The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 13, No. 364, April 4, 1829 online

. (page 3 of 4)
Online LibraryVariousThe Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 13, No. 364, April 4, 1829 → online text (page 3 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

prominent part, was stretched a broad straight band of prismatic colours,
similar to the rainbow in all but curvature. Across the space, within the
circle of light, there was a broad stream of dusky cloud, formed of
three distinct streaks, and reaching from one of the most distant mock
suns to another opposite to it, in the shape of a low arch; but in a
little while one extremity of this bar moved away from its original
position, while the other end remained stationary, leading me to suppose
that it was merely an accidental piece of cloud.

As noon approached, or rather as the clouds dispersed, the blue hazy sky
extended beyond the ring of light, and while the day advanced, and the
heavens grew more clear, the whole meteor gradually disappeared, the
circle vanishing first, and then the imitative suns. My companions
assured me they had never before witnessed a similar exhibition during
voyages in these seas; but more learned Thebans describe them as
phenomena frequently witnessed in high latitudes, and have assigned them
the designation of parhelia. There was, during this solar panorama, a
large and complete semicircle of haze, lighter in colour than the
surrounding fog, resting on the horizon perpendicularly, like a rainbow,
but this appearance my associates informed me was familiar to their
sight. - _Tales of a Voyager in the Arctic Ocean_.

* * * * *


* * * * *


_A Munchausen Story_.

"Talking of broiling steaks - when I was in Egypt we used to broil our
beef-steaks on the locks - no occasion for fire - thermometer at 200 - hot
as h-ll! I have seen four thousand men at a time cooking for the whole
army as much as twenty or thirty thousand pounds of steaks at a time, all
hissing and frying at a time - just about noon, of course, you know - not a
spark of fire! Some of the soldiers who had been brought up as
glass-blowers at Leith swore they never saw such heat. I used to go to
leeward of them for a whiff, and think of old England! Ay! that's the
country, after all, where a man may think and say what he pleases! But
that sort of work did not last long, as you may suppose; their eyes were
all fried out, - - me, in three or four weeks! I had been ill in my bed,
for I was attached to the 72nd regiment, seventeen hundred strong. I had
a party of seamen with me; but the ophthalmia made such ravages, that the
whole regiment, colonel and all, went stone-blind - all, except one
corporal! You may stare, gentlemen, but it's very true. Well, this
corporal had a precious time of it: he was obliged to lead out the whole
regiment to water - he led the way, and two or three took hold of the
skirts of his jacket on each side; the skirts of these were seized again
by as many more; and double the number to the last, and so all held on by
one another, till they had all had a drink at the well; and, as the devil
would have it, there was but one well among us all - so this corporal used
to water the regiment just as a groom waters his horses; and all
spreading out, you know, just like the tail of a peacock." - "Of which the
corporal was the rump," interrupted the doctor. The captain looked grave.
"You found it warm in that country?" inquired the surgeon. "Warm!"
exclaimed the captain; "I'll tell you what, doctor, when you go where you
have sent many a patient, and where, for that very reason, you certainly
will go, I only hope, for your sake, and for that of your profession in
general, that you will not find it quite so hot as we found it in Egypt.
What do you think of nineteen of my men being killed by the concentrated
rays of light falling on the barrels of the sentinels' bright muskets,
and setting fire to the powder? I commanded a mortar battery at Acre, and
I did the French infernal mischief with the shells. I used to pitch in
among them when they had sat down to dinner; but how do you think the
scoundrels weathered on me at last? - - me, they trained a parcel of
poodle dogs to watch the shells when they fell, and then to run and pull
the fusees out with their teeth. Did you ever hear of such villains? By
this means they saved hundreds of men, and only lost half-a-dozen
dogs - fact, by - - ; only ask Sir Sydney Smith, he'll tell you the same,
and a - - sight more." * * * * He continued his lies, and dragged in as
usual the name of Sir Sydney Smith to support his assertions. "If you
doubt me, only ask Sir Sydney Smith; he'll talk to you about Acre for
thirty-six hours on a stretch, without taking breath; his cockswain at
last got so tired of it, that he nick-named him '_Long Acre_.'" * * *
"Capital salmon this," said the captain; "where does Billet get it from?
By the by, talking of that, did you ever hear of the pickled salmon in
Scotland?" We all replied in the affirmative. "Oh, you don't take. Hang
it, I don't mean dead pickled salmon; I mean live pickled salmon,
swimming about in tanks, as merry as grigs, and as hungry as rats." We
all expressed our astonishment at this, and declared we never heard of it
before. "I thought not," said he, "for it has only lately been introduced
into this country by a particular friend of mine, Dr. Mac - . I cannot
just now remember his - - , jaw-breaking, Scotch name; he was a great
chemist and geologist, and all that sort of thing - a clever fellow, I can
tell you, though you may laugh. Well, this fellow, sir, took Nature by
the heels, and capsized her, as we say. I have a strong idea that he had
sold himself to the d - l. Well, what does he do, but he catches salmon
and puts them into tanks, and every day added more and more salt, till
the water was as thick as gruel, and the fish could hardly wag their
tails in it. Then he threw in whole pepper-corns, half-a-dozen pounds at
a time, till there was enough. Then he began to dilute with vinegar until
his pickle was complete. The fish did not half like it at first; but
habit is every thing; and when he showed me his tank, they were swimming
about as merry as a shoal of dace: he fed them with fennel, chopped
small, and black pepper-corns. 'Come, doctor,' says I, 'I trust no man
upon tick; if I don't taste I won't believe my own eyes, though I _can_
believe my _tongue_.' (We looked at each other.) 'That you shall do in a
minute,' says he; so he whipped one of them out with a landing-net; and
when I stuck my knife into him, the pickle ran out of his body like wine
out of a claret-bottle, and I ate at least two pounds of the rascal,
while he flapped his tail in my face. I never tasted such salmon as that.
Worth your while to go to Scotland, if it's only for the sake of eating
live pickled salmon. I'll give you a letter, any of you, to my friend.
He'll be d - d glad to see you; and then you may convince yourselves. Take
my word for it, if once you eat salmon that way, you will never eat it
any other." - _The Naval Officer_.

* * * * *


_As related by De Bausset_.

On the evening of April 8, 1814, De Bausset left Blois, commissioned by
Josephine to deliver at Paris, a letter to the Emperor of Austria, and
afterwards another at Fontainbleau to her husband. Having executed the
first part of this commission, he set out at two in the morning of the
11th of April for Fontainbleau, and arrived at the palace about nine
o'clock. He was introduced to Napoleon immediately, and gave him the
letter from the empress. "Good Louise!" exclaimed Napoleon, after having
read it, and then asked numerous questions as to her health and that of
his son. De Bausset expressed his wish to carry back an answer to the
empress, and Napoleon promised to give him a letter in the afternoon. He
was calm and decided; but his tones were milder, and his manners mere
gentle than was his wont. He began talking about Elba, and showed to De
B. the maps and books of geography which he had been consulting on the
subject of his future little empire. "The air is good," said he, "and the
inhabitants well-disposed: I shall not be very ill off there, and I hope
Marie-Louise will put up with it as well as I shall." He knew that for
the present they were not to meet, but his hope was that when she was
once in the possession of the duchy of Parma, she and his son would be
allowed to reside with him in the island. But he never saw either again.
The prince of Neufchâtel, Berthier, entered the room to demand permission
to go to Paris on his private affairs; he would return the next day.
After he had left the room, Napoleon said with a melancholy
tone: - "Never! he will never return hither!" "What, sire!" replied Maret,
who was present, "can that be the farewell of your Berthier?" "Yes! I
tell you; he will not return." He did not. At two o'clock in the
afternoon Napoleon sent again for De Bausset. He was walking on the
terrace under the gallery of Francis I. He questioned De B. as to all he
had seen or heard during the late events; he found great fault with the
measure adopted by the council in leaving Paris; the letter to his
brother, upon which they acted, had been written under very different
circumstances; the presence of Louise at Paris would have prevented the
treason and defection of many of his soldiers, and he should still have
been at the head of a formidable army, with which he could have forced
his enemies to quit France and sign an honourable peace. De B. expressed
his regret that peace had not been made at Châtillon. "I never could put
any confidence," said Napoleon, "in the good faith of our enemies. Every
day they made fresh demands, imposed fresh conditions; they did not wish
to have peace - and then - I had declared publicly to all France that I
would not submit to humiliating terms, although the enemy were on the
heights of Montmartre." De B. remarked that France within the Rhine would
be one of the finest kingdoms in the world; on which Napoleon, after a
pause, said - "I abdicate; but I yield nothing." He ran rapidly over the
characters of his principal officers, but dwelt on that of Macdonald.
"Macdonald," said he, "is a brave and faithful soldier; it is only during
these late events that I have fully appreciated his Worth; his connexion
with Moreau prejudiced me against him: but I did him injustice, and I
regret much that I did not know him better." Napoleon paused; then after
a minute's silence - "See," said he, "what our life is! In the action at
Arcis-sur-Aube I fought with desperation, and asked nothing but to die
for my country. My clothes were torn to pieces by musket balls - but alas!
not one could touch my person! A death which I should owe to an act of
despair would be cowardly; suicide does not suit my principles nor the
rank I have holden in the world. I am a man condemned to live." He sighed
almost to sobbing; - then, after several minutes' silence, he said with a
bitter smile - "After all they say, a living camp-boy is worth more than a
dead emperor," - and immediately retired into the palace. It was the last
time De Bausset ever saw his master.

* * * * *


* * * * *


This day, beyond all contradiction,
This day is all thine own, Queen Fiction!
And thou art building castles boundless
Of groundless joys, and griefs as groundless;
Assuring beauties that the border
Of their new dress is out of order;
And schoolboys that their shoes want tying;
And babies that their dolls are dying.
Lend me, lend me, some disguise;
I will tell prodigious lies:
All who care for what I say
Shall be April fools to-day.

First I relate how all the nation
Is ruined by Emancipation:
How honest men are sadly thwarted;
How beads and faggots are imported;
How every parish church looks thinner;
How Peel has asked the Pope to dinner;
And how the Duke, who fought the duel,
Keeps good King George on water-gruel.
Thus I waken doubts and fears
In the Commons and the Peers;
If they care for what I say,
They are April fools to-day.

Next I announce to hall and hovel
Lord Asterisk's unwritten novel.
It's full of wit, and full of fashion,
And full of taste, and full of passion;
It tells some very curious histories,
Elucidates some charming mysteries,
And mingles sketches of society
With precepts of the soundest piety.
Thus I babble to the host
Who adore the "Morning Post;"
If they care for what I say.
They are April fools to-day.

Then to the artist of my raiment
I hint his bankers have stopped payment;
And just suggest to Lady Locket
That somebody has picked her pocket -
And scare Sir Thomas from the city,
By murmuring, in a tone of pity,
That I am sure I saw my Lady
Drive through the Park with Captain Grady.
Off my troubled victims go,
Very pale and very low;
If they care for what I say,
They are April fools to-day.

I've sent the learned Doctor Trepan
To feel Sir Hubert's broken kneepan;
'Twill rout doctor's seven senses
To find Sir Hubert charging fences!
I've sent a sallow parchment scraper
To put Miss Trim's last will on paper;
He'll see her, silent as a mummy,
At whist with her two maids and dummy.
Man of brief, and man of pill,
They will take it very ill;
If they care for what I say,
They are April fools to-day.

And then to her, whose smiles shed light on
My weary lot last year at Brighton,
I talk of happiness and marriage,
St. George's and a travelling carriage.
I trifle with my rosy fetters,
I rave about her 'witching letters,
And swear my heart shall do no treason
Before the closing of the season.
Thus I whisper in the ear
Of Louisa Windermere -
If she cares for what I say,
She's an April fool to-day.

And to the world I publish gaily
That all things are improving daily;
That suns grow warmer, streamlets clearer,
And faith more firm, and love sincerer -
That children grow extremely clever -
That sin is seldom known, or never -
That gas, and steam, and education,
Are, killing sorrow and starvation!
Pleasant visions - but, alas
How those pleasant visions pass!
If you care for what I say,
You're an April fool to-day.

Last, to myself, when night comes round me,
And the soft chain of thought has bound me,
I whisper, "Sir, your eyes are killing -
You owe no mortal man a shilling -
You never cringe for star or garter,
You're much too wise to be a martyr -
And since you must, be food for vermin,
You don't feel much desire for ermine!"
Wisdom is a mine, no doubt,
If one can but find it out -
But whate'er I think or say,
I'm an April fool to-day,
_London Magazine_.

* * * * *


A widow of the name of Betty Falla kept an alehouse in one of the
market-towns frequented by the Lammermuir ladies, (Dunse, we believe,)
and a number of them used to lodge at her house during the fair. One year
Betty's ale turned sour soon after the fair; there had been a
thunder-storm in the interim, and Betty's ale was, as they say in that
country, "strongest in the water." Betty did not understand the first of
these causes, and she did not wish to understand the latter. The ale was
not palatable; and Betty brewed again to the same strength of water.
Again it thundered, and again the swipes became vinegar. Betty was at her
wit's end, - no long journey; but she was breathless.

Having got to her own wit's end, Betty naturally wished to draw upon the
stock of another; and where should she find it in such abundance as with
the minister of the parish. Accordingly, Betty put on her best, got her
nicest basket, laid a couple of bottles of her choicest brandy in the
bottom, and over them a dozen or two of her freshest eggs; and thus
freighted, she fidgetted off to the manse, offered her peace-offering,
and hinted that she wished to speak with his reverence in "preevat."

"What is your will, Betty?" said the minister of Dunse. "An unco uncanny
mishap," replied the tapster's wife.

"Has Mattie not been behaving?" said the minister. "Like an innocent
lamb," quoth Betty Falla.

"Then - ?" said the minister, lacking the rest of the query. "Anent the
yill," said Betty.

"The ale!" said the minister; "has any body been drinking and refused to

"Na," said Betty, "they winna drink a drap."

"And would you have me to encourage the sin of drunkenness?" asked the

"Na, na," said Betty, "far frae that; I only want your kin' han' to get
in yill again as they can drink."

"I am no brewer, Betty," said the minister gravely.

"Gude forfend, Sir," said Betty, "that the like o' you should be evened
to the gyle tub. I dinna wish for ony thing o' the kind." - "Then what is
the matter?" asked the minister.

"It's witched, clean witched; as sure as I'm a born woman," said Betty.

"Naebody else will drink it, an' I canna drink it mysel'."

"You must not be superstitious, Betty," said the minister. "I'm no ony
thing o' the kin'," said Betty, colouring, "an' ye ken it yoursel'; but
twa brousts wadna be vinegar for naething." (She lowered her voice.) "Ye
mun ken, Sir, that o' a' the leddies frae the Lammermuir, that hae been
comin' and gaen, there was an auld rudas wife this fair, an' I'm certie
she's witched the yill; and ye mun just look into ye'r buiks, an' tak off
the withchin!"

"When do you brew, Betty?" - "This blessed day, gin it like you, Sir."

"Then, Betty, here is the thing you want, the same malt and water as

- "Nae difference, Sir?"

"Then when you have put the water to the malt, go three times round the
vat with the sun, and in _pli's_ name put in three shoolfu's of malt; and
when you have done that, go three times round the vat, against the sun,
and, in the devil's name, take out three bucketfuls of water; and take my
word for it, the ale will be better."

"Thanks to your reverence; gude mornin." - _Ibid_.

* * * * *


"A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles."

* * * * *


_By Mr. Gay._

The sun was sunk beneath the hills,
The western clouds were lin'd with gold,
The sky was clear, the winds were still,
The flocks were pent within their fold:
When from the silence of the grove,
Poor Damon thus despair'd of love.

Who seeks to pluck the fragrant rose
From the bare rock, or oozy beach,
Who from each barren weed that grows,
Expects the grape, or blushing peach.
With equal faith may hope to find
The truth of love in woman-kind.

I have no herds, no fleecy care,
No fields that wave with golden grain,
No meadows green, or gardens fair,
A damsel's venal heart to gain.
Then all in vain my sighs must prove,
For I, alas! have naught but love.

How wretched is the faithful youth,
Since women's hearts are bought and
They ask no vows of sacred truth,
Whene'er they sigh, they sigh for gold.
Gold can the frowns of scorn remove,
But I, alas! have naught but love.

To buy the gems of India's coast,
What gold, what treasure will suffice,
Not all their fire can ever boast
The living lustre of her eyes.
For thee the world too cheap must prove,
But I, alas! have naught but love.

O Sylvia! since no gems, nor ore
Can with thy brighter charms compare,
Consider that I proffer more
More seldom found, a heart sincere.
Let treasure meaner beauty's move,
Who pays thy worth, must pay in love.

* * * * *


The following "announcement" is so characteristic and amusing, that we
copy it _verbatim et literatim_: - The author of "Whims and Oddities" has
the honour of informing the public, that, encouraged by the popularity of
the Ballads in the first and second series of that work, he intends to
communicate a succession of similar vocal crotchets, to run alone without
the help of an octavo. Sally Brown, Faithless Nelly Gray, and Mary's
Ghost, have been patronised by many public and private singers; but
unfortunately they were adapted to as many airs - sometimes even to jigs;
and the natural result was an occasional falling-out between the words
and the melodies. Judging that it would be better for those verses to be
regularly married to music, than that they should form temporary
connexions with any rambling tunes about town, Mr. J. Blewitt has at last
kindly provided them with airs that are airs of _character_, and made
their alliance with music of the correct and permanent kind. The same
gentleman has undertaken the same good office for the forthcoming Comic
Ballads; and his well-known skill and talent will insure that all unhappy
differences between Sound and Sense will be amicably composed. In fact,
the words and the airs will be intended for each other from the
cradle - like Paul and Virginia. It is intended that the new Ballads shall
start in couples. Two to make a Number, and a number of Numbers may be
_bound_ to the library, as a volume, for a term of years. The work will
be set with variations. Occasionally there will be a duet or trio, to
accommodate those timid vocalists who do not choose to make themselves
particular in a solo, or those other singers of sociable habits who
prefer giving tongue in a pack. One word about the words. They will be
"merry and wise." Not a jest will be admitted that might be liable to
misconstruction by the Council of _Nice_. The Comic Muse has been too apt
to mistake liberty for _license_, and has been proportionably
_licen_tious; the Comic Ballads will be as particular as Seneca or Aesop
in their regard for good morals. Nothing, in short, will be inserted but
what is _cut out_ for the female ear. To conclude - the said Melodies will
be issued by Messrs. Clementi and Co., of Cheapside. Be sure to ask for
"Comic Melodies," as all others are counterfeits, and not benefits, to
the proprietors. The first Number is expected to commence, like Blue
Bonnets, with "March;" and the work will be continued regularly through
every other month in the calendar.

* * * * *

The other day, a man of ninety-nine was buried at Père-la-chaise, at
Paris, and was followed to his grave by twenty children, fifteen
grand-children and great grand-children. Happily, such populators are not
common! The deceased, it appears, had buried six wives, and married the
seventh: he died in the full enjoyment of his senses, and assured his
numerous progeny that he did not regret life, as he knew he was about to
rejoin the six beloved partners of his days, who had gone before him. Few
men, we fear, would be consoled by such an idea in their last moments, or
at any moment of their existence! - _Literary Gaz_.

* * * * *


The following is the last and best that we have heard of the above-named
gentleman. We should premise, that, the details of it are a little
altered, with the view of adapting it to "ears polite;" for without some
process of this kind, it would not have been presentable. A lady went to
the doctor in great distress of mind, and stated to him, that, by a
strange accident, she had swallowed a live spider. At first, his only
reply was, "whew! whew! whew!" a sort of internal whistling sound,
intended to be indicative of supreme contempt. But his anxious patient
was not so easily to be repulsed. She became every moment more and more
urgent for some means of relief from the dreaded effect of the strange
accident she had consulted him about; when, at last, looking round upon
the wall, he put up his hand and caught a fly. "There, ma'am," said he,
"I've got a remedy for you. Open your mouth; and as soon as I've put this
fly into it, shut it close again; and the moment the spider hears the fly
buzzing about, up he'll come; and then you can spit them both out

* * * * *


_An Acrostic._

Lovesick people e'en will smile,
In spite of cares, and for the while
Sadness will not _lag on:_
Tic dolereux will lose its power
On facial nerves for half an hour,
Now Listen plays Moll Flaggon.

J. S. C.

* * * * *


1 3

Online LibraryVariousThe Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 13, No. 364, April 4, 1829 → online text (page 3 of 4)