The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 365
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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XIII, No. 365.] SATURDAY, APRIL 11, 1829. [PRICE. 2d.
* * * * *
OLD SOMERSET HOUSE.
[Illustration: OLD SOMERSET HOUSE.]
The Engraving on the annexed page is, perhaps, one of the greatest
antiquarian treasures it has for some time been our good fortune to
introduce to the readers of the MIRROR. It represents the original
SOMERSET HOUSE, which derived its name from Edward Seymour, Duke of
Somerset, maternal uncle to Edward VI., and Protector of the realm during
most of the reign of that youthful sovereign. The time at which this
nobleman commenced his magnificent palace (called _Somerset House_) has
been generally faxed at the year 1549; but that he had a residence on
this spot still earlier, is evident from two of his own letters, as well
as from his "cofferer's" account, which states that from April 1, 1548,
to October 7, 1551, "the entire cost of Somerset House, up to that
period, amounted to 10,091l. 9s. 2d." By comparing this sum with
the value of money in the present day, we may form some idea of the
splendour of the Protector's palace, as well as from Stow, who, in his
"Survaie," second edition, published in 1603, styles it "a large and
beautiful house, but yet unfinished." The architect is supposed to have
been John of Padua, who came to England in the reign of Henry VIII.--this
being one of the first buildings designed from the Italian orders that
was ever erected in this kingdom. Stow tells us there were several
buildings pulled down to make room for this splendid structure, among
which he enumerates the original parish church of St. Mary-le-Strand;
Chester's or Strand Inne; a house belonging to the Bishop of Llandaff;
"in the high street a fayre bridge, called _Strand Bridge_, and under it
a lane or waye, down to the landing-place on the banke of Thames;" and
the _Inne_ or London lodging of the Bishop of Chester and the Bishop of
Worcester. Seymour states, that the site of St. Mary's church became a
part of the garden of Somerset House; and that when the Protector pulled
down the old church, he promised to build a new one for the parishioners,
but his death prevented his fulfilling that engagement. The Strand Bridge
formed part of the public highway; and through it, according to Maitland,
"ran a small watercourse from the fields, which, gliding along a lane
below, had its influx to the Thames near Somerset Stairs."
 The present _Strand Lane_ (as it would seem to have been called in
Strype's time) skirts the eastern side of Somerset House, and forms
a boundary between the parishes of St. Mary and St. Clement Danes.
At its stairs, which are still, as formerly, "a place of some note
to take water at," is the outlet of a small underground stream.
Besides the places above mentioned, the palace-building Protector pulled
down part of the Priory church of St. John, Clerkenwell, a chapel and
cloisters near St. Paul's cathedral, for the sake of the materials. He
was, however, soon overtaken by justice, for in the proclamation, October
8, 1549, against the Duke of Somerset, previously to his arrest, he is
charged with "enriching himselfe," and building "sumptuous and faire
houses," during "all times of the wars in France and Scotland, leaving
the king's poore soldiers unpaid of their wages." After the attainder and
execution of the Protector, on Tower Hill, January 22, 1552-3, Somerset
Place devolved to the Crown, and was conferred by the king upon his
sister, the Princess Elizabeth, who resided here during her short visit
to the court in the reign of Queen Mary. Elizabeth, after her succession
to the throne, lent Somerset Place to Lord Hunsdon, (her chamberlain,)
whose guest she occasionally became. He died here in 1596. On the death
of Elizabeth, it appears to have become a jointure-house, or dotarial
palace, of the queens' consort; of whom Anne of Denmark, queen of James
I. kept a splendid court here. Arthur Wilson, in his "History of King
James," generally calls this mansion "the queen's palace in the Strand;"
but it was more commonly called Denmark House; and Strype says that by
the queen "this house was much repaired and beautified, and improved by
new buildings and enlargements. She also brought hither water from Hyde
Park in pipes." Dr. Fuller remarks that this edifice was so tenacious of
the name of the Duke of Somerset, "though he was not full five years
possessor of it, that he would not change a duchy for a kingdom, when
solemnly proclaimed by King James, Denmark House, from the king of
Denmark lodging therein, and his sister, Queen Anne, repairing thereof."
Pennant says, "Inigo Jones built the back-front and water-gate about
the year 1623;" but it may be questioned whether these were not the new
buildings spoken of as having been previously raised by Anne of Denmark.
Pennant likewise speaks of the chapel which was begun by Jones in the
 Inigo Jones died at Somerset House, July 21, 1651.
Denmark House was next fitted up for Henrietta Maria, queen of Charles
I., and settled on her for life. By her marriage articles, extraordinary
concessions were made in favour of the Catholics. The queen was not only
allowed to have, herself, the free exercise of the "Roman Catholic
Apostolic religion," but all her children were to be brought up in the
same faith; she was to have a chapel in all the royal palaces; a bishop
of her own faith was to be her almoner; twenty-eight priests, or
ecclesiastics, were to serve in her chapel; the domestics of her
household were to be French Catholics, &c. Thus, this mansion became the
very focus of Catholicism, and a convent of Capuchin friars was
established here by the queen. At length, in 1642, it was ordered by the
Parliament that "the altar and chapel in _Somerset House_ be forthwith
burnt," and that the Capuchins be "sent into France."
In 1659, the Commons resolved that Somerset House, with all its
appurtenances, should be sold for the partial discharge of the great
arrears due to the army; and Ludlow states, that it was sold for
10,000l. except the chapel; but the restoration of King Charles
prevented the agreement from being fulfilled.
This mansion was frequently used for the state reception of the remains
of deceased persons of high rank previously to their interment. The
Protector, Oliver Cromwell, was laid in state here; and Ludlow states,
that the folly and profusion of this display so provoked the people, that
they "threw dirt, in the night, on his escutcheon, that was placed over
the great gate of Somerset House." After the restoration of Charles II.
Somerset House reverted to the queen dowager, who returned to England in
1660; went back to France, but returning in 1662, she took up her
residence at Somerset House; when Cowley and Waller wrote some courtly
verses in honour of this edifice, the latter complimenting the queen with
Somerset House rising at her command, "like the _first creation_."
In 1670, the remains of Monck, Duke of Albemarle, were laid here "for
many weeks in royal state." For several years subsequently to this period
the mansion was but little occupied; but in 1677, the Prince of Orange,
afterwards William III., resided here for a short period prior to his
marriage. In 1678, Somerset House became the reputed, if not the real
scene of the mysterious murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, which is
attributed to the Papists connected with the chapel establishment of
Catherine of Braganza, queen of Charles II.; to whom this mansion was
destined, contingently, as a jointure-house, and who was occasionally
lodged here when Charles's gallantries had rendered it incompatible for
her to be at Whitehall. On the king's decease, in 1685, she removed
hither entirely, and kept her court here till 1692, when she departed for
Portugal, leaving her palace to the Earl of Faversham, who continued to
inhabit it till after the decease of the queen dowager in 1705.
From a description about 1720, we learn that "the stately piles of new
brick houses on both sides of Somerset House, much eclipse that palace."
At the entrance from the Strand, "is a spacious square court, garnished
on all sides with rows of freestone buildings, and at the front is a
piazza, with stone pillars, and a pavement of freestone. Besides this
court there are other larger ones, which are descended towards the river
by spacious stairs of freestone. The outward beauty of this court appears
by a view from the water, having a good front, and a most pleasant
garden, which runs to the water side. More westward is a large yard
adjoining to the Savoy, made use of for a coach-house and stables; at the
bottom of which are stairs, much used by watermen, this being a noted
place for landing and taking water at." The water gate was ornamented
with the figures of Thames and Isis, and in the centre of the
water-garden was a statue. The principal garden was a kind of raised
terrace, (ascended by steps from the water side) in which there was a
large basin, once dignified with a fountain. The ground was laid out in
parterres, near the angles of which statues were placed; one of them, a
Mercury, in brass, had been appraised, in 1649, at 500l.
In the early part of the last century, Somerset House was occasionally
appropriated to masquerades and other court entertainments. In the reign
of George II. William, Prince of Orange, resided here a short time; and
in 1764, the hereditary Prince of Brunswick became an inmate, prior to
his nuptials with the Princess Augusta, sister to George III. In April,
1763, a splendid fete was given here to the Venetian ambassadors, who
were entertained several days in this mansion.
In the year 1761, the second of his late majesty, Somerset House was
settled on the queen consort, in the event of her surviving the king; but
in April, 1775, in consequence of a royal message to Parliament, it was
resolved, that "Buckingham House, now called the Queen's House," should
be settled on her majesty in lieu of the former, which was to be vested
in the king, his heirs and successors, "for the purpose of erecting and
establishing certain public offices." An act was consequently passed in
the same year, and shortly afterwards the building of the present stately
pile was commenced under the superintendence of the late Sir William
Chambers. Extensive, however, as the buildings are, the original plan
has never been fully executed, and the eastern side is altogether
unfinished. The splendour of the building is, however, shortly to be
completed by the erection of another wing, to be appropriated as the
King's College; and surveys have already been made for this purpose.
The print represents the original mansion, or, we should rather say, city
of mansions, with its monastic chapel, and geometrical gardens, laid out
in the trim style of our forefathers. The suite of state apartments in
the principal front was very splendid, and previously to their being
dismantled by Sir William Chambers, they exhibited a sorry scene of royal
finery and attic taste. Mouldering walls and decayed furniture, broken
casements, falling roofs, and long ranges of uninhabited and
uninhabitable apartments, winding stairs, dark galleries, and long
arcades--all combined to present to the mind in strong, though gloomy
colours, a correct picture of the transitory nature of sublunary
In the distance of the print is the celebrated Strand maypole, although
its situation there does not coincide with that marked out in more recent
prints. The original of our Engraving is a scarce print, by Hollar, who
died in 1677.
In the year 1650, an act was passed for the sale of the "honours, manors,
and lands heretofore belonging to the late king, queen, and prince," for
the payment of the army; and under that act were sold several tenements,
&c. "belonging unto Somerset House." In this list were several signs, and
it is remarkable, that the _Red Lion_, (opposite the _Office of the
Mirror_, and at the corner of Catherine-street, in the Strand) is the
only one which now remains. The _Lion_ may still be seen on the front of
the house. The Red Lion wine vaults, three doors from this corner was
probably named from the above, since nearly every house formerly had its
* * * * *
_(For the Mirror.)_
City of God--thy palaces o'erthrown--
Thy nation branded--tribes o'er earth dispersed:
Thy temple ruin'd, and thy glory fled,--
Speak of thy impious crimes, thy daring guilt,
And tell a tale whose lines are traced in blood.
No more from hence ascends
The sacrificial smoke; the priest no more
Sheds blood of lambs, to expiate thy crimes--
Crimes foul as hell--crimes which the blood of Him,
Who came from heaven to die for guilty man,
Alone could purge,--and innocence impart.
Here holy David tuned his harp to strains
Sublime as those of angels, when he sung
In dulcet melody the praise of Him
Who should redeem from guilt the sons of man,
And rescue who in Him believed from death--
That second death--of which the first is type.
Here lived--here died--whom prophets long foretold,
Whom angels worship and whom seraphs praise,
The Son of God, mysterious God-Man:
He was rejected by the Jew; and here--
To fill the awful measure of their guilt--
At noon, a deed was done, without a peer;
A deed, unequalled since the world began,
The masterpiece of sin, of crime the chief;
At which the sun grew dark, earth's pillars shook,
Chaotic gloom as erst o'erspread the land,
And nature frowned at insults paid her God--
The crucifixion of His only Son.
Here now the banner of the prophet false,
Unfolds its silken folds to taunt the Jew;
The moslem minarets lift high their heads.
And raise their summits in the placid sky--
As tho' to rouse from his deep lethargy
The hardened Jew; to wrest from Paynim hordes
The Holy City, once the abode of God.
But shall Mohammed's banner ever float
On Salem's ruins? Shaft her sacred dust
Where Christ has shed His blood, by infidels
Be ever trodden down? Shall her temple
Prostrate lie, to cause the impious mock
Of Mussulmen for ever? It may not be.
Ere many years wane in eternity,
That banner shall be plucked from its proud height--
Those tow'ring minarets shall fall to earth
And God again be worshipp'd thro' the land.
David's fair city shall be then rebuilt;
Her pristine beauty shall be far surpassed
By more than mortal splendour; her temple
Point high its turrets to the skies--and He,
The God of Hosts with glory fill the place!
* * * * *
PARLIAMENTS, ANCIENT AND MODERN.
_(For the Mirror.)_
Chamberlayne in his _Notitia Angliae_, says, "Before the conquest, the
great council of the king, consisting only of the great men of the
kingdom, was called _Magnatum Conventus_, or else _Praelatorum Procerumque
Concilium_, and by the Saxons in their own tongue _Micel Gemote_, the
great assembly; after the conquest about the beginning of King Edward I.,
some say in the time of Henry I., it was called by the French word
_Parlementum_, from _Parler_, to talk together; still consisting (as
divers authors affirm) only of the great men of the nation, until the
reign of Henry III. when the commons also were called to sit in
parliament; for divers authors presume to say, the first writs to be
found in records, sent forth to them, bear date 49 Henry III. Yet some
antiquaries are of opinion, that long before, nothing of moment wherein
the lives or estates of the common people of England were concerned, ever
passed without their consent."
 Or Wittenagemote, i.e. assembly of wise men.
In Edward the Third's time, an act of parliament, made in the reign of
William the Conqueror, was pleaded in the case of the Abbey of St.
Edmund's Bury, and judicially allowed by the court. Hence it appears that
parliaments or general councils are coeval with the kingdom itself.
Sir Walter Raleigh thinks the Commons were first called on the 17th of
_Parliamentum de la Blande_, was a denomination to a parliament in Edward
the Second's time, whereto the barons came armed against the two
Spencers, with coloured bands on their sleeves for distinction.
_Parliamentum Insanum_, was a parliament held at Oxford, anno 41 Henry
III. so called, because the lords came with great retinues of armed men
to it; and many things were violently transacted therein against the
_Parliamentum Indoctorum_, was a parliament held at Coventry, 6th Henry
VI. whereunto by special precept to the sheriffs of the several counties,
no lawyer, or person skilled in the law was to be called.
_Parliamentum Diabolicum_, was a parliament held at Coventry, 38th Henry
VI. wherein Edward, Earl of March (afterwards king) and several others
were attainted. The acts passed therein were annulled in the succeeding
"In 1524, April 15, (says Stowe) a parliament was begun at the Blacke
Friers, wherein was demanded a subsidy of L800,000. to be raised of goods
and lands, four shillings in every pound; and in the end was granted two
shillings. This parliament was adjourned to Westminster, among the blacke
monks, and ended in the king's palace there the 14th of August, at nine
of the clocke in the night, and was therefore called the _Blacke
Parliaments formerly sat in Westminster Hall and the Chapter house. "In
1397, (says Pennant) when in the reign of Richard II. the hall was
extremely ruinous, he built a temporary room for his parliament formed
with wood, covered with tiles. It was open on all sides, that the
constituents might see every thing that was said and done; and to secure
freedom of debate, he surrounded the house with 4,000 Cheshire archers,
with bows bent, and arrows knocked ready to shoot. This fully answered
the intent, for every sacrifice was made to the royal presence."
The place where the commons of Great Britain, now hold their assemblies,
was built by king Stephen, and dedicated to his namesake the
proto-martyr. It was beautifully rebuilt by Edward III. in 1347, and by
him made a collegiate church, and a dean and twelve secular priests
appointed. Soon after its surrender to Edward VI. it was applied to its
present use. The revenues at that period were not less than L1,085 a
When the royal assent (says de Lolme) is given to a public bill, the
clerk says, _le Roy le veut_. If the bill be a private one, he says,
_soit fait comme il est desire_. If the bill has subsidies for its
objects, he says, _le Roy remercie ses loyaux sujets, accepte leur
benevolence ainsi le veut_. Lastly, if the King does not think proper to
assent to the bill, the clerk says, _le Roy s'en avisera_; which is a
mild way of giving a refusal. This custom was introduced at the conquest,
and has been continued, like other matters of form, which sometimes exist
for ages after the real substance of things has been altered; and judge
Blackstone expresses himself on this subject in the following words:--"A
badge, it must be owned, (now the only one remaining) of conquest; and
which one would wish to see fall into total oblivion, unless it be
reserved as a solemn memento to remind us that our liberties are mortal,
having once been destroyed by a foreign power." (De Lolme.) Under the
walls of the _legal_ parliament, there is held an _illegal_ parliament,
composed of _livery_ men, who assemble in the members' servants
waiting-room. Every year, a speaker or chairman is chosen, and each
member addresses the other by the title his master bears. In case of
disputes, &c., the speaker (who sits in an elevated chair) decides, and
if there is any unparliamentary conduct, the party is fined.
This _ground_ parliament has powers peculiar to itself, and never
interferes with the _upper_ parliament under the same roof, its powers
not being so great as the "_Senatus populusque Romanus_." It is an annual
parliament, but does not extend to universal suffrage. The members vacate
their _seats_ or _stands_, when discharged by their masters in the
_upper_, or legal parliament. This parliament prints no journals, its
_acts_ not extending beyond the room, except when the _Irish members turn
out_ in palace yard. N.B. No member can be admitted till the fees are
paid. For further information relating to this self-elected parliament,
see the rules and regulations over the mantelpiece in the room.
* * * * *
* * * * *
_(For the Mirror.)_
The legitimate name of Mr. Hornor's colossal edifice in the Regent's
Park, we believe, was first set forth as the Gyrorama, Girorama,
Panopticon, or General View. The Catholic Church of Berlin, although
diminutive in proportion to the Marylebone wonder, is, with the solitary
exception of the Pantheon at Rome, the only structure, perhaps, that
bears any resemblance to it in form and feature.
The porch, or, more properly speaking, the oropylaion, or
fore-temple, is about the height of our Pantheon facade in Oxford Street;
and the apex of the dome may probably correspond in elevation with the
roof of that building. The whole effect, however, when viewed from the
great square in front of the opera house at Berlin, is extremely
pleasing; and, associating itself by general outline with the ideas of
the grand prototype of the eternal city, derives a degree of importance
which a minuter inspection would not confer. There are numerous churches
in Berlin, but three only which lay claim to particular notice, St.
Nicolas, the French Church, (standing on one side of the above mentioned
square) and the Catholic Church. The architecture of these is not pure in
any single instance; it having been the prevailing taste of the period
when they were erected to over-charge the building with ornament, and
substitute one or more gorgeous embellishments as appendages to the
design, for that chaste and elegant simplicity which is so essential a
part of grandeur. Accordingly we find several of the largest
ecclesiastical edifices, the site and contour of which would otherwise
entitle them to distinction, disfigured by some overpowering
frontispizio, and presenting a complication of decorative details which
distort the outline, and, in spite of toilsome and finished sculpture,
mar the truth and elegance of classic design.
There are seven doors surmounted by tablets of tolerably good sculpture
from scriptural history, five in the front and two at the sides of the
porch, the pediment of which rests on six columns of the Ionic order, and
is enriched by alto relievos, illustrative of our Saviour's ministry, as
also by marble statues representing the Virtues, &c. The entablature
bears an inscription relative to the occasion and date of this building
being erected in the last century. The interior is plain, and more
conspicuous for an accumulation of dirt and dust (a very common
characteristic of Berlin) than of ornament; the four-and-twenty
Corinthian columns, however, which contribute their support to the dome
are imposing in their appearance. The high altar and sacristy are
constructed in a recess formed by the annexation of a small chancel to
the rotunda. This church, built of freestone, stands in an angle of the
Place des Gens d' Armes, immediately behind the great Salle des
Spectacles (schauspielhaus) or theatre, in one of the finest squares of
Berlin. With the exception of a few small chapels, it is the only
Catholic place of worship in that city, the religion of Prussia being
* * * * *
_(For the Mirror.)_
An interesting discovery of paintings by Hogarth, viz. "The Modern
Midnight Conversation," and the "Hudson's Bay Company's Porters going to
Dinner," was made about three years' ago, upon the demolition of the old
Elephant public-house, Fenchurch-street. The pictures were the
undoubted productions of Hogarth, something more than one hundred years
since, at which time he lodged there. The house was known as the Elephant
and Castle, where it had been customary for the parochial authorities to
have an entertainment, the celebration of which, from some cause, was
unexpectedly removed to Harry the Eighth's head, opposite, and still in
the same line of business. This removal being mentioned to our artist on
his return home at night, irritated him not a little, at what he
considered the neglect with which he had been treated in not being
invited as formerly. He therefore went over to the King's Head, where
some discussion took place, which it is supposed was not very amicable,
as he left them (as the clock indicates, at past four in the morning,)
threatening to stick them all up on the walls of the tap-room in the
Elephant and Castle, which, as an eminent modern artist said, most
emphatically, upon his first seeing the picture after it had been removed
and placed on canvass,--Hogarth had done _Con Amore_.
 Of this house, we have given an accurate Engraving at page 8
in the present volume.
The proposition being made to the host, he agreed to wipe out Hogarth's
score upon his completing the picture, which attracted much company; so
that, although the house lost the dinner party, it gained by persons
coming to see the parochial authorities _stuck up on the walls_. Some
time after, the score again raised its head, when mine host, for the
purpose of clearing it off, and to make the tap-room more uniform,
proposed to Hogarth the subject of the Hudson's Bay Company's porters
going to dinner; they at that time, as they still do, frequenting the
house. This picture represents Fenchurch-street as it appeared more than
a century ago, with the old Magpie and Punch Bowl public-house in the
distance, which house has not long since been taken down. The Elephant
public-house was taken down and rebuilt in 1826, and is now occupied by
Mrs. Eaton, in whose family the business has been for more than a hundred
years, and from whom these particulars have been obtained. The first
named picture is considered to be the original from which Hogarth
afterwards painted the one known as the "Modern Midnight Conversation,"
in which there are one or two figures less than in the original. Orator
Henley and the other principal characters, occupy the same situation in
Mr. Soane, the architect, upon hearing of the present condition of the
pictures, said, that he in early life, while at Rome, knew that various
attempts had been made for the purpose of removing oil paintings from
walls, but without success, and expressed himself highly gratified at the
result of the exertions of the persons who bought and removed them at no
small risk and expense, viz. Mr. Lyon, 5, Apollo-buildings, East-street,
Walworth, and Mr. H.E. Hall, a Leicestershire gentleman of great
ingenuity; who have placed them for sale in the gallery of Mr. Penny, in
A CONSTANT READER.
* * * * *
* * * * *
Ambition is a vulture vile,
That feedeth on the heart of pride,
And finds no rest, when all is tried,
For worlds cannot confine the one
Th' other lists and bounds hath none
And both subvert the mind, the state,
Procure destruction, envy, hate.
* * * * *
In this great temple richly beautified,
Pav'd all with stars, dispers'd on Sapphire flower,
The clerk is a pure angel sanctified,
The Judge our High Messiah full of power,
The Apostles his assistants every hour,
The jury saints, the verdict innocent,
The sentence, come ye blessed to my tent.
The spear that pierc'd his side, the writing pen,
Christ's blood the ink, red ink for prince's name,
The vailes great breach, the miracles for men,
The sight is show of them that long dead came
From their old graves, restored to living fame.
And that last, signet passing all the rest,
Our souls discharg'd by _consummatum est_.
Here endless joy is their perpetual cheer
Their exercise, sweet songs of many parts.
Angels their choir, whose symphony to hear
Is able to provoke conceiving hearts
To misconceive of all enticing art
The ditty praise, the subject is the Lord,
That times their gladsome spirit to this accord.
* * * * *
Is't not God's deed whatever thing is done
In heaven and earth? Did not he all create
To die again? all ends that were begun;
Their times in his eternal books of fate
Are written sure, and have their certain date,
Who then can strive with strong necessity,
That holds the world in his still changing state?
Or shun the death ordain'd by destiny,
When hour of death is come, let none ask whence or why.
* * * * *
Fraud showed in comely clothes a lovely look,
An humble cast of eye, a sober pace;
And so sweet speech, a man might her have took
For him that said "_Hail Mary full of grace;_"
But all the rest deformedly did look.
As full of filthiness and foul disgrace;
Hid under long, large garments that she wore,
Under the which, a poisoned knife she bore.
SIR J. HARRINGTON.
* * * * *
What one art thou thus in torn weeds yclad?
Virtue, in price, whom ancient sages had--
Why poorly clad? for fading goods past care--
Why double fac'd? I mark each fortunes rare;
This bridle, what? mind's rages to restrain--
Why bear you tools? I love to take great pain--
Why wings? I teach above the stars to fly--
Why tread your death? I only cannot die.
* * * * *
Of all God's works which doth this world adorn,
There is none more fair and excellent
Than is man's body, both for power and form,
Whilst it is kept in sober government,
But none than it more foul and indecent,
Distempered through misrules and passions base,
It grows a monster and incontinent,
Doth lose his dignity and native grace.
* * * * *
Never have unjust pleasures been complete
In joys entire: but still fear kept the door.
And held back something from that hell of sweet,
To intersour unsure delights the more
For never did all circumstances meet
With those desires that were conceiv'd before,
Something must still be left to cheer our sin,
And give a touch of what should not have been.
* * * * *
He that compar'd man's body to a host
Said that the hands were scouts discovering harms,
The feet were horsemen thundering on the coast,
The breast and stomach foemen, huge in swarms,
But for the head in sovereignty did boast,
It captain was, director of alarms,
Whose rashness if it hazarded any ill,
Not he alone, but all the host did spill.
* * * * *
Sweet solitary life thou true repose,
Wherein the wise contemplate heaven aright,
In thee no dread of war or worldly foes,
In thee no pomp seduceth mortal sight.
In thee no wanton cares to win with words,
Nor lurking toys which silly life affords.
* * * * *
What so strong
But wanting rest, will also want of might?
The sun that measures heaven all day long,
At night doth bathe his steeds th' ocean waves among.
* * * * *
A stronger hand restrains our wilful powers.
A will must rule above the will of ours,
Not following what our vain desires do woo,
For virtue's sake, but what we only do.
* * * * *
He only lives most happily
That's free and far from majesty--
Can live content although unknown--
He fearing none, none fearing him--
Meddling with nothing but his own--
While gazing eyes at crowns grow dim.
* * * * *
Content feeds not on glory nor on pelf,
Content can be contented with herself.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
DERBY AND NOTTINGHAM.
We trust we have consulted the profitable amusement of the reader, in
condensing the following very interesting facts from the _Second Part of
Sir Richard Phillips's Personal Tour through the United Kingdom_; since,
as the author observes, "if the less active districts of the home
counties afforded materials worthy of attention, the more industrious
counties of DERBY and NOTTINGHAM are not less likely to add interest to
the pen of an observer. In truth, the public spirit which more actively
prevails in these counties, added facilities to inquiry; while the
objects described have so many peculiar features, that a full and popular
account of them must be as new to the nation at large as they were to the
After passing a pleasant night and morning near Swarkeston, I drove eight
miles, through a country of limestone and gypsum; of activity and great
beauty, to the centrical and classical town of Derby. In position, it is
the centre of the kingdom, not only geographically, but commercially.--It
is forty miles within the manufacturing circle, passing southward, and
from forty to sixty miles around, there is the most industrious space on
the globe; while no one can think about Derby, without associating the
names of Darwin, in poetry and philosophy; of Wright, in painting; and of
the Strutts, as the patrons of all the useful and elegant arts. I entered
Derby, therefore, with agreeable associations, and they have since been
Taken altogether, Derby is a medium town, between a manufacturing and a
genteel one. This, in variety, is an advantage, for while the
manufacturers are improved in manners, gentility is more substantial. It
is neither wholly vulgar, like some places, nor poor and proud, like
others. For its size, it is a rich town. I was told, there are five or
six persons in it worth L100,000. and upwards, each, and as many more
worth 30 or L40,000. In most country towns there are fewer such, but
Derby is fortunate in its geographical and natural position, and in the
prudence of its genius and industry.
I proceeded to Belper, eight miles, to view the superb establishment of
the Messrs. Strutt, as cotton spinners. The excellent road, which
continues to Matlock, and the north, lay through the most delightfully
variegated country which I had seen since I left Hertfordshire. The
village of Duffield, in a valley of the Derwent, with houses on the steep
eastern bank, and woods to the top, is one of the prettiest to be seen.
On crossing the river, I beheld long lines of cottages, built for the
residence of the families employed in Messrs. Strutts' smaller factory at
Melford. Passing this, the extensive but straggling and picturesque town
of Belper, covered the eastern hill. What remains of the old town, is not
a tithe of the present one, and the whole is now supported by Messrs.
Strutts' gigantic mills.
I approached these with mingled pleasure and astonishment. A manufactory,
in such hands, presented none of the usual drawbacks on one's feelings.
They never discharge their workmen; and good conduct is a life interest
in comfort! The picturesque beauty of the situation, the height and
extent of the buildings, and the increase of the busy throng, as I
entered the yard, was exhilarating. The effect grew as I approached, for
the distance of two or three hundred yards, the noise, produced by the
united rattling of thousands of small wheels, was like the sound of a
hail storm on a large sky-light, or the fall of an immense sheet of
There are five oblong factories and two circular ones. The five are six
stories high, with ten or twelve windows on each story, so that in the
five there are, at least, as many regular windows as days in the year.
The circular buildings have forty or fifty more.
In this establishment, and at Melford, Messrs. Strutt employ, at present,
about 1,300 hands of both sexes and different ages, and spin about 18
tons, or 40,000 lbs. of cotton per week. The average fineness may be
taken at 20 hanks to the pound, and hence, as each hank is 840 yards, or
nearly half a mile, every pound is nearly ten miles, and the whole, about
400,000 miles are produced in about sixty-six working hours. In round
numbers, this is 6,000 miles per hour, or 100 miles a minute. What an
astonishing effect of the combination of mechanism! What an inconceivable
miracle, if it might not be witnessed by their favour at any time!
Nor should it be forgotten, that every fibre passes through no less than
ten sets of machinery, hence, the united spindles and threads travel
through 1,000 miles a minute. The noise of their united frictions and
collisions, and the united hum of thousands of little spindles, each
revolving 4,000 times a minute, may, therefore, be accounted for, but can
never be conceived, unless heard in the midst of them.
It would be tedious to dwell on the well-known process of cotton
spinning; but as this manufactory produces the cleanest and most perfect
yarn made in England, of its numbers from 6 to 100, it may be worth while
to state, that this perfection appears to arise, from the systematic
perfection of all the machines, and from the astonishing cleanness of
every part of this great factory. The wheels are as bright as the grate
of a good housewife's drawing-room; every action is complete in its way,
and though cotton is a dusty article, yet I no where saw either dirt or
dust. At the same time, order prevails throughout, for as the main shaft
gives no respite to the carding, roving, and spinning machines, so every
attendant diligently and silently watches the lines of bobbins which are
performing their miraculous evolutions, while the other apparatus are
correcting and regulating the stages and steps of the production.
The whole is turned by eight or nine water wheels, of about twenty-four
feet diameter, and twenty feet in length. The fall is about twenty feet,
and the admirable contrivances of revolving balls (adopted in the
steam-engine) are affixed, to render the power uniform, by varying the
depth of the falling stream. In truth, it is one of the features of the
entire establishment, that all, that can be performed by machinery, is so
performed, and that the machinery is the very best for its purpose, and
in many instances which I witnessed, as true, as decided in its action.
After the thread is wound into hanks, it is bleached at a distinct
manufactory for that purpose; but as bleaching is a mere chemical
operation, and the means are either known and not curious, or secret, and
not proper to inquire about, I did not visit this branch of the
The first of the works on this spot, was built by Mr. Jedediah Strutt,
father of the brothers, William, George, and Joseph, about fifty years
since. Arkwright invented the spinning machines, while a barber's
apprentice. He was joined by one Need, and they expended L14,000. with
uncertain success. Wright, the banker, of Nottingham, hesitated to make
further advances, and, at this juncture, they were joined by Mr. Jedediah
Strutt, a careful man, with the necessary credit or capital, and the
result was, the realization of princely fortunes, and the enriching even
the nation itself. On the expiration of their partnership, Arkwright went
on by himself at Cromford, and the Strutts for themselves at Belper. A
spirit of detraction would make it appear that Arkwright stole the
invention of another, but Mr. William Strutt, who knew him well, and is a
competent judge on such subjects, assured me that Arkwright was a man of
very superior talents as a mechanic, and quite equal to such an
invention. I saw two portraits of him in Mr. Strutt's house, and no
higher proof could be given of his personal respect for Arkwright, while
he never failed to speak of him with enthusiasm, as a man of original
_Derby Silk Trade_.
Silk throwing is a considerable trade in Derby. Sir Thomas Lombe's famous
machinery has not, however, been used for some years, but improved
machinery, which performs twice the work, in less room, is now adopted.
The chief throwsters are Messrs. Bridget, Taylor, Adcock, Butterworth,
Moore and Gibson, Devenport and Forster. The silks, as imported, chiefly
from Bengal and China, are in what are called books of 10 lb. of which
ten form a bale, and the business of the throwster is to wind it, from
the plats or skeins upon bobbins; and from these, it is twisted into two,
three, or more threads. The price for throwing is from 1s. 9d. to
2s. for Bengals, and from 2s. 9d. to 3s. per lb. for China. About
1,500 lbs. a week are thrown, employing from 1,000 to 1,200 men, women,
and children. The price used to be 4s. a lb. but a fall has taken
place, within the last fifteen years, in this article of labour, as well
as in every other.
I heard much from all the manufacturers of Derby, of the mechanical
ingenuity of Mr. James Fox, of Chester Road, on the banks of the Derwent.
I paid him a visit, and beheld his powerful iron lathes, twenty-four feet
long, used by machine makers for planing iron. Here I saw iron cut in
groves or squared with great simplicity, by duly adjusting the velocity
so as to generate no heat, for a velocity, which generates heat, destroys
the tool. These lathes, Mr. Fox makes for machinists in all parts of the
kingdom, and gets from L200. to L700. for them. The castings are made at
Morley Park; and I was sorry to learn that they are now delivered at L7.
a ton instead of L30. the usual and legitimate price. In truth, the
depression of the iron trade is as great or greater than that of the
other staples of the kingdom.
The number of cotton frames employed by the above, is from 3,000 to 4,000
dispersed over the town and country; and the number of silk frames is
about 1,000. The average earnings of the cotton hands are from 7s. to
10s. per week, but many frames are worked by young persons both male
and female. The silk hands earn about 12s. or 15s.
A manufactory, at once local and elegant, exists at Derby, which excites
the attention and loosens the purse-strings of most strangers. It is the
spar-manufactory of Mr. Hall, and in it, he converts the petrified sports
of nature, in the Derbyshire hills, into the luxuries of civil life.
Those in London, who desire to see the products of these works, may
behold them at Mawe's, in the Strand; but all, who visit Derby, will not
fail to call upon Mr. Hall, who is as courteous as he is ingenious.
Amythistine and other spars, white and variegated marble, alabaster, &c.
are here formed in a series of workshops, aided by a steam engine, into
vases, columns, obelisks, &c. &c. Tasteful statuaries are also employed,
in converting the same materials into dogs, horses, sheep, cows, &c. for
chimney ornaments; and Mr. Hall has likewise imitated the best vases, and
some of the structures of Egypt, with exact transcripts of their
inscriptions. In these works, in polishing, sawing, fashioning, &c. he
employs numerous hands; and persons, whom he may indulge, with a view of
the details, will be instructed and gratified.
Cromford is an immense establishment; but being inferior in magnitude to
Belper, and of the same description, I forbear to enlarge upon it. Here
the late Sir Richard Arkwright established the first cotton-spinning
mill, and from the poverty of a barber's apprentice, became one of the
wealthiest merchants in the united kingdom. The concern is now carried on
by his son, and I found that his work-people were in the same state of
comfort, as those of the Messrs. Strutt.
The present Mr. Arkwright, son of Sir Richard, is between seventy and
eighty, and by the power of unparalleled capital and habits of frugality,
he is considered the most wealthy person in Europe. I heard his
accumulations estimated at six, eight, and even ten millions; and he
spends but 2 or L3,000. per annum. He has eight children, and provides
liberally for them, and I heard some anecdotes of his munificence to the
deserving, but do not consider myself at liberty to repeat them. His
habits lead him to continue in business, though the profits are now
trifling. Those of his father and his own, formerly, were 2 or 300 per
cent, but competition has now rendered them nearly nominal.
_A Village Funeral_.
At Ashford, my sympathy was strongly excited by the procession of a
village funeral, in which the affections of the people seemed concerned.
I found on inquiry, that the corpse was the wife of the schoolmaster,
who, in her prime, and in the enjoyment of general esteem, had been cut
off in childbirth. The clergyman headed the procession. The coffin was
borne by eight females, in white hoods and scarfs, and was followed by
the unhappy husband, who conferred great effect, in the display of his
grief, by carrying in his arms two young children, the offspring of the
deceased. A long train of mourners followed, and I question whether more
tears are shed, or more sensibility exhausted, at funerals accompanied
with heraldic pomp, than in this simple display of natural affection. I
drew up my horse as the procession passed, and the affair threw a gloom
over my spirits, in which it seemed as though the village at large
partook. The funeral group, with the father and his children, and the
sorrowful countenances of the well disposed population, would have made
a beautiful subject for a sentimental painter.
_Leicester, Derby, and Nottingham_.
The present population of these triangular midland towns, are, Leicester,
35,000; Derby, 22,000; and Nottingham, 50,000, in round numbers, and this
adds sufficiently to the last population returns. The proportional
comfort in each, respectively is 8, 10, and 5--the good taste, 6, 7, and
4--the manners, 5, 8, and 4--the wealth, 4, 6, and 5--the style of the
towns, 4, 8, and 2--the industry, 6, 5, and 8--the political spirit, 4,
3, and 10--the religious fervour, 5, 4, and 10--the returns in trade, 5,
6, and 10--the superfices, 6, 4, and 6--the poverty, 6, 2, and 10--the
literature, 4, 5, and 4--the musical taste, 5, 3, and 2. Of course, in
assigning these numbers, I may err in a fraction; but I make my
determinations on my own observations and personal impressions, after
diligently observing each place.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
THE FIRST AND LAST APPEARANCE.
Mr. Henry Augustus Constantine Stubbs (or as he distinguished himself on
his new visiting cards, H.A.C. Stubbs) had taken up his abode in one of
the demi-fashionable squares, among judges, physicians, barristers, and
merchants, at the north side of the metropolis. Being the only lawfully
begotten issue of his father, when the frail Angelina made it impossible
he should have any brothers and sisters, he succeeded, by will, to
three-fourths of the late Mr. Jonathan Stubbs's property, and, by oxalic
acid, to the remaining fourth; the affair being too sudden to permit
of any further testamentary dispositions, or of any of those benevolent
codicils, which sometimes have the effect of tapering down primary
bequests, like Prior's Emma, "fine by degrees and beautifully less." Upon
a fair computation, after a few trifling legacies were paid, and all
debts satisfied, young Mr. Stubbs might calculate his inheritance, in
India stock, Bank stock, houses, canal shares, and exchequer bills, at
nearly eighty thousand pounds.
 Mr. Jonathan Stubbs retired from business long before he reached
his grand climacteric, to his country house at Newington Butts,
with the solid dignity of at least half a plum. What length of
years might have been in store for him, if he had regularly taken
Dr. James's analeptic pills, it is impossible to say; but not doing
so, he had occasion to send the coachman one night for an ounce of
Epsom salts. They proved to be oxalic acid; and stomach-pumps not
being then in existence, there was an inevitable termination to the
existence of Mr. Stubbs. An "extraordinary sensation," as the
newspapers have it, was produced in Newington Butts by this
His education had not been neglected; that is to say, his father sent
him, at nine years old, to one of those suburban seminaries for "_young
gentlemen_," usually kept by elderly gentlemen, who know what it is to
have been deprived of similar advantages in their own youth. They feel,
therefore, a laudable gratification in enabling the rising generation to
pluck some of that fruit from the tree of knowledge which they themselves
never tasted at all. Here he remained till he was nearly seventeen; and
here he acquired a little French, a little Greek, a little Latin, a
little mathematics, a little logic, and a little geography, "with the use
of the globes." In short, he brought away with him a little learning, for
the obtaining of which his father had not paid a little money. He
subsequently enlarged his Lilliputian stock of ideas, by assiduously
prosecuting his studies at home, three days a-week, and three hours
a-day, when he was attended by masters in elocution, Italian, boxing,
fencing, and the other sciences. This eager cultivation of his mind he
pursued till he was two and twenty, and then took his station in about
the third degree of fashionable society, as a scholar and a man of taste.
His father had determined he should be a _gentleman_, and therefore very
properly guarded against the "anachronism," as he used to call it, of
giving him a profession. It is believed, (at least it has been
inculcated,) that there exists, in every human mind, a master, or ruling
passion--a predominating inclination towards some particular object or
pursuit. Mr. Henry Augustus Constantine Stubbs, was in this respect, as
well as in many others, like the rest of his species. He had _his_ ruling
passion, and, but that his father had made him a GENTLEMAN, he was sure
nature had intended him for the Roscius of his age. From his earliest
childhood, when he used to recite, during the Christmas holidays, "_Pity
the sorrows of a poor old man_," and astonish his father's porter (who
had a turn that way himself) with his knowing, _all by heart_, "My name
is Norval, on the Grampian hills,"--to his more matured efforts of, "Most
potent, grave, and reverend signiors," or, "My liege, I did deny no
prisoners,"--the idea of being an actor had constantly fascinated his
It was a natural consequence of this theatrical ardour, that Mr. Stubbs
eagerly cultivated the acquaintance of tragedians, comedians, managers,
and dramatic writers. It was his supreme delight to have them at his
table; and as he kept a good table, gave good wines, and excelled in his
_cuisine_, it was a delight he could command whenever he chose. He had
the _entre_, also, of the green-room at both theatres, and acquired an
intimate knowledge of all the feuds, rivalries, managerial oppressions,
intrigues, burlesque dignity, and solemn plausibilities, of that mimic
world. Living thus in an atmosphere electrical, as it were, with
excitement, it is no wonder that, by degrees, he became less and less
sensitive with regard to that ambiguous difficulty which had hitherto
impeded the gratification nearest his heart.
It happened one morning while Mr. Stubbs was sipping his chocolate and
reading, in the Morning Post, a criticism upon a new tragedy which had
been most righteously damned the night before, that his intimate friend
Mr. Peaess, the manager of ---- theatre dropped in. After the usual
salutations were exchanged, and Mr. Peaess had remarked that it was a
fine morning, and Mr. Stubbs had added that it was a windy one, Mr.
Stubbs fell into a brown study. His mind laboured with a gigantic
purpose. It was a moment on which hung indescribable consequences.--Shall
I? Will he? Yes!--yes!--And he did! He imparted to his friend, the
manager, his resolution to make his FIRST APPEARANCE. He fixed upon
Hamlet, chiefly because the character was so admirably diversified by
Shakspeare, that it presented opportunities for the display of an equal
diversity of talent in its representative.
He made no secret of his intention among his friends, and one, in
particular, was privy to his whole course of preparation. This was Mr.
McCrab, a pungent little personage, whose occasional petulance and
acrimony, however they might rankle and fester in more sensitive natures,
were never known to curdle the bland consciousness of self-esteem which
dwelt, like a perpetual spring, upon the mind of Mr. Stubbs. Mr. McCrab
was himself an amateur actor; he had also written a tolerably successful
comedy, as well as an unsuccessful tragedy; and he was, besides, a
formidable critic, whose scalping strictures, in a weekly journal, were
the terror of all authors and actors who were either unable or unwilling
to dispense turtle and champagne.
Mr. Stubbs, it should be mentioned, considered himself a profound reader
of Shakspeare, and believed he had discovered many hitherto concealed
beauties in the wonderful productions of that writer. He prided himself,
too, upon the critical acumen and philosophical penetration with which he
had elicited various qualities intended by the poet to belong to his
characters; and he had often said if he had been an actor he should have
established quite a new method of playing several of them. He was now
about to become an actor, and he resolved, in his very first essay, to
introduce one of his novelties, or new readings. What this was, will be
best explained in the following conversation, which took place between
himself and Mr. McCrab upon the subject.
"Depend upon it, my dear McCrab," said Stubbs, taking down a volume of
Shakspeare from his shelves, "depend upon it, I am borne out in my
opinion, novel as it is, by the text of the immortal author himself; and
I shall _stuff_ the character when I play it. I maintain Hamlet ought to
be"----"A Falstaff in little, I suppose," interrupted McCrab. "No,"
rejoined Stubbs, "he should not be exactly corpulent--but rather
_embonpoint_, as the saying is--sleek--plumpish--in good condition as it
"You talk of the text of Shakspeare as your authority," replied
McCrab,--"I will appeal to the text too--and I will take the description
of Hamlet by Ophelia, after her interview with him. What is her language?
'Oh what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
The expectancy and rose of the fair state:
The _glass_ of _fashion_ and the _mould_ of _form_,
The _observed_ of all _observers_.'
This eulogium paints in distinct colours what should be the personation
of Hamlet on the stage. It demands, not a little fellow, five feet five,
by three feet four, as you will be, if you _stuff_ the character as you
call it, but rather what Hamlet himself describes his father to have
'A combination, and a form indeed.
Where every god did seem to set his seal,
To give the world assurance of a man.'"
"Never mind my height," said Stubbs, elevating his head, and raising his
chin an inch or two out of his neckcloth.--"Garrick, you know, was none
so tall; and yet I fancy he was considered a tolerably good actor in his
day. But you remember the lines of Charles Churchill,
'There are, who think the stature all in all,
Nor like a hero if he is not tall.
The feeling sense all other wants supplies--
I rate no actor's merit from his size.
Superior height requires superior grace,
And what's a giant with a vacant face?'"
"Very true," answered McCrab, "and, to follow up your theory, were I
asked, what is an actor? I should answer,
''Tis he who gives my breast a thousand pains:
Can make me _feel_ each passion that he _feigns_;
Enrage, compose with more than magic art,--
With pity and with horror tear my heart.'
But, come; let me hear your reasons for believing that Hamlet ought to be
a portly gentleman. I see you are ready with them."
"I am," said Stubbs, "and I'll bet the receipts of the house, on my first
appearance, against those of your next comedy, that I convince you I am
right before I have done. Now, mark,--or, as Horatio says,
'Season your admiration for awhile,
With an attent ear, till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these same pages,
This marvel to you.'
Ha! ha! that is apt," continued Mr. Stubbs, with a simper.
"For God's love, let me hear," added McCrab--"I hope that's apt too."
"If," said Mr. Stubbs, looking exceedingly grave, "if, I say, we take the
first soliloquy of Hamlet--almost the first words he utters--we shall
find a striking allusion to his habit of body; and not only shall we be
struck by the allusion, but, I contend, the whole force and meaning of
the passage are lost, unless the speaker can lay his hands upon a goodly
paunch, as he exclaims,
'Oh! that this _too too solid flesh_ would melt.
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew.'
We are not to suppose Hamlet speaks metaphorically, but physically; and
his corporeal appearance should be an illustration of his words. He is
already weary of the world--he wishes to die--but 'the Everlasting has
fixed his canon against _self_-slaughter,' and, therefore, he prays for
natural dissolution, by any wasting disease, which may 'thaw' and
dissolve his 'too too solid flesh.' This, perhaps, you will consider
merely conjectural criticism: plausible, but not demonstrative. I own it
has a higher character in my eyes; and, unless I am greatly mistaken,
even the ghost of his own father glances at his adipose tendency, when he
'I find thee apt
But duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
That roots itself in ease on Lethe's wharf,
Wouldst thou not stir in this.'
That is, according to my reading, 'fat as thou art, thou wouldst be
duller than the fat weed of Lethe if you did not bestir yourself in this
business.' Observe, too, with what propriety Shakspeare has here employed
the word 'stir,' it being a well-known fact that corpulent persons have a
strong disinclination to locomotion. And Hamlet himself, (in his
interview with _Rosencrantz_ and _Guildenstern_,) makes a pointed
allusion to the indolence and lethargy which so commonly accompany
obesity. 'I have of late,' he says, 'but wherefore I know not, _lost all
my mirth_, foregone all _custom of exercises_, and, indeed, it goes so
_heavily_ with my disposition,' &c. &c. Now what is this, I would fain
know, if it be not the natural complaint of a man suffering under the
oppression of too much flesh? or, as he afterwards expresses it, with
another allusion to his fatness, 'to _grunt_ and _sweat_, under a weary
life?' You have quoted the language of Ophelia in support of the common
notions with regard to the personation of this character; but you forget
the remarkable expression she uses when describing to her father the
unexpected visit of 'Lord Hamlet,' while she was 'sewing in her closet:
'At last, a little shaking of mine arm,
And thrice his head thus waving up and down,
He raised a sigh so piteous and profound,
As it did seem to shatter all _his_ bulk,
And end his being.'
What say you to this?--_His_ bulk! The sigh was so profound, that it
seemed to shatter even _his_ bulk! I fancy I might rest my case here, and
win my wager, eh? But I am too skilful a general to throw away my
strength at the beginning of a battle. If I have not already beaten you
from your last strong hold--from your last defence--I have a _corps de
reserve_, which will at once decide the victory. You remember the
concluding scene, I suppose--the fencing bout between Hamlet and Laertes?
What do you think of the following little bit of dialogue?
'_Laertes_.--A touch--a touch,--I do confess.
_King_.--Our son shall win.
_Queen_.--He's fat and scant of breath. Here,
Hamlet, take my napkin--rub thy brows
----Come, let me wipe thy face!'
Do you not imagine you see the pursy Prince, purring and blowing and
sweating with the exertion he had made, and 'larding the lean earth,'
like another Falstaff almost? Nay, the very words, 'Come let me wipe thy
face,' are addressed by Doll Tearsheet to Falstaff, when he was heated by
his pursuit of Pistol:--'Alas, poor ape, how thou sweatest! Come, let me
wipe thy face.' Hem!" (quoth Mr. Henry Augustus Constantine Stubbs) "I
have done--and pause for a reply."
"You'll be horribly laughed at," said McCrab, "if you do make Hamlet a
fat little fellow."
"Shall I?" exclaimed Stubbs, with a contented chuckle, and rubbing his
hands "shall I be horribly laughed at?"
"Ay," replied McCrab, "and gloriously gibbetted the next day, in all the
papers, for your Sancho Panza exhibition."
"Pooh!" ejaculated Stubbs, "pooh! pooh! what care I for the rascally
papers? Don't I know what sort of critics they are who guide the public
taste, and fulminate their mighty WE in the columns of a newspaper."
(_To be concluded in our next._)
* * * * *
THE AUCTIONEER'S ODE TO MERCURY.
_Air.--A German Bravura._
Hermes, god of cheats and chatter,
Wave thy smooth caduceus here--
Now that, pulpit-propp'd, I flatter;
Hermes, god of cheats and chatter,
Smile, oh smile on Mr. Smatter,
Aid an humble Auctioneer!
Wave thy smooth caduceus here,
O'er an humble Auctioneer!
With its virtues tip my hammer,
Model my Grammar,
Nor let me stammer.
First, here's Sackbut's Song of Slaughter;
Verse and prose, the Laureat Otter,
Floats along, diluting song
In milk and water.
Next (who'll buy?) here's Love in Little,
Smooth as glass and eke as brittle;
Here are posies, lilies, roses,
Cupid's slumbers--out in numbers,
Pouting, fretting, fly-not-yetting,
Rosa's lip and Rosa's sign--
For one pound six--who'll buy, who'll buy?
Here's Doctor Aikin, Sims on Baking,
Booth in Cato quoting Plato,
Jacob Tonson, Doctor Johnson,
Russia binding, touch and try--
Nothing bid--who'll buy, who'll buy?
Here's Mr. Hayley, Doctor Paley,
Arthur Murphy, Tommy Durfey,
Mrs. Trimmer's little Primer,
Buckram binding, touch and try--
Nothing bid--who'll buy, who'll buy?
Here's Colley Cibber, Bruce the fibber,
Plays of Cherry, ditto Merry,
When I bow and when I wriggle,
With a simper and a giggle,
Ears regaling, bidders nailing,
Ladies utter in a flutter--
"Mister Smatter, how you chatter,
Dear, how clever! well, I never
Heard so eloquent a man!"
Tropes purloining, graces coining,
Glibly I, without repentance,
Clip each sentence.
But, to give each lot its station,
Ere from pulpit I dismount
God of recapitulation,
Hermes, aid me while I count--
Aikin, Baking, Cato, Plato,
Cibber, Fibber--Cherry, Merry,
Hayley, Paley--Secker, Decker,
Tickle, Mickle--Tonson, Johnson,
Forty-seven! Oh, far too thrifty--
Thank'ee, Ma'am--two places--fifty!
Must it go? oh, surely no!
Only eye me, then deny me.
When I bow and when I wriggle,
With a simper and a giggle,
Ears regaling, bidders nailing,
Ladies utter in a flutter--
"Mister Smatter, how you chatter--
Dear, how clever! well, I never
Heard so eloquent a man!"
Tongue of Mentor, lungs of Stentor,
Hermes, thou hast made mine own.
Cox and Robins own, with sobbings,
I'm the winner; Dyke and Skinner
Never caught so glib a tone.
Dull and misty, Squibb and Christie,
When I mount look pale and wan--
Going, going, going--gone!
_New Monthly Magazine_.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
* * * * *
_Altitude of certain Buildings_.
The highest Pyramid in Egypt- - - - - - - - - - - -146
The Cathedral at Anvers - - - - - - - - - - - - - 144
The Cathedral at Strasburg - - - - - - - - - - - - 142
The Steeple of St. Stephen, at Vienna, (Austria) - 138
The Steeple of St. Martin, at Landshut - - - - - - 137
St. Peter's, at Rome - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -132
The Steeple of St. Michael, at Hamboro' - - - - - 130.5
The Steeple of St. Peter, at Hamboro' - - - - - - 119
St. Paul's Cathedral, at London - - - - - - - - - 109.7
The Cathedral of Ulm - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -109.4
The Cathedral of Milan - - - - - - - - - - - - - 109
The Tower of the Asinelli, at Bologna - - - - - - 107
The Dome of the Invalids, at Paris - - - - - - - - 105
The Cathedral of Magdebourg - - - - - - - - - - - -101.6
The Cupola of the Pantheon, at Paris - - - - - - - 79
The Balustrade of Notre Dame, at Paris - - - - - - 66
The metre is 39.37 inches.--_From the French_.
_Prevention of Fire in Theatres_.
In consequence of the frequent occurrence of fires in theatres,
particular precautions have been taken with the theatre of the Port St.
Martin, at Paris. A thick wall of hewn stone separates the audience part
from the scenic part of the house; all the doors in it are of iron, and
may be shut instantly, in case of fire; finally, the insulation of the
spectators from the stage is made perfect by means of a screen of plates
of iron, which falls down before the stage. This screen, which weighs
between 1,200 and 1,300 pounds, is easily worked by two men, and slides
up and down upon guides, so as readily to take its place. Besides these
precautions, reservoirs of water are established in the roof, which may
be connected, when necessary, with vessels of compressed air, and made to
throw a powerful jet over a very large part of the building.--_French
A tanner, named Rapedius, of Bern Castel, on the Moselle, has discovered
a new species of tan proper for dressing leather. It is the plant known
by the name of Bilberry or Whortleberry, (Vaccinium Myrtilus or
Myrtillis,) which should be gathered in spring, because at this season it
dries more readily, and is more easily ground. Three pounds and a half of
this tan suffice for dressing a pound of leather, while six pounds are
required from the oak to produce the same effect. By this new process,
tanners can gain four months out of the time required for preparing
strong leather. A commission having been appointed at Treves to examine
the leather so prepared, reported, that they had never seen any as good,
and that every pair of shoes made therefrom lasts two months more than
what are manufactured from common leather; that the skin of the neck,
which it is difficult to work, becomes strong and elastic like that of
the other parts. The shrub should not be pulled up, but cut with a bill,
to obtain the reproduction of the plant the following year. When cut,
damp does not deteriorate it, which is not the case with oak bark, which
loses ten per cent. of its value by being wetted.--_From the French_.
It would be very interesting to know whether the gossamer threads thrown
out by these insects are in an excited state of electricity: their
divergent state would seem to imply they were; for there seems to be no
other natural cause which could prevent them from coming together,
especially before the insect had left its resting-place. If electric,
then neighbouring bodies, as the hand or branches of a tree, or a stick,
&c., would attract them; but care would be required in making the
experiment, from the readiness with which these threads would move upon
disturbance of the air. If electric, then it would be important to know
whether they were positive or negative; which their attraction, or
repulsion, by a stick of sealing-wax, rubbed on the sleeve of a coat,
would at once determine. It is well known that these threads are almost
perfect insulators of electricity, and would retain a charged state for a
long time in a dry sunny atmosphere.--_Brande's Journal_.
_Method of obtaining Roses of all kinds twice in the Year_.
The following directions, by M. Douette Richardot, are to enable the
amateur to gather as fine roses in September as he did in the preceding
June:--1. Immediately after the first flowering, the shrub is to be
deprived of every leaf, and those branches which have borne roses cut so
that only two or three buds shall remain. The cutting of the weaker
branches may be in a less degree. If the weather be dry when the leaves
are removed, it will be necessary to thoroughly water the stem, for
several days, with the rose of the watering-pot: in this way the sap will
not be arrested. 2. Then the brush is to be used, and the rose tree well
cleansed by it, so that all mouldiness shall disappear: this operation is
very easy after an abundant rain. 3. The earth about the rose tree is to
be disturbed, and then twenty-four sockets of calves' feet are to be
placed in the earth round the stem, and about four inches distant from
it. The hoofs of young calves are the best, and give a vivid colour and
agreeable perfume to the roses. These are to be placed with the points
downwards, so that the cups shall be nearly level with the surface of the
earth, and the plant well surrounded. This operation is to be repeated in
the November following. These hoofs, dissolved by the rain or the
waterings, form an excellent manure, which hastens the vegetation, and
determines the reproduction of flowers. 4. Two waterings per week will
suffice in ordinary weather, and they should be made with the rose of the
watering-pot, so that the hoofs may be filled; but, if the atmosphere is
dry, it will be necessary to water the plants every evening; and in the
latter case it will be necessary, from time to time, to direct the stream
of water on to the head of the tree.--_From the French_.
Mr. Samuel Mitchell has, in his "Summary of the Progress of Natural
Science for the last few Years," given an amusing account of the progress
of sea-serpentism. It was read before the New York Lyceum, and is
inserted in the American Journal of Science, although not thought
conclusive by its learned editor, Dr. Silliman. The first sea-serpent was
a steam-boat, which, being established at Boston to coast along the
shore, and from its powers and capabilities competent to injure the
business of small boats, was described as a sea-serpent that had been
seen off Nahant and Gloucester, and had probably come there to consume
all the small fish in the place. This was received by many as a serious
account, and believed accordingly.
Another sea-serpent history arose from the circumstance, that a small
sloop, called the Sea-Serpent, having been passed by another vessel, the
captain of the latter, when asked, upon his arrival at home, for news,
said he had seen a sea-serpent, and then described its bunches on the
back, the action of its tail, and other parts; all of which being
understood literally, actually appeared in print, as evidence for the
existence of the animal.
Then a piece of the skin of the bony scaled pike was taken for part of a
sea-serpent's hide. A speckled mother duck, with a numerous brood of
young ones swimming after her in a line on Lake Ontario, was described as
the sea-serpent itself. And from such occurrences as these, perhaps,
mingled with careless observation of the motions and appearances of
porpuses, basking sharks, and balaenopterous whales, appears to have
originated every thing that has been said about American
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
A French officer, having arrived at the court of Vienna, the empress,
knowing that he had seen the Princess de * * *, asked him if he thought
this princess was, as reported, the handsomest person in the world?
"Madam," replied the officer, "I thought so yesterday."
* * * * *
Should women sit in parliament,
A thing unprecedented,
A great part of the nation, then
Would be Miss-Represented.
* * * * *
ON A STONE IN THE WALL OF CHISWICK CHURCHYARD.
This wall was made at ye charges of ye Right Honorable and _trulie pious_
Lorde Francis Russell, Earle of Bedford, out of true zeale and care for
ye keeping of this church-yard, and ye _wardrobe of Godd's saints_, whose
bodies lay _theirin_ buried from _violation by swine_, and other
prophanation.--So witnesseth William Walker, Vo. A.D. 1623.
* * * * *
A singular custom was formerly observed in the city of Middelburg, in the
Netherlands. When any inhabitant died, a bundle of straw was placed
before the house, with the ears towards the street, if the deceased was a
man; but towards the house, if a woman.
* * * * *
In 1767, a gentleman, named Davers, (who was descended from Sir Robert
Davers, of Roughham, in the county of Suffolk, bart.) died at the Angel
Inn, Islington, by poison. A card, which he was seen to write a few hours
before his death, contained the following words:--"Descended from an
ancient and honourable family, I have, for fifteen years past, suffered
more indigence than ever gentleman before submitted to. I am neglected by
my acquaintance, traduced by my enemies, and insulted by the vulgar."
Beneath the above was written:--
"Of laudanum, an ample dose
Must all my present ills compose;
But the best of laudanum all,
I want; not resolution, but a ball."
* * * * *
It is well known that the Turks avoid answering questions put to them
concerning their religion, to prevent being exposed to criticism and
raillery. A lady of quality reproached a Turkish ambassador, on the
Mahometan religion allowing them to have several wives. The ambassador,
without entering into any discussion, replied, "It permits it, that we
may be able to find in several, all the graces which are concentrated in
* * * * *
John Daens, merchant and citizen of Antwerp, having lent the Emperor
Charles V. a million of gold, invited his majesty to dinner. After a
royal entertainment, he threw the emperor's bond into a fire made of
* * * * *
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