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|Table of Contents|
|Start of eBook||1|
|THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.||1|
|ST. GEORGE’S HOSPITAL.||1|
|THE SELECTOR AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.||6|
|NOTES OF A READER.||11|
|TRIAL BY BATTLE.||13|
|KICKING THE WORLD.||13|
|THE FAMILY CABINET ATLAS||14|
|THE KING’S SECRET.||14|
|SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.||16|
|MEMOIRS OF THE MACAW OF A LADY OF QUALITY.||17|
|TWO THOUSAND POUNDS REFUSED BY A BURGESS FOR HIS VOTE.||23|
Title: The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 17, Number 489, Saturday, May 14, 1831
Release Date: June 16, 2004 [EBook #12634]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK mirror of literature, no. 489 ***
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, David Garcia and the
Vol. XVII, No. 489.] Saturday, may 14, 1831. [Price 2d.
* * * * *
[Illustration: St. George’s hospital.]
All who enjoy the luxury of doing good (and who does not, in some way or other?) will be happy to learn that the above is the elevation of the new St. George’s Hospital, at Hyde Park Corner. It is already a splendid monument of British benevolence; but is only a portion of the original plan, which is to complete another front towards Hyde Park; this will extend even further than the old hospital.
St. George’s Hospital, we learn from a printed “Account,” “was set on foot soon after Michaelmas, 1733, by some gentlemen who were before concerned in a charity of the like kind, in the lower part of Westminster. They judged this house convenient for their purpose, on account of its air, situation, and nearness to town; procured a lease of it, and opened a subscription for carrying on the charity here. The subscriptions increased so fast, that on the nineteenth of October they were formed into a regular society, and actually began to receive patients on the first of January following.” The Establishment was, therefore, prosperous at its commencement, and the same good fortune has subsequently attended its progress. It is supported by Voluntary Contributions. The resources are considerable in property, and have been greatly enriched by legacies. Indeed, the legacies which fell to the Hospital during last year, exceeded 11,000l.
The building of the new Hospital, in the Engraving, was first proposed at a meeting held in the year 1827, at which the open-hearted Duke of York was chairman; and at a subsequent meeting, the Archbishop of Canterbury presided. A “Building Fund” was raised, to which the late King munificently contributed L1,000. This Fund is entirely separate from the General Funds of the Hospital: “the sums already subscribed” says the Report of 1830, “have been expended in erecting a part of the building which is now occupied by 140 patients, and the public are earnestly requested to keep in view the importance of continuing their benevolent contributions, until the great object of re-building the entire Hospital has been effected.” It is well known that the closeness of the wards in the old building has long been a subject of the deepest regret to the physicians and surgeons, who have observed its effect in preventing or retarding the cure of their patients; and this evil must, in some degree, be increased by the new building partially obstructing the ventilation of the old.
From the Report of 1829, we also learn that the subscriptions were L3,439. the Dividends L3,798. and the Legacies L1,781. and the expenses of the year L9,731. including L709. for bedding, &c. for the new building.
The new building is from the designs of W. Wilkins, Esq. R.A. architect of the London University, &c. The Engraving represents the grand front which faces the Green Park, and consists of a centre and two wings, in all 200 feet in length. Part of the north wing, which we have referred to as facing Hyde Park, or stretching towards Knightsbridge, is also erected. The south wing is finished, and occupied by patients, as is also the south end of the east front. The theatre for lectures on surgery and medicine will accommodate 150 students. Immediately adjoining it is the museum of anatomical preparations. The entire edifice is faced with compost, coloured and checkered in imitation of stone. The hospital, when complete, will contain 29 wards, and 460 beds. The contracts for building the whole amount to about L41,000.
The grand front, seen from the Green Park, has a handsome appearance, and the architecture is simply elegant. Viewed in association with the costly arch entrance to the Gardens of Buckingham Palace, and the classic screen and gates to Hyde Park—the New Hospital gives rise to a grateful recollection of national benevolence as well as cultivation of fine art—of soothing life’s ills as well as embellishing its enjoyments—in short, of nurturing the first and best feelings of our nature as well as encouraging taste and talent. May England never halt in raising such monuments of her real greatness!
* * * * *
(For the Mirror.)
I’ve stood to gaze on the sunset
When the winds were hush’d and the waves were still;
As the sun sank slowly down the west,
I thought of the good man dropping to rest,
When his race is run—he yields his breath,
And softly sinks in the slumber of death.
When I gazed on the gorgeous western sky,
I thought of those blissful bowers on high,
Whose brightness—blessedness serene,
Ear hath not heard—eye hath not seen.
When I saw the golden glories die,
I thought on life’s uncertainty,
And as night came on in her ebon gloom,
Oh! I thought of the dark and the dreamless tomb,
How soon man’s fairest prospects flee,
The curtain drops—“And where is he?”
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE GOLDEN BODKIN.
An Illustration of Sayings and Doings.
(For the Mirror.)
It was the vesper-hour when the lovely Lady Victorine entered the church of St. Genevieve with her liege lord the Marquess de Montespan, and proceeding slowly down a side aisle of that magnificent fane, prostrated herself upon the steps of an altar of black marble, upon which burned in silver cassolettes, two small glimmering fires, sparingly fed with frankincense, and serving rather to render visible, than to illumine the gloom of the niche in which the altar stood; whilst the tapers which twinkled like glow-worms here and there in the body of the spacious temple, indicated the presence of worshippers, who, in the uncertain and vasty darkness, were scarcely beheld. The Marquess de Montespan kneeled beside his fair lady, and a couple of domestics at a respectful distance from the noble pair, whilst the solemn pealing of the organ intermingled with the low murmurings of human voices, and the sweet, full-toned responses of the choir, aided and attested the devotion of those who now attended vespers in the church of St. Genevieve. The sacred service was nearly concluded, when the attention of the congregation was painfully diverted from the solemn duty in which they were engaged, by thrilling shrieks proceeding from one of the side aisles, and an uncommon stir and tumult about the dark oratory of the Montespans, to which, therefore, a crowd was presently attracted. Alas! for the brevity and vanity of human life! The marquess, who had but so short a time since entered the church in manly prime, health, and strength, and in the full flush of happiness and hope, now suddenly, ay, even as he knelt beside his beautiful wife, and even as their spirits mingled in the same acts of devotion, the marquess now, struck by the angel of death, laid cold, senseless, and motionless, in the arms of his servants, who were vainly endeavouring to recall that vital spark which was totally extinct. Victorine, the young and lovely marchioness, thus suddenly and awfully reduced to widowhood, had fallen into such violent hysterics, as to render the task of supporting her almost dangerous to a noble youth who had voluntarily undertaken it. The consternation of the spectators at this tragical spectacle may be well imagined; but some two or three of them had, nevertheless, presence of mind sufficient to fetch a physician, and after medical aid had somewhat restored to composure the unhappy Victorine, she, with her deceased husband, upon whom, alas, all efforts of art had been bestowed in vain, was carefully conveyed to the Hotel de Montespan. Upon the breast of the Comte de Villeroi had the head of the afflicted marchioness rested, in the eventful hour of her sad bereavement, and in less than six months did he supply to her the place of her departed lord. This event occurred, it was then deemed, prematurely, and the precise and censorious blamed the indelicate haste with which Victorine had exchanged her weeds for bridal attire; but the kind-hearted observed, “Poor young creature, all Paris knows
Something more than a year after the demise of the Marquess de Montespan, Paris was thrown into considerable consternation by a report originating with some of the petty officers of the sacred establishment, that the church of St. Genevieve was haunted; old Albert Morel, the sexton, protesting upon the faith of a good Catholic, that he had heard, when occasionally in the church, alone, a strange rattling noise proceed from the vaults beneath it. “What this could be,” he remarked, “was past comprehension, unless it were ghosts playing at skittles with their own dead bones.” Some people laughed at this idea, and some sapiently shaking their heads, declared with ominous looks, that Morel was no fool, but knew what he knew, whilst every one agreed that some foundation, at least there must be, for the fearful tale. At length, in the church of St. Genevieve, it became necessary for the interment of some individual of rank, to open the very vault from whence seemed chiefly or entirely to proceed the strange and alarming sounds, and this happened to be that, in which were deposited the mortal remains of the Marquess de Montespan; from his coffin, (a mere wooden shell,) it was now ascertained that the rattling proceeded, and as upon inspection, a hole was observed to have been drilled in the wood, as if by the teeth of some animal, it was judged expedient to open and examine it further. The remains of the marquess were discovered in a state of dry decomposition, with his head as completely severed from his body as if by the stroke of the axe;
A large and brilliant party had assembled at the chateau de Vermont, the residence of the gay and opulent Comte de Villeroi and his lady, to celebrate the christening of their first born, when in the midst of a splendid banquet, an alarm was given that the house was surrounded by police and gens d’armes, who required in the king’s name a surrender of the persons of the Comte and Comtesse de Villeroi, they standing attainted of foul and treasonable murder! The confusion and dismay which seized all parties upon this terrible catastrophe, it is impossible to describe; but it suffices to state, that the Comte de Villeroi was impeached for, and fully committed for trial on the charge of having feloniously aided and abetted Victorine de Villeroi, (late Montespan,) in wilfully and maliciously causing the death of her late liege husband, Herbert de Montespan, by thrusting a long
This historiette, in the leading incidents of which, every Frenchman at all acquainted with the Causes Celebres of his country, will detect matters of fact, we have “made a prief of in our notebook,” as one of those interesting cases, (not less remarkable because of rather frequent occurrence) which incontestably prove, that under the just government of the Omniscient, who hath willed that “Whosoever sheddeth the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed.”—Murder will out!
* * * * *
* * * * *
Dr. Lardner has commenced a “Library,” as a kind of succedaneum to his valuable “Cyclopaedia.” Both are styled Cabinet, and the first may be considered an amplification of the second. Two of the Cabinet Library volumes contain a Retrospect of Public Affairs for 1831—not a chronology of shreds and patches, but a well-digested review of the great events of the year—and important indeed they are. The work is the quintessence of an “Annual Register:” it is not so porous and pursy as the last mentioned book, but is a pleasant volume to put in one’s pocket and read inside a coach, if the passengers will allow
“Thus the army, both in its numbers and management, was entirely at the mercy and under the direction of Muscovite despotism; the resources of the state were employed, without the legal control of the diet, to strengthen Russian tyranny, the press was enslaved, that no remonstrance might be made against Russian oppression; the citizens were arrested, imprisoned, and punished by a Russian military chieftain, without being brought to trial before the proper native tribunals; the legislative chambers were deprived of their just prerogatives; the national customs, habits, and feelings were hourly insulted; the citizens were beset with an infamous police, an deprived even of the melancholy consolation of complaint; thus, in short, every Polish right was violated—every article of the charter broken—and the whole efforts of an imperial savage, at the head of a strong military force, directed to efface from the countrymen of the Sobieskis and Kosciuszkos all the remains of the Polish character.
“This, it must be allowed, is a picture of tyranny and misgovernment sufficiently appalling to justify the resistance of any people, but more especially that of a people which had long been accustomed to even a licentious freedom, which was proud of its national honour and ancient renown; which entertained such a veneration for its laws and usages as to preserve for two centuries the liberum veto and the rights of elective monarchy, the source of all its calamities; and which had the positive stipulations of its sovereign for the preservation of its national rights. But, like most general pictures, its impression may be diminished by its generality. We shall therefore make no apology for introducing, on the authority of an Englishman who had been twelve years in Poland, a few facts to give the character of precision and truth to the outline. In the fortress of Zamosc twelve state prisoners were found, some of whom had been incarcerated for six years without having undergone a trial, and whose names were only known to the commander of the castle. In the dungeons of Marienanski, in Warsaw, was found a victim of the Russian police, who had been kept in solitary confinement for ten years, and whose fate was entirely unknown to his friends and relatives. Respectable inhabitants of Warsaw were often taken and flogged before the grand duke without the formality of a trial, or the specification of a charge. Some were even, in the same unlawful
“The following statement of facts on this head, to which we have seen no allusion made in the public prints, but the authenticity of which may be relied on, will give a better idea of the system of Russian government in Poland than any general description could convey. We have received it from the quarter to which we have above alluded:—
“According to the laws of Poland, a commission, chosen by the citizens, has the right of examining and auditing the accounts of the town. From the tyrannical system adopted by the officers who were continually about the person of the grand duke, they dared not perform their duty from fear of his displeasure, and probably, at the instigation of the miscreants around him, being consigned to a prison; remonstrances were, however, generally made at the half-yearly meeting of the commission; though, up to the period immediately before the revolution, nothing was done to check the evil. In the month of September a circumstance occurred, not important in itself, but of great weight in the future course of events. Janiszewski, a cidevant officer in the army, had sent several petitions to the president of the town, which were treated with neglect and insult. He and the president met in
The Editor’s Conclusion, or Summary of the Year is likewise worthy of extract:
“The curtain of the year 1830 dropped on Europe in a state of ferment and agitation, of which it was impossible to check the progress or to foretell the result. The masses of the population had been stirred up from the bottom by the concussion of the French and Belgic revolutions, and could not be expected for a long time to subside into order, or resume a determinate arrangement according to their weight and affinities. The partition wall of privilege, rank, or subordination, interposed between different classes of the European community, had in some cases been forcibly broken down, and in others had been more silently undermined. Antiquity, custom, usage, or legitimacy, which formerly became a shelter to abuses, could not now protect justice and right from threatened innovation. Everywhere power was challenged on its rounds, and compelled to give the popular watchword before it could be allowed to pass. Whether it was a nation that demanded its independence from a foreign power, as in Belgium and Poland; or a people that cashiered their dynasty, as in France and Saxony; or a parliament that changed its administration for a more popular party, as in England; or republics that liberalized their institutions, as in Switzerland,—all was movement and change. The breath of revolution sometimes blew from the suburbs of a capital, as in France; sometimes from the cottages of the peasant, as in the Swiss mountains; but it was every where powerful. No institution was held venerable, no authority sacred, that stood in the way of the popular will. The people had every where got a purchase against their rulers, and had fixed their engines for a further pull. The power of domestic military protection had diminished, in proportion as rulers required its aid; while, at the same time, all Europe seemed arming for a general trial of strength, or a recommencement of conquest. Every kind of reform was the order of the day; financial reform, legal reform, ecclesiastical reform, and parliamentary reform. The year that has just commenced must resolve the character of many of those vague tendencies to change, to war, and confusion, which alarmed some and inspired hope into others at the close of 1830.”
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE DRAMATIC ANNUAL.
Mr Frederick Reynolds, the veteran dramatist, has, by the aid of Mr. W.H. Brooke, produced an amusing and elegant volume of a Playwright’s Adventures, under the above title, Mr. Brooke’s contributions are a plentiful sprinkling of Cuts, full of point and humour, and dovetailed by the Editor with no lack of ingenuity. The Narrative itself purports to be a series of adventures, or a volume of accidents to a young playwright in quest of dramatic fortune, with a due admixture of love and murder, and “a happy union.”—These are relieved by pungent attempts at repartee and harmless raillery, so as to make the dialogue portion glide off pleasantly enough. Instead of quoting an entire chapter from the volume, we are enabled to transfer to our pages a few of its epigrammatic illustrations. First, is what Mr. Reynold calls l’auteur siffle, but this, for the sake of comprehensiveness, we style the damned author.
[Illustration: THE DAMNED AUTHOR.]
* * * * *
Mr. Reynolds seems to hold with Swift, that the merriest faces are in mourning coaches, for his hero at a funeral introduces one of the best cuts. Thus—
On Vivid’s return home, his gratification was soon diminished by the recollections of “existing circumstances,” and these caused him to sink into a gloomy and desponding state; when Sam Alltact, rather malapropos, entered with a black-edged card, inviting his master to the funeral of a deceased acquaintance, an eminent young artist, named Gilmaurs, who, never having been an R.A., but simply an engraver of extraordinary genius, was not to be buried under the dome of St. Paul’s, but in a village churchyard.
[Illustration: THE HANGING COMMITTEE.]
Vivid could not help remarking to a brother mourner, that, in his opinion, the profession of a painter was as much overrated as that of an engraver was underrated: “for,” he added, “what real and unprejudiced connoisseur, while contemplating Woollett’s Roman Edifices from Claude, and Sir Robert Strange’s Titian’s Mistress from Titian, with many others, would not acknowledge, that the copy in many instances so rivalled, if not surpassed, the original, that it became a decided question, which artist ought to carry off the palm?”
“Or, at any rate,” cried an odd accordant theatrical companion, “the connoisseur might say, with Shakspeare—
‘Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?’”
“There is no doubt, that in any school of painting,” continued our hero, “such men as Reynolds, West, and Lawrence, cannot be too much upheld whilst living or lauded and regretted when dead. There is likewise Wilkie—another Hogarth——”
“I beg your pardon,” rejoined the theatrical gentleman; “but till I can forget the blunderbuss fired from the upsetting coach, the cobweb over the poor’s-box, and the gay parson and undertaker at the harlot’s funeral, I cannot allow of the comparison. Besides, I admire Hogarth for another reason: did he consider an engraver’s to be an infradig. profession? No, for he was the engraver of his own works.”
“True,” replied Vivid; “and other painters have been engravers. But to the point: look at the variety of the exquisite engravings in the Annuals; and having compared them with the large, coarse, mindless pictures in—what may be called another annual—the Exhibition of the Royal Academy, then say, whether you do not prefer the distinct delicate touches of a well-directed burin, to the broad, trowel-like splashings of an ill-directed painting-brush?”
“I do; and whilst I bow down to the excellence of such a portrait as that of Charles the First, by Vandyke, or that of Robin Goodfellow, by Sir Joshua, cum multis aliis by painters of the same pre-eminent description—ay, and also whilst I greatly admire numerous pictures still annually exhibited by highly talented living artists, I ask, if I am not to speak my mind relative to that class of painting, which might pass muster outside the inns at Dartford, or Hounslow, or ——. However, ‘the lion preys not upon carcasses,’ and, therefore, I will leave these canvass-spoilers to the judgment of those, who will show them in their proper light—viz. the hanging-committee.”
The funeral being concluded, they return to town, Vivid agreeing with his odd companion in leaving the canvass-spoilers to the hanging committee.
Is it not to be hoped that a day may come when a thorough revision and amelioration of our equity laws will be deemed a matter of as great national importance as that chief occupier of the time of our grand rural Capulets and Montagues, the revision and amelioration of the game laws.
* * * * *
“Ay, leave lawyers to wrangle amongst each other—a practice which of late years has become so much a legal fashion, that some of our Westminster Hall heroes, forgetting their clients’ quarrels in their own, suddenly convert themselves into a new plaintiff and defendant, and brawl forth such home coarse vituperations——”
“True;—formerly they used to brow-beat witnesses, now they brow-beat one another, and so defyingly, that ere long, who knows but the four courts may resemble, as punsters would say, the five courts?”
* * * * *
Every one has heard of kicking the world before them, though, comparatively, so few succeed in the task. The wights in the cut are in an enviable condition.
* * * * *
A sketch of one of those inveterate story tellers which are the standing dishes of a table d’hote, introduces one of the best of the cuts, Mr. Blase Bronzely, loquitur:
“Well, gentlemen, as I was saying, when I saw at Stratford-upon-Avon the Shakspearean procession pass in the street, it rained so violently that Caliban and Hamlet’s Ghost carried umbrellas, whilst Ophelia——”
“Obvious, my dear Blase; or, as a late premier used to say, ’It can’t be missed,’ ‘Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia:’ and, besides, your wet ghost is a mere crib from yourself; for whenever you go hunting in cloudy weather, don’t you regularly ride with a smart silver parasol over your dear little head?”
* * * * *
Soon growing tired of lounging in the library, loitering on the pier, and of all the rest of the usual dull sea-side routine, he literally knew so little what to do with himself, that, to kill an hour or two before dinner, he would frequently be seen seated on a tombstone in the churchyard, yawning; staring at the church clock, and comparing it with his own watch;—in short, in some degree resembling
“Patience on a monument.”
[Illustration: A SEA-SIDE TIME-KILLER—(Dover.)]
* * * * *
The reader will conclude by these specimens that fun and frolic are the characteristics of the Dramatic Annual; and we have given him a spice of its best humour. These Cuts, by the way, are in a style which all illustrators would do well to cultivate. We have seen much labour expended on illustrations of works of humour, such as fine etchy work, and points wrought up with extreme delicacy. The effect, however, is any but humorous: you think of painstaking and trouble, whereas a few lines vividly dashed off, by their unstudied style, will ensure a laugh, where more elaborate productions only remind us of effort. Hood’s pen-and-ink cuts are excellent in their way—as bits of fun, but not of art. Now, Brooke’s designs are both works of fun and art.
* * * * *
Is completed with the Twelfth Part, in the same style of excellence as it was commenced. In this portion are two plates, exhibiting a comparative view of Inland Seas and Principal Lakes of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres—which alone are worth the price of the Part. Altogether, the uniformity and elegance of this work reflect high credit on the taste and talent of every one concerned in its production; and it really deserves a place on every writing-table not already provided with an Atlas. For constant reference, too, it is well calculated, by its convenient size, and is preferable to the cumbrous folio, as well as the varnished, rustling, roller map.
* * * * *
Hundreds of persons have probably been disappointed by this work—an historical novel, of the time of Edward the Third, by Mr. Power, of Covent Garden Theatre. Scandal-loving people are so fond of concatenation, or stringing circumstances, causes, and effects together, that in the present case they made up their minds to some secret of our times: some boudoir story of Windsor or St. James’s, which might show how royalty loves. On the contrary, “the secret” does not come out;—the reader is only tickled, his curiosity excited, and the tale, like an ill-going clock, is wound up without striking.
We attempt something like an outline of the plot, although it is just to induce Our reader to turn to the work itself, for we foretel he will be pleased with its details. Artevelde, a beer brewster of Ghent, intrigues with Edward to transfer the coronet of Flanders from Count Lewis to the young Prince of Wales. The scheme fails, and Artevelde perishes in an affray with the citizens In his negotiations he had employed his daughter, and dispatched her on one occasion, in a private yacht, to the Thames, to confer with the King. In her passage she is observed and recognised by the follower of a Flemish noble, who has a direct interest in defeating Artevelde’s scheme for the marriage and settlement of his daughter, who, before she reaches the King, is seized by this noble and his agents, but is rescued by a brave young citizen. Here the love begins. This young citizen is the nephew of a wealthy old goldsmith, but he abominates the traffic and filthy lucre of his uncle’s profession—for, it should be added, the goldsmiths were the money-jobbers of those days—and aspires to become a soldier of fortune. London was a fitting place for such ambition, for those were chivalrous times. Artevelde’s daughter entrusts the youth with the commission, and dispatches him to the King: he acquits himself with courtly discretion, and, having displayed some prowess in a passage of arms, soon obtains an appointment in the royal service. Edward’s interview with the lady determines him to start instantly for Flanders, and the young citizen (Borgia) accompanies him. They fall into the hands of the same Flemish noble who had attacked the heroine; but they are rescued, and land at the Flemish coast.—The scheme fails, as we have said: after Artevelde’s death, his daughter becomes the King’s ward. The interests of the parties now become too complicated for us to follow: we may, however, state that “the King’s Secret” is the parentage of Borgia; it was asserted that he was “the very child reported to have been born during the period of Queen Isabella’s romantic love passages with Roger Mortimer, at the court of Hainault.”—“Be content, therefore, with that you and til here already are possessed of, since what remains is, and must continue, ‘The King’s Secret.’”
The heroine is the gemmy character of the story; but, in that of the King so much license has been used as almost to defy its identification with history. Scenes, situations, and sketches, of uncommon interest, abound throughout the work; the manners and customs of the times, and the details of costume and pageant glitter are worked up with great labour—perhaps with more than is looked for or will be appreciated in a novel. Still, they are creditable to the taste and research of the author. Occasionally, there are scenes of bold and stirring interest, just such as might be expected from an actor of Mr. Power’s vivid stamp. The storm sketches towards the close of the second volume are even infinitely better than any of John Kemble’s shilling waves or Mr. Farley’s last scenes. In other portions of the work, bits of antiquarianism are so stuck on the pages as to perplex, rather than aid the descriptions, by their technicality. Here and there too the tinsel is unsparingly sprinkled.
Nevertheless, there is a vividness—a freshness—and altogether a superior interest, in all the details which must render “The King’s Secret” a favourite work with the fiction-and-fact-reading public. The scenes are so complicated in their interest, that it is scarcely possible to detach an extract.
In the early part of the first volume occurs a passage relative to the resistance of the people of Ghent to the oppression of their rulers, which smacks strongly of the enthusiasm of liberty.
“Whilst impelled on the one hand by the strong desire to regulate the arbitrary and oppressive exactions, which cramped their energies and held them for ever at the mercy of their despot’s caprice, and restrained on the other hand by their habitual reverence for their feudal princes. Artevelde stepped forth, and in their startled ears pronounced the word “Resist!” His eloquence was well seconded by the grasping severity of a needy and extravagant court, until gradually combining their wrath and intelligence with the energies of the populace jealous of their rights, the merchants and citizens of the cities of Flanders rose upon the bears and butterflies who infested and robbed them, and, thrusting them forth, set modern Europe the first fearful example of a people’s strength, and the rottenness of the wooden gods for whom they laboured. Whilst princes, on their parts, learned a lesson they have not since forgotten or ever ceased to practise, and combining their hosts of slaves, lashed them onward to scare this stranger, Freedom, from the earth, even as in our times of intelligence they have done, and will do; and the brainless slaves, so lashed, shouted and went forward to the murderous work which rivetted their own fetters, even as in our time they have done, and will again do in times to come.”
* * * * *
* * * * *
BY THOMAS HAYNES BAYLY.
They tell me twenty years are past
Since I have look’d upon thee last,
And thought thee fairest of the fair,
With thy sylph-like form and light-brown hair!
I can remember every word
That from those smiling lips I heard:
Oh! how little it appears
Like the lapse of twenty years.
Thou art changed! in thee I find
Beauty of another kind;
Those rich curls lie on thy brow
In a darker cluster now;
And the sylph hath given place
To the matron’s form of grace.—
Yet how little it appears
Like the lapse of twenty years.
Still thy cheek is round and fair;
’Mid thy curls not one grey hair;
Not one lurking sorrow lies
In the lustre of those eyes:
Thou hast felt, since last we met,
No affliction, no regret!
Wonderful! to shed no tears
In the lapse of twenty years.
But what means that changing brow? Tears are in those dark eyes now! Have my rush, incautious words Waken’d Feeling’s slumbering chords? Wherefore dost thou bid me look At you dark-bound journal book?— There the register appears Of the lapse of twenty years.
Thou hast been a happy bride,
Kneeling by a lover’s side;
And unclouded was thy life,
As his loved and loving wife;—
Thou hast worn the garb of gloom,
Kneeling by that husband’s tomb;—
Thou hast wept a widow’s tears
In the lapse of twenty years.
Oh! I see my error now, To suppose, in cheek and brow, Strangers may presume to find Treasured secrets of the mind: There fond Memory still will keep Her vigil, when she seems to sleep; Though composure re-appears In the lapse of twenty years.
Where’s the hope that can abate
The grief of hearts thus desolate
That can Youth’s keenest pangs assuage,
And mitigate the gloom of Age?
Religion bids the tempest cease,
And, leads her to a port of peace;
And on, the lonely pilot steers
Through the lapse of future years.
New Monthly Magazine.
* * * * *
By Lady Morgan.
(Continued from page 318).
Meantime Father Flynn, with a Jesuit’s adroitness, was endeavouring to gain his object, as I afterwards learned; but on alluding to his works and celebrity, he discovered that the ambassador had never so much as heard of him, though he had heard wonders of his parrot, which he requested might be sent for. I was immediately ushered into the cabinet, as the superior went out, and I never saw my dear master more. Perhaps he could “bear no rival near the throne;” perhaps, in his preoccupation, he forgot to reclaim me. Be that as it may, he sailed that night, in a Portuguese merchantman, for Lisbon; and I became the property of the representative of his British Majesty. After the first few days of favouritism, I sensibly lost ground with his excellency; for he was too deeply occupied, and had too many resources of his own, to find his amusement in my society. During the few days I sat at his table, I entertained his diplomatic guests with cracking nuts, extracting the kernels, peeling oranges, talking broad Scotch and Parisian French, chanting the “Gloria,” dancing “Gai Coco,” and, in fact, exhibiting all my accomplishments. I was, however, soon sent to the secretary’s office to be taught a new jargon, and to be subjected to tricks from the underlings of the embassy.
Here I picked up but little, for there was but little to pick up. I learned, however, to call for “Red tape and sealing-wax”—to cry “What a bore!” “Did you ever see such a quiz?”—to call “Lord Charles,” “Mr. Henry,” and pronounce “good for nothing”—a remark applied by the young men to the pens, which they flung away by hundreds, and which the servants picked up and sold, with other perquisites of office incidental to their calling. Whenever I applied these acquisitions with effect, it was always attributed to chance; but I was so tormented and persecuted by Lord Charles and Mr. Henry, who being unpaid attaches, had nothing to do, and helped each other to do it, that I took every opportunity to annoy them. One day, when the ante-room was filled with young officers of the British frigate, one of the boobies, pointing to Lord Charles, called to me, “Poll, who is that?” I answered, “Red tape and sealing-wax;” and raised a general shout at the expense of the little diplomatic pedant. An Irish midshipman present, a Mr. O’Gallagher, pointing to Mr. Henry, asked me, “Who is that, Poll?” “Good for nothing,” I replied; and Mr. Henry flew at me in a rage, swore I had been taught to insult him, and that he would wring my neck off. This he would have done but for the protection of the chaplain, to whose breast I flew, and who carried me away to his own room. In a few days I was consigned to Mr. O’Gallagher, the midshipman, as a present to the chaplain’s patroness, a lady of high rank and celebrated sanctity in Ireland, near to whose Propaganda the family of O’Gallagher resided. I was the bearer of a letter of introduction, in which my pious education and saintly acquirements were set forth, my knowledge of the Creed exposed, and myself recommended as a means of aiding her ladyship’s proselyting vocation, as animals of less intelligence had done before. I embarked therefore on board the British frigate—an honour which had been refused my old master, and was treated with great care and attention during the voyage. On arriving in a British port, my young protector got leave of absence, and took a passage in a vessel bound for Dublin. On the morning of our coming to anchor, my cage was put on shore on the quay, while O’Gallagher returned to look after his luggage. Thus left to myself, I soon attracted the attention of a wretched, squalid-looking animal, something between a scare-crow and a long-armed gibbon. His melancholy visage dilated into a broad grin the moment he saw me; and coming up, and making me a bow, he said, “Ah! thin, Poll, agrah, you’re welcome to ould Ireland. Would you take a taste of potato, just to cure your say-sickness?” and he put a cold potato into my cage, which he had been gnawing with avidity himself. The potato was among the first articles of my food in my native paradise, and the recollection of it awakened associations which softened me towards the poor, hospitable creature who presented it. Still I hesitated, till he said, “Take it, Miss, and
I awoke very hungry, and consequently disposed to be very talkative, but was silenced by finding myself surrounded by a crowd of persons of both sexes, who were eagerly gazing on me. A certain prostrate look of sly, shy humility, lengthened their pale faces, to the exclusion of all intellectual expression. They formed a sort of religious meeting, called a tea-and-tract party; but the open door discovered preparations for a more substantial conclusion to the obbligato prayers and lectures of the evening. My new mistress was evidently descanting on my merits, and read that paragraph from the chaplain’s letter which described my early associations, my knowledge of the Creed, and announced me as a source of edification to her servants. Two or three words of this harangue operating on my memory, I put forth my profession of faith with a clearness of articulation and fidelity really wonderful for a bird. What exclamations! what turning-up of eyes! I was stifled with caresses, intoxicated with praises, and crammed with sweetmeats. The moral agent grew pale with jealousy, when Doctor Direful was announced. He rushed into the room like a whirlwind, but stood aghast at beholding the devout crowd that encircled me. Instead of the usual apophthegms, and serious discourse, he heard nothing but “Pretty Poll,” “Scratch a poll,” “What a dear bird,” &c. The malicious moral agent chuckled, and explained that the bird had, for the moment, usurped the attention which should exclusively belong to his reverence, who had taken the pains to come so far to enlighten the dark inmates of Sourcraut Hall. Dr. Direful stood rolling his fierce eye (he had but one) on the abashed assembly; and, pushing me off my perch, drove me with his handkerchief into the dense crowd which filled the bottom of the room, and consisted of all the servants of the house, with some recently converted Papists from among the Sourcraut tenantry. All drew back in horror, to let one so anathematised pass without contact. I coiled myself up near a droll-looking little postilion, who, while turning up the whites of his eyes, was coaxing me to him with a fragment of plumb-cake, which he had stolen from the banquet-table. Dr. Direful returned to the centre of the room, and mounted a desk to commence his lecture. The auditory crowded and cowered timidly round him, while he, looking down on them with a wrathful and contemptuous glance, was about to pour forth the pious venom which hung upon his lips, when a sharp cry of “Get along out of that” struck him dumb. Inquiry was useless, for all were ready to swear that they had not uttered a word. Dr. Direful called them “blasphemous liars,” and proceeded one and all to empty the vials of his wrath through the words of a text of awful denunciation, which I dare not here repeat; but his words were again arrested by the exclamation of, “Aisy now, aisy—what a devil of a hurry you are in!” uttered in quick succession.—He jumped down from his altitude;
The Honourable George Fitz-Forward, my new master, was a younger brother of small means and large pretensions. He had been quartered at Kil-mac-squabble with a detachment, where he had passed the winter in still-hunting, quelling ructions, shooting grouse and rebels, spitting over the bridge, and smoking cigars; and having obtained leave of absence, pour se d’ecrasser, was on his way to London for the ensuing season. We travelled in the cab by easy stages, and halted only at great houses on the road, beginning with Plas Newyd, and ending at Sion House. My master’s rank, and my talents, were as good as board wages to us; and as the summer was not yet sufficiently advanced for the London winter, we found every body at home, and had an amazingly pleasant time. My master was enchanted with his acquisition. I made the frais of every society; and my repartees and bonmots furnished the Lord Johns and Lady Louisas with subjects for whole reams of pink and blue note-paper. My master frequently said, “That bird is wonderful! he is a great catch!”—and my fame had spread over the whole west end of the town a full week before our arrival in London.
The Metropolitan, No. I.
* * * * *
My good Aunt Bridget, spite of age,
Versed in Valerian, Dock, and Sage,
Well knew the Virtues of herbs;
But Proverbs gain’d her chief applause,
“Child,” she exclaimed, “respect old saws,
And pin your faith on Proverbs.”
Thus taught, I dubb’d my lot secure;
And, playing long-rope, “slow and sure,”
Conceived my movement clever;
When lo! an urchin by my side
Push’d me head foremost in, and cried—
“Keep Moving,” “Now or Never,”
At Melton, next, I join’d the hunt,
Of bogs and bushes bore the brunt,
Nor once my courser held in;
But when I saw a yawning steep,
I thought of “Look before you leap,”
And curb’d my eager gelding.
While doubtful thus I rein’d my
Willing to save a fractured bone,
Yet fearful of exposure,
A sportsman thus my spirit stirr’d—
“Delays are dangerous;”—I spurr’d
My steed, and leap’d th’ enclosure.
I ogled Jane, who heard me say
That “Rome was not built in a day,”
When lo: Sir Fleet O’Grady
Put this, my saw, to sea again,
And proved, by running off with Jane,
“Faint heart ne’er won fair Lady.”
Aware “New Brooms sweep clean,”
An untaught tyro for a cook,
(The tale I tell a fact is)
She spoilt my soup; but, when I chid,
She thus once more my work undid,
“Perfection comes from Practice.”
Thus, out of every adage hit,
And, finding that ancestral wit
As changeful as the clime is:
From Proverbs, turning on my heel,
I now cull Wisdom from my seal,
Who’s motto’s “Ne quid nimis.”
New Monthly Magazine.
* * * * *
A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.
* * * * *
In a few months a new ship will be launched, called the Reform. Admiral, William the Fourth—Chief Mate, Grey—Pilot, Brougham—Purser, Russell—Crew, the people of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Bound to Palace Yard, Westminster; freight uncommonly cheap, with good stowage.
N.B. For further particulars inquire of Bob Oldborough, at the sign of the Tumble down Dick, Borough, Southwark.
* * * * *
Gold coins (ix James I.) were raised by proclamation, 2s. in every 20s.
Groat.—In the Saxon time, we had no silver money bigger than a penny, nor after the conquest, till Edward III. who about the year 1351, coined grosses (i.e. groats, or great pieces) which went for 4d. a-piece; and so the matter stood till the reign of Henry VII. who in 1504 first coined shillings.
* * * * *
Oldfield, in his History of Boroughs, says, “On the death of the late Lord Holmes, a very powerful attempt was made by Sir William Oglander and some other neighbouring gentlemen, to deprive his lordship’s nephew and successor, the Rev. Mr. Troughear Holmes, of his influence over the Corporation of Newport, Isle of Wight. The number of that body was at that time twenty-three, there being one vacancy amongst the aldermen, occasioned by the recent death of Lord Holmes. Eleven of them continued firm to the interest of the nephew, and the same number was equally eager to transfer that interest to Sir William Oglander and the Worsley family. A Mr. Taylor of this town, one of the burgesses, withheld his declaration, and as his vote would decide the balance of future influence, it was imagined that he only suspended it for the purpose of private advantage.
* * * * *
Limington, one mile east from Ilchester, in Somersetshire, is noted on account of a school having been kept there by the great Cardinal Wolsey in the early part of his life, who whilst in this situation was, for a misdemeanour, put into the stocks by Sir Amias Pawlett. This indignity was never forgiven by the haughty prelate, who, when in power, made Sir Amias feel the weight of his resentment, by making him dance attendance at the court for many years, whilst soliciting a favour.
* * * * *
On an unsuccessful Oculist, who became a Tallow Chandler.
So many of the human kind,
Under his hands became stone blind,
That for such failings to atone,
At length he let the trade alone;
And ever after in despite
Of darkness, liv’d by giving, light;
But Death who has exciseman’s power
To enter houses every hour,
Thinking his light grew rather sallow,
Snuffed out his wick, and seized his tallow.
* * * * *
We are again compelled to remind our Correspondents that by the multiplicity of their well-intended communications, we are unable to answer them individually otherwise than by the insertion of their papers. We receive upwards of 150 letters during the month, and were we to promise replies to all of them, our Editorial duties would he heavy indeed, especially as the correspondence is but one of the many features of the Mirror.
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Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic, G.G. BENNIS, 55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris; and by all Newsmen and Booksellers.
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