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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 12, No. 331, September 13, 1828 online

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possible, placing the net just at the side of a trout's "hold," taking
care to keep it as close to the bottom as possible, to afford the trout
no room for escape. Then another with a long pole drives the trouts from
the mouth of the "_hold_," when they immediately dart into the net, and
nothing remains but to draw the net quickly up. This is a famous method
of fishing. I have been with parties when we have completely cleared the
beck. We went to "Carmony" in the spring of 1825, and caught an immense
quantity by fishing with the hand and pod. This brings to my
recollection an amusing circumstance, which I intend troubling you with,
though you may think it unworthy of notice. It was reported in that year
that there was a large quantity of trouts in the beck; and I went at the
recommendation of those who had seen a particularly large one (when
passing by) "basking" in the streams. I was referred to a _certain_
"_lum_," and thither I went one afternoon with two friends, to try if we
could have an opportunity of seeing him. We had scarcely reached the
spot when we perceived him lying at the mouth of his "_hold_," a fine
grassy bank at the side of which grew a small bush; and I employed my
friends to watch the trout should he escape me. I crossed the brook (my
friends remaining on the opposite side), pulled off my coat and
waistcoat, and tucked up my shirt ready for action. He was still lying
very quietly, and as I knew I had no chance with him then, I touched him
gently with a twig and he moved into his habitation. I then leaned over
the bank, thrust in my arm, touched his back, I felt his size, and was
all caution. So first I began to secure him by building a piece of wall
before the bank to prevent his going out; but I had no sooner laid the
first stone than out he bounced, and darted down the river about twenty
yards, (we running after him all the while) then up again, and so on for
about a quarter of an hour, till at length he became tired and waddled
into his dwelling. I now thought all secure, and once more put in my
hand, when he jumped at least three or four yards out of the water. I
must confess, I was a little confused with my friends' dictation, who
feared I should lose him. Again housed, I made a kind of fort at one end
of the hold, and this done, I again thrust in my arm, when he was as
soon out again, and on getting up I found my hand covered with blood.
Still he came back to his favourite place, and I tried again, after
giving my friends caution to be on the look out. This time I was
successful, I put my hand gently under his belly, and by a tickle,
secured the rascal, by thrusting the fore-finger and thumb of my right
hand in his gills. I got him on to land, my friends ran about in
exstacy, and I think I never saw a finer trout than he proved to
be - real Eden. We gave a shout of triumph, after which we cut him on the
nose to kill him. From tail to snout he measured one foot four inches;
but he was beautifully plump and thick-made. We now began to wonder what
caused the blood on my hand, when on examination, we found a large night
hook in his side, which no doubt I had touched, and had thus given him
pain, and made him restless. I will not prolong the story, but tell you
he weighed about two pounds and a half, and was acknowledged to be the
plumpest trout ever caught in that county by the hand.[5] Shortly
afterwards I caught the partner to it in the same place, but it was not
so fine a trout, and I had not so much effort in catching it. The
largest trout ever caught in this county weighed four pounds and a half,
but that was taken with the net. I have no other recommendation for this
paper but its originality. I have enjoyed the sport, and can only half
convey a description of it upon paper.

W.H.H.

[4] This net is made differently from the other, there being no
frame to it and having two handles.

[5] The reader must consider the difficulty of holding a large
fish with the hand.

* * * * *


THE ROSE.

(_For the Mirror._)


Mark, Laura, dearest, yonder rose
Its inner folds are sad and pale, love;
While blushing, outward leaves disclose
A lively crimson to the gale, love.

Yet as the secret canker-worm
Preys deeply on its drooping heart, love,
Soon from the flow'ret's with'ring form
Will all that vivid glow depart, love.

Then turn to me those beaming eyes -
A blooming cheek although you see, love,
Since hope is fled, then pleasure dies,
And read the rose's fate in me, love.

* * * * *


OLD WINE.

(_For the Mirror._)


The passion for old wines has sometimes been carried to a very
ridiculous excess, for the "_thick crust_," the "_bee's wing_," and the
several other criterions of the epicure, are but so many proofs of the
decomposition and departure of some of the best qualities of the wine.
Had the man that first filled the celebrated Heidleburg tun been placed
as sentinel, to see that no other wine was put into it, he would have
found it much better at twenty-five or thirty years old, than at one
hundred, had he lived so long, and been permitted now and then to taste
it.

At Bremen there is a wine-cellar, called the Store, where five hogsheads
of Rhenish wine have been preserved since 1625. These five hogsheads
cost 1,200 francs. Had this sum been put out to compound interest, each
hogshead would now be worth above a thousand millions of money, a bottle
of this precious wine would cost 21,799,480 francs, or about
908,311_l._, and a single wine-glass 2,723,808 francs, or about
113,492_l._.

J.L.S.

* * * * *


THE HEROINE.

A SKETCH FROM SUNDRY NOVELS.

(_For the Mirror._)


She must be, _à plaisir_, tall and slender in person, or of humbler
stature, but never inclining to stoutness, since the _en bon point_
savours (at least in romance) of vulgarity. Her complexion may be light
or dark, according to fancy; but her interesting pallidness may
occasionally be relieved by a hectic flush, yet more interesting. She
must possess small _alabaster_ hands, _coral_ or _ruby_ lips, enchasing
a double row of _pearls_; a neck rivalling _ivory_ or driven _snow_,
(yes, even if our heroine be a brunette, for incongruity is the very
essence of romance); _velvet_ cheeks, _golden_ or _jet_ black hair,
_diamond_ eyes, marvellous delicate feet, shrouded at all times in
_bas-de-soie_, and defended by the most enchanting slippers imaginable;
her figure must be a model for the statuary, and at all seasons, and in
every situation, arrayed in muslins or silks, which, wondrous to relate,
resist the injuries of time, weather, and wear in a manner perfectly
astounding. What heroine had ever an hiatus in her stocking, or a
fracture in her gown of finest woof? Ye gods! what an insult to suppose
her _repairing such_! The lady's mental accomplishments and
qualifications are as follow: - She sings divinely, plays on the harp
(and piano too in modern days) _à merveille_; occasionally condescends
to fascinate on the guitar, and the lute also, should that instrument,
now rather antiquated, fall in her way. She takes portraits, and
sketches from nature; she understands _all_ languages, or rather that
desideratum, an _universal tongue_, since in the most foreign lands she
is never at a loss to render herself understood, nor to comprehend that
which is addressed to her; she is of a melancholy cast of mind, and
carries sal-volatile in her reticule, and fountains of tears in her
eyes, for use on the most _public_ occasions; she likes gloomy
apartments, looking upon the sea, mountains, or black forests, and
leading into endless corridors; she has an Æolian lyre ever at her
casement, writes verses and weeps by moonlight, for - effect, or -
_nothing_; and is enamoured with a being, who, in the common course
of nature, could not exist; he possessing, amongst other fine qualities,
that of omnipresence in an impious degree. Should the heroine reside in
a town, and especially London, she must have dwelt previously in some
isolated mansion, seldom visited by beings superior in intellect to the
foxes they hunt; an idiot mother, vulgar aunt, a father, an uncle, or a
guardian in his dotage, must have superintended her education; and when,
at the age of sixteen, some fortunate chance throws her into society,
her accomplishments and manners are found more fitting for it and
finished, than those of persons who have from their cradles associated
with families of the highest distinction, and possessed all the
advantages of a polished and liberal education. The heroine has, in all
situations, an abundant store of money, jewels, and clothes, supplied no
one knows when, how, or by whom; and these, with her musical
instruments, drawing materials, &c. accompany her into every reverse of
situation, in a manner perfectly incomprehensible, but highly amusing
and edifying. A miniature portrait of some mysterious relative or
friend, seldom or ever seen, nay, indeed, a sacred memento of the dead,
is highly scenic and effective in a romance. The heroine ought, by all
means, to possess such; it _may_ do good, and it _can_ do no harm.
Finally, the lady must frequently faint, be twice or thrice on the brink
of the grave, undergo exquisite varieties of suffering, run all hazards,
but retain her beauty and reputation unblemished to the _last_, i.e. to
her _marriage_; after which, this wondrous and superlative creature, and
her partner in perfection, are never heard of more. _Why_?

M.L.B.

* * * * *


ANCIENT ROMAN FESTIVALS.

SEPTEMBER.


The _Septmontium_ was a festival of the seven mountains of Rome, which
was celebrated in this month, near the seven mountains, within the walls
of the city; they sacrificed seven times in seven different places; and
on that day the emperors were very liberal to the people.

The _Meditrinalia_ were feasts instituted in honour of the goddess
_Meditrina_, and celebrated on the 13th of September. They were so
called from _medendo_, because the Romans then began to drink new wine,
which they mixed with old, and _that_ served them instead of physic.

P.T.W.

* * * * *



NOTES OF A READER.


THE ANNUALS FOR 1829.


These elegant little works are already in a forward state. MR. ALARIC
WATTS announces the plates of the SOUVENIR, "of a more important size
than heretofore," and twelve in number, already completed. Among them
are _Cleopatra embarking on the Cydnus_, drawn by Danby, and engraved by
Goodall; _Love taught by the Graces_, drawn by Hilton, and engraved by
J.C. Edwards; a beautiful scene from _Lalla Rookh_, drawn by Stephanoff,
and engraved by Bacon; _She never told her Love_, drawn by Westall, and
engraved by Rolls. Whilst Mr. Watts has been catering for the "children
of a larger growth," Mrs. W. has been preparing a "New Year's Gift; or
_Juvenile_ Souvenir", to be accompanied with exquisite illustrations of
Nursery literature; as the Children in the Wood, Red Riding Hood, &c.
with two historical subjects after Northcote.

Mr. Ackermann, to whom we are indebted for the _naturalization_ of
"Annuals", announces that one of his plates in the forthcoming "FORGET
ME NOT" - (4 inches by 3 in dimension) has cost one hundred guineas! The
subject is "the Ruined City," by Martin, engraved by Le Keux. Fine
engraving is thus almost as dear as building-ground at Brighton.

The KEEPSAKE will appear much earlier than last year. Sir Walter Scott
has written three or four articles, and two or three "noble lords" are
among the contributors. Nothing can exceed the beauty of the specimens
of the illustrations.

The FRIENDSHIP'S OFFERING passes into the editorial hands of Mr. T.
Pringle, of whose poetical talents we have lately had some exquisite
specimens.

The ANNIVERSARY. - Allan Cunningham has joined Mr. Sharp (of whose taste
in "getting up" books, our readers must be aware) in a splendid volume
to be called "The Anniversary." Among the engravings are _Psyche_, after
Sir Thomas Lawrence; _Young Cottagers_, after Gainsborough; the _Author
of Waverley in his Study_, after W. Allen; a _Monkey_, &c. by Landseer.
This is a new adventure, and we wish its projectors many
_anniversaries_.

The CHRISTMAS BOX is to contain "A Story," from the pen of Miss
Edgworth. Mrs. Hofland, Miss Mitford, and Mrs. Hemans, likewise,
contribute their pleasing aid.

The PLEDGE OF FRIENDSHIP is to be altered to _The Gem_, to be edited by
Mr. T. Hood, whose wit and fancy will sparkle among the contributions;
and who hopes that it may prove one of those "hardy annuals," which are
to become perennials; the writers are to be of "_authorized_
popularity" - "the _plates_ not of the common _dessert_ kind, but a
welcome _service_" - the engravers "as true as steel" to their
originals - and the whole equally "mental" and "ornamental:" so the wight
has begun already.

The WINTER'S WREATH promises to bloom more vigorously than ever, and
earlier too - in September. Among the contributors are the names of
Hemans, Opie, Mitford, Montgomery, Wiffen, Delta, &c.

The AMULET is to be edited, as last year, by Mr. Hall.

The BIJOU is printing with _two-fold_ energy.

We read the other day that Schiller's "History of the German War," was
originally published in _Damen Almanach_ - a Lady's Almanack! This is
real _azure_. "Annuals" do not, however, progress on the continent; for
a new one, lately published contained but a single original
contribution. In America they have bloomed with some success, though not
with the elegance and polish of our own country. Here their effect on
the Fine Arts has been very important, and they have done much for light
reading, every name of literary eminence, except those of Moore,
Campbell, and Rogers, having been enlisted in their ranks. We do not,
however, remember Leigh Hunt, although his pleasantries would relieve
the plaintiveness of some of the poetical contributions. A few
_Shandean_ articles would be very agreeable - something like the
Housekeepers in the last "Friendships' Offering."

Nothing is said of the "Literary Pocket Book;" but our old friend,
"Time's Telescope," will be mounted as usual.

We also take this opportunity to state that the "ARCANA OF SCIENCE AND
ART, FOR 1829," will appear towards the close of the present year; and,
we are enabled to promise its patrons a still greater modicum of novelty
and interest than was even comprised in its very successful forerunner.

* * * * *


MARTYRDOM.


There is no truth more abundantly exemplified in the history of mankind,
than that the blood of martyrs, spilt in whatever cause, political or
religious, is the best imaginable seed for the growth of favour towards
their persons, and, as far as conversion depends on feeling, of
conversion to their opinions. "_Quoites mori emur toties
nasciemur_." - _Edin. Rev._

* * * * *


ENGLISH LIBERTY.


Our liberty is neither Greek nor Roman; but essentially English. It has
a character of its own, - a character which has taken a tinge from the
sentiments of the chivalrous ages, and which accords with the
peculiarities of our manners, and of our insular situation. It has a
language, too, of its own, and a language too singularly idiomatic, full
of meaning to ourselves, scarcely intelligible to strangers. - _Ibid._

* * * * *


SENSUALITY.


How different is the night of Nature from that of man, and the repose of
her scenes from the misrule of his sensual haunts; what a contrast
between the refreshing return of her morning, and the feverish agonies
of his day-dreams. - _Cameleon Sketches._

* * * * *


THE FLIMSY AGE.


Poets sing of the "golden age," the "silver age," and the "iron age,"
but were they to celebrate this, I think they should call it the flimsy
age, for every thing seems made to suit a temporary purpose, without any
regard to the sound and substantial. From printed calico to printed
books, from Kean's acting to Nash's architecture, all is made to catch
the eye, to gratify the appetite for novelty, without regard to real and
substantial excellence. - _Blackwood_.

* * * * *


VILLAGE CHURCHES.


We find very few monasteries founded after the twelfth century; the
great majority, which rose through the kingdom "like exhalations," were
founded between the eleventh and twelfth centuries; and in all county
histories and authentic records, we scarce find a parish church, with
the name of its resident rector recorded, before the twelfth century.
The first notice of any village church occurs in the Saxon Chronicle,
after the death of the conqueror, A.D. 1087. They are called, there,
"upland churches." "Then the king did as his father bade him ere he was
dead; he then distributed treasures for his father's soul to each
monastery that was in England; to some ten marks of gold, to some six;
to each _upland_ church sixty pence." - Ingram's Saxon Chronicle.
Gibson's note on the passage is, "unicuique ecclesiae rurali." These
rare rural churches, after the want of them was felt, and after the
lords of manors built, endowed, and presented to them, spread so
rapidly, that in 1200 in almost every remote parish there was an "upland
church," if not a resident minister, as at this day.

The convents, however, still remained in their pristine magnificence,
though declining in purity of morals and in public estimation. In place
of new foundations of this august description, the -

"Village parson's modest mansion rose,"

gracefully shewing its unostentatious front, and, at length, humbly
adorning almost all the scattered villages of the land. - _Bowles's
History of Bremhill._

* * * * *

It was pleasantly observed by a sentimental jockey, who lost by a
considerable length the first race he ever rode, "I'll never ride
another race as long as I live. The riders are the most selfish, narrow
minded creatures on the face of the earth. They kept riding and
galloping as fast as they could, and never had once the kindness or
civility to stop for me." - _Penelope_.

* * * * *


IRELAND.


It has lately been proved by indisputable evidence, that the present
condition of the peasantry of Ireland is much superior, to that of the
population of the same island some centuries ago, when the number of
people did not exceed one million. Spenser describes them as inhabiting
"sties rather than houses, which is the chiefest cause of the farmer's
so beastly manner of living and savage condition, lying and living
together with his beast, in one house, in one room, in one bed, that is
clean straw, or rather a foul dunghill."

In 1712, Dobbs, a man particularly conversant with the general condition
of Ireland, estimated that its population had increased 200,000. He
states that "the common people are very poorly clothed, go barelegged
half the year, and very rarely taste of that flesh meat with which we so
much abound, but are pinched in every article of life."

In 1762, Sir William Petty computed that the inhabitants of Ireland
amounted to about one million three hundred thousand. Their habitations,
he says, "are lamentable wretched cabins, such as themselves could make
in three or four days, not worth five shillings the building, and filthy
and disgusting to a degree, which renders it necessary for us to refrain
from quoting his description. Out of the 200,000 houses of Ireland,"
says he, "160,000 are wretched cabins, without chimney, window, or door
shut, even worse than those of the savages of America." Their food at
the same period, consisted "of cakes, whereof a penny serves for each a
week; potatoes from August till May; mussels, cockles, and oysters, near
the sea; eggs and butter made very rancid by keeping in bogs; as for
flesh they seldom eat it; they can content themselves with potatoes."

* * * * *


SELF KNOWLEDGE.


We often hear people call _themselves_ fools. Now a man ought to know
whether he is a fool or not, and he would not say it if he did not
believe it; and there is also a degree of wisdom in the discovery that
one has been a fool, for thereby it is intimated that the season of
folly is over. Whosoever therefore actually says that he was a fool
formerly, virtually says that he is not a fool now. - _Penelope_.

* * * * *


THE MAIDEN'S CHOICE.


Genteel in personage,
Conduct and equipage,
Noble by heritage,
Generous and free;
Brave, not romantic,
Learn'd, not pedantic,
Frolic, not frantic,
This must he be.

Honour maintaining,
Meanness disdaining.
Still entertaining,
Engaging and new:
Neat, but not finical,
Sage, but not cynical,
Never tyrannical,
But ever true.

_Old MS_.

* * * * *


CUNNING.


In England, no class possesses so much of that peculiar ability which is
required for constructing ingenious schemes, and for obviating remote
difficulties, as the thieves and the thief-takers. Women have more of
this dexterity than men. Lawyers have more of it than statesmen;
statesmen have more of it than philosophers.

* * * * *


STORY-TELLING.


A friend of mine has one, and only one, good story, respecting a gun,
which he contrives to introduce upon all occasions, by the following
simple, but ingenious device. Whether the company in which he is placed
be numerous or select, addicted to strong potations, or to long and
surprising narratives; whatever may happen to be the complexion of their
character or conversation, let but a convenient pause ensue, and my
friend immediately hears, or pretends to hear, the report of a gun.
Every body listens, and recalls his late impressions, upon which "the
story of a gun" is naturally, and as if by a casual association,
introduced thus - "By the by, speaking of guns, that puts me in mind of a
story about a gun;" and so the gun is fixed in regular style, and the
company condemned to smell powder for twenty minutes to come! To the
telling of this gun story, it is not, you see, at all necessary that
there should be an actual explosion and report; it is sufficient that
there _might_ have been something of the kind.

* * * * *


PLEASURES OF TRAVELLING.


Dover quite full - horrible place! Shocking, the inns! Amphibious
wretches, the population. Ashore (from steam-packet) at four in the
morning. Fires out at The Ship. No beds! Think of it! Had to wait till a
party got up - going off at six. Six came - changed their minds (lazy!)
wouldn't go! Woke the whole house with ringing the bells, however - took
care they shouldn't sleep. Filthy breakfast! Bad butter - vile chops -
eggs! I never got an egg properly boiled in my life! Royal Society ought
to give a premium. Set off, starved and shuddering - roads heavy - four
horses. Ruined with the expense. Man wanted to take half. Fat - looked
greasy. Thought ruin best. Got up to Pagliano's a petrifaction! Worthy
creature, the cook! Tossed me up such a "_Saumon, Tartare_" - "_Vol au
vent_" - "Maccaroni" - all light. Coffee - _liqueur_ - no wine for fear of
fever - went to bed quite thawed in body and mind; and walked round
Leicester-square next morning like "a giant refreshed!" - _Blackwood_.

* * * * *

A woman's true dowry is virtue, modesty, and desires restrained; not
that which is usually so called.

* * * * *


DOMESDAY.


Mr. Bowles in his _History of Bremhill_, makes a few observations
suggested by the account in _Domesday Book_, on the wages, and some of
the prices of agricultural produce on the farms where the _villani_ and
_servi_, literally _slaves_ and _villans_, laboured. When we find two
oxen sold for seventeen shillings and four-pence, we must bear in mind
that one Norman shilling was as much in value as three of ours; when we
find that thirty hens were sold for three farthings each, we must bear
in mind the same proportion. The price of a sheep was one shilling, that
is three of ours. Wheat was six shillings a-quarter; that would be,
according to our scale, two shillings and three-pence a-bushel. Now, at
the time of this calculation, everything must have borne a greater
price, reckoning by money, than at the time of Domesday; for the prices
of articles now set down (from an authentic document of the accounts of


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Online LibraryVariousThe Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 12, No. 331, September 13, 1828 → online text (page 2 of 4)