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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL XIII, NO. 369.] SATURDAY, MAY 9, 1829. [PRICE 2d.
[Illustration: Cornwall Terrace, Regent's Park.]
Adjoining _York Terrace_, engraved and described in No. 358, of the
MIRROR, is _Cornwall Terrace_, one of the earliest and most admired of
all the buildings in the Park; although its good taste has not been so
influential as might have been expected, on more recent structures.
It is named after the ducal title of the present King, when Regent.
Cornwall Terrace is from the designs of Mr. Decimus Burton, and is
characterized by its regularity and beauty, so as to reflect high
credit on the taste and talent of the young architect. The ground
story is rusticated, and the principal stories are of the Corinthian
order, with fluted shafts, well proportioned capitals, and an
entablature of equal merit. The other embellishments of Cornwall
Terrace are in correspondent taste, and the whole presents a facade
of great architectural beauty and elegance.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE TIMES NEWSPAPER.
(_Concluded from page 292_.)
Passing over the leading articles, and some news from the seat of war,
next is the Court Circular, describing the mechanism of royal and
noble etiquette in right courtly style. The "Money Market and City
Intelligence"--what a line for the capitalist: only watch the
intensity with which he devours every line of the oracle, as the
ancients did the _spirantia exta_--and weighs and considers its import
and bearing with the Foreign News and leading articles. What rivets
are these--"risen about 1/4 per cent"--and "a shade higher;" no fag or
tyro ever hailed an illustration with greater interest. Talk to him
whilst he is reading any other part of the paper, and he will break
off, and join you; but when reading this, he can only spare you an
occasional "hem," or "indeed"--his eyes still riveted to the column.
This has been satirically termed "watching the turn of the market;"
although every reader does the same, and first looks for those
events in the paper which bear upon his interests or enjoyments;
for pleasure, as well as industry, has her studies. Thus the lines
"Drury Lane Theatre," and "Professional Concert" are 'Change news
to a certain class--and a long criticism on Miss Phillips's first
appearance in Jane Shore will ensure attention and sympathy, from
anxiety for an actress of high promise, and the pathos of the play
itself; and we need not insist upon the beneficial effect which sound
criticism has on public taste. To pass from an account of a Concert at
the Argyll Rooms, with its fantasias and _concertanti_, to the fact of
940 weavers being at present unemployed in Paisley,--and the death of
a young man in Paris, from hydrophobia, is a sad transition from gay
to grave--yet so they stand in the column. A long correspondence on
Commercial Policy, Taxation, Finance, and Currency--we leave to the
capitalist, the "parliament man," and other disciples of Adam Smith;
whilst our eye descends to the right-hand corner, where is recorded
the horrible fact of a mother attempting to suffocate her infant at
her breast! Humanity sickens at such a pitch of savage crime in the
centre of the most refined city in the world!
The commencement of the third folio is a gratifying contrast to the
last horrible incident. It describes the Anniversary of St. Patrick's
Charity Schools, with one of the King's brothers presiding at the
benevolent banquet, and records an after-dinner subscription of
540_l._! What a delightful scene for the philanthropist--what a
blessed picture of British beneficence! Yet beneath this is a
piracy--a tale of blood, whose very recital "will harrow up thy
soul"--the murder of the captain and crew of an American brig, as
narrated by one man who was concealed. In the next column are two
reports of Parish Elections, which afford more speculation than we are
prone to indulge, as the turning-out of old parties and setting-up of
new, and many of the petty feuds and jealousies that divide and
distract parishes or large families, the little circles of the great
whole. At the foot of this column a paragraph records the death of
a miserly bachelor schoolmaster, who had worn the same coat twenty
years, and on the tester of whose bed were found, wrapped up in old
stockings L1,600. in interest notes, commencing thirty-five years
since, the compound interest of which would have been L4,000.; and
for what purpose was this concealment?--a dread of being required to
assist his relatives! Yet contrast this wicked abuse with a few of the
incidents we have recorded--the dinner of St. Patrick's, for instance,
and is it possible to conceive a more despicable situation (short of
crime) than this poor miser deserves in our chronicle.
The third column opens to us a scene of a very opposite character, the
Newmarket Craven Meeting--the most brilliant assemblage ever known
there; the town crammed with the children of chance, the innkeepers
trebling their charges, and like the Doncaster people, doing "noting
widout the guinea." What an heterogeneous mixture of fine old sport,
black legs and consciences, panting steeds and hearts bursting with
expectation and despair, and the grand machinery of chance working
with mathematical truth, and not unfrequently beneath luxury and the
mere show of hospitality.
The moralist will turn away from this rural pandemonium with disgust;
but what will he say to the records of wretchedness and crime that
fill up nearly the remainder of the folio. A Coroner's Inquest upon
a fellow creature who "died from neglect, and want of common food to
support life"--and another upon a poor girl, whose young and tender
wits being "turned to folly,"--died by a draught of laudanum--are
still more lamentable items in the calendar.
Beneath these inquests is a brief tale of a romantic robbery in an
obscure department of France. The priest of a village, aged 80, lived
in an isolated cottage with his niece. About midnight, he was
disturbed, and on his getting out of bed, was bound by two men, whilst
a third stood at the door. The robbers then proceeded to the girl's
chamber, very ungallantly took her gold ear-rings, and by threatening
her and her uncle with death, got possession of 300 francs. Two of
the ruffians then proceeded to the church, broke open the poor-box,
and took about 30 francs. They then bound again the old man and his
niece, and departed. One of the robbers, however, left an agricultural
tool behind him, which led to the discovery of two of the thieves, who
are committed for trial. This is a perfect newspaper gem.
The fifth column has terror in its first line "Law Report," and
commences with an action in the Court of King's Bench, against the
late Sheriffs of London for an illegal seizure--one of the glorious
delights of office. The next portion relates to an illustrious
foreigner, who stated that he professed to swallow fire and molten
lead, "but he only put them into his mouth, and took them out again
in a sly manner, for they were too hot to eat." (Much laughter.) He
could swallow prussic acid without experiencing any ill effects from
it; that was what he called _pyrotechny_; "he had no property except
a wife and child, &c."
Next are the Police Reports, sometimes affording admirable studies of
men and manners. The first is a case of a man being locked up for the
night in a watch-house, "on suspicion of ringing a bell"--and brings
to light a most outrageous abuse of petty power. In another case, a
gang of robbers pursued by one set of watchmen, were suffered to
escape by another set, who would not stir a foot beyond their own
boundary line! Neither Shakspeare, Fielding, nor Sheridan have given
us a better standing jest than this incident affords. It reminds us
of the fellow who refused to take off Tom Ashe's coat, because it
was felony to strip an _ash;_ or the tanner who would not help the
exciseman out of his pit without twelve hours' notice.
The Births, Marriages, and Deaths--and the Markets, and Price of
Stocks, in small type, which well bespeaks their crowded interest,
wind up the sheet. Yet what thrilling sensations does this small
portion of our sheet often impart. What hopes and expectations for
heirs and legacy hunters--people who want the "quotation" of Mark Lane
and the Coal Market--and others whose daily tone and temper depends
on the little cramped fractions in the "Stocks" and "Funds." Another
catches a fine frenzy from the "Shares," and regulates his day's
movements "the very air o' the time" by their import--and hence he
dreams of gold and gossamer, or sits torturing his imagination with
writs and executions that await adverse fortune.
Such are but a few of the pleasures and pains of a newspaper.
Shenstone says the first part which an ill-natured man examines, is
the list of bankrupts, and the bills of mortality; but, to prove that
our object is any thing but ill-natured, we have glanced last at the
Deaths. The paper over which we have been travelling, wants the
Gazette and Parliamentary News, and a Literary feature. The Debates
would have enabled us to illustrate the rapid marches of science and
intellect in our times, as displayed in the present perfect system of
parliamentary reporting. But enough has been said on other points to
prove that the _physiognomy_ of a newspaper is a subject of intense
interest. In this slight sketch we have neither magnified the crimes,
nor sported with the weaknesses; all our aim has been to search out
points or pivots upon which the reflective reader may turn; the result
will depend on his own frame of mind.
There is, however, one little paragraph, one pearl appended to the
Police Report which we must detach, viz. the acknowledgment of L2.
sent to the Bow Street office poor-box, the _seventh_ contribution of
the same amount of a benevolent individual (by the handwriting, a
lady) signed "A friend to the unfortunate."
Read this ye who gloat over ill-gotten wealth, or abuse good fortune;
think of the delights of this divine benefactress--silent and
unknown--but, above all, of the exceeding great reward laid up for
her in heaven.
* * * * *
CAT AND FIDDLE.
(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)
Your correspondent, double X has furnished us with a well written and
whimsical derivation of the above ale-house sign, and partly by Roman
patriotism and French "lingo," he traces it up to "_l'hostelle du
Caton fidelle_." But I presume the article is throughout intended for
pure banter--as I do not consider your facetious friend seriously
meant that "no two objects in the world have less to do with each
other than a cat and violin."
How close the connexion is between fiddle and _cat-gut_, seems pretty
well evident--for a proof, I therefore refer double X to any _cat-gut
scraper_ in his majesty's dominions, from the theatres royal, to
Mistress Morgan's two-penny hop at Greenwich Fair.
* * * * *
THE ROUE'S INTERPRETATION OF DEATH.
(_For the Mirror_.)
"Death! who would think that five simple letters, would produce a word
with so much terror in it."--_The Rou._
Death! and why should it be
That hideous mystery
Is with those atoms integral combin'd?
Alas! too well--too well,
I've prob'd unto the spell
In each dark imag'd sound, that lurks entwin'd!
In Death, and long denied
Now sacrifices my tortur'd menial gaze!
Whilst, with its lurid light
Heart-burnings fierce unite
And what may quench, the guilty spirit's blaze?
Was once, the startling bliss
I forc'd my soul to fancy Death should give!
But, whilst I shudd'ring bless
A something sighs: "Beyond the grave I live!"
Tophet! I thrill! for scorn'd
Was the sere thought, though warn'd
Ofttimes that Death, enclos'd that dread abyss!
Now, by each burning vein
And venom'd conscience--pain
I know the terrors of that world, in this!
Heaven! ay, 'tis in Death
For him, whose fragile breath
Wends from a breast of piety and peace,
But darkness, chains, and dree
Eternal, are for me
Since Death's tremendous myst'ries never cease!
* * * * *
(_For the Mirror_.)
I have thought of you much since we parted,
And wished for you every day,
And often the sad tear has started,
And often I've brush'd it away;
When the thought of thy sweet smile come o'er me
Like a sunbeam the tempest between,
And the hope of thy love shone before me
So brilliantly bright and serene,
I remember thy last vow that made me
Forget all my sorrow and care,
And I think of the dear voice that bade me
Awake from the dream of despair.
I regard not the gay scene around me,
The smiles of the young and the free,
Have not _now_ the soft charm that once bound me.
For _that_ hath been broken by _thee_;
And tho' voices, _dear_ voices are teeming,
With friendship and gladness, and wit,
And a welcome from bright eyes is beaming,
I cannot, I cannot, forget--
I may join in the dance and the song,
And laugh with the witty and gay,
Yet the heart and best feelings that throng
Around it, are far, far away.
Dost remember the scene we last traced, love,
When the smile from night's radiant queen
Beamed bright o'er the valley, and chased love
The spirit of gloom from the scene?
And the riv'let how heedless it rushed, love,
From its home in the mountain away,
And the wild rose how faintly it blush'd, love,
In the light of the moon's silver ray:
Oh, that streamlet was like unto me,
Parting from whence its brightness first sprung,
And that sweet rose was the emblem of thee,
As so pale on my bosom you hung.
Dearest, _why_ did I leave thee behind me,
Oh! why did I leave thee at all,
Ev'ry day that dawns, only can find me
In sorrow, and tho' the sweet thrall
Of my heart serves to cheer and to check me
When sorrow or passion have sway,
Yet I'd rather have thee to _hen-peck_ me,
Than be from thy bower away;
And, dear Judy, I'm still what you found me,
When we met in the grove by the rill,
I forget not the spell that first bound me,
And I shall not, till feeling be still.
 _Hen-pecked_, to be governed _by a wife_, (see Johnson.)
* * * * *
ANCIENT PLACES OF SANCTUARY IN LONDON AND WESTMINSTER.
"No place indeed should murder sanctuarise."
The principal sanctuaries were those in the neighbourhood of
Fleet-street, Salisbury-court, White Friars, Ram-alley, and Mitre-court;
Fulwood's-rents, in Holborn, Baldwin's-gardens, in Gray's-inn-lane; the
Savoy, in the Strand; Montague-close, Deadman's-place, the Clink, the
Mint, and Westminster. The sanctuary in the latter place was a structure
of immense strength. Dr. Stutely, who wrote about the year 1724, saw it
standing, and says that it was with very great difficulty that it was
demolished. The church belonging to it was in the shape of a cross, and
double, one being built over the other. It is supposed to have been
built by Edward the Confessor. Within this sanctuary was born Edward V.,
and here his unhappy mother took refuge with her son, the young Duke of
York, to secure him from the villanous proceedings of his cruel uncle,
the Duke of Gloucester, who had possession of his elder brother. The
metropolis at one time (says the Rev. Joseph Nightingale,) abounded with
these haunts of villany and wretchedness. They were originally
instituted for the most humane and pious purposes; and owe their origin
to one of the sacred institutions of the Mosaic law, which appointed
certain cities of refuge for persons who had accidentally slain any of
their fellow creatures. The institution, as Marmonides justly observes,
was a merciful provision both for the manslayer, that he might be
preserved, and for the avenger, that his blood might be cooled by the
removal of the manslayer out of his sight. In the year 1487, during the
Pontificate of Innocent VIII. a bull was issued, and sent here, to lay
a little restraint on the privileges of sanctuary. It stated, that if
thieves, murderers, or robbers, registered as sanctuary-men, should
sally out and commit fresh nuisances, which they frequently did, and
enter again, in such cases they might be taken out of their sanctuaries
by the king's officers. That as for debtors, who had taken sanctuary
to defraud their creditors, their persons only should be protected;
but their goods out of sanctuary, should be liable to seizure. As
for traitors, the king was allowed to appoint them keepers in their
sanctuaries, to prevent their escape. After the Reformation had gained
strength, these places of sanctuary began to sink into contempt, and in
the year 1697, it became absolutely necessary to take some legislative
measures for their destruction.
* * * * *
A footman who had been found guilty of murdering his fellow-servant,
was engaged in writing his confession: "I murd--" he stopped, and
asked, "How do you spell _murdered?_"
* * * * *
THE SELECTOR AND LITERARY NOTICES OF _NEW WORKS_
* * * * *
In the last volume of the MIRROR, we gave several extracts from a
delightful paper on _Landscape Gardening_, contained in a recent
Number of the _Quarterly Review_; with an abstract of Sir Henry
Steuart's new method of transplanting trees, and a variety of
information on this interesting department of rural economy. We are
therefore pleased to see that the Society for the diffusion of Useful
Knowledge, have appropriated the second part of their new work to what
are termed "Timber Trees and their applications;" and probably few of
their announced volumes will exceed in usefulness and entertainment
that which is now before us. Indeed, the Editor could scarcely have
devised a more successful means of impressing his readers with a
sincere love of nature and her sublime works, than by introducing them
to the history of vegetable substances in their connexion with the
We subjoin a few specimens, with occasional notes, arising from our
own reading and personal observation.
_Picturesque Beauty of the Oak_.
A fine oak is one of the most picturesque of Trees. It conveys to the
mind associations of strength and duration, which are very impressive.
The oak stands up against the blast, and does not take, like other
trees, a twisted form from the action of the winds. Except the cedar of
Lebanon, no tree is so remarkable for the stoutness of its limbs: they
do not exactly spring from the trunk, but divide from it; and thus it
is sometimes difficult to know which is stem and which is branch. The
twisted branches of the oak, too, add greatly to its beauty; and the
horizontal direction of its boughs, spreading over a large surface,
completes the idea of its sovereignty over all the trees of the forest.
Even a decayed oak,--
"------dry and dead,
Still clad with reliques of its trophies old,
Lifting to heaven its aged hoary head,
Whose foot on earth Hath got but feeble hold--"
--even such a tree as Spenser has thus described is strikingly
beautiful: decay in this case looks pleasing. To such an oak Lucan
compared Pompey in his declining state.
The cedar of Lebanon, though it has been introduced into many parts of
England as an ornamental tree, and has thriven well, has not yet been
planted in great numbers for the sake of its timber. No doubt it is more
difficult to rear, and requires a far richer soil than the pine and the
larch; but the principal objection to it has been the supposed slowness
of its growth, although that does not appear to be very much greater
than in the oak. Some cedars, which have been planted in a soil well
adapted to them, at Lord Carnarvon's, at Highclere, have grown with
extraordinary rapidity. Of the cedars planted in the royal garden
at Chelsea, in 1683, two had, in eighty-three years, acquired a
circumference of more than twelve feet, at two feet from the ground,
while their branches increased over a circular space forty feet in
diameter. Seven-and-twenty years afterwards the trunk of the largest one
had extended more than half a foot in circumference; which is probably
more than most oaks of a similar age would do during an equal period.
The surface soil in which the Chelsea cedars throve so well is not by
any means rich; but they seem to have been greatly nourished from a
neighbouring pond, upon the filling up of which they wasted away.
Various specimens of the cedar of Lebanon are mentioned as having
attained a very great size in England. One planted by Dr. Uvedale, in
the garden of the manor-house at Enfield, about the middle of the
seventeenth century, had a girth of fourteen feet in 1789; eight feet
of the top of it had been blown down by the great hurricane in 1703,
but still it was forty feet in height. At Whitton, in Middlesex, a
remarkable cedar was blown down in 1779. It had attained the height of
seventy feet; the branches covered an area one hundred feet in
diameter; the trunk was sixteen feet in circumference at seven feet
from the ground, and twenty-one feet at the insertion of the great
branches twelve feet above the surface. There were about ten principal
branches or limbs, and their average circumference was twelve feet.
About the age and planter of this immense tree its historians are not
agreed, some of them referring its origin to the days of Elizabeth,
and even alleging that it was planted by her own hand. Another cedar,
at Hillingdon, near Uxbridge, had, at the presumed age of 116 years,
arrived at the following dimensions; its height was fifty-three feet,
and the spread of the branches ninety-six feet from east to west, and
eighty-nine from north to south. The circumference of the trunk, close
to the ground, was thirteen feet and a half; at seven feet it was
twelve and a half; and at thirteen feet, just under the branches, it
was fifteen feet eight inches. There were two principal branches, the
one twelve feet and the other ten feet in girth. The first, after a
length of eighteen inches, divided into two arms, one eight feet and a
half, and the other seven feet ten. The other branch, soon after its
insertion, was parted into two, of five feet and a half each.
 We believe the finest cedars in England to be those at Juniper
Hall, between Leatherhead and Dorking.
_The Yew Tree_
(Called _Taxus_, probably from the Greek, which signifies swiftness,
and may allude to the velocity of an arrow shot from a yew-tree bow,)
is a tree of no little celebrity, both in the military and the
superstitious history of England. The common yew is a native of
Europe, of North America, and of the Japanese Isles. It used to be
very plentiful in England and Ireland, and probably also Scotland.
Caesar mentions it as having been abundant in Gaul; and much of it is
found in Ireland, imbedded in the earth. The trunk and branches grow
very straight; the bark is cast annually; and the wood is compact,
hard, and very elastic. It is therefore of great use in every branch
of the arts in which firm and durable timber is required; and, before
the general use of fire-arms, it was in high request for bows: so much
of it was required for the latter purpose, that ships trading to
Venice were obliged to bring ten bow staves along with every butt of
Malmsey. The yew was also consecrated--a large tree, or more being in
every churchyard; and they were held sacred. In funeral processions
the branches were carried over the dead by mourners, and thrown under
the coffin in the grave. The following extract from the ancient laws
of Wales will show the value that was there set upon these trees, and
also how the consecrated yew of the priests had risen in value over
the reputed sacred mistletoe of the Druids:--
"A consecrated yew, its value is a pound.
"A misletoe branch, threescore pence.
"An oak, sixscore pence.
"Principal branch of an oak, thirty pence.
"A yew tree, (not consecrated) fifteen pence.
"A sweet apple, threescore pence.
"A sour apple, thirty pence.
"A thorn-tree, seven pence halfpenny. Every tree after that,
 Yew trees--those gloomy tenants of our churchyards--appear to
have been planted there in ancient times. In the will of Henry
VI. there is the following item:--"The space between the wall
of the church and the wall of the cloyster shall conteyne 38
feyte, which is left for to sett in certayne trees and flowers,
behovable and convenient for the custom of the said church."
Several reasons may be assigned for giving this tree a preference
to every other evergreen. It is very hardy, long-lived, and,
though in time it attains a considerable height, produces
branches in abundance, so low as to be always within reach
of the hand, and at last affords a beautiful wood for
furniture.--The date of the yews at Bedfont is 1704.
By a statute made in the 5th year of Edward IV., every Englishman, and
Irishman dwelling with Englishmen, was directed to have a bow of his
own height made of yew, wych-hazel, ash, or awburne--that is, laburnum,
which is still styled "awburne saugh," or awburne willow, in many
parts of Scotland. His skill in the use of the long bow was the proud
distinction of the English yeoman, and it was his boast that none but an
Englishman could bend that powerful weapon. It seems that there was a
peculiar art in the English use of this bow; for our archers did not
employ all their muscular strength in drawing the string with the right
hand, but thrust the whole weight of the body into the horns of the bow
with the left. Chaucer describes his archer as carrying "a mighty bowe;"
and the "cloth-yard shaft," which was discharged from this engine, is
often mentioned by our old poets and chroniclers. The command of Richard
III. at the battle which was fatal to him, was this:
"Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head."
The bowmen were the chief reliance of the English leaders in those
bloody battles which attended our unjust contests for the succession
to the crown of France. Some of these scenes are graphically described
Is a native of all the middle and southern parts of Europe; and it is
found in greater abundance and of a larger size in the countries on
the west of Asia, to the south of the mountains of Caucasus. In many
parts of France it is also plentiful, though generally in the
character of a shrub. In early times it flourished upon many of the
barren hills of England. Evelyn found it upon some of the higher hills
in Surrey, displaying its myrtle-shaped leaves and its bright green in
the depth of winter; and, till very recently, it gave to Boxhill, in
that county, the charms of a delightful and perennial verdure. The
trees have now been destroyed, and the name, as at other places called
after the box, has become the monument of its former beauty.
 In the twelfth volume of the MIRROR, we gave an accurate picture
of the past and present celebrity of _Box Hill_, especially with
respect to the quantity of box grown there. The box trees on the
hill are again flourishing, and with these and other evergreens
the chief part of Box Hill is still covered.
Yet no tree so well merits cultivation--though its growth be slow. It
is an unique among timber, and combines qualities which are not found
existing together in any other. It is as close and as heavy as ebony;
not very much softer than _lignumvitae_; it cuts better than any other
wood; and when an edge is made of the ends of the fibres, it stands
better than lead or tin, nay almost as well as brass. Like holly, the
box is very retentive of its sap, and warps when not properly dried,
though when sufficiently seasoned it stands well. Hence, for the
wooden part of the finer tools, for every thing that requires
strength, beauty, and polish in timber, there is nothing equal to it.
There is one purpose for which box, and box alone, is properly
adapted, and that is the forming of wood-cuts, for scientific or other
illustrations in books. These reduce the price considerably in the
first engraving, and also in the printing; while the wood-cut in box
admits of as high and sharp a finish as any metal, and takes the ink
much better. It is remarkably durable too; for, if the cut be not
exposed to alternate moisture or heat, so as to warp or crush it, the
number of thousands that it will print is almost incredible. England
is the country where this economical mode of illustration is performed
in the greatest perfection; and just when a constant demand for box
was thus created, the trees available for the purpose had vanished
from the island.
Is of universal use for furniture, from the common tables of a village
inn to the splendid cabinets of a regal palace. But the general adoption
of this wood renders a nice selection necessary for those articles which
are costly and fashionable. The extensive manufacture of piano-fortes
has much increased the demand for mahogany. This musical instrument, as
made in England, is superior to that of any other part of Europe; and
English piano-fortes are largely exported. The beauty of the case forms
a point of great importance to the manufacturer. This circumstance adds
nothing, of course, to the intrinsic value of the instrument; but it
is of consequence to the maker, in giving an adventitious quality to
the article in which he deals. Spanish mahogany is decidedly the most
beautiful; but occasionally, yet not very often, the Honduras wood is of
singular brilliancy; and it is then eagerly sought for, to be employed
in the most expensive cabinet-work. A short time ago, Messrs. Broadwood,
who have long been distinguished as makers of piano-fortes, gave the
enormous sum of 3,000_l_. for three logs of mahogany. These logs, the
produce of one tree, were each about fifteen feet long and thirty-eight
inches wide. They were cut into veneers of eight to an inch. The wood,
of which we have seen a specimen, was peculiarly beautiful, capable of
receiving the highest polish; and, when polished, reflecting the light
in the most varied manner, like the surface of a crystal; and, from
the wavy form of the fibres, offering a different figure in whatever
direction it was viewed. A new species of mahogany has been lately
introduced in cabinet-work, which is commonly called Gambia. As its name
imports, it comes from Africa. It is of a beautiful colour, but does not
retain it so long as the Spanish and Honduras woods.
The publication of his Sylva, by Evelyn, gave a considerable
impulse to planting in the time of Charles II.; but in the next
century that duty was much neglected by the landed proprietors of this
country. There is a selfish feeling, that the planter of an elm or an
oak does not reap such an immediate profit from it himself, as will
compensate for the expense and trouble of raising it. This is an
extremely narrow principle, which, fortunately, the rich are beginning
to be ashamed of. It is a positive duty of a landed proprietor who
cuts down a tree which his grandfather planted, to put a young one
into the ground, as a legacy to his own grand-children: he will
otherwise leave the world worse than he found it. Sir Walter Scott,
who is himself a considerable planter, has eloquently denounced that
contracted feeling which prevents proprietors thus improving their
estates, because the profits of plantations make a tardy and distant
return; and we cannot better conclude than with a short passage from
the essay in which he enforces the duty of planting waste lands:--
"The indifference to this great rural improvement arises, we have
reason to believe, not so much out of the actual lucre of gain as the
fatal _vis inertiae_--that indolence which induces the lords of the
soil to be satisfied with what they can obtain from it by immediate
rent, rather than encounter the expense and trouble of attempting the
modes of amelioration which require immediate expense--and, what is,
perhaps, more grudged by the first-born of Egypt--a little future
attention. To such we can only say that the improvement by plantation
is at once the easiest, the cheapest, and the least precarious mode of
increasing the immediate value, as well as the future income, of their
estates; and that therefore it is we exhort them to take to heart the
exhortation of the dying Scotch laird to his son: 'Be aye sticking in
a tree Jock--it will be growing whilst you are sleeping.'"
 Evelyn passed much of his time in planting; and his _Sylva,
or a Discourse on Forest Trees_, is one of the most valuable
works in the whole compass of English literature. He describes
himself as "borne at _Wotton_, among the woods," situate about
four miles from Dorking, in a fine valley leading to Leith Hill.
In book iii. chap. 7, of his _Sylva_, he says, "To give an
instance of what store of woods and timber of prodigious size
were grown in our little county of Surrey, my own grandfather
had standing at Wotton, and about that estate, timber that now
were worth L100,000. Since of what was left my father (who was
a great preserver of wood) there has been L30,000. worth of
limber fallen by the axe, and the fury of the hurricane in 1703,
by which upwards of 1,000 trees were blown down. Now, no more
Wotton! stript and naked, and ashamed almost to own its name."
The Wotton woods are still flourishing, and within the last
fourteen years we have passed many delightful days beneath their
shade. Many a time and often in our rambles have we met the
venerated Sir Samuel Romilly in one of the most beautiful ridges
of the park, called the _Deer-leap_, wooing Nature in her
delightful solitudes of wood and glade. He resided at Leith
Hill, and the distance thence to Wotton is but a short ride.
* * * * *
(_From the Housekeeper's Oracle, by the late Dr. Kitchiner_.)
The Greek commanders at the siege of Troy, and who were likewise all
royal sovereigns, never presumed to set before their guests any food
but that cooked by their own hands. Achilles was famous for--broiling
* * * * *
Instead of "Do let me send you some more of this mock turtle"--"Another
patty"--"Sir, some of this trifle," "I must insist upon your trying this
The language of _hospitality_ should rather run thus:--"Shall I send you
a fit of the cholic, Sir?"
"Pray let me have the pleasure of giving you a pain in your stomach."
"Sir, let me help you to a little gentle bilious head-ache."
"Ma'am, you surely cannot refuse a touch of inflammation in the bowels."
If you feed on rich sauces, drink deep of strong wine,
In the morn go to bed, and not till night dine;
And the order of Nature thus turn topsy turvy!
You'll quickly contract Palsy, jaundice, and scurvy!!
* * * * *
The man who makes an appointment with his stomach and does not keep it
disappoints his _best friend_.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY
* * * * *
[Illustration: Swan River Settlement.]
Copied from a handsome Chart, by permission of the publisher, Mr. Cross,
18, Holborn, opposite Furnivals' Inn.
SWAN RIVER SETTLEMENT.
(_Concluded from page 300_.)
[We resume the description of the Swan River Settlement, which will be
further illustrated by the annexed outline.]
The animal productions, we may take for granted, are generally the
same as those of New South Wales. The human species, in their physical
qualities and endowments are the same. Most of them wore kangaroo
cloaks, which were their only clothing. They carry the same kind of
spears, and the womera, or throwing stick, as are used by those in New
South Wales. In the summer months they frequent the sea-coast, where
their skill in spearing fish is described as quite wonderful. In
winter they mostly adhere to the woods on the higher grounds, where
the kangaroos, the opossum tribe, and the land tortoises are
plentiful. These, with birds and roots, constitute their sustenance.
They have neither boat nor raft, nor did the party fall in with any
thing resembling a hut. They made use of the word "kangaroo" and other
terms in use at Port Jackson. The party saw only the three kinds of
animals above-mentioned, and heard the barking of the native dog; no
other reptiles but iguanas and lizards and a single snake presented
Of birds, the list is somewhat more extensive. The emu is frequent on
the plains, and that once supposed "_rara avis_," the elegant black
swan, was seen in the greatest abundance on the river to which it has
lent its name, and particularly on Melville lake. Equally abundant
were numerous species of the goose and duck family. White and black
cockatoos, parrots and parroquets, were every where found. Pigeons and
quails were seen in great quantities, and many melodious birds were
heard in the woods.
Seals were plentiful on all the islands. Captain Stirling says that it
was not the season for whales, but their debris strewed the shore of
Geographer's Bay. The French, in May and June, met with a prodigious
number of whales along this part of the coast, and sharks equally
numerous and of an enormous size, some of them stated to be upwards of
two thousand pounds in weight. Vlaming mentions the vast numbers of
large sharks on this part of the coast, and he, as well as the French,
found the sea near the shore swarming with sea-snakes, the largest
about nine or ten feet long. Captain Stirling's party procured three
or four different kinds of good esculent fish; one in particular, a
species of rock-cod, is described as excellent.
"The bottom of the sea," says Captain Stirling, "is composed of
calcareous sand, sometimes passing into marl or clay. On this may be
seen growing an endless variety of marine plants, which appear to form
the haunts and perhaps the sustenance of quantities of small fish.
When it is considered that the bank extends a hundred miles from the
shore, and that wherever the bottom is seen, it presents a moving
picture of various animals gliding over the green surface of the
vegetation, it is not too much to look forward to the time when a
valuable fishery may be established on these shores. Even now, a boat
with one or two men might be filled in a few hours."
The island of Buache is admirably adapted for a fishing town. The
anchorage close to its eastern shore in Cockburn Island is protected
against all winds; and the island itself, of six or seven thousand
acres, of a light sort of sand and loam, is well suited, as Mr. Fraser
thinks, for any description of light garden crops. The side next the
sea is fenced by a natural dyke of limestone, coveted with cypress,
and in many places with an arborescent species of Metrosideros; and
all the valleys are clothed with a gigantic species of Solanum, and a
beautiful Brownonia. The soil in these thickets is a rich brown loam
intermixed with blocks of limestone, and susceptible, Mr. Fraser says,
of producing any description of crop. Fresh water may be had in all
these valleys by digging to the depth of two feet. On this island
Captain Stirling caused a garden to be planted and railed out; on
which account he named it "Garden Island."
On this island, Buache, or Garden (as the party named it) Captain
Stirling left a cow, two ewes in lamb, and three goats, where, he
observes, abundance of grass, and a large pool of water awaited them.
They would be, at all events, perfectly free from any disturbance from
Rottenest Island is the largest in this quarter, being about eight miles
in length; it contains several saline lagoons, separated from the sea,
on the north-east side, by a beach composed mostly of a single species
of bivalve shell. Like Buache, it is covered with an abundant and
vigorous vegetation, and a small species of kangaroo is said by
Freycinet to be numerous upon it. Vlaming, who first discovered it,
speaks in raptures of the beauties of this island, to which, from the
multitude of rats, as he thought them to be, he gave the name of the
"Rats' Nest." The French call this animal the _preamble ... long new_.
It is not to be supposed that a hasty visit could enable the party
to explore the mineralogical resources of the country. It appears,
however, by a list of the soils and rock formations in Captain
Stirling's report, that he brought home specimens of copper ore, of
lead ore with silver, and also with arsenic, two species of magnetic
iron, several varieties of granite, and chalcedony, and of limestone,
with stalagmite incrustations, &c. The high cliffs of Cape Naturaliste
abound with large masses of what Mr. Fraser calls "an extraordinary
aggregate," containing petrifactions of bivalve and other marine
shells, every particle of which was thickly incrusted with minute
crystals. Here, too, he says, veins of iron of considerable thickness
were seen to traverse the rock in various directions; and he speaks of
the caverns formed in the minacious schistose between the granite
and the limestone, as something very extraordinary. They contained
rock-salt in large quantities, forming thick incrustations on every
part of the surface, beautifully crystallized, and penetrating into
the most compact parts of the rock. In many of these caverns were very
brilliant stalactites and stalagmites of extraordinary size adhering
to the nodules of granite which form their bases or floors, and which
are from forty to fifty feet above the level of the sea.
In several parts of the limestone formation, mineral springs were
found; one in particular was noticed within half a mile of the
entrance into Swan River. It bubbled out at the base of the solid rock
in a stream, whose transverse area was measured by Captain Stirling,
and found to be from six to seven feet, running at the rate of three
feet in a second of time. It was thermal, saline, pleasant to the
taste, and some, who partook of it, attributed to it an aperient
Such is the outline of a country on which the government have
determined to establish a colony, and over which they have justly,
and we think judiciously, appointed Captain Stirling to act as
lieutenant-governor. The plan on which it is to be founded is, in our
opinion, unobjectionable. It promises the most advantageous terms to
qualified settlers, and deserves only to be known to ensure as many of
the most respectable agriculturists as may in the first instance be
In point of climate, this colony and New South Wales may perhaps be
equally salubrious, though we are disposed to think that the western
aspect and the sea-breezes may preponderate in favor of the new
one;--this being, probably, milder, as the western sides of all
continents and large islands are, than the eastern sides, in the
winter,--while the refreshing breezes cool the air in the summer.
"In my opinion," says Captain Stirling, "the climate, considered
with reference to health, is highly salubrious. This opinion is
corroborated by that of the surgeon of the Success, who states in his
report to me on the subject, that, notwithstanding the great exposure
of the people to fatigue, to night air in the neighbourhood of marshy
grounds, and to other causes usually productive of sickness, he had
not a case upon his sick list, except for slight complaints
unconnected with climate."
It likewise appears, from Captain Stirling's report, that the
thermometer, in the hot months of January, February, and March,
averaged, in the morning, about 60 deg.; at noon, about 78 deg.;
and in the evening 65 deg. The barometer averaged about 30 deg.
The weather generally fine,--some rain and showery weather, and
occasionally thunder and lightning.
In geographical position it has an incalculable advantage over New
South Wales. In the first place, it is not only much more conveniently
situated than that colony, but is much nearer to, and has much more
easy means of communication with, every part of the civilized world,
the east coast of America perhaps excepted. The passages to it from
England, and from the Cape of Good Hope, are shortened by nearly a
month, and the return voyages still more. The voyage from it to Madras
and Ceylon is little more than three weeks at all times of the year,
and only a month from those places to it; while for six months in the
year, namely, from November to April, inclusive, when the western
monsoons prevail on the northern coast of Australia, the passage from
New South Wales through Torres Strait, always dangerous, is then
utterly impracticable; and that through Bass's Strait nearly so to
merchant vessels, on account of the westerly winds which blow through
it at all times of the year, and which generally oblige them to go
round the southern extremity of Van Nieman's Land. The Success frigate
left Port Jackson on the 17th of January, and did not reach Cape
Leeuwin till the 2nd of February, being six weeks and two days; and
Captain Stirling observes, that the only chance, by which the passage
could be accomplished at all, was by carrying a constant press of
One point of consideration,(says the writer of the "Hints,") in the
proposed measure (although in reality of no essential importance to
pecuniary success) is of considerable magnitude, as regards moral
feeling and the pride of many--that is, there being no admission of
convicts into the proposed colony! Without any illiberal sentiment,
this is a disadvantage under which Port Jackson and Van Nieman's
Land certainly suffer. Nevertheless these thriving colonies, in the
course of thirty or forty years, have made surprising progress in
agriculture, population, commerce and wealth. The situation of Port
Jackson was the most distant from the mother country; its position
was not peculiarly adapted to production or traffic with any part of
the globe; therefore, the improvement can only be attributed to a
favorable soil, free from the taxation of old European governments, a
low fee cost, or a nominal pepper corn rent, which circumstances have
not only been capable of maintaining those who adventured, but of
yielding a profit for capital sufficient to induce others to pursue
the same course.
In the infancy of a colony, the certain maintenance of the settlers
should be well established; and it is also right to know with what
facility and at what cost, an adequate supply of necessaries,
comforts, and even luxuries may be obtained. Adjacent, and favorably
situated to Cockburn Sound, are the Mauritius, Cape of Good Hope,
Timer, Java, Sumatra, and the East Indian Presidencies.
_Rice_, from Java, can be obtained in five weeks, at or under 1_d_.
The bantam fowls and China pigs at equally moderate prices.
_Sugar_, from the Mauritius, Java, or Calcutta, at 3_d_. per pound.
 Cunningham, in his account of New South Wales, recommends the
cultivation of sugar, but he acknowledges the latitude of 28 deg.
scarcely sufficiently warm for the purpose, and enters into an
argument of economy, whether convicts or slaves would be the
cheapest mode of supplying labour; but this system would
alter the whole character of this proposed settlement in the
neighbourhood of Cockburn Sound, the great feature of which is
healthiness of the climate, and a fertility of the soil,
capable of producing useful exportable commodities, more than
sufficient to pay for tropical productions of luxury, raised
at an increased expense of life and slavery; and a very little
insight into foreign trade will show with what ease this may
_Coffee_, from Java, 4_d_. per pound.
_Spices_, the production of the Moluccas, Celebees, &c. &c. at the
lowest possible rate:--viz. pepper, nutmegs, cloves, &c.
Algoa Bay, the Cape of Good Hope, furnishes cattle and sheep. The
coast of Cockburn Sound and Swan and Canning Rivers, promises plenty
of fish for the table--also, oil for use. Tea will not cost more than
2_s_. 6_d_. per pound through Java; from whence stock of cattle,
poultry and pigs can be added of the best quality.
There is no intention in these remarks to shew the extent of
production of which the soil and climate are capable; time and
prosperity will be requisite to bring forward all their capabilities.
Nothing, therefore, has been said of the articles grown in similar
latitudes in Asia, and carried to Smyrna and other Turkish ports at
immense distances, for export to England, France, and Holland. There
is, however, no reason for supposing that silk, (equal to that of
Brussa,) opium, madder roots, goats' wool, senna, gums, currants,
raisins, and the highly esteemed Turkish tobacco, and various other
productions, may not be cultivated to advantage half a century hence.
But in the commencement, it is sufficient to look to _early, certain,
and profitable returns_; without calculating upon chances of wealth,
which may not be realized in the lifetime of the present adventurers.
It remains only for us to offer a word of advice (says the writer
in the _Quarterly Review_) to the multitudes who we understand are
preparing to take their flight to this new land of Goshen,--which is
this: that no one should _at present_ think of venturing on such a
step, unless he can carry out with him, either in his own person or
in his family or followers, the knowledge of agriculture, and the
capability of agricultural labour. It is quite certain that, for the
first few years, every settler must be mainly indebted for the means
of subsistence of himself and family to the produce of the soil;
beyond this the country itself, for the first year, will afford him
nothing, with the exception, perhaps, of a little fish--the rest must
be raised by the labour of the ploughman and the horticulturist. The
only settlers, therefore, who can reasonably hope to thrive in the
infant state of the colony must consist of this description of
persons; any others, with very few exceptions, must inevitably
be disappointed, if not irretrievably ruined. A clergyman, a
schoolmaster, a land-surveyor, an apothecary, a few small tradesmen
and fishermen, may reasonably expect employment and make themselves
useful to the new community; as will also a limited number of
house-carpenters, joiners, bricklayers, black-smiths, tailors,
shoemakers, and common labourers, the latter being required to assist
in building habitations; but the unproductive class, or idlers, had
better wait a few years before they embark for a country where, as
yet, there is neither hut nor hovel, and where the "_fruges consumere
nati_" have unquestionably no place in society. We cannot forget what
happened, when, a few years ago, the government resolved to send out,
at a very considerable expense, a number of new settlers to improve
and extend the agriculture of the Cape of Good Hope; giving allowances
to the heads of parties, proportioned to their respective numbers.
The persons best calculated for effecting the improvement of the
colony, and, at the same time, their own condition, must be looked for
among the English and Scotch farmers; these cannot fail. To such we
would recommend not to encumber themselves, and incur a great and
unnecessary expense, by carrying out live-stock from home, but to take
them from the Cape of Good Hope. At Algoa Bay, which is perfectly safe
for six months in the year, they may be supplied with every kind of
domestic animal, in good condition, and at reasonable prices, which
may be carried to their destination in the short space of twenty-eight
days. Seed corn and the seeds of culinary vegetables may be taken from
home; but of young plants of peaches, pomegranates, oranges, figs,
and vines, it may be advisable to take a supply from the Cape of
Good Hope. For these, and many other species of fruit, the climate is
admirably adapted; and the vine, in particular, is just calculated for
the limestone ridge which extends along the coast facing the western
It appears that apprehensions of interruption were once entertained
from a prior settlement from France; these fears are however, removed
by that nation having fixed on a point, to colonize, in latitude 25
deg. south, (which is distant north of the Swan River 400 miles)
called Shark's Bay, within which there is an inlet called Freycinet's
Harbour. The country in this neighbourhood much resembles the western
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS
* * * * *
THE AIR BALLOON.
IN LAUDEM BULLAE AERO-NAUTICAE.
They may talk as they will
Of their steam-engine skill,
But, as sure as the sun shines at noon,
Straps, boilers, and springs
Are a wagon to wings,
Compared with the air-balloon.
If you're troubled with taxes,
You cross the Araxes,
Or fly to the plains of Hairoun;
In the height of the summer,
Cool as a cucumber,
You sit in your air-balloon.
The ladies, poor souls!
Once sent sighs to the poles;
We may now send the sighers as soon:
Painted canvass and gas
Whisk away with the lass,
In the car of the air-balloon.
Our girls of fifteen
Will disdain Gretna Green,
The old coupler must soon cobble shoon;
With a wink to the captain,
The beauties are wrapt in
The car of the air-balloon.
Old fathers and mothers,
Grim uncles and brothers,
May hunt them from Janu'ry to June;
They are oft to the stars,
And in Venus or Mars
You may spy out their air-balloon
Your makers of rhyme
May at last grow sublime,
Inspired by a touch at the moon;
And lawyers may rise
For once to the skies,
In the car of the air-balloon.
Your ministers, soaring,
May shun all the boring
Of country and city baboon--
Or, like ministers' spouses,
Look down on both Houses--
From the car of the air-balloon.
The sweet six months' widow
Her weeds will abide, O,
No longer, nor cry "'Tis too soon!"
But range the skies over,
In search of a lover,
In the car of the air balloon.
If you wish for a singe-a
In Afric or India,
Or long for an Esquimaux' tune,
Or wish to go snacks
With the king of the blacks,--
Why,--call for your air-balloon.
If, on Teneriffe's Peak,
You'd wish for a steak,
Or dip in Vesuvius your spoon,
Or slip all the dog-days,
The rain-days, and fog-days,--
Go, call for your air-balloon.
Your doctors of physic
May banish the phthisic.
Your cook give you ice-creams in June--
If a dun's in the wind,
You may leave him behind,
And be off in your air-balloon.
On the top of the Andes,
Who's tortur'd with dandies?
On Potosi, who meets a buffoon?
But, for fear I'd get prosy,
I'll stop at Potosi,--
So, huzza for the air-balloon!
* * * * *
_A Venetian Story_
 The nobility of Venice were subject to the most rigorous
_surveillance_, and dearly paid, occasionally, for the small
degree of power conceded by the ducal house. The jealousy of
the government with regard to these men was carried to excess.
I may mention three regulations among the many that related to
them, as illustrative of the galling yoke that pressed on them,
amid all their pride and splendour. The first forbade them to
leave the dominions of the state without the special permission
of the council of ten; and this was granted with difficulty.
The second prohibited them from possessing foods and chattels
out of the state. This was with a view of preventing the danger
that might arise from attempts to betray the republic under an
idea of finding an asylum elsewhere. The third and most severe
decree forbade communication with foreign ambassadors, under
pain of death! The terror inspired by this was such, that not
only the ministers of the court, but their secretaries and
domestics, fled from the ambassadors as if they were infected
with the plague. This decree had numerous results, and among
others, one that was attended with truly tragical circumstances.
Alvise Sanuto was a young man of whom his country entertained the
proudest hopes. His courage had been gloriously tried in the battle of
Lepanto, in which he had performed prodigies of valour. His prudence
and foresight had been often the subject of admiration in the great
council of the state. The old man, his father, esteemed him as the
ornament and grace of his family: Venice pointed to him as one of her
best citizens. Alvise was destined to fall by an infamous death.
At that period both public and private manners were exceedingly
severe. The ladies, who gave law to them, only issued from their homes
to go to church, wrapped up in a veil which hid their face and figure.
The balconies of the palaces still present signs of this ancient
severity, the parapets being purposely made so high and large, as to
render it difficult to see from them. Alvise had a heart of the most
passionate and fiery nature; he felt the imperious sway of love, but
as yet had met with no lady on whom he could bestow his affections.
The arrival of the French ambassador at Venice, in great pomp, excited
public curiosity. The manners of the strangers bore an aspect of
perfect novelty to the inhabitants of the republic, as the ladies who
accompanied Amalia, the ambassador's daughter, displayed a fire and
vivacity, which to many seemed scandalous as well as astonishing.
Amalia was in her seventeenth year, and to cultivated and sprightly
powers of mind, added those French graces, which, if they do not
constitute beauty, are still more effectual than beauty itself in
seducing the beholder. Alvise saw her when she was presented to the
Doge, and regarded her as a being more than human. He gazed on her as
if beside himself; and what female could have beheld him without
admiration? Amalia read in the noble countenance of Alvise what he
felt at that moment; she was affected, and, for the first time, her
heart palpitated within her bosom.
Alvise from that day was another being. He knew his unhappy state, and
that his misfortunes could end but with his life, since the severe and
unyielding laws of his country rendered all hope chimerical of ever
being united with the stranger lady. His ardent fancy suggested to
attempt any means of again seeing her who was dearer to him than life.
His abode was divided from that of the ambassador by a narrow canal.
Having procured the assistance of a French domestic, he passed over
to the palace, and secretly entered the chamber of Amalia.
It was midnight; and the young lady, her own thoughts perhaps
disturbed by love, had not yet laid down, but was seeking from prayer
consolation and rest. She knelt before the image of the virgin, her
hands clasped in the attitude of devotion; and Alvise, beholding her
angelic countenance lit up by the uncertain light of the lamp, could
not restrain an exclamation of surprise, which roused the maiden from
her pious reverie. Struck with the sight of him, she at first fancied,
according to the superstitious notions of the times, that he was a
spirit sent by her evil genius to tempt her, and uttered some words
of holy scripture by way of exorcism; when Alvise, advancing, threw
himself at her feet, and before Amalia could speak, disclosed to her,
in the most passionate terms, his love, the inconsiderate step he had
taken, and the certain death that awaited him should he be discovered.
Terror, rather than indignation, filled the breast of Amalia. "Oh,
heavens!" she exclaimed, "what madness could prompt you thus to expose
your own life and my reputation? Haste, fly from this spot, which you
have profaned; and know, that if my heart recoils at your death (and
here she gave a deep sigh,) yet at my cry those would appear who would
not suffer your insult to pass unpunished," so saying, she pointed
imperiously to the door.
Alvise listened to her as if he had been struck down by lightning.
"Then let me die!" he exclaimed, "for without you life is odious to
me. You are just taking the first steps in this vale of tears; one
day, however, your heart also will know the emotions of love, and
then, then think of the unhappy Alvise; how great must have been his
pangs, and how ardent his desire to terminate them!"
He now made an effort to go away; but Amalia held him, while she said,
"Alas! I seek not thy death: live, but forget me from this fatal
moment." "To forget thee is impossible; to love thee is death: thy
compassion would sweeten the last moments of my existence!" "Alvise!"
exclaimed Amalia, weeping, "live, if only for my sake!" "Do you
comprehend the force of these words?"
She trembled at the question; but the idea of her lover dying in
despair overcame all her scruples. "Yes, live for my sake," she
repeated in an under tone.
Unhappy beings! they were intoxicated with love, while the abyss was
yawning beneath their feet. A spy of the state inquisition, who was
going his rounds, saw Alvise enter the palace, and recognised him.
Denounced before the dreadful tribunal, he was dragged thither
that very morning. Convicted of entering the abode of the French
ambassador, he was desired to explain his motives tor so doing, but
remained obstinately silent. The members of the inquisition were
confounded, accustomed as they were to see every thing yield before
them, and reminded him that death would be the inevitable result of
his silence. "Death," he replied, "had no terrors for me when I fought
at Lepanto for the glory of my country and the salvation of Italy; on
which day I proved, that under no circumstances could I ever become
a traitor. I call heaven to witness that I am not one. But something
dearer to me than life or fame now imposes silence on me."
He was beheaded, and his body exposed between the two columns of the
palace, with this inscription: "For offences against the statute." The
populace were speechless at the sight, while his companions in arms,
his relations and friends, abandoned themselves to despair. Venice
presented one universal scene of mourning.
On the evening of the fatal day, Amalia stood upon the terrace of her
palace, overlooking the grand canal. She contemplated with pleasurable
melancholy the calm and even course of the moon, whose modest light
shone in the cloudless sky. Her thoughts were of Alvise. To divert
them, she turned to gaze on a long procession of illuminated gondolas,
from which she heard a strain of plaintive music, as if of prayers for
the dead, A dreadful presentiment seized her heart; she inquired the
purpose of the procession, and heard, with unspeakable terror, that it
was the solemnization of the funeral rites of a Venetian nobleman, who
had been beheaded for high treason. "His name?" cried the breathless
girl, in almost unintelligible accents: "Alvise Sanuto."
She fell, as if shot; and striking her head in the fall upon a
projecting part of the terrace, was mortally wounded, and
expired.--_Lettere su Venezia_--_Translated in the Oxford Literary
* * * * *
THE ANECDOTE GALLERY.
* * * * *
Is the word, of all others, that Irish--men, women, and
children--least understand; and the calmness, or rather indifference,
with which they submit to dependence, bitter and miserable as it is,
must be a source of deep regret to all "who love the land," or feel
anxious to uphold the dignity of human kind. Let us select a few cases
from our Irish village--such as are abundant in every neighbourhood.
Shane Thurlough, "as dacent a boy," and Shane's wife, as
"clane-skinned a girl," as any in the world. There is Shane, an
active, handsome-looking fellow, leaning over the half-door of his
cottage, kicking a hole in the wall with his brogue, and picking up
all the large gravel within his reach to pelt the ducks with--those
useful Irish scavengers. Let us speak to him. "Good morrow, Shane!"
"Och! the bright bames of heaven on ye every day! and kindly welcome,
my lady--and won't ye step in and rest--it's powerful hot, and a
beautiful summer, sure--the Lord be praised!" "Thank you, Shane. I
thought you were going to cut the hayfield to-day--if a heavy shower
comes, it will be spoil'd; it has been fit for the sithe these two
days." "Sure, it's all owing to that thief o' the world, Tom Parrel,
my lady. Didn't he promise me the loan of his sithe; and, by the same
token, I was to pay him for it; and _depinding_ on that, I didn't buy
one, which I have been threatening to do for the last two years." "But
why don't you go to Carrick and purchase one?" "To Carrick!--Och, 'tis
a good step to Carrick, and my toes are on the ground (saving your
presence,) for I _depindid_ on Tim Jarvis to tell Andy Cappler, the
brogue-maker, to do my shoes; and, bad luck to him, the spalpeen! he
forgot it." "Where's your pretty wife, Shane?" "She's in all the woe
o' the world, Ma'am, dear. And she puts the blame of it on me, though
I'm not in the faut this time, any how: the child's taken the small
pock, and she _depindid_ on me to tell the doctor to cut it for the
cow-pock, and I _depindid_ on Kitty Cackle, the limmer, to tell the
doctor's own man, and thought she would not forget it, becase the
boy's her bachelor--but out o' sight out o' mind--the never a word she
tould him about it, and the babby has got it nataral, and the woman's
in heart trouble (to say nothing o' myself;) and it the first, and
all." "I am very sorry, indeed, for you have got a much better wife
than most men." "That's a true word, my lady--only she's fidgetty like
sometimes, and says I don't hit the nail on the head quick enough; and
she takes a dale more trouble than she need about many a thing." "I do
not think I ever saw Ellen's wheel without flax before, Shane?" "Bad
cess to the wheel;--I got it this morning about that too--I _depinded_
on John Williams to bring the flax from O'Flaharty's this day week,
and he forgot it; and she says I ought to have brought it myself, and
I close to the spot: but where's the good? says I, sure he'll bring
it next time." "I suppose, Shane, you will soon move into the new
cottage, at Clurn Hill. I passed it to-day, and it looked so cheerful;
and when you get there, you must take Ellen's advice, and _depend_
solely on yourself." "Och Ma'am, dear, don't mintion it--sure it's
that makes me so down in the mouth, this very minit. Sure I saw that
born blackguard, Jack Waddy, and he comes in here, quite innocent
like"--"Shane, you've an eye to 'Squire's new lodge," says he. "Maybe
I have," says I. "I am y'er man," says he. "How so?" says I. "Sure I'm
as good as married to my lady's maid," said he; "and I'll spake to the
'Squire for you, my own self." "The blessing be about you," says I,
quite grateful,--and we took a strong cup on the strength of it; and
_depinding_ on him, I thought all safe,--"and what d'ye think, my
lady? Why, himself stalks into the place--talked the 'Squire over, to
be sure--and without so much as by y'er lave, sates himself and his
new wife on the laase in the house; and I may go whistle." "It was a
great pity, Shane, that you didn't go yourself to Mr. Clurn." "That's
a true word for ye, Ma'am, dear; but it's hard if a poor man can't
have a frind to DEPIND on."--_Sketches of Irish Character, by Mrs.
* * * * *
"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles."
* * * * *
One is almost induced to imagine that certain orders of London
conceive that "_takers_," as they commonly call them in their uncooked
state, is a generical term; and that they only become entitled to the
prefix of "_pot_," after they have been boiled.
* * * * *
A wag, on being told it was the fashion to dine later and later every
day, said, "he supposed it would end at last in not dining till
* * * * *
MOORE'S LIFE OF BYRON.
Moore has printed between three and four hundred pages of his Life of
Lord Byron, which is interspersed with original letters and poems,
of singular merit--after the manner of Mason's Life of Gray, and
Hayley's Life of Cowper. Nearly the whole of the manuscript is in
town, and the work, consisting of a thick 4to. volume, will be
published during the season.--_Court Journal, No. 1_.
* * * * *
This gifted improvisatore (who is poet to the King's Theatre,)
sometimes astonishes his acquaintance--especially if a new one--by
holding his hand close over the flame of a candle, or an argand lamp,
for several minutes together. It is a singular fact that several of
the male branches of this family--of whom the unrivalled artist who
cut the die of the sovereign, with the St. George upon it, is
one--have one of their hands covered with a thick coat of horn-like
matter, as hard as tortoiseshell, and perfectly insensible.--_Ibid._
* * * * *
WRITTEN EXTEMPORE IN A COPY OF COKE UPON LITTLETON, 1721.
O thou who labours't in this rugged mine,
Mays't thou to gold th' unpolish'd ore refine;
May each dark page unfold its haggard brow,
Fear not to reap, if thou canst dare to plough;
To tempt thy care may each revolving night,
Purses and maces glide before thy sight;
So when in times to come, advent'rous deed,
Thou shalt essay to speak, to look like Mead,
When ev'n the bay and rose shall cease to shade
With martial air the honours of thy head,
When the full wig thy visage shall enclose,
And only give to view thy learned nose,
Safely thou may'st defy beaux, wits, and scoffers,
And tenant in fee simple stuff thy coffers.