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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 19, No. 530, January 21, 1832 online

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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

VOL. XIX. NO. 530.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 1832. [PRICE 2_d_.


* * * * *



LAW INSTITUTION.


[Illustration: LAW INSTITUTION.]

This handsome portico is situate on the west side of Chancery Lane. It
represents, however, but a portion of the building, which extends thence
into Bell Yard, where there is a similar entrance. The whole has been
erected by Messrs. Lee and Sons, the builders of the new Post Office and
the London University; whose contract for the present work is stated at
9,214_l_. The portion in our engraving is one of the finest structures of
its kind in the metropolis. The bold yet chaste character of the Ionic
columns, and the rich foliated moulding which decorates the pediment, as
well as the soffit ceiling of the portico, must be greatly admired. We
should regret this handsome structure being pent up in so narrow a street
as Chancery Lane, did not the appropriateness of its situation promise
advantages of greater importance than mere architectural display.

From the Fourth Annual Report, we learn that "the plan of the _Law
Institution_ originated with some individuals in the profession, who were
desirous of increasing its respectability, and promoting the general
convenience and advantage of its members." Rightly enough it appeared to
them "singular, that whilst the various public bodies, companies, and
commercial and trading classes in the metropolis, and indeed in many of
the principal towns in the kingdom, have long possessed places of general
resort, for the more convenient transaction of their business; and while
numerous institutions for promoting literature and science amongst all
ranks and conditions of society, have been long established, and others
are daily springing up, the attorneys and solicitors of the superior
courts of record at Westminster should still be without an establishment
in London, calculated to afford them similar advantages; more particularly
when the halls and libraries of the inns of court, the clubs of barristers,
special pleaders, and conveyancers, the libraries of the advocates and
writers to the signet at Edinburgh, and the association of attorneys in
Dublin, furnish a strong presumption of the advantages which would
probably result from an establishment of a similar description for
attorneys in London.

"For effecting the purposes of the institution, it was considered
necessary to raise a fund of 50,000_l_. in shares of 25_l_. each, payable
by instalments, no one being permitted to take more than twenty shares.
The plan having been generally announced to the profession, a large
proportion of the shares were immediately subscribed for, so that no doubt
remained of the success of the design, and the committee therefore
directed inquiries to be made for a site for the intended building, and
succeeded in obtaining an eligible one in Chancery Lane, nearly opposite
to the Rolls Court, consisting of two houses, formerly occupied by Sir
John Silvester (and lately by Messrs. Collins and Wells,) and Messrs.
Clarke, Richards and Medcalf, and of the house behind, in Bell Yard,
lately in the possession of Mr. Maxwell; thus having the advantage of two
frontages, and, from its contiguity to the law offices and inns of court,
being peculiarly adapted to the objects of the institution."

"It is the present intention of the committee to provide for the following
objects: - _viz_ - _A Hall_, to be open at all hours of the day; but some
particular hour to be fixed as the general time for assembling: to be
furnished with desks, or inclosed tables, affording similar accommodations
to those in Lloyd's Coffee House; and to be provided with newspapers and
other publications calculated for general reference."

"An Ante-room for clerks and others, in which will be kept an account of
all public and private parliamentary business, in its various stages,
appeals in the House of Lords, the general and daily cause papers, seal
papers, &c."

"A Library to contain a complete collection of books in the law, and
relating to those branches of literature which may be considered more
particularly connected with the profession; votes, reports, acts, journals,
and other proceedings of parliament; county and local histories;
topographical, genealogical, and other matters of antiquarian research, &c.
&c."

"An Office of Registry in which will be kept accounts and printed
particulars of property intended for sale, &c."

"A Club Room which may afford members an opportunity of procuring dinners
and refreshments, on the plan of the University, Athenaeum, Verulam, and
similar clubs."

"A suite of rooms for meetings."

"Fire-proof rooms, in the basement story, to be fitted up with closets,
shelves, drawers, and partitions, for the deposit of deeds, &c."

Upon reference to the list of members to Jan. 1831, we find their number
to be 607 in town, and 88 in the country, who hold 2000 shares in the
Institution. A charter of incorporation has recently been granted to the
Society by his Majesty, by the style of "The Society of Attorneys,
Solicitors, Proctors, and others, not being Barristers, practising in the
Courts of Law and Equity in the United Kingdom," thus giving full effect
to the arrangements contemplated by this building in Chancery Lane.

* * * * *


HOPE.

(_For the Mirror_.)


He mark'd two sunbeams upward driven
Till they blent in one in the bosom of heaven;
And when closed o'er the eye lid of night,
His own mind's eye saw it doubly bright,
And as upward and upward it floated on
He deemed it a seraph - and anon.
Through its light on heaven's floor he made,
The shadow bright of his dead love's shade,
In her living beauty, and he wrapt her in light,
Which dropped from the eye of the _Infinite_.
And as she breathed her heavenward sigh,
'Twas halved by that light all radiently,
As it lit her up to eternity.
Then the future opened its ocult scroll.
And his own inward man was refined to soul,
And straightway it rose to the realms above,
On the wings of thought till it joined his love,
And though from that beauteous trance he woke
Still linger'd the thought - and he called it - hope!

* * * * *


LOVE'S KERCHIEF.

(_For the Mirror._)


It was a custom in my time to look through a handkerchief at the new year's
moon, and as many moons as ye saw (multiplied by the handkerchief,) so
many years would ye be before ye were wed.

When sunset and moon-rise
Chill and burn at once on the earth -
When love-tears and love-sighs
Tickle up boisterous mirth -
When fate-stars are shooting,
Sparks of love to the maid
To fill her funeral eye with light,
And owlets are hooting
Her sire's ghost, which she's unlaid
With vexation, down backward in night;
Then the lover may spin from that light of her eye,
(As through his sigh it glances silkily,)
With the wheel of a dead witch's fancy,
The thread of his after destiny -
All hidden things to prove.
Then make a warp and a woof of that thread of sight,
And weave it with loom of a fairy sprite,
As she works by the lamp of the glow-worm's light,
While it lays drunk with the dew-drop of night,
And ye'll have the _kerchief_ of love:
Then peep through it at the waning moon,
And ye shall read your fate - anon.

* * * * *


A SKETCH OF SINGAPORE.[1]


Near the village of Kampong Glam[2] I observed a poor-looking bungalow,
surrounded by high walls, exhibiting effects of age and climate. Over the
large gateway which opened into the inclosure surrounding this dwelling
were watch-towers. On inquiry, I found this was the residence of the Rajah
of Johore, who includes Sincapore also in his dominions. The island was
purchased of him by the British Government, who now allow him an annual
pension. He is considered to have been formerly a leader of pirates; and
when we saw a brig he was building, it naturally occurred to our minds
whether he was about to resort to his old practices. We proposed visiting
this personage; and on arriving at the gateway were met by a peon, who,
after delivering our message to the Rajah, requested us to wait a few
minutes, until his _Highness_ was ready. We did not wait long, for the
Rajah soon appeared, and took his seat, in lieu of a throne, upon the
highest step of those which led to his dwelling. His appearance was
remarkable: he appeared a man of about forty years of age - teeth perfect,
but quite black, from the custom of chewing the betel constantly. His head
was large; and his shaven cranium afforded an interesting phrenological
treat. He was deformed; not more than five feet in height, of large body,
and short, thick, and deformed legs, scarcely able to support the
ponderous trunk. His neck was thick and short, and his head habitually
stooped; his face bloated, with the lower lip projecting, and large eyes
protruding, one of them having a cataractal appearance. He was dressed in
a short pair of cotton drawers, a sarong of cotton cloth came across the
shoulders in the form of a scarf, and with tarnished, embroidered slippers,
and handkerchief around the head (having the upper part exposed) after the
Malay fashion, completed the attire of this singular creature.

As much grace and dignity was displayed in our reception as such a figure
could show, and chairs were placed by the attendants for our accommodation.
He waddled a short distance, and, notwithstanding the exertion was so
extraordinary as to cause large drops of perspiration to roll down his
face, conferred a great honour upon us by personally accompanying us to
see a tank he had just formed for fish, and with a flight of steps, for
the convenience of bathing. After viewing this, he returned to his former
station, when he re-seated himself, with a dignity of look and manner
surpassing all description; and we took our departure, after a brief
common-place conversation.

I remarked, that on his approach the natives squatted down, as a mark of
respect: a custom similar to which prevails in several of the Polynesian
islands.

_Mr. G.B.'s MS. Jour., Nov. 15, 1830_.


[1] Singapoor is derived from Sing-gah, signifying to call or
touch at, bait, stop by the way; and poor, a village (generally
fortified), a town, & c. - (Marsden's Malay Dictionary). It is
considered at this island, or rather at this part of the island
where the town is now situated (the name, however, has been
given by Europeans to the whole island), there was formerly a
village, inhabited principally by fishermen. The Malays, who
traded from the eastward to Malacca, and others of the ports to
the westward, touched at this place. Singa also signifies a lion
(known by name only in the Malay countries), from which the name
of the island has been (no doubt erroneously) supposed to be
derived.

[2] Kampong Glam, near Sincapore, has its flame derived, it is
said, from Kampong, signifying a village; and Glam, the name of
a particular kind of tree.

* * * * *



MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.


ROYAL AND NOBLE GLUTTONY.

(_For the Mirror_.)


The Emperor Claudius had a strong predilection for mushrooms: he was
poisoned with them, by Agrippina, his niece and fourth wife; but as the
poison only made him sick, he sent for Xenophon, his physician, who,
pretending to give him one of the emetics he commonly used after debauches,
caused a poisoned feather to be passed into his throat.

Nero used to call mushrooms the relish of the gods, because Claudius, his
predecessor, having been, as was supposed, poisoned by them, was, after
his death, ranked among the gods.

Domitian one day convoked the senate, to know in what fish-kettle they
should cook a monstrous turbot, which had been presented to him. The
senators gravely weighed the matter; but as there was no utensil of this
kind big enough, it was proposed to cut the fish in pieces. This advice
was rejected. After much deliberation, it was resolved that a proper
utensil should be made for the purpose; and it was decided, that whenever
the emperor went to war a great number of potters should accompany him.
The most pleasing part of the story is, that a blind senator seemed in
perfect ecstacy at the turbot, by continually praising it, at the same
time turning in the very opposite direction.

Julius Caesar sometimes ate at a meal the revenues of several provinces.

Vitellius made four meals a day; and all those he took with his friends
never cost less than ten thousand crowns. That which was given to him by
his brother was most magnificent: two thousand select dishes were served
up: seven thousand fat birds, and every delicacy which the ocean and
Mediterranean sea could furnish.

Nero sat at the table from midday till midnight, amidst the most monstrous
profusion.

Geta had all sorts of meat served up to him in alphabetical order.

Heliogabalus regaled twelve of his friends in the most incredible manner:
he gave to each guest animals of the same species as those he served them
to eat; he insisted upon their carrying away all the vases or cups of gold,
silver, and precious stones, out of which they had drunk; and it is
remarkable, that he supplied each with a new one every time he asked to
drink. He placed on the head of each a crown interwoven with green foliage,
and gave each a superbly-ornamented and well-yoked car to return home in.
He rarely ate fish but when he was near the sea; and when he was at a
distance from it, he had them served up to him in sea-water.

Louis VIII. invented a dish called _Truffes a la purée d'ortolans_. The
happy few who tasted this dish, as concocted by the royal hand of Louis
himself, described it as the very perfection of the culinary art. The Duc
d'Escars was sent for one day by his royal master, for the purpose of
assisting in the preparation of a glorious dish of _Truffes a la purée
d'ortolans_; and their joint efforts being more than usually successful,
the happy friends sat down to _Truffes a la purée d'ortolans_ for ten, the
whole of which they caused to disappear between them, and then each
retired to rest, triumphing in the success of their happy toils. In the
middle of the night, however, the Duc d'Escars suddenly awoke, and found
himself alarmingly indisposed. He rang the bells of his apartment, when
his servant came in, and his physicians were sent for; but they were of no
avail, for he was dying of a surfeit. In his last moments he caused some
of his attendants to go and inquire whether his majesty was not suffering
in a similar manner with himself, but they found him sleeping soundly and
quietly. In the morning, when the king was informed of the sad catastrophe
of his faithful friend and servant, he exclaimed, "Ah, I told him I had
the better digestion of the two."

W.G.C.

* * * * *



THE SKETCH BOOK.


EVERY MAN IN HIS HUMOUR. A FRAGMENT.

(_For the Mirror_.)


During the rage of the last continental war in Europe, occasion - no matter
what - called an honest Yorkshire squire to take a journey to Warsaw.
Untravelled and unknowing, he provided himself no passport: his business
concerned himself alone, and what had foreign nations to do with him? His
route lay through the states of neutral and contending powers. He landed
in Holland - passed the usual examination; but, insisting that the affairs
which brought him there were of a private nature, he was
imprisoned - questioned - sifted; - and appearing to be incapable of design,
was at length permitted to pursue his journey.

To the officer of the guard who conducted him to the frontiers he made
frequent complaints of the loss he should sustain by the delay. He swore
it was uncivil, and unfriendly, and ungenerous: five hundred Dutchmen
might have travelled through Great Britain without a question, - they never
questioned any stranger in Great Britain, nor stopped him, nor imprisoned
him, nor guarded him.

Roused from his native phlegm by these reflections on the police of his
country, the officer slowly drew the pipe from his mouth, and emitting the
smoke, "Mynheer," said he, "when you first set your foot on the land of
the Seven United Provinces, you should have declared you came hither on
affairs of commerce;" and replacing his pipe, relapsed into immovable
taciturnity.

Released from this unsocial companion, he soon arrived at a French post,
where the sentinel of the advanced guard requested the honour of his
permission to ask for his passports. On his failing to produce any, he was
entreated to pardon the liberty he took of conducting him to the
commandant - but it was his duty, and he must, however reluctantly, perform
it.

Monsieur le Commandant received him with cold and pompous politeness. He
made the usual inquiries; and our traveller, determined to avoid the error
which had produced such inconvenience, replied that commercial concerns
drew him to the continent. "Ma foi," said the commandant, "c'est un
negotiant, un bourgeois" - take him away to the citadel, we will examine
him to-morrow, at present we must dress for the comedie - "Allons."

"Monsieur," said the sentinel, as he conducted him to the guard-room, "you
should not have mentioned commerce to Monsieur le Commandant; no gentleman
in France disgraces himself with trade - we despise traffic; you should
have informed Monsieur le Commandant, that you entered the dominions of
the Grand Monarque to improve in dancing, or in singing, or in dressing:
arms are the profession of a man of fashion, and glory and accomplishments
his pursuits - Vive le Roi."

He had the honour of passing the night with a French guard, and the next
day was dismissed. Proceeding on his journey, he fell in with a detachment
of German Chasseurs. They demanded his name, quality, and business. He
came he said to dance, and to sing, and to dress. "He is a Frenchman,"
said the corporal - "A spy!" cries the sergeant. He was directed to mount
behind a dragoon, and carried to the camp.

There he was soon discharged; but not without a word of advice. "We
Germans," said the officer, "eat, drink, and smoke: these are our
favourite employments; and had you informed the dragoons you followed no
other business, you would have saved them, me, and yourself, infinite
trouble."

He soon approached the Prussian dominions, where his examination was still
more strict; and on answering that his only designs were to eat, and to
drink, and to smoke - "To eat! and to drink! and to smoke!" exclaimed the
officer with astonishment. "Sir, you must he forwarded to Postdam - war is
the only business of mankind." The acute and penetrating Frederick soon
comprehended the character of our traveller, and gave him a passport under
his own hand. "It is an ignorant, an innocent Englishman," says the
veteran; "the English are unacquainted with military duties; when they
want a general they borrow him of me."

At the barriers of Saxony he was again interrogated. "I am a soldier,"
said our traveller, "behold the passport of the first warrior of the
age." - "You are a pupil of the destroyer of millions," replied the
sentinel, "we must send you to Dresden; and, hark'e, sir, conceal your
passport, as you would avoid being torn to pieces by those whose husbands,
sons, and relations have been wantonly sacrificed at the shrine of
Prussian ambition." A second examination at Dresden cleared him of
suspicion.

Arrived at the frontiers of Poland, he flattered himself his troubles were
at an end; but he reckoned without his host.

"Your business in Poland?" interrogated the officer.

"I really don't know, sir."

"Not know your own business, sir!" resumed the officer; "I must conduct
you to the Starost."

"For the love of God," said the wearied traveller, "take pity on me. I
have been imprisoned in Holland for being desirous to keep my own affairs
to myself; - I have been confined all night in a French guard-house, for
declaring myself a merchant; - I have been compelled to ride seven miles
behind a German dragoon, for professing myself a man of pleasure; - I have
been carried fifty miles a prisoner in Prussia, for acknowledging my
attachment to ease and good living; - I have been threatened with
assassination in Saxony, for avowing myself a warrior. If you will have
the goodness to let me know how I may render such an account of myself as
not to give offence, I shall ever consider you as my friend and protector."

M - A - NS.

* * * * *



RETROSPECTIVE GLEANINGS.


SPEECH OF KING HENRY THE FIRST.

(_To the Editor_.)


The following speech of Henry the First will, no doubt, be thought by some
of your numerous readers curious enough to deserve a corner in your
valuable _Mirror_. It is the first that ever was delivered from the throne;
- is preserved to us by only one historian (Mathew Paris), and scarcely
taken notice of by any other. Henry the First, the Conqueror's youngest
son, had dispossessed his eldest brother, Robert, of his right of
succession to the crown of England. The latter afterwards coming over to
England, upon a friendly visit to him, and Henry, being suspicious that
this circumstance might turn to his disadvantage, called together the
great men of the realm, and spoke to them as follows: -

"My friends and faithful subjects, both natives and foreigners, - You all
know very well that my brother Robert was both called by God, and elected
King of Jerusalem, which he now might have happily governed; and how
shamefully he refused that rule, for which he justly deserves God's anger
and reproof. You know also, in many other instances, his pride and
brutality: because he is a man that delights in war and bloodshed, he is
impatient of peace. I know that he thinks you a parcel of contemptible
fellows: he calls you a set of gluttons and drunkards, whom he hopes to
tread under his feet. I, truly a king, meek, humble, and peaceable, will
preserve and cherish you in your ancient liberties, which I have formerly
sworn to perform; will hearken to your wise councils with patience; and
will govern you justly, after the example of the best of princes. If you
desire it, I will strengthen this promise with a written character; and
all those laws which the Holy King Edward, by the inspiration of God, so
wisely enacted, I will again swear to keep inviolably. If you, my brethren,
will stand by me faithfully, we shall easily repulse the strongest efforts
the cruelest enemy can make against me and these kingdoms. If I am only
supported by the valour of the English nation, all the weak threats of the
Normans will no longer seem formidable to me."

The historian adds, that this harrangue of Henry to his nobles had the
desired effect, though he afterwards broke all his promises to them. Duke
Robert went back much disgusted; when his brother soon after followed,
gained a victory over him, took him prisoner, put out his eyes, and
condemned him to perpetual imprisonment.

G.K.

* * * * *


REMEDY FOR ALDERMEN SLEEPING IN CHURCH.

"Sleep no more." - _Macbeth_.


Bishop Andrews was applied to for advice by a corpulent alderman of
Cambridge, who had been often reproved for sleeping at church, and whose
conscience troubled him on this account. Andrews told him it was an ill
habit of body, and not of mind, and advised him to eat little at dinner.
The alderman tried this expedient, but found it ineffectual. He applied
again with great concern to the bishop, who advised him to make a hearty
meal, as usual, but to take his full sleep before he went to church. The
advice was followed, and the alderman came to St. Mary's Church, where the
preacher was prepared with a sermon against sleeping at church, which was
thrown away, for the good alderman looked at the preacher during the whole
sermon time, and spoiled the design.

P.T.W.

* * * * *



THE NATURALIST.


THE BARN OWL.

(_Concluded from page 28._)


When I found that this first settlement on the gateway had succeeded so
well, I set about forming other establishments. This year I have had four
broods, and I trust that next season I can calculate on having nine. This
will be a pretty increase, and it will help to supply the place of those


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Online LibraryVariousThe Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 19, No. 530, January 21, 1832 → online text (page 1 of 3)