The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. Volume 20, No. 570, October 13, 1832 by Various
THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
Vol. 20, No. 570.] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13, 1832. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
THE ISLE OF WIGHT.
[Illustration: (Wilkes's Cottage.)]
NOTES FROM A PEDESTRIAN EXCURSION IN THE ISLAND.
By a Correspondent.
Although the roads of the island have within the last twenty years been rendered passable for vehicles of all kinds, even to stage coaches, yet by far the best mode of inspecting this English Arcadia is to travel through it on foot, commencing at Ryde.
From this town a footpath leads across the park and grounds of St. John's into the high road which may be followed to Brading. About a mile from that place is Nunwell, the seat of Sir W. Oglander; and opposite is a delightful view of Bembridge (the birthplace of Madame de Feuchares) and Brading Harbour, which at high water presents to the eye a rich, deep, green colour, with an increased effect from being surveyed through the long line of tall elms on the road side. Brading boasts of a mayor and corporation, and formerly sent a member to parliament, which privilege was abolished by Queen Elizabeth. The town is of high antiquity, as is also the church, which tradition says was the first built in the island. It contains few monuments of interest or note, but the surrounding burial-ground can boast of a collection of epitaphs and inscriptions which are above mediocrity. The following to the memory of Miss Barry by the Rev. Mr. Gill has been rendered celebrated by the admirable music of Dr. Calcott:
Forgive, blest shade, the tributary tear, That mourns thy exit from a world like this; Forgive the wish that would have kept thee here, And stayed thy progress to the realms of bliss. No more confined to grov'ling scenes of night-- No more a tenant pent in mortal clay; Now should we rather hail thy glorious flight, And trace thy journey to the realms of day.
On a rising ground at the end of the town is the Mall; at the entrance of which the earth reverberates to the tread of horses' feet in a manner similar to that produced by riding over a bridge or hollow. It is most probably occasioned by a natural cleft in the chalk beneath the gravel road. Here the tourist should rest to enjoy a scene of unrivalled beauty. On the left, below the road, lies the town of Brading, and more remote, St. Helen's Road, and the opposite coasts of Portsmouth and Southsea. In front, at the foot of the hill, are the rich levels, with the sinuous river Yar slowly winding towards the harbour, with the full broad front of Bembridge Down interrupting the marine view, which is again presented on the right from the village of Sandown to the extremity of Shanklin. At the foot of Brading Hill the road divides itself into two branches. The one to the right leads direct to Shanklin, over Morton Common: the other to the left lies through Yarbridge to Yaverland and Sandown. We recommend the latter, as the farm-house and church at Yaverland are worthy of notice. The former is a fine capacious stone building, of the time of James I., containing some well executed specimens of carved oak. The church is annexed to the house, and has a curious semicircular doorway. Culver Cliffs, about a mile and a half from Yaverland, may be approached by a footpath across the fields, which will also lead to Hermit's Hole, a cavern of great depth in the side of the cliff. These cliffs were much celebrated for a choice breed of falcons, which were esteemed so highly by Queen Elizabeth, that she procured the birds regularly from the Culver Cliffs, and they were trained with much care for her majesty's own use. On the shore beneath, but more towards Sandown, near what is called the Red Cliff, (from the colour of the soil,) many fossil remains have been lately discovered; some of animals of a gigantic size.
Sandown Fort is the next object in the road to Shanklin. "It commands the bay from which it derives its name, and is a low, square building flanked by four bastions, and encompassed by a ditch. A small garrison is kept in it. This fort commands the only part of the coast of the island where an enemy could land. A castle was built near this by Henry VIII., and its establishment in that monarch's reign was, a captain, at 4s. per day; an under captain, at 2s.; thirteen soldiers, at 6d. per day each; one porter, at 8d.; one master gunner, at 8d.; and seven other gunners, at 6d. per day. Fee 363l. 6s. 8d. It was erected to defend the only accessible place of debarkation on the coast from the hostile visits the island had in this and the preceding reign been so often subjected to; but, from the encroachments of the sea, it was deemed necessary, in the time of Charles I. to remove the old structure, and with the materials to construct the present building. The arms of Richard Weston, Earl of Portland, are carved in the panels of the chimney-piece in the drawing-room, with the supporters, and collar of the Garter, and implements of war."
 From Sheridan's _Guide to the Isle of Wight_--one of the best books of the kind that has lately fallen under our notice.
About half a mile from the Fort is Sandown Cottage, formerly the elegant retreat of the celebrated John Wilkes, the chief star in the political horizon, during the administration of the Earl of Bute. The cottage is situated as the Engraving shows, near the shore of Sandown Bay, which extends about six miles, the eastern extremity being terminated by the chalky cliffs of Culver, and the south-western by the craggy rocks of the mountainous part of Dunnose. The house is small, and has been elegantly fitted up; in the gardens were some detached and pleasant apartments, constructed with floorcloth of Kensington manufacture. But the labours of Wilkes's retirement have been swept away, and there is scarcely a relic
Where once the garden smiled.
Shanklin may be approached by the sea shore at low water or by Lake and Hillyards, if the high road be preferred. At this delightful village seem assembled all the charms of rural scenery, hill, wood, valley, corn field and water; aided by the wide extended ocean, reaching to the eastern horizon, with the majestic white cliffs of Culver at the extremity of the bay on the left, and the long range of cliffs of every hue and colour gradually declining in height as the eye glances along to the cottages of Sandown, and then again imperceptibly rising to their highest point of elevation.
The situation of the village of Shanklin is as romantic as any of the lovers of nature can desire. The salubrity of the atmosphere and the proximity of the village to the sea may account for the extraordinary growth of the myrtle-tree, which attains here an astonishing height. Virgil tells us this plant is best cultivated on the sea side; but every maritime situation is not congenial, unless a protection is afforded from the cold northerly winds.
The chief attraction of Shanklin is the Chine. This is a natural fissure or cleft in the earth, running from the village to the sea in a circuitous direction and increasing in width and depth as it approaches the shore. It was most probably formed by the long continued running of a stream of water from the adjoining hills; this now forms a cascade at the commencement of the path which has been formed in the side to facilitate strangers in exploring their way through the rocks and underwood. But the admirers of sublime nature will mourn the ruthless devastation that has thus been made, ostensibly for the public benefit, to serve private interest. In the Chine is a chalybeate spring, highly impregnated with iron and alum, and of course beneficial in cases of debility and nervous affections.
* * * * *
LINES TO ----.
Life's earliest sweets are wasted, And time impatient flies; The flowers of youth are blasted, Their lingering beauty dies. Yet my bosom owns a pleasure, That no icy breath can chill;-- 'Tis thy friendship, dearest treasure, For my hopes are with thee still.
Though mine eye, by sorrow shaded, Drops the solitary tear, O'er remember'd joys, now faded, To young love and rapture dear. E'en the retrospective feeling, Leaves a momentary thrill; All the wounds of sorrow healing, For my hopes are with thee still.
Though I've bid adieu to pleasure, With her giddy, fleeting train; And her song of joyous measure, I may never raise again. Yet the chilling gloom of sadness, Waving o'er me, brooding ill, Emits one ray of gladness, For my hopes are with thee still.
When the reckless world is sleeping, And the star of eve shines gay; While the night winds softly creeping O'er the waters, die away; When the moonbeams softly playing, Silver o'er the glistening rill; 'Tis to thee my thoughts are straying, For my hopes are with thee still.
When the fragrant breath of morning Wanders o'er the silent dews; And flowers the vale adorning, Do their balmy sweets diffuse. When the orb of day appearing, From behind the distant hill, Gilds the landscape bright and cheering, E'en my hopes are with thee still.
* * * * *
ANTIQUITY OF MALT LIQUOR.
Malt liquor appears to have had its origin in the attention paid by an eastern sovereign to the comfort and health of his soldiers; as we are informed by the historian Xenophon, that "the virtuous Cyrus" having observed the good effects that water in which parched barley had been steeped, produced, exhorted and commanded his troops to drink this liquor; the historian entitled it "_Maza_." It is highly probable that Cyrus adopted this drink to counteract the ill effects of impure and foul water (which had done lasting injury to other warriors of his time), which is so common in warm, sunny climates; as Pliny informs us, that if water be impure or corrupted, by putting fried barley into it, in less than two hours, it will be pure and sweet; that its bad effects will have evaporated, and that it then may be drunk with perfect safety; he further adds that, this is the reason why we are in the habit of "putting barley-meal into the 'wine-strainers' through which we pass our wines, that they may be refined, purified, and drawn the sooner." The information conveyed to our readers by Pliny, may be made of great practical use and benefit by mariners, to whom sweet water is such a desideratum; and is as important to those who traverse the arid deserts of Africa, where sweet water is so seldom found.
That the ancients used the "juice of the grape," and that almost as a common drink, has never been doubted by the most cursory reader of history; the knowledge of this liquor being nearly coeval with the first formation of society. In the Book of Genesis we read that Noah after the flood planted a vineyard, "_manufactured_" wine, and got intoxicated with this "nectar fit for gods." Beer can likewise boast of as great antiquity. Its use was not unknown by the Egyptians; as we are informed by Herodotus that the people of Egypt made use of _a kind of wine_ made from dried barley, because no vines grew in that country. According to Tacitus, in his time beer was the common drink of the Germans, who drank it in preference to that more stimulating (if not more nutritious) liquor, wine. We are also informed by Pliny, that it was made and was in common use amongst the Gauls, and by many of their neighbours. The name he gave to this drink was "_cerevisia_" which evidently alludes to the article from which it was composed. Although these nations held this liquor in such estimation, there has been no record to inform us of their mode of preparing it.
Ale was introduced into our country centuries ago, by our Saxon ancestors, and it was not long ere it became the favourite and common drink of all classes of society. Their habit of drinking it out of skulls, at their feasts, is well known to the reader of romance. It was then, as it is now, commonly sold at houses of entertainment to the people. After the Norman Conquest, the vine was very extensively planted in England, but was drunk alone, as a chronicle of that time says, "by the wise and the learned;" the people did not lose their relish for the beverage of their forefathers, and wine was never held in much respect by them. Hops had hitherto not been used in the composition of beer; but about the fifteenth century they were introduced by the brewers of the Netherlands with great success; from them we adopted the practice, and they came into general use about two centuries afterwards. Some historians have affirmed that Henry VI. forbade the planting of hops; but it is certain that "bluff King Hal" ordered brewers to put neither hops _nor sulphur_ into their ale. The taste of the nation in the reign of Henry VI. seems to have changed, as we find in the records of that time that extensive "privileges" (_monopolies_ these _enlightened_ times would have called them) were annexed to hop-grounds. In the reign of James I. the produce of hop-grounds were insufficient for the consumption, and a law was made against the introduction of "spoilt hops." Walter Blithe, in his _Improver Improved_, published in 1649, (3rd edit. 1653) has a chapter upon improvements by plantations of hops, which has this striking passage. He observes that "hops were then grown to be a national commodity; but that it was not many years since the famous city of London petitioned the Parliament of England against two nuisances; and these were, Newcastle coals, in regard to their stench, &c., and hops, in regard they would _spoyl the taste of drink_, and endanger the people: and, had the Parliament been no wiser than they, we had in a measure pined, and in a great measure starved; which is just answerable to the principles of those men who cry down all devices, or ingenious discoveries, as projects, and therefore stifle and choak improvements." According to a late writer, in the year 1830, there were 46,727 acres occupied in the cultivation of hops in Great Britain alone.
Thirty millions of bushels of barley are annually converted into malt by the breweries of Great Britain; and upwards of eight millions of barrels of beer (of which more than four-fifths are strong) are brewed annually. This enormous consumption attests the fondness of the people for the beverage of their forefathers.
* * * * *
A PERSIAN FABLE.
_Imitated from the Latin of Sir W. Jones._
Whoe'er his merit under-rates, The worth which he disclaims, creates. It chanc'd a single drop of rain Slip'd from a cloud into the main: Abash'd, dispirited, amaz'd, At last her small, still voice she rais'd: "Where, and what am I?--Woe is me! What a mere drop in such a sea!" An oyster, yawning where she fell, Entrap'd the vagrant in his shell; And there concocted in a trice, Into an orient pearl of price. Such is the best and brightest gem, In Britain's royal diadem.
 See page 330.
* * * * *
* * * * *
HOSPITAL OF ST. CROSS, HANTS.
(_Concluded from page 219._)
_Interior of the Church._
Dr. Milner considers the entire fabric as the work of Bishop de Blois, with the exception of the front and upper story of the west end, which are of a later date, and seem to have been altered to their present form about the time of Wykeham. The vaulting of this part was evidently made by the second founder, Beaufort, whose arms, together with those of Wykeham, and of the Hospital, are seen in the centre orbs of it: that at the east end, by the Saxon ornaments with which it is charged, bespeaks the workmanship of the first founder, De Blois. "The building before us," Dr. Milner further observes, "seems to be a collection of architectural essays, with respect to the disposition and form, both of the essential parts and of the subordinate ornaments. Here we find the ponderous Saxon pillar, of the same dimensions in its circumference as in its length, which, however supports an incipient pointed arch. The windows and arches are some of them short, with semicircular heads; and some of them immoderately long, and terminating like a lance; others are of the horse-shoe form, of which the entry into the north porch is the most curious specimen: in one place, (on the east side of the south transept,) we have a curious triangular arch. The capitals and bases of the columns vary alternately in their form, as well as in their ornaments: the same circumstance is observable in the ribs of the arches, especially in the north and south aisles, some of them being plain, others profusely embellished, and in different styles, even within the same arch. Here we view almost every kind of Saxon and Norman ornaments, the chevron, the billet, the hatched, the pillet, the fret, the indented, the nebulé, and the wavey, all superbly executed."
 The writer of the paper in _The Crypt_, already referred to, observes that the above arch is not what he understands by _horse-shoe_: "it is, in fact, one of those short, wide doorways, used both early and late, the proportions of which we know not how to describe better than as the earliest pointed arch curtailed of about one-half its usual height betwixt the base and capital. The entrance to St. John's House, Winton, is a good example."
 Milner's Winchester, vol. ii. p. 149.
The lower part of the Nave, as we have already seen, is the most ancient, and allowed to be the work of De Blois. A portion is included within the choir by throwing back a high wooden screen, within which reclines the full-length figure, in brass, of John de Campden, the friend of Wykeham, who appointed him master of the Hospital. "The arches which separate the nave from its aisles are pointed; but the columns are of enormous compass, their circumference being equal to their height; the capitals are varied, the bases square, and three out of the four decorated at the angles with huge bosses of flowers. The roof is simple, with the arms of Beaufort, Wykeham, and others, at the intersections of the ribs, which spring from corbel heads." The great western window consists of four parts; on each side are two lights terminating in a distinct arch; in the centre, one light of larger dimensions; and over these, a Catherine wheel composed of three triangles. The whole is filled with painted glass, a small portion of which is ancient; the remainder was presented in 1788, by Dr. Lockman, the late master. Dr. Milner terms it curious: but the critic of _The Crypt_ refers to it as "an exemplification of how much trash and vulgarity in the art can be crowded into a certain compass." Beneath this window stands a double doorway, surmounted by a small quatrefoil window of like colours, enclosed within a pointed arch. The exterior view of this portal is very fine, and Messrs. Brayley and Britton place it next to the east end, (which is hardly of later date than 1135,) in gradation of style, and refer to it as "an elegant specimen of the time of King John, or the early part of the reign of Henry the Third." Dr. Milner describes this portal as "one of the first specimens of a canopy over a pointed arch, which afterwards became so important a member in this style of architecture:" he also refers to the window above it as "one of the earliest specimens of a great west window, before transoms, and ramified mullions, were introduced; and therefore the western end of the church must have been altered to receive this and the door beneath it, about the beginning of the thirteenth century, the eastern extremity of the church being left, as it still continues, in its original state. There is a plain canopy, without any appearance of a pediment over the arch of this window, like that over the portal."
 We should imagine _The Crypt_ Correspondent to be no enthusiastic admirer of ancient painted glass, unless of the first order of execution. It must be confessed that some ancient specimens have been immoderately over-rated, and the olden art has altogether been enveloped in such mystery as to cause _modern_ attempts to be unfairly estimated.
 Beauties of England, vol. vi. p. 111.
 Essays on Gothic Architecture, 1802, p. 144, 148.
"In the North Aisle, a little to the left as you enter from the porch, stands a very ancient granite font, perhaps of Saxon workmanship; the basin is round, but the exterior form is square, and, although mounted on mean stone, still maintains its station upon a raised space of Saxon brick; a circumstance worthy of remark, as the original situation of the font has of late occasioned some little controversy. It is also curious, that the walls on the south side should be far less massive than those on the north, though both unquestionably of the same aera. The windows in each aisle are, for the most part, circular, and each is decorated occasionally with Norman capitals and groinings." The aisles, on each side, are much lower than the body of the nave, and in the north aisle is a cinquefoil arch, with Gothic canopy and crockets, resting on short columns of Purbeck stone, over an elegant altar tomb. A modern inscription assigns it to "Petrus de Sancta Maria, 1295."
 _The Crypt_, No. vii. p. 168.
The transepts display a variety of arches and windows, of irregular arrangement, both round and pointed. Some of those in the south seem to have opened into chancels or recesses, and some probably were mere cupboards: but in the north wall of the opposite transept are two arches communicating with the _sick chambers_ of the Hospital, by opening which "the patients, as they lay in their beds, might attend to the divine services going forward." Both these transepts are profusely enriched with embattled and other mouldings. One window on the east side of each has been so contrived as to throw the light in a sloping direction into the body of the church, instead of reflecting it directly, and to less purpose, on the opposite wall; that in the north retains a portion of its painted glass, but the corresponding one in the south has been blocked up.
We have already spoken of the aisles attached to the sides of the choir, and their beautiful embellishments. Each is decorated with three circular-headed windows, and exhibits a few traces of its ancient altars. That towards the north contains a very curious piscina, fixed upon a pillar, and with small holes pierced round a raised centre, precisely resembling a modern sink. There are likewise the remains of several pedestals, on which images may be supposed to have once stood.
"The choir extends, according to modern arrangement, beyond the tower into the nave itself. The tower rises very nobly upon four slender columns, terminating in pointed arches but with Norman capitals. The lantern is lighted by four lancet windows on each side, the two centre ones not being open. The oaken roof is plain, and supported by very large beam-heads. Eastward from this point, the vaultings of the roof are square, with broad, simple groinings. Beneath, are two ranges of windows, running quite round the chancel, and decorated with an amazing variety of mouldings. Those below form the grand characteristic of this venerable pile, being likewise _circular; but so intersecting one another as to form perfect and beautiful pointed arches_." This then is the hypothesis of Dr. Milner towards the settlement of the controverted origin of the _pointed_ or _English_ style of architecture. It is, probably, the most reasonable of all solutions. Sir Christopher Wren's account of a Saracenic origin was vague and unsupported; and Warburton's deduction from groves and interlacing boughs, though ingeniously illustrated by the late Sir James Hall, has more prettiness than probability. Dr. Milner's "intersecting hypothesis," as it is technically termed, is brief and simple: "De Blois," he says, "having resolved to ornament the whole sanctuary of his church with intersecting semicircles, conceived the idea of opening them, by way of windows, which at once produced a series of highly-pointed arches." Hence arose the seeming paradox, that "the intersection of two circular arches in the church of St. Cross, produced Salisbury steeple." Conclusive as this hypothesis may appear, it has been much controverted, and among its opponents have been men of great practical knowledge in architecture. Messrs. Brayley and Britton observe "though the specimens referred to by Dr. Milner may not entirely warrant the above supposition, yet they clearly mark the gradation by which the Saxon and Norman styles of architecture were abandoned, for the more enriched and beautiful order that has conferred so much celebrity on the ecclesiastical architects of this country." The clever writer in _The Crypt_ remarks "the history of the science appears so easy and natural according to Dr. Milner's hypothesis, and so many difficulties must be softened down, so many discordances reconciled, according to any other, as to go a very great way towards establishing the credibility of his idea. Here then is a complete history of an invention, for which every quarter of the globe has been ransacked. And, be it remembered, that the pointed arch did not first display itself in those magnificent proportions, which would have accompanied it from the beginning, if brought over from foreign climes in its full perfection; but exactly in that want of proportion, which was the natural result of the intersection."
 Beauties of England, vol. vi. p 110.
 The specimens at St. Cross were considered by Dr. Milner to be the earliest instances of the experiment, but the Abbey of Clugny, and several other edifices have disputed its claim to priority.--_The Crypt_, No. 8.
To return to the choir. On each side of the altar is curious and elegant Gothic spire-work; and traces may be seen of ancient stone work, all that now remains of the high altar. The wooden altar-screen is described as "execrable enough"; but sixteen stalls in the choir, which are referred to the time of Henry VII., are ingeniously ornamented with "carved figures of illustrious scripture personages."
 These have been engraved by Mr. Carter, for his Specimens of Ancient Sculpture, together with the Brass in memory of John de Campden, &c.
The pavement throughout the church is still chiefly composed of glazed tiles, "called and supposed to be Roman; though upon some of them we clearly see the hatched and other Saxon ornaments," and upon others the monosyllables HAVE MYNDE (_Remember_) in the black letter characters used in the fifteenth century. There are passages running round each story, and communicating with the tower; but, "with all its magnificence, the general aspect of the interior is sadly disfigured by a thick coating of yellow ochre." (_The Crypt._)
Such is the venerable pile of St. Cross, surrounded by some of the finest scenery in the county. Our Correspondent _P.Q._ earnestly observes "it was in and near this hospital that he was educated; in its noble church he was a chorister, and his feelings of veneration for the whole establishment, dedicated to the highest of Christian virtues, will never be effaced." Would that every heart beamed with so amiable a sense of gratitude. Reverting to the ancient purposes of the foundation it is to be feared they are not realized with the poet's prediction: that
Lasting charity's more ample sway, Nor bound by time, nor subject to decay, In happy triumph shall for ever live.--PRIOR.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE PEARL IN THE OYSTER.
Cowper eloquently says
There is glory in the grass, and splendour in the flower;
and the imagery might have been extended to the irridescent pearl within the rudely-formed shell of the oyster. Poets have feigned that pearls are
Rain from the sky, Which turns into pearls as it falls in the sea;
we need scarcely add that science has exploded this imaginative fertility.
Pearl is, in fact, a calcareous secretion by the fish of bivalve shells; and principally by such as inhabit shells of foliated structure, as sea and fresh water muscles, oysters, &c. A pearl consists of carbonate of lime, in the form of nacre, and animal matter arranged in concentric layers around a nucleus; the solution indicating no trace of any phosphate of lime. To this lamellar structure the irridescence is to be ascribed. Each layer is _presumed_ to be annual; so that a pearl must be of slow growth, and those of large size can only be found in full-grown oysters. The finest and largest are produced from the Meleagrina margaratifera, (_Lamarck_,) a native of the sea, and of various coasts. A considerable number are likewise taken from the Unio margaratifera, which inhabits the rivers of Europe; and, it is singular, as remarked by Humboldt, that though several species of this genus abound in the rivers of South America, no pearls are ever found in them. The pearls are situated in the body of the oyster, or they lie loose between it and the shell; or, lastly, they are fixed to the latter by a kind of neck; and it is said they do not appear until the animal has reached its fourth year.
Naturalists have much disputed the formation of pearls. Mr. Gray justly observes they are merely the internal nacred coat of the shell, which has been forced, by some extraneous cause, to assume a spherical form. Lister, on the other hand, states "a distemper in the creature produces them," and compares them with calculi in the kidneys of man. But, as observed by a more recent inquirer, "though they are accidental formations, and, of course, not always to be found in the shellfish which are known usually to contain them, still they are the products of a regular secretion, applied, however, in an unusual way, either to avert harm or allay irritation. That, in many instances they are formed by the oyster, to protect itself against aggression, is evident; for, with a plug of this nacred and solid material it shuts out worms and other intruders which have perforated the softer shell, and are intent on making prey of the hapless inmate: and it was apparently the knowledge of this fact that suggested to Linnaeus his method of producing pearls at pleasure, by puncturing the shell with a pointed wire. But this explanation accounts only for the origin of such pearls as are attached to the shell; while the best and greatest number, and, indeed, the only ones which can be strung, have no such attachment, and are formed in the body of the animal itself. 'The small and middling pearls,' says Sir Alexander Johnston, 'are formed in the thickest part of the flesh of the oyster, near the union of the two shells; the large pearls almost loose in that part called the beard.' Now, these may be the effect merely of an excess in the supply of calcareous matter, of which the oyster wishes to get rid; or, they may be formed by an effusion of pearl, to cover some irritating and extraneous body." The reality of the latter theory is strengthened, if not proved by the Chinese forcing the swan muscle to make pearls by throwing into its shell, when open, five or six minute mother-of-pearl beads, which, being left for a year, are found covered with a crust perfectly resembling the real pearl. Such is one method of getting artificial pearls. The extraneous body which naturally serves for the nucleus, appears to be very often, or, as Sir E. Home says, always, a blighted ovum or egg. This theory which, however, is here but partly explained, has been fully adopted by Sir E. Home:--"if," says the enthusiastic baronet, "I shall prove that this, the richest jewel in a monarch's crown, which cannot be imitated by any art of man, either in the beauty of its form or the brilliancy and lustre produced by a central illuminated cell, is the abortive egg of an oyster enveloped in its own nacre, of which it receives annually a layer of increase during the life of the animal, who will not be struck with wonder and astonishment?" And, we must add, that the proofs are very much in favour of this conclusion.
 The writer of An Introduction to the Natural History of Molluscous Animals, in a Series of Letters: one of the most delightful contributions to the _Magazine of Natural History_, since the establishment of that valuable journal.
* * * * *
"Tombs," observes the clever author of _Rome in the Nineteenth Century_, "formed a far more prominent feature in ancient communities than in ours. They were not crowded into obscure churchyards, or hidden in invisible vaults, but were sedulously spread abroad in the most conspicuous places, and by the sides of the public ways." Hence we may add, the "_Siste Viator_" (traveller, stop!) so common upon tombs to this day. But why are not tombs placed by the roadside in our times? "It would seem," says the writer just quoted, "as if these mementos of mortality were not so painful or so saddening to Pagans as to Christians; and, that death, when believed to be final dissolution, was not so awful or revolting as when known to be the passage to immortality. I pretend not to explain the paradox, I only state it; and, certain it is, that every image connected with human dissolution, seems now more fearful to the imagination, and is far more sedulously shunned, than it ever was in times when the light of Christianity had not dawned upon the world."
 Rome in the Nineteenth Century, vol. ii. letter 36.
The _high-ways_ do not, however, appear to have been the earliest sites of tombs. According to Fosbroke, "the veneration with which the ancients viewed their places of sepulture, seems to have formed the foundation upon which they raised their boundless mythology; and, as is supposed, with some probability, introduced the belief in national and tutelary gods, as well as the practice of worshipping them through the medium of statues; for the places where their heroes were interred, when ascertained, were held especially sacred, and frequently a temple erected over their body, hallowed the spot. It was thus that the bodies of their fathers, _buried at the entrance of the house_, consecrated the vestibule to their memory, and gave birth to a host of local deities, who were supposed to hold that part of the dwelling under their peculiar protection. Removed from the dwelling-houses to the highways, the tombs of the departed were still viewed as objects of the highest veneration."
 Encyclopaedia of Antiquities, p. 64.
Our readers may remember that the ancient Romans never permitted the dead to be buried within the city, a practice well worthy the imitation of its modern inhabitants. One of the Laws of the Twelve Tables was
Hominem mortuum in urbe ne sepelito, neve urito,
(neither bury nor burn a dead body in the city.) But this law must be understood with this limitation, that the Senate occasionally granted exemption from it, to distinguished individuals, though so rarely, that a tomb within the walls of Rome seems to have been considered a reward of the most pre-eminent virtue.
 See an Interesting Inquiry on Burying in Vaults, by an esteemed Correspondent, since deceased--in vol. xv. of _The Mirror_.
The tombs of the Romans were characterized by their impressive grandeur. The Roman satirists, Juvenal and Horace, censure the pomp and splendour of the tombs, particularly those on the Via Appia. "On that 'Queen of Ways,' and way to the Queen of Cities, were crowded the proud sepulchres of the most distinguished Romans: and their mouldering remains still attest their ancient grandeur." Again, "those who have traced the long line of the Appian Way, between its ruined and blackening sepulchres, or stood in the Street of Tombs that leads to the Gate of Pompeii, and gazed on the sculptured magnificence of these marble dwellings of the dead, must have felt their solemnity, and admired their splendour."
 Rome, &c., vol. ii.
Antiquarian writers have carefully classified the Roman tombs. We have, however, only space to remark generally, that the sepulchres were either square, circular, or pyramidal buildings, and with one entrance only, which was invariably on the side farthest from the public road. They usually consisted of a vault in which the urns and sarcophagi were deposited, and a chamber above, in which the statues or effigies of the dead were placed, and the libations and obsequies performed. These sepulchres were usually places of family interment, but sometimes they were solitary tombs. Of the latter description is the _Tomb of Caecilia Metella_, which is generally acknowledged to be the most beautiful sepulchral monument in the world. It consists of a round tower formed of immense blocks of Tiburtine stone, fixed together without cement, and adorned with a Doric marble frieze, on which are sculptured rams' heads festooned with garlands of flowers. "That they are rams' heads, must be evident to any one who will take the trouble to examine them, though they are usually denominated the heads of oxen, because the tomb itself is vulgarly called Capo di Bove. But this name is obviously derived from an ox's head, (the arms of the Gaetani family, by whom it was converted into a fortress,) which was affixed many centuries ago on the side of the tower next the Appian Way, and still remains there; and, accordingly, the vulgar name is Capo di Bove, 'the head of the ox,' in the singular--not in the plural."
[Illustration: (_Tomb of Caecilia Metella_.)]
Forsyth refers to this tomb as the only one of the ancient structures that bears the name of its tenant; this does not appear to be correct. The beautiful tower rests upon a square basement, which has been despoiled of its exterior coating by Popes and other purloiners, but the greatest part of it is buried beneath the soil. The wall of the tower itself, the interior of which is entirely built of brick, is 20 feet at least in thickness. The sepulchral vault was below the present level of the earth, and it was not until the time of Paul III. that it was opened, when the beautiful marble sarcophagus of Caecilia Metella, now in the Palazzo Farnese, was found in it. A golden urn, containing the ashes, is said to have been discovered at the same time. That Caecilia Metella, for whose dust this magnificent monument was raised, was the daughter of Metellus, and the wife of Crassus, is all we know. "Her husband, who was the richest and meanest of the Romans, had himself no grave. He perished miserably with a Roman army in the deserts of the East, in that unsuccessful expedition against the Parthians which has stamped his memory with incapacity and shame." The rude battlements on the top of the tower, and all the old walls and fortifications which surround it, are the work of the Gaetani family, who long maintained their feudal warfare here. Forsyth observes:--"Crassus built this tomb of travertine stone 24 feet thick, to secure the bones of a single woman; while the adjoining castle had but a thin wall of soft tufo to defend all the Gaetani from the fury of civil war." Eustace says: "The solidity and simplicity of this monument are worthy of the republican era in which it was erected, and have enabled it to resist and survive the lapse and incidents of two thousand years."
 Rome, &c., vol. ii.
 Classical Tour, vol. i., p. 407.
Next is the grey pyramidal Tomb of Caius Cestius, in the fields called _Prati del Popolo Romano_, on the western side of the Aventine Hill. This ancient monument remains entire, an advantage which it owes partly to its form, well calculated to resist the action of the weather, and partly to its situation, as it is joined to the walls of the city, and forms part of the fortification. Its base is about 90 feet square, and it rises, according to Eustace, about 120 feet in height. It is formed, or at least encrusted, with large blocks of white marble; a door in the base opens into a gallery terminating in a small room, ornamented with paintings on the stucco, in regular compartments. In this chamber of the dead, once stood a sarcophagus that contained the remains of Cestius. "At the base of the pyramid stand two marble columns, which were found beneath the ground, and re-erected by some of the popes. One foot, which is all that remains of the colossal statue in bronze of Caius Cestius, that formerly stood before his tomb, is now in the Museum of the Capitol."
 Rome, &c., vol. ii.--From the monument we learn that he was the contemporary of Caesar and Augustus, but his name does not appear in the annals, or the literature of that eventful and enlightened period; of his wealth, and of his pride, this magnificent tomb is a sufficient record: but of his merits or his virtues, no trace remains. The inscription only tells us he was one of the seven Epulones, whose office was to furnish and to eat the sacred banquets offered to Jupiter and the Gods.
The situation of this tomb is one of melancholy picturesqueness. The meadows in which it stands are planted with mulberry-trees. They were, as implied by their name, formerly a resort of the Roman people in hours of gladness: they are no longer devoted to the enjoyment of the living, but to the repose of the dead; "bright and beautiful in the first days of the year was the verdure that covered the meadows of the Roman people." They are now the burial-place of Protestants, and consequently, of foreigners only: by far the greatest part of the strangers interred here are English.
 Rome, &c., vol. ii.
[Illustration: (_Tomb of Caius Cestius_.)]
Time has changed the colour and defaced the polish of the marble pyramid. The grey lichen has crept over it, and wild evergreens hang from its crevices. But, what it has lost in splendour it has gained in picturesque beauty; and there are few remains of antiquity within the bounds of the Eternal City, that the eye rests upon with such unwearying admiration as this grey pyramid.
Lastly is the reputed _Tomb of the Horatii and Curatii_.
Its identity has been much controverted, and the Cut shows it to be a ruinous pile capped with luxuriant foliage. It will, nevertheless, serve to illustrate the stupendous character of the ancient Roman tombs.
[Illustration: (_Tomb of the Horatii and Curatii_.)]
The theatre of the celebrated combat between the Horatii and Curatii lies about five miles from the city of Rome. Several tombs stand on the side of the hillock that borders these fields, but no one in particular is _there_ pointed out as belonging to the unhappy champions. The monuments, however, existed in Livy's time, and Eustace supposes that "as their forms and materials were probably very plain and very solid, they must have remained for many ages after, and may be some of the many mounds that still stand in clusters about the very place where they fell." This explanation will not, however, refer to the above engraving, as the buildings in the distance will show.
* * * * *
* * * * *
BOYHOOD AND EDUCATION OF JAMES THE FIRST.
(_From Lives of Scottish Worthies_, vol. 2.)
[James I. king of Scotland was born in 1394. In 1405, he was sent by his father, Robert III., to France to escape the danger to which he was exposed by the ambition of his uncle, but being taken by an English squadron, he and his whole suite were carried prisoners to the Tower of London. Here he received an excellent education from Henry IV. of England, who placed him under the care of Sir John de Pelham, constable of Pevensey Castle, to which the youthful and royal captive was conducted. Pelham was a man of note, both as a statesman and a warrior, and on all occasions, Henry appears to have manifested for him a high esteem and consideration. The youthful portrait of James is thus drawn by Mr. Tytler in the above-named work.]
He had just reached the age of eleven years, when the young candidate for knighthood was usually taken out of the hands of the women to whom his infancy and extreme boyhood had been intrusted and when it was thought proper for him to commence his education in earnest. It was at this age that the parents selected some veteran and able soldier of noble family, under whose roof their son was placed, and in whose castle, commencing his services in the capacity of a page, he received his instruction in the exercises and accomplishments befitting his condition. Thus Edward the Black Prince delivered his young son Richard, afterwards Richard II., to Sir Guiscard d'Angle as his military tutor; esteeming him one of the most experienced and distinguished knights in his service. We read also that Henry IV. intrusted the education of his son Henry, afterwards the great Henry V., to Sir Thomas Percy, a brave and veteran warrior, afterwards Earl of Worcester; and on the same principle the English king, although, for reasons of state, he determined to retain the King of Scotland in his own hands, generously selected for him a military governor, whose character was a guarantee for his being brought up in a manner suitable to his royal rank.
It was soon seen that the pupil was not unworthy of the master. In all athletic and manly exercises, in the use of his weapons, in his skill in horsemanship, his speed in running, his strength and dexterity as a wrestler, his firm and fair aim as a jouster and tourneyer, the young king is allowed by all contemporary writers to have arrived at a pitch of excellence which left most of the competitors of his own age behind him; and, as he advanced to maturity, his figure, although not so tall as to be majestic or imposing, was, from its make, peculiarly adapted for excellence in such accomplishments. His chest was broad and full, his arms somewhat long and muscular, his flanks thin and spare, and his limbs beautifully formed; so as to combine elegance and lightness with strength. In throwing the hammer, and propelling, or, to use the Scottish phrase, "putting" the stone, and in skill in archery, we have the testimony of an ancient chronicler, that none in his own dominions could surpass him; so that the constable of Pevensey appears to have done ample justice to his youthful charge.
But this formed only one division of his education. To skill in these warlike exercises, every youthful candidate for honour and for knighthood was expected to unite a variety of more pacific and elegant accomplishments, which were intended to render him a delightful companion in the hall, as the others were calculated to make him a formidable enemy in the field. The science of music, both instrumental and vocal; the composition and recitation of ballads, roundelays, and other minor pieces of poetry; an acquaintance with the romances and the writings of the popular poets of the times; were all essential branches in the system of education which was then adopted in the castle of every feudal chief; and from Pelham, who had himself been brought up as the squire of the Duke of Lancaster, we may be confident that the Scottish king received every advantage which could be conferred by skilful instructors, and by the most ample opportunities of cultivation and improvement. Such lessons and exhibitions, however, might have been thrown away upon many; but James had been born with those natural capacities which fitted him to excel in them. He possessed a fine and correct musical ear; a voice which was rich, flexible, and sufficiently powerful for chamber music; and an enthusiastic delight in the art, which, unless controlled by strong good sense, and a feeling of the higher destinies to which he was called, might have led to a dangerous devotion to it. The peril of such over-cultivation of this fascinating art does not appear to have been so common in those days as in our own. The brave and accomplished military leader, Sir John Chandos, sang sweetly, and solaced his master, Edward III., on a voyage, by his ballads; the same veteran soldier did not think himself demeaned by introducing a new German dance into England; and the Count de Foix frequently requested his secretaries, in the intervals of severer occupation to recreate themselves by chanting songs and roundelays.
 Archaeologia, vol. xx. p. 59.
Cut off for a long and tedious period from his crown and his people, James could afford to spend many hours in each tedious day of his captivity in the cultivation of accomplishments to which, under other circumstances, it would have been criminal to have given up so much of his time. And this will easily account for that high musical excellence to which he undoubtedly attained, and will explain the great variety of instruments upon which he performed. Besides, to use the words of a learned and amusing writer, it is well known that "music constituted a part of the quadrivium, a branch of their system of education, and it was more or less cultivated by persons of all conditions;"--churchmen studied it by profession; and the students at the Inns of Court learned singing and all kinds of music. Richard II. understood something of the practical part of it; for, on the day of his departure for Ireland, he assisted at divine service; with the canons of St. George, and chanted a collect. An old annalist, enumerating the qualifications of Henry IV., describes him as of shining talents in music [_in musica micans_]; whilst Stow says of Henry V., "he delighted in songs, meeters, and musical instruments." These examples appear amply sufficient to defend King James from any imputation of over-refinement or effeminacy in the cultivation of an art which was the favourite amusement of such monarchs as Henry IV. and his illustrious son.
 Ibid pp. 60, 61.
But during the leisure which was afforded by his tedious captivity, it is certain that James applied himself to severer studies than either his military exercises or his cultivation of music. He was acquainted with the Latin language, as far, at least, as was permitted by the rude and barbarous condition in which it existed previous to the revival of letters. In theology, oratory, and grammar, in the civil and the canon laws, he was instructed by the best masters; and an acquaintance with Norman French was necessarily acquired at a court, and amongst a people, where it was still currently spoken, and highly cultivated. Devoted, however, as he was to these pursuits, James appears to have given his mind with a still stronger bias to the study of English poetry, choosing Chaucer and Gower for his masters in the art, and entering with the utmost ardour into the great object of the first of these illustrious men,--the improvement of the English language, the production of easy and natural rhymes, and the refinement of poetical numbers, from the rude compositions which had preceded him. In the concluding stanza of the King's Quair, a work composed by the Scottish King shortly before his return to his kingdom, he apostrophizes Gower and Chaucer as his dear masters, who sat upon the highest steps of rhetoric, and whose genius as poets, orators, and moralists, entitled them to receive the most exalted honour.
 Ellis's Specimens, vol. i. p. 205.
Unto the hymis of my maisteris dere, Gowere and Chaucere, that on steppis satt Of rhetorick, quhill thai war lyvand here, Superlative as poets laureate, In moralitee and eloquence ornate, I recommend my buik in lynis seven, And eke their saulis unto the blisse of hevin.
* * * * *
THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO.
(_From the Private Correspondence of a Woman of Fashion._)
Bruxelles, June 24, 1815.
On the first day we had so little idea of the vicinity of the engagement, that I drove out with a Belgian family in an open carriage towards the Bois de Soignies. But we were obliged to retreat precipitately, and take another direction across the country, and pass through a different _barrière_ through the town to my residence. They wished me to accept an instant asylum with them. The house of Monsieur D'H---- was built over part of the old palace; and he had prepared one of the extensive _caves_ for his family, in the event of the town being given up to the sword and rapine. I promised to avail myself of their kind offer, should the peril become more urgent; but I resolved to remain another day in our villa. Towards five the following morning, I was roused from the sofa on which I had thrown myself, by the trampling of horses, and the cries of the people of the suburbs. I flew to the window and beheld a troop of Belgians in full flight, covered, not with glory, but with dust, galloping towards the town! I heard the gates close against them, and saw them scamper over the plain towards Lacken. The mob increased; their shrieks of terror rent the air,--"Les François sont ici! Ils s'emparent de la porte de la ville!" mingled with the cries of the women, and with those of my little household, who all rushed into my chamber, expecting me to save them. In the midst of this terror, I heard the well-known voice of the commander of the town, Colonel Jones, vociferating with all the energy and passion of a Welchman. In my distraction, I ran out to him; he _stormed_, and explained in no gentle terms, that it was a false alarm, caused by the _sudden nervous affection_ of the troop of Belgians I had seen in flight. He commanded me to quit my house, and kindly sent me a carriage to secure my entrance into the town. We were cheered in the hurry of quitting our rural abode, by the arrival of some thousands of British troops; many of the poor fellows, heated and languid, entered asking for water to quench their thirst. From them I learnt that they had returned to England from America, and, without being permitted to land, were immediately ordered to Ostend. I felt what might be their influence on the fate of that day, and selfishly partook of their impatience to arrive on the field of battle. The whole of Saturday we believed the battle lost; and _there are those_ who think that it _was, but_ for the mysterious conduct of Grouchy, or the treason of the estafettes sent to summon him to advance.
The English families continued to fly towards Ostend: the roads and inns were crowded; the living bewailing their temerity, close to the chambers of the dead! Your brother and sister were at Antwerp, in the next room to the unfortunate Duc de Brunswick. The awful hours passed tardily with me, in pangs for the soldier and his chiefs. On Saturday the 17th, to add to the accumulating horrors of our critical situation, the very elements vented forth their wrath, in the most tremendous thunder and lightning; the rain poured in torrents; all nature was at fearful strife, and God's anger was apparent; for it seemed as if the very heavens were warring against man's quarrel; and in my agony I exclaimed with Macbeth--
"'Twas a rough night--"
as I listened to the pelting storm, crouching on a mattress by the side of my weeping _émigrée_, imploring me for words of comfort. Towards morning the rain abated, but gloomy clouds ushered in that eventful day. At two o'clock I dined with Monsieur D'H----, whose daughter-in-law, la Comtesse de P----'s first-born son, had seen the light of this world only a few hours before--while at dinner, the servants rushed into the room in disorder, exclaiming, "All is over!" A detachment of dragoons, which passed a few hours ago to join the enemy, are returned! We rose precipitately; Mr. D'H---- took a key from a drawer, and commanded us to follow him. We traversed rapidly the chamber of the invalid lady, each inconsiderately repeating to her--"All is lost!" We ascended a dilapidated staircase, and passing through a small trap-door, what was my astonishment, when I found myself in the Park! There we beheld the said detachment of dragoons--an affrighted mob; and many sinister-looking persons, who seemed well satisfied at the evidence of our fears. The gentlemen rushed out of the adjoining _café_, the English calling for their servants and horses, (many of whom, by the way, who had never possessed any;) one of these _fainted_--no heart of oak was _he_, when our ancient Briton, the commandant, Colonel Jones, again presented himself, _vif et emporté_. The spectators exclaimed--"que cela venoit de la trop rapide circulation de son sang." _N'importe_: the choleric Colonel, blustering, restored us to comparative tranquillity, as he brandished on high his sword, giving it an after-sweeping movement, as if to _moissonner nos têtes_; my valiant compatriot extended on the pavement was the only head in security. The Colonel commanded the misled dragoons to return; and it appeared that they had encountered some miscreants, disguised as British officers, who gave them a forged official order to retreat "the battle being lost!" We descended through our trap-door, and re-assured our friend the Comtesse, who seemed to have received our intelligence (_en passant_) with as perfect calmness as that in which lay her new-born babe.
To add to my discomfort, deep and loud were the murmurs on Sunday against the Duke. The merchants said his Grace ought not to have lingered in the _salons_ of amusement one instant after he had been apprised that Napoleon had quitted Paris, whose gigantic strides all Europe had experienced during many long years. They even denounced his life; while others, more moderate but equally incensed, had commenced a written remonstrance to the British Government: in such an excited state were men's minds!--Victory silenced these despairing murmurers--success casts its vivid radiance over the hero's fame; what so potent as its influence!
I took leave of my Belgian friends, who promised to come for me (in case of a fatal termination), to share their safety, and partake of the good cheer they had prepared for our seclusion in the devastated _caves_ of that palace, which in olden time were filled with the finest produce of Rhenish vintages. At three o'clock entered the good Abbé Bernard, holding up to view a paper with large characters imprinted--"The French flying!--the City saved!--Victory!" Never shall I forget my sensations at that joyful, yet awful moment of restored peace to mankind! The bells of the different churches chimed the exhilarating note of victory! The good priest announced that _Te Deum_ was celebrating, and invited me to accompany them to the noble cathedral, St. Gudule. "What signify forms?" the good man said: "let us lift up our hearts in grateful thanksgiving to the only true God!" That noble temple of the Almighty was already thronged. Voices, so late stricken in terror, now soared aloft in celestial sounds to the throne of Heaven!--all was congratulation. But, alas, profound regrets soon mingled with my joyful sensations, as I cast my eyes around, and encountered only mangled objects, who, chilled and exhausted, were crowding into the town (and are still arriving on _this_, the 6th day). We were addressed, with solicitations, by enfeebled heroes, to be shown to hospitals. We found it impossible to return to our villa, from the confusion of military baggage, &c. &c., while the English, even females of rank, with eager curiosity were hastening to the scene of carnage! The noise of their chariot-wheels, mingling with the moans of the dying, and the cries of parents and relatives in search of their sons and their kindred, formed a scene that must have moved the coldest heart, and that _never_ can be _effaced_ from my memory!
In traversing La Grande Place, I was attracted to a kind of military vehicle, by the voice of plaintive distress appealing for my succour, reiterating the word _compatriote_. On approaching, I beheld a handsome and interesting-looking female, in equestrian costume;--by her side were two servants, and two very fine saddle-horses. A tent, and some baggage-wagons, belonging to some regiment, appeared to be included in her train. She announced herself to me as the wife of Captain ----, aid-de-camp to General C----: by some mistake of orders, fatal to her peace of mind, the baggage of her husband's regiment had not been included in the general orders for following the army. Anguish was expressed on her fine countenance. She knew only that we were victorious; but she knew not whether her husband was to be numbered with the dead, or with the living. She was without resource, and unacquainted with the French language. She appealed to my protection, and pointed to her servants to corroborate her statement. Fatigued in mind as I was, yet how impossible to hesitate an instant! I immediately conducted her to the librarian, who gave me a room; and I sent for refreshments, and fain would have persuaded her to attempt seeking some repose; but her mental sufferings were too great to permit her to remain tranquil. She declared that nothing should prevent her following the army to Paris, beseeching me to obtain permission for her to ride on with the first detachment that quitted the city. I was obliged to comply, for there is no reasoning with the anxious mind of an attached wife! and I presented myself before our choleric commandant. Being in black, I was mistaken for a hapless widow, and all pressed to offer me service. I found Captain W----, who immediately interested himself, and I had the supreme pleasure of not only obtaining an escort, but of receiving the certain assurance of her gallant husband's safety. She spent the evening with us, and created a general interest. She had accompanied her husband in the campaigns in Spain, soon after a marriage _purement d'inclination_. Captain ---- had been brought up to the Bar; but the mania of war seized him, and he preferred figuring in the _Army List_, and practising military tactics, to studying _Burn's Justice_ and _Blackstone's Commentaries_. She would not lose sight of her new friend; and at four o'clock on Tuesday morning I conducted her to the Porte de Namur, where I found the promised escort with two officers, to whom I could assign her with confidence. She sprang into her saddle with an alacrity, that expressed she was going to join the husband of her affection; and she promised to present him to me in Paris.
Old C----, one of the "all-talented Whigs," who you know is half a buffoon, was a torment to us during the fearful period of the three days--running to and fro, standing in every body's way, seeking and reporting news, exclaiming, "but the battle cannot be lost--I do not see the army in retreat," &c. &c. At length, the battle over, England victorious, the Duke on Monday rode quietly into Bruxelles, to make arrangements for the wounded, &c. C---- rushes to his apartment to make his compliments.
"Thirty thousand men lost!" replied the Duke.
"But what a victory!"
"Thirty thousand men killed!--hard case!"--still answered the Duke, with his usual simplicity of expression when speaking of his own exploits. C----, who knew not what diffidence was, nor could discover its merits in another, retreated in evident disappointment at his compliments of felicitation having the appearance of being so little appreciated; almost doubtful, whether Wellington was in truth a hero, or whether the battle was really gained!
The interiors of the churches are divided in stalls, the wounded placed in them on layers of straw, and women and surgeons are seen administering to their ills. The Belgians have thrown open their houses, and officers and soldiers are promiscuously placed in their decorated _salons_, and served with equal assiduity. The French seemed to have fought with redoubled rancour on these terrible days; even the nature of the wounds are without parallel in history. The light carts I saw preparing some weeks since, were sent off to the frontiers; therefore, to add to the sufferings of these brave men, they are brought in upon the rough wagons employed in agriculture. This is the sixth day, and they are still arriving in all kinds of conveyances. Our carriage was stopped in la Rue de Montagne last evening; the cause originated in two wagons filled with the wounded and the dying, recently discovered! Some of the inhabitants, with candles, were groping anxiously, in search of their relations, and administering various restoratives to those they knew not, until another church could be hastily prepared to receive them. Hundreds of French prisoners are brought in,--many of them quite boys, and in peasants' habits, apparently forced by cruel conscriptions to become warriors _malgré eux_, and forming a remarkable contrast to those hardy and athletic frames, who seem destined by nature for the military career. Here were these poor recruits, a few weeks since dragged from their native hearths, constrained by regal power to illustrate themselves by the sword--when their hearts and characters were formed for domestic cares, and those agricultural labours which sweetened their rustic meal, and only trying to evade their direst enemy--the recruiting-sergeant of Napoleon!
But there is another distinctive mark in those veteran French soldiers, whom we see conveyed into Bruxelles, wounded and prisoners. They seem to retain a ferocious expression, even at the moment of sinking into the feebleness of death, and while every human succour is rendering to them. They cast a furtive glance around, and their countenances indicate all the horror of their minds at their late reverses, and to be thinking less of the bodily pains they are enduring, than of their incapability to revenge themselves upon their victors! Such was the scene exhibited this morning on the steps of the hotel opposite to my apartment.
* * * * *
THE PUBLIC JOURNALS.
* * * * *
JULIUS CAESAR--HIS SUPERSTITION.
[A curious paper, entitled _The Caesars_, will be found in _Blackwood's Magazine_ for the present month. It is full of attractive lore, and contains, to our thinking, a masterly estimate of the actual character of Caesar. It displays very considerable learning, research, and knowledge of life, or that treasure which we call world-knowledge. It is not a cut-and-dry classical character "by way of abstract," but such a whole-length portrait as we wish to see drawn of every great man of antiquity, respecting whose merits mankind are, as it were, still groping in comparative ignorance or misconception. We quote two interesting passages--one embodying the personal portrait of Caesar--the other the superstitious weakness commonly attributed to him.]
In person, Caesar was tall, fair, and of limbs distinguished for their elegant proportions and gracility. His eyes were black and piercing. These circumstances continued to be long remembered, and no doubt were constantly recalled to the eyes of all persons in the imperial palaces, by pictures, busts, and statues; for we find the same description of his personal appearance three centuries afterwards, in a work of the Emperor Julian's. He was a most accomplished horseman, and a master (_peritissimus_) in the use of arms. But, notwithstanding, his skill in horsemanship, it seems that, when he accompanied his army on marches, he walked oftener than he rode; no doubt, with a view to the benefit of his example, and to express that sympathy with his soldiers which gained him their hearts so entirely. On other occasions, when travelling apart from his army, he seems more frequently to have rode in a carriage than on horseback. His purpose in making this preference must have been with a view to the transport of luggage. The carriage which he generally used was a _rheda_, a sort of gig, or rather curricle, for it was a four-wheeled carriage, and adapted (as we find from the imperial regulations for the public carriages, &c.,) to the conveyance of about half a ton. The mere personal baggage which Caesar carried with him, was probably considerable, for he was a man of the most elegant habits, and in all parts of his life sedulously attentive to elegance of personal appearance. The length of journeys which he accomplished within a given time, appears even to us at this day, and might well therefore appear to his contemporaries, truly astonishing. A distance of one hundred miles was no extraordinary day's journey for him in a _rheda_, such as we have described it. So elegant were his habits, and so constant his demand for the luxurious accommodations of polished life, as it then existed in Rome, that he is said to have carried with him, as indispensable parts of his personal baggage, the little lozenges and squares of ivory, and other costly materials, which were wanted for the tesselated flooring of his tent. Habits such as these will easily account for his travelling in a carriage rather than on horseback.
The courtesy and obliging disposition of Caesar were notorious, and both were illustrated in some anecdotes which survived for generations in Rome. Dining on one occasion at a table where the servants had inadvertently, for sallad-oil, furnished some sort of coarse lamp-oil, Caesar would not allow the rest of the company to point out the mistake to their host for fear of shocking him too much by exposing the mistake. At another time, whilst halting at a little _cabaret_, when one of his retinue was suddenly taken ill, Caesar resigned to his use the sole bed which the house afforded. Incidents, as trifling as these, express the urbanity of Caesar's nature; and hence one is the more surprised to find the alienation of the Senate charged, in no trifling degree, upon a failure in point of courtesy. Caesar neglected to rise from his seat, on their approaching him in a body with an address of congratulation. It is said, and we can believe it, that he gave deeper offence by this one defect in a matter of ceremonial observance, than by all his substantial attacks upon their privileges. What we find it difficult to believe, however, is not that result from the offence, but the possibility of the offence itself, from one so little arrogant as Caesar, and so entirely a man of the world. He was told of the disgust which he had given, and we are bound to believe his apology, in which he charged it upon sickness, which would not at the moment allow him to maintain a standing attitude. Certainly the whole tenor of his life was not courteous only, but kind; and, to his enemies, merciful in a degree which implied so much more magnanimity than men in general could understand, that by many it was put down to the account of weakness.
* * * * *
We find that though sincerely a despiser of superstition, and with a frankness which must sometimes have been hazardous in his age, Caesar was himself superstitious. No man could have been otherwise who lived and conversed with that generation and people. But if superstitious, he was so after a mode of his own. In his very infirmities Caesar manifested his greatness; his very littlenesses were noble.
"Nec licuit populis parvum te, Nile, videre."
That he placed some confidence in dreams, for instance, is certain; because, had he slighted them unreservedly, he would not have dwelt upon them afterwards, or have troubled himself to recall their circumstances. Here we trace his human weakness. Yet again we are reminded that it was the weakness of Caesar; for the dreams were noble in their imagery, and Caesarean (so to speak) in their tone of moral feeling. Thus, for example, the night before he was assassinated, he dreamt at intervals that he was soaring above the clouds on wings, and that he placed his hand within the right hand of Jove. It would seem that perhaps some obscure and half-formed image floated in his mind of the eagle, as the king of birds; secondly, as the tutelary emblem under which his conquering legions had so often obeyed his voice; and, thirdly, as the bird of Jove. To this triple relation of the bird his dream covertly appears to point. And a singular coincidence appears between this dream and a little anecdote brought down to us, as having actually occurred in Rome about twenty-four hours before his death. A little bird, which by some is represented as a very small kind of sparrow, but which, both to the Greeks and the Romans, was known by a name implying a regal station (probably from the ambitious courage which at times prompted it to attack the eagle), was observed to direct its flight towards the senate-house, consecrated by Pompey, whilst a crowd of other birds were seen to hang upon its flight in close pursuit. What might be the object of the chase, whether the little king himself, or a sprig of laurel which he bore in his mouth, could not be determined. The whole train, pursuers and pursued, continued their flight towards Pompey's hall. Flight and pursuit were there alike arrested; the little king was overtaken by his enemies, who fell upon him as so many conspirators, and tore him limb from limb.
If this anecdote were reported to Caesar, which is not at all improbable, considering the earnestness with which his friends laboured to dissuade him from his purpose of meeting the senate on the approaching Ides of March, it is very little to be doubted that it had a considerable effect upon his feelings, and that, in fact, his own dream grew out of the impression which it had made. This way of linking the two anecdotes, as cause and effect, would also bring a third anecdote under the same _nexus_. We are told that Calpurnia, the last wife of Caesar, dreamed on the same night, and to the same ominous result. The circumstances of _her_ dream are less striking, because less figurative; but on that account its import was less open to doubt: she dreamed, in fact, that after the roof of their mansion had fallen in, her husband was stabbed in her bosom. Laying all these omens together, Caesar would have been more or less than human had he continued utterly undepressed by them. And if so much superstition as even this implies, must be taken to argue some little weakness, on the other hand let it not be forgotten, that this very weakness does but the more illustrate the unusual force of mind, and the heroic will, which obstinately laid aside these _concurring_ prefigurations of impending destruction; concurring, we say, amongst themselves--and concurring also with a prophecy of older date, which was totally independent of them all.
There is another and somewhat sublime story of the same class, which belongs to the most interesting moment of Caesar's life; and those who are disposed to explain all such tales upon physiological principles, will find an easy solution of this, in particular, in the exhaustion of body, and the intense anxiety which must have debilitated even Caesar under the whole circumstances of the case. On the ever-memorable night when he had resolved to take the first step (and in such a case the first step, as regarded the power of retreating, was also the final step) which placed him in arms against the state, it happened that his head-quarters were at some distance from the little river Rubicon, which formed the boundary of his province. With his usual caution, that no news of his motions might run before himself, on this night Caesar gave an entertainment to his friends, in the midst of which he slipped away unobserved, and with a small retinue proceeded through the woods to the point of the river at which he designed to cross. The night was stormy, and by the violence of the wind all the torches of his escort were blown out, so that the whole party lost their road, having probably at first intentionally deviated from the main route, and wandered about through the whole night, until the early dawn enabled them to recover their true course. The light was still grey and uncertain, as Caesar and his retinue rode down upon the banks of the fatal river--to cross which with arms in his hands, since the further bank lay within the territory of the Republic, _ipso facto_ proclaimed any Roman a rebel and a traitor. No man, the firmest or the most obtuse, could be otherwise than deeply agitated, when looking down upon this little brook--so insignificant in itself, but invested by law with a sanctity so awful, and so dire a consecration. The whole course of future history, and the fate of every nation, would necessarily be determined by the irretrievable act of the next half hour.
In these moments, and with this spectacle before him, and contemplating these immeasurable consequences consciously for the last time that could allow him a retreat,--impressed also by the solemnity and deep tranquillity of the silent dawn, whilst the exhaustion of his night wanderings predisposed him to nervous irritation,--Caesar, we may be sure, was profoundly agitated. The whole elements of the scene were almost scenically disposed; the law of antagonism having perhaps never been employed with so much effect: the little quiet brook presenting a direct antithesis to its grand political character; and the innocent dawn, with its pure untroubled repose, contrasting potently, to a man of any intellectual sensibility, with the long chaos of bloodshed, darkness, and anarchy, which was to take its rise from the apparently trifling acts of this one morning. So prepared, we need not much wonder at what followed. Caesar was yet lingering on the hither bank, when suddenly, at a point not far distant from himself, an apparition was descried in a sitting posture, and holding in its hand what seemed a flute. This phantom was of unusual size, and of beauty more than human, so far as its lineaments could be traced in the early dawn. What is singular, however, in the story, on any hypothesis which would explain it out of Caesar's individual condition, is, that others saw it as well as he; both pastoral labourers (who were present, probably, in the character of guides) and some of the sentinels stationed at the passage of the river. These men fancied even that a strain of music issued from this aerial flute. And some, both of the shepherds and the Roman soldiers, who were bolder than the rest, advanced towards the figure. Amongst this party, it happened that there were a few Roman trumpeters. From one of these, the phantom, rising as they advanced nearer, suddenly caught a trumpet, and blowing through it a blast of superhuman strength, plunged into the Rubicon--passed to the other bank--and disappeared in the dusky twilight of the dawn. Upon which Caesar exclaimed:--"It is finished: the die is cast: let us follow whither the guiding portents from heaven, and the malice of our enemy alike summon us to go." So saying, he crossed the river with impetuosity; and in a sudden rapture of passionate and vindictive ambition, placed himself and his retinue upon the Italian soil; and as if by inspiration from Heaven, in one moment involved himself and his followers in treason, raised the standard of revolt, put his foot upon the neck of the invincible republic which had humbled all the kings of the earth, and founded an empire which was to last for a thousand and half a thousand years. In what manner this spectral appearance was managed--whether Caesar were its author, or its dupe, will remain unknown forever. But undoubtedly this was the first time that the advanced guard of a victorious army was headed by an apparition; and we may conjecture that it will be the last.
According to Suetonius, the circumstances of this memorable night were as follows:--As soon as the decisive intelligence was received, that the intrigues of his enemies had prevailed at Rome, and that the interposition of the popular magistrates (the tribunes) was set aside, Caesar sent forward the troops, who were then at his head-quarters, but in as private a manner as possible. He himself, by way of masque, (_per dissimulationem_) attended a public spectacle, gave an audience to an architect who wished to lay before him a plan for a school of gladiators which Caesar designed to build, and finally presented himself at a banquet, which was very numerously attended. From this, about sunset, he set forward in a carriage, drawn by mules, and with a small escort (_modico comitatu_.) Losing his road, which was the most private he could find (_occultissimum_), he quitted his carriage and proceeded on foot. At dawn he met with a guide; after which followed the above incidents.
* * * * *
* * * * *
Matthew Lansberg used to say, "If you wish to have a shoe made of durable materials, you should make the upper leather of the mouth of a hard drinker, for that never lets in _water_."
* * * * *
_National Bull._--In the "printed directions respecting the reading-room of the British Museum," we find the following sapient veto put upon the readers:--"Readers will be allowed to take one or more extracts from any printed book or manuscript; but no whole, or _greater part_ (oh! poor Euclid!) of a manuscript is to be transcribed without," &c.--_Morning Chronicle._
* * * * *
_Twins._--Lamerton Church, in Devonshire, is remarkable for having the effigies of Nicholas and Andrew Tremaine, twins, who were so like each other, that they could not be distinguished but by some outward mark. The most singular part of their history, as it is told, is, that when asunder, if one was merry, the other was so, and the contrary. And as they could not endure to be separate in their lifetime, so neither at their deaths; for, in 1564, they both served at Newhaven, when the one being slain, the other stepped instantly into his place, and was slain also.
* * * * *
THE LATE SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART.
* * * * *
With the present Number, price Twopence, AN ILLUSTRATED SUPPLEMENT, Containing a MEMOIR of the LIFE & WRITINGS of the late SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART. With Five Engravings.
* * * * *
_Printed and published by J. LIMBIRD, 143, Strand, (near Somerset House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; G.G. BENNIS, 55, Rue Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris; and by all Newsmen and Booksellers._