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but an ordinary Russian will be displeased, if one even endeavours to gain the good will of his dog. I affronted the commandant of this town very highly, by permitting his dog to walk with me one afternoon. He expostulated with me very seriously about it. This is not the only instance. I live with a young Russian officer, with whom I came from Irkutsk; no circumstances ever interrupted the harmony between us, but his dogs. They have done it twice. A pretty little puppy he has came to me one day and jumped upon my knee: The man I patted his head and gave him some bread. flew at the dog in the utmost rage, and gave him a blow which broke his leg. The lesson I gave him on the occasion has almost cured him; I bid him beware how he disturbed my peace a third time by this rascally passion."
Upon his return to London he called upon his friend, Sir Joseph Banks, who inquired what were his future intentions. The result was an introduction to the African Association; a society just then formed to encourage travellers to explore the interior of Africa. The following is an extract from the proceedings of the African Association; it is written by Mr. Beaufoy, the Secre
"Sir Joseph Banks, who knew his temper, told him, that he believed he could recommend him to an adventure almost as perilous as one from which he had returned, and then communicated to him the wishes of the Association for discovering the inland countries of Africa. Ledyard replied, that he had always determined to traverse the Continent of Africa, as soon as he had explored the interior of North America; and as Sir Joseph had offered him a letter of introduction, he came directly to the writer of these memoirs. Before I had learned from the note the name and business of my visitor, Iwas struck with the manliness of his person, the breadth his chest, the openness of his countenance, and the inquietude his eye. I spread the map of Africa before him, and tracing a line from Cairo to Sennaar, and from thence westward in the latitude, and supposed direction of the Niger, I told him, that was the route by which I was anxious that Africa might, if possible, be explored. He said, he should think himself singularly fortunate to be trusted with the adventure. I asked him when he would set out? 'To-morrow morning,' was his answer. I told him that I was afraid that we should not be able, in so short a time, to prepare his instructions, and to procure for him the letters that were requisite; but that if the Committee should approve of his proposal, all expedition should be used."
Hitherto in all his undertakings, Ledyard had been baffled by the most disheartening disappointments; now every thing seemed propitious; he had money at command, and influencial men anxious to forward his views. Accordingly, he left London on the thirtieth of June. Mr. Beaufoy speaks of the interview he had with him, just as he was setting off, and adds these affecting remarks, as given in Ledyadr's own words :"I am accustomed,' said he, in our last conversation, ('twas on the morning of his departure for Africa), 'I am accustomed to hardships. I have known both hunger and nakedness to the utmost extremity of human suffering. I have known what it is to have food given me as charity to a madman; and I have at times been obliged to shelter myself under the miseries of that character, to avoid a heavier calamity. My distresses have been greater than I have ever owned, or ever will own, to any man. Such evils are terrible to bear; but they never yet had power to turn me from my purpose. If I live, I will faithfully perform, in its utmost extent, my engagement to the society; and if I perish in the attempt, my honour will still be safe, for death cancels all bonds.''
From Cairo he writes thus to Mr. Jefferson.
all events, I shall never want a subject, when it is to you I write. I shall never think my letter an indifferent one, when it contains the declaration of my gratitude and my affection for you; and this, notwithstanding you thought hard of me for being employed by an English Association, which hurt me much while I was at Paris. You know your own heart, and if my suspicions are groundless, forgive them, since they proceed from the jealousy I have, not to lose the regard you have in times passed been pleased to honour me with. You are not obliged to esteem me, but I am obliged to esteem you, or to take leave of my senses, and confront the opinions of the greatest and best characters I know. If I cannot, therefore, address myself to you as a man you regard, I must do it as one that regards you for your own sake, and for the sake of my country, which has set me the example."
His exertions, under the influence of the Egyptian climate, produced a bilious complaint; to alleviate which, he took vitriolic acid; but in so immoderate a quantity, most probably from mistake, that it caused a burning and intolerable pain, which terminated in death. The precise day of his death is not known, but it happened somewhere about the end of November, 1788. He was then in the thirty-eighth year of his age. The following description of him, is from the pen of Mr. Beaufoy:
"To those who have never seen Mr. Ledyard, it may not perhaps, be uninteresting to know that his person, though scarcely exceeding the middle size, was remarkably expressige of activity and strength; and that his manners, though unpolished, were neither uncivil nor unpleasing. Little attentive to difference of rank, he seemed to consider all men as his equals, and as such
he respected them. His genius, though, uncultivated
His letters afford abundant proofs of a sweet dispo-
"I have observed among all nations, that the women ornament themselves more than the men; that whereever found, they are the same kind, civil, obliging, humane, tender beings; that they are ever inclined to be gay and cheerful, timorous and modest. They do not hesitate, like men, to perform a hospitable or generous action; not haughty, nor arrogant, nor supercilious, but full of courtesy, and fond of society; industrious, economical, ingenuous; more liable, in general, to err than man, but in general, also, more virtuous, and performing more good actions than he. I never addressed myself in the language of decency and friendship, to a woman, whether civilized or savage, without receiving a decent and friendly answer. With man it has often been otherwise. In wandering over the barren plains of inhospitable Denmark, through honest Sweden, frozen Lapland, rude and churlish Finland, unprincipled Russia, and the wide spread regions of the wandering Tartar, if hungry, dry, cold, wet, or sick, woman has ever been friendly to me, and uniformly so; and to add to this virtue, so worthy of the appellation of benevolence, these actions have been performed in so free and so kind a manner, that, if I was dry, I drank the sweet draught, and, if hungry, ate the coarse morsel, with a double relish."
A HAUNTED HOUSE.
In one of the baronial castles of the north, which had been uninhabited for years, there was heard at times such extraordinary noises, as to confirm the opinion among the country people that the place was haunted. In the western tower an old couple were permitted to live, who had been in the service of the former lord, but so imbued were they with the superstitions of the country, that they never went to bed without expecting to hear the cries of the disturbed spirits of the mansion. An old story was current, that an heir apparent had been murdered by an uncle, that he might possess the estate, who, however, after enjoying it for a time, was so annoyed by the sounds in the castle, that he retired with an uneasy conscience from the domain, and died in France.
Not many years ago, the property descended to a branch of the female line, (one of the heroes of Waterloo,) who, nothing daunted, was determined to make this castle his place of residence. As the noises were a subject of real terror to his tenantry, he formed the resolution of sleeping in the castle on the night he took possession, in order to do away these superstitious fears. Not a habitable room could be found, except the one occupied by the old gardener in the western turret, and he ordered his camp-bed to be set up in that apartment. It was in the autumn, at nightfall, that he repaired to the gloomy abode, leaving his servant, to his no small comfort, at the village inn; and after having found everything comfortably provided, turned the large old rusty key upon the antiquated pair, who took leave of him, to lodge at a farm hard by. It was one of those nights which are checkered with occasional gleams of moonshine and darkness, when the clouds are riding in a high wind. He slept well for the two first hours, he was then wakened by a low mournful sound that ran through the apartments. This warned him to be up and accoutred. He descended the turret stairs with a brilliant light, which, on coming to the ground floor, cast a gigantic shadow of himself upon the high embattled walls. Here he stood and listened; when presently a hollow moan ran through the long corridor, and died away. This was followed by one of a higher key, a sort of scream, which directed his footsteps with more certainty to the spot. Pursuing the sounds, he found himself in the great hall of his ancestors, and vaulting upon the large oaken table, set down his lamp, and folding his cloak about him, determined to wait the appearance of all that was terrible. The night, which had been stormy, became suddenly still: the dark flitting clouds had sunk below the horizon, and the moon insinuated her silvery light through the chinks of the mouldering pile As our hero had spent the morning in the chase, Morpheus came unbidden, and, he fell asleep upon the table. His dream was short,
for close upon him issued forth the horrid groan; amazed, he started up and sprang at the unseen voice, fixing with a powerful blow his Toledo steel in the The blade was fast, and held him to the snot. At this moment the moon shot a ray that illumined the hall, and showed that behind the waving folds, there lay the cause concealed. His sword he left, and to the turret retraced his steps. When morning came, a welcome crowd greeting, asked him if he had met the ghost? "Oh yes," replied the knight, "dead as a door nail, behind the screen he lies, where my sword has pinned him fast; bring the wrenching bar, and we'll haul the disturber out." With such a leader, and broad day to boot, the valiant throng tore down the screen where the sword was fixed; when lo! in a recess, lay the fragments of a chapel organ, and the square wooden trunks, made for hallowed sounds, were used as props, to stay the work when the hall was coated round with oak. The wondering clowns now laughed aloud at the mysterious voice. It was the northern blast that found its way through the crannies of the wall to the groaning pipes, which had alarmed the country round for a century past.-Gardner's Music of Nature.
THE ITALIAN BOY.
I HAD only just heard of the murder of the poor wan-
of the "Madonna and Child."
FREDERICK ARNAY. Affecting proof of a loving disposition.-Three months before her death, (his wife's,) when she was so afflicted with an asthma that she could neither walk, stand, sit, or lie, but while on a chair, I was obliged to support her head, I told her that she never approached me without diffusing a ray of pleasure over the mind, except when any little disagreement had happened between us. She replied, "I can say more than that. You never appeared in my sight, not even in anger, without that sight giving me pleasure." I received the dear remark as I now write it, with tears.-. --Hutton's Autobiography. Hutton was a good and clever man, and with allowance for something a little coarse, a man fit to engage the heart of a sensible and estimable woman; but the compliment here paid him by his wife, though of the highest description, implies still more merit in herself than in him.
Singular Frontispiece to an edition of one of the classics, published about fifty years since on the Continent. The copper-plate which faces the title-page represents, on one side, Christ upon the cross, and on the other, a figure of the author, from whose mouth a label issues with the following words, "Lord Jesus, lovest thou me?" His question is thus answered by another label affixed to the mouth of the figure addressed; "Highly famed, excellent, and most learned Rector Seger, imperial poet, and well deserving master of the School at Wittenberg: yes, thou knowest that I love thee!!!" This is in similar taste to the portrait of the Spanish grandee, who was represented standing with his hat in his hand before an image of the Virgin Mary, the virgin saying to him, by the like help of a label, "Cousin, be covered."
Affecting Association of Ideas.-Poggio has commemorated in his Facetiæ, (Jest-book) a mortifying explanation which a noisy declaimer provoked by his over-weening vanity. A monk preaching to the populace, made a most enormous and uncouth noise, by which a good woman, one of his auditors, was so much affected, that she burst into a flood of tears. preacher, attributing her grief to remorse of conscience, excited within her by his eloquence, sent for her, and asked her why she was so piteously affected by his discourse. "Holy father," answered the mourner, “I am a poor widow, and was accustomed to maintain myself by the labor of an ass, which was left me by my late husband. But alas! my poor beast is dead, and your preaching brought his braying so strongly to my re, collection, that I could not restrain my grief."
We shall commence our promised notice to our friends next week.
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* For more detailed notices see also the greater part of the London and Provincial Press, Religious Periodicals, &c. &c.
THE ISLE OF WIGHT,
The following (the only correct Guides" extant) are now ready, Corrected to 1834, Viz. :-
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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18, 1834.
nicety of question or of creation,-of the intellectual or
We agree with him. The mere fancy of a pinch of
Editor. You apprehend the delicacy of it to a nicety. You will allow, nevertheless, by virtue of the same fineness of perception, that even when you discern, or chuse to discern, neither hue, scent, nor substance in it, still there is a very sensible pleasure realized, the moment the pinch is offered.
TO THE PUBLIC.
We have the pleasure of informing the vendors of this Journal in town and country, and all other friends, that some obstacles which stood in the way of its hour of publication are now removed, and that they can have it in any part of the kingdom, at the time most convenient to them.
A PINCH OF SNUFF.
WILL the reader take a pinch of snuff with us?
Editor. How do you like it?
Reader. In fact, one may perceive in it just what one pleases, or nothing at all.
Editor. Exactly that.
Reader. Those who take no snuff whatever, or even hate it, may take this and be satisfied. Ladies, nay brides, may take it.
Editor. You have it-that which loosens the tongues of people in omnibuses, and helps to thaw even the frozen-heartedness of diplomacy.
Reader. I beg your pardon for a moment, but is thaw, my dear Sir, the best word you could have chosen? Snuff can hardly be said to thaw.
Editor. (Aside. This it is to set readers upon being critical, and help them to beat their teachers. You are right-What shall we say? To dissipate-to scatter -to make evaporate? To blow up in a sneeze?
Reader. I will leave you to judge of that.
Editor. (Aside. His politeness is equal to his criticism. Oh penny, two-penny, and three-halfpenny trash!" You will end in ruining the trade of your inventors!) My dear reader, I wish I could give you snuff made of the finest Brazil, in a box of diamond. But good will is the flower of all snuff-taking; and luckily a pinch of that may be taken equally as well out of horn, or of invisible wood, as of the gifts of emperors. This is the point I was going to speak of. The virtues of snuff itself may be doubted; but the benevolence of an offered pinch and the gratitude of an accepted one, are such good things, and snuff-takers have so many occasions of interchanging these, that it is a question whether the harm of the self-indulgence (if any) is not to be allowed for the sake of the social benefit.
A grave question! Let us consider it a little, with the seriousness becoming snuff-takers, real or imaginary. They are a reflecting race; no men know better that every thing is not a trifle which appears to be such in uncleared eyes; any more than every thing is grand, which is of serious aspect or dimensions. A snuff-taker looks up at some mighty error, takes his pinch, and shakes the imposture, like the remnant of the pinch, to atoms, with one "flesh-quake" of head, thumb, and indifference. He also looks into some little
But this is only a small instance of what must have
Hi motus animorum, atque hæc certamina tanta,
PRICE THREE HALFPENCE.
tants of a newly-discovered island? And to provoke the poor nose in this manner! and call people's attention to it! A late physician, whom we had the pleasure of knowing, and who had a restless temperament, used to amuse us, as he sat pondering in his chair, with taking up a pair of scissors, and delicately poking the tip of his tongue with it,-thus taking delight in the borders of an uneasy sensation, for want of a better. We have often thought, that a snuff-taker, fond of a potent snuff, might as well addict himself to the doctor's scissors; or puncture any other part of his face with a fork at once. Elegant fork-takers might have boxes with little instruments made accordingly, and politely offer them to the company to poke their cheeks with. Or they might hover about the eyes; or occasionally practise some slight scarification. Bleeding is accounted cephalick.
It is curious to see the various modes in which people take snuff. Some do it by little fits and starts, and get over the thing quickly. These are epigrammatic snuff-takers, who come to the point as fast as possible, and to whom the pungency is every thing. They generally use a sharp and severe snuff,-a sort of essence of pin's points. Others are all urbanity and polished demeanour; they value the style as much as the sensation, and offer the box around them as much out of dignity as benevolence. Some take snuff irritably, others bashfully, others in a manner as dry as the snuff itself, generally with an economy of the vegetable; others, with a luxuriance of gesture, and a lavishness of supply, that announces a moister arti cle, and sheds its superfluous honours over neckcloth and coat. Dr. Johnson's was probably a snuff of this kind. He used to take it out of his waistcoat-pocket, instead of a box. There is a species of long-armed snuff-taker, that performs the operation in a style of potent and elaborate preparation, ending with a sudden activity. But smaller and rounder men sometimes attempt it. He first puts his head on one side; then stretches forth the arm, with pinch in hand; then brings round his hand, as a snuff-taking elephant might his trunk; and, finally, shakes snuff, head, and nose together, in a sudden vehemence of convulsion. His eyebrows all the while are lifted up, as if to make the more room for the onset; and when he has ended, he draws himself back to his perpendicular; and generally proclaims the victory he has won over the insipidity of the previous moment, by a sniff and a great "Hah!"
We foresee that this article will be too long for the present number. We must finish it in our next.
Yet snuff-taking is an odd custom. If we came suddenly upon it in a foreign country, it would make us split our sides with laughter. A grave gentleman takes a little casket out of his pocket, puts a finger and thumb in, brings away a pinch of a sort of powder, and then with the most serious air possible, as if he was doing one of the most important actions of his life (for even with the most indifferent snuff-takers there is a certain look of importance), proceeds to thrust, and keep thrusting it, at his nose! after which he shakes his head, or his waistcoat, or his nose itself, or all three, in the style of a man who has done his duty, and satisfied the most serious claims of his well-being. What should we say to this custom among the inhabi
From 18th to 25th of June inclusive.
NEXT Tuesday is Midsummer Day. Let us see if we cannot pass it with Shakspeare, by help of his "Midsummer Night's Dream." What a dream for a fullgrown poet, hacknied (as might be supposed) in the ways of the world! Milton, when he conjures up visions of bridal festivity, calls them
Such sights as youthful poets dream;
but Shakspeare was always young. The last play he wrote was Twelfth Night, with Viola in it, -a lover's play! The Midsummer Night's Dream, with its two fond maidens, and its pretty cross-purposes between the four lovers, is another of the same kind. No man could have written it, who had not gone through
all the faith and worship of the passion when young, and who did not retain a capability of it in the goodness of his heart. Shakspeare's genius, like the trees, was always prepared to put forth the youngest and tenderest blossom.
Did he actually dream this dream? We should not have wondered. While Burleigh was dreaming of despatches, and Sir Thomas Gresham of the Exchange, it is far from impossible that Shakspeare might have dreamt of lovers, and woods, and fairies. But at all events the play shews what he thought a fit dream for a night at Midsummer. And we may all partake of his dreams, at least by day, -politicians, merchants, and all. It will do none of us any harm, any more than a country walk, or the sound of the trees near the country houses that we possess, or hope to possess. It refreshes us for our tasks; helps us to remoteness and recreation, at a minute's notice, and in the intervals of our toil; makes the commonest in-door luncheon as if we took it on the grass, by the side of a brook, or in a June hay-field. Let us see how much June and Midsummer we can pick out of his play. Here is a morning by the sea-side, to begin with,— -a picture uniting Claude and Titian. "I," says Oberon the fairy, (and Shakspeare might have said so to)—
I with the morning's love,* have oft made sport,
A BOWER FOR NOON.
I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows, 'Where ox-lips† and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with lush‡ woodbine, With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine.
All these "offices" are to be done in the "third part of a minute." A truly pigmy division of time, without being made too little. An inferior poet might have said the tenth part of a minute; but there are probabilities in Fairy-land as elsewhere; and Shakspeare must stick to truth!
TITANIA RECOMMENDS HER LOVE TO THE FAIRIES.
It is Mr. Hazlitt, we think, who has noticed the luxurious effect of the repetition of the rhyme in this passage :
Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
some of whose verses from an oblivion too well merited
NIGHTINGALES, VIOLETS, AND DEW-DROPS
"THE monosyllabic terminations of the following lines produce (observes Mr. Mr. Wilmott) an inharmonious effect, but the imagery is very rural.
"Tell me, sad Philomel, that yonder sits't
"The picture (continues the critic) of "the snake
"The following verses upon the "velvet-headed vio-
Like little watery worlds, within your azure sky,"
ROMANCE OF REAL LIFE.
verted from idolatry by certain missionaries of the Society of Jesus, and that he was obliged to fly from the vengeance of the Japanese, whose hatred used to be described as particularly virulent against Christianity" in all its forms.
The singularity of this relation, and the apparent simplicity of the stranger's manners, induced the Colonel, and Innes, his regimental chaplain, an unprincipled profligate, to take him under their protection. Psalmanazar accompanied them to England, and was soon after introduced to the Bishop of London, who listened to his account with pity and implicit faith, became his patron, contributed generously towards his support, and rewarded with considerable preferment, the chaplain Innes, who was aware of, and had early detected the cheat, but considered it as a convenient step to patronage.
By favour of the Bishop of Oxford, who proved a warm advocate in his cause, Psalmanazar was enabled to improve himself in his studies, and convenient apartments were provided for him in one of the colleges of that university. To impress his neighbours at this place with proper ideas of his intense and unceasing application, it was his custom to keep lighted candles in his room during the night, and to sleep in an easy chair that his bed-maker, finding his bed untumbled (and not failing to repeat the circumstance)
So let the friendly prickle never dig
Thy watchful breast with wound or small or big,
Th' unwary foot, while thou perchance hang'st half might not suppose he indulged in so unphilosophical and illiterate a refreshment, as going to bed; he would also occasionally lament the noise and interruptions of certain young men in an adjoining apartment, who preferred the joys of wine and good fellowship, to solitude and midnight studies.
On his return to London, he drew up, at the desire of his ecclesiastic friends, a Version of the Church Catechism, in what he called his native tongue, which was examined by the learned, found regular and grammatical, and pronounced a real language and no counterfeit. By these and other conciliating arts, the supplies of his patrons continued liberal, and he was enabled to lead an idle, and in some instances, when he was thrown off his guard, an extravagant life. The person of our Formosan was far from being attractive, but his qualities, it is said, were thought otherwise by some fashionable ladies, one of whom is reported to have exclaimed, "I positively shall never be easy till Ț have been introduced to this strange man with a hard name, who has fled from Japan, and eats raw mcat."
But many of his friends were offended by such conduct; and the critics, and among others, Dr. Douglas, "the scourge of impostors, the terror of quacks," could not rest till their doubts and incredulity were justified. They pointed out various absurdities and many contradictions, in his narrative, as well as in his declarations; he was gradually lowered in the general esteem, his benefactors silently withdrew their support;-the fraud was at length understood; the favour of the public converted, by a natural process, into resentment; and those who had originally given warning against the im posture, did not forget to increase the confusion of their opponents, by ridicule and sarcasm.
The situation of Psalmanazer thus became critical. Detected, and almost deserted, his subsistence was precarious, but having displayed in his assumed character considerable abilities, and having cultivated an extensive acquaintance with a class of men, who have been pronounced the best patrons of literary adventure, he was employed by the booksellers in a periodic pub
GEORGE PSALMANAZAR, a man of learning, of un-
12mo. pp. 363. Parker, West Strand.
The artful conduct of the stranger, in producing and speaking a language, alphabet, and grammar, purely of his own invention, and of his eating raw meat, roots, and herbs, soon rendered him an object of public notice, and occasioned much curious disquisition between many characters of the first rank in church and state The keen-eyed scepticism of the Doctors Halley, Mead, and Woodward, rescued them, however, from the charge of blind credulity, in which many of their respectable contemporaries were involved; these gentie. men had cried down Psalmanazar as an arrant rogue from the beginning.
The most sanguine hopes of the impostor, could he have silenced the accusation of his own heart, appear to have been crowned with success, and he derived liberal contributions from the pity, the curiosity, or the folly of mankind, who considered it their duty as Christians and as men, to protect an unfortunate fugitive, who had suffered in the cause of truth.
Psalmanazar drew up, in Latin, an account of the Island of Formosa, a consistent and entertaining work, which was translated and hurried through the press, had a rapid sale, and is quoted, without suspicion, by Buffon, whilst his adherence to certain singularities in his manners and diet, gathered from popular opinion, o, from books, considerably strengthened the imposition. for the carrying on of which he was eminently qualir fied, by possessing a command of countenance, tempe and recollection, which no perplexity, rough usage, or cross examination, could ruffle or derange.
His memory was, at the same time, so correctly tenacious, that after the exercise of habit, in verbal arrangement, on being desired to translate a long list of English words into the Formosan language, they were marked down without his knowledge, and his credit was considerably corroborated by his correctly fixing the same terms to the same words, three, six, or even twelve months afterwards. In this manner his imposture had been first discovered by Innes, but this disgrace to his cloth suppressed what he knew, and joined in the fraud, from sinister motives.
lication, and lastly in a Universal History, a considerable portion of the ancient part of which was committed to his care.
By degrees he became quiet, untalked of, and comparatively respectable, and he privately confessed his imposture. He could never be prevailed on to disclose his real name and country, (supposed to be the South of France); he was afraid, he said, of disgracing his family; but the imposition he confessed thoroughly, adding to his confession all the marks of remorse. His repentance was sincere, in the opinion of Dr. Johnson, who used to say that the sorrows of Psalmanazer, in speaking of his deception, were heartfelt, strong, and energetic, like those of Peter after the denial of his Saviour, when he went out and wept bitterly; it was no common grief, arising from blasted hopes, but a real hatred of himself for the crime he had committed, and a dread of that punishment which he thought he deserved. His frame on these occasions was shaken and convulsed, his face drowned in tears, and his utterance choked with sobs; a spectacle which no feeling man could behold without emotion, or consider as produced by any thing short of real anguish.
Upon the whole, Psalmanazer appears to have been
a clever, weak, and not bad-hearted man, whose vanity supported him in his falsehood till he got tired of it, and who then took extreme pity on himself and so was drowned in tears. The best point about him, and which shews his nature to have been good in the main, was his being able to sit down quietly and earn an honest living.
(From the Common Place Book of a bookish Comedian.) "There is nothing new under the sun."
My motto is nearly "as old as the hills," yet in spite of proverbial wisdom, and the march of intellect; John Bull still retains all his inordinate passion for novelties, and eagerly welcomes every supposed rarity with his usual cuckoo cry, "wonderful, wonderful! and most wonderful wonderful!! and yet again wonderful!!! and after that out of all whooping !!!!." In reality, however, most modern marvels, are merely reproduced, or reimported objects of ancient popularity, and the fashionable plaudits of to-day, only echo the acclamations bestowed by the children of Cockeney on similar exhibitions some centuries past. Public shows of animal sagacity are to be traced from very remote antiquity. It is asserted by classical authority that the effeminate Sybarites taught their horses to tread a measure "in graceful motion to harmonious sounds," and even elephants were displayed on the tight rope in imperial Rome. Zoological exercises are of early record in Britain.
Cæsar bears testimony to the skill of the Aborigines in managing their coursers when he first invaded the island, and Mr. Suktt in his "Sports and Pastimes" has copied from an M. S. of the fourteenth century, in the Bodleian collection, several curious sketches of horse display, with various others, one representing a cock dancing on stilts to the music of a pipe and tabor, and another, a hare standing on his hind legs whilst beating the latter instrument. At a later period, Ben Jonson, also, enumerates among the amusements of Bartholo
mew Fair, "The Hare o' th' Taber" and a company of dogs that danced the morris. From the same minute painter of manners and customs, it appears that the "Industrious Fleas" now "all alive" in Regent Street, are not original in their achievements, for Lovewit, in "The Alchemist" of 1610, mentions among the "curiosities" then to be seen in London "the fleas that run at tilt upon a table." In the present age, the quadrupeds trained by Ducrow, though they may do every thing but speak, will never equal in fame, Bankes's celebrated bay horse, Morocco, so frequently alluded to by Shakspeare and his poetic brethren of the Elizabethian era; nor will the name of Ducrow himself, though the daring of his unrivalled equestrian feats, might lead a spectator to imagine he bore "a charmed life," descend to posterity with the singular honours that closed the career of Bankes and his learned steed at Rome, where the skill of Morocco in arithmetic, dancing, dice playing, and other accomplishments (some not very decorous), aroused the horrors of superstition to such a degree, that both the master and his docile pupil were, as rare Ben" records in one of his epigrams, "burned for one witch" by command from the Pope, who decided that the wonders witnessed must be effected by too familiar an acquaintance with a certain personage unmentionable to "ears polite." Of biped prodigies, I presume, the most remarkable now extant, is the musical magician, who when he first drew bow in Britain, was shrewdly suspected of practising, like poor Bankes, "arts inhibited and out of warrant." Indeed, a poet not unknown to fame, openly sang, scarce seven days since of this "observed of all observers"
ested by accidentally meeting in the course of my desultory studies, with some notices of another individual, so extraordinary in their coincidence of circumstances as almost "makes me waver in belief, to hold opinion with Pythagoras," for admitting the possibility of spiritual transmigration, I should at once say that the mortal frame of the Italian maestro, is but the temporary tenement of a wandering soul; perhaps, in its primeval state, the animating essence of Orpheus, but which in the Seventeenth Century inhabited the body of "Thomas Baltzar, a Lubeckerborne" who in 1658, at Oxford, Anthony a Wood (according to his autobiography), "did then and there, to his very great astonishment, heare play on the violin. He then saw him run up his fingers to the end of the finger board of the violin, and run them back insensibly, and all with alacrity and in very good time, which he nor any in England saw the like before." At a subsequent meeting, Baltzar "played to the wonder of all the auditory and exercising his fingers and instrument several wayes to the utmost of his power; Wilson, thereupon the public professor (the greatest judge of music that ever was), did, after his humoursome way, stoop downe to Baltzar's feet, to see whether he had a Huff-on, that is to say, whether he was a Devil or not, because he acted
beyond the parts of man." The sensation created here by Paganini's first appearance among "the greatest judges of music that ever was," is so well known, and corresponds so completely with honest Anthony's narrative, that any further comment were a waste of words, but whether the mysterious incarnation of melody, in question, brought with him "airs from heaven, or blasts from hell," most assuredly it is very fortunate for the corporeal covering at present worn by him, that Auto da fés are no longer in fashion.
With these surmises respecting the unearthly powers of Paganini floating in my memory, I was much inter
Our correspondent may be right, to a certain extent, in saying that "there is nothing new under the sun;" but he will allow that it is difficult to say how far old genius may not revive with new variations; and surely it is a fine thing to have it back again at all. One of the very delights we feel in the playing of Paganini, arises from reflecting that the wonderful things one hears about the ancient Greek music are possibly realized in his "magic shell." The sun itself, under which there is nothing new, is a fine thing. We are glad of its shining, though our ancestors had it in the times of Orpheus and Solomon.
THE READER DOMESTICATED WITH THE OLD DUTCH COLONISTS AT THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.
WE always wish, when we give an extract in the "London Journal," to give one of as complete a character as possible, something that comes home to the greatest number of people's feelings, and that comprises within its limits an entire and satisfactory account of what it undertakes to describe. We are particularly anxious that this should be the case, when the extract is long; and such we conceive to be the character of the following domestic picture, from Mr. Pringle's African Sketches,-a book that has lately issued from the shop of one who publishes nothing that is not worthy of reception. Mr. Moxon.
ON riding up to the place, which consisted of three or four thatched houses, and a few reed cabins (hartebeest huisjes) inhabited by the Hottentot dependents, we were encountered by a host of some twenty or thirty dogs, which had been lying about in the shade of the huts, and now started up around us, open-mouthed, with a prodigious clamour, as is generally the case at every farm-house on the approach of strangers. In daylight, these growling guardians usually confine themselves to a mere noisy demonstration; but at night, it is often a matter of no small peril to approach a farm-house, for many of these animals are both fierce and powerful, and will not hesitate to attack a stranger, if, in their eyes, he has the ill luck to appear in any way suspicious. The barking of the dogs brought out Arend Coetzer, one of the farmer's sons, from the principal dwelling-house, a frank young fellow who had previously visited us at at Glen-Lynden. Seeing us thus beset, he came instantly to our help against the canine rabble, whom he discomfited with great vigour by hurling at them a few of the half-gnawed bones and bullocks horns which were lying about the place. The young boor was rejoiced to see me, and introduced me to his mother and sisters--a quiet looking matron, and two bashful girls, who now made their appearance from the house. My companion was already known to them. "Wil mynheer afzadel?" ("Will the gentleman unsaddle?") was the first enquiry. I readily agreed, intending indeed, though it was still early in the afternoon, to spend the night in this place, with the view of becoming better acquainted with our rustic neighbours.
On entering the house, I found that the old boor had not risen from his afternoon nap or siesta, a habit which is generally prevalent throughout the colony. He was not long, however, in making his appearance; and after shaking hands with a sort of gruff heartiness,
he took down a bottle of brandy from a shelf, and urged me to drink a dram (zoopgi) with him, assuring me that it was good brandewyn, distilled by himself from his own peaches. I tasted the spirit, which was colourless, with something of the flavour of bad whiskey; but preferred regaling myself with a cup of tea, which had in the meanwhile been prepared and poured out for me by the respectable and active-looking dame, This tea-water is made by a decoction rather than an infusion, of the Chinese leaf, and being diluted with a certain proportion of boiling water, without any admixture of milk or sugar, is offered to any visitor who may chance to arrive during the heat of the day. A small tin-box, containing sugar-candy, is sometimes handed round with the “tea-water," from which each person takes a little bit to keep in his mouth, and thus to sweeten, in frugal fashion, the beverage, as he swallows it. During this refreshment, I carried on a tolerably fluent conversation in broken Dutch with my host, and his huisvrouw (housewife); and gratified them by communicating the most recent information I possessed of the state of European politics; respecting which, old Coetzer was very inquisitive.
The domicile of my hospitable neighbours, in which we were thus seated, was not calculated to suggest any ideas of peculiar comfort of an Englishman. It was somewhat of the size and appearance of an old
fashioned Scotch barn. The walls were thick and substantially built, of strong adhesive clay, a material, which being well prepared or tempered, in the manner of mortar for brick making, and raised in successive layers, soon acquires, in this dry climate, a great degree of hardness, and is considered scarcely inferior, in point of durability, to burned brick. These walls, which were about nine feet high, and tolerably smooth and straight, had been plastered over within and without, with a composition of sand and cow-dung; and this being afterwards well white-washed with a sort of pipe-clay, or with lime made of burned shells, the whole had a very clean and light appearance.
The roof was neatly thatched, with a species of hard
rushes, which are considered much more durable and less apt to catch fire than straw. There was no ceiling under the roof, but the rafters over head were hung with a motley assemblage of several sorts of implements and provisions, such as hunting apparatus, dried flesh of various kinds of game, large whips of rhinoceros and
hippopotamus hide (termed Sjamboks), leopard and lion skins, ostrich eggs and feathers, dried fruit, strings of onions, rolls of tobacco, bamboos for whip handles, calabashes, and a variety of other articles. A large pile of fine home-made soap graced the top of a partition wall.
The house was divided into three apartments; the one in which we were seated, (called the voorhuis) (forehouse) opened immediately from the air, and in the apartment in which the family always sit, eat, and receive visitors. A private room (slaap kamer), (sleeping chambers) formed at either end of this hall, by partitions of the same height, and construction as the outer walls. The floor, which though only of clay appeared uncommonly smooth and hard, I found, on enquiry, had been formed of ant-heaps, which being pounded into dust, and then watered and well stamped, assume a consistency of great tenacity. In making these floors, however, care must be taken to use only such ant-hills as have been broken up and plundered by the ant-eater, and consequently deserted by the surviving insects; otherwise, in spite of all your pounding, you may find you have planted two or three troublesome colonies beneath your feet. This floor is carefully washed over every morning with water mixed with fresh cow -dung, in order to keep it cool and free from vermin-especially fleas, which are apt to become an intolerable pest in such mansions.
The house was lighted by four square windows ir. front, one in each of the bed-rooms, and two in the voorhuis; and also by the door, which appeared to be shut only during the night. The door consisted of reeds, rudely fastened on a wicker frame, and was fixed to the door-post by thongs of bullock's hide. The windows were without glass, and were closed at night, each with an untanned quagge-skin. There was neither stove nor chimney in any part of the dwelling-house; but the operations of cooking were performed in a small circular hut of clay and reeds, which stood in front of it. The furniture of the sitting-room consisted of a couple of wooden tables, and a few chairs, stools, and waggon chests; an immense churn, into which all the milk saved from the sucking calves, was daily poured and churned every morning; a large iron pot for boiling soup, two or three wooden pitchers, hooped with brass, and very brightly scoured; a cupboard, exhibiting the family service of wooden bowls and trenchers, pewter tureens, brandy flasks, with a goodly array in phials of Dutch quack medicines. A tea-vase and brass teakettle, heated by a chafing-dish,-which with a set of Dutch tea-cups, and a large brass-clasped Dutch bible, occupied a small table at which the mistress of the house presided,-completed the inventory. The bedrooms, in which I more than once slept on future occasions were furnished each with one or more large bed-steads, or stretchers, without posts or curtains, but provided with good feather beds, spread on elastic frames, woven with thongs of bullock's hide, like a cane-bottomed chair.
In a corner of the hall, part of the carcase of a sheep was suspended from a beam; and I was informed that two sheep, and sometimes more, were daily slaughtered