately condemn the base subserviency of
Henry's parliament, it may be reasonably doubted whether his reign
was, in its ultimate consequences, injurious to public liberty. The
immense revolutions of his time in property, in religion, and in the
inheritance of the crown, never could have been effected without the
concurrence of parliament. Their acquiescence and co-operation in the
spoliation of property, and the condemnation of the innocent, tempted
him to carry all his purposes into execution, through their means.
Those who saw the attainders of queens, the alteration of an
established religion, and the frequent disturbance of the regal
succession, accomplished by acts of parliament, considered nothing as
beyond the jurisdiction of so potent an assembly. If the supremacy
was a tremendous power, it accustomed the people to set no bounds to
the authority of those who bestowed it on the king. The omnipotence of
parliament appeared no longer a mere hyperbole. Let it not be
supposed, that to mention the good thus finally educed from such
evils, is intended or calculated to palliate crimes, or to lessen our
just abhorrence of criminals. Nothing, on the contrary, seems more to
exalt the majesty of virtue than to point out the tendency of the
moral government of the world, which, as in this instance, turns the
worst enemies of all that is good into the laborious slaves of
justice. Of all outward benefits, the most conducive to virtue as well
as to happiness is, doubtless, popular and representative government.
It is the reverse of a degradation of it to observe, that its
establishment among us was perhaps partially promoted by the
sensuality, rapacity, and cruelty of Henry VIII. The course of affairs
is always so dark, the beneficial consequences of public events are so
distant and uncertain, that the attempt to do evil in order to produce
good is in men a most criminal usurpation.
 The observations of Nathaniel Bacon, or rather of Selden
from whose MS. notes he is said to have written his book,
deserve serious consideration. Bacon on the Laws and
Government of England, chap. 27.
Some direct benefits the constitution owes to this reign. The act
which established a parliamentary representation in so considerable a
territory as Wales may be regarded as the principal reformation in the
composition of the House of Commons since its legal maturity in the
time of Edward I. That principality had been divided into twelve
shires: of which eight were ancient, and four owed their origin to
a statute of Henry's reign. Knights, citizens, and burgesses were
now directed to be chosen and sent to parliament from the shires,
cities, and burghs of Wales. A short time before, the same
privileges were granted to the county palatine of Chester, of which
the preamble contains a memorable recognition and establishment of the
principles which are the basis of the elective part of our
constitution. Nearly thirty members were thus added to the House of
Commons on the principle of the Chester bill: that is disadvantageous
to a province to be unrepresented; that representation is essential to
good government; and that those who are bound by the laws ought to
have a reasonable share of direct influence on the passing of laws. As
the practical disadvantages are only generally alleged, and could
scarcely have been proved, they must have been inferred from the
nature of a House of Commons. The British constitution was not thought
to be enjoyed by a district till a popular representation was bestowed
on it. Election by the people was regarded, not as a source of tumult,
but as the principle most capable of composing disorder in territories
not represented.--_Cabinet Cyclopaedia_, vol. xix. _Sir James
Mackintosh's History of England_, vol. ii.
 Glamorgan, Carmarthen, Pembroke, Cardigan, Flint,
Carnarvon, Anglesea and Merioneth.
 Radnor, Brecknock, Montgomery, and Denbigh, 27 Henry 8 c.
 34 and 35 Henry 8. c. 26. s. 50.
 34 and 35 Henry 8. c. 13.--"That the said county have
hitherto been excluded from the high court of parliament, to
have any knights and burgesses within the said court, by
reason whereof the inhabitants have sustained manifold damages
in their lands, goods, and bodies, as well as in the good
governance of the commonwealth of their said country; and for
as much as they have been bound by the acts of the said court,
and yet have had no knights and burgesses therein, for lack
whereof they have been often touched and grieved by the acts
of the said parliament, prejudicial to the commonwealth,
quietness, rest, and peace of your highness's bounden
subjects, inhabiting within the said county," &c.
* * * * *
TRAVELLING NOTES IN SOUTH WALES.
(_Continued from page 312._)
The grounds of Penrice Castle, which stretch to the sea-shore, and on
which art has embellished scenery possessing capabilities of a high
order--are exceedingly picturesque and extensive. Penrice bears marks
of having been a Roman station. Henry de Newburgh, Earl of Warwick,
here defeated the Welsh prince, Rhys, which decided the fate of Gower.
He was beheaded after the battle, whence the Welsh name, Pen-Rhys. On
the field of battle the victor erected Penrice Castle, which is now
certainly a striking ruin. On the coast near Penrice is the village
and ruins of the Castle of Oxwich, now a barn--_sic transit!_
The afternoon was waxing apace--we had lost time in attending to our
horses, for ostler there was none--and in musing amongst the simply
decorated graves in the humble churchyard; after discussing with
great relish our repast of eggs and bacon, and Welsh ale, the best the
village afforded, (by the way, we shall not readily forget the fluster
of our Welsh hostess when we talked of dining on our arrival at the
little hostelrie) we then rode down to the sea-shore, intending to
cross the sandy beach of Oxwich, which extends several miles, on our
return to the Gower Inn. The tide flows with great rapidity on this
coast, and it had already advanced to the foot of a stupendous
headland, which juts into the beach about half way. We waded our
horses through the surf--but how can we do justice to the splendour of
the scenery around us. The alternations of stern and savage
beauty--the gigantic masses of "fantastic cliffs," and caverns, that
have stood the combat of the mighty Atlantic for countless ages?
Oxwich is almost unknown to the traveller, and there are few coast
scenes in these islands that surpass it in beauty. We lingered long on
the shore. There is a perpetual "jabble" against the cliffs on this
coast--and we have seldom met with a soul save an aged and solitary
fisherwoman--a study for a Bonington--pursuing her precarious calling
of crab or shrimp fishing, or of pulling lobsters from their retreats
in the savage cliffs.
 See _Mirror_, vol. xvi. p. 253.
A holy peace,
Pervades this _sea-shore solitude_--The world
And all who love that world, are far away.
It was getting dusk when we ascended from the shore, on our way
homewards, past the wild--the truly shattered, and desolate ruins of
Pennard Castle; which bear, we think, decided marks of having been
erected long prior to the Norman era. The country people tell you its
origin was supernatural; and some writers ascribe it to that great
castle-builder, Henry de Newburgh. Pennard stands in a situation of
extreme beauty, and deeply rivets the attention:
"The stones have voices, and the walls do live,
It is the House of Memory!"
Our favourite mare and her companion were in high spirits, (horses are
generally so on returning) exhilarated by the rapid motion; and our
hearts elate with the "songs of spring," we returned home on as sweet
an April evening as ever blessed man.
Another interesting excursion maybe made to Cefyn-bryn, the most
elevated hill in the district, about twelve miles from Swansea. The
road to Western Gower is carried over it; the summit is level, and a
carriage may be driven in safety for a couple of miles to the southern
point; which commands, on a clear day, in one direction, a vast and
unbounded view of the Bristol Channel, the whitened houses of
Ilfracombe, with the hills of Devon and Somerset, Lundy Island, and
the scenery of Swansea Bay. And on the reverse of the picture, almost
the whole peninsula of Gower, the extensive estuary of the Burry
River, and part of the beautiful expanse of the County and Bay of
Carmarthen, is spread out like a map before you. King Arthur's Stone,
an immense rock of _lapis molaris_, twenty tons weight, supported by a
circle of others--the remains of Druidism--invites the attention of
the antiquary, on the north-west point of Cefyn-bryn. We may here
remark that this district, especially the coast, offers a rich harvest
to the geologist. The general substratum of the peninsula is limestone
and marble, bounded to the north by an immense iron and coalfield. The
limestone stratum is continually "cropping out" in the interior, and
of course it can be worked at a trifling expense. This may account for
the general healthiness of the district. Though rain in consequence of
the western exposure, falls frequently, and sometimes with great
violence, yet it speedily runs off, leaving none of the bad effects
which would be produced in a tenacious soil. Marble of valuable
quality is worked at Oystermouth.
But we must hasten to close our Notes on Gower--_to proceed with our
circuit of the coast:--West from Oxwich is Porteyron_, where there is
an extensive lobster and oyster fishery, near which is Landewy Castle.
There is a wonderful precipice here. Further west we come to the
village of Rossilly, near the Worms-Head, the termination of a range
of rocks, which form the western point of the peninsula, being
connected with it by a low isthmus. It extends more than a mile into
the ocean, and at half-flood becomes an island. The name arose by
mariners comparing it to a worm with its head erect, between the Nass
Point and St. Gower's Head, in Pembrokeshire. The scenery here is
deeply interesting. This wild and desolate coast has proved fatal to
numberless ships; the recent erection of the light-house on Caldy
Island, near Tenby, on the opposite point of Carmarthen Bay, has,
however, been most important. Several Indiamen have been wrecked here,
and about fifty years since, a quantity of Spanish dollars, date 1625,
were found amongst the sand, when the tide had receded unusually far,
supposed to be part of the cargo of the "Scanderoon galley" lost on
this coast nearly two centuries ago. This would do for the "Vigo Bay
Company." We proceed along the western shore of Carmarthen Bay, till
we pass Whitford Point, a singular _peninsula of sand_, covered with
reeds, which stands the fury of the tide, forming one side of the wide
estuary of Barry, along the coast of which we pass a Roman encampment
at Llanmadoc--the striking Castle of Llanridian, and other ruins, as
we return eastward to Swansea; till we arrive at the village--we
forget ourselves, the _Borough_ of Castell Llwchyr, or Loughor, the
_Leucarum_ of Antoninus, and the fifth Roman station on the _Via
Julia._ It is seven miles from Swansea. Upon a mount, the supposed
work of the Romans, is a square tower, the remains of a castle built
by Henry, Earl of Warwick. Three miles to the east are two Roman
encampments; many Roman coins have been found at Loughor, from whence
there is a ferry to the Carmarthenshire side opposite, which is
fordable at low water. There is a large colliery here. It is a
delightful sail from this village down the Burry River to Whitford
Point, or round the coast to Worms-Head.
* * * * *
"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles."
_The following curious letter was found among the papers of a Mr.
Goldwyre, Surgeon, of Salisbury._
To Mr. Edward Goldwyre, at his house on the Close of Salisbury.
Sir,--Being informed that you are the only surgeon in this city (or
country) that anatomises men, and I being under the present unhappy
circumstances, and in a very mean condition, would gladly live as long
as I can, but by all appearances I am to be executed next March, but
having no friends on earth that will speak a word to save my life, nor
send me a morsel of bread to keep life and soul together until that
fatal day; so if you will vouchsafe to come hither, I will gladly
sell you my body (being whole and sound) to be ordered at your
discretion, knowing that it will rise again at the general
resurrection, as well from your house as from the grave. Your answer
will highly oblige, yours, &c.
_Fisherton-Auger Gaol_, _Oct._ 3, 1736.
* * * * *
A farmer walking out one day, by chance met Jack Ketch, and jocosely
asked him whether he could tell him the difference between their
trades. "That I can," said Jack, "the only difference is
_utility_--you till, I tie."
* * * * *
What is the most suitable motto for a doctor's carriage? Live or die.
Why is the _carver_ in a cook-shop like a naval officer? Because he
commands a _cutter._
* * * * *
Here lies poor Thomas, and his Wife,
Who led a pretty jarring life;
But all is ended--do you see?
He holds his tongue, and so does she.
If drugs and physic could but save
Us mortals from the dreary grave,
'Tis known that I took full enough
Of the apothecaries' stuff
To have prolong'd life's busy feast
To a full century at least;
But spite of all the doctors' skill,
Of daily draught and nightly pill,
Reader, as sure as you're alive,
I was sent here at twenty-five.
* * * * *
FOR ALL FAMILIES.
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* * * * *
_Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset
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G.G. BENNIS, 55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris; and by all Newsmen
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