Various.

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

. (page 3 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Ireland; and these again are more improvable than, the Scotish
wastes. - _Quarterly Rev._


* * * * *

CHINESE NOVELS.


The character of the Chinese novels is the same with that of the better
parts of _Don Quixote, Gil Blas, Tom Jones_, and _Cecilia_. Their
authors address themselves to the reason rather than the imagination of
their readers. The other Asiatic nations, led away by a passion for the
marvellous, have often disfigured the most respectable traditions, and
converted history itself into romance. The Chinese, on the other hand,
may be said to have given their romances the truth of history. - _N.
American Review._

* * * * *

The Canadian Indian females are described as passionately fond of their
children, as submissive slaves, and at the same time affectionately
attached to their husbands. This they evince by _self-immolation_, after
the manner of eastern wives. Among the few poisonous plants of Canada,
is a shrub, which yields a wholesome fruit, but contains in its roots a
deadly juice, which the widow, who wishes not to survive her husband,
drinks. An eye-witness describes its effects; the woman having resolved
to die, chanted her death song and funeral service; she then drank off
the poisonous juice, was seized with shivering and convulsions, and
expired in a few minutes on the body of her husband.


* * * * *

SPIRIT OF THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.

* * * * *


TWENTY-EIGHT AND TWENTY-NINE.


"Rien n'est changé, mes amis!"[2]
CHARLES DIX.


[2] I have taken these words for my motto, because they _enable_ me
to tell a story. When the present King of France received his first
address on the return from the emigration, his answer was, "Rien
n'est changé, mes amis; il n'y a qu'un Français de plus." When the
Giraffe arrived in the Jardin des Plantes, the Parisians had a
caricature, in which the ass, and the hog, and the monkey were
presenting an address to the stranger, while the elephant and the
lion stalked angrily away. Of course, the portraits were
recognisable - and the animal was responding graciously, "Rien n'est
changé, mes amis: il n'y a qu'un bête de plus!"


I heard a sick man's dying sigh,
And an infant's idle laughter;
The old Year went with mourning by,
The new came dancing after;
Let Sorrow shed her lonely tear,
Let Revelry hold her ladle;
Bring boughs of cypress for the biel.
Fling roses on the cradle;
Mates to wait on the funeral state!
Pages to pour the wine!
And a requiem for Twenty-eight, -
And a health to Twenty-nine.

Alas! for human happiness,
Alas! for human sorrow;
Our Yesterday is nothingness,
What else will be our Morrow?
Still Beauty must be stealing hearts,
And Knavery stealing purses;
Still Cooks must live by making tarts,
And Wits by making verses;
While Sages prate and Courts debate,
The same Stars set and shine;
And the World, as it roll'd through Twenty-eight,
Must roll through Twenty-nine.

Some King will come, in Heaven's good time,
To the tomb his Father came to;
Some Thief will wade through blood and crime
To a crown he has no claim to;
Some Suffering Land will rend in twain
The manacles that bound her,
And gather the links of the broken chain
To fasten them proudly round her;
The grand and great will love, and hate,
And combat, and combine;
And much where we were in Twenty-eight,
We shall be in Twenty-nine.

O'Connell will toil to raise the Rent,
And Kenyon to sink the Nation;
And Sheil will abuse the Parliament,
And Peel the Association;
And the thought of bayonets and swords
Will make ex-Chancellors merry -
And jokes will be cut in the House of Lords,
And throats in the County Kerry;
And writers of weight will speculate
On the Cabinet's design -
And just what it did in Twenty-eight,
It will do in Twenty-nine.

Mathews will be extremely gay,
And Hook extremely dirty;
And brick and mortar still will say
"Try Warren, No. 30;"
And "General Sauce" will have its puff,
And so will General Jackson -
And peasants will drink up heavy stuff,
Which they pay a heavy tax on;
And long and late, at many a fête,
Gooseberry champagne will shine -
And as old as it was in Twenty-eight,
It will be in Twenty-nine.

And the Goddess of Love will keep her smiles;
And the God of Cups his orgies;
And there'll be riots in St. Giles,
And weddings in St. George's;
And Mendicants will sup like Kings,
And Lords will swear like Lacqueys -
And black eyes oft will lead to rings,
And rings will lead to black eyes;
And pretty Kate will scold her mate.
In a dialect all divine -
Alas! they married in Twenty-eight, -
They will part in Twenty-nine!

John Thomas Mugg, on a lonely hill,
Will do a deed of mystery -
The Morning Chronicle will fill
Five columns with the history;
The Jury will be all surprise,
The Prisoner quite collected -
And Justice Park will wipe his eyes,
And be very much affected;
And folks will relate poor Corder's fate,
As they hurry home to dine,
Comparing the hangings of Twenty-eight
With the hangings of Twenty-nine.

A Curate will go from the house of prayer
To wrong his worthy neighbour,
By dint of quoting the texts of Blair,
And singing the songs of Weber;
Sir Harry will leave the Craven hounds,
To trace the guilty parties -
And ask of the Court five thousand pounds,
To prove how rack'd his heart is:
An Advocate will execrate
The spoiler of Hymen's shrine -
And the speech that did for Twenty-eight
Will do for Twenty-nine.

My Uncle will swathe his gouty limbs,
And tell of his oils and blubbers;
My Aunt, Miss Dobbs, will play longer hymns,
And rather longer rubbers;
My Cousin in Parliament will prove
How utterly ruin'd trade is -
My Brother at Eton will fall in love
With half a hundred ladies;
My Patron will sate his pride from plate.
And his thirst from Bordeaux vine -
His nose was red in Twenty-eight, -
'Twill be redder in Twenty-nine!

And oh! I shall find, how, day by day.
All thoughts and things look older -
How the laugh of Pleasure grows less gay,
And the heart of Friendship colder;
But still I shall be what I have been,
Sworn foe to Lady Reason,
And seldom troubled with the spleen,
And fond of talking treason;
I shall buckle my skait, and leap my gate,
And throw, and write, my line -
And the woman I worshipped in Twenty-eight,
I shall worship in Twenty-nine!

_New Monthly Magazine._


* * * * *

MORAL EFFECT OF ROME UPON THE TRAVELLER.


Those only who have lived in Rome can duly estimate the potent and
lasting impression produced upon the mind of a thinking man, by a
residence in this capital of the ancient world. The daily contemplation
of so many classical and noble objects elevates and purifies the soul,
and has a powerful tendency to allay the inconsiderate fervours and
impetuosities of youth, to mature, and consolidate the character. I am
already so altered, and, I have the vanity to think, so improved a man
since my arrival here, that there are times when I almost doubt my own
identity, and imagine that, by some preternatural agency, I have been
born over again, and have had new blood and new vitality infused into my
frame.

The gratifications of a residence in Rome are inexhaustible. At every
turn I discover some new evidence of the power and magnificence of her
ancient inhabitants, and vivid sensations of delight and awe rapidly
succeed each other. This venerable metropolis is the tomb and monument,
not of princes, but of nations; it illustrates the progressive stages of
human society, and all other cities appear modern and unfinished in
comparison.

Exploring this forenoon the vicinity of Monte Palatino, I discovered in
an obscure corner, near the temple of Romulus, the time-hallowed spring
of Juturna, rising with crystal clearness near the Cloaca maxima, into
which it flows unvalued and forgotten. I refreshed myself in the mid-day
heat by drinking its pure lymph from the hollow of my hand, and gazed
with long and insatiable delight upon the memorable fountain. This
sacred spot is surrounded and obscured by contiguous buildings, and the
walls are luxuriantly fringed and mantled with mosses, lichens, and
broad leaved ivy. The proud aqueducts of the expanding city diminish the
value and importance of this spring, but it was unquestionably the
ruling motive which determined Romulus, or possibly an earlier colony of
Greeks, to take root here, as within the wide compass of the Roman walls
there is no other source of pure water. - _Blackwood's Magazine._


* * * * *

SONG, BY T. CAMPBELL


When Love came first to Earth, the SPRING
Spread rose-buds to receive him.
And back he vow'd his flight he'd wing
To Heaven, if she should leave him.

But SPRING departing, saw his faith
Pledg'd to the next new comer -
He revell'd in the warmer breath
And richer bowers of SUMMER.

Then sportive AUTUMN claim'd by rights
An Archer for her lover,
And even in WINTER'S dark, cold nights
A charm he could discover.

Her routs and balls, and fireside joy,
For this time were his reasons -
In short, Young Love's a gallant boy,
That likes all times and seasons.

_New Monthly Magazine._


* * * * *

SCHOOL AND COLLEGE.


College! how different from school! Never believe a great, broad-faced,
beetle-browed Spoon, when he tells you, with a sigh that would upset a
schooner, that the happiest days of a man's life are those he spends at
school. Does he forget the small bed-room occupied by eighteen boys, the
pump you had to run to on Sunday mornings, when decency and the usher
commanded you to wash? Is he oblivious of the blue chalk and water they
flooded your bowels with at breakfast, and called it milk? Has he lost
the remembrance of the Yorkshire pudding, vulgarly called choke-dog, of
which you were obliged to eat a pound before you were allowed a slice
of beef, and of which, if you swallowed half that quantity, you thought
cooks and oxen mere works of supererogation, and totally useless on the
face of the earth? Has the fool lost all recollection of the prayers in
yon cold, wet, clay-floored cellar, proudly denominated the chapel? has
he forgot the cuffs from the senior boys, the pinches from the second
master? and, _in fine_, has he forgot the press at the end of the
school-room, where a cart-load of birch was deposited at the beginning
of every half year, and not a twig left to tickle a mouse with, long
before the end of it? He talks of freedom from care - what a negative
kind of happiness! Let him cut off his hand, he will never hurt his
nails. Let him enclose an order for all his money even unto us, and no
more will he be troubled with cares about the Stocks - no more will he be
teased with calculations on the price of grain. All that raving about
school-boys is perfect nonsense - it is the most miserable period of a
human being's life. Poor, shivering, trembling, kicked, buffetted,
thumped, and starved little mortals! We never see a large school but we
feel inclined to shoot them all, masters, ushers, and door-keepers
included, merely to put them out of pain.

But at College, how different! - _There_, a man begins to feel that it is
a matter of total indifference to him whether he sit on a hard wooden
bench, or a soft stuffed chair; _there_, the short coat is discarded,
and he stalks about with the air of a three-tailed bashaw, as his own
two, generally, at first, are prolonged a little below the knee;
_there_, his penny tart, which he bought on Saturdays at the door of the
school, is exchanged for a dessert from Golding's; his beer, which he
occasionally imbibed at the little pot-house, two miles beyond the
school bounds, is exchanged for his wine from Butler's. - Books from
Talboy's, the most enterprising of bibliopoles, supply the place of the
tattered Dictionary he brought to the University, which, after being
stolen when new, and passing, by the same process, through twenty hands,
is at last, when fluttering in its last leaves, restolen by the original
proprietor, who fancies he has made a very profitable "nibble." The trot
he used to enjoy by stealth on the butcher's broken-kneed pony, is
succeeded now by a gallop on a steed of Quartermain's; and he is
delighted to find that horse and owner strive which shall be the
softest-mouthed and gentlest charger. The dandy mare, we suppose, has
many long years ago made fat the great-grandfathers of the present race
of dogs; and old Scroggins, we imagine, has been trod to pieces in boots
and shoes, the very memory of which departed long, long before they were
paid for. Of old Scroggins - as Dr. Johnson says - and of his virtues, let
us indulge ourself in the recollection. Though not formed in the finest
mould, or endowed with the extremity of swiftness, his pace was sure and
steady - equal to Hannibal in endurance of fatigue; and, like that
celebrated commander, his aspect was rendered peculiarly fierce and
striking by a blemish in his eye; not ignorant of the way to Woodstock
was the wall-eyed veteran; not unacquainted with the covers at Ditchley;
not unaccustomed to the walls at Hethrop: but Dandy and Scroggins have
padded the hoof from this terrestrial and unstable world - peace to their
manes! - _Blackwood's Magazine._


* * * * *

SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY.

* * * * *

_Friction of Screws and Screw-presses._

An examination of the friction in screws having their threads of various
forms, has led M. Poncelet to this very important conclusion, namely,
that the friction in screws with square threads is to that of equal
screws with triangular threads, as 2.90 to 4.78, proving a very
important advantage of the former over the latter, relative to the loss
of power incurred in both by friction. - _Brande's Journal._


_Fulminating Powder._

According to M. Landgerbe, a mixture of two parts nitre, two parts
neutral carbonate of potash, one part of sulphur, and six parts of
common salt, all finely pulverized, makes a very powerful fulminating
powder. M. Landgerbe adopts the extraordinary error of supposing that
these preparations act with more force downwards than in any other
direction. - _Bull. Univ._


_Aurora Borealis._

An aurora borealis was seen from North End, Hampstead, near London, from
about seven o'clock until eleven, on the evening of Dec. 1. It generally
appeared as a light resembling twilight, but shifting about both to the
east and the west of north, and occasionally forming streams which
continued for several minutes, and extended from 30 to 40 degrees high.
The light on the horizon was not more than 12 or 15 degrees in
height. - _Brande's Journal._


_Paper Linen._

According to the Paris papers, a new invention, called _papier linge_,
has lately attracted much attention. It consists of a paper made closely
to resemble damask and other linen, not only to the eye, but even to the
touch. The articles are used for every purpose to which linen is
applicable, except those requiring much strength and durability. The
price is low, a napkin costs only five or six centimes (about a
halfpenny), and when dirty, they are taken back at half-price. A good
sized table-cloth sells for a franc, and a roll of paper with one or two
colours for papering rooms or for bed curtains, may be had for the same
price.


_Maturation of Wine._

M. de St. Vincent, of Havre, states, from his own experience of long
continuance, that when bottles containing wine are closed by tying a
piece of parchment or bladder over their mouths, instead of using corks
in the ordinary manner, the wine acquires, in a few weeks only, those
qualities which is only given by age in the ordinary way after many
years. - _Nouveau Jour, de Paris._


_Indications of Wholesomeness in Mushrooms._

Whenever a fungus is pleasant in flavour and odour, it may be considered
wholesome; if, on the contrary, it have an offensive smell, a bitter,
astringent, or styptic taste, or even if it leave an unpleasant flavour
in the mouth, it should not be considered fit for food. The colour,
figure, and texture of these vegetables do not afford any characters on
which we can safely rely; yet it may be remarked, that in colour, the
pure yellow, gold colour, bluish pale, dark or lustre brown, wine red,
or the violet, belong to many that are esculent; whilst the pale or
sulphur yellow, bright or blood red, and the greenish, belong to few but
the poisonous. The safe kinds have most frequently a compact, brittle
texture; the flesh is white; they grow more readily in open places, such
as dry pastures and waste lands, than in places humid or shaded by wood.
In general, those should be suspected which grow in caverns and
subterranean passages, on animal matter undergoing putrefaction, as well
as those whose flesh is soft or watery. - _Brande's Journal._


_Zoological Society._

Dr. Brookes, in his address to the recent anniversary meeting of the
Zoological Society, stated that the _Museum_ already contains 600
species of mammalia, 4,000 birds, 1,000 reptiles and fishes, 1,000
testacea and Crustacea, and 30,000 insects. During the last seven
months, the _Gardens_ and Museum have been visited by upwards of 30,000
persons. The vivarium contains upwards of 430 living quadrupeds and
birds. The expenses of the past year have been 10,000 l., partly
contributed by the admission of the public, and still more largely by
the members of the Society, who already exceed 1,200 in number. These
are gratifying facts to every lover of natural history, as they serve to
indicate the progress of _zoology_ in this country - a study which it has
ever been our aim to identify with the pages of the MIRROR.


* * * * *

RETROSPECTIVE GLEANINGS.

* * * * *


ENGLISH ROADS.


The roads of England are the marvel of the world. The improvements which
have been effected during a century would be almost miraculous, did we
not consider that they had been produced by the spirit and intelligence
of the people, and were in no degree dependant upon the apathy or
caprice of the ruling power. The first turnpike-road was established by
an act of the 3rd Charles II. The mob pulled down the gates; and the new
principle was supported at the point of the bayonet. But long after that
period travelling was difficult and dangerous. In December, 1703,
Charles III. king of Spain, slept at Petworth on his way from Portsmouth
to Windsor, and Prince George of Denmark went to meet him there by
desire of the queen. In the relation of the journey given by one of the
prince's attendants, he states, "We set out at six in the morning, by
torchlight, to go to Petworth, and did not get out of the coaches (save
only when we were overturned or stuck fast in the mire) till we arrived
at our journey's end. 'Twas a hard service for the prince to sit
fourteen hours in the coach that day without eating any thing, and
passing through the worst ways I ever saw in my life. We were thrown but
once indeed in going, but our coach, which was the leading one, and his
highnesses body coach, would have suffered very much, if the nimble
boors of Sussex had not frequently poised it, or it with their
shoulders, from Godalming almost to Petworth; and the nearer we
approached the duke's house, the more inaccessible it seemed to be. The
last nine miles of the way cost us six hours' time to conquer them; and,
indeed, we had never done it, if our good master had not several times
lent us a pair of horses out of his own coach, whereby we were enabled
to trace out the way for him." Afterwards, writing of his departure on
the following day from Petworth to Guildford, and thence to Windsor, he
says, "I saw him (the prince) no more, till I found him at supper at
Windsor; for there we were overturned, (as we had been once before the
same morning,) and broke our coach; my Lord Delaware had the same fate,
and so had several others." - Vide Annals of Queen Anne, vol. ii.
Appendix, No. 3.

In the time of Charles, (surnamed the Proud,) Duke of Somerset, who died
in 1748, the roads in Sussex were in so bad a state, that, in order to
arrive at Guildford from Petworth, travellers were obliged to make from
the nearest point of the great road leading from Portsmouth to London.
This was a work of so much difficulty, as to occupy the whole day; and
the duke had a house at Guildford which was regularly used as a
resting-place for the night by any of his family travelling to London. A
manuscript letter from a servant of the duke, dated from London, and
addressed to another at Petworth, acquaints the latter that his grace
intended to go from London thither on a certain day, and directs that
"the keepers and persons who knew the holes and the sloughs must come to
meet his grace with lanterns and long poles to help him on his way."

The late Marquess of Buckingham built an inn at Missenden, about forty
miles from London, as the state of the roads compelled him to sleep
there on the way to Stow - a journey which is at present performed
between breakfast and dinner.


* * * * *

THE GATHERER.



A snapper up of unconsidered trifles.

SHAKSPEARE.

* * * * *


Sir Joseph Banks used to tell a story of his being at Otaheite with
Capt. Cook, when it was accidentally discovered to be the king's
birth-day, on which it was suddenly agreed to have a jollification;
every soul on board got fuddled, except three men who were on duty. The
next day they came on deck, and begged to speak to the captain. "Well,"
said the captain, "what have you got to say?" - "Please your honour, you
were all drunk yesterday, all except we three; will your honour be
pleased to allow us to get drunk to-day?" Sir Joseph, who was standing
by, was so tickled with the oddity of the request, that he begged they
might be indulged, and that he would subscribe two bottles of rum and
two bottles of brandy. The boon was granted, and in less than three
hours, these messmates balanced accounts, being as drunk as their hearts
could wish. - _Mr Wadd._


* * * * *

MADEMOISELLE MARS.


Some time after Napoleon's return to Paris, in 1815, as he was passing
the troops in review at the Place Carousel, he happened to see the
celebrated Mademoiselle Mars, stationed among the troops, in order to
view the imposing military spectacle. The emperor, approaching the spot,
and addressing her, said, "What do you do here, Mademoiselle? this is no
place for you." - "Sire," answered the witty and animated daughter of
Thalia, "I come to behold a real hero; I am tired of seeing mock ones
upon the stage."

INA.


* * * * *


Some years ago the following inscription, engraved on the fragment of a
stone, was discovered amongst the relics of an antiquarian, and was
considered by him as a great curiosity, and enhanced in value by its
translation having puzzled the best scholars of the age: -


BENE.
A.T.H. T.H. I.S.S.T.
ONERE. POS. ET
H. CLAUD. COSTER. TRIP
E. SELLERO
F. IMP
IN. GT. ONAS. DO
TH. HI
S. C.
ON. SOR.
T. I. A. N. E.


Some supposed it to refer to the Emperor Claudian, till a lad one day
spelt it out: "Beneath this stone reposeth Claud Coster, tripe-seller,
of Impington, as doth his consort Jane." R. B.


* * * * *

DRINKING.


Captain John Graunt, in his Observations on the Bills of Mortality,
says, that of 229,250 persons, who died in twenty years, only _two_ are
put to the account of _excessive drinking_. But, perhaps, if the matter
were truly stated, a great many of the dropsies, apoplexies, and palsies
ought to have been placed under that head. It is not impossible that
those who had the charge of rendering these accounts, might have
entertained the opinion of old Dick Baldwyn, who stoutly maintained that
no man ever died of drinking. "Some puny things," said he, "have died


1 3