Various.

The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 14, No. 405, December 19, 1829 online

. (page 1 of 4)
Online LibraryVariousThe Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 14, No. 405, December 19, 1829 → online text (page 1 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Andy Jewell, David King, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team





THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

VOL. 14, No. 405.] SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1829. [PRICE 2d.




NEW BUILDINGS, INNER TEMPLE.


[Illustration: New Buildings, Inner Temple.]

"The Temple," as our readers may be aware, is an immense range of
buildings, stretching from Fleet-street to the River Thames, north and
south; and from Lombard-street, Whitefriars, to Essex-street, in the
Strand, east and west. It takes its name from having been the principal
establishment, in England, of the Knights Templars; and here, in the
thirteenth century they entertained King Henry III., the Pope's Nuncio,
foreign ambassadors, and other great personages. The king's treasure was
accustomed to be kept in the part now called the _Middle Temple_; and
from the chief officer, who, as master of the Temple, was summoned to
Parliament in the 47th of Henry III., the chief minister of the Temple
Church is still called _Master of the Temple_. After the suppression of
this once celebrated order,[1] the professors of the common law
purchased the buildings, and they were then first converted into _Inns
of Court_, called the Inner and _Middle Temple_, from their former
relation to Essex House, which as a part of the buildings, and from its
situation outside the division of the city from the suburbs formed by
Temple Bar, was called the Outer Temple.

[1] In the _Temple Church_, lie the remains, marked out by their
effigies, of numbers of the Templars. For a Description and
Engraving of the Church, see MIRROR, No. 274.

The principal part, or what we might almost call the nucleus of the
Inner Temple, is the Hall and Chapel, which were substantially repaired
in the year 1819. Thence a range of unsightly brick buildings extended
along a broad paved terrace, to the south, descending to the Garden, or
bank of the Thames. These buildings have lately been removed, and the
above splendid range erected on their site, from the designs of Robert
Smirke, Esq., R.A. They are in the Tudor, or to speak familiarly, the
good Old English school of architecture, and combine all the picturesque
beauty of ancient style with the comfort and elegance of modern art in
the adaptation of the interior. Our succinct sketch of the origin of the
Temple will sufficiently illustrate the appropriateness of Mr. Smirke's
choice. Over the principal windows, on escutcheons, are the Pegasus, the
Temple arms, and the respective arms of Henry III. and George IV. At the
end immediately adjoining the Chapel, is a Latin inscription with the
date of the repairs, 1819, and at the eastern extremity of the present
building is another inscription with the date of 1828, in which the last
improvements were commenced. Viewed from the Terrace, the whole range
has a handsome and substantial appearance, sufficiently decorated, yet
not overloaded with ornament. From another point, Whitefriars Gate, the
end of the building, with its fine oriel window, is seen to considerable
advantage. Against the old brick house on this spot was a sun-dial, with
the quaint conceit, "Begone about your business." The cast-iron railing
of the area appears to us extremely elegant and appropriate.

The interior is not yet completed, but, by the courtesy of the architect
we have obtained a view of its unfinished state. The principal
apartments are the _Parliament Chamber_ on the first, and the _Library_
on the second floor. The Chamber adjoins the Hall, and is intended for a
withdrawing-room, whither the Templars of our times, after dining in the
Hall, may repair to exercise the _argumentum ad Bacculinum_ in term
time. The dimensions of this room are in height about 13 feet; length 37
feet; and width about 27 feet. Above is the Library, which is indeed a
magnificent room. The height is about 20 feet; length 39 feet; and width
in the centre about 37 feet. The fine window, of which we spoke in our
description of the exterior, is not yet glazed; its height is 17 feet,
and width 14 feet; and the mullions, &c. are very rich. The remainder of
the buildings will be occupied by ante-rooms, and chambers for
barristers. The whole will be fire-proof, the floors being divided by
plate-iron archings upon cast-iron bearings.

The Inner Temple Hall is a fine room, though comparatively small. It is
ornamented with the portraits of William III. and Mary, and the Judges
Coke and Littleton; it is also embellished with a picture of Pegasus,
painted by Sir James Thornhill. The Middle Temple has likewise a Hall,
which is spacious and fine: here were given many of the feasts of old
times, before mentioned. It contains a fine picture of Charles I. on
horseback, by Vandyke, and portraits of Charles II. Queen Anne, George
I. and George II.

There is a host of pleasing associations connected with the Temple, if
we only instance the seasonable doings there at Christmas - as
breakfasting in the hall "with brawn, mustard, and malmsey;" and at
dinner, "a fair and large Bore's head upon a silver platter with
minstralsaye."

* * * * *


SPRING TIDES.

(_For the Mirror._)


At page 310 of the present volume of your miscellany, your correspondent
_Vyvyan_ states that the tide rises at Chepstow more than 60 feet, and
that a mark in the rocks below the bridge there denotes its having risen
to the height of 70 feet, which is, perhaps (_Vyvyan_ states), the
greatest altitude of the tides in the world. At Windsor, seated on the
east bank of the _Avon_ river, which falls into the Basin of Mines, at
the head of the Bay of Fundy, the spring tides regularly rise 70 feet
and upwards; and at Truro, at the eastern extremity of the Bay of Fundy,
the spring tides rise to an altitude of 100 feet. There are some parts
of the west coast of North America also where the tides rise to a very
high altitude; but I do not at this moment remember the particulars. My
attention having thus been directed to the Bay of Fundy, it induces me
to inform you, that an inland water communication, at a minimum depth of
eight feet, and proportionate expanse, is now forming from Halifax,
_Nova Scotia_, by the Shubenacadie river, falling into the Bay of Fundy,
near the abovementioned town of Truro.

The total length of this canal is 53 miles, 1,024 yards, the artificial
portion of which is only 2,739 yards, the remainder being formed by a
chain of deep lakes and the Shubenacadie river. The summit level is 95
feet 10 inches above the _high-water_ surface of _medium tides_ in
Halifax harbour; and is attained by seven locks, each 87 feet long, and
22 feet six inches wide; and the tide locks nine feet in depth of water.
The descent into the Bay of Fundy, at highwater surface medium tides, is
by eight locks.

The estimated expense of this interesting work is £54,000.

J.M.

* * * * *


MINSTRELS.

(_To the Editor of the Mirror._)


Sir, - Sometime ago a discussion arose in the public papers respecting
the right of the King's Sergeant Trumpeter to grant licenses to
minstrels for carrying on their calling in London and Westminster. I do
not recollect whether this officer succeeded in establishing the right;
but the following account of a similar privilege in another part of the
country is founded on fact, and may furnish amusement to some of your
readers: -

About the latter end of the reign of Richard I., Randal Blundeville,
Earl of Chester, was closely besieged by the Welsh in his Castle, in
Flintshire. In this extremity, the earl sent to his constable, Roger
Lacy, (who for his _fiery_ qualities received the appropriate cognomen
of _hell_), to hasten, with what force he could collect, to his relief.
It happened to be Midsummer-day, when a great fair was held at Chester,
the humours of which, it should seem, the worthy constable, witless of
his lord's peril, was then enjoying. He immediately got together, in the
words of my authority, "a great, lawless mob of fiddlers, players,
cobblers, and such like," and marched towards the earl. The Welsh,
although a musical people, not relishing this sort of chorus, thought it
prudent to beat a retreat, and fled. The earl, by this well-timed
presto-movement, being released from danger, returned with his constable
to Chester, and in reward of his service, granted by deed to Roger and
his heirs, authority "over all the fiddlers, minstrels, and cobblers in
Chester."

About the end of the reign of John, or the beginning of that of Henry
III., the fire of Roger being extinguished by death, his son John Lacy,
granted this privilege by deed to his steward, one Hugh Dutton and his
heirs, in the words following: - "Dedi et concessi, et per hac presenti
charta mea, confirmavi Hugoni de Dutton, et heredibus suis, magistratum
omnium lecatorum, et _meretricum_, totius Cestershiriae," &c.

Dugdale relates in his Monasticon, p. 860, that "under this grant, and
by ancient custom, the heirs of Dutton claim and exercise authority over
all the common fiddlers and minstrels in Chester and Cheshire; and in
memory of it, keep a yearly court at Chester on Mid-summer-day, being
Chester Fair, and in a solemn manner ride attended through the city to
St. John the Baptist's Church, with all the fiddlers of the county
playing before the Lord of Dutton, and then at the court renew their
licenses yearly; and that none ought to use the trade or employment of a
minstrel, or fiddler, either within the city or county, but by an order
and license of that court." I find too that this privilege has received
the sanction of the legislature; for by the Act of 17 George II., cap.
5., commonly called the Vagrant Act, which includes "minstrels" under
that amiable class of independents, the rights of the family of Dutton
in the county of Chester are expressly reserved. Perhaps some of your
numerous Correspondents may be able to say whether this very singular
_Court of Concert_ is still kept up.

ANTIQUARIUS.

* * * * *


ON GARDENS.[2]

(_For the Mirror_.)


[2] We would suggest "Gleanings on Gardens." were not that title
forestalled by an interesting little work, lately published by
Mr. S. Felton. - ED.

The hanging gardens, in antiquity called _Pensiles Horti_, were raised
on arches by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, in order to gratify his
wife, Amyctis, daughter of Astyages, King of Media. These gardens are
supposed by Quintus Curtius to have been equal in height to the city,
viz. 50 feet. They contained a square of 400 feet on every side, and
were carried up into the air in several terraces laid one above another,
and the ascent from terrace to terrace was by stairs 10 feet wide.

Among the Mexicans there are _floating gardens_, which are described by
the Abbé Clavigero, as highly curious and interesting, so as to form a
place of recreation and amusement. The abundant produce of these
prolific gardens, are brought daily by the canal in numerous small
vessels, at sun-rise, to the market-place of the capital to be sold. The
plants thrive in these situations in an astonishing manner, the mud of
the lake being extremely fertile and productive, without the aid of
rain. Whenever the owners of these gardens are inclined to change their
situations, they get into their little vessels, and by their own
strength alone, or where that is not sufficient, by the assistance of
others, they get them afloat, and tow them after them wherever they
please.

Gardening was introduced into England from the Netherlands, from whence
vegetables were imported till 1509. Fruits and flowers of sundry sorts
before unknown, were brought into England in the reigns of Henry VII.
and VIII. from about 1500 to 1578. Grapes were first planted at
Blaxhall, in Suffolk, 1552. The ingenuity and fostering care of the
people of England, have brought under their tribute all the vegetable
creation.

Lord Bacon has truly observed, "A garden is the purest of all human
pleasures," and no doubt he felt its influence, when he returned from
the turmoil of a _court_ and _courts_. Many of his writings were
composed under the shade of the trees in Gray's Inn Gardens; he lived in
a house facing the great gates, forming the entrance to the gardens, and
Sir Fulke Greville, Lord Brook,[3] frequently sent him "home-brewed
beer." Epicurus, the patron of refined pleasure, fixed the seat of his
enjoyment in a garden. Dr. Knox says, "In almost every description of
the seats of the blessed, ideas of a garden seem to have predominated.
The word paradise itself is synonymous with garden. The fields of
Elysium, that sweet region of poesy, are adorned with all that
imagination can conceive to be delightful. Some of the most pleasing
passages of Milton are those in which he represents the happy pair
engaged in cultivating their blissful abode. Poets have always been
delighted with the beauties of a garden. Lucan is represented by Juvenal
as reposing in his garden. Virgil's _Georgies_ prove him to have been
captivated with rural scenes; though to the surprise of his readers he
has not assigned a book to the subject of a garden. But let not the rich
suppose they have appropriated the pleasures of a garden. The possessor
of an acre, or a smaller portion, may receive a real pleasure from
observing the progress of vegetation, even in the plantation of culinary
plants. A very limited tract properly attended to, will furnish ample
employment for an individual, nor let it be thought a mean care; for the
same hand that raised the cedar, formed the hyssop on the wall."

P.T.W.

[3] In the street called Brook Street, was Brook House.

* * * * *


GRECIAN FLIES - SPONGERS.

(_For the Mirror_.)


In modern days we should term _Grecian Flies, Spongers; alias Dinner
Hunters_. Among the Grecians (according to Potter) "They who forced
themselves into other men's entertainments, were called _flies_, which
was a general name of reproach for such as insinuated themselves into
any company where they were not welcome." In Plautus, an entertainment
free from unwelcome guests is called _hospitium sine muscis_, an
entertainment without flies; and in another place of the same author, an
inquisitive and busy man, who pries and insinuates himself into the
secrets of others, is termed _musca_. We are likewise informed by Horus
Apollo, that in Egypt a fly was the hieroglyphic of an impudent man,
because that insect being beaten away, still returns again; on which
account it is that Homer makes it an emblem of courage.

P.T.W.

* * * * *



THE SELECTOR; AND LITERARY NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.


* * * * *


MARSHAL NEY.


[No apology is requisite for our introduction of the following passage
from the life of Marshal Ney, in a volume of the _Family Library_,
entitled "_The Court and Camp of Buonaparte_."]

In the campaign of 1813, Ney faithfully adhered to the falling emperor.
At Bautzen, Lutzen, Dresden, he contributed powerfully to the success;
but he and Oudinot received a severe check at Dennewitz from the Crown
Prince of Sweden. From that hour defeat succeeded defeat; the allies
invaded France; and, in spite of the most desperate resistance,
triumphantly entered Paris in March, 1814. Ney was one of the three
marshals chosen by Napoleon to negotiate with Alexander in behalf of the
King of Rome, but the attempt was unsuccessful, and all he could do was
to remain a passive spectator of the fall and exile of his chief.

On the restoration of the Bourbons, Ney was more fortunate than many of
his brethren: he was entrusted with a high military command, and created
a knight of St. Louis, and a peer of France.

But France was now at peace with all the world; and no one of these
great military chiefs could be more unprepared for the change than the
Prince of Moskwa. He was too old to acquire new habits. For domestic
comforts he was little adapted: during the many years of his marriage,
he had been unable to pass more than a very few months with his family.
Too illiterate to find any resource in books, too rude to be a favourite
in society, and too proud to desire that sort of distinction, he was
condemned to a solitary and an inactive life. The habit of braving
death, and of commanding vast bodies of men, had impressed his character
with a species of moral grandeur, which raised him far above the puerile
observances of the fashionable world. Plain in his manners, and still
plainer in his words, he neither knew, nor wished to know, the art of
pleasing courtiers. Of good nature he had indeed a considerable fund,
but he showed it, not so much by the endless little attentions of a
gentleman, as by scattered acts of princely beneficence. For dissipation
he had no taste; his professional cares and duties, which, during
twenty-five years, had left him no respite, had engrossed his attention
too much to allow room for the passions, vices, or follies of society to
obtain any empire over him. The sobriety of his manners was extreme,
even to austerity.

His wife had been reared in the court of Louis XVI., and had adorned
that of the emperor. Cultivated in her mind, accomplished in her
manners, and elegant in all she said or did, her society was courted on
all sides. Her habits were expensive; luxury reigned throughout her
apartments, and presided at her board; and to all this display of
elegance and pomp of show, the military simplicity, not to say the
coarseness, of the marshal, furnished a striking contrast. His good
nature offered no other obstacle to the gratification of her wishes than
the occasional expression of a fear that his circumstances might be
deranged by them. But if he would not oppose, neither could he join in
her extravagance. While she was presiding at a numerous and brilliant
party of guests, he preferred to remain alone in a distant apartment,
where the festive sounds could not reach him. On such occasions he
almost always dined alone.

Ney seldom appeared at court. He could neither bow nor flatter, nor
could he stoop to kiss even his sovereign's hand without something like
self-humiliation. To his princess, on the other hand, the royal smile
was as necessary as the light of the sun; and unfortunately for her, she
was sometimes disappointed in her efforts to attract it. Her wounded
vanity often beheld an insult in what was probably no more than an
inadvertence. In a word she ere long fervently regretted the court in
which the great captains had occupied the first rank, and their families
shared the almost exclusive favour of the sovereign. She complained to
her husband; and he, with a calm smile, advised her never again to
expose herself to such mortifications if she really sustained them. But
though he could thus rebuke a woman's vanity, the haughty soldier felt
his own wounded through hers. To escape from these complaints, and from
the monotony of his Parisian existence, he retired to his country-seat,
in January, 1815, the very season when people of consideration are most
engrossed by the busy scenes of the metropolis. There he led an
unfettered life; he gave his mornings to field sports; and the guests he
entertained in the evening were such as, from their humble condition,
rendered formality useless, and placed him completely at his ease.

It was here that on the 6th of March he was surprised by the arrival of
an aide-de-camp from the minister at war, who ordered him, with all
possible despatch, to join the sixth division, of which he was the
commander, and which was stationed at Besançon. In his anxiety to learn
the extent of his instructions, Ney immediately rode to Paris; and
there, for the first time, learned the disembarkation of Buonaparte from
Elba.

Ney eagerly undertook the commission assigned him of hastening to oppose
the invader. In his last interview with Louis his protestations of
devotedness to the Bourbons, and his denunciations against Napoleon,
were ardent - perhaps they were sincere. Whether he said that Buonaparte
_deserved_ to be confined in an iron cage, or that he would _bring_ him
to Paris in one, is not very clear, nor indeed very material. - We
reluctantly approach the darker shades in the life of this great
officer.

On his arrival at Besançon, March 10th, he learned the disaffection of
all the troops hitherto sent against the invader, and perceived that
those by whom he was surrounded were not more to be trusted. He was
surrounded with loud and incessant cries of _Vive l'Empereur!_ Already,
at Lyons, two members of the royal family had found all opposition vain;
the march of Napoleon was equally peaceful and triumphant. During the
night of the 13th, Ney had a secret interview with a courier from his
old master; and on the following morning he announced to his troops that
the house of Bourbon had ceased to reign - that the emperor was the only
ruler France would acknowledge! He then hastened to meet Napoleon, by
whom he was received with open arms, and hailed by his indisputed title
of Bravest of the Brave.

Ney was soon doomed to suffer the necessary consequence of his
crime - bitter and unceasing remorse. His inward reproaches became
intolerable: he felt humbled, mortified, for he had lost that noble
self-confidence, that inward sense of dignity, that unspeakable and
exalted satisfaction, which integrity alone can bestow: the man who
would have defied the world in arms, trembled before the new enemy
within him; he saw that his virtue, his honour, his peace, and the
esteem of the wise and the good, were lost to him for ever. In the
bitterness of his heart, he demanded and obtained permission to retire
for a short time into the country. But there he could not regain his
self-respect. Of his distress, and we hope of his repentance, no better
proof need be required than the reply, which, on his return to Paris, he
made to the emperor, who feigned to have believed that he had emigrated:
"I _ought_ to have done so long ago (said Ney); it is now too late."

The prospect of approaching hostilities soon roused once more the
enthusiasm of this gallant soldier, and made him for awhile less
sensible to the gloomy agitation within. From the day of his being
ordered to join the army on the frontiers of Flanders, June 11, his
temper was observed to be less unequal, and his eye to have regained its
fiery glance.

The story of Waterloo need not be repeated here. We shall only observe,
that on no occasion did the Bravest of the Brave exhibit more impetuous
though hopeless valour. Five horses were shot under him; his garments
were pierced with balls; his whole person was disfigured with blood and
mud, yet he would have continued the contest on foot while life
remained, had he not been forced from the field, by the dense and
resistless columns of the fugitives. He returned to the capital, and
there witnessed the second imperial abdication, and the capitulation of
Paris, before he thought of consulting his safety by flight. Perhaps he
hoped that by virtue of the twelfth article of that convention, he
should not be disquieted; if so, however, the royal ordinance of July
24th, terribly undeceived him. He secreted himself with one of his
relatives at the château of Bessaris, department of Lot, in the
expectation that he should soon have an opportunity of escaping to the
United States. But he was discovered, and in a very singular manner.

In former days Ney had received a rich Egyptian sabre from the hands of
the First Consul. There was but another like it known to exist, and that
was possessed by Murat. The marshal was carefully secluded both from
visiters and domestics, but unluckily this splendid weapon was left on a
sofa in the drawing-room. It was perceived, and not a little admired by
a visiter, who afterwards described it to a party of friends at
Aurillac. One present immediately observed, that, from the description,
it must belong to either Ney or Murat. This came to the ears of the
prefect, who instantly despatched fourteen gensdarmes, and some police
agents, to arrest the owner. They surrounded the château; and Ney at
once surrendered himself. Perhaps he did not foresee the fatal issue of
his trial; some of his friends say that he even wished it to take place
immediately, that he might have an opportunity to contradict a report
that Louis had presented him with half a million of francs, on his
departure for Besançon.

A council of war, composed of French marshals, was appointed to try him;
but they had little inclination to pass sentence on an old companion in


1 3 4

Online LibraryVariousThe Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 14, No. 405, December 19, 1829 → online text (page 1 of 4)