The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, David King, and the Online Distributed
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 14, No. 393.] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
[Illustration: Glammis Castle]
Here is a castellated palace, or princely castle, associated with many
great and daring events in the roll of Scottish history. It stands in
the valley of Strathmore, in a park of 160 acres, a little to the north
of Glammis, a village of Angus, N.B. The original foundation is of high
antiquity; for Malcolm II. was assassinated here in the year 1034, and
the chamber in which he expired is still shown. Two obelisks, one near
the Manse, and the other in a neighbouring field, denote the places
where he was attacked. In this castle also, according to some
historians, Macbeth murdered Duncan. We notice, however, that Sir Walter
Scott, in his recently-published version of the story of Macbeth, states
the murder to have been committed at "a great castle near Inverness," in
which he is corroborated by Baethius, who says, the castle stood upon an
eminence south-east of Inverness. But Fordun says the murder was
perpetrated near Elgin; and others say at Cawdor Castle.
The Castle originally consisted of two rectangular towers, longer than
broad, with walls of fifteen feet in thickness; they were connected by a
square projection, and together formed a figure somewhat like the letter
Z, saving that in the castle all the angles were right ones; this form
gave mutual defence to every part of the building. It contains a spiral
staircase of 143 steps, reaching from the bottom to the top of the
Glammis Castle is still the seat of the Strathmore family. It was given
by Robert I. of Scotland, in the year 1376, with his daughter, to John
Lyon, Lord Glammis, chancellor of Scotland. Great alterations and
additions were made to the building by Patrick, Earl of Strathmore, his
lineal heir and successor: these improvements, according to the above
cited plan, a date carved on a stone on the outside of the building, and
other authorities, were made in the year 1606, and not in 1686, as is
said in an old print engraved about that time, and from which our view
is copied. The architect employed on this occasion, as tradition
reports, was Inigo Jones; indeed, the work seems greatly to resemble
Heriot's Hall at Edinburgh, and other buildings designed by him. The
great hall was finished in the year 1621; it is a handsome room with a
carved ceiling, adorned with heads and ornaments in stucco. Among the
apartments shown to visitors, are a wardrobe containing a curious
collection of old state dresses; the armoury, in which are preserved the
sword and coat of mail of Macbeth, as well as some articles supposed to
have been carried off by Malcolm's murderers, and found in the Loch of
Forfar, during the last century; and the chapel built about 1500, the
furniture of which remains in its original state. Here also are about
one hundred portraits; among which is a large picture, in a carved
frame, representing Earl Patrick and his three sons; in the background
is a view of the castle, as it was in the year 1683. At that time there
were three gates leading from the park. Some idea may be formed of the
extent of this establishment from the circumstance of eighty beds being
made up within the house, for the Pretender and his retinue, during
their sojourn here, besides those for the inferior servants, in the
offices out of doors. The forfeiture of the estate was prevented by the
earl's brother being killed at the head of his regiment on Shiremore.
In the courtyard is shown a stone, on which is engraved a cross and
divers figures, said to allude to the murder of Malcolm, and the death
of the murderers, who attempting to cross the Lake of Forfar, then
slightly frozen over, the ice broke, and they were drowned: this stone
is described and engraved by Mr. Pennant, in his Tour through Scotland.
By way of enlivening these historical data, and as an epigrammatic
conclusion to our description, we subjoin a pleasant little anecdote
related by Sir Walter Scott, of a certain old Earl of Strathmore, who,
in superintending some improvements of the castle, displayed an
eccentric love of uniformity. "The earl and his gardener directed all in
the garden and pleasure-grounds upon the ancient principle of exact
correspondence between the different parts, so that each alley had its
brother--a principle now renounced by gardeners. It chanced once upon a
time that a fellow was caught committing some petty theft, and, being
taken in the manner, was sentenced by the Bailie M'Wheeble of the
jurisdiction to stand for a certain time in the baronial pillory, called
the _jougs_, being a collar and chain attached to the uppermost portal
of the great avenue which led to the castle. The thief was turned over
accordingly to the gardener as the ground officer, to see the punishment
duly inflicted. When the Thane of Glammis returned from his morning
ride, he was surprised to find both sides of the gateway accommodated
each with a prisoner. He asked the gardener, whom he found watching the
place of punishment, as his duty required, whether another delinquent
had been detected? 'No, my lord,' said the gardener, in the tone of a
man excellently well satisfied with himself, 'but I thought the single
fellow looked very awkward standing on one side of the gateway, so I
gave half-a-crown to one of the labourers to stand on the other side
_for uniformity's sake_.'"
* * * * *
LITERARY RECOLLECTIONS OF LONDON.
_(To the Editor of the Mirror.)_
No intellectual enjoyment, in my opinion, can surpass the delight we
experience when traversing those spots of the habitable earth where
celebrated warriors fought, minstrels sang, philosophers pondered, or
where philanthropists have immortalized their names by deeds of charity.
To roam through the romantic vales of Italy--surrounded at all turns by
the sad memorials of its former magnificence--the mighty ruins of its
temples and palaces, and the mutilated remains of its statues and
triumphal columns, conveying to the mind mournful images of the fallen
fates of those who had for ages been its proud possessors; where the
Mantuan bard first caught inspiration from the deathless muse; where
Tully charmed the listening throng, whilst defending with mild
persuasion the arts and the sciences he loved, and condemning in
terrible denunciations the mad ambition that threatened the destruction
of his country; to wander among its groves, and say, here Ovid, in
lonely exile, soothed his sorrows with the melody of his heaven-inspired
strain; here Petrarch wooed his much-loved Laura in sonnets soft as the
affection that gave them birth; here Tasso made history and Jerusalem
immortal by crowning them with the garlands of his Promethean genius;
and here Ariosto, Dante, Metastasio, and a galaxy of poets and
philosophers shed the splendour of their gifted imaginations on the
expiring greatness of their country.
Where is the portion of the civilized globe that has not some delightful
reminiscence connected with it? There is not a country in the world,
even the most barbarous, where the inhabitants will not feel pride and
pleasure in pointing out to your attention some sacred spot ever dear to
their memories: some battle-field or scene of conquest; some warrior's
grave; some monarch's sepulchre, or some chieftain or legislator's
dwelling. And what shall we say of the classic soil of Greece? where the
eye cannot turn, or the foot move to a place which is not eternalized by
its associations: where the waters will not remind you of Castalian
founts; the flowers of Parnassian wreaths; the eminences of the Phocian
hills; and where the air of all breathes inspiration. To a mind prone to
contemplation, a walk through Athens must awaken the most exquisite
reveries. Although "fallen from its high estate," there is enough in the
tottering ruins which yet remain to recall the history of its ancient
grandeur: the shattered Acropolis and the Pyraeus tell the tale of other
days, in language at once pathetic and intelligible--
"_The time has been when they were young and proud,
Banners on high and battles pass'd below_."
The mind must be distracted with the multiplicity of its recollections;
all that is great or good or glorious in our nature, must be identified
with some forcible remembrance; and heroes, poets, statesmen, patriots,
legislators, philosophers, and the historical events connected with
their names, must congregate before us in sublime and touching
similitude. "Alas, poor country!"--On those shores the monuments of
science and of art, which drew admirers from the remotest corners of the
earth, are now demolished by the savage and cowardly slaves of a despot,
who is himself a slave; the eloquence which swayed the passions of
applauding multitudes is dumb; the pencil of Appelles that breathed over
the canvass, and the chisel of Praxiteles that gave life and animation
to shapeless blocks, are now no more; and the all-powerful lyre, whose
sweeping chords would rouse the soul to rage or melt it into pity, is
now, and perhaps FOR EVER, mute and unstrung!
These observations, which you may think too enthusiastic, were elicited
by the perusal of an article in your No. 388, entitled "A Desultory
Chapter on Localities." Your Correspondent states, that "it is needless
to travel to foreign countries in search of localities. In our own
metropolis and its environs a diligent inquirer will find them at every
step." The following Collection will serve to confirm the truth of his
statement, and should you deem it worthy "a local habitation" in your
excellent journal, I doubt not it will prove interesting, if not quite
new to many of your readers.
 Is not this very interesting extract by Leigh Hunt?--We have
not his _Indicator_ at hand for reference.
"In St. Giles' Church lie Chapman, the earliest and best translator of
Homer; and Andrew Marvell, the wit and patriot, whose poverty Charles
II. could not bribe.--Who would suppose that the Borough was the most
classical ground in the metropolis? And yet it is undoubtedly so. The
Globe Theatre was there, of which Shakspeare himself was a proprietor,
and for which he wrote his plays. Globe-lane, in which it stood, is
still extant, we believe, under that name. It is probable that he lived
near it: it is certain that he must have been much there. It is also
certain that on the Borough side of the river, then and still called the
Bank-side, in the same lodging, having the same wardrobe, and some say,
with other participations more remarkable, lived Beaumont and Fletcher.
In the Borough, also, at St. Saviour's, lie Fletcher and Massinger in
one grave; in the same church, under a monument and effigy, lies
Chaucer's contemporary, Gower; and from an inn in the Borough, the
existence of which is still boasted, and the site pointed out by a
picture and inscription, Chaucer set out his pilgrims and himself on
their famous road to Canterbury.
"To return over the water, who would expect any thing poetical from East
Smithfield? Yet there was born the most poetical even of poets, Spenser.
Pope was born within the sound of Bowbell, in a street no less
anti-poetical than Lombard-street. So was Gray, in Cornhill. So was
Milton, in Bread-street, Cheapside. The presence of the same great poet
and patriot has given happy memories to many parts of the metropolis. He
lived in St. Bride's Churchyard, Fleet-street; in Alders-gate-street, in
Jewin-street, in Barbican, in Bartholomew-close; in Holborn, looking
back to Lincoln's Inn Fields; in Holborn, near Red-lion-square; in
Scotland-yard; in a house looking to St. James' Park, now belonging to
an eminent writer on legislation, and lately occupied by a celebrated
critic and metaphysician; and he died in Artillery-walk, Bunhill-fields;
and was buried in St. Giles', Cripplegate.
"Ben Jonson, who was born 'in Hartshorne-lane, near Charing-cross,' was
at one time 'master' of a theatre in Barbican. He appears also to have
visited a tavern called the Sun and Moon, in Aldersgate-street; and is
known to have frequented with Beaumont and others, the famous one called
the Mermaid, which was in Cornhill.
"The other celebrated resort of the great wits of that time was the
Devil Tavern, in Fleet-street, close to Temple-bar. Ben Jonson lived
also in Bartholomew-close, where Milton afterwards lived. It was in the
passage from the cloisters of Christ's Hospital into St. Bartholomew's.
Aubrey gives it as a common opinion, that at the time when Jonson's
father-in-law made him help him in his business of bricklayer, he worked
with his own hands upon the Lincoln's Inn garden wall, which looks upon
Chancery-lane, and which seems old enough to have some of his
illustrious brick and mortar still remaining.
"Under the cloisters in Christ's Hospital (which stand in the heart of
the city unknown to most persons, like a house kept invisible for young
and learned eyes) lie buried a multitude of persons of all ranks; for it
was once a monastery of Gray Friars. Among them is John of Bourbon, one
of the prisoners taken at the battle of Agincourt. Here also lies Thomas
Burdet, ancestor of the present Sir Francis, who was put to death in the
reign of Edward IV., for wishing the horns of a favourite white stag,
which the King had killed, in the body of the person who advised him to
do it. And here too (a sufficing contrast) lies Isabella, wife of Edward
'She, wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,
Who tore the bowels of her mangled mate'
"Her 'mate's' heart was buried with her, and placed upon her bosom! a
thing that looks like the fantastic incoherence of a dream. It is well
we did not know of her presence when at school; or after reading one of
Shakspeare's tragedies, we should have run twice as fast round the
cloisters at night time, as we used. Camden, 'the nourrice of
antiquitie,' received part of his education in this school; and here
also, not to mention a variety of others known in the literary world,
were bred two of the most powerful and deep-spirited writers of the
present day; whose visits to the cloisters we well remember.
"In a palace on the site of Hatton-garden, died John of Gaunt. Brook
House, at the corner of the street of that name in Holborn, was the
residence of the celebrated Sir Fulke Greville, Lord Brook, the 'friend
of Sir Philip Sydney.' In the same street, died, by a voluntary death,
of poison, that extraordinary person, Thomas Chatterton---
'The sleepless boy, who perished in his pride.'
He was buried in the workhouse in Shoe-lane; a circumstance, at which
one can hardly help feeling a movement of indignation. Yet what could
beadles and parish officers know about such a being? No more than Horace
Walpole. In Gray's Inn, lived, and in Gray's Inn Garden meditated, Lord
Bacon. In Southampton-row, Holborn, Cowper was a fellow-clerk to an
attorney with the future Lord Chancellor Thurlow. At the Fleet-street
corner of Chancery-lane, Cowley, we believe, was born. In
Salisbury-court, Fleet-street, was the house of Thomas Sackville, first
Earl of Dorset, the precursor of Spenser, and one of the authors of the
first regular English tragedy. On the demolition of this house, part of
the ground was occupied by the celebrated theatre built after the
Restoration, at which Betterton performed, and of which Sir William
Davenant was manager. Lastly, here was the house and printing-office of
Richardson. In Bolt-court, not far distant, lived Dr. Johnson, who
resided also for some time in the Temple. A list of his numerous other
residences is to be found in Boswell. Congreve died in Surrey-street,
in the Strand, at his own house. At the corner of Beaufort-buildings,
was Lilly's, the perfumer, at whose house the Tatler was published. In
Maiden-lane, Covent-garden, Voltaire lodged while in London, at the sign
of the White Peruke. Tavistock-street was then, we believe, the
Bond-street of the fashionable world; as Bow-street was before. The
change of Bow-street from fashion to the police, with the theatre still
in attendance, reminds one of the spirit of the Beggar's Opera. Button's
Coffee-house, the resort of the wits of Queen's Anne's time, was in
Russell-street--we believe, near where the Hummums now stand. We think
we recollect reading also, that in the same street, at one of the
corners of Bow-street, was the tavern where Dryden held regal possession
of the arm chair. The whole of Covent-garden is classic ground, from its
association with the dramatic and other wits of the times of Dryden and
Pope. Butler lived, perhaps died, in Rose-street, and was buried in
Covent-garden Churchyard; where Peter Pindar the other day followed him.
In Leicester-square, on the site of Miss Linwood's exhibition and other
houses, was the town mansion of the Sydneys, Earls of Leicester, and the
family of Sir Philip and Algernon Sydney. In the same square lived Sir
Joshua Reynolds. Dryden lived and died in Gerrard-street, in a house
which looked backwards into the garden of Leicester House. Newton lived
in St. Martin's-street, on the south side of the square. Steele lived in
Bury-street, St. James'; he furnishes an illustrious precedent for the
loungers in St. James'-street, where scandal-mongers of those times
delighted to detect Isaac Bickerstaff in the person of captain Steele,
idling before the Coffee-house, and jerking his leg and stick
alternately against the pavement. We have mentioned the birth of Ben
Jonson, near Charing-cross. Spenser died at an inn, where he put up on
his arrival from Ireland, in King-street, Westminster--the same which
runs at the back of Parliament-street to the Abbey. Sir Thomas More
lived at Chelsea. Addison lived and died in Holland House, Kensington,
now the residence of the accomplished nobleman who takes his title from
it. In Brook-street, Grosvenor-square, lived Handel; and in
Bentinck-street, Manchester-square, Gibbon. We have omitted to mention
that De Foe kept a hosier's shop in Cornhill; and that, on the site of
the present Southampton-buildings, Chancery-lane, stood the mansion of
the Wriothesleys, Earls of Southampton, one of whom was the celebrated
friend of Shakspeare. But what have we not omitted also? No less an
illustrious head than the Boar's, in Eastcheap--the Boar's Head Tavern,
the scene of Falstaff's revels. We believe the place is still marked out
by a similar sign. But who knows not Eastcheap and the Boar's Head? Have
we not all been there time out of mind? And is it not a more real, as
well as notorious thing to us, than the London Tavern, or the Crown and
Anchor, or the Hummums, or White's, or What's-his-name's, or any other
of your contemporary and fleeting taps?
 The Temple must have had many eminent inmates. Among them,
it is believed, was Chaucer, who is also said, upon the strength
of an old record, to have been fined two shillings for beating a
Franciscan Friar in Fleet-street.
"Before we rest our wings, however, we must take another dart over the
city, as far as Stratford at Bow, where, with all due tenderness for
boarding-school French, a joke of Chaucer has existed as a piece of
local humour for nearly four hundred and fifty years. Speaking of the
Prioress, who makes such a delicate figure among his Canterbury
Pilgrims, he tells us, among her other accomplishments, that--
'French she spake full faire and featously;'
adding with great gravity,
'After the school of Stratford atte Bowe;
For French of Paris was to her unknowe.'
* * * * *
CURIOUS FACTS RELATING TO SLEEP.
_(For the Mirror.)_
"Next to those nourishments that sustain the body (says Dr. Venner)
moderate and seasonable sleep is most profitable and necessary. It helps
digestion, recreates the mind, repairs the spirits, and comforts and
refreshes the whole body." It is also observed by Dr. Hufeland, that
"sleep is one of the wisest regulations of nature, to check and moderate
at fixed periods, the incessant and impetuous stream of vital
consumption. It forms as it were, stations for our physical and moral
existence, and we thereby obtain the happiness of being daily reborn,
and of passing every morning through a state of annihilation, into a new
and refreshed life."
The writer of the article "Sleep." in Rees's _Cyclopaedia_, says, "the
proportion of time passed in sleep differs in different persons, and at
different ages. From six to nine hours may be reckoned about the average
proportion. Men of active minds whose attention is engaged in a series
of interesting enjoyments, sleep much less than the listless and
indolent, and the same individual will spend fewer hours in this way,
when strongly interested in any pursuits, than when the stream of life
is gentle and undisturbed. The Great Frederic of Prussia, and John
Hunter, who devoted every moment of their time to the most active
employments of body and mind, generally took only four or five hours'
sleep. A rich and lazy citizen, whose life is merely a chronicle of
breakfast, dinners, suppers, and sleep, will slumber away ten or twelve
hours daily. When any subject strongly occupies us, it keeps us awake in
spite of ourselves. The newly born child sleeps most of its time, and
seems to wake merely for the purpose of feeding. Very old persons sleep
much of their time; in the natural progress towards death, the animal
faculties are first extinguished; accordingly, when they begin to
decline in decrepit old age, the periods of their intermissions are
longer. The celebrated De Moivre, when eighty-three years of age, was
awake only four hours out of the twenty-four; and Thomas Parr at last
slept the greatest part of his time. An eye-witness relates that some
boys, completely exhausted by exertion, fell asleep amid all the tumult
of the battle of the Nile; and other instances are known of soldiers
sleeping amid discharges of artillery, and all the tumult of war.
Couriers are known to sleep on horseback, and coachmen on their coaches.
A gentleman who saw the fact, reported, to the writer of this article,
that many soldiers in the retreat of Sir John Moore, fell asleep on the
march, and continued walking on. Even stripes and tortures cannot keep
off sleep beyond a certain time. Noises at first prevent us from
sleeping, but their influence soon ceases, and persons rest soundly in
the most noisy situations. The proprietors of some vast iron-works, who
slept close to them, through the incessant din of hammers, forges, and
blast furnaces, would awake if there were any interruption during the
night. And a miller, being very ill and unable to sleep, when his mill
was stopped, on his account, rested well and recovered quickly when the
mill was set going again. Great hunger prevents sleep, and cold
affecting a part of the body has the same effect. These causes operated
on the unfortunate women who lived thirty-four days in a small room
overwhelmed by snow, and with the slightest sustenance, they hardly
slept the whole time."
* * * * *
PERU: SIMPLICITY OF PASTORAL LIFE.
_(To the Editor of the Mirror.)_
After all that has been written and said on South America, by many
recent travellers, it may probably be thought that the following remarks
are rather out of time; but as a single fact may sometimes serve to show
the state of a country more forcibly than volumes, I am induced to
relate an anecdote which will throw a little light on the present
situation of one portion of the natives of Peru.
The Andes take their rise literally at the "end of the World;" for Cape
Horn certainly deserves that epithet, and the Straights of Magellan,
which divide Terra del Fuego from the continent are comparatively no
more than a mountain stream in a hilly country, so that that island may
without any impropriety be deemed a part of it. The Andes are not one
continuous chain of mountains; but an immensity of piles raised one on
another, at different elevations of which are extensive plains, termed
"Pampas," some of which appear as boundless as the horizon, and totally
divested of herbage. On one of these plains, called the Pampa of Diesmo,
in the province of Junin, I was detained some days at the only hut to be
seen for leagues. One of the _arreoros_, or muleteers, with me, a native
of Madrid, remarked on the solitude of the spot, adding, with a sigh,
"This was a different place when first I visited it." Within about half
a mile from where we were then conversing was an astonishing freak of
Nature. In the midst of the plain were about one hundred naked rocks
rising abruptly from the surface, in detached groups, some of which were
as high as St. Paul's, and many appeared like the spires of a cathedral.
Pointing to these eminences, the muleteer went on to say, "for five
months these rocks were my refuge from white men, and from them have I
seen an army of twenty-five thousand men traverse this plain again and
again; their only support for nearly fourteen months being drawn from
the spot." On asking an explanation, he bid me look round and say if I
thought I could count the number of sheep on the Pampa. I readily
answered I did not think there were fifty. "What will you say, sir,"
said he, "when I tell you that sixteen years since, there were, _on this
plain alone, eight hundred thousand sheep!_ besides oxen; at that time
there was scarcely an Indian that did not possess at least two thousand,
and this was only a part of the wealth of Peru. The desolation that now
exists may justly be laid to the account of a revolution, which has only
been the means of creating a spirit of animosity amongst those who
before were cordially united; you yourself must be aware that if it were
known I was a Godo, (Old Spaniard), my life would not be worth an hour's
purchase; another thing you have yourself experienced, is the total
absence of hospitality in Peru. This is also an effect of the
revolution; for at the time I alluded to, a stranger in this country
need not expend a maravedi in travelling; but those days, I fear, will
This conversation occurred in the summer of 1827, and there are a few
readers of the MIRROR who were then in Peru, who will readily recognise
* * * * *
_By Sir Thomas More._
If evils come not, then our fears are vain,
And if they do, fear but augments the pain.
* * * * *
MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.
_(To the Editor of the Mirror.)_
I have been amused by the accounts given in a former volume of the
MIRROR, of the curious custom called "Stanging;" may I be allowed to
edge in a few words descriptive of a ceremony belonging to the same
order, which prevails in my native county, (Dorset), instituted and
practised on the same occasions as those mentioned in vol. xii., but
differing from them in many material points, and in my opinion partaking
more of the theatrical cast than either of those two mentioned by your
correspondents. Having been an eye witness to one or two of these
exhibitions, I am enabled to give an accurate account of the same. The
name which they give to this ceremony, as near as I can make out from
the pronunciation, is _Skimington Riding_; the origin of which name I
have endeavoured in vain to ascertain. The ceremony commences by two
fellows armed with stump brooms mounting on a ladder borne by four or
five more of the crowd, when sitting back to back, they commence a
fierce attack on each other with the brooms over their shoulders,
maintaining at the same time as the procession advances, a scolding
dialogue, or rather duet; one of them squeaking to represent the angry
tones of the better half, while the other growls his complaints an
octave below. In this manner, accompanied by the shouts of the crowd,
the rattling of old tin kettles, and the blowing of cow's horns,
producing altogether a horrible din, they parade before the dwelling
house of some peace-breaking couple; and should they be in possession of
any word or words made use of by the unhappy pair in their squabbles,
you may be sure such expressions are repeated with all due emphasis by
the performers on the (stage) ladder. After making as much noise as they
possibly can before the fated dwelling, where they sometimes meet with a
most ungracious reception, they proceed in the same style through all
the streets of the parish in order that the whole place may be apprized
of the conduct of the offending couple; and they keep up the game as
long as they possibly can.
* * * * *
A SEA-SIDE MAYOR.
_(For the Mirror.)_
At Yarmouth, a person is selected from among those employed on the beach
during the fishing season, who is denominated the _Sea-side Mayor_, his
office being to inflict certain punishments and penalties on such
fishermen as are found guilty of pilfering herrings, &c.
The fishing commences in the latter part of September, a day or two
previous to which a procession goes round the town, the object and order
of which are as follow:--
A person grotesquely attired, and carrying a trident, to represent
Neptune, precedes, followed by four or five men bearing colours with
inscriptions of "Prosperity to the town of Yarmouth." "Death to our best
Friends," (meaning the herrings), "Success to the Herring Fishery," &c.
Then follows a band of musicians. The Sea-side Mayor (dressed as a
sailor, and wearing a gilt chain around his neck) brings up the rear, in
a handsome boat built for the occasion, and borne on the shoulders of
ten or a dozen men, wearing white ribands on the breast of their jackets
and on their hats.
 An individual named Joseph Penny, was for many years the
representative of Neptune. He was a man of daring spirit, and
there are many living at this time who were indebted to his
intrepidity for being rescued from drowning. In the month of
November 1825, accompanied by his son, he went off from the
beach in an open boat, to a vessel in distress, soon after which
the boat was washed ashore, with the body of the son entangled
in the rigging; but the father was never again heard of.
In this order the procession calls at the shops of different
tradespeople, or any one at all connected with the herring fishery,
where they solicit contributions, and those who are disposed to be
liberal, are honoured with a tune from the musicians, and the cheering
of the mayor. After parading the town they retire to a tavern to dinner.
A great number of French and Dutch fishing boats resort to Yarmouth at
the herring fishing, and on the Sunday previous to the 21st of
September, "Dutch Fair," as it is denominated, is held on the beach, and
presents a novel and interesting appearance.
From twenty to thirty of their flat bottomed boats are run on shore at
high water, and as the tide recedes, are left high and dry. Dutch pipes,
dried flounders, wooden shoes, apples, and gingerbread, are then offered
for sale, and if the weather be fine, the beach is thronged with
company, many of whom come from a great distance.
W. S. L.
* * * * *
SAXON NAMES OF THE MONTHS.
_(For the Mirror.)_
December, which stood first, was styled "Mid-winter monath." January was
"Aefter-yule," or after Christmas. February "Sol-monath," from the
returning sun. March "Rhede, or Rhede monath," rough, or rugged month.
April "Easter monath," from a favourite Saxon goddess, whose name we
still preserve. May was "Trimilchi," from the cows being then milked
thrice in the day. June "Sere monath," dry month. July "Maed monath,"
the meads being then in their bloom. August was "Weod monath," from the
luxuriance of weeds. September "Haerfest monath." October they called
"Winter fylleth," from winter approaching with the full moon of that
month. And lastly, November was styled "Blot monath," from the blood of
the cattle slain that month, and stored for winter provision. Verstegan
names the months somewhat differently.
* * * * *
_(For the Mirror.)_
John Wardell, by will, dated August 29, 1656, gave to the Grocers'
Company, a tenement known by the name of the White Bear, in Walbrook, to
the intent that they should yearly, within thirty days after Michaelmas,
pay to the churchwardens of St. Botolph, Billingsgate, L4. to provide a
good and sufficient iron and glass lantern, with a candle, for the
direction of passengers, to go with more security to and from the water
side, all night long, to be placed at the north-east corner of the
parish church of St. Botolph, from the Feast Day of St. Bartholomew to
Lady Day; out of which sum L1. is to be paid to the sexton for taking
care of the said lantern.
* * * * *
SLEEPERS IN CHURCH.
_(For the Mirror.)_
Richard Davey, in 1659, founded a free-school at Claverley, Salop, and
directed to be paid yearly the sum of eight shillings to a poor man of
the said parish, who should undertake to awaken sleepers, and to whip
out dogs from the church of Claverley, during divine service.
* * * * *
AND LITERARY NOTICES OF _NEW WORKS_.
* * * * *
THE EPPING HUNT.
_By Thomas Hood, Esq._
We remember the appearance of Mr. Hood's first work--_Odes and Addresses
to Great People_; and many a reviewer and printer rejoiced in the light
columns which it furnished them by way of extract. They made up very
prettily beside a theological critique, a somewhat lumbering book on
political economy, or a volume of deep speculations on geology. Hood's
little book, a mere thin pocket size, soon grew into notice and favour;
the edition ran off, and one or two more impressions have followed. A
host of imitators soon sprung up, but we are bound to acknowledge that
from the above to the present time, Mr. Hood has kept the field--the
Pampa of pun--to himself, and right sincerely are we obliged for the
many quips and quiddities with which he has enabled us to _garnish our_
pages. We say garnish, for what upon earth can better resemble the
garnishings of a table than Mr. Hood's little volumes: how they enliven
and embellish the feast, like birds and flowers cut from carrots,
turnips, and beet-root; parsley fried _crisp_; cascades spun in sugar,
or mouldings in almond paste, at a pic-nic supper party.
We love a good motto, and one like Mr. Hood's speaks volumes:
Next comes an advertisement of the author's endeavour to record a yearly
revel (the Epping Hunt,) already fast hastening to decay. Mr. Hood is
_serious_, as the following epistle will show:--
"It was penned by an underling at the Wells, a person more accustomed to
riding than writing."
"Sir,--About the Hunt. In anser to your Innqueries, their as been a
great falling off laterally, so much so this year that there was nobody
allmost. We did a mear nothing provisionally, hardly a Bottle extra,
wich is a proof in Pint. In short our Hunt may be sad to be in the last
Stag of a Decline.
"I am, Sir,
"With respects from
"Your humble Servant,
Then begins the tale.
John Huggins was as bold a man
As trade did ever know,
A warehouse good he had, that stood
Hard by the church of Bow.
There people bought Dutch cheeses round,
And single Glos'ter flat,--
And English butter in a lump,
And Irish--in a _pat_.
Six days a week beheld him stand,
His business next his heart,
At _counter_ with his apron tied
About his _counter-part_.
The seventh in a sluice-house box,
He took his pipe and pot;
On Sundays for _eel-pie_ty,
A very noted spot.
Huggins gets "Epping in his head," and resolves to go to "the Hunt."
Alas! there was no warning voice
To whisper in his ear,
Thou art a fool in leaving _Cheap_
To go and hunt the _deer_!
No thought he had of twisted spine,
Or broken arms or legs;
Not _chicken-hearted_ he, altho'
'Twas whisper'd of his _eggs_.'
Ride out he would, and hunt he would,
Nor dreamt of ending ill;
Mayhap with Dr. _Ridout's_ fee,
And Surgeon _Hunter's_ bill.
To say the horse was Huggins' own,
Would only be a brag;
His neighbour Fig and he went halves,
Like Centaurs, in a nag.
And he that day had got the gray,
Unknown to brother cit;
The horse he knew would never tell,
Altho' it was a _tit_.
A well bred horse he was I wis,
As he began to show,
By quickly "rearing up within
The way he ought to go."
And so he jogged to Tot'n'am Cross,
An ancient town well known,
Where Edward wept for Eleanor
In mortar and in stone
A royal game of fox and goose,
To play on such a loss;
Wherever she set down her _orts_,
Thereby he put a _cross_.
Now Huggins had a crony here,
That lived beside the way;
One that had promised sure to be
His comrade for the day.
His friend had gone to Enfield Chase:
Then Huggins turned his horse's head,
And crossed the bridge of Lea.
Thence slowly on thro' Laytonstone,
Past many a Quaker's box,--
No friends to hunters after deer,
Tho' followers of a _Fox_.
And many a score behind--before--
The self-same route inclin'd,
And minded all to march one way,
Made one great march of mind.
Gentle and simple, he and she,
And swell, and blood, and prig;
And some had carts, and some a chaise,
According to their gig.
Some long-ear'd jacks, some knacker's hacks,
(However odd it sounds,)
Let out that day _to hunt_, instead
_Of going to the hounds_!
And some had horses of their own,
And some were forc'd to job it;
And some, while they inclin'd to _Hunt_,
Betook themselves to _Cob-it_.
All sorts of vehicles and vans,
Bad, middling, and the smart;
Here roll'd along the gay barouche,
And there a dirty cart!
And lo! a cart that held a squad
Of costermonger line;
With one poor hack, like Pegasus,
That slav'd for all the Nine!
* * * * *
And so he paced to Woodford Wells,
Where many a horseman met,
And letting go the _reins_, of course,
Prepared for _heavy wet_.
And lo! within the crowded door,
Stood Rounding, jovial elf;
Here shall the Muse frame no excuse,
But frame the man himself.
The portrait is excellent:
A snow white head a merry eye,
A cheek of jolly blush;
A claret tint laid on by health,
With master reynard's brush.
A hearty frame, a courteous bow,
The prince he learn'd it from:
His age about three-score and ten,
And there you have Old Tom.
In merriest key I trow was he,
So many guests to boast;
So certain congregations meet,
And elevate the host.
But Huggins, hitching on a tree,
Branched off from all the rest.
Then comes the motley mob--
Idlers to wit--no Guardians some,
Of Tattlers in a squeeze;
Ramblers, in heavy carts and vans,
Spectators up in trees.
Butchers on backs of butcher's hacks,
That shambled to and fro'!
Bakers intent upon a buck,
Neglectful of the _dough_!
Change Alley Bears to speculate,
As usual, for a fall;
And green and scarlet runners, such
As never climb'd a wall!
'Twas strange to think what difference
A single creature made;
A single stag had caused a whole
_Stag_nation in their trade.
The deer is brought---
Now Huggins from his saddle rose,
And in the stirrups stood;
And lo! a little cart that came
Hard by a little wood.
In shape like half a hearse,--tho' not
For corpses in the least;
For this contained the _deer alive_,
And not the _dear deceased_!
Robin bounds out, and the hunt starts: Huggins--
Away he went, and many a score
Of riders did the same,
On horse and ass--like high and low
And Jack pursuing game.
Good lord! to see the riders now,
Thrown off with sudden whirl,
A score within the purling brook,
Enjoy'd their "early purl."
A score were sprawling on the grass,
And beavers fell in show'rs;
There was another _Floorer_ there,
Beside the Queen of Flowers!
Some lost their stirrups, some their whips,
Some had no caps to show;
But few, like Charles at Charing Cross,
Rode on in _Statue_ quo.
"O, dear! O, dear!" now might you hear,
"I've surely broke a bone;"
"My head is sore,"--with many more
Such speeches from the _thrown_.
* * * * *
Away they went then dog and deer,
And hunters all away.--
The maddest horses never knew
_Mad staggers_ such as they!
Some gave a shout, some roll'd about,
And antick'd as they rode,
And butchers whistled on their curs,
And milkmen _tally-ho'd_!
About two score there were, not more,
That gallopped in the race;
The rest, alas! lay on the grass,
As once in Chevy Chase!
And by their side see Huggins ride,
As fast as he could speed;
For, like Mazeppa, he was quite
At mercy of his steed.
No means he had, by timely check,
The gallop to remit,
For firm and last, between his teeth,
The biter held the bitt.
Trees raced along, all Essex fled
Beneath him as he sate,--
He never saw a county go
At such a county-rate!
"Hold hard! hold hard! you'll lame the dogs:"
Quoth Huggins, "so I do,--
I've got the saddle well in hand,
And hold as hard as you!"
And now he bounded up and down,
Now like a jelly shook:
Till bump'd and gall'd--yet not where Gall,
For bumps did ever look!
And rowing with his legs the while,
As tars are apt to ride;
With every kick he gave a prick,
Deep in the horse's side!
But soon the horse was well avenged,
For cruel smart of spurs,
For, riding through a moor, he pitched
His master in a furze!
Where sharper set than hunger is
He squatted all forlorn;
And like a bird was singing out
While sitting on a thorn!
Right glad was he, as well as might be.
Such cushion to resign:
"Possession is nine points," but his
Seemed more than ninety nine.
Yet worse than all the prickly points
That enter'd in his skin,
His nag was running off the while
The thorns were running in!
A jolly wight comes by upon
A sorry mare, that surely came
Of pagan blood and bone;
For down upon her knees she went,
To many a stock and stone!
Now seeing Huggins' nag adrift,
This farmer, shrewd and sage,
Resolv'd by changing horses here,
To hunt another stage!
So up on Huggins' horse he got,
And swiftly rode away,
While Huggins mounted on the mare
Done brown upon a bay!
And off they set, in double chase,
For such was fortune's whim,
The Farmer rode to hunt the stag,
And Huggins hunted him.
* * * * *
And, far remote, each scarlet coat
Soon flitted like a spark,--
Tho' still the forest murmur'd back
An echo of the bark.
But sad at soul John Huggins turn'd:
No comfort he could find.
Whilst thus the "Hunting Chorus" sped
To stay five bars behind.
For tho' by dint of spur he got
A leap in spite of fate--
Howbeit there was no toll at all,
They could not clear the gate.
And, like Fitzjames, he cursed the hunt,
And sorely cursed the day,
And mus'd a new Gray's elegy
On his departed gray.
Huggins now betook him to the Wells--the Hunt was o'er--and many a joke
How Huggins stood when he was rubb'd
By help and ostler kind,
And when they cleaned the clay before,
How "worse remain'd behind."
And one, how he had found a horse
Adrift--a goodly gray!
And kindly rode the nag, for fear
The nag should go astray.
Huggins claims the horse, and offers "a bottle and a pound" for his
The wine was drunk,--the money paid,
Tho' not without remorse.
To pay another man so much,
For riding on his horse.
Thus Pleasure oft eludes our grasp,
Just when we think to grip her;
And hunting after Happiness,
We only hunt a slipper.
The tale occupies less than thirty pages, and may be read whilst smoking
a cigar. It is all quaint fun, whim, humour, and frolic, and one of
those merry morsels which amuse us more than the whole leaven of
utilitarianism; and if to laugh and learn be your maxim, why read the
"Epping Hunt." After this, hold your sides, and look at the _cuts_,
designed by George Cruikshank, and engraved by Branston, Bonner, Slader,
and T. Williams. Old Tom Rounding is the frontispiece, in a cosy chair,
and glass in hand--framed with foxes', and Towler and Jowler's heads,
antlers, &c. The rich twinkle of Tom's eye, and the benevolent rotundity
of his form, are admirable. Huggins hitched on a tree is the next--then
comes "the beast charging in Tom's rear;" his perturbed look and the
saucy waggery of a round headed wight who has climbed into an adjoining
tree are a good contrast; Huggins "sitting on a thorn" is another
ludicrous picture of perturbation; the cit on the grass, with "cattle
grazed here" on a tree, is the fifth; and Huggins being cleared of clay
by two of Tom Roundhead's helpers, with mop and broom, completes the
cuts and catastrophes of the Epping Hunt.
The engravings, one and all, are exceedingly clever, and _proof
impressions_, (which we observe are advertised,) will soon find their
way into scores of scrapbooks.
* * * * *
THE SPIRIT OF THE STORM.
_(For the Mirror.)_
When the unfortunate Cedric (who had imbued his hands in the blood of
another,) was endeavouring by flight to a distant land to evade the arm
of justice, there existed a belief in a supernatural being, whose
exclusive office was,
_To guide the whirlwind and direct the storm_.
It was imagined that he circumnavigated the globe in a chariot of fire
that was wafted on the wings of the wind through the illimitable fields
of aether, but that he ever kept within the bounds of our atmosphere.
His course was preceded by thunder and lightning--and storm and tempest
followed him wherever he went. He visited every climate in succession,
and had a vast concourse of inferior spirits at his command. He never
paused in his terrible career, but to witness the shipwreck of a felon,
and then only was he visible to mortal view. He was The Spirit of the
The recollection of this personage occurred to the mind of Cedric,
accompanied with no very pleasing associations, just as the Levantine
cleared the mouth of the harbour, and was bearing a full sail before a
propitious northern gale for India.
A quick voyage had almost brought the vessel successfully to the desired
port, when an accident, fatal in its termination occurred, which we
shall endeavour to relate.
There was on board an old man who had long been in the habit of reading
the almanac, observing the changes of the wind and moon, the rising and
setting of the sun, the degree of heat or cold, dryness or dampness of
the atmosphere, the form and colour of the clouds, the rising and
falling of the mercury, and several other similar indications of the
weather, who for his knowledge in these matters, had obtained the
epithet of "weatherwise," and indeed not without reason, for although he
might sometimes be wrong in his prognostications to the no small
amusement of others, and to his own mortification; yet in general they
were pretty correct, especially of the approach of a storm in a tropical
One fine evening whilst walking on the deck, he carelessly observed,
that there would be a heavy sea gale, accompanied by rain, before
morning. The captain of the vessel, who happened to be within hearing,
cursed the poor fellow for his prediction, declaring that he kept the
whole crew in a state of alarm, and vowing that if he foretold another
tempest he would throw him overboard. The old man, who had a
considerable opinion of his own talents, calmly replied, "_experientia
Cedric, from being one of the most daring and reckless spirits of his
age, on hearing the above parley, and aware of their proximity to a
rocky and dangerous shore, became terrified. The fear of a wreck
overcame his once undaunted but now agitated frame, and a stiff glass of
grog was found necessary to support him.
At midnight (having previously been sleeping soundly, composed by the
soporific effects of the dram, lulled by the music of the rising breeze,
and the gentle undulations of the reeling vessel) he was flung several
yards from his hammock, and received a contusion on the head, which for
some time deprived him of his senses. When he had somewhat recovered,
the rocking of the vessel, the howling of the wind, and the creeking of
the timbers, told him but too truly that the old man's prophecy was
He went hastily on deck, half dressed and nearly frantic through fear,
to ascertain his opinion of the probable extent of the danger to which
they were exposed. But, alas! the old man, who had been placed at the
helm as the only person capable of conducting the vessel in so perilous
a situation, had been swept overboard by one of the early surges. He
spoke to many, but none seemed disposed to listen to him; each person
being too much engaged with his own concerns to attend to those of
Every hand seemed paralyzed; the vessel without a steersman at the
helm--without a sailor to haul down a shroud, was cleaving the ocean at
the mercy of the winds and the waves!
His sense of guilt at this moment was overpowering; hitherto (partly
occasioned by ignorance, and partly by depraved habits of life) a degree
of thoughtlessness had possessed him, which it is almost impossible to
conceive could reign in the breast of a being endued with reason. Now
indeed his eyes were open to his fate--to his earthly fate; a strange
foreboding came upon him; it was a species of instinctive horror; he
could not look beyond it. Whether there was a being who ruled the world,
or whether there was not, had never been the subject of his meditations;
yet a secret whisper intimated to him that death would not be the bound
of his hopes and his fears--of his joys and his sorrows.
He was conscious of the blackness of his crime, which indeed was of the
deepest dye, and that he had never till then experienced the arm of
vengeance. He shuddered as the violence of the tempest increased.
He had braved the seas--he had fought with the enemies of his country;
but never did fear paralyze the daring Cedric before. He fell senseless
on the deck entangled in the shattered cordage, whereby he was preserved
from being washed overboard by the mountain billows, which every moment
engulfed the vessel, threatening immediate destruction to all on board.
The murkiest cloud that ever hid the skies from the view of man, now
rode in universal blackness over the horror-stricken crew, which,
opening every pore, as though at once to overwhelm creation, poured
forth its contents like one vast sea descending to overflow another. The
winds gathered from every quarter with unparalleled fury. Thunders
rolled with that incessant clamour which pervades a field of earthly
battle; but artillery, whose dreadful note hath made the hardiest and
the boldest quake, utters with but feeble voice to that which that night
growled on the craggy shores of India. And lightnings fell, as when
Elijah called on heaven to answer him, and fire descended to proclaim
the true Jehovah's name, and hail the one true prophet!
The Levantine now struck with tremendous force against a rock, which lay
concealed amidst the swelling waters, and instantaneously disappeared,
leaving the wretched crew floating on the surface--borne on the billows!
Cedric, by the tumultuous fury of the element, was thrown on a shelf of
one of the steep rocks which form a natural barrier between the sea and
land; being recovered from his stupor, he was again awake to the horrors
that surrounded him; what had become of his comrades he knew not--he
thought not. He clung to a fragment of the precipice with the
desperation and firm grasp of madness--while every successive tide that
rolled over his head became stronger and stronger.
He counted the billows as they passed over him; he watched the receding
wave--he looked sternly at the approaching one. Time with him was fast
ebbing. The wave that was to wash him into eternity was already curling
towards him in fearful whiteness, which the glare of lightnings that
seemed to illuminate the universe showed him in all its terrors.
At the same time he distinguished a towering rock which the darkness had
hitherto obscured, but which now rose in awful majesty before him,
amidst the spray and foam of the heaving surges, and seemed a sea-god's
throne! The sublimity and magnificence of the storm were now at their
height! On the summit of the conical rock, which was reddened by the
fierce blaze of the brilliant fires that incessantly played around it,
appeared a colossal figure, arrayed in white, whose long tresses and
flowing robes streamed with the wind. The figure pointed at the hopeless
Cedric with a deadly smile on his countenance. Cedric glared wildly at
the unearthly vision. The last whelming wave approached and buried him
for ever in the foaming sea.
The spectre mounted his car, attended by an innumerable host of
tributary spirits, and was borne on the whirlwind to visit other climes.
He was the Spirit of the Storm!
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
RECOLLECTIONS OF AN OLD FAVOURITE.
"In his wine he would volunteer an imitation of somebody,
generally of Incledon. His imitation was vocal; I made
pretensions to the oratorical parts; and between us, we boasted,
that we made up the entire phenomenon."
LEIGH HUNT'S BYRON.
"Of Incledon? poor Charles Incledon!" said I, turning to his portrait in
the "Storm," hanging in goodly fellowship with a few of the idols of my
theatrical days, Siddons, Kemble, Bannister, Mrs. Jordan, and G. Cook,
in my little book-room--"Poor Charles Incledon! The mighty in genius,
the high in birth, the conceited in talent, have not forgotten thee,
then--and will even condescend to imitate thee, to imitate _thee_ who
wast _inimitable_!" I arose and walked about my little sanctum in
meditative mood. The days of old came o'er me--the benefit nights--the
play-bills, with the "Storm," "Black-eyed Susan," &c. in the largest
type, as forming the most attractive morceaux in the bill of fare. Then
followed the squeeze in June! through that horrid passage in the old
Covent Garden Theatre!--then the well-earned climax--Incledon in blue
jacket, white trousers, red waistcoat, smart hat and cane--the
representative of Britain's best defenders, in holiday
garb--unaccompanied by orchestra or instruments, depending upon naught
but "the human voice divine," after his usual walk before the lights,
and repeatedly licking his lips, (as if he thought that the sweet sounds
which were accustomed to flow from them must leave honey
behind),--rolling forth with that vast volume of voice, at once
astonishing and delightful--"All in the downs the fleet lay moored;" and
then followed the strain of love, manly love and constancy, in the
beautiful language of Gay, and in tones so rich, so clear, so sweet!
every faculty was absorbed in the sense of hearing! the hair seemed to
rise, the flesh to stir! the silence of the audience was holy--they
durst not, they could not, even applaud that which so enchanted them,
for fear of losing a note--I really think I could have struck any one
who could have shouted a "bravo!"--Never were Milton's lines,
"Soft Lydian airs
Married to immortal verse,
Such as the meeting soul may pierce
In notes, with many a winding bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out,
With wanton heed and giddy cunning;
The melting voice through mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden soul of harmony."
so illustrated as in the last line of Gay's "Black-eyed Susan,"--
"Adieu, she cried, and waved her lily hand,"
as sung by Incledon in his prime.
'Tis strange! here was "a voice that hath failed," and little or nothing
said of it--"Died at Worcester, on ----, the celebrated vocalist,
Charles Incledon," without further comment, was all that most of the
periodicals said at his decease. I recollect nothing worthy of him being
put forth, no essay upon his voice and style--and why? because poor
Charles Incledon had ceased to be the fashion!
The time is somewhat advanced, but the quotation at the head of this
article has brought to my mind what ought to have been done by abler
hands; and I will endeavour to point out what we possessed in this
singer, and what we have lost by his death.
And how am I qualified, for the task? With respect to the knowledge of
the _science_ of music I cannot boast--but Rousseau says--"Disoit
autrefois un sage, c'est an poete a faire de la poesie, et an musicien a
faire de la musique; mais il n'appartient qu'au philosophe de _bien_
parle de l'une et de l'autre." And there are hearts, such as inspired
the poet when he wrote--
Unto this neighbouring grove; there shall you see
How the sweet treble of the chirping birds,
And the sweet stirring of the moved leaves,
Running delightful descant to the sound
Of the base murmuring of the bubbling brook,
Becomes a concert of good instruments,
While twenty babbling echoes round about,
Out of the stony concave of their mouths,
Restore the vanish'd music of each close,
And fill your ears full with redoubled pleasure."
such as warmed Spenser when he wrote his "Bowre of Blesse;" Tasso his
"Gardens of Armida;" Collins his "Melancholy," who
"Pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive soul"--
such hearts, I say, and such as have drunk with unsatiated thirst at the
fountains of these "masters of the lay," are better qualified to speak
upon a question of the "concord of sweet sounds" than all the merely
scientific musicians, whether professors or amateurs, in the world.
 "Lingua." Dodsley's Old Plays.
"Of melody aye held in thrall," I profess myself an admirer of that
English music which preceded the appearance of Mr. Braham--the music of
Arne, Jackson, Carter, Storace, Linley, Shield, Davy, even of Dibdin,
and of those fine airs, (the names of whose composers are now little
better than traditional), which glow in the Beggar's Opera. And of this
music there never was heard a singer equal to Incledon, and perhaps
never will. The pathos, the richness, the roundness, the satisfying
fulness to the ear, which characterize these composers, can never be
mastered by the _merely scientific_ singer; _they_ composed for the
_voice_, and without that organ in its most perfect state, complete
justice can never be done to their strains.
I before said these masters flourished previous to the debut of Mr.
Braham; for it is in a great measure owing to that gentleman, and the
false taste he introduced and has kept alive, that they are now so
seldom heard in our theatres, concerts, or drawing-rooms. We have lost
the notes of melody and feeling, and what have we in their stead? The
glitter and plagiarism of Rossini, the ponderous science of Weber, and
the absolute trash of all our English composers. The last mentioned
gentlemen certainly came into court "in forma pauperis,"--satisfied with
the merit of arrangers, harmonizers, &c., and are found to confess, when
detection is probable, that the very soul of their pieces--the
melody--is taken from such an Italian, such a Sicilian, Greek, nay
even Russian air.
 "Melody is the essence of Music," said Mozart to Michael
Kelly; "I compare a good melodist to a _fine racer_, and
counter-points to _hack post-horses_."
I think I can, in some degree, account for the fashion these composers
have gained, and why, I fear, they are likely to maintain it. It is that
the _public have become too musical_. Every female, from the highest to
the lowest, whose parents can purchase a piano-forte, and pay a master,
_must_ learn music; the number of teachers and pupils are multiplied
without end; and out of either class how many are there qualified by
nature as singers? Not two in fifty. What follows? By labour and
attention _science_ may be acquired, although _voice_ cannot. The
voiceless teacher may instruct his voiceless pupil in the foppery of an
art, the _spirit_ of which is unattainable by either; pieces merely
scientific are placed by him on her piano--are performed to the credit
of both, with vast execution, as far as respects the science and the
harmony---but as for the singing, as singing ought to be, 'tis
"Worse than the howling of Irish wolves against the moon."
Well--_Miss_, from the expense and pains bestowed upon her, must, of
course, be the musical oracle of the family; the father must forego his
favourite old songs, written by "_honest_ Harry Carey," (as Ritson
insists on his being called); the mother is laughed to scorn if she
mentions "Auld Robin Gray," "Mary's Dream," "Oh, Nanny, wilt thou gang
wi' me?"--or such obsolete stuff;--and even the brothers, who might
stickle a little for Moore's melodies,
"With thoughts that breathe and words that burn,"
are silenced with, "Pooh! any body can sing them."
Thus is the family taste made up; and this extends to the patronage of
singers in the style alone deemed correct, as it is the quantity of
public patronage which must influence the manager of either theatre or
concert in the persons he engages. And thus has the great extension of
musical taste been injurious to music.
But, to return to our old favourite. All who remember him must likewise
remember his powers of attraction ere this blight of _fashion_ had come
over us. Witness his various benefits, and above all, that at the Opera
House, producing, it is said, 1,500_l_. Such marks of public favour,
added to the constant request of company, both public and private, and
to a man who, like Incledon, _loved_ his art, were sure to be productive
of _vanity_--vanity, the besetting sin of all great men, from Alexander
on his Persian throne, to Mr. Kean enthroned in the Coal Hole.--His
education had been limited. The songs chiefly in vogue at the early part
of the late war were _nautical_, which led him to a bold, free style;
these were his faults--vanity, want of cultivation, and a freedom of
manner approaching to excess. But he had a qualification as a singer
which threw all these into shade. The "Spectator," I believe, somewhere
says it is necessary for a good dancer to have a good understanding; but
I think it is much more necessary for a good singer to have a _good and
feeling heart_; and whether singing or acting his part in the drama of
life, with family, friends, or brother (not forgetting sister)
performers, Charles Incledon had as warm a heart as ever beat.
I cannot completely effect my purpose of reminding the public of what
they have lost in this fine singer, without recurrence to the songs in
which he earned his fame. "Pleasant is the recollection of the joys that
are passed," says Ossian; and what a delightful store-house of melody is
opened by the remembrance of these songs! At the head of the list, in
unapproachable beauty, stand his "Black-eyed Susan," "Storm," "Old
Towler," and "Lads of the Village;" songs which few voices can attempt,
and none dare hope to equal him in. Then, as operas, we had first his
Macheath, a part in which, notwithstanding what has been said of his
slovenly acting, I think him unequalled. His was the voice to burst
forth in the rich melodies of that _equivocal_ piece--_he_ was the
_gentleman_ who, if ruined by excess, could become the _highwayman_--his
was the dashing, manly style to ensnare either a Polly or a Lucy. Poor
Macheath is now emasculated, because _no man_ has voice to sing his
songs. I have heard Mr. Young has played the part, and "report speaks
goldenly" of his singing, and I deeply regret not having heard him. I
understand he sings Moore's melodies better than any body; and think it
likely, from the few "snatches" I have heard him give. By the bye,
excepting the hurried, thick utterance of Incledon when speaking, there
is great resemblance, as far as regards voice, between that singer and
As a Shakspearean, I must class next his two sweet songs in "As You Like
it." His was the pipe to be listened to amongst the warblers of
"Ardenne," in Dr. Arne's delicious "Blow! blow! thou Winter's wind," and
"Under the green-wood tree." "Oh!" as Jaques says, "I can suck
melancholy from the recollection of these songs as a weasel sucks eggs."
Then follow Jackson of Exeter's "Lord of the Manor," and Dibdin's
"Quaker" and "Waterman;" pieces after Incledon's own heart; all free,
rich, clear melody, without glitter.
But of all the composers of his own day, Shield was his favourite;
and justly. He furnished him with most of his popular songs. The singer
was the peculiar organ of the composer--his "Thorn," his "Mouth which a
Smile," "Tom Moody," "Heaving the Lead," and many, many others, seem to
have faded away with the voice of the melodist.
 Let the lover of melody look over the list of works
published, in the obituary of that beautiful composer!
But I find, were I to run through, as I proposed, all the songs
_peculiar_ to my hero, I should, most likely, tire my reader. The
delight with which I dwell upon them is a species of egotism; I will
therefore only name a few more, and "leave him alone with his
glory."--"Sally in our Alley," the song Addison was so fond of; what an
_association!_ "Post Captain," "Brown Jug." In his decline, even "His
father he lost," and "On Lethe's banks," in Artaxerxes;--hear the
singers of the present day sing these songs! "Bay of Biscay," "When
Vulcan forged," the second of "All's Well," "Bet, sweet blossom," "Will
Watch," "Last Whistle," &c. &c. Alas! alas! and all this over! He has
piped his last whistle, and poor Charles "sleeps in peace with the
In concluding, I cannot but observe, that no singer has so completely
identifies himself with particular songs. Those in which he most
excelled, he stamped as his own--no one can touch them "while his memory
When the race who heard him has faded away, some one may attempt them;
but I should as soon think of going to see Mr. Kean play Coriolanus, as
to hear another sing "Black-eyed Susan." My mind is filled--I have
Kemble's noble patrician _perfect_ before me; I have Gay's ballad in
Incledon's notes as fully in "my mind's _ear_," and I would not have
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
_The following is inscribed on a black Tablet in Sherborne Church,
This Monument was erected by
Mr. Thomas Mansel, of this Towne,
in remembrance of a great hailstorme,
May 16th, 1709,
between the hours of one and four in
which stopping the course of a small
river, west of this church, caused of a
sudden an extraordinary flood in the
Abbey Garden and Green,
running with so rapid a stream, that it
forced open the north door of the
church, displaced and removed about
1,222 feet of the pavement, and was
two feet and ten inches high as it
passed out at this south door.
* * * * *
ANTIQUITY AND INTEREST.
In the kitchen of a public house called the Cross in Hand, at Waldron,
in Sussex, there is an ancient couple, who appear to have been
companions for more than seven hundred years. These are a pair of dog,
or brandirons, with the date of 1115 on each. Suppose their original
cost to have been five shillings; this sum put out at simple interest,
together with the principal, would now have amounted to nine pounds,
twelve shillings, and sixpence; but at compound interest it would be two
hundred and fifty eight billions, seven hundred and eighty four
millions, two hundred and thirty thousand, six hundred and fifty six
* * * * *
King James I. mounting a horse that was unruly, said, "The de'il tak' my
saul, sirrah, and ye be na quiet, I'll send ye to the five hundred kings
in the House of Commons--they'll soon tame you."
On the road to Hastings are two hotels, nearly opposite one another, the
one kept by a person of the name of Hogsflesh, the other by a person
* * * * *
A JUDICIOUS TITLE.
On a vacancy on the Scotch bench, a certain advocate of some standing at
the bar, but by no means remarkable for the brilliancy of his parts, or
the extent of his legal knowledge, was in full expectation of being
appointed to the vacant gown. This is done by a court letter, signed
with the King's sign manual. In the full flutter of his darling hopes,
he one day encountered an old brother lawyer, notorious for the acidity
of his temper, and the poignancy and acrimony of his remarks. "Weel,
friend Robby," said the latter, "I hear you're to get the vacant
gown."--"Yes, Mr. C--k, I have every reason to believe so."--"Have ye
gotten doon your letter yet frae London?"--"No: but I expect an express
every minute."--"Nae doot, nae doot; have you bethocht yoursel o' what
teetle ye're to tak'? Lord H--n will never do; ye ken that's the teetle
o' ane o' oor grandest dukes. Gudesake, for a bit session lordy, like
you, to gang by that style and teetle o' ane high and michty prince!
that wad be a bonny boorlesque on a' warldly honours and dignities. Weel
a weel, let that be a pass over. Noo a teetle ye maun hae, that's as
clear as the licht, and there's ane come just now into my head that will
answer ye to a T; when ye're a lord, freend, Robby, ye'll be Lord
Preserve Us?"--"You are very impertinent Mr. C--k," replied the nettled
judge expectant; "I am sure you may find a waur."--There never, perhaps,
was, or will be, comprehended so much pithy meaning and bitter sarcasm
in a single syllable, as that which formed the astounding
* * * * *
GREGORY THE GREAT A PUNSTER.
Gregory the great was a punster, as appears from an anecdote related of
him, and which gave the first impulse to his exertions to promulgate
Christianity in this country. It was sometime before he was advanced to
St. Peter's chair, and when he was only a deacon in the church, that he
saw some handsome youths for sale in the open market: struck with their
appearance, he inquired whence they were, and was answered they were
_Angli (English.)_ "They are rightly called," said he, "for they seem
Angeli," (of or belonging to angels,) and asking what province they were
of among the Angli; he was told of _Deira_ (part of the kingdom of
Northumbria.) Ah, exclaimed he, _De ira Dei sunt liberandi_. Learning
farther that their king was named _Alle_, he said how fitly may he sing
_Alle_lujahs to God, who possesseth such subjects. From that time he
seriously endeavoured to bring about the conversion of the English
nation, and a few years afterwards, being Pope, he happily effected it
by the travels and labours of St. Augustine, who was the first
Archbishop of Canterbury.
* * * * *
_In St. Mary's Churchyard, Lambeth._
God takes the good, too good to stay,
He leaves the bad, too bad to take away.
* * * * *
_Voluntary composed under the impulse of peculiar sensibility, by
Rainer, of Frankfort._
Fol, di, lol, tol, tiddle lol de de di do
ral tal lil liddle lal lal de ra.
* * * * *
The following is a literal copy of a notice upon a gate between
Cheltenham and Gloucester:--
"Here is No Public Road: whosdomnever
tresprss on wil be proccuted to
the hutmast Reglar."
* * * * *
If one has served thee, tell the deed to many,
Hast thou served many, tell it not to any.
* * * * *
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 Harnet . . . . . . . . . 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
* * * * *
_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._
Back to Full Books