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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

Vol. 10, No. 273. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1827. PRICE 2d.



GASPARD MONGE'S MAUSOLEUM.


[Illustration]

(_To the Editor of the Mirror_.)

Sir, - As one of your correspondents has favoured you with a drawing of
the gaol I designed for the city and county of Norwich, with which you
have embellished a recent number of the MIRROR, I flatter myself that an
engraving from the drawing I herewith send you of the mausoleum of
Gaspard Monge, which I drew while at Paris, in 1822, will also be
interesting to the readers of your valuable little miscellany. Gaspard
Monge, whose remains are deposited in the burying ground in Pere la
Chaise, at Paris, in a magnificent mausoleum, was professor of geometry
in the Polytechnique School at Paris, and with Denon accompanied
Napoleon Bonaparte on his memorable expedition to Egypt; one to make
drawings of the architectural antiquities and sculpture, and the other
the geographical delineations of that ancient country. He returned to
Paris, where he assisted Denon in the publication of his antiquities. At
his decease the pupils of the Polytechnique School erected this
mausoleum to his memory, as a testimony of their esteem, after a design
made by his friend, Monsieur Denon. The mausoleum is of Egyptian
architecture, with which Denon had become familiarly acquainted.

There is a bust of Monge placed on a terminal pedestal underneath a
canopy in the upper compartment, which canopy is open in front and in
the back. In the crown cavetto of the cornice is an Egyptian winged
globe, entwined with serpents, emblematical of time and eternity; and on
the faci below is engraved the following line: -

A. GASPARD MONGE.

On each side of the upper compartment is inscribed the following
_memento mori_:

LES ELEVES
DE L'ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE.
A.G. MONGE.
COMTE DE PELUSE.

Underneath this inscription is carved in sunk work an Egyptian lotus
flower in an upright position; on the back of the mausoleum is the date
of the year in which Gaspard Monge died. The body is in the cemetery
below.

AN. MDCCCXX.

Monge was a man of considerable merit as a geometrician, and, while
living, stood preeminent above his contemporaries in the French school
of that day. He is the author of several works, but his most popular one
is entitled "Gèomètrie Descriptive. par G. Monge, de l'Institut des
Sciences, Lettres et Arts, de l'Ecole Polytechnique; Membre du Sénat
Conservateur, Grand Officier de la Legion d'Honeur et Cointe de
l'Empire."

The programme to this work is interesting, as it urges the necessity of
making geometry a branch of the national education, and points out the
beneficial results that would arise therefrom. The following is the
translation: -

To draw the French nation from the dependence, which, even in the
present day it is obliged to place in foreign industry, it is necessary
first to direct the national education towards the knowledge of those
objects which require a correctness which hitherto has been totally
neglected; to accustom the hands of our artists to the management of the
various instruments that are necessary to measure the different degrees
of work, and to execute them with precision; then the finisher becomes
sensible of the accuracy it will require in the different works, and he
will be enabled to set the necessary value on it. For our artists to
become, from their youth, familiar with geometry, and to be in a
condition to attain it, it is necessary in the second place to render
popular the knowledge of a great number of natural phenomena that are
indispensable to the progress of industry; they will then profit for the
advancement of the general instruction of the nation, which by a
fortunate circumstance it has at its disposal, the principal resources
that are necessary for it. Lastly, it is requisite to extend among our
artists the knowledge of the advancement of the arts and that of
machines, whose object is either to diminish manual labour or to give to
the result of labour more uniformity and precision; and on those heads
it must be confessed we have much to draw from foreign nations.[1] All
these views can only be accomplished by giving a new turn to national
education.

[1] Monsieur Monge has drawn much from our countryman,
Hamilton's work on Stereography but he has not mentioned his
work.

This is to be done, in the first place, by making all intelligent young
men (who are born with a fortune) familiar with the use of descriptive
geometry, so that they may be able to employ their capital more
profitably both for themselves and the nation, and also for those who
have no other fortune than their education, so that their labour will
bring them the greater reward. This art has two principal objects, the
first to represent with exactness, from drawings which have only two
dimensions, objects which have three, and which are susceptible of a
strict definition; under this point of view it is a language necessary
to the man of genius when he conceives a project, and to those who are
to have the direction of it; and lastly, to the artists who are
themselves to execute the different parts.

The second object of descriptive geometry, is to deduce from the exact
description of bodies all that necessarily follows of their forms and
their respective positions; in this sense it is a means of seeking
truth, as it offers perpetual examples of the passage from what is known
to what is unknown, and as it is always applied to objects susceptible
of the minutest evidence, it is necessary that it should form part of
the plan of a national education. It is not only fit to exercise the
intellectual faculties of a great people, and to contribute thereby to
the perfection of mankind, but it is also indispensable to all workmen,
whose end is to give to certain bodies determined forms, and it is
principally owing to the methods of this art having been too little
extended, or in fact almost entirely neglected, that the progress of our
industry has been so slow. We shall contribute then to give an
advantageous direction to national education, by making our young artist
familiar with the application of descriptive geometry, to the graphic
constructions which are necessary in the greater number of the arts, and
in making use of this geometry in the representation and determination
of the elements of machinery, by means of which, man by the aid of the
forces of nature, reserves for himself, in a manner, in his operations
no other labour than that of his intellects. It is no less advantageous
to extend the knowledge of those phenomena of nature which may be turned
to the profit of the arts. The charm which accompanies them will
overcome the repugnance that men have in general for manual operations,
(which most regard as painful and laborious,) as it will make them find
pleasure in the exercise of their intellect; thus there ought to be in
the formal school a course of descriptive geometry.

As yet we have no well compiled elementary work on that art, because
till this time learned men have taken too little interest in it, or it
has only been practised in an obscure manner by persons whose education
had not been sufficiently extended, and were unable to communicate the
result of their lucubrations. A course simply oral would be absolutely
without effect. It is necessary then, for the course of descriptive
geometry, that practice and execution be joined to the hearing of
methods; thus pupils will be exercised in graphic construction of
descriptive geometry. The graphic arts have general methods with which
we can only become familiar by the use of the rule and compass. Among
the different applications that may be made of descriptive geometry,
there are _two_ which are remarkable, both for their universality and
their ingenuity; these are the constructions of _perspective_ and the
strict determination of the _shadows_. These two parts may finally be
considered as the completion of the art of describing objects.

R. BROWN.

* * * * *



AN IDLER'S ALBUM; OR, SKETCHES OF MEN AND THINGS.


THE RADIANT BOY.


It is now more than twenty years since the late Lord Londonderry was,
for the first time, on a visit to a gentleman in the north of Ireland.
The mansion was such a one as spectres are fabled to inhabit. It was
associated with many recollections of historic times, and the sombre
character of its architecture, and the wildness of its surrounding
scenery, were calculated to impress the soul with that tone of
melancholy and elevation, which, - if it be not considered as a
predisposition to welcome the visitation of those unearthly substances
that are impalpable to our sight in moments of less hallowed
sentiment, - is indisputably the state of mind in which the imagination
is most readily excited, and the understanding most favourably inclined
to grant a credulous reception to its visions. The apartment also which
was appropriated to Lord Londonderry, was calculated to foster such a
tone of feeling. From its antique appointments; from the dark and
richly-carved panels of its wainscot; from its yawning width and height
of chimney - looking like the open entrance to a tomb, of which the
surrounding ornaments appeared to form the sculptures and the
entablature; - from the portraits of grim men and severe-eyed women,
arrayed in orderly procession along the walls, and scowling a
contemptuous enmity against the degenerate invader of their gloomy
bowers and venerable halls; from the vast, dusky, ponderous, and
complicated draperies that concealed the windows, and hung with the
gloomy grandeur of funereal trappings about the hearse-like piece of
furniture that was destined for his bed, - Lord L., on entering his
apartment, might be conscious of some mental depression, and surrounded
by such a world of melancholy images, might, perhaps, feel himself more
than usually inclined to submit to the influences of superstition. It is
not possible that these sentiments should have been allied to any
feelings of apprehension. Fear is acknowledged to be a most mighty
master over the visions of the imagination. It can "call spirits from
the vasty deep" - and they do come, when it does call for them. It
trembles at the anticipation of approaching evil, and then encounters in
every passing shadow the substance of the dream it trembled at. But such
could not have been the origin of the form which addressed itself to the
view of Lord Londonderry. Fear is a quality that was never known to
mingle in the character of a Stewart. Lord Londonderry examined his
chamber - he made himself acquainted with the forms and faces of the
ancient possessors of the mansion, who sat up right in their ebony
frames to receive his salutation; and then, after dismissing his valet,
he retired to bed. His candles had not been long extinguished, when he
perceived a light gleaming on the draperies of the lofty canopy over his
head. Conscious that there was no fire in the grate - that the curtains
were closed - that the chamber had been in perfect darkness but a few
moments before, he supposed that some intruder must have accidentally
entered his apartment; and, turning hastily round to the side from which
the light proceeded - saw - to his infinite astonishment - not the form of
any human visiter - but the figure of a fair boy, who seemed to be
garmented in rays of mild and tempered glory, which beamed palely from
his slender form, like the faint light of the declining moon, and
rendered the objects which were nearest to him dimly and indistinctly
visible. The spirit stood at some short distance from the side of the
bed. Certain that his own faculties were not deceiving him, but
suspecting that he might be imposed upon by the ingenuity of some of the
numerous guests who were then visiting in the same house, Lord
Londonderry proceeded towards the figure. It retreated before him. As he
slowly advanced, the form, with equal paces, slowly retired. It entered
the vast arch of the capacious chimney, and then sunk into the earth.
Lord L. returned to his bed; but not to rest. His mind was harassed by
the consideration of the extraordinary event which had occurred to him.
Was it real? - was it the work of imagination? - was it the result of
imposture? - It was all incomprehensible. He resolved in the morning not
to mention the appearance till he should have well observed the manners
and the countenances of the family: he was conscious that, if any
deception had been practised, its authors would be too delighted with
their success to conceal the vanity of their triumph. When the guests
assembled at the breakfast-table, the eye of Lord Londonderry searched
in vain for those latent smiles - those cunning looks - that silent
communication between the parties - by which the authors and abettors of
such domestic conspiracies are generally betrayed. Every thing
apparently proceeded in its ordinary course. The conversation flowed
rapidly along from the subjects afforded at the moment, without any of
the constraint which marks a party intent upon some secret and more
interesting argument, and endeavouring to afford an opportunity for its
introduction. At last the hero of the tale found himself compelled to
mention the occurrences of the night. It was most extraordinary - he
feared that he should not be credited: and then, after all due
preparation, the story was related. Those among his auditors who, like
himself, were strangers and visiters in the house, were certain that
some delusion must have been practised. The family alone seemed
perfectly composed and calm. At last, the gentleman whom Lord
Londonderry was visiting, interrupted their various surmises on the
subject by saying: - "The circumstance which you have just recounted must
naturally appear most extraordinary to those who have not long been
inmates of my dwelling, and are not conversant with the legends
connected with my family; to those who are, the event which has happened
will only serve as the corroboration of an old tradition that long has
been related of the apartment in which you slept. You have seen _the
Radiant Boy_; and it is an omen of prosperous fortunes; - I would rather
that this subject should no more be mentioned."

The above adventure is one very commonly reported of the late Marquis of
Londonderry; and is given on the authority of a gentleman, to whom that
nobleman himself related it. - _The Album_.

* * * * *


THE CROSS ROADS.

(_For the Mirror_.)


Methought upon a mountain's brow
Stood Glory, gazing round him;
And in the silent vale below
Lay Love, where Fancy found him;
While distant o'er the yellow plain
Glittering Wealth held wide domain.

Glory was robed in light; and trod
A brilliant track before him,
He gazed with ardour, like a god,
And grasp'd at heaven o'er him;
The meteor's flash his beaming eye,
The trumpet's shriek his melody.

But Love was robed in roses sweet,
And zephyrs murmur'd nigh him,
Flowers were blooming at his feet,
And birds were warbling by him:
His eyes soft radiance seem'd to wear,
For tears and smiles were blended there.

Gay Wealth a gorgeous train display'd.
(And Fancy soon espied him,)
Supine, in splendid garb array'd,
With Luxury beside him;
He dwelt beneath a lofty dome,
Which Pride and Pleasure made their home.

Well; seeking Happiness, I sped,
And, as Hope hover'd o'er me,
I ask'd which way the nymph had fled,
For _four roads_ met before me -
Whether she'd climb'd the height above,
Or bask'd with Wealth, or slept with Love?

I paus'd - for in the lonely path,
'Neath gloomy willows weeping,
Wrapt in his shroud of sullen wrath,
The _Suicide_ was sleeping,
A scathed yew-tree's wither'd limb,
To mark the spot, frown'd o'er him.

I wept - to think my fellow-man,
(To madness often driven,)
Pursue false Glory's phantoms, then
Lose happiness and heaven:
I wept - for oh! it seem'd to be
A mournful moral meant for me!

But lo! an aged traveller came,
By Wisdom sent to guide me,
Experience was the pilgrim's name,
And thus he seem'd to chide me -
"Fool! Happiness is gone the road
That leads to Virtue's calm abode!"

JESSE HAMMOND.

* * * * *



MY COMMON-PLACE BOOK.

NO. XXI.


* * * * *


ORDEALS.


Four kinds of ordeals were chiefly used by our German ancestors: - 1.
"The Kamp fight," or combat; during which the spectators were to be
silent and quiet, on pain of losing an arm or leg; an executioner with a
sharp axe. 2. "The fire ordeal," in which the accused might clear his
innocence by holding _red-hot_ iron in his hands, or by walking
blind-fold amidst fiery ploughshares. 3. "The hot-water ordeal," much of
the nature as the last. 4. "The cold-water ordeal:" this need not be
explained, since it is looked on as supreme when a witch is in question.
The cross ordeal was reserved for the clergy. These, if accused, might
prove their innocence by swallowing two consecrated morsels taken from
the altar after proper prayers. If these fragments stuck in the priest's
throat he stood _ipse facto_ - condemned; but we have no record of
condemnation.

* * * * *


GEMS.


Forgive not the man who gives you _bad_ wine more than once. It is more
than an injury. Cut the acquaintance as you value your life.

If you see half-a-dozen faults in a woman, you may rest assured she has
a hundred virtues to counterbalance them. I love your faulty, and fear
your _faultless women_. When you see what is termed a faultless woman,
dread her as you would a beautiful snake. The power of completely
concealing the defects that she must have, is of itself a serious vice.

If you find no more books in a man's room, save some four or five,
including the red-book and the general almanac, you may set down the
individual as a man of genius, or an ass; - there is no medium.

The eye is never to be mistaken. A person may discipline the muscles of
the face and voice, but there is a something in the eye beyond the will,
and we thus frequently find it giving the tongue the lie direct.

I never knew a truly estimable man offer a finger, it is ever a sign of
a cold heart; and he who is heartless is positively worthless, though he
may be negatively harmless.

Cut the acquaintance of any lady who signs a letter with "_yours
obediently_."

Always act in the presence of children with the utmost circumspection.
They mark all you do, and most of them are more wise than you may
imagine.

Men of genius make the most ductile husbands. A fool has too much
opinion of his own dear self, and too little of women's to be easily
governed.

A passion for sweetmeats, and a weak intellect, generally go together.

I have known many fools to be gluttons, but never knew one that was an
epicure.

The affection of women is the most wonderful thing in the world; it
tires not - faints not - dreads not - cools not. It is like the Naptha that
nothing can extinguish but the trampling foot of death.

There is a language in flowers, which is very eloquent - a philosophy
that is instructive. Nature appears to have made them as emblems of
women. The timid snow-drop, the modest violet, the languid primrose, the
coy lily, the flaunting tulip, the smart marigold, the lowly blushing
daisy, the proud foxglove, the deadly nightshade, the sleepy poppy, and
the sweet solitary eglantine, are all types.

W.C. B - - M.

* * * * *

There are a set of malicious, prating, prudent gossips, both male and
female, who murder characters to kill time; and will rob a young fellow
of his good name before he has years to know the value of
it. - _Sheridan_.

* * * * *



MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF ALL NATIONS.

No. XII.


* * * * *


A BURMESE EXECUTION.


The scene took place at Rangoon, and the sufferers were men of desperate
characters, who merited death. At a short distance from the town, on the
road known to the army by the name of the Forty-first Lines, is a small
open space, which formerly was railed in: and here all criminals used to
be executed. On this occasion several gibbets, about the height of a
man, were erected, and a large crowd of Burmans assembled to feast their
eyes on the sanguinary scene that was to follow.

When the criminals arrived, they were tied within wooden frames, with
extended arms and legs, and the head-executioner going round to each,
marked with a piece of chalk, on the side of the men, in what direction
his assistant (who stood behind him with a sharpened knife,) was to make
the incision. On one man he described a circle on the side; another had
a straight line marked down the centre of his stomach; a third was
doomed to some other mode of death; and some were favoured by being
decapitated. These preparations being completed, the assistant
approached the man marked with a circle, and seizing a knife, plunged it
up to the hilt in his side, then slowly and deliberately turning it
round, he finished the circle! The poor wretch rolled his eyes in
inexpressible agony, groaned, and soon after expired; thus depriving
these human fiends of the satisfaction his prolonged torments would have
afforded them. The rest suffered in the same manner; and, from the
specimens I have seen of mangled corpses, I do not think this account
overdrawn. Hanging is a punishment that seldom, if ever, takes place.

The manner in which slighter punishments are made is peculiar to the
Burmans, and, as nearly as I can make it out, according to our
pronunciation, is called "toung." The delinquent is obliged to kneel
down, and a man stands over him with a bent elbow and clenched fist. He
first rapidly strikes him on the head with his elbow, and then slides it
down until his knuckles repeat the blow, the elbow at the same time
giving a violent smack on the shoulders. This is repeated until it
becomes a very severe punishment, which may be carried to great
excess. - _Two Years in Ava_.

* * * * *



RETROSPECTIVE GLEANINGS.


* * * * *


BILL OF FARE AT AN ANCIENT INSTALMENT.


The following is a true copy of the original lodged in the Tower of
London:[2] -

George Nevil, brother to the great Earl of Warwick, at his instalment
into his archbishopric of York, in the year 1470, made a feast for the
nobility, gentry, and clergy, wherein he spent:

300 quartrs of wheat
300 ton of ale
104 ton of wine
1 pipe of spic'd w.
80 fat oxen
6 wild bulls
300 pigs
1004 wethers
300 hogs
300 calves
3000 geese
3000 capons
100 peacocks
200 cranes
200 kids
2000 chickens
4000 pidgeons
4000 rabitts
204 bitterns
4000 ducks
400 hernsies
200 pheasants
500 partridges
4000 woodcocks
400 plovers
100 carlews
100 quails
1000 eggets
200 rees
4000 bucks and does, and roebucks
155 hot venison pasties
1000 dishes of jellies
4000 cold venison past
2000 hot custards
4000 ditto cold
400 tarts
300 pikes
300 breams
8 seals
4 porpusses

At this feast the Earl of Warwick was steward; the Earl of Bedford
treasurer; the Lord Hastings comptroller, with many noble officers
servitors.

1000 cooks. 62 kitchiners. 515 scullions.

[2] _Gentleman's Magazine_, vol. xxx.

* * * * *


THE SERGEANT'S WIFE.


A drama, named as above, has been played with eminent success during the
present season at the English Opera House. The plot is founded on the
following horrible occurrence, which actually took place in Ireland in
the year 1813, and which we extract from the columns of an Irish paper
of the same date. The narrative is powerfully worked up in _The
Nowlans_, in the second series of the _O'Hara Tales_, and Mr. Banim is
the author both of the novel and the drama: -

"The speech of George Smith, William Smith, and James Smith, who were
lately executed at Longford for the murder of James Reilly, a pedlar,
near Lanes-borough, has been published. It gives the following
description of the inhuman crime for which they suffered:


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Online LibraryVariousThe Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 10, No. 273, September 15, 1827 → online text (page 1 of 3)