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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 19, No. 551, June 9, 1832 online

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THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.

VOL. 19. No. 551.] SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 1832. [PRICE 2.d.

* * * * *



MONKEY ISLAND.


[Illustration: MONKEY ISLAND.]

This picturesque spot is situate in the middle of the river Thames, near
Cliefden, Bucks,[1] and about three-quarters of a mile from the village
of Bray.[2] It was purchased and decorated for the enjoyment of fishing
parties by the third Duke of Marlborough. Upon its fine sward he erected
a small rustic building called Monkey Hall, from the embellishments of
the interior being in part fancifully painted with a number of monkeys
dressed in human apparel, and imitating human actions. Some are
represented diverting themselves with fishing, others with hunting, &c.
One is drawn gravely sitting in a boat, smoking, while a female
"waterman" is labouring at the oar, rowing him across a river. The
ceiling and cornices are ornamented with aquatic plants and flowers. In
another building, raised at the expense of the Duke, on this island, and
named the Temple, is an elegant saloon, painted with green and gold, and
enriched with figures in stucco-work superbly gilt, representing
mermaids, sea-lions, fish, shells, and other objects. The place
altogether might be called _Marlborough's Folly_.

[1] For a View and Description of Cliefden, see _Mirror_, vol.
xv. p. 97.

[2] For a View of Bray Church, see _Mirror_, vol. xvii. p 209.

The perfection of the monkey embellishments would delight the admirers
of Mr. Landseer's famed _Monkeyana_.

Monkey Island has had several owners since the Duke of Marlborough
disposed of it: the lease of the place at £25_l._ a-year was, in 1787,
purchased for 240 guineas, by Henry Townley Ward, Esq. who bequeathed it
to P.C. Bruce, Esq., of Taplow. Its vicinity to "Cliefden's hanging
woods" and picturesque home scenery must render it a delightful retreat.

Its establishment is stated to have cost the Duke of Marlborough ten
thousand guineas.

* * * * *


SONG,

_From the French of Béranger_.

LE ROI D'YVETOT.

(_For the Mirror_.)


There once was a King, as they say,
Though history says naught about it,
Who slept sound by night and by day,
And for glory - who just did without it;
A night cap his diadem was,
Which his maid used to air at the fire,
And then put it on him, (that's poz:)
Such was his Coronation attire.

CHORUS.

"Lack-a-day, well-a-day!" then let us sing,
And mourn for the loss of this good little King.

In a cottage his banquets were given,
He lived upon four meals a-day, sir,
On which diet he seems to have thriven:
And an ass was his charger they say, sir,
A dog was his life-guard, we're told,
And many a peregrination
Thus attended, he must have been bold,
He made step and step through the nation.

CHORUS.

"Lack-a-day, well-a-day!" then let us sing,
And mourn for the loss of this good little King.

His taste, for a monarch, was queer,
But his motto was "live and let live, sir,"
He was thirsty, and fond of good beer,
Which his subjects were happy to give, sir;
He levied his taxes himself,
A quart or a pint for his dinner,
No exciseman went snacks in the pelf,
No clerks had this jolly old sinner.

CHORUS.

"Lack-a-day, well-a-day!" then let us sing,
And mourn for the loss of this good little King.

* * * * *

Except just by way of a lark,
His militia he never would call out,
He then made them shoot at a mark
Till they had shot all their powder and ball out.

CHORUS.

"Lack-a-day, well-a-day!" then let us sing,
And mourn for the loss of this good little King.

To his neighbours he always was kind,
He never extended his boundaries,
For disputes and contentions, I find,
He never saw any just ground arise:
Pleasure's code being his statute law
He ne'er caused a tear to be shed, sir,
Though I swear not a dry eye I saw,
When his subjects first heard he was dead, sir.

CHORUS.

"Lack-a-day, well-a-day!" well might they sing,
When they mourned the sad loss of their good little King.

His portrait you must have observed,
In remarkably good preservation,
For his eminent virtues deserved
You'll allow, a conspicuous station:
"The King's Head" still continues his name,
Where full often the people on holidays
As they tipple, still talk of his name,
In lamenting the end of his jolly days.

CHORUS.

"Lack a-day, well-a-day!" thus do they sing.
And mourn for the loss of their good little King.

H.

* * * * *


TO A LADY WHO SAID SHE WAS THE SAME AGE AS HIMSELF.

FROM THE FRENCH OF BERANGER.

(_For the Mirror._)


Our ages are the same, you say,
But know that love believes it not;
The Fates, a wager I would lay,
Our tangled threads shared out by lot;
What part to each they did assign
The world, fair dame, can plainly see;
The Spring and Summer days were thine,
Autumn and Winter came to me. H.

* * * * *


ENGLISH BALLAD SINGING.

(_For the Mirror._)


The minstrels were once a great and flourishing body in England; but
their dignity being interwoven with the illusory splendour of feudal
institutions, declined on the advance of moral cultivation: they became
in time vulgar mountebanks and jugglers, and in the reign of Elizabeth
were _suppressed_ as rogues and vagabonds. Banished from the highways
they betook themselves to alehouses - followed the trade of pipers and
fiddlers - and minstrelsy was no longer known in England.

The suppression of "the order" of minstrels, gave rise to that of the
Ballad-singers, who relied upon the quality of their voices for success.
The subjects of many of the songs handed down by the minstrels were
still held in honour by the ballad-singers. The feats of "Elym of the
Clough," "Randle of Chester," and "Sir Topaz," which had faded under
the kind keeping of the minstrels, were now refreshed and brought more
boldly in the new version before the sense. Robin Hood and Friar Tuck
had their honours enlarged by the new dynasty; more maidens and heroes
were inspired by their misfortunes. Drayton's allusions to the
propagation of Robin's fame may give an idea of the diffusion of the
ballad-singers:

"In this our spacious isle I think there is not one,
But he hath heard some talk of him and Little John;
But to the end of time the tales shall ne'er be done,
Of Scarlock, George-a-Green and Much the Miller's son."

The new race started in the field with the full tide of popularity; they
had the glory of being opposed to and triumphing over the votaries of
the muses. The poets of the first class confessed their uneasiness at
the success of the innovators. Of this fact we have abundant instances
in Spencer's "Tears of the Muses," and the mighty Shakspeare would bring
the calling into contempt.

The ballad-singers did not enjoy _empty popularity_, as may be
understood from the number of candidates who yearly sought refuge in
their camp. One of the most popular singers of this early time was a
boy, distinguished from the nature of his voice "Outroaring Dick," as
honestly bestowed as any hero of "jaw-breaking" memory in Greek or Latin
history. His earnings, according to Mr. Warton, averaged ten shillings a
day; he was a well-known character in Essex, and was not missed for many
a day from Braintree fair; and in the decline of life spent his days
like an amateur. But Cheetre, for such was his real name, was haunted
amidst his glory by a rival. Will Wimbars had a voice of as much
flexibility as Dick. Dick was the most popular, for he sang every thing
he could, but Will had a select list he never departed from. The former
was sought as a companion; the latter pleased best in the public
exercise of his talents.

The most universally esteemed singer of his age was Mat. Nash, who had a
vehement style; his "Hunts-up," a song which obtained him "much favor,"
was one of his most celebrated efforts. However, it happened that the
great Secretary Cecil was so captivated with his singing, that he soon
enabled him to retire from his profession.

The accident that led to this fortunate reconnoitre is not impertinent
to our subject: in a time of dearth, which was severely felt in the
city, the famous ballad-maker Delone composed a song reflecting on her
Majesty. The ballad-maker and singer were both committed to the compter,
but the poet defied government even while in the lion's den. In a letter
to the Lord Mayor, he avowed the ballad, and justified it. Nash, in the
meantime, in an interview with the Secretary, established his innocence,
and laid the foundation of his future prosperity.

The Gipsies furnished a number of singers about this time. The laws and
_prejudices_ of society concurred in denouncing this race; but,
nevertheless, the best received ballad-singers of their time were of
this bronzed tribe.

In the reigns of James the First and his successor, the taste of the
people for nature and simplicity kept up the profession of
ballad-singing. We are to look upon ballad-singers from this time as a
corporation. Custom had established yearly festivals for them in the
_classic regions_ of St. Giles's, which were frequented by the wits of
the day - Swift, Gay, Bolingbroke, Steele, &c. From these high followers
of the muses, yearly contingents of ballads were expected. Swift
contracted for the humourous songs: Gay who had, as Goldsmith says, "a
happy strain of ballad-thinking," was set down for the pathetic ones;
and those of a miscellaneous character were divided amongst a number of
amateur bards. No importunities, even of his friends, could induce Pope
to attend any of these assemblies. He was prevailed on to write an
epitaph for a young creature whom he had seen, and who was known by the
name of Clarinda: favoured by the great, if she had not been attached to
the life of a ballad-singer, she might, with her accomplishments, have
risen to distinction and fortune.

Gay and Swift had naturally a relish for low society, and were hailed by
the fraternity as the most precious sources of profit. Amongst other
songs which Swift sent into the world through the medium of
ballad-singers, was a severe satire upon the Duke of Marlborough,
beginning "Our Johnny is come from the wars:" it drew much attention,
and excited the strongest resentment against the author in the breast of
the Duchess, who remained implacable until the publication of Gulliver,
when she offered her friendship to Swift, through his friend Gay.

There was a young creature among the ballad-singers known to the world
by no other title than Clara, who drew much attention at this time by
the sweetness and pathos of her tones. She was the original singer of
"Black-eyed Susan," and one or two songs which were afterwards
introduced into the "Beggar's Opera;" but her recommendation to
particular notice was the circumstance of her being for many years the
object of Bolingbroke's enthusiastic affection. The poor girl strayed
for some time, during which his Lordship had not seen her: it was after
this interval, that, meeting her, he addressed to her the tender lines,
beginning,

"Dear, thoughtless Clara, to my verse attend,
Believe for once the lover and the friend,"

And concluding thus:

"To virtue thus, and to thyself restored,
By all admired, by one alone adored:
Be to thy Harry ever kind and true,
And live for him who more than died for you."

A series of calamities totally ruined her vocal powers, and she
afterwards subsisted by the sale of oranges at the Court of Requests.

The profession did not continue to maintain its rank. The disappointed
author in "Roderick Random," who set about writing for ballad-singers,
was introduced into one of their assemblies, and his testimony
establishes their degeneracy.

In fact, the history of ballad-singing, during the remainder of last
century, affords but an unsatisfactory subject of reflection to lovers
of song; whether they have regenerated in the present age, we leave the
reader to judge.

E.J.H.

* * * * *


LOVE AT COURT AND LOVE IN THE COUNTRY.


Loving 'mongst the aristocracy
Is reckon'd positive hypocrisy;
The noble votaries of fashion
Are ignorant of the tender passion.
A shepherd, if his nymph doth alter,
Killeth woe by means of halter:
But in high life, if ladies prove
Indifferent to an ardent love,
What does the enamour'd title do,
But set about and alter too.

_Translated from the French of Madame Deshoulieres._

* * * * *



NOTES OF A READER.


* * * * *


CORRUPT STATE OF THE WESTERN CHURCH IN THE ELEVENTH CENTURY.


From the following facts an inference may be drawn of the tendency of
the Western church to a system of externals, applying itself solely to
continual discipline and fasting, instead of the improvement of the
heart. For the perusal of the sacred writings and spiritual lessons of
the ancient fathers of the church, was substituted that of legends and
decretals, and the Book of Canons, by which the whole Western church was
governed. Images and relics of the saints acquired an excessive
adoration; and continual discoveries were being made of the bodies of
miracle-working saints. Impostors were to be found, appearing every day
under new names and with fresh miracles, imposing on the credulity of
the public, and amassing wealth by defrauding the pious multitude. Some
of these impostors, too insolent in their practices, were discovered and
punished, whilst others derived from them their whole fortune and
subsistence. It went to such a pass, that an arm of St. Augustine was
found and sold to William, Duke of Aquitaine, for 100 talents. The head
of St. John the Baptist was dug up, and attracted an immense multitude
of spectators, amongst whom was Robert, King of France.[3]

[3] "One head of St. John the Baptist (for there are many, and
John was at last [Greek: ekaton ta kephalas],) was found at the
monastery of St. John of Angeli, at Saintange." - _Jortin's
Remarks on Eccles. Hist._ ann. 1010.

The principal supporters of this religious mania were the Crusaders;
that is to say, those persons who went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
These persons, on their return to their own country, finding all their
substance exhausted, exerted their utmost cunning to regain it;
pretending that they had found some relics of the ancient martyrs or
apostles, or some object relative to the life or death of our Saviour.
By these means an immense number of persons, excited by religious
curiosity, repaired to the places where these objects were exposed, and
the churches and the provinces of which became enriched by them. With
the same motive, in the year 1008, a portion of the rod of Moses was
discovered in France, which attracted a vast number of visiters, both
from that country and Italy. In 1014, some monks, on their return from a
pilgrimage to Jerusalem, brought with them a part of the napkin with
which our Saviour wiped the feet of the apostles at the Last Supper;
and, in order to prove its authenticity, they passed it uninjured
through the flames. This kind of miracles, which were in such favour
with the ignorant multitude in those days, produces no effect, since
chemical science has enabled us to penetrate into the hidden secrets of
nature; and if history is diligently examined, we shall perceive that
the human mind was occupied in the discovery of that science at this
period. The alchemists perhaps, although persecuted as the followers of
the devil, were not altogether extinct, and still read some books which
laid open the discoveries of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The
commercial cities of Italy, in communication with the East, acquired
extraordinary knowledge, of which they availed themselves
disadvantageously to the morality and piety of the Christian church.
About this time, too (the year 1000), the epoch at which, according to
prediction, the world was to be at an end, men began to make fresh
researches, and to build new churches, to repair the old ones, and to
invent novelties. The prophecy of Daniel, which says, "Tempus, tempora,
dimidium temporis," proving by experience to be inapplicable to the
interpretation which the monks and ecclesiastics had generally given it,
produced a new energy in the human mind: and if at first, the wealth of
the churches were aggrandized by profuse largesses, we shall hereafter
see them struggling to preserve it. A disposition also to study was now
induced: and a certain Guido, a monk of Pomposa, being called to Rome as
a music-master, whilst very young, invented the scale or gamut of C
notes, which was then esteemed miraculous.[4] Happily for him the matter
took this turn; for otherwise he would have suffered death. The
religious superstition was so strong, that any unusual effects of human
nature were attributed to diabolical operations; and, in such instances,
the reputed authors were either beheaded or burnt. Such was the fate of
an unhappy wretch who had discovered the secret of making glass
malleable. This sublime genius made a goblet of this glass; and, being
conducted into the presence of Henry, in 1022, he threw it on the
ground, when, instead of breaking, it bent, and suddenly resumed its
original shape. The ignorant emperor, believing him to be possessed with
the devil, ordered him to be beheaded. - _Life of Gregory VII. By Sir
Roger Greisley, Bart._

[4] Erycius Puteanus (Vander Putten,) added the seventh note to
complete the octave, in the sixteenth century.

* * * * *


ODD DISPUTE.


During the coronation of Conrad II., Emperor of Germany, in 1204, a
dispute arose between a Roman and a German for a vile ox's hide. It
began with blows, proceeded with stones, and ended by an appeal to arms;
and, after a stout resistance on the part of the Roman people against
the German army, the former were obliged to fly, and were almost totally
massacred. The remainder, although humbled, and in a wretched condition,
were constrained the next day to pass barefooted before the
emperor, - the freemen with their swords unsheathed, the slaves with a
knot round their necks, - declaring themselves ready to obey him, and
asking pardon. What a beautiful contrast between the guardians and
defenders of the Roman people in their frocks and mitres, with these
brave men in their helmets and togas! Such was the triumph over a nation
overcome more by its prejudices than by force, and under such solemn
circumstances.

Ibid.

* * * * *


AN INDIAN TALE, AND OTHER POEMS.


This is a pleasant little volume by our indefatigable correspondent,
_Benjamin Gough_. The _tale_ is founded on an Indian story, by the
author of the _Kuzzilbash_, which appeared in the fifth number of the
_Metropolitan Magazine_; and to it are appended several minor pieces.
The main poem will be read with interest. There are in it touches of
fine feeling, which would not discredit hands of much higher
pretensions. Take this specimen:

There is a time when naught on earth
Can re-awake the chords of mirth,
When joy with all its cherub wiles
Is powerless in creating smiles;
The sun of happiness is set,
And naught remains but deep regret,
And inward pangs and throbs severe,
And disappointment's bitter tear!
The magic charm that swayed the sense
With strong resistless influence
Is broken, and its votary left,
Of the soul's talisman bereft!
In vain the tones of music steal
Upon the ear in soft appeal,
Or friendship with its soothing voice
Bids the hushed tongue again rejoice,
So overwhelming is the grief -
Death only brings a late relief!

And one of the minor pieces:

A RHAPSODY ON NATURE.

Where's the mastery of mind,
Trammelless and unconfined,
Probing Nature's boundless scheme,
Gauging the stupendous theme?
She, that paints horizons bright,
Belting heaven and earth with light!
Beams upon cherubic gaze -
Kindles the volcanic blaze!
Makes Euroclydon her zone -
Sits upon her thunder throne!
Who her eulogy shall dare,
Whose brow is wreathed with lightning glare?
She, who treads the surgy sea
In her stayless majesty,
Curbs each wild (erratic) wave.
When Atlantic tempests rave!
Speaks - the maddened storms increase -
Speaks again - and all is peace.
'Tis her breath's propitious gale
Swells the weather-beaten sail,
Wafts the crew from Britain o'er,
Unto India's spicy shore.
'Tis her bounty fills the earth
With the joys of wine and mirth,
Scatters through her broad domain
All the blessings of her reign;
Seasons roll at her command,
Plenty droppeth from her hand;
Earth and sea and spangled sky
Own her glorious sovereignty,
Walking with a stride immense,
In her tall magnificence,
Mountain heights, where wonders crowd,
Pinnacled in solemn cloud.
Andes, or the snowy scalps
Of the giant towering Alps!
Hills prolific, valley deeps,
Where the muse of silence sleeps;
Frowning cliff, and beetling rock,
Shivered by the deluge shock,
When the world was drowned - and now
Tottering before Ruin's plough.
Forests green, and rivers wide -
Every flow and ebb of tide.
Rivulets, whose crystal veins
Ripple along flowery plains,
Leaping torrents rushing hoarse,
Mimicking the ocean's force,
Leafage in its summer pride -
Flowers to Paradise allied.
Fruit inviting, luscious, such
As seems to paralyze the touch,
As ambrosial nectar sweet,
Ripe and fit for Gods to eat.
Nature's power is seen in all -
Winter's Crown, or Spring-birds' call -
Summer's eloquent perfume,
Autumn's yellow-tinted bloom -
Every chiselled sand grain tells
Nature's might; the petal cells,
Whence the bee her honey draws,
Glorify Creation's laws;
Things minute, or vast expanse
That tires the astronomic glance.
Ocean swathed with azure blue,
Or the gems of morning dew.
_Past_ - with all its mighty deeds,
Nature claims its choicest meeds;
_Present_ - with portentous calm,
Nature claims its chiefest palm;
_Future_ - ah! she trembles _there_,
Nature quivers in despair.
When the master of the scene,
From the cloud-work of serene
Asks her long deputed power -
Takes her sceptre - bids her cower -
Strips her of her ancient robe,
She, who once bestrode the globe -
Flings around his flaming path
Crescents of destructive wrath;
Tramples earth, and rolls in fire
Forth the thunders of his ire.
Nature sinks, no more to rise
While JEHOVAH fills the skies
With his glory high, sublime -
Death is dead, and perished time!
What a scene! when naught shall be
But Chaos and Eternity!

We are happy to find in Mr. Gough's List of Subscribers to his work, a
host of royal and noble patrons, the ministers of the country, the Earl
of Eldon, the Lord and Lady Mayoress, and a few of the Court of
Aldermen - patronage, court and city - combining to encourage Mr. Gough's
praiseworthy efforts.

* * * * *


CAPTAIN MUNDY'S VISIT TO THE TOMB OF NAPOLEON, AT ST. HELENA.


Having passed two hours on the spot where Napoleon lived and died, we
rode onwards to the vale which contains his bones: it is about half a
mile from Longwood, and within a few hundred yards of the cottage of
Madame Bertrand, to whom he indicated the spot in which he desired to
rest, should the English not allow his remains to lie on the banks of
the Seine. Soon after leaving Bertrand's house, we caught sight of the
tomb, at the bottom of the ravine called Slane's valley, and, descending
a zig-zag path, we quickly reached the spot. About half an acre round
the grave is railed in. At the gate we were received by an old corporal
of the St. Helena corps, who has the care of the place. The tomb itself
consists of a square stone, about ten feet by seven, surrounded with a
plain iron-railing. Four or five weeping-willows, their stems leaning
towards the grave, hang their pensile branches over it.

Who could contemplate without interest the little spot of earth which
covers all that remains of mortal of the man who made Europe tremble!


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