The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction
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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. XII, NO. 339.] SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1828. [PRICE 2d.
[Illustration: Great Milton.]
Great Milton, a picturesque village, near Thame, in Oxfordshire, is
entitled to notice in the annals of literature, as the family seat of
the MILTONS, ancestors of Britain's illustrious epic poet. Of this
original abode, our engraving is an accurate representation. One of
Milton's ancestors forfeited his estate in the turbulent times of York
and Lancaster. "Which side he took," says Johnson, "I know not; his
descendant inherited no veneration for the White Rose." His grandfather
was under ranger of the forest of Shotover, Oxon, who was a zealous
Papist, and disinherited his son for becoming a Protestant. Milton's
father being thus deprived of his family property, was compelled to quit
his studies at Christ Church, Oxford, whence he went to London, and
became a scrivener. He was eminent for his skill in music; and from
his reputation in his profession, he grew rich, and retired. He was
likewise a classical scholar, as his son addresses him in one of his
most elaborate Latin verses. He married a lady of the name of Caston, of
a Welsh family, by whom he had two sons, John, THE POET, and
Christopher, who studied the law, became a bencher of the Inner Temple,
was knighted at a very advanced age, and raised by James II. first to be
a Baron of the Exchequer, and afterwards one of the Judges of the Common
Pleas. He was much persecuted by the republicans for his adherence to
the royal cause, but his composition with them was effected by his
 Dr. Burney says he was "equal in science, if not in genius, to
the best musicians of his age."
 Born in his father's house, at the Spread Eagle in Bread-street,
Cheapside, December 9, 1608.
Besides these two sons, he had a daughter, Anne, who was married to a
Mr. Edward Philips, of Shrewsbury; by him she had two sons, John and
Edward, who were educated by the poet, and from whom is derived the
only authentic account of his domestic manners.
MILTON was thus by birth a gentleman; but had his descent been
otherwise, his works would ennoble him to posterity.
The lord, by giddy fortune courted,
Stalks through a part by thousands played;
The minstrel, proud and unsupported,
Stands forth the Noble God has made
 W. Kennedy--in the _Amulet_ for 1829.
We sought our illustration of GREAT MILTON in the "Oxfordshire" of that
voluminous and expensive work, "the Beauties of England and Wales;" but,
strange to say, the family name of Milton is not even mentioned there,
although the house is still
By chance or Nature's changing course untrimm'd.
The editor, however, tells us, on the authority of Leland, that there
was at Great Milton a priory "many yeres syns;" and quotes the following
quaint lines from a tablet in the church:--
Here lye mother and babe, both without sins,
Next birth will make her and her infant, twins.
* * * * *
ANCIENT FEASTINGS IN GUILDHALL, &c.
(_For the Mirror_.)
The first time that Guildhall was used on festive occasions was by Sir
John Shaw Goldsmith, knighted in the field of Bosworth. After building
the essentials of good kitchens, and other offices, in the year 1500,
he gave here the mayor's feast, which before had usually been done in
Grocers' Hall. None of these bills of fare (says Pennant) have reached
me; but doubtless they were very magnificent. They at length grew to
such excess, that in the time of Queen Mary a sumptuary law was made
to restrain the expense both of provisions and _liveries_; but I
suspect, (says Pennant,) as it lessened the honour of the city, it was
not long observed, for in 1554, the city thought proper to renew the
order of council, by way of reminding their fellow citizens of their
relapse into luxury. Among the great feasts given here on public
occasions, may be reckoned that given in 1612, on occasion of the
unhappy marriage of the Prince Palatine with Elizabeth, daughter of
James I. The next was in 1641, when Charles I. returned from his
imprudent and inefficacious journey into Scotland. But our ancestors far
surpassed these feasts. Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother to Henry III.
had, at his marriage feast, (as is recorded,) 30,000 dishes of meat.
Nevil, archbishop of York, had, at his consecration, a feast sufficient
for 10,000 people. One of the abbots of St. Augustine, at Canterbury,
invited 5,000 guests to his installation dinner. And King Richard II.,
at a Christmas feast, had daily 26 oxen, 300 sheep, besides fowls,
and all other provisions proportionably. So anciently, at a call of
sergeants-at-law, each sergeant (says Fortescue) spent 1,600 crowns
* * * * *
MAXIMS TO LIVE BY.
(_For the Mirror_.)
To have too much forethought is the part of a wretch; to have too little
is the part of a fool.
Self-will is so ardent and active that it will break a world to pieces
to make a stool to sit on.
Remember always to mix good sense with good things, or they will become
If there is any person to whom you feel a dislike, that is the person of
whom you ought never to speak.
Irritability urges us to take a step as much too soon, as sloth does too
Say the strongest things you can with candour and kindness to a man's
face, and make the best excuse you can for him with truth and justice,
behind his back.
Men are to be estimated, as Johnson says, by the mass of character.
A block of tin may have a grain of silver, but still it is tin; and a
block of silver may have an alloy of tin; but still it is silver. Some
men's characters are excellent, yet not without alloy. Others base, yet
tend to great ends. Bad men are made the same use of as scaffolds; they
are employed as means to erect a building, and then are taken down and
If a man has a quarrelsome temper, let him alone; the world will soon
find him employment. He will soon meet with some one stronger than
himself, who will repay him better than you can. A man may fight duels
all his life if he is disposed to quarrel.
A person who objects to tell a friend of his faults, because he has
faults of his own, acts as a surgeon would, who should refuse to dress
another's wound because he had a dangerous one himself.
Some evils are irremediable, they are best neither seen nor heard; by
seeing and hearing things that you cannot remove, you will create
implacable adversaries; who being guilty aggressors, never forgive.
* * * * *
Manners & Customs of all Nations.
CUSTOMS RELATING TO THE BEARD.
(_For the Mirror_.)
It was a custom among the Romans to consecrate the first growth of their
beard to some god; thus Nero at the Gynick games, which he exhibited in
the Septa, cut off the first growth of his beard, which he placed in a
golden box, adorned with pearls, and then consecrated it in the Capitol
The nations in the east used mostly to nourish their beards with
great care and veneration, and it was a punishment among them, for
licentiousness and adultery, to have the beard of the offending parties
publicly cut off. Such a sacred regard had they for the preservation
of their beards, that if a man pledged it for the payment of a debt,
he would not fail to pay it. Among the Romans a bearded man was a
proverbial expression for a man of virtue and simplicity. The Romans
during grief and mourning used to let their hair and beard grow, (Livy)
while the Greeks on the contrary used to cut off their hair and shave
their beards on such occasions.(Seneca.) When Alexander the Great was
going to fight against the Persians, one of his officers brought him
word that all was ready for battle, and demanded if he required anything
further. On which Alexander replied, "nothing but that the Macedonians
cut off their beards--for there is not a better handle to take a man by
than the beard." This shows Alexander intended close fighting. Shaving
was not introduced among the Romans till late. Pliny tells us that P.
Ticinias was the first who brought a barber to Rome, which was in the
454th year from the building of the city. Scipio Africanus was the first
among the Romans who shaved his beard, and Adrianus the emperor (says
Dion,) was the first of all the Caesars who nourished his beard.
 From this custom probably originated that in England, of widows
concealing their hair for a stated period after the death of
their husbands. Indeed, we know of more than one instance of a
widow closely _cutting off_ her hair. But these sorrowful
observances are becoming less and less frequent.--ED.
The Roman servants or slaves were not allowed to poll their hair,
or shave their beards. The Jews thought it ignominious to lose their
beards, 2 Sam. c. x. v. 4. Among the Catti, a nation of Germany, a young
man was not allowed to shave or cut his hair till he had slain an enemy.
(Tacitus.) The Lombards or Longobards, derived their Fame from the great
length of their beards. When Otho the Great used to speak anything
serious, he swore by his beard, which covered his breast. The Persians
are fond of long beards. We read in Olearius' Travels of a king of
Persia who had commanded his steward's head to be cut off, and on its
being brought to him, he remarked, "what a pity it was, that a man
possessing such fine mustachios, should have been executed," but added
he, "Ah! it was your own fault." The Normans considered the beard as an
indication of distress and misery. The Ancient Britons used always to
wear the hair on the upper lip, and so strongly were they attached to
this custom, that when William the Conqueror ordered them to shave their
upper lip, it was so repugnant to their feelings, that many of them
chose rather to abandon their country than resign their mustachios. In
the 15th century, the beard was worn long. In the 16th, it was suffered
to grow to an amazing length, (see the portraits of Bishop Gardiner, and
Cardinal Pole, during Queen Mary's reign,) and very often made use of
as a tooth-pick case. Brantome tells us that Admiral Coligny wore his
tooth-pick in his beard.
* * * * *
SINGULAR CUSTOM AT ROUEN.
(_For the Mirror_.)
The chapter of Rouen, (which consists of the archbishop, a dean, fifty
canons, and ten prebendaries,) have, ever since the year 1156, enjoyed
the annual privilege of pardoning, on Ascension-day, some individual
confined within the jurisdiction of the city for murder.
On the morning of Ascension-day, the chapter, having heard many
examinations and confessions read, proceed to the election of the
criminal who is to be pardoned; and, the choice being made, his name is
transmitted in writing to the parliament, which assemble on that day at
the palace. The parliament then walk in procession to the great chamber,
where the prisoner is brought before them in irons, and placed on a
stool; he is informed that the choice has fallen upon him, and that
he is entitled to the privilege of St. Romain. After this form, he is
delivered into the hands of the chaplain, who, accompanied by fifty
armed men, conveys him to a chamber, where the chains are taken from his
legs and bound about his arms; and in this condition he is conducted
to a place named the Old Tower, where he awaits the coming of the
procession. After some little time has elapsed, the procession sets
out from the cathedral; two of the canons bear the shrine in which
the relics of St. Romain are presumed to be preserved. When they
have arrived at the Old Tower, the shrine is placed in the chapel,
opposite to the criminal, who appears kneeling, with the chains on his
arms. Then one of the canons, having made him repeat the confession,
says the prayers usual at the time of giving absolution; after which
service, the prisoner kneeling still, lifts up the shrine three times,
amid the acclamations of the people assembled to behold the ceremony.
The procession then returns to the cathedral, followed by the criminal,
wearing a chaplet of flowers on his head, and carrying the shrine of the
saint. After mass has been performed, he has a very serious exhortation
addressed to him by a monk; and, lastly, he is conducted to an apartment
near the cathedral, and is supplied with refreshments and a bed for that
night. In the morning he is dismissed.
* * * * *
* * * * *
_And Sir Walter Scott's Study_.
[The following extracts are from the private letter of a distinguished
American gentleman, and form part of one of the most striking articles
in "The Anniversary for 1829," edited by Allan Cunningham. We intended
the whole article for our Supplementary "Spirit of the Annuals;" but
as our engraving will necessarily occupy a few days longer, during
which time this description of _Abbotsford_ will be printed in
fifty different forms, we are induced to take it by the forelock, and
appropriate it for our present number. It is, perhaps, one of the
most, if not the most, graphic paper in the whole list of "Annuals,"
notwithstanding there are scores of brilliant gems left for our
Supplement. Certain arts must have their own pace; but, in our arduous
catering for novelties for the MIRROR, we often have occasion to wish
that _block-machinery_ could be applied to engraving on wood.]
"Stepping westward," as Wordsworth says, from the hall, you find
yourself in a narrow, low, arched room, which runs quite across the
house, having a blazoned window again at either extremity, and filled
all over with smaller pieces of armour and weapons, such as swords,
firelocks, spears, arrows, darts, daggers, &c. &c. &c. Here are
the pieces, esteemed most precious by reason of their histories
respectively. I saw, among the rest, Rob Roy's gun, with his initials,
R.M.C. i.e. Robert Macgregor Campbell, round the touch-hole; the
blunderbuss of Hofer, a present to Sir Walter from his friend Sir
Humphrey Davy; a most magnificent sword, as magnificently mounted, the
gift of Charles the First to the great Montrose, and having the arms
of Prince Henry worked on the hilt; the hunting bottle of bonnie
King Jamie; Bonaparte's pistols (found in his carriage at Waterloo,
I believe), _cum multis aliis_. I should have mentioned that
stag-horns and bulls' horns (the petrified relics of the old mountain
monster, I mean), and so forth, are suspended in great abundance above
all the doorways of these armories; and that, in one corner, a dark one
as it ought to be, there is a complete assortment of the old Scottish
instruments of torture, not forgetting the very thumbikins under which
Cardinal Carstairs did _not_ flinch, and the more terrific iron
crown of Wisheart the Martyr, being a sort of barred headpiece, screwed
on the victim at the stake, to prevent him from crying aloud in his
* * * * *
Beyond the smaller, or rather I should say, the narrower armoury,
lies the dining parlour proper, however; and though there is nothing
Udolphoish here, yet I can well believe that when lighted up and the
curtains drawn at night, the place may give no bad notion of the private
snuggery of some lofty lord abbot of the time of the Canterbury Tales.
The room is a very handsome one, with a low and very richly carved roof
of dark oak again; a huge projecting bow window, and the dais elevated
_more majorum_; the ornaments of the roof, niches for lamps, &c.
&c. in short, all the minor details, are, I believe, fac similes after
Melrose. The walls are hung in crimson, but almost entirely covered with
pictures, of which the most remarkable are--the parliamentary general,
Lord Essex, a full length on horseback; the Duke of Monmouth, by Lely; a
capital Hogarth, by himself; Prior and Gay, both by Jervas; and the head
of Mary Queen of Scots, in a charger, painted by Amias Canrod, the day
after the decapitation at Fotheringay, and sent some years ago as a
present to Sir Walter from a Prussian nobleman, in whose family it had
been for more than two centuries. It is a most deathlike performance,
and the countenance answers well enough to the coins of the unfortunate
beauty, though not at all to any of the portraits I have happened to
see. I believe there is no doubt as to the authenticity of this most
curious picture. Among various family pictures, I noticed particularly
Sir Walter's great grandfather, the old cavalier mentioned in one of
the epistles in Marmion, who let his beard grow after the execution of
Charles I., and who here appears, accordingly, with a most venerable
appendage of silver whiteness, reaching even unto his girdle.
* * * * *
A narrower passage leads to a charming breakfast room, which looks to
the Tweed on one side, and towards Yarrow and Ettricke, famed in song,
on the other: a cheerful room, fitted up with novels, romances, and
poetry, I could perceive, at one end; and the other walls covered thick
and thicker with a most valuable and beautiful collection of watercolour
drawings, chiefly by Turner and Thomson of Duddingstone, the designs,
in short, for the magnificent work entitled "Provincial Antiquities of
Scotland." There is one very grand oil painting over the chimney-piece,
Fastcastle, by Thomson, alias the Wolf's Crag of the Bride of
Lammermoor, one of the most majestic and melancholy sea-pieces I ever
saw; and some large black and white drawings of the Vision of Don
Roderick, by Sir James Steuart of Allanbank (whose illustrations of
Marmion and Mazeppa you have seen or heard of), are at one end of the
parlour. The room is crammed with queer cabinets and boxes, and in a
niche there is a bust of old Henry Mackenzie, by Joseph of Edinburgh.
Returning towards the armoury, you have, on one side of a most religious
looking corridor, a small greenhouse, with a fountain playing before
it--the very fountain that in days of yore graced the cross of
Edinburgh, and used to flow with claret at the coronation of the
Stuarts--a pretty design, and a standing monument of the barbarity of
modern innovation. From the small armoury you pass, as I said before,
into the drawing-room, a large, lofty, and splendid _salon_, with
antique ebony furniture and crimson silk hangings, cabinets, china, and
mirrors _quantum suff_, and some portraits; among the rest glorious
John Dryden, by Sir Peter Lely, with his gray hairs floating about in a
most picturesque style, eyes full of wildness, presenting the old Bard,
I take it, in one of those "tremulous moods," in which we have it on
record he appeared when interrupted in the midst of his Alexander's
Feast. From this you pass into the largest of all the apartments, the
library, which, I must say, is really a noble room. It is an oblong of
some fifty feet by thirty, with a projection in the centre, opposite the
fireplace, terminating in a grand bow window, fitted up with books also,
and, in fact, constituting a sort of chapel to the church. The roof is
of carved oak again--a very rich pattern--I believe chiefly _a la_
Roslin, and the bookcases, which are also of richly carved oak, reach
high up the walls all round. The collection amounts, in this room, to
some fifteen or twenty thousand volumes, arranged according to their
subjects: British history and antiquities, filling the whole of the
chief wall; English poetry and drama, classics and miscellanies, one
end: foreign literature, chiefly French and German, the other. The cases
on the side opposite the fire are wired and locked, as containing
articles very precious and very portable. One consists entirely of books
and MSS. relating to the insurrections of 1715 and 1745; and another
(within the recess of the bow window), of treatises _de re magica_,
both of these being (I am told, and can well believe), in their several
ways, collections of the rarest curiosity. My cicerone pointed out, in
one corner, a magnificent set of Mountfaucon, ten volumes folio, bound
in the richest manner in scarlet, and stamped with the royal arms, the
gift of his present majesty. There are few living authors of whose works
presentation copies are not to be found here. My friend showed me
inscriptions of that sort in, I believe, every European dialect extant.
The books are all in prime condition, and bindings that would satisfy
Mr. Dibdin. The only picture is Sir Walter's eldest son, in hussar
uniform, and holding his horse, by Allan of Edinburgh, a noble portrait,
over the fireplace; and the only bust is that of Shakspeare, from the
Avon monument, in a small niche in the centre of the east side. On a
rich stand of porphyry, in one corner, reposes a tall silver urn,
filled with bones from the Piraeus, and bearing the inscription,
"Given by George Gordon, Lord Byron, to Sir Walter Scott, Bart." It
_contained_ the letter which accompanied the gift till lately: it
has disappeared; no one guesses who took it, but whoever he was, as my
guide observed, he must have been a thief for thieving's sake truly,
as he durst no more exhibit his autograph than tip himself a bare
bodkin. Sad, infamous tourist, indeed! Although I saw abundance of
comfortable-looking desks and arm chairs, yet this room seemed rather
too large and fine for _work_, and I found accordingly, after
passing a double pair of doors, that there was a _sanctum_ within
and beyond this library. And here you may believe, was not to me the
least interesting, though by no means the most splendid, part of the
The lion's own den proper, then, is a room of about five-and-twenty
feet square by twenty feet high, containing of what is properly called
furniture nothing but a small writing-table in the centre, a plain
arm-chair covered with black leather--a very comfortable one though, for
I tried it--and a single chair besides, plain symptoms that this is no
place for company. On either side of the fireplace there are shelves
filled with duodecimos and books of reference, chiefly, of course,
folios; but except these there are no books save the contents of a light
gallery which runs round three sides of the room, and is reached by a
hanging stair of carved oak in one corner. You have been both at the
Elisee Bourbon and Malmaison, and remember the library at one or other
of those places, I forget which; this gallery is much in the same style.
There are only two portraits, an original of the beautiful and
melancholy head of Claverhouse, and a small full length of Rob Roy.
Various little antique cabinets stand round about, each having a bust
on it: Stothard's Canterbury Pilgrims are on the mantelpiece; and in
one corner I saw a collection of really useful weapons, those of the
forest-craft, to wit--axes and bills and so forth of every calibre.
There is only one window pierced in a very thick wall, so that the
place is rather sombre; the light tracery work of the gallery overhead
harmonizes with the books well. It is a very comfortable-looking room,
and very unlike any other I ever was in. I should not forget some
Highland claymores, clustered round a target over the Canterbury people,
nor a writing-box of carved wood, lined with crimson velvet, and
furnished with silver plate of right venerable aspect, which looked as
if it might have been the implement of old Chaucer himself, but which
from the arms on the lid must have belonged to some Indian prince of
the days of Leo the Magnificent at the furthest.
The view to the Tweed from all the principal apartments is beautiful.
You look out from among bowers, over a lawn of sweet turf, upon the
clearest of all streams, fringed with the wildest of birch woods, and
backed with the green hills of Ettricke Forest. The rest you must
imagine. Altogether, the place destined to receive so many pilgrimages
contains within itself beauties not unworthy of its associations. Few
poets ever inhabited such a place; none, ere now, ever created one.
It is the realization of dreams: some Frenchman called it, I hear,
"a romance in stone and lime."
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY
_Aerial Voyages of Spiders_.
The number of the aeronautic spiders occasionally suspended in the
atmosphere, says Mr. Murray, I believe to be almost incredible, could
we ascertain their amount. I was walking with a friend on the 9th, and
noticed that there were four of these insects on his hat, at the moment
there were three on my own; and from the rapidity with which they
covered its surface with their threads, I cannot doubt that they are
chiefly concerned in the production of that tissue which intercepts the
dew, and which, illuminated by the morning sun, "glitters with gold,
and with rubies and sapphires." Indeed, I have noticed that, when the
frequent descent of the aeronautic spider was determined, a newly rolled
turnip field was, in a few hours, overspread by a carpet of their
threads. It may be remarked that our little aeronaut is very greedy of
moisture, though abstemious in other respects. Its food is perhaps
peculiar, and only found in the superior regions of the sky. Like the
rest of its tribe, it is doubtless carnivorous, and may subserve some
highly important purpose in the economy of Providence; such, for
instance, as the destruction of that truly formidable, though almost
microscopically minute insect, the Furia infernalis, whose wounds are
stated to be mortal. Its existence has been indeed questioned, but by
no means disapproved; that, and some others, injurious to man, or to
the inferior creation, may be its destined prey, and thus our little
aeronaut, unheeded by the common eye, may subserve an important good.
Mr. Bowman, F.L.S. says, "We arrested several of these little aeronauts
in their flight, and placed them on the brass gnomon of the sundial, and
had the gratification to see them prepare for, and recommence, their
aerial voyage. Having crawled about for a short time, to reconnoitre,
they turned their abdomens from the current of air, and elevated them
almost perpendicularly, supporting themselves solely on the claws of
their fore legs, at the same instant shooting out four or five, often
six or eight, extremely fine webs, several yards long, which waved
in the breeze, diverging from each other like a pencil of rays, and
strongly reflecting the sunbeams. After the insects had remained
stationary in this apparently unnatural position for about half a
minute, they sprang off from the stage with considerable agility, and
launched themselves into the air. In a few seconds after they were seen
sailing majestically along, without any apparent effort, their legs
contracted together, and lying perfectly quiet on their backs, suspended
from their silken parachutes, and presenting to the lover of nature a
far more interesting spectacle than the balloon of the philosopher. One
of these natural aeronauts I followed, which, sailing in the sunbeams,
had two distinct and widely diverging fasciculi of webs, and their
position in the air was such, that a line uniting them would have been
at right angles with the direction of the breeze."--_Mag. Natural
_The Ichneumon Fly_.
There are several species of ichneumon which make thinnings among the
caterpillars of the cabbage butterfly. The process of one species
is this:--while the caterpillar is feeding, the ichneumon fly hovers
over it, and, with its piercer, perforates the fatty part of the
caterpillar's back in many places, and in each deposits an egg, by
means of the two parts of the sheath uniting together, and thus forming
a tube down which the egg is conveyed into the perforation made by the
piercer of the fly. The caterpillar unconscious of what will ensue keeps
feeding on, until it changes into a chrysalis; while in that torpid
state, the eggs of the ichneumon are hatched, and the interior of the
body of the caterpillar serves as food for the caterpillars of the
ichneumon fly. When these have fed their accustomed time, and are about
to change into the pupa state, they, by an instinct given them, attack
the vital part of the caterpillar (a most wonderful economy in nature,
that this process should be delayed until they have no more occasion
for food.) They then spin themselves minute cases within the body of
the caterpillar; and instead of a butterfly coming forth (which, if a
female, would have probably laid six hundred eggs, thus producing as
many caterpillars, whose food would be the cabbage,) a race of these
little ichneumon flies issues forth, ready to perform the task assigned
them, of keeping within due limits those fell destroyers of our
vegetables.--_Mr. Carpenter--in Gill's Repository._
Professional falconers have been for many years natives of the village
of _Falconsward_, near Bois le Duc, in Holland. A race of them was
there born and bred, whence supplies have been drawn for the service of
all Europe; but as there has been no sufficient inducement for the young
men to follow the employment of their forefathers, numbers are dead or
worn out; and there only remains John Pells, now in the service of John
Dawson Downes, Esq., of Old Gunton Hill, Suffolk.
The hawks which have been trained for the field, are the slight falcon
and the goshawk, which are the species generally used in falconry. The
former is called a long-winged hawk, or one of the _lure_; the
latter, a short-winged hawk, or one of the _fist_.
The Icelander is the largest hawk that is known, and highly esteemed by
falconers, especially for its great powers and tractable disposition.
The gyr falcon is less than the Icelander, but much larger than the
slight falcon. These powerful birds are flown at herons and hares, and
are the only hawks that are fully a match for the fork-tailed kite. The
merlin and hobby are both small hawks and fit only for small birds, as
the blackbird, &c. The sparrow-hawk may be also trained to hunt; his
flight is rapid for a short distance, kills partridges well in the early
season, and is the best of all for landrails.
The slight falcon takes up his abode every year, from October and
November until the spring, upon Westminster Abbey, and other churches in
the metropolis. This is well known to the London pigeon-fanciers, from
the great havoc they make in their flight.--_Sir John Sebright_
_Technicalities of Science_.
The inutility of science, written in a merely technical form, is well
exemplified in the instance of Cicero. He was advised by his friends not
to write his works on Greek Philosophy in Latin; because those who cared
for it would prefer his work in Greek, and those who did not would read
neither Greek nor Latin. The splendid success of his _De Officiis_,
his _De Finibus_, his _De Natura Deorum_, &c., showed that his
friends were wrong. He persevered in the popular style, and led the
fashion.--_Mag. Nat. Hist._
It may serve, in some measure, to confirm M. Dutroehet's recent opinion
of the non-existence of miscroscopic animalcula, that the celebrated
Spallanzani persuaded himself that he could see Animalcula infusoria
which could be seen by nobody else. He attributed his own superiority of
vision, in this respect, to long practice in using the microscope. The
philosopher exulted in his enviable distinction, when a peasant, to whom
he showed his animalcula, could perceive nothing but muddy
_Faculties of Brutes_.
The dog is the only animal that dreams; and he and the elephant the
only animals that understand looks; the elephant is the only animal
that, besides man, feels _ennui_; the dog, the only quadruped that
has been brought to speak. Leibnitz bears witness to a hound in Saxony,
that could speak distinctly thirty words.--_Medical Gazette._
The atmosphere, in the vicinity of the sea, usually contains a portion
of the muriates over which it has been wafted. It is a curious fact, but
well ascertained, that the air best adapted to vegetables is pernicious
to animal life, and _vice versa._ Now, upon the sea-coast,
accordingly, animals thrive, and vegetables decline.--_Hurwood's
* * * * *
[Illustration: Chingford Church]
The roof with moss is green, and twines
Dark ivy round the sculptur'd lines.
The pleasant village of CHINGFORD, in Essex, may be called a vignette of
the topographer's "_rus in urbe_," it being only nine miles distant
from the heart of London, and consequently almost within its vortex.
It stands on the banks of the river Lea, and derives its name from the
Saxon word Cing and _ford_, (signifying the king's ford,) there
having formerly been a ford here; the adjoining meadows being designated
the king's meads, and the Lea, the king's stream. There appears to have
been two manors in this parish, one of which was granted by Edward
the Confessor to the cathedral of St. Paul's, but surrendered at the
reformation to Henry VIII.; the other, according to Domesday Book, was
held by Orgar, the Thane; and from the latter another manor has since
The "ivy-mantled" church, represented in the above vignette, is
dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, and consists of a chancel, nave,
and south aisle, with a low square tower at the west end, containing
three bells. Within the church are a few interesting monuments, among
which is one to the memory of Robert Rampton, who died in 1585 and was
yeoman of the chamber to Edward VI., and the Queens Mary and Elizabeth.
It stands in the south aisle, with an inscription on a brass plate
against the wall, underneath which is an altar tomb covered with a slab
of black marble, on which are the effigies, in brass, of Robert Rampton,
and his wife Margaret, who died in 1590.
Altogether, Chingford is one of the prettiest villages near London, and
its church is a picturesque attraction for pedestrian tourists, and such
as love to steal away from the maelstroom of an overgrown metropolis, to
glide into scenes of "calm contemplation and poetic ease;" although much
of the journey lies through avenues of bricks and mortar, and trim roads
that swarm with busy toil.
In the parish of Chingford is an estate called Scots Mayhew, or
Brindwoods, which is held of the rector by the following singular
tenure:--"Upon every alienation, the owner of the estate, with his wife,
and a man and maid servant, (each upon a horse) come to the parsonage,
where the owner does his homage, and pays his relief in manner
following:--He blows three blasts with his horn, carries a hawk on his
fist, and his servant has a greyhound in a slip--both for the use of the
rector that day. He receives a chicken for his hawk, a peck of oats for
his horse, and a loaf of bread for his greyhound. They all dine, after
which the master blows three blasts on his horn, and they all
 Morant's Essex, vol. i. p. 57.
For the original of the engraving, and the substance of this
description, our thanks are due to S.I.B.
* * * * *
The old minstrels saw far and deep, and clear into all
heart-mysteries--and, low-born, humble men as they were, their tragic or
comic strains strike like electricity.--_Blackwood._
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE
* * * * *
THE SHAVING SHOP
'Tis not an half hour's work--
A Cupid and a fiddle, and the thing's done.
"Hold back your head, if you please, sir, that I may get this napkin
properly fastened--there now," said Toby Tims, as, securing the pin, he
dipped his razor into hot water, and began working up with restless
brush the lather of his soapbox.
"I dare say you have got a newspaper there," said I; "are you a
politician, Mr. Tims?"
"Oh, just a little bit of one. I get Bell's Messenger at second
hand from a neighbour, who has it from his cousin in the Borough,
who, I believe, is the last reader of a club of fourteen, who take
it among them; and, being last, as I observed, sir, he has the paper
to himself into the bargain.--Please exalt your chin, sir, and keep
your head a little to one side--there, sir," added Toby, cammencing
his operations with the brush, and hoarifying my barbal extremity,
as the facetious Thomas Hood would probably express it. "Now, sir--a
_leetle_ more round, if you please--there, sir, there. It is
a most entertaining paper, and beats all for news. In fact, it is
full of every thing, sir--every, every thing--accidents--charity
sermons--markets--boxing--Bible societies--horse racing--child
murders--the theatres--foreign wars--Bow-street
reports--electioneering--and Day and Martin's blacking."
"Are you a bit of a bruiser, Mr. Tims?"
"Oh, bless your heart, sir, only a _leetle_--a very _leetle_.
A turn-up with the gloves, or so, your honour. I'm but a light
weight--only a light weight--seven stone and a half, sir; but a rare bit
of stuff, though I say it myself, sir--Begging your pardon. I dare say I
have put some of the soap into your mouth. Now, sir, now--please let me
hold your nose, sir."
"Scarcely civil, Mr. Toby," said I, "scarcely civil--Phroo! let me spit
out the suds."
"I will be done in a moment, sir--in half a moment. Well, sir, speaking
of razors, they should be always properly tempered with hot water, a
_leetle_ dip more or less. You see now how it glides over, smooth
and smack as your hand.--Keep still, sir; I might have given you a nick
just now. You don't choose a _leetle_ of the mustachy left?"
"No, no--off with it all. No matrimonial news stirring in this quarter
just now, Mr. Tims?"
"Nothing extremely particular.--Now, sir, you are fit for the king's
levee, so far as my department is concerned. But you cannot go out just
now, sir--see how it rains--a perfect water-spout. Just feel yourself at
home, sir, for a _leetle_, and take a peep around you. That block,
sir, has been very much admired--extremely like the Wenus de
Medicine--capital nose--and as for the wig department, catch me for
that, sir. But of all them there pictures hanging around, yon is the
favourite of myself and the connessoors."
"Ay, Mr. Tims," said I, "that is truly a gem--an old lover kneeling at
the foot of his young sweetheart, and two fellows in buckram taking a
peep at them from among the trees."
"Capital, sir--capital. I'll tell you a rare good story, sir, connected
with that picture and my own history, with your honour's leave, sir."
"With all my heart, Mr. Tims--you are very obliging."
"Well then, sir, take that chair, and I will get on like a house on
fire; but if you please, don't put me off my clew, sir.--Concerning that
picture and my courtship, the most serious epoch of my life, there is
a _leetle_ bit of a story which I would like to be a beacon to
others; and if your honour is still a bachelor, and not yet stranded on
the shoals of matrimony, it may be _Werbum Sapienti_, as O'Toole,
the Irish schoolmaster, used to observe, when in the act of applying the
birch to the booby's back.
"Well, sir, having received a grammatical education, and been brought up
as a peruke-maker from my earliest years--besides having seen a deal of
high life, and the world in general, in carrying false curls, bandeaux,
and other artificial head-gear paraphernalia, in bandboxes to boarding
schools, and so on--a desire naturally sprung up within me, being now in
my twenty-first year, and worth a guinea a week of wages, to look about
for what old kind Seignor Fiddle-stringo, the minuet-master, used to
recommend under the title of a _cara sposa_--open shop--and act
head frizzle in an establishment of my own.
"Very good, sir--In the pursuit of this virtuous purpose, I cast a
sheep's eye over the broad face of society, and at length, from a number
of eligible specimens, I selected three, who, whether considered in the
light of natural beauty, or mental accomplishment, struck me forcibly as
suitable coadjutors for a man--for a man like your humble servant."
"A most royal bow that, Mr. Tims. Well, proceed, if you please."
"Very good, sir--well, then, to proceed. The first of these was Miss
Diana Tonkin, a young lady, who kept her brother's snuff-shop, at the
sign of the African astride the Tobacco Barrel--a rare beauty, who was
on the most intimate talking terms with half a hundred young bloods and
beaux, who looked in during lounging hours, being students of law,
physic, and divinity, half-pay ensigns, and theatrical understrappers,
to replenish their boxes with Lundyfoot, whiff a Havannah cigar, or
masticate pigtail. No wonder that she was spoiled by flattery, Miss
Diana, for she was a bit of a beauty; and though she had but one eye--by
heavens, what an eye that was!"
"She must have been an irresistible creature, certainly, Mr. Tims,"
said I. "Well, how did you come on?"
"Irresistible! but you shall hear, sir. I foresaw that, in soliciting
the honour of the fair damsel's hand, I should have much opposition to
encounter from the rivalry of the three learned professions, to say
nothing of the gentlemen of the sword and of the buskin; but, thinks
I to myself, 'faint heart never won fair lady,' so I at once set up a
snuff-box, looked as tip-topping as possible, and commenced canvassing.
"The second _elite_ (for I know a _leetle_ French, having for
three months, during my apprenticeship, had the honour of frizling the
head-gear of Count Witruvius de Caucason, who occupied private
state-lodgings at the sign of the Blue Boar in the Poultry, and who
afterwards decamped without clearing scores)--the second _elite_
(for I make a point, sir, of having two strings to my bow) was Mrs. Joan
Sweetbread, a person of exquisite parts, but fiery temper, at that time
aged thirty-three, twelve stone weight, head cook and housekeeper to Sir
Anthony Macturk, a Scotch baronet, who rusticated in the vicinity of
town. I made her a few evening visits, and we talked love affairs over
muffins and a cup of excellent congou. Then what a variety of jams and
jellies! I never returned without a disordered stomach, and wishing
Highland heather-honey at the devil. Yet, after all, to prove a
hoax!--for even when I was on the point of popping the question, and had
fastened my silk Jem Belcher with a knowing _leetle_ knot to set
out for that purpose, I learned from Francie, the stable-boy, that she
had the evening before eloped with the coachman, and returned to her
post that forenoon metamorphosed into Madam Trot.
"I first thought, sir, of hanging myself over the first lamp-post; but,
after a _leetle_ consideration, I determined to confound Madam
Trot, and all other fickle fair ones, by that very night marrying Miss
Diana. I hastened on, rushed precipitately into the shop, and on the
subject--and hear, oh heaven, and believe, oh earth! was met, not by a
plump denial, but was shown the door."
"Upon my word, Mr. Tims," said I, "you have been a most unfortunate man.
I wonder you recovered after such mighty reverses; but I hope----"
"Hope! that is the word, sir, the very word, I still had hope; so, after
ten days' horrible melancholy, in which I cropped not a few heads in a
novel and unprecedented style, I at it again, and laid immediate and
close siege to the last and loveliest of the trio--one by whom I was
shot dead at first sight, and of whom it might be said, as I once heard
Kean justly observe in a very pretty tragedy, and to a numerous
audience, 'We ne'er shall look upon her like again!'"
"Capital, Mr. Tims. Well, how did you get on?"
"A moment's patience, with your honour's leave.--Ah! truly might it be
said of her, that she was descended from the high and great--her
grandfather having been not only six feet three, without the shoes, but
for forty odd years principal bell-ringer in the steeple of St. Giles's,
Cripplegate; and her grandmother, for long and long, not only head
dry-nurse to one of the noblest families in all England, but _bona
fide_ twenty-two stone avoirdupois--so that it was once proposed, by
the undertaker, to bury her at twice! As to this nonpareil of lovely
flesh and blood, her name was Lucy Mainspring, the daughter of a
horologer, sir,--a watchmaker--_vulgo_ so called--and though
fattish, she was very fair--fair! by Jupiter, (craving your honour's
pardon for swearing,) she fairly made me give all other thoughts the
cut, and twisted the passions of my heart with the red-hot torturing
irons of love. 'Pon honour, sir, I almost grow foolish when I think of
those days; but love, sir, nothing can resist love."
"I hope, Mr. Tims, you were in better luck with Miss Mainspring?"
"A _leetle_ a _leetle_ patience, your honour, and all will be
out as quick as directly--in the twinkling of a bed-post.--For three
successive nights I sat up in a brown study, with a four-in-the-pound
candle burning before me till almost cock-crow, composing a love-letter,
a most elaborate affair, the pure overflowing of _la belle passion_,
all about Venus, Cupids, bows and arrows, hearts, darts, and them things,
which, having copied neatly over on a handsome sheet of foolscap, turned
up with gilt, (for, though I say it myself, I scribble a smart fist,) I
made a blotch of red wax on the back as large as a dollar, that thereon
I might the more indelibly impress a seal, with a couple of pigeons
cooing upon it, and '_toujours wotre_' for the motto. This I popped
into the post-office, and waited patiently--may I add confidently?--for
"No answer having come as I expected _per_ return, I began to smell
that I was in the wrong box; so, on the following evening, I had a
polite visit from her respectable old father, Daniel Mainspring, who
asked me what my intentions were?--'To commence wig-maker on my own
bottom,' answered I.--'But with respect to my daughter, sir?'--'Why, to
be sure, to make her mistress, sir.'--'Mistress!' quoth he, 'did I hear
you right, sir?'--'I hope you are not hard of hearing, Mr. Mainspring.
I wish, sir--between us, sir--you understand, sir--to marry her,
sir.'--'Then you can't have her, sir.'--'But I must, sir, for I can't
do without her, sir.'--'Then you may buy a rope.'--'Ah! you would not
sign my death-warrant--wouldn't you not now, Mr. Mainspring?'--'Before
going,' said he, rummaging his huge coat-pockets with both hands at
once, 'there is your letter, which I read over patiently, instead of my
daughter, who has never seen it; and I hope you will excuse the liberty
I take of calling you a great fool, and wishing you a good morning.'
"Now, though a lad of mettle, you know, sir, it would not have been
quite the thing to have called out my intended father-in-law; so, with
amazing forbearance, bridling my passion, I allowed him to march off
triumphantly, and stood, with the letter in my hand, looking down the
alley after him, strutting along, staff in hand, like a recruiting
sergeant, as if he had been a phoenix.
"A man of my penetration was not long in scenting out who was the
formidable rival to whom Daddy Mainspring alluded. _Sacre_! to
think the mercenary old hunks could dream of sacrificing my lovely
Lucy to such a hobgoblin of a fellow as a superannuated dragoon
quartermaster, with a beak like Bardolph's in the play. But I had some
confidence in my own qualifications; and as I gave a sly glance down at
my nether person, 'Dash-the-wig-of-him!' thought I to myself, 'if he can
sport a leg like that of Toby Tims.' I accordingly determined not to be
discomfited, and took the earliest opportunity of presenting Miss Lucy,
through a sure channel, with a passionate billet doux, a patent pair of
gilt bracelets, and a box of Ruspini's tooth-powder. By St. Patrick and
all the powers, it was shocking to suppose that such an angel as the
cherry-cheeked Lucy should be stolen from me by such an apology for a
gallant, as Quartermaster Bottlenose of the Tipperary Rangers. 'Twas
murder, by Jupiter."
"I perfectly agree with you, Mr. Tims; Did you challenge him to the
"A _leetle_ patience, if you please, sir, and you shall hear
all. During the violence of my love-fits, I committed a variety of
professional mistakes. I sent at one time a pot of bear's grease away
by the mail, in a wig-box, to a member of parliament in Yorkshire; and
burned a whole batch of baked hair to ashes, while singing Moore's 'When
he who adores thee,' in attitude, before a block, dressed up for the
occasion with a fashionable wig upon it--to say nothing of my having, in
a fit of abstraction, given a beautiful young lady, who was going that
same evening to a Lord Mayor's ball, the complete charity-workhouse cut,
leaving her scalp as bare as the back of my hand. But cheer up!--to my
happy astonishment, sir, matters worked like a charm. What a
parley-vooing and billet-dooing passed between us! We would have
required a porter for the sole purpose. Then we had stolen interviews
of two hours' duration each, for several successive nights, at the
old horologer's back-door, during which, besides a multiplicity of
small-talk--thanks to his deafness--I tried my utmost to entrap her
affections, by reciting sonnets, and spouting bits of plays in the
manner of the tragedy performers. These were the happy times, sir! The
world was changed for me. Paddington canal seemed the river Pactolus,
and Rag-Fair Elysium!
"The old boy, however, ignorant of our orgies, was still bothering
his brains to bring about matrimony between his daughter and the
veteran--who, though no younger than Methusalem, as stiff as the
Monument, and as withered as Belzoni's Piccadilly mummy, had yet
the needful, sir--had abundance of the wherewithal--crops of yellow
shiners--lots of the real--sported a gig, and kept on board wages a
young shaver of all work, with a buff jacket, turned up with sky-blue
facings. Only think, sir--only ponder for a moment what a formidable
rival I had!"
"I hope you beat him off, however," said I. "The greater danger the more
honour you know, Mr. Tims."
"Of that anon, sir.--Lucy, on her part, angelic creature, professed that
she could not dream of being undutiful towards kind old Pa; and that,
unless desperate measures were resorted to, _quamprimum_, in the
twinkling of a bed-post she would be under the disagreeable necessity to
bundle and go with the disabled man of war to the temple of Hymen.
Sacrilegious thought! I could not permit it to enter my bosom, and
(pardon me for a moment, sir) when I looked down, and caught a glance of
my own natty-looking, tight little leg, and dapper Hessians, I
recommended her strongly to act on the principle of the Drury-lane
play-bill, which says, 'All for Love, or the World well lost.'
"Well, sir, hark ye, just to show how things come about. Shortly after
this, on the anniversary of my honoured old master, Zachariah Pigtail's
birth, when we were allowed to strike work at noon, I determined, as
a _dernier resort_, as a clincher, sir, to act the genteel, and
invite Miss Lucy, in her furs and falderals, to accompany me to the
Exhibition of Pictures. Heavens, sir, how I dressed on that day! The
Day and Martin of my boots reflected on the shady side of the street.
I took half an hour in tying and retying my neckcloth _en mode_.
My handkerchief smelt of lavender, and my hair of oil of thyme--my
waistcoat of bergamot, and my inexpressibles of musk. I was a perfect
civet for perfumery. My coat, cut in the jemmy fashion, I buttoned to
suffocation; but 'pon honour, believe me, sir, no stays, and my shirt
neck had been starched _per order_, to the consistence of tin.
In short, to be brief, I found, or fancied myself killing--a most
"I did not dare, however, to call for Miss Lucy at old Pa's, but waited
for her at the corner of the street, patiently drumming on my boot, with
a knowing little bit of bamboo; and projecting my left arm to her, off
we marched in triumph.
"The Exhibition Rooms were crowded with the _ton_; and to be sure a
great many fine things were there. Would you had seen them, sir. There
were admirals in blue, and generals in red--portraits of my lord this,
and my lady that--land scenes, and sea scenes, and hunting scenes, with
thips, and woods, and old castles, all amazingly like life. In short,
sir, Providence seems to have guided us to the spot, where we saw a
picture--_the_ picture, sir--the pattern copy of that there
picture, sir--and heavens! such a piece of work--but of that anon--it
did the business, sir. No sooner had I perused it through my
quizzing-glass, which, I confess, that I had brought with me more for
ornament than use--having eyes like a hawk--than I pathetically
exclaimed to Lucy--'Behold, my love, the history of our fates!' Lucy
said, 'Tuts, Toby Tims,' and gave a giggle; but I went on in solemn
gravity, before a circle of seemingly electrified spectators.
"'Spose now, Miss Lucy,' said I, holding her by the finger of her
Limerick glove; 'spose now, that I had invited you to take an outside
seat on the Hampstead Flying Phoenix with me, to go out to a rural
junketing, on May day in the afternoon. Very well--there we find
ourselves alive and kicking, forty couple footing it on the green,
and choosing, according to our tastes, reels, jigs, minuets, or
bumpkins. 'Spose then, that I have handed you down to the bottom of
five-and-twenty couple at a country-dance, to the tune of Sir Roger
de Coverley, Morgiana in Ireland, Petronella, or the Triumph; and,
notwithstanding our having sucked a couple of oranges a-piece, we are
both quite in a broth of perspiration. Very good--so says I to you,
making a genteel bow, 'Do you please to walk aside, and cool yourself in
them there green arbours, and I will be with you as quick as directly,
with a glass of lemonade or cherry brandy?' So says you to me, dropping
a curtsey _a la mode_, 'With ineffable pleasure, sir;' and away you
trip into the shade like a sunbeam.
"'Now, Lucy, my love, take a good look of that picture. That is you,
'spose, seated on the turf, a _leetle_ behind the pillar dedicated
to Apollar; and you, blooming like a daffodilly in April, are waiting
with great thirst, and not a little impatience, for my promised
appearance, from the sign of the Hen and Chickens, with the cordials,
and a few biscuits on a salver--when, lo! an old bald-pated, oily-faced,
red-nosed Cameronian ranter, whom by your elegant negligee capering you
have fairly danced out of his dotard senses, comes pawing up to you like
Polito's polar bear, drops on his knees, and before you can avert your
nose from a love-speech, embalmed in the fumes of tobacco and purl, the
hoary villain has beslobbered your lily-white fingers, and is protesting
unalterable affection, at the rate of twelve miles an hour, inclusive of
stoppages. Now, Lucy, love, did you ever,--say upon your honour,--did
you ever witness such a spectacle of humanity? Tell me now?
"'Very well. Now, love, take a peep down the avenue, and yon is me, yon
tight, handsome little figure, with the Spanish cap and cloak, attended
by a trusty servant in the same costume, to whom I am pointing where he
is to bring the cherry-brandy; when, lo! we perceive the hideous
apparition!--and straightway rushing forward, like two tigers on a
jackass, we seize the wigless dotard, and, calling for a blanket, the
whole respectable company of forty couples and upwards, come crowding to
the spot, and lend a willing hand in rotation, four by four, in tossing
Malachi, the last of the lovers, till the breath of life is scarcely
left in his vile body.
"'Now Lucy,' says I, in conclusion, 'don't you see the confounded
absurdity of ever wasting a thought on a broken-down, bandy-legged,
beggarly dragoon? Just look at him, with an old taffeta whigmaleerie
tied to his back, like Paddy from Cork, with his coat buttoned behind!
Isn't he a pretty figure, now, to go a-courting? You would never forsake
the like of me--would you now? A spruce, natty little body of a
creature--to be the trollop of a spindle-shanked veteran, who, besides
having one foot in the grave, and a nose fit for three, might be your
"It was a sight, sir, that would have melted the heart of a
wheel-barrow. Before the whole assembled exhibition-room, Lucy first
looked blue, and then blushed consent. 'Toby,' said she, 'don't mention
it, Toby, dear,--I am thine for ever and a day!' Angelic sounds, which
at once sent Bottlenose to Coventry. His chance was now weak indeed,
quite like Grantham gruel, three groats to a gallon of water. In an
ecstacy of passion, sir, I threw my silk handkerchief on the floor, and,
kneeling on it with one knee, I raised her gloveless fingers to my lips!
"The whole company clapped their hands, and laughed so heartily in
sympathy with my good luck! Oh! sir, had you but seen it--what a sight
for sore eyes that was!"
"Then you would indeed be the happy man at last, Mr. Tims," said I. "Did
you elope on the instant?"
"Just done, please your honour.--Next morning, according to special
agreement, we eloped in a gig; and, writing a penitent letter from the
Valentine and Orson at Chelsea, Daddy Mainspring found himself glad to
come to terms. Thrice were the banns published; and such a marriage as
we had! 'Pon honour, sir, I would you had been present. It was a thing
to be remembered till the end of one's life. A deputation of the
honourable the corporation of barbers duly attended, puffed out in full
fig; and even the old quartermaster, pocketing his disappointment, was,
at his own special petition, a forgiven and favoured guest. Seldom has
such dancing been seen within the bounds of London; and, with two
fiddles, a tambourin, and a clarionet, we made all the roofs ring, till
an early hour next morning--and that we did."
"You are a lucky fellow, Mr. Tims," said I.
"And more than that, sir. When old Mainspring kicks, we are to have the
counting of his mouldy coppers--so we have the devil's luck and our own;
and as for false curls, braids, bandeaux, Macassar oil, cold cream,
bear's-grease, tooth-powder, and Dutch toys, show me within the walls
of the City a more respectable, tip-topping perfumery depot and
wig-warehouse, than that wherein you now sit, and of which I, Tobias
Tims, am, with due respect, the honoured master, and your humble
In addition to the foregoing, (which is one of the happiest pieces
in Goldsmith's style that we have read for a long time,) there is in
_Blackwood's Magazine_ an article of extraordinary graphic spirit,
occupying twenty-two pages. But we will attempt to abridge it for our
columns, as well as to give a sprinkling from the _Noctes_ in the
same number. All are in the best style of their vigorous masters.
* * * * *
_To the Memory of Miss Emily Kay, (cousin to Miss Ellen Gee, of Kew,)
who lately died at Ewell, and was buried in Essex_.
D.T. Fabula narratur.
Sad nymphs of UL, U have much to cry for,
Sweet MLE K U never more shall C!
O SX maids! come hither and VU,
With tearful I this M T LEG.
Without XS she did XL alway--
Ah me! it truly vexes 1 2 C
How soon so DR a creature may DK,
And only leave behind XUVE!
Whate'er I O to do she did discharge,
So that an NME it might NDR:
Then Y an SA write? then why N?
Or with my briny tears her BR BDU?
When her Piano-40 she did press,
Such heavenly sounds did MN8, that she,
Knowing her Q, soon I U 2 confess
Her XLNC in an XTC.
Her hair was soft as silk, not YRE,
It gave no Q nor yet 2 P to view:
She was not handsome: shall I tell U Y?
U R 2 know her I was all SQ.
L8 she was, and prattling like AJ.
O, little MLE! did you 4 C
The grave should soon MUU, cold as clay.
And U should cease to B an NTT!
While taking T at Q with LN G,
The MT grate she rose to put a(:)
Her clothes caught fire--I ne'er again shall C
Poor MLE, who now is dead as Solon.
O, LN G! in vain you set at 0
GR and reproach for suffering her 2 B
Thus sacrificed: to JL U should be brought
And burnt U 0 2 B in FEG.
Sweet MLE K into SX they bore,
Taking good care her monument to Y 10,
And as her tomb was much 2 low B 4,
They lately brought fresh bricks the walls to I 10.
_New Monthly Mag_.
* * * * *
Notes of a Reader.
* * * * *
A NEW CYCLOPAEDIA.
A "Cabinet Cyclopaedia" is announced for publication, under the
superintendance of Dr. Lardner. It is to consist of a series of
"Cabinets" of the several sciences, &c. and upwards of 100 volumes, to
be published monthly, are already announced in the prospectus; or nine
years publishing. The design is not altogether new, it being from
the _Encyclopaedie Methodique_, a series of dictionaries, now
publishing in Paris; and about four years since a similar work was
commenced in England, but only three volumes or dictionaries of
the series were published. If this be the flimsy age, the "Cabinet
Cyclopaedia" is certainly not one of the flimsiest of its projects;
and for the credit of the age, we wish the undertaking all success.
* * * * *
Is a term very vaguely applied, and indistinctly understood. There
are Gentlemen by birth, Gentlemen by education, Gentlemen's Gentlemen,
Gentlemen of the Press, Gentlemen Pensioners, Gentlemen, whom nobody
thinks it worth while to call otherwise; _Honourable_ Gentlemen,
Walking Gentlemen of strolling companies, Light-fingered Gentlemen,
&c. &c. very respectable Gentlemen, and God Almighty's
* * * * *
There are five theatres at Rome to a population very nearly as
considerable as that of Dublin. Each of these establishments is the
property of one of the noble families in the city, who prefer doing by
themselves what is usually done in England by committee.
* * * * *
CATS AND FELINE ANIMALS (_once more!_)
Animals of the cat kind are, in a state of nature almost continually in
action both by night and by day. They either walk, creep, or advance
rapidly by prodigious bounds; but they seldom _run_, owing, it
is believed, to the extreme flexibility of their limbs and vertebral
column, which cannot preserve the rigidity necessary to that species of
movement. Their sense of sight, especially during twilight, is acute;
their hearing very perfect, and their perception of smell less so than
in the dog tribe. Their most obtuse sense is that of taste; the lingual
nerve in the lion, according to Des Moulins, being no larger than that
of a middle-sized dog. In fact, the tongue of these animals is as
much an organ of mastication as of taste; its sharp and horny points,
inclined backwards, being used for tearing away the softer parts of the
animal substances on which they prey. The perception of touch is said
to reside very delicately in the small bulbs at the base of the
* * * * *
TEA AND TAY.
_From Blackwood's last "Noctes."_
_North_. As you love me, my dear James, call it not tea, but
_tay_. That though obsolete, is the classical pronunciation. Thus
Pope sings in the _Rape of the Lock_, canto i.
"Soft yielding minds to water glide away,
And sip with nymphs their elemental tea."
And also in canto iii--
"Where thou great Anna, whom these realms obey,
Dost sometimes counsel take, and sometimes tea."
And finally in the Basset Table--
"Tell, tell your grief, attentive will I stay,
Though time is precious, and I want some tea."
_Shepherd_. A body might think frae thae rhymes, that Pop had been
* * * * *
The people of England, we fear, have at last forfeited the proud title
of "merry," to distinguish them from other and less happy, because more
serious, nations; for now they sadden at amusement, and sicken and turn
pale at a jest; so entirely have they forfeited it, that an ingenious
critic cannot believe they ever possessed it; and has set himself
accordingly to prove, that, in the old English, _merrie_ does not
mean merry, but sorrowful, or heart-broken, or some such
* * * * *
There is a tear, more sweet and soft
Than beauty's smiling lip of love;
By angel's eyes first wept and oft
On earth by eyes like those above:
It flows for virtue in distress.
It soothes, like hope, our sufferings here;
'Twas given, and it is shed, to bless--
'Tis sympathy's celestial tear.
* * * * *
Was one day descanting upon the advantages of a public education for
boys, when he concluded by saying, "And what think you of Eton? I think
I shall send my son there to learn manners." "It would have been as
well, my dear," responded his wife, "had you gone there too."
* * * * *
For several years previous to 1823, the crops in Ireland had been
scanty, particularly those of potatoes. In 1821 the potato crop was _a
complete failure_; and in 1822 it is impossible to tell, and dreadful
to think, of what might have been the consequence, had not the English
people come forward, and by the most stupendous act of national
generosity which the world ever saw, and which none but a country so
rich as England could afford, arrested "the plague of hunger," which
must otherwise have desolated the country.
* * * * *
PAINTING IN FRESCO.
The revival of this beautiful art is strongly recommended by a writer
in the _Edinburgh Review_, for the internal decoration of private
residences. "As we have begun to build houses upon a handsome scale in
London, the lovers of art may venture to hope, that instead of spending
enormous sums solely on the upholsterer for his fading ornaments,
something may now be spared to the artist, for conferring on the walls
unfading decorations of a far more delightful and intellectual kind. If
the work be well executed, it will not suffer injury from being washed
with clean and cold water." The reviewer then goes on to suggest "small
foundations, like the fellowships at our universities. The fellow, a
young artist of promise, might spend two or three years in painting the
interior of a church, or other public building, maintaining himself
meanwhile on his fellowship, or two or three hundred pounds a year."
"If, however, the objections to painting our churches be deemed
insuperable, we have buildings designed for civil purposes in abundance,
which are well adapted for this species of decoration." He then
instances Westminster Hall, the walls of which might be covered with
fresco; and the outsides of houses in many German cities and towns in
the German cantons of Switzerland, the outsides of which are painted
with scriptural and historical subjects. "Painting," observes he, "were
the use of it universal, would be a powerful means of instruction to
children and the lower orders; and were all the fine surfaces, which are
now plain and absolutely wasted, enriched with the labours of the art,
if they once began to appear, they would accumulate rapidly; and were
the ornamented edifices open to all, as freely as they ought to be, a
wide field of new and agreeable study would offer itself."
* * * * *
Hast thou power? the weak defend,
Light?--give light: thy knowledge lend.
Rich?--remember Him who gave.
Free?--be brother to the slave.
* * * * *
O what curses, not loud, but deep, has not old Simpkin, of the Crown
and Anchor, in his day, and Willis and Kay in later times, groaned at
the knot of authors who were occupying one of his best dining-rooms
up-stairs, and leaving the Port, and claret, and Madeira to a death-like
repose in the cellar, though the waiter had repeatedly popped his head
into the apartment with an admonitory "Did you ring, gentlemen?" to
awaken them to a becoming sense of the social duties of man.--_New
* * * * *
ALLIGATORS SWALLOWING STONES.
The Indians on the banks of the Oronoko assert, that previously to an
alligator going in search of prey, it always swallows a large stone,
that it may acquire additional weight to aid it in diving and dragging
its victims under water. A traveller being somewhat incredulous on this
point, Bolivar, to convince him, shot several with his rifle, and in all
of them were found stones, varying in weight according to the size of
the animal. The largest killed was about 17 feet in length, and had
within him a stone weighing about 60 or 70 pounds.
* * * * *
Miss Mitford, in one of her charming sketches, tells us of a
cricket-ball being thrown five hundred yards. This is what the people
who write for Drury-lane and Covent-garden would call "pitching it
* * * * *
ADVANTAGES OF CHEAP BOOKS.
When Goldsmith boasted of having seen a splendid copy of his poems in
the cabinet of some great lord, saying emphatically, "This is fame, Dr.
Johnson," the doctor told him that, for his part, he would have been
more disposed to self-gratulation had he discovered any of the progeny
of his mind thumbed and tattered in the cabin of a peasant.--_Q.
* * * * *
I recollect my happy home,
My pleasures as a child;
The forest where I used to roam,
The rocks so bleak and wild.
That home is tenantless; the spot
It graced is rude and bare;
The lov'd ones gone, our name forgot.
And desolation there.
_Forget Me Not_--1829.
In how many thousand hearts will this lament find an echo!
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
QUID PRO QUO.
A canon of the cathedral of Seville, who was very affected in his dress,
and particular in his shoes, could not in the whole city find a workman
to his liking. An unfortunate shoemaker to whom he applied, after
quitting many others, having brought him a pair of shoes which did not
please his taste, the canon became furious, and seizing one of the tools
of the shoemaker, gave him with it so many blows on the head, that the
poor shoemaker fell dead on the floor. The unhappy man left a widow,
four daughters, and a son fourteen years of age, the eldest of the
indigent family. They made their complaints to the chapter; the canon
was prosecuted, and condemned _not to appear in the choir for a
The young shoemaker, having attained to man's estate, was scarcely able
to get a livelihood; and overwhelmed with wretchedness, sat down on the
day of a procession at the door of the cathedral of Seville, in the
moment the procession passed by. Among the other canons he perceived the
murderer of his father. At the sight of this man, filial affection,
rage, and despair got so far the better of his reason, that he fell
furiously on the priest, and stabbed him to the heart. The young man was
seized, convicted of the crime, and immediately condemned to be
quartered alive. Peter, whom we call the cruel, and whom the Spaniards,
with more reason, call the lover of justice, was then at Seville. The
affair came to his knowledge, and after learning the particulars, he
determined to be himself the judge of the young shoemaker. When he
proceeded to give judgment, he first annulled the sentence just
pronounced by the clergy; and after asking the young man what profession
he was, "_I forbid you_," said he, "_to make shoes for a year to
* * * * *
When Demetrius conquered the city of Magara, and every thing had been
plundered by his soldiers, he ordered the philosopher Stilpon to be
called before him, and asked him whether he had not lost his property in
this confusion? "No," replied Stilpon, "as all I possess is in my head."
* * * * *
LORD MAYOR'S DAY.
A country gentleman, much averse to city revelry, made the following
Music hath charms to sooth the savage beast,
And therefore proper at a city feast.
A city gentleman, who had laid up a store of wealth, replied:--
The chink of gold with gold, transporting sound!
Exceeds the Timbrel, or the Syren's voice
Harmonious, when collective plates go round,
And Hock and Turtle make the heart rejoice.
* * * * *
An inveterate sportsman, hearing early his favourite cry of beagles from
the wood, exclaimed:--
Hark, friend, what heavenly music meets the ear;
Haste, farmer, we shall lose it all, I fear.
The rustic, who dreads hounds over his new-sown wheat, replies:--
Music! I cannot hear it for the noise
Of those curs'd dogs, loud shouts, and bellowing boys.
* * * * *
Antigonus, being in his tent, heard two soldiers, who were standing
outside, speak very disrespectfully of him. After he had listened some
time, he opened the tent and said to them, "If you wish to speak thus of
me, you might at least go a little aside."--_Sulzer._
* * * * *
A supplementary number of the Mirror, containing the "_Spirit of the
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on Saturday, November 15."
* * * * *
Purchasers of the Mirror, who may wish to complete their sets are
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Complete sets Vol I. to XI. in boards, price L2. 19s. 6d. half bound,
* * * * *
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