The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. Volume 17, No. 494, June 18, 1831

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Title: The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. Volume 17, No. 494, June 18, 1831

Author: Various

Release date: August 2, 2004 [eBook #13090]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Victoria Woosley and PG Distributed


[pg 401]


Vol. XVII. No. 494. SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 1831. [PRICE 2d.


We rejoice to see the site of Burleigh House partly occupied by the above Building. Its object is to afford accommodation for the meetings of Philanthropic Societies—so that whatever may be the olden celebrity of the spot, it is reasonable to expect that its present appropriation will be associated with the most grateful recollections.

This building is, perhaps, the most perfect erection of its kind in England. The approach from the Strand is remarkably modest: it is by a very narrow, though very chaste, door-way, situated between two Corinthian columns and pilasters. Within the door is a hall, with two flights of steps, which afterwards unite, and lead up to the entrance of the great hall itself; the hall below leads into a broad passage, which extends to the farther extremity of the building, opening right and left into various offices. On entering the door of the great hall, a vast and splendid room is presented to view, with scarcely a single interruption to the eye throughout its whole extent, capable of containing, with comfort, more than 3,000 persons. The floor is covered with substantial oak seats, equal to the accommodation [pg 402] of 2,500 persons. The greater portion of these are situated on a gentle rise, to permit a perfect view of the platform on which the proceedings take place. The platform is raised about six feet from the floor, and extends the whole breadth of the room, curving inwards, the extremities bending towards the audience: it contains seats for nearly 300 individuals. Behind this gallery again, are very capacious recesses, which will hold from three to four hundred persons. The lower part of the walls of the room is quite plain, the architect, probably, regarding the audience as a sufficient ornament in that quarter, though the rising of the seats would obscure carved-work if it were there. The windows are at a considerable height from the ground, and are of dimmed glass, with a chaste and classical border. The ceiling, which is at a noble height, is beautifully laid out in squares, with borderings and rosettes. An oblong opening occurs in the centre, with massive beams stretching across, presenting to view an erection in the roof, a form of construction, probably, necessary to so immense a mass of roofing, and serving also for the purposes of ventilation, as it contains windows at each end. There are four pillars near the end of the hall, rising to the ceiling, the capitals of which, as also those of some pilasters at the upper extremity of the hall, are exquisitely carved in straw-coloured marble. Behind the platform are numerous and convenient committee-rooms. The word "Philadelpheion," which may be rendered "loving brothers," is carved in Greek capitals over the entrance in the Strand.1

Exeter Hall has been erected by subscription, by a public company established for the purpose.


(To the Editor.)

The last wills and testaments of the three greatest men of modern ages are tied up in one sheet of foolscap, and may be seen together at Doctors Commons. In the will of the "Bard of Avon" is an interlineation in his own handwriting—"I give unto my wife my brown best bed, with the furniture." It is proved by William Byrde, 22nd July, 1616.

The will of the Minstrel of Paradise is a nuncupative one taken by his daughter, the great poet being blind.

The will of Napoleon, to whom future ages, in spite of legitimacy, will confirm the epithet "le grand," is signed in a bold style of handwriting; the codicil, on the contrary, written shortly before his death, exhibits the then weak state of his body.



(For the Mirror.)

The earth displayed its robe of gorgeous hues,

And o'er the tufted violets softly stole

The downy pinions of the fragrant wind,

Which tuned the brook with music; there were clouds

O'er the blue heaven dispersed in various shapes,

And touch'd with most impassive light, whereon

The heart might dwell and dream of future bliss;

And as the sound of distant bells awaked

The echoes of the woods, they raised the thoughts

To worlds more bright and beautiful than ours!


The spring has waved her sunny wing

Upon the verdant earth,

And winds from distant, places bring

The festal tones of mirth;

The sky appears an azure field,

With clouds emblazoned like a shield.

A golden light has touched the woods,

And o'er the silent dell

A languid breathless quiet broods,

Scarce broken by the swell

Of streams that whisper through the air,

As if they were awaked to pray'r.

Survey the lovely scene around,

The river beams in gold,

Its rippling waves with song resound,

And rainbow light unfold,

And as the flow'rs unclose their eyes,

Their hue seems coloured by the skies.

The mould'ring church on yonder slope,

Perchance by heaven designed

To consecrate the heart with hope,

In ivy-wreaths is shrined:

Its rural tombs are green with age,

And types of earthly pilgrimage.

On this delightful vernal day,

In scenes so rich and fair,

The spirit feels a hallow'd ray

Kindling its essence there;

And Fancy haunts the mourner's urn,

"With thoughts that breathe, and words that burn."




(For the Mirror.)

All power of fancy over reason is a degree of insanity.—JOHNSON.

In a former number I gave some observations on apparitions, and I shall here continue my remarks.

The argument that was used by Dr. [pg 403] Johnson was founded on premises that are as inadmissible as his conclusion, viz. that the popular opinion in favour of the reality of apparitions could only obtain universal credence by its truth. This is very plausible, but destitute of foundation. Does the learned doctor mean to deny the universality of errors? does he mean to call the whole body of the learned and enlightened cavillers? and that because they are not willing to consent to his monstrous opinion? To reverse the argument, does he mean to deny the truth of the Scriptures, or is he bold enough to assert that they have received universal credence? So much for the arguments wielded by Dr. Johnson, who has not been unaptly termed the Colossus of Literature. The idea that departed spirits revisited the earth, probably took its rise from the opinion of the immortality of the soul, which was very general in both ancient and modern times.2 This supposition is most consonant with probability. It is always to be remarked that this species of superstition is most prevalent in those countries where learning and reason have made but little progress. The demons [Greek: Daimones] and genii of former times were exactly the same as the ghosts of this; the same attributes, the same power, and the same malice were observed of one, as are now attributed to the other. By the Chaldeans these demons were divided into two kinds, good and bad. But as it is foreign to my purpose to enter into an investigation of the opinions of the ancients on this subject, I shall content myself with referring the curious reader to Stanley's History of Philosophy, a deservedly popular work.

I shall here recount one of the most extraordinary tales relating to this subject that I ever heard; I believe the solution is evident, and I am not aware that it has appeared before; but if it has, some of the readers of the Mirror may not have seen it.

A surgeon of Edinburgh was confined to his bed by some illness, and at "the dewy hour of eve," when the room was lighted by nothing but the glimmering and flickering light of a wood fire, he perceived a female sitting at the foot of the bed clothed in white! Imagining that it was some defect in his sight, he gazed more intensely at it, still it was there. He then raised his hand before his eyes and he did not perceive it; on withdrawing it the apparition was there. Closing his eyes he went through a mathematical calculation to convince himself he was in his right senses; upon reopening them he still perceived her there. The fire then went out and he saw no more. I confess I see no difficulty in accounting for this, by supposing the gentleman was afflicted with that horrid disease of which Sir Walter Scott gives many cases in his Demonology and Witchcraft. Although I have no warrant for asserting spirits do not return, yet I must say, all the tales I have ever heard do not necessarily require any such interpretation on them. It may be true, and so may everything which we have no evidence against or for. If my opinion on the subject was to be shaken by anything, it would be with the following story, which was given to me by one whose veracity I have no reason to doubt.

There is, or rather was, a very ancient castle in Lancashire, near Liverpool, called Castle de Bergh, which belongs to a noble family of that name. Many years ago the possessor of the castle, Mr. de Burgh, died, and the castle was then let out to various of the tenantry, among whom was a carpenter. Two years after the death of Mr. de Burgh, as this carpenter was employed in his workshop, about a quarter of a mile from the castle, melting glue, it being evening, and only four of his men with him, he perceived a gentleman in mourning passing the lathe where the men were at work. He was immediately seized with a violent trembling and weakness, his hair stood on end, and a clammy sweat spread over his forehead. The lights were put out, he knew not how, and at last, in fear and terror, he was obliged to return home. On his arrival at the castle, as he was passing up the stairs, he heard a footstep behind, and on turning round he perceived the same apparition. He hastily entered his room, and bolted, locked, and barred the door, but to his horror and surprise this offered no impediment to his ghostly visiter, for the door sprang open at his touch, and he entered the room! The apparition was seen by various others, all of whom asserted it bore the strongest resemblance to their deceased master! One gentleman spoke to him, and the spirit told him "that he was not happy."

Foley Place.


[pg 404]


(For the Mirror.)

Upon the silent grassy bed,

Shall maiden's tears at eve be shed,

And friendship's self shall often there

Heave the sigh, and breathe the pray'r.

Young flowers of spring around shall bloom,

And summer's roses deck thy tomb.

The primrose ope its modest breast

Where thy lamented ashes rest,

And cypress branches lowly bend

Where thy lov'd form with clay shall blend.

The silver willow darkly wave

Above thy unforgotten grave,

And woodbine leaves will fondly creep,

Where * * lies in holy sleep.




(For the Mirror.)

Lord Coke, in his fourth institute, defines certain qualities essentially requisite to constitute a good member of parliament; and he refers to a parliament roll, 3 Henry VI., which affirms that a parliament man should have three properties ascribed to the elephant—1. That he hath no gall; 2. That he is inflexible, and cannot bow; 3. That he is of a most ripe and perfect memory.—1. To be without malice, rancour, heat, and envy;—in elephante melancholia transit in nutrimentum corporis: every gallish inclination, if any were, should tend to the good of the whole body—the commonwealth. 2. That he be constant, inflexible, and not be bowed, or turned from the right, either from fear, reward, or favour; not in judgment respect any person. 3. That in remembering perils past, dangers to come may be prevented.

To these, addition is made by Lord Coke of two other properties of elephants: the one, that though they be maximæ virtutis et maximi intellectus, of great strength and understanding, tamen gregatim semper incedunt, yet they are sociable, and go in companies; for animalia gregalia non sunt nociva, sed animalia solivaga sunt nociva: sociable creatures that go in flocks or herds are not hurtful—as deer, sheep, &c.; but beasts that walk solely or singularly, as bears, foxes, &c., are dangerous and hurtful. The other property is, that the elephant is philanthropos, homini erranti viam ostendit. And, in the opinion of Coke, these properties ought every parliament man to have.

Neither the ancient nor modern election statutes mention, or imply, the existence of a "candidate." The old laws direct that the representative shall be freely and indifferently chosen by the electors. The choice was of their own motion, and the person elected was passive. Even at the present day, the law does not contemplate his asking for votes, and therefore does not allow, after the issuing of the writ, sufficient time for a regular canvass. The term "candidate" had its derivation from the person being candidatus, clothed in white, as symbolical of the wearer's purity.

James I. issued a proclamation, in which the voters for members of parliament are directed "not to choose curious and wrangling lawyers, who seek reputation by stirring needless questions."

At the Sussex election, in 1807, an elector, named Morton, voted in right of his patrimonial land at Rusper, which had been in possession of his ancestors 750 years.




(For the Mirror.)

Soft breathings of aerial melody,

Ye seem like love-songs from the elfin land,

Or soundings from that heaven-commissioned band,

Ushering the good man to the bliss on high.

Now swells the chorus full, anon ye die

Away upon the breeze, so soft and bland

Melting on evening's ear. Sure Love's own hand

In kindest mood hath wrought this minstrelsy.

How to the lorn heart does its influence creep,

As the wild winds sweep o'er the fairy strings,

Bringing again departed, perish'd things,

O'er which we feel it luxury to weep.

Sing on ye zephyr-sprites, your vespers cheer

The heart, whose off'ring is a holy tear.






(For the Mirror.)

When you visit married people, pay particular attention to their children: the more noisy, troublesome, and disagreeable they are, the more is it incumbent upon you to praise them. Should the baby entertain you with a passionate squall for an hour or two, vow that it is "a charming child"—"a sweet pet"—"a dear, pretty, little creature," &c. &c. Call red hair auburn, and "a sweet, uncommon colour;" a squint, or cross-eye, think "an agreeable expression;" maintain that an ugly child is extremely handsome, and the image either of one or other of its parents, or of its handsomest, wealthiest, [pg 405] or most aristocratic relations. Discover which of a family is mamma's, and which papa's favourite, and pay your court accordingly; for it is better to lavish, in this case, your attentions and encomiums upon one or two, than upon all.

When requiring an introduction to any great people, scruple not to avail yourself of the services of the little; but when mounted as high as you please, by all means kick down your ladders, cast away your stepping stones—since they might, instead of being of any further assistance, only prove incumbrances to you.

Take every opportunity of joining in conversation with those to whom you desire to recommend yourself. Should you feel at a loss for topics of discourse, mention servants, and tradesmen, upon whom fail not to bestow most hearty abuse;—vow that they are an unprincipled set of knaves, scoundrels, and thieves. Hence you will be thought to have "much to say for yourself;" and should you be enabled to narrate any grievous losses sustained from these members of society, you will obtain credit for having "something to lose" at any rate, and find it of incalculable value.

When you direct a letter to a knight bachelor—though it is indeed customary and well-bred to omit altogether the Knt.—yet it will never be taken amiss should you venture to address him as a Knight of the Garter, Bath, &c.&c., or even as a Baronet. Undoubtedly it is as vulgar to misapprehend and confound titles, as it is to mispronounce and misspell names; nevertheless rest assured, that flattered vanity will go far to pardon vulgarity.

If a gentleman, pay infinite attention to the single ladies of a family—compliment, flirt, converse with, and ask them to dance. This conduct will obtain for you, on account of the fair creatures, marvellous good report, numerous invitations; and if you have sufficient tact to steer clear of committing yourself for more than a few flattering and general attentions, you may be considered one of the happiest of those who live—by their wits, and upon their friends.

Should your "dancing days be over," which is scarcely probable, considering how greatly it is now the fashion for "potent, grave, and reverend signors," and signoras also, to join the gay quadrille, &c. (and here we may as well note, that in genteel society, dowager honourables and old ladies may dance, whilst young, plain misses may not)—there are sundry modes of rendering yourself agreeable, which your own taste and talents, it is to be presumed, will naturally suggest: chess, whist, ecarté, quadrille, &c. &c., not to mention a little practical knowledge of music, are acquirements which cause an individual to be considered "very agreeable"—because very useful; and rely upon it, as the world goes, utility in nine cases out of ten is, with society, a consideration. Hence, no creature is so universally voted disagreeable as one from whom no kind of service can be exacted; and whilst roués, gamesters, and tipplers, duelists, pugilists, and blacklegs, are tolerated in society, stupid men are overlooked, or thrust out of it with contempt.

Dress in the extreme of fashion: you can neither gain nor maintain your ground without so doing; and as you have an end to answer, which your tailors or milliners have not, of course you will not suffer the unfashionable dictates of conscience, respecting their bills, to interfere with your proceedings.

Answer an invitation as soon as it is received; many individuals defer so doing for some days, which certainly shows fashionable ease and nonchalance, besides allowing time for the arrival of another and preferable one; but, by those who are absolutely bent upon advancing themselves in society, this practice is to be eschewed, since by perplexing, it so annoys the donor of a fête, that the chances are greatly against your ever again being asked.

Never omit, the day after a party, to send or leave your card, as an acknowledgment for the civility you have received. This ceremony, indeed, it is to your interest frequently to repeat at the doors of your friends, since it will ensure your never being forgotten by them.

Never go to an evening party until you are pretty certain that everybody else is coming away. Your consequence will by this conduct be enhanced;—you may protest that you have already appeared at two or three balls, &c. When, if a student or fashionable novel-writer, your time may have been more rationally employed at home, you go too late to dance much, if the exercise, or rather the partners, be disagreeable to you; you ensure being seen, which is something,—for, alas! how many worthy aspirants to fashion, fortune, and fame, if of no actual importance, are fated to pass unnoticed in a crowd! and the opportunity is besides afforded you of paying almost undivided attention to your host, hostess, and family, which must materially advance your interests. [pg 406] Neither be in too great haste to quit the houses of those to whom you desire to recommend yourself. Parties, even the worst, cost both money and trouble; and whilst the givers of them feel it no compliment to be run away from, as if a pestilence raged in their habitations, it is positively insulting to inform them that another soiree, from which you hope better things, awaits your presence.

If a lady, "set up for a beauty:" rely upon it, no persons will "cry you up" as such unless you give them the note. Should you be extremely plain, no matter; friz your hair until it stands out one English ell from your face, and mount it, in bows, braids, &c., three yards at least from the crown of your head; drawl, or lisp in your speech; bring out words and phrases from every living tongue with which you may happen to be slightly acquainted; boast of "the continent;" mince your gait; wriggle forward upon your toes when you walk; and swim and dip, whenever led into the atrocity of committing a quad-rille. In brief, give yourself unimaginable airs; then protest that your manners, as well as your costume, are of the newest Parisian mode—and it is ten to one but that affectation will be accepted in lieu of, or mistaken for, beauty.

Never forget, that as it is sometimes very prudent to be deaf and dumb in society, so is it extremely convenient upon occasions to be blind. The cuts, direct and oblique—the looks at, and the looks over—the distant, formal bow, and the adroit turn upon the heel (should you perceive the party, intended to be cut for the time being at least, advancing with dire intent of obliging a recognition), may be, especially upon old and provincial friends, practised ad libitum, without the slightest danger of your character for etiquette, politeness, suavity, and general pleasantness, being impeached. Indeed it is not incompatible with the highest breeding, to allow your slighted and amazed acquaintance to hear you quizzing, and see you laughing at, him heartily, should it be your interest so to do; and then next day, to walk boldly up to him, protest he is the best fellow in the world; and should he be so senseless as to venture an allusion to your "late conduct," to vow, with the extremest audacity, that he happens to be under some evident and deplorable mistake, &c. &c. In short, should you really find yourself in a scrape, to back out of it as well as you are able.

When at a ball, it may sometimes be to your advantage (though fashionable insolence should not be carried too far) to act in the following manner:—

1. Ask a lady if she is engaged to dance. Should she answer "No," whilst her eyes say "Yes, if you will be my partner," then, instead of offering yourself for that purpose, protest that "dancing is a mighty bore, which no gentleman would endure, could he possibly help it," and walk away.

2. Having elicited from a lady that she is not engaged for the ensuing dance, exclaim, with a smile of triumph, "I am! and must go and find my partner."

3. When conversing with one young lady, whom you do not design to compliment by leading out for waltz, quadrille, or galoppe, mazurka, or Russian cotillon, &c., take particular care, in her hearing, to engage yourself to another. This is equally kind and polite.

4. Upon the conclusion of a dance, either leave your partner standing in the middle of the room—which I have beheld performed with admirable effect—-or, hastily leading her to a seat, quit her instantly: which proceeding says, in plain English, "Lady, I would not stay another moment with you for anything that could be offered me, lest the world should choose to fancy we are engaged."

Respecting giving and lending, which are sometimes necessary worldly duties, your guide must be this brief, but infallible rule—"Venture a small fish to catch a large one." Those antiquated beings, indeed, whom the polite style "horrid bores," but whose generic appellation is Christians, are accustomed to "lend and give, not hoping to receive;" yet this maxim cannot of course be supposed to influence the conduct of those who desire to advance themselves in the world, because they are bound to bear in mind, that they cannot admit of any principle of action which tends, in the slightest degree, to militate against their interest.—Et caetera desunt.




(Concluded from page 389.)

The intrepidity of character, before mentioned, may be farther illustrated by the following fact, which occurred a few years ago, near Great Egg Harbour, New Jersey. A woman, who happened to be weeding in the garden, had set her child down near, to amuse itself while she was at work; when a sudden and extraordinary rushing sound, and a [pg 407] scream from her child, alarmed her, and starting up, she beheld the infant thrown down, and dragged some few feet, and a large bald eagle bearing off a fragment of its frock, which being the only part seized, and giving way, providentially saved the life of the infant.

The appetite of the bald eagle, though habituated to long fasting, is of the most voracious and often the most indelicate kind. Fish, when he can obtain them, are preferred to all other fare. Young lambs and pigs are dainty morsels, and made free with on all favourable occasions. Ducks, geese, gulls, and other sea fowl, are also seized with avidity. The most putrid carrion, when nothing better can be had, is acceptable; and the collected groups of gormandizing vultures, on the approach of this dignified personage, instantly disperse, and make way for their master, waiting his departure in sullen silence, and at a respectful distance, on the adjacent trees.

In one of those partial migrations of tree squirrels that sometimes take place in our western forests, many thousands of them were destroyed in attempting to cross the Ohio; and at a certain place, not far from Wheeling, a prodigious number of their dead bodies were floated to the shore by an eddy. Here the vultures assembled in great force, and had regailed themselves for some time, when a bald eagle made his appearance, and took sole possession of the premises, keeping the whole vultures at their proper distance for several days. He has also been seen navigating the same river on a floating carrion, though scarcely raised above the surface of the water, and tugging at the carcass, regardless of snags, sawyers, planters, or shallows. He sometimes carries his tyranny to great extremes against the vultures. In hard times, when food happens to be scarce, should he accidentally meet with one of these who has its craw crammed with carrion, he attacks it fiercely in the air; the cowardly vulture instantly disgorges, and the delicious contents are snatched up by the eagle before they reach the ground.

The nest of this species is generally fixed on a very large and lofty tree, often in a swamp or morass, and difficult to be ascended. On some noted tree of this description, often a pine or cypress, the bald eagle builds, year after year, for a long series of years. When both male and female have been shot from the nest, another pair has soon after taken possession. The nest is large, being added to and repaired every season, until it becomes a black prominent mass, observable at a considerable distance. It is formed of large sticks, sods, earthy rubbish, hay, moss, &c. Many have stated to me that the female lays first a single egg, and that, after having sat on it for some time, she lays another; when the first is hatched, the warmth of that, it is pretended, hatches the other. Whether this be correct or not, I cannot determine; but a very respectable gentleman of Virginia assured me, that he saw a large tree cut down, containing the nest of a bald eagle, in which were two young, one of which appeared nearly three times as large as the other. As a proof of their attachment to their young, a person near Norfolk informed me, that, in clearing a piece of wood on his place, they met with a large dead pine tree, on which was a bald eagle's nest and young. The tree being on fire more than half way up, and the flames rapidly ascending, the parent eagle darted around and among the flames, until her plumage was so much injured that it was with difficulty she could make her escape, and even then, she several times attempted to return to relieve her offspring.

The flight of the bald eagle, when taken into consideration with the ardour and energy of his character, is noble and interesting. Sometimes the human eye can just discern him, like a minute speck, moving in slow curvatures along the face of the heavens, as if reconnoitering the earth at that immense distance. Sometimes he glides along in a direct horizontal line, at a vast height, with expanded and unmoving wings, till he gradually disappears in the distant blue ether. Seen gliding in easy circles over the high shores and mountainous cliffs that tower above the Hudson and Susquehanna, he attracts the eye of the intelligent voyager, and adds great interest to the scenery. At the great Cataract of Niagara, already mentioned, there rises from the gulf into which the Falls of the Horse-Shoe descend, a stupendous column of smoke, or spray, reaching to the heavens, and moving off in large black clouds, according to the direction of the wind, forming a very striking and majestic appearance. The eagles are here seen sailing about, sometimes losing themselves in this thick column, and again reappearing in another place, with such ease and elegance of motion, as renders the whole truly sublime.

High o'er the watery uproar, silent seen,

Sailing sedate in majesty serene,

Now midst the pillar'd spray sublimely lost,

And now, emerging, down the Rapids tost,

[pg 408]

Glides the bald eagle, gazing, calm and slow,

O'er all the horrors of the scene below;

Intent alone to sate himself with blood,

From the torn victims of the raging flood.

The white-headed eagle is three feet long, and seven feet in extent; the bill is of a rich yellow; cere the same, slightly tinged with green; mouth flesh-coloured; tip of the tongue, bluish black; the head, chief part of the neck, vent, tail coverts, and tail, are white in the perfect, or old birds of both sexes, in those under three years of age these parts are of a gray brown; the rest of the plumage is deep, dark brown, each feather tipt with pale brown, lightest on the shoulder of the wing, and darkest towards its extremities. The conformation of the wing is admirably adapted for the support of so large a bird; it measures two feet in breadth on the greater quills, and sixteen inches on the lesser; the longest primaries are twenty inches in length, and upwards of one inch in circumference where they enter the skin; the broadest secondaries are three inches in breadth across the vane; the scapulars are very large and broad, spreading from the back to the wing, to prevent the air from passing through; another range of broad flat feathers, from three to ten inches in length, also extend from the lower part of the breast to the wing below, for the same purpose; between these lies a deep triangular cavity; the thighs are remarkably thick, strong, and muscular, covered with long feathers pointing backwards, usually called the femoral feathers; the legs, which are covered half way below the knee, before, with dark brown downy feathers, are of a rich yellow, the colour of ripe Indian corn; feet the same; claws blue black, very large and strong, particularly the inner one, which is considerably the largest; soles, very rough and warty; the eye is sunk, under a bony, or cartilaginous projection, of a pale yellow colour, and is turned considerably forwards, not standing parallel with the cheeks, the iris is of a bright straw colour, pupil black.

The male is generally two or three inches shorter than the female; the white on the head, neck, and tail being more tinged with yellowish, and its whole appearance less formidable; the brown plumage is also lighter, and the bird itself less daring than the female, a circumstance common to almost all birds of prey.

The eagle is said to live to a great age—sixty, eighty, and, as some assert, one hundred years. This circumstance is remarkable, when we consider the seeming intemperate habits of the bird. Sometimes fasting, through necessity, for several days, and at other times gorging itself with animal food till its craw swells out the plumage of that part, forming a large protuberance on the breast. This, however, is its natural food, and for these habits its whole organization is particularly adapted. It has not, like men, invented rich wines, ardent spirits, and a thousand artificial poisons, in the form of soups, sauces, and sweetmeats. Its food is simple, it indulges freely, uses great exercise, breathes the purest air, is healthy, vigorous, and long lived. The lords of the creation themselves might derive some useful hints from these facts, were they not already, in general, too wise, or too proud, to learn from their inferiors, the fowls of the air and beasts of the field.



The subsequent account of Mrs. Siddons, nearly fifty years since, will perhaps give the reader a better outline of that "Queen of Tragedy" than any that has since appeared. We ought to mention that it is quoted from Mr. Boaden's Memoirs, and was written on the appearance of Mrs. Siddons in the character of Isabella, for the first time in London, October 10, 1782. Mr. Boaden thus introduces the quotation, in vol. i. of his work:—

As the person of our great actress has undergone some change, and her features by time became stronger, I should find it difficult now to describe her accurately by memory, as she stood before the audience on the night of the 10th of October. I am relieved from this difficulty by an account of her written at the time. I shall change only a few of the expressions then used, more from a feeling as to composition than alteration as to sentiment.

There never, perhaps, was a better stage-figure than that of Mrs. Siddons. Her height is above the middle size, but not at all inclined to the em-bon-point. There is, notwithstanding, nothing sharp or angular in the frame; there is sufficient muscle to bestow a roundness upon the limbs, and her attitudes are, therefore, distinguished equally by energy and grace. The symmetry of her person is exact and captivating. Her face is peculiarly happy, the features being finely formed, though strong, and never for an [pg 409] instant seeming overcharged, like the Italian faces, nor coarse and unfeminine under whatever impulse; on the contrary, it is so thoroughly harmonized when quiescent, and so expressive when impassioned, that most people think her more beautiful than she is; so great, too, is the flexibility of her countenance, that the rapid transitions of passion are given with a variety and effect that never tire upon the eye. Her voice is naturally plaintive, and a tender melancholy in her level speaking denotes a being devoted to tragedy; yet this seemingly settled quality of voice becomes at will sonorous or piercing, overwhelms with rage, or in its wild shriek absolutely harrows up the soul. Her sorrow, too, is never childish—her lamentation has a dignity which belongs, I think, to no other woman: it claims your respect along with your tears. Her eye is brilliant and varying like the diamond; it is singularly well placed; "it pries," in Shakspeare's language, "through the portal of the head," and has every aid from brows flexible beyond all female parallel, contracting to disdain, or dilating with the emotions of sympathy, or pity, or anguish. Her memory is tenacious and exact—her articulation clear and distinct—her pronunciation systematic and refined.

Nor has Nature been partially bountiful: she has endowed her with a quickness of conception, and a strength of understanding equal to the proper use of such extraordinary gifts. So entirely is she mistress of herself, so collected, and so determined in gestures, tone, and manner, that she seldom errs, like other actors, because she doubts her powers or comprehension. She studies her author attentively, conceives justly, and describes with a firm consciousness of propriety. She is sparing in her action, because English nature does not act much; but it is always proper, picturesque, graceful, and dignified: it arises immediately from the sentiments and feeling, and is not seen to prepare itself before it begins. No studied trick or start can be predicted;—no forced tremulation of the figure, where the vacancy of the eye declares the absence of passion, can be seen;—no laborious strainings at false climax, in which the tired voice reiterates one high tone beyond which it cannot reach, is ever heard;—no artificial heaving of the breasts, so disgusting when the affectation is perceptible;—none of those arts by which the actress is seen, and not the character, can be found in Mrs. Siddons. So natural are her gradations and transitions, so classical and correct her speech and deportment, and so intensely interesting her voice, form, and features, that there is no conveying an idea of the pleasure she communicates by words. She must be seen to be known. What is still more delightful, she is an original: she copies no one living or dead, but acts from nature and herself.



By a veteran.

In the late —— Regiment of Light Dragoons, were two worthy persons, who were denominated the regimental liars: a distinction to which, giving every man his due, they were eminently entitled. The great and fundamental requisites for accomplished lying, I conceive to be a good memory, a fertile fancy, a ready wit, fluency of speech, and a brazen countenance, so that you shall tell a man a most bare-faced falsehood, and afterwards adduce such connected proofs as especially characterize actual facts. The following dialogue is a specimen of the talents of the aforementioned mendacious personages.

C.—"See a man walk after he was shot dead! so have I, a whole day's march."

B.—"Come, come, that's stealing a march on our senses. No, no, it won't do: that's a naked one; do pray turn them out with some kind of probability covering over them."

C.—"What, doubt my veracity;"

B.—"Not for the world; that would be illiberal and unkind, and by the way, now I think on it, I believe the possibility of a man travelling without his cranium, for at the battle of Laswaree, during that desperate contest for British India, I saw a sergeant of the seventy-sixth shot dead; yet the fellow pursued his antagonist some hundred yards afterwards, threatening vengeance on the miscreant for having robbed the service of one of its best men. Finding himself weak from loss of blood, he deliberately unscrewed his head, threw it violently at the foe, and took him on the spine; down he tumbled; the veteran jumped upon him; fearful was the struggle; chest to chest, fist to fist; at last they joined in the death grapple, and dreadful indeed was their dying hug."

C.—"My dear friend, I was an eye [pg 410] witness of the whole transaction. You have however forgotten the best part of the story. After the sergeant had well pummelled his enemy, he picked up his head again, and thrust into a neighbouring great gun: from the want of his peepers he made a random shot, and killed the horse on which Lord Lake was riding—his Lordship saluted the sod."

B.—"I recollect it perfectly; for the nose of the said sergeant (recognised by sundry carbuncles) was so hard, that the following day it was extracted from the abdomen of the unfortunate animal."

C.—"You make a mistake about the nose; it was discovered lodged in a loaf in a corporal's knapsack; the man could swear to it, for it was perforated by three balls, and otherwise curiously marked. Report said that a shell had once blown it completely off, and that it was stitched on again by a shoe-maker, who, ever after, went by the name of the nosy cobbler."

B.—"Nothing impossible. It reminds me of a story somewhat as strange: During the battle of Delhi there was a quarter-master in the regiment, a queer fellow, who was never at a loss; (he is now in the corps, and can vouch for my statement) he was charging at the head of his squadron, when he caught a cannon shot in his hands: instantly dismounting, he chucked the ball into a field-piece, but, for want of a ramrod, he drove it home with his head. One of the enemy, seeing him thus zealously occupied, fired off the gun; strange to tell he was not killed! From constant exposure to the sun, in search of toddy, and from the free use of cocoa-nut oil, his head had become proof against shot. The distance from the place whence he was projected, to that where he was picked up, measured three miles, two furlongs, three yards, and eleven inches. A hard-headed fellow, Sir.—In his career he upset his colonel and a brace of captains."

C.—"He did; and where the colonel was capsized, he made such a hole by his enormous weight, that the sovereign of Delhi ordered a large well to be dug on the spot, in memory of the event."

B.—"I remember the well—twelve feet, three inches and a half, was the exact depth of the excavation occasioned by the fall."

C.—"There you are wrong; only eleven feet, three inches—"

B.—"No, believe me, I am right; twelve feet, and three inches to a barleycorn."

C.—"Never mind: a little, this way or that, is of no consequence. The most extraordinary thing was, that the gallant colonel only sprained his right arm."

B.—"By no means extraordinary. You remember the great gun of Agra, in which a regiment of cavalry used to drill."

C—"I do. The one that fired the stone ball to the wall of Futtipoore Sikrah—twenty miles."

B.—"The same. Well, when that gun was fired, a thing that never occurred but once, the head of the rash man who fired it was afterwards found in the Old Woman's Tank, eleven miles from the spot, without so much as a blemish, except a slight singing of the right whisker."

C.—"Ah! I can never forget the time; I had just landed in Calcutta when we heard the report. Some of the wadding went as far as Cawnpore."

Here the trumpet, sounding for morning drill, put a stop to the colloquy.—Englishman's Magazine.



Here's a lesson for the earth-born worm,

So deep engraven on the meagre platen

Of human frailty, so debased in hue,

That he who dares peruse it needs but blush

For his own nature. The poor shrivell'd wretch,

For whose lean carcass yawns this hideous pit,

Had naught that he desired in earth or heaven—

No God, no Saviour, but that sordid pelf,

O'er which he starved and gloated. I have seen him

On the exchange, or in the market-place

When money was in plenteous circulation,

Gaze after it with such Satanic looks

Of eagerness, that I have wonder'd oft

How he from theft and murder could refrain.

'Twas cowardice alone withheld his hands,

For they would grasp and grapple at the air,

When his grey eye had fixed on heaps of gold,

While his clench'd teeth, and grinning, yearning face,

Were dreadful to behold. The merchants oft

Would mark his eye, then start and look again,

As at the eye of basilisk or snake.

His eye of greyish green ne'er shed one ray

Of kind benignity or holy light

On aught beneath the sun. Childhood, youth, beauty,

To it had all one hue. Its rays reverted

Right inward, back upon the greedy heart

On which the gnawing worm of avarice

Preyed without ceasing, straining every sense

To that excruciable and yearning core.

Some thirteen days agone, he comes to me,

And after many sore and mean remarks

On men's rapacity and sordid greed,

He says, "Gabriel, thou art an honest man,

As the world goes. How much, then, will you charge

And make a grave for me, fifteen feet deep?"—

"We'll talk of that when you require it, sir."

"No, no. I want it made, and paid for too;

I'll have it settled, else I know there will

Be some unconscionable overcharge

On my poor friends—a ruinous overcharge."—

"But, sir, were it made now, it would fill up

Each winter to the brim, and be to make

Twenty or thirty times, if you live long."—

[pg 411]

"There! there it is! Nothing but imposition!

Even Time must rear his stern, unyielding front,

And holding out his shrivelled skeleton hand,

Demands my money. Naught but money! money!

Were I coin'd into money I could not

Half satisfy that craving greed of money.

Well, how much do you charge? I'll pay you now,

And take a bond from you that it be made

When it is needed. Come, calculate with reason—

Work's very cheap; and two good men will make

That grave at two days' work: and I can have

Men at a shilling each—without the meat—

That's a great matter! Let them but to meat,

'Tis utter ruin. I'll give none their meat—

That I'll beware of. Men now-a-days are cheap,

Cheap, dogcheap, and beggarly fond of work.

One shilling each a-day, without the meat.

Mind that, and ask in reason; for I wish

To have that matter settled to my mind."—

"Sir, there's no man alive will do't so cheap

As I shall do it for the ready cash,"

Says I, to put him from it with a joke.

"I'll charge you, then, one-fourth part of a farthing

For every cubic foot of work I do,

Doubling the charge each foot that I descend."

"Doubling as you descend! Why, that of course.

A quarter of a farthing each square foot—

No meat, remember! Not an inch of meat,

Nor drink, nor dram. You're not to trust to these.

Wilt stand that bargain, Gabriel?"—"I accept."

He struck it, quite o'erjoy'd. We sought the clerk,

Sign'd—seal'd. He drew his purse. The clerk went on

Figuring and figuring. "What a fuss you make!

'Tis plain," said he, "the sum is eighteen-pence"—

"'Tis somewhat more, sir," said the civil clerk—

And held out the account. "Two hundred round,

And gallant payment over." The Miser's face

Assumed the cast of death's worst lineaments.

His skinny jaws fell down upon his breast;

He tried to speak, but his dried tongue refused

Its utterance, and cluck'd upon the gum.

His heart-pipes whistled with a crannell'd sound;

His knell-knees plaited, and his every bone

Seem'd out of joint. He raved—he cursed—he wept—

But payment he refused. I have my bond,

Not yet a fortnight old, and shall be paid.

It broke the Miser's heart. He ate no more,

Nor drank, nor spake, but groan'd until he died;

This grave kill'd him, and now yearns for his bones.

But worse than all. 'Tis twenty years and more

Since he brought home his coffin. On that chest

His eye turn'd ever and anon. It minded him,

He said, of death. And as be sat by night

Beside his beamless hearth, with blanket round

His shivering frame, if burst of winter wind

Made the door jangle, or the chimney moan,

Or crannied window whistle, he would start,

And turn his meagre looks upon that chest;

Then sit upon't, and watch till break of day.

Old wives thought him religious—a good man!

A great repentant sinner, who would leave

His countless riches to sustain the poor.

But mark the issue. Yesterday, at noon,

Two men could scarcely move that ponderous chest

To the bedside to lay the body in.

They broke it sundry, and they found it framed

With double bottom! All his worshipp'd gold

Hoarded between the boards! O such a worm

Sure never writhed beneath the dunghill's base!

Fifteen feet under ground! and all his store

Snug in beneath him. Such a heaven was his.

Now, honest Teddy, think of such a wretch,

And learn to shun his vices, one and all.

Though richer than a Jew, he was more poor

Than is the meanest beggar. At the cost

Of other men a glutton. At his own,

A starveling. A mere scrub. And such a coward,

A cozener and liar—but a coward,

And would have been a thief—But was a coward.

Blackwood's Magazine.




(Library of Entertaining Knowledge, Part 18.)

We have little inclination to quote more than a few passages from the General View of Paris in this Number; the topographical portion of which, (as far as a four months residence there will serve our judgment) is eminently characteristic.

Ancient City.

The Archbishop of Narbonne, writing in the reign of Francis I., (about 1520,) calls Paris even then a world rather than a city3; yet at that period its population was probably not much more than the fifth part of what it now is; nor did the quantity of ground it covered bear even the same proportion to the immense space over which it has now extended. But in both convenience and elegance, Paris has made still more extraordinary advances since the time of Francis than even in population and extent. It was then, compared to what it now is, but a gloomy and incommodious fortress, without even the security which encompassing fortifications might be supposed to yield. Lighted only by candles placed here and there by the inhabitants themselves in their windows, it was so infested by thieves and assassins that hardly any person ventured out after dark, and the approach of night was the source of constant terror even to those who remained in their houses. The streets thus imperfectly lighted, were worse paved; and most of them were as dirty and narrow as those still to be seen in the more ancient part of the city. The supply of water was so inadequate that the severest miseries were sometimes suffered from the absolute want of that necessary of life, and the greatest inconveniences at all times from its scarcity. Finally, the public edifices were without splendour, and even the best of the private houses unprovided with many of what are now accounted the most indispensable accommodations. Instead of all this, we behold Paris now one of the very central seats of civilization; and although [pg 412] still deficient in many of the accommodations which supply to the necessities of the many instead of the luxuries of the few, in possession of the greater portion of the most important provisions which ingenuity has found out, whether for the comfort or the embellishment of existence. What a contrast between the French capital of 1831, and that Lutetia of the ancient Parisii, which Caesar found nearly nineteen hundred years ago occupying the little island, around which has since extended itself so wide a circle of wealth, industry, intelligence, and the works which these create!


Paris, stands, like London, on both banks of a river, and is thus cut into two great divisions, one to the north, and the other to the south, of the water. The Seine, however, is not nearly so broad as the Thames; and the northern and southern halves of Paris are not, therefore, by any means so much separated from each other, either locally, politically, or socially, as are the corresponding portions of the English metropolis. They form, in all respects one city.

The Seine flows in a direction nearly opposite to that of the Thames, namely, from south-east to north-west. It preserves almost a perfectly straight course in passing through Paris, except that it bends considerably to the south immediately before leaving the town. The river, as it flows through the heart of the city, is interrupted by three small islands lying in succession, the two most westerly of which, the Ile de la Cité (otherwise called the Ile du Palais) and the Ile St. Louis, or de Notre Dame, are covered with streets and houses. The third, called the Ile Louvier, is used only as a depôt for fire-wood. The parts of the town on the opposite sides of the river are connected with each other, and with these islands, by nineteen bridges, thirteen of which are constructed of stone, and two of stone and iron: of the others two are chain-bridges, one is built of wood, and two of wood and iron. Several of these structures, especially the Pont des Arts, the Pont Louis XVI., and the Pont de Jena, or de l'Ecole Militaire, all of which are to the west of the Ile du Palais, are distinguished by their majesty or elegance, and add much beauty and picturesque effect to the vista of the river. Excepting at one place where the two branches enclosing the Ile du Palais unite, immediately to the west of that island, the breadth of the Seine at Paris is no where greater than about 550 English feet, and at some points it is not more than half that distance from the one bank to the other. The bridges, therefore, by which the Seine is traversed, are not to be compared in point of magnitude with those of the Thames at London. Even the Pont Neuf, which connects the Ile du Palais with both the northern and the southern divisions of the city, and comprehends in fact two bridges, with an intermediate street, is shorter taken altogether, than Waterloo bridge by more than 200 feet; and the Pont Louis XVI., which next to the Pont Neuf is the longest of the Parisian stone bridges, measures only about 485 feet between the abutments, while Westminster Bridge measures 1223, and Waterloo Bridge 1242 feet. It is in the number of its bridges alone, therefore, that the Seine is superior to the Thames.

The Boulevards.

The most remarkable feature in the general appearance of Paris, is the inner inclosure formed by the celebrated road called the Boulevards. On the north side of the river, the Boulevards follow a line nearly midway, on an average, between the river and the wall. The space which they comprehend, therefore, is but a small portion of that included within the outer boundary of the city. The length of this part of the road is about 5,200 English yards, or somewhat under three miles. That on the south side of the river is of far greater extent, approaching, as it does, throughout its whole sweep, very much closer to the wall, and in some parts entirely coinciding with it. It measures about 16,000 yards, or above nine miles in length. Each of these lines, although in reality forming an uninterrupted road from its commencement to its termination, is divided into a succession of parts, each having its particular name. The northern Boulevards are twelve in number, the southern seven. We have nothing in England like the Parisian Boulevards. They may be generally described as a road or street, of great breadth, along each side of which are planted double rows of elms. But these shady avenues do not present merely a picture of rural beauty. Rising as they do in the heart of a great city, they partake also of its artificial elegance and splendour, and are associated with all the luxuries of architectural decoration. Considered merely as a range of streets, the Boulevards are hardly rivalled by any other part of Paris. Those to the north of the river are lined on both sides throughout their whole extent, by buildings more uniformly handsome than [pg 413] are those of almost any other street in the city, and by many which may be even described as magnificent. Some of these are private residences; others are shops, cafés, public hotels, and theatres. The crowds by whom so many parts of these Boulevards are frequented chiefly give to the scene its singular liveliness and brilliancy. The southern Boulevards, though equally beautiful, are far from being so much the habitual resort of the citizens; but the walks on this very account, have a charm for some moods of mind which the others want. Another road, planted in a similar manner, has more recently been carried round the outside of the present walls of the city. It is distinguished from the inner Boulevards by the name of the Boulevards Extérieurs.


To a person accustomed to the appearance of the streets of London, or indeed of any other English town, those of the interior of Paris will present considerable novelty of aspect. The extreme narrowness, in the first place, of those in the more ancient parts of the city, and the great height of the houses, with their windows in many cases fortified by bars of iron, would alone give them an air of gloom and precaution, almost sufficient to impress the Englishman who walks through them with the feeling that he has been transported, not only into another country, but into another age. Even where these indications of the more ancient evils of Paris are not visible, the general aspect of the town shows that it has not grown with the growth of a free people, amongst whom the inequalities of rank have been softened down by respect to the comforts of all classes. Under the ancient régime, which was in full activity half a century ago, there were only two classes in Paris, the noblesse, and the bourgeoisie; and the latter, being driven into the gutters by the carriage-wheels of their arrogant masters, went by the general name of the canaille. Few of the streets even now have any side pavement for foot passengers—that invaluable accommodation which gives such perfect security to the pedestrian even in our most crowded and tumultuous thoroughfare. The causeway itself, on which walkers and drivers are thus mingled together in confusion, is often most uneven and rugged. The stones of which it is formed, about ten inches square, present each a convex surface, usually wet and slippery, so that under the most favourable circumstances, walking in the streets of Paris is anything but an agreeable exercise. Still farther to abridge the level space, the street is made to incline from both sides towards the centre, in order to form there a sort of ditch, in which flows a black and fetid stream. From the want of a proper system of drains, this receptacle of filth is generally sufficiently replenished even in the driest weather, to keep the whole street wet and dirty. Carriages, having usually one wheel in the midst of the kennel, dash about the offensive puddle in all directions. But the principle of a clear middle way, such as our English streets possess, is neglected in all the arrangements connected with those of Paris. Even the lights, instead of being fixed on posts, as ours are, at the sides, are suspended in the middle on ropes swung across, and having their opposite ends fastened to the walls of the houses. It was these ropes which the mob, in the Revolution of 1789, were wont to make use of as halters for their victims; whence their famous cry of á la lanterne, as they dragged them along to execution.

The aspect of Paris by night, except in a few of the principal streets where gas has been very partially introduced, is singularly gloomy. The darkness is occasionally relieved by the brilliancy of a café; but in the more quiet parts of the town, particularly in the fashionable quarter of the Faubourg St. Germain, it is almost impossible for the pedestrian to direct his steps aright. It is quite evident that the arrangements of this capital have not been made for a walking people. This evil, however, is fast disappearing. Numerous passages have been constructed, within the last ten years, which are paved with flat stones, and brilliantly lighted; and the active and pleasure-seeking population of Paris crowd to these attractive and convenient places, to the Boulevards, or to the Palais-Royal, and leave the narrow and dirty streets principally to the few who keep their own carriages, or to the many who hire public conveyances. These are of various kinds; and such was the growing importance of the middle classes, that fiacres (so called after the sign of St Fiacre, at the house where they were first established) were in use a century and a half ago.

The remainder of the Part is occupied with a sketch of the Revolution of 1789.


Though no language can adequately condemn the base subserviency of Henry's parliament, it may be reasonably doubted [pg 414] whether his reign was, in its ultimate consequences, injurious to public liberty. The immense revolutions of his time in property, in religion, and in the inheritance of the crown, never could have been effected without the concurrence of parliament. Their acquiescence and co-operation in the spoliation of property, and the condemnation of the innocent, tempted him to carry all his purposes into execution, through their means. Those who saw the attainders of queens, the alteration of an established religion, and the frequent disturbance of the regal succession, accomplished by acts of parliament, considered nothing as beyond the jurisdiction of so potent an assembly.4 If the supremacy was a tremendous power, it accustomed the people to set no bounds to the authority of those who bestowed it on the king. The omnipotence of parliament appeared no longer a mere hyperbole. Let it not be supposed, that to mention the good thus finally educed from such evils, is intended or calculated to palliate crimes, or to lessen our just abhorrence of criminals. Nothing, on the contrary, seems more to exalt the majesty of virtue than to point out the tendency of the moral government of the world, which, as in this instance, turns the worst enemies of all that is good into the laborious slaves of justice. Of all outward benefits, the most conducive to virtue as well as to happiness is, doubtless, popular and representative government. It is the reverse of a degradation of it to observe, that its establishment among us was perhaps partially promoted by the sensuality, rapacity, and cruelty of Henry VIII. The course of affairs is always so dark, the beneficial consequences of public events are so distant and uncertain, that the attempt to do evil in order to produce good is in men a most criminal usurpation.

Some direct benefits the constitution owes to this reign. The act which established a parliamentary representation in so considerable a territory as Wales may be regarded as the principal reformation in the composition of the House of Commons since its legal maturity in the time of Edward I. That principality had been divided into twelve shires: of which eight were ancient,5 and four owed their origin to a statute of Henry's reign.6 Knights, citizens, and burgesses were now directed to be chosen and sent to parliament from the shires, cities, and burghs of Wales.7 A short time before, the same privileges were granted to the county palatine of Chester, of which the preamble contains a memorable recognition and establishment of the principles which are the basis of the elective part of our constitution.8 Nearly thirty members were thus added to the House of Commons on the principle of the Chester bill: that is disadvantageous to a province to be unrepresented; that representation is essential to good government; and that those who are bound by the laws ought to have a reasonable share of direct influence on the passing of laws. As the practical disadvantages are only generally alleged, and could scarcely have been proved, they must have been inferred from the nature of a House of Commons. The British constitution was not thought to be enjoyed by a district till a popular representation was bestowed on it. Election by the people was regarded, not as a source of tumult, but as the principle most capable of composing disorder in territories not represented.—Cabinet Cyclopaedia, vol. xix. Sir James Mackintosh's History of England, vol. ii.



(Continued from page 312.)

The grounds of Penrice Castle, which stretch to the sea-shore, and on which art has embellished scenery possessing capabilities of a high order—are exceedingly picturesque and extensive. Penrice bears marks of having been a Roman station. Henry de Newburgh, Earl of Warwick, here defeated the Welsh prince, Rhys, which decided the fate of Gower. He was beheaded after the battle, whence the Welsh name, Pen-Rhys. On the field of battle [pg 415] the victor erected Penrice Castle, which is now certainly a striking ruin. On the coast near Penrice is the village and ruins of the Castle of Oxwich, now a barn—sic transit!

The afternoon was waxing apace—we had lost time in attending to our horses, for ostler there was none—and in musing amongst the simply decorated graves in the humble churchyard;9 after discussing with great relish our repast of eggs and bacon, and Welsh ale, the best the village afforded, (by the way, we shall not readily forget the fluster of our Welsh hostess when we talked of dining on our arrival at the little hostelrie) we then rode down to the sea-shore, intending to cross the sandy beach of Oxwich, which extends several miles, on our return to the Gower Inn. The tide flows with great rapidity on this coast, and it had already advanced to the foot of a stupendous headland, which juts into the beach about half way. We waded our horses through the surf—but how can we do justice to the splendour of the scenery around us. The alternations of stern and savage beauty—the gigantic masses of "fantastic cliffs," and caverns, that have stood the combat of the mighty Atlantic for countless ages? Oxwich is almost unknown to the traveller, and there are few coast scenes in these islands that surpass it in beauty. We lingered long on the shore. There is a perpetual "jabble" against the cliffs on this coast—and we have seldom met with a soul save an aged and solitary fisherwoman—a study for a Bonington—pursuing her precarious calling of crab or shrimp fishing, or of pulling lobsters from their retreats in the savage cliffs.

A holy peace,

Pervades this sea-shore solitude—The world

And all who love that world, are far away!


It was getting dusk when we ascended from the shore, on our way homewards, past the wild—the truly shattered, and desolate ruins of Pennard Castle; which bear, we think, decided marks of having been erected long prior to the Norman era. The country people tell you its origin was supernatural; and some writers ascribe it to that great castle-builder, Henry de Newburgh. Pennard stands in a situation of extreme beauty, and deeply rivets the attention:

"The stones have voices, and the walls do live,

It is the House of Memory!"


Our favourite mare and her companion were in high spirits, (horses are generally so on returning) exhilarated by the rapid motion; and our hearts elate with the "songs of spring," we returned home on as sweet an April evening as ever blessed man.

Another interesting excursion maybe made to Cefyn-bryn, the most elevated hill in the district, about twelve miles from Swansea. The road to Western Gower is carried over it; the summit is level, and a carriage may be driven in safety for a couple of miles to the southern point; which commands, on a clear day, in one direction, a vast and unbounded view of the Bristol Channel, the whitened houses of Ilfracombe, with the hills of Devon and Somerset, Lundy Island, and the scenery of Swansea Bay. And on the reverse of the picture, almost the whole peninsula of Gower, the extensive estuary of the Burry River, and part of the beautiful expanse of the County and Bay of Carmarthen, is spread out like a map before you. King Arthur's Stone, an immense rock of lapis molaris, twenty tons weight, supported by a circle of others—the remains of Druidism—invites the attention of the antiquary, on the north-west point of Cefyn-bryn. We may here remark that this district, especially the coast, offers a rich harvest to the geologist. The general substratum of the peninsula is limestone and marble, bounded to the north by an immense iron and coalfield. The limestone stratum is continually "cropping out" in the interior, and of course it can be worked at a trifling expense. This may account for the general healthiness of the district. Though rain in consequence of the western exposure, falls frequently, and sometimes with great violence, yet it speedily runs off, leaving none of the bad effects which would be produced in a tenacious soil. Marble of valuable quality is worked at Oystermouth.

But we must hasten to close our Notes on Gower—to proceed with our circuit of the coast:—West from Oxwich is Porteyron, where there is an extensive lobster and oyster fishery, near which is Landewy Castle. There is a wonderful precipice here. Further west we come to the village of Rossilly, near the Worms-Head, the termination of a range of rocks, which form the western point of the peninsula, being connected with it by a low isthmus. It extends more than a mile into the ocean, and at half-flood becomes an island. The name arose by mariners comparing it to a worm with its head erect, between the Nass Point and St. Gower's Head, in Pembrokeshire. The scenery here is [pg 416] deeply interesting. This wild and desolate coast has proved fatal to numberless ships; the recent erection of the light-house on Caldy Island, near Tenby, on the opposite point of Carmarthen Bay, has, however, been most important. Several Indiamen have been wrecked here, and about fifty years since, a quantity of Spanish dollars, date 1625, were found amongst the sand, when the tide had receded unusually far, supposed to be part of the cargo of the "Scanderoon galley" lost on this coast nearly two centuries ago. This would do for the "Vigo Bay Company." We proceed along the western shore of Carmarthen Bay, till we pass Whitford Point, a singular peninsula of sand, covered with reeds, which stands the fury of the tide, forming one side of the wide estuary of Barry, along the coast of which we pass a Roman encampment at Llanmadoc—the striking Castle of Llanridian, and other ruins, as we return eastward to Swansea; till we arrive at the village—we forget ourselves, the Borough of Castell Llwchyr, or Loughor, the Leucarum of Antoninus, and the fifth Roman station on the Via Julia. It is seven miles from Swansea. Upon a mount, the supposed work of the Romans, is a square tower, the remains of a castle built by Henry, Earl of Warwick. Three miles to the east are two Roman encampments; many Roman coins have been found at Loughor, from whence there is a ferry to the Carmarthenshire side opposite, which is fordable at low water. There is a large colliery here. It is a delightful sail from this village down the Burry River to Whitford Point, or round the coast to Worms-Head.



"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles."


The following curious letter was found among the papers of a Mr. Goldwyre, Surgeon, of Salisbury.

To Mr. Edward Goldwyre, at his house on the Close of Salisbury.

Sir,—Being informed that you are the only surgeon in this city (or country) that anatomises men, and I being under the present unhappy circumstances, and in a very mean condition, would gladly live as long as I can, but by all appearances I am to be executed next March, but having no friends on earth that will speak a word to save my life, nor send me a morsel of bread to keep life and soul together until that fatal day; so if you will vouchsafe to come hither, I will gladly sell you my body (being whole and sound) to be ordered at your discretion, knowing that it will rise again at the general resurrection, as well from your house as from the grave. Your answer will highly oblige, yours, &c.

  Fisherton-Auger Gaol,
    Oct. 3, 1736.

A farmer walking out one day, by chance met Jack Ketch, and jocosely asked him whether he could tell him the difference between their trades. "That I can," said Jack, "the only difference is utility—you till, I tie."


What is the most suitable motto for a doctor's carriage? Live or die.

Why is the carver in a cook-shop like a naval officer? Because he commands a cutter.



Here lies poor Thomas, and his Wife,

Who led a pretty jarring life;

But all is ended—do you see?

He holds his tongue, and so does she.

If drugs and physic could but save

Us mortals from the dreary grave,

'Tis known that I took full enough

Of the apothecaries' stuff

To have prolong'd life's busy feast

To a full century at least;

But spite of all the doctors' skill,

Of daily draught and nightly pill,

Reader, as sure as you're alive,

I was sent here at twenty-five.


This Day, Second Edition, price 5s.


With upwards of One Thousand New and Approved Receipts, arranged and adapted for Families and all Classes of Servants.

"We shall recommend this book every where, if it were only for the sake of the excellent suggestions on the 'self-improvement' of house-servants."—Gardeners' Magazine, June 1830.

"It should find a place in the kitchen or servants' hall of those who desire to blend comfort with elegance, and prudence with luxury."—New Monthly Magazine, Feb. 1831.

"This book contains a mass of information that cannot fail to be useful in the conduct of household affairs."—Atlas, May 22.

"No servant should he without it."—Morning Advertiser, April 27.

Printed for JOHN LIMBIRD, 143. Strand.

Footnote 1: (return)

Ballot Newspaper.

Footnote 2: (return)

It must not be supposed that the opinion on the immortality of the soul was confined either to Christians or Jews; according to Herodotus, (lib. 2) the Massagetae believed in the immortality of the soul; the most eminent of the ancient philosophers invariably advocated that doctrine, one of the most important in the Christian's Creed.

Footnote 3: (return)

Felibien, Histoire de Paris, tome i.

Footnote 4: (return)

The observations of Nathaniel Bacon, or rather of Selden from whose MS. notes he is said to have written his book, deserve serious consideration. Bacon on the Laws and Government of England, chap. 27.

Footnote 5: (return)

Glamorgan, Carmarthen, Pembroke, Cardigan, Flint, Carnarvon, Anglesea and Merioneth.

Footnote 6: (return)

Radnor, Brecknock, Montgomery, and Denbigh, 27 Henry 8 c. 26.

Footnote 7: (return)

34 and 35 Henry 8. c. 26. s. 50.

Footnote 8: (return)

34 and 35 Henry 8. c. 13.—"That the said county have hitherto been excluded from the high court of parliament, to have any knights and burgesses within the said court, by reason whereof the inhabitants have sustained manifold damages in their lands, goods, and bodies, as well as in the good governance of the commonwealth of their said country; and for as much as they have been bound by the acts of the said court, and yet have had no knights and burgesses therein, for lack whereof they have been often touched and grieved by the acts of the said parliament, prejudicial to the commonwealth, quietness, rest, and peace of your highness's bounden subjects, inhabiting within the said county," &c.

Footnote 9: (return)

See Mirror, vol. xvi. p. 253.

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.