The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, David Garcia and the Online Distributed
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XIV, No. 397.] SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
The above is a view of the grand screen and entrance lodges to Burleigh,
or Burghley, the seat of the Cecil family, and now the property of the
Marquess of Exeter. The house and principal part of the demesne, are
within the parish of Stamford St. Martin, in the church of which are
some costly monuments to several eminent persons of the Cecil family;
and this estate gave title to William Cecil, Baron Burleigh, in 1570.
The park was formed, and the mansion, which is one of the most splendid
in the kingdom, was mostly built by the great Lord Treasurer, in the
time of Queen Elizabeth, and the following inscription, over one of the
entrances, within a central court, records the era of this work:--"W.
DOM. DE BVRGHLEY, 1577." Beneath the turret is the date of 1585, when
some grand additions were made to the mansion; and the above Grand
Entrance, towards the north, appears to have been added in 1587. Since
these dates, several material alterations and additions have been made
by subsequent possessors; and the whole, as a building, with its vast
and varied collection of works of art, is one of the most magnificent
show-houses in England. The spacious and finely wooded park and large
lake are also very fine. The house surrounds a square court, to the east
of which is the great hall, kitchen, various domestic offices, with
spacious stables, coach-houses, &c.--all indicative of the splendid
hospitalities of the Elizabethean age and old English character. The
south front commands a fine sloping lawn, with a broad sheet of water,
formed by Brown, together with some interesting park-scenery; the
western side has nearly the same views, with the advantage of distant
objects in Rutlandshire, Lincolnshire, and the spires of Stamford. From
the north front the ground gradually slopes to the river Welland. A
complete list of the pictures and valuable curiosities of Burleigh will
be found in a Guide published by the ingenious Mr. Drakard, bookseller,
of Stamford, as well as in that gentleman's excellent _History of
About two miles west of Burleigh, are the ruins of Wothorp, or Worthorp
House. According to Camden, a mansion of considerable size was erected
here by Thomas Cecil, the first Earl of Burleigh, who jocularly said,
"he built it only to retire to out of the dust, while his great house at
Burleigh was sweeping." After the Restoration the Duke of Buckingham
resided here for some years.
* * * * *
THE LION'S ROAR.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Sad is my grief, and violent my rage,
Furious I knock my head against the rail,
That damns me to this miserable cage;
Fierce as a Jack Tar with his well chew'd tail,
I dash my spittle on the ground, and roar
Loud as the trump to bid us be no more.
I am the doughty, the illustrious beast,
Called Leo, father of the Panther young,
Tho' last begotten, not belov'd the least,
You all know I have a roast beef tongue:
Then, hear my John Bull clamour, hear my shout!
Why, why the d----, roust we all tarn out?
Did I not keep a beef-eater below
To show the ladies to my monarch cave?
I kept a constant levee day of show,
And seldom monarchs so polite behave!
You paid far less for seeing me, I ken,
Than _porterage_ for seeing noble men.
Did I not eat my supper in your presence.
And gnaw the beef bone with a greedy tusk?
Did you not shudder at the marrow's essence,
Not quite so beautiful or sweet as musk?
Did I not ope my lion fauces wider
Than is the difference 'twixt Moore and Ryder?
Then, why the d----?--I'm obliged to swear!
Must we turn out, to grace the monarch's mews,
From the thronged Strand which seemed our native air,
And, where as thick as piety in pews,
We growl'd within our dens, nor hop'd to change,
Nor wish'd, Instead of Exeter, a change.
Sweet lovely corner, neighb'ring the Lyceum,
Lord of whose showy board I used to crow.
Frighting my brethren when folks came to see 'em,
Or cutlery of Mr. Clarke below;
I mourn thee in the King's Mews, Mr. Cross
Get Mr. Southey's muse to sing my loss.
Yes, I am chang'd, like shillings from the Mint
Sent forth to find another one's protection!
Chang'd as palaver which the members print
And do not follow after their election!
Ah! Mr. Cross, your gratitude is low,
You might have ask'd me where I wish'd to go.
Since we have turn'd out, like a minister
Whose day of residence on loaves and fishes,
Finding himself unable to defer,
He offers up, as if 'twere to his wishes;
Listen, tho' lately coming, to my moan,
And then I'll tell you where we _should_ have gone.
The Monkeys should have dwelt in the Arcade,
And join'd their fellows, and their brethren Ape
Sat in the shop where clothes are ready made,
To show how elegant they fit the shape!
The Bears gone westward also, ne'er to range
The city, lest they got upon the Change.
The Tigers, with their talons might have got
A place as blood letters to Dr. Brooks!
The Ounces found themselves a cosy spot
In a confectioner's or pastrycook's,
And yet I question howsoe'er they bake,
That _sixteen ounces_ make not a _pound_-cake.
And, O, you Elephant!--I beg your pardon!
Dead Chunee! listen to my grave petition,
And take your ivory to Covent Garden;
That they may furnish me a free admission,
And you, you Lynx, you ought to out, and sally
The Winter Theatres, or dark blind alley.
The lovely Zebra, Asia's painted ass,
'Stead of a den, and bed of straw possessor,
Down to old Cambridge should have had a pass,
To fill the office of some wise professor;
Then, had he shown each antiquated quiz,
His Zebra auricles were long as his.
Thus had we all obtained a proper station,
'Twere in one day of happiness to cruise.
And I had never written my vexation
At being palac'd in the Royal Mews.
The reason for which conduct I'm at loss,
O, Mr. Cross, 'tay'nt you, but I am cross.
I really thought thou had'st been much genteeler,
_Polite_-o was thy grandfather, remember
Thou wert a Merchant Tailor, and a stealer
To school in younger days, in cold December,
Then did thy fingers, shiv'ring like a Russ,
Make thee to feel--thou could'st not feel for us.
At Charing Cross, the Golden Cross is thine
No longer; why, then hurry us so near it,
We do not in the little tap-room dine,
Where Greenwich cads and Walworth jarvies beer it,
This Mews is cold to the Exchange's glow,
Belle Sauvage Cross, thou'rt _beau sauvage_, I trow.
My usage is the best, I don't deny,
Thou'st fee'd the keeper, and he likes to feed us,
But, then the situation I decry,
But crying's useless--who the deuce will heed us?
Then, reader would you listen to my wail,
Come, and but see me, "I'll unfold my tail."
* * * * *
(_Translated from the last number of the Revue Encyclopedique. By a
(_For the Mirror_.)
A boy, seven years of age, whose name is Vincent Zuccaro, has excited
the public attention at Palermo for some time past. This child, born of
poor and uneducated parents, possesses an extraordinary talent for
calculation; his mind seizes, as it were, by instinct, all the varied
combinations of numbers, which he unravels with equal facility. The
various reports which had been spread throughout the city, respecting
his talents, appeared so incredible, that a public meeting of literary
men was expressly convened, for the purpose of examining his
pretensions. The meeting was held on the 30th of January last, at the
Academy _Del Buon Gusto_, and consisted of upwards of four hundred
persons, among whom were observed some of the most distinguished
literati and influential persons of the city. Two Professors of
Mathematics were stationed near the child, to prevent collusion or
fraud, and to take minutes of the questions proposed, with the answers
returned. A great number of questions were proposed, which Vincent
Zuccaro answered with a facility that excited general admiration. We
shall only extract two of the most simple, as some of the questions
would be hardly intelligible to general readers:
Question 1.--A ship set sail at noon from Naples to Palermo (the
distance between the two cities being 180 miles), and sailed at the rate
of ten miles an hour; another ship set off at the same time, to sail
from Palermo to Naples, at the rate of seven miles per hour: at what
time did the ships meet each other, and what was the distance sailed by
each? Vincent Zuccaro immediately replied--The first ship sailed 105
15/17 miles; the second, 74 2/17 miles. It was then observed to him,
that he had only answered part of the question, and that the hour of
meeting had been omitted. He then said this would be 10 10-17 hours
after the time of the departure. The child had perceived that this part
of the answer was implicitly contained in the former; which he also
imagined the examiners perceived as well as himself, and therefore he
Question 2.--In three successive attacks upon a town, a quarter of the
assailants perished in the first attack, a fifth in the second, and a
sixth in the last, when their number was reduced to 138 men. Required
the original number? Answer, 360.
Q.--How did you find that number?
A.--If the number had been 60, there would eventually have remained 23;
now 23 being the sixth of 138, the assailants were 6 times 60 or 360 at
Q.--Why did you suppose the number 60, rather than 50 or 70?
A.--Because neither 50 nor 70 are divisible by 4 or 6.
From these questions and replies, it will be readily understood that the
child does not employ the ordinary artifices of mathematicians. Marquess
Scriso, who was the first person to discover this singular talent, is
about, with several other persons of distinction in the city, to solicit
the aid of Government in the education of the child, every one being
fully aware of the impropriety of subjecting him to the ordinary mode of
* * * * *
"OUT OF SEASON," OR THE BEAU'S LAMENT.
(_For the Mirror._)
"There is no labour so great as idleness."
Heigho! what a blank is our being! ahi!
For there's nobody left in the town,
That's nobody fit to associate with _me;_
Dinner's up, but my spirits are down,
I can't eat or drink (how should I?) for sorrow,
And the lack of some usual treat,
And I surely should hang me, or marry tomorrow,
Were there not a few _bawls_ in the street.
Hang! marry! said I, why I'm now _drown'd_ in tears,
Who am wont in _sham pain_ to lose real;
And could pull my own house down, about my own ears
For lack of amusements ideal;
But plays, concerts, shopping, Di'ramas so bright,
That enlarge the pent mind at a view,
Are fled with my friends; I'm the wretchedest _wight_
That from devil _ennui_, e'er look'd _blue!_
O horrible! horrible _world!_ there's not e'en
An old maid in't, to ask me to tea;
Not fit, or in country or town, to _be_ seen,
They have hurried off, blindly _to see!_
Parks, houses, clubs, shops, churches, squares, _deserts_ seem;
Quite flat, Magazines and Newspapers;
Ah, what shall I do? make a trial of _steam,_
In order to banish the _vapours?_
Shall I swallow my dinner? I can't--shall I sleep?
Then I don't get away from _myself!_
Shall I think what a beau I have _once_ been, and weep
Like a belle, that is laid on the shelf?
Shall I write? shall I read? ah, yes, that will do,
But an old book is terrible stuff:
Boy, get the new novel, stop, _reading's_ so new,
That a _book_ will be _novel_ enough!
* * * * *
ANCIENT HISTORY OF DRURY LANE.
(_For the Mirror._)
The reader will most probably exclaim, "Ancient History of Drury Lane!
What a farce!" A dirty lane filled with all complexions of hawkers and
pedlars, licensed and unlicensed!--true incurious reader, Gay has sung
_"Of Drury's mazy courts and dark abodes;"_
yet the topographical and theatrical loiterer may call to mind many
_pleasing_ reminiscences, although mingled with _unpleasing
"Who has not here a watch or snuff-box lost,
Or handkerchiefs that India's shuttle boast."
Stowe says, "Drury Lane, so called, for that there is a house belonging
to the family of the Druries. This lane turneth north towards S.
Giles in the field. From the south end of this lane in the high street,
are divers faire buildings, hostelries, and houses for gentlemen, and
men of honor, &c."
 Dr. Donne resided in a house of Sir R. Drury. Vide _Life_ by
honest Izaak Walton.
Nightingale tells us, "The west end of Wych Street was formerly
ornamented by Drury House, built by Sir William Drury, an able commander
in the Irish wars, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and who
unfortunately fell in a duel with Sir John Burroughs, through a foolish
quarrel about precedency. During the time of the fatal discontents of
Elizabeth's favourite, the Earl of Essex, it was the place where his
imprudent advisers resolved on such counsels, as terminated in the
destruction of him and his adherents. In the next century it was
possessed by the heroic Earl of Craven, who rebuilt it. It was lately a
large brick pile, concealed by other buildings and was a public-house,
bearing the sign of the Queen of Bohemia's Head, the earl's admired
mistress, whose battles he fought animated by love and duty. When he
could aspire to her hand, he is supposed to have succeeded, and it is
said, that they were privately married; and that he built for her the
fine seat at Hampstead Marshal, in the county of Berks, afterwards
destroyed by fire. The services rendered by the earl to London, his
native city, in particular, were exemplary. He was so indefatigable in
preventing the ravages of the frequent fires of those days, that it was
said his very horse smelt it out. He and Monk, Duke of Albemarle,
heroically staid in town during the dreadful pestilence, and at the
hazard of their lives preserved order in the midst of the terror of the
times." The house was taken down, and the ground purchased by Mr. Philip
Astley, who built there the Olympic Pavilion. In Craven Buildings there
was formerly a very good portrait of the Earl of Craven in armour, with
a truncheon in his hand, and mounted on his white horse. The Theatre
Royal in this street, originated on the Restoration. "The king made a
grant of a patent (says Pennant) for acting in what was then called the
Cockpit, and the Phoenix, the actors were the king's servants, were on
the establishment, and ten of them were called gentlemen of the Great
Chamber, and had ten yards of scarlet cloth allowed them, with a
suitable quantity of lace."
 He married a daughter of one of the Fine Barber-women of
There is a curious specimen of ancient architecture at the sign of the
Cock and Magpie public-house, facing Craven Buildings. Smith, in his
_London_, says, "The late Mr. Thomas Batrich, barber, of Drury
Lane, (who died in 1815, aged 85 years,) informed me that Theophilus
Cibber was the author of many of the prize-fighting bills, and that he
frequently attended and encouraged his favourites. It may be here
observed, that Drury Lane had seldom less than seven fights on a Sunday
morning, all going on at the same time on distinct spots." At present,
the fights are between the apple-women and the dogberries, respecting
the _legal tenure of stalls_:
"Bess Hoy first found it troublesome to bawl,
And therefore plac'd her cherries on a _stall_."
Drury Lane will always be interesting to the theatrical loiterer,
from the number of _stars_ that have _irradiated_ from its
_horizon_. If the wise Solon had lived in our times, he would no
doubt have felt a local attachment to this neighbourhood; for he
frequented plays even in the decline of life. And Plutarch informs us,
he thought plays useful to polish the manners, and instil the principles
* * * * *
SOLUTION OF THE ENIGMATICAL EPITAPH,
(See Mirror, vol. xiv. page 214.)
O! Superbe! Mors superte! Cur Superbis?
Deus supernos! negat superbis vitam supernam.
Proud man know this! then wherefore art thou proud?
This awful doom--terrific cries aloud--
Death lifts his arm! with unrelenting dart,
Ready to pierce thy lofty-tow'ring heart.
Why then persist? The Almighty hath denied
Eternal life to all the slaves of Pride!
* * * * *
LITERARY NOTICES OF
THE NEW-YEAR'S GIFT AND JUVENILE SOUVENIR FOR 1830.
_Edited by Mrs. Alaric Watts._
The association of the line--
In wit a man, simplicity a child--
is so happy as to be applicable to the Poet of all Nature. It expresses
as much, if not more merit, than any single line often quoted, and its
frequent repetition has probably induced us to consider the latter
half--"simplicity a child"--as the peculiar talent of writing for
young people, aimed at by many, yet accomplished by so few. What is it
that so delights the young reader--we may say ourselves--in Robinson
Crusoe--the Shakspeare of the play-ground--but _simplicity;_
and where, among the thousands of nursery books that have since been
written, can we find its match? In childhood, youth, manhood, and old
age, this is the great charm of life; and even the vitiated appetite is
not unfrequently coaxed into amendment by its very delightful character
when contrasted with coarser enjoyments. Metaphysicians deal out this
fact to the world over and over again, and all the philosophy of Locke,
Newton, and Bacon would be of little worth without it.
 A few weeks since we gave a copy of Robinson Crusoe to a young
man, "whose education had been neglected," and who had never
read this delightful book: the account of his delight from its
perusal has more than recompensed us tenfold.
But this is too philosophical a strain for noticing a child's book--a
little volume that is among books what a child is in human nature--"man
in a small letter;" and such is Mrs. Watt's "New Year's Gift." To
express all the kindly feelings which it must produce in a mind occupied
as ours often is with graver matters--would be only to repeat what we
said a fortnight since; and so without further premise, we will open
this little casket of gems for the reader. We shall not string names
together, but take a few of them. First, the "Sisters of Scio," a true
story, by the author of "Constantinople in 1828," of two little Greek
girls being saved from the Turks, by a good Christian. Next is "The
Recall," by Mrs. Hemans:--
Music is sorrowful
Since thou wert gone;
Sisters are mourning thee--
Come to thine own
Hark! the home voices call,
Back to thy rest!
Come to thy father's hall,
Thy mother's breast!
O'er the far blue mountains,
O'er the white sea-foam,
Come, thou long parted one!
Back to thy home!
--How appropriate is the story and its sequel; nay, almost as good as
two of Mr. Farley's pantomime scenes at Christmas. "The Miller's
Daughter," a tale of the French Revolution, which follows, is hardly so
fit: even the mention of Robespierre and the Reign of Terror chills
one's blood. "The Sights of London," is a string of "City Scenes" in
verse; and "May Maxwell," and "The Broken Pitcher," are pretty ballads,
by the Howitts. We are not half through the book, and can only mention
"the Young Governess," a school story--"the Birds and the Beggar of
Bagdad," a fairy tale--"Lady Lucy's Petition," an historiette--"the
Restless Boy," by Mrs. Opie, and the "Passionate Little Girl," by Mrs.
Hofland--all sparkling trifles in prose. Among the poetry is "the
African Mier-Vark," or Ant-eater, by Mr. Pringle, and "the Deadly
Nightshade," a sweetly touching ballad, dated from Florence; "the
Vulture of the Alps" is of similar character; and we are much pleased
with some lines on Birds, by Barry Cornwall, one set of which we copy,
the best prose papers being too long for extract:
TO A WOUNDED SINGING BIRD.
Poor singer! hath the fowler's gun,
Or the sharp winter, done thee harm?
We'll lay thee gently in the sun,
And breathe on thee, and keep thee warm;
Perhaps some human kindness still
May make amends for human ill.
We'll take thee in, and nurse thee well,
And save thee from the winter wild,
Till summer fall on field and fell,
And thou shalt be our feathered child,
And tell us all thy pain and wrong
When thou again canst speak in song.
Fear not, nor tremble, little bird,--
We'll use thee kindly now,
And sure there's in a friendly word
An accent even _thou_ shouldst know;
For kindness which the heart doth teach,
Disdaineth all peculiar speech.
'Tis common to the bird, and brute,
To fallen man, to angel bright,
And sweeter 'tis than lonely lute
Heard in the air at night--
Divine and universal toungue,
Whether by bird or spirit sung!
But hark! is that a sound we hear
Come chirping from its throat,--
Faint--short--but weak, and very clear,
And like a little grateful note?
Another? ha--look where it lies,
It shivers--gasps--is still,--it dies!
'Tis dead,--'tis dead! and all our care
Is useless. Now, in vain
The mother's woe doth pierce the air,
Calling her nestling bird again!
All's vain:--the singer's heart is cold,
Its eye is dim,--its fortune told!
A versification of a story in Mrs. Barbauld's "Evenings at home," by
Sneyd Edgeworth, Esq. deserves favourable mention; even the names will
tempt the reader.
There are eleven plates; the frontispiece, "_Little Flora_," from
Boaden, and engraved by Edwards, is a sweet production; and the figures
in "_the Broken Pitcher_," from Gainsborough,[A] are well executed by
H. Robinson. To conclude, we cordially recommend this little volume to
such purchasers as wish to combine simplicity with talent, and the
several beauties of picture and print in their "New Year's Gift," for
 We should like to see a volume of poems written by Wordsworth,
and illustrated by Gainsborough. How delightfully too would a
few of the poet's lines glib off in a Juvenile Annual.
* * * * *
_From the New Edition of "The Antiquary."_
Of the "blue gowns," or king's bedesmen, from whom the character of Edie
Ochiltree was drawn, after giving an account from Martin's "Reliquiae
Divi Sancti Andrae," of an order of beggars in Scotland, supposed to
have descended from the ancient bards, and existing in Scotland in the
seventeenth century, but now extinct, Sir Walter Scott says:--
"The old remembered beggar, even in my own time, like the Baccoch, or
travelling cripple of Ireland, was expected to merit his quarters by
something beyond an exposition of his distresses. He was often a
talkative, facetious fellow, prompt at repartee, and not withheld from
exercising his powers that way by any respect of persons, his patched
cloak giving him the privilege of the ancient jester. To be a _gude
crack_, that is, to possess talents for conversation, was essential
to the trade of a 'puir body' of the more esteemed class; and Burns,
who delighted in the amusement their discourse afforded, seems to have
looked forward with gloomy firmness to the possibility of himself
becoming one day or other a member of their itinerant society. In his
poetical works, it is alluded to so often, as perhaps to indicate that
he considered the consummation as not utterly impossible. Thus, in the
fine dedication of his works to Gavin Hamilton, he says--
"And when I downa yoke a naig,
Then, Lord be thankit, I can beg."
Again, in his Epistle to Davie, a brother poet, he states, that in their
"The last o't, the warst o't,
Is only just to beg."
And after having remarked, that
"To lie in kilns and barns at e'en,
When banes are crazed and blude is thin,
Is doubtless great distress;"
the bard reckons up, with true poetical spirit, the free enjoyment
of the beauties of nature, which might counterbalance the hardship
and uncertainty of the life even of a mendicant. In one of his prose
letters, to which I have lost the reference, he details this idea yet
more seriously, and dwells upon it, as not ill adapted to his habits
"As the life of a Scottish mendicant of the eighteenth century, seems to
have been contemplated without much horror by Robert Burns, the author
can hardly have erred in giving to Edie Ochiltree something of poetical
character and personal dignity, above the more abject of his miserable
calling. The class had, in fact, some privileges. A lodging, such as it
was, was readily granted to them in some of the outhouses, and the usual
_awmous_ (alms) of a handful of meal (called a _gowpen_) was
scarce denied by the poorest cottager. The mendicant disposed of these,
according to their different quality, in various bags around his person,
and thus carried about with him the principal part of his sustenance,
which he literally received for the asking. At the houses of the gentry,
his cheer was mended by scraps of broken meat, and perhaps a Scottish
'twal-penny,' or English penny, which was expended in snuff or whisky.
In fact, these indolent peripatetics suffered much less real hardship
and want of food, than the poor peasants from whom they received alms.
"If, in addition to his personal qualifications, the mendicant chanced
to be a King's Bedesman, or Blue Gown, he belonged, in virtue thereof,
to the aristocracy of his order, and was esteemed a person of great
An extract then follows from an account of payments to "Blew Gownis," by
Sir Robert Melvill, of Murdocarney, treasurer-depute of King James VI.,
furnished to the author of "Waverley," by an officer of the Register
House; after which Sir Walter proceeds as follows:--
"I have only to add, that although the institution of King's Bedesmen
still subsists, they are now seldom to be seen in the streets of
Edinburgh, of which their peculiar dress made them rather a
"Having thus given an account of the genus and species to which Edie
Ochiltree appertains, the author may add, that the individual he had
in his eye was Andrew Gemmells, an old mendicant of the character
described, who was many years since well known, and must still be
remembered, in the vales of Gala, Tweed, Ettrick, Yarrow, and the
"The author has in his youth repeatedly seen and conversed with Andrew,
but cannot recollect whether he held the rank of Blue Gown. He was a
remarkably fine old figure, very tall, and maintaining a soldier-like,
or military manner and address. His features were intelligent, with a
powerful expression of sarcasm. His motions were always so graceful,
that he might almost have been suspected of having studied them; for
he might, on any occasion, have served as a model for an artist, so
remarkably striking were his ordinary attitudes. Andrew Gemmells had
little of the cant of his calling; his wants were food and shelter, or a
trifle of money, which he always claimed, and seemed to receive, as his
due. He sang a good song, told a good story, and could crack a severe
jest with all the acumen of Shakspeare's jesters, though without using,
like them, the cloak of insanity. It was some fear of Andrew's satire,
as much as a feeling of kindness or charity, which secured him the
general good reception which he enjoyed every where. In fact, a jest of
Andrew Gemmells, especially at the expense of a person of consequence,
flew round the circle which he frequented, as surely as the bon-mot of
a man of established character for wit glides through the fashionable
world. Many of his good things are held in remembrance, but are
generally too local and personal to be introduced here.
"Andrew had a character peculiar to himself among his tribe, for aught
I ever heard. He was ready and willing to play at cards or dice with
any one who desired such amusement. This was more in the character of
the Irish itinerant gambler, called in that country a _carrow_,
than of the Scottish beggar. But the late Reverend Doctor Robert Douglas,
minister of Galashiels, assured the author, that the last time he saw
Andrew Gemmells, he was engaged in a game at brag with a gentleman of
fortune, distinction, and birth. To preserve the due gradations of rank,
the party was made at an open window of the chateau, the laird sitting
on his chair in the inside, the beggar on a stool in the yard; and they
played on the window-sill. The stake was a considerable parcel of
silver. The author expressing some surprise, Dr. Douglas observed, that
the laird was no doubt a humorist or original; but that many decent
persons in those times would, like him, have thought there was nothing
extraordinary in passing an hour, either in card-playing or
conversation, with Andrew Gemmells.
"This singular mendicant had generally, or was supposed to have, as much
money about his person, as would have been thought the value of his life
among modern footpads. On one occasion, a country gentleman, generally
esteemed a very narrow man, happening to meet Andrew, expressed great
regret that he had no silver in his pocket, or he would have given him
sixpence:--'I can give you change for a note laird,' replied Andrew.
"Like most who have arisen to the head of their profession, the modern
degradation which mendicity has undergone was often the subject of
Andrew's lamentations. As a trade, he said, it was forty pounds a year
worse since he had first practised it. On another occasion he observed,
begging was in modern times scarcely the profession of a gentleman, and
that if he had twenty sons, he would not easily be induced to breed one
of them up in his own line. When or where this _laudator temporis
acti_ closed his wanderings, the author never heard with certainty;
but most probably, as Burns says--
"----he died a cadger-powny's death
At some dike side."
"The author may add another picture of the same kind as Edie Ochiltree
and Andrew Gemmells; considering these illustrations as a sort of
gallery, open to the reception of any thing which may elucidate former
manners, or amuse the reader.
"The author's contemporaries at the university of Edinburgh will
probably remember the thin wasted form of a venerable old Bedesman, who
stood by the Potter-row Port, now demolished; and, without speaking a
syllable, gently inclined his head, and offered his hat, but with the
least possible Degree of urgency, towards each individual who passed.
This man gained, by silence and the extenuated and wasted appearance of
a palmer from a remote country, the same tribute which was yielded to
Andrew Gemmells's sarcastic humour and stately deportment. He was
understood to be able to maintain a son a student in the theological
classics of the University, at the gate of which the father was a
mendicant. The young man was modest and inclined to learning, so that a
student of the same age, and whose parents were rather of the lower
order, moved by seeing him excluded from the society of other scholars
when the secret of his birth was suspected, endeavoured to console him
by offering him some occasional civilities. The old mendicant was
grateful for this attention to his son, and one day, as the friendly
student passed, he stooped forward more than usual, as if to intercept
his passage. The scholar drew out a halfpenny, which he concluded was
the beggar's object, when he was surprised to receive his thanks for the
kindness he had shown to Jemmie, and at the same time a cordial
invitation to dine with them next Sunday, 'on a shoulder of mutton and
potatoes,' adding, 'ye'll put on your clean sark, as I have company.'
The student was strongly tempted to accept of this hospitable proposal,
as many in his place would probably have done; but as the motive might
have been capable of misrepresentation, he thought it most prudent,
considering the character and circumstances of the old man, to decline
"Such are a few traits of Scottish mendicity, designed to throw light on
a novel in which a character of that description plays a prominent part.
We conclude, that we have vindicated Edie Ochiltree's right to the
importance assigned him; and have shown, that we have known one beggar
take a hand at cards with a person of distinction, and another give
The curious reader who is anxious to pursue the character still further,
will be gratified with "a few particulars with which his biographer
appears to be unacquainted,"--by a Correspondent of the _Literary
Gazette_, No. 664.
* * * * *
Poor Dr. Sheridan, in an unguarded moment, but in as guiltless a spirit
as characterized the Vicar of Wakefield, chose for his text, upon the
anniversary of the succession of the House of Hanover, "Sufficient for
the day is the evil thereof." Although the sermon did not contain a
single political allusion that could have caused uneasiness, or should
have given offence, yet it was recorded in judgment against him, and
obstructed his preferment ever after.--_Southey's Colloquies_.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE AMERICAN ALOE.
An American Aloe (_Agave Americana_) is one of the most superb
exhibitions in the whole vegetable kingdom. The plant, when vigorous,
rises upwards of twenty feet high, and branches out on every side,
forming a kind of pyramid, of greenish yellow flowers, in thick clusters
at every joint. We often meet with the aloe in our conservatories, and
it has been known to flourish in the open air. A Correspondent of the
_Gardener's Magazine_, writing from Gwrich Castle, Abergelay,
Denbighshire, tells us that "about eight years back he pulled down one
of his hot-houses, in which stood a large American Aloe, known to be 68
years of age. It was in a box about two feet square, and the plant was
so large that he determined not to put it in the new house then
building; it was, in consequence, placed alongside the south wall in the
corner (not expecting it to live,) where it has been ever since, never
having been watered in summer, nor matted nor attended to in winter, and
it is now as vigorous and as healthy (if not more so) than before. The
box was not buried in the ground, and is now falling to pieces. The
garden is about 100 yards from the sea."
It is no fable that the Aloe grows about a hundred years (a few more or
less) before it blooms; and, after yielding its seed, the stem withers
and dies. If we remember right, a beautiful specimen in full bloom, was
exhibited three or four years since at the Argyll Rooms, in Regent
It may be as well to mention that the sharp-pointed leaves have been
known to inflict serious injury. In the _Lancet_, No. 313, vol.
ii., a case is recorded of a young gardener, who whilst watering some
plants in a gentleman's garden, at Camberwell, accidentally struck his
hand against an aloe plant, one of the prickles of which passed into the
last joint of his lefthand little finger; he regarded the circumstance
at the time as but of trifling consequence, on account of its causing
him but slight inconvenience; neither were the effects worth notice
until two days after the accident, when the part put on a white
appearance, and the finger became very stiff, swollen, and painful;
these symptoms increased, and by the following morning the whole hand
and arm, as far as the elbow, had attained an exceedingly large size.
After suffering about two months, the poor fellow was removed into St.
Thomas's Hospital, where the diseased arm was amputated by Mr. Travers,
and the patient soon recovered his accustomed good health.
* * * * *
In those districts where moles abound, it may be remarked that
some of the mole-hills are considerably larger than others. When
a hill of enlarged dimensions is thus discovered, we may be almost
certain of finding the nest, or den of the mole near it, by digging
to a sufficient depth. The fur of the mole is admirably adapted from
its softness and short close texture for defending the animal from
subterraneous damp, which is always injurious, more or less to
non-amphibious animals; and in this climate, no choice of situation
could entirely guard against it. It is a singular fact that there are
no moles in Ireland. May not the dampness of the climate account for
their not thriving there?--_Edinburgh Lit. Gaz._
* * * * *
CHANGES IN ANIMALS.
All domestic mammiferous animals introduced into America have become
more numerous than the indigenous animals. The hog multiplies very
rapidly, and assumes much of the character of the wild boar. Cows did
not at first thrive, but, in St. Domingo, only twenty-seven years after
its first discovery, 4,000 in a herd was not uncommon, and some herds of
8,000 are mentioned. In 1587, this island exported 35,444 hides, and New
Grenada 64,350. Cows never thrive nor multiply where salt is wanting
either in the plants or in the water. They give less milk in America,
and do not give milk at all if the calves be taken from them. Among
horses the colts have all the amble, as those in Europe have the trot:
this is probably a hereditary effect. Bright chestnut is the prevailing
colour among the wild horses. The lambs which are not from _merinos_,
but the _tana basta _and _burda_ of the Spaniards, at first are covered
with wool, and when this is timely shorn, it grows again; if the proper
time is allowed to elapse, the wool falls off, and is succeeded by
short, shining, close hair, like that of the goat in the same climate.
Every animal, it would appear, like man, requires time to accustom
itself to climate.
* * * * *
THE GREAT AMERICAN BITTERN.
A most interesting and remarkable circumstance we learn from the
_Magazine of Natural History_, attends the great American Bittern;
it is that it has the power of emitting a light from its breast equal to
the light of a common torch, which illuminates the water so as to enable
it to discover its prey. As this circumstance is not mentioned by any
naturalist, the correspondent of the journal in question, took every
precaution to determine, as he has done, the truth of it.
* * * * *
Notes of a Reader.
* * * * *
BRITISH SEA SONGS.
One of our earliest naval ballads is derived from the Pepys Collection,
and is supposed to have been written in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
It records the events of a sea-fight in the reign of Henry the Eighth,
between Lord Howard and Sir Andrew Barton, a Scotch pirate; and it is
rendered curious by the picture it presents of naval engagements in
those days, and by a singular fact which transpires in the course of
the details; namely, that the then maritime force of England consisted
of only _two ships of war_. In Percy's "Reliques of Ancient
Poetry," there is another old marine ballad, called the "Winning of
_Cales_," a name which our sailors had given to Cadiz. This affair
took place in June, 1596; but the description of it in the old song
presents nothing peculiar, or worthy of attention as regards naval
manners. From this period, I cannot at present call to mind any sea song
of importance till Gay's "Black-eyed Susan," which, you know, has
maintained its popularity to the present hour, and which deserves to
have done so, no less on account of the beauty of the verses, than of
the pathetic air in the minor to which they are set. This was, at no
great length of time, succeeded by Stevens's "Storm," a song which, I
believe you will all allow, stands deservedly at the head of the lyrics
of the deep. The words are nautically correct, the music is of a manly
and original character, and the subject-matter is one of the most
interesting of the many striking incidents common to sea-life. These
fine ballads, if I mistake not, were succeeded by one or two popular
songs, with music by Dr. Arne; then came those of Dibdin, which were in
their turn followed by a host of compositions, distinguished more by the
strenuous, robust character of the music, than by poetical excellence,
or professional accuracy in the words. The songs in which the words
happened to be vigorous and true--(such, for example, as Cowper's noble
ballad called the "Castaway," and the "Loss of the Royal George,") were
not set to music; but the powers of Shield, Davy, and others, were
wasted on verses unworthy of their compositions. Among these, the
foremost in excellence is the "Arethusa," a composition on which the
singing of Incledon, and the bold, reckless, original John-Bull-like
character of the air by Shield, or ascribed to him, have fixed a high
reputation. Davy's "Bay of Biscay," deserves its popularity; and the
"Sailor Boy," "The Old Commodore," and one or two other melodies by
Reeve, (who, though not much of a musician, was an admirable melodist,)
abound also in the qualities which I have already alluded to, as
peculiar to the national music adapted to sea songs.--_Blackwood's
* * * * *
MAKING A BOOK.
Lady Morgan gives the following process by which her "Book of the
Boudoir" was manufactured: "While the fourth volume of the O'Briens,"
says her ladyship, "was going through the press, Mr. Colburn was
sufficiently pleased with the subscription (as it is called in the
trade) to the first edition, to desire a new work from the author. I was
just setting off for Ireland, the horses _literally_ putting to,
[how curious!] when Mr. Colburn arrived with his flattering proposition.
[How _apropos_!] I could not enter into any future engagement; [how
awkward!] and Mr. Colburn taking up a scrabby MS. volume which the
servant was about to thrust into the pocket of the carriage, asked,
'What was that?' [How touchingly simple!] I said it was 'one of many
volumes of odds and ends _de omnibus rebus_;' and I read him the
last entry I had made the night before, on my return from the opera.
[How very obliging, considering that the horses were _literally_
put to!] 'This is the very thing!' said the 'European publisher;' [how
charming! and yet how droll!] and if the public is of the same opinion,
I shall have nothing to regret in thus coming, though somewhat in
_dishabille_, before its tribunal."
* * * * *
Dr. Southey's opinion on apparitions deserves to be carried to the
controversial account of this ever-interesting question:--"My serious
belief amounts to this, that preternatural impressions are sometimes
communicated to us for wise purposes; and that departed spirits are
sometimes permitted to manifest themselves."--_Colloquies_.
* * * * *
THE FEUDAL SYSTEM.
The system of servitude, which prevailed in the earlier periods of our
history was not of that unmitigated character that may be supposed. "No
man in those days could prey upon society, unless he were at war with it
as an outlaw--a proclaimed and open enemy. Rude as the laws were, the
purposes of law had not then been perverted;--it had not been made a
craft;--it served to deter men from committing crimes, or to punish them
for the commission;--never to shield notorious, acknowledged, impudent
guilt, from condign punishment. And in the fabric of society, imperfect
as it was, the outline and rudiments of what it ought to be were
distinctly marked in some main parts, where they are now wellnigh
utterly effaced. Every person had his place. There was a system of
superintendence everywhere, civil as well us religious. They who were
born in villainage, were born to an inheritance of labour, but not of
inevitable depravity and wretchedness. If one class were regarded in
some respects as cattle, they were at least taken care of; they were
trained, fed, sheltered, and protected; and there was an eye upon them
when they strayed. None were wild, unless they were wild wilfully, and
in defiance of control. None were beneath the notice of the priest, nor
placed out of the possible reach of his instruction and his care. But
how large a part of your population are, like the dogs of Lisbon and
Constantinople, unowned, unbroken to any useful purpose, subsisting by
chance or by prey; living in filth, mischief, and wretchedness; a
nuisance to the community while they live, and dying miserably at
* * * * *
THE STEAM BOAT ILLUSTRATED.
_By one of "the Islington, Gray's Inn Lane, and New Road Grand
Literary, Scientific, and Philosophical Institution._
How wondrous is the science of mechanism! how variegated its progeny,
how simple, yet how compound! I am propelled to the consideration of
this subject by having optically perceived that ingenious nautical
instrument, which has just now flown along like a mammoth, that monster
of the deep! You ask me how are steam-boats propagated? in other words,
how is such an infinite and immovable body inveigled along its course? I
will explain it to you. It is by the power of friction; that is to say,
the two wheels, or paddles turning diametrically, or at the same moment,
on their axioms, and repressing by the rotundity of their motion the
action of the menstruum in which the machine floats,--water being, in
a philosophical sense, a powerful non-conductor,--it is clear, that in
proportion as is the revulsion so is the progression; and as is the
centrifugal force, so is the--."
"Pooh!" cried Uncle John, "let us have some music."
_New Monthly Magazine._
* * * * *
LAWS FOR THE POOR.
Every civilized state in the world, except Ireland, has prevented the
extortion of the landlords, by institutions, either springing from the
nature of society, or established by positive legal enactments.
In Austria, great exertions are made for the poor.--Vide "Reisbeck's
Travels through Germany," p. 79; and "Este's Journey," p. 337.
In Bavaria, there are laws obliging each community to maintain its own
poor.--Vide "Count Rumford's Establishment of Poor in Bavaria," chap. 1.
In Protestant Germany they are even better provided for.--Vide
"Henderson's Tour in Germany," p. 74.
In Russia, the aged and infirm are provided with food and raiment by
law, at the expense of the owner of the estate.--"Clarke's Travels in
Russia." For others who may want, there is a college of provision in
each government.--"Took's Russian Empire," vol. ii. p. 181.
In Livonia and Poland, the lord is bound by law to provide for the
serf.--Vide "Bavarian Transactions," vol. iii.
In Northern Italy and Sicily, the crop is equally divided between
landlord and tenant.--Vide "Sismondi's Italy." And the revenues of the
church support the poor.
In imperial France, though the land had been divided by an Agrarian law,
and cultivated, yet the Octroi, with other revenues, were devoted to the
In Hungary, though feudal slavery gives an interest to the lord of the
soil in the life of his serf, yet the law insists upon the provision of
food, raiment and shelter. In Switzerland, though the Agrarian law is in
force, and the governments purchase corn to keep down the retail prices,
yet there is a provision for the poor.--Vide "Sismondi's Switzerland,"
vol. 1. p. 452. In Norway there is a provision for the poor.--Clarke's
"Scandinavia," p. 637.
In Sweden, the most moral country in the world, the poor are maintained
in the same manner as in England; a portion of the parochial assessment
is devoted by law to education.--James's "Tour through Sweden," p. 105.
In Flanders there are permanent funds, &c. for the sustentation of the
poor. Vide Radcliff's "Report on the Agriculture of Flanders." And there
are in the Netherlands seven great workhouses.
The Dutch poor laws do not differ much from our own.---Vide Macfarlan's
"Inquiries concerning the Poor," p. 218.
Even in Iceland, there is a provision for the poor.--Vide Han's
"Iceland." Also in Denmark.--Vide p. 292, Jacob's "Tracts on the Corn
Laws." In America there are poor laws.--Vide Dr. Dwight's "Travels,"
vol. iv. p. 326. In Scotland the English system is rapidly extending;
and where the poor laws are not introduced, there are a great many of
the miseries which are found in Ireland.--Vide "Evidence of A. Nimmo,
Esq. before the Lords' Committee on Ireland, 1824." This gentleman
thinks, that if they had been earlier introduced, Scotland would be now
a richer country. He also states, that the average expense of supporting
idle mendicants in Ireland, exceeds one million and a half annually, by
the contribution of more than a ton of potatoes from each farm house, to
encourage a system of licentious idleness, profligacy, insolence, and
plunder; and the grand jury presentments amount annually to a
* * * * *
In Turkey, nailing by the ears is an operation performed on bakers, for
selling light bread. There is a hole cut in the door for the back of
the culprit's head; the ears are then nailed to the panel; he is left
in this position till sunset, then released; and seldom sustains any
permanent injury from the punishment, except in his reputation. Perjury
is an offence which is so little thought of, that it is visited with
the mildest of all their punishments. The offender is set upon an ass,
with his face to the tail, and a label on his back, with the term
_scheat_ or perjurer. In this way he is led about to the great
amusement of the multitude, and even of his associates.
* * * * *
Linnaeus long retained an unpleasant recollection of his school days;
it is common to call this period of human life, a happy one, but that
existence must have been very wretched, of which, the time passed at
school has been the happiest part; it is sufficiently apparent even
to superficial observers that the mind cannot, in early life, be
sufficiently matured for high enjoyment; the most exquisite of our
pleasures, are intellectual, and cannot be relished until the mental
faculties have been cultivated and expanded.--_Clayton's Sketches
 He was sent at the age of ten years to a school at Wexin,
the master of which was so severe as entirely to destroy his
spirits, and repress the early indications of his extraordinary
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE
* * * * *
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A LANDAULET!
I dined one day at a bachelor's dinner in Lincoln's Inn-fields, and my
wife having no engagement that evening, I gave my coachman a half
holiday, and when he had set me down, desired him to put up his horses,
as I should return home in a jarvey. At eleven, my conveyance arrived;
the steps were let down, and, when down, they slanted under the body of
the carriage; my foot slipped from the lowest step, and I grazed my shin
against the second; but at last I surmounted the difficulty, and seating
myself, sank back upon the musty, fusty, ill-savoured squabs of the
I was about to undertake a very formidable journey; I lived in the
Regent's Park; and as the horses that now drew me had been worked hard
during the day, it seemed probable that some hours would elapse before I
could reach my own door. Off they went, however; the coachman urged them
on with whip and tongue: the body of the jarvey swung to and fro; the
glasses shook and clattered; the straw on the floor felt damp, and rain
water oozed through the roof, (for it was a landaulet). I felt chilled,
and drew up the front window, at least I drew up the frame; but as it
contained no glass, I was not the warmer for my pains; so I wrapped my
cloak around me, and rather sulkily sank into a reverie. The vehicle
still continued to rumble, and rattle, and shake, and squeak; I fell
into a doze, caused by some fatigue and much claret, and gradually these
sounds seemed to soften into a voice! I distinguished intelligible
accents! I listened attentively to the low murmurs, and distinctly I
heard, and treasured in my memory, what appeared to me to be the "Lament
of the Landaulet!"
The poor _body_ seemed to sigh, and the wheels became _spokesmen_!
"I am about fifteen years of age," (thus squeaked my equipage); "I was
born in Long Acre, the birthplace of the aristocracy of my race, and
Messrs. Houlditch were my parents.
"No four-wheeled carriage could possibly have entered upon life with
brighter prospects; it is, alas! my hard lot to detail the vicissitudes
that rendered me what I am.
"I was ordered by an earl, who was on the point of marriage with an
heiress, and I was fitted up in the most expensive style. My complexion
was pale yellow; on my sides I had coronets and supporters; my inside
was soft and comfortable; my rumble behind was satisfactory; and my
dicky was perfection, and provided with a hammercloth. My boots were
capacious, my pockets were ample, and my leathers in good condition.
"When I stood at the earl's door on the morning of his marriage, it was
admitted by all who beheld me, that a neater _turn-out_ had never
left Long Acre. Lightly did my noble possessor press my cushions, as I
wafted him to St. George's Church, Hanover Square; and when the ceremony
was over, and the happy pair sat side by side within me, the earl kissed
the lips of his countess, and I felt proud, not of the rank and wealth
of my contents, but because they were contented and happy.
"Oh, how merrily my wheels whirled in those days! I bore my possessors
to their country-seat; I flew about the county returning wedding visits;
I went to races, with sandwiches and champagne in my pockets; and I
spent many a long night in the inn-yard, while my lord and lady were
presiding at county assemblies.
"Mine was a life of sunshine and smiles. But ladies are capricious: the
countess suddenly discovered that I was heavy. Now, if she wished me to
be light-headed, why did she order a landaulet? She declared, too, that
I was unfit for town service; gave new orders to Houlditch; took
possession of a chariot fashioned eight months later than myself; sent
me to Long Acre to be disposed of, and I became a secondhand article!
"My humiliation happened at an unlucky moment, for continual racketing
in the country had quite unhinged me; I required bracing, and had quite
lost my colour. My paternal relation, however, (Houlditch), undertook my
repair, and I was very soon exhibited painted green, and ticketed, 'For
"It was now the month of May, when all persons of the smallest
fashionable pretensions shun their country abodes and come to London,
that they may escape the first fragrance of the flowers, the first song
of the birds, the budding beauty of the forests and the fresh verdure of
the fields. I therefore felt (as young unmarried ladies feel at the
commencement of the season) that there was every chance of my finding a
lord and master, and becoming a prominent ornament of his establishment.
"After standing for a month at Houlditch's, (who, by the by, was not
over-civil to his own child, but made a great favour of giving me
house-room), I one day found myself scrutinized by a gentleman of very
fashionable appearance. He was in immediate want of a carriage; I was,
fortunately, exactly the sort of carriage he required, and in a quarter
of an hour the transfer was arranged.
"The gentleman was on the point of running away with a young lady;
_he_ was attached to _her_, four horses were attached to
_me_, and I was in waiting at the corner of Grosvenor Street at
midnight. I thought myself a fortunate vehicle; I anticipated another
marriage, another matrimonial trip, another honeymoon. Alas! my present
trip was not calculated to add to my respectability. My owner, who was a
military man, was at his post at the appointed time: he seemed hurried
and agitated; frequently looked at his watch; paced rapidly before one
of the houses, and continually looked towards the drawing-room windows.
At length a light appeared, the window was opened, and a female, muffled
in a cloak and veil, stood on the balcony; she leaned anxiously forward;
he spoke, and without replying she re-entered the room. The street-door
opened, and a brisk little waiting-maid came out with some bundles,
which she deposited in the carriage: the captain (for such was his rank)
had entered the hall, and he now returned, bearing in his arms a
fainting, weeping woman; he placed her by his side in the carriage: my
rumble was instantly occupied by the waiting-maid and my master's man,
and we drove off rapidly towards Brighton.
"The captain was a man of fashion; handsome, insinuating, profligate,
and unfeeling. The lady--it is painful to speak of her: what she
_had_ been, she could never more be; and what she then was, she
herself had yet to learn. She had been the darling pet daughter of a
rich old man; and a dissipated nobleman had married her for her money
when she was only sixteen. She had been accustomed to have every wish
gratified by her doting parent; she now found herself neglected and
insulted by her husband. Her father could not bear to see his darling's
once-smiling face grow pale and sad, and he died two years after her
marriage. She plunged into the whirlpool of dissipation, and tasted the
rank poisons which are so often sought as the remedies for a sad heart.
From folly she ran to imprudence; from imprudence to guilt;--and was
the runaway wife happier than she who once suffered unmerited ill-usage
at home? Time will show.
"At Brighton, my wheels rattled along the cliffs as briskly and as
loudly as the noblest equipage there; but no female turned a glance of
recognition towards my windows, and the eyes of former friends were
studiously averted. I bore my lady through the streets, and I waited for
her now and then at the door of the theatre; but at gates of
respectability, at balls, and at assemblies, I, alas! was never
'called,' and never 'stopped the way.' Like a disabled soldier, I ceased
to bear _arms_, and I was _crest_-fallen!
"This could not last: my mistress could little brook contempt,
especially when she felt it to be deserved; her cheek lost its bloom,
her eye its lustre; and when her beauty became less brilliant, she no
longer possessed the only attraction which had made the captain her
lover. He grew weary of her, soon took occasion to quarrel with her, and
she was left without friends, without income, and without character.
I was at length torn from her: it nearly broke my springs to part with
her; but I was despatched to the bazaar in London, and saw no more of
(_To be continued_.)
* * * * *
It is well that hard words break no bones, else two or three gentlemen
of literary notoriety would be in a sorry plight after reading the
following passage in a recent _Magazine_. We stand by, and like
the fellow in the play, bite our thumb:--
"Surely, surely, all men, women, and children, not cursed with the
fatuity that would become a vice-president of the Phrenological Society,
must by this time be about heartsick of what are called Novels of
Fashionable Life. Only two men of any pretensions to superiority of
talent have had part in the uproarious manufacture of this ware, that
has been dinned in our ears by trumpet after trumpet, during the last
six or seven years. Mr. Theodore Hook began the business--a man of such
strong native sense and thorough knowledge of the world as it is, that
we cannot doubt the _coxcombry_ which has drawn so much derision on his
_sayings_ and _doings_ was all, to use a phrase which he himself has
brought into fashion, _humbug_. He could not cast his keen eyes over any
considerable circle of society in this country, without perceiving the
melancholy fact, that the British nation labours under a universal mania
for gentility--all the world hurrying and bustling in the same idle
chase--good honest squires and baronets, with pedigrees of a thousand
years, and estates of ten thousand acres--ay, and even noble lords--yea,
the noblest of the noble themselves (or at least their ladies), rendered
fidgety and uncomfortable by the circumstance of their not somehow or
other belonging to one particular little circle in London. Comely
round-paunched parsons and squireens, again, all over the land, eating
the bread of bitterness, and drinking the waters of sorrow, because
they are, or think they are, tipt the cold shoulder by these same
honest squires and baronets, &c. &c. &c. who, excluded from Almack's,
in their own fair turn and rural sphere enact nevertheless, with much
success, the part of _exclusives_--and so downwards--down to the very
verge of dirty linen. The obvious facility of practising lucratively
on this prevailing folly--of raising 700_l_., 1000_l_., or 1500_l_.
per _series_, merely by cramming the mouths of the asinine with
mock-majestic details of fine life--this found favour with an indolent
no less than sagacious humorist; and the fatal example was set. Hence
the vile and most vulgar pawings of such miserables as Messrs. Vivian
Grey and "The Roue"--creatures who betray in every page, which they
stuff full of Marquess and My Lady, that their own manners are as gross
as they make it their boast to show their morals. Hence, some two or
three pegs higher, and not more, are such very very fine scoundrels
as the Pelhams, &c.; shallow, watery-brained, ill-taught, effeminate
dandies--animals destitute apparently of one touch of real manhood,
or of real passion--cold, systematic, deliberate debauchees,
withal--seducers, God wot! and duellists, and, above all, philosophers!
How could any human being be gulled by such flimsy devices as these?
"These gentry form a sort of cross between the Theodorian breed of novel
and the Wardish--the extravagantly overrated--the heavy, imbecile,
pointless, but still well-written, sensible, and, we may even add, not
disagreeable, Tremaine and De Vere. The second of these books was a mere
_rifacimento_ of the first; and, fortunately for what remained of
his reputation, Mr. Robert Ward has made no third attempt. He has much
to answer for; _e.g._ if we were called upon to point out the most
disgusting abomination to be found in the whole range of contemporary
literature, we have no hesitation in saying we should feel it our duty
to lay our finger on the Bolingbroke-_Balaam_ of that last and
worst of an insufferable charlatan's productions."--_Devereux_.
* * * * *
BRUSSELS IN 1829.
For the education of youth of both sexes, Brussels is one of the best
stations on the continent, and is a good temporary residence for
Englishmen whose means are limited. The country is plentiful, and
consequently every article of living moderate. It is near England, the
government is mild, and there is no restraint in importing English
books, though their own press is any thing but free.
The population of Brussels is rated at nearly 100,000, of which
above 20,000 are paupers, supported by the government and voluntary
contributions. The population is rapidly increasing. The number of
foreigners in the winter of 1828 was between seven and eight thousand,
of which half the number were English. Many families settle for a
season, and take their flight south, or return home in June; but the
greatest number are stationary for the education of their children. An
English clergyman, formerly a teacher at Harrow, has an establishment
for boys, well conducted, and the expense does not exceed fifty guineas
a year. There are several seminaries for girls, also superintended by
Englishwomen, with French teachers. Masters in every department are
excellent, so that few places afford better schools for education.
The air in the upper part of the city is salubrious, and the climate,
perhaps, better on the whole than England; but the winters are sharper,
and the summers hotter; fogs are less frequent, and the spring generally
sets in a fortnight earlier than in any part of Great Britain.
Our countrymen will be disappointed who settle in Brussels as a place of
amusement, for no capital can be more dull; and the natives are not
ready of access, which is probably as much the fault of their visitors
as themselves. As a station for economy, it can be highly recommended,
provided no trust is put in servants, and every thing is paid for with
ready money. The writer of this article resided in Brussels for a dozen
years, and he knows this from experience. If an establishment, large
or small, is well regulated, a saving of fifty per cent, may be made,
certainly, in housekeeping, compared with London. House-rent is dearer
in proportion with other articles of living, and the taxes are daily
augmenting. The horse-tax is more than double that of England; and the
king of the Netherlands can boast that he is the only sovereign in
Europe who has a tax on female labour. William Pitt attempted a similar
measure, but was mobbed by the housemaids, and abandoned it.--_New
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
CURIOUS DISCOVERY OF A ROBBERY.
Lysons in his "Environs of London," says, "In a room adjoining to the
south-side of the saloon, in the manor-house, at Charlton, in Kent, is
a chimney-piece, with a slab of black marble so finely polished, that
Lord Downe is said to have seen in it a robbery committed on Blackheath;
the tradition adds, that he sent out his servants, who apprehended the
thieves." Dr. Plot makes the story more marvellous, by laying the scene
of the robbery at Shooter's Hill; he also says, "Thus in a chimney-piece
at Beauvoir Castle, might be seen the city and cathedral of Lincoln, and
in another at Wilton, the city and cathedral of Sarum."
* * * * *
A tyro interrogating a classical wag on the labours and sufferings of
Homer, was shown the Iliad, and told that it was composed under great
deprivation. Pointing to the edition, he inquired, if that was all the
Iliad; to which he received as answer, that that was not all the _ill
he had_, as Homer was obliged to _sing it_, to procure a little
* * * * *
Young Sloeleaves vaunting he could trace
His line to Julius Caesar,
Was _gall'd_ to hear a wag exclaim,
"The _Celtae_, if you please, Sir!"
Q IN THE CORNER.
* * * * *
_Inscription over the Hive public-house, in Snargate Street, Dovor._
Within this Hive
We're all alive,
Good liquors make us funny,
If you are dry,
Step in and try
The flavour of our honey.
* * * * *
SOVEREIGNS AND GUINEAS,
_And the reigns in which they have been coined_.
First Sovereigns ... Henry VII ... 1485
Ditto, and half ... Henry VIII ... 1509
Ditto, ditto ... Edward VI ... 1546
Ditto, ditto ... Mary ... 1553
Ditto, ditto ... Philip & Mary ... 1554
Ditto, ditto ... Elizabeth ... 1558
Ditto, ditto ... James I ... 1603
Ditto, ditto ... Charles I ... 1625
Ditto, ditto ... Commonwealth ... 1648
Ditto, ditto ... Oliver Cromwell 1650
Guineas ... Charles II ... 1660
5l. piece, 2l. do. Guinea and half ditto ... James II ... 1684
Ditto, ditto ... Will. and Mary... 1688
Ditto, ditto ... William ... 1694
Ditto, ditto, and a quarter guinea ... Anne ... 1702
Ditto, ditto ... George I ... 1725
Ditto, ditto, but no quar. guineas ... George II ... 1726
Guineas, half do. Quarter ditto, 2 guinea
piece, 5 guinea ditto ... George III ... 1760
Dble. Sovereign Sovereign, half ditto ... George IV ... 1820
* * * * *
EPIGRAMS ON THE FEES DEMANDED FOR SEEING WESTMINSTER ABBEY.
Dame Godly desired the Abbey to view,
Admittance, one sixpence, demanded the clerk,
Which modest request in astonishment wrapt her,
How long will you such imposition pursue?
Faith ma'am, as to that we are left in the dark,
But I think, for my part, to the _end_ of the _Chapter_.
 The Dean and Chapter of Westminster are supposed to receive
the money paid for seeing the Abbey.
* * * * *
Down with your cash, the Verger cries,
How mean'st thou this? John Bull replies,
What law protects th' extortion?
Stop, gentle friend--what's law to us?
The law's your own--so make no fuss,
The _profits_ are _our_ portion.
* * * * *
Poets and prophets 'mongst the ancient Romans
Were deemed the same, and this our pockets rue,
For on _this_ creed is built our sacred showman's,
Who has his _poets_ and his _profits_ too.
* * * * *
EPITAPH IN BRENTWOOD CHURCHYARD, ESSEX.
Here lyes Isaac Greentree.
A wag passing through the churchyard, wrote as follows:--
There is a time when these green trees shall fall,
And Isaac Greentree rise above them all.
* * * * *
GALLOWAYS--WHY PARTICULAR HORSES SO CALLED.
Galloway is a county in Scotland that lies the most to the south and
the nearest to Ireland. This county gives name to a particular breed
of horses of a middling size, which are strong, active, hardy, and
Tradition reports that this kind of horse sprung from some Spanish
stallions, who swam on shore from some of the ships of the famous
Spanish Armada wrecked on the coast.
* * * * *
WARNING TO YOUNG LADIES.
_Intended as an "accompaniment" to a celebrated piece of Music, by
Oh! ladies fair, tho' smooth the air,
I send you now, I pray take care--
Lest "THE LIGHT BARK" be, after all,
Foredoom'd to perish in a _squall!_
* * * * *
ANNUALS FOR 1830.
With the next number of "THE MIRROR," will be published the first
SUPPLEMENTARY SHEET of the
SPIRIT OF THE ANNUALS FOR 1830,
With a fine Engraving from one of the most splendid embellishments
of these popular works. The SUPPLEMENT will contain "the
Amulet"--"Friendship's Offering," and Notices of as many more volumes
as can consistently be brought within the compass of one sheet.
* * * * *
LIMBIRD'S EDITION OF THE
_Following Novels is already Published:_
Mackenzie's Man of Feeling 0 6
Paul and Virginia 0 6
The Castle of Otranto 0 6
Almoran and Hamet 0 6
Elizabeth, or the Exiles of Siberia 0 6
The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne 0 6
Rasselas 0 8
The Old English Baron 0 8
Nature and Art 0 8
Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield 0 10
Sicilian Romance 1 0
The Man of the World 1 0
A Simple Story 1 4
Joseph Andrews 1 6
Humphry Clinker 1 8
The Romance of the Forest 1 8
The Italian 2 0
Zeluco, by Dr. Moore 2 6
Edward, by Dr. Moore 2 6
Roderick Random 2 6
The Mysteries of Udolpho 3 6
Peregrine Pickle 4 6
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