The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 13, No. 351, January 10, 1829 online

. (page 1 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Produced by Jonathan Ingram and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.


VOL. 13, No. 351.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 10, 1829. [PRICE 2d.

[Illustration: Macclesfield Bridge, Regent's Park.]


This picturesque structure crosses the Canal towards the Northern verge
of the Regent's Park; and nearly opposite to it is a road leading to
Primrose Hill, as celebrated in the annals of Cockayne as was the
Palatino among the ancient Romans.

The bridge was built from the designs of Mr. Morgan, and its
construction is considered to be "appropriate and architectural." Its
piers are formed by cast-iron columns, of the Grecian Doric order, from
which spring the arches, covering the towing-path, the canal itself, and
the southern bank. The _abacus_, or top of the columns, the mouldings or
ornaments of the capitals, and the frieze, are in exceeding good taste,
as are the ample shafts. The supporters of the roadway, likewise,
correspond with the order; although, says Mr. Elmes, the architect,
"fastidious critics may object to the dignity of the pure ancient Doric
being violated by degrading it into supporters of modern arches." The
centre arch is appropriated to the canal and the towing-path, and the
two external arches to foot-passengers, and as communications to the
road above them. Mr. Elmes[1] sums up the merits of the bridge as
follows: - "It has a beautiful and light appearance, and is an
improvement in execution upon a design of Perronet's for an
_architectural_ bridge, that is, a bridge of _orders_. The columns are
well proportioned, and suitably robust, carrying solidity, grace, and
beauty in every part; from the massy grandeur of the abacus, to the
graceful revolving of the beautiful echinus, and to the majestic
simplicity of the slightly indented flutings." He then suggests certain
improvements in the design, which would have made the bridge
"unexceptionably the most novel and the most tasteful in the metropolis.
Even as it is, it is scarcely surpassed for lightness, elegance, and
originality by any in Europe. It is of the same family with the
beautiful little bridge in Hyde Park, between the new entrance and the

We are happy to quote the above praise on the construction of
_Macclesfield Bridge_, inasmuch as a critical notice of many of the
structures in the Regent's Park would subject them to much severe and
merited censure. The forms of bridges admit, perhaps, of more display of
taste than any other species of ornamental architecture, and of a
greater means of contributing to the picturesque beauty of the
surrounding scenery.

[1] Letter-press to Jones's "Metropolitan Improvements."

* * * * *


_(For the Mirror.)_

"When our friends we lose,
Our alter'd feelings alter too our views;
What in their tempers, teazed or distress'd,
Is with our anger, and the dead at rest;
And must we grieve, no longer trial made,
For that impatience which we then display'd?
Now to their love and worth of every kind,
A soft compunction turns the afflicted mind;
Virtues neglected then, adored become,
And graces slighted, blossom on the tomb."


"It was the early wish of Pope," says Dr. Knox, "that when he died, not
a stone might tell where he lay. It is a wish that will commonly be
granted with reluctance. The affection of those whom we leave behind us
is at a loss for methods to display its wonted solicitude, and seeks
consolation under sorrow, in doing honour to all that remains. It is
natural that filial piety, parental tenderness, and conjugal love,
should mark, with some fond memorial, the clay-cold spot where the form,
still fostered in the bosom, moulders away. And did affection go no
farther, who could censure? But, in recording the virtues of the
departed, either zeal or vanity leads to an excess perfectly ludicrous.
A marble monument, with an inscription palpably false and ridiculously
pompous, is far more offensive to true taste, than the wooden memorial
of the rustic, sculptured with painted bones, and decked out with
death's head in all the colours of the rainbow. There is an elegance and
a classical simplicity in the turf-clad heap of mould which covers the
poor man's grave, though it has nothing to defend it from the insults of
the proud but a bramble. The primrose that grows upon it is a better
ornament than the gilded lies on the oppressor's tombstone."

The Greeks had a custom of bedecking tombs with herbs and flowers, among
which parsley was chiefly in use, as appears from Plutarch's story of
Timoleon, who, marching up an ascent, from the top of which he might
take a view of the army and strength of the Carthaginians, was met by a
company of mules laden with parsley, which his soldiers conceived to be
a very ill boding and fatal occurrence, that being the very herb
wherewith they adorned the sepulchres of the dead. This custom gave
birth to that despairing proverb, when we pronounce of one dangerously
sick, that he has need of nothing but parsley; which is in effect to
say, he's a dead man, and ready for the grave. All sorts of purple and
white flowers were acceptable to the dead; as the amaranthus, which was
first used by the Thessalians to adorn Achilles's grave. The rose, too,
was very grateful; nor was the use of myrtle less common. In short,
graves were bedecked with garlands of all sorts of flowers, as appears
from Agamemnon's daughter in Sophocles: -

"No sooner came I to my father's tomb,
But milk fresh pour'd in copious streams did flow,
And _flowers_ of ev'ry sort around were strow'd."

Several other tributes were frequently laid upon graves, as ribands;
whence it is said that Epaminondas's soldiers being disanimated at
seeing the riband that hung upon his spear carried by the wind to a
certain Lacedæmonian sepulchre, he bid them take courage, for that it
portended destruction to the Lacedæmons, it being customary to deck the
sepulchres of their dead with ribands. Another thing dedicated to the
dead was their hair. Electra, in Sophocles, says, that Agamemnon had
commanded her and Chrysosthemis to pay this honour: -

"With drink-off'rings and _locks of hair_ we must,
According to his will, his _tomb_ adorn."

It was likewise customary to perfume the grave-stones with sweet
ointments, &c.


* * * * *


_(For the Mirror.)_

I've roam'd the thorny path of life,
And search'd abroad to find.
Amid the blooming flowers so rife,
That germ called peace of mind.
At length a lovely lily caught
My anxious, longing view,
With all the sweets of "Heartsease" fraught,
That fragrant flower was YOU.

Thy smile to me is Heaven divine,
Thy voice the soul of Love -
In pity, then, sweet maid, be mine,
My "heartsease" flow'ret prove.
Nor wealth nor power would I attain,
Though uncontrolled and free -
All other joys to me are pain,
When sever'd, love, from THEE.


* * * * *


_(For the Mirror.)_

An event in the life of this nobleman gave Otway the plot for his
celebrated tragedy of "The Orphan," though he laid the scene of his play
in Bohemia. It is recorded in the "English Adventures," a very scarce
pamphlet, published in 1667, only two or three copies of which are
extant. The father of Charles Brandon retired, on the death of his lady,
to the borders of Hampshire. His family consisted of two sons, and a
young lady, the daughter of a friend, lately deceased, whom he adopted
as his own child.

This lady being singularly beautiful, as well as amiable in her manners,
attracted the affections of both the brothers. The elder, however, was
the favourite, and he privately married her; which the younger not
knowing, and overhearing an appointment of the lovers to meet the next
night in her bed-chamber, he contrived to get his brother otherwise
employed, and made the signal of admission himself, (thinking it a mere
intrigue.) Unfortunately he succeeded.

On discovery, the lady lost her reason, and soon after died. The two
brothers fought, and the elder fell. The father broke his heart a few
months afterwards. The younger brother, Charles Brandon, the
unintentional author of all this family misery, quitted England in
despair, with a fixed determination of never returning.

Being abroad for several years, his nearest relations supposed him dead,
and began to take the necessary steps for obtaining his estates; when,
roused by this intelligence, he returned privately to England, and for a
time took obscure lodgings in the vicinity of his family mansion.

While he was in this retreat, the young king, (Henry VIII.), who had
just buried his father, was one day hunting on the borders of Hampshire,
when he heard the cries of a female in distress in an adjoining wood.
His gallantry immediately summoned him to the place, though he then
happened to be detached from all his courtiers, where he saw two
ruffians attempting to violate the honour of a young lady. The king
instantly drew on them; and a scuffle ensued, which roused the _reverie_
of Charles Brandon, who was taking his morning walk in an adjoining
thicket. He immediately ranged himself on the side of the king, whom he
then did not know; and by his dexterity, soon disarmed one of the
ruffians, while the other fled.

The king, charmed with this act of gallantry, so congenial to his own
mind, inquired the name and family of the stranger; and not only
repossessed him of his patrimonial estates, but took him under his
immediate protection.

It was this same Charles Brandon who afterwards privately married
Henry's sister, Margaret, queen-dowager of France; which marriage the
king not only forgave, but created him Duke of Suffolk, and continued
his favour towards him to the last hour of the duke's life.

He died before Henry; and the latter showed, in his attachment to this
nobleman, that notwithstanding his fits of capriciousness and cruelty,
he was capable of a cordial and steady friendship. He was sitting in
council when the news of Suffolk's death reached him; and he publicly
took that occasion, both to express his own sorrow, and to celebrate the
merits of the deceased. He declared, that during the whole course of
their acquaintance, his brother-in-law had not made a single attempt to
injure an adversary, and had never whispered a word to the disadvantage
of any one; "and are there _any of you_, my lords, who can say as much?"
When the king subjoined these words, (says the historian,) he looked
round in all their faces, and saw that confusion which the consciousness
of secret guilt naturally threw upon them.

Otway took his plot from the fact related in this pamphlet; but to
avoid, perhaps, interfering in a circumstance which might affect many
noble families at that time living, he laid the scene of his tragedy in

There is a large painting of the above incident now at Woburn, the seat
of his Grace the Duke of Bedford; and the old duchess-dowager, in
showing this picture a few years before her death to a nobleman, related
the particulars of the story.


* * * * *


* * * * *


_(For the Mirror)_

The best or north-east view of Carmarthen comprises the bridge, part of
the quay, with the granaries and shipping, and in the middle is seen
part of the castle. Few towns can, perhaps, boast of greater antiquity,
or of so many antiquarian remains as Carmarthen, South Wales; although,
I am sorry to say, that their origin and history have not been, I
believe, clearly explained or understood by the literary world. One
would conclude, that as a Welshman is almost proverbially distinguished
for deeming himself illustriously descended, and relating his long
pedigree, he would naturally boast of, and exhibit to the public, some
account of these vestiges of his ancestors; but such is not the case,
and to their shame be it spoken, these ruins are scarcely noticed with
any degree of interest by the inhabitants of Carmarthen. But to my
subject. The name is derived from _caera_, wall, and _marthen_, a
corruption of Merlyn, the name of its founder, who was a great
necromancer and prophet, and held in high respect by the Welsh. There is
a seat hewn out of a rock in a grove near this town, called Merlyn's
Grove, where it is said he studied. He prophesied the fate of Wales, and
said that Carmarthen would some day sink and be covered with water. I
would concur with the author of a "Family Tour through the British
Empire," by attributing his influence, not to any powers in magic, but
to a superior understanding; although some of his predictions have been
verified. The town of Carmarthen is pleasantly situated in a valley
surrounded by hills; it has been fortified with walls and a castle, part
of which remain; so that it appears to have been the residence of many
princes of Wales. It has also been a Roman station, and has the remains
of a Roman prætorium. Amongst its other antiquities are the Grey Friars,
(a monastery,) the Bulwark, (a trench on the side of the town that
fronts the river,) and the Priory. Its modern buildings are, the
monument erected to Sir Thomas Picton, the Guildhall, the two gaols, a
fish and butter market-place, over which is the town fire-bell; the
slaughter-house, similar to the abattoir at Paris, and excellent
shambles, with poultry and potato market-places annexed. The church,
which is an ancient one, has an unattractive exterior; but when you
enter it, I think you will say it can compete with any church for
ancient beauty and ornament. Amongst the tombs in the chancel are those
of Sir Rhys ap Thomas, with the effigies of him and his lady, affording
a specimen of the costume of the reign of Henry VII.; and Sir Richard
Steele, whose remains are discovered by a small, simple tablet. There is
a promenade here, called the Parade, which commands a fine and extensive
view of the surrounding picturesque scenery and of the Towy, where the
coracles may be seen plying about. The town consists of ten principal
streets, noted for being kept clean, and lighted with gas. It is
governed by a mayor, two sheriffs, and twenty councilmen; sends a member
to Parliament, and gives title of marquess to the family of Osborne. It
carries on a great trade in butter and oats; and traffics much with
Bristol by the river Towy, which runs into the sea; whence ships of two
hundred tons burden come up to the town. The bay is very dangerous,
owing to the bar and the quicksands. Its chief manufacture is tin, which
is esteemed the best in the kingdom. It has a small theatre, in
appearance a stable; but it is in contemplation to build a new one, as
also a church; so that you will perceive the march of improvement is
rapidly spreading into Wales, as well as other places.


P.S. Since I sent you an account of Picton's Monument at Carmarthen, it
has been altered. The statue, bas-reliefs, and ornaments of the Picton
Monument, have been bronzed by the direction of Mr. Nash, on his late
visit to this town. Elegant as this column was before, the effect of the
bronze, and a few other alterations, have so improved its appearance, as
to make it seem a different structure. Nothing now remains to complete
the outside but the names of the different actions in which Sir T.
Picton was engaged during his honourable career. These are to be placed
in bronzed letters on the base. A Latin inscription, already prepared,
together with the arms and a bust of Picton, will ornament the inside of
the building. It certainly is a monument worthy of the hero to whose
memory it has been erected, and of the country by which it has been

* * * * *


* * * * *


_By an eye witness._

[For the following very interesting Narrative, our acknowledgments are
due to the _United Service Journal,_ - a work which has just started with
the year, and to which, in the "customary" phrase, we wish "many happy

The summer of 1815 found me at Brussels. The town was then crowded to
excess - it seemed a city of splendour; the bright and varied uniforms of
so many different nations, mingled with the gay dresses of female beauty
in the Park, and the _Allée Verte_ was thronged with superb horses and
brilliant equipages. The _tables d'hôte_ resounded with a confusion of
tongues which might have rivalled the Tower of Babel, and the shops
actually glittered with showy toys hung out to tempt money from the
pockets of the English, whom the Flemings seemed to consider as walking
bags of gold. Balls and plays, routs and dinners were the only topics of
conversation; and though some occasional rumours were spread that the
French had made an incursion within the lines, and carried off a few
head of cattle, the tales were too vague to excite the least alarm. I
was then lodging with a Madame Tissand, on the Place du Sablon, and I
occasionally chatted with my hostess on the critical posture of affairs.
Every Frenchwoman loves politics, and Madame Tissand, who was deeply
interested in the subject, continually assured me of her complete
devotion to the English. - "Ces maudits François!" cried she one day,
with almost terrific energy, when speaking of Napoleon's army. "If they
should dare come to Brussels, I will tear their eyes out!" - "Oh, aunt!"
sighed her pretty niece; "remember that Louis is a conscript!" - "Silence,
Annette. I hate even my son, since he is fighting against the brave
English!" - This was accompanied with a bow to me; but I own that I
thought Annette's love far more interesting than Madame's Anglicism.

On the 3rd of June, I went to see ten thousand troops reviewed by the
Dukes of Wellington and Brunswick. Imagination cannot picture any thing
finer than the _ensemble_ of this scene. The splendid uniforms of the
English, Scotch, and Hanoverians, contrasted strongly with the gloomy
black of the Brunswick Hussars, whose veneration for the memory of their
old Duke, could be only be equalled by their devotion to his son. The
firm step of the Highlanders seemed irresistible; and as they moved in
solid masses, they appeared prepared to sweep away every thing that
opposed them. In short, I was delighted with the cleanliness, military
order, and excellent appointments of the men generally, and I was
particularly struck with the handsome features of the Duke of Brunswick,
whose fine, manly figure, as he galloped across the field, quite
realized my _beau ideal_ of a warrior. The next time I saw the Duke of
Brunswick was at the dress ball, given at the Assembly-rooms in the Rue
Ducale, on the night of the 15th of June. I stood near him when he
received the information that a powerful French force was advancing in
the direction of Charleroy. "Then it is high time for me to be off,"
said the Duke, and I never saw him alive again. The assembly broke up
abruptly, and in half an hour drums were beating and bugles sounding.
The good burghers of the city, who were almost all enjoying their first
sleep, started from their beds at the alarm, and hastened to the
streets, wrapped in the first things they could find. The most
ridiculous and absurd rumours were rapidly circulated and believed. The
most general impression seemed to be that the town was on fire; the next
that the Duke of Wellington had been assassinated; but when it was
discovered that the French were advancing, the consternation became
general, and every one hurried to the Place Royale, where the
Hanoverians and Brunswickers were already mustering.

About one o'clock in the morning of the 16th, the whole population of
Brussels seemed in motion. The streets were crowded as in full day;
lights flashed to and fro; artillery and baggage-wagons were creaking in
every direction; the drums beat to arms, and the bugles sounded loudly
"the dreadful note of preparation." The noise and bustle surpassed all
description; here were horses plunging and kicking amidst a crowd of
terrified burghers; there lovers parting from their weeping mistresses.
Now the attention was attracted by a park of artillery thundering
through the streets; and now, by a group of officers disputing loudly
the demands of their imperturbable Flemish landlords; for not even the
panic which prevailed could frighten the Flemings out of a single
stiver; screams and yells occasionally rose above the busy hum that
murmured through the crowd, but the general sound resembled the roar of
the distant ocean. Between two and three o'clock the Brunswickers
marched from the town, still clad in the mourning which they wore for
their old duke, and burning to avenge his death. Alas! they had a still
more fatal loss to lament ere they returned. At four, the whole
disposable force under the Duke of Wellington was collected together,
but in such haste, that many of the officers had not time to change
their silk stockings and dancing shoes; and some, quite overcome by
drowsiness, were seen lying asleep about the ramparts, still holding,
however, with a firm hand, the reins of their horses which were grazing
by their sides. About five o'clock, the word "march" was heard in all
directions, and instantly the whole mass appeared to move
simultaneously. I conversed with several of the officers previous to
their departure, and not one appeared to have the slightest idea of an
approaching engagement. The Duke of Wellington and his staff did not
quit Brussels till past eleven o'clock; and it was not till some time
after they were gone, that it was generally known the whole French army,
including a strong corps of cavalry, was within a few miles of Quatre
Bras, where the brave Duke of Brunswick first met the enemy:

"And foremost fighting - fell."

Dismay seized us all, when we found that a powerful French army was
really within twenty-eight miles of us; and we shuddered at the thought
of the awful contest which was taking place. For my own part, I had
never been so near a field of battle before, and I cannot describe my
sensations. We knew that our army had no alternative but to fly, or
fight with a force four times stronger than its own: and though we
could not doubt British bravery, we trembled at the fearful odds to
which our men must be exposed. Cannon, lances, and swords, were opposed
to the English bayonet alone. Cavalry we had none on the first day, for
the horses had been sent to grass, and the men were scattered too widely
over the country, to be collected at such short notice. Under these
circumstances, victory was impossible; indeed, nothing but the stanch
bravery, and exact discipline of the men, prevented the foremost of our
infantry from being annihilated; and though the English maintained their
ground during the day, at night a retreat became necessary. The agony of
the British, resident at Brussels, during the whole of this eventful
day, sets all language at defiance. No one thought of rest or food; but
every one who could get a telescope, flew to the ramparts to strain his
eyes, in vain attempts to discover what was passing. At length, some
soldiers in French uniforms were seen in the distance; and as the news
flew from mouth to mouth, it was soon magnified into a rumour that the
French were coming. Horror seized the English and their adherents, and
the hitherto concealed partizans of the French began openly to avow
themselves; tri-coloured ribbons grew suddenly into great request, and
cries of "Vive l'Empereur!" resounded through the air. These
exclamations, however, were changed to "Vive le Lord Vellington!" when
it was discovered that the approaching French came as captives, not

Between seven and eight o'clock in the evening, I walked up to the
_Porte de Namur_, where the wounded were just beginning to arrive.
Fortunately some commodious caravans had arrived from England, only a
few days before, and these were now entering the gate. They were filled
principally with Brunswickers and Highlanders; and it was an appalling
spectacle to behold the very soldiers, whose fine martial appearance and
excellent appointments I had so much admired at the review, now lying
helpless and mutilated - their uniforms soiled with blood and dirt - their
mouths blackened with biting their cartridges, and all the splendour of

1 3 4