The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Keith M. Eckrich, David King, and the
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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
Vol. 10, No. 285.] SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1827. [Price 2d
CASTLE OF THE SEVEN TOWERS
[Illustration: Castle of the Seven Towers at Constantinople.]
1. Triumphal Arch of Constantine.
2. First Tower of the Pentagon.
3. First Marble Tower.
4. Second Marble Tower.
5. Angle of the Pentagon with the fallen Tower.
6. Double Tower.
7. Dedecagonal tower.
8. Square Tower of entrance to the Prison.
9. Round Tower falling to decay.
10. House of the Aga, &c.
11. Garden of the Aga's House.
12. Cemetery of the Martyrs.
The celebrity of the _Seven Towers_ in European countries, though
strongly savouring of romance, is no joke--it being the _prison_ where
the Turks confine the ministers and ambassadors of the powers with whom
they are at war. At the present moment this engraving will doubtless be
acceptable to our readers; especially to such of our City friends as
have recently been induced to speculate on the heads of ambassadors of
the allied powers; and a few days since it might have served as a scale
for their _wagering_ the "price of blood."
With the early account of this castle we shall be brief. It is cited in
the history of the lower empire from the sixth century of the Christian
era, as a point which served for the defence of Constantinople. The
embrasures of some of its towers, as well as of the towers that flank
the ramparts of the town from the southern angle of the castle to the
sea, blackened as is supposed by the Greek fire, announce that it was
the principal bulwark of the city on the side of the Propontis, in the
latter times of the empire. In 1453, Mahomet II., after an obstinate
siege, gained possession of Constantinople and the Castle of the Seven
Towers, fear opening to him one of the gates of the latter. The Turks
relate that 12,000 men perished in this siege; and the marks of the
ravages of the artillery are still visible, for, as usual, the conqueror
did not concern himself about repairs. Since that time the place has
been the arena of many remarkable events, among which was the tragical
murder of the caliph Osman the Second. This has been followed up by many
bloody executions; and at every turn gloomy sentiments, and the proud
names of Turks and Greek princes, inscribed on the walls, speak the sad
fate of those by whose hands they were traced. Towers filled with irons,
chains, ancient arms, tombs, ruins, dungeons, cold and silent vaults, a
pit called _the well of blood_, the funeral cry of owls and of vultures,
mingled with the roar of the waves--such are the objects and sounds with
which the eye and ear are familiarized in these dreary abodes, according
to poor Ponqueville, the traveller, who speaks from experience--_within
the walls._ All this is a sorry picture for the
"--Gentlemen of England,
Who live at home at ease."
But the _state purposes_ to which the _Seven Towers_ are appropriated
boast of comparative comfort, "the prisoners detained here being
distinguished from all other prisoners of war by an allowance for the
table which is assigned them by the sultan, and by the appellation of
_mouzafirs_, or hostages. It may, indeed," continues our traveller,
"be considered as a great favour to be regarded in this light, comparing
their situation with that of others, who fall into captivity among the
Turks." Moreover, this castle is dignified as _an imperial fortress_,
and governed by an aga with a guard and a band of music. Indeed, we
suppose it a sort of lock-up house preparatory to more rigorous
confinement; and its governorship is a peaceable and honourable post.
The Turks who compose the garrison of the Seven Towers have, in the
first place, the advantage of being esteemed persons of a certain
distinction in their quarter; and, secondly, they are exempted from
going out to war, to which every Musselman is liable.
 Probably on the plan of the lord mayor's household table.
Well, Swift is right in supposing the great art of life to be
that of hoaxing.
This castle stands at the eastern extremity of the Propontis, or Sea of
Marmara; it is a tolerably regular pentagon, four out of the five angles
of which are flanked by towers; the fifth angle had also a tower, but it
exists no longer. Its principal front is towards the west, and has,
besides the tower at one of the angles, two others, which stand on each
side the ancient triumphal arch of Constantine. The gate of entrance to
the Seven Towers on the side of the town is to the east, in a small
square. The longest side of the pentagon is that in which Constantine's
arch is included; while towers existed at all the angles, this side
presented a front of four towers; but it has now only three. The first
marble tower is an enormous mass, between eighty and ninety feet high.
The triumphal arch of Constantine, which occupies the centre between the
two marble towers, conducts to the golden gate in the exterior enclosure
of the castle. The arch was more than ninety feet in height; but it has
been so much injured by artillery, that no idea can now be formed of its
ornaments. In the second marble tower is the _Cave of Blood_: the first
door by which it is entered is of wood; this opens into a corridor of
twelve feet long by four feet wide, having at the end two iron steps
ascending to an iron door, and this leads into a semicircular gallery;
at its furthest extremity is a second iron door, which completes the
gallery, and ten feet further an immense massive door enclosing the
dungeon. In the midst of this sarcophagus is a well, the mouth of which
is level with the ground, and half closed by two flag-stones; to this is
given the name of the _well of blood_, because the heads of those who
are executed in the dungeon are thrown into it. In the same tower with
this dungeon is a staircase leading up to a number of cells; from some
of them, which are higher than the ramparts, the eye may be gratified
with a view over Constantinople through loop-holes pierced in the walls.
Here the Turks formerly used to confine those whom they call
_mouzafirs_, or hostages; but the latter have now the choice allowed
them of hiring more eligible apartments.
The first enclosure of the Seven Towers is inhabited chiefly by poor
Turks, who have houses, and live there with their families. They also
belong to the guard of the castle.
The air of the Seven Towers is in general unwholesome, and very likely
to produce scrofula. In the summer the walls, heated by the sun,
transform the place into a furnace; and the apartments on the first
floor are at all times extremely damp.
Our engraving, aided by the subjoined references, will, however, enable
our readers to form an accurate idea of the topography of the _Seven
Towers_. It is copied from the Travels of M. Ponqueville, who devotes a
chapter of his quarto volume to a minute description of towers, gardens,
and fortresses. Nothing can exceed the horror with which his catalogue
of their miseries is calculated to impress the reader; indeed, they fall
but little short of some of the highly-wrought fictions of barbarous
* * * * *
ASTRONOMICAL OCCURRENCES FOR DECEMBER, 1827.
(For the Mirror.)
The sun enters the cardinal and tropical sign _Capricorn_ on the 22nd,
attaining his greatest austral declination at 1h. 31m. afternoon.
The moon is in opposition on the 3rd; in apogee on the 6th, and in
conjunction and perigee on the 18th.
Mercury is in perihelion on the 1st, becomes stationary on the 9th, and
reaches his greatest elongation on the 19th, when he may be seen before
sunrise, as well as a few preceding and succeeding mornings; be rises on
the abovementioned day at 6h. 8m.
Venus is in aphelio on the 18th, and in conjunction with the planet
Herschel on the 28th at 9 h. evening; she sets on the 1st at 4 h. 48 m.,
and on the 31st at 5-1/2 h. evening.
Mars rises on the 1st at 3h, 14m., and on the 31st at 2 h. 46 m.
Jupiter rises on the 1st at 4 h. 39 m. and on the 31st at 3h. morning;
he has now receded far enough from the sun to render the eclipses of his
nearest moon visible; the first immersion will take place on the 3rd at
6 h. 39 m. 4 s. morning; the next on the 19th at 4 h. 54 m. 42 s.
morning, and the last on the 26th at 6 h. 48 m. 14 s. morning, those
being the only ones that happen during the month.
Saturn who commenced retrograding on the 2nd, last month, in 20 deg.
18m. of _Cancer_, will on the 31st have reached 17 deg. 26 m. of the
same sign, and will be found a few degrees below the star _Pollux_ in
the constellation _Gemini_, rising on the 1st at 6h. 49m., and on the
31st at 4 h. 27 m. evening.
Herschel culminates on the 1st at 3 h. 23m., and on the 31st at 1 h. 17
_Fomalhaut_ in Pisces, a star of the first magnitude, and very much
resembling the planet Saturn, (except that its light is not so steady,)
will be observed only a few degrees above the horizon in the south west,
coming to the meridian at 6 h. 19 m. evening; _Markal_ in the wing of
Pegasus, the flying horse at 6 h. 26 m. _Alpheratz_ and _Mirach_, the
former in the head, and the latter in the girdle, of Andromeda at 7 h.
31 m. and 8 h. 31 m. _Menkar_ in the jaw of _Cetus_ the whale at 10 h.
24 m.; the four preceding are of the second magnitude. The _Pleiades_
south at 11 h. 8m., and _Aldebaran_ in Taurus, generally called the
Bull's Eye, a brilliant star of the first magnitude at 11 h. 56 m.; the
upper or northern portion of the constellation _Orion_ at 12-1/2 h., and
the lower or southern part at 1 h. morning.
These remarks cannot be better concluded, than by calling the attention
of the readers of the MIRROR to the unerring regularity of the motion of
the heavenly bodies. Though their magnitude is so immense, the certainty
and correctness of their movements during thousands of years, is far
more exact than that of the best chronometer ever made, even during a
single year: how great, then, must be the ignorance of him who does not
behold in them the Almighty ruler of all things; and how great the folly
of him, who says in his heart, and evinces by his conduct that he
believes there is no God. And let him who denies what he cannot
comprehend, be addressed in the impressive language of holy writ, "Canst
thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of
Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou
guide Arcturus with his Sons?" 14_th November_, 1827. PASCHE.
* * * * *
COLD WINTER IS COMING.
(_For the Mirror._)
Cold Winter is coming--take care of your toes--
Gay Zephyr has folded his fan;
His lances are couch'd in the ice-wind that blows,
So mail up as warm as you can.
Cold Winter is coming--he's ready to start
From his home on the mountains afar;
He is shrunken and pale--he looks froze to the heart,
And snow-wreaths embellish his car.
Cold Winter is coming--Hark! did ye not hear
The blast which his herald has blown?
The children of Nature all trembled in fear,
For to them is his power made known.
Cold Winter is coming--there breathes not a flower,
Though sometimes the day may pass fair!
The soft lute is removed from the lady's lorn bower,
Lest it coldly be touched by the air.
Cold Winter is coming--all stript are the groves,
The passage-bird hastens away;
To the lovely blue South, like the tourist, he roves,
And returns like the sunshine in May.
Cold Winter is coming--he'll breathe on the stream--
And the bane of his petrific breath
Will seal up the waters; till, in the moon-beam.
They lie stirless, as slumber or death!
Cold Winter is coming, and soon shall we see
On the panes, by that genius Jack Frost,
Fine drawings of mountain, stream, tower, an tree--
Framed and glazed too, without any cost.
Cold Winter is coming---ye delicate fair,
Take care when your hyson you sip;--
Drink it quick, and don't talk, lest he come unaware,
And turn it to ice on your lip.
Cold Winter is coming--I charge you again--
Muffle warm--of the tyrant beware--
He's so brave, that to strike the young hero he's fain--
He's so told he'll not favour the fair.
Cold Winter is coming--I've said so before--
It seems I've not much else to say;
Yes, Winter is coming, and God help the poor!
I wish it was going away,
_Nov 5th 1827._ C. COLE.
* * * * *
(_To the Editor of the Mirror._)
Sir,--The annexed _Definition_ of Nautical, Names, &c. will not, I dare
say, to most of your readers, be uninteresting. G.W.N.
_The Starboard_ is the right side of the ship, as the _lar_-board is the
_The Parrel_ is a movable band-rope, used to fasten the yard to its
_Backstays_ are long ropes, reaching from the right and left sides of
the vessel to the mast heads.
_Travellers_ are slight iron rings, encircling the backstays, and are
used for hoisting the top-gallant yards, and confining them to the
_Rolling-tackle_ is a number of pulleys, engaged to confine the yard to
the weather side of the mast; this tackle is much used in a rough sea.
_Booms_ are masts or yards, lying on board in reserve.
_The Courses_ are the mainsail, foresail, and the mizen.
_The Staysail_ is of a triangular form, running upon the
fore-topmast-stay, just above the bowsprit.
_Reef-tackles_ are ropes employed in the operation of reefing. &c.
_Clue-lines_ are used to truss up the clues, or to lower the corners of
the largest sails.
_The Brake_ is the handle of the pump, by which it is worked.
_Bowlines_ are ropes for keeping the windward edge of the sail steady.
_The Wells_ are places in the ship's hold for the pumps, &c.
_Earings_ are small lines, by which the uppermost corners of the largest
sails are secured to the yard-arms.
_Reefs_ are spaces by which the principal sails are reduced when the
wind is too high, and enlarged again when its force abates.
_Topsails_ are long and square, of the second degree in magnitude in all
_Haliards_ are single ropes, by which the sails are hoisted up and
lowered at pleasure.
_Tally_ is the operation of hauling aft the _sheets_, or drawing them in
the direction of the ship's stern.
_Towing_ is the operation of drawing a vessel forward by means of long
_Timoneer_, from the French _timonnier_, is a name given, on particular
occasions, to the steersman of a ship.
_Bars_ are large masses of sand or earth, formed by the surge of the
sea; they are mostly found at the entrances of great rivers or havens,
and often render navigation extremely dangerous.
_The Ox-Eye_, so called by seamen, is a remarkable appearance in the
heavens, resembling a small lurid speck, and always precedes two
particular storms, known only between the tropics.
_Azimuth-Compass_ is an instrument employed for ascertaining the sun's
_Studding-Sails_ are long and narrow, and are used only in fine weather,
on the outside of the large square sails.
_Stay-Sails_ have three corners, and are hoisted up on the stays when
the wind crosses the ship.
_Broaching-to_ is a sudden movement in navigation, when the ship, while
scudding before the wind, accidentally turns her side to windward.
_Wales_ are a number of strong and thick planks, covering the lower part
of the ship's side.
_Scud_ is a name given by sailors to the lowest clouds; which are mostly
observed in squally weather.
_The Sheets_ are ropes used for extending the clues, or lowering the
corners of the sails.
_Brails_ are ropes used to truss up a sail to a mast or yard.
_Reef-Bands_ are long pieces of rough canvass sewed across the sails to
give them additional strength.
_Scudding_ is a term applied to a vessel when carried furiously along by
_Leeward_ implies when the ship lies on that side to which the wind is
_Windbound_ means when the ship is detained in one particular station by
_Windward_ is when the ship is in the direction of the wind.
* * * * *
CHRONICLES OF THE CANONGATE.
(_To the Editor of the Mirror._)
Sir,--Since my last communication to you on the subject of the works, so
commonly spoken of as by the "Great Unknown"--"the Wizard of the North,"
and other equally _novel cognomina_, the veil has been withdrawn; we now
have the open avowal, both from his own lips, and under his own hand, of
the authorship from the individual himself, who has so long, and, as it
now appears, so justly, enjoyed the reputation of having written them.
To judge from what he says in the second volume of "the Chronicles of
the Canongate," just published--I mean in the character of Mr.
Croftangry,--it is clear that he is conscious of such slips and
carelessness as I have before pointed out. I am therefore at a loss to
understand why he should allow them to remain like spots that deface the
general beauty of his productions, as by submitting them for perusal to
the merest Tyro in grammar or composition before they were sent to
press, they could not fail of being obliterated.
It is surely no very good policy for an artist, jealous of his
reputation, knowingly to leave his works unfinished. Without, however,
detaining you, or your readers, by such obvious remarks, I shall resume
my task, hoping that you will be able to find room for the following in
your useful and entertaining miscellany.
In the first volume, p. 168, of the present work, we read: "She was once
the beautiful and happy wife of Hamish Mac Tavish, _for whom his_
strength and feats of prowess gained _him_ the title of Mac Tavish
Mhor." This kind of style would scarcely be allowed to pass in
Leadenhall-street. What is meant by _for whom_, with _his_ immediately
following, and then _him_ a little after? Does not the author intend to
say, that the strength, &c. of Mac Tavish gained him the title of Mac
Tavish Mhor? If so, (and there can be no doubt of it from the context,)
then he should have written the sentence thus: "_whose_ strength and
feats of prowess had gained him the title of Mac Tavish Mhor."
"He gained the road, mounted his pony, and rode upon his way," p. 183 of
the same volume, is, in the latter part of it, another curious phrase.
"He mounted his pony," says the author. May we not suppose he rode _upon
it_ too? But he adds "_rode upon his way_."
Again: "His reputed grandfather with his pockets stuffed out with Bank
notes, would come to atone for his past cruelty, by _heaping his
neglected grandchild_ with unexpected wealth," vol. 2., p. 87. We _heap
up_ wealth, but not _persons with_ it, for that would hardly be kind. To
_load one with_ wealth is a common expression.
"Is it possible that _the bold adventurer can fix his thoughts on you_,
and still be dejected _at the thoughts_ that a bonny blue-eyed lass
looked favourably on a less-lucky fellow than himself?" vol. 2, p. 136.
Such is the question put by Middlemas to his friend Hartley, when
speaking together on the subject of the interesting Menic Grey, and his
projected Indian trip. But how could he ask if the _bold adventurer
fixed his thoughts on him_, when it was the person addressed who
entertained the idea of becoming one? and how, if the _bold adventurer
was dejected?_ when he had already distinguished him, taking the words
in their proper application, as another individual in a general sense.
It is altogether a singular specimen of abstruse phraseology. Then "_fix
his thoughts_" "dejected at _the thoughts_." Fie upon it!
"Hartley fell a victim to his professional courage, in _withstanding_
the progress of a contagious distemper, which he at length caught, and
under which he sank," vol. 2, p. 367. If he withstood the progress of
the disease, how could he fall a victim to it? The author should have
said, "in his _endeavours to withstand_" or "_arrest_ the progress of
"So stood the feelings of the young man, when, one day after dinner, the
doctor snuffing the candle, and taking from his pouch the great leathern
pocketbook in which he deposited particular papers, with a small supply
of the most necessary and active medicines, _he_ took from it Mr.
Moncada's letters, and requested Richard Middlemas's serious attention,"
vol. 2, p. 88 and 89. Who is _he_? _the doctor_? Is he not mentioned
before? And there he is left to stand without his natural support, for
_he_ has _taken_ it _from_ him. Does not the writer of this sentence
recollect "My banks _they_ are furnished with bees." I could add another
_take from_ to the page by way of note.
_The following I leave without comment._
"Judg_e_ment," vol. 1, p. 2; vol. 6, p. 6. and judgment, vol. 1, p. 85,
_a_ heraldic shield, vol. 1, p. 68; desir_e_able, vol. 2, p. 39.
As much iron as would have _builded_ a brig, vol. 1, page 68. A good
tune is _grinded_, vol. 1, p. 143. Butler and Mercer had both _spoke_ to
their disparagement, vol. 2, p. 289.
Worthy Mr. Piper, best of contractors _who_ ever furnished four frampal
jades, vol. 1, p. 45.
With the next morning I _will_ still see the double summit of the
ancient Dan, vol. 1, p. 229.
And then I _will_ find it easier to have you prosecuted, vol. 2, p. 169.
We _will_ be happy, if it is in our power, to repay a part of our
obligations, vol. 2, p. 222.
Thou art the fiend who _hast_ occasioned my wretchedness in this world,
and who _will_ share my eternal misery in the next, vol. 2, p. 229.
He found himself under the alternative of being with him on decent and
distant terms, or of breaking off with him altogether. The first of
these courses might perhaps have been the _wisest_, but the other was
the _most_ congenial to the blunt and plain character of Hartley, vol.
2, p. 256.
He inquired _at_ their superior for Barak el Hadgi, vol. 2, p. 263.
And inquiring _at_ those whom he considered the best newsmongers, vol.
2, p. 276.
He faltered out inquiries _at_ his niece, vol. 1, p. 20.
Your father asked none save _at_ his courage and his sword, vol. 1, p.
The concluding (_of_) a literary undertaking, vol. 2, p. 1.
I would as soon dress a corpse, when the great fiend himself--God sain
us--stood visibly before us, _than_ when Elspat of the Free is amongst
us, vol. 1, p. 250. November 7, 1827. Oculus.
 We are compelled to defer our Correspondent's Notes on his
second reading of Ivanhoe--Ed.
* * * * *
_Written in the Condemned Cells, Newgate, by Captain Lee, the night
previous to his execution, being convicted of forging a bill of exchange
for 15l. on the Ordnance Office._
_Newgate, March_ 3, 1784.
My Dear Sir,--Before this reaches you, the head that dictates and the
hand that traces these lines shall be no more. Earthly cares shall all
be swallowed up, and the death of an unthinking man shall have atoned
for the trespass he has committed against the laws of his country. But
ere the curtain be for ever dropped, or remembrance leave this tortured
breast, let me take this last and solemn leave of one with whom I have
passed so many social and instructive hours, whose conversation I fondly
cultivated, and whose friendship for me I hope will remain, even after
the clay-cold hand of death has closed my eyes in everlasting darkness.
I cannot think you will view this letter with stoic coolness, or with
listless indifference. Absorbed as the generality of men are in the
pursuits of pleasure or the avocations of business, there are times when
the mind looks inward upon itself, when a review of past follies induces
us to future amendment, and when a consciousness of having acted wrong
leads us to resolutions of doing right. In one of those fortunate
moments may you receive these last admonitions! Shun but the rock on
which I have struck, and you will be sure to avoid the shipwreck I have
suffered. Initiated in the army at an early period of life, I soon
anticipated not only the follies, but even the vices of my companions.
Before, however, I could share with undisturbed repose in the wickedness
of others, it was necessary to remove from myself what the infidel terms
the prejudices of a Christian education. In this I unfortunately
succeeded; and conceiving from my tenderest years a taste for reading,
my sentiments were confirmed, not by the flimsy effusions of empty
libertines, but by the specious sophistry of modern philosophers. It
must be owned that at first I was rather pleased with the elegance of
their language than the force of their reasoning; as, however, we are
apt to believe what we eagerly wish to be true, in a short time I soon
became a professed deist. My favourite author was the late celebrated
David Hume. I constantly urged his exemplary behaviour in private as a
strong argument in favour of his doctrines, forgetting that his literary
life was uniformly employed in diffusing his pernicious tenets, and his
utmost endeavours were constantly exerted in extending the baneful
influence of his philosophical principles. Happy for me had I always
been actuated by the considerations which fill my bosom at this moment,
and which I hope will animate me in that awful part to-morrow's sun
shall see me perform. But the die is cast, and I leave to the world this
mournful memento, "that however much a man may be favoured by personal
qualifications, or distinguished by mental endowments, genius will be
useless, and abilities avail but little, unless accompanied by a sense
of religion, and attended by the practice of virtue; destitute of these,
he will only be mounted on the wings of folly, that he may fall with
greater force into the dark abyss of endless despair."
On my returning to a belief of the truths of Christianity, I have been
very much assisted by the pious exhortations of the ordinary, as well as
by the book he has put into my hands; and I feel a comfort which I am
unable to express by this his charitable and benevolent attention to me.
I believe there is no passion more prevalent in the human breast than
the wish that our memory should be held in remembrance. I shudder at the
thought lest my name should be branded with infamy, when I lie
mouldering in the dust, as I know well that the tongue of malice is ever
loud against the failings of the unfortunate. When, however, my
character is insulted, and my poor reputation attacked, extenuate, I
beseech you, the enormity of my crime, by relating the hardships of my
sufferings. Tell to the giddy and affluent, that, strangers to the
severity of want, they know not the pain of withstanding the almost
irresistible calls of nature. The poor will, I trust, commiserate my
misfortunes, and shed a sympathetic tear at the mournful tale of my
miserable fate. I can say no more. Heaven have mercy on us all!
Adieu for ever. J. LEE.
* * * * *
PARTING FOR THE POLE.
_He._--Now weep not Poll because I go,
There's no need, I declare,
For when among the Esquimaux,
I've too much blubber there.
Women mis-doubt a sailor's word,
We don't deserve the wipe;
For when they pipe us all aboard,
Aboard we all do pipe.
We've rocks, when all our tears are past,
The sailor's heart to shock,
_She._.--Why yes, Jack--when you're on the mast,
You're sure to have a rock.
_He._--You'll find some fellow on dry ground,
You will prefer to me,
To him I see you will be bound,
While I'm bound to the sea.
But if I sail the world around,
I'll be a faithful rover,
_She._--Poh! you'll forget me I'll be bound
When you are half seas over.
_He._--And when alas, your Jack is gone,
You'll think of naught but jigging,
And you will sport your rigging on,
While Jack is on the rigging.
Where winter's ice around us grows,
And storms upon us roll,
_She._--Ah, that's the time I do suppose
They look out for the pole.
_He._--But if I should be sunk d'ye see,
_She._--Bring up a coral wreath,
_He._--Why if I were beneath the sea,
I could not see beneath.
_She._--Yet if you should be cast away,
Without a cloak, or victual,
Remember me, a little, pray,
You'd better pray a little.
But tho' you wish us now to splice,
Our hands--your love won't hold,
For when you get among the ice,
I'm sure you will grow cold.
I have your money--here's a kiss,
I will be true to you,
But one word more, "adieu" it is,
Cries Jack, it is a do. MAY.
* * * * *
BARDS, OR POETS OF THE ANCIENT BRITONS.
(_For the Mirror._)
Hail! to the Bards, who sweetly sung
The praises of dead peers
In lofty strains, thus to prolong
Their fame for many years. LUCAN.
This sect appears to have descended from _Bardus_, son of _Druis_, king
of Britain; he was much esteemed by the people for inventing songs and
music, in praise of meritorious actions; and established an order, in
which such of the people were admitted as excelled in his art,
distinguishing them by the name of _bards_, after his own name. Julius
Caesar reports, that on his arrival he found some of them. Their
business was to record the noble exploits of their warriors in songs and
ditties, which they sung to their instruments at the solemn feasts of
their chiefs; and in such high estimation were they held, that, when two
armies were ready to engage, if a bard stept in between them, both sides
delayed the attack till he was out of danger.
As these bards were neither repugnant to the Roman authority nor the
Christian religion, they alone, above all other sects, were suffered to
continue long after the birth of Christ; and it is said that some of
them are still to be found in the isle of Bardsey, (so named from them).
* * * * *
THE SCOTTISH PEASANT'S LAMENT.
BY THE AUTHOR OF AHAB.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Oh! had I my home by the side of the glen,
In a spot far remote from the dwellings of men,
Wi' my ain bonnie Jeannie to sit by my side,
I'd nae envy auld Reekie her splendor and pride.
The song of the mavis should wake me at morn,
And the grey breasted lintie reply from the thorn;
While the clear brook should run in the sun's yellow beam,
And my days glide as calmly along as its stream.
But here, in the city's dull streets, I must live,
Nae Jeannie her arms for my pillow to give;
Nae mavis, nae lintie, to sing from the tree,
Nae streamlet to murmur its music to me.
O better, by far, had I never been born,
Or my head laid in rest in the glen 'neath the thorn;
Since the songs of my birds I no longer can hear,
Nor in slumber recline by the side of my dear.
Now, all that makes life still endured, is the dream,
That comes o'er my soul, of the bird and the stream;
And the love of my Jean--when that vision shall close,
In the silence of death let my ashes repose.
Yet then, even then, my sad spirit will be,
By the side of the brook, 'neath the shade of the tree;
In the arms of my Jeannie, for ne'er can it stay,
From those who in life had endeared it away.
_Nov_. 25. 1827. S.P.J.
* * * * *
ON A SQUINTING POETESS.
To no _one_ muse does she her glance confine,
But has an eye at once, to _all the nine!_
* * * * *
MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.
* * * * *
FISHING IN THE RIVER YEOU.
The fishery of the Yeou, in Bornou, is a very considerable source of
commerce to the inhabitants of its banks; and the manner of fishing (as
represented in the above engraving) is ingenious though simple. The
Bornouese make very good nets of a twine spun from a perennial plant
called _kalimboa_: the implements for fishing are two large gourds
nicely balanced, and fixed on a large stem of bamboo, at the extreme
ends; the fisherman launches this on the river, and places himself
astride between the two gourds, and thus he floats with the stream, and
throws his net. He has also floats of cane, and weights, of small
leathern bags of sand: he beats up against the stream, paddling with his
hands and feet, previous to his drawing the net, which, as it rises from
the water, he lays before him as he sits; and with a sort of mace, which
he carries for the purpose, the fish are stunned by a single blow. His
drag, finished, the fish are taken out, and thrown into the gourds,
which are open at the top, to receive the produce of his labour. These
wells being filled, he steers for the shore, unloads, and again returns
to the sport.--_Denhani's Travels in Africa._
* * * * *
_Sir John Malcolm_, in his Sketches of Persia, gives the following
interesting anecdotes of these noble creatures:--
Hyder, the elchee's master of the chase, was the person who imparted
knowledge to me on all subjects relating to Arabian horses. He would
descant by the hour on the qualities of a colt that was yet untried, but
which, he concluded, must possess all the perfections of its sire and
dam, with whose histories, and that of their progenitors, he was well
acquainted. Hyder had shares in five or six famous brood mares; and he
told me a mare was sometimes divided amongst ten or twelve Arabs, which
accounted for the groups of half-naked fellows whom I saw watching, with
anxiety, the progress made by their managing partner in a bargain for
one of the produce. They often displayed, on these occasions, no small
violence of temper; and I have more than once observed a party leading
off their ragged colt in a perfect fury, at the blood of Daghee or
Shumehtee, or some renowned sire or grandsire, being depreciated by an
inadequate offer, from an ignorant Indian or European.
The Arabs place still more value on their mares than on their horses;
but even the latter are sometimes esteemed beyond all price. When the
envoy, returning from his former mission, was encamped near Bagdad, an
Arab rode a bright bay horse of extraordinary shape and beauty, before
his tent, till he attracted his notice. On being asked if he would sell
him--"What will you give me?" said he. "It depends upon his age; I
suppose he is past five?" "Guess again," was the reply. "Four." "Look at
his mouth," said the Arab, with a smile. On examination he was found
rising three; this, from his size and perfect symmetry, greatly enhanced
his value. The envoy said, "I will give you fifty tomans." "A little
more, if you please," said the fellow, apparently entertained.
"Eighty!--a hundred!" He shook his head, and smiled. The offer came at
last to two hundred tomans! "Well," said the Arab, seemingly quite
satisfied, "you need not tempt me any farther--it is of no use; you are
a fine elchee; you have fine horses, camels, and mules, and I am told
you have loads of silver and gold: now," added he, "you want my colt,
but you shall not have him for all you have got." So saying, he rode off
to the desert, whence he had come, and where he, no doubt, amused his
brethren with an account of what had passed between him and the European
 A toman is a nominal coin nearly the value of a pound
* * * * *
Paris is, as it were, abandoned to foreign travellers in September and
October. It is not till the first symptoms of cold are felt somewhat
severely, that life in the capital is resumed in all its tumult. The
Paris season is the reverse of that of London. It commences at the end
of November, and closes at the beginning of May. The period of your
hunting is that of our drawing-room parties. Previous to November, Paris
may be compared to a vast lazaretto, where the valetudinarians of every
country take refuge.--_Monthly Magazine_
* * * * *
MUSICIAN OF MANDARA.
[Illustration: Musician blowing a long pipe]
The above engraving represents one of the musicians of the Sultan of
Mandara; blowing a long pipe not unlike a clarionet, ornamented with
shells. These artists, with two immense trumpets from twelve to fourteen
feet long, borne by men on horseback, made of pieces of hollow wood with
a brass mouth-piece, usually precede the sovereign on any important
visit. The costume and attitude of the musician are highly
characteristic of savage mirth.
The chiefs in this part of Africa are also attended by a _band_ carrying
drums, and singing extempore songs, a translation of one of which is
subjoined from "Denham's Travels," whence the engraving is copied.
Christian man he come,
Friend of us and Sheikhobe;
White man, when he hear my song,
Fine new tobe give me.
Christian man all white,
And dollars white have he;
Kanourie, like him, come,
Black man's friend to be.
From Felatah, how he run;
Barca Gana shake his spear:
White man carry two-mouthed gun;
That's what make Felatah fear.
* * * * *
HUNTING IN PERSIA.
In Persia, persons of the highest rank lead their own greyhounds in a
long silken leash, which passes through the collar, and is ready to slip
the moment the huntsman chooses. The well-trained dog goes alongside the
horse, and keeps clear of him when at full speed, and in all kinds of
country. When a herd of antelopes is seen, a consultation is held, and
the most experienced determine the point towards which they are to be
driven. The field (as an English sportsman would term it) then disperse,
and while some drive the herd in the desired direction, those with the
dogs take their post on the same line, at the distance of about a mile
from each other; one of the worst dogs is then slipped at the herd, and
from the moment he singles out an antelope the whole body are in motion.
The object of the horsemen who have greyhounds is to intercept its
course, and to slip fresh dogs, in succession, at the fatigued animal.
In rare instances the second dog kills. It is generally the third or
fourth; and even these, when the deer is strong, and the ground
favourable, often fail. This sport, which is very exhilarating, was the
delight of the late King of Persia, Aga Mahomed Khan, whose taste is
inherited by the present sovereign.--_Sketches of Persia_.
* * * * *
PIOUS WATCHMEN IN NORWAY.
In Drontheim, the ancient capital of Norway, it appears, that the
guardians of the night not only _watch_, but _pray_ for the souls of the
inhabitants. Mr. Brooke, in his recent travels, says, "as each hour
elapses, they are prepared with a different kind of exhortation or
prayer; which, forming a sort of tune or chant, is sung by them during
the drear hours of the night." Of one of these pious songs, he gives the
following literal translation:
"Ho! the Watchman, ho!
The clock has struck ten,
Praised be God, our Lord!
Now it is time to go to bed.
The housewife and her maid,
The master as well as his lad.
The wind is south-east.
Hallelujah! praised be God, our Lord!"
"The _voekter_, or watchman, is armed with an instrument as remarkable
as his cry, being nothing less than a long pole, at the end of which is
a ball, well fortified with iron spikes. This weapon is called _morgen
stierne_, or the morning star. At Drontheim, however, bands of
pick-pockets and thieves are unknown, and the morning star does little
more than grace the hand of the Norwegian watchman."
As the axe of reform is just laid to the watching system of London, we
may profit by the example of our Northern brethren; for it appears, they
not only watch over the temporal, but spiritual concerns of their
citizens, and it should seem, with salutary effect: but the _vespers_
and _matins_, of a watchman in England, would meet with many unholy
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
Club-houses are by no means a new invention; and yet the improvements
upon the old plan, which was itself an improvement upon the former
coffee-house, is sufficiently interesting, and sufficiently unknown to
the people in general, to render some account of their advantages not
superfluous. The modern club is a tavern and newsroom, where the members
are both guests and landlord. The capital is derived from a sum paid by
each member on entrance, and the general annual expenses, such as
house-rent, servants, &c. are defrayed by an annual subscription. The
society elects a committee for its execution and government, and meets
at stated intervals for legislative measures. The committee appoint a
steward to manage its affairs, and a secretary to keep the accounts, to
take minutes of the proceedings of meetings, and transact the business
of correspondence. The domestic servants are placed under the immediate
direction of the steward; but above all in the choice of a cook, the
discretion of the committee is most especially exerted. A house being
thus established where the society is at home, the rooms are thrown open
for their various accommodation. In the apartments destined for eating,
members may breakfast, lunch, dine, and sup, as they list; a bill of
fare of great variety is prepared; and the gourmand has nothing more to
do than to study its contents, and write the names of the dishes he
desires on a bill prepared for the purpose; to mention whether he orders
dinner for himself alone, or in company with others; and at what time he
chooses to dine, whether immediately, or at some subsequent hour. At the
close of his dinner this bill or demand is presented to him with the
prices annexed, and prompt payment is the law.
Wine is bottled in quarts, pints, and even half-pints, and may be had at
some institutions even in glasses: it is not needless to observe,
moreover, that there is no necessity either of fashion or regulation to
drink it at all. At an inn, a bottle of wine must be ordered for the
"good of the house," that the waiter may not despise you and be surly:
that, in short, the guest may be tolerably accommodated in other
matters; although, perhaps, the wine itself (wretched stuff generally at
inns) is his abhorrence--though he may never drink any thing but water,
and may send the decanter away untouched--the tax must be paid. Besides
this entertainment for the grosser senses, the more refined appetites
are considered. In some clubs, the "Travellers" for instance, a library
is provided; and at most of them, even the most unintellectual, a
library of reference is supplied. Here all the periodicals of the day
are laid upon the tables--both those of Great Britain and of the
continent, together with the newspapers, metropolitan and provincial,
and in some instances the political journals of Paris. This part of the
house may be considered the general resort of the gossippers and
quidnuncs; and here, or in other more commodious places, materials for
writing, paper, pens, lights, &c. are found. Drawing-rooms, one or more,
are next to be mentioned--here the members take their tea or their ease;
and where cards are played, this is the scene of operation. A
billiard-room is an agreeable addition to the accommodation of the
society's house, and several of the inferior apartments are always
devoted to serve as dressing-rooms. It is clear, that a bachelor wants
nothing beyond this but a bed; if he chooses to live in this sort of
public privacy he may; and should he be only a sojourner in town, the
convenience of a resort of this kind wherein he may make his
appointments, receive and write his letters, see society, take his
dinner, spend his evening, if not otherwise engaged, over the books, the
newspapers, or a rubber of whist, and do all but sleep--a bed in the
neighbourhood may supply the article of repose.--Thus all physical
wants, and many social ones, are abundantly, and even luxuriously
[While upon "clubs," we may as well advert to the prospectus of "_The
Literary Club_," which has reached us since our last. It professes to be
"associated for the _assistance_ of men of letters, the development of
talent, and the furtherance of the interests of literature." It not only
aims at _charitable_ provision for the weaknesses and infirmities of
nature, but anticipates "harmony and friendship" among literary men, and
"as little as possible on any system of exclusion." This is as it should
be; but we fear the workings and conflicts of passion and interest are
still too strong to admit of such harmony among the sons of genius.
Authorship is becoming, if not already become, too much of a trade or
craft to admit of such a pacificatory scheme: but the object of the
association is one of the highest importance to literature, and we
heartily wish it success.--ED. MIRROR.]
* * * * *
ENGLISH AND FRENCH.
Why are the English so fond of clubs, corporate bodies, joint-stock
companies, and large associations of all kinds?--Because they are the
most unsociable set of people in the world; for being mostly at variance
with each other, they are glad to get any one else to join and be on
their side; having no spontaneous attraction, they are forced to fasten
themselves into the machine of society; and each holds out in his
individual shyness and reserve, till he is carried away by the crowd,
and borne with a violent, but welcome, shock against some other mass of
aggregate prejudice or self-interest. The English join together to get
rid of their sharp points and sense of uncomfortable peculiarity. Hence
their clubs, their mobs, their sects, their parties, their spirit of
co-operation, and previous understanding in every thing. An English mob
is a collection of violent and headstrong humours, acting with double
force from each man's natural self-will, and the sense of opposition to
others; and the same may be said of the nation at large. The French
unite and separate more easily; and therefore do not collect into such
formidable masses, and act with such unity and tenacity of purpose. It
is the same with their ideas, which easily join together, and easily
part company, but do not form large or striking masses; and hence the
French are full of wit and fancy, but without imagination or principle.
The French are governed by fashion, the English by cabal. _London Weekly
* * * * *
PROTESTANT BURIAL-GROUND AT ROME.
The Cemeterio degli Inglesi, or the Protestant burial-ground, stretches
calmly and beautifully below the Pyramid of Cestius. The site was
admirably chosen,--nothing can be more poetically and religiously
sepulchral than this most attractive spot. It is worth a thousand
churches. No one can stand long there without feeling in full descent
upon his spirit the very best influences of the grave. The rich, red,
ruinous battlements of the city, broken only by the calm and solid unity
of the Pyramid; the clustering foliage beginning to brown on the ancient
towers of the entrance; the deep, still, blue sky; the fluttering leaves
of the vines which floated around, as one by one they dropped from the
branches; the freshness of the green mounds at my feet,--these and a
thousand other features, fully felt at the time, but untranslateable to
writing, conveyed precisely that philosophy of Death which the poet and
sculptor have more than once attempted to breathe over their most
enchanting works, and which here seems an emanation from every object
which you feel or see. I would place in this spot their Genius of
Repose, that beautiful statue which joins its hands indolently on its
head, and casts its melancholy eyes for ever towards the earth; that
statue, so beautiful that it has been often confounded with the Grecian
Eros, or the Celestial Love, and is, in itself, the best type of the
messenger who is one day to lead us gently from the heat and toils of
this world, into the coolness and tranquillity of the next. Every thing
here is in unison with these thoughts. At a few paces distant from the
Pyramid, and adjoining the wall, the Cippi and funeral Soroi of the
Strangers are to be seen. The bright verdure and the bright marbles, the
classical purity of the monuments, the desert air, the austere solemnity
of every thing about me, came with new force upon my imagination. I
walked slowly amongst the tombs, and tried to decipher the inscriptions.
The dead are of various nations,--English, American, but principally
German. Sometimes a cluster of cypresses shadowed the tomb--sometimes a
fair flowering shrub had twined around it. The epitaphs were written
with elegance always; at times with the deepest tenderness and beauty.
Each had his short history, each his melancholy interest and adventure.
Here was the man of science and literature, who came to lay down his
head, after a painful and varied pilgrimage, in this City of the Soul. A
Humboldt was buried here; a Thorwalsden yet may. Here reposes clay too
finely tempered for the unkindnesses of mankind--Keats lies near;--a
little farther is one who, on the point of quitting Rome to rejoin an
affectionate family after a too long absence, full of the anticipations
of the traveller and of youth, is thrown from his carriage at a mile's
distance from the city, and never quits Rome more;--beside him is an
only child, whom the sun of Italy could not save;--and next, one who
perished suddenly, like Miss Bathurst, in the very bud and bloom of
existence,--or another, who died away, day after day, in the embraces of
her parents, and now rests in the midst of the beautiful in vain. The
graceful lines of Petrarch are inscribed on the sarcophagus--they are
full of feeling and the country, and make one pause and dream:--
"Non come fiamma, che per forza e spenta,
Ma che per se medesma si consuma,
Se n'ando in pace, l'anima contenta."
No epitaph could be better. _New Monthly Magazine._
* * * * *
Have nearly the same interest as knaves in concealing their ignorance
and frauds, and for the most part regard with the same fear and
detestation the instrument which unmasks their pretensions. This must be
understood with some qualification, because the exposure of ignorance
and fraud is not always sufficient to open the eyes, and enlighten the
understandings, of mankind. Some perverse dupes are not to be reasoned
out of their infatuation; they had rather hug the impostor, than confess
the cheat; and quacks, speculating upon this infirmity of human nature,
will sometimes court even an infamous notoriety.--_Lancet._
* * * * *
ANECDOTES OF THE MARVELLOUS.
_Charming away the Hooping Cough._
An English lady, the wife of an officer, accompanied her husband to
Dublin not very long ago, when his regiment was ordered to that station.
She engaged an Irish girl as nurse-maid in her family; and, a short time
after her arrival, was astonished by an urgent request from this damsel,
to permit her to _charm_ little miss from _ever_ having the
hooping-cough, (then prevailing in Dublin). The lady inquired how this
_charming_ business was performed; and not long after had, in walking
through the streets, many times the pleasure of witnessing the process,
which is simply this:--An ass is brought before the door of a house,
into whose mouth a piece of bread is introduced; and the child being
passed three times over and under the animal's body, the charm is
completed; and of its efficacy in preventing the spread of a very
distressing, and sometimes fatal disorder, the lower class of Irish are
_The Legend of Hell Mary Hill._
Not many miles from Sheffield, as I was told by one who resided near the
place, there is a forest; and in an out-of-the-way part of it, a hill,
tolerably high, covered with wood, and vulgarly called Hell Mary Hill,
though probably this is a name corrupted from one more innocent or holy.
Near the top of it is a cave, containing, it is _said_, a chest of
money,--a great iron chest, _so_ full, that when the sun shines bright
upon it, the gold can be seen through the key-hole; but it has never yet
been stolen, because, in the first place, a huge black cat (and wherever
a black cat is there is mischief, you may be sure) guards the treasure,
which bristles up, and, fixing a _gashful_ gaze on the would-be
marauder, with fiery eyes, seems ready to devour him if he approach
within a dozen yards of the cave; and, secondly, whenever this creature
is off guard, (and it has occasionally been seen in a neighbouring
village,) and the treasure has been attempted to be withdrawn from its
tomb, no mortal rope has been able to sustain its weight, each that has
been tried invariably breaking when the coffer was at the very mouth of
the cave; which, being endowed with the gift of locomotion, has
immediately retrograded into its pristine situation! I have mentioned
this tradition, as it was told to me, because it is so curiously
coincident with the German superstition of treasure buried within the
Hartz mountains, guarded, and ever disappointing the cupidity of those
who would discover and possess themselves of it.
Being lately in Norfolk, I discovered that the rustics belonging to the
part of it in which I was staying, particularly regarded a kind of
fossil-stone, which much resembled a sea-egg petrified, and was found
frequently in the flinty gravel of that county. They esteemed such
stones sacred to the elfin train, and termed them fairy loaves,
forbearing to touch them, lest misfortunes should come upon them for the
sacrilege. An old woman told me, that as she was trudging home one night
from her field-work, she took up one of these fossils, and was going to
carry it home with her; but was soon obliged to drop it, and take to her
heels as quick as might be, from hearing a wrathful voice exclaim,
though she saw nobody, "Give me my loaf! Give me back my loaf, I
say!"--_New London Literary Gazette_.
* * * * *
Hogarth's admirable series of pictures, entitled _Marriage-a-la-mode_,
were at first slightly treated by the public, at which the artist was
greatly incensed. Being in want of money, he was at length obliged to
dispose of them to Mr. Lane, of Hillington, for one hundred and twenty
guineas. The pictures being in good frames, which cost Hogarth four
guineas a piece, his remuneration for painting this valuable series was
but a few shillings more than one hundred pounds. On the demise of Mr.
Lane, they became the property of his nephew, Colonel Cawthorn, who very
highly valued them. In the year 1797 they were sold by auction, at
Christie's, Pall Mall, for the sum of one thousand guineas; the liberal
purchaser being the late Mr. Angerstein. They now belong to government,
and are the most attractive objects in the National Gallery.
* * * * *
HAMPTON COURT PALACE.
The gardens and park, which are three miles in circumference, appear to
me to be above all competition. As you enter, you are struck with the
majestic beauty of the trees, and the fine gravel walks. As you advance,
the fountains and statues demand your admiration; particularly the
famous _Gladiator_, which was brought from Rome. While in the gardens,
the statues of Flora, Ceres, Pomona, and Diana, placed on the west front
of the building, are seen to much advantage.
The magnificent palace was originally built by Cardinal Wolsey, and
consists of three principal quadrangles. Here Cromwell resided, and it
was the favourite residence of William and Mary. It is chiefly built of
brick, and is very capacious, more so than any other royal palace in the
British empire. Arriving at the great entrance, you almost seem as if
you were about to enter a fairy castle. The floor of the hall is laid
out in beautiful square slabs of marble, and a staircase of the same
material leads you to the upper apartments, which contain pictures and
Among the fine paintings, I shall notice a few, which appear to me as
being perfect master-pieces. But I must first take the liberty of saying
a word or two about the _gentleman_ who conducts you through the rooms
to _explain_ the several pictures. When I had the pleasure of being with
him, his hair was powdered, and he carried a silver-headed cane. He
hurried me through the rooms, filling my ears with such gibberish as
this:--"That ere picture, sir, up there, was painted, five hundred years
ago, for William the Conqueror, by Wandyke." This is no mean blunder
 Sir Antony Vandyke, who died about the year 1640.
There is a fine portrait of _William the Third on horseback_, of the
size of life, by Sir Godfrey Kneller; the horse is painted in a side
view, and has a good effect. There are eight fine female portraits of
distinguished personages, by the same hand, in the highest state of
_Bandinella, the Sculptor_, by Corregio, is a most beautiful portrait.
The face of the sculptor is full of vivid expression, and the gold chain
about his neck is almost a deception. This painting, and a _Holy
Family_, are all we find of the great Corregio at Hampton Court.
_Charles the First_, on horseback, by Sir A. Vandyke, is certainly much
superior to the portrait of William, mentioned above. As a painter, Sir
Godfrey cannot be ranked with Vandyke, though, I believe, the former
considered himself much higher in the arts than the latter. The picture
before us is an admirable specimen of Vandyke's powers.
_George the Third_, likewise on horseback, reviewing his troops on
Hounslow Heath, by Sir William Beechey, R.A. This picture is
unquestionably one of Sir William's best productions, and does honour to
the fine arts of this country. With the above portraits, there are
others by West, &c., which possess considerable merit.
There are, also, several choice specimens of Titian, Holbein, and
Domenichino; with a few cabinet pictures in the Dutch school, by
Teniers, Ostade, &c. In this palace are Raphael's celebrated cartoons,
which are too _well_ known to need describing in this place. G.W.N.
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
* * * * *
A BALLAD SINGER.
_A Ballad-Singer_ is a town-crier for the advertising of lost tunes.
Hunger hath made him a wind-instrument; his want is vocal, and not he.
His voice had gone a-begging before he took it up, and applied it to the
same trade; it was too strong to hawk mackerel, but was just soft enough
for "Robin Adair." His business is to make popular songs unpopular,--he
gives the air, like a weather-cock, with many variations. As for a key,
he has but one--a latch-key--for all manner of tunes; and as they are to
pass current amongst the lower sorts of people, he makes his notes like
a country banker's, as thick as he can. His tones have a copper sound,
for he sounds for copper; and for the musical divisions he hath no
regard, but sings on, like a kettle, without taking any heed of the
bars. Before beginning he clears his pipe with gin; and is always hoarse
from the thorough draft in his throat. He hath but one shake, and that
is in winter. His voice sounds flat, from flatulence; and he fetches
breath, like a drowning kitten, whenever he can. Notwithstanding all
this, his music gains ground, for it walks with him from end to end of
the street. He is your only performer that requires not many entreaties
for a song; for he will chant, without asking, to a street cur, or a
parish post. His only backwardness is to a stave after dinner, seeing
that he never dines; for he sings for bread, and though corn has ears,
sings very commonly in vain. As for his country, he is an Englishman,
that by his birthright may sing whether he can or not. To conclude, he
is reckoned passable in the city, but is not so good off the
stones.--_Whims and Oddities. Second series._
* * * * *
VOYAGE UP THE MISSISSIPPI.
On leaving New Orleans, in ascending the river, the country, still the
same continuous flat, is enriched and enlivened by a succession of
pretty houses and plantations, with each a small negro town near them,
as well as the sugar-houses, gardens, and summer-houses, which give the
idea of wealth and industry. For sixty miles the banks present the
appearance of one continued village skirted with plantations of cotton,
sugar-cane, and rice, for about two miles from the river, bounded in the
rear, by the uncultivated swamps and woods. The boat proceeds
continually near the shore on one side or the other, and attracts the
inhabitants to the front of their neat houses, placed amidst orange
groves, and shaded with vines and beautiful evergreens. I was surprised
to see the swarms of children of all colours that issued from these
abodes. In infancy, the progeny of the slave, and that of his master,
seem to know no distinction; they mix in their sports, and appear as
fond of each other as the brothers and sisters of one family; but in
activity, life, joy, and animal spirits, the little negro, unconscious
of his future situation seems to me to enjoy more pleasure in this
period of existence, than his pale companions. The sultry climate of
Louisiana, perhaps, is more congenial to the African constitution, than
to that of the European.
The next morning we arrived at Baton Rouge, 127 miles on our journey; a
pretty little town, on the east side, and the first rising ground we had
seen, being delightfully situated on a gradual acclivity, from which is
a fine view of the surrounding flats. The fine barracks close to it,
contain a few companies of troops. We here stopped to take in some
ladies, who continued with us till the end of the voyage. To this place
the levee, or artificial banks, are continued on both sides of the river
from New Orleans, without which the land would be continually
overflowed. From this to Natches (232 miles,) the country is not
interesting, consisting principally of dense forest and wilderness,
impenetrable to the eye, diversified, however, by the various water fowl
which the passing vessels disturb, in their otherwise solitary haunts,
and by the number of black and grey squirrels leaping from branch to
branch in the trees. The great blue kingfisher, which is common here, is
so tame, as scarcely to move, as the boat passes, and we frequently saw,
and passed close to large alligators, which generally appeared to be
asleep, stretched on the half-floating logs. Several were fired at from
the vessel, but none procured. One pair that I saw together, must have
been each upwards of twelve feet long.
Natches is a pleasantly situated town, or rather a steep hill, about
half a mile from the landing place, where are many stores and public
houses. The boat remained here an hour, and we ascended to the upper
town, a considerable place, with a town-house, and several good streets
and well-furnished shops, in which we purchased some books. This place
exports much cotton, and the planters are said to be rich. It commands a
fine prospect over the river and surrounding country. It has been tried
as a summer residence by some of the inhabitants of New Orleans, but the
scourges of this part of America (fever and ague) extend their ravages
for more than 1000 miles higher up. A partial elevation of ground, in an
unhealthy district, has been proved to be more pernicious, than even the
level itself. From hence, to the junction of the Ohio, there is little
to interest the stranger, excepting the diversity of wood and water. The
ground rises in some places, though with little variety, till you pass
the junction of the Ohio, 1253 miles from the sea. Shortly after
entering the Ohio, the country begins to improve; you perceive the
ground beginning to rise in the distance, and the bank occasionally to
rear into small hills, which show their strata of stone, and rise into
bluffs, projecting into the bends of the river, shutting it in, so as to
produce the effect of sailing on a succession of the finest lakes,
through magnificent woods, which momentarily changed their form, from
the rapid motion of our boat. It was now full moon, and these scenes
viewed during the clear nights, were indescribably beautiful.--
_Bullock's Journey to New York_.
* * * * *
The Miss Mac Taafs were both on the ground, and both standing enough in
profile, to give Lord Arranmore a full and perfect view of their figure,
without being seen by them. His first opinion was, that they were
utterly unchanged; and that like the dried specimens of natural history,
they had bidden defiance to time. Tall, stately, and erect, their
weather-beaten countenance and strongly marked features were neither
faded nor fallen in. The deep red hue of a frosty and vigorous senility
still coloured their unwrinkled faces. Their hair, well powdered and
pomatumed, was drawn up by the roots from their high foreheads, over
their lofty "systems;" and their long, lank necks rose like towers above
their projecting busts; which, with their straight, sticky, tight-laced
waists, terminating in the artificial rotundity of a half-dress
bell-hoop, gave them the proportions of an hour-glass. They wore grey
camlet riding habits, with large black Birmingham buttons (to mark the
slight mourning for their deceased brother-in-law): while petticoats,
fastened as pins did or did not their office, shewed more of the quilted
marseilles and stuff beneath, than the precision of the toilet required:
both of which, from their contact with the water of the bog, merited the
epithet of "Slappersallagh," bestowed on their wearers by Terence
O'Brien. Their habit-shirts, chitterlings, and cravats, though trimmed
with Trawlee lace, seemed by their colour to evince that yellow starch,
put out of fashion by the ruff of the murderous Mrs. Turner in England,
was still to be had in Ireland. Their large, broad silver watches,
pendant from their girdle by massy steel chains, showed that their
owners took as little account of time as time had taken of them. "Worn
for show, not use," they were still without those hands, which it had
been in the contemplation of the Miss Mac Taafs to have replaced by the
first opportunity, for the last five years. High-crowned black-beaver
hats, with two stiff, upright, black feathers, that seemed to bridle
like their wearers, and a large buckle and band, completed the costume
of these venerable specimens of human architecture: the _tout ensemble_
recalling to the nephew the very figures and dresses which had struck
him with admiration and awe when first brought in from the Isles of
Arran by his foster mother, to pay his duty to his aunts, and ask their
blessing, eighteen years before. The Miss Mac Taafs, in their
sixty-first year, (for they were twins,) might have sunk with safety ten
or twelve years of their age. Their minds and persons were composed of
that fibre which constitutes nature's veriest huckaback. Impressions
fell lightly on both; and years and feelings alike left them unworn and
uninjured.--_The O'Briens, and the O'Flahertys, by Lady Morgan_.
* * * * *
BY JOHN CLARE.
Me it delights, in mellow Autumn tide,
To mark the pleasaunce that mine eye surrounds:
The forest-trees like coloured posies pied:
The upland's mealy grey, and russet grounds;
Seeking for joy, where joyaunce most abounds;
Not found, I ween, in courts and halls of pride,
Where folly feeds, or flattery's sighs and sounds,
And with sick heart, but seemeth to be merry:
True pleasaunce is with humble food supplied;
Like shepherd swain, who plucks the brambleberry.
With savoury appetite, from hedge-row briars,
Then drops content on molehills' sunny side;
Proving, thereby, low joys and small desires
Are easiest fed, and soonest satisfied.
* * * * *
"I am but a _Gatherer_ and disposer of other men's
* * * * *
A friend of mine (says Mr. Lambert, in his Travels,) was once present at
the house of a French lady in Canada, when a violent thunder storm
commenced. The shutters were immediately closed, and the room darkened.
The lady of the house, not willing to leave the safety of herself and
company to chance, began to search her closets for the bottle of holy
water, which, by a sudden flash of lightning, she fortunately found. The
bottle was uncorked, and its contents immediately sprinkled over the
ladies and gentlemen. It was a most dreadful storm, and lasted a
considerable time; she therefore redoubled her sprinklings and
benedictions at every clap of thunder or flash of lightning. At length
the storm abated, and the party were providentially saved from its
effects; which the good lady attributed solely to the precious water.
But when the shutters were opened, and the light admitted, the company
found, to the destruction of their white gowns and muslin handkerchiefs;
their coats, waistcoats, and breeches, that instead of holy water, the
pious lady had sprinkled them with _ink_. W.P.
* * * * *
QUID PRO QUO.
Louis XVIII. asked the Duke of Wellington familiarly, how old he was;
the latter replied, "Sire, I was born in the year 1768." "And so was
Buonaparte," rejoined the king; "Providence owed us this compensation."
* * * * *
In the west part of Fife, in the churchyard of the village of Torryburn,
part of an epitaph remains, which deserves notice. A part was very
absurdly erased by the owner of the burying ground, to make way for the
names of some of his kindred. The whole epitaph formerly stood thus:
At anchor now, in Death's dark road,
Rides honest Captain Hill,
Who served his king, and feared his God,
With upright heart and will:
In social life, sincere and just,
To vice of no kind given;
So that his better part, we trust,
Hath made the Port of Heaven.
Another, in the parish of Duffus (Morayshire), runs thus:
Though Eolus' blasts and Neptune's waves have toss'd me to and
Yet now, at last, by Heaven's decree, I harbour here below;
Where at anchor I do lie, with others of our fleet,
Till the last trump do raise us up our Admiral Christ to meet.
* * * * *
ON A DRUNKEN COBBLER.
Enclosed within this narrow stall,
Lies one who was a friend to _awl_;
He saved bad _souls_ from getting worse,
But d----n'd his own without remorse;
And tho' a drunken life he pass'd,
Yet say'd _his soul_, by _mending at the last!_ E.L.I.
* * * * *
In an old paper, dated Friday, 13th Aug. 1695, is the following curious
"At the marine coffee-house, in Birchin-lane, is water-gruel to be sold
every morning from six till eleven of the clock. 'Tis not yet thoroughly
known; but there comes such company as drinks usually four or five
gallons in a morning." G.S.
* * * * *
A clergyman being on the road to his country living, (to which he pays
an annual visit,) was stopped by a friend, who asked him where he could
be going so far from town,--"Like other people," replied he, "to my
* * * * *
THE LETTER C.
Curious coincidences respecting the letter C, as connected with the
lamented Princess Charlotte.
Her mother's name was Caroline, her own name was Charlotte; that of her
consort Coburg; she was married at Carlton house; her town residence was
at Camelford house, the late owner of which Lord Camelford, was untimely
killed in a duel; her country residence, Claremont, not long ago the
property of Lord Clive, who ended his days by suicide; she died in
Childbed, the name of her accoucheur being Croft. C.F.E.
* * * * *
GIVING AND TAKING.
(_From the French_.)
"I never give a kiss (says Prue)
To naughty man, for I abhor it."
She will not _give_ a kiss, 'tis true;
She'll _take_ one though, and thank you for it.
* * * * *
GEORGE SAVILLE CAREY.
This amiable man told me that his affecting song, "When my money was
gone," &c. was suggested by the real story of a sailor, who came to beg
money while Carey was breakfasting, with an open window, at the
beautiful inn at Stoney Cross, in the New Forest.
He also declared that his father, Henry Carey, wrote the song of "God
save the King," in the house in Hatton-Garden, which has a stone
bracket, a few doors from the Police-office.
* * * * *
[In No. 282 of The MIRROR, we omitted our acknowledgment to a
well-executed illustrative work (now in course of publication), intitled
"London in the Nineteenth Century," of which our artist availed himself
for his View of _Hanover Terrace_, Regent's Park. The drawing in the
above work is by Mr. T.H. Shepherd; and the literary department (of
which we did not avail ourselves) is by Mr. Elmes, author of "the Life
of Sir Christopher Wren."]
* * * * *
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