The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 13,
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 13, No. 352.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 17, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
PRINCE RUPERT'S PALACE
[Illustration: Prince Rupert's palace, Barbican.]
Prince Rupert, who will be remembered in the annals of the useful and
fine arts when his military fame shall be forgotten, resided at a house
in Beech-lane, Barbican, of the remains of which the above is a
representation. His residence here was in the time of Charles II.; for
it is said that Charles paid him a visit, when the ringers of
Cripplegate had a guinea for complimenting the royal guest with a "merry
peal." As the abode of a man of science, (for the prince was one of the
most ingenious men of his time,) this engraving will doubtless be
acceptable to the readers of the MIRROR. It, moreover, shows that even
at that period, a residence in the City and its neighbourhood was not
thought derogatory to a man of rank or fortune.
With the historical character of Prince Rupert, most of our readers are
probably familiar. Many useful inventions resulted from his studies,
among which are the invention of "Prince's Metal," locks for fire-arms,
improvements in gunpowder, &c. After the restoration, he was admitted
into the Privy Council. He likewise became a fellow of the newly-founded
Royal Society, and a member of the Board of Trade; and to his influence
is ascribed the establishment of the Hudson's Bay Company, of which he
was the first governor. Orford, Evelyn, and Vertue attribute to him the
invention of mezzotinto engraving; but this has been disputed, and, we
 He likewise held the villa of Brandenburgh House, at
Hammersmith, since known as the residence of Queen Caroline.
* * * * *
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE COLOSSEUM, IN THE REGENT'S PARK.
By the courtesy of Mr. Hornor, the proprietor, we have been favoured
with a private view of the _interior_ of this stupendous building; and,
as it is our intention to illustrate the ensuing Number of the MIRROR
with a view of the exterior, we shall for the present confine ourselves
to such descriptive details as we have been enabled to collect in our
recent visit. The interior is, however, in an unfinished state; the
works are in actual progress, and the operations of the several artists
continue uninterrupted by the access of visiters.
On entering the edifice by the large door in front, a staircase on the
right leads to a passage, which communicates with a circular saloon hung
with coloured drapery. This room, which, when finished, will be the
largest of the kind in London, occupies the whole internal space, or the
basement of the building, with the exception of the staircase leading to
the summit, which rises like a large column from the centre. This
circular saloon is intended for the exhibition of paintings and other
productions of the fine arts; and it redounds highly to the credit of
Mr. Hornor, that this exhibition is to be entirely free of charge to the
artists. Such an introduction of their works to public notice cannot
fail to prove mutually advantageous.
It may be here necessary to state that the wall of the building
represents a panoramic _View of London_, as seen from the several
galleries of St. Paul's Cathedral--and that the view of the picture is
obtained from three galleries--the _first_ of which corresponds, in
relation to the view, with the first gallery at the summit of the dome
of St. Paul's; the _second_ is like that of the upper gallery on the
same edifice; and the _third_, from its great elevation, commands a view
of the remote distance which describes the horizon in the painting.
Above the last-mentioned gallery is placed the identical copper ball
which for so many years occupied the summit of St. Paul's; and above it
is a fac-simile of the cross by which it was surmounted. Over these is
hung the small wooden cabin in which Mr. Hornor made his drawings for
the picture, in the same perilous situation it occupied during the
period of the repairs which some years ago were done to the cathedral. A
small flight of stairs leads from this spot to the open gallery which
surrounds the top of the Colosseum, commanding a view of the Regent's
Park and the subjacent country.
The communication with the galleries is by staircases of curious
construction, built on the outer side of the central column already
mentioned. This column is hollow, and within it a small circular chamber
is to be caused to ascend when freighted with company, by means of
machinery, with an imperceptible motion to the first gallery. The doors
of the chamber will then open, and by this novel means of being
elevated, visiters may avoid the fatigue of ascending by the stairs, and
then walk out into the gallery to enjoy the picture.
In extent and accuracy, the Panorama is one of the most surprising
achievements of art in this or any other country. The picture covers
upwards of 40,000 square feet, or nearly an acre of canvass; the dome of
the building on which the sky is painted, is thirty feet more in
diameter than the cupola of St. Paul's; and the circumference of the
horizon from the point of view, is nearly 130 miles. The painting is
almost completed; indeed, sufficiently so, for the general effect;
although this will be considerably increased by the insertion of the
remaining details, and the last or finishing touches. Much as the
spectator will be struck by the fidelity of the representation, there is
one claim it has to his admiration, which has only to be explained to be
universally acknowledged. It is simply this. Only let such of our
readers as have ascended the galleries of St. Paul's, think of the
fatigue they experienced in the toil, and comparatively speaking, the
little gratification they experienced on their arrival at the summit. In
short, what had they for their pains but the distinct roofs of the
houses in the immediate vicinity, while the rest of the city was half
lost in fog and the smoke of "groves of chimneys." The only period at
which London _can be seen_, is at sun-rise on a fine summer
morning--such a morning, for instance, as that of the last Coronation.
This too must be before the many thousand fires are lighted--exactly the
period at which it is impossible to gain admittance to the cathedral. In
the Panorama of the Colosseum, therefore, alone it is that we can see
the "mighty heart," the town we inhabit; and for this grand scene we are
indebted to the indefatigable genius of Mr. Hornor.
The magnificent effect of the Panorama, however, baffles all description
of our pen. Indeed, the scene gives rise to so many inspiring
associations in an enthusiastic mind, that few Englishmen, and still
fewer Londoners, are equal to the detail of its description. Every inch
of the vast circumference abounds with subject for reflection. The
streets filled with passengers and vehicles--the grandeur of the public
buildings, churches, and palatial structures--the majestic river winding
grandly along, with the shipping, vessels, and gay trim of civic barges
gliding on its surface, its banks studded with splendid hospitals,
docks, and antique towers--and its stream crossed with magnificent
bridges--till it stretches away beyond the busy haunts of industry, to
the rural beauties of Richmond, and the castellated splendour of
Windsor. Of course, the river is the most attractive object in the
painting; but overlooking the merits of the town itself, and the world
of streets and buildings--the representation of the environs is
delightfully picturesque, and the distances are admirably executed;
while the whole forms an assemblage of grandeur, unparalleled in art, as
the reality is in the history of mankind.
The grand and distinguishing merit of the Panorama at the Colosseum is,
however, of a higher order than we have yet pointed out to the reader.
It has the _unusual_ interest of picturesque effect with the most
scrupulous accuracy; and, in illustration of the latter excellence, so
plain are the principal streets in the view, that thousands of visitors
will be able to identify their own dwellings. We have termed this an
unusual effect, because we are accustomed to view panoramas as fine
productions of art, with fascinating and novel contrasts, and altogether
as beautiful pictures; but pleasing as may be their effect on the
spectator, it must fall very short of the intense interest created by
the topographical or map-like accuracy of Mr. Hornor's picture, which is
correct even to the most minute point of detail. Thousands of spectators
will therefore become rivetted by some particular objects, for every
Londoner can name a score of sites which are endeared to him by some
grateful recollections and associations of his life; whilst our country
friends will be lost in admiration at the immense knot of dwellings,
till they contrive to pick their road back to their inn or temporary
abode in this queen of cities. In order to court the rigorous inspection
of the most critical visiters, engraved sections of the various parts of
the picture, numbered and described, will be placed in the compartments
to which the panorama corresponds; and for still further gratification,
glasses will he placed in the gallery, by which houses at the distance
of ten or twelve miles from the city may easily be discerned. All this
amounts to microscopic painting, or the most elaborate mosaic-work of
The effect of the near houses, or those in the immediate vicinity of St.
Paul's, is very striking; and the perspective and effect of light and
shade of the campanile towers in front of the cathedral are admirably
managed. In short, nothing can exceed the fine contrast of the bold and
broad buildings in the fore-ground with the work of the middle, and the
minuteness of the back-ground:--
Now to the sister hills that skirt her plain,
To lofty Harrow now, and now to where
Majestic Windsor lifts his princely brow,
In lovely contrast to this glorious view,
Heavens! what a goodly prospect spreads around,
Of hills, and dales, and woods, and lawns, and spires,
The stretching landscape into mist decays.
It seems scarcely possible for painting to achieve anything nearer to
reality than has been effected in the union of the projecting portions
and the flat surface of the picture--an effect which will be hailed with
enthusiasm by the spectator. This part is the work of Mr. Paris, "of
whose talents and valuable assistance in the execution of the painting,"
says a writer in the _Times_, "the proprietor speaks in terms of
generous enthusiasm, which are well deserved, and equally honourable to
both parties." Another critical writer, in the _Weekly Review_,
likewise, pays a deserved tribute to the genius of Mr. Paris, in his
share of the painting. He says, "The spectator who shall view this
magnificent Panorama, without being previously informed of the
difficulties with which the able and indefatigable artist, Mr. E.T.
Paris, had to contend, however he may be struck with the _tout
ensemble_, will hardly be able to appreciate the merit of the work. In
the first place, as no one individual could accomplish such an
undertaking in a sufficiently short period, many artists were
necessarily employed; each of these had his own peculiar style, and
taste, and notions, which of course he would not depart from; when each
of the assistant artists, therefore, had finished his part, it was
necessary for Mr. Paris to go himself over the whole, retouch
everything, and reduce the various parts into harmony with each other.
This he has effected in the most admirable manner, so that, at present
the productions of numerous dissimilar pencils appear like the creation
of one man. Another, and perhaps still greater difficulty, was to
preserve the true perspective from so elevated and novel a point of
view, and on curved canvass; for, by the closing of the dome, that part
of the picture upon which the greatest distance was to be represented,
is in reality placed nearest to the spectator. We must observe, however,
that these difficulties have all been surmounted, and that the illusion
is most complete."
Our limits advise us to quit the principal building, or that
appropriated to the panoramic view, especially as we cannot convey to
the reader an indistinct notion of the curious stair-work, machinery,
and carpentry of the ascents, &c. We were induced to ascend to the
exterior, but the mid-day smoke of the town, and the heavy fog of the
day, spoiled our view. Had it not been so, the numerous buildings below,
with the gardens, &c. would have reminded us that much yet remained to
be seen. We hastened down the staircase, as quickly as the loop-hole
light would allow, (for this part is to be lit with gas,) and returned
to the front court by the large door at which we entered. In the
entrance-hall are two aloes in tubs, one of them of noble size, and we
could not help contrasting this single triumph of Nature with the little
world of art we had just been exploring; and our train of reflection was
unbroken on our entering by the left-hand lodge-door, a range of arched
conservatories, in the centre of one of which is a _Camellia Japonica_,
which produces thirty varieties of flower, and is, perhaps, the most
magnificent specimen in England. Already here are several rare and
beautiful plants--a large proportion of exotics, and some of the most
curious plants of this country's growth. In the centre of one of the
chambers is a circular tank of water, surrounded by small _jets_, which
are to raise their streams so as to form a round case of water, within
which are to be aquatic plants, &c. At the end of this room aviaries are
Hence we ascended into a beautiful reading-room, with French windows and
rusticated Gothic verandas. The _artistes_ were here busy in hanging the
walls, &c. with green damask moreen. The next room in the suite will be
a library of beautiful proportions; and beyond this will be another room
equally splendid, besides numerous other smaller apartments, in all
numbering thirty. The object of this part of the building is to afford
to subscribers all the advantages of a club and a reading-room, combined
with the novel and luxurious conveniences of the establishment. We now
come to what appears to us the _bijou_ of the whole. A passage leads
from the saloon to a suite of small chambers, representing a Swiss
cottage. One of these rooms is finished. It is wainscotted with coloured
(knotted) wood, and carved in imitation of the fanciful interior of the
dwellings of the Swiss mountaineers. The immense projecting chimney, its
capacious corners, and the stupendous fire-dogs, are truly
characteristic charms of cottage life; and the illusion is not a little
enhanced by the prospect from the windows, consisting of terrific rocks
and caverns, among which a cascade is to fall from an immense height
into a lake, which is to spread immediately beneath the windows. The
water is not yet admitted here; but from some successful specimens of
this branch of art, which we have seen, we are induced to think the
Swiss cottage and its scenery will be very attractive. The exterior of
the dwelling, with its broad eaves, &c. is beautifully picturesque; and
the interior, supplied with a _suite_ of rustic furniture, is even
sufficiently unique for the _recherche_ taste of Mr. Hope.
This is but an imperfect outline of the ingenious works which are now
just finishing at the Colosseum. The undertaking, as the name imports,
is one of the most gigantic enterprises for public gratification which
it has ever been our lot to witness; but great as may be the capital
already expended here, and indefatigable as have been the exertions of
the proprietor during the last seven years, it is almost impossible that
such genius should not be amply remunerated. As a concentration of every
refined amusement and luxurious comfort which the taste of the times can
dictate, the Colosseum will doubtless be without a rival in Europe. The
charms of useful and elegant literature will here alternate with the
exquisite masterpieces of modern art--and to aid these attractions, the
pure pleasures of the garden and green-house, and studies from the wild
and wonderful of sublime nature--will be superadded. The extent occupied
by the requisite buildings, &c. is, as we were informed, little short of
To conclude, the Colosseum will very shortly be opened to the public. In
the meantime, such persons as wish, may be gratified with a private view
of the works in their present state, on terms which have already been
announced by the proprietor.
 It may be a test of the length of the reader's acquaintance
with the MIRROR--but at page 450, vol. i. he will find a brief
account of the means by which Mr. Hornor completed his sketches
for the Panorama--his erection of an observatory--and a faint
idea of the extreme perils, all which did not daunt the fearless
mind of this aspiring artist. Mr. Britton says the sketches made
for the projected picture, occupied 2,000 sheets of paper!
 Mimic rocks and stones may be wrought into sublime effect;
and have often been introduced into landscape-gardening with
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror._)
Yes! tis to thee love
I waken the string:
Yes! 'tis to thee love
I only would sing;
And in thine eyes love,
I ask but to shine;
With softest affection,
As thou dost in mine.
Dearest and kindest,
I ask but to be
Cherished by thee love,
As thou art by me;
Then shall our moments
Glide sunnily o'er.
And blest with each other,
We sigh for no more.
Wife of thy bosom,
By thee loved alone,
No dearer blessing
This proud world can own:
All its attractions
Delighted I'll fly,
For thee love, to live,
And with thee love to die!
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror._)
Hieroglyphics consist in certain symbols which are made to stand for
invisible objects, on account of some analogy which such symbols were
supposed to bear to the objects. Egypt was the country where this sort
of writing was most studied, and brought into a regular science. In
hieroglyphics was conveyed all the boasted knowledge of their priests.
According to the properties which they ascribed to animals, they chose
them to be the emblems of moral objects. Thus ingratitude was expressed
by a viper; imprudence, by a fly; wisdom, by an ant; knowledge, by an
eye; eternity, by a circle which has neither beginning nor end; a man
universally shunned, by an eel, which they supposed to be found with no
other fish. Sometimes they joined two or more of these characters
together, as a serpent with a hawk's head, denoted nature, with God
presiding over it.
* * * * *
MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.
BULL-FIGHTS AT LIMA.
_From General Miller's Memoirs. Second edition._
The taste for bull-fights, introduced by the early Spaniards, is
retained by their American descendants with undiminished ardour. The
announcement of an exhibition of this kind produces a state of universal
excitement. The streets are thronged, and the population of the
surrounding country, dressed in their gayest attire, add to the
multitudes of the city. The sport is conducted with an eclat that
exceeds the bull-fights in every other part of South America, and
perhaps even surpasses those of Madrid. The death of the bull, when
properly managed, creates as much interest in the ladies of Lima, as the
death of the hare to the English huntress, or the winning horse to the
titled dames at Newmarket or Doncaster. Nor can the pugilistic _fancy_
of England take a deeper interest in the event of a prize-fight, than
the gentlemen of Lima in the scientific worrying of a bull. It is
curious to observe how various are ideas of cruelty in different
countries. The English, for instance, exclaim against the barbarity of
the bull-fight, as compared with the noble sport of cock-fighting,
badger-baiting, &c. But their enlightened horror could not exceed the
disgust shown by a young South American, who witnessed a casual
boxing-match between two boys in Hyde Park, surrounded and encouraged,
as he expressed himself, by well-dressed barbarians. It is amusing to
witness the complacency with which one nation accuses another of
cruelty, without taking a glance at customs at home. The bulls destined
for the ring are obtained principally from the woods in the valleys of
Chincha, where they are bred in a wild state. To catch and drive them to
Lima, a distance of sixty leagues, is a matter of no inconsiderable
expense. A bull is given by each _gremio_, or incorporated trading
company of the city. The gremios vie in decorating their donation, which
is bedizened with ribbons and flowers; across its shoulders are
suspended mantles richly embroidered with the arms of the gremio to
which it belongs, all of which become the perquisite of the _Toreador_
or _Matador_ who slays the bull. The price of admission is four reals,
or two shillings; but an additional charge is made for seats in the
boxes; and the managers pay a considerable tax to government on every
performance. Early in the afternoon of the day fixed upon for a
bull-fight, every street leading to the amphitheatre is crowded with
carriages, horsemen, and pedestrians. All are in the highest state of
excitement, the highest glee, and in full dress. The business of the
ring commences, about 2 p.m. by a curious sort of prelude. A company of
soldiers perform a _despejo_, or a military pantomime. The men having
been previously drilled for that purpose, go through a variety of
fanciful evolutions, forming the Roman and Greek crosses, stars, and
figures, so describing a sentence, such as _viva la patria, viva San
Martin_, or the name of any other person who happens to be at the head
of the government. As a _finale_, the soldiers form a circle, face
outwards, then advance towards the boxes, preserving their circular
order, which they extend, until they approach close enough to climb up
to the benches. Every movement is made to the sound of the drum; the
effect is exceedingly good. A band of music is likewise in attendance,
and plays at intervals. The prelude being over, six or seven toreador
enter the arena on foot, dressed in silk jackets of different colours,
richly spangled or bordered with gold or silver lace. One or two of
these men, and who are called _matadores_, are pardoned criminals, and
they receive a considerable sum for every bull they kill. About the same
time various amateurs, well mounted on steeds gaily caparisoned,
fancifully and tastefully attired, present themselves. When all is
prepared, a door is opened under the box occupied by the municipality,
and a bull rushes from a pen. At first he gazes about as if in surprise,
but is soon put upon his mettle, by the waving of flags and the throwing
of darts, crackers, and other annoyances. The amateur cavaliers display
their horsemanship and skill in provoking and in eluding his vengeance,
in order to catch the eye of some favourite fair one, and to gain the
applause of their friends and the audience. They infuriate the animal by
waving a mantle over his head, and when pursued they do not allow their
horses to advance more than a few inches from the horns of the angry
bull. When at full speed, they make their horse revolve upon his hind
legs, and remain in readiness to make a second turn upon the animal.
This operation is several times repeated with equal agility and
boldness, and is called _capear_. The amateurs then promenade around to
acknowledge the plaudits bestowed. This species of sparring on horseback
with the bull, is practised only in South America. Indeed in no other
part of the world is the training of the horses, or the dexterity of the
horseman, equal to the performance of such exploits. Effigies made of
skin and filled with wind, and others made of straw, in which are live
birds, are placed in the arena. The bull tosses them in the air, but
being made heavy at the base, they come to the ground always retaining
an upright posture. The straw figures are furnished with fire-works,
which are made to take fire when the birds escape from within, and it
sometimes happens that the bull has the flaming and cracking figure upon
his horns. Sometimes the bull is maddened by fire-works being fastened
on him, which go off in succession. The crackers being expended, the
animal usually stands gazing around with rolling tongue, panting sides,
and eyes sparkling with rage. He is then faced by the principal matador,
who holds a straight sword in one hand and a flag in the other; as the
bull runs at him with full speed, the matador coolly, but with great
celerity, takes one step to the left, holding the flag just over the
spot he occupied when the bull took aim. Being foiled, the bull wheels
round, and charges his tormentor a second time, who again skilfully
eludes being caught on the horns: this is repeated about three times, to
the great delight of the audience. At length the matador assumes a sort
of fencing attitude, and at the critical moment, plunges his sword into
the bull's neck, near to its shoulders, when it falls dead at his feet.
Handkerchiefs are waved, and applauding shouts resound from every side.
Four horses richly harnessed then appear. The dead bull is quickly fixed
to traces, and dragged out at a gallop, cheered by continued
"Four steeds that spurn the rein, as swift as shy,
Hurl the dark bulk along, scarce seen in dashing by."
Other bulls are killed in the same way by successive matadores. One is
generally despatched by means of a long knife grasped by the matador, so
that when his arm is extended, the blade is perpendicular to the wrist.
The bull being worried for a time, the matador, instead of receiving him
on the point of a sword as before, steps one pace aside as the bull runs
at him, and adroitly plunges the knife into the spinal marrow behind the
horns, and the animal drops dead instantaneously. Another bull is next
attacked by mounted picadores, armed with lances. Their legs are
protected by padding. Their horses are of little value, and cannot
easily get out of the way of the bull. Neither do the riders often
attempt it; to do so being considered cowardly. The consequence is, the
horses generally receive a mortal gore; part of their entrails are
frequently torn out, and exhibit a most disgusting spectacle. The riders
run considerable risk, for their lances are inadequate to killing the
bull, which after being gored and mangled, is finally despatched by a
The next bull, as he sallies from the pen, is encountered by six or
eight Indians with short lances, who kneel down like the front rank of a
battalion to receive a cavalry charge. One or two Indians are usually
tossed; the others follow up the bull, and when he turns upon them, they
drop on one knee and receive him as before. They are seldom able to
despatch him, and a matador steps forward to end his sufferings. Some of
the Indians are often much hurt: they invariably make themselves half
drunk before they enter the circus, alleging that they can fight the
bull better when they see double. Again, another bull is let into the
ring for the lanzada, or trial of the lance, the handle of which is very
long and strong, fixed into a wooden socket secured to the ground, and
supported by an Indian torrero. The head of the lance is a long blade of
highly tempered steel; and made sharp as a razor. Before the bull is
permitted to leave the pen, he is rendered furious by a variety of
torments. When he has been sufficiently maddened, the doors are thrown
open, and the animal makes a rush at the Indian, who is dressed in
scarlet, and directs the lance as he kneels on the ground. The raging
bull runs at him; but he steadily points the lance, so as to receive the
bull on its point. Such is the force with which he plunges at his
opponent, that the lance generally enters at the head, and breaking
through skull and bones, comes out at the sides or back. Finally, a bull
with tail erect, comes bellowing and bounding in, with a man strapped on
his back. The animal jumps and capers about, making every effort to rid
himself of his burthen, to the no small amusement of the spectators. The
rider at length loosens the straps, and the bull is attacked on all
sides by amateurs and matadores on foot and on horseback. When a matador
has killed a bull, he bows to the government box, then to the
municipality, and then all around, receiving plaudits in proportion to
the skill he has shown, and the sport he has afforded. Advancing then to
the box of the municipality, he receives his reward from one of the
members, who is appointed as judge on the occasion, which consists of a
few dollars thrown into the arena. When the spectators are particularly
gratified by the performance, they also throw money into the ring.
* * * * *
THE ANECDOTE GALLERY.
ANECDOTES OF CELEBRATED AUTHORS, FRENCH AND ITALIAN.
Crebillon's manner of life was extremely singular. He slept little, and
lay very hard; he was always surrounded with about thirty cats and dogs;
and used to smoke tobacco, to keep his room sweet against their
exhalations. Being one day asked, in a large company, which of his works
he thought the best? "I don't know," answered he, "which is my best
production; but this (pointing to his son, who was present) is certainly
my worst." "It is," replied the son, with vivacity, "because no
Carthusian had a hand in it," alluding to the report that the best
passages in his father's tragedies had been written by a Carthusian
friar, who was his friend.
Molieres, the celebrated French priest and mathematician, was a very
irritable man, which led him frequently into passions, of which one was
the cause of his death in 1742. In other respects he was reckoned a very
amiable character; but was apt to be so absent, or absorbed in his
studies, as to appear almost wholly insensible to surrounding objects.
His infirmity in this respect became known, and he was accordingly made
the subject of depredations. A shoe-black once finding him profoundly
absorbed in a reverie, contrived to steal the silver buckles from his
shoes, replacing them with iron ones. At another time, while at his
studies, a villain broke into the room in which he was sitting, and
demanded his money; Molieres, without rising from his studies, or giving
any alarm, coolly showed him where it was, requesting him, as a great
favour, that he would not derange his papers.
Ariosto, the celebrated Italian poet, being asked why he had not built
his house in a more magnificent manner, and more suitable to the noble
descriptions which he had given of sumptuous palaces, beautiful
porticoes, and pleasant fountains, in his _Orlando Furioso_, he replied,
"that words were combined together with less expense than stones." To
such a degree was he charmed with his own verse, and so much did he also
excel in his manner of reading, that he was always disgusted if he heard
his own writings repeated with an ill grace and accent. Accordingly, it
is said, that, when he accidentally heard a potter singing a stanza of
his _Orlando_ in an incorrect and ungraceful manner, he was so incensed,
that he rushed into his shop and broke several of the pots which were
exposed to sale; when the potter expostulated with him for this
unprovoked injury, Ariosto replied, "I indeed have broken half a dozen
of your pots, which are not worth so many halfpence, and you have
spoiled a stanza of mine, which is worth a considerable sum of gold." He
was so attached to a plain and frugal mode of life, that he says of
himself in one of his poems, "that he was a fit person to have lived in
the world when acorns were the food of mankind." His constitution was
delicate and infirm; and, notwithstanding his temperance and general
abstemiousness, his health was often interrupted. He bore his last
sickness with uncommon resolution and serenity; affirming, "that he was
willing to die on many accounts, and particularly because he found that
the greatest divines were of opinion that we shall know one another in
the other world;" and he observed to those who were with him, "that many
of his friends were departed, whom he desired to visit, and that he
thought every moment tedious till he gained that happiness."
Dante, the celebrated Italian poet, has been described by Boccacio, as
of a middle stature, of a pensive and melancholy expression in his
countenance. He was courteous and civil, and his way of living extremely
temperate. He is said to have been a very absent man, of which instances
have been recorded; once meeting with a book in an apothecary's, which
he had been long looking for, he opened it, and read from morning till
night without being roused from his pursuit by the distraction and
tumult occasioned by a great wedding passing through the street. For
some time he roved about Italy in an indigent and distressed condition,
till he was hospitably received by the Lord of Ravenna, his patron and
Paul Scarron, whose life abounds with curious features, married
Mademoiselle d'Aubigne, afterwards the celebrated Madame de Maintenon,
who was at that time only sixteen years of age. On his marriage, the
notary asked him what dowry he would settle upon his wife? he replied,
"Immortality: the names of the wives of kings die with them, but the
name of Scarron's wife shall live for ever." He was accustomed to talk
to his superiors with great freedom, and in a very jocular style. In a
dedication to the king, he thus addressed his majesty: "I shall
endeavour to persuade your majesty, that you would do yourself no
injury, were you to do me a small favour; for in that case I should
become gay. If I should become more gay, I should write sprightly
comedies; and if I should write sprightly comedies, your majesty would
be amused, and thus your money would not be lost. All this appears so
evident that I should certainly be convinced of it, if I were as great a
king as I am now a poor unfortunate man." Scarron took pleasure in
reading his works to his friends, as he composed them; he used to call
it trying them. Segrais and another person coming to him one day, "Take
a chair," he said, "and sit down, that I may examine my Comic Romance."
When he saw them laugh very heartily, he said he was satisfied, "my book
will be well received since it makes persons of such delicate taste
laugh." He was not disappointed in his expectations, for the Romance had
a great run. In the year 1638, he was attending the Carnival at Mons, of
which he was a canon. Having put on the dress of a savage, he was
followed by a troop of boys into a morass, where he was kept so long,
that the cold penetrated his debilitated limbs, which became contracted
in such a manner, that he used to compare his body to the shape of a Z.
He died in 1660, at the age of fifty; he said to his friends who
surrounded his dying bed, "I shall never make you weep so much as I have
made you laugh." In his epitaph, made by himself, he desires, in a
mixture of the comic and the pathetic, that the passengers would not
awaken, by their noise, poor Scarron from the first good sleep he had
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF _NEW WORKS_.
LEGENDS OF THE LAKES; OR, SAYINGS AND DOINGS AT KILLARNEY.
_By T. Crofton Croker, Esq._
Two volumes of "tickling" legendary tales are almost too much for our
laughter-holding sides, but more especially at this merry
season--fraught with humour--and when reminiscences of the past make up
for lack of realities of the present. To "notice" such a work is ten
times more (we had almost said) trouble than to despatch half a dozen
dull books, or a dozen harmless, well-meaning satires on human nature.
But we will do our best to detach some of the good things from Mr.
Croker's volumes, although the humour of the _sketches_ which adorn
them, is of too subtle a quality for our pen or sheet to hold.
Mr. Croker takes for granted that when people go to see the Lakes of
Killarney, they do not intend making a very serious business of the
excursion; but rather desire, while their eyes are pleased with romantic
scenery, that their ears should be tickled by legendary tales; and
accordingly he thinks it extraordinary that no guide-book should exist
for the local traditions of Killarney. This accounts for our finding Mr.
Croker on the box of the Killarney mail coach, beside Mat. Crowley, the
driver, at page 2, of his first volume. Here is no preamble about
"friends pressing the author to print--not intended for the public
eye--a mere note-book," &c.--but he begins his journey with the first
crack of the whip, and a "righte merrie" journey it is.
Our facetious friend soon reaches Killarney, and is introduced to the
lord high-admiral of the lakes, and then, as the newspapers say of a
pantomime, the "fun begins." Our first extract is
O'SULLIVAN'S PUNCH BOWL.
"What are we to land here for?" said I to the coxswain.
"Only just to show your honour O'Sullivan's cascade," was the reply.
"Here, Doolan, show the gentleman the way." Ascending a rugged path
through the wood, we soon reached the foot of the fall.
"Isn't that as fine a sight as you'd meet with in a month of Sundays,"
said Doolan. "Only see how the white water comes _biling_ like a pot of
_praties_ over the big, black rocks, down it comes, one tumble over the
other, the green trees all the while stretching out their arms as if
they wanted to stop it. And then it makes such a _dickins_ of a _nise_
as it pounces into that black pool at the bottom, that it's enough to
bother the brains of a man entirely. Why, then, isn't it a wonder how
all that water sprung up out of the mountain? for sure, isn't there a
bit of a lake above there, in the hollow of the hill that the waterfall
comes out of,--they calls it O'Sullivan's Punch Bowl?"
"And, pray, who was this O'Sullivan that had such a capacious Punch
"Och, then, 'tis he's the fine, portly looking _jantleman_, and has a
_vice_ (voice) as big as twenty; 'twould do your heart good to hear the
cry of him on a stag hunt day, making the mountain ring again."
"Well, Doolan, you haven't told me all this time who O'Sullivan is."
"Why, then, that's the _quare_ question for your honour to be after
_axing_ me. Sure all the country knows O'Sullivan of Toomies, for didn't
him, and his father before him, live at the butt end of the mountain,
near the neck of the Lawn; and wasn't they great chieftains in the
_ould_ times; and hadn't they a great sketch of country to themselves:
they haven't so much now, for their hearts were too big for their
_manes_ (means;) and that's the _rason_ O'Sullivan was obligated to sell
this part of the mountain to Mr. Herbert of Mucruss?"
"A sad story this, Doolan; but it seems to me these O'Sullivans must
have been very fond of a bowl of punch, or why is the lake you mentioned
called O'Sullivan's Punch Bowl?"
"Oh, then, your honour's as sharp as a needle entirely; but about that
same lake it's a _quare_ story sure enough. A long time before there was
a waterfall here at all, one of the _rale ould_ O'Sullivans was out all
day hunting the red deer among the mountains. Well, sir, just as he was
getting quite weary, and was wishing for a drop of the _cratur_ to put
him in spirits--"
"Or spirits into him," said I.
"Oh, sure, 'tis all the same thing," returned Doolan with a grin,
intended for a smile. "'Tis all one surely, if a man can only have the
drop when he wants it. Well, what should O'Sullivan see but the most
beautiful stag that ever was seen before or since in this world; for he
was as big as a colt, and had horns upon him like a weaver's beam, and a
collar of real gold round his neck. Away went the stag, and away went
the dogs after him full cry, and O'Sullivan after the dogs, for he was
determined to have that beautiful fine stag; and though, as I said, he
was tired and weary enough, you'd think the sight of that stag put fresh
life into him. A pretty bit of a dance he led him, for he was an
enchanted stag. Away he went entirely off by Macgillicuddy's Reeks,
round by the mountains of the Upper Lake, crossed the river by the
Eagle's Nest, and never stopped nor staid till he came to where the
Punch Bowl is now. When O'Sullivan came to the same place he was fairly
ready to drop, and for certain that was no wonder; but what vexed him
more than all was to find his dogs at fault, and the never a bit of a
stag to be seen high nor low. Well, my dear _sowl_, he didn't know what
to make of it, and seeing there was no use in staying there, and it so
late, he whistled his dogs to him, and was just going to go home. The
moon was just setting over to the top of the mountain shedding her
light, broad and bright, over the edge of the wood and down on the lake,
which was like a sheet of silver, except where the islands threw their
black shadows over the water. O'Sullivan looked about him, and began to
grow quite dismal in himself, for sure it was a lonesome sight, and
besides he had a sort of dread upon him, though he couldn't tell the
reason why. So not liking to stay there, as I said before, he was just
going to make the best of his way home, when, who should he see, but
Fuan Mac Cool (Fingal.) standing like a big _joint_ (giant) on the top
of a rock. 'Hallo, O'Sullivan,' says he, 'where are you going so fast?'
says he, 'come back with me,' says he, 'I want to have some talk with
you.' You may be sure it was O'Sullivan was amazed and a little bit
frightened too, though he wouldn't _pertind_ to it; and it would be no
wonder if he was; for if O'Sullivan had a big _vice_, (voice) Fuan Mac
Cool had a bigger ten times, and it made the mountains shake again like
thunder, and all the eagles fly up to the moon. 'What do you want with
me?' says O'Sullivan, at the same time putting on as _bould_ a face as
he could. 'I want to know what business you had hunting my stag?' says
Fuan, 'by the vestment,' says he, 'if 'twas any one else but yourself,
O'Sullivan, I'd play the red vengeance with him. But, as you're one of
the right sort, I'll pass it over this time; and, as my stag has led you
a pretty dance over the mountains, I'll give you a drop of good drink,
O'Sullivan; only take my advice, and never hunt my stag again.' Then
Fuan Mac Cool stamped with his foot, and all of a sudden, just in the
hollow which his foot made in the mountain, there came up a little lake,
which tumbled down the rocks, and made the waterfall. When O'Sullivan
went to take a drink of it, what should it be but _rale_ whiskey punch,
and it staid the same way, running with whiskey punch, morning, noon,
and night, until the _Sasenaghs_ came into the country, when all at
once it was turned to water, though it goes still by the name of
O'Sullivan's Punch Bowl.'"
 Saxons--The English.
* * * * *
In the island, the guide importunes Mr. Croker to visit the shelf of a
rock overshadowed by yew, and called the Bed of Honour, "because 'twas
there a lord-lieutenant of Ireland would go to sleep to cool himself
after drinking plenty of whiskey punch." He is cautioned against
venturing too near the ledge of a rock, "the very spot the poor author
gentleman fell from; they called him Hell--Hell--no, 'twasn't Hell,
either, but Hal; oh, then, what a head I have upon me--oh, I have it
now--Hallam's the name, your honour."
"What the author of the Middle Ages?"
"True for you, sir, he was a middle aged man;" "and then there was
another great writing gentleman, one Sir Walter Scott," &c.
Mr. Croker chances to be confined to his hotel by the rainy weather, and
this circumstance introduces the following legend, narrated by one of
his old friends:--
"Well, well," said Lynch, smiling, "I'll give you the legend of Saint
Swithin exactly as it was told to me about a month since--I have
occasionally employed an industrious, poor man, named Tom Doody, to work
in my garden. 'Well, Tom,' said I to him, 'this is Swithin's day, and
not a drop of rain--you see the old saying of "forty days' rain" goes
for nothing.'--'O, but the day isn't over yet,' said Tom, 'so you'd
better not halloo, sir, till you're out of the wood. I'll go bail we'll
have rain some time of the day, and then you may be sure of it for the
forty days.'--'If that's the way, Tom,' said I, 'this same Swithin must
have been the thirstiest saint in the calendar; and it's quite certain
he must be a real Irish saint, since he's so fond of the drop.'--'You
may laugh if you please,' said Tom, resting on his spade, 'you may laugh
if you please, but it's a bad thing any how to _spake_ that way of the
saints; and, sure, Saint Swithin was a blessed priest, and the rain was
a miracle sent on his account; but may be you never heard how it came to
pass.'--'No, Tom, I did not,' said I--'Well, then, I'll tell you,' said
he, 'how it was. Saint Swithin was a priest, and a very holy man, so
holy that he went by no other name but that of the blessed priest. He
wasn't like the priests now-a-days, who ride about on fine horses, with
spectacles stuck upon their noses, and horsewhips in their hands, and
polished boots on their legs, that fit them as _nate_ as a Limerick
glove (God forgive me for _spaking_ ill of the _clargy_, but some of
them have no more conscience than a pig in a _pratie_ garden;') I give
you Doody's own words," said Mr. Lynch.
"That's exactly what I wish."
"And he continued--'Saint Swithin was not that kind of priest, no such
thing; for he did nothing but pray from morning to night, so that he
brought a blessing on the whole country round; and could cure all sorts
of diseases, and was so charitable that he'd give away the shirt off his
back. Then, whenever he went out, it was quite plain and sober, on a
rough little _mountainy garran_; and he thought himself grand entirely
if his big _ould_ fashioned boots got a rub of the _grase_. It was no
wonder he should be called the blessed priest, and that the people far
and near should flock to him to mass and confession; or that they
thought it a blessed thing to have him lay his hands on their heads.
It's a pity the likes of him should ever die, but there's no help for
death; and sure if he wasn't so good entirely he'd have been left, and
not be taken away as he was; for 'tis them that are most wanting the
first to go. The news of his death flew about like lightning; and there
was nothing but _ullagoning_ through all the country, and they had no
less than right, for they lost a good friend the day he died. However,
from _ullagoning_, they soon came to fighting about where he was to be
buried. His own parish wouldn't part with him if they got half Ireland,
and sure they had the best right to him; but the next parish wanted to
get him by the _lauve laider_ (strong hand,) for they thought it would
bring a blessing on them to have his bones among them; so his own
parishioners at last took and buried him by night, without the others
knowing any thing about it. When the others heard it they were tearing
mad, and raised a large faction, thinking to take him up and carry him
away in spite of his parishioners; so they had a great battle upon it;
but those who had the best right to him were beat out and out, and the
others were just going to take him up, when there came all at once such
rain as was never seen before or since; it was so heavy that they were
obliged to run away half _drownded_, and give it up as a bad job. They
thought, however, that it wouldn't last long, and that they could come
again; but they were out in that, for it never stopped raining in that
manner for forty days, so they were obliged to give it up entirely; and
ever since that time there's always more or less rain on Saint Swithin's
day, and for forty days after.'
"Just as Tom Doody had finished his story there came a tremendous
shower. 'There now, why,' said Tom, with a look of triumph, as we ran
for shelter, 'there now, why, isn't it a true bill? well, I knew Saint
Swithin wouldn't fail us.' And I, as the very elements seemed to be in
his favour, was obliged to leave him the victory."
* * * * *
We pass over Mr. Croker's account of Mucruss Abbey and all its legendary
lore, to "Tim Marcks's adventures with a walking skull," at Aghadoe.
"A fine extensive prospect this," said I to General Picket, so was my
"That's the good truth for your honour," he replied, "only it's a mighty
lonesome place, and they say it's haunted by spirits, though Tim Marcks
says there's no such thing. May be your honour wouldn't know _Thicus
Morckus_; he's a long _stocah_ of a fellow, with a big nose, wears knee
breeches, corderoy leggings, and takes a power of snuff. And, if your
honour would like to see him, he lives at Corrigmalvin, at the top of
High Street, in the town of Killarney. To be sure, some people say, all
that comes from Tim isn't gospel, but that's neither here nor there; so,
as I was saying, 'I don't believe in spirits,' says he to me, of a day
he was mending the road here, and I along with him--'The dickins you
don't,' says I, 'and what's your _rason_ for that same?'--'I'll tell you
that,' says he; 'it was a _could_ frosty night in the month of December,
the doors were shut, and we were all sitting by the side of a blazing
turf fire. My father was smoking his _doodeen_ in the chimney corner, my
mother was overseeing the girls that were tonging the flax, and I and
the other _gossoons_ were doing nothing at all, only roasting _praties_
in the ashes. "Was the colt brought in?" says my father. "Wisha, fakes
then! I believes not," says I. "Why, then, Tim," says he, "you must run
and drive him in directly, for it's a mortal could night." "And where is
he, father?" says I. "In the far field, at the other side of the _ould_
church," says he. "Murder!" says I, for I didn't like the thoughts of
going near the _ould_ church at all, at all. But there was no use in
saying _agen_ it, for my father (God be merciful to him!) had us under
as much command as a regiment of soldiers. So away I went, with a light
foot and a heavy heart. Well, I soon came to the bounds' ditch between
the farm and the _berrin_ ground of the _ould_ church. Then I slackened
my pace a little, and kept looking hither and over, for fear of being
taken by surprise. The moon was shining clear as day, so that I could
see the gray tombstones and the white skulls; when, all at once, I
thought one of them began to move. I could hardly believe my two eyes;
but, fakes, it was true enough; for presently it came walking down the
hill, quite leisurely at first, then a little faster, till at last it
came rolling at the rate of a fox hunt. "Twill be stopped at the bounds'
ditch," thinks I; but I was never more out in my reckoning, for it
bowled fair through the gap, and made directly up to me. "By the mortal
frost," says I, "I'm done for;" and away I scampered as fast as my legs
could carry me; but the skull came faster after me, for I could hear
every lump it gave against the stones. It's a long stretch of a hill
from the _berrin_ ground down to the road; but you'd think I wasn't
longer getting down than whilst you'd be saying "Jack Robinson." Sure
enough I did make great haste; but if I did, "the more haste the worse
speed," they say, and so by me any how, for I went souse up to my neck
in a dirty _Lochaune_ by the side of the road. Well, when I recovered a
little, what would I see but the skull at the edge of the _Lochaune_,
stuck fast in a furze bush, and grinning down at me. "Oh, you're there,"
says I; "I'll have one rap at you any how, for worse than die I can't;"
so I up with a lump of a blackthorn, I had in my fist, and gives it a
rap, when what should it be after all, but a huge rat, which had got
into the skull, and, trying to get out again, it made it to roll down
the hill in that frightful way. To be sure,' said Tim, 'to be sure it
was mighty frightful, but it wasn't a ghost after all; and, indeed,
(barring that) I never saw any thing worse than myself, though we lived
for a long time near the _ould_ church of Aghadoe.'"
This is all we can spare room for at present. The second volume is
untouched, and will afford us a few extractable pieces--but they must be
short. We have heard of all stages of laughter--as being
convulsed--ready to burst--splitting sides--and if our readers promise
not to _die_, in due order, with laughter--we may probably recur to Mr.
Croker's very tickling volumes.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.
_Analogous Growth of Trees and Animals._
Trees placed in an exposed situation have their resources;--the object
being to protect the sap-vessels, which transmit nutriment, and which
lie betwixt the wood and the bark, the tree never fails to throw out,
and especially on the side most exposed to the blast, a thick coating of
bark, designed to protect, and which effectually does protect, the
sap-vessels and the process of circulation to which they are adapted,
from the injury which necessarily must otherwise ensue. Now, if an
animal is in danger of suffocation from want of vital air, instead of
starving by being exposed to its unqualified rigour, instinct or reason
directs the sufferer to approach those apertures through which any
supply of that necessary of human life can be attained, and induces man,
at the same time, to free himself from any coverings which may be
rendered oppressive by the state in which he finds himself. Now it may
be easily proved, that a similar instinct to that which induced the
unfortunate sufferers in the black-hole of Calcutta to struggle with the
last efforts to approach the solitary aperture which admitted air to
their dungeon, and to throw from them their garments, in order to
encourage the exertions which nature made to relieve herself by
perspiration, is proper, also, to the noblest of the vegetable tribe.
Look at a wood or plantation which has not been duly thinned:--the trees
which exist will be seen drawn up to poles, with narrow and scanty tops,
endeavouring to make their way towards such openings to the sky as might
permit the access of light and air. If entirely precluded by the boughs
which have closed over them, the weaker plants will be found strangely
distorted by attempts to get out at a side of the plantation; and
finally, if overpowered in these attempts by the obstacles opposed to
them, they inevitably perish. As men throw aside their garments,
influenced by a close situation, trees placed in similar circumstances,
exhibit a bark thin and beautifully green and succulent, entirely
divested of that thick, coarse, protecting substance which covers the
sap-vessels in an exposed position.
There is a singular and beautiful process of action and re-action which
takes place betwixt the progress of the roots and of the branches. The
latter must, by their vigour and numbers, stretch out under ground
before the branches can develope themselves in the air; and, on the
other hand, it is necessary that the branches so develope themselves, to
give employment to the roots in collecting food. There is a system of
close commerce between them; if either fail in discharging their part,
the other must suffer in proportion. The increase of the branches,
therefore, in exposed trees is and must be in proportion with that of
the roots, and _vice versa_; and as the exposed tree spreads its
branches on every side to balance itself against the wind, as it
shortens its stem or trunk, to afford the mechanical force of the
tempest a shorter lever to act upon, so numerous and strong roots spread
themselves under ground, by way of anchorage, to an extent and in a
manner unknown to sheltered trees.--_Quarterly Review_.
* * * * *
_Preservation of Eggs._
Relative to the preservation of eggs by immersion in lime-water, M.
Peschier has given most satisfactory evidence of the efficacy of the
process. Eggs which he had preserved for six years in this way, being
boiled and tried, were found perfectly fresh and good; and a
confectioner of Geneva has used a whole cask of eggs preserved by the
same means. In the small way eggs may be thus preserved in bottles or
other vessels. They are to be introduced when quite fresh, the bottle
then filled with lime-water, a little powdered lime sprinkled in at
last, and then the bottle closed. To prepare the lime-water, twenty or
thirty pints of water are to be mixed up with five or six pounds of
slaked quick-lime put into a covered vessel allowed to clear by
standing, and the lime-water immediately used.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
ARRIVALS AT A WATERING PLACE.
SCENE--A conversazione at Lady Crumpton's--Whist and weariness,
caricatures and Chinese Puzzle.--Young ladies making tea, and young
gentlemen making the agreeable.--The stableboy handing rout-cakes.--
Music expressive of there being nothing to do.
I play a spade--such strange new faces
Are flocking in from near and far:
Such frights--Miss Dobbs holds all the aces.--
One can't imagine who they are!
The lodgings at enormous prices,
New donkeys, and another fly--
And Madame Bonbon out of ices,
Although we're scarcely in July--
We're quite as sociable as any,
But our old horse can hardly crawl--
And really where there are so many,
We can't tell where we ought to call.
Pray who has seen the odd old fellow
Who took the Doctor's house last week?--
A pretty chariot,--livery yellow,
Almost as yellow as his cheek--
A widower, sixty-five, and surly,
And stiffer than a poplar-tree--
Drinks rum and water, gets up early
To dip his carcass in the sea--
He's always in a monstrous hurry,
And always talking of Bengal;
They say his cook makes noble curry--
I think, Louisa, we should call.
And so Miss Jones, the mantua-maker,
Has let her cottage on the hill?--
The drollest man, a sugar-baker,
Last year imported from the till--
Prates of his _orses_ and his _oney_,
Is quite in love with fields and farms--
A horrid Vandal,--but his money
Will buy a glorious coat of arms;
Old Clyster makes him take the waters;
Some say he means to give a ball--
And after all, with thirteen daughters,
I think, Sir Thomas, you might call.
That poor young man!--I'm sure and certain
Despair is making up his shroud:
He walks all night beneath the curtain
Of the dim sky and murky cloud--
Draws landscapes,--throws such mournful glances!--
Writes verses,--has such splendid eyes--
An ugly name,--but Laura fancies
He's some great person in disguise!
And since his dress is all the fashion,
And since he's very dark and tall,
I think that, out of pure compassion,
I'll get papa to go and call.
So Lord St. Ives is occupying
The whole of Mr. Ford's Hotel--
Last Saturday his man was trying
A little nag I want to sell.
He brought a lady in the carriage--
Blue eyes,--eighteen, or thereabouts--
Of course, you know, we _hope_ it's marriage!
But yet the _femme de chambre_ doubts.
She look'd so pensive when we met her--
Poor thing! and such a charming shawl!
Well! till we understand it better,
It's quite impossible to call.
Old Mr. Fund, the London banker,
Arrived to-day at Premium Court--
I would not, for the world, cast anchor
In such a horrid dangerous port--
Such dust and rubbish, lath and plaster,
(Contractors play the meanest tricks)
The roof's as crazy as its master,
And he was born in fifty-six--
Stairs creaking--cracks in every landing,
The colonnade is sure to fall--
We sha'n't find post or pillar standing,
Unless we make great haste to call.
Who was that sweetest of sweet creatures,
Last Sunday, in the Rector's seat?
The finest shape,--the loveliest features,
I never saw such tiny feet.
My brother,--(this is quite between us)
Poor Arthur,--'twas a sad affair!
Love at first sight,--She's quite a Venus,
But then she's poorer far than fair--
And so my father and my mother
Agreed it would not do at all--
And so,--I'm sorry for my brother!
It's settled that we're not to call.
And there's an author, full of knowledge--
And there's a captain on half-pay--
And there's a baronet from college,
Who keeps a boy, and rides a bay--
And sweet Sir Marcus from the Shannon,
Fine specimen of brogue and bone--
And Doctor Calipee, the canon,
Who weighs, I fancy, twenty stone--
A maiden lady is adorning
The faded front of Lily Hall--
Upon my word, the first fine morning,
We'll make around, my dear, and call.
Alas! disturb not, maid and matron,
The swallow in my humble thatch--
Your son may find a better patron,
Your niece may meet a richer match--
I can't afford to give a dinner,
I never was on Almack's list--
And since I seldom rise a winner,
I never like to play at whist--
Unknown to me the stocks are falling--
Unwatch'd by me the glass may fall--
Let all the world pursue its calling,
I'm not at home if people call.
* * * * *
Use a little wine, for thy stomach's sake.
I Tim. v. 23.
So says St. Paul--and this seems to have been the opinion of the most
ancient philosophers and physicians. A moderate use of it has been
sanctioned by the wise and good in all ages. Those who have denied its
virtues are those who have not been able to drink it. Asclepiades wrote
upon wine, the use of which he introduced with almost every remedy,
observing, that the gods had bestowed no more valuable gift on man: even
the surly Diogenes drank it; for it is said of him, that he liked that
wine best, which he drank at other people's cost--a notion adopted by
the oinopholous Mosely, who, when asked, "What wine do you drink,
doctor?" answered, "Port at home--claret abroad!"
Hippocrates, the father of physic, recommends a cheerful glass; and
Rhases, an ancient Arabian physician, says, no liquor is equal to good
wine. Reineck wrote a dissertation "De Potu Vinoso;" and the learned Dr.
Shaw lauded the "juice of the grape." But the stoutest of its medical
advocates was Tobias Whitaker, physician to Charles II., who undertook
to prove the possibility of maintaining life, from infancy to old age,
without sickness, by the use of wine!
It must, however, be remembered, that Whitaker was cordially attached to
wine, and a greater friend to the vintner than to the apothecary, having
as utter a dislike to unpalatable medicines, as the most squeamish of
his patients; therefore, Dr. Toby's evidence must be taken with caution,
independently of the courtly spirit that might have led him to adapt his
theories to the times.
It has been questioned whether the use of wine was known to the
antediluvian world; but there can be do doubt, in the corrupt state of
man, that wine would have its share in his debasement, and it may be
very strongly inferred, from the circumstance that Noah planted a
vineyard, and, moreover, "that he drank of the wine, and was drunken,"
(Gen, ix. 20.)--a sad stain in the character of a man who was "perfect
in his generation;" and which also proves that, in the earliest period
of the world, the very best of men were liable to fall into error and
But the antiquity and propriety of wine-drinking is not matter of
question. The archbishop of Seville, Antonio de Solis, who lived to be
110 years old, drank wine; and even that wonderful pattern of propriety,
Cornaro, did the same: but the question is about quantity. Sir William
Temple was pleased to lay down a rule, and limit propriety to three
glasses. "I drink one glass," says he, "for health, a second for
refreshment, a third for a friend; but he that offers a fourth is an
As in eating, so in drinking, in the question of quantity--much depends
on the capacity of the stomach. A very abstemious friend of mine, not
long since, dined tete-a-tete with a gentleman well known for his
kindness and hospitality, and not less so for his powers of bibulation.
After dinner, at which a fair share of many excellent wines was taken,
Port and Madeira were put on the table, and before the host, a _magnum_
of Claret. My friend drank his usual quantum, three glasses of Madeira,
during which time a great portion of the magnum had disappeared; and
soon afterwards, being emptied, the host said, "I think we can just
manage a bottle between us." The bottle was brought, and very shortly
disappeared, without the aid of the visiter.
The same gentleman and Lord ----, at the Angel at Bury, fell in with
some excellent Claret. They had disposed of six bottles, when the
landlord, who did not guess or _gauge_ the _quality_ of his customers
(the bell being rung for a fresh supply,) begged very gently to hint
that it was expensive stuff, being fifteen shillings a bottle! "Oh! is
it so? then bring up two bottles directly!"
We have nothing, however, in modern times, at all equal to the account
given of some of the ancients. The elder Cato, we are told, warmed good
principles with a considerable quantity of good wine. But Cicero's
son exceeds all others; so much so, that he got the name of _Bicongius_,
because he was accustomed to drink two congii at a sitting. Pliny,
and others, abound in grand examples, that prove we have degenerated at
any rate in this respect, for these convivials were neither sick nor
sorry. Even that eminent debauchee, Nero, was only three times sick in
fourteen years. "Nam qui luxuriae immoderatissimae esset, ter omnino per
xiv. annos languit; atque ita, ut neque _vino_, neque consuetudine
The Abbe de Voisenon, a very diminutive man, said to his physician, who
ordered him a quart of ptisan per hour, "Ah! my friend, how can you
desire me to swallow a quart an hour? I hold only a pint."
Wine has not only been considered good for the body, but has, from the
earliest period, been thought invigorating to the mind. Thus we find it
a constant theme of praise with poets. Martial says--
Regnat nocte calix, volvuntur biblia mane,
Cum Phoebo Bacchus dividit imperium.
All night I drink, and study hard all day;
Bacchus and Phoebus hold divided sway.
Horace has done ample justice to it; and even Homer says--
The weary find new strength in generous wine.
Upon the principle, no doubt, of expanding the imagination, we find, so
early as 1374, old Geoffrey Chaucer had a pitcher of wine a day allowed
him. Ben Jonson, in after times, had the third of a pipe annually; and a
certain share of this invigorating aliment has been the portion of
Laureates down to the present day.
Nor are the poets the only eulogists of wine. Some of the greatest names
in history are to be found in the list. We find Mr. Burke furnishing
reasons why the rich and the great should have their share of wine. He
says, they are among _the unhappy_--they feel personal pain and domestic
sorrow--they pay their full contingent to the contributions levied on
mortality in these matters;--therefore they require this sovereign balm.
"Some charitable dole," says he, "is wanting to those, our often _very
unhappy brethren_, to fill the gloomy void that reigns in minds which
have nothing on earth to hope or fear; something to relieve the killing
languor and over-laboured lassitude of those who have nothing to do."
This observation of Mr. Burke's introduces it to our notice as a
remedy--as a medicine, in the hands of a physician. Thus we find
particular wines recommended by particular doctors, having a fashionable
run as specifics:--at one time all the gouty people were drinking
Madeira; and many a man persuaded himself he had a fit of _flying_ gout,
for the sake of the remedy. Somebody, however, found out that Madeira
contained acid, and straight the cellars were rummaged for old Sherry.
This change was attributed to Dr. Baillie, who had no more to do with it
than Boerhaave, as he has been known to declare. Sherry, and nothing but
Sherry, however, could or would the _Podagres_ drink.
Dr. Reynolds, who lived and practised very much with the higher orders,
had a predilection for that noble and expensive comforter, Hoc! which
short word, from his lips, has often made the doctor's physic as costly
as the doctor's fee.
Wine has also been recommended, by the highest medical authorities, as
alleviating the infirmities of old age.
A Greek physician recommended it to Alexander as the pure blood of the
Though an excess in wine is highly blamable, yet it is more pardonable
than most other excesses. The progressive steps to it are cheerful,
animating, and seducing; the melancholy are relieved, the grave
enlivened, the witty and gay inspired--which is the very reverse of
excess in eating: for, Nature satisfied, every additional morsel carries
dulness and stupidity with it. "Every inordinate cup is unbless'd, and
the ingredient is a devil," says Shakspeare.
"King Edgar, like a king of good fellows," adds Selden, "or master of
the revels, made a law for Drinking. He gave orders that studs, or knobs
of silver or gold (so Malmesbury tells us.) should be fastened to the
sides of their cups, or drinking vessels, that when every one knew his
mark or boundary, he should, out of modesty, not either himself covet,
or force another to desire, more than his stint." This is the only law,
before the first parliament under king James, that has been made against
Swabbers of drunken feasts, and lusty rowers,
In full-brimmed rummers that do ply their oars,
"who, by their carouses (tippling up Nestor's years as if they were
celebrating the goddess _Anna Perenna_,) do, at the same time, drink
others' health, and mischief and spoil their own and the public."
An argument very much after this fashion was held by the learned Sir
Thomas More. Sir Thomas was sent ambassador to the Emperor by king Henry
the Eighth. The morning he was to have his audience, _knowing the virtue
of wine_, he ordered his servant to bring him a good large glass of
Sack; and, having drunk that, called for another. The servant, with
officious ignorance, would have dissuaded him from it, but in vain; the
ambassador drank off a second, and demanded a third, which he likewise
drank off; insisting on a fourth, he was over-persuaded by his servant
to let it alone; so he went to his audience. But when he returned home,
he called for his servant, and threatened him with his cane. "You
rogue," said he, "what mischief have you done me! I spoke so to the
emperor, on the inspiration of those three glasses that I drank, that he
told me I was fit to govern three parts of the world. Now, you dog! if I
had drunk the fourth glass, I had been fit to govern all the world."
The French, a very sober people, have a proverb--
Qu'il faut, a chaque mois,
S'enivrer au moins une fois.
Which has been improved by some, on this side the water, into an excuse
for getting drunk every day in the week, for fear that the _specific
day_ should be missed. It would, however, startle some of our sober
readers, to find this made a question of grave argument--yet, "whether
it is not healthful to be drunk once a month," is treated on by Dr. Carr
in his letters to Dr. Quincy.--_Brande's Jour._
 Cato allowed his slaves, during the Saturnalia, four bottles
of wine per diem.
 Two congii are seven quarts, or eight bottles!
 An eminent house-painter in the city, a governor of St.
Bartholomew's Hospital, got a receipt for the Painter's Cholic
(cholica pictonum,) which contained all sorts of comfortable
things--the chief ingredients being Cogniac brandy and spices.
It did wonders with the first two or three cases; but he found
the success of the remedy so increased the frequency of the
complaint, that he was compelled to give up his medical
treatment; for as long as he had the _Specific_, his men were
constantly making wry faces at him.
* * * * *
It is somewhat curious that two illustrious members of the Royal Society
should have distinguished themselves on _Angling_. Nearly 200 years ago,
Prince Rupert studied the art of tempering _fish-hooks_; and the other
day Sir Humphry Davy published a volume on _Fly-fishing_.
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles
* * * * *
It was a good defence of baskets of game and periodical remittances of
Norfolk turkeys, that "_Presents_ endear _absents_."
* * * * *
Some one observed, on hearing of the _Manchew_ Tartars, that they must
be a race of Cannibals; on which another said, that he concluded the
Chinese must be a tribe of the Celtes, (_Sell-Teas_.)
* * * * *
Bannister being impudently asked, "If he was not a relation of Lord
STAIR?" good-humouredly answered, "It must then be by collateral
* * * * *
A gentleman having received a shot in _the Temple_, Mr. Theodore Hook
remarked that it was a _legal wound_; an inveterate punster who
overheard this never forgave himself for not replying on the spot, "As
it was not fatal, it could only have been a _Gray's Inn_ (grazing)
* * * * *
After the battle of Assaye, at a _fete_, I recollect, on one of these
occasions, a rather illiterate character, who used to say that "Father
and he fit, caise he sold the beastesses for too little money; so he
coummed out a cadet," sat as vice-president; the toast of "General
Wellesley, and the heroes of Assaye," was, as usual, given from the
chair; when Mr. Vice, rising majestically, and holding aloft his
brimming glass, with a sonorous voice, and north-country accent, echoed
the toast in the words, "General Wellesley, and here he is I
say!"--_Twelve Years' Military Adventures, &c_.
* * * * *
THE MUG-HOUSE CLUB.
(_From "A Journey through England," 1722_.)
In the City of London, almost every parish hath its separate club, where
the citizens, after the fatigue of the day is over in their shops, and
on the Exchange, unbend their thoughts before they go to bed.
But the most diverting, or amusing of all, is the Mug-House-Club in
Long-Acre, where, every Wednesday and Saturday, a mixture of gentlemen,
lawyers, and tradesmen, meet in a great room, and are seldom under a
They have a grave old gentleman in his own gray hairs, now within a few
months of ninety years old, who is their president; and sits in an
armed-chair, some steps higher than the rest of the company, to keep the
whole room in order. A harp plays all the time at the lower end of the
room; and every now and then one or other of the company rises and
entertains the rest with a song, and (by the by) some are good masters.
Here is nothing drank but ale, and every gentleman hath his separate
mug, which he chalks on the table where he sits as it is brought in; and
every one retires when he pleases, as from a coffee-house.
The room is always so diverted with songs, and drinking from one table
to another to one another's healths, that there is no room for politics,
or any thing that can sour conversation.
One must be there by seven to get room, and after ten the company are
for the most part gone.
This is a winter's amusement, that is agreeable enough to a stranger for
once or twice, and he is well diverted with the different humours, when
the Mugs overflow.
* * * * *
JOY AND SORROW.
The light of heaven unheeded shines,
If cloudless be our skies;
But when it beams on life's dark clouds,
What _rainbow_ beauties rise!
* * * * *
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