The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 12,
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 12, NO. 348.] SATURDAY, DECEMBER 27, 1828. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
[Illustration: Barber's Barn, Hackney.]
The engraving represents a place of historical interest--an ancient
mansion in Mare-street, Hackney, built about the year 1591, upon a spot
of ground called Barbour Berns, by which name, or rather _Barber's
Barn_, the house has been described in old writings.
In this house resided the noted Colonel John Okey, one of the regicides
"charged with compassing and imagining the death of the late King
Charles I." in October, 1660. Nineteen of these "bold traitors," (among
whom was Okey,) fled from justice, and were attainted, and Barber's Barn
was in his tenure at the time of his attainder. His interest in the
premises being forfeited to the crown, was granted to the Duke of York,
who, by his indenture, dated 1663, gave up his right therein to Okey's
widow. The colonel was apprehended in Holland, with Sir John Berkestead
and Miles Corbett, in 1662, whence they were sent over to England; and
having been outlawed for high treason, a rule was made by the Court of
King's Bench for their execution at Tyburn. These were the last of the
regicides that were punished capitally.
Barber's Barn and its adjoining grounds have, however, since become
appropriated to more pacific pursuits than hatching treason, compassing,
&c. About the middle of the last century, one John Busch cultivated
the premises as a nursery. Catharine II. Empress of Russia, says a
correspondent of Mr. Loudon's _Gardener's Magazine_, "finding she could
have nothing done to her mind, she determined to have a person from
England to lay out her garden." Busch was the person engaged to go out
to Russia for this purpose; and in the year 1771 he gave up his concerns
at Hackney, with the nursery and foreign correspondence, to Messrs.
Loddidges. These gentlemen, who rank as the most eminent florists and
nurserymen of their time, have here extensive green and hot houses which
are heated by steam; the ingenious apparatus belonging to which has been
principally devised by themselves. Their gardens boast of the finest
display of exotics ever assembled in this country, and a walk through
them is one of the most delightful spectacles of Nature.
Hackney was once distinguished by princely mansions; but, alas! many of
these abodes of wealth have been turned into receptacles for lunatics!
Brooke House, formerly the seat of a nobleman of that name, and Balmes'
House, within memory surrounded by a moat, and approached only by a
drawbridge, have shared this humiliating fate. Sir Robert Viner, who
made Charles II. "stay and take t'other bottle," resided here; and John
Ward, Esq. M.P. whom Pope has "damned to everlasting fame," had a house
 The following anecdote is related of him:--Charles II. more
than once dined with his good citizens of London on their
Lord Mayor's Day, and did so the year that Sir Robert Viner
was mayor. Sir Robert was a very loyal man, and, very fond of
his sovereign; but, what with the joy he felt at heart for the
honour done him by his prince, and through the warmth he was
in with continual toasting healths to the royal family, his
lordship grew a little fond of his majesty, and entered into
a familiarity not altogether so graceful in so public a place.
The king understood very well how to extricate himself in all
kinds of difficulties, and, with a hint to the company to avoid
ceremony, stole off and made towards his coach, which stood
ready for him in Guildhall yard. But the mayor liked his company
so well, and was grown so intimate, that he pursued him hastily,
and, catching him fast by the hand, cried out with a vehement
oath and accent, "Sir, you shall stay and take t'other bottle."
The airy monarch looked kindly at him over his shoulder, and
with a smile and graceful air, repeated this line of the
"He that's drunk is as great as a king,"
and immediately returned back, and complied with his
* * * * *
CURIOUS STONE PULPIT.
(_For the Mirror_.)
The pulpit in the church of St. Peter, at Wolverhampton, is formed
wholly of stone. It consists of one entire piece, with the pedestal
which supports it, the flight of steps leading to it, with the
balustrade, &c., without any division, the whole having been cut out
of a solid block of stone. The church was erected in the year 996,
at which time it is said this remarkable pulpit was put up; and
notwithstanding its great age, which appears to be 832 years, it is
still in good condition. At the foot of the steps is a large figure,
intended to represent a lion couchant, but carved after so grotesque a
fashion, as to puzzle the naturalist in his attempts to determine its
proper classification. In other respects the ornamental sculpture
about the pulpit is neat and appropriate, and presents a curious
specimen of the taste of our ancestors at that early period.
This is a collegiate church, with a fine embattled tower, of rich
Gothic architecture, and was originally dedicated to the Virgin, but
altered in the time of Henry III. to St. Peter. It is pleasantly
situated on a gravelly hill, and commands a fine prospect towards
Shropshire and Wales.
* * * * *
LAST DAYS OF, AND ROUGH NOTES ON, 1828.
(_For the Mirror_.)
It was but yesterday the snow
Of thy dead sire was on the hill--
It was but yesterday the flow
Of thy spring showers increased the rill,
And made a thousand blossoms swell
To welcome summer's festival.....
And now all these are of the past,
For this lone hour must be thy last!
Thou must depart! where none may know--
The sun for thee hath ever set,
The star of morn, the silver bow,
No more shall gem thy coronet
And give thee glory; but the sky
Shall shine on thy posterity!...
So there's an end of 1828; "all its great and glorious transactions
are now nothing more than mere matter of history!" What wars of arms
and words! what lots of changes and secessions! what debates on
"guarantee," "stipulations," and "untoward" events! what "piles of
legislation!" what a fund of speculation for the denizens of the
stock-exchange, and newspaper press!--all may now be embodied in that
little word--the _past_; and only serve to fill up and figure in the
pages of the next "Annual Register!"--sic transit gloria--"but the
proverb is somewhat musty." One, two, three.... ten, eleven, twelve,
and now "methinks my soul hath elbow room."
Those versed in the lore of Francis Moore, physician, which must
doubtless include most of our readers, are aware that our veteran
friend, eighteen hundred and twenty-eight, has been for some time in
what is called a "galloping" consumption, and it is certain cannot
possibly survive after the bells "chime twelve" on Wednesday night,
the thirty-first of December,--
"--as if an angel spoke,
I hear the solemn sound,"
when he will depart this life, and be gathered to his ancestors, who
have successively been entombed in the vault of Time.
Well, taking all things into consideration, we predict he will not
have many mourners in his train. "Rumours of wars" have gone through
the land, and the ominous hieroglyphics of "Raphael" in his "Prophetic
Messenger," unfold to the lover of futurity, that "war with all its
bloody train," will visit this quarter of the globe with unusual
severity the coming year--and we have had comets and "rumours" of
comets for many months past, while the red and glaring appearance of
the planet, Mars, is as we have elsewhere observed, considered by the
many a forerunner, and sign of long wars and much bloodshed. To dwell
further on the political horizon, or the "events and fortunes" of the
past year would be out of place in the fair pages of the MIRROR; and
should it be our fate to present its readers with future "notings" on
another year, we will then dwell upon the good or ill-fortune of Turk
or Russian to the _quantum suff_. of the most inveterate politician.
"Enough of this:" 1828 has nearly got the "go-by" and we have outlived
its pains and perils, its varied scenes of good or evil, and its
pleasures too, for there is a bright side to human reverse and
suffering, and we are ready at our posts to enact and stand another
campaign in this "strange eventful history." We often find that the
public discover virtues and good qualities in a man after his death,
which they had previously given him no credit for; let this be as it
may, 1828 may be deemed a very "passable" year. To use a simile, a
sick man when recovering from a fever, makes slow progress at first;
and we should fairly hope that the gallant ship is at last weathering
the hurricane of the "commercial crisis," and that the trade-winds of
prosperity will again visit us and extend their balmy influence over
our shores; and to borrow a commercial phrase, we trust to be able to
quote an improvement on this head next year.
I stood between the meeting years
The coming and the past,
And I ask'd of the future one
Wilt thou be like the last?
The same in many a sleepless night,
In many an anxious day?
Thank heaven! I have no prophet's eye,
To look upon thy way!
The march of mind is progressing, and the once boasted "wisdom of our
ancestors" and the "golden days of good Queen Bess," are hurled with
derision to the tomb of all the Capulets. We regret that we cannot
chronicle a "Narrative of a first attempt to reach the cities of Bath
and Bristol, in the year 1828, in an extra patent steam-coach, by
Messrs. Burstall, or Gurney." The newspapers, however, still continue
to inform us that such vehicles are _about_ to start, so we may
reasonably expect that Time will accomplish the long talked of event.
Nay, we even hear it rumoured that the public are shortly to crest the
billows in a steamer at the rate of fifty or a hundred miles an hour!
and this is mentioned as a mere first essay, an immature sample of
what the improved steam-paddles are to effect--also in Time; who after
this can doubt the approaching perfectibility of Mars? Oh, steam!
steam! but this is well ploughed ground.
Art, science, and literature, also progress, and we almost begin to
fear we shall soon be puzzled where to stow the books, and anticipate
a dearth in rags, an extinction of Rag-Fair! (which will keep the
others in countenance,) the booksellers' maws seem so capacious.
Christmas with its rare recollections of feasting (and their _pendant_
of bile and sick headache) has again come round. New Year's Day, and
of all the days most "rich and rare," Twelfth Day is coming! But it is
in Scotland that the advent of the new year, or _Hogmanay_ is kept
with the most hilarity; the Scotch by their extra rejoicings at this
time, seem to wish to make up for their utter neglect of Christmas. We
may be induced to offer a few reminiscences of a sojourn in the north,
at this period, on a future occasion. The extreme beauty of the
following lines on the year that is past, will, we think, prove a
sufficient apology for their introduction here:--
In darkness, in eternal space,
Sightless as a sin-quenched star,
Thou shalt pursue thy wandering race,
Receding into regions far--
On thee the eyes of mortal men
Shall never, never light again;
Memory alone may steal a glance
Like some wild glimpse in sleep we're taking.
Of a long perish'd countenance
We have forgotten when awaking--
Sad, evanescent, colour'd weak,
As beauty on a dying cheek.
Farewell! that cold regretful word
To one whom we have called a friend--
Yet still "farewell" I must record
The sign that marks our friendship's end.
Thou'rt on thy couch of wither'd leaves,
The surly blast thy breath receives,
In the stript woods I hear thy dirge,
Thy passing bell the hinds are tolling
Thy death-song sounds in ocean's surge,
Oblivion's clouds are round thee rolling,
Thou'lst buried be where buried lie
Years of the dead eternity!
It is needless to add that our old friend will be succeeded in his
title and estates by his next heir, eighteen hundred and twenty-nine,
whose advent will no doubt be generally welcomed. We cannot help
picturing to ourselves the anxiety, the singularly deep and thrilling
interest, which universally prevails as his last hour approaches:--
"Hark the deep-toned chime of that bell
As it breaks on the midnight ear--
Seems it not tolling a funeral knell?
'Tis the knell of the parting year!
Before that bell shall have ceas'd its chime
The year shall have sunk on the ocean of Time!"
And shall we go on after this lone hour? no, we will even follow its
course, draw this article to a close by wishing our readers, in the
good old phrase, "a happy New Year and many of them;" and conclude
with them, that
Our pilgrimage here
By so much is shorten'd--then fare thee well Year!
* * * * *
ODE TO MORPHEUS.
(_For the Mirror_.)
Tell me, thou god of slumbers! why
Thus from my pillow dost thou fly?
And wherefore, stranger to thy balmy power,
Whilst death-like silence reigns around,
And wraps the world in sleep profound,
Must I alone count every passing hour?
And, whilst each happier mind is hush'd in sleep,
Must I alone a painful vigil keep,
And to the midnight shades my lonely sorrows pour?
Once more be thou the friend of woe,
And grant my heavy eyes to know
The welcome pressure of thy healing hand;
So shall the gnawing tooth of care
Its rude attacks awhile forbear,
Still'd by the touch of thy benumbing wand--
And my tir'd spirit, with thy influence blest,
Shall calmly yield it to the arms of rest,
But which, or comes or flies, only at thy command!
Yet if when sleep the body chains
In sweet oblivion of its pains,
Thou bid'st imagination active wake,
Oh, Morpheus! banish from my bed
Each form of grief, each form of dread,
And all that can the soul with horror shake:
Let not the ghastly fiends admission find,
Which conscience forms to haunt the guilty mind--
Oh! let not _forms_ like these my peaceful slumbers break!
But bring before my raptured sight
Each pleasing image of delight,
Of love, of friendship, and of social joy;
And chiefly, on thy magic wing
My ever blooming Mary bring,
(Whose beauties all my waking thoughts employ,)
Glowing with rosy health and every charm
That knows to fill my breast with soft alarm,
Oh, bring the gentle maiden to my fancy's eye!
Not such, as oft my jealous fear
Hath bid the lovely girl appear,
Deaf to my vows, by my complaints unmov'd,
Whilst to my happier rival's prayer,
Smiling, she turns a willing ear,
And gives the bliss supreme to be belov'd:
Oh, sleep dispensing power! such thoughts restrain,
Nor e'en in dreams inflict the bitter pain,
To know my vows are scorn'd--my rivals are approv'd!
Ah, no! let fancy's hand supply
The blushing cheek, the melting eye,
The heaving breast which glows with genial fire;
Then let me clasp her in my arms,
And, basking in her sweetest charms,
Lose every grief in that triumphant hour.
If Morpheus, thus thou'lt cheat the gloomy night,
For thy embrace I'll fly day's garish light,
Nor ever wish to wake while dreams like this inspire!
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
It has been somewhere asserted, that "no one is idle who can do any
thing. It is conscious inability, or the sense of repeated failures,
that prevents us from undertaking, or deters us from the prosecution
of any work." In answer to this it may be said, that men of very great
natural genius are in general exempt from a love of idleness, because,
being pushed forward, as it were, and excited to action by that _vis
vivida_, which is continually stirring within them, the first effort,
the original impetus, proceeds not altogether from their own voluntary
exertion, and because the pleasure which they, above all others,
experience in the exercise of their faculties, is an ample
compensation for the labour which that exercise requires. Accordingly,
we find that the best writers of every age have generally, though not
always, been the most voluminous. Not to mention a host of ancients, I
might instance many of our own country as illustrious examples of this
assertion, and no example more illustrious than that of the immortal
Shakspeare. In our times the author of "Waverley," whose productions,
in different branches of literature, would almost of themselves
fill a library, continues to pour forth volume after volume from his
inexhaustible stores. Mr. Southey, too, the poet, the historian,
the biographer, and I know not what besides, is remarkable for his
literary industry; and last, not least, the noble bard, the glory and
the regret of every one who has a soul to feel those "thoughts that
breathe and words that burn," the mighty poet himself, notwithstanding
the shortness of his life, is distinguished by the number, as well as
by the beauty and sublimity of his works. Besides these and other
male writers, the best of our female authors, the boast and delight
of the present age, and who have been compared to "so many modern
Muses"--Miss Landon, Mrs. Hemans, Miss Edgeworth, Miss Mitford,
&c.--have they not already supplied us largely with the means of
entertainment and instruction, and have we not reason to expect still
greater supplies from the same sources?
But although it may be easily allowed that men of very great natural
genius are for the most part exempt from a love of idleness, it ought
also to be acknowledged that there are others to whom, indeed, nature
has not been equally bountiful, but who possess a certain degree of
talent which perseverance and study (if to study they would apply
themselves) might gradually advance, and at last carry to excellence.
With the exception of a few master spirits of every age and nation,
genius is more equally distributed among mankind than many suppose.
Hear what Quintilian says on the subject; his observations are
these:--"It is a groundless complaint, that very few are endowed with
quick apprehension, and that most persons lose the fruits of all their
application and study through a natural slowness of understanding. The
case is the very reverse, because we find mankind in general to be
quick in apprehension, and susceptible of instruction, this being the
characteristic of the human race; and as birds have from nature a
propensity to fly, horses to run, and wild beasts to be savage, so is
activity and vigour of mind peculiar to man; and hence his mind is
supposed to be of divine original. But men are no more born with minds
naturally dull and indocile, than with bodies of monstrous shapes, and
these are very rare."
From what has been premised, this conclusion may be drawn--that it is
not "conscious inability" alone, but often a love of leisure, which
prevents us from undertaking any work. Many, to whom nature had
given a certain degree of genius, have lived without sufficiently
exercising that genius, and have, therefore, bequeathed no fruits
of it to posterity at their death.
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
It was here the Danish army lay a considerable time encamped in 1011;
and here that Wat Tyler, the Kentish rebel, mustered 100,000 men. Jack
Cade, also, who styled himself John Mortimer, and laid claim to the
crown, pretending that he was kinsman to the Duke of York, encamped
on this heath for a month together, with a large body of rebels,
which he had gathered in this and the neighbouring counties, in 1451;
and the following year Henry VI. pitched his royal pavilion here,
having assembled troops to withstand the force of his cousin, Edward,
Duke of York, afterwards Edward IV.; and here, against that king, the
bastard Falconbridge encamped. In 1497, the Lord Audley; Flemmock, an
attorney; and Joseph, the blacksmith, encamped on this place in the
rebellion they raised against Henry VII.; and here they were routed,
with a loss of upwards of 2,000 on the spot, and 14,000 prisoners.
In 1415, the lord mayor and aldermen of London, with 400 citizens in
scarlet, and with white and red hoods, came to Blackheath, where they
met the victorious Henry V. on his return from France, after the
famous battle of Agincourt: from Blackheath they conducted his majesty
to London. In 1474, the lord mayor and aldermen, attended by 500
citizens, also met Edward IV. here, on his return from France. It
appears also to have been usual formerly to meet foreign princes, and
other persons of high rank, on Blackheath, on their arrival in
England. On the 2lst of December, 1411, Maurice, Emperor of
Constantinople, who came to solicit assistance against the Turks, was
met here with great magnificence by Henry IV.; and in 1416 the Emperor
Sigismund was met here, and from thence conducted in great pomp to
London. In 1518, the lord admiral of France and the archbishop of
Paris, both ambassadors from the French king, with above 1,200
attendants, were met here by the admiral of England and above 500
gentlemen; and the following year Cardinal Campejus, the pope's
legate, being attended hither by the gentlemen of Kent, was met by
the Duke of Norfolk, and many noblemen and prelates of England; and in
a tent of cloth of gold he put on his cardinal's robes, richly
ermined, and from hence rode to London, Here also Henry VIII. met the
Princess Anne of Cleves in great state and pomp.
* * * * *
THE WOES OF WEALTH.
_By the Rev. G. Croly_.
A retired barrister, living happily with his wife and children on a very
moderate patrimony, has suddenly the misery to have a large fortune left
him.--Time pressed. I set off at day break for London; plunged into the
tiresome details of legateeship; and after a fortnight's toil, infinite
weariness, and longings to breathe in any atmosphere unchoked by a
million of chimneys, to sleep where no eternal rolling of equipages
should disturb my rest, and to enjoy society without being trampled on
by dowagers fifty deep, I saw my cottage roof once more.
But where was the cheerfulness that once made it more than a palace to
me? The remittances that I had made from London were already conspiring
against my quiet. I could scarcely get a kiss from either of my girls,
they were in such merciless haste to make their dinner "toilet." My kind
and comely wife was actually not to be seen; and her apology, delivered
by a coxcomb in silver lace to the full as deep as any in (my rival)
the sugar-baker's service, was, that "his lady would have the honour
of waiting on me as soon as she was dressed." This was of course the
puppy's own version of the message; but its meaning was clear, and it
Dinner came at last: the table was loaded with awkward profusion; but
it was as close an imitation as we could yet contrive of our opulent
neighbour's display. No less than four footmen, discharged as splendid
superfluities from the household of a duke, waited behind our four
chairs, to make their remarks on our style of eating in contrast with
the polished performances at their late master's. But Mrs. Molasses had
exactly four. The argument was unanswerable. Silence and sullenness
reigned through the banquet; but on the retreat of the four gentlemen
who did us the honour of attending, the whole tale of evil burst forth.
What is the popularity of man? The whole family had already dropped from
the highest favouritism into the most angry disrepute. A kind of little
rebellion raged against us in the village: we were hated, scorned, and
libelled on all sides. My unlucky remittances had done the deed.
The village milliner, a cankered old carle, who had made caps and
bonnets for the vicinage during the last forty years, led the battle.
The wife and daughters of a man of East Indian wealth were not to be
clothed like meaner souls; and the sight of three London bonnets in my
pew had set the old sempstress in a blaze. The flame was easily
propagated. The builder of my chaise-cart was irritated at the
handsome barouche in which my family now moved above the heads of
mankind. The rumour that champagne had appeared at the cottage roused
the indignation of the honest vintner who had so long supplied me
with port: and professional insinuations of the modified nature of
this London luxury were employed to set the sneerers of the village
against me and mine. Our four footmen had been instantly discovered by
the eye of an opulent neighbour; and the competition was at once
laughed at as folly, and resented as an insult. Every hour saw some of
my old friends falling away from me. An unlucky cold, which seized one
of my daughters a week before my return, had cut away my twenty years'
acquaintance, the village-doctor, from my cause; for the illness of an
"heiress" was not to be cured by less than the first medical authority
of the province. The supreme Aesculapius was accordingly called in;
and his humbler brother swore, in the bitterness of his soul, that he
would never forget the affront on this side of death's door. The
inevitable increase of dignity which communicated itself to the
manners of my whole household did the rest; and if my wife held her
head high, never was pride more peevishly retorted. Like the
performers in a pillory, we seemed to have been elevated only for the
benefit of a general pelting.
These were the women's share of the mischief; but I was not long without
administering in person to our unpopularity. The report of my fortune
had, as usual, been enormously exaggerated; and every man who had a debt
to pay, or a purchase to make, conceived himself "bound to apply first
to his old and excellent friend, to whom the accommodation for a month
or two must be such a trifle." If I had listened to a tenth of those
compliments, "their old and excellent friend" would have only preceded
them to a jail. In some instances I complied, and so far only showed my
folly; for who loves his creditor? My refusal of course increased the
host of my enemies; and I was pronounced purse-proud, beggarly, and
unworthy of the notice of the "true gentlemen, who knew how to spend
Yet, though I was to be thus abandoned by my fox-hunting friends, I was
by no means to feel myself the inhabitant of a solitary world. If the
sudden discovery of kindred could cheer me under my calamities, no man
might have passed a gayer life. For a long succession of years I had not
seen a single relative. Not that they altogether disdained even the
humble hospitalities of my cottage, or the humble help of my purse; on
the contrary, they liked both exceedingly, and would have exhibited
their affection in enjoying them as often as I pleased.
But I had early adopted a resolution, which I recommend to all men. I
made use of no disguise on the subject of our mutual tendencies. I knew
them to be selfish, beggarly in the midst of wealth, and artificial in
the fulness of protestation. I disdained to play the farce of civility
with them. I neither kissed nor quarrelled with them; but I quietly shut
my door, and at last allowed no foot of their generation inside it. They
hated me mortally in consequence, and I knew it. I despised them, and
I conclude they knew that too. But I was resolved that they should not
despise me; and I secured that point by not suffering them to feel that
they had made me their dupe. The nabob's will had not soothed their
tempers; and I was honoured with their most smiling animosity.
But now, as if they were hidden in the ground like weeds only waiting
for the shower, a new and boundless crop of relationship sprang up.
Within the first fortnight after my return, I was overwhelmed with
congratulations from east, west, north, and south; and every postscript
pointed with a request for my interest with boards and public offices of
all kinds; with India presidents, treasury secretaries, and colonial
patrons, for the provision of sons, nephews, and cousins, to the third
and fourth generation.
My positive declarations that I had no influence with ministers were
received with resolute scepticism. I was charged with old obligations
conferred on my grandfathers and grandmothers; and, finally, had the
certain knowledge that my gentlest denials were looked upon as a
compound of selfishness and hypocrisy. Before a month was out, I had
extended my sources of hostility to three-fourths of the kingdom, and
contrived to plant in every corner some individual who looked on himself
as bound to say the worst he could of his heartless, purse-proud, and
I should have sturdily borne up against all this while I could keep the
warfare out of my own county. But what man can abide a daily skirmish
round his house? I began to think of retreating while I was yet able to
show my head; for, in truth, I was sick of this perpetual belligerency.
I loved to see happy human faces. I loved the meeting of those old and
humble friends to whose faces, rugged as they were, I was accustomed.
I liked to stop and hear the odd news of the village, and the still
odder versions of London news that transpired through the lips of our
established politicians. I liked an occasional visit to our little club,
where the exciseman, of fifty years standing was our oracle in politics;
the attorney, of about the same duration, gave us opinions on the drama,
philosophy, and poetry, all equally unindebted to Aristotle; and my mild
and excellent father-in-law, the curate, shook his silver locks in
gentle laughter at the discussion. I loved a supper in my snug parlour
with the choice half dozen; a song from my girls, and a bottle after
they were gone to dream of bow-knots and bargains for the next day.
But my delights were now all crushed. Another Midas, all I touched had
turned to gold; and I believe in my soul that, with his gold, I got
credit for his asses' ears.
However, I had long felt that contempt for popular opinion which every
man feels who knows of what miserable materials it is made--how much
of it is mere absurdity--how much malice--how much more the frothy
foolery and maudlin gossip of the empty of this empty generation.
"What was it to me if the grown children of our idle community, the
male babblers, and the female cutters-up of character, voted me, in
their commonplace souls, the blackest of black sheep? I was still
strong in the solid respect of a few worth them all."
Let no man smile when I say that, on reckoning up this Theban band of
sound judgment and inestimable fidelity, I found my muster reduced to
three, and those three of so unromantic a class as the grey-headed
exciseman, the equally grey-headed solicitor, and the curate.
But let it be remembered that a man must take his friends as fortune
wills; that he who can even imagine that he has three is under rare
circumstances; and that, as to the romance, time, which mellows and
mollifies so many things, may so far extract the professional _virus_
out of excisemen and solicitor, as to leave them both not incapable of
entering into the ranks of humanity.
* * * * *
SPIRIT of DISCOVERY.
* * * * *
Showing the proportion per cent, of alcohol contained in different
Port wine 25.83
Ordinary port 23.71
Cape Madeira 22.94
Champagne (sparkling) 12.80
Vin de Grave 13.94
Cider from 5.50 to 9.87
Perry (average) 7.26
Burton ale 8.88
Brown stout 6.80
London porter (average) 4.20
The figures set down opposite each liquor, exhibit the quantity of
alcohol per cent. by measure in each at the temperature of 60 deg.. Port,
Sherry and Madeira, contain a large quantity of alcohol; that Claret,
Burgundy, and Sauterne, contain less; and that Brandy contains as much
as 53 per cent. of alcohol. In a general way, we may say, that the
strong wines in common use, contain as much as a fourth per cent. of
_Extraordinary Effect of Heat_.
During Captain Franklin's recent voyage, the winter was so severe,
near the Coppermine River, that the fish froze as they were taken out
of the nets; in a short time they became a solid mass of ice, and were
easily split open by a blow from a hatchet. If, in the completely
frozen state, they were thawed before the fire, they revived. This is
a very remarkable instance of how completely animation can be
suspended in cold-blooded animals.
_Method of Softening Cast-Iron_.
The following method of rendering cast-iron soft and malleable may be
new to some of your readers:--It consists in placing it in a pot
surrounded by a soft red ore, found in Cumberland and other parts of
England, which pot is placed in a common oven, the doors of which
being closed, and but a slight draught of air permitted under the
grate; a regular heat is kept up for one or two weeks, according to
the thickness and weight of the castings. The pots are then withdrawn,
and suffered to cool; and by this operation the hardest cast metal is
rendered so soft and malleable, that it may be welded together, or,
when in a cool state, bent into almost any shape by a hammer or vice.
_Washing Salads, Cresses, &c._.
A countryman was seized with the most excruciating pain in his
stomach, and which continued for so long a period, that his case
became desperate, and his life was even despaired of. In this
predicament, the medical gentleman to whom he applied administered to
him a most violent emetic, and the result was the ejection of the
larva, and which remained alive for a quarter of an hour after its
expulsion. Upon questioning the man as to how it was likely that the
insect got into his stomach, he stated that he was exceedingly fond of
watercresses, and often gathered and eat them, and, possibly, without
taking due care, in freeing them from any aquatic insects they might
hold. He was also in the frequent habit of lying down and drinking the
water of any clear rivulet when he was thirsty; and thus, in any of
these ways, the insect, in its smaller state, might have been
swallowed, and remained gradually increasing in size until it was
ready for the change into the beetle state; at times, probably,
preying upon the inner coat of the stomach, and thus producing the
severe pains complained of by the sufferer.
We are surprised we do not hear more of the effects of swallowing the
eggs or larva of insects, along with raw salads of different kinds. We
would strongly recommend all families who can afford it, to keep in
their sculleries a cistern of salt water, or, if they will take the
trouble of renewing it frequently, of lime and water; and to have all
vegetables to be used raw, first plunged in this cistern for a minute,
and then washed in pure fresh water.--_Gardener's Magazine_.
_Insects on Trees_.
Mr. Johnson, of Great Totham, is of opinion that smearing trees with
oil, to destroy insects on them, injures the vegetation, and is not a
certain remedy. He recommends scrubbing the trunks and branches of the
trees every second year, with a hard brush dipped in strong brine of
common salt. This effectually destroys insects of all kinds, and moss;
and the stimulating influence of the application and friction is very
The manna of the larch is thus procured:--About the month of June,
when the sap of the tree is most luxuriant, it produces small white
drops, of a sweet glutinous matter, like Calabrian manna, which are
collected by the peasants early in the morning before the sun
dissipates them.--_Med. Bot_.
_Electricity on Plants_.
It is very easy to kill plants by means of electricity. A very small
shock, according to Cavallo, sent through the stem of a balsam, is
sufficient to destroy it. A few minutes after the passage of the shock,
the plant droops, the leaves and branches become flaccid, and its life
ceases. A small Leyden phial, containing six or eight square inches of
coated surface, is generally sufficient for this purpose, which may even
be effected by means of strong sparks from the prime conductor of a
large electrical machine. The charge by which these destructive effects
are produced, is probably too inconsiderable to burst the vessels of the
plant, or to occasion any material derangement of its organization; and,
accordingly, it is not found, on minute examination of a plant thus
killed by electricity, that either the internal vessels or any other
parts have sustained perceptible injury.
* * * * *
Two correspondents have favoured us with the following illustrations
of this curious custom: one of them (W.H.H.) has appended to his
communication a pen and ink sketch, from which the above engraving is
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
In Westmoreland this custom is thus commenced:--When it is known that
a man has "fallen out" with his wife, or beaten or ill-used her, the
townspeople procure a long pole, and instantly repair to his house;
and after creating as much riot and confusion before the house as
possible, one of them is hoisted upon this pole, borne by the
multitude. He then makes a long speech opposite the said house,
condemning, in strong terms, the offender's conduct--the crowd also
showing their disapprobation. After this he is borne to the
market-place, where he again proclaims his displeasure as before; and
removes to different parts of the town, until he thinks all the town
are informed of the man's behaviour; and after endeavouring to extort
a fine from the party, which he sometimes does, all repair to a
public-house, to regale themselves at his expense. Unless the
delinquent can ill afford it, they take his "goods and chattels," if
he will not surrender his money. The origin of this usage I am
ignorant of, and shall be greatly obliged by any kind correspondent of
the MIRROR who will explain it.
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
At Biggar, in Lanarkshire, as well as in several other places in
Scotland, a very singular ancient practice is at times, though but
rarely, revived. It is called riding the stang. When any husband is
known to treat his wife extremely ill by beating her, and when the
offence is long and unreasonably continued, while the wife's character
is unexceptionable, the indignation of the neighbourhood, becoming
gradually vehement, at last breaks out into action in the following
manner:--All the women enter into conspiracy to execute vengeance upon
the culprit. Having fixed upon the time when their design is to be put
into effect, they suddenly assemble in a great crowd, and seize the
offending party. They take care, at the same time, to provide a stout
beam of wood, upon which they set him astride, and, hoisting him
aloft, tie his legs beneath. He is thus carried in derision round the
village, attended by the hootings, scoffs, and hisses of his numerous
attendants, who pull down his legs, so as to render his seat in other
respects abundantly uneasy. The grown-up men, in the meanwhile, remain
at a distance, and avoid interfering in the ceremony. And it is well
if the culprit, at the conclusion of the business, has not a ducking
added to the rest of the punishment. Of the origin of this custom we
know nothing. It is well known, however, over the country; and within
these six years, it was with great ceremony performed upon a weaver
in the Canongate of Edinburgh.
This custom can scarcely fail to recall to the recollection of the
intelligent reader, the analogous practice among the Negroes of
Africa, mentioned by Mungo Park, under the denomination of the
mysteries of Mumbo Jumbo. The two customs, however, mark, in a
striking manner, the different situations of the female sex in the
northern and middle regions of the globe. From Tacitus and the
earliest historians we learn, that the most ancient inhabitants of
Europe, however barbarous their condition in other respects might be,
lived on terms of equal society with their women, and avoided the
practice of polygamy; but in Africa, where the laws of domestic
society are different, the husbands, as the masters of a number of
enslaved women, find it necessary to have recourse to frauds and
disgraceful severities to maintain their authority; whereas in Europe
we find, among the common people, a sanction for the women to protect
each other, by severities, against the casual injustice committed by
the ruling sex.
* * * * *
NOTES OF A READER.
* * * * *
We have _spiced_ our former volumes, as well as our present number,
with two or three articles suitable to this jocund season; but we
cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of adding "more last words." People
talk of Old and New Christmas with woeful faces; and a few, more
learned than their friends, cry _stat nominis umbra_,--all which may
be very true, for aught we know or care. Swift proved that mortal MAN
is a _broomstick_; and Dr. Johnson wrote a sublime meditation on a
_pudding_; and we could write a whole number about the midnight mass
and festivities of Christmas, pull out old Herrick and his Ceremonies
for Christmasse--his yule log--and Strutt's Auntient Customs in Games
used by Boys and Girls, merrily sett out in verse; but we leave
such relics for the present, and seek consolation in the thousand
wagon-loads of poultry and game, and the many million turkeys
that make all the coach--offices of the metropolis like so many
charnel-houses. We would rather illustrate our joy like the Hindoos
do their geography, with rivers and seas of liquid amber, clarified
butter, milk, curds, and intoxicating liquors. No arch in antiquity,
not even that of Constantine, delights us like the arch of a baron of
beef, with its soft-flowing sea of gravy, whose silence is only broken
by the silver oar announcing that another guest is made happy. Then
the pudding, with all its Johnsonian associations of "the golden grain
drinking the dews of the morning--milk pressed by the gentle hand of
the beauteous milk-maid--egg, that miracle of nature, which Burnett
has compared to creation--and salt, the image of intellectual
excellence, which contributes to the foundation of a pudding." As long
as the times spare us these luxuries, we leave Hortensius to his
peacocks; Heliogabalus to his dishes of cocks-combs; and Domitian to
his deliberations in what vase he may boil his huge turbot. We have
epicures as well as had our ancestors; and the wonted fires of
Apicius and Sardanapalus may still live in St. James's-street and
Waterloo-place; but commend us to the board, where each guest, like
a true feeler, brings half the entertainment along with him. This
brings us to notice _Christmas_, a Poem, by Edward Moxon, full of
ingenuousness and good feeling, in _Crabbe-like_ measure; but,
captious reader, suspect not a pun on the poet of England's
hearth--for a more unfortunate name than Crabbe we do not recollect.
Mr. Moxon's is a modest little octavo, of 76 pages, which may be read
between the first and last arrival of a Christmas party. As a
specimen, we subjoin the following:--
Hail, Christmas! holy, joyous time,
The boast of many an age gone by,
And yet methinks unsung in rhyme,
Though dear to bards of chivalry;
Nor less of old to Church and State,
As authors erudite relate.
If so, my harp, thou friend to me,
Thy chords I'll touch right merrily--
Then a fire-side picture of Christmas in the country:--
The doughty host has gather'd round
Those most for wit and mirth renown'd,
And soon each neighbouring Squire will be
With all the world in charity--
Its cares and troubles all forgetting,
Good-humour'd joke alone abetting.
'Tis good and cheering to the soul
To see the ancient wassail bowl
No longer lying on its face,
Or dusty in its hiding place.
It brings to mind a day gone by,
Our fathers and their chivalry--
It speaks of courtly Knight and Squire,
Of Lady's love, and Dame, and Friar,
Of times, (perchance not better now,)
When care had less of wrinkled brow--
When she with hydra-troubled mien,
Our greatest enemy, the Spleen,
Was seldom, or was never seen.
Now pledge they round each other's name,
And drink to Squire and drink to Dame,
While here, more precious far than gold,
Sits womanhood, with modest eye--
Glances to her the truth unfold,
She shall not pass unheeded by.
T'was _woman_ that with health did greet,
When Vortigern did Hengist meet--
'Twas fair Rowena, Saxon maid,
In blue-ey'd majesty array'd,
Presented 'neath their witching roll
To British Chief the wassail bowl.
She touch'd to him, nor then in vain,
He back return'd the health again.
Thus 'tis with feelings kind as true
They drink the tribute ever due,
Nor would they less, tho' truth denied it,
Their love for woman would decide it.
Right merry now the hours they pass,
Fleeting thru jocund pleasure's glass,
The yule-clog too burns bright and clear,
Auspicious of a happy year:
While some with joke, and some with tale
But all with sweeter mulled ale,
Pass gaily time's swift stream along,
With interlude of ancient song--
And as each rosy cup they drain,
Bounty replenishes again.
An happy time! hours like to these,
Tho' fleeting, never fail to please.
Who reigns, who riots, or who sings,
Or who enjoys the smiles of kings.
What preacher follows half the town;
Who pleads, with or without a gown;
Who rules his wife, or who the state;
Who little, or who truly great;
What matters light the world amuse,
Where half the other half abuse;
Whether it shall be peace or war,
Or we remain just as we are--
Is all as one to those we see
Around the cup of jollity.
Old age, with joke will still crack on,
And story will be dwelt upon--
Till Christmas shows his ruddy nose,
They will not seek for night's repose,
Nor this their jovial meeting close.
In utter prostration, and sacred privacy of soul, I almost think now,
and have often felt heretofore, man may make a confessional of the
breast of his brother man. Once I had such a friend--and to me he was a
priest. He has been so long dead, that it seems to me now, that I have
almost forgotten him--and that I remember only that he once lived, and
that I once loved him with all my affections. One such friend alone can
ever, from the very nature of things, belong to any one human being,
however endowed by nature and beloved of heaven. He is felt to stand
between us and our upbraiding conscience. In his life lies the
strength--the power--the virtue of ours--in his death the better half of
our whole being seems to expire. Such communion of spirit, perhaps, can
only be in existences rising towards their meridian; as the hills of
life cast longer shadows in the westering hours, we grow--I should not
say more suspicious, for that may be too strong a word--but more silent,
more self-wrapt, more circumspect--less sympathetic even with kindred
and congenial natures, who will sometimes, in our almost sullen moods or
theirs, seem as if they were kindred and congenial no more--less devoted
to Spirituals, that is, to Ideas, so tender, true, beautiful, and
sublime, that they seem to be inhabitants of heaven though born of
earth, and to float between the two regions, angelical and divine--yet
felt to be mortal, human still--the Ideas of passions, and desires, and
affections, and "impulses that come to us in solitude," to whom we
breathe out our souls in silence, or in almost silent speech, in utterly
mute adoration, or in broken hymns of feeling, believing that the holy
enthusiasm will go with us through life to the grave, or rather knowing
not, or feeling not, that the grave is any thing more for us than a mere
word with a somewhat mournful sound, and that life is changeless,
cloudless, unfading as the heaven of heavens, that lies to the uplifted
fancy in blue immortal calm, round the throne of the eternal
* * * * *
ENGLISH LANDSCAPE PAINTING.
The English school of landscape painting has come to be of the first
rank, and the contemporaries of Turner, Constable, Calcott, Thomson,
Williams, Copley Fielding, and others whom we might name even with
these masters, have no reason to reproach themselves with any neglect
of their merits. The _truth_ with which these artists have delineated
the features of British landscape is, according to general admission,
unmatched by even the most splendid exertions of foreign schools in
the same department.--_Quarterly Rev._.
* * * * *
PANORAMA OF THE RHINE.
Mr. Leigh, who is well known as the publisher of the best English
guides all over the continent, has just added to their number a
_Panorama of the Rhine_ and the adjacent country, from Cologne to
Mayence, with maps of the routes from London to Cologne, and from
thence to the sources of the Rhine. The _Panorama_ is designed from
nature by F.W. Delkeskamp, and engraved by John Clark. It consists of
a beautiful aqua-tint engraving, upwards of seven feet in length, and
six inches in width, representing the course of the Rhine, and its
picturesque banks, studded with towns and villages; whilst
steam-boats, bridges, and islets are distinctly shown in the river. It
would be difficult to convey to our readers an idea of the extreme
delicacy with which the plate is engraved; and, to speak dramatically,
the entire success of the representation. A more interesting or useful
companion for the tourist could scarcely be conceived; for the
_picture_ is not interrupted by the names of the places, but these
are judiciously introduced in the margins of the plate. In short,
every town, village, fortress, convent, mansion, mountain, dale,
field, and forest, are here represented. By way of Supplement to the
Plate, a Steam-boat Companion is appended, describing the principal
places on the Rhine, with the population, curiosities, _inns_, &c. We
passed an hour over the engraving very agreeably, coasting along till
we actually fancied ourselves in one of the apartments of the Hotel of
Darmstadt at Mayence, when missing our high conic bumper of
Rudesheim--we found our thanks were due to the artist for the luxury
of the illusion. The _Panorama_ folds up in a neat portfolio, and
occupies little more room than a quire of letter paper.
* * * * *
EDINBURGH IN SUMMER.
A' The lumms smokeless! No ae jack turnin' a piece o' roastin' beef
afore ae fire in ony ae kitchen in a' the New Toon! Streets and
squares a' grass-grown, sae that they micht be mawn! Shops like
bee-hives that hae de'd in wunter! Coaches settin' aff for Stirlin',
and Perth, and Glasgow, and no ae passenger either inside or out--only
the driver keepin' up his heart wi' flourishin' his whup, and the
guard, sittin' in perfect solitude, playin' an eerie spring on his
bugle-horn! The shut-up play-house a' covered ower wi' bills that seem
to speak o' plays acted in an antediluvian world! Here, perhaps, a
leevin' creter, like ane emage, staunin' at the mouth o' a close, or
hirplin' alang, like the last relic o' the plague. And oh! but the
stane-statue o' the late Lord Melville, staunin' a' by himsell up in
the silent air, a hunder-and-fifty feet high, has then a ghastly
seeming in the sky, like some giant condemned to perpetual
imprisonment on his pedestal, and mournin' ower the desolation of the
city that in life he loved so well.--_Noctes--Blackwood's Magazine_.
* * * * *
A Correspondent has sent us a copy of some "Stanzas written in
Commemoration of the Battle of Navarin," written by A. Grassie,
_piper_ on board H.M.S. Glasgow, R.N.--or "by a sailor in the
engagement." One of the twelve stanzas is as follows:--
To save the sacrifice of life,
Was valiant Codrington's design;
And for those Turks it had been good.
If to his terms they would incline:
They fired upon the Dartmouth's boat,
And killed some of its gallant men;
But that distinguished frigate had
Complete revenge at Navarin.
This specimen of nautical numbers reminds us of Addison's suggestion
for setting the Chelsea and Greenwich pensioners to write accounts of
the battles in which they had served; and we hope others will follow
Mr. Grassie's example in these _piping_ times of peace.
* * * * *
CARVING AND GILDING.
A point of some importance in the internal decoration of palatial
houses, viz. the introduction of "ornaments of the age of Louis XIV."
is now canvassing among connoisseurs, or rather among those who direct
the public taste. Some of our readers are probably aware that the
mansion built for the late Duke of York, and Crockford's Club-house,
are embellished in this style, which, to say the best, is gorgeous and
expensive, without displaying good taste. We ought to leave such
matters to the classical Mr. T. Hope, who has written a folio volume
on "Household Furniture and Internal Decorations;" or the Carvers,
Gilders, and Cabinet-Makers' Societies might sit in council on the
subject. The question is interesting to all lovers of the fine arts,
and to men of taste generally.
* * * * *
Is there any thing in this?
"It were no preposterous conceit to affirm, that nature typifies in
each individual man the several offices and orders which our
commonwealth distributes to the several ranks and functionaries of the
state. There are the Operative Energies, Talents, Passions, Appetites,
good servants all, but bad masters, useful citizens, always to be
controlled, but never oppressed, and most effective when they are
neither pampered nor starved. There, too, is the Executive Will;
Prudence, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Self-love, minister for the
Home Department; Observation, Secretary of Foreign Affairs; Poetry,
over the Woods and Forests; Lord Keeper Conscience, a sage,
scrupulous, hesitating, head-shaking, hair-splitting personage, whose
decisions are most just, but too slow to be useful, and who is the
readier to weep for what is done, than to direct what should be done;
Wit, Manager of the House of Commons, a flashy, either-sided
gentleman, who piques himself on never being out; and Self-Denial,
always eager to vacate his seat and accept the Chiltern
* * * * *
Man is so pugnacious an animal, that even the quakers, who in all
other things seem effectually to have subdued this part of their
animal nature, carry on controversy, whenever they engage in it, tooth
and nail.--_Quarterly Rev._
* * * * *
* * * * *
GLEANINGS ON GLUTTONY.
_Against Voracitie and immoderate drinking, instanced by sundry
Vitellius, an Emperour of Rome, was among divers other his notorious
vices so luxuriously given, that at one supper he was served with two
thousand fishes of divers kindes, and seven thousand flying foules; he
was afterward drawne through the streets with a halter about his neck,
and shamefully put to death.
But what shall we wonder at emperours prodigalities, when of later
yeares a simple Franciscan frier, Peter de Ruere, after hee had
attained to the dignitie of cardinall by the favour of the pope, his
kinsman, hee spent in two yeares, in which he lived at Rome, in feasts
and banquets, two hundred thousand crownes, besides his debts, which
were as much more.
In our time Muleasses, King of Tunis, was so drowned in pleasures,
that being expelled from his kingdome for his vices, after his returne
from Germanie, being denyed of ayd hee sought of the Emperour Charles
the Fifth, he spent an hundred crownes upon the dressing of a peacocke
for his owne mouth. And that hee might with more pleasure heare
musicke, he used to cover his eyes.--But the judgment of God fell upon
him; for his sone or brother dispossessed him of his kingdome, and
provided him a remedie that his sight should be no longer annoyance to
his hearing, causing his eyes to be put out with a burning hot iron.
He that is given to please his senses, and delighteth in the excesse
of eating and drinking, may, as Sallust saith, bee called animal, for
hee is unworthy the name of a man. For wherin can a man more resemble
brute beasts, and degenerate from his angelicall nature, than to serve
his belly and his senses? But if our predecessors exceeded us in
superfluitie of meats, wee can compare and goe beyond them in drinking
King Edgar so much detested this vice of drunkennesse, that hee set an
order that no man should drinke beyond a certaine ring, made round
about the glasses and cups, of purpose for a marke.
Anacharsis saith, that the first draught is to quench the thirst, the
second for nourishment, the third for pleasure, the fourth for
Augustine Lercheimer reporteth a strange historie of three quaffers in
Germany, in the yeare one thousand five hundred and fortie nine; these
three companions were in such a jollity after they had taken in their
cups, according to the brutish manner of that countrey, that with a
coale they painted the divell on the wall, and dranke freely to him,
and talked to him as though hee had been present. The next morning
they were found strangled, and dead, and were buried under the
Surfeits maketh worke many times for the physician, who turning R into
D giveth his patient sometime a Decipe for a Recipe; and so payeth
deerely for his travell that hastneth him to his end. Horace calleth
such men that give themselves to their belly, a beast of Arcadia that
devoureth the grasse of the earth.
Cornelius Celsus giveth this counsell when men come to meat: _Nunquam
utilis nimia satietatis, saepe inutilis nimia abstinentia_; over-much
satiety is never good, over-much abstinence is often hurtfull.
Mahomet desirous to draw men to the liking of him and his doctrine,
and perceiving the pronenesse of men to luxuriousness and fleshly
pleasures, yet dealt more craftily in his _Alcoran_, than to persuade
them that felicitie consisted in the voluptuousenesse and pleasures of
this life, which he knew would not be believed nor followed but of a
few, and those the more brutish sort, but threatened them with a kind
of hell, and gave them precepts tending somewhat more to civilitie and
humanitie, and promised his followers a paradise in the life to come,
wherin they should enjoy all maner of pleasures which men desire in
this world; as faire gardens environed with pleasant rivers, sweet
flowers, all kinde of odoriferous savours, most delicate fruits,
tables furnished with most daintie meats, and pleasant wines served in
vessels of gold, &c. &c.
The Egyptians had a custome not unmeet to bee used at the carousing
banquets; their manner was, in the middest of their feasts to have
brought before them anatomie of a dead body dried, that the sight and
horror thereof putting them in minde to what passe themselves should
one day come, might containe them in modesty. But peradventure things
are fallen so far from their right course, that that device will not
so well serve the turne, as if the carousers of these later daies were
persuaded, as Mahomet persuaded his followers when hee forbad them the
drinking of wine, that in every grape there dwelt a divell. But whun
they have taken in their cups, it seemeth that many of them doe feare
neither the divell nor any thing else.
Lavater reporteth a historie of a parish priest in Germanie, that
disguised himselfe with a white sheete about him, and at midnight came
into the chamber of a rich woman that was in bed, and fashioning
himself like a spirit, hee thought to put her in such feare, that shee
would procure a conjuror or exorcist to talke with him, or else speake
to him herselfe. The woman desired one of her kinsmen to stay with her
in her chamber the next night. This man making no question whether it
were a spirit or not, instead of conjuration or exorcisme, brought a
good cudgell with him, and after hee had well drunke to encrease his
courage, knowing his hardinesse at those times to bee such, that all
the divels in hell could not make him affraide, hee lay downe upon a
pallat, and fell asleepe. The spirit came into the chamber againe at
his accustomed houre, and made such a rumbling noyse, that the
exorcist (the wine not being yet gone out of his head) awaked, and
leapt out of his bed, and toward the spirit hee goeth, who with
counterfeit words and gesture, thought to make him afraid. But this
drunken fellow making no account of his threatnings, Art thou the
divel? quoth he, then I am his damme; and so layeth upon him with his
cudgell, that if the poore priest had not changed his divel's voyce,
and confessed himselfe to be Hauns, and rescued by the woman that then
knew him, he had bin like not to have gone out of the place alive.
This vice of drunkennesse, wherein many take over-great pleasure, was
a great blemish to Alexander's virtues. For having won a great part of
Asia, he laid aside that sobrietie hee brought forth of Macedon, and
gave himselfe to the luxuriousenesse of those people whom he had
That King, Cambyses, tooke over-great plaasure in drinking of wine;
and when he asked Prexaspes, his secretary, what the Persians said of
him, he answered, that they commended him highly, notwithstanding they
thought him over-much given to wine, the king being therewith very
angry, caused Prexaspes' sonne to stand before him, and taking his bow
in his hand, Now (quoth he) if I strike thy son's heart, it will then
appeare that I am not drunk, but that the Persians doe lye; but if I
misse his heart, they may be believed. And when he had shot at his
son, and found his arrow had pierced his heart, he was very glad; and
told him that he had proved the Persians to be lyars.
Fliolmus, king of the Gothes, was so addicted to drinking, that hee
would sit a great part of the night quaffing and carousing with his
servants. And as on a time he sate after his accustomed and beastly
manner carousing with them, his servants being as drunke as he, threw
the king, in sport, into a great vessell full of drinke, that was set
in the middist of the hall for their quaffing, where he ridiculously
and miserably ended his life.
Cineas being ambassador to Pyrrhus, as he arrived in Egypt, and saw
the exceeding height of the vines of that country, considering with
himselfe how much evill that fruit brought forth to men, sayd, that
such a mother deserved justly to be hanged so high, seeing she did
beare so dangerous a child as wine was. Plato considering the hurt
that wine did to men, sayd, that the gods sent wine downe hither,
partly for a punishment of their sinnes, that when they are drunke,
one might kill another.
Paulus Diacrius reporteth a monstrous kinde of quaffing, between foure
old men at a banquet, which they made of purpose. Their challenge was,
two to two, and he that dranke to his companion must drinke so many
times as hee had yeares; the youngest of the foure was eight and
fiftie yeares old; the second three-score and three; the third
four-score and seven; the fourth four-score and twelve; so that he
which dranke least, dranke eight-and-fifty bowles full of wine, and so
consequently, according to their yeares, whereof one dranke four-score
and twelve bowles.
The old Romanes, when they were disposed to quaff lustily, would
drinke so many carouses as there were letters in the names of their
mistresses, or lovers; so easily were they overcome with this vice,
who by their virtue some other time, became masters of the world; but
these devices are peradventure stale now; there be finer devices to
In the time of Antonius Pius, the people of Rome being given to drinke
without measure, he commanded that none should presume to sell wine
but in apothecaries' shops, for the sicke or diseased.
Cyrus, of a contrary disposition to the gluttons and carousers, in his
youth gave notable signes and afterward like examples of sobrietie and
frugalitie, when he was monarch of the Persians. For, being demanded
when he was but a boy, of his grandfather, Astyages, why he would
drink no wine, because, said hee, I observed yesterday when you
celebrated the feast of your nativitie, so strange a thing, that it
could not be but that som man had put poison into all the wine that ye
drank; for at the taking up of the table, there was not one man in his
right minde. By this it appeareth, how rare a matter it was then to
drinke wine, and a thing to be wondered at to see men drunke. For when
the use of wine was first found out, it was taken for a thing
medicinable, and not used for a common drinke, and was to be found
rather in apothecaries' shops than in tavernes. What a great
difference there was betweene the frugalitie of the former ages and
the luxuriousnesse of these latter dayes, these few examples will
shew. This Cyrus, as hee marched with his army, one asking him what he
would have provided for his supper, hee answered, bread; for I hope,
sayth hee, wee shall find a fountain to serve us of drinke. When Plato
had beene in Sicilia, being asked what new or strange thing hee had
seene; I have seene, sayth hee, a monster of nature, that eateth twice
a day. For Dionysius whom he meant, first brought the custome into
that country. For it was the use among the Hebrewes, the Grecians, the
Romanes, and other nations, to eat but once a day. But now many would
thinke they should in a short time be halfe famished, if they should
eat but twice a day; nay, rather whole dayes and nights bee scant
sufficient for many to continue eating and quaffing. Wee may say with
Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis.
The times are changed and we are changed in them.
By the historie of the swine (which by the permission of God, were
vexed by the divell) we be secretly admonished that they which spend
their lives in pleasures and deliciousnesse, such belly-gods as the
world hath many in these daies, that live like swine, shall one day be
made a prey for the divell; for seeing they will not be the temple of
God, and the house of the Holy Ghost, they must of necessitie be the
habitation of the divell. Such swine, sayth one, be they that make
their paradise in this world, and that dissemble their vices, lest
they should bee deprived of their worldly goods.
* * * * *
* * * * *
[The author of the following stanzas is JOHN BYROM, an ingenious poet,
famous also as the inventor of a System of Stenography. He was born in
1691, and died in 1763. Byrom wrote poetry, or rather verse, with
extraordinary facility. His pastoral, entitled "Colin and Phoebe,"
first published in the "Spectator," when the author was quite young,
has been much admired. As literary curiosities, his poems are too
interesting to be neglected; and their oddity well entitles them to
the room they fill. The following poem is perfectly in the manner of
Elizabeth's age; and we have selected it as a seasonable dish for the
present number--trusting that its rich vein of humour may find a
kindred flow in the hearts of our readers.]
I am content, I do not care,
Wag as it will the world for me;
When fuss and fret was all my fare,
I got no ground as I could see:
So when away my caring went,
I counted cost, and was content.
With more of thanks and less of thought,
I strive to make my matters meet;
To seek what ancient sages sought,
Physic and food in sour and sweet:
To take what passes in good part,
And keep the hiccups from the heart.
With good and gentle humour'd hearts,
I choose to chat where'er I come,
Whate'er the subject be that starts:
But if I get among the glum,
I hold my tongue to tell the truth,
And keep my breath to cool my broth.
For chance or change of peace or pain;
For Fortune's favour or her frown;
For lack or glut, for loss or gain,
I never dodge, nor up nor down:
But swing what way the ship shall swim,
Or tack about with equal trim.
I suit not where I shall not speed,
Nor trace the turn of ev'ry tide;
If simple sense will not succeed
I make no bustling, but abide:
For shining wealth, or scaring woe,
I force no friend, I fear no foe.
Of ups and downs, of ins and outs,
Of the're i'th' wrong, and we're i'th' right,
I shun the rancours and the routs,
And wishing well to every wight,
Whatever turn the matter takes,
I deem it all but ducks and drakes.
With whom I feast I do not fawn,
Nor if the folks should flout me, faint;
If wonted welcome he withdrawn,
I cook no kind of a complaint:
With none dispos'd to disagree,
But like them best who best like me.
Not that I rate myself the rule
How all my betters should behave;
But fame shall find me no man's fool,
Nor to a set of men a slave.
I love a friendship free and frank,
And hate to hang upon a hank.
Fond of a true and trusty tie,
I never loose where'er I link;
Tho' if a bus'ness budges by,
I talk thereon just as I think;
My word, my work, my heart, my hand,
Still on a side together stand.
If names or notions make a noise,
Whatever hap the question hath,
The point impartially I poise,
And read or write, but without wrath;
For should I burn, or break my brains,
Pray, who will pay me for my pains?
I love my neighbour as myself,
Myself like him too, by his leave--
Nor to his pleasure, pow'r, or pelf,
Came I to crouch, as I conceive:
Dame Nature doubtless has design'd
A man the monarch of his mind.
Now taste and try tills temper, sirs,
Mood it and brood it in your breast--
Or if ye ween, for worldly stirs.
That man does right to mar his rest,
Let me be deft and debonair,
I am content, I do not care.
* * * * *
"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles." SHAKSPEARE.
* * * * *
The following _recipe_ for a French tragedy is not unworthy of Swift.
"Take two good characters, and one wicked, either a tyrant, a traitor,
or a rogue. Let the latter set the two former by the ears and make
them very unhappy for four acts, during which he must promulgate all
manner of shocking maxims, interlarded with poisons, daggers, oracles,
&c.; while the good characters repeat their catechism of moralities.
In the fifth act, let the power of the tyrant be overthrown by an
insurrection, or the treason of the villain be discovered by some
episodical personage, and the worthy folks be preserved. Above all,
don't forget, if there is any difference subsisting between France and
England, or between the parliament and the clergy, to allude to it,
and you will have fabricated such a piece as shall be applauded three
times a week for three weeks together at the Comedie Francaise."
* * * * *
OLD AND NEW CHRISTMAS.
Some time, far back, my Christmas fare
Was turkey and a chine,
With puddings made of things most rare,
And plenty of good wine.
When times grew worse, I then could dine
On goose or roasted pig;
Instead of wine, a glass of grog,
And dance the merry jig.
When still grown worse, I then could dine
On beef and pudding plain;
Instead of grog, some good strong beer--
Nor did I then complain.
But now my joy is turn'd to grief,
For Christmas day is here;
No turkey, chine, or goose, or beef,
No wine, no grog, no beer.
_Dec. 25, 1828_.
* * * * *
THE IRISH SCHOOLBOY.
--When I'm late for school,
The excuse 'twill be my mother, Sir;
And when that one won't do,
I'll try and make another, Sir.
Fer my mother is a good man,
And so, Sir, is my daddy O--
And 'twill not be my fault
If I'm not their own Paddy O.
* * * * *
A "RALE" SHOEMAKER'S BILL.
"His Honur Mr. Trant, Esquire, Dr. to James Barret, Shoemaker."
L. s. d.
To clicking and sowling Miss Clara 0 2 6
To strapping and welting Miss Biddy 0 1 0
To binding and closing Miss Mary 0 1 6
Paid, July 14, 1828. L0 5 0
_Croker's Legends of the Lakes_.
* * * * *
A celebrated literary character, in a northern metropolis, had a black
servant, whom he occasionally employed in beating covers for woodcocks
and other game. On one occasion of intense frost, the native of
Afric's sultry shores was nearly frozen to death by the cold and wet
of the bushes, which sparkled, (but not with fire-flies,) and on
which, pathetically blowing his fingers, he was heard to exclaim, in
reply to an observation of his master, that "the woodcocks were very,
scarce," "Ah, massa, me wish woodcock never been!"
* * * * *
WHO TOLD YOU?
"Lady Racher is put to bed," said Sir Boyle Roche to a friend. "What
has she got?"--"Guess."--"A boy?"--"No, guess again."--"A girl?"--"Who
* * * * *
The supplement to VOL. XII., containing Titles, Preface, Index, &c.,
with a fine Steel Plate PORTRAIT of T. MOORE, Esq. and an Original
Memoir, is published with the present Number.
* * * * *
LIMBIRD'S EDITION OF THE
_Following Novels are already Published:_
Mackenzie's Man of Feeling 0 6
Paul and Virginia 0 6
The Castle of Otranto 0 6
Almoran and Hamet 0 6
Elizabeth, or the Exiles of Siberia 0 6
The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne 0 6
Rasselas 0 8
The Old English Baron 0 8
Nature and Art 0 8
Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield 0 10
Sicilian Romance 1 0
The Man of the World 1 0
A Simple Story 1 4
Joseph Andrews 1 6
Humphry Clinker 1 8
The Romance of the Forest 1 8
The Italian 2 0
Zeluco, by Dr. Moore 2 6
Edward, by Dr. Moore 2 6
Roderick Random 2 6
The Mysteries of Udolpho 3 6
* * * * *
_Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, London; sold by
ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; and by all Newsmen and
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