« السابقةمتابعة »
TO ASSIST THE ENQUIRING, ANIMATE THE STRUGGLING, AND SYMPATHIZE WITH ALL.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 8, 1834.
Ir may be agreeable to follow up the growth of this good-humoured light in something like chronological order. The old romances began it. Oberon, the beautiful and beneficent, afterwards king of the fairies, made his appearance very early. He is the Elberich, or Rich Elf, of the Germans, and became Oberon, with a French termination, in the romance of "Huon de Bourdeaux." The general reader is well acquainted with him through the abridgment of the work by the Count de Tressan, and the Oberon of Wieland, translated by Mr Sotheby. He is a tiny creature, in the likeness of a beautiful child, with a face of exceeding loveliness; and wears a crown of jewels. His cap of invisibility, common to all the Fairies (which is the reason why they must not lose it) became famous as the Tarn-Kappe, or Daring Cap, otherwise called the Nebel or Mist-Cap, and the Tarn-hut, or Hat of Daring. In the poem of the German Voltaire, he possesses the horn, which sets everybody dancing. He and his brother dwarfs, of the northern mythology, are the undoubted ancestors of the fallen but illustrious family of the Tom Thumbs, who became sons of tailors and victims of cows. Of the same stock are the Tom Hickathrifts and Jack the Giant-Killer, if indeed they be not the gods themselves, merged into the Christian children of their former worshippers. Their horrible coats, caps of knowledge, swords of sharpness, and shoes of swiftness, are, as the Quarterly Reviewer observes, "all out of the great heathen treasury." Thumb looks like an Avatarkin, or little incarnation of Thor. Thor was the stoutest of the gods, but then the gods were little fellows in stature, compared with the giants. In a chapter of the Edda, from which the Reviewer has given an amusing extract, the giant Skrymner rallies Thor upon his pretensions and size, and calls him "the little man."+ As the god nevertheless was more than a match for these lubbers of the skies, his worshippers might have respected the name in honour of him; a panegyrical raillery not unknown to other mythologies, nor unpractised towards the "gods of the earth." The West of England, it may be observed, is a great Fairy country, though even the miners and their natural darkness have not been able to obscure the sunnier notions of Fairy-land, now prevailing in that quarter as much as any. The De
"Tarn, from taren, to dare (says Dobenell), because they gave courage along with invisibility. Kappe is properly a cloak, though the tarn-kappe or nebel-kappe is generally represented as a cap or hat."- Fairy Mythology, vol. ii. p. 4. Perhaps the word cape, which may include something both of cap and cloak, might settle their apparent contradiction. Hood implies both; and the goblin is some. times called Robin Hood, and Hoodekin.
In the agreeable learning which the reviewer has brought to bear on this subject, in the Antiquities of Nursery Literature, he has deprived us of our old friend the giant Cormoran, who turns out to be a mistake of the printer's devil for Corinoran, "the Corinæus, probably, of Jeffery of Monmouth and the Brut." However, a printer's devil has a right to speak to this point; and we cannot help thinking that Cormoran ought to be the word both on account of the devouring magnitude of the sound, and its suitability to the brazen tromp of a Cornish mouth
vonshire Pixies or Pucksies, are the reigning elves, and are among the gayest and most good-humoured to be met with. Mr Coleridge, in his juvenile poems, has put some verses into their mouths, not among his best, but such as he may have been reasonably loth to part with. The sea air which he breathed at a distance, and "the Pixies' Parlour" (a grotto of the roots of trees, in which he found his name carved by the hands of his childhood, were proper nurseries for the author of the Ancient Mariner.
Chaucer's notion of Fairies was a confused mixture of elves, and romance-ladies, and Ovid, and the Catholic diablerie. We had taken his fairies for the regular little dancers on the green (induced by a line of his to that effect in the following passage); but the author of the Fairy Mythology has led us to form a different opinion. The truth is, that a book in Chaucer's time was a book, and everything to be found in those rare authorities became a sort of equal religion in the eyes of the student. Chaucer, in one of his verses, has brought together three such names as never met, perhaps, before or since," Samson, Turnus, and Socrates." He calls Ovid's Epistles "the Saint's Legends of Cupid." Seneca and St Paul are the same grave authorities in his eyes; in short, whatever was written was a scripture; something clerkly, and what a monk ought to have written if he could. His Lady Abbess wears a broach exhibiting a motto out of Virgil. Elves, therefore, and Provençal Enchantresses, and the nymphs of the Metamorphoses, and the very devils of the Pope and St Anthony, were all fellows well met, all supernatural beings, living in the same remote regions of fancy, and exciting the gratitude of the poet. He is angry with the friars for making more solemn distinctions, and displacing the little elves in their walks; and he runs a capital jest upon them, which has become famous.
"In olde dayes of the kinge Artour,
Of which that Britons speke gret honour,
In another poem, we meet with Pluto and Proserpine as the King and Queen of Faerie; where they sing and dance about a well, enjoying themselves in a garden, and quoting Solomon. The "ladies" that wait upon them are the damsels that accompanied Proserpine in the vale of Enna, when she was taken away by his Majesty in his "griesly cart." This is a very different cart from a chariot made of the gristle of grasshoppers.
The national intellect, which had been maturing like an oak, from the time of Wickliffe, drawing up
PRICE THREE HALFPEnce.
nutriment from every ground, and silently making the weakest things contribute to its strength, burst forth at last into flowers and fruit together, in the noon-day of Shakspeare. A shower of fairy blossoms was the ornament of its might. Spenser's fairies are those of Romance, varied with the usual readings of his own fancy; but Shakspeare, the popular poet of the world, took the little elfin globe in his hand, as he had done the great one, and made it a thing of joy and prettiness for ever. Since then the fairies have become part of a poet's belief, and happy ideas of them have almost superseded what remains of a darker creed in the minds of the people. The profound playfulness of Shakspeare's wisdom, which humanized everything it touched, and made it know its own value, found out the soul of an activity, convertible into good, in the restlessness of mischief; and Puck, or the elf malicious, became jester in the Court of Oberon the Good Fairy,—his servant and his help. The "Elves" in the Tempest are rather the elemental spirits of the Rosicrucians, confounded both with classical and popular mythology. It is in the Midsummer Night's Dream,' that the true fairies are found, as they ought to be; and there amidst bowers and moonlight, will we indulge ourselves awhile with their company. We make no apology to the reader for our large quotations. They have been repeated many times and lately on the present subject; yet we should rather have to apologise for the omission, considering how excellent they are. add what novelty we could, or rather to make our quotations as peculiar to our work as possible, we had made up our minds to bring together all the passages in question out of Shakspeare's drama, as far as they could be separated from other matter, and present them to our readers under the title of a Fairy Play: but we began to fear that the profane might have some colour of reason for complaining of us, and accusing us of an intention to swell our pages. We have, therefore, confined ourselves to selections which are put under distinct heads, so as to form a kind of gallery of Fairy pictures. We shall take the liberty of commenting as we go, even if our remarks are called forth on points not immediately belonging to the subject. It is not easy to read a great poet, and not indulge in exclamations of fondness. Besides there is something fairy-like in having one's way.
EMPLOYMENT OF A DAMSEL OF THE FAIRY COURT. "
Thorough bush, thorough briar
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
Swifter than the moones sphere;
In Fairy-land whatever may be, is. We may gather from this and another passage in Cymbeline, that Shakespeare was fond of cowslips, and had observed their graces with delight. It is a delicate
fancy to suppose that those ruby spots contain the essence of the flower's odour, and were presents from their ruling sprite. And the hanging a pearl in every cowslip's ear (besides the beauty of the line) seems to pull the head of the tall pensioner sideways, and make him quaintly conscious of his new favour.
Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that, and yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days: the more the pity, that some honest neighbours will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon the occasion.
Tita. Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful. Bot. No so, neither: but if had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own
for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a bird?—who would give a bird the lie, though he cry cuckoo never so?
Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again : Mine ear is much enamoured of thy note, So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape; And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me, On the first view, to say, to swear, I love thee.
Tita. Out of this wood do not desire to go;
I am a spirit of no common rate;
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,
1st Fairy. Ready.
Bot. I cry your worship's mercy, heartily. I beseech your worship's name.
Bot. I shall desire of you more acquaintance, good Master Cobweb: If I cut my finger, I shall make bold with you. Your name, honest gentleman? Peas. Peas-blossom.
Bot. I pray you remember me to Mistress Squash, your mother, and to Master Peascod, your father. Good Master Peas-blossom, I shall desire of you more acquaintance too. Your name, I beseech you,
Bot. Good Master Mustard-seed, I know your patience well that same cowardly, giant-like, oxbeef hath devoured many a gentleman of your house: I promise you, your kindred hath made my eyes water ere now. I desire of you more acquaintance, good Master Mustard-seed.
Tita. I have a venturous fairy that shall seek
The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.
So doth the wood-bine the sweet honey-
Tita. Come wait upon him; lead him to my bower. The moon, methinks, looks with a wat'ry eye; And when she weeps, weeps every little flower, Lamenting some enforced chastity.
Tie up love's tongue, and bring him silently. The luxurious reduplication of the rhyme in this exquisite passage has been noticed by Mr Hazlitt.
Again, in act the fourth
Tita. Come, sit thee down upon this flow'ry bed,
Bot. Where's Peas-blossom?
Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom. Where's Monsieur Cobweb?
Bot. Monsieur Cobweb; good Monsieur, get your weapons in your hand, and kill me a red hipp'd humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and good Monsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself too much in the action, Monsieur: and good Monsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would be loth to have you overflow with a honeybag, Signor. Where's Monsieur Mustard-seed? Must. Ready.
Bot. Give me your neif, Monsieur Mustard-seed. Pray you, leave your courtesy, good Monsieur. Must. What's your will?
Bot. Nothing, good Monsieur, but to help Cavalero Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's
Monsieur; for methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me I must scratch.
Tita. What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?
Bot. I have a reasonable good ear in music: let us have the tongs and the bones.
Tita. Or say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to eat. Bot. Truly a peek of provender; I could munch your good dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle of hay; good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.
Gently entwist, the female ivy so.
THE FAIRIES BLESS A HOUSE AT NIGHT-TIME.
And the wolf behowls the moon ;
In remembrance of a shroud.
That the graves, all gaping wide,
In the church-yard paths to glide:
SONG AND DANCE.
Oberon. Now, until the break of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
So shall all the couples three
And the blots of nature's hand
And the owner of it be blest.
Make no stay;
It is with difficulty that in these, and indeed in all our quotations, we refrain from marking particular passages. One longs to vent one's feelings, like positive grappling with the lines; and besides, we have the temptation of the reader's company to express our admiration. But we fear to do injustice to what we should leave unmarked; and indeed to be thought impatient with the others. Luckily where all is beautiful, the choice would often be difficult, if we stopped to make any; and if we did not, we should be printing nothing but Italics.
Queen Mab, as the author of the Fairy Mythology' remarks, has certainly dethroned Titania; but we cannot help thinking that both he, and the poets who have helped to dethrone her, are in the wrong; and that Voss is right, when he rejects the royalty of both monosyllables. Queen or Quean is old English for woman, and is still applied to females in an ill sense. Now Mab is the fairies' midwife, plebeian by office, indiscriminate in her visits, and descending so low as to make elf-locks, and plait the manes of horses. We have little doubt that she is styled queen in an equivocal sense, between a mimicry of state and something abusive; and that the word Mab comes from the same housewife origin as Mop, Moppet, and Mob-cap. The a was most likely pronounced broad; as in Mall for Moll, Malkin for Maukin; and Queen Mab is perhaps the Quean in the Mob-cap,--the midwife riding in her chariot, but still vulgar; and acting some such
part with regard to fairies and to people's fancies, as one of Sir Walter Scott's fanciful personages (we forget her name) does to flesh and blood in the novel.
The passages in Ben Jonson regarding Fairies want merit enough to be quoted; not that he had not a fine fancy, but that, in this instance, as in some others, be overlaid it with his book-reading, probably in despair of equalling Shakspeare. The passages quoted from him by the author of the Fairy Mythology,' rather out of respect than his usual good taste, are nothing better than so many commonplaces, in which the popular notions are set forth. There is, however, one striking exception, out of the Sad Shepherd' :
There, in the stocks of trees, white fays do dwell, And span-long elves, that dance about a pool With each a little changeling in their arms.
Furto cuncta magis bella, Furto dulcior puella, Furto omnia decora, Furto poma dulciora.
This is very grim, and to the purpose. changeling supernaturally diminished adds to the ghastliness, as if born and completed before its time.
For our next quotation, which is very pleasant,
we are indebted, amongst our numerous obligations, to the same fairy historian. There is probably a good deal of treasure of the same sort in the rich mass of Old English poetry; but the truth is, we dare not trust ourselves with the search. We have already a tendency to exceed the limits assigned us; and on subjects like these we should be tolled on from one search to another, as if Puck had taken the
shape of a bee. The passage we speak of is in Randolph's pastoral of Amyntas, or the Impossible Dowry.' A young rogue of the name of Dorylas "makes a fool of a fantastique sheapherd,' Jocastus, by pretending to be Oberon, King of Fairy." In this character, having provided a proper retinue (whom we are to suppose to be boys) he proposes a fairy husband for Jocastus's daughter, and obliges him by plundering his orchard. We take the former of these incidents for granted, from the context, for we have not seen the original. Dorylas appears sometimes to act in his own character, and sometimes in that of Oberon. In the former, the following dialogue takes place between him and his wittol; descriptive of
Quibus non est magna moles, Quamvis lunam incolamus, Hortos sæpe frequentamus.
Royal and full of majesty? Walk not I
Do climb the trees.
Cum mortales lecto jacent, Nobis poma noctu placent; Illa tamen sunt ingrata, Nisi furto sint parata.
We the Fairies blithe and antic,
When to bed the world are bobbing, Then's the time for orchard robbing; Yet the fruit were scarce worth, pealing, Were it not for stealing, stealing.
Jocastus's man Bromio prepares to thump these pretended elves, but the master is overwhelmed by the condescension of the princely Oberon in coming to his orchard, when
His Grace had orchards of his own more precious Than mortals can have any.
The elves therefore, by permission, pinched the officious servant, singing
Quoniam per te violamur, Ungues hic experiamur; Statim dices tibi datam Cutem valde variatam.
Since by thee comes profanation,
Noisy booby! in a twinkling
So we are clean got off: come, noble peers Of Fairy, come, attend our royal Grace. Let's go and share our fruit with our Queen Mab And the other dairy-maids: where of this theme We will discourse amidst our capes and cream.
Cum tot poma habeamus, Triumphos læti jam canamus: Faunos ego credam ortos, Tantum ut frequentent hortos. I, domum, Oberon, ad illas, Quæ nos manent nune ancillas, Quarum osculemur sinum, Inter poma, lac, et vinum.
Now for such a stock of apples, Laud me with the voice of chapels. Fays, methinks, were gotten solely To keep orchard-robbing holy.
Hence then, hence, and let's delight us
We must beg the reader's indulgence for one more paper on this subject.
Caution to Dogmatic Deniers. Progress of Knowledge.-Previous to the establishment of the rotundity of the earth, and during the centuries of discussion which took place upon this point, the existence of the antipodes was the theme of constant ridicule in the mouths of the opposers of the globular figure. The sentiments of Lactantius, De Fulsá Sapientiâ, cap. 23, may be taken as a fair specimen of the common objections. He asks, is there any one foolish enough to think that there are men whose feet are higher than their heads? with whom those things that we place upon the earth, hang downwards from the earth? who have trees and vegetables turned upside down? and rain and snow falling the wrong way? Will any one henceforward place the hanging gardens among the seven wonders of the world, when the philosophers make hanging seas, and fields, and mountains! The confusion that here takes place between the words upwards and downwards will be now universally apparent, but was not so in the time of Lactantius, who lived a.. 311; who, had he simply confined himself to the assertion, that the existence of antipodes could not be demonstrated, and treated it as a philosophical speculation, possibly true, but probably false, would have been justified by the general state of knowledge then existing. But not so when he asserts that he can prove the thing to be impossible, and professes that he sees no alternative, but supposing its professors to be joking, or intentionally lying. The French Encyclopædia is incorrect in stating that he appeals to the sacred writers as deciding the point.-Penny Cyclopædia.
GALLANT AND AFFECTING CONCLUSION OF MR GALT'S LITERARY AUTOBIOGRAPHY. (Just Published.)
I HAVE thus endeavoured to give an account of my separate publications to the best of my recollection, and also something of the feeling which I entertain myself towards them: I do not say cherish, because I doubt if I could do so justly, and because some of them have been preferred by the public more than others, which I seriously think have been consigned to unmerited neglect.
Before considering the materials of this particular lucubration, I had no right notion of having attempted so much I had kept no account of my essays, nor do I know even where many of my novels may be found; yet those who see with what rapt ardour I enter into a subject, can have no idea that, after the task is finished, I could ever become so indifferent to the result.
It is not, however, altogether owing to this indifference that I have been led apparently to undervalue the mere literary character. Many years ago,
"A change came o'er the spirit of my dream" of life, and I was moved to desire, rather than to make books from topics designed by others, to furnish a topic for myself. I cannot state when this happened, but the place and occasion are still vividly in remembrance, I was reading in the Lazaretto of Messina the life of Alfieri, and was prodigiously affected by the incidental observation, where he remarks that the test of greatness is the magnitude of a man's undertaking to benefit the world. The truth descended on me like inspiration. I rose agitated from my seat, and could think of nothing all the remainder of the day, but of corroborative circumstances. Since that time I have ever held literature to be a secondary pursuit-the means of recording what has been done; and thus, although a voluminous author, I cannot persuade myself how in that way I should have ever merited the distinction to which I aspired, or attained the glittering goal towards which my hopes struggled.
The sentiment of Alfieri did not, however, cause me to enter a new line of life; but it elevated my motives, and lent energy to the impulses by which I was actuated, for I had previously determined, as I have narrated, to be distinguished; it only made me observe, that distinction without benevolence was unworthy of a rational being's pursuit. The creation of books did not appear to me to fall within the scope of his sublime idea of greatness;* and therefore I conceive that, although few authors have published, in so short a time, more various productions, I have not earned, estimated by his test, which I think the true one, any claim to a better reward than is due to indefatigable exertion. However, I am not the first in whom the desire of fame has been greater than the talent to acquire it. From my earliest recollection, both by meditation and action, I have been devoted to what I thought the accomplishment of useful purposes, and my chief recompense is the satisfaction, undoubtedly, of my own bosom. Yet my efforts, I think, have not been altogether ineffectual, and the consciousness if this emboldens me to say, that I must be much misunderstood by those who imagine that the pressure of disease, and the embraces of poverty, could darken the cheerfulness of mind in reflecting that I have not been ordained in vain. A puling sickly expression, no doubt, often escapes me, but I am in the habitual practice of uttering what I think, and it may indulgently be called to mind, that in addition to being deprived of locomotion and rendered helpless, I often suffer anguish and merciless pain to a degree that ought to be allowed in extenuation of this human offence. I do not, however, always repine, and I can look on the moral green around me, though I see arid spots here and there, with comparative complacency and pleasure, as I repeat a sentiment of my aspiring years.
"Benevolence is like the generous sun Whose free impartial splendour fosters all; It is the radiance of the human soul, The proof and sign of its celestial birth. All other creatures of corporeal ore Partake the common qualities of man; Love, hatred, anger, all particular aims; But in that infinite and pure effusion,That only passion of divinity,He owns no rival but the Heavenly God.” Antonie. Surely there have been books, than which nothing greater or more serviceable to man was ever by man created. What does our author say to his friend Shakspeare? to the great poets in general? to Newton, Bacon, and a hundred others?- ED.
Judgment of Books.--I have no other rule by which to judge of what I read, than that of consulting the dispositions in which I rise up from my book; nor san I well conceive what sort of merit any piece has to boast, the reading of which leaves no benevolent impression behind it, nor stimulates the reader to any thing that is virtuous or good.- Rousseau.
when about going for the first time to London, with
place. He said the old Lady appeared scarcely to
Wilding! O yes! I remember him as it were but
It was, she said, not long after her arrival in
ROMANCE OF REAL LIFE.
Ir is proper to state, that we have no other authority for the following story than that of the fair unknown, who has sent it us; but we take for granted, from the style of her letter, that she is, in every sense of the word, "fair ;" and this is one of the reasons why we have not thought fit to alter it. We need not add how delighted we are with her approbation, nor that we cordially agree with the remarks which accompany her quotation from Burns.
Mrs Garrick was brought into the English world under the patronage of Lord Barlington, as a Mademoiselle Violette, a dancer. She had great reputation in her art, and was very handsome. Horace Walpole somewhere manifests the delicate distress he suffered under (poor man,) in being asked by a brother patrician, in a large party, who she was. He was obliged to confess that she was a dancer ;' that is to say, that they had a beautiful young lady in their company, who had talents enough to earn herself a livelihood by charming the world.
XXXVIII. THE LIFE OF A YOUNG JACOBITE SAVED BY
June 24, 1834.
DEAR SIR,-Be not surprised at so familiar an address from a stranger, for, although I may be, and am, a stranger to you, you are not a stranger to me, but, on the contrary, an old and well known friend, with whose modes of thought and feeling I am intimately acquainted, although I have never seen your face, nor heard your voice. I am not very old (I may yet call myself two years on the sunnyside of thirty), but for by far the greater part of my life, I have been an admiring and sympathising reader of yours. Judge then of my joy at hearing of the first appearance of the London Journal, which (even in my remote habitation, a little "nook of mountain ground" in green Erin,) I managed to procure immediately, and which it delights me to find every way worthy of the name it bears.
After all this preamble, it is time I should get to the real business of my letter, which is to offer you a true story, which I think not unworthy a place amongst your "Romances of Real Life." I shall give it to you as nearly as I can in the words of the person who related it to me, now some years since, when it made a very strong impression on my mind.
My informant, Mr N., was related on the mother's side to an ancient Catholic family named Wilding, of the North of England. In the rebellion of 1715, this family were steady in their loyalty to the house of Hanover, so much so, that when the rebel army approached the town (either Preston or Carlisle) in which they resided, they fled from it with the other Loyalists. However, the family mansion, being one of the largest in the place, was made use of by the rebels as their head quarters. When the rebels were driven out, Mr Wilding's mansion was again seized by the triumphant army, and maugre his representations, and the absolute proofs he produced of his loyalty, was totally dismantled, and much valuable property carried off, whilst his complaints were unheeded; and, being a Catholic, he could get no redress.
Such is my story.
With sincere 'good wishes for your health and
Your constant Reader,
XXXIX. STORY OF FIRMIEN DA COSTA.'
cumstances would his fiery nature have made living with him a very secure or comfortable business. He was of the "loaded musket" order. Nobody could have been sure whether he would not go off. His master was a noble soul.
Not satisfied with mere murder, he inflicted deep wounds on various parts of the soldier's body, whispered to the dying man who he was, mentioned the affront he had received, as his reason for perpetrating the bloody deed, declared himself satisfied, quitted his master's service, and concealed himself in a distant wood.
The place in which the dead body was found, the mark on the instrument of death, which was lying near it, and the circumstance of the master of the murderer being the last person who had been seen. speaking to the soldier, strongly marked him as an object of suspicion.
It was in vain that the unhappy merchant declared his innocence, appealed to the general inoffensive mildness of his character, and pointed out the flight of one of his slaves as a presumptive evidence of the fugitive's guilt; he was committed to prison, and circumstance, in a case where no positive proof could be found, being admitted in its place, was condemned to die.
The sentence of the law reached the ears of the assassin in his retreat, and the wretch, who, rather than submit to a trifling injury, had, with circumstances of peculiar barbarity, imbrued his hands in the blood of a fellow-creature, could not bear the self-accusation of ingratitude and injustice, to a master from whom he had long experienced kindness and indulgence.
Nature, or Nature's God, triumphed in his bosom; yielding to the salutary impulse, he presented himself before a judicial tribunal, and confessed himself the murderer. The judges paused with astonishment; they could scarcely believe that the man who exhibited so transcendant an instance of heroic virtueand strength of mind, had recently proved himself a merciless and a blood-thirsty savage; after a reluctant pause, for examination and regret, the defendant was taken into custody. It is not easy to describe the feelings of the merchant; although suddenly and unexpectedly rescued from an ignominious death, the joy of deliverance was considerably diminished when he reflected on the guilt of his slave; when he discovered the fondest and most faithful of his domestics, attached to him by long servitude, and valuable for tried integrity, was an atrocious murderer. Yet a character of such a cast was not a desirable inmate, nor a safe attendant; the same ungovernable ferocity of passion which hurried him into assassination, on some trifling occasion of pettishness, ill-temper, or accidental affront, might have impelled him to destroy his master, his mistress, their children, and the whole of his property.
Many applications were made to save the culprit's life; but all intercession was in vain. With every appearance of triumphant joy, rather than repentant sorrow, the negro was led to execution.
In a country like Portugal, which affords scanty materials for panegyric, I record with pleasure an example of grateful attachment, and inflexible uncorrupted justice: Da Costa's master, Emanuel Cabral, whose name I omitted mentioning, and on the faithi of one of whose descendants I relate the circumstance, would have given half his property to save the of. fender's life.
From Wednesday the 1st, to Tuesday the 6th of October.
DESTRUCTION OF THE ELDER PLINY BY
THE late frightful eruption of Mount Vesuvius will render interesting, even to those who have read it in other works, the following account of the death of Pliny the Elder, taken from a new volume (which has just appeared) of the Edinburgh Cabinet Library, entitled Lives of Eminent Zoologists. Of the erup. tion we shall probably speak again, and therefore say no more of it in this place.
Pliny was a man of fortune in the age of the Cæsars, and author of a History of his own time which is lost, and of a Natural History which is a huge miscellaneous compilation of all sorts of knowledge existing up to his time, bad and good, exhibiting more style than discernment. He was, how. ever, a most industrious gentleman, valuable for preserving better things than he could have found out for us; and that he was a bold one, the following narrative will testify. His nephew, Pliny the Younger, whom he educated, and whose fame also surpasses his deserts as an author, though he too was an amiable man and an elegant writer, is chiefly known by his Letters., His style is too conscious and artificial. Both the Plinies may be looked upon as the artificial products of the highly wrought, but cold and imitative literature of those times, the polish of a despotism which repressed originality. But they both appear to have been good men; and they maintained a degree of political independence in the worst times, highly honourable to the spirit of knowledge.
The death of the Elder Pliny took place during the eruption which is understood to have destroyed the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii.
without marks of external violence, and resembling a person asleep rather than one who had suffered death. This event took place on the 24th of August, in the seventy-ninth year of the Christian era, and a few months after the demise of Vespasian,
He was at Misenum, where he commanded the fleet which protected all that part of the Mediterranean comprised between Italy, the Gauls, Spain, and Africa, when a great eruption of Vesuvius took place. His sister and her son, the latter of whom was then about eighteen years of age, were with him. He had just retired to his study, when he was apprized of the appearance of a cloud of the most extraordinary form and size. It resembled a pinetree, having an excessively elongated trunk, from which some branches shot forth at the top, and appeared sometimes white, sometimes dark and spotted, according as the smoke was more or less mixed with earth and cinders. Anxious to discover the cause of this singular appearance, he ordered a light vessel to be got ready, and was proceeding on board, when he met the mariners belonging to the galley stationed at Retina, who had just escaped from the danger. They conjured him not to advance and expose his life to imminent peril; but he ordered the fleet immediately to put to sea, for the purpose of rendering aid to such as might require it; and so devoid of fear was he, that he noted all the variations and forms which the cloud assumed. By this time the vessels were covered with ashes, which every moment became hotter and more dense, while fragments of white pumice and stones, blackened and split with the heat, threatened the lives of the men. They were likewise in great danger of being left aground by a sudden retreat of the sea. He stopped for a moment to consider whether he should return; but to the pilot, who urged him to this expedient, he replied," Fortune helps the brave-steer to Pomponianus." That officer was at Stabiæ, and being in sight of the danger, which, although still distant, seemed always coming nearer, had put his baggage on board, and was waiting a more favourable wind to carry him out. Pliny, finding him alarmed, endeavoured to recall his firmness. In the meantime, the flames were bursting from Vesuvius in many places, so as to illuminate the night with their dazzling glare. He consulted
with his friends whether it were better to remain in the house, or to flee to the open fields; for the buildings were shaken by frequent and violent shocks, so as to reel backwards and forwards, and in the open air they were not less in danger from the cinders. However, they chose to go forth, as the less hazardous alternative, covering their heads with pillows, to protect them from the stones. It was now morning, but the country was enveloped by thick darkness. He proceeded towards the shore by the light of torches, but the sea was still so much agitated that he could not embark; and, seating himself on a sail which was spread for him, he asked for some water, of which he drank a little. The approach of flames, preceded by the smell of sulphur, put his companions to flight, excepting two slaves, who assisted him to rise, when he seems to have immediately
As a specimen of the bad and good, the ridiculous and the interesting, in Pliny's " Natural History," we quote from the Lives of the Zoologists his account of the Lion's Sickness, and the famous story of Cleopatra's Pearl. The former is taken from the old translation of him by Holland.
HOW TO CURE A SICK LION.
The lion is never sick but of the peevishness of his stomacke, loathing all meat; and then the way to cure him is to tie unto him certain shee apes, which with their wanton mocking and making mowes at him, may move his patience and drive him, for the verie indignitie of their malapert saucinesse, into a fit of madnesse; and then, so soone as he hath tasted their bloode, he is perfectlie well againe; and this is the only remedie.
Pearls were very highly esteemed in Pliny's days. The ladies wore them dangling at their fingers and ears, took great delight in hearing them rattle, and not only appended them to their garments, but even embroidered their buskins with them. Jt will not suffice them, says he, nor serve their turn, to carry pearls about them, but they must tread among pearls, go among pearls, and walk as it were on a pavement of pearls. Lollia Paulina, the wife of Caligula, was seen by him, on an ordinary occasion, ornamented with emeralds and with pearls, which he valued at forty millions of sestertii (about 300,0002.)
The two finest specimens ever seen were in the possession of the celebrated Cleopatra, who, on being sumptuously feasted by Mark Anthony, derided him for the meanness of the entertainment; and on his demanding how she could go beyond him in such a matter, answered that she would spend upon him in one supper ten millions of sestertii. Anthony, conceiving it impossible for her to make good her boast, laid a great wager with her about it. When the supper came, although it was such as to befit the condition of the hostess and guests, it presented no extraordinary appearance, so that Anthony jeered the Queen on the subject, asking, by way of mockery, for a sight of the bill of fare; whereupon she affirmed that what had as yet been brought to the table was not to be reckoned in the count, but that even her own part of the supper should cost sixty millions. She then ordered the second service to be brought in. The servants placed before her a cruet of vinegar, and she put into it one of the pearls which were appended to her ears. When it was dissolved she took up the vessel and drank its contents; on which Lucius Plancus declared that she had gained the wager. Afterwards, when Cleopatra was taken prisoner, and deprived of her royal estate, the other pearl was cut into two, and affixed to the ears of the statue of Venus, in the Pantheon at Rome.
We have been surprised, not very pleasantly, to find by these Lives of the Zoologists, that Linnæus,
whom we took for a man mild as his flowers, was of so very irascible and vindictive a nature; and that he was miserly. He once, it appears, had serious thoughts of killing a man,-assassinating him! for taking away his character. However, his studies helped him to get rid of these frightful absurdities (the more honour be unto them!) and his miserliness is accounted for by the narrow means with which he once struggled.
The following portrait of him is drawn by himself:
The head of Linnæus had a remarkable pro-
He had an obliterated wart on the right cheek, and
As Linnæus grew old, the best parts of his nature (money-wards excepted) seem to quite outgrown the others, and to have exhibited him in the
fallen, suffocated by the vapours and ashes. On the condition desiderated by Mr Southey in his beau
following day, his body was found in the same place tiful lines on the Holly-tree, the thorny leaves of
which become smooth as they mount towards heaven The following picture of his manners and amusements is given (says our author) by his pupil, Fabricius:
We were three, Kuhr, Zoega, and I, all foreigners. In summer we followed him into the country. In winter we lived facing his house, and he came to us every day in his short red robe-dechambre, with a green fur cap on his head, and a He came for half an hour, but pipe in his hand. stopped a whole one, and many times two. His conversation on these occasions was extremely sprightly and pleasant. It consisted either of anecdotes relative to the learned in his profession with whom he got acquainted in foreign countries, or in clearing up our doubts, or in giving us other kinds of instruction. He used to laugh then most heartily, and displayed a serenity and an openness of countenance, which proved how much his soul was susceptible of amity and good fellowship.
Our life was much happier when we resided in Our habitation was about half a quarthe country. ter of a league distant from his house at Hammerby, in a farm-house, where we kept our own furniture, and other requisites for house-keeping. He rose very early in summer, and mostly about four o'clock. At six he came to us, because his house was then building, breakfasted with us, and gave lectures upon the natural orders of plants as long as he pleased, and generally till about ten o'clock. We then wandered about till twelve upon the adjacent rocks, the productions of which afforded us plenty of entertainment. In the afternoon we repaired to his garden, and in the evening we usually played at the Swedish game of trisset in company with his wife.
On Sundays the whole family usually came to spend the day with us. We sent for a peasant who played on an instrument resembling a violin, to the
sound of which we danced in the barn of our farmhouse. Our balls were certainly not very splendid, the company was but small, the music superlatively rustic, and no change in the dances, which were constantly either minuets or Polish; but regardless of these defects, we passed our time very merrily. While we were dancing, the old man, who smoked his pipe with Zoega, who was deformed and emaciated, became a spectator of our amusement, and sometimes, though very rarely, danced a Polish dance, in which he excelled every one of us young men. He was extremely delighted whenever he saw us in high glee, nay, if we even became very noisy. Had he not always found us so, he would have manifested his apprehension that we were not sufficiently entertained.
A SCENE AFTER A THUNDER STORM.
Tyranny of Vice under a Mask.-Vice is never so much at ease, never more tyrannical, never more ambitious, than when it imagines it has found a mask, under the cover and protection of which it may pass off for virtue. And masks there are, which, to a certain extent, deceive even the wearers; a deceit to which they lend themselves with alacrity, and find, in their own delusion, encouragement to make daring experiments on the credulity, timidity, or dependence
of others. Bentham.
Numerous Households.—I have narrowly examined into the management of great familes, and have found it impossible for a master who has twenty servants to know whether he has one honest man among them, and not to mistake the greatest rascal perhaps to be that one. This alone would give me an aversion to riches. The rich lose one of the sweetest
pleasures of life, the pleasure of confidence and esteem. They purchase all their gold at a dear rate!