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Instruction., by Various

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Title: The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction.
       Volume 13, No. 359, Saturday, March 7, 1829.

Author: Various

Release Date: February 26, 2004 [EBook #11322]

Language: English

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Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Pauline, and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team.

[pg 145]


Vol. XIII. No. 359. SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 1829. PRICE 2d.




On the eastern border of Warwickshire, about 13 miles from Coventry, and 16 from Warwick, stands the cheerful town of Rugby, a place of great antiquity, but of little note previous to the erection of a grammar-school there, towards the close of the sixteenth century. The circumstances under which this school was founded, and the rank it has attained among our classical seminaries, may probably be interesting to the reader.

Rugby School was founded in the ninth year of Elizabeth, by Lawrence Sheriff, grocer, of London, chiefly as a free grammar-school for the children of the parishes of Rugby and Brownsover, and places adjacent. For the accommodation of the master, who was, "if it conveniently might be, to be ever a Master of Arts," he bequeathed a messuage at Rugby, in which it is probable he had himself resided during the last few years of his life, and he directed that there should be built, near this residence, a fair and convenient school-house, to defray which expense, and of a contiguous almshouse, he bequeathed the revenue of the rectory of Brownsover, and a third portion of twenty-four acres of land, situate in Lamb's Conduit Fields, "near London," and termed the Conduit Close. These eight acres were of trivial value at the period; and in 1653, the trustees of the property paid the schoolmaster a salary of 12l. a year, and each of the alms-men 7s. 7d. In 1686, the Lamb's Conduit property was leased for fifty years at 50l. per annum. The metropolis increased, and stretching one of its Briareusian arms in this direction, the once neglected field rose in value, and in 1702 (thirty-four years before the expiration of the above term) the trustees granted a fresh lease to William (afterwards Sir William) Milman, of forty-three years, to commence at the termination of the former lease. Building was not then a mania, and Sir William obtained his term for 60l. per annum; so that until the year 1780, the annual produce of the estate belonging to the Rugby charity, was only 116l. 17s. 6d.! But, shortly after the grant of an extended term to Sir W. Milman, handsome streets of family houses sprung up, and it was computed that a ground-rent of at least 1,600l. would accrue to the charity on the expiration of his lease. A much greater income has, in fact, arisen, [pg 146] and the revenues will be materially increased on the termination of the present leases.

The flourishing finances of this noble institution are well managed by twelve trustees, chosen from the nobility and gentry of the country.1

The ancient buildings of the Rugby seminary were a humble tenement for the schoolmaster, a principal school-room, and two or three additional school-rooms, built at different times, as the finances would allow. These being found too limited, in 1808 the trustees commenced the erection of the present structure, from the designs of Mr. Henry Hakewill. It stands nearly on the same spot as the former humble building, and is composed of white brick, the angles, cornices, and dressings to the windows and openings being of Aldborough stone. The style of architecture is that of the reign of Elizabeth, the period at which the school was founded. The building is massy, august, and interesting from its graceful disposition of parts. The principal front is that represented in our engraving, which extends 220 feet.

The schools are entered by a gateway opposite the street, which leads to the principal court, a fine area, 90 feet long by 75 feet wide, with a plain cloister on the east, south, and west sides. The buildings on the south of the court comprise the dining hall, belonging to the boys in the head master's house, and three schools for different classes; those on the west are occupied by the great school; and on the north are the French and writing schools. The east side adjoins the offices belonging to the head master's house. About sixty boys are accommodated here; the remainder lodge in the houses of the other masters, and in the town of Rugby.

Lawrence Sheriff, the benevolent founder of this institution, was born at Brownsover, whence he removed to London, where he kept a grocer's shop in Newgate-street. A more gratifying portrait of true beneficence than Sheriff's bequest can scarcely be found in British annals; and this gratification is greatly enhanced by the justice with which his intentions have been carried into effect at Rugby. The alms-houses were originally for four poor old men; but the dwellings have been augmented in proportion to the increased revenues.


(For the Mirror.)

"Great events sometimes spring from trivial causes," of the truth of this adage, no man is, I think, so great a heretic, as to express any doubt—were such the case, it would be by no means difficult to conjure up a host of evidence, in support of our proposition; but, seeing that "such things are," let us at once to the point.

The present age is so rife in whims and proposals, that I am rather apprehensive, some may doubt the feasibility of the following. Nevertheless, it is, methinks, quite as good, as many others which recently were strangled, in struggling for existence.

In looking over some old pamphlets the other day, I met with the following "true and particular account" of Mr. Peter Pounce, Postmaster, of Petersham, and his horse, Prance.

Now, according to my author (of whose veracity I entreat the reader to use his own discretion) it seems this Mr. Pounce was an exceedingly good kind of man, and that his horse, Prance, was also an exceedingly good kind of horse; moreover, when the postmaster travelled, he usually put up at the George, where there is exceeding good entertainment for both man and horse. Upon one occasion, being in great haste, Mr. Pounce directed the ostler not to put Prance into the stable, but to tie him to the brew-house door. Now, as cruel fate would have it, there was just within the nag's reach, a tub full of wine lees, which, luckless moment for him, (being thirsty) he unceremoniously quaffed off in a trice, without even here's to you.

The consequence was, Prance fell down dead drunk; nay, he acted death so much to the life, that his master, reckoning him absolutely defunct, had him flayed, and sold his skin to a tanner, who happened to be drinking in the alehouse kitchen. Mr. Pounce then walked in a solitary mood to his home, and communicated the melancholy affair to his good lady, who wept bitterly at Prance's untimely fate.

But leaving her to dry her eyes, we return to the nag—the weather being cold, he was by the loss of his skin, &c. quite sobered, and prudently trotted to his master's door, at which he whinnied with much clamour for admission.

Bless me, my dear, exclaims Mrs. P. our nag's ghost is at the door—I know [pg 147] him by his whinnies; upon which Mr. Pounce runs with alacrity to the door, and sure enough there he was—no ghost—but in propriā personā except his skin. In this exigence, the gentleman had four sheep killed forthwith, and covered the nag with a woollen garment. To make short of it, the horse rapidly recovered, and bore two tods of wool every year.

From this narration it is proposed to embrace the manifest advantages which offer themselves for improving the woollen trade—that great staple of Britain's wealth, in manner following:—

First, then, let an accurate estimate be taken of the number of sheep annually slaughtered in these kingdoms.

Secondly.—Let proper officers be appointed to collect these skins into commodious warehouses.

Lastly.—That such a number of horses, mares, and geldings as the said skins will conveniently cover, be flayed (without fear of Mr. Martin!) and their backs forthwith enveloped in fleece.

By this arrangement the following benefits will arise to the government and community:—

1. Every horse whose hide was formerly only useful after death, will then afford an annual profit by producing two tods of wool yearly, without any loss to the tanner or shoemaker, who will still necessarily have as many hides as heretofore.

2. The health of that useful animal the horse, which is probably liable to more disorders than any other (the human species excepted) will be much better preserved by woollen than a hairy covering.

3. There will be little occasion for saddles, &c. as the fleece will afford a very easy seat, much softer than leather, and well adapted for ladies and invalids.

Lastly.—There will be an annual acquisition of about 40 millions sterling, from this novel mode of procedure, of which please to accept the following algebraical demonstration:—

Let x be the unknown quantity; a, the horses; b, the sheep; then per simple equations x, plus a, plus b, minus tods, plus sheepskins, equal one thousand—then minus sheep, plus horses, minus wool, plus tods, equal one million. Lastly, horses plus sheep, minus hides, plus fleeces, in all equal forty millions.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

There, reader, if you are still a sceptic, I cannot help it.



(For the Mirror.)

Why hast thou mortal, on my slumber broken,

And dragged my struggling spirit back to earth?

Though "walls have ears," yet stones have never spoken.

Why am I made the object of thy mirth?

Why am I questioned thus to tell my fate,

And primal use? Yet hear—whilst I relate.

When time was young, and earth was in her prime,

Secure I slept within her spacious womb;

And ages passed—I took no heed of time,

Until some Druid burst my dismal tomb,

And dragged me forth amidst the haunts of man.

And then, indeed my life of woe began.

And ere great Caesar in triumphant pride,

Led on by conquest, bade Rome's eagles soar

To this fair isle; full many a victim died

Upon my breast, and I was drenched with gore:

For "midst the tangling horrors of the wood,"

I stood an altar, stained with human blood.

I've witnessed scenes, which I now dread to name,

I've seen the captive bound in wicker rods

Expire, midst shouts, to feed the sacred flame,

And glut the fury of offended gods;

Those days soon passed—the gospel's milder ray

Dispelled the gloom, and spread a brighter day.

Then superstition tottered on her throne,

And hid her head in shades of gloomy night;

Quenched were her fires—her impious fanes o'er thrown,

Her mists dispersed before the Prince of Light,

Then sank my grandeur; in some lonely spot

I slept for years unnoticed and forgot.

Until Vespasian, by Rome's stern command,

To quench rebellion in my native isle,

Brought his bold legions from a foreign strand,

Our land to torture, and our towers to spoil;

He hewed me in a fashion now unknown,

And dubbed me, what I am, "The London Stone."

From me, the miles by Britons once were counted,

Close to my side were monies lent and paid;

If princes died—some gaudy herald mounted

Upon my head, and proclamations read;

Till Gresham rose; who used me very ill,

He moved the place of commerce to Cornhill.

When reeling homewards from the tavern near,

Oft with prince Henry has old honest Jack

Sat on my breast, and I've been doomed to hear

Him talk of valour, and of unpaid sack;

And whilst he talked, the roysterers gave vent,

To peals of laughter and of merriment.

Yes, I'm the hone that "City's Lord" essayed,

To make the whetstone of his rebel sword;

On me, with mischief rife, rebellious Cade

Sat whilst he thought and dubbed himself a Lord;

[pg 148]

And bade my conduit pipe for one whole year

At city's cost, run naught but claret clear.3

I could a tale of harrowing woes reveal,

Whilst York and Lancaster for mastery tried:

When men the ties of nature ceased to feel,

When sires beneath their offsprings' sabres died;

And sires 'gainst children clad themselves in arms,

And England mourned the din of war's alarms.

Yes, I beheld the beauteous virgin queen,

And all the dauntless heroes of her court;

Where danger threatened, 'midst the danger seen,

Bending their fearless way to Tilbury Fort;

I heard the shouts of joy which Britons gave,

When th' Armada sank beneath the wave.

I mind, Augusta,4 well that fatal day,

When to thy ports with dire contagion fraught.

The laden vessel5 stemmed its gallant way.

And to thy sons the plague disastrous brought;

Quick through thy walls the foul infection spread,

And thou became the city of the dead.

Scarce ceased the plague—when to my aching sight

Appeared a scene of most terrific woe;

Around me burnt one monstrous blaze of light,

I warmed, and almost melted with its glow;

I burst the chains,6 which bound me fast, asunder,

And now remain, to learned men a wonder.

And when the city from her ruins rose,

I soon was left deserted and forlorn;

A porters' bench was raised beneath my nose.

And I became the object of their scorn:

I've heard the rascals, with a vacant stare,

Ask, just like you, what business I had there?

Few years have passed, since I, by parish sages,

Was called a monstrous nuisance to the street,

And, though I'd borne the brunt of varying ages,

Was doomed for pavement 'neath the horses' feet,

Until a Maiden,7 near to Sherborne Lane,

Saved me—and rescued London from that stain.

And now, vain mortal, I have told thee all,

My fate, my primal use, the what and which;

And though my struggling spirit owned thy salt,

Once more I'll slumber in my holy niche,

And "Britain's sun may set," what's that to me,

Since I, stone-blind and dumb, for aye will be.



(To the Editor of the Mirror.)

A correspondent wishes to be informed of the definition of the word avver. In the 15th volume of the "Beauties of England and Wales," it is alluded to thus:—"This county (Westmoreland) being supposed unfavourable to the growth of wheat, black oats, called haver, and the species of barley called bere, or bigg, were the only grains it produced. Of the haver, bread was made, or the species of pottage called hasty pudding; this bread being made into thin unleavened cakes, and laid up in chests within the influence of the fire, has the quality of preserving its sweetness for several months; it is still in common use. The bigg was chiefly made into malt, and each family brewed its own ale; during the hay harvest the women drank a pleasant sharp beverage, made by infusing mint or sage buttermilk in whey, and hence called whey-whig. Wheaten bread was used on particular occasions; small loaves of it were given to persons invited to funerals, which they were expected "to take and eat" at home, in religious remembrance of their deceased neighbour; a custom, the prototype of which is evidently seen in the establishment of the eucharist, for in this county it still bears its Saxon name, Arvel bread, from appull, full of reverence, meaning the holy bread used at the communion."




Gray, as one of the party of dragoons who attended the Duke of Wellington, proceeded onward at a sharp pace through the marching columns, which his grace examined, with a close but quick glance, as he passed on, and after a march of seven leagues, came up with the Belgian troops under the Prince of Orange, who had been attacked and pushed back by the French. It was about seven o'clock; none of the British troops had yet arrived within some hours' march of the duke. The party of dragoons were ordered to remain in readiness for duty in a cornfield near the road, on a rising ground, which commanded a full view of the country in front, while the duke and his staff proceeded to the left.

[pg 149]

The four biscuits which had been served out to each man at Brussels the night before, with some cold beef, and the contents of their canteen, helped to regale the dragoons after their long and rapid march, while the stout steeds that had borne them found a delightful repast in the high rye that waved under their noses. Here they beheld passing on the road beside them many wounded Belgians, and could see before them, at the distance of a quarter of a mile, the French bayonets glistening over the high fields of corn, and hear distinctly the occasional discharges of musketry from tirailleurs. Gray's heart leaped with joy, and he thought no more of Brussels.

"What's this place called?" inquired one of the dragoons, generally of his comrades.

"Called!—Oh, some jaw-breaking Dutch name of a yard long, I suppose," replied another. "Ax Gentleman Gray—he'll tell you."

"Well, Mr. Gray, do you know the name of this here place?"

"I believe," replied Gray, "we are near a point called Quatre Bras, or the four roads."

"Well," rejoined the other, "if there were half-a-dozen roads, it wouldn't be too much for these here Flemingers—yon road's not wide enough for them, you see. Look, here's a regiment o' them coming back!"

"Ah! poor fellows—we might be in the same situation," observed Gray; "remember that their force is not strong in comparison with the French, by the accounts that have been received; better to fall back at the first of a fight than at the last."

"I say, Jack," said another, with his mouth full of biscuit, "did you ever meet with such a devil of a roadster as the carpolar there with the glazed cocked hat?"

"Who do you mean?" said Jack.

"Why the dook, to be sure—how he did give it us on the long road through the forest."

"Ay—he's the lad; well, here's God bless his jolly old glazed hat any way," cried the trooper, swallowing a horn of grog; "he's the boy what has come from the Peninsula just to gi' 'em a leaf out of his book. He was a dancing last night—riding like a devil all the morning—and I'll warrant he'll be fighting all the afternoon by way of refreshing himself."

"He look'd serious enough this morning though, Master Tom, as he was turning out."

"Serious! and so did you; hasn't he enough to make him look serious? Bony, and all the flower of the French before him. I like to see him look serious; he's just a thinking a bit, that's all. Look, look, look! where he is now pelting away up the hill there. My eye! but he's a rum on'."

"Ay, just as he was in the ould ground," cried an Hibernian. "'Pon my sowl, I think I'm in Spain agin. There he is, success to him!—an' the smell o' the powther too so natural."

"The light troops are pushing on towards that wood," said Gray, fixing his eyes on a particular spot.

"Sure enough they are. Ah! we'll soon have the boys up who will set them off with a flea in their ear."

"Look—on the rising ground there, about half a mile away, how they are moving about—that is a train of artillery—see the guns—there is a regiment of infantry going to the left—do you see their bayonets? A fine open place here for a battle."

"Not so good as that which we passed—the plain fields we crossed immediately after we left the forest of Soignes," said Gray: "however, that little wood on our right, in front, which runs along the road, is a good flank, and the village before us is a strong point."

"Ay, but you see the Belgian troops couldn't keep it; the French have pushed them out of it."

"We'll soon have it again, I'll warrant; our men have a fine open ground here, to give the French a lesson in dancing," cried the corporal of the party, throwing himself down on his back in the corn. "Here I'll lie and rest myself; and I don't think I shall be disturb'd by the buzzing of the blue flies! I'll have a snooze, until the Highlanders shall come up."

The party remained undisturbed, as the last speaker had intimated, until about half-past one o'clock; nothing having been done in the way of attack by the French. During the interval, Gray employed himself in watching closely the scene around him, and mentally discussing the chances of the now inevitably approaching fight.

The hour of struggle was near—the pibroch burst upon the ears of the troopers, and up they started.

"Here they come," cried one.—"Here they come," cried another—"the gallant 42nd; look at the petticoat-devils, how they foot it along!"

All stood on the highest part of the ground, to witness the arrival of the troops, who were now within a quarter of a mile of them on the main road. A hum arose. Belgian officers galloped down the road, and across the [pg 150] fields in all directions; the duke was seen riding towards his expected soldiers, and the scene was life at all points. The pibroch's sound grew louder; and now the bands of the more distant regiments were heard; and the harmonious bugles of the rifle corps, mingled their sounds with the others. The long red line of Britons is fully before the sight, like a giant stream of blood on the ripe and mellow bosom of the earth. Picton is at its head, and the duke greets the heroic partner of his glory. The first of the regiments passes close to the troopers, and receives a cheer from them, which found a return in the relaxing muscles of the hardy Scots.

"What corps is that?" inquired one of the group.

"The Royal Highlanders, the 42nd—don't you see they are turned up with blue and gold?" replied another.

"And what's this with the yellow facings?"

"The old 92nd."

"And the other Scotch regiment, with the green and gold?"

"The 79th; three as good kilted corps as ever crossed the Tweed. And there's the 95th rifle boys, as green as the wood they are going to take. And there see the 28th,—and the 44th,—and the 32nd;—that's Picton's division; a glorious set of fellows as ever slept."

"And who are the fellows all in black?"

"The bold Brunswick corps, with death's head on their caps—the undertakers of the French," cried the corporal.

Never did a young hero gaze on a gallant army with more enthusiastic feelings, than did Gray upon the troops before him—the sight stirred his heart-strings. They were within shot of their foe, and half an hour should see them in the bloody contest. He sighed to think that his own regiment was not yet come up, with which he might share the glory of the fight.

One after the other, the corps entered the fields, across the high corn, from the road, to take up their positions for the battle. Neither cavalry nor artillery had they to support them—their bayonets were their hopes; and their wise general placed them accordingly in squares, and at such distances as that one might support the other, while each would protect itself, independently, if necessary. The rifle corps now advanced, to open the business of the day by firing into a field of tirailleurs. The French were not idle at this time; they advanced in masses—cavalry and infantry; while a roar of cannon, that almost deafened every ear, covered the attack.

"They are coming on the centre," cried Gray: "see the cuirassiers—what a body of men! Oh! where is our cavalry?"

"Ay," cried a trooper; "and look, what columns of infantry!"

All now remained in breathless anxiety, gazing on the approaching masses of the enemy; not a word was spoken amongst the well-planted squares of the British. The French are within fifty yards of them, and the battle begins.

"There," cried a trooper; "how our men give it to them!—there's a volley!—look how the horses fall!—see, they can't stand it—hurra!—the rascals are staggered—the 27th are after them—they deploy into line; there the French go, with the bayonet at them, helter-skelter. But observe, at a little distance from them, the enemy's dragoons are at the 42nd—the Scotch open and let them pass; but now they get it right and left. Down they go; bravo! old Scotland."

"By heaven!" cried Gray, "here come the Brunswick horse in confusion, pursued by the cuirassiers along the road, near the village."

All turned to gaze at the point: it was too true: their leader had fallen; they had advanced too incautiously, and were therefore obliged to fall back.

"Here they come, and the French cavalry are close upon them. But see the Highlanders in the ditch. Hark! there—they give them a volley. Down tumble the horsemen!—look! they are in a heap on the ground."

A shout from the troopers acknowledged the glorious truth. It was the fire from the 92nd that achieved the triumph.

The artillery, the musketry, and the shouting of the combatants, became so deafening, that even the group of troopers unoccupied in the fight, and in the rear, could scarcely hear each other's voice. Gray's party mounted their horses now, in order to have a better view of the battle, and from the situation of the ground on which they were standing, they beheld, in awful anxiety, rush after rush made against the British infantry, whose duty was evidently that of firm defence; they beheld wave after wave of blue ranks advance over the rising bosom of the ground, and saw them successively battered by the rocks they assaulted—the ground covered with men and horses by the well-directed fire of the squares. The other divisions of the English army were fast arriving, and taking up ground on the left, in spite of the efforts of the French to prevent it, and thus divide them from their comrades engaged. A "lull," (as the sailors say, when the storm pauses a little,) took place, and both armies stood, as it [pg 151] were, looking at each other. But another and more desperate attack soon followed; the tempest returned with double violence. The mouths of Ney's numerous cannon opened again; the smoke drifted over on the English, and under its cover were seen advancing an immense force, for another struggle with the right of the duke's line, in order to turn it, and possess themselves of the village. The duke and his staff were in front of the 92nd regiment, and the balls playing on them had knocked down several of his aides-de-camp. As the foe came near, the artillery ceased, the close fight began, and several regiments at once poured in their fire: both sides kept their ground, and hundreds fell at every discharge of musketry. The duke now, in the pithy and familiar language of the soldier, cried out to the Scots, "Ninety-second, you must charge these fellows."

The word was magic; the kilts rushed against the blaze of the tirailleurs! Their leader and their officer fell amongst them: but, alas! their blood only enraged the men; fiercely as tigers they rush, and their bayonets sink into the mass before them. The whole fly before them, while the victorious Highlanders pursue them almost out of sight of their general. Alas! many of these heroes fell in their gallant work.

This glorious charge was beheld by Gray and his comrades with delight; their shacos waved over their heads, and their cries of exultation fully showed what a catching thing is the fever of the fight. One of the dragoons now turned his eyes to the wood on the right, which the French had possessed themselves of, and exclaimed, "But look, the guards have come up, and are in the wood. Where did they come from? I didn't see them before. Hark! how they shout; they are all amongst the trees."

"Yes, and they'll not soon come back; they'll keep their ground, I'll warrant," cried the corporal.

At this moment the troopers were somewhat disarranged by a part of the earth suddenly flying upwards in a cloud; it was the effect of a cannon-ball which had struck the ground. They started a few paces backwards, wiped their faces, and having all passed their jocular sentiments on the occasion, coolly united again to view and comment on the action.

They continued to gaze on the busy and bloody scene, with but few observations. Mass after mass was advancing against the steady squares of infantry, and received with roars of musketry; the cavalry of the enemy, desperate and disappointed, galloped about the close and well-guarded Britons, cutting at the ranks, and dropping as they cut. Artillery bellowed upon the unyielding heroes, whose ranks closed up at every point where the dead had opened them; they cried aloud for the order to advance; but received the cool and prudent negative of the watchful chief, who, during the action, was moving from rank to rank, encouraging and elevating the energies of his men.

The repeated unsuccessful attacks of the French wore out the patience of their general, and so thinned his ranks, that he at length ceased to contend, and drew off his troops from the field, leaving the English masters of it, and holding every point of the position which they had taken up in the early part of the day.—Tales of Military Life.



(For the Mirror.)

Mr. Bentham, in his "History of Ely Cathedral," says, that one of the earliest spires of which we have any account, "is that of old St. Paul's, finished in the year 1222." This spire was of timber covered with lead; "but, not long after, they began to build them of stone, and to finish all their buttresses in the same manner." Mr. Murphy observes that spires were introduced in the 12th century, about the time that the practice of burying in churches became general over Europe; and he supposes that the pyramidal form of the spire, was used as the denotation of a church comprising a cemetery. This representation he imagines to have been borrowed "from the ancient Egyptians, who placed the pyramid over their cemeteries, as denoting the soul under the emblem of a flame of fire, (whence it is supposed to derive its origin) thus to testify their belief of its immortality." There are other opinions respecting the origin of spires. It may appear probable (says Mr. Brewer,) to many persons, that such an elevated feature of our ancient churches was merely designed in the simplicity of its first intention, to act as a guide to the place of worship, when rural roads, throughout the whole country, were devious, and rendered more obscure by thick masses of forest and woodland.


[pg 152]




Lead is found in many countries, but is particularly abundant in England. The lead-mines in Derbyshire are many, as the Odin, Speedwell, Tideswell Moor, Dirtlow, &c.; and the ore is not only found in various soils, but mingled with a variety of substances. The Odin mine, at the foot of Mam Tor, and near it to the south, is the most celebrated and ancient of any in the county, being worked by the Saxons, from whom it received its name, whilst most of the mineral terms used there are of Saxon origin. The Speedwell mine did not repay the cost of working it; and, therefore, after an expense of 14,000l., and eleven years assiduous labour, was abandoned. Its interior is worthy the attention of the tourist.

Our engraving endeavours to represent the costume of women who work in some of the Derbyshire lead-mines; they are capital figures, to which the pencil can scarcely do justice; indeed, though this sketch was drawn from nature, it conveys but an imperfect idea of beings, (nondescripts,) who would assuredly delight Cruikshank. The dress of these women, of whom the writer saw several emerged from mines a few miles from the Peak, seems contrived to secure them from the cold and wet attendant upon their employment. The head is much enwrapped, and the features nearly hidden, in a muffling of handkerchiefs, over which is put a man's hat, in the manner of the paysannes of Wales, but not near so neat and stylish; besides, the Welsh women are generally handsome, and become the hat; but the case is far different with the fair miners of Derbyshire, at least those whom I saw, who were complete harridans. A man's coat, of coarse gray or dark blue cloth, defends the arms, back, throat, and bosom of each lady from the cold; beneath it, but tucked up all round so as to form a kind of bag, appears a gown of red stuff, which, set off by a bright green petticoat, produces an effect singular and amusing; then come the shoes, at least three inches thick, and long in proportion, bound on to the feet, in some instances, with handkerchiefs, and thongs, and cords: it is a wonder that the women can stir in such unwieldy slippers. Our party had stopped to collect specimens of the lead ore, when the carriages were instantly surrounded by these females, offering ore, zinc, slick-and-slide, and various quartz crystals and fluor spars for sale; some of the women were very old, and one in particular, who had worked in the mine from her youth, was nearly a hundred years of age, yet she was upright and active, and wrinkles alone betrayed the fact.



The Colosseum.

The curious mechanism by which it is proposed to elevate the visiters at this emporium of wonders, is as follows: A large bucket or tank of water will be connected with a movable platform that any number of persons may be placed in equilibrium with its fluid contents, and directly a sufficient quantity of water is introduced to produce a preponderance in the tank, the persons stationed on the platform will ascend.—The Atlas.

[pg 153]

Spots on the Sun.

An ingenious individual in Providence has very recently succeeded, by means of a seven-feet telescope, constructed by himself, on a new principle, in bringing the entire image of the sun into a darkened room, upon a white screen, to the size of eight feet in diameter. He writes us that his astonishment was great when he perceived that every spot now upon the face of the sun, nine in number, was distinctly transferred to the screen, and was so plain that he could see every movement of them in their various and sudden changes. He says he could plainly discover that those spots were immense bodies of smoke, apparently issuing from volcanoes; and as they seem occasionally forced upward from the craters, now forming dense clouds, and now dispersing, considers those phenomena as accounting for the rapid changes of those spots. The escape of such a vast quantity of gas from the interior of the body of the sun would, he observes, as it surrounds that luminary, produce that bright and dazzling appearance which is the atmosphere of the sun. This theory may not accord with the opinions of others who have made observations on the subject; but the writer, at any rate, entertains the strongest belief of its truth. With the same instrument, which is but just finished, he has also examined the moon, and states his conviction that that body is covered with perpetual snow and ice, the dark spots discoverable on its surface being frozen seas, and the lighter spaces land covered with snow. Those circular places, which have a rising cone in the centre, he thinks are extinguished volcanoes, as no clouds are perceptible over the moon's face; which being covered with snow and ice, accounts, as he imagines, for its clear atmosphere, or for the absence of an atmosphere. This vast accumulation of ice and snow upon the moon's surface may be explained, the writer conjectures, by the nature of the moon's revolutions. He offers to construct instruments of the above description, by which these phenomena may be observed, at prices from 50 to 100 dollars; and at the same rate to furnish solar microscopes, on a new principle, with a magnifying power at 12 feet distance, of 5,184,000.—Boston Bulletin.

National Repository.

Nearly two hundred specimens of curious works in arts and manufacture have already been laid before the committee of this establishment; the opening of which will take place in a few days.

Iron Trade.

In 1820, the whole iron made in Great Britain was 400,000 tons: in 1827, it had increased to 690,000 tons, from 284 furnaces. About three-tenths of this quantity are of a quality suitable for the foundry, which is all used in Great Britain and Ireland, with the exception of a small quantity exported to France and America. The other seven-tenths are made into bars, rods, sheets, &c., of which a large quantity is exported to all parts of the world.—Repertory of Arts.

Indian Claystone.

In some parts of India, the claystone contains numerous small nodules or lumps of clay iron-stone, which seldom exceed the size of a walnut. These are picked up by the natives, and are smelted by means of charcoal in a very small, rude furnace, blown by the hand-bellows, common all over India, and still used in Europe by the Gipsies. Many of the hills composed of claystone are neatly devoid of vegetation; their surface being bare and smooth, and of a red or black colour. The soil produced by the action of the atmosphere is not very productive; and so liable is it, in some places, to consolidate, when deprived of its moisture, that, if it be not constantly cultivated, it soon becomes hard and bare, and checks all vegetation.

Public Improvement.

The spirit of general improvement pervades every part of the continent, and is even more active in France than in Britain. In Britain, the spirit of improvement is chiefly evinced in public works, and in the useful arts and manufactures, and its efforts are characterized much more by superfluity of wealth than by science or refinement: in Germany this spirit is evinced in public buildings, in a superior taste, in agriculture, and education—Gard. Mag.

The Himalaya Mountains.

This vast accumulation of sublime peaks, the pinnacles of our globe, is so extensive, that a plane, resting on elevations 21,000 feet, may be stretched in one direction as far as the Hindoo Cosh, for upwards of 1,000 miles, above which rise loftier summits, increasing in height to nearly 6,000 feet more.

To make Gold Size.

Melt one pound of asphaltum, and pour into it another pound of linseed oil, rendered drying by litharge; add also to it half a pound of red lead or vermilion. When the varnish becomes thick or pasty, thin it by adding [pg 154] one pound, or a pound and a half of spirit of turpentine; as more is required in winter than in summer.

Indian Corn.

Mr. C. Hall Jessop, of Cheltenham, asserts that he "was the first who recommended the Indian corn for field culture in this country," which he did "in a letter to G. Talbot, Esq., of Guiting, seven years ago."

Polishing Stones.

The Hindoos polish all kinds of stones by means of powdered corundrum, mixed with melted lac. The mixture being allowed to cool, is shaped into oblong pieces, of three or four inches in length. The stone is polished by being sprinkled with water; and at the same time rubbed with three oblong masses; and the polish is increased by masses being used successively with finer grains.

Sensitive Plant.

Mr. Burnet and Mr. Mayo have found, that at the moment the sensitive plant is touched, so as to occasion motion, it changes colour. They have also found that when a sensitive plant has been made to droop, the part in which the moving power resides is blackened, so as to absorb the light of the sun; the restoration of the plant to its natural state is much longer in taking place.

Indian Mills.

In India, granite is hewn into hand-mills for grinding corn; two or four of which are a load for an ass or a bullock, and are thus carried to the bazaar for sale. These are the primeval mills of all countries, which are mentioned in Scripture, and are still common among all uncivilized nations.


Dr. Davey, by some recent experiments, has proved that when musk, in admixture with quicklime, smells of ammonia, it is impure or adulterated; and further, that, to preserve it well, it should be made perfectly dry; but when it is to be used as a perfume, it should be moistened.

Loch Lomond.

Mr. Galbraith has recently determined the quantity of water annually discharged by the river Leven from the basin of Loch Lomond to be about 59,939 cubic feet per minute. Now, as 36 cubic feet of fresh water are very near equal to a ton, this gives 1,665 tons per minute; and, supposing the year to be 365 days, 5 hours, 40 minutes, the annual discharge, at that rate, will be 877,295,085 tons. But as the river was rather below its average height, one-third may be added to this result; and we have about 1,200,000,000, or twelve hundred millions of tons per annum.



Our English love-smitten lads and lasses are pretty generally aware of the facility with which the most awful and holy of all engagements may be contracted in North Britain. They sometimes make the experiment in their own persons; and, "by the simplicity of Venus' doves," old boys and old girls have been known to follow, as fast as post-chaises, horses, and lads could carry them, close upon the heels of their juniors, (bound on the same errand,) to the blissful land o' cakes and matrimony. An English gentleman, known to the writer, was making a few purchases in a shop, wherein stood three or four other customers. A man and woman entered, and the former, addressing the master of the shop and his aforesaid customers, used, as he took the woman's right hand, words to this effect:—"Witness, ye that are here present, that I (N. or M.) take this woman (N. or M.) for my wedded wife." In like manner the sposa desired all present to witness that she took the man for her wedded husband, with her own full acquiescence in, and approbation of, his determination. The English gentleman who had witnessed, in silent amazement, this (to him) novel engagement, was informed, after the departure of the happy couple, that the marriage was to all intents and purposes valid by Scotch law, having been solemnized as effectually as if by religious rites, in the presence of respectable housekeepers, who, as such, were efficient witnesses, and all that were requisite of ceremonial to make the marriage good!

I give this anecdote as related to me by the gentleman who saw the incident mentioned; should there be any discrepancies in his relation, I shall feel obliged by a correct account of the manner of contracting marriages in Scotland, from any of your correspondents capable of giving such.


A gentleman, who had resided many years abroad, and particularly amongst the Italian Catholics, once described to me the manner in which the [pg 155] Capuchins inter the brethren of their order. These defunct freres are embalmed, arrayed in their peculiar habits, as when living; and in the vaults of their monastic churches or chapels, ranged upright in niches formed for this purpose. On certain days, particularly on the Feast of All Souls, the doors of these cemeteries are opened to the public, who, as a religious duty, flock in to view these singular and affecting relics of mortality. The bodies undergo but little alteration in appearance for centuries; but Mr. M. being tempted to touch the very long nose of one old fellow, who looked "a leathern Pharoah, grinning in the dark," it disappeared in a shower of dust beneath his fingers.


"Palermo," said a lady whom I saw immediately after her return from a tour in Sicily, "is indeed a beautiful city; but I thought some things strange in the manners of the inhabitants. Mr. H. and myself were invited to a music-party, at the house of a person in the best society, whereat appeared most of the ladies in coloured and high morning dresses. Two tallow candles and a small lamp stood on the piano-forte in the music-room, and from this room we descended by three or four steps into another, containing a bed, over which was a shelf; upon the shelf was placed one bottle of wine and a few glasses; and this being intended expressly for the ladies, they were expected to go and help themselves when they pleased; but a fresh bottle of wine was brought when the first was exhausted."


"The dinner-hour in the country," said a relation of the writer, who spends a great deal of time in France, "is generally two o'clock, even when company are invited to partake of the dinner; in which case, the whole party has quitted the house by six or seven in the evening,—a custom which ill accords with English ideas of sociability. Three table-cloths are usually laid upon the table, the first and second of which are, or may be, removed during the repast; but the third is never drawn off, except to be changed for a clean one. In England, we pride ourselves upon the fine mahogany of which our dinner-tables are made; we endeavour to obtain, in the first instance, an excellent piece of wood, and to improve it by assiduous rubbing and polishing. In France, it matters not of what material the table is framed; a cloth is always upon it; and I have seen the hospitable board of many families of rank literally formed of deal."


"In this part of the world," says a private letter from India, (Hyderabad,) "we do not talk of striking gongs for dinner, but ghuzzies,—ghong meaning a horse or mare."


In Ireland, when a man marries, who cannot afford to treat his friends to whiskey upon the occasion, they take the door of his house off the hinges, lay him upon it, and carry him thus upon their shoulders all day. In the evening he is allowed to return to his deserted bride. This custom is called "boarding," and is so frequent, as I myself can attest from personal observation, as to attract but little attention from the commonalty, and nothing like a mob.




We were all—Julia, her aunt, and myself, seated at a comfortable fire on a December evening. The night was dark, starless, and rainy, while the drops pattered upon the windows, and the wind howled at intervals along the house-tops. In a word, it was as gloomy a night as one would wish to see in this, the most dismal season of the year. Strictly speaking, I should have been at home, for it was Sunday; and my own habitation was at too great a distance to justify a visit of mere ceremony on so sacred a day, and amid such stormy weather. The truth is, I sallied out to see Julia.

I verily believe I could write a whole volume about her. She came from the north country, and was at this time on a visit to her aunt, in whose house she resided; and in whose dining-room, at the period of my story, we were all seated round a comfortable fire. Though a prodigious admirer of beauty, I am a bad hand at describing it. To do Julia justice, however, I must make the attempt. She was rather under the middle size, (not much,) blue-eyed, auburn-haired, fair-complexioned, and her shape was of uncommon elegance and proportion. Neck, bosom, waist, ankles, feet, hands, &c. all were perfect, while her nose was beautifully Grecian, her mouth sweetness itself, and her teeth as white and sparkling as pearls. In a word, I don't believe that wide Scotland could boast of a prettier girl—to say nothing of merry England and the Isle of Saints.

It was at this time about eight o'clock: tea had just been over, the tray [pg 156] removed, and the table put to rights. The star of my attraction was seated at one side of the fire, myself at the opposite, the lady of the house in the centre. We were all in excellent humour, and Julia and I eyed each other in the most persevering style imaginable. Her aunt indeed rallied us upon the occasion; and I thought Julia never appeared half so beautiful as now.

A servant bouncing by accident into a room where a gallant is on his knees before his mistress, and in the act of "popping the question," is vexatious. An ass thrusting its head through the broken window of a country church, and braying aloud while the congregation are busily chanting "Old Hundred," or some other equally devout melody, is vexatious. An elderly gentleman losing his hat and wig on a windy day, is vexatious. A young gentleman attempting to spring over a stile by way of showing his agility to a bevy of approaching ladies, and coming plump down upon the broadest part of his body, is vexatious. All these things are plagues and annoyances sufficient to render life a perfect nuisance, and fill the world with innumerable heart-breakings and felo-de-sees. But bad as they are, they are nothing to the intolerable vexation experienced by me, (and I believe by Julia too,) on hearing a slow, loud, solemn stroke of the knocker upon the outer door. It was repeated once—twice—thrice. We heard it simultaneously—we ceased speaking simultaneously—we (to wit, Julia and I) ceased ogling each other simultaneously. The whole of us suspended our conversation in a moment—looked to the door of the room—breathed hard, and wondered what it could be. The reader will perhaps marvel how such an impression could be produced by so very trivial a circumstance; but if he himself had heard the sound, he would cease to wonder at the strangeness of our feelings. The knocks were the most extraordinary ever heard. They were not those petty, sharp, brisk, soda-water knocks given by little, bustling, common-place men. On the contrary, they were slow, sonorous, and determinate. What was still more remarkable, they were three in number, neither more nor less.

Scarcely had our surprise time to subside, than we heard the outer door opened by the servant—then it closed—then heavy footsteps, one, two, and three, were audible in the lobby—then the dining-room door was opened; and a form which filled the whole of its ample aperture, from top to bottom, from right to left, made its appearance. It was the figure of a man, but language would sink under his immensity. Never in heaven, or earth, or air, or ocean, was such a man seen. He was hugeness itself—bulk personified—the beau ideal of amplitude. When the dining-room door was first opened, the glare of the well-lighted lobby gleamed in upon us, illuminating our whole apartment with increase of lustre; but no sooner did he set his foot upon the threshold, than the lobby light behind him was shut out. He filled the whole gorge of the door like an enormous shade.

Onward, clothed in black, came the moving mountain, and a very pleasing monster he was. A neck like that of a rhinoceros sat piled between his "Atlantean shoulders," and bore upon its tower-like and sturdy stem, a countenance prepossessing from its good-humour, and amazing for its plumpness and rubicundity. His cheeks were swollen out into billows of fat—his eyes overhung with turgid and most majestic lids, and his chin double, triple, ay quadruple. As for his mouth—

"It was enough to win a lady's heart

With its bewitching smile."

Onward came the moving mountain—shaking the floor beneath his tread, filling a tithe of the room with his bulk, and blackening every object with his portentous shadow.

I was amazed—I was confounded—I was horrified. Not so Julia and her aunt, who, far from participating in my perturbed emotions, got up from their seats, smiled with a welcoming nod, and requested him to sit down.

"Glad to see you, Mr. Tims," said Julia.

"Glad to see you, Mr. Tims," said her aunt.

"Mr. Tims!" Gracious heavens, and was this the name of the mighty entrant? Tims! Tims! Tims!—the thing was impossible. A man with such a name should be able to go into a nut-shell; and here was one that the womb of a mountain could scarcely contain! Had he been called Sir Bullion O'Dunder, Sir Theodosius M'Turk, Sir Rugantino Magnificus, Sir Blunderbuss Blarney, or some other high-sounding name, I should have been perfectly satisfied. But to be called Tims! Upon my honour, I was shocked to hear it.

Mr. Tims sat him down upon the great elbow-chair, for he was a friend, it seems, of the family—a weighty one assuredly; but one whose acquaintanceship they were all glad to court. The ladies, in truth, seemed [pg 157] much taken with his society. They put fifty questions to him about the play—the assembly—the sermon—marriages—deaths—christenings, and what not; the whole of which he answered with surprising volubility. His tongue was the only active part about him, going as glibly as if he were ten stones, instead of thirty, and as if he were a Tims in person as well as in name. In a short time I found myself totally neglected. Julia ceased to eye me, her aunt to address me, so completely were their thoughts occupied with the Man-Mountain.

In about half an hour I began to feel confoundedly uncomfortable. I was a mere cipher in the room; and what with the appalling bulk of Mr. Tims, the attention the ladies bestowed upon him, and the neglect with which they treated me, I sunk considerably in my own estimation. In proportion as this feeling took possession of me, I experienced an involuntary respect for the stranger. I admired his intimate knowledge of balls, dresses, faux pas, marriages, and gossip of all sorts—and still more I admired his bulk. I have an instinctive feeling of reverence towards "Stout Gentlemen;" and, while contrasting my own puny form with his, I laboured under a deep consciousness of personal insignificance. From being five feet eight, I seemed to shrink to five feet one; from weighing ten stones, I suddenly fell to seven and a half; while my portly rival sat opposite to me, measuring at least a foot taller than myself, and weighing good thirty stones, jockey weight. If any little fellow like me thinks of standing well with his mistress, let him never appear in her presence with such a gentleman as Mr. Tims. She will despise him to a certainty; nor, though his soul be as large as Atlas or Teneriffe, will it compensate for the paltry dimensions of his body.

What was to be done? With the ladies, it was plain, I could do nothing: with Mr. Tims, it was equally plain, I ought to do nothing—seeing that, however much he was the cause of my uneasiness, he was at least the innocent cause, and therefore neither morally nor judicially amenable to punishment. From respecting Mr. Tims I came to hate him; and I vowed internally, that, rather than be annihilated by this enlarged edition of Daniel Lambert, I would pitch him over the window. Had I been a giant, I am sure I would have done it on the spot. The giants of old, it is well known, raised Pelion upon Ossa, in their efforts to scale the throne of heaven; and tossed enormous mountains at the godhead of Jupiter himself. Unfortunately for me, Mr. Tims was a mountain, and I was no giant.

I accordingly got up, and, pretending it was necessary that I should see some person in the next street, abruptly left the room. Julia—I did not expect it—saw me to the door, shook hands with me, and said she hoped I would return to supper when my business was finished. Sweet girl! was it possible she could prefer the Man-Mountain to me?

Away I went into the open air. I had no business whatever to perform: it was mere fudge; and I resolved to go home as fast as I could.

But I did not go home. On the contrary, I kept strolling about from street to street, sometimes thinking upon Julia, sometimes upon Mr. Tims. The night was of the most melancholy description—a cold, cloudy, windy, rainy December night. Not a soul was upon the streets excepting a solitary straggler, returning hither and thither from an evening sermon, or an occasional watchman gliding past with his lantern, like an incarnation of the Will-o'-wisp. I strolled up and down for half an hour, wrapped in an olive great-coat, and having a green silk umbrella over my head. It was well I chanced to be so well fortified against the weather; for had it been otherwise, I must have been drenched to the skin. Where I went I know not, so deeply was my mind wound up in its various melancholy cogitations. This, however, I do know, that, after striking against sundry lamp-posts, and overturning a few old women in my fits of absence, I found myself precisely at the point from which I set out, viz. at the door of Julia's aunt's husband's house.

I paused for a moment, uncertain whether to enter, and, in the meantime, turning my eyes to the window, where, upon the white blind, I beheld the enormous shadow of a human being. My flesh crept with horror on witnessing this apparition, for I knew it to be the shadow of the Man-Mountain—the dim reflection of Mr. Tims. No other human being could cast such a shade. Its proportions were magnificent, and filled up the whole breadth of the window-screen; nay, the shoulders shot away latterly beyond its utmost limits, and were lost in space, having apparently nothing whereon to cast their mighty image. On beholding this vast shade, my mind was filled with a thousand exalted thoughts.

I paused at the door for sometime, uncertain whether to enter; at last my mind was made up, and I knocked, resolved to encounter the Man-Mountain a second time, and, if possible, recover the lost glances of Julia. On [pg 158] entering the dining-room, I found an accession to the company in the person of our landlord, who sat opposite to Mr. Tims, listening to some facetious story, which the latter gentleman seemed in the act of relating. He had come home during my absence, and, like his wife and her niece, appeared to be fascinated by the eloquence and humour of his stout friend. At least, so I judged, for he merely recognised my presence by a slight bow, and devoted the whole of his attention to the owner of the mighty shadow. Julia and her aunt were similarly occupied, and I was more neglected than ever.

Perhaps the reader may think that there was something ludicrous in the idea of such a man being in love. Not at all—the notion was sublime; almost as sublime as his shadow—almost as overwhelming as his person. Conceive the Man-Mountain playing the amiable with such a delicate young creature like Julia. Conceive him falling on his knees before her—pressing her delicate hand, and "popping the question," while his large round eyes shed tears of affection and suspense, and his huge sides shook with emotion! Conceive him enduring all the pangs of love-sickness, never telling his love; "concealment, like a worm in the bud, preying upon his damask cheek," while his hard-hearted mistress stood disdainfully by, "like pity on a monument, smiling at grief." Above all, conceive him taking the lover's leap—say from Dunnet or Duncansby-head, where the rocks tower four hundred feet above the Pentland Firth, and floundering in the waters like an enormous whale; the herring shoals hurrying away from his unwieldy gambols, as from the presence of the real sea-born leviathan. Cacus in love was not more grand, or the gigantic Polyphemus, sighing at the feet of Galatea, or infernal Pluto looking amiable beside his ravished queen. Have you seen an elephant in love? If you have, you may conceive what Mr. Tims would be in that interesting situation.

Supper was brought in. It consisted of eggs, cold veal, bacon-ham, and a Welsh rabbit. I must confess, that, perplexed as I was by all the previous events of the evening, I felt a gratification at the present moment, in the anxiety to see how the Man-Mountain would comport himself at table. I had beheld his person and his shadow with equal admiration, and I doubted not that his powers of eating were on the same great scale as his other qualifications. They were, indeed. Zounds, how he did eat! Cold veal, eggs, bacon-ham, and Welsh rabbit, disappeared "like the baseless fabric of a vision, and left not a wreck behind;" so thoroughly had nine-tenths of them taken up their abode in the bread basket (vide Jon Bee) of the Man-Mountain; the remaining tenth sufficed for the rest of the company, viz. Julia, her aunt, her aunt's husband, and myself.

Liquor was brought in, to wit, wine, brandy, whisky, and rum. I felt an intense curiosity to see on which of the four Mr. Tims would fix his choice. He fixed upon brandy, and made a capacious tumbler of hot toddy. I did the same, and asked Julia to join me in taking a single glass—I was forestalled by the Man-Mountain. I then asked the lady of the house the same thing, but was forestalled by her husband.

Meanwhile, the evening wearing on, the ladies retired, and Mr. Tims, the landlord, and myself, were left to ourselves. This was the signal for a fresh assault upon the brandy-bottle. Another tumbler was made—then another—then a fourth. At this period Julia appeared at the door, and beckoned upon the landlord, who arose from table, saying he would rejoin us immediately. Mr. Tims and I were thus left alone, and so we continued, for the landlord, strange to say, did not again appear. What became of him I know not. I supposed he had gone to bed, and left his great friend and myself to pass the time as we were best able.

We were now commencing our fifth tumbler, and I began to feel my whole spirit pervaded by the most delightful sensations. My heart beat quicker, my head sat more lightly than usual upon my shoulders; and sounds like the distant hum of bees, or the music of the spheres, heard in echo afar off, floated around me. There was no bar between me and perfect happiness, but the Man-Mountain, who sat on the great elbow-chair opposite, drinking his brandy-toddy, and occasionally humming an old song with the utmost indifference.

It was plain that he despised me. While any of the others were present he was abundantly loquacious, but now he was as dumb as a fish—tippling in silence, and answering such questions as I put to him in abrupt monosyllables. The thing was intolerable, but I saw into it: Julia had played me false; the "Mountain" was the man of her choice, and I his despised and contemptible rival.

These ideas passed rapidly through my mind, and were accompanied with myriads of others. I bethought me of every thing connected with Mr. Tims—his love for Julia—his elephantine dimensions, and his shadow, [pg 159] huge and imposing as the image of the moon against the orb of day, during an eclipse. Then I was transported away to the Arctic sea, where I saw him floundering many a rood, "hugest of those that swim the ocean stream." Then he was a Kraken fish, outspread like an island upon the deep: then a mighty black cloud affrighting the mariners with its presence: then a flying island, like that which greeted the bewildered eyes of Gulliver. At last he resumed his human shape, and sat before me like "Andes, giant of the Western Star," tippling the jorum, and sighing deeply.

Yes, he sighed profoundly, passionately, tenderly; and the sighs came from his breast like blasts of wind from the cavern of Eolus. By Jove, he was in love; in love with Julia! and I thought it high time to probe him to the quick.

"Sir," said I, "you must be conscious that you have no right to love Julia. You have no right to put your immense body between her and me. She is my betrothed bride, and mine she shall be for ever."

"I have weighty reasons for loving her," replied Mr. Tims.

"Were your reasons as weighty as your person, you shall not love her."

"She shall be mine," responded he, with a deeply-drawn sigh. "You cannot, at least, prevent her image from being enshrined in my heart. No, Julia! even when thou descendest to the grave, thy remembrance will cause thee to live in my imagination, and I shall thus write thine elegy:

I cannot deem thee dead—like the perfumes

Arising from Judea's vanished shrines

Thy voice still floats around me—nor can tombs

A thousand, from my memory hide the lines

Of beauty, on thine aspect which abode,

Like streaks of sunshine pictured there by God.

She shall be mine," continued he in the same strain. "Prose and verse shall woo her for my lady-love; and she shall blush and hang her head in modest joy, even as the rose when listening to the music of her beloved bulbul beneath the stars of night."

These amorous effusions, and the tone of insufferable affectation with which they were uttered, roused my corruption to its utmost pitch, and I exclaimed aloud, "Think not, thou revivification of Falstaff—thou enlarged edition of Lambert—thou folio of humanity—thou Titan—thou Briareus—thou Sphynx—thou Goliath of Gath, that I shall bend beneath thy ponderous insolence?" The Mountain was amazed at my courage; I was amazed at it myself; but what will not Jove, inspired by brandy, effect?

"No," continued I, seeing the impression my words had produced upon him, "I despise thee, and defy thee, even as Hercules did Antaeus, as Sampson did Harapha, as Orlando did Ferragus. 'Bulk without spirit vast,' I fear thee not; come on." So saying, I rushed onward to the Mountain, who arose from his seat to receive me. The following passage from the Agonistes of Milton will give some idea of our encounter:

"As with the force of winds and water pent,

When mountains tremble, these two massy pillars,

With horrible convulsion to and fro,

He tugged, he shook, till down they came, and drew

The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder,

Upon the heads of all who sat beneath."

"Psha!" said Julia, blushing modestly, "can't you let me go?" Sweet Julia, I had got her in my arms.

"But where," said I, "is Mr. Tims?"

"Mr. who?" said she.

"The Man-Mountain."

"Mr. Tims!—Man-Mountain!" resumed Julia, with unfeigned surprise. "I know of no such persons. How jocular you are to-night—not to say how ill-bred, for you have been asleep for the last five minutes!"

"Sweet, sweet Julia!"


Blackwood's Magazine.



'Tis now the hour—'tis now the hour

To bow at Beauty's shrine;

Now whilst, our hearts confess the power

Of woman, wit, and wine;

And beaming eyes look on so bright,

Wit springs—wine sparkles in their light.

In such an hour—in such an hour,

In such an hour as this,

While Pleasure's fount throws up a shower

Of social sprinkling bliss,

Why does my bosom heave the sigh

That mars delight?—She is not by!

There was an hour—there was an hour

When I indulged the spell

That Love wound round me with a power

Words vainly try to tell—

Though Love has fill'd my checker'd doom

With fruits and thorns, and light and gloom—

Yet there's an hour—there's still an hour

Whose coming sunshine may

Clear from the clouds that hang and lower

My fortune's future day;

That hour of hours beloved will be,

That hour that gives thee back to me!

New Monthly Magazine.


"A snapper-up of unconsidered tifles."


What will our civic friends say to this, about the date of 1686?—"Among other policies of assurance which appear at the Exchange, there is one of [pg 160] no ordinary nature; which is, that Esquire Neale, who hath for some time been a suitor to the rich Welsh widow Floyd, offers as many guineas as people will take to receive thirty for each one in case he marry the said widow. He hath already laid out as much as will bring him in 10 or 12,000 guineas; he intends to make it 30,000, and then to present it to the lady in case she marry him; and any one that will accept of guineas on that condition may find as many as he pleases at Garraway's coffee-house."—Ellis Correspondence.


Three poets, of three different nations born,

With works immortal do this age adorn;

Byron, of England—Scott, of Scotia's blood—And,

Erin's pride, O'Kelly, great and good.

'Twould take a Byron and a Scott, I tell ye,

Roll'd up in one, to make a Pat O'Kelly.

Legends of the Lakes.


(For the Mirror.)

Macnamara, son of a sea-hound.

Macmahon, son of a bear.

Brien, the force of water.

Kennedy, wearing a helmet.

Horan, the gold of poetry.

Sullivan, having but one eye.

Gallagher, the helper of Englishmen.

Riordan, a royal salmon.

Lysaght, a hired soldier.

Finnoala, white-shouldered.

Una, matchless.

Farrell, a fair man.

Mohairey, an early riser.

Naghten, a strong person.

Trayner, a strong man.

Keeffe, mild.

Keating, a shower of fire.

Kinahan, a moss trooper.

Kearney, a soldier.

Leahy, a champion.

Macaveely, son of the hero.

Ardil, of high descent.

Dermid, a god in arms.

Toraylagh, like a tower.

Cairbre, a royal person.

Flinn, red haired.

Dwyer, a dark man.

Docharty, dangerous.

Mullane, broad head.

Cullane, broad poll.

Flaherty, a powerful chief.

Lalor, or Lawler, one who speaks by halves.

Tierney, a lord.

Bulger, a Dutchman.

Dougal, a Dane.

Mac Intosh, son of the chief.

Mac Tagart, son of the priest.

Mac'Nab, son of the abbot.

Mac Clery, son of a clerk.

Mac Lure, son of a tailor.

Macgill, son of a squire.

Macbrehane, son of a judge.

Mac Tavish, son of a savage.

Goff, or Gough, smith.

Galt, a Protestant.

Gillespie, the bishop's squire.

The whole of the above are literal translations without having recourse to fancy, or torturing the originals; thus, Macnamara, called in Irish Mac Conmara, from mac, a son, con, the genitive case of cu, a hound, and mara, the genitive case of muir, the sea; and so of the rest. It is proper, however, to observe, that although the name of Keating sounds exactly in Irish a "shower of fire" yet as the Keatings came at first from England, this cannot be the real origin of that name. All the rest are literally correct.



Lord Bacon tells us of a man who fasted five days, without meat, bread, or drink, by smelling a wisp of herbs, among which were strong onions.

PURCHASERS of the MIRROR, who may wish to complete their sets are informed, that every Volume is complete in itself, and may be purchased separately. The whole of the numbers are now in print, and can be procured by giving an order to any Bookseller or Newsvender.

Complete sets Vol I. to XII. in boards, price £3. 5s. half bound, £4. 2s. 6d.


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Footnote 1:(return)

Their annual meeting is in August, when the examination takes place. Fourteen exhibitions have been instituted, each of the exhibitioners being allowed forty pounds per annum to assist in their support, for seven years, at either university.

Footnote 2:(return)

See Ode to London Stone. MIRROR, No. 357, p. 114.

Footnote 3:(return)

See Shakspeare's Henry VI., part 2, act 4, scene 6.

Footnote 4:(return)

The ancient name for London.

Footnote 5:(return)

The cause of the great plague in 1665, was ascribed to the importation of infected goods from Holland, where the plague had committed great ravages the preceding year.

Footnote 6:(return)

Stowe in his history describes the London Stone, "fixed in the ground very deep, fastened with bars of iron and otherwise, so strongly set that if carts do runne against it through negligence, the wheels be broken, and the stone itself unshaken."

See No. 64 of the Mirror for an account of London Stone.

Footnote 7:(return)

When the church of St. Swithin was repaired in 1798, some of the parishioners declared the London Stone a nuisance which ought to be removed. Fortunately, one gentleman, Thomas Maiden, of Sherborne Laue, interfered and rescued it from annihilation, and caused it to be placed in its present situation.

Footnote 8:(return)

From sources entirely original.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Mirror of Literature, Amusement,
and Instruction., by Various


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