« السابقةمتابعة »
It is as much from necessity as choice that I write
than he therefore, no doubt, was it, dear Journalist, that you have edified our minds and illuminated our imaginations with your weekly collection of daily literature. But I must trim my lamp, or, rather, snuff my candle, or, as the sailors say-" top the glim." The superfluous carbon is now removed, and the flame, on whose nature there has been so many speculations, burns brighter, and entices me to write, while my couch-bed, I should say, but I am tainted with the affected phraseology of the present magazine age of literature-my bed looks tempting, and, with sheets turned down, woos me to its embrace. But I must seize the present opportunity-not carpe diem," but "carpe noctem," the night is the time to study and to write, whether in a garret, or in a cellar. Day is too light, bright, and attractive to be able to withdraw your thoughts from it, and fix them on the paper. The subdued light of human invention is more congenial ;- -we gaze upon it, and behold the emblem of the soul-a spark of light chipped off from the great all-supplying luminary-and, as we know not the nature of flame, neither know we the nature of the soul. The day is too busy with the bustle and business of life, which, though we partake not of it ourselves, yet the noise from without distracts and withdraws the mind and prevents it from turning in upon itself. The dark stillness of night falls like dew upon the field of contemplation, and thoughts germinate and spring up under its influence. The light of the day is too dazzling, and, " as imagination bodies forth the forms of things unseen," it is apt to dispel the visions, and, leave the " airy nothings" without "a habita
tion or a name.
Old books and book-stalls are fast going out of season; new and cheap editions of all the standard works, in cloth coats, are displacing their respectable
It has been said that morning is the more favourable time for study, inasmuch as the mind is then refreshed with the night's repose, free from any incumbrances with which it might be loaded by past affairs, at the close of the day ;-that it is then vi gorous, like a bow that has remained for sometime unstrung-and, not being prepossessed by any particular subject, is more ductile, and may be led to the consideration of any required subject. To this I can
forefathers of the leathern doublet. Instead of a
only answer, from my own experience, that the mind, might have gathered by dipping into a book or two
of a stream, and watch the ruddy luminary chase the
as a lover from the bosom of his mistress at the ap-
at every stall in an hour's walk, a few years ago!
There is a peculiar advantage in the night over the morning as a time for literary composition, which is far from being unimportant; it is, that if one gets into a good train of ideas, he can keep from his bed as long as he pleases, and so take advantage of the felicitous moments; whereas, if one catches a good clue in the morning, before he has time to unravel it, or follow it to its source, some business interrupts,— breakfast is announced, or some other fate clips the thread, and it is lost, perhaps, for ever. I know not whether D'Israeli has a chapter on this point or not, in his Curiosities of Literature,' but I am convinced that by far the greater number of authors would be found to have composed at night, were the subject examined. Sir Walter Scott, certainly, was an exception to this, in my opinion, general fact.
Burns's Songs. It seemed to have been possessed by some admiring countryman of the Bard's, who had taken up his satirical strain, and in the blank-leaf penned the following address "To THE READER:"
Afore ye tak in hand this beuk,
Be sure that baith ye'r hands are clean,
The possessor of this book cannot have belonged to the very best of Scottish society, as some of the cautions given in the effusion would have been unnecessary-mayhap some farm servant or weaver lad may have been its possessor;-we may imagine the hungry ploughman at his morning repast of "Scotia's hamely fare" in the lines
Wi' parritch, reemin fra his chaps,
I should prefer to have the preceding caution printed and pasted in the inside of all my books rather than the namby-pamby verses beginning, This book belongs to which are sold for the purpose of cautioning the reader against soiling, dog's-earing, or lending again a borrowed book. What an elegant stanza that is, which the lower classes of the English write in their books--beginning,
Steal not this book for fear of shame,
And God will ask in the last day,
The lower classes among the Scotch, too, have a rhyme somewhat similar, beginning
O ye thief! how daur ye
and so on.
I think I may claim congeniality with you, Mr Editor, in my love for old book-stalls, from what you lately let fall in the article ""Tis But." Many a sixpence, ay, and shilling too, have I spent, and eked to every one of them a " 'tis but,"-yet I never regretted such expenditure. I must be excused if I behave as rudely as Mr Burchell, and to the bottom of all such ultra-economists' speculations write " Fudge."
Table Hydrophobia.-Peirese, dining at London with several persons of literature, could not be exempted from drinking a health (proposed by Dr Thorius, a German) in a glass of frightful capaciousness. Peirese alleged freedom, civility, decency, health, and a thousand other reasons, but to no purpose; the glass must be drank off to that health; but, before he consented to it, he required a promise that this Bacchanalian doctor should also drink his toast; then having with much ado finished such a copious draught, he drank a health in the same glass filled with water. Thorius appeared quite thunderstruck, and, after many a heavy sigh, put the glass to his mouth, but quickly drew it back; and though he fortified himself with all the Greek and Latin apophthegms on thwarting the senses, he was an hour before he emptied his glass, to the great diversion of the company, and his own advantage; for afterwards he never broke in upon any one's temperance.
It raises my spleen (says Madame de Sevigné) to hear an old creature say, "I am too old to mend." This would sound better in ayoung person: youth is so lovely, the body is then so perfect, that were the mind equally such, the passion would be too vehement which such an assemblage must excite; but, when the graces of youth begin to wither, then, surely it is high time to labour after the moral and intellectual qualities, and endeavour to compensate
At another time, I bought a well-read copy of the loss of beauty by the acquirement of merit.
"The 22d of November, being St Cecilia's day, is observed throughout all Europe by the lovers of music. In Italy, Germany, France, and other countries, prizes are distributed on that day, in some of the most considerable towns, to such as make the best anthem in her praise. On that day, or the next (when it falls on a Sunday), most of the lovers of music, whereof many are persons of the first rank, meet at Stationers' Hall, in London, not through a principle of superstition, but to propagate the advancement of that divine science. A splendid entertainment is provided, and before it there is always a performance of music, by the best voices and hands in town; the words, which are always in the patroness's praise, are set by some of the greatest masters. This year (1691) Dr John Blow, that famous musician, composed the music; and Mr D'Urfey, whose skill in things of that nature is well known, made the words. Six stewards are chosen for each ensuing year, four of which are either persons of quality or gentlemen of note, and the two last either gentlemen of his Majesty's niusic, or some of the chief masters in town. This feast is one of the genteelest in the world; there are no formalities nor gatherings as at others, and the appearance there is always very splendid. Whilst the company is at table, the haut boys and trumpets play successively."
SATURDAY next, the 22nd, is St Cecilia's day, an anniversary which survived the Roman Catholic ascendancy in this country till a late period, in consequence of the fair Saint's being the patroness of music. It is a pity her festival ever went out. Perhaps the new animation which has been given to the study of music by the works of Mozart and others, by the foundation of Academies, and the getting up of performances in Abbeys and Halls, will revive it; and musicians and poets too be inspired by a love of the art, as well as the recollections of the Drydens and Purcells, to give it welcome.
The following is Sir Walter Scott's account of the Saint, and of one of Dryden's odes in celebration of her, which we have transferred to our pages; for, though the production of an autho so well-known, its fame has been obscured, even with persons otherwise not ignorant of him, by the lustre of the Alexander's Feast;' and in addition to what Sir Walter has said respecting the fineness of the first stanza, the second may be instanced as one equally fine, if not finer; certainly with less mixture of what is weak. The remainder of the poem is unfortunately disfigured with conceits; one of which is associated in our memory with a similar puerility into which it tempted Handel. In the music to the line,
The merit of the following ode has been so completely lost in Alexander's Feast,' that few readers give themselves even the trouble of attending to it. Yet the first stanza has exquisite merit; and although low, in a manner more abstracted and general, and the power of music is announced in those which foltherefore less striking than when its influence upon Alexander and his chiefs is placed before our eyes, it second ode that leads us to undervalue the first, is perhaps only our intimate acquaintance with the although containing the original ideas so exquisitely brought out and embodied in Alexander's Feast.'
The revival of letters with the Restoration was attended with a similar resuscitation of the musical art; but the formation of a Musical Society for the annual commemoration of St Cecilia's day did not take place till 1680. An ode, written for the occasion, was set to music by the most able professor, and rehearsed before the society and their stewards upon the 22d November, the day dedicated to the patroness. The first effusions of this kind are miserable enough. Mr Malone has preserved a few verses of an ode, by an anonymous author, in 1683; that of 1684 was furnished by Oldham, whom our author has commemorated by an elegy; that of 1685 was written by Nahum Tate, and is given by Mr Malone, vol. I. There was no performance in 1686; and, in 1687, Dryden furnished the following_ode, which was set to music by Draghi, an eminent Italian composer. Of the annual festival, Motteux gives the following account :—
Depth of pains and height of passion,
he has put deep notes to the word depth, and high notes to the word height, as if there were analogy to depth or height in either case, and the terms might not have been convertible, depth of passion and height of pain. But we wish to speak of these slips of great men without irreverence.
St Cecilia (Sir Walter Scott tells us) was, according
Excites us to arms,
The double, double, double beat
From harmony to harmony,
What passion cannot music raise and quell!
Less than a god they thought there could not dwell!
The soft complaining flute
Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling lute.
ROMANCE OF REAL LIFE.
NO. XLV. HISTORY OF THE MARCHIONESS DE GANGES.
We take this from the Ladies' Pocket Magazine for the year 1825, a neat little publication with good things in it. We seem as if we had read the story twenty times over elsewhere; but it is one of those, whose frightful truth must always bring it into collections of stories like the present. The offending parties, by the outrageous violence of their passions, and the desperate defiance of daylight and witnesses by one of them, were most likely madmen; at least, had an unhealthy or exaggerated organization amounting to madness. The author has attributed something of coquetry to the Marchioness, and added that it was "no doubt innocent." But any coquetry, however pardonable to the vanity of youth and beauty, is a very dangerous thing, and likely to bring heavy sorrows on the light shoulders that think it an ornament, especially if the heart be good, and capable of ultimate reflection. The poor Marchioness, by her affecting endeavours to secure her husband's life, appears to have been a woman of great natural tenderness and conscientiousness, and probably thought the endeavours incumbent upon her, out of remorse for that very coquetry.
This lady, whose misfortunes have served the subject of romances, poems, and melodramas, was born at Avignon, in the year 1636. Nature and fortune seemed to have united to load her with their favours in her early life, only that she might feel more acutely the horrors of her subsequent fate. When she was little more than thirteen she was married to the Marquis de Castellane, a grandson of the Duke of Villars. On her being introduced at Versailles, Louis XIV, who was then very young, distinguished her amidst the crowd of beauties which embellished the most brilliant court in Europe. The exquisite loveliness of the Marchioness, the illustrious family of her husband, the immense fortune which she had brought him, and the kind attention with which she had been honoured by the King, all conspired to render her the fashion, and she was soon known in Paris by no other appellation than that of the beautiful Provençal. Her first ties were soon broken. The Marquis de Castellane, who was in the naval service, perished by shipwreck on the coast of Sicily. The Marchioness, a blooming widow, rich, and without children, quickly saw all the most splendid youths of the court flocking around her, and sueing for her hand. Her unpropitious star destined her to give the preference to the youthful Lanède, Marquis de Ganges. She was united to him in the month of July, 1658. Two months after the celebration of the marriage, the Marquis took his wife to Avignon. Their blissduring the first year of their union was uninterrupted. The Marquis de Ganges had two brothers, the Abbé and the Chevalier de Ganges. Both were so deeply smitten with the charms of their sister-in-law, that
+ St Cecilia is said to have invented the organ, though it Chauis not known when or how she came by this credit. cer introduces her as performing upon that instrument :-"And while that the organes maden melodie, To God alone thus in her heart sung she."
The descent of the angel we have already mentioned. She thus announces this celestial attendant to her husband:
"I have an angel which that loveth me; That with great love, wher so I wake or slepe, Is ready aye my body for to kepe."
The Second Nonne's Tale.
they instantly became enamoured of her. At the expiration of two or three years, some differences arose between the married couple: on the one side, too strong a tendency to dissipation, and on the other, a little coquetry, which, no doubt, was intirely innocent, occasioned this slight disagreement. The Abbé, who was naturally of an intriguing disposition, exasperated and reconciled the husband and wife, just as it suited his purposes. As his sister-in-law made him her confidant, he hoped that he should ultimately render her favourable to his passion; but, as soon as he disclosed it, his love was disdainfully rejected. With the same pretensions, the Chevalier made the same attempt, and was just as badly received. Not being able to succeed, the two brothers mutually confided to each other their criminal wishes, and, blending together both their resentments, they agreed to take joint vengeance. From that period they sought the means of getting rid of their sister-in-law. Poison was administered to the Marchioness in milk-chocolate; but, whether it was the poison, being put in with a trembling hand, was not sufficient in quantity, or that the milk blunted the effect of it, she sustained but little injury from it. The crime, however, did not pass undiscovered. To put a stop to the rumours on this subject, which were current in the city, the Marquis proposed to his wife to spend the autumn on his estate of Ganges. The Marchioness consented, which seems rather extraordinary; but in human events there are always some circumstances which are inexplicable. It appears that the Marchioness had forebodings of her fate; for in a letter to her mother, dated from the castle of Ganges, she declared that she could not traverse the gloomy avenues of that melancholy residence without a feeling of terror. Her husband, who had accompanied her thither, left her with his two brothers, and returned to Avignon. Not long before her quitting that city, the Marchioness had come into possession of a considerable inheritance; and it is a fact that proves that she suspected the family into which she had entered, and perhaps even her husband, that she made a will at Avignon, by which, in case of her death, she confided her property, till her children were of age, to Madame de Rossan, her mother. This will became the pretext of an inveterate persecution of the Marchioness by her brothers-in-law. They so strongly and perseveringly pressed her to revoke it, that she was at last weak enough to consent. They had no sooner carried their point, than they made a second attempt to poison her, but with no better success than before. The monsters had, however, gone too far to allow of their receding. Being one day obliged to keep her bed by indisposition, the
marchioness saw her brothers-in-law enter the room. In one hand the Abbé had a pistol, and in the other a glass of poison: the Chevalier had a drawn sword under his arm. You must die, madam, said the Abbé; choose whether by pistol, sword, or poison. The marchioness, in a state bordering on distraction, could not believe her senses: she sprang out of bed, threw herself at the feet of her brothers, and asked what crime she had committed. Choose! was the only answer which the assassins made. Seeing that there was no hope of assistance, the unfortunate lady took the glass which the Abbé presented to her, and swallowed the contents, while he held the pistol to her breast. This horrible scene being finished, the monsters retired, and locked the victim into the room, promising to send to her a confessor, the spiritual aid of whom she had requested as a last favour. She was now alone; her first thought was to escape; her next was to try various means of removing from her stomach the poison which she had been forced to take in the latter she partly succeeded by putting one of the locks of her hair down her throat. Then, half-naked, she threw herself into the court-yard, though the window was nearly eight yards from the ground. But how was she to escape from her murderers, who would speedily be aware of her flight, and were masters of all the outlets from the castle? The unfortunate marchioness implored the compassion of one of the servants, who let her out into the fields through a stable door. She was quickly pursued by the Abbé and Chevalier, who represented her as a mad woman to a farmer, in whose house she had taken refuge. It was here that the crime was to be consummated. The Chevalier, who hitherto had appeared less ferocious than his brother, followed her from room to room, and having come up with her in a remote apartment, the villain gave her two stabs in the breast, and five in the back, at the moment that she was trying to get away. The blows were so violent that the sword was broken, and part of it remained in the shoulder. The cries of the miserable lady brought the neighbours to the place, and the Abbé, who had staid at the door to prevent any help from coming to her, entered the house with the crowd. Enraged to see that the marchioness was not yet dead, he presented his pistol to her breast, but it missed fire. The spectators, who had hitherto been terrified, now rushed to seize the Abbé; but by dint of hard struggles he effected his escape. Madame de Ganges lived nineteen days after this event, and did not expire till she had publicly implored the divine mercy for her assassins. On her body being opened, the bowels were found to be corroded by the effect of
the poison. Her husband was present during her last moments. There were very strong presumptions against him; but the marchioness, still compassionate amidst the severest sufferings, did all that lay in her power to clear him from suspicion. The parliament of Toulouse lost no time in instituting judicial proceedings against the criminals, and by a decree which was issued on the 21st of August, 1667, the Abbé and the Chevalier de Ganges were outlawed, and sentenced to be broken on the wheel. After having had his property confiscated, and been degraded from the rank of nobility, the marquis was condemned to perpetual banishment by the same decree. The Chevalier found shelter in Malta, and was subsequently killed in an engagement with the Turks. As to the Abbé, he sought an asylum in Holland, and there, under a fictitious name, he passed through a variety of adventures, which might furnish the subject of a romance. It is much to be regretted that two such execrable wretches should have escaped the punishment which was so justly awarded to them by the parliament of Toulouse.
SPECIMENS OF CELEBRATED AUTHORS.
IN selecting, from our best storehouse, the Romance of Real Life in our last number, we met with the following entertaining account of Balzac, who, as a brother wit and dandy of the writer whom we gave some specimens of in No. 32, we thought would fitly come after him. Balzac was given to more real solemnity in his pomp than Voiture; but, like him, had real talents, and occasionally exhibits considerable grace and pleasantry. He partook with him the afflicting consequences of celebrity as a letter-writer, having at last such a load of correspondence, in answering which he felt himself bound to be witty, that he laboured, in a double sense, under the fatigue of his agreeableness. It was the fashion, at one time, for every gentleman in France, who aspired to be thought a man of taste, to write a letter to Balzac on purpose to get an answer, which he might show about. Notwithstanding the cruel turn of his bigotry, the result of bad breeding in matters of religion, our author was an honest man; and directed himself, in his will, to be buried "at the feet of the poor" in Angoulême, to the hospital and Capuchin convent of which city he was a generous benefactor.
Balzac (says the authority before-mentioned) was a French writer in the early part of the seventeenth century, the friend of Voiture, the favourite and correspondent of Cardinal Richlieu, the Duke d'Espernon, and Cardinal de la Villette: as a public agent of the last, he resided at Rome in 1621, and part of the following year.
After making allowances for constitutional vanity, extravagance, and the faux-brillant, it cannot be denied that his letters contain many fine turns and witty passages; but, notwithstanding the assertions of his preface writer, Motte-Aigron (Troyes, 1634, 12mo. excellent type), the idea of publication was evidently uppermost in the mind of Balzac, at the moment he wrote; he is perpetually on the look-out for good things, and exhibits in every page strong proofs of literary labour, and the toil of invention.
It is to be lamented that so agreeable a writer, and so pleasant a man, should have imbibed the religious prejudices of the times and the intolerant spirit of his patrons; he joins heartily in the cry of persecution, and echoes the court cants against the Hugonots. In his fifteenth letter to the Duke d'Espernon, there occurs on this subject a piece of Jesuitism unworthy of a literary character and an honest man. "The fall of heresy is decreed by heaven as certain as the day of judgment, and to oppose its suppression is to resist the will of God. It cannot be very difficult for a great Prince to find or to make them guilty; indeed, every species of deception is justifiable if it ultimately tends to the everlasting happiness of those we deceive.
"In this broiling month (July) I use every method in my power to guard against the heat; four servants constantly fan my apartments; they raise wind enough to make a tempestuous sea.
"My wine is plunged into snow and ice till the moment I drink it; I pass half my time in the cold bath, and divide the other half between an orange grove, cooled by a refreshing fountain, and my sofa; I do not venture to cross the street, but in a coach. "Other people are content with scenting flowers, I have hit on the method of eating and drinking them; I protest that my chamber smells stronger of perfumes than Arabia Felix, and I am so lavish of rose water and essence of jessamine, that I actually swim in it. While my neighbours, at this sultry season, are overloading their stomachs with solid food, I subsist almost intirely on birds fed with sugar: these, with jellies and fruit, are the whole of my diet."
He concludes with an acknowledgment, which is, in fact, though undesignedly, a severe satire on himself, or his patron, for paying his man so extravagantly for being idle; "these are the whole of the services I perform; such are the duties of my office."
His twenty-first letter, written in the following December, may be considered as a practical sermon on the passage I have recited; it was written during a severe fit of the gout, probably produced by his luxurious indolence.
After comparing this cruel disease to the wild beasts of Africa and the monsters of the deep, he proceeds to describe, with his usual vivacity, the weak state it had reduced him to:-"I am now become so valiant and courageous, that if a troop of horse pursued me, I would not run away; and so proud, that if his Holiness the Pope made me a visit, I should not wait on him to the door."
Persons better acquainted with the history of that period than the editor of this collection, will probably discover who it is that Balzac describes in the following words: "The loveliest Princess in Italy is married, is doomed to pass her days, and, alas, her nights, with a brute! Judge only of his person: he has a bull's neck, a face so overcharged with blood, that you expect him to sink down every moment in an apoplexy; teeth so black, that it would be as easy to whiten an Ethiopian; a nose and a stomach of so enormous a projection, &c. &c. In short, his supposing it possible for a pretty woman to love him, is a sin against nature and common sense."
The following is a brief but well drawn sketch of some eminent Italian personage, I suspect of the Pope himself.
"There has not been since the death of Nero, a Prince who has made a better buffoon; he composes verses and sets them to music, with the dexterity and skill of a master, he recites Ariosto with impressive correctness, and possesses a just taste in painting, sculpture, and vertù; in a word, he excels in every art, science, and trade, except his own: a thousand crowns a year has lately been given to an author who presented a learned and elaborate dissertation, in which he endeavours to prove that his generous patron is lineally descended from Julius Cæsar."
Balzac then proceeds, with the entertaining prolixity of a Frenchman, to describe the house in which he resides. "It is neither so elegant nor so costly as Fontainebleau, but it has a charming wood behind it, which the solar rays cannot penetrate, and is admirably calculated for an invalid with weak eyes, or to make an ordinary woman appear tolerably handsome. "The trees, covered with foliage to their very roots, are crowded with turtle doves and pheasants; wherever I walk, I tread upon tulips and anemones, which I have ordered my gardener to plant among the other flowers, to prove that the French strangers do not suffer in a comparison with their Italian friends.”
A truce at that time signed with the Hugonots, occasioned the loyal and religous zeal of Balzac again to burst forth. "I will not take the liberty," he observes, "to anticipate his Majesty's gracious intentions, but he may rest assured that nothing can ever soften the heart, or change the disposition of an heretic; however he may be flattered or soothed, and whatever he may say or swear, a Hugonot will always be rebellious against a Catholic sovereign.
"From the first rise of the heterodox opinions, to the present hour, they have always more or less defied the constituted authorities of every country in which they have resided; the cautionary towns are the focus of sedition and rebellion. Let us only suppose for the sake of argument that the king's subjects of the true religion were in a similar way to demand fortresses and towns, and, in proportion to their numbers?-little more would remain for our master to reign over, than his palaces, and royal demesnes."
In his forty-second letter, written at Rome, during the disturbance and intrigues which agitated the College of Cardinals previous to the election of Alexander Ludovirio, who afterwards assumed the Papal tile of Gregory the Fifteenth, our author is satirical, lively, and pleasant;-these are his words.
"Listen, and I will relate strange things; one of the candidates for the tripal crown keeps in constant pay six astrologers to consult the stars on the proba bility of his success; another takes money of two
parties and coolly votes for a third; others are suddenly afflicted with the most dangerous complaints, and can scarcely rise from their chairs in the hope of being chosen, on the probability of another election speedily taking place; it is often found, that a cardinal of a puny constitution, sinking under age and infirmity, makes a robust and long-lived Pope; in short, I see on every side simony, fraud, simulation and dissimulation; good faith, moral purity, disinterestedness, and simplicity of heart, are altogether banished from the conclave."
The forty-ninth letter is written to his mistress, during a severe indisposition, and under the irritating impressions of jealousy. On this occasion, he gives utterance to the violence of his rage till he fancies his rant is sublime. "If my hand wielded but for one hour the thunderbolt of Jove," says the outrageous lover, "not a palace or a tower should stand intire on the surface of the globe."
THE DRAWING ROOM SCRAP-BOOK FOR 1835.
We take shame to ourselves for not having given a more instant notice of this Christmas and New Year periodical (a handsome present for the season), full of Miss Landon's poetry and of beautiful plates; but we hoped to write a longer article in reference to some feelings which have been touchingly expressed by the fair contributor of the letter-press; and as we cannot do this forthwith, we must delay our notice no longer. We rejoice to see, in this year's book, that Miss Landon has given signs of a resolution to turn her poetical faculty to its best and most poetical account, that of seeing happiness wherever she can, instead of lamenting where it is not to be found. Poetry is angelical, and should strike pleasure wherever it comes. Indeed it cannot help doing sc in some measure, even when it laments that there is no pleasure. Its very tones and pleasurable images refute it. But if it is content to repeat the commonplaces of regret, as the ground-work of its song, instead of animating hope and endeavour, it does but the more dangerously tend to keep up the useless delusions of despondency; whereas, like the sweetness of perfect womanhood itself, it should be incapable of doing us anything but service, and making us full of gratitude for joy doubled, or patience irresistible.
Among the plates are some specimens of oriental architecture (the most beautiful union of richness and grace in building), English landscapes by Mr Allom, likenesses of the two Miss Porters, Sir James Macintosh, &c., but above all, a portrait of Raphael, exquisite, and we have no doubt the genuine thing,refined to the last degree, truly noble and selfpossessed, serious, but with a world of pleasurability implied in the features and expression. We shall not be easy till we have it hanging up in our study. In the following passages from Miss Landon's poetry, we have kept some verses on it till the last. The latter part of them is supposed to be addressed to the painter by his mistress, the celebrated Fornarina. These three extracts contain three excellent lessons,→ on the treatment of children, on the tasks of manhood, and on the enjoyments to be derived from imagination and affection when their tasks have succeeded in refining the world.
No: only taught by love to love, Seems childhood's natural task; Affection, gentleness, and hope, Are all its brief years ask.
A word will fill the little heart
And yet how many weary hours
Those joyous creatures know ; How much of sorrow and restraint They to their elders owe!
How much they suffer from our faults!
An infant's misery makes.
We over-rule and over-teach,
Ah! not for him the dull and measur'd eye,
Such are the common people of the soul, Of whom the stars write not in their bright scroll. These, when the sunshine at the noontide makes Golden confusion in the forest brakes, See no sweet shadows gliding o'er the grass, Which seems to fill with wild flowers as they pass; These from the twilight music of the fount, Ask not its secret and its sweet account: These never seek to read the chronicle Which hides within the hyacinth's dim-lit bell: They know not of the poetry which lies Upon the summer rose's languid eyes; They have no spiritual visitings elysian, They dream no dreamings, and they see no vision The young Italian was not of the clay, That doth to dust one long allegiance pay. No; he was tempered with that finer flame, Which ancient fables say from heaven came; The sunshine of the soul, which fills the earth With beauty borrow'd from its place of birth. Hence has the lute its song, the scroll its line; Hence stands the statue glorious as its shrine; Hence the fair picture, kings are fain to win,, The mind's creation from the world within.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHOOSING A DWELLING-HOUSE
BY I. J. KENT, ESQ. ARCHITECT.
[From the Architectural Magazine,' a new monthly publication, discussing everything connected with house and homestead, and conducted with his usual industry, precision, and ability, by Mr Loudon.]
SIR,-There are few persons, whatever may be their rank in society, who have not occasion, at some period or other of their lives, to make choice of a house. Perhaps I should not be far wrong were I to say that this duty has to be performed by most men several times. How much of health, comfort, economy in living, and respectability of appearance depends on the choice made, few people, I believe, are aware; and still fewer have an idea of the seemingly trifling, and, I may almost say, invisible circumstances, on which the comfort of a house sometimes depends. Before entering on the details of my subject, I shall just mention one of the seemingly trifling circumstances alluded to.
Suppose a new house, most substantially built, and in every apparent circumstance eligible either for purchase or occupation, and that the intended occupier or purchaser has completed his bargain, without examining the subsoil, and the manner in which the foundation walls are built. On the supposition that the subsoil is dry, all will be very well, and the house will turn out what it appears to be. But supposing, on the other hand, that the subsoil should be a clay, or a stratum of moist gravel, or moist soil of any kind, and that the foundation walls should have been built with spongy bricks and bad mortar, and not with good hard brick or Roman cement; the consequence of this will be, that the kitchen and other apartments on the ground floor will appear dry and comfortable for a year, or perhaps longer; but after this, from the bottoms of the walls acting like sponges in absorbing moisture from the soil, the damp will rise up through them more and more every year, till, at last, it will reach 6 ft. or 8 ft. above the exterior surface of the ground. I could refer to a house, in all other respects most substantially and judiciously built, and surrounded by dry areas as deep as the footing of the walls, but on a clayey soil, and without cement being used in the foundations, in which the damp, in the course of eight years, has risen as high as the parlour floor; and the family occupying the house are now quite surprised at finding their furni ture becoming mouldy there, after having been for years without experiencing anything of the kind. This, I think, will show the importance of using cement in the foundations of all houses placed on damp soils, and of examining the foundations under the lowest floors before taking a house, to see if this has been done. I shall now proceed to my subject.
The choice of a house will in some respects depend on the size and character of the house required, the purpose for which it is to be used, and the station in life of the party intending to occupy it. There are some things, however, common to all houses, which should be especially attended to, whether in a building intended solely for business, or in a private residence. The first points to be considered are, the nature and character of the soil on which the house is erected, and whether it is effectually drained, or is capable of being drained so as to be kept perfectly dry; for no advantages in other respects can com pensate for a damp situation, both as regards health and property. A house built in a damp situation, even though the greatest care has been taken in mak ing an artificial foundation of concrete (which has lately been done in many places), is still unwholesome; and should the materials of the foundation be of inferior quality, such as place (that is, soft halfburnt) bricks, and soft pine timber (also a common case), it will speedily decay, and be a constant and unavoidable expense. A gravelly soil is the best to build on, provided care be taken to keep out the land springs, by drains below the level of the bottom of the walls; or hard sand, if gravel cannot be found: but soft sand or clay is to be avoided if possible.
The construction of the house is a matter of serious importance to any person about to take a lease; as, by doing this, he will probably render himself liable to reinstate dilapidations, many of which may be in an incipient state when he takes possession. It is therefore quite advisable, and, indeed, is imperative on every person who is unacquainted with the nature of building, to employ a respectable architect, surveyor, or builder, to examine the strength and durability of the house he is about to engage, in order to ascertain whether it is likely to remain strong and firm for a number of years. The intended tenant should also try to discover the nature of the soil, by which he will also ascertain that of the air which he will have to breathe. In low damp situations, it is well known that the air is at all times charged with a greater degree of moisture than is the case in dry open situations. A moist air suits very few constitutions, even in our humid climate, and seldom fails to bring on rheumatism, more especially in those who cannot afford to live well and take abundance of exercise.
LEIGH HUNT'S LONDON JOURNAL.
rooms, the partitions on the upper floors cannot be
Another important matter to be attended to, is the thorough ventilation of houses; for should the air become stagnant from want of a free ventilation, particularly in houses that have a story underground, it is highly injurious to the persons living, and particularly sleeping, in them. There should, therefore, be windows both in the back and front, and, when possible, at the sides also. From rooms in the basement story, and cellars that have neither fire-places nor windows, there should be air-flues carried up to the open air. Care should likewise be taken that the floor in the basement story is raised above the soil, and that air is freely admitted to circulate between the soil and the floor, whether that floor is of wood or stone. Where this is properly attended to, these low rooms may be used as sleeping-rooms; but where it is not, they are by no means fit or proper for any human being to sleep in.
Stability, light and air are three grand desiderata in every house, and should be particularly attended to in the choice of one. The roof is a part of a house which should be carefully examined; for if it be badly constructed (too common a case with the houses built on speculation, both in London and the country), with narrow gutters, and those difficult of access, you may generally expect the wet to penetrate to the upper rooms after any heavy fall of snow or rain. Many of the best houses built in London are covered with lead; this is the best of covering. The next is slate, if of good quality, and with wide lead gutters, with lead flushings (strips of leads covering joints) to them, and to those parts of the walls which are carried up higher than the slating. Zinc-covered roofs seldom keep out the wet many years; and tiles in London are now rarely used, except in very inferior houses.
In your choice of a house, having satisfied yourself that the site on which it is built is healthy; the drainage good; the roof properly constructed, and free of access, not merely for the purpose of keeping out the wet, but as a safeguard and means of escape in case of fire; the next portion of the building to examine is the substance of the walls, with the materials of which they are composed. The soft, halfburnt bricks, called place-bricks by the builders, ought never to be employed in the walls of any building which it is desirable to keep dry. Whenever these bricks are found in the foundation of the party walls, the house should be rejected; and if they are seen in the outside of any of the external walls, you may expect every beating rain which falls to penetrate into them. Such walls suck in the water like a sponge, and give it out to all the interior fittings-up and finishings. Sound, hard, well-burnt bricks, called stocks, are the strongest, most durable, and best calculated to resist the weather, and keep the inside of a house dry, provided the mortar used with them is composed of fresh-burnt stone lime and sharp road grit or sand, and is well mixed. The stock bricks absorb but little moisture, and that little is soon evaporated; whereas the place or soft bricks absorb a large quantity of moisture, and allowing that to pass through them into the middle of the wall, are a long time wet; because the centre of a wall retains the moisture long after the surface is dry. It is particularly desirable, as I have before stated, for the walls of houses built on clay, or on any moist soil, to have a few courses of the brickwork above the ground laid in Roman cement.
The timber used in any building should be timber of slow growth, such as the fir of cold climates (Norway or Sweden, for example), or oak. If for work under or near the ground, the oak should be of English growth; but the American oak may be used with propriety above ground. Oak is the only timber fit for joists and sleepers (joists laid on the tops of dwarf walls) next the ground, unless the soil is particularly dry, and the floor well ventilated.
The strength of the joists and other timbers, of which the several floors are composed, is another subject of importance to every one about to take a lease of a house. If these are weak, they will necessarily shake, if the tenant allows his friends to enjoy the delightful recreation of dancing on them; and though the floors may not absolutely give way, yet I have known the ceiling and cornices of many modern houses from this cause, amongst others, very unceremoniously desert their posts, and pay their respects to the floor of the room they were intended This is an accident much to be deprecated, especially as it is very likely to happen (as it did at the house of a friend of mine) at a time of all others the most annoying, viz.: when you have friends with you, and are in the highest spirits, little anticipating such an event. The floors in houses of the first and second class of buildings, are usually pugged (filled in between the floor of one room and the ceiling of that below it, with mortar, &c.,) to destroy sound, and as a security against fire. When this is not done, it is an unpardonable omission on the part of the builder, as the expence is small, and the benefit great. All the partitions of a house should, if possible, be brick walls. At all events, no timber partitions ought to be admitted in the basement or lower story of any house, nor any of the upper stories, except where, from the arrangement of the
The particular character of houses in towns is, that
The restraint imposed by the Building Act has, in
and therefore form nurseries for the cholera and all
There are some houses of this class presenting a
The next class of town house, according to the Building Act, is the third-rate house, which is from about 17 ft. to 18 ft. wide in front, and from 28 ft. to 29 ft. deep. Houses of this class generally contain the same number of rooms as the largest size fourth-rate, with an attic story over, in addition; this story is sometimes partly in the roof, but more generally the walls are carried up to allow the rooms to be square. At the back of the parlour floor there is frequently built a small room, used as a dressing room or store room. These houses have generally two windows in the width of their front.
The next class of house, the second-rate, is of a better and larger description, and frequently pos
sesses conveniences that cause it to be occupied by the wealthy tradesman and gentleman of good fortune. It is usually 20 ft. or 30 ft. wide in front, by 30 ft. to 40 ft. deep, with additional rooms at the back. It can, and does in many instances, contain all the apartments required by a family keeping their carriage, footman, housekeeper, &c.; and has attached to it, or in some mews in the immediate neighbourhood, a coach-house and stable. These houses are usually built with two windows in the width of the front, but many of them have three windows in this width. The rooms are higher and better finished than in the houses of the third and fourth classes.
The first-rate class of buildings embraces all houses containing more than 900 superficial feet on the ground floor, and includes the residences of the nobility and gentry and the wealthiest class of professional men and merchants. Houses of this class may be said to be unrestricted as to size, either in height or width; the other classes are by the Building Act restricted as to dimensions in their plan, their height, and expence; though the height and expence of a house are not now taken into consideration in deciding the rate or class to which it belongs.
A new Building Act is drawn up, and approved, which, it is expected, will pass into a law next year; and it is greatly to be hoped that in this new law the absurdities of the present act will be avoided. I. J. KENT.
Manor Place, Paddington, Nov. 16, 1833.
He was often advised to write a tragedy: time and
Such a gift had nature in her bounty bestowed on us in Robert Burns; but with queen-like indifference she cast it from her hand, like a thing of no moment; and it was defaced and torn asunder, as an idle bauble, before we recognised it. To the illstarred Burns was given the power of making man's life more venerable; but that of wisely guiding his own was not given. Destiny-for so in our ignorance we must speak, his faults, the faults of others, proved too hard for him; and that spirit which might have soared, could it have but walked, soon sunk to the dust; its glorious faculties trodden under foot in the blossom, and died, we may almost say, without ever having lived. And so kind and warm a soul, so full of inborn riches, of love to all living and lifeless things! How his heart flows out in sympathy over universal nature, and, in her bleakest provinces, discerns a beauty and a meaning! The daisy falls not unheeded under his ploughshare, nor the ruined nest of that "wee, cow'ring, timorous beastie," cast forth, after all its provident pains, to "thole the sleety dribble, and cranreuch cauld." The "hoar visage," of winter delights him: he dwells with a sad and oftreturning fondness on these scenes of solemn desolation; but the voice of the tempest becomes an anthem to his ears; he loves to walk in the sounding woods, for it raises his thoughts to Him "that walketh on the wings of the wind." A true poet-soul, for it needs but to be struck, and the sound it yields will be music! But observe him chiefly as he mingles with his brother-men. What warm, all-comprehending fellow-feeling! What trustful, boundless love! What generous exaggeration of the object loved! His rustic friend, his nut-brown maiden, are no longer mean and homely, but a hero and queen, whom he prizes as the paragons of earth. The rough scenes of Scottish life, not seen by him in any Arcadian illusion, but in the rude contradiction, in the smoke and soil of a too harsh reality, are still lovely to him. verty is indeed his companion; but love also, and courage; the simple feelings, the worth, the nobleness, that dwell under the straw roof, are dear and venerable to his heart; and thus over the lowest provinces of man's existence he pours the glory of his own soul, and they rise, in shadow and sunshine, softly brightened into a beauty which other eyes dis