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LETTERS TO SUCH OF THE LOVERS OF KNOWLEDGE AS HAVE NOT RECEIVED A CLASSICAL EDUCATION.
ON THE GENII OF THE GREEKS AND ROMANS, AND THE SPIRIT THAT WAS SAID TO HAVE WAITED ON
THE angelical or middle beings of the Greeks and Romans are called by the common name of Genii, though the term is not correct; for the Greeks were unacquainted with the word Genius. Their spirit was called a Dæmon; and we suspect that a further distinction is to be drawn between the two words, for a
reason which will be seen by and by. The ill sense in which Dæmon is now taken, originated with the fathers of the Church; who assuming that a Pagan Intelligence must be a bad one, caused the word to become synonimous with Devil. But there are few things more remarkable than the abundant use which the Church made of the speculations of the Greek philosophers, and the contempt with which indiscreet members of it have treated them. Take away the subtleties of the platonic theology from certain sects of Christians, and their very orthodoxy would tumble to pieces.
Dæmon, if it be derived, as most of the learned think, from a word signifying to know by inquiry, and the root of which signifies a torch, may be translated the Enlightened; or, simply, a light or intelligence. A blessed spirit, eternally increasing in knowledge or illumination (which some think will be one of its beatitudes) gives an enlarged sense of the word Dæmon.
Plato certainly had no ill opinion of his Dæmon, even when the intelligence was acting in a manner which the vulgar pronounced to be evil, and upon which the philosopher has delivered a sentiment equally profound and humane. The following may be regarded as a summary of his notions about the spiritual world. Taking up the religion of his country, as proclaimed by Hesiod and others, and endeavouring to harmonize it with reason, he conceived, that agreeably to the ranks and gradations which we fancy in nature, there must be intermediate beings between men and gods, the gods themselves being far from the top of spirituality. We have already stated his opinions on that subject. Next to the Gods came the Dæmons, who partook of their divinity mixed with what he called the soul of the world, and ministered round about them as well as on earth in fact, were the angels of the Christian system but a little more allied to their superiors. "What other philosophers called Dæmons," says the devout platonical Jew Philo, "Moses usually called Angels." Next to Dæmons, but farther apart from them than Dæmons were from the Gods, and yet partaking of the angelical office, were Heroes, or spirits clothed in a light etherial body and partaking still more of the soul of the world; perhaps the souls of men who had been heroical on earth, or sent down to embody them to that end. And lastly came the souls of men which were the faintest emanation of the Deity, and clogged with
* Ους αλλοι φιλόσοφοι δαίμονες, αίγελους Μωσης είωθεν evoμalev-Philo Judæus Opera Omn. vol. i. page 263.There is good reason to believe that Dionysius, the pretended Areopagite, who is the great authority with writers upon the angelical nature was a platonizing Christian of the school of Alexandría. If so, there is no saying how far we are not indebted for our ordinary notions of angels themselves to Plato, nor indeed how far the Christian and Jewish angel and the Dæmon of the Greeks are not one and the same spirit: for it is impossible to say how much of the Jewish Cabbala is not Alexandrian. On the other hand, the Platonists of that city mixed up their dogmas with the Oriental philosophy, so that the angel comes round again to the East, and is traceable to Persia and India. Nothing of all this need shake him: for it is in the heart and hopes of man that his nest is found. Plato's angel, Pytha goras's, Philo's, Zoroaster's and Jeremy Taylor's, are all the same spirit under different names; and those who would ove him
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earthly clothing in addition to the mundane nature of this spiritual attendant to be a kind of soul in addition.
vulgar supposed, with the Jesuit who wrote the "Pan-
The chiefs among these spiritual beings were very like the gods, and often mistaken for them; which is said to have given them great satisfaction! It is upon the strength of this fancy that attempts were made to account for the stories of the gods, and their freaks upon earth; for Dæmons, any more than Angels, were not incapable of a little aberration. The supposed visits, for instance, of Jupiter down to earth, when he
"Now, like a ram, fair Helle to pervart, Now, like a ball, Europa to withdraw,"
were the work of those spirits about him, who may truly be called the Jovial, and who delighted in bearing his name, as a Scottish clan does that of its chieftain. We have already mentioned the pious indignation of Plutarch at the indiscreet tales of the poets. It is remarkable, that, according to Plato, these satellites encircled their master precisely in the manner of the angelical hierarchies. "But how different," it may be said, "were their natures!" Not, perhaps, quite so much so as may be fancied. We have already hinted a resemblance in one point; and in others, the advantage has not always been kept on the proper side. Milton's angels, when they let down the unascendable, heavenly staircase to embitter the agonies of Satan, did a worse thing than any recorded of the Jupiters and Apollos. We must be cautious how, in attributing one or two virtues to a set of beings, we think we endow them with all the rest.
Dæmons were not, as some thought them, the souls of men. The latter had the honour of assisting Dæmons, but were a separate class. Indeed, according to Plato, the word Soul might as well have been put for Man, in opposition to Spirit; for he held that the human being was properly a soul, using the body only as an instrument. Nor was this soul the guardian angel or dæmon, though sometimes called a dæmon by reason of its superiority, but man himself. It was immortal, pre-existent; and the object of virtue was to restore it to its former state of beatitude in certain regions of light, from which it had fallen. This, among other doctrines of Plato, has been a favourite one with the poets; and would appear to have been seriously entertained by one of the present day. What difficulty it clears, or what trouble it takes away, we cannot see. Progression is surely a better doctrine than recovery; especially if we look upon evil as partial, fugitive, and convertible, like a hard substance to good. Besides, we should take the whole of our species with us, and not always be looking after our own lost perfections. The Guardian Dæmons assigned to man, came out of the whole of these orders indiscriminately. Their rank was proportioned to the virtue and intelligence of the individual. Plotinus and others had guardian Dæmons of a very high order. The Dæmon of Socrates is said to have been called a God, because it was of the order that were taken for Gods. It was the business of
properly must know as much, or they cannot. Henry Moore and others, who may be emphatically styled our Angelical Doctors, avowedly undertook to unite the Platonic, Pythagorean, and Cabalistic opinion. (See Enfield's Abridgmert of Brucker.) It is true they derived them all from the Hebrew; which is about as much as if they had said that the Egyptians were skilled in all the learning of Moses, instead of Moses in all the learning of the Egyptians.
Dæmons and heroes were the angels and saints of the Catholic hierarchy. They had their chapels, altars, feasts, and domestic worship, precisely in the same spirit; and the souls of the departed were from time to time added to the list. (See the Abbé Banier's Mythology and Fables of the Ancients, explained from History, vol. iii. p. 434.) The Heroines were the female saints. We make this remark in no ironical spirit, though the Abbé would not thank us for it.
↑ "Our life is but a dream and a forgetting." Wordsworth.
There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough hew thein how we will.*
If all this is not much clearer than attempts to explain such matters are apt to be, and if the parts of Plato's theology (which were derived from the national creed) do little honour sometimes to the general spirit of it, which was his own, there is something at all times extremely elevating in his aspirations after the good and beautiful. St. Augustin complained that the reading of Plato made him proud. We do believe that it is impossible for readers of any enthuthiasm to sit long over some of his writings, (the Banquet for instance) and not feel an unusual exaltation of spirit,-a love of the good and beautiful, for their own sakes, and in honour of human nature. But there is no danger, we conceive, provided we correct this poetical state of self-aspiration with a remembrance of the admonitions of Christianity,-the sympathy with our fellow-creatures. The more hope we have of ourselves under that correction, the more we shall have of others. The great point is to elevate ourselves by elevating humanity at large.
It is difficult to know what to make of the Dæmon of Socrates. It is clear that he laid claim to a special consciousness of this attendant spirit-a sort of revelation, that, we believe, had never before been vouch
See the Pantheon attributed to Mr. Tooke. Tooke's Pantheon is a rifacimento of King's Pantheon, which was a translation from a Jesuit of the name of Pomey. 1t contains in every page, an elaborate calumny," says Mr. Baldwin "upon the Gods of the Greeks, and that in the coarsest thoughts The author seems conand words that taverns could furnish. tinually haunted by the fear that his pupil might prefer the religion of Jupiter to the religion of Christ."-Baldwin's Pantheon, preface, p. 5. This philosophical mythologist is of opinion that there was no ground for fear of that sort. We have observed elsewhere how little the young readers of Tooke think of the abuse at all: but if they had any sense of it, undoubtedly it goes in Jupiter's favour. We believe there is one thing which is not lost upon them; and that is, the affected horror and secret delight with which the Jesuit dwells upon certain vagaries of the gayer deities. Besides, he paints sometimes in good, admiring earnest; and then the boys attend to him as gravely. See for instance the beginning of his chapter on Venus; which if we read once at school, we read a thousand times, comparing it with the engraving.
+ See Taylor's and Sydenham's Translations of Plato, vol. 1, .. 16. and vol 2. p. 308.
safed. The spirit gave him intimations rather what to avoid than to do; for the Platonists tell us, that Socrates was led by his own nature to do what was right; but out of the fervour of his desire to do it, was liable to be mistaken in the season. For instance, he had a tendency to give the benefit of his wisdom to all men indiscriminately; and here the Dæmon would sometimes warn him off, that he might not waste his philosophy upon a fool. This was at least an ingenious and mortifying satire. But the spirit interfered also on occasions that seem very trifling, though accordant with the office assigned to him by Plato of presiding over fortuitous events. Socrates was going one day to see a friend in company with some others, when he made a sudden halt, and told them that his Dæmon had advised him not to go down that street, but to chuse another. Some of them turned back, but others persisting in the path before them on purpose, as 'twere, to confute Socrates his Dæmon," encountered a herd of muddy swine, and came home with their clothes all over dirt. Charillus, a musician, who had come to Athens to see the philosopher Cebes, got especially mudded, so that now and then, says Plutarch, "he and his friends would think in merriment on Socrates his Dæmon, wondering that it never forsook the man, and that heaven took such particular care of him." It was particular enough in heaven, to be sure, to hinder a philosopher from having his drapery damaged; but we suppose matters would have been worse, had he gone the way of the inferior flesh. He would have made it worth the pigs while to be more tragical.
This Dæmon is the only doubtful thing about the character of Socrates, for as to the common misconceptions of him, they are but the natural conclusions of vulgar minds; and Aristophanes, who became a traitor to the graces he had learned at his table, and condescended tc encourage the misconceptions in order to please the instinctive jealousy of the men of wit and pleasure about town, was but a splendid buffoon. But when we reflect that the wisdom inculcated by Socrates was of a nature particularly strait-forward and practical, this supernatural twist in his pretensions appears the more extraordinary. To be sure, it has been well argued, that no men are more likely to be put out of their reckoning by a sudden incursion of fancy or demand upon their belief, than those who are the most mechanical and matter-of-fact on all other points.
They are not used to it; and have no grounds to go upon, the moment the hardest and driest ones are taken from under them. Plato has rendered it difficult to believe this of Socrates; but then we have the authority of Socrates for concluding, that Plato put a great deal in his head that he never uttered; and the Socrates of Xenophon, we think, the practical farmer and housekeeper, might not be supposed incapable of yielding to superstitious delusion out of a defect of imagination. Socrates sometimes reminds us of Dr. Johnson. He was a Johnson on a higher scale, healthier, with more self-command; and instead of being intemperate and repenting all his life, had conquered his passions, and turned them into graces becoming his reason. Johnson had a sturdy every-day good sense, and wit and words to impress it; but it was only persuasion in him in Socrates it was persuasion and practice. Now Johnson had a strong tendency to be moved by superstitious impressions, and perplexities from within. A sudden action of the bile, not well understood, or taken as a moral instead of a physical intimation, would give rise to some painful thoughts; and this (which is a weakness that many temperaments given to reflection and not in perfect health, have found it necessary to guard against), would lead him into some superstitious practice or avoidance. There is a circumstance related of him, very like this one of Socrates; only the sedentary, diseased, dinner-loving Englishman made a gloomy business of it; while the sturdy gymnastic Athenian, mastering the weakness of his stomach, turned the superstition on his side into an elegance and an exaltation. The fact we allude to is, that Johnson would never go down Cranbourne Alley, or some street thereabout. He always turned, and went round about. Had he been gay and confident, not overwhelmed with scrophula, and with the more gloomy parts of his creed, he might have sworn as Socrates
See the story as related by Plutarch, and translated by Creech, in the Morals by several Hands. Vol. II. p. 287. The street preferred by the philosopher was "Trunkmaker-street, and the fatal one "Gravers-row" says Creech, "near the Guildhall."
did, that it was his Guardian Angel that told him not to
It is not a little curious, that this is the only story
are more numerous.
(To be concluded in u future paper.)
FIRST WEEK IN JUNE.
However populous (says Dr. Bevan) a stock of bees
eighths. This loss is more than replaced in the spring, by the amazing fecundity of the queen. Hence arises a disposition to throw off swarms, which, of course, will issue more or less frequently, more or less early and in greater or less force, according to the temperature of the season, the fertility of the queen, the populousness of the stock, and the attention that has been paid to early feeding.
The most advantageous time for a swarm to be thrown off is from the middle of May to the middle of June. This period comprehends the grand harvestseason of the honeyed race. After the scythe has cut down the flowers which adorn our meadows and yield the bees such a plentiful supply of honey and farina, there is a very manifest relaxation in their activity; their excursions are not only much less extensive, out less frequent, although the weather be in all respects propitious. Swarms that issue much earlier than the time I have specified, are apt to be small; and should bad weather succeed, feeding will be necessary, to prevent famine.
The following is the enumeration of the signs of swarming.
1st. Clustering or hanging out, if taken singly, may joined with other indications, it may be considered as a be regarded as a fallacious symptom, but when consign of swarming.
2nd. The drones being visible in greater numbers than usual, and in great commotion, especially in the afternoon.
3rd. The inactivity of the working bees, who neither gather honey nor farina, though the morning be sunny and the weather altogether inviting. Reaumur regarded this as the most indubitable sign of preparation for swarming.
4th. A singular humming noise, for two or three nights previous, which has been variously described and accounted for. It cannot always be distinguished, unless the ear be placed near the mouth of the hive; the sounds, which are sharp and clear, seem to proceed from a single bee. Some suppose the noise to be made by the young queen, and to resemble the chip chip, peep peep, or the tool tool, of a child's penny trumpet, but not so loud; Mr. Hunter compares it to the lower a in the treble of the piano forte. It is readily distinguishable by those who have been accustomed to hear it. DR. EVANS inquires, is it the sound emitted by the perfect queens on emerging from their cells, as described by M. Huber? The noise is sometimes in a shrill, at other times in a deeper key; this difference in the intensity of the tones may arise from the distance whence the sound proceeds, or may be intended to intimate to the bees the respective ripeness of their queens. BUTLER and WOOLRIDGE ascribe it to a parley between the old and young queens, the latter at the bottom of the hive requesting leave to emigrate, and the former answering in her bass note from the top. WILDMAN supposes it to arise from a contest betwixt the queens, about sallying forth; and endeavours to account for its less frequency before first swarms, from the young chiefs being then in their embryo state. This, however, is mere hypothesis, and not at all consonant with later discoveries, particularly those of Huber, and Dunbar.
5th. Unusual silence in the hive, during which the separatists are supposed to be taking in a cargo of honey before their flight, as a provision against bad weather. Mr. Hunter opened the crops of some bees that remained in the parent hive and the crops of some emigrating bees, when he found the latter quite full, whilst the former contained but a small quantity.
As many persons doubt the queen's importance to the harmonious union of a swarm, I shall give an instance or two, to show how essentially necessary her presence is to produce this effect. DR. WARDER being desirous of ascertaining the extent of the bees "loyalty to their sovereign, ran the hazard of destroying a swarm for this purpose." Having shaken on the grass all the bees from a hive which they had only tenanted the day before, he searched for the queen, by stirring amongst them with a stick. Having found and placed her, with a few attendants in a box, she was taken into his parlour; where the box being opened, she and her attendants immediately flew to the window, when he clipped off one of her wings, returned her to the box, and confined her there for above an hour. In less than a quarter of an hour, the swarm ascertained the loss of their queen, and instead of clustering together in one social mass, they diffused themselves over a space of several feet, were much agitated, and uttered a piteous sound. An hour afterwards they all took flight, and settled upon the hedge where they had first alighted, after leaving the parent stock; but instead of hanging together like a bunch of grapes, as when the queen was with them, and as swarms usually hang, they extended themselves thirty feet along the edge, in small bunches, of forty, fifty, or more. The queen was now presented to them, when all quickly gathered round her, with a joyful hum, and formed one harmonious cluster. At night the Doctor hived them again, and on the following morning repeated his experiment, to see whether the bees would rise; the queen being in a mutilated state, and unable to accompany them, they surrounded her for several hours, apparently will ing to die with her rather than desert her in distress. The queen was a second time removed, when they spread themselves out again, as though searching for
ber: her repeated restoration to them at different parts of their circle, produced one uniform result, "and these poor loyal and loving creatures, always marched and countermarched every way as the queen was laid." The Doctor persevered in these experiments, till after five days and nights of fasting, they all died of famine, except the queen, who lived a few hours longer, and then died. The attachment of the queen to the working bees, appeared to be equally as strong as their attachment to her; though offered honey on several occasions, during the period of her separation from them, she constantly refused it, "disdaining a life that was no life to her, without the company of those which she could not have."
In confirmation of the evidence of the queen's importance to the well-being of the community, I will advert to some experiments of HUBER. He removed a queen from one of his hives; the bees were not immediately aware of it, but continued their labours, watched over the young, and performed the whole of their ordinary occupations. In a few hours afterwards, agitation commenced, and all appeared to be a scene of tumult; a singular humming noise was heard, the bees deserted their young, and rushed over the surface of the combs with delirious impetuosity. On replacing the queen, tranquillity was instantly restored; and from what will be said presently, it appeared that they knew her individual person. Huber varied this experiment with other hives, in different ways; instead of restoring their own queen, he tried to substitute a stranger queen; the manner of her reception depended upon the period at which she was introduced. If twenty-four hours had elapsed after the removal of the queen, the stranger was well received, and at once admitted to the sovereignty of the hive. If not more than eighteen hours had elapsed, she was at first treated as a prisoner, but after a time permitted to reign. If the stranger was introduced within twelve hours, she was immediately surrounded by an impenetrable cluster of bees, and commonly died either from hunger or privation of air. It appeared, therefore, in the course of these experiments, that from twenty-four to thirty hours were required, for a colony to forget its sovereign, and that if, before the lapse of that period, no substitute were presented, they set about constructing royal cells, as stated in page 22; and moreover, that if, during the time they were so occupied, a princess was so brought to them, the fabrication of royal cells was instantly abandoned, and the larvae selected to occupy them were destroyed. On the admission of a welcome stranger queen, more regard is shewn her at first, than to a restored natural queen,—at least there are more conspicuous demonstrations of it: the nearest workers touch her with their antennae, and passing their proboscis over every part of their body, give her honey. In the cases above related, the bees all vibrated their wings at once, as if experiencing some agreeable sensations, and ranged themselves in a circle round her. Others, in succession, broke through this circle, and having repeated the same process, of touching her with their antennæ, giving her honey &c., formed themselves into a circle behind the others, vibrating their wings and keeping up a pleasurable hum. These demonstrations were continued for a quarter of an hour, when the queen beginning to move towards one part of the whole circle, an opening was made through which she passed, followed and surrounded by her customary guard.
We are sorry to have omitted in our last week's birthdays the name of Edward Jenner, the discoverer of Vaccination, a benefactor to his species. He was the son of a clergyman, and was born at Berkley in Gloucestershire, May 27th, (14th O. S.), 1749. We believe he was an amiable man in private, and a successful cultivator of elegant literature; but we cannot recollect our authorities. Health and beauty are greatly indebted to Jenner. "Sir," said Platoff, the Hetman of the Cossacks to him, when the Allied Foreign were in England, "you have extinguished the most pestilential disorder that ever appeared on the banks of the Don." But all the world are indebted to him. By the way, beauty itself began what science perfected; for inoculation was introduced into Christendom by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who brought it from Turkey.
We also omitted the name of Albert Durer, the father of Art in Germany, who was born at Nuremberg, June 2nd, (20th May, O. S.), 1471, and was the son of a goldsmith. Durer was quaint, and deficient in keeping, yet earnest in detail, picturesque, and not without the inspiration of true genius, as may be seen by his "Melancholy the mother of Invention," where a solemn female is looking out upon the mysteries of the uniHis genius was so truly German, that traces of the imitation of him are to be met with to this day, as in the picturesque quaint beards and adjusted attitudes of Retsch. Poor Albert had a wife who understood nothing about" Melancholy the Mother of Invention," and thought she could not add enough trouble to the painter's existence. She was a shrew. "The wife of
June 5th, (May 23rd, 1707, O. S.) at Rashult in Sweden, Carl or Charles Von Linné, better known by the Latinized name of Linnæus, the great naturalist and botanist. His father was a clergyman, of a family of peasants. The customs of Sweden were so primitive at that time, that people under the rank of nobility had no surnames; and by a sort of prophetic inclination, the family of Linnæus had designated themselves from a favourite linden or lime-tree, which grew near their abode; so that Carl von Linne meant Charles of the Lime-tree. The lime was not unworthy founded, requires more than an abrupt explanation of of being his godfather. The system of botany which he it to do it justice; but Linnæus was one of those original geniuses who saw nature in a new as well as true light; and like all men of that sort, whose pursuits are gentle, he was equally enthusiastic and good-hearted. He would have left Sweden when young, in consequence of the greater encouragement he received elsewhere, but he says he could not, for he was "in love." His love, however, was more the reflection of his own amiable qualities than resulting from any real merit in the object; for his wife turned out to be a bad, unfeeling woman, and became the torment of him and his family.-His eldest daughter discovered, that the nasturtium had the property of emitting sparks of light in warm summer evenings.
[We have just had a very apropos little manual sent us called "Clavis Botanica-A Key to the Study of Botany on the system arranged by Linnæus," printed and published by Mr. Fry of Houndsditch. It is a delicate pigmy book, printed on straw-coloured paper, and done up in rose-colour, a flower in itself; and it has the true simplicity, brevity, and easiness of an elementary book, so that a lover of flowers may take it at once in hand, and really learn from it what it professes to teach; which is far from being the case with all books of similar pretensions.]
June 9th, (May 27th, O. S. 1265) at Florence, Dante Alighieri, the greatest poet of Italy. Dante is a Christian name, a contraction of Durante. The Italians have always been fond of calling people by their Christian instead of surnames; and thus it is, that some of their famous countrymen have come down to us, known almost entirely by the former; as Rafael, whose surname was Sanzio; and Michael Angelo, who was a Buonarroti. The genius of Dante is admirable for a rare union of the austere and the tender. He is one of the great primitive poets who go to the heart of a matter by dint of the strongest feelings and the simplest words. He was in some respects however, not inferior to the violent passions of his time; and his poem of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, is a singular mixture of the noblest and most affecting genius, and the most partial and presumptuous bigotry.
ROMANCE OF REAL LIFE.
XVII. LADY ARABELLA STUART.
mences the Second Series of that work,—a portion with which the public are less acquainted than the First, but which, if our memory does not deceive us, is even more entertaining and curious than the former part. Two volumes are yet to make their appearance. The whole six will make an elegant and agreeable addition to every library that can afford them, being in fact a little world, in themselves, of anecdote and miscellaneous
Lady Arabella Stuart, a singular and affecting instance of the sacrifice of a human being to state-policy, was the great-great-grand-daughter of Henry the Seventh, by the marriage of his daughter Margaret with the Scottish house of the Darnleys, Earl of Lennox. By this descent, she stood next in blood royal and right of inheritance, to her cousin James the First, son of Mary Queen of Scots, wife of Lord Darnley, in case that prince had no issue; and hence arose the misfortunes so interestingly detailed by Mr. D'Israeli in the fourth volume of his newly published Curiosities of Literature. With the latter half of this volume, by the way, com
"The Lady Arabella," for by that name (says Mr. D'Israeli,) she is usually noticed by her contemporaries, rather than by her maiden name of Stuart, or by her married one of Seymour, as she latterly subscribed herself, was, by her affinity with James the First, and our Elizabeth, placed near the throne; too near, it seems, for her happiness and quiet! In their common descent from Margaret, the eldest daughter to Henry the Seventh, she was cousin to the Scottish monarch, but born an Englishwoman, which gave her some advantage in a claim to the throne of England. "Her double relation to royalty," says Mr. Lodge, "was equally obnoxious to the jealousy of Elizabeth and the timidity of James, and they secretly dreadedthe supposed danger of her having a legitimate offspring." Yet James himself, then unmarried, proposed for the husband of the Lady Arabella one of her cousins, Lord Esme Stuart, whom he had created Duke of Lenox, and designed for his heir. The first thing we hear of "The Lady Arabella," concerns a marriage: marriages were the incidents of her life, and the fatal event which terminated it was a marriage. Such was the secret spring on which her character and her misfortunes revolved.
This proposed match was desirable to all parties; but there was one greater than them all, who forbad the bans. Elizabeth interfered; she imprisoned the Lady Arabella, and would not deliver her up to the king, of whom she spoke with asperity, and even with contempt.* The greatest infirmity of Elizabeth was her mysterious conduct respecting the succession to the English throne; her jealousy of power, her strange unhappiness in the dread of personal neglect, made her averse to see a successor in her court, or even to hear of a distant one; in a successor she could only view a competitor. Camden tells us that she frequently observed that "most men neglected the setting sun," and this melancholy presentiment of personal neglect, this political coquette not only lived to experience, but even this circumstance of keeping the succession unsettled, miserably disturbed the queen on her deathbed. Her ministers, it appears, harassed her when she was lying speechless; a remarkable circumstance, which has hitherto escaped the knowledge of her numerous historians, and which I shall take the opportunity of disclosing in this work.
Elizabeth leaving a point so important always problematical, raised up the very evil she so greatly dreaded; it multiplied the aspirants, while every party humoured itself by selecting its own claimant, and none more busily than the continental powers. One of the most curious is the project of the Pope, who, intending to put aside James the First, on account of his religion, formed a chimerical scheme of uniting Arabella with a prince of the house of Savoy; the pretext, for without a pretext no politician moves, was their descent from a bastard of our Edward the Fourth; the Duke of Parma was, however, married; but the Pope, in his infallibility, turned his brother, the Cardinal, into the duke's substitute, by secularizing the churchman. In that case the Cardinal would then become King of England in right of this lady! provided he obtained the crown !+
We might conjecture from this circumstance, that Arabella was a Catholic, and so Mr. Butler has recently told us; but I know of no other authority than Dodd, the Catholic historian, who has inscribed her name among his party. Parsons, the wily Jesuit, was so doubtful how the lady, when young, stood disposed to Catholicism, that he describes her religion to be as tender, green, and flexible, as is her age and sex, and to be wrought hereafter, and to be settled according to future events and times." Yet, in 1611, when she was finally sent into confinement, one well-informed o, court affairs, writes, "that the Lady Arabella hath not been found inclinable to popery."‡
Even Henry the Fourth of France was not unfriendly to this papistical project of placing an Italian Cardinal on the English throne. It had always been the state interest of the French cabinet to favour any scheme which might preserve the realms of England and Scotland as separate kingdoms. The manuscript correspondence of Charles the Ninth with his ambassador at
• A circumstance which we discover by a Spanish memorial, when our James the First was negociating with the cabinet of Madrid. He complains of Elizabeth's treatment of him; tha the queen refused to give him his father's estates in England nor would deliver up his incie's daughter, Arabella, to be mar. ried to the Duke of Lenox, at which time the queen uso pala. bras muy asperas y de mucho desprechia contra el dicho Rey de Escocia; she used harsh words, expressing much contempt of the king.-Winwood's Mem. i. 4.
+ See a very curions letter, CCXCIX. of Cardinal de Ossat, Vol. V. The Catholic interest expected to facilitate the conquest of England by joining their armies with those of "Arbelle," and the commentator writes that this English lady had a party, consisting of all those English who had been the judges or the avowed enemies of Mary of Scotland, the mother of James the First.
† Winwood's Memorials, iii. 281.
who sighed for distinction, ambitioned the notice of the Lady Arabella; and she was so frequently contriving a marriage for herself, that a courtier of that day writing to another, observes, "these affectations of marriage in her do give some advantage to the world of impairing the reputation of her constant and virtuous disposition." The revels of Christmas had hardly closed, when the lady Arabella forgot that she had been forgiven, and She renewed a again relapsed into her old infirmity. connexion, which had commenced in childhood, with Mr. William Seymour, the second son of Lord Beauchamp, and grandson to the Earl of Hertford. His character has been finely described by Clarendon; he loved his studies and his repose; but when the civil wars broke out, he closed his volumes and drew his sword, and was both an active and a skilful general. Charles the First created him Marquis of Hertford, and governor of the prince; he lived to the Restoration, and Charles the Second restored him to the dukedom of Somerset.
the court of London, which I have seen, tends solely to this great purpose, and perhaps it was her French and Spanish allies which finally hastened the political martyrdom of the Scottish Mary.
Thus we have discovered two chimerical husbands of the Lady Arabella. The pretensions of this lady to the throne had evidently become an object with speculating politicians; and perhaps it was to withdraw herself from the embarrassments into which she was thrown, that, according to De Thou, she intended to marry a son of the Earl of Northumberland; but to the jealous terrors of Elizabeth, an English Earl was not an object of less magnitude than a Scotch Duke. This is the third shadowy husband.
When James the First ascended the English throne, there existed an anti-Scottish party. Hardly had the northern monarch entered into the "Land of Promise," when his southern throne was shaken by a foolish plot, which one writer calls "a state riddle;" it involved Rawleigh, and unexpectedly the lady Arabella. The Scottish monarch was to be got rid of, and Arabella was to be crowned. Some of these silly conspirators having written to her, requesting letters to be addressed to the King of Spain, she laughed at the letter she received, and sent it to the King. Thus for a second time was Arabella to have been Queen of England. This occurred in 1603, but was followed by no harsh measures from James the First.
In the following year, 1604, I have discovered that for the third time the lady was offered a crown! "A great ambassador is coming from the King of Poland, whose chief errand is to demand my Lady Arabella in marriage for his master. So may your princess of the blood grow a great queen, and then we shall be safe from the danger of missuperscribing letters."* This last passage seems to allude to something. What is meant of the danger of superscribing letters?"
If this royal offer were made, it was certainly forbidden. Can we imagine the refusal to have come from the lady, who, we shall see, seven years afterwards, complained that the king had neglected her, in not providing her with a suitable match? It was this very time that one of those butterflies, who quiver on the fair flowers of a court, writes that "My Lady Arabella spends her time in lecture reading, &c., and she will not hear of marriage. Indirectly there were speeches used in the recommendation of Count Maurice, who pretended to be Duke of Guildres. I dare not attempt her." Here we find another princely match proposed. Thus far, to the Lady Arabella, crowns and husbands were like a fairy banquet seen at moonlight, opening on her sight, impalpable and vanishing at the moment of approach.
Arabella, from certain circumstances, was dependant on the king's bounty, which flowed very unequally; often reduced to great personal distress, we find by her letters, "that "she prayed for present money, though it should not be annually." I have discovered that James at length granted her a pension. The royal favours, however, were probably limited to her good behaviour.
From 1604 to 1608, is a period which forms a blank leaf in the story of Arabella. In this last year this unfortunate lady had again fallen out of favour, and, as usual, the cause was mysterious, and not known even to the writer. Chamberlain, in a letter to Sir Ralph Winwood, mentions, "The Lady Arabella's business, whatsoever it was, is ended, and she restored to her former places and graces. The king gave her a cupboard of plate, better than 2001., for a new year's gift, and 1000 marks to pay her debts, besides some yearly addition to her maintenance, want being thought the chiefest cause of her discontentment, though she be not altogether free from suspicion of being collapsed."§ Another mysterious expression which would seem to allude either to politics or religion; but the fact appears by another writer to have been a discovery of a new project of marriage without the king's consent. This person of her choice is not named; and it was to divert her mind from the too constant object of her thoughts, that James, after a severe reprimand, had invited her to partake of the festivities of the court, in that season of revelry and reconciliation.
We now approach that event of the Lady Arabella's life, which reads like a romantic fiction, the catastrophe, too, is formed by the Aristotelian canon; for its misery, its pathos, and its terror, even romantic fiction has not exceeded!
It is probable that the king, from some political motive, had decided that the Lady Arabella should lead a single life; but such wise purposes frequently meet with cross ones; and it happened that no woman was ever more solicited to the conjugal state, or seems to have been so little averse to it. Every noble youth,
This manuscript letter from William, Earl of Pembroke, to Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, is dated from Hampton Court, Oct. 3, 1604. Sloane MSS. 4161.
+ Lodge's Illustrations of British History, iii. 286. It is curious to observe, that this letter, by W. Fowler, is dated on the same day as the manuscript letter I have just quoted, and is di rected to the same Earl of Shrewsbury; so that the Earl must have received, in one day, accounts of two different projects of marriage for his niece! This shows how much Arabella engaged the designs of foreigners and natives. Will Fowler was a rhyming and fantastical secretary to the queen of James the First.
Two letters of Arabella, on distress of money, are preserved by Ballard. The discovery of a pension I made in Sir Julius Caesar's manuscript, where one is mentioned of 1,6007. to the Lady Arabella. Sloane MSS., 4160.
Mr. Lodge has shown that the king once granted her the duty
Vinwood's Memorials, vol. iii., 117-119.
This treaty of marriage was detected in February, 1809, and the parties summoned before the privy council. Seymour was particularly censured for daring to ally himself with the royal blood, although that blood was running in his own veins. In a manuscript letter which I have discovered, Seymour addressed the lords of the privy council. The style is humble; the plea to excuse his intended marriage is, that being but a younger brother, and sensible of mine own good, unknown to the world, of mean estate, not born to challenge anything by my birthright, and therefore my fortunes to be raised by mine own endeavour, and as she is a lady of great honour and virtue, and, as I thought, of great means, I did plainly and honestly endeavour lawfully to gain her in marriage." There is nothing romantic in this apology, in which Seymour describes himself as a fortune-hunter! which, however, was probably done to cover his undoubted affection for Arabella, whom he had early known. He says, that "he conceived that this noble lady might, without offence, make the choice of any subject within this kingdom; which conceit was begotten in me upon a general report, after her ladyship's last being called before your lordships;t-that it might be." He tells the story of this ancient wooing-"I boldly intruded myself into her ladyship's chamber in the court on Candlemass day last, at what time I imparted my desire unto her, which was entertained, but with this caution on either part, that both of us resolved not to proceed to any final conclusion, without his majesty's most gracious favour first obtained. And this was our first meeting! After that we had a second meeting at Mr. Brigg's house in Fleet-street, and then a third at Mr. Baynton's, at both which we had the like conference and resolution as before." He assures their lordships that both of them had never intended marriage without his majesty's approbation.
But love laughs at privy-councils and the grave promises made by two frightened lovers. The parties were secretly married, which was discovered about July in the following year. They were then separately confined, the lady at the house of Sir Thomas Parry, at Lambeth, and Seymour in the Tower, for "his contempt in marrying a lady of the royal family without the king's leave."
This, their first confinement, was not rigorous; the lady walked in her garden, and the lover was prisoner at large in the Tower. The writer in the Biographia Britannica observes, "that some intercourse they had by letters, which, after a time was discovered." In this history of love there might be precious documents, and in the library at Long-leat, these loveepistles, or perhaps this volume, may yet lie unread in a corner.§ Arabella's epistolary talent was not vulgar: Dr. Montford, in a manuscript letter, describes one of those effusions which Arabella addressed to the king. "This letter was penned by her in the best terms, as she can do right well. It was often read without offence, nay it was even commended by his highness, with the applause of prince and council.” One of these amatory letters I have recovered. The circumstance is domestic, being nothing more at first than a very pretty letter on Mr. Seymour having taken cold, but, as every love-letter ought, it is not without a pathetic crescendo; the tearing away of hearts so firmly joined, while, in her solitary imprisonment, that he lived and was her own filled her spirit with that consciousness which triumphed even over that sickly frame so nearly subdued to death. The familiar style of James the First's age may bear comparison with our own. I shall give it entire.
"LADY ARABELLA TO MR. WILLIAM SEYMOUR. "Sir,
"I am exceeding sorry to hear you have not been well. I pray you let me know truly how you do, and what was the cause of it. I am not satisfied with the reason Smith gives for it; but if it be a cold, I will impute it to some sympathy betwixt us, having myself gotten a swollen cheek at the same time with a cold. For God's sake, let not your grief of mind work upon
your body. You may see by me what inconveniences it will bring one to; and no fortune, I assure you, daunts me so much as that weakness of body I find in myself; for si nous vivons l'age d'un veau, as Marot says, we may, by God's grace be happier than we look for, in being suffered to enjoy ourself with his majesty's favour. But if we be not able to live to it, for my part, shall think myself a pattern of misfortune, in enjoying so great a blessing as you, so little awhile. No separation but that deprives me of the comfort of you. For wheresoever you be or in what state soever you are, it sufficeth me you are mine! Rachel wept and would not be comforted, because her children were no more. And that, indeed, is the remediless sorrow, and none else! And, therefore, God bless us from that, and I will hope well of the rest, though I see no apparent hope. But I am sure God's book mentioneth many of his children in as great distress, that have done well after, even in this world! I do assure you nothing the state can do with me can trouble me so much as this news of your being ill doth; and you see when I am troubled, I trouble you with tedious kindness; for so I think you will account so long a letter, yourself not having written to me this good while so much as how you do. But, sweet sir, I speak not this to trouble you with writing but when you please. Be well, and I shall account myself happy in being
"Your faithful loving wife, "ARB. S." #
In examining the manuscripts of this lady, the defect of dates must be supplied by our sagacity. The following "petition," as she calls it, addressed to the king in defence of her secret marriage, must have been written at this time. She remonstrates with the king for what she calls his neglect of her; and while she fears to be violently separated from her husband, she asserts her cause with a firm and noble spirit, which was afterwards too severely tried!
"TO THE KING.
"May it please your most excellent Majesty, "I do most heartily lament my hard fortune that I should offend your Majesty the least, especially in that whereby I have long desired to merit of your Majesty, as appeared before your Majesty was my sovereign. And though your Majesty's neglect of me, my good liking of this gentleman that is my husband, and my fortune, drew me to a contract before I acquainted your Majesty, I humbly beseech your Majesty to consider how impossible it was for me to imagine it would be offensive to your Majesty, having few days before given me your royal consent to bestow myself on any subject of your Majesty's (which likewise your Majesty had done long since). Besides, never having been prohibited any, or spoken to for any, in this land, by your Majesty. these seven years that I have lived in your Majesty's house, I could not conceive that your Majesty regarded my marriage at all; whereas if your Majesty had vouchsafed to tell me your mind, and accept the freewill offering of my obedience, I would not have offended your Majesty, of whose gracious goodness I presume so much, that if it were now as convenient in a worldly respect, as malice make it seem to separate us, whom God hath joined, your Majesty would not do evil that good might come thereof, nor make me, that have the honour to be so near your Majesty in blood, the first precedent that ever was, though our princes may have left some as little imitable, for so good and gracious a king as your Majesty, as David's dealing with Uriah. But I assure myself, if it please your Majesty in your own wisdom to consider thoroughly of my cause, there will no solid reason appear to debar me of justice and your princely favour, which I will endeavour to deserve whilst I breathe."
It is indorsed, "A copy of my petition to the King's Majesty." In another she implores that “If the necessity of my state and fortune, together with my weakness, have caused me to do somewhat not pleasing to your Majesty, let it all be covered with the shadow of your royal benignity." Again, in another petition, she writes
'Touching the offence for which I am now punished, I most humbly beseech your Majesty, in your most princely wisdom and judgment, to consider in what a ' miserable state I had been, if I had taken any other course than I did; for my own conscience witnessing before God that I was then the wife of him that now I am, I could never have matched any other man, but to have lived all the days of my life as a harlot, which your Majesty would have abhorred in any (how otherwise unfortunate soever) to have any drop of your Majesty's blood in them."
I find a letter of Lady Jane Drummond, in reply to this or another petition, which Lady Drummond had given the queen to present to his Majesty. It was to learn the cause of Arabella's confinement. The pithy expression of James the First is characteristic of the monarch; and the solemn forebodings of Lady Drummond, who appears to have been a lady of excellent judgment, showed, by the fate of Arabella, how they were true."