Thomas Bewick.

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M. M,
* The famous German Violinist.




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BCLZONI, THE TRAVELLER. 101

BELZONI, THE TRAVELLER.
A MEDALLION, of elaborate workmanship, has be^n exe-
cuted at Padua, to the memory of the Egyptian tra-
veller, Belzoni, who was a native of that city ; and a
public oration, in presence of the magistracy and chief
inhabitants of the town, delivered in his praise.

The following notices of the early life of this singular
and indefatigable man, are from the Annuaire Necro-
Unique (a French periodical work), and are understood
to be contributed by M. Depping : —

" John Baptist Belzoni was the son of a poor barber
at Padua, and was bom in the year 1778. When a
boy, he worked at his father's trade, but had always a
desire to see the world, and at 13 years of age lefl his
home, taking his brother Anthony with him, and made
his way in the direction of Rome as far as the Appe-
nines. Arrived at this point, and being almost in a
state of destitution, the alarms of Anthony, who sat
upon a rock, and refused to proceed farther, compelled
the young travellers to return. Three years after,
however, having enlisted a new companion, he started
a second time, and then reached Rome in earnest.-—
What Belzoni did at Rome is uncertain. It has been
said that he applied himself to the study of hydraulics,
but we should doubt whether he ever received any
regular instructions in that science. In the end, how-
ever, being fertile in resources, he took up the trade
of a Monk for want of any better means of livelihood,
and remained in that condition until the period of the
revolution. Having laid aside the cowl, Belzoni then
returned to Padua ; but, finding little prospect there,
in the year 1800 he proceeded to Holland, proposing
to teach the Dutch in the science of hydraulics. Ap-
parently, however, there was some miscalculation m
this arrangement; the Dutch turned out to know
considerably more of hydraulics than their Italian
master ; and at the end of twelve months the traveller
again appeared in Italy, from whence he proceeded to
England in the year 1803. By this time his colossal
figure began to develope itself, and his personal strength
was in proportion to his exterior appearance. He
married a young English woman, and being still some-
thing at a loss for a profession, he determined to profit



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102 BBLZONIy THK TRATBLLIH.

by the curiosity which his personal powers excited,
mnd to exhibit from town to town through Great
Britain his hydraulic experinients and feats of muscular
strengtlu It was a curious spectacle to see this colossus
coming forward on. the stage, carrying sometimes as
many as twenty men placed in different ways upon
his body.

<'This resource, however, did not last long. The
people got tired, and Belzoni was obliged to seek his
fortune elsewhere. In 1812, he went with his wife to
Portugal, and offered his services to the manager of
the great theatre of San Carlos in Lisbon. The Portu-
guese speculation did well for a time, for a pantomime,
called Sampson^ was brought out, and Belzoni attracted
immense audiences in the principal character ; but at
length the people here got tired too, and Belzoni went
to Malta, where he offered his services as a professor
of hydraulics to Ismael Gibraltar, agent of the Pacha
of Egypt. Belzoni's exhibitions as a posture-master
terminated at this period ; but though he was engaged
by the Pacha of Egypt, his first essay as a professor of
hydraulics was rather unfortunate. He had been
presented to the Viceroy, who employed him to con-
struct a machine to water the gardens of Sautra, a villa
which he possessed on the banks of the Nile. The
wiffk was performed, and, according to Belzoni's ac-
count, successfully; but the event was unfortunate,
and had nearly proved tragical. The Viceroy took it
into his head to put fifteen men, besides Belzoni's Irish
servant, upon the machine when it was in motion.
The result was, that an accident occurred. The men
were thrown from the machine. Belzoni's servant had
his thigh broken, and, but for the exertion of bis mas-
ter's great personal strength, would have been entirely
destroyed. I'he superstitious temper of the Turks led
them to regard this event as ominous ; and — that which,
perhaps, went as far in finally knocking up the project-—
the Pacha discovered that it cost him more to-water his
garden with the new machine than it had done by the
old system with the bullocks.

<< Fortunately for Belzoni, he fell at this time into
the hands of the Consul, Mr. Salt, who, perceiving his
capacities, employed him in those works by the per-



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BELZONI, THE TRAVELLER. 105

formailce of which he afterwards acquired so much
reputation. His physical powers fitted him admirably
for the execution of the new duties intrusted to him.
Dressed in the Turkish garb, he ruled the Egyptian
peasants with the gravity of a Cadi or an Aga ; and it
18 said that he did not scruple to administer personal
correction for any failures of duty of which they might
be guilty. In his temper and manners, however, he
was in general mild and unassuming ; and M. Depping
describes his peaceable demeanour as rather curiously
contrasted with his Herculean figure and appearance.
/ One day/ says M. Depping, relating his first interview
with the eastern traveller, < in the autumn of the year
1821, I saw a man of extraordinary stature enter my
house. He was built like a Hercules, and his head
touched the top of the door as he came in. His
shoulders were broad, and his hair thick and bushy ;
but his countenance was mild, and there was nothing
fierce or alarming in his demeanour. He carried a
book under his arm, and was followed by the pubhsher
Galignani, from which circumstance I guessed that he
was an author, though certainly I had never before
seen one of such dimensions. If the Patagonians wrote,
probably his fellow might be discovered among them.
This Hercules, however, explained to me, with great
mildness and simplicity, the object of his visit, which
was, to get a translation made of his Egyptian travels,
which had just appeared in English. At the time, I
knew very little of the man even by report ; but I
appreciated his character as soon as I looked over his
work ; and I was still more astonished when I became
acquainted with the details of his early life, and found
the individual who had begun by walking upon stilts and
playing the mountebank for bread, concluding by open-
mg the pyramids of Egypt, and digging out from under
a mountain of sand the gigantic temple of Ipsamboul.' "

LORD NORBURY.

When his Lordship was told that Mr. Spring Rice
was to be sent out to Calcutta, as Secretary to Lord
W. Bentinck, he observed — *< Send Rice to India ! 'tis
as bad as sending coals to Newcastle."



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104 BVONAPARTS'S WILL.

BUONAPARTE'S WILL.

The Will of Buonaparte gives rise, at present, to rather
a singular contest. A legacy of lOO.OOOf. was lefl to
the son of General Dugommier, under whom, it is
well known, Napoleon served his early campaigns, in
the army of the Pyrenees, and who was killed, in 1795,
at the battle of Saint Sebastian. It appears that Gene-
ral Dugommier left only one legitimate son, who died
without issue. His widow contends that, in default
of other posterity, she alone has a right to the benefit
of the legacy. Generals Bertrand and Montholon
opposed this claim, by urging the incompetence of
French tribunals to determine on the difficulties raised
with respect to a will made at St. Helena, and deposited
in England ; and it seemed that the mere question of
jurisdiction was to be agitated, when M. Adonis Du-
gommier, an officer of a regiment of the line, appeared,
who contends that, in his character of sole surviving
son of General Dugommier, he alone ought to receive
the legacy. The widow replied that he was a natural
son, the issue of the General and a young Creole, at
Guadaloupe, who, if we are to believe the widow's
statement, was a woman of colour and a slave. The
cause was called on before the Tribunal of First Instance,
but, at the request of M. Dugoramier*s advocate, defer-
red for a fonnight.-^ Journal des Debats.



A STRANGE GHOST.

On Saturday evening, about eleven o'clock, two re-
spectable families in Dummyha's Wynd, Montrose,
were frightened to an alarming degree with what they
thought an invisible spirit. As the families were
proceeding to bed, an unwelcome knock came to their
doors. Being a little timid, they inquired who was
there? No answer being made, one, possessed of
stronger nerves than the others, slipped open the door,
without a light, but could not hear or see any thing.
In a little while after, the rapping became truly terrific.
On being repeatedly asked to state who they were, and
no answer given, the fears of the inmates can be more
easily felt than described. Eight stout athletic men,
who belonged to the houses^ stood on the floor, almost



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IRISH ANICDOTl. 105

immoveably fixed, and, like theearth*8topper, with their
hair standing on end with fear. At last^ two of the
men became courageous, and thrust open the window
and came out. On entering the lobby, to their mighty
astonishment, they found the huge body of a jack-ass,
which was the object of so much terror, lying upon
his back, rolling over and over, first kicking at the one
door, then at the other ! The lobby-door, by mistake,
had been left open. The ass had been strolling about,
and, like Paul Pry, had just " dropped in." He at-
tempted to ascend the stairs ; but, the task being too
difficult, fell over on his back. — Dundee Advertiser.



IRISH ANECDOTE.

An Irish paper gives the following anecdote of the
simplicity of a raw Pat, who had just been transplanted
from the interior to Dublin. Pat had been sent by his
master to the quay, to purchase half a bushel of oysters,
but was absent so long, that apprehensions were enter-
tained for his safety. He returned at last, however,
puffing under his load in the most musical style.-—
"Where the devil have you been?" exclaimed his
master. " Where have I been ! why, where would I
be but to fetch the oysters ?"— " And what, in the
name of St. Patrick, kept you so long ?"— " Long ! by
my sotvly I think I've been pretty quick, considering all
things." — " Considering what things ?" — " Considering
what things ! why, considering the gutting of the fish
to be sure."—" Gutting what fish?"— "What fish,
why, blur an' owns, the oysters to be sure." — " What
do you mean ?" — *' What do I mane ! why, 1 mane, that
as I was a-resting myself down forenenst the Pickled
Herring, and having a drop to comfort me, a jontleman
axed me what I'd got in the sack. < Oysters,' said I.
' Let's look at them,' says he : and he opens the bag.

< Och ! thunder and praties,' says he, ' who sorvld you
these?' 'It was Mick Carney/ says I, 'aboard the
Powl Doodie smack.' <Mick Carney, the thief o' the
world!' fl^ys he, 'what a blackguard he must be to
give them to you without gutting !' ' And ar'nt they
gutted?' says L 'Devil a one of them,' says he.

< Musha, then/ says I, ' what will I do ?' ' Do,' says



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106 EARL or BRADFORD.

he, * I'd sooner do it for you myself than have yon
abused ;' and so he takes 'em in doors, and guts 'em
naie and clane, as you'll see;" opening, at the same
time, his bag of oyster-shells, which were as empty as
the head that bore them to the house. — If we had not
this from an Irish paper, we should venture to doubt
its authenticity.



EARL OF BRADFORD.

When the Earl of Bradford was brought before the
Chancellor to be examined upon application for a
statute of lunacy against him, tlie Chancellor asked
him, '* How many legs has a sheep ?" " Does your
Lordship mean/' answered Lord Bradford, '<a live
sheep, or a dead shee^) ?" " Is it not the same thing ?"
said the Chancellor. " No, my Lord," said Lord B.,
"there is much difference; a live sheep may have
four legs-^a dead sheep has only two, the two fore-legs
are shoulders, but there are but two legs of mutton."



DR. CLARKE.

'' I HAVE lived," said the indefatigable Dr. E. D.
Clarke, "to know, that the great secret of human
happiness is this ; never suffer your energies to stag-
nate. The old adage of < too many irons in the fire,'
conveys an abominable lie. You cannot have too
many ; poker, tongs, and all— -keep them all going."
—That's your sort.



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MR. INCLEDON. 107

THE LATE CHARLES INCLEDON.
The following characteristic sketch of this eminent
vocalist is extracted from the first volume (being the
7th of the entire series) of a new portion of <* The
Itinerant," by S. W. Ryley, late of the Theatres- Royal,
Manchester, Liverpool, &c.

Incledon had many singularities, and these fre-
quently laid him open to the quizzing disposition and
imitative powers of his brother Thespians; he was
possessed, likewise, of a considerable degree of credu-
lity in all matters relative to physic ; a tale told with
a serious countenance of some wonderful cure effected
by an advertised quack-medicine was sure to gain
credit and a customer. He might properly have been
styled Mr. Never-well, for he was scarcely ever without
medicine of some kind or other, and frequently in his
pocket. All the disorders incident to the human body
he was subject to. On his table the Madeira bottle
stood on one side, and the physic bottle on the other—
the bane and the antidote. Afler, and not before, a
plentiful dinner and good wine (for health was not
thought of on an empty stomach), he began to moralize
and recollect the large black bottle with the label on
his right hand. '* Dear creature," (addressing his
wife), "Where's my physic, my darling; a saint, an
angel, a guardian angel, in petticoats, sent to protect
me, Charles Incledon, the best English singer that ever
stepped between trap and lamp? 'When black-eyed
Susan'— it won't do— hoarse as a raven— my dear,
Where's my Peruvian bark ? Health, you know, my
dear creature, is above all things, except Heaven ; and
the Lord's above that — we are poor creatures." — ' Tom
Starboard was a lover true' — <*come, that's better —
another glass of bark, thou swom-at-the-akar darling !"
Off goes a dose of decoction, and poor Charles fancies
himself better for it ; but soon, however, as an excuse
to wash away the nauseous flavour of the bark, a tum-
bler of Madeira is swallowed with a hearty smack.—

*« B good — done the job — nothing like Peruvian

— never was better in my life, shiver me."

Incledon constantly laboured under the always dan-
gerous effects of a plethoric habit; this was evident to
all who knew him ; the blood mounted too plentifully



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108 MR. INCLEDON.

towards the head» and rendered phlebotomy frequently
necessary, which might have been obviated in a safer
way by extreme temperance ; but as the thing was to
be done by physic, without the mortification of absti-
nence, he readily gave it the preference.

On his arrival in a town, his first inquiry was for a
cupper, who generally took from him a conuderable
quantity of blood.

At Nottingham he had just undergone this salutary
operation, when, calling at the shop of a wqjrthy
Quaker, who, though not one of the 8traight4aced
ones, bore deservedly, as these worthy people generally
do, the character of a most benevolent and virtuous
man ; and who, like his countrymen, was an enthu«-
astic admirer of our melodist, as the first of English
singers; Charles, after his cupping, on entering the
goMl man's shop, happened to trip as he entered the
door, and the worthy Quaker put out his hand to
prevent him from falling, and, considering this stumble
to be the efiect of intoxication, thus addressed him^
" Friend Incledon, I rejoice to see thee once more in
Nottingham. Thou seemest unwell ; a glass of water
may be salutary to thy overcharged stomach." Incle«
don, not aware of the mistake the Quaker laboured
under, listened eagerly to this prescription, as indeed
he did to all others, and replied, clapping his hands to
his head, *< weakness, my dear friend — weakness, I
am just cupped." — '< Yes, I see that," replied the
Quaker, <<and in these cases I have heard there is
nothing like a glass of warm water, by way of emetic"
— " Warm water — emetic— all humbug, Sir, it won't
answer at all. Who's to play Steady to-night?"—
< Whilst the lads of the village shall merrily, ah T—
^* Won't do, he has given me a cup too much. What do
you think of it?"—** Why, my friend, 1 think as to
thy being steady, that's another thing ; but warm wat^,
I have uways heard, was the best remedy for any man
who has had a cup too much." The mistake now
burst upon him, and he laughed heartily. '* By the
Holy Pope, but that's a good one ! Charles Incledon^
first singer to the English fleet, now the wonderful
warbler on the London boards, supposed to be drunk
befiu^ dinner^ ha! hai I'll tell you what, my dear



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MR. INCLEDON. 109

fellow, if all the parsons in the kingdom were assembled
in your market-place, with each a bottle of claret in
one hand, and a glass in the other, and were to say,
* Charley, here's to thee, my dear boy,' I'd not touch a
drop before dinner ; afterwards, you know, all's fair,
good eating requires good drinking, starvation won't
answer at all ! no, no, here's my morning stomachic—
(taking a box of pills out of his pocket, and swallowing
two or three). The slaff-pWl, Sir, used in the army,
only among tip-tops ; it it hadn't been for them, and
the glorious elixir coniactic, your friend Charley would
have been in kingdom-come long ago, seated on a
cloud, singing hallelujahs, accompanied by the Angel
Gabriel on a silver trumpet. And then what would
have become of English Opera — Old Towler — Black-
ey'd Susan? To be sure you'd have your Mister
Balam, with his squalanties — his beautiful maid— his
Polacca, &c."

f' Friend Incledon, how often must I caution thee
against that foolish as well as wicked custom of swear-
ing ?" " Ten thousand pardons, my dear friend ; you
are a good Christian, a heavenly creature, a drab-co-
loured angel ; God bless you, I'll not transgress again ;
Charles Incledon's a wicked sinner — hopes for pardon
though— because he learned it fighting for his king

and country at sea. Sailors are a set, they swear

like ." " Again ! Charles, Charles, I fear thou

art incorrigible." " Bless your soul, my dear friend,
forgive me, I'm indisposed — never swear when I'm in
health ; staff-pills and elixir coniactic will do the job."

Qharles Young and a few more of his Thespian
brethren were lounging at the shop of a respectable
facetious friend in Bond Street, when a person came
in to purchase an article called the Wellington lozenge,
used for taking out stains from soldiers' coats — a small
flat cake, about the size of a shilling, with the impres-
sion of the General, and bore a very neat aspect. A
grand hoax was immediately hit upon by the party.
" It will do," said one with high glee. " So it will,"
replied another, rubbing his hands, and the vender
joined heartily in the joke. That night the play was
the Beggar's Opera; and the melodist, dressed for
Captain Macheath^ in which he stood unrivalled, had
K



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110 MR. INCLBDON.

•carcely taken three or four fMices in the Green-room,
tuning up his pipes, a usual custom previous to the
play, when his friend Young, whose power of feat»re
set risibility at defiance, addressed him, which i^hers
had attempted in vain, for stifled laughter overcame
articulation.^—'' Well, Charles, ray boy, are you in votee
to-night ?" " Voice, eh ? Did you see my Tom Ti^
last night, ye thieves ? Encored three times in * the
Jolly Young Waterman.' None of your squalancies— »
downright English. You shall hear, * Pretty Polly say,
when I was away'— hem, hem, hem, - hoarse. Sir,
hoarse as a raven ; must take some physic in the
morning." " Charles, my dear boy, I pity you, for i
was in the same situation the other night in Zanga ;
nay, I should never have got through the part, had it
not been for the Wellington lozenge." *' Wellington
loaenge ! what's that ? My dear Charles, where is it
to be got?" — Many of those who witnessed this scene
were obliged to make a speedy retreat, lest the fbar
caused by stifled laughter should expose the whole.
^' Why, my good friend, the Wellington Iczenge is a
medidne invented by that gallant General, who was
$o hoarse that he could not give the word of command
on the plain of Waterloo, and this medicine cured
him." ''Did it? by the Holy Pope, Til have some!
Where is it to be got ?" « Mr. John Tomson's, No. 44,
Bond Street." Having dbtained the necessary infor-
mation, the next morning he called in Bond Street,
and inquired for the Wellington lozenge. It was with
difficulty that the gentleman of the shop could contain
himself when the application for the lozenge was made,
more especially when he perceived the purchaser place,
it in his mouth, paying five shillings, and mumbling,
as he lefl the shop, ^' Nasty, my boy ; but if it cured
the &r9t English general, it may cure the first English
singer, and that will be serving the country." The
effect of Incledon's entrance into the Greennroom will,
thereibre, be easily conceived, and produced, as might
be expected, a universal convulsion of smothered mirth ;
he was scarcely able to articulate ' How do you do ?'
from the space occupied in his mouth, and the overflow
of saliva preventing articulation* ^ Many quitted the
room to indulge a laugh in the lobby, and it was diffi^



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MR. INCLIDON. Ill

cult, even with handkerchiefs to every mouth, that
any thing like seriousness could be preserved. At
lengthy John Kemble^ whose regular grave habits,
serious looks, and steady muscles, rendered him un«-
suspected of joining in the hoax, began the fhrce.—
*' It is with infinite pain and considerable anxiety, my
dear friend, Charles Incledon, I have heard of your
hoarseness and difficulty of respiration ; I labour under
a similar complaint myself. The modulation of the
voice, my dear Charles, is produced by the expansion
or compression of a part of the throat, odled the larynx ;
the effects of which, to those who obtain their livelihood
by the exercise of their lungs, is often dangerous. I
am happy to hear that you have met with an efficacious
remedy ; and, if it be no secret, I should be glad to
know the name of the medicine, and the name of the
vender." Incledon, pleased, as he always was, to
communicate good tidings to his friends, especially
Mr. John Kemble, who had long laboured under an
asthmatic comf^nt, instantly dislodged the Wellington
loBcnge, and, after wiping lus mouth, said, '< My dear
John, d^— n your opium, throw it to the dogs. Here's
the thing to catch the * conscience of the king :' ask
the brave hero of Waterloo-«*hotfse as a hackney coach-
man, couldn't give the word of command ; but this
immortal losenge—- to be had of Mr. John Tomson,
No. 44, Bond Street, price five shillings, did the buM^
Dess— shiver me." The humour of this scene may be
conceived, but not described; those who possessed
muscles equal to the attack plkd him repeatedly with
questions, for the mischievous purpose of removing the
. lozenge, which, when replaced, another made a fresh
attack. At last he became enraged, and swore they
meant to be the death of him. *' You take my life^ ye
thieves, if you do take the means whereby I do sustain
my life. What's all your English operas without
Charles Incledon ? and what's Charles Incledon with-
out his voice? — a Handel without his organ — a Newton
without his telescope." Still no suspicion of deception
was harboured in the unsuspecting mind of the melo-
dist; nay, great relief and clearness of voice were
supposed to be obtained by the use of the lozenge,
which his quizzical friends encouraged, by observing.



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112 MR. INCLBDON.

*' it was evident by his singing." The eclaircissement,
however, took place that evening : the sons and
daughters of Thespis were dressed for their respective
parts, and all seated in the Green-room, removed
occasionally by the summons of the call-bov. The
play was Lionel and Clarissa ; the melodist, of course,
personated the sentimental Lionel, and, dretoed in his
sombre habiliments, paced the room as usual, rolling
about his darling lozenge, till the shrill pipe of the
call-boy summoned him to the stage. The late Mr.


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Online LibraryThomas BewickA Collection of newspaper extracts: being, with a few exceptions, taken from ... → online text (page 10 of 19)