John Millard.

Time's telescope for 1814-1834: or, A complete guide to the almanack online

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Ye thunders> buvst withawfiil voice

To Him ^o Md» you roll ^
His praise in softer notee deelare,
Each whisp'ring breeze of yielding air^

Abd' breathe it to the soul.

To Him, ye graceful cedars, bow ^
Ye tow'ring mountains^ bending low,

Your great CasAToa own;
Tell, when affirigbted nature shook,
How Sinai kindled at bis look.

And trembled at his frown.

Ye Aoeks thatbttuntiihe humtble vale.
Ye insects fintt'ring on the gale,

In mutual ooncourse lise ;
Crop the gay rose's vermeil bloom.
And waft its spoils^ a sweet perfcme.

In incense to thsjikies.
Wake, all ye monating tribes, and sing,
Ye plumy warblers of the spring.

Harmonious anthems raise
To Him who shaped your finer mould,
Who tipped your glittering wings with gold.

And tuned your voice to praise.


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1 HE Dame given to this month by the Romans was
taken from Janus, who stood between the two years,
^nd was provided with a doable face, ' looking before
and after;' that by gazing as steadfastly upon past as
future time, he might inculcate upon his worsUppers
the wisdom of being retrospective as well as pro*
vident. — ^When the palm of merit is to be awarded
among the months, it is usual to assign it to May by
acclamation. But if the claim depends on the sum
of delight which each witnesses or brings Ivith her,
we doubt if January would not bear the bell from
her more blooming sister, if it were only in virtue of
her share in the festivities of the Christmas holidays:
Christmas-Day — which wcis; New Year's Day —
which t>; and Twelfth-Day — which is to be; let us
compel them all three into our presence — with a
whisk of our imaginative' wand convert them into
one, as the conjuror does his three glittering balls—
and then enjoy them all together, — with their dress-
ings, and coachings, and visitings, and greetings, and
gifts, and 'many happy returns!' with their plum-
puddings and mince*pies and twelfth-cakes and ne-
guses! with their forfeits and fortune-tellings and
blindman's buffs and snap-dragons and sittings up to


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supper! with their pantomimes and panoramas and
new penknives and pastry-cooks' shops ! in short, witb
their endless round of ever new nothings, the absence
of a relish for which is but ill supplied in after-life
by that feverish hungering and th rsting after excite-
ments which usurp without filling their place. And
then, what a happy influence does not this month
exercise on all tibe rest of the year, by the family
meetings she brings about, and by the kindling and
renewing of the social affectioiis that grow out of
and are chiefly dependent on these ! And what sweet
remembrances and associations does she not scatter
before her, through all the time tq come, by her
gifts— the *new year's gifts.!*'

In JANUARY ^1825.

This festival was instituted in the sixth century,
to commemorate the circumcision of our Saviour:
it is also New Year*s Day. — Every age and nation
has marked the coming of the New Year in a pe-
culiar manner, whether that coming was in the depth
of winter, as we commemorate ours, or in the more
genial moments of advancing spring, as used lx> be
the case with the nati^ons of antiquity. A festival it
always was, a period of rejoicing, and of giving" and
receiving gifts; and happy is it for those whose
minds are sufficiently at ease to enjoy it as such,
instead of being so overwhelmed vrith the cares and
the sorrows of this life, as to feel the period obIj as
one of keenbr misery: when the bells ring ottt-^tte
merry bells as they are called — their sounds fall in
bitterness on the ears of many !

The year that is past is now become * stale, flat,
and unprofitable' — ^and even while in the vigour of

< 'The Months,' No. I. New Monthly Magazine for January 1834.

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his yoQth and freshness^ he was treated very slight-
ingly by many of those who ought to have set a greater
value upon him; proving^ that

We know not a treasure's worth.

Till Time bas »U>Vn the slighted good away.

In our former volumes (T.T. for 1821, p. 2, and
for 1824, p. 2) we have given an account of Scottish
customs on New Year's Eve and Day, particularly
as observed in Edinburgh ; we will now travel to the
Highlands, with Mr. Grant Stewart" for our
guide, and explore some of the ceremonies and su-
perstitions yet extant among the original and in-
teresting inhabitants of these districts.

The Highlander's morning cheer this day is far less
palatable thaA that vdth which he is served so com-
fortably on Christmas Day. The first course,
consisting o{ the Usque •Cashrichd, or water from the
dead and living ford,, by its sacred virtues, preserves
the Highlander, until tfie next anniversary, from all
those direful calamities proceeding from the agency
of infernitl spirits, witchcraft, evil eyes, and the
like. And the second course, consisting of the fumes
of juniper, not only removes whatever diseases may
affect tile human frame at the time, but it likewise
fortifies the constitution against tiiieir future attacks.
These courses of medicine are administered in the
following manner: Light and fire being kindled, and
the necessary arrangements having been effected, the
high priest of the ceremonies for the day proceeds
with the hallowed water to the several beds in the
honse^ and, by means of a large brush, sprinkles
upon their occupants a profuse shower of the pre-
cious preservative, which, notwithstanding its sa-
lutary properties, they sometimes receive with jarring

< See a pleasing little Tolume entitled, 'Popular Superstitions
and Festive Amufiements of the Highlanders of Scotland,' l^mo.
EikiAur^h, 1823, p. 250.

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The first course being thas served, the second is
about to be administered — preliminary to which, it is
necessary to stuff all the crevices and windows in the
house, even to the key-hole. This done, piles of
jumper are kindled into a conflagration in the different
apartments in the house. Rising in fantastic curls,
the fumes of the blazing juniper spread along the
roof, and gradually condense themselves into an
opaque cloud, filling the apartment virith an odori*
ferous fujpiigation altogether overpowering. Pene-
trating into the inmost recesses of the patients*
system (for patients they may well be called), it
brings on an incessant shower of hiccupping, sneez-
ing, wheezing, and coughing, highly demons^ative of
its expectorating qualities. But it not unfrequently
happens, that young and thoughtless urchins, not
relishing such physic, and unmindful of the important
benefits they reap from it, diversify the scene by
cries of suffocation and the like, which never fail to
call forth from the more reflecting part of the family,
if able to speak, a very severe jeproof. Well know-
ing, however, that the more intense the ^smucMan,^
the more propitious are its effects, the high priest,
with dripping eyes and distorted mouth, continues
his operations, regardless of the feelings of his flock,
until he considers the dose fully sufiicient — upon
which he opens the vent, and the other crevices, to
admit the genial fluid, to recover the spirits of the
exhausted patients. . He then proceeds to gratify
the horses, cattle, and other bestial stock in the town,
with the same entertainment in their turn.

Meanwhile, the gudewife gets up, venting the most
latent embryo of disease in a copious expectoration ;
and clapping her hand upon the bottle dhu, she ad-
ministers a renovating cordial to the sufferers around
her. The painful ordeal is therefore soon forgotten,
and nothing is heard but the salutations of the season.
All the family now get up, to wash their besmeared
faces, and prepare themselves for the festivities of

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IN JAN0ART 1825.

the dfty^ and for receiTing the visits of their neigh-
hoofs* Tbeito last soon arrive in bodies, venting
npon Hie family broadsides of salutation peculiar to
tfie day. Breakfast beitig served up, consisting of
all the luxuries that can be procured, those of the
neighbours notei^aged are invited to partake of it ;
and the day is terminated With balls, drinking^ card
parties, and other sports too tedious to be mentioned.
To a Friend, oil the New Year«
My worthy Friend,

A g^de new year,
To yoUy an' a' your heart hauds dear,

At hame or far awa' !
Thongh Fortane scrimpet favours yield.
Hale be your hearts, at hame, a-field ;
Nor ever lack a cozie bield,

, Frae a' the stcnrms that blaw.

Wi' milk an' meal, for bread an' brose ;
Aye gude clean sarks, hale coats and hose ;

Content in ilka e'e;
When years on years have rowed around,
An' you wi' age an* honours crowned,
M^j you lie down to slumber sounds

An'blytheyourwakin'be! b.


At Mnsselburgh/in the county of Midlottiian. After
having received flie elementary branches of edu-
cation, he was entered at the same grammar school
there at the age of eight, in which Logan the theo-
logian and ^odt was paiUy educated* As a scholar
at Has seminary, which was at the time <me of the
most reputed and extensive in Scotland, the boarders
amomitnig sometimes to ninety, and the day scholars
to fifly and sixty, he remained for nearly six years,
having acquired, the elements of geometry and al-
gebra, and an acquaintaRce wifli the Latin, Greek,
and French languages, diiring all which time he bore
the itfepntation of being one of the beat and most as^
sidnouB i^pite at the seminary*

At the eaily age of thirteen, he cbmmenced his
studies in medicine ionder Mt. Stewart; a sui^on


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in his nativeT place; with whom he remained tintil
the expiration of his indentares^ which was in force
during fdiir years^ with the stipulation of the last
Winter of it being allowed for entry at some one
of the Universities: Of this gentleman; Mr. M. al-
ways speaks in terms 2f gratitude and respect,
having received from him all the attentions of a
parent and guardian. It was during this time that
the poetical talent began to display itself; some
pieces of Mr. M.'s being still extant, which were
written at the age of fourteen. Here is another evi-
dence to the truth of the old maxim, 'Poetanascitur.'
Towards the end of the year 1813, Mr. M. removed
to the College of Edinburgh, where he matriculated
as student of medicine, and attended for two ses-
sions the various professors and lecturers on Hie
different branches of the healing art. Among these,
his decided favourite was Dr. John Gordon, one of
the writers in the Edinburgh Review, and the first op-
ponent of Spurzheim. On the death of this lamented
person, a few years afterwards, Mr. M. published
a letter in Blackwood's Magazine, which is the first
of his compositions under the signature of Delta, and
which is said to have had some effect in inducing
the ingenious Mr. Ellis to attempt the biography of
one, who died too young for science and the honour
of his couirtry. ^

At Ihe age of eighteen, tbe earliest at which a di-
plonia can be granted, Mr. M. obtained fiie degree of
Surgeon at the end of the shortest specified time at
which &e College will admit candidates for exami-
nation. It was Mr. M.'s intentioh to enter into the
miBdicat department of the army, but the battfe of
Waterloo having by this time put things on a
different footing, these intentions were necessarily
frustrated. During the ensuing summer, Mr. M. re-
tired to Musselburgh, where he devoted himself to
literary pursuits^ having, however, before this time,
contributed tothe Scots' Magazine ; and it was at this

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IN JANUArRir 18S3»

period, that, aloiig with several larger and better
poems, which have never yet seen the lights many of
those smaller effusions^ which have been so geneialljr
esteemed, were composed.

The general peace in 1816 having allowed a great
proportion of naval and military officers to return to
their bomes, towards the approach of winter^ Mr. 3f .,
in cxmcert with about eighteen of these gentlemen
and others^ formed themselves into a Literary De-
bating Society^ of which he was constituted secre-
tary; and, at the end of their session, so pleased
were they with his exertions, that a handsome silver
medal, with a suitable inscription, was unanimously
voted to him. In the November of the same year,
he published anonymously, a pamphlet entitled,
the f Bombardment of Algiers, and other Poems,'
an edition of which was distributed, almost en^
tirely, among his friends, without exciting any public

From considerable contributions to Constable's
Magazine, which was at this time remodelled, and
published on an improved plan, Mr. M. acquired the
friendship of Mr. Thomas Pringle, author of * The
Autumnal Excursion.' Besides a series of essays
on subjects connected with general literature, the
whole of tiie poems under the signature M. were
contributed by him. The 'Ode on the Death of
Kosdiusko,' ' The Mossy Seat/ ' Melancholy,' &c.
have been many times republished in collections;
and the stanzas commencing, ** When thou at even-
tide art roaming,^' having been copied over by the
late Mrs. Brunton, were printed as her's by her hus-

* When thou at eventide art roaming

Along the elm-o'ershaded walk.

Where, past, the eddying stream is foaming

Beneatii its tiny cataract, — >

Where I with thee was wont to talk,—
. Think thou upon the days gone by,

;4nd heave a sight

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band, in the posthnmous novel' of Emmeline. Dr.
Branton»,howeTer^ on being infonned of his miateke,
wrote a handsome apology to the anthor, and the
piece was withdrawn from the second edition.
. About the time when the Rer. Mr. Morehead un*-
dertook the management of the Edinbuigh Magazine,
Mr. M. began to contribute to ^Blackwood's Matfazme,
but in a strictly anonymous manner ; and it was not
till after the publication of the splendid but whim-
sical articles entitled, the ' T£te-a-t6te' and ' Change
of Administration/ in which he is so much prais^,
that he. became known to the conductors of that ex-
traordinary work. Besides the large collection of
poems published there/ under the signature &, Mr. M.
is supposed to have contributed a considerable num-
ber of valuable prose articles. The poetry has, at
various times, and in various publications, been
attributed to Mr. Wilson, to Mr. Lockhart, to Mr,
Hogg, to Mr. Doubleday, and to Mr. Dale^; a suffi-

When sails the mooa above the mountains,
And cloudless skies are purely blue.
And sparkle in the light the fountains,
And darkef frowns the lonely yew, —
Then be thou melancholy too/
When musing on the ]iouts I proved
With thee, beloved !

Whpn wakes the dawn upon thy dwelling,

And lingering shadows disappear,

And soft the woodland songs are swelling

A choral anthem on thine ear,

— «Thinl^ — for that hour to thought is dear !

And then her flight remembrance wings

To by-past things.

To me, through every season, dearest ;

Inevery^cene—rby. day, by night, ....

Thou present to my mind appearest

A quenchless star— for ever bright I

My solitary, sole delight !

Alone— >in grove — by shore— «t sea,

I think of thee !

■ In our last volume, p. 214, we echoed this report as to Mr. Dale's
being the author of\he pieces in question, not doubting, at that time,
the correctness of our information : it affords us, however, the high-

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IN JANUARY 1825. 9

cient testimony, withoat doobt^ to the intrinsic merit
of these compositions.

About five years ago, Mr. M. formed a connection
in Musselburgh with Mr. Brown, a practitioner
there, which still remains undissolved. Whether the
attention which his professional duties require may
altogether withdraw him from the paths of general
literature, we know not, but would fain hope, that he
may now and then find a leisure hour, which he may
haimlessly devote to an art, in which he is no mean pro-
ficient. On his private life it were superfluous to dilate.
Possessed of a rarely cultivated mind, united with
the most unassuming suavity of manners, and that
unobtrusive modesty so peculiar to truly gifted
genius, his friendship is courted by all. In the do-
mestic circle, he is a social and affable companion;
and the general tenour of his conversation, whether
engaged in the lively or soothed into the more sober
paths of instruction, bespeaks the overflowings of a
pure and generous heart. In his public capacity,
the mildness and delicacy which ever attend him,
classed with great skill in the profession, endear him
to all within the extensive range of his practice.

Of Mr. Moir's poetical talents several specimens
will be found in the course of the present volume ;
yet we cannot refuse ourselves the pleasure of pluck-
ing the * fresh floweret' while it blooms before us,
and of enwreathing our memoir with a sweet-scented
bud or two from Mr. Ebony's * Gulistan,' or Bed of
Roses : —


flowbeautifal the scenes of youtE
Awaken to the mind !

Scenes, like the sammer ocean smooth,

Serener — fairer far, than Truth
On earth shall ever find !

est gratificatiou in being enabled to make the amende honorable to
Mr. Moir, whose beautiful effusions under the signature of A, or with
a reference to Blackmood^i Magazmey have so often enriched our pages.

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Time is a tyrant — months and yeara

Pass onward like the sea, that leaves
A solitary isle, which rears
Its passive bosom, ^ud appears
Between the rolling waves.

In life there is no second spring —
The past is gone — for ever gone !

We canpot check a moment's wing ;

Pierce thro' futurity * or bring
The heart its vanished tone !

Resplendent as a summer sky.

When daylight lingers in the west»
To Retrospection's loving eye
The blooming fields of childhood lie,
By Fancy's finger drest.

A greener foliage decks the grove ;

A brighter tint pervades the flower ;
More azure seems the heaven above ;
The earth a very bower of love, >

And man within that bower !

And ever, when the storms of Fate

Come darkening o*er the star of life.
We backward turn to renovate
Our thoughts with freshness, and create
An antidote to strife.

Thus dead and silent are the strings,
As legends isay, ofMemnon's lyre;
Till, from the orient, Phoel^us flings
His smiles of golden light, and brings
Life, harmony, and fire !

The Invitation.
Oh come, with thy blue eyes of beaming.

Thou nameless one, whom I love best ;
TVhen the sun-beam of crimson is streaming

Through the lattice that looks to the west :
Oh come, when the birds with their singing

Fill every recess of the grove, —
And such thoughts in the bosom are springing,

As kindle the spirit to love !

Oh come, where the elm-tree incloses
The mossy green seat in its shade, —

And the pertume of blossoming roses
Is borne on the breeze of the glade ;

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IN JANUARY 1825. 11

I'be streamlot is t^paricling'' beneath ns,-

The briar-covered banks are above,—
Around are young lilies, and with us

Soft tboagfats that speak to uis of love !

Oh come, for afflictions are thronging

To darken my life to a waste ;
Oh come, for my spirit is longing

The bliss of tby presence to taste !
Though dark disappointments have wrung me,

And though with my fate I have strove, .
Whatever were the' arrows that stui\g me>

I have found a resource in thy love !

Oh come, for thy smiling has cheated

The woes of my breast, and so well
The darkness of sorrows defeated>

That nought else on earth could dispel :
Without thee my being would wither,

And pleasure a bauble would prove, —
Forget not, my sweet, to come hither.

And solace my heart by thy love' !

But why, our readers will ask, ar6 these charming
flowers suffered to 'blush unseen' and 'waste their
sweetness' among the by-gone tomes of Maga? Why
are they not collected and printed in a cabinet volume^
that they may be the companions of our walks as
well as me denizens of our library ? Surely, their in-
trinsic merit fally entitles them to this honourable dis-
tinction; and now that Mr. Moir has acknowledged
these bantlings of the Muse to be his 'true and law-
ful children," they may safely 'come out' into the wide
.world of criticism, with every prospect of being fa-
vourably received.


In Cumberland, and other parts of the north of
England, on Twelfth night, which finishes their
Chnstmas holidays, the rustics meet in a large room^
begin dancing at seven o'clock, and finish at twelve,

■ We had marked for insertion a beautiful little poem in blank
Terse, entitled *R£MSMBBREi> Beauty;* but were obliged to omit it,
from waat of space. See Bkukmood^i MagQxuke, vol. viii, p. 686.

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when they sit down to lobscotise, and ponsondie ;
the former is made of beef^ potatoes and onions fried
together; and in ponsondie we recognise the was-
sail or waes-hael drink made of ale, boiled with sugar
and nutmeg, into which are put roasted apples, —
the antiently admired lambs-wooL

The feast is paid for by subscription, and the me-
thod of raising it is as follows: two women are cho-
sen, who with two wooden bowls placed one within
the other, so as to leave an opening and a space be-
tween them, go round fS the female part of the society
in succession, and what one puts into the uppermost
bowl the attendant coUectress slips into the bowl be-
neath it. All are expected to contribute something,
but not more than a shilling, and they are best
esteemed who give most. The men choose two in like
manner from themselves, and . follow the same cus-
tom, except that as the gentlemen are not supposed
to be altogether so fair in their dealings as the ladies,
one of the collectors is furnished with pen, ink, and
paper, to set dovm the subscriptions as soon as
received. — Twelfth Night as it is in the metropolis is
pleasingly pourtrayed by a lively writer in oar last
volume, p. 5; and its observation, in France and*
Italy is described in T. T. for 1823, pp. 5, 6.

The Carnival commences on Twelfth Day, and
holds till Lent. An account of carnival sports in
Spain will be found in our last volume, pp. 63-66.

During the Carnival in Peru, as in Old Spain,
bull-baiting forms the principal diversion of the
people. The bulls are dressed in the most gaudy
nlanner, and one is always covered with dollars,
which are strung on cords, and hung around the body
of the animal. To this diversion succeed sumptu-
ous entertainments and splendid balls.


Lucian, a native of Syria, was celebrated in his ^
youHi for his eloquence^ and intimate a^uaintance

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IK JANUARY 1825. 13

with :polite literatare. He was a proficient' iii( He^
brew^*and rerised the Septaa^nt version of tte Bible.
After haying undergone various torments at the in-
stigation of Maximinus II> he was martyted in the
year 312.


Some curious ceremonies are still observed on this
day in the northern counties^ particularly in York-
shire.— See T. T. for 1822, p. 9.

♦10. I824.r-T. B. BOWDICH DIED, JRT. 31.

By unceasing exposure in- making a survey of
the river Gambia, this indefatigable African travel-
ler contracted a fever, which was increased by his
constant practice of .taking nightiy observations,
and he has thus fallen a martyr to his tiiirst for dis-
covery and his unconquerable love of science.
Mrs. Bowdich was the companion of his travels,
the sharer of all his perils, nor less the ardent parti-
cipator of all his hopes, and in her affectionate
arms he breatiied his last. She entered with enthu-
siasm into all his views, and assisted with her talents
many of the most scientific of his operations: to
her, therefore, may be safely committed the details
of the progress of an inquiry so fatally interrupted ;
and we sincerely trust that tne profits to arise from
tiie sale of the work, together with the amount of
the subscription which has been set on foot for her-
self and three infant children, will place them
beyond the reach of the chilling hand of penury,
and of those miseries and insults which are the
never^failing companions of a state of poverty and
dependence. Besides his well-known work, the Mis-
sion to Ashantee, Mr.' Bowdich published ' An
Analysis of the Natural Classification of the Mam-
malia^' ' An Introduction to the Ornithology of Cu-

Online LibraryJohn MillardTime's telescope for 1814-1834: or, A complete guide to the almanack → online text (page 9 of 35)