The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 12, No. 335, October 11, 1828 online

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Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Barbara Tozier and PG Distributed


VOL. 12, No. 335.] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1828. [PRICE 2d.

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Lavenham, or _Lanham_, a small town north of Sudbury, was once eminent for
its manufactures, when there were eight or nine cloth-halls in the place,
inhabited by rich clothiers. The De Veres, Earls of Oxford, whose names
are blazoned in our history, held the manor from the reign of Henry I.
till that of Elizabeth, and one of the noble family obtained a charter
from Edward III. authorizing his tenants at this place to pass toll-free
throughout all England, which grant was confirmed by Elizabeth. But the
manufacturing celebrity of Lavenham has dwindled to spinning woollen yarn,
and making calimancoes and hempen cloth; the opulent clothiers have
shuffled off their mortal coil, and proved that "the web of our life is of
a mingled yarn, good and ill together."

The church of Lavenham is, however, a venerable wreck of antiquity, and is
accounted the most beautiful fabric of the kind in Suffolk. It is chiefly
built of freestone, the rest being of curious flintwork; its total length
is 150 feet, and its breadth 68. From concurrent antiquarian authorities
we learn that the church was built by the De Veres, in conjunction with
the Springs, wealthy clothiers at Lavenham. This is attested by the
different quarterings of their respective arms on the building. The porch
is an elegant piece of architecture, very highly enriched with the
shields, garters, &c. of many of the most noble families in the kingdom,
among which are the letters I.O., probably intended for the initials of
John, the 14th Earl of Oxford, who married the daughter of Thomas Howard,
Duke of Norfolk. He is conjectured to have erected this porch.

In the interior, the roof is admirably carved, and the pews belonging to
the Earls of Oxford and the Springs, though now much decayed, were
highly-finished pieces of Gothic work in wood. Some of the windows are
still embellished with painted glass, representing the arms of the De
Veres and others. Here also is a costly monument of alabaster and gold,
erected to the memory of the Rev. Henry Copinger,[1] rector of Lavenham,
with alto-relievo figures of the reverend divine and his wife.

[1] Dr. Fuller relates the following anecdote of this
divine: - Dr. Reynolds, who held the living of Lavenham, having
gone over to the Church of Rome, the Earl of Oxford, the
patron, presented Mr. Copinger, but on condition that he
should pay no tithes for his park, which comprehended almost
half the land in the parish. Mr. Copinger told his lordship,
that he would rather return the presentation, than by such a
sinful gratitude betray the rights of the church. This answer
so affected the earl, that he replied, "I scorn that my estate
should swell with church goods." His heir, however, contested
the rector's right to the tithes, and it cost Mr. Copinger
£1,600. to recover that right, and leave the quiet possession
of it to his successors.

In the north aisle is a small mural monument, upon which are represented a
man and woman, engraved on brass, kneeling before a table, and three sons
and daughters behind them. From the mouth of the man proceeds a label, on
which are these words: - In manus tuas dne commendo spiritum meum.
Underneath is this inscription, which, like that of the label, is in the
old English character: -

Contynuall prayse these lynes in brasse,
Of Allaine Dister here,
A clothier, vertuous while he was
In Lavenham many a yeare.
For as in lyefe he loved best
The poore to clothe and feede,
So with the rich and all the rest
He neighbourlie agreed;
And did appoynte before he dyed,
A special yearlie rent,
Which should be every Whitsontide
Among the poorest spent.
_Et obiit Anno Dni_ 1534.

Although this benefaction is written in _brass_, the good man's
successors have found enough of the same metal to pervert it; for it is
now lost, and no person can give any account of it. It needs not brass to
outlive honesty; a mere breath will often destroy her. There are, however,
several substantial charities belonging to Lavenham, the disposal of which
has fallen into better hands.

In the churchyard is a very old gravestone, which formerly had a Saxon
inscription. Kirby, in his account of the monasteries of Suffolk, says
that here, on the tomb of one John Wiles, a bachelor, who died in 1694, is
this odd jingling epitaph: -

_Quod fuit esse quod est, quod non fuit esse quod esse_
_Esse quod est non esse, quod est non erit esse._

But as the point and oddity may not be directly evident to all, perhaps
some of our readers will furnish us with a pithy translation for our next.

_F.R._ of Lavenham, to whom we are indebted for the drawing of
Lavenham Church, informs us that this fine building will shortly undergo a
thorough repair.

* * * * *


(_To the Editor of the Mirror._)

In No. 333 of the MIRROR, there is an article on the ancient _round
towers_ in Scotland and Ireland, in which it is stated that the said
towers "have puzzled all antiquarians," that they are now generally called
_fire towers_ and that "_they certainly were not belfries_."

I have often thought that antiquarians, and particularly our modern Irish
antiquarians, have affected to be puzzled about what, to the rest of
mankind, must appear to be evident enough; and this for the purpose of
making a parade of their learning, and of astonishing the common reader by
the ingenuity of their speculations.

I think I shall be able to show, that a motive of this kind must have
operated in the case of these _round towers_, otherwise "all the
antiquarians" could not have been so sadly puzzled about what to the rest
of the world appears a very plain matter.

The fact is, that when St. Patrick planted the Christian faith in Ireland,
in the middle of the fifth century, (he died A.D. 492,) the practice of
hanging bells in church steeples had not begun; and we know from history,
that they were first used to summon the people to worship in A.D. 551, by
a bishop of Campania; the churches, therefore, that were erected by St.
Patrick, (and he built many,) were originally without belfries; and when
the use of bells became common, it was judged more expedient to erect _a
belfry detached from the church_, than by sticking it up against the
side or end walls, to mar the proportions of the original building.

This is the account of the matter given by the old Irish historians, not
one of whom appears to have been aware what "puzzlers" these _round
towers_ were to become in after ages; and in a life of St. Kevin, of
Glendaloch, (co. Wicklow,) who died A.D. 628, we are told that "the holy
bishop did," a short time before his death, "erect a _bell-house_
(cloig-theach) contiguous to the church _formerly_ erected by him, in
which he placed _a bell_, to the glory of God, and for the good of
his own soul."

I am not unaware, in giving you the above quotation, that "all the
antiquarians," and particularly those of Scotland, have long since
decided, that in every matter connected with the ancient history of
Ireland, her native historians (many of whom were eye-witnesses of the
facts they relate) are on no account to be credited; and that the safest
way of dealing with those chroniclers is, in every thing, to take for
granted exactly the reverse of what they may at any time assert. In
deference, therefore, to such high authorities, I shall waive any
advantage which I might claim on account of a quotation from the works of
a _native historian_, and proceed to show, from the reasonableness of
the thing itself, that those towers which you state "were certainly never
belfries," were in fact belfries, and were never any thing else.

_First_. - They are all situated within a few yards of _some ancient
church_, and which church is invariably _without a steeple_.

_Secondly_. - It is impossible to conceive, from their slender shape,
their great height, and their contiguity to the church, for what other
purpose they could have been intended, having, to a spectator inside, who
looks up to the top, exactly the appearance of an enormous gun-barrel.

_Thirdly_. - That in all of them now entire, the holes, for the
purpose of receiving the beam to support the bell, remain; and that in one
at least, that upon Tory Island, co. Donegal, the beam itself may be seen
at this day.

_Fourthly_, and which appears to me _more conclusive than all the
rest_, that these towers, in every part of Ireland, are, to this day,
called in Irish by the name of _clogach_, (cloig-theach,) that is,
_bell-house_, and that they are never called (in Irish at least) by
any other name whatever.


P.S. We have heard a good deal of late of a chimney or high tower erected
at Bow, by the East London Water Company, on account of its having been
erected _without any outside scaffolding_. It is remarkable, that the
traditions of all the people in the neighbourhood of the _round
towers_ in Ireland, agree in stating that they were built _in the
same manner_.

* * * * *


(_To the Editor of the Mirror._)

Observing in the daily papers an extract from the MIRROR respecting the
Belle Savage Inn, I copy you an advertisement out of the _London
Gazette_ for February, 1676, respecting that place, which appears to
have been called "_ancient_" so long back as that period.


"An antient inn, called the _Bell Savage Inn_, situate on _Ludgate
Hill, London_, consisting of about 40 rooms, with good cellarage,
stabling for 100 horses, and other good accommodations, is to be lett at a
yearly rent, or the lease sold, with or without the goods in the house.
Enquire at the said inn, or of _Mr. Francis Griffith_, a scrivener,
in _Newgate-street_, near _Newgate_, and you may be fully

* * * * *



(_For the Mirror._)

A flower beheld a lofty oak,
And thus in mournful accents spoke;
"The verdure of that tree will last,
Till Autumn's loveliest days are past,
Whilst I with brightest colours crown'd,
Shall soon lie withering on the ground."
The lofty oak this answer made:
"The fairest flowers the soonest fade."

* * * * *


Cries Phillis to her shepherd swain,
"Why is Love painted without eyes?"
The youth from flattery can't refrain,
And to the fair one quick replies:
"Those lovely eyes which now are thine,
In young Love's face were wont to shine."


* * * * *


(_To the Editor of the Mirror._)

In No. 328 you have given an account of a cromleh in Anglesea. Perhaps it
may not be amiss to inform you that the word _cromlech_, or
_cromleh_, is derived from the Welsh words _crom_, feminine of
_crwm_, crooked, and _lech_, a flat stone. There are some
cromlehs in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, which are supposed to have
been altars for sacrifices before the Christian era.


* * * * *


(_For the Mirror._)

The Alpine Horn is an instrument made of the bark of the cherry-tree, and
like a speaking-trumpet, is used to convey sounds to a great distance.
When the last rays of the sun gild the summit of the Alps, the shepherd
who inhabits the highest peak of those mountains, takes his horn, and
cries with a loud voice, "Praised be the Lord." As soon as the
neighbouring shepherds hear him they leave their huts and repeat these
words. The sounds are prolonged many minutes, while the echoes of the
mountains, and grottoes of the rocks, repeat the name of God. Imagination
cannot picture any thing more solemn, or sublime, than this scene. During
the silence that succeeds, the shepherds bend their knees, and pray in the
open air, and then retire to their huts to rest. The sun-light gilding the
tops of those stupendous mountains, upon which the blue vault of heaven
seems to rest, the magnificent scenery around, and the voices of the
shepherds sounding from rock to rock the praise of the Almighty, must fill
the mind of every traveller with enthusiasm and awe.


* * * * *


* * * * *


Mr. Corbett has just published a useful little volume, entitled the
_English Gardener_, which is, perhaps, one of the most practical
books ever printed. At present we must confine our extracts to a few
useful passages; but we purpose a more extended notice of this very
interesting volume.

_Laying out Gardens._

In the work of laying-out, great care ought to be taken with regard to
straightness and distances, and particularly as to the squareness of every
part. To make lines perpendicular, and perfectly so, is, indeed, no
difficult matter when one knows how to do it; but one must know how to do
it, before one can do it at all. If the _gardener_ understand this
much of geometry, he will do it without any difficulty; but if he only
pretend to understand the matter, and begin to walk backward and forward,
stretching out lines and cocking his eye, make no bones with him; send for
a bricklayer, and see the stumps driven into the ground yourself. The four
outside lines being laid down with perfect truth, it must be a bungling
fellow indeed that cannot do the rest; but if they be only a little
_askew_, you have a botch in your eye for the rest of your life, and
a botch of your own making too. Gardeners seldom want for confidence in
their own abilities; but this affair of raising perpendiculars upon a
given line is a thing settled in a moment: you have nothing to do but to
say to the gardener, "Come, let us see how you do it." He has but one way
in which he can do it; and, if he do not immediately begin to work in that
way, pack him off to get a bricklayer, even a botch in which trade will
perform the work to the truth of a hair.


I incline to the opinion, that we should try seeds as our ancestors tried
witches; not by fire, but by water; and that, following up their practice,
we should reprobate and destroy all that do not _readily_ sink.


It is a received opinion, a thing taken for granted, an axiom in
horticulture, that _melon_ seed is the _better_ for being
_old_. Mr. Marshall says, that it ought to be "_about four years
old_, though some prefer it _much older_." And he afterwards
observes, that "if new seed only _can be had_, it should be carried a
week or two in the breeches-pocket, to dry away some of the more watery
particles!" If _age_ be a recommendation in rules as well as in
melon-seed, this rule has it; for English authors published it, and French
authors _laughed at it_, more than a _century past!_

Those who can afford to have melons raised in their gardens, can afford to
keep a _conjuror_ to raise them; and a conjuror will hardly
condescend to follow _common sense_ in his practice. This would be
lowering the profession in the eyes of the vulgar, and, which would be
very dangerous, in the eyes of his employer. However, a great deal of this
_stuff_ is traditionary; and how are we to find the conscience to
blame a gardener for errors inculcated by gentlemen of erudition!

_Sowing Seeds._

I do hope that it is unnecessary for me to say, that sowing according to
the _moon_ is wholly absurd and ridiculous; and that it arose solely
out of the circumstance, that our forefathers, who could not read, had
neither almanack nor calendar to guide them, and who counted by moons and
festivals, instead of by months, and days of months.

_Brussels Sprouts._

It is, most likely, owing to negligence that we hardly ever see such a
thing as real Brussels sprouts in England; and it is said that it is
pretty nearly the same in France, the proper care being taken nowhere,
apparently, but in the neighbourhood of Brussels.


After horse-radish has borne seed once or twice, its root becomes hard,
brown on the outside, not juicy when it is scraped, and eats more like
little chips than like a garden vegetable; so that, at taverns and
eating-houses, there frequently seems to be a rivalship on the point of
toughness between the horse-radish and the beef-steak; and it would be
well if this inconvenient rivalship never discovered itself any where

_Eating Mushrooms._

I once ate about three spoonsful at table at Mr. Timothy Brown's, at
Peckham, which had been cooked, I suppose, in the usual way; but I had not
long eaten them before my whole body, face, hands, and all, was covered
with red spots or pimples, and to such a degree, and coming on so fast,
that the doctor who attended the family was sent for. He thought nothing
of it, gave me a little draught of some sort, and the pimples went away;
but I attributed it then to the mushrooms. The next year, I had mushrooms
in my own garden at Botley, and I determined to try the experiment whether
they would have the same effect again; but, not liking to run any risk, I
took only a teaspoonful, or, rather, a French coffee-spoonful, which is
larger than a common teaspoon. They had just the same effect, both as to
sensation and outward appearance! From that day to this, I have never
touched mushrooms, for I conclude that there must be something poisonous
in that which will so quickly produce the effects that I have described,
and on a healthy and hale body like mine; and, therefore, I do not advise
any one to cultivate these things.


The late king, George the Third, reigned so long, that his birthday formed
a sort of season with gardeners; and, ever since I became a man, I can
recollect that it was always deemed rather a sign of bad gardening if
there were not green peas in the garden fit to gather on the fourth of
June. It is curious that green peas are to be had as early in Long Island,
and in the seaboard part of the state of New Jersey, as in England, though
not sowed there, observe, until very late in April, while ours, to be very
early, must be sowed in the month of December or January. It is still more
curious, that, such is the effect of habit and tradition, that, even when
I was last in America (1819), people talked just as familiarly as in
England about having green peas on the _king's birth-day_, and were
just as ambitious for accomplishing the object; and I remember a gentleman
who had been a republican officer during the revolutionary war, who told
me that he always got in his garden green peas fit to eat on old _Uncle
George's birth-day_.


Mr. Platt had a curious mode of making strong cider in America. In the
month of January or February, he placed a number of hogsheads of cider
upon stands out of doors. The frost turned to ice the upper part of the
contents of the hogshead, and a tap drew off from the bottom the part
which was not frozen. This was the spirituous part, and was as strong as
the very strongest of beer that can be made. The frost had no power over
this part; but the lighter part which was at the top it froze into ice.
This, when thawed, was weak cider. This method of getting strong cider
would not do in a country like this, where the frosts are never
sufficiently severe.

_Keeping Apples._

When there is frost, all that you have to do, is to keep the apples in a
state of total darkness until some days after a complete thaw has come. In
America they are frequently frozen as hard as stones; if they thaw in the
_light_, they rot; but if they thaw in darkness, they not only do not
rot, but lose very little of their original flavour. This may be new to
the English reader; but he may depend upon it that the statement is

_To Keep Chestnuts._

To preserve chestnuts, so as to have them to sow in the spring, or to eat
through the winter, you must make them perfectly dry after they come out
of their green husk; then put them into a box or a barrel mixed with, and
covered over by, fine and dry sand, three gallons of sand to one gallon of
chestnuts. If there be maggots in any of the chestnuts, they will come out
of the chestnuts and work up through the sand to get to the air; and thus
you have your chestnuts sweet and sound and fresh.


The _Magnum Bonums_ are fit for nothing but tarts and sweetmeats.
_Magnum_ is right enough; but as to _bonum_, the word has seldom
been so completely misapplied.

_British Wines._

That which we call currant wine, is neither more nor less than
red-looking, weak rum, the strength coming from the sugar; and gooseberry
wine is a thing of the same character, and, if the fruit were of no other
use than this, one might wish them to be extirpated. People deceive
themselves. The thing is called _wine_, but it is _rum_; that is
to say, an extract from sugar.


The wild pigeons in America live, for about a month, entirely upon the
buds of the sugar-maple, and are killed by hundreds of thousands, by
persons who erect bough-houses, and remain in a maple wood with guns and
powder and shot for that purpose. If we open the craw of one of these
little birds, we find in it green stuff of various descriptions, and,
generally, more or less of grass, and, therefore, it is a little too much
to believe, that, in taking away our buds, they merely relieve us from the
insects that would, in time, eat us up. Birds are exceedingly cunning in
their generation; but, luckily for us gardeners, they do not know how to
distinguish between the report of a gun loaded with powder and shot, and
one that is only loaded with powder. Very frequent firing with powder will
alarm them so that they will quit the spot, or, at least, be so timid as
to become comparatively little mischievous.

* * * * *


* * * * *


There is a class of travelling oddities - the dandy _voyageurs_ of
Britain, who, teeming with the proud consciousness of their excellence in
comparison with the rest of human kind, swoln with self-sufficiency, float
like empty bubbles on the water's surface, and who seem as if they would
break and be dissolved by contact with a vulgar touch. They contrive to
swim by means of their air-blown vanity until they come into concussion
with some material object, and are at once reduced to their proper level,
and for ever annihilated. Their country is London; their domicile
Regent-street; thence they would never travel, had they their wills, - not
but they would like to see Paris, and move at Longschamps, or admire its
beauties in an equipage _à D'Aumont_; but the horrors attendant upon
such an enterprise are too formidable gratuitously to be encountered. It
is only when a dip at the Fishmonger's has been rather too often tried, or
Stultz's _billets-doux_ have been repeated with increasing ardour on
the part of the Tailor-lover until he delegates the maintenance of his
_baronial_ purse to some dandy-detesting attorney, that they feel it
expedient to brave the dangers of sea and land, and, unscrewing their
brass spurs, folding up their mustachios in a _port-feuille_, they
hasten them from life and love, and London, and set them down at
Meurice's, the creatures of another element; not less new to all things
around them, than all things there are new to them. It was not long since
I met one at the _table-d'hote_ of Mr. Money, the hospitable but
expensive owner of Les Trois Couronnes, at Vevay, in Switzerland. A large
party had assembled, composed of almost every European nation; and we had
just commenced our dinner, when we were intruded upon by an Exquisite - a
creature something between the human species and a man-milliner - a seven
months' child of fashion - one who had been left an orphan by manliness and
taste, and no longer remembered his lost parents. Never can I forget the
stare of Baron Pougens, (a Swiss by birth, but a Russian noble) as this
specimen of elegance, with mincing step and gait, moved onward, something
like a new member tripping it to the table to take his oaths. How he had
got so far from Grange's, I really cannot say; but he had the policy of

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Online LibraryVariousThe Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 12, No. 335, October 11, 1828 → online text (page 1 of 4)