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A PEDIGREE OF SOME STANDING. The newspapers THE WATERING AND SEA BATHING PLACES
IVY DOES NOT MAKE HOUSES DAMP.-I was some time in the last summer, with a number of others, inspecting the repairs of a public building from the western gable of which (by the way, the part most exposed in our climate to rain and storm) a complete covering of ivy, of several years growth, had been unnecessarily just cut and torn down; when I observed that this was a most unwise and uncalled for
ground to its highest points of ascent, not only prevent the rain beating against the wall, but carry away the drip from it, and that the small clasping fibres which the ivy shoots into the crevices of the wall to support its ascent, acting like so many roots thirsting for the nourishment of moisture, must draw away any occasional damp which the walls might be naturally supposed to imbibe or attract from the earth or the atmosphere. In addition to the foregoing observations, I shall merely say, that the wall of the room in which I sleep, which is exposed to the north-west, and was some years since exceedingly damp, being neither externally plaistered, rough-cast, nor weather-slated, is, for the few last years, since nature has clothed it in a delightful evergreen coat of ivy, perfectly dry: nay, even the glass and frame of the upper window-sash, which I suffered the ivy to cover for a year or two, I found, on removing it, in the last summer, covered with dry dust and cobwebs, and without the smallest appearance of having ever been wet through their verdant cloak.Communicated by Charles A. Drew, Esq., to the Magazine of Botany and Gardening, edited by Professor Rennie.
The Sugar Cane in Leicestershire. A friend, lately returned from a journey in the North, informs us, that in sinking for coal at a mine on the estate of Mr. Stevenson, the celebrated engineer, at Whitwick, in Leicestershire, a very curious and perfect specimen of petrified sugar-cane has been dug up, having all the knots and marks of the reed perfectly obvious to sight. We have ourselves seen a small fragment of it, which, except in point of colour and substance, seems to have lost little of its original nature in the course of transformation. This is another evidence added to the many that have been before adduced, in favour of the theory, now pretty generally adopted, we believe, which makes this world to have undergone an imperceptible revolution in the course of ages, gradually converting the character of its various climates from hot to cold, and from cold to hot, and thus more and more shifting its axis, until, for aught we know, Arctic and Antarctic may change places, sandy desarts harden into a surface for the reception of Polar bears; iceburghs melt into streams that shall float the negro's bark; nay, all this may have happened before! The shadows of B itons may not always have fallen to the north. At any rate, it appears unquestionable that this country did once enjoy a larger share of the sun's favours than it does at this day; that things grew and creatures lived in the land, which now grow and live far to the South, and which shrink from the present climate of England, whenever a reconciliation is attempted, as if "auld acquaintance was forgot." All things seem to tend to this conviction, and the above is à further testimony in its favour. Let us hope that if the world is thus turned about to the sun, and genially toasted in successive quarters all round, a time may come, in the progress of ages and the stars (which are also understood to be moving forward somewhere) when the globe we live on shall be completely done; not in the present bad sense of the word, but the good old toasting one; and that the earth, knowledge, and happiness will be all ripe together. We may arrive, however, at that consummation without all being tropical.
A COMPLETE, YET PUZZLING ANSWER.-"Did you or did you not speak of me, sir, the other night?" said a peremptory gentleman to a fellow collegian, (now eminent in the state.) "I did or did not speak of you," said the respondent.
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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 1834.
TO-MORROW THE FIRST OF MAY. WE look upon it as one of the pleasant circumstances which have attended the setting up of this Journal, that the publication of to-day's number falls upon the 30th of April, so that to-morrow is the First of May, and we can write upon it accordingly, close at hand. Our poetical mistress (for May is a sort of mistress to all lovers of books and nature) is not coming a month hence, or a week hence, but to-morrow; like a fair friend who sends word to a family that she means to be with them before breakfast, and rouses the children and the whole house in consequence, all hoping that it will be fine. That will suit her best; especially as we ought to meet her out of doors, if we live in the country. But under any circumstances, coming she is, and a friend she is, and we have the whole month before us to go out with her when we can. If we must stay in doors, we must make the best of it. There is music still, and books, and flowers; or if we have none of these, we can shew that we have souls that deserve them, and wish we had them all; and wishing, accompanied with good intentions and growing knowledge, is a good step towards obtaining what we wish, and helping others to attain it with us. They who sing one song to day in honour of the season, or even quote one passage about it from the poets, or express a single wish to see its honours revived, and youths and maidens, blooming as of old out of doors, like the buds upon the morning boughs, do something towards a realization of what they desire. The world is made up of atoms. Opinion is made of the very least, tiny little bits of opinion, first sown in private, and afterwards issuing forth and increasing in public. If ten people say, "We should like to have a May again of the good old sort," twenty may say it, most probably will; then twenty more, then eighty, then a hundred, till at last the voters for May are counted by hundreds, then by thousands, and if thousands desire it, the thing is done.
But not, we grant, without other "means and appliances." Times must change in other respects, public happiness increase, means of enjoyment be more equally diffused. And here we will take the opportunity of noticing what appears to us to be the error of those, who justly objecting to the feudality of the old times, or the extreme inequalities of their condition, think that the old holidays were essentially connected with these inequalities; and that we could not have them again without renewing the ancient dependency of the poorer classes upon the givers of Christmas dinners, and beggings from door to door for the May garland. But this does not follow. We may surely rejoice in similar ways, but by other means. The object of all true advancement is not to get rid of bad and good together, but to retain or restore the good, to increase it, and enjoy it all still better than before. The songs of May have been sus pended, not merely because the intercourse has grown less between landlord and tenant, or the lord of the manor and the villagers, but because the singers have had to "pay the piper" for very different tunes, blown by trumpets, and blown by their own connivance too, as well as that of the rich. They have grown wiser: all are growing wiser: we blame nobody in these our philosophical columns, any more than we desire ourselves to be blamed. All have had something to be sorry for, during contests carried on with partial knowledge; and all will doubtless do away the wrong part of contest, in proportion as knowledge increases. We blame not even the contests themselves; which in the mysterious working of the operations of this world may have been necessary, for ought we know, to the speedier abolition of the evils mixed up with them, All we mean to say [SPARROW AND CO. CRANE COURT.]
is, that as knowledge and comfort get on, there is no
Meantime, as certain patient and hopeful politicians, not long ago, kept a certain small fire alive, in the midst of every thing that threatened to put it out, which is now lighting all England, and promising better times to the very seasons we speak of, so shall we persist, as we have for these twenty years past, in keeping up a certain fragrant and flowery belief on the altars of May and June, in these sequestered corners of literature, ready against those better times, and already rewarding us for our perseverence, because the belief is spreading, and the corners beginning to lose their solitude.
But where shall we begin, or what authors quote, on the much quoted subject of May? It is a principle with us in this journal (in order to give our enterprize as much chance as we can) to repeat as little as possible of what has been extracted in other publications; and thus we are cut off from a heap of books which have contributed their stores to the illustration of the season. We cannot quote Brady; we cannot quote Brand; we cannot quote Aikin; nor Hone, nor Howitt, nor ourselves, (which is hard,) nor the venerable Stowe, nor Foster, nor Patmore; nor again, in poetry, may we repeat the quotation from Chaucer about May and the Daisy; nor Milton's Ode to Maymorning; nor Spenser's joyous dance on the subject (in his Eclogues); nor his divine personification of the month in the Faerie Queene, Book VI.; nor Shakspeare's passage in Henry the Eighth, about the impossibility of keeping people in their beds on May-morning; nor Moore's " Young May-moon," ("young" moon for "new," so prettily turning Luna into a girl of fifteen); nor Thomson's rich landscape in the Castle of Indolence "atween June and May;" nor Mr. Loviband's "Tears of Old May Day;" nor Gay on the May-pole, nor Wordsworth's bit about the month, (all whose bits are precious,) nor Dr. Darwin's ode, (which luckily is not worth quoting,) nor twenty other poets, great and small; nor Keats (one of the first) who has described a Maybush "with the bees about it." And so with this we conclude our list of negations; for even out of things negative, we would show how a positive pleasure may be extracted.
But the poets are not yet exhausted on this subject, not a fiftieth part of them. How could they be, and May be what it is; especially in the south? We only wish we had time and space, and a huge library, and could quote all we could think of, the reader should feel as if our pages scented of May-blossom, and ran over with milk and honey. We hope, however, to give him a specimen or two before we close our article. Meantime, in order to get rid of all the melancholy that will force itself into the subject, and make a clear field for
PRICE THREE HALFPENce.
our true May-time, we have two observations to make; first, that if the morning turn out badly to-morrow, it is not the fault of the May-day of our ancestors, which was twelve days later, or what is now called Old May-day, (the day otherwise does not much signify; for it is a sentiment, and not a date, which is the thing concerned) and second, that the only remnant of the old festivities now left us, like a sorry jest and a smeared face, is that melancholy burlesque the chimney-sweepers,-melaucholy, however, not to themselves, and so far, to nobody else; neither would we have them brow-beaten, but made as merry as possible on this their only holiday;-but it is melancholy to think, that all the mirth of the day is left to their keeping. If their trade were a healthy one, it would be another matter; if we were even sure, that they were not beaten and bruised when they got home, it would be something. As it is, we can only give money to them (if one has it) and wish them a less horrible mixture of tinsel, dirty skins, dance, and disease. Nevertheless, the dance is something: sacred be the dance, and the desecration thereof; and sacred the laugh of the frightfully red lips amidst that poisonous black. Give them money for God's sake, all you that inhabit squares and great streets, and then do your utmost, from that day forward, never again to let Mayday blossom into those funereal flowers of living and fantastic death.
The last pleasant remnant of a town exhibition in connexion with the old May holidays, was the milk-maids' garland. There was something in that. A set of buxom lasses, breathing of the morning air and the dairy, were a little more native to the purpose than these poor devils of the chimney. But even these have long vanished. They are rarely to be found, even in the exercise of their daily calling. Milk-maids have been turned into milk-men; and when the latter, in their transference of the virgin title to the buyers instead of the sellers of milk, call out (as they do in some quarters of the town) "Come, pretty maids," nine old women issue out of the areas in the street, milk-jug in hand, and all hobbling-all rheumatic, in consequence of not having been in the fields these twenty years.
My soul, turn from them," get not rheumatic thyself, nor do thou, dear reader, consent to be old before thy time, and oppressed with cough and chagrin, especially in spring weather, but get up betimes to-morrow morning, if it be only in fancy, and send your thoughts wandering among the dewy May-bushes and the song of birds. Nay, if you live in the country, or on the borders of it, and the morning itself be not ungenial, it will do you no harm to venture personally, as well as spiritually, among the haunts of your jovial ancestors,-the men who helped to put blood and spirit into your race; or if cosy old habit is too strong for you to begin at so short a notice, and the united charms of bed and breakfast prevail over the "raw" air, you are a man too masculine at heart, and too generous, not to wish that your children may grow up in better habits than yourself, or recall the morning hours of your own childhood; and they can go forth into the neighbourhood, and see what is to be seen, and what beauteous and odorous May-boughs they can bring home, young and fair as themselves, the flowery breath of morning-the white virgin blossom-the myrtle of the hedges. The voices of children seem as natural to the early morn as the voice of the birds. The suddenness, the lightness, the loudness, the sweet confusion, the sparkling gaiety, seem alike in both. Now the sudden little jangle is here, and now it is there; and now a single voice calls out to another, and the boy is off like the bird.
When we had the like opportunities, not a May did we pass, if we could help it, without keeping up the good
old religion of the season, and heaping ourselves and our children with blossom enough to make a bower of the breakfast-room: so that we only preach what we have practised. If we were happy, it added to our happiness, and was like a practical hymn of gratitude. If we were unhappy, it helped to save our unhappiness from the addition of impatience and despair; and we looked round upon the beautiful country, and the world of green and blossom, and said to ourselves, "We can still enjoy these. We still belong to the paradise of good-will."
A poor fellow, a servant, named Giuseppino or Peppino (Joe) who was given to drinking (a rare thing in Italy) and was a great admirer of the fair sex (a thing not so rare) crosses the court with a jug in his hand. It was curious to see the conscious but not resentful face with which he received the banter of his friends.
Therefore we say to all good-willers, "Enjoy what you can of May-time, and help others to enjoy it, if it be but with a blossom, or a verse, or a pleasant thought. Let us all help, each of us, to keep up our spark of the sacred fire-the same, we may dare to believe, which fires the buds themselves, and the song of the birds, and puts the flush into the cheek of delight, and hope, faith, and charity into the heart of men: for if one great cause of love and good-will does not do this, what does, or what can ?
May, or the time of the year analogous to it, in different countries, is more or less a holiday in all parts of the civilized world, and has been such from time immemorial. Nothing but the most artificial state of life can extinguish, or suspend it: it is always ready to return with the love of nature. Hence the vernal holidays of the Greeks and Romans, their songs of the swallow, and vigils of the Goddess of love; hence the Beltein of the Celtic nations, and the descent of the god Krishna upon the plains of Indra, where he sported, like a proper Eastern prince, with sixteen-thousand milk-maids; a reasonable assortment.
In no place in the world, perhaps, but in England (which is another reason why so great and beautiful a country should get rid of the disgrace), is the remnant of the May-holiday reduced to so melancholy a burlesque as our soot and tinsel. The necessities of war and trade may have produced throughout Europe a suspension of the main spirit of the king, and a consciousness that the means of enjoyment must be restored before there can be a proper return to it. We hope and believe, that when they are restored, the enjoyment will be greater than ever, through the addition of taste and knowledge. But meanwhile, we do not believe that the sense of its present imperfection has been suffered any where else, to fall to a pitch so low. In Tuscany, where we have lived, it has still its guitar and its song; and its jokes are on pleasant subjects, not painful ones. We remember being awakened on May-day morning, at the village of Mariano near Fiesole, by a noise of instruments, and merry voices, in the court of the house in which we lodged,-a house with a farm and vineyard attached to it, where the cultivator, or 'small farmer, lived in a smaller detached dwelling, and accounted to the proprietor for half the produce,-a common arrangement in that part of the world. The air which was playea and sang was a sort of merry chaunt, as old perhaps as the time of Lorenzo de Medicis ; the words to it were addressed to the occupiers of the mansion, and the neighbours, or any body who happened to shew their face; and they turned upon an imaginary connexion between the qualities of the person mentioned and the capabilities of the season. We got up, and looked out of window; and there, in the beautiful Italian morning, under a blue sky, amidst grass and bushes, and the white out-houses of the farm, stood a group of rustic guitar-players, joking good humouredly upon every one who appeared, and welcomed as good humonredly by the person joked upon. The verses were in homely couplets; and the burden or leading idea of every couplet, was the same. A respectable old Jewish gentleman, for instance, resided there; and he no stoner shewed his face, than he was accosted as the patron of the corn-season,-as the genial influence, without whom there was to be no bread?'
Ora di Maggio fiorisce amor e vino,
Now in May time comes the flower of love and wine also; But there is neither one nor t'other, without Signor Joe.
With this true bit of a taste of May for the reader's ruminations, we close our present article. It would be an "advancement" to look out of a May-morning in England, and see guitar players instead of chimney
FIRST WEEK IN MAY.
We have anticipated in our first article, the remarks on the season under this head. We can add little for the
present, except to say, that the first week of May is full of human as well as other glory; for on the fourth day of the month, according to the necessary allowance made for the change from Old to New Style, was born Fielding; and on the fifth was born SHAKSPEARE. We write his name large, that we may sound it with what trumpet we can, being unable to indulge ourselves with saying more. We only wish we could lift it in flame and beauty upon every house in England, the most universal of illuminations, as he was of poets. And Fielding, who was a bit of a prose Shakspeare too, and whose Parson Adams Shakspeare would have loved, should have his illuminations also.
As we spoke of electricity in our last, and nature is beginning to luxuriate now, and to electrify us (according to the philosophers,) in more ways than we are aware of, we shall follow up our "sympathies of the silk stockings," with a subject of extraordinary capillary attraction from the pages of a work just published, written by Mr. Peter Cunningham, a surgeon in the navy, author
of the well-known "Two Years in New South Wales."* Mr. Cunningham is evidently a man of a very quick, exploring, and active turn of mind, but whether he does not take a little too much for granted in some of his promises, and indulge his vivacity and vigour in too great, kangaroo-like leaps over his ground, clearing away At all events, he is very startling and entertaining; and more distance than objection, may be made a doubt. hands of so bold an investigator, one always feels somewherever electricity is concerned, especially in the what in the situation of the people who were present at the dissection of the galvanized dead body, which rose up and seemed about to speak. We hardly know what astounding secrets are not about to be laid open to us. It is but fair to recollect, that the strangeness and apparent ludicrousness of a continuation of ideas in philosophical statements is no disproof their soundness; however, ingenuity without proof, may be no proof of the right of asserting them. Mr. Cunningham is, doubtless, content, that we should be amused as well as astonished at the tween a man's hat and his conceptions, and the necescoveries he reports to us respecting the connexion besity of giving a rub to one's hair in order to brush up our faculties.
"Electro-magnetism is most readily attracted, as well as carried off, by pointed substances; and hence, the readiness with which the human body is heated or cooled by simply exposing the hands or the feet (pointed substances) to the fire or the cool air. The air is also a pointed substance; and as nothing was made by the Great Creator in vain, we may be assured that use, and not ornament, was the purpose for which it was intended, and that the above purpose was that of transmitting electro-magnetism to the body, our own feelings, as well as reasoning from facts, daily presented to our view, sufficiently convince us of. To what else can we ascribe that writhing and creeping, as well as bristling-up kind of sensation in the hair of the head, universally felt when strong emotions move us, and so frequently alluded to by poets and pencilled by painters? To what else can we ascribe the curious fact of evey diseased blotch or pimple in cutaneous affections, having invariably a hair in its centre, or of the hair of the head being bleached white by great mental emotion in a single night, a circumstance so analogous to the destruction of vegetable colours by the electro-magnetic currents of the galvanic trough,
"On the Motions of the Earth and Heavenly Bodies, as explainable by Electro-Magnetic Attraction and Repulsion; and on the Conception, Growth, and Decay of Man, and Cause and Treatment of his Diseases, as referable to Galvanic Action." Cochrane and M'Crone.
as to leave scarce a doubt of the hair owing ine sud. den destruction of its colour to similar currents rusning through it.
"The different colours and constitutions of the hair in different people must necessarily have an important influence upon the mind and the temperament, on account of the different proportions of electricity and magnetism which the above coloured hairs transmit, and the different rapidities with which they transmit them. In the woolly head of the negro the Creator has drawn a distinct line of difference between the black and white races; for wool being a bad electric conductor, his brain is therefore supplied with but a bare electric sufficiency to make the mental line between him abundance of straight regularly constituted hair over and the next order of animals broadly visible, while the his body shows his corporeal powers to equal at least those of the white, inferior though his mental powers be. The curly state of his head hair is attributable, I conceive, to the above more difficult electric introduction, the electricity naturally twisting it about in the efforts to make an entrance, and thus eventually regulating its form. If the negro race, therefore, are ever to be elevated much above their present state, it must be by submitting themselves to the tutelage of less woolly and curly heads than their own, as the better haired Indians of Peru found it their interest to do with the golden-haired children of the Sun, the value of whose hair they so highly appreciated as to endeavour to preserve it by severe laws, prohibiting their incas intermarrying with any but the golden-haired stock. Black bodies having a strong electric affinity, by means of which they transmit electricity more readily than any other species of colour; hence dark haired people, as white haired, from their bodies being kept in a more well as animals, are observed to be hardier than the equable temperature, in consequence of the readiness with which electricity can be acquired and parted with; while the tardy escape of it through the bad-conducting white hair, is apt to throw the body into an inflammatory fever, when any violent bodily exertions are made. The black haired will then also be enabled to rouse their mental energies more suddenly, and to a higher pitch of excitement, as well as to cool them down more rapidly than the white-haired, who receiving electricity slowly are slowly excited, and by also parting with it slowly, are slowly cooled.
The Celtic and other dark-haired races are therefore,
I conceive, capable of excitement to higher pitches of intellectual energy than the Gothic, fair-haired race; but, then, the electricity exciting these, being as readily parted with as received, render this excitement to be as easily dissipated as it was conjured up, preventing them, then, from mastering any great object requiring a continued effort of the mind, like the fair-haired Goths, who, when once excited, can keep this excitement more steadily up, from the greater power they have of retaining the electricity on which it depends. As white hairs, however, progressively grizzle the head of the darkhaired man, his judgment and perseverance progressively increase also, until the white hairs gain too great an ascendancy over the dark; while the minds of the fairhaired are generally at the highest pitch of energy when middle age commences. A mingling of the blood of the two races must naturally, therefore, generate a cross breed blending the qualities of the two; and, I believe it will be found that to this cross-breed we are indebted for the greater portion of the highest works in literaof the above have been principally born at no great disture, science, and art. On the Continent, the authors tance on either side of the Rhine, where these two races have mingled most, the far north or far south on either side (except Spain, from Gothic invasion), have produced few men to compare with the medium between, and even those few might be cross breeds. In England, nearly all the eminent men have been natives of the country south of the Trent, where the Celtic or Roman blood has been more intermingled; while, in the northern parts, where the purer Gothic prevails, although there has been little distinguished talent, yet there has always been more general good sense, good judgment, and prudential, peaceful behaviour than in the south, than of late years, when the greater Celtic intermixture in the various parts, has engendered a more combustible spirit among them. Wales has produced no very eminent original genius; Ireland cannot boast of one with an initial Celtic O' or Mac', and nearly all the Scottish men of note have Saxon names. While, however, the improvers of the inferior animals, have already benefitted them immensely by scientific crossings, the improvement of the first of all, man, has been left wholly to chance, by which his mental and muscular powers have not been advanced in proportion to those of the brute creation over whom he rules. Speaking more nationally, were the dark-haired Celts of the United Kingdom but whitened with a dash of the fairer Saxon, and the latter again enbrowned with a dash of the former, a great improvement would be effected in both; the Saxon would have more life infused into him, and the Celt more judgment and prudence.
The effects of intense electric transmission causing an early whitening of the hair of those addicted to much mental thought, or in whose minds grief or anxiety have sown their cankering seeds, is curiously exemplified by the head of hair insolated by the hat retaining its colour longer than the hair not so insolated; thus the hair upon
After some years past in what may be called a defeat rather than a struggle of the passions; after a glorious victory of duty and honour; which surely affords a durable and exalted pleasure far beyond the gratifica tion of wild wishes and misguided appetites, Madame Villacerfe from an indisposition which confined her to her chamber, was, by the prescription of her physician ordered to be bled. Festeau, as surgeon to the family, was sent for, and his countenance, as he entered the room, strongly exhibited the state of his mind. After gently touching her pulse, and a few professional questions, in a low hesitating voice, he prepared for the operation by tucking up that part of a loose dress which covered her arm; an interesting business to a man of fine feelings, who had long laboured under the most ardent attachment to his lovely patient, whose illness diffused an irresistable softness over her features, and lighted up the embers of an affection, suppressed, but never extinguished. Pressing the vein, in order to render it more prominent, he was observed to be seized with a sudden tremor, and to change his colour; this circumstance was mentioned to the lady, not without a fear that it might prevent his bleeding her with his usual dexterity. On her observing, with a smile, that she confided entirely in Monsieur Festeau, and was sure he had no inclination to do her an injury, he appeared to recover himself, and smiling, or forcing a smile, proceeded to his work, which was no sooner performed, than he cried out,-"I am the most unfortunate man alive! I have opened an artery instead of a vein."
It is not easy to describe his distraction or her composure. In less than three days the state of her arm in consequence of the accident, rendered amputation necessary, when so far from using her unhappy surgeon with the peevish resentment of a bare and little mind, she tenderly requested him not to be absent from any consultation on the treatment of her case; ordered her will to be made, and after her arm was taken off, symptoms that less than four-and-twenty hours would terminate appearing which convinced Festeau and his associates, the existence of one who was an ornament to her sex. The voice, the looks, the stifled anguish of her lover, as well as of her own feelings, convinced her of the ap
proaches of death, an opinion which her earnest and so- . lemn entreaties, entreaties on her death-bed, not to be disregarded, obliged her friends to confirm. A few hours before the awful moment of dissolution, that period which none can escape, and the fear of which bold bad men only affect to despise, she addressed the disconsolate surgeon in the following words :
"You give me inexpressible concern for the sorrow in which I see you overwhelmed, notwithstanding your kind efforts to conceal it. I am removing, to all intents and purposes I am removed from the interests of human life, it is, therefore, highly incumbent in me to think and act like one wholly unconcerned in it. I feel not the least resentment or displeasure on the present occasion. I do not consider you as one by whose error I have lost my life; I regard you rather as a benefactor, who have hastened my entrance into a blessed immortality. But the world may look upon the accident, which, on your account alone, I can call unfortunate, and mention it, to your disadvantage. I have, therefore, provided in my will against any thing you may have to dread from the ill-will, the prejudices, or the selfish representations of
This pattern for Christians, this example for heroes, soon after expired. A judicial sentence, devoting his fortune to confiscation, and his body to exquisite tortures, could not have produced keener sensations of misery and horror, than Festeau felt during her address, which was an emanation of celestial benignity, an anticipating revelation, a divine ray from the spirit of that God who inspired and loved her, and in whose presence she was shortly to triumph and adore.
But when he contemplated her exalted goodness and unparalleled magnanimity in suffering pain and mortal agonies, inflicted by an unhappy man, who of all others, loved and doated on her most, when he saw her dying look, and heard that groan, which is repeated no more; sick of the world, dispirited with human life and its vain pursuits, angry beyond forgiveness with himself, he sunk into the settled gloom, and long melancholy of despair. This is one of the many instances in which a little forethought, and a small share of prudence, would have prevented such serious evil and irretrievable calamity. I have said in a former article, that love, though not curable by herbs, may be prevented by caution, and as it was impossible that Madame Villacarfe's relations could be entire stranger to the partiality of Monsieur Festeau, they should industriously have prevented all intercourse between the young people. The agitated frame and deranged appearance of her lover, observed previous to the catastrophe, by a gentleman nearly related to the lady, from whom I tell the story, pointed him out as the most improper man alive for medical or surgical assistance, which requires coolness, dexterity, and a steady hand, and a collected mind.
the temples and other parts not covered by the hat becomes grey much earlier than that over the places covered by it: the hair upon the latter, however, falling off much sooner, on account of the electric-magnetism which retains it in vigour, and for whose transmission it was solely formed, no longer obtaining a passage in sufficient quantity through it. In woman, on the contrary, grey hairs not only make their appearance less early, but are nearly equally diffused, at the commencement of the blanching over every part of the head; on account of their more porous and airy head-dresses admitting a freer electro-magnetic access to every portion of the head hair. But this is not the worst as regards man, for as reason leads us to believe that the brain was divided into different parts performing different functions, which parts must necessarily receive as well as emit the electro magnetism on which their excitements depend through their immediate hairy coverings, so by the insulation (imperfect though it may be) of these cerebral parts, they will not only be prevented from obtaining that puberty, if I may so term it, which they would otherwise have arrived at, but have their functions impeded and weakened whenever covered by the hat. Every man must have often felt how much clearer his ideas flow when his head is uncovered, than when his hat is on, which he instinctively finds necessary to lift up every now and then, and give his hair a rub, in order to make them glide brighter and smoother along. Oily substances, by their electric attractions and magnetic repulsions causing electricity to prevail over magnetism in the bodies conducting the latter, hence the benefit which the hair derives by unctuous applications to it when it begins to dry up through long continued or intense electro-magnetic transmission, which fitting it to be a better magnetic conductor than an electric one, enables it now to conduct in greater quantity the very substance eventually destined to effect its destruction. Mr. Cunningham's speculations on hair conclude with the startling announcement, enough to make all elderly gentlemen's locks stand on end, (till they get colouring bottles to allay them,) that grey hairs are not a consequence, but a cause of age. He treats age rather as a disease than a necessity, at least under its present circumstances; a proposition to which there can be no objection, provided he will find a cure for it. And to speak seriously as well as in levity, we are among those who are for seeing no end to philosophical speculations, however startling. Truth and advancement profit by them, somehow or other. There are very startling things in the philosophy of Bacon; and some of Lord Worcester's speculations, accounted the most impossible, are becoming common-place now.
ROMANCE OF REAL LIFE.
VIII. MADAME VILLACERFE AND MONSIEUR FESTEAU.
THIS story has been related a long time ago by one of our classical authors; but it is worth repeating, partly because it is told with real earnestness and in his style, by the present writer, and partly because he obtained his particulars from a connexion with one of the parties. The catastrophe is one of the most affecting in the world. Nothing can be conceived more frightful than the situation of the lover, both before and after the death of his mistress. One almost wishes that she had been less amiable and generous, or affected to be so; and thus have given him less occasion to adore her memory, and despair over his mistake.
Madame Villacerfe, was a French lady of noble family, dignified character, and unblemished life, whose remarkable and tragic death was distinguished by an evenness of temper and greatness of mind, not usual in her sex, and equal to the most renowned heroes of antiquity. The short history of this excellent woman is, I believe, generally known, and will probably be recognized by many of my readers; but she is so striking an example of philosophic suffering, Christian fortitude, generous forbearance, and angelic love, without the least possible alloy of selfishness or sensuality, that the affecting circumstance cannot, in my opinion be dwelt on too long, or repeated too often.
An early and mutual affection had taken place between this lady and Monsieur Festeau, a surgeon of eminence in Paris, but from the insurmountable obstacles which in those days (A. D. 1700) so strictly guarded superior rank from intermingling with plebeian blood, all further intercourse was prevented than animated civilities when opportunities offered, and soft but secret wishes. The lover would have perished rather than by a rash proceeding degrade the object of his tenderest affections in the eyes of her family and the world, and his mistress, taught by love, the omnipotent feller of all distinctions, though she felt too power
the who in the scale of unprejudiced reason far outweighed a thousand fashionable pretenders to frivolous accomplishments and superficial attainment; resolved
To quit the object of no common choice,
IX.-A PRINCE AGAINST HIS WILL.
ACCORDING to our former dramatic fashion, we again
give a farce after our tragedy. The hero is not a farci
cal man himself; he is very much of a gentleman, and was an unwilling contributor to the entertainment, the obstinate comedy of which was ultimately as ludicrous and amusing to himself, as it is to his readers. The anecdote is taken from the journey of the Hon. Keppel Craven in the Neapolitan territory.
There are several monasteries in Brindisi; in the church belonging to one of these, called Santa Maria degli Angeli, I was directed to visit and admire a very fine piece of carving in ivory. After I had bestowed my tribute of praise on this piece of workmanship, and on the pulpit, which is gilt and richly decorated in very good taste, I was requested by a priest to favour the Lady Abbess and some of her sisterhood with my presence at the grate, which divides the church from the convent. I complied, and after a short conversation in the course of which, joy at seeing me, respect towards my person, and gratitude to my family, were declared in the most extraordinary terms; I was entreated to go round to the interior gate and accept of some refreshments. I found from my host and the Sotto Intendente of the town, who were my companions, that I could not decline accepting this civility. In my way to the gate, the unexpected cordiality of this reception was explained to me by the information, that this convent derived its foundation from the illustrious house of Bavaria, and that, as the heir-apparent of the kingdom had lately been expected at Brindisi to embark for Greece, it was probable that the Abbess had taken the first stranger she had ever seen in her life, for the royal personage to whose progenitors the whole community owed such unqualified reverence and gratitude. On my rejoining the good sisters in the outward part of the monastery, into which they invited me to enter, my first care was to undeceive, and to apologise for having accepted of honours due to rank so much superior to my own. Though evidently much disappointed, their kindness did not abate, and the coffee and cakes which they had prepared were distributed to us with great civility, by the young pensionaries, who received their education in this momastery, and whose beauty and unaffected manners were equally attractive. Having understood that I had the honour of being acquainted with the prince whom they had so anxiously expected, they loaded me with inquiries relative to him, and appeared much satisfied by the manner in which I answered them. After this, I took my leave, as it was almost dark.
Having, on the following morning, completed my tour of the town, and an examination of all it contained worthy of inspection, I determined to set off for Mesagne, only eight miles distant, after dinner to avoid the heat. During the repast, the same priest who had accosted me in the church the preceding day, made his appearance with a second invitation to call upon the abbess and the nuns before I set off, and accept of some refreshments I endeavoured to decline the proposal thinking it might be the means of retarding my departure; but I was assured it would mortify if not insult the sisterhood, and as their habitation lay in my way out of the city, I might order my horses to the convent door, and not suffer above ten minutes' delay by my complia ce; this I accordingly promised and proceeded to the monastery, attended by the gentleman in whose house I had been lodged, and the Sotto Intendente, who had dined with us. We found the outward gate open, and had scarcely passed the threshold when the abbess and the eluer portion of the community rushed from the inner court, and led, I may almost say dragged me into the cloister calling upon my astonished companion to follow, as it was a day of exultation for the monastery, and all rules an regulations should be dispensed with. It was evident that the splendour of royalty once again shone on my brow, and that notwithstanding my wish to preserve the strictest incognito, the distinctions and honours due to the blood of Otho of Wittelsbach, must, in this instance at least, be rendered to his descendant, in spite of his assumed humility. This determination shewed itself in a variety of forms, with such prolonged perseverance, that the ludicrous effects which it at first produced were soon succeeded by more serious sensations of impatience and annoyance. Before I could utter my first protest against the torrent of tedious distinction, which I saw impending over my devoted head, I was surrounded on all sides by the pensionaries, who, to the number of thirty, presented me with flowers, and squabbled for precedence in the honours of kissing my princely hands. This was by no means the least distressing ceremony I was to undergo, and for an instant I felt the wish of exerting the prerogatives of royalty, either by prohibiting the exercise of this custom, or render it more congenial by altering the application of it. I seized the first opportunity of requesting my companion to interfere in behalf of my veracity, when I assured them that I was only an English traveller, which my letters of recommendation, describing my name and condition, could testify. The smile of good-humoured incredulity played on the lips of my auditors, who replied that they would not dispute my words, but should not be deterred by them from giving way to the joy which ought to signalize a day which must ever be recorded in the annals of their establishment. They added, that it would be useless for me to contend against the ocular proofs they had obtained of my quality and birth; and when they enumerated among them the air of dignity which I in vain endeavoured to conceal, the visible emotion I experienced on beholding the arms and escutcheons of my ancestors in the church, and my constantly speak
ing Italian though I affirmed that I was English, I own
that I was struck dumb by the contending inclination to laugh or be serious. My host, who was brother to the lady Abbess, begged I would exert my complaisance 30 far as not to resist their wishes, as it would be put to a shorter trial by compliance than opposition, and I therefore yielded, after a second solemn protestation "gainst the distinctions thus forced upon me These consisted in a minute examination of the whole monastery.
and title thus forcibly imposed upon me, I conjured my two satellites by all that was merciful to give up their project of attending me, representing that the day was far advanced, that we could with difficulty reach Mesagne before dark, and that their return might consequently be attended with great inconvenience, if not danger. My host, who, I then perceived, had too liberally participated in the homage offered me by his sister in the seducing semblance of rosolio and liqueurs, was obstinately bent on non-compliance, and merely answered my earnest remonstrance by a repetition of the words, altezza e inutile! I concluded therefore that all appeal to him would be fruitless, and confined my renewal of them to his companion, whose involuntary distortions of countenance, and occasional contortion of body, induced me to suspect that the motion of a horse was very uneasy, if not unusual to him. On my observing that he looked pale since we had begun our ride, he owned that he had not been on horseback for several years, that he was besides in no very robust state of health, and that the paces of the animal he mounted were somewhat rough; but added, that he knew his duty too well to allow such trifling inconvenience to deter him from fulfilling it to its utmost extent, and that he therefore should not attend to my injunctions of returning, unless they were delivered in the form of a peremptory command, which, issuing from the lips of royalty, he would not presume to disobey. For once then I resolved to assume the dictatorial tone of princely authority, and with as grave a countenance as I could put on, ordered him to return to Brindisi. He pulled off his hat, kissed my hand, and after expressing his thanks for my considerate condescension, united to many pious wishes for my prosperous journey, he allowed me to continue it, and turned his horse the other way, while I urged mine on at a brisk trot, in hopes of reaching Mesagne before night.
beginning with the belfry, to which I was conducted by the pious sisterhood, singing a Latin hymn of exultation. I had scarcely put my head into it when a sudden explosion, for I can give it no other term, took place of all the bells, set in motion by the pensionaries who had preceded us; after which, I was successively led to the kitchen, the refectory, the dormitory, Abbess's apartment, the garden, and lastly the sacristy, where I was desirous to rest. I looked round to implore the aid and tompassion of my force, when I found myself sitting in a huge crimson velvet chair, richly gilt, and surmounted with a royal crown. Here I again manifested some symptoms of rebellion, but found it necessary to stifle them, when the opening of several large cases informed me that a display of all the relics was going to take place. These were numerous, and, as I was informed chiefly the gifts of my great grandfather when the convent was endowed, though several had been since sent by my less distant progenitors. Bones and skulls of saints, whose names were as new to me as they would be, were they enumerated to the readers, passed in rotation before my eyes: these were generally preserved in purple velvet bags, embroidered with pearls; and the different vessels and ornaments used in the rites of the catholic church, were of the most costly materials, and exquisite workmanship, all of which, by turns, were offered as presents to me.
Among the relics which were named to me, I remember some fragments of the veil and shift of the Virgin Mary, a thumb of St. Athanasius, a tooth of the prophet Jeremiah, and some of the coals which were used to roast St. Lorenzo. Many of these memorials were offered me to kiss, and the last mentioned articles were accompanied by the observation that they had been the means of converting a sceptic by sticking to and blistering his lips; I own I felt a sort of momentary hesitation, as they were presented to me, and withdrew them with a degree of promptitude hardly compatable with a disbelief in their verity.
By this time all the stronger emotions I at first had felt had vanished, and a sullen impatience had succeeded, which was not removed by the presence of the vicar, an infirm old personage, who, I believe, had been called from his death-bed to give additional solemnity to the scene, and who joined the holy sisters in the chorus of praises which they lavished on my family, and the titles they bestowed on me, among which that of majesty was of the most frequent occurrence. After this devotional exhibition, I was crammed with coffee, rosolio, brandy, and cakes, and my pockets were stuffed full of oranges and lemons, among which I afterwards discovered, to my great consternation, a pair of cotton stockings, and two of woollen gloves. After a trial of an hour's duration, I was allowed to depart amidst the blessings of the community, but another ordeal awaited my patience, in a visit to a convent of Benedictine nuns, who were under the special protection of the vicar, and who would, as he assured me, die of jealousy and mortification if I denied them the same honour which I had conferred on those of the Madonna degli Angeli. Luckily, the order was poor, and as I had not the same claims on their gratitude and reverence, I escaped with fewer ceremonies, and the loss of much less time. There was nothing remarkable in this monastery, except the columns, which surround the cloisters they were amongst the smallest, and of a more fantastic construction than any I had ever beheld, and evidently of a very
On leaving this building, I found my horses in the street, where they had been waiting a considerable time; and while taking leave of my companions I began to breathe at the prospect of emancipation from all the painful honours, to which I had fallen a victim, and to anticipate the pleasures of a cool evening ride, when my annoyances were renewed by a speech of the commandants, who, with a solemnity of tone and audibility of voice, calculated to produce the deepest impression on a crowd of about five hundred persons assembled round my horses, informed me, that he had hitherto spared my feelings and controlled his own by avoiding to intrude upon the privacy which I was desirous of assuming, but at the moment of parting he felt justified in giving vent to a public declaration of the sentiments of respect and veneration which he entertained for my family, and those of gratitude he should ever cherish for the truly dignified condescension with which I had treated him. I was speechless, and scarcely collected enough to listen to the conclusion of his harangue, which informed me that he had communicated a telegraphic account of my arrival to the commandant of the district, and would now transmit a similar notification of my departure to the commander in chief, to whom he trusted I would express my satisfaction of his conduct. The last words concluded with a genu-flexion, and a kiss respectfully imprinted on my hand, while I hastily mounted my horse, and hurried from this scene of ludicrous torment, which, however it was decreed should not terminate here; for on looking about me as I quitted the town-gate I beheld my host and the Sotto Intendente on horseback on each side of me, and found that this singular infatuation had extended its power over their minds, and that they were determined to accompany me as far as Mesagne, and thereby leave no honour unperformed which they could bestow on my exalted rank.
On reaching the open plain I resolved to make one more effort to liberate my person from the continuation of this novel kind of persecution, which might, for aught I knew, extend itself over the remainder of my journey; and after another solemn protestation against the name
THE LONDON JOURNAL,
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 1834.
WE desire, in this part of our Journal, to pay all the respect we can to the memory of Mr. Nicholas Gouin Dufief, lately deceased in this country,-a gentleman, whom we had not the honour of knowing personally, nor even in the most important of his writings; but whose laborious career of literary public spirit was encouraged by leading men of all parties, and whose exquisite French and English Dictionary (for we do not hesitate to call it so) would alone give him a claim to the regard of all lovers of knowledge. A book altogether so beautifully "got up" for general use, we never beheld, whether we consider the remarkable abundance of its contents, its utility to all kinds of readers, the most technical included, or the perfection of neatness exhibited in its type, arrangement, and very boarding. Let any body but look into and handle it, and see if we say too much. But what completed the charm of even a Dictionary in our eyes, was the motto which the liberal and spirited man put into the title-page :
"Les hommes ne se hairont plus, quand ils s'entendront tons." "Men will cease to hate one another, when they all understand one another."
Even the elegant singularity of Mr. Dufief's putting his coat of arms in this title page, with its motto of Semper Fidelis-Always Faithful (to the Bourbons, to wit) did not disconcert us with its innocent party appearance; for a man, who is really zealous for the good of all his fellow-creatures, as he was, has as much right to his political predilections as to the family affections in which he was brought up; and though we may not agree with this person or that in his estimate of the objects of his predilection, (any more than he with ours), we heartily sympathize with every genuine and honourable feeling about it, and with the colourings of fancy and love which it acquires in passing through his mind. Such men take the common light of day, and turn it, like cathedral windows, into the hues of heaven.
for the information, tells us that Mr. Dufief was born An unknown correspondent, who has our best thanks at Nantes, of a royalist family, who suffered bitterly from the French Revolution, and were driven into exile. His father, a knight of Saint Louis, was one of the last defenders of the royal cause among the noblesse in Brittany; his mother was a kinswoman of the famous general Charette, with whom, like the Du Pins and
Joan of Arcs of old, (while her husband was fighting in Germany) she actually served at the head of troops of her own raising, and was present at more than one
hundred engagements! Madame Dufief was ultimately obliged to fly with her children into Jersey. M. Nicholas Dufief went to America; and being under the necessity of learning the English language, was led, by the disadvantages he experienced, to turn (like a proper genius in his vocation) those very disadvantages to account, and produced in consequence the system of French tuition which has acquired celebrity under the title of "Nature Displayed in her Mode of Teaching Language to Man," &c. In this work, to the merit of which we regret that we cannot add the testimony of our own experience (as we never saw it) he is understood to. have followed, and worked out, the principles laid down by Locke, Condillac, D'Allembert and other philosophers; and that his work is in no need of the testimony we are unable to give it, is evident from the favourable opinions expressed of it by men of all parties, wherever French and English are studied together, including that of a man who may be said to have been one of the princes of the human race, in talent as well as position, and who was not quick, we believe, to express himself so strongly of people's merit as he did in this instance,-the late American President Jefferson.
Mr. Dufief terminated an anxious, zealous, and useful career on the 12th of the present month, aged fifty-eight years, having fallen ill on the day his Dictionary was completed, and never having recovered the re-action of a want of excitement. He may be considered, "a martyr" (says our correspondent) "to the cause of Education." He united, we are told, in a rare but most desirable degree, the habits of a punctual and even precise man of business with the most genuine liberality; and though a party-man and a moralist, abhorred persecution for opinion; exhibiting from first to last (to conclude in the words of our authority) "cheerful application instead of desponding complaint; strict honour and independence instead of subterfuge and servility; and a whole life calculated to excite the esteem and grateful recollection of mankind."
We take this opportunity of observing, that it is a very remarkable, a very noble, and a very new feature of the age we live in, that the ambition of doing good to mankind is taking place of the more egotistical ambitions of former times, and becoming the ordinary characteristic of active and generous intellects, instead of being confined, as it used to be, to a “ martyr" here and
there. Sincere public zeal, nay, a zeal for the happiness of all men, is no longer thought unworthy of the most practical understandings: all the real intellects even among the most exclusive parties, are gradually venturing forth, if it be but with a tip end of the hand they write with, to warm themselves at this new sunshine of promise for the world; and it is a wrong to all other parties, nay, to those too (for their ultimate good is concerned in it,) to conceal from the struggling classes the honourable and feeling testimony borne to those who adorn them by the generous enthusiasm of some of the aristocracy. The following tribute to the rising empire of knowledge, with the noble couplet at the end of it, is from a poem written by a man of birth as well genius, who only wants to have given more way to his impulses as a writer, to show how real a spirit of poetry as well as generosity belongs to him. He is speaking of the metropolis.
Wisdom is in her halls: to none refused
When the rich and the nobly born write in this manner' what may not be hoped for by all?
Paganini has resumed his performances at the Hanover Square Rooms, and produced his new modification of the viola, thus making an instrument of his own. We have not yet heard it, while writing this, our Paper going to press too soon; but if the instrument is to be more fitted than others to give effect to what is peculiar in the genius of this great musician, the result must add even wonders to what has been heard before.