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Title: The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 12, Issue 322, July 12, 1828
Release Date: February 28, 2004 [eBook #11362]
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***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION, VOL. 12, ISSUE 322, JULY 12, 1828***
|VOL. XII, NO. 322.]||SATURDAY, JULY 12, 1828.||[PRICE 2d.|
O mortal man, who livest here,
Do not complain of this thy hard estate.
Thomson's Castle of Indolence.
The annexed continuation of our illustrated ramble in the Regent's Park is named Clarence Terrace, in compliment to the illustrious Lord High Admiral of England. It consists of a centre and two wings, of the Corinthian order, connected by colonnades of the Ilyssus Ionic order, and altogether presents a picturesque display of Grecian architecture. The three stories are a rusticated entrance, or basement; and a Corinthian drawing-room and chamber story; surmounted with an elegant entablature and balustrade. In the details, the spectator cannot fail to admire the boldness and richness of the columns supporting the pediment in the centre, and the classic beauty of the pilasters which decorate the wings.
Clarence Terrace is from the designs of Mr. Decimus Burton, to whose ingenious pencil we are indebted for some of the splendid architectural combinations in this district. The present terrace is, we believe, the smallest in the park, but yields to none in picturesque effect and harmonious design; and the variety of its composition renders it one of the most attractive illustrations of our series. It is likewise worthy of remark, that this portion of the Regent's Park, from its natural beauties, is entitled to the first-rate embellishment of art, inasmuch as the basement of Clarence Terrace commands a "living picture" of extraordinary luxuriance; and from the drawing-room windows the lake may be seen studded with little islands, and environed with lawny slopes and unusual park-like vegetation:
With Nature the creating pencil vies
With Nature joyous at the mimic strife.
We have already indulged our fancy in anticipations of the future splendour of the Regent's Park. As yet, art triumphs, and here the lordlings of wealth may enjoy otium cum dignitate: but in a few years Nature may enable this domain to vie with Daphne of old, and become to London what Daphne was to Antioch, whose voluptuousness and luxury are perpetuated in history. But the beginnings of such triumphs furnish more pleasing reflections than their decline.
Clarence Terrace is on the western side of the park, and adjoins Sussex Place, whose cupola tops were the signals for critical censure and ridicule among the first structures in this quarter. The artists have, however, profited by the lesson, and the architecture of the Regent's Park bids fair to rank among the proudest successes of art.
(For the Mirror.)
How ancient the division of parishes is, may at present be difficult to ascertain. Mr. Camden says, England was divided into parishes by Archbishop Honorius, about the year 630. Sir Henry Hobart lays it down, that parishes were first erected by the council of Lateran, which was held A.D. 1179. Each widely differs from the other, and both of them perhaps from the truth, which will probably be found in the medium, between the two extremes. We find the distinction of parishes, nay, even of mother churches, so early as in the laws of King Edgar, about the year 970. The civil division of England into counties, of counties into hundreds, of hundreds into tithings, or towns, as it now stands, seems to owe its original to King Alfred; who, to prevent the rapines and disorders which formerly prevailed in the realm, instituted tithings; so called, from the Saxon, because ten freeholders with their families composed one. These all dwelt together, and were sureties, or free-pledges to the king for the good behaviour of each other; and if any offence were committed in their district, they were bound to have the offender forthcoming. And therefore, anciently, no man was suffered to abide in England above forty days, unless he were enrolled in some tithing or decennary. As ten families of freeholders made up a tithing, so ten tithings composed a superior division, called a hundred. In some of the more northern counties these hundreds are called wapentakes. The sub-division of hundreds into tithings seems to be most peculiarly the invention of Alfred; the institution of hundreds themselves he rather introduced than invented, for they seem to have obtained in Denmark; and we find that in France a regulation of this sort was made above 200 years before; set on foot by Clotharicus and Childebert, with a view of obliging each district to answer for the robberies committed in its own division. In some counties there is an intermediate division between the shire and the hundred, as lathes in Kent, and rapes in Sussex, each of them containing about three or four hundreds a-piece. Where a county is divided into three of these intermediate jurisdictions, they are called trithings, which still subsist in the large county of York, where, by an easy corruption, they are denominated ridings; the north, the east, and the west.
(For the Mirror.)
The young, fair Spring, is tripping o'er the Earth,
With feet that ne'er can know the lag of age;
The Earth, her lover, conscious of her worth,
Flings down all his rich treasures to engage
That blushing wanderer: but she journeys forth
Heedless of all his offerings. The hot rage
Of love shall scorch his heart in tortures fell,
Till Winter comes with many an icicle.
That loved-one yet is here; and flowers, and songs,
And streams—to gush above her own free feet
Of stainless ivory,—and countless throngs
Of birds are living, her pure soul to greet.
And the lone spirit, thoughtfully that longs
For a dim view of Eden, from a seat
O'erhanging some green valley, now espies
Nought that might dread compare with Paradise!
There is a glory gone forth from on high!—
It quickens the heart's beat, whereon it flings
Its fervour;—the flushed cheek and glowing eye
Confess its influence;—and the many strings,
Voiceless too long in the young heart, reply
To the mute promptings of a thousand things
Which Spring has conjured up;—all, all is hers—
That Glory without name—she ministers.
Now—all the thoughts she wakens in the heart
Are glorious Music!—divine Poesy!—
Now—all the dreams on Fancy's eyes that start,
She will disown not, wayward though they be.
Sweet Dreams!—down Lethe's billow they depart—
Words are too weak to clothe them worthily.
Rich incense, burnt upon some altar stone
Censerless,—in a temple—desert—lone!
What shall we do in these delightful days,
When the full, bounding heart, will not be still;—
When the glad eye, absorbed in far-sent gaze,
Forgets Earth's plenitude of grief and ill;—
Shall we dream on, in a bewitching maze
Of sweet affections and bold hopes, until
Earth is not Earth—but Heaven? or shall we die
Hourly, to some "dissolving minstrelsy?"
Sometimes, when day is dying—when twilight
Brings its dim Vigil,—hour of quietness,—
'Tis sweet to listen, till the cheated sight
Pictures strange shadowings of awfulness,—
Some wild, old tale of goblin's ghastly spite,
Or antique strain of passionate distress;—
And one, which has been wept o'er many a time
I seek, to mar, perchance, with feeble rhyme
(For the Mirror.)
This distinguished patriot and martyr to the cause of liberty was the third son of William, the first Duke of Bedford, by a daughter of the Earl of Somerset. He refused the generous offer of Lord Cavendish to favour his escape, by changing clothes with him in prison; and he also declined the Duke of Monmouth's proposal to surrender himself, should Lord William Russel think it might contribute to his safety. "It will be no advantage to me," he said, "to have my friends die with me." Conjugal affection was the feeling that clung to his heart; and when he had taken his last farewell of his wife, he said, "The bitterness of death is now over." He suffered the sentences of his judges with resignation and composure. Some of his expressions (says his biographer) imply much good-humour in this last extremity. The day before his execution, he was seized with a bleeding at the nose. "I shall not now let blood to divert this distemper," said he to Burnet, who was present; "that will be done to-morrow." A little before the sheriffs conducted him to the scaffold, he wound up his watch. "Now I have done," said he, "with time, and henceforth must think solely of eternity." The sad tragedy of the death of the virtuous Lord Russel, (says Pennant,) who lost his head in the middle of Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, took place on July 21st, 1683. Party writers assert that he was brought here in preference to any other spot, in order to mortify the citizens with the sight. In fact, it was the nearest open space to Newgate, the place of his lordship's confinement. Without the least change of countenance, he laid his head on the block, and at two strokes it was severed from his body. He was, at the time of his death, only forty-two years of age. To his character for probity, sincerity, and private worth, even the enemies to his public principles bear testimony. At Woburn Abbey is preserved, in gold letters, the speech of Lord Russel to the sheriffs, together with the paper delivered by his lordship to them at the place of execution.
(For the Mirror.)
Portugal was first created into a monarchy on the 27th of July, 1139; on which day, Dom Alphonso I., son of Henry, Count of Burgundy, the son of Robert, king of France, was proclaimed at Lisbon, after having vanquished and slain five Moorish kings in the battle of Campo d'Ourique, where he was unanimously chosen as sovereign of Portugal by his army. This dignity was confirmed to him by the first assembly of the states-general [pg 20] at Lamego. In commemoration of this event, the Portuguese arms bear five standards and five escudets.1 After the unfortunate expedition of Dom Sebastian I. to Africa, where he was slain in the battle of Alcazar, the crown devolved upon his great uncle, the Cardinal Dom Henry, a man of 67 years of age, and who reigned but 17 months. At his death there were several claimants for the succession, and the kingdom in consequence became the theatre of civil war. Philip II. of Spain, the most powerful of these, sent an army, under the Duke of Alba, into Portugal, and completed the conquest of the country with little opposition. This event took place in the year 1580, and the kingdom of Portugal remained under the dominion of Spain until the 1st of December, 1649, the day on which the Duke of Braganza was proclaimed king with the title of Dom Joao IV. Since that time Portugal has maintained its independence. For a more detailed account, see L'Abbé Nertot's "Revolutions of Portugal."
On the 16th of November, 1827, at a quarter past six o'clock in the evening, the inhabitants of Bogota, in Colombia, were thrown into the greatest consternation and alarm by the severest shock of an earthquake which has ever been known to visit that city.
At the moment of its occurrence, a subterraneous noise was very distinctly heard, resembling the noise of a carriage passing briskly over the pavement, and a white, thin, transparent cloud was seen to hang over the city; this cloud has been noticed in Italy, as generally, if not always, present, near the volcanic commotions of that country, previously, and at the time of these commotions. This cloud is entirely unlike any other which I have ever noticed, and resembles a thin gauze veil. I noticed it not only upon this occasion, but also in the earthquake of June 17th, 1826, in this city.2
The earthquake took a direction from S.E. to N.W., in which it could plainly be traced by the havoc which it made. Its effects on the city were partial in the above direction, but every part was convulsed.
The confusion and affliction which such a calamity occasions, particularly in a catholic country, can neither be imagined, nor described. I was sitting reading in a small house of one story above the ground-floor, when the trembling commenced; the table on which my book lay, first shook, and almost at the same instant the chair on which I sat; I immediately got on my legs, but found much difficulty in sustaining myself without holding by some fixture; the house all this time rocking to and fro as in a hurricane, but not a breath of air stirred. After passing ten or more seconds in this way, I collected my reason sufficiently to run down the steps into the street; all this time the earth was in motion. When I arrived at the portal of the door, I found it impossible to stand without holding very tight by the doorway, and many persons fell on their faces. During these moments, part of the house adjoining mine fell with a terrible crash, and the street was filled with a cloud of dust, out of which emerged a man distorted with horror, but who had almost miraculously escaped immolation, without any other hurt than what his fright had occasioned. After continuing a minute or more, the trembling ceased, and nothing could now be heard but the cries of the people; with that exception all was still and silent, and the stars appeared with all their brilliancy, as if smiling at this scene of human distress. Some persons asserted, that there were two distinct shocks, but I must confess I felt the earth in motion during the whole period of a minute or more; and being situated over the direction which the earthquake took, was therefore, better able to judge of this than others who were more distant, and particularly as I retained my presence of mind. Fortunately for me my house was well built, for had it fallen I should inevitably have been buried in the ruins. To describe the scene which ensued is difficult; the streets were filled with despair; some entirely and others half naked were seen on their knees imploring divine protection; no one knew what to do or where to fly, for all were in the same consternation and distress. After this had a little subsided, the city became soon deserted, and a fresh scene presented itself; all those who had horses were seen scampering through the streets towards the plain, to elude the terror of another shock; others on foot [pg 21] with their beds on their backs; and the sick, wrapped up in blankets, were conveyed in arm-chairs, with two sticks passed underneath them to form sedan-chairs, and some were conveyed in hammocks. This afflicting sight, accompanied by the cries of the distressed and the melancholy chant of their progress, was painful in the extreme; and hard, indeed, must be that heart who could view it with indifference; yet such was the apathy occasioned by terror, that scarcely any one offered assistance to his neighbour, and frequently neglected his own safety. When all was quiet I went out to examine the city. The first thing which attracted my notice was the turret of the stately cathedral partly demolished, and the building split and cracked in various places; the precious stones, consisting of diamonds, emeralds, and topazes, which adorned the interior, were scattered in all directions, and many of them broken, particularly a very large emerald weighing some ounces. This edifice had but just been repaired from the effects of the earthquake in the preceding year, and was, by this last, reduced to a tattered ruin. In all the streets which ran in the direction of N.W. and S.E., many houses were "levelled with the dust," and others "rent in twain;" and some of the unfortunate inhabitants buried beneath their ruins. In all, fourteen persons have lost their lives; and the damage done to the city is estimated to be at least six millions of dollars, although it did not contain a larger population than 30,000 souls. Deserted streets, heaps of ruins, and tottering houses, threatening to crush the beholder, give but a faint idea of this desolate picture. General Soublette and General Bolivar were both present at the last fatal earthquake in Caraccas, and they both assert that this, of which I have now given a description, was at least as powerful, although the suffering in the town of Caraccas was much greater; and they attribute the happy escape of thousands of lives to the difference in the construction of houses in the two places. General Bolivar, as well as myself and others, were affected with sickness at the stomach after the shock. During the night of the earthquake in Bogota, on the 16th of November, 1827, tremulous motions of the earth were continually felt, and the following day, and every other since; and even whilst I am now writing, slight undulating motions are perceptible.
Every person is still in the greatest alarm, dreading a second severe shock, which happened last year at the distance of four days from the first grand shock; should this happen now, scarcely one stone will remain upon another in Bogota.
The following hints, tending to further the tyro's progress in the delightful art of drawing, will not I trust prove unacceptable to such of your readers as are interested in the subject. For my own use I epitomized various directions relative to sketching, when I met with them in Gilpin's "Three Essays on Picturesque Beauty," and I shall feel particularly happy should my attempt at condensing much artistical matter from that interesting volume prove useful to the amateur: the professor undergoes a regular, severe, but essential course of study in that beautiful art, which is to purchase for him fame and emolument; but he who takes up his pencil merely for pastime, will do well to regulate its movements by a few rules, not cumbrous to the memory, and of easy application.—It is my intention briefly to state the object of Gilpin's first and second essays; from the third I have deduced those rules for sketching which appeared most obviously to result from the tenour of his observations:—
Essay 1st discusses the difference between actual and picturesque beauty; smoothness is usually allowed to enter into our ideas of the former, but roughness, or ruggedness is decidedly essential to the latter: for example—The smooth shaven lawn, the neatly turned walk, the classic marble portico, &c. &c. are beautiful; but the ruined castle, the chasmed mountain, the tempestuous ocean, &c. are picturesque, i.e. with appropriate accompaniments; for, after remarking that the sublime and beautiful are, with many persons, the divisions of the picturesque, our acute observer of nature adds, "sublimity alone cannot make an object picturesque," it must in form, colour, or accompaniment, have some degree of beauty to render the epithet just. "Nothing can be more sublime than the ocean, but wholly unaccompanied it has little of the picturesque." It should also be remembered that objects of rough and careless contour, as the worn cart-horse, and the tattered beggar (neither of them laying claim to an iota of sublimity) please better in a painting, than the sleekest [pg 22] racer, and the most finished belle of the Magazin des Modes.4
Essay 2nd treats of travelling, as far as it regards the picturesque, which is to be sought in natural, and sometimes artificial, objects; these will constantly present themselves to the observer under all the varieties of light and shadow, and the different combinations of colour, form, and accompaniment, sometimes producing whole landscapes, but more frequently only beautiful parts of scenery. The curious and fantastic forms of nature are not subjects for the pencil,—and the draughtsman will endeavour to depict animate as well as inanimate objects. The utility and amusement of travelling, are also considered in this essay, and hints thrown out for the improvement of barren and disagreeable country, by the observation of lights and shadows, tints of the season, distances, &c., with a recommendation to supply, if possible, every hiatus of nature, by the imagination of all that is needed to render her perfectly picturesque. (An ingenious idea; but, alas! mountains will not always rise in a marsh, forests wave over a sterile heath, nor lakes and rivers adorn a wheat-field. This essay, however, is worthy the perusal of travellers even, who never touched a pencil.)
Essay 3rd treats of sketching from nature from whence are deduced the following
1. Every landscape should have a leading subject; a rule too much neglected even by superior artists.
2. Get the object, or subject you design to copy, into the best point of view.
3. Landscape consists of three general parts:—fore-ground, middle or second-ground, and distance; in sketching foreground, it is a good rule to have some part of it higher than the rest of the picture. (Vide Rule the 7th.)
4. Mark the principal parts, (or points) of your landscape on paper, that you may more readily ascertain the relative distances and situations of the others.
5. Pay attention to the character of your subject; mingle not trivial with grand details.
6. One landscape must not be crowded with circumstances sufficient for two or more.
7. It is sufficient to give the principal feature of what you essay to represent; as a castle, abbey, bridge, &c.; but its accompaniments may (and to make a picture, should) be often different. The fore-ground of a drawing must be the artist's own; and it should be ample, since an extended distance, and a narrow fore-ground is always awkward and bad in a picture—N.B. Taste and observation will direct the student to select for his fore-ground, clusters of trees, pieces of rock, or the fragments of ruined fabrics, &c., according to the nature of his subject.
8. On the accurate observation of distances the beauty of landscape depends; be careful therefore to get them correct at your outset, and to keep them so, by shading lightly with pen or brush your black-lead sketch, (should the parts be complicated,) whilst the view is before you, or fresh in your memory.
9. The hand should be accustomed to the touch of various kinds of trees, though in a mere sketch, little variety is required; the distinction, however, between full foliaged, and straggling, branchy trees must be preserved, for both are necessary even in a sketch, and the artist should therefore be prepared to represent them.
10. The artist must attend to the composition, and the disposition of his subject. By the composition may be understood the objects with which he composes his view; by the disposition, their picturesque and tasteful arrangement.
11. Figures, must be such as are appropriate to the scene; thus, history in miniature is bad, because a landscape is in itself a subject sufficient for the employment both of pencil and eye; therefore historical figures in a view, are lost and out of place.
12. Birds may be introduced with good effect, if thrown into proper distance; to represent them near is absurd: ruins and sea views are the best subjects in which they can appear.
13. Effect is to be produced best, by strong contrasts of light and shade both in earth and sky; but the student's taste must determine where these shall fall, and though the contrasts should be strong, yet gradation, in both, must be observed.
14. A predominancy of shade has the best effect; and light, though it should not be scattered, must not be drawn, as it were, into one focus.
15. The light, in a picture, is best disposed when the fore-ground is in shadow, and it falls in the middle; but this rule is subject to many variations. Light [pg 23] should rarely be spread on the distance.5
16. It is useful to know, that the shadows of morning are darker than those of evening; also, that when objects are in shadow, their light (as it is then a reflected light,) falls on the opposite side to that on which it would come if they were enlightened.
17. The harmony of the whole should be studied; if the piece strikes you as defective in this respect, place it at evening in some situation where it will not be reached by a strong light, when the misplaced lights and shadows will strike you more forcibly than in the glare of day.
18. To stain your paper with a slight reddish or yellowish tint, adds to the harmony of a sketch, yet it is a mere matter of taste; but, when it is desired, it had better be done after the drawing is completed, otherwise the colour risks looking patched from the rubber.6
19. In colouring, the sky gives the ruling tint to the landscape; it is absurd to unite a noonday sky, with a landscape of sunset glow.
20. From the three virgin colours, red, blue, and yellow, all the tints of nature are composed.7 There is not in nature a perfect white, except snow, and the petals of some flowers.
21. Sketch nothing but what you can adorn, (for the purpose of showing to friends, &c.) but do not adorn your first, or rough sketch; make another, and refer to your original draught, as you would do to the view itself, for it contains your general ideas—your first and freshest, which may be lost by endeavouring to refine and improve upon them in the original sketch.8
22. In adorning your sketch, figures, both animate and inanimate, may be introduced, but sparingly; touch them slightly, for an attempt at finish offends.
I shall take the liberty of adding—endeavour to get a free and flowing outline; be not too minute either in detail or finishing; use pen or brush for your rough sketch in preference to pencil; you will gain confidence, and correctness will be your aim in your adorned copy. Finally, study nature, art, and good writers.
(To the Editor of the Mirror.)
Sir,—I have made repeated visits this season to the exhibition of the works of the old masters at the British Institution, for the express purpose of presenting you with a few remarks on some of the most excellent paintings. As I have strictly adhered to the notes which I made at the institution, the accuracy of the subjoined may be depended upon:—
The present exhibition consists of the works of the Italian, Spanish, Flemish, and Dutch masters. There are one hundred and ninety pictures, which have chiefly been contributed to the institution by his Majesty and the nobility.
No. 5, Innocent the Tenth, by Velasquez, is an uncommon fine portrait; it is very boldly executed, combining at the same time a sufficient degree of finish and great beauty of colour. His holiness is represented in quite a plain habit. The beauties of Guido's pencil will be traced in No. 6, Hippomenes and Atalanta. Claude, in his Embarkation of St. Paul; Sea Port, Evening, &c., charms us with his exquisite effects, which are so truly natural, that, while we view his representations, we may almost fancy ourselves transported to the magnificent scenery of Italy. In No. 42, Titian's Daughter, are seen the genuine tints adopted by the Venetian school of painting. No. 56, St. Appolonia, by Sebastian del Piombo, is a most admirable specimen of the master. No. 74, Landscape and Cattle, by Paul Potter, contains all that beauty of touch and delicacy of colour which render this famous artist so difficult to imitate. There are several very capital pictures by the younger Teniers; No. 77, his own portrait, and No. 95, portrait of the painter and his son, are truly excellent; as is No. 94, Figures playing at Bowls. A remarkable and very forcible effect is found in No. 93, The outside of a House with Figures—painted by De Hooge. Nos. 121 and 123, Flowers and Fruit, by the celebrated Van Huysum, are extremely elaborate in their execution. No. 161, The Battle [pg 24] between Constantine and Maxentius, is a sketch by Rubens, possessing wonderful fire and spirit, as well as great mellowness of colour.
Besides the above pictures, there are many beautiful productions by Jan Steen, Cuyp, Poussin, Salvator Rosa, Guercino, Domenichino, Murillo, Albano, Vandyke, Ruysdael, Houdekoeter, Wouvermans, &c.
The Caprotinia, or feasts of Juno Caprotina, were celebrated on the 9th of July, in favour of the female slaves. During this solemnity they ran about, beating themselves with their fists and with rods. None but women assisted in the sacrifices offered at this feast. Kennet says, the origin of this feast, or the famous Nonae Caprotinae, or Poplifugium, is doubly related by Plutarch, according to the two common opinions. First, because Romulus disappeared on that day, when an assembly being held in the Palus Capreae, or Goats'-Marsh, on a sudden happened a most wonderful tempest, accompanied with terrible thunder, and other unusual disorders in the air. The common people fled all away to secure themselves; but, after the tempest was over, could never find their king. Or, else, from Caprificus, a wild fig-tree, because, in the Gallic war, a Roman virgin, who was prisoner in the enemy's camp, got up into a wild fig-tree, and holding out a lighted torch toward the city, gave the Romans a signal to fall on; which they did with such good success, as to obtain a considerable victory.
The Lucaria was an ancient feast, solemnized in the woods, where the Romans, defeated and pursued by the Gauls, retired and concealed themselves; it was held, on the 19th of July, in a wood, between the Tyber and the road called Via Salaria.
The feast of Neptunalia was held on the 23rd of July, in honour of Neptune.
The Furinalia were feasts instituted in honour of Furina, the goddess of robbers among the Romans; they took place on the 25th of July. This goddess had a temple at Rome, and was served by a particular priest, who was one of the fifteen Flamens.9 Near the temple there was a sacred wood, in which Caius Gracchus was killed. Cicero takes her to be the same as one of the Furies.
Who has not read Vivian Grey, in five broad-margined volumes, with space enough between each line to allow the indulgence of a nap, when the poppy of the author predominated? Affectation, foppery, and conceit, have protracted the memoirs of this renowned personage to such an extent; but in spite of all that unfashionable critics have said, Vivian Grey has just produced a volume under the title of the Voyage of Captain Popanilla, with as much of the aforesaid qualities as the most listless drawing-room or boudoir reader could require. Nevertheless, "the voyage" has many touches of wit, humour, and caustic satire, and it has the soul and characteristic of wit—brevity; for we read the volume in little more than an hour; and, although Vivian may regard our analysis of his voyage like showing the sun with a lantern, we are disposed to venture upon the task for the gratification of our readers.
To say that Popanilla resembles Swift's "Tale of a Tub," or Sir Thomas More's "Utopia," would be an advantageous comparison for our modern voyager, but it would not sufficiently illustrate the character of his work, since the latter books are so much less read than talked of. Swift wrote "for the universal improvement of mankind," but Popanilla publishes for the benefit of the people of England, whom he represents as living in a too artificial state. He tells his story as the native of an Indian isle, whose men combine "the vivacity of a faun with the strength of a Hercules, and the beauty of an Adonis," and whose women "magically sprung from the brilliant foam of that ocean, which is gradually subsiding before them." This favoured spot he calls the Isle of Fantaisie, about the shores of which appears a remarkable fish, or rather a ship, to the no small terror of the islanders. The ship is wrecked, and Popanilla "having in his fright, during the storm, lost a lock of hair which, in a moment of glorious favour, he had ravished from his fair mistress' brow," is next introduced in search of this precious bijou. "The favourite of all the women, the envy of all the men, &c. &c, and—you know the rest,—Popanilla passed an extremely pleasant life. No one was a better judge of wine—no one had a better taste for fruit—no one danced with more elegant vivacity—and no one whispered compliments in a more meaning tone. What a pity that such an [pg 25] amiable fellow should have got into such a scrape!"
Instead of the dear lock, Popanilla finds a chest saved from the wreck, and filled with "Useful Knowledge Tracts," books on "the Hamiltonian system," &c. which our adventurer, like Faustus and his bible, turns to bad account; he falls asleep, is swallowed by a whale, and spouted forth again. "The dreamer awoke amidst real chattering, and scuffling, and clamour. A troop of green monkeys had been aroused by his unusual occupation, and had taken the opportunity of his slumber to become acquainted with some of the first principles of science. What progress they had made it is difficult to ascertain. It is said, however, that some monkeys have been since seen skipping about the island, with their tails cut off; and that they have even succeeded in passing themselves for human beings among those people who do not read novels, and are consequently unacquainted with mankind. As for Popanilla, he took up a treatise on hydrostatics, and read it straight through on the spot. For the rest of the day he was hydrostatically mad; nor could the commonest incident connected with the action or conveyance of water take place, without his speculating on its cause and consequence." So much for the first steps of "intellect;" now for the "march." Popanilla soon becomes a man of science: his wit flies off in tangents, and he tries to prove his sovereign a lantern, and himself a sun,10 by undertaking to re-shape all the institutions of Fantaisie. Then follow a string of dogmas about utility, &c.; and man being a developing animal, till he decides that "there is no such thing as Nature; Nature is Art, or Art is Nature; that which is most useful is most natural, because utility is the test of Nature; therefore, a steam-engine is in fact a much more natural production than a mountain." Here, observing a smile upon his majesty's countenance, Popanilla tells the king that he is only a chief magistrate, and he has no more right to laugh at him than a constable. This is "too bad" for the royal mind; Popanilla is cut; rather crest-fallen, he sneaks home, and consoles himself for having nobody to speak to, by reading some very amusing "Conversations on Political Economy." But he sinks to rise again. He obtains many pupils, who had no sooner mastered the first principles of science, than they began to throw off their retired habits and uncommunicative manners. "Being not utterly ignorant of some of the rudiments of knowledge, and consequently having completed their education, it was now their duty, as members of society, to instruct and not to study; and on all occasions they seized opportunities of assisting the spread of knowledge. The voices of boys lecturing upon every lecturable topic, resounded in every part of the island. Their tones were so shrill, their manners so presuming, their knowledge so crude, and their general demeanour so completely unamiable, that it was impossible to hear them without the greatest, delight, advantage, and admiration." The king at last becomes impregnated with the liberal spirit of the age; Popanilla is "sent for" to court; he is overpowered with promotion, told that "with the aid of a treatise or two," he will make "a consummate naval commander," although he has "never been at sea in the whole course of his life," and at length thrust into a canoe, with some fresh water, bread, fruit, dried fish, and a basket of alligator pears. "Unhappy Popanilla! and all from that unlucky lock of hair!" His fright is ludicrously sketched. "Poor fellow! how could he know better? He certainly had enjoyed a seat at the Admiralty Board of Fantaisie, but then he was a lay-lord." Among his discoveries, on the second day, at 25 m. past 3 p.m., though at a considerable distance, he saw a mountain and an island: he called the first Alligator Mountain, in gratitude to the pears; and christened the second after his mistress; but the happy discoverer further found the mountain to be a mist, and the island a sea-weed. At length, on the third day, after being in a valley formed by two waves, each 3,000 feet high, and in as tremendous a tempest as ever raged in Chelsea or Battersea-reach, "great, square and solid, black clouds drew off like curtains, and revealed to him a magnificent city rising out of the sea. Tower and dome, arch, and column, and spire, and obelisk, and lofty terraces, and many-windowed palaces, rose in all directions from a mass of building, which appeared each instant to grow more huge, till at length it seemed to occupy the whole horizon." On his landing he is pestered with questions from the natives; but, thanks to the Hamiltonian system, "Popanilla, under these circumstances, was more loquacious than could have been Capt. Parry." He announces himself as the "most injured of human beings;" the women weep, the men shake hands with him, and all the boys huzza: he then narrates his ill-fortunes at Fantaisie, not forgetting the never-enough-to-be-lamented lock of hair. Other danger awaits him, for "to be strangled was not much better than to be [pg 26] starved; and certainly with half a dozen highly respectable females clinging round his neck, he was not reminded, for the first time in his life, what a domestic bowstring is an affectionate woman." He is next joined by an "influential personage," who informs him that he is in Hubbabub (London)—the largest city, not only that exists, but that ever did exist, and the capital of the Island of Vraibleusia, the most famous island, not only that is known, but that ever was known. "He provides himself with a purse, and exchanges his money with a banker, who offers him during his stay in Vraibleusia, the use of a couple of equipages, a villa, an opera box; insists upon sending to his hotel some pineapples and very rare wine; and gives him a perpetual ticket to his picture-gallery. Popanilla leaves his gold and takes the banker's pink shells, for "no genteel person has ever anything else in his pocket." Then follow some quips on the shell question (currency), and Mr. Secretary Perriwinkle, the most eminent conchologist, and the "debt" of the richest nation in the world; although, "a golden pyramid, with a base as big as the whole earth and an apex touching the heavens, would not supply sufficient metal to satisfy the creditors." "The annual interest upon our debt exceeds the whole wealth of the rest of the world; therefore we must be the richest nation in the world."
Our traveller being now settled at a splendid hotel in Hubbabub, Skindeep, his "gentleman in black," drives him about the city in an elegant equipage. The western migrations of fashion are humorously sketched, and the architecture of our metropolis comes in for a share of the author's banter. "In general, the massy Egyptian appropriately graced the attic stories; while the finer and more elaborate architecture of Corinth was placed on a level with the eye, so that its beauties might be more easily discovered. Spacious colonnades were flanked by porticoes, surmounted by domes; nor was the number of columns at all limited, for you occasionally met with porticoes of two tiers, the lower one of which consisted of three, the higher one of thirty columns. Pedestals of the purest Ionic Gothic, were ingeniously mixed with Palladian pediments; and the surging spire exquisitely harmonized with the horizontal architecture of the ancients. But, perhaps, after all, the most charming effect was produced by the pyramids, surmounted by weathercocks."
A lively sketch of "the aboriginal inhabitant" introduces some smart satire on the agriculturists, and proves that, "between force, and fear, and flattery, the Vraibleusians paid for their corn nearly its weight in gold; but what did it signify to a nation with so many pink shells." Popanilla is next introduced to an eminent bookseller, who craves the honour of publishing a narrative of his voyage: he informs the "mercantile Mecaenas" that he does not know how to write; who replies that "he never had for a moment supposed that so sublime a savage could possess such a vulgar accomplishment, and that it was by no means difficult for a man to publish his travels without writing a line." This is a stale affair; but Popanilla's drinking a dozen of the bookseller's wine smacks more of novelty. His voyage is published, and contains a detailed account of every thing which took place during the whole of the three days, forming a quarto volume! Then we have a shower of squibs on converzazioni—as dukes imbibing a new theory of gas, a prime-minister studying pinmaking, a bishop the escapements of watches, a field-marshal intent on essence of hellebore. "But what most delighted Popanilla was hearing a lecture from the most eminent lawyer and statesman in Vraibleusia, on his first and favourite study of hydrostatics. His associations quite overcame him; all Fantaisie rushed upon his memory, and he was obliged to retire to a less frequented part of the room, to relieve his too excited feelings." The hostess too declares it "impossible for mankind ever to be happy and great, until, like herself and her friends," her company are "all soul!"
Popanilla is now constituted ambassador from Fantaisie, and goes through all the courtly scenes of diplomacy, for which we have not room; but their gist will be readily understood among the stars of St. James's, especially the authors allusions to Navarino and the late ministry, which are in good set terms. The "Aboriginal," too, tells Popanilla "some long stories about a person who was chief manager, about five hundred years ago, to whom he said he was indebted for all his political principles."
During Popanilla's sight-seeing career, he, of course, visits our theatres, and a tolerably broad caricature he gives of them. "To sit in a huge room hotter than a glass-house, in a posture emulating the most sanctified Faquir, with a throbbing head-ache, a breaking back, and twisted legs, with a heavy tube held over one eye, and the other covered with the unemployed hand, is, in Vraibleusia, called a public amusement." In one morning's lionizing, too, he acquires "a general knowledge of the chief arts and sciences, eats three [pg 27] hundred sandwiches, and tastes as many bottles of sherry."
The frauds and fooleries of the joint stock company mania are, perhaps, among the least successful portion of the volume. The "literature" is somewhat better, as the establishment of a "Society for the Diffusion of Fashionable Knowledge"—its first treatise, Nonchalance—dissertations "on leaving cards," "cutting friends," "on bores," &c.—and a new novel called "Burlington"—the last a scratch at Popanilla's publisher. The "Clubs" are next recommended for those fond of solitude, and their satin luxuries humorously quizzed; but "the Colonial System," which follows, has more causticity. Popanilla, like all other great foreigners who visit England, falls ill; his disorder is "unquestionably nervous;" he is to count five between each word he utters, never ask questions, and avoid society, and only dine out once a day. This regimen brings on a slow fever; but his disorder is neither "liver," nor "nervous," but "mind." He next falls in with an Essay on Fruit, from which he learns that thousands of the Vraibleusians are dying with dyspepsia from eating pine-apples, which are denounced as "stupid, sour, and vulgar."
Popanilla is ordered by his physician to Blunderland, where the women are "angelic," and the men "the most light-hearted, merry, obliging, entertaining fellows;" and where "instead of knives and forks being laid for the guests at dinner, the plates are flanked by daggers and pistols." A "row" springs up; "all the guests lay lifeless about the room;" "Popanilla rang the bell, and the waiters swept away the dead bodies, and brought him a roasted potato for supper." He next enjoys the pleasures of the chase, and in revenge for a sharp fire, "burns two villages, slays 2 or 300 head of women, and bags children without number;" and in the evening Popanilla's powers of digestion are improved. He now returns to Vraibleusia, where all are panic-struck, and his friend, the banker, unlike his "perpetual ticket," has stopped payment, and all our traveller's resources. Popanilla consoles him with the joke that "things were not quite so bad as they appeared," till they get worse, by two gentlemen in blue, with red waistcoats, arresting the ambassador for high treason. This completes his "amusements." He fears "confined cells, overwhelming fetters, black bread, and green water, in the principal gaol in Hubbabub;" but becomes ensconced in Leigh Hunt's "elegantly furnished apartment, with French sash-windows and a piano. Its lofty walls were entirely hung with a fanciful paper, representing a Tuscan vineyard; the ceiling was covered with sky and clouds; roses were in abundance; and the windows, though well secured, excited no jarring associations in the mind of the individual they illumined, protected as they were by polished bars of cut-steel."
"Next to being a plenipotentiary, Popanilla preferred being a prisoner. His daily meals consisted of every delicacy in season; a marble bath was ever at his service; a billiard-room and dumb-bells always ready; and his old friends, the most eminent physician, and the most celebrated practitioner in Hubbabub, called upon him daily to feel his pulse and look at his tongue. These attentions authorized a hope that he might yet again be an ambassador; that his native land might still be discovered, and its resources still be developed; but when his gaoler told him that the rest of the prisoners were treated in a manner equally indulgent, because the Vraibleusians are the most humane people in the world, Popanilla's spirits became somewhat depressed."
"He was greatly consoled, however, by a daily visit from a body of the most beautiful, the most accomplished, and the most virtuous females in Hubbabub, who tasted his food to see that his cook did his duty, recommended him a plentiful use of pine-apple well peppered, and made him a present of a very handsome shirt, with worked frills and ruffles, to be hanged in. This enchanting committee generally confined their attentions to murderers, and other victims of the passions, who were deserted in their hour of need by the rest of the society they had outraged; but Popanilla being a foreigner, a prince, and a plenipotentiary, and not ill-looking, naturally attracted a great deal of notice from those who desire the amelioration of their species."
"Popanilla was so pleased with his mode of life, and had acquired such a taste for poetry, pine-apples, and pepper, since he had ceased to be an active member of society, that he applied to have his trial postponed, on the ground of the prejudice which had been excited against him by the public press. As his trial was at present inconvenient to the government, the postponement was allowed on these grounds."
In the meantime, up jumps a public instructor, Flummery Flam, who ascribes all the debt and distress to "a slight over-trading," chatters about demand, supply, rent, wages, profit, and, as a temporary relief, suggests "emigration." "Flummery-Flammism triumphs, and every person, from the managers down to the chalk-chewing mechanics, attend lectures on that enlightening science."
At length Popanilla's trial comes on; the indictment is read; he is accused of stealing 219 camelopards; perceives that he has all the time been mistaken for another person: he is, however, detained, on the judge of Fort Jobation informing him, that in order to be tried in his court for a modern offence of high treason, he must first be introduced by fiction of law as a stealer of camelopards, and then being in praesenti regio, in a manner, the business proceeds by a special power for an absolute offence. This flummery is too much; but every body with whom Popanilla had conversed while in Vraibleusia is subpoenaed against him: the judge is about to sum up, when a trumpet sounds, and a government messenger presents a scroll, and informs him, that a remarkably clever young man, recently appointed one of the managers, had last night consolidated all the edicts into a single act. The judge then compliments the young consolidator, compared to whom, he said, Justinian was a country attorney. Popanilla is found "not guilty, and kicked out of court, amidst the hootings of the mob, without a stain upon his reputation." He then falls senseless on the steps of the Asiatic club-house, is recovered by the smell of mulligatawney soup, and moralizes till he perceives "it is possible for a nation to exist in too artificial a state." He then sees the opposite house lit up, and the words "Emigration Committee" written on a transparent blind. He enters, finds the last Emigration squadron is about to sail in a few minutes; is presented with a spade, blanket, and hard biscuit, and quits the port of Hubbabub: what became of him will "probably be discovered, if ever we obtain 'Popanilla's' second voyage"—and thus shuts to the scene.
Here, gentle reader, you have the Captain's fun and badinage on all the wonderful wonders of Hubbabub—videlicet this wonderful town. They may serve to while away some of the ennui of this season of roast, bake, and broil, or be read aloud during the halt of the "march of intellect" men. There are the principal incidents of his voyage; if you wish to see them expanded, consult the book itself—that is if you are gratified with our abstract—if the reverse, let well alone, lest you find it, like ceremony, "a penny-worth of spirit in a glass of water." But recollect, Popanilla's adventures have already been published in quarto.
Consists of a number of steel cylinders grooved transversely, and placed on two revolving axes parallel to each other, and so that the bosses and recesses of the one fit into those of the other cylinder. Along these the knife is drawn, and so is immediately sharpened.—London Jour. of Arts.
M. Astier has discovered that seeds which are electrified, run through the first stages of vegetation more rapidly than others, and that China roses submitted to this experiment, produce flowers sooner, and in greater abundance.—From the French.
The number of different species of plants which have been described is about 50,000; but botanists are generally agreed that probably as many still remain undescribed; and, that the number of vegetable species on the surface of the earth ought not to be estimated under 100,000. We may be struck at the amount of this number; but our astonishment abates when we find that our own island, which is but a mere misty speck, compared with those broad zones of sunshine, "where the flowers ever brighten," contains about 1,500 native flowering plants. Of those which have been described, about 8,000, or nearly one-sixth, belong to the first of the two classes, and of these nearly 2,000 are grasses. In cold and temperate climates the species of this most interesting and important family are comparatively diminutive in size. In our climate, for instance, the grasses are somewhat remarkable among vegetables for their humble stature, and their inconspicuous appearance; while in the warmer regions of the earth, the bamboos and canes, which are species of the same family, emulate trees in height and beauty. But what our species want in individual magnitude, is far more than compensated by the comparative vastness of the number of individuals. In tropical climates, one plant may be seen here, and another there, which, in their size, astonish an European, when he is told that they belong to the family of the grasses; but there he would search in vain for those swards of grass, and green meadows, with which almost the whole aspect of his own climate is verdant. He might find one plant stately enough to shade him from the torrid sun, and to harbour among its boughs many a tropical bird with its [pg 29] bright metallic plumage; but he could not find a lea covered with lowing herds, or with bleating flocks, on the soft sward of which he could lie down, and listen to the lark that sings to him from heaven, sending down its clear notes on the first sunbeams of spring. It is in temperate climates—in those regions where man has made the greatest advances in civilization—where the comforts and conveniences of this life are most numerous around him—and the realities of that which is to come are most brightly seen above him—that this family of plants exists in greatest economic value. It is one of the most important in every climate; for it is from one species of grass or other that the present numbers of men, as well as the domestic animals that serve him, derive their sustenance. The maize or Indian corn of the west; the rice of the east; the wheat and other grains of the north; equally belong to this tribe of plants.—Quar. Jour. of Agriculture
Whenever you see the branch of a tree blighted, or eaten by insects, procure a shoemaker's awl, and pierce the lower extremity of the branch into the wood; then pour in two or three drops of crude mercury, (which is the quicksilver in common use) and stop up the hole with a small stick. In about forty-eight hours, the insects, not only upon that branch, but upon all the rest of the tree, will be destroyed, and the blights will immediately cease.
Dupin, in a work lately published, with a view to promote the numbers and breeds of the live stock of France, states, that, in Britain, the animal power is eleven times as great as the manual power; while in France it is only four times as great; hence, French labourers receive from animals only a third part of the aid yielded by them in Britain. He also states, that Great Britain consumes three times as much meat, milk, and cheese, as France. The following is the number of horses for every 1,000 inhabitants in the countries mentioned. Hanover, 193; Sweden, 145; Canton de Vaud, (in Switzerland,) 140; Great Britain, 100; Prussia, (six provinces) 95; France, 79. Numbers, however, give a very imperfect idea of the relative amount of horse power, the breeds being so various in the different countries.
M. Dutrochet, in a volume on the moving powers which act in organized bodies, affirms, that there are seen on the walls of the cellular and fibrous tissue of vegetables, small semi-transparent globular bodies and linear bodies, which become opaque from the action of acids, and are rendered transparent by that of alkalies. He considers these small bodies as the elements of a diffused nervous system, to the action of which he ascribes the movements of plants, arising from what is denominated by him the nervomotility.—From the French.
[We are indebted to the last Number (4) of the Foreign Quarterly Review for the following lively nouvelette, from the Conde Lucanor of the Infante Don Juan Manuel, written in the beginning of the fourteenth century. It has much of the naïvete and light humour peculiar to the Spanish novelists, and, to quote the ingenious reviewer, "besides its own merit, possesses that of some striking resemblances to Shakspeare's Taming of the Shrew."]
In a certain town there lived a noble Moor, who had one son, the best young man ever known perhaps in the world. He was not, however, wealthy enough to enable him to accomplish half the many laudable objects which his heart prompted him to undertake; and for this reason he was in great perplexity, having the will and not the power. Now in that same town dwelt another Moor, far more honoured and rich than the youth's father, and he too had an only daughter, who offered a strange contrast to this excellent young man, her manners being as violent and bad as his were good and pleasing, insomuch that no man liked to think of an union with such an infuriate shrew.
Now that good youth one day came to his father, and said, "Father, I am well assured that you are not rich enough to support me according to what I conceive becoming and honourable. It will, therefore, be incumbent upon me to lead a mean and indolent life, or to quit the country; so that if it seem good unto you, I should prefer for the best to form some marriage alliance, by which I may be enabled to open myself a way to higher things." And the father replied, that it would please him well if his son should be enabled to marry according to his wishes. He then said to his father, that if he thought he should be able to manage it, he should be happy to have the only daughter of that good man given him in marriage. Hearing this, the father was much surprised, and answered, that as he understood the matter, there was not a [pg 30] single man whom he knew, how poor soever he might be, who would consent to marry such a vixen. And his son replied, that he asked it as a particular favour that he would bring about this marriage, and so far insisted, that however strange he thought the request, his father gave his consent. In consequence, he went directly to seek the good man, with whom he was on the most friendly terms, and having acquainted him with all that had passed, begged that he would be pleased to bestow his daughter's hand upon his son, who had courage enough to marry her. Now when the good man heard this proposal from the lips of his best friend, he said to him:—"Good God, my friend, if I were to do any such thing, I should serve you a very bad turn; for you possess an excellent son, and it would be a great piece of treachery on my part, if I were to consent to make him so unfortunate, and become accessory to his death. Nay I may say worse than death, for better would it be for him to be dead than to be married to my daughter! And you must not think that I say thus much to oppose your wishes; for as to that matter, I should be well pleased to give her to your son, or to any body's son, who would be foolish enough to rid my house of her." To this his friend replied, that he felt very sensibly the kind motives which led him to speak thus; and intreated that, as his son seemed so bent upon the match, he would be pleased to give the lady in marriage. He agreed, and accordingly the ceremony took place. The bride was brought to her husband's house, and it being a custom with the Moors to give the betrothed a supper and to set out the feast for them, and then to take leave and return to visit them on the ensuing day, the ceremony was performed accordingly. However, the fathers and mothers, and all the relations of the bride and bridegroom went away with many misgivings, fearing that when they returned the ensuing day they should either find the young man dead, or in some very bad plight indeed.
So it came to pass, that as soon as the young people were left alone, they seated themselves at the table, and before the dreaded bride had time to open her lips, the bridegroom, looking behind him, saw stationed there his favourite mastiff dog, and he said to him somewhat sharply, "Mr. Mastiff, bring us some water for our hands;" and the dog stood still, and did not do it. His master then repeated the order more fiercely, but the dog stood still as before. His master then leaped up in a great passion from the table, and seizing his sword, ran towards the mastiff, who, seeing him coming, ran away, leaping over the chairs and tables and the fire, trying every place to make his escape, with the bridegroom hard in pursuit of him. At length reaching the dog, he smote off his head with his sword, then hewed off his legs, and all his body, until the whole place was covered with blood. He then resumed his place at table, all covered as he was with gore; and soon casting his eyes around, he beheld a lap-dog, and commanded him to bring him water for his hands, and because he was not obeyed, he said, "How, false traitor! see you not the fate of the mastiff, because he would not do as I commanded him? I vow, that if you offer to contend one moment with me, I will treat thee to the same fare as I did the mastiff;" and when he found it was not done, he arose, seized him by the legs, and dashing him against the wall, actually beat his brains out, showing even more rage than against the poor mastiff. Then in a great passion he returned to the table, and cast his eyes about on all sides, while his bride, fearful that he had taken leave of his senses, ventured not to utter a word. At length he fixed his eyes upon his horse that was standing before the door, though he had only that one; and he commanded him to bring him water, which the horse did not do. "How now, Mr. Horse," cried the husband, "do you imagine, because I have only you, that I shall suffer you to live, and not do as I command you! No! I will inflict as hard a death upon you as upon the others; yea, there is no living thing I have in the world which I will spare, if I be not obeyed." But the horse stood where he was, and his master approaching with the greatest rage, smote off his head, and cut him to pieces with his sword. And when his wife saw that he had actually killed his horse, having no other, and heard him declare he would do the same to any creature that ventured to disobey him, she found that he had by no means done it by way of jest, and took such an alarm, that she hardly knew if she were dead or alive. For all covered with gore as he was, he again seated himself at table, swearing that though he had a thousand horses or wives, or servants, if they refused to do his behest, he would kill them all; and he again began to look around him, holding his sword in his hand. And after he had looked well round him, and found no living thing near him, he turned his eyes fiercely towards his wife, and said in a great passion, "Get up, and bring me some water to wash my hands!" and his wife, expecting nothing less than to be cut to pieces, rose in a great hurry, and giving him water for his [pg 31] hands, said to him, "Ah, how I ought to return thanks to God, who inspired you with the thought of doing as you have done! for otherwise, owing to the wrong treatment of my foolish friends, I should have behaved the same to you as to them." Afterwards he commanded her to help him to something to eat, and that in such a tone, that she felt as if her head were on the point of dropping off upon the floor; so that in this way was the understanding between them settled during that night, and she never spoke, but only did every thing which he required her to do. After they had reposed some time, her husband said, "The passion I have been put into this night hinders me from sleeping; get up, and see that nobody comes to disturb me, and prepare for me something well cooked to eat."
When it came full day, and the fathers, mothers, and other relatives arrived at the door, they all listened, and hearing no one speak, at first concluded that the unfortunate man was either dead, or mortally wounded by his ferocious bride. In this they were the more confirmed when they saw the bride standing at the door, and the bridegroom not there. But when the lady saw them advancing, she walked gently on tiptoe towards them, and whispered, "False friends, as you are, how dared you to come up to the door in that way, or to say a word! Be silent! as you value your lives, and mine also." And when they were all made acquainted with what she said, they greatly wondered; but when they learnt all that had passed during the night, their wonder was changed into admiration of the young man, for having so well known how to manage what concerned him, and to maintain order in his house. And from that day forth, so excellently was his wife governed, and well-conditioned in every respect, that they led a very pleasant life together. Such, indeed, was the good example set by the son-in-law, that a few days afterwards the father-in-law, desirous of the same happy change in his household, also killed a horse; but his wife only said to him, "By my faith, Don Fulano, you have thought of this plan somewhat too late in the day; we are now too well acquainted with each other."
The eyelids of the morning are awake;
The dews are disappearing from the grass;
The sun is o'er the mountains; and the trees,
Moveless, are stretching through the blue of heaven,
Exuberantly green. All noiseless
The shadows of the twilight fleet away,
And draw their misty legion to the west,
Seen for awhile, 'mid the salubrious air,
Suspended in the silent atmosphere,
As in Medina's mosque Mahomet's tomb,—
Up from the coppice, on exulting wing,
Mounts, mounts the skylark through the clouds of dawn,—
The clouds, whose snow-white canopy is spread
Athwart, yet hiding not, at intervals,
The azure beauty of the summer sky;
And, at far distance heard, a bodiless note
Pours down, as if from cherub stray'd from Heaven!
Maternal Nature! all thy sights and sounds
Now breathe repose, and peace, and harmony.
The lake's unruffled bosom, cold and clear,
Expands beneath me, like a silver veil
Thrown o'er the level of subjacent fields,
Revealing, on its conscious countenance,
The shadows of the clouds that float above:—
Upon its central stone the heron sits
Stirless,—as in the wave its counterpart,—
Looking, with quiet eye, towards the shore
Of dark-green copse-wood, dark, save, here and there,
Where spangled with the broom's bright aureate flowers.—
The blue-winged sea-gull, sailing placidly
Above his landward haunts, dips down alert
His plumage in the waters, and, anon,
With quicken'd wing, in silence re-ascends.—
Whence comest thou, lone pilgrim of the wild?
Whence wanderest thou, lone Arab of the air?
Where makest thou thy dwelling-place? Afar,
O'er inland pastures, from the herbless rock,
Amid the weltering ocean, thou dost hold,
At early sunrise, thy unguided way,—
The visitants of Nature's varied realms,—
The habitant of Ocean, Earth, and Air,—
Sailing with sportive breast, mid wind and wave,
And, when the sober evening draws around
Her curtains, clasp'd together by her Star,
Returning to the sea-rock's breezy peak.
And now the wood engirds me, the tall stems
Of birch and beech tree hemming me around,
Like pillars of some natural temple vast;
And, here and there, some giant pines ascend,
Briareus-like, amid the stirless air,
High stretching; like a good man's virtuous thoughts
Forsaking earth for heaven. The cushat stands
Amid the topmost boughs, with azure vest,
And neck aslant, listening the amorous coo
Of her, his mate, who, with maternal wing
Wide-spread, sits brooding on opponent tree.
Why, from the rank grass underneath my feet,
Aside on ruffled pinion dost thou start,
Sweet minstrel of the morn? Behold her nest,
Thatch'd o'er with cunning skill, and there, her young
With sparkling eye, and thin-fledged russet wing;
Younglings of air! probationers of song!
From lurking dangers may ye rest secure,
Secure from prowling weazel, or the tread
Of steed incautious, wandering 'mid the flowers?
Secure beneath the fostering care of her
Who warm'd you into life, and gave you birth;
Till, plumed and strong unto the buoyant air,
Ye spread your equal wings, and to the morn,
Lifting your freckled bosoms, dew-besprent,
Salute with spirit-stirring song, the man
Wayfaring lonely. Hark! the striderous neigh!
There, o'er his dogrose fence, the chestnut foal,
Shaking his silver forelock, proudly stands,—
To snuff the balmy fragrance of the morn:—
Up comes his ebon compeer, and, anon,
Around the field in mimic chase they fly,
Startling the echoes of the woodland gloom.[pg 32]
Farewell, ye placid scenes! amid the land
Ye smile, an inland solitude: the voice
Of peace-destroying man is seldom heard
Amid your landscapes. Beautiful ye raise
Your green embowering groves, and smoothly spread
Your waters, glistening in a silver sheet.
The morning is a season of delight—
The morning is the self-possession'd hour—
'Tis then that feelings, sunk, but unsubdued,
Feelings of purer thoughts, and happier days,
Awake, and, like the sceptred images
Of Banquo's mirror, in succession pass!
And, first of all, and fairest, thou dost pass
In Memory's eye, beloved! though now afar
From those sweet vales, where we have often roam'd
Together. Do thy blue eyes now survey
The brightness of the morn in other scenes?
Other, but haply beautiful as these,
Which now I gaze on; but which, wanting thee,
Want half their charms, for, to thy poet's thought,
More deeply glow'd the heaven, when thy fine eye,
Surveying its grand arch, all kindling glow'd;
The white cloud to thy white brow was a foil;
And, by the soft tints of thy cheek outvied,
The dew-bent wild-rose droop'd despairingly.
"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles."
Judge Gould married his daughter to Lord Cavan. A gentleman asking what fortune, was answered, "it was all in Gould, and his lordship changed it the first day."
Voltaire said of a traveller, who made too long a stay with him at Ferney, "Don Quixote took inns for castles, but Mr.—— takes castles for inns."
The English abroad can never get to look as if they were at home. The Irish and Scotch, after being some time in a place, get the air of the natives; but an Englishman, in any foreign court, looks about him as if he was going to steal a tankard.
Through all the odd noses in vogue,
Each nose is turn'd up at its brother;
Broad and blunt they call platter and pug,
And thus they take snuff at each other.
The short calls the long nose a snout,
The long calls the short nose a snub;
And the bottle nose being so stout,
Thinks every sharp one a scrub.
Sterne, who used his wife very ill, was one day talking to Garrick in a fine sentimental manner, in praise of conjugal love and fidelity. "The husband," said Sterne, "who behaves unkindly to his wife, deserves to have his house burnt over his head." "If you think so," said Garrick, "I hope your house is insured."
Wilkes attended a city dinner, not long after his promotion to city honours. Among the guests was a noisy, vulgar deputy, a great glutton, who, on his entering the dinner-room, always with great deliberation took off his wig, suspended it on a pin, and with due solemnity put on a white cotton night-cap. Wilkes, who was a high bred man, and never accustomed to similar exhibitions, could not take his eyes from so strange and novel a picture. At length the deputy walked up to Wilkes, and asked him whether he did not think that his night-cap became him? "Oh! yes, Sir," replied Wilkes, "but it would look much better if it was pulled quite over your face."
It has a strange quick jar upon the ear,
That cocking of a pistol, when you know
A moment more will bring the sight to bear
Upon your person, twelve yards off, or so,
A gentlemanly distance, not too near,
If you have got a former friend for foe;
But after being fired at once or twice,
The ear becomes more Irish, and less nice.
A peasant newly arrived in London, asked what building was that, pointing to where the law courts are held. "It is a mill," said an attorney, to quiz the bumpkin. "I thought as much," replied the countryman, "for I see a good many asses at the door with sacks."
You say you nothing owe, and so I say,
He only owes who something has—to pay.
Writers in some journals, like rope-dancers, to engage the public attention, must venture their necks every step that they take. The pleasure people feel, arises from the risk that they run.
Footnote 1: (return)
See Succession Chronologica de los Reyes de Portugal.
Footnote 2: (return)
If I may be allowed to offer a conjecture on the cause of this singular white veil, or cloud, I can only attribute it to the vapour of water which escapes from the earth from the heated mass below, and which is condensed on rising into the cold air, and thus rendered visible. Bogota, according to my measurement, which corresponds very nearly with that of Baron Humboldt, is 9,600 feet above the level of the sea, and is distant at least one hundred miles from any known volcano.]
Footnote 3: (return)
Vide MIRROR, vol. iv. pp 2, 22, 61, 102.]
Footnote 4: (return)
It is singular, but almost true to an axiom, that objects capable of exciting disgust in their reality, confer delight in their pictorial representation; the interior of some wretched hovel, a sty and its inmates, and a boorish revel, will exemplify this. Our pleasure in that case arises perhaps not from the objects represented, but from the truth of the representation. I know not that this paradox has ever been solved, and therefore with diffidence offer, that we are rather pleased with the artist than his subject.
Footnote 5: (return)
Extraordinary and beautiful effects, however, are, by superior painters, frequently produced by violating this latter rule. The writer would particularly notice the results of light thrown into the distance, in stormy sea-views.
Footnote 6: (return)
Coffee has been recommended for this purpose, but delicate and pleasing washes or glazings may be produced from burnt sienna, yellow ochre, burnt umbre, and lake, in various combinations, and laid on extremely attenuated by water.
Footnote 7: (return)
The artist, however, cannot produce his tints from those simple colours entirely, but the advice once given to the writer, by a painter, was:—"Never fancy that many colours will effect your object; a few well chosen will better succeed, and be more easily managed; half-a-dozen would, for me, answer every purpose." The student is warned against gaudy colouring, which, if allowable in caricatures seen elsewhere, reminds one of pedlar's pictures.
Footnote 8: (return)
The old masters are well known to have made carefully many sketches of the subjects they designed for pictures, ere they dreamt of painting compositions that were to last for ever.
Footnote 9: (return)
Flamen, among the ancient Romans, was a priest or minister of sacrifice.
Footnote 10: (return)
"What boots it thee to call thyself a sun."
Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House), London: and published by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Liepsic; and sold by all Newsmen and Booksellers.
***END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION, VOL. 12, ISSUE 322, JULY 12, 1828***
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