The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction
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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XII, No. 338.] SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 1828. [PRICE 2d.
Nelson's Monument, at Liverpool.
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
In No. 270 of the MIRROR, you favoured us with a correct engraving of
the Town Hall, Liverpool, and informed us of a trophied monument erected
to the memory of Nelson in the Liverpool Exchange Buildings. Of the
latter I am happy to be able to present you with the above view.
The monument, executed in bronze by Richard Westmacott, Esq. R.A.
is erected in the area of the Liverpool Exchange Buildings, and was
completed in October, 1823. The subscription amounted to about 9,000l.
The weight of the bronze of which it is composed is estimated at upwards
of 22 tons. The figures are in the proportion of seven feet.
On a basis of Westmoreland marble stands a circular pedestal of the same
material, and peculiarly suitable in colour to the group which it
supports. At the base of the pedestal are four emblematic figures, in
the character of captives, or vanquished enemies, in allusion to Lord
Nelson's victories. The spaces between these figures, on the sides of
the pedestal, are filled by four grand bas-reliefs, executed in bronze,
representing some of the great naval actions in which Nelson was
engaged. The other parts of the pedestal are richly decorated with
lions' heads and festoons of laurel; and in a moulding round the upper
part of it is inscribed, in brass letters, pursuant to the resolution
of the general meeting, that most impressive charge delivered by the
illustrious commander previous to the commencement of the battle of
Trafalgar, "ENGLAND EXPECTS EVERY MAN TO DO HIS DUTY."
The figures constituting the principal design are Nelson, Victory, and
Death: his Country mourning for her loss, and her Navy, eager to avenge
it,--naturally claim a place in the group.
The principal figure is the Admiral, resting one foot on a conquered
enemy, and the other on a cannon. With an eye stedfast and upraised to
Victory, he is receiving from her a fourth naval crown upon his sword,
which, to indicate the loss of his right arm, is held in his left hand.
The maimed limb is concealed by the enemy's flag, which Victory is
lowering to him. Under the folds of the flag Death lies in ambush for
his victim, intimating, that Nelson received the reward of his valour
and the stroke of death at the same moment.
By the figure of an exasperated British seaman is represented the zeal
of the navy to wreak vengeance on the enemies who robbed England of her
Britannia, with laurels in her hand, and leaning regardless of them on
her spear and shield, describes the feelings of the country fluctuating
between the pride and the anguish of triumph so dearly purchased, but
relying for security on her own resources.
_Hoxton_. T. WARD.
* * * * *
TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE BY THE TURKS.
 From the time of Alcibiades to the reign of Mahommed II.,
Constantinople has undergone twenty-four sieges.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Mahomet II., soon after he mounted the Turkish throne, resolved to
achieve some glorious action, that he might surpass the fame of his
predecessors; and nothing appeared so compatible with his ambition as
the gaining of Constantinople, and the total subversion of the Greek
empire, which at that period was in a very precarious condition. The
sultan, therefore, made vast preparations, which the Greek emperor,
Constantine VIII., perceiving, he solicited the aid of several Christian
princes, especially of Pope Nicholas V. and the king of Naples; but they
_all_, in a most unaccountable manner, excused themselves. Being thus
disappointed, the emperor laid an embargo on all vessels within his
ports, so that he added about three thousand veterans of different
nations to the garrison of his imperial city, which before consisted
of only six thousand Greeks.
In the spring of 1453, Mahomet set forward, with an army of three
hundred thousand men, for Constantinople, which city, on the ninth day
of April, was closely invested by land. The Turkish galleys would have
done the same by sea, had not the emperor been extremely vigilant, for
he caused the haven to be strongly chained from Constantinople to Pera,
having within the chain his whole strength of shipping. The Turks, on
the land side, erected towers, cast up trenches, and raised batteries;
from these works they carried on their attacks with great fury, and made
several breaches, which, however, the besieged repaired with much
industry, at the same time repulsing their enemies with artillery. This
unexpected bravery greatly enraged Mahomet, who loudly exclaimed, "It is
neither the Grecians' skill nor courage, but the Franks, that defend the
city." Affairs stood thus, when a renegado Christian informed the sultan
how he might bring part of his fleet over land to the very haven of
Constantinople. Mahomet, who began to despair of taking the city,
determined to put the project of the renegado into execution; and he
therefore committed the charge of it to a famous bassa, who, with
wonderful labour, brought seventy vessels out of the Bosphorus, up a
steep hill, the space of eight miles, to the haven of the city. The
Turks, being thus miraculously possessed of the haven, assaulted the
city also on that side; but their whole fleet was shamefully routed,
and ten thousand of their men were killed. Yet this loss, instead
of depressing their spirits, increased their courage, and on the
twenty-ninth of May, early in the morning, they approached the walls
with greater violence than ever; but so undaunted was the resolution
of the Christians, that they repulsed their assailants with prodigious
slaughter for a considerable time.
Constantine, however, who had undertaken the charge of one of the city
gates, unhappily received a wound in the arm; and, being obliged to
retire from the scene of action, his soldiers were discouraged, forsook
their stations, and fled after him, notwithstanding his earnest prayers
to the contrary. In their flight, they crowded so thickly together,
that, while endeavouring to enter a passage, above eight hundred of them
were pressed to death. The ill-fated emperor likewise perished. It is
needless to describe what quickly ensued--the infidels became masters of
the fine city of Constantinople, whose inhabitants were all,--except
those who were reserved for lust,--put to the sword, and the plunder,
pursuant to a promise made previously by the sultan, was given up to the
Turkish soldiers for three days together.
* * * * *
GAME OF CHESS.
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
Perceiving in No. 321 of the MIRROR a brief history of the game of
chess, perhaps the following anecdote will not be found unacceptable
to your readers:--When the game of chess was first invented, the emperor
of China sent for the inventor, and desired him to teach it him. The
emperor was so delighted with the game, that he told the inventor
whatever he should demand should be given him as a remuneration for his
discovery. To which he replied, that if his majesty would but give him a
grain of corn for the first square of the chess-board, and keep doubling
it every check until he arrived at the end, he would be satisfied. At
first the emperor was astonished at what he thought the man's modesty,
and instantly ordered his request to be granted.
The following is the sum total of the number of grains of corn, and also
the number of times they would reach round the world, which is 360
degrees, each degree being 69-1/2 miles:--
3883401821 times round the world.
I perfectly agree with your correspondent that China has the preference
* * * * *
QUEEN ELIZABETH'S VIRGINAL.
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
On reading No. 336 of the MIRROR, I saw an account of an ancient musical
instrument, _the virginal_, stating it to have been an instrument much
in use in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. That such was the case there can
be no doubt, for the musical world can still furnish many compositions,
written expressly for Queen Elizabeth, her majesty being considered a
very good performer on the virginal. But it is not generally known that
the very identical instrument, the favourite property of that queen,
is still in the possession of a Mr. Jonah Child, artist, of Dudley,
Worcestershire. It is a very fine-toned old instrument, considering the
many improvements which have been made since that date, and if put in
good repair, (which might easily be done, it being quite playable in its
present state,) it would not disgrace the name of a Kirkman, or of any
of our latest and best harpsichord makers; indeed, it is very far
superior to any other instrument of the kind I ever heard. The case is
good, particularly in the inside, which is of exquisite workmanship, and
beautifully ornamented with (as far as I recollect) gilt scroll work; on
the keys has been bestowed a great deal of labour and curious taste.
Each of the sharps, or short keys, is composed of a number (perhaps
thirty) of bits of pearl, &c., well wrought together. On the whole it
is an object well worthy of the attention of the antiquarian and the
Although a stranger to Mr. Jonah Child, I feel great pleasure, while
speaking on the subject, in acknowledging the very courteous reception
I once met with, on calling at that gentleman's house to see the above
_Hampstead Road_. S.A.
* * * * *
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
I perceive by a paper in your interesting little work, that the round
towers so common in Scotland and Ireland, have afforded the antiquaries
much room for the display of their erudition, in ascertaining the
purposes for which these towers have been erected.
Now, if any of these worthy and learned gentlemen were to take a trip to
Sutherlandshire, in Scotland, they would see the _exact purpose_ for
which these buildings were erected; it was merely for the purpose of
hanging the church bell in, as stated by your correspondent, in No. 335,
of the MIRROR; for there stands at present in the parish of Clyne, near
Dunrobin, the seat of the most noble the Marquess of Stafford, one of
the said towers with the church bell hung in it to this day, unless
removed since last October, the time at which I was there. It stands on
the top of an eminence, a short distance (about fifty yards) to the west
of the parish church, and is about twenty-five feet high.
* * * * *
A SUMMER SCENE, BY CLAUDE.
(_For the Mirror_.)
How proudly those hush'd towers receive the glow
That mellows the gold sunset--and the trees,
Clasping with their deep belt the festal hills,
Are ting'd with summer-beauty; the rich waves
Swell out their hymn o'er shells and sweet blue flow'rs,
And haply the pure seamaid, wandering by,
Dips in them her soft tresses. The calm sea,
Floating in its magnificence, is seen
Like an elysian isle, whose sapphire depths
Entranc'd the Arabian poets! In the west,
The clouds blend their harmonious pageantry
With the descending sun-orb; some appear
Like Jove's immortal bird, whose eyes contain'd
An essence of its sanctity--and some
Seem like proud temples, form'd but to admit
The souls of god-like men! Emerald and gold
And pink, that softens down the aerial bow,
Are interspersed promiscuously, and form
A concentration of all lovely things!
And far off cities, glittering with the pomp
Of spire and pennon, laugh their joyance up
In the deep flood of light. Sweet comes the tone
Of the touch'd lute from yonder orange bow'rs,
And the shrill cymbal pours its elfin spell
Into the peasant's being!
And fervid mind was _his_, whose pencil trac'd
The grandeur of this scene! Oh! matchless Claude!
Around the painter's mastery thou hast thrown
An halo of surpassing loveliness!
Gazing on thy proud works, we mourn the curse
Which 'reft our race of Eden, for from thee,
As from a seraph's wing, we catch the hues
That sunn'd our primal heritage ere sin
Weav'd her dark oracles. With thee, sweet Claude!
_Thee!_ and blind Maeonides would I dwell
By streams that gush out richness; there should be
Tones that entrance, and forms more exquisite
Than throng the sculptor's visions! I would dream
Of gorgeous palaces, in whose lit halls
Repos'd the reverend magi, and my lips
Would pour their spiritual commune 'mid the hush
Of those enchanting groves!
* * * * *
A LEGEND OF THE HARTZ.
(_For the Mirror_.)
"Still the boar held on his way
Careless through what toils it lay,
Down deep in the tangled dell--
Or o'er the steep rock's pinnacle.
Staunch the steed, and bold the knight
That would follow such a flight!"
The night was fast closing in, and the last retiring beams of the sun
shed a mournful light over an extensive tract of forest bordering upon
the district of the Hartz, just as (but I must not forget the date,
somewhere about the year 1547,) the Baron Rudolf found himself in the
very disagreeable predicament of having totally lost his companions and
his way, amidst an almost interminable region of forest and brushwood.
"Hans," addressing himself to his noble steed, "my old veteran, I must
trust to thee, since thy master's wit is at a stand, to extricate us
from this dilemma."
The animal finding his head free, moved forward as fast as bush and
brake would permit him. They had proceeded in this way for half an hour
longer, when the Baron at last bethought himself of his bugle, and wound
a long and powerful blast; but the echo was the only answer he received.
He repeated the sound with the like effect. Again the Baron lost his
patience, and "Der terefel--" when all at once his steed made a dead
stop, and pricked up his ears as at some well known sound. The Baron
listened attentively, and distinctly heard the blast he had sounded ten
minutes before, responded by one so exactly similar, though apparently
at a great distance, that he could scarcely believe the "evidence" of
his ears. "By the mass but that must be the work of Mynheer von
Heidelberger himself, for no one in my own broad barony can wind that
blast save Rudolf Wurtzheim." He shrunk within himself at the very
thought; for to any one it was rather appalling to meet this being at
such a place and hour. The recollection of an adventure in these wilds
which occurred on this very eve, twelve-months previous, now rushed
vividly to his mind. The concurrence in the date was startling. In
short, on reflection, he began to think there was witchcraft throughout
He had lost his companions of the chase in rather a singular manner; on
this afternoon, being unusually unsuccessful, the Baron, while hunting
a brace of favourite stag-hounds in a dell apart from the rest of the
field, suddenly struck upon a boar of remarkable size; attracted by the
cries of the dogs, the Baron spurred Hans to the pursuit, and did not
reflect that he was pursuing a route apart from the other hunters; and
trusting to his knowledge of the wilds he so often traversed, he bore
on with undiminished speed. The boar seemed to have a pair of wings in
addition to his legs. Suffice it to say, that though Hans chased him in
gallant style, yet the Baron eventually lost his way in the pursuit,
partly owing to the doubling of the animal, till both dogs and boar
completely disappeared from sight.
Entangled in the forest, the evening rapidly approached, a general hush
prevailed, and all endeavours to recover his track seemed fruitless.
The sun had now gone down for a considerable time, and a mist was
arising that obscured the little light which the luminary of night
"Mein Gott," exclaimed the Baron, "mortal or devil, he has involved me
in a very disagreeable predicament, and to avoid him is, I fear,
impossible." He once more sounded a long blast; again the blast was
re-echoed after a short lapse of time, though seemingly at an extreme
distance. "Ah, there it comes again! what if my ears should deceive me,
and this should be the answering bugle of my faithful Wildstein." The
thought infused some fresh vigour into him; the low night wind murmuring
through the trees, reminded him of the importance of every moment, Hans
and his master pushed onwards through brake and dell.
It will be necessary, however, that we should leave the Baron for
awhile, and detail some occurrences germane to our tale, and which are
necessary for its developement. And now as Mark Antony says, "Lend me
Some years before the preceding events took place, there dwelt in a spot
of the most romantic description, a personage known by the designation
of Mynheer von Heidelberger. No one had either heard or could recollect
when or whence he came. Strange rumours were afloat respecting this
person, and the peasantry crossed themselves with fright if they were
led near the spot where his dwelling was said to be; and if his name
was casually mentioned in the circle round the winter's hearth, all
involuntarily drew their seats into a closer space. Impelled by
adventurous curiosity, many individuals were said to have visited him,
for the purpose of obtaining some insight into futurity; for his
knowledge of the future, and the "things that none may name," was
reputed to be great. It was also rumoured that some of his visitants
had never returned.
About this time, by the sudden death of her father, the Baron Ernest,
who was killed, it was believed, by a fall from his horse while hunting,
Agatha von Keilermann was left sole and undisputed heiress of his vast
domains. A prize so great, united to a fair person, caused many suitors
to be on the alert; but they all met with ill success, being generally
dismissed rather summarily.
Ambition was always the ruling passion of Rudolf Wurtzheim, whose
domains adjoined those of the Baron Ernest, and before the death of
the latter it had also been allied to jealousy of his great power and
wealth. Not daunted by the ill success of his predecessors, he became a
suitor of the fair Agatha. He met with a summary repulse. Burning with
rage and mortified ambition, the Baron bethought himself of Mynheer von
Heidelberger, of whose fame he had sometimes heard.
At the close of a day far advanced in autumn, he set off to visit this
being. The howling of the wind as it came in fitful gusts through the
openings of the forest, formed no bad accompaniment to his thoughts;
while the indistinct twilight received little aid from the moon, which
waded through heavy masses of clouds. The Baron, however, was a man of
daring spirit. He had often been led past the spot, whilst engaged in
the chase, near which the _solitaire_ was said to dwell:--
"Vague mystery hangs on all these desert places!
The fear which hath no name hath wrought a spell,
Strength, courage, wrath, have been, and left no traces!
They came--and fled; but whither? who can tell!"
He several times, on account of the uncertain light, lost his track.
At length he emerged into the rocky scenery of the mountain side, and
an indistinct light in the distance served to guide his steps. He now
entered between two rocks of great height; till a magnificent waterfall
almost blocked up the way. The Baron stepped cautiously forward,
and after apparently passing through a cavern, the scene opened and
displayed (for, to his surprise, the light was greatly increased,)
a wild view, in which nature had piled rock, cavern, and mountain
together, till the whole seemed lost and blended in one general chaos.
At the foot, and a short distance before him, were seen a number of
persons of venerable aspect, grouped on the turf around the vast
amphitheatre of rocks, and a noise as of many hammers, greeted his
ears. Attracted onwards by the now distinct glittering light, the Baron
proceeded boldly to the mouth of what seemed a natural grotto. He loudly
demanded admittance, the entrance being blocked up with a large stone.
He was at first answered by a scornful laugh; indeed, as he afterwards
found, he had entered by the wrong path, and observed a scene, perhaps,
never displayed to mortal eyes. The stone was at last removed, and in
the interior he found the object of his search:--
He, like the tenant
Of some night haunted ruin, bore an aspect
Of horrors, worn to habitude.
What passed will appear in the sequel, and the Baron returned just at
nightfall; while his ghastly demeanour and unquiet eye betokened the
nature of his visit. It is said many a wild and unearthly peal of
laughter resounded that night through the mountains.
In three months from that time the lady Agatha became his wife. She had
suddenly disappeared from her grounds a short time before, and to the
amazement and wonder of all, returned with the Baron Wurtzheim, to whom
she was united the same evening. Rumour was busy upon this occasion, but
the mystery which enveloped it was never dispersed. The lady Agatha,
however, seemed oppressed with a ceaseless gloom; in a short time she
devoted herself entirely to seclusion, and in a year after her marriage,
expired in giving birth to a son. The demeanour of Rudolf was most
strange on this occasion. He had apparently a weight on his mind, which
seemed to increase with dissipation, when he devoted his time to hunting
and nightly revels, with a band of choice friends and dependents. Time,
however, which blunts the edge of the keenest misfortunes, seemed to
restore him to his former self.
Years passed away. Some time before the commencement of this legend, the
Baron lost his path whilst hunting, and was benighted in the forest.
After much fatigue, he was attracted by a light amongst trees which he
found to proceed from a low building. It was in a state of extreme
dilapidation, though a sort of wing appeared to have been recently
tenanted. His knocks for admittance not having been answered, he lifted
up the latch and boldly entered. Nothing greeted his sight save the
almost extinguished remains of a fire. The apartment was lone and
destitute of furniture. Having bestowed Hans as well as he could,
he laid himself on the floor; while he felt an extreme chillness of
spirits, which he endeavoured in vain to shake off; he was soon buried
He was awakened by a noise resembling the strokes of many hammers.
He conceived his senses must be wandering, for he found that he was
at the entrance of the amphitheatre of rocks near the dwelling of the
_solitaire_. The same group of figures appeared, and it was not long
before a voice, which he knew to be that of Heidelberger, slowly
repeated the following chant:--
Woe to him who dares intrude
Upon our midnight solitude!
Woe to him whose faith is broken--
Better he had never spoken.
'Ere twelve moons shall pass away,
Thou wilt he beneath our sway.
Drear the doom, and dark the fate
Of him who rashly dares our hate!
Deceive me once, I tell thee never
Shall thy soul and body sever!
Under the greenwood wilt thou lie,
Nor shall thou there unheeded die.
Mortal, thou my vengeance brave,
Thou had'st better seen thy grave.
Drear the doom, and dark the fate
Of him who rashly dares our hate!
Meanwhile the Baron had sunk into a state of insensibility. When he
awoke from his trance it was broad daylight, and the birds were singing
merrily around the ruin.
After this adventure, the Baron resumed many of his old habits; and
sought by deeper dissipation to dispel the visions of the past. His son
was now grown up a sickly youth, and his father's inquietude about him
was so great that he would not suffer him for a moment to be out of the
sight of his attendants.
The year rolled on without any harm befalling the Baron, and his
spirits lightened as the time advanced. He had almost forgotten the
circumstance, when on the day preceding that of the anniversary of the
adventure just related, a grand hunting party was proposed, it being the
birth-day of his son. We now return to the situation in which we left
the Baron at the beginning of this legend.
The forest seemed to the exhausted Rudolf, almost interminable, and
this provoking horn perplexed him sadly. On this night the dreaded
twelve-months expired. The bare thought made him redouble his speed.
The darkness seemed increasing, and the flapping of the bats and hoarse
croaking of the night birds, disturbed by his progress through the
branches, did not add to his comfort; when to his great joy, he felt a
strong current of air, and found that he had at last apparently emerged
from the thickest of the forest. The moon was now beginning to cast her
"peerless light" over the scene, and Rudolf perceived he was in an
extensive amphitheatre or opening of the trees, which he could not
recollect ever having seen before, bounded at a short distance by what
seemed a small lake, near the centre of which grew a large and solitary
The moon had now fully risen. Hans who had been flagging for some time,
fell suddenly lame. From this fresh misfortune the Baron was aroused by
the well known baying of his gallant stag-hounds. "Aiglette and Caspar
are not baying after nothing," thought he. He was not long in suspense.
To his extreme amazement, the identical boar which had caused all his
trouble and fatigue, appeared closely followed by both the dogs.
"Donner et blitzen," exclaimed the Baron, using the first oath that came
uppermost, "but this exceeds belief." The boar no sooner perceived
him than he turned upon him with the utmost fury. The Baron hastily
dismounted under the aged tree, though he was stiff and fatigued, for
Hans was now utterly incapable of exertion. His sword quickly glanced in
the moonshine--"Time was" said he, "when this had been the very pastime
I desired." The murderous animal attacked him with such impetuosity that
his well-tried skill failed him, and he was the next moment thrown under
its feet. The struggle now became desperate, for the animal had no
common foe to contend with. Before it could wound him with its tusks,
which seemed of unusual size, it required not an instant's thought in
Rudolf to draw his dagger from his belt, and the next instant it was
buried to its hilt in the throat of his adversary. At the same moment
the tusks of the boar entered his side. Rudolf breathed a few words of
an almost forgotten prayer, when the animal, uttering a dreadful yell,
gave a convulsive spring into the air, and fell lifeless, half
smothering the Baron with its gore.
Life was now fast ebbing from the side of Rudolf, when he was aroused by
the sound of a voice, whose tones even at this dreadful moment thrilled
through his soul with horror. Enveloped in a thick fog which had been
gradually spreading around the scene of the combat, he could discern the
fiend Heidelberger and his charmed circle; with an air of triumph they
chanted the following lines:--
Mortal vain, thy course is run,
Thou hast seen thy setting sun--
Told I not true when I saw thee last,
That 'ere the circling year had passed,
Under the greenwood thou should'st be dying,
On the bloody greensward lying!
Deceived once, I tell thee never
Shall my victim from me sever--
Thou hast dared to brave our hate,
Rashly run upon thy fate!
Thou art on the greensward dying,
Underneath the greenwood lying!
The hounds bayed. The moon entered a dark cloud; and, when it emerged,
its pale beams fell upon the green amphitheatre and the aged tree; but
there was no one under its shade.
The following tradition is still related amongst the surrounding
peasantry:--The Baron Rudolf, it is said, was enticed to sign over the
bodies and souls of his future offspring to the fiend, Heidelberger, on
condition that the latter would enable him to gain the person and
possessions of the Lady Agatha. The contract, however, was obliged to be
renewed at the birth of each child. Should he violate this convocation
(which he signed with his own blood,) he granted similar power over
himself; and the legend goes on to relate, that the whole of the members
of the charmed circle were persons similarly enticed, who were doomed to
a sort of perpetual labour, being compelled to chisel out their coffins
in stone, which as soon as finished, were broken in pieces, when they
were obliged to begin afresh.
The consequence of the Baron's non-fulfilment of his convocation have
already been seen; his son is related to have died childless, and the
property to have been dispersed into the hands of others, having never
remained since his death more than two generations in one family;
apparently blighting all its possessors. And the peasantry aver that the
noise made by the continual labour of its victims, may still be heard by
the adventurous at the close of day.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
* * * * *
_On Planting Poor Light Land_.
Besides paring and burning, and trenching the soil previous to making
the plantation, Mr. Withers, (who received the large silver medal from
the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, &c. London, for experiments
conducted on the subject in Norfolk,) spreads on it marl and farmyard
dung, as for a common agricultural crop, and at the same time keeps the
surface perfectly free from weeds by hoeing till the young trees have
completely covered the ground. The progress that they make under this
treatment is so extremely rapid, as apparently to justify, in _an
economical point of view_, the extraordinary expenses that attend it. In
three years, even oaks and other usually slow growing forest trees have
covered the land, making shoots by three feet in a season, and throwing
out roots well qualified, by their number and length, to derive from the
subsoil abundant nourishment, in proportion as the surface becomes
exhausted.--_Trans. Soc. Arts_.
_The Air Plant_.
Prince Leopold has succeeded in bringing to perfection that
extraordinary exotic, the air plant. It is suspended from the ceiling,
and derives its nourishment entirely from the atmosphere.
The farina, or meal, obtained from potatoes is now regularly sold in the
markets of Scotland. It is _stated_ to be quite equal to genuine arrow
root; but this is quite a mistake, unless the nutritious properties of
arrow root have been overrated. Sir John Sinclair has devoted much of
his time to the preparation of the flour; but as we gave his process
many weeks since, it is not necessary to repeat it here.
* * * * *
We are indebted to the portfolio of an interesting lady correspondent
for the original of the above engraving. The ingenious draughtswoman
states the drawing to have been taken during a recent tour; and our
readers will allow it to be _fair sketch_. By way of rendering it
unique, we append the following description from the same fair hand:--
From Shrewsbury to the Ness Cliff, (on the road to Ceriogg Bridge,)
there is in the scenery little worthy of remark, until we approach
the latter place, when the cliff on the right hand, and the Brathyn
mountains (Montgomeryshire) on the left of the traveller, produce a
very picturesque effect; and the post-house of Ness Cliff commands an
extensive and lovely view of mountainous and champagne country. At this
place we were invited to see a curious cave cut in the rock, which was,
in the sixteenth century, the residence of one Humphrey Kynaston, a
notorious bandit. This, however, was not his own work, since Ness Cliff,
having been worked as a quarry, the cave, either by accident or design,
was wrought by the labourers, and used by them as _salle a manger_,
dormitory, or tool-house, according to circumstances. We proceeded to it
by a broad rising walk of red sand, delightfully wooded, and presenting
an enchanting view of the Brathyn and Wrekin, as well as the country for
some miles round. At the end of this walk is a gate, which opens into a
small grove; proceeding a little into which, we saw the cave in the high
red cliff immediately before us. We ascended by a considerable flight of
narrow and rugged steps cut from the solid rock: the interior of this
curious place is as black as a coal-mine, and a partition, more than
half the way across, divides the part where Kynaston used to reside
by day from that in which he slept and _kept his horse_, for he had
actually the ingenuity to make the animal ascend and descend the stairs
above-mentioned. The robber's initials, and the date of the year in
which we may suppose he cut them, appear on the partition just opposite
the entrance. The romance of the place was not a little augmented by the
appearance of its inhabitant, (a blacksmith,) whose tall, thin figure,
and whose pale, wild, and haggard countenance, well accorded with the
singularity of his abode. He read for our amusement and _instruction_,
I conceive, a few choice passages from a well-thumbed penny pamphlet,
purporting to contain the veritable history of the adventurous Kynaston;
from whence it appeared that Master Humphrey was a gentleman, like "that
prince of thieves," Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to give to the
poor, avenging the innocent, and chivalrous where ladies, or the lure of
plunder, called forth his prowess; that his depredations were numerous,
even in the face of day, and in the teeth of his enemies; and yet that
those who admired and sided with him were for a considerable period the
terror of the whole legal force who were on the alert to seize him. This
interesting memoir was recited by the son of Vulcan, with an enthusiasm
and delectable pronunciation, that could only be appreciated by hearing
it, and was altogether inimitable. Strange! thought I, that this cave,
once the residence of a robber, should now have become that of a
* * * * *
Literary Notices of
* * * * *
In No. 335, we gave the outline of the story of Rienzi, principally from
Gibbon, but interspersed from other authorities. Miss Mitford's tragedy
has since been represented with considerable success, and published.
In the preface, we are told, that in addition to the splendid narrative
of Gibbon, recourse has been had to "the still more graphical and
interesting account of Rienzi's eventful career," contained in _L'Abbe
de Sade's_ Memoirs of Petrarque; and that, "as far as the female
characters are concerned," the materials are entirely from invention.
All this may appear well enough for the construction of the drama,
and the female characters are drawn with peculiar grace and feeling;
but we do not see why the character of Rienzi should be so essentially
altered from history as it has been; neither do we think that any
desirable effect has been gained by this change. In history, Rienzi is a
master-spirit of reckless and atrocious daring, but in the drama, he is
softened down to a fickle liberty brawler, and the sternest of his vices
are glossed over with an almost inconsistent show of affection and
tenderness. As he there stands, he is rather like an injured man, than
one who so liberally dealt oppression and injustice around him.
Miss Mitford's tragedy will, however, be read with considerable interest
in the closet, and fully to appreciate its beauties, every one who has
witnessed it, ought to read it; for many of its "delicate touches" must
be lost in the immense area of Drury Lane Theatre. The plot is
simple, and is effectively told; but as the newspapers, daily and
weekly, have already detailed it, we shall confine ourselves to a few
passages, which, in our reading, appeared to us among the many beauties
of the drama.
 Indisposition has as yet prevented our witnessing the representation
of _Rienzi_; but we have been told by our play-going friends that every
scene is listened to with marked attention, and that many passages are
judiciously applauded. We are glad to hear this, because it is strong
encouragement for other dramatists, and leads us to hope that
tragedy-writing may still be revived among us, and that with greater
success than has attended many recent efforts.
PROGRESS OF RIENZI'S DISAFFECTION.
_Claudia_. He is changed,
Grievously changed; still good and kind, and full
Of fond relentings--crossed by sudden gusts
Of wild and stormy passion. Then, he's so silent--
He once so eloquent. Of old, each show,
Bridal, or joust, or pious pilgrimage,
Lived in his vivid speech. Oh! 'twas my joy,
In that bright glow of rapid words, to see
Clear pictures, as the slow procession coiled
Its glittering length, or stately tournament
Grew statelier, in his voice. Now he sits mute--
His serious eyes bent on the ground--each sense
_Rienzi_. Claudia, in these bad days,
When man must tread perforce the flinty path
Of duty, hard and rugged, fail not thou
Duly at night and morning to give thanks
To the all-gracious power that smoothed the way
For woman's tenderer feet.
_Colonna_. He hath turned
A bitter knave of late, and lost his mirth,
And mutters riddling warnings and wild tales
Of the great days of heathen Rome; and prates
Of peace, and liberty, and equal law,
And mild philosophy, to us the knights
And warriors of this warlike age, who rule
By the bright law of arms. The fool's grown wise--
A grievous change.
* * * * *
And danger--the two hands that tightest grasp
Each other--the two cords that soonest knit
A fast and stubborn tie: your true love-knot
Is nothing to it. Faugh! the supple touch
Of pliant interest, or the dust of time,
Or the pin-point of temper, loose, or not,
Or snap love's silken band. Fear and old hate,
They are sure weavers--they work for the storm,
The whirlwind, and the rocking surge; their knot
Endures till death.
Hark--the bell, the bell!
The knell of tyranny--the mighty voice,
That, to the city and the plain--to earth,
And listening heaven, proclaims the glorious tale
Of Rome reborn, and Freedom. See, the clouds
Are swept away, and the moon's boat of light
Sails in the clear blue sky, and million stars
Look out on us, and smile.
[_The gate of the Capitol opens, and Alberti and Soldiers join the
People, and lay the keys at Rienzi's feet_.]
Hark! that great voice
Hath broke our bondage. Look, without a stroke
The Capitol is won--the gates unfold--
The keys are at our feet. Alberti, friend,
How shall I pay thy service? Citizens!
First to possess the palace citadel--
The famous strength of Rome; then to sweep on,
Triumphant, through her streets.
[_As Rienzi and the People are entering the Capitol, he pauses_.]
Oh, glorious wreck
Of gods and Caesars! thou shalt reign again,
Queen of the world; and I--come on, come on,
_Citizens_. Live Rienzi--live our Tribune!
CLAUDIA'S LAMENT FOR HER HUMBLE HOME.
Mine own dear home!
Father, I love not this new state; these halls,
Where comfort dies in vastness; these trim maids,
Whose service wearies me. Oh! mine old home!
My quiet, pleasant chamber, with the myrtle
Woven round the casement; and the cedar by,
Shading the sun; my garden overgrown
With flowers and herbs, thick-set as grass in fields;
My pretty snow-white doves: my kindest nurse;
And old Camillo!--Oh! mine own dear home!
I tremble at the height, Whene'er I think
Of the hot barons, of the fickle people,
And the inconstancy of power, I tremble
For thee, dear father.
_One of the Ursini is condemned to death--his brother intercedes_.
_Rie_. And darest talk thou to me of brothers? Thou,
Whose groom--wouldst have me break my own just laws,
To save thy brother? thine! Hast thou forgotten
When that most beautiful and blameless boy,
The prettiest piece of innocence that ever
Breath'd in this sinful world, lay at thy feet,
Slain by thy pampered minion, and I knelt
Before thee for redress, whilst thou--didst never
Hear talk of retribution? This is justice,
Pure justice, not revenge!--Mark well, my lords,
Pure, equal justice. Martin Ursini
Had open trial, is guilty, is condemned,
And he shall die!
_Colonna_. Yet listen to us--
If ye could range before me all the peers,
Prelates, and potentates of Christendom,--
The holy pontiff kneeling at my knee,
And emperors crouching at my feet, to sue
For this great robber, still I should be blind
As justice. But this very day a wife,
One infant hanging at her breast, and two,
Scarce bigger, first-born twins of misery,
Clinging to the poor rags that scarcely hid
Her squalid form, grasped at my bridle-rein
To beg her husband's life; condemned to die
For some vile, petty theft, some paltry scudi:
And, whilst the fiery war-horse chaf'd and sear'd,
Shaking his crest, and plunging to get free,
There, midst the dangerous coil, unmov'd, she stood,
Pleading in piercing words, the very cry
Of nature! And, when I at last said no--
For I said no to her--she flung herself
And those poor innocent babes between the stones
And my hot Arab's hoofs. We sav'd them all--
Thank heaven, we sav'd them all! but I said no
To that sad woman, midst her shrieks. Ye dare not
Ask me for mercy now.
He bears him like a prince, save that he lacks
The port serene of majesty. His mood
Is fitful; stately now, and sad; anon,
Full of a hurried mirth; courteous awhile,
And mild; then bursting, on a sudden, forth,
Into sharp, biting taunts.
* * * * *
Mounts to the brain like wine. For such disease,
Your skilful leech lets blood.
RIENZI ON HIS DAUGHTER'S MARRIAGE.
Is but a gilt and painted funeral
To the fond father who hath yielded up
His one sweet child. Claudia, thy love, thy duty,
Thy very name, is gone. Thou are another's;
Thou hast a master now; and I have thrown
My precious pearl away. Yet men who give
A living daughter to the fickle will
Of a capricious bridegroom, laugh--the madmen!
Laugh at the jocund bridal feast, and weep
When the fair corse is laid in blessed rest,
Deep, deep in mother earth. Oh, happier far,
So to have lost my child!
Thou art as one
Perched on some lofty steeple's dizzy height,
Dazzled by the sun, inebriate by long draughts
Of thinner air; too giddy to look down
Where all his safety lies; too proud to dare
The long descent to the low depths from whence
The desperate climber rose.
There's the sting,--
That I, an insect of to-day, outsoar
The reverend worm, nobility! Wouldst shame me
With my poor parentage!--Sir, I'm the son
Of him who kept a sordid hostelry
In the Jews' quarter--my good mother cleansed
Linen for honest hire.--Canst thou say worse?
_Ang_. Can worse be said?
_Rie_. Add, that my boasted schoolcraft
Was gained from such base toil, gained with such pain,
That the nice nurture of the mind was oft
Stolen at the body's cost. I have gone dinnerless
And supperless, the scoff of our poor street,
For tattered vestments and lean, hungry looks,
To pay the pedagogue.--Add what thou wilt
Of injury. Say that, grown into man,
I've known the pittance of the hospital,
And, more degrading still, the patronage
Of the Colonna. Of the tallest trees
The roots delve deepest. Yes, I've trod thy halls,
Scorned and derided midst their ribald crew,
A licensed jester, save the cap and bells,
I have borne this--and I have borne the death,
The unavenged death, of a dear brother.
I seemed, I was, a base, ignoble slave.
What am I?--Peace, I say!--What am I now?
Head of this great republic, chief of Rome--
In all but name, her sovereign--last of all,
The city's full
Of camp-like noises--tramp of steeds, and clash
Of mail, and trumpet-blast, and ringing clang
Of busy armourers--the grim ban-dog bays--
The champing war horse in his stall neighs loud--
The vulture shrieks aloft.
Terror, not love,
Strikes anchor in ignoble souls.
THE CAPITOL BELL.
 The passage between commas is omitted in the representation, but we
know not why.
It is the bell that thou so oft hast heard
Summoning the band of liberty--"the bell
That pealed its loud, triumphant note, and raised
Its mighty voice with such a mastery
Of glorious power, as if the spirit of sound
That dwells in the viewless wind, and walks the waves
Of the chafed sea, and rules the thunder-cloud
That shrouded him in that small orb, to spread
Tidings of freedom to the nations."
And for such I left
The assured condition of my lowliness,--
The laughing days, the peaceful nights, the joys
Of a small, quiet home--for such I risked
Thy peace, my daughter. Abject, crouching slaves!
False, fickle, treacherous, perjured slaves!
* * * * *
Oh, had I laid
All earthly passion, pride, and pomp, and power,
And high ambition, and hot lust of rule,
Like sacrificial fruits, upon the altar
Of Liberty, divinest Liberty!
Then--but the dream that filled my soul was vast
As his whose mad ambition thinned the ranks
Of the Seraphim, and peopled hell. These slaves!
These crawling reptiles! May the curse of chains
Cling to them for ever.
For liberty! Go seek
Earth's loftiest heights, and ocean's deepest caves;
Go where the sea-snake and the eagle dwell,
'Midst mighty elements,--where nature is.
And man is not, and ye may see afar,
Impalpable as a rainbow on the clouds.
The glorious vision! Liberty! I dream'd
Of such a goddess once--dream'd that yon slaves
Were Romans, such as rul'd the world, and I
Their tribune--vain and idle dream! Take back
The symbol and the power.
We can well imagine the effect which Mr. Young gives to some of these
eloquent passages. They are full of poetical and dramatic fire. Indeed,
we know of no professor of the histrionic art who could give so accurate
an embodiment of Rienzi--as Mr. Young, the most chaste and discreet, if
not the most impassioned, actor on the British stage. Again, we can
conceive the force of these lines in the manly tones of Mr. Cooper:
I know no father, save the valiant dead
Who lives behind a rampart of his slain
In warlike rest. I bend before no king,
Save the dread Majesty of heaven, Thy foe,
Thy mortal foe, Rienzi.
In reprinting _Rienzi_, we suggest a larger size; we fear people in
a second row of either circle of boxes, will find the type of the
present edition too small; besides, they do not want to be checking
the performers, or to be puzzled with "stage directions."
* * * * *
THE BOY'S OWN BOOK.
The sight of this little book, as thick as, and somewhat broader than,
a Valpy's Virgil, will make scores of little Lord Lingers think of
"bygone mirth, that after no repenting draws." It is all over a holiday
book, stuck as full of wood-cuts as a cake is of currants, and not like
the widely-thrown fruit of school plum puddings.
To begin with the exterior, which is one of the most ingenious specimens
of block-printing we have yet seen. The medallion frontispiece contains
the Publishers' Dedication to "the young of Great Britain," in return
for which their healths should be drunk at the next breaking-up of every
school in the empire.
As it professes to be a complete encyclopaedia of the sports and
pastimes of youth, it contains, 1. Minor Sports, as marbles, tops,
balls, &c. 2. Athletic Sports. 3. Aquatic Recreations. 4. Birds,
and other boy fancies. 5. Scientific Recreations. 6. Games of Skill.
7. The Conjuror; and 8. Miscellaneous Recreations. All these occupy
460 pages, which, like every sheet of the MIRROR, are as full as an
egg. The vignettes and tail-pieces are the prettiest things we have
ever seen, and some are very picturesque.
In our school-days there was no such book as this _Justinian of the
play-ground_, if we except a thin volume of games published by Tabart.
Boys then quarrelled upon nice points of play, parties ran high, and
civil war, birch, and the 119th psalm were the consequences. A disputed
marble, or a questioned run at cricket, has thus broken up the harmony
of many a holiday; but we hope that such feuds will now cease; for the
"Boy's Own Book," will settle all differences as effectually as a police
magistrate, a grand jury, or the house of lords. Boys will no longer
sputter and fume like an over-toasted apple; but, even the cares of
childhood will be smoothed into peace; by which means good humour may
not be so rare a quality among men. But to complete this philanthropic
scheme, the publishers of the "_Boy's_ Own Book," intend producing a
similar volume for _Girls_. This is as it should be, for the _Misses_
ought to have an equal chance with the _Masters_--at least so say
we,--_plaudite_, clap your little hands, and _valete_, good bye!
* * * * *
THE NEW YEAR'S GIFT AND JUVENILE SOUVENIR.
The editor, or _editress_, (for we doubt whether the former is epicene,)
of this elegant little volume is the lady of Mr. Alaric A. Watts, the
editor of the _Literary Souvenir_. It is expressly designed for the
perusal of children from six to twelve years old, and is, we think, both
by its embellishments and literary contents, calculated to attract
hundreds of juvenile admirers. Indeed, we are surprised that the
children have been so long without _their_ "Annuals," whilst those of
"a larger growth" have been supplied in abundance; but, as Sir Walter
Scott has set the example of writing for masters and misses, we hope
that our nursery literature will rise in character, and it will not
henceforth be the business of after-years to correct erroneous ideas
imbibed from silly books during our childhood. In this task much time
has been lost. Mrs. Watts is of the same opinion; and with this view,
"the extravagances of those apocryphal personages--giants, ghosts, and
fairies--have been entirely banished from her pages, as tending not only
to enervate the infant mind, and unfit it for the reception of more
wholesome nutriment, but also to increase the superstitious terrors of
childhood,--the editor has not less scrupulously excluded those novel-like
stories of exaggerated sentiment, which may now almost be said
to form the staple commodity of our nursery literature."--(_Preface_.)
Accordingly, we have in the _New Year's Gift_ three historical pieces
and engravings, illustrating the murder of the young princes in the
Tower; Arthur imploring Hubert not to put out his eyes; and another.
There are from thirty to forty tales, sketches, and poems, among which
are a pretty story, by Mrs. Hofland; a Cricketing Story, by Miss Mitford,
&c. There are two or three little pieces enjoining humanity to animals,
and some pleasing anecdotes of monkeys and tame robins, and a few lines
on the Reed-Sparrow's Nest:--
Only see what a neat, warm, compact little thing!
Mister Nash could not build such a house for the king;
Not he, let him labour his best.
Among the poetry are some graceful lines by Mr. Watts to his son;
but our extract must be "The Spider and the Fly, a new version of
an old story," by Mrs. Howitt. It is a lesson for all folks--great
and small--from the infant in the nursery to the emperor of Russia,
the grand signior of Turkey, and the queen of Portugal--or from those
who play with toy-cannons to such as are now figuring on the theatre
"Will you walk into my parlour" said a spider to a fly:
"'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy.
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I have many pretty things to show you when you are there."
"Oh, no, no!" said the little fly, "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."
"I'm sure you must be weary with soaring up so high,
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the spider to the fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin;
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in."
"Oh, no, no!" said the little fly, "for I've often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"
Said the cunning spider to the fly, "Dear friend, what shall I do,
To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you?
I have, within my pantry, good store of all that's nice--
I'm sure you're very welcome--will you please to take a slice?"
"Oh, no, no!" said the little fly, "kind sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see."
"Sweet creature!" said the spider, "you're witty and you're wise.
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you're pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."
The spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner, sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the fly.
Then he went out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple--there's a crest upon your head--
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead,"
Alas, alas how very soon this silly little fly.
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
Thinking only of her crested head--poor foolish thing!--At last
Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour--but she ne'er came out again!
--And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.
Among the more serious pieces, we notice a beautiful lament of childhood
by Mrs. Hemans, and a hymn by Mrs. Opie.
The engravings, twelve in number, with several little wood-cut
tail-pieces, are beautifully executed; and altogether, the New Year's
Gift deserves a place on the _cheffonier_ shelf of every nursery in the
* * * * *
We have received several other "Annuals," which we shall notice in an
early Supplementary Number.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE
* * * * *
_North_. ALBUMS! James--these compendiums of wit and wisdom have become
the greatest nuisances of all civilized society----
_Shepherd_. Tuts, man--what ails ye at Allbums?
_North_. They have broken that confidence between man and woman, which,
in our young day, used to form the delight of an acquaintance with an
amiable and accomplished female. In those happy times, how often have we
sat in a bright circle of the fair and young, and talked, and laughed,
in the gaiety of our careless hearts, without fear or apprehension! But
now we are afraid, in the presence of ladies, to give utterance to any
thing beyond a remark upon the weather. It is long since we have drilled
ourselves to attribute smiles and whispers, and even squeezes of the
hand, to their true source. We see an album lurking in every dimple of a
young maiden's cheek, and a large folio common-place book, reposing its
alexandrine length, in every curve of a dowager's double chin.
_Shepherd_. Tuts, man! What ails ye at Allbums?
_North_. No age is free from the infection. We go to a house in the
country where there are three unmarried daughters, two aunts, and a
grandmother. Complain not of a lack of employment on a rainy morning,
in such a domicile and establishment as this. You may depend upon it,
that the first patter of rain upon the window is the signal for all the
vellum and morocco bound scrap-books to make a simultaneous rush upon
the table. Forth comes the grandmother, and pushes an old dingy-coloured
volume into your hands, and pointing out a spare leaf, between a recipe
for curing corns, and a mixture for the hooping-cough, she begs you to
fill it up--with any thing you please.
_Shepherd_. Weel, weel, man--why canna you oblege the auld body?
_North_. What right has an old woman, with silver spectacles on her
long, thin nose, to enlist any man among the awkward squad which compose
her muster roll? Who can derive inspiration from the boney hand, which
is coaxingly laid on your shoulder, and trembles, not from agitation or
love, but merely from the last attack of the rheumatism?
_Shepherd_. But young leddies hae their Allbums, too, as weel's auld
_North_. And even the young ladies, James, presume too much upon their
power. Is there no way of getting into their books, but by writing in
their albums? Are we to pay for smiles at the rate of so many lines a
dimple? If the fair creatures are anxious to shew they can read, let
them discover it by the tenor of their conversation, and not by large
folios of quotations from books which every body knows; or if they are
anxious to shew that they can write, we can tell them they are very
wrong in having any such wish. I will put it to any man--are not the
pleasantest women of his acquaintance, those to whose handwriting he is
the greatest stranger? Did they not think their adored enslaver, who at
one time was considered, when they were musing on her charms, beneath
some giant tree, within the forest shade, "too fair to worship, too
divine to love,"--did they not think her a little less divine, without
being a bit more loveable, when they pored over, in her autograph, a
long and foolish extract from some dunderhead's poems, with the points
all wrong placed, and many of the words misspelt?
_Shepherd_. Neither points nor spellin's o' the smallest consequence in
a copy o' verses.
_North_. Think of the famous lovers of antiquity, James. Do you think
Thisbe kept a scrap-book, or that Pyramus slipped "Lines on Thisbe's
Cat" through the celebrated hole-in-the-wall? No such thing. If he had,
there would have been as little poetry in his love as in his verses. No
man could have had the insolence, not even a Cockney poetaster, to kill
himself for love, after having scribbled namby-pambys in a pale-blue,
_Shepherd_. Faith--that's rather a lauchable idea.
_North_. In every point of view, scrap-books are the death of love. Many
a very sensible man can "whisper soft nonsense in a lady's ear," when
all the circumstances of the scene are congenial. We ourselves have
frequently descended to make ourselves merely the most agreeable man in
the world, till we unfortunately discovered that the blockheads who
could not comprehend us when we were serious, were still farther from
understanding the ineffable beauty of our nonsense; so that in both
cases we were the sufferers. They took our elegant badinage for our
sober and settled opinions, and laughed in the most accommodating manner
when we delivered our real and most matured sentiments.
* * * * *
Notes of a Reader
LORD BYRON'S FIRST LOVE.--NEWSTEAD.
Sir Richard Phillips who has been for some months on a Tour of Inquiry
and Observation through the United Kingdom, has just published his
_First Part_, containing Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire,
and part of Nottinghamshire. Sir Richard visited _Newstead_, and was
hospitably entertained by Colonel Wildman. In his "Notes," on this
interesting spot, he says,--"While in this vicinity, I heard many
particulars of BYRON'S first love, a passion which tinged the whole
of his future life. Near Newstead stands Annesley Hall, a house as
considerable and venerable as Newstead itself; and the daughter of the
owner, Mr. Chaworth, was an heiress of immense fortune, interesting, and
amiable, but about four years older than Byron. He fell in love with
her, but she had formed an early attachment for Capt. Musters, of the
Nottingham militia, whom she married. After she had some children, she
fell into a low state of mind, and separation was the consequence; but,
on recovering, she was reunited to her husband, and has since borne him
several children. She still lives, but has long been in very infirm
health. The affair forms the subject of Lord Byron's justly celebrated
_Dream_, printed with the 'Prisoner of Chillon.'
"From the eastern windows of the southern front of Newstead, all the
scenery of the poem is visible, except Annesley Hall, which lies over
the cape of which he speaks; but there still are trees, and the high
point at which he describes the impassioned interview. I read the poem
with the objects before me, and was overpowered by the sympathies and
recollections which must be familiar to all men, for most men have felt
as Byron felt, though few ever portrayed their feelings with such energy
of thought and language.
"Night overtaking me at Newstead, the splendid hospitality of Colonel
Wildman was kindly exerted, and he indulged a sentimental traveller by
allowing me to sleep in Byron's room and Byron's bed. Those who admire
Byron, (and for those who do not, I care but little) will participate
in the luxury of such a night. The bed is elegantly surmounted with
baronial coronets, but it was Byron's and I cared nothing for the
coronets, though all the conveniences of the apartment were delightful.
"I will add to these details a fact which will interest many; that the
dog which Lord Byron reared in Greece, and the grandson of Boatswain,
having been brought home with his body, is still alive at Newstead,
cherished for the sake of his master, and respected for his own good
We shall return to Sir Richard's "Tour" in our next number; for it
possesses extraordinary attractions for all classes of readers.
* * * * *
THE ANNUALS.--THE LITERARY SOUVENIR.
One hundred guineas is stated to be the lowest cost of either of the
engravings in "the Literary Souvenir for 1829;" some of them, indeed,
cost from 150 to 170 guineas each. A circulation of less than from 8
to 9,000 copies, would entail a loss upon the proprietors; so that the
expense of "getting up" this superb "Annual" probably exceeds 3,500l.;
and taking this sum for the average of six others published at the same
price, and with a proportionate advance for two more published at one
guinea each, the outlay of capital in these works is from 35 to
40,000l. This sum would purchase _Five Million_ numbers of THE
MIRROR, or 80 million printed pages, with 10 million impressions of
 The portion of this sum paid for the literary department would form
a curious item in the records of genius, especially in contrast with
Milton's five pounds for his _Paradise Lost_.
* * * * *
A citizen of Geneva having lost his wife, he, according to the custom of
the country, attended the funeral to the cemetery, which is out of the
city. Somebody meeting him on his return from this painful ceremony,
assumed a sorrowful countenance, and in the tenderest manner possible,
asked him how he did. "Oh," replied the widower, "I am very well at
present; this little walk has set me up; there is nothing like country
* * * * *
Mr. Rae Wilson tells us, that he saw some huge stones of granite on his
road to Mecklenburgh, which he says actually seem to have been rained
there; in which belief he is strengthened by a story in a Philadelphia
newspaper, of "a spitting of stones, which ended in a regular shower at
Nashville, in May, 1825!"--There is seldom a good story without its
* * * * *
A recent letter from Paris gives the following account of the Debtors'
Prison, compared with which, it seems, our _Fleet_ is a perfect
Arcadia:--Each room contains four beds, small, dirty, and damp; so that
the eyes of the unfortunate inmates become red and inflamed; not even a
window can be shut to keep out a current of air. If a creditor visits a
debtor who wishes to be revenged, the latter has only to cry _au loup_,
when all parties assail the unlucky creditor, and _perhaps murder him!_
Gambling is the great resource of the ignorant, so that frequently those
who have only a few pence per day to exist on, are obliged to fast
entirely, having anticipated their allowance; many even pawn their
coats, and walk about _en chemise!_
* * * * *
When Nollekens, the sculptor, was at Rome, in 1760, he was recognised
by Garrick with the familiar exclamation of "What! let me look at you,
are you the little fellow to whom we gave the prizes at the Society of
Arts?" "Yes, Sir," being the answer, Garrick invited him to breakfast
the next morning, and sat to him for his bust, for which he paid
Nollekens L12. 12s. in gold; this was the first bust he ever modelled.
Sterne sat to him when at Rome, and that bust brought him into great
* * * * *
Among the various Indian traditions of the Creation and fall of man is
the following:--In the beginning, a few men rose out of the ground, but
there was no woman among them. One of them found out a road to heaven,
where he met a woman; they offended the Great Spirit, upon which they
were both thrust out. They fell on the back of the tortoise; the woman
was delivered of male twins; in process of time, one of these twins slew
the other.--_Dr. Walsh_.
* * * * *
THE AGE OF THIRTY.
I always looked to about thirty, as the barrier of any real or fierce
delight in the passions, and determined to work them out in the younger
ore and better veins of the mine; and, I flatter myself, that perhaps,
I have pretty well done so, and now the _dross_ is coming, and _I love
lucre_; for we must love something; at least, if I have not quite worked
out the others, it is not for want of labouring hard to do so.--_Lord
Byron_, in 1823.
* * * * *
Where holy friars told their beads,
And nuns confess'd their evil deeds.
But, O sad change! O shame to tell,
How soon a prey to vice it fell!
How--since its justest appellation
Is Grand Seraglio to the Nation.
* * * * *
When everybody was in suspense in consequence of the vacillating conduct
of the French government, a gentleman with a determined _squint_, one
day approached Talleyrand, and said to him, "Well, prince, how do
affairs go on?" "As you see," replied Talleyrand.
* * * * *
Barry, the painter, was with Nollekens, at Rome, in 1760, and they were
extremely intimate. Barry took the liberty one night when they were
about to leave the English coffee-house, to exchange hats with him;
Barry's was edged with lace, and Nollekens' was a very shabby plain
one. Upon his returning the hat the next morning, he was requested by
Nollekens to let him know why he left him his gold-laced hat. "Why, to
tell you the truth, my dear Joey," answered Barry, "I fully expected
assassination last night; and I was to have been known by my laced hat."
Nollekens often used to relate the story, adding, "It's what the Old
Bailey people would call a true bill against Jem."--_Nollekens's Life
* * * * *
Napoleon's Roman bed at Malmaison was without curtains, and his arms
were hung on the walls of the chamber.
* * * * *
LINES WRITTEN ON A JOURNEY OVER THE BROCKEN.
BY S.T. COLERIDGE.
---------------------------- I moved on
With low and languid thought, for I had found
That grandest scenes have but imperfect charms
Where the eye vainly wanders, nor beholds
One spot with which the heart associates
Holy remembrances of child or friend,
Or gentle maid, our first and early love,
Or father, or the venerable name
Of our adored country. _O thou Queen,
Thou delegated Deity of Earth,
Oh "dear, dear" England, how my longing eyes
Turned westward, shaping in the steady clouds
Thy sands and high white cliffs!_ Sweet native isle,
This heart was proud, yea, mine eyes swam with tears
To think of thee; and all the goodly view
From sovran Brocken, woods and woody hills
Floated away, like a departing dream,
Feeble and dim.
_Amulet for_ 1829.
We wish a few more of the tourists who are picking their way over the
continent, would illustrate their books of travels with such noble
sentiments as are contained in these few lines--instead of the querulous
whinings about cheap and dear living, the miseries of our climate, and a
thousand other ills of the _malade imaginaire_.
* * * * *
Madame De Souza used to say that "cleanliness is the excellence of the
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
RUSSIA AND TURKEY.
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
The following intelligence from the seat of war, though premature in
some respects, and _not quite_ new in others, may be acceptable to your
readers, from A.A.A.
An awful army, artfully array'd,
Boldly by battery besieg'd Belgrade;
Cossack commanders cannonading come,
Dealing destruction's devastating doom,
Every endeavour engineers essay,
For fame, for fortune, forming furious fray.
Gaunt gunners grapple, giving gashes good,
Heaves high his head heroic hardihood;
Ibraham, Islam, Ismael, imps in ill,
Jostle John Jarovlitz, Jem, Joe, Jack, Jill.
Kick kindling Kutusoff, king's kinsmen kill;
Labour low levels loftiest, longest lines,
Men march 'mid moles, 'mid mounds, 'mid murd'rous mines.
Now nightfall's near, now needful nature nods,
Oppos'd, opposing, overcoming odds.
Poor peasants, partly purchas'd, partly press'd,
Quite quaking, "Quarter!--quarter!" quickly 'quest.
Reason returns, recalls redundant rage,
Saves sinking soldiers, softens signiors sage.
Truce, Turkey, truce! truce, treach'rous Tartar train!
Unwise, unjust, unmerciful ukraine!
Vanish, vile vengeance! vanish, victory vain!
Wisdom wails war--wails warring words. What were
Xerxes, Xantippe, Ximenes, Xavier?
Yet, Yassy's youth, ye yield your youthful yest,
Zealously, zanies, zealously, zeal's zest.
* * * * *
Ye learned, pray say, who dark mysteries unfold,
Why razors cut better with _hot_ water than _cold_.
Every kind of knife or razor is a fine saw, though we cannot possibly
see it with the naked eye; and on all the edges of those fine polished
tools there sticks a kind of resinous substance, which, when put into
warm water, takes off the same, and makes the razor cut more easy and
* * * * *
A father had three sons, in whose company he was walking when an old
enemy of his came running out of an ambush, and inflicted a severe wound
upon him before any of the bystanders could interfere. The eldest son
pursued the assassin, the second bound up his father's wound, and the
third swooned away. Which of the sons loved his father best?
* * * * *
At a rehearsal of _As You Like It_, Mrs. Billington, who sustained the
principal female character, called out in a very peremptory manner,
"Fellow, bring me my crook." Mr. Simmonds, the property-man, immediately
replied, "Madam, your fellow is not here." She felt the rebuke, and made
the request more successfully in more proper language; thus by hook or
by crook obtaining it.
* * * * *
Cato the Censor only repented of three things during his life--to have
gone by sea when he could go by land, to have passed a day inactive, and
to have told a secret to his wife.
* * * * *
"GONE TO JERICHO."
Tradition says that there is more than one place in the county of Essex
to which Henry VIII. used occasionally to retire with his mistresses.
One of these was Blackmore, at some distance from Shenfield. The
manor-house of Blackmore is called _Jericho;_ so when Harry chose to
retire with his mistresses, the cant phrase among the courtiers was,
"_He was gone to Jericho_." Hence this proverb or saying.
* * * * *
HUMBLE, OR UMBLE PIE.
The shanks and feet of a buck being called _umbles_, were formerly made
into a pie for the retainers or feudal servants. Hence arose the old
saying of "You shall eat humble pie."
* * * * *
Says Tom, "Your lass look'd like a winter's day,
When last I saw her with the Misses Flirty."
"Indeed, you're merry, but tell me pray?"
"Why, then," quoth Tom, "she was both short and dirty."
* * * * *
_Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD 143, Strand, (near Somerset House,)
London: sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; and by all
Newsmen and Booksellers_.
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