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|Table of Contents|
|Start of eBook||1|
|SWISS COTTAGE, AT THE COLOSSEUM, IN THE REGENT’S PARK.||1|
|THE VOICES OF THE NIGHT.||2|
|MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.||3|
|THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.||7|
|THE JUST DYING SPEECH AND CONFESSION OF THE PAGAN IMMORTALS.||11|
|SHELLEY AT OXFORD.||12|
|THE SKETCH BOOK||18|
|NOTES OF A READER||21|
|SUPERSTITION OF SAILORS.||22|
[Illustration: Swiss Cottage, At The Colosseum]
It is now upwards of three years since we directed the attention of our readers to the wonders of this little world of art. The ingenious projector, Mr. Horner, was then polite enough to conduct us throughout the buildings and grounds, and to explain to us the original design of the unfinished works as well as of many contemplated additions. This was about three weeks before the Exhibition was opened to the public. The Panorama was then partly in outline, and we had to catch its identities through a maze of scaffolding poles, planks, and stages; while the immense domed area re-echoed with the operations of scores of artistes of every grade, from the upholsterer nailing up gay draperies, to the heavy blow of the carpenter’s mallet. We took advantage of our privileged visit, to point out to the reader how much he might expect from a visit to the Panorama, and, in our subsequent visits we have not for a moment regretted the particular attention we were induced to bestow upon this unrivalled work of art. It is justly described to be “such a Pictoral History of London—such a faithful display of its myriads of public and private buildings—such an impression of the vastness, wealth, business, pleasure, commerce, and luxury of the English metropolis, as nothing else can effect. Histories, descriptions, maps, and prints, are all imperfect and defective, when compared to this immense Panorama—they are scraps and mere touches of the pen and pencil—whilst this imparts, at a glance, at one view, a cyclopaedia of information—a concentrated history—a focal topography, of the largest and most influential city in the world. The immense area of surface which this picture occupies will surprise the reader: it measures 40,000 square feet, or nearly an acre in extent." This may be a glowing eulogium; but it is true to the line and letter.
 See Mirror, vol. xiii. p. 33.
 A graphic Account of the
Colosseum, from the apt pen of Mr.
Britton, the architect.
We have already illustrated the Panorama, and it is our intention to introduce other embellishments of the Colosseum, as far as may be compatible with finished sketches. Our present subject is the principal apartment in the Swiss Cottage, to which the reader or visiter is conducted through a range of conservatories, containing choice exotics, with some of the most majestic proportions of leaf and flower that can be enjoyed in any clime. The communication is by a stone-work passage, the temperature of which is a refreshing succedaneum to that of the conservatories, or 72 deg.. This cottage was designed by P.F. Robinson, Esq. who has evinced considerable taste in a publication on cottages and cottage-villas, as well as in the execution
 See Mirror, vol. xiii. p. 97.
[Illustration: Apartment Interior]
The second Engraving shows the recessed window of the apartment, which faces the fire-place, and commands a view of a mass of rock-scenery, ornamented with waterfalls of singular contrivance and effect. The frames are filled in with plate-glass, so that the view of these artificial wonders is unobstructed. Our artist has, in his sketch, endeavoured to convey some idea of their outline; but he hopes to supply an amplification of their scenic beauty in a future engraving. We may, however, observe that the view from this window deserves the character of the sublime in miniature, and presents even a microcosm, where
Rocks and forests, lakes, and mountains
Mark the true majesty of Nature’s hand.
The whole apartment presents a finished specimen of joinery, with a tasteful display of ornamental carving. Its colour is a deep warm or, we think, burnt sienna, brown; the furniture is in recherche rusticated style, planned by Mr. Gray, whose taste in these matters is elaborately correct; and it requires but the social blaze on the hearth, (which our artist has liberally supplied,) to complete the well-devised illusion of the scene. The apartment was painted about two years since as a scene for a musical piece at Covent Garden Theatre, the incidents of which lay in Switzerland.
* * * * *
BY MISS M.L. BEEVOR.
(For the Mirror.)
Like some young veiled Bride,
Gleams the moon’s hazy face,
When tissues that would hide
But lend her charms a grace:
Each winkling starlet pale,
Sleeps in its far, far fold,
Wrapp’d in the heavy veil
Of dewy clouds and cold.
The turmoil, din, and strife,
Of factious earth are o’er;
The turbid waves of life
Have ceas’d to roll and roar;
But tones now meet the ear,
Full fraught with strange delight,
And intermingling fear:
The Voices of the Night!
Not such as softly rise
When boughs with song o’erflow,
And lover’s vows and sighs,
Like incense breathe below;
Not such as warm his breast,
Whose fever’d anxious brain
Toils when all else hath rest,
To bring the lost again!
But the owl’s boding shriek,
The death-cry of his prey;
The tongues that durst not speak
In bright unslumb’ring day;
The murd’rer’s curses fell,
His quiv’ring victim’s groan;
The mutt’red, moody spell
Which rocks ABADDON’S throne!
The song of winds that sweep
Our rolling sphere, and keep
Up conferences profound;
The music of the sea,
When battling waves run mad;
Far sweeter there may be,
But none so wild and sad.
The wail of forests vast
Thro’ which pour storms like light,
Whilst rending in the blast,
They feebly own its might!
Deep thund’rings o’er the main:
The short shrill smother’d cry,
Hurl’d to the skies in vain,
Of drowning agony!
The SOMETHING toneless, which
Speaks awfully to men,
Startling the poor and rich,
For CONSCIENCE will talk then;
These are the watch-words drear,
The Voices of the Night,
Which harrow the sick ear,
The stricken heart affright!
Great Marlow, Bucks.
* * * * *
* * * * *
(For the Mirror.)
This day of joyous festivity has almost ceased to be the harbinger of mirth and jollity; and the gambols of our forefathers are nearly forgotten amidst the high notions of modern refinement. Time was when king, lords, and commons hailed May-day morning with delight, and bowed homage to her fair and brilliant queen. West end and city folks united in their freaks, ate, drank, and joined the merry dance from morning dawn till close of day. Thus in an old ballad of those times we find
The hosiers will dine at the Leg,
The drapers at the sign of the Brush,
The fletchers to Robin Hood will go,
And the spendthrift to Beggar’s bush.
The gentry to the King’s head,
The nobles to the Crown, &c.
The rustic had his morrice-dance, hobby-horse race, and the gaudy Mayings of Robin Hood, which last were instituted, according to an old writer, in honour of his memory, and continued till the latter end of the sixteenth century. These games were attended not by the people only, but by kings and princes, and grave magistrates.
Stow says, “that in the moneth of May, the citizens of London, of all estates, lightlie in every parish, or sometimes two or three parishes joyning together, had their severall Mayinges, and did fetch in Maypoles, with divers warlike showes, with good archers, morrice-dancers, and other devices for pastime all the day long, and towards the evening they had stage-playes and bone-fires in the streetes. These greate Mayinges and Maygames, made by governors and masters of this citie, with the triumphant setting up of the greate shafte, (a principall May-pole in Cornhill, before the parish church of S. Andrew, therefore called Undershafte,) by meane of an insurrection of youthes against alianes, on May-day, 1517, have not beene so freely used as afore.”
The disuse of these ancient pastimes and the consequent neglect of Archerie, are thus lamented by Richard Niccols, in his London’s Artillery, 1616:
How is it that our London hath laid downe
This worthy practise, which was once the crowne,
Of all her pastime which her Robin Hood
Had wont each yeare when May did clad the wood
With lustre greene, to lead his young men out,
Whose brave demeanour, oft when they did shoot,
Invited royall princes from their courts
Into the wilde woods to behold their sports!
Who thought it then a manly sight and trim,
To see a youth of clene compacted lim,
Who, with a comely grace, in his left hand
Holding his bow, did take his steadfast stand,
Setting his left leg somewhat foorth before,
His Arrow with his right hand nocking sure,
Not stooping, nor yet standing streight upright,
Then, with his left hand little ’bove his sight,
Stretching his arm out, with an easie strength
To draw an arrow of a yard in length.
“Invited royall princes from their
Into the wilde woods to behold their sports,”
may be reasonably supposed to allude to Henry the VIIIth, who appears to have been particularly attached, as well to the exercise of archery, as to the observance of Maying. “Some short time after his coronation,” says Hall, “he came to Westminster with the quene, and all their traine, and on a tyme being there, his grace, therles of Essex, Wilshire, and other noble menne, to the number of twelve, came sodainly in a mornyng into the quenes chambre, all appareled in short cotes of Kentish kendal, with hodes on their heddes, and hosen of the same, every one of them his bowe and arrowes, and a sworde and a bucklar, like outlawes, or Robyn Hodesmen; whereof the quene, the ladies, and al other there were abashed as well for the straunge sight, as also for their sodain commyng, and after certayn daunces and pastime made, thei departed.”
The same author gives the following curious account of a Maying, in the 7th year of that monarch, 1516: “The king and quene, accompanied with many lords and ladies, rode to the high ground on Shooter’s Hill to take the air, and as they passed by the way, they espied a company of tall yomen clothed all in green, with green whodes and bows and arrows, to the number of 90. One of them calling himself Robin Hood, came to the king, desiring him to see his men shoot, and the king was content. Then he wistled, and all the 90 archers shot and losed at once, he then whistled again, and they shot again; their arrows wistled by craft of the head, so that the noise was strange and great, and much pleased the king, the quene, and all the company. All these archers were of the king’s guard, and had thus appareled themselves to make solace to the king. Then Robin Hood desired the king and quene to come into the green wood, and see how the outlaws live. The king demanded of the quene and her ladies, if they durst venture to go into the wood with so many outlaws, and the quene was content. Then the horns blew till they came to the wood under Shooter’s Hill, and there was an arbour made of boughs, with a hall and a great chamber, and an inner chamber, well made and covered with flowers and sweet herbs, which the king much praised. Then said Robin Hood, ’Sir, outlaws breakfasts is vensyon, and you must be content with such fare as we have.’ The king and quene sat down, and were served with venison and wine by Robin Hood and his men. Then the king and his party departed, and Robin and his men conducted them. As they were returning, they were met by two ladies in a rich chairiot, drawn by five horses, every horse had his name on his head, and on every horse sat a lady, with her name written; and in a chair sat the Lady May, accompanied with Lady Flora, richly appareled, and they saluted the king with divers songs, and so brought him to Greenwhich.”
The games of Robin Hood seem to have been occasionally of a dramatic cast. Sir John Paston, in the time of King Edward IV. complaining of the ingratitude of his servants, mentions one who had promised never to desert him, and “ther uppon,” says he, “I have kepyd hym thys iii yer to pleye Seynt Jorge, and Robyn Hod, and the Shryf off Notyngham, and now when I wolde have good horse he is goon into Bernysdale, and I without a keeper.”
In some old accounts of the Churchwardens, of Saint Helens, at Abingdon, Berks, for the year 1556, there is an entry for setting up Robins Hoode’s bower; supposed to be for a parish interlude.
Perhaps the clearest idea of these games will be derived from some accounts of the Church-wardens, of the parish of Kingston-upon-Thames:
" Robin Hood and Maygame.
L. s. d.
23 Henry 7th. To the menstorell
upon Mayday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 4
For paynting of the mores garments
and for sarten gret leveres . . . . . . 0 2 4
For paynting of a bannar for Robin
Hood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 3
For 2 M. and 1/2 pynnys . . . . . . . . . 0 0 10
For 4 plyts and 1/2 of laun for the mores
garments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 2 11
For orseden for the same. . . . . . . . . 0 0 10
For a goun for the lady . . . . . . . . . 0 0 8
For bellys for the dawnsers . . . . . . . 0 0 12
14 Henry 7th. For Little John’s
cote. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 8 0
1 Henry 8th. For silver paper for
the mores dawnsars. . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 7
For kendall for Robyn Hode’s cote . . . . 0 1 3
For 3 yerds of white for the frere’s cote 0 3 0
For 4 yerds of kendall for mayde Marian’s
huke. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 3 4
For saten of sypers for the same huke . . 0 0 6
For 2 payre of glovys for Robin Hode
and mayde Maryan. . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 3
For 6 brode arovys. . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 6
To mayde Mary an for her labour for
2 years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 2 0
To Fygge the taborer. . . . . . . . . . . 0 6 0
Received for Robyn Hode’s gaderyng
5 Henry 8th. Received for Robin
Hood’s gaderyng at Croydon. . . . . . . . 0 9 4
11 Henry 8th. Paid for 3 broad
yerds of rosett for makyng frer’s cote. . 0 3 6
Shoes for the mores dawnsars, the frere
and mayde Maryan at 7_d_. a payre. 0 5 4
13 Henry 8th. Eight yerds of fustyan
for the mores dawnsars cotes. . . . . . . 0 16 0
A dosyn of gold skynnes for the mores . . 0 0 10
15 Henry 8th. Hire of hats for
Robin Hode. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 16
Paid for the hat that was lost. . . . . . 0 0 10
16 Henry 8th. Received at the
church-ale and Robyn Hode, all things
deducted. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 10 6
Paid for 6 yerds 1/4 of satyn for Robyn
Hode’s cotys. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 12 6
For makyng the same . . . . . . . . . . . 0 2 0
For 3 ells of bocram . . . . . . . . . . 0 1 6
21 Henry 8th. For spunging and
brushing Robyn Hods cotys . . . . . . 0 0 2
28 Henry 8th. Five hats and 4 porses
for the dawnsars . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 4-1/2
4 yerds of cloth for the fole’s cote . . 0 2 0
2 ells of worstede for mayde Marian’s
kyrtle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 6 8
For 6 payre of double solly’d showne . . 0 4 6
To the mynstrele . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 10 8
To the fryer and the piper for to
go to Croydon . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 8
29 Henry 8th. Mem. left in the keeping of the wardens nowe beinge, a fryers cote of russet, and a kyrtle of a worstyde weltyd with red cloth, a mouren’s cote of buckram, and 4 morres dawnsars cotes of white fustian spangelyd, and two gryne saten cotes, and a dysardd’s cote of cotton, and 6 payre of garters with bells.”
Having given so many items of the Robin Hood games, it will not be out of place to furnish some account of the Morrice.
The tabor and pipe strike up a morrice.—A shout within.
A lord, a lord, a lord, who!
ENTER THE MORRICE—They sing.
Skip it, and trip it, nimbly, nimbly,
Tickle it, tickle it, lustily,
Strike up the tabor, for the wenches favour,
Tickle it, tickle it, lustily.
Let us be seen on Hygale Greene,
To dance for the honour of Holloway,
Since we are come hither, let’s spare for no leather,
To dance for the honour of Holloway.
Ed. Well said, my boys, I must have my lord’s livery; what is’t, a maypole? troth, ’twere a good body for a courtier’s impreza, if it had but this life—Frustra storescit. Hold, cousin, hold.
(He gives the fool money.)
Fool. Thanks, cousin, when the lord my father’s audit comes, we’ll repay you again, your benevolence too, sir.
Mam. What! a lord’s son become a beggar!
Fool. Why not, when beggars are become lord’s sons. Come, ’tis but a trifle.
Mam. Oh, sir, many a small make a great.
Fool. No, sir, a few great make a many small. Come, my lords, poor and needy hath no law.
Ed. Nor necessity no right. Drum, down with them into the cellar. Rest content, rest content, one bout more, and then away.
Fool. Spoke like a true heart; I kiss thy foot, sweet knight.
(The Morrice sing and dance, and exeunt.)
* * * * *
* * * * *
SITTING IN THE DRUID’S CHAIR.
We detach the following scene from one of Mr. Horace Smith’s Tales of the Early Ages. The date is the fifth century, about twenty years after the final withdrawing of the Romans from Britain. The actors are Hengist, the Saxon chief, Guinessa, his daughter, betrothed to Oscar, a young prince, and Gryffhod, a Briton of some distinction, and proprietor of Caer-Broc, a villa on the Kentish coast, where the parties are sojourning. The incident embodies the superstition of sitting in the Druid’s Chair, similar in its portentous moment to sitting in St. Michael’s Chair, in Cornwall. It is told with considerable force and picturesque beauty.
“In the morning, Hengist informed his daughter, to her no small dismay, that he meant to take her to Canterbury for the purpose of introducing her to her uncle Horsa, desiring her to make preparations for her immediate departure. ‘But before I leave Caer-Broc,’ said the Saxon, ’I would fain mount that lofty cliff up which I climbed fifteen years ago, in order that I might discover, if possible, upon what coast the storm had cast me. It commands, as I recollect, an extensive inland view, and I would show my fellow-soldiers the beauty of the country into which I have led them.’
“’It must have been the Druid’s Chair, for that is the loftiest headland upon our coast.’
“’The higher the better, my child, for so shall we gain the wider prospect. The morning is at present, clear, and I would climb the cliff before those clouds which I see gathering in the west, shall be blown hither to intercept our prospect.’ So saying, he invited his comrades, as well as Oscar, to accompany him; while Gryffhod, on learning his purpose, joined his party with Leoline and others of his men, in order that they might render assistance, should any such be required, in climbing the broken and somewhat perilous ascent to the dizzy summit of the cliff. Ropes were provided in case of accident, as persons had more than once slipped from the narrow ledge, and fallen upon lower fragments of the cliff, whence they could be only extricated by hauling them up.
“Battered and undermined by the storms of ages, the Druid’s Chair has long since been shivered into fragments and wasted away; but at the period of which we are writing it formed the outermost of a chain of crags which were connected together by a tongue of rock and cliff sufficiently continuous to allow a passage, but broken into sharp acclivities and descents which rendered the undertaking toilsome to all, and not without peril for those who were liable to be giddy, or who did not possess a good portion of activity. ‘Surely,’ said Hengist, as he followed Gryffhod, ’this ridge was much more even when I traversed it fifteen years ago.’
“‘You are right,’ replied the Briton; ’but rains and frosts have since broken away its surface. This is our steepest ascent, but it is the last. We will help Guinessa to surmount it, and when we gain the summit, she shall be the first to sit in the Druid’s Chair.’
“With some little mutual assistance, the whole party gained the pinnacle of the cliff, which was a small and nearly circular platform, with a central crag that bore a rude resemblance to a chair. ’You shall have the honour that was promised you,’ said the Saxon chief to his daughter; ’but we must first clear away the samphire and weeds which have taken previous possession of your seat.’ So saying, he cut them away with his sword, and lead his panting daughter to the throne, upon which she was by no means sorry to rest herself. Hengist then walked repeatedly round the lofty level,
“While he was thus occupied, either his extended sword was touched, or his arm was unnerved by the electric fluid, for the weapon fell from his hand and instantly disappeared in the whirlpool beneath. ’My sword! my enchanted sword!’ exclaimed Hengist with a loud cry of consternation: ’it is lost, it is gone! a hundred pieces of gold to him who recovers my precious weapon! I would plunge after it myself, but that I am prohibited by the magician who fashioned it. My sword! my sword! a hundred horses, besides the gold, to him who finds it. What! my brave comrades,’ he continued, casting a reproachful look at his fellow-countrymen, ’will you see your leader ruined, and all his hopes blasted, rather than attempt to get me back my sword?’
“’We came hither to fight the Picts and Scots, not to drown ourselves in such a hopeless enterprise,’ muttered the Saxons.
“’Oscar, my intended son-in-law! you are young and vigorous. Show yourself worthy of Guinessa by plunging into the waters in search of my lost talisman.’
“’It is inevitable death; and besides you have promised her to me already,’ replied the young Prince, recoiling with a shudder from the edge of the precipice.
“‘Craven! recreant! I recall my consent,’ shouted Hengist, hoarse with rage, ’and here in the face of Heaven I promise her to him, and him only, who shall redeem my sword from the waters.’
“‘Do you swear to that vow?’ asked Leoline, starting forward.
“’Ay, I swear by the sword itself, an oath that I dare not violate, even if I would.’
“‘Enough?’ said Leoline; and springing instantly from the rock, he precipitated himself down the fearful abyss, and plunged into the foaming whirlpool below. Bewildered and aghast at this sudden act of desperation, Guinessa, uttering a scream of agonized terror, would have thrown herself after him, had she not been restrained by Gryffhod; but she still bent over the precipice, her long golden hair, as it streamed upon the wind, together with her white robes and arms, and her fair features, all shown in strong relief against the dark thunder-cloud, imparting to her the appearance of an aerial spirit, just alighted upon this craggy pinnacle to watch the conflict of the elements. Every eye was rivetted upon the spot where Leoline had cleft the eddying waves; not a syllable was uttered; every heart thrilled painfully in expectation of his reappearance, but he rose not again to the surface, and the fears of the gazers responded to those of Guinessa, as she at length ejaculated, in a deep and hollow voice, ‘He is lost—he is lost!’ Another brief but dreadful pause ensued, when Guinessa, clasping her hands sharply together, exclaimed, with an ecstatic shout, ’He rises—he rises—he has found the sword!’ and she sank upon her knees, trembling all over with a vehement and irrepressible agitation.
“The object of her deep emotion was now visible to all, holding the recovered sword in his mouth, while with both hands he fought against the buffetting billows, which hurled him against the foot of the cliff, and as often by their recoil swept him back again; for the wave-worn crag offered no holdfast either for the foot or hand. ’He will perish still; he will be dashed to pieces against the rock,’ cried Hengist, almost wild with apprehension.
“‘He swims like a fish,’ exclaimed Gryffhod, ’but he cannot strike out of that boiling whirlpool; it is too strong for him. The ropes! the ropes! where are they? let us lower them instantly, and we may perhaps succeed in hauling him up.’
“A rope, secured at top to the Druid’s Chair, was instantly thrown over, but the lower extremity being blown about by the wind, it was not till after repeated efforts that Leoline could succeed in catching hold of it, when he raised himself out of the water, and began to climb upwards by supporting his feet against the cliff. More than once they slipped away from the wet chalk, and he swung in mid-air; but his teeth still firmly grasped the sword; he soon obtained a drier foothold, and thus climbed to the summit: which he had no sooner reached in safety than Guinessa, overcome by the revulsion of her feelings, sank panting and fainting into her father’s arms. Eagerly snatching the redeemed weapon, its owner ran his eye over the blade, when finding that it had received no injury, nor suffered any obliteration of the talismanic characters, he repeatedly kissed it, replaced it in its scabbard, and then cordially embracing its recoverer exclaimed, ’Thanks, brave
“Cordial were the congratulations from all parties except Oscar, who, filled with mortification and jealous hatred, slunk away before the others; and during the march to Canterbury, which was commenced immediately after their descent from the Druid’s Chair, kept himself aloof, equally incensed against Gryffhod, Hengist, and Guinessa, and meditating dark schemes of vengeance.”
Oscar attempts to assassinate his successful rival at Canterbury; he escapes, but in crossing the sea for Gaul, is taken by the piratical Picts, carried to Scotland, and condemned to a rigorous and lifelong slavery. Leoline and Guinessa are married, and Hengist becoming paramount in Kent, assigns to them a castle with ample domains in the Isle of Thanet; and in sailing along the coast they often pointed to “the dizzy summit of the Druid’s Chair,” which Leoline often proudly declared to be far more precious to him than any other object in existence, since it had given him that which alone made existence valuable—his Guinessa!
In one of the Tales—of the Council of Nice, in the fourth century, Mr. Smith indulges his usual felicitous vein of humour, in a burlesque which he puts into the mouth of a slave of the Bishop of Ethiopia,—“a little, corpulent, bald-headed, merry-eyed man of fifty, whose name was Mark; whose duty it was to take charge of the oil, trim the lamps, and perform other menial offices in the church of Alexandria.” The profane wight deserved, for his wit, a better place.
* * * * *
Alack and alas! it hath now come to pass,
That the Gods of Olympus, those cheats of the world,
Who bamboozled each clime from the birthday of Time,
Are at length from their mountebank eminence hurl’d.
On their cold altar-stone are no offerings
And their worshipless worships no passenger greets,
Though they still may have praise for amending our ways,
If their statues are broken for paving the streets.
The Deus Opt. Max. of these idols
Is now thrust in a corner for children to flout,
And the red thunder-brand he still grasps in his hand.
Lights not Jupiter Tonans to grope his way out.
Their Magnus Apollo no longer we follow,
He’s routed and flouted and laid on the shelf,
And no poet’s address will now reach him unless
He can play his own lyre and flatter himself.
As for Bacchus the sot, he has drain’d
his last pot,
And must lay in the grave his intoxicate head,
For although by his aid he his votaries made
Full often dead drunk, they have now drunk him dead.
O Mars, battle’s Lord! canst thou
not draw a sword,
As forth from its temple thy statue we toss?
We want not thy lance, since our legions advance
Beneath the bless’d banner of Constantine’s cross.
Juno, Venus, and Pallas, to shame were
And have always so widely from decency swerved,
That it well might be urged, if their statues were scourged
And then thrown in the kennel, their doom was deserved.
The pontiffs and priests, who have lost
all their feasts,
And the oracles shorn of their hecatomb herds,
Having nothing to carve, if they don’t wish to starve,
Must feed upon falsehoods and eat their own words.
O’er these mountebanks dead, be
this epitaph read,
“The Gods, Priests and Oracles buried beneath,
Who were ever at strife which should lie most in life,
Here lie all alike in corruption and death.”
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
A delightful paper, entitled, Percy Bysshe Shelley at Oxford is now in course of appearance in the New Monthly Magazine, from the pen of a fellow collegian and an early admirer of the genius of the youthful poet. It is in part conversational. Thus, Shelley loquitur:—
“I regret only that the period of our residence is limited to four years; I wish they would revive, for our sake, the old term of six or seven years. If we consider how much there is for us to learn,” here he paused and sighed deeply through that despondency which sometimes comes over the unwearied and zealous student; “we shall allow that the longer period would still be far too short!” I assented, and we discoursed concerning the abridgement of the ancient term of residence, and the diminution of the academical year by frequent, protracted and most inconvenient vacations. “To quit Oxford,” he said, “would be still more unpleasant to you than to myself, for you aim at objects that I do not seek to compass, and you cannot fail since you are resolved to place your success beyond the reach of chance.” He enumerated with extreme rapidity, and in his enthusiastic strain, some of the benefits and comforts of a college life. “Then the oak is such a blessing,” he exclaimed with peculiar fervour, clasping his hands, and repeating often—“the oak is such
“Were you not charmed with your oak? did it not instantly captivate you!”
“My introduction to it was somewhat unpleasant and unpropitious. The morning after my arrival I was sitting at breakfast: my scout, the Arimaspian, apprehending that the singleness of his eye may impeach his character for officiousness, in order to escape the reproach of seeing half as much only as other men, is always striving to prove that he sees at least twice as far as the most sharpsighted: after many demonstrations of superabundant activity, he inquired if I wanted anything more; I answered in the negative. He had already opened the door: ‘Shall I sport, Sir?’ he asked briskly as he stood upon the threshold. He seemed so unlike a sporting character, that I was curious to learn in what sport he proposed to indulge. I answered—’Yes, by all means,’ and anxiously watched him, but to my surprise and disappointment he instantly vanished. As soon as I had finished my breakfast, I sallied forth to survey Oxford; I opened one door quickly, and not suspecting that there was a second, I struck my head against it with some violence. The blow taught me to observe that every set of rooms has two doors, and I soon learned that the outer door, which is thick and solid, is called the oak, and to shut it is termed to sport. I derived so much benefit from my oak, that I soon pardoned this slight inconvenience: it is surely the tree of knowledge.”
“Who invented the oak?”
“The inventers of the science of living in rooms, or chambers—the monks.”
“Ah! they were sly fellows; none but men who were reputed to devote themselves for many hours to prayers, to religious meditations, and holy abstractions, would ever have been permitted quietly to place at pleasure such a barrier between themselves and the world. We now reap the advantage of their reputation for sanctity; I shall revere my oak more than ever, since its origin is so sacred.”
* * * * *
GLEANINGS IN NATURAL HISTORY.
(Concluded from page 247.)
What a lesson may art learn from contemplating scenes of nature.
“Thrushes feed very much on snails, looking for them in mossy banks. Having frequently observed some broken snail-shells near two projecting pebbles on a gravel walk, which had a hollow between them, I endeavoured to discover the occasion of their being brought to that situation. At last I saw a thrush fly to the spot with a snail-shell in his mouth, which he placed between the two stones, and hammered at it with his beak till he had broken it, and was then able to feed on its contents. The bird must have discovered that he could not apply his beak with sufficient force to break the shell while it was rolling about, and he therefore found out and made use of a spot which would keep the shell in one position. I do not know whether Mr. M’Adam has ever observed the same circumstance, but his ingenious contrivance (if it is his) of confining stones in a sort of hoop while they are being broken, is somewhat similar to that of the thrush.”
The Pike it seems, is a formidable foe to tackle.
“The boldness of a pike is very extraordinary. I have seen one follow a bait within a foot of the spot where I have been standing; and the head keeper of Richmond Park assured me that he was once washing his hand at the side of a boat in the great pond in that Park, when a pike made a dart at it, and he had but just time to withdraw it. A gentleman now residing at Weybridge, in Surrey, informed me that, walking one day by the side of the river Wey, near that town, he saw a large pike in a shallow creek. He immediately pulled off his coat, tucked up his shirt sleeves, and went into the water to intercept the return of the fish to the river, and to endeavour to throw it upon the bank by getting his hands under it. During this attempt, the pike, finding he could not make his escape, seized one of the arms of the gentleman, and lacerated it so much that the wound is still very visible.
“A friend of mine caught a pike a few minutes after breaking his tackle, and found it in the pike, a part of the gimp hanging out of his mouth. He also caught another, in high condition, with a piece of strong twisted wire projecting from its side. On opening it a double eel-hook was found at the end of the wire, much corroded. This may account for so few pike being found dead after they have broken away with a gorge-hook in them. An account will be found, in ‘Salmonia,’ of a pike taking a bait, with a set of hooks in his mouth, which he had just before broken from a line.”
Affection of Animals.
“Animals are so capable of showing gratitude and affection to those who have been kind to them, that I never see them subjected to ill treatment without feeling the utmost abhorrence of those who are inflicting it. I know many persons who, like myself, take a pleasure in seeing all the animals about them appear happy and contented. Cows will show their pleasure at seeing those who have been kind to them, by moving their ears gently, and putting out their wet noses. My old horse rests his head on the gate with great complacency when he sees me coming, expecting to receive an apple or a piece of bread. I should even be sorry to see my poultry and pigs get out of my way with any symptoms of fear.”
One of Mr. Haydon’s new pictures is the first start in life—a mother teaching her infant to walk—it is a clever sketch, but, bearing in mind the beautiful comparison of Solomon and the lily of the valley, here is a counterpart.
“Fishing the other day in Hampton Court Park, I disturbed a moor-hen who had just hatched, and watched her anxiety and manoeuvres to draw away her young. She would go a short distance, utter a cry, return, and seemed to lead the way for her brood to follow. Having driven her away, that I might have a better opportunity of watching her young ones, she never ceased calling to them, and they made towards her, skulking amongst the rushes, till they got to the other side of the pond. They had only just left the shell, and had probably never heard the cry of their mother before.”
There is true benevolence in these remarks. How much is conveyed in the homely expression, that such a man “would not tread upon a worm:” we should learn to covet such men as friends.
The Cardinal Spider.
“There is a large breed of spiders which are found very generally in the palace of Hampton-Court. They are called there ‘cardinals,’ having I suppose been first seen in Cardinal Wolsey’s hall. They are full an inch in length, and many of them of the thickness of a finger. Their legs are about two inches long, and their body covered with a thick hair. They feed chiefly on moths as appears from the wings of that insect being found in great abundance under and amongst their webs. In running across the carpet in an evening, with the shade cast from their large bodies by the light of the lamp or candle, they have been mistaken for mice, and have occasioned no little alarm to some of the more nervous inhabitants of the palace. A doubt has even been raised whether the name of cardinal has not been given to this creature from an ancient supposition that the ghost of Wolsey haunts the place of his former glory under this shape. Be this as it may, the spider is considered as a curiosity, and Hampton-Court is the only place in which I have met with it.”
Did Wolsey, arrayed in all his glory, ever regard a spider, or think that his proud name would be coupled with so minute a member of the creation?
“Rooks are not easily induced to forsake the trees on which they have been bred, and which they frequently revisit after the breeding season is over. This is shown in Hampton-Court Park, where there is an extensive rookery amongst the fine lime-trees, and where a barbarous and unnecessary custom prevails of shooting the young rooks. As many as a hundred dozen of them have been killed in one season, and yet the rooks build in the avenue, though there is a corresponding avenue close by, in Bushy Park, which they never frequent, notwithstanding the trees are equally high and equally secure. I never hear the guns go off during this annual slaughter without execrating the practice, and pitying the poor rooks, whose melancholy cries may be heard to a great distance, and some of whom may be seen, exhausted by their fruitless exertions, sitting melancholy on a solitary tree waiting till the sport is over, that they may return and see whether any of the offspring which they have reared with so much care and anxiety are left to them; or, what is more probable, the call for assistance of their young having ceased, they are aware of their fate, and are sitting in mournful contemplation of their loss. This may appear romantic, but it is nevertheless true.”
Who can read the above without a shudder at the brutal taste of the lords of the lower world.
“The only instance I have met with in which the hen bird has not the chief care in hatching and bringing up the young is in the case of the emus at the farm belonging to the Zoological Society near Kingston. A pair of these birds have now five young ones: the female at different times dropped nine eggs in various places in the pen in which she was confined. These were collected in one place by the male, who rolled them gently and carefully along with his beak. He then sat upon them himself, and continued to do so with the utmost assiduity for nine weeks, during which time the female never took his place, nor was he ever observed to leave the nest. When the young were hatched, he alone took charge of them, and has continued to do so ever since, the female not appearing to notice them in any way. On reading this anecdote, many persons would suppose that the female emu was not possessed of that natural affection for its young which other birds have. In order to rescue it from this supposition, I will mention that a female emu belonging to the Duke of Devonshire at Cheswick lately laid some eggs; and as there was no male bird, she collected them together herself and sat upon them.”
 There are now (June) five
young emus alive, and appearing
“It is a curious fact that toads are so numerous in the island of Jersey, that they have become a term of reproach for its inhabitants, the word ‘Crapaud’ being frequently applied to them; while in the neighbouring island of Guernsey not a toad is to be found, though they have frequently been imported. Indeed, certain other islands have always been privileged in this respect. Ireland is free from venomous animals, of course by the aid of St. Patrick. The same was affirmed of Crete in olden times, being the birthplace of Jupiter. The Isle of Man is said also to be free from venomous creatures. The Mauritius, and I believe one of the Balearic islands, enjoys the same immunity.”
The following anecdote is as pretty as the writer conceives it to be:
“His present Majesty, when residing in Bushy Park, had a part of the foremast of the Victory, against which Lord Nelson was standing when he received his fatal wound, deposited in a small temple in the grounds of Bushy House, from which it was afterwards removed, and placed at the upper end of the dining-room, with a bust of Lord Nelson upon it. A large shot had passed completely through this part of the mast, and while it was in the temple a pair of robins had built their nest in the shot-hole, and reared a brood of young ones. It was impossible to witness this little occurrence without reflecting on the scene of blood, and strife of war, which had occurred to produce so snug and peaceable a retreat for a nest of harmless robins. If that delightful poet of the lakes, Mr. Wordsworth, should ever condescend to read this little anecdote, it might supply him with no bad subject for one of his charming sonnets.”
A few entertaining particulars of
The Royal Parks.
“There are two elm trees, or rather the remains of two, in Hampton Court Park, known by the name of the ‘Giants,’ which must have been of an enormous size, the trunk of one of them measuring twenty-eight feet in circumference.
“Cork trees flourish in Hampton Court Park, where there are two large ones. There are also some ilexes, or evergreen oaks, in Bushy Park, of a very large size, and apparently as hardy as any other tree there. The avenues in that park are perhaps the finest in Europe. There are nine of them altogether, the centre one, formed by two rows of horse-chestnut trees, being the widest. The side avenues, of which there are four on each side of the main avenue, are of lime trees, and the whole length, including the circuit round the Diana water, is one mile and forty yards.
“Near the Queen’s house in this park is a very fine Spanish chestnut tree, said to have been planted by Charles II., and to have been the first which was seen in this country.
“The trees which at present form so much of the beauty of Greenwich Park were planted by Evelyn, and if he could now see them he would call them ‘goodly trees,’ at least some of them. The chestnuts, however, though they produce some fine fruit, have not thriven in the same proportion with the elms. In noticing this park I should not forget to mention that the only remaining part of the palace of Henry VIII. is preserved in the front of Lord Auckland’s house looking into the park. It is a circular delft window of beautiful workmanship, and in a fine state of preservation. There are also a great number of small tumuli in the upper part of the park, all of which appear to have been opened.”
“In addition to the herd of fallow deer, amounting to about one thousand six hundred, which are kept in Richmond Park, there is generally a stock of from forty to fifty red deer. One fine stag was so powerful, and offered so much resistance, that two of his legs were broken in endeavouring to secure him, and he was obliged to be killed. One who had shown good sport in the royal hunt, was named ‘Sir Edmund,’ by his late Majesty, in consequence of Sir Edmund Nagle having been in at the ‘take’ after a long chase. This stag lived some years afterwards in the park; and its a curious fact that he died the very same day on which Sir Edmund Nagle died.”
The volume contains some interesting antiquarian inquiries respecting Caesar’s ford at Kingston, and Maxims for an Angler, by a Bungler.
* * * * *
THE ABBOT OF TEWKESBURY.
(For the Mirror.)
“After life’s fitful fever
be sleeps well.”
(In opening the tomb of the founder of the Abbey at Tewkesbury, the body of the Abbot was found clothed in full canonicals. The crosier was as perfect as when, perhaps, first put in the coffin, while the body showed scarcely any symptom of decay, though it had been entombed considerably above six hundred years. On exposure to the air, the boots alone of the Abbot were seen to sink, when the tomb was ordered to be sealed up, and his holiness again committed in his darkness. On the above circumstance this sketch is founded.)
Is this to be dead? Am I not clad in all pontifical splendour? Do I not feel the crosier on my breast? The holy brethren of the Abbey surround me. That which distinguished the Abbot when alive, is even here in collected magnificence. I feel the priestly consequence of the Abbot. Is this then the Chamber of the Dead? The pious monks are weeping. The tears which have flowed before the marble shrine are recalled to weep for a departed brother. The incense is full fragrant. I enjoy the perception of its odour. It dilates in my stiffened nostrils, but it supplies me not the breath of life. I hear the loud Hosanna chanted for a soul which dies
* * * * *
A convocation! Yes. The holy brothers in assembled synod to elect a brother holier than themselves. Nay, I do forbid. I, the Abbot who have loved ye all, refuse permission to your meeting. Disperse, disperse. Do ye not hear? Is there no charity alive? Who dares usurp my chair, and I not yet entombed? What! is justice driven out where heavenly men should dwell? I see it. I mark it. The leaven of pride is kneaded in the brotherhood. Intriguing hypocrites usurp the House of God. What! brother John, the fat, the corpulent, the lazy! of whom I know ten thousand heinous sins; the least sufficient to condemn a soul. An Abbot, chosen by the holy, is the elect of God. But he—no, no, no. It shall not be. God will forbid it. They put the crosier in his hand. For shame! for shame! Let not the vicious living sit in the chair of virtue that is departed. Why see! he kneels. He kneels before the shrine, where, until now, he never bent to pray. He grasps the crosier with loving firmness. It shall not be. Is there no interposing Deity to slay the sinner in his wickedness? I, I will seize the crosier from his filthy hand. No. My arm lays idly at my side. Is THIS TO BE DEAD?
* * * * *
They chant the funeral dirge. The mighty torches flash their blazing light upon the frozen features of the dead. Mine eyes are sealed. I strain to open them. No. Light gleams in upon me as through a clear veil. Ah! monster of hateful mien! demon deceitful in religious robes! avaunt! Thou shalt not touch my corpse. No. Thank God! It is a foretaste of thy love to come. He passes on. He dares not lay polluted hands upon the dead, whose becalmed face is looking up to thee. The dead, the sacred dead. The living are for the world, the dead are Thine. Incense, and prayer, and psalms for the departed. It is respectful, but what heed I? Man comes into the world only to go out thereof. What then? The grave! Horror. I have preached thereof. I have shocked others with the enormities of life until they clung unto the grave. Now, I who have bidden the virtuous look to the hopes beyond it, myself would cry to live. But no! they bear me on. He, the foul monster, grins as he looks upon my outstretched limbs. Wolf, I’ll pray for thee. Breathe, breathe hardly, ye distended nostrils; it is your
* * * * *
Yet in the grave. Years have rolled away. Successors to my chair sleep in the stony sepulchres around me. Monks whom I have awed or blessed, slumber in death. Men, whom I have known not, walk in the cloisters I have built. I am but mentioned as a thing that was—the memory of a name. Enough. There is no communion among the dead. Methought the spirits of the other world held converse on the joys they left on earth. But all is still. I cannot hear a lament, even for a rotted bone. The dead are tongue-tied. In yonder chancel sleeps a monarch, murdered by bloody relations. Should not such a spirit shriek aloud for vengeance, or weep a wailing for his destiny? But all is still. I hear no night owl screech. Earth is the only dwelling place of noise. Death knows it not. Methinks a shriek were music, a sigh were melody, a groan a feast. But no. Time has almost used me to its sombre sameness. Is not time tired to have gone so long the same unchanging course? I cannot move. My joints are aching with continued rest. I cannot turn:—my sides are sunken in. Would I could turn and crush them into bones with my reclining weight. Is my heart sinful that it weighs down all my body. Is this the gnawing and undying worm? Is THIS TO BE DEAD.
* * * * *
Six hundred years and still I am in the tomb. So much of man has sought a refuge in the grave. I well may ask if life is yet on earth. Has man degraded or is England ruined! I hear the footsteps of those that gaze upon the stony sepulchres. I feel the glaring of their curious eyes between the crevices which time has uncemented. They make remarks. Is then a tomb a monument of wonder? They talk of monks as things that are no more. Then is the world no more. At last the time is
* * * * *
Abridged from Powell’s Advice to Executors, (just published.)
Queen Consort.—An ancient perquisite belonging to the Queen Consort was, that on the taking of a whale on the coasts, it should be divided between the King and Queen; the head only becoming the King’s property, and the tail the Queen’s. The reason of this whimsical distinction, as assigned by our ancient records, was to furnish the Queen’s wardrobe with whalebone.
A civil Death is where a husband has undergone transportation for life. In such case, his wife is legally entitled to make a will, and act in every other matter, as if she was unmarried, or as though her husband were dead.—Roper’s Husband and Wife.
Pin Money.—It has been judicially determined, that a married woman having any pin-money, (by which is understood an annual income settled by the husband, before marriage, on his intended wife, or allowed by him to her after marriage, gratuitously, for her personal and private expenditure during the existence of the marriage,) or any separate maintenance, may, by will, bequeath her savings out of such allowance, without the license or consent of her husband.—Clamey’s Equitable Rights of Married Women.
Compulsory Will.—So cautious is the Ecclesiastical Court in guarding against restraint of any kind, that in a case in which it was proved that a man, in his last sickness, was compelled to make his will to procure quiet from the extreme importunity of his wife, it was held to have been made under restraint, and was declared void.
Wills of Criminals.—The lands and tenements of traitors, from the commission of the offence, and their goods and chattels, from the time of their conviction, are forfeited to the king. They have therefore no property in either; and are not merely deprived of the privilege of making any kind of will after the period of their conviction, but any will previously made is rendered void by such conviction, both as respects real and personal estate. The law respecting felons is the same, unless it be worth recording that a remarkable exception exists in favour of Gavelkind lands, which, even though the ancestor be hanged, are not forfeited for felony.
Bachelors’ Wills.—Without any express revocation, if a man who has made his will, afterwards marries, and has a child or children, his will, made while a bachelor, will be presumptively revoked, both as regards real and personal estate, and he will be pronounced to have died intestate. The law presumes that it must be the natural intention of every man to provide for his wife and offspring before all others, and, consequently, in such a case, apportions his property according to the Statute of Distributions. But the fact of a marriage alone, without a child, is no revocation; and though both facts conjoin to revoke the will, yet such revocation is only on the presumption that the testator could not have intended his will to remain good. If, on the other hand, from expressions used by him, and other proof, it be made to appear unquestionable that it was his intent that his will should continue in force, the marriage and birth of children will not revoke it.
Paraphernalia of a Widow.—These are defined to be “such goods as a wife is, after her husband’s death, allowed to retain in preference to all creditors and legatees; as necessary wearing apparel, and jewels, if she be of quality; and whether so or not, all such ornaments of the person, as watches, rings, and trinkets, as she used to wear in her husband’s life-time. Under the term ‘wearing apparel’ are included whatsoever articles were given to her by her husband for the purpose of being made up into clothes, although he may have died before they were made up.” (Clamey.) It should be added, however, that the jewels of the wife are, after her husband’s death, liable to the payment of his debts, should his personal estate be exhausted; though her necessary wearing apparel is protected against the claim of all creditors.
* * * * *
The following is from Messrs. Bennet and Tyerman’s Voyages and Travels: “Our chief mate said, that on board a ship where he had served, the mute on duty ordered some of the youths to reef the main-top-sail. When the first got up, he heard a strange voice saying, ‘It blows hard.’ The lud waited for no more; he was down in a trice, and telling his adventure; a second immediately ascended, laughing at the folly of his companion, but returned even more quickly declaring that he was quite sure that a voice, not of this world, had cried in his ear, ‘It blows hard.’ Another went, and another, but each came back with the same tale. At length the mate, having sent up the whole watch, run up the shrouds himself; and when he reached the haunted spot, heard the dreadful words distinctly uttered in his ears, ‘It blows hard.’ ’Ay, ay, old one; but blow it ever so hard, we must ease the earings for all that,’ replied the mate undauntedly; and looking round, he spied a
* * * * *
* * * * *
Hard Duty.—As a gentleman’s coachman washed his master’s carriage during divine service on Sunday morning, he was heard to say that “he hoped his master and mistress prayed for him, as he had no time to pray for himself.” He brought his lady home from the Opera at one in the morning; then went to fetch his master from the “Hell” in St. James’s-street, and by the time he had littered and rubbed down his horses, and got to his own bed, it was four o’clock; he thought after that he could not do less than sleep till nine; by half-past-ten he had got his breakfast, and at twelve his carriage was ready; at one he took his dinner; at two he was ordered to be at the door to take his lady and the young ladies to the Park; at five he returned, and was ordered out at six, to carry the family to dinner; after setting them down, he was directed to come at half-past eleven; and by two o’clock on Monday morning, the poor man was once more in his bed.
Le Due de Bourdeaux.—It was still dark when the order was given to notify the auspicious birth of the young Duc de Bordeaux, in November, 1820, to the inhabitants of Paris. It was observed to the Duc de Richelieu, that it might perhaps be better to wait for the break of day, to fire the cannon; to which he replied, “For news so glorious, it is break of day at all times.” S.H.
Scriptural Memoranda.—Verse 18, chap. xii. of the first Book of Maccabees, will make an excellent motto for a seal. The 21st verse of the 7th chap. of Ezra, contains every letter of the alphabet. The 19th chap, of the 2nd Book of Kings, and the 37th of Isaiah, are alike, as are also the 31st chap, of the first Book of Samuel, and the 10th chap, of the 1st Chronicles. T. GILL.
“Caviare to the Multitude,” is as good a simile as Shakspeare ever made, for where is the artisan, but after having tasted it, began to spit and splutter as though he had been poisoned, while the aristocrat, the one in a thousand, licks his lips after it, as the greatest delicacy. This article is the roe of the sturgeon, salted down and pressed, and is imported into this country from Odessa. S.H.
Man-killing and Man-eating.—I really do not think the New Zealanders are half so barbarous as the Russians, whatever other folks may say of it, and I’ll abide by what I’ve said too: it is true they sometimes indulge a little by eating a man for dinner, as a delicacy; but leaving eating out of the question, one Russian chief caused more bloodshed last year, than all the New Zealanders put together; and after all, it is an undoubted fact, that a couple of Russians will eat up a rein-deer at a meal! (that is, they will not give over till they have finished it,) so they do not want appetite; and if they were in New Zealand, and a man were to fall in their way, it is very likely that they would eat him. S.H.
Generosity of Marshal Turenne.—The deputies of a great metropolis in Germany, once offered the great Turenne 100,000 crowns not to pass with his army through the city. “Gentlemen,” said he, “I cannot, in conscience, accept your money, as I had no intention to pass that way.” T. GILL.
Spain.—It is remarkable that the Carthaginians having established colonies in Spain, drew their riches from that country, as the Spaniards themselves afterwards did from South America.
Breakfast.—It has been observed, such is our luxury, that the world must be encompassed to furnish a washerwoman with breakfast: with tea from China, and sugar from the West Indies.
Bamboo.—The largest and tallest sort of bamboo, known In India, is about half the height of the London Monument, or 100 feet.
Brick-building was practised largely in Italy in the beginning of the fourteenth century; and the brick buildings erected at this period in Tuscany, and other parts of the north of Italy, exhibit at the present day the finest specimens extant of brick-work!
Nothing Impossible.—Mirabeau’s haste of temper was known, and he must be obeyed. “Monsieur Comte,” said his secretary to him one day, “the thing you require is impossible.” “Impossible!” exclaimed Mirabeau, starting from his chair, “never again use that foolish word in my presence.”—Dumont’s Mirabeau. (This brief anecdote should never be forgotten by the reader: it is more characteristic than hundreds of pages; it is, to all men, a lesson almost in a line.)
"Nice to a Shaving."—When Louis VII. of France, to obey the injunctions of his bishops, cropped his hair and shaved his beard, Eleanor, his consort, found him with this unusual appearance, very ridiculous, and soon very contemptible. She revenged herself as she thought proper, and the poor shaved king obtained a divorce. She then married the Count of Anjou, afterwards our Henry II. She had for her marriage dower the rich provinces of Poitu and Guyenne; and this was the origin of those wars which for three hundred years ravaged France, and cost the French three millions of men: all which, probably, had never occurred, had Louis VII. not been so rash as to crop his head, and shave his beard, by which he became so disgustful in the eyes of our Queen Eleanor. W.A.
American Wife.—The following advertisement for a wife appeared a few years since, in a New York paper:—“Wanted immediately, a young lady, of the following description, (as a wife,) with about 2,000 dollars as a patrimony, sweet temper, spend little, be a good housewife, and born in America; and as I am not more than twenty-five years of age, I hope it will not be difficult to find a good wife. N.B. I take my dwelling in South Second Street, No. 273. Any lady that answers the above description will please to leave her card.” W.G.C.
The following is said to be an unpublished epigram of Lord Byron:—
An old phlegmatic Dutchman took
A pretty Jewish wife,
And what still more surprising is,
He lov’d her ’bove his life—
Oh! Holland and Jerusalem,
What, tell me, do you think of them?
A Queer Library.—The eccentric physician, Dr. Radcliffe, when pursuing his studies, was content with looking into the works of Dr. Willis. He was possessed of very few books, insomuch that when Dr. Bathurst, head of Trinity College, asked him once with surprise, where his study was? he pointed to a few vials, a skeleton, and a herbal, and said, “Sir, this is Radcliffe’s Library.” P.T.W.
How to detect a Thief.—A watch was stolen in the Pit of the Opera, in Paris; the loser complained in a loud voice, and said, “It is just nine; in a few minutes my watch will strike; the second is strong; and by that means we shall instantly ascertain where it is.” The thief, terrified at this, endeavoured to escape, and by his agitation discovered himself. T. GILL.
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